Ermac is a being composed of entire legions of souls, created by Shao Kahn to serve as one of his greatest warriors. A powerful telekinetic capable of manipulating all manner of physical objects and even levitation.
His actions under direct control, he served Shao Kahn well during Outworld's invasion of Earthrealm. However after Kahn's subsequent defeat and weakening, Ermac found himself wandering Outworld without any commands. He was eventually severed from his bond to the emperor by the blind swordsman Kenshi and in gratitude he instructed him in the ways of Telekinesis.
With his newfound freedom Ermac decided to dedicate himself to atoning for his past actions. Finding a literal kindred spirit in Liu Kang, he aided the shaolin monk's spirit in liberating his allies from Onaga's control.
Ermac never gets to be free during the events of Mortal Kombat 9, so he's an enemy of Earthrealm's warriors throughout the game. His whereabouts after the events of the game are unknown, but he likely survived, and his future allegiance remains to be seen.
Amplifier Artifact: The emerald on his forehead from Deception onward (called the Gem of Ermac in its Relic description from Armageddon) harnesses great telekinetic energies, increasing Ermac's powers tenfold.
Ascended Glitch: Ermac was created out of a false rumor that the first game had a rare occurence where Scorpion or Sub-Zero would appear in a red outfit, and the words "ERMAC" would appear over the life bar, as shown by a faked screenshot in Electronic Gaming Monthly. This was actually a hoax, which was done by hacking the game. The name is short for "error macros," only appeared on a debug menu, and the red costume was because, when the actors performed their moves, their costumes were usually colored red to avoid clashing with the green screen. The original sprites were red, with blue/yellow/green/whatever added on as a color palette to differentiate between characters. SO the "Error Macro" coinciding with a complete lack of a color palette makes sense. In any case, the hoax became so famous that Ermac was made into a real character.
The Atoner: Part of the reason Ermac decides to assist Liu Kang is to atone for his past history as a villain.
Kryptonite Factor: The Netherrealm drains Ermac of the souls that compose his being, severely weakening him. Otherwise, he would seem to be a borderline Story Breaker Power for the heroes, as he was shown fighting off a brainwashed Kitana, Kung Lao, Johnny Cage, Sonya, and Jax with little effort.
Mind over Matter: Ermac can use psychokinesis to lift and slam their opponents, toss them around the arena, or just tear them apart, limb from limb.
The Reveal: His Arcade Ladder ending in 9. King Jerrod (Sindel's husband and Kitana's father who was killed by Shao Kahn) is one of the many souls that comprises Ermac's being. When Shao Kahn is defeated, Ermac is no longer bound to him, resulting in the numerous souls fighting for dominance over the body; Jerrod's willpower ultimately overcomes them and he reunites with his family, acting as Edenia's protector.
Shout-Out: In Armageddon, if he is the victim of the fatality of being knocked off the tower, he will holler out "SUCK IT!!!" right before hitting the ground.note Although many fans incorrectly believe he's yelling out an "F" bomb instead.
Your Soul Is Mine: His between-rounds victory animation in MK9 has him do this on himself. Specifically, one of the many souls in his body flies out, and he catches it and sucks it back in.
"Safeties disabled. Combat mode engaged."
A cyborg assassin for the Lin Kuei. Cyrax was one of four people chosen to become a new breed of soulless warriors for his clan. In time Cyrax regained his soul with the aid of Special Forces operatives.
His first mission was to hunt down and destroy the deserter Sub-Zero, who had refused to be cybernetically enhanced, along with fellow cyborgs Smoke and Sektor. However Cyrax soon found himself defeated by the combined force of a rogue Smoke and Sub-Zero. Reprogrammed to hunt down Shao Kahn by his former target, he ended up stranded in the Jade Desert.
Recovered and repaired by the short handed Lin Kuei, it soon become clear that Cyrax's was experiencing lost memories. The glimpse of the former life he had and what it was to be human prompted Cyrax to seek out aid to restore his soul. With the aid of OIA operatives Jax and Sonya, his humanity was restored and in gratitude he joined their ranks.
