Mortal Kombat – The backstory behind the franchise

Mortal Kombat is a video game franchise that began in the year 1992. Originally an arcade game, it is now one of the most popular video game franchises available across several platforms. Instead of merely having warriors battle each other gladiatorially, the Mortal Kombat designers built vast lore for the franchise. The backstory stretches from an unknown amount of years ago to the latest game, Mortal Kombat 11. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

In the beginning…

All the realms in Mortal Kombat franchise
The realms

In Mortal Kombat‘s multiverse, there exists a hierarchy among gods, with the One Being at the top, followed by the Titans, and then the Elder Gods. Smaller gods exist as well who look over the several different realms. Of the different realms, six are at the forefront of the franchise, one of which is Earthrealm (or simply, Earth). The other five realms are Outworld, Netherrealm, Chaosrealm, Seido (or Orderreaalm), and Edenia. Outworld is a dimension of monsters and evil of all sorts, while Edenia is a world of magic and beauty. Similarly, Chaosrealm and Orderrealm are two sides of the same coin, with one being a world of anarchy and the other an orderly fascist dimension, and Netherrealm is simply Hell.

According to the rules set by the Elder Gods, one realm can conquer and absorb another realm. For that, the sacred tournament of Mortal Kombat must be invoked. Once invoked, the greatest warriors of both the realms will compete in the tournament, with the winner losing the ability to age. The invading realm has to win ten consecutive tournaments in order to conquer the other realm and merge it in as well. This tournament forms the entire basis of the franchise, with the player controlling different characters from the realms.

Millions of years back…

Shinnok, one of the antagonists from Mortal Kombat

After Elder God Shinnok went crazy, he demanded that he be the only god to be worshipped in Earthrealm. A legendary battle ensued between Raidan, the thunder god, and Shinnok, causing the extinction of dinosaurs. Despite being a lower god, Raidan defeated Shinnok and banished him to Netherrealm. There, Shinnok met the sorcerer Quan Chi and took over the Netherrealm for himself, waiting for his revenge.

In Edenia, god-king Argus received the vision of a future Armageddon that will destroy reality. After that, he and his wife Delia came up with the plan of sending their sons – Taven and Daegon into hibernation on Earthrealm. They were to be awakened only when this Armageddon happens and then put an end to it by defeating a fire elemental, Blaze. The winning son would become the protector of Edenia, taking Argus’ place (a very bizarre plan).

Sometime after this, Shao Kahn overthrew Onaga the Dragon King, ruler of Outworld. Shao Kahn began his conquest of realms and took over several of them, winning one Mortal Kombat after another. One such realm was Edenia. People believed that Shao Kahn took queen Sindel for himself after killing King Jerrod, and Sindel killed herself as a result. The actual truth was, Sindel herself killed Jerrod as she loved Kahn and was killed by Quan Chi, who worked for Shao Kahn at that time. After this, Shao Kahn raised Sindel’s daughter, Kitana, to become an assassin warrior.

Some time before Mortal Kombat…

Symbol of White Lotus Society
White Lotus

A young man named Shujinko, who dreamed of saving Earthrealm from invaders, set out on a quest assigned to him by a glowing ball of energy called Damashi. His quest was to collect a series of powerful artifacts called Kamidogu across the realms. Unbeknownst to Shujinko, Damashi was just Onaga’s spirit tricking him into resurrecting him using the Kamidogu.

Around this time, Raidan set up a Shaolin sect called White Lotus Society on Earthrealm. The sect was created to train great warriors for fighting against Outworld in Mortal Kombat. Despite that, Earthrealm was defeated nine times, with their last chance at victory taking place in Mortal Kombat.

Mortal Kombat

Scorpion vs. Sub-Zero in Mortal Kombat 11
Scorpion vs. Sub-Zero

The main series of Mortal Kombat shows various battles where the warriors of Earthrealm fight against the warriors from other realms. Shao Kahn’s attempts at conquering Earthrealm and his defeats at the hand of Liu Kang from the Mortal Kombat trilogy. Mortal Kombat 4 shows Sinnok’s escape from Netherrealm and his re-banishment by Liu Kang. Two primary antagonists from the franchise join forces in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliances and they are victorious at the end. Mortal Kombat: Deception is when Onaga the Dragon King gets resurrected again only to be defeated by Shujinko. Mortal Kombat: Armageddon is when the catastrophe predicted by Argus begins.

The rebooted Mortal Kombat is the original trilogy event happening once again, except Liu Kang dies in the end. Mortal Kombat X sees the event of the fourth game again, with several key differences. Mortal Kombat 11 sees Raidan and a resurrected Liu Kang fighting together to defeat the Goddess of Time, Kronika, who is also Shinnok’s mother. After Liu Kang emerges victorious, Raidan gives up his godhood to Liu Kang and then mentors the new thunder god as to how to protect Earthrealm in the future.

Aryaman Kumar

I'm a nerd and I write nerdy stuff

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