Mortal Kombat 9/Basic Elements/X-Ray Meter

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X Marks the Spot

Mortal Kombat 9 uses a brand new X-Ray Meter for access to special abilities that would otherwise not be available. The X-Ray Meter is divided into three equal sections, often referred to as "bars," and each bar grants you access to certain abilities.

At the beginning of every fight, both characters start off with one full bar. As the fight progresses, the bar will fill up little by little. Also, the X-Ray Meter is preserved between rounds. Also, the player that lands the first non-blocked blow will be rewarded with the First Attack bonus, which gives the player one full bar of X-Ray Meter.

X-Ray Bars

As mentioned earlier, the X-Ray Meter is divided into three equal bars. The first bar grants you access to Enhanced Special Moves. The second bar grants you the ability to perform Breakers. And finally, a full 3 bar X-Ray Meter gives you access to the X-Ray Attacks.

The large circle at the outside edge of your X-Ray Meter lets you see, at a glance, what abilities are ready to be used. At less than one bar, it remains empty and grayed out. When you gain one bar, you'll see a large "E" icon there, letting you know you have enough meter for an Enhanced Special Move. At 2 bars, it'll cycle between the "E" icon and a lightning icon, indicating that you now can perform an Enhanced Special Move or a Breaker. At a full 3 bars, however, it'll display the large "X" icon only, which indicates you have an X-Ray Attack at the ready to be used.

Now, performing each of these actions only take up the amount of bar required. So if you have a full 3 bars full on the X-Ray Meter, you can perform a Breaker, which will only take up 2 bars, and then immediately follow up with an Enhanced Special Move, which will take up the last bar. Or you can perform 3 Enhanced Special Moves in a row if you'd like, as each one only consumes 1 bar.

Getting Your Fill

There are three main ways you'll be gaining X-Ray Meter. The primary method in which you'll be getting X-Ray Meter is by taking damage. Every time you are hit or thrown or get hit by an X-Ray Attack, your X-Ray Meter fills up. The amount it fills up is very closely based on how much damage you've taken. In general, one bar of your X-Ray Meter will be filled up after you've taken around 45% damage. However, depending on the move, there are definitely variances between the damage and the amount of X-Ray Meter you gain. For example, crouching Front Kicks do 1% damage but it takes 90+ of those kicks to fill a bar. Also, taking Chip Damage while blocking gives you no X-Ray Meter at all.

The second way you'll be gaining X-Ray Meter is from Special Moves. Every time you perform a Special Move, you gain 6% of a bar. It actually doesn't matter which Special Move it is, they will all reward you with the same amount of Meter. However, performing an Enhanced Special Move won't give you any meter as it actually drains a bar instead.

The third way you'll earn X-Ray Meter is when your opponent blocks your attack. Keep in mind that if they are hit by your move, you'll give them meter and you gain none. But upon your opponent blocking any of your attacks, even an X-Ray Attack, you'll gain a small amount of X-Ray Meter equitable to about 9% of one bar.

The final way you can gain X-Ray Meter is the Toasty Bonus. When Mortal Kombat programmer Dan Forden appears in the lower left corner of the screen and shouts "Toasty!" in classic MK style, the player who struck the other is awarded a full X-Ray Meter. It is believed at this point to be a totally random, and somewhat rare occurrence. So while you cannot plan for this to be a method of gaining meter, be aware that you get a significant bonus when it happens.

Building Up the X-Ray Meter

Below are a list of actions that build X-Ray Meter:

  • Getting the First Attack Bonus
  • Getting your opponent to block an attack
  • Getting hit by your opponent's attack
  • Getting thrown by your opponent
  • Performing a Special Move Attack
  • Hitting your opponent when Dan Forden has said "Toasty!"

Using the Super Meter

Below are the actions that drain X-Ray Meter, including their cost:

  • Performing an Enhanced Special Attack (1 Bar)
  • Performing a Breaker (2 Bars)
  • Performing an X-Ray Attack (3 Bars)