List of Mortal Kombat characters
This is a list of playable characters from the Mortal Kombat fighting game series and the games in which they appear. The series takes place in a fictional universe composed of six realms, which were created by the Elder Gods. The Elder Gods created a fighting tournament called Mortal Kombat to reduce the wars between the realms. The first Mortal Kombat game introduces a tournament in which Earthrealm can be destroyed if it loses once again.
The Earthrealm warriors manage to defeat the champion Goro and tournament host Shang Tsung, but this leads Tsung to search for other ways to destroy Earthrealm. Since then, every game features a new mortal who wishes to conquer the realms, therefore violating the rules of Mortal Kombat. By Mortal Kombat: Deception, most of the main characters had been killed by Shang Tsung and Quan Chi (neither of whom were playable in the game), but by Mortal Kombat: Armageddon all of them return.
- 1 Character overview
- 2 Original characters
- 3 Introduced in Mortal Kombat II
- 4 Introduced in Mortal Kombat 3 and updates
- 5 Introduced in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero
- 6 Introduced in Mortal Kombat 4
- 7 Introduced in Mortal Kombat: Special Forces
- 8 Introduced in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
- 9 Introduced in Mortal Kombat: Deception
- 10 Introduced in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
- 11 Exclusive to Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
- 12 Introduced in Mortal Kombat (2011)
- 13 Introduced in Mortal Kombat X
- 14 Others
- 15 Notes
- 16 References
Appearances in the fighting games in the series:
- Unlockable character
- Non-playable character
- Playable only in update
- Port-specific character
- Playable only in later iteration of game
- Downloadable character
- Cameo appearance only
- Boss character
- Sub-boss character
- In variation of another character
Introduced in Mortal Kombat II
- Voiced by: Rhasaan Orange (MK2011)
Kintaro is a tiger-striped Shokan (the same race as Goro and Sheeva) who joins Kahn's forces in order to conquer Earthrealm. He debuted in MKII as the sub-boss from the game. He challenges Liu Kang in combat during the second tournament but loses; in the 1994 MKII tie-in comic produced by Midway that took place before the second tournament, he engages in a brutal though inconclusive fight with Jax before Kung Lao intervenes. In MK: Armageddon's Konquest mode, he is seen as an illusion in the Netherrealm as part of an attempt at overthrowing Shinnok's rule, which is only a test for Taven. Kintaro plays his largest role in the 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot, in which he is described as being from the lower-class Tigrar lineage (hence his markings) of the Shokan race. He serves as an opponent for Kung Lao, Stryker, and Sub-Zero in the story mode, while he was now responsible for the maiming of Kabal and later joined Goro and Kano in holding a group of Earthrealm soldiers hostage in a bell tower. He makes an appearance as a boss character in the 2005 spinoff Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks.
The character was a stop-motion figure who was inspired by the Japanese mythological character Kintarō and initially conceived for MKII as an anthropomorphic bipedal tiger complete with a fur-lined costume, but the concept was scrapped due to the difficulty of creating such a complicated outfit. Shang Tsung's third Fatality in MKII saw him transform into Kintaro and then punch his opponent's upper torso clean off their body. Aside from a bit part in the 1995 Mortal Kombat miniseries "Battlewave" by Malibu Comics, Kintaro is the one character from the first generation of games to not feature in any type of alternate Mortal Kombat media, including the two feature films. In the 1995 CD-ROM The Ultimate Guide to Mortal Kombat, produced by Threshold Entertainment, he is noncanonically described as having been "vaporized" by Raiden after the events of MKII.
Kintaro is often compared to Goro in terms of critical reception. He was ranked 30th on UGO's 2012 list of the top fifty MK characters, though they opined that he "serves no real purpose except for being a reskinned Goro whose sole purpose is to avenge the aforementioned's death," while adding, "If Goro and Tygra from ThunderCats somehow managed to produce a child, this would be it." He ranked 34th on Dorkly's 2013 fan-voted poll that rated the series' entire character roster, and Den of Geek placed him sixteenth—one spot below Goro—in their 2015 ranking of the series' 73 characters. "[He] has virtually no story to speak of outside of the recent retcon [in MK2011] that he was the one who mutilated Kabal," but his "design, model, and animation [in MKII] were leagues better, plus he made for a better gaming experience." ScrewAttack named him among their preferred additions to the then-upcoming Mortal Kombat X in 2014. "Throughout the series Kintaro's always been left to play second fiddle to Goro ... honestly I'd rather have Kintaro." His "Reverse Rip" from the 2011 reboot was ranked ninth in Gameranx's 2012 selection of the series' ten most gruesome Fatalities, and Prima Games placed it 35th in their 2014 list of the series' top fifty Fatalities.
Introduced in Mortal Kombat 3 and updates
- Portrayed by: John Turk (MKT).
Chameleon appeared in the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and PC versions of Mortal Kombat Trilogy as a partially transparent male ninja who imitated all the palette-swapped human ninjas' special moves. The game simply referred to him as "one of Shao Kahn's deadliest warriors." In Armageddon, his backstory states that he was present at events dating to Liu Kang's victory in the first Mortal Kombat tournament, biding his time while watching events unfold, while his ending simply described him as being the true Mortal Kombat champion. There is no information to suggest that he is from the same race of Raptors as Reptile and Khameleon.
Chameleon finished at 37th in Dorkly's 2013 fan-voted poll that rated the entire Mortal Kombat roster, and was ranked 32nd—one spot ahead of Khameleon—in UGO's 2012 selection of the top fifty series characters. "They say copying is a form of flattery, so Chameleon makes our list." Complex placed him tenth in their selection of the series' ten most underrated characters in 2011. Chameleon was the only series character in Armageddon who did not receive their own Midway video biography card.
- Portrayed by: Becky Gable (MKT)
- Voiced by: Johanna Añonuevo (Armageddon)
Debuting in the Nintendo 64 version of MKT as a palette swap of Kitana, Khameleon is described as the last female of Reptile's race of Raptors, who were driven to near-extinction by Shao Kahn, who then merges their home realm of Zaterra with Outworld. Khameleon informs Reptile that Kahn is responsible for their race's extinction, but Reptile falls under Kahn's influence once again and turns against Khameleon. Having failed in her attempts to assassinate Kahn, she wanders the realms while contemplating her revenge. During the events of Armageddon (in which she is playable only in the Wii and Xbox versions), she learns of the battle royal among the combatants that would occur at the Pyramid of Argus in Edenia, and the gift of ultimate power that would be granted to the victor. Khameleon seeks to attain this power for herself in order to keep it away from Kahn while exacting revenge on him for his actions against her race.
Khameleon was one of only seventeen characters to be given an official Armageddon biography, and, according to series art director Steve Beran, was included in the game due to heavy fan demand. She placed 33rd in UGO's selection of the top fifty series characters, and 47th—ten spots below Chameleon—in Dorkly's 2013 fan-voted MK character poll.
Introduced in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero
Fujin (named after the Japanese wind god Fūjin) is the then-unnamed wind god that first appears in MK Mythologies as one of the four guardians assigned by Raiden to guard Shinnok's amulet, all of whom Sub-Zero must defeat in order to acquire it. He makes his playable debut in Mortal Kombat 4, joining Raiden in his battle against Shinnok, assisting the Earthrealm forces in raiding Shao Kahn's palace. After Shinnok's defeat, Fujin becomes the new protector of Earthrealm after Raiden becomes an Elder God. In Armageddon, where Fujin returns as a playable for the first time since 1999's Mortal Kombat Gold, he expresses his concern over what has caused Raiden's descent into madness. He and Kung Lao join forces to bring Raiden and Liu Kang under control, but if no way was found to normalize the two now-corrupted warriors, he and Kung Lao would be forced to kill them. It is additionally revealed that he has been a friend of Taven's family, and realizes their father Argus sent them on a quest. Fujin searches for Taven and his brother Daegon, hoping to prevent their progress and learn the true purpose of their quest. Fujin additionally plays a minor role in the game's Konquest mode, in which he confronts Taven outside of the Red Dragon clan's headquarters. Taven then defeated Fujin in combat, allowing him to continue his journey but feeling regret at having had to do this to a friend. In the 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot, Fujin makes a brief appearance in Kratos' noncanonical ending alongside Raiden. In a comic prequel of Mortal Kombat X, after sealing Shinnok into his own amulet, as Johnny becomes a new Earthrealm's champion and the revival of Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Jax, even though Quan Chi escaped again after the Netherrealm War, Fujin plays an important supporting role in aiding Raiden to search a missing Kamidogu dagger and as both the Thunder God's coordinator and subtitute if Raiden is off for mission or corrupted for some unknown reasons. Fujin was taken to investigate the Netherrealm, if the dagger's curse could be a source of Quan Chi, and soon find out and inform Raiden that the effect of the dagger's curse is actually within the Earthrealm. Shortly as Raiden possessed again, like what happen to him into killing Hanzo and Takeda, Fujin is attacked and living him injured, but only to be saved by Takeda, after Hazashi's apparent death at Havik's hand, decided to train the young Shirai Ryu student, then gifted him a mask resembles Scorpion's skull mouth and an armed powered by Jinsei, in honor of Hanzo and the Shirai Ryu, before Takeda depart shortly to stop Havik for good.
Fujin placed 49th on Dorkly's 2013 fan-voted poll that rated the entire MK character roster, and 40th in UGO's 2012 listing of the top fifty series characters. WhatCulture named him among the twelve veteran characters wanted for Mortal Kombat X: "Given the correct direction, Fujin could have popularity and meaning bestowed upon him." In 2014, Prima Games included Fujin among their twenty "cheapest" characters in the series, describing him as "the marquee character of Mortal Kombat 4," but it was "his wall-bouncing, anti-air, super annoying crossbow [his designated weapon that Ed Boon admittedly regretted adding into the game] that really aggravated the masses.".
Sareena is among Quan Chi's three personal assassins, along with Kia and Jataaka, who are ordered to kill Sub-Zero before he reached Quan Chi. She is described in MK Mythologies as "fractionally faster and a more accomplished fighter than her fellow assassins." After being spared by Sub-Zero, she assists him in defeating Quan Chi. After expressing her desire to escape the Netherrealm with him, she is shot in the back by Shinnok. As it is later revealed in Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition the attack destroyed her human form and that her essence was then banished as punishment for her betrayal. After years of torture, Sareena escapes the Netherrealm in her human appearance before MK: Deadly Alliance, during which she encounters the younger Sub-Zero; the brother of the one she met before. Feeling he owed her for helping his brother, Sub-Zero grants her sanctuary with the Lin Kuei back on Earthrealm. Sareena makes her playable debut in MK: Armageddon, in which she follows Sub-Zero into the Netherrealm, saving him from being killed by Noob Saibot and Smoke. After the battle, Sareena loses her human form and returns to join him, despite her resistance. In MK: Armageddon Konquest mode, Sareena, Kia and Jataaka are ordered by Quan Chi to kill Taven but fail; while Kia's and Jataaka are killed and their souls descend to the Netherrealm, Sareena is freed from Quan Chi's control. She was seen in an unplayable guest appearance in MK2011, as one of the fighters in the Pit background facing off against either Daegon or Frost.
