Mortal Kombat is a video game franchise that requires no introduction. Originally developed by Midway Games' Chicago studio in 1992, it and its sequels remain a staple among aficionados of fighting games after a quarter century. At the time of its release the game was unique for its fantasy-horror themed fighting genre and spawned many sequels and a media franchise consisting of several action-adventure games, films (animated and live-action with its own sequel), and television series (animated and live-action). Other spin-offs include comic book series, a card game and a live-action tour. Along with Capcom's Street Fighter and Bandai Namco Entertainment's Tekken, Mortal Kombat has become one of the most successful fighting franchises in the history of video games. As of June 2000, the franchise had generated $5 billion in revenue, making it one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time. The series has a reputation for high levels of bloody violence, including, most notably, its Fatalities (finishing moves, requiring a sequence of button inputs to perform). The Fatalities, in part, led to the creation of the ESRB video game rating system. The series takes place in a fictional universe consisting of eighteen surviving realms. The Elder Gods decreed that the denizens of one realm could only conquer another realm by defeating the defending realm's greatest warriors in ten consecutive Mortal Kombat tournaments. The series features scores of player characters. Among them are Earth's humans and cyborgs, good and evil deities, and denizens of Outworld and other realms. Here is a list of all the characters that appeared in the Mortal Kombat Franchise - Rank them from most favorite to least to tell us who ought to be the real champion of Mortal Kombat! (Queue theme Music!)
Notifications on. Click to turn notifications off.
Notifications off. Click to turn notifications on.
Drag and drop to sort list. Click on text to browse.
Kabal is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series, who made his debut in Mortal Kombat 3. Kabal was first introduced in Mortal Kombat 3, sporting long, black hair, Hookswords and a respirator. He was a mysterious chosen warrior who survived an attack from one of Shao Kahn's extermination squads. His origin was unknown, however, his ending reveals he was actually a member of the Black Dragon. At the time of his introduction, he appeared as a force for good, but has since reverted to his evil ways, planning to place himself as the head of the new Black Dragon clan. In Mortal Kombat (2011), Kabal is once again good, although his past as a Black Dragon member was mentioned by Kano after Kano fixes him with his respirator and improvements. Before his disfigurement by Kintaro's flames, he was a police officer partnered up with Kurtis Stryker.
Blaze is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series who made his debut as a background character in Mortal Kombat II. He made his playable debut in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance as a hidden character, and served as the final boss of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. First introduced in the series as a non-playable character seen in the background of the Pit II arena in Mortal Kombat II, Blaze was depicted as an elemental being from Outworld shrouded in flames. As his name and appearance suggests, he has control over fire, lava, heat, etc. In Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Blaze became a playable character and gained more background information. He would later become the final boss of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. Blaze's first chronological appearance was supposedly in Mortal Kombat II, visible only as a burning figure in the Pit II background, fighting a character fans have since named Hornbuckle does not come without controversy. Daegon is described in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon as being awoken centuries prematurely, due to Caro losing mental contact with Blaze (because of his imprisonment guarding the last dragon egg) and mistook that for the signal to awake Daegon. Also, in Blaze's Armageddon Bio, Blaze is set free after the egg hatches during the events of Deception, and is unaware that Daegon was awoken prematurely. It's not until Blaze gives the signal to wake both brothers he learns that Daegon had already been freed. If the burning figure in Mortal Kombat II was truly Blaze, that means Blaze had been imprisoned to guard the egg sometime after Mortal Kombat II, which means Daegon could not have been awoken centuries earlier because Blaze would have known. With the Black Dragon dating back to before the first Mortal Kombat and the Red Dragon dating back beyond that, it seems the burning figure seen in Mortal Kombat II could not have been Blaze, since at the time he was already guarding the egg.
Baraka is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series, who made his debut in Mortal Kombat II. Baraka was introduced as a mean, unforgiving, and unpredictable warrior in service of The Emperor Of Outworld, (Shao Kahn) in Mortal Kombat II. He belongs to a race of nomadic mutants, later revealed in Mortal Kombat: Deception to be called Tarkata, a crossbreed between vile Netherrealm demons and denizens of Outworld, apparently populating the vast wastelands of Outworld. Like most members of his race, Baraka possesses long blades extending from his forearms. Although he has had numerous incursions with the Earthrealm warriors, he does not appear to have any particular rivalry or hatred towards Earth or its inhabitants. As a loyal warrior, he fights for those whom he calls "master".
Kintaro is a character from the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He made his debut in Mortal Kombat II as the game's sub-boss and became playable in Mortal Kombat Trilogy. In Mortal Kombat (2011) Kintaro returns as a sub-boss for the game. Kintaro replaced Goro after Goro was defeated by Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat. He is the only member of his race seen thus far to have unique features. Unlike Goro and Sheeva, Kintaro has tiger striped markings all over his body as well as sharp fangs, claws and feline-like feet. According to his Mortal Kombat (2011) bio, this is indicative of the lower-class Tigrar clan of Shokan, differing from the more elite-class Draco clan that Goro and Sheeva belong to, so there are likely more of his kind out there. It should be noted that in each new game, his feline features stand out more than the last.
