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Chapter 1: Johnny Cage
- When Shinnok reaches the Jinsei, he quickly overpowers the heroes and has them at his mercy.
You'd Expect: Shinnok to just kill them and be done with it, just in case they might become a problem later.
Instead: He grabs the Villain Ball and decides to torture Sonya, allowing Johnny to tap into an ancient power of his that allows him to fight on an even level with gods, and thus overpower him.
Result: Shinnok gets trapped inside his amulet, thwarting his invasion.
Chapter 2: Kotal Kahn
- After Kotal Kahn defeats Rain, he orders Erron Black to finish Rain off.
You'd Expect: For Erron to just, ya know, shoot Rain in the head.
Instead: He kicks Rain around a bit, pins him down, and slowly prepares to shoot him.
Result: Mileena stops Black before he can pull the trigger by tossing a sai at him, allowing Rain to escape.
- Kotal Kahn has just defeated Mileena, who is the leader of a rebellion that is severely damaging Outworld's stability.
You'd Expect: For him to just kill her, especially since he just saw what happens when you take too long to kill someone (the above example).
Instead: He insists on a more formal method of execution and begins a long chant meant to incinerate her, giving her time to recover from the beating she received.
Result: Mileena whips out Shinnok's amulet, injuring Kotal Kahn and his minions long enough for Rain to grab her and escape. Thus, the civil war continues.
Chapter 3: Sub-Zero
- The Special Forces team is sent on a covert mission to infiltrate the Lin Kuei Temple and confront Sub-Zero, even overpower him if things get nasty (it's actually all a training exercise, but they don't know that). Cassie comes up with a decent plan to sneak up on the Lin Kuei Grandmaster, who is currently meditating.
You'd Expect: Kung Jin to follow her instructions.
Instead: He rushes up to Sub-Zero and picks a fight with him, subtlety be damned!
Result: The team gets into a fight in which they are grossly outnumbered, and are ultimately defeated by Sub-Zero and placed at his mercy. Had it not been for the fact that it was all a training exercise secretly arranged by Sub-Zero and Cassie's father, the team would have all been killed. Unsurprisingly, Jin's teammates call him out on his rashness. It's a wonder why he wasn't booted from the group, given how stupid he is.
Chapter 4: Kung Jin
- The Special Forces team is sent to Outworld as Earthrealm emissaries. As they are being led to Kotal Kahn's palace, they witness a man about to be executed for attempting to steal some bread. This does not sit well with Kung Jin.
You'd Expect: Kung Jin to swallow his anger and keep walking, as it is a different realm with different laws, and getting involved could seriously damage the extremely fragile peace between Earthrealm and Outworld.
Instead: He stupidly rushes to stop the execution, causing an uproar that nearly gets him and his teammates killed and ends up picking a fight with the emperor himself in the process. They do manage to smooth things over (barely), but even Jin's teammates call him out on the fact that he nearly kicked off an inter-realm war just to rescue a bread thief.
- Kung Jin defeats Kotal Kahn, then demands that Kotal Kahn spare the bread thief's life.
You'd Expect: Kotal to do just that, or lampshade Deliberate Values Dissonance and order Jin to back off or face destroying the peace between Outworld and Earthrealm.
Instead: Not only does he comply, but he offers to let Jin kill him! Keep in mind that Kotal has no immediate successors and is currently at war with another claimant to the throne of Outworld. Thankfully, Jin refuses.
Chapter 5: Sonya Blade
- Sonya, Johnny, and Raiden infiltrate Quan Chi's fortress in the hopes of rescuing the Revenants. Johnny notices a blood pool and approaches it. Sonya warns him not to touch it.
You'd Expect: Johnny to listen.
Instead: He asks, "Where's your sense of adventures?" Then he tries to touch the pool anyway, activating... whatever it does.
- Kano sneaks into the refugee camp using a disguise. It eventually malfunctions and he is quickly cornered.
