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Here is a total list of fighters from the Mortal Kombat games. There are several different continuities, so the fighters below are all listed by the chapter in which they first appeared.
- Mortal Kombat
- Mortal Kombat 2
- Mortal Kombat 3
- Mortal Kombat 4
- Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance
- Mortal Kombat Deception
- Mortal Kombat Armageddon
- Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
- Mortal Kombat 9
- Mortal Kombat X
Introduced in Mortal Kombat Edit
Hanzo Hasashi (Scorpion) Edit
Debut game: Mortal Kombat (Daniel Pesina/Ed Boon)
Other appearances: Mortal Kombat 2 (Daniel Pesina/Ed Boon), Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (John Turk), Mortal Kombat Mythologies Sub Zero (Sal Divita), Mortal Kombat 4 (Ed Boon), Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (Ed Boon), Mortal Kombat: Deception (Ed Boon), Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (Ed Boon), Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks (Ed Boon), Mortal Kombat vs. DCU Universe (Patrick Seitz/Ed Boon), Mortal Kombat 9 (Patrick Seitz/Ed Boon), Mortal Kombat X [Patrick Seitz/Ed Boon (English), Octavio Rojas (Mexican Spanish)]; Mortal Kombat X [Ron Yuen/Ed Boon (English), Octavio Rojas (Mexican Spanish)]
Non-game appearances: Mortal Kombat (Chris Casamassa/Ed Boon), Mortal Kombat Annihilation (J.J. Perry/Ed Boon), Mortal Kombat Conquest (Chris Casamassa/Ed Boon), Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, Mortal Kombat: Rebirth/Mortal Kombat: Legacy (Ian Anthony Dale/Ed Boon)
Originally known as Hanzo Hasashi, he is the son of a former clansman who chose to live as an assassin, yet he is very devoted to his family and generally goes on and about the game, serving his own purposes and none other.
One of the most recognizable characters of the game, he starts off as your typical Anti-Hero, looking for revenge on Sub-Zero for having killed him. In the first issues of the game, Scorpion is shown to fail and be sent to Netherealm. He has a Heel Face Revolving Door relationship with the second Sub-Zero, his former nemesis' younger brother. In 4, he ends up entangled in the machinations of Quan-Chi, who turns him against the younger Sub-Zero again. From Deadly Alliance onwards, he strikes a deal with the elder gods to destroy Onaga in exchange for his clan's revival.
In Mortal Kombat 9, Scorpion pretty much keeps the same role as the previous games, with the notable difference of being more willing to be Quan Chi's soldier, as Quan Chi's treachery has so far not been detected by him. In betwen 9 and X, however, there are important changes: he's released from Quan Chi's control, befriends the swordsman Kenshi, takes Kenshi's son Takeda in as his apprentice, and manages to rebuild the Shirai Ryu. Eventually, he does find out the truth about Quan Chi and makes peace with Kuai-Liang, but his rage at Quan-Chi ends up exploding horribly on him and everyone else.
- An Arm and a Leg: Played literally straight in one of his fatalities, and then followed by neck snapping in Deception.
- Animal Motifs: Scorpions, duh.
- As a kind of fix for his Animality in 3 not being a scorpion, the MK team gave him a giant scorpion form as one of his Fatalities in 4/Gold.
- In the DC crossover and MK9, it's also in the mask.
- The raised arm from his fighting pose in the first four games and the hilt of his swords (starting in Deception) evoke a scorpion's stinger, while the pauldrons on his shoulder for both costumes in 9 are also modeled after a scorpion.
- Anti-Hero (Type IV or V)/Anti-Villain (Type I): The best example in the entire series. Most characters in the series are either fully good or fully bad, but Scorpion is a True Neutral, participating in the games' events for his own purposes. While he has exhibited a little bit of a conscience and his actions (unintentionally) help the good guys, he's when all's said and done in it for himself and no one else. In X, however, he does force emotional bonds with others, especially his disciple Takeda
- Arch Enemy: Quan Chi.
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: They went right with "Hanzo" for a first name, but his surname, Hasashi, is not even a word.
- Author Avatar: In a sense, he could be considered to be one for series' co-creator Ed Boon. Boon has gone on record several times noting that Scorpion is his favorite character and he even provides the voicework for Scorpion's "GET OVER HERE!"/"COME HERE!"
- Back From the Dead: After being killed by Bi-Han (the original Sub-Zero), Scorpion is back as a wraith at the start of MK1.
- Berserk Button: Sub-Zero. Coming back from the dead just because you have beef with a guy obviously makes said guy cause a reaction when mentioned or showing up.
- It doesn't help that Scorpion at least once remarks that he might've been able to save his wife, son, and fellow Shirai Ryu if only he were still alive.
- Also, his encounter with Sub-Zero's younger brother and successor in 9:
Scorpion: "What is this? You are not Sub-Zero!"
Sub-Zero: "I am his family and clan. I fight for his honor."
Scorpion (furiously): "He had no honor! And you will die as he did!"
- Big "Never!": When Quan Chi forcibly sends him back to the Netherrealm in 4. Scorpion manages to drag the sorcerer with him, eliciting a Big No from Quan Chi.
- The Cameo: He appears in an episode of Drawn Together (in his Deception attire), complete with Ed Boon providing his voice. Scorpion delivers his Head Rip Fatality on fellow video game character Xandir (a parody of Link) and when Xandir mentions his special move, Scorpion gives an exasperated "Oy vey."
- Catch Phrase:
"Get over here!"
- Code Name: Before becoming the hellspawn known as Scorpion, Hanzo was given the title of "Sasori" by the Shirai Ryu's then-Grandmaster. Sasori is the Japanese word for "Scorpion."
- A Day in the Limelight:
- Dem Bones: As revealed during his signature Fatality, under Scorpion's mask his head is actually a Flaming Skulls.
- Downloadable Content: In 9, his klassic skin from MK1/2/3 and his classic "Toasty!" fatality. In X he also gets some skins of his own.
- Everything's Better with Penguins: To make up for the Scorpion Animality already being taken by Sheeva (supposedly, the dev team did not had Ultimate in mind when making MK3) Scorpion's Animality form Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 is a penguin which lays explosive eggs.
- Exact Words: In Deception, the Elder Gods promised to bring back Scorpion's clan if he agreed to help them by slaying Onaga. Scorpion fulfills his part of the bargain, and the Elder Gods bring back Scorpion's clan... as undead abominations. Cue the Rage Against the Heavens.
- The Faceless: As the series went on many masked ninjas have been revealing their faces at least once in one of the installments, save for some who are still covered, Scorpion is one of those, his facial features as Hanzo have never been properly shown (properly in this case meaning someone who isn't Daniel Pesina from the very first game as he played many other characters in it). Hanzo still has to show his true face sometime in the future... Which finally happens in X.
- Guest Fighter: Aside from the above cameos, he also appears in several other Midway Games titles: arcade game The Grid (alongside Sub-Zero and Noob Saibot), Psi Ops the Mindgate Conspiracy (as an unlockable skin), NBA Jam: Tournament Edition, MLB Slugfest 2006 (alongside Sub-Zero; both are accessible only by means of cheat codes), and Injustice: Gods Among Us (as Downloadable Content).
- Heel Face Door Slam:
- Raiden, having a premonition that Sub-Zero will become a greater force for evil if killed, tries to convince him to spare Bi-Han!Sub-Zero by offering to revive his family; and Scorpion agrees. Unfortunately, after defeating Sub-Zero and intending to spare him, Quan Chi goads Scorpion into killing him by showing him a vision of Sub-Zero murdering his wife and son. Sub-Zero becomes the wraith Noob Saibot, and Scorpion stays in Quan Chi's employ.
- Like Sindel, the Arcade Ladder ending had Scorpion eventually find out the truth on his own, and then rather than tormenting Quan Chi in the Netherrealm, he flats out burn him dead.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: In the new continuity, him and Kenshi Takahashi (who played a vital role in his recovery after being released by Quan Chi). It's no wonder that he, of all people, became the Parental Substitute of Kenshi's son. (And does so rather well, even!)
- Highly-Visible Ninja: Scorpion's bright yellow garb isn't exactly stealthy, which is ironic, considering that out of all the "ninjas" in the series, Scorpion is the only one who was once a ninja. The original manual tried to justify if by saying that he modeled his uniform after the Lin Kuei's and chose the yellow color as a Take That to the clan, calling them cowards... since in Japan the color yellow symbolizes courage.
- Iconic Item: His signature "rope with a tipped Kunai at the end".
- Slashed Throat: In MK2, Scorpion uses it to slash the opponent's throat as part of a Fatality. Then he follows up by cutting the enemy in half. This specific sequence becomes a Brutality in X.
- Your Head Asplode: As a way to finish off his opponents in Deadly Alliance, by means of violently pulling on the rope attached to the kunai that he just lodged in the enemy head. He can also do similar stuff in his Brutalities in MKX.
- Variable-Length Chain: In MK9 and MKX, a chain replaces the rope of his rope-kunai combo weapon.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: His fate in the aftermath of the Battle of Armageddon (as seen in 9's intro).. He can also do this in one of his Fatalities in MKX -- more exactly, he can behead an opponent and then impale their head on a pillar stone with his ninjato.
- Kick the Dog: Challenge #20 in 9 has Scorpion beat up Mileena, because she made a teddy bear for him and HE HATES TEDDIES!
- Large Ham
- Like a Badass Out of Hell
- Me's a Crowd: In one of his fatalities from UMK3, he drags his opponent into Hell, where several copies of Scorpion maul the enemy. Cue Black Screen of Death.
- Monochromatic Eyes
- Papa Wolf: He had a family as a human (a wife named Kanna and a son named Jubei), but they were killed and he believed their deaths were caused by the Lin Kuei, hence his grudge against them. He goes back on his vow to protect the younger Sub-Zero after Quan-Chi implicates him in the murder of Scorpion's family. Poor Jubei is later kidnapped by Quan-Chi immediately after being brought back to life in his Armageddon ending. In the reboot, while he's vengeful as Hell too, he redirects a part of this instinct towards his disciple Takeda, who is pretty much his Morality Pet.
- Neck Snap: His Hara-Kiri (and the final blow of one of his fatalities) in Deception.
- Ninja: Of all the MK "ninjas", he's the only one who was from Japan. Sub-Zero directly says this to Quan Chi in Mythologies.
- Ninjatos Are Just Better: Starting with Deadly Alliance, he finally uses one. He also carries an additional one on his back, although he only starts using the second katana in 9 and X.
- No Campaign for the Wicked: Averted, he has a chapter in the Story Mode of 9 (Chapter 3), though he is more of a neutral character. When he gains another in X (Chapter 9), he's on the side of Earthrealm, averting this completely.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Hounded Quan Chi throughout the Netherrealm after 4 and delivered many of these on the sorcerer (Scorpion drew on strength from the 5th plane of the Netherrealm, whereas Quan Chi's sorcery was weakened). It was only by enlisting the aid of Moloch and Drahmin that Quan Chi was able to narrowly escape death by the vengeful spectre's hands.
- Now Buy the Merchandise: His Friendship in 2, in which he invites the player to "Buy a Scorpion doll!"
- Offscreen Teleportation: He would later adopt vanishing in a swirl of flame instead.
- Off with His Head: In Deception, he borrows the original "Spine Rip" fatality from Bi-Han and rips the enemy's head off with the spine still attached.
- One-Winged Angel: Inferno Scorpion from Shaolin Monks, essentially Scorpion without his mask and damaged skin. He reappears in 9 on the 232nd floor of the Challenge Tower as an opponent for Kano.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: To Bi-Han.
