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Main series: MK1 (Part 1 | Part 2) | MK2 | MK3 | MK4 | Deadly Alliance | Deception | Armageddon | MK vs. DC Universe | MK9 | MKX | MK11
Spinoffs: Mythologies: Sub-Zero | Special Forces
Non-videogame: The Movie | Conquest | Defenders of the Realm
Individual Characters: Scorpion | Liu Kang | Raiden | Sub-Zero II | Shao Kahn


Spoilers for 1, 2, 3 and Mythologies will be unmarked

Here we're going to list the characters introduced in Mortal Kombat 4 and Mortal Kombat Gold.

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Shinnok, Quan Chi and Fujin can be found in the Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero sheet.


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    Meat 

Meat

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mk_meat_01_7891.jpg

Debut game: Mortal Kombat 4
Other appearances: Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

The abomination known only as Meat was the result of a horrific experiment conducted by Shang Tsung. It escaped the evil sorcerer's infamous flesh pits before being completely formed.

  • Body Horror: LOOK AT HIM.
  • Call-Back: Fittingly, a creature that looks like Meat is formed in the background of Quan Chi's lab in MKX.
  • Dem Bones: In 4, he was just a bloodied skeleton.
  • Detachment Combat: He's capable of removing his head and rolling it to trip enemies, and just sort of falls apart to teleport.
  • Ditto Fighter: In MK4, he was essentially a "skin" over whichever character you chose, acquiring all of his/her moves.
  • Eye Scream: In his most recent appearance one of his eyes is hanging out of his skull by the optic nerve. He can psych himself up to regain health by pulling on it.
  • Fan Disservice: Takes Naked on Arrival Up to Eleven.
  • Joke Character: He's simply a joke skin for characters in 4 while his actual playable appearance ain't much to talk about in terms of fighting abilities.
  • Knife Nut: Armageddon gives him a pair of meat cleavers.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: Since he doesn't have any skin, he's bleeding before anyone even lays a finger on him.
  • Palette Swap: Of everyone in 4, except Goro and Noob Saibot.
  • Shapeshifter Identity Crisis: His Armageddon ending gives him the power to shape shift. He loses his sense of identity and goes to seclusion.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Something tells us this isn't for fanservice purposes, though.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: His main fighting style.

    Reiko 

Reiko

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mk_reiko_01_498.jpg
"I am Reiko. General to Shao Kahn's Army."

Debut game: Mortal Kombat 4 (Ed Boon)
Other appearances: Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (David Beron)
Non-game appearances: Mortal Kombat: Conquest (Jim Helsinger)

First emerging as a general in Shinnok's war against the heavens and an apparent member of the Brotherhood of Shadow. Reiko has served both the fallen Elder God and Shao Kahn.

Believed dead after Shinnok's first defeat by Raiden, he emerged during the events of Mortal Kombat 4 once as an ally of his former master. However in the wake of his masters' second defeat at the hands of Earthrealm's defenders, he disappeared once more.

Reiko later emerged as a general in Shao Kahn's army having gained promotion to the position due to his ruthlessness. His ambitions seem to go much further however as his desire to take the emperor of Outworld's throne is all too clear.

In Mortal Kombat X, he is Mileena's general in Outworld's civil war, after the death of Shao Kahn. However, a prophecy that he has heard of during one of his contests during his time with Shao Kahn persuaded him to get Outworld's throne. Seeing that Quan Chi led the emperor to his death, he decided to no longer serve anyone and attempted suicide, but Havik had to happen to walk towards him, remind him of the prophecy and stab him with one of the Kamidogu, serving him a first taste of blood magic.

