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This page contains unmarked spoilers for both Mortal Kombat 9 and Mortal Kombat X. Read at your own risk.

"This... was not your destiny, Shinnok. Once again, the Thunder God has upset the balance of history. But know this: The arc of the universe bends to my will. It is only a matter... of time."
Kronika, Story Mode Prologue

Mortal Kombat 11 is the eleventh official Fighting Game entry in the Mortal Kombat franchise and the sequel of Mortal Kombat X, which was released on April 23, 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, and also the Nintendo Switch, being the first MK since Armageddon to release on a Nintendo platform. It is developed on a highly modified version of the Unreal Engine 3.

Following the defeat of Shinnok in X, an ancient goddess by the name of Kronika appears and declares that she will set right the damage Raiden has done to the proper course of history... by siding with the evil Revenants of Netherrealm and other villains to wipe out the current timeline and create a new one. With the realms converging in a Time Crash that spells Armageddon for all, past and future versions of the forces of Light find themselves teaming up to stop Kronika before it's too late.


Along with previous series improvements, 11 introduces a much deeper customization system: not only can each character's move set be radically changed with the new Custom Variation system, but their equipment and accessories can also be modified to create a unique look.

On May 6, 2020, the Aftermath DLC was announced, revealing that Shang Tsung has decided to get involved in the immediate aftermath of the "Normal" ending, with several other returning characters involved. It was released on May 26, 2020. An Updated Re-release, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, which bundles the game and all its DLC, is set to come out on November 17, 2020, and will also bring the game to the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X|S.

    Playable roster 

Base game kombatants

  • Returning from Mortal Kombatnote : Scorpion, Liu Kang, Raiden, Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade, Kano.
  • Returning from Mortal Kombat II: Sub-Zero II, Kung Lao, Jax, Kitana, Baraka, Jade, Noob Saibot.
  • Returning from Mortal Kombat 3: Kabal.
  • Returning from Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance: Frost.
  • Returning from Mortal Kombat 9: Skarlet.
  • Returning from Mortal Kombat X: D'Vorah, Cassie Cage, Jacqui Briggs, Erron Black, Kotal Kahn.
  • Newcomers: Geras, Cetrion, Kollector, Kronikanote .

DLC kombatants



See also

This game shows examples of:

