Although Mortal Kombat 11 is an outstanding game, featuring some of the most balanced gameplay of the series, there are still vocal fans who constantly ask, “Where is Mileena?” Despite repeated requests, there are more than enough clues and design choices in the game that point to Mileena never being added to the roster of fighters.
As Of Mortal Kombat X, Mileena Is Dead
The outcry for Mileena is not unexpected, because similar complaints of her exclusion can also be found online for every other fighter who did not make the roster for Mortal Kombat 11. However, one reason why it is difficult to justify her inclusion is due to her death in the story mode of the last game.
Death need not stop a character from coming back into the next game of a series, especially since time travel and alternative realities are a core part of the Mortal Kombat 11 story. At the same time, all DLC characters added to the game now do not impact the main story, and having some alternate version of the character return would fall thematically flat following her demise in the previous game. Sindel is already being portrayed in that way, discussing with Nightwolf how he had killed her in their last meeting.
Mileena May Not Be Here, But Much Of Her Core Design Exists
Often in fighting games there will be some design overlap between characters. This is not always a bad thing, as it can be difficult to create a broad range of unique fighters, and over time as a game grows in its sequels, we can see some characters borrow from or even replace others in their core concepts.
With Mileena, this is present in Mortal Kombat 11 in a few ways. She was often the brutal, cannibalistic murderer with a mouth that can rip you apart, and for that we have Baraka. She also played the role of ruthless, bloodthirsty assassin, which we now have with Scarlett. In practice, Jade embodies the missing fighter with her brutality, “What would Mileena do?”
More recently, Mileena has been referenced twice by DLC characters to hint that she will not be joining the kast of fighters. When given a glimpse of the world through the view of The Terminator, fans were quick to see Mileena’s name, but so too where other characters listed that would be unlikely additions to the roster. Although there is the possibility of Mileena being added in a second Kombat Pack following the release of the first six characters, the consensus among the community is that the information was an elaborate troll to further cement her absence from the game.
Finally, the upcoming release of Sindel has brought another mention of Mileena. This time the reference comes in the form of pre-kombat chatter between Sindel and D’Vorah, and the player is again explicitly told that she is dead. It is still not out of the realm of possibility that we see Mileena again at some point in the future, but the developers seem to be repeatedly signalling that this will not be the case.
A Chance For Other Characters To Shine
As Mortal Kombat has grown in its kast of characters, it becomes more difficult with each new game to decide who will be added to the roster. The decision is never easy, since there will always be a group of fans who consider their excluded character to be their main fighter, and will be upset.
However, the alternative would be to include every single fighter into each game, and that is simply not practical. Every so often the developer undertakes this monumental task, but the sheer amount of work needed to include everyone is not only immense, it is something that affects the balancing of the game.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a perfect example of this attempt to involve everyone. The developers have gone all in to make the roster of fighters enormous, but a downside to this is that some characters, like the poor Piranha Plant, are extremely underpowered, while others are strong and main meta defining since the launch of the game.
In its current state, Mortal Kombat 11 is the most balanced game of any in the series, and this in part is thanks to the decision to keep the roster at its current size, with twenty-five launch characters and six more total through the DLC Kombat Pack. Some players may still want Mileena in the game, but her absence gives others a time to shine.