I've already told you five questions I need answered in Mortal Kombat 1. Now it's time for five things I want to see in Mortal Kombat 1.
With a New Era comes the chance to fix old mistakes and improve upon what was done right in the previous NRS trilogy. Here's hoping NRS nails at least one of these five.
5. Secret Bosses
Mortal Kombat 9 brought back all four original secret boss fights: Reptile, Noob Saibot, Smoke, and Jade. That was a really cool nod to the original games, and I'd love for Mortal Kombat 1 to have some secret battles.
They don't necessarily need to be those four same characters, either. It's not looking good for Jade being a playable character this time around or Noob Saibot, and I wouldn't expect them to create move sets for characters only serving as a single secret boss fight.
I'd be happy if the New Era came with completely new secret boss fights. It's a Mortal Kombat tradition that I think NRS should keep going.
4. For Kung Lao To Not Die
This one needs no explanation. Stop killing off Kung Lao in almost every modern Mortal Kombat game, show, or movie. I'm not sure who hates Kung Lao so much at NRS or why, but please give it a rest in the New Era.
Check out why I think Kung Lao should be Earthrealm's champion in Mortal Kombat 1. The man deserves it.
3. For Kenshi Takahashi To Get A Win
Kenshi Takahashi, or Mortal Kombat Neo as I fondly called him after his introduction in Deadly Alliance, is a 3D-Era fan favorite. He's got a sweet character design and generally upper-tier competitive status. He's had an impact on us players.
But as far as impact on the Mortal Kombat world, he's not nearly as relevant.
In the Midway Era of Mortal Kombat, Kenshi was a lone swordsman who traveled the world fighting warriors to prove he was the best. After an encounter with Shang Tsung, the sorcerer steals the souls of Kenshi's ancestors and leaves Kenshi blind. From then on, revenge on Shang Tsung was Kenshi's only goal.
Unsurprisingly, he failed to achieve that goal. While stalking the Deadly Alliance of Shang Tsung and Quan Chi, Kenshi fought Mavado. The Deadly Alliance hired Mavado to deal with Kenshi. He succeeded, leaving Kenshi to die. Kenshi never evened the score with Mavado in Deception or Armageddon.
Kenshi's most notable accomplishment occurred in Deadly Alliance before Mavado defeated him. During his journey in Outworld, Kenshi encountered Ermac and freed him from Shao Khan's mind control. Ermac would go on to help Liu Kang free Earthrealm warriors from Onaga's control in Deception.
And that's pretty much the last time Kenshi has done anything significant. That was 21 years ago.
NRS-Era Kenshi hasn't fared much better. He was only a DLC character in MK9, and why he has story presence in MKX, he doesn't have a chapter and doesn't do much (Except lose). In MK11, Kenshi only appears dead in Shang Tsung's Krypt.
NRS-Era Kenshi had a conflict with the Red Dragon clan since they killed Suchin, his wife Suchin. Despite being an absentee dad to Takeda for over a decade, Kenshi did not successfully get his revenge. In the MKX comics, Kenshi even loses to an armless Goro. Talk about embarrassing.
So yeah. NRS-Era Kenshi's claim to fame is being Takeda's dad. And that's about it. He never settles any score he ever has and never contributes significantly to the main plot of any story.
With Kenshi featuring prominently in the Johnny Cage reveal trailer, I can only hope NRS has great things in store for Kenshi in Mortal Kombat 1.
2. More Plotlines and Story Threads
One of the things I think Midway did better than NRS in Mortal Kombat is telling more than one story.
In NRS Mortal Kombat, you have the main plot, and that's pretty much it.
In Midway Mortal Kombat, characters on the roster might play zero role in the main plot, but we're off doing their own things. These side adventures and quests would have an impact on numerous characters and set up plot threads in future installments (Like Nitara's use of Reptile in freeing Vaeternus from Outworld in Deadly Alliance, which unintentionally led to Reptile enabling the revival of Onaga in Deception).
Midway Mortal Kombat just felt more interconnected, and more than just one plotline mattered. I hope NRS takes time to flesh out the New Era properly and set the stage for numerous future stories.
NRS Mortal Kombat games are far from masterpieces of writing. One of the biggest issues is continuity or lack thereof.
NRS Mortal Kombat is full of retcons and inconsistencies. At times, NRS has not only contradicted their own lore from a previous game but sometimes their own lore from the same game. According to Mortal Kombat 11, three people killed King Jerrod. At least.
It can be hard for people to take a story seriously if the writers seemingly don't, and one of the easiest ways for people to write off a story is if the storytellers don't respect their own continuity. Because if they don't, why should we?
Given that Mortal Kombat 1 will be a narrative fresh slate, this is the perfect opportunity for NRS to do this story right.
There's two days left until the global release of Mortal Kombat 1 for Standard Edition owners. Stay tuned for a full Story Review.