Noob Saibot

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Noob Saibot
Mortal Kombat character
Noobsaibotmk11.png
Noob Saibot in Mortal Kombat 11 (2019)
First gameMortal Kombat II (1993)
Created byEd Boon
John Tobias
Designed byJohn Tobias (MKII-MK4)
Dick Beran (MK:D, MK:A)
Atomhawk Design (MK2011)
Jennifer L. Parsons (Annihilation)
Beverly Safier & Lee Grimes (Konquest)
Portrayed byDaniel Pesina (MKII)
Richard Divizio (MK3)
John Turk (UMK3, MKT)
Ryan Watson (Live Tour)
François Petit (1995 film)
J.J. Perry (1997-1998)
Kimball Uddin (Konquest)
Kevan Ohtsji (Legacy s.1)
Eric Steinberg (Legacy s.2)
Joe Taslim (2021 film)
Voiced byJim Cummings (MK:TJB)
Jamieson Price (MK2011)
Sean Chiplock (MK11)
Motion captureLawrence Kern (MK2011)
Information
WeaponScythe (MK4, MKG)
Sickle (MK11)
Ninja Sword (MK:TE)
Troll Hammer (MK:A)
FamilySub-Zero (Brother)
OriginNetherrealm
Fighting stylesHapkido (MK:TE)
Pi Gua (MK:TE)
Monkey (MK:D, MK:A)

Noob Saibot, real name Bi-Han, is a fictional character from the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. Initially depicted as a black silhouette of the game's other male ninja characters and sharing their moves, he would being given his own unique moveset and appearance in later games. His name consists of the surnames of Mortal Kombat creators Ed Boon and John Tobias spelled backwards.

In the storyline of the games, the character first appeared as Sub-Zero in the original 1992 game, although this would not be established until 2004's Mortal Kombat: Deception. As Noob Saibot, he debuted as an unplayable hidden character in Mortal Kombat II (1993) and became a player character for the first time in the console versions of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (1996). General and critical reception to the character has been mainly positive, particularly in regard to his Fatality finishing moves.

Creation and gameplay[edit]

The character's name comes from the last names of the creators of the Mortal Kombat franchise, Ed Boon and John Tobias, spelled in reverse.[1] During his first appearances, Noob Saibot's design was focused around an all-black exterior, with the staff stating "that's what he's all about". They found difficulties in making some versions, without him appearing to look into bondage.[2] For Mortal Kombat: Deception, Noob Saibot was the first character drawn and designed by Steve Beran.[3] Beran attempted to make him a more distinctive character, focusing less on his all-black exterior. One design was removed due to its similarities with a tuxedo. Another wore a hood, but the idea was later moved to the new character Havik.[2] An early alternate outfit depicted Noob Saibot in a black, red and blue outfit with a Japanese translation of "darkness" on the front flap. He was also shown unmasked, but this design ended up being used as Havik's alternate outfit.[4] The use of a two-on-two combat was meant to be introduced in this game as well, but was only used with Noob Saibot and Smoke. Both characters were models for the use of such a concept and were intended to work together in the player's Fatality.[5]

Noob Saibot was first introduced in 1993's Mortal Kombat II as a hidden nonplayable opponent whom players fought in a secret battle in the "Goro's Lair" stage from the first game after winning fifty consecutive matches. He was a solid black palette swap of Sub-Zero who fought with increased speed and Scorpion's spear.[6] He returned as a secret character in Mortal Kombat 3 with the same attributes, but was instead a silhouette of Kano, since there were no human ninjas in the game, and in the Sega Game Gear port, he additionally had Kano's special moves and his "Eye Laser" Fatality. Upon being made playable in the console versions of UMK3 and the 1996 compilation title Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Noob Saibot returned as a palette-swap ninja, and one of ten human ninja swaps in the game overall.[7] Although early versions of Mortal Kombat 4 featured him as a playable character, he was eventually changed back to being hidden. Noob Saibot is playable in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks in the "Versus" mode if both players select Sub-Zero; the last player to select him will play as a variation of Noob Saibot. He is colored black but he has Sub-Zero's frozen forearms and retains the latter's moves and Fatalities.