Liu Kang (劉鋼) is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He is one of the few original characters, debuting in the first Mortal Kombat arcade game. He serves as the protagonist of the first four games, the live-action films and the original comic book series. He became the Grand Champion of Mortal Kombat throughout the first four tournaments, a title that remained undisputed in the original timeline. In the alternate timeline, he only became the Grand Champion on two occasions, due to the fact that a third tournament did not take place during the invasion of Earthrealm. Although Liu Kang appears in every main Mortal Kombat game, he is not playable in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, as he was killed by the Deadly Alliance. Liu Kang is one of the most popular and accessible characters in the series. He is one of Earthrealm's greatest warriors, having defeated many to prove his valor. Throughout the series, he has been gradually portrayed as the main hero, becoming champion after the first Mortal Kombat tournament. Kang has found a nemesis in the traitorous Shang Tsung, a sorcerer who he has defeated on numerous occasions. He is often considered the greatest threat to the plans of Shang and his emperor, Shao Kahn. He is a member of the White Lotus Society and trains extensively at the Wu Shi Academy. It was at the Academy that he was murdered by a Deadly Alliance of Shang with Quan Chi. In the first entry in the series, Liu Kang was shown to be non-violent, in that his finisher did not graphically kill the opponent. Starting with Mortal Kombat II, however, all of his Fatalities were more gruesome. His body was resurrected without his spirit in Mortal Kombat: Deception. This physical half killed hundreds of innocent people, with the skills he refined to protect them while he was alive. Liu Kang retained his personality as a zombie, as he still had his trademark yells. A notable exception is the intro of Armageddon, where he groans like a recognizable zombie. He is said to be one of the Great Kung Lao's last descendants through various media (a trading card, the first film, etc.) It is possible that Liu Kang and Kung Lao are cousins. He is referred to as the "Immortal Champion of Mortal Kombat" in later games, and his ending in Mortal Kombat: Deception has him again assuming the role upon his restoration to life.
Tomas Vrbada, also known as Smoke, is a ninja assassin who was turned from a human into a cyborg in the original timeline of the Mortal Kombat series. He made his debut in Mortal Kombat II as an unplayable secret character in human form, and first became playable in Mortal Kombat 3 in cyborg form. He appears in the franchise's reboot, now retaining his human form in canon for the first time in almost two decades. Smoke debuted in Mortal Kombat II as a hidden character to fight against, along with Noob Saibot and Jade. He was often spotted in the Living Forest stage in which he (along with Jade) peeked out of the trees. Like Reptile when he made his first appearance, he was simply a palette-swap of Scorpion with puffs of smoke surrounding him, but would move extremely fast. He would appear randomly before matches, offering clues that would enable the player to fight him, as Reptile had in the original Mortal Kombat. Smoke would not have his own storyline until he was featured in Mortal Kombat 3, where he was once again a hidden character, but accessible to players with the use of a code. In this appearance, he would be a tortured human soul trapped in the body of a cyborg. His most defining feature is the fact that he constantly emits smoke. This, combined with his power to teleport and turn invisible, once made him one of the Lin Kuei's top assassins. In Mortal Kombat (2011), it's revealed that he has long, flowing silver hair that covers his face (although it is shown being blown back in renders and artwork).
Ermac is a red-clad ninja who utilizes telekinesis during fights in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He made his debut in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Before that, however, he was a subject of fan speculation that began with a glitch in Mortal Kombat. Making his debut in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, Ermac has been a controversial and mysterious character in the Mortal Kombat series whose existence was rumored since its inception. Ermac is a fusion of the many souls destroyed in Outworld's wars, only to be controlled by Emperor Shao Kahn and his Shadow Priests. Because of this, he refers to himself as "we", "our", "us", and "ours", instead of "I", "my" "me", and "mine". Because of the sheer concentration of souls within Ermac, he possesses the gifts of telekinesis, teleportation, and the ability to travel between realms. Ermac rarely shows any signs of emotion, but he has proven to be quite wise and a very deadly combatant, using his telekinetic abilties to battle multiple opponents at once while keeping the upper hand. Disappearing after the events of Mortal Kombat Trilogy, he only returned in Mortal Kombat: Deception, where he was freed from Shao Kahn's grip by the blind swordsman Kenshi, whom he repaid by teaching him the Telekinetic Slam. He decided to become a force of good, partly in guilt of his past evils. To prove this, he decides to help Liu Kang free the souls of his friends from Onaga's control. In the current timeline, this did not happen and, after the events of Mortal Kombat, he soon came under the possession of Shao Kahn's soul, as well as King Jerrod's. Despite this, it's implied that Ermac has free will and is no longer evil due to Shao Kahn's death, as he willingly chose to side with Kotal Kahn to be ruler of Outworld instead of Mileena in Mortal Kombat X, despite Shao Kahn's decree. While Ermac's goal has varied over time, his overall allegiance is to Outworld, whether from defending it from threats like Onaga or finding a proper ruler for the realm itself.
