The gore-hounds over at Netherealm have dropped a very short teaser for the yet to be revealed 12th entry in the long-running Mortal Kombat franchise, and for the second time, it seems to hint at the universe being rebooted or having the timeline reset.
The video shows a clock ticking from 9 to 10 to 11, but then it jumps to 1 before carrying on like nothing happened. Previously, in the video Netherealm released for the franchise’s 30th anniversary, we got a glimpse of an hourglass that closely resembled the one used by Kronika in Mortal Kombat 11. In the game, the hourglass was tied into the very existence of the realms, meaning its destruction would result in the destruction of the universe, too. The 30th-anniversary trailer showed grains of sand trickling into the bottom bulb before the final grain exploded, and what looked like a new universe was born from the explosion.
SPOILERS FOR MORTAL KOMBAT 11!
So, what gives? Well, the Aftermath expansion for Mortal Kombat 11 featured Liu Kang facing off against his long-time adversary Shang Tsung to determine who would control the Hourglass. Players were given a chance to decide who would win. If they chose Liu Kang they would get the “good” ending in which Liu Kang uses its power to create a new, better world. Liu Kang then appears in the Wu Shi Academy where he meets Kung Lao, but not the one he knew. This version of Kung Lao appears to be The Great Kung Lao who was first mentioned as being Goro’s adversary in a tournament many decades before what we have ever seen. Liu Kang chooses this Kung Lao to be his new champion and tells him he needs to start training, and when Kung lao asks what for we get a cheeky smirk from the new God of Thunder and Fire before the screen fades to black.
In other words, the good ending seems to lay the groundwork for a reboot or timeline reset for the series, this time taking us back to a much earlier time where The Great Kung Lao managed to stop Shan Tsung’s winning streak of nine straight Mortal Kombat tournaments.
As for when a new Mortal Kombat might release, earlier this year Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav revealed that Mortal Kombat 12 would release this year, despite the game not having actually been announced.
“There’s lots more to come, including the highly anticipated Mortal Kombat 12 and Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, games also set for release this year with ambitious launch projections,” he said during the call. Obviously, the part about Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League did not age well.
Personally, I’m pretty hyped for a new Mortal Kombat. The series has been nothing short of excellent since its reboot in 2011, and the focus on delivering meaty singleplayer campaigns has resulted in some truly memorable Mortal Kombat nonsense.
And finally, here’s a little bit of random speculation: the fact that the clock in the teaser skips the number twelve could indicate that the game will not be titled Mortal Kombat 12 and will instead be the “first” in the new series. Let’s just hope they don’t call it Mortal Kombat again because then we’d have three different games with the same name.