Scorpion (Mortal Kombat)
|Mortal Kombat character|
Scorpion in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
|First game||Mortal Kombat (1992)|
|Created by||Ed Boon and John Tobias|
|Designed by||John Tobias (early games)
Luis Mangubat (MK:DA, MK:D/MK:A)
Mark Lappin (MK:SM)
Cy Mandua (MKvDC)
Atomhawk Design (MK2011)
Jim Lee (Injustice)
Susan Mazer (The Journey Begins)
Ha Nguyen (first film)
Lynell Forestall (MK:DotR)
Jennifer L. Parsons (second film)
Beverly Safier (Konquest)
Christine Cover-Ferro (Rebirth)
Allisa Swanson (Legacy s.1)
Lisa Tomczeszyn (Legacy s.2)
|Voiced by||Ed Boon (games and films)
Robert Keting (MK:DA)
Patrick Seitz (MKvsDC, MK2011, Injustice)
|Motion capture||Daniel Pesina (MK, MKII)
John Turk (UMK3, MKT)
Sal Divita (MK:SM)
|Portrayed by||Chris Casamassa (first film, Konquest)
J.J. Perry (Annihilation)
Anthony Demarco (Live Tour)
Ian Anthony Dale (Rebirth, Legacy)
|Origin||Japan (Earthrealm); reborn in the Netherealm|
|Fighting styles||Hapkido (MK:DA, MK:D, MKA)
Pi Gua (MK:DA)
Moi Fah (MK:D)
|Weapon||Kunai (all MK media)
Axe (UMK3, MKT)
Ninjatō (MK:DA, MK:D, MK:U, MK:A)
Scorpion is a recurring player and occasional boss character from the Mortal Kombat fighting game franchise created by Ed Boon and John Tobias. Making his debut as one of the original seven playable characters in Mortal Kombat in 1992, he is an undead ninja specter seeking revenge for his own death at the hands of Sub-Zero, which has been his main role throughout the course of the series.
One of the series' signature characters, Scorpion has been playable in every Mortal Kombat game, the lone exception being the original version of Mortal Kombat 3 (1995), and was featured on the cover art for the 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot game alongside Sub-Zero, as well as the upcoming release Mortal Kombat X. He was among the characters representing the series in the 2008 crossover game Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe while having guest roles in other Midway games, and he has also appeared in a variety of official series merchandise and other alternate media, usually as an antagonist. Scorpion is featured in the logo of NetherRealm Studios, the successor of Midway Games.
In Mortal Kombat games
"Scorpion" is the code name of Hanzo Hasashi, who was formerly one of the finest warriors of the Japanese ninja clan, the Shirai Ryu. After he was killed by Sub-Zero, of the rival clan of assassins, the Lin Kuei, Scorpion became a hellspawned revenant residing in Hell (later the Netherealm) and seeking vengeance against those responsible for the destruction of his clan and the death of his family. Although essentially neutral in allegiance, Scorpion will join forces with anyone who can assist his plans of revenge. He was once manipulated by Quan Chi, whom he promised his life in exchange for his impressive combat abilities in order to defeat Sub-Zero.
In his initial backstory, displayed in the first game's attract mode, he is described only as having enmity towards Sub-Zero that was attributed to rivalries between opposing ninja clans. His ending revealed that he was actually an undead specter who had been killed by Sub-Zero and was survived by a wife and child. This was further explored in a tie-in comic book written and illustrated by MK co-creator John Tobias and published by Midway; in a one-page scene, Scorpion shocks Sub-Zero with his unexpected return aboard a junk en route to tournament host Shang Tsung's private island exactly two years after his death, declaring that his "demons" had allowed him to return and avenge his demise, while adding that he would not kill Sub-Zero there on the spot and instead wait until the tournament because he was "not a murderer."
