The first version is by Lomax and Yur. It translates several screens to Russian, improves the controls, improves the character portraits, stylizes the text and health bars during a match, and changes "Goro" back to "Kintaro" as it should be. Originals on the left, fixes on the right:
However, there is second hack by szemigi and RealGaea which improves the palettes for some stages and players, fixes a typo on the difficulty screen (which has been translated in the other hack), and removes the ugly "JY Company" urchin logo from several stages:
This hack also does an admirable attempt attempt at adding Kintaro's name back in, but it's squished here, however it is not squished in the first hack.
Here are links to both of the hacks in question:
Lomax/Yur version: http://www.mediafire.com/file/hgn5c0jrzzhpce8/Mortal_Kombat_II_Special_%2528Lomax%252C_Yur%2529.nes/file
szemigi/RealGaea version: https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4364/
I am able to import the improved portraits/font from the 1st hack into the 2nd hack simply enough, but then you don't get those crucial control fixes (the game is very cheap without them) and have Kintaro's name squished.
Conversely, I can import the palette fixes from the 2nd hack into the 1st hack, but then you end up with a difficulty & character select screen in Russian, which is just less convenient for English and most international players. It's easy enough to understand of course, but I think it would be nice to have it in English to more closely resemble the SNES/Gen official versions.
I was wondering if someone with some more knowledge than myself could assist me in "merging" these two hacks into the best of both worlds? The ultimate goal is to have the control fixes and graphic fixes from the Lomax/Yur hack, but without the Russian translation, but to also have the palette fixes and fixed typo on the difficulty screen from the szemigi/RealGaea hack.
I'd of course be willing to do palette editing and merging of the difficulty screens to use the improved icons if it will assist in getting a definitive version of this game made.
I know this technically counts as a "hack request", but I am absolutely willing to make my own (slightly incomplete) version if no one can help me - this is more to raise awareness that the first hack even exists as most people don't seem to be aware of it. I hope this is different enough to not break the rules in any way.
Thanks in advance to anyone who reads/responds to this!