Mortal Kombat is an Action-Adventure, “Beat-em-Up” type of game, created by Midway in 1992, where you get to play as several characters in a Kung-Fu style of fighting. Each of these characters has certain signature moves and the biggest draw is each character’s type of “fatality” they can perform. A fatality is the character’s finishing move where they totally finish off an opponent. Fatalities with such names as “Scorpion’s Toasty”, “Soul Stealing”, “Hat Slice” and the “Spine Rip” were what led to the creation of the ESRB system. This system was more or less the icing on the cake as full Congressional hearings took place citing that video and arcade games had become too violent and that the companies them-
selves were incapable of policing what they had.
This article, though, isn’t here to discuss Mortal Kombat in detail. Instead, this article is intended to show the timeline for when fighting games first appeared on the scene in arcades. In the early days of the arcades, most games had to do with space aliens attacking, players driving tanks across wire-frame 3D landscapes, and even guiding a cute yellow critter around a maze eating dots and monsters.
Since he played on the first Magnanvox Odyssey in 1973, Kevin was bitten by the video game bug. It didn't matter what the games looked like, they were just fun. When Space Invaders was released in the United States in the late 1970's, he spent a ton of quarters in his local Aladdins Castle trying (unsuccessfully) to master the game. He continued to play on various console and arcade games (even learning to program the Apple II+) until he joined the navy in 1983. Joined the navy in 1983 and became a Hospital Corpsman in 1984. While in the navy, Kevin was able continue his hobby of programming PC's and playing videogames. In the early to mid 1990's, Kevin learned to program the Atari ST and worked for Majicsoft for a couple of years.
Before retiring from the navy in 2004, Kevin started to write FAQ's for GameFAQ's. His forte was arcade FAQ's since that was his real passion still. His FAQ's have appeared in many places that seek to preserve the arcade game history. This is especially true for the MAME project where his guides are a part of the documentation. After retiring from the navy, Kevin has been more involved in computer repair, networking, and computer security but he still is involved in the arcade history arena. He currently lives in Neosho MO with his wife and one son who is also a video game hobbyist.