TRMK Exclusive:
The Complete MORTAL KOMBAT Storyline
Reference Guide

by Frank Chan

Revision 1.0
December 7th, 2002

Revision History & Preface
IntroductionIntroduction (cont.)
Chapter 0: The Pre-MK1 EraChapter 0: The Pre-MK1 Era (cont.)
Chapter 1: Mortal KombatChapter 2: Mortal Kombat II
Chapter 3: Mortal Kombat 3Chapter 3: Mortal Kombat 3 (cont.)
Chapter 4: Mortal Kombat 4Chapter 5: MK: Deadly Alliance
Chapter 5: MK: Deadly Alliance (cont.)

Introduction (cont.)

Kung Lao and Sub-Zero

Kung Lao and Sub-Zero are two names constantly causing misinterpretations. The original Kung Lao (who was killed long ago by Goro) and the current one (who made his in-game debut in MKII) are both simply referred to in the games as "Kung Lao". Only the occassional reference to the original being the current one's ancestor is made, and often mentioned as though it were an insignificant detail.

Even worse, both the older Sub-Zero (the one who appeared in MK1 and MKM:Sub-Zero, as well as later on in both UMK3 and MKT as 'Classic Sub-Zero') and his younger brother (who was masked and simply called 'Sub-Zero' in MKII and MK4, and appeared unmasked in MK3 and MK:DA), are often understandably confused with eachother by fans. Of course, even within the story, Scorpion believed for many years that they were the same person, but we'll get to that part soon enough. To add to the confusion, the action/adventure spin-off titled MKM:Sub-Zero revealed an even more elaborate family line for the Sub-Zero's: the older brother (Classic) is technically the fifth man to be called Sub-Zero, while the younger brother is the sixth. Their father, who has never actually appeared in the games, was the fourth. Plotpoints like this make it almost puzzle-like to dissect the storyline. After cross-referencing a lot of the in-game text to distinguish these characters' histories, this guide should help to clear up the confusion using the following standards:

In this guide, when referring to the Kung Lao who was killed by Goro many generations ago, he will always be referred to as "(the first) Kung Lao", including brackets. All other references to simply "Kung Lao" is the descendant, who made his debut in the games with MKII, and lives in the same generation as Liu Kang.

In this guide, when referring to the older brother Sub-Zero who was really killed by Scorpion in MK1, he will always be referred to as "(Classic) Sub-Zero", including brackets. All other references to simply "Sub-Zero" refers to the younger brother. Those are the only two who have actually appeared in any of the games. (That whole 5th and 6th plotpoint from MKM:Sub-Zero is mentioned only in the introduction to the Lin Kuei clan, but nowhere else.)

Accuracy and Chronological Order

While every effort has been made to accurately represent the chronology of the Mortal Kombat universe, there will always be minor discrepancies between differing ways of reading or listening to the same words, be it in a game or in reality. However, I've made an effort to make it as accurate as possible, and will make corrections if necessary. To maintain a clearer narrative, it is organizing into the chronological order in which the events are supposed to have taken place within the MK universe.

Deadly Alliance Storyline Notes

The main storyline of the fifth Mortal Kombat fighting game, Deadly Alliance, revolves mainly around Shang Tsung and Quan Chi, who both spent the majority of their histories serving powerful rulers (Shao Kahn and Shinnok respectively.) Each of the other characters in the game have their own motives for entering the new tournament, as usual, but it all breaks down into three main plots:

1) The Deadly Alliance: How and why Tsung and Quan Chi formed it, why Scorpion is after Quan Chi, and why Kung Lao and Bo'Rai Cho are entering the tournament together.

2) The Web of Deception (section 5-5): This is the title I've given a major MKDA sub-plot for this document. It's an intricate set of circumstances revolving around the Outerworld Investigation Agency that Sonya and Jax formed, the Red Dragon organization (century-long rivals of the established Black Dragon from previous games), and a female vampire named Nitara with personal motives of her own. This story was told in pieces with the character bios of everyone involved, but with a lot of cross-referencing, it has all been pieced together into one chain of events for this document.

3) Raiden: The remainder of the story is the expected defense of Earth realm effort by Raiden. Basically, he approaches everyone who isn't already involved by other circumstances and fills them in on what the Deadly Alliance has done, and asks them to help him stop them (this is the introductory full-motion video sequence you see in the game.)

This document may not be reproduced in whole or in part, in any form, without the express written consent of its author.
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