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Mortal Kombat Desperation / Tropes A to B

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Tropes for Mortal Kombat: Desperation, A-B

  • 0% Approval Rating: Raiden is virtually loathed by all of his ex-allies as well as most of his current allies, given what he's done so far. Most of Raiden's underlings — even those who joined his faction to satisfy their sadism — obey him out of sheer terror and not out of loyalty.
    • Mileena is despised by her former allies and servants, particularly the Edenians for mocking Kitana. The Tarkatans are really the only ones that care about her.
    • Hotaru and Shang Tsung are despised by many. The former for ransacking and destroying Li Mei's village on Raiden's orders, the latter for his alliance with the evil thunder god and the Seidan zealot. That said, both had bad reputations as villains even before that, due to Hotaru acting as a tyrant in Seido to always keep order and Shang Tsung working for Shao Kahn.
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    • Kano is loathed for kidnapping and torturing Cassie along with his own son Kevin. He also kidnapped, raped, and tortured Kabal’s widow when he was a revenant which resulted in Kevin’s conception and before all of that he arranged for Kintaro to maim Kabal and try to murder Stryker.
  • A Fate Worse Than Death: Sonya promises this on Kano for his torturing of Cassie, only for the mercenary to reply that Cassie is "a perfect example of that." Prior to that, Raiden promises this on Jacqui and Takeda. Although he was interrupted by Cassie whilst threatening Scorpion, the threat is still there and he reiterates it in Chapter 63.
  • Abusive Parents: Kano conceived Kevin from rape and fate finding out about him, kidnaps and tortures him in an attempt to create a perfect successor. Thanks to encouragement from Cassie, Kevin is now determined to get revenge on his father. Several characters find it morally appalling that Kano would stoop so low to abuse his own son.
    • Kira's parents were extremely abusive and even sold her into sexual slavery when she was nine. As an adult, she killed them as revenge.
    • Argus was verbally abusive towards Daegon and abandoned Rain. He even spent his final moments basically disowning Daegon.
  • Actually Pretty Funny/It Amused Me: Kano and his lieutenants have a laugh at Cassie being forced to beg before Raiden.
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    • Goro laughed at the deaths of Sheeva's champions at his own hands.
    • Skarlet, Goro, and the Red Dragon soldiers all laugh at watching Daegon punch Kano in the face for mocking him. Similarly, Daegon, Mavado, and Skarlet laugh at Kano being yelled at by Raiden after his and Tasia’s failed attempt to recapture Cassie and Kevin.
    • In general, Raiden finds it funny whenever he's psychologically toying around with his former allies. For example, he finds it amusing whether he's torturing Cassie or Kevin (and when Cassie was forced to grovel before him), or when he mass-zaps Team S-F, the Lin Kuei and the Edenian resistance. In chapter 63, Raiden, Shang Tsung, and Hotaru mock Kotal Kahn and his allies' appeal to the Elder Gods to intervene on their behalf. They also mock the brainwashed Shao Kahn.
    • Raiden and his allies mock at Li Mei's plight in chapter 73 when she’s losing her fight to Hotaru whom she challenged to try to avenge her people.
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  • Action Dad: Johnny Cage, Kenshi, Jax, Kano, Scorpion, and Dairou qualify as this.
  • Action Mom: Sonya, Sindel, and Delia qualify as this.
  • Action Girl/Dark Action Girl/Femme Fatale/Lady of War: With the exception of Vera and Viviana, who are civilians, every female character on both sides qualifies.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Kira, who was undeniably a villain with little focus in the original timeline of the games, is an Anti-Hero here with genuine regret for her crimes as a Black Dragon member and has a sympathetic backstory.
    • Daegon is given more of a somewhat sympathtic Anti-Villain portrayal here in that while his crimes such as murdering Suchin and his parents are acknowledged, he is also a case of Even Evil Has Standards as shown by his disgust for traitors and rapists such as Kano. It also helps that he’s very loyal and protective of his followers.
    • Frost, while still keeping her cockiness from the games, is self-aware of her flaws and ultimately chooses to remain loyal to Sub-Zero when given the chance to join Raiden for the Dragon Medallion.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Mileena and Tanya are confirmed to be Depraved Bisexuals and Psycho Lesbians in chapter 55. Granted, they did flirt in their intro dialogues in the game.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • In the original timeline, though Raiden was an Anti-Villain upon becoming Dark Raiden, he wasn't the Big Bad. In this story however, he's the main antagonist and a massive douchebag, to boot.
