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Mortal Kombat character
Kenshi MK2011.png
First game Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (2002)
Created by Ed Boon
Designed by Allen Ditzig (MK:DA)[1]
Atomhawk Design (MK2011)
Lisa Tomczeszyn (Legacy)
Voiced by Robert Keting (MK:DA)
Portrayed by Dan Southworth (Legacy)
Fictional profile
Origin Earthrealm
Fighting styles Tai Chi
San Shou

Kenshi is a video game character from the Mortal Kombat series, first appearing in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. Kenshi is a rogue swordsman of Eurasian heritage. He is a blind, gruff man who has mastered the arts of Tai Chi, San Shou and Judo. Kenshi also possesses psychokinesis, able to throw opponents off-balance or across the room when necessary. He nurses a bitter hatred for the sorcerer Shang Tsung, whose trickery had blinded him. He is currently allied with Sonya Blade and Jax Briggs, and has also found a friend in Sub-Zero as well as Ermac.

Kenshi appears in the 2011 Mortal Kombat game as downloadable content, making him the one of the two post-Mortal Kombat 3 returning characters in the game to be playable, the other being Quan Chi.


In video games[edit]

As a born fighter, Kenshi wandered Earthrealm in search of worthy competition. He would find an opponent and defeat them just to boost his pride. One day Kenshi encountered a man named Song, who convinced Kenshi that a great warrior needed a great sword; Song then led Kenshi to the location of an ancient, powerful sword Song claimed would befit Kenshi's power. As Kenshi unsealed the well wherein the sword supposedly lay, he was overwhelmed by souls trapped within and permanently blinded. Song revealed himself to be Shang Tsung and proceeded to absorb the released souls and left Kenshi to die within the tomb. However, the sword, which actually did exist, attracted Kenshi and spoke to him, leading him from the tomb and revealing its origin. The sword originally belonged to a long line of great swordsmen from whom Kenshi descended; the well where the sword lay was also the sacred resting place of the souls of Kenshi's ancestors, souls that were stolen by Shang Tsung. Kenshi spent the next decade or so retraining his senses, all while searching for his betrayer and the defiler of his ancestry.

Kenshi's special abilities eventually caught the attention of Jax and Sonya who were looking for members with special talents to join their side and venture into Outworld; Kenshi jumped at the chance to pursue the man who had deceived him. After going through many tests and examinations, he was accepted to join the Outer World Investigation Agency. His chance at enacting his revenge came when he was assigned to find the lost Cyrax, another agent of the Special Forces, in Outworld. In his travels across Outworld, Kenshi encountered the enigmatic Ermac, and, in a moment of pity, broke the mind control that Shao Kahn had over him. In gratitude, Ermac awakened Kenshi's latent telekinetic power, and taught him not only how to use it effectively in combat, but how to 'sense' the presence of people and objects around him. Kenshi soon discovered the Deadly Alliance and their plans, but was unable to contact the OWIA (which had been bombed by Hsu Hao). Unknown to Kenshi, the Deadly Alliance knew of his presence and sent Mavado to eliminate him. Mavado confronted Kenshi, defeated the swordsman, and left him to die.

Sub-Zero found the dying Kenshi and nursed him back to health. Because of Sub-Zero's sympathy and kindness, Kenshi forged a temporary alliance with Sub-Zero to find a portal that would take them back home, though this temporary alliance soon became a long-lasting friendship. After Shang Tsung's death upon Onaga's return, Kenshi sensed the souls of his ancestors return to his sword, indicating the end of his quest for vengeance. Despite being an ally of both, he relinquished his position in the Special Forces and chose to remain unaligned from Sub-Zero's Lin Kuei clan, preferring to be a lone warrior. Kenshi then returned to Earthrealm where, under the guidance of his ancestors' sword, he would hunt down the corrupt. Attacking only during the night, using the darkness as a cover to strike unseen, Kenshi was able to overthrow several criminal organizations.

He eventually intercepts a coded message sent to Mavado and learns of the Red Dragon's plans to capture the Edenian half-god Taven. Before he could find out the location of their secret base, Kenshi encounters Johnny Cage who is gathering warriors to fight for the Forces of Light against Shinnok. However, Kenshi declines this offer, considering this another pointless struggle between good and evil. While embarking on his mission to destroy the Red Dragon and exact revenge on Mavado, he receives a psychic premonition, becoming fully aware of Taven and Daegon's quest to defeat the fire elemental Blaze. His sword also urges him to side with the forces of good in the forthcoming conflict. Taking heed of this insight, Kenshi decides that he will be the one to lead the Forces of Light into battle.[2][dead link]

In the 2011 Mortal Kombat game, Kenshi travels the world to seek for opponents. When an elderly man named Song offers to show him the location of Sento, an ancient sword, Kenshi succumbed to pride. He follows Song to the Well of Souls. Spirits of ancient warriors spew out when Kenshi gets the sword, blinding him. Song reveals himself to be Shang Tsung and leaves Kenshi to die. But Sento called to Kenshi and leads him to warrior that have been buried and happens to be his ancestors. Kenshi vows to defeat Shang Tsung and free the souls of his ancestors.[3]


Kenshi is a mid-range attacker.[4] Like Ermac, Kenshi's special moves involve telekinesis, the difference being that he also integrates a physical weapon—his sword—into his arsenal. He uses a combination of his powers and sword as part of some of his special moves and both of his Fatalities in MK 2011, whereas in Deadly Alliance, Deception and Armageddon, he only uses the sword as part of his combos. He uses fighting styles such as Tai Chi, San Shou and Judo.

In other media[edit]

Kenshi appears in the second season of Mortal Kombat: Legacy, portrayed by Dan Southworth.


GamePlayBook listed Kenshi as the tenth best Mortal Kombat character, commenting "we gotta admit that Kenshi is a pretty awesome fighter in his own right", praising his attacks and fatalities.[5] ScrewAttack ranked Kenshi at seventh on their "Top 10 Mortal Kombat Kharacters" list, where they stated that Kenshi is one of a few newer MK characters that they like and adds "You would only think a blind guy slashing a sword everywhere would be a recipe for disaster", concluding that he's "handycapable" rather than handicapped.[6] However, ScrewAttack also ranked Kenshi's Fatality from Deadly Alliance as seventh worst in Mortal Kombat, citing that it just goes on and on and that it's not enjoyable.[7] staff writer Mike Haseloff included Kenshi in a list of characters he would have liked to see as DLC in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, adding "with the right investment in the MK vs. DC engine, even a blind swordsman has a chance to feel new again".[8] In UGO Networks' 2012 list of the "Top 50 Mortal Kombat Characters", Kenshi placed at 29th.[9] That same year, Complex listed him as the most underrated Mortal Kombat character, citing his telekinesis and katana.[10]

Kenshi's inclusion in the 2011 MK game as DLC has been received positive. Fearnet did a whole review dedicated to the Kenshi DLC for that game. They state that Kenshi's telekinetic powers make him a lot of fun to use and cites that "His ethereal stretches give him a Noob Saibot rivaling reach". They conclude by saying his DLC inclusing "adds an exciting new wrinkle to their already fantastic game" and recommends him for download.[11] In IGN's article regarding the Kenshi DLC, they state "he isn't just a badass because he's a blind swordsman; Kenshi also has telekinetic powers" and that his X-Ray attack and Fatalities are "all a blast to watch". They conclude by saying he's one of the most interesting characters in the game.[12] Game Informer listed Kenshi and Skarlet in their "DLC To Help You Through The Summer Drought" list, stating "Even with its robust selection of fighters at launch, we're excited to see what new surprises come with DLC characters".[13]


  1. ^ Kenshi concept art - Retrieved November 27, 2013.
  2. ^ Kenshi's Armageddon bio. Official Mortal Kombat Armageddon website. Retrieved on 2007-01-23.
  3. ^ "Mortal Kombat: Kenshi". Mortal Kombat Warehouse. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  4. ^ "Mortal Kombat: Armageddon Guide & Walkthrough - PlayStation 2 (PS2) - IGN". 2006-10-27. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  5. ^ "The Best Mortal Kombat Characters of All Time - GamePlayBook". Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  6. ^ "Top 10 Mortal Kombat Kharacters". Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  7. ^ "Top 10 Worst Mortal Kombat Fatalities". Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  8. ^ "MK vs DLC: The Characters That Got Away!". 2009-07-09. Retrieved 2012-01-04. 
  9. ^ By UGO Team February 28, 2012 Follow   (2012-02-28). "Top 50 Mortal Kombat Characters - Mortal Kombat". Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  10. ^ "4. Cyrax — The 25 Coolest Robots in Video Games". Complex. 2012-07-13. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  11. ^ "DLC Review: Kenshi for 'Mortal Kombat'". FEARnet. 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  12. ^ Ryan Clements. "Mortal Kombat: Kenshi Kicking Ass - PlayStation 3 Preview at IGN". Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  13. ^ Icarus, Man (2011-07-07). "DLC To Help You Through The Summer Drought - Features". Retrieved 2012-01-02.