Mortal Kombat X notably introduced a new generation of fighters to the long running series -- but it also executed more than a dozen klassic kombatants! Many prominent franchise icons were added to a death toll begun with the 2011 reboot -- but will they remain dead?
For every revenant that returned to life, NetherRealm put two more in the morgue! As we begin to think about what's next, we're revisiting the major fatalities that occurred in the Mortal Kombat X Story Mode - and its tie-in comic books! Read on and join the speculation about each kombatant's fate on the forums!
Shinnok received a memorable design upgrade in 2006's Armageddon, but he was arguably done most justice as the big bad of Mortal Kombat X!
A hellacious final boss transformation took the seed of an idea introduced by MK Mythologies: Sub-Zero -- and made it worthy of a fallen Elder God! A version of his MK4 defeat was revisited in backstory, but in the future present of MKX, Shinnok actually succeeded in reaching and corrupting Earthrealm's Jinsei spirit!
Despite nearly achieving his dastardly plan; Shinnok ultimately had victory snatched from his fingertips when Cassie Cage delivered a whooping as only her bloodline can! Raiden used his own aura to reverse Shinnok's corrupting influence, but emerged from the Jinsei a darkened version of himself. Shinnok's severed head was carried into the Netherrealm away from prying eyes, where Raiden's darkness lay bare.
Shinnok's status as a former Elder God means his demise is actually a little murky. After a strong showing in MKX, there doesn't seem to be any great demand to see Shinnok return in the immediate future, but the door is ever-so ajar, if the need should arise. Fighting game series notoriously struggle to move on from past arch-villains, and as much as we'd hate to say a permanent goodbye to a devil of MK's own making, it may be the best way to serve his legend. With prospective threats looming from Raiden and Kotal Kahn - the series seems ready to move on.
There was no denying the instant appeal of Quan Chi! The volley of his first appearances in MK Mythologies: Sub-Zero, MK4, and the Defenders of the Realm cartoon instantly cemented him as the series' strongest addition since Shao Kahn! When the series rebooted in 2011; Quan Chi's machinations were sewn deeper into the series' most iconic mythology, inscribing him as a grand manipulator who was pulling more strings than we can keep up with!
As a subverting influence working on Shinnok's behalf, Quan Chi had a lot of great moments, but his omnipresence clearly started to wear thin with many fans. That may give the ghastly necromancer's death more traction than it would otherwise have. The honor of the kill went to Scorpion, whose entire existence as a ninja spectre could be owed to Quan Chi's manipulations. Scorpion was more closely controlled by Quan Chi in the new timeline. Armed with that knowledge, he nearly damned the entire world in his pursuit of vengeance. He got it with a simple swing of the blade - decapitating Quan Chi as he unleashed Shinnok.
When the wicked die in Mortal Kombat their tainted souls are banished to the Netherrealm, but if that's where Quan Chi comes from -- what happens next? The new timeline has put Quan Chi's fingers in so many pies, we're all ready to take a break from his vast scheming. It's hard to imagine MK without one of its most successful post-Trilogy icons, but there is other terrain to explore in the immediate future.
With Shao Kahn and Kitana dead; Mileena rose to new heights in Mortal Kombat X as one of the main fighters vying for the Outworld throne. She was outmatched by a more qualified opponent, relying on the raw firepower of Shinnok's Amulet to counteract Kotal Kahn and his united forces. The threat of the wielding the amulet's power was known to Mileena's own allies, with the likes of Rain conspiring to seize power for himself. Her rule - always a tenuous one.
Mileena was ultimately undone by the work of the Special Forces, whose intel led to her capture and execution by D'Vorah. Consumed by insects, Mileena suffered a brutal death -- but what does such a demise mean to a clone? As a creation of Shang Tsung's Flesh Pits; Mileena was reintroduced to the rebooted timeline as one of several experimental clones, created from the fusion of Kitana and Tarkatan DNA.
To witness a return in a future installment, we need only learn of another clone's survival! Which is exactly what was alluded to in Mileena's MKX ending, which proposed the emergence of entire army of Mileena! It's always more satisfying when character development can be hung on a central avatar, but the spread of Mileena could be a fresh concept for the series to explore!
