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Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
Developer(s) Midway
Publisher(s) Midway
Designer(s) Ed Boon
Series Mortal Kombat
Engine RenderWare
Aspect ratio 480p (EDTV) (Xbox only)
480i (SDTV)
Platform(s) GameCube, PS2, Xbox, Game Boy Advance
Release date(s) PlayStation 2
NA November 16, 2002
PAL February 14, 2003
NA November 17, 2002
PAL February 14, 2003
NA November 18, 2002
PAL February 14, 2003
Game Boy Advance
NA November 20, 2002
PAL February 14, 2003
NA August 25, 2003 (TE)
Genre(s) Fighting
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Rating(s) BBFC: 18
ELSPA: 15+
Media 1 × DVD-ROM
1 × GameCube Game Disc
1 × Game cartridge

Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, originally known as Mortal Kombat V: Vengeance, is a fighting game developed and produced by Midway. It is chronologically the fifth in the Mortal Kombat series. Deadly Alliance was released for the Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube, and Game Boy Advance on November 20, 2002. Deadly Alliance is notable for being the first game in the series that does not feature Liu Kang as a playable character. Also, it is the only MK game, to date, not to have stage fatalities. It is also the last game to feature both Scorpion and Sub Zero in their unmasked forms. Deadly Alliance was the first all-new Mortal Kombat fighting game produced exclusively for home consoles, with no preceding arcade release. Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance won the Best Brawl at G-Phoria.



Mortal Kombat has always been and always will be. For a millennia, the forces of good and evil have been locked in eternal battle over the control of Earthrealm, some seek to use the tournament to destroy all that is good. Others seek vengeance, power, or eternal life. Time after time, each individual threat has been vanquished, and Earthrealm has enjoyed relative peace for many years. But there is concern that Earth is once again in peril, and this time the threat of evil has two faces. It is now known that the sorcerer Quan-Chi has escaped the Netherealm. Since his escape, Quan-Chi has unlocked the secret of the ancient Runestone, discovered the ancient unbeatable army of the long forgotten Dragon King, and most disturbing of all, formed an alliance with one of our deadliest enemies, Shang Tsung. With their combined strength, they plotted to overpower the two beings who could prevent their total domination of the two realms. The first was the emperor of Outworld, Shao Khan. In a false show of allegiance, they sprung their attack. They then traveled to Earthrealm by way of a mystical portal known only to sorcerers and deities. There, they confronted Earth's mightiest warrior and champion of Mortal Kombat, Liu Kang. It has been Shang Tsung's desire to consume the soul of Earthrealm's greatest warrior. With Quan-Chi's assistance he achieved this goal... Liu Kang is dead. They have since returned to Outworld and are using the souls of conquered warriors to resurrect The Dragon King's unbeatable army. Should they succeed, they will have the means to conquer Outworld and eventually Earthrealm. They will be unstoppable. I can no longer stand idly by and watch this evil consume the world, I have relinquished my status as Elder God to return to Earth and lead you to battle against our old adversaries. We must act now, we must stop this Deadly Alliance! - These are the words of Raiden.



New characters

  • Blaze — An elemental warrior bound to guard the last Dragon egg. (Technically a returning character, but this is his first time being playable)
  • Bo' Rai Cho — A martial arts master from Outworld, who instructed both Liu Kang and Kung Lao.
  • Drahmin — Netherrealm demon (Oni), maintains self-control with a mask.
  • Frost — A new student of Sub-Zero, she shares his skill with ice, but has a taste in Evil.
  • Hsu Hao — Mavado's henchman, infiltrated and destroyed the Outerworld Investigation Agency.
  • Kenshi — A blind warrior, renowned for his swordfighting skills, who seeks revenge on Shang Tsung for blinding him in treachery.
  • Li Mei — An Outworld fighter attempting to rebel against the Deadly Alliance.
  • Mavado — A high-ranking member of the Red Dragon Clan. He mutilated Kabal and stole his hookswords. He seeks to wipe out the Black Dragon.
  • Mokap — A character who is said to have done motion capture work on Johnny Cage's films.
  • Moloch — Netherealm demon (Oni), sub-boss.
  • Nitara — An Outworld vampire, her primary interest is to restore her original realm.

