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Mortal Kombat (2011)'s Story Mode

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The opening cinematic.

The story mode of Mortal Kombat (2011) contains 16 chapters total, telling a cohesive story retelling the events of the first three Mortal Kombat games, with both major and minor changes. Each chapter focuses on a single character from the series (except Chapter 11, with Liu Kang taking the final fight), and contains a combination of fights and extended cut-scenes.

Below is a list that shows the chapters in order:

  1. Johnny Cage
  2. Sonya Blade
  3. Scorpion
  4. Cyrax (human)
  5. Liu Kang
  6. Jax
  7. Smoke
  8. Sub-Zero
  9. Kitana
  10. Jade
  11. Kung Lao (the final fight of this chapter is fought as Liu Kang)
  12. Stryker
  13. Kabal
  14. Cyber Sub-Zero
  15. Nightwolf
  16. Raiden


The story begins in the aftermath of the Battle of Armageddon, where nearly all of the kombatants have been killed. Only two kombatants are shown to have survived: the Thunder God, Raiden, and the Emperor of Outworld, Shao Kahn (though it is never explained how he survived his encounter with Onaga). Kahn had his powers increased by killing Blaze, and is currently engaged in a fight with Raiden where he easily gains the upper hand and taunts the Thunder God, destroying his medallion in the process. Realizing the battle is lost, Raiden gathers up the shattered pieces of his medallion and sends a cryptic message to his past self, including the words "He must win", moments before Shao Kahn delivers a killing blow on him.

Mortal Kombat bracketEdit

The message, along with a series of mental images, travel back in time to the events of the first Mortal Kombat tournament covered in the series. The Raiden from the past not only senses these visions, but also notices that his amulet is cracked. He thinks nothing of it at first as the tournament begins. Johnny Cage, after insulting Shang Tsung behind his back, is called forward by Tsung to fight Reptile and Baraka, both of whom Cage believes to be mere actors in costume. Cage defeats both opponents and is ordered to "finish" Baraka, but does not comply, stating that he refuses to kill. Immediately afterwards, Cage is congratulated on his victories by Raiden who, along with Liu Kang, warns him that Earthrealm is in grave danger, but he does not take their warnings seriously. Instead, he leaves to try and ask Sonya Blade out on a date, on whom he has spent much of the night hitting. Sonya initially refuses any attention from Cage, but comes to respect him after he saves her from an attack by Kano, defeating him in her defense. After briefly explaining to Cage who Kano is, Sonya moves in to arrest Kano, only to find out that he has got away.

Sonya reveals that she is actually looking for her superior, Jax Briggs, who has been taken prisoner. She eventually finds him locked in a prison cell in Goro's Lair, and tries to free him. But before she can, Shang Tsung (the tournament's host) reveals himself and tells Sonya that he has been expecting her. She tries to tell him that she is not part of his plans and demands that he free Jax, to which Tsung responds that Sonya is indeed a kontestant and that she will face Sub-Zero. After Sonya defeats the Lin Kuei assassin, Raiden appears and receives yet another vision, this time of Liu Kang defeating Shang Tsung. Believing this means something, he tries to prevent Sonya from attacking Shang Tsung, only to have Sonya attack him instead. After ordering Sonya to stop, Raiden assists her in freeing Jax. As Sonya and Jax flee, they are confronted by Kitana and Jade, but Sonya manages to defeat them both. A helicopter arrives shortly afterwards, only to be blasted out of the air by Shang Tsung. He then has Sonya fight Kano, who informs her that nobody is going to save her this time around. Sonya, however, easily defeats Kano and tries to take him into custody, but Shang Tsung intervenes. Kano then leaves with his new Outworld allies. Later, Raiden gathers the Earthrealm forces and explains the images he has been getting. Although he senses a grim future, he decides that the best course of action, for now, would be to let the tournament run its course.