According to Prima Games, Noob Saibot is one of the most overpowered Mortal Kombat characters; they state "he had an unblockable projectile attack, fought side-by-side with Smoke and even had ridiculous zoning in MK9."[8]

Appearances[edit]

In video games[edit]

Prior to becoming Noob Saibot, Bi-Han appears as Sub-Zero in the first Mortal Kombat and the prequel Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero. In Mortal Kombat II, his first appearance as Noob Saibot, it is revealed that he was killed by his nemesis Scorpion during the events of the first game and the identity of Sub-Zero is assumed by younger brother Kuai Liang in subsequent installments.

In Mortal Kombat 3 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, Noob Saibot allies with evil Outworld emperor Shao Kahn, but secretly observes the emperor at the behest of the Brothers of the Shadow. In Mortal Kombat 4, he serves the fallen Elder God Shinnok. Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition features Noob Saibot once again as a playable character, this time in the service of Shao Kahn. Noob Saibot leads an offensive against the forces of good and mortally wounds the Shokan prince Goro.

In Mortal Kombat: Deception, Noob Saibot is free to forge his own destiny. Upon discovering him deactivated deep within Shao Kahn's palace, he reactivates and enslaves the cyborg ninja Smoke. The wraith intends to use Smoke's body as the basis for his personal undead cyborg army. In his non-canon ending, Noob Saibot is revealed as the resurrected form of Bi-Han,[9] which would carry over to subsequent games.[10]

In the non-canon adventure game, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, Shaolin warriors Kung Lao and Liu Kang discover Noob Saibot being pursued by his brother Sub-Zero in the bowels of the Netherrealm.

Mortal Kombat: Armageddon featured Noob Saibot as a playable character. In the game's story mode, he and Smoke invade the Lin Kuei ninja clan's castle, assimilating most of the defending Lin Kuei ninja and turning them into their own subordinate warriors. Noob Saibot and Smoke are eventually defeated by the warrior Taven, and Noob Saibot is left in the castle, unconscious. Raiden then tries to force Noob Saibot to recall his past identity.

In the 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot, the past Raiden at the original Mortal Kombat tournament receives visions from his future counterpart. After one of the visions reveals Bi-Han's transformation into Noob Saibot, he tries to prevent Scorpion from murdering the first Sub-Zero by offering to ask the Elder Gods to resurrect the Shirai Ryu. This fails when Quan Chi manipulates Scorpion with a vision of Bi-Han murdering his family. After his death, he is subsequently resurrected by Quan Chi and serves as one of his enforcers.[11] He supports Quan Chi and Shao Kahn, while also keeping in touch with the Cyber Lin Kuei, who had joined Shao Kahn's forces as well. Although he first appears during the second Mortal Kombat tournament, he does not receive a significant role until the Outworld invasion. He is sent to defend Quan Chi's Soulnado from Earthrealm's protectors. At some point before the Soulnado ritual starts, Kano warns Noob that the newly-cyberized Sub-Zero has broken free from Sektor's control. During the ritual in an Earthrealm cemetery, Noob confronts and disowns his younger brother, claiming "We share blood. We are not brothers." He is defeated by Sub-Zero. Soon after, Noob Saibot engages Earthrealm warrior Nightwolf in the cemetery. Nightwolf overpowers the wraith and launches him into the Soulnado, dispelling the storm and seemingly killing Noob.[12]

