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Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks is a standalone game in the Mortal Kombat series. Shaolin Monks was developed by Midway LA (formerly Paradox Development) and published by Midway for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox  and was released September 16, 2005 in the United States. A Nintendo Gamecube,PlayStation Portable Versions Were Planned But it Was Cancelled. A Game Boy Advance And Nintendo DS Versions Were Also Cancelled Because they felt the game was not for kids under seventeen years old. In October 2004, the president of Midway, David F. Zucker, called the release of Shaolin Monks the "first step toward delivering something that Mortal Kombat fans have been calling for: a new game set in the Mortal Kombat universe every year." 
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks is an action-adventure game that spans the events of Mortal Kombat II, starting with the aftermath of the first Mortal Kombat. The game centers on two members of the Shaolin Order, Liu Kang and Kung Lao, as they travel through the realms in an attempt to thwart Shang Tsung's plans to dominate Earthrealm.
The game features three main modes of play. Aside from a single-player mode, the game has a co-operative mode, where two players can work together through the game, with access to some areas and items that are inaccessible in single-player mode. There is also a versus mode, where two players can fight against each other in some of the arenas featured in the game. In addition, players can unlock a Survival mode as well as an emulated version of Mortal Kombat II.
In addition to Liu Kang and Kung Lao, the game features other characters from the Mortal Kombat series. Some are there to aid the main characters, including Raiden, Johnny Cage, and Sub-Zero, while others serve as the game's bosses, including Mileena, Reptile, Scorpion and Shao Kahn. Tokens can be found throughout the game which will unlock some of these characters in versus modes.
Shaolin Monks features a multi-directional combat system, which gives players the ability to attack any of the enemies that surround them fluidly. The engine allows the player to maintain combo attacks across multiple enemies, and even continue their combos after launching an enemy into the air through a powerful attack or a throw. The main characters also have many of their signature moves from the series. Combos and special moves are upgradeable through the earning of experience points. These are mainly gained through defeating opponents, with the combo system multiplying the value. The environment plays a vital role in the game, as there are several hazards that will instantly kill an enemy, such as pits in the floor or rotating wheels of spikes. Using some of the environment in this manner, as well as attacking or destroying certain objects, serve as a puzzle-solving element to unlock secrets in the game.
The game also includes fatalities, a common feature of the Mortal Kombat series. Performing combos on enemies increases the fatality meter. Once that meter has reached a certain level, a fatality may be performed, regardless of an opponent's level of health. The main characters have the ability to perform several different fatality moves, some of which are 3D updated versions of fatalities from the first and second Mortal Kombat games. The player can also unlock the ability to do Multalities, which are fatalities performed on multiple enemies at once. The concept of Brutalities from Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 has also been brought back, though with a different function. Once the move has been performed, the player will be able to give more devastating attacks for a limited time.
The battle raged furiously on Shang Tsung's island fortress in the Lost Sea. While the demon sorcerer watches from his throne, several fights occur. The Shaolin monk Liu Kang defeats Shang Tsung, and the giant Goro comes to his defense. With Goro distracting everyone else, Shang Tsung creates a portal to Outworld and retreats. Raiden appears afterwards and warns the remaining fighters to get off the island palace because it is collapsing into the sea.
Everyone, except Liu Kang and Kung Lao, evacuates and escape back to the Wu Shi Academy. Liu Kang and Kung Lao, however, have to fight their way to another portal to get to Wushi Academy. Upon arrival, they meet Baraka and the Tarkatan attacking the Wu Shi Academy. The Tarkatans are defeated, but Baraka captures Sonya Blade. Raiden confirms that Shang Tsung is trying to lure Liu Kang and his allies to Outworld where he can order his henchmen to attack them and bide his time for power. If successful, Shang Tsung will conquer Earth without winning a Mortal Kombat tournament, which is cheating.
The Shaolin Monks, Liu Kang and Kung Lao, journey through the nightmarish realm of Outworld to stop the sorcerer's plot. They are guided by Raiden and assisted by Johnny Cage. Throughout their journeys, they are joined by a mysterious princess named Kitana, meet familiar foes and eventually save Sonya and stop Shang Tsung. But the sorcerer is not the only person who wants Earth; the Emperor of Outworld, Shao Kahn, wants Earth for his realm and he will stop at nothing until he gets it.
|GameRankings|| Xbox: 80.64% (42 reviews)|
PS2: 79.10% (47 reviews)
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks has sold over one million copies.
An advertisement for Shaolin Monks titled, "Blood on the Carpet" was created by the London-based "Maverick Media". It was, as quoted from The Register, "... slammed by the Advertising Standards Authority as condoning and glorifying violence." The commercial, as described by The Register, "It features a boardroom scene in which a Mr Linn, the mysterious trouble-shooter at a sales meeting, instructs two men to fight. Punches lead to a pen being stabbed into an arm; then a water jug is smashed over an executive's head – before his heart is ripped from his chest. Mr Linn concludes proceedings by decapitating another executive with his hat." The result of the complaint was, as quoted from the ASA report, "We told Midway not to repeat the approach and told them to consult CAP Copy Advice before producing future ads."
- ↑ Template:Citeweb
- ↑ Thorsen, Tor (October 22, 2004). Midway announces Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. Gamespot.com. Retrieved on 2006-05-30.
- ↑ Game Rankings: Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks (Xbox). Game Rankings. Retrieved on August 7, 2010.
- ↑ Game Rankings: Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. Game Rankings. Retrieved on August 7, 2010.
- ↑ Li, Richard (September 21, 2005). 1UP: Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. 1UP.com. Retrieved on August 7, 2010.
- ↑ Navarro, Axel (September 19, 2005). GameSpot: Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. GameSpot. Retrieved on August 7, 2010.
- ↑ Perry, Douglas C. (September 16, 2005). IGN: Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. IGN. Retrieved on August 7, 2010.
- ↑ Nardozzi, Dale (September 21, 2005). TeamXbox: Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. TeamXbox. Retrieved on August 7, 2010.
- ↑ Mortal Kombat: Midway Delivers A Million Armageddons. Kotaku (2007-01-08). Retrieved on 2008-12-03.
- ↑ Mortal Kombat viral ad glorified violence, says ASA. The Register (2005-12-22). Retrieved on 2009-09-08.
- ↑ Template:Citeweb
- Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks media and information archive at Total Mortal Kombat
- Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks at MobyGames
- Mortal Kombat Shaolin Monks Comprehensive Strategy Guide at Kamidogu
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