The Story Mode of Mortal Kombat 11 contains 12 chapters, with the Aftermath expansion adding 5 extra chapters, for a total of 17 chapters, telling a story that takes place 2 years after the events of its predecessor. As for the past iterations of the kombatants, their storyline took place 27 years ago, after Kung Lao defeated Quan Chi and Shang Tsung at nearly the end of the ninth game’s second tournament.
Each chapter focuses on one or two characters from the series and contains a combination of fights and extended cut-scenes. Mortal Kombat 11 also has chapter titles in addition to the name(s) of the playable character(s).
- Next of Kin (Cassie Cage)
- Timequake (Kotal Kahn)
- Shaolin Monks (Liu Kang and Kung Lao)
- Fire and Ice (Scorpion and Sub-Zero)
- Truths Revealed (Jade)
- War on the Homefront (Johnny Cage)
- Coming of Age (Kitana)
- Fight Club (Sonya Blade)
- All in the Family (Jacqui Briggs and Jax Briggs)
- To Hell and Back (Scorpion)
- Cutting the Strings (Raiden)
- End of an Era (Fire God Liu Kang)
- Time's Arrow (Nightwolf)
- Guardian for Life (Sheeva)
- Winds of Change (Fujin)
- Visions of Empire (Sindel and Shao Kahn)
- Checkmate (Shang Tsung)
NOTE: In regular font are characters from the present in the current timeline, while in italic denotes that the character is from the past in the same timeline. The only exception is in Chapter 10 where the first fights are with the present-day Scorpion (Hanzo Hasashi), while after that, the past Scorpion is used. In chapters 3, 4, 9, and 16, the player can choose in each fight which character will be used, unless there is a stated restriction in brackets after the name of the opponent.
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
Some time after Shinnok's defeat at the hands of Cassie Cage, Raiden is seen torturing the fallen Elder God in the damaged Jinsei Chamber. The God of Thunder, now with a darker persona due to the Jinsei's corruption, announces to Shinnok that he will no longer have mercy and will destroy Earthrealm's enemies before they can attack the realm. Dark Raiden threatens him, saying that he will be the first. Shinnok reminds him that he cannot kill an Elder God. Dark Raiden, preparing his thunder blade, replies by telling him that "there are fates worse than death." After this, Raiden decapitates Shinnok, and informs the severed, yet still-living, head of Shinnok that he will deliver him to Liu Kang in the Netherrealm as a warning, and teleports away.
The Keeper of Time, Kronika, appears in the chamber, annoyed at Raiden for upsetting the balance of time after Mortal Kombat X’s events. She approaches and tells Shinnok that the arc of the universe bends at her will, and that it is only a matter of time.
Tired of Earthrealm’s defiance, Kronika will bring order to the universe through any means necessary.
Chapter 1 - Next of Kin (Cassie Cage)
Two years later, Sonya Blade announces to Cassie Cage, Johnny Cage, Jacqui Briggs, and the Special Forces that Jackson "Jax" Briggs has retired, and therefore, Cassie, Sonya and Johnny's daughter, is promoted to commander, but not before passing her final test against her mother in kombat.
Dark Raiden arrives shortly after to inform the Special Forces that Liu Kang and Kitana are planning to invade Earthrealm. In order to stop them, the Earthrealm needs to assault Netherealm's main cathedral.
While Dark Raiden creates a diversion, drawing out the main Netherrealm army, the Special Forces storm the cathedral forces led by Jade and Kabal. Upon hearing of Earthrealm attacking the cathedral, Liu Kang and Kitana ambush the Special Forces, resulting in Sonya getting trapped under an avalanche of rocks. After ordering Cassie and the Special Forces to flee back to Earthrealm, Sonya activates the charges that detonate and destroy the cathedral, killing her.
As Liu Kang and Kitana contemplate their next move, Kronika appears before the Netherrealm King and Queen to request an alliance, stating her goal to restart history and create a New Era...one without Raiden. Liu Kang and Kitana, disgusted by Raiden's actions, agree to Kronika's terms.
Chapter 2 - Timequake (Kotal Kahn)
Meanwhile, Kotal Kahn has the imprisoned Kollector brought into the middle of the Outworld Koliseum for execution, for "escaping Kotal's justice and sucking dry the bounty of Outworld's people". Kollector warns Kotal that his death will cause him to lose. Kotal, who denies being like Shao Kahn, refuses to "inflict a bandit upon the poor". But just before he can execute Kollector, Kronika begins changing time, causing timequakes in the present.
During the Outworld timequake, Kollector breaks free from his bondage and, along with Kotal, encounters the past versions of Skarlet, Erron Black, Baraka, Kano, Shao Kahn, Liu Kang, Kitana, Kung Lao, Jade, and Raiden. Shao Kahn is surprised that Kotal is the new Kahn of Outworld, to which Kotal explains he became Kahn by right after Mileena's and Shao Kahn's deaths. Raiden explains to Kotal that Kung Lao had just defeated Quan Chi and Shang Tsung, which Kotal reveals to the Thunder God happened over 27 years ago. Raiden deduces that the past and present are colliding, while Kotal reunites with his lover, Jade. Shao Kahn's forces engage in kombat with Raiden and Kotal's forces to reclaim the Outworld throne. After Kotal defeats Baraka, Skarlet, Erron, and Shao Kahn, D'Vorah arrives to rescue Shao Kahn's forces and Kollector, bringing them to her hive. Kotal and Raiden agree to work together and solve this crisis, while both Kitana and Jade stay in Outworld to aid Kotal. Raiden, Liu Kang, and Kung Lao then get into Earthrrealm to learn more about their tragic future.
Back in D'Vorah's hive, Kollector tells Shao Kahn about how Kotal ascended to the throne and the whereabouts of Mileena. D'Vorah then tells Shao Kahn that after Kotal takes Shao Kahn's throne, she killed Mileena. But before Shao Kahn can attack D'Vorah for killing his daughter, Kronika appears before his forces, recruiting them for her cause.
Meeting with the Special Forces, Raiden learns the tragic events of the future he would endure, confirming what Kotal told him at the Koliseum. Young Sonya learns that her future self was recently killed in action, and verbally tears into Cassie for abandoning her mother, causing Cassie to fire back that she only did so on her mother's orders. Liu Kang and Kung Lao are shocked to discover that their future selves have become undead revenants of the Netherrealm. Shortly after, the Special Forces are informed that the Netherrealm creatures have invaded the Wu Shi Academy.
