What I love about the internet is the ability to get totally lost forever in it. Jump through enough links and you can find all sorts of treasures. The best treasures to find though are lovingly crafted niche websites that embody everything that was wonderful about Web 1.0. It’s 3:30 in the morning on Easter Saturday and I’ve found the perfect site to kick off this new feature of our site, or blogroll category as Web 2.0 jingo defines it. Presenting: Portable Mortal Kombat.
First up I like it’s name! Portable Mortal Kombat doesn’t fuck around, it’s straight up with you. You know without even clicking the link that Portable Mortal Kombat is about the Mortal Kombat games on portable systems. Gaming websites traditionally have awful names, they might be relics of acronyms long gone (IGN), bastardisations of alleged western translations of Japanese words (Serebii, Kotaku), trendy rebrandings of hated corporations (Joystiq) or flat out stupid (Pietriots). And that’s what makes Portable Mortal Kombat stand out, clarity and honesty in the name. It’s about Mortal Kombat, the portable ones. And ‘portable’ almost rhymes with ‘mortal’, if you’re a dickhead.
Portable Mortal Kombat is also awesome for it’s layout. This site features beloved frames. For those of you who’ve been internetting since 2002 or so, you may’ve never seen a frame before so allow me to explain. Frames are fucken awesome. When you loaded a webpage with frames you were actually loading several webpages that were enclosed in their own separate frame. Typically one would contain the content, one the sidebar of links and one the header. Frames were super awesome for two reasons: as a reader of a website you never had to scroll back up to the top of the page to find the links, they were all just there, static and everlasting; and as a web designer if you suddenly wanted to add a whole new section to your site or update your banner, you could just edit the frame that contained that information instead of doing it individually on every single page. These were the days before php and dynamically generated webpages from code and all of that stupid bullshit. I don’t know why frames fell out of favour with the internet overlords, I figured they must’ve just been far too amazing to be tolerated, just like Pepsi Twist. So anyway, you can imagine my delight when I first visited Portable Mortal Kombat to find my scrollbar in the middle of the page. It was like coming home to find an old teddybear on your bed, waiting for a hug.
What really makes this site wonderful is it’s total, unashamed devotion to the most niche of subjects. The Mortal Kombat games that were released on handheld gaming systems. It really is incredible. When I come across these webpages, obsessive data collection on obscure topics, I often wonder if the people behind the site are genuinely interested or just doing it out of the duty that everything must be documented somewhere for all eternity. Let’s be frank, starting broadly, fighting games are fucking atrocious on portable systems. Collecting the shattered glass of beer bottles found along the footpaths your suburb is more productive, fun, and less likely to cause injury to your hands than playing fighting games on a portable system. That’s not my opinion, that is fact. The Mortal Kombat franchise would not only be the worst amoung fighting games but possibly the shittiest franchise across any form of media ever to have more than 3 installments. Even The Babysitters Club books and Jason movies are better than Mortal Kombat by almost any measure. And here we are with a site that devotes itself to the worst form of the worst successful franchise in
gaming entertainment history. I don’t use the word ‘devote’ lightly here either, the information present is comprehensive. Just look at that screenshot above of the delicious scroll bar. Left of that you can see links to screenshots of the game.com port of Mortal Kombat Trilogy! I don’t even know what a fucken game.com is and these guys have scanned every page of it’s manual!
Other things too. This site embodies so much of what you don’t see enough on the internet anymore it’s not funny. It’s hosted by a larger, richer, more soulless site. It has affiliate links to every other Mortal Kombat site in existence and many that don’t in every possible language. These links are done with those cute little 88 x 31 buttons. Unneeded, yet spectacular, use of flash. Full documentation of contributions by everyone and their yahoo email addresses in case you ever want to award them their much deserved medals of valour. A donation link. I could go on but I think the message is clear: this website is perfect. Although I was a little disappointed to see in their latest news update (dated May ’09) that they had switched to blogger for their news, which is selling out I feel. Still the site is just so awesome I’m just going to link you again, but this time with their adorable little button.