Best changes in the new timeline of Mortal Kombat 1
If you have been following the news or played the new game, you are now aware that Mortal Kombat 1 features a new timeline wherein the characters unde...
If you have been following the news or played the new game, you are now aware that Mortal Kombat 1 features a new timeline wherein the characters undergo role changes, exhibit different behaviors or background stories, and experience altered relationships among themselves. All of this is the result of Liu Kang's efforts to create an enhanced timeline while still allowing people their free will to make choices.
That is all well and good, indeed, but which of these changes have brought forth a compelling narrative? We won't necessarily focus on how the story unfolds, but rather on how these temporal alterations have opened up space for marvelous creative choices among some of our beloved fighters.
7 Kuai Liang As Scorpion
Although this change brought about the loss of Hanzo Hasashi, an iconic character in the series (if not the most iconic), it was a clever approach to make Sub-Zero and Scorpion brothers. This instantly made their relationship much more personal, as well as intensified the conflict between Bi-Han's dominant nature and Kuai Liang's Earthrealm protector nature.
Moreover, nothing prevents Kuai Liang from starting a family, and Bi-Han, in the future, takes away that family, igniting a story reminiscent of the previous one. All in all, the characters have undergone further development due to this newfound dynamic between them, and Scorpion also looks striking with Kuai Liang's scar.
6 Mileena As A Legitimate Daughter
Mileena being an actual part of the family - even the rightful heir to the throne, to be precise - was another positive change in this new timeline. Her dynamics with her family, as well as her struggle with the Tarkatan disease, made her far more intriguing than merely being a simple monstrous clone. The only downside was that the narrative didn't delve as deeply into her story throughout the course of the storyline.
The royal family of Outworld, as a whole, was significantly improved - as we will delve into in more detail later on - and the complete integration of Mileena into this community was a commendable starting point, as her mere presence alone altered the behavior of everyone compared to previous timelines. Additionally, it is worth mentioning that the way her relationship influenced Tanya and transformed both characters into allies was another positive detail, even though Tanya is not as relevant to the story.
5 Johnny Cage As A Whole
To be honest, he hasn't changed much. His background story remains essentially the same, as an actor, he primarily participates in the tournament because Liu Kang knew his previous version and knows that despite his behavior, he is a good person. Johnny is still noteworthy because even though it is the same background story, they have done a much better job with his development.
As an actor currently going through a career slump and burdened with a significant amount of debt due to his lavish lifestyle and the things he has purchased, he embarks on a journey to detach himself from his superficial side and become a better person - as he has done previously - in a highly intriguing manner. His behavior towards Kenshi throughout the game serves as a good indicator of where he stands in his character development. Furthermore, the two have become an entertaining duo in their interactions with each other.
4 Sindel As A Whole
From being Shao Kahn's puppet to becoming an empress, Sindel underwent a significant upgrade. Although she always had a presence, especially in the previous timeline (where she single-handedly killed half of the cast), she lacked a bit of personality. Most of the time, she served another, even more significant villain - which isn't very advantageous for an empress - or she was simply chaotically evil, going on a killing spree.
While Liu Kang strove to make things better, this time Sindel never became a puppet of others and fulfilled her role as the Empress of Outworld exceptionally well. As a result, she became a much-improved character in this timeline, establishing an intriguing dynamic with her daughters and even with servants like Li Mei and Rain. This aspect also suffers from the issue of "could have been further developed," but what we received was quite solid.
3 Tarkat As A Disease
The transformation of the Tarkatans into a disease was a brilliant move. It allowed us to witness certain aspects, such as the dark side of Outworld despite its changes, and a more captivating version of Mileena, as mentioned earlier. However, we also obtained background story and development for a classic character who had not previously received much narrative attention: Baraka.
As a former trader who got infected by the disease, he assists other infected individuals during their isolation and creates a community while having nothing else to do but wait for his own demise. Being a victim of the disease rather than a henchman, he holds no grudge against the heroes who appear in his community, and he even helps them, making him a supportive hero this time around. A good thing indeed.
2 Reptile's Backstory
Another former villain who received minimal story-related attention over the years received a similar treatment to Baraka. He was given a more appropriate background story and a more realistic personality, which even led him to switch sides. Everything he does, be it good or bad, is for the protection of his family. Even Baraka respects and forgives Reptile's actions after learning about it, highlighting the depth both characters have achieved here.
Unfortunately, he also appears too infrequently to be a crucial part of the story, but what we have gotten from the character this time is far better than in any other version, at least in terms of the narrative. Hopefully, Syzoth will make more frequent appearances in the sequels.
1 Liu Kang As A God
The task of replacing Raiden as the protector of Earthrealm is not an easy one, but Liu Kang has done it wonderfully - and he didn't even need to consult with the Elder Gods once. His behavior hasn't changed - he is still the same as in previous games.
Nevertheless, his efforts to fix things while allowing people to make their own choices showed how perfect he was for this task. He even relinquished the ultimate power he possessed to ensure it didn't corrupt him. Therefore, you know who you should thank for all the good in this timeline.