In MKX, Sareena has been monitoring around the Netherrealm on what Quan Chi is up to behind the scene. By the time D'Vorah, Kotal Kahn's loyal enforcer is revealed to have been working for Quan Chi and Shinnok, as she now has Shinnok's amulet, Sareena aids the Special Force led by Kenshi and Jax to capture Quan Chi alive.
Sareena appeared with Kia and Jataaka in four episodes of the 1998 television series Mortal Kombat: Konquest, in which they were original characters renamed Siann, Mika, and Sora, respectively, while their role therein of serving Quan Chi was unchanged. Though Sareena was omitted from UGO's 2012 selection of the top fifty series characters, she was ranked 60th on Dorkly's 2013 fan-voted character poll, and higher (26th) on Den of Geek's rating of the series' 64 player characters, with the site deeming her "Sub-Zero's one moment of humanity snowballing into something meaningful." WhatCulture named Sareena second among the twelve returnees they felt should return for Mortal Kombat X. "Definitely a character who can weave [her] way through the fabric of being good and evil, a plot that could hold some merit if given the development to expand." Game Rant, in 2011, included Sareena in their five selections of wanted downloadable characters for a future Mortal Kombat title.
Introduced in Mortal Kombat 4
- Voiced by: Mark Meyers (MK4)
Jarek made his first chronological appearance in Mortal Kombat: Special Forces as a boss character, where he and other Black Dragon members were freed from a United States Special Forces detention facility by Kano, who had proposed to reform the Black Dragon clan but in reality, Kano merely wished to use them as pawns to slow down any Special Forces agents pursuing him in his quest to obtain an artifact called the Eye of Chitian. Debuting as a playable character in MK4, Jarek was the brutish and short-tempered second-in-command of the Black Dragon clan. In the games, he initially utilized special moves and Fatalities popularized by Kano. His storyline stated that he was the last member of the Black Dragon after Kano's apparent death, and was being pursued by Sonya Blade for "crimes against humanity." Captured, he finds himself working alongside the Earth heroes in battling Shinnok's forces. In Jarek's semicanonical MK4 ending, after Shinnok's defeat, Sonya confronts Jarek on a cliff edge and attempts to strong-arm Jarek into returning into custody of the Special Forces, but he refuses and attempts to kill Sonya, but Jax interferes and drops Jarek off the cliff. However, Jarek's Armageddon bio explains that he survives, and he believes his (faked) death would help him regain enough strength for revenge while traveling the realms searching for the ancient texts that would show him a Fatality worthy of his betrayer. Impressing Quan Chi after witnessing his new skills, he invites Jarek to join the Forces of Darkness in order to get his revenge.
Jarek copied all of Kano's special moves in MK4, as well as his "Heart Rip" and "Eye Laser" Fatalities, despite possessing no cybernetic enhancements, but he was not as well-received as his predecessor and Armageddon is the only other time he has appeared as a player character. His likeness was based on that of Midway character artist Herman Sanchez.
Jarek ranked second-to-last (65th) in a 2013 online fan-voted poll hosted by Dorkly that rated the entire Mortal Kombat character roster, and was left off UGO's 2012 list of the top fifty series characters. He has notably received negative reception for his MK4 ending, which is actually an amalgamation of his, Sonya and Jax's endings (the latter combines all three while including the noncanonical deaths of both Sonya and Jarek). Cracked included it in a 2013 feature titled "6 Video Game Endings That Are Clearly F#@%ing With Us," saying of Jarek's pleading for his life as Jax dangles him over the cliff precipice, "What follows is one of the stupidest exchanges I can remember in a video game. ... It's hard to put into words just how bad that acting is." In 2010, 4thletter.net listed the MK4 endings, exemplified with the Nintendo 64 version of Jax's ending, among the "Top Ten Ridiculous Things to Come out of Mortal Kombat," and ranked Jax's ending nineteenth in their 2013 list of the top 200 fighting game endings. "Jax easily has the best, especially since it’s an extension of Jarek’s ending, which is sort of an extension of Sonya’s ending. ... It's so beautifully shitty."
- Portrayed by: Kimball Uddin (MK4)
Kai is a former member of the secretive White Lotus Society who meets Liu Kang in the United States, while Liu Kang was recruiting and training a new generation of Shaolin warriors. During the events of Mortal Kombat 4, Liu Kang and Kai join the Earth warriors in Edenia to assist Raiden in his battle against Shinnok. He makes his only other playable appearance in Armageddon.
Ed Boon explained that the developers wanted an "African American character who was very nimble like Liu Kang," including the same fireball projectile with the difference that it was instead fired vertically. He was additionally the first series character to perform a handstand, which led into other special moves in MK4; Boon had intended for this to be Kai's main fighting style in Armageddon but time limitations prevented this.
Kai came in at 47th on UGO's 2012 list of the top 50 Mortal Kombat characters, and 61st in Dorkly's 2013 online fan-voted MK character poll. Garth Kaestner of G3AR ranked him eighth in his 2013 list of the series' worst characters due to his close resemblance to Liu Kang: "[G]ive him a slightly different moveset and an African skin tone and you have a brand new character." Robert Naytor of Hardcore Gaming 101 said, "With all his projectile moves, he's basically the black Liu Kang." Though Kai did not appear in Mortal Kombat X, WhatCulture included him in a selection of twelve veteran characters they had wanted for the game. "With a little love Kai could perhaps become an even bigger patsy for the forces of light than Liu Kang; he definitely has the potential to surpass [him] in the badass stakes if tribute is paid to his fresh slate of development."
Meat's Armageddon backstory describes him as a horrific experiment created by Shang Tsung who escapes the sorcerer's clutches before he could be completed. Prima Games' strategy guide for the game described Meat as being "a fun character who assists Shinnok," although this relationship is not mentioned in the in-game storyline.
Meat initially served as a skin created by art director Tony Goskie for each fighter in MK4. The name "Meat" was simply a designation given to the model so it could be used in the game, until Midway ultimately made him a playable Easter egg joke character. Players first learned of the character's official name after "Meat lives!" appeared on Ed Boon's website promoting MK4's third arcade revision. Strategy guides also referred to the character as "Meat," subsequently making it an official moniker. Meat appeared in Deception's Konquest mode, establishing him in the series' canonical storyline.
Meat placed second-to-last (49th) in UGO's 2012 listing of the top fifty MK characters, and 52nd in Dorkly's 2013 online fan-voted MK character poll. ScrewAttack ranked Meat fourth in its 2011 ranking of the series' ten worst characters: "Let's take a generic [character] model, strip him of his flesh, and call it a day." Ryan Aston of Topless Robot placed Meat second in his selection of eight characters "that are goofy even by Mortal Kombat standards," calling him "a gory riff" on Soulcalibur character Charade, and his storyline "a truly flimsy excuse for his existence." In 2009, Sam Ashurst of Total Film included Meat in his selection of "7 Nasty Characters" for a third Mortal Kombat film, because "Meat can’t move without spraying blood everywhere. We'd love him to turn Mortal Kombat 3 from a teen flick to a splatter movie."
- Portrayed by: Jim Helsinger (Konquest)
- Voiced by: Ed Boon (MK4); Alexander Brandon (MK:A)
Reiko is a general of the armies of Shinnok, Shao Kahn, and the Brotherhood of Shadow. In MK4, after Shinnok's forces are defeated, Reiko disappears, before reemerging to join the fight against the Earth defenders. His ending merely had him walking through a portal and disappearing, which was later enhanced to include him seating himself on Kahn's throne and wearing his helmet, which was also mentioned in Deception's Konquest mode but has since been explored no further in the series canon. In the Konquest mode for Armageddon, Taven encounters Reiko in his war room in Shao Kahn's fortress, and Reiko tries to recruit Taven into Kahn's army, but Taven refuses as his only intention is to kill Quan Chi, and he defeats Reiko in battle. Reiko's noncanonical Armageddon ending again involves him wearing Kahn's helmet, but he becomes more powerful than Kahn after defeating Blaze, "transforming him into a warlord of unprecedented savagery." In the 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot, he makes a cameo appearance in the background of the "Pit" stage, fighting either Daegon, Frost, Kenshi, or Sareena. Reiko played no part in Mortal Kombat X, but he has been a featured antagonist in the 2015 comic book series based on the game, serving as Mileena's adviser while secretly intending to use Mileena to claim Outworld's throne for his own. His backstory therein shows him as the successor to Shao Kahn's throne after the events of MK2011, a prophecy that was false after Quan Chi had used Kahn as a tool for his and Shinnok's intended rule of Earthrealm and Outworld. Reiko attempts suicide as a result before being stopped by Havik, leading to events such as the killing of Scorpion, the cursing of Jacqui Briggs and Cassie Cage, and the corruption of Shujinko and Raiden, all with the "Kamidogu" daggers, but he himself is apparently killed in battle by Kotal Kahn, Mileena and Ermac, until Havik arrived to save Reiko in bringing a possessed Raiden with him to capture Johnny, Sonya, Kotal, Ermac and Mileena. Survived and captured the five warriors who opposes him, Reiko finally fullfill his blood reign, as a new Blood God. Turns out, Havik had been using him all along, as the Blood God's power has taken away of Reiko's life and melting his body.
The name "Reiko" is actually a feminine Japanese name (as was later the case with Hotaru in Deception), and Ed Boon said that the series developers came to associate him with Shao Kahn in regards to his storyline, building on it for his Armageddon appearance. Reiko debuted in MK4 with an outfit resembling that of the palette-swapped ninjas from the two-dimensional games, in addition to salt-and-pepper sideburns with black hair, but he returned in Armageddon with a costume resembling Kahn's and both sides of his head shaved. His alternate costume therein was a duplicate of his MK4 design.
Reiko placed 42nd on UGO's 2012 list of the top 50 Mortal Kombat characters, and 45th in Dorkly's 2013 online fan-voted MK character poll. Hardcore Gaming 101 said of the character, "Reiko just likes to wear Shao Kahn's helmet a lot, and ... he has a new outfit more like Shao Kahn's and uses a hammer just like his former master does. Reiko has issues." Gavin Jasper of Den of Geek rated Reiko last (73rd) in his 2015 ranking of the series' playable characters, for what he considered the wasted potential of his storyline in regards to his connection to Shao Kahn: "Reiko is like opening the biggest gift at Christmas only to see you got a pair of used socks." WhatCulture ranked him fourteenth in their 2015 selection of the series' twenty worst characters. "Reiko is guilty for the crime of having zero individuality."
- Performed by: Lia Montelongo (MK4)
- Voiced by: Lia Montelongo (MK4), Jennifer Hale (MKX)
A native of Edenia like Kitana, Rain, and Jade, Tanya is introduced in MK4 as appearing innocent, but is regularly portrayed in the series thereafter as untrustworthy, as she elects to serve on the side of evil, even if it means betraying her comrades in the process. In MK4, she enables Shinnok and Quan Chi to invade her home realm, and attempts to lure Liu Kang into a trap in MK4 (which she accomplishes in her noncanonical ending), but it fails as Shinnok is defeated by Liu Kang and the Earthrealm defenders. With her master gone and herself wanted by her home realm for treason, Tanya flees to Outworld as a fugitive, resurfacing as an enforcer for the Deadly Alliance, who are imposing their will upon the denizens of Outworld. When the Deadly Alliance is killed, Tanya then joins Onaga, who sought to fuse the six Kamidogu into one and thus acquire incredible power, for which she brings him to Edenia. Tanya was added to Mortal Kombat X as a downloadable character, and has a small role in the game's story mode, where she and Rain aid Mileena in her attempt to reclaim the Outworld throne from usurper Kotal Kahn upon Mileena's promise to free Edenia from Outworld's merger, a deal that goes for naught when Mileena is killed by D'Vorah. Tanya's ending has her and Rain fleeing Kotal Kahn's forces in Outworld; when they are captured, she turns Rain over to Kahn in exchange for clemency, and Rain is burned at the stake.
MK co-creator Ed Boon named Tanya after his younger sister, Tania. She placed 34th on UGO's 2012 list of the top 50 MK characters, and 50th in Dorkly's 2013 online fan-voted MK character poll. Her "Triple Neckbreaker" Fatality from MK4 was ranked tenth on ScrewAttack's 2011 list of the series' ten worst finishing moves. Lea Dunlea of GameSkinny ranked Tanya fifth in her 2014 selection of the top five African American video game characters (despite Tanya being neither African nor American): "She comes off as a seductive, harmless woman who loves yellow, but she's the real 'femme fatale' of this list." Complex named Tanya seventh in their 2011 selection of the top ten underrated MK characters. "Our girl Tanya is the traitor of all traitors in the series, switching her allegiance more times than we can count." However, Den of Geek rated her 68th in their 2015 ranking of the franchise's 73 player characters, for being "a one-dimensional villain whose only quality is betrayal." Total Film named her among the seven "nasty" characters wanted for a third Mortal Kombat movie, citing her "Thighbone Stab" Fatality from Deception and suggesting she be played by Rosario Dawson. WhatCulture called Tanya "single-handedly the most devious and treacherous bitch in the history of the franchise."
Introduced in Mortal Kombat: Special Forces
- Voiced by: Fred Tatasciore (MKX)
A brown palette-swapped ninja who is one of Kano's Black Dragon cohorts and possesses the ability of geokinesis (earth manipulation), he escaped from Special Forces custody during a prison break orchestrated by Kano, to whom he was blindly loyal. Kano assigned him as his lookout and guardian of a portal leading to Outworld, but Tremor was eventually defeated by Jax.
Tremor was originally planned to be a playable in Mortal Kombat Trilogy, but was replaced with Rain. He was a "Challenge Mode"-exclusive character in the PlayStation Vita port of the 2011 reboot, and made his official playable debut as a downloadable character in Mortal Kombat X. Tremor is portrayed as an earth elemental ninja who can manipulates lava and creates an earthquake. In Mortal Kombat X, Tremor is now wearing a ninja-like attire, in addition of being given another variations based on the manipulation of crystals, metals, and boulders.
Introduced in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
Debuting as a hidden character in Deadly Alliance, and later appearing as the final boss of Armageddon, Blaze is an elemental who had been pursuing a quest when he was attacked on a bridge by an ancient sect. This group of holy men, described as still serving the dead Dragon King Onaga, captures Blaze and binds him to the task of protecting the last Great Dragon Egg. After the egg hatches, Blaze is able to resume his past mission. It is said that Blaze was created to oversee the strength of all of the fighters in the realms, but upon being freed from the egg's incubation chamber, Blaze discovers that the power and numbers of these fighters had become too great in his absence, while Taven's brother Daegon had already been revived. He then plans to bring all the fighters together in one final battle, where the actions of the two brothers would end up determining their fates and prevent Armageddon. Sensing that something evil from the Netherrealm was influencing Daegon, Blaze decides to travel there in order to find its source. In Armageddon's Konquest mode, Blaze appears confronting both Taven and Daegon. When Taven defeats Daegon, Blaze prepares to face Taven. While enslaved by Onaga's sect, the spell used on him corrupted his mission. Blaze is finally defeated by Shao Kahn, causing Armageddon. The characters' Armageddon endings had them all gaining some measure of immense power after defeating Blaze.
Blaze originated in Mortal Kombat II as a nameless, distant burning figure on a bridge deep in the background of the Pit II stage, squaring off against a character wearing green and black pants. Fans nicknamed them Torch and Hornbuckle, respectively, and both were palette swaps of Liu Kang. Since they were unable to call him "Torch" for legal reasons (risk of copyright infringement on Marvel character Human Torch), Midway officially named him "Blaze" for his official series debut in Deadly Alliance.  Blaze made a cameo appearance in Mortal Kombat X in the background of the Pit stage fighting Rain.
He placed 35th on Dorkly's 2013 fan-voted poll that ranked the entire MK character roster, and 37th on UGO's 2012 list of the top 50 Mortal Kombat characters, with the site adding, "Although [guarding the Dragon Egg] doesn't sound like the job of a badass, you'll change your mind once you see Blaze steamrolling his way towards you." Garth Kaestner of gaming site G3AR named him among the series' ten worst characters (sixth): "Blaze was essentially created based on fan feedback since his first ‘cameo’ in MKII but ... this is an example of how some things should be laid to rest before they have begun."
Bo' Rai Cho
Bo' Rai Cho is a corpulent and jovial native of Outworld who has trained many great warriors, including Liu Kang. Since he is originally from Outworld, he never enters the Mortal Kombat tournament as it would have meant competing on the behalf of Outworld and thus the brutal emperor Shao Kahn. Upon hearing that Liu Kang has been murdered by the Deadly Alliance, he takes Kung Lao under his wing. While a group of Earthrealm warriors prepares for a frontal assault on the Deadly Alliance, Bo' Rai Cho secretly enters the palace and escapes with the body of Li Mei. He regroups with the other Earthrealm warriors led by Raiden and retreats to safety rather than joining the attack. His back story is that he has trained warriors for centuries to compete in the tournaments. After many failures, success finally came when he trained Liu Kang, who defeated Shang Tsung and became champion of the Earthrealm tournament. He appears in Shang Tsung's MK2011 ending as having trained Shang Tsung for the role of Outworld's new protector against the now-corrupt god Liu Kang, and makes a brief appearance in the story mode and comic book prequel of MKX. In the story mode he is seen conversing with Raiden about Liu Kang and Kung Lao's deaths before he is nearly killed by Shinnok. Whether he survived the attack is unknown. Bo' Rai Cho was added as a playable character to Mortal Kombat X via downloadable content as part of "Kombat Pack 2".
The character's name is a play on the word "borracho" (Spanish for "drunk"), and he is indeed usually depicted as intoxicated and carrying a canister of alcohol. His fighting moves consist of drunken style fighting mixed with vulgar actions such as vomiting on the ground to make the opponent lose their footing, and propelling himself back up to his feet by flatulating, which itself is used in one of his Fatalities as well as his Hara-Kiri finisher in Deception. Character designer Herman Sanchez said that the word "broke itself up nicely into three Asian-sounding syllables," while the developers wanted a "slob" character for the series as well as the first one introduced who would be a teacher.
Bo' Rai Cho has received middling critical reception; he finished 40th in Dorkly's 2013 fan-voted MK character poll, and he placed 37th on UGO's 2012 list of the top 50 MK characters: "Having some comic relief like Bo' Rai was a breath of fresh air. Or, in his case, a belch of fresh air." Den of Geek ranked him 55th in their rating of the series' 73 characters. "He’s basically a Shaw Brothers Boogerman, and the gag wears thin after the third time you use his puke attack." Robert Naytor of Hardcore Gaming 101 unfavorably compared him to Virtua Fighter character Shun Di: "Make him a big, fat guy, take all the charm from him, and make him throw up and fart a lot, and you have Bo' Rai Cho." ScrewAttack rated him tenth in their 2011 list of the series' ten worst characters, particularly for his in-game weapon of a plain wooden staff ("a goddamn stick"). Tony Searle of WhatCulture said of the character in 2014, "He has managed to procure for himself a cult following ... but he still seems ultimately like Marmite. [He] could finally be taken seriously when he isn’t dropping farts whilst beating his opponents." Joe Pring of WhatCulture, however, ranked Bo' Rai Cho seventeenth in his selection of the series' twenty worst characters. "Hey look, it’s the fat, drunken slob that’s also a martial arts master stereotype." Complex named him one of the series' most underrated characters in 2011. Dan Ryckert of Game Informer rated his "Fart of Doom" from Deception among the series' worst Fatalities, as did James Deaux of Earth-2.net, who ranked it seventeenth out of twenty. C.J. Smillie of Game Rant rated his Hara-Kiri finisher, in which he holds in his flatulence long enough that he explodes, seventh in his 2011 list of the worst finishers. "Bo' Rai Cho's farts are supposed to be pretty lethal, but this is really pushing it." Prima Games named him one of the "cheapest" characters in the series due to his vomit-projectile move, but rated the "Fart of Doom" 42nd in their 2014 list of the series' top fifty Fatalities. Brazilian gaming portal UOL Jogos, in 2015, rated the Fatality alongside Ermac's "Headbanger" Hara-Kiri as Deception's top finishers.
Drahmin is a grotesque creature known as an Oni, a demon of the fifth plane of the Netherrealm. He has a massive spiked club implanted in his right arm in place of a normal hand, wears a bizarre mask called the "Face of Kun-Lo," and constantly has an army of flies (which he uses as a projectile in the games) buzzing about his body. The mask allows him to control his rage and fight with his disciplined Netherrealm style, but without it, he loses his focus and attacks with murderous insanity. Centuries ago, he was a cruel human warlord in Outworld who was exiled to the Netherrealm where his body and soul were to be tortured for all eternity. He and fellow Oni Moloch become allies, and during the time of the Deadly Alliance, Shang Tsung fears treachery from Quan Chi and hires Drahmin and Moloch to protect him, promising revenge as compensation for Quan Chi having previously fled to Outworld without them after they had freed him from Scorpion's torture. Scorpion later futilely attempts to defeat Quan Chi and the Oni toss him into a Soulnado, where his body is ripped to pieces. In Armageddon's Konquest mode, Drahmin again battles Taven in the Netherrealm but loses. Shinnok reveals later that Taven was merely tested by illusions, causing uncertainty if Drahmin was really in hell. The real Drahmin is slain along with the other characters during the battle royal at the Pyramid of Argus.
Ed Boon revealed that Drahmin was one of the hardest characters to program, as he had to specifically write code that would prevent Drahmin's arm-mounted club from switching sides whenever the character turned around during gameplay. Drahmin was not included in Mortal Kombat X, but WhatCulture included him in their 2014 list of the twelve incumbent characters they had wanted for the game: "NetherRealm Studios has the means to really allow Drahmin to become a more dimensional character and not so much a thread in another character’s storyline."
Drahmin placed 56th in Dorkly's 2013 fan-voted MK character poll, and was excluded from UGO's 2012 list of the top fifty series characters. In 2013, G3AR named him among their worst series characters, citing his "hideous" appearance and lack of combo abilities. Den of Geek rated him 47th in their 2015 ranking of the 64 series characters. "Drahmin is like a collection of cool concepts that doesn’t make for much of a sum. ... His buddy Moloch does a lot more with less."
