Dairou was once an honorable guardsman from the highly advanced and pristine Orderrealm, which as its name suggests places law, order and structure prevail above anything else. He was discharged and imprisoned after he killed a man that murdered his family in a fit of rage, and was later imprisoned. After escaping and freeing a similarly imprisoned Shujinko, he became a mercenary for hire, with one his contracts ordering him to kill his former fellow guardsman Hotaru.
For reasons unknown, he and Hotaru would put aside their differences, and join the Battle of Armageddon.
Bling Bling Bang: His ending in Armageddon. Dairou is awarded with a golden, invulnerable suit of armor formed from the fires of Blaze that burnsany who tries to attack him. He uses this gift to defeat Shao Kahn, claim the throne to Outworld, and then propose a truce between Edenia and Earthrealm.
Eye Scream: One of his Fatalities involves him ripping out two of his foe's ribs and then gouging their eyes out with them.
Ground Pound: Has a move where he falls backwards and slams himself into the ground hard enough to knock his opponent into the air.
Hired Guns: Once a honorable Seidan guardsman, Dairou spends his days working in Seido's underground as a mercenary, taking on assignments regardless of how inhumane they are.
Ignored Epiphany: His bio reveals this, as Dairou seems to fondly recall his days as a Seidan guard and all of the lives he saved while in service. However, he's become too embittered and cynical from his incarceration to return back to the path of Order ("For all the good I had done, the event that had come to define me was that one moment of Chaos"), nor does he want to follow the ways of Chaos, so he chose neither, embraced neutrality, and now lives the life of a hired sword.
Morality Pet: His former guardsman Hotaru would seem to be this, as Dairou is hesitant to kill him. Subverted in that his Deception ending has him killing Hotaru anyway, but Dairou at least announces his intent to kill him beforehand.
Revenge: His desire to avenge his family allowed Dairou to be tricked into unwittingly killing an innocent man in a fit of rage, leading to his imprisonment.
Ashrah was once a member of Quan Chi's Brotherhood of Darkness, but she escaped after refusing to carry out orders. In her flight, he came across a sword that seemed to grant purification to whoever wielded it. Emboldended, she began slaying Neatherrelam demons with the belief that her soul would be purified and granted escape from the Neatherrealm. As such, she made it a priority to slay Noob Saibot.
Though she was unable to slay Noob, she eventually transcended the Neatherrealm. She was approached by ethreal forces with the task of becoming a champion by slaying various people of the vampire race. She did so, which earned the ire of Nitara. She joined the Battle of Armageddon to slay Nitara once and for all.
All Asians Wear Conical Straw Hats: She might not be Asian per se, but she definitely has an Asian-sounding name. Unlike Raiden's more simple sedge cap, Ashrah's gasa is more festive, complete with several kanji.
Beauty Equals Goodness: According to demons in the Netherrealm, Ashrah once resembled them, but as she began to purify herself with the Kriss, she soon took on the form she has now.
Cleavage Window: Has a slight one in her default outfit. While all of the other ladies usually have their breasts exposed to some degree, this is notable because this is the only form of Fanservice present for Ashrah. Her alternate makes her cleavage more notable, ditches the hat, turns her sleeves transplant, and shows off her legs, but still manages to be among the more conservative outfits for the women.
Defector from Decadence: Like Sareena, she was a former "sister" of the Brotherhood of Shadow. Eventually, she decides to stop following Shinnok's orders and escaped.
Knight Templar: In her quest to become purified, she's gone a bit crazy, especially since even after becoming pure enough to be expelled from the Netherrealm, she continued to hunt "evil" beings, turning to attention to Nitara's vampire race.
Light 'em Up: Thanks to the power of her Kriss, Ashrah uses weaponized light in battle.
Death from Above: One of her specials fires a ball of light into the air, which then falls upon her opponent's head, much like Kai in 4.
Mistaken Identity: A meta example. Fans tend to see her as a female Raiden due to her white garb and sedge cap (complete with a long, flowing veil that mirrors Raiden's cape), but Ed Boon says that this was not the intention. Keep in mind that this did not stop a certain number of fans from shipping them, some even going as far as originally believing her to be his wife.
Darrius, eventually tired and oppressed by the strict structures of his home of Orderrealm, instigated various riots and acts of terrorism to unsettle the establishment. One of these acts was to have Dairou's family murdered and lead to the chain of events that led to his discharge from being a guardsman and become a mercenary.
It was Darrius who hired Dairou on a contract to kill Hotaru, but the contract would not be enacted; all three of the Orderrealm denizens would join together in the Battle of Armageddon.
Havik is from Chaosrealm which, as its name suggests, values disorder and chaos above all else. When Onaga returned and intended to use the Kamidogu to bring order across the realms, the Cleric of Chaos saw this as a threat and saw to it to halt the Dragon King's schemes. Aside from instigating chaos in Orderrealm, Havik was also responsible for saving Kabal from Mavado's attack, giving him the suggestion to revive the Black Dragon Clan. Havik intended to use the heroes to fight Onaga and distract them long enough to consume Onaga's essence and use the ability to resurrect the dead.