- Revenge: His hatred of Bi-Han is just as important as (if not more so) the memory of his family. In MK9, Nightwolf, while empathizing over his familial ties and his need to avenge them (Nightwolf claims that his ancestors were wronged as well at some point in the past), calls him out for Revenge Before Reason. Raiden then promises to make an appeal to the Elder Gods to return Scorpion's family and the entire Shirai Ryu clan to life should he not kill the elder Sub-Zero. It almost works (even with Scorpion dragging Sub-Zero to the Netherrealm)... until Quan Chi misleads Scorpion by falsely accusing Sub-Zero to have killed Scorpion's wife and son, causing Scorpion to lash out in rage and murder his foe anyway. And then this also happens in MK X, when he finds out the whole truth from Kuai Liang, makes peace with him... only for Scorpion to redirect his desire for revenge on Quan Chi. With horrible consequences for everyone and himself.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Scorpion is a classic vengeance-driven revenant.
- Palette Swap: Of Sub-Zero, originally. The same is true in reverse.
- Pet the Dog: Aside from his love for his family, he discovered back in 2 that Sub-Zero was actually the younger brother of Bi-Han--the man he had killed in the last tournament--when he saw Kuai Liang sparing the life of his opponent. He decided to become the Lin Kuei's guardian from there on out of atonement. In the new storyline, after he's definitely released from Quan Chi's control before X takes place, he's somewhat more stable and more or less rebuild the Shirai Ryu (only to lose them again) and takes in a young boy named Takeda as his apprentice and adoptive son.
- Playing with Fire
- Stripped to the Bone: In the DC crossover, Scorpion summons a pool of lava and drags the opponent in it. Moments later, the body is thrown back out of the pit, now reduced to a skeleton. This returns as his second fatality in 9, with the addition of stabbing them with his kunai and wrapping it around their neck.
- Parental Substitute: In the new continuity, several members of the second Shirai Ryu are said to be orphans taken in by Hanzo. This includes Takeda, whose mother was murdered; his father Kenshi left him there in hopes that he would not seek revenge and be killed.
- Power Echoes: vs. DCU and onward.
- Real Men Wear Pink: According to Deadly Alliance, Scorpion's true forte is... cooking.
- Screw Destiny
- Series Mascot: Netherrealm Studios' logomark is suspiciously similar to Scorpion, even with a slightly different weapon than a Kunai, sickle in this case, fixed to the chain.
- Skull for a Head: Until X, where he finally becomes Hanzo again. He even turns out to have been Beautiful All Along!
- Tear Off Your Face: His trademark fatality has him doing it to himself. See Skull for a Head above.
- That Man Is Dead: In X, he does NOT like it when he's called Scorpion.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch: His "Get over here!" line had "Bitch!" put at the end in Shaolin Monks. There was even a "get the fuck over here!" variant! Of course, this happened very rarely, making this and the former additive probably the only times in MK that there's been profanity (up until X, yeah)
- Teleport Spam
- Unstoppable Rage: Probably the patron saint of this. When Scorpion is on the warpath, run.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: In X, hoooooly shit. Even when he was more or less on the side of Earthrealm, finding out that Quan Chi was the true killer of his loved ones made him flip the fuck out and led Scorpion to fight and kill him... before the rest of the Revenants could be released from Quan Chi's control, condemning them to staying undead. No wonder he attempts Seppuku in his ending.
- Wild Card: Strides the limit between good and evil.
Bi-Han (Sub-Zero V) Edit
Debut game: Mortal Kombat (Daniel Pesina)
Other appearances as Sub-Zero V: Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero (John Turk), Mortal Kombat 9 (Jamieson Price)
Non-game appearances: Mortal Kombat: The Movie (François Petit), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (J.J. Perry), Mortal Kombat: Legacy (Kevan Ohtsji)
A professional assassin, recently revealed to be originally named Bi-Han, of the legendary Lin Kuei clan. As his name implies, he has the ability to control ice. After succeeding in killing Scorpion, his rival, he is hired by Quan Chi to reclaim Shinnok's amulet. Along the way, he fights four of the Earthrealm gods (including Fujin), but before moving onward, he is confronted by Raiden, who reveals Quan Chi's true intentions. Furious at Quan Chi for duping him, he travels to the Netherealm to stop the evil plot, and on the way encounters Sareena, one of Quan Chi's Oni servants, and befriends her. He defeats Quan Chi, but this does not stop him from reviving Shinnok, and after retaking Shinnok's amulet in a surprise move, he escapes the Netherealm through a portal, leaving Shinnok trapped again.
Later he is hired by Shang Tsung to enter the Mortal Kombat tournament. He makes his way up the ladder until he faces a newly revived Scorpion, who exacts revenge by burning him alive.
Thus was the life of Sub-Zero.
NOTE: Tropes regarding the younger Sub-Zero and Noob Saibot should go into the Mortal Kombat 2 character sheet.
- An Ice Person: Chinese Ninja Warrior with your HEART SO COLD!
- An Ice Suit
- Anti-Hero: Most notable in Mythologies, where he's mostly Type III & IV. He slides a bit towards Type II at the end, only for his Character Development to go to Hell after Scorpion kills him.
- Bullying a Dragon: In 9, after Scorpion defeats Cyrax and Sektor in the tournament. Granted, Sub-Zero did (canonically) defeat Scorpion twice in Mythologies, but it's not a good idea to piss off the one hellspawn who seriously wants you dead.
- But Not Too Foreign: In the original was the son of an American woman and a Chinese man. Said father was also descended from the Cryomancer race, thus making the Sub-Zero brothers not fully human. This was retconned in the new timeline, where the brothers are implied to be fully Chinese.
- Canon Name: Bi-Han.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In Mythologies, he beats the tar out of all four of the elemental gods. Sub-Zero also has the chance to defeat Shinnok, which would put his total up to 5.
- Foreshadowing: Mythologies serves as one big build-up for his eventual fate as Noob Saibot.
- Heel Realization: Raiden's words that darkness existed in his soul deeply troubles Sub-Zero. Too bad he didn't do much to change anything.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: In the movie, he's pitted in a fight against Liu Kang. He seems to get the upper hand when he starts to freeze his surroundings and is rapidly cornering Liu Kang; Unluckily for him, his chilling power backfires when Liu throws a bucket of water at him, which freezes, impales, and kills him.
- Insistent Terminology: Justified Trope in that they're chinese assassins, not ninjas, and he dislikes being called one.
"Let's get something straight here: I am not a Ninja. I am Lin Kuei!"
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Moreso around Sareena.
- Jerkass: From what we've seen of him in 9. Still, the above must hold true, given how much his younger brother idolizes him.
- Kill It with Fire: His fate in the original timeline at the hands of Scorpion.
- Kill It with Ice: His preferred method of killing.
- Legacy Character: The codename "Sub-Zero" has been handed down from father to son (and from brother to brother) for years. He is the fifth to bear the name.
- Mis Blamed: An In-Universe example: he (and, by extension, the Lin Kuei) wasn't the one who killed Scorpion's clan. It was Quan Chi.
- Monochromatic Eyes
- Off with His Head: His infamous "Spine Rip" Fatality, which involved ripping out the opponent's head and spinal cord from their shoulders, which is almost single-handedly responsible for the whole ESRB rating creation!
- Ironically, this is how he dies in the alternate timeline.
- Only in It For the Money:
- He entered the MK1 tournament just to assassinate Shang Tsung and collect the large bounty on his head.
- He also tells Raiden in Mythologies that he was just earning his living after Quan Chi escapes with Shinnok's amulet. Raiden, naturally, doesn't buy it.
- Palette Swap: Of Scorpion.
- Proud Warrior Clan Guy: Very devoted to the Lin Kuei.
- The Rival: Of Scorpion.
- Ship Tease: In Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, there was a briefly hinted love interest between him and Sareena, which passed on to his brother in Mortal Kombat Tournament Edition.
- Tragic Hero: Though "hero" is a bit of a stretch, seeing as he was an unrelenting assassin in life, unlike his little brother who was more compassive.
- Trickster Archetype: In Mythologies, Sub-Zero is noted to be the most clever and most skilled of all the Lin Kuei.
- What the Hell, Hero?: An absolutely furious Raiden chews a large bite of Cyromancer pie out of Sub-Zero when it turns out that he's supplied Quan Chi with the means of freeing Shinnok from his imprisonment in the Netherrealm.
Debut game: Mortal Kombat (Richard Divizio)
Other appearances: Mortal Kombat II (cameo), Mortal Kombat 3 (Richard Divizio), Mortal Kombat: Special Forces (David Allen), Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Mortal Kombat: Deception (cameo), Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (Michael McConnohie), Mortal Kombat 9 (Michael McConnohie): Mortal Kombat X (Michael McConnohie, English; Ricardo Tejedo, Mexican Spanish)
Non-game appearances: Mortal Kombat: The Movie (Trevor Goddard), Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm (Michael Des Barres), Mortal Kombat: Legacy (Darren Shahlavi)
Kano is the leader of the Black Dragon organization, a criminal empire of cut-throat madmen. A portion of Kano's face is covered with a metal plate as a result of wounds he sustained at the hands of Major Jackson Briggs prior to the events of the series, with the plated eye being a glowing red orb capable of emitting laserlike beams. He entered Shang Tsung's Mortal Kombat tournament after hearing rumors that Tsung's palace was filled with gold and other riches; after the final battle between Shang Tsung and Liu Kang, Kano teamed up with Sonya and Johnny Cage to fight Goro. During the battle, the island began to crumble because of Shang Tsung's defeat, and before they knew it, Kano and Sonya found themselves in a forest in Outworld. They were found and captured by Shang Tsung. Kano managed to save his own life by convincing Shao Kahn to accept him as a weapons instructor for his armies, and later, during the events of Mortal Kombat 3, Sonya tossed Kano to his surmised death from the roof of a high building, only for Kano to be healed back to life by Motaro.
Eventually, Kahn's forces were defeated. Earthrealm was free, and so was Edenia. Shao Kahn's act of promoting Kano, however, proved to be a lucky shot, as Kano was a very competent general. During the events of Deadly Alliance Kano declared his allegiance to the Sorcerers; however, he was attacked and apparently captured by Red Dragon member Mavado.
In Armageddon's Konquest mode, Kano is found by Taven to have been held prisoner by the Red Dragon Clan for quite some time. Before escaping their facilities, Kano explains to Taven that the Red Dragon Clan had been experimenting on him, in an effort to create Human-Dragon Hybrids, yet without apparent effects on Kano.
Kano is pretty much the same as in the previous games in Mortal Kombat 9, but is a more willing soldier to Outworld than before, even going so far as to sell the forces of Outworld Earthrealm weapons to help in Shao Kahn's invasion of Earth. Pretty much, he's a race-betraying prick. And he stays as such in X, Playing Both Sides as he sells his services to both Kotal Kahn AND Mileena's forces depending on who pays and benefits him more. When this blows up on his very face, he tries running away to Earthrealm and hiding among refugee camps, until Sonya finds him and almost kills him. He ends up in prison, finally losing his Karma Houdini status.
- Abusive Parents: His X ending reveals that he has a son, whom he pretty much tortures to shape him into the next leader of the Black Dragons.
- ...And Show It to You
- Bald of Evil: His appearance in MK3.
- Beard of Evil: In most of his appearances. Started as a 5 o'clock shadow (shaven clean in MK3), and became a full beard since MKvsDCU.
- The Brute
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He will take any offer that allows his own preservation. The X intro talks have everyone calling him on his shit and he openly admits it.