Whilst scouting in Outworld, Cyrax's arm console was damaged by Reptile, leaving him unable to use it to return to Earthrealm. The vampire Nitara offered to send him home in exchanged for retrieving a lost artifact. As he had little choice in the matter Cyrax agreed. The cyborg retrieved her mysterious relic from a lake of lava and had time to give her a respectful bow before she sent him home as promised.
In Mortal Kombat 9, it's revealed that Cyrax was opposed to the cybernetic enhancement process the Lin Kuei were undergoing, but he was still a loyal member to them. He eventually rebelled against them at Raiden's suggestion, however, but it was for naught, as he was captured and transformed regardless. His whereabouts after the game are unknown, but he was not explicitly mentioned to die, so it is likely he's still around. Whether he will eventually recover his humanity or not remains to be seen.
Contemplate Our Navels: 9 reveals that he, much like Sub-Zero and Smoke, had his qualms with the Lin Kuei automating its warriors and suppressing their free will. In his chapter, Raiden's words seem to make a breakthrough, causing Cyrax to actually defeat Sektor and tell him that he's resigning from the Lin Kuei... but he apparently wasn't too successful.
Heel Face Door Slam: He starts off loyal to the Lin Kuei, but is against the idea of giving up his free-will and humanity. Raiden manages to get to him during the first Mortal Kombat tournament, slowly bringing out his better side, and in the end he decides to spare Johnny Cage, leave the Lin Kuei, defeating Sektor in the process, and presumably ally himself with Raiden. The next time we see him, the Lin Kuei have taken him by force off-screen and turned him into a soulless cyborg with no free will whatsoever. This could be justified that his ultimate Heel-Face Turnwithout the Door Slam should be at Mortal Kombat 4 era.
Magic Versus Science: To a degree, this contrast is shown between him and Sektor with their human forms in 9. Whereas Sektor uses modern weaponry like flamethrowers and missile launchers and somehow uses cyberspace to move around the terrain, Cyrax's arsenal is decidedly more low-tech and/or mystical by comparison. His standard bomb projectile utilizes an explosive substance encased in an orb that ignites when the shell is cracked open, his teleportation is a traditional ninjutsu Smoke Out, and his nets and buzzsaws can be found stored on his suit and wristbands.
McNinja: He's from Botswana, a country in Southern Africa.
No Campaign for the Wicked: Averted. He receives his own chapter in 9 (Chapter 4) and begins to gravitate towards Raiden's side, only to be captured off-screen and roboticized anyway.
Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Subverted. MK3 explicitly stated that he could not be detected by Shao Kahn because he had no souls for him to steal, but his soul resurfaces after he is lost in the desert during the aftermath of 3 (you can see him in one of the stages), and at the end of Gold, Sonya and Jax fully restore it.
Downloadable Content: For downloading Skarlet, either just as the update pack or to actually play as her, you get his MK3 skin for 9.
Volunteering for the automation process out of loyalty, Sektor was the first cyborg assassin created by the Lin Kuei. Utterly ruthless, uncompromising and having no hint of emotion. He was the embodiment of what the clan was attempting to accomplish.
The assassin's first mission was to hunt down and kill the renegade Sub-Zero with his partners cyborgs Cyrax and Smoke. Despite several attempts on his life he failed to eliminate the deserter. His repeated battles with Outworld forces soon lead to his program being corrupted as he believed the Grandmaster of the Lin Kuei was now "inferior" and killed him.
Only the intervention of Sub-Zero prevented Sektor from gaining the Dragon Medallion. After his defeat he fled to Japan to form his own clan of cybernetic ninja's, the Tekunin.
It is revealed in Mortal Kombat 9 that Sektor pretty much had no mercy or morals even before being cybernetically enhanced (his robotic personality did not differ much from his human one), as well as him actually being the Lin Kuei Grandmaster's son. Just like Cyrax, his status after the game is unknown, but he's probably still around.
Tropes related to Sektor (human)
Enigmatic Minion: As shown in 9, although the original canon tells us that we should know better.
Kill It with Fire: In his human form, he wears a pair of fuel tanks on his back and the flames launch from vents on his wrists.
Proud Warrior Clan Guy: Even more so than the Elder Sub-Zero. In fact, he decides to go along with the Cyber Initiative and have his free will eroded because he believes it will make the Lin Kuei more loyal and more efficient warriors.
