Cyrax

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Cyrax
Mortal Kombat character
Cyrax.jpg
First game Mortal Kombat 3 (1995)
Created by Ed Boon and John Tobias
Voiced by Rhasaan Orange (MK2011)
Portrayed by Sal Divita (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
J.J. Perry (Annihilation)
Shane Warren Jones (Legacy)
Fictional profile
Origin Earthrealm (Botswana)
Fighting styles Ninjutsu (MK:DA, MK:A)
Sambo (MK:DA)
Weapon Sabre of Light (MKG)
Pulse Blade (MK:DA, MK:A)

Cyrax is a video game character from the Mortal Kombat series. Making his debut in Mortal Kombat 3, Cyrax is a cyborg ninja who used to be human until he was automated, along with Sektor and Smoke. The game's storyline has him pursuing Sub-Zero, who has escaped from the Lin Kuei clan and its plans to turn him into a cyborg as well. Eventually, Sub-Zero manages to reprogram Cyrax with orders to destroy Shao Kahn. The character returns in Mortal Kombat Gold as well as the follow-up games Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Mortal Kombat Armageddon and the 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot.

Cyrax also appears in other franchise media such as the live action film Mortal Kombat Annihilation, the animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm and the web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy. Cyrax has been well received, with particular praise being offered for the character's special and finishing moves.

Appearances[edit]

In video games[edit]

In Mortal Kombat 3, Cyrax is first working for the Lin Kuei alongside his partners, Sektor and Smoke, in order to track down and kill a renegade member of the Lin Kuei clan, the younger Sub-Zero (Sub-Zero had disagreed with the decision to convert all its members into cyborgs, left the clan and was thus marked for death by the grandmasters). During the invasion of Earthrealm by Shao Kahn and his minions, Sub-Zero defeated Cyrax and reprogrammed him with orders to destroy Shao Kahn. However, Kahn was defeated by the other Earthrealm warriors before Cyrax had a chance to do so. As a result of his reprogramming, he awaited new orders; when these never came, he malfunctioned and wandered until becoming mired in the middle of a vast desert. Cyrax is seen trapped in the sand in the background of Jade's Desert in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and Mortal Kombat Trilogy, despite also being a playable character (this foreshadows his ending in those particular games). In Mortal Kombat Gold, Cyrax was recovered and repaired by the Lin Kuei. However, he appeared somehow different than when first constructed. The short-handed clan again sent Cyrax into battle with his fellow cyborg Sektor assigned to monitor him.[1]

However, Cyrax's storyline in Gold was contradicted by the Konquest Mode in the next sequel, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, according to which Cyrax was "recovered by Special Forces agents Sonya Blade and Jackson Briggs." (This seems to acknowledge an unused bio for him that had appeared in Prima's official strategy guide for Gold, according to which Cyrax was rescued by Special Forces and reprogrammed to fight on the side of good against Shinnok.[2]) After Shinnok's defeat, it became apparent that Cyrax had begun to experience flashbacks of his former life and Sonya and Jax brought him to the Outer World Investigation Agency (OIA) headquarters and used its technology to restore his humanity. Grateful for their help, Cyrax joined the OIA as a scout in Earthrealm. During the events of Deadly Alliance, Cyrax was ambushed by the Oni Moloch and Drahmin. After driving the two demons off, he became stranded in Outworld. His arm console, which allowed him to return to Earthrealm, was damaged in a surprise attack by Reptile orchestrated by the vampire Nitara. He managed to drive off Reptile as well with his Slice and Dice buzzsaw attack. A short time later, he encountered Nitara. She offered to help him return home in exchange for his aid in recovering a lost artifact. They traveled to the underground chamber that housed the egg of the Dragon King. There, Cyrax submerged himself in the lake of molten lava and discovered the orb that would separate her world from Outworld. With it now in her possession, she honored her promise to Cyrax and used her mystical necklace to open a portal and send him back to Earthrealm.[3]