Returning characters

  • Cyrax — A former Lin Kuei assassin, Cyrax now works for the Outworld Investigation Agency and is stranded in Outworld. He also agrees to help Nitara gain an Orb in exchange for his return to Earth.
  • Jax — An angry member of the Outworld Investigation Agency who seeks to kill Hsu Hao for the murder of his allies.
  • Johnny Cage — A Hollywood actor, modeled after Jean Claude Van Damme, who returns to aid his friends and Raiden in the struggle to save Earthrealm from the Deadly Alliance.
  • Kano — A mercenary who pledges his loyalty to Shang Tsung and Quan Chi.
  • Kitana — The Princess of Edenia, who looks to destroy Shao Kahn and his forces.
  • Kung Lao — An enraged member of the White Lotus Society who seeks the destruction of Shang Tsung for murdering Liu Kang.
  • Quan Chi — The powerul sorcerer who looks to gain military power once the Dragon King's undefeatable army is resurrected. (Boss)
  • Raiden — The God of Thunder who has relinquished his status as an Elder God to help his champions in the war against the Deadly Alliance.
  • Reptile — A Zaterran warrior that looks for a new master (mostly in Nitara).
  • Scorpion — The Hell-spawned wraith who seeks the destruction of Quan Chi for murdering his family.
  • Shang Tsung — The powerful sorcerer who seeks eternal life and hopes to accomplish this through his alliance with Quan Chi. (Boss)
  • Sonya — A member of the Outworld Investigation Agency who enters Outworld in search of missing agents Kenshi and Cyrax.
  • Sub-Zero — The legendary ice warrior who has not only reformed the Lin Kuei clan as a clan of good, but also is the Grandmaster of the Lin Kuei and the bearer of the legendary Dragon Medallion.


New features

  • MK:DA's characters have two unarmed martial arts styles and one weapon-based style, which they can switch between with the push of a button.
  • MK:DA introduces two significant new features to the series: the Krypt and Konquest mode. Both would return in later titles.
  • Test your Might returns for the first time since the first game, and a similar addition, Test your Sight, is also present.


Deadly Alliance has a "Krypt", where the player can buy things like outfits, hidden characters, and other extras with koins earned in regular play and in Konquest mode. The Krypt consisted of 676 Koffins arranged in a square format with each designated alphabetically by a two-letter designation (AA - ZZ). The Koffins were filled with a vast number of secrets and unlockables available only through that game. Each Koffin had a different designated price, listed in a number (anywhere from 1 up to the thousands) and color (Gold, Ruby, Sapphire, Jade, Onyx, and Platinum) of koins that were needed to purchase the opening of the Koffin.

The Krypt included 11 unlockable characters, numerous unlockable arenas, and alternate costumes for each of the characters. Also included amongst the Koffins were various videos, images, concept sketches, and entire comic books. Some Koffins contained koins that could be used towards other Koffins, others contained hints as to where highly sought after items were located, and others were even empty.


Deadly Alliance also introduces a "Konquest" mode, which expands on the storyline and acts as a tutorial for each character. Konquest mode consists of a series of Kombat tasks (referred to as "Missions") to complete with each of the characters. In between each sequence, a video of a monk moving between various locations on the path of Konquest is shown, but this has no actual bearing on the gameplay itself other than to simulate the sense of a journey.

After completing eight initial kombat tasks with Sub-Zero, the player is instructed to complete a specific set of tasks with each character, which vary from pulling off difficult combos to defeating opponents. Each series comes with text instructions that include a basic storyline that delves further into each character's backgrounds and motives. Other characters such as Blaze and Mokap can be unlocked by completing all stages of Konquest. Upon completing each mission (of a starting difficulty for each character that increases per mission), the player is rewarded with a number of koins that can be utilized to open Koffins in the Krypt and unlock secrets in the game.

