When I first discovered that one could actually collect arcade games and I decided to travel down that path, Mortal Kombat II was on my list of “must-have” games. That particular title pretty much signaled the end of the arcade era for me, as no game since had persuaded me to visit any public arcade on a regular basis. I have many fond memories of my work buddies and I meeting up several nights a week to play MKII back when it was released, and after we tired of it and stopped playing, gaming from then on was pretty much relegated to home consoles. Sure, we gave Mortal Kombat 3 a shot, but as a group, we didn’t really care for that installment of the series and lost interest pretty quickly.
One of the first games that I added to my arcade collection was indeed a MKII, but it was a conversion in an old Dynamo cabinet. Sure, it was playable, but without that wonderful MKII cabinet design and all of that fantastic cabinet art, the experience just didn’t feel authentic. (Having a 19-inch monitor — instead of the dedicated cabinet’s 25-inch monitor — didn’t help matters either.)
I have always wanted to replace my MKII conversion with the real deal, but never came across one for sale that was really nice. The main issue with every dedicated MKII that I ever had a look at was faded sideart; an issue that I simply couldn’t overlook — especially with the considerably high price that was usually being asked.
“Good things come to those who wait” they say, and after 6+ years of searching, I finally found my nice, dedicated MKII:
As you can tell by the pictures, the machine is in fantastic shape. Sure, it has its share of nicks & scrapes, but being a 14-year-old machine that lived most of its life on-location in a public environment, the damn thing is in outstanding condition. The monitor is nice and bright (with no burn-in), the sideart is intact without any fading on either side, the control panel is in superb condition, and everything associated with how the game plays is spot-on. Honestly, I haven’t seen a nicer MKII in-person since the mid-90’s.
With my purchase of the game, I also received a box containing every ROM revision that was ever released for the game — including the painfully unforgiving “Challenger” chips. And as if all of that didn’t already make for a really sweet deal, I only had to drive two-and-a-half hours away from home to pick the machine up, and the total cost (without any haggling whatsoever) was $350. In the world of arcade collecting, you get lucky every now-and-then with a really good deal, and with my latest acquisition, I feel like a lucky boy indeed.
The only bad part of it all? Now that I no longer have any conversions to replace and have run completely out of room, my collecting days are pretty much over. Well, until I win the lottery and can afford a bigger house, that is. That should happen any day now, right?