What I Learned From A Very Difficult Fighting Game (Mortal Kombat Chaotic)
Updated: Oct 26
A long time ago, I played a most difficult and most broken fangame called Mortal Kombat Chaotic. For those of you who do not recognize this game, it can indeed be called the “Dark Souls” of Mortal Kombat, simply because of how broken and intelligent the A.I. is. It also depends on the character you are picking and fighting against, because this game also has the largest selection of characters in MK history.
Now, I am not here to whine about the pain I was dealt with by the A.I. (AKA, the computer opponents I faced), nor how many times I lost even on the lowest of difficulty—“Easy 1”—but instead I would like to share with you the wisdom I have learned by playing this unique, very-challenging game of Kombat.
1. Every defeat can be utilized to get closer to victory: Even on the “Easy 1” difficulty, you are likely to be defeated numerous times by the A.I.. Nonetheless, with all of your defeats, the achievement of victory can be very, very rewarding, should you be determined enough to learn the A.I. and learn from your mistakes with each defeat you have absorbed. This is why it is, technically, good to make mistakes, as long as one learns from them enough as to not to repeat them and expect different results.
2. Every action has a reaction: The A.I. will learn the pattern of your moves and will attempt to find a counter-attack, should you use the same pattern over and over again. Further thinking is required to surpass the reactions made by your actions. Think long-term, and do not act on instinct so easily in life. Plan like a mastermind, or your actions will be likelier to backfire against you.
3. Don’t let them breathe: The “Tournament” mode of the game has a formidable, the antagonist known as Shao Kahn. That character is an absolute beast when it comes to combat; his health is really large and so are the amount of damage he can deal to you within single hits. Even an uppercut, a deadly move in the series, may only decrease a small portion of his health.
However, if you are not to “let him breathe”, in a sense that you won’t let him a big-enough gap to hit you dramatically, it is preferable to resume your combos even if he defends against them.
Apply this to real life when you are in an antagonistic conflict against someone, physically or literally—the more you hit them the less likely they will hit you back with a significant punch/offensive claim. (That is, of course, unless they are good in using your own hits against you).
4. Pick your fights: There are characters in this fangame that are extremely overpowered, with the most notoriously one known as Simon, that can kill his opponent with literally one hit. While there are less overpowered characters that are overpowered nonetheless, it’s preferable that you do not waste your time fighting such characters because there is very little chance that you will win. Restart the game or match and hope that you will make it.
That, unfortunately, applies to real life as well—pick your fights, whether they are physical or not, because our strength is not always sufficient to prove victorious. You are not omnipotent, even if you feel like it in a megalomaniac fashion.
5. Accept pain that you currently can’t do anything about: Some opponents, especially Shao Kahn, will attempt to make you suffer by not letting you time to react to their hits. Shao Kahn especially may grab you for a few seconds, point at you and tell you that “you are nothing” as he significantly decreases your health and throws you to the floor.
Because you currently can’t do anything about this mid-way, it is best to just accept the pain and attempt to avoid it in the near or far future. When this lesson is applied to real life—accept the inevitable, and hope for it to pass, no matter how long it will take.
6. Some instances may have weaknesses that can be used for your own benefit: The A.I. in the game can be very cheap, truth be told. They can uppercut you, arrive to your new location, make an uppercut again, and repeat. However, some of your opponents may have weaknesses that can be used to your own advantage.
A specific character, for example, cannot be grabbed, so it would be useless to try and grab them. However, they also heal, and when the heal they can be vulnerable to a potentially-deadly attack.
It is not always wrong to exploit a weakness in a situation, especially if no harm is done. If a pet, for example, is acting too wild, perhaps patting it in a very specific place they like will relax them quicker than doing anything else.
7. Check your options: Literally check your options, because the game is set to the highest difficulty, “Hard 8”, by default. Don’t be surprised if you are beaten in a series of “flawless victories” within the first few seconds if you don’t check your options. (A flawless victory is when an opponent is defeated without landing a hit)
Number 7 teaches us the importance of not giving in to our Platonic impressions so easily. You might find out that your own impression of an experience can decieve you if you give in to its bias. Question it and see how the experience of the same object can be changed later on.
All of the insights here can be used in real life as well, making some video games have the potential to teach us about life, as this applies not only to simulator games. Who says we only need specific sources of learning, such as books, to become wiser? We can literally learn from anything if we pay enough attention and dedicate enough time to analyze our experiences and the content we have consumed.