With his introduction in Mortal Kombat II, Baraka helped define the bizarre and dangerous identity of Shao Kahn's Outworld. Bladed arms and a wicked grin made him an instantly iconic kombatant, but inconsistent appearances, and a string of minor roles of servitude, have gradually eroded Baraka's status from would-be King of Mutants - to lowly minion.
In Mortal Kombat X, Baraka's loyalty remained to the half-Tarkatan daughter of Shao Kahn. He made multiple appearances in story mode, but was relegated to non-playable status while serving Mileena, even after post-release downloadable content!
An MK infused Xenomorph from the Alien franchise was his spiritual successor, adapting blades from the genetic transfer of gestation. Baraka met his official demise as a victim of the Outworld civil war, eviscerated viciously by D'Vorah and her insectoid limbs!
Baraka always seems to find his way back to life. In MK Gold, he was memorably stapled back together after being sliced down the middle by Kung Lao. The only problem with resurrecting Baraka is that he's effectively one of a horde of Tarkatan warriors. The more we've seen of his people, the more their similarity has been reinforced. For death to have value in fiction, it needs to be a threat of consequence. It would be sad to have MK without Baraka, but there are other Tarkatans who could fill that void and honor his legacy.
We were shown Sektor's disembodied head when it was data-mined by Sub-Zero during the Mortal Kombat X story mode. It wasn't until the tail end of the tie-in comic book series, however, that we learned how the Lin Kuei came to be reformed by Kuai Liang -- and the final fate of the cyber-assassins!
While the younger Sub-Zero toiled in the Netherealm as a revenant under Quan Chi's control; Sektor assumed command over the Lin Kuei, and completed their automation. When Sub-Zero was resurrected, he set about unraveling Sektor's plans by infecting the Lin Kuei cybers with a virus, and attacking their fortress. After freeing Cyrax from the control protocols, Sub-Zero removed Sektor's head by force!
Exactly how much humanity remains after the Lin Kuei's conversion process is unclear, but it would seem a version of Sektor could make a comeback any time. The concept of downloadable personality files was introduced with Triborg, recalling Sektor's role in the original timeline as leader of an inhuman horde known as the Tekunin. Sektor's move to Japan and mechanized Tekunin clan was one of the more interesting concepts explored in Armageddon. Theirs would be a welcome return with Sektor forsaking his humanity for a bizarre robotic upgrade.
With Sektor destroyed - the automated Lin Kuei were programmed to identify Cyrax as their new leader. Liberated from his programming by Sub-Zero, it seemed Cyrax would be a good choice to redeem the clan, but the warrior beneath the steel felt otherwise! In an effort to grant the Lin Kuei a fresh start, he initiated his self-destruct sequence, taking the rest of the automated cyber-warriors with him.
MK4 introduced the concept of restoring humanity to Cyrax, which was followed-up in Deadly Alliance with Cyrax serving as member of the Special Forces. The unusual combination added colour to the Special Forces ranks and lent development to Cyrax as a character. It's another of the regrettable losses of the 2011 reboot, but in Triborg's MKXL ending, he downloaded a database to the Special Forces that alludes to a means to bring Cyrax back.
Jade was one of the many casualties incurred at the end of the Mortal Kombat 2011 reboot. An empowered Queen Sindel decimated the heroic forces, allowing Quan Chi to control them as revenant slaves. Most of the revenants returned in Mortal Kombat X as part of the Netherrealm army storming Earth's Sky Temple -- but a choice few warriors were ressurrected thanks to the intervention of Raiden.
For reasons we still don't know: Jade was the only revenant who didn't return under Quan Chi's command. Even more perplexing; Kitana acquired Jade's staff and glaive weapons as part of her Mournful variation -- even though she never appeared to return to life. Are we to take it Hell's revenants get sentimental from time to time? Kitana's update for MKX was a very welcome one, but design and concept clearly weren't well supported.
Kitana's MKX ending teased fans with a vision based on the klassic timeline -- and also taunted them with the spirit of Jade. Though popular with a notably male contingent; Jade has struggled to cement a lasting, meaningful place on the MK roster. We've seen spirits in MK before, but as long as other characters utilize the staff or glaive, Jade seems a non-essential return.
The General of Shinnok's armies made waves throughout fandom when he donned Shao Kahn's helmet in one of MK4's best remembered ending sequences. Many wondered if he was the Outworld Emperor himself, but it was all for naught. Reiko's ambitions were further established in Deception and Armageddon, but it wasn't until the Mortal Kombat X tie-in comics that fans got to see his cunning fully executed.
For much of the twelve issue maxi-series, Reiko appeared to be pulling the strings as he manipulated Mileena and her forces amidst an Outworld civil war. His ultimate allegiance was to the cleric of chaos, Havik, who promised to imbue him with god-like powers through the mysterious Kamidogu Daggers. In truth, Havik was out for himself, hatching an elaborate plot with Quan Chi, that ended with Reiko's body tearing itself apart as Shinnok's Amulet was manifested inside his brain!
Usually it's tough to come back from your bones bursting through melted skin -- especially when your brain's been squished! Even so, the comic was tremendously successful at demonstrating the virtues that always set Reiko apart from the overshadowing Shao Kahn. Demand for the character in MKX was significant, but all fans got was a reference to his political maneuverings: "The Reiko Accords". Reiko could still be an interesting character, putting a scaled down, balanced version of the Shao Kahn playstyle in the hands of players. Fatalities may be a trademark of the games, but in a written format, this was a regrettable death.
2004's Deception touched upon the intriguing concept of One Being, and the fragile balance sustained by realms beyond the established Earth, Edenia, Outworld, and Netherrealm. Ideologically opposed realms of Order and Chaos were tangents that could've sustained themselves, but sat awkwardly beside the rest of series lore. Despite that, the temptation of chaos made Havik an unlikely cult favourite, even though his gameplay and schemes usually conformed to the ordered constraints of the game.
What began as a re-purposed design scrap for Ermac became a featured villain in Mortal Kombat X comic books! Once again showing tendencies towards meticulous order; Havik pulled the strings of warriors throughout the entire series as he exploited the magic of Kamidogu Daggers in order to acquire Shinnok's Amulet. After being decapitated by Scorpion, his still animated head was thrown to the Netherrealm, where it was shattered beneath the heel of one of his hidden co-conspirators: Quan Chi!
In a world of competitively balanced fighting games: true chaos will always elude Havik. As a non-playable boss, he could break all the rules, and subvert the playable experience itself, but the character doesn't seem to warrant that level of treatment. If MK ever returns to the realm of action-adventure, Havik could be a fun distraction, but in a fighting game sequel, the best he might achieve is some wacky limb gimmicks. Death is apparently especially meaningless in Chaosrealm, but even with his cult status, this resurrection might not be worth it.
After a climactic battle on Shang Tsung's island; Havik managed to enslave the majority of Earthrealm and Outworld's best warriors in the Mortal Kombat X comic. When Queen Sheeva led a depleted Shokan army by sea, Havik used Shinnok's Amulet to destroy their ships. Kintaro nearly perished then, but narrowly avoided drowning -- only to have his head ripped off by a possessed Sonya during a later melee!
As MKII's successor to Goro: Kintaro made an immediate impression as he commanded Kahn's Koliseum in the penultimate fight! He was a bigger, badder sub-boss in almost every respect, best identified for his large size and tiger stripes. In the modern era, the two Shokan males have become less distinguished, with Goro clearly benefiting from seniority. Despite that, Kintaro was arguably the biggest scalp claimed by the Mortal Kombat X tie-in series!
Kintaro's prominence only makes us question how lasting the comic book's consequences will be. Though inevitably compared with Goro; Kintaro remains a recurring stalwart of the much-loved arcade era. It seems inconceivable that we'd never see Kintaro again. As much as we wish death could have more meaning in a narrative context, we're sure Kintaro will be back in some form, at some point.
What's the deal with Quan Chi and decapitated heads? He crushed Havik's, appeared to wear someone's skull on his chest in Mortal Kombat X, and displayed the severed head of Moloch in fight intros! As the comic book showed us, Moloch's death was actually attributed to the revenant Kitana. Acting under order of Quan Chi, she used one of her fans to decapitate the oni for failing to capture Scorpion.
Debuting in Deadly Alliance: Moloch was the first of a new generation of monstrous, roaring bosses. As the final stop before the titular twosome; Moloch introduced a demonic style the series hadn't seen before. Similar oni were a fun continuation in Shaolin Monks, but Moloch lost his luster as the series found other focal points, and re-purposed assets for other behemoths.
Blue skin and glowing eyes still stand out from the rest of kombat's demons, but Moloch's ball and chain might be a metaphor for his chances of resurrection. Despite their invasion of Earthrealm in Mortal Kombat X, the native forces of Netherrealm never seem to number more than a few. Moloch could've been a nice addition to the infernal army, but at this point, it might as well be a new demon of a similar type. The Orochi Hellbeast doesn't seem to be busy.
If they'd been focal enough to warrant action figures: Drahmin and Moloch might've been sold as a two-pack. That's certainly how they died. In the Mortal Kombat X comic, Drahmin was executed almost immediately after Moloch, when Quan Chi consumed his soul for failing to bring Scorpion back to Hell.
In Deadly Alliance, Drahmin & Moloch were the new oni on the block keeping Scorpion busy while Quan Chi ran away, and got up to no good. Drahmin didn't have the premium of being an unplayable sub-boss, but his colourful Face of Kun-Lo mask, and asymmetrical clubbed-hand, went a long way to announcing the exciting new engine and aesthetic of MKDA!
Unfortunately, that same iron club meant Drahmin required additional programming for the left hand to know what the right was doing. His moves emphasized the unique appendage, but weren't visceral enough to make a lasting impression. Jason Voorhees and Hellboy have shown advancements in weapon-wielding, and asymmetrical fighters, which might at least give Drahmin some slight chance of an update, even if he missed Netherrealm's invasion in MKX.
When Deadly Alliance was still in development, Hsu Hao was briefly known to fans as "Khan". The codename sparked a whirlwind of speculation that had many wondering about his true purpose. When the game debuted, he was a cybernetically enhanced double-agent embedded within the Special Forces by the Red Dragon. Despite the intrigue of his duplicity, a simplistic design and playstyle left many underwhelmed.
Hsu Hao has become one of the series' least loved characters, making it no surprise when he was the first casualty of the Mortal Kombat X tie-in comics! His pursuit of Kenshi through The Himalaya was swiftly ended by Scorpion when the ninja threw his ropedart spear through Hsu Hao's cyborg heart -- and then fire-punched straight through his skull!
With so few fans: Hsu Hao is a character of infinite possibility! Having his head exploded kinda limits the potential for a return, but his cyborg nature is there to be exploited! MK has introduced many enhanced and converted cyborg warriors, but never the in the mould of Mary Shelly's classic Frankenstein's Monster! The Red Dragon clan callously experimented on Kano in Armageddon. Perhaps it's time they put Hsu Hao back together again! A cyborg, patchwork man ready to be stitched up and rebuilt after every death!
Mavado debuted in Deadly Alliance with a target on his back. Utilizing the hooksword weapon style made famous by MK3's Kabal -- he was immediately a second class citizen of Kombat. The struggle to make a lasting impression continued as a Spanish knight concept was eclipsed by overalls that just weren't hip hop. Elasticated finishing moves failed to bring the whole thing together.
Ripe for the dead pool; Mavado was another fatality suffered by the Red Dragon clan in the MKX comic book. Working for would-be Empress Mileena and Reiko, Mavado spearheaded an attempt to kidnap Cassie Cage and Jacqui Briggs, who were already taken by members of the rival Black Dragon. A skirmish wtih Kano set Mavado up for later disembowelment, when Cassie Cage dragged his own sword through his torso, while Jacqui held him in place!
Though relatively unpopular, Mavado never received the vitriol reserved for Hsu Hao. An in-built rivalry with Kabal, and at least a glimmer of measured cool, have helped keep Mavado in the good graces of a cult fanbase. There isn't a lot to demand a resurrection, but if Daegon returns in future comic books, perhaps there'll be a reprieve.
Will each kombatant remain dead - or is resurrection in their future? Register to share your theories and join the speculation on the Future MK and Mortal Kombat X forums! Vote for your favourites daily in the 2018 Supreme Mortal Kombat Champion tournament! Help spread the word by liking & sharing stories via Twitter and Facebook!