- Cyborg: Only insomuch as needing a synthetic eye that has also been outfitted with a heat-emitting beam (justified as the Black Dragon cartel has a high proficiency in areas of technology). The rest of him is human.
- Disney Villain Death: His fate in the Battle of Armageddon.
- Dual-Wielding: His weapon style has him wielding a pair of Butterfly Knives.
- Eye Beam: It took three games, but he finally showed he was capable of doing it, in Fatality form, and later as a special move from Deadly Alliance onwards.
- In the intro to Armageddon, he kills Stryker with one.
- Giant Spider: Kano's Animality in MK3.
- Handwraps of Awesome
- Image Song: "Kano, Use Your Might" where the vocalist sings about great Kano is, how she is on his side, and describes him as a fallen angel.
- Knife Nut
- Large Ham: Especially in the first movie.
- In the games, too. Rich Divizio has stated he played Kano as over-the-top as possible.
- Nothing Personal: Pretty much his Catch Phrase in X.
- Neck Lift: His Chokehold move.
- Only in It For the Money: His reason for joining Shang Tsung's tournament and for siding with Outworld and selling stuff for them.
- Pet the Dog: In 9, he's the one who saves Kabal (his former Black Dragon cohort) from dying and surgically implants him with his mask and breathing apparatus after Kintaro roasted him alive.
- Additionally, when he heard of Kabal's apparent demise at the hands of Mavado, it is said that he would have most likely hounded the Red Dragon leader and had his head if not for his post in Outworld as the leader of Shao Kahn's armies. Kabal had long since forsaken the ways of the Black Dragon.
- In X, he isn't happy when he finds out that Erron Black killed his fellow Black Dragon Kobra.
- Playing Both Sides: Does this rather shamelessly in X, selling weapons to everyone in the Outworld Civil War. Neither Kotal Kahn nor Mileena are happy about this.
- Psycho for Hire
- Race Lift: After Trevor Goddard's portrayal in the movie, he was changed from American-Japanese descent in the games to Australian.
- Rolling Attack: The Cannonball attack, in which he tosses himself at the opponent while keeping arms and legs folded into his body.
- Sigil Spam: In Deadly Alliance and Armageddon, the back of his vest sports the emblem of the Black Dragon clan.
- Trademark Favorite Food: According to Richard Divizio (the actor who portrayed Kano in all of the titles using digitized actors), Kano enjoys White Castle hamburgers (it's probable that this is Divizio's favorite meal as well).
Johnny Cage Edit
Debut game: Mortal Kombat (Daniel Pesina)
Other appearances: Mortal Kombat II (Daniel Pesina), Mortal Kombat Trilogy (Chris Alexander), Mortal Kombat 4, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Mortal Kombat: Deception (cameo), Mortal Kombat: Armageddon Mortal Kombat 9 (Jeff Pilson); Mortal Kombat X (Andrew Bowen, English; Mario Castañeda, Mexican Spanish); Mortal Kombat 11 (Mario Castañeda, Mexican Spanish)
Non-game appearances: Mortal Kombat: The Movie (Linden Ashby), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (Chris Conrad), Mortal Kombat: Rebirth/Mortal Kombat: Legacy (Matt Mullins)
John Carlton, better known as Johnny Cage, is a Hollywood movie star. Originally entering the Mortal Kombat tournament to display his fighting skills and prove himself to skeptical movie critics and the movie-viewing public, Cage becomes one of the brave and loyal warriors for Earthrealm.
In Mortal Kombat, When Shang Tsung's island fortress began to crumble because of his defeat to Liu Kang, Raiden saved Johnny and dropped him off at a boat that belonged to the Special Forces Agency near the island. Not long after that, Cage traveled into Outworld to join the other Earthrealm warriors in MK2. Defeated, Kahn ordered his forces to kill the Earth warriors. Johnny’s comrades were fortunate to make their way back to Earthrealm. Johnny, however, was not so lucky and was killed by Kahn's forces. Raiden then resurrected him temporally during the events of Trilogy and permanently during the events of MK4. However, Johnny was killed once again during the final assault on the Deadly Alliance's Tarkatan warriors.
Later, he is, as well as many other warriors, restored to life one more time by Onaga and made into his slave. Some time later, he was freed from this state by Ermac and the spirit of Liu Kang, in time to join the Armageddon.
Mortal Kombat 9 sees Cage have a much more... err... outgoing personality, but it also makes him much more heroic, being a genuine part of the heroes' team. He also serves as a sort of Audience Surrogate, as he's one of the few normal humans amidst the Fantasy Kitchen Sink cast. By the time Mortal Kombat X he is still bombastic but noticeably more powerful and mature, and has become: the new Champion of Earth, Sonya Blade's estranged husband, Cassie Cage's proud father, and the Team Dad for the new Special Forces.
- Arrogant Kung Fu Guy
- Back From the Dead: Constantly. Lampshaded when, prior to joining the battle against the Deadly Alliance, he was (unwillingly) starting to film Mortal Kombat: The Death of Johnny Cage, in which he was repeatedly killed and brought back to life.
- Averted in the new timeline: he was one of the few heroic characters to survive the story mode in MK9.
- Badass Boast: From the story mode of Mortal Kombat 9:
Johnny Cage: "Most people think my films just use a lot of special effects and wire work; they don't realise, I am the special effects."
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: He and Sonya, in both the movie and the new timeline.
- Born Lucky: While other kombatants can justify their special powers for they went through a Training From Hell, some are Physical Gods themselves, and the rest are sorcerers and Ninjas/McNinjas; Johnny Cage has no background for how he got his energy blasts, he's simply naturally gifted, in MK9 it is made even more obvious how his powers are so natural, Johnny initially is in disbelief about the whole Mortal Kombat and other realms thing, and yet he doesn't mention or see his powers as being equally unbelievable.
- The funny thing in all this is the whole reason he's there is because of people calling him out and saying he's all flash with no substance. He insists that his energy powers are legit and will prove it at the Mortal Kombat tournament... yet thinks nothing of them in spite of that.
- Brainwashed: To serve Onaga in Deception.
- Butt Monkey: Rendered as such after Mortal Kombat II, likely as punishment for his actor (Daniel Pesina) advertising a rival game, Blood Storm, while in full costume. Even the dev team doesn't take him seriously. In the new timeline, however, he slowly but surely shows his actual worth.
- Casanova Wannabe: In the first chapter of MK9:
"I'm taking you down, I'm taking you down, I'm taking you out, and [looks at Sonya] I'm taking you out... for dinner."
- Cool Shades: While they were always part of his character, with official art always depicting him wearing shades, he only started wearing them during fights from Trilogy onwards.
- In the first movie, he values them more than any worldly possession. Then Goro broke them, and the rest is history:
"Those were five-hundred-dollar sunglasses, asshole!"
- In his MK9 victory pose, his shades break in half. No problem: he just takes out a brand new pair and puts it on!
- Sunglasses At Night
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass
- A Day in the Limelight: In Mortal Kombat 9, he's the focus of the first chapter. Same happens in Mortal Kombat X.
- Deadpan Snarker: Seems to be this at first, in tone with his movie self, as seen in MK9.
- Establishing Character Moment: In Mortal Kombat 9, he spends his first few fights goofing off, preening and grandstanding, hitting on Sonya, and generally making an ass of himself... but is horrified when Shang Tsung demands he "finish" a fallen opponent.
- Kangaroos Represent Australia: He turns into one to kick his opponent off screen as an Animality in MK Trilogy.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: Much to his fans' chagrin, in the first storyline. Armageddon tries to take the "fake" part out, by having him being the first of the heroes to see Shinnok back into the scene, and then rallying the band of heroes for the final battle. But since we don't know much about the game's story, we just leave what happened between this point and the all-out battle to imagination. By the time the new timeline rolls, though, he's genuinely more heroic.
- Fighting with Chucks
- Full-Name Basis
- Good Parents: Cassie pretty much adores him, and he's an excellent dad to her. Good thing, since Sonya falls squarely into Parents as People.
- Guile Hero: Surprisingly, he can be seen as this. He can think pretty well under fire, quickly devise emergency plans, and can sometimes even use his charm to his advantage.
- Groin Attack: His "Split Punch" signature attack, a special move where he does the splits and plants his fist directly into his opponent's balls (or cooch, in the new timeline).
- Also, the first part of his X-Ray move is a three-punch combo to the groin. Ouch.
- In X, he retains the attack itself and, while he loses the X-Ray, he gains two Brutalities where he basically can behead people or make their eyes pop out via punching them in the crotch.
- Hair of Gold: Up until MK4 he was a brunette; Deadly Alliance onward made him blond, but he went back to dark hair in 9 and X.
- Half the Man He Used To Be: His Torso Rip fatality.
- Hot Dad: In X, he's aged beautifully. Jacqui even comments on how much of a Silver Fox he is, annoying the Hell out of Cassie.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold/Took a Level In Jerkass: Zig-Zagged, especially come MK9
- His bloated ego reaches Joke Character proportions in MK9.
- During Jax's chapter in 9, Johnny, Raiden, and Jax find themselves stuck at the Kombat Armory, when he probes Jax's relationship with Sonya. Johnny, being himself, makes his intentions with Sonya a little less than subtle. This prompts Jax to challenge Johnny to a fight right there and then. However, afterwards, he brushes it off later and even good-naturedly jokes about it after they find Sonya.
- In X he's as sarcastic and hot-blooded as ever... but he's also a quite loving father to Cassie (and implied to have done the most of her raising) and a quite cool Team Dad to Cassie's teammates. Heck, when Sonya totally loses it on Kano in her Story Chapter, Johnny is the only one who can talk her down from killing him.
- Johnny McCoolname: His real name is John Carlton.
- The Lancer of the Five-Man Band
- Meaningful Name: It's probably more than coincidence that Kage in japanese means shadow and Johnny Cage is the master of many "shadow" techniques himself.
- The Messiah: Of all people, Johnny starts showing shades of this in the timeframe leading up to Armageddon, especially thanks to Raiden's corruption.
- Off with His Head: His classic Fatality, in which Cage delivers a savage uppercut that tears his opponent's head off.
- The intro of MK9 inverts this: he's shown decapitated.
- Papa Wolf: To Cassie, and to a smaller degree his protegées in the Special Forces.
- Person as Verb: Tried this with himself in Shaolin Monks and MK9. "You just got Caged" Hilariously, he's unhappy when Cassie turns the tables on him
- Power Incontinence: His ending in 9. His body begins to emit large, destructive bursts of energy in uncontrollable spasms, and neither Raiden nor Nightwolf are able to soothe them. Eventually, Raiden takes Johnny Cage to Seido to control his powers, which will result in him becoming more powerful than humanly imaginable.
- Pungeon Master: In the Movie, he is particularly prone to Incredibly Lame Puns, to the point that he's basically the comic relief of the film. He's even more pun-addicted in X.
- Red Herring Shirt: In 9, he lives.
- The Rival: Of Goro. Becomes canon after the movie.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: His alts. in 4, Deadly Alliance, Armageddon, and 9.
- Ship Tease: Especially in the first movie, towards Sonya. In MK9, he tries to conquer her. X shows that, while they did get married and have Cassie, they've gone through quite a bitter divorce. And they set on Amicable Exes at the very end.
- Speed Echoes: Several of his Shadow moves have this effect.
- Team Dad: Surprisingly, he's a mentor figure to Cassie's teammates.
- Unfazed Everyman: During his chapter in 9's story mode. Also doubles as the Audience Surrogate for those new to the series, as he's just as out-of-the-loop as newcomers probably will be.