Test Your Sight

Test Your Sight appeared as a minigame in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. This involved the character standing above a set of cups. The game would show the player which cup had the MK icon in, and the cups would begin to move in a random order, and by the end one has to select the cup which the icon was in. As the player progresses through the minigame, the number of cups would increase, as would the speed in which the cups would move. At higher levels, the camera would even move in order to make it more difficult for the player to keep track of the movement of the MK icon. This game would also be rewarded with Koins. Test Your Sight was originally supposed to be a parody of Mortal Kombat's classic "Test Your Might"


  • Running, as well as the running meter, have been dropped.
  • Characters now each have three individual fighting styles[1] consisting of two martial arts and one weapon (with the exceptions of Blaze and Mokap, who only have three hand-to-hand fighting styles and no weapon style). In previous games, aside from "dial-a-combos" all the characters fought virtually identically, with only special moves to differentiate them.
  • Overall, the number of special moves per character (usable in any fighting style) has been drastically reduced, varying only from two to four for most.
  • While still limited to only moving into the background and foreground, movement in the third dimension is much easier and can be used continuously (in Mortal Kombat 4, one sidestep could be performed at a rate of about one a second).
  • Characters models are now more realistic. Flesh will move or jiggle on a character as he or she moves around.
  • To prevent fighters from leaving the arena, invisible "energy walls" appear when a fighter is knocked against the edge.
  • Environmental interaction is present, but infrequent. Several levels include obstacles - such as pillars or statues - that can be shattered to damage an opponent standing behind one, and one level (the Acid Bath) does damage directly to fighters that stray too close to special acid-vomiting statues.
  • There is just one Fatality per character, while the previous games included many ways to Finish the opponent (Animality, Brutality, Babality, Friendship).

Game Boy Advance versions

Cover artwork of Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition for the GBA

Two different Game Boy Advance games based on Deadly Alliance were released. The first version, also titled Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance was released on November 2002, during the same week as the home console versions, while the second GBA version, Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition (originally titled Mortal Kombat: Deadly Revenge, which was printed in the manual), was released on August 25, 2003. Although the GBA games feature 2D sprites, they were also the first portable Mortal Kombat games to feature 3D style gameplay. The original character roster of Deadly Alliance was split for the two GBA titles:

Tournament Edition builds on the story of Deadly Alliance by including three extra characters that were not in the original versions. These were Sektor, Noob Saibot and Sareena. Sektor and Noob Saibot are palette-swaps of Cyrax and Scorpion respectively, while Sareena returns from the action-adventure game Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub Zero. Tournament Edition is the only Mortal Kombat that does not feature Sub Zero in any form. Noob Saibot, the original Sub Zero, is playable, although his identity was not revealed to players until Mortal Kombat: Deception.

Reception and revival

Deadly Alliance resuscitated a series that had been waning since the late 1990s. Despite the success of Mortal Kombat 4, the franchise had begun to suffer from overexposure and mostly spawned failed and mediocre projects during this period. The animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm lasted for four months in 1996. In November 1997, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, the sequel to the successful 1995 original, underperformed in theaters, while the live-action series Mortal Kombat: Conquest lasted for only one season in 1998 despite strong ratings. Meanwhile, on the game front, the side-scrolling Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero was met with limited interest, as was Mortal Kombat Gold, although both games were good and received favorable reviews. The disastrous Mortal Kombat Advance and Mortal Kombat: Special Forces were the final straw for Midway, as MK co-creator John Tobias left the company in 2000, along with several members of the company's staff, while Special Forces was still in production.

This unsavory chain of events led to the MK franchise going on a two-year hiatus, in addition to a five-year gap between actual fighting releases. Deadly Alliance was once expected to make its arcade debut back in 2000, but Midway then decided to make it a direct-to-console game and it finally hit shelves two years later.


To help promote the game, the rock band Adema recorded the song "Immortal," as well as an accompanying music video that featured Scorpion. The song was used in various promotions, and the video can be found in the game's extras.


  1. ^ Lane, Tom (2002-11-24). "New Mortal Kombat bloodier than ever". Retrieved 2009-11-24.  

External links

Official Websites:

Other Websites:


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