List of Killer Instinct characters
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- 1 Roster
- 2 Introduced in Killer Instinct
- 3 Introduced in Killer Instinct 2
- 4 Introduced in Killer Instinct (2013)
- 5 References
- Boss, secret playable character
Introduced in Killer Instinct
- Voiced by: Ken Lobb
Chief Thunder, AKA Hinmatoom, a Native American chief armed with twin tomahawks, enters the tournament to find out what happened to his missing brother Eagle in the previous year's tournament. In the series' third entry, he has since discovered his brother, Eagle, was killed in the first Killer Instinct tournament, though no body was found to confirm his demise or how it occurred. Grieving, Thunder dons his war paint and begins fighting opponents to try and determine what became of his brother, allying with the mysterious ARIA in the hopes of finding Eagle's remains and receiving closure.
In 2008, GamesRadar featured him on a list of top seven native American stereotypes in games as one of three examples of the "Warrior" stereotype. In 2011, Dorkly ranked him the most stereotypical native American character in fighting-game history. In the 2013 Killer Instinct, his fighting has been revised to be based more heavily around grappling than the other characters.
Cinder is a criminal who was promised early release by UltraTech in exchange for participating in chemical-weapons research. As a result of an accident during testing, his body is composed entirely of flame. He is promised a return to his original form if he is able to defeat Glacius in the tournament. In the early development stages of the game, he went through multiple name changes, such as Meltdown and Pyrotech. Cinder is scheduled to return as part of the second season of Killer Instinct for Xbox One.
Voiced by: Henry Sterchi & Isaac Marshall
The final boss, Eyedol is a two-headed, one-eyed ancient mystical warlord who was trapped in a dimensional prison in the distant past. UltraTech released him to be the final combatant in the tournament. In Killer Instinct 2 Eyedol was trapped in combat with Gargos, the final boss of that game. In Eyedol's ending, he is supposedly found by his mother (as a boy named "Billy") after going missing in a car crash as a child. However, Eyedol attacks her in a comical manner in a spoof of Blanka's original Street Fighter II ending. Eyedol is the only character without an icon on the character-select screen. In early SNES versions of the game (released only to stores), he was selectable; however, in the arcade and SNES versions he is a secret character who can be played by selecting a specific character (Riptor in earlier arcade versions. and Cinder in later arcade and SNES versions) and pressing a combination of buttons before a round begins. He is the only character in the game with no special finishing moves (such as No Mercy moves, Ultra Combos or Humiliations); however, he compensates with a limited ability to heal.
- Voiced by: Kevin Bayliss (KI, KI2), Jean-Edouard Miclot (KI 2013)
Glacius is an alien who was captured by UltraTech and promised freedom if he wins the tournament. He gets his nickname from his body's icy liquid composition and his ability to shape-shift. He is one of the few characters who retained his original name throughout the game's early development. In the sequel, the original Glacius defeated Cinder and returned home. In Killer Instinct 2, a distant relative of Glacius from 2,000 years ago who shares his name heeds a distress call, coming to Earth to find his lost brethren and bring them home. The original Glacius returns to Earth in Killer Instinct for Xbox One, having been forced to leave some of his alien technology behind when he was last on the planet. Upon landing, his power core is stolen by Sadira, and he becomes determined to catch her and prevent his technology from falling into the wrong hands.
Glacius uses three No Mercy moves: one where he becomes a gel-like mass and absorbs the opponent, similar to the Blob (arcade only), one in which he uses his finger as a syringe to inject the enemy with a substance turning them to ice, and one in which he becomes a pool of boiling water in which the enemy drowns.
Riptor is a genetically-engineered velociraptor-human hybrid created as a prototype by UltraTech; the tournament tests its abilities as a killing machine. However, it is ultimately defeated by TJ Combo prior to KI2, but damages Combo's right eye during the confrontation. It has three No Mercy moves: one in which it spits acid on the enemy, a second in which it stabs the foe with its tail and a third in which it runs at the enemy, eating them. Riptor is scheduled to return as part of the second season of Killer Instinct for Xbox One.
Count Von Sabrewulf is afflicted with lycanthropy and promised a cure by UltraTech if he wins the tournament. In the sequel, Sabrewulf was captured by UltraTech after being severely injured during the first tournament, and has been driven mad by experimentation. With cybernetic arms, he desperately seeks a cure for his lycanthropy. In the third installment, Sabrewulf still seeks a cure, but has almost completely fallen to his feral side, compelling him to tear out his mechanical implants and regain his arms through Dark Arts. He also has become addicted to drugs which he used to ease his pain during the process of regaining his arms.
Sabrewulf, who was originally called "Cyberwulf", was inspired by the antagonist of Rare's 1984 game Sabre Wulf. Sabrewulf fights in his inherited castle with biting and claw attacks and the ability to howl and use his flaming bats (although sometimes they do not flame).
- Voiced by: Chris Seavor (KI, KI2), David Robert Donatucci (KI 2013)
An animated skeleton, Spinal was reanimated by UltraTech but destroyed by Chief Thunder in the first tournament; however, Gargos had a Spinal of his own in the past. Spinal fights for vengeance and his freedom. Spinal reappears in Killer Instinct for Xbox One, resurrected by an artifact known as the Mask of the Ancients, and now seeks to find it in hope of releasing himself from the curse of immortality, allowing him to finally rest in peace.