In Mortal Kombat, Cyrax, a Motswana member of the Lin Kuei, relies on his natural fighting ability, his chi, to carry out Lin Kuei missions. He is proud to serve, but shows reservations when the Grandmaster initiates a program to convert the clan into cyborgs. Reluctant to lose his humanity, he believes his instincts and judgement more effective than any mechanical augmentation. His doubts only grow after Raiden convinces him that enabling Shang Tsung to win the Mortal Kombat tournament would spell the end of Earthrealm, including the Lin Kuei. He confronts Sektor, who is willing to co-opt him even if by force, but Cyrax defeats him and announces he will leave the Lin Kuei. However, in unseen events, he ends up getting caught and automated anyway, joining Sektor in giving chase to Smoke and Tundra (the younger Sub-Zero) into the Outworld.[4]

Character design[edit]

Cyrax's origins lie with the character that was known only as just "Cyber-Ninja"[5] before being split into multiple palette swapped characters to work around technical limitations to increase the number of playable characters. During the development stage of MK3, Cyrax and Sektor were referred to as "Mustard" and "Ketchup"[6] before their names were finalized. Cyrax has separate combos in the sambo style in Deadly Alliance named Ketchup and Mustard, a reference to this.

Since MK3 and its updates, Cyrax and his robotic counterparts, Sektor and Smoke, have only appeared in MK: Armageddon together. While Sektor and Cyrax were playable in Gold, only Cyrax was playable in Deadly Alliance, while Sektor appeared in Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition. Smoke was playable as part of a tag team with Noob Saibot in Mortal Kombat: Deception. However, they all have returned for Armageddon as individual characters.

Along with the other cyborg characters; Cyrax's visual appearance is of a cyborg with yellow-colored plates and body parts. Since MK3, each character's visual appearance has evolved independently, as Cyrax had several additions to his costume including a utility belt and several LEDs and lighting placed on his mechanism. Cyrax's face was first seen ingame during MK Gold. His alternate costume depicted him in the same outfit, but lacking the front of his mask. In MK: Deadly Alliance, his alternate costume had him wearing no helmet with a clearly visible face. While Cyrax's primary outfit in Deadly Alliance shows him more robotic than human, his alternate costume shows him to be almost completely human with cybernetic parts in his body.[7] In MK9 Cyrax's alternate costume reveals his human form, a black male.

Gameplay[edit]

Being a cyborg, Cyrax uses moves such as bombs, a net and buzzsaws. His Fatalities also usually use these abilities. One that Cyrax is most famous for is his self-destructing finishing move, where he arms a bomb in his chest with the mechanism on his wrist and gets within distance to detonate. This has appeared in more than one game and is quite unique for a character to do an act of predator martyrdom. In MK 2011, many of his combos utilize his buzzsaw. Cyrax also tends to have a lot of throw moves at his disposal, as seen in games like Deadly Alliance and MK 2011.

GameSpot criticized Cyrax's bombs in MK Gold, mentioning that they are nearly useless in the game, since one can just sidestep them.[8] IGN wrote both of Cyrax's detonator special moves make him interesting in Armageddon.[9] Kotaku said that Cyrax "was familiar and fun to play" in MK 2011 and that "he's like a cybernetic Swiss army knife, stuffed with nasty surprises."[10] On the other hand, GamesRadar criticized Cyrax for feeling unbalanced in MK 2011, citing his projectiles that one can barely get around.[11]

In other media and merchandise[edit]

Cyrax appears in the film Mortal Kombat: Annihilation as one of Shao Kahn's assassins, and was played by J.J. Perry, but was never mentioned by name. He and some black-clad human henchmen attempt to kill Sonya and Jax in a government laboratory. Cyrax is defeated and burned by Sonya, and promptly self-destructs.

Cyrax and Sektor were both shown unmasked in one episode of the 1996 animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm. Cyrax was shown as a white man[7] and Sektor as an African-American with dreadlocks. (In the games' canon, Cyrax actually has the latter description, while Sektor is an Asian.)

Cyrax and Sektor are also seen in the 2011 live-action web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy. In the episode titled "Cyrax & Sektor", they are given more backstory, being pitted against two robots (while in their human form) and a bot named Hydro (once they undergo a robotic transformation).[12]

In Q2 of 2013, an 18 inch statue of Cyrax was released by Syco Collectables. It is included with additional sets of arms, removable chest plates and a bomb.[13]

Reception[edit]

