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Mortal Kombat Special Forces In the Timeline

Many fans have convinced themselves that Mortal Kombat: Special Forces is chronologically set before the MKI and even before MK Mythologies: Sub-Zero. This is based on the E3 version of MK Special Forces, of which only about a dozen screenshots currently exist. In those screenshots we see Kano without his infrared eye implant, which he's had at least since MKI. However, Jax does have his bionic arm implants, which he didn't acquire until the events of MK3. The explanation for this inaccuracy is, I believe, due to a scene in the move Mortal Kombat: Annihilation where Jax simply takes off his arm implants indicating that they are evidently not permanent. The assumption being that he had the implants since before MKI, took them off for MKII (apparently thinking he wouldn't need them as he went to another dimension of reality and fought against supernatural beings above and beyond anything ever encountered before) then put them back on for MK3.

Unfortunately for this line of thinking, Kano actually does have his eye implant during the entirety of MKSF. The screenshots in question represent a game that, for all intents and purposes, does not exist. That doesn't mean the info contained in them is useless, it just means we can't date the game based on them.

Taking a closer look at the storyline elements, however, we can date MKSF (the only version of it actually available to the public, that is) to its proper time, which is, I believe, between MKII and MK3.

In a cutscene of MKSM we help Jax defeat Kano (who obviously didn't die) and rescue Sonya near the climax of the events of MKII. After that, we know Jax and Sonya tried in vain to convince their superiors of the Outworld menace. Then Jax donned his new indestructible arms. Now consider the possibility that after Kahn was thwarted, during a relatively brief period of uneasy peace, Kano, having been exposed to Outworld and the possibilities therein, and perhaps acting again at the behest of Shang Tsung, freed his most trusted Black Dragon companions to help him steal the Eye of Chitian. Jax tracked him down but somehow Kano (and Jarek too, it seems) eluded capture and remained in Outworld. Then came the events of MK3 wherein Kano convinced Kahn to spare his soul in exchange for teaching Kahn's warriors how to use Earthrealm's weapons. After the Outworld Invasion, the Outerworld Investigation Agency was formed and Jax led the first expedition to a new realm (probably not Outworld). Sonya goes missing while tracking Jarek, the reputed last remaining member of the Black Dragon, Jax goes after her and discovers the plot of Shinnok and the events of MK4 unfold.

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