- Voiced by: Christine Rios (MK:A); Kelly Hu (MKX)
Frost was discovered by Sub-Zero, who, impressed by her skills, takes her in as his protégé, but is unable to instill in her a sense of humility. The Deadly Alliance Konquest mode reveals that she desired to become the new Lin Kuei grandmaster, and therefore freezes Sub-Zero and steals the Dragon Medallion (an artifact that served as the symbol of Lin Kuei leadership and also enhanced Sub-Zero's abilities) off his person, but without the strength and discipline required to control the object's power, she is in turn consumed by her own freezing ability. Sub-Zero buries her next to his Cryomancer ancestors in Outworld, forgiving her. Frost was not playable in Deception but was added as an exclusive character to the PSP version of the game (MK Unchained), in which she realized she was still in Outworld and believed that Sub-Zero had taken back the Dragon Medallion from her. She returned to the Lin Kuei temple in Earthrealm with the intention of killing only Sub-Zero, but slayed many of his fellow clansmen instead and became delusional to the point that she saw him everywhere. Sub-Zero froze her and placed her body in a shrine deep inside the temple, where she remained until Armageddon's Konquest mode when Taven enters the temple and releases her, but she believes that he is Sub-Zero and battles him, then runs off embarrassed and upset upon realizing her mistake. In Mortal Kombat X, she vainly attempts to ambush Scorpion as he looks to make peace with Sub-Zero on behalf of their respective clans, leading to a fight between them that ends when Frost again tries to attack Scorpion before she is frozen on the spot by Sub-Zero.
Frost was the first character designed (by Herman Sanchez) for Deadly Alliance, and the developers admitted that they had initially received fan backlash for including "a female Sub-Zero" in the game. She is one of several cameos featured in the background of the "Pit" stage in the 2011 series reboot. Frost briefly appeared in the second issue of DC Comics' Mortal Kombat X prequel comic miniseries, in which she was repackaged as a contemporary mixed martial arts fighter who loses to Cassie Cage in an illegal underground match that is interrupted by the Black Dragon. Her outfit therein consisted of simple fighting gear, while she had a more Westernized personality that sees her refer to Cassie as a "Beverly Hills brat."
She ranked 31st in Dorkly's 2013 fan-voted MK character poll, but was left off UGO's 2012 list of the top fifty series characters. Complex placed her eighth in their selection of the series' ten most underrated characters in 2011. Tony Searle of WhatCulture included Frost in a 2014 list of the top twelve series characters he wanted in Mortal Kombat X, but said that her "special moves felt limited in gameplay, moves that Sub-Zero could have easily taken back for himself." Den of Geek placed Frost 37th in their 2015 ranking of the series' 73 player characters. "With Sub-Zero’s attempt to rebuild the Lin Kuei and give it legitimacy, adding Frost to the cast was a nice touch."
Hsu Hao is a cybernetically enhanced Mongolian member of the Red Dragon clan whom Mavado orders to both infiltrate the Special Forces and aid the Red Dragons in completely destroying the rival Black Dragon clan. He carries out his instructions without question and helps the Special Forces for years until the Black Dragons are seemingly eliminated following Jarek's death. Hsu Hao then detonates a nuclear device in the Outer World Investigation Agency's underground headquarters before escaping, taking out the OIA's only means of interdimensional travel in the process. Mavado later sends Hsu Hao to kill Shang Tsung under Quan Chi's orders, but Jax intercepts Hsu Hao en route to Tsung's palace, and kills him by ripping out his cybernetic heart. He returned with the rest of the cast for Armageddon, and during the free-for-all battle among the combatants at the Pyramid of Argus, he is briefly seen battling Johnny Cage before both are knocked off the pyramid, and his ending merely has him overthrowing Shinnok and becoming the new ruler of the Netherrealm.
Hsu Hao was unofficially named "Kublai Khan" while Deadly Alliance was in development. Series art director Steve Beran described him as "the anti-Jax" who had had experiments performed on him by the Chinese army, resulting in the heart implant, while Ed Boon explained that his "Hand Clap" special move was inspired by what he had read in "superhero" comic books. However, Hsu Hao was not well-received among the development team; lead storyteller John Vogel explained that his demise in Deadly Alliance was fully intended to be canon, but he was grudgingly included in Armageddon "much to my dismay" only because the game was featuring the entire playable cast. He was additionally the first series character whom Boon officially omitted from the Mortal Kombat X roster. Hsu Hao nonetheless appeared in the debut issue of DC Comics' prequel series based on the game, in which he goes after Kenshi under Daegon's orders for "betraying" the Red Dragon, but is then killed by Scorpion.
Fan and critical reaction has been just as negative. Hsu Hao did not make UGO's 2012 list of the top fifty MK characters, and was ranked 64th—third from last—by fans in Dorkly's 2013 online Mortal Kombat character poll. G3AR ranked him second in their 2013 list of the series' ten worst characters ("a Mongolian character with an Iron Man-styled chest"). Destructoid named him the series' worst character in 2014: "Hsu Hao is so bad that even the creators of Mortal Kombat hate his guts ... in a game that was littered with lackluster new additions, he was without a doubt the runt of that litter." Robert Naytor of Hardcore Gaming 101 described the character as "a slightly racist take at a Village Person." He finished second from last (72nd) in Den of Geek's 2015 ranking of the series' 73 characters, with the site describing him as "completely redundant and ... ultimately forgettable. Makes sense that they already killed him off in the Mortal Kombat X comic."
- Voiced by: Tara Strong (MKX)
Li Mei made her debut in Deadly Alliance as a sai-wielding substitute for Mileena. Her village was forced into slavery to help construct Shang Tsung's palace around a Soulnado, which had been a longtime legend of her people. In attacking Kano, she gains the attention of Quan Chi, who promises her freedom if she wins a tournament. Around this time she befriends Shujinko, captured by Kano during his forty-year quest for the Kamidogu. Shujinko offers to train her, even though he feels that her chances in the tournament are slim. She later journeys to a nearby forest where she is attacked by Moloch and Drahmin, but escapes as Shang Tsung forms an alliance with the two Oni. Her ending in Deadly Alliance depicted her winning Quan Chi's tournament and "earning" the right to be imprisoned forever in one of Onaga's soldier's bodies, but in Deception Bo' Rai Cho rescues her from this fate, but is apparently only partially successful as Li Mei takes on some aspects of these ancient warriors, and her ending results in her willfully becoming Onaga's queen. In Armageddon's Konquest mode, Li Mei fights Shinnok in the Netherrealm. She begins to gain the upper hand on him until Taven (who is unaware that Shinnok had turned evil) appears and makes her go away. Shinnok later reveals that this was all created as a test for Taven. She makes a brief appearance in Mortal Kombat X, leading a number of Outworld refugees into Earthrealm due to a civil war between Kotal Kahn and Mileena and warning the Special Forces about Mileena's possession of Shinnok's amulet, as well as Kano's involvement in Outworld.
Li Mei was omitted from UGO's 2012 list of the top fifty franchise characters, and was ranked 42nd in Dorkly's 2013 fan-voted MK character poll. Tony Searle of WhatCulture ranked her fourth in his 2014 selection of the twelve returning playables wanted for Mortal Kombat X: "The inner conflict she has acquired from her botched soul transplantation could be the driving force for her to become an exemplary wildcard in a future installment." She has received a mixed reception for her Deception design; in 2009, Total Film named her among the seven "nasty" characters they wanted for a third Mortal Kombat movie, "because of her emotional and moving backstory, but mainly because her outfit makes her look like Batgirl after a fight with Wolverine." Den of Geek rated her 57th in their 2015 ranking of the series' entire 73-character roster, feeling she was "only distinguished by her ridiculous outfit of a bandana and underwear." Joe Pring of WhatCulture rated Li Mei sixth in his 2015 selection of the twenty worst Mortal Kombat characters for her "hilariously bad attire ... Anyone who wears a bandana while dancing around in metal-plated underwear deserves to be ridiculed."
- Voiced by: Alexander Brandon (MK:A)
Mavado's influence in the games' storyline began before the events of MK4. Since the Red Dragon's top priority is the extermination of the Black Dragon while still desiring to keep their existence secret, they decide to manipulate the Special Forces for their own purposes. To that end, Mavado instructs his subordinate, Hsu Hao, to infiltrate the Outer World Investigation Agency and help them in tracking down and killing the last members of the Black Dragon. Mavado is hired by the Deadly Alliance to fend off Kenshi in exchange acquiring the opportunity to take into custody the last Black Dragon member, Kano, who was then in the service of the Deadly Alliance. He enters into a rivalry with Kabal that has Mavado soundly defeating him in combat and stealing his hookswords. He then tracks down and defeats Kenshi and leaves him for dead, but in Deception, Kabal returns after being healed by Havik, and returns the favor to Mavado by defeating him and taking back his swords. In Armageddon's Konquest mode, Mavado is ordered by Daegon to kill his brother Taven but fails, and in Kabal's ending, Mavado loses to Kabal in final battle and kills himself, with Kabal then hoisting his disembodied head skyward as a symbol of the Black Dragon's superiority.
Mavado was originally named "Malvado" (Spanish for "villain") during development of Deadly Alliance, and character designer Steve Beran had originally conceived a matador-style look for the character, but the idea was nixed due to the belief that it didn't fit in with the Mortal Kombat universe. He gained the series' first body-propel special by use of a physical object, shooting two long, hooked bungee cords into the ground and slingshotting himself feet-first to dropkick his opponent, an attack that was incorporated into his "Boot Thrust" Fatality, in which he also has spikes attached to the soles of his shoes. Though Mavado was not included in Mortal Kombat X, he had a minor role in the 2015 prequel comic series based on the game, when he and the Red Dragons kill Kotal Kahn's warriors during the latter's failed attempt to remove Mileena from the Outworld throne, and when the Red and Black Dragon factions fight each other over custody of the captured Cassie Cage and Jacqui Briggs, who are freed during the melee and kill Mavado with his own hookswords.
Mavado was omitted from UGO's 2012 list of the top fifty Mortal Kombat characters, and finished 48th in Dorkly's 2013 fan-voted character poll. Earth-2.net named the "Boot Thrust" fifth in their 2011 list of the twenty worst series Fatalities, describing the character as "completely useless, with a paper-thin backstory" and the Fatality "like Wile E. Coyote with an Acme slingshot." Robert Workman of GamePlayBook ranked him eighth in his 2010 selection of the worst MK characters, describing his Fatality as "stupid," but Den of Geek, who placed him 39th in their 2015 ranking of the series' 73 playables, enthused that he "got added cool points for his bungee hook attacks and ... that he outright murdered Kabal [and] stole his badass weapons."