Butt Monkey: In 9, he gets beaten up by Scorpion, then again the next chapter by Cyrax in his human form. After the Cyber Initiative, he gets beaten up three more times by Smoke, Cyber Sub-Zero, and Nightwolf. The last time ends with him getting tomahawked in the chest, and we never see him after that.
Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: MK3 explicitly stated that he could not be detected by Shao Kahn because he had no souls for him to steal.
Kill It with Fire: In later installments, Sektor packs some flamethrowers in his wrists.
Klingon Promotion: Becomes Grandmaster of the Lin Kuei by killing the old Grandmaster after his programming deteriorates. Made worse by his MK9 bio stating that the Lin Kuei Grandmaster was his own father. And even worse when MK9 states that he was planning to kill his father even before he became a cyborg.
Off Screen Teleportation: He drops into a hole in cyberspace... or something. According to 9, he had this ability before he became a cyborg.
Palette Swap: Until later games, where he is much trimmer than Cyrax.
Self-Made Orphan: An interesting example as it only becomes clear when you combine details from both canons. We know in the original canon that Sektor killed the Grandmaster to become the new Lin Kuei leader around the time of 4 but it's only until backstory from Mortal Kombat 9 emerges that we learn the man who was killed was in fact his father.
The Starscream: To the Lin Kuei Grandmaster, who, as stated above, is his own father.
Chameleon has long watched Mortal Kombat unfold. He was present during Liu Kang's victory in the first tournament and has constantly remained hidden in the shadows, biding his time and waiting for his opportunity to strike.
Meaningful Name: Chameleons can blend in their surroundings by changing color and camouflaging; Chameleon constantly changes colors in battle. Additionally, a chameleon is a reptilian species, perhaps hinting at a connection to Reptile's Raptor/Saurian/Zaterran race (a connection that's more readily apparent with Reptile and Khameleon).
The last female of her race, Khameleon seeks revenge on Shao Kahn for the destruction of her people. Above all else she desires the restoration of her species.
After searching for the longest time across the realms Khameleon discovered another of her kind, Reptile. Informing him of his races true fate at his masters hands, she hoped to take away the hold the emperor had on him. However Reptile soon fell under Shao Kahn's influence again and she barely escaped with her life. Khameleon now desperately continues to search for a means to resurrect her race and destroy Kahn for his crimes.
Ditto Fighter: Limited to the female "Ninja" characters, not including Frost (in Armageddon).
Fanservice Pack: In Armageddon. Still manages to be one of the more conservative ladies.
Last Of Their Kind: Khameleon believes she and Reptile are the last Raptors (Chameleon may or not be a third). Her motivation, besides getting revenge against Shao Kahn for destroying her realm, is getting Reptile on her side and... amending this situation.
Appointed the personal bodyguard of the resurrected Sindel during Shao Kahn's invasion of Earthrealm, Sheeva is a powerful Shokan warrior. Despite the Shokan race having the emperor's favour for many years, she discovers that the extermination squads are being lead by the Centaurian Motaro. Bitter enemies of the Shokan race, the insulting presence of Centaurs only serves to create anger and suspicion within Sheeva.
When Kitana and Jade confront Sheeva in an effort to reach Sindel, the Shokan finds herself outmatch and defeated. Fleeing in shame she arrives in Outworld to find Shao Kahn has betrayed her people and is in fact launching an offensive against them. After confronting her hated rival Motaro and leaving him for dead she seeks out Kano. Sheeva releases him from his cell with the promise of riches if he aids her in Kahn's demise.
However Kano betrays her and informs the emperor of her intentions. Sheeva finds herself easily defeated and apparently killed.
Sheeva is pretty much unchanged in Mortal Kombat 9. However, Kano's betrayal did not occur, thus Sheeva's still alive, probably, although her whereabouts is unknown.
Grievous Harm with a Body: An MK9 fatality involves lethally bitch-slapping her opponent with their own arms. After they're down for the count, she uses their severed arms to clap comically. One must fight the urge to say "Give yourself a round of applause!"