After Goro's defeat at the hands of eventual champion Liu Kang, all hell breaks loose on the island, and Scorpion, one of only seven tournament survivors, teams up with Sub-Zero and the thunder god Raiden in holding back Shang Tsung's army, then kills Sub-Zero and disappears. In Mortal Kombat II (1993), Scorpion learns that Sub-Zero has somehow returned, and plans to compete in the second tournament held in the otherworldly dimension of Outworld and hosted by the realm's emperor Shao Kahn. He tracks his nemesis down but notices, in the process, Sub-Zero sparing the life of an opponent in battle. Scorpion realizes that this is not the original Sub-Zero but instead his younger brother, who was sent to complete the elder Sub-Zero's failed mission of assassinating Shang Tsung. As a result, Scorpion vows to serve as the new Sub-Zero's guardian in atonement for killing his older brother.
In the 2005 beat 'em up spinoff Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, set during the events of Mortal Kombat II, Scorpion is a boss character who attempts to kill the game's playable protagonists Liu Kang and Kung Lao. He appears in both masked and unmasked forms (the latter being named "Inferno Scorpion"). He is also a playable character for both the versus and story modes (Scorpion's movesets in this game are largely identical to Liu Kang's with some original techniques). Mortal Kombat: Fire & Ice, which would star Scorpion and Sub-Zero in co-operative gameplay, was cancelled when Paradox Development (Midway Studios – Los Angeles), the developers of Shaolin Monks, "couldn’t do it in time and under budget."
Scorpion, along with all the game's palette-swapped human ninjas, was not playable in Mortal Kombat 3, but returned in the 1995 upgrade Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 when Shao Kahn tries to conquer the Netherrealm after his invasion of Earth and enlisted the ninja in his forces. Scorpion's allegiance to Kahn quickly dissolved when he discovered, in a continuance of his MKII storyline, that Sub-Zero was one of Earth's chosen warriors, with whom he sided in their final showdown with Kahn.
Quan Chi is officially introduced into Scorpion's rivalry with Sub-Zero in the main MK storyline, starting with Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero (1997). Scorpion is featured therein as an unplayable boss character, appearing twice throughout the game. Despite playing a minor role in the game, his background was also officially expanded in a feature on the game's official website, where his real name and that of his clan were revealed, while his yellow outfit was described as an apparent mockery of the Lin Kuei, after former Lin Kuei member Takeda developed ninjutsu before leaving the clan and forming the rival Shirai Ryu. He is enlisted by Quan Chi to find a map hidden in a Shaolin temple, a task the sorcerer also gives to Sub-Zero in order to engage the two rival ninjas in mortal combat. After Scorpion is killed by Sub-Zero, he appears as a specter in the Netherealm, where he attempts to kill Sub-Zero again but fails. In Mortal Kombat 4, also released in 1997, Quan Chi tricks Scorpion into believing that Sub-Zero was actually involved in the deaths of his family and clan, resulting in Scorpion allying with him. In Scorpion's ending, he emerges victorious over Sub-Zero, but Quan Chi then appears to reveal the truth about the death of Scorpion's family and clan. When Quan Chi then attempts to banish Scorpion back to the underworld, Scorpion grabs onto Quan Chi just as he is teleported, sending them both into the Netherealm. A variation of this ending was seen in Sub-Zero's conclusion, when Sub-Zero stands over a fallen Scorpion before being knocked down from behind by Quan Chi, who again reveals his scheme and claims that both ninjas were pawns for the fallen Elder God Shinnok, which results in Scorpion killing Quan Chi and finally declaring Sub-Zero free of his curse.
Scorpion's MK4 ending is carried over into Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (2002), where he relentlessly hunts down Quan Chi but is attacked by the Oni Drahmin and Moloch, whom the sorcerer had hired as protection, and who later free him from the Netherealm. In his noncanonical ending, Scorpion is killed when Drahmin and Moloch hurl him into the Soulnado, a magical tornado consisting of tormented souls trapped between Earthrealm and Outworld, but in his biography in Mortal Kombat: Deception, he is depicted as having escaped. He then meets the Elder Gods, which, coupled with his witnessing Raiden's death and the emergence of Onaga, the Dragon King, he accepts a new role as the servant of the Elder Gods and works to prevent Onaga from merging the realms.