Chapter 3 - Shaolin Monks (Past Liu Kang and Past Kung Lao)
On their way to the Wu Shi Academy, the past Liu Kang and Kung Lao begin lamenting their dark futures. Liu Kang decides to continue to put his faith in Raiden, but Kung Lao begins feeling skeptical.
Upon infiltrating the academy, the Shaolin Monks encounter the same Scorpion from their timeline. One of the monks works to disable the traps while the other fights Scorpion, at first to no avail, until the arrival of revenant Jade, who is under Kronika's orders to keep the Shaolin Monks alive. This allows the two an opportunity to make the revenant Edenian and the time-displaced wraith retreat.
Upon arriving in the Heavens, Raiden consults the Elder Gods, with Cetrion telling him what to do. The duo then come across Geras, who is stealing vials that contains Earthrealm's life force, the Jinsei. Geras knew they were coming, however, due to the revenant versions of Liu Kang and Kung Lao. After defeating their counterparts, the two then fight and defeat Geras before he freezes them in time. If Kung Lao fights Geras, Kronika's strongman reveals that he met and fought the Great Kung Lao once.
Kronika appears and although Geras states that it would be dangerous to let them live, Kronika keeps them alive, as if they die, their revenant counterparts would cease to exist. Geras and Kronika disappear as time resumes for the duo.
Back at the Special Forces Desert Base, Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Sonya, Cassie and Johnny Cage learns that the realms are in crisis. Raiden tells the two what he have learned, and promises not to lead them to their deaths as Dark Raiden did. He will find a way how to solve it.
- Scorpion (past)
- Jade (present)
- Kung Lao (present) / Liu Kang (present) (depending on the player's character choice)
Chapter 4 - Fire and Ice (Present Scorpion and Sub-Zero)
Sub-Zero is in a quarry, monitoring the recently reactivated Cyber Lin Kuei factory. Hanzo Hasashi, Scorpion's living present-self then arrives, and enquires as to the whereabouts of Sektor, as he doesn't want him to threaten his clan again. Sub-Zero informs Hanzo that, while the factory had been previously shut down and buried in the quarry, when the time merger restored Sektor, he reactivated the facility, and kidnapped Lin Kuei warriors to be turned into cyber slaves. He tells Hanzo of his plan to infiltrate the factory – an assault on the main entrance will be bloody, so he proposes to enter via a less-populated entrance, and obtain help from the inside.
Both enter the factory, only to find dismembered bodies lying on the ground. Hanzo swears to Sub-Zero, who broods over the bodies, that they both will avenge the dead Lin Kuei. Both hide as Cyrax and an unknown cloaked figure arrive to create more cyber warriors. Sub-Zero tells Hanzo that if they disable Cyrax's behavior inhibitors, he'll have his humanity restored and turn on Sektor, and will be able to shut the Cyber Lin Kuei down, as all cyber warriors are linked to a common network. They split up, with Hanzo focusing on Cyrax, while Sub-Zero is dealing with the cloaked figure, who is revealed to be Frost. He accuses her of betrayal after all he did for her, whilst Frost counters by accusing him of corrupting the Lin Kuei by making peace with Hanzo, and that with Kronika's help, she will "restore the clan's honor". Depending on the character choice, the dialogue will change accordingly:
- Sub-Zero fights Frost – Sub-Zero calmly informs his former student that there is no future in which she could be the head of the clan. Frost angrily replies that he has always doubted her and that Kronika has seen her real potential from the beginning.
- Hanzo fights Frost – Frost angrily tells Hanzo that she should have killed him the day Sub-Zero invited him to the temple. Hanzo replies that she already tried and failed.
After defeating Frost, Cyrax reappears with some activated Cyber Lin Kuei warriors, saying that they are defending Kronika's cause, and that the new Cyber Lin Kuei will help usher in the New Era. The chosen character will fight Cyrax while the other will deal with the remaining cybernetic warriors.
- Sub-Zero fights Cyrax – Sub-Zero berates Cyrax for being enslaved by Sektor and Kronika, and vows to end this.
- Hanzo fights Cyrax – Cyrax tells Hanzo that he will be forced to serve. Hanzo replies that he has been down that road, and will not let it happen again.
After Cyrax's defeat, Sub-Zero begins to disable the behavior inhibitors. Hanzo is ambushed by Noob Saibot, who claims that in the New Era, Kronika will make sure that he would lead the realm's deadliest clan of wandering shadows, before he is defeated by Sub-Zero/Hanzo.
- Sub-Zero fights Noob Saibot – Noob taunts Sub-Zero, claiming that he has always mimicked him, and that he is a poor grandmaster. Sub-Zero replies that he is withholding the Lin Kuei principle he thought his brother shared.
- Hanzo fights Noob Saibot – Noob taunts Hanzo, claiming that without Quan Chi's influence, Hanzo is weaker.
After Noob is defeated, Cyrax comes to, and realizes with horror what has become of him. He learns what he needs to do to destroy the Cyber Lin Kuei, before Sektor fires rockets at the trio, which Cyrax stops by using his net. Sektor has been warned by Frost that Sub-Zero and Hanzo had become allies, and is astonished at Sub-Zero engaging in an "act of dishonor". The character chosen by the player fights Sektor, while the other aids Cyrax with the following dialogue:
- Hanzo fights Sektor – Sektor reveals to Hanzo that he was the one who started the massacre on the first Shirai Ryu by setting it on fire, vowing that he will finish what Quan Chi failed to accomplish in their deal.
- Sub-Zero fights Sektor – Sub-Zero tells Sektor that he has taken his head once, and will do it again. Sektor replies that the past is no longer set as the Cyber Lin Kuei will usher in the New Era.
After Sektor is defeated, Cyrax manages to get into the Cyber Lin Kuei servers, and informs Sub-Zero that he can disable the factory, but he states that if he is brought back, he doesn't want to live as a cyborg. Sub-Zero reassures Cyrax that, whether he is machine or man, he has a warrior's spirit, and as long as Sub-Zero is grandmaster, he will be welcomed to the Lin Kuei.