    • While Kano is an undeniably sleazy bastard, nothing in canon ever pointed to him being a flat-out rapist. Same applies to the rest of the Black Dragon Clan.
  • Adult Fear: Sonya and Johnny, especially the former, are terrified for their daughter's safety and wellbeing after Raiden and Kano kidnap and torture her for days. Jax, Vera, Kenshi, and Hanzo are equally worried that Raiden may target their own children next,
    • Kevin witnessed his mother's death at age ten and was mercilessly tortured by Kano for several days. Also, Kira was sold into sexual slavery at age nine by her own Abusive Parents, whom she later murdered.
  • A Father to His Men: Kotal Kahn is royally worried about his champions, especially Torr, who has slipped into a coma while his companion Ferra is in a mental breakdown - though in chapter 28, Torr awakes from his coma. Even his other warriors (Ermac, Reptile, Erron Black) are not in good shape, but despite their situation, he still cares about them.
    • Fujin and Liu Kang are equally worried - Liu Kang knows the Thunder God will target the Netherrealm after destroying Outworld, while Fujin is worried about the mental state of his fellow Earthrealm defenders (especially Johnny Cage and Sonya, whose daughter was kidnapped by Raiden so they wouldn't interfere with his plans).
    • Even Kano counts, as he cares more for his Black Dragon comrades than his own son.
    • Daegon does not take kindly to any of his Red Dragon comrades being disrespected.
    • A Mother to Her Men: Li Mei, Nitara, Sindel, Kitana, Khameleon, Sonya, and Sheeva qualify as this. Raiden takes advantage of Nitara and Li Mei's status as this by targeting their people, ordering Hotaru to destroy Li Mei's village to break her and threatening Nitara's people with the same fate to make her join his side.
  • Affably Evil: Shang Tsung is a seemingly Benevolent Boss to Moloch, Drahmin, Kia, and Jataaka. He admits that he simply does this out of practicality. He's Faux Affably Evil towards his enemies, especially Liu Kang and Delia.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Triborg. When he is activated in the 19th Chapter, he immediately grabs Sonya's hand and is tossed around like a ragdoll. He then goes on to curbstomp everybody at the S-F base and nearly takes them down before Fujin intervenes and uses his wind powers to disable Triborg. Sonya later brings in reinforcements, and they mow him down with enough bullets that penetrate his armor and damage his internal circuitry, disabling him; Sonya finally ends him with a headshot.
  • Ambition Is Evil: After he Came Back Wrong, Raiden intends to merge all the realms in order to "protect" Earthrealm.
  • Ambiguously Evil:
    • Darrius is a shining example of this. While he certainly uses dark methods due to his 'ends justify the means' attitude such as secretly arranging the murder of Dairou's family (including his young daughter) and framing another man for the crime whom he then allowed to be killed, he seems to genuinely want the best for his realm as much as he wants power for himself. Furthermore, he sees things more rationally than the order-obsessed Hotaru and chaos-obsessed Havik.
    • Dairou. Though he is a mercenary mostly concerned with money rather than the morality of the jobs he takes, the murder of his young daughter alongside his wife and parents is likely the reason for his refusal to harm children and he does not approve of Hotaru's obsession with order and killing Darrius. He even tells Havik that he is not on Fujin and Kotal Kahn's side for just money as he initially claimed to Darrius and the Wind God.
    • Daegon. His crimes such as killing his parents and arranging Suchin's murder are not ignored, but he clearly has standards, as proven with his disgust with Kano for being a traitor and rapist both things he hates. He also looks out for his subordinates, standing up for Skarlet when Reiko insults her and not tolerating disrespect toward his followers.
    • Nitara. She's quite The Baroness who prefers to use her brain like a Rosa Klebb rather than her looks like a Sexpot and is not above making alliance with unsavory characters as well as using deception. However, she does all of this to protect her people and try to free her realm which was merged with Outworld by Shao Kahn and only joined Raiden out of fear when he blackmailed her by threatening her people and offering to let her defeat Ashrah.
    • D'Vorah. She's very traitorous, cunning, deceptive, and power hungry, but her desire for power stems from a belief that power is the key to survival, which has been her ultimate motivation since Shao Kahn conquered her people. She refuses to die, which is a sharp contrast to many other characters who believe in Fate Worse than Death. She understands why people think like that, but prefers to suffer and live than die.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Well, hands actually. Tasia loses both of hers whilst fighting Kira.
  • And I Must Scream: Shujinko experienced this while under Havik's control.
    • A brainwashed Shao Kahn is revealed to be very aware of his actions despite lacking control over them. His chapter even has the quote from the Trope Namer.