The next day, a Japanese ninja spectre, Scorpion, is summoned from the Netherrealm to fight in the tournament. He expresses a desire to battle Sub-Zero, but is instead challenged by Kung Lao (who has been posing as a Masked Guard to enter the tournament, as he was rejected in favor of Liu Kang and sought to prove his worth). After humbling Kung Lao in combat, Scorpion once again demands to fight Sub-Zero, but is forced to fight Nightwolf instead. Nightwolf, a Native American warrior, tells Scorpion that his aggression is misplaced and that he should look for other ways to find peace instead of seeking revenge, urging him to follow his example. However, Scorpion simply accuses Nightwolf of dishonoring his own kind and defeats him. Later, Raiden senses a vision that, if Scorpion kills Sub-Zero, a more dangerous threat will emerge. Raiden confronts Scorpion and pleads with him to spare Sub-Zero's life on the condition that he will ask the Elder Gods to resurrect his clan. Scorpion reluctantly accepts this agreement. The next day, Scorpion is taunted and harassed by Cyrax and Sektor from the rival Lin Kuei clan, of which Sub-Zero is a member. Scorpion soundly defeats both in a 2-on-1 fight. Immediately afterwards, Sub-Zero shows up and taunts Scorpion, who responds by dragging him to the Netherrealm where they engage in combat. Sub-Zero is defeated, but Scorpion honors his agreement with Raiden and spares his life. Quan Chi, however, shows him images of the Lin Kuei's destruction of the Shirai Ryu, including one of Sub-Zero murdering his wife and child. Despite Sub-Zero pleading that the warrior responsible was, in fact, not him, Scorpion kills him in a fit of rage.

A distraught Scorpion later returns with Sub-Zero's charred skull and spine, and leaves soon afterward. Raiden then speaks to Sub-Zero's former friend, Cyrax, who vows to make Scorpion pay. In the discussion, Raiden informs Cyrax of the Lin Kuei's plans to turn some of their best warriors into cyborgs, and chastises him for allegedly working on the orders of Shang Tsung. Unfortunately, this conversation leads Cyrax to be ambushed later on by Baraka and Sheeva, who have been sent to kill him by Shang Tsung. Cyrax is victorious over both warriors, and confronts Shang Tsung as he is conversing with Sektor. Tsung scolds Cyrax for having jeopardized his plans by speaking with Raiden. Sektor nevertheless explains that Cyrax will continue his mission, which is to kill Johnny Cage. Immediately afterwards, Cyrax fights and defeats Cage, but refuses to kill him, leading him to rebel from his clan. Sektor confronts him over his disobedience, but Cyrax defeats him in the process and declares that he is done with the Lin Kuei.

By this juncture, Liu Kang emerges as the only Earthrealm warrior left in the tournament. Shang Tsung summons Ermac and has him fight Liu Kang, but Kang emerges victorious. It is at this point that Raiden receives the message of "He must win". Believing that this refers to Kang, he further encourages him. Later, Kang is ambushed by Kitana, but when he defeats her, he spares her life, even though Kitana asks him to kill her. He insists that their encounter never happened, and that he hopes they will meet again "under different circumstances". Kang later fights Scorpion and Quan Chi, defeating them both. He is then sent to Goro's Lair to challenge Goro (who has been the reigning champion for 9 consecutive Mortal Kombat tournaments) and, after a long, hard fought battle, defeats the Shokan prince. With this victory, Kang faces off against his last opponent: Shang Tsung himself. As Raiden foresaw, Kang bests the sorcerer, who concedes defeat, handing victory to Earthrealm. Raiden and the other Earthrealm forces congratulate Kang on his victory, but to Raiden's surprise, his amulet cracks further.

Mortal Kombat II bracketEdit

Back in Outworld, Shang Tsung is on trial for his failure to win the tournament. In order to save himself from being executed, the sorcerer quickly makes a new proposition to Shao Kahn. He proposes a single tournament, replacing the original system of ten, and tells Shao Kahn if Earthrealm wins the torunament, Kahn will forever have to abandon his claim to Earthrealm. However, should Outworld win, Kahn will be allowed to merge Earthrealm with Outworld. Kahn agrees to these rules, revitalizes Tsung, and sends him to Earthrealm, where Liu Kang's victory is being celebrated, to invite Raiden and his Earthrealm forces.

Raiden dismisses the offer, which results in the Wu Shi Academy being overrun by Tarkatan warriors. In the chaos, Sonya is kidnapped and brought to Outworld. Raiden receives another image, showing Liu Kang winning the new tournament. He decides to accept the challenge, but concludes that he must change the outcome of this tournament, as Kang's victory over Tsung had no effect. He sends Liu Kang and Kung Lao to tend to their masters whilst he, Jax, and Johnny Cage confront Shao Kahn himself. The first round of the new tournament sees Jax defeating Baraka, but the tournament is briefly postponed after Reptile informs Shang Tsung of some "pressing matters". Raiden then teleports himself and the other Earthrealm warriors to the Armory after one of Raiden's visions reveals that Sonya was to be executed. Johnny Cage questions Jax about his relationship with her, to which Jax states that he is her commanding officer, nothing else. Jax becomes increasingly annoyed by Cage's gloating and they get into a fight, which is put to an end by Raiden. Jade appears soon afterwards, and demands that the three leave. Jax fights Jade and defeats her. After rendering Jade unconscious, Cage and Jax patch things up and the three continue their quest to find Sonya.

