WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath.
Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath, the game’s first DLC story expansion, retreaded many segments of the base game’s storyline, altering their outcomes and resulting in many casualties for the defenders of Earthrealm. Ultimately, Shang Tsung betrays Raiden and Liu Kang, seizes Kronika’s crown for himself and attempts to alter the timeline for his own gain. Fire God Liu Kang then emerges from the dawn of creation, revealing that he was aware of Shang Tsung’s betrayal and was here to stop him from altering the timeline. The player is then prompted to pick between Shang Tsung and Liu Kang, with each choice resulting in a separate ending.
If the player chooses Shang Tsung, they are then given control of him during the battle with Liu Kang. After defeating Liu Kang in combat, Shang Tsung initiates the creation of a new timeline via the hourglass. In a cinematic, we see Shang Tsung sitting atop a throne after conquering all the realms but Orderrealm and Chaosrealm. He explains to Raiden and Fujin (who now seems to work for him) that he wants them to conquer these two realms next.
In terms of Mortal Kombat lore, the Shang Tsung ending cinematic is extremely interesting as it mentions both Orderrealm and Chaosrealm, two realms that have not been mentioned in the main series since Mortal Kombat (2011). What is most intriguing about the inclusion of these specific realms in the cinematic is that it leaves the door open for another possible DLC expansion based on this ending, assuming that Liu Kang’s ending will be the canonical ending heading into a potential Mortal Kombat 12.
Further DLC (or the next game for that matter) could show the remaining two unconquered realms rising up against Shang Tsung, Fujin and Raiden. If this were to happen, it would likely mean the return of two characters from the series who haven’t been seen since Mortal Kombat: Deception — Havik from Chaosrealm and Hotaru from Orderrealm. This would be an exciting storyline, and hopefully it’s what NetherRealm Studios is setting up with the Shang Tsung ending.
Players who select Liu Kang will assume control of him and defeat Shang Tsung. Following the battle, Liu Kang begins the timeline restart. This cinematic begins with Liu Kang visiting the Great Kung Lao in a Shaolin temple. He introduces himself as Lord Liu Kang, God of Fire and Thunder, and tells the Great Kung Lao that he is to be his chosen champion and will need to undergo training.
This ending seems to be what NetherRealm will be using as its canonical ending going forward with the series, and for good reason. It sets the stage to restart the series and reverses all the events from Mortal Kombat (2011), Mortal Kombat X, Mortal Kombat 11 and possibly even the games prior. This takes place prior to the first Mortal Kombat tournament, and Liu Kang’s insistence on training alludes to Kung Lao participating in that tournament at some point in the future. This would set the stage for a Mortal Kombat 12 to take place during one of the first Mortal Kombat tournaments and feature the ancestors of the mainstays in the series like those of Scorpion, Subzero and, obviously, Kung Lao.
Developed by NetherRealm Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Mortal Kombat 11 is available now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows and Google Stadia. Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath is now on sale digitally.
Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath has two potential endings. Here's what they each could mean for the series going forward.