Cyrax then destroys the main power source of the factory, which disables Cyrax and the rest of the Cyber Lin Kuei, including Sektor, who is transported back to Kronika's lair by Frost and Noob. Sub-Zero and Hanzo discuss what they should do next, both agreeing that they should inform Raiden of their accomplishment.
Back at Kronika's lair, Geras questions a younger Kano and Erron Black about if they can restore Sektor, and whether he can be copied thousands of times. Suddenly, the older Kano appears, and tells them that they should agree to serve Kronika.
In the Briggs house, present-day Jax tried to contact his daughter, Jacqui, but her phone was lost connection due to the time quake, which made him frustrated about it. Moments later, Kronika recruits the present-day Jax to her side.
Raiden had a conversation with Kotal, Jade and Kitana in Outworld, about stopping Shao Kahn from reclaiming the throne.
Chapter 5 - Truths Revealed (Past Jade)
The past Jade and Kotal scout the Lost Hive of the Kytinn, believing it is where Shao Kahn is located. They are ambushed by Revenant Jade and D'Vorah, who are eventually defeated.
After locating Shao Kahn at the Tarkatan Kamp, Jade fights Kollector, and then incapacitates the Tarkatans. As Kotal and his Osh-Tekk warriors prepare to execute the Tarkatans, Jade steps in, knowing how far he may go. She defeats Kotal, before they are both captured by Shao Kahn.
Meanwhile Raiden attempts to consult with the Elder Gods once again, only to discover that their domain is in ruins. All of the Elder Gods are gone with the exception of one – the goddess of virtue, Cetrion. She reveals that Kronika is her mother, and Shinnok her brother. Kronika's plan is then revealed: she intends to restart time so as to restore balance between darkness (Shinnok) and light (Cetrion), which can only be maintained if the realms fight each other. However, as Dark Raiden decapitated Shinnok, the balance was damaged, which has prompted Kronika's desire to remove Raiden from the picture. Raiden then tells Cetrion that he will make sure Kronika does not succeed, but the goddess informs him that Shao Kahn has captured Kotal. Raiden then says that the Earthrealm warriors will keep fighting.
Chapter 6 - War on the Homefront (Present Johnny Cage)
Back in the Special Forces base, past Jax tests his new cybernetic arms, and Jacqui talks with him about what happened to the present Jax: since his traumatic experiences as a revenant, and worst of all, the death of his wife Vera a year prior, Jax has become a shut-in, only feeling safe at the Briggs' farm.
Johnny starts to find common ground with his past self as they jointly admire Sonya, before the younger Cage ruins it by being crass and boastful. Johnny hauls him out to teach his younger self a lesson. Suddenly, the base is attacked by the Black Dragon and the Cyber Lin Kuei. The two Johnnys put differences aside, and fight back against the Black Dragon, before the younger Johnny is grazed on the cheek by a bullet, causing a faded scar to appear on the same spot for the present Cage. Driven into a rage, the younger Cage charges headlong into the melee, firing wildly and pushing back the Black Dragon henchmen, leaving his older counterpart to deal with the past Erron Black, who is still affiliated with the criminal group. Johnny questions the gunslinger's allegiance, since his present counterpart remains in a tenuous alliance with Earthrealm by virtue of staying in Kotal Kahn's service. Black responds that he always picks winners, to which Johnny counters that he chose poorly after defeating him. The elder Cage finds Cassie, alive but injured, who informs him that past Sonya has been captured. Johnny heads out to rescue her, commandeering a tank on his way to deal with the Cyber Lin Kuei.
Johnny's tank is taken out of commission when Sektor calls in a missile strike from an aircraft, but Johnny in turn lures the plane in and destroys it, evening the odds. Confronting the leader of the Cyber Lin Kuei, Johnny beats the cyborg, before he's challenged by the past Kano, who eats a punch to the groin for his troubles. Angered by the thug's threat to his wife and daughter, the Cage patriarch beats him down, before pressing a boot to his neck. Unfortunately, he is interrupted by a bullet to his knee, fired by the present Kano, who has also taken the younger Johnny hostage. The Special Forces have no choice but to watch as the Black Dragon leave with the past Sonya and Johnny in their clutches. Fortunately, Cassie places a tracker on their aircraft as it flies away.
However, their troubles are not over, as Kano had fitted Sektor with a nuclear bomb, which he activates during his exit. They are saved by the timely arrival of Raiden, who teleports them to the Shirai Ryu Fire Garden seconds before the explosion. The present Johnny Cage is out of commission for the rest of the battle to stop Kronika, recuperating from his injuries. As Raiden’s Sky Temple, Sub-Zero’s Lin Kuei army and Special Force HQ had been compromised, Hanzo welcomes the surviving Earthrealm allies to the Shirai Ryu's Fire Garden as the only safe haven left. The surviving Earthrealm’s heroes learns from the past Raiden that the other Elder Gods have ceased to exist, and Cetrion and Shinnok are Kronika’s children, realizing the fallen god's mother was directly responsible for one of the heroes’ past tragedies in many timelines. Raiden told his warriors that the traitor Cetrion informed him of Shao Kahn captured both Kotal Kahn and younger Jade. The younger Liu Kang ask Raiden to send him and younger Kung Lao back to Outworld and reunite with younger Kitana. Raiden is pleased and pray his Shaolin disciples to return victorious, almost slipped his mind to forget his fellow gods no longer exist anymore, but himself.
Chapter 7 - Coming of Age (Past Kitana)
Through the power of Kronika's sands of time, the past Kitana is transported to the present timeline along with the other kombatants. After a fierce fight in Kotal Kahn's arena, she congregates with the other "good" kombatants after D'Vorah transports the "bad" kombatants to her hive. She is instructed to seek out and recruit Sheeva, as her armies would prove useful to assist Kotal against Shao Kahn. However, Kitana, Liu Kang and Kung Lao must first confront Baraka, whose Tarkatan warriors are claimed by Sheeva as a necessary requirement for her to join their cause.
After saving Jade from Skarlet and convincing Baraka to join her, Kitana, along with her allies, invade the Koliseum. After defeating Kollector, Kitana then fights Shao Kahn. She manages to defeat him, and slashes his face with her fan, blinding him. Due to sustaining serious injuries at the hands of Shao Kahn, Kotal Kahn relinquishes his title to Kitana, who becomes Kahn of Outworld.
