Outworld's known history goes back millions of years and points at Onaga, the Dragon King, as its first ruler. Though he would eventually be supplanted by Shao Kahn, they both shared the same visions of expanding Outworld by taking other realms by force. Unwittingly, both were being controlled by the echoes of the One Being. Outworld is an empire that stretches out over numerous realms which have been magically annexed. Despite the despotism both emperors have displayed, Outworld is in a constant state of turmoil, more so under Shao Kahn than it was under Onaga.
Outworld's primary landscapes appear to consist of barren wastelands, deserts, pools of acid, dense forests and high, mysterious mountain peaks. Small villages are scattered throughout the landscape, and like Edenia, the realm teems with magic. Beyond the imperial palace, no real metropolis seem to exist on Outworld.
Locations within Outworld include :
- Shao Kahn's palace
- The walled city of Lei Chen
- Dragon Mountain
- The Falling Cliffs
- The Living Forest
- The Lower Mines
- Outworld Spire
- The Portal Grounds
- Yin Yang Island
- Beetle Lair
- Dragon King Temple
- Golden Desert
- Sarna Ruins
- Lost Tomb
- Evil Monastery
- Shang Tsung's Palace
Native realm species
Due to Outworld's composite structure, not all races found on Outworld are truly native to it, but some have been there for so long they have virtually become natives.
- Cryomancers. Though now extinct, they used to be a people that lived in Outworld long ago. They resemble very pale humans and have a natural affinity with ice. A few scattered descendants of this race live on Earthrealm (such as the ninjas Sub-Zero and Frost). It is unclear why their race died out; however, it is possible they faced massive genocide from Shao Kahn, as did the Saurians and Vampires.
- Outworlders. Like most inhabitants of the realms of Mortal Kombat, Outworlders look like humans, but they seem to have a greater talent for magic and live much longer. All Outworlders seen so far resemble East Asian people from Earthrealm. Though they dislike their rulers, each of them have their own schemes to attain more power and influence.
- Tarkatans, also known as Mutants or Nomads, are a nomadic humanoid race feared for their extreme fits of rage and primitive way of life. They have been created by crossing demons from the Netherrealm with Outworlders. They have small spikes on their head and elbows, and retractable blades on their forearms. They also possess sharp fangs and are notorious cannibals.
- Shokan, described as "half-human, half-dragon", are a humanoid race appearing as abnormally tall and muscular, with four arms and skin patterns reminiscent of frogs and certain reptiles. They are organised in terms of a clan-based monarchy. They are fierce warriors and hate the Centaurs.
- Centaurs/Centaurians. Though largely resembling the mythical creatures of Earthrealm with the same name, this breed is more vicious. They are renowned hunters and seem to do so in packs. Centaurs have been the natural born enemies of the Shokan for ages.
Originally non-native or of uncertain origin
- Vampires have been a part of Outworld since their realm was annexed by Shao Kahn. They possess the ability to travel in between realms and are excellent record-keepers. Contrary to other fictional vampires, they can move by daylight, but are highly allergic to Earth's sun. Vaeternus, the realm the vampires originated from, was freed by Nitara in the course of events in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance.
- Saurians are a virtually extinct, reptillian race that was once governed by a matriarchate on the realm of Zaterra, though even that world was not their first home. Despite their great talents as hunters, spies or messengers and their ability to become invisible, they are branded as untrustworthy slaves.
- Elementals are creatures who have mastered abilities relative to, or are composed of, a certain element. Their appearance differs depending on which element they have mastered. The only known elemental is Blaze.
- Native: Baraka, Blaze, Bo' Rai Cho, Ermac, Goro, Kintaro, Li Mei, Mileena, Motaro, Onaga, Reiko, Shao Kahn, Sheeva.
- Foreign: Kano, Quan Chi, Shang Tsung, agents of the Red Dragon, agents of the Special Forces.
According to the contact page on Midway Games' website, there is a Midway office in Outworld (though not listed with the other offices, it is included in a montage of pictures depicting cities which are home to a Midway studio or office).
Relationships with other realms
Having been long under the rule of a megalomaniacal emperor has made Outworld at odds with most other worlds and their inhabitants. The realms which have been merged with it over the years could be loosely called allies, only due to the fact their inhabitants were forced into acquiescence with Outworld's law. Many inhabitants of these conquered realms, in fact, seek to separate their realms from Outworld and regain their freedom. After the Edenian conquest, annexation, and rule by Kahn over its people for 10,000 years, Outworld and Edenia have come to be the biggest of foes following their separation. There is also little doubt that Earthrealm and Outworld are opposing realms; long did Kahn attempt to rule the realm through Mortal Kombat, and later through direct invasion during the time of MK3.
Citizens of Chaosrealm seem content to have Kahn rule Outworld (due to his aggressive nature) while inhabitants of the Realm of Order seem objective. Under the rule of Onaga, the relationships between the two neutral realms are reversed with the Orderrealm citizens contented with Outworld's rule, and Chaosrealm inhabitants acting as objective. However, neither world can actively be called Outworld' ally in a true sense, because of the respective strict and chaotic natures of each world and their inhabitants.
The Netherealm could be considered an ally under Kahn's rule as he has forged acquaintances there himself, although it was invaded during the MK3 timeframe.es:Outworldpt:Outworld (Mortal Kombat)