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Characters: Mortal Kombat 1
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    Hanzo Hasashi (Scorpion) 
"Vengeance will be mine!"

Debut game: Mortal Kombat (Daniel Pesina/Ed Boon)
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 Antihero, 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.

Ascended to the TV Tropes Pantheon as the God of Spectres.

  • 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.
    • 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.
    • As a kind of apology 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 MK vs. DC and MK9, it's also in the mask.
    • His appearance in Injustice outright makes the motif the most prominent part of him, with his scorpion leg sword hilts to even his infamous spear in the shape of a stinger.
  • Anti-Hero/Anti-Villain (The Noble type): The best example in the entire series. Most characters in the series are either fully good or fully bad, but Scorpion is completely 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.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • The elder Sub-Zero (Bi-Han), for killing his family.
    • Quan Chi, for manipulating Scorps into killing Bi-Han when Quan was the real responsible for his family's death.
  • Author Avatar: In a sense, he could be considered to be one for series' co-creator Ed Boon, who has gone on record several times noting that Scorpion is his favorite character and provides the voicework for Scorpion's "GET OVER HERE!"/"COME HERE!".
  • Back from the Dead: After being killed by Bi-Han in Mythologies, 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 he is mentioned or shows 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:
  • Canon Name: Scorpion's rope-and-kunai combo was often called the "Spear" in the move lists of earlier MK games.
  • Catch Phrase:
    "Come here!"
    "Get over here!"
    • 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.
  • Code Name: Before becoming the hellspawn known as Scorpion, Hanzo was given the title of "Sasori" by the Shirai Ryu's Grandmaster. Sasori is the Japanese word for "Scorpion."
  • A Day in the Limelight: Both times averting No Campaign for the Wicked, though he's more on the neutral side.
  • Dem Bones: As revealed during his signature Fatality, under Scorpion's mask his head is actually a flaming skull.
  • Downloadable Content:
    • In 9, his MK1/2 and the Playstation Vita exclusive MK3 klassic skins and his classic "Toasty!" fatality.
    • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Before being part of the Klassic Pack, buying GameStop's regular edition of 9 gave you these items.
    • He's one of the DLC characters in the original release of Injustice.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • Since Deadly Alliance he's always seen coming to a fight with a pair of swords on his back.
    • One of his variations in X ("Ninjitsu") has this as the focus of his fighting style.
    • As of X, he also has two Kunai.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: To make up for the Scorpion Animality already being taken by Sheeva, Scorpion's Animality from Ultimate 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.
  • The Faceless: Legacy aside, Scorpion's facial features as Hanzo have never been properly shown. He still has to show his true face sometime in the future.
  • Famous-Named Foreigner: They went right with "Hanzo" for a first name, but his surname, Hasashi, is not even a word.
  • Guest Fighter:
    • He's a DLC character in Injustice.
    • He also appears in The Grid, alongside Sub-Zero and Noob Saibot.
    • He's an unlockable skin in ''Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy.
    • He appears in NBA Jam: Tournament Edition.
    • He and Sub-Zero appears in MLB Slugfest 2006 but only by means of cheat codes.
  • Heel Face Door Slam:
    • In 9, Raiden, having a premonition that Sub-Zero will become a greater force for evil if killed, tries to convince him to spare Bi-Han 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.
    • His Arcade Ladder ending in 9 had him eventually find out the truth on his own, and then rather than tormenting Quan Chi in the Netherrealm, he flat out burns him to death.
  • 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. In Japan the color yellow symbolizes courage, which makes it better since Scorpion is Japanese while the Lin Kuei are Chinese.
