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Western Animation / Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms

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This page will contain unmarked spoilers for Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge.

Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms is an animated film that is a sequel to Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge and the second film of the Mortal Kombat Legends series. It was released on August 31, 2021.

The plot is based on the events of Mortal Kombat II. After the events of the first film, Shao Kahn - the Emperor of Outworld - has offered one final Tournament for Earthrealm to participate in... one that will determine the fate of not only Earthrealm, but all of the Realms. Scorpion also takes a journey to find the Kamidogu before it's used to bring back the mysterious One Being.

Another sequel, Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind was released on October 11, 2022.

Green Band Trailer. Red Band Trailer.


These tropes will determine the fate of the Realms:

  • 11th-Hour Superpower: For the final battle, the Elder Gods fuse with Liu Kang to grant him the power needed to even have a hope of challenging the One Being.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Here, Liu Kang gets unnecessarily angst-ier. His backstory involves his parents being brutally murdered. Later during the tournament, his best friend Kung Lao is killed off in front of his very eyes, and Raiden, his father figure, gets his neck crushed by Shao Kahn before Liu's match with him.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In Netherrealm Studios' continuity, Shinnok is depicted as a skinny and pale-looking man who stands at about the same height as many other characters. In Battle of the Realms, however, he gets a lot of muscle - and his introduction depicts him being taller than Scorpion.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Sonya in the original got captured between the first and second game, and had to be rescued by Jax. Here, she's an official contestant of the tournament and ends up defeating both Li Mei and D'Vorah, losing only to Shao Kahn himself.
    • Liu Kang. Once he receives the essence of Elder Gods themselves, he is capable of dividing the Realms back, as well as battling One Being merged with Shinnok.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: Li Mei, Reiko, Shinnok, D'Vorah, and Stryker all appear much earlier than they did originally.
  • Adaptational Karma: In the games, D'Vorah kills off three fan favorites but gets away scott-free. However here, she is punished swiftly with a beatdown by Sonya Blade.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • Granted, he still decided to invade Earthrealm after losing, anyway, and scoffed at the Elder Gods, but in addition to merely settling for Shang Tsung being beaten in the last film, Shao Kahn in this film decided to propose another tournament with the Elder Gods' consent. Additionally, he lets a few characters live after defeating them in a fight. In the games, Shao Kahn ultimately didn't give a damn what the Gods thought of his actions and he's not willing to let the chance to brutally kill someone go by.
    • At no point between this or the previous film does Shang Tsung ever try to pull a Starscream on Shao Kahn. In fact, between this and the fact he chastised Quan Chi in the last film for his actions, it suggests this version of Shang Tsung is loyal to Shao Kahn.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the games, Li Mei was trying to get rid of Shang Tsung and Quan Chi. Here, she's working with Shao Kahn.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • Kintaro was an SNK Boss in the games, while here, his only fight in the movie has him being easily defeated by Jax.
    • Johnny Cage only has one fight in the tournament and is completely outmatched by D’Vorah.
    • In both video game timelines, Outworld has put Earthrealm forces on the defensive and nearly brought upon Armageddon. Here, according to Sonya, Earthrealm has the advantage on various fronts and may still be able to win.
    • D'Vorah is rather notorious for killing three veteran kombatants in X and 11. Here, she defeated Johnny easily but lost to Sonya in the next round.
  • Advertised Extra: Some characters previously shown in the trailers (namely Jade, Kintaro, Reiko, Li Mei and D'Vorah) have the least amount of screentime in the final film; some have less than three spoken lines.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Jax rips Kintaro's arms off in the same way his arms were ripped off by Goro.
  • Apocalypse Wow: For the first time ever in Mortal Kombat franchise, the merger of the Realms is shown in intricate detail. The worlds overlap each other, different species cross the boundaries and fight against one another... this chaos only delays the destruction of the universe.
    The One Being: The destiny of the Realms... is oblivion.
  • Arm Cannon: Jax's cyborg limbs can transform into giant cannons.
  • Ascended Meme: The Warner Bros. Animation Logo Joke for the film has an all-powerful Shaggy Rogers dragging Scorpion into the Netherrealm, referencing the Ultra Instinct Shaggy meme inherited from Dragon Ball Super. Fans had also jokingly pushed for his inclusion in Mortal Kombat 11, to the point where Ed Boon himself tried to put a lid on it.
    Shaggy: Like, get over here, man!
  • Ax-Crazy: Shinnok basically reveals to Scorpion the reason why exactly he needs the Temple of Elements' contents.
    Shinnok: Then my brothers and sisters will know how mad I really am.