It is unknown if he succeeded in this, but he does show up alongside the Orderrealm denizens in the Battle of Armageddon.
Ambiguously Human: He has half his face ripped off and he can bend in ways that would kill most people, but it's unclear if he's some sort of zombie or if that's normal for Chaosrealmers.
Rubber Man: To an extent. Havik can freely contort his body allowing him to do insane feats such as twisting his torso like a corkscrew and snapping his own neck to regain health. In order to keep things fair, he's still affected by Fatalities that invoke breaking limbs.
Stealth Mentor/Sink or Swim Mentor: For Shujinko in Konquest mode. In order to teach the man, he has to go all out and be unpredictable. Whereas Shujinko thought it was an unpredictable and unorthodox training exercise masked as a fight to the death, Havik explicitly tells him that he was indeed trying to kill him.
"There is an order to the universe... laws that all of nature must obey."
Hotaru is a guardsman from Orderrealm. Hotaru takes order to an extreme level, to the point of zealotry, and is willing to resort to extreme measures to uphold it. One of these being to ally himself with the resurrected Onaga, whom Hotaru sees as the one to bring order to all realms. Under Onaga, Hotaru had two goals: defeat the Cleric of Chaos Havik who was spreading discord, and apprehend Sub-Zero and bring him before the Dragon King.
Hotaru would eventually join the Battle of Armageddon, being the first to draw blood by slaying Li Mei.
Gender-Blender Name/Meaningful Name: His name is a woman's name. However, it's Japanese for firefly, explaining his powers (evocative of a firefly's glow and flight) and the motif of his armor (an insectoid-like exoskeleton).
Odd Friendship: With Shujinko, if Konquest mode is any indication. Hotaru trained Shujinko as a Seidan guardsman, and when Shujinko is thrown into jail, Hotaru had intended to come on his behalf to negate Shujinko's sentence... right as Shujinko was about to escape and Dairou had killed several of his men. Needless to say, BFF time ended there.
Spam Attack: His Grasshopper special, similar in effect to Liu Kang's Bicycle Kick.
In the mountains of Afghanistan, there was a man who was selling weapons to terrorist organizations. During a deal that went wrong, that "man" was revealed to be a woman, named Kira. Kira fended off her attackers and was victorious, and to congratulate her was Kabal, leader of a reformed Black Dragon Clan. Impressed by her skills, Kabal offered Kira membership, which she gladly accepted. She and eventual recruit Kobra help carried out the new Black Dragon's goal of total anarchy.
Kira and Kobra would be fought by Taven on his quest, and the two fought alongside Kabal and original Black Dragon members Kano and Jarek in the Battle of Armageddon.
Blue Oni: To Kobra's Red. Ironically, she's the one who has red hair and wears outfits with a good bit of red in them.
Can't Stand Them, Can't Live Without Them: Her Deception ending indicates that she doesn't think very highly of Kobra, yet in her Armageddon ending, the first thing she does with her newly attained power is resurrect the slain Kobra. He kills her for being so weak, but still, it means a lot, coming from her.
The Dragon, Evil Genius, and the Dark Chick: In the new Black Dragon (with Kabal as the Big Bad, Kobra as The Brute, and Havik possibly as The Man Behind the Man), she kind of fulfills these roles by default. The latter is most prominent. Her Deception ending, in which she exploits Kobra's lack of focus and his blind ferocity to open him up for attack and subsequently kill him, causing Kabal to give her the chance to handpick two more recruits to be tested in the same manner she and Kobra were, does cement the former two tropes, though.
Mix And Match: Her regular attire is mostly red, with the exception of the corset she wears under her jacket and her heels, which are black. Her alternate mostly inverts the color scheme of her default outfit.
As a youth, Shujinko dreamed of fighting in Mortal Kombat and defeating Shang Tsung. His chance for glory came when an entity known as Damashi, an envoy of the Elder Gods, was looking for a mortal with the courage and strength to find the six Kamidogu. Shujinko accepted, and, through the decades, looked for them. Armed with a power bestowed by Damashi to observe and wield the abiltiies of various kombatants, Shujinko traversed many realms and met many kombatants before obtaining the six Kamidogu. Shujinko however, had been deceived.
Damashi turned out to be the Dragon King Onaga, former emperor of Outworld. Onaga cast his pawn aside and took the Kamidogu for his own, intending to reshape the realms. Feeling immense guilt, Shujinko gathered remaining kombatants from the battle against the Deadly Alliance, helped them defeat Onaga, and banished Onaga's soul to the Neatherrealm. Shujinko would later partake in the Battle of Armageddon alongside many of the kombatants he has met throughout the decades.
Power Copying: His entire repertoire of special moves is assembled this way. He uses Scorpion's Spear, Sub-Zero's Freeze, Liu Kang's Bicycle Kick, Raiden's Flying Thunder God, Ermac's Telekinetic Slam, Sindel's Sliding Foot Grab, Li Mei's Flipping Heel Kick, and Kobra's Flaming Fist. Shujinko also borrows Havik's Chaos Axe Kick (his throw).
