So I missed this anniversary by a day, but way back on September 13, 1993, the home video game version of Mortal Kombat hit stores in an event dubbed Mortal Monday. The Mortal Kombat arcade game was an instant hit when it landed in arcades around the country, so turning it into a game for home consoles was a no-brainer.
I probably played the arcade version just a couple of times when it got big, but being as how there weren’t any arcades close to where I lived made playing it more than that a virtual impossibility. But I was still excited for the game coming to home consoles nonetheless.
I was a Street Fighter II fan and played it at home all the time, so another fighting game seemed cool. Now I wasn’t one of the fanboys who were all excited about the fatalities and such, I just enjoyed fighting games. Mortal Kombat had an interesting story attached to the game so that was a plus as well. But my friend Geoffrey couldn’t shut up about it’s pending release. Between his excitement, the plethora of commercials advertising it, and the many ads for it in comic books and magazines were enough to make my head spin. When Mortal Monday finally arrived, I was kind of relieved because I wouldn’t be inundated with the hype anymore. Or so I thought.
What overtook that was Geoffrey’s non-stop babbling about how awesome the game was. He was one of those Sega Genesis kids, so his version had the fatalities intact. The SNES version did not. I still sometimes wonder what kind of deal Sega made to have that kind of exclusivity. But I did my duty as a best friend and went over to his house to play it, and enjoyed it, but not like he did. He just could not shut up about that game for weeks. But me, I went home and played Street Fighter II. That was my game.
But looking back on it all now, it was quite the promotion for a video game, and it even had a cool tag line in “Mortal Monday”. They drilled that into people’s heads. I guess it worked since the franchise went on to spawn numerous sequel games and movies.
Happy belated anniversary to Mortal Kombat and it’s Mortal Monday promotion.
If you’d like to read more about Geoffrey and video games, check out the entry for the Game Genie in an old comic book ads post I did, Even More Old Comic Book Ads. And if you remember the hype, share your memories in the comments!