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|Mortal Kombat character|
Motaro in an art for Mortal Kombat Trilogy
|First game||Mortal Kombat 3 (1995)|
|Created by||John Tobias|
|Portrayed by||Deron McBee (Annihilation)|
|Fighting styles||Horse (Armageddon)|
Motaro is a fictional character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He made first appearance a sub-boss character in Mortal Kombat 3, where he has the legs of a horse and the torso of a man. In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Motaro has became a bipedal humanoid and a playable character.
In video games
Motaro is from a race of Centaurians (a race of centaur-like creatures with ram-like horns and a long metallic rat-like tail). Motaro's kind have come into conflict with the Shokan, a race of Goro and Sheeva, as Kahn favors the Centaurians and aids them in the defeat and subjugation of the Shokan race. As a Centaurian, Motaro possesses a great strength as well as a razor-sharp tail that fires energy blasts from its tip, and the power of teleportation. He also has an absolute immunity to projectile attacks., as Motaro's skin appears to have some sort of reflective surface that automatically repels long range attacks to the point of sending them right back at opponents.
In Mortal Kombat 3, Kahn appoints Motaro to head extermination squads dispatched to Earthrealm to vanquish Earth's chosen warriors. When Sonya Blade defeats Kano, throwing him from a skyscraper to the streets below, Motaro recovers the severely injured Kano and brings him back to Shao Kahn's fortress, where Kano is first revived and then imprisoned so he could later be punished by Kahn for failing to defeat Sonya. It is at this point that Motaro was assaulted and supposedly mortally wounded by Sheeva.
Motaro makes a cameo appearance in the "Konquest" mode of Mortal Kombat: Deception. He returns in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, but since then the Centaurians have been put under a curse by the Shokan, turning him and the rest of his race into bipedal Minotaurs; the curse has also relieved him of his most powerful abilities, his skin no longer possessing reflective properties. Ultimately, as with nearly every character of the franchise, Motaro is killed at the end of Armageddon.
Ed Boon called Motaro one of the "oddest shaped" Mortal Kombat characters. John Tobias said that his creation of Motaro was inspired by a toy he had when he was a kid. The toy in question, the Micronauts antagonist Baron Karza, came with a horse named Andromeda that, when disassembled and combined with the figure, created a centaur-like creature.
As described in his Armageddon bio card, the developers were faced with the decision (prompted by fan demand to include him), of not including Motaro in the game or removing his hind legs due to the difficulty of compensating for his unique half-horse body shape. They decided to remove the hind legs with the explanation that a curse was placed on his race. Reportedly, Motaro's centaur body structure was the main problem, as the MK team would need much more extensive programming and testing to successfully integrate Motaro's four-legged frame into interacting properly with knock-downs, throws, and Fatalities and Death Traps that required limbs to be torn or cut off or Motaro to be impaled. This was joked about in his ending, as a reference to the creators taking his hind legs away was made. Similar to Sheeva, Motaro bleeds green blood instead of red blood in the Mortal Kombat 3 and its updates (in Armageddon, his blood's color was changed to a common red).
As a sub-boss in Mortal Kombat 3, Motaro is invincible to projectiles, most of which bounce back at the player and often result in an accidental free hit. He also teleports frequently, often grabbing his opponents, whether from behind or after blocking their jump kicks. He can also shoot up to four fireballs at a time. In Mortal Kombat Trilogy, his ability to reflect projectiles is greatly lessened, and would suffer damage if hit at point-blank range. In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, he has lost his immunity altogether and can be attacked with projectiles like most other characters.
Both Motaro and Shao Kahn are playable in the SNES and Sega Genesis versions of Mortal Kombat 3 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 via a secret code menu, though they remain unselectable in single player mode. He is also playable in Mortal Kombat Trilogy. Motaro's single Fatality, only seen in the Nintendo 64 version of Mortal Kombat Trilogy, is simply his grabbing pose with the opponent's head being ripped off in the process. His sprite also fades to darkness with the background when this Fatality is performed, unlike other normal fighters who remain fully lit.
Motaro is unplayable in Mortal Kombat: Deception, only appearing in a non-fight encounter in the Konqest mode and on a background of one stage in Mortal Kombat: Unchained, a PSP port of Deception. In Mortal Kombat (2011), Motaro similarly only appears as a background character in some stages and in a few cutscenes in the game's Story Mode.
In other media
Motaro appears in the film Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, played by former American Gladiators star Deron McBee. His rivalry with Sheeva was briefly touched upon and he is defeated by Jax at the end of the film.
Motaro made appearances in the 1996 animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm. He and his Centaurian warriors were present at the castle in which Rain held Kitana hostage, and was later seen in the series finale during Kitana's unsuccessful plot to overthrow Shao Kahn; after having been warned by Raiden, Motaro appears to fight the treacherous Shang Tsung and the Shokans led by Sheeva. His voice actor was uncredited.
The character has received a mixed critical reception. In 2011, the bipedal version Motaro in Armageddon as the worst ever Mortal Kombat character by ScrewAttack, who also ranked his Fatality in Trilogy as the third worst in the series. That same year, he was ranked as fifth goofiest Mortal Kombat character by Topless Robot, who added that "his silliness is mostly to do with how ridiculously overpowered he is" in Mortal Kombat 3.
UGO.com ranked Motaro as the 31st top Mortal Kombat character in 2012, also noting him for being a tough sub-boss to beat. In 2013, Complex ranked the fight against Motaro in Mortal Kombat 3 as the 31st hardest boss battle in video games, and the character as the tenth most brutal fighter in Mortal Kombat, stating: "Sure, his fatalities (or lack thereof) weren't memorable, but the fact that he was difficult to beat, sure was."
- Mortal Kombat: Armageddon Xbox Gameplay - Ouch. IGN. 2006-07-27. Event occurs at 0:48. Retrieved 2010-04-04.
- Official Mortal Kombat 3 Kollector's Book by EGM (1995)
- "#MortalKombat presents: Fight Night 2006!". Mortalkombatwarehouse.com. Retrieved 2013-06-28.
- Motaro's Bio Card. Mortal Kombat: Armageddon Premium Edition Bonus Disc, Midway Games, 2006.
- "ScrewAttack's Top Ten Video - Top 10: Worst Mortal Kombat Kharacters". GameTrailers. 2011-04-30. Retrieved 2013-06-28.
- "Top 10 Worst Mortal Kombat Fatalities". ScrewAttack.com. Retrieved 2013-06-28.
- "8 Mortal Kombat Characters That Are Goofy Even by Mortal Kombat Standards". Topless Robot. 2011-04-14. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
- UGO Team (2012-02-28). "Motaro - Top 50 Mortal Kombat Characters". UGO.com. Retrieved 2013-06-28.
- Elijah Watson, The 50 Hardest Video Game Bosses (And How To Beat Them), Complex.com, July 1, 2013.
- Hanuman Welch, The Most Brutal Fighters In "Mortal Kombat", Complex.com, July 21, 2013.