Sub-Zero (絶対零度, "Absolute zero"), formerly known as Tundra and the cyborg LK-52O, is a Lin Kuei assassin in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He is the younger brother of Bi-Han, who was the original Sub-Zero in the first Mortal Kombat game. The younger Sub-Zero made his debut in Mortal Kombat II. There are in fact two incarnations of Sub-Zero, and they are siblings; older brother Bi-Han and younger brother Kuai Liang. Both are blue garbed warriors who at different times have used the codename "Sub-Zero", and both have served the Lin Kuei. Both descended from Cryomancers, an Outworld race possessing the ability to generate and control the powers of ice. However, they were born in Earthrealm and only the younger Sub-Zero would discover his heritage. Kuai Liang bears a scar on his right eye which he received between the events of MK3. However, as seen in Deception, the scar has faded away. This may have been caused by the Dragon Medallion's power. In their biography, both Sub-Zero brothers were sons of a Cryomancer father and a human mother. It is known that the father of both brothers was a secret operative for the Lin Kuei in the United States. He married an American woman and together they had two sons. Against the will of their mother, the father took the sons with him to move back to China, and as such both brothers were trained as Lin Kuei assassins. This was later retconned as both brothers being kidnapped by the Lin Kuei when they were still children (this was revealed in Sub-Zero's trailer in Mortal Kombat 2011). Bi-Han appeared as Sub-Zero in the first Mortal Kombat, while Kuai Liang went by the codename "Tundra". After Bi-Han was murdered by Scorpion during the tournament, Kuai Liang swore revenge on him. He mastered the art of Ice and Cold, and took his brother's former code name: Sub-Zero. Driven by anger, Kuai Liang entered The Mortal Kombat Tournament with one goal: To destroy his brother's killer, and anyone else that gets in the way. Kuai Liang replaced him as Sub Zero for the rest of the games - Bi Han later was resurrected by Quan Chi and became the undead Netherrealm wraith Noob Saibot. The younger Sub-Zero clearly shares many traits with his older brother, and was perhaps too similar to his brother upon his introduction. Like the elder, the younger Sub-Zero gives the impression of being a stern, distant and cold man who goes about his business silently, without attracting unwanted attention. However, as time progressed, Sub-Zero evolved - from what fans labeled a "carbon copy" of his brother - into a man of great integrity and self-discipline. The disparities between the brothers, who were once neutral and almost indistinct from each other, have now grown so large that one could speak of the evil twin syndrome. While the younger Sub-Zero was depicted as a young Lin Kuei warrior who was living in the shadow of his older brother, he has since changed and grown into a warrior who has progressed towards the more humane sides of moral issues. This change in characteristics has not only strengthened him as a man, but has also set him apart from his former Lin Kuei counterparts. This included leaving his clan in disgust and breaking the sacred codes of honor, joining the rebellion against Shao Kahn and assisting Raiden and Liu Kang (along with Earthrealm's other chosen warriors). More recently, he defeated the cyborg assassin known as Sektor after the events of Mortal Kombat Gold to gain the leadership of the Lin Kuei and become the Grandmaster, where he has grown even stronger and more powerful. He is a dependable ally of Earthrealm who is willing to assist when needed, especially when Raiden gives the call. He is, without question, one of the greatest and most powerful warriors that Earthrealm has to offer. He, like much of the MK cast, follows a character archetype. In his case, he is the enigmatic hero that shows up to aid the main hero(es) when needed.
Noob Saibot, once known as Bi-Han (璧漢 or 避寒) and the original Sub-Zero, was a Lin Kuei assassin turned wraith from the Mortal Kombat fighting games series. He is one of the few original characters, debuting in the original Mortal Kombat arcade game as Sub-Zero, older brother of the current, younger Sub-Zero. He first appeared as Noob Saibot as a secret character in Mortal Kombat II, first becoming playable in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, and was once again a secret character in Mortal Kombat 4. In one form or another, Noob Saibot has appeared in every generation of Mortal Kombat games as a playable character. Reincarnated in the darkest of all realms, the Netherrealm, Noob Saibot is the very incarnation of evil. Before becoming a wraith, he was once (Bi-Han) The Original Sub-Zero, an assassin among the most powerful of Lin Kuei. As Sub-Zero's name, clothes, and powers would suggest, his character was icy and distant. In all aspects, he was a cold-blooded and violent assassin absolutely dedicated to his clan, the Lin Kuei. While essentially neutral, his soul had become dark and corrupted from years of violence and remorseless killing. Before his story is revealed to the player, the player can make an educated guess on who he was. He disappears after MK, and reappears in MKII reborn as Noob Saibot. When he died in the first Mortal Kombat tournament at the hands of Scorpion, his soul, corrupted by years of violence, descended to the Netherrealm's Fifth Plane, but was resurrected by the sorcerer, Quan Chi, who also resurrected Scorpion. The evil within his soul was released, stripping him of pride, compassion, and everything else that made him a human. He wishes not only to remain in the Netherrealm, but to conquer and rule it. Though he has been seen in the service of conquerors such as Shinnok and Shao Kahn, his ultimate allegiance is to himself.
