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Arcades paid a pretty penny for Killer Instinct, and made a mountain of quarters

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

One of the first video games to use motion capture in its animations, Killer Instinct was a groundbreaking title in other respects, too, as the informational series Did You Know Gaming? explains in its latest episode today.

Rare didn't even have the final software version necessary for its motion capture on the original Killer Instinct, launched in 1994 as an arcade cabinet. That cabinet required custom hardware — including a hard drive, for the first time — making it an extraordinarily expensive investment. Still, arcades were taking in more than $1,000 weekly with the knockout hit in its prime.

Conceived as a fighting game between a cast of "street punks," Rare chucked that rather boring lineup and experimented with an outlandish cast that distinguishes Killer Instinct today. Did You Know Gaming's? video covers the origins of some of the most recognizable characters, including an odd little tidbit about one inspired by the T-1000 in Terminator 2.

For more Did You Know? Gaming videos, see their breakdowns of Mass EffectHarvest MoonDoom, and Tony Hawk Pro Skater.