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Mortal Kombat was a huge hit, making a sequel inevitable. In 1993, the sequel -- Mortal Kombat II -- was unleashed in arcades before being ported to the Super Nintendo, Game Boy, Sega Saturn, Sega 32X, Sega Genesis, Sega Game Gear, Play Station, PC and Amiga.
The Emperor of Outworld, Shao Kahn, is furious with Shang Tsung's failure to achieve victory in Mortal Kombat. As Kahn prepares to end the sorcerer's life, Tsung comes up with an idea to save his skin: since the invitation to Mortal Kombat cannot be refused, if the Earthrealm warriors were challenged to a tournament in Outworld, they would have to accept -- and, once there, Kahn's Outworld warriors (led by Shokan warrior Kintaro, who seeks revenge for the death of Prince Goro) could kill them and conquer Earthrealm itself. Kahn approves of Tsung's idea and restores his youth as a gift. Earthrealm's warriors accept Kahn's challenge, and once in Outworld, they come face-to-face with numerous new foes, all of whom are ready to crush a few skulls.
Mortal Kombat II took its predecessor's gore level and ramped it up by giving each character an extra Fatality to their characters and creating more stage-specific Fatalities. It also added two new Finishing Moves -- the Babality (which turns the opponent into a baby) and the Friendship (a Non-Lethal KO which had the characters doing friendly things) -- as potshots at the Moral Guardians who were incensed with the first game's violent content.
This game brought back the entire playable cast of the first game (sans Sonya and Kano, who were trapped by Shao Kahn in his stage), made Shang Tsung and Reptile playable characters, and introduced seven new characters: playable characters Kitana, Jax, Baraka, Mileena, and Kung Lao; sub-boss Kintaro; and final boss Shao Kahn.
Followed by Mortal Kombat 3.
- Backup Twin / Legacy Character: After the original Sub-Zero was killed off following the events of the previous game, his younger brother assumes his former identity.
- Big No: Should you best him, Shao Kahn will say "No! NO! NOOOOOOOOOOO!"
- Bloodier and Gorier: The original was already rather bloody, but this one managed to surpass it.
- Darker and Edgier: Even in comparison to the original, MK2 was arguably even darker.
- Defeat Means Friendship... FRIENDSHIP?!
- Demoted to Extra: Sonya and Kano went from being playable characters, to chained up in the background of Shao Khan's stage.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Babalities.
- The Foreign Subtitle: The Japanese version featured the subtitle Kyukyoku Shinken (The Ultimate Divine Fist).
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: This game didn't introduce the concept of Stage Fatalities (the first one was), but it was featured in almost every stage.
- Kiss of Death: Kitana gives one to her opponent as a Fatality.
- Lighter and Softer: Friendships and Babalities.
- The Man Behind the Man: Shao Kahn was this to Shang Tsung.
- Name's the Same: One of the stages is named after but had nothing to do with a Marvel character.
- Now Buy the Merchandise: Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Reptile had this as their Friendship, in which they would advertise their own dolls. Considering how hard it was around that time to come to know about the actual codes to perform them, however, you could think those finishing moves can be seen as more of a parody of the trope than anything else. But in all reality, that wasn't entirely Played for Laughs; there was an actual G.I.Joe line of action figures being sold around that time after all.
- Palette Swap: Added two new male ninja (Noob Saibot later retconned into the original Sub-Zero Back From the Dead and Smoke) and three female ninja (Kitana, Mileena, Jade) to the existing group of Sub-Zero, Scorpion, and Reptile.
- Perfect Play AI: First appearance of the trope formerly known as MK Walker.
- The Power of Friendship: Lampshaded. In response to parents complaining about the grotesque violence of the Fatality finishing moves, the second and third installments added a finishing move called Friendship, which would allow you to win the match without killing the opponent, along with showing an animation of your character doing something sickeningly friendly.
"Liu Kang wins! Friendship! ...Friendship?"
- Running Gag: Dan "Toasty" Forden's appearances. Also the appearances (specifically in the Genesis ports of the series) of Probe president Fergus McGovern; he even got his own "Fergality" in MK2.
- Sdrawkcab Name: Noob Saibot has nothing to do with Noobs.
- The Same but More: Of everything that made the original so popular. The original was pretty good to begin with, though.
- ↑ Later it is revealed that Noob Saibot is actually Sub-Zero's spectre, but this wasn't established yet in this game.