You'd Expect: For him to surrender and give them the information they want in exchange for his life.
Instead: He attempts to use the info he has as leverage for release, and when this is refused, he pushes Sonya's Berserk Button by threatening her daughter.
Result: Sonya goes Mama Bear on Kano's ass!
- Sonya defeats Kano.
You'd Expect: Her to have him taken away and interrogated.
Instead: She tries to kill him, despite his possession of key information she needs. Thankfully, Johnny stops her.
Chapter 6: D'Vorah
- D'Vorah has just defeated Rain and Tanya, and moves to kill them both.
You'd Expect: Cassie, who came with her, to just let D'Vorah put them both down like the scum they are.
Instead: She insists that D'Vorah spare their lives.
You'd Expect: D'Vorah to just ignore her and kill them anyway, or at least explain why they need to be put down.
Instead: She gives Cassie a dirty look, but nevertheless complies.
- D'Vorah has successfully captured Mileena and is ordered to execute her by Kotal Kahn.
You'd Expect: Mileena to either teleport away or bite D'Vorah with her Tarkatan teeth as a way of Taking You with Me.
Instead: She does neither of these things.
Result: Mileena is gruesomely killed.
- With the rebellion over, the Special Forces team decides to leave with Shinnok's Amulet. Unfortunately for them, Kotal Kahn thinks that he can do a better job of protecting the amulet than they can.
You'd Expect: Kotal Kahn to explain this, even using the fact that the amulet was stolen right under Raiden's nose to strengthen his case. In the event that they disagree, he can just contact Sonya and make his case with her, or perhaps Raiden.
Instead: He restrains the team and decides to have them imprisoned.
You'd Expect: Cassie, who's holding the amulet, to use its power to break herself and her team free of their bonds and escape.
Instead: She does nothing.
Result: The team is thrown in the clink, Kotal Kahn entrusts the amulet to D'Vorah (who turns out to be working for Shinnok), and he ends up making a group of powerful enemies who otherwise would have had no reason to be hostile towards him.
Chapter 7: Takeda
- Takeda has just finished a training exercise with Hanzo Hazashi/Scorpion when his father, Kenshi, arrives. Takeda, who detests his father, moves to attack him, but Hanzo urges him not to.
You'd Expect: Takeda to listen to his teacher.
Instead: He ignores him and gets into an unnecessary fight with his father.
- The Special Forces team is being transported on a prison ship. At some point, a guard is sent down to give them some food.
You'd Expect: The guard to be provided with backup (or simply ask for it), given how formidable the team is.
Instead: He goes down alone, with no weapons at all.
Result: Takeda uses his telepathy to knock the guard out and take his keys, allowing the team to escape.
- During a fight on the dock, Erron Black, having previously been knocked down, manages to get back up and aim his guns at Takeda (or possibly Kung Jin).
You'd Expect: Erron to just fire with abandon.
Instead: He RUNS AT TAKEDA, guns drawn and giving an angry growl.
Result: Takeda swiftly overpowers him.
Chapter 8: Jax
- Sindel manages to briefly overpower Jax and tosses him off a cliff. He manages to grab hold of the edge.
You'd Expect: For her to kick his metal hand until it detached, or perhaps fire a projectile.
Instead: She decides to grind the heel of her boot against it just for shits and giggles.
Result: He manages to grab her leg, forcing her to wrap her hair around a nearby rock and pull both of them up.
Chapter 9: Scorpion
- Upon learning that Quan Chi is at the refugee camp, Hanzo Hazashi/Scorpion leads a group of Shirai Ryu ninjas to take the sorcerer's life. When he meets Sonya and demands that Quan Chi be handed over to him, Sonya explains that she needs to keep Quan Chi alive for now so that he can be forced to free the remaining Revenants from the Netherrealm, after which she would be more than willing to let Hanzo do as he wishes with the sorcerer.