In the Konquest mode of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (2006), Scorpion cuts a deal with the Elder Gods to serve them in exchange for the resurrection of the Shirai Ryu, along with the resurrection of his wife and son. However, the Elder Gods resurrect them as undead beings. Enraged, Scorpion seeks to destroy the Elder Gods' chance of preventing Armageddon by taking Blaze's power that was meant for Taven or Daegon, but Taven defeats him and Scorpion is later killed by Sub-Zero in the free-for-all battle among the series characters in the game's opening sequence.
In the 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot, an alternative-timeline retelling of the first three titles, Scorpion reprises his role from the first game in seeking vengeance against the elder Sub-Zero, the difference being that he serves Quan Chi from the start, unaware that Quan Chi is the mastermind behind the Lin Kuei clan's murder of his family and clan. Raiden, attempting to alter the timeline of the events of the first three tournaments in hopes of averting Armageddon, talks Scorpion into sparing Sub-Zero's life on the grounds that he would seek to revive the Shirai Ryu in exchange. Scorpion agrees, and indeed when he defeats Sub-Zero in the Netherealm, he refuses to kill him, but Quan Chi convinces Scorpion otherwise by replaying a graphic vision of the Lin Kuei's slaughter of the Shirai Ryu in addition to Scorpion's wife and child. Later in the game, the younger Sub-Zero (formerly Tundra) seeks revenge for his brother's death by facing Scorpion in Shao Kahn's arena, and Quan Chi grants the request. Scorpion immediately recognizes that this is not the original Sub-Zero, but rather his younger brother, who defeats Scorpion but is apprehended by his clan before he can finish Scorpion off, and Scorpion teleports away during the confusion. In his game ending, the Shirai Ryu appear before him as ghostly apparitions and reveal the truth. They aid him in Scorpion's killing Quan Chi for his deception. In Sub-Zero's ending, helearns the truth about his and Scorpion's families and offers Scorpion a chance to join him in his quest for vengeance, with Sub-Zero and Scorpion joining forces to form the new Deadly Alliance.
Scorpion is set to appear as a playable character in the upcoming Mortal Kombat X.
Scorpion appears in the 2008 crossover title Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, participating in the war between the two titular series. In his ending, the essence of Dark Kahn finds a host in the body of Scorpion, making him the most powerful creature in the universe.
Scorpion joined the cast of 2013's Injustice: Gods Among Us as a downloadable character. In his single-player battle ending, Scorpion, wondering how he ended up in this world, confronts Trigon, who summoned him out of anger that Scorpion had left his demon army and robbed him the glory of defeating the One-Earth High Councilor (Superman). Scorpion fights and defeats Trigon, and afterwards takes command over his demonic forces, which he plans to use to rule the world.
Scorpion has featured in four other Midway non-fighting titles: NBA Jam Tournament Edition (1995), The Grid (2000), MLB Slugfest: Loaded (2004), and Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy (2004).
Scorpion appeared in the first MK game as one of two palette swapped ninja characters along with Sub-Zero. A third, Reptile, was added in a later revision as a hidden character who used Scorpion's spear (along with Sub-Zero's freeze) as part of his offensive arsenal. While the original outfit, which was created from a modified ninja-like costume, was red for filming in the first game, a different yellow one was utilized for MKII, which in turn made the other male ninjas therein—Sub-Zero, Reptile, and hidden characters Smoke and Noob Saibot—palette swaps of Scorpion, with the latter two also using Scorpion's spear when players fought them separately in secret battles. Scorpion and the ninja characters were played by Daniel Pesina, who was replaced by John Turk for Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and the 1996 compilation Mortal Kombat Trilogy, the former which included two more swaps in Ermac and Rain.
In the post-Mortal Kombat 4 three-dimensional releases, the software technology of which allowed more detailed costuming for the characters, Scorpion's outfit was enhanced with two swords crisscrossed on his back with his kunai attached to a rope tied to his belt. He was included with Sub-Zero, Reptile and Ermac in a bundle of classic costumes from the first Mortal Kombat that was released as downloadable content for the 2011 reboot. For Injustice: Gods Among Us, he received a new costume designed by comic artist Jim Lee.
In the original Mortal Kombat's fighter-selection screen, Scorpion had regular human eyes, as his identity as a resurrected spectre was meant to be a mystery, but he was given solid yellow or white eyes for every release thereafter starting with MKII, while actors portraying Scorpion in live-action media such as the feature films and the Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series were outfitted with opaque contact lenses in order to achieve this effect.
|This section requires expansion. (June 2014)|
Scorpion's signature special move throughout his series appearances has been his spear (properly named a kunai) attached to a length of rope that he hurls at his opponents, impaling them in the chest and setting them up for a free hit as he then jerks on the rope to pull them in to close range. During this process, he yells one of two taunts to his opponent. They were voiced by MK co-creator and programmer Ed Boon in the games (up until MK2011) and both feature films, but only one of them ("Come here!") was included in the home ports of MK and MKII due to memory constraints. According to Boon, the second of the character's phrases originated because he thought "it would be funny to have him yell out 'Get over here!' when he [threw the spear]," and he was thus encouraged to get behind the studio microphone and record the taunts. In 2012, Boon included creating the spear move as well as the character itself among his personal high points of the MK franchise, adding: "I remember people sitting in my office all day just doing this uppercut [on a speared enemy] again and again, like 'Oh my God, that feels so good.' It just became the cornerstone of [the game]." Mortal Kombat co-creator John Tobias said that the phrase "Toasty!" first originated as "You're Toast!", which was a taunt bandied among the designers during MKII game-testing sessions.
In other media
In Jeff Rovin's 1995 non-canon novelization, set before the first game, Scorpion plays a minor role and his backstory deviates from the games, as he is something of a ghostly combination of a father and son instead of an individual ninja specter. The father, a former Lin Kuei member turned tolltaker named Yong Park, was killed by Sub-Zero in front of Park's family and his body dumped into a canal. Yong's spirit merges with his young son Tsui's body in order for the latter to seek revenge under the form of Scorpion, during which his costume and armor magically appear on his body. Scorpion later challenges Sub-Zero to battle in hopes of avenging his father's murder, but they do nothing more than exchange words before Sub-Zero escapes after setting off a smoke bomb. He never uses his spear aside from a previous scene in which he shoots it at a tree as a test shortly after his transformation.
With the exception of the novel, Scorpion has been portrayed in alternate Mortal Kombat media as an antagonist, and his spear was never used in any sort of graphic nature as in the games. His backstory in the Mortal Kombat series produced by Malibu Comics, he is simply a spectre consumed by revenge against Sub-Zero; a one-page flashback of their fateful battle is seen in the first issue of the 1994 "Blood & Thunder" miniseries, in which Scorpion is killed off-panel. During the "Tournament Edition" double-issue conclusion of the series, he loses a fight to Kitana, who had stopped him beforehand from killing an unconscious Sub-Zero. During the Battlewave miniseries, Outworld emperor Shao Kahn returns Scorpion to the living world using a mystical gem called the Deathstone, which also allows Kahn to resurrect an army of undead soldiers under his control. Scorpion becomes Shao Kahn's general, while his army replaces the mutants that engrossed his ranks. One of the warriors under Kahn's control was the twin-fighting monk duo Siang, who still maintained a mind of his own and wanted to escape Kahn's control; Scorpion therefore fatally stabs Siang through the heart in a mercy killing before destroying the Deathstone. In a 1995 one-shot featuring Baraka, titled "Babality," Scorpion still possesses the Deathstone and attempts to abduct an Outworld mutant baby who is under Baraka's protection, but he is thwarted by Noob Saibot before Baraka destroys the gem.
Scorpion was played by Chris Casamassa in the 1995 Mortal Kombat film. His rivalry with Sub-Zero is only mentioned in passing by Shang Tsung in the storyline, which instead had them both serving as his slaves under his command. Scorpion's spear was changed to a living snake-like creature that shot from a slit in his palm and could fly to a limited extent. It is first seen when he engages in a standoff with Johnny Cage on Shang Tsung's ship, and later during his fight in the tournament against Cage that begins in a rubber tree forest, when the spear directly follows Cage until it goes completely taut with Cage just out of reach. Scorpion fires the creature a second time, but Cage dodges it and it fatally smashes into a tree. The fight continues in Scorpion's lair until Cage finally wounds Scorpion with several discarded weapons, causing Scorpion to burst into flames as he bleeds a glowing lava-like blood before exploding entirely. Scorpion's lair was constructed inside an airplane hangar and was not included in the script nor the movie novelization, in which Cage merely knocks Scorpion out in the forest with his Shadow Kick.
In the 1995 animated prequel film Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins, Scorpion was again depicted as a henchman to Shang Tsung opposite Sub-Zero. On the sorcerer's orders, the duo fight Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, and Sonya Blade and come close to defeating them until Raiden intervenes and puts the fight to a halt. The backstory relationship of Scorpion and Sub-Zero is explored during the course of the film in a computer-animated fight sequence. He was the only character in the film who had no dialogue.
Scorpion made one appearance in the 1996 animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm in the second episode ("Sting of the Scorpion"). His rivalry with Sub-Zero is again explored, though no explicit mention is ever made of Sub-Zero killing him. He is seen in a flashback sequence being, according to Sub-Zero, banished to "the realm of lost souls" (designed to resemble the "Scorpion's Lair" stage in UMK3) for having died with dishonor, and has now returned to the land of the living as "a threat to all realms," and sends an undead army against the Earthrealm defenders. When Sub-Zero and Scorpion finally meet, Sub-Zero threatens to make Scorpion pay for the death of his clan but is defeated by a single kick to the solar plexus. Liu Kang beats Scorpion in mortal combat in Sub-Zero's stead, and Raiden returns Scorpion back to the underworld as his undead army disappears. His spear was again a green snake-like head attached to a length of gold chain, which merely binds Liu Kang instead of impaling him before Liu Kang breaks free. Scorpion was the lone ninja character in the show who never unmasked, and his voice actor was uncredited.
Scorpion briefly returned in the 1997 sequel film Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, in which he again worked for a higher power, this time Shao Kahn. Following a failed assassination attempt on Liu Kang and Kitana by Smoke and one of Kahn's extermination squads due to the unexpected interference of the younger Sub-Zero, Scorpion appears and confronts the would-be targets, but ends up dueling Sub-Zero instead. After incapacitating Sub-Zero, he successfully kidnaps Kitana and escapes with his captive through a portal. He was played by J.J. Perry, who also played Cyrax.
Casamassa reprised his role from the first film in several episodes of the 1998-99 TV series Mortal Kombat: Konquest with an origin different from that of the games. His feud with Sub-Zero was also presented in the show, with Scorpion commanding his lover, Peron, to murder Sub-Zero's sister, and Sub-Zero killing Peron in vengeful retaliation, culminating in a duel which ends in a draw due to the arrival of Kung Lao, Siro and Taja, who come to Sub-Zero's aid. Both Peron and Sub-Zero's sister were noncanonical characters created exclusively for the show.
In the 2010 live-action short film Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, directed by Kevin Tancharoen, Scorpion, addressed therein by his real name, is depicted as a voluntary prisoner being questioned by Deacon City police captain Jackson Briggs regarding an underground tournament hosted by Shang Tsung. Sonya Blade shows up late in the film with a confidential document showing that Scorpion had killed Sub-Zero's brother. Knowing that Sub-Zero will enter Shang Tsung's deadly tournament, Scorpion agrees to participate and leave no one alive. He was played by Ian Anthony Dale and appears as a normal human, though his eyes are completely white and his signature spear weapon also appears.
Dale reprises his role as Scorpion in both seasons of the Mortal Kombat: Legacy webseries. In a two-part episode in the 2011 first season, his story takes place during the years of the shogunate, where Hanzo Hasashi is the leader of the Shirai Ryu and a family man training his young son, Jubei, in combat, much to his wife's disapproval. Hanzo is later summoned to a meeting with the shogun, which turns out to be a ruse by Bi-Han (Sub-Zero) of the rival Lin Kuei clan in order to lure Hanzo away from his village and leave it open to attack, which Hanzo realizes after he finds the shogun murdered in the middle of an icy road. After subduing Sub-Zero in battle, he returns to his village to find his family slain before he himself is killed from behind by Sub-Zero. Shang Tsung appears with Sub-Zero, who reveals himself as Quan Chi. Quan Chi resurrects Scorpion as a specter and promises him revenge against Sub-Zero in exchange for his services. The dialogue of Scorpion, his family, and Sub-Zero were in Japanese with English subtitles, and the use of Scorpion's spear is faithful to the games for the first time in any alternate media in that it actually pierces Sub-Zero's chest before Scorpion reels him in for a hit, but no blood is shown.
In the 2013 second season, a flashback shows that Hanzo and Bi-Han were childhood friends but driven apart by the mutual disdain of their clans. Two decades later, the Shirai Ryu and Lin Kuei have made some effort towards reconciliation, but Hasashi, while with his wife and son, encounters Bi-Han's younger brother, Kuai Liang, who provokes a fight and is killed by Hanzo offscreen. Hanzo and Bi-Han later meet to discuss the incident, and both are shown to be honorable men committed to maintaining the ceasefire between their clans. Bi-Han swears that there will be no repercussions against the Shirai Ryu for Kuai's death, but after the events of season one, the resurrected Hanzo (now Scorpion) is convinced of Bi-Han's culpability in his family's and clan's deaths, not knowing that Bi-Han is not responsible and is instead incensed about the attack that he believes was carried out by his own Lin Kuei warriors. In the present day, Bi-Han and Scorpion fight in the Mortal Kombat tournament, during which Scorpion stabs his spear into Bi-Han's ankle. Despite Bi-Han's pleas that he was not involved in the death of his clan and family, Scorpion rips out his spine. This storyline was played out over the seventh and eighth episodes and filmed entirely in English. Dale, who has a background in kung fu, said in a 2013 interview with Nerd Reactor that the series "challenge[s] the assumptions that [Scorpion and Sub-Zero] have always been sworn enemies—we have new layers in their story and rivalries." He said that after rehearsals, "my arms and shoulders felt like they had daggers in them," while the contacts he wore were "cumbersome" and that he was "seeing through a tiny pinhole, so your peripheral vision is completely taken away."
In promotion and merchandise
Hasbro released the first action figures of Scorpion in 1994, first a 3.75" version in which his mask was blue and he was packaged with a plastic scorpion accessory, then a twelve-inch figure whose design and packaged weaponry were more in line with the games. Toy Island distributed a Scorpion figure in 1996 as part of their MK Trilogy collection, which included a pair of hookswords. Infinite Concepts put out a Scorpion figure in 1999, and Jazwares released a 4" figure from their MK2011 line in addition to a "Klassic" four-incher that same year; he was the only male ninja character in the line to not be additionally released as part of a box set. Scorpion was also one of thirteen MK2011 characters depicted on life-sized standing cardboard cutouts from Advanced Graphics, and one of twenty featured on 2.5" x 3.5" collectible magnets by Ata-Boy Wholesale in 2011. He appeared along with Kabal, Quan Chi, and Shao Kahn in a collection of 2.5" super-deformed figures released by Jazwares in 2012.
Syco Collectibles released a host of Scorpion merchandise in 2011-2012: 10" (with glow-in-the-dark eyes) and 18" polystone statues, along with two busts—a 1:2 scale with a 15" base and light-up eyes; and a smaller bust with an 11" base that featured a detachable head.
The character made a cameo appearance in a 2010 episode of the animated series The Cleveland Show, titled "Another Bad Thanksgiving," while professional wrestler Cody Rhodes dressed up as Scorpion for Halloween in 2013. Scorpion was featured along with Raiden, Ermac, Jax, and Shang Tsung in an animated Mortal Kombat parody produced by Comedy Central in 2014, where he was renamed "Iron Shogun" and whose match was delayed due to all of the other contestants in the tournament hosted by "Yao Zhang" (Shang Tsung) being no-shows. He then fatally spears a pizza deliveryman who accidentally enters the arena and is declared the tournament victor.
Scorpion is often regarded as one of the most popular and iconic characters in the Mortal Kombat franchise. He tied with Sub-Zero at the top of Game Revolution's 2006 list of top ten "old school" Mortal Kombat characters, with both noted as the most popular characters from the franchise. In 2008, UGO.com included Scorpion among the top 11 Mortal Kombat characters, noting his signature Fatality as one of their favorites in the series. In Game Informer's 2009 list of best characters in all fighting games Scorpion was third in response of his techniques. In 2011, ScrewAttack placed Scorpion at first place on their list of top Mortal Kombat "kharacters" and complimented his iconic "Get over here!" call. In UGO Networks' 2012 list of top Mortal Kombat characters, Scorpion was ranked as second only to the series' protagonist Liu Kang. Hanuman Welch of Complex placed him fifth on the 2013 list of most brutal fighters in Mortal Kombat, adding that "he's at his most deadly when he's deceived or betrayed."
Scorpion and Sub-Zero shared the fifth place on the top video game ninja list by PC World in 2009 and the fourth place on the top playable game ninja list by WatchMojo.com in 2013; a 2011 GamesRadar article discussed their evolution across the Mortal Kombat series, citing them as its two most popular characters. In 2008, IGN mentioned that although Scorpion was initially a palette-swapped character, he "is actually a lot more complicated than these initial appearances let on;" GamePro ranked Scorpion and other ninjas from the series third in their 2009 list of the best palette-swapped video game characters, adding that Midway Games "has turned the art of making new characters from other, different-colored characters into a science." Scorpion was ranked Scorpion as the third top ninja character in video games by Cheat Code Central in 2011, and PLAY similarly ranked him fourth on their top list in 2013.
GamesRadar included him on their 2010 list of the gaming's "most badass" scorpions, calling him "one of Mortal Kombat's most beloved characters." In 2012, Complex ranked him as the fourth "most dominant" fighting game character, while WatchMojo.com tied him with Sub-Zero for the second spot on their list of the most iconic fighting game characters. That same year, Lucas Sullivan of GamesRadar ranked him as the seventh best fighting game character in the genre's history, stating, "Scorpion has some tough competition in the MK franchise, but none come close to the sheer coolness of his 'undead antagonist' factor. Despite the fact that he started out as a mere palette swap, Scorpion’s appeal made him a frontrunner in every major MK game to date." Complex ranked Scorpion as the 23rd "most badass" video game character of all time in 2012, as well as placing him seventh on their list of video game characters that deserve a spin-off, stating that "whether you want to admit it or not, Scorpion runs the series more than Liu Kang ever has." In 2013, he was ranked as the second most badass video game character by The Ultimate Gamer. That same year, Rich Knight and Gus Turner from Complex ranked him as the 15th best video game mascot.
In 2010, IGN listed Scorpion's fire-breathing Fatality as second best from the series due to how the player's perception of the character changes when he removes his mask. IGN also noted that the Fatality was not notably changed in following games as a result of how it connects with Scorpion calling it an "enduring classic." His 'Dimensional Dilemma" from the 2011 reboot was also included by FHM on their list of nine most brutal Fatalities in the game. In 2012, "Scorpion's Spear "was ranked by IGN as the 76th top video game weapon. Previously, the same attack had been ranked ninth on GameSpot's list of top ten fighting game special moves of all time for being the single most powerful yet balanced attack in the original game as well as for its initial shock effect value, and called "the definitive Mortal Kombat move." Scorpion's phrase "Get over here!" was also listed in PLAY's joke list of ten best chat-up lines. According to PlayStation Universe in 2011, Scorpion "has spawned one of the most iconic catchphrases in gaming history" and "remains a firm fan favorite 19 years since his debut." Readers of Dorkly voted him the series' greatest character in a 2013 poll.
Answering the question "Do you think it's possible to create new characters that can have the same impact?", Tobias said in 2012: "You can look at other franchises, like the X-Men for example, where there have been tons of new team members, but characters like Cyclops, Storm, Jean Grey, Professor X, Magneto, and Wolverine will always be the core of who they are. Can you replace them? Sure, but why? The X-Men will always have Wolverine and MK will always have Scorpion and I don't think that's a bad thing."
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