Mortal Marathon Part 9: Unholy Alliance

April 29th, 2011 by | Tags: , ,

Guest article series by Gabriel “TheJoker138″ Coleman, who apologizes for having to deal with a million papers and finals when he should be writing up more of these. Stupid priorities.

This episode starts out in the cobalt mines, with Shang Tsung summoning Quan Chi, who appears with Siann (the redhead from the previous episode), while Not Jade watches from the shadows. Quan is a bit pissed about being summoned, but his curiosity about why Shang has summoned him won out, so he came. Not Jade tries to attack Siann, but she blocks it and grabs her by the neck before she’s able to actually do anything. Shang says that she’s of no importance and to ignore her, but his offer of an alliance is important. One could say this is a… Deadly Alliance? But no, they don’t say that, they call it the unholy alliance, stop being silly.

At the training post, Kung Lao is meditating. His visions start as memories of Jen, but quickly turn into nightmares of her murder by Scorpion and his own death at the hands of Goro. Speaking of Goro, we go back to Outworld now and get a brief shot of either him, or another Shokan, watching over the mines.

Goro looks really short here

Shang and Quan are sitting quietly as Not Jade and Siann have a shouting match with each other. Shang says if they don’t shut up he’ll kill them both and Quan sends Siann away to avoid further incident. Quan really doesn’t care about Kung Lao dying, as all he wanted from him was his soul, which is out of his reach and asks what Shang could possibly have to offer him. Shang says he’ll teach him the secret of taking souls by force, as he can do and this is enough to grab Quan’s interest. He still doesn’t understand what Shang needs of him though. Shang is vague about his plan, but says that it needs both of their power and it still might be dangerous. The temptation is great enough that Quan accepts, on the condition that he gets Kung Lao’s soul when it’s all over. Shang agrees.

At the training post, there’s some actual training going on, which is the first of this we’ve seen. It is just between Siro and Taja though, so the whole “find new warriors to help in Mortal Kombat” seems to still be in the planning stages. They make a bet that if one can defeat the other in a single move, the loser has to be the other’s slave for 24 hours. Siro wins of course, because Taja is useless. Kung tells them that they need to stop messing around and take things more seriously. He’s in a pretty bad mood, what with the visions and all, an storms off. Raiden confronts him in the marketplace and Kung lets him know that the visions are back. Raiden tells him that as long as he’s afraid, the visions will never leave. They have a conversation about how Kung doesn’t want to accept the responsibility of being Mortal Kombat champion and Raiden tells him that quitting is the best idea he’s ever heard. Kung will quit, he’ll quit, they’ll all quit and it’ll be great. Raiden is a dick and I love it. Raiden then tells him that maybe he should actually find some new fighters to train, so that he doesn’t have to shoulder the responsibility all by himself, but Kung says he hasn’t because no one else could ever be as good as he is. Raiden laughs in his face and disappears.

Taja is serving Siro dinner, due to the whole having to be his slave thing. They talk about Kung and his problems letting go of Jen’s memory and Siro understands, but just goes back to bossing Taja around. He says that she should go back and remake the meal, because there’s too much salt on it. Taja is already getting sick of this situation.

In the market, Kung is wandering when a vendor in black comes up to him, trying to sell him women.

It’s about time, there haven’t been any half-naked women in this episode so far

He’s disgusted that this is the world he’s fighting to save, when one of the prostitutes runs up saying she was forced into it and needs help. He snaps into action, beating up two of the merchant’s guards, but a third pulls the girl away. The black clad merchant is watching all of this and Siann comes up to him, as he reveals that he’s really Quan Chi in disguise. Shang is watching all of this play out in some sort of magic hour glass back in the mines and laughing.

“Hey guys, check out what I just picked up from Spencer’s Gifts. I also bought a stripper pole for Not Jade. Pretty sick, huh?”

Kung follows the girl’s screams through a door, which leads to an alternate reality version of the marketplace. None of the usual grime, hookers, or crime seems to be around. There are still half-naked women though, don’t worry.

