Mortal Kombat 2’s release in arcades was a pretty big deal for me back in 1993. I had just gotten a Sega Genesis for the superior-to-Super-Nintendo port of the original Mortal Kombat, so the thought of the sequel being out in arcades already blew my mind. One day at the local Drug Fair (think Duane Reade / Walgreens of central New Jersey) I walked in to their small 4 game arcade find a brand new Mortal Kombat 2 machine standing there in full attract mode. Within moments I had my dollar in the change machine and putting the first of what is now a lifetime of quarters into the machine.. It’s crazy to think now that the whole game was developed and released without any knowledge beforehand since there was no instant delivery platform of information available mainstream yet.
Mortal Kombat 2 was amazing in every aspect. The graphics seemed light years beyond what the first game was putting out a year earlier. The fatalities were even more intense and there were multiple types on top of it all. The soundtrack and sound effects in the game really stood out. It went way beyond just the Asian themed twangs and high pitched yelps of the first game. One of the other memories I had of the arcade machine outside of the game itself was from the one of screens in the attract mode. It was advertising a Mortal Kombat themed comic book and, more importantly, a CD soundtrack to the game. This was a big huge because at the time, the Mortal Kombat 2 music and effects were some of the best I have heard from an arcade game to that point. I don’t know what motivated me to make it a mission to order that CD, but I did and it took a lot of waiting through idle screens to get the full address.
The soundtrack and effects for Mortal Kombat 2 were a showcase to the game’s DCS sound system. This Williams developed 4 channel playback system first made it’s debut on some pinball machines earlier in the year before appearing in standup arcade machines with Mortal Kombat 2. All of the music and effects were all created by legendary arcade sound designer, Dan Forden (aka the Toasty! guy).
It seemed to take longer than 6 to 8 weeks for delivery, but the CD finally arrived. I am not sure why I didn’t spring for the comic book as well, but I am guessing it was due to lack of funds. The CD delivered in full though with the complete original soundtracks for the first two Mortal Kombat’s along with some various bonus effects and sound tours. It became a regular in my CD wallet along with all of the other sounds of 1993 and 1994. I had a boom box next to my Sega Genesis setup and I remember setting the CD to play the music of the levels when the Genesis version of MK 2 was released. This would be the closest I would get to CD quality audio of the soundtrack until I got the game playable in MAME years and years later (and Mortal Kombat 1 for the Sega CD). As time went on, the CD fell off my main CD rack and went into a random ammo case along with other older CD’s that I didn’t plan on listening to for a long time.
Flash forward about 10 years and I was going through some of the old CD’s in my room at my parent’s house. Low and behold I come across the Mortal Kombat 2 Soundtrack CD. I wasn’t able to find any really solid information on the CD besides the information on the inner jacket. I have always been curious as to how many of the CD’s were ever actually sold and shipped. It isn’t something I would ever sell though. It is a good memory to one of the best eras for gaming.