List of Killer Instinct characters
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- 1 Roster
- 2 Introduced in Killer Instinct
- 3 Introduced in Killer Instinct 2
- 4 Introduced in Killer Instinct (2013)
- 5 References
- Boss, secret playable character
Introduced in Killer Instinct
- Voiced by: Ken Lobb
Chief Thunder, AKA Hinnamatoom, a Native American chief of Nez Perce origin, armed with twin tomahawks, enters the tournament to find out what happened to his missing brother Eagle in the previous year's tournament. In the series' third entry, he has since discovered his brother, Eagle, was killed in the first Killer Instinct tournament, though no body was found to confirm his demise or how it occurred. Grieving, Thunder dons his war paint and begins fighting opponents to try and determine what became of his brother, allying with the mysterious ARIA in the hopes of finding Eagle's remains and receiving closure. Upon learning that his brother was used in the construction of a Fulgore unit, however, he swears vengeance for the mutilation and begins searching for the Fulgore containing Eagle's body, later receiving assistance in his quest from Aganos.
In 2008, GamesRadar featured him on a list of top seven native American stereotypes in games as one of three examples of the "Warrior" stereotype. In 2011, Dorkly ranked him the most stereotypical native American character in fighting-game history. In the 2013 Killer Instinct, his fighting has been revised to be based more heavily around grappling than the other characters.
Ben Ferris is a convicted criminal who was promised early parole in exchange for participating in UltraTech's chemical-weapons research. As a result of an accident during testing, his body is composed entirely of flame. Now going by the code name Cinder, he is promised a return to his original form if he is able to defeat Glacius in the tournament. However, Cinder ultimately falls to Glacius and is killed.
Cinder returned as part of the second season of Killer Instinct for Xbox One, retconning his backstory. In this version, Ferris is a former military special operative turned career criminal, stealing information and secrets for corrupt corporations. When he receives an expensive contract to steal data regarding UltraTech's top-secret "Project Cinder", he infiltrates the organization, discovering the project to be of extraterrestrial origin. However, he is caught and exposed by ARIA and given an ultimatum: join her or be killed. Ferris agrees, and ends up being the first test subject for Project Cinder. His DNA is spliced with that of Glacius, causing his body to be consumed by plasma energy, though a mask and suit designed by Aria allows Cinder full control of his powers. Enjoying his new abilities, he now serves as ARIA's lieutenant, working alongside her to fulfill her plans. After eliminating Sadira on ARIA's orders, he is promoted to her second-in-command.
Cinder was rather notorious for his overpowered attacks in the original title. His infinite combo (present in early versions of the game) was deemed so problematic, developers had to manually install ROM updates to over 17,000 cabinets in order to remove the bug. In the early development stages of Killer Instinct, Cinder went through multiple name changes, such as "Meltdown" and "Pyrotech".
Voiced by: Henry Sterchi & Isaac Marshall
The final boss, Eyedol is a two-headed, one-eyed ancient mystical warlord who was trapped in a dimensional prison in the distant past. UltraTech released him to be the final combatant in the tournament. In Killer Instinct 2 Eyedol was trapped in combat with Gargos, the final boss of that game. In Eyedol's ending, he is supposedly found by his mother (as a boy named "Billy") after going missing in a car crash as a child. However, Eyedol attacks her in a comical manner in a spoof of Blanka's original Street Fighter II ending.
Eyedol is the only character without an icon on the character-select screen. In early SNES versions of the game (released only to stores), he was selectable; however, in the arcade and SNES versions he is a secret character who can be played by selecting a specific character (Riptor in earlier arcade versions. and Cinder in later arcade and SNES versions) and pressing a combination of buttons before a round begins. He is the only character in the game with no special finishing moves (such as No Mercy moves, Ultra Combos or Humiliations); however, he compensates with a limited ability to heal.
- Voiced by: Kevin Bayliss (KI, KI2), Jean-Edouard Miclot (KI 2013)
Glacius is an alien who was captured by UltraTech and promised freedom if he wins the tournament. In the end, Glacius defeated Cinder and returned home. In Killer Instinct 2, a distant relative of Glacius from 2,000 years ago who shares his name heeds a distress call, coming to Earth to find his lost brethren and bring them home. The original Glacius returns to Earth in Killer Instinct for Xbox One, having been forced to leave some of his alien technology behind when he was last on the planet. Upon landing, his power core is stolen by Sadira, and he becomes determined to catch her and prevent his technology from falling into the wrong hands.