  • Ambiguously Brown: He was a fair deal lighter in his debut.
  • The Chessmaster: As seen in the prequel comics for Mortal Kombat X, he's correctly predicted every move Kotal Kahn has made and managed to have his father Kotal K'etz killed in an ambush by Goro and the Red Dragon as a result.
  • Drop the Hammer: Replaces his club with a hammer similar to Shao Kahn's in Armageddon.
  • The Dragon: To Shao Kahn's Big Bad in MK: Conquest.
    • In canon, he served as both Shinnok and Shao Kahn's general in their armies at different points in time.
    • Is now this to former Empress Mileena.
  • Flanderization: Not that he had much characterization to begin with, but Midway took his connection to Shao Kahn and ran like hell with it. In Deception, he claims he enjoys sneaking into Kahn's throne room and wearing his helmet. Come Armageddon, he's gone from maskless ninja to a helmetless copy of Kahn (except with proper pants), complete with his weapon being changed from a war club to the Crude Hammer, further emulating Kahn. One of his attacks even generates an aura version of Kahn's helmet. And what does he do in his Armageddon ending? Defeats Shao Kahn and claim his helmet, which fuses to his head.
    • His MK4 ending has him step through a portal to a throne room and sit, and then Shao Kahn's helmet magically lowers itself onto his head. At this point it was strongly implied that Shao Kahn was dead, and Reiko's bio says that he too was supposed to be dead. So the idea was that Kahn had cheated death by possessing Reiko's body, or something along those lines. The fans generally either did not like this, or did not get it (until Deception, many people believed that this meant he was Shao Kahn), and the idea was scrapped, and in Deadly Alliance it was decided to make it that Kahn had never been killed in the first place. The helmet thing is thus a Running Gag. Originally he never even served Kahn; he had only worked for Shinnok.
    • In an inversion, the prequel comics for Mortal Kombat X have made no mention of this obsession whatsoever, and have instead begun to flesh Reiko out as a master tactician who Kotal Kahn recognises as the true threat to his rule.
  • Flechette Storm: Throws a barrage of shuriken at his opponent for his Fatality in 4. Noob Saibot's appearance in Deception and his shuriken's Relic description in Armageddon affirms that such weapons are signs of membership in the Brotherhood of Shadow.
  • Gender-Blender Name: His name is one you'd find favored by Japanese women.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: All of his appearances show him with glowing white eyes.
  • Killed Off for Real: Meets his end in Issue #30 of the MKX comics, where his body is destroyed under the the weight of Blood Magick and his head split open by Havik.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: His fate in Issue #30, where he melts and has his head ripped apart by Blood Magick.
  • The Man Behind the Man: In the comics, while he's an advisor to Mileena, he's the person doing most of the planning, and its said he ingratiated himself with her in order to use Mileena's status as "heir" to Shao Kahn's empire in a bid for control of Outworld.
  • Metaphorically True: The prophecy "Reiko's blood reigns." Maybe not as Emperor of Outworld, but as the Blood God ruling over all realms. This also ends up applying to his eventual death, where his blood is running in a literal state as he is destroyed by the Blood Magick when his body cannot handle it.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: As covered under Glowing Eyes of Doom, he has blank white eyes that glow.
  • Multicolored Hair: In 4, his hair was mostly black, with some white on the sides. In Armageddon, the sides have been shaved off.
  • Stalker with a Crush: His relationship with Kahn comes off like this, especially the creepy sneaking into his throne room and wearing his helmet. In Armageddon his outfit's even similar...
  • The Starscream:
    • Possibly to Shao Kahn. He certainly wants that helmet.
    • Very blatantly one to Quan Chi. He even revels in the fact that his failure to stop Taven in Shao Kahn's war room could possibly lead to the sorcerer's death.
  • Treacherous Advisor: To Mileena, as he intends to take the Outword Kahnum for himself by gaining the power of Blood God.
  • Unholy Matrimony: With Mileena in the prequel comics to X. This is all a ruse, as he doesn't like sharing her bed and instead uses her for his own goals.
  • Unwitting Pawn: To Havik, who was just manipulating him to get his hands on Shinnok's Amulet.

    Tanya 

Tanya

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mortal_kombat_x___tanya_render_remade_2.png
"I had been called an enforcer of the Deadly Alliance. I preferred the term 'ambassador.'"

Debut game: Mortal Kombat 4 (Lia Montelongo)
Other appearances: Mortal Kombat: Deception, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Mortal Kombat X (Jennifer Hale, English; Carla Castañeda, Latin American Spanish)

The daughter of an Edenian ambassador to new realms, Tanya allowed fleeing refugees to enter Edenia in order to find safety. However these unfortunate victims turned out to be Shinnok, Quan Chi and their deadly Netherealm forces. Tanya had betrayed her own realm to the fallen god.

Despite attempting to lure Liu Kang into a trap, she was eventually undone with Shinnok's defeat at the hands of Earth's warriors. Her treachery known to both Edenia and Earth she fled to Outworld. Eventually she found herself an an enforcer for the Deadly Alliance and imposing the will of her masters on Outworld.

Their defeat left her contemplating a return home but after a confrontation with Baraka was drafted into the ranks of the Dragon King Onaga's army. Later bringing her new master to her native realm in search of information on the Kamidogu.

In Mortal Kombat 9, she makes a cameo appearance in Shao Kahn's Arena, as a captive. She plays a more active role in the storyline in Mortal Kombat X as one of Mileena's rebels. Mileena convinced her that if she is made to be empress again, she will sever the link that Edenia still shares with Outworld due to Shao Kahn's conquest. She runs across D'Vorah and Cassie Cage at the rebel encampment where she and Rain are guarding Shinnok's amulet. She is able to successfully subdue Cassie but is overpowered by D'Vorah in battle. She survives the events of the game despite her leader being executed by Kotal Kahn and D'Vorah and her whereabouts are currently unknown (her Arcade Ladder ending says she sold out Rain in order to get on Kotal Kahn's good side and save herself in order to get a fresh start at her dreams of a free Edenia but this does not seem entirely canon).

  • Absolute Cleavage: Her original two outfits give her low cut outfits., but averted with her MKX outfit.
  • Ancient Egypt: Her MKX look evokes this a lot, right down to her Cleopatra-like hair bob.
  • Arch-Enemy: Jade took it personal when Tanya betrayed their people.
  • Badass Boast: To Jacqui in MKX.
    Tanya: Miss Briggs.
    Jacqui: Another Edenian.
    Tanya: The only one you need to worry about.
  • Bare Your Midriff: In MKX
  • The Baroness: Sexpot variety.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Her ending in 4 made this as The Reveal. Also, in another one of her endings, she even betrays and sacrifices fellow Edenian Rain to die at the hands of Outworlders just to keep herself alive and buy her alive to plot her next nefarious scheme.
  • Blade on a Stick: Gains one in Mortal Kombat X for her "Dragon Naginata" variation.
  • But Not Too Black: Her inital Mortal Kombat X character model was noticeably lighter skinned than her previous appearances. After the backlash hit Netherrealm Studios for the change, she went back to her brown skin.
  • Choice of Two Weapons: In MKX, she has two variations that grant her access to weapons, her dual bladed tonfas and her naginata.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Possibly more untrustworthy than Kano. And that's quite a statement. Doesn't stop her from having enough gall to call him out on his.
  • Les Collaborateurs: Tanya is this trope for betraying her homeland of Edenia.
  • Combat Stilettos: Puts them to good use in one of her fatalities in MKX.
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: Her Pyromancer variation in MKX's bread and butter tactic is to splash the opponent with combustive dust, then ignite the dust with her fireballs for greater damage.
  • Dark Action Girl: This girl is sadistically evil in every sense of the word, and knows how to kick ass as well.
  • Depraved Bisexual: She's a sadistic murderess and pathological traitor. She has the hots for Kung Jin and Rain, and definitely has something going on with Mileena according to her intro dialogues. Tremor, in one of his intro dialogues with her, outright calls her "Mileena's concubine."
  • Designated Girl Fight: A designated Edenian Girl Fight with Jade. The alternate timeline have her fight D'Vorah instead, with Jade being still dead.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: While she's a difficult character to master in Mortal Kombat X, it's worth getting good with her due to her mix-ups and and unmatched aerial attacks and options.
  • Downloadable Content: Is included in Mortal Kombat X's "Kombat Pack" alongside Jason Voorhees, Predator, and Tremor. She was released on June 2, 2015.She shows up as an enemy fighter in the Story Mode but is clearly incomplete (she uses Kitana's stance and has no variations).
  • Dual Tonfas: Her Kobu Jutsu, a pair of bladed tonfas with a Kama-like blade attached on the body.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In new timeline during her intro with Kitana in versus mode, she will express sadness in fighting Kitana, claiming that Edenians shouldn't fight one another and that her family once respected her. Regardless if she's a Revenant or not, Kitana will press on anyway, distrusting of Tanya, given her history of deceit and betrayal in the past.
    Kitana: Tanya.
    Tanya: Edenians shouldn't fight each other!
    Kitana: Our realm is dead, as you shall be.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Jade, being a distrustful Edenian as opposed to Jade's Patriotic Fervor.
  • Face–Heel Turn: 4 describes her as a freedom fighter trying to take back her realm. But it isn't until her ending that you find out she's a bad guy.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon/ Deception's Konquest Mode even specifically states, "Tanya is beautiful, but she is not to be trusted." Considering that this angel-faced dame went on to betray her Edenian and Earthrealm allies, this is understandable.
  • Femme Fatale: As if being Evil All Along wasn't good enough.
  • Heel Realization: Possibly, in a sense. Her bio for Deception notes that Tanya, now lonely after the fall of the Deadly Alliance, felt an urge to return to her homeland of Edenia (y'know, the same realm she betrayed back in 4?). However, this is where the Tarkatan horde intercepts Tanya and forces her to lend her talents to Onaga's cause.
  • Hot Witch: Said to have great proficiency with the dark arts, which is reflected with her fireballs and teleporting abiltities.