At the Fire Garden, Cassie prepares to rescue her parents’ younger-selves. As her time is limited to save her younger parents, if one of her parents or both dies, Cassie will cease to exist, much to Raiden’s fear.
Chapter 8 - Fight Club (Past Sonya Blade)
Sonya wakes up locked up in a cage, where both Kanos organize illegal fights. They send the past Kabal to fight her, with the present day Kano telling him that it was Sonya who disfigured his face. When the past Kano asks if that's true, his older self tells him that he only made it up to motivate Kabal in his fight. After Sonya defeats Kabal, she demands to fight both Kanos, but instead they bring up her next opponent – the younger Johnny Cage, who is in bad shape. While Sonya refuses to fight him, Johnny insists, telling her that fighting will buy them time.
Cassie infiltrates the fight club and they engage in battle with the Black Dragon members. Both Kanos then send the younger Erron Black to deal with Sonya and Johnny, shooting Cage in the arm. But before he can finish him off, Sonya interferes and eventually defeats him. Cassie then arrives in the cage, freeing both. As they are escaping, the older Kano attacks them armed with a minigun. Whilst the trio hide behind a truck, Kano uses his cybernetic eye to find their hiding spot, injuring Cassie as she tried to surprise him. Kano then closes in to finish the job, but is blindsided by Sonya. With his munitions deplete, Sonya who uses her gauntlets to disarm him.
After being disarmed and knocked down, Kano tosses his knife at Sonya and begins to run. Going after him, Sonya is ambushed by the younger Kano. Both Kanos begin to taunt her, with the older Kano lamenting that it should have been him who killed her. After defeating the younger Kano, Sonya is confronted again by the older Kano, who holds Johnny as his hostage. He reminds her that it is a two-for-one deal – should he kill Johnny, Cassie will be gone as well. Sonya thanks him for reminding her of the rules, and pulls out a pistol before shooting the younger Kano in the other eye, killing him instantly. With his younger counterpart's death, the older Kano also gets the same wound on his eye that his past self had before he vanishes into sand moments later.
A medical crew then tends to Johnny and Cassie, with Johnny inviting Sonya to dinner as gratitude for saving his life. But before the trio can escape, Geras arrives to confront Sonya, telling her that Kronika has sent him to avenge Shinnok's defeat at the hands of Cassie Cage. After he's defeated, Cassie rams him with a forklift, pinning him to a garage door, before throwing a grenade in for good measure. Sonya apologises to Cassie, stating that she was wrong to blame Cassie for the death of the older Sonya. As the two embrace, Geras begins to regenerate, confirming Liu Kang and Kung Lao’s warning about him, and forcing the trio to evacuate immediately.
Back at Kronika's isle, Kronika and the revenants are displeased with how the tide has turned against them with the loss of the Outworld army and the Black Dragon. But Kronika tells them that Raiden's allies fighting Shao Kahn and Kano has bought her precious time to finish off her work at Shang Tsung's Island.
Chapter 9 - All in the Family (Jacqui Briggs and Past Jax)
Jacqui and the past Jax arrive at Shang Tsung's Courtyard in an attempt to find Kronika's crown. The Briggs' approach the old Courtyard, only to find corpses of the decayed shaolin monks, realizing that the island has been abandoned since after the first tournament. The revenants of Jade and Kabal ambush them, but are easily defeated.
After Jax and Jacqui defeat the duo, they continue on further into Goro's Lair in search for the crown. While walking along the cavernous corridors of the lair, Jax remembers how he was imprisoned prior to the first Mortal Kombat tournament. They approach the Well of Souls, only to be ambushed by Noob Saibot and his clones. Jacqui demands to know who Noob is, and he reveals his identity as Bi-Han, whom Jax confirms as the previous Sub-Zero, who had been killed by Scorpion. The two manage to defeat Noob and his shadowy clones, and take the crown. They are then shocked by the sudden arrival of the present Jax, who reveals that he has sided with Kronika in an attempt to alter time, so that his daughter will never become a soldier. The younger Jax berates his older self, stating that his suffering is no excuse for betraying his unit and family. This leads to a showdown between past and present Jax, before the younger Jax defeats his present self.
The Briggs' start to leave Goro's Lair. Cetrion arrives, and convinces them that the crown belongs to her mother. Both Jacqui and Jax refuse to surrender the crown, so Cetrion opens a fissure that swallows Jacqui, leaving her hanging over a cavernous pit. Cetrion tells Jax to surrender the crown, in return for sparing Jacqui's life. The older Jax begs his younger self to relinquish the crown for Jacqui's sake, and, reluctantly, past Jax agrees, tossing the crown to his older self. Cetrion keeps her word, reversing her spell to save Jacqui. Jacqui angrily demands how her father can do this to her, which prompts him to respond that he's doing it for her. Cetrion and the present-day Jax then teleport back to Kronika's keep.
Pleased with her daughter's actions, Kronika puts on the crown to reform the timeline. Jax, however, is not satisfied for what he has done, unlike his younger counterpart after he saved his daughter from her fate.
Back to the Fire Garden, Cassie tells Raiden that Kronika has her crown. Raiden tells her that he cannot bear the dark power of Shinnok's amulet.
Chapter 10 - To Hell and Back (Present and Past Scorpion)
Hanzo and Kuai Liang are at Kharon's home, the Sea of Blood. They see Cetrion, along with Demons and Cyborgs, teleport away. He tells Kuai that Kharon is their best and only hope to get to Kronika's Hourglass, and instructs the Grandmaster to return to Earthrealm and tell the others that they have found him. Hanzo rescues Kharon from D'Vorah's clutches, who was torturing Kharon for refusing to assist Kronika, defeating her in combat. Scorpion later arrives to confront his present, living counterpart. He tells Hanzo that he believes Kronika can restore the Shirai Ryu to their true potential and original bloodline, viewing Hanzo's rebuilt Shirai Ryu as tainted and imperfect. The two Scorpions clash, resulting in the victory of the present Hanzo, who knows that his past self only sides with Kronika just to restore their wife Harumi, and their son Satoshi, not including other original Shirai-Ryu clansmen. Hanzo tells Scorpion that one of Kronika's goals would be to resurrect Shinnok, the very being responsible for their family and clan's demise.
Hanzo is ambushed by D'Vorah, who stabs him with her pincers, fatally injecting him with her venom. Scorpion, convinced by Hanzo's words, slices off her pincers and forces her to retreat. Scorpion's dying counterpart implores him to seek out Raiden and the others at the Shirai Ryu Fire Gardens, and tells him that the Shirai Ryu are defined by their heart, not blood, before dying in Scorpion's arms.
As per Hanzo's wishes, the past Scorpion returns in his place to Raiden's base of operations to see the Fire Gardens rebuilt, realizing that his present self was right. He is attacked by a suspicious Sub-Zero, managing to defeat the Lin Kuei Grandmaster, but is electrocuted by Raiden. Scorpion then defeats Raiden and tries to tell him that Kharon is on his way with his fleet.
Chapter 11 - Cutting the Strings (Past Raiden)
Liu Kang tries to reason with Raiden, saying that Scorpion may be telling the truth. Raiden refuses to listen and attacks Scorpion using Shinnok's amulet. After Liu Kang tries to stop him, Raiden attacks him with the amulet as well, saying that their time has run out and he has got to save Earthrealm. After the battle, Liu Kang decides that the Revenants were actually right, and that Raiden cannot be trusted. Raiden replies that he does not need trust, but demands obedience, his eyes and lightning now glowing red. As Liu Kang prepares to use his fire power against him, Raiden comes to a realization: "This has happened before". He begins seeing visions of himself and Liu Kang fighting each other in various places and alternate timelines. The locations shown are the Rooftop in Mortal Kombat (2011), the Pyramid of Argus in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, and supposedly, Apokolips in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Recoiling in horror, Raiden drops Shinnok's amulet.
He realizes that the only reason why he and Liu Kang were fighting is because Kronika has always wanted it to happen. After that, he proceeds to heal Scorpion and apologizes to him, saying that he was also a slave to anger. While Liu Kang and the others initially fail to understand what is happening, Raiden explains that Kronika has restarted time on multiple occasions, with each timeline pitting him and Liu Kang against each other, and Liu Kang dying in each battle. Just when Raiden assures the others that Kronika will no longer control them, time is frozen and everyone else along with it, with the exception of Raiden. Kronika arrives, and tells the Thunder God that the combined powers of both Raiden and Liu Kang pose a threat to her vision of the timeline, which is why she has always set them against each other. Raiden then threatens her that this timeline will end differently, but Kronika rejects his claims, stating that they have had the same conversation multiple times, but it has never changed the outcome. She then challenges him to confront her one final time, but without Liu Kang by his side. As time resumes, Kronika takes Liu Kang to her isle, where his revenant counterpart steals his soul to increase his own strength.
Shortly after, Raiden and his allies are on board Kharon's fleet for the final battle. But against them, Frost and Geras are leading a large ship with Cyber Lin Kuei warriors. Kharon says that his fleet is not prepared for battle, but Raiden assures him that the ships will be protected by the combined forces. As the ships collide, the Cyber Lin Kuei attack. Present day Jax is then sent to fight Raiden in a losing effort. Raiden successfully convinces him that Kronika has manipulated him all along, which causes Jax to turn on Kronika's forces. Then Geras fights and loses to the Thunder God, who binds him to a chain and anchor. Geras says that drowning cannot kill him, but Raiden tells him that the Sea of Blood is bottomless and he will sink forever. After this, Geras is dragged into the Sea of Blood. Frost then appears to Raiden, telling him that the Cyber Lin Kuei are under her command, and challenges him. After defeating her, Raiden short circuits Frost's mind, causing the connection to sever, and the Cyber Lin Kuei army to shut down.
In the meantime, the revenant Liu Kang has absorbed the soul of his mortal counterpart and goes after Kharon's fleet to challenge Raiden. When the two confront each other, Liu Kang attacks Raiden knocking him back. Raiden is shocked that Liu Kang has taken his own soul, to which Liu Kang replies that this was a lesson Raiden taught him: to fight his enemies by any means necessary. After defeating the revenant, Raiden tells Liu Kang that he has overcome the darkness within himself and that Liu Kang must do the same. While Liu Kang demands him that he has to kill him, Raiden says that he'd rather save him and not repeat the same event all over again. He grabs and encircles Liu Kang in a lightning force field. During this, the mortal Liu Kang gets teleported out of Kronika's Keep to the lightning force field. Shortly after, the force field dissipates. The result is a merged form of Raiden and Liu Kang – Fire God Liu Kang.
Chapter 12 - End of an Era (Fire God Liu Kang)
Thanks to Raiden's and Liu Kang's combined powers, Earthrealmers and Outworlders realize that, this time, they might have a chance to beat Kronika. The armies of Earthrealm and Outworld begin their assault on Kronika's Keep, with Liu Kang's new abilities wiping out several Netherrealm legions to get through. Once inside, however, a shocked Kronika wastes no time, and has her revenant minions attack Liu Kang. In the process, Liu Kang manages to defeat all the revenant counterparts of his friends. Frustrated, Kronika summons Cetrion to fight Liu Kang, who exploits her servitude to her mother to defeat her. After witnessing her daughter's defeat, Kronika then gives Cetrion one final order. Cetrion has her own essence absorbed into Kronika, making her all-powerful. Kronika then reverses time to the primordial state of the universe, erasing everyone from existence. Fire God Liu Kang is left unaffected due to his godly status. The two eventually get into a final fight to determine the fate of the New Era.
Depending on the outcome of the fight between Kronika and Fire God Liu Kang, three different scenarios will play:
- Kronika wins – Kronika decapitates Fire God Liu Kang the same way Dark Raiden did to Shinnok. She then declares the beginning of the New Era.
- Fire God Liu Kang wins during the dawn of time – Liu Kang attacks an incapacitated Kronika with a blast of fire, turning her into a glass statue, which he proceeds to shatter. Liu Kang then meets Raiden, now a mere mortal, who tells him that he is worthy of being Earthrealm's new protector and that the Sands of Time are now his to shape. Liu Kang objects that he cannot do the duty alone, so Raiden decides to accompany Liu Kang for as long as his mortality allows him.
- This ending sets the stage for the beginning of the Aftermath story expansion.
