Forgot how janky the original Mortal Kombats were. The AI getting close to you is an automatic lose pretty much. Less skill and more figuring out how to cheese it. Much like SF2 arcade version, it's AI outright cheats with no charges, punshable and in some cases (Alpha 3) uses special OP moves you can't.
Nothing really beats Gill. Pretty much anything you do he can counter. And if you do manage to down him, full health regen with a magic "game force" pulling you away to stop interrupting it.