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    General Tropes 
  • A God Am I: Some epilogues in arcade mode has a certain characters (mostly villains) proclaim themselves to be a God. Sonya has a benign version of this while some characters, such as Erron Black, Kabal, and surprisingly Kano has an opposite mindset.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Most visible during the intro to mirror matches, but even during combat. For example, Scorpion always holds his Kunai and has his sword on the side facing the player, no matter if he's facing left or right. Characters who jump over character actually "mirror" mid jump, with any carried weapons switching from one hand to the other. The main aversion is Johnny Cage's chest tattoo which does not flip so as to remain legible no matter what side he's on. Kano also retains his eye on the right side of his body, no matter how he's facing.
  • And I Must Scream: If you reach Kronika in the Arcade mode but don't defeat her, her fatality has her kill your character not once, but multiple times. Endlessly snapping their back, ripping them in half, flaying them, and reversing the damage. Over and over. Unlike other fatalities in this game the animation continues into the character win prompts. And they are continuously screaming, meaning they're still conscious through all of this. As if fatalities couldn't get any worse.
  • Anti-Rage Quitting: Quitalities are back, except this time either the quitter's whole body explodes, or they're impaled.
  • Armored Villains, Unarmored Heroes: The default Revenant skins are visibly a lot more armored than their living selves's default outfits.
  • Art Evolution: Although still running under the heavily modified Unreal Engine 3, the style used for 11 is less stylized than previous games, giving the characters more realistic facial features and expressions. The "GoreTech" also improves the viscera over previous installments as well.
  • Assist Character:
    • Some Konsumables in the Towers of Time mode allows the player to summon either a character to assist with the fight, or a specific power from another character. For example, the Skull of the Specter can be used to summon Scorpion, while the Cyber Snare summons one of Cyrax's nets from offscreen.
    • Johnny Cage is able to call his actual stunt double to put his opponent in a full nelson hold, rendering them open to attacks.
    • Noob Saibot is back with his shadow clone, which he can use to attack enemies from a distance and which plays a considerable role in his Fatal Blow and Fatality.
  • Bad Present: A major theme of the story.
    • Every character that becomes a revenant is both shocked and horrified by this outcome and vows not to let it happen to them — including, ironically, the revenants themselves. Past Kabal, in fact, joins Kronika to avoid it.
    • Raiden is determined not to become his Dark counterpart, and to avoid the conflict between himself and Liu Kang.
    • Averted with Kano, who is thrilled about the future. He's proud to see himself still hale and hearty as ever, and he's even more happy to hear that Sonya is dead.
    • Jax is the most prominent victim of this trope. His life has completely fallen apart by his PTSD, the death of his wife, and his horror that his daughter is in the Special Forces (which he blames himself for causing). He temporarily joins Kronika to try and prevent this future. Jacqui is conflicted, because if not for her father's pain and suffering, she wouldn't exist.
  • Big "NO!" : Every Character does this when being scanned by Cassie Cage’s Drone Pre Groin Attack in her Forward Throw.
  • Bizarre and Improbable Ballistics: With Erron Black around it should be expected (with him whipping out his trusty coins to bounce bullets into his opponent's eyes during his Fatal Blow) but Cassie gets in on it too where one of her attacks sees her shoot at her own drone, which will ricochet the bullet towards the opponent's legs.
  • Blindfolded Vision: In Krypt mode, the player can find Kenshi's Blindfold. Putting on the blindfold lets you see secrets such as breakable walls and invisible treasure chests. There are two downsides: first, wearing the blindfold gradually consumes Soul Fragments (which are also used as a currency in other areas of the game), and second, ghosts will occasionally jump out and attack you.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: With the new game engine, the developers have the gore and blood splatters looking much more detailed and brutal in comparison to MKX. The fatalities now end on the final hit and slow down to show off all the work on the evisceration of the unlucky loser. Fatal Blows (This game's equivalent of the X-Ray moves) likewise show off much more painful details on the strikes.
  • Brain Food: Baraka seems to have developed a taste for gray matter... His Brutality win pose has him pull out a brain and munch on it as a snack, and one of his Fatalities ends with him removing the brain from his unfortunate opponent's skull with his Tarkatan blades and eating it like skewered meat.
  • Brick Joke: In one of Kano's intros against Skarlet, he asks if she wants to taste Australia's best blood sausage. In Aftermath, Kano's Friendship consists of him barbecuing sausages.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • After being completely absent from the last game, Jade, Noob Saibot, Shang Tsung, Shao Kahn, Sindel, and Nightwolf return as playable fighters - with Shao Kahn being notable for being his first playable appearance outside of updated titles and Dream Match Game entries.
    • Skarlet, Kabal, and Baraka also come back after sitting out X - as a comicbook-exclusive character, cutscene character and an unplayable Story Mode opponent, respectively.
    • This is the first time that Frost has been playable since Armageddon.
    • Friendships, the Lighter and Softer alternative to Fatalities that appeared in Mortal Kombat II and Mortal Kombat 3, returns in a free update alongside the Aftermath DLC.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Chainsaw Good: One of the interactive objects in the Black Dragon Fight Klub stage is a chainsaw that can be used on the opponent's gut.
  • Character Customization: Customization is much more in-depth than any previous Mortal Kombat game. Taking a cue from Injustice 2, you can customize a character's equipment as well as their moves.
  • Continuity Nod: In regards to the rebooted timeline:
    • One of Skarlet's brutalities reenacts her "Make It Rain!" Fatality from 9.
    • After executing a Brutality, one of Sub-Zero's lines can be "This fight was your last", referencing his intro quote from 9. He can also say "Ability... to freeze", a reference to the movie and Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero.
    • Jade's fatality (in which she impales the loser through the head with her staff, slices off their lower half and then spins it around the staff) is a call back to her Mortal Kombat 9 Victory Pose, where she twirled around her staff like a pole dancer.
    • Johnny Cage's Fatal Blow has him use an award statuette for the final hit, referencing his second fatality from MK9. He also bludgeons his opponent and then impales them in the head with it in a brutality, again a nod to the same fatality.
    • One of Jade's staff customizations is named "Mournful Staff of X" in reference to Kitana using Jade's weapons in her Mournful variation in X.
    • One of Johnny and Kung Lao's intro references the What's He Got That I Ain't Got?! scene from Mortal Kombat 9,this time about Liu Kang, and with Kung Lao providing the exact same answer he did in 9.
    • As Takeda doesn't appear in the proper Story Mode, most of the pre-fight banter between Scorpion and Jacqui confirms that she and Takeda (a Shirai Ryu) are indeed an Official Couple coming off the Ship Tease in MKX, and that it's really serious by 11.
    Scorpion: You plan to marry my chujin.
    Jacqui: Takeda got smart and put a ring on it.
    Scorpion: First, prove you are worthy.
  • Cool vs. Awesome:
  • Creator Cameo: One of Cassie's pre-fight intros has her texting a friend on her smartphone. One of the random friends she can be seen talking to is labeled "Vogel," as in longtime MK developer John Vogel. Another is Beran as in Steve Beran, another longtime MK mainstay and finally, another she can get a text from is "noobde", which is, of course, Ed Boon himself (it's his name spelled backward and his real-life Twitter handle.)
  • Dead Guy Puppet: One of Johnny Cage's Fatalities involves him shoving his arm into his opponent's body and tearing off their torso. And then he starts using it in a ventriloquist act, complete with a Dramatic Spotlight!
    "Opponent": What did you do, Johnny?
    Johnny: Just what you asked!
    "Opponent": Not what I meant by "the splits"!
  • Death by Cameo:
    • One of the stages is Goro's Lair with what appears to be his corpse on his throne along with the corpse of Moloch and his ball and chain beside him.
    • In a variant, Shinnok's living head appears as a captive in a new stage.
    • One of Erron Black's intros has him throw down a sack holding Hsu Hao's head.
    • Kenshi and Ermac's corpses can be found throughout the Krypt. Strangely, Kano's skeleton can also be found despite him being a playable character.
  • Desperation Attack: Fatal Blows are cinematic super moves, replacing the X-Ray Attacks. They can only be used when your health is below 30%, and only once per match (though if they miss or are blocked, they instead go on cooldown).
  • Ditto Fighter: Shang Tsung, of course.
    • Much like in MK9, he has a command grab that lets him transform into his opponent, with full control over their moveset.
    • His Fatal Blow has him morphing into Sub Zero, Scorpion and Noob Saibot, in that order, showing off their signature abilities with each hit.
    • Part of his moveset involves momentarily morphing into Reptile, Ermac, Smoke, and Rain to perform one of their special moves. This is a subversion, however, as these fighters' moves are exclusive to Shang Tsung.
  • EX Special Attack: Return from MK9 and MKX. This time, there are separate offensive and defensive stamina meters that automatically regenerate over time, so you don't have to sacrifice your Combo Breaker to use them.
  • Eye Scream: Some characters go for the eyes in certain moves.
    • Scorpion's Fatal Blow starts with him jamming two kunai into his opponent's eyes and then precedes to yank them around by the attached chains.
    • One of Sub-Zero's fatalities ends with him throwing his opponent's head (with the spine still attached, natch) onto an ice clone's spear, taking out an eye in so doing.
    • One of Skarlet's fatalities has her run the opponent through with several spikes made from their own crystallized blood; one of them ends up in their eye. She then finishes them off by pushing that spike all the way through their skull, with the eyeball still stuck to it.
    • One of Kabal’s fatalities has him drag the opponent on the floor with his hook sword so fast their eyes fall out from the damage.
    • Jade's hits the opponent in the eye with her staff in her throw and impales the opponent through it for one of her fatalities.
    • Erron Black's Fatal Blow involves tossing two coins in the air ricocheting shots from them into the opponent's eyes.
    • Jacqui's first fatality has her run at her opponent and stick them with several small bombs, the last of which go into their eyes, before progressively detonating each one to rip off pieces of their body.
  • Fanservice Pack: Inverted, due to the more realistic artstyle, all female characters are more slender and less busty in comparison to preceding games. The lead character artist admitted to have toned down the female characters on purpose to avoid Bikini Fighters. This is strangely played straight with the male characters as in the process they show off skin more than most of the women.
  • Fake Longevity: Unlocking the entirety of Shang Tsung's throne room in the Krypt requires a total of twenty-five severed heads of various kombatants. Considering each head requires the player to perform a combined 25 Fatalities against a single character, that's a whopping 625 of them in total if you're going for 100% Completion. And as the cherry on top, the required finishers cannot be farmed in Local or AI battles, only those performed in Towers will count.
    • The grind used to be far worse at launch, where each head required 50 combined Fatalities to drop, thus demanding a total of 1250 finishers.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: With a hint of Leaning on the Fourth Wall; in the Aftermath reveal trailer, Shang Tsung says, "No one can predict what happens next. Not even me." Then after a brief cut to a police officer pointing his gun calling for backup, we get a Wham Shot character reveal that many fans could not have predicted.
    (A cyborg character pulls out a gun from his leg and twirls the gun.) "You are under arrest, dirtbag."
  • Full-Circle Revolution: Played with. In his ending of Aftermath, Fire God Liu Kang serves as the inspiration and mentor for the Great Kung Lao to train himself in order to defend Earthrealm against Outworld in what's possibly another incarnation of Mortal Kombat, thus once again kickstarting the chain of events that would lead to his descendants eventually joining the tournament in the original timelines. Seeing as Shang Tsung is no longer around to mess with the rules in this cycle, things may very well end up differently this time.
  • Guest Fighter: In traditional NetherRealm Studios fashion, the roster is bolstered with DLC representatives from other famous franchises, namely Spawn, the Terminator (T-800), RoboCop, and John Rambo.
  • Gold-Colored Superiority: Gold is the theme color of the game and some of the characters have gold in their attires.
  • Gorn: This is by far the goriest and most graphically violent game in the Mortal Kombat series, being even more visceral than X. The game introduces something called "GoreTech", which makes the gore so overly detailed that it looks like actual blood, reason why YouTube tends to demonetize some videos about the game.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Cassie has gone way past her dad in 11 and basically turned hitting her opponent between the legs into a fighting style. She kicks them, punches them, has her drone bash them downstairs, pops testicles, and even one of her fatalities ends with a massive kick to the junk so powerful that the opponent's spine and skull pop right out.
    • One of Jade's Brutalities has her split her opponent's legs with her staff then shove it straight up the middle and pop the top of their head off, along with their brain.
    • From one of Fujin and Kano's intros...
      Fujin: Only a fool relieves himself into the wind.
      Fujin: A painful fatality.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be:
    • In one of Scorpion's fatalities, he heats his chain until it's glowing red, and uses it to cut his opponent in two by wrapping it around them vertically, using his hellspawn powers to travel under his foe to go all the way around.
    • One of Kabal’s fatalities has him drag the opponent on the floor with his hook sword at super speed before throwing them up to circle back and chop them in half vertically.
    • Jade's first revealed fatality has her impale the opponent through the eye with her staff before cutting them in half with her boomerang to leave them hanging.
    • Raiden's second Fatality has him slice his opponent twice with a pair of lightning blades before teleporting behind them and levitating the top half of their body apart from the bottom half.
    • Geras's second Fatality has him stick his opponent in a wall of sand, grab their arm, and tear them in twain lengthwise, their organs spilling out between the two now-separate halves.
    • Jacqui's second fatality has her punch her opponent's head into their body, blow open their stomach, then toss a grenade into the gaping holes she left that spawns a reflective wall that bisects their remains vertically.
    • Noob Saibot's first revealed fatality has him disembowel his opponent, put his hand into their abdomen and send his shadow double in, which thrusts his hands out of their mouth and slowly rips them vertically in half.
    • One of Kung Luo's fatalities starts with cutting off the opponent's head which sends it flying into the air, teleporting behind them and bisecting them down the middle and ending with throwing his hat at the descending head, scalping it.
    • One of Jax's fatalities has Jax stick an explosive on his opponent's back, push them away from him as he heats up his metal arm and having the explosive detonate, propelling the opponent forward to which Jax clotheslines them, ripping them in two.
    • One of Kitana's fatalities has her trisect her opponent, separating their hips from their torso as well as decapitating them.
    • Johnny Cage's second fatality sees his shove him fist into his opponent's back before kicking the lower half of their body off...... and then proceed to use the torso as a makeshift ventriloquist's dummy.
  • Helicopter Blender: One of Sonya's fatalities has her call a chopper, fling the opponent into the air, then shoots them repeatedly until they're pushed into the blades.
  • Heroic Mime: Ignoring the literal example that Johnny Cage's costumes provide, the Krypt has you play as a quiet masked stranger who journeys to Shang Tsung's castle for one thing: all the treasure he can grab.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Invoked onto your opponent. Mercies return from Mortal Kombat 3 and like before, give about 15% of the opponent's lifebar back for a chance to continue the fight.
  • Hit Stop
    • The animations for Fatalities freeze right after the final blow, with a few exceptions like Frost's Roboticisation fatality.
    • Nailing Krushing Blow results in a slow-motion internal shot of the damage, similar to the X-Rays of 9 and X.
  • Hit Points: Another design choice lifted from Injustice 2 is the use of a numeric value to represent the character health. The fighters each have 1000 HP shown inside the health bar, which counts down as you take damage. This translates to more specific damage numbers from combos as, opposed to a percentage value, damage is calculated by a number visible to the player. In the final game this is an option that must be toggled on.
  • Immune to Flinching: A replacement for the Combo Breaker of previous Mortal Kombat installments. Now when you're airborne and have defensive meter, you can hold down and block together and your character will simply fall to the ground with armor, preventing further juggling.
  • Impaled Palm: Baraka's Fatal Blow starts with him pinning his opponent's hand against their chest with one of his blades, which he then breaks off to keep it in place.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • One of Skarlet's fatalities involves her ripping the blood out of her enemy, using her powers to turn them into spikes, and drive them back through them just to add insult to injury.
    • Sub-Zero's iconic Spine Rip fatality now has him impale his opponent upside down and from behind, rip their spine out, and then also impale their head on the same spike. One of his brutalities also recreates the Tomb stage fatality by making a floating ice block with spikes on the bottom, then uppercutting the opponent into it.
    • Shao Kahn gets into the act, as well. Among with his trademark hammer, he also utilizes spears which materialize out of thin air. Kahn's own Fatal Blow involves him dealing vicious slashes at his opponent and brutally impaling them from the back - all in a matter of seconds.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: A few characters are based off their voice actors' appearances.
  • Insistent Terminology: Apparently, the Briggs family can't distinguish between different types of undead beings. With the Revenants being a very common occurence, it's very easy to miss that Noob Saibot describes himself as a Wraith, while Spawn is... well, a Hellspawn.
  • Jump Scare: Equipping Kenshi's blindfold in the Krypt will allow you to find hidden passages and treasures on use. Unfortunately, you'll also occasionally run into loud roaring monsters that come at you within a second between when you use it and when they kill you, unless you can hit them quickly with Shao Kahn's hammer or remove the blindfold.
  • Knee Capping: The second slow-motion hit of Cassie's Fatal Blow has her shooting her opponent through the knees before sticking her gun into their gut and pulling the trigger a couple of times.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Several interactions involving Rambo have the characters comment on either how awfully familiar he looks or (in Johnny's case) how good a movie his life story would be.
  • Lemony Narrator: Johnny Cage's announcer voice option will often give kharacters and stages snarky nicknames when selected from the menus. Except for Johnny himself, who he just calls "Me"; Cassie, who is enearingly called "Daddy's Girl"; and Sonya, who is called "My Better Half".
  • Lighter and Softer: Certainly lighter than the NetherRealm Games in terms of the Fatalities being the goofiest they've been since Mortal Kombat 3, there are several instances of straight up Breaking the Fourth Wall, Friendships are back, the game is much more colorful and stylized compared to the dark, grungy look of Mortal Kombat X, and the story, while actually being the Darkest Hour in the entire franchise's narrative, can have a genuinely happy ending.
  • Like Cannot Cut Like: The "Skarlet's Pure Blood Vial" Konsummable in Towers of Time allows players to resist blood-based modifiers.
  • Loose Canon: The canonicity of the Krypt is debatable, as it doesn't fully correspond to the events of the story that take place on Shang Tsung's island. Furthermore, the player gets to acquire the signature items of presently-alive characters, such as Scorpion's chain spear and Shao Kahn's hammer. As such, the canonical fates of certain characters who appear posthumously in the Krypt are still left up in the air, though Goro's death is definite.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: One of Liu Kang's Fatalities involves him hitting his opponent with Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs followed by punching four holes in their bodies and ending with a fire fist that completely obliterates the opponent into bloody chunks.
  • Made of Iron: Much like the X-Rays from the previous two installments, Fatal Blows involve a series of attacks that would most certainly kill any normal person from the first hit alone yet as long as the opponent has at least one point of health after taking one, they'll get up right as rain. Of course when "Finish Him!" is called, Baraka can casually tear his opponent's face off with his bare hands.
