MORTAL KOMBAT 1 In Depth Story Mode Review

                     ***SPOILER ALERT***
The opening initially picks up after Liu Kang's ending in Mortal Kombat 11. With the power of the Hourglass, Liu Kang restarts time, beginning at the dawn of the universe and spends eons creating the universe. As we find out he divides the universe into realms. The Story begins with Shang Tsung selling snake oil in Outworld, however an angry customer approaches him, exposing his schemes. That night, as Shang Tsung was about to leave the kart, he was approached by a mysterious benefactor, who offered him to become the greatest sorcerer, which Shang Tsung accepted.

We are then introduced to Kung Lao and Raiden eating a tea house. After some dialogue the restaurant is attacked by a group called LIN KUEI which features SUBZERO, SCORPION AND SMOKE. You end up fighting those 3 as Kung Lao. Each chapter of each act features a fighter that you control during that whole chapter. After some fighting, (which was so fun and a good introduction of the game) we have a fun little backstory to why Kung Lao has his hat the way he does. 

Afterwards, Liu Kang appears and introduces himself, revealing that the Lin Kuei were working for him, and that this was actually a test of their abilities. He invites them to join the Wu Shi Academy, after some initial reluctance, the two agree, although Liu Kang reveals that there are others he must gather as well.

Chapter 2 goes into a backstory for Johnny Cage. He is exploring an ancient temple with his friend Adam (in an obvious homage to Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark). Avoiding most of the traps, Cage and Adam are assailed by multiple monsters called Kalima and the undead guardian of the temple: Katara Vala, Adam falls into liquid mercury and is killed. After Cage defeats the final guardian, it's revealed that this was a movie set, and Johnny is hoping that this fil, will be able to get his failing career back on track, although the director (a nod to director Steven Spielberg) seems doubtful and unwilling to make further films with Johnny, as he only did this one as a favor to the struggling actor.

We are introduced to Johnny’s mansion and all his artifacts that he collects, which one of them is SENTO an ancient blade. His house is then invaded by Kenshi Takahashi, descendant of the dead Taira clan, who has come to take Sento back. These 2 fight and then Liu Kang, Subzero and Scorpion show up to basically have these 2 join the academy. 

Fast forward a little and we see these 4 training and fighting each other to sharpen their skills. Now that we go a lot of back story established. It comes a time where they must participate in a tournament to see who is Earthrealm’s champion. Raiden eventually wins. Side note on Raiden, I love his character, he is such a humble competitor and is perfect to represent the earth realm. 

Raiden is introduced to the lightning elemental which gives him his iconic Lightning powers. 

They end up going to the outworld to participate in Mortal Kombat. You participate as Raiden against Li Mei and Reiko. Then the tournament is halted by Empress Sindel and states they will continue the next day but for the time being they must join a banquet. We are also introduced to Kitana, Mileena and General Shao. After some dialogue we are on to the next day. 

The tournament continues, and it's revealed that Raiden also defeated KotalMotaro and Sheeva. However, there has been a change in the scheduled bouts and Kitana will take the place of Mileena. When Liu Kang protests that Raiden is unprepared, Sindel retorts that Earthrealm's champion should be able to adapt. Raiden agrees to the bout and faces Kitana, where he is again victorious. This now brings him to the final match against General Shao himself, and when he is successful, Sindel declares his victory in the tournament and exits. Raiden attempts to help Shao to his feet, but is brushed aside.

This ends the first Act. In Act 2 we find out that Liu Kang needs to have Kung Lao, Johnny Cage and Kenshi go to the Outworld and bring back SHANG TSUNG back for questioning. They set off to the OUtTWORLD…

we are introduced to Baraka, Rain and Tanya. It goes into a backstory of Baraka and how he became disfigured with a scary looking mouth. I loved how they set the back story of the characters in this game, I felt like I was truly getting into the story because I was getting invested into the characters. 

We find out that they are harvesting Baraka’s bone marrow to make an antidote for Mileena because she is infected with the same disease. This was another cool little fact where it was nice to see why she is the way she is in the other iterations of this game. Kenshi tries freeing Mileena in this lab not knowing they were giving her this antidote to help, after she is freed she attacks Kenshi and we find out how Kenshi was blinded, Mileena used her sighs to stab his eyes. They end up giving her the antidote and Mileena passes out. 

Kitana, Shao and Goro enter, a distraught Kitana asking what happened. Shang Tsung accuses the Earthrealmers of attempting to stop the treatment so that Mileena's disease would become public, and when Johnny Cage tries to argue, he is quickly knocked out by Goro. 

Those 4 are captured and put in a cell in the lab’s underground. We are introduced to Reptile who is essentially the prison guard and we find out that Shang Tsung has his family captive and will unalive them if he doesn’t follow his wishes. Shang Tsung eventually shows up to this underground prison and it’s found out that he had already tied up the loose ends of having his family alive which prompted Reptile to go against him and he helps break them out of the prison and escape and joining the good guys. 

