Sega Genesis MKII Pre-production Sample

Cartridge (front)
Cartridge (front)

As some people in the MK community already know, I have a pre-production sample of Mortal Kombat II for the Sega Genesis. I obtained the cartridge several years ago from a friend, who apparently purchased it from a seller on eBay. With so many Mortal Kombat prototypes surfacing in recent years, curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to learn as much as I could about it. However, I couldn’t justify buying a backup device for a single task, so I decided to seek out someone in the prototype “scene” who would be willing to dump it for me.

In August of last year, news spread about an in-house gag version of NBA Jam for the SNES, dubbed NBA Jam XXX, which contained explicit commentary by the game’s announcer, Tim Kitzrow. I decided to get in contact with Mike over at, the source of the release, regarding the game’s authenticity. After much discussion, I learned that Mike had a special connection with Mortal Kombat as well, so I asked him if he would be interested in dumping my pre-production cartridge.

EPROM chips
EPROM chips

Mike was very informative about the whole process, citing the pros and cons of dumping prototype cartridges and how to handle them. Time wasn’t on my side, as EPROMs retain their data for a minimum of ten to twenty years, a deadline that was vastly approaching — that is, if an unknown amount of light exposure hadn’t caused erasure already. There was also the fact that the EPROMs were soldered to the board as opposed to socketed. This meant they would be difficult to remove and reattach without damaging the game. A risk Mike wasn’t willing to take.

Mike informed me about the Retrode, a device capable of dumping Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and Nintendo SNES/SFC games and SRAM1 data (save files) through a USB connection. But it wasn’t cheap. Again, I couldn’t justify buying something I’d only use once, so Mike began to ask around on my behalf. I was eventually directed to Luke Zapart who, to my surprise, was willing to ship me a Retrode. Needless to say, I was pleased with this arrangement because it meant I didn’t have to send my beloved collector’s item to a complete stranger.

Upon receiving the Retrode from Luke, I dumped both the pre-production cartridge and my own retail cartridge, and compared the two checksums. To my disappointment, they were a match. You may be wondering what this all means. Basically, the code is identical to the retail version and not a prototype after all. It was likely a press copy that was sent to magazines and such to be reviewed. While not the result I was hoping for, it’s still a neat little piece of video game history. I even learned a thing or two along the way, so it wasn’t all for naught.

(Special thanks to Mike and Luke for all of their help and kindness.)

MK9 Patch Notes – 2011/09/23

(I know I’m a week late, and I wasn’t going to post this, but decided to anyway for archival purposes.)

NetherRealm Studios released a patch for Mortal Kombat (2011), bringing it up to version 0.144S-234-77c814ec (Xbox 360) / ????-??? (PS3) [update version 1.??]. As detailed on the official hotfix and patch notes thread, the following changes have been made:

General Gameplay Fixes/Tweaks

  • Fixed a couple of crash scenarios.
  • DLC billboards should now behave correctly on Xbox.
  • You should no longer see online desyncs on Xbox that are related to alternate costumes or classic costume DLC packs.
  • MOTD handling and displaying code was tweaked.
  • Fixed a bug that could have resulted in tweakvars getting corrupted.
  • Fixed a crash in player select if you tried to exit out while the DLC box was open.
  • With the exception of Human Cyrax and Human Sektor, everyone’s alternate costumes should behave the same as their primary costumes and have the exact same move properties.
  • You can now block after a dash forward is completed if it was cancelled into from a special move. Cancelling out of a dash into another dash was normalized for most of the characters. Dash Block cancelling remains the same.
  • Wake-up attacks should have better invulnerability on them if done in the first 4 frames of the wake-up window. (this was added as a hotfix tweakable value)
  • You no longer get a completely free throw attempt after someone blocks your jump punch. The opponent has less block hit frames but chained combos from a jump punch will remain the same.
  • There were several reactions that could freeze players just before they landed from attacks and reactions such as Kano’s Airball and Cyrax’s Net air reaction.
  • Made many minor hitbox adjustments.
  • Tweaked the negative edge window.
  • Several low attacks were being parried incorrectly.
  • Nightwolf and Kenshi can no longer still absorb a projectile if they get hit out of their enhanced reflects before the recovery frames start.