Introduced in Deadly Alliance as a hidden joke character, Mokap is a motion-capture actor with a vast knowledge of martial arts and fighting styles. He continually finds himself inexplicably transported to and wrapped up in the battles, simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Mokap's Deadly Alliance bio reveals that he is a former martial arts teacher on the North Side of Chicago. One day he was called upon by Johnny Cage to do some motion capture work for his new movie and became the primary martial arts talent for motion capture in this film. Mokap was flown to Hollywood to begin his first session. It is unknown how Mokap participated in the events of Deadly Alliance, and although he fights on the side of good, he does not appear to affect the outcome of the battle. Some time after this, Mokap gained some telekinetic powers, although the source of these powers was not explained. Mokap returns in MK: Armageddon, again fighting for the side of Earthrealm and for his life. He was called "Mokap Man" in his MK:DA ending, and he made two brief appearances in Deception's Konquest mode.
Mokap's name is short for motion capture (with the "C" being replaced by a "K" as per Mortal Kombat tradition), as in the devices used by the actors to capture the movements of characters. He is a tribute to Midway graphic artist Carlos Pesina, who had played Raiden in the two-dimensional games and provided motion capture work for most of the characters in the three-dimensional titles. Pesina admitted it was "pretty flattering" being included in the game, but joked that it was weird seeing Fatalities performed on him. The "North Side of Chicago" reference in Mokap's bio was a nod to the Lakeshore Sport & Fitness athletic club located in the area, where many of the actors who were cast for the digitized MK games had worked as martial arts instructors and personal trainers. The character had been added late in Deadly Alliance's development process, so he did not have his own fighting styles, a weapon stance, nor a Fatality, but instead had three borrowed fighting styles instead of the standard two.
Mokap tied with fellow MK character Rain for third place in a 2013 list titled "5 Terrible Fighting Game Characters That Nobody Should Ever Choose" by WhatCulture, who simply described him as "lazy." ScrewAttack named him the second-worst Mortal Kombat character in 2011, calling him "a fucking guy with balls all over his body." He finished last in UGO's 2012 list of the top 50 MK characters, and fans rated him 59th in Dorkly's 2013 online MK character poll. Garth Kaestner of G3AR named Mokap the number-one worst character in the series, particularly because he "doesn’t even have his own fatality. Isn’t that a prerequisite in a Mortal Kombat game?" Den of Geek rated him 55th in their 2015 ranking of the series characters, as he "didn't really work well as a comedy character because the game did little to differentiate the characters in terms of personality." However, Total Film, in 2009, named Mokap among the seven "nasty" characters wanted in a third Mortal Kombat film, suggesting he be played by motion capture specialist Andy Serkis. Prima Games included his "Head Smash" Fatality from Armageddon at 50th in their 2014 list of the MK series' top fifty Fatalities. "Hardly anything fancy, but dying by the hands of a guy in a ping-pong ball-laden suit is embarrassing enough."
The sub-boss of Deadly Alliance, Moloch is a mammoth blue-skinned, hunchbacked "Oni Destroyer" who is the only known ally of his counterpart, Drahmin. The sorcerer Quan Chi confronts him and Drahmin with an offer to free them from the Netherrealm if they protect him from the ninja specter Scorpion. They take him up on the offer by attacking Scorpion whenever he came near Quan Chi, enabling Quan Chi to escape his torture, but he then promptly abandons Moloch and Drahmin and escapes into Outworld. After the eponymous Deadly Alliance kills Shao Kahn and Liu Kang, Shang Tsung makes a deal with the two Oni behind Quan Chi's back, promising them revenge against Quan Chi for his actions. In his Armageddon ending, Moloch destroys the Pyramid of Argus with a single punch before turning Edenia into a wasteland, but ends up trapped there himself after destroying its portals in the process. Quan Chi is seen toting Moloch's disembodied head during his pre-match introductions in Mortal Kombat X. In the comic, Moloch is executed by revenant Kitana at the order of Quan Chi for failing to recapture Scorpion.
Moloch was designed by Allen Ditzig, with his concept changing little from his finalized design. He was ranked 54th in Dorkly's 2013 fan-voted Mortal Kombat character poll, but not included in UGO's 2012 list of the top fifty series characters. Bryan Dawson of Prima Games named Moloch in his 2014 selection of the "cheapest" Mortal Kombat characters, describing him as "generally displeasing to look at" and "the kind of cheap when you feel like your friend is playing as a boss character," but Den of Geek rated him highly in their 2015 ranking of the series' 64 characters (21st): "[He] fit the Goro [sub-boss] role in Deadly Alliance and brought some utter brutality that hadn’t been felt in a Mortal Kombat boss since Kintaro."
Nitara is a bat-winged vampire who spends a long time trying to find a mysterious orb that binds her home realm of Vaeternus to Outworld. The orb, however, was inaccessible to her, and so she tricks Outer World Investigation Agency agent Cyrax into retrieving the orb after sending Reptile to attack him and destroy a panel on Cyrax's arm in the process, thus trapping him in Outworld, but when Cyrax delivers the object, Nitara compensates Cyrax by sending him back to Earthrealm. Nitara smashes the orb into pieces, sealing her realm's independence from Outworld, but she is knocked unconscious in the process, and is back home when she awakens. She then makes it her mission to protect the realm's fragile stability. In Armageddon, a genocide of her race begins to occur, and she is sent by her people's elders to a crater in Edenia to find a prophesied force of great power that could destroy the murderer's blade. While traveling there, she comes upon the demon Ashrah, the blade's possessor. To protect the rest of her race, Nitara lures Ashrah out of her realm and continues to Edenia, planning to bring her attacker to the Edenian weapon where it may be used against her.
The character was designed by Midway character artist Luis Mangubat, and there were plans to have a male vampire counterpart in Deadly Alliance, but the developers were unable to add him to the game in time. She was featured in a fictional "Blood" energy drink advertisement that was unlockable in the game's Konquest mode.
She was ranked 46th in both UGO's 2012 list of the top fifty series characters and Dorkly's 2013 online fan-voted MK character poll. In 2011, Complex named her one of the series' most underrated characters. "Buffy would get her ass handed to her by this chick." Tony Searle of WhatCulture ranked Nitara tenth in his 2014 list of the twelve returnees wanted for Mortal Kombat X, in which she was not included. "In a future installment, Nitara could place emphasis on her desire for blood ... [and] her storyline could be further elaborated on."
Introduced in Mortal Kombat: Deception
- Voiced by: Johanna Añonuevo (Armageddon)
Ashrah is a Netherrealm demon with the appearance of an elegant and demure woman, dressed in a white outfit with a matching flat, wide hat that has a train attached to the rear. She was once a member of Quan Chi's Brotherhood of the Shadow that worshiped the fallen Elder God Shinnok. When Ashrah refuses to carry out one of Quan Chi's orders, he sends her sister to kill her. In her ongoing attempt to escape from the Netherrealm, she finds a holy sword known as a "Kriss" that cleanses her spirit of evil with each kill, but the blade is actually a mystical vampire-slaying weapon that corrupts its wielder with the false belief that they are using it to fight vampires and other demons. She searches for Noob Saibot, whom she considers to be a powerful demon, because doing so would enable her to complete her ascension, but also wrongly assumes that destroying Ermac would help purify her soul, because his powers are common in the Netherrealm even though he is a force of good. In Armageddon, she successfully escapes, emerging in an unfamiliar realm surrounded by celestial beings who make her into their chosen warrior. Ashrah is then transported to Nitara's homeland of Vaeternus to start slaying its vampire race but is defeated by Nitara. She then flees to Edenia seeking Blaze's power in order to destroy Nitara and gain ascension.
According to series co-creator Ed Boon, the character was commonly misconceived as a female version of Raiden due to her outfit, while he believed at the time of Deception's release that she would have the "biggest impact" out of the new characters from the game in terms of her design and special moves.
Ashrah was ranked 45th on UGO's 2012 list of the top 50 Mortal Kombat characters: "Ashrah may look like she stepped off a Monet painting, but don't let that fool you." She finished 58th in a 2013 online fan-voted poll hosted by Dorkly that rated the MK series' entire roster, while Den of Geek placed her 53rd in their 2015 ranking of the 64 series characters, opining that there was "nothing special about her ... design or play-style that grabbed anyone." WhatCulture placed the "well-embellished character" fifth in their list of the twelve returnees wanted for Mortal Kombat X, and Robert Naytor of Hardcore Gaming 101 remarked on her in-game costumes: "A modest outfit on [an] MK female, who could imagine?" Kevin Wong of Complex ranked Ashrah's "Voodoo Doll" Fatality from Deception seventh in his 2013 list of the top twenty finishing moves from the series, saying that while the character herself "didn't quite work," her finisher was "a lot of fun," yet he was surprised "that it took the franchise this long to exploit voodoo for its magical elements." Joe Pring of WhatCulture placed Ashrah twelfth in his 2015 ranking of the series' twenty worst characters ("Ashrah’s origin story ... is a promising one, but it doesn’t change the fact that she’s a total rip-off of Raiden"), but John Harty, from the same site, ranked her Deception storyline tenth in his 2015 selection of the "10 Most Badass Backstories in Mortal Kombat History."
Once a highly respected Seidan guardsman, like Hotaru, Dairou is incarcerated after killing the believed assailant responsible for the murder of his family. He manages to escape in the midst of a prison riot instigated by the anti-government resistance movement led by Darrius, and no longer follows the Seidan law thereafter, nor does he give in to Chaos. He instead becomes a mercenary, taking assignments both positive or negative in nature while he is revered among Seido's secret underground. One contract has Darrius hiring Dairou to steal the Seidan government's Declaration of Order (which he accomplishes in Darrius' Deception ending), but another involves the assassination of his former comrade Hotaru. In Deception's Konquest mode, Dairou is hired by Damashi (Onaga) to break Shujinko out of a Seidan prison, killing two guards in the process before disappearing; Hotaru believes Shujinko killed the guards himself while "consorting with known felons" in order to escape. He is also contracted to eliminate Kobra, but commissions Shujinko to do it instead since Kobra recognizes him and is therefore expecting the attack. In his Deception ending, Dairou mortally wounds Hotaru in combat but Hotaru dies before Dairou can reveal who had ordered the hit. In his noncanonical Armageddon ending, he defeats Blaze and Shao Kahn, claiming the rule of Outworld for himself and restoring it to its former glory, while he forms an alliance with both Earthrealm and Edenia.
Dairou was slated to appear in Deadly Alliance conceived by Herman Sanchez as an armored samurai-type character wielding a pair of katanas, but was left out of the game due to time constraints and the complexity of the design. Despite the character's name being Japanese in origin, his original design was eschewed for Deception in favor of a more classical Chinese appearance, which included a Manchurian queue hairstyle and "Autumn Dao" in-game weapon. Ed Boon deemed the character's "Tombstone Drop" maneuver—in which he slams backfirst onto the ground and sends his opponent airborne, setting them up for combos—one of the best moves in the game.
Though Boon considered Dairou a "cool-looking" character, general and critical reception was decisively negative, as he was omitted from UGO's 2012 list of the top fifty series characters, placed fourth from the bottom (63rd) on Dorkly's 2013 fan-voted MK character poll, and finished with the lowest vote percentage (12.0%) of any character in any round of the 2014 edition of the "Supreme Mortal Kombat Champion" fan polls hosted by Mortal Kombat Online. He was ranked 67th by Den of Geek in their 2015 rating of the series' 73 playable characters, with the site calling him "unbelievably generic." Dustin Thomas of Destructoid ranked him third in his 2014 ranking of the series' five worst MK characters ("there really isn't a whole lot to say about him"). Garth Kaestner of G3AR rated him tenth in his 2013 selection of the ten worst series characters, citing his "shallow character development and weak universal moveset." Joe Pring of WhatCulture ranked him ("the undisputed king of boring") eighth in his 2015 selection of the series' twenty worst characters. CJ Smillie of Game Rant named Dairou's "Backbreaker" Hara-Kiri finishing move in Deception among the ten worst Mortal Kombat Fatalities (sixth): "Bo’ Rai Cho’s Hara-Kiri stretched the player’s suspension of disbelief to its limits, but this one punched a hole right through it." However, his "Ribs to the Eyes" Fatality from Deception has received much positive critical attention. Prima Games ranked it fourth in their 2014 list of the top 50 Fatalities in the franchise, while Game Informer's Dan Ryckert, in 2010, ranked it among the series' best finishers. "He may not be a classic character like Sub-Zero or Liu Kang, but Dairou seems perfectly adept at creative Fatalities." It was the lone Mortal Kombat finisher on UGO's 2010 list of the top video game fatalities: "Dairou may be a C-list celeb, but his fatality is A+." UGO included The Joker's "Censored" Fatality from Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe in the same list "as a reminder that Mortal Kombat went from Dairou's rib-ripping to censoring a headshot in half a decade." ScrewAttack placed it eighth on their list of the series' top ten Fatalities that same year. Kaestner considered the finisher "one of the most gruesome fatalities in the franchise," and Thomas deemed it the "single high point" of the character. K. Thor Jensen of UGO ranked the "amazingly demented" Fatality fifth in his 2011 list of the 50 most gruesome video-game finishing moves, and Tony Searle of WhatCulture placed it 20th in their 2014 list of the series' twenty "horrifically stomach-churning" Fatalities, citing that while Dairou was a "somewhat generic character," he had "one of the more gruesome fatalities" in the game.
Having become disillusioned with the oppressive nature of his home realm of Seido, Darrius leads a resistance movement that seeks to overthrow the realm's senate. He takes advantage of its strict laws to manipulate individuals into joining his movement. According to his Deception biography, he resorts to having another Guardsman's (apparently Dairou, but this is never explicitly stated) family murdered, in order to provoke them into retaliating with force and therefore be punished with incarceration, after which Darrius springs them from prison and convinces them to join his ranks. In his ending, he hires Dairou to steal the Declaration of Order, a scroll depicting Seido's laws, then he leads his group of revolutionaries in defeating Hotaru's forces and annexing control of the senate.
Designed by Steve Beran, Darrius was the last new addition to the Deception roster, and his original role in the game was the new leader of the Red Dragon clan. His alternate costume—a pair of orange gi bottoms and a small Afro—was a nod to actor Jim Kelly in the martial arts films Enter the Dragon and Black Belt Jones. According to Beran, the character's look was inspired by 1960s and '70s comic book art, and "the end result was intended to be a mixture of those elements fused with a sleek modern approach." He additionally described Darrius as having "a 'take no B.S.' attitude, like a star athlete who had made his way to fame from a rough upbringing and humble beginnings." Darrius was described by Boon as a more "Americanized" fighting game character who had an indescribable "appeal" about him, and character artist Herman Sanchez enthused that he was "lean and mean, aggressive, [and with] style." Lead storyteller John Vogel expressed his desire to see the character in future MK installments.
Darrius has received a cooler fan and critical reception; he placed 55th on Dorkly's 2013 fan-voted MK character poll and did not make UGO's 2012 list of the top fifty series characters, and in 2011, ScrewAttack ranked him sixth in their selection of the top ten worst Mortal Kombat characters, deeming him a "generic black guy" who was a ripoff of Blade. G3AR rated him the fourth-worst character in 2013, calling him "a cliché 'pimp' warrior." WhatCulture ranked him 19th in their 2015 selection of the twenty worst series characters, calling him "monotonous" and "painfully dull." Den of Geek rated him more favorably in their 2015 ranking of the series' 73 player characters (44th): "He immediately fell into Mortal Kombat obscurity, but ... he’s worth revisiting down the line." Adam Dodd of Cheat Code Central rated his "Rearranger" Fatality from Deception third on his top-ten list of the series' best Fatalities, and Prima Games rated it 26th in their 2014 list of the series' top fifty finishers. Gameranx ranked it seventh out of ten in a 2012 list of the series' most gruesome Fatalities. "It's a pity this fatality didn't make a reappearance in the latest Mortal Kombat." However, Game Informer named it one of the series' "most confusing" finishers, and James Deaux of Earth-2.net placed it sixth in his 2011 list of the series' top twenty "lamest" Fatalities.
- Voiced by: Paul St. Peter (MK:D); Ryan Rosenberg (MK:A)
Havik is a cleric from Chaosrealm, and its lone representative in the games. Neither good nor evil, his ambitions are to spread discord and he allies himself with those who can further his ends, regardless of their goals. He is a frequent troublemaker in Orderealm and shares a bitter rivalry with its general, Hotaru, but Havik's role in the game is instead in connection with Kabal and the newly reformed Black Dragon. Havik opposes the Dragon King, Onaga, who rules by diktat. He encounters a severely wounded Kabal, who had been defeated by Mavado, the leader of rival clan, the Red Dragon. Havik restores Kabal's health and convinces him to restore the former glory that the Black Dragon clan once possessed in the name of anomie. He did this in order to promote chaos in Earthrealm. Havik, along with Kabal and new recruits Kira and Kobra, ventured into Outworld. There, Havik revealed his plans: lure the heroes into a battle with Onaga, and, once the Dragon King had been defeated, take down or distract the victors of the battle long enough so that Havik could consume Onaga's heart, which would grant him Onaga's ability to resurrect the dead. Havik lures the heroes to the Dragon King as planned and thus put his schemes into motion, though in Kabal's ending, Kabal kills Havik and steals Onaga's heart for himself. Havik made a cameo appearance in Mortal Kombat (2011), in Noob Saibot's ending. He served as a main antagonist in the Mortal Kombat X prequel comic, where he aligns with Reiko to in his attempt to take over Outworld. Havik is the mastermind behind the cursed "Kamidogu" daggers' curses that brainwash multiple characters and put them under his deadly power throughout the story arc, and he additionally uses Reiko as a vessel in which to store Shinnok's amulet (whose revelation is caused by Havik manipulating Reiko into killing himself), which he plans to use to descend all the realms into chaos. His plan is foiled by Scorpion, who rips Havik's head off panel—breaking the curse in the process—and presents his severed head to Drahmin and Moloch, then permanently killed by Quan Chi by stomping Havik's head in the Netherrealm. It was revealed that Havik had a deal with Quan Chi in search for the amulet, but Havik had his own plan to use it for his full-scaled chaos.
Havik was designed by Steve Beran as an alternate outfit for Noob Saibot before being given a storyline of his own, though his original name during development of Deception was "Skab." Ed Boon said that the developers wanted a "decaying" character whose specials would look "disturbing," such as his knees bending the wrong way whenever he fired a projectile, or him breaking his own neck during battle.
He was ranked 38th on UGO's 2012 list of the top 50 Mortal Kombat characters, and 51st in Dorkly's 2013 fan-voted MK character poll. The character has received a positive reception as the top debuting character from Deception: WhatCulture ranked Havik eighth in a selection of the twelve veteran series characters they wanted to return in Mortal Kombat X, while lauding him as "one of the few interesting new characters of his generation [of MK games]." Hardcore Gaming 101 described Havik as "[p]robably the least lamest of the newcomers in Deception, even though that's not saying much."  Dustin Thomas of Destructoid said in 2014, "The only new character in Deception worthy of being a Mortal Kombat character is Havik." In ranking him 30th in their 2015 rating of the series' 73 characters, Den of Geek said, "While the whole Orderrealm/Chaosrealm subplot never quite caught on, Havik is strong enough to exist on his own." Sam Ashurst of Total Film named Havik among his "seven nasty characters" wanted for a third Mortal Kombat film in 2009, "because we like the idea of someone who looks like a zombie version of Genghis Khan walking around and doing the occasional good deed," adding that he should be played "by Jason Statham in a cheap Skeletor costume." Kabal's Deception ending was ranked at #135 in 4thletter's 2013 listing of the top 200 fighting game endings. "Despite dying, Havik is pretty jazzed about these developments. It’s chaos, baby!"
Hotaru is a tall, imposing general from Seido, the Realm of Order, and is zealously devoted to preserving law and order at any cost, even if it means aligning himself with the Dragon King Onaga to accomplish this. He is neutral because he preserves law and order for those of a higher authority regardless of their side or their intentions. He first appears in Deception's Konquest mode when Shujinko requires his help, and he then ventures into Outworld to confront Shao Kahn's Tarkatan armies who are laying siege to the walled city of Lei Chen to complete the mission Shujinko compensated him for. However, when Shujinko later returns to Seido to visit him for another task, Hotaru jails him for breaking curfew. Shujinko ages in captivity for years before Dairou takes out two guards positioned at Shujinko's cell and frees him before disappearing; Hotaru erroneously believes Shujinko himself had killed the two men and escaped, provoking a battle in which Shujinko emerges victorious over his former ally. Years later, Hotaru's forces were under Onaga's command; believing that this newly resurrected ruler would bring order to the universe, Hotaru helps the Dragon King's hordes in their attacks and pursues those who would stand against them, such as Sub-Zero and Kenshi, the former whom Hotaru has set out to bring to justice before Onaga. He is, however, unaware that a bounty has been placed on his head: Hotaru had in the past served as a guardsman for Dairou while the latter was imprisoned for murder. Dairou is now under contract to eliminate Hotaru, but no mention of this is made in Hotaru's bio, while the Sub-Zero/Kenshi tandem factors in his and Kenshi's noncanonical endings: Kenshi hacks Hotaru in two before he can kill Sub-Zero, and this scenario is reversed in Hotaru's conclusion that has him displaying Kenshi's disembodied head to Onaga before dispatching Sub-Zero. Additionally, in Darrius' ending, Hotaru's forces are unable to stop the coup of the Seidan senate by Darrius' revolutionaries, while in Dairou's ending, he is killed in battle, giving Hotaru the distinction of suffering death or defeat in three total endings. He fatally stabs Li Mei through the midsection with his naginata during the MK: Armageddon opening sequence, but his own mutilated body is prominently seen at the beginning of the story mode of the 2011 reboot, which depicts the aftermath of Armageddon.
Hotaru was conceived as a polar order-versus-chaos opposite to Havik. His name translates to "firefly" in Japanese, which was the inspiration behind his iridescent hard-shell armor costume (with sashimono banners mounted on the shoulders) that was designed by Midway character artist Jennifer Hedrick.