  • Batman Gambit: Raiden giving up his godhood for participation in the Outworld tournament.
    Raiden: I am - how did the Americans say? - "hedging my bets."
  • Behemoth Battle: The climax of the movie involves a gargantuan demonic Shinnok possessed by One Being facing Fire God Liu Kang, in the form of a giant dragon.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Shao Kahn and Shinnok. Shao hosts the final Mortal Kombat tournament with intention of conquering the Realms, while Shinnok gathers the Kamidogu to summon the One Being and destroy all of existence.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Scorpion and Sub-Zero show up just in the nick of time of the final battle to help Liu Kang turn the tide against Shinnok.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Sonya plants one on Johnny near the end.
  • Bottomless Magazines: As with the games, both Jax and Stryker do not need to reload their guns. Averted with Johnny and Sonya whose guns ran out of bullets while fighting a horde of Tartakans during the climax.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Raiden gives up his godhood — and from the first battle afterward on, it's obvious that he'll be struggling throughout the movie. He lands one good hit on Shao Kahn... but then the Emperor ends up slaughtering him, effortlessly.
  • The Bus Came Back: After being "indisposed" during Scorpion's Revenge, Shinnok returns from his imprisonment.
  • Call-Back: Jax rips off Kintaro's arms with his new bionic ones when Kintaro tries to repeat the attack of his predecessor Goro, even copying Goro's line to him.
    Jax: Hurts, doesn't it?
  • Catch and Return: Kung Lao throws his razor-rimmed hat at Shao Kahn only to have the emperor throw it back at Kung Lao and have it slice into the monk's chest.
  • Crossover Punchline: Scorpion is jumping around the WB logo instead of Daffy Duck and the character who pulls him back into the shield is none other than Shaggy Rogers, a powerful aura surrounding him and his eyes glowing, who pulls Scorpion into the logo.
  • Cruel Mercy:
    • Shao Kahn refuses to kill Kitana and intends to let her live so she can watch him merge the realms and watch all that she loves destroyed.
    • Liu Kang spares Shang Tsung, but only so he can remember his loss and how easily Liu Kang beat him.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Shao Kahn is owning everyone who fights against him on the second day of the tournament. That is, until Liu Kang empowers himself and turns the final fight in his favor.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: Raiden is able to land a flying tackle on Shao Kahn before the warlord beats him to a pulp. Likewise, Sonya gets in a few good hits and a chokehold on Shao Kahn before being pulverized.
  • Demonic Possession: The One Being manifests in Shinnok's body, transforming him into a gigantic demon with the resemblance of his Corrupted self.
  • Death by Adaptation: D'Vorah is the only character in this movie who has never been killed in the games. Here, she dies by Sonya's hand.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Sonya fights both Li Mei and D'Vorah. Otherwise averted; there is a decent amount of female fighters battling male fighters, too.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: Raiden, Lao, Stryker, and Baraka all die much earlier and much bloodier than they did originally.
    • Raiden is impaled multiple times through the chest before having his neck crushed by Shao Kahn during the second tournament. Unlike his demise in Deception where he blew himself up in an attempt to kill Onaga.
    • Lao is ripped in half by Shao Kahn during the second tournament. A gorier fate than getting his neck snapped in Mortal Kombat (2011).
    • Shang forces Stryker to rip his own head off during the tournament. Earlier and gorier than originally having his face caved in by Sindel during the Earthrealm invasion.
    • Baraka explodes when Johnny forces a bomb into his mouth. This is different to how he dies in MKX, having his brain and heart ripped out by D'Vorah.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Shao Kahn. His defeat at the tournament between Outworld and Earthrealm ensures the latter's safety... but not quite. Shinnok remains as a major threat to be dealt with.
  • Disney Death: Raiden, who had surrendered his godhood earlier in the movie, is killed by Shao Kahn. However, right before the credits roll, it is shown that he has not only survived, but also regained his powers.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: During the "negotiations" scene, Johnny gets distracted by Kitana's leotard outfit.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The title Battle of the Realms refers to both the fact that multiple realms are battling it out in this final tournament and the fact that this tournament will determine the fate of the realms.
  • The End of the World as We Know It:
    • Shao Kahn gets Raiden to agree to a winner-takes-all Mortal Kombat tournament - which will either spare Earthrealm permanently, or grant Kahn the dominion he desires.
    • Meanwhile, Scorpion is trying to stop Shinnok from awakening the One Being itself.
  • Enemy Mine: Scorpion and Kuai Liang's motivation for a truce when Sektor, Cyrax, and Smoke chase them.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • After the Lin Kuei Grandmaster finds out what Shinnok plans to do, he is horrified and tries to stop him, though in vain.
