[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Mortal_Kombat_Defenders_of_the_realm_9578.png]]

--> ''"Much has changed since [[Film/MortalKombat the last]] MortalKombat tournament. Dark forces of Outworld have begun [[AlienInvasion invading the Earthrealm]]. These attacks are seriously weakening Earth's dimensional fabric, enabling not only outworlders to enter the Earthrealm, but warriors from other domains as well. [[TheChosenMany Only the most extraordinary warriors can possibly meet this challenge]]: [[TheHero Liu Kang]], [[BadassPrincess Princess]] [[TheChick Kitana]], [[SixthRanger Sub-Zero]], [[TheBigGuy Jax]], [[ActionGirl Sonya]] [[TheBigGuy Blade]], [[TheSmartGuy Nightwolf]], [[TeamPet Kiva]], [[TheLancer Kurtis Stryker]]. Driven by purpose and bound by honor, these are the [[TitleDrop Defenders of the Realm]]."''
-->-- '''[[TheMentor Raiden]]'s OpeningNarration'''

'''Mortal Kombat: Defenders Of The Realm''' (also known as ''Mortal Kombat: The Animated Series'') is an AnimatedAdaptation of the ''MortalKombat'' games. It aired on the USANetwork's USA Cartoon Express animation block from September to December of 1996.

[=DotR=] follows from the events of [[Film/MortalKombat the first live-action movie]]. Raiden gathers again a group of warriors to stand against the forces of the Outworld and various other invading dimensions. The series also introduced a handful of characters, one of whom (''Quan Chi'') was later [[CanonImmigrant a mainstay]] in the {{fighting game}}s.