He was ranked 43rd on UGO's 2012 list of the top 50 Mortal Kombat characters, and 53rd in Dorkly's 2013 fan-voted MK character poll. Den of Geek ranked him 60th in their 2015 rating of the series' 73 characters. "In the battle between order and chaos, order tends to be the more boring, but Hotaru has just enough of a cool factor." G3AR ranked him ninth in their list of the ten worst MK characters while particularly critical of his name, and Robert Workman of GamePlayBook rated Hotaru tenth in his selection of the worst series characters for his using lava as a weapon in addition to "stealing" Liu Kang's Bicycle Kick for one of his special moves. He was ranked eleventh in WhatCulture's 2015 selection of the series' twenty worst characters. "Hotaru has two flags on his back—that’s as interesting as the character gets." His "Body Slam" finisher from Deception was placed tenth in Game Rant's 2011 selection of the series' ten best Fatalities: "Hotaru is not a guy you want to piss off, and if anyone can make you follow the law to a T, it’s him."
- Voiced by: Christine Rios (MK:A)
In her backstory, Kira disguises herself as a man and sells weapons to terrorist organizations in the mountains of Afghanistan, but during one such transaction in a cave, her cover is blown and she has no choice but to fight her way out. Emerging victorious, she encounters Kabal, who was waiting outside to behold the victor. He decides to reconstitute the Black Dragon, and as Kira's cold and calculated moves remind him of the Red Dragon, the organization from which the Black Dragon split. Since the Black Dragon did not have this presence, Kabal offers to make Kira his first recruit. Accepting, Kira devotes herself to her new organization, and assists Kabal in recruiting Kobra. According to Kira's MK: Deception ending, Kabal makes her fight Kobra to the death as a test; Kira wins, but both return in Armageddon.
In her official Deception render, Kira is seen carrying the same "Raptor" knives that Kano has used throughout the series (called "Dragon Teeth" in the game). Series lead storyteller John Vogel described her as the "most disciplined" of the Black Dragons, while Midway programmer Jay Biondo called Kira "the Fatal Attraction character."
Kira was ranked 44th on Dorkly's 2013 fan-voted MK character poll, and was left off UGO's 2012 list of the top fifty series characters. She was among seven "nasty series characters" wanted by Sam Ashurst of Total Film in 2009 for a third Mortal Kombat film, while suggesting she could be played by "Olga Kurylenko with a pencil mustache." Kira placed 32nd in Den of Geek's 2015 ranking of the franchise's 64 player characters, with the site calling her an "evil Sonya Blade" who was "a bit easier to take seriously" than Kobra. John Harty of WhatCulture ranked her Deception storyline fourth in his 2015 selection of the series' ten "Most Badass Backstories," saying of her pre-Black Dragon past, "Whether in reality or in fiction, that’s a concept that speaks to a person having some serious balls."
- Voiced by: Alexander Brandon (MK:A)
Kobra is a young martial artist from New York City who wants to use his martial arts in a real fight in order to experience the legitimate violence of the sport. The thrill and excitement of fighting starts to consume him, and he starts killing drug dealers and gangbangers, before moving on to convenience stores and gas stations. Eventually, he is arrested, having no clue as to how many lives he had destroyed, and while cuffed in the back of a squad car, he notices "some chick and a masked guy with bloody hookswords" engaged in a standoff with police. Kabal and Kira soon took him into the new Black Dragon syndicate after killing the officers. The trio escape to Outworld, where they work for Havik, the cleric of Chaos; in Kabal's ending, he has Kobra and Kira distract the Earth heroes while Kabal battles Havik, but in Kobra's own ending, he and the Black Dragon simply tear through the forces who had emerged victorious over the Dragon King. He appears in Armageddon's Konquest mode with Kabal and Kira, as Taven's first combatant, protecting a bridge with Kira in the Botan Jungle that Taven needs to cross. Kira abandons Kobra as he starts battling the newcomer, eventually escaping after he fails to stop him. In his Armageddon ending, Kobra ascends to godhood after defeating Blaze and wants Kira to join him as his queen; the Elder Gods comply, but convert her into a goddess of death who reduces Kobra to dust after she kisses him, which serves as a warning not to demand anything of the Elder Gods. In Mortal Kombat X, Erron Black, in one of his intro dialogues, claims he may have killed Kobra in the rebooted timeline.
Kobra was jokingly nicknamed "Ben Masters" in his life bar while Deception was in production due to his physical resemblance to Street Fighter character Ken Masters, but a German video game publication that got to play an early unfinished version of the game later falsely claimed, much to Midway's ire, that Ken himself would be a guest character in the game. Like Liu Kang in the first generation of games, Ed Boon described Kobra's role in Deception as "the simple character that everybody can pick up and play" with easy-to-execute special moves.
Kobra was poorly received due to the lack of originality in both his design and in-game offense. ScrewAttack ranked Kobra ("generic white guy") among their ten worst Mortal Kombat characters in 2011, and he placed 57th in Dorkly's 2013 fan-voted MK character poll. G3AR rated Kobra fifth in their 2013 listing of the series' ten worst characters, again due to his resemblance to Ken and his special moves. "Add his copy & paste heart rip fatality (Kano) and we have an absolute mockery of a character." GamePlayBook placed Kobra sixth in their 2010 listing of the ten worst MK characters. "He’s got a burning fist attack (Shoryuken, anyone?) along with a Windmill Kick (a lame variation of the Hurricane Kick) ... Sorry, Kobra, but you ain't got no bite." However, Den of Geek rated Kobra ("evil Johnny Cage") 35th in their 2015 ranking of the 64 series characters, while his Armageddon ending ranked 101st in 4thletter's 2013 ranking of the 200 best fighting game endings: "Kira’s ending has a similar situation where Kira becomes all-powerful, helps out Kobra and he kills her for it. Those two need a therapist in the worst way."
- Voiced by: Nigel Casey (MK:A)
The main antagonist of Deception, the massive Onaga, also known as The Dragon King, was the original ruler of Outworld until one of his chief advisors, Shao Kahn, fatally poisoned him and took control of the beleaguered realm himself, but Onaga actually was able to retain consciousness from beyond the grave. Quite some time before Liu Kang's victory over Shang Tsung at the Mortal Kombat tournament, Onaga communicated through death to Shujinko through an avatar named Damashi ("deceiver" in Japanese). He persuaded Shujinko to embark on a quest to unite the Kamidogu from the six realms, claiming he was carrying out the will of the Elder Gods. When the Dragon Egg hatches, its transfers its energy into Reptile, which fulfills the prophecy of Onaga's return. The Dragon King, as such, uses Reptile's transformed body as a host. After defeating Quan Chi, Shang Tsung and Raiden, Onaga revives the Earth warriors, who were killed beforehand by the Deadly Alliance, as his pawns. He also forms an alliance with the Tarkatan horde to keep Edenia's armies at bay while he searches for the spells that would allow him to fuse the Kamidogu together and grant him supreme power. However, Shujinko defeats Onaga, leaving Onaga with only Shinnok's amulet as his sole form of protection. Nightwolf seals Onaga's soul within the realm, separating it from Reptile's body. Some time later, Onaga is approached in the Netherrealm by Shinnok, who offers to restore Onaga's rule over Outworld if Onaga helps Daegon defeat Blaze and gain godlike power. He is released from his bondage and returned to his own body. In MK: Armageddon Konquest mode, he is seen joining an alliance with Quan Chi, Shang Tsung and Shao Kahn for their plans to destroy Blaze.
- Voiced by: Max Crawford (MK:D, MK:A)
The main protagonist of Deception's Konquest mode, Shujinko (literally Japanese for "protagonist") is trained by Master Bo' Rai Cho in the art of kombat. Soon, Shujinko encounters Damashi, who claims to be an emissary of the Elder Gods and tells Shujinko to embark on a quest searching for a Kamidogu from each of six realms. To enable Shujinko to do his bidding, Damashi gives him the ability to absorb fighting styles and special attack patterns of warriors he encounters with great ease. Shujinko's mission takes him more than forty years to complete. Afterward, Damashi reveals himself to be none other than the Dragon King, Onaga, speaking to Shujinko from beyond death. For this, Shujinko assumes full responsibility, and embarks on a desperate quest to destroy Onaga, believing himself the only warrior capable of doing so. After defeating Onaga, Shujinko becomes known as the hero of Outworld. Some time later, Shujinko deliberately allows himself to be captured by Mileena to get closer to Shao Kahn, Onaga, Shang Tsung, and Quan Chi, whom he plans to defeat. However, Raiden's Deception storyline has him blaming Shujinko's "vanity and desire for glory" for the revival of Onaga, and he kills Shujinko in his ending despite Shujinko's elimination of the Dragon King. Shujinko appears as a playable in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon in his elderly form.
Ed Boon deemed Shujinko the series' "next-generation Liu Kang" at the time of the game's release, but the character was not particularly well received by fans and critics. Shujinko ranked 41st on both UGO's 2012 list of the top fifty Mortal Kombat characters and on Dorkly's 2013 fan-voted MK character poll. Den of Geek placed him 65th in their 2015 ranking of the series' 73 playable characters, calling him "one of the most gullible, susceptible dumbasses in video games." ScrewAttack ranked Shujinko the eighth of their ten worst Mortal Kombat characters in 2011, and he was rated seventh in G3AR's 2013 selection of the ten worst series characters due to his moveset that consisted exclusively of other combatants' moves, for which Bryan Dawson of Prima Games named him one of the series' "cheapest" characters. "Some of the combos ... you can pull off with [him] are insane. He's basically Shang Tsung with better hair." Hardcore Gaming 101 compared the aged version of Shujinko to Kill Bill character Pai Mei.
Introduced in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
- Voiced by: Tom Taylor (MK:A)
One of only two new characters introduced in Armageddon, Edenian half-god Daegon is the main antagonist of the Konquest mode. He is the evil younger brother of Taven, and the second son of the Edenian protector god Argus and the prophet Delia, as well as the half-brother of Edenian traitor Rain. When Delia foretold the future of the realms as Armageddon, Argus had his sons put into incubation guarded by two dragons. They would be awakened one day to fight Blaze and save the realms from Armageddon. Daegon awoke prematurely due to an error by his guardian dragon. Unbalanced by the early awakening, he kills his parents after learning the true nature of the quest: forming the Red Dragon Clan. The quest required that both brothers accept a weapon from their father (the Drakeswords) and their armor from their mother. Taven and Daegon eventually reach Edenia, where Daegon is defeated and killed in battle, allowing Taven to fight Blaze. His distinctive facial feature, in addition to the dragon tattoo on his scarred face, is his missing right eye.
The character proved difficult to name, so he was initially called "Doug" during the game's production. Daegon can be seen fighting Kenshi, Frost, Sareena, or Reiko in The Pit Stage in MK 2011.
Daegon was ranked 62nd—fifth from the bottom and four spots ahead of Taven—on Dorkly's 2013 fan-voted poll that rated the Mortal Kombat series' entire character roster, but, unlike Taven, did not make UGO's 2012 list of the top fifty series characters, while he finished 56th in Den of Geek's 2015 ranking of the series' 73 characters. In 2013, he finished with the lowest vote percentage (9.3%) of any round in the three-year history of the annual "Supreme Mortal Kombat Champion" fan-voted polls hosted by Mortal Kombat Online. Hardcore Gaming 101 opined that Daegon's in-development name was "probably the most interesting thing about him."
