The Ending to 'Mortal Kombat 11' Aftermath Explained

By now, Mortal Kombat fans are playing through the Aftermath DLC, an expanded story of NetherRealm Studio's latest game.

Aftermath continues the narrative set by Mortal Kombat 11 and expands upon it to show what could happen in this time-bending story. However, what many Mortal Kombat players may not expect is that there are two endings to the Aftermath story, and each one has major implications to the franchise.

Of course, we're going to be delving into major spoilers for the Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath story so if you haven't completed already do so and return.

mortal kombat 11 aftermath nightwolf fujin shangtsung
NetherRealm Studios/Warner Bros


The story of Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath sees Shang Tsung, Nightwolf and Fujin emerge from "The Void" that Kronika put them in during the events of the main story. The titan of time tried to recruit the three men to help her reshape history, but when they refused they were put in this special prison.

When Kronika was defeated and killed by Thunder Fire God Liu Kang at the end of the main story, they were released. In Aftermath, Shang Tsung warns our heroes that they need Kronika's crown--which was destroyed in the final battle--to reshape history once again.

Liu Kang decides to trust Shang Tsung to go back to the past and retrieve the crown. Through the course of the Aftermath story we see betrayal after betrayal, as one would expect when Shang Tsung is at the center of the plot, which leads to the final battle.

Just as Shang Tsung has taken the crown for himself, defeated Kronika and absorbed her powers Liu Kang returns from the future to face him. Liu Kang knew this would happen all along, but he needed Shang Tsung to defeat Kronika.

This leads to the final battle between Shang Tsung and Liu Kang, a match both men have been looking forward to for years and brings the Mortal Kombat story full circle.

Here is where, players will have to decide whether to fight as Shang Tsung or Liu Kang. Each choice comes with its own ending, but don't worry you can replay this final battle to see both.


The Shang Tsung ending as it's the most straightforward and predictable.

Choosing the evil sorcerer and defeating Liu Kang will have Shang Tsung absorb Kang's soul and gain the power needed to run Kronika's hourglass.

Shang Tsung uses the hourglass to create a new era in his image where he's a deity and Raiden and Fujin are seen reporting to him. They inform him that Outrealm, Earthrealm and NetherRealm are under his rule, and the rest of the realms will soon follow.

A pleased Shang Tsung laughs and utters, "it has begun."

This ending is way more cynical in terms of the fate of the world, but it could be what unites the realms in the next Mortal Kombat. As every fighting game needs a villain for the characters to stand up against, and a god-like Shang Tsung would do the trick.


Choosing the side of good will have Liu Kang defeat Shang Tsung and take Kronika's crown to restart history. Players are transported to the Shaolin temple where Liu Kang appears before one of the monks.

He introduces himself to the monk whose name is Kung Lao the descendent of Liu Kang and the present day Kung Lao. Liu Kang even quips about this Kung Lao being more humble than the one he knew. He tells Kung Lao that he has chosen him as his champion and must be trained.

When Kung Lao asks what he needs to be trained for, Kung Lao simply smirks as the credits roll. Liu Kang has restarted history and is likely bringing back the Mortal Kombat tournament. If NetherRealm Studios chooses this ending to pick up where MK 11 left off, then it's like a reboot of the franchise similar to how MK 9 was.

What did you think of both endings to Aftermath? Which did you prefer? Let us know in the comments section.