Mortal Kombat 12’s trailer is short but powerful

What appears to be a teaser for the next Mortal Kombat game makes the most of a small grain of sand. Tucked in at the end of the 30th anniversary ‘thank you’ video message from NetherRealm Studios, developers are a hint of what’s to come Mortal Kombat 12, a game that was announced but not officially revealed in an objective way. It’s short, but it hints at what NetherRealm plans to do with MK’s decades-old tradition and complex history.

At the end of the video released Monday, Mortal Kombat series co-creator Ed Boon says, “Thank you Mortal Kombat fans for 30 years of incredible support. (…) We’re not done yet.” The video then cuts to the inside of an hourglass, With the enlargement of a single grain of sand it explodes exponentially.

Mortal Kombat 11 Fans will recognize the hourglass as the powerful device controlled by Kronika, the giant known as the Keeper of Time who is at the heart of that game’s time-bending story. Kronika has the power to change time, alter the course of history, and bring people from the past into the current era of Mortal Kombat – this is how Johnny Cage and his elder Johnny Cage meet MK11.

Kronika’s hourglass represents the myriad timelines that she has shaped and altered in her quest to balance the different worlds of Mortal Kombat. At the end of Mortal Kombat 11Expand the story AftermathAfter Kronika’s defeat by Shang Tsung, Kronika’s abilities—powered by her hourglass and crown—are stolen by the evil MK Wizard. But Liu Kang pulls a time travel hoax on Tsung, defeats him, and takes Kronika’s abilities for himself, with plans to create a new era for the Mortal Kombat timeline (and bring back his dead friends). Liu Kang travels back in time to train the original Kung Lao, preparing him for the upcoming Mortal Kombat competitions.

At least, that’s what happens on one end Aftermath. In the other side, Shang Tsung remained victorious, defeating Liu Kang, stealing the powers of the God of Fire and Thunder, and eventually defeating Earthrealm, Outworld, and Netherrealm (with Chaosrealm and Orderrealm next on the chopping block). Shang Tsung’s plan – he’s a giant at this point, by the way – is to completely destroy and take over the domain.

Liu Kang ends with Aftermath Seems like the most logical choice for NetherRealm Studios. If the developer plans to create a new trilogy and reset the MK timeline, one of Kronika’s existing timelines being destroyed forever seems like a good start for another trilogy of games.

NetherRealm has a lot of space and familiar characters to bring to the distant past for the Mortal Kombat story many players are familiar with. So Liu Kang and (the great) Kung Lao We are Living 500 years in the past, there’s no reason the Elder Gods like Raiden and Fujin, or the ancestors of Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Reptile, couldn’t exist, for that matter. Millennium characters such as Kitana and Goro existed in that time period as well. Anything can happen when you have a magical hourglass.

Mortal Kombat 12 It is due sometime this year. Sure, NetherRealm plans to offer it soon.

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