|Mortal Kombat character|
Cassie Cage in Mortal Kombat X (2015)
|First game||Mortal Kombat X (2015)|
|Voiced by||Ashly Burch (MKX)|
|Motion capture||Brenda Barrie (MKX)|
|Origin||United States (Earthrealm)|
|Weapon||Nightstick, handgun (MKX)|
Cassie Cage is a fictional character in the fighting game series Mortal Kombat. She debuted in Mortal Kombat X (2015) as the headstrong daughter of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade. In her role as a sergeant in the United States Army Special Forces, she leads a new generation of combatants in the ongoing fight to protect Earthrealm from Shinnok and his forces.
Cassie is featured as one of the main protagonists in the game's story mode and in DC Comics' 2015 prequel comic series. The character has had a mainly positive critical reception for her personality, gender representation, and her Fatality finishing moves.
In video games
After the defeat of evil Outworld emperor Shao Kahn at the end of the 2011 series reboot, Johnny Cage and his wife Sonya Blade see the birth of their daughter, Cassandra Carlton Cage—shortened to "Cassie"—but they later divorce. Following in her mother's footsteps, Cassie joins the Special Forces that uses military training and technology to protect Earthrealm from its enemies. Under Raiden's orders, Cassie leads a task force assembled by her father and composed of a new generation of combatants—Jacqui Briggs, Takeda, and Kung Jin. Sonya does not give Cassie preferential treatment. The team gain experience as they attempt a sneak attack on Sub-Zero's Lin Kuei temple but are defeated; the attack is revealed as a training exercise set up by Johnny Cage. Sub-Zero tells Cassie and her unit they will fail unless they work together as a team.
Sonya sends the team to the realm Outworld to locate Mileena, who has Shinnok's amulet. Cassie encounters the realm's new ruler Kotal Kahn, who grudgingly allies with her unit to locate the amulet. The team recovers the amulet, but Kahn has them captured because he is distrusts them and intends to use them to lure Raiden to Earthrealm. When the unit return to Earthrealm, Cassie's father is missing; a wounded Sonya informs Cassie he was abducted by Shinnok and taken to Raiden's Sky Temple, where Shinnok has corrupted the Jinsei, the source of Earthrealm's life force. Johnny is held captive by D'Vorah, who tortures him with her flesh-eating parasites. Kung Jin is knocked out as he and Cassie fight D'Vorah, and Jacqui and Takeda are wounded and incapacitated by Kitana, leaving Cassie as the remaining member of her squad to face Shinnok. Cassie discovers she has inherited Johnny's ancient power, which increases her strength and enables her to defeat Shinnok, free Raiden, and enables him to restore the Jinsei. At the conclusion, Sonya, Johnny and Cassie happily reunite. In a noncanonical arcade ending, Cassie is assigned to hunt a "soul stealer", who is believed to be the resurrected Shang Tsung; she tracks down the soul-stealer, an elderly man who identifies himself as Shujinko after she beats him to near-death.
In Mortal Kombat X, Cassie was voiced by Ashly Burch; the character's official biography describes her "as strong-willed–and occasionally hotheaded as her mother; and as quick-witted as her beloved dad". An early sketch by concept artist Justin Murray showed Cassie as a "robotix [sic] engineer" with spiked, pink hair and a massive, hand-operated, mechanical arm. Another concept depicted her as a muscular MMA-style brawler with long, pink hair and wearing a customized leather sports bra and panties, tall, black boots and fighting gloves with a personalized logo of her initials framed in a star. Her design for the game consists of her short, blonde hair, aviator sunglasses, and a full Special Forces tactical suit; the design was finalized by artist Marco Nelor, who considered Cassie among his favorite designs.
According to Kickboxer and mixed-martial artist Felice Herrig, physical and visual similarities between herself and Cassie Cage are not coincidental. Cassie's in-game mannerisms include the blowing of bubble gum and the taking of selfies; the latter for which Herrig is well-known. Herrig first mentioned possible similarities in a January 2015 post to her Instagram account, and in April 2015, following the release of Mortal Kombat X, she said in an interview with Fox Sports, "Cassie Cage is 100-percent me", and added, "Who doesn't want to be a bad ass in a video game? It's definitely cool and if they would have came to me and said 'hey can we use your image and your likeness in a video game as Cassie Cage?' I would be more excited."
Cassie's fighting style is similar to that of her parents; she can fight with her hands in close combat and use her pistols from long range like Stryker. Cassie adopts her father's attitude and her mother's combat styles. She is playable in the game's twelfth and final chapter, in which she fights Sindel, Kitana, and D'Vorah before battling and defeating Corrupted Shinnok.
Like the game's other selectable characters, Cassie's special moves and attacks are split into three gameplay variations; "Hollywood", "Spec Ops", and "Brawler". In the "Hollywood" variation, Cassie—like Johnny Cage—wears sunglasses during battle, adopts his groin-punch move, and uses her handguns on the ground and in mid-air. "Spec Ops" features a military-style offensive similar to that of Sonya; it features attacks such as air strikes with missiles and lasers, which she calls in through an earpiece. In "Brawler", Cassie performs takedowns, tackles, and mid-air tosses.
Using her "Testi-Kill" X-ray move, she assaults her opponent's groin area, rupturing the testicles of the male characters. In Cassie's "Bubble Head" fatality she shoots her opponents in both legs to incapacitate them, then shoots them once in the forehead, removes her gum from her mouth and sticks it onto the wound, causing the gum to fill with the victim's blood before they die. In "Selfie" she knocks off her opponent's lower jaw with her nightstick then takes a selfie image with the corpse, which she then uploads to a fictitious social media site.
In other media
Cassie is a supporting character in DC Comics' Mortal Kombat X weekly prequel miniseries that is set before the in-game storyline. Her role is similar to that in the game; she aspires to establish her own identity as she follows in the footsteps of her parents. She debuts in a two-parter in the fourth and fifth chapters; she is first seen training with Jacqui when her strained relationship with Sonya is revealed. Cassie and Jacqui sneak into an underground, mixed-martial-arts arena, where Cassie is suddenly forced to fight Frost in a death-match, which Cassie wins and the Black Dragon crashes before she can kill Frost. She and Jacqui take Frost to safety before they flee the arena, during which Cassie snaps selfies to leave a traceable trail for the Special Forces.
In the ninth chapter, Cassie and Jacqui are captives of Kano and the Black Dragon but are intercepted by Mavado and the rival Red Dragon clan in an Outworld jungle. The factions fight over custody of Cassie and Jacqui before Erron Black frees them. Mavado attacks Black and tries to kill Cassie and Jacqui, but they overpower him and Cassie kills him with his hookswords. Cassie is then absent from the series until chapter eighteen, where she is imprisoned in a dungeon on Shang Tsung's island and is described by Havik as "the heir to an ancient warrior power", in reference to her father Johnny Cage's lineage.
Cassie is forced to watch Skarlet assault Jacqui. Havik tells her he is capable of acquiring this power when Cage's loved ones are close to death. In her cell, Cassie is attacked by Jacqui, who is under the influence of Havik's "Blood Code" curse. Skarlet, working with Havik, stabs Cassie in the chest with a Kamidogu dagger, inflicting a curse on her. Sonya and Cage enter Shang Tsung's island to confront Reiko and the Red Dragon; they are presented with the brainwashed Jacqui and Cassie, who tries to kill her own parents to prove her loyalty to Reiko.
The character has had a mainly positive reception. Den of Geek ranked Cassie eleventh in their 2015 rating of the series' 73 characters, describing her as "a new main hero character who is actually likable" and "everything you'd want out of a good female protagonist and it's wonderful that NetherRealm [Studios] was able to hit the potential on such a fun character design". Lucas Sullivan of GamesRadar praised the game's "depictions of strong women, particularly Sonya Blade, Cassie Cage, and Jacqui Briggs" as "some of the most grounded, believable, and most importantly relatable portrayals I've seen". Greg Knoll of Realm of Gaming said in his review of the game, "she is, without question, the new face of Mortal Kombat. She has her mother's incredible fighting ability (not to mention looks) and her father's egotistical, snarky charm. Her fatalities are the most entertaining, her voiceover work is phenomenal and ... there's just something really captivating about her."
Ikhtear Shahrukh of Bangladeshi newspaper The Daily Star commented, "Some of the newbies like Takeda and Kung Jin are a blast to play with interesting variations and sick looking combos. Others like Jacqueline Briggs and Cassie Cage … not so much; as they fit into typical generic fighter game character stereotypes instead of being Mortal Kombat material." Eurogamer described Cassie and her companions as a "quartet of daddy issue-riddled newbies", and said, "Takahashi Takeda [is] angry with his father [Kenshi] for abandoning him to a ninja clan led by Scorpion ... Takahashi's got a point. The others just need to get over themselves."
Cassie's "Selfie" fatality has gained critical praise. Steven Schneider of Tech Times wrote, "It's not the most subtle nod to our selfie-obsessed culture, but it fits in perfectly with both Cassie's character and the series' comedy as a whole". Tristan Cooper of Dorkly called the finisher "perfect", and Polygon commented, "We've become accustomed to Mortal Kombat's brand of gruesome humor over the past 20-plus years but even I had to wince at this one". Kotaku's Patricia Hernandez stated, "Yes, it's not the most brutal fatality in the game. But it is the most memorable and culturally relevant one." In their listing of the game's top 10 fatalities, CraveOnline' ranked it at #2. Den of Geek commented, "Usually something like that would come off as too corny and forced, but they go so over-the-top with it, to the point of showing a Facebook knockoff page with scrolling comments from other kombatants, that it's one of the true highlights of the new game."
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