Noob Saibot returns in Mortal Kombat 11. Despite his apparent death in the Soulnado, Noob mysteriously returns with amplified powers from the storm. Hiding in the shadows for years, Quan Chi's death in Mortal Kombat X frees Noob from enslavement. As Kronika, keeper of time, merges the past and present timelines, Noob pledges his allegiance to her in return for a dark clan of his own. Noob assists the time-displaced cyborg Sektor and the newly-indoctrinated Frost (Sub-Zero's former disciple) in kidnapping Lin Kuei clansmen and converting them into cyborg warriors. Noob and Frost attempt to stop the newly-allied Scorpion and Sub-Zero from foiling their plans for cyberization, but are defeated. Noob and Frost retreat with Sektor’s deactivated body after the battle. Later, as Jacqui Briggs and her time-displaced father Jax arrive at Shang Tsung's temple to find Kronika's crown, Noob Saibot attempts to assassinate them. He is defeated, and both Jacqui and her father escape with the crown, but lost it due to interference from a reluctant present-Jax, whom Kronika had made her pawn. Noob does not appear again after this encounter, and his ultimate fate is unknown.[13] As revealed in Sub-Zero’s ending, it was Sektor who had corrupted Bi-Han, even before he became Noob Saibot.

In other media[edit]

Noob Saibot (played by Kimball Uddin) made one appearance in the TV series Mortal Kombat: Konquest as an imprisoned Outworld warrior mistakenly released by Siro and Taja and then recruited by a sorceress to assassinate Kung Lao. He was completely covered in black oil and wielded an Escrima stick.

Noob Saibot appeared in the 1997 film Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, as a warrior who emerged from Ermac during the latter's fight against Sonya, and was played by stunt performer J.J. Perry, who additionally portrayed Cyrax and Scorpion in the film. He and Ermac team up to assault Sonya with repeated kicks and punches until Jax comes to her aid and kills Noob Saibot with a fatal punch that he lands offscreen. Noob Saibot was uncredited in the film, but mentioned by name in the script and movie novelization.[14]

Reception[edit]

Noob Saibot was ranked twelfth in UGO Networks' 2012 ranking of the top fifty series characters. "Mortal Kombat is all about the secrets and hidden characters—starting with Reptile and continuing with Smoke ... our favorite is the ludicrously-named Noob Saibot."[15] Den of Geek placed him eighth in their 2015 ranking of the series' 73 playable characters. "Noob Saibot represents the dark sickness that comes from the cycle of violence. As explained in the reboot, by giving into his thirst for vengeance, Scorpion unleashed something horrible onto the world."[16] Dustin Thomas of Destructoid rated him as the fifth-best series character for his role in Mortal Kombat: Deception, in particular his ending. "This was such an awesome revelation for MK fans."[17] Complex listed him as the fifth-most underrated series character in 2012. "MK is known for having some of the best secrets to ever be hidden in a videogame."[18] In 2011, AlteredGamer ranked Noob Saibot as fifth-best in their selection of the series' ten best characters. "The transformation from an ice-wielding ninja to a dark mysterious entity made Noob deadlier than ever before."[19] The readers of Dorkly voted him the series' fifth greatest character in a 2013 poll ranking the entire series roster.[20]

Noob Saibot joined the series' other male ninjas in being ranked third on GamePro's 2009 list of the best palette-swapped video game characters,[21] but Game Informer, in 2010, was not high on seeing these same characters, aside from Scorpion and Sub-Zero, in any future series installments.[22] In a 2013 article titled "5 Terrible Fighting Game Characters That Nobody Should Ever Choose," Darragh O'Connor of WhatCulture criticized Mortal Kombat's excessive palette swapping in the two-dimensional games. "This was a trend [that began] in Mortal Kombat II, with characters like Smoke and Noob Saibot, and then got out of hand with various different colorized versions of Scorpion."[23] The Trilogy version of the character was included in GameSpy's 2009 selection of unbalanced fighting game characters. "Noob Saibot has the 'Disabler.' It's a fireball ... which stuns you, which is as broken as it's possible for a fighting move to get without becoming allergic to electricity."[24] 4thletter.net ranked his Deception ending 38th in their 2013 list of the top 200 fighting game endings,[25] and rated his storyline therein fourth in their selection of "The Top 15 Best Fighting Game Storylines" the previous year.[26]

