Flashback Friday: Thrill Kill

In the days of Mortal Kombat, there were many games that tried to cash in, genre wise anyway, on it’s use of violence. That’s not to say that there were other games that used violence as a selling point. For example, the infamous Manhunt series or Postal… But there is one game that stood out for all the wrong reasons. That game is Thrill Kill.

Created by Virgin Interactive, this game was planned to be out in October of 1998. But, a monkey wrench was thrown in the form of EA buying out Virgin Interactive. Fearing the soccer moms like the little pussies that they are, EA canned the game six weeks from release citing that the intense violence would go against it’s family friendly image (which is bullshit! This is a company whose biggest seller is a game about a sport who have some of the most violent fans out there. Not to mention that they’ve gone on to do Medal of Honor and Black… family friendly my damn white ass!!). Thanks to mod chips for the Playstation and emulators, the game finally got to see the light of day.

What made this game stand out from others in the genre was that this was a 4 player game. The release date was planned to be way before Power Stone 2, the game people all associate with 3D styled 4 way brawlers, would ever come out… oh, and there is the violence and the characters. Oh, the characters.

The plot sounds a lot like Eternal Champions in that it takes the ‘everyone fighting is dead, so let’s hold a fighting tournament and the winner gets a second chance at life’ trope as well. The exception is that while everyone in Eternal Champions is pretty much redeemable in some way, shape or form… no one here is redeemable. You see, everyone fighting got sent to hell and the host of this tournament is a demon name Marukka.

Each of the 8 fighters got sent to hell for their crimes and they pretty much run the gamut from Belladonna, who I swear seems to suffer from PGAD (Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder) to Dr. Faustus, a doctor with a freaking bear trap for a mouth (!) to Mammoth… a giant skinless gorilla who somehow got a job at the local post office. All of these guys are fucked up in their own way (and that’s not getting into the sub bosses Judas and Cain… Judas is a Siamese twin gone horribly wrong while Cain is an arsonist who got himself burnt to a crisp so now he is basically hell’s version of the Human Torch).

With the game’s goal of killing, you might ask yourself… how do I kill them? Well, we begin with the Kill Meter. Instead of a traditional life bar in most fighting games, you have a meter that is empty. By hitting your foe(s), the meter builds until it gets full. When it does, you’ll get a red glow around your character, which means he or she is ready to kill someone. If you don’t have glow… prepare to RUN LIKE FUCKING HELL! Because if you get caught, you will die. Everyone has four ‘Elimination Moves’ that are pretty basic. Once it’s down to two fighters, the traditional rules now apply and you can do any of the five finishers (or four if you’re Violet) available. The first three are your traditional finishers. One is the Brutality rip off and the last one is a combination of a Friendship and the Humiliation move from the first Killer Instinct (How else can I explain anyone doing the freaking Macarena?)

Control wise, this game takes the limb specific buttons of Tekken and adds a block button like Mortal Kombat… which you will need in those frantic four way battles. The move lists depend on which character you’re using, but they range from the tap, tap motions used in MK to the fireball and 360 motions more commonly associated with Street Fighter.

As a side note, the engine used for this game got a second life in the form of Wu-Tang Shaolin Style. Maybe I’ll get to that game someday in the future…