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The story mode of Mortal Kombat X contains 12 chapters total. Each chapter focuses on a single character from the series and contains a combination of fights and extended cut-scenes.
Below is a list that shows the chapters in order:
- Johnny Cage
- Kotal Kahn
- Kung Jin
- Sonya Blade
- Takeda Takahashi
- Jacqui Briggs
- Cassie Cage
Earthrealm is under attack by Shinnok and his demons from the Netherrealm. Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade, and Kenshi are riding in a helicopter with several soldiers towards Raiden's Sky Temple. Kenshi discusses the mission briefing, that Shinnok is poised to corrupt Earthrealm's life-force, the Jinsei. During the flight, the helicopter is attacked by Scorpion, who massacres several soldiers, including the pilot before attempting to deal with Cage and Kenshi. While Kenshi handles Scorpion, Sub-Zero massacres the remaining soldiers before attempting to deal with Cage. The fight culminates with Cage tackling Scorpion out of the chopper as Sonya crash-lands the damaged vehicle. Cage deals with both Scorpion and Sub-Zero on the ground, before reuniting with Sonya and Kenshi, while they continue to the Sky Temple on foot.
At the Sky Temple, Raiden and Fujin are killing a near endless supply of demons, but stop when Quan Chi appears, bringing the revenants of Kurtis Stryker, Sindel, and Kabal. He mocks Raiden for leading his former allies to their deaths, before siccing them on the gods.
At the base of the temple, the revenants of Jackson Briggs and Smoke are disposing of the corpses of the Shaolin Monks while Cage, Sonya, and Kenshi try to ambush them. A portal opens behind them from where Nightwolf emerges. Kenshi fights the fallen shaman, while Cage deals with Smoke. Sonya attempts to combat Jax, but he overpowers her and Cage is forced to intervene. After beating the revenants, the three advance to the portal.
Quan Chi and his three revenants are slowly but steadily gaining ground, pushing Raiden and Fujin back. Once they reach the doors of the Jinsei Chamber, Shinnok makes his appearance, using his amulet to blast the two gods into the chamber, before attempting to trap them inside of it. Cage's intervention prevents this. Shinnok blasts Kenshi with the amulet, and blocks a barrage of machine-gun fire from Sonya, before she and Johnny go toe-to-toe with the Elder God. He effortlessly defeats them both, and attempts to kill Sonya with his magic. Cage dives in front of the blast, his body glowing with a green energy that renders Shinnok's magic useless. Cage was not aware of this power, but he physically pummels the Elder God, before winging Shinnok's Amulet to Raiden, who traps Shinnok inside of it. Raiden tells Johnny to keep Sonya in the chamber, as its properties will heal her injuries, and Cage marvels that she used his first name for the first time.
Cut to twenty-five years in the future, an older Cage is recounting this story to a new squad, consisting of his daughter Sergeant Cassie Cage, Specialist Jacqui Briggs, Takeda Takahashi, and Kung Jin. Cage remarks that the green energy he emitted was something in his genetics, and Jin wonders why Cassie never developed the same ability. Cage then draws the team to their next mission: There is trouble brewing in Outworld, and the Grandmaster of the Lin-Kuei, Sub-Zero, has gone silent, and they need to find out what is going on, retrieving him by force if he will not go willingly. Just before the mission starts, they discuss the turbulent situation in Outworld. While there is a non-agression pact between their world and Earthrealm, the new emperor, Kotal Kahn, is facing a civil war. If he loses, the rebels will not honor the pact and war could brew again.
Kotal Kahn is sitting with his minister, D'Vorah and Kano, who is willing to sell out the location of the rebel leader, Mileena, for a great deal of gold. While Kotal and Kano haggle over price, D'Vorah leaves to help clear an overturn carriage blocking the party. Meanwhile, Mileena is on the rooftop with her lieutenants Tanya and Rain, where they discuss their plan to ambush and murder Kahn. Back in the carriage, Kano attacks, revealing Mileena paid him well to eliminate him. Kahn escapes the carriage and defeats Kano, but is soon stopped by Tanya. She works with Mileena because, once Mileena regains her throne, she will restore Edenia. Kahn defeats Tanya, and attempts to make his next move on Mileena. Rain traps him in a water bubble, but Kahn's power destroys it. Kahn defeats Rain and attempts to finish him off, but Mileena uses her secret weapon, Shinnok's amulet, and its dark energy obliterates Kahn's followers. Kahn manages to fight it off and defeat Mileena, but Rain teleports the rebel leader away.
Sub-Zero is sitting outside, peacefully meditating at the Lin Kuei Palace, where he is told Cassie's team has arrived. He says to allow them inside. Cassie and her team confronts Sub-Zero thanks to Jin's reckless behavior, where he springs an ambush. One by one, he fights the team, asking Cassie what her mother would think of her rash behavior, asking Takeda why his skills didn't reveal Sub-Zero's presence. He talks with Jacqui about her father and their shared dark history, and berates Jin for his reckless bravado. After all four members are subdued, Sub-Zero reveals the truth: Cage and Sub-Zero set this up as a training exercise. He tells the team they show promise, but they need to work together as team.
Cage gets a message from the now General Sonya Blade. Outworld refugees are pouring in by the hundreds. Their leader, Li Mei, is talking with Sonya and Raiden. She tells them of her village's destruction, and tells of Mileena and Shinnok's amulet. Raiden leaves to verify whether or not Shinnok's amulet is missing, while Li Mei remarks that Johnny reminds her of a refugee who crosses over. Deducing it to be Kano, Sonya leaves to find him, while Cassie's team is tasked to go to Outworld.
Kung Jin and Cassie feud as they walk through an Outworld market. They are interrupted by Erron Black, who demands to know their business in Outworld. Kung Jin tries to negotiate with the mercenary, but stops when he notices a man being executed for stealing bread. Kung Jin gets upset and goes to intervene. Jin rescues the man, and then defeats Black. The team then teams up when Ferra & Torr attack, with Jin defeating the pair. D'Vorah arrives with more forces, and chastises the group, but decides to honor the Reiko Accords and consult with Kotal Kahn.
The team wastes no time criticizing Jin for his brash behavior, and he recounts a time, several years ago, when he broke into Raiden's temple to steal a statue given to Raiden by his family. Angered because of Raiden's failure to protect his cousin Kung Lao from dying at Shao Kahn's hands, Jin fights the god, who allows him victory, hoping it will help dispel his anger. Raiden encourages Jin to join the Shaolin Monks.
Kotal Kahn judges the group back in the present. He accepts the story of Li Mei's refugees, but is angered when it is revealed Shinnok's amulet is what Mileena is using. Kahn judges them as spies of Mileena, but Jin demands a trial by combat, and defeats the emperor. Instead of death, Jin asks for the emperor's service, and they will work together to defeat Mileena.
Sonya is searching for Kano when Raiden tells her Shinnok's amulet has indeed been stolen. She talks with Johnny and dismisses him. Johnny criticizes her for caring more about her work than her family.
A flashback to twenty years ago, where Johnny and Sonya are investigating Quan Chi's Fortress. After discovering a magical device, Johnny and Sonya are confronted by the sorcerer, as well as Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Jax. Sonya defeats Scorpion and Sub-Zero, but Johnny is stabbed in the neck by Jax. As he lies mortally wounded, a revenant bearing Johnny's shape begins to emerge from the magical device. Sonya defeats Jax and tends to Johnny. Raiden appears, and tries to reverse the spell. He is successful until Quan Chi intervenes. Sonya beats the sorcerer unconscious, allowing Raiden to not only reverse the spell on Johnny, but to restore the other three revenants back to life. While healing Johnny, Raiden is hopeful that, if the other revenants were found, he could reverse Quan Chi's magic in the same fashion, restoring all of them back to life.
Back in the present, Li Mei, Sonya, and Kenshi are searching for Kano. They find him, and Kano offers information in exchange for his freedom. When that doesn't work, he threatens Cassie, causing Sonya to pummel him. Sonya is stopped from choking him to death by Johnny. Kano gives the location of Mileena's rebels and the amulet, which she passes along to Cassie.
Cassie gives the information to Kahn that the rebels are based in the Kuatan Jungle. D'Vorah suggests she will sneak in and take the amulet while the army engages Mileena. Cassie offers to come with, and Kahn assents.
