Characters: Mortal Kombat II

Here, we're going to list the characters introduced in Mortal Kombat II.

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    Kuai Liang (Tundra/Sub-Zero VI) 
"This fight will be your last!"

The sixth member of his family to bear the mantle of Sub-Zero, the warrior has become an active defender of Earthrealm from the forces of Outworld. A powerful Cryomancer able to create and manipulate ice at will, Sub-Zero became the Grandmaster of the Lin Kuei, aiming to rebuild it as a force for good in the world. His real name is Kuai Liang.

Taking the name Sub-Zero after the death of his elder brother Bi-Han, the Lin Kuei sent him and fellow warrior Smoke into to Outworld during the second tournament. Their mission was the same as his fallen elder brother's, to assassinate Shang Tsung. He soon learned of Scorpion's grudge against the recently "revived" Sub-Zero. But when he showed mercy to a defeated foe, Scorpion eventually realized he was in fact his younger brother and spared him his elder's fate. Unable to kill their target but aiding the Earthrealm warriors against Shao Kahn, the duo returned home empty handed.

Unfortunately, the Lin Kuei had acquired technology to enhance their warriors and desired Sub-Zero and Smoke to become cyborg assassins. The two refused and fled for their lives. Sub-Zero managed to escape, but Smoke was captured. He was marked for death whilst his friend was turned into a machine against his will. Smoke, Cyrax and Sektor were sent to eliminate him. When Shao Kahn suddenly invaded Earthrealm and claimed the souls of countless millions, as a chosen warrior he found himself one of the lucky few spared and joined Earthrealm's defense against Kahn. Convincing Smoke he had retained his soul and restoring his humanity the two defeated Cyrax and Sektor. Sub-Zero reprogrammed Cyrax to assassinate Kahn (a task he failed in) but Smoke was captured shortly before Outworld's defeat.

Convincing an enraged Scorpion during Shinnok's war that he had no role in the murder of his clan or family and with Quan Chi revealed as the true culprit the Lin Kuei was finally freed from the specter's vengeance. In the events prior to Deadly Alliance Sub-Zero returned to the Lin Kuei and defeated Sektor for the leadership of the clan, claiming the power-enhancing "Dragon Medallion" in the process. Vowing to reform the group into a force for good. When the "Deadly Alliance" struck he saw it as an opportunity to show the clan in a new light. Taking his new apprentice Frost with him, he aimed to aid Raiden's forces against the new threat. However, Frost's ambitions caused her to betray Sub-Zero, attempting to steal the Dragon Medallion from her master. Unable to handle its raw power, Frost was consumed by ice, with Sub-Zero blaming her failings on himself.

In Deception within a tomb in Outworld, he discovered his origins were that of a forgotten race known as Cryomancers. Laying Frost's body to rest and forgiving her treachery he donned an ancient suit of armor within the ruin and headed for an Earthrealm portal. He offered asylum to Sareena for aiding his brother in the past. Sub-Zero then found himself in direct conflict with his fallen sibling Noob Saibot and a reprogrammed Smoke during the events of Armageddon.

In Mortal Kombat 9, the younger Sub-Zero is actively seeking Scorpion for his brother's death, and so heads to Outworld with Smoke to seek him. He is also on the run with Smoke from the Lin Kuei, as they were trying to avoid being turned into cyborg ninja like Cyrax and Sektor before them.

For tropes related to Cyber Sub-Zero, check the Mortal Kombat 9 character sheet.

  • Asskicking Equals Authority: How he becomes leader of the Lin Kuei in the original continuity.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: In Deception and Armageddon, his skin exhibits a gray shade while wearing his Cryomancer armor.
  • Amplifier Artifact: The Dragon Medallion increases Sub-Zero's freezing powers. It's also the symbol of his status as the new Lin Kuei Grandmaster, and may have been responsible for his apparent age jump in Deadly Alliance. His ancestral Cryomancer armor further boosts his powers.
  • And This Is for...: The aftermath of his battle with Scorpion in 9's Story Mode.
    "For my brother!"
  • Badass: He's generally shown to be among the strongest of the heroic characters. Additionally in Mortal Kombat 9 he handily wipes the floor with Scorpion (who bested his brother), and then as a cyborg he thrashes both GORO AND KINTARO at once.
  • Back from the Dead: As of Mortal Kombat X, he's alive and organic once again.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: In his MK9 Arcade ending, Raiden tells him the truth about what happened to his and Scorpion's families due to the Lin Kuei. He manages to convince Scorpion of this and they go forth to take on entire armies for vengeance.
  • Bald of Awesome: His alt. in Deception.
  • Bears Are Bad News: His Animality.
  • BFS: The Kori Blade, his weapon style in Deadly Alliance, Deception, and Armageddon, is a large sword made of ice. In the reboot, he occasionally pulls out an ice sword for combos, but it's much smaller and less intricate.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: If he wins a match in 9 without performing a Fatality, he shoots ice towards the players, freezing the screen.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Like his brother, American on his mother's side, Chinese-Cryomancer on his father's.
    • Mortal Kombat 9 has retconned this, since Sub-Zero's trailer shows both Kuai Liang and Bi-Han being abducted as children in what is clearly East Asia, contradicting the the backstory of the brothers being born to an American and later taken by their father to China.
  • Butt Monkey: Because of Ed Boon's favoritism to Scorpion, fans have kind of joked that Sub-Zero's role in trailers is always 'to get his ass kicked by Scorpion'. 9's title screen always had Scorpion uppercut Sub-Zero, in Scorpion's intro in Injustice: Gods Among Us he's about to pull a fatality on Sub-Zero, and in X's trailer, even if we don't know which Sub-Zero is it, Scorpion pulled a fatality on him.
  • Cain and Abel: Upon discovering Noob Saibot's identity as his elder brother reincarnated, Noob has been trying to kill him.
  • Character Development: In the MK1-MKA timeline, he started out as a silent assassin in II, but when the Lin Kuei becomes interested in cybernetics in 3, he splits because he disagrees with the methodology. From there his character evolves greatly and becomes one of the most morally aware characters of the series, even taking over his former clan to lead them in a more righteous direction.
  • Cool Mask: In II, 4, Deadly Alliance (as an alt.), and 9. In Deception, he upgrades to a Cool Helmet as part of the armor of a long-lost Cryomancer.
  • Cool Sword: His Kori Blade from Deadly Alliance onward is literally this; it's a sword made out of ice. Kori is even the Japanese word for ice. Even though he's Chinese-American.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
  • Defector from Decadence: In MK3.
  • Development Gag: The original Sub-Zero was original going to be called "Tundra." In 9, this Sub-Zero (Kuai Liang) is codenamed "Tundra" before adopting his fallen brother's identity.
  • Downloadable Content: In 9, his Klassic skin from MK1/2/3 and his classic "Spine Rip" Fatality.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars/Scars Are Forever: Oddly enough, it seems to have faded in Deception and Armageddon. And it doesn't appear in 9, due to history being changed.
    • Every Scar Has A Story: Averted. While it's presumably gained during his escape from the Lin Kuei prior to 3, it's never been officially explained. However, Shaolin Monks instead shows Sub-Zero being mistaken for his brother and attacked by Kung Lao (miraculously keeping his eye in the process), but this is most likely non-canon.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: His Grandmaster variation in X lets him throw his ice clones around as projectiles and use them as shields.
  • Guest Fighter: See Scorpion's entry.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Smoke. It should be noted that it was Sub-Zero's actions that helped his buddy regain his humanity after undergoing cyborgification.
    • According to his plot progression in DA and Deception, his short-term alliance with Kenshi quickly escalated into this.
  • An Ice Person: He's even seen in a few costumes with malleable sheets of ice on his forearms (and sometimes his legs). In 4 and Deadly Alliance, his body additionally emanates an icy mist.
    • Cryonics Failure: Starting in II, he almost always has a Fatality where he at least partially freezes the opponent, leading to the below. Used on himself as a Hara-Kiri in Deception.
    • Kill It with Ice: His preferred method of killing, natch.
    • Literally Shattered Lives: Some of his fatalities, such as his Ice Shatter, Snowball Grenade and Frosty!.
    • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: His aforementioned Kori Blade is created by flash-freezing moisture in the air. He learns to make more improvised weaponry in the WB Games canon, such as smaller swords in 9 and hammers in X.
  • An Ice Suit: Same deal as his brother.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: A literal sense as his are often a glowing shade of blue. Played straight in MKvs.DCU and Mortal Kombat 9.
  • Identical Grandson: According to John Vogel, the Sub-Zero who teaches Shujinko in Deception's Konquest Mode is neither Bi-Han nor Kuai Liang, but their ancestor (most likely their father or grandfather given the chronology).
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Kills Scorpion in this matter in Armageddon, as seen in the intro of 9 via Freeze-Frame Bonus. He gets the same fate at the hands of Baraka.
  • Irony: One of the promos for Deception shows Sub-Zero killing Baraka. In the aftermath of Armageddon Baraka is the one who kills him.
  • Legacy Character: The heroic Sub-Zero that has been around for the majority of the series is actually him, the younger brother of the Sub-Zero from MK1, and Sub-Zero has been the family codename in the Lin Kuei since their great-great grandfather.
    • Redeeming Replacement: At his best, Bi-Han was a dark Anti-Hero, with interpretation of his various deeds arguably placing him as worse. Kuai Liang, on the other hand, is a compassionate (if not realistically pragmatic) hero who spends a great deal of his early appearances trying to prove that he is not his brother.
  • Locked into Strangeness: After gaining the Dragon Medallion, Subby's eyes turn occult blue, as well as his scar. Once he dons the ancient Cyromancer armor, his scar fades, but his skin becomes incredibly pale and his eyes instead turn milky white. If his alt. in Deception is any indication, his hair also goes completely white, as opposed to just graying in DA.
  • Meaningful Name: His real name,"Kuai Liang", can translate into "fast ice," or more prosaically, "quick freeze." Considering his abilities and the fact that he's a Chinese Cryomancer, this is likely intentional even in-universe.
  • Morality Pet: For Sareena, if her Armageddon bio is anything to go by. Not only did she tail Sub-Zero to protect him from harm while he was following Noob and Smoke, but her feelings for him were so strong that even when driven mad and forced to revert back to her demon form did Sareena flee rather than fight him.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Seems to be the case with his unmasked apperances.
  • Mukokuseki: A Western example. In his ending in the second game, he indeed looks Chinese. In 3, however...
    • This was likely due to limitations in finding an actor, since in his downloadable unmasked costume in 9, he can be seen to properly have a mix of Caucasian and Asian facial features.
  • My Greatest Failure: Frost fills this role. He blames himself for her arrogance and betrayal.
  • Name's the Same: He shares the same name with a minor character in the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Kuai Liang, an advisor under Liu Biao).
  • Older and Wiser: Most notable in Deadly Alliance (and to a lesser extent, in 4).
  • Potty Failure: His Babality in Mortal Kombat 9.
  • Pretty in Mink: His Cryomancer armor comes complete with fur ruffles around the collar.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Unlike his brother and Sektor, however, Kuai Liang knew where to draw the line.
  • Pun: His first Fatality in 9 is called "Have an Ice Day."
  • The Rival: Was this on-again, off-again for a while to Scorpion, depending on who was saying what about him to Scorpion. In 4, they make peace, and future duels are usually just Rule of Cool. It's implied they still don't like each other, though.
  • Ship Tease: With Sareena, particularly in Armageddon, though the teasing was directed at his elder brother. She may not know that Bi-Han is dead.
  • Sixth Ranger: He is one of the last warriors to join Raiden's forces.
  • Slide Attack: Simply named "Slide", this is one attack he's always had.
  • The Stoic: Easily the least vocal and most ruthless of the main heroes.
  • Stone Wall: Doesn't fully conform to this template, but this is a viable applicable of his freezing powers (especially his Ice Clones). The only time Subby has strictly adhered to this was in 4, where most of his other tactics were nerfed, but his turtling game was not.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: As one can see from his unmasked appearances.
  • Technical Pacifist/Reluctant Warrior: Pinballs between the two, but usually stays rooted in the former. He has an aversion to killing, as seen by his story in II (this is also how Scorpion was able to piece together that he was not the same Sub-Zero he killed in the previous tournament, thus beginning his vow to protect the younger Sub-Zero). He even made peace with Scorpion (his brother's killer), froze Frost out of mercy instead of outright killing her, and is currently trying to purify his brother's soul. All bets are off if you're a irredeemable villain, though.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: In his non-ninja outfit.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We know that the Sub-Zero bros. were kidnapped by their father and taken to China, leaving behind their mother and a younger sister in America. However, no mention of their family was ever made afterward (aside from a cameo in Kuai Liang's vignette for 9, which detailed said abduction), and their current status (such as whether or not they survived Shao Kahn's invasion) remains unknown. It was widely believed that Frost was this long-lost sister of his, but this was Jossed.
  • Younger Than They Look: The whitening of his hair and hardening of his features in Deadly Alliance made him look older, but he's in his early 40s at most (he was 32 in II).

