Mortal Kombat: Deception is the sixth fighting game installment in the Bloody Mortal Kombat franchise. It was released for PlayStation 2 and Xbox in 2004 and for GameCube in 2005, and it takes place right after Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance.
At the end of that game, Shang Tsung and Quan Chi managed to bring back Outworld's ancient army. The opening cutscene brings us to them fighting Raiden. Once Raiden is down, they start fighting each other, with Quan Chi defeating Shang Tsung. However, while he was rejoicing with his victory, someone appears. It's Onaga, the resurrected Dragon King, who wants Outworld back. Quan Chi and Shang Tsung tried to bring him down, with Raiden joining them later. In the end, neither the three of them could stop Onaga, and Raiden, in a desperate move, tried to do his most dangerous move... which has proven to be fatal only for the trio, as Onaga managed to survive to that and without taking much damage. With Raiden and the Deadly Alliance gone, now there's only one ruler.
It turns out that, while the events of previous games were taking place, Onaga, disguised as an Elder God emmisary, tricked a youngster named Shujinko into getting six MacGuffins for him, across the realms. This, plus Reptile's body being used as a host, managed to bring back the Dragon King to life.
So, now, without any leader, and with five of the heroes being killed in battle, Sub-Zero trapped in the Netherrealm, and his pupil Frost being... frozen, the survivors of the battle against the Deadly Alliance (Kenshi, Bo' Rai Cho, Li Mei, Scorpion and the aforementioned Sub-Zero) are on their own against the forces of Onaga, which included the Tarkatan army, led by Baraka. Raiden, corrupted by Onaga's magic, became disgusted with the humanity in general, and revived Liu Kang as a zombie, sending him to a massive manslaughter. Kang's spirit, however, stays with Ermac, to help him save his friends.
Aside of the aforementioned Onaga, Shujinko, Baraka, Ermac and the aforementioned returning characters from the past installment, the game managed to bring back several of the characters from past games, such as Tanya, Jade, Mileena, Kabal, Nightwolf and Sindel, while adding several new faces such as Kobra, Kira, Ashrah, Hotaru, Havik, Dairou and Darrius. There's also a sub-boss team called Noob-Smoke, comprised of, you guessed, Noob Saibot and his minion Smoke revived and reprogrammed in order to serve his new master, and two GameCube exclusive characters also returning: Goro and Shao Kahn, included due to the lack of online play in said version.
Deception follows the 3D path the MK series has taken with Mortal Kombat 4 and Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. It also brought back the Stage Fatalities, which were absent in the previous installment, now doable even during the match, and increased the mayhem by adding several stages more than two traps, a Combo Breaker system, and a hara-kiri move, which the character can use to avoid the Fatality. And, as you've seen above, it's the first Mortal Kombat game which assumes that The Bad Guy Wins. (Ok, it's the Big Bad Duumvirate from the previous game, but still.) Oh, and it's the first Mortal Kombat game to feature online play, in the Xbox and PlayStation 2 versions.
There's also a PlayStation Portable version called Mortal Kombat: Unchained, which included all of the aforementioned playable characters of above (including Goro and Shao Kahn) and added the Deadly Alliance versions of Jax, Frost, Kitana and Blaze, plus an Endurance mode.
Followed by Mortal Kombat: Armageddon.
The game has examples of:
- Actually a Doombot: Explaining the presence of Goro and Shao Kahn after their apparent death in Deadly Alliance (GameCube only).
- A Day in the Limelight: There are several unlockable "Kards" which contain bios about the characters.
- Anachronism Stew: Good luck trying to figure out what time period it is in Earthrealm. Shujinko hails from an Medieval style Chinese village, but at the same time there are US special forces, robots and movie stars hanging around. And let's not even start with all the Timeline inconsistencies.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: The hara-kiri moves.
- The Bus Came Back: Nightwolf, Kabal, Noob Saibot, Smoke, Sindel, Tanya, Jade, Mileena, Liu Kang. Shao Kahn & Goro join them in the GameCube version.
- Came Back Wrong: Raiden, after he releases his Godly essence in an attempt to stop Onaga. Liu Kang, after Raiden (after he Came Back Wrong) reanimates his corpse.
- Camera Screw: The PSP port suffers from a vary annoying tic in Konquest Mode, where getting too close to any kind of map geometry causes the camera to lock onto it until you move far enough away or manually rotate the camera back onto Shujinko.
- The Cameo: The Dark Prison stage (which is set underneath Shang Tsung's island) features nearly every playable character from the series not in this game, the cast of Deadly Alliance included. A MK2-era Shang Tsung also pops up on the balcony of the Deadpool stage. All of the non-playable characters from previous games can also be seen scurrying around the graves in The Krypt.
- Collection Sidequest: While Konquest Mode is ostensibly a large tutorial for learning the various characters' moves, a large part of it involves hunting down coins and treasure chests, which can be used to buy things (alternate costumes, music, extra stages, concept artwork, videos, etc.) in the Krypt.
- Combo Breaker: It can be used three times in a match, however.
- Continuity Nod:
- Concept Art Gallery
- Dark Reprise: Raiden still has the same battle cries he always had but delivered in a much more aggressive tone, befitting his darker persona.
- Dead Guy on Display: Before Noob Saibot found him, Smoke's deactivated body was being kept by Shao Kahn as a war trophy from his Earthrealm invasion in Mortal Kombat 3.
- Downer Beginning: See Oh, Crap! below.
