Mortal Kombat: The Journey begins was a direct-to-video animated video released in conjunction with the release of Mortal Kombat in theaters in 1995. It purports to be a sequel to the live-action film. For the story, producer Larry Kasanoff employed the services of his screenwriter for the live-action film, Kevin Droney. In Droney’s script, we learn that “Mortal Kombat” is a tournament where warriors from Earth and warriors from the alternate dimension of Outworld compete for domination. Three warriors from Earth are chosen by Raiden, the God of Thunder: Liu Kang, a monk who hails from the Order of Light Temple, Lieutenant Sonya Blade, a United States Special Forces officer, and Johnny Cage, a major Hollywood action star with actual martial arts skill. Their mission is to travel by boat to a mysterious island to fight the reigning champion of the “Mortal Kombat” tournament for five centuries, a half-humanoid/half-dragon named Goro. However, to get there, they must first get through evil sorcerer Shang Tsung’s minions, SubZero and Scorpio, as well as a horde of Nomads (aka Tarkatan warriors) protecting Goro. Along the way, Raiden describes the scenario and the backgrounds of the foes they are about to face for the benefit of those unfamiliar with the game.
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In the film, there is a gathering of Earth’s top fighters every generation to compete for the fate of the planet to keep the evil forces from Outworld from gaining dominion. It seems that if Outworld’s fighters defeat Earth in one more tournament, Earth will be theirs. The current generation’s elite are rounded up, including monk fighter Liu Kang (Robin Shou), Hollywood action hero Johnny Cage (Linden Ashby), and military operative Sonya Blade (Bridgette Wilson), to join forces with Earth’s defending thunder god Rayden (Christopher Lambert) in fighting to the death against the outlandish, deadly creatures from the planet of darkness, headed by the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa). Paul W.S. Anderson directs.