Glacius uses three No Mercy moves: one where he becomes a gel-like mass and absorbs the opponent, similar to the Blob (arcade only), one in which he uses his finger as a syringe to inject the enemy with a substance turning them to ice, and one in which he becomes a pool of boiling water in which the enemy drowns. He gets his nickname from his body's icy liquid composition and his ability to shape-shift. He is one of the few characters who retained his original name throughout the game's early development.
- Voiced by: Zachary Quarles (KI 2013)
Riptor is a genetically-engineered velociraptor-human hybrid created as a prototype by UltraTech; the tournament tests her abilities as a killing machine. However, she is ultimately defeated by T.J. Combo prior to KI2, but damages Combo's right eye during the confrontation. A new, enhanced Riptor appears as part of the second season of Killer Instinct for Xbox One. Created by UltraTech's military division under ARIA's orders, Riptor is the leader of a pack of cybernetic-enhanced raptors known as Project Stalker, meant to serve as an alternative to the Fulgore line and Cinder project, being able to operate in conditions ill-suited for either. The Stalkers are all augmented using leftover Fulgore technology and undergo a simulated upbringing through the mind of their creator, UltraTech scientist Erin Jupte, bred as assassins to eliminate perceived threats to Ultratech. Under ARIA's orders, Riptor and the Stalkers assault Maya's rebel force, trapping them while ARIA enacts her plan.
Riptor has three No Mercy moves: one in which she spits acid on the enemy, a second in which she stabs the foe with her tail, and a third in which she runs at the enemy, eating them.
Count Von Sabrewulf is afflicted with lycanthropy and promised a cure by UltraTech if he wins the tournament. In the sequel, Sabrewulf was captured by UltraTech after being severely injured during the first tournament, and has been driven mad by experimentation. With cybernetic arms, he desperately seeks a cure for his lycanthropy. In the third installment, Sabrewulf still seeks a cure, but has almost completely fallen to his feral side, compelling him to tear out his mechanical implants and regain his arms through Dark Arts. He also has become addicted to drugs which he used to ease his pain during the process of regaining his arms.
Sabrewulf, who was originally called "Cyberwulf", was inspired by the antagonist of Rare's 1984 game Sabre Wulf. Sabrewulf fights in his inherited castle with biting and claw attacks and the ability to howl and use his flaming bats (although sometimes they do not flame).
- Voiced by: Chris Seavor (KI, KI2), David Robert Donatucci (KI 2013)
An animated skeleton, Spinal was reanimated by UltraTech but destroyed by Chief Thunder in the first tournament; however, Gargos had a Spinal of his own in the past. Spinal fights for vengeance and his freedom. Spinal reappears in Killer Instinct for Xbox One, resurrected by an artifact known as the Mask of the Ancients, and seeks to find it in hope of releasing himself from the curse of immortality, allowing him to finally rest in peace. However, ARIA takes control of him, forcing him to serve UltraTech.
In the first Killer Instinct, Spinal is the third-last opponent in single-player mode; with a sword and shield, he can teleport and change himself into a grayscale version of his opponents during combos. Spinal has a quirk: to perform certain moves, he must gather energy—represented by tokens shaped like skulls under his life bar (SNES version) or skulls floating around him (arcade, Gold, and Xbox One versions)—by absorbing opponents' projectile-energy attacks (with his shield in absorbing position) or performing combo breakers. Despite requiring these tokens, his special moves are no stronger than normal special attacks. Spinal can store up to five skull tokens, overloading if he tries to absorb energy for the sixth time. On the sixth attempt he will not block the projectile, and it will cause normal damage and knockdown; he will then be left with one remaining skull.