They eventually find Sonya tied to a stake by the Dead Pool, guarded by Sheeva and her minions. After killing one of the attacking guards and jumping over the rest of them, Jax fights and defeats Sheeva while Johnny and Raiden deal with the guards. He is then able to free Sonya, repaying the favor from earlier.

Sonya's wrist communicator picks up two readings from Outworld's shores. These turn out to be the Lin Kuei warriors Smoke and Tundra, the latter of whom is the younger brother of Sub-Zero. It is revealed that he has taken up his brother's rank and name in order to honor him and avenge his killer. As they split up, Smoke is accosted by Kitana, who orders him to leave Outworld. Smoke responds by fighting Kitana and defeating her. Afterwards, he makes his way to the Living Forest, where Kano is selling advanced weaponry to Shang Tsung. Smoke confronts Tsung and demands the whereabouts of his friend's brother. Kano volunteers to take care of the Lin Kuei for free, but is quickly defeated. Smoke then confronts Shang Tsung (who poses as Sub-Zero) and Reptile and subdues them both, only to be ambushed by Sektor, who is now a cyborg. He attempts to bring Smoke back to the Lin Kuei temple to undergo the same procedure. Smoke manages to defeat Sektor, but is overwhelmed by a swarm of Lin Kuei cyborgs, who show up to his place to take him back by force. Raiden, who received a vision of Smoke being turned into a cyborg, intervenes and takes the cyborgs out with a blast of lightning. A grateful Smoke agrees to join him and Johnny Cage in their quest, expressing fears that Sub-Zero may be in danger as well.

Later, the younger Sub-Zero is ambushed by Cyrax (who has also been turned into a cyborg), but manages to defeat him just as Jax and Sonya arrive. Initially believing him to be the original Sub-Zero, they eventually explain his death at the hands of Scorpion. The three then encounter Ermac and, in the resulting confrontation, Jax has both his arms telekinetically ripped off his body by Ermac. Sub-Zero then engages Ermac in combat and defeats him. After winning, Sub-Zero tells Sonya and Jax a way out to Earthrealm while he goes to the Coliseum in the hopes of exacting revenge against Scorpion. Sub-Zero eventually reaches Shao Kahn's Coliseum and wants to face Scorpion, but is given a duel with Reptile instead. Emerging the victor, Sub-Zero once again demands Scorpion as his next opponent, to which Shao Kahn agrees. Quan Chi summons Scorpion from the Netherrealm and the battle begins. Sub-Zero wins the match, but before he can finish Scorpion off, he is attacked by numerous cybernetic Lin Kuei warriors, who offered their allegiance to Shao Kahn in exchange for Sub-Zero.

Since Kitana has been ordered to eliminate any Earthrealm intruders, she is scolded by Shao Kahn for failing to do her duty. As she leaves, the Earthrealm warriors follow her. After arguing with Jade, Kitana is confronted by Raiden and his allies. Determined to redeem herself to her father, Kitana fights and defeats both Smoke and Johnny Cage. Before she can finish them, Raiden stops Kitana and has a talk with her to help her understand her true nature. To this end, he encourages her to go to Shang Tsung's Flesh Pits, a place she is forbidden to enter. As Kitana makes her way through the Living Forest towards the Flesh Pits, Jade reveals herself and pleads to Kitana to turn back by order of the Emperor. Kitana refuses and fights her, knocking her unconscious and then moving on. When Kitana finally arrives at the Flesh Pits, she discovers a series of clones designed in her image, but also sporting Tarkatan features. One of these clones, who looks exactly like Kitana, except for her eyes and mouth, ends up attacking her, but the clone is soundly defeated.

Shang Tsung then confronts Kitana and tells her that he made the clones in an attempt to "perfect" her. She then fights Shang Tsung, defeating him and informing Shao Kahn of his actions. However, the emperor not only praises Tsung, but reveals to her that he is not her biological father. Instead, she is the daughter of an Edenian king whose realm was conquered by Shao Kahn long ago, adopting Kitana as his own personal assassin after killing her real father. He then orders his minions to capture Kitana and take her to be executed, while demanding that his new daughter, whom he names "Mileena", be brought to him. Jade, overhearing Shao Kahn's confession, decides that she is done with Shao Kahn and vows to free Kitana. On her way to the Tower where Kitana is being held, she knocks both Baraka and Sheeva unconscious and attempts to rescue her friend. However, Kitana urges her to find Raiden and request help, which she manages to do after encountering and defeating Mileena. The Earthrealm warriors show up and Smoke, who mistakenly thinks she attacked Kitana, tries to defeat her, but fails to do so.

After Jade informs Raiden of Kitana's capture, Liu Kang and Kung Lao go to the Tower to rescue her, leaving the others to go to the Coliseum to take part in the tournament. At the Tower, they defeat Sheeva, Noob Saibot, and a vengeful Goro. Liu Kang and Kung Lao interrogate Goro, who tells them that Kitana is being held at the Coliseum where she is to be executed. With this information, they make their way to the Coliseum.

As they arrive, they find that things are going badly for the Earthrealm warriors. Smoke and Johnny Cage have been defeated, and Sonya and Jax have left Outworld. Shao Kahn demands that Raiden send in a champion, but Liu Kang, believing that he is not "He [who] must win", refuses to compete and goes to free Kitana instead. Raiden selects Kung Lao in his place. Lao manages to defeat Shang Tsung, Quan Chi, and even Kintaro, but is then killed by Shao Kahn by snapping his neck. An enraged Liu Kang, having already freed Kitana, challenges the Emperor and defeats him by punching straight through his chest, seemingly killing him. Kang is declared the winner of the tournament and, as they mourn Kung Lao, Raiden concludes that Liu Kang was meant to win after all, and that Shao Kahn was the one he was supposed to defeat. Despite this, Raiden's medallion cracks even further.

Mortal Kombat 3 bracketEdit

Back in Shao Kahn's throne room, his minions discuss who should take his place. With the aid of Quan Chi's sorcery, however, Shao Kahn survives his injuries. Quan Chi also makes a new proposal to him - the invasion of Earthrealm. This by itself is not possible due to the wards that the Queen of Edenia, Sindel, put upon Earthrealm when she committed suicide. Quan Chi is able to overcome this by resurrecting her, imbuing her with full loyalty to the Emperor. With the wards broken, Outworld begins a full-scale invasion of Earthrealm, overwhelming the conventional military forces of Earthrealm.

During the invasion, police officers Kurtis Stryker and Kabal are among those fighting a losing battle against Outworld's forces. Reptile attacks them on the rooftops, but Stryker manages to fight him off. Both men make their way to street level, where they encounter and defeat Mileena. Stryker and Kabal then watch a fight between Johnny Cage and Motaro from afar, which is interrupted by Raiden, who proceeds to kill Motaro to prevent Cage's foreseen death. Kintaro then appears and seriously burns Kabal with a blast of fire. After defeating Kintaro, Ermac appears and uses his powers to throw Stryker into a nearby Subway. Stryker defeats Ermac, and reluctantly agrees to join Raiden and the other Earthrealm warriors after Nightwolf finds him and informs him of the situation. When he returns to where Kabal was, Stryker finds him gone.

Kabal awakens in the Outworld, where Kano has revived him using Shang Tsung's magic and a respirator he created by himself. Kano tells him that with his new upgrades, Kabal can serve the Black Dragon again. Kano also confesses to selling weapons to Shang Tsung, leading Kabal to blame Kano for the Outworld attack. Kabal further insists that he has renounced crime and, after besting Kano in combat, demands that Kano take him to Shao Kahn. There, they witness Shao Kahn promoting Sindel to general of his army after Motaro's death. Kahn drains Shang Tsung of all his souls, thereby killing him, and channels them into Sindel in order to give her more power. Kabal knocks out Kano using the hilt of his knife, but is then spotted by Mileena. She challenges him, with Noob Saibot joining her in the fight. After defeating both Mileena and Noob, Kabal makes an escape through the Earthrealm portal, where he encounters a now-cybernetic Sub-Zero. Kabal defeats the newly transformed Sub-Zero and knocks him unconscious. Afterwards, Sheeva appears and mistakes Kabal for a turncoat Lin Kuei cyborg. She attacks him, but is defeated. Then, Raiden arrives to invite him to join the other Earthrealm warriors, who have taken refuge in a nearby church.

At Smoke's insistence, Cyber Sub-Zero is brought to the Earthrealm warriors, after which Jax restores his free will by reprogramming him. Sub-Zero awakens and expresses guilt over what he had unintentionally done for Shao Kahn. Stryker suggests that Sub-Zero should return to Outworld undercover, to which Sub-Zero agrees. Sektor, however, immediately notices that Sub-Zero has been reprogrammed and takes him back to Earthrealm. After a fight, Sub-Zero subdues Sektor, hacking into his database and learning that Kano, Goro, and Kintaro have captured some soldiers at the clock tower, and goes to investigate. There, he freezes Kano and defeats the two Shokan along with Ermac, before freeing the soldiers. They inform him that they were to be taken to a cemetery, and Sub-Zero makes his way there. He then discovers Quan Chi preparing a spell to create a soulnado. He is soon confronted by Noob Saibot, who reveals to him that he is, in fact, his late brother Bi-Han, the original Sub-Zero resurrected by Quan Chi, but promptly relinquishes all former family ties.

Sub-Zero manages to defeat his brother, but is unable to prevent Quan Chi from completing his spell in time. Nightwolf arrives to help, defeats Quan Chi, and knocks Noob Saibot into the soulnado, seemingly killing him in the process and destroying the soulnado as well. Nightwolf returns to the church and informs the others that Earthrealm's souls are now safe. To Raiden's frustration, his amulet cracks further. In response, he and Liu Kang decide to appeal to the Elder Gods. As they leave, however, the rest of the Earthrealm warriors are ambushed by Sindel and the Lin Kuei. Although they are able to defeat the Lin Kuei cyborgs (Cyrax and Sektor among them) with relative ease, they are overwhelmed by a newly empowered Sindel. She single-handedly kills Kabal, Stryker, Sub-Zero, Jax, Smoke, and Jade, and severely injures Nightwolf, Johnny Cage, Sonya, and Kitana. Before Sindel can finish off her own daughter, Nightwolf engages her in a fight.

Meanwhile, Raiden and Liu Kang try to convince the Elder Gods to intervene, but the Elder Gods refuse, stating that Shao Kahn has not broken any rules and that invasion of another realm by itself is not a violation. Having achieved nothing, Raiden and Liu Kang return to Earthrealm just in time to witness Nightwolf sacrificing himself to kill Sindel. Sonya and Johnny manage to recover, but Kitana succumbs to her injuries and dies in Liu Kang's arms.

The now desperate Raiden decides to form an alliance with Quan Chi, but is forced to go alone after a grieving Liu Kang, who is disillusioned with Raiden and believes him to have gone mad, refuses to come along. As Liu Kang tends to Cage and Sonya, Raiden travels to the Netherrealm and, after fighting off Scorpion, confronts Quan Chi, offering him the souls of all the fallen warriors, including his own, in exchange for his co-operation. However, Raiden soon reveals that Quan Chi has already obtained all the souls of the Earthrealm casualties (Kung Lao, Smoke, Sub-Zero, Jax, Kitana, Nightwolf, Jade, Kabal, Sindel, and Stryker) as part of his deal with Shao Kahn, and sets them on Raiden. During the encounter, however, Quan Chi indirectly reveals to Raiden that "He must win" in fact refers to Shao Kahn - if he is allowed to merge Earthrealm and Outworld without ten consecutive victories in Mortal Kombat, he will have violated the rules set by the Elder Gods and be punished.

Raiden quickly returns to Earthrealm to find that the merger is nearly complete. He explains to Liu Kang that they must allow Shao Kahn to merge the realms, but Liu Kang does not believe this and tries to attack Shao Kahn prematurely, forcing Raiden to fight him. Liu Kang, infuriated by Raiden's actions, attempts to kill him, but Raiden creates a shield of electricity in defense. Unfortunately, when Liu Kang's fiery fist makes contact, it accidentally causes a backlash, burning and electrifying Liu Kang, much to Raiden's horror. Raiden begs Liu Kang to forgive him, only for him to say "you...have killed us...all..." before dying. Cage and Sonya show up and attempt to defeat Shao Kahn together, but are quickly incapacitated. Raiden, realizing there is nothing more he can do to stop Shao Kahn, surrenders himself. Shao Kahn beats Raiden into submission in the same way his future self did, but before he can land the killing blow, the Elder Gods possess Raiden's body.

Infused with their power, Raiden battles and defeats Shao Kahn. The Elder Gods then attack Kahn and destroy him as punishment for breaking the rules of Mortal Kombat before returning to the heavens. Earthrealm is returned to normal and the cracks in Raiden's amulet disappear, signaling that he has, at long last, prevented Armageddon. After grieving over the massive casualties in the aftermath, Raiden decides to help restore Earthrealm and teleports himself, Cage, Sonya, and Liu Kang's body away. Quan Chi is then revealed to have been acting on the orders of his master, the fallen Elder God Shinnok, the whole time. With both Earthrealm and Outworld severely weakened, Shinnok declares that he will soon be free and that both realms will soon be theirs.

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