"You will learn respect."

Princess of the Realm of Edenia, Kitana has been Shao Kahn's step-daughter and personal assassin, and later an important member of the Forces of Light. Her most memorable trait is her ability to wield a pair of steel fans in battle.

Kitana was adopted by Kahn, as an infant, to strengthen his claims to the Edenian throne after he killed its king, Jerrod, and married Jerrod's wife, Queen Sindel, who were Kitana's parents. Kitana grew up dutifully loyal to Shao Kahn, whom she believed was her real father. She grew up to be one of Shao Kahn's personal assassins, alongside her good friend Jade and her evil "sister" Mileena. At some point in Kitana's life, she finally discovered the truth about her real father, Mileena's origins, and how Shao Kahn had conquered her realm. Devastated that her whole life had been a lie, Kitana vowed to overthrow the Emperor and restore Edenia to its former beauty. Kitana's chance finally came during Mortal Kombat II, when Shao Kahn and Shang Tsung lured Earth's heroes into Outworld. Kitana entered the tournament and secretly contacted Earthrealm's heroes, but Mileena discovered her efforts and she was forced to kill her in self defense. Kitana was imprisoned and sentenced to death for killing Mileena, but managed to escape and rejoin her friends from Earth. Kahn sent Jade and Reptile after her, but rather than kill her childhood friend, Jade helped the Princess to defeat and capture Reptile. Then she converted her recently resurrected mother, Sindel, to her cause, and when Liu Kang managed to defeat Kahn had his invasion forces, Kitana and Sindel freed Edenia as well. But there was little time to celebrate, as a new threat presented itself in the form of Shinnok and his grand vizier Quan Chi. They invaded Edenia and imprisoned its legitimate rulers, then Raiden and his comrades come and saved the day. Kitana Offered Liu Kang to rule Edenia by her side, but the monk reluctantly rejected to keep his role as Champion of Earth.

Kitana would later negotiate an uneasy truce between the Centaurians and the Shokans, gaining Goro's trust. The combined armies of Edenians and Shokans, led by Prince Goro and Kitana herself, marched against Outworld's armies a few years later, with much success at first. However, in the decisive moments, Goro was mortally wounded, and the battle ended with a draw. Shortly thereafter, Kitana learned about the demise of both Shao Kahn and Liu Kang at the hands of the Deadly Alliance, and their plan to resurrect the Undead Army of the legendary Dragon King. Unfortunately, the Forces of Light and the princess were killed along the other heroes, only to be revived by Onaga into his mindless slaves.

After the fall of the revived Dragon King, Kitana would gather her Edenian forces once more and prepare to face the Armageddon.

In Mortal Kombat 9, Kitana actually gets involved with the story at an earlier time than the previous games' canon, actually meeting Liu Kang during the events of the first game, resulting in her and Liu Kang becoming much closer than in the previous games.

"Hahahaha, let us dance!"

Mileena is a clone of Kitana, created by Shang Tsung's sorcery for Shao Kahn, using Tarkatan physiology. Vicious and evil, she despises Kitana, and feels that it is her own right to rule Edenia as Princess in her place.

The Emperor feared if Kitana should ever discover the truth about her past, she'd turn against him. Kahn then ordered his sorcerer Shang Tsung to create an evil, vicious, and loyal clone of Kitana who would take her place. Tsung combined Kitana's essence with a Tarkatan's to achieve this purpose. However, something went wrong and the clone's face deformed into a hideous Tarkatan's mouth. Rather than disposing of her, she was given the name Mileena and introduced as Kitana's twin sister. During Mortal Kombat II, Shao Kahn began to grow suspicious of Kitana and Mileena was ordered to watch over her sister. After finding out that Kitana was indeed conspiring with the Earthrealm warriors, Mileena attacked the princess, but Kitana proved to be the superior fighter and killed her. Damned to the Netherealm, Mileena found herself recruited by the fallen Elder God Shinnok. She served the rogue deity as a spy during Mortal Kombat Trilogy, and then assisted in Shinnok's invasion of Edenia during Mortal Kombat Gold. After Shinnok's defeat, she was again bested by Kitana and secretly locked away in an Edenian prison, perhaps in the hope that she would one day reform.

When the Dragon King, Onaga, returned during Mortal Kombat: Deception and began his own invasion of Edenia, Mileena was freed from her prison by former ally (and possible lover) Baraka. She joined Onaga, and was ordered to pose as Kitana in order to mislead the princess' armies. However, as Mileena began her deception, she also began to consider taking control of the armies for herself. After the fall of Onaga, she used those armies to take over Shao Kahn's fortress during the period before Armageddon, only to surrender it back to Kahn when the former Emperor returned and faced her.

Mileena has a slight upgrade to her story in Mortal Kombat 9. However, it's the aftermath of said storyline that sees huge changes in her character's direction: With Shao Kahn gone, she becomes the Empress of Outworld. Until Kotal Kahn drives her and her forces underground, that is. She then embarks in a civil war against him, with its toll being taken on Outworld's stability.

  • Almost Kiss: Part of her first MK9 Fatality, Be Mine.
  • Ambiguously Bi: In MK9 she seems to derive sexual pleasure from finishing off her opponent no matter what their gender is.
  • Ax-Crazy: Like Baraka, she is as insane as she is violent, yet she can appear composed.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: For completing the Challenge tower, you earn a third alt. costume for her, wearing nothing but bandages covering the naughty parts and nothing else.note  It is perhaps worth telling that Ed Boon apparently considers this the "substantial reward" for beating all the difficult challenges.
  • Back from the Dead: During II, she fought Kitana and lost, badly. Shinnok resurrected her in Ultimate 3.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Since Deception.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Her win pose in MK9, where she leaps at the screen. Even if she's fighting on The Pit.
  • Breath Weapon: One of her Fatalities. Think of Bullet Seed, only with nails...
  • Butter Face: She's got Kitana's body... and the jawline of Baraka. 'Nuff said.
  • Cloning Blues: She was created originally to replace Kitana, but instead was made to be her watchdog.
  • Combat Stilettos: Same deal as Kitana.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: All of her actions are done to appease her beloved "father," Shao Kahn.
  • Dark Action Girl: Unlike Kitana and Jade, she allies herself with the forces of Outworld.
  • Dark Chick: She seems to have this role to the villains in 9.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: In one of her Fatalities, Mileena pulls her sais out and stabs repeatedly her opponent to death. In another, she swallows a bunch of nails, which she then spits at her opponent.
  • Designated Girl Fight: With Kitana. Justified, see above.
  • Detached Sleeves: Her alt. in 9.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Conceptually speaking, she and Kitana where introduced into the games as the female equivalents of Scorpion and Sub-Zero.
  • Downloadable Content: In 9, Klassic Mileena from MK3, with a change in one of her moves.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Strangely, this is a major role she carries in Outworld's hierarchy, according to MK9. She will be the next to succeed Shao Kahn's throne should the emperor fall. Given how immature her mind is, this would place Outworld in a very odd situation to say the least...
  • Easily Forgiven: As hard as it is to believe, this happens in Kitana's non-canon Arcade Ladder ending from MK9; she and Jade actually forgive Mileena and Kitana accepts her as family, the three eventually ruling Edenia as a benign aristocracy.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Not that pale, but she has the creepy factor down pat.
  • Enemy Civil War: With Kotal Kahn for Outworld's throne in MKX's prequel comics.
  • Energy Weapon: She can use energy-imbued sais as a projectile attack.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Implied in 9, or rather, even evil can love. She really does care for her 'daddy' Shao Khan, immediately butchering Shang Tsung when manipulated against the former. And incredibly, it shows that if Kitana were to accept her as a sister, she would definitely have a Heel-Face Turn.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Kitana.
  • Evil Is Sexy: She uses this to her advantage. She dresses, and acts, far more provacatively than her sister. But she is pure evil.
  • Evil Knockoff: She was created from Kitana's essence but also mixed with some Tarkatan genes. The result is a more monstrous version of Kitana with a child's mind.
  • Evil Twin: She serves as this to Kitana. Considering the details of her creation, though, she would actually be a daughter to her, rather than a sister.
  • Fan Disservice: Hot as hell until you see her lower face.
    • In MK9, the big reward for completing the 300 challenges is a "naked with bandages in strategic places" costume for her, which is the same costume she's wearing when she fights Kitana in Kitana's chapter. Oh, and said "strategic places" don't include her face.
  • Fanservice Pack: Starting in Deception. If skin is to be barred, Mileena will most likely be the front-runner in the pushing the envelope race. She even has a "window" in her panties baring her pubic area entirely in Mortal Kombat 9.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: If she does not successfully perform a Fatality in 9 after winning, she rips her mask off, leaps towards the camera (even if that's impossible given the arena she's in, like The Pit) and then makes a hideous laugh in the player's face, causing blood to appear on the screen. (This isn't the only example in the game, but it's arguably the most frightening.)
  • Flanderization: The developers took the aspect of her character having half-Tarkatan teeth and sex appeal and really played it up in MK9...
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: She has such strong feelings over her beloved teddy bear that she fights Scorpion over it.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Becomes Outworld's Empress after Shao Kahn's death, and according to Kotal Kahn, caused a lot of devastation in Outworld as a result. She is later dethroned by Kotal Kahn, but she then starts a civil war, further plunging the realm into chaos.
  • Green Thumb: As a Friendship in MKII, Mileena plants a seed that turns into a flower.
  • Has Two Daddies: In a sense. Shang Tsung may have created her under Shao Kahn's orders, but Mileena is undoubtedly devoted to Kahn instead.
  • Heel-Face Turn: In Kitana's Arcade Ladder ending in 9.
  • Hellish Pupils: In 9, perhaps to better show off her Tarkatan features. Combined with gold eyes normally, and red eyes in her alt.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Used in a wide array of special moves and Fatalities; she has multiple attacks based on biting her enemy, and her fatalities ranging from inhaling her victim whole and then puking up their bones to ripping their throat out with her teeth to tearing off their head and gnawing on it before hurling it aside.
  • Kiss-Kiss-Slap: With Baraka. Or perhaps it's the other way around?
  • Let's Dance: Her opening line in Mortal Kombat 9. She also uses a variation when confronting Taven in Armageddon's Konquest Mode:
    "Care to dance?"
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: At least in II. In most subsequent appearances, Mileena wears her hair shorter (about shoulder length).
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Well, sort of...
  • Mirror-Cracking Ugly: Her Friendship in Ultimate.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Due to her status as half-Tarkatan.
  • Ms. Fanservice: To the point of posing topless (in her Deception alt., one of her skimpiest outfits to date; her nipples were tastefully covered by her sais) for Playboy. See Stripperiffic below.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: In MK9, she appears to get aroused whenever she pulls off a Fatality.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: Her hairstyle (shared with every other female ninja who existed as of MK3) in MK3/4.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: Well, she posed as Kitana between Deception and Armageddon, and at least wears pink.
  • Progressively Prettier: Her teeth were resized considerably in Deception and Armageddon. They still look grotesque though, just not as extremely as her original design.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: Her bio in Mortal Kombat 9 states that she's this. She even tells Stryker in an exchange (during Shao Kahn's invasion of Earthrealm) that she's looking for a new playmate. One of the challenge tower missions involves her attempts to force Scorpion to accept a teddy bear that she made for him. (Indeed, as far as actual age goes, she is a child, having been just "born" in the midst of the Story Mode.)
    • Perky Female Minion: One who has no qualms about killing, but still, Mortal Kombat 9 has made her pretty genki. Her pre-match quote and some other lines display a childlike enthusiasm for violence, and she seems genuinely excited on fighting for her "father", the Obviously Evil Shao Kahn.
  • Retcon: The earlier games suggested Mileena was raised alongside Kitana, while 9 involves her being created during the events of Mortal Kombat II.
  • Rolling Attack: Like Kano and Reptile, she's able to curl up into a ball and launch herself at foes.
  • Sai Gal: Easily an iconic trait of the character.
    • Sai Nut: She makes good use of it in some of her moves and Fatalities.
  • She's Got Legs: Even more than Kitana! Her outfit sure accentuates it.
  • Smelly Skunk: She could turn into one as her Animality in Ultimate MK3. Cue poisonous fart.
  • The Starscream: Her ending in MKII shows her taking over, to start with.
    • During Deception and before Armageddon, she also uses Kitana and Shao Kahn's deaths to her advantage and starts plotting to take over the realms.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Could probably be seen as a Double Subversion, seeing as Mileena provides both fanservice and fan disservice.
  • Stripperiffic: In a series of mostly Stripperiffic characters, her costumes stand out the most—to the point that she actually appeared in a special edition of Playboy featuring video game characters, donning her alt. Deception outfit. Luckily, her veil was still on. In Mortal Kombat 9, she even has a "window" on her panties, baring her pubic area. When you think of it though, she has quite a Freudian Excuse to do so: she's likely to wear more revealing and provocative clothing than her "sister" Kitana as a form of compensation for her very, very horrifying face—the lower face at least.
  • Teleport Spam: She started out with her Kick From Above. She has an enchanced version called Tricky Teleport, where she teleports again and hits her opponent with a second kick from the other side.
  • Underboobs: In Deception and Armageddon. She was a wardrobe malfunction just waiting to happen.
  • Underwear of Power: As an alt. costume.
  • The Vamp: One of the more fanservice-y characters, and fight for the bad guys.
    • She seems to be turning this up for Mortal Kombat X, when she enlists Reiko and Goro.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: She mysteriously disappears during MK9's Story Mode.
  • Younger Than They Look/Jail Bait: Technically in MK9's timeline as she is fully formed right out of the lab. This also explains her Psychopathic Manchild tendencies, as she pretty much is a child raised by mass murderers.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: Type II in her Arcade Ladder ending in 9.

    Major Jackson "Jax" Briggs 

Major Jackson "Jax" Briggs was the first African-American character in the Mortal Kombat series and an archetypical American hero. Leader of the Outer World Investigation Agency (OIA), he is an extremely capable fighter when it comes to protecting Earthrealm. His most prominent traits are his cybernetically-enhanced arms.

Prior the start of the series, Jax was a member of the Special Forces and was dedicated to the dismantling of the Black Dragon Clan. He almost succeeded: after disposing of the rest of their members, Jax faced the clan's leader Kano and beat him in combat. Kano was captured, but the criminal escaped at a later date. Following the events of Mortal Kombat, Briggs went in search of both the escaped Kano and Lt. Sonya Blade. He confronted Johnny Cage about the tournament, but at first didn't believe Cage's claims. However, after receiving a video signal from Sonya herself, he visited Johnny at a commercial shoot with the intent to apologize to Cage for not believing him. Jax found the actor fighting a horde of Tarkatans led by Kintaro; he helped fight off the intruders until the other Earthrealm warriors showed up to help. Afterwards Jax traveled into Outworld to compete in the next tournament along with the Earthrealm warriors in hopes of finding Sonya and Kano. Here, Jax soon came to learn of the Emperor Shao Kahn's plans for Earthrealm. He was successful in freeing Sonya, but not only did Kano escape once more, the Earth government did not believe the Major's warnings. Jax began to prepare for the imminent conflict, and donned himself bionic implants. When Kahn come to Earth, Jackson Briggs was ready for it.

After Shao Kahn's attempt at claiming Earthrealm failed, Jax became the commanding officer of the Outer World Investigation Agency; OIA was not only assigned to explore and map other realms, but were also committed to the destruction of portals that could lead to Earth. After briefly assisting Raiden in the defeat of Shinnok in Edenia, Jax and Sonya found the Lin Kuei cyborg Cyrax, malfunctioning and trapped in a desert. Returning with him to their home base, they restored his humanity and gained a new ally. Years later, trouble would occur again, as not only were agents Kenshi and Cyrax lost in Outworld, but the OIA underground facility was nuked into oblivion by the traitor Hsu Hao. Jax tracked him in Outworld and killed the Red Dragon member. Afterward, he was among the group of warriors who made a final stand against the Deadly Alliance of Shang Tsung and Quan Chi, but was unfortunately killed in the ensuing fight along with the rest of his allies. He, like his friends, was eventually found by Onaga and revived as a mindless drone.

Jax is pretty much the same hardass as always in Mortal Kombat 9, but with a few changes to his story.

