Rain (Mortal Kombat)
|Mortal Kombat character|
Rain in Mortal Kombat (2011)
|First game||Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (1995)|
|Created by||Ed Boon|
|Designed by||John Tobias (MKT)
Luis Mangubat (MK:A)
Atomhawk Design (MK2011)
Lynell Forestall (MK:DotR)
Jennifer L. Parsons (Annihilation)
Beverly Safier (Konquest)
|Voiced by||Rino Romano (MK:DotR)
Henry Dittman (MK2011)
|Portrayed by||John Turk (UMK3, MKT)
Tyrone C. Wiggins (Annihilation)
Percy Brown (Konquest)
|Fighting styles||Zi Ran Men (MK:A)|
|Weapon||Storm Sword (MK:A)|
Rain is a fictional character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game franchise created for Midway Games by Ed Boon and John Tobias. Originating as a palette-swapped joke red herring inserted into Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 by Boon in order to stir up fan interest in the game, he became an actual player character in the followup title Mortal Kombat Trilogy.
While he hails from the otherworldly realm of Edenia like Kitana and Jade, Rain does not share his compatriots' allegiance to their homeland and instead opts to serve Outworld emperor Shao Kahn. He plays his most prominent role in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, where he is revealed to be a demigod and related to the main protagonist of the game's storyline.
Since his UMK3 debut, Rain's overall presence in the Mortal Kombat series has been relatively sparse, as he has been selectable in only the series' two compilation titles (Trilogy and Armageddon) and the 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot, for which he was a later addition to the character roster as downloadable content, while briefly featuring in other MK media such as the live-action film Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and the television series Mortal Kombat: Konquest. General critical reception to the character has been predominantly negative in response to his origins and some of his finishing moves.
History and creation
Rain's first appearance in the Mortal Kombat series literally spans one second, when he is spotted running up to and attacking Shao Kahn on the Portal stage in the attract mode sequence of 1995's Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. A second and less frequent sighting in the sequence saw him facing Kahn on the Portal bridge and merely falling over backwards. Similar to Ermac in the first Mortal Kombat, players attempted to hunt him down to no avail, and the speculation regarding his existence was further aggravated by a message activated by a Kombat Kode that read, "Rain can be found in the Graveyard," in reference to a stage in the game where he was never actually seen.
Series co-creator Ed Boon explained that Rain's conception "was me being a jerk, basically." A huge fan of Prince, Boon's inspiration for the character was the 1984 track Purple Rain, coupled with his jokingly wondering what color palette had not yet been used in the games. In another nod to the singer, Rain addresses himself as "Prince of Edenia" in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. By the time Boon had decided to include him as a selectable in UMK3, the game was already completed, so due to time constraints he had to hack into the attract mode to insert a snippet of the character as an unplayable red herring while creating a new font for displaying his name in his power bar; therefore, it is the only one in the game that is not italicized.
Rain was made a playable character with his own backstory and distinct set of moves for the home versions of UMK3 and the 1996 home-release compilation title Mortal Kombat Trilogy, the latter which was to actually include another new ninja character, Tremor, a brown palette swap who had been axed during the development process (he later made his first series appearance in the 2000 spinoff Mortal Kombat: Special Forces). The noncanonical biography that had been created for him was passed on to Rain instead and included in the game's instruction manual.[note 1]
In video games
As a child, Rain was smuggled away from his homeland of Edenia in the midst of the realm's takeover by Outworld emperor Shao Kahn, while his father stayed behind to perform his duties as general of Edenia's armies, but he was killed and his armies crushed in the invasion. Thousands of years later, during the events of MK Trilogy, Rain resurfaced during Kahn's invasion of Earthrealm prior to the third Mortal Kombat tournament, and was attacked by Kahn's extermination squads; not wanting to suffer at their hand, he elected to turn his back on his homeland and side with Kahn, who trained him as an assassin alongside fellow Edenians Kitana and Jade before enlisting them in the fight against the Earth warriors. However, Kahn's would-be domination of Earthrealm is unsuccessful and Rain is absent from the series until the Konquest mode of Mortal Kombat: Deception (2004), where he asks Shujinko to find a dagger belonging to Goro, which he in turn keeps for himself until he is knocked out by Jade.
MK: Armageddon (2006) marks Rain's return as a playable after a decade. As one of only seventeen characters in the game to receive an official biography, he plays his largest role in the original series continuity by learning of his true Edenian heritage from Outworld sorcerer Quan Chi, who lets Rain in on a secret that his late father had tried to keep from him: that he is actually a direct descendant of Argus, the protector god of Edenia, in addition to being the half-sibling of the game's main protagonist Taven and his brother Daegon, both of whom were favored by their father to assume his mantle of Edenia's protectors. Rain consequently starts to refer to himself as a prince of the realm, as seen in Armageddon's Konquest mode, but he still chooses to independently fight on the side of evil. Rain confronts Taven in Arctika but is defeated in battle and flees into a portal.
His storyline is altered in the 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot, which makes no mention of his father or siblings, instead describing him as having been orphaned at a young age by Kahn's conquest of Edenia and raised under the protection of Edenian resistance fighters. As he gained a reputation as an exceptional warrior, his level of arrogance followed suit, and when he was refused leadership of the resistance, he betrayed them to their (unidentified) sworn enemy. This caught the attention of Kahn, who offered the power-hungry Rain an army of his own in exchange for his services. However, in Rain's ending, Kahn had no intention of fulfilling his end of the bargain. Rain therefore kills him in combat and ends up saving Earthrealm in the process, for which he is thanked by Raiden. However, Rain, drunk with power to which he felt he was entitled, coupled with a sense of superiority from being the offspring of a god, takes over Kahn's armies to rule all realms, starting, to Raiden's horror, with Earthrealm.
Design and gameplay
Rain was the tenth palette-swapped ninja introduced into the Mortal Kombat series. His uniform in the attract mode was initially a burgundy color, which was altered to traditional purple in the home versions of UMK3 and MK Trilogy. His offense drew on the power of the elements as he was able to harness water and lightning, while he shared Reptile's victory pose and the stance for Ermac's Telekinetic Slam for his lightning strike, which caused opponents to bounce into the air and thus set them up for a juggle combo. His roundhouse kick was unique to the series as it sent opponents flying onto the opposite side of the screen, while his Animality has him turning into a pygmy elephant that trumpets the skin off his opponent.
For his reemergence in Armageddon, Rain was given a new, distinct identity like the other ninjas from the two-dimensional games, with less emphasis on purple for his uniform and more on black and gold, giving him a more regal appearance that now included a back-length cape, while he still concealed his identity behind a mask that itself was a separate entity as he was now shown as having long, black hair tied up in a topknot. In his official Armageddon render, he is seen brandishing a pair of curved knives similar to the ones Kano has utilized throughout the series, but he never actually uses them in the game; instead, his weapon is a Storm Sword. He was given more water-based special moves for Armageddon and the 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot, the latter for which he was not included on the original roster but was later added by NetherRealm Studios as a downloadable character available for purchase in July 2011, three months after the game's release.
In other media
Rain appeared in the 1996 animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, in the fourth episode ("Skin Deep"), where he was portrayed as Kitana's ex-fiancé (in turn sparking jealousy in Liu Kang) who was thought to have been killed in battle against Shao Kahn thousands of years ago but has suddenly resurfaced. He enlists the help of the Earthrealm defenders in searching for a sacred scimitar in order to keep it away from Kahn, which turns out to be a ruse that enables him to kidnap Kitana and strand the Earth heroes in Outworld. Rain was voiced by Rino Romano and went unmasked in the entire episode; he was given a youthful look with short black hair parted in the middle.
While depicted as light-skinned in the cartoon and the games, Rain's live-media incarnations were portrayed by African-American actors. He was played by stuntman Tyrone Cortez Wiggins in the 1997 film Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, in which he partakes in the Outworld invasion of Earth while serving as the general of Kahn's extermination squads, but is killed when Kahn hammers him into a fire pit in his war room for sparing the lives of Kabal and Stryker (both of whom never appear onscreen) after having captured them. In a continuity violation, an outtake of his demise was edited into Baraka's death scene later in the film. Rain has no fight scene in the film nor the novelization based on the script, where he has a reduced role and is identified only as a "masked general" while Baraka takes his place among Kahn's subordinates in the Outworld invasion.
At the start of the twelfth episode ("Shadow of a Doubt") of the 1998 television series Mortal Kombat: Konquest, Rain makes a brief appearance and is played by Percy "Spitfire" Brown. He has no dialogue and is sent by Kahn to kill Kung Lao before the next tournament, but is unsuccessful after being forced to flee when Taja intervenes.
Merchandise and promotion
Rain was included as an "exclusive" in a "Klassic Ninja" six-pack of 4" action figures released in 2011 by Jazwares, while a polystone statue of the character was released by Syco Collectibles in 2012. That Guy with the Glasses personality Phelan Porteous dressed up as Rain for a segment of his 2012 video review of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.
Rain has become one of the series' most maligned characters from the first generation of games, mainly due to his origins. He was ranked seventh on ScrewAttack's 2011 list of the ten worst MK characters, in which they praised his roundhouse but added, "No ninja should be named after a Prince song." He tied with Mokap for third place in a list titled "5 Terrible Fighting Game Characters That Nobody Should Ever Choose" by WhatCulture in 2013: "[He] is there as a play on the Prince album, and that is so dumb." Cheat Code Central ranked Rain eighth in their 2012 list of the ten "lamest" video game characters, which criticized Mortal Kombat's excessive palette swapping in general but singled out Rain as the worst of the bunch, again due to the reference to the Prince song. Topless Robot, in 2009, ranked him fourth in their list "The 9 Most Pathetic Fighting Game Characters" for the same reasons, adding: "It's not that Rain is an untalented fighter. It's just that you can't help but feel like you've seen this guy somewhere before." Stephen Kelley of VG Chartz called the character "utterly horrible" and declared, "Nothing Rain did stood out amongst the other characters – maybe that’s why he dies so quick in the second movie!" On the other hand, Complex named Rain as the fourteenth-most brutal character in the series, while UGO ranked him 28th out of the series' top 50 characters, and fans rated him the 24th-best MK character in a 2013 online poll held by Dorkly.
Rain's "Upside Down Uppercut" Fatality from Trilogy placed third on 1UP.com's list of Mortal Kombat's fifteen worst Fatalities and made Game Informer's selection of the series' seven worst finishers, while his Animality tied with that of Scorpion as the eighth-worst Fatality in the series from GamePro. Gameranx rated his "Bubble Burst" Fatality from MK2011 as the series' third-most gruesome finisher, and Prima Games ranked it 41st in their 2014 list of the series' fifty best Fatalities.
- "Rain is an assassin working freelance. He was once a member of the Lin Kuei along with Sub-Zero, but left the clan under mysterious circumstances. Years later, Rain is found working for Shao Kahn as an assassin in the Outworld. Born a human, he finds himself questioning his loyalty towards Kahn after watching the invasion of Earth."
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