    • In a way, Shao Kahn decides to officially sanction the Mortal Kombat tournament with the Elder Gods' consent. Apparently, even the ruthless and bloodthirsty ruler of Outworld decided to go with "by-the-book" mentality this time.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: After making the delivery of the Kamidogu's final piece, Lin Kuei Grandmaster realises too late who he just brought it to.
    Shinnok: What? You thought I had you chasing some bauble?
    Grandmaster: But... if it is put together-
    Shinnok: The One Being will come back - and destroy all of existence?
    Grandmaster: Yes. It is said that mad god Shinnok has searched... (realization strikes) You're Shinnok!
  • Face Death with Dignity: He actually doesn't die but after Shang Tsung is defeated by Liu Kang, he closes his eyes peacefully and calmly accepts his execution when Shao Kahn orders Liu to finish him. Lucky for him, Liu Kang doesn't go through with killing him.
  • Fate Worse than Death: If Scorpion refuses to deliver what's inside the Temple of Elements to Shinnok, the fallen Elder God threatens the undead ninja to personally flay him alive. Repeatedly.
    Shinnok: You cannot escape me.
    Scorpion: I can try.
  • Fusion Dance:
    • The Elder Gods fuse with Liu Kang to lend him their combined power against the One Being.
    • The One Being, meanwhile, fuses with Shinnok to gain physical form.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Kung Lao's death. Even after being ripped in half, remains of his body show signs of agony.
  • Groin Attack: This happens yet again to Johnny, this time by D'Vorah punching him.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Kung Lao, courtesy of Shao Kahn. The Shaolin monk throws his hat at the Emperor, who effortlessly catches it and sends it back. What follows next: Kung Lao's hat saws itself halfway into its owner's body. Shao then rips the unfortunate monk in half... with his bare hands.
  • Heal It With Fire: Liu Kang manages to burn his curse out of his arm. Then again, it is magical fire.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Shang Tsung and Liu Kang are having a pretty even fight until Shang Tsung curses Liu Kang's left arm, at which point Liu Kang quits screwing around and beats him down near effortlessly just to humiliate him and then lets him live with the knowledge that he was not only beaten, but it wasn't even close.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Even while standing in the presence of Elder Gods themselves, Shao Kahn doesn't skip on the opportunity to mock Raiden - who rejected his godhood as per Mortal Kombat rules.
    Shao Kahn: You are a fool, Lord - no, just "Raiden" now, isn't it? You are a fool, Raiden.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Johnny's plan of distraction amounts to this.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Outworlders' debrief was suddenly interrupted by Johnny Cage, leading to this amusing exchange:
    Kitana: Leave no one alive.
    Johnny Cage (from above): Wow, that- that seems a bit harsh.
    Johnny Cage: Finally! Yeah, I've been up here forever - it's about time you saw me. (falls back to the ground) Ow, my back! (gets up) Shiieeet...
  • Logo Joke: In a sendup to the previous film's opening gag (in which Scorpion dragged Daffy back into the Warner Bros. logo), this installment has Scorpion emerging from the shield, only to be dragged back not by any Kombatant, but by Shaggy Rogers, in reference to the "Ultra Instinct Shaggy" meme.
  • Loophole Abuse: Kitana tries to exploit this by killing Shao Kahn to become the new leader - and then surrendering to Earthrealm. It doesn't work because he survives... but points for creativity.
    Shao Kahn: You wretched child... Did you think I would be so easily defeated?
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Never Found the Body: After Shinnok is defeated, Jax informs Liu Kang that Shao Kahn, who was defeated by Liu earlier, has disappeared, and they fear that he is still alive - and thus remains a threat to Earthrealm.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer shows Raiden closing his fist as he talks about "one final Mortal Kombat", while in the film this clip is actually reversed, he's opening his fist and talking about how the Kamidogu have been split.
  • No-Sell:
    • Kintaro's attempt at ripping off Jax's arms is totally reversed, thanks to the new mechanical limbs.
    • Shao Kahn's fighting style is basically no-sell an attack, then brutalize the enemies until they stop getting up. It works well enough until Liu Kang uses the opportunity to power up and put him down.
  • Non-Action Guy: The Lin Kuei's Grandmaster. He can only watch helplessly as Sektor, Cyrax, and Smoke fight to protect him and themselves from Shinnok's demons and is killed without putting up any sort of fight.
  • Not so Above It All: The normally stoic Liu Kang is just as appalled by Johnny's Groin Attack as the other male kombatants, even covering his own groin while wincing.
  • Off with His Head!: Stryker's fate, having Shang Tsung inhabit his body and force him to rip off his own head with his bare hands. For added pain, he ends up backing into a set of spikes, impaling him, before that happens.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Kuai Liang will not allow anyone but himself kill Scorpion, even clashing with his Lin Kuei brethren in the process.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Johnny stops joking around whenever he sees Sonya is in trouble, showing that his love for her is genuine. It is only after seeing this side of him that Sonya start returning his feelings back.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Shinnok's incantation of "Kratakoth. Malentakoth. Respondi!" which he uses to manifest the One Being.