  • All American Face: He even pulls out the American flag and wraps it around him in his MK9 win pose!
  • Angry Black Man: Before his arm transplant his only power was being a big black man. That and firing energy blasts.
  • Artificial Limbs: Since 3. It was not explained if they were mere upgrades or actual replacements. 9 went with the replacement route, as he had his arms ripped off by Ermac.
  • Bald of Awesome: In his appearance in MK vs. DC.
  • The Big Guy of the Five-Man Band: Of the group of heroes, he's one of the most combat-oriented.
  • Big "OMG!": Knock him off of the Sky Temple in Armageddon and he'll utter one of these before screaming that he can't believe this is happening to him right before he hits the ground.
  • But Not Too Black: Yet another Black character who eventually went through this. Was very dark-skinned starting in Deadly Alliance, with clearly African traits in previous installments. Now, his complexion is that of Dwayne Johnson and his traits are clearly mixed.
  • Blue Oni: To Sonya.
  • Catch Phrase: "Gotcha!" Later installments also add "Oh yeah!" or "Aww yeah!"
  • Cool Guns: Gets a pretty sweet assault rifle/machine gun from the time of Deadly Alliance to vs. DCU, which is strapped to his back. Appropriately, his main costume in DA and Armageddon comes complete with a Badass Bandolier.
  • Cyborg: From Mortal Kombat 3 onwards.
  • Da Chief: To Sonya.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
  • Depending on the Writer: Jax is supposed to be Sonya's level-headed CO and a typical American hero, but this characterization doesn't always stick from game to game. Special Forces and Deadly Alliance made Jax akin to that of a Blaxploitation character. Shaolin Monks and especially vs. DCU show him as very cool-headed and sagely, putting him more in line with his intended personality. On top of that vs. DCU gives him shades of being a Spirited Competitor as well. 9 strays closer to the original trilogy, but also depicts Jax as brash, gung-ho, and gives him a bit of a nasty temper.
  • Dual Tonfas: Wielded them as a weapon style starting in Deadly Alliance.
  • Genius Bruiser: A tech wiz. His expertise with computers is almost singlehandedly responsible for the respective Heel-Face Turns of Cyrax in 4/Gold and Cyber Sub-Zero in 9.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: One of his past Fatalities.
  • In Spite of a Nail: In the original timeline, he voluntarily changed his arms to cybernetic ones in order to be able to better combat the Outworld forces. In the MK9 timeline, Ermac destroyed his human arms, and they had to be replaced with cybernetic ones.
  • King of Beasts: Jax can turn into a Lion as his Animality in MK3.
  • Lightning Bruiser: In 3 and UMK3
  • Megaton Punch: As a special move.
  • Mighty Glacier: In 9.
  • Neck Lift: One of his special moves, that follows with him punching the enemy multiple times.
  • Nice Hat: Both his regular and alternate outfits from Deadly Alliance and Armageddon sport one.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In his MK9 ending, he uses a new cyber scanner to track down the Big Bad's remaining forces. While in the virtual reality interface, he ends up connecting to the cybernetics in Kano's eye. Jax beats up Kano in cyberspace and traps his consciousness inside the Special Forces mainframe, supposedly trapping him forever. In Kano's ending, it's revealed that after this, he manages to break free as he gains control over all of the Special Forces weapons systems, basically becoming SkyNet.
  • Pure Energy: He can throw purple energy waves as projectiles in some games.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: His Piston Punch.
  • Rocket Punch: In MK vs. DC, he could shoot missiles out of his bionic arms.
  • Scary Black Man: Largely averted. He's actually level-headed and easily approachable. Piss him off, however, and the trope is then played painfully straight.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Tells Cage this about his relationship with Sonya; it's apparently a strictly professional one, with Jax only acting as her CO. He had a... quibble with Cage for that.
  • Shockwave Stomp: Jax can punch the ground hard enough to shake the whole area, damaging his opponent.
  • Sickening Crunch: Landing his backbreaker in MKII produces a meaty "SNAP!" soundbyte.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Averted, even for one of his Fatalities.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Shades of it, including a backbreaker during his X-Ray in 9.
  • Your Head Asplode: He does this in his early Fatalities.

"I am Baraka, leader of the Tarkata! I fear no one, least of all a human!"

A mean, unforgiving, and unpredictable warrior, Baraka belongs to a race of nomadic mutants called Tarkata, a crossbreed between Netherealm demons and denizens of Outworld. Baraka, like most other members of his race, possesses long blades extending from his forearms that he uses to nasty effects in battle.

In the events leading up to Mortal Kombat II, Baraka led the attack on the Shaolin Temple in Earthrealm, which spurred Liu Kang to seek vengeance in Outworld as predicted by his master, Shao Kahn. During the ensuing tournament, Baraka partnered with Mileena, herself part-Tarkata, to overthrow the Emperor and rule together, but Mileena was murdered and Baraka fleed to the lowlands of Outworld. In the time prior to the events of Mortal Kombat Gold, Baraka encountered the necromancer Quan Chi while wandering through Edenia. Quan Chi offered Baraka a chance to rule the realm at his side if he agreed to join the army of Shinnok. Eager for battle, he readily accepted. Once again Baraka planned to betray his new masters, but after Shinnok was defeated by Liu Kang, his opportunity was lost once again.

After the Deadly Alliance was defeated by the risen Onaga, Baraka and his Tarkata horde joined the Dragon King. After freeing Mileena from her prison, Baraka recruited her to Onaga's ranks. Posing as her sister Kitana, she misdirect the Edenian forces into combat against Baraka's Tarkatan raiding parties, thus giving time to Onaga for him to complete his schemes. However, Mileena gave command of Kitana's army to Bo' Rai Cho, and under his command a lot of Tarkatans warriors where killed, angering Baraka. In the end, Onaga was defeated, Baraka finding himself once more allied with the losing faction.

Baraka is basically unchanged during the events of Mortal Kombat 9.

  • Always Chaotic Evil: His species, the Tarkatans, are said to be like this.
  • An Arm and a Leg: In one of his Fatalities from Deception, Baraka uses his blades to slices the arms, legs, and neck of his victim. He then stabs the torso and rips it out...
  • Arch-Enemy: Seems to be this to Kung Lao, judging by Shaolin Monks and Armageddon's intro cinematics. In fact, it is Kung Lao who manages to kill him in the end, judging by the intro to 9.
  • Audible Sharpness: His Tarkata blades. Think of them like Wolverine's claws.
  • Ax-Crazy: Perhaps less so than his fellow Tarkata (who are pretty over the edge as a race). He's skilled enough to be their field general and is pretty good about following orders. Shao Kahn in particular considers him a valuable ally to a degree. However in combat he's always in a bloodthirsty frenzy.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Some levels in the challenge tower in 9 are a "hold-the-line" type, where you have to spam a certain move as a character to prevent zombies/Tarkatans from reaching your end of the screen. Baraka stars in one, but back-to-back with Mileena, whom you have to control at the same time.
  • Bald of Evil: Another trait that seem to be part of his species.
  • The Berserker
  • Big, Badass Bird of Prey: His Animality turns him into a vulture.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Like all Tarkatans, Baraka sports twin razor-sharp blades in his arms.
  • Butter Face: A male example. Has a muscular, saliently sculpted body... but the face is anything but attractive...
  • Cannibal Clan: According to Jade's ending in Deception, Tarkatans will viciously attack and devour any Tarkatan from foreign tribes. Tanya, being smeared with Tarkatan essence by Jade while standing with Baraka and his horde, learns this the hard way. It's also heavily hinted through the series that Tarkatans aren't afraid of eating regular people as well.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: His MK Gold ending sees he and the now god Quan Chi conquer Edenia. Baraka is fine and happy, until Quan Chi then murders everybody. Baraka finds this completely insane and calls Quan Chi a madman. Unsurprisingly, Baraka doesn't live long after that.
  • Eye Scream: His X-Ray move in MK9 has him impale his foe on one blade and use the other to stab their throat, and finally their eye.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Nearly every one of his endings suggests this.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: It is said that Tarkatans are half-Outworld humans and half-Demons. Explains why they are all Always Chaotic Evil.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Courtesy of Kung Lao at the end of 3. In Gold, he's held together with large metal staples. By Deception, he's back to normal.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: In MKII, Baraka could finish his opponents by lifting them with and letting them slide down his blades, while the victim screams and flails about helplessly before expiring.
  • Jobber: Has a tendency to repeatedly show up during 9's story mode to get beaten up.
  • Kiss-Kiss-Slap: With Mileena. This being Mortal Kombat, and with both of them being Always Chaotic Evil, the "Kisses" are plots to rule Outworld together as king and queen, and the "Slaps" are betrayal and brutal attempts at murder.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family
  • Nightmare Face: Oooh boy... Tarkatans are all about this trope.
  • The Nose Knows: According to his endings in Deception and 9, all Tarkatans have a really keen sense of smell.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He's a vicious, animalistic monster... and still Shao Kahn's most trusted general. In particular, this is shown well in his MK9 ladder ending. It's revealed that the Shao Kahn he killed was Shang Tsung, who had transformed into the emperor. It seemingly fooled everybody except him. The Tarkatans became Shao Kahn's favored race thanks to his loyalty!
  • Off with His Head!: A classic Fatality for him is to use one of his blades to cut his opponent's head off in one clean slice. Even his own head, as an Hara-kiri in Deception.
  • Pointy Ears
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning
  • Spin Attack: In certain games, Baraka has a special move that allows him to spin around like a top with his blades extended. In MKT he could spin indefinitely.
  • Spot the Imposter: In his ending to 9, the Shao Kahn he kills is actually Shang Tsung in disguise, who was plotting to overthrow the real one; only Baraka recognized him. His loyalty is rewarded with leadership of the Shokkan and Centaur armies, along with the Tarkatans, and he's able to unite them into one Badass Army.
  • Stalker with a Crush: To Mileena.
  • Sword Drag: His "between rounds" victory animation in MK9 is him dragging an arm blade on the ground and snarling.

    Kung Lao 

A member of the same Shaolin order as Liu Kang, Kung Lao is the descendant of the Great Kung Lao who defeated Shang Tsung many generations before. His trademark feature is his razor-brimmed hat, which he can throw as a weapon.

Kung Lao is a quiet man who does not advocate violence or conflict. As such, he decided to omit himself from the Mortal Kombat tournament that Liu Kang attended and subsequently won (though this is retconned in 9). Later on, the Shaolin temple was attacked by Outworld monsters and Kung Lao decided that now was the time to act and stepped through the portal to Outworld to fight off the evil alongside Liu Kang. Upon returning from their success in Outworld, Kung Lao attempted to reunite the White Lotus Society, but was derailed when Shao Kahn invaded Earthrealm. Chosen as one of Raiden's protected warriors, he once again left his life of peace to defend Earthrealm from Outworld.

