Mortal Kombat: Armageddon is the seventh fighting game installment in the Mortal Kombat franchise. It was released for PlayStation 2 and Xbox in 2006, and for Nintendo Wii in 2007. This game marks the last Mortal Kombat releases for that generation of consoles.
Warriors from all realms are becoming stronger and stronger — something which was not supposed to happen. As a result, all realms are in danger. These warriors are foretold to eventually clash in a crater found in Edenia in an epic battle of such proportions, it will bring about The End of the World as We Know It. As the combatants fight, a pyramid rises from the ground without warning, and the tip bursts into flames, attracting the warriors' curiosity to see what's at the top. The combatants fight one another to get to the top, while Blaze — the firespawn that was created by the Elder Gods to destroy as many fighters as possible in order to save the realms from the prophecised Armageddon — reveals himself. The final Mortal Kombat has begun; which warrior will stand upon the rest as the mightiest warrior of all?
Armageddon brought back the entire cast from the previous six installments in the Fighting Game franchise — from Mortal Kombat all the way up to Mortal Kombat: Deception — and also added Sareena from Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero (because she was selectable in the Game Boy Advance-only Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition). It includes a total cast of 63 playable named combatants, including the Trilogy exclusive characters Chameleon (for all consoles) and Khameleon (exclusively for Wii), Meat from 4 as a Secret Character, and Blaze (a Secret Character from Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance who was turned into a Fire Golem in order to be the game's Final Boss). To cap off the roster, all previously unplayable bosses and sub-bosses — Goro, Kintaro, Shao Kahn, Motaro, Moloch, and Onaga — were turned into playable characters without any need for unlocking them. There was even room for two new characters (Daegon and Taven, the main characters of this game). Oh, and there's an extra space for your very own created kombatant. At first, Armageddon appeared to be a dream come true: every potential Mortal Kombat dream match was now possible.
The game delivered in roster depth, stages (bringing back almost every past stage, with their own Death Traps), and customization (the 64th option on the character select allows players to create their own character) — but it lacked a solid story (characters thought to be Killed Off for Real, such as Hsu Hao, came Back from the Dead for no apparent reason), and the franchise's defining feature (the Fatalities) now required players to execute a button sequence for each part of the Fatality sequence, and they were homogenized with no unique Fatalities for individuals (instead, you're limited to ripping off a sequence of limbs). These two glaring flaws were the most criticized aspects of Armageddon.
This is the only 3D game of the series that saw no handheld port, mainly due to the size of the roster.
Armageddon is followed in the franchise itself by Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, but it is followed canonically by 2011's Mortal Kombat (a retelling of the first three games of the series where the story is directly affected by this game's events).
- the franchise's Developers' Foresight page
- the franchise's Shout Out page
- the franchise's Stage Fatality page
The game has examples of the following tropes:
- Ascended Extra:
- Meat and Mokap, who were just placeholders and Joke Characters in their respective origin games (4 and Deadly Alliance), are now legitimate kombatants (though Meat still has to be unlocked).
- A non-individual example is the Red Dragon Clan. They were introduced in Deadly Alliance as a fairly minor force with its only connection to the series' backstory being in connection to the Black Dragon Clan. Here the Red Dragon is fleshed out from being a simple ancient crime syndicate to being a group that seeks to help its founder achieve full godhood.
- Back from the Dead: Everyone—or, at least, those who we were told got killed (such as Mavado, who was killed by Kabal in Deception, and Hsu Hao, who was killed by Jax in Deadly Alliance).
- The Bad Guy Wins: The canonical winner of Armageddon? Shao Kahn.
- The Chessmaster: Shinnok is The Man Behind the Man to Daegon and is trusted by Taven (who is unaware that he had fallen), and pits the two against each other. He seems to have a greater awareness of what is going on than most other heroes and villans, and he chooses to use an avatar for the final battle rather than show up in person. It is implied in Mortal Kombat 9 that the entirety of that game is a result of his machinations in this one. Quite impressive, though he's as much of an Anti-Climax Boss as a fighter as he ever was (even if, granted, he's not technically a boss).
- Combo Breaker: It could be used three times in a match, however.
- Compilation Re-release: Mortal Kombat Kollection, which shipped this game alongside Mortal Kombat: Deception and Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks.
- Continuity Nod:
- Jarek's bio calls his treatment at the hands of Jax "brutality", directly referencing Jax's words to him from Jax's ending in 4.
- Some of the less emphasized fights in the intro contain references to some of the subplots of the prior games of which include: Sonya Blade vs Frost (who were enemies in Deadly Alliance for unexplained reasons), Jade vs Tanya (Jade had sought to hunt down the Edenian traitor during the events of Deception), and Sub-Zero vs Hotaru (Hotaru was ordered by Onaga to thwart his and Kenshi Takahashi's attempt to interrupt the Dragon King's Assimilation Plot in the prior game). Also, two of the identifiable fighters that Shao Kahn flicks away while climbing the Pyramid of Argus are Baraka (who lost Shao Kahn's favor when he, along with the rest of the Tarkatan horde following him, chose to pledge his loyalty to Onaga) and Sindel (who as a result of the magically induced brainwashing done to her upon on her resurrection being undone at the conclusion of Mortal Kombat 3's events went back to being ruler of Edenia and his nemesis).