- Walking Shirtless Scene
Sonya Blade Edit
Debut game: Mortal Kombat (Elizabeth Malecki)
Other appearances: Mortal Kombat II (cameo), Mortal Kombat 3 (Kerri Hoskins), Mortal Kombat 4 (Kerri Hoskins), Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Mortal Kombat: Deception, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (Dana Lyn Baron), Mortal Kombat 9 (Dana Lyn Baron); Mortal Kombat X (Tricia Helfer, English; Rebeca Patiño, Mexican Spanish); Mortal Kombat 11 (Rhonda Rousey, English)
Non-game appearances: Mortal Kombat: The Movie (Bridgette Wilson), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (Sandra Hess), Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm (Olivia d'Abo), Mortal Kombat: Rebirth/Mortal Kombat: Legacy (Jeri Ryan)
A member of a top United States Special Forces unit known as Outer World Investigation Agency (OIA), Lt. Sonya Blade is a beautiful, stern, tough-as-nails Earthrealm warrior. Her impulsiveness is catalyzed by her superior and good friend Major Jackson "Jax" Briggs. Sonya represents a very emancipated and headstrong woman, but for all her stubbornness and pride, she deeply cares about the lives of her friends and comrades.
Sonya and her team were in hot pursuit of Kano at the time of the original game; after following him to a remote island they were ambushed by Tsung's personal guard. To keep her team safe, she agreed to compete in the Mortal Kombat tournament. Shang Tsung, however, had no intention of fulfilling his end of the bargain and had her unit killed. After Tsung's defeat, she and Kano were taken prisoner to Outworld to appease the emperor, Shao Kahn, only to be later rescued by her comrade Jax. The two privates were among the few chosen warriors left to oppose the invasion of Earthrealm in MK3. Sonya meet her old nemesis Kano on top of a skyscraper during the invasion; in the fight that ensued she managed to hurl Kano off the roof to his apparent death.
In Mortal Kombat 4, Sonya and Jax, having formed the Outworld Investigation Agency, team up with Raiden and Liu Kang to free Edenia from the Fallen Elder God Shinnok's grasp and prevent him from coming to Earth, as well as to capture the last known member of the Black Dragon Clan, Jarek, who apparently dies in his attempt to kill Sonya.
Years later, Sonya would once again heed Raiden's call, this time to travel back to Outworld -- for Sonya, this coincided with her search for two missing OIA operatives, Cyrax and Kenshi. She is killed in a fight with the Deadly Alliance and its minions, only to be resurrected and enslaved by Onaga, along her fallen comrades. She would eventually be freed from Onaga's control by Ermac and Liu Kang, in time to participate in the events of Armageddon.
Mortal Kombat 9 sees Sonya being pretty much the same tough lady she's always been, although her pursuit of Kano is massively derailed by the events of the game, making her take a much more active role in the defense of Earthrealm and being among the very few survivors of the cast. In Mortal Kombat X she and Johnny got married and had a daughter named Cassie, but as said above they went through a bitter divorce, in no small part due to her being too Married to the Job to really be able to be with them; still, she organizes the Special Forces to defend Earthrealm from the Outworld and is implied to have reconciled herself with her family.
- Action Girl: Evolves into an Action Mom in X
- Arch Enemy: To Kano, since he killed one of Sonya's partners before the series started.
- Big Badass Bird of Prey: Sonya can morph into an hawk to finish her opponents as her Animality in MK3.
- Biker Babe: In her Arcade Ladder ending from 9.
- Brainwashed: To serve Onaga in Deception.
- In Malibu Comics' non-canon Mortal Kombat series, Sonya was kidnapped and hypnotized by Reptile into marrying Shao Kahn.
- Happens to her in the X comics too, "courtesy" of the Blood Code.
- The Chick of the Five-Man Band
- Combat Stilettos
- A Day in the Limelight:
- Disappeared Dad: According to 9, she's been searching for her MIA father, although she fears that he might already be dead. In her Arcade Ladder ending, she encounters a ghost claiming to be that of her father, but it's unknown if the apparition is real or if it's an aftereffect of her PTSD in the aftermath of the battle with Shao Kahn.
- Dual-Wielding: In Deadly Alliance and Armageddon, she could use a pair of kali sticks in battle.
- Everyone Loves Blondes: At least Johnny would like to think so.
- Fan Service Pack: She actually had a head start on the other gals in 3, but still managed to remain relatively modest. This trope is more prevalent in 9, though; it's downplayed in X, but still there.
- First-Name Basis: Hardly anyone refers to her using her last name.
- Good Looking Privates: She's a Colonel, and a General in X. She's also beautiful, and in X she's in her late 40's/maybe even 50's and still looks barely older than her young adult daughter.
- Green Thumb: In her friendship in Ultimate MK3, Sonya would salute and flowers would grow all over the floor.
- Hair of Gold: One of the good guys, and with blond hair to match.
- Half The Woman She Used To Be: Her fate in the Battle of Armageddon.
- Hot Mom: Cassie got her lovely looks from Sonya.
- Kiss of Death: Her main fatality; it comes in fiery, crushing, poisonous, and slicing varieties. In a variant on the trope, she blows her kisses at her foes.
- Mama Bear: Even when she and Cassie aren't as close as they could be, no one shall disrespect her daughter. Kano tried it and got choked to near death, and if not for Johnny, Sonya would've killed him.
- Murderous Thighs: One of her fatalities was a leg scissor hold that literally cut the opponent in half.
- Neck Snap: A move from 4. She also uses a variant with her legs to break Kano's neck in one of the movie versions.
- No Flow in CGI: Her ponytail in Mortal Kombat 4.
- Parents as People: In X. Much as she loves Cassie, she has grown extremely distant from her and Johnny due to her duty to defend the world, and even now she often treats Cassie more as a soldier than as her child.
- Platonic Life Partners: She and Jax, very much so. Jax and his wife Vera even named gave their daughter the name Jacqueline Sonya Briggs to honor her.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: To Jax.
- She Fu: Her signature move starts with her doing a backflip, grabbing the opponent between her legs, and throwing them.
- In both 4 and 9 she has a fatality where she does a handstand and tears the opponent in half with her legs.
- She's Got Legs
- Ship Tease: Hinted in various media, starting with the first movie, between her and Johnny Cage. MK9 has Johnny trying to conquer her - and in X, it's shown that they did get married (and have Cassie), only to divorce. They may or may not be back together at the end.
- The Smurfette Principle: She was the only female character in the original game. She is also the only remaining female at the end of the story mode in MK9.
- Spam Attack: Her Bicycle Kick move.
- Statuesque Stunner
- Strong Family Resemblance: Cassie may be closer to Johnny, personality wise, but looks-wise she's pretty much a younger Sonya. Many people comment on it.
- Tall, Blonde and Bishoujo: At first. She largely gets over it, but still has her moments. It's back in X as her very hard work has made her very jaded, but she slowly defrosts again.
- Thicker Than Water: Sonya is named after one of Ed Boon's sisters, as he confirms in a video interview in the special edition of Deception.
- Tsundere: In her interactions with Johnny, as part of the Ship Tease. Better seen in the movie, where she mostly acts annoyed at him, but Everyone Can See It.
- Unlimited Wardrobe:
- Bare Your Midriff: The only consistent form of Stripperiffic her costume has.
- Fan Service: Her shirt and pants tearing in exactly the right places.
- Good Looking Privates
- Hotter and Sexier: She has a much more revealing outfit in MK9 than in previous games. It's still modest compared to the other females though, and it's kinda toned down in X.
- Nice Hat: Usually present in her Good Looking Privates-themed outfits.
- Painted-On Pants: Her earlier appearances.
- Stripperiffic: Averted; her costumes are way more modest than the other females.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: X shows that, even when she and Johnny are divorced, if he truly needs help she'll pretty much stomp on anyone who hurts him. In Chapter 5 Quan Chi almost killed the guy and also almost made him a Revenant, and Sonya then wiped the floor with him.
- Woman in Black: Her default attire in 9, although she's a large subversion.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: During her rooftop battle with Kano in 3, Sonya feigned defeat in order to lure him to the edge of the building and throw him off of it.
Liu Kang Edit
Debut game: Mortal Kombat (Ho Sung Pak)
Other appearances: Mortal Kombat II (Ho Sung Pak), Mortal Kombat 3 (Eddie Wong), Mortal Kombat 4 (Joshua Y. Tsui), Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (cameo), Mortal Kombat: Deception, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (Tom Choi), Mortal Kombat 9 (Tom Choi); Mortal Kombat X (Tom Choi, English; Óscar Flores, Mexican Spanish);
Non-game appearances: Mortal Kombat: The Movie/Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (Robin Shou), Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm (Brian Tochi).
Known as "The Immortal Champion of Mortal Kombat," Liu Kang is one of the best warriors of Earthrealm, and has beaten many powerful foes to prove his valor. Throughout the years, Liu Kang has been portrayed as the main hero of the series, becoming champion after the events of the first game.
Coming home from Tsung's Island after defeating both Goro and the sorcerer, he found many of his fellow Shaolin monks killed in a vicious attack by a Tarkatan horde. Enraged, Liu Kang decided to travel to Outworld alongside Raiden and the other Earthrealm warriors. At the Outworld tournament he met Kitana, and began to fall in love with her. Liu eventually fought Shao Kahn, overpowering the emperor. Shortly after, during the events of Mortal Kombat 3, he found himself the primary target of Kahn's extermination squads. Kung Lao, who went against Shao Kahn, was nearly killed by an powerful spell. An enraged Liu Kang challenged the Emperor, and after the final battle, he defeated Shao Kahn again, forcing him and his forces to retreat back to Outworld.
Years later, upon learning that Kitana's home realm of Edenia had been captured by the fallen Elder God Shinnok, he set out on his own to save her, but he was unsuccessful. Liu Kang returned to Earth, where he began gathering Earth's warriors to save the realm and assist his mentor, Raiden. Eventually, Liu Kang confronted Shinnok and emerged victorious, effectively ending his occupation of Edenia. Liu Kang returned to the Shaolin Temples, believing he has lost Kitana forever. However, the Edenian Princess appeared through a portal from Edenia and thanked Liu Kang for all he had done. She offered him a chance to join her at the throne of Edenia. However, due to the responsibilities as a Mortal Kombat Champion, Liu Kang was forced to decline her offer.
Liu Kang went on to enjoy relative peace for many years afterward. However, the Deadly Alliance would make itself known on Earth by its successful assassination of Liu Kang. His mutilated body was discovered by Kung Lao, and he was laid to rest at the Wu Shi Academy, where a shrine was built to honor the former Champion.
His rest was short however, as a corrupted Raiden restored the monk as a living corpse, which went on a rampage and proceded to slaughter many of Liu Kang's fellow Shaolin monks. Liu Kang's spirit wasn't technically responsible, but he couldn't help but feel responsibile for the actions perpetrated by his corpse. Eventually, he defeated his body, stopping it from doing further harm.
In Mortal Kombat 9, Liu Kang once again is Raiden's chosen champion to participate in the Mortal Kombat tournament. The Story Mode also changes Liu Kang's personality a bit, showing him as more opnly emotional than in the original timeline and even giving him a slightly cheeky sense of humor. However, he is brutally put through the wringer in-story, and becomes increasingly cynical and desperate... leading him to attack Raiden... which is followed by to his death and being turned into one of Quan Chi's Revenants. In Mortal Kombat X, he is still under Quan Chi's control alongside many others, including Kitana and Kung Lao; by the end of the game, as Quan Chi is killed by Scorpion before the process can be undone, he and Kitana remain as Revenants, and end up becoming the Ruling Couple of the Netherrealm.
