|Mortal Kombat character|
Cyrax in Mortal Kombat (2011)
|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)
|Fighting styles||Ninjutsu (MK:DA, MK:A)
|Weapon||Sabre of Light (MKG)
Pulse Blade (MK:DA, MK:A)
Cyrax is a player character from the Mortal Kombat fighting game franchise created for Midway Games by Ed Boon and John Tobias. Making his debut in Mortal Kombat 3 in 1995, he is a member of the Lin Kuei clan of assassins who underwent transformation into cyborgs. Along with counterparts Sektor and Smoke, Cyrax was assigned to hunt down the rogue former clansman Sub-Zero, but unlike Sektor, he and Smoke were able to rediscover their human side, with Cyrax in particular joining Sonya Blade and Jax Briggs as a member of the Outer World Investigation Agency after having his soul restored. His backstory prior to his transformation is expanded in the 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot.
Cyrax has also been featured in other Mortal Kombat alternate media such as the 1996 animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm and the 2011 web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy. The character has received mostly positive reception, particularly for his Fatality finishing moves.
In video games
In Mortal Kombat 3, Cyrax is a member of the Lin Kuei clan of assassins along with Sub-Zero, Sektor, and Smoke. When the clan decides to utilize modern technology by converting its members into soulless cyborgs, Sub-Zero refuses and defects from the clan, and was thus marked for death by the grandmasters. As a result, Cyrax, Sektor and Smoke were all assigned to hunt down and kill Sub-Zero. They survive the invasion of Earthrealm by Outworld emperor Shao Kahn and his minions, as they have no souls to take. However, Sub-Zero captures Cyrax and reprograms him with orders to destroy Shao Kahn, but Kahn was defeated beforehand by the other Earthrealm warriors. As a result of his reprogramming, Cyrax awaited new orders from Kahn; when these never came, he consequently malfunctioned and wandered until becoming mired in the middle of a vast desert. This was continued In Mortal Kombat Gold, when he was recovered and repaired by the Lin Kuei. The short-handed clan sent Cyrax back into battle, with Sektor assigned to monitor him. His MK Gold storyline was negated by the Konquest Mode in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (2002), in which Cyrax was "recovered by Special Forces agents Sonya Blade and Jackson Briggs," a reference to the character's unused biography in Prima's official strategy guide for MK Gold, according to which Cyrax was recovered by the Special Forces in the Gobi Desert and reprogrammed to fight on the side of good against Shinnok. After Shinnok's defeat, it became apparent that Cyrax had begun to experience flashbacks of his former life, and Sonya and Jax bring him to the Outer World Investigation Agency headquarters, where Cyrax's humanity was restored. As a token of gratitude, Cyrax joined the agency 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 that was orchestrated by the vampire Nitara. When Cyrax encounters Nitara, she offers 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 home realm of Vaeternus 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.
For Mortal Kombat (2011), the three cybernetic ninjas have been ethnically diversified and are seen in their respective human forms in the game's story mode before their familiar robotic versions (save for Smoke). In the reboot, Cyrax is a Motswana member of the Lin Kuei who relies on his chi to carry out clan missions. He and Sektor, both introduced during the first tournament, have conflicting views over the Lin Kuei's impending plan to transform its members into cyborgs (the "Cyber Initiative"); while Sektor wholly supports the proposition, Cyrax is reluctant to surrender his humanity, as he believes his instincts and judgement are far more effective than any mechanical augmentation. He naively believes that Shang Tsung had invited him and Sektor to the tournament until Raiden sets him straight by informing him that he had been paid handsomely to kill the Earthrealm fighters, adding that enabling Shang Tsung to win the tournament would spell the end of Earthrealm, including the Lin Kuei. As a result of Cyrax's meeting with Raiden, Shang Tsung unsuccessfully attempts to have him killed by Sheeva and Baraka. Cyrax then confronts Sektor, who is willing to co-opt him even if by force. Much to Sektor's chagrin, Cyrax refuses to kill Johnny Cage after their match; this results in the clansmen battling each other after an argument. Cyrax defeats Sektor and promptly severs his relationship with the Lin Kuei, then knocks Sektor unconscious. However, in events that were not seen nor explained, Cyrax ends up getting caught and automated anyway, joining Sektor in giving chase to Smoke and Tundra (the younger Sub-Zero) into Outworld. In a reversal of Smoke and Sub-Zero's storylines from MK3, the Lin Kuei abduct Sub-Zero inside Shao Kahn's arena during the second tournament and transport him away, with Cyrax and Sektor pledging their services to Kahn in exchange. Near the conclusion of the story mode, Cyrax and the rest of the robotized Lin Kuei launch an attack on the Earthrealm defenders who have assembled to protect the realm from Kahn's takeover, but they are thwarted while he and Sektor are individually defeated by Nightwolf. Sindel arrives moments later and carries out the clan's objective of slaughtering the Earth warriors.
