YMMV: Mortal Kombat: Deception

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Shujinko's status as an Unwitting Pawn makes it possible for him to be seen as The Woobie, with shades of an Iron Woobie. While easily manipulated, he was merely a guy who wanted to face Shang Tsung in Mortal Kombat, actually got the chance to join that world, never meant for any of this to happen, and works his butt off to rectify his mistake.
    • In regard to Hotaru: Is he primarily a genuinely well meaning Lawful Neutral Anti-Villain who allies with Onaga because he believes it will prevent harm to Seido? A Lawful Evil tyrannical oppressor who simply uses the Seidan Guard's principles as an excuse for his actions? Or a Lawful Stupid Principles Zealot who suffers from Black and White Insanity? Those who dislike him tend to take the latter two to Ron the Death Eater extremes.
    • Darrius is also subject to this as well. While we are told that Seido's laws are oppressive, and thus would make Darrius seem reasonable at first, but he also does plenty of reprehensible things, including the murder of Dairou's family and framing it on another person in order to get him to abandon the Seidan Guard. Exactly what Darrius has in mind for replacing Seido's current regime is never elaborated on either, thus questioning how genuine he is.
    • Also for that matter, the society of Seido as whole can be subject to a sort of Alternative Societal Interpretation if only because the makers decided to abandon making any reference to it due to its associated characters (Hotaru, Darrius, and Dairou) falling into disfavor with the fans. Is it an ideal society that has some strict but fair laws? Is it an oppressive tyranny that is hiding behind a deceptive fašade? And also are those who are members of the Seidan Senate and other public officeholders have its citizens best interests even if they are making some morally gray choices to insure its protection or manipulative oligarchs who abuse that as an excuse to control people's lives for their own benefit.
  • Base Breaker: Bo' Rai Cho. Either you like him for being a Fun Personified Cool Old Guy or hate him for taking his already established Toilet Humor from Deadly Alliance and turning it Up to Eleven.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Motaro appears out of the blue in a random Earthrealm village in the Konquest mode to give you some koins, then vanishes. It's a rare occurrence and the player has to be quick to make it happen, so it's more of an Easter Egg.
    • Meat randomly appears with a British accent in the Netherrealm in the Konquest mode to give you some koins, then disappears.
  • Crazy Awesome: Havik. How many fighters do you know crack their own necks to regain health, and slide across the floor like a penguin?
  • Designated Hero: Shujinko, mostly because he can't see through Onaga being a bigger dick, but you're still encouraged to rob everyone blind for the hell of it if you want to unlock everything, and a lot of problems are "solved" by just sucker-punching random people.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Onaga happens to have quite a following. Despite his status as an SNK Boss for some, many liked his design, his stature, and his story. He was even featured as a costume in Trinidad's 2009's Carnival celebrations!
    • Havik, due to his unorthodox playstyle and hints of him and his people being Cloudcuckoolanders. There is currently a lot of fan interest in him making the roster of Mortal Kombat X, notably being the only Deception character of choice. If he survives his encounter with Takeda, that is: he has been made the Big Bad of a story arc in the prequel comics, after all.
    • Nightwolf as well, which is an interesting shift considering how hated he was around the time of Mortal Kombat 3.
    • Ashrah is also this, to a lesser extent.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Fans seem to be fond of pairing up Ashrah and Raiden despite no tangible connections existing between the two aside of being members of the Forces of Light. As noted on the Characters page, this is rooted in how similar the two appear to each other, with many mistaking originally Ashrah not only as Raiden's Distaff Counterpart, but his wife.
    • Say what you want about them, but Kira and Kobra do have their supporters (see Base Breaker above), with shippers as part of those ranks. This actually is even given a degree of canonical support in Armageddon, wherein both characters' endings show them expressing affection towards the other in some manner... only to end up being backstabbed for their troubles.
  • Foe Yay: The intense, reciprocally personal rivalry between Jade and Tanya took off starting here and continued into the next game, where they single out the other to square off during the Battle of Armageddon. Jade, who was established in the DA-D-A trilogy to be deeply patriotic, does have a justifiable reason for hating Tanya (who betrayed their homeland for a second time in Deception), but the fervently negative emotion from both sides still comes on a bit too strong for some.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Aside from the improbably of a Chinese person having a Japanese name in circa late-nineteenth century/early twentieth century China, Shujinko's name does make some sense in-story. The name translates into English as "Protagonist" and what role is he playing when at the start of Deception's Konquest mode while playing a game of make believe with some fellow classmates? He's roleplaying as the hero against fellow students who are playing as the antagonistic Shang Tsung and Goro. Perhaps he got to play the role of hero so often that Shujinko stuck as a nickname.
  • Game Breaker: A ton. The majority can be corralled under two things: moves that lead to unduckable throws, and moves that can be repeated ad-nauseum until the timer runs out. It's the core reason why this game was frowned upon by the professional fighting game community.
    • Dairou's Tombstone Drop is this. It's an unblockable ground pound that falls extremely fast and has a very quick recovery time, and the only way to avoid it is to anticipate it coming and jump. Unfortunately, given this game's mechanics, that's a lot easier said than done.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Perform a Fatality and a Hara-Kiri at the same time to get these.
    • Possibly this or Game Breaker, but for some odd reason, Liu Kang's bicycle kick ignores Onaga's defensive stat and takes off his health like you shattered one of the ring's Kamidogu. It's easy to defeat Onaga that way.. .provided that you never get sick of watching Liu Kang's ending.
  • It Was His Sled: Noob Saibot is the original Sub-Zero.
  • Love to Hate: Arguably it was the aim of the creators for Hotaru to be seen this way, but didn't play out that way with most of the fans. See his entry under the Scrappy section for details.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Mileena.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Shujinko was the target of a lot of hate for replacing Liu Kang. He's terminally naive and stole the special moves and even appearances of the other characters during Konquest Mode. It doesn't help that Boon hamfisted him down the fandom's throat by labeling him "the next generation Liu Kang" in an interview, or that his name literally means "protagonist."
    • Kira, who can basically be described as Kano and Sonya's lovechild.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Nightwolf. Prior to Deception, he had just as much of a Hatedom as Stryker did when he was introduced.
    • Time seems to have been kind to Shujinko, or else a generation of MK fans who grew up with the PS2-era games turned out more fond of him than the old guard were; either way, when Cassie Cage's arcade ending depicted her unknowingly murdering Shujinko after mistaking him for Shang Tsung, many mourned his ignoble fate.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Hotaru is frequently demonized to a degree greater than the way he is presented in canon with some detractors going to the extreme of claiming he is A Nazi by Any Other Name. While it is true that he is a Legalist and possibly can also be interpreted as an Authoritarianist (though one with Utilitarian motivations), but there is no concrete evidence that he holds views that resemble those of fascism (unless one is going by the looser definition of the term). Even if Hotaru holds such a philosophy, to claim that the makers of Mortal Kombat are condoning this detestable ideology is as absurd as claiming that Marvel Comics condones the likes of the Red Skull by his mere existence in their fictional universe.
  • The Scrappy: Aside of Shujinko, Kira and Kobra. Kira less so than Kobra.
    • Also Darrius and Dairou. These two pale in comparison to Hotaru.
      • Though in Hotaru's case, while this is justified in that he is intended to be somewhat like a Hate Sink, but is also a straight example in that he falls into this category due to being such a one-dimensional Straw Character who lacks any personality traits aside from his obsession with maintaining order.
    • Zombie Liu Kang. Many fans saw it as a slap in the face that this is what happened to the Mortal Kombat Champion, and he even made ScrewAttack's "Top Ten Worst Fighting Game Characters" list.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Mokap can be found twice in Konquest mode. One time in Chaosrealm for a side mission and another time walking around in a flamboyant manner in Seido where he can't be interacted in any way aside from punching him out to unlock a fighting style video.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Hotaru, in addition to the other criticisms of him noted above, is regarded as the least effective in regard to play style based on the limited usefulness of his attacks, most notably his Lava Burst attack which can be easily nullified by the opponent being too far or too close. Thankfully when he returns in Mortal Kombat Armageddon he gets some well needed adjustments, but even then he is roughly mid-tier at best.
  • What an Idiot: You just had to facepalm when the Elder Gods Champion (the one before Scorpion) steps in to stop Shujinko and the natural reaction of our hero is to say "no, it's me!" and initiate a fight, not even thinking for one second how this guy reached the Nexus or why he would make such claims.
    • Also Raiden blindly accepting Shujinko's story of being the champion of the Elder Gods based on him "having the strength of ten fighters" without ever bothering to check with them to corroborate his story arguably also counts.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Some of Seido's actions (particularly its suppression of people's freedoms ("freedom leads to anarchy, anarchy leads to Chaos, Chaos leads to suffering") and its wars against Chaosrealm and Outworld) seem like a derisive reference to the United States' national security policies under the then-current Bush Administration and American involvement in the then-ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of the larger War on Terrorism. This game also came out in 2004 (when a presidential election occurred) and Chicago (where the Mortal Kombat games were made at the time) is a notoriously liberal city in a deep blue state. Make of those last two what you will.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Some fans have this opinion in regard to Sub-Zero's "Shredder" outfit that he had in this game as being unfitting for him. Though on the other hand, some fans would consider this Narm Charm in that Kuai Liang is the type of person who is cool enough to make what would otherwise be ridiculous look stylishly awesome.
    • Special mention has to go to his other costume, however, as it's not a look that even Sub-Zero can pull off. In a nutshell, he looks like a bald night elf with loose-fitting pyjamas.