  • Mirror Match: The intro dialogues give several explanations for it, ranging from alternate timeline counterparts to clones. Sub-Zero can end up fighting a Bi-Han from another timeline or even their own time-displaced grandfather. D'Vorah's doppelgänger, notably, is suggested to be another member of her species named A'Vital. One of Cassie's dialogue against her double even points out how meta the whole situation is.
    • Another example comes from Shang Tsung, who was usually the most logical reason for mirror matches since MKX. One of his intros implies that he could have a brother named Shang Lao.
  • Mundane Utility: All over the place with Friendships. Some examples include Kano using his laser eye to light a grill, Kotal Kahn using his sun powers for a tan, Sub-Zero making a popsicle with his ice powers, Spawn turning his cape into a hammock, Fujin manipulating the wind to fly a kite, and several others.
  • Mythology Gag: In regards to the original timeline, spinoffs and other cameo appearances:
    • One of Sub-Zero's brutalities (Dancing on the Ceiling) recreates the Stage Fatality for Mortal Kombat II's Kombat Tomb stage.
    • One of Sub-Zero's and Raiden's pre-fight intros has them talk about "an unjust world with a dark knight and a caped wonder". An intro between Cetrion and Sub-Zero implies that it did happen and was not All Just a Dream.
    • Both Scorpion and Raiden have brutalities similar to their Mortal Kombat fatalities. It's also been mentioned that Sub-Zero's spine rip will also appear if you finish your opponent with an uppercut.
    • Johnny Cage's first revealed fatality alludes to the old Ascended Glitch that allowed for multiple decapitating uppercuts as well as his introductory fight scene from the movie ending in the reveal that it was an In-Universe movie shoot. He also puts back one of his lines in a similar situation from the movie: "Who hired these guys!?"
    • One of Cassie's Fatalities starts with a big Shadow Kick to her opponent's sternum, enough to drive her foot all the way out their back and take their heart with it, which might be a nod to Johnny's heavily censored Fatality from the SNES release of the original game (instead of a decapitating uppercut, he just shoved his foot through their chest and they fall over).
    • An intro animation for Cassie has her drinking from a "Mokap Mokha" cup, referencing the character introduced in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance.
    • For most of the series's recent history, Kano's appearance was based on, or inspired by, Trevor Goddard's depiction of him in the first movie. Some of Kano's customization options in this game, however, give him his original clean-shaven Bald of Evil look from the original trilogy (particularly Mortal Kombat 3).
    • One of Johnny Cage's mid-match victory animations has him sign an autographed photo and toss it at his opponent, in reference to his "Friendship" finisher from MKII.
    • One variation of the iconic "Finish him!" quote is said in almost the exact same tone as Shao Kahn did in Mortal Kombat II and Mortal Kombat 3.
    • One of the Tower challenges is themed after the process you go through to unlock the fight with Reptile in the original Mortal Kombat, with each rung named for one of the hints he randomly gave at the start of a match. When you fight him, he's represented as a green Scorpion, assisted by a grey Sub-Zero representing fellow boss ninja, Smoke.
    • An intro dialogue between Johnny Cage and Skarlet (about eating him and spitting his bones) references Mileena's "Man Eater" fatality from 2.
    • Liu Kang's Fatal Blow involves him summoning a dragon to chomp down on his opponent. Referencing his previous Fatality from 2 and Animality from 3.
      • One of his Fatalities is a more devastating recreation of his original Fatality, a pair of cartwheel kicks and an uppercut, with some added flourish from his nunchaku. The same fatality is also recreated with a Brutality that ends in a decapitation.
      • One of his Brualities has him drop a arcade machine onto his opponent in reference to one of his fatalities in 3, with said machine playing Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, while another one has him perform his "Inner Fire" Fatality from 3.
    • Johnny Cage's second fatality references the Produce Pelting from his ending in Mortal Kombat 4.
    • The official launch trailer includes a remixed version of the Mortal Kombat theme from the live action films.
    • One of Kabal's brutalities has him perform his "Freaky Face" Fatality from 3.
    • Two of Jax's brutalities has him perform his "Head Clap" and "Arm Rip" Fatalities from 2.
    • One of Kitana's brutalities has her perform her klassic "Kiss of Death" Fatality.
    • One of Mileena's brutalities has her perform her klassic "Nail Shooter" Fatality.
    • Both of Mileena's Friendships from older game are featured: her shattering the mirror with her looks is a Brutality pose, while in one of her Brutalities she makes a flower grow inside a dying opponent's mouth.
    • One of Shao Kahn's brutalities has him perform Reiko's "Thrust Kick" fatality, further referencing the confusion as to whether Reiko is an incarnation of him, or merely an obsessive servant.
    • One of Kung Lao and Raiden's pre-fight intros has Kung Lao say he's on a quest given to him by Damashi, only for Raiden to immediately warn him that Damashi is really Onaga.
    • And of course this Mythology gag-laden intro with Liu and Raiden with all the subtlety of Shao Kahn's warhammer:
    Liu Kang: Are we the Deadly Alliance?
    Raiden: That is Kronika's deception.
    Liu Kang: Or a recipe for Armageddon.
    • Cassie mockingly calls Frost "Elsa" during one of their pre-fight intros, which is both a Frozen (2013) joke and a Call-Back to their underground cage match in the Mortal Kombat X comic book from DC. This is further referenced in another of their intros, where Cassie asks "Didn't we have this fight?"
    • Chapter 4 of the game's Story Mode is called "Fire & Ice," which was the name of the cancelled MK Spin-Off action game that would've starred Sub-Zero and Scorpion.
    • There are many references to the 1995 live-action movie:
      • Shang Tsung's voice and likeness are provided by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, who played the character in the 1995 film and the second season of the Legacy web series.
      • Some of Shang Tsung's costumes also de-age him to his younger self as seen in the movie, and one of his victory poses has him recreate the opening scene from the movie, where he points at the camera and proclaims "Your soul is mine!"
      • One of Johnny and Liu's intros (where Johnny talks about how he admires Sonya's "strategic mind," Liu points that "its not her mind [he's] admiring" and Johnny sheepishly admits so) is lifted straight from the film as well.
      • One of Johnny Cage's customization items is called "$500 Sunglasses," a nod to Johnny's famous "Those were $500 dollar sunglasses, asshole!" quote from the movie.
      • The Krypt includes a recreation of the dining hall from the film. Kano and Goro's skeletons are also there in reference to their "underworld boss" dialogue exchange. Kano's skeleton also seems to be clutching a chicken leg like the one he ate in the film.
      • One item that can be found in the Krypt is a seemingly random bucket of water, referred to as the "Element That Brings Life." This is a callback to the bucket of water Liu Kang used to defeat Sub-Zero in the film, as well as the cryptic clue Kitana gave him about water being key to winning the fight.
      • Their movie battle is also mentioned in one of Liu Kang's and Sub-Zero's pre-fight banters:
      Liu Kang: Taking you down will be easy.
      Sub-Zero: What did Kitana tell you?
      Liu Kang: All I need is a pail of water.
      • There's also an intro with Liu Kang and Raiden where the former asks the latter if he knew "this would happen." Raiden replies that he "didn't have a clue." This was the same dialogue the two shared at the end of the first film.
      • A statue of Reptile's true form from the film can also be found in the Krypt. Interacting with it will trigger a cameo from Reptile himself.
      • One of Shang Tsung's intro dialogues with Kano has him rebuke the gangster for having "no dignity or manners" with Kano countering that he's still "the richest yobbo" in the world. This (and the exact wording of Tsung's first quote) references the dinner table scene where Shang Tsung notes that despite Kano "having no dignity or manners," he's still able to amass great wealth.
      • One of Shang Tsung's intro lines with Johnny Cage mentions that he killed Master Boyd, Johnny's mentor. This is a nod to the scene in the film where Shang Tsung posed as Boyd to get Johnny to enter the tournament, with the implication that he'd killed the real Boyd and assumed his identity.
    • One of Shang Tsung's combos is based on one from his appearance in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.
    • The final line of Shang Tsung's ending is "Have a nice day," referencing his ending in II and Raiden's in the original, both of which end in Earthrealm's destruction.
    • A lot of the custom non-Fatality winposes for the returning characters are their winposes from the classic games (like Johnny Cage smugly folding his arms or Jax flexing his metal arms.)
    • Joker's design takes much inspiration from his incarnation from The Dark Knight, with the inside of his purple Badass Longcoat being a shade of orange, black eyeshadow and a green vest.
    • When it's shown during fatalities, Robocop's heart is based on the design for an artificial heart showcased in a commercial from his film.
  • The Narrator: In a first for the series, the player can unlock and select a number of different voices for the announcer, including the default voice by Jamieson Price, Kronika (Jennifer Hale), Raiden (Richard Epcar), Johnny Cage (Andrew Bowen), Shao Kahn (Ike Amandi), and RoboCop (Peter Weller).
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
  • No One Should Survive That: Even more so than the last two games which had the X-Ray attacks, the mid-fight Fatal Blows are basically Fatalities in everything but name, with gory moves that would kill any normal person. Stuff like blades going through a character's head and being impaled through the chest are all walked off like they're normal attacks.
  • Off with His Head!: It's not Mortal Kombat unless someone gets beheaded.
    • Scorpion has a fatality (shown in the announcement trailer being performed on Raiden) where he chops his victim's head head before yanking it back to him with his spear.
    • Both of Sub-Zero's fatalities involve decapitation: his first has him encase his opponent up to their neck in a block of ice before chopping off their head with an ice axe, picking it up and shattering it while the second has him slide into his opponent and impale his foe upside down on a spear-wielding ice clone before ripping off their head with the spine attached (his signature finisher) and impaling their head on the tip of the spear.
    • Johnny Cage has his classic uppercut Fatality back, but with a new spin: after he uppercuts his opponent for the first time and knocks off their lower jaw, the film crew requests him to do another take. The second attempt goes no better (with Johnny blaming his opponent for screwing it up) and after 19 takes, he finally knocks their head off, but only for the head to stick to his fist, and in frustration he throws it at the camera.
    • Kollector's fatality involves clawing his opponent to shreds with his bare hands before ripping their head off - and they still aren't dead afterward, as the finisher is one last smash to the chest.
    • Kano's first revealed Fatality has him pin the opponent down and headbutt them several times before the last one makes their head shatter into a million fragments.
    • The end of Raiden's second Fatality has him popping his opponent's head off with a huge surge of lightning (this is after he already ripped their torso off their legs).
    • Kotal Kahn's fatality has him summon a sacrificial altar from the ground before slamming his opponent against it and delivering a savage kick that separates their head and spinal column, placing their head in the middle of the altar. Then he summons a large idol and crushes their head with it.
    • Several characters have brutalities where they decapitate their opponent:
      • All kombatants have a universal Brutality that has them uppercut their opponents and knock off their head along with the spine.
      • Baraka splits his opponent's head with his blades.
      • Scorpion wraps his kunai chain around the opponent's head and arm and violently pulls them off their body.
      • Sub-Zero creates an ice wall behind their opponent, summons an ice axe and throws it at their opponent's neck, decapitating them.
      • Johnny Cage throws his sunglasses at his opponent who catches them and puts them on before their head suddenly explodes.
  • One-Woman Wail: This can be heard (though faintly) in the fatality and brutality themes.
  • Our Gods Are Different: This game gave a better look at the hierarchy of the gods through intro dialogue and the story mode. First are demi-gods which Raiden is a part of, gods who are the weakest overall but are the most guaranteed to survive if they lose their godhood as Raiden did when he gave his godhood to Liu Kang. Elder Gods are higher on the rankings where they watch over the realms, it is possible for a demi-god to join the ranks of the Elder Gods. And then there are beings who are more powerful and ancient than even the Elder Gods themselves like Kronika who labels herself as a Titan.
  • Overcrank: Rather than the remains of the loser being the final shot, the fatalities end with the winner nailing the final blow this way similar to the winning animations from Injustice 2 (the non-fatality win poses work this way too).
  • Physical God: Cetrion is a newly-introduced Elder God, the latter being a playable fighter (the first Elder God to be one since Shinnok). Kronika is also a god; more specifically, a Titan, who are older and more powerful than the Elder Gods.
  • Pistol-Whipping: The first slow-motion hit of Cassie’s Fatal Blow, where she slams the butt of her handgun into her opponent's jaw.
  • Prepare to Die: Kronika's greeting to you in the final fight of the Klassic Towers:
    Kronika: I have been expecting you. Your life, your name...they will be wiped from history. Come; it is time... to die.
  • Sand Blaster: An interesting variation; Kronika and her dragon Geras have no power over the Earth — that's Cetrion's bag — but they can command the Sands of Time in Kronika's hourglass. Geras mainly forms the Sands into various weapons to fight with, while his much more powerful mistress mostly uses them to warp time itself.
    • As a result of this, sand is a huge Motif for Kronika, and the game as a whole. As examples, Kronika is accompanied by geysers of sand every time she uses her time powers in story mode and in her Boss Battle, sand can be seen coming off the menu icons when selecting a mode, and sand bursts off a fighter every time they use meter.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: The cover art depicts Scorpion lunging at the viewer with dagger in hand.
  • She's Got Legs: Sonya Blade, according to Erron Black at least.
  • Shout-Out:
    Noob Saibot 1: Who are you, ghost?
    Noob Saibot 1: Return to your deathly hollow.
    • In his reveal trailer, after executing his opponent, Shang Tsung points directly at the camera and recreates the opening scene of Mortal Kombat by proclaiming: "YOUR SOUL IS MINE!"
    • One interaction between Rambo and Cassie has the latter say "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot".
    • In one intro between Geras and Kotal Kahn.
    Geras: If you kill me I will only become stronger.
  • Shmuck Bait: The Krypt features a puzzle where you must pull three switches to line up a three-segmented pillar. If you line up the corpse, you open a nearby door. If you line up the disassembled pieces of Sektor, you open another door somewhere nearby. Curious players are in for a surprise when they line up the skeleton last. They die right on the spot.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Skarlet is finally able to speak after MK9.
  • Tear Off Your Face: One of Baraka's fatalities consists of ripping the opponent's face off, followed by the front of the whole skull, and finally stabbing the brain out and taking a big bite.
  • Tele-Frag: One of Shang Tsung's fatalities involves opening a rift inside his opponent's chest, and allowing Kintaro to manually break free and burst out from inside.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Johnny Cage accidentally flirts with his daughter in one of their interactions.
    Johnny: What's cookin', good lookin'?
    Johnny: Wait, What?! That's not what I meant!
  • There's No Kill Like Overkill: Mortal Kombat is no stranger to going way beyond the steps needed to off a finished foe, so it's no surprise that some fatalities are brutal enough to kill someone several times over:
    • One of Skarlet's fatalities involves extracting her enemy's blood, solidifying it into sharp spikes, ramming them through her opponent, then finishing by shoving the spike that went through their head all the way through, popping out one of their eyeballs through the back of their skull for good measure. That's about three deaths for the price of one right there.
    • Scorpion's second fatality (from the debut trailer) also counts, as you probably wouldn't survive too long after having your torso completely vaporized by hellfire but then Scorpion slices off his opponent's head and spears it through just to be sure.
    • Baraka tears off your face, then a good chunk of your skull, and finally removes your brain and eats it. He also impales you on his blades, drags them up your body so that your arms are separated from the rest of your body, chops your head off, splits it in half and stabs his blades through both halves.
    • Jade pierces you through the back of your skull with her staff, then bisects you across the torso.
    • Raiden's second Fatality has him cut his opponent in half first with two blades of lightning. He separates their top half from their bottom half by telekinetically levitating them by their head before pushing enough lightning through their skull that it separates from their torso.
    • As if unloading both pistols into some poor sap's chest was not enough to kill them, Cassie Cage thrusts her boot so far between their legs, that their entire spinal column and skull rockets out of their body in a shower of gore.
    • Sonya's second Fatality has her deliver a brutal CQC arm break and elbow to the face that knocks her opponent down before summoning a robot sentry that lands on them, completely tearing their body apart. That would be enough but the sentry plants a round that goes right through their skull for good measure.
    • Cetrion's Fatality is quite possibly the most extreme example: If being crushed by several large boulders didn't kill you, being stomped by a giant surely would, but even after all that the opponent is still alive somehow, so Cetrion grows bigger than the Earth and blasts them with a massive laser beam that ought to be powerful enough to vaporize an entire city.
    • Frost's first Fatality begins with her planting an ice drill through her opponent's temple. Anything after that (which would be a second drill to open up their stomach followed by stuffing an ice bomb in their entrails that turns them into a frozen sculpture of gore) is just for style.
    • Jacqui's second Fatality kills her opponent from the first hit alone (a massive cranial punch that destroys their head) so blowing open their stomach and implanting one of her wall grenades in what's left just kicks around a dead body.
  • Theme Tune Rap: The first trailer uses the original "Immortal" by 21 Savage as the official theme song.
    • The trailer for Story Mode features "War" by T-Moe and Clearside.
    • The "Old Skool vs. New Skool" uses "Check Yo Self" by Ice Cube and "Blue Suede" by Vince Staples.
  • Torso with a View:
    • One of Cassie's Fatalities has her Shadow Kicking the opponent in the mid-section, leaving a very sizeable hole in them since it knocks out the opponent's hear as well. To aid insult to injury, she sticks her hands into the opponents body from the side and make a heart shaped gesture. Uhh... cute?
    • One of Scorpion's Fatalities opens with him fire phasing through the opponent, burning around their mid-section save the spine which barely holds then in place before he finishes them via cutting of their head and spearing them when it flies into the air.
    • One of Shao Kahn's Fatalities involves slamming his opponent hard in the stomach with his hammer to make them double over, then slamming their head through their neck and out of their back.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: One of Frost's fatalities involves shattering her opponent's upper body and summoning a drone to take their brain and spine intact, which is then shown being transferred into a Cyber Lin-Kuei body.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: Following on Injustice 2's gear system, each character can have their equipment modified to radically change their look.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Shang Tsung and Sonya Blade don't have any character-specific voice lines towards RoboCop. In Sonya's case, Ronda Rousey was unable to return for more voice recordings, which directly plays into the Aftermath DLC with her character barely having any presence at all.
  • Where It All Began: Shang Tsung's Island, the location of the original Mortal Kombat settings in the original and current timelines, returns as the fighting arena. It also houses the Krypt, managed by Shang Tsung himself.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: As per usual, the fight pit stage is called "Black Dragon Fight Klub" and one of the new mechanics is called the "Krushing Blow". However, averted with the "Special Forces Desert Command" stage.
    • There's also character Kustomization in the game. And of course the "Kombat" in the title.
    • Subverted in Cassie's intro. The coffee she ordered (which apparently comes from Mokap's cafe) has the name "Kassie" struck out and properly written as "Cassie", implying she corrected the barista on the right way to spell her name.
  • Visual Pun: The input to grant someone Mercy makes it look as if your character is teabagging the opponent, something many players are not unlikely to do if the skill or life difference between the victor and the victim is enough that they'd grant them Mercy to begin with.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Most characters have a gear piece that allows them to remove their mask or headgear. All of these options have to be unlocked. Averted with Johnny Cage, who has no option to remove his sunglasses, despite his playable chapter in Story Mode having him not wear any in kombat.
  • Your Head Asplode: In the announcement trailer, Raiden zaps Scorpion's head, causing it to explode.