Cyrax, played by Sal Divita, was the second of the three cybernetic ninja characters to be conceived, and he and Sektor were unofficially named "Mustard" and "Ketchup" while Mortal Kombat 3 was in production. He was a yellow palette swap of Sektor, as the original costume used for game filming was red. Divita explained that the outfit, which consisted of a large amount of plastic armor plating and a custom-made helmet, was "really heavy," while the helmet itself was "hot and uncomfortable" and he "couldn't breathe" or "hear anything" while wearing it. Co-creator John Tobias said that Cyrax and Sektor's design was in part inspired by Boba Fett and the Predator.
With the series' transition into three-dimensional games, each of the cybernetics' visual appearances has evolved independently; Cyrax in particular had several enhancements to his costume that included a utility belt and LED lighting placed throughout his mechanism. His human face was officially seen for the first time in his MK Gold ending, which showed him in full armor minus his faceplate. His alternate costume for Deadly Alliance showed him in a more revealing costume with fewer openly-visible cybernetic enhancements while more of his actual body was displayed, as he wore a type of open-faced, helmet-like apparatus.
Since appearing in MK3 and its updates (Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and the 1996 compilation title Mortal Kombat Trilogy), Cyrax, Sektor and Smoke would not feature in the same titles as playables again until Mortal Kombat: Armageddon in 2006: Cyrax and Sektor were selectable in MK Gold but Smoke was omitted, while only Cyrax was initially playable in Deadly Alliance until Sektor was added to the roster in the "Tournament Edition" update of Deadly Alliance for the Game Boy Advance. Meanwhile, Smoke was included in Mortal Kombat: Deception (as part of a unit with Noob Saibot), in which neither Cyrax nor Sektor appeared. All three would reunite once again as playable characters in MK2011, while Cyrax and Sektor's MK3 costumes were released together in June 2011 as downloadable content for the reboot game.
Cyrax utilizes modern weaponry such as bombs, a net and buzzsaws, in addition to a futuristic net composed of green energy that snares his opponents and sets them up for a free hit. He is notable for his "Self-Destruct" Fatality in MK3, when he arms a bomb in his chest with a wrist-mounted control panel, taking out himself as well as his opponent. 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. Cyrax has separate combos in the sambo style in Deadly Alliance named Ketchup and Mustard, a reference to this. As a reference to his MK3 ending, Cyrax is seen trapped waist-deep in sand in the desert background in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and Mortal Kombat Trilogy.
GameSpot criticized Cyrax's bombs in MK Gold, mentioning that they are nearly useless in the game, since one can just sidestep them. IGN wrote both of Cyrax's detonator special moves make him interesting in Armageddon. 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." On the other hand, GamesRadar criticized Cyrax for feeling unbalanced in MK 2011, citing his projectiles that one can barely get around.
In other media and merchandise
Cyrax is seen in two episodes of the 1996 animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm. In the series premiere ("Kombat Begins Again"), he and Sektor lead an attack on Earthrealm that is thwarted by the Earthrealm defenders, during which he speaks his only line of dialogue in the series. During a brief flashback scene at the Lin Kuei compound in the fifth episode ("Old Friends Never Die"), Cyrax was unmasked and depicted as a light-skinned man with short black hair. He and Sektor are also shown in their present forms as working with the Lin Kuei grandmaster in attempting to apprehend Sub-Zero while fighting the Earth warriors, before they eventually retreat from battle by exiting through a portal.