[=DotR=] makes continuity problematic, since ''Film/MortalKombatAnnihilation'' starts immediately in the same place. However, the cartoon is held in higher regard than ''Annihilation'', so it generally takes precedence.
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!This series has examples of:
* AmazonBrigade: Zara and her female warriors.
* AmbiguouslyGay: [[ScaryBlackMan Jax]] of all people. [[HoYay Calls Raiden]] ''[[HoYay girlfriend]]'' on at least one occasion, his first response to defending Sub-Zero is [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial "Hey I don't want to]] ''[[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial marry]]'' [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial the guy!"]], and [[BerserkButton flips his lid]] when you call him "blubber butt".
* AnimatedAdaptation
* AnimationBump: The final episode has different animation than the rest of the series.
* TheAtoner: Sub-Zero
* BackportedDevelopment: When Liu Kang has a flashback about his victory over Shang Tsung, Tsung has the beard and facepaint he uses on this series (from ''VideoGame/MortalKombat3''), even though he didn't have them in the live-action movie, which the flashback represents.
** Both played straight and averted with Kano. When he's shown in a flashback of Sonya's partner's death, he wears his series/[[VideoGame/MortalKombat3 MK3]] outfit, yet in a flashback to their fight in the movie, both Sonya and Kano have their movie looks.
* {{Badbutt}}: Sub-Zero, most of the time (however, in two episodes, one of them being the last one, he uses his ice powers to kill enemies)
* BattleCouple: Kitana and Liu Kang.
* BattleCry: Sonya: "Kombat time!" for the whole team, and "Kiss Off!" for herself.
* BeardOfEvil: Kano sports a goatee here.
* BigBad: Shao Kahn.
* BigNo: Poor, poor [[spoiler:Smoke]] delivers one right before his [[spoiler:UnwillingRoboticisation]]
* BackFromTheDead: Shang Tsung.
* BroadStrokes: From time to time, in regards to the first movie:
** When Sub-Zero introduces himself, he reveals to be the young brother of the old one, [[spoiler:killed by Liu Kang]]. In the games, the elder Sub-Zero, [[spoiler:who would become Noob Saibot, was killed by Scorpion]].
** In the Liu Kang vs. Sub-Zero scene of [=DotR=], Kitana sported her outfit from the series, and Sub-Zero (the elder) was finished by Liu Kang throwing a water bucket to him, [[HoistByHisOwnPetard freezing him]]. In the first movie, Kitana wore a different outfit, and Liu Kang finished Sub-Zero by throwing said water bucket to him, but [[spoiler:the water became a big spearhead, and nailed Sub-Zero to the wall ''and then'' got himself frozen]].
** Another Liu Kang kill that was softened for the cartoon was [[spoiler:Shang Tsung]]. Sure, he's still reduced to a skeleton upon defeat, but one: he just turns into bones, instead of actually emaciating, and two: [[spoiler:the bed of spikes where Tsung landed in the movie is absent]].
* BroughtDownToNormal: Jax when his bionic arms are damaged in ''Acid Tongue''.
* CanonForeigner: Asgaarth (a bird-man from Edenia), Oniro (Grand master of the Lin Kuei), Ruby (red female ninja and possible {{Expy}} of Jade), Kiva (Nightwolf's pet wolf) and Zara (Kitana's mortal enemy).
* CanonImmigrant: Quan Chi.
* CrossThrough: ''Resurrection'' is the third part of a four-part storyline aired on November 16, 1996 about a "Warrior King" chasing down a powerful MacGuffin through four (otherwise unrelated) USA Network Saturday morning cartoons. Two notes regarding this: unlike the other three parts, the [=DotR=] episode features ''only'' the MacGuffin, with the Warrior King himself only appearing as an unexplained-with-just-the-context-of-[=DotR=]-alone shadow for all of five seconds; and ''[[WesternAnimation/StreetFighter the american Street Fighter cartoon]]'' was one of the other four cartoons in the storyline, making this the closest the two DuelingGames have ever come to interacting.
* CompositeCharacter: Stryker has a couple of personality traits from Johnny Cage, who is absent from this cartoon.
* DeadpanSnarker: Raiden.
--> ''"Before you make a bigger Mortal BUTT out of yourself..."''
* DisneyVillainDeath: Scorpion gets frozen by Sub-Zero, then thrown into some kind of pitch-black abyss inside a temple by Raiden.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Princess Kitana.
* ExposedToTheElements: The characters never seem to dress appropriately in colder environments.
* FiveManBand
** TheHero: Liu Kang
** TheLancer: Stryker
** TheBigGuy: Jax and Sonya
** TheSmartGuy: Nightwolf (GeniusBruiser)
** TheChick: Kitana
** [[{{Mentors}} The Mentor]]: Raiden
** SixthRanger: Sub-Zero
* FiveTokenBand
* FlatCharacter: Cyrax and Sektor.
* FusionDance: The few times Nightwolf entered kombat himself, he would magically merge with his pet wolf Kiva and open a can of whoop-ass on the enemies. This happened exactly twice in the whole series. Why the others kept him in front of a computer screen all the time is unknown.
* HatePlague: In ''The Secret of Quan Chi''.
* HeelFaceTurn: Even though Sub-Zero helps the good guys from the beginning, he mentions he was a Lin Kuei and fought for the forces of darkness. A later episode showed how he came to join the team.
* HeyItsThatVoice: All over the place. Raiden is [[Film/{{Highlander}} The Kurgan]], Kitana is [[InspectorGadget a certain crime-solving niece]], Jax is [[FullMetalJacket a CrazyAwesome Marine]], Stryker is [[{{Film/Hellboy}} a demon superhero from Hell]] and Sonya is [[LawAndOrderCriminalIntent a sexy but DepravedBisexual serial killer.]] This also extends to the guest stars. Smoke is [[ColdCase Det. Vera]] and Kabal is voiced by freakin' KevinMichaelRichardson. Then there is the matter of [[WhatTheHellCastingAgency poor Sub-Zero...]]
* IKnowYoureInThereSomewhereFight: Sub-Zero's fight with [[spoiler:Smoke. It does not work, but he agrees not to kill him, nonetheless.]]
* {{Jerkass}}: Raiden.
* LighterAndSofter: And freaking '''how'''.
* MechaMooks: Most of the robotic Lin Kuei.
* MissionControl: Nightwolf.
* NotQuiteDead: Kano.
* PungeonMaster: Jax, from time to time:
** After Sub-Zero's first appearance:
---> '''Sonya''': ''What's that sleaze doing here?''
---> '''Jax''': ''Seems like he's putting a ''chill'' on the invasion.''
* TheObiWan: Rayden.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Komodai and Karbrac for Reptile and Baraka respectively, to the point where "Karbrac" is almost a total anagram for "Baraka"
* TeamPet: Kiva, Nightwolf's wolf.
* TitleDrop: By Nightwolf, in the first episode, called "Kombat Begins Again", after chatting with Liu Kang.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: '''Lieutenant''' Sonya Blade and '''Princess''' Kitana. Ironically, during their inevitable GirlsNightOutEpisode, it's Sonya who asks Kitana if she ever misses being a woman, what with all the fighting. Earlier in the episode, Sonya attempted to get herself a makeover, only to be given a sexist remark from Jax.
* TotallyRadical: While the series isn't as bad with it as some others, you know you've seen everything when you see, of all people, ''[[PhysicalGod Raiden]]'' saying "Now kick your jets and jam!"
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: Oniro and Shang Tsung.
* WalkingShirtlessScene: Liu Kang, Jax, Sub-Zero.
* WeUsedToBeFriends: "Old Friends Never Die"
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