The Best Changes In MK1’s New Timeline

If you’ve been following the news — or played the new game — then you’re aware by now that Mortal Kombat 1 features a new timeline, with characters changing roles, having different behaviors or backstories, and different relationships between them. All courtesy of Liu Kang, who tried the best he could to create a better timeline while still giving people free will.

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That’s all fine and good, sure, but which of these changes made a good story? We won’t focus necessarily on how the story unfolds, but more so on how these timeline changes gave room for beautiful creativity choices among some of our favorite fighters.

Spoilers ahead.

7 Kuai Liang As Scorpion

Smoke and Scorpion, from Mortal Kombat 1

Though this change came with losing Hanzo Hasashi, an iconic character in the series (if not the most iconic), turning Sub-Zero and Scorpion into brothers was a clever take on their dynamic. It made their relationship way more personal right away, as well as the clash between Bi-Han’s dominating nature and Kuai Liang’s defender-of-Earthrealm nature.

Besides, nothing stops Kuai Liang from getting a family, and Bi-Han killing said family in the future, igniting a story similar to how it was before. All in all, the characters grew because of this new dynamic between them, and Scorpion looked good with Kuai Liang’s scar, too.

6 Mileena As A Legitimate Daughter

Mileena with her mask on in Mortal Kombat 1

Mileena as an actual part of the family — even heir to the throne, in fact — was another good change in this new timeline. Her dynamic with her family, as well as having to deal with the Tarkat illness, made her far more interesting than a simple monstrous clone. The only downside was not going as deep into this narrative throughout the story.

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Outworld’s royal family overall was a lot better — as we’ll point out a bit more later — and fully integrating Mileena into the fold was a good starting point, as her mere presence changes how everyone would normally behave compared to previous timelines. On a side note, the way her relationship affected Tanya, too, making both of these characters good gals this time, is another good detail, even if Tanya isn’t that relevant to the story.

5 Johnny Cage As A Whole

Johnny Cage with an eyebrow raised at the camera in Mortal Kombat 1

Truth be told, he didn’t change much. His backstory is essentially the same, as an actor becoming part of the tournament mostly because Liu Kang knew his previous version and knows he’s a good person despite his behavior. Johnny is still worth mentioning because, though it is the same backstory, they did a much better job developing it.

As an actor going through a dry spot in his career, owing a lot of money thanks to his mansion and all the stuff he bought, he goes through his journey of letting go of his superficial side and becoming a better person — as he did before — in a very interesting way, and having his behavior toward Kenshi throughout the game being a good indicator of where he is in his character arc. Plus, the two became a fun team in their interactions together.

4 Sindel As A Whole

Sindel in Mortal Kombat 1

From Shao Kahn’s puppet to Empress, Sindel had quite the upgrade. Though she always had presence, especially in the previous timeline (where she killed half the cast by herself), she wasn’t a lot personality-wise. Most of the time, she’d be serving another bigger baddie — which is not a look for an Empress — or just being chaotic evil and going for the kills.

As Liu Kang sought to make things better, Sindel was never turned into other people’s puppet this time and served as Empress of Outworld exceedingly well, also making her a much better character in this timeline, creating an interesting dynamic with her daughters, and even servants such as Li Mei and Rain. This entry also suffers the problem of ‘this could’ve been developed even further,’ but what we got was pretty solid.

3 Tarkat As A Disease

Baraka in Mortal Kombat 1

Turning Tarkat into an illness was quite an ingenious move. Thanks to it, we got to see a few things, such as showing the bad side of Outworld despite its changes and a more compelling version of Mileena, as stated before, but we also got backstory and development for a Klassic character who hadn’t had any story-related attention: Baraka.

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As a former merchant infected by the disease, he helps others infected in their isolation, creating a community while he can do nothing but wait for his death to arrive. As a victim of the disease rather than a minion, he doesn’t hold a grudge against the heroes appearing in his community, and he also helps them out, making him a supporting hero this time. Good stuff.

2 Reptile’s Backstory

Reptile in Mortal Kombat 1.

Another former baddie who barely had any story attention over the years, he got a similar treatment as Baraka, getting a more proper backstory and a more realistic personality, even making him switch sides in the process. Everything he does, good or bad, is to protect his family. Even Baraka respects and forgives Reptile’s actions after learning this, showing the depth both characters got here.

Sadly, he also appears too little to be a crucial part of the story, but what we got from the character this time is far better than every other iteration, at least story-wise. May Syzoth appear even more in sequels.

1 Liu Kang As A God

Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, Kenshi, Kung Lao, and an unknown warrior walking thriugh a portal

Replacing Raiden as protector of Earthrealm is no easy task, but Liu Kang managed to hold the mantle wonderfully — and he didn’t even need to consult with the Elder Gods once. His behavior hasn’t changed — he’s the same from previous games, after all.

Still, his attempts to fix things while letting people make their own choices showed how perfect he was for the task, even forsaking the ultimate power he had to ensure it wouldn’t corrupt him. Thus, with all the good you see in this timeline, you know who you need to thank.

NEXT: Mortal Kombat 1 Review – A Bloody Promising New Timeline

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