While Sheeva tends to embody masculine traits more often than not (being part of a Proud Warrior Race might do that you), 9 shows that Sheeva is no stranger to her own femininity; her win animation should she clench a match without using a Fatality has a camera-facing Sheeva, after performing two bodybuilding poses and grunting, make a suggestive moan, running one pair of hands through her hair as the other slowly snakes its way down her sides and thighs. If left idle, Sheeva, still eyeing the player, and rather seductively at that, continues to sway back and forth while posing with her arms behind her head and her hands on her hips.
Meaningful Name: Named after Shiva, a major deity in the Hindu pantheon who also possessed multiple arms and is sometimes interpreted as a destroyer god. Possibly given a Shout-Out in her Armageddon ending, where she's turned into a destroyer goddess.
Statuesque Stunner: Justified in that the Shokan race dwarfs most species in terms of height; Sheeva is no exception, standing a little bit over seven feet tall.
Toned down in 9, where she is merely taller than human characters and much less muscular and large than in Armageddon.
Stripperiffic: In 3, she wore a slingshot bikini that only barely covered her unmentionables. In Armageddon, she at least has the decency to swap it out for a Chainmail Bikini (which does a slightly better job of covering her up), but her 3 costume is still her alt. outfit. In 9, her 3 outfit remains as her default, while she gets an alt. that is just as lacking.
For the villains in 9. Factoring out those who lacked self-awareness or the choice to choose sides for themselves (i.e. Ermac, Cyrax, Sindel), Sheeva's shown to be pretty cordial to her enemies, with no malice towards any of the heroes she faces. She seems pretty decent, and out of the three Shokans, she's the least bloodthirsty by a considerable degree. Also, many would say that Sonya was clearly Tempting Fate by insulting her and the Shokkan in general while being held prisoner at the Dead Pool; Sheeva didn't seem offended at all. An example showcasing this would be Jade's chapter of the story mode of 9, where at one point she claims that Kitana's execution is "the only means of regaining her honour".
In her arcade ending after the defeat of Shao Khan, instead of ruling Outworld or slaughtering the enemy races, she and the Shokan choose to leave Outworld and live in Earthrealm in peace, with the Shokan swearing to protect their new home realm.
And, in the process, received Australia as their new homeland.
"You are pathetic and weak!"
10,000 years ago, Sindel was the queen of Edenia. When Shao Kahn invaded her realm, enslaved its people, killed her husband, Jerrod, and took her then-infant daughter Kitana as his own, she was Driven to Suicide. Thus was the tragic end of her story...
... Or was it?
Aided by Quan Chi, Shao Kahn used dark magic to revive "his" queen, but not on Outworld. Instead, she was to be revived on Earth, thus allowing him to step through the portal between his realm and Earth and circumvent the rules of Mortal Kombat to claim her. She was brainwashed into forgetting her past and having complete loyalty to her "husband." But while Kahn may have partially merged the realms, his adopted daughter was the plan's undoing. Kitana convinced her mother of her true past, leading Sindel to complete a Heel-Face Turn. Earthrealm's victory also split Edenia from Outworld, and Sindel vowed to rebuild her once-great civilization and bring Shao Kahn to justice.
Fanservice Pack: Her outfits began relatively modest, but this slowly was thrown out of the window by Deception, Armageddon, and 9. Like Sonya, however, she still shows a fair deal of less skin than the others.
Her alternate costume in 9 is probably her sexiest yet, showing a lot of skin with fishnets. Possibly justified story-wise as she was under Shao Kahn's control.
Heel-Face Revolving Door: Starts out Good, then is brainwashed into Evil when revived, and then returns to Good after Shao Kahn's defeat and stays that way for the rest of the series.
Heel Face Door Slam: In 9. At some point during the events of Mortal Kombat 3, she should've realized that Shao Kahn was manipulating her, but due to Raiden's interference with the timeline she ends up being empowered by Shang Tsung's soul, brutally killing most of the heroes, and dying as a villain when Nightwolf sacrifices himself to stop her.
She kills Cyber Sub-Zero in three hits. She stomps Kabal in his respirator. She puts her heel in Jax's throat. Snaps Smoke's neck. Rips out one of Jade's vital organs. Punches a hole through Stryker's head and slowly beats down Kitana and rips out part of her soul.
Prehensile Hair: In 3. It took until 9 for it to show up again, in both her X-Ray move and her attempt to steal Nightwolf's soul in Story Mode.
