Mortal Kombat Ii: `He Rips Your Skin Off'

Does Mortal Kombat turn your stomach and make you fear for our youth? Well, look out. Here comes Mortal Kombat II, the sequel to the wildly successful, wildly controversial video game that encourages kids to tear off their foes' heads and rip out their hearts. Introduced in arcades last month by Chicago-based creator Midway Manufacturing, Mortal II will likely hit the market in a home version by yearend for about $80.

According to 17-year-old video-game aficionado Bryan Schuman of Ann Arbor, Mich., Mortal II outdoes the original with "more blood, greater use of razor-edge weapons, and a lot of new fatalities." For instance, bad guy Sub-Zero's newest trick: "He rips your skin off. You're just a bloody pile of muscle standing there."

Antiviolence crusaders aren't pleased. The home-video-game industry plans a ratings system to head off antiviolence legislation. But no such ratings are contemplated for video arcades.