Mortal Marathon Part 5: Noob Saibot

April 1st, 2011 by | Tags: , ,

Guest article series by Gabriel “TheJoker138″ Coleman.

We start off this week in Zhu Zin, with Kung and Siro in the marketplace, browsing around. Siro stops a pickpocket, but lets him go, saying if he tries anything like that again he’s likely to lose a hand. He and Kung look at some knives for a while, but Kung isn’t interested in them and goes to browse other vendors while Siro stays. The pickpocket comes back, with three of his friends and we get our first fight scene of the episode. By the way, there’s another onscreen title on this episode. It’s “Queen,” which, much like the last time I noticed the title, has nothing at all to do with anything that actually happens in the episode.

In the other episodes, when they have our heroes fight some nameless adversaries, at least they’re usually henchmen or something. This time it’s just a group of completely unimportant street rats. I can forgive it this one time though, as this fight is actually a fairly major plot point to this episode. Siro beats them all pretty badly, but one of them gets a lucky hit in that sends him careening through a tent and then they overpower him via sheer numbers. Kung makes a timely return, the pickpocket recognizes him as the victor of Mortal Kombat and they all run away. Siro seems off-put by Kung coming in to “save” him and stays to look at that knife while Kung goes home.

It was at this point I had the realization that there were no half-naked women hanging around in the marketplace like usual, but luckily one showed up. Instead of just an extra though, this one is an actual character, named Ankha. She tells Siro that he should visit her and her friend, Kiri, at the House of the Falcon. Kiri is a seer and Ankha says that it seems like Siro could use her guidance and she gives him a falcon talisman. Siro is skeptical, but keeps the talisman and heads home.

Oh yeah, that’s more like it

When he arrives, Taja has already heard about the fight and gives him some crap over it, saying that at least he got hit in his thick skull instead of somewhere more easily breakable. It seems she’s finally started to lighten up, but now Siro is a humorless jerk. He’s really acting out of character so far in this episode. I’m actually kind of amazed that he has a character to act out of, as I wasn’t expecting anything more from this show than ridiculous freak-of-the-week monsters and kung fu fighting.

Kung comes in and him and Siro get into a fight about how Siro doesn’t think he needed help and Kung thinks not only does he need help, but that his fighting needs work too. He tells Siro that he needs to think before acting and learn to concentrate during a fight. Siro responds by saying all of Kung’s thinking and concentration didn’t save Jen, which is a pretty cheap shot. Kung doesn’t react well and tells Siro that even if he does ever realize he needs help with some things, not to come to him for it. They both storm away from each other.

The next morning Siro has decided to go see Kiri and on his way out of the trading post literally runs into Taja and then refuses to apologize for it. She tells him that he’s acting like a huge dick and that he’s losing friends and an alarming rate and he eases up a little bit and says he’s sorry. She also is able to squeeze information on where he’s headed to out of him and when she learns it’s to see a fortune teller, decides she better go with him to make sure he doesn’t get ripped off.

I’m glad to see that they’re being consistent with her skepticism. Before I started this project, I was watching all of the X-Files on Netflix just for fun and one thing that bothered me about that show was that Scully had a blind spot for religion in her disbelief, which made no sense at all and was only ever brought up when they wanted to shoehorn a religious theme into an episode. This also caused Mulder’s role in these episodes to flip to that of the skeptic so the balance was maintained, which also made no sense. What I’m saying is, MK: Conquest is doing a better job with consistent characterization than X-Files did.

Siro and Taja arrive at the House of the Falcon and Ankha greets them. The first words out of Taja’s mouth are, “How much does it cost?” Ankha tells them that the first time is always free. You know, I knew a guy who told me the first one is always free once and well… I’ve had to sell most of my possessions to pay him for the subsequent goods that I get from him. I don’t think they should trust this woman.

Kiri is brought out by Ankha and is another half-naked woman. There’s also some strong lesbian undertones (and in a couple cases, overtones) between these two through pretty much every scene they have together. In this one Ankha is constantly stroking Kiri’s neck and shoulders as she sits to read Siro’s fortune. She does this by cutting his hand open and following the flow of the blood. She says that he is on a path to greatness and that he must go into the ruins of the city that Zhu Zin is built on and find a shrine. The shrine will be guarded by two warriors and if he defeats them, he will gain their power and “fight as an entire army.” I don’t think just telling someone to do a thing counts as fortune telling.