You'd Expect: Hanzo to accept her reasoning and back off. Freeing the Revenants is kind of a big deal after all, and it's not like Quan Chi would be able to do anything about it.
Instead: He impatiently kick-starts a battle between the ninjas and the soldiers, fights his way to Quan Chi, and beheads him.
Result: The Revenants are still trapped in the Netherrealm. Good going, Hanzo.
Even Worse: He decides to subject Quan Chi to a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown rather than just finish him off. While it was definitely well-deserved, it gives D'Vorah time to arrive and give the amulet to Quan Chi. Fortunately, Hanzo uses his spear to yank Quan Chi away from D'Vorah before she can hand it over.
You'd Expect: Hanzo to quickly slice Quan Chi's head off and be done with it.
Instead: He slowly wraps the chain around Quan Chi's neck, slowly draws his sword, and slowly brings it down!
Result: Quan Chi manages to get ahold of the amulet and mutter the incantation that frees Shinnok from his prison right before being decapitated. Shinnok has returned!
- After his return, Shinnok curb-stomps everybody in the camp.
You'd Expect: Shinnok to finish everyone off, especially Johnny since he knows that the latter poses a threat to him.
Instead: He decides to simply take Johnny prisoner with the intent of torturing him and leaves without actually killing anyone!
Chapter 10: Raiden
- During Shinnok's second invasion, Raiden is left to deal with the Revenants.
You'd Expect: Raiden to electrocute all of them at once. Bonus points for the fact that it's raining, which should bolster the strength of his lightning attacks.
Instead: He hesitates to attack them because most of them are former allies, allowing them to rough him up a bit before he finally incapacitates them.
Chapter 11: Jacqui Briggs
- Kotal Kahn has invaded Earthrealm to retrieve Shinnok's amulet, running into the Special Forces team.
You'd Expect: For one of them to explain the situation while they still can, or for Kotal Kahn to sic his army on them and slaughter their asses.
Instead: The team makes no such attempts, and they inexplicably manage to escape into the woods.
- Shinnok's corruption of the Jinsei has caused the sky to turn red.
You'd Expect: Kotal Kahn to notice this immediately.
Instead: He is completely oblivious, even ignoring the obvious fact that everything seems to be bathed in a red light. Jacqui has to explicitly point this out for him to finally notice.
- Jacqui suggests an alliance, insisting that Shinnok can still be defeated.
You'd Expect: Kotal Kahn to listen to her.
Instead: He decides to kill the team to appease Shinnok, foolishly thinking he can use it to buy time to bolster Outworld's defenses.
Result: He gets his ass kicked by Jacqui in the subsequent fight.
- After a long brawl, Kotal Kahn's army manages to surround the team.
You'd Expect: Kotal Kahn to JUST. FUCKING. KILL. THEM.
Instead: He monologues a bit, as usual, and tries to go, once again, for a ritualistic killing.
Result: He babbles on long enough for the Lin Kuei, led by Sub-Zero, to arrive and pull a Big Damn Heroes moment, routing Outworld's forces and saving the team.
Chapter 12: Cassie Cage
- During a fight with the Revenants, Takeda is tossed off a cliff but manages to grab the side.
You'd Expect: Him to use his bladed whips to pull himself back up.
Instead: He doesn't even think of this, and Jacqui ends up having to save him, putting them both in danger of being attacked from behind.
- Cassie arrives to stop Corrupted Shinnok.
You'd Expect: Shinnok to just one-shot her ass.
Instead: He tortures Johnny with his amulet.
Result: Cassie awakens the same power her father possesses.
You'd Expect: Shinnok, who knows that this power can hurt him, to just kill her.
Instead: He grabs the Villain Ball again and just toys with her, thinking that her new power will not help her at all.
Result: History repeats itself, only this time Shinnok is reduced to a (still living) severed head and tossed at the feet of the Netherrealm's new rulers, Liu Kang and Kitana, by Dark Raiden.