  • Iconic Item: His signature "rope with a tipped Kunai at the end."
    • Slashed Throat: In 2, Scorpion uses it to slash the opponent's throat as part of a Fatality. Then he follows up by cutting the enemy in half.
    • Your Head A Splode: 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.
    • Variable-Length Chain: In 9, a chain replaces the rope of his rope-kunai combo weapon.
    • His spear in Injustice is in the shape of a scopion stinger.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: His fate in the aftermath of the Battle of Armageddon (as seen in 9's intro).
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Challenge #20 in 9 has Scorpion beat up Mileena, because she made a teddy bear for him and HE HATES TEDDIES!
    • The Vita-exclusive Bonus Challenge Tower mission "I STILL Hate Teddies!" has him pile more pain on Mileena by not only beating the crap out of her, but also choking the nonexistent life out of the teddy bear and subjecting it to the Subway's stage fatality!
  • Kunai Nut: In Legacy it is revealed that he got his codename because of his skills with the kunai.
  • Like a Badass out of Hell: Of the "Got A Job" variety in 9. He's a servant of Quan Chi, the Netherrealm's equivalent of Satan.
  • 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.
  • The Minion Master: His Inferno Variation in X centers around him summoning a demon from hell similar to how Noob Saibot did in 9.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: As a highlight of his undead condition.
  • 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.
    • Two of them appears n his back in his Ninjutsu variation in X.
  • 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).
  • Now Buy The Merchandise: His Friendship in 2, in which he invites the player to "Buy a Scorpion doll!"
  • Off Screen 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.
    • It's also present in his "Split Decision" fatality in 9, to the point of even slicing the head in half.
    • His Fatality from X has a "Off With His Face" variation.
  • 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.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Scorpion is a classic vengeance-driven revenant. Some material lists him as a Specter.
  • Palette Swap: Of Sub-Zero, originally. The same is true in reverse.
  • Papa Wolf: He had a family as a human, 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. His son is later kidnapped by Quan-Chi immediately after being brought back to life in his Armageddon ending.
  • 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.
  • Playing with Fire
    • Stripped to the Bone: In MK vs. DC, 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.
  • Power Echoes: MK vs. DC and onward.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: According to Deadly Alliance, Scorpion's true forte is... cooking. He's particularly good at chopping.
  • Revenge: Pretty much the only reason he walks among the living. As a corporeal spirit of vengeance and rage, his only mission is to right whatever believes wronged him by any means. Unfortunately this makes him susceptible to manipulation (as shown when Quan Chi dupes him into killing Sub-Zero, amidst the latter's protests).
  • Screw Destiny: In 9, Raiden tried to talk his way out of him murdering Bi-Han, because an even more evil being might be spawned from Scorpion's actions. It doesn't work for the Tunder God.
  • 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: Only shown in his Fatalities, in Shaolin Monks and by way of a glitch in 4.
  • Tear Off Your Face:
    • His trademark fatality has him doing it to himself.
    • His fatality in X ends this way towards his opponent.
  • Teleport Spam: His "Teleport Punch" move.
  • Too Many Belts: His Mortal Kombat X costume, according to a promotional image.
  • Unstoppable Rage: When Scorpion is on the warpath, run.
    • The Power of Hate: If this emotion was a metal and Hanzo was a blacksmith, then Scorpion most certainly forged a BFS out of it. A BFS that he promptly drove through Bi-Han's heart.
  • Wild Card: Strides the limit between good and evil.
  • Wolverine Publicity: If a Mortal Kombat character makes a cameo in other media or franchises, it'll practically ALWAYS be Scorpion. He's pretty much the franchise's poster boy. Sub-Zero is too, but to a lesser extent than Scorpion.

    Bi-Han (Sub-Zero V) 
"Now you will feel death's cold embrace!"

Debut game: Mortal Kombat (Daniel Pesina)
Other appearances as Sub-Zero V: Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (John Turk), 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, 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 II character sheet.

  • Black Screen of Death: His Spine Rip Fatality in UMK3, as none of the fighters had animations in place that would make it feasible to show.
    • The Fatality was additionally censored so as to mock the controversy the move causes in the original game.
  • 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.
    Scorpion: "I will have my revenge, but I will not kill Sub-Zero."
    Sub-Zero: "Will not? Or cannot?"
    Scorpion: "You! The Shirai Ryu are dead. You shall suffer as they did."
    Sub-Zero: "To hell with your clan."
    Scorpion: "No... TO HELL WITH YOU!" (drags Sub-Zero into the Netherrealm)
  • But Not Too Foreign: He was originally 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. 9 retcons this by showing the parents of both of the brothers in a region that is pretty clearly in East Asia. It also explicitly states that both Bi-Han and Kuai-Liang were abducted as children which contradicts the earlier backstory of the brothers having been born to an American woman with a sister and then later on being taken by their father to China.
  • 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 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: More so 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.
  • Jobber: Has a tendency to repeatedly show up during 9's story mode to get beaten up.
  • Kill It with Fire: His fate in the original timeline and again during 9 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.
  • Nominal Hero: Bi-Han's motivation in life is about self-preservation (hence why handing the amulet to Quan Chi didn't invoke any sensation of transgression on his part when Raiden admonished him for it). He'll do some heroic things (like sparing Sareena) but in the end he's not someone who acts because it is the "right thing to do" (his brother is more keen on being the heroic type).
  • Off with His Head!: His infamous "Spine Rip" Fatality, which involved ripping out the opponent's head and spinal cord from their shoulders. 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.
  • Palette Swap: Of Scorpion. Interestingly, he is not a mere Palette Swap of his own character in Mortal Kombat 9. If you choose Sub-Zero's alternate outfit, he also gains the voice samples of Bi-Han instead of Kuai Liang, which means the alternate outfit is Bi-Han.
  • Proud Warrior Clan Guy: Very devoted to the Lin Kuei.
  • Retirony: In his MK1 ending, it's revealed that assassinating Shang Tsung would've been his last job for Lin Kuei and he would retire from his dangerous job afterwards. Unfortunately, by canon, Scorpion puts the trope in full effect, and possibly by Retcon, Bi-Han is shown to be devoted to the Lin Kuei that he wouldn't even think about retiring.
  • 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.
  • Slide Attack: His "Slide" move.
  • 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.
  • Unexpected Character: Treated in-universe as this in his UMK3 ending.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: 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.

"Oh, I got a knack for survival. You, on the other hand, are going to die here."

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)
Non-game appearances: Mortal Kombat: The Movie (Trevor Goddard), Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm (Michael Des Barres), Mortal Kombat: Legacy (Darren Shahlavi), Wreck-It Ralph (Brian Kesinger)

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 laser-like 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 Show It to You: His infamous "Heart Rip" Fatality. He holds the heart up for everyone to see, including the victim in several games.
  • Arch-Enemies:
    • The Special Forces. He's quite... "invested" in his rivalry with Sonyanote , and Jax is responsible for the metal plate on his face.
    • The Red Dragon clan. They're long time enemy of Kano's Black Dragon Clan.
  • Badass
    • Badass Normal: Aside from a robotic eye, he's nothing more than a human being with "a knack for survival".
  • Bad Boss: In Special Forces. The other Black Dragon clansmen (barring the possibility of Jarek) are unquestionably loyal to Kano, who exploits them as distractions for Jax to deal with (and unlike Jarek, they might all be dead by Jax's hands, too).
  • 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.
  • Counter Attack: The main thrust of his "Commando" fighting style in X, which allows him to catch-and-return enemy attacks with a range of grapples.
  • Cyborg: Only insomuch as needing a synthetic eye that has also been outfitted with a heat-emitting beam (justified as the surgeon who gave it to him has a high proficiency in areas of technology). The rest of him is human.
    • In Mortal Kombat X, a lot more of his body has been cybernetically enhanced, in particular, his heart and right ear.
  • Disney Villain Death: His fate in the Battle of Armageddon.
  • Dual Wielding: His weapon style has him wielding a pair of Butterfly Knives.
  • Electronic Eyes: His left eye was replaced with a cybernetic prosthetic following an unfortunate battle with Jax.
  • 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 how great Kano is, how she is on his side, and describes him as a fallen angel. Also doubles as The Villain Sucks Song.
  • Knife Nut: In particular, the "Cutthroat" variation in Mortal Kombat X is centered around Kano's knife fighting skills.
  • Large Ham: Especially in the first movie.
    • In the games, too. Rich Divizio has stated he played Kano as over-the-top as possible.
  • 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 at that point though.
  • Psycho for Hire
  • The Quisling: Basically, he's willing to sell out all of humanity.
  • 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 
"I make this look easy!"

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)
Non-game appearances: Mortal Kombat: The Movie (Linden Ashby), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (Chris Conrad), Mortal Kombat: Rebirth/Mortal Kombat: Legacy (Matt Mullins)

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. In Mortal Kombat X it's revelaed that he has a daughter, Cassie Cage.

  • Action Dad: He's the father of Cassie Cage, one of the new characters in X.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy
  • Ascended Glitch: In the first game, a glitch allowed Johnny to perform his decapitation fatality uppercut multiple times, knocking off at least 2 heads of his opponent. It was kept (and the ante upped by guaranteeing three heads were sent flying) for 2 and Trilogy, but dropped ever since.
  • Back from the Dead: Constantly in the original timeline. 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.
    • Finally subverted in 9, as he manages to survive a plot where most of the major characters die.
  • Badass Boast: From the story mode of 9:
    Johnny Cage: "Fans think my moves are all wire work and special effects. Truth is... I am the special effects."
  • Badass in a Nice Suit:
    • Prior to the events in Deadly Alliance, he arrives on Shang Tsung's Island dressed in a tux via parachute.
    • In 9, he comes to the first tournament wearing a tuxedo with a loosened bow tie.
  • Berserk Button: In the first movie. Goro should not have crushed those $500 pair of shades. That, and killing off Johnny's friend.
  • Born Lucky:
    • While other combatants can justify their special powers with reasons going from Training from Hell or being Physical Gods, sorcerers or Ninjas/McNinjas; Johnny Cage has no background for how he got his energy blasts, he's simply naturally gifted.
    • In 9, it's revealed that he is descended from a Mediterranean warrior cult who bred fighters for the gods. Yet, despite that, 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. Also, 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 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.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Towards Sonya in the first chapter of 9:
    "I'm taking you down, I'm taking you down, I'm taking you out, I'm taking you out, and [approaches 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 9 victory pose, his shades break in half. No problem: he just takes out a brand new pair and puts them on!
    • Sunglasses at Night: Even at night, he doesn't fight without his glasses.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Looks every bit of a muggle, and acts like a jerkass, but he can hold his own against all kinds of enemies, including Tarkatans, cyborgs, physical gods, sorcerers, etc.
  • A Day in the Limelight: In 9, he's the focus of the first chapter.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Seems to be this at first, in tone with his movie self, as seen in MK9.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In 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.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Much to his fans' chagrin.
    • 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. His (non-canonical) ending states that he gained superior strength and dexterity, but more important, a new insight into his existence. With the help of Shaolin masters, he renounced his superficial former life and became enlightened.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: Subverted. He's one of the good guys and hangs out, without a single problem, with beings any other example of this trope would dismiss for being ugly.
  • Fighting with Chucks
  • Full-Name Basis: He screams "JOHNNY CAGE!" after winning a round or winning a Test Your Might/Strike/Sight minigame.
  • 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. It wouldn't work on Sonya in the first game or on Kitana, Jade and Mileena in the second game since there's not much there to hit anyway.
    • Also, the first part of his X-Ray move is a three-punch combo to the groin. Ouch.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: His Torso Rip fatality.
    • In Shaolin Monks, he has a fatality where he will punch the opponent in the groin several times, mugs for the camera, punches the groin for a bit like a speed bag, and then does one final monster punch that pulverises the entire pelvic region, effectively cutting the unlucky victim in half.
  • The Heart: Believe it or not. Cage may be a pompous ass, but he's genuinely a nice guy underneath, and of all the heroes he's the one that fights for the good guys just because it's the right thing to do. He also may love to kick ass, but he's horrified when asked to kill his defeated opponent by Shang Tsung. During the course of the Story Mode in MK9, he pretty much becomes the team's moral center.
  • 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.note  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.
  • Johnny McCoolname: His real name is John Carlton.
  • I'll Take That as a Compliment / Insult Backfire: This exchange between Johnny and Sonya in the first film:
    Sonya: (after Johnny tells her that he is facing Goro) Oh, I can't believe this! You are the most egotistical, self-deluded person I have ever met!
    Johnny: Yeah, well you forgot good-looking.
  • Kangaroos Represent Australia: He turns into one to kick his opponent off screen as an Animality in MK Trilogy.
  • Kill Steal: Interrupts Kung Lao before he can finish off Goro in Shaolin Monks, then he throws his fist in the air in celebration.
  • The Lancer of the Five-Man Band
  • Legacy Character / Spin-Offspring: He's the father of Cassie Cage, who will appear in Mortal Kombat X.
  • 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.
  • Official Couple Ordeal Syndrome: Despite being put through the wringer during the events of Mortal Kombat 9, Johnny does eventually hook up with Sonya, as evidenced by their daughter Cassie Cage appearing in Mortal Kombat X.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Person as Verb: Tried this with himself in Shaolin Monks and MK9. "You just got Caged!"
  • 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.
  • Red Herring Shirt: Johnny Cage survives the events of Mortal Kombat 9. Keep in mind that in every form of media he's been in (the films, the games and even In-Universe in a role he refused to take part in), he dies in some form or fashion.
  • 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. As Mortal Kombat X shows, he succeeded in wooing Sonya, as their daughter is a playable character.
  • Shotoclone
  • Speed Echoes: Several of his Shadow moves have this effect.
  • They Killed Johnny Again!: Dies in Mortal Kombat 3, temporarily resurrected in Trilogy (meaning that he's dead again at the end), resurrected in Mortal Kombat 4, Mortal Kombat: Deception reveals that he doesn't survive the events of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance and the aftermath of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, dies in the second Mortal Kombat movie, and even rejects a role in the movie "The Death of Johnny Cage" in Deadly Alliance (even lampshading that he was tired of starring in roles where he died and came back to life again). Surprisingly, given his track record, he survives the events of Mortal Kombat 9!
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: In 9, he's shown to be against killing his enemies, refusing to kill Baraka after defeating him in the tournament. He even lampshades one of the most well-known concepts of this game - Fatalities - in that scene; when Shao Khan tells him to "Finish him" after winning, he says, "Finish him? Heh. Yeah right." (Of course, this happens in the Story Mode, and you can't even use Fatalities there; the only way a character can die is if the plot demands it.)
  • 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 
"I guess I'll have to do this the hard way!"

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)
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)

The Chick of the franchise, or at least the very first one. 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.

  • Action Mom: In Mortal Kombat X, one of the newly revealed characters is Cassie Cage, Sonya and Johnny Cage's daughter, so that automatically makes Sonya this trope.
    • Missing Mom: Possibly in Mortal Kombat X. A single ([[albeit hard to hear]]) line from Kotal Kahn when he grabs Cassie Cage and throws her (specifically from Gamespot's Kotal Kahn vs Cassie Cage gameplay video) all but officially (and possibly unintentionally) confirms that Sonya dies in that game too.
  • Action Girl
  • Arch-Enemy: To Kano, since he killed one of Sonya's partners before the series started.
  • Badass
  • Badass in Distress: Spending the Outworld tournament chained up did nothing to reduce her badassitude.
  • Bare Your Midriff
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Given her Arcade Ladder Ending in 9 (which is likely cannon, given the ending to the Story Mode) she almost falls into this after the deaths of her friends and companions. Fortunately, an apparition claiming to be her father helped pull her out of it and encourage her not to give up.
  • 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.
  • Fanservice 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.
    • In the early games, too. In the original, she was played by a dancer. In 3, she was played by a Playboy model.
  • First Name Basis: Hardly anyone refers to her using her last name.
  • Green Thumb: In her friendship in Ultimate MK3, Sonya would salute and flowers would grow all over the floor.
  • Half The Woman She Used To Be: Her fate in the Battle of Armageddon. (It is not known who did it to her.)
  • Heroic Willpower: Here's the situation: You're tied up, hanging by a hook over The Dead Pool, with Sheeva watching you, and her boss has signed your death warrant, so it's clear what's likely going to happen here soon... And you still haven't lost your Deadpan Snarker attitude. ("What is it with you Shokan and underground cesspools?") Yeah, I'd say she qualifies for this.
  • Ink Suit Actress: Like Kano, Sonya's model in the 3D games resemble her actresses in the movies. From Deadly Alliance to Armageddon, she takes after Sandra Hess, whereas in Mortal Kombat 9, she takes a lot after Bridgette Wilson-Sampras.
  • 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.
  • Legacy Character / Spin-Offspring: She's the mother of Cassie Cage, who will appear in Mortal Kombat X.
  • Murderous Thighs: One of her fatalities was a leg scissor hold that literally cut the opponent in half.
  • Ms. Fanservice
  • 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.
  • Official Couple Ordeal Syndrome: Despite being put through the wringer during the events of Mortal Kombat 9, she does eventually get together with Johnny Cage, as evidenced by their daughter Cassie Cage appearing in Mortal Kombat X.
  • Red Oni: To Jax.
  • The Rival: With Frost, althought neither of them has ever given a reason.
  • 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.
  • 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: Her official bio has her at 5'10".
  • Super Cute Super Powers: Sonya Blade has a Kiss of Death fatality where she blows a kiss at her opponent. Sometimes the kiss takes the form of a floating fireball, but other games has it be a little pink heart that flitters towards the opponent, and once it hits, the enemy explodes bloodily.
  • 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.
  • Tomboy
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: More often than not since 3.
  • 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:
    • Absolute Cleavage: Her default attire in 9 manages to pull this off with a bulletproof vest.
    • Bare Your Midriff: The only consistent form of Stripperiffic her costume has.
    • Fanservice: Her shirt and pants tearing in exactly the right places.
    • 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.
    • Nice Hat: Usually present in her military-themed outfits.
    • Painted-On Pants: Her earlier appearances.
    • Stripperiffic: Averted; her costumes are way more modest than the other females.
  • 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 
"Show me what you can do."

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)
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. However Raiden's visions slowly begin to send Liu Kang down a much different path as the game progresses.

Tropes related to Liu Kang (Human)

  • A Day in the Limelight:
  • 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: Liu certainly seems to think so of Kitana, given his impressed reaction to her fighting skills in 9.
  • Animal Motif: Dragons
  • Anvil On Head: In one of his fatalities in MK3 and the DC crossover, a Mortal Kombat arcade cabinet drops and crushes his opponent.
  • Arch-Enemy: Shang Tsung
    • Shao Kahn as well. Even moreso in the new timeline as Kahn murdered Kang's best friend Kung Lao, and later brainwashed Sindel into killing her daughter and Kang's Love Interest Kitana.
    • And if he returns for the next game, we can expect Raiden to be an arch-enemy.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: "Liu" is a common Chinese surname and is typically not used as a given name. The order of Liu Kang's name would seem to follow Eastern naming convention, in which the family name comes before the given name, but all characters address Liu Kang as "Liu," treating "Liu" as his first name; even his own brother Chan does so in the movie.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: For the most part.
  • Bruce Lee Clone: He even had his own in-games vocals when the other men all had the same.
  • Celibate Hero: He passed up on Kitana's offer of ruling Edenia with her after Mortal Kombat 4, because of his status as the Champion of Earthrealm.
  • The Champion: For Raiden. Probably doesn't consider it so much of an honor anymore after the events of 9.
  • Despair Event Horizon/Trauma Conga Line: All of his friends save for Cage and Sonya die, he finds his faith in Raiden completely shattered, and dies a horrible death when he attacks the latter out of rage.
  • 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.
  • Everything's Funkier with Disco: In his Friendship in MKII, a disco ball comes down from the top of the screen as he starts to dance.
  • Fallen Hero: Liu must have taken notes from Jin Kazama, as he is this in Legacy.
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • Which technically makes them distant cousins.
  • 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
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Kung Lao.
  • Impossible Shadow Puppets: His MK3's Friendship has Liu Kang using his fingers to make a shadow puppet of the MK dragon.
  • Invincible Hero: He's the least complicated character in the franchise storywise, and he was the in-story winner of the first four games. And then BRUTALLY averted in both Deadly Alliance and 9.
  • Jack of All Stats
    • Lightning Bruiser: In 9, he's the second-fastest character in the game behind Kabal.
  • Kiai: The God of the Trope.
  • 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.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy
  • Martial Arts Headband: Liu Kang wore a red one starting from MKII onward.
  • Martial Pacifist: Before MKII.
  • 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 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, 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
  • Series Mascot: While not as iconic as Scorpion or Sub-Zero, he's still The Hero of the series, with a dragon motif to evoke the iconic logo
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Warrior Monk

Tropes related to Liu Kang (Zombie)

  • 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 a 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
  • Monster from Beyond the Veil
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Despite actually having the appearance of a typical zombie, he is still as fast in combat as he was when he was alive.
  • The Undead

"Thunder takes you!"

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)
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. Having received visions of his future self's death at the hands of the Outworld emperor, he believes it is his duty to avert the terrible fate that awaits the realms at the end of the timeline. However the visions are unclear and do not specifically indicate what must be changed, leaving Raiden to interpret them of his own...

Tropes related to Raiden (Pre-Deception)

  • All Asians Wear Conical Straw Hats
  • All Myths Are True: Seems to be the case if his relationship with Nightwolf is any indication.
  • 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 Raiden (post-Deception).
  • Badass: Made clear in the more recent games. Deception had take on Quan Chi and Shang Tsung as the same time and did better against them the rest of the heroes did collectively, though he still lost. Mortal Kombat 9 has Quan Chi sick undead versions of the warriors killed by Sindel and beats them, and later, he kills Liu Kang, which occurred when he was trying to avoid killing him.
  • Battle Aura: In the first game, 4, and Deadly Alliance, his body constantly generates lightning bolts.
  • Big Good
  • Complete Immortality: Raiden has lived for millions of years. At the end of Deadly Alliance to try and stop Onaga he self-destructed by releasing his godly essence only to reform later.
  • 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.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • 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 hair (it's somewhat noticeable in his default costume, but you have to squint).
  • Fallen Hero: Liu Kang sees him as this in 9.
  • God in Human Form
  • God of Good
  • Guilt Complex: Gets one in 9. He constantly misinterprets 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 terrible repercussions for many characters. He realises this is all his fault.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: Even in modern games, his name is still pronounced "Ray-din" instead of the more accurate "Rye-den". This may have to do with the situation in the Spell My Name with an S example.
  • 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 (although, like most heights in this series, it's not accurately conveyed in most cases).
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Same warning as with Liu Kang. If you plan to play Armageddon, remember that Raiden became Darker and Edgier.
  • Meaningful Name: Raiden is Japanese for "thunder and lightning."
  • Megaton Punch: One of his fatalities is an explosive uppercut that literally blows his enemies into pieces.
  • Mentor: To Liu Kang. Perhaps most evident in the movie, the DC crossover, and 9.
  • Mr. Fanservice
  • Myself, 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
  • One-Man Army: Is able to take on the entirety of the Army of fallen heroes that Quan Chi had resurrected to serve him
  • 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: Its been stated his true form is ethereal, but he has to take a physical form to participate in mortal events.
  • 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
  • Silence, You Fool!: In the first movie. And he's a GOOD guy.
  • Spanner in the Works: In 9. Despite being out-gambitted by Shinnok and Quan Chi, Raiden is poised to be this to them because he managed to survive everything. Quan Chi didn't expect that, though Shinnok believes it won't make any difference.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Depending on the game continuity or the platform in which 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: He's always had a teleport but it becomes the focus of his "Displacer" variation in MK X, which allows him to zip back and forth mid-combo in order to attack his enemy from both sides (he can also do a delayed teleport in this mode, allowing him to phase out briefly then phase back in once his opponent is confused where he'll reappear).
  • Time Abyss: Millions of years old if not older.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He rams Motaro through a bridge to save Cage, killing Motaro. Unfortunately, this action causes Shao Kahn to take off his kiddie gloves and empower Sindel with Shang Tsung's soul, leading to her bloody No-Holds-Barred Beatdown of the heroes and their subsequent resurrection and enslavement at the hands of Quan Chi.

Tropes related to Raiden (Post-''Deception)

  • Amazing Technicolor Population: His skin is grey.
  • Came Back Wrong: A less extreme example than most, but according to Fujin, he should have been resurrected as a blank slate. Instead, he comes back Darker and Edgier.
  • Badass Cape: Tattered and torn in Deception and Armageddon.
  • 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 the fact that he managed to save the Earthrealm.
  • 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.
  • Taking You with Me: In Deception, he tries to pull this off against Onaga, but in vain. It actually works straight when used as a 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 into a killer zombie, and then by destroying all the other realms, even those that were harmless to the Earth itself... yeah.

"Your fighting styles are useless."

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
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 with him artifacts and knowledges 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 ancient 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. As a minor modification to his role, he no longer hides in the shadows of the Mortal Kombat tournament but is instead an official participant, fighting on behalf of Outworld. He is quickly eliminated but continues to offer his services to Shang Tsung in other areas as the tournament progresses.

