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!)
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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