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Versions of Mortal Kombat (1) (DOS port)

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First post, by badmojo

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I have a boxed copy of MK1 which has buggy sound blaster support and a config menu within the game itself, accessible via F10 during startup. There exists a patch which is supposed to fix the sound bug, but the game plays a lot slower with it installed, so for years I’ve just played it unpatched. I’ve also downloaded a version from the internets – for academic purposes – which was exactly the same as my boxed copy.

Recently I acquired a 486, on the hard drive of which was a copy of MK1. But this version has an external config app (setup.exe) – F10 does nothing, and runs at the correct speed, AND has no sound bug. Copy protection was also long since broken on this version. The sprites look slightly different too, I think – their outline looks slightly more pronounced.

Does anyone know anything about this seemingly ultimate version of MK1? It should be noted that this system hasn’t been used since the mid 90’s, so it’s not some new fangled version that was hacked up.

If it's broke, then fix it!

Reply 2 of 85, by dr_st

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I know of 3 MK1 DOS versions: floppy beta, floppy final, and CD.

My guess is that this "ultimate" version is in fact the beta version, which tends to crash a lot, has a thing or two missing, and some moves are hard to perform.

But I could be wrong. Please try the following things:

* Does ESC exit the game or take you to Game Over?
* Does Alt-Q exit the game?
* Can you perform Sub-Zero's slide with just LP+LK+BL? Or do you need Back+LP+LK+BL?
* Can you perform Sonya's leg grab with just LP+LK+BL? Or do you need Down+LP+LK+BL?

Also, can you copy and paste the list of the files in the MK directory, with their dates and sizes? I'd like to compare to the three different MK versions which I have on my hard drive.

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Reply 3 of 85, by leileilol

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So far...

1993-11-25 - beta - no copy protection - slow - setup.bat (kombat.exe -s) - no sound at all - ESC quits
1993-12-13 - Virgin - Copy protection - slow - sb init bug - setup.exe - ESC game overs - ALT-Q quits
1993-12-17 - UltraTech/Hi Tech Expressions - Copy protection - slow - sb init bug - no setup.exe (F10) -ESC game overs - ALT-Q quits
1993-12-31 - UltraTech/Hi Tech Expressions - Copy protection - fast - sb init bug - no setup.exe (F10) - ESC game overs - ALT-Q quits

12-31 version also has some updated GRA files dating to the 30th.

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Last edited by leileilol on 2015-11-24, 11:29. Edited 5 times in total.

apsosig.png

Reply 4 of 85, by dr_st

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You are right, it's confusing indeed. It is possible there are more versions floating around.

Edit: I see that while I was typing you added the info about the beta version, so a lot of what I wrote may not be relevant. 😀

I have what appears to be an early beta, with most data files date 24-Nov-1993 (some 25-Nov and 28-Nov). It appears to be a leaked pre-release by a group of hackers.

There is no setup.exe, or perhaps it is just omitted. Starting the game with -S parameter allows to define the skill setting, audio device and controller, but there is no way to customize the individual keys. Escape exits the game (not Alt+Q). There is a "Virgin" logo among the startup logos.

I also have what, according to you, is the Virgin release, because most files are dated 13-Dec-1993. But some of them have a later date of 30-Dec-1993. The EXE itself is the UltraTech/HiTech one (there is the extra text, and the built-in setup). However it has an earlier date of 22-Nov-1993. Some of the .DRV files also have dates all over the place between 24-Nov and 31-Dec. The EXE appears to be cracked - it asks for a word from the manual, but continues regardless. I don't recall where I got it from, and it may be some sort of a mix between parts of different releases.

What exactly are the speed issues and SB initialization issues you refer to? I've been playing mostly this latter version, and it always seemed to work fine.

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Reply 5 of 85, by leileilol

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Well i've only really tried these on DOSBox and I'd have to set a cycles to a low fixed amount to get sb to init at all. It's possible the fix he tried is a slowdown patch. "slow" refers to the low 25-ish framerate cap the game imposes.

I simplified the post and it still probably isn't all the versions out there. There's probably a newer Virgin, as the one I tried lacked the virgin logos. wow this mk versioning stuff is a mess. The Virgin floppy scans on Mobygames do show later 1994 dates on their labels, so i'm curious about those too if they mean anything.. 😀

apsosig.png

Reply 6 of 85, by Stiletto

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Filenames, dates, sizes and checksums tend to be important info when figuring out stuff like this 😀

"I see a little silhouette-o of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you
do the Fandango!" - Queen

Stiletto

Reply 7 of 85, by dr_st

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OK, so things are clearer now thanks to your summary.

By the looks of it, judging by the dates on my GRA files, it looks like I have the beta version, as well as the latest Ultratech release.

The dates on my executables differ, but since the executables have definitely been tampered with (as I said, the copy protection is non-functional), so I wouldn't necessarily pay any attention to that.

Curiously, my beta version does have sound, and I don't have the SB init bug in my UltraTech release, neither in real DOS, nor in DOSBox (without having to mess with cycles).

These issues may have to do with the particular audio hardware installed/emulated. My DOS rig has an SB16/AWE64, and DOSBox emulates the same SB16.