  • Baraka’s Blade Spin move starts up faster and is safer when blocked.
  • Baraka’s Enhanced Blade Charge (Blade Rush) attack goes farther now.
  • Baraka’s Chop Chop no longer auto corrects mid-move.
  • Baraka has a new D1 low poke.

Cyber Sub-Zero

  • Cyber Sub-Zero can no longer handcuff certain characters by catching a wake-up attack with his enhanced Ice Parry.


  • Cyrax’s Buzzsaw is an overhead block and safer when blocked.
  • Cyrax’s Bombs will no longer pop someone up who is in a 2nd Net reaction or in a Buzzsaw reaction.
  • Cyrax’s MK3 costume should behave the same as the primary costume now.


  • Ermac can no longer leave an invisible fireball collision around.
  • Fixed damage scaling a few of his reactions.


  • All of Jade’s Enhanced Boomerangs (Reboomerang) will now return when the first hit is blocked.
  • Jade’s Staff Grab is slightly safer when blocked.
  • Jade’s U3 attack (Pole Vault) can be ducked.
  • Jade’s 4,F3 kick (Polecat) is safer when blocked.


  • The armor on Jax’s Enhanced Dash Punch (Dash Fist) and X-Ray (Briggs Bash) now starts instantly.
  • Added armor to the start-up of Jax’s Enhanced Elbow (Elite Smash).
  • Jax’s projectiles (Energy Wave) recover a tiny bit faster.
  • Jax’s towards 3 attack (Big Leg) is now an overhead.
  • Jax can no longer frame trap someone with his Gotcha Grab.

Johnny Cage

  • Johnny Cage’s F3,2 (Take Two) no longer true combos into 2in1’d special moves.
  • Johnny Cage’s Nut Punch does slightly less damage.
  • Johnny Cage’s sweep kick has less advantage on block or hit.


  • Kabal can no longer leave an invisible fireball collision around.
  • Removed a couple unavoidable block traps with Kabal. (with F2 and 4)


  • If you don’t charge and hold the Enhanced Kano Ball it will now keep its armor.
  • Kano’s Enhanced Knife Toss recovers faster.


  • Kitana’s Fan reactions on an airborne opponent damage scale correctly now.
  • Kitana’s X-Ray (Fan-Tastic) can no longer be reflected.

Kung Lao

  • Removed the pushback on Kung Lao’s spin when blocked.
  • Ground Hat now leaves both players at neutral when hit close and leaves Kung Lao at a disadvantage when blocked up close.
  • Kung Lao’s overhead hat attack is slightly safer when blocked.

Liu Kang

  • Liu Kang’s Parry now can correctly give a first hit bonus!


  • Nightwolf’s reflect should work better as a wake-up attack.


  • Noob’s Teleport Slam should connect better with some opponents.
  • Noob should no longer be hit on the ground after he is up in the air for his Teleport.
  • Noob’s Shadow Charge hits overhead.

Quan Chi

  • Fixed an issue where Quan Chi’s Skull Projectile (Skull Ball) could sometimes become invisible.
  • Added some armor to the Quan Chi’s Enhanced Sky Drop (Sky Stomp).


  • Raiden can no longer unavoidably frame trap someone with his Vicinity Blast.
  • Raiden has 2 additional recovery frames on his normal Teleport.
  • Raiden can’t be hit during his Enhanced Teleport (Sparkport).


  • Reptile whiffed Elbow Dash now builds slightly less meter.
  • Reptile is held slightly longer after knocking someone down with the Elbow Dash.
  • A blocked Reptile Elbow Dash no longer pushes back.
  • Reptile’s Enhanced Slide (Slime Trail) now has armor on it.
  • Reptile can no longer leave an invisible Forceball collision around.


  • Scorpion’s Leg Takedown is safer when blocked.
  • Scorpion’s Enhanced Leg Takedown (Takeout) now has armor on it.


  • Sektor can now 2in1 into the front and behind Up Missiles.
  • Sektor’s MK3 outfit should behave the same as the primary costume.
  • Sektor’s backjets will no longer get stuck firing, wasting precious fuel. (Yay!)
  • Sektor’s X-Ray (Massive Missile) can no longer be reflected.