- The presence of Sektor's Tekunin forces is a nod to his ending in Tournament Edition, the last game he was playable in prior to this one.
- Dream Match Game: A rare canonical example, given that everyone that was previously offed is Back from the Dead. The entire cast from every fighting installment returns.
- Easter Egg: The sorcerer preset for male kombatants in the Kreate-A-Fighter mode is none other than the old Shang Tsung from MKI.
- Endless Corridor: One of the arenas allows you to knock the opponent down a flight of stairs to an exact replica of the area... and then do it again... and again...
- Enemy Mine: The Forces of Darkness. As opposed to the Forces of Light, who are mostly comprised of friends and family (and even the newcomers are on good standing with the more senior members), there is nothing but bad blood between the villains (and the occasional neutral character). Darrius hired Dairou to kill Hotaru, while Hotaru and Havik don't hold each other in high regard. Several of the members would probably be better suited to fight for the Forces of the Light if it weren't for their personal vendettas. Take Nitara for instance. She's most likely the closest thing the group has to a Token Good Teammate (Word of God confirms that she's morally Neutral/Good), but is there to defeat Ashrah because Ashrah's Kriss is a Knight Templar towards the Vampire race, which it sees as Always Chaotic Evil. Scorpion, an anti-hero, is another good example. He's only aligned with them because he hates Quan Chi intensely (seeing as the man was responsible for killing his family, it's pretty damn justified), but he ultimately engages in battle with his former nemesis Sub-Zero (as seen in the intro). Though it also worth noting that Scorpion is a double subversion in that while he doesn't share any of the Forces of Darkness' goals and only wants an opportunity to kill Quan Chi, but he also has a personal agenda of taking out vengeance on the Elder gods (which coincidentally Shinnok also wants) for bringing back his fallen kin as undead abominations.
- Fighting a Shadow: Shinnok is not actually a playable character in this game per se; instead, he used an avatar. In the next game, Raiden cheats Shao Kahn of victory by altering time... but it is implied that Shinnok, since he never actually lost due to not actually being present, might have altered time first, taking advantage of this trope.
- Finishing Move: Which you can input by using, among other stuff:
- Foreshadowing: After Taven has helped Sub-Zero in thwarting Noob Saibot's assault on the Lin Kuei Palace, Kuai Liang reveals to him that the wraith used to be his brother before he was corrupted into a minion of the Netherrealm. During the cutscene when Taven is leaving the Lin Kuei Palace he expresses his regret that the brothers are now bitter enemies who tried to kill each other. This is preview to the conflict that Taven will discover himself as being in with his own brother.
- Grand Finale: Of the original timeline: almost every Kombatant to have ever thrown down in the series is here to determine the fate of all realms. Mortal Kombat 9 shows it ends badly as Shao Kahn wins in the end.
- Kill 'Em All: Narrowly subverted. Canonically, every single fighter dies in this game with the exception of Shao Kahn, who kills Raiden and achieves ultimate power, Taven, who ascends to protector god status and attempts to stave off Armageddon as best he can, and Shinnok, who only sent an avatar. Raiden utilized a time-travel gambit to change history, though he may have actually made things worse and Shinnok, being at a safe distance, might have beaten him to the punch...
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo/Writing Around Trademarks: Many of the features and accessories for the Kreate-A-Fighter include references to popular culture, but are modified so as to avoid infringing on the various property holders' trademarks.
- Lazy Artist: The game has caught flak for recycling Deadly Alliance and Deception character models, with the exception of Reptile who instead uses his Shaolin Monks model. Several of the new characters also have recycled animations from previous games, even when they don't fit. Then there's the absolute lack of unique fatalities. Whilst an argument could be made that trying to give every character on the roster a fatality would have been time consuming and likely seen some characters using similar fatalities, as well as the inevitable memory issues in programming at least 126 unique finishers and the whole thing about character customization extending to Fatalities, the fact remains that there were only 17 characters in the game who didn't appear in the two previous games, which is less than the rosters of Deception and Deadly Alliance, and the characters returning from those games could have reused those fatalities if need be (despite the fact that Deadly Alliance only had one Fatality per character, while Deception had two, plus the Hara-Kiri).
- Loincloth: Aside from the obvious examples, the custom character can wear one.
- Mordor: The Netherrealm.
- Mythology Gag:
- Several limited edition versions shipped with different metallic covers, with one of them being Goro vs. Cage.
- Of the highlighted fights that occur in Armageddon's intro, one of them is Kung Lao vs Baraka in reference to them being archenemies in Shaolin Monks. Though Mortal Kombat 9 also retconned the Tarkatan minions of Shao Kahn under Baraka's command as being responsible for the raid on the Wu Shi Academy that resulted in several fellow monks being killed and captured.
