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Characters / Mortal Kombat Raiden

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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 Mythologies will be unmarked

"Thunder take you!"

Debut game: Mortal Kombat (Carlos Pesina)
Other appearances: Mortal Kombat II (Carlos Pesina), Mortal Kombat Trilogy (Carlos Pesina), Mortal Kombat 4, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (Carlos Pesina), Mortal Kombat: Deception, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero (Michael Garvey), Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, (Richard Epcar), Mortal Kombat 9 (Richard Epcar), Mortal Kombat X (Richard Epcar, English; Gerardo Reyero, Latin American Spanish), Injustice 2 (Richard Epcar, English; Santos Alberto, Latin American Spanish), Mortal Kombat 11 (Richard Epcar, English; Gerardo Reyero, Latin American Spanish)
Non-game appearances: Mortal Kombat: The Movie (Christopher Lambert), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (James Remar), Mortal Kombat: Conquest (Jeffrey Meek), Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm (Clancy Brown), Mortal Kombat: Legacy (Ryan Robbins)

Raiden is the eternal God of Thunder and former protector of Earthrealm. Being a god, he possesses many supernatural abilities and a radically different outlook on life than a mere mortal.

When Earthrealm was young, Raiden was its protector. With the aid of the Elder Gods, Raiden managed to defeat Shinnok, a rogue Elder God who wished to rule it, and managed to banish him in the Netherealm. Some time later, Shang Tsung invited Raiden to participate in Mortal Kombat. Aware of the threat posed by this tournament to the future of Earthrealm, Raiden took human form to compete. One year later, the Thunder God found that he had no choice but to accept Shang Tsung's offer of Mortal Kombat in Outworld. When Shao Kahn reached the Earthrealm by merging it with the Outworld, Raiden was able to protect the souls of his Choosen Warriors, but couldn't join the fight himself. Following Liu Kang's defeat of Shao Kahn, Raiden and his warriors again entered battle when Shinnok escaped the Netherealm to once more wage war against the Gods; when the Forces of Light emerged successful, he was granted the status of Elder God and turned over his position as Earthrealm's protector to Fujin.

As an Elder God, Raiden could not interfere when Shang Tsung and Quan Chi killed Liu Kang many years later. Disgusted at his peers for their refusal to intervene, he renounced his position as an Elder, gathering his warriors to stop the Deadly Alliance. This time, disaster struck the heroes. Raiden confronted the two sorcerers in front of the Soulnado chamber, but was defeated by the Alliance as Onaga, the Dragon King, entered the scene. In a desperate measure, Raiden released his godly essence, the effect of which was a single, massive explosion that apparently killed him but did not harm Onaga. While Raiden's essence soon gathered again in the Earthrealm, since his essence was corrupted because of Onaga, he had now became furious with the way Earthrealm's inhabitants had treated their own realm. He started by punishing Shujinko for his unwilling role in the Dragon King's return.

His doings in Deception caught the attention of the Forces of Light; Raiden joined their ranks during the Battle of Armageddon in an attempt to secretly uncover and prevent any plans that could harm Earthrealm.

Raiden is the linchpin of the entire plot of Mortal Kombat 9. Having received visions of his future self's death at the hands of the Outworld emperor, he believes it is his duty to avert the terrible fate that awaits the realms at the end of the timeline. However the visions are unclear and do not specifically indicate what must be changed, leaving Raiden to interpret them of his own... However, Raiden does not realize the meaning of his visions until it is too late, and by then, most of Earthrealm's defenders are killed off (save for himself, Sonya and Johnny Cage). Things do not get better in Mortal Kombat X as Shinnok mounts an invasion, hoping to corrupt the Jinsei, Earthrealm's life force. Raiden manages to save Earthrealm by purifying the Jinsei, but the process corrupts him. He is now in his Dark Raiden persona, where he vows to go on the offensive to protect Earthrealm from external threats after presenting Shinnok's head to the new rulers of the Netherrealm, Liu Kang and Kitana.

Meanwhile, another Raiden is tasked by the Elder Gods to avert a Temporal Armageddon in Mortal Kombat 11 and formed an Enemy Mine with Kotal Kahn over Kronika's alliance with Shao Kahn.

