Mortal Kombat II (Playstation) – Shang Tsung

Shang Tsung playthrough

In MK1, Shang Tsung was the final boss of the game. Beside shooting fireball, he could morph into the playable cast and Goro and return to himself at will. He appeared as an older magician. In MK2, he appears a young 19-year-old man. Storywise, it is explained that Shao Khan, the final boss, restored his youth in order to help him lure the fighters in Outworld. This started a trend that Shang would change appearance in each game he appeared, getting older and older, or having both an old and younger version of himself. He appears shorter than the other character, but muscular as well. He wears a yellow and black attire that exposes his chest, as well as some kind of fez.

Shang Tsung can shoot one, two or a volley of three fireballs at a time. Outside of morphs, those are his holy special move. Speaking of the latter, the PlayStation and Sega Saturn are notable to dedicate an option to Shang Tsung. By default, he can’t morph into anybody, but you can toggle either a mode that allows him to morph to the character he is fighting against or the whole cast. Choosing the third option will degrade the graphic quality and will cause loading time each time he morphs into a character other than his opponent.

Against the CPU, Shang Tsung fireball can be spammed for a cheap win. When throwing three of them, the CPU will usually be hit by the first one, block the second one and be hit again by the third projectile. It is also possible to do a jump kick and immediately throw fireballs, but its two and three variations require precise timings. Shang is very versatile because of his ability to morph into the playable cast, using their specific strategic to defeat the CPU. However, each time he morphs, he stays as the character for 16 seconds before morphing back into himself. It is not possible to control when you come back as Shang in MK2, a trait which he has kept in all games featuring free morphing.

There are a few quirks with Shang Tsung. His stage fatality input doesn’t work, but the CPU can perform it (so the move itself is not missing). However, his secret Kintaro fatality is missing and cannot be performed at all. It’s not clear if it is truly an oversight or was intended dues to RAM constraints with Shang Tsung’s morph (he switches to Kintaro’s ID during the fatality).

There is also a bug that is likely to happen when doing a mirror match as Shang, with the morph setting to “opponent”. CPU Shang Tsung will sometime morph into his opponent, but the game doesn’t take account of it when the player is also him. So, when the CPU morph, it will attempt to become itself, causing the CPU to freeze in a walking frame until he is hit.

TAS tools were used to make this high quality playthrough video.

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