Baraka (Mortal Kombat)
|This article is outdated. (January 2012)|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2012)|
|Mortal Kombat character|
Baraka in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
|First game||Mortal Kombat II (1993)|
|Created by||John Tobias (with brainstorming input from Ed Boon)|
|Designed by||John Tobias (early games)|
|Voiced by||Dan Washington (MKvDC)
Bob Carter (MK2011)
|Portrayed by||Richard Divizio (MKII, MKT)
Ryan Watson, Allen Sandoval, Spitfire Brown (Live Tour)
Dennis Keiffer (Annihilation)
Lateef Crowder (Rebirth)
Fraser Aitcheson (Legacy)
|Fighting styles||Silat (MK:D, MK:A)
Hung Gar (MK:D)
Baraka is a fictional character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. Baraka was introduced in Mortal Kombat II in 1993 as an unpredictable warrior in service of Outworld emperor Shao Kahn. He belongs to a race of nomadic mutants called Tarkatan, later revealed in Mortal Kombat: Deception to be a crossbreed between Netherealm demons and denizens of Outworld, apparently populating the vast wastelands of Outworld. Baraka, like most other members of his race, possesses long retractable blades extending from his forearms.
In video games
|This section requires expansion. (January 2012)|
In the events leading up to the second Mortal Kombat tournament, Baraka led the attack on the Shaolin temple in Earthrealm, which spurred Liu Kang to seek vengeance in Outworld as predicted by Shao Kahn. After Shao Khan was defeated, Baraka disappeared. He would later re-emerge in time for Mortal Kombat Trilogy. After this, Baraka had once again escaped and spent time traveling alone.
In the time before the events of Mortal Kombat Gold, Baraka encountered the sorcerer Quan Chi while wandering through Edenia. Quan Chi offered Baraka a chance to rule the realm at his side if he agreed to join the army of Shinnok. Eager for battle, he readily accepted. Once again Baraka planned to betray his new masters, but after Shinnok was utterly defeated, his opportunity was also lost once again. Baraka had gone to warn Quan Chi that Shinnok had been defeated, Quan Chi pretended that he had master minded the events. He had then seemingly killed Baraka. But at the time of Mortal Kombat: Deception, Baraka formed an alliance to the risen Dragon King, Onaga, in whose strength he had great faith. When Baraka agreed to follow Onaga, the remainder of the Tarkatan race did so too. Baraka freed Mileena from her prison and recruited her to Onaga's ranks to pose as Princess Kitana. Kitana used this position to misdirect the Edenian forces into combat against the Tarkatan raiding parties well away from Onaga to give the Dragon King the time he needed to complete his schemes.
Baraka origins are with a discarded character of a "savage barbarian demon warrior" Rokuro from the early development of the original Mortal Kombat. While brainstorming possible character ideas for Mortal Kombat II, several designers visited a local costume shop and found a Nosferatu mask. They painted the mask to enhance its horrifying appearance and added false fingernails to appear as long fangs. This mask was worn by Richard Divizio, the actor who portrayed Baraka in the game. Divizio stated that the mask was a "skin-tight" fit, and throughout his motion capture filming he was sweating profusely. Divizio said to Electronic Gaming Monthly: "He was a pretty cool character, but I didn't like him too much."
Early Baraka concept art by character designer John Tobias portrayed him as a masked, bald human ninja armed with hookswords. The swords were later used by Kabal - also played by Divizio - in Mortal Kombat 3. Another Baraka concept portrayed him as a creature with extra-long, metal talon-studded, muscular arms, but it was thought this might create an unfair reach advantage and so was re-sketched with blades inspired by the Marvel Comics character Wolverine, whose claws extend from his hands. The third and final attempt at a Baraka design included a full head of black hair tied up in a bun, and a large red dot on his belt to go along with his familiar red-and-white tunic and black pants. The red dot, added simply as a decoration, got axed because it was misinterpreted as symbolizing the red dot on the Japanese flag, and the hair was gone shortly thereafter, finalizing Baraka's bald look used throughout the Mortal Kombat series. In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, he is seen with a row of spikes projecting off the very back of his head.
By the time Mortal Kombat: Deception had released, it was shown that Baraka's race of Tarkatan were all exact duplicates of one another without any significant features to differentiate them. This was slightly fixed in the 2011 installment of Mortal Kombat, as other Tarkatan appear during the game's story and challenge modes that have different, distinguishing features from each other, most notably in the fact that only Baraka has bladed arms.