- The Ace: He's this in the original timeline since he's handsome, kindhearted, the best warrior in the world, etc. He becomes a Broken Ace in the new timeline, though.
- A God Am I:In his ending in 9, he demands to take Raiden's place as the new Thunder God and defender of Earthrealm.
- Amazon Chaser: He's impressed by Kitana's beauty and fighting skills. Especially in the remake, where the first thing he says to her is how good she is at fighting, then ask her to show him more.
- Anvil on Head: In one of his fatalities in MK3 and the DC crossover, a Mortal Kombat arcade cabinet drops and crush his opponent.
- Arch Enemy: Shang Tsung.
- Badass Long Hair
- Bare-Fisted Monk: For the most part.
- Battle Couple: He and Kitana.
- Broken Ace: The new timeline shows that even when Liu Kang begins as a kind young man who's also the most powerful warrior on Earthrealm and the protegé of a God, he's bound to suffer a lot since this means that he'll always have to put his own desires and humanity to dedicate himself to his role as MK Champion. And this time, Liu Kang cannot keep his Incorruptible Pure Pureness: the horrible shit that happens to him in the Story Mode completely breaks his heart and mind, and even the Arcade Mode endings from 9 implies that he can potentially embrace desired for world domination. In 9 he gets so broken and angry over all the crap that happened that he goes through a Faith Heel Turn and then ends up dying. He does not get better in X, having become one of the Revenants... and then the literal Emperor of the Netherrealm alias Hell
- Bruce Lee Clone: He even had his own in-games vocals when the other men all had the same.
- Celibate Hero: He does love Kitana, but passed up on her offer of ruling Edenia with her after Mortal Kombat 4, because of his status as the Champion of Earthrealm.
- Despair Event Horizon / Trauma Conga Line: : All of his friends save for Cage and Sonya (and including both his best friend and his girlfriend) die, he finds his faith in Raiden completely shattered, and dies a horrible death when he snaps and attacks the latter out of rage.
- A Day in the Limelight:
- Dragons Up the Yin-Yang: One of his fatalities in MKII, in which he turns into a Chinese Dragon and consumes the upper body of his opponent. This fatality was turned into an Animality in MK3 and back into a normal fatality in MK4.
- Drunk with Power: In Shang Tsung's Arcade Ending in 9, he becomes this after successfully taking Raiden's place as a god and Protector of Earthrealm, and turning into a power-mad tyrant.
- Everythings Funkier With Disco: In his Friendship in MKII, a disco ball comes down from the top of the screen as he starts to dance.
- Faith Heel Turn: He does this in 9, when he starts to believe that Raiden's visions are turning him insane. This culminates with him completely turning against the Elder God, when he tells Liu Kang that the Big Bad must be allowed to win... after an horrifying Trauma Conga Line that totally broke Liu Kang's heart and soul; it leads him to crossing the Despair Event Horizon and to his own Accidental Murder
- In Arcade Mode, he does this again in a much more substantial fashion, upending Raiden as the protector of Earthrealm, and becoming a Drunk with Power tyrant.
- Famous Ancestor: Like his friend Kung Lao, Liu Kang is also descended from The Great Kung Lao.
- Funny Bruce Lee Noises
- Killed Off for Real: At the beginning of Deadly Alliance in the original timeline, and at the end of Mortal Kombat 9, as well.
- The Hero of the Five-Man Band
- Our Hero Is Dead: The very instant Shang Tsung and Quan Chi got the jump on Liu Kang was when fans realized Deadly Alliance was going to be a Wham! Episode of major proportions. And It Got Worse from there. And it happens again in 9, but in different circumstances: he completely loses it, attacks Raiden in anger, and a mix of their attacks kills him.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: With Kung Lao.
- Late Arrival Spoiler: If you plan to play Deception or Armageddon, (or even 9, considering what the intro shows) bear in mind that he got killed at the beginning of Deadly Alliance and Came Back Wrong as a zombie.
- Impossible Shadow Puppets: His MK3's Friendship has Liu Kang using his fingers to make a shadow puppet of the MK dragon.
- Jack of All Stats
- Lightning Bruiser: In 9, he's the second fastest character in the game behind Kabal.
- Martial Arts Headband: Liu Kang wore a red one starting from MKII onward.
- Martial Pacifist: Before MKII.
- The Messiah --> Broken Messiah: In the reboot. Ends up as a Fallen Hero and arguably a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds in X
- Mr. Fanservice
- Playing with Fire: His dragon-shaped fiery projectiles attacks.
- Ret Canon: The affection between him and Kitana was inserted into the games after the success of the first film:
- In his MK3 ending, Kitana approaches him personally after all is said and done and thanks him for helping her save Edenia and Earthrealm.
- In his ending in 4, Kitana offers him the chance to rule by her side in Edenia and presumably other rewards. He politely declines, choosing to respect his duties as Earthrealm's champion. Then Liu Kang gets killed at the beginning of Deadly Alliance.
- In MK9, he spares Kitana's life after he defeats her in their first battle. This plays a part of Kitana's High Heel Face Turn (the other being finding out about Mileena), and there's an affection growing on both of them to the other. Unfortunately, after the group's battle with Sindel, Kitana is mortally wounded and passes away in Liu Kang's arms.
- Screaming Warrior
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Constantly has to bicker with Kung Lao about this regarding Kitana in Shaolin Monks. Gets a brief nod in 9... and one from Mileena in the X Trowers/Vs. Modes.
- Spam Attack: His Flying Bicycle Kick.
- Spirit Advisor: Serves as this to Ermac in Deception. After Ermac helps free his friends, he tags along with Kitana for a bit (as their strong connection keeps him tethered to life) before Nightwolf volunteers to be his spiritual anchor in Armageddon. In an example of role reversal, he also serves as this to his former master Bo' Rai Cho in his Deception ending, complete with a Rousing Speech.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Both timelines make him and Kitana into this. Until X, in a way
- Tall, Dark and Handsome
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Sort of. Despite still being labeled a Fatality, his butterfly kick/uppercut finishing move in MK1 didn't show the screen darkening like the other characters' finishing moves did, inferring that it was nonlethal in comparison as an example of his Shaolin beliefs. This was changed in MKII's variation of this particular Fatality, and he's been just as graphic as other competitors since.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: He has been shirtless for almost all of the series, the only exceptions being MK4 and parts of MK9. Averted in X unless one uses the MK1 skin.
- Warrior Monk
- Amazing Technicolor Population: He displays an unhealty skin color combination of green and gray.
- Back From the Dead: His soul is in Outworld, but his body just kept on fighting without him.
- Came Back Wrong: His corpse, revived by Raiden. Subverted with his soul, which retains his true essence.
- Best Served Cold: Shows up in the Armageddon intro to confront Shang Tsung, his neck still snapped from when Shang killed him. After snapping his neck back, it's on. If 9 is any indication, Zombie Liu Kang managed to kill Shang Tsung and prevent him from reaching the top of Argus' Pyramid.
- Chained by Fashion: By learning the secrets of an ancient cult known as the Houan sect, Raiden was able to use Necromancy and his lightning powers to reanimate Liu Kang's body with the help of bloody ceremonial chains. Unfortunately, these chains are not used as weapons in gameplay (they're only seen being wielded by Liu Kang in the intro to Armageddon).
- Demonic Possession: Used as fatality in Deception. He transforms his body into a spiritual state and enters the victim's body, possessing it. A second later, the victim rips their own head off to reveal his head replacing it before bowing down.
- Everything's Deader with Zombies
- The Undead
- Adaptational Villainy: In X, after the horrifying shit that he went through and his revival via Quan Chi, he has become Raiden's Arch Enemy.
- Broken Ace: As explained above he began as a genuine hero, was horrifyingly broken in many senses, and ended up as a Fallen Hero. Under all of his evil actions in X, there's a deeply shattered and angry man who lost everything at some point, then started reveling on his increasingly cruel actions.
- The Conqueror: His (at least semi-canon) arcade ending in X says that he explored the Netherrealm on his own and basically became its leader after kicking every ass avaliable there.
- The Emperor: At the end of X, he and Kitana are the rulers of the Netherrealm aka Hell..
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Even in his darkest times, Liu Kang's love for Kitana remains. At the end of X, they rule the Netherrealm together.
- Evil Feels Good: Due to his anger towards Raiden.
- Face-Heel Turn: All the way.
- Rage Against the Mentor: To Raiden, holy shit.
Debut game: Mortal Kombat (Carlos Pesina)
Other appearances: Mortal Kombat II (Carlos Pesina), Mortal Kombat Trilogy (Carlos Pesina), Mortal Kombat 4, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (Carlos Pesina), Mortal Kombat: Deception, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero (Michael Garvey), Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, (Richard Epcar), Mortal Kombat 9 (Richard Epcar): Mortal Kombat X (Richard Epcar, English; Gerardo Reyero, Mexican Spanish dub); Injustice: Gods Among Us 2 (Richard Epcar, English; Santos Alberto, Mexican Spanish dub) : Mortal Kombat 11 (Richard Epcar, English; Gerardo Reyero, Mexican Spanish dub);
Non-game appearances: Mortal Kombat: The Movie (Christopher Lambert), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (James Remar), Mortal Kombat: Conquest (Jeffrey Meek), Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm (Clancy Brown), Mortal Kombat: Legacy (Ryan Robbins)
Raiden is the eternal God of Thunder and former protector of Earthrealm. Being a god, he possesses many supernatural abilities and a radically different outlook on life than a mere mortal.
When Earthrealm was young, Raiden was its protector. With the aid of the Elder Gods, Raiden managed to defeat Shinnok, a rogue Elder God who wished to rule it, and managed to banish him in the Netherealm. Some time later, Shang Tsung invited Raiden to participate in Mortal Kombat. Aware of the threat posed by this tournament to the future of Earthrealm, Raiden took human form to compete. One year later, the Thunder God found that he had no choice but to accept Shang Tsung's offer of Mortal Kombat in Outworld. When Shao Kahn reached the Earthrealm by merging it with the Outworld, Raiden was able to protect the souls of his Choosen Warriors, but couldn't join the fight himself. Following Liu Kang's defeat of Shao Kahn, Raiden and his warriors again entered battle when Shinnok escaped the Netherealm to once more wage war against the Gods; when the Forces of Light emerged successful, he was granted the status of Elder God and turned over his position as Earthrealm's protector to Fujin.
As an Elder God, Raiden could not interfere when Shang Tsung and Quan Chi killed Liu Kang many years later. Disgusted at his peers for their refusal to intervene, he renounced his position as an Elder, gathering his warriors to stop the Deadly Alliance. This time, disaster struck the heroes. Raiden confronted the two sorcerers in front of the Soulnado chamber, but was defeated by the Alliance as Onaga, the Dragon King, entered the scene. In a desperate measure, Raiden released his godly essence, the effect of which was a single, massive explosion that apparently killed him but did not harm Onaga. While Raiden's essence soon gathered again in the Earthrealm, since his essence was corrupted because of Onaga, he had now became furious with the way Earthrealm's inhabitants had treated their own realm. He started by punishing Shujinko for his unwilling role in the Dragon King's return.
His doings on Deception caught the attention of the Forces of Evil; Raiden joined their ranks during the Armageddon in an attempt to secretly uncover and prevent any plans that could harm the Earthrealm.
Raiden is the linchpin of the entire plot of Mortal Kombat 9. His Dark Self sends him a vision from Armaggedon and a cryptic message: ''he must win. In the present, Raiden tries to interpret it as best as he can through the tournament... but his constant failures to do so lead to the deaths of near all of his allies - including his star pupil, Liu Kang. He finally gets it right, defeats Shao Kahn aka the one that Dark Raiden referred to, and also manages to destroy him.