  • Parental Substitute: It's revealed that Raiden rescued Liu Kang as a baby, and kept his mother's dying wish to let him know he was loved. He even takes on mortal form to try and protect Liu Kang during the Tournament. His dying words are to tell Liu Kang that his parents loved him, and that he did too.
  • Please Kill Me If It Satisfies You: Scorpion admits that he's to blame for Bi-Han's death, and offers to let Kuai Liang kill him if he promises to keep the artifact safe. This is what convinces Kuai Liang to spare him.
  • Personality Swap: Of the two, unlike in most adaptations, it is Kuai Liang who is driven by vengeance to the point of Revenge Before Reason while Scorpion is the calmer of the two.
  • Plot Armor: Shao Kahn has no reason to hold back and is more than willing to kill anyone who opposes him. While he kills Kung Lao and Raiden, he spares Jax, Sonya and Kitana, though in the latter case, he is giving her a Cruel Mercy by forcing her to watch Earthrealm champions lose.
    • Likewise, D'Vorah, who's shown in the video games as a ruthless warrior, spares Johnny Cage for no reason.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Johnny Cage seems to spend more time in the movie making snarky comments, unsuccessfully hitting on Sonya, and receiving amusing injuries than he does actually fighting.
  • Prepare to Die: Said almost verbatim by Shao Kahn before battling Liu Kang.
  • Punch Catch: Not only is Shao able to catch a punch from one of Jax's bionic arms, he crushes said arm the moment he closes his grip.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Despite all of reality being in jeopardy should the cyborgs get ahold of the Kamidogu, Kuai Liang will attempt to kill Scorpion when he gets the chance. Scorpion tells him that vengeance will tear him up from the inside and it's not worth it, but if he wants to kill him, get it over with. He ultimately doesn't.
  • Robocam: The audience sees briefly through the points of view of Cyrax, Sektor, and Smoke.
  • Share the Male Pain: Jax, Liu Kang, Kung Lao, and Stryker are shown to either wince or be horrified by D'Vorah punching Johnny in the balls.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Inverted. Sonya repeatedly says that Johnny is not her boyfriend. Eventually he finds a way to get to her heart and she ends the movie kissing him.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Scorpion (and to a lesser extent Sub-Zero) has an entire plot of his own despite not being involved in the war between Earthrealm and Outworld. Considering he is Ed Boon's favorite, this is to be expected. Even during the climax, whereas Kitana, Jax, Sonya and Johnny prioritize in helping civilians, both ninjas help Liu Kang in defeating Shinnok, with Scorpion even destroying the crystal on his forehead, giving Liu Kang the upper hand.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Played for laughs. Apparently, Johnny Cage fired his agent after accidentally sending him to a death island in the previous movie.
    • During the final battle, only Liu Kang, Scorpion, and Sub-Zero participate in the fight against Shinnok. Everyone else prioritizes saving the hundreds of terrified civilians who have been unexpectedly dropped onto a battlefield.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Liu Kang went from losing his climactic fight with Goro in the first movie to being able to defeat Jade, Shang Tsung, and Shao Kahn in the tournament of this movie. Plus he becomes empowered enough to battle and defeat Shinnok fused with the One Being, with some assistance from Scorpion and Sub-Zero.
  • Tsundere: Sonya repeatedly ignores any affections towards Johnny throughout the film. It is only when he stops acting like a Hollywood star that she returns his feelings.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: While Raiden and his companions must challenge Shao Kahn in one final Mortal Kombat tournament to determine the fate of the realms, Scorpion must evade persuasion from the Lin Kuei who are trying to make him open the gates to the Temple of Elements.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Stryker's not exactly unfazed by all the weirdness around him, but he takes most of it in stride even though he's been dropped into it with little to no explanation.
    Stryker: I'm on another world, in an evil dictator's castle. Totally normal.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: Smoke is forcibly transformed into a cyborg.
  • Use Their Own Weapon Against Them: Sonya breaks off one of D'Vorah's pincers and stabs her in the abdomen with it.
  • Wrecked Weapon: A powerful uppercut from Liu Kang breaks Jade's pole in two, ending the fight.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • The Lin Kuei cyborgs only need Scorpion so he can open the path to the Kamidogu. Once the door is open, they immediately try to kill him.
    • Shinnok does the same to the Lin Kuei, as "payment" for bringing him the last Kamidogu.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Scorpion gives this speech to Kuai Liang in the room with the Kamidogu to make him focus on what is really important.
  • You Killed My Father: Brother, to be precise. Kuai Liang, the second Sub-Zero, wants revenge on Scorpion for killing his brother, Bi-Han.


Video Example(s):


Like, Get Over Here, Man!

The logo for Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms, featuring a very special guest...

How well does it match the trope?

5 (57 votes)

Example of:

Main / LogoJoke

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