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Cheats and secrets to rock your way through Mortal Kombat 11

NetherRealm Studios' grisly fighting game Mortal Kombat 11 released on Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on April 23, 2019. The title has received mostly positive reviews, with critics praising its comprehensive tutorial, story mode, fresh new features, and improved pacing compared to other entries in the series. "Mortal Kombat 11 retains all of those unique mechanics that give this series its identity, and of course, the gloriously gratuitous over-the-top and often comedic violence of its notorious Fatality finishing moves," said IGN's Mitchell Saltzman. "However, surrounding all of that are new fighting systems that feel unlike anything the series has ever seen, and Mortal Kombat 11 is much better for being willing to take these bold steps to keep things fresh."

Though MK11 introduces promising new mechanics such as Krushing Blows, it's not without its flaws. To get the most out of the game, including access to its robust lineup of customization options, you must first spend hours grinding through challenges in the Krypt and Towers of Time. For players looking to cut back on the tedium, here are nine cheats and secrets to help you maximize your Mortal Kombat 11 experience.

Crypt spikes and Tsung's Throne Room

While exploring the Krypt, you'll come across the Warrior Shrine, a lineup of spiked pedestals framed by the faces of every playable character in Mortal Kombat 11. A treasure chest rests at the base of each pedestal. Though the game doesn't explain this, you unlock the treasure chests by placing the corresponding character's head on the spike. You obtain a character's head by performing 50 Fatalities on them in Klassic Towers or Towers of Time. The chests contain special rewards related to the pictured character, including skins and equipment.

Placing ten heads on spiked pedestals also grants access to Shang Tsung's throne room. This area contains several more treasure chests filled with rare, character-themed items. Divided into multiple areas, you will need to place all 25 heads to access everything. At 25,000 Koins each, opening all the chests will cost you a small fortune, but the payoff is worth it.

Perform Mercies to increase your Tower score

A Mercy is a secret finishing move that revives a fallen opponent and restores some of their missing health. You can perform one by pressing the correct inputs after moving to mid-distance during the "Finish Him/Her" phase.

While performing a Mercy might seem counterintuitive, the game offers a few incentives for taking this approach. For the completionists out there, you must "show Mercy 10 times" to unlock the Not Dead Yet trophy. Some Brutalities also require that you perform a Mercy before they will trigger, such as Cetrion's Falling Sky. Finally, Mercies are a great way to pad your Tower score, letting you complete two finishing moves during a single match. Each Mercy you perform grants an extra 15,000 points, making up for the added time and risk that come with prolonging the fight.

Second Fatalities

Every character in Mortal Kombat 11 has two Fatalities, gruesome moves you can use to finish off your opponents. Part of the Mortal Kombat series' over-the-top charm, these moves draw upon the character's unique attributes and themes; for example, Cassie Cage's second Fatality, #GirlPower, shows her kicking her foe's skeleton out of their body while Kotal Kahn's second finisher, Kat Food, turns his enemies into a feast for his feline companion. The Fatalities in Mortal Kombat 11 reach new levels of campy, gory goodness. 

All players start the game with the first Fatality unlocked. Normally, you unlock the second Fatality by completing Tower challenges and opening containers in the Krypt; however, you can perform the hidden fatality by using the correct input sequence even without all that. While entering the appropriate sequence will allow you to perform both Fatalities, secondary moves are not considered unlocked until obtained in the Krypt. 

Discover hidden passages with Kenshi's Blindfold

The Krypt contains lots of secrets and special loot. Key among them is Kenshi's Blindfold, an item that, when equipped, allows you to see hidden chests, areas, and breakable sections of walls. To get the most out of the game, you won't want to skip tracking down the blindfold, as you'll need it to locate other treasures the Krypt offers. 

An arduous task, NetherRealm has hidden Kenshi's Blindfold deep within Goro's Lair. To reach the object, you'll first need to pick up Shao Kahn's Hammer, the Gem of the Living, and the Cracked Horn of Motaro from various points around the Krypt. Using these objects, you can open up the pathway to the labyrinthine Goro's Lair. Navigate Goro's Lair until you reach an area called Kenshi's Last Stand, then claim the blindfold from Kenshi's remains. Equip it often while exploring the Krypt to uncover the secrets of each section.