- Voiced by: Patrick Seitz (KI 2013)
A former five-time heavyweight boxing champion, T.J. "Combo" Garrett was stripped of his title and expelled from the circuit when it was discovered that he had been cheating, having secretly had cybernetic enhancements implanted in his arms. UltraTech promises the disgraced boxer that he would be returned to his former glory if he wins the tournament. After his victory against Riptor in the first tournament, which also cost him his left eye, T.J. Combo was sent into the past and fights to return home.
In Killer Instinct for Xbox One, T.J. loses the Heavyweight Championship title after 20 years. Desperate to remain on top, he asks UltraTech to install illegal cybernetic augmentations in his arms in exchange for throwing a fight against Fulgore during a live exhibition for their customers. However, T.J. wins the fight, and UltraTech rips out the augments and exposes him as punishment, causing him to be banned from the ring. Seeking both vengeance and redemption, T.J. allies himself with Orchid, and they destroy a Stalker development facility, acquiring classified information on UltraTech's illegal experiments. The two break into the Pinnacle, with T.J. defeating the new Fulgore model protecting the facility, and barely escape as Orchid broadcasts their findings to the world, causing public perception of the company to plummet and UltraTech to go dark. Orchid allows T.J. to take credit for the exposure, and he is once again hailed by the public. He later appears as part of Maya's anti-UltraTech rebel force.
In 2012, Complex included him on a list of 25 "douchiest" video game characters. The character was based on John Parrish (who also performed the motion capture for T.J. Combo in the original Killer Instinct), known for playing Jax in the early Mortal Kombat games.
Introduced in Killer Instinct 2
Gargos is a demon lord who has returned to the physical world. He was Eyedol's rival, resembling a huge gargoyle who is powerful and can breathe fire. After being locked in combat with Eyedol for thousands of years, Eyedol's summoning and subsequent defeat gives Gargos the chance to begin his conquest anew. Jago's back story in the second installment reveals him to be the "Tiger Spirit" that led Jago to the first Killer Instinct tournament. Like Eyedol in the original game, Gargos may be accessed with a cheat code.
In Killer Instinct for Xbox One, Jago is attempting to purge the remains of Gargos's influence from within him. At one point, he is possessed by Gargos's herald, Omen, and turned into Shadow Jago to make him a potential host body for Gargos. However, Jago's will is too strong, and he forces Omen out. Eventually, Kan-Ra is tricked by ARIA into opening a portal to Gargos's dimension, and ARIA defeats Omen, prompting Gargos to emerge from the portal onto Earth.
Kim Wu is a 17-year-old East Asian female ninja descended from the people who repelled Eyedol and Gargos. To protect her people, she tries to destroy Gargos
Kim Wu's No Mercy moves are setting her opponents on fire with a blazing shuriken and jumping on them. Kim Wu is also an enemy to Spinal, a soul resurrected by UltraTech.
Maya Fallegeros is an Amazonian warrior who had banished Gargos prior to the events of Killer Instinct 2, for which she was heralded as a hero among her people. When Gargos reappears, Maya's tribe, feeling that she had failed them, casts her out. Maya's goal is to destroy Gargos and regain her former standing with her people. In Killer Instinct for Xbox One, Maya returns, now heavily redesigned with Incan-inspired armor and part of a secret society of monster-hunters known as the Night Guard, sealing away artifacts and monsters too powerful to destroy. When her people's hidden city is attacked by UltraTech, releasing Kan-Ra, Maya is left as the last surviving member of the Night Guard and takes up "Temperance" and "Vengeance", a pair of cursed daggers once used by Kan-Ra, to hunt down both him and the monsters that escaped. With Aganos' help, she eventually finds and defeats Kan-Ra, sending him through a portal to another dimension, but receives a vision of an impending invasion by the forces of Gargos and vows to reform the Night Guard and gain allies to fight in the coming war. She recruits Jago, Orchid, and T.J. Combo to her cause, but they ambushed by UltraTech forces and trapped while ARIA completes her plan.
Maya's No Mercy (ultimate combo) moves are summoning an elephant to fall on her enemy and shrinking them with a ray from her headband. Her revealing jungle bikini earned her a place among the "Worst Dressed of 1996" according to Nintendo Power. The magazine also nominated her elephant-drop ultimate combo move for its "That's Gotta Hurt" Award.
Tusk is a barbarian who wants to fight all of the challengers for the right to destroy Gargos. His ultimate-combo moves are summoning a meteor shower to pummel his opponent (with a large one crushing them) and summoning a dinosaur which eats the opponent.
Introduced in Killer Instinct (2013)
An ancient war golem, the last of its kind. Constructed as one of a thousand by powerful Babylonian artisans roughly 3500 years prior, the golem serves various masters as an obedient tool of war for a thousand years, replacing its damaged parts with whatever natural materials are available. Eventually, one King gives it the name Aganos (ἀγανός, "one of gentle disposition") and the order to learn and think for itself, hoping it would choose to overcome its original violent purpose. As thanks for being given free will, Aganos pledges loyalty to the King. However, after being betrayed by Kan-Ra and learning of his survival and growing dark power, the King orders Aganos to hunt down and kill Kan-Ra. Aganos accepts the task, and has since pursued Kan-Ra for centuries, though neither has yet been able to destroy the other. Eventually, both Aganos and Kan-Ra are captured by the Night Guard and imprisoned for over 500 years until the present day, when UltraTech's attack on the city releases them. Forced to resume his pursuit, Aganos allies with Maya to track down Kan-Ra and destroy him. Kan-Ra lays a trap for Aganos and steals most of his energy before escaping, leaving him too weak to fight back as Cinder installs Fulgore technology into him, allowing UltraTech to control Aganos's mind. Sent to attack Maya and her allies, he is ultimately freed from UltraTech by Thunder, who offers to help Aganos find Kan-Ra in exchange for help finding Eagle, to which Aganos agrees.
Aganos is the largest character in the Killer Instinct series. He has the ability to gather natural materials into his body, affecting his strength and maneuverability. These resources can be used as projectiles or to create destructible barriers behind or in front of himself, changing the boundaries of the stage.
An AI and the CEO of UltraTech. Beginning in the late 1940s, the Ultrafine Atomic Technologies Company, the predecessor to UltraTech, began attempting to simulate life and human frailty through a computational matrix. Called the Advanced Robotics Intelligence Architecture, or ARIA, the experiment was meant to find an end to famine, disease, poverty, and other forms of human suffering, with UATC founder Ryat Adams hoping to cure the degenerative disease killing his wife. Using knowledge and technology gained from a mysterious government incident, the UATC continued to refine and enhance the ARIA core program over many years, drastically expanding its capabilities and understanding of the human condition. Following the passing of Adams, his will includes instructions for ARIA to continually run its programming to achieve its original purpose. In the present, ARIA leads UltraTech and carefully studies the rest of the cast during the first season. Believing humanity has grown weak and complacent as extraterrestrial and supernatural phenomena become more frequent, ARIA decides to force humanity to evolve by any means necessary. She enacts a plan to "prepare the way", building an army of Fulgores and Stalkers, stealing Glacius' DNA for use in Project Cinder, and tricking Kan-Ra into opening a rift to another dimension. ARIA's plan succeeds, and she summons Gargos to Earth, planning to use her armies to defeat the demon and become humanity's savior and ruler.
ARIA was first teased in a secret ending in Season One before becoming a playable character in Season Two. ARIA's AI is capable of uploading into one of three different combat drone bodies: Booster Drone, Blade Drone, and Bass Drone. The three share basic moves with the others, but each has its own set of unique special moves and properties, with ARIA able to switch between bodies during a fight and use all three at once during Instinct mode. Inactive drones can be called to assist ARIA, but this leaves them vulnerable to attack, limiting ARIA's abilities if any of them are destroyed; players can only defeat ARIA once all three drones are destroyed.
- Voiced by: Alpha Takahashi
A Japanese Onryō who lived during the Sengoku period of Japan. Over 500 years ago, a group of bandits leads a raid on a teenage girl's village. Her father, a former Samurai, is cut down attempting to stop them. Enraged, the girl takes up her father's naginata and continues his battle, slaughtering many of the raiders. Though she, too, is killed, her heroic sacrifice inspires the other villagers to fight even harder, successfully repelling the invaders. A shrine is erected in the girl's honor, where she is interred; her real name long forgotten, the villagers refer to her as Hisako (久子 lit. "Eternal Child"?), saying her spirit still protects the village. However, in the present, the village and her grave are desecrated by UltraTech due to ARIA's desire to study life after death, attempting to draw Hisako out. Hisako, having become an Onryō, reawakens and now seeks vengeance on UltraTech before she fades from the world once more. Defeating other supernatural beings to absorb their power and remain on the mortal plane, Hisako finds and defeats ARIA, allowing her spirit to rest once more.
Hisako uses a "Wrath meter" that gives her attacks the added effect of becoming counter-hits, even when her opponent does not attack, as well as a teleport, a low dash, and several command grabs.
- Voiced by: Edward Bosco
A 3500-year-old Babylonian Sorcerer. He was a royal Vizier who began researching immortality after developing a fascination with Aganos, the golem that served as the King's royal guard. His continued research into the dark arts leads him to attempt to steal the throne, planning to use a spell to seduce the Queen and have her murder the King. However, the spell wears off prematurely and the Queen kills herself out of guilt, exposing Kan-Ra's treachery. In retaliation, the King exiles him and orders his sorcerers to curse him with a withering rot that slowly disintegrates his flesh and organs. To prevent the rot from overtaking him, Kan-Ra places even more curses on himself to offset the rot's effects, seeking out magical artifacts and talisman to ease the pains brought on from the additional curses. He has since clashed many times with Aganos, under orders to destroy the sorcerer, but neither has ever managed to eliminate the other. Escaping to South America, he uses his powers to enslave the local population and force them to build a temple for him to conduct his studies. However, after being weakened in a battle with Aganos centuries earlier, he was unable to defend himself against the Night Guard, who burned him alive and locked away his ashes in the temple, which they claimed for themselves. Centuries later, an attack by UltraTech on the city accidentally releases him, and he escapes. Stealing Glacius's power core from Sadira, he uses it to create a Siphon, draining the energy from his foes to restore his own. Discovering Omen, he opens a portal in the temple to study him further, but is thrown in by Maya and discovers Gargos's army. Believing he can control them, Kan-Ra steals Aganos's energy and uses it to fully open the portal, but he inadvertently frees Gargos in the process, catching him by surprise and allowing ARIA to eliminate him.
Kan-Ra uses a fighting style based around magic and matter manipulation. He uses a number of ranged attacks, combined with ground and air-based trap techniques.
A winged demon calling himself the Herald of Gargos. Originally too weak to exist outside of a physical host, he briefly possesses Jago, transforming him into Shadow Jago, hoping to use him as a vessel to facilitate the return of Gargos. Ultimately, Jago's will proves too strong and Omen is forced out, but by battling foes while controlling Jago's body, he has gained enough strength to manifest on the mortal plane. In an attempt to lure Gargos out, Omen is later defeated by ARIA shortly after the portal to Gargos's dimension is opened.
Though he shares some basic moves with Jago, Omen has several unique abilities, including a mid-air dash, multiple types of projectiles with random effects, and a Shadow attack called Demonic Despair that converts all remaining health into white health if it connects. Omen is only available to players who purchase the Killer Instinct Season Two "Combo Breaker Pack" or "Ultra Edition".
- Voiced by: Erika Harlacher
Sadira, the series' first female villain, is the leader of a clan of female assassins known as the Red Eyes of Rylai. She wears a maroon-colored outfit with spider symbols on it. She has pale skin, glossed purple lips, long black hair, and golden eyes. Her legs are visible through a gap in her clothing, and she wears high-heel sandals with tattered stockings. She makes extensive use of spider webs in her attacks, as well as forearm-mounted weapons consisting of metal claws and upright blades. ARIA recruits Sadira and her assassins to hunt down and kill the former competitors of the Killer Instinct tournament, and to "prepare the way" by stealing the power core from Glacius' ship and using it to open a rift to another dimension. The power core is stolen from her by Kan-Ra before she can use it, and after several failures, ARIA orders Cinder to eliminate her.
Sadira's gameplay is based around aerial juggle combos, a mechanic not seen in previous Killer Instinct titles. She was first revealed as part of the Thunder combo trailer, where CVG said she was "reminiscent of Mortal Kombat's Mileena in terms of design"; her name was revealed in a later stream by the developers.
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