Mortal Kombat 1 is a reboot about how reboots suck

If it makes you feel better, the cast of Mortal Kombat is as tired of continuity resets as you are. MKThe first reboot in 2011 Mortal Kombat, only turned back the clock shortly before the events of the original game. This time, Liu Kang’s had to rebuild Mortal Kombat History from the ground up. The result is, in a sense Mortal Kombat When you criticize continuity, you reboot yourself and how they are often counterproductive.

To be fair to NetherRealm Studios, Liu Kang’s New Era has a lot to offer, especially if you’re a long-time fan of the series. Some big fan favorites from the past MK Games have been given a long overdue chance to take the spotlight MK1, especially Mileena, Baraka and Reptile. Reptile, in particular, has spent his entire story as a character MK The eternal punching bag of the universe, but in the end MK1He has friends, a home and even a new romance. If you make a list of the 10 most successful reinventions of the video game franchise in 2023, Reptile will be at the top of that list from the start. Besides that, MK‘S is still facing its second reboot in the last four games, giving each new development an unfortunate subtext: Don’t get hooked. This continuity is written on a slate, and NetherRealm Studios could decide to erase it again at any moment.

There is a scene Mortal Kombat 1However, it is a story mode that addresses this criticism of reboots and also works as a nice meta-commentary. In Chapter 11, Liu Kang explains himself to an increasingly horrified Sindel, Kitana, and Mileena. So far he has “only” posed as a demigod protector of Earth, but now he has to admit that he is the original creator of this timeline.

Screenshot from Escapist

The antagonist of Mortal Kombat 11, Kronika was a Titan and the Guardian of Time. At the end of MK11As she told her story, she erased the story in a fit of rage. After winning their battle, Liu Kang had to pick up the pieces by using Kronika’s tools to create his New Era from nothing. In Mortal Kombat 1Kronika’s former servant Geras Sindel explains that the current one MK Timeline is the latest in a long, long series. “Kronika was obsessed with balancing good and evil,” he says. “When a timeline drifted too far in one direction or another, she would stop it and begin history again. She tinkers with lives and events in the hope of achieving her golden equilibrium.”

It’s a useful explanation for why something happens MK1The story is important. The ability to restart time when something doesn’t go your way is a great way to drive yourself crazy, so Liu Kang did it exactly once and then gave up the power. Whatever happens in his new era, he has to allow it.

I have to appreciate that too Mortal Kombat 1 didn’t run with some sort of superhero comic book reboot where we all tacitly agreed to act like everything had always been that way. In MK, its reboots are part of the canon; They are actions, and they had direct consequences. More importantly, Geras’s framing here also functions as a commentary on creative works in general, particularly those that obviously attempt to aspire to an imagined perfect state.

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Screenshot from Escapist

The first thing that came to mind was the last decade or so of Spider-Man comics, where Marvel refuses to make the character anything other than a broke loser, but you could also point to the chaos, that surrounds the DC Extended Universe or any Terminator film after the second. Sooner or later, MK says along Mortal Kombat 1, you have to let things take their own course for a while. If you just keep trying to bring something into existence, especially when you don’t have a clear idea of ​​what you want to do, you will drive yourself crazy. Then a Shaolin monk has to come, kick you in the throat and steal your things.

Admittedly, this might be a hollow criticism of reboots Mortal Kombat 1what continues MKCosmology becomes even more complicated than before with the introduction of its own multiverse. MK1 It ends up embodying some of the same strange pop culture trends that it effectively criticizes, giving the impression that someone from NetherRealm is smuggling quickly past corporate headquarters. Honestly, it’s one of the best things about the game.

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