Unlock Soul Spires with Ermac's Amulet

During your travels, you'll encounter green orbs scattered throughout the Krypt. Though visible from the start of the game, you can't do anything with these objects, which Mortal Kombat 11 calls Soul Spires, until you obtain Ermac's Amulet. Like Kenshi's Blindfold, you'll find the amulet in Goro's Lair. In this case, you need to hunt down a section called the Lower Pit, where Ermac's body will fall from the Upper Pit to land on some spikes.

With Ermac's Amulet in your possession, you can unlock regular Soul Spires for 100 souls each. The orbs function much like chests and contain a variety of rewards. You can also use the amulet to reconstruct damaged structures or remove rubble from passageways. Though this ability is free the first time, it comes at a steep price later on. Fixing the bridge in the Upper Pits, for example, will set you back a cool 2,000 souls.

Reptile in the Krypt

NetherRealm has hidden a cameo of the character Reptile within the Krypt. To find him, you must unlock a door in Goro's Dining Hall using a Skeleton Key. You can collect Skeleton Keys by opening chests that cost between 5,000 to 7,000 Koins. Since they are not guaranteed to spawn, you may need to unlock multiple chests before you find one. You'll need a second key to open a door in the next area. From there, equip Kenshi's Blindfold and smash the breakable wall with Shao Kahn's Hammer.

Beyond the new opening, you'll discover the outline of a statue that should look familiar to fans of the 1995 film Mortal Kombat. Interacting with the statue will invoke a cutscene, during which Reptile runs away. Using Kenshi's Blindfold, you can track him down at various points within the Krypt. Whacking him with Shao Kahn's Hammer the first time will reward you with a green Scorpion skin. Subsequent kills grant 200 Soul Fragments. 

The Spear of Hanzo Hasahi

The Spear of Hanzo Hasahi, also known as the Scorpion Spear, is another important item you'll want to track down in the Krypt early on. Like Kenshi's Blindfold, you must first acquire Shao Kahn's Hammer, the Gem of the Living, and the Cracked Horn of Motaro to reach it, as it's in Goro's Lair. You'll find the spear wedged into the wall in The Armory, a location connected to Goro's Throne Room.

Similar to Kenshi's Blindfold and Ermac's Amulet, the Scorpion's Spear serves multiple purposes. First, you can use it to pull hanging bodies to you, retrieving Hearts and Koins. Most importantly, the spear lets you unlock chests marked with flaming skulls scattered around the Krypt. When you find one of these chests, look around for a hanging torch. Using the spear on the corresponding torch will cause the flames on the chest to disappear, signifying you can now open it.

Fragments of the One Being

In Goro's Lair, you'll encounter a locked door displaying three empty indentations. As you might have guessed, the door requires three keys to unlock: the Mind of the One Being, the Soul of the One Being, and the Heart of the One Being. Though Mortal Kombat 11 neglects to explain this, you earn these items by completing Finisher Challenges in Klassic Towers or Towers of Time. 

To retrieve the Mind of the One Being you must perform ten Fatalities. The Soul of the One Being requires ten Brutalities and the Heart of the One being requires ten Mercies. To speed up the process, perform a Mercy and follow up with either a Fatality or Brutality in every match. Unlocking the One Being door rewards you with 5,000 Koins. You'll also gain access to a Scorpion heart chest containing valuable equipment to give you an edge in your future battles.

Sub-Zero's Secret Ice Clones

As Sub-Zero, you can swap out the ice clone that appears when you finish a match with a Brutality to either a snowman, a polar bear, or two different Sub-Zero poses. The actual button inputs differ depending on the system you're using to play.

The standard ice clone pose captures Sub-Zero's iconic winning stance from Mortal Kombat 1. By pressing up on the D-pad or analog stick, you can change this pose to resemble a move he performs in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. Finally, by pressing down you will create a direct copy of his Mortal Kombat 11 pose. It's possible the game contains more clone options; however, these are all the figures uncovered so far.