While watching Mortal Kombat fatality demonstrations, I came across a thumbnail of a woman farting. Of course I had to click it. To my surprise, it was one of the first of many knock off games I would grow to love. Tattoo Assassins.

Tattoo Assassins was a game created by the pinball division of Data East. A few prototypes were test-marketed, but the game was never officially released. Tattoo Assassins was supposed to be a rival of Mortal Kombat with it’s crowning achievement being Bob Gale, the screenwriter for Back to the Future, writing the story for the game. Tattoo Assassins featured digitized actors and 2,196 fatalities which include nudalities, tattoo animal finishers, and random shit like being crushed by a zamboni, having a DeLorean drop on the opponent’s head, and turkey diarrhea. If you thought that was weird, just wait until we get to the story.

The spiritual leader Mullah Abba finds an ancient secret mystic ink of ghize. The ink is a living tattoo that can turn into real things for a little bit when applied to people as tattoos. The only issue is the ink has to pick who it wants to be on or else the person will get mutated. The only dude, of the color guard, who was a suitable host was this greasy haired dude named Koldan. Koldan pulled a Kanye West and started feeling himself. He stole the secret of the ink so he could make an army of mutants and enslave the human race.

Mullah Abba commanded the nine remaining color guards to find new hosts for the ink of ghize, to get somebody to defeat Koldan. Nine host were found and each received chest and arm tattoos, plus a magical morph tattoo on their palm. Koldan’s power had grown stronger. He started talking trash about other musicians and he upset twitter…whoops I mixed up Kanye West and Koldan.

Okay, Koldan pulled a Bison and his consciousness possessed the assassins. He started to use them to find the remaining ink for himself. But Mullah Abba discovered the strange power of the mysterious tattooed woman named Lyla Blue. She’s basically the character select for the game. So the story is easy to understand, next we get into the characters.

A.C. Current – A cyber mercenary who is wanted by his former employers after an industrial espionage double cross. But if we’re gonna be honest this is definitely the love child of Raiden and Johnny Cage.


Billy Two Moons – Stereotypical Native American character who is a fugitive from the U.S. government. His win pose is kinda stereotypical and, if you haven’t guessed already, he’s supposed to be Nightwolf. Though it could be argued Billy came before Nightwolf if we’re looking at which game came first.


Deke Kay – A fighting zombie who is one of the sub-bosses. He wins pun of the year in my book and he throws his limbs and internal organs at you. Have some respect for the dead!


Derek O’Toole – An Irish rock star who developed fighting skills after being falsely accused of terrorist activities. So…yeah that makes as much sense as picking characters off of a woman’s back.


Hannah Hart – A stripper on a quest to avenge the death of her friend at the hands of a serial killer. Pretty much like the movie Showgirls if it was an action film instead of what ever the hell it was supposed to be.


Karla Keller – An ice skater who is as spoof of Nancy Kerrigan. Looks like Tanya Harding struck again to cancel this game from being released.


Koldan The Conqueror – The final boss of the game. He’s the dude that wants to enslave all humans. Albert Wesker and Megatron did a better job than this dude. Then again, they didn’t use magical tattoo juices.


Luke Cord – A former Navy SEAL wanted by the CIA for questions after a military operation against the Soviet Union is compromised. Not gonna lie, this is the dumbest character story. I get it that he’s supposed to be Jax but we don’t even have a time line for this game then suddenly Luke has a dated back story? Are we in the future because of A.C. Current or are we in the past because of Luke Cord?


Maya – An Amazon-like warrior woman who is battling land developers for control of her people’s homeland. I guess she’s using her tattoo powers the right way? So far everyone else is being investigated by the governments, a villain, or doing what ever they want with their tattoo powers.


Prizm – Light-based crystal monster who is one of the sub-bosses. Basically we can call prizm chrystal-meth man. A true crystal warrior.


Rhina – A half-woman, half-rhino creature who is one of the sub-bosses. She’s the game’s Sheeva. Also she is a buff lady in a swimming suit with a mo hawk which may mean she got rejected by that ink but didn’t get it too bad like Deke Kay.


Takara Hata – Former Yakuza assassin who is wanted by both the Yakuza and Japanese police after being framed for murder. See what I mean? government officials play such a huge role in this game.


Truck Davis – A biker who is the lone survivor after his gang is slaughtered. He seeks to avenge the death of his comrades. He should meet Hannah Hart. They could get revenge and have little biker stripper babies.


If you want to play the game be my guest and click here to get it. Despite the questionable story elements, audio issues, and intentional rip off characters, Tattoo assassins does have a unique charm to it. It’s a shame that the game didn’t get released though. Bad but good games are so hot right now.

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