Hanzo Hasashi, also known as Scorpion (全蠍人, "Full Scorpion Man"), is a resurrected ninja in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He is one of the very few original characters debuting in the first Mortal Kombat arcade game. He holds the distinction, along with Raiden and Sub-Zero (in one form or another), of appearing in every generation of Mortal Kombat games as a playable character. It is known that his father, a former member of the Shirai Ryu, forbade his son from joining the clan, as he did not wish for his son to live the life of an assassin. However, Hanzo joined in spite of his father's wishes in order to provide his wife and son with a comfortable life. Now Scorpion is a hell-spawned spectre, inexorably seeking vengeance against those responsible for the destruction of his clan and the death of his own family. Despite his malevolent appearance, he is not inherently evil. He joins the forces of evil when promised a means of resurrecting his clan on Earth, or the chance to inflict his wrath against those who butchered them. Scorpion has also (indirectly) assisted the game's protagonists to fulfill these motives. Scorpion is perceived by fans as the title's foremost anti-hero. He undertakes actions that benefit the forces of good, albeit in his own gruesome and vigilante manner. His attitude, appearance and self-reliance have all contributed to his popularity. Compared to the purely virtuous "good guys", and the diabolically evil "bad guys", Scorpion's moral neutrality is unique. Although he is featured alongside the forces of evil in the opening scene of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, he remains neutral because of his fierce hatred of Quan Chi. Scorpion appears human when masked, though this is merely an illusion. Only his skull remains when in his true form, sometimes ablaze. However, he can fully regain his human appearance if he conquers his own demons. Scorpion's most popular and recognized skill is his famous spear attack, which is used to draw an opponent toward him. This attack will also stun the opponent for a short amount of time. Scorpion will shout, "Get over here!" or "Come here!", while executing this technique. Although Scorpion is often strict and wrathful, at times he shows a caring side and is very honorable. In the original timeline, when he discovers the Sub-Zero in the second tournament isn't Bi-Han and in fact his more merciful brother, Scorpion vows to protect Kuai Liang instead for killing his kin. In the second timeline, Scorpion truly intended to spare the first Sub-Zero in exchange for the resurrection of his clan, but Quan Chi prevented this. Most notably, in the Mortal Kombat X Comic, it's shown he took in victims and survivors of the Netherrealm War into his iteration of the Shirai Ryu to now protect Earthrealm while also raising Takeda Takahashi. During this time, he treated Takeda like his own son, such as when he comforts Takeda after Fox's death.
Cyrax is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series, who made his debut in Mortal Kombat 3. Making his debut in Mortal Kombat 3, Cyrax was one of the three cybernetic ninjas created by the Lin Kuei, in an effort to convert all members into unfeeling, cold-hearted, cybernetic assassins to improve their performance. Of all the three cyborgs, Cyrax appears to be specialized in Hand-to-Hand Combat. He was assigned to hunt down the renegade, former Lin Kuei member Sub-Zero as designated unit LK-4D4. Of the three cyborgs, he has become the first to recover his humanity. This is due to the efforts made by Sonya Blade and Jax Briggs. He has currently allied with them as a token of his appreciation. In the alternate timeline of MK 2011, he was automated and dutifully serves the Lin Kuei, but was visibly opposed to the process before being presumably automated against his will.
Shao Kahn is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He made his debut in Mortal Kombat II as the final boss, a role he also served in Mortal Kombat 3. He serves as the primary antagonist of the series in many instances. Shao Kahn the Konqueror is represented as the embodiment of evil. In many respects, he resembles a large Asian warrior, and is well known amongst the roster of Mortal Kombat Kombatants for his godlike strength which rivals, if not outright exceeds, that of Raiden, the God of Thunder. He is also known for his extreme callousness, brutality, ferocity in battle, and his fondness of personal executions, though he has occasionally spared the lives of his subordinates, if they prove their worth, and his victims such as Sindel and Kitana, raising the latter like his own daughter and treating the former like his own wife. However, his true power that has served him well and allowed him to rise above the image of a mere warlord is his high intelligence and profound knowledge of the black arts. Like his subordinate Shang Tsung, he has the power to consume other souls. Perhaps Shao Kahn’s greatest strength lies in his ability to work towards his goals with great tenacity and his ability to organize. However, his greatest weakness is his arrogance and overconfidence. Shao Kahn has often underestimated mankind, and therefore tried to conquer Earthrealm many times, with or without a queen (consort), to no success. He also possesses a blinding lust for conquest that can sometimes overwhelm his better judgment, allowing him to be manipulated by those that are cunning enough to exploit this weakness.