  • Alien Blood: It's green.
  • Anti-Villain (The Woobie Type): 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.
  • The Artifact: He was originally conceived as a composite version of Sub-Zero and Scorpion and wore a green ninja garb to reflect this. From Mortal Kombat II and onward, he gained his own moveset and backstory, and was no longer tied to Scorpion and Sub-Zero (he wasn't even a member of the Shirai Ryu nor the Lin Kuei). Despite this, he was still depicted as a palette swap of Scorpion and Sub-Zero until the switch to 3D with Mortal Kombat 4, where he was given a more reptilian appearance better suited for his namesake.
  • Bonus Boss: The very first.
  • Butt Monkey: 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 succeeded during his fight against Earthrealm's warriors, so he talks to Quan Chi so that he may convince Shinnok to send Reptile back in time to his homeworld before it was destroyed. After a useless plea, 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. Although in the non-canon Arcade Mode, he DOES gets what he wants when he forced Shang Tsung to recreate his race, and then kills him before he gets screwed again.
  • Composite Character: In the 1992 original, where he was essentially Scorpion and Sub-Zero combined into one fighter, which is reflected by his color scheme (blue and yellow makes green).
  • Divergent Character Evolution: From Mortal Kombat II, he gained his own moveset and a unique backstory.
  • 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.
  • 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 to 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 Attack: 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
  • Rolling Attack: In some games, Reptile could curl himself up into a ball and roll forward, knocking the enemy down.
  • Sanity Slippage: Starting with Deadly Alliance, its been shown that Reptile is mentally unstable due to his separation from his race, and his mental state has continued to deteriorate. In Konquest he's having full-blown battles with hallucinatory opponents, even once mistaking his then-master, Nitara, as one of the sorcerors. At the end, he "fights" the enemy he thinks has been the source of all his failures to the death. It was himself.
    • 9 also brings up his insanity. In his arcade ending, he finally snaps and becomes an Omnicidal Maniac.
  • 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"). The worst part of that was, Sonya couldn't fight him at all, because she had to Block in order to use her Fatality.
    • 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).
    • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: The only time you're allowed to touch the block button is when inputting Sonya's fatality, the only one in the game that requires block.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Invisibility sounds cool, but it's a fairly difficult move, and the the AI is unaffected, since all it does is turn off the model display.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: In 4, Deadly Alliance, and Armageddon.

"I will grant you a warrior's death!"

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)
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.

Goro has a similar role in Mortal Kombat 9, although he is much less important in the story and sticks around after his initial defeat to get beaten again and again

  • Anti-Villain: Ultimately just trying to protect his people.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Prince of the Shokan race and also their strongest warrior.
  • Badass: 9 time champion of Mortal Kombat and commander of Outworld's armies.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Was Champion of Mortal Kombat for 500 years prior to the first game.
  • The Dragon: To Shao Kahn. He's literally a dragon-human hybrid, somehow...
    • Co-Dragons: Goro and Shang Tsung served as Co Dragons under Shao Kahn.
    • Noble Top Enforcer: Goro only serves under Shao Kahn for the good of the Shokan race. Unlike most of the bloodthirsty or sinister warriors in Kahn's army, Goro is an honorable warrior despite his monstrous appearance. When Kung Lao wanted to avenge his ancestor the Great Kung Lao's death at the hands of Goro, He made peace with Kung Lao noting that his ancestor was a great man and a noble warrior. He also joined the side of good after MK4 and waged war on Shao Kahn alongside Kitana.
  • 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
  • The Juggernaut: He plows through all of the main heroes in the MKSM opening and the only people who aren't defeated with ease are those who dodge out of his path.
  • Large and in Charge: Official canon has Goro at an imposing 8'2" and 550 pounds.
  • Large Ham: Especially in the first movie. Also this in the Malibu comics.
  • Loincloth
  • Mighty Glacier: In the later games.
  • 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
    • An Arm and a Leg: One of his fatalities has him using his four arms to rip off his opponent's limbs.
    • Spin Attack: Goro's Spinning Slaps.
  • 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: There are others who embody this as well (such as his fellow Shokan, Moloch, and Onaga), but Goro is probably the most well-known example within MK.
  • 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 Gets Around: In his profile on the official comic and instruction manual for the first game, he is stated to be a polygamist, having seven wives. Fans often assume that Sheeva was one of them, but this has not been proven.
  • Really 700 Years Old: At the time of the first 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. However, he gets fatalities of his own in the GameCube version of Deception and Mortal Kombat 9.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Was commander of Outworld's armies and also won 9 Mortal Kombat Tournaments for Outworld.
  • Slipknot Ponytail
  • SNK Boss: In the early games, Goro was far from balanced. All of his moves did way more damage than 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.
  • Third-Person Person: In the Malibu Comics, Goro refers to himself by name.
    Goro: (as he prepares to "discipline" the staff) "You do not deserve to be guards for Shang Tsung. All you deserve is death. Death at the hands of Goro."
  • Warrior Prince: His official title is Prince Goro. You know what he's the prince of? Kicking your ass.
    • In the Malibu Comics, Goro is known as the 'Prince of Pain.' How appropriate.

    Shang Tsung 

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 emerging 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 an exception.

    Characters/Mortal KombatMortal Kombat II

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