Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero is a 1997 action-adventure game of the fighting game series Mortal Kombat. It is the first Mortal Kombat game to feature side-scrolling gameplay. It was released for the PlayStation and Nintendo 64. Mythologies is a prequel set prior to the events of the tournament in the original Mortal Kombat. The storyline centers on the warrior, Sub-Zero. He is asked to find an amulet by the sorcerer Quan Chi. The player controls Sub-Zero in multiple stages as he faces multiple enemies trying to eliminate him.
The PlayStation version features live-action cutscenes; the Nintendo 64 version of the game replaced the live-action cutscenes with still images of such, due to limited storage space on the cartridge. Criticism toward the game are directed at the poor transition from fighting games to an action-adventure genre. Some labeled it as the second worst Mortal Kombat game next to Mortal Kombat: Special Forces.
Although Mythologies is classified as an action-adventure game, its play controls are very similar to the 2D Mortal Kombat fighting games. The player has four attack buttons, along with a block button and a run button like in Mortal Kombat 3. The player controls Sub-Zero as they would in a fighting game, including the use of command-based special moves, to fight enemies and venture through levels. A “turn” button is used to change the direction Sub-Zero is facing, while an “action” button is used to pick up or use items. The player also has access to a status screen which keeps tracks of the player’s inventory, experience points, and special moves they gain during the game.
The player begins the game with a small health gauge and a limited number of extra lives. Over the course of the game’s progression the player can gain experience points by performing combos against enemies, which are then used to increase their character’s strength and gain access to special moves. An “ice meter” will appear after the player begins to acquire special moves. Special moves requires ice power in order to be performed. Health and ice power can be replenished by picking up items (although the ice meter will gradually replenish itself over time as well). The player will also need to retrieve key items. Passwords are used to keep track of the player’s progress.