Power Floats: As a special, Sindel is able to levitate. Also seen in her Victory Pose in 3, three times in Deception (her getting up pose, her victory pose if you didn't perform a Fatality, her Sonic Screech Fatality), and twice in 9 (her intro pose and non-Fatality win pose).
That Woman Is Dead: Tells Kitana that she is not her mother during the aforementioned No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. Sure, it was the brainwashing talking, not Sindel herself, but the comment still hits Kitana pretty hard.
"Let's see what you're made of..."
A mysterious masked stranger who joins the Earthrealm warriors in their fight against Shao Kahn, Kabal is actually a former member of the Black Dragon, Kano's outfit. During Shao kahn's initial assault wave on Earthrealm, he is heavily scarred by his annihilation squads, leading to his masked appearance. While initially helping the Earthrealm's warriors to face Khan, Kabal eventually reverts to his former criminal ways. During the events of '"Deception'', he reforms the Black Dragon and hunts down Mavado, the leader of the Red Dragon, who had wounded him and humiliated him between the events of the third and fourth games.
Flash Step: Part of his moveset since 3. Explained in 9; when Kabal was dying of his burns from Kintaro, Kano got Shang Tsung to heal him up with his magic. As a side effect of said magic, he gained Super Speed.
Freeze-Frame Bonus: He's seen with a ring on his finger before he's viciously burned by Kintaro, indicating that he's engaged at the very least.
Gas Mask, Longcoat: From Deception onwards, including the reboot. Points for being a sleeveless coat.
The Grotesque: Not as bad as most, but still quite noticeable, especially in 9, where his design makes his injuries even more gruesome. A deformed face, mangled strips of flesh (think Freddy Krueger), charred lungs, a blind left eye... Kabal's got it bad.
Heel-Face Revolving Door: Starts out evil before 3, becomes good in 3, ends up evil again from Deception onward (Havik's resuscitation of Kabal may have had to something to do with that last part, though).
In 9, his backstory places him as Evil (one of Kano's Black Dragon buddies in the past), but he remains Good throughout the story (having renounced his past to start clean as a police officer).
I Am a Monster: His initial reaction to being revived by Kano in 9, and although it soon turns to pure rage because Kano didn't leave him to die. He later decides to put his skills to good use as one of Raiden's chosen defenders.
Super Speed: Gains this as a side-effect of Shang Tsung's healing magic.
Stealth Mentor: To Kira and Kobra. Their journey to Outworld at Havik's behest to deal with Onaga will help Kabal weed out members for the revived Black Dragon clan. It's revealed in Kira's ending that only one of them would be chosen and the two would have to battle to the death to receive that honor.
We Can Rebuild Him: His respirator saved his life. His ending in 9 has this happen again, with Kabal's respirator being permanently damaged during his fight with Shao Kahn, forcing him to track down Kano and the cyberneticist who developed Kano's eye laser. He's saved in the nick of time, but now must fight to repay his hefty debt.
"Ancestors, give me strength!"
An Apache warrior, shaman and historian, Nightwolf learned of Shao Kahn's impending invasion from Raiden. He used his magic to set up protection for his people, then headed off to defend Earthrealm. He got put on a bus after MKT...
... then it came back. In Deception, he began having visions again, this time of Onagareturning from the dead to wreak havoc. He chose the role of a Sin Eater, which basically meant that he would absorb all of his tribe's sins, then release them all at Onaga at once. The plan worked, and Onaga was stuck in Outworld to be beaten into submission by Shujinko.
Deadly Upgrade: The Sin Eater ritual will allow Nightwolf to descend into the Netherrealm and use his clan's sins to attack Onaga's spirit, but the transformation will alter his temperament and eventually cause him to become a danger to his allies. Understanding the ramifications of such actions, Nightwolf works in seclusion during the events of Deception.
Nerves of Steel: Particularly noticeable in 9. One such instance is during Sindel's entrance to the heroes' stronghold in The Cathedral where she screams and manages to shake, distort, and knock down some of the warriors but Nightwolf's stance remains firm and he keeps a cool head throughtout the attack.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In Freddy Krueger's ending in Mortal Kombat 9, Nightwolf is the one who recognizes Freddy as a malevolent spirit and quickly seals him back in the Dream Realm before he could cause harm with the power he gained from killing Shao Kahn. Unfortunately, Freddy wanted to return to the Dream Realm as he was immortal in that Realm and now capable of causing a global massacre without resistance.