Kobra was once a proficient fighter in New York, but years of fighting in dojos and mock fights made him wonder just how useful they were. He started beating up street thugs, but the bloodlust eventually led him to killing his opponents and making him a wanted criminal. He eventually got the attention of the new Black Dragon Clan under Kabal, and he and Kira sprung him from the police and inducted him. Kobra worked with his new clan members in making the Black Dragon Clan a feared name.
Kobra would fight Taven during his quest, and Kobra would fight alongside the Black Dragon, old and new, in the Battle of Armageddon.
And Show It to You: In fitting fashion for a Black Dragon member, one of Kobra's Fatalities is this. He puts a unique spin on it by slamming the heart back in the opponent's face. He also inverts this with his Hara-Kiri, where he rips out his own heart.
Blood Lust: At first, he tried to justify his killings with his victims (drug dealers and gangbangers), but the thrill of fighting had him eventually killing for money and looting on the side. Kobra wonders how many lives he's ruined, but simply doesn't care.
Expy: A cocky, blond guy named Kobra who wears a sleeveless gi? There's no way he wasn't modeled after Cobra Kai bully Johnny Lawrence from The Karate Kid.
Unholy Matrimony: In his Armageddon ending, he takes Kira as his wife, but she betrays and kills him. Unwittingly, perhaps, as the Elder Gods decided to turn Kira into a Goddess of Death to punish Kobra for his arrogance.
And in Kira's ending, she uses her newfound powers to resurrect him and, to thank her, he betrays and kill her.
Onaga, also known as the Dragon King, was once the emperor of Outworld. His undead army of soldiers was feared by many as being unstoppable. His rule would come to an abrupt end when he was poisoned and killed by his chief adviser Shao Kahn. For the next millennium, Shao Kahn ruled outworld and Onaga was forgotten. His chance for a return came when, posing as an ethreal essence name Damashi, he tasked Shujinko with a false quest to find the Kamidogu and grant him power. At the same time, a delirious Reptile chanced upon a dragon egg that corrupted Reptile and allowed the soul of Onaga to inhabit his body. Revived, Onaga immediately went to reclaim his army and defeated the former Deadly Alliance of Quan Chi and Shang Tsung, and Raiden. He then revived all those killed by the former sorcerers and made them his slaves, and set about reconquering the realms.
Shujinko, feeling immense guilt for the deception, gathered as many remaining kombatants as possible and defeated Onaga together, exorcising him from Reptile and locking his spirit in the Neatherrealm. Shinnok, also banished to the Neatherrealm, promised Onaga freedom and reclaiming Outworld by informing him of the power that Blaze held, and Onaga, alongside a reluctant alliance of Quan Chi, Shang Tsung and Shao Kahn, escaped from the Neatherrealm and partook in the Battle of Armageddon.
Back from the Dead: During his fight with Shujinko, Nightwolf casts a sealing spell that drags Onaga's essence out of Reptile's body and down into the Netherrealm. Shinnok later releases him in exchange for his cooperation. He also possesses the ability to constantly resurrect his mooks, thus their reputation for being invincible.
Berserk Button: Shao Kahn. His white-hot hatred for his backstabbing former adviser makes the Scorpion/Sub-Zero rivalry look tame. In the intro to Armageddon, Onaga is nowhere to be seen while the other combatants duke it out in a battle royale. Where does he come in? Swooping down to interrupt Shang Tsung's battle with Shao Kahn just so that he can be the one to give Shao Kahn his just desserts.
Bigger Bad: He was the original ruler of Outworld before Shao Khan. Also, the Deadly Alliance immediately recognize him as this when he first appears in Deception's opening FMV, which is what prompts their subsequent Enemy Mine with Raiden to fight him.
Blow You Away: The flap of his wings generates enough gust to push opponents away as the Dragon King propels backwards.
Boss Arena Idiocy: Both played straight and subverted. If you try to tackle Onaga head-on, he'll probably come across as a SNK Boss. However, if you walk into one of the six Kamidogu located in the corners of his arena, Onaga will immediately be knocked out of any attack he was attempting and will kneel over in a pain for a second, opening him up for a free combo. However, the Kamidogu don't regenerate between rounds, so you only get six shots in all of opening up a can of whup-ass on Onaga before you have to resort to fighting him fairly. Also, his arena contains a death trap; you can't knock him into the spikes, but he can knock you into them if you're by the edge.
Brainwashed and Crazy: He does this to the five fallen heroes in Deception, making them his slaves. The five heroes being Kitana, Kung Lao, Jax, Johnny Cage, and Sonya Blade.
Eviler than Thou: Pulls this on the Deadly Alliance on Shang Tsung and Quan Chi, and in Armageddon gets into an argument with Shao Kahn over which of them is The Emperor.
Hoist by His Own Petard: His bio in Armageddon states that his defeat was caused by Shujinko the Power Copying ability he gave him to become strong enough to break the kamidogu (making him no longer unbeatable) and then kill him.
No Sell: Projectiles are damn near useless against Onaga. This is even foreshadowed in Deception's intro cinematic, where he takes the full brunt of the combined powers of Raiden, Shang Tsung, and Quan Chi and brushes it off quite effortlessly.