  • Hypocrite: Shows disgust towards Kano, calling him names such as "snake and "turncoat". This, coming from Edenia's most selfish, calculating, traitorous woman...
  • Hidden Depths: In MKX her goal is to restore Edenia, since Edenia was never unmerged from Outworld in the current timeline. This is why she joined Mileena, who promised to restore Edenia if she became Empress again. However, she seems to be privy to Rain's plan to usurp power once Mileena has killed herself through prolonged use of Shinnok's amulet, so her long game beyond said goal is unclear.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Rationalizes her actions as necessary steps for ensuring her own survival. In her X ending, she grows uninterested in fellow ally and Edenian Rain and sacrifices his life in order to buy her more time in Outworld to realize her dream of restoring Edenia.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Her "Edenian Drill" fatality in Mortal Kombat X in which she uses her Combat Stilettos to pierce her opponent's back and then slides right through the opponent, leaving a gaping hole and her covered with entrails while she holds her opponent's heart.
  • Incompatible Orientation: She's attracted towards Kung Jin, openly describing him as 'quite handsome'. As the latter puts it, she's barking up the wrong tree.
  • Invisibility: Gains a move like this starting in Deception. Appropriately, the technique is named "Find Me."
  • Kick Chick: Her fighting style and animations in X get a lot of use out of her legs.
  • Kiss of Death: Like Kitana and Sonya, she had a similar move as a Fatality in 4 (called Kiss of Deceit; perhaps a nod to her true nature). This fatal peck causes the receiver's body to agonizingly contort before exploding.
  • Lady of Black Magic: An evil and beautiful villainess who prides herself in her mastery of the dark arts and can conjure damaging fireballs.
  • Leotard of Power: And in Deception, it heavily resembles a corset.
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: In Deception, although tied up in her alt. Back in 4, had it not been for the ponytail, Tanya might've been very well mistaken for having a bob.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Since Mortal Kombat 4.
  • Mini Dress Of Power: Dons a black one as an alt. in 4.
  • Mistaken Identity: Pre-fight dialogue in MKX has her mix up Ferra and Torr with a dead co-ed being dragged around by Jason Voorhees.
  • Mix-and-Match Weapon: In Deception and Armageddon, she wields a pair of tonfas with kama-like blades attached known as Kobu Jutsu. Tanya maintains these weapons in the new timeline as a variation.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: From Deception on.
  • Moral Myopia: As stated above, quick to try and justify her own duplicitous deeds. But when Kano does it, she condemns him.
  • Murderous Thighs:
    • In 4 her bone breaker throw was a Neck Snap done via clinging on her foe head with her thighs and spinning around and her first fatality in the same game is a triple spin version of the throw
    • This move, which leaps into opponents head, is revamped as a frankensteiner for her X-Ray move last hit, except she leaps onto opponents head from behind.
  • Playing with Fire: Shows up in multiple special moves of hers, particularly during her appearances in Deception and Armageddon. In Mortal Kombat X she gets a variation called "Pyromancer" that's dedicated to this trope.
  • Naginatas Are Feminine: One of her stances in X uses one.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: As her ending happens after Story Mode, Mileena is dead so it's just her and Rain on the run from Outworld's armies. While she likes Rain's talents and "company", he is not going to help her achieve her goals in their current state. So she rats him out in order to be spared by Kotal Kahn. It sentences her to a life of servitude under Kotal but puts her in a better position to try to accomplish her goals long-term.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Seems to have the hots for Mileena in X.
  • She-Fu: Her fighting style in X includes a lot of flips.
  • She's Got Legs: Shows them off very well in her victory animation in Mortal Kombat X.
  • Shipper on Deck: In X, along with Mileena, she sees Kitana and Liu Kang are fit as a Battle Couple, teasing their secret affair for some fun.
  • Sole Survivor: Of a full blooded Edenian race after what happen to Kitana, Jade and Sindel in 2011 event. But in Edenian civil, she's not the only Edenian to survive from extinction, one of her fellow is Rain, who is a half-God.
  • Spin Attack: Tanya has a special known as the Human Cannon Drill. It involves Tanya corkscrewing under opponent's legs like... well, a drill.
  • Stance System: In Deception, she had the Zi Ran Men, Yue Chuan, and Kobu Jutsu stances. She keeps the latter two in Armageddon.
  • Summon Magic: Her ending in Armageddon has Tanya transforming into a being known as a Dragon Caller. With the ability to conjure ethereal dragons and give them a corporeal form, Tanya then goes on to conquer all of the realms with her new army.
  • Teleport Spam: Tanya has a teleport that carries over across all three of her variations in Mortal Kombat X. Expect to see it a lot in high level play.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In Mortal Kombat X, she and Rain basically disappeared from the story after D'Vorah beats her. Cassie stopped D'Vorah from killing them but that's about it.
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    Kai 

