The original three games and their updates, Mortal Kombat (1992), Mortal Kombat II (1993), Mortal Kombat 3 (1995), Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (1995), and Mortal Kombat Trilogy (1996), were styled in a 2D fighting fashion. The first two of them were played in the arcades with a joystick and five buttons: high punch, low punch, high kick, low kick, and block. Mortal Kombat 3 and its updates added a sixth “run” button. Characters in the early Mortal Kombat games play virtually identically to one another, with the only major differences being their special moves. Through the 1990s, the developer and publisher Midway Games would keep their single styled fighting moves with four attack buttons for a different array of punches, kicks and blocks. Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
was the first Mortal Kombat game which the character could move 3D like. Mortal Kombat 4 also tried to introduce the 3D system but it wasn’t worked properly due to old system mechanics. Also the combination of the moves changed from the old Mortal Kombat games and this was done by differentiating characters’ normal moves and even giving them multiple fighting styles. Beginning in Deadly Alliance and until Mortal Kombat: Deception, the characters would have three fighting styles per character: two unarmed styles, and one weapon style. Few exceptions to this arose in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, such as monstrous boss characters like Moloch and Onaga who would have only one fighting style. While most of the styles used in the series are based on real martial arts, some are entirely fictitious. Goro’s fighting styles, for example, are designed to take advantage of the fact that he has four arms. For Armageddon, fighting styles were reduced to a maximum of two per character (generally one hand-to-hand combat style and one weapon style) due to the sheer number of playable characters. Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe dropped the multiple fighting style trend altogether in favor of giving each character a much wider variety of special moves, but some characters still use multiple fighting styles. 2011’s Mortal Kombat returned to a single 2D fighting plane although characters are rendered in 3D; unlike previous MK games, each of the controller’s four attack buttons corresponds to one of the character’s limbs, the buttons thus becoming front punch, back punch, front kick and back kick (front and back indicating the limb closer to and farther from the opponent, respectively).