Cyrax appeared in the 1997 film Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, and was played by J.J. Perry. He served as one of Shao Kahn's assassins, and leads an extermination squad into battle during Kahn's invasion of Earth to kill Sonya and Jax. He was never mentioned by name, save for the closing credits. While he has only one line of dialogue in the film, Cyrax had a slightly more expanded role in the first draft of the script and the movie novelization, in which he is depicted as wearing a red gi and killing an Army general with his energy net inside the medical facility where Jax had been outfitted with his metal arms prior to the invasion. He additionally identifies himself by his LK-4D4 unit code during this scene (in contrast, the Lin Kuei is never mentioned in the film). In the script, Cyrax's net is described as being made up of "millions of microbe-sized 'flesh-eating' robots—the latest in nanotechnology." The net proves ineffective against Jax in combat, and he is defeated by Sonya, who then finishes Cyrax off by performing her "Kiss of Death" Fatality. He activates his self-destruct mechanism afterward, which destroys the entire base as Jax and Sonya barely escape. In a 2011 interview with Killer Film, Perry, who also played Scorpion in Annihilation and had doubled Johnny Cage (Linden Ashby) in the first movie, revealed that he had filmed his fight as Scorpion with Keith Cooke (Sub-Zero) on an injured ankle that he had sustained after stepping on a power cable during the shooting of his fight scene with Lynn Williams (Jax), due to the helmet he wore as part of his Cyrax costume having robbed him of his peripheral vision. During Cyrax's fight with Jax, Perry added that he and Williams "really beat the piss out of each other."
The character makes one appearance in the 2011 first season of director Kevin Tancharoen's Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series, and is played by Shane Warren Jones. In the ninth episode ("Cyrax and Sektor"), Cyrax—whose face is shown beaten and bloodied without explanation—and Sektor are first shown in their human forms, and are being taken to a nondescript warehouse that serves as the Lin Kuei headquarters. After a successful test battle pitting them against cyborgs disguised as human fighters, Cyrax and Sektor themselves are seen undergoing automation, the process of which is shown in detail for the first time in any type of MK media while featuring moderately graphic imagery. They then fight two against one in hand-to-hand combat against another cybernetic named Hydro,[note 1] who decisively pounds on Sektor until Cyrax gains the upper hand that enables them to team up and finish Hydro off with a kick to the head by Cyrax that decapitates him, all while the Grandmaster and a pre-injury Kano watch from inside a laboratory.
Cyrax was included in a "Mortal Kombat Klassic" three-pack of action figures along with Sektor and Smoke that was released in 2011 by Jazwares, and was one of twenty MK characters featured on 2.5" x 3.5" collectible magnets from Ata-Boy Wholesale. An 18" polystone statue of Cyrax was released by Syco Collectibles in 2013, which was packaged with additional sets of arms, a removable chestplate, and a bomb.
Cyrax was included in a three-way tie with Sektor and Smoke atop GamesRadar's 2011 list of "gaming's most malicious machines." Game Informer included Cyrax in a list of characters wanted for the 2011 MK reboot, while also praising his special moves. ScrewAttack ranked Cyrax as their sixth-best Mortal Kombat character, but also considered him one of the "cheapest" characters in MK3. 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." 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." Cyrax placed at 25th on UGO Networks' 2012 list of the top 50 Mortal Kombat characters. Complex ranked him the fourth-coolest robot in video games. Prima Games called the MK2011 version of Cyrax "easily the cheapest character in the game" due to his unblockable bombs and anti-air attacks, and "nothing the development team adjusts [in the game] seems to change that."
Critical reaction to his Fatalities has been more mixed. Game Rant listed Cyrax's "Self-Destruct" Fatality from MK3 as one of the series' worst finishers. "[T]his is a classic fatality of Cyrax. Doesn’t stop it from being a flat-out stupid one." Game Informer named it one of the game's most confusing finishers. ScrewAttack named his "Trash Compactor" from Deadly Alliance as their seventh-best Fatality from the series, 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." However, none of his finishers were included in Prima Games' 2014 list of the MK series' top fifty Fatalities.
Reception to the "Cyrax & Sektor" MK: Legacy episode has been positive. Ben Kendrick of Screen Rant said, "Cyrax and Sektor may not have the same fan-fueled clout as the traditional MK ninjas—but, despite being a bit light on character development, the pair has some of the coolest action-shots featured in the entire run of the series." IGN gave the show itself a score of nine out of ten, describing it as "pretty damn terrific" while praising the special effects, and "[their] big fight sequence at the end of the episode is probably the coolest battle of the entire [first] season." C.J. Miozzi of GameFront described Cyrax as "a whiny baby about [the automation]" while professing himself as a fan of Sektor. Fearnet praised the "complete accuracy" of the episode's depiction of the characters. Lawrence Van Gelder of the New York Times wrongly described Cyrax as "the one with a rocket launcher where his sternum ought to be" in his 1997 review of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.
- The inclusion of Hydro in Legacy was inspired by the character of the same name who was created by Malibu Comics for the Mortal Kombat comic book series. He was a Lin Kuei compatriot of Sub-Zero's who had the power to control water, and featured in the 1994 Blood & Thunder miniseries, in which he appeared in the first four issues before being killed by Scorpion. The character was transformed into a cybernetic exclusively for the web series.
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