- Voiced by: Paul St. Peter (MK:A Konquest mode); Shaun Himmerick (MK:A)
The protagonist of Armageddon, Taven is an Edenian half-god and the other son of Argus and Delia, and the half-brother of Edenian traitor Rain. He has the ability to control fire, much like his younger brother Daegon. The Konquest mode revolves around a contest between Taven and his brother Daegon set by their father to save the realms from Armageddon by defeating a creature named Blaze. They are sent to Earthrealm and are kept in incubation by two dragons, until Blaze calls for them to be awakened and the quest to begin. The victor would succeed his father's place, becoming a full god and Protector of Edenia. When Taven is released by his dragon, he finds that Daegon had been awakened centuries ago, killed their parents and formed the Red Dragon clan, in order to locate Blaze sooner, as well as to eliminate Taven. Eventually, Taven defeats Daegon in battle, but is killed during the battle of Armageddon.
Taven has a cameo in the 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot, in one of Raiden's visions where Taven appears fighting Dark Raiden. Like Daegon, the process of naming him proved difficult, and so he was called "Bob" until his final name was determined. Ed Boon revealed that he initially opposed Taven's final name, before it made "perfect sense" to him.
Taven finished last (66th) on Dorkly's 2013 fan-voted character poll, but made UGO's list of the top fifty Mortal Kombat characters, coming in at 48th. Hardcore Gaming 101 called him "utterly generic," and Destructoid named him the series' second-worst character behind Hsu Hao: "Taven is the most bland character in MK history." He placed 58th in Den of Geek's 2015 ranking of the series' 73 playable characters. "Showing up in a game based around including every single playable Mortal Kombat character, Taven’s generic design didn’t do him any favors."
Exclusive to Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
- Voiced by: Perry Brown and Patrick Seitz
Dark Kahn is a boss character appearing only in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe as the main antagonist of the game and the sole original character in the game. Dark Kahn is a monstrous being of pure rage created from the accidental merging of Darkseid and Shao Kahn.
Introduced in Mortal Kombat (2011)
- Voiced by: Dana Lyn Baron
Skarlet is a warrior created by Shao Kahn using sorcery and the blood of countless warriors, only to be released by Shao Kahn as a last resort. Her sole purpose is to discover Quan Chi's true reason for attending the Mortal Kombat tournament. Skarlet uses kodachi swords and kunai knives as well as her power to turn into, and absorb the blood of her prey.
Similar to the Ermac rumors in the first Mortal Kombat but received with far less fanfare, Skarlet originated as a nonexistent character in Mortal Kombat II due to false reports of a glitch nicknamed "Scarlet" by players in which the palette swaps of either Kitana or Mileena would turn red. In March 2011, nearly two decades after the rumors originated, she was announced as one of the Mortal Kombat reboot's first two downloadable characters, released on June 21.
Den of Geek rated Skarlet 48th in their 2015 ranking of the series' 73 characters. "There’s something kind of lazy about having someone be 'Blood: The Character.'" She was ranked 30th on Dorkly's 2013 fan-voted poll that rated the entire series roster. The character was well received by Game Informer, and, in 2013, was ranked as the seventh "fiercest female in today's fighting games" by Gamenguide, who commented: "Nothing screams 'fan service' like when a developer takes an age-old game glitch and turns it into a key part of their franchise." She was deemed one of the game's "cheapest" characters by Prima Games, but Official Xbox Magazine included her among the top eight downloadable characters on the Xbox 360 for her "delightful" fighting style, even though "she wasn't the best-selling MK DLC character." Her "Make it Rain" Fatality was included among Gameranx's top ten gruesome series finishers: "Skarlet gives herself the most disgusting facial in history."
Introduced in Mortal Kombat X
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Mortal Kombat X included four exclusive downloadable guest characters: Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th horror film franchise; Predator from the Predator franchise; a Xenomorph Alien from the Alien franchise; and Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre horror film franchise.
- Voiced by: Kelly Hu
- Performed by: Brenda Barrie
A member of an insect-like race called the Kytinn, from the island realm of Arnyek, which was merged with Outworld. She is a featured character in the game's story mode, in which she is first seen as Kotal's follower, but in reality, she is actually a follower of Shinnok, along with Quan Chi. During the story, she assists the Earthrealm defenders retrieve Shinnok's amulet from Mileena, Tanya and Rain. After their success, she herself kills Mileena, betrays Kotal Kahn and travels to Earthrealm to free Quan Chi, who frees Shinnok. After Quan Chi's death at the hands of Hanzo, she accompanies Shinnok to the Jinsei temple, where she is captured by Cassie Cage during the final battle. The prequel comic reveals by how D'Vorah recently switched side with Shinnok and Quan Chi secretly behind Kotal Kahn's back, is right after she witnessed the ultimate power of Shinnok's amulet, demonstrated by Havik.
CraveOnline rated her "Bug Me" Fatality, in which she unleashes a swarm of insects that eat her opponent, fifth in their 2015 selection of the game's ten best Fatalities.
- Voiced by: Troy Baker
- Performed by: Sorin Brouwers
A Texan mercenary gunslinger in the service of Kotal Kahn who was respondent with the Black Dragon, until Kano's betrayal. In his ending it is shown that he was hired by Shang Tsung 150 years ago to murder an Earthrealm warrior, in exchange for having his aging slowed down.
The character has received early critical praise; WhatCulture ranked him eighth in their 2015 selection of the series' twenty "greatest" characters, while he placed tenth in Den of Geek's rating of the series' 73 playable characters in 2015, with the site calling him "the Boba Fett of Mortal Kombat."
Ferra and Torr are a symbiote pairing consisting respectively of a young female rider and a giant masked brute, and were found wandering the Tarkatan wastelands before being made to serve as new Outworld emperor Kotal Kahn's personal bodyguards. They are of an Outworld species in which the rider bonds with its mount.
The characters were designed by Justin Murray, with early concept art showing Ferra wielding different weapons ranging from tomahawks to telescoping arm-mounted serrated knives before her scythe blades were finalized. Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News called Ferra and Torr a "highlight" of the game, with their in-gameplay mannerisms "distracting enough to take your eye off the battle, and quirky enough that it’s worth watching." Michael Garvie of G3AR rated their "Play Time" Fatality tenth in his 2015 ranking of the game's top ten Fatalities. "[It] puts them a cut above the rest with its side-splitting effects. Very easy to perform, and even easier to love."
- Voiced by: Danielle Nicolet
- Performed by: Emjoy Gavino
The daughter of Jax, Jacqui is a member of Cassie Cage's Special Forces unit who had enlisted in the military against her father's wishes. She develops a romantic relationship with Takeda during the game's story mode.
WhatCulture ranked Jacqui last in their 2015 selection of the "30 Greatest Female Fighting Game Characters". Den of Geek ranked her 47th in their ranking of the 73 series characters. "She's fun to play as, but she doesn't stand out nearly enough ... her role in story mode is to get into generic fights meant to pad out the plot." Ikhtear Shahrukh of The Daily Star described Jacqui as "fit[ting] into typical generic fighter game character stereotypes instead of being Mortal Kombat material."
- Voiced by: Phil LaMarr
- Performed by: Stephan Scalabrino
An Aztec-inspired warrior whose realm of Osh-Tekk was merged with Outworld. He was additionally worshipped in Earthrealm and served Mileena before overthrowing her from the Outworld throne for treason.
- Voiced by: Johnny Yong Bosch
- Performed by: Lawrence Kern
Kung Lao's younger cousin, a reformed thief turned Shaolin archer and member of Cassie Cage's Special Forces unit. He makes a cameo appearance in the 34th chapter of DC Comics' 2015 prequel miniseries based on the game, in which he is hired by Bo'Rai Cho and Sub-Zero to gather data on the Lin Kuei cyborgs' weaknesses, and then presents Sub-Zero with a stolen flash drive that contains a virus.
According to NetherRealm Studios, Kung Jin's primary costume was inspired by Mongolian nomadic archers, containing layers of leather and fur and "rough woven fabrics," with him wearing it as a symbol of his acceptance of his role as a hero, while his bow was designed to double as a staff. Kung Jin stands as the series' first homosexual character, which was confirmed by NetherRealm Studios cinematic director Dominic Cianciolo on his Twitter account in regards to a dialogue exchange in the game's story mode between the character and Raiden.
Den of Geek ranked Kung Jin 52nd in their 2015 ranking of the series' 73 playable characters, describing his revelation to Raiden as "sweet, well done, and very welcome," but deeming him the "most boring" of the game's newcomers: "[He's] just the guy with the bow and the plain appearance."
- Voiced by: Parry Shen
Kenshi's son, and a member of Cassie Cage's Special Forces unit. After his mother was killed when he was a child, he was entrusted by his father to Scorpion, who raised him as an apprentice in the Shirai Ryu clan and taught him how to fight, in order for him to prepare himself against his mother's murderers, the Red Dragon clan. He shares the same telepathic powers as his father. He and Jacqui Briggs develop a romantic relationship during Mortal Kombat X's story. In the comic book prequel, it is revealed that one of his equipments, a skull mask and the whips, which become part of his variation weapons in the video game event, are gifts from Fujin after helping him to heal himself from a possessed Raiden's attack and training to defeat the mastermind behind the event, Havik, to honor his master Hazashi and the Shirai Ryu, after Havik apparently kills Hanzo.
- Voiced by: Vic Chao
The Triborg is a downloadable character featured as part of the game's second Kombat Pack. He is a combination of Smoke, Cyrax, Sektor, and the cybernetic version of Sub-Zero from the 2011 reboot. Operatives from the Special Forces found hidden storage data for the Lin Kuei's Cyber Initiative, and in an S-F facility, scientists proceeded to upload the data into a test body. This caused the minds of Cyrax, Sektor, and Smoke to intermingle, bringing the body to life. After killing everyone in the facility, Triborg now seeks to destroy all organic life.
These characters were created by sources other than the developers.
Belokk was originally slated for Mortal Kombat Gold but was cut from the final release. He was created by Eurocom and, according to Ed Boon, was removed from the game as the developers did not have time to complete him. Nevertheless, Eurocom accidentally sent information about the game with Belokk in it to Game Informer, and as a result, six screenshots of him were leaked to the public in a preview, upon special request.
Well after the home ports of MKII by Probe and Sculptured Software were released, rumors of extra hidden characters started to swirl around these and the original arcade versions despite the fact that all the secrets of the game were known by that time. In MKII, the background of the Pit II stage depicts palette swaps of Liu Kang; one shrouded in flames and the other wearing black and green pants. As rumors started to circulate, these characters and were eventually given the names Torch and Hornbuckle respectively. The name of Hornbuckle originated from the SNES port, in which Jade sometimes pops onto the stage right before a fight and says "Hornbuckle Who?". This was a reference to Leanne Hornbuckle, from Sculptured Software.
Nimbus Terrafaux was rumored to be a playable character (a kickboxer) in the first Mortal Kombat game as an unlockable secret character. It was later revealed as a creation of Electronic Gaming Monthly as part of an April Fool's Day joke, though Ed Boon had originally hinted at the character in an interview with the magazine, which then intentionally published false information on this character, complete with doctored screenshots and a fabricated storyline. The character was included in Game Revolution's list of "Top 10 Old School Mortal Kombat Characters" in 2011.
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