I am willing to share my executables for your testing, if anyone is interested.

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Reply 9 of 85, by Azarien

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It seems that GOG sells yet another version, with separate setsound.exe for sound configuration and no sound card options on F10 screen.
The exe file is actually called MK1.EXE (1157222 bytes). All files are dated 2012, so the original dates are lost.

This version works well under DOSBox even with max cycles.
I tried running it natively on Windows XP, with SoundFX2000 (doesn't detect Sound Blaster) and VDMSound (sound works) but it hangs when I press the "down" key. Don't know about Win9x or MS-DOS.

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Last edited by Azarien on 2015-11-24, 17:00. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 10 of 85, by dr_st

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Speaking of the beta version, which I just replayed to refresh my memory: While it does have sound and music, some of the sound effects are missing or replaced with generic "thuds". Also, Reptile does not randomly drop down before battle to give hints about finding him in this version, although it is possible to fight him using the same condition as in the final release.

Azarien wrote:

It seems that GOG sells yet another version, with separate setsound.exe for sound configuration and no sound card options on F10 screen.
The exe file is actually called MK1.EXE (1157222 bytes). All files are dated 2012, so the original dates are lost.

So far all this (file name, file size, no sound card options in F10, separate SETSOUND program) seems to match the CD release (originally released on 15-Jan-1996). The EXE file was likely cracked to remove the CD protection, as GoG by choice excludes any DRM from its games, hence the date change.

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Reply 12 of 85, by dr_st

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Wow. That never happened to me in the couple of years I played the beta. So looks like there may be more than one version of that as well. 😀

Oh, and in my beta version, Raiden is still spelled Raiden, as in the Arcade, and not Rayden, as in the later home versions.

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Reply 13 of 85, by badmojo

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Thanks for all the replies, I've been tied up with my daughters dancing concert - more work than you'd think! - but will give my mystery version a much closer look now that I have all this great information. Will report back shortly.

If it's broke, then fix it!

Reply 14 of 85, by dr_st

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dr_st wrote:

Curiously, my beta version does have sound, and I don't have the SB init bug in my UltraTech release, neither in real DOS, nor in DOSBox (without having to mess with cycles).

These issues may have to do with the particular audio hardware installed/emulated. My DOS rig has an SB16/AWE64, and DOSBox emulates the same SB16.

I would like to clarify / correct myself. It appears that I sometimes do experience some sound issues with the version of MK I have, at least in DOSBox. The music is always fine, but sound effects are sometimes gone and sometimes messed up. It does not happen every time, and seems to be affected by whatever ran previously. In all cases so far, after a fresh DOSBox start, sound effects work perfectly.

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Reply 15 of 85, by boxpressed

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I found my original floppies, and the date is 12-17-93.

I also found a couple of hand-labeled floppies marked "Mortal Kombat Update." I must have downloaded these using AOL or something as my service provider. 😀

There are two zipped files, MKFIX-2 and MKFIX-2. Most of the files are dated 12-30-93, but MK.EXE is dated 1-3-94.

I've attached them to this message if anyone wants them.

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  • Filename
    MKFIX-1.ZIP
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    192 downloads
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Reply 16 of 85, by dr_st

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It looks like these files patch the first UltraTech release (which is on your original floppies) to the second UltraTech release. Good find.

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Reply 17 of 85, by badmojo

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Of the descriptions above, my mystery version best matches this one:

1993-12-13 - Virgin - Copy protection - slow - sb init bug - setup.exe - ESC game overs - ALT-Q quits

But it doesn't all add up, mine:

1993-12-13: YES
Virgin: The 'Virgin' logo doesn't appear.
Copy protection: YES, a Crack.com is present and the 'type blah blah from the manual' is displayed
SB Init bug: I can't detect any missing sounds - note that I'm playing on a 486 SX33 + PAS16. But also note that my other version of the game does miss sounds on this machine.
Setup.exe: YES. Seems buggy, crashes the PC.
ESC Game overs: YES
ALT-Q Quits: YES

Reptile does drop down, if that's of any interest. And Rayden is spelt Rayden.

I like the seemingly un-buggy sound init of this one; I think it's a keeper.

If it's broke, then fix it!

Reply 18 of 85, by dr_st

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Would it be possible to ask that you attach the EXE files you have to this thread (main game EXE + setup EXE)? I am curious to compare.

If that is OK with the moderators, of course. Note that I am not asking for the whole game - the EXE is useless without the full game data.

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Reply 19 of 85, by Calvero

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The following cheats don't work in all versions:

Cheat Menu […]
Show full quote

Cheat Menu

Open the setup menu by pressing F10
Hold down shift while typing DIP.
This pops up a DIP-switch menu which you can alter at will.

Switch 0: Fatalities On/Off
Switch 1: Blood On/Off (must restart game)
Switch 2: Sound & music during attract mode On/Off
Switch 3: Comic Book Offer On/Off
Switch 4: CPU Fatalities On/Off
Switch 5: Freeplay On/Off
Switch 6: Moon silhouettes on the first Pit fight (must restart game)
Switch 7: ???
Switch 8: ???