Syzoth, more commonly referred to as Reptile, is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He is one of the few original characters, debuting in the original Mortal Kombat arcade game as a secret character. He became playable in Mortal Kombat II. Reptile is a green garbed, humanoid reptilian creature that embodies the archetype of the unhappy underling. Said to be physically hideous and repulsive, he is renowned for his great stealth and unquestioning loyalty. Unlike many other henchmen, Reptile does not strive for power. He is caught in a delusional state of mind, obsessed with finding the last remaining member of his race, or freeing his homeworld of Zaterra from Outworld's grasp. Thus, he always remains loyal to Shao Kahn, only obeying other masters to survive and reach his goal of returning Zaterra to its former glory. While well-meaning and sincere, his obsession is so important to him that it causes him temporary fits of insanity. Reptile was hidden in the original Mortal Kombat and thus holds the distinction of being the very first secret character to appear in a versus fighting game. Before battles with an opponent he would make his appearance and jump in the middle of the screen in a Sub-Zero win pose. Above his head would be clues on how to find him, such as "Look to la luna" ("the moon" in Spanish or Italian and hinting The Pit stage), "Alone is how to find me" (denoting that he is only unlockable in single player mode), "Perfection is the key" (directing towards the double Flawless victory), or "Tip eht fo mottob" ("Bottom of The Pit" spelled backward). Once in a while he will say "I am Reptile, find me!". This concept was repeated with Smoke and Jade in Mortal Kombat II and Khameleon in Mortal Kombat Trilogy. He was a merge between the original Sub-Zero and Scorpion characters, capable of using both of their moves. Mortal Kombat co-creators John Tobias and Ed Boon admitted in an interview that the "birth" of Reptile was when they took Sub-Zero and Scorpion and fused the two into one and colored him green (yellow + blue = green). They christened this character "Reptile" due to his green color and their reference to lizards. While he wasn't given a lot of character depth at the time, he was worked on before the release of Mortal Kombat II. Reptile returned for the second tournament with his own special moves, available from the outset. It is not quite clear how old Reptile is. Estimates run in the tens of thousands of years or even millions. What is known, however, is that the Earthrealm was nearly destroyed by a battle between the gods millions of years ago. Reptile's race of raptors, or Saurians, escaped to another realm, Zaterra, where it was then invaded and annexed by Outworld's emperor, Shao Kahn. As was the usual process for Kahn conquering another world, most of the Zaterrans were killed in the ensuing battles, only leaving a handful of people left. Among those, or among those descended from these survivors, was Reptile. Unlike the others of his kind, who were forced into slavery, Reptile was trained to be a servant of both Shao Kahn and Shang Tsung.
Major Jackson "Jax" Briggs (U.S.A.) is a cybernetically-enhanced soldier who is the leader of the Outer World Investigation Agency (O.I.A.), Earthrealm's Special Forces unit, in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He made his debut in Mortal Kombat II. Jax made his debut in Mortal Kombat II. He is portrayed as an archetypical African American hero. In the Special Forces' chain of command, he is Sonya Blade's direct superior and the catalyzing force of Sonya's impulsiveness. Jax is clear-headed, careful and always keeping a watch on what his men are doing. When the need arises, he is a beast on the battlefield with the attitude and ferocity of a lion. He unscrupulously makes use of the most advanced technology to improve both himself and his unit. He is responsible for the crime lord Kano's disfigurement, forcing him to wear a metal plate over a portion of his face.
Goro is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series, who made his debut in the first Mortal Kombat game as a sub-boss to Shang Tsung. Goro is one of the original characters debuting in the first Mortal Kombat arcade game as the sub-boss, and later appeared as the sub-boss of Mortal Kombat 4 (only available on home consoles). He first became playable in the Game Boy port of Mortal Kombat. He appeared as a four-armed Shokan warrior who had been the champion of the Mortal Kombat tournament for nine generations, remaining undefeated for 500 years. Goro is among Shao Kahn's favorite warriors and is well known for his power and brutality. Goro helped the emperor grow closer to dominating Earthrealm, but he lost at the tenth while fighting against Liu Kang, who later defeated the sorcerer Shang Tsung.
Shang Tsung (尚宗) is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He is one of the few original characters, debuting in the first Mortal Kombat arcade game, in which he served as the final boss. A powerful, deadly sorcerer and a primary villain in the Mortal Kombat franchise, Shang Tsung is a shapeshifter who needs to consume souls in order to sustain his health and life. In the Mortal Kombat series, he is the epitome of cunning and decadence, as symbolized by his preference for lavish parties, grand palaces, and stylish clothing. Unlike the crude Shao Kahn, this bombast is a facade, disguising Tsung's true intellectual and mental sophistication. His arch-nemesis is Liu Kang, but throughout his unnatural lifespan, he has earned the hatred of many others, including Kung Lao and Kenshi. Shang Tsung's allegiance to Shao Kahn granted him the status of a free roaming sorcerer. As such, he is able to move between realms without detection by the Elder Gods or local deities, an ability which has granted him many opportunities to commit atrocities over the centuries. Only Delia, Shinnok, Shao Kahn, and Quan Chi can match Shang Tsung's skills as a sorcerer.
