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Sometimes you might turn on the television or read something on the internet and say; “I can make something better than that.” Most of the time once you say that you realize you can’t and it ends there. In the video game world and Hollywood for that matter, that voice is almost never there telling you to stop before you make a fool of yourself and because of that we have games like Tattoo Assassins.
To be released in 1994, Tattoo Assassins was to be the answer to the arcade hit, Mortal Kombat. Developed by Data East the game featured real life actors fighting each other and using digitized graphics, the same as the original Mortal Kombat. The game was to feature over 2196 finishing moves and that included animal-based finishers like what you may have seen in Mortal Kombat 3 and some nudity-based finishers, which were rumored to be in Mortal Kombat but were never there.
Tattoo Assassins featured Joe Kaminkow of Data East Pinball and Bob Gale, screenwriter for Back to the Future. Each character had magical tattoos that came to life when you preformed a special move or finishing maneuver. One of the finishers was dropping a DeLorean on an opponent and another was turning your opponent into a hamburger, a reference to Back to the Future and Burger Time respectfully. What was not respectful but funny was a finishing move that gave your opponent massive diarrhea.
So what happened with the game? While internal development issues, management problems and deadline woes were blamed for the demise of Tattoo Assassins it was the negative feedback from testers that lead to the shutdown of production. In addition, new games like Killer Instinct and Primal Rage were already in the arcades and doing very well.
In the end, two dozen arcade machines were produced, but most of them were destroyed. I am sure you can find someone that owns one, but if you really want to play Tattoo Assassins you can find a ROM version of the game for M.A.M.E. Perhaps it is worth checking out just for the nudalities.