Number Two: To Raiden in 9. Due to his status as one of the few humans with spiritual awareness, he knows Raiden on a personal basis and apparently goes looking for/recruiting Raiden's chosen warriors during the Outworld invasion (he's also seen with the Nakama that is Raiden's warriors during the time of Shang Tsung's tournament). He even leads the heroes when Raiden leaves with Liu Kang to enlist the Elder Gods' help and subsequently leads the charge against the Lin Kuei and Sindel.
Our Werewolves Are Different: In his arcade ending, after defeating Shao Kahn, his soul attaches itself to Nightwolf's spirit wolf guide. His evil infects Nightwolf himself, turning him into a vicious werewolf and plans to infect each single mortal in Earthrealm.
Took a Level in Badass: In Deception, he voluntarily descends into the Netherrealm and binds Onaga there using the sins of his ancestors, allowing Shujinko to finish off the Dragon King. Even more so in 9; How does he stop Quan Chi's Soulnado? By beating the tar out of the sorcerer and then Sparta-kickingNoob Saibotinto it. He then tramples Cyrax and Sektor when the Cyber Lin Kuei attack the heroes' stronghold. He's then one of four heroes to survive Sindel's initial onslaught and is ultimately the one to fell her (see Heroic Sacrifice above).
"The Edenian race is descended from the gods. That is the reason for our longevity, our nobility, and our strength. But I am more than a distant relation to the deities of old. I am a direct descendant of Argus himself."
The son of an Edenian general, Rain was smuggled away during Shao Kahn's invasion of Outworld and hostile takeover of Edenia. Thousands of years later, during Shao Kahn's attempted conquest of Earthrealm, Rain reappeared and was attacked by Kahn's extermination squads. Rather than die, Rain saved his own skin by pledging allegiance to Shao Kahn. In Trilogy, Kitana revealed to Rain the valiant last stand of his father, sending Rain into a blind rage and a suicide mission against Kahn. By the time of Armageddon, Rain discovered his true heritage. Still on the side of evil, but no longer in servitude to Shao Kahn, Rain now sets off to kill Taven and Daegon, aiming to take the prize of Blaze's power for himself.
His backstory undergoes a few changes in Mortal Kombat 9. A refugee orphan taken in by the Edenian Resistance, Rain's prowess in battle allowed him to quickly jump through the army's ranks. This shaped Rain into a very arrogant warrior. When he was denied command of his own charge, Rain, seething with anger, left their employ and offered his services to Shao Kahn.
Badass Cape: His redesign in Armageddon, as seen to the right.
Heel-Face Revolving Door: Kitana apparently turned Rain against Shao Kahn after Trilogy (after telling him of his adoptive father's death), but he's back to Evil by the time of Armageddon.
He seems to have settled on Heel in 9.
It's All About Me: After discovering his true heritage, Rain becomes extremely egotistical, calling himself the prince of Edenia and venturing forth to stop Taven and Daegon despite the realms being at catastrophic risk. He's also painted in this light in 9. Doesn't get command of his own army within the Resistance? Joins Shao Kahn. Shao Kahn also doesn't give him an army? Kills Shao Kahn. Thanked by Raiden and finds out he's Argus' son? Decides that the right to rule is his and goes on a campaign to conquer all the realms, starting with Earthrealm.
The first involves him summoning a ball of water that surrounds the victim's head, they are then inflated with the water until they explode like a living water balloon. In the second, Rain uses a highly pressurized stream of water like a sword to decapitate his opponent.
Punny Name: Rain wears a purple costume, and Armageddon reveals that he's a prince.
Palette Swap: Started out as a purple Lin Kuei palette swap; one of the last created for the series.
People Puppets: His Mind Control Orb special allows Rain to briefly control his opponent's movements. In 9, the move is changed to instead ensnare them in a bubble using Rain's hydrokinetic powers to control the path of the bubble.
