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.)



Fighting games may not tout their storylines as their main selling points, but many fans of the Mortal Kombat series have been closely following the progression of its plotlines, which have steadily progressed into an elaborate universe. Like all stories, Mortal Kombat evolves around the human motivations: greed, betrayal, revenge, honor, self-defense. Up until recently, they were almost entirely written by MK co-creator John Tobias. However, Tobias has since left the development team, and the more recent games' stories, specifically MKM:Special Forces and MK:Deadly Alliance, were released after his departure from Midway. Deadly Alliance was written primarily by John Vogel, with various contributions from other members of the development team. As such, there are a few minor differences in the method of storytelling.

This document functions mostly as an extremely reference guide for fans who have been following the storylines, but may have been confused about some of the details along the way. This is understandable, since the story is not told in a linear fashion due to the multi-character nature of the fighting game genre. It exists mainly to clear up some of the perceived contradictions in the stories, when in fact the player misunderstood what was meant by some part of the in-game text. The MK story is not infalliable by any means, but there are just far less contradictions than some of the fans seem to believe every time they read a new character bio, or worse yet, an ending. Other misinterpretations stem from duplicate character names when characters are named after ancestors (Kung Lao) or share monikers with their siblings (Sub-Zero). These issues are addressed in the following paragraphs.

Confusion Caused By In-Game Character Bios

Ever since the first sequel in the MK series, all of the character bios have a tendancy to recap a large portion of the character's past. This is necessary because their purpose is to sufficiently illustrate the motives of the character even if it is the first MK game the player has ever played. However, many players have mis-interpreted some of the references to past events as being new plot points that are supposed to have happened very recently. Hopefully, the chronological order and section references used in this guide can clear up most of the confusion on this issue.

Endings are 'What If?' Scenarios

Like most games in the fighting genre, the character endings are actually "What if?" scenarios. For example, the agreement in the MKII endings made between Scorpion and the younger Sub-Zero should be considered to have never actually taken place, because it would only have happened if one of them had defeated Shao Kahn in the Outworld - but neither of them did.

Many people were confused about what is considered to have 'really happened' in the story along the way. There is a lot of extra information that won't be considered part of the 'true' storyline (as referenced by subsequent games in the series.) Of course, there have been a few instances in which something that was mentioned in an ending, and then later mentioned again 'as fact' by the next game's intro or in character bios, but such a plotpoint should just be considered to have come from the next game's intro/bio.

In summary, this compilation contains the information that we can deduce 'actually happened', given the storylines of the consecutive sequels.

This document may not be reproduced in whole or in part, in any form, without the express written consent of its author.
The latest revision can always be found on TRMK.

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