In a flashback, D'Vorah is discussing Mileena's poor reign as Kahnum with Kotal and Reptile. While she is not pleased with Mileena's reign, she is uncertain Kotal shall rule. Their talk is interrupted by Mileena, who demands their execution, only for Reptile to point out that Mileena is not the true heir, but a creation from Shang Tsung's Flesh Pits. Mileena orders her forces to attack, but Ermac refuses and attacks her. Baraka attacks D'Vorah, only to be killed by her. Mileena is placed in the dungeons, while Ermac, Reptile, and D'Vorah pledge themselves to Kotal.
Back in the present, D'Vorah and Cassie sneak into the camp, to encounter Tanya and Rain. D'Vorah beats them both, but spares their lives at Cassie's insistence. Mileena then arrives, and D'Vorah defeats and captures her. Kotal decrees that Mileena will be executed, and allows D'Vorah to finish her with her flesh eating bugs. Kotal than kidnaps Cassie and her team, stating that he will guard Shinnok's amulet, and they will be his prisoners for use in negotiations with Raiden.
In a quiet moment, D'Vorah contacts Quan Chi, where it is revealed she is a member of the Brotherhood of Shadow. She is to steal the amulet and bring it to Quan Chi. She kills the guards guarding it, and makes her escape.
Sonya and Johnny visits Jax at his home. After a short discussion of Jacqui and Jax's past, Sonya asks Jax to go on a mission to the Netherrealm, as Quan Chi has resurfaced. Back in Outworld, Cassie and Jin discuss the impossible standards they have to live up to with famous relatives, while Takeda and Jacqui bond over their absentee fathers. Takeda forms a plan while a guard comes to bring them food, and overloads the guard's senses when he is outside Takeda's cage.
In a flashback from five years ago, Takeda is finishing his Shirai Ryu training with Hanzo Hasashi. After defeating him, he meets with Kenshi. Takeda angrily criticizes his father for never visiting, and abandoning him following the death of his mother Suchin. Hanzo explains that his mother was murdered by the Red Dragon, and Kenshi left Takeda with the Shirai Ryu to protect him. Kenshi then shows Takeda the abilities of a telepath, promising to hunt the Red Dragon when they are done.
Reptile, Erron, and Ermac examine the guards D'Vorah had slain, and Reptile sniffs out Cassie's team. Takeda fights off Reptile and Erron, but gets his senses overwhelmed by Ermac's multiple souls. But he prevails, and the team leaves to trail D'Vorah.
Finding Cassie's team freed after D'Vorah's treachery causes Kotal Kahn to think D'Vorah is working for Raiden. Kotal prepares the legions to attack Earthrealm. Meanwhile, Cassie's team tracks D'Vorah to the Sea of Blood, where Jax informs there is a portal to the Netherrealm.
Jax is in the Netherrealm with Kenshi. Together, they meet up with Sareena. She informs the duo that Quan Chi, having gone so long without Shinnok as a power source, is weakened and must travel conventionally. Kenshi sets up an ambush, and springs it when Quan Chi and his revenants approach. Sindel and Stryker provide cover fire while Kabal charges the forces, only to be forced back by Kenshi. Liu Kang and Kung Lao attempts to breach the blockade with Quan Chi in tow, only to be stopped by Jax. Kung Lao stalls him, and is defeated. Jax chases after Quan Chi, but is stalled by Sindel, who tries to knock him off a cliff.
Sareena is struggling against Kitana, where she tries to help her overcome Quan Chi's magic. After Jax steps in to assist, Stryker, Nightwolf, and Kabal retreat, while Jax chases after Quan Chi. He defeats Liu Kang, and knocks Quan Chi unconscious, bringing the former sorcerer back to Johnny and Sonya in Earthrealm.
Sonya has Quan Chi in custody and recalls Cassie's team. Hidden away, Hanzo Hasashi and the Shirai Ryu are prepared to ambush, but Hanzo explicitly forbids his men from killing. Hanzo steps out and demands Quan Chi from Sonya, demanding his death. Sonya refuses, stating that Raiden needs him alive to undo the magic binding the other revenants. Hanzo orders the Shirai Ryu to attack, and he personal subdues Sonya, Kenshi, and Johnny.
