Remembering Mortal Kombat: Conquest

The long awaited TV series which ran between 1998-99 gets a complete series DVD release in 2015. Great news for Mortal Kombat fans. The original Mortal Kombat: Conquest series, which acted as a prequel to the MK mythology popularised in the video games and earlier movies, starred a wide range of talent including Paolo Montalbán, Daniel Bernhardt and Kristanna Loken. Plus, world-famous stunt and fight coordinator J.J. Perry played Sub-Zero in a couple of episodes, offering a rare chance to see a young J.J. in front of the camera as a character!

The plot: In each of us there burns a soul of a warrior. In every generation a few are chosen to prove it. Centuries ago, in a time of darkness and fury, that fate befell three strangers: A monk, Kung Lao; an exiled guard, Siro; and a thief, Taja; who have to defend our earth realm from the forces of Outworld. By fighting for their lives, by fighting for their honour and by fighting for their realm in a tournament called Mortal Kombat".

Many centuries ago, Earth was an enchanting and desirable planet. Powerful and rich with natural resources, the vicious megalomaniac Shao Kahn wanted Earth as part of his growing collection of conquered realms known as Outworld. To protect Earth, Mortal Kombat, a tournament in which the fate of the planet is decided in battles between competitors from Earthrealm and Outworld, was created. Five hundred years in the past, the monk warrior Kung Lao defeated Shao Kahn's sorcerer, Shang Tsung. When Kung Lao spared his life, Kahn imprisoned Tsung in the cobalt mines.

Kung Lao now had to train the next generation of warriors, who would give their lives to save Earth. Kung Lao creates a partnership and friendship with two warriors: Siro, a former bodyguard, and Taja, an ex-thief. In the mysterious city of Zhuzin, Kung Lao and his new friends are guided and watched over by the thunder god Raiden. The three now battle various evils of both Outworld and Earthrealm, including an imprisoned Tsung, who swore eternal revenge on Kung Lao for his humiliating defeat, and the sultry and seductive Vorpax, who is also imprisoned in the mines and has an agenda of her own.

Interestingly, the show was produced by Threshold Entertainment, who produced the film series, in association with New Line Television, the TV arm of the films' distributor. This shows a strong tie and allegiance between the live action adaptations and perhaps part of an overall strategy and franchise arc. MK is one of only a few franchises which has seen an excellent response spanning platforms as a video game (both arcade and console), a movie, a TV show and, today, rejuvenated as a web series.

Did you know the video game series has sold over 30 million copies worldwide to date? Pretty phenomenal.

J.J. Perry as Sub-Zero

J.J. Perry as Sub-Zero

Hopefully the full DVD boxset, released in North America by Warner Home Video, shows interest and confidence in the much-awaited movie reboot which fans have eagerly awaited since the Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series hit the scene.

As a closing comment, it’s really great to see these 90’s TV series earning a new lease of life on official, complete DVD releases. I wish we saw this more often. Here’s hoping another of my favourites, Martial Law, has an official DVD release at some point in the future!

Check out this battle between Scorpion and Sub-Zero!