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  • The Ace: He's the Protector-God of Earthrealm, but the events of MK9 and MKX have transformed him into a Broken Ace. It's implied he's lost all faith he had in the Elder Gods after MKX.
  • Accidental Murder: During the finale of 9, when Liu Kang tries to attack him with an Elemental Punch of fire, Raiden defends himself with a blast of lightning, and the combination of Liu Kang's fire and the lightning burn Liu Kang to death, much to Raiden's horror.
  • All Asians Wear Conical Straw Hats: His iconic hat has been present in all of his outfits.
  • All Myths Are True: Seems to be the case if his relationship with Nightwolf is any indication.
  • All of Them: Raiden is a master of all 750 variants of Jujitsu.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: His unlockable second costume in 9 is Raiden (post-Deadly Alliance as Dark Raiden).
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Shinnok, a fallen Elder God, is his main arch rival, as he had attempted to invade Earthrealm several times, notably in Mortal Kombat 4 and Mortal Kombat X.
    • Shao Kahn as well, especially since future Raiden sends a message to his past self to avert Armageddon in 9.
    • Becomes this to Liu Kang following the events of MK9, as the latter has now become the emperor of the Netherrealm following Shinnok's defeat at the end of MKX.
  • Badass Cape: Gets a pimpin' one in Deadly Alliance and the DC crossover.
  • Battle Aura: In the first game, 4, and Deadly Alliance, his body constantly generates lightning bolts.
  • Berserk Button: Threatening Fujin is going to end with Raiden using his staff to turn you into a lightning rod. Don't you agree, Frost?
  • Big Good: He is one of the only gods who actively help the Earthrealm warriors and guides them as their mentor. Made more visible in 9, where he tells the characters to act according to his visions. This doesn't end well, however. In fact, by the time 9 rolls around he could quite easily be read as a deconstruction. God or no, Raiden is exactly as fallible as every other character on the roster, and it costs Earthrealm dearly.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Even if he was in the Netherrealm in 9, he still managed to hold off against Quan Chi's revenants.
  • Brought Down to Normal: He gives Revenant Liu Kang his powers, which causes a Fusion Dance between him and both Liu Kangs, turning him into a Thunder and Fire God. After Kronika is defeated in both Good and Normal endings, Raiden becomes mortal, and decides to guide Liu Kang into building a better timeline.
  • Brain Bleach: Offers an in-universe version in his combat intro in 11.
    Raiden: Do you remember being a revenant?
    Sub-Zero: I recall being Quan Chi's slave.
    Raiden: Let us purge that memory.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: A side-effect of using the Kamidogu to track the source of it's corruption. The possession happened twice: the first time, he fought Scorpion only to get nearly strangled by his chained kunai. The second time, he relapsed, impaled Fujin to a wall and used his thunder powers to shock everyone on Shang Tsung's island under Havik's orders.
  • Break the Cutie: Happens to him in both timelines. The rebooted timeline shows how his vain attempts to avert Armageddon ultimately led to a lengthy Trauma Conga Line that not only drove him past the Despair Event Horizon, but culminated in his Face–Heel Turn at the end of Mortal Kombat X after his Heroic Sacrifice. It seems that save for a few changes in the timeline, most of the goings-on in the new timeline hasn't changed much - the more things change in this new timeline, the more they seem to stay the same - indicating that Armageddon might trigger in a different way.
  • Breakout Character: Originally a random Jerkass God in the first game, Raiden’s look and abilities made him popular with players, resulting in him being promoted to the Big Good of the series and eventually one of the most important to the story in the wake of the live action film’s portrayal of him as the Mentor Archetype for the heroes.
  • Broken Ace:
  • Broken Pedestal:
  • Butterfly of Doom: In 9, his attempts to change the future end up with very drastic consequences:
    • He saves Smoke from being captured and cyberized by the Lin Kuei, which leads to the Lin Kuei capturing and cyberizing the second Sub-Zero instead, as well as the Lin Kuei swearing loyalty to Shao Kahn.
    • Then, he encourages Kung Lao to fight Kintaro instead of Liu Kang. Immediately after Kung Lao wins, Shao Kahn snaps his neck from behind, killing him.
    • Finally, he rams Motaro through a bridge to stop him from killing Johnny Cage, killing him. At this point, Shao Kahn stops fooling around and sacrifices Shang Tsung to empower Sindel, who kills nearly all of Raiden's warriors.
  • The Cameo: He appears as an unlockable character in Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict (with Shao Kahn serving as the announcer), NFL Blitz, and NBA Jam: Tournament Edition (alongside Shinnok), as well as making a bonus round cameo in a pinball machine, Bally's 1994 World Cup Championship.
  • Character Development: The rebooted timeline portrays him as one of the gods who was willing to aid many of his fellow Earthrealm defenders (especially Liu Kang, Kung Lao and Johnny Cage).
  • Characterization Marches On: Raiden’s ending in the original game portrayed him as an arrogant God who came to replace Mortal Kombat with a tournament for gods that will destroy the world with its scope. The rest of the franchise seems to have treated this as Canon Discontinuity.
  • Complete Immortality: Raiden has lived for millions of years. At the end of Deadly Alliance to try and stop Onaga he self-destructed by releasing his godly essence only to reform later as a darker version of himself. Similarly, at the end of Mortal Kombat X, he releases his essence to purify the Jinsei, but it corrupts him, turning him into Dark Raiden once again.
  • The Cynic:
    • He becomes this in the original timeline, where he's dismayed at his fellow Elder Gods for their decision to stay firm on their decision not to interfere. Disgusted at his peers for not stepping in, Raiden relinquishes his Elder God status and returns to Earthrealm to gather support against the coming storm, and informs his allies of the impending threat of Shang Tsung and Quan Chi in Deadly Alliance.
    • In the new timeline, he becomes increasingly cynical about the Elder Gods' refusal to intervene on behalf of Earthrealm against Shao Kahn's invasion in 9. This, along with Liu Kang's and Kung Lao's deaths, ultimately push him into the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: The deaths of Liu Kang and Kung Lao, along with the Elder Gods' refusal to intervene on behalf of Earthrealm in 9 have made him increasingly cynical.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Mostly in the movies such as the first one, but it pops from time to time in the games.
    • Raiden does this quite a bit more in pre-fight banter in Mortal Kombat X, especially if he's facing a comedic character.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Seems to have crossed this in Mortal Kombat X. The deaths of Liu Kang and Kung Lao, along with the Elder Gods' refusal to intervene on behalf of Earthrealm in 9 have made him increasingly cynical.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: In MK9, Raiden has visions of future events As seen by his past/future self. Trying to take advantage or ignore these visions causes much of the strife of the game's story mode. Raiden either still contemplates or is still receiving visions in MKX, which causes him to send Cassie Cage to kill Shujinko before he can release Onaga and start the path to Armageddon.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: In the middle of a Book-Ends moment in 9, he's re-empowered by the Elder Gods, and he manages to put the Big Bad in his place. Sadly, this doesn't do anything gameplay-wise, aside from making his voice distorted.
  • Enemy Mine: In the intro for Deception, he briefly joins Shang Tsung and Quan Chi when attempting to stop the Dragon King. He considered doing it again with Quan Chi in 9, to save Earthrealm from Shao Kahn's invasion... but Quan Chi had already allied himself with Shao Kahn.
  • Energy Ball: His signature projectile attack sends a bolt of lightning flying at his opponent.
  • Eureka Moment: During the climax of 9, he points out to Quan Chi that Shao Kahn can only merge the realms through victory in a Mortal Kombat tournament; otherwise, he will face the judgment of the Elder Gods. As soon as he says this, Raiden realizes that the message "He must win" actually refers to Shao Kahn himself; as his invasion of Earthrealm is considered an unlawful breach of the rules of Mortal Kombat, Shao Kahn must be allowed to merge Earthrealm with Outworld so the Elder Gods can punish him.
  • Everything's Better with Samurai: The motif behind his alt. in Deadly Alliance (which would be passed on to his darker persona in Deception). Among other things, his pants are replaced by hakama and a katana is fashioned to his waist. The costume also reveals Raiden to have long hair (it's somewhat noticeable in his default costume, but you have to squint).
  • Failure Hero: He becomes this in Mortal Kombat 9. His actions to change the future only makes things worse, he slowly loses the trust of Liu Kang, gets many heroes killed through his indirect actions to change the past and only barely wins the battle because the Elder Gods arrive to help him at the last moment.
  • Fallen Hero: Liu Kang sees him as this in 9. He actually becomes it at the end of X.
  • Faith–Heel Turn: He started out with great faith in the Elder Gods in both timelines, only to lose it because of their inaction.
  • Fatal Flaw: His biggest weakness is that he tends to deal in half-measures. He had many opportunities in MK9 to swing the momentum over to Earthrealm's side, whether it's his bargaining with Scorpion, him advising Cyrax to go against the Lin Kuei, doing nothing while Sub-Zero is taken or only telling Liu Kang to defeat Shao Kahn instead of finishing him, but his moves were sort of wishy-washy. In contrast, Shao Kahn is far more decisive, snaps Kung Lao's neck, unleashes a hyper-powered Sindel on Earth's special forces as soon as things become troublesome and unleashes armies on Earthrealm to aggressively push for a total victory.
  • The Fettered: In contrast to his less-restrained persona, Raiden is respectful of other realms, possibly to a fault. He believes that the only real way to deal with other realms is to stay out of their business and tend to Earthrealm's needs only, even if those other realms are demonstrating hostility. Sadly the Elder Gods don't really give him any support in his way of doing business, which either makes him look ineffective or causes him to descend into a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • Forced to Watch: Shinnok forces Raiden to watch as he corrupts the Jinsei in X.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Kotal Kahn tells him his future self was corrupted after Shinnok's defeat, and does not take it well at all. The Elder Gods consul with him that he can avert heading a dark path to prevent this from happening.
  • God Is Displeased: He is the Guardian of the Earthrealm, standing against Shao Kahn and other realm menaces and recruiting Earth warriors to fight with him. That, until Mortal Kombat: Deception in which Raiden died at the hands of Onaga. Reviving later with desire of vengeance and seeing Earthlings don't learn from their mistakes, the god goes by himself in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge leaving Earthrealm to its own luck and reviving Liu Kang as a Revenant Zombie for his own goals.
  • God in Human Form: He has an ethereal true form, but takes the appearance of a human to fight and interact on the mortal plane in the series.
  • God Is Flawed: In spite of his godly power, he has some trouble interpreting correctly his visions in 9. It screws up things badly for the heroes' side, leaving only Johnny Cage and Sonya as the survivors among his champions.
  • God of Good: One of the few gods of the series who actively helps the heroes.
  • God Was My Co Pilot: He of all people supports Mileena's rule because she is the only just claimant to Outworld's throne, regardless of her leadership capabilities. Although according to multiplayer conversations, her stubbornness is really getting in the way of his efforts to help her. However, Raiden may very well be Playing Both Sides to Earthrealm's advantage, as he only asserts Mileena's legitimacy when facing Kotal. Against Mileena herself, Raiden either refuses to be entangled in the current situation or forgoes neutrality to tell Mileena that her rebellion must end.
  • Godzilla Threshold: He hits it in 9 when the Elder Gods refuse to aid Earthrealm against Shao Kahn's invasion, especially after Sindel slaughters most of his warriors. This leads him to approach Quan Chi in the Netherrealm, offering the souls of his deceased warriors, and his own, to him in exchange for his aid in fighting the invasion. Sadly, Shao Kahn had already made the same offer to Quan Chi in exchange for the Netherrealm aiding Outworld.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Subverted. Many people assumed that he was speaking Japanese during his torpedo move, but Midway later clarified that Raiden was only speaking gibberish.
  • Guilt Complex:
    • Gets one in 9. He constantly misinterprets the message his future-self sent and doesn't realize what it really meant until the final chapter. By then, his attempts to change the original timeline resulted in terrible repercussions for many characters. He realizes this is all his fault. By MKX, it is shown that he still hasn't recovered from this, and mentions to Bo Rai Cho that he still deeply regrets losing Liu Kang and Kung Lao to Netherrealm's evil, and is desperate to restore the remaining revenants to the side of good. But before he could do anything, Scorpion unwittingly dooms them to stay as revenants by killing Quan Chi, thereby dashing any hopes of Raiden restoring them to the living.
    • In 11, after finding out his future self became corrupted, it becomes clear that events that lead to his second Start of Darkness puts him on edge, and he is terrified at the prospect of accidentally killing Liu Kang. In one ending, he sees it to empower Liu Kang while he is Brought Down to Normal to prevent this from happening.
  • Hammerspace: He usually pulls his staff out of nowhere when he uses it.
  • The Hero: His role in 9 is ultimately revealed to be this, albeit in a Supporting Protagonist fashion.
  • Heroic BSoD: Seems to have crossed this threshold in 9 with the deaths of most his allies (including Liu Kang, whom he accidentally killed himself), the futility of his actions to prevent Armageddon (including getting called out by Liu Kang), and the Elder Gods turning their backs on him due to technicalities. He was about to strike up an alliance with Quan Chi, for Fujin's sake! He further plunges into this after his Heroic Sacrifice at the end of MKX.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Fujin and Bo' Rai Cho, being his fellow God and serving a Mentor Archetype role for Raiden's champions, respectively.
  • Hot God: He takes the form of a handsome man in blue and white and wearing a hat. In his alternate outfits for Deadly Alliance to Armageddon, he goes shirtless with a great mane of white hair.
  • Hurting Hero:
    • It's hard not to feel sorry for Raiden during the events of Mortal Kombat 9. His actions slowly keep making things worse for Earthrealm, the heroes die one by one under his watch, and the Elder Gods seem to be pulling a major The Gods Must Be Lazy trip. By the end of the game, his actions narrowly prevented Armageddon from happening, but at the cost of practically all of Earthrealm's champions. Even Liu Kang, Raiden's favored champion, is dead (although unintentionally) by his own hand at the end, after having first turned on him for the tragedies he so far caused. He carries the guilt of his actions throughout the entire game and you can tell it takes its toll. By the game's ending, he's emotionally exhausted. And The Stinger at the end just makes it even worse. Seriously, the guy probably needs a hug badly when all's said and done.
    • This gets even worse in X. It seems that at least some of the villains (Kano for sure, possibly others) are only too eager to remind him it was his fault. The guy just can't catch a break.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • A glaring one in Mortal Kombat 9 has Raiden standing back and doing nothing as Lin Kuei cyber-ninjas attack Sub-Zero and take him away, even going as far as to stop Smoke from helping out. This is despite the fact that, in a nearly identical situation involving Smoke, Raiden didn't hesitate to blast all of the cyber-ninjas with lightning, taking them out and saving Smoke. He stated that if he got involved that it would make the situation worse, but even then that was a flimsy excuse at best... especially considering his attempts to not intervene in the game's events were only making things worse.
    • Another moment in the comics: he uses one of the Kamidogu in an attempt to track down the source of it's corruption. Afterwards, not only can he no longer use the Jinsei to heal himself, but he's now prone to the Blood Code's corruption too, to the point where Havik manipulated him into shocking everyone fighting in Shang Tsung's island, allowing Reiko to abduct Mileena, Ermac, Sonya, Johnny and Kotal Kahn to offer as sacrifices. For someone dedicated to protect Earthrealm, he may be just as prone to endanger it.
  • Improvised Lightning Rod: Uses his staff as a makeshift lightning rod in one of his Fatalities in X.
  • In-Series Nickname: In 9, Nightwolf (one of the few spiritually aware Earthrealm dwellers; he's apparently communed with Raiden a few times in the past) occasionally refers to him as Haokah, the spirit of thunder and lightning in Lakota mythology.
  • In Spite of a Nail: He transforms into Dark Raiden following the events of MKX. This time, instead of being corrupted by Onaga's energies, it's the negative essence of Shinnok that Raiden exposed himself to in order to cleanse the Jinsei is what did the thunder god in.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Even in modern games, his name is still pronounced "Ray-din" instead of the more accurate "Rye-den." This may have to do with the situation in the Spell My Name with an "S" example.
  • Jerkass Gods: At the end of X, he takes a hardline stance in Earthrealm's defense, starting off by beheading Shinnok and threatening the new rulers of the Netherrealm - Liu Kang and Kitana - with a similar fate if they think of invading Earthrealm. The Ladder Mode endings show his new philosophy in action when he swiftly invades Outworld and crushes its weakened army.
  • Large Ham: He occasionally is prone to making dramatic statements with vocal emphasis, especially once Richard Epcar started voicing him. Christopher Lambert's portrayal isn't too far off either.
  • Large and in Charge: Second-heaviest of the kombatants at 350 pounds. Goro has him beat by 200 pounds. He is also 7 feet tall according to canon (although, like most heights in this series, it's not accurately conveyed in most cases).
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Same warning as with Liu Kang. If you plan to play Armageddon, remember that Raiden became Darker and Edgier.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Uses his electric powers to stop Johnny Cage from becoming a revenant, and also to heal his stab wounds in X.
  • Like a Son to Me: In X, he mournfully expresses this sentiment towards Liu Kang and Kung Lao.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: The usual side effect of many of his electric fatalities is to have the opponent violently explode.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Well, Behind the Woman: Seems to be behind Mileena's rule in Mortal Kombat X, because she is the only just claimant to Outworld's throne, regardless of her incompetence. Although according to multiplayer conversations, her stubbornness is really getting in the way of his efforts to help her.
  • Meaningful Name: Raiden is Japanese for "thunder and lightning." It is also an alternate name for Raijin, the Shinto god of thunder, lightning, and storms.
  • Megaton Punch: One of his fatalities is an explosive uppercut that literally blows his enemies into pieces.
  • Mentor: To Liu Kang. Perhaps most evident in the movie, the DC crossover, and 9.
  • Mr. Fanservice: In his alternate outfits from Deadly Alliance to Armageddon.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After he accidentally fries Liu Kang in self defense in 9.
  • My Greatest Failure: Losing a lot of his fellow Earthrealm defenders, especially Liu Kang and Kung Lao, to the Netherrealm's evil in 9. This takes an emotional toll on him and spirals into a Guilt Complex in X, in which he never recovers from. The death of Liu Kang in particular hangs over him like a shadow as he is the one responsible for it, delivering his soul straight to Quan Chi himself. Not only were his misinterpretations the reason for Liu Kang's loss of faith but he adds the ultimate cherry on top at the end and harshly blames himself for giving Liu Kang genuine reason to embrace his role as a Revenant. Even his intro dialogue with certain characters in Injustice 2 lament what he allowed to happen to Liu Kang.
  • Nice Guy: Very much a wise and benevolent God who cares for Earthrealm and innocents outside his jurisdiction. However, both timelines have him undergo events that do a number on him. His past self continues to be well meaning and sincere when he shows up in 11.
  • Nice Hat: An iconic feature of the character is his conical rice hat, which sometimes is given a samurai war hat motif in various costumes. In particular, his Master of Storms variation in MKX has him wear a hat that sparkles with lightning and has glowing kanji.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: His role in 9 ultimately falls into this. Most of the casualties on the heroes' side can be traced to his doings. He deeply regrets this.
  • One-Man Army: Is able to take on the entirety of the army of fallen heroes that Quan Chi had resurrected to serve him. This is while away from Earthrealm, where Raiden's powers are at their strongest.
  • Out-Gambitted: The ending of 9 shows that Shinnok had been manipulating the events of the story the whole time, and it is strongly implied that he, too, messed with the timeline just as Raiden did (for example, Quan Chi, his servant, was not present in the original events, but features heavily here). So really, Raiden didn't actually make things worse at all, since Future Raiden could not account for the Elder Gods and in retrospect Raiden made barely any significant changes, and his role in the new timeline is actually roughly the same it was in the first.
  • Parental Favoritism: In Annihilation only, which shows Shinnok favoring Shao Kahn over Raiden as his son.
  • Physical God: It's been stated his true form is ethereal, but he has to take a physical form to participate in mortal events.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: His friendship from MKII has him summoning a miniature version of himself called "Kidd Thunder!"
  • Psycho Electric Eel: His Animality from Trilogy.
  • Rebuilt Pedestal: In 11, he earns back Lui Kang's faith by the extent he goes to in order to save him and preven both their falls to darkness.
  • Related in the Adaptation: In Annihilation, Raiden is Shao Kahn's brother and son of Shinnok.
  • Retcon: Raiden's story in the first title was much more self-serving, as he had been invited by Shang Tsung to compete and does so in order to prove mortals are puny when matched with a god. His ending from that game has him overthrow the tournament and turn it into a showcase of the gods (that eventually destroy the world). Later games throw this characterization out the window and instead portray him as a concerned protector who feels he must participate in order to avert disaster (as this happens after the first movie also changed the entire story of the first game).
  • Red Baron: Defender of Earthrealm and the God of Thunder.
  • “The Reason You Suck” Speech: He calls out the Elder Gods for their inaction in both timelines.
