The Courtyard is located on Shang Tsung's Island in the Lost Sea. Here, tournaments including Mortal Kombat tournament matches, are held where Shaolin monks can spectate. The Courtyard is patrolled by Shang Tsung's finest guards.
In the games, the Courtyard debuted in Mortal Kombat. An aged Shang Tsung sits on his throne and watches the fights below. Monk students also watch and applaud after every round is finished. This is reminiscent of the tournament courtyard from the movie set of Enter the Dragon, a famous martial arts film starring Bruce Lee, a production that inspired Mortal Kombat, especially on Shang Tsung's Island, the Shaolin Tournament and the character of Liu Kang.
In Mortal Kombat Trilogy, the stage gained a number of changes. Now instead of Shang Tsung, Shao Kahn sits on the throne. Additionally, the monks are no longer animated and they do not applaud after a round is over.
A different version of this same arena was featured in Mortal Kombat: Deception. The kombatants now simply stand on a completely square shaped elevated platform. The monks are no longer in the front of the stage and has been removed to the sides of the stage. An elderly Shang Tsung still sits in his throne and watches as the fights commence.
In Mortal Kombat (2011), there are two variants of the Courtyard: day and night.
In Mortal Kombat 11, the stage reappears and is significantly changed. It was renamed Shang Tsung's Island Ruins. The whole island appears completely dilapidated, the monks and Masked Guards who once stood amongst its grounds are now dead with their corpses being left behind to rot. Fighters can use the island's remnants as background interactables. The original Courtyard appears as one of the many arenas in the Retrocade arena that appears on the monitors in the background.
Exclusive to Mortal Kombat 11 as "Shang Tsung's Island Ruins", this arena features four stage interactions. From farthest left to right they are:
- The stone top of an urn can be thrown at the opponent.
- A naginata impaled in the body of a Masked Guard can ripped out of the body to strike then impale the opponent.
- The hammer of a collapsed gong can be used to strike the opponent twice.
- The far right wall can be jumped off of to escape the corner.
In other media
An arena very similar to the Courtyard appears in the Mortal Kombat movie. It is seen during the fight between Liu Kang and the Fighting Monk, and the match between Sonya Blade and Kano, respectively. The movie's Courtyard also features a stone fighting area, an audience, and a throne upon which Shang Tsung sits and officiates.
- This arena is based a courtyard from Enter the Dragon (1973).
- It should be noted that the scepter that Shao Kahn holds in the Trilogy version is not the same as the one in Kahn's Arena and Kahn's Kave.