Mortal Kombat 11's Story Was Almost Very Different

When Mortal Kombat 11 released in 2018, Mortal Kombat fans took issue with the game's monetization, but its story was almost universally praised. That said, Mortal Kombat 11's story was almost very different. Insight on the game's story, and how it changed over the course of development, comes the way of Shawn Kittelsen, a writer at NetherRealm Studios, who most notably revealed that the writing team was toying with a story featuring alternate realities, but decided against it, partially because of Injustice's use of alternate realities.

In addition to this, Kittelsen reveals the writers thought about reviving Onaga, which some players expected to happen at some point during the game, but didn't. To this end, NetherRealm Studios flirted with a story involving Dark Raiden and his pursuit to destroy Netherrealm to protect Earthrealm.

That said, all of this was scrapped as the team thought the story would be too predictable, however, it wasn't the only story idea NRS considered. The Chicago-based studio also thought about a "Friday the 13th" theme. This story would center around the murders of classic Mortal Kombat characters, who were being killed one-by-one by monsters.

The writing team also pitched a story set in the future revolving around a pair of street kids in conflict with an insidious corporation. Naturally, the two street kids were Liu Kang and Kung Lao, and naturally the head of the corporation was going to be Shang Tsung.

All of this may sound cool, but ultimately the team didn't want to mess with things too much by introducing alternate realities. Further, it knew it had to make good on Mortal Kombat X.

"We wanted to pick up from Mortal Kombat X," said Kittelsen. "We knew we wanted to pick up from Mortal Kombat X because it would've been disrespectful to tease the fans with the MKX ending and then not follow up on that later. It just didn't feel right."

Kittelsen continued:

"The other side of an alternate universe story that we really were tripping over was the fact that Injustice is also an alternate universe story. There was certainly a bit of reluctance like 'Are we repeating ourselves? Are we creating the same stories across both titles?'"


And that's how we got the MK11 story we did, and while some of these other pitches sound different and interesting, it's probably for the best NRS went with the story it did, not just because of the reasons Kittelsen outlines, but because it ended up paying off.

H/T, Event Hubs.