Kai

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mk_kai_0021_1114.jpg
"I will not fail."

Debut game: Mortal Kombat 4 (Sultan Uddin)
Other appearances: Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

An-ex member of the secret White Lotus Society. Kai gained his skills learning from the great masters throughout Asia. After a chance meeting with Liu Kang looking to train future Shaolin warriors, Kai joined him in China for further instruction.

However his training was halted by the invasion of Shinnok's forces. Kai then joined the other Earthrealm warriors to battle alongside Raiden against the fallen Elder God. After Shinnok's defeat, he decided to walk the Earth in search of self-enlightenment. As a sign of thanks and approval Raiden entrusted him with his Lightning Staff to help guide him on his quest. He would eventually return to aid the Forces of Light in the Battle of Armageddon.

    Jarek 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mk_jarek_01_1422.jpg
"Soon I’ll have revenge."

Debut game: Mortal Kombat 4 (Herman Sanchez/Mark Meyers)
Other appearances: Mortal Kombat: Special Forces, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

After learning of Kano's apparent demise, Jarek fled to the realm of Edenia. Pursued by special forces members Jax Briggs and Sonya Blade who believe him to be the last member of the criminal Black Dragon clan. However their plan to bring him in is halted by Shinnok's invasion of the realm. This leads Jarek to reluctantly join forces with them and the rest Earthrealm's warriors to deal with the greater threat.

After Shinnok's defeat Jax throws Jarek to his death over a cliffside. Jarek managed to break his fall by digging his blade into the rock face. However his injuries were still substantial. The time taken to hone his skills and recover, whilst presumed dead, did little to lower his bitterness over having to overcome his wounds. Eventually his desire to kill Jax extended to everyone.

Has a short appearance in the Mortal Kombat X comics, where he and Tasia captured both Cassie Cage and Jacqui Briggs at the direct orders of Erron Black.

  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy
  • Author Avatar: His facial appearance was based on Mortal Kombat character designer and modeler Herman Sanchez.
  • An Axe to Grind: His weapon in Armageddon. Eventually becomes his Weapon of Choice in the MKX digital comics.
  • Ax-Crazy: Ends up as this in Armageddon.
  • Beard of Evil: Sports a messy beard in all his appearances.
  • Blade Brake: How he survived Jax dropping him off a cliff at the end of 4.
  • The Cameo: Shows up along with Tasia in the Mortal Kombat X prequel comic, interrupting Cassie's fight against Frost and slaughtering civilians in the process. He even managed to capture both Cassie and Jacqui off-screen thanks to Erron Black, no less.
  • Dirty Coward: Begs desperately for his life in Jax's 4 ending after killing Sonya.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: Originally a clone of Kano in 4, he becomes this in Armageddon.
  • The Dragon: Seems to have been this to Kano.
  • Enemy Mine: Teams up with Sonya and Jax (and the rest of Earthrealm's warriors by proxy) to defeat Shinnok in 4. It takes all of five seconds after the Elder God's defeat before Jarek and Sonya are at each other's throats again.
  • Eye Beams: In MK4, because of his previous status as that game's Kano. In an effort to include more new characters in-game, they reskinned Kano as Jarek (hence the reason Jarek has mostly Kano's moves).
  • Ground Pound: In the form of his signature Rhino Stomp.
  • Hunk: A Black Dragon stud.
  • Moveset Clone: Of Kano in MK4. Doubles as a Replacement Flat Character.
  • Un-Evil Laugh: In 4, he has a weird, humming laugh, as shown in his and Jax's endings.
  • Villainous Breakdown: In Jax's MK4 ending, he goes from smugly satisfied with himself for throwing Sonya off the cliff to pathetically begging for his life when Jax's about to do the same to him.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: In 4 only.

