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Kronika, the original Keeper of Time

The Keeper of Time, sometimes referred to simply as The Keeper, is a powerful being within the Mortal Kombat universe. The Keeper is the title of someone that monitors and controls the flow of time in their respective timeline, going so far as to being able to restart timelines entirely if they wish to, making them one of, if not the most powerful being in the series.

Concept and Creation

Similar to the concept of the multiverse, the idea of multiple timelines as well as multiple realities was established in Mortal Kombat (2011), in which Raiden had drastically altered the timeline to prevent Armageddon by sending a mental message to his past self. This was taken further with Mortal Kombat 11, where the game introduces Kronika, a Titaness with the ability to manipulate the flow of time while having complete control over it and the fates of everyone in the timeline she is in.

In MK11, it is also established that many timelines exist within the Mortal Kombat universe, and that the Keeper of Time watches over each and every timeline as they see fit. Any outcome of any event happened within the Mortal Kombat universe, however those timelines were erased or abandoned when it did not fit the idea the Keeper was establishing.

In Mortal Kombat 1, the concept of the multiverse becomes a major plot point, revealing that within the many other timelines, characters in one form or another become their respective Keeper of Time.

Overview

Within the series, there have been various Keepers; all with varying ideologies and commitments to the timeline they reside over.

The first Keeper introduced in the series was Kronika, the mother of the Elder Gods of Life and Death, Cetrion and Shinnok, respectively. Over the course of MK11's Story Mode, she merges the past and present timelines from Mortal Kombat (2011) and Mortal Kombat X to entice people to her side of restarting the timeline into her New Era, making deals with protagonists, antagonists, heroes and villains of the series. Her plans are hindered by the combined efforts of the Special Forces, the White Lotus Society, a newly united Outworld and the God-ascended Liu Kang that storm Kronika's Keep. Despite their efforts, Kronika restarts the timeline, but is defeated by Liu Kang who assumes the role as the new Keeper of Time.

After taking control of The Hourglass, Liu Kang assumes Kronika's role as the Keeper and looks to establish his own New Era and bring his friends and loved ones back while bringing peace to this new timeline, something Kronika did not want, as she wanted to force a constant battle between the forces of good and evil forever.

In the altered timeline established in the Aftermath expansion for MK11, Shang Tsung manipulates his way into possessing Kronika's Crown, altering the events where a misguided Outworld lead by Shao Kahn and Sindel now storm the Keep seeking the Hourglass instead of the many united forces, only for Shang Tsung to kill them both, as well as overpower and erase Kronika from the timeline with his new powers from the Crown. As he begins to forge his own New Era, he is interrupted by Liu Kang, revealing the Fire God had manipulated events to allow Shang Tsung to possess the Crown so Liu Kang could restart the timeline correctly. In doing this a battle between the two for the Crown and Hourglass commences with two outcomes;

  • Liu Kang defeats Shang Tsung, erasing him from existence and begins forging his New Era, leading to the events of Mortal Kombat 1.
  • Shang Tsung defeats Liu Kang, absorbing his archnemesis's soul and takes control of all reality, conquering Earthrealm, Outworld, the Netherrealm and commands a now Dark Raiden and Fujin to commence the conquest of Orderrealm and Chaosrealm.

As of Mortal Kombat 1, Geras is reintroduced as the "Guardian of the Hourglass", a role that works alongside Liu Kang. Geras originally was Kronika's loyal servant sent to do whatever bidding she desired from the immortal construct in MK11. However, Geras is now the protector of the Hourglass under Liu Kang, and their relationship is based on mutual partnership and friendship, especially after Liu Kang relinquishes his Titan power. After being forced to reclaim it, Liu Kang later considers Geras his best potential successor as a new Keeper, where Geras eventually becomes the new Keeper.

A dark version of Geras serves the same function for a version of Shang Tsung that defeated Liu Kang at the end of Mortal Kombat 11. There are also revealed to be many different Keepers of Time throughout the vast multiverse, resulting from many possible outcomes from the battle at Kronika's Keep.

Trivia

  • An interaction between Geras and Sindel in Mortal Kombat 1 reveals there was a Titan that had once reigned before Kronika, but who they were is never specified.
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