After escaping and going into the living forest, The group runs into a battle between Ashrah and several demons, and she confuses the group as the latter and attacks. After defeating her, they explain that they are not demons but Outworlders and Earthrealmers, causing Ashrah to apologize and explain that she is being pursued by demons sent by Quan Chi, who is also working with Shang Tsung.

The group come across Quan Chi, alongside his allies Nitara, Havik, Darrius and Sareena powering up a soul stealer. Initially, Havik and Darrius are reluctant to assist, but is compelled by the other three to uphold their end of the deal. A concerned Ashrah tells the rest of the heroes that one soul stealer can end thousands of lives. 

They resolve to stop Quan Chi, but before they do, Johnny forces Kenshi to remain behind, but gifts him with Sento for saving his life. During the battle, Ashrah defeats Nitara, but Quan Chi uses the soul stealer to take the souls from the Living Forest and combine them into a new minion: Ermac. Ashrah shuts down the soul stealer, and the captive souls attack Quan Chi, rendering him unconscious. Ashrah answers Reptile are offered a home in earth realm which they accept and join forces with the good guys. 

Liu Kang instructs the Lin Quay with finding the soul stealers being constructed on Earth and to destroy them, as well as capturing Shang Tsung. Raiden offers to join the mission but is dismissed by Subzero, and Liu Kang confirms that he and Kung Lao are needed elsewhere. 

Arriving at the site of the soul stealers' construction at a massive fortress, Bi-Han is ecstatic to face a worthy foe, and the two brothers again argue about the Lin Kuei's future. The three ascend the walls of the fortress, but Smoke is attacked by Nitara. The two brothers battle and defeat Nitara, Sareena and Ermac before infiltrating further into the fortress and attempting to capture Quan Chi. However, they are briefly distracted by the vast hordes of wealth found in the fortress, which Subzero realizes will be distributed as the spoils of the war. Once they find an opportunity, the Lin Kuei assault the Deadly Alliance duo, and though they are initially successful, they are later ambushed by Shao's forces and taken captive. Rather than execute them, however, Shang Tsung appeals to Subzero’s ambition, enticing him to turn against Liu Kang, whom he accuses of holding back the clan's growth. 

This ends up enticing Subzero to join the bad guys. Scorpion turns against his brother, and battles against Shao, Shang Tsung, Rain and Quan Chi to escape. During his escape, he also fights off Havik and Darrius's attempts to burn him alive, instead burning Havik's face until the flesh melts away. Defeating the two, he reunites with Smoke, and defeats Subzero. After the battle, Scorpion and Smoke defect from the Lin Kuei, realizing that Sektor and Cyrax would follow their Grandmaster into dishonor, and that they must instead choose a different path.

At Liu Kang's temple, he watches as the soul stealers are activated, and is visited by Geras, who reveals that the benefactor helping the Deadly Alliance comes from another timeline. Liu Kang realizes that the only way to prevent the destruction of both Earthrealm and Outworld is to travel to Outworld himself. They bring a captive Tanya with them to prove to the empress that they are not hostile, but this attempt backfires when Tanya attacks Li Mei in the throne room, forcing her and Liu Kang to fight Tanya, Kitana and Mileena. When Mileena's Tarkat disease suddenly manifests and she nearly kills Empress Sindel. Li Mei saves the empress's life and neutralizes Mileena until the antidote can be administered. 

Sindel forgives Li Mei and allows Liu Kang to state his claims, demanding proof. Liu Kang states that if what they find in Shang Tsung's laboratory doesn't convince her, he will surrender Earthrealm without a fight.

A horrified Sindel is disgusted by what she finds in the lab and is further rattled when Liu Kang reveals his prior role as the Keeper of Time and creator of all that exists, summoning Geras to prove his claim and show Sindel her life in the previous timeline.

hey are interrupted by the arrival of General Shao and his forces, who used the Amulet of Shinnok to trap Tanya, Kitana, Mileena and Geras within it. This begins a battle between Shao’s forces and Sindel’s side. Sindel defeats Nitara, Reiko, Rain and then Shao, allowing Liu Kang to retrieve the amulet and free Geras and the princesses. At this point the outworld and earth realm join forces to go after the deadly alliance. The combined Outworld and Earthrealm forces travel to the Deadly Alliance's fortress and work together to neutralize their forces and shut down the soul stealers. Ermac appears and fights Mileena, at which point Mileena wins. 

Shang Tsung introduces his benefactor as Damashi, However, everyone is stunned when the person that appears is another Shang Tsung from an alternate timeline. This Shang Tsung reveals himself as the same one Liu Kang battled for the Hourglass. Their battle ripped time apart, resulting in twin timelines. Realizing that they have been pawns, the Deadly Alliance turn against the Titan, who unleashes his own minions, made up of "Dark" doppelgangers from his timeline. 

Empress Sindel battles a Dark Sindel but is fatally stabbed. Mileena battles her dark mother and is victorious but requires the antidote from Tanya to avoid transforming. A dying Sindel declares Mileena the new Empress of Outworld before passing away. Ermac uses his magic to absorb Sindel's soul into his being, where she and her husband will now be together.

A little later on we find Shang Tsung, Quan Chi and Raiden who close the portals to halt the Army's invasion, Kenshi and Jerrod will destroy as much of the Army as they can, and everyone else will battle their Dark doppelgängers. 

Liu Kang reclaims his Titan power and uses it to search for other timelines and brings Titan Kitana to this timeline and she realizes it’s her Lou Kang from her timeline where they shared a love interest. After they embrace with a kiss, Liu Kang explains the situation and how they need to find the other Titans to take down Titan Shang Tsung. 

The Titan Shang Tsung is surprised to find other Titans but realizes that he should have realized that other realities could exist. Now knowing that, he decides to simply destroy Liu Kang's Hourglass to destroy this timeline before leaving to conquer other timelines. The Titans join forces and defeat Shang Tsung's dark doppelgängers and saving the hourglass, forcing him back to his own reality to gain more allies. 

the Titans travel to his dimension to wage a second Armageddon at the Pyramid of Argus. At this point in the story you’re afforded the option to Choose your own fighter, I naturally went with Scorpion due to the fact that I grew up using that character a lot while playing against friends and also know most of his moves are cheap and good for advancing in the story. 

The character you choose is shown climbing the Pyramid of Argus while fighting 9 opponents which are all either meshes of two characters or alternate versions of currently existing characters. List below (List found on Wiki) 

Meshes of 2 characters

  • Lizard Queen - Sindel x Reptile
  • Firefly - Li Mei x Scorpion
  • Screen Demon - Ashrah x Johnny Cage
  • John Kahner - Johnny Cage x Shao
  • Quantum-Chi - Geras x Quan Chi
  • Klockodile - Geras x Reptile
  • Sento Storm - Kenshi x Rain
  • Stung Lao - Scorpion x Kung Lao
  • Scorp Lao - Kung Lao x Scorpion
  • Barakion - Baraka x Scorpion
  • Fire Cage - Liu Kang x Johnny Cage
  • Red Dragon - Liu Kang x Kano
  • Shock Priestess - Tanya x Raiden
  • Warlord - Reiko x Raiden
  • Reiko Starr - Reiko x Johnny Cage
  • Jawspell - Mileena x Quan Chi
  • Quan Li - Li Mei x Quan Chi
  • Kang Quan - Liu Kang x Quan Chi
  • Shao-Zero - Shao x Sub-Zero
  • Frostbite - Nitara x Sub-Zero
  • Guard of Thunder - Li Mei x Raiden
  • Kitana Kahn - Kitana x Shao
  • Johnny Savage - Baraka x Johnny Cage
Alternate versions of past and presently existing characters;
  • LK-7T2 - Cyber Smoke
  • Female versions of Sub-Zero, Ermac, Reptile etc.
  • Janet Cage - Johnny Cage
  • Ninja Mime - Johnny Cage
  • A heroic version of the Deadly Alliance - Shang Tsung and Quan Chi
  • Cassie Cage
  • Takeda Takahashi
  • Jacqui Briggs
  • Kung Jin
Other mashups only in cutscenes but not gameplay:
  • Goro x Shao Kahn
  • Kung Lao x Raiden
  • Sonya x Kano
Quan Chi x Sub-Zero
  • Tanya x Kitana
  • Kano x Kenshi

One of my favorite mash ups was John Kahner which was Johnny Cage and Shao together. I loved how they treated Johnny Cage’s character throughout this game, tons of jokes and his personality shined throughout the game. After you defeat those mash ups on your way to the top of the Pyramid (side note, it reminded of climbing the tournament ladder in the Verses mode) you finally get to the top where you meet the Dark Titans Shang Tsung and Quan Chi. 

Your chosen Character and Liu Kang deafeat the Dark Titans which triggers a collapse of that timeline. Liu Kang sends the selected Character back to their timeline and it flashes to the near future. 

You see Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, Kenshi and Raiden catch up with current events at the Teahouse from the beginning of the game, which gave the story a full circle moment and great way to finish the story. 

Johnny now has a successful career and is planning to begin directing a Cinematic Universe explaining the events of what happened in their epic battle. Johnny offers the guys roles in his movies but they all decline, they all need to go back to training and protecting the earth realm. 

The credits start to roll but make sure to stick around while there is an extra scene. Meanwhile at the Pyramid of Argus, a Titan called Lord Havik revels in the blood, death and chaos that he'd witnessed at the second Battle of Armageddon alongside several companions: a Quan Chi/Sub-Zero, Tanya/Kitana and Kenshi/Kano. When Kenshi/Kano expresses remorse that it ended too fast, Lord Havik replies, "The next time, it won't", also killing an alternate version of Jax before departing.

This wonderfully sets up another game. Overall this story was so amazing. Even though this story mode is mostly watching a movie and playing scenes in between, I wasn’t bored and totally invested in the story. I definitely want to play this story mode again so I can see more of the alternate characters listed above and to just enjoy to wonderfully crafted story. This game is a STRONG BUY. 

Thank you for letting me TALK NERDY TO YOU! 


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