In Mortal Kombat X, Raiden remains as the Protector of Earthrealm and must face the consequences of what took place in 9, as he and his remaining warriors face off against Shinnok (who wants to corrupt the Jinsei aka the source of Earthrealm's energy) and get involved in the Outworld Civil War. At the end, Raiden purifies the Jinsei that Shinnok had corrupted... but as a "side-effect" he becomes Dark Raiden again, vowing to quench any invasions and go on the offensive rather than just defend Earthrealm.
From what it has been seen in Mortal Kombat 11 (as of February 2019), he's still corrupted and Hell-bent on protecting Earth at the cost of everything. Which Shinnok quite enjoyed and praised before being reduced to a mere head.
- All Asians Wear Conical Straw Hats
- All of Them: Raiden is a master of all 750 variants of Jujitsu.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: His unlockable second costume in 9 is Dark!Raiden.
- Badass Cape: Gets a pimpin' one in Deadly Alliance and the DC crossover.
- Battle Aura: In the first game, 4, Deadly Alliance and X (in two Variations), his body constantly generates lightning bolts.
- Big Good: Deconstructed, actually. He does his best, but is NOT unfallible and in fact his own mistakes drive the plot to really dark phases.
- A Day in the Limelight:
- The Cameo: He appears as an unlockable character in Unreal Championship 2 The Liandri Conflict (with Shao Kahn serving as the announcer), NFL Blitz, and NBA Jam: Tournament Edition (alongside Shinnok), as well as making a bonus round cameo in a pinball machine, Bally's 1994 World Cup Championship. He later shows up in Injustice: Gods Among Us 2.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially in X
- Eleventh-Hour Superpower: In the middle of a Book Ends moment in 9, he's re-empowered by the elder gods, and he manages to put the Big Bad in his place. Sadly, this doesn't do anything gameplay wise, aside from making his voice distorted.
- Enemy Mine: In the intro for Deception, he briefly joins Shang Tsung and Quan Chi when attempting to stop the Dragon King.
- Everything's Better with Samurai: The motif behind his alt. in Deadly Alliance (which would be passed on to his darker persona in Deception). Among other things, his pants are replaced by hakama and a katana is fashioned to his waist. The costume also reveals Raiden to have Long-Haired Pretty Boy, White-Haired Pretty Boy hair (it's somewhat noticeable in his default costume, but you have to squint).
- Fallen Hero: Liu Kang sees him as this in 9. Happens for real at the end of X.
- God in Human Form
- God of Good
- Guest Fighter: He and Younger Sub-Zero, in Injustice: Gods Among Us 2.
- Guilt Complex: Gets one in 9. He constantly misinterprits the message his future-self sent and doesn't realize what it really meant until the final chapter. By then, his attempts to change the original timeline resulted in It Got Worse for many characters. He realises this is all his fault. It's not much better in X, where he deeply regrets all the shit that has happened.
- Hammerspace: He pulls his staff out of nowhere.
- Heroic BSOD/Despair Event Horizon: Seems to have crossed this threshold in 9 with the deaths of most his allies (including Liu Kang, whom he accidentally killed himself), the futility of his actions to prevent Armageddon (including getting called out by Liu Kang), and the Elder Gods turning their backs on him due to technicalities. He was about to strike up an alliance with Quan Chi, for Fujin's sake!
- Hot God: His human form is that of a very tall, very white-haired, VERY hunky middle-aged man.
- Hurting Hero: It's hard not to feel sorry for Raiden during the events of Mortal Kombat 9. His actions slowly keep making things worse for Earthrealm, the heroes die one by one under his watch, and the Elder Gods seem to be pulling a major The Gods Must Be Lazy trip. By the end of the game, his actions narrowly prevented Armageddon from happening, but at the cost of practically all of Earthrealm's champions. Even Liu Kang, Raiden's favored champion, is dead (although unintentionally) by his own hand at the end, after having first turned on him for the tragedies he so far caused. He carries the guilt of his actions throughout the entire game and you can tell it takes its toll. By the game's ending, he's emotionally exhausted. And The Stinger at the end just makes it even worse. Seriously, the guy probably needs a hug badly when all's said and done.
- Idiot Ball: A glaring one in Mortal Kombat 9 has Raiden standing back and doing nothing as Lin Kuei cyber-ninjas attack Sub-Zero and take him away, even going as far as to stop Smoke from helping out. This is despite the fact that, in a nearly identical situation involving Smoke, Raiden didn't hesitate to blast all of the cyber-ninjas with lightning, taking them out and saving Smoke. He stated that if he got involved that it would make the situation worse, but even then that was a weak excuse... especially considering his attempts to not intervene in the game's events were only making things worse.
- In-Series Nickname: In 9, Nightwolf (one of the few spiritually aware Earthrealm dwellers; he's apparently communed with Raiden a few times in the past) occasionally refers to him as Haokah, the spirit of thunder and lightning in Lakota mythology.
- Large Ham: Especially in the first movie.
- Large and In Charge: Second-heaviest of the kombatants at 350 pounds. Goro has him beat by 200 pounds. He is also 7 feet tall according to canon.
- Late Arrival Spoiler: Same warning as with Liu Kang. If you plan to play Armageddon, remember that Raiden became Darker and Edgier.
- Megaton Punch: One of his fatalities is an explosive uppercut that literally blows his enemies into pieces.
- Mentors: To Liu Kang and Kung Lao. Perhaps most evident in the movie, the DC crossover, and 9. In a way he also is one for the second generation in X, though they get along better with Team Dad Johnny Cage.
- Mr. Fanservice
- My Self! What have I done?: After he accidentally fries Liu Kang in self defense in 9.
- Nice Hat: An iconic feature of the character.
- The Obi-Wan
- Out-Gambitted: The ending of 9 shows that Shinnok had been manipulating the events of the story the whole time, and it is strongly implied that he, too, messed with the timeline just as Raiden did (for example, Quan Chi, his servant, was not present in the original events, but features heavily here). So really, Raiden didn't actually make things worse at all, since Future Raiden could not account for the Elder Gods and in retrospect Raiden made barely any significant changes, and his role in the new timeline is actually roughly the same it was in the first.
- Retcon: Raiden's story in the first title was much more self-serving, as he had been invited by Shang Tsung to compete and does so in order to prove mortals are puny when matched with a god. His ending from that game has him overthrow the tournament and turn it into a showcase of the gods (that eventually destroy the world). Later games throw this characterization out the window and instead portray him as a concerned protector who feels he must participate in order to avert disaster (as this happens after the first movie also changed the entire story of the first game).
- Physical God
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: His friendship from MKII has him summoning a miniature version of himself called "Kidd Thunder!"
- Senseless Sacrifice: He sacrifices himself and releases his godly essence into a massive explosion in order to kill Onaga, but despite this, the Dragon King is unharmed.
- His final actions at the end of Armageddon, which set up the events of 9, could also be seen as this, since his past self really does make things MUCH worse before they get any better.
- Shock and Awe
- Ludicrous Gibs: A side effect of many of his electric fatalities.
- Psycho Electric Eel: His Animality from Trilogy.
- Ride the Lightning
- Stripped to the Bone: In one of his DC crossover fatalities, he uses his electric powers to burn off all the opponent's flesh, leaving behind their smoking skeleton.
- Your Head Asplode: As a Fatality. And yes, it's related to electricity.
- Silence, You Fool: In the first movie. And he's a GOOD guy.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Depending on the game continuity or the platform in wich he appears, Raiden is sometimes called Rayden, because of copyright issues as a Shoot'Em Up was also named Raiden, or possibly to keep from confusing him with Raiden from the Fatal Fury series. Curiously, sketches from Deadly Alliance also use the Rayden spelling.
- Teleport Spam
- A Fate Worse Than Death: He inflicts this on Shinnok at the end of MKX. After Cassie defeats his Corrupted form, Raiden beheads him and then presents his still living head to the Netherrealm rulers, Kitana and Liu Kang, warning them that he WILL do that to them if they try invading Earthrealm and even using the Trope Namer.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: His skin is grey.
- Back From the Dead
- Badass Cape: Tattered and torn in Deception and Armageddon.
- The Conqueror: In his Arcade Ending in X, he invades Outworld and forces Kotal Kahn to invoke the Mortal Kombat in self-defense.
- Dark Messiah: After his attempt to destroy Onaga failed, he reconstituted darker, and became disgusted with the humans' doings. Shujinko's screw-up souring him only made things worse.
- In his non-canon Deception ending, he still kills Shujinko, despite that he managed to save the Earthrealm.
- Much, MUCH later, it happens again, at the end of MKX. After the normal Raiden sacrificed himself to purify the Jinsei, his Dark self returns. And as of MK 11 he's still' Dark Raiden.
- Diabolus Ex Machina: His ending in the first game has him destroying the world, constituting a definite What the Hell, Hero?. This predates what would happen six games later.
- Evil Costume Switch/Paint It Black: Both his main and alternate outfits are more or less unchanged from Deadly Alliance, but the color schemes are now primarily darker colors, mostly black.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Or at least, Darker and Edgier Sounds Deeper. His narration in Deception (in his ending, where he kills Shujinko) is a fair bit deeper than that of his narration from Deadly Alliance.
- Face Heel Turn
- Fling A Light Into The Past: Pretty much what he does in MK9. After the events of Armageddon, he sends a message across time and space to his younger self of the first game's timeframe, in order to prevent the repeating of events. He believes that, with proper warning, his past self will not make the same mistakes that brought the fate of the timeline which ends with Armageddon.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: During Deception and onward, combined with Red Eyes, Take Warning.
- God Is Flawed
- Good Is Not Nice: He's an Omnicidal Neutral if anything.
- Heel Realization: Quite possibly the entire reason he attempts to change history in 9, coupled with Shao Kahn's victory. His revival of Liu Kang is one of the key events shown in the flashback message he sends to his past self.
- Idiot Ball: If he would have been more specific with his message, the amount of casualties suffered on the heroes' side would have most likely been avoided.
- Pet the Dog: In X, he makes Scorpion/Hanzo's clan aka the Shirai Ryu the Guardians of the Jinsei.
- Taking You with Me: In Deception, he tries to pull this off against Onaga, but in vain. It actually works straight when used as Fatality in that same game.
- Trailers Always Lie: All promotional art of Raiden in Deception as well as his appearances throughout most of that game's Konquest Mode use his depiction from Deadly Alliance, perhaps as to not spoil the transformation he had undergone there.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Saving the Earth first by resurrecting Liu Kang and making him as a killing zombie, and then by destroying all the other realms, even those which are dangerless for the Earth itself... yeah. And in X, he invades Outworld instead of the other way round.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: One way to see him. He comes forth after getting completely and absolutely tired of the Elder Gods' inaction, and in the new reboot, after horrible shit happens to him and his allies.
Debut game: Mortal Kombat (Daniel Pesina)
Other appearances: Mortal Kombat II (Daniel Pesina), Mortal Kombat 3 (John Turk), Mortal Kombat 4, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Mortal Kombat: Deception (cameo), Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Mortal Kombat 9, Mortal Kombat X (Steven Blum, English; Eduardo "Lalo" Garza, Mexican Spanish)
Non-game appearances: Mortal Kombat: The Movie (Keith Cooke), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (Mark Caso/Sultan Uddin), Mortal Kombat: Conquest (Jon Valera), Mortal Kombat: Rebirth (Richard Dorton) .
