Get Over Here! ‘Mortal Kombat X’ Fan-Made Arcade Cabinet

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Mortal Kombat X Custom Arcade
For a lifelong Mortal Kombat fan, the only way to play the game is in an arcade.
Photo courtesy of Mike Jensen

While the rest of the world has been spending countless hours this week sitting in front of their flat screen televisions playing the new Mortal Kombat X video game, Mike Jensen has been standing firmly on his feet. That’s because, to him, the only proper way to play any Mortal Kombat is in front of an arcade cabinet. Although NetherRealm Studio’s Mortal Kombat X was released on a variety of systems including XBox One, Playstation 4, and PC, there isn’t a stand-up arcade version, so Jensen simply made his own.

Already an avid video game collector, Wichita, Kansas, resident Mike Jensen stripped an old War: Final Assault cabinet he picked up a few years ago for $150. After stripping, sanding, priming, and painting, all that was left cosmetically was to apply some custom artwork featuring the iconic character Raiden from the game. Jensen describes in his original forum post the technical aspects required to make a modern-day console game play in a twenty-year-old arcade cabinet:

I’ll be using a PS4 to run the game and I have already successfully hacked the controller that came with the system. I just need to get another one and hack it too. So with the control interface figured out, it just boiled down to the monitor interface. I’ll be using a 24.8″ Tri-mode Makvision like I used in my MK9 and Injustice cabs so they all match. The PS4 only outputs HDMI, so I will be using an HDMI to VGA converter, running at 800×600 to the Makvision and it should work just fine. I may have to use 640×480, but that will remain to be seen.

Mortal Kombat X Arcade Controls
Photo credit: Mike Jensen

After adding a 27″ LED Acer computer monitor, all that was left to add was the actual PS4 copy of Mortal Kombat X. In the meantime, he had plenty of other options to occupy his time. In addition to his new cabinet construction, he also owns vintage arcade editions of the original Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat 2, Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, Mortal Kombat 4, and a custom-made version of Injustice: Gods Among Us.

Row of Mortal Kombat arcade games
Finish Him! Jensen is no stranger to video game violence. Credit: Mike Jensen

Picking the game up and immediately playing it upon launch, Jensen couldn’t be happier:

The game is everything myself and others were expecting it to be. I will always be more of a classic MK’er at heart but these newer games always blow me away. I thought it couldn’t get any better after MK9. I was wrong. I must admit that I’m a little lost when it comes to the combos and timing of these newer games because I spent so many years on the “dial-a-combos” from MK3 and MK4. MKX is a new different animal that will take some time to fully appreciate. As for right now, I’m just trying to get through the story mode.

All told, the construction took around three weeks, with most of that time devoted to designing the artwork. What may seem like an obsession to some is simply a passion for Jensen, who was blown away when he first played the original Mortal Kombat as a 12-year old in 1992. That first impression of Mortal Kombat has always been an important part of Mike Jensen’s video game history. His newest addition ensures Mortal Kombat will continue to be an integral part of his life for some time to come.

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