After driving back Shao Kahn's invasion, Kung Lao decided to retire to a solitary existence and led his companions to believe he perished from injury. When word of Shinnok's ambition reaches him along with rumors that Goro, the man who had killed his namesake ancestor, is still living he returns to battle. He encounters Goro but rather than come to blows, the two warriors come to peace and end generations of bitterness. Kung Lao was the first to discover Liu Kang's body following Shang Tsung and Quan Chi's ambush and swears vengeance. He trains himself under the same master as Liu Kang with the hopes that his newfound skill would bring justice. Unfortunately, this was not the case and he would find himself unable to stand against Tsung and was vanquished. He was revived to serve Onaga's goals during Deception but frees his spirit in time to climb the pyramid in Armageddon.

Kung Lao's story changes quite dramatically in Mortal Kombat 9.

  • Always Someone Better: Towards Liu Kang in Armageddon and 9 a little bit. Extremely blatant in Shaolin Monks.
  • A Day in the Limelight: In Mortal Kombat 9, he's the focus of Chapter 11.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: According to both Shaolin Monks and 9, Kung Lao disguised himself as one of Shang Tsung's bodyguard to infiltrate the first game's tournament. In the latter, one of Raiden's "hot flashes" tips him off to this, causing the thunder god to berate the monk and force him into battle against Scorpion so that he'd lose and be disqualified.
  • Everyone Has Standards: While 9 as a whole is Bloodier and Gorier than the rest of the franchise, Ed Boon himself has admitted that his "Jewel Cut" Fatality is brutal even for this game, saying that it was "probably the most painful-looking Fatality ever made." This sentiment is shared by many critics, including Cheat Code Central's Shelby Reiches, who included it among the four worst cinematic scenes in games, commenting: "Every time he does this to a male fighter, I can hardly watch. I try not to fight against Kung Lao anymore."
  • Faking the Dead: He was apparently killed by Shao Kahn during Trilogy. He survived, but for a time allowed his allies to believe him dead.
  • Famous Ancestor/Named After Somebody Famous: The descendant of the Great Kung Lao, the Champion of Mortal Kombat who prevented Shang Tsung's tenth victory ages ago and was eventually killed by Goro. This Kung Lao is Kung Lao X.
    • In his arcade ending in 9, it turns out he's actually the Great Kung Lao reincarnate.
  • Fatal Flaw: In 9, Pride. It gets him into a fight he can't win in the first tournament, and he gets a nice Neck Snap while he's grandstanding after a victory.
  • Heroic Neutral: While a key player in the battle against evil, at his core, he is a man of peace and would prefer to live a life of solitude and tranquility.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Liu Kang. Shaolin Monks goes the Vitriolic Best Buds route (moreso from Kung Lao's side), whereas 9 tries to strike a fine balance.
  • Killer Rabbit: Literally! Two of his Vs. Fatalities in Shaolin Monks involve him pulling a rabbit out of his hat; the first has him beat them to death with it, the second has the rabbit viciously maul them until they're dead.
  • The Lancer to Liu Kang
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: As seen in 4 and Deadly Alliance.
  • Martial Pacifist
  • Nice Hat: It also doubles as a weapon! In 2012, IGN ranked his hat as 79th top weapon in video game history.
  • Panthera Awesome: He turns into a cheetah for his Animality.
  • Off Screen Teleportation
  • Refusal of the Call: Original canon only; in both Shaolin Monks and 9, he decides to disguise himself as a bodyguard and head to the MK tournament anyway (however, the latter gives him a justifiable reason, by having Kung Lao wanting to defeat Goro to avenge his ancestor).
  • Reincarnation: His MK9 arcade ending reveals that he is The Great Kung Lao reborn in the modern day, which also means he got the chance to redeem his loss against Goro from 500 years ago.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: He's the first to discover Liu Kang's corpse when Shang Tsung and Quan Chi kill Liu Kang in Deadly Alliance. He doesn't take it well, and trains with Bo' Rai Cho to learn some new tricks to defeat the two. It... doesn't quite work out the way Kung Lao intended.
  • There Is Another: He is Earth's backup champion in case Liu Kang fails or is killed somehow. He knows this and isn't all that pleased about it.
  • The Rival: To Liu Kang as of Shaolin Monks.
  • The Smart Guy of the Five-Man Band
  • Spin Attack
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome
  • Warrior Monk

"This will be easy."

Jade is Kitana's best friend and bodyguard. Although loyal to Shao Kahn at first, she later joins Earthrealm's champions when Kitana defects.

She pretty much has the same storyline in Mortal Kombat 9.

  • Action Girl
  • Ambiguously Brown: Any time Jade is brought up in a discussion online, the speculation for her race/ethnicity ranges from Black, to Latina, to Asian, to Middle Eastern, to Southeast Asian... you get the idea. Most people tend to lean on "Black." Keep in mind that Edenians might not even have those kind of ethnic distinctions in the first place and that Edenia itself has a very Middle Eastern feel (meaning that calling Jade most of the above races are all palpable).
  • Arch-Enemy: Jade does not take betrayal well. Tanya needs to sleep with one eye open, because Jade is having none of that crap.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Ever since Deception, she's bound to have one outfit like this.
  • Battle Boomerang: Well, more like "razorang," but close enough.
  • Bodyguard Babe: Personally serves as Kitana's.
  • Bonus Boss: She was one in her debut in the second game. Also, Klassic Jade in "Goro's Lair" in 9.
  • Braids of Action: Her alternate in 9. Coupled with the bikini she dons, she's a dead ringer for a darker-skinned Princess Leia in Return of the Jedi. Her alt. in Deception also sported these in the form of Girlish Pigtails.
  • But Not Too Black: Her skin tone has always been brown, but in the official art and renders for Mortal Kombat 9 for some reason, she's barely tan. Her MK3 retro skin also qualifies, but this is due to Lazy Artist since that skin is also applied to Mileena, except the clothes are purple.
  • Cats Are Mean: Her Animality turns her into a cat that attacks the opponent in a vicious clawing flurry.
  • Combat Stilettos
  • A Day in the Limelight: In Mortal Kombat 9, she's the focus of Chapter 10.
  • Designated Girl Fight: A Designated Black Girl Fight with Tanya. That is, we think a Designated Black Girl Fight.
    • Foe Yay: An odd variation in which the Foe Yay comes from both sides; Jade seems to take her rivalry with Tanya a bit too seriously, and the hate is easily reciprocated.
  • Distaff Counterpart: If Kitana and Mileena are conceptually counterparts to Sub-Zero and Scorpion, then Jade has got to be one to Reptile.
  • Downloadable Content: Klassic Jade from MK2/3.
  • Gainax Ending: In her ending in 9, after defeating Shao Kahn, she collapses from exhaustion, and has a vision of a mysterious woman. This character, who is not named, has never appeared in any other place in the franchise, and thus far, her identity can only be guessed.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Her alternate costume in Deception. Braided, too.
  • Groin Attack: The first part of her X-Ray in 9, delivered with her staff from behind.
  • Fanservice Pack: In Deception. Like the others, it continues on to Armageddon and 9. On top of this, her victory pose in 9 (should the player choose to not perform a Fatality) has Jade doing a pole dance with her staff for everyone's viewing pleasure.
  • Hammerspace: Jade's staff is bigger than her.
    • Averted in MK9, where Jade holds the staff in her hand at all times. It's shown to extend and shrink in a manner similar to Goku's Power Pole.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Kitana (see above). This is perhaps driven home by her post-battle exchange with Mileena in 9's Story Mode ("I am more of a sister to Kitana than you"). Fans, whether jokingly or not, like to think that it's something a bit deeper than that.
  • Leotard of Power
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: Albeit usually tied up in some fashion.
  • Meaningful Name: Not only does Jade favor green as the primary coloration of her attire, she also sports a rather striking pair of green eyes.
  • Missed the Call: Jade wanted to aid Kitana and the others during Deadly Alliance, but was a bit late in joining up with them. This actually saved Jade's life in a Slept Through the Apocalypse-esque manner, as she was not slain by the Tarkatan horde and subsequently revived to do Onaga's bidding.
  • No Sell: In MKII, Jade had complete immunity to projectiles: they simply go right through her. From Ultimate 3 onward, she has a special that allows projectiles to phase through her. Klassic Jade in 9 retains the full invulnerability she possessed back in II.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Why is the Jade's Desert arena named after her? No explanation has ever been given.
  • Patriotic Fervor: Heavily implied, at the very least. She's the general of both the Edenian Resistance and the Edenian Freedom Fighters and the bracelets she wears are a symbol of her unshakable loyalty to Edenia. While normally warm and friendly to her allies and loved ones, she most definitely doesn't take kindly to traitors to her homeland, as seen with Rain and (most prominently) Tanya.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: Her hairstyle (shared with every other female ninja who existed as of MK3) in MK3.
  • Race Lift: All over the place. Jade started out as a clearly Black palette swap of Kitana, then was Asian in the movie, before finally settling on the Ambiguously Brown scheme we see above.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Same deal as Kitana.
  • Secret Character: She demanded that you win the fight before the ? in one player mode using only low kicks.
  • She's Got Legs
  • Spinning out of Here: In Deception, she gains a move called Vanishing Winds where she spins around a cloud of green smoke and reappears behind her opponent. Kitana and Khameleon would borrow this move in Armageddon.
  • Spoof Aesop: Well, we can only hope she's kidding when she gives this advice. (Of course, as stated below, the source probably shouldn't be considered canon.)
  • Simple Staff: Usually.
  • Statuesque Stunner
  • Stripperific: Not only her costume and such; her non-Fatality win animation in MK9 features her planting her staff upright in the ground and twirling around it like a stripper pole.
  • Take Up My Staff and Glaive: Her arsenal is now in Kitana's hands and if the Mournful variation is chosen, she will use them.
  • Third-Person Seductress: This speaks volumes. Apparently, Jade was kind enough to let us know that her BWH measurements are 36-24-36 and that her astrological sign is Scorpio. (This is something of an example of Informed Attractiveness; Video Game Vixens probably shouldn't be counted as canon and while Jade is indeed a curvy beauty, she's neither wasp-waisted nor more buxom than the other females as they all pretty much have the same perfect figure. And as for being a Scorpio, being ten-thousand years old, she was born long before the Western Zodiac system — or the calendar it is based on, for that matter — was established.)
  • Underwear of Power: As her primary costume in Deception.

"Where there is smoke, there is fire!"

Formerly a deadly Lin Kuei assassin from Prague named Tomas Vrbada, Smoke was forced against his will to become a cyborg assassin. However unlike other warriors converted into killing machines he retained his soul which constantly battles against his programming to assert Smoke's free will.

During the second tournament in Outworld, Smoke was assigned to aid the sixth Sub-Zero in his assassination of Shang Tsung. The mission was unsuccessful but the two did aid the Earthrealm warriors against Shao Khan. Returning home to find the Lin Kuei planned to convert their members into cyborgs, Smoke and Sub-Zero fled to avoid being turned into machines. Unfortunately Smoke was captured and then forcibly made into a cyborg assassin. Sent after his former friend Sub-Zero, he eventually realised he still had a soul and overcame his programming. Despite aiding his ally in Cyrax and Sektor's defeat, Smoke was captured by Shao Kahn's forces.

Taken as a trophy to Outworld, he rotted in Kahn's dungeon deactivated until revived by the evil Noob Saibot to be his ally against his will. Noob intends to use Smoke as a template for a cyber-demonic army. But there have been signs that his true nature remains.

Smoke's story is probably the one which most dramatically changed in Mortal Kombat 9 when compared to his previous incarnation.

Tropes related with Smoke (human) (MKII/UMK3/MKT/MK9)

Tropes related with Smoke (cyborg) (every other game, also UMK3/MKT)

  • A Load of Bull: His Animality.
  • Assimilation Plot: His ending in Armageddon.
  • Assist Character: Becomes one to Noob Saibot in Deception.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: In Deception and Armageddon, he has no weapon. In Deception, this was because he was a tag team with Noob, but in Armageddon, he doesn't pick up a weapon after Sub-Zero frees him from Noob's control. Instead, he has two unarmed fighting styles, Mi Tzu and Judo.
  • Cool Mask: His alt. in Deception (later his default costume in Armageddon).
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: He's the most obvious subversion in the series. His personality and identity are suppressed, but his soul is still intact. However, while Cyrax and Sektor could not be detected by Shao Kahn for their lack of souls, Smoke did, though his couldn't be stolen as he was one of Raiden's chosen warriors, but it went From Bad to Worse for him: even his later reprogramming by Noob Saibot is implied to not be sticking.
  • Dead Guy on Display: After Mortal Kombat 3, Shao Kahn kept his deactivated body as a trophy.
  • Eat the Bomb: One of his Fatalities in MK3.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom Used as an (obviously non-canon) Fatality.
  • Fighting from the Inside: Deception hints that Smoke's good nature has not been entirely suppressed by Noob's programming. In Ashrah's ending, he starts to short-circuit in the Netherrealm, as only demons and truly evil people can remain there unharmed. In Konquest mode, Smoke passes along several messages and plans for Sub-Zero through Shujinko, suggesting that he's acting as a Reverse Mole.
  • Grey Goo: His nanomachines become this in his Armageddon ending. The realms are, simply put, screwed.
  • Heel-Face Revolving Door: Good by default, but unwillingly turned evil in 3 and Deception. By Armageddon (or specifically, Konquest mode of that game), he's back on the side of Good, seen with the Forces of Light during the Battle of Armageddon.
  • I Am Legion: His ending in Armageddon.
  • Nanomachines: Noob attempts to harness them in his conquest of the realms. They're responsible for repairing Smoke's robotic body, explaining his new appearance in Deception.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: From what info has been given between the two continuities, he's a Slavic human-turned Enenra-turned human again-turned cyborg.
  • Taking You with Me: His MK3 World End Fatality is an example of this and There Is No Kill Like Over Kill. Not only did he take you with him, HE TOOK THE ENTIRE WORLD WITH HIM.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Again, his World End Fatality, which blew up both you, him and the entire planet to boot.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation
  • Vapor Wear

    Bi-Han (Noob Saibot) 
"Fear me!"

Upon dying, Sub-Zero V's soul was corrupted and he became a wraith named Noob Saibot. He lost his ice abilities but gained a new power: the ability to control darkness. Under his new identity, he served Shinnok as the head of the Brotherhood of Shadows for a time. He mainly played the role of observer until Shinnok's apparent demise in 4, which caused the Brotherhood to disband. He made a triumphant return when he nearly killed Goro under the servitude of Shao Kahn during Deadly Alliance, but after Shao Kahn (apparently) died, his role shifted to observer again until Deception, where he finds Smoke in one of Kahn's old prisons. He reactivates Smoke and reprograms him into servitude. He now aspires to enslave the Netherrealm under his iron rule by assembling a new Brotherhood of Shadows.

Noob's storyline in Mortal Kombat 9 is pretty much the same. He serves Quan Chi more readily than in the previous games, but he also hasn't lived the events post-Deadly Alliance, so it remains to be seen if he'll eventually strike out on his own. He is apparently still alive (err... existing) and serving the Netherrealm by the game's end.

  • Back-to-Back Badasses: As a win pose in MK9, he does this with a clone he can summon during the fight.
  • Back from the Dead
    • Came Back Wrong: As Raiden foretold in Mythologies, the darkness in Sub-Zero's soul corrupted him upon entering the Netherrealm, stripping Sub-Zero of all compassion and moral restraint, turning him into this Humanoid Abomination. This is also what Raiden tries to avoid to happen to him in MK9. Unfortunately, Quan Chi had different ideas.
    • Drunk on the Dark Side: Mostly because he now lacks any positive qualities he had in life, but Noob most certainly does not lament this change. He instead revels in it, going as far to state in 9 that his new form and allegiance to Quan Chi suits his purpose.
    • The Undead
  • Bonus Boss: He was one in his debut in the second game. Also, Klassic Noob in "The Cathedral" in 9.
  • Cain and Abel: He's the Cain to Kuai Liang's (the younger Sub-Zero) Abel.
    • In Deception he attempts to kill his younger brother.
    • In Armageddon he storms the Lin Kuei temple.
    • In 9 he tries to kill Cyber Sub-Zero as Quan Chi prepares the Soulnado.
  • Casting a Shadow
  • Charlie Brown from Outta Town: His first appearance in Mortal Kombat 9 has him wearing his alt. costume, which is exactly the same as Sub-Zero's alt. (i.e. the same one shown during the island tournament), only black. How Kung Lao, who was present at said tournament, is unable to recognize him is unknown (although he does remark that Noob seems familiar somehow).
  • Cycle of Revenge: He still holds a grudge against Scorpion.
    • At the end of Armageddon (as recounted in 9's intro), he's killed by Scorpion. Noob's dead body is seen near Reptile's on the path to the Pyramid of Argus, with Scorpion's katana sticking out of him.
  • Dark Is Evil
  • Death Is Cheap
  • Discard and Draw: Upon his revival, Bi-Han lost his cryomancy in favor of shadow and darkness-aligned powers.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: In 9, Noob gains an ink-like shadow clone of himself who sends out to attack his foes.
    • Living Shadow: If you look closely, Noob's real shadow doesn't return until his ink clone finishes its attacks.
  • Downloadable Content: In 9, Klassic Noob Saibot from II.
  • The Dragon: Apparently, plays this to Quan Chi (ironically, Scorpion—in his less rational moments—could also be seen in this light), although various bios throughout the series state that he's simply biding his time before carrying out his own agenda.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Kuai Liang. Perhaps driven home in 9, where Cyber Sub-Zero notes that they are both corrupted versions of their former selves.
    • Can also considered to be one to Scorpion. A spectre of a ninja? Check. Killed by his arch-nemesis? Check. Gets resurrected in the Netherrealm? Check. His death and resurrection are result of Quan Chi's manipulations? Check.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Subverted in that his voice was already that deep when he was human, perhaps serving as a clue to his character progression.
  • Fallen Hero: Well "hero" is a stretch. As an Earthrrealm dweller Bi-Han wasn't particularly "nice" or even "good", just a man "earning his living", by his words. We'll say making into Noob Saibot made him a lot nastier than he already was.
  • Flechette Storm: Used as a Fatality in both 4 and Deception (in the former, it was directly lifted from Reiko) and as a special in both Deception and Armageddon, both via shuriken (the Weapon of Choice for members of the Brotherhood of Shadows).
  • Foreshadowing: Aside from the hints given in Mythologies, in MK4 he's given his brother's Ice Shatter Fatality, perhaps hinting to The Reveal in Deception.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Both of his Fatalities in 9 involve severing the opponent in two — one horizontally, the other vertically. Additionally, his Deception ending has him and Smoke killing Sub-Zero in a manner not unlike that of his "Make a Wish" Fatality from 9.
  • In the Hood: In his MK9 incarnation. Also used as an alt. in 4.
  • Invisibility: Had this ability as a special in Deception and Armageddon.
  • Irony: He ends up serving the very same forces he fought adamantly against in his past life.
  • Jobber: Has a tendency to repeatedly show up during 9's story mode to get beaten up.
  • Kick the Dog: You could say that he does this to all of his former allies, but Smoke and his little brother (who once adored him and originally sought to avenge him) get the short end of the stick. He even tells Cyber Sub-Zero this in 9:
    "We share blood. We are not brothers."
  • Like a Badass out of Hell: Takes over the Netherrealm with help from Havik in his Arcade Ladder ending from 9.
  • Literal Split Personality: Possibly. In 9, Noob gains an ink-like shadow clone of himself; according to developer notes, this entity is Saibot, while Bi-Han is Noob, the main body and controller of said shadow creature (see Living Shadow above).
  • Made of Evil: Having been stripped of his humanity, Noob Saibot might just be the most malicious character in the series. At least the other villains choose to be evil; Noob simply is.
  • Meaningful Name: His name is both "Boon" and "Tobias" spelt backwards, after developers Ed Boon and John Tobias. Note that Tobias leaving Midway has nothing to do with "Saibot" being removed in gameplay for Deception and Armageddon.
    • Unfortunate Names: The first name may be Boon backwards, but internet forum goers would say otherwise. In some MK games, he was broken enough to fit the name, others just shortened the name. And then, Midway decided to play to the joke by giving Noob a Troll Hammer in Armageddon.
  • Monochromatic Eyes
  • Paint It Black: His body, skin and outfit alike, is pitch black (excluding Deception, where his default costume gives him normal-colored pigmentation; his regular and alt. outfits would be swapped around in Armageddon). Played straighter with his alt. in 9, which is the same as Sub-Zero's alt. in that game (supposed to represent Noob himself while he was still human), only black.
  • Power Echoes: In 9.
  • Power Nullifier: His Disabler/Ghostball technique temporarily prevents enemies from using their specials.
  • Portal Cut: His second Fatality in 9.
  • The Reveal: Deception confirmed that Noob Saibot is Sub-Zero from the first Mortal Kombat game revived as a wraith after his death at Scorpion's hands.
    • Ascended Fanon: This transformation was the result of Dan Forden fielding a suggestion from a fan, and said suggestion being approved and enshrined in Deception.
  • Secret Character: In II. He asked for 50 wins in a row.
  • Sinister Scythe: In Mortal Kombat 4.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: With Smoke in Deception.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: His X-Ray move in MK9 results in this from his opponent.

