The Aftermath of Aftermath - What's Next?
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The Aftermath of Aftermath - What's Next?
07/07/2020 10:50 PM EST
07/07/2020 11:32 PM EST

Welcome, everyone.

Now that we've had some time to play and digest what happened in Aftermath, I want to see if we can get a discussion going about what everyone's takeaways are, as well as what we would like to see for the future narrative of the series. My plan for this thread is as follows:

Each week, I will name a character as the focus of the thread. If discussion gets stagnant, I'll speed up the intervals. I will do my best to outline everything that has happened to the featured character in MK11 and Aftermath, along with any relevant information from other games, before offering any of my own thoughts. Feel free to chime in if I miss anything; this is meant to be a collaborative effort! Anything and everything related to the lore is welcome here. Post your ideas for story angles, opinions on what was done with the character in MK11 and Aftermath, and anything in between.

Before I get started, this is a fair warning to all who read the thread that if you haven't yet played MK11 and/or Aftermath, you will very likely see spoilers. I don't anticipate there being a ton of users to whom that would apply, so for now I'll be leaving all the discussion out in the open. I'll keep Aftermath story stuff behind a spoiler tag, since it's only been about a month and a half. If it becomes a problem, I'll go back and hide the base game behind spoiler tags as well.

To kick things off, the first featured character is Jade.

Mortal Kombat 11

I'm going to split this section into revenant and past Jade, as jumping back and forth could cause confusion.

Revenant Jade

We first see Jade as a revenant, fighting alongside revenant Kabal and the armies of the Netherrealm against the Special Forces. She reports directly to revenant Liu Kang and Kitana, informing them that the Special Forces are taking the Bone Temple thanks to Raiden's diversion. Later, she (along with Scorpion) encounters Liu Kang and Kung Lao inside the Shaolin Trap Dungeon where she reveals that Kronika needs them kept alive so that their revenants can defend her keep.

Revenant Jade appears briefly to ambush past Jade and Kotal at the Kytinn hive, but she and D'vorah are defeated and driven off. She doesn't resurface until significantly later in the story, during Jacqui and Jax's chapter, where she and revenant Kabal are once again easily defeated. Revenant Jade appears one last time during the final set pieces of the base story, but her fight with Liu Kang is entirely done through cinematics. She does get a cool sendoff though, with her staff being snapped in half.

Past Jade

Kronika's alterations of the timeline have caused younger versions of characters to suddenly appear. Jade is among them, and this is where we get our first glimpse of a new element to Jade's story - her romance with Kotal Kahn. I'll go more into my own thoughts on this development later, but as part of the intro to their relationship, we get further details on Kotal's off-screen disappearance and imprisonment, which only ended after Shang Tsung had been defeated.

Next is Jade's chapter in the story. She and Kotal scout out the Kytinn Hive in search of Shao Kahn, believing him to be there. They encounter D'Vorah, as well as Jade's revenant. After defeating them and tracking Shao Kahn to the Tarkatan camp, Jade embarks on a stealth mission that goes awry. Kotal comes to her aid, but she ends up going against his wishes when she prevents him from slaughtering Tarkatan women and children, calling it cruel. Shao turns up at just the right time to take advantage of the defeated Kotal, and they are both taken captive.

Through a rescue by Kitana, Liu Kang, and Kung Lao, Jade is spared from death at the hands of Skarlet, and together they form a pact with Baraka to save Kotal from Shao Kahn. Afterwards, with Jade trying to tend to Kotal's crippling wounds, Kitana becomes the new Kahn of Outworld. This is the last significant part of the base story for past Jade.

Aftermath

Past Jade appears briefly during Sheeva's chapter, and she doesn't take kindly to the strange bedfellows before her, Shang Tsung in particular. Sheeva defeats her, and the group moves on into the Soul Chamber. Revenant Jade makes another appearance in the following chapter with revenant Kabal, ambushing Shang, Fujin, Nightwolf, and Sindel among the ruins of Shang Tsung's island. Past Jade makes a final appearance aboard Kitana's ship, and she is defeated by Sindel. Revenant Jade is killed in the final scene during a fight with Shang, Shao, and Sindel.

Arcade Ending

Note: Arcade endings should always be taken with a grain of salt, as the large majority of them are non-canon.

Jade faces an internal conflict upon gaining control of the hourglass. Does she restore Kotal to the throne, or Kitana? Heeding Kotal's advice, she instead chose a different path. She built a timeline where Edenia would not come under threat from Shao Kahn. Though she enjoyed a happy childhood, Jade could sense that Kronika's power dwelt deep within her. After she matured, she became the Protector of Edenia. Armed with her powers and her knowledge, she challenged and defeated both Cetrion and Shinnok, ensuring that the realms would no longer be constantly at war.

What Now?

I think Jade is one of the more interesting cases among the cast. We got to see her first real bit of character development since all the way back in Deception, and while I thought the romance with Kotal kinda came out of left field, it works. As we saw in her arcade ending, it adds an element of pause to her decision making. No longer simply acting in the interests or the shadow of Kitana, Jade really came into her own in MK11. Going forward, I think she could have a part to play in the rebuilding of Outworld, Edenia, or both. I wouldn't mind seeing her relationship with Kotal remain intact in the next game. This is of course assuming that they roll back certain events from Aftermath.

I would like to see the concept of a united Outworld continue, and so I think having Jade remain with Kotal as part of Outworld's rule is what I would want. Since we'd need some kind of conflict, perhaps the Naknadans rise up and try to usurp the throne after Kollector had a rise to prominence of sorts. Maybe the uneasy alliance with the Tarkatans and/or Shokan falls apart. Maybe none of that happens, because we're seemingly rebooting everything again!

This post itself has been a work in progress for a couple of days now, so I'm sure I'll have more to add, but now I want to turn the floor over to you, the community. What's next for the cast of MK11?

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RE: The Aftermath of Aftermath - What's Next?
07/08/2020 04:30 PM EST

One thing I've appreciated about the MK series, that has been less of a thing lately, was how bits of almost everyone's arcade endings would be incorporated into the canon of future games. Like Scorpion killing Sub-Zero in the first game, or Nitara, Cyrax, and Reptile's endings in Deadly Alliance leading to Onaga's return in Deception.

That said, I do like the idea of Edenia remaining a separate realm without Shao Kahn's influence, and it feels like a move Liu Kang would've done when recreating the realms, if that was within his power. If they wanted to keep up the Jade/Kotal romance, she could probably be some sort of liason between Edenia and Outworld.

That said, the last part of her arcade ending feels a little weird because she has Kronika's powers, implying that Kronika is gone, but somehow Cetrion and Shinnok are still alive?


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RE: The Aftermath of Aftermath - What's Next?
07/08/2020 08:55 PM EST
@Jironobou

That said, I do like the idea of Edenia remaining a separate realm without Shao Kahn's influence, and it feels like a move Liu Kang would've done when recreating the realms, if that was within his power. If they wanted to keep up the Jade/Kotal romance, she could probably be some sort of liason between Edenia and Outworld.

That said, the last part of her arcade ending feels a little weird because she has Kronika's powers, implying that Kronika is gone, but somehow Cetrion and Shinnok are still alive?

I really like the idea of Jade acting as a liaison or even ambassador between Edenia and Outworld. She would have a tremendous amount of influence, and it would play up her arcade ending a bit if she ever faced a difficult choice between Kitana and Kotal. I would expect Liu Kang to not outright remove any realms, but perhaps allow the more minor ones that were originally absorbed by Outworld to stand on their own.

To your point about Cetrion and Shinnok, I'm not quite sure either. If one can't exist without the other, which we don't know to be true, why bother allowing them to exist in the new era at all? If they can, why allow Shinnok to still be around? I'd like to know more, because that's a real stumper you've come with there.

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RE: The Aftermath of Aftermath - What's Next?
07/17/2020 11:42 PM EST

It's time for the next character up! This character has become one of my favorites recently, even if I don't agree with the direction that she's gone in.

The next featured character is Skarlet.

Mortal Kombat 11

Skarlet resurfaces during the second chapter, as she shows up in the Outworld Koliseum with many other past faces. Amid all the chaos that ensues after only some of the confusion is sorted out, Skarlet is defeated by Kotal Kahn and is driven away with the rest of Shao Kahn's loyalists. Skarlet takes on a much more prominent role later on, where we see her performing some of her blood magic on the captured Jade. She becomes distracted when Liu Kang and Kung Lao escort Kitana into the camp, and after seeing through their ruse, Skarlet is defeated by Kitana. This is actually the last we see of her in the main storyline.

Aftermath

... just kidding, she doesn't show up at all in Aftermath.

Arcade Ending

Skarlet binds the Blood Code (cool reference) to the Sands of Time, and ascends to godhood. She appears to revel in her newfound power, sharing her grand visions of how humanity shall worship her. The rest of her ending deals with the role reversal between her and Shao Kahn, where he would now beg for her recognition rather than how things used to be. It comes off as a pretty standard bad guy ending, where the winning bad guy becomes the new big evil.

What Now?

There isn't that much to go on with Skarlet, since she only made two brief appearances in the whole story. I preferred her MK9 background to what she has in 11, though I don't think her premise in 11 is a bad one. I think they made the most of the short screen time that Skarlet received. She got some decent development overall, and I think there's enough here that she could return in MK12. I'd like to see her MK9 traits make some sort of a comeback next time around. Let's see her bathe in the blood and gore of her enemies, and become stronger as a result. I definitely think she'd be better served as more of a wild card (though still evil) in the sense that she wouldn't be strapped down by a blind loyalty to one specific bad guy. I'd love to see her act in pursuit of her own interests. It's probably the best way for her to become a more prominent character. She could operate in more of a background role at the start, acquiring more blood and power as she scavenges the remains of what the battles leave in their wake. By the climax of the story, she could then assert herself as a force to be reckoned with.

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RE: The Aftermath of Aftermath - What's Next?
07/26/2020 10:24 PM EST

Wow you've really put a lot of thought and effort into this! I am still hopeful we will see Havik in MK11 or 12 !

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