  • Anti-Hero: The revenants, led by Liu Kang. They only ally with Fujin and Kotal Kahn because of what Raiden could do to all of the realms. Same goes for Scorpion, Kira, Rain, and Frost. This changes once they are revived by Jade/Delia.
    • Darrius views himself as this In-Universe. Whether he's right is debatable.
    • Hotaru also views himself as this In-Universe, but no one can deny he's wrong, to say the least.
    • Nitara is willing to use whatever methods necessary to protect her race and free her realm.
  • Anti-Villain: Scorpion, as he's more of a Noble Top Enforcer for Raiden and he objects to Cassie's torture by Kano. Then he pulls a Heel–Face Turn.
    • It's debateable whether Darrius is this or an Anti-Hero, though he certainly thinks he's the latter.
    • Nitara mostly joined Raiden because he threatened her people.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: This is what Raiden did to Scorpion - the former revenant contemplated suicide to atone for his rashness in Shinnok's revival, but Raiden talks him out of it and subtly manipulates Scorpion into becoming his right-hand man.
    • Kano gets two; a general pardon for his past crimes? Good. Kidnap Cassie Cage? Even better.
    • For Nitara, it was either side with Raiden in exchange for the chance to defeat Ashrah and keep her people safe or he would destroy her people.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Daegon is this to Delia and Argus, whom he killed.
  • Arms Dealer: Kano.
  • Apocalypse How: If Raiden does merge the realms, it comes dangerously close to a Class X-5 or a Class Z - meaning that he's awakening the One Being. Many of Raiden's former allies (and by extension, the Elder Gods) now fear him more than they did with Shinnok and Shao Kahn, considering how he's a deranged Mad God with Omnicidal Maniac tendencies.
  • Arch-Enemy: Raiden becomes this to Fujin, the Cage family (Johnny, Sonya and Cassie), Kung Jin, Kenshi, Takeda, Scorpion, Orin, Caro, Shujinko, Jax, Jacqui, Taven, Delia/Jade, Rain, Ruby, Sub-Zero, Frost, Sheeva, Li Mei, Bo' Rai Cho, Kai, Ashrah, Darrius, Dairou, Kira and Sareena. He was already this to Kotal Kahn and his warriors (Erron Black, Ermac/Jerrod, Ferra/Torr and Reptile), and also to the ex-revenants (Liu Kang, Kitana, Sindel, Smoke, Stryker, Nightwolf, and Kabal). They all view him as a heartless, sociopathic and cruel Broken Pedestal after he Came Back Wrong.
    • Kano is this to the Cage Family, Team S-F, Kabal, Fujin and to his own son Kevin.
    • Hotaru becomes this to Li Mei, considering that he destroyed her village on Raiden's orders. He is already this to Darrius.
    • Baraka, Tanya, and Mileena are this to Kitana, Sindel, Kotal Kahn, Rain, Jade/Delia, and Ruby.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Kevin hates Kano with a burning passion. Cassie actually manages to help him out of his Death Seeker slump by encouraging him to get revenge against his father.
  • Arrogant Thunder God: Raiden becomes a selfish Jerkass God following his corruption. Even Jacqui lampshades this when he announces his plans to kidnap Cassie and invade Outworld.
  • Artificial Limbs: Jax has artificial arms.
    • Tasia has artificial hands as of Chapter 34.
  • Ascended Extra: Characters who didn't get much focus in the game get whole chapters from their POV. Kano's son, mentioned only in Kano's MKX arcade ending, gets a name (Kevin) and is shaping up to be a major character.
  • Asshole Victim: Argus. It's hard to feel sorry for him (even if he was killed by his own son) when he admitted to being ashamed of calling Daegon a son moments before Daegon kills him. One also cannot forget his lack of activity in Rain's life. After finding out how his brothers were treated, Taven begins to resent his father and see him as a Broken Pedestal.
    • The majority of Raiden's allies fear and/or hate him, but given their own crimes, it's hard to feel sorry for them, especially Kano and his Black Dragon buddies.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority/Four-Star Badass: Sonya Blade, to a T.
  • The Atoner: Scorpion, after realizing that he was being manipulated by Raiden and after objecting to Kano and Raiden's torture of Cassie and Kevin.
    • Liu Kang, Kitana, and the other ex-revenants are horrified as to what they did as revenants.
    • Sareena and Ashrah both wanted to become this because they hated working for Quan Chi. The former actually inspired the latter to also rebel.
    • Shujinko carries guilt for unknowingly helping Onaga and for his actions while under Havik’s control during the blood code.
