Strangest Parts Of Mortal Kombat Lore


  • Unraveling the lore reveals a world of chaos with cyborgs, ninjas, dragons, and military –
    Mortal Kombat’s
    absurdity is unmatched.
  • Elder Gods shattered The One Being to create Realms; Armageddon was staved off with a pyramid in a plan to save the universe.
  • Shao Khan used necromancy to illegally invade Earthrealm; Quan Chi created a ‘Soulnado’ with energy from Outworld souls.

Fans of the Mortal Kombat series will be well aware of the intricate, and at times incoherent, lore and story that NetherRealm Studios pack into their games. Ever since the original Mortal Kombat tournament in the 1992 game, players have been slowly given more information about the Realms, the Elder Gods, and the state of the universe that characters like Scorpion and Sub-Zero live (and die) in.


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Some of the details that have been given to fans are stranger than others, and the whole setting seems bound by chaos and invented in pieces that, when taken as a whole, show a scattered and entertaining world with aspects of everything players could ever want. With cyborgs, ninjas, dinosaurs, hair magic, dragons, and the military – Mortal Kombat is unmatched in scope, potential, and pure absurdity.

7 The Realms Are Pieces Of An Entity

The One Being Was Separated By The Elder Gods

Mortal Kombat 11 Cetrion Elder God Elder Goddess

While fighting through the story modes of the Mortal Kombat games, it can be easy to narrow the scope to the story of Liu Kang, or Earthrealm and its potential invaders. However, the Elder Gods that act as an authority over Raiden are, in fact, ancient enemies of a creature called The One Being. They shattered it into pieces that became the realms.

The invasion attempts across the realms, then, are an attempt to bring the creature back together and, while this would destroy all life in the Realms, the idea is subconsciously implanted by the immortal entity. While the Elder Gods are presented as supremely powerful, The One Being is an entity that’s frightening even to them.

6 Armageddon Is Staved Off With A Pyramid

The Pyramid Of Argus Was Part Of A Plan To Save The Universe

The Pyramid of Argus in Mortal Kombat Armaggeddon

The God-Protector of Edenia, Argus, and his wife, Delia, saw visions of the apocalypse and knew that it would happen in a crater in Edenia. Argus constructed a huge underground pyramid, while Delia created the creature Blaze and gave it enough power to defeat any foes. They had seen that the Kombatants across all the realms would grow too powerful and would engage in a final confrontation that would end existence itself.

Delia and Argus disagreed on what should be done to the Kombatants; whether they should be drained of power or just destroyed. The dispute was to be solved by sending both of their sons to fight Blaze, with the winner deciding the future. However, one of the sons, named Daegon, was corrupted, and this led to the visions of his parents coming true.

5 Earthrealm’s Invasion Is Illegal

Shao Khan Used A Loophole With Necromancy

Mortal Kombat 1 Sindel Tower Ending

In universe, the Mortal Kombat tournament itself was established by the Elder Gods to try to put a stop to any Realms being rejoined. This was in an effort to stop The One Being from being reformed. The way that this was regulated was through a Tournament, in which a Realm would be expected to choose champions that would represent their best Kombatants, who would fight the other champions from the other Realms. Despite this seeming contrived and complicated, a Realm must win ten consecutive Mortal Kombat tournaments to have permission to launch a full-scale invasion.


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Mortal Kombat 1 is an extremely violent game, but very few of the major characters in its rebooted timeline meet a gruesome end during its story.

In the first game, Shao Khan and his Outworld champions needed one more victory to invade Earthrealm, but after losing a few times and being embarrassed in front of his subjects, he found a loophole to begin his invasion by resurrecting his wife, Sindel, on Earth. This somehow makes Sindel magically an Earthrealmer, which gives Shao Khan the ability to go to Earthrealm and begin his attack. His necromancy enabled him to effectively use magical inter-Realm marriage law to “legally” attack Earth.

4 Quan Chi Created A ‘Soulnado’

Harnessing The Energy Of All The Souls In Outworld

the start of quan chi's second fataltiy in mk1

When Quan Chi finds out about Onaga, the old ruler of Outworld, and his immortal army, he forms an alliance with Shang Tsung that comes to be known as The Deadly Alliance. The pair plan to kill the biggest threats to their power: Liu Kang and Shao Khan, the champion of Earthrealm and the ruler of Outworld. As part of their plan Quan Chi forms a Soulnado – a green tornado with spinning skeletons that contains thousands of souls.

The idea of a vortex of spirits was never established previously, but since The Deadly Alliance, Soulnados have been more common. The pair plan to absorb the power of a Soulnado to sustain Shang Tsung forever (making him virtually unkillable) and to raise the immortal warriors of the Dragon King. The Soulnado was tricky to dissipate, requiring a powerful blast of divine energy from Raiden that destroyed the palace where the Soulnado was contained.

3 The Most Powerful Ruler Of Outworld Was Re-Hatched From A Dragon Egg

Followers Watched The Sacred Egg In A Lava Shrine

Mortal Kombat 1 Reiko ending Onaga Dragon King

In Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Quan Chi and Shang Tsung recruit several other Kombatants who are in Outworld, and together, they kill Shao Khan. They hope to be as effective at ruling a realm as Onaga, the Dragon King, had been. However, the last dragon egg had been secretly hidden away and guarded in the Lava Shrine, and was forgotten in time.


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A prophecy mentioned Onaga returning when the egg hatched, and shortly after the events of Deadly Alliance, Onaga did return as a result of the actions of Shujinko. However, in the ending narrative for Reptile, which appears (like most others in Deadly Alliance) to be canon, the egg has been shattered, and a dragon embryo leeches power from Reptile before Onaga is resurrected in full from the dragon egg.

2 Time Travelling Advice

Raiden’s Last Words Are A Warning To Himself

mk 10 raiden

When the end of the world eventually happens anyway, at the end of Mortal Kombat: Armeggedon‘s story mode, Shao Khan defeats Raiden. Raiden is killed brutally, and Shao Khan gains ultimate power. The God Of Thunder uses his last moment to send a message, three words long, to an earlier version of himself. His message – “He Must Win” – echoes in the mind of Raiden during the events of the original Mortal Kombat, which changes things enough to create a new timeline and multiple dimensional versions of dozens of beloved characters.

This vague message lead to lots of bloodshed and heartache that never happened in the original timeline, with the aim being to stop the end of the world and Raiden’s death at the hands of Outworld’s leader. However, the inclusion of time travel into an already cluttered and confusing plot has led to the present lore, where fans have three timelines to distinguish between.

1 The Big Reset

Fire God Liu Kang’s Vision

Fire God Liu Kang

2019’s Mortal Kombat 11 tackled that abundance of timelines head-on. The titan Kronika was introduced as an antagonist who used conflicting timelines to eventually rule over all the Realms with her own vision of what reality should be. Due to the cataclysmic events of the game, Liu Kang absorbs the powers of his mentor, Raiden, and becomes Fire God Liu Kang. Defeating Kronika meant that Liu Kang claimed the power to shape the different timelines, and he decides to start over with a reality of his own creation.

This is the timeline that players find themselves playing in during Mortal Kombat 1, the most recent game in the series. All of these timelines, rulers of time, changing divine powers, and fights for control can be overwhelming; the entire story of Mortal Kombat has been rewritten as of Mortal Kombat 1. While fans may see other timelines invading or threatening Liu Kang’s perfect order, it may be a while before players can return to the original timeline, or Raiden’s second timeline that he fought so hard to protect.

mortal kombat 1

Mortal Kombat 1

September 19, 2023

Warner Bros. Games