    Story Tropes (SPOILERS
Since these tropes deal with the story, all spoilers are unmarked!
  • Above the Gods: This game introduces the Titans, who are above even the Elder Gods in the power scale. Big Bad Kronika is the only one who appears in the story, although others are seen in some characters' endings.
  • Aborted Arc: Dark Raiden is as downplayed example of this, as he's set up at the end of Mortal Kombat X as the next big threat. But Kronika's meddling wipes him from history by the 2nd chapter, to be replaced by his (good) past self. The plot is essentially entirely dropped. A slight nod towards the plot is given later when he and Liu Kang have a confrontation and it looks like Raiden may turn into Dark Raiden, which Liu Kang suspects is caused Shinnok's amulet's corruption. but Raiden sees it to be Kronika's meddling to drive him and Liu Kang against each other, and fights off the corruptive influence.
  • Adaptational Heroism: MK11's story mode goes to great lengths to humanize the tarkatans and defy their usual characterization as being Always Chaotic Evil; showing that even their race has innocent non-kombatants, while deconstructing the willingness of otherwise heroic characters to cut them down in droves. By extension, their leader Baraka becomes a Reasonable Authority Figure, willing to hear out Kitana's parley and even pulling a Heel–Face Turn to mend relations with Kotal and create a better future for his people.
  • Advertised Extra: Despite Dark Raiden being billed as one of the central characters, he doesn't last past the second chapter as Kronika begins messing with the timelines. Since two versions of the same god can't exist at once, he ends up disappearing before he knows what's going on. The Raiden from the past ultimately ends up picking up the slack after that point.
    • Both Young and Old Johnny were heavily advertised in trailers, and yet they both disappear from the story halfway through and do not even participate in the final battle against the forces of Kronika.
  • Affirmative Action Legacy: In Nightwolf's ladder ending, he gives up the mantle of Nightwolf to become the protector of the Hourglass, and it's shown that the next Nightwolf is female.
  • Alternate Self: Due to the Time Crash, numerous characters from the time of Mortal Kombat II are brought forward to encounter their future selves from X onwards. This of course leads to plenty of Mirror Matches.
  • All for Nothing: Despite the events of the story, they ultimately turn out to be pointless because Kronika is just using her forces as a distraction while she works on building up her powers to initiate a reset button and start her new era. She ends up succeeding and starts reversing time, which means every victory between either side is undone and hollow in the long run. The only fight that really matters is between the newly empowered Fire God Liu Kang (Thanks to Raiden giving up his powers) and Kronika for the fate and control of the MK timelines. Even after defeating Kronika in the normal and best ending, the reset button was already pressed before she dies. And losing has this trope played depressingly straight in the bad end, with her killing Liu Kang in his Fire God form.
    • That being said, with his knowledge of the future, Liu Kang can use his status as protector of Earthrealm to ensure that these events are in some shape or form replicated in the new timeline.
    • The game does not shy away from the trope either as the very first major loss experienced in the game's story turns out to be utterly pointless, with Sonya Blade blowing herself up alongside a massive underground cathedral, only for the Big Bad to come along and restore it all to shape, effortlessly.
  • And I Must Scream: Since Geras cannot die, Raiden immobilizes him and tosses him to the depths of the Sea of Blood. That sea is bottomless - and that means that the unfortunate guy will be falling... forever.
  • Apocalypse How: Raiden's discussion with the Elder Gods has the latter state that Kronika's plans would cause a omniversal temporal Armageddon that would annihilate those outside her desired timeline.
  • Archenemy: Many of the story arcs are about confronting these for one last time.
    • Sonya and Kano have one final tussle.
    • Scorpion and Sub-Zero face down Sektor as well as Noob Saibot.
    • Subverted by Raiden and Shao Kahn: the latter is facing against Kotal Kahn instead, while the former deals with the actual Big Bad.
      • Kitana's archenemy, Mileena, is already dead. Thus Kitana Takes A Level In Badass by going after Shao Kahn himself.
    • Johnny Cage fights Johnny Cage. He's always been his own worst enemy.
    • Ziggzagged with Raiden and Liu Kang. Dark Raiden is erased after Kronika summons his past self, and while Emperor Liu Kang has no problem fighting one version over the other, his past self ends up helping Raiden stop themselves from becoming this all over again.
  • Asshole Victim: Sektor once again dies, but is used as a bomb to destroy the Special Forces' base. Considering this is the man hired by Quan Chi and responsible for the murder of Scorpion's clan only to be betrayed by the villains, you'd feel less sympathy for him.
  • Avengers, Assemble!: In Sonya's Klassic Tower ending, the hourglass reveals unspeakable terrors to her and she is resolved to defeat them all. So she makes gods out of Cassie, Jax, Jacqui and even Johnny. But only because Cassie insisted. And maybe she missed him a little... She calls them her "God Squad" to help her in her fight.
  • Back for the Dead: The original incarnation of the Cyber Lin Kuei returns, but is destroyed when Cyrax performs a Heroic Sacrifice to overload the network and shut them all down. Sektor, meanwhile, ends up repurposed as a nuclear bomb by the Black Dragon once the tech to build more Mecha-Mooks is reverse-engineered from him.
  • Back from the Dead: With multiple timelines and other phenomena throughout the entire franchise, nobody stays dead forever. Kronika's direct control over time seems to be the explanation here, as she gathers together allies from across the timestream:
    • Shao Kahn's revival is the one with the biggest ramifications for the story: his past self's arrival inspires an alliance between (past) Raiden and Kotal Kahn. Neither of them wants to see the former Emperor of Outworld back in business.
    • Characters killed or turned Revenant in the previous two games show up in the story here, alongside presently alive characters, as their past selves. Sonya and Scorpion's prime selves are killed and their younger counterparts take their place.
  • Badass in Distress: Several heroic characters are captured and need to be rescued at various points in the story.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: Kronika's ultimate desire is to establish a timeline where Cetrion (good) and Shinnok (evil) would battle each other for all eternity in order to establish balance between the two, and mortal forces would have to pick a side. In a twist, this form of balance is called out as perhaps the worst possible outcome. Since she's effectively trying to doom all life, mortal and god alike, in a bloody Forever War.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: Occurs a few time, where a character (usually one of Kronika's Minions) will use powers during the cutscene do basically invalidate the battle the player just won.
    • The Kung Lao / Liu Kang battle against Geras. Win, Geras just gets back up, freezes the two in mid air (Which he apparently could've done at any time), grabs the Jinsei vials and leaves.
    • The Young Jax / Jacqui battle against Cetrion. Win, and Cetrion just uses her magic to open the ground under Jacqui and forces Jax to surrender the crown, which is what she'd have just done if she'd won as she has no interest killing them.
    • Scorpion's fight against D'Vorah. Scorpion wins, but she jumps him after he defeats his past self and convinces him of the error of his ways, and kills the present Scorpion.
  • Bash Brothers: Sub-Zero and Scorpion as well as Kung Lao and Liu Kang.
  • Begin with a Finisher: Chapter 3 of story mode has Liu Kang and Kung Lao face off against Geras, who is stealing from the Jinsi. When Geras states that Kronika intends to use it to remake history, Kung Lao responds by throwing his hat at him, chopping his head off, and catching it, complete with him wiping his hat off with two fingers and smirking.
    Kung Lao: That was easy.
    [Cue Geras's head turning into sand and reforming onto his body]
    Geras: I, Geras, am a fixed point in time. With every death and rebirth, I grow stronger!
  • Big Bad: Kronika, whom Ed Boon confirms is the "First. Boss. Female. Character" in the franchise's history.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Despite being the Big Bad in most of the games, Shao Kahn is defeated and blinded by Kitana and taken out of the story for it; you also get to defeat him in the closing segment of Chapter 2.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Kronika is ultimately successful in causing a Time Crash, to the point of prehistoric times. From this point, the 3 endings are as follows:
    • If you won both rounds in the final fight, the demigod Liu Kang defeats Kronika and has control over the hourglass. With the help of the now-mortal Raiden helping him along the way, he was able to get Kitana to help reshape time because the distance between the final battle's timeline is "not far off" from where she was at. Kitana, however, warns Liu Kang that they should let the fate rest upon mortal's hands. It is unknown if everyone from the Mortal Kombat story, alive or dead and good or evil, will exist or not in this timeline(s). It does hint, however, that Raiden and Liu Kang will eventually cross paths.
    • If you lose one round in the final fight, the similar situation like above occurs. Except by losing 1 round, you gave Kronika enough time to rewind history back to the dawn of time. Because of how far back time was, he was unable to obtain Kitana, thus making the now-mortal Raiden guide him while he is still alive. But after Raiden's time passes, Liu Kang is on his own.
    • If you lose to both rounds, while at the dawn of time, Kronika cuts Liu Kang's head off, killing him (and Raiden). Kronika then plans to rewind time to the New Era as she sees fit, including the erased existence of Raiden.
  • Bland-Name Product: A Freeze-Frame Bonus early in the story mode shows the Special Forces base has "Aicrell" hand sanitizer dispensers, a take off of the Purell brand of soap and sanitizers.
  • Book-Ends: Provided you can't avoid the bad ending: Story mode begins and ends with someone being decapitated while on their knees. Two powerful entities are involved in the ordeal. The only difference is who's doing the cutting and who's receiving it.
  • Broad Strokes: The story seems to take this approach with its own prequels - for starters, Kotal Kahn mentions that Raiden attacked Outworld after Shinnok’s defeat - as depicted in Kotal and Bo’ Rai Cho’s arcade endings in Mortal Kombat X - while ignoring most, if not all, of the other arcade endings in that game that served as Sequel Hooks. See Continuity Snarl below for more.
  • Brick Joke: After Kitana kills Shao Kahn and becomes the new Kahn, Kung Lao tells Liu Kang that "She's now officially out of your league". Later on in the story, when Liu Kang and Raiden fuse into Fire God Liu Kang, Kung Lao comments "Now he's out of her league".
  • Broken Pedestal: Happens to multiple people throughout the story.
    • Frost becomes a case of Redemption Rejection when she formally turns against Sub-Zero. She can't stand his new Bash Brothers relationship with Scorpion.
    • Jade has one with Kotal Kahn as the two are former lovers that are happily reunited. Unfortunately, Kotal has performed many Kick the Dog moments since her death that he is no longer the hero she remembers (if he ever was). However, it's downplayed in that she continues to stay by his side and believes he can still change for the better.
    • Subverted with Liu Kang and Kung Lao who are repeatedly extorted to abandon Raiden due to the events of Mortal Kombat 9. While Kung Lao is iffy about Raiden, he still refuses to abandon his mentor while Liu Kang remains completely loyal.
    • Jacqui has a case of this to older Jax but this is subverted by younger Jax being proud of her.
    • Kuai Liang (Sub Zero II) has this when he encounters Bi-Han (Sub Zero I) in his Noob Saibot identity. Noob Saibot revels in his evil power granted by Quan Chi and dismisses his brother's leadership of the Lin Kuei as weak. Sub-Zero is disgusted that not only is his brother Not Brainwashed but that he's a Card-Carrying Villain who wants to plunge the universe into darkness.
  • Cain and Abel: Noob Saibot and Sub-Zero play this role with both of them fully prepared to kill the other.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Injuries suffered by characters hailing from an earlier point in time are shown to carry over to their older counterparts, as seen when the younger Johnny Cage suffers a cut cheek in a firefight that becomes a scar on the older Johnny. Sonya Blade later exploits this to kill Kano, by blowing his younger self's brains out. The older Kano spontaneously develops the same fatal hole in his head, just before he ends up Ret-Gone.
    • There cannot be two of the same gods in any timeline. Dark Raiden is erased when Past Raiden appears and realizes Shinnok's amulet will corrupt him, and he puts this knowledge to use in the finale to finally save Liu Kang: he turns Liu Kang into a god at the apparent cost of himself (he still appears Brought Down to Normal in the good endings), simultaneously erasing Liu Kang's Revenant and throwing a spanner into Kronika's plans even worse than the one she bent over backwards a hundred times over to avoid.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Despite having equal importance to Cassie and Jacqui in MKX, the male halves of the "Kombat Kids", Takeda and Kung Jin, are not seen or mentioned (though Takeda does show up in a few Arcade endings); particularly egregious with Takeda as he and Jacqui wound up as love interests by the end of MKX.
    • Sonya and the two Johnny Cages vanish from the story after the Black Dragon fight club, not even showing up for the final battle. While the younger Johnny was badly injured, current Johnny only took a bullet to the leg. Sounds debilitating...except they have a god on their side who can heal wounds, plus Cassie shows up fighting fit to the final showdown right after her arm was almost scythed off by a minigun. Meanwhile, Sonya has no excuse for her absence; she's uninjured the last time we see her.
    • Half of the game's story is centered on Outworld's major political players and races, but the Centaurs aren't so much as given a nod to existing and make absolutely no appearances.
  • Continuity Nod: The past characters are most likely from 9's version of the events from II, as Raiden explains that Kung Lao had just defeated Shang Tsung and Quan Chi in the tournament, along with Skarlet being present (which was just a background cameo in 9 itself), while Jax is shown to already have his cybernetic arms since he already lost his real ones to Ermac at that point. It's also likely that not everybody ended up in the same place they were in the past, hence why Kano and Erron Black are now in the Outworld arena for the same reason why Johnny, Sonya, and Jax ended up in the Special Forces base.
  • Continuity Snarl: When the Time-merger happens, the past versions of several characters are brought from the past to the present day, over 25 years later. While the general locations of the characters are correct, there are at least four problems:
    • Past Jax appearing with Past Johnny and Past Sonya with his new metal arms is twofold; while Jax and Sonya are in Earthrealm as they should be, at this point in Mortal Kombat 9 Johnny is in Outworld recovering from a beating courtesy of Ermac, and Jax had only just had his arms torn off by Ermac, and he doesn't appear again in that game until well after Shao Kahn's invasion of Earthrealm begins, which itself is after a minor Time Skip where Shao recovers from his near-fatal impalement and after Quan Chi revives Sindel. Even in the world of Mortal Kombat, it's unlikely that Jax would have been issued prosthetics and sent back into the field so soon.
    • None of the characters are wearing the correct costumes for the MK9 timeframenote . The worst offenders are Shao Kahn, Kano, Kitana, Jade, and Skarlet. This is especially egregious when you consider:
      • A) Mortal Kombat X made a point to give characters like Raiden and Liu Kang the correct costumes for any scenes taking place in the MK9 timeframe.
      • B) Some of the cosmetic gear for the arcade mode is taken directly from Mortal Kombat 9, such as designs for Scorpion's mask and Shao Kahn's helmet, so it isn't as if the designers "forgot" the designs.
    • By the time of Mortal Kombat 9, Kabal has undergone a Heel–Face Turn and joined the police. Past Kabal is inexplicably still a member of the Black Dragon.
    • Shao Kahn has been redesigned to be more draconic, despite being relatively more humanoid in all prior games. In fact, Shao Kahn was originally intended to be a Tarkatan like Baraka!
    • Liu Kang’s death during a flashback to Mortal Kombat 9 is depicted differently than in that game - in 9, Raiden zapped Liu Kang with a bolt of lightning while Liu was charging at the thunder god with a flaming fist, causing Liu Kang to be electrocuted and lit on fire at the same time. Here, Raiden blocks a (still flaming) punch from Liu Kang with his palm and still electrocutes him, but there’s no indication of him being lit on fire as well.
  • Cool Guns:
    • Earthrealm's Special Forces are seen fending off hordes of Netherrealm demons with what looks like a restylized M4A1 carbines. On the opposite side, Kano utilizes a freaking Minigun in Chapter 8.
    • Jax is seen utilizing M79 grenade launcher in battle.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Kronika and Geras show time-controlling capabilities and general physical power that can render any hero helpless almost at will (that they spare heroes continuously is All According to Plan); of course, in the fights proper, they behave like traditional kombatants and can be beaten with the most normal of attacks.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Occurs twice during the story mode.
    • For the first two fights of Sonya's chapter she has her gloves taken away and in a case of Gameplay and Story Integration has all of her moves involving them disabled. However, attempting any of said moves will result in the animation still occuring, potentially leaving players used to Sonya wide open.
    • In Scorpion's chapter, you spend the first two fights as Hanzo and - after he dies - the last two as Past Scorpion. The issue is that Hanzo and Scorpion have different equipment, leading to Scorpion lacking a few combos that Hanzo was equipped with, which can often interrupt people who were used to Hanzo's extra combos from his previous chapter with Sub-Zero.
  • Darker and Edgier: BIG TIME. This is undoubtedly the darkest, bleakest and most depressing Mortal Kombat game ever made, with the Big Bad being an Omnicidal Maniac who plans to destroy the entire universe by causing a Time Crash, numerous main characters are killed off, starting with the devastatingly tragic death of Sonya Blade in "Chapter 1", and going all the way to the third act where the whole story culminates with a Kill 'Em All scenario. It really goes on par with Warhammer 40,000 in terms of overall unflinching darkness and uncompromising subject matter, even if the game itself is Lighter and Softer in some regards.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The game makes the player assume the role of the Cage family, but their storyline ends when past Sonya takes up past Johnny's offer for a date, and Cassie isn't the focus character. The real protagonists are past Raiden and past Liu Kang.
  • Déjà Vu: Liu Kang and Raiden experience this while fighting each other. Thanks to Kronika, these two are always destined to go this route, no matter what timeline. When they finally realize this, they stop, defying their fate.
  • Demoted to Dragon: Shao Kahn to Kronika, who summoned his past self to the present. Given who she is and Shao Kahn knowing it, he's savvy enough to not dare object or challenge her, at least not head on.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
    • In Sonya's Klassic Tower ending, she's shown slaying "an omni-deity from a forgotten, unpronounceably-named realm" — a mass of tentacles, teeth, and eyes that may well be Azathoth itself.
    • In Scorpion's Klassic Tower ending he discovers that Kronika was not the only titan. There are more, each more powerful than the Elder Gods. He is shown standing on the shoulders of a giant one of these beings, choking it to death with his chain.
    • All the Tower Battles end with the characters knocking Kronika into the hourglass controlling the timelines, which results in her getting skewered and bisected by glass, trying to crawl feebly to her crown only for the hourglass to start fixing itself (due to her losing control over it), having her head split open by one of the incoming shards and being sucked into it as it finishes.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: Cetrion gives Past Jax and Jacqui several opportunities to stand down, as both are ultimately not enough to stand in her way.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In both Good and Normal endings, Raiden gives up his powers to Liu Kang, who becomes a Fire and Thunder God, rendering Raiden mortal. To him, this is for the best to prevent himself from killing Liu Kang and become a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • Easily Forgiven: Raiden forgives Present Jax when he repents joining Kronika after Raiden reveals her relationship to Cetrion and Shinnok. When he starts fighting alongside Jacqui and the others, they forgive him, too.
    Raiden: It is not foolish to fight for your family's betterment.
  • Electric Torture: The opening cutscene has Raiden using his lightning bolts to make Shinnok suffer.
  • Empty Promise: Kronika promises a lot of factions that their's would be on top in her new era. Noob Saibot is quick to notice that given how many people she made such promises to, it would be impossible for her to actually make good on all of them.
  • Enemy Mine:Raiden and Kotal Kahn begin another uneasy alliance in order to defeat Kronika and the returned Shao Kahn.
  • Eternal Recurrence: Kronika has destroyed countless other timelines, with this timeline and the previous simply being the latest two she deemed failures. It is also revealed that in every single one of the hundreds of timelines, she has circumstances conspire to make Raiden and Liu Kang mortal enemies by the end, as she fears the combined power of The Chosen One and a god.
  • Everyone Has Standards: When Young Johnny makes an immature/perverted comment to Old Johnny about Sonya. Everyone is shocked and disgusted by this, especially when Younger-Johnny doesn't apologize. His older self is ashamed of him and drags him out of the room to discipline him.
  • Everyone Hates Hades: Averted. Kharon proves to be quite benevolent and withstands torture at D'Vorah's hands while refusing to ferry Kronika's forces, and on being rescued by Scorpion, willingly helps the heroes.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Kronika smugly boasted that she had played out every scenario where Raiden's and Liu Kang's combined might can never be brought to bear against her in every timeline she's destroyed. It backfires on her when Raiden notes she unintentionally offered him a third option by fusing with Liu Kang, resulting in the birth of Fire God Liu Kang.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Frost, Sektor and the Cyber Lin Kuei sport Kronika's colors of Gold and White Are Divine after joining her and being upgraded with Magitek. The older Jax also gets a costume switch after his Face–Heel Turn, acquiring new cyborg arms built from Kronika's tech.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Geras is immobilized by Raiden and sent sinking into the bottomless Sea of Blood, with no hope of ever escaping.
  • Foreshadowing: The previous game had some pre-fight intros hinting fights between original and alternate versions of some characters. In this game, some of them (such as Liu Kang and Kung Lao) do that canonically.
  • Forever War: Kronika's end goal is a timeline where Cetrion and Shinnok are locked in one of these, under the pretense of maintaining a Balance Between Good and Evil. Every time it seems like the forces of light or darkness have gained too much of an upper hand, Kronika resets everything and makes adjustments.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The Joker's Arcade Ending ends with him threatening to visit the player's house, before shooting at the screen and destroying the camera as it cuts to black.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Two examples.
    • At this point, the Revenants are those that died at the end of Mortal Kombat 9 who were brainwashed to serve Quan Chi and Shinnok. By the end of MKX only Jax, Sub-Zero, and Scorpion were freed, with the others just spouting out hateful comments to their opponents when they had to fight, but were otherwise empty husks. Then when they take over the Netherrealm, they go to war with Earthrealm (where most of them were born), kill Sonya, and act like Evil Is Petty childish psychos. At this point, everyone has lost sympathy for them since they're not brainwashed anymore, and their past selves have nothing but contempt for them.
    • Past Jax admits that his future self has suffered, but he tells him it's no excuse to betray his unit and his family to side with Kronika.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Liu Kang, Kung Lao, and Jade have this opinion of their Revenant selves. Raiden in particular has this reaction after finding out his future self was corrupted and wanted to prevent this from happening, ironically ensuring that Dark Raiden was erased from history before the events of the game even took place.
    • Young Jax is unnerved by the idea of his future self becoming a Shell-Shocked Veteran, and is outraged that Old Jax would become so overprotective of his daughter that he would undergo a Face–Heel Turn.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Like the previous game, it's bizarre as to why many kombatants are even remotely fighting and brutally murdering each other. A particularly egregious example is this intro with Shao Kahn and Kollector
    Shao Kahn: For twenty-five years, you've remained loyal.
    Kollector: You are the one, true Kahn.
    Shao Kahn: Let us make Outworld great again.
    • The rules of time travel in this installment are that any damage inflicted to your past self automatically gets transferred to you. This is how Sonya kills present Kano by shooting past Kano in the head. And yet, Mirror Match happens without a problem, and Johnny Cage kicks his younger self's ass in Story Mode without being wounded himself. Granted, Cage's self inflicted wounds were neither lasting nor fatal, unlike the scar he gets later or Sonya shooting Kano in the head.
    • In a rather bizarre example, character intros and taunts often don't match up with their default appearances in-game. Notably, Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Kitana, Jade, Kabal and Scorpion are depicted as Revenants in their default attire, but act more like their heroic (or slightly less evil, in Kabal's case) human selves, whereas the previous game made it a point to alter character dialogue slightly depending on the costume used. Similarly, Raiden's personality in intros is based on his more heroic self than as Dark Raiden; this can lead to dialogues where a match between Revenant Liu Kang and Dark Raiden - very much established to be out for each other's blood - is treated as a friendly test of strength between two good-natured friends, or Revenant Kitana rebuking Noob Saibot's attempts to take her soul for her own Revenant.
    • In story mode, Raiden establishes that gods aren't capable of meeting their alternate selves because they exist partially outside of time. For this reason, the unhinged-tyrant Raiden basically vanishes from the story early on. You can still play a Raiden Mirror Match in every single installment of the series, including this one, if you want.
    • It's established in story mode that if Cassie or Jacqui's parents' past selves were killed, it would result in a Time Paradox that would erase them from existence. This doesn't apply to versus mode and towers, where the girls can brutally kill their parents with no harm happening to them.
    • Scorpion No Sells a sustained blast from Sektor's flamethrower in a cutscene. When the controlled fight begins moments later, he's forgotten how to be immune to fire.
    • Geras has Complete Immortality and Time Master powers: one cutscene shows Kung Lao decapitating him, only for him to immediately rewind himself back in time, reattaching his severed head and bringing him back to perfect health. In the end, defeating Geras requires wrapping him in chains and dropping him into the bottomless Sea of Blood. Of course, in any fight outside of story mode, characters can put Geras down for good with a simple Fatality, which he apparently forgot how to rewind himself from.
    • In one story mode fight, Jax and Jacqui encounter Cetrion, an Elder God. The only way they can stand a chance against her is by using Kronika's crown. Outside of story mode, these two fighters (and anyone else for that matter) are evenly matched with the Physical Goddess.
    • Shang Tsung can use his soul-related abilities perfectly fine on the Terminator, a robot who presumably doesn't have one.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: While not perfect, there are a few attempts to actually explain why people fight in the pre-match dialogues. Sometimes the other characters claim to be clones, are imposters, are from an alternate timeline, or are testing each other. During one Mirror Match, Liu Kang asks who his doppelganger is and is told he's his ancestor. Liu Kang thanks his Identical Ancestor for the chance to test his skills against him.
    • A more individual example occurs during Sonya's story mode chapter. She's captured and forced to fight in the Black Dragon Fight Klub, with Kano taking away her gloves to "Make things fair". For the first two matches in the chapter, Sonya is unable to properly use any moves that require her gloves.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: Cetrion's ladder ending has her realize that while "Good" should ultimately win out against evil, Mankind fights among itself too much to get this message. She sets upon them a trial by fire where the survivors will be humbled and learn their lesson.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The entire game is this for everyone:
    • For Kronika, Raiden's tone shift combined with Shinnok's defeat means having to not only act, but pull allies across multiple timelines, including Shao Kahn himself.
    • In response to the above, Raiden and Kotal Kahn immediately join forces, since neither wants Outworld back in its former ruler's hands.
    • And yet, even the forces of Light know this may not be enough, which means Outworld's heroic characters rally the long-warring Shokan, Tarkatans, and human characters, through Kotal Kahn's and Kitana's offering of peace rather than being slaves to Shao Kahn's war should Kronika's New Era come to pass.
    • The Elder Gods, notorious for doing nothing other than sitting on their asses unless the potential return of the One Being is at stake, actually give Raiden counsel when he asks for it, and point him towards Kronika's hourglass. Given this, it doesn't bode well imagining what's in store for the MK reality if she wins.
      • And even that's taken Up to Eleven with Cetrion, who isn't content with simply dispensing wisdom, and actually takes to the battlefield. Unfortunately, it's because she's Kronika's daughter and she is not on the heroes' side.
  • Gold and White Are Divine: In most of the game's ladder endings where characters take control of the Hourglass and become a Physical God, they will don white and gold clothing/armor that symbolizes their newfound divinity.
  • Grand Finale: The story mode in MK 11 is considered as this where it likely concludes the storyline that began from Mortal Kombat 9. The story ends with the current timeline erased via time travel and Liu Kang becoming the Elder God of Fire and Thunder and the new defender of Earthrealm. However, he promises that he'll rebuild the timeline and make a better one if possible. This gives a definitive end to the rebooted trilogy and allows the developers another Continuity Reboot in the future.
    • Even the final chapter in the story mode is called "End of an Era".
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Kronika is responsible for the goings-on of both timelines - including Armageddon. Believing that the balance of the universe has been skewed too much in favor of the Forces of Light and frustrated with Raiden's attempts to influence the timeline, Kronika has decided to take matters into her own hands by restarting the timeline from scratch - and placing it back on its "rightful" course. She makes an Early-Bird Cameo by appearing to Jade in her Mortal Kombat 2011 ending (albeit with a different appearance), and is implied to be the one giving Kitana a vision of the "original" timeline in MKX.
    • Within Story Mode itself, Kronika is revealed to be the cause behind Shang Tsung's habit of collecting souls. Kronika can use the accumulated lifetimes of souls to boost her powers, and specifically cultivated Shang Tsung so a ready-made stockpile of souls would be found on his island lair whenever she needs it.
    • In a few of the ladder endings it's hinted that the MK Universe's version of The Titans are behind various bad things that happened throughout the timelines. Which only amplifies Kronika's role as this when it's revealed she's one of them.
  • Hive Mind: Frost is the Hive Queen of the Cyber Lin Kuei. Raiden destroys her control of them, rendering the Cyber Lin Kuei inert.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Both past Scorpion and future Jax. Scorpion turns to the heroes' side after the death of Hanzo, seeing as Hanzo made it his goal to remake the Shirai Ryu. He is noticeably emotional seeing the Red Garden. Jax realizes the circumstances in the war between Raiden's and Kronika's forces, and betrays Kronika's side.
  • Heroic BSoD: Raiden became very close in killing Scorpion when he offers his allegiance, and gets into a fight with Liu Kang. Once he finds out that Shinnok's amulet is corrupting him, he opts to help Scorpion.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Liu Kang finds himself overwhelmed by Kung Lao, Kitana and Jade's revenants. He is on the verge of losing until he hears Raiden urging him on.
  • Hope Spot: Comes with the Bittersweet Ending, Kronika destroys the current timeline, erasing the entire cast of characters except past Liu Kang, past Raiden, and possibly past Kitana. However, Liu Kang is now a god and promises that he'll rebuild the timeline as best as he can and make a better one if possible.
  • I Hate Past Me:
    • While 'hate' is a strong word for it, the look of exasperation and frustration from Old Johnny Cage at his younger self's flippancy below speaks volumes. Especially his sexual comments towards past Sonya, which everyone, including Old Johnny, is taken aback.
    • Several of the revenant versions of the heroes have this opinion of themselves. Revenant Liu Kang in particular despises how naive he finds his past self.
    • Scorpion is positively exasperated with his past self's Revenge Before Reason tendencies. Also, the fact that his past self doesn't consider the Shirai Ryu to be real due to not being blood descendants of the original.
    • Present Jax doesn't necessarily hate his past self but believes that he is living a life of delusion. Twenty-seven years later and a lot of that time spent being dead, committing horrors that he wanted no part of, have left him jaded and emotionally distraught. Meanwhile the younger Jax inverts the trope, utterly dismayed that his older self lacked the mental fortitute to remember what's important and instead sides with Kronika for an easy way out.
    • Present Erron Black considers his past self something of a reckless idiot. He tells Kotal that he's shocked he managed to survive for so long given his pasts self's behavior.
  • Informed Flaw: Dark Raiden is called out as a terrifying tyrant who violently lashed out against all potential enemies and adopted an authoritarian attitude over Earthrealm. However, the only immoral things he does is torture Shinnok and act insensitive to Sonya Blade's sacrifice. Even his attack on the Netherrealm is a justified preemptive strike, considering that Revenant Liu Kang was planning to invade Earthrealm.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Jacqui's ladder ending has her change Jax's history so that he never experiences the torment of the memories of every atrocity he committed while he was one of Quan-Chi's revenants. She realizes that it was because of the previous timeline that Jax met his wife while he was in rehabilitation, knows that they will never meet, and willingly erases herself from existence to give her father the happy life he deserved.
  • I Want My Jet Pack: The younger Johnny Cage gripes to his older self that he hasn't seen a jetpack in the hour since he arrived.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Despite initially seeming to improve her relationship with Sub-Zero in the new timeline, Frost still grows to resent him and crave the power and recognition of being the Lin Kuei grandmaster, which leads her to betray her mentor and side with Kronika.
    • While the circumstances are slightly different, Cyrax is once again given his free will back by Sub-Zero, only to commit a Heroic Sacrifice to shut down the Cyber Lin Kuei.
    • This trope very nearly happens with Raiden and Liu Kang, almost becoming enemies once more over Raiden's growing extremism, even to the point of echoing their dialogue from the climax of Mortal Kombat 9. Raiden also nearly becomes Dark Raiden again after being tempted into wielding Shinnok's amulet, despite knowing ahead of time what it could do to him. Fortunately, Raiden has a vision that reveals that these events are an Eternal Recurrence orchestrated by Kronika, and resolves to firmly defy the trope.
  • Ironic Echo: As immediately shown from the flashback, Raiden and Liu Kang's confrontation has a major difference from the one they had in 9 , as reflected in the line Liu Kang uses for both of them. This time, Raiden is the one acting out of desperation after letting his emotions get the better of him, while Liu Kang is now attempting to be reasonable and only doing what he feels may be necessary.
  • It Amused Me: Erron Black's arcade ending has him knocking Kronika's hourglass into the bottomless Sea of Blood to make sure that nobody will ever be able to alter time again because the sheer chaos brought about by the severely messed up timeline provides exactly the type of thrills he lives for.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Geras, Erron Black, and Kotal Kahn's arcade endings. Even though the first two are villains and Kotal is an antihero at best, all three conclude that it's wrong to alter time to suit one's own whims and decide to let the Hourglass do its own thing. In Erron's ending, he even takes it one step further by dropping it into the bottomless Sea of Blood to ensure no one else tries messing with it. It's not that he wants to prevent anyone from altering time, it's that he's having too much fun enjoying the chaos brought about by the severely messed up timeline.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The prologue shows Raiden beheading Shinnok, as seen in the final scene of Mortal Kombat X's Story Mode. Raiden's words even echo much the same of what he said to Liu Kang and Kitana in that scene, ending with the phrase: "There are fates worse than death" - his parting words to the new rulers of the Netherrealm.
  • Legion of Doom: Kronika builds one by gathering every villain from across the rebooted timeline who resents the current status quo, promising them all generous kickbacks in her custom-tailored new timeline. This earns her the allegiance of Shao Kahn's Outworld empire, the Netherrealm revenants, the Black Dragon, the Cyber Lin Kuei, Noob Saibot, Frost, D'Vorah and pre-resurrection Scorpion.
  • Light Is Not Good: Kronika and her dragon Geras both follow a Gold and White Are Divine color scheme, as do Frost and old Jax after being upgraded by her Magitek. Also, Cetrion is a Goddess of Life, Nature and Virtue, and she's not on the hero's side. Even her Arcade ending, where she opposes her mother and decides to fight for Good, she was rather ruthless about it.
  • The Lost Lenore:
    • Jax's wife passed away from illness one year prior to the events of the game. Jacqui notes that Jax hasn't left their home since then, out of grief.
    • Due to circumstances, Kotal Kahn and Jade were this to each other. Jade was killed off and resurrected as a Revenant in Mortal Kombat 9 while Kotal was a prisoner for Shang Tsung's experiments.
    • Should you happen to lose to Kronika just once in story mode, Kitana becomes this for Fire God Liu Kang, who is forced into eternity without her. Defeat Kronika wihout losing a battle and Liu Kang is able to pull Kitana back out of the timestream and have her serve alongside him as he reshapes history. The Aftermath DLC indicates that the "Good" ending where Kitana is saved is not canon to the story though the trailers indicate that she will still be saved regardless and play a role in the story.
  • MacGuffin:
    • Kronika's control over time is revealed by the Elder Gods to be linked to her giant hourglass. They instruct Raiden to find her keep and wrestle the hourglass out of Kronika's control.
    • Kronika's crown. To expedite her rituals, she seeks to energize herself by absorbing all of the souls Shang Tsung ever stole and kept on his island - or rather, their accumulated lifetimes - into a crown she can then use to boost the power of the hourglass.
  • Merging the Branches: The different timelines started in MK9 and the alternate arcade endings are revealed to have all occurred. With each being a different timeline Kronika created and then destroyed in an attempt to craft a perfect, balanced history.
  • Mirror Match: Several characters wind up fighting their own past or future selves during the story, despite the paradoxical consequences that would result from someone killing their own past self.
  • Mooks: This game carries multiple flavours of disposable henchmen and the plot is not kind to any of them. Whether it's the Special Forces, Black Dragon thugs, Tarkatan warriors, Kotal Kahn's followers, Shao Kahn's soliders, Shaolin monks, undead guardians, Cyber Lin-Kuei, Netherrealm demons or Shokan grunts, they all get mowed down by the main cast with regularity.
  • Multiple Endings: Story mode has three different endings depending on how well you do on the Final Boss, alongside the standard individual character arcade endings:
    • Good Ending: If you win all rounds, Kronika is defeated after rewinding time to the prehistoric era. With Raiden's urging, Liu Kang summons Kitana to shape time with him, at which point Raiden bids the two new gods of time farewell, for now.
    • Normal Ending: If you lose a round, Kronika rewinds the universe to the dawn of time, leaving only Liu Kang and a now mortal Raiden to build a new future. The Aftermath DLC takes place right after this ending.
    • Bad Ending: If you lose all rounds, Kronika decapitates Liu Kang, and resumes her plan to reshape the timeline as she sees fit.
  • My Future Self and Me: Characters from the past are summoned to the present, leading to some interesting banters. Johnny Cage, in particular, detests his younger less mature self.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • A pre-fight interaction has Raiden surprised that Sub-Zero knows of what he's talking about.
      Raiden: I dreamt of a strange and unjust world.
      Sub-Zero: With a Dark Knight and a Caped Wonder.
      Raiden: How could you know my dream?
    • Liu Kang intervening to save Scorpion from Raiden plays out very similar to the events of Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. It would be a call-back in the main series were MK Vs DC not a non-canon entry.
    • The scene that happens shortly after Scorpion gets saved has Raiden realizing that he and Liu Kang are doomed to fight in all of Kronika's timelines. This revelation is framed as a Flashback starting from the ending of Mortal Kombat 9 and becomes something of a Clip Show where Raiden and Liu Kang end up going through the same exact fight sequence, with the only difference being costume and background changes representing every game where both characters were part of the roster.
    • Several characters paraphrase the line "choose your destiny."
    • Kronika turns the Trope Namer on its head when she declares "Shang Tsung's souls will be mine."
    • Joker, quite understandably, has a few:
      • He both mistakes Nightwolf for Manitou Raven and alludes to Apache Chief, who Raven himself was a reimagining of. He also considers D'Vorah Outworld's version of the Insect Queen, and wonders if Kotal Kahn can talk to birds based on his headdress — after all, he knows a king who can talk to fish. He also states to Frost that she would probably enjoy meeting with Killer Frost.
      • In one of his intros with Cassie, he mentions it's not his first time here, and that previously he was "all the RAGE".
  • Near-Villain Victory: Kronika is not stopped in time to prevent the initiation of the timeline reset. Regardless of what happens in the final fight, she will have at least managed to initiate rewinding to the beginning of life, if not time itself. Liu Kang is left to reshape history and all the previous characters' actions have been erased. Should you fail at the final battle her victory is brought to bear and she kills Liu Kang and initiates the timeline reset to the outcome she was desiring.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: Averted. There doesn't seem to be any issue with time travel duplicates bumping into each other. Johnny's younger self even complains to his current version that the future isn't what he was hoping for. Played very straight for Raiden, due to the timestream affecting gods differently than mortals — when the younger Raiden appears, Dark Raiden abruptly disappears and is never seen again. This also happens to Revenant Liu Kang once his past self gains the power of a god, which involved Raiden effectively fusing the two together but leaving the Past self in control.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: In both flavors:
    • Kronika has sent past versions of the Kombatants, including Raiden, into the future. Throughout the story, Raiden's been on the edge of becoming Dark Raiden, something he doesn't want to happen, and came to blows with Liu Kang in every timeline. However, with Shinnok's amulet corrupting him, he discovers Kronika had been conspiring to have the two fight. Not only did Raiden break this cycle, he effectively merged with Liu Kang and defeated Kronika for good. Honestly, this was poor planning on her part.
    • And speaking of Raiden being on edge, Cetrion had given Raiden legitimate advice because he fears of becoming Dark Raiden. If Cetrion remained passive throughout the story, Raiden wouldn't overcome his fear of becoming Dark Raiden. Meaning she is effectively responsible for foiling her own mother's plans because of that one advice.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: If you lose to Kronika at the end of Story Mode, she replicates the opening scene by beheading Liu Kang before beckoning the beginning of the New Era.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Raiden goes to meet with the Elder Gods, which has been two games of him getting nothing but the runaround as well as outright refusal to intervene with one small exception. The Elder Gods give sensible advice and crucial details as well as have one take the field. It's a sign of how dire things are. Sadly, one is a Sixth Ranger Traitor.
    • Kotal Kahn acts sanely and rationally by teaming up with Raiden despite his usual Ax-Crazy Hot-Blooded Noble Demon tendencies. He also willingly gives up the crown to Kitana.
  • Offered the Crown: In Chapter 7, Kotal Kahn is crippled by Shao Kahn, who is subsequently blinded by Kitana. As a result of this and Kitana uniting the Shokan and Tarkatans with the rest of Outworld's forces, Kotal Kahn crowns her as the new Kahn.
  • Off with His Head!:
    • At the beginning of the Story Mode, we're finally shown how Raiden decapitates Shinnok, leading to The Stinger of X.
    • Kung Lao decapitates Geras with a hat throw during their first encounter. Unfortunately, it doesn't take.
  • Oh, Crap!:
  • Paradox Person: All of the kombatants plucked from the past are this. This also means that if they die, their future self dies with them, as Kano finds out.
  • Power Perversion Potential: In Kano's ladder ending, he intially uses his newly obatined godly power to make Sonya Blade and Cassie Cage fight each other in a cage match wearning nothing but skimpy bikinis.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Jax's wife helped him through the trauma of his time of being a revenant, bringing him back from the brink of despair. Her death shattered Jax, and reduced him to a recluse who allies himself with Kronika after she promises to rewrite his history. Whenever someone loses their Living Emotional Crutch, they don't take it very well.
    • Kitana's ladder ending has her use the Hourglass to recreate Edenia, but her joy is short-lived because she is completely unfamiliar with Edenia's traditions, languages, and cultures, having not grown up Edenian and having been forbidden to learn about it by Shao Kahn.
  • Redemption Earns Life: Baraka and the Tarkatans, big time. Baraka himself had previously perished in a flashback during X: he was slain by D'Vorah on Kotal's orders during his coup against Mileena. During 11, it's revealed that shortly after the death of Mileena in the ensuing Outworld Civil War, Kotal Kahn committed genocide upon the entire Tarkatan race for their savagery and Undying Loyalty to the previous regime. When Baraka and his tribe are reborn thanks to the Time Crash, Kotal wants them all exterminated once again, only to be called out by Jade. Kitana, meanwhile, successfully parleys with Baraka and convinces him to help pull a Big Damn Heroes-esque rescue to save Kotal from execution at Shao Kahn's hands, in order to secure a better life for his people. In the end, after Kitana herself is christened as a new Kahn, the Tarkatans are welcomed into a new, peaceful confederacy of Outworld's races.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Like Kotal Kahn before him, Kollector is introduced as a character that has always been part of the Outworld power structure. Somewhat Justified as he's literally just a tax collector - and only becomes important because he's one of Shao Kahn's last loyalists.
  • Restraining Bolt: Cyrax is programmed with behavioral inhibitors that keep him loyal to Sektor. Disabling those inhibitors is a major part of Sub-Zero's plan to take down the Cyber Lin Kuei factory.
  • Retcon: Sindel revealed as Evil All Along, whereas past games - and even one of Geras' interactions with Kitana - had established her as a heroic figure.
  • Ret-Gone:
    • The entire current timeline is erased from existence via time travel, only leaving a fully-revived Liu Kang, past-Kitana (good ending) and a now-mortal Raiden to oversee the creation of a new timeline.
    • If anything happens to the past incarnations of kombatants, it would jeopardize their present selves - as well as their children. Sonya manages to pull this on Kano, blowing his past self's brains out and thus erasing his present self from reality. Kano himself threatens to wipe Cassie out of existence before this by holding a gun at Johnny's younger self.
  • Ripple Effect Indicator: In Chapter 6, Past Johnny gets grazed with a bullet to the cheek, causing a scar to Present Johnny. The more vain iteration does not take it well.
    Present Johnny: [feels scar] Ooh, that's freaky like Friday.
    Past Johnny: They shot our face, Johnny... THEY SHOT OUR FACE!
  • Samaritan Relationship Starter: As with their prime relationship back in 9, Past Sonya eventually warms up to Past Johnny as he steps up to being a hero; in chapter 8, when both are trapped in Kano's fight club with assured death no matter the victor, Johnny helps them stall for time by allowing Sonya to fight him (and refuses to take a dive per her request, knowing Kano will see right through it and kill them). This allows enough time for the cavalry to arrive; as Sonya eventually saves his life, Johnny sincerely apologizes for being an asshole to her and asks her to dinner sometime to get to know each other, as they are aware they eventually spawn Cassie. Sonya agrees, as long as it's platonic to start.
    Sonya: Patience is a virtue, Cage.
  • Sequel Hook: While the story seemingly serves as the Grand Finale of at least this timeline, a few of the ladder endings hint at an Greater-Scope Villain even bigger than Kronika: The Titans.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The Special Forces efforts to destroy Shinnok's citadel in the Netherrealm is instantly undone by Kronika's time manipulation. This means that Sonya Blade died for nothing.
    • All of the battles up until the final one against Kronika since all of time is erased and has to be restarted.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Jax Briggs is revealed in the first chapter to have been honorably discharged from the Special Forces due to his physical and mental trauma, unable to cope with the stress caused by losing his arms, dying, becoming a revenant, and losing his wife to sickness a year before the story begins. Living alone on his farm, Jax is consumed by the knowledge that his daughter is out there fighting supernatural monsters, and being unable to call her during the temporal merge causes him to suffer a panic attack. His PTSD and fear for Jacqui makes him susceptible to Kronika's charisma, leading to a Face–Heel Turn under the false promise that, in the New Era, the world will be peaceful and his daughter will never have to fight. The younger Jax isn't impressed, but the older Jax insists that he's being a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • SNK Boss: Even in the grand Mortal Kombat tradition of cheap final bosses, Kronika stands out. She's immune to all your special moves, Fatal Blow, and most of your combos, and her own moves are so devastating that if she can land a single one, you'll be lucky if you only lose half your health. Luckily, she's got absolutely no idea how to deal with jump kicks or uppercuts.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: In Chapter 6, two Cyber Lin Kuei hold Past Sonya captive by clasping both of her arms as Present Johnny fights Sektor and Past Kano.
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending:
    • This is the first Mortal Kombat to have any sense of closure starting from Darker and Edgier Deadly Alliance to X. Liu Kang and Raiden's arc ends on a better note than the betrayal-induced trauma both characters have had to deal with, with the latter staying uncorrupted. It also gives Scorpion's and the Cage and Briggs families' character arcs a much-needed closure to their respective storylines. Kitana puts a permanent end to Shao Kahn's tyranny, and Jade gets a heartfelt reunion with Kotal Kahn.
    • That all being said, it remains to be seen if any of that will be preserved in the new timeline Liu Kang is tasked with constructing.
  • Take That!: One of Johnny Cage vs Erron Black references the infamous "good guy with a gun" idea, with Erron dismissing it with a "that never works, Cage".
    • Shao Kahn says that he and Kollector will make "Outworld great again."
    • A more serious one is that Jax, if handed omnipotent power, prevents slavery from ever happening.
    • Played with as Johnny Cage cites Ronald Reagan as an actor who made a difference in history, which Geras reluctantly admits was true, though his "exception that proves the rule" comment implies that he's of the opinion he probably shouldn't have.
  • Temporal Duplication: Because of the time-travel shenanigans involved as the result of the Big Bad messing with time, several characters meet up with their past selves. Whatever affects a character's past self affects their present self as well.
  • Tempting Fate: In their first encounter, Kung Lao decapitates Geras with a hat throw. He even remarks to Liu Kang: "That was easy"... only for Geras to regenerate and start fighting the heroes proper.
  • The Chosen One: Liu Kang once again takes this role, but with a twist: Kronika chooses revenant Liu Kang to use the soul of his past self to defeat Raiden. The past Liu Kang however, merges with his revenant self and Raiden to become a Fire God, thus is the one who defeats Kronika.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Hsu Hao appears in Joker's ladder ending as one of Joker's allies in the attack on Seido, and nothing bad happens to him for once.
  • Time Crash: This is Kronika's end goal, restarting history while wiping Raiden from existence so she can enforce a balance between light and darkness. She succeeds in the first half of the plan before Liu Kang defeats her.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: While the Revenants warranted sympathy in MKX due to being turned into undead slaves of Quan Chi and Shinnok, and reasonably point out to Raiden that their deaths were caused by him, this game doesn't give them any excuses for how utterly cruel and twisted they have become. They not only blame Raiden for leading them to their deaths, but extend that blame to others associated with themselves as well note . They display Green-Eyed Monster tendencies note , and act like victims despite committing horrible and heinous acts while doing so, making them seem like hypocritical and childish assholes. The sole exception being Revenant Kabal, who doesn't linger on it much like the others do.
    • Revenant Liu Kang and Jade are the biggest examples among them due to how depraved and sadistic they have become. Jade being a condescending bitch who mocks Pasts Kung Lao and Jax over their present selves deaths and cites having followed Kitana as another reason for her death. Liu Kang actively goes against his archetype, going so low as to not only kill his former ally but even capture his past self and use Shinnok's magic to devour his soul as a means to strengthen himself and take revenge on Raiden. Even Revenant Katana and Kung Lao immediately turn their hostility toward Fire God Liu Kang., both blaming him for their inadequacies.
    • Older Jax after siding with Kronika. While it's true that he's essentially traumatized from his time as a Revenant and losing his wife while constantly worrying if his daughter will make it home each time she goes into battle, Jax's motives appear to be quite overprotective, believing that Jacqui only enlisted to honor him. Even his younger self is disgusted by how disgraceful and pathetic he's being by trying to selfishly create an alternate version of the timeline where he retires as an honored war hero and Jacqui doesn't enlist. While he does repent for his actions after Raiden tells him the truth, it still doesn't excuse Jax's actions.
    • Frost already was a Jerkass back in the original timeline, the new timeline and this game have it Up to Eleven. She has become so arrogant and twisted that she is willing to capture and kill her former clan members and turn them into cyborgs just to spite Sub-Zero. She keeps stating that no one realizes her potential, however her problem is not her power but her impatience and apathy towards others and fails to realizes that every time. Sub-Zero in one of his intros even says she would have been Grandmaster if she had better judgement and been more patient, but Frost had become too consumed by her desire for recognition and power to even care.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • The announcement trailer spoils the presence of two Scorpions, human and hellspawn - with the human one being murdered.
    • The first bit of story revealed is the opening cutscene with Dark Raiden torturing and beheading Shinnok, freely spoiling The Stinger of X.
    • The "Old Skool vs. New Skool" trailer spoils Jax joining Kronika's army.
    • The launch trailer spoils the creation of Fire God Liu Kang in its final few seconds.
  • Unwilling Roboticization: The Cyber Lin Kuei are back, and not every one of them is a willing subject. Cyrax, in particular, resisted being cyberized, but failed, and hopes that Sub-Zero can find a way to reverse the procedure as he had returned from being a Revenant.
  • Villain Ball: Kronika reveals that the combination of Liu Kang and Raiden is the only threat to her power and then separates the two by capturing Liu Kang and allowing the Revnant version to absorb his past self's soul. At that point, Kronika was almost unstoppable — even if the allied forces reached her Keep, they would have to fight through an entire Netherrealm army, find her Hourglass, then get through her Revenant guardians and Cetrion, all while Kronika grew ever closer to resetting time. But she and the evil Liu Kang couldn't resist sending him out to find and kill Raiden one last time. By doing so, Raiden merges himself and both Liu Kangs, creating an entity more powerful than all of Kronika's forces combined that who knows exactly where the Hourglass is and how much time remains, and is immune to the time reversal once it starts.
  • Wanting Is Better Than Having: Kano's ladder ending initially has him use the Hourglass to give him everything he could ever want. After finding this boring, he uses it instead to place things he wants just out of reach. He might not win all the time, but the wins he does get, he savors.
  • Wham Line:
    • "This... this has happened before...", which Raiden says as Liu Kang is about to come to blows with him again. However, Raiden means it more than just that one incident: as it turns out, in every single timeline Kronika steers events so that Raiden and Liu Kang come to blows, ultimately resulting in Liu Kang dying. Realizing this dissuades Raiden from fighting Liu Kang, ending the cycle.
    • Followed almost immediately by Kronika revealing that it's not the first time Raiden has realized what she was doing, and that it has never stopped her before.
    • When Raiden transfers his power to Liu Kang, we don't know the full extent of what he's done until the title for the last chapter appears... End of an Era: Fire God Liu Kang.
  • Wham Shot: From the announcement trailer. Dark Raiden brutally beats and kills Scorpion, only to be approached and attacked by another Scorpion.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Amusingly, Past Sonya asks this of her prime self to Cassie, as she is understandably put off by vain Johnny Cage of the past. Cassie assures her that Johnny grows up and into responsibility as both military leader, husband, and father, from the influence Sonya had on him.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Certain characters will have this reaction. Notably Raiden and Jax:
    • Raiden does not accept Scorpion's plea to form an alliance, which escalates into a fight with Liu Kang, who didn't believe the fact that his Revenant self hated Raiden and became an extremist. Once Raiden figures out Shinnok's amulet was indeed corrupting him, he resolves to prevent Dark Raiden coming to be again.
    • Jacqui and past Jax towards present Jax for being persuaded to join Kronika's side. Past Jax in particular despises how his present self has hit rock bottom and joins Kronika in the name of protecting Jacqui, while he himself is proud of his future daughter for fighting for Earthrealm.
    • When Past Sonya discovers how her present self died in chapter 1, she angrily calls out Cassie for abandoning her. Cassie fires back, however, by pointing out that she was following Sonya's orders at the time and tells Lieutenant Blade to read the entire report. After doing so, Sonya acknowledges she was wrong to lash out.
    • When Past Jade sees that Kotal intends to execute an entire Tarkartan village (including women and children), she intervenes. When trying to talk him down fails, she takes on her lover in a fight. After winning, she tells him that his heart has been hardened since she knew him.
  • Why Am I Ticking?: After reverse-engineering the cyborg-ninja schematics from his body so that Kronika can manufacture her own Mecha-Mooks, Sektor is repurposed as a nuke by the Black Dragon and used to destroy the Special Forces base.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Played straight and inverted. Cetrion states that the time merger has weakened the Elder Gods. She, an Elder God herself, is weakened to the point where she is able to fight most of the Mortal Kombat cast through the story - and not completely Curb Stomp them. Even so, depending on the player, Jacqui or Past Jax will equip Kronika's crown when fighting her just to be sure.

    Aftermath Story Tropes (SPOILERS)  
  • And I Must Scream: Shang Tsung takes most of Raiden and Fujin's power by stealing their souls, but leaves the job unfinished, and they remain barely alive as shrivelled husks. As he explains to Shao Kahn and Sindel, he intends to keep them alive to he can siphon their power for all eternity.
  • A God Am I: With the Crown in his possession, Shang Tsung declares himself Kronika's equal. In his ending, he absorbs Liu Kang's soul, gains his power over thunder and fire, and reshapes time to make himself a Multiversal Conqueror.
  • Anyone Can Die: Compared to the main story, Aftermath has a considerable bodycount. In approximate order: Revenant Nightwolf has his soul devoured by a mortally-wounded Shang Tsung early in the story. Sindel kills Sheeva, when the latter discovers her true allegiance to Shao Kahn, and then pins her death on Kitana to win the loyalty of the shokan. Geras's head is crushed to pulp under Shao Kahn's warhammer, and he presumably doesn't have the time to revive before the story ends. A barely-conscious Kung Lao is tossed into the Sea of Blood and left to drown by either Sindel or Shao Kahn during their capture of the Outworld fleet. Kotal Kahn is beheaded offscreen, and the Liu Kang of the past is left with an Uncertain Doom after having his legs broken to splinters by Shao Kahn. Raiden and Fujin are kept barely alive, but have their power siphoned by Shang Tsung after he takes the crown, and he presumably devours Nightwolf's soul offscreen (he was in fact about to do so after their battle, before the gods interrupted him). The revenants of Kung Lao, Kitana and Jade are butchered in a Curbstomp Battle against the combined forces of Shang Tsung, Sindel and Shao Kahn. Shang Tsung then betrays and devours Shao Kahn and Sindel before doing the same to Kronika. Finally, the ending either sees Shang Tsung himself erased from history forever by Fire God Liu Kang, or Shang Tsung devouring Liu Kang's soul to become the new Keeper of Time.
  • The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People: Young Johnny during Sindel and Shao Kahn's chapter. While first appearing still jovial, when Sindel and Shao Kahn invade the Sea of Blood and take down both Cassie and Sonya, as they mock their defeats, Johnny defiantly makes a last stand against the Outworld rulers.
    Sindel: (mockingly) The poor man is heartbroken.
    Shao Kahn: Why waste tears on weaklings?
    Johnny Cage: Those women are braver and stronger than fifty of you put together!
    [If Sindel is chosen to fight]
    Johnny Cage: Every fight I've fought, I've fought for myself. But this? This one's for my family!
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Should Shang Tsung win the Final Battle with Liu Kang, he gloats to Liu Kang over his victory, steals his soul, then gets everything he could ever want.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Shang Tsung is the one who kills Kronika this time around (right after doing the same to Shao Kahn and Sindel). This is in fact invoked by Fire God Liu Kang, to get rid of Kronika before taking the Crown from Shang Tsung.
  • Batman Gambit: Fire God Liu Kang knows that Shang Tsung is going to get the crown, and betray everyone in his way - so he acts as if he can't leave the Hourglass' side. In doing so, he makes Shang Tsung believe he's got one less rival he'll have to deal with, and simply waits for Shang Tsung's plan to be near fruition - then shows up to take the Crown from him.
  • Battle Couple: Shao Kahn and Sindel share a story chapter and kick a lot of ass together, including against other couples like Johnny and Sonya, Kotal and Jade, and Liu Kang and Kitana.
  • Big Bad: Largely a Big Bad Ensemble between Shang Tsung and Kronika. However, Shang Tsung ultimately retakes the role, as the plot is largely so he can usurp the timeline and become an all powerful god.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: First teased in her Ladder Mode ending, Sindel is revealed in the story of Aftermath to have been a willing ally of Shao Kahn, even murdering Jerrod, herself, to consummate their deadly alliance. The story of her committing suicide to defy Shao Kahn? Total bullshit: she had been murdered by Quan Chi so he could put himself in a better position to influence Shao Kahn for his own ends.
  • Bludgeoned to Death: Shao Kahn, after escaping imprisonment from Kitana, encounters Geras, who wants him and Sindel to re-join Kronika. Shao Kahn responds by defeating him in battle, and then using his hammer to smash his face in, and then into several pieces.
  • Body Horror: Anyone Shang steals souls from is reduced to a withered husk.
  • Book-Ends:
    • The final chapter plays out similarly to the base game's story mode, a massive assault on Kronika's Keep and a battle with Kronika. However, in place of Fire God Liu Kang with Kung Lao and Kitana, it's Shang Tsung with Shao Kahn and Sindel leading the charge.
    • Early in the story, Shang Tsung is brutalized by the Revenant Nightwolf and steals his soul to heal himself. Near the end of the story, Shang Tsung beats up the past Nightwolf and it is implied that he stole his soul.
    • The story begins with Shang Tsung arriving to see Liu Kang and calling out "cease, Liu Kang, before you doom us all." The same thing happens at the end of the story with the roles reversed.
    • Sindel first dies by being betrayed by a sorcerer, and dies for good at the hands of another.
    • The final battle is the same as the original Mortal Kombat — Liu Kang vs Shang Tsung.
    • MK 9 had Raiden trying to decipher the meaning of his Famous Last Words from the original timeline, "He must win", and ultimately realizes this refers to Shao Kahn — let his invasion of Earth succeed, so the Elder Gods will punish him for violating the rules of Mortal Kombat. Liu Kang employs a similar plan with Shang Tseng — he knows the sorcerer cannot be trusted, so he allows him to succeed and take control of the Hourglass and the Crown, so Liu Kang can then step in to stop him and take them himself.
  • Bring It: Young Johnny Cage challenging Shao Kahn and Sindel... which doesn't end well for him no matter who is chosen to fight him.
    Johnny Cage: Okay, bozos! No jokes, no gimmicks - just Kombat! You wanna get nuts? O-ho... let's get nuts!
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • The Revenant Nightwolf has lost faith in the Great Spirit for not protecting him from his death at the hands of Sindel.
    • Sheeva is horrified to see Sindel, whom she had sworn a lifelong vow of loyalty to, freeing Shao Kahn and plotting to overthrow her own daughter.
    • Kitana, likewise, is horrified to learn the stuff she believed about her mother's mind being twisted by Shao Kahn's magic was a lie.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Overlapping with Too Dumb to Live. Whereas Shao Kahn before knew what Kronika was to him in scope and simply served her than remotely object or try anything, he challenges Shang Tsung to a fight near the climax, claiming he has forgotten he was Shao's servant. Keep in mind Shang Tsung is more powerful than Kronika herself at this point. Needless to say, it does not work out for him and Sindel well.
  • Butt-Monkey: Kotal really can't catch a break. After being humiliatingly crippled by Shao Kahn in the main story, he's beat up and knocked out by Sheeva in a feeble attempt to stop her crew's efforts at reviving Sindel. Later on, he's given a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown by Shao Kahn and unceremoniously decapitated off-screen.
  • The Cameo: The Descendant of Apep - AKA the player character of the Krypt mode - pops up in the Shaolin Trap Dungeon, having met an unfortunate end on a spike trap.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: As expected, Shang Tsung betrays everyone he allies with at some point. In fact, this is exploited by Liu Kang, who had expected the inevitable betrayal to happen and waited until Shang Tsung has disposed of Shao Kahn and Kronika before showing up to finish him off.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Several, with multiple characters having greatly reduced roles the second time around:
    • Present-Day Johnny Cage is still nowhere to be seen in the final battle, despite Sonya and his younger self having their whereabouts explained.
    • Frost disappears both from the scene and the story after her fight with Nightwolf. We don't even see any Cyber Lin Kuei in the final battle.
    • Sub-Zero and the younger Scorpion are also never seen again after Kronika is driven away from the Fire Gardens.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Continuity Snarl: Before fighting Kung Lao, Shao Kahn tells the monk that he was seconds from snapping his neck in the Outworld coliseum. In the main storyline, Raiden says that Kung Lao had just defeated Shang Tsung and Quan Chi, meaning Kung Lao still had to fight Kintaro before Shoa Kahn killed him. It’s because Kung Lao beat Kintaro that Shao Kahn broke his neck.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: The Aftermath DLC confirms that the "Good" ending of the story isn't canon, as Shang Tsung announces his presence to Raiden before Fire God Liu Kang can begin reshaping time, with Nightwolf and fellow god Fujin in tow.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For every single DLC character - namely Shang Tsung, Nightwolf, Fujin, Sheeva, Sindel and Shao Kahn. The Aftermath story is mostly centered around characters that had little or no involvement whatsoever during the main story. Shang Tsung only got a passing mention, whereas Fujin and Nightwolf were completely absent from the story, and so was Sindel, one of the main villains; Shao Kahn is the only recurring character that also had a recurring role in the main story. In contrast, almost all the main characters from the main story are Demoted to Extra at best. This is actually justified early into the story, as in attempting to recruit any of the major characters involved in the attack on Kronika's fortress could steer the timeline in an unpredictable direction.
  • Enemy Mine: Liu Kang and Raiden team up with Shang Tsung and send the sorcerer back in time to retrieve Kronika's crown. However, Raiden shows a great reluctance to have to team up with Shang Tsung in order to actually have a chance at fixing the timeline, and Shang Tsung knows that nobody would ever want to trust him. Fellow god Fujin has already been convinced to join Shang Tsung, which is a bit of reassurance for Raiden.
  • Entitled Bitch: Sindel resented how her first husband, Jerrod, refused to exercise his royal "privilege" and treated his subjects like equals. She became attracted to Shao Kahn specifically because Shao Kahn believed himself better than others, and acted like it.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Played for Laughs. In the midst of a fight with Kitana's loyalists and Sheeva's team, a Tarkatan is knocked into the Dead Pool. The battle momentarily breaks up as everyone looks on in comical horror at the poor guy melting to death.
  • Eye Scream: As it turns out, Kitana didn't kill Shao Kahn in the main story. She slashed out his eyes and had him chained up in the animal pens beneath the colosseum.
  • Fake Shemp: Sonya Blade appears during the final battle with her family, but Ronda Rousey does not reprise her role, and she is knocked out before she has a chance to speak.
  • Flaying Alive: Fujin inflicts this on one of the giant ratlike creatures Kollector unleashes on himself and Shang Tsung, trapping the creature in a cyclone that tears off its skin.
    • Sindel's scream does this to the pair of Shokan which were assigned to guard blinded Shao Kahn.
  • For Want of a Nail: Aftermath brings up massive changes to the official MK11 Story Mode - mainly from Chapter 7 onwards. To elaborate:
    • Kollector is not fighting Kitana; instead, he senses Shang Tsung's presence in the lower levels of Koliseum - and follows him there.
    • Due to Sindel being resurrected, Sheeva doesn't survive to join Kharon's army.
    • Kotal Kahn actually heals his broken spine - courtesy of Soul Chamber. He then joins Forces of Light sailing through the Sea of Blood... only to get killed by Shao Kahn.
    • The adventures on Shang Tsung's Island are not conducted by Briggs family - but by alliance of Shang Tsung, Sindel, Nightwolf and Fujin (Briggs family gets there a bit too late). In turn, Present Jax comes to his senses much earlier than in the main story.
    • The confrontation between Scorpion and Sub-Zero comes to halt when Shang Tsung and company arrive through the portal. Raiden's anger fueled by Shinnok's Amulet is unleashed upon the sorcerer this time - not Scorpion.
    • Revenant Liu Kang never gets the chance of stealing the soul of his living counterpart... nor to become the God of Fire and Thunder, courtesy of Shao Kahn furiously bashing Past Liu Kang.
    • Kronika's Keep is not reached by Forces of Light this time: Shang Tsung, Shao Kahn and Sindel massacre their way through, killing her Revenants in the process.
  • Golden Super Mode: When he takes Kronika's crown for himself, Shang Tsung shapeshifts into his younger self clad in armored robes of white and gold (motifs shared with Kronika herself), reminiscent of the outfit he wears in his Arcade Mode ending. The tremendous power boost he gains from the crown proves to be more than enough to defeat Raiden, Fujin, Shao Kahn, Sindel and Kronika in quick succession, and potentially Fire God Liu Kang as well.
  • Guile Hero: Liu Kang looked through time and foresaw Shang Tsung's endgame, so he sat the conflict out until it was over and then he could intervene to get the Crown as intended. Shang Tsung lampshades this is a devious way to operate.
  • Happy Ending Override: Played with. The original good ending where Liu Kang rebuilds the timeline with Kitana is rendered non-canon, and even the ending where Liu Kang rebuilds the timeline with Raiden's guidance is interrupted by Shang Tsung's revelation that by destroying Kronika's Crown, their attempts to use the Hourglass will just make things worse. That said, if players choose to play as Liu Kang in the final battle, his ending is reaffirmed more strongly — he rebuilds the timeline and remains the God of Thunder and Fire, and it is implied he will train the original Kung Lao so he defeat at Goro's hands doesn't happen.
  • Hero Killer:
    • While Shang Tsung stops short of fully devouring Raiden and Fujin's souls, he is implied to have devoured Nightwolf's soul offscreen. If he wins the final battle, he also devours the soul of Fire God Liu Kang.
    • Shao Kahn and Sindel behead Kotal Kahn and throw Kung Lao overboard to drown during their rampage.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: Shang Tsung is seemingly working with Raiden and Liu Kang to retrieve Kronika's crown so that the latter two can properly reshape the new timeline. However, everyone is aware of how untrustworthy the sorcerer is and are wary of his true motives. The story recap, narrated by Johnny Cage, even lampshades the ramifications in working with a long-time villain.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Shang Tsung pulls the ultimate example. He displaces Kronika as the story's Final Boss and, to add insult to injury, he also betrays Shao Kahn, as if to assert his dominance as the Mortal Kombat franchise's true Big Bad from the very beginning.
  • Hypocrite: When Shang Tsung betrays Shao Kahn and her, Sindel claims he is "a dog who betrays his masters". While she isn't wrong at all about this, that's rich coming from her, of all people.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: In the final confrontation, Shang Tsung is amused that Liu Kang would sacrifice his friends just to allow Shang Tsung to get Kronika's crown for him. Liu Kang states that he intends to revive them once he's dealt with Shang Tsung.
  • I Let You Win: A rare literal heroic version. Shang Tsung deduces that Liu Kang allowed him to defeat his oppositions before realizing the latter let him win his battles knowing of his Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. Shang Tsung actually finds it amusing that Liu Kang would go that far just to defeat him, and lampshades it.
Shang Tsung: You let me win.
  • I'm Having Soul Pains: During the mission to capture Sindel's revenant, Nightwolf feels a pain in his chest, and realizes that his revenant is nearby.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: When Baraka realises that Shang Tsung is posing as a Shokan, he stabs him In the Back with his arm blade.
  • Inevitable Mutual Betrayal: Shang Tsung being a backstabbing snake means everyone teaming with him nigh instantly knows he'll inevitably betray them and only tolerate him so long as he's required for their goals. Liu Kang outplays Shang by making him think Liu Kang can't betray him first, and thus wasn't prepared for him to show up after Shang has backstabbed literally everyone else.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Despite the events of the original story being changed, some events remain constant.
    • Present Jax is still convinced that he made a mistake in following Kronika.
    • Raiden still casts aside the corrupting influence of Shinnok's amulet.
    • Cetrion still sacrifices herself to power up her mother.
  • In Their Own Image: In Shang Tsung's ending, he uses the power of the Hourglass to remake the timeline in his own image with him as the surpreme ruler.
  • It's Personal: When Kotal awakens from his rest in the Soul Chamber, the sight of Shang Tsung sends him into an Unstoppable Rage despite his injuries.
  • Karmic Death:
    • After kicking their asses toward the climax, Shang Tsung steals Shao Kahn and Sindel's souls, getting a massive power up. It's especially karmic in how Shang was unceremoniously killed by Shao Kahn before to power up Sindel the same way. Furthermore, Shao Kahn has historically only ever treated Shang like a dog so it's cathartic to see his former servant, now unfathomably stronger than him, end him for good.
    • In the Good ending, Shang Tsung is killed by Liu Kang, the man whose murder by his hand sent the original timeline into a downturn. Even better, Liu Kang's words imply he's not just killed, but erased entirely.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: It's hard to feel sorry for Shao Kahn, Sindel, and Kronika when Shang Tsung kills them and steals their souls.
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: Rare heroic example: Liu Kang knows Shang Tsung has to get the crown and use it against Kronika, so he lies that he can't leave the Hourglass. Thus Shang Tsung doesn't realize he has to worry about Liu Kang and does all the work before Liu Kang swoops in once Kronika and the other villains are dead to defeat Shang Tsung and take the crown.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: After being returned to her living self, Sindel reveals to Kitana that she never committed suicide. She was murdered by Quan Chi and the sorcerer staged her death to look like she had taken her own life.
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: Shang Tsung's meddling creates a pronounced butterfly effect which effectively erases the heroes' victorious efforts in the previous story mode, setting himself up to claim Kronika's Crown and total dominion over all of time.
  • Metaphorically True: Shang Tsung convinces his allies to help him revive Sindel in aid them if they have to fight Cetrion, as they saw how powerful she was during Shao Kahn's invasion of Earthrealm and she curb-stomped Raiden's allies. He leaves out that she only accomplished this because she was empowered by his souls — the real reason he wants her back is to position her as The Mole to take over Outworld again.
  • Multiple Endings: The final fight has Fire God Liu Kang and Shang Tsung engaging in a final battle for control of Kronika's crown and hourglass.
    • If Liu Kang wins, he erases Shang Tsung from existence and proceeds to shape the new timeline. We next see Liu Kang at the Wu Shi Academy and recruiting the future Great Kung Lao as the next Champion of Earthrealm.
    • If Shang Tsung wins, he steals Liu Kang's soul and uses the power of the crown and the hourglass to make himself a powerful deity. We last see him with Dark Raiden and Fujin (now his minions), and orders them to conquer Orderrealm and Chaosrealm after being told that Earthrealm, Outworld and the Netherrealm are now under his control.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Contingent on the player picking the heroic path as Fire God Liu Kang in the final battle, Shang Tsung still comes perilously close to a complete victory. He has obtained Kronika's Crown and absorbed the power of everyone who could possibly stand against him. His downfall was never anticipating Liu Kang being as much of a Manipulative Bastard as him.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Shang Tsung points out that with Liu Kang killing Kronika, and in the process destroying her crown, the Hourglass cannot properly function. And apparently attempting to use the Hourglass without the crown will be catastrophic.
  • No Body Left Behind: In the "good" ending, Liu Kang kills Shang Tsung by erasing him from existence, reducing him to nothing but sand.
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Subverted. While the story starts out as a Enemy Mine situation, Shang Tsung (to the surprise of absolutely no one) betrays the heroes roughly half way through, and the rest of the story focuses on him, Sindel, and Shao Kahn, as the sorcerer's schemes come to fruition and he takes Kronika's crown for himself and ultimately makes a move to take control of time. Only at the last minute can things turn back in the heroes' favor when Liu Kang reveals he planned for Shang Tsung's inevitable betrayal. (But whether or not it works depends on the player's choice to play as Liu Kang or Shang Tsung in the final battle.)
  • The Nose Knows: When confronting Sheeva and her company about their questionable actions, Baraka immediately spots the incredibly suspicious-looking Shokan mook among known names. One good whiff up close is enough for him to recognize it's Shang Tsung.
  • Odd Friendship: "Friendship" is pushing it, but the story primarily follows an unlikely alliance between Shang Tsung, Nightwolf and Fujin (with Sheeva and Sindel joining up later on), characters who have little previous connection or interaction. The Doylist explanation is that they are all DLC characters. Nevertheless, they have some surprising chemistry and synergy on the battlefield.
  • Off with His Head!: Off-screen, Shao Kahn decapitates Kotal Kahn. He makes his entrance at the final battle by lowering his ship ramp and tossing Kotal's head to roll to the ground.
  • Oh, Crap!: During the assault on Kronika's Keep, Raiden confronts the revenant Liu Kang, as he did the last time. This time, however, the latter's legs become mutilated as a result of Shao Kahn smashing his past self's legs. When he mentions Shao Kahn's presence, Raiden is overtaken by shock and horror as the Outworlders begin to arrive.
  • Orcus on His Throne: In the "bad" ending, Shang Tsung wins and claims total dominion over the realms. Having rebuilt reality in his image, he becomes a literal giant sitting on a throne in space, commanding the now subservient Raiden and Fujin to conquer in his name.
  • Properly Paranoid: Everyone knows Shang Tsung will betray them and is probably up to something nefarious while pretending to help them. They are correct.
  • Reality Ensues: Shang Tsung's Chronic Backstabbing Disorder means few are willing to trust him. Liu Kang knows this will be some sort of power play on his part and thus betrays Tsung first by lying to him about being unable to leave the Hourglass so he can jump in and defeat him after he's done all the leg work.
    • In Sheeva's ladder ending, she uses the Hourglass to create a world where her people are free from want and suffering. However, without any struggles to challenge them, the Shokan of this timeline become weak-willed hedonists instead of warriors. This disgusts Sheeva so much that she decides they were better off before, and creats a new timeline where they will always be challenged.
  • Reforged into a Minion: The bad ending sees Raiden and Fujin become Shang Tsung's generals in his multiversal conquest.
  • Ret-Gone: If Fire God Liu Kang wins the final battle, he uses the Hourglass' power to completely erase Shang Tsung from history, causing the sorcerer to collapse into sand.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: With his sight restored and his queen by his side, Shao Kahn and Sindel beat the crap out of the Cage family, Kotal Kahn and Jade, Kung Lao, Liu Kang, and Kitana. Shao Kahn then declares himself kahn again, breaks Liu Kang's legs, and decapitates Kotal.
  • Sealed Cast in a Multipack: The reason Fujin, Shang Tsung, and Nightwolf are able to assist Raiden and Liu Kang. Kronika attempted to recruit each of them, but when they refused, she threw them outside of time as punishment. With her defeat, they are free to escape and assist the heroes.
  • Sequel Hook: In Liu Kang's ending, he recruits the Great Kung Lao to be his Champion of Earthrealm, and says he will need to be trained. Though Liu Kang oversees time as God of Thunder and Fire, evidently there are still threats afoot.note 
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: In Liu Kang's ending, he recruits the Great Kung Lao to be his Champion of Earthrealm, and is intent to make sure the new timeline goes down a brighter path than it originally did.
  • Something We Forgot: A surprisingly in-story reason which fuels the DLC. Sure Liu Kang and Raiden win and thwart Kronika's plans. But are stopped by Shang Tsung who tells them they can't remake the timeline without Kronika's crown, otherwise they'll just erase existence altogether. And this makes sense, in the Tower mode, whenever Kronika is defeated, her crown is knocked off and she tries to reach for it before a shard of the hourglass kills her.
  • The Starscream: Shang Tsung aided Kronika in crafting her crown and now seeks to usurp her and take control of time for himself. He also manipulates Sindel and Shao Kahn into believing he still serves them, only to devour their souls the moment his ultimate victory is at hand.
  • This Cannot Be!: Raiden is shocked to see Shang Tsung, Nightwolf and Fujin appear in the aftermath of the Normal ending. By all rights, the only two beings who still exist should be Liu Kang and himself.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Shao Kahn and Sindel somehow thought Shang Tsung, after getting Kronika's crown (i.e. godlike power), would serve as a lapdog in their New Era. It doesn't end well for them.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Downplayed. Despite Sindel sincerely claiming she is in Sheeva's debt for everything she did for her, she kills her when she stands against her plotting against Kitana. However, Sindel does not enjoy this and even pleaded with Sheeva to join her cause.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • Sheeva claims she is honor-bound to Sindel and views her death as her greatest failure. She is naturally willing to go with Shang Tsung's plot to resurrect her. Notably, this doesn't make her remotely evil, as she has incredible doubts over doublecrossing Kitana. When Sheeva finds out how evil Sindel actually is later on, she loses her life in fighting her for Kitana's sake.
    • More like dying loyalty: When Shang Tsung, Fujin, Nightwolf and Sindel travel to Shang Tsung's island, Shang Tsung notes the hanging corpses, stating that they were his former underlings who killed themselves after their master perished.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Shao Kahn and Sindel are quite a loving couple, openly admitting how much they missed each other, and admiring their partner's bloodlust and cruelty in battle.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: At the beginning of Aftermath, Fire God Liu Kang has a small but secret conversation with Fujin which ends with him saying "say nothing to Nightwolf". At the end of the game, we find out Liu knew only Shang Tsung could get the crown, and he let Shang do all the work for the moment he could steal it back.
  • Villain Episode: The story is essentially Shang Tsung goes back in time and how his interference would've royally screwed the heroes over something fierce if he was around. Luckily since the events are set to be erased anyway, it comes off more as a canon “What If” with the only thing that really matters is who gets Kronika's crown in the end. You can play it straight if you pick Shang Tsung in the final battle with Fire God Liu Kang.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After remaining smug and in control the entire time, Shang Tsung has one in Liu Kang's ending. As he's disintegrating into sand and erased from existence, he can only watch in horror and vainly try to crawl away from Liu Kang, terrified as he ceases to exist.
  • Villain Protagonist: Despite all pretenses, Shang Tsung is still his same manipulative, deceitful self, but the story primarily follows his untold perspective, as well as other villains such as Sindel and Shao Kahn.
  • Void Between the Worlds: Since Fujin and Nightwolf refused to ally with her, and Shang Tsung was too dangerous to be allowed to stick around, Kronika banished them to a void beyond time. With her defeat, they are freed.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Averted with Revenant Nightwolf and Sindel, who are seen with the other revenants in the Netherrealm at the start of the story. However they still count for the original story mode, as this is explicitly a new timeline being created.
    • Kollector vanishes after his single appearance in Chapter 13, where he is last seen unconscious in the Kolosseum beast pens after being defeated by Nightwolf.
    • Frost only appears to fight Nightwolf in Chapter 13 and is never seen afterwards.
    • Erron Black and Baraka are not seen again after their defeat in Chapter 14. They aren't present when Shao Kahn and Sindel retake control of Outworld in Chapter 16, and aren't even on the ship ferrying Kitana's loyalists to the final battle, despite the crew including Tarkatans and Baraka himself having been present during the battle at Kronika's keep.
    • Much like in the main story, Revenant Kabal and Noob Saibot disappear from the plot after being defeated on Shang Tsung's island.
    • Jade is tossed through a ship deck by Sindel and is left unaccounted for in the aftermath of the Outworld fleet's takeover, despite Kung Lao getting tossed overboard to drown during the battle, Kitana and Liu Kang being taken captive, and Kotal being Killed Offscreen.
    • Jacqui Briggs and both versions of Jax disappear in the middle of the penultimate battle outside Kronika's keep. Sub-Zero and Scorpion are nowhere to be seen at all, despite participating in the same battle during the main story.
    • The mortal Raiden chose to stay with Fire God Liu Kang as he tended to the hourglass. What became of him after Fire God Liu Kang traveled back to thwart Shang Tsung is left unstated.
    • Present Johnny, D'Vorah, and Skarlet aren't even mentioned.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Everyone expects Shang Tsung to betray them once he gets the Crown, and that is indeed what happens at the climax of the story when he betrays Raiden, takes the Crown, and makes his play. Subverted, however, as Fire God Liu Kang expected betrayal from him, so he lied to him first about being unable to leave the Hourglass so he could save himself the effort of fighting Kronika again.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: Given that the Trope Namer is here, this is expected. Shang Tsung takes the souls of the Revenant Nightwolf, past Nightwolf, Sindel, Shao Kahn and Kronika, and he also takes Liu Kang's soul in his ending. He partially takes Raiden and Fujin's souls, but keeps them barely alive so he can repeat the process forever with them. Absorbing so many powerful warriors boosts Shang Tsung's power monstrously.
  • You Will Be Beethoven: This happens when you chose Fire God Liu Kang ending, where in the original timeline Raiden has chosen the Great Kung Lao to become Earthrealm's defender. But in a new timeline, it is Liu Kang who takes Raiden's place and chose the Great Kung Lao to become Earthrealm's defender.

Raiden: I look forward to meeting again, in the next timeline.
Liu Kang: Then I will not say goodbye.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): MK 11


Cyber Initiative Fatality

Now a cyborg herself, Frost's "Cyber Initiative" fatality in Mortal Kombat 11 is a play on the classic Spine Rip, but with her firing a frosty chest blaster that freezes her opponent, ripping out the spine with the brain still attached, and summoning a drone that takes the brain and spine and implants it in a Cyber Lin Kuei body, as shown in this example with Kitana. Granted, while some of the kombatants like Shao Kahn or D'Vorah are unpleasant to begin with, but to forcibly turn them into robotic monstrosities is jarring.

How well does it match the trope?

4.5 (4 votes)

Example of:

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Media sources:

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