The prospect of a new Mortal Kombat game is exciting enough in and of itself, but add to it the fact that the series is (yet again) rebooting itself, and the excitement ramps up even further. Promising a completely new universe that will put a fresh twist on familiar characters and arcs, the upcoming Mortal Kombat 1 has got many series fans and newcomers alike excited, and with a recent update to the game’s official website developer NetherRealm Studios and publisher WB Games have offered some brief new details on the game’s key characters.
The website reveals that Liu Kang, now a Fire God and the creator of this new universe, will be facing an enemy that he “could never have anticipated”, suggesting that the central antagonist might not be one of the usual that series fans have come to expect- your Shang Tsungs and Shao Kahns and Shinnoks and what have you. As per the website, Liu Kang will have to make use of “all of his wisdom and experience to save not only Earthrealm, but all of reality.”
Crucially, the website also confirms that Scorpion and Sub-Zero now both belong to the same clan- the Lin Kuei, which means the Shirai Ryu splinter clan hasn’t broken off on its own in this timeline. Sub-Zero, already the Grandmaster of the Lin Kuei, is leading the clan “out of the shadows” so it can “fight for its place as one of Earthrealm’s great nations”.
His brother, Scorpion, is a revered warrior of the clan, though Sub-Zero’s untraditional leadership methods have got him worried that “he may one day have to battle his brother for control of the Lin Kuei’s legacy”, stoking the flames of these two characters’ legendary rivalry yet again.
The website also talks about Kitana, a princess of Outworld whose only purpose is to “aid and protect” Mileena, her older sister, who’s also next in line to become the realm’s Empress. Mileena herself, meanwhile, suffers from the lethal Tarkat disease, which she is desperate to keep secret from everyone, for fear that it might sabotage her claim to the throne.
Then there’s Hollywood hotshot Johnny Cage, who is facing a familiar “uphill battle to remain relevant” and is hoping joining Liu Kang’s forces will help him do that. Kenshi, meanwhile, has left behind his life as a Yakuza, a life he detested, in order to prove to his once-great family that he can lead them safely out of the Yakuza’s grasp, for which he is on a mission to retrieve the family’s emblem of power, the rever sword known as Sento.
Kung Lao, a name that series fans will be very familiar with, is a young warrior who, in search of honour, has left his life as a humble farmer behind and joined Liu Kang’s Earthrealm forces. Finally, there’s Raiden, the Champion of Earthrealm, who leaves behind his peaceful life in the village of Fengjian (the same village that Kung Lao hails from) in order to save it from external threats.
Mortal Kombat 1 launches on September 19 for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC.