List of Killer Instinct characters

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The following is a list of characters in the Killer Instinct series of fighting games.


Character KI1 KI2 KI3
Jago Yes Yes Yes
Black Orchid Yes Yes Yes
Sabrewulf Yes Yes Yes
Glacius Yes Yes Yes
Spinal Yes Yes Yes
Fulgore Yes Yes Yes
T.J. Combo Yes Yes TBA
Chief Thunder Yes No Yes
Cinder Yes No TBA
Riptor Yes No TBA
Eyedol Yes1 No TBA
Kim Wu No Yes TBA
Maya No Yes TBA
Tusk No Yes TBA
Gargos No Yes1 TBA
Sadira No No Yes
Shadow Jago No No Yes


  1. Boss, secret playable character

Introduced in Killer Instinct[edit]

Black Orchid[edit]

Chief Thunder[edit]

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.[1] In 2011, Dorkly ranked him the most stereotypical native American character in fighting-game history.[2] 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, his name was Meltdown.


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.

Cheat Code Central included Eyedol in its 2012 list of top ten hidden characters in fighting games.[3]


Only a year old, Fulgore is a cyborg (part of a cybernetic project developed by UltraTech, the masterminds behind the Killer Instinct tournament) and the penultimate opponent in single-player mode. Fulgore is placed second on the tier (before Eyedol), and was entered in the tournament to test its fighting capabilities. If successful, Fulgore would be placed into mass production. In the sequel, a new, enhanced Fulgore model is created after the first Fulgore was destroyed by Jago in the first tournament. His goal is the destruction of Jago, whom he considers his chief nemesis. A third Fulgore model appears in Killer Instinct for Xbox One to help defend UltraTech, though it begins to develop self-awareness due to the residual memories of Eagle, Thunder's brother, whose mind and body were used in its construction.

His "machine gun funk" finishing move was ranked as 36th on a list of "craziest fatalities" in gaming by Complex in 2011.[4]


Voiced by: Jean-Edouard Miclot (KI3)

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 behind 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. Glacius is a high-tier character with moves which can be abused (like most characters in the game). These include Glacius reversing his liquidation attack at the last moment, forcing his opponent to guess on which side he will appear. Another glitch includes Glacius' fireball attack: a delayed burst of fireballs, causing heavy damage, which is difficult to resist.



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 a high-tier character who (like Cinder) has an attack which can be easily abused: exhaling a low green flame unblockable by any opponent (except Eyedol) trying to lift themselves off the ground. This is due to a hitbox bug common throughout the game.


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.[5] 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). He appears in Killer Instinct for Xbox One.


Voiced by: Chris Seavor (KI1, KI2), David Robert Donatucci (KI3)

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.[6]

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.

T.J. Combo[edit]

A former heavyweight boxing champion for five years, T.J. Combo was stripped of his title and expelled from the circuit when it was discovered that his arms had cybernetic implants (which greatly enhanced his boxing ability). UltraTech promises him that his title will be returned 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 (when he tried to destroy the UltraTech building) and fights to return home.

In 2012, Complex included him on a list of 25 "douchiest" video game characters.[7] The character was based on John Parrish, known for playing Jax in the early Mortal Kombat games.[8]

Introduced in Killer Instinct 2[edit]


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[edit]

Kim Wu is a 17-year-old East Asian martial artist 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.


Maya is an Amazonian warrior who banished Gargos and was banished by her people when he reappeared. Her goal is to destroy Gargos and regain her former standing. 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.

Her revealing jungle bikini earned her a place among the "Worst Dressed of 1996" according to Nintendo Power.[9] The magazine also nominated her elephant-drop ultimate combo move for its "That's Gotta Hurt" Award.[9]


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)[edit]


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";[10] her name was revealed in a later stream by the developers.[11]

Shadow Jago[edit]


  1. ^ The Top 7… Native American stereotypes, GamesRadar US, 2008-11-24
  2. ^ Bridgman, Andrew. "The Dorklyst: The 7 Most Stereotypical Native American Characters in Fighting Game History". Dorkly Article. Retrieved 2012-07-30. 
  3. ^ Angelo M. D'Argenio, Top Ten Hidden Characters In Fighting Games, Cheat Code Central, February 22, 2012
  4. ^ The 50 Craziest Video Game Fatalities | Complex
  5. ^ Ben (2011-06-22). "Top 5 Rare Characters Who Improved With Age – Rare – Blog". Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  6. ^ "Killer Instinct: Orchid and Spinal Tease". IGN. 2013-10-31. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  7. ^ "The 25 Douchiest Video Game Characters". Complex. 2012-04-18. Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  8. ^ "The On Blast Show! Episode 8". 2011-01-08. Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  9. ^ a b Nintendo Power #96 (May 1997)
  10. ^ "News: Killer Instinct gets first original character". 2013-08-27. Retrieved 2013-10-15. 
  11. ^ "KILLER INSTINCT: NEW Character Reveal (Spider Woman?!)". YouTube. 2013-08-23. Retrieved 2013-10-15.