It’s Zhu Zin after Giuliani was mayor. Sure, there’s no more porn shops in Times Square, but all the personality is gone, you know?

In the mines, Not Jade comes to Shang’s chamber and he tells her to stop distracting him, as he needs all of his concentration. She asks what he’s done and he explains that the alternate dimension that Kung is in is taken from Kung’s own dreams, but in 24 hours it will turn into a hell of Shang’s construction that he will be unable to escape. He needed Quan Chi to help build it, but it’s up to him to hold it for the 24 hours when this happens, hence the hourglass.

In the real world, Siro has Taja doing his laundry and then he demands that she wash his feet. Taja says she’s worried about Kung and they should go look for him, but it’s more of a ploy to get out of being Siro’s slave than actual concern. Siro says maybe they should look for him, but first she should get to the foot washing.

In the dream world, Kung shows up to the training post, which is back to being the trading post from the first episode, with the Baron being alive and running it even. Jen is there and Kung starts to say that it isn’t real, but starts to believe it could be when he’s able to actually touch her. He agrees that he’ll stay for one day to see if things are as perfect as they look, when the Baron comes in and says that Kung should join him, as he can explain the situation better than Jen. The Baron here is actually acting like a pretty nice guy and serves Kung tea. He tells him that all of this is him being given a second chance, which is possible because it’s a different realm. There isn’t just Outworld, Netherrealm and Earthrealm, but an infinite amount of realms. I can’t wait till the episode when Kung Lao Prime punches a wall and brings Jen back from the dead, causing a crisis in infinite realms. In this particular realm, the Baron explains, Kung doesn’t have to fight for what he wants. Kung turns his back on the Baron to ponder this and the world ripples and tears where he isn’t looking, but has repaired itself by the time he turns back.

In the mines, Shang steals the souls of random prisoners to keep his energy up. Quan comes in, demanding to know how to do it himself, but Shang says he won’t have enough strength to teach him until the 24 hours are past. Quan isn’t happy about this and warns Shang not to try and cheat him, saying he has enough power to make Shang’s current situation even worse, even without knowing how to steal souls.

Back at the training post, Siro says he’ll let Taja sleep, but he wants breakfast in bed in the morning. He also heads out to look for Kung, actually worried now.

In the mines again, Quan is getting more and more impatient, as the cobalt is starting to sap his powers. Shang knew this would happen and fully intended to screw him over the entire time. Quan is, as you might expect, not very happy about this. He storms out, saying he’ll get even.

At the training post, once again, Taja has Siro’s breakfast ready, but Siro is nowhere to be found. He shows up, saying he couldn’t find Kung anywhere in the city and he’s been out looking all night long. Quan Chi shows up and tells them that he’s the only hope they have of finding and saving Kung Lao. They don’t believe him and a fight breaks out, where Quan easily takes them both down. At least Taja doesn’t get knocked out in this one. He gets sick of fighting them and holds them back with his magic, telling them the situation with the alternate realm. They begrudgingly believe him and go with him to help Kung.

In the alternate dimension, Kung tries to leave, as he needs time to think about all of this, but the Baron tells him if he does go he’ll never be able to return and Jen will be lost to him forever. Kung is having second thoughts about turning his back on his responsibility and the Baron tries to quell his fears, saying that they’ll find someone else to defend Earthrealm and that he’s already done his duty and deserves to be free. Jen shows up and tells him to stay as well and this is enough to convince him.

Quan opens up a portal to the alternate realm and Siro and Taja head through it. On the other side, he talks to them via a green CGI skull, which is floating in the portal.

Why is everything magic green in this show?

He tells that that if they lose here, all of them are losers except for Shang Tsung. They will all lose their lives and he’ll have lost to Shang’s treachery. Shang is watching this on his hourglass, but doesn’t seem to be very worried about it. He figures they’ll just be an added bonus when killing time comes.