Shang Tsung

  • The armor on Shang’s Enhanced Soul Steal now starts instantly.
  • Shang Tsung’s Enhanced Soul Steal (Soul Capture) activates faster.


  • Sheeva’s Fireball is a mid block now and the Enhanced Fireball (Fire Blast) is an overhead.
  • Sheeva’s Ground Pound can correctly give a first hit bonus!
  • Sheeva’s Enhanced Jump Stomp (Jump Crush) now has armor on it.
  • Sheeva’s Air Grab has better anti-air collision on it.


  • Sindel can no longer leave behind an invisible fireball collision around.
  • Sindel’s B1 attack is a low block.
  • Sindel’s regular Scream is slightly faster and the Enhanced Scream is a lot faster now.
  • Sindel’s Scream (Yell) can no longer be parried.


  • It’s no longer possible to handcuff opponents with Smoke’s Vibration (Shake) Parry.


  • The armor on Sonya’s cartwheel (Krazy Legs) lasts until the first collision and Archkick’s (Arc Wave) armor lasts until her arch is almost over.
  • Sonya’s 1,1,4 (Fierce Assault) no longer true combos into 2in1’d special moves from it.
  • Sonya’s 3,1,4 (Beat Up) no longer true combos into 2in1’d special moves from it.


  • Stryker’s Enhanced Baton (Baton Bash) Sweep’s 2nd hit is an overhead and is safer when blocked.
  • Stryker’s Grenades recover slightly faster.
  • Stryker’s Baton Roll starts up faster and the enhanced version has armor on it for a longer time.
  • Stryker’s Enhanced Grenade Toss and Baton Sweep do slightly more damage.
  • Stryker’s B1,2,2 (Beatdown) combo is safer when blocked.


  • Fixed some of the Ground Freeze reaction properties which were causing some other gameplay issues.
  • Sub-Zero’s Enhanced Slide (Power Slide) now has armor.
  • The opponent is frozen for 10 additional frames to allow him to at least get a slide in for some trade cases were he could get nothing before.

Freddy Krueger

  • Freddy’s Nightmare Stance can’t be repeated instantly anymore.
  • Fixed a bug where Freddy could get stuck being immune to projectiles.
  • Freddy’s forward and backward Teleports (Hell Shift) build slightly less meter.
  • Some of Freddy reactions were not damage scaling correctly.
  • Tweaked the recovery on some of Freddy’s specials.


  • Kenshi’s X-Ray (Soul Blade) can no longer be reflected.
  • Kenshi is freed up sooner now when he absorbs a projectile with his (Blade Absorb).
  • Kenshi’s F2,2,B1 (Absentminded) reaction no longer lets opponents be hit just as they hit the ground.


  • Skarlet has an additional 10 frames before she can cancel out of her normal dagger toss.
  • Skarlet can no longer 2in1 cancel out of her Slide attack from her Red Dash.
  • Skarlet’s back throw now does normal damage.
  • Skarlet can do her U3 (Lifting Leg) attack from a dash now.

As of today, the patch is now available for PS3 users.

MK9 Hotfix – 2011/06/21

As many of you are well aware, the community boards experienced a lengthy down period recently. The following information wasn’t made available until June 30th, a day after the boards were brought back online. (As of this writing, the link on the homepage still points to the official Facebook page.)

During the down period, NetherRealm Studios released another server-side hotfix for Mortal Kombat (2011), bringing it up to version 138S-228-CA8BD927 (Xbox 360) / 138S-228-0B72802D (PS3).

As detailed on the official hotfix thread (login required), the following changes have been made:

  • Slightly increased the startup on Kano’s up ball. (2 frames)
  • Slightly increased the recovery frames on a blocked/missed Kano up ball. (6 frames)
  • Slightly increased the recovery frames on Kano’s knive Toss (2 frames)
  • Removed a loop-able combo with Kung Lao’s teleport.
  • Improved Quan Chi’s Ground Burst startup and recovery to be more useful in regular gameplay.

There’s bound to be some undocumented changes, which I’ll be sure to add as they surface.