By seizing control of the Shaolin tournament, he tried to tip the scales of order towards chaos. Only seven warriors survived the battles, and Shang Tsung's schemes would come to a violent end at the hands of Liu Kang.
Facing execution for his failure and the apparent death of Goro, Tsung convinces Shao Kahn to grant him a second chance.
Shang Tsung's new plan is to lure his enemies to compete in the Outworld, where they will meet certain death by Shao Kahn himself.
Now the kombat kontinues..."
The original Mortal Kombat was a huge hit, which made the creation of a sequel inevitable. In 1993, that sequel — Mortal Kombat II — was unleashed in arcades. It would eventually be ported to the Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, Sega Saturn, Sega 32X, Sega Game Gear, PlayStation, PC and Amiga.
With Shang Tsung's plan to conquer Earthrealm through the titular tournament foiled, Shao Kahn — Emperor of Outworld and the man behind the plan — prepares to end the sorcerer's life. Shang Tsung comes up with an idea to save his skin: because an invitation to Mortal Kombat cannot be refused, if the Earthrealm warriors were challenged to a tournament in Outworld, they would have to accept...at which point Kahn's Outworld warriors, led by Shokan warrior Kintaro, who seeks revenge for the death of Prince Goro, could kill the warriors and begin the invasion of Earthrealm. Shao Kahn approves of Shang Tsung's idea, restores the sorcerer's youth as a token of appreciation, and sends out the challenge. Earthrealm's warriors accept Shao Kahn's invitation, and after they arrive in Outworld, they come face-to-face with numerous new foes, all of whom are ready to crush a few skulls.
MKII ramped up the blood'n'guts by giving each character an extra Fatality to their characters and adding new stage-specific Fatalities. It also added two new Finishing Moves — the Babality, which turns the opponent into a baby, and the Friendship, a Non-Lethal K.O. where the characters do friendly or funny things to their defeated opponents, — as potshots at Moral Guardians who hated the first game's violent content.
This game was followed by Mortal Kombat 3.
- Returning from Mortal Kombat: Johnny Cage, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Liu Kang, Raiden, Reptile, Shang Tsung.
- Newcomers: Kitana, Jax, Baraka, Mileena, Kung Lao.
- the franchise's Developers' Foresight page
- the franchise's Shout Out page
- the franchise's Stage Fatality page
Mortal Kombat II kontains the following tropes:
- A.I. Breaker: Kintaro and Shao Kahn are easily beaten by jump kicks and Mileena's Teleport Kick, respectively.
- Ascended Glitch: The bug that allowed you to punch off more than one head with Johnny Cage's fatality in the first game returns here as a regular fatality, where he punches three heads off the opponent.
- Backup Twin: The original Sub-Zero was killed off following the events of the previous game; his younger brother assumes his former identity in this game.note
- Big "NO!": Should you best him, Shao Kahn will yell, "No! NO! NOOOOOOOOOOO!"
- Blatant Lies: Triggering any of the bonus bosses says that you must "battle with an undiscovered warrior from Mortal Kombat One". Needless to say, Reptile was the only secret character in that game.
- Bloodier and Gorier: The first game was already rather bloody, but this one managed to surpass it. This is acknowledged in the 2002 series retrospective featurette in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance.
- Bonus Boss: Jade, Smoke, and Noob Saibot can only be fought when the player meets certain conditions. note
- Butterface: Mileena is just as shapely as Kitana, but when she takes the mask off...
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The AI in this game is absolutely ridiculous. After the second round, the CPU does things that no human player can do — like dodging an uppercut or blocking throws and counterattacking with their own. This game's AI is sure to make anyone rage.
- Darker and Edgier: Even in comparison to the original, MK2 was darker. The developers realized this and decided to lighten things up a little with the Babality and Friendship finishing moves, which were also intended as sort of a Take That! towards people who decried the first game's violence.
- Defeat Means Friendship: This can be done with Friendships.
- Demoted to Extra: Sonya and Kano went from being playable characters to being chained up in the background of Shao Kahn's stage. They were excluded in favor of new characters since they were the least popular characters in the first game.
- Dummied Out: The game has several unused sprites within its coding, mostly hinting at unused moves. Rule of thumb is that some of these ideas later got used in Mortal Kombat Trilogy:
- Sub-Zero had sprites for an aerial version of his ice blast move as well as a colour-corrupted version of Reptile's invisibility animation.
- Kintaro has an unused move where he grabs you and punches you away. This later got undummied for Trilogy. He also has an unused sprite set of him standing and watching a fight, probably in Kahn's Arena. An image of Kintaro can also be found in the data, similar to the Goro intro from the previous game. Said image was later cropped and used for Kintaro's character select image in Trilogy as well.
- Shao Kahn has several unused assets such as an animation of him standing up off of his throne, an aura that would surround him in his laugh winpose, a clapping attack, a throw where he grabbed and punched you away, a double handed hammer punch, a possible unused fatality where he'd thrust his fist into a portal where it would emerge from above, gigantic, crushing his victim, and finally, an unused hammer attack one whole game early. The grab-punch throw and hammer punch later got used in Trilogy.
- Baraka has an unused forward-flip move where he flipped towards you using his blades as leverage as well as his spinning slash which he got in Trilogy onward.
- Raiden has an unused possible fatality where he lifted his victim over his head and electrocuted them to death. This later appeared for real in Mortal Kombat 4.
- Kung Lao's torpedo special sprites can be found as well.
- One rather odd dummied out sprite is, of all things, the World Wrestling Federation logo, possibly as part of a scrapped advertisement.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Kitana's ending says that her parents were former rulers of Outworld overthrown by Shao Kahn. However, later games established that her parents ruled the realm of Edenia, and that the former ruler of Outworld has no relation to Kitana. This ending likely led to the misconception that Outworld was formerly Edenia, and Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm ran with the idea.
- Easter Egg: In the Genesis version, Raiden can perform a "Fergality", which will turn the opponent into Probe president Fergus McGovern. However, this can only be done on one stage, provided if a very specific cheat code is activated.
- Easy-Mode Mockery: The SNES port would have subverted this if the unreleased prototype were the final version. This version allowed you to turn the blood and gore on or off, but mocked you if you turned it off, saying this game mode had "No blood for the wimps" at the bottom of the Options screen. As for the Bloody mode, the game described it as "With blood for the true sportsman". Being that this was the mid-development prototype version, though, this toggle made no difference since the game was always bloody. The final product omits these messages and the toggle altogether.
- Fate Worse than Death: Babality turns the defeated opponent into a baby.
- The Foreign Subtitle: The Japanese version featured the subtitle Kyukyoku Shinken (The Ultimate Divine Fist).
- Game-Breaking Bug: You can crash the arcade version of the game by performing a Fatality against Jade or Noob Saibot. GLITCHALITY!
- On early revisions of the arcade version of Mortal Kombat 2, the Babalities are possible to glitch out. Depending on the characters used and the stage performed on (among other things), glitch Babalities can lead to anything from changing the palette of the stage to crashing the machine and forcing a reset.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
- In the Wastelands stage, you can see corpses impaled on pikes in the background.
- The Kombat Tomb has a stage fatality in which the winner can impale the loser on spikes covering the ceiling. Holding Down on both players' joysticks immediately after entering the sequence to do the fatality results in the body slowly sliding off the spikes and falling back down to the floor; otherwise, the body remains suspended, dripping blood. The camera pans up to capture the impalement, but not back down if the body falls to the floor.
- Kid-Appeal Character: The only such character in the series to date is Kidd Thunder, an NPC who appears in Raiden's Friendship in this game.
- Kiss of Death: Kitana gives one to her opponent as a Fatality.
- Lighter and Softer: Friendships and Babalities were designed practically with this in mind.
- The Man Behind the Man: Shao Kahn is this to Shang Tsung.
- Not Just a Tournament: The Outworld Mortal Kombat is a trap laid by Shao Kahn to kill the Earthrealm warriors and start the invasion of Earth.
- Now Buy the Merchandise: The Friendship finisher for Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Reptile have them advertising their own dolls. Considering how hard it was around that time to come to know about the actual codes to perform them, those finishing moves could be seen as more of a parody of this than anything else. It wasn't entirely Played for Laughs, though — around that time, there was an actual line of Mortal Kombat action figures being sold by Hasbro.
- Palette Swap: This game added two new male ninjas (Noob Saibotnote and Smoke) and three female ninjas (Kitana, Mileena, Jade) to the existing group of Sub-Zero, Scorpion, and Reptile.
- Perfect-Play A.I.: This game marks the first appearance of the trope formerly known as MK Walker.
- "Pop!" Goes the Human: Kitana's Kiss of Death fatality causes the victim to painfully inflate and explode.
- The Power of Friendship: In a lampshading response to parents complaining about the grotesque violence of the Fatality finishing moves, this game and its sequel added finishing moves called "Friendships", which allow you to win the match with an animation of your character doing something sickeningly friendly and decidedly non-fatal:"LIU KANG WINS! FRIENDSHIP! ...Friendship?!"
- Pragmatic Adaptation: As with the first game, Mortal Kombat II for the Game Boy and Game Gear required adjusting the characters' moves to work with the two action buttons and the Start Key, with also a few characters dropped from the roster.
- Running Gag: Dan "Toasty" Forden appears when a particularly vicious uppercut is performed.
- Sdrawkcab Name: Noob Saibot is the last names of Ed Boon and John Tobias, the co-creators of Mortal Kombat, spelled backwards.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: As with Mortal Kombat, for those more familiar with the arcade and SNES versions, the Genesis version is this, since it switches around a couple of the stage melodies. For instance, the Tower melody now plays on Kombat Tomb.
- Updated Re-release: The 32x port adds the missing voice bytes ("Round 1, 2, etc.") back in that were missing in the Genesis version, and there are mild cosmetic improvements.