Noob Saibot's "Make a Wish" Fatality from the 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot, in which he and a shadow clone of himself rip their defeated opponent in half from the crotch upward by pulling their legs apart, received much critical attention due to its graphic content. In July 2011, Jon Stewart of The Daily Show played a video of the finisher while he explained the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that the ESRB could regulate video games without government intervention.[27] Kirk Hamilton of Paste commented, "Not only did [Stewart] pick a scene from what is arguably the most ridiculously violent game on the market, he also picked the most gory and painful-looking fatality."[27] Complex ranked the Fatality as the series' best in 2013.[28] Kotaku's Michael McWhertor called it a "highlight" of the game,[29] and though the finisher was not included in the site's 2013 feature "The Most Gruesome Video Game Deaths," it served as its introduction. "It’s so ridiculous it stands out despite Mortal Kombat‘s already high level of gore."[30] Gameranx rated it as the fifth-top "Holy Shit Gaming Moment" of 2011. "Noob Saibot's Fatality move in particular teaches us the value of sharing."[31] We Got This Covered, in 2011, included it among the reboot's nine best finishers. "The bones popping and skin tearing is agonizing to listen to and just sounds horrific enough."[32] Robert Workman of Prima Games ranked it ninth in his 2014 countdown of the Mortal Kombat series' top fifty Fatalities.[33] CJ Smillie of Game Rant named it the top Fatality of the reboot in 2011. "When I first saw this Fatality, my jaw dropped at just how incredibly brutal and disgusting it was. It was incredibly simple ... yet also very effective in its execution."[34] FHM included it among the reboot's nine "most brutal" finishers,[35] while WatchMojo rated it the second-best Fatality in the series.[36] Cameron Koch of TechTimes ranked it fourth in his 2015 selection of "The 10 Best Finishers in the Franchise's History," calling it "one of the most gruesome fatalities" of MK2011.[37] His "Teleporting Jawbreaker" Fatality from Mortal Kombat Trilogy, in which he repeatedly performs the move until his opponent explodes, was ranked fourteenth by James Deaux of Earth-2.net in his 2011 rating of the series' twenty "lamest" Fatalities. "The dwindling creativity of the developers and the limitations of the graphics show here."[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mike Fahey (May 10, 2011). "In Which Noob Saibot Lives Up to His Name". Kotaku. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Midway (2004). Mortal Kombat: Deception. Midway. Level/area: Kontent: Noob Concepts.
  3. ^ Midway (2004). Mortal Kombat: Deception. Midway. Level/area: Kontent: Noob Saibot Demo.
  4. ^ Midway (2004). Mortal Kombat: Deception. Midway. Level/area: Kontent: Noob Demo Version.
  5. ^ Midway (2004). Mortal Kombat: Deception. Midway. Level/area: Kontent: Double Character Concept.
  6. ^ Lewis, Ed (2004-09-14). "Treasure of the Day: Mortal Kombat 2". IGN. Retrieved 2010-04-04.
  7. ^ "History of Mortal Kombat Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3". GameSpot. Archived from the original on October 21, 2007. Retrieved May 21, 2011.
  8. ^ "Cheapest Characters in Mortal Kombat History: Part 2". Prima Games. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  9. ^ Tyrant-Cenobite (2010-11-11). "Netherrealm Studios Releases Sub-Zero Vignette!". Retrieved 2011-01-24.
  10. ^ Midway (2004). Mortal Kombat: Deception. Midway. Level/area: Noob-Smoke ending. After resurrection, Noob Saibot was surprised to see how much stronger his younger brother, the new Sub-Zero, had become. If he were still Lin Kuei, still human, he would probably have shown some degree of pride in his brother's achievements. However, as Raiden had revealed during the ordeal with Shinnok's amulet, his soul had been tainted when he had died at the hand of Scorpion.
  11. ^ Netherealm Studios (2011). Mortal Kombat: Deception. Midway. Level/area: Chapter 14: Cyber Sub-Zero. Sub-Zero: Bi-Han?! / Noob Saibot: Yes Kuai Lang. It is I. Quan Chi restored me.
