Manual: Comprehensive Overview of Significant Alterations to Character Histories in the Inaugural Mortal Kombat Installment

  • Xavier Thomas
  • 04 Jan 2024
Manual: Comprehensive Overview of Significant Alterations to Character Histories in the Inaugural Mortal Kombat Installment Image

Mortal Kombat 1 is infusing new life into the fighting game series. Introducing a soft reset to the universe is a daring move, but it presents us with a fresh perspective on some well-known characters. With Liu Kang stepping into his role as the god of this new world, we're delving into the updated character profiles on Mortal Kombat 1's website to decipher the transformations among our beloved fighters.

liu kang screenshot

As of now, there are nine fighters whose bios have been detailed, so let's dive straight in without delay. Our focus begins with the fire god Liu Kang, who has become a central figure in the game's promotion. After his union with Raiden and the defeat of Kronika in Mortal Kombat 11, Liu Kang has shaped his own timeline. His new world isn't perfect, but it's one where he strives to give all beings a chance at peace. Yet, given that we're on the brink of another installment, it's clear that this peace is in jeopardy due to an enigmatic and formidable foe. In Mortal Kombat 1, Liu Kang casts aside his familiar role as the plucky hero to assume a more sagacious, leadership mantle, reminiscent of Raiden's past incarnation, as he brings together champions to defend the realm's tranquility.

In the trailer, we observe Scorpion and Sub-Zero, two of the champions, standing like sentinel guards behind Liu Kang. Their alliance has deepened from mere friendship to a familial bond, as both now belong to the Lin Kuei clan. This shift raises intriguing speculations regarding the fate of Scorpion's former affiliations with the Shirai Ryu. The bond between Scorpion and his brother appears to be fragile, potentially strained by Sub-Zero's apparent abandonment of Lin Kuei traditions. Scorpion harbors concern that this divergence might eventually escalate to a fraternal conflict.

Sub-Zero screenshot

For generations, the Lin Kuei has silently protected Earthrealm from unseen threats. Yet in this era of relative peace, under the leadership of Grandmaster Sub-Zero, the clan is emerging from the clandestine realm to stake their claim among the world's eminent powers. Although Sub-Zero retains many traits of his video game persona, we can anticipate fresh narrative twists that will distinguish this incarnation from his previous versions.

Given her historical ties to Liu Kang, it might have seemed likely that Kitana would be a leading contender for the throne of Outworld, yet circumstances have taken an intriguing turn. Despite the possibility of a rift, Kitana now finds herself in the role of sister to the sovereign of Outworld. However, she appears to be unbothered by those who champion her as a more suitable ruler; her sole focus is to ensure Mileena becomes the finest empress she can be. This marks a considerable evolution in their relationship, especially when considering the sisters' previous attempts on each other's lives. As the story progresses, it will be fascinating to observe whether Kitana continues to stand by Mileena, showcasing a significant shift from her previous position as the princess of Outworld.

Mileena screenshot

Mileena, for her part, has realized her ambition and stands as the next in line for the Outworld throne. She continues to be impetuous and is known for her ferocious teeth, though now these features stem not from being a clone but from a grave illness. To avoid appearing vulnerable, Mileena masks her face and teeth from her subjects. This new twist provokes questions about possible revelations of Mileena's affliction and the stability of her reign. Additionally, it prompts us

Transitioning our focus to Earthrealm, there's an intriguing new protagonist to deliberate upon. It appears as though Raiden and Liu Kang have traded their traditional roles from the original Mortal Kombat, with the once-mighty Thunder God now depicted as a youthful villager hailing from the modest settlement of Fengjian. When propositioned by Liu Kang to take up the mantle of champion, this fledgling Raiden exhibits reluctance, yet he ultimately consents, driven by a sense of duty to his hometown. We should brace ourselves for significant development in Raiden's character; out of all the contenders, he's poised for the most profound transformation, shedding his sage-like composure for the raw, unrefined vigor of an emerging warrior.

Emerging from the same village of Fengjian, we meet Kung Lao, whose character remains largely unchanged from his portrayal in Mortal Kombat 1. It stands to reason, given his storied past as Liu Kang's closest confidant—after all, you wouldn't drastically alter your best friend's persona in a newly revised saga. Kung Lao retains his iconic hat-focused fighting style and seems to carry a burden of feeling perpetually overshadowed, continually striving to step out from beneath the specter of being second-rate. Nonetheless, it appears that his role as an Earthrealm defender may finally bestow upon Kung Lao the recognition he seeks, cementing his legacy.

Kenshi screenshot

Kenshi, who bears the burden of his family's storied past, is determined to reclaim their honor. A lineage once defined by legendary warriors, the Takahashi clan suffered near extinction five hundred years ago. Now, firmly entangled in the clutches of the Yakuza, Kenshi seeks to emancipate his kin and revive their noble legacy. His imminent quest to retrieve the ancestral blade, Sento, suggests we're about to delve into Kenshi's backstory.

On the other hand, we find Johnny Cage, a character who is perhaps the most out of place in this strange realm filled with mysticism and fearsome femmes fatales. Persistently himself, Cage is a washed-up action star from B-grade films, desperate to reclaim the spotlight by becoming an Earthrealm champion. While similar to his former narrative in Mortal Kombat 9, where he stumbled unknowingly into the fray, current developments hint at a Johnny Cage who is slightly more aware and equipped for the challenges ahead.

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