Ever since 2011’s Mortal Kombat 9, NetherRealm Studios has introduced a new system to the long-running fighting game series that becomes the backbone of that entry. Mortal Kombat X introduced the Variation Systems and Mortal Kombat 11 expanded on that with the custom Variations. Now, the newest game in the franchise, Mortal Kombat 1, has included a replacement for the Variations known as the Kameo System. Instead of choosing between different versions of the same character, each version of a character will be the same but the differences come with who you decide to use as your tag team partner. With a mechanic so integral to the new title, players will want to fully understand it before jumping head-first into Kombat. This guide will provide players will a full explanation of the Kameo System in Mortal Kombat 1.
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Kameo System Explained In Mortal Kombat 1
In any mode with a character select screen which includes Invasion, Local and Online play, and the many training modes, you will first be prompted to choose a playable character. Once all players present in the mode select their Character, the full list of Kameo Fighters will appear. All players will need to choose one of the Fighters to begin a match.
Kameo Fighters aren’t just there as fan service as they all come with unique moves that can help you create unique gameplay styles. On the button layout screen, there is a dedicated Kameo button which will allow you to call in your partner for an assist as long as the icon isn’t greyed out. Kameo Fighters will have multiple moves that change depending on your input. While all of these moves are performed by pressing the Kameo button, pressing a directional button along with the Kameo button will provide a different move than if you were to simply press the Kameo button by itself. These moves aren’t used just to attack your opponent since many of them also provide you with defensive capabilities.
There are some Kameos that have brief combos if you press the Kameo button multiple times or hold down the button to change the move’s properties. For example, pressing the neutral Kameo button with Goro will have him jump in and perform an upward punch. If you hit the Kameo button as he appears, however, he will leap into the air to perform his infamous slam attack. Many Kameos have moves like this and all of them can be checked in the movelist under the “Kameo Moves” tab.
The Kameo icon is a circle found beneath your health bar next to the image of your player Character. The outside of the circle is your Kameo Gauge, which fills with an orange bar. Using a Kameo move will deplete this bar and the Kameo will no longer be useable if the bar drops beneath 50%. The bar will recover over time as long as the Kameo is off-screen. When a Kameo is called in, it can be hit by the opponent, interrupting their attack and greying out the Kameo Gauge for a short time no matter how much of the Gauge is filled and will also pause its regeneration.
The Kameo attacks come in two forms: Regular Attacks and Ambush Attacks. A Regular Attack will force you to stop all motion and inputs to perform the move. For example, if you are in the middle of a combo string, your character will stop their attacks and perform a stationary animation as the Kameo runs on the screen to perform this move. Ambush Attacks are moves that still give you free control of your player character while the Kameo performs this move. You will need to experiment with each character to see which ones work best with each character and how you can use their moveset to your advantage both while on offense and defense.
Let’s look at the Scorpion Kameo Fighter as an example of how a Kameo works since he covers just about every form of Kameo attack outside of the follow-up combo that we covered with the previous Goro example. Scorpion technically 3 different moves but one of these moves has 3 different variations of it. This move is Fire Breath, a combo extender that will juggle an airborne enemy. This is an Ambush Attack that can be used as you launch an opponent, allowing you to extend your combo longer than it would be otherwise. You will perform a normal Fire Breath which will see Scorpion appear right next to your character by pressing the Kameo button, but if you press Down and Kameo, you will perform a Mid-distance Fire Breath where Scorpion will appear a little in front of you. Pressing Up and Kameo will perform a Far-distance Fire Breath, which will put Scorpion far away from your player character.
Back and Kameo will have Scorpion perform the Get Over Here move where he will pull you full screen from your opponent with his spear, quickly getting you away from an opponent if there is room behind you. Finally, there is Hell Blades which is performed with Forward and Kameo. This is a Regular Attack that will see Scorpion do an overhead slash that will stagger the enemy if it hits and is very useful for high-low mixups. All of these moves serve a purpose and can create a lot of interesting gameplay scenarios.
Mortal Kombat 1 launched with a total of 15 Kameo Fighters, with 10 of them playable upon booting up the game for the first time. The 5 remaining Fighters will need to be unlocked by playing the game. You can check out Gameranx’s full guide on how to unlock all the Kameo Fighters here.