    • Ruby regrets her actions while working for Shao Kahn.
    • Frost truly wants to become better after her experience in the death match fight club.
    • Kira struggles a lot with forgiveness for her actions as a Black Dragon member.
  • Awakening the Sleeping Giant: For all of his own individual faults and past problems, the fact that Kotal Kahn is pursuing an Enemy Mine situation with other realms so they could combine their forces to take down an corrupted and sociopathic god who literally wants to instigate Armageddon just for his own selfish gains.
    • Say what you want to about Johnny and Sonya, but kidnapping and torturing their daughter all to keep them in check will end bad for all those involved, especially for a certain criminal/arms dealer and a corrupted thunder god.
    • When Raiden threatens to do the same thing to Takeda as he did with Cassie, Scorpion realizes that he was being used as a tool by the corrupted thunder god, and pulls a full Heel–Face Turn after objecting to Cassie's and Kevin's torture by Kano and Raiden.
  • Awful Truth: Pretty much the revenants were forced into evil by Quan Chi and are now slowly getting back their old memories. They have since been revived by Jade, and are now regretting and atoning for what they did as revenants.
    • How Raiden took advantage of Scorpion's guilt in killing off Quan Chi and manipulated him into doing his dirty work. He's now doing the same thing to Daegon and Nitara by preying on the former's feelings about being The Unfavorite son of Argus and the latter's desperation to protect her race.
  • Ax-Crazy: The Thunder God slowly becomes an insane megalomaniac and will brutally torture or kill anybody that crosses him.
    • Mileena has shades of this.
  • Back from the Dead: Quan Chi is now working for the Elder Gods, with his free will removed.
    • Shang Tsung has returned in Chapter 50. He also resurrects Mileena, Baraka, Mavado, Havik, Reiko, Kobra, Kia, Jataaka, Drahmin, and Moloch.
    • Jade is alive, though she's now Sharing a Body with Delia, Argus's wife as well as Daegon and Taven's mother.
    • The revenants, as they have been revived at the end of Chapter 26.
    • Shao Kahn has been resurrected and brainwashed by Shang Tsung to serve Raiden's side.
  • Bad Boss: It's very clear that most of Raiden's underlings — even those who joined his faction just to satisfy their sadism — obey him out of sheer terror.
  • Badass Decay: Invoked Trope. As Tasia found out the hard way, Kira is just as dangerous as she was back when she was a member.
  • Badass Crew: Kotal Kahn's La Résistance vs. Raiden's Legion of Doom.
  • Badass Family: There are several examples of this:
    • The Cage Family.
    • Jax and Jacqui.
    • Kung Lao and Kung Jin
    • Takeda and Kenshi.
    • Kitana and Sindel.
  • The Bad Guy Wins/Posthumous Character: Though Shinnok doesn't make any appearances in this story, he DOES manage to break his Arch-Enemy Raiden by twisting him into something as evil and monstrous as himself.
  • The Baroness: Tanya, Skarlet, Tasia, Mileena, Kia, and Jataaka are of the Sexpot variety.
    • D'Vorah is of the Rosa Klebb variety.
    • Although Nitara looks like a Sexpot, she's more of a Rosa Klebb.
  • Battle Couple: Liu Kang and Kitana, as the Netherrealm's new rulers; though they are eventually rid of their corruption by Jade/Delia, they still kick ass.
    • Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade may be divorced, but they still count.
    • Jacqui and Takeda.
    • Mileena and Tanya.
    • Khameleon and Reptile are implied to be this.
    • Seeing as she is his Dark Mistress, Skarlet and Daegon qualify as this.
  • Badass Bisexual: Tanya and Mileena, as both are Psycho Lesbians and Depraved Bisexuals.
  • Battle in the Rain: In chapter 24.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Raiden, after his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Berserk Button: Raiden doesn't take it lightly when his ex-allies compare him to Shao Kahn and/or Shinnok.
    • Tanya does not take kindly to being called a whore by Rain.
    • For Tasia, Kira calling her a whore pisses her off plenty.
    • For Skarlet, it's Mileena and Reiko as well as being called a slave.
    • For Mileena, it's betrayal, anyone who insults Shao Kahn, her face being made fun of, and not getting what she wants.
    • For Sonya, it's Kano and anyone else who threatens her loved ones.
    • For Hotaru, it's Havik and Darrius.
  • Beware the Nice and Silly Ones: The Cage family, to a T.
  • Both Order and Chaos Are Dangerous: Hotaru and Havik, respectively.