     Elder Gods 

Elder Gods

Debut game: Mortal Kombat 4
Other appearances: Mortal Kombat: Deception, Mortal Kombat 9

The supreme beings of the Mortal Kombat Universe. The Elder Gods are distinct from lesser gods like Raiden due to predating the creation of the realms and having power and authority over all the realms instead of a single one. A lesser god can be promoted to the status of Elder God.

Before the creation of the realms, the Elder Gods existed in the Void along with the One Being which fed off of their essences. The Elder Gods created the Kamidogu and used it to shatter the One Being. The realms came from its remains and the mortals are its dreams. The Elder rarely intervene in the affairs of the realms. According to one story, when the Elder God Shinnok tried to seize control of the realms, the rest aided Raiden in his battle against their fallen brother. At another point in time, they created the Mortal Kombat tournament to regulate the conflict between realms.


  • Alien Non-Interference Clause: The Elder Gods avoid interfering in mortal affairs, but not out of concern for their welfare. They are afraid doing so will trigger the One Being's return.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: The Elder Gods are well-aware of the threat which various villains posed to all of the realms. Yet they refuse to do anything unless they themselves are directly threatened. Part of this is explained away in 11 as Kronika's manipulations.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Kronika's existence and several character endings in 11 reveal that the Elder Gods are dwarfed in power by the existence of the Titans.
  • Arch-Enemy: The One Being.
  • Broken Pedestal: In both timelines, Raiden starts out with great faith in the Elder Gods only to lose it due to their inaction. The Thunder God now sees them as more burden than help, hence why he chose to take matters into his own hands at the end of Mortal Kombat X and use a more hard-line approach to defend Earthrealm.
  • Cain and Abel: Shinnok and Cetrion respectively.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The only exceptions among them are Shinnok and Cetrion.
  • God Is Dead: Partway through 11, Cetrion kills every other Elder God under Kronika's orders. Cetrion later sacrifices herself to empower her mother. Aside from Shinnok's technically living head, the Elder Gods are all dead in this timeline.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy: The Elder Gods frequently do everything with slackness, most notably failing to enforce the rules of Mortal Kombat during Shao Kahn's invasion of Earthrealm. They only act if directly threatened - and even then, not always.
    • The only exception is Cetrion, as she is seen hanging around the mortals more often.
  • Good Is Impotent: Instead of just forbidding Shao Kahn from invading anyone, they allow it on the arbitrary conditional clause of "win ten martial arts tournaments first", with nothing to enforce this besides the threat of retaliation. Meanwhile, Sindel can apparently create a functional Kahn-proof shield around Earthrealm just by committing suicide. Evidently, the Elder Gods are pretty damn far from omnipotent.
  • It's All About Me: The Elder Gods have displayed zero empathy for anyone else, including the lesser gods. All of their actions are about them.
  • Jerk Ass Gods: Whenever the Elder Gods do get involved, it either makes things worse or is solely to mess around with mortals:
    • For the crime of consuming a soul, they cursed Shang Tsung to consume more souls - or rapidly detoriate and die in return. This only made him more powerful. This is revealed in 11 to be a back up plan for Kronika if she ever needed the power of those collected souls.
    • They promised to return Scorpion's family and clan to life in exchange for service - only to bring them back as undead zombies.
    • In Mortal Kombat 9, they justified not doing anything by reinterpreting the Mortal Kombat to apply only to merging realms - and not invasions. This is contrary to everything ever said before and since, and Raiden even calls them out on this due to their statement being a Distinction Without a Difference.
    • They have a habit of screwing over numerous characters in their (usually) non-canon endings.
    • Shinnok himself is a fallen Elder God, as he tried to attack Earthrealm in both timelines.
    • Cetrion is no better, and betrays and kills her fellow Elder Gods while doing Kronika's bidding.
  • Lawful Stupid: The Elder Gods enforce their non-interference rule to the point of near suicide. Instead of taking care of obvious threats early on, their slackness allows it to mushroom until it is a direct danger to them and it is almost too late to stop it.
  • Neutral No Longer: They finally get involved at the end of MK9, giving Raiden the power to destroy Shao Kahn moments before he's about to conquer Earth.
  • Not Quite the Almighty: They aren't the real supreme gods. Instead it's the One Being, who they cut up and split into the Realms in the first place.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Their purest forms are supposed to be ethereal in the shape of the signature Mortal Kombat dragon.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Both Shao Kahn and Shinnok call out the Elder Gods on their cowardice in light of the threat both villains pose. Even Raiden calls them out for their inaction in both timelines.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In some non-canon endings, the Elder Gods' refusal to do anything allows villains to become powerful enough to destroy them.

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