Kai is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He made his debut in Mortal Kombat 4. Kai made his debut in Mortal Kombat 4 as a nimble and agile Nepali fighter of the Gurkha warrior class. Like Liu Kang, he is a Shaolin monk and skilled martial artist with the ability to use fire in battle.
Kung Lao (功老) is a character in the Mortal Kombat series, and made his debut in Mortal Kombat II. Kung Lao is a former Shaolin monk and a member of the White Lotus Society. He stands in the shadow of his great ancestor, the Great Kung Lao, but unlike his great ancestor, he has no desire to be champion and would rather live a life of peace. However, this was changed in MK 2011, wherein Lao is now eager to prove himself equal to Liu Kang. As well, he has sought counsel from master Bo' Rai Cho. Of the Earthrealm warriors, Lao is the most outspoken pacifist, although he will not hesitate to severely punish those who attack him, Earthrealm, or his friends. His trademark is his Razor-Rimmed Hat, which he can employ quite powerfully and effectively in combat. Many of his fatalities involve the use of his hat to some extent. According to MK co-creator John Tobias in a 1995 interview with EGM, Kung Lao's hat was inspired by the 1964 James Bond movie Goldfinger, in which the character Oddjob throws his derby hat as a deadly weapon.
Raiden (雷電) is one of the few original characters in the first Mortal Kombat game, and in addition, is the one of the few characters to have appeared in every generation of Mortal Kombat games as a playable character. Raiden is the eternal God of Thunder, protector of Earthrealm, and arguably one of the most powerful characters in all of Mortal Kombat. After the second defeat of Shinnok, he ascended to the status of Elder God. Being a god, he possesses many supernatural abilities, such as the ability to teleport, control lightning and fly. As a god, he is used to thinking in terms of eternity rather than normal human lifespans, and so he has a radically different outlook on life. This is not to say he is incapable of understanding human values and psyches.
Dark Kahn is a boss from the Mortal Kombat series of fighting games. He debuted as the main antagonist of Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe and is the game's sole original character (as the fusion of Shao Kahn and Darkseid), serving as the final boss. Dark Kahn is a monstrous being of pure Rage created from the accidental merging of Darkseid and Shao Kahn. For the entirety of the storyline, Dark Kahn hides within the merging of Apokolips and Outworld, influencing the DC superheroes, villains and kombatants to fight amongst one another to further fuel the chaos. Dark Kahn does not appear until the final chapter of both sides where he has lured all participants to fight amongst one another until Shang Tsung, Raiden, Superman and Batman are left standing from the midst. The god of thunder and the Man of Steel chase him to his tower, which has become a merger of Shao Kahn's Palace and Darkseid's Palace where he tricks them into fighting each other. Eventually, the two are able to break free from his influence and channel his own rage against him, causing his destruction, and Shao Kahn and Darkseid to exist separately (although in each others universe, with a temporary loss of powers). The kombatants deal with Darkseid and send him to the Netherrealm while Shao Kahn becomes trapped in a fragmented Phantom Zone.
Shinnok is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He made his debut in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero as the final boss, and first became playable in Mortal Kombat 4, in which he also served as the boss and main antagonist. He later appeared in the same role in Mortal Kombat X. He serves as a primary antagonist of the franchise alongside Shao Kahn. Shinnok is one of the most evil beings in Mortal Kombat. A vengeful and powerful fallen Elder God, Shinnok appeared in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, Mortal Kombat 4/Mortal Kombat Gold, and Mortal Kombat X as the main antagonist. He has also made an appearance in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, seemingly leading the side of evil. Unlike Shao Kahn, Shinnok relies less on brute strength and fear-mongering, but more on magical powers, ancient artifacts and manipulation. He is the ruler of the Netherrealm, possessing millions of years' worth of knowledge and power. He can impersonate any other beings of his choosing, as well as to transform into an immense demon. He also possesses extreme cunning, as well as the ability to manipulate events through others. For example, he had Quan Chi convince Shao Kahn to merge Earthrealm with Outworld against the Elder Gods' will. As a result, both realms were severely weakened and left vulnerable to invasion by the Netherrealm. Shinnok demands unwavering faith and loyalty from his followers and will not hesitate to kill anyone who doubts, challenges, or even represents a potential threat to him. He may even be more brutal and heartless than Shao Kahn. Only Shang Tsung, Delia, Shao Kahn and Quan Chi can match Shinnok's skills as a sorcerer.