  • Big Bad: Raiden, who starts off as an Omnicidal Maniac Knight Templar with a He Who Fights Monsters mentality, but is placed into evil territory once he electrocutes Sub-Zero and the Lin Kuei for questioning his methods.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Raiden forms a Deadly Alliance with Hotaru. In exchange for destroying Outworld, Raiden offers to eliminate Darrius, who's the leader of the Seidan resistance.
  • Big Bad Friend: Raiden is this to Fujin, Liu Kang and many of his ex-allies.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Taven expresses toward Rain, both when defending him from the Elder Gods and saving his life after he loses to Tremor in the tournament. He also had this toward Daegon in the past and still does to some extent.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • When Raiden is about to kidnap Cassie, Team S-F bursts in to her room and tries to prevent the thunder god from taking her away, but fails.
    • The gist of Chapter 24, where Fujin leads an assault on the Sky Temple.
    • Jade/Delia, upon rescuing Sonya, Cassie, Kira and Kevin.
    • The gist of chapter 28, where Kotal Kahn and his allies are defending an assault from the Red Dragon clan.
    • Chapter 44, where Delia and Taven try to stop Raiden from manipulating Daegon, but fail to do so.
  • Big Good: Kotal Kahn.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy/Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Torr is the Big and Huge Guy to Ferra.
  • Big "NO!": Kitana, as Quan Chi kills Jade.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Raiden's former allies do this in chapter 54, calling him out for his cruelty streak.
  • Black-and-White Morality: Raiden starts out as a Well-Intentioned Extremist and Knight Templar, but as the story progresses, he slowly becomes a deranged and sociopathic tyrant who's more than willing to use brutal tactics to conquer realms (and to silence anybody if they stand in his way), alienate and throw his ex-allies under the bus, and as well as manipulate, cheat and extort anybody to serve him, effectively becoming a real villain.
  • Blackmail: How Raiden managed to convince Nitara into joining his faction or face the loss of her people.
  • Blasphemous Boast: Raiden does this to the Elder Gods in chapter 63. He uses the same line Shao Kahn used before he was defeated by the Elder Gods.
    • Taven is outraged that the Elder Gods did nothing in response to Raiden's Blasphemous Boast and soon afterwards agrees that they really are toothless worms.
  • Blofeld Ploy: In chapter 22, Cassie thought that Raiden was going to torture her, but instead, he suddenly tortures Kevin. He only stops when Cassie was forced to grovel before him.
  • Blood Knight: Whether it's torturing Cassie or mass-zapping the Lin Kuei, Raiden takes sadistic glee in doing this.
  • Blind Obedience/Undying Loyalty: Baraka has this to Shao Kahn and Mileena.
    • Mavado has this to Daegon.
    • Skarlet once had this to Shao Kahn, but now works for Daegon.
  • Blind Weaponmaster/Handicapped Badass: Kenshi to a T.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: The Tarkatan horde defects to Raiden's side en masse after Mileena reveals that Baraka was killed by D'Vorah on Kotal Kahn's orders.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Raiden didn't anticipate the emergence of a big coalition of Ragtag Bunch of Misfits to emerge and take him down. He also failed to realize just how far Cassie's parents will go to rescue their daughter.
  • Break Them by Talking: What Raiden does to Daegon in chapter 44. The evil god manipulates Daegon into believing that his parents favored Taven over him.
    • This is what he did to Nitara and Scorpion as well.
  • Broken Pedestal: Raiden is seen as this by many of his ex-allies, once he crosses the Moral Event Horizon.
    • Daegon is seen as this by Taven, as the former killed off their parents, but he's still struggling to become a Rebuilt Pedestal.
    • Taven considers the Elder Gods (including Shinnok) and his own father Argus to be this.
    • Noob Saibot is seen as this by Sub-Zero, who sees Smoke as a Replacement Sibling.
    • Kenshi and Scorpion were this, but are working their way to become a Rebuilt Pedestal.
    • Kevin sees his own father Kano as an Archnemesis Dad.
    • Dairou tells Shujinko that Hotaru used to be a good man before his obsession with order and killing Darrius turned him into a villain.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Kevin's background, as he was born in Brooklyn.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Raiden and Kano kidnap Cassie, and now Sonya is hell-bent on killing the thunder god for harming her daughter.
  • The Bus Came Back: Shang Tsung has come Back from the Dead in Chapter 50, and also revives Mileena, Baraka, Mavado, Havik, Reiko, and Kobra. He also revives Drahmin, Moloch, Kia, Jataaka, and a brainwashed Shao Kahn.
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