Cyrax has garnered mainly positive reception for his character design and offensive arsenal. He was included in a three-way tie with Sektor and Smoke atop GamesRadar's 2011 list of "gaming's most malicious machines", commenting that "no one does killer cyborgs quite like MK."[14] Game Informer included Cyrax in a list of characters that they wished to see in the 2011 reboot, while also praising his special moves.[15] ScrewAttack ranked Cyrax as their sixth-best Mortal Kombat character, but also considered him one of the "cheapest" characters in MK3.[16] Cheat Code Central listed Cyrax as the ninth best Mortal Kombat character: "[N]obody in the MK universe can match up to [his] list of awesome abilities."[17] 1UP.com included Cyrax among a selection of characters wanted as downloadable content in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe: "Cyrax probably clashes a little with Lex Luthor's battlesuit, or even elements of the cyber-armed Jax, but is another bright yellow hero who many remember fondly from the digitized era."[18] Cyrax placed at 25th on UGO Networks' 2012 list of the top 50 Mortal Kombat characters.[19] Complex ranked him the fourth-coolest robot in video games.[20]

The response to his Fatalities has been more mixed. Game Rant listed Cyrax's "Self-Destruct" Fatality from MK3 as the tenth worst in the series,[21] and Game Informer named it one of the game's most confusing finishers.[22] However, ScrewAttack named his "Trash Compactor" from Deadly Alliance as their seventh-best Fatality from the series,[23] and Complex named it eleventh out of twenty in a similar list, as they felt it "demonstrated the [development] team's rejuvenated dedication to blood and guts, while keeping the dark sense of humor that made the violence palatable."[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mortal Kombat 3: Cyrax". Mortal Kombat Warehouse. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  2. ^ "Mortal Kombat Gold: Cyrax". Mortal Kombat Warehouse. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  3. ^ "Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance: Cyrax". Mortal Kombat Warehouse. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  4. ^ "Mortal Kombat: Cyrax". Mortal Kombat Warehouse. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  5. ^ Video Games The Ultimate Gaming Magazine 75 (April 1995) page 48.
  6. ^ "Making Of Mortal Kombat 3 Part 3". YouTube. 2008-01-06. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  7. ^ a b "Cyrax". Tabmok99.mortalkombatonline.com. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  8. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff (1999-08-31). "Mortal Kombat Gold Review, Mortal Kombat Gold Dreamcast Review". GameSpot.com. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  9. ^ "Mortal Kombat: Armageddon Guide & Walkthrough - PlayStation 2 (PS2) - IGN". Guides.ign.com. 2006-10-27. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  10. ^ "Killing My Boss With Cyrax & Kitana In Mortal Kombat". Kotaku.com. 2010-08-20. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  11. ^ "Page 3 of Mortal Kombat review, Mortal Kombat (2011) PS3 Reviews". GamesRadar. 2011-04-19. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  12. ^ R.L. Shaffer. "Mortal Kombat: Legacy - "Episode 9" Review - TV Review at IGN". Tv.ign.com. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  13. ^ Cyrax Premium Format StatueCyrax 18 Premium Format Statue. "Cyrax Premium Format Statue". Syco Collectibles. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  14. ^ "Page 2 of Gaming's most malicious machines, Mortal Kombat (2011) Xbox 360 Features". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  15. ^ Whiting, Brandon (2010-06-21). "Who We Want (And Don’t Want) In The New Mortal Kombat - Features". www.GameInformer.com. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  16. ^ "Top 10 Mortal Kombat Kharacters". ScrewAttack.com. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  17. ^ "Top 10 Mortal Kombatants - Cheat Code Central". Cheatcc.com. Retrieved 2011-12-27. 
  18. ^ "MK vs DLC: The Characters That Got Away!". 1up.com. 2009-07-09. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  19. ^ UGO Team (2012-02-28). "Top 50 Mortal Kombat Characters - Mortal Kombat". UGO.com. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  20. ^ "4. Cyrax — The 25 Coolest Robots in Video Games". Complex. 2012-07-13. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  21. ^ "Top Ten Worst ‘Mortal Kombat’ Fatalities". Game Rant. Retrieved 2011-12-27. 
  22. ^ Martin, Victor (2010-05-03). "Mortal Kombat's Best And Worst Fatalities - Features". www.GameInformer.com. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  23. ^ "Top 10: Best Mortal Kombat Fatalities". ScrewAttack. August 29, 2010. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  24. ^ Wong, Kevin (October 1, 2013). "The Best Mortal Kombat Finishing Moves in Video Game History". Complex. Retrieved February 14, 2014.