Plot. Long ago, before the tournament of Mortal Kombat, a ninja clan of assassins known as the Lin Kuei, were hired by sorcerer Quan Chi. The Lin Kuei Grandmaster sends his best warrior, Sub-Zero, to steal the sacred map of elements in a Shaolin Temple in China. In the Temple, Sub-Zero encounters his rival Scorpion, who taunts him to get the map. After a violent battle, Sub-Zero mercilessly finishes Scorpion off, and returns to his base. As repayment, Quan Chi has eliminated Scorpion's ninja clan, and entrusts Sub-Zero with another mission: To obtain a mysterious and powerful amulet. But soon, Sub Zero will figure out the machinations of Quan Chi.
Concept. Players must guide Sub-Zero through eight stages. They start in the Shaolin Temple, where they must fight and defeat Scorpion to steal the Map of Elements. Then they must defeat the four elemental gods: Fujin, the Earth God, the Water God, and the Fire God. Then players roam through the prison of souls, where they must fight Scorpion again, this time in a harder mode if they made a Fatality on him. Then they must cross the bridge, to infiltrate Shinnok's fortress to defeat Kia, Jataaka, and Sareena. After defeating the three henchwomen, they face off against Quan Chi, and finally against Shinnok himself, which is not a very easy battle to win.
Design. The game's graphics are rendered in 2D, while the stages are rendered in 3D. In the PlayStation version, the game has live-action sequences, in which involves horrible acting which is hilarious. Talk about amateurs acting in the game. The game has also some bloody violence, such as being crushed by traps, falling into spikes, from a precipice, and so on. The game is well done as far as story and graphics.
Characters. Some of the characters from the original game return to this game. The original Sub-Zero is the main character of the game, and it explains his rivalry with Scorpion. Raiden also appears in the game, in the first half of the storyline, and in the game's conclusion. Quan Chi and Shinnok make their debut before Mortal Kombat 4. Shinnok appears in Mortal Kombat Annihilation, but he was not like the one in the game, he was just some black cloaked guy who did not fight, and was Shao Kahn and Raiden's father. Very bad.
Music. The music of the game captures the looks and environments of the stages in the game. But in some stages, the music was not catchy at all.
Rantings. Now what I do not like about this game, is that the controls on the Nintendo 64 are very watered down, while on the PlayStation it's a whole different story. The stage that I hated the most was the Earth God stage, because of the multiple traps, and the boss was a problem since he was a giant chunk of rock. Also, for one thing, the game is not like Mortal Kombat at all with the sidescrolling elements, and you only learn techniques through the experience points that you've gained, and all the battles you've fought against enemies and bosses. The game is very hard too.
Good Aspects. The game's graphics were faithful to those of it's predecessors. The storyline was decent for a Mortal Kombat prequel, but still the game was not very popular among fans of the series. The live-action sequences were very well made, despite the very poor acting. Making combos in the Netherealm was fun, such as roundhouse kicking enemies into a force field various times, to quickly kill them.
Overall. The game is not that bad, but I consider it to be decent. I give this game a 5 out of 10