Jade is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. She first appeared as a secret, unplayable character in Mortal Kombat II, and made her official debut in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Jade is a childhood friend of Princess Kitana. While her motives were unclear, she served Shao Kahn alongside Kitana and Mileena as his personal assassin for most of her life. When Kitana finally turned against Shao Kahn, Jade was ordered to capture her for the Emperor. She ultimately chose to join her friend, and has since loyally assisted Kitana in her quest to free their native realm and restore its original beauty. Now residing in the freed Edenia, Jade is a General of the Edenian Army and continues to dutifully serve Kitana and her mother Sindel. Jade's confident and sassy personality was first portrayed in her Girls Gone Wired campaign video, but later expanded upon throughout her story in Mortal Kombat (2011). Always known for her loyalty towards Kitana, she has proven herself to be a dependable, sincere and devoted friend to the princess. She is sarcastic, patronizing and cocky towards her opponents, and incredibly ruthless towards those she considers a personal enemy (at one point splashing Tarkatan essence on the Edenian traitor, Tanya, and allowing her to be torn to pieces by Baraka's militia). As a female assassin adorned in a green skin-tight outfit, Jade was initially very similar in appearance to Kitana and Mileena, the only noticeable difference being her darker skin (although in the Sega Genesis and Saturn ports of MKII, she has the same skin as Kitana). She appeared first as a hidden, unplayable character in Mortal Kombat II whose moveset were mostly like Kitana's including the use of the fan blade weapon. To reach Jade, the player would fight a one-player game on the match just before the "?" on the map of the mountain. If the player won at least one round of the match using only the Low Kick button (no punches, High Kick, or Block button presses), they would immediately be warped to Goro's Lair to fight Jade. The player did not have to win the match -- only one round -- to fight Jade. Jade would later become a regular character in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Her main weapon of choice is a metal staff, but she also uses razor-edged boomerangs (dubbed "razorangs") as well.
John Carlton, better known as Johnny Cage, is an action movie martial artist in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He is one of the most recurring characters and one of the seven original characters, debuting in the first Mortal Kombat arcade game. Johnny Cage was a struggling Hollywood action movie star who wanted to get his fame back. Originally entering the Mortal Kombat tournament to display his fighting skills and prove himself to skeptical movie critics and the movie-viewing public, who believed Cage was nothing more than an actor who relied too much on stunts and camera work and was not a real proficient fighter. Eventually, Cage becomes one of the most important defenders of Earthrealm. Though he occasionally lapses into his former selfish and materialistic ways, he has always been a brave and loyal warrior for Earthrealm.
Quan Chi is a character in the Mortal Kombat series. He made his debut in the animated series, Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm. His first video game appearance was Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, and first became playable in Mortal Kombat 4. He is also a frequently appearing, major villain in the series. Quan Chi is the most powerful sorcerer and necromancer in the Netherrealm and a primary villain in the Mortal Kombat series. Quan Chi combines both cunning and brute force in his never-ending plots to overtake not only Earthrealm, but all of reality. He is an opportunist and will ally himself with anyone who can help him further his own goals. He is notable in particular for his ruthlessness and pragmatism. His manipulative and deceptive nature has earned him many enemies, including Sub-Zero and Scorpion, the latter whose entire family and clan that he destroyed. Only Shinnok, Shao Kahn, Shang Tsung and Delia can match Quan Chi's skills as a sorcerer.
Kano (加納) is a member of the Black Dragon clan, and features in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He is one of the few original characters, debuting in the first Mortal Kombat arcade game. He was the first member of the Black Dragon to appear in the series, followed by many others. As a mercenary and leader of the international crime cartel known as the Black Dragon, he rises beyond the level of mere brutality and aggression by also being sly and cunning. It was through his resourcefulness that he convinced Shao Kahn to spare his life, and it was through ruthless ambition that he later ascended to position of general of Outworld's armies. Originally from Australia, Kano is highly opportunistic and incredibly selfish, eager to betray others even if it be his own allies, usually for financial gain. One of the more notable features of Kano is his facetious and twisted sense of humour, almost always making light of most circumstances. He combines the features of a cowardly minion, a lone survivor, a crazed madman, and a ruthless commander. His actions have made him the archenemy of Sonya Blade who has developed an obsession over finding and bringing Kano to justice. A portion of Kano's face is covered with a metal plate, (in his more recent appearances this has been changed to cybernetic upgrades) the result of a disfiguring injury 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 laser beams.
Motaro is a fictional character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He made his debut in Mortal Kombat 3, in which he also served as the sub-boss. Motaro made his first appearance in Mortal Kombat 3. He is a Centaurian, meaning that he has the body of a stallion and the torso of a man. He also has a pair of capricorn-like horns and a long, metallic rat-like tail he can use as both an energy channeling point and a limb. He is nearly 9 feet tall. Centaurians are known for their hunting skills and their mystical powers. Motaro, along with his entire race, harbors a deep-seated hatred for the Shokan, whom he sees as inferior. The two races constantly struggle against each other in order to prove their value to Shao Kahn and to finally define which one is superior.
Tanya is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. She made her debut in Mortal Kombat 4. Tanya is a slender, gloomy woman from Edenia. Originally introduced as an ostensible innocent, she was quickly revealed to be corrupted by evil, a worshiper of Shinnok and an ally to the Brotherhood of Shadow. After Shinnok's defeat, she later served Shao Kahn, the Deadly Alliance, and Onaga. Tanya seems to view herself as a survivor more than anything else, justifying her choices as being the "right decisions". She is one of the few henchwomen from the Mortal Kombat series, and prides herself on her superior knowledge of magic and diplomacy. Because of her frequent betrayal of the Edenian cause, she has earned the rivalry and bitter hatred of Jade.