"I will eat your heart!"

Stronger and more agile than his predecessor, he is enraged by his cousin Goro's defeat. Kintaro vows to take revenge on the earth warriors responsible.

In the second tournament, after learning of Goro's apparent death at the hands of a mere mortal, Kintaro vowed to avenge his cousin and destroy Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat. After a restored Shang Tsung was defeated again yet by Liu Kang, Kintaro then challenged Liu Kang to Mortal Kombat. He ultimately lost just as Goro did.

Kintaro is basically the same in Mortal Kombat 9.

  • Back from the Dead: Raiden vaporized him in II, but like so many others, he came back for Armageddon with no explanation.
  • Badass: Nearly every blow of his sends a character flying or really knocked back. And the crowds cheer every time he lands a blow in II.
  • Beast Man: According to his bio in 9, Kintaro hails from a lower lineage of Shokan known as the Tigrar (as opposed to Goro and Sheeva hailing from the more noble and aristocratic Draco lineage).
  • Been There, Shaped History: In 9, it's revealed he's the one who nearly killed Kabal during the events of Mortal Kombat 3.
  • Breath Weapon: By MK9, has breathing a stream of fire as a move.
  • The Brute: He has more use as muscle for Outworld than Goro.
  • The Dragon: To Shao Kahn in MKII.
  • Fantastic Racism: He seems to have a big distaste for humans.
    Kintaro: "Humans, less ugly when they burn!"
  • In Name Only: He's named after a Japanese folk hero, but has nothing to do with him at all. The original Kintaro was more of a Japanese version of Tarzan.
  • The Juggernaut: He is not so stunned from getting hit, and can sometimes counter attack you when he's blocking.
    • The Worf Effect: Gets his ass handed to him in every battle he's in 9's story mode, even though his bio states he became Shao Kahn's bodyguard by slaughtering several Centaurs single-handedly out of sheer grandstanding.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Losing a match to this guy is going to be humiliating even if he doesn't kill you; his non-Fatality winning pose in 9 consists of knocking his opponent into the air, catching him or her by the leg, and then holding the victim aloft by the heel, upside-down.
  • Kill It with Fire: What he delivers to Kabal via Breath Weapon in 9, minus the killing part.
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: Originally designed as a tiger/human hybrid, this look was ultimately scrapped due to it not being feasible to construct at the time and replaced with the "Shokan plus tiger stripes" look he sports in MK2. For his return in Armageddon he was given more tigerlike characteristics, an aspect carried over to MK9.
    • During an interview Gamepro did with John Tobias, John stated "Even in Mortal Kombat II, we still didn't have all the time to do everything we wanted", citing Kintaro. He says, "I based him on Goro's species, adding different markings, but I was never fully satisfied with the Kintaro character."
    • Cute Kitten: What happens to him during his MK9 Babality transformation.
  • Loincloth: Same deal as Goro.
  • Monster Modesty
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Like his cousin Goro, he sports four arms.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: He comes from a lineage of Tigrar, which are as proud as the Shokan.
    • Hoist by His Own Petard: In his ending in 9, he kills Shao Kahn in order to gain more glory, but gets hounded as a traitor by all of Outworld, as a result.
  • SNK Boss: All the stuff that made Goro hard applies to him, plus he has a really damaging air throw.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Goro, status-wise as a Shokan sub-boss.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Despite his status as a furry, no one seems to notice or care.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Par the course for the four armed characters in the series.

    Shao Kahn 
"I am Shao Kahn! Konqueror of worlds! You will taste no victory!"

The supreme ruler of Outworld and one of the biggest threats facing Earthrealm, Shao Kahn is one of the most powerful forces in all the realms. The emperor has long been obsessed with the conquest of earth.

Shao Kahn was once The Dragon King Onaga's advisor. Before the Dragon King could obtain immortality, Kahn poisoned him and took his former master's throne. Eventualy going on to conquer countless lesser realms through brute force and Mortal Kombat, he consumed untold souls in his neverending quest for power.

When he took Edenia, a milestone in his campaign, he murdered King Jerrod in battle and took his wife Sindel as his bride. He then raised Jerrod's daughter Kitana as his own and trained her to be his personal bodyguard. Sindel eventually killed herself rather than be his slave but even death would not free her of Shao Kahn; he trapped her soul in Outworld denying her the afterlife. His next target was Earthrealm. He sent Shang Tsung and then Goro to gain enough victories in Mortal Kombat to allow him to freely invade. Despite a 500 year winning streak, Goro was denied the vital tenth victory by Liu Kang, a descendant of the very man who had put an end to Shang Tsung's dominance of the tournament centuries ago. Enraged, Kahn brought Tsung before him to punish him personally. However the sorcerer begged him for another chance, one that the emperor believed might hold the key to undoing five centuries of wasted plans. The plan was to draw Liu Kang and his allies into an Outworld tournament where they would surely die. However, the champion of Mortal Kombat proved too great even for the emperor himself, defeating him personally. Unwilling to accept this, Kahn ordered his forces to kill the Earthrealm force but they managed to escape.

Shao Kahn had one last plan up his sleeve however. Ordering Shang Tsung to complete a plan 10,000 years in the making, his long dead wife Sindel was resurrected, not on Outworld but on Earthrealm. This allowed Kahn to step through the realms to claim her and undermine the safeguards of Mortal Kombat, where he then launched a full invasion of Earth. Consuming countless millions of souls upon entering the realm he sent extermination squads to destroy those possessing souls he could not steal. The chosen few eventually defeated Outworld's forces, with the emperor falling once again to the might of Liu Kang. Shao Kahn was greatly weakened by this defeat and Earthrealm was restored. Much of his so-called loyal soldiers had abandoned him, and Kitana had turned Sindel to her side, restoring Edenia as an independent realm. To make matters worse for Kahn, the Shokan had joined them. When Shang Tsung and Quan Chi came before him to pledge allegiance, it soon became an assassination attempt and seemingly his reign had finally come to a violent end. However Deception revealed the emperor had planted a clone in his stead and restored the mortally wounded Goro with his remaining power regaining the Shokans as allies.

In in the events of Armageddon he would go on to form an uneasy alliance with Quan Chi, Shang Tsung, and Onaga in the hopes of preventing the forces of good from defeating Blaze and then seizing his own opportunity to strike when it came. He eventually succeeds and take's Blaze's power, pretty much killing Raiden.

Avoiding Shao Kahn's causing of Armageddon is the basis of the entire storyline of Mortal Kombat 9.