As he goes to kill Quan Chi, Hanzo recalls a meeting with Sub-Zero, formalizing peace between the Shirai Ryu and the Lin Kuei. Despite an attack by Frost, Sub-Zero wishes to tell the truth of the past between their two clans. Sub-Zero shows Hanzo the memories of Sektor, where Quan Chi reveals he personally killed the Shirai Ryu. For this, Hanzo decrees that Quan Chi must die. As Hanzo is about to kill the sorcerer, D'Vorah appears with the amulet, and throws it to Quan Chi. The sorcerer completes the spell to release Shinnok just as Hanzo decapitates him. Now released, Shinnok subdues Hanzo, Sonya, and Kenshi, having D'Vorah take Johnny with him, so that he cannot be left free to interfere. Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Kitana, Sindel, and Smoke arrive to serve Shinnok, and the fallen Elder God resumes his 25-year-old plan to poison the Jinsei of Earthrealm.
Raiden sits with Bo' Rai Cho after discovering Shinnok's amulet was a fake, and discusses his desire to restore the revenants to their normal forms. Raiden retires to the Jinsei Chamber in order to recuperate, and he remembers the events of Mortal Kombat II, when he went with Liu Kang and Kung Lao to rescue their Shaolin Masters. Raiden fights with Baraka and then D'Vorah to rescue them, before returning to the tournament.
Back in the present, Raiden awakens to find Bo' Rai Cho under attack, incinerated by Shinnok. Shinnok instructs the revenants not to kill Raiden, as he wishes to imprison Raiden inside his amulet after the Jinsei is corrupted. Raiden fights the revenants, but is badly injured. He still attempts to stop Shinnok, but Shinnok holds him with one of his stone arms, allowing him to bear witness to the Jinsei's corruption. Shinnok enters the Jinsei, which glows red with his corruption. At the Lin Kuei temple and the refugee camp, Sub-Zero and the refugees watch the sky turn red. Back in the chamber, Shinnok grows in power, and Raiden holds out hope that others will come.
Cassie's team is flying to the Sky Temple, but the corruption of the Jinsei forces Jacqui to land the plane. While walking to the temple, Takeda and Jacqui flirt before setting out, only to be stopped by Kotal Kahn and his forces. Jacqui organizes a tactical retreat and ambush, crushing Reptile when he attacks. She is chased by Ermac, but she attacks and defeats him. She moves to help Takeda, but is stopped by Ferra/Torr. After defeating the symbiote, she tries to reason with Kotal Kahn, only for him to decide to capture Cassie's team to buy time to shore up Outworld's defenses. Jacqui then fights and defeats him to prevent this from happening. The rest of Outworld's horde surrounds the team, but Sub-Zero and the Lin Kuei arrive to keep the horde busy while the team heads to the Sky Temple.
Cassie's team sneaks up to the temple while Smoke, Liu Kang, and Kung Lao try to find Raiden's temple to Heaven. The team attacks, and Cassie defeats Sindel, but Kitana injures Jacqui and Takeda. The two of them stay behind to hold off the remaining revenants while Cassie and Kung Jin go to the Jinsei Chamber. Cassie immediately moves to help her father, who is slowly being eaten by D'Vorah's bugs. After beating D'Vorah, Shinnok emerges from the Jinsei to incinerate Johnny, but Cassie surrounds herself with green energy and deflects the attack. She then defeats Shinnok.
Cassie and Kung Jin place Raiden in the Jinsei to purify it, drawing energy from Shinnok and returning him to his normal form. After watching the sky return to normal, Liu Kang and the other revenants flee, leaving Jacqui and Takeda to nurse their wounds. Sonya and her team arrive to capture Shinnok and D'Vorah, as well as to get Johnny medical attention.
In the Netherrealm, Raiden, now in a dark corrupted form, tells the new rulers of Netherrealm that Earthrealm has always treated its enemies mercifully, yet have never exacted vengeance or demanded remuneration, and has only seen more war and death as a result. Raiden warns these new rulers that Earthrealm will no longer simply react to threats to it, but will actively seek out and destroy any who threaten it, and he will not be merciful. To prove his point, he shows them the severed and still-living head of Shinnok, and throws it on the floor before teleporting away. It is revealed that Liu Kang and Kitana are now the joint rulers of the Netherrealm.