Baraka's special moves and Fatalities tend to involve his blades. His blade became a weapon style in Deception and Armageddon and could also be pulled out for standard attacks in MK vs. DCU. In MKII, Baraka was originally going to be given a move where he spins his blades at the opponent, but were removed from the final game, since they were deemed too powerful. He would later have a blade spin move added in Mortal Kombat Trilogy.
In other media
Baraka made several appearances in Malibu's' Mortal Kombat comic book series, making his first appearance on the first issue of Goro's miniseries Prince of Pain. Baraka was portrayed as the classic brawn-over-brains type, and had the distinction of speaking in pidgin English; in the 1993 Midway-created Mortal Kombat II comic book, his only line being "Baraka show [Johnny] Cage pain!" Baraka was also featured in an eponymous one-shot issue by Malibu Comics in 1995. He was also one of numerous characters who habitually referred to themselves in the third person throughout Malibu's entire Mortal Kombat series. Baraka's background is mostly kept in the comic, having him as the leader of the mutants that form part of Shao Kahn's armies. On the following Battlewave series though, he changes sides when Shao Kahn starts replacing his mutants with Scorpion's army of undead soldiers. He ends up joining with Kitana, Kung Lao, and Sub-Zero in a rebel force set to defeat the emperor. Despite this, his violent nature often put him at odds with his former comrades.
Baraka briefly appeared in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, and was played by Dennis Keiffer. He was killed after being kicked into a fire pit by Liu Kang following a swordfight; stock footage of Rain falling into the pit earlier in the film was used in this scene.
Baraka appears in Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, with his backstory being changed from a Tarkatan to that of a former plastic surgeon named Alan Zane. After accidentally killing a patient, Zane went psychotic and killed over two dozen more. He then pierced his face, sharpened his teeth, and surgically attached a pair of metal blades to his forearms.
He is also in the Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series with his traditional origin.
Baraka ranked third on GameDaily's ugliest game characters list and as 12th on their list of "top baldies". GamePlayBook listed Baraka as the fourth best Mortal Kombat character, citing his devastating arms and Fatalities. Cheat Code Central ranked Baraka as the tenth best Mortal Kombat character, commenting "I'm sorry, but there's just nothing not cool about that" when talking about the blade protruding from his arms. Game Rant placed Baraka as the eighth best character in the series, adding "what the mutant lacked in good looks, he easily made up for with satisfying moves" and considered him to be the weirdest character in MKII. In UGO Networks' 2012 list of the top 50 Mortal Kombat characters, Baraka placed as seventh, praised for his blades and Fatalities.
Baraka's "Lift'em-up" Fatality in Mortal Kombat Trilogy was given the 3rd place "That's Gotta Hurt" Award in Nintendo Power Awards '96. Game Informer listed Baraka as one of the character they wanted to see in MK 2011 as "people love Baraka" but he has been absent from many MK titles ever since his debut.
- "Mortal Kombat Warehouse: Mortal Kombat II: Baraka". Mkw.mortalkombatonline.com. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
- "Mortal Kombat Warehouse: Mortal Kombat Gold: Baraka". Mkw.mortalkombatonline.com. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
- therealsaibot : Another page from my ancient MK notebook: a discarded character named Rokuro & THEE FIRST Liu Kang doodle
- A video interview on the bonus DVD included with the special edition of Mortal Kombat: Deception
- GamePro 58 (May 1994), p.29, 31.
- "GameSpot:Video Games PC Xbox 360 PS3 Wii PSP DS PS2 PlayStation 2 GameCube GBA PlayStation 3". Web.archive.org. 2007-10-21. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
- Malibu Comics' Baraka cover
- "Top 10 Ugliest Game Characters - Page 8". GameDaily. Retrieved 2009-08-07.
- "Top 25 Baldies Gallery and Images - GameDaily". Web.archive.org. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
- "The Best Mortal Kombat Characters of All Time - GamePlayBook". Web.archive.org. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
- "Top 10 Mortal Kombatants - Cheat Code Central". Cheatcc.com. Retrieved 2011-12-27.
- "10 Most Awesome Mortal Kombat Characters". Game Rant. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
- UGO Team (2012-02-28). "Top 50 Mortal Kombat Characters - Mortal Kombat". UGO.com. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
- Nintendo Power #96 (May 1997)
- Whiting, Brandon (2010-06-21). "Who We Want (And Don’t Want) In The New Mortal Kombat - Features". www.GameInformer.com. Retrieved 2012-01-07.