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    Midway era timeline and games 

Fridge Brilliance

  • The rivalry between Scorpion and Sub-Zero:
    • Scorpion and Sub-Zero are completely contrasting characters in almost every aspect. Scorpion's a Large Ham who controls flames, and Sub-Zero is more reserved, with ice-based powers. It's only natural that the fiery Scorpion is more prone to shouting and being hot-tempered, whereas Sub-Zero's personality is cooler in comparison.
      • Even when Bi-Han, the original Sub-Zero, ends up killed then resurrected by Quan Chi as the wraith Noob Siabot, his new powers and appearance continue to contrast with his killer, Scorpion. Scorpion is an emotional, brightly-colored ninja who can manipulate hellfire, while Noob retains his stoic, dry personality, is garbed in almost completely black clothing, and whose powers involve the manipulation of shadows and dark energy. Noob even shares teleportation abilities like Scorpion and is later depicted with the ability to summon a shadow double (Saibot), which calls to mind Scorpion's [UMK3] fatality, "Klones", where Scorpion summons an army of clones (or the spirits of the Shirai Ryu) to beat his opponent to death.
    • Scorpion making his own costume a yellow version of Sub-Zero's appears to be a mistake, since he's doing it to mock the Lin Kuei and call them cowards, when, in fact, the color yellow symbolizes courage in Japan, where he's from. It actually makes perfect sense, since his own yellow outfit as opposed to the Lin Kuei's non-yellow ones could be a symbolic way of saying "I have courage and you don't. Cowards." Also, in nature, the yellow scorpion (especially the brighter colored ones) are deadlier than the black ones. In other words, Scorpion is one of the deadliest of his clan.
    • To add another element to the rivalry of Sub-Zero/The Lin Kuei Clan and Scorpion/The Shirai Ryu Clan is also a bit of Genius Bonus, too; the former and his tribe are Chinese (mostly) and the latter and his tribe are Japanese. In Real Life, China and Japan absolutely hate each other and is arguably the most intense rivalry between nations in the world, so it makes perfect sense to have two characters who happen to be each nationality have the franchise's primary (and most popular) rivalry.
  • It is well known that the Shokan have four arms, but why is that? They are half-human dragons, and dragons have six limbs: four legs and two wings! In the case of the Shokan, the hind legs became the legs, the forelegs became a pair of arms, and the wings became the second pair of arms!
  • If the tournament is supposed to decide the war between Earthrealm and Outworld, why are all the playable characters from Earth? Because Goro has dominated the nine previous tournaments, and Shang Tsung is confident enough to think he doesn't need any additional Outworld help.
  • Shang Tsung's Soul Steal fatality in MK3 was very different from the one he used in MK2: rather than drain the victim's soul directly into himself, he levitates the victim and the soul flies away, unabsorbed. The reason for the change isn't apparent, but in MK3, Shao Kahn's "Soulnado" is constantly pulling in every soul that isn't nailed down.
    • Furthermore, Shang Tsung deliberately lets Shao Kahn get a few souls for the Soulnado to divert attention away from himself while he schemes to overthrow his boss. Just look at his overthrow of Kahn alongside Quan Chi in Deadly Alliance.
    • How does Shang Tsung regain his strength? He drains the souls of his enemies - He can just let Shao Kahn take every soul in Earth Realm into the Soulnado, and then make his play for power with an unlimited supply of souls for him to feed on & gain power from whilst he does it.
  • Rain can use lightning attacks in addition to water. Rain water becomes water vapor becomes clouds become rain water again through that familiar process we learned in school: evaporation, condensation, precipitation. And what usually causes thunderstorms? Those dark heavyweight-looking things called cumulonimbus clouds. So being able to use lightning is entirely within Rain's element, especially considering he's eventually established in canon as a demigod.
  • Nightwolf:
    • Like Rain and Raiden, he's also able to do the Shocking Bolt because he's in tune with powerful spirits who likely would grant him the ability to control water and thunder to some degree as well.
    • He also draws on the power of Raiden himself, seeing as Nightwolf's bio for 9 confirms that he had communicated with Raiden for some period of time before the first tournament. Additionally, he refers to Raiden as Haokah (the spirit of thunder and lightning in Lakota mythology) a few times over the course of the story.
    • In the first movie Raiden expresses a hint of behaving like a heyoka, when he laughs after saying something dramatic. In addition, according to The Other Wiki, Heyókȟa is also a spirit of thunder and lightning, who is said to use the wind as sticks to beat the drum of thunder. This is a common point with Japanese mythology, where Raiden is depicted as beating drums to create thunder.
    • Many of Nightwolf's abilities are stereotypes, but others require some research. Nightwolf's ability to reflect projectiles? Ghost Dance. Charging? Indians were notorious for running ability in the 19th century, which also relates to some brokenness in 3. His secondary style in Deception is Taekwondo. Difference in disciplines aside, Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell won a medal in a martial arts tournament in his youth.
  • The story for 4 goes that, long before the games even began, the Elder God Shinnok betrayed his fellow Elder Gods and attempted to usurp them, thus gaining power over all realms, a plot he reattempts in the actual game. Does this sound familiar? If you've heard the story of Satan's origin even once, it should. Shinnok is the Satan of Mortal Kombat! (Made even more interesting by the fact that he overthrows Lucifer to become ruler of the Netherrealm!)
  • Raiden, the protector of Earthrealm, is the God of Lightning and Thunder. In Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, and Mortal Kombat 4, we are introduced to a friend of his, Fujin, the Earthrealm God of Wind, however lower down in the hierarchy to our thunder god protector. When Raiden is apparently promoted to Elder God, Fujin the God of Wind becomes Earthrealm's new protector. However, Fujin is nowhere to be found in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, and suddenly Raiden denies his position as an Elder God so he can return as Earthrealm's protector and gain a physical body. Fujin is wind, Raiden is lightning. Look at the elemental triangles that balance power within most franchises. Wind obviously resembles flight and birds, lightning is obviously electric. Electric is usually super effective against things associated with wind. It's likely the creators were using underlining elemental logic to illustrate how superior Raiden really is, possibly why Fujin was the god ally likely brought into MK4.
  • Shujinko:
    • Aside from the improbability of a Chinese person having a Japanese name in circa late-nineteenth century/early twentieth century China, his 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.
    • The sad thing about him is that, for all of the negative reception he got, he is, in fact, a shout out to all the loyal fans of the MK franchise. Consider what he is, his name is literally Japanese for "protagonist", his story is that of a normal person, who is given a superpower by a magical presence, that lets him duplicate the abilities of other fighters he meets. He goes onto meet with, battle/train with most if not all of the other characters in the series, and is even invited to take part in the MK Tournament itself. What is the key aspect of the Mortal Kombat video game? Switching to different fighters, and using their abilities as your own, as you take part in the game's events. What is the most common of fantasies about such a game? Being drawn into said game, and having your own personalized, and customized selection of powers from all of your favorite fighters, and taking part in said events. The various incarnations of Shujinko even represent the mindsets of the various fans. From the idealistic, young, newcomer, to the jaded, Master-class, expert who has been a part of it from the very beginning, and all of those in-between. Is Shujinko the developers way of saying thank you for all the years of loyalty and devotion, by bringing them as far into the game as realistically as they can?
  • Early endings for Mileena (particularly II and Ultimate 3) depicted Mileena and Baraka hinted at being an couple and being future King and Queen. However, prior to Deception, Mileena realized she didn't need a man, and instead set out on her own to achieve her goals, making their fight scene in Deception completely logical.
  • The Kreate-A-Fatality of Armageddon is one of the most criticized things about that game, however, there's some reasoning behind it. The other games were, more or less, formal tournaments, and even those that weren't were bouts between kombatants. Armageddon is different. Here, it's a chaotic free for all in what's set to be Just Before the End. Would the warriors really have time to perform elaborate fatalities on each other on the field, or would they just settle for hacking at each other until somebody dies? In the case of the latter, that's what the Kreate-A-Fatality seems to be simulating.
  • The Gambit Roulette in Armageddon has a spot is idiotic because it was revealed that the Mortal Kombat Tournament would lead to the end of the world as the realms' most powerful warriors grew in number and strength, yet the Elder Gods let it continue. It's understandable where they were coming from, but the point is why the Elder Gods wouldn't halt the tournament. Several things have been implied:
    • Armageddon is likely the reawakening of the One Being, an event that would destroy all realms.
    • This nearly happened back in Deception when Onaga nearly fused the Kamidogu.
    • The reason for the tournament's interrealm existence was because of the Elder Gods attempting to slow Kahn's konquest of the realms — ten tournaments spanning ten generations makes for a lot of time. Without the tournament, Kahn and his army could simply march in and complete a direct konquest, which isn't that hard for them. Therefore, by not halting the tournament, the Elder Gods actually protect the realms for a longer time by choosing the lesser of two evils until a true solution can be found.

Fridge Horror

  • It's pretty much established by the rebooted timeline that the canonical conclusion of Armageddon had Shao Kahn winning. In the story mode, however, there's a part where Shang Tsung claims that everyone who pledged allegiance to him will return from the dead to continue serving him. And now that the Forces of Light are killed off...
  • In his Armageddon bio, it's revealed that Shao Khan can revive allies of his who had once sworn allegiance to him, and if he died, so do they. Now, let's list all of the characters who had allied themselves with him: Kintaro, Motaro, Goro, Shang Tsung, Baraka, Reptile, Reiko, Mileena, Kitana, Sindel, Jade, Kano...
    • Also, in that same game, it's revealed by Fujin that, when a god is destroyed, they're revived as a "blank state", forgetting all of their past life in the process. Note that this is not what happened to Raiden after his attempt to take Onaga with him at the beginning of Deception. So, what happened? According to Epileptic Trees, he was corrupted by Onaga in the attempt.

Netherrealm Studios era timeline and games

Other media

Alternative Title(s): Mortal Kombat 3, Mortal Kombat 4, Mortal Kombat Deception, Mortal Kombat Armageddon, Mortal Kombat 1992