There is nothing suggestive about this at all…

Siro is intrigued by this, especially when Kiri brings up that Kung Lao is renown for beating only a single opponent, while Siro would beat two. Wait… Mortal Kombat is a tournament. Wouldn’t Kung have had to defeat several people to even reach the finals where he defeated Shang Tsung? The movies were never very clear on the rules and to be honest neither were the games, but there has to be some kind of qualifying matches right? Not just anyone from the street could walk in and challenge Shang Tsung, could they?

Taja has heard enough and grabs Siro and drags him out. She tells him that nothing is free and thinks that it’s all a scheme to get them to come back and have to pay for the next session, although even she’s not clear on how. They head back to the trading post for the night.

The next morning, Kung is finally setting up the trading post as a training facility, putting in equipment like dummies and punching bags. I guess I can’t call it the trading post anymore, but since we haven’t been given an actual name for it, I’m going to just call it the training post from now on. Raiden shows up and asks where Siro is, because he usually helps with the setup and Kung tells him that he neither knows nor cares and explains the situation. Raiden comments that it’s too bad the pickpocket and his friends didn’t kill Siro, not because he has anything against the guy, but because stories are always better when someone dies. Raiden is awesome. He also tells Kung to suck it up, be a big boy and forgive Siro.

Meanwhile, Siro has followed the talisman, which acts like a compass of sorts, to an old rusted-shut entrance to the ruins below the city. Taja has followed him and reluctantly follows him in. Ankha has also followed him and rushes back to tell Kiri about this. Kung is back in the market and is buying the knife that Siro was looking at as a peace offering while all this is going on.

Ankha telling Kiri about Siro and Taja… Nothing suggestive here either, move along…

Back in the ruins, they discover that the ground is covered in black oil, right as they find the chamber containing the falcon shrine that Kiri had told them about. There are no guards though, just two stone statues. Siro says he’s going to keep looking around, but Taja has had enough of this and goes outside to wait for him. After she does this, the statues transform into real people and attack Siro. Surprise, they were the guards all along! Bet you didn’t see that one coming. Also, Kung has returned to the training post, found that Taja and Siro are both gone and left to look for them.

This fight is actually pretty good for being another nameless goons vs. Siro fight, with a lot of double-team action coming from the guards. They dominate him the whole time. It’s fitting this was on before WCW back in the day, as this is what we would call a squash match in wrestling terms. To finish it off, Taja does a run-in with a foreign object (a big sharp stick) and kills the guards by stabbing them with it. She’s pissed at Siro for not calling for help, but doesn’t seem to have gained any power. Siro on the other hand has gained a bunch of oil, which is now all over him from being thrown to the ground so many times and they head back to the training post, wondering why Kiri would tell them the truth about the guards, but lie about the power transfer.

When they get back they notice Kung isn’t there, but are in no shape to look for him and both head off to bed. The oil from Siro’s clothes becomes sentient and slides to the House of the Falcon, where Ankha is giving Kiri a very suggestive massage.

Okay, they’re totally lesbians

When the oil gets there, it forms into a person, who Kiri explains is Noob Saibot. For an episode named after him, this guy sure is late. There’s only ten minutes left and he’s just now showing up. Ankha seems jealous of Noob, as he knew (most likely in the biblical sense) Kiri before he failed Shao Kahn and got himself banished. Kiri is also working for Kahn and has been tasked with killing Kung Lao. Her plan was to free Noob, using Siro and have him do the dirty work, which would make her mission a success and get Kahn to forgive Noob and allow him back into Outworld. She also says Ankha shouldn’t be jealous and after Noob kills Kung they’ll all have a three-way together. By the way, Noob’s voice is ridiculous. Imagine if Cobra Commander took up smoking a carton of cigarette’s every hour and you’ll be close.

Oh yeah, this episode is named “Noob Saibot”

The next morning at the training post, Siro had discovered the knife Kung left for him on his table during the night and is going, along with Taja, to make peace with him. Before they get the chance to be bros and hug it out or whatever, Noob shows up and says that he’s going to kill Kung Lao. But not right now. He yells, “You will die!” which is a line Shao would say before you fought him in MK2 and then turns back into oil and runs off. Siro notices that he’s leaving a trail of the same black oil from the ruins and runs off alone. Taja says she thinks she knows where he’s going and tells Kung Lao the story of what they had done the previous day and they leave as well.