In the first Killer Instinct, Spinal is the third-last opponent in single-player mode; with a sword and shield, he can teleport and change himself into a grayscale version of his opponents during combos. Spinal has a quirk: to perform certain moves, he must gather energy—represented by tokens shaped like skulls under his life bar (SNES version) or skulls floating around him (arcade, Gold, and Xbox One versions)—by absorbing opponents' projectile-energy attacks (with his shield in absorbing position) or performing combo breakers. Despite requiring these tokens, his special moves are no stronger than normal special attacks. Spinal can store up to five skull tokens, overloading if he tries to absorb energy for the sixth time. On the sixth attempt he will not block the projectile, and it will cause normal damage and knockdown; he will then be left with one remaining skull.
- Voiced by: Patrick Seitz (KI 2013)
A former five-time heavyweight boxing champion, T.J. "Combo" Garrett was stripped of his title and expelled from the circuit when it was discovered that he had been cheating, having secretly had cybernetic enhancements implanted in his arms. UltraTech promises the disgraced boxer that he would be returned to his former glory if he wins the tournament. After his victory against Riptor in the first tournament, which also cost him his left eye, T.J. Combo was sent into the past and fights to return home. T.J. Combo is set to return in the third Killer Instinct game, with the implants removed from his arms and his missing eye now restored, seeking to redeem himself.
Introduced in Killer Instinct 2
Gargos is a demon lord who has returned to the physical world. He was Eyedol's rival, resembling a huge gargoyle who is powerful and can breathe fire. Like Eyedol in the original game, Gargos may be accessed with a cheat code. Jago's back story in the second installment reveals him to be the "Tiger Spirit" that led Jago to the first Killer Instinct tournament.
Kim Wu is a 17-year-old East Asian female ninja descended from the people who repelled Eyedol and Gargos. To protect her people, she tries to destroy Gargos. Kim Wu's No Mercy moves are setting her opponents on fire with a blazing shuriken and jumping on them. Kim Wu is also an enemy to Spinal, a soul resurrected by UltraTech.
Maya is an Amazonian warrior who had banished Gargos prior to the events of Killer Instinct 2, for which she was heralded as a hero among her people. When Gargos reappeared, Maya's tribe, feeling that she had failed them, casts her out. Maya's goal is to destroy Gargos and regain her former standing with her people. Maya's No Mercy (ultimate combo) moves are summoning an elephant to fall on her enemy and shrinking them with a ray from her headband. In Killer Instinct for Xbox One, Maya returns, now heavily redesigned with Incan-inspired armor and referred to as an experienced monster hunter. She fights with a pair of twin daggers known as "Temperance" and "Vengeance".
Her revealing jungle bikini earned her a place among the "Worst Dressed of 1996" according to Nintendo Power. The magazine also nominated her elephant-drop ultimate combo move for its "That's Gotta Hurt" Award.
Tusk is a barbarian who wants to fight all of the challengers for the right to destroy Gargos. His ultimate-combo moves are summoning a meteor shower to pummel his opponent (with a large one crushing them) and summoning a dinosaur which eats the opponent.
Introduced in Killer Instinct (2013)
- Voiced by: Erika Harlacher
Sadira, the series' first female villain, is the leader of a clan of female assassins known as the Red Eyes of Rylai. She wears a magenta-colored outfit with spider symbols on it. She has pale skin, glossed purple lips, long black hair, and yellow eyes. Her legs are visible through a gap in her clothing, and she wears high-heel sandals with tattered stockings. She makes extensive use of spider webs in her attacks, as well as forearm-mounted weapons consisting of metal claws and upright blades. She is ordered by a figure known as ARIA to hunt down and kill the former competitors of the Killer Instinct tournament, and to "prepare the way" by stealing the power core from Glacius' ship and using it to open a rift to another dimension.
Sadira's gameplay is based around aerial juggle combos, a mechanic not seen in previous Killer Instinct titles. She was first revealed as part of the Thunder combo trailer, where CVG said she was "reminiscent of Mortal Kombat's Mileena in terms of design"; her name was revealed in a later stream by the developers.
A 2500-year-old Babylonian Sorceror. He was a royal Vizier who began researching immortality after developing a fascination with the golem that served as the King's royal guard. His continued research into the dark arts leads him to attempt to steal the throne, planning to use a spell to seduce the Queen and have her murder the King. However, the spell wears off prematurely and the Queen kills herself out of guilt, exposing Kan-Ra's treachery. In retaliation, the King exiles him and orders his sorcerers to curse him with a withering rot that slowly disintegrates his flesh and organs. To prevent the rot from overtaking him, Kan-Ra places even more curses on himself to offset the rot's effects, seeking out magical artifacts and talisman to ease the pains brought on from the additional curses. After being imprisoned by Maya's order centuries earlier, an attack by Ultratech on her city accidentally releases him. He now seeks knowledge that will allow him to control all of humanity.
Kan-Ra uses a fighting style based around magic and matter manipulation. He uses a number of ranged attacks, combined with ground and air-based trap techniques.
- The Top 7… Native American stereotypes, GamesRadar US, 2008-11-24
- Bridgman, Andrew. "The Dorklyst: The 7 Most Stereotypical Native American Characters in Fighting Game History". Dorkly Article. Retrieved 2012-07-30.
- Angelo M. D'Argenio, Top Ten Hidden Characters In Fighting Games, Cheat Code Central, February 22, 2012
- Ben (2011-06-22). "Top 5 Rare Characters Who Improved With Age – Rare – Blog". Rare.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
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- Nintendo Power #96 (May 1997)
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