Before the events of Mortal Kombat 3, Kurtis Stryker was just a member of the NYPD's Special Riot Control Department. He was chosen by Raiden to be one of a handful of mortals to survive Shao Kahn's genocide of the human race. Even Stryker himself doesn't know why.
In Mortal Kombat 9, Stryker is pretty much the same, although his joining Earthrealm's champions is not as ambiguous, since he is hand-picked by Nightwolf, who sensed his determination to protect Earthrealm and his skills as a fighter.
Blood-Splattered Warrior: His victory pose if he doesn't use a Fatality to end a match in 9. He simply throws a grenade at his foe's unconscious body, and ends up getting sprayed by their blood due to the ensuing explosion. One way or another, Stryker's opponent won't be leaving the battle alive.
It also appears in his second Fatality in 9, which is pretty much the same thing, only with Stryker jamming the grenade directly into their midsection.
Bottomless Magazines: Apparently, his gun has infinite ammo, although he's shown reloading it if he wins a round in 9.
Combat Pragmatist/Police Brutality: Given that he's the most normal member of the cast, this was a given. For example, his X-Ray move in 9. He blinds his opponent with a flashlight, smashes the top of their skull in with it (causing the skull to actually cave in), and then knocks them upside the jaw with his baton (breaking their neck) before finally tazing 'em. When he delivers the quote reproduced above, he's not kidding.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: His X-Ray attack opens with him blinding his opponent with a flashlight to make them vulnerable for his attack. Apparently, this works on cyborgs, hellspawns with no real eyes, celebrities with sunglasses, and an already blind person.
Genre Savvy: Again, in 9. He and his partner (Kabal) see Mileena standing across the street during the invasion. The below conversation follows.
Nice Hat: In 3, as a part of his "everyman" appeal. He gets it back in 9, but it's no longer turned backwards.
Retcon: Played with in Mortal Kombat 9, which can be looked at as either badass, hilarious or even jarring. Originally, fan reaction to the Kurtis Stryker character was overwhelmingly negative, despite the creators' belief that he would be considered one of the franchise's most popular characters. Regardless of the fandom's views of him, they still forged ahead with his character development with many efforts of making him cooler and winning him over with players. Well, in his Mortal Kombat 9Ladder ending, he is considered wildly popular with fans AND a hero, so much that he is given a parade in his honor, the key to the city,note and which city would ''that'' be, again? The Congressional Medal of Honor, his own book regaling his heroic experience (titled I Was Doing My Job), action figures, note which is rather ironic in real-life, considering he is one of the only characters introduced before Mortal Kombat 4not to have his own action figure and a movie about his life, which he personally cancelled himself since he would NEVER allow Johnny Cage to play him in a movie. This all could be considered jarring considering it is a retelling/reboot of the original timeline of the games/the games themselves and that it may almost look like the creators are trying to retcon the fans' original reactions to him.
Sociopathic Hero: Since you are basically incapable of showing an opponent mercy when using Stryker (as opting not to do a Fatality with him simply results in Stryker taking the matter into his own hands and finishing the deed as part of his win pose) and Stryker is apparently one of the heroic Earthrealm defenders, he's gotta be this.
"Without your weapons, you are no match for Motaro!"
Motaro is a Centaur, a race of half-man, half-horse beings that reside in Outworld. His people are vicious enemies of the Shokan, the race of four-armed half-dragons that Goro, Sheeva, and Kintaro belong to. During the events of Mortal Kombat 3, he is the commanding general of Shao Kahn's Earthrealm invasion squads and serves as the mid-boss before Shao Kahn. He returns during the events of Armageddon, though his appearance now takes the form of a minotaur as a curse placed on his people by the Shokan have stripped them of two of their legs. He arrives at the pyramid in a gambit to make Goro and his people pay for what they wrought upon his race.
No Sell: Motaro scoffs at the idea of being hurt by projectiles or being juggled (you can, however, combo him if you can catch him in midair). Note that in MK3, only most projectile attacks can't hurt him (Sindel's can, but still, she's better off with physical attacks against him.)
Serendipity Writes the Plot: Armageddon's engine couldn't handle a four-footed fighter, so the developers were faced with the choice of cutting him down to two legs, or removing him from the game entirely. They went with the former, giving the storyline explanation of a curse caused by the Shokan.