Siro shows up at the House of the Falcon, to figure out exactly what role Kiri was playing in all of this. When he gets there, he finds her and Ankha just drying themselves off from the bath they were taking together. If you haven’t noticed yet, subtlety is not something this show really does. I’m kind of amazed they haven’t straight up shown Kiri and Ankha making out yet. Maybe in a later episode?

Siro finds a blob of the oil on the ground, which he notices is flammable and tells them not to play around with him. Ankha replies to this by saying, “Intriguing though, us all playing together,” which gets a lot of giggling from Kiri. I think that’s what you call a single entendre. Siro’s response to this is to grab Kiri and call her a “depraved bitch” while demanding to know where Noob is. Kiri won’t tell him and he rushes off to stop him from killing Kung, while she mocks him for believing their con in the first place.

Ankha’s nickname in high school was “the smuggest lesbian”… no clue why.

Taja has brought Kung to the ruins, thinking that Siro has ran off half-cocked again to fight Noob on his home turf. This isn’t the case as all they find here is Noob himself and we get a fight between him and Kung. This one is actually really cool, with Noob using a lot of crazy oil powers. He’ll get knocked down in front of Kung, turn back into oil and slither around to pop up behind him. He also makes a billy club out of the oil from his own body, which he uses to beat Kung with. There’s a bit of back and forth, but it’s a fairly one sided bout with Noob on the winning end. Before Noob can finish him off, Siro shows up and lights him on fire. I wonder if this counts as a cameo from Blaze? They run out of the room as Noob explodes.

Taja let’s them know why they were in the ruins and Siro tells them that he learned his lesson about asking for help and had gone back to the training post to meet back up with them so they could face Noob together. Him and Kung also finally get a chance to talk and squash the beef from earlier.

Back at the training post, Raiden has joined them and Siro and Taja are talking over each other trying to tell him about Noob. He stops them, saying he already knows Noob and explains his origins to him. He also implies that blowing him up might not be enough to actually kill Noob and it cuts back to the shrine chamber, with an overlay of Kiri’s face and some foreboding music.

This was another really solid episode. It’s the first one to not really follow the “Shang Tsung is up to no good and sends X to fight them” formula and the villains actually achieved most of their goals. Sure, they stopped Noob for the moment, but he’s still out there and Kiri got Siro to do all her dirty work without ever having to lift a finger herself. She’s already proven much more competent than Shang ever was.

Noob was also really cool. It’s not the Noob we know from the games, but at this point other than him possibly being a wraith, nothing at all had been revealed about him storywise in the games. By the way, ask Gavok about Noob’s in-game origin story sometime. A blank slate like Noob at the time seems almost a perfect fit for this show. They were able to keep the look, while coming up with their own story to justify it and his powers and not piss off any of the fans. They handled the character very well, at least much better than any of the other ninjas so far.

Just as an addendum, it wasn’t until I was going through to get screen caps that I realized just how much implied girl-on-girl action was going on in this episode. It was a lot. A LOT. I know I’ve decried the fake sexy crap this show usually does but uh… gotta say, didn’t mind it much this time.

Up Next: Episode 7- Debt Of The Dragon… Featuring The Black Dragon!

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4 comments to “Mortal Marathon Part 5: Noob Saibot”

  1. These have been really great, so far. The whole MK franchise is a guilty pleasure of mine. I know it’s 90% garbage, but for some reason I love the story.

  2. Kiri was, IMO, the best thing about this show not named Jeffrey Meek or Bruce Locke. I always liked Sung Hi Lee. Last I saw of her was the title character in the Lost episode “Tricia Tanaksa is Dead.”

  3. It was nice to see Noob using Capoeira.

  4. I watched this when I was a kid, but the only reason was because it was part of the 90s boom in fantasy adventure TV. Hercules, Xena, Beastmaster, that terrible Conan show, the weird French Tarzan where he was played by a dude named Wolf Larson – I was addicted to them all. Out of all those shows, I think I hated this one the most. This or the Adventures of Sinbad, the Canadian one.