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Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (2002)

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Two powerful sorcerer's, Shang Tsung and Quan Chi, have joined forces to achieve the supreme goal: immortality. Will earth survive their deadly alliance?


(story and Konquest Mission), (creator) | 4 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Mileena (archive footage)
Sonya Blade (archive footage)
Hernan Sanchez ...
The Narrator / Additional Voices (voice) (as Herman Sanchez)
Princess Kitana (archive footage)


Two powerful sorcerer's, Shang Tsung and Quan Chi, have joined forces to achieve the supreme goal: immortality. Will earth survive their deadly alliance?

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Fight So Brutal - So Evil - So Deadly.


Action | Horror


M | See all certifications »

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Also Known As:

Mortal Kombat V: Vengence  »

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Did You Know?


WILHELM SCREAM: Heard in "The Krypt" option in "MK: Deadly Alliance" for PlayStation 2. See more »


Referenced in The Forbidden Practices (2009) See more »


by Adema
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User Reviews

Next Generation of Mortal Kombat
21 December 2002 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

The game seems eager to severe its ties with previous installments by immediately killing of Liu Kang in the opening movie. "Yes!" I exclaimed, having once been fond of Kang until his transition to mediocrity in MK3, and his further transition to just plain annoying in MK4. "Thank God a development team finally had it in them to kill off their main character!" Now please let him stay dead! Luckily, he did … at least, as far as Deadly Alliance was concerned.

Shang Tsung makes a return to the series as part of the titular "Deadly Alliance." He and Quan Chi have combined forces to once again threaten Earthrealm, and you know the rest. After a notable absence in MK4, Tsung's return is a welcomed one until 1, I caught a glimpse of his new design (what is with the shoulders?), and 2, realized he lost the power to shape shift in game (although, he still morphs in the intro.) Needless to say the two sorcerers make up the final two battles of the game.

Deadly Alliance makes the jump to 3D. Well, real 3D. As in revamping the fighting engine to take advantage of the Z-axis. Players can now sidestep freely (a la water downed 8-Way Run from SC), and to survive against the AI one must learn to sidestep. Jumping remains possible; however, like other 3D fighting games, its significance has dropped drastically from the 2D games. In Deadly Alliance, I jump mainly to avoid "earthquake" moves.

The sidestep ability adds a layer of depth (and flavor) to the returning dial-a-combo system introduced in MK3. Giving the AI a new venue for frustrating the player—where UMK3's AI ran up and launched the appropriate counter attack, Deadly Alliance's AI simply side-steps and combos (or, some lucky characters get to perform perfectly timed "Reversals".) An additional enhancement comes in the form of three styles available to each combatant (2 unarmed, 1 weapon). The 3 styles, plus the 3rd dimension makes Deadly Alliance play worlds apart from its 2D counterpart – kind of a strange marriage between DOA and SC minus the depth and fluidity. Don't get the wrong idea, however, we're still playing Mortal Kombat.

There's a notable oddity with Deadly Alliance's AI: the more consecutive victories the player racks up, the more difficult the AI becomes. So after 7 wins, Kano will miraculously be able to spin through 2 fighting styles to perform his Reversal move (in precisely 0.2 seconds) and then unleash his most potent branching combo. In that same fight, he'll demonstrate the physics engine does not apply to CPU characters since he can block low attacks with a high block (?!), and then he demonstrates his uncanny ability to side-step every attack, to unleash yet more branching combos for an impossible fight. However, the moment you lose and continue, Kano makes the amazing transformation into "sitting duck man" where you can waltz up to him and punish to your heart's content.

Returning characters include Shang Tsung, Quan Chi, Jax, Johnny Cage, Kano, Kitana, Kung Lao, Quan Chi, Raiden, Reptile, Scorpion, Sonya, and Sub-Zero. None of whom feel even remotely like their 2D counterparts, and several have lost their signature moves. Shang Tsung no longer shapeshifts. Raiden no longer flies across the screen. No more handstands for Sonya. Don't expect Reptile to turn invisible. And forget about Jax's mid-air backbreaker or "Gotcha!" Maybe that's just as well. The signature moves that make a return (Scorpion's Spear, Kitana's fanwave, Sub-Zero's Freeze, etc) feel very very different. In the 2D games, truthfully, the characters differed only in Fatalities and special moves. Now that the characters have gone their separate ways and earned a level of distinctness, the game shifts its focus more on the dial-a-combos than individual special moves.

A new game typically means new characters, and this game gets an ensemble of mostly "bleh" characters including Bo Rai Cho, the overweight trainer with the ability to puke on command; Li Mei, the scantily clad warrior out to save her village; Mavado, a nobody in a trench coat with a few industrial sized rubber bands; Hsu Hao, the Village People reject; Frost, a female Sub-Zero; Nitara, the vampire in the wrong game; Kenshi, the only interesting new character who, incidentally, is blind; and Drahmin, the rotting demon with absolutely no combos.

The new sub-boss, Moloch, continues the trend of over-sized sub-bosses made difficult because the programmers decided to just program in a few immunities and high priorities. For example, one of Raiden's branching combos makes his opponent stumble backwards. Moloch never stumbles, so Raiden's combo deals a fair amount of damage leaves him a sitting duck to Moloch's abuse. However, that's not what makes Moloch nearly ruin the entire gaming experience that is Deadly Alliance. The fact that Moloch has a whopping half-dozen moves in his entire arsenal makes the fight rather boring. Compounded with the fact that when in range, Moloch is content to poke with his uber-high priority, tracking "quick punch." This is the worst sub-boss in the entire Mortal Kombat franchise; furthermore, it is the single most monotonous fight in fighting game history.

Lastly, most of the games secrets come in the form of "the Krypt" which Midway has loaded to the brim with extras. A great concept, except Midway over-indulged themselves and crammed too much into a 26 X 26 grid of things to unlock (requiring somewhere in the neighborhood of 250,000 Koins to unlock everything.) While characters and alternate lurk in a few of the 676 coffins, most house artwork, silly pictures, photos, etc. Plus the occasional "Hint" and empty coffin just in case you're not frustrated enough.

All in all, a flawed but welcomed addition to the Mortal Kombat family. Perhaps the best Mortal Kombat since UMK3 (arcade.) Most importantly, it delivered a new experience, and the next generation of Mortal Kompetition.

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