  • Actually a Doombot: Remember him getting killed by Shang Tsung and Quan Chi in the beginning of Deadly Alliance? Yeah, neither does he.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Normally, he looks like a monster under his helmet (see Butter Face below). In Annihilation he looks like a regular human being. In Legacy, he's even got a good head of hair!
  • The Ageless: At least, though it's not clear how he differs from the millions of others in Outworld or Edenia (or, basically, anywhere but Earth). Raiden explicitly refers to him as an immortal in the first film, and the games are somewhat vague on the matter. Several characters do try to kill him but actually doing it seems to be a bitch. However, Raiden, with the help of the Elder Gods may have actually succeeded in killing him at the end of MK9.
    • He does seem to be the oldest of Outworld's denizens (who seem to be pushing tens of thousands of years), and when he offed Onaga he seemed to shelve the latter's plans of gaining eternal life, suggesting he already had it. His origins have never been explored but it's generally implied that he is not an ordinary citizen of Outworld. The most plausible explanation seems to be that he is a god, or at least some kind of demigod.
      • In Deception's Konquest mode, Damashi who is the spirtual avatar of Onaga states to Shujinko that Shao Kahn was to Outworld is what Raiden is to Earth. So, he seems to be a god, or was one at any rate.
  • A God Am I: Worshipped as such in Outworld and other realms, or expects his subjects to anyway. He is Raiden's opposite number too, which implies he might be the genuine article. Definitely one in Annihilation (and vs. DC Universe), but the less said about that, the better.
    • In 9, at the end, when he's staring down an Elder God-empowered Raiden, Kahn casually laughs at the deities arrayed against him and announces that he will become the Elder God.
    • One of the backwards dialogues in Deception's Konquest Mode says that Shao Kahn is part of the same race of beings as Lucifer and Raiden.
  • Ambition Is Evil: His whole motivation for merging all of the all the realms with Outworld and ruling over everything is based solely on ego and a lust for conquest and power.
  • The Announcer: In MKII and MK3, to the point that if he wins a round in the latter, he says, "I win."
  • Attack Reflector: From Deception to vs. DCU, Shao Kahn can erect an energy barrier that reflects projectiles. Contact with it can also harm his opponent.
  • Ax-Crazy: He acts more composed than other characters, but you'll never know when he will drop his hammer to kill you.
  • Badass: Big time. He always managed to come back from what seemed to be certain death and got to win the events of Armageddon, tossing Raiden around like a ragdoll.
    Shao Kahn: "Where are the Elder Gods, Raiden? Their pathetic Mortal Kombat shackles me no longer. They masquerade as dragons, but are mere toothless worms. My venom spreads. It's the end of all things. Armageddon. It is done. Your time has passed. Ages wasted in foolish resistance. Now is the dawn of my rule. Yes. Pray to the worms, Raiden. As your world ends."
    • Badass Cape: Often shown with one in other media, but it wasn't until recently when he started wearing one in the games themselves.
      • In MK9, his younger self doesn't wear it, but the one from the original timeline does.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: He ultimately wins after the events of Armageddon; surviving the ascent up the pyramid and follows that by attempting to kill Raiden. This prompts the thunder god to invoke the Timey-Wimey Ball and telepathically send a message to his younger self from the time of Mortal Kombat, warning him of the events to come, before Kahn can strike the killing blow.
    • Subverted in 9, where this trope actually proves to be the key to Shao Kahn's defeat and the prevention of Armageddon. Raiden's words to his past self ("He must win") actually refer to Shao Kahn; Earthrealm must let Shao Kahn win and merge Outworld with Earthrealm so that the Elder Gods will then punish the emperor for his treachery.
  • Bald of Evil: Under the helmet.
  • Big Bad: Of the first three games, after which his position was usurped by other villains. Returns as this in MK9.
  • Big "NO!": His reaction upon being defeated as the final boss.
  • Black Magic: He isn't only a melee fighter. He is also a very skilled sorcerer, perhaps even more talented than Shang Tsung, whose restored youth was Kahn's doing.
  • Blood Knight: It is clear that he loves to fight and kill. In his Armageddon ending, he went mad because there were no more realms to conquer.
  • Butter Face: Below the neck: musclebound shirtless hunk. Above the neck: what looks like a cross between Darth Maul and an orc. Thank goodness for the helmet.
  • The Caligula: He didn't manage to make things any better for Outworld than Onaga. He is, at the end, a bloodthirsty warlord who doesn't care for the well being of his subjects.
  • Cool Helmet: And as seen in MK9, it got cooler as time went on.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Delivers a vicious one to Raiden at the beginning of 9. Both were the last kombatants to reach the top of the pyramid, yet Raiden was visibly bruised and barely able to stand on his feet, while Shao Kahn didn't have one scratch and tossed him around like a ragdoll.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Whenever he's the final boss, he explodes upon defeat.
  • Drop the Hammer: It was his most feared special in MK3 and later became his weapon style in the GameCube version of Deception. Raiden had one too (a War Hammer) for MK4, before it was placed on the top of the Sky Temple. (His favoured weapon's a Staff, which he uses in Deadly Alliance onward even though he supposedly gave it to Kai, canonically.)
  • The Emperor: As noted many times in the series, he is the Emperor of Outworld.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Raiden.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Probably the hammiest MK villain, which is saying something.
    "Is that your best?"
    "You're still trying to win?"
    "You will never win!"
  • Evil Laugh: He's always had some epic ones.
  • Evil Overlord: He's one of the key villains of the series, and he is the only one who rules over some territory, which is Outworld in his case.
  • Evil Sorceror: He uses his magic to restore Shang Tsung's youth, hold Sindel's soul in Outworld so she wouldn't find peace in the afterlife, among others.
  • Eye Beams: A move of his in 3 and its revisions, where he shoots a sphere of energy from his eyes.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: When he taunts his victim, he will happily point at them too. Especially if they're lying on the ground.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: His victory pose in Mortal Kombat 9 features such a slave crawling up to and embracing his leg.
    • In fact, he seems to be big on this. The female characters who are seen chained in the Kahn's Coliseum arena are wearing barely-there bikinis, and given how female Edenian warriors (even ones who are loyal to him) tend to dress, this sort of thing may well be a law he is enforcing. (In fact, when Kitana is officially working on the heroes' side, her outfit is a lot more modest.)
  • Graceful Loser: It seems that way for 9, seeing as he's the Interactive Narrator, and continues to narrate the characters' endings, no matter whose ending it is (even if the outcome was bad for him).
  • Hammerspace: Literally in his case. Look closely at the sprites for his hammer attack in MK3 and the move in MK9 and it appears to materialize out of thin air.
  • I Am Not Your Father: He eventually reveals to Kitana that he is not her father, and that he murdered her true father, king Jerrod, long ago.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Subverted. He just taunts you because you fight against him in Outworld and you were supposedly stupid enough to want a fight with the big cheese around here. So he assumes that some casual gloating here and there won't hurt since, in his mind, he could swat you away with his index finger. However, in reality, there's nothing calculated behind these taunts and in doing so, he's unable to move or react so he's completely vulnerable to a big combo (this is a major part of beating him in II and 9).
  • Interactive Narrator: Of the entire franchise. In MK3, he even says "I win!" if he wins a round.
  • Joker Immunity: Despite II and 3 ending with his apparent death, he survived and even after supposedly being Killed Off for Real in Deadly Alliance he returned. This is somewhat lampshaded in 9 where Raiden states Kahn always survives and it will take more than simply defeating him during his invasion he stop him for good.
  • Killed Off for Real: It's a bit early to say, but judging by the amount of divine intervention that was required at the end of 9's Story Mode in the new continuity, he may finally have met his ultimate defeat.
    • Assuming Scorpion is wrong about Shao Kahn's soul now inhabitating Ermac...
  • Kneel Before Zod: One of his taunts.
    Shao Kahn: "Bow to me!"
  • Large and In Charge: Is depicted as being around the size of Goro and Kintaro; only Onaga is bigger than him.
  • Large Ham: The all-time king in MK. In some games, he takes time during the fight to personally insult you, spouting such nonsense:
    "You weak, pathetic FOOL!"
    "It's official... YOU SUCK!"
  • Leg Cling: His victory pose in 9 has one female slave doing this to him.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Despite his height, he has some lightning fast attacks who still deals a lot of damage. It's the main reason for his SNK Boss status.
  • Loincloth: His main outfit features one.
  • The Man Behind the Man: To Shang Tsung.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The main reason of his armor seems to accentuate his physique.
  • Multiversal Conqueror: Conquering Outworld wasn't enough for him. He's out for Earthrealm as well, and has taken Edenia during his campaigns. His Armageddon ending has him succeeding in taking over all realms... and going mad for having nothing else to conquer.
  • Neck Snap: Delivers one to Kung Lao in 9 to show that Anyone Can Die. Liu Kang was most displeased.
  • Obviously Evil: Back in the intro of II, you first see him as a tall silhouette pointing down at Shang Tsung and stated to have Tsung executed for his failure at the tournament. Then, the next scene is a glorious picture of him standing confident with his arms on his waist, red eyes, skull helmet and spiked shoulders on a red background, with a text stating that the kombatants can meet certain death at his hands. Of course he's a good guy.
  • Painting the Medium: When he defeats you in II, he doesn't announce victory. Also, he says "I win!" if he wins a match in 3.
  • Prepare to Die: He says this verbatim as one of his taunts.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Given that he's been around since the time of Sindel (if not longer), his age is easily in quintuple digits.
    • Taven in Armageddon notes that Shao Kahn was infamous before he was sealed in stone. Considering that the demigod was sealed several thousand years ago...
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: In most of his appearances, he has been depicted with red eyes, which only furthers his Obviously Evil appearance.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: We dare you to type his name on Google and take a drink every time it's misspelled as "Khan." Your liver will fail and you will die, mortal.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Mostly noticeable with his skull helmet.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: One of his taunts' is "You suck." There's also an even MORE faux-sophisticated, almost memetic version: "It's official. You suck!"
  • Sorcerous Overlord: It can be assumed that his sorcerous powers played a big part in his realm conquests.
  • SNK Boss: Shao Kahn in MK3 and its updates (Trilogy included). While his moveset is exactly the same as in MKII (even his sprites were mostly unchanged, aside from the addition of some new moves, such as his infamous hammer), he is way more Hammer Crazy than in his previous appearance.
    • Back with a vengeance in MK9, thanks to the ability to negate hit-stun with most of his moves (some of which are unblockable AND stagger), boosted attack and defense power, and inhumanly fast counterattack reactions. True to form of the title of SNK Boss, he is very susceptible to a simplistic attack pattern (he's aggressive to a fault, attacking as much as possible and leaving himself open to being jumped over).
  • The Sociopath: Can be mostly seem with his treatment of Sindel, which has been but a tool to him so far.
  • The Starscream: Towards Onaga.
  • Stripperiffic: A very rare male version of this. Just look at his costume!
    • Downplayed in his alts in Deception and Armageddon, which give him pants.
  • Take Over the Multiverse: His goal in life. See Multiversal Conqueror above
  • Taken for Granite: When defeated in II, he somehow is petrified. Then he explodes.
  • Third-Person Person: He refers to himself in third person in some of his taunts.
    Shao Kahn: Feel the wrath of Shao Kahn!
    Shao Kahn: Feel the power of Shao Kahn!
  • Unholy Matrimony: Took Sindel as his wife after killing King Jerrod and usurping the throne, although Sindel was soon Driven to Suicide afterward. This is more noticeable in 9, when he enthralls the revived, yet brainwashed Sindel to his side, effectively making her his new Dragon. Sindel seemed pretty eager to serve as his right-hand woman. An almost exactly similar situation between the two also played out in Annihilation.
    • In Mortal Kombat: Legacy, it's stated that he actually fell in love with Sindel himself. However, the series is non-canon.
  • Victory Is Boring: If he takes over all the Realms in Armageddon, this is his ending. Almost became canon, if it wasn't for Raiden rebooting the franchise before this could happen in MK9.
    • Given the fact that what happens in 9 is an alternate course of history, it is canon, we just don't see the fallout from what happens when he does.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Whenever defeated, he would scream a Big "NO!" as he exploded.
  • Villainous Valor: In MK9. Even when the Elder Gods (through Raiden) are telling him quite clearly how he's going to pay for breaking their rules, Kahn just scoffs at them and declares he'll be THE Elder God.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: He's had some pants in alternate outfits, but never a shirt.
  • Whole Costume Reference: To Lord Humongous.
  • Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness: In 9, he has now these kind of eyes, instead of his previous red eyes.
  • You Have Failed Me: He would have Shang Tsung executed in II for failing at the tournament. He almost did it again to him in 9.