Konquest Mode of Mortal Kombat: Deception was obviously the driving force behind the creation of nearly all of the new fighters in MK: D. Shujinko had to find six mystic doodads from across the universe, so, naturally, there had to be six different realms to explore. Earth was a gimme. Hell/Netherrealm was another popular destination for Mortal Kombat warriors. Edenia and Outworld housed a number of relevant MK events and people, so that was another easy one. This left us two realms short. We already have an “evil” location with the Netherrealm, and there isn’t a single kombatant that is getting into “good” Heaven, so maybe we could use a different dichotomy. Order and Chaos? Hey, that works for Shin Megami Tensei, so let’s give it a shot!
Now, anyone can tell you that the concept of an “Order Realm” is inevitably going to be boring the moment you conceive of such a thing. Order sounds great in theory, but “Order” is practically the opposite of how stories work, so you’re stuck with a situation where, basically, everything has to fall apart. 90% of “Order Realm” stories are tales of perfect paradises where someone accidentally buggers up some random rule, and now we have to kill Wesley because he stepped on the flowers. Oh no! Conflict finally occurs, and we all come away with a lesson about, I don’t know, maybe following the rules was the real worst rule all along. This is just how these stupid stories work, and that kind of thing is certainly not going to be improved on in a videogame where the chief way people communicate is through decapitations.
Which is why we somehow wound up with three different Order Realm representatives in Mortal Kombat: Deception, and why we then never saw those dorks ever again.
Let’s just get these losers out of the way.
First up is Hotaru. He is supposed to be order personified, and, as these things usually go, he’s technically a bad guy. It’s his goal to see everyone wearing beige uniforms blinking simultaneously while watching The Big Bang Theory and perfectly chuckling along to the laugh track. He’s a monster. He seems to be the most orderly of Order Realm citizens, and he eventually teams up with Onaga The Dragon King because order loves fascists. He is tasked with killing Sub-Zero (it’s something for lesser bad guys to do), but fails. He also once aided Shujinko in battling Baraka’s hordes in Outworld, but later locked up Shujinko for literally years because he violated curfew. Lame. In both Shujinko and Sub-Zero related business, he was thwarted by Dairou.
Dairou was an Order Guardsmen just like Hotaru, but was fired for the meager sin of murdering a dude. Why did he do such a thing? Well, it turns out that the murderee was the murderer of Dairou’s family, so Dairou saw it as a pretty fair trade. Unfortunately, his superiors didn’t interpret it that way, and tossed him in prison. Luckily, The Resistance started a prison/realm-wide riot, and Dairou escaped to become a mercenary. However, Dairou isn’t great at simply being a mercenary, so he mostly pals around with that Resistance that freed him. He did find time to free Shujinko from prison, though! Other than that, his goal in MK: D is to kill Hotaru, for no other reason than the resistance thinks that’s a good idea. Dairou is conflicted about this mission, as he and Hotaru used to be golfing buddies, but he’s coming around to following Resistance orders more and more. This is supposed to be tragic, as it was secretly the leader of the resistance that had his family murdered in the first place. That leader? Next up: Darrius.
Darrius is Morpheus. Okay, he kind of looks like Marvel’s Blade, but he’s otherwise just Morpheus. He’s the leader of the Resistance in Order Realm, and it’s his job to fork over the red pills and tell everyone their life is a lie and did you know you can fly if you really, really believe? Yeah, that’s his whole deal. Considering he lives in a place called The Realm of Freaking Order, I don’t think he’s going to get too far with his whole chaotic rebellion, but, hey, what the hell do I know? I just have the ability to read the names of things. Whatever the end result, Darrius’s modus operandi is using “the law” against Order Realm denizens, and then recruiting those dudes when they’re inevitably laid low by the oppressive rules of the realm. Or he just wholesale murders entire families, and hopes it works out. Either way works. Whatever the case, he’s Dariou’s current employer and the guy that killed his family, and that would likely come to an interesting head if any of these kharacters existed beyond their initial introduction.
Hotaru gets the first kill in MK: Armageddon, but, other than that, Order Realm is quickly forgotten past its encore in Armageddon, and this trio is not seen again in the rebooted universe. That’s what happens when you’re only created for one sub-area of one game!
Huh. Three fighters, and they still don’t add up to what I feel is a complete post. Guess we have room for one more. Any other realms Shujinko can visit? How about Hell?
Netherrealm has been referenced a number of times already in the franchise, as it’s the home of the murder ghost Scorpion, the filthy wizard Quan Chi, the fallen elder god Shinnok, and the two onis Drahmin and Moloch. Considering the nicest alignment we could get out of this crowd would be the “neutral” Scorpion, it seems we were due for one good Netherrealm citizen. That’s the rule, right? There always has to be exactly one odd man out in every monolithic society? One good demon coming up! Here’s Ashrah.
Ashrah was a demon woman in the employ of Quan Chi. However, one day she began questioning her demonic orders, and she decided to escape the shackles of The Brotherhood of Shadow. This caused her to become an enemy of all netherkind, and she now fights for good across the realms.
And if that sounds familiar, congratulations, you’ve identified that Ashrah somehow has Sareena’s exact backstory. Give or take Sub-Zero’s involvement, Ashrah picked up the exact same dramatic beats as Sareena, supporting demon lady of Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero. Wait, no, there is a slight difference: Ashrah has a magic sword. There! See! Totally different kharacter.
Oddly enough, Ashrah’s magical sword winds up with more of a plot than Ashrah (and I will not be analyzing why this phallic object gets more attention than a woman at this time). Ashrah’s magic kriss is actually Datusha, a soulcalibur-esque blade that feeds on the souls of vampires. Datusha has some kind of sentience, and, in an effort to eat more vampires, it makes the user “feel good” when committing any kills in the name of future vampire-slaying. So when Ashrah first finds her sword, the blade rewards her for killing oni and other demons with false feelings of “purification” Ashrah thinks the sword is transforming her into a real girl, but it’s all a ruse to get her to go and murder some damn vampires (which, admittedly, do kinda look like demons). Ashrah spends Mortal Kombat: Deception trying to kill Noob Saibot (whom she believes is, basically, the top demon available), and then ascends to Vampire Town for Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. Datusha is freaking licking its lips at this point, and Ashrah is convinced she’s doing the right thing when she goes all Belmont on the locals. This draws the attention of noted MK vampire Nitara, and they do what people always do in the Mortal Kombat universe. By the end of the day, they’re both dead anyway, so it’s likely Datusha got one last meal before the end of the universe.
And that’s about it for this collection of Deception also-rans. The best these nerds can hope for is to copy Sareena again, and cameo as Kabal’s imaginary wife in a non-kanon ending. Sorry, Hotaru, that is the only position currently available. Please hold the puppy and look happy.
Next time: All chaos breaks loose.