The official trailer for Mortal Kombat 1 has finally dropped, Early Access is here, and for Standard Edition owners, the game that's in our blood will soon be in your hands.
While most players will understandably be most interested in diving into the fighting of this fighting game, I, as a Mortal Kombat lore nut, am particularly interested in the new history of the Mortal Kombat universe in Liu Kang's New Era.
From Baraka's species shifting into a disease similar to feral ghouls from the Fallout universe to Kuai Liang taking Hanzo Hisashi's place as Scorpion, a lot is different in the New Era. And naturally, with questions comes the desire for answers.
Here are five questions I need answered most in Mortal Kombat 1.
5. Where is Fujin?
Fujin has had a bit of a rough time throughout Mortal Kombat history. Introduced in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, a game many Mortal Kombat fans would prefer to forget. He was formally introduced in Mortal Kombat 4, one of the less well-received mainline games. Absent from Deception, considered by many the greatest in the Mortal Kombat franchise.
But Fujin has had some bright spots in the NRS era of Mortal Kombat. He's had some top-tier cards in MK Mobile and made a nice comeback in Mortal Kombat 11 (Notable Mortal Kombat YouTuber, The4thSnake, thinks Fujin had the best story chapter in MK history. He makes a strong case for it).
My only question is this: Where is Fujin now? With Raiden rendered a mortal at the end of Mortal Kombat 11 and Liu Kang restarting history, what happened to Earthrealm's Wind God? Does his wind still guide us? Are he and Raiden still brothers? Is he still a demigod and no longer related to Raiden?
Intros between Kung Lao and Liu Kang revealed that New Era Raiden has a sister. Is his sister a genderswapped Fujin? Is Fujin now Fujina?
It would be a shame for NRS to sideline Fujin right as he was gaining momentum in popularity and relevance again.
4. How will Tarkatans stick around long-term?
I definitely need Liu Kang to explain why he hated Tarkatans so much that he turned their race into a disease. But more than that, I need someone to tell me how it will even be possible for Tarkatans to stick around long-term.
Tarkat disease is despised and feared by Outworld's residents. Presumably, the best-case scenario is someone finds a permanent cure. That would mean no more Tarkatans.; including classic characters like Baraka and Mileena.
The alternative is that there's no cure, but Baraka, in his reveal trailer, stated all those infected with Tarkat would eventually fall into madness and that only death can set them free. In other words, Tarkatans will sooner or later cease to exist.
The second alternative is that there's a cure that halts the madness part of Tarkat disease but doesn't fully cure those afflicted. That would allow Tarkatans to stick around, but they're few in number and presumably can't reproduce. That puts them in a permanent state of near-extinction should anyone decide Outworld is better off without Tarkatans.
No matter how you look at it, it will be hard for Tarkatans to stick around in the New Era.
3. What happened to Edenia?
When NRS revealed the first few trailers of Mortal Kombat 1, I thought we were looking at Edenia. It turned out to be Outworld. It's definitely not an Outworld we've grown accustomed to seeing. It's too colorful. It needs more bodies sticking on pikes.
All signs point to Edenia not existing, but characters in-game reference Edenia. So, what happened to it? Shao isn't Khan in the New Era, so who would have done something to Edenia? If Liu Kang crafted the New Era to be better than the last, why does the realm of Edenia seem to no longer exist? What happened to the Edenian gods, including Argus? Is Rain still the son of Argus? What about Taven and Daegon?
It's been several decades, and Edenia still can't catch a break.
2. How is Shang Tsung still alive?
Remember when Liu Kang said this at the end of Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath?
I don't know about the rest of you, but I always took this as Liu Kang stating he plans to erase Shang Tsung from the timeline permanently.
I guess not, since the first 17 minutes of Mortal Kombat 1's story shows Shang Tsung alive and well (As well as a snake-oil salesman, can be anyway).
The man is clearly far too dangerous to be left alive, yet here he is. Why? Shang Tsung is just a human. Why would it be difficult for Liu Kang to erase a human from the timeline? Kronika got rid of the Elder Gods.
On one hand, I understand why Shang Tsung is here. It's Mortal Kombat 1. How could you have a Mortal Kombat 1 without the first big bad of the series? But it still doesn't make much sense for him to be alive.
1. Who can actually pose a threat to Liu Kang?
We have witnessed Fire God Liu Kang effortlessly annihilate an army. We've seen him defeat Cetrion-infused, crown-wearing Kronika and Cetrion-infused, Kronika-absorbed, crown-wearing Shang Tsung. Who in all the realms could seriously give this man any challenge at this point?
I know people have speculated that Onaga is the villain of Mortal Kombat 1, but even if he is, the Dragon King is much lower on the totem pole than Kronika, a being who stands above Elder Gods. He's not powerful enough to be a threat to Liu Kang.
My only guess is Liu Kang is going to stick to this mostly hands-off approach to managing the realms, which would allow for room for mortals to be the heroes instead of him. Otherwise, NRS has their work cut out on introducing someone who could actually pose a challenge to suped-up Fire God Liu Kang.