  • Ride the Lightning: Whenever he teleports, there's a bolt of lighting that strikes his position.
  • Senseless Sacrifice:
    • During the intro of Deception, he sacrifices himself and releases his godly essence into a massive explosion in order to kill Onaga, but the Dragon King is unharmed.
    • His final actions at the end of Armageddon, which set up the events of 9, could also be seen as this, since his past self really does make things MUCH worse before they get any better.
    • He does manage to purify the Jinsei and rid it of Shinnok's taint at the end of X, but the process has corrupted him, turning him into Dark Raiden.
  • Shock and Awe: He is the God of Thunder, after all. He controls lightning in many different ways.
  • Shotoclone: Starting in MKX when he got the Rising Thunder as an anti-air. His projectile is the signature lightning bolt and his forward dash is the Electric Fly.
  • Silence, You Fool!: In the first movie. And he's a GOOD guy.
  • Simple Staff: Since Mortal Kombat 4, Raiden has frequently been seen with a staff that is sometimes used in gameplay.
  • Spanner in the Works: In 9. Despite being out-gambitted by Shinnok and Quan Chi, Raiden is poised to be this to them because he managed to survive everything. Quan Chi didn't expect that, though Shinnok believes it won't make any difference.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": In the console ports up to 4 and side material such as the movies, TV series and comic books, Raiden is sometimes called Rayden, because of copyright issues as a Shoot 'em Up was also named Raiden, or possibly to keep from confusing him with Raiden from the Fatal Fury series. Curiously, sketches from Deadly Alliance also use the Rayden spelling.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Becomes this during the events of Mortal Kombat 9, with most of the plot revolving around his attempt to Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
  • Stance System:
  • Stealth Pun: One of his Fatalities involves using his staff while electrocuting the opponent. Basically, he's using a lightning rod.
  • Straw Vulcan: He attempts to be this in his MK11 Arcade ending after he obtains the Sands of Time, thinking that pure logic will prevent more devastation throughout the realms. Unfortunately, decisions based on pure logic are just as bad as decisions based on anger and fear, so he travels to the dawn of time and chooses to meditate so he can find a balance between love and logic and bring true peace to the realms.
  • Stripped to the Bone: In one of his DC crossover fatalities, he uses his electric powers to burn off all the opponent's flesh, leaving behind their smoking skeleton.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Mournfully expresses this sentiment in regards to Liu Kang and Kung Lao in the new timeline, considering how they've been turned into killing machines by Quan Chi.
  • Tele-Frag: One of his Brutalities in Mortal Kombat X. The opponent is briefly confused as to where Raiden has gone to, then blow apart messily.
  • Teleport Spam: He's always had a teleport but it becomes the focus of his "Displacer" variation in MKX, which allows him to zip back and forth mid-combo in order to attack his enemy from both sides (he can also do a delayed teleport in this mode, allowing him to phase out briefly then phase back in once his opponent is confused where he'll reappear).
  • Time Abyss: As a god, he's millions of years old if not older.
  • Took A Level In Cynicism: Becomes this in MKX, as he's not only mournfully expressing his sentiments regarding Liu Kang and Kung Lao, but also grows increasingly tired of constantly defending Earthrealm from external threats like Shinnok and Shao Kahn.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Pretty much the events of 9 and X are this for him. The rebooted timeline shows the personal and emotional toll it is taking on him, something which mushrooms and he never recovers from it. Crossing the Despair Event Horizon (losing many of your heroes and friends, being stressed out of dealing with multiple invasions and being unable to restore most of the fallen heroes to the side of good) and carrying a big Guilt Complex (failing to interpret visions, being called on by your protege and accidentally killing him) are indicative of a broken man who has lost perspective.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: In 9 he rams Motaro through a bridge to save Cage, killing Motaro. Unfortunately, this action causes Shao Kahn to take off his kiddie gloves and empower Sindel with Shang Tsung's soul (and all of the souls Shang absorbed by proxy), leading to her bloody No-Holds-Barred Beatdown of the heroes and their subsequent resurrection and enslavement at the hands of Quan Chi.
  • Your Head A-Splode: His Fatality. And yes, it's related to electricity. A continuous jolt to the neck and KABOOM!

    Dark Raiden


Example of: