This is a list of playable and boss characters from the Mortal Kombat fighting game franchise and the games in which they appear. Created by Ed Boon and John Tobias, the series depicts conflicts between various realms. Most characters fight on behalf of their realm, with the primary heroes defending Earthrealm against conquering villains from Outworld and the Netherrealm. Early installments feature the characters participating in the eponymous Mortal Kombat tournament to decide their realm's fate. In later installments, Earthrealm is often invaded by force.
A total of 76 playable fighters have been featured in the series, in addition to unplayable bosses and guest characters. Much of the franchise's mainstays were introduced during the first three games. Nearly all of the characters have been killed at a point in the story, but have rarely stayed dead.
Kintaro is the sub-boss of Mortal Kombat II and a sub-boss in the 2011 reboot. He is also the penultimate boss of Shaolin Monks. A Shokan, he shares his species' four arms and imposing size, but is distinguished by his tiger-like stripes. Kintaro participates in Shao Kahn's attempt to conquer Earthrealm during the second game's tournament, where he is defeated by Liu Kang. In the reboot, he is defeated by Kung Lao during the tournament. The reboot also establishes him as being responsible for Kabal's injuries. In the Mortal Kombat X comic, Kintaro is revealed to have been killed by Sonya Blade between the events of the 2011 reboot and Mortal Kombat X while she was being controlled by Havik.
The character was a stop-motion clay figure whose design was inspired by the Japanese mythological character Kintarō. He was initially conceived for MKII as an anthropomorphic fur-lined bipedal tiger, but the concept was scrapped due to the difficulty of creating such a complicated outfit. According to series co-creator John Tobias, Kintaro was redesigned as a "Goro spinoff" who was possibly a Shokan general, but not royalty.
Kintaro has received a middling reception due to his minor role in the series and is often unfavorably compared to previous sub-boss Goro. UGO Networks opined in 2012 that Kintaro "serves no real purpose except for being a reskinned Goro whose sole purpose is to avenge the aforementioned's death" in the conclusion of the original game. Den of Geek wrote that he "has virtually no story to speak of outside of the [MK9] retcon". Despite this, his "Reverse Rip" finishing move in the reboot was ranked ninth in Gameranx's 2012 selection of the MK series' ten most gruesome Fatalities, and Prima Games placed it 35th in their 2014 list of the series' top fifty Fatalities.
Chameleon is a mysterious warrior who possesses the abilities of all the franchise' male ninjas. He is distinguished by his partially transparent appearance and an outfit that constantly changes its colors. Chameleon appeared in the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and PC versions of Mortal Kombat Trilogy with no biography or ending; he is instead only referred to as "one of Shao Kahn's deadliest warriors." His Armageddon ending is also vague, revealing only that he had sought to become Mortal Kombat champion since the events of the first game.
The character was ranked 32nd in UGO's 2012 selection of the top fifty series characters, who wrote "They say copying is a form of flattery, so Chameleon makes our list." Complex rated him tenth in their 2011 selection of the series' ten "most underrated characters".
Khameleon is a Zaterran who possesses the abilities of the franchise's female ninjas. Introduced in the Nintendo 64 version of Mortal Kombat Trilogy, she is the last known female of her race. Due to Shao Kahn's role in her race's near extinction, Khameleon seeks revenge against him. Khameleon was the franchise's only character excluded in the original release of Armageddon, but was added to the Wii version. Series art director Steve Beran acknowleged that she was included in Armageddon due to heavy fan demand.
The character placed 33rd in UGO's selection of the top fifty series characters.
Motaro is the sub-boss of Mortal Kombat 3 and its updates. A four-legged Centaurian, he leads Shao Kahn's extermination squads during the invasion of Earthrealm. In addition to his immense strength, he possesses the abilities to teleport, fire energy blasts from his tail, and deflect opponents' projectiles. He returns in Armageddon as a bipedal minotaur due to a curse placed on his species by the Shokan. Motaro is the only character from the first three installments not present during gameplay of the 2011 reboot; he only appears in the story mode's cinematics, which depict him being killed by Raiden.
John Tobias said that Motaro was inspired by a Micronauts toy figure of Baron Karza, which could be turned into a centaur by combining the toy with a horse figure packaged alongisde it. Described by Ed Boon as one of the "oddest shaped" Mortal Kombat characters, Motaro was nearly excluded from Armageddon due to the developers' difficulty of compensating for his unique half-horse body shape. With fans desiring to see the character return, the developers removed Motaro's hind legs to allow him in the game.
The character appears in the 1997 film Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, played by Deron McBee, where he is one of Shao Kahn's main warriors. In the film's climactic battle, Motaro is defeated by Jax. He has also appeared in the 1996 animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm and the 2020 animated film Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge.
Motaro placed 31st in UGO's 2012 ranking of the top fifty Mortal Kombat characters, noting his being a tough sub-boss to beat. In 2013, Complex ranked the fight against Motaro in Mortal Kombat 3 as the 31st-hardest boss battle in video games, and Motaro himself as the tenth-most brutal fighter in the series. Fans ranked him the 39th-best character in the series in a 2013 online poll hosted by Dorkly. Den of Geek ranked Motaro 42nd in their 2015 rating of the franchise's 64 playable characters. The bipedal version of the character was ranked as the worst Mortal Kombat character by ScrewAttack, stating that Motaro lost his most defining trait by not having four legs.
Fujin is the god of wind. Based on the Japanese deity of the same name, he first appears as a boss in Mythologies: Sub-Zero where he unsuccessfully guards Shinnok's amulet from Bi-Han. He makes his playable debut in Mortal Kombat 4, which sees him succeed Raiden as Earthrealm's protector after Raiden becomes an Elder God. Fujin returns in Armageddon, where he is defeated by Taven after attempting to prevent Taven from continuing his quest. In the rebooted timeline, Fujin appears in Mortal Kombat X's story mode fighting the Netherrealm's forces alongside Raiden, but is not a playable character. He becomes a playable character in the Aftermath expansion for Mortal Kombat 11, which depicts the efforts of him, Shang Tsung, and Nightwolf to save their universe by obtaining Kronika's crown. Fujin is ultimately betrayed by Shang Tsung, who drains his soul, but keeps him alive to continue draining his powers for eternity. In Shang Tsung's ending, Fujin and Raiden become his servants.
Fujin placed 40th in UGO's 2012 listing of the top fifty series characters. In 2014, Prima Games included Fujin among their twenty "cheapest" characters in the series due to having a crossbow as his primary weapon. Ed Boon later admitted regret to giving Fujin easy access to a projectile weapon; in his later appearances, Fujin would only be able to use the crossbow for special attacks.
Sareena is a demon from the Netherrealm. She debuts in Mythologies: Sub-Zero as an assassin assigned by Quan Chi to kill Bi-Han, the original Sub-Zero. After being spared by Bi-Han, she assists him in defeating Quan Chi, but is killed by Shinnok. Sareena returns as a playable character in the Tournament Edition port of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, which reveals Shinnok's attack banished her to a lower plane of the Netherrealm. Escaping through a portal, she is offered asylum in Earthrealm by the younger Sub-Zero. However, the Konquest mode of Armageddon sees her again serving Quan Chi, leading to her being defeated by Taven. Following a background cameo in the 2011 reboot, Sareena appears in the story mode of Mortal Kombat X where she assists the Special Forces in battling the Netherrealm's forces.
The 1996 television series Mortal Kombat: Conquest featured an original character named Siann, played by Dana Hee, who was inspired by Sareena, but remained loyal to Quan Chi. She was ranked 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".
Jarek is a member of the Black Dragon clan. Established in Mortal Kombat 4 as the last known Black Dragon, he possesses Kano's special moves and Fatalities. He helps defend Earthrealm against Shinnok, but falls off a cliff in the aftermath when the Special Forces attempt to arrest him. In Armageddon, Jarek is revealed to have survived and develops an obssession with killing all of his opponents. Jarek also appears as one of the bosses in Special Forces, where he is defeated by Jax. In the Mortal Kombat X prequel comic, he is imprisoned in Outworld by Kotal Kahn.
Modeled after Midway character artist Herman Sanchez, Jarek received a tepid reception for his similarities to Kano. He is mostly recognized for the Mortal Kombat 4 endings featuring him, which have been maligned for their voice acting and dialogue. John Cheese of Cracked included the endings in a 2013 feature titled "6 Video Game Endings That Are Clearly F#@%ing With Us," mocking Jarek's screams and describing his laughter as "the single stupidest, creepiest, most bizarre laugh I have ever heard in any format as long as I have been alive".
Kai is a Shaolin Monk and member of the White Lotus Society. He debuts in Mortal Kombat 4 as one of the warriors defending Earthrealm from Shinnok. Afterwards, he goes on quest for self-enlightenment, although he returns in Armageddon.
According to Ed Boon, Kai was developed as an "African American character who was very nimble like Liu Kang" with vertical fireball projectiles. He was also the first character to perform a handstand during gameplay, which was intended to be his main fighting style in Armageddon, but Boon stated this was prevented by time limitations.
Kai came in at 47th on UGO's 2012 list of the top 50 Mortal Kombat characters. Robert Naytor of Hardcore Gaming 101 said, "With all his projectile moves, he's basically the black Liu Kang".
Meat was originally as a skin created by art director Tony Goskie that would depict each fighter in Mortal Kombat 4 as a bloodied corpse. After being established as a canonical character in Deception's Konquest mode, he received a backstory and unique special moves in Armageddon. His Armageddon ending reveals that he is an experiment created by Shang Tsung who escaped the sorcerer's clutches before he could be completed. Prima Games' strategy guide for Armageddon also states that Meat assists Shinnok, although this relationship is not established in the game.
Meat placed 49th in UGO's 2012 listing of the top fifty MK characters, noting that he became a fan favorite for his "ridiculously gruesome moves". Conversely, ScrewAttack ranked Meat fourth in its 2011 ranking of the series' ten worst characters for being "a generic [character] model" without flesh. 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 the character is depicted "spraying blood everywhere".
Reiko is a general who has served Shinnok and Shao Kahn. He first appears assisting Shinnok's invasion in Mortal Kombat 4, while Armageddon depicts him under Shao Kahn's command. After making a background cameo in the 2011 reboot, he appears in the Mortal Kombat X prequel comics, where he becomes a blood god before being betrayed and killed by Havik.
The character was added to Mortal Kombat 4 to replace Noob Saibot after the developers found that the game had too many ninja characters. While his original ending simply depicted him walking through a portal, Reiko's FMV ending showed him wearing the helmet of Shao Kahn. This led to speculation that Reiko was Shao Kahn, which was dispelled when the Konquest mode of Deception revealed that Reiko would sneak into Shao Kahn's throne room to wear his helmet. In an interview, John Tobias stated that Reiko was intended to be a reincarnation of Shao Kahn, but this story would be disregarded in later installments. Nevertheless, Reiko's appearance and special moves in Armageddon would be stylized after Shao Kahn.
Outside of the games, Jim Helsinger played Reiko in the 1996 television series Mortal Kombat: Conquest, where he is one of Shao Kahn's generals. Reiko also appeared in the 2021 Mortal Kombat film, portrayed by Nathan Jones, as one of the Outworld champions. He faces off against Jax in the film's final battle, eventually being killed when Jax crushes his head.
Reiko placed 42nd on UGO's 2012 list of the top 50 Mortal Kombat characters. Gavin Jasper of Den of Geek rated Reiko last 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. WhatCulture ranked him fourteenth in their 2015 selection of the series' twenty worst characters for "having zero individuality".
Tanya is an Edenian who aligns herself with the series' villains. Often acting out of self-preservation, she betrays Edenia to Shinnok in Mortal Kombat 4 and Onaga in Deception. In the story mode of Mortal Kombat X, Tanya joins Mileena's rebellion against Kotal Kahn with the intent of liberating Edenia from Outworld; she is defeated by D'Vorah, but spared at Cassie Cage's behest.
Named after Ed Boon's sister Tania, Tanya was created to replace Kitana in Mortal Kombat 4. She placed 34th on UGO's 2012 list of the top 50 MK characters. Complex named Tanya seventh in their 2011 selection of the top ten underrated MK characters, calling her "the traitor of all traitors in the series, switching her allegiance more times than we can count". Conversely, 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, praising her "Thighbone Stab" Fatality from Deception and suggesting she be played by Rosario Dawson.
Tremor is a ninja member of the Black Dragon clan. As implied by his name, he is able to manipulate the Earth with his immense strength. He is initially depicted as a brown-clad ninja, but would be redesigned to have a body made out of rocks. Originally intended as a playable character for Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Tremor instead debuted as a boss in Special Forces, where he is killed by Jax. He made his playable debut as a downloadable character in Mortal Kombat X, although he has no involvement in the story. In the Mortal Kombat X prequel comic, it is revealed that Tremor was imprisoned in Outworld by Kotal Kahn.
Blaze is a fire elemental created to monitor the warriors of the realms. He appears as a hidden character in Deadly Alliance, which depicts him being forced to protect the last known dragon egg by Onaga's followers. After the egg hatches, completing Onaga's resurrection, Blaze is able to continue monitoring the warriors, which causes him to discover that they have become too powerful for the realms in his absence. He serves as the final boss of Armageddon, where he brings all the fighters together for a final battle. As part of his mission to prevent an impending Armageddon, Blaze has Taven face him in a fight intended to either kill all the warriors or strip them of their powers. The 2011 reboot reveals that Blaze was instead defeated by Shao Kahn, prompting Raiden's efforts to change the timeline.
Prior to becoming to becoming a playable character, Blaze originated in the background of Mortal Kombat II's Pit II stage as a Liu Kang palette swap covered in flames and facing off against another Liu Kang palette swap. The character was nicknamed "Torch" by fans, but due to the risk of copyright infringement on the Marvel character Human Torch, Midway officially named him Blaze. In reference to his original role, he has made cameo appearances in Shaolin Monks, the 2011 reboot, Mortal Kombat X, and Mortal Kombat 11, which all feature the Pit II.
The character placed 37th on UGO's 2012 list of the top 50 Mortal Kombat characters, which remarked, "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 G3AR ranked Blaze the sixth worst character in the franchise, calling him "an example of how some things should be laid to rest before they have begun".
Bo' Rai Cho is a martial arts master skilled in the style of drunken boxing. His attacks mostly center around his weight and bodily functions. An Outworld native, but an opponent of Shao Kahn's tyranny, he trained Liu Kang and many other Earthrealm warriors for the Mortal Kombat tournament as his participation would be on the behalf of Shao Kahn. For his debut in Deadly Alliance, Bo' Rai Cho trains Kung Lao after he learns of Liu Kang's death. In Deception, he rescues Li Mei from having her soul trapped inside one of the corpses of Onaga's army. Bo' Rai Cho is later tricked by Mileena, posing as Kitana, into leading Kitana's army to certain defeat against Baraka's forces, but Bo' Rai Cho emerges victorious with the help of Liu Kang. He returns in Mortal Kombat X where he is attacked by Shinnok; his fate afterwards is left unknown.
The character's name is a play on the "borracho", the Spanish word for "drunk". According to Herman Sanchez, Bo' Rai Cho was created because Ed Boon sought to have a "slob" fighter, while John Vogel filled the "master" role for the franchise.
Reception to Bo' Rai Cho has been generally negative for his appearance and gross-out nature. Den of Geek ranked him 55th in their rating of the series' 73 characters, calling Bo' Rai Cho "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 as "a big, fat guy" without Shun Di's charm who developers had "throw up and fart a lot". ScrewAttack rated him tenth in their 2011 list of the series' ten worst characters, noting that his in-game weapon was plain wooden staff. However, Bo' Rai Cho placed 37th on UGO's 2012 list of the top 50 MK characters, which called his comic relief role "a breath of fresh air. Or, in his case, a belch of fresh air". Complex named him one of the series' most underrated characters in 2011.
Drahmin is a demonic Oni who resides in the Netherrealm. He and Moloch are hired by Quan Chi to protect him against Scorpion in exchange for freedom from the Netherrealm, but after Quan Chi betrays them, they align themselves with Shang Tsung to help him counter Quan Chi's treachery. While in Shang Tsung's palace, Drahmin and Moloch encounter Scorpion, whom they defeat by throwing into the palace's Soulnado. Drahmin returns in the Mortal Kombat X prequel comic, where he is killed by Quan Chi.
Ed Boon described Drahmin as one of the most difficult characters to program because specific code had to written to prevent Drahmin's arm-mounted club from switching sides whenever the character turned around during gameplay. Drahmin has received a mostly negative reception; G3AR named him among the worst series characters for his "hideous" appearance and lack of combo abilities. Den of Geek rated him 47th in their 2015 ranking of the 64 series characters, describing him as "a collection of cool concepts that doesn't make for much of a sum" whereas "Moloch does a lot more with less".
Frost is a Lin Kuei warrior who possesses the ability to control ice. She was trained directly by Sub-Zero due to the similarities between them and the potential he saw in her, but her skills were compounded her arrogant nature. When Sub-Zero has her accompany him in Deadly Alliance to help battle Quan Chi and Shang Tsung, Frost steals his Dragon Medallion, which results in her being frozen by her own powers. Frost is revealed to have survived in the Unchained port of Deception, where Sub-Zero traps her in a block of ice after she attempts to kill him. She is freed by Taven in the Konquest mode of Armageddon, but attacks him after mistaking him for Sub-Zero and is defeated. Following cameos in the 2011 reboot and Mortal Kombat X's story mode, Frost returns as a playable character in Mortal Kombat 11, which depicts her receiving cybernetic enhancements. Aligning herself with Kronika by leading the Cyber Lin Kuei against Earthrealm's heroes, she is defeated by Raiden, who shuts down the cyborgs by deactivating her link to them.
The character was the first designed by Herman Sanchez for Deadly Alliance. She was placed eighth in Complex's selection of the series' ten most underrated characters in 2011. Den of Geek placed Frost 37th in their 2015 ranking of the series' 73 player characters, calling her addition "a nice touch" to Sub-Zero's rebuilding of the Lin Kuei.
Hsu Hao is a member of the Red Dragon clan distinguished by his cybernetic heart. After infiltrating the Special Forces, Hsu Hao destroys their Outerworld Investigation Agency branch with a nuclear device in Deadly Alliance. He is eventually found by Jax, who kills him by ripping out his cybernetic heart. Despite this, he returns in Armageddon. Hsu Hao also appears in the Mortal Kombat X comic prequel, where he is killed by Scorpion.
During development, the character was called Kublai Khan after the Mongolian emperor of the same name. Steve Beran described him as "the anti-Jax" whose cybernetic heart was the result of experiments performed on him by the Chinese army. According to Ed Boon, Hsu Hao had a number of different iterations, with his "Hand Clap" special move was inspired by superhero comics.
Hsu Hao is widely regarded as one of the worst characters in the Mortal Kombat franchise. G3AR ranked him second in their 2013 list of the series' ten worst characters and Den of Geek's 2015 ranking of the series' 73 characters also placed him as the second worst. Robert Naytor of Hardcore Gaming 101 described the character as "a slightly racist take at a Village Person". Naming him the series' worst character in 2014, Destructoid noted that "in a game that was littered with lackluster new additions, he was without a doubt the runt of that litter". This negative reception carried over to the development team, with John Vogel intending his death in Deadly Alliance to be canon and Boon making him the first character officially omitted from Mortal Kombat X.
Li Mei is an Outworld native from a small village. In Deadly Alliance, she is forced into a tournament by Shang Tsung and Quan Chi with the promise that her victory would free her village. However, upon winning the tournament, Shang Tsung attempts to place her soul into a corpse of one of Onaga's soldiers. Deception reveals that Li Mei was saved by Bo' Rai Cho, but her contact with the corpse causes her to feel a connection with Onaga. She makes a brief appearance in the story mode of Mortal Kombat X, where she leads a number of Outworld refugees into Earthrealm after Mileena uses Shinnok's amulet to destroy her village.
Reception to Li Mei has been mixed, with criticism directed towards her Deception design. 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 "[wearing] a bandana while dancing around in metal-plated underwear", which he stated "deserves to be ridiculed". Conversely, 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".
Mavado is a high-ranking member of the Red Dragon clan. As his clan's top priority is the elimination of the Black Dragon, he aligns himself with Quan Chi and Shang Tsung in Deadly Alliance when they promise to hand over Kano to him for his services. Mavado defeats Kenshi on their behest, but Deception reveals that he was killed by Kabal after an unsuccessful attempt on Kabal's life. Nevertheless, he returns in Armageddon continuing to serve the Red Dragon. Mavado also appears in the Mortal Kombat X comic prequel, where he is killed by Cassie Cage.
Originally named "Malvado", the Spanish word for "evil", Steve Beran 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 is the first character in the series to a physical object for a body-propel special attack, which he performs by shooting two bungee cords into the ground and slingshotting himself feet-first to dropkick his opponent. This attack was incorporated into his "Boot Thrust" Fatality.
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, placed him 39th in their 2015 ranking of the series' 73 characters "for his bungee hook attacks" and taking Kabal's weapons after killing him.
Mokap is a motion capture actor with an extensive martial arts background. He debuted as a hidden character in Deadly Alliance, but has no involvement with the story; his biography follows Johnny Cage's non-canonical ending of a Deadly Alliance film being created. Mokap also has a limited role in the conflict of Armageddon, where his involvement is said to be by mistake.
Named after the acronym for motion capture, Mokap is based on Midway graphic artist Carlos Pesina, who provided the motion capture work for Deadly Alliance. Pesina admitted it was "pretty flattering" being included in the game, but also remarked it was "weird" seeing Fatalities performed on him.
Reception to Mokap has been mostly negative. Den of Geek rated him 55th in their 2015 ranking of the series characters, stating that he "didn't really work well as a comedy character because the game did little to differentiate the characters in terms of personality". In their ranking of the 10 worst characters, ScrewAttack placed Mokap second because "nobody wants to play as a dude with balls on his body". Despite this, Total Film named Mokap among the seven "nasty" characters wanted in a third Mortal Kombat film, suggesting he be played by motion capture specialist Andy Serkis.
Moloch is the sub-boss of Deadly Alliance. An Oni demon of immense size and strength, he and Drahmin are hired by Quan Chi to protect him against Scorpion in exchange for freedom from the Netherrealm. After Quan Chi betrays them by leaving them behind, Moloch and Drahmin align themselves with Shang Tsung to help him counter Quan Chi's treachery. They also defeat Scorpion by throwing him into the Soulnado at Shang Tsung's palace. Moloch also appears in the Mortal Kombat X prequel comic, where Quan Chi has him killed the revenant Kitana. In refence to his comic death, Quan Chi is seen holding Moloch's severed head during his Mortal Kombat X pre-match introductions.
Designed by Allen Ditzig, Moloch's concept changing little from his finalized design. Den of Geek rated him 21st in their 2015 ranking of the series' 64 characters, praising his sub-boss role and possessing "some utter brutality that hadn't been felt in a Mortal Kombat boss since Kintaro". Bryan Dawson of Prima Games named Moloch in his 2014 selection of the "cheapest" Mortal Kombat characters for his playable version in Armageddon having "a near infinite combo limited only by the size of the stage" and "ridiculous reach with most of his special moves".
Nitara is a vampire from the realm of Vaeternus. In Deadly Alliance, she seeks to destroy the orb that binds her realm to Outworld. As the orb is inside of a lava pit that Cyrax is able to enter, Nitara orchestrates a series of events to force Cyrax into helping her in exchange for passage back to Earthrealm. She ultimately succeeds in destroying the orb with Cyrax's assistance, freeing Vaeternus. Her biography in Armageddon states that Nitara leaves Vaeternus for Edenia in an effort to prevent her species from being exterminated by Ashrah, although this is not established during the game.
The character was designed by Luis Mangubat. A male vampire counterpart was also planned for Deadly Alliance, but the developers were unable to add him to the game in time. In the game's Konquest mode, she was featured in a fictional "Blood" energy drink advertisement.
Nitara appears in the 2021 Mortal Kombat film, portrayed by Mel Jarnson. Depicted as one of the Outworld champions, she is killed by Kung Lao with his hat.
UGO ranked Nitara 46th on their 2012 list of the top fifty series characters. In 2011, Complex named her one of the series' most underrated characters, stating that "Buffy would get her ass handed to her by this chick".
Ashrah is a demon from the Netherrealm. During the events of Deception, she discovers a magical sword that cleanses her soul when she uses it to kill demons. As having a purified soul will allow her to escape the Netherrealm, Ashrah plots to kill Noob Saibot to complete her redemption. Her Armageddon biography reveals that after leaving the Netherrealm, she is tasked with killing the vampires in Vaeternus. Nitara's Armageddon biography further reveals that Ashrah's sword merely manipulates its wielder into believing it purifies them by killing vampires, setting up a conflict between Nitara and Ashrah; this storyline, however, is not depicted in the game.
Ed Boon commented that the character was commonly misconceived as a female version of Raiden due to her similar outfit and believed she would have the "biggest impact" out of the new characters from Deception. Ashrah was ranked 45th on UGO's 2012 list of the top 50 Mortal Kombat characters. Den of Geek placed her 53rd in their 2015 ranking of the 64 series characters, opining that there was "nothing special about her". Robert Naytor of Hardcore Gaming 101 made note of the character's "modest outfit" in contrast to the franchise's other female characters, but criticized her minor role in the story. Although Kevin Wong of Complex found Ashrah to be "a Raiden knockoff", he praised her "Voodoo Doll" Fatality from Deception.
Dairou is a mercenary from Orderrealm. He was formerly a member of his realm's guardsmen until was arrested after killing an assailant out of rage and began following his own personal code once he escaped from prison. An alternate biography states he was tricked into killing the individual he believed murdered his family; it is implied that Darrius is the true culprit. In Deception, Dairou is hired by an unknown individual to assassinate Hotaru. According to Darrius' ending, he had also been hired to steal their realm's Declaration of Order.
Dairou was slated to appear in Deadly Alliance 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. For Deception, his original design was eschewed in favor of a more classical Chinese appearance. Ed Boon deemed the character's "Tombstone Drop" maneuver, where he slams backfirst onto the ground and sends his opponent airborne for a combo, one of the best moves in the game.
Although Boon had praise for Dairou's appearance, reception to the character has been negative. He was ranked 67th by Den of Geek in their 2015 rating of the series' 73 playable characters, describing him as "unbelievably generic", and Dustin Thomas of Destructoid stated "there really isn't a whole lot to say about him" while ranking him third in his 2014 list of the series' five worst MK characters. Despite this, his "Ribs to the Eyes" Fatality in Deception is regarded as one of the franchise's best.
Darrius is the leader of a resistance movement in Orderrealm. He seeks to overthrow his realm's government, believing they are too oppressive towards their citizens. To accomplish his goal, Darrius exploits the laws of his realm to manipulate others into joining his movement; his Deception biography implies that he had Dairou's family murdered to instigate Dairou's removal from the guardsmen.
Designed by Steve Beran, Darrius was the last new addition to the Deception roster. Beran 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", while Ed Boon considered him a more "Americanized" fighting game character who had an indescribable "appeal" about him and Herman Sanchez called the character "lean and mean, aggressive, [and with] style." According to Beran, the character's look was inspired by 1960s and '70s comic book art, with his final appearance "intended to be a mixture of those elements fused with a sleek modern approach". His alternate costume was a homage to actor Jim Kelly. Lead storyteller John Vogel expressed his desire to see Darrius in future MK installments, although he has not reappeared since Armageddon.
Darrius was rated 44th in the 2015 ranking of the series' 73 player characters by Gavin Jasper of Den of Geek, who found him "worth revisiting down the line". Conversely, ScrewAttack named Darrius the sixth worst Mortal Kombat character, calling him a "knock-off" of the Marvel Comics hero Blade.
Havik is a denizen of Chaosrealm. As with the rest of his realm, his primary goal is to spread disorder through the universe. In Deception, he pursues his goal by luring the heroes into battle with Onaga. He also convinces Kabal to reform the Black Dragon after saving him from death. Havik is prominently featured in the Mortal Kombat X prequel comic, which sees him killed by Quan Chi. However, Shang Tsung states that he is still alive during the events of Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath.
The character was designed by Steve Beran as an alternate outfit for Noob Saibot before being given a storyline of his own. His original name during development of Deception was "Skab." Ed Boon said that Havik was envisioned as a "decaying" character whose specials would look "disturbing" due to often featuring his limbs breaking.
Havik is generally regarded as the best character introduced in Deception. Dustin Thomas of Destructoid called him "the only new character in Deception worthy of being a Mortal Kombat character". Hardcore Gaming 101 described Havik as "probably the least lamest of the newcomers in Deception, even though that's not saying much". 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" for a third Mortal Kombat film in 2009, describing him as "someone who looks like a zombie version of Genghis Khan walking around and doing the occasional good deed" and stated that he should be played "by Jason Statham in a cheap Skeletor costume".
Hotaru is a high-ranking guardsman in Orderrealm. Although not inherently evil, he aligns himself with Onaga in Deception due to Onaga's reputation for preserving order. As part of his alignment, Hotaru pursues Sub-Zero for killing many of Onaga's Tarkatan warriors. In turn, Hotaru is pursued by Dairou, who received a contract to assassinate him. He is depicted being killed by Dairou, Darrius, and Kenshi in their respective endings, but the 2011 reboot reveals that his death occurred during the final battle of Armageddon.
The character was conceived as a foil to Havik. His name is the Japanese word for firefly, which serves as the motif for his costume that was designed by Jennifer Hedrick.
Hotaru was ranked 43rd on UGO's 2012 list of the top 50 Mortal Kombat characters. Ranking him 60th in their 2015 rating of the series' 73 characters, Den of Geek remarked that "order tends to be the more boring [compared to chaos], but Hotaru has just enough of a cool factor". Robert Workman of GamePlayBook rated Hotaru tenth in his selection of the worst series characters for his using lava as a weapon and "stealing" Liu Kang's Bicycle Kick for one of his special moves.
Kira is a member of the Black Dragon clan who possesses the abilities of Kano and Sonya Blade. She also wields the same daggers as Kano. Formerly an arms dealer, she becomes the first recruit of Kabal's new clan in Deception. Early into the Konquest mode of Armageddon, Kira is seen guarding a bridge alongside Kobra. Kira, however, abandons Kobra during his battle with Taven, which he loses.
John Vogel described Kira as the "most disciplined" of the Black Dragons, while Jay Biondo called her "the Fatal Attraction character." She was among seven "nasty series characters" cited Sam Ashurst of Total Film for a third Mortal Kombat film, suggesting she could be played by "Olga Kurylenko with a pencil mustache". Describing her as an "evil Sonya Blade" who was "a bit easier to take seriously" than Kobra, Den of Geek placed Kira 32nd in their 2015 ranking of the franchise's 64 player characters. Her storyline as an arms dealer who disguised herself as a man was ranked fourth by John Harty of WhatCulture in his 2015 selection of the series' ten "Most Badass Backstories," calling it "a concept that speaks to a person having some serious balls".
Kobra is a martial artist who serves the Black Dragon clan. Once a disciplined fighter, he turns criminal after he starts using his training to kill others. His bloodlust catches the attention of Kabal, who makes him the second recruit of his clan in Deception. Kobra appears as Taven's first opponent in the Konquest mode of Armageddon, where he unsuccesfully attempts to prevent Taven from crossing a bridge. In Mortal Kombat X, Erron Black claims to have killed him, but this is unconfirmed.
The character was nicknamed "Ben Masters" while Deception was in production due to his physical resemblance to Street Fighter character Ken Masters. Ed Boon described Kobra in Deception as "the simple character that everybody can pick up and play" with easy-to-execute special moves.
GamePlayBook placed Kobra sixth in their 2010 listing of the ten worst Mortal Kombat characters, unfavorably comparing him to Ken. He was also ranked as the fifth worst Mortal Kombat character by ScrewAttack, who described him as "a generic white guy". However, Den of Geek rated Kobra 35th in their 2015 ranking of the 64 series characters, calling him an "evil Johnny Cage".
Onaga is the final boss of Deception. Also known as the Dragon King, he was the emperor of Outworld until he was poisoned by Shao Kahn. Resurrected in Deception, Onaga derives his power from the Kamidogu, six mystical relics that contain the essence of each main realm. Unbeknownst to Onaga, however, he is being manipulated by the One Being into unmaking reality through the Kamidogu. The Konquest mode of Deception reveals how he manipulated Shujinko into collecting the Kamidogu for him under the identity of his avatar Damashi. He is ultimately defeated by Shujinko, but returns in Armageddon, where he begrudgingly enters an alliance with Shao Kahn and other major villains to destroy Blaze. Onaga does not appear in the rebooted timeline, although he is occasionally referenced.
The character was ranked 39th on UGO's 2012 list of the top 50 Mortal Kombat fighters.
Shujinko is a veteran adventurer with the ability to copy the powers of his opponents. He serves as the protagonist of Deception's Konquest mode, which depicts how he was deceived into collecting the six mystical Kamidogu for Onaga. Upon learning of the deception, Shujinko seeks redemption by using the power he received from Onaga to defeat him. Shujinko emerges victorious by destroying the Kamidogu, but believing that he has not redeemed himself, he plots to destroy Onaga and the other villains during the events of Armageddon. He appears in the Mortal Kombat X prequel comic, where he guards Chaosrealm's Kamidogu, but becomes possessed by Havik.
Ed Boon deemed Shujinko the series' "next-generation Liu Kang", but the character was not well received. Describing him as "one of the most gullible, susceptible dumbasses in video games", Den of Geek placed Shujinko 65th in their 2015 ranking of the series' 73 playable characters. ScrewAttack ranked Shujinko the eighth worst Mortal Kombat characters for being an "older and boring" Liu Kang. Bryan Dawson of Prima Games named him one of the series' "cheapest" characters due to his moveset of other fighters' special attacks.
Daegon is the younger of the brothers tasked with preventing Armageddon. Due to being awoken prematurely from his incubation, however, he appears physically older than Taven. The premature awakening causes Daegon to become unbalanced, resulting in him killing his parents and forming the Red Dragon clan. When Taven is properly awoken during the events of Armageddon, Daegon fights him for the right to face Blaze, but he is defeated by his older brother. Along with a background cameo in the 2011 reboot, he appears in the Mortal Kombat X prequel comic, which establishes him as the killer of Takeda's mother.
The character was initially called "Doug" during the production of Armageddon as the developers had difficulty finding a name for him. Daegon finished 56th in Den of Geek's 2015 ranking of the series' 73 characters. He was criticized by Hardcore Gaming 101, who opined that his in-development name was "probably the most interesting thing about him".
Taven is the older of the brothers tasked with preventing Armageddon. He serves as the protagonist of Armageddon's Konquest mode, which depicts his quest to save the realms by claiming Blaze's power. The mode ends with Taven defeating Blaze, but his victory does not stop the final battle as it instead causes the other warriors to become more powerful. The 2011 reboot, however, established that Shao Kahn claimed Blaze's power, implying that Taven was defeated by Blaze. Taven has not been featured in the storyline of the rebooted timeline, although he has appeared in non-canonical endings.
Due to difficulty in naming the character, Taven was originally 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. Reception to Taven was mostly negative; Hardcore Gaming 101 called him "utterly generic". Destructoid named him the series' second-worst fighter, describing him as "the most bland character in MK history". Similar criticism was shared by Den of Geek in their 2015 ranking of the series' 73 playable characters, which placed him 58th and opined "Taven's generic design didn't do him any favors" when Armageddon was "based around including every single playable Mortal Kombat character".
Dark Kahn is the final boss of Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. He is an amalgamation of Shao Kahn and DC Comics supervillain Darkseid, created through the accidental merging of their universes. Deriving his power from conflict, he attempts to fully merge the universes by manipulating the Mortal Kombat and DC warriors into fighting each other. Dark Kahn is ultimately defeated by Raiden and Superman, who manage to overcome his manipulation. Following Dark Kahn's destruction, Shao Kahn and Darkseid become trapped in their counterparts' universe; Darkseid is sent to the Netherrealm, while Shao Kahn is imprisoned in the Phantom Zone.
D'Vorah is a Kytinn, a humanoid race with insect/arachnid traits. Her name is derived from the Hebrew word for bee. She is first seen serving Kotal Kahn in Mortal Kombat X, but is secretly in allegiance with Shinnok, which results in her being defeated by Cassie Cage. In Mortal Kombat 11, D'Vorah joins Kronika's efforts in restarting the timeline. Although she kills the present version of Scorpion, she is forced to retreat after his past counterpart injures her; her subsequent fate is unknown.
The character has received a polarizing reception; Melody MacReady of ScreenRant noted that while D'Vorah is praised for her design, she has generated controversy for killing popular characters Baraka, Mileena, and Scorpion within the story. Nevertheless, she ranked 25th in Den of Geek's 2015 rating of the series' 73 playable characters, which called her "a great new addition to the roster" and lauded that she was "filled with all sorts of creepy surprises".
Erron Black is a mercenary from Earthrealm, but in the service of Outworld. Depicted as a 19th century gunfighter from the Old West, his backstory reveals that his body's aging was slowed by Shang Tsung in exchange for murdering an unidentified Earthrealm warrior. As a result, he utilizes 19th century weaponry. He serves Kotal Kahn in Mortal Kombat X, which puts him into conflict with Earthrealm's warriors. Mortal Kombat 11 features a past version of Erron Black who serves Shao Kahn, while his present counterpart assists Kitana in defeating Shao Kahn's forces.
The character placed tenth in Den of Geek's rating of the series' 73 characters in 2015, the highest of any fighter not introduced in the first three games, which described him as "the Boba Fett of Mortal Kombat".
Ferra and Torr are a members of symbiotic species in Outworld. Through their relationship, the diminutive Ferra rides the massive Torr into battle, while Torr serves as their enforcer. During gameplay, the player controls Torr, with Ferra utilized for special attacks; as such, fatalities and brutalities are performed directly on Torr. Their ending in Mortal Kombat X establishes that Ferra is a juvenile who will be mounted by a rider when she reaches maturity. In the story mode of Mortal Kombat X, Ferra and Torr serve Kotal Kahn, which leads to them fighting Earthrealm's warriors; they are ultimately incapacitated by Sub-Zero.
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." They ranked 39th in the ranking of the series characters by Den of Geek, who praised them as "the most original new race the series has introduced in years".
Jacqui Briggs is a Special Forces operative who uses a pair of electronic gauntlets as her primary weapon. The daughter of Jax, she debuts in Mortal Kombat X as a member of Cassie Cage's unit, with whom she helps defeat the threatening forces of Outworld and the Netherrealm. She also becomes the love interest to Takeda. In Mortal Kombat 11, Jacqui and the past version of her father are forced to face the present version of Jax when he aligns himself with Kronika. After the present version realizes his mistakes, she fights alongside both versions of her father in the battle against Kronika's forces.
Den of Geek ranked Jacqui 47th in their ranking of the 73 series characters, praising her for being "fun to play as" while finding that "she doesn't stand out nearly enough". Ikhtear Shahrukh of The Daily Star opined that Jacqui as "fit[s] into typical generic fighter game character stereotypes instead of being Mortal Kombat material".
Kotal Kahn is the emperor of Outworld in Mortal Kombat X and Mortal Kombat 11. He is an Osh-Tekk, an Aztec-inspired species whose powers originate from the sun, and wields a macuahuitl as his primary weapon. Embroiled in a civil war against Mileena in Mortal Kombat X, he receives support from the Earthrealm warriors, but turns against them due to D'Vorah's deception. Kotal Kahn later leads an invasion of Earthrealm, which is driven back by the Lin Kuei. In Mortal Kombat 11, his rule is threatened by the return of Shao Kahn. After Shao Kahn cripples him, he names Kitana the new ruler of Outworld. He does not appear during the battle against Kronika in the original story mode, but Aftermath sees him participate after his injures heal; he is killed by Shao Kahn in a surprise attack.
The character was ranked 15th on Den of Geek's list of Mortal Kombat characters, which compared him to Black Adam and Namor as an "honorable" emperor who "will do anything to protect his planetary kingdom".
Kung Jin is a Shaolin archer. Part of the Great Kung Lao's family, he was previously a thief until Raiden convinced him to join the Shaolin. He is originally depicted as Kung Lao's cousin in Mortal Kombat X, but would be retconned as Kung Lao's nephew in Mortal Kombat 11. In Mortal Kombat X, Kung Jin is a member of Cassie Cage's unit, with whom he helps defeat the threatening forces of Outworld and the Netherrealm. He does not reappear in Mortal Kombat 11 outside of being referenced in dialogue and character endings.
Although not explicitly stated in Mortal Kombat X, Kung Jin is the series' first homosexual character. According to NetherRealm Studios, Kung Jin's primary costume was inspired by Mongolian nomadic archers, with him wearing it as a symbol of his acceptance of his role as a hero.
Den of Geek ranked Kung Jin 52nd in their 2015 list of the series' 73 characters, deeming him the "most boring" of Mortal Kombat X's new characters, although the scene where he acknowledged his homosexuality to Raiden was praised.
Takeda is a member of the Shirai Ryu clan whose primary weapon is a pair of bladed whips. The son of Kenshi, he was raised and trained by Scorpion after his mother's murder as Kenshi wanted him properly prepared to avenge his mother. He is depicted as a member of Cassie Cage's unit in Mortal Kombat X, where he helps defeat the threatening forces of Outworld and the Netherrealm. Takeda also serves as the love interest of Jacqui Briggs. Although he does not appear in Mortal Kombat 11, Jacqui mentions that they have become engaged.
The character was ranked 36th in the list of Mortal Kombat characters by Den of Geek, which found that he "works best as an accessory to Scorpion, finally giving him some semblance of family and helping to give him closure".
Triborg is a cybernetic warrior created from the consciousnesses of Sektor, Cyrax, Smoke, and Sub-Zero. As a result, he is able to replicate the abilities of each. Depending on the variation selected by the player, Triborg will appear as one of the Lin Kuei cyborgs and utilize his special moves during gameplay. He debuted as a downloadable character in Mortal Kombat X, where his backstory establishes that he seeks to destroy all organic life. However, he has no involvement in the storyline of the game. Triborg was excluded from the Den of Geek ranking of the series' fighters, as writer Gavin Jasper found him to be "a Voltron of existing characters".
Cetrion is the Elder Goddess of life and virtue. She utilizes nature and the elements as her primary powers. As the daughter of Kronika and sister of Shinnok, Cetrion is intended to balance the darkness represented by her brother. Despite her benevolent appearance, however, she maintains loyalty to Kronika. This loyalty leads to Cetrion allowing Kronika to absorb her essence in both the original story mode of Mortal Kombat 11 and the Aftermath expansion.
Ranking her 38th in his list of the series' characters, Gavin Jasper of Den of Geek called Cetrion "more nightmarish" than Shinnok.
Geras is an artificial construct created by Kronika to serve as her primary enforcer. Named after the Greek deity of old age, his powers are based around manipulating sand and time. The story mode of Mortal Kombat 11 establishes that he also possesses regenerative abilities, effectively rendering him immortal. As the Earthrealm heroes are unable to kill him, Raiden defeats Geras by throwing him into Netherrealm's bottomless Sea of Blood. The Aftermath expansion, however, depicts Geras being killed by Shao Kahn, despite his immortality powers.
Gavin Jasper of Den of Geek ranked Geras 20th in his list of the series' characters, with praise for his time manipulation powers and calling his ability to alter the game's match timer "such a wonderful, brilliant asshole move".
The Kollector is a Naknadan, a six-armed species in Outworld. His multiple arms allow him to utilize a wide array of weaponry, including a lantern, chain mace, bag bomb, and vials of fire. As implied by his name, he served as tribute collector for Shao Kahn until the emperor's death. When Shao Kahn returns in the story mode of Mortal Kombat 11, the Kollector rejoins his forces, but is defeated by Kitana. In the Aftermath expansion, he is the first to notice the time-displaced Shang Tsung, Fujin, and Nightwolf arrive in Outworld, leading to him being defeated by the lattermost.
Ranked 45th in his list of the series' characters, Gavin Jasper of Den of Geek spoke highly of the Kollector's animation and fighting style, but found that "he showed up a little too late to the party".
Kronika is the final boss of Mortal Kombat 11. She is a Titan, a deity predating the Elder Gods, and responsible for maintaining the universe's timeline. As such, her powers center around space and time manipulation. Mortal Kombat 11's story mode depicts her efforts to maintain the conflict between good and evil by restarting the timeline, while also removing Raiden from history. Although Kronika succeeds in bringing the timeline back to its beginning, she is destroyed by Liu Kang in his fire god form, who becomes the new keeper of time. Kronika returns in the Aftermath expansion when Shang Tsung goes back in time to retrieve her crown, which is required to control the timeline. She is ultimately erased from existence by Shang Tsung, while either Shang Tsung or Liu Kang becomes the keeper of time, depending on who the player selects in the battle between them.
Originally developed as a male deity, Kronika is noted as the first female boss in the Mortal Kombat franchise. She was ranked 23rd in the Den of Geek's series characters list, the second-highest final boss behind Shao Kahn, which praised her as "a great major villain" who was "scary not because of her pure might, but because of her affronting divinity".
These characters were never featured in games, either because they never existed or were removed during development.
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.
Guest characters from various media franchises have appeared in subsequent Mortal Kombat games following the 2008 crossover title Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.
= Playable in the base roster of the game
= Playable in later iterations of the game
= Appears as a non-playable opponent
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