Taja and Siro both can’t believe how great everything looks and are both being tempted by the place. Siro is tempted by women, while Taja is tempted by shiny things. They snap out of it when they notice that the world itself seems to be tearing apart and head to the trading post to find Kung Lao. The Baron confronts them, saying he won’t let them interfere, when Kung comes down with Jen. Siro tries to convince him that it’s all an illusion created by Shang Tsung, but he refuses to listen. Siro stabs Jen in the stomach, revealing that under her clothes she’s rotting and not actually a person. This is enough to convince Kung, but the Baron sends ninjas to prevent him from leaving, as Taja and Siro run back to the portal. During the fight, the world breaks down more and more, with the outside world turning into a green blob.

They must have spent this episodes CGI budget on that 2 second long shot of Goro earlier.

Kung gets the upper hand in the fight and runs away, to where Siro and Taja are waiting by the portal. They go through as soon as they see him coming, but before he’s able to make it in Jen shows up to try and convince him to stay one last time. I think it might be a bit late for that. He resists and heads through the portal just as the sand runs out on the hourglass. From an upper level of the mine, Quan laughs at Shang’s failure.

In the real world, Kung, Taja and Siro look around the marketplace and decide even though it looks like shit, it feels right and like home. Raiden shows up and says he didn’t expect to see Kung back and Kung explains how perfect it was and that he would go back if it was real and he could make it last. Raiden says that maybe Kung isn’t the chosen one… but maybe he is and tells Kung to think about it. He goes back to meditate in Jen’s room, just as he was at the beginning of the episode.

In Outworld, Quan Chi has sent Siann to tell Shao Kahn of Shang Tsung’s plan and failure. And also to have sex with him. Shao Kahn: Outworld pimp. As she leaves, Shang is brought in by guards, presumably so Shao Kahn can torture him personally.

While this episode wasn’t great, it does bring up something very interesting about not just this show, but all of the Mortal Kombat media that has spun off from the games. The idea of an alliance between Quan Chi and Shang Tsung was the driving plot point between MK5 (Deadly Alliance), but it originated here. There seems to be quite a bit of cross pollination between the games and movies and series, which you don’t actually see a lot of when it comes to video game movies. Sega isn’t dying to add plot points from Uwe Boll’s House of the Dead to their games or anything, for example.

The alliance itself in this episode was actually kind of lame, with them accomplishing nothing at all, which is a stark contrast to the game, where their alliance was enough to kill both Shao Kahn and Liu Kang. The team who made the game took the idea of the team and then improved on it and did more interesting things than the show did using it.

There are even more examples of this, which we’ll address as these go on, but this is probably the largest. Another quick example would be Reptile in the first films true form being very, very reptilian, not just a man with a green head like he was in the games prior to that. This was used in the later MK games and while it’s been toned down somewhat with the last couple of games, is still apparent.

The episode itself, as it stands on its own, was a bit boring a predictable. I was hoping that the alliance of Shang and Quan would shake some things up, but it only lasts about half of the episode before falling apart. The status quo is returned at the end and I bet if we see Quan Chi again he’ll be back to his evil self as opposed to the semi-ally he was to our heroes here. I also wish there had been more of Shao Kahn than just the appearance at the end, but that goes for all episodes of this show, not just this one. The whole Taja being Siro’s slave thing was also some C-grade sitcom level bullshit and they need to stop doing things like it, because they aren’t funny or interesting, they just suck.

Up Next: Episode 10- Thicker Than Blood… Featuring the return of Scorpion!

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One comment to “Mortal Marathon Part 9: Unholy Alliance”

  1. This article makes me think of one of the funnier moments of the new MK game’s story mode. In the part where Kung Lao has to fight Shang Tsung and Quan Chi at the same time, Quan says something along the lines of, “Nobody can stop this Deadly Alliance!”

    Shang gives him this look like, “Let’s go take h– what the fuck did you just say? Seriously, what was that? Forget it. But yes, we’re going to win.”