A green-garbed, human-like reptilian creature. Reptile is said to be physically hideous and repulsive, but he is renowned for his great stealth, impressive fighting skills and unquestioning loyalty. Reptile has an obsession about finding the last remaining member of his race, the Saurians, and freeing his homeworld Zaterra from Outworld's grasp; While well-meaning and sincere, this obsession is so important to him that it causes him temporary fits of insanity.
After acting as a stealthy bodyguard to Shang Tsung during the first Mortal Kombat, he returned to his master, Shao Kahn, in order to aid him in the Outworld tournament, under the promise that Kahn would release the remaining members of Reptile's race from slavery if he would unquestioningly do his bidding. Such an opportunity arose During the Earthrealm invasion: he and Jade were to recapture an escaped Kitana, killing her if necessary. He did not succeed, as Jade betrayed him to help Kitana. After the war he was bought to Edenia as prisoner, and subsequently exiled to the Netherealm. Reptile grasped the opportunity to join Shinnok's army, hoping for the rogue Elder God to revive his race. Alas, when he found himself on the losing side once more, he decided to resume his service to Shao Kahn.
Because of his state of separation from the other members of his race, especially his matriarch, Reptile had begun to show signs of devolution, becoming progressively more insane and saurian-like. When Reptile wasn't able to protect his master from the recently formed Deadly Alliance, he went into an even greater madness. Desperately looking for a new master, he eventually came across the vampire Nitara, who shared whit him artifacts and knowleges of his lost people, the Zaterran. This was enough to gain Reptile's trust; she send him to fight Cyrax in order to advance her own agenda. Afterward, when Reptile realized that she was going to leave him behind, he tracked her down to an acient incubating chamber, but she was already gone. All that remained was the almost fully incubated egg of Onaga the Dragon King. The egg hatched, a beam of light struck Reptile as the Saurian's body became the vessel for the reincarnated Onaga.
After the fall of the Dragon King at the hand of the Forces of Light, Reptile found himself free from the villain's possession. At the time of the Armageddon, he seems to be part of the Red Dragon clan's human-reptilian hybrids experimentations. It's not clear if he's willing, but this might have been another way, in his eyes, to get his Saurian race to be restored.
Reptile is pretty much the same he's ever been in Mortal Kombat 9: an assassin for Shang Tsung and foot soldier for Outworld. However, in Mortal Kombat X he first serves Mileena, and then defects to Kotal Kahn's side.
- Alien Blood: It's green.
- Anti-Villain (Type II): Even though he sides with the likes of Shao Kahn and Shinnok, all he wants is to revive his extinct reptilian race. Later games suggest that over the centuries since his race's destruction, he's been ever so slowly going mad, and attaches himself to whatever authority figure he can. After Shao Kahn's apparent death, he almost immediately enters Nitara's servitude.
- Bonus Boss: The very first.
- Butt Monkey/Diabolus Ex Machina: With the exceptions of MKII (as it's his first time), Armageddon, and 9, pretty much every other ending of his can be boiled down to "His employers screwed him over":
- In Ultimate 3, he gets a promise from Shao Kahn to revive his race if he kills Kitana. He does it, but Shao Kahn breaks his part of the deal. Reptile kills him, but this denies him the chance to know what his true race is.
- In 4, he gets a denial, again, but this time from Shinnok. He's succeeded during his fight against Earthrealm's warriors, so he talks to Quan Chi in order to make him to convince Shinnok to make Reptile to return back in time to his homeworld before it was destroyed. After an useless speak, Shinnok appears, does a Neck Lift on him, and Reptile's head explodes.
- And, in (surprisingly) the only canonical ending of Deadly Alliance, he finds Cyrax and Nitara's essence, but not any of them. Later, he's caught by an energy cascade around what was a dragon embryo, his body providing a host for Onaga, the Dragon King.
- In Mortal Kombat 9's story mode, despite that he survived the events of the game, he seems to exist solely to get his ass repeatedly kicked by the heroes.
- Averted in Mortal Kombat X, where Kotal Kahn actually sees his worth and treats him well. And in his ending, he's sent to Earth by Kotal to check on its state... and he finds a whole colony of hidden Zaterrans, plus a Queen that he can serve!
- Downloadable Content: In 9, his classic skin from MK1/2/3 and his classic "Tasty Meal" fatality.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: His Chimp Animality from UMK3.
- Flash Step: His Running Serpent.
- Hollywood Acid: His vomit is strong enough to melt someone down into a skeleton in under a minute.
- His fatality in UMK3 has him vomit a gallon of "acid" on his opponent, melting their flesh clear off their skeleton.
- His fatality in 4 and Deadly Alliance has him reducing the enemy's head to a mere skull via acid. In the latter, he eats it.
- In Mortal Kombat X, he spits on the ground and the acid pit swallows and dissolves his screaming opponent's body. In the meantime, he also rips out their head and eats it. And soon, all that remains is the rival's hand.
- Imagine Spot: Due to his waning lucidity, Deadly Alliance's Konquest Mode notes that Reptile's imagination tends to get out of hand frequently, causing him daydream about hypothetical battles (such as he thwarting the Deadly Alliance's assassination attempt on Shao Kahn).
- I'm a Humanitarian: He can swallow an entire human head in one bite, and some of his fatalities has him ripping and eating the opponent's head, chameleon-style.
- Invisibility: He can turn invisible in nearly every game where he's playable.
- It Was a Gift: The Kirehashi blade that he uses in Deadly Alliance and Armageddon is an ancient Raptor weapon offered to him as a sign of peace by Nitara. While this was mostly done to get Reptile's guard down and gain his trust so that Nitara could lure him over to her side, this also suggests that there is some sort of shared history between the people of Zaterra and Vaeternus (the Vampire race is said to be a record keeper of the history of other races, but it's unknown how deep their connection with other species were).
- Jobber: Has a tendency to repeatedly show up during 9's story mode to get beaten up.
- Ki Attacks: His Force Ball, a projectile sphere attack that is mainly used to set up the enemy for a juggle.
- Last of His Kind: Well, he and Khameleon.
- Neck Snap: He has a non-lethal version of this.
- Now Buy the Merchandise: His Friendship in 2, in which he invites the player to "Buy a Reptile doll!"
- Overly Long Tongue
- Red Herring Shirt: In 9, he lives.
- Rolling Attack: In some games, Reptile could curl himself up into a ball and roll forward, knocking the enemy down.
- Secret Character: The first secret character in the series. Later became a regular character.
- Guide Dang It: MK1 required sheer perfection and luck on one specific fight in order to obtain him. Every so often, the game would have him pop out and drop a hint on this. And if you want to know, you are required to be on The Pit stage ("Tip eht fo mottob"), win with a double Flawless Victory ("Perfection is the key") and finish the opponent with your character's fatality ("Fatality is the key") and NOT Block ("Blocking will get you nowhere").
- Luck-Based Mission: Even after all that, a shadow has to fly past the moon for it to work ("Look to la luna"), which only occurs ONCE IN EVERY 6 CONSECUTIVE GAMES! (unless you're cheating on a console version, in whose case you don't get the bonus points)
- Shapeshifter Default Form: Inverted. Reptile prefers to take on a more human form, with his resemblance to a human or humanoid lizard varying from game to game. Yet, members of his race can lose their humanoid appearance when separated for long periods of time from their monarchal leader, with hints that Reptile's temporary insanity is what caused his more bestial appearance in Deadly Alliance.
- The Speechless: In 9, he has no spoken dialogue during the story mode, though he "converses" with Shang Tsung using growls at one point. He does have a few text-based lines in the challenge tower. And then X comes along and he begins talking...
- Sssssnaketalk: He had it in the comics, and it was carried over to 4. For some reason however, he does not have it in Armageddon.
- Undying Loyalty: Mostly due to his status as an Extreme Doormat and his misguided hopes that he'll eventually be rewarded with the revival of his race, but once Reptile enters the service of most his masters, he is violently determined to protect and serve them. Even more pitiable is the fact that what Reptile perceives as failure starts weighing heavily on his conscience. When he's unable to defeat Cyrax at Nitara's command and flees, Reptile (in an odd villainous variation of Heroic Self-Deprecation) starts beating himself up for being unable to carry out the wishes of another master. He finally gets a decent master in X, when he leaves Mileena's service and enters Kotal Kahn's.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: In 4, Deadly Alliance, and Armageddon.
Debut game: Mortal Kombat
Other appearances: Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Mortal Kombat Gold, Mortal Kombat: Deception, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Mortal Kombat 9 (Ken Lally); Mortal Kombat X (Vic Chao, English; Carlos Hernández, Mexican Spanish)
Non-game appearances: Mortal Kombat: The Movie (Kevin Michael Richardson)
Proud member of the half-dragon race, the Shokans, Goro was the undefeated Champion of Mortal Kombat, being able to win nine consecutive tournaments over a span of 500 years. He helped Shang Tsung grow ever closer to achieving Shao Kahn's goal of domination over Earthrealm.
In his tenth title defense, however, he faced and lost to Liu Kang. In the tournament's aftermath he went missing after a battle where he fought Kano, Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade, and was believed to be dead. He would later resurface after Shao Kahn's defeat to lead his fellow Shokans in a war against the Centaurians. Kitana intervened and negotiated both races an uneasy truce and peace accord. When Shinnok and his legion were defeated and Edenia was once again free, Goro and the Shokan race decided to ally with the Edenians.
Years later, during the time of the Deadly Alliance, the united Edenians and Shokans marched on Shao Kahn's weakened army. Goro was exhausted from battle and was struck from behind by Noob Saibot. He was mortally wounded, apparently dying from the injury. So, Princess Kitana held a royal funeral for her former ally. However, Goro was able to survive, being saved from death by Shao Kahn himself, with the promise to return the Shokans to their former glory and the banishment of the Centaurians in exchange for his allegiance. Agreeing to these terms, Goro resumed his place at Shao Kahn's side and helped him to become once again the Emperor of the Outworld during the time of the Armageddon.
- Anti-Villain: He's much more interested in protecting the Shokans than in either Rape, Pillage and Burn or World Domination.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: For centuries before the game, too.
- The Dragon: To Shang Tsung first, and to Shao Kahn later. He's literally a dragon-human hybrid, somehow...
- Goomba Stomp: His Leaping Stomp, an attack which is shared with the other four-armed characters of the series.
- Half-Human Hybrid
- Heel Face Revolving Door: The only constant in his motive is his desire to do right by the Shokan race, and he will ally himself with whoever can provide them the best status. To wit: started out as Evil in the first Mortal Kombat, then was more Neutral in MK4, then turned Good at the end of MK4 and Deadly Alliance (to the point of even making peace with Kung Lao over Goro's rivalry with Lao's ancestor; he's then killed by Noob Saibot) then back to Evil in Deception.
- Hulk Speak: Averted, though when he refers to the humans he says "puny humans."
- Implacable Man
- Large Ham: Especially in the first movie.
- Loin Cloth
- Mighty Glacier: In the later games.
- Lightning Bruiser: His original appearance.
- Monster Modesty: Subverted with his alt. in Deception and Armageddon, which decks Goro out in armor and a shirt that covers most of his chest.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous
- Odd Friendship: With Kitana. If Deadly Alliance is indication, the two are old friends, to the point that she attended his funeral at Kuatan Palace after he was slain by Noob Saibot sometime between 4 and DA.
- Our Giants Are Bigger
- Playing with Fire: he can throw fireballs either from his hands, up to four in a row in some games, or from his mouth.
- Pointy Ears
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: A member of the Shokan race.
- Really Seven Hundred Years Old: At the time of Mortal Kombat, he has already lived something like 2000 years.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning
- Red Herring: The line that Goro could "eat you alive" from the Sega Genesis instruction manual had many believing the Goro could perform a fatality in the first game. He gets, however, fatalities of his own in the Gamecube version of Deception and Mortal Kombat 9.