- Fire God Liu Kang wins during the prehistoric age – Liu Kang attacks an incapacitated Kronika with a blast of fire, turning her into a glass statue, which he proceeds to shatter. Liu Kang then meets Raiden, now a mere mortal, who tells him that he is worthy of being Earthrealm's new protector and that the Sands of Time are now his to shape. Liu Kang objects that he cannot do the duty alone, so Raiden tells him to choose someone who can share this adventure with him in a lifetime. Knowing this, Liu Kang chooses Kitana. Raiden quickly recognizes the choice, saying that it is their destiny to be together through love. As Liu Kang is being brought to the dawn of time, Raiden parts ways with him, promising that they will meet in the new timeline. Back at the dawn of time, Liu Kang meets Kitana as he begins his quest of shaping the timeline. Kitana worriedly tells Liu Kang that no matter how they shape history, they cannot plan for every possibility, as villains like Kronika may always turn up. But Liu Kang assures her that they will face what's coming together.
Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath
The Beginning of Aftermath
After Kronika's defeat, Fire God Liu Kang is about to restart and reshape history, with mortal Raiden's guidance. However, he is suddenly interrupted by the appearance of Shang Tsung, Fujin and Nightwolf. Before the events of the time-merger, they had been imprisoned by Kronika in the Void, unable to do anything but watch the events unfold. With Kronika's death, they were released from the Void, and have traveled through the Hourglass to stop Fire God Liu Kang from using it. Shang Tsung explains that without Kronika's crown (which was unknowingly destroyed by Fire God Liu Kang), using the Hourglass would destroy all realms. Fire God Liu Kang suggests going back in time and defeat Kronika a different way, thereby gaining the Crown, but Shang Tsung points out that plan would be too risky and would not be guaranteed. He instead suggests that he be sent back into the past to regain the Crown at his island. Mortal Raiden does not trust Shang Tsung, and although Fire God Liu Kang shares his sentiment, it is agreed to go with Shang Tsung's plan. Fujin and Nightwolf are sent along with Shang Tsung to watch over him for any signs of betrayal.
Chapter 13: Time's Arrow (Past Nightwolf)
Shang Tsung, Fujin, and Nightwolf are brought back to the past, only to find themselves in Kitana's battle against Shao Kahn. With the battle going on, they hurried to the Beast Pen, only to draw suspicion by the Kollector. He follows them into the Beast Pen and lets loose two of the beasts. Shang Tsung and Fujin deal with the beasts while Nightwolf defeats the Kollector. During the time, Kitana has defeated Shao Kahn and was named the new Kahn. With the crowd distracted, they safely escaped the Koliseum. However, since they were seen by others during their arrival, they cannot just go to Shang Tsung's island. It is very likely that Kronika would be alerted of their presence. Seeing that they cannot enlist their past allies' help without altering the current timeline. Shang Tsung suggests on reviving Sindel, since she plays no part in the events to come. To do so, they must first acquire energy from Earth's Jinsei Chamber to heal her body and use Outworld's Soul Chamber to free her from Quan Chi's influence.
While in the Jinsei Chamber, they encounter Frost and Geras and eventually defeat them. Geras is sent to the Chaosrealm. On their trip to the Netherrealm, they are captured by revenant Liu Kang and his minions and taken to Shinnok's Bone Temple. As the decapitated and still living head of Shinnok watches on, the revenants of Nightwolf and Sindel prepares to torture Shang Tsung, Nightwolf and Fujin. Nightwolf manages to free himself and the others, and defeats Sindel and his revenant self. However, Shang Tsung is mortally wounded and Nightwolf is forced to let him drain the soul energy out of his revenant to recover. Taking the unconscious body of revenant Sindel with them, Nightwolf and the others head back to Outworld for Sheeva's aid.
Chapter 14: Guardian for Life (Sheeva)
On the way to Outworld's Soul Chamber, Nightwolf, Shang Tsung, Fujin, and Sheeva carry the coffin holding Sindel's Revenant self in it, with Shang Tsung disguising as a Shokan troop. They have to make their way through the Kahn's acid pits: the Dead Pool in order to reach the Soul Chamber. The squad almost makes it past the Dead Pool but then they are caught by Baraka, and Erron Black, who are accompanied by several more Tarkatan warriors. Sheeva tries to talk Baraka out of the situation when Baraka senses that the Shokan holding the coffin was Shang Tsung. He walks behind Shang Tsung, smell his scent and stabs him from the back, forcing the sorcerer to reveal his true human form. Baraka and Erron, who are surprised by Shang Tsung being alive, attack them. But Erron proposes that Shang Tsung, Nightwolf, Sheeve and Fujin will come with him and Baraka quietly so that nobody will get hurt. But they decline this deal and the Tarkatans attack Shang Tsung, who accidentally made one of them fell into the acid and they all watch as the Tarkatan trooper dissolves. Jade comes along after Baraka and Erron are knocked out and also gets beaten down.
They reach the Soul Chamber where they see Kotal Kahn is healing himself due to the injuries he got from fighting Shao Kahn. Kotal leaves the soul well and gets held back by Sheeva. Kitana attempts to stop the sorcerer, before Sheeva intervenes. With the essence of the Jinsei, Sindel was brought back to life. She then have a reunion for her daughter, Kitana and tells her about her first death at the hands of Quan Chi.
Kronika sent her daughter Cetrion to Shang Tsung's former island, in order to take the crown immediately.
Chapter 15: Winds of Change (Fujin)
Shang Tsung, Nightwolf, Sindel and Fujin have arrived to his island, now in ruins, to find Kronika's Crown. They are ambushed by the revenants of Kabal and Jade, but manage to defeat them. Nightwolf and Sindel remains on the topside to deal with Cetrion, while Shang Tsung and Fujin search for the crown in Goro's Lair. While walking along the cavernous corridors of the lair, Fujin questions the sorcerer on how long he will betray them. They approach the Well of Souls, only to be confronted by Jax and Noob Saibot. Fujin defeats Noob and stops Shang Tsung from draining Jax's soul. After defeating Jax, Fujin managed to talk him into joining forces against Kronika.
Outside, Sindel and Nightwolf are fighting Cetrion. After Cetrion subdues Nightwolf, he tries to sacrifice himself to defeat Cetrion, but Sindel intervenes and fights the Elder God. With Cetrion incapacitated, Shang Tsung, Fujin and Jax emerge from Goro's Lair and Shang Tsung teleports Cetrion away. With the Crown in hands, a Special Forces team led by Jacqui and past Jax ambushes the group, but present Jax manages to talk them down and explain the situation. Sindel has Shang Tsung send her back to Outworld and Nightwolf decides to accompany the Briggs', while Fujin and Shang Tsung go to the Fire Gardens to deliver the Crown to Raiden. At Kronika's Hourglass, Cetrion informs her mother of her failure to retrieve the Crown. Knowing this, Kronika decides that Shang Tsung is now a threat to her master plan, vowing to stop him.
In the Fire Gardens, the past Scorpion surprises both Sub-Zero and the past Liu Kang, who leaves to warn Raiden. Sub-Zero is distrustful of Scorpion, but before a kombat ensues, Shang Tsung and Fujin emerge from a portal, requesting to talk to Raiden. Believing this to be Shang Tsung's trick, Sub-Zero freezes the sorcerer and asks for Scorpion's assistance in fighting Fujin, but both ninja are defeated. After their defeat, Fujin frees Shang Tsung from being frozen with the help of his plasma crossbow. Raiden arrives with Liu Kang and questions Fujin on his allegiance with Shang Tsung. They present the crown and voice their plan of using it to defeat Kronika, but Raiden, under Shinnok's amulet's influence, refuses to believe the sorcerer and attacks him. He tries to attack Liu Kang as well, but Fujin intervenes and defeats him. Regretful, Raiden puts down the amulet and realizes that he have let himself to become a slave to anger, within Shinnok's amulet. So he decides he will not use it anymore and to listen.
The warriors regroup and Fujin explains how Raiden turns Liu Kang into a Fire God, but before he could explain more, Kronika teleports to the Fire Gardens and freezes the warriors in time, sparing only Raiden, Shang Tsung and Fujin. Kronika confronts Shang Tsung and Fujin about her defeat and reveals that the crown was Shang Tsung's design, before warning that he will eventually betray them. Raiden states that she will be finished and if Shang Tsung betrays them, they will have to finish him too. They attack Kronika, but she freezes Raiden and Shang Tsung in time. She then create a sandstorm, which will end their existence. However, Fujin puts the crown on before he is frozen as well and unfreezes Raiden and Shang Tsung, who both helped him in sending Kronika away. The other warriors are unfrozen and prepare for the upcoming battle at Kronika's Isle.
- Kabal (present)
- Noob Saibot
- Jax Briggs (present)
- Cetrion (as Sindel)
- Sub-Zero and Scorpion (past)
- Raiden (past)
In the Outworld castle, Sindel secretly spoke with Shang Tsung on how Kitana was a fool for working alongside with Raiden. After her conversation ended, Kitana entered her room and Sindel falsely greeted her. When Shao Kahn was being tortured by two Shokans, Sindel killed them to rescue Shao Kahn. The two planned on dethroning Kitana. As Sheeva overheard the conversation, the two clashed, leading to Sheeva's defeat. More Shokans arrived and discovered Sheeva's unconscious body. Sindel pins the blame on Kitana, leading the Shokans to join her against Kitana to avenge Sheeva.
Geras, wearing new armor, confronts Sindel and the rejuvenated Shao Kahn in the Soul Chamber, and demands their services to Kronika. Feeling betrayed by Kronika due to Kitana gaining the Outworld throne, Shao Kahn refuses his services and instead decides to attack the construct with Sindel. Being defeated, Sindel knocks a weakened Geras away where Shao Kahn approaches and mercilessly beats a downed Geras over the head repeatedly with his wrath hammer, completely destroying his head with one final slam.
Shao Kahn and Sindel went on a mission to intervene in the battle between Raiden and Kronika's forces to seize the Hourglass for themselves. They defeated Sonya, Cassie and past Johnny, seizing their ships that they were planning to take across the Sea of Blood. Dumping cargo to increase their speed, they caught up to Kitana Kahn's ship. While Kitana lost contact with the Shokan, Commander Cage, and the Special Forces, Kung Lao suspected Sindel's betrayal, but Kitana denies it. Kitana uses her scope to check the incoming fleet, only to discover Sindel's betrayal. In the keep, Kronika manipulates all Outworlders to fight against each other with the Hourglass.
Boarding the vessel, they fight Kung Lao and threw him overboard after his defeat. Kotal and Jade confronted Shao Kahn and Sindel, only to be brutally struck down. Kitana pleaded her mother to stop the chaos and questioned what spell had Shao Kahn used on her. In reality, Sindel was never bewitched. She willingly married Shao Kahn. She explained why she betrayed Jerrod and to strengthen her bond with Shao Kahn, she helped him murdered her former husband. Much to Kitana's disgust, she clashed with her mother and was defeated. Shao Kahn clashed with Liu Kang and defeated him. He and Sindel then lied to all of Kitana's soldiers (Osh-Tekks and Tarkatans) by saying that Kitana was the traitor and a bad leader. With all of her soldiers betraying her, the injured Kitana reached for the injured Liu Kang's hand, only for Shao Kahn to crush it. Sindel wanted Kitana to be put in chains to suffer the 'anguish of defeat' and Shao Kahn summoned his hammer with an evil grin.
- Sheeva (as Sindel only)
- Cassie Cage
- Johnny Cage (past)
- Kung Lao (past)
- Liu Kang (past) / Kitana (past) (depending on the player's character choice)
Chapter 17: Checkmate (Shang Tsung)
Raiden, Fujin, Shang Tsung and the others are seen preparing to battle Netherrealm's demons. Fujin wears the crown to prepare to open the gates of Kronika's Keep. After doing so, present Jax tells Raiden and others that he will stay to keep in company with Fujin. When fighting, Raiden tells revenant Liu Kang that the cycle that Kronika placed him and Liu Kang to fight each other must end. As Liu Kang rushes towards Raiden, he falls down with a broken right leg. As seen in one of Kharon's ships, Shao Kahn smashed past Liu Kang's left leg with his hammer, in which the revenant Liu Kang tells Raiden that Shao Kahn smashed both of his legs. Raiden, becoming furious, sees Shao Kahn and Sindel leaving Kharon's ships. Following this, Kotal gets executed by decapitation. As Sindel and Shao lead the charge against Earthrealm's forces, Raiden tells Fujin that he need to use the crown against Shao Kahn and Sindel. Fujin gives Raiden the crown, only to find out that it was Shang Tsung who was impersonating Raiden to get the crown from Fujin. When Raiden discovered that Shang Tsung deceived them the whole time by freeing Shao Kahn, Shang Tsung then wears the crown at the right moment to revitalize and superpower himself, claiming to be as equal as Kronika herself. Fujin realizes that this was all been Shang Tsung's endgame, from the moment he was trapped in the Time Void. As Shang Tsung wields the Crown, he easily overpowers Raiden, Jax and Fujin.
Nightwolf faces Shang Tsung after realizing he had deceived the group in taking the crown. Nightwolf is then defeated and knocked out. As Shang Tsung is about to steal Nightwolf's soul, Raiden and Fujin intervene. Shang Tsung defeats them and then drains the powers from the two, causing their bodies to dry out. Shang Tsung then tells Shao Kahn and Sindel to keep the demigods alive, while keeping them unaware of his plan to drain their powers for himself.
Later on, he, Shao Kahn and Sindel burst into the Hourglass. Cetrion allowed Kronika to absorb her essence in an attempt to strengthen her mother and the remaining revenants so they could defend the Hourglass. The revenants Kitana, Kung Lao and Jade try to stop them, but all three of them were easily overpowered and killed. Shang Tsung weakens Kronika, and only then betrays and defeats Shao Kahn and Sindel, telling them that killing Kronika is his destiny. After their defeat, he then tells them that his service to them is over, and that their service to him begins. Shang Tsung then takes their souls, leaving them as withered husks. Kronika recovers and then tell him that he has no one left for him to betray. He then confronts her and offers her to either serve him in his New Era or be wiped from history. Kronika refuses to submit, forcing Shang Tsung to fight her. After defeating Kronika, Shang Tsung absorbs her soul, causing her to dissolve into sand.
As Shang Tsung prepares to use the Hourglass, Fire God Liu Kang, aware of Shang Tsung's true intentions, comes from the dawn of time and confronts him. Shang Tsung realizes Liu Kang had allowed him to progress as he did for the latter to claim the crown, at the cost of losing his friends. The sorcerer compliments the Fire God's deviousness, and the two eventually decide to settle it all in a final fight. With Raiden's sacrifice in the creation of the Fire God inside Liu Kang to defeat Kronika before sending Shang Tsung back in time to steal the crown before Kronika sent Cetrion, and Kronika now defeated, and killed when her soul was absorbed into him, their whole rivalry had indeed and finally had come full-circle at last.
- Nightwolf (past)
- Fujin and Raiden (past)
- Shao Kahn and Sindel
- Fire God Liu Kang / Shang Tsung (as Fire God Liu Kang) (depends on the player's choice)
Depending on the outcome of the fight between Shang Tsung and Fire God Liu Kang, two different scenarios will play:
- Shang Tsung wins – Shang Tsung absorbs Fire God Liu Kang's soul, acquiring all his powers in the process. Shang Tsung then uses the Hourglass to conquer all realms under his influence, with Raiden and Fujin becoming his minions.
- Fire God Liu Kang wins – Liu Kang uses the power of the Hourglass to erase Shang Tsung from existence. He then takes Kronika's crown from Shang Tsung, who slowly dissolves into sand. Once he puts on the crown, Liu Kang uses the Hourglass to create a New Era, where he meets his ancestor, the Great Kung Lao.
- Unless already unlocked via microtransaction, Frost is unlocked by completing Chapter 4 of the Story Mode.
- Prehistoric Age and Chaotian Age are unlocked by completing Chapter 12 of the Story Mode.
- The titles of Chapter 3 & 4 ("Shaolin Monks") and ("Fire & Ice") are references to the spin-off games of the same name, although only the former was ever developed. Both games also starred (or planned to star) the same playable characters: Liu Kang and Kung Lao, and Sub-Zero and Scorpion, respectively.
- Jacqui Briggs is the only playable character who is not fought as an opponent throughout the Story Mode.
- Cyrax and Sektor are the only Story Mode opponents who are unplayable in the game, besides Kronika.
- Scorpion and Liu Kang are the only playable characters in the Story Mode who appear as playable in two separate chapters.
- Cassie, Jacqui, and Kotal Kahn are the only new timeline characters playable in the Story Mode.
- Raiden is the only playable character in the Story Mode chapter where he faced one of his opponents twice, Liu Kang (both past as humans and present as revenants).
- Johnny Cage and Scorpion are the only two characters who fought their past-selves.
- Although Jax is the opposite, as he instead fought his present-self.
- Jade, Kung Lao, Liu Kang, and Nightwolf are the only four characters who fought their Revenant counterparts.
- The characters who have team-up scenes between past and present-selves are Kano, Johnny Cage, Jax and Scorpion. However, Scorpion was only temporary due to his present-self’s death at the same time.
- Sonya Blade is the only playable fighter whose present-self died before the time merger begins.
- Although Raiden’s present-self only ceases to exist when the time merger is complete.
- Liu Kang and Kung Lao are the only characters to encounter their revenant counterpart twice.
- Although Jax is the opposite, as his present-self has been reformed by Raiden during their second encounter.
- Erron Black and Kitana are the only fighters who only met between their past and present counterparts for a few seconds in cutscene only.
- Sub-Zero, Noob Saibot, Sindel and Sheeva are the only klassic trilogy characters who never have their past-selves present.
- The same goes with Rain, although he does not participate in the story mode.
- Erron Black is the only non-klassic character to have both past and present-selves, while Skarlet is the only non-klassic character who only appear as her time-displaced past-self.
- Shang Tsung, Sindel, Sheeva and Fujin are the only characters to have once fought in the story mode.
- In Chapter 2, when Kotal Kahn was fighting Shao Kahn, Past Liu Kang can be seen with his shirt on, which he didn't wear until the start of chapter 3.
- In Chapter 8, when Sonya puts her foot in Past Kano's neck, he is seen with a circular Cybernetic Heart, instead of his rectangular one.
- In Chapter 11, when Raiden was taking to Present Jax, the present Scorpion can be seen fighting the cyborgs instead of Past Scorpion.
- In Chapter 14, when Shang Tsung sends a fire skull to one of the Tarkatan warriors, it misses the warrior, but he still gets hit and flung into an acid pit in a different direction.