  12. ^ Netherealm Studios (2011). Mortal Kombat. Midway. Level/area: Chapter 15: Nightwolf.
  13. ^ GameSpot (2019-03-22), Mortal Kombat 11 - Official Noob Saibot Reveal Trailer, retrieved 2019-03-23
  14. ^ Mortal Kombat Novels - Trivia. Webs.com. Retrieved on 2010-02-20
  15. ^ UGO Staff (February 28, 2012). "Noob Saibot - Top 50 Mortal Kombat Characters". UGO.com. Archived from the original on March 19, 2013.
  16. ^ Jasper, Gavin (January 30, 2015). "Mortal Kombat: Ranking All the Characters". Den of Geek. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  17. ^ Thomas, Dustin (September 14, 2014). "Weekly Top 5: Best Mortal Kombat Characters". dustinthomas.blogspot.com. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  18. ^ "5. Noob Saibot — Your Favorite Fighter's Favorite Fighter: The 10 Most Underrated "Mortal Kombat" Kombatants". Complex. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  19. ^ Ghosh, Anurag (October 27, 2011). "The Top Ten Mortal Kombat Characters". Altered Gamer. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
  20. ^ Bridgman, Andrew (December 13, 2013). "Toplist Results: The 20 Greatest Mortal Kombat Kharacters of All-Time". Dorkly.com. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  21. ^ Koehn, Aaron (2009-01-13). "Palette Swapping: 17 Games that Did it Right". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2009-12-08. Retrieved 2010-03-13.
  22. ^ Ryckert, Dan (June 21, 2010). "Who We Want (And Don't Want) In The New Mortal Kombat". Game Informer. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  23. ^ O'Connor, Darragh (July 23, 2013). "5 Terrible Fighting Game Characters That Nobody Should Ever Choose". WhatCulture. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  24. ^ McKinney, Luke (December 9, 2009). "Lame Fighter 2: The World's Worst Warriors!". GameSpy. Archived from the original on September 24, 2010. Retrieved March 13, 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  25. ^ 4thletter.net (June 12, 2013). "The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part Nine". Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  26. ^ "The Top 15 Best Fighting Game Storylines: Part 3". 4thletter.net. March 12, 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  27. ^ a b Hamilton, Kirk (July 1, 2011). "Jon Stewart Talks Videogames: Funny, If A Bit Unfair". Paste. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  28. ^ "1. Make A Wish — The Best "Mortal Kombat" Finishing Moves in Video Game History". Complex. 2013-10-01. Retrieved 2014-01-14.
  29. ^ McWhertor, Michael (2011-04-29). "The New Mortal Kombat Does More Than Just Gore In Its Killer Celebration Of The Franchise". Kotaku. Retrieved 2011-05-04.
  30. ^ Vas, Gergo (May 9, 2013). "The Most Gruesome Video Game Deaths [NSFW]". Kotaku Australia. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  31. ^ Cheong, Ian Miles (2011-12-25). "Top 10 Holy Shit Gaming Moments of 2011". Gameranx.com. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  32. ^ Colautti, Benjo (April 20, 2011). "Mortal Kombat's Best Fatalities". We Got This Covered. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  33. ^ Workman, Robert (April 2014). "The Top 50 Mortal Kombat Fatalities of All Time: 10-1". Prima Games. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
  34. ^ Smillie, CJ (2011). "Top 10 Fatalities of Mortal Kombat 9". Game Rant. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  35. ^ Gonzales, Gelo (April 28, 2011). "9 Most Brutal Fatalities in Mortal Kombat 9". FHM Philippines. Retrieved December 19, 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  36. ^ "Top 10 Mortal Kombat Fatalities - AOL On". On.aol.com. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
  37. ^ Koch, Cameron (April 10, 2015). ""Mortal Kombat" Fatalities: The 10 Best Finishers in the Franchise's History". TechTimes.com. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  38. ^ Deaux IV, James D. (October 14, 2011). "The Top 20 Lamest Mortal Kombat Fatalities Ever". Earth-2.net. Retrieved December 20, 2013.