Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate’s latest Kombat Pack has restored a long-running family feud: Mileena’s rivalry with her “sister,” Kitana, has been a driving force for the character since her introductions in Mortal Kombat 2. Their particular histories have taken a winding road, bringing them both in and out of conflict.
In the original Mortal Kombat timeline, Kitana kills Mileena, then moves on, working alongside Raiden and Earthrealm to combat Shinnok and, later, the Deadly Alliance of Shang Tsung and Quan Chi. After her defeat at the hands of the sorcerers, Kitana would be resurrected under the Dragon King. Her stories across Mortal Kombat‘s timelines have veered away from her original involvement with Mileena, but Mileena’s story has always revolved around the Edenian Princess.
Mileena’s backstory usually involved Kitana in some fashion before the Mortal Kombat 9 timeline reboot. Her initial appearances revolved around being an assassin for Shao Kahn alongside Kitana before being betrayed and killed in an act of defiance. After being resurrected by Shao Kahn, Mileena’s thirst for vengeance consumed her goals, driving her onward until the timeline reset at the end of Armageddon. In the new timeline, Mileena and Kitana’s history has seen some new twists.
Mileena’s creation during Mortal Kombat 9 takes a detour from the original timeline’s events. Mileena’s birth in the Flesh Pits of Outworld is discovered by Kitana, with the Edenian Princess realizing Mileena’s existence is a product of the sorcery of Shang Tsung. This was done in an effort to create a “clone” of Kitana to whom Shao Kahn can pass the throne, with Kitana’s adoption at the hands of the Emperor being a result of his murder of King Jerrod and marriage to Queen Sindel. To drive home this point, Kahn would refer to Mileena as his “true daughter.”
After the defeat of Shao Kahn in the new timeline, Kitana’s soul is forfeit in the Netherrealm – along with the souls of many of Earthrealm’s warriors – in Raiden’s last-ditch effort to broker a deal with Quan Chi. In Mortal Kombat X, Mileena assumes her position as Shao Kahn’s successor to the throne of Outworld, while Kitana becomes a revenant, serving under Quan Chi until his and Shinnok’s defeat. This leads to Liu Kang and Kitana assuming the throne of the Netherrealm. Mileena, however, is overthrown by Kotal Kahn, resulting in her execution at his hands by D’vorah.
Death left Mileena absent from Mortal Kombat 11 until the release of Kombat Pack 2 and MK11 Ultimate. In her absence, Kitana was brought back from a previous time by Kronika, who was manipulating the fabric of time to empower her army of revenants and supporters. The Kitana of the Netherrealm remained at Kronika’s side, while the living Kitana bested Shao Kahn, assuming the throne left by her adopted father and becoming Kitana Kahn. Mileena’s return from the past at the hands of Kronika places her at odds with her “sister” once again, with a feud over the throne of Outworld being the clear next step in their winding history.