Jarek is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series, who made his debut in Mortal Kombat 4. First debuting as a playable character in Mortal Kombat 4, Jarek was depicted as the brutish and short-tempered second-in-command of the Black Dragon clan. In the games, he initially utilized special moves and fatalities popularized by Kano, a trait later explained by stating that Jarek was once a student of his. Jarek's lack of originality caused him to be labeled as a somewhat uninspired character by the Mortal Kombat fanbase. He would later gain his own unique moveset in Armageddon.
Kotal Kahn is the current Emperor of Outworld in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series, who made his debut in Mortal Kombat X. Kotal Kahn is a warrior from the realm of Osh-Tekk, which was once ruled by Kotal K'etz, his father, but was later merged with Outworld. As an Osh-Tekk, he is the last of his kind, however, he was considered a god among the Mayans, who named him "Buluc", their god of war (The full name given being Buluc Chabtan). He became the ruler of Outworld, ever since he usurped Mileena after first serving beneath her.
Nightwolf is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He made his debut in Mortal Kombat 3, and has become one of the most prolific Native American characters in video games. Nightwolf is an Apache warrior who, although introduced as a historian and a shaman, does not live in the past. He is a proud and fierce warrior dedicated to the cause of good, and is in contact with Raiden through visions. As such, he draws on both internal and external spiritual energy to enhance his power.
D'Vorah is a character introduced in Mortal Kombat X. As a female member of the Kytinn species, she lives in Outworld and serves as Kotal Kahn's first minister. D'Vorah is a Kytinn, a species of colonial insects living inside humanoid bodies. Hailing from the Arnyek islands, D'Vorah's realm was conquered by Shao Kahn and she chose to serve the emperor to avoid becoming a slave. Rising in political power, D'Vorah now serves Kotal Kahn as his second in command and closest advisor, assisting him in the civil war against Mileena.
Sektor is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He made his debut in Mortal Kombat 3. Throughout the various Mortal Kombat games he was involved in, Sektor has grown into an ever more menacing mechanized warrior. He represents the closest thing to evil a cyborg can be, and combines traits of both a stealthy ninja and a ruthless killing machine fit for modern warfare. In contrast to his counterpart Cyrax, Sektor never bothered to rediscover his human side, and may be unable to. As far as this could be said about a cyborg, it is likely that he suffers from a form of insanity. He is capable of independent thought and action like Cyrax and Smoke; however, unlike the other two cyborgs, the only emotion Sektor really displays is anger and ruthlessness.
Kira is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. She made her debut in Mortal Kombat: Deception. Kira made her debut in Mortal Kombat: Deception as the first of Kabal's recruits for the new Black Dragon. Her character is courageous and her background depicts her as having the ability to take great risks. She possesses a rationality and level-headedness that contrasts her fellow recruit, the hot-blooded Kobra. In-game, Kira uses special moves and fighting styles taken directly from Kano and Sonya's appearances in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance.
Kitana is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series who made her debut in Mortal Kombat II. Princess Kitana is 10,000 years old, but is considered young in her realm of Edenia and has the appearance of a young woman. Throughout the years, she rose to great importance; first as the loyal stepdaughter of Shao Kahn, then as his enemy, tearing herself away from his grasp and freeing her home realm of Edenia. She also led an army into Outworld to combat any chance of Shao Kahn rising to power again. She shared a subtle love interest with Mortal Kombat champion Liu Kang, even after he was murdered by the Deadly Alliance. Though she was loyal to Shao Kahn for most of her life, she aligned herself with the side of good upon learning the truth about her past and her true father, the late King Jerrod.
Skarlet is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. She made her debut in Mortal Kombat (2011) as a Downloadable Character (DLC). Before that, however, she was a subject of fan speculation that began with rumors of a glitch in Mortal Kombat II. Originally, Skarlet was a character rumored to have been a secret in Mortal Kombat II, though this was speculated to be a coding glitch from Kitana, much like Ermac, who had supposedly been a color glitch from Scorpion.
Fujin (風神) is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He made his debut in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero as a boss (although was never mentioned by name), and first became playable in Mortal Kombat 4. First appearing as an unnamed boss in the adventure title Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, Fujin made his debut in the main fighting series of games during Mortal Kombat 4 portrayed as the God of Wind. Along with Raiden, Fujin is another character in the series to have originated from Japanese religion, based on the Shinto god of the wind of the same name. He appears as a tall, ageless, muscular human with long white hair bound in a ponytail and glowing white eyes. The back of his Mortal Kombat 4 costume features the Chinese character 空, whose most relevant translation to English is air or sky. As expected, he has a great variety of wind-oriented attacks at his disposal. Although more indifferent and abstract in character than Raiden, Fujin is also depicted as being concerned with the fate of Earthrealm.
Li Mei is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. She made her debut in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance.