Bryan Dawson (Prima Games): Mortal Kombat wasn't my first competitive fighting game. That didn't happen until Tekken Tag Tournament (the original). However, the original Mortal Kombat was the first fighting game that helped me understand there were better players out there. I'd played a ton of Street Fighter 2, but rarely found anyone at the arcades who posed a real challenge. When I went to the local Nickel Palace to play Mortal Kombat for the first time, I was stomped.
Of course, Mortal Kombat was new to me and I couldn't play the game like SF2, but this was the first game that gave me a proper rival. Once I established myself as a solid MK player at the Nickel Palace, I went to the closest mall to my house and started playing at that arcade as well. It wasn't long before "Sub-Zero kid" made an appearance. This was the one person I could not beat. Every time I had a solid win streak going, he would show up and end it. It got so bad that I started to dread walking into the arcade because I knew I'd see him there.