|Mortal Kombat character|
Noob Saibot in Mortal Kombat (2011)
|First game||Mortal Kombat (as Sub-Zero)
Mortal Kombat II (as Noob Saibot)
|Created by||John Tobias (with brainstorming input from Ed Boon)|
|Designed by||John Tobias (early games)|
|Portrayed by||Daniel Pesina (MKII)
Richard Divizio (MK3)
John Turk (UMK3, MKT)
J.J. Perry (second film)
Kimball Uddin (Konquest)
Jamieson Price (voice, MK2011)
|Origin||China, Earthrealm (reborn in Netherealm)|
|Fighting styles||Hapkido (MK:TE)
Pi Gua (MK:TE)
Monkey (MK:D, MK:A)
Noob Saibot is a fictional character from the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He debuted as a mysterious hidden character in Mortal Kombat II, in which he is a black silhouette of the other ninja characters.
While Noob Saibot made subsequent appearances in Mortal Kombat 3, Mortal Kombat 4 and updates to those games, his backstory was not established until 2004's Mortal Kombat: Deception. In Deception his true identity is revealed as the original Sub-Zero who had been killed by his nemesis, Scorpion, during the events of the first Mortal Kombat. The character returns in both Mortal Kombat Armageddon and the 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot game.
The character's name is a play on the names of Mortal Kombat creators, Ed Boon and John Tobias which have simply been spelled backwards. Originally, Noob Saibot shared moves and graphics with various other characters in the games, before being given his own unique moveset and appearance. Noob Saibot has been well received, often being named to lists of the best characters in the Mortal Kombat series.
In video games
Noob Saibot first appeared as Sub-Zero in the original 1992 Mortal Kombat, but was killed by Scorpion. He was resurrected in the Netherrealm as a servant of Shinnok and a member of the Brotherhood of Shadow, though this was not revealed until Deception. Noob Saibot (his current form) was first introduced in Mortal Kombat II as a hidden opponent. His character was made playable in home versions of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and Mortal Kombat Trilogy. In the latter two games he allies with the emperor Shao Kahn. He secretly observes the emperor at the behest of the Brothers of the Shadow. Although early versions of Mortal Kombat 4 featured him as a playable character, he was eventually changed back to being hidden. In Mortal Kombat 4 he serves his superior, the fallen Elder God Shinnok. Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition featured Noob Saibot once again as a playable character, this time around serving as one of Shao Kahn's soldiers. As the elder Sub-zero he also appeared in Mythologies as the main character and setting up his fate as Noob Saibot.
In Mortal Kombat: Deception, Noob Saibot is free to command his own group of assassins that serve him. He makes the cyborg Smoke his servant, with both characters appearing as early bosses, under the name "Noob Smoke". Here it was revealed that Noob Saibot was the resurrected form of the original Sub-Zero, named Bi-Han (Chinese: 避寒; pinyin: Bìhán) who appeared in the first Mortal Kombat tournament and was killed by his enemy Scorpion. This revelation is explored further in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks when Noob Saibot is pursued by his younger brother during one of the cut-scenes.
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon featured Noob Saibot as a playable character. In the game's story mode, he and Smoke invade the Lin Kuei ninja clan's castle, assimilating most of the defending Lin Kuei ninja and turning them into their own subordinate warriors. Noob Saibot and Smoke are eventually defeated by the warrior Taven, and Noob Saibot is left in the castle, unconscious. Sub-Zero then tries to force Noob Saibot to recall his past identity.
Noob Saibot's latest appearance is in the 2011 Mortal Kombat video game. After being killed by Scorpion, he is subsequently resurrected by Quan Chi and serves as one of his enforcers. Supporting Quan Chi and Shao Kahn, Noob Saibot is trapped by the Earth warrior, Nightwolf, in a magical tornado that explodes alongside him. His final fate is unknown.
The character's name comes from the last names of the creators of the Mortal Kombat franchise, Ed Boon and John Tobias, spelled in reverse. During his first appearances, Noob Saibot's design was focused around an all-black exterior, with the staff stating "that's what he's all about". They found difficulties in making some versions, without him appearing to look into bondage. For Mortal Kombat: Deception, Noob Saibot was the first character drawn and designed by Steve Beran. Beran attempted to make him a more-distinctive character, focusing less on his all-black exterior. One design was removed due to its similarities with a tuxedo. Another wore a hood, but the idea was later moved to the new character Havik. An early alternate outfit depicted Noob Saibot in a black, red and blue outfit with a Japanese translation of "darkness" on the front flap. He was also shown unmasked, but this design ended up being used as Havik's alternate outfit. The use of a two-on-two combat was meant to be introduced in this game as well, but was only used with Noob Saibot and Smoke. Both characters were models for the use of such a concept and were intended to work together in the player's Fatality.
In Noob Saibot's debut game, Mortal Kombat II, he serves as a hidden opponent rather than a playable character. His appearance was that of a silhouette of Sub-Zero and his special abilities in Mortal Kombat II were copied from Scorpion. In Mortal Kombat 3, Noob Saibot is not a ninja palette swap, but actually a silhouette of Kano, since there were no human ninjas in the game. As a result, his move list contains only Kano's combos. In the Game Gear version, he had Kano's special moves and the Eyebeam Fatality. However, in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (UMK3), due to the return of the ninja characters, he was given a full black sprite in the arcade and home versions, save for the Sega Saturn. Noob Saibot is playable in Shaolin Monks in the Versus mode if both players select Sub-Zero; the last player to select him will play as a variation of Noob Saibot. He is colored black, like the real Noob Saibot, but he has Sub-Zero's frozen forearms and retains all of his younger brother's moves and Fatalities.
In other media
Noob Saibot (played by Kimball Uddin) made one appearance in the TV series Mortal Kombat: Konquest as an imprisoned Outworld warrior mistakenly released by Siro and Taja and then recruited by a sorceress to assassinate Kung Lao. He was completely covered in black oil and wielded an Escrima stick.
Noob Saibot appeared in the film Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, as a warrior who emerged from Ermac. Although he is not referred to by name in the film or listed in the credits, he is specifically mentioned by name in the novelization based on the film. He was played by J.J. Perry.
The character was received overally very positively. In 2011, Bright Hub ranked Noob Saibot as the fifth best character in the series. In UGO Networks' 2012 list of top Mortal Kombat characters, Noob Saibot placed 12th. That same year, Complex listed him as the fifth most underrated Mortal Kombat character. The readers of Dorkly voted him the series' fifth greatest character in a 2013 poll.
A particular attention was given his "Tug-of-war" Fatality, described by Kotaku as "vicious looking" and called a highlight of the 2011 Mortal Kombat game, while Gameranx ranked it as the fifth top "holy shit gaming moment" of 2011. That same Fatality was included by FHM on their list of nine most brutal ones in this game, and also ranked as the second top (and most painful looking) Fatality in the series by WatchMojo in 2013. In 2011, Jon Stewart tongue-in-cheek used this Fatality as an example of extreme violence in modern video games.
In a humor article by GameSpy, the Mortal Kombat: Trilogy version of Noob Saibot was noted as one of the "world's worst warriors", citing a combo where Noob Saibot fires one "Disabler" does a short combo then fires another "Disabler" in which the opponent can not escape. Noob Saibot, alongside the other male ninjas, was ranked #3 in GamePro's 2009 list of the best palette-swapped video game characters.
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- Midway. Mortal Kombat: Deception. (Midway). Level/area: Noob-Smoke ending. (2004) After resurrection, Noob Saibot was surprised to see how much stronger his younger brother, the new Sub-Zero, had become. If he were still Lin Kuei, still human, he would probably have shown some degree of pride in his brother's achievements. However, as Raiden had revealed during the ordeal with Shinnok's amulet, his soul had been tainted when he had died at the hand of Scorpion.
- Netherealm Studios. Mortal Kombat: Deception. (Midway). Level/area: Chapter 14: Cyber Sub-Zero. (2011) Sub-Zero: Bi-Han?! / Noob Saibot: Yes Kuai Lang. It is I. Quan Chi restored me.
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