- Hotaru killing Li Mei in the intro is a vague reference to Shujinko defeating the former after his prison escape while using the latter's abilities.note
- During Konquest Mode, Sonya threatens Sektor by telling him "Surrender immediately or risk annihilation!"
- When Kano is escaping from the Red Dragon Clan's base, he mentions that they were planning to use him as a subject for experiments on creating Dragon-Human hybrids. On top of that, his arcade ending states that upon absorbing the power of Blaze that he transformed into a Black Dragon-Human hybrid being. These are likely in reference to the "Kano Transformations" joke that was included in the list of statistics in Mortal Kombat II and subsequent fan speculation it spurred.
- Nostalgia Level: Many of the arenas are lifted from past games. This includes Goro's Lair, the Armory, Shao Kahn's Arena, the Evil Tower, the Wastelands, the Bell Tower, Hell, the Soul Chamber, the Subway, the Fire Well, Reptile's Lair, the Nethership, the Lin Kuei Palace, the Throne Room, the Falling Cliffs, Hell's Foundry and Sky Temple.
- Popularity Power: The main reason of the appearance of Trilogy's Khameleon in the Wii version of the game.
- Ring Out: In several of the arenas. This being Mortal Kombat, the loser is rewarded with a bloody death by way of Death Traps.
- Scunthorpe Problem: When making a custom character, the game won't let you use swears in any text field. While this might have at least kept people from having to fight a million bored twelve-year-olds who named their characters after obscenities in online play, it hits a low branch on the Stupid Tree when one of the words the filter doesn't allow is "Hell". Which is the name of a stage in the game.
- Sensory Abuse: Cyrax's ending emits a very high-pitched sound that can be summed up as pure, concentrated "Ear Rape". (With that said, turn down your speakers if you click on that link.)
- Shows Damage: Mainly in the form of large globs of blood dripping from the top of the characters' heads again.
- Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: Featured in several stages.
- Stance System: Like the previous two games, but this time each character has only one unarmed fighting stance in addition to the weapon stance. Mokap has two unarmed fighting stances and no weapon; Motaro, Onaga, Moloch and Blaze have no weapon and thus are limited to a single stance.
- The Unfought: While Kano and Shujinko are two character noted in the Konquest mode section below, but a more plot relevant example is Quan Chi. Taven spends the roughly last third of the storyline seeking to track him down to get more information on Daegon's plans and later to get vengeance for Quan Chi's mortal wounding of Orin in an attempt to prevent Taven from being able to travel across the realms. The closest Taven gets to the necromancer following the spoiler protected event was during his speech in Shao Kahn's throne room.
- Enemy Mine: Lampshaded; Quan Chi rallies Shao Kahn, Shang Tsung, Shinnok, and Onaga to join forces, even if briefly, so that they can defeat the heroes, knowing that afterwards, backstabbing will ensue.
- Exact Words: Revealed to be the reason Scorpion is angry with the Elder Gods after Deception. He was promised that they would resurrect his clan in return for his servitude and the defeat of Onaga. Which they did... but as hellspawns under his thrall rather than as actual living people like he expected.
- Genre Shift: Whenever you find a member of the playable cast, a fighting match will ensue. Except Kano and Shujinko.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Some stages feature spikes; you can uppercut the mooks to impale them there. And can happen to you in Arktika.
- It's a Wonderful Failure: YOU ARE DEAD, triggered whenever you die.
- Literally Shattered Lives: Thanks to the Ice Scepter, a weapon you find in the Lin Kuei temple, which can freeze and shatter your enemies.
- Mooks: Tons of them, everywhere. Red/Black Dragon thugs, Lin Kuei/Tengu ninjas, Shadow mooks...
- Rewarding Vandalism: Breaking stuff grants you both health and mana recovery.
- Difficult, but Awesome: Some character-specific abilities require swiss-clock precision, but are very effective once they hit.
- Lemony Narrator:"Scorpion speared ahead you""Jax pounded you""X was krushed""X was burnt to a krisp"
- Lethal Lava Land: Outworld Refinery.
- Lost Woods: Botan Jungle.
- Mascot Racer: This is a racing game within this one, where the characters race each other on special vehicles, and use their powers to stop each other.
- Power-Up: The star grants every character the use of their signature ability (Scorpion throws his Kunai, Sub-Zero throws an iceball, Raiden surrounds himself with a lightning shield, etc) while the green lightning grants a temporary boost and the red koins gives the player some koins.
- Racing Minigame: Of the "I Can't Believe It's Not Mario Kart!" variation.
- Shifting Sand Land: The Lost Pyramid.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Lin Kuei Raceway.
- Theme Mobile: Every character drives a vehicle themed after them. (Jax uses a miniature tank, Cage has a luxurious car, Mileena has teeths printed in the front of her car)
- Vehicular Combat: Each vehicle is armed with a weapon which depends on a meter.
- Wacky Racing: Characters have themed vehicles, and the arenas have many dangers.