- Slipknot Ponytail
- SNK Boss: In the early games, Goro was far from balanced. All of his moves did way more damage then all of the other characters, and because of that he was notoriously difficult to defeat in the first game.
- Stop Motion: In his very first incarnation he was animated this way. This set the precedent for Kintaro, Sheeva, and Motaro.
- Warrior Prince: His official title is Prince Goro. You know what he's the prince of? Kicking your ass.
Shang Tsung Edit
Debut game: Mortal Kombat (Ho Sung Pak)
Other appearances: Mortal Kombat II (Phillip Ahn, M.D.), Mortal Kombat 3 (John Turk), Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero (Richard Divizio), Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Mortal Kombat: Deception (cameo), Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (James Kyson-Lee), Mortal Kombat 9 (Andrew Kishino)
Non-game appearances: Mortal Kombat: The Movie (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), Mortal Kombat: Conquest (Bruce Locke), Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm (Neil Ross), Mortal Kombat: Rebirth (James Lew), Mortal Kombat: Legacy (Johnson Phan)
A powerful and deadly sorcerer and a primary villain in the Mortal Kombat series, Shang Tsung is a demonic shapeshifter who needs to consume souls in order to sustain his health and life. Throughout his unnatural lifespan, he has achieved an intellectual and mental sophistication far greater than that of any other baddie of the series.
Several centuries before the start of the series, a young and promising Tsung was taken to Outworld and trained by the Emperor in the Black Arts. For a time, Shang Tsung would be the Grand Champion of Mortal Kombat himself, but when he lost his title to the legendary Shaolin warrior, the Great Kung Lao, he had to wait several years for his greatest student, the Shokan prince Goro, to restore once more Outworld's domination of the Mortal Kombat Tournament. This time Tsung, now aged and weakened, secured his domain on the Tournament, by becoming its sole Grandmaster and holding future competitions on his private island, a zone in between Earth and the Outworld.
During the tenth Mortal Kombat tournament, the final victory that would enable Shao Kahn to conquer Earth, Liu Kang, a Shaolin Monk, defeated Goro, breaking the streak. Liu Kang then challenged Shang Tsung in Kombat to restore the honour of the once-sacred tournament; Liu Kang prevailed, and Shang Tsung fled to Outworld. He confronted an enraged Shao Kahn and convinced him that, if they challenged Earthrealm to Mortal Kombat in Outworld, they would have to accept or forfeit. Kahn agreed to this plan, and restored Tsung's youth. Despite this, in the Tournament the sorcerer lost again to Liu Kang, who also defeated Kahn. Shortly after, with the aid of his cult of Shadow Priests, Shang Tsung managed to revive Shao Kahn's former queen, Sindel, on Earth, giving Kahn and his forces a way to invade the Realm. Tsung was granted more power than ever before, but during the invasion that followed he lost to Liu Kang once more.
Some time after the merge of the two Realms failed, the fellow sorcerer Quan Chi come to Shang Tsung with an offer: if Tsung helped him revive the lost army of the Dragon King by means of his ability to transplant souls, he would open a "Soulnado" to the Heavens, giving him an endless supply of souls. Tsung accepted, and they formed the Deadly Alliance. Together, the sorcerers not only managed to assassinate both Liu Kang and Shao Kahn, but eventually the duo defeated Earthrealm's champions and triumphed over Raiden himself in a final battle. Their victory, however, would not be savored. Shang Tsung's lust for power and Quan Chi's suspicion finally came to light. The two fought, with Quan Chi emerged the victor, and immediately after that, Shang Tsung had to confront a revived Dragon King alongside the two enemies; in the battle that ensued, Tsung was killed by Raiden's self-sacrificial blast.
His soul, still bound to Kahn, reached the not-so-dead Emperor. Kahn provided Tsung with a host body and then allied with him and Goro in taking his kingdom back. Some time later, during the Armageddon, the sorcerer formed an alliance with Onaga, Shao Kahn, and Quan Chi so that the group may prevent the Forces of Light from obtaining the power that Blaze possessed.
The events of Mortal Kombat 9 happen pretty much the same for Shang Tsung as in the previous games, with a massive exception. after Raiden kills Motaro, Shang Tsung himself is killed and has his Life Force absorbed by Shao Kahn, who used it to empower Sindel and set her on the heroes. Several endings in Mortal Kombat X, however, imply that he will sooner or later be Back from the Dead.
- Ambiguously Human: We don't really know where Tsung came from initially, but it's repeatedly implied to be Earthrealm. It's finally confirmed in 9.
- Amplifier Artifact: Somewhat. He wears a runestone around his neck that houses all of the souls he's absorbed over the ages and is able to replenish his strength.
- Badass Grandpa
- Badass Longcoat: In the movie.
- Badass Long Hair
- Beard of Evil: White in the first game, black in the other ones.
- Big Bad: In the first game.
- Cursed with Awesome: When Shang Tsung committed the atrocity of taking a soul, he was cursed by the Elder Gods not only to kill his enemies, but to take their souls as well. Only in this way would he hold off his grim fate: to age rapidly and die prematurely. However, as a side effect of his consuming the souls of others, Tsung was able to access their memories and knowledge, a happenstance which would greatly benefit him in the future.
- A Day in the Limelight: In MK vs. DCU, he's the focus of the MK side's Chapter 6.
- Demonic Possession: In MKII, he enters his opponent's body, which violently shakes until it explodes as Shang appears in the opponent's place. It inspires one of Liu Kang's Deception fatalities, and in MK9 it comes full-circle with it being based on Liu Kang's one instead of his MKII one.
- The Dragon: To Shao Kahn.
- Dressing as the Enemy: Inverted. He disguised himself as Kung Lao in order to get the drop on Liu Kang in Deadly Alliance.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him
- Energy Absorption: In later games, he can absorb part of his opponent's soul during a fight to restore his health.
- Everything's Better with Rainbows: His Friendship in MKII.
- Evil Genius: Of the MK3 Five-Bad Band.
- Evil Mentor: To Goro, the Shokan prince.
- Evil Sorcerer: One of the classic modern examples.
- Fantasy Gun Control: Subverted. In 9, he was very interested in modern weaponry, and bought rocket launchers and shotguns from Kano.
"Well done. You might tell your fellow Black Dragon that I'm very interested in your merchandise."
- Flaming Skulls: He uses them as projectiles in some games.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: In some of his incarnations.
- Half the Man He Used To Be: One of his fatalities from 2, in which he morphs into Kintaro and punches the upper half of the opponent's body clear across the stage.
- Hazy Feel Turn: The most likely interpretation of his Ladder ending in 9, in which he suffers Power Incontience, but then Bo' Rai Cho trains him both work through it... and to help defeat a power-mad and newly-deified Liu Kang. The very end states that Shang Tsung accepted the deal to have his revenge on Liu Kang..
- Hero-Killer: He had some help from Quan Chi, but considering that he killed Liu Kang before the events of Deadly Alliance, yeah, he counts.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
- In MK3, Tsung can summon a bed of nails in which he slams his dazed opponent as a finisher.
- He meets his demise this way in the movie.
- I Was Quite the Looker: Compare his elder form to when his youth is restored.
- Killed Off for Real: "Volunteered" his essence in 9's story to Sindel by way of Shao Kahn to give the former a power boost. Ended up working pretty well since she went on a Curb Stomp Battle all over the Earthrealm heroes, though Shang Tsung does seem to be toast. That is, until some endings from X (i.e, Ermac's, Erron Black's, etc.) started hinting that he'll be Back from the Dead at some point...
- Large Ham: Especially in the first movie.
- There's also his behavior in MK9's story mode, especially after he has his youth restored.
- Monster Clown: One of his Mortal Kombat 9 Fatalities, which doubles as a Take That to MK vs. DCU's censors.
- Neck Snap: In Deadly Alliance, he delivers one to Liu Kang, killing him for good. This comes back in the Battle of Armageddon, where Undead!Liu Kang necksnaps him.
- Older Than They Look: According to Word of God, he was biologically nineteen years old in MKII. He doesn't exactly look like it.
- Only Sane Man: In the DC crossover, he has apparently the strongest self-control of all characters from both worlds, as he never gives up to the rage until Dark Khan reveals himself and makes rage take everybody. But even after that, he managed to bring himself back to normal, while Raiden was still under Dark Kahn's infulence.
- Playing with Fire: Summons skulls on fire as projectiles.
- The Punishment: This is what the Elder Gods call his soul-sucking ability. Admittedly it's required to keep him sustained, though he can do much more with it than that and definitely not objecting.
- Scaled Up: He could turn into a cobra to finish his opponents as Animality in MK3.
- Shape Shifter
- A Sinister Clue: Given his weapon style in later games, Shang would appear to be a lefty.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: In his younger form.
- Tournament Arc: He really likes these, to the point that, in MK Versus DCU, when he encounters Captain Marvel in the Netherrealm, he has his allies face off against Marvel one at a time, announcing results between rounds as if it were Arcade Mode ("Captain Marvel wins!").
- Unlimited Wardrobe: There's no better example in this franchise. Shang Tsung's "main" appearance has changed considerably from game to game, except in Armageddon, which reutilized his Deadly Alliance model.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: After his rejuvenation.
- What The Hell, Elder Gods?: For the atrocity of stealing a soul, Shang Tsung was condemned to... do it over and over again. Just to twist the knife, Shang doesn't give a crap about the souls he takes either, and it actually makes him more and more powerful. It's like condemning a murderer to a life as a Serial Killer, and the murderer enjoys killing.
- Yellow Peril: In the original game, though it's balanced by the fact that the protagonist (Liu Kang) is also Chinese.
- Your Soul Is Mine: The Trope Namer, and his iconic Fatality.
- Also happens in 9 to him. After Motaro's death, Shao Kahn chooses to use Shang Tsung to empower Sindel, fueling the massacre of the heroes.
Introduced in Mortal Kombat the movie Edit
Art Lean Edit
- Black Dude Dies First
- Canon Foreigner
- Mauve Shirt
- Sacrificial Lamb: He exists solely to show the main cast (and the audience) how Badass Goro is.
- Your Soul Is Mine: As well as give Shang Tsung a major Kick the Dog moment by devouring his soul.
Chan Kang Edit
- Ascended Extra: According to his bio from the first game, Liu Kang has a brother named Chow and his whereabouts are unknown... and that's all we hear about him. In the movie, he's named Chan, actually appears (in flashback and spirit form) and serves as Liu's motivation for entering the tournament.
- Curb Stomp Battle: As brave as he was, poor Chan didn't stand a chance against Shang Tsung.
- Dead Little Brother: To Liu Kang.
- Doomed by Canon: His death is Liu Kang's motive to put Shang Tsung to rest.
- Finishing Stomp: How Shang Tsung finishes him.
- Nice Guy: According to Liu Kang, he was a very kind person. It's vital to the plot later, as said below.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Chan or Chen?
- Your Soul Is Mine: As with pretty much all of Shang Tsung's victims in the movie, Chan suffers this fate. His form is used in a Shapeshifter Guilt Trip against Liu Kang during the final battle, but soon Liu Kang sees right through it because he remembers that the real Chan would be too kind to even thinking of guilt-tripping him over anything.
- ↑ in Deadly Alliance, he hung a lock of her hair obtained by tearing it from her head during their battle atop the skyscraper in MK3 around his neck as a symbol of their rivalry
- ↑ Mind you, Jax and co. are mulling around Outworld looking for her whereabouts, as Sonya is scheduled for execution as they speak