- Eat the Dog: In the "Konquest" mode, you meet up with a woman in the starting town who is looking for her lost dog. You are directed to a butcher shop where the butcher has already killed the dog. He says something along the lines of "Oh no! I didn't know he was anybody's pet! I thought he was a stray!" He gives you the dog's butchered remains anyway. When you meet back up with the woman, her lines are..."Oh no! Niko! I shouldn't have let him out of my sight!... oh well, would you like some Niko stew?"
- Enemy Mine: The opening movie starts with Shang Tsung & Quan Chi fighting Raiden, then turning against one another, before playing the trope straight when Onaga turns up and they all start attacking him instead.
- Everybody's Dead, Dave
- Expy: Darrius of Jax. Take a good look at a couple of his finishing moves.
- Farts on Fire: Uggh. Who knew Bo' Rai Cho had the stinkiest Fatality in Mortal Kombat history?
- Guide Dang It!: Certain treasure chests in Konquest Mode only appear at certain times of the day on certain days of the week.
- Hammered into the Ground: Shao Kahn had this as a fatality using his own hammer.
- Hotter and Sexier: What Deadly Alliance started, this game cranked it up a few notches. With the notable exception of Ashrah, just about every playable female has at least one Stripperiffic outfit (and even her alternate outfit isn't exactly what you'd call modest...).
- This game also featured the infamous crossover with Playboy, where Mileena appeared sexy (but not naked). A special art piece was created for the magazine (but not actually featured in it) of Mileena in her alt costume, pulled away from her breasts with her sai's crossed over her nipples. The art is an unlockable in the Krypt (and was apparently a favorite desktop background for the developers of the game).
- Irony: The original Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat had the classic "Spine Rip" Fatality, which involved ripping the opponent's head off with the spine still intact. Scorpion, who originally sought revenge against the original Sub-Zero over the death of his clan and family, adapts the classic Spine Rip Fatality as his own.
- Pull this on ether Sub-Zero (the current one) or Noob Saibot (the original Sub-Zero) to really see a Death by Irony
- Kill 'em All: A great amount of the kombatants, including nearly all of the original cast, especially the Earthrealm characters (Johnny Cage, Sonya, Kitana, Jax and Kung Lao), are killed off at the beginning of the game.
- Meaningful Name: The second name of the game, "Deception." It's about Onaga tricking Shujinko, who played a big part of the deal in reviving the former.
- Mythology Gag: The design of Kira's Dragon Teeth knives comes from the knife Kano wielded in the first movie.
- La Résistance: Mostly notably Darrius.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Noob Saibot is revealed to be the original Sub-Sero in this game. His reunion with his younger brother is less than ideal as he orders Sub-Zero's (the younger) former best friend, Smoke, to help rip him in half.
- Mini-Game: "Chess Kombat" and "Puzzle Kombat."
- Mondegreen: Liu Kang performing his Bicycle Kick in this game makes it sound like he's yelling, "WHATAREWEGOINGTODOABOUTTHAAAAAAAAT?!!"
- Nostalgia Level: Many of the arenas.
- Offhand Backhand: One of the loading screens shows Kenshi doing this to Kira via telekinesis... into a wall.
- Oh, Crap!: The opening movie comes with one for the player, as the first shot is of the stairs leading to Shang Tsung & Quan Chi's base from the previous game littered with the corpses of Johnny Cage, Kitana, Sonya, Jax and Kung Lao, and one in-universe when Onaga turns up.Quan Chi: No! It cannot be!...
- Permanently Missable Content: In Konquest Mode, once you leave the village at the beginning, you can't get back in. So be sure you've gotten as many koins and open as many chests as you can before you do so.
- Playable Epilogue: The Konquest Mode allows the player to still roam around the realms after finishing the main story. However, the player also gets the opportunity to find new chests that unlock either main protagonist Shujinko's special moves and Fatalities and Hara Kiri or chests that the player missed out on at the beginning village.
- Precision F-Strike: If you knock Ermac off of the Sky Temple, you hear something you wouldn't expect from someone with his disposition."RAAAAAAAAAAAGH, note "
- Ring Out: In several of the arenas. This being Mortal Kombat, the loser is rewarded with a bloody death by way of Death Traps.
- Run, Don't Walk: Averted; there is a run button in Konquest Mode. Chances are you'll be holding that button constantly, since Shujinko's jog is pretty slow by comparison.
- Shared Life Meter: The Noob-Smoke tag team.
- Shout-Out: Check the page.
- Shows Damage
- Skeleton Motif: Havik is an Ambiguously Human character who is missing the lower part of his face (starting at the nose) which was apparently ripped off, revealing his skeletal structure. He's not evil, though, just chaotic (he hails from Chaosrealm, after all).
- Spinning out of Here: Jade has a move called Vanishing Winds where she spins around a cloud of green smoke and reappears behind her opponent.
- Terrible Trio: Kabal, Kira, and Kobra.
- This Is Gonna Suck: Havik seems to think so about being knocked off of the Sky Temple.
- Those Two Bad Guys: Noob-Smoke. Though unwillingly bad in Smoke's case.
- Unwinnable by Design: Several of Konquest mode's questlines have no ending.
- Also in the starter town, you can accept a quest to deliver a pot to another NPC somewhere else in town. If you leave the town before completing the quest, you'll figure out that you technically can't get back into the town.
- Version Exclusive Content: The GameCube edition added Shao Khan and Goro, and the later Unchained edition topped that with Jax, Kitana, Frost and Blaze.
- What an Idiot!: Raiden's thoughts about Shujinko's quest, in a nutshell.