The Retcons of Rain
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The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 02:45 PM EDT
First off, people see "retcon" as a bad thing. I don't, not if it makes for a better character or opens up better paths for the character to travel down.

That said, Rain's story has become one of the more... complicated... ones throughout the years, but it's also one of the most compelling. I'd like to bring up a few issues, some which may or may not be "retcons", but still things to think about and discuss concerning the new directions taken AND how it affects others besides Rain. Lots of speculation to ensue.

For starters:

RAIN WAS RAISED BY THE EDENIAN RESISTANCE
This is very important for several reasons.

1) It lets us know there WAS an Edenian Resistance, and one that lasted for a long, long time, of which Rain fought against Shao Kahn for many years. Why this is even more important is because...

2) Was Kitana aware of the Edenian resistance? Probably, but she didn't know they were Edenian. She believed herself a princess of Outworld, and she was in fact trained to KILL Edenian resistance fighters... like Rain. Ironically, this gives us more insight into Kitana, because she was not only believing a lie, she was in fact massacring her own people without her knowing so.

RAIN'S BETRAYAL MIRRORS KITANA'S
I've been a long advocate for a connection between Kitana and Rain (beyond just their Edenian heritage), but the two of them are absolutely two sides of the same coin with completely reversed fortunes.

Rain was "orphaned" by Kahn's conquest, not knowing his father lived on as the god Argus. Rain was raised from childhood to be a warrior. He ultimately betrayed his upbringers and sided with evil. He later found out his heritage was much more grand - he was the son of a god. He also has a rivalry with his brothers Taven and Daegon.

Kitana was "orphaned" by Kahn's conquest, not knowing her father lived on in the souls of Ermac. Kitana was raised from childhood to be a warrior. She ultimately betrayed her upbringers and sided with good. She later found out her heritage was much more grand - she was the princess of Edenia. She also has a rivalry with her sister Mileena.

It's interesting to see these two criss-cross their destinies so much. When Kitana has one thing happen to her, he has the opposite. When he makes a decision, she makes the opposite. Their lives are inherently similar, yet always polarized in the inverse of one another's.

RAIN'S REASONS FOR BETRAYAL
In the original Trilogy, he was hunted down and offered to join Kahn or die. He chose servitude and was branded a coward. This was problematic for me, that the only options were "death or cowardice". People will do anything to survive, and even the noble Thunder God Raiden bartered with demons with the souls of innocent warriors.

His new story still paints him as a traitor, but not one borne of cowardice, but rather ambition. We see this from his arrogance and skill, no doubt amplified by the fact that he's a demi-god amongst mere mortals. But he joins Kahn not out of fear but out of ambition. He showed bravery by approaching a man he'd fought against and walked away, not dead, but rewarded. But those that have followed Rain know he's NOT a "lackey". He hates Kahn's guts. He wants Kahn out of the picture. He wants power and leadership, and the example of the resistance group shows he's not above doing anything necessary to get it.

Rain is not "on a side". Rain is on nobody's side but his own. He wants his own rule, his own world, and Kahn's most definitely not in the picture. Kahn is in his way, but Rain serves him, waiting for the right moment to strike.

RAIN THE HERO?
Most MK bios follow the nature of the "unreliable narrator", where the bio presents things in a fashion that many may discover are far from the truth (e.g. "Sub-Zero killed Scorpion's family" and "Mileena is really Kitana's twin sister").

Rain's "alignment" has shifted from good to bad to neutral and all over the spectrum many times, and only Rain seems to know which side is worth defecting to.

But an interesting theory proposed to me was that Rain has the same goal as Kitana: the restoration of Edenia. But his methods are entirely different. He originally attempted blunt force as a resistance fighter against Kahn, but became demoralized and frustrated by the lack of skill and intelligence his superiors used to fight Kahn. Realizing they could never win with force, he decided to "join" Kahn, to gain his trust, before killing him and, by extent, winning the resistance war he had fought for so long.

The proposal of Rain as an "end justifies the means" guy would definitely paint him in a more sympathetic light instead of as a man who just feels he should rule. By all accounts, Rain might very well have been a grand leader had he been allowed, but the incompetent and weak leadership around him stifled those dreams. "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few", and Rain would kill his own friends if it meant saving his lost realm and restoring his fallen people.

RAIN THE VILLAIN
One thing Rain is always said in every instance to be is a traitor. He is the Benedict Arnold of Mortal Kombat, the man who betrayed his own kind after fighting against evil for many years. It's interesting to note how he seems to be viewed so much more so as traitorous for his decisions than any other traitor in the game: Tanya, Quan Chi, Shang Tsung, Kano, Kitana, Jade, Sub-Zero, Smoke, Frost, Sareena, Sektor, Cyrax, Shujinko, Daegon, and many others have all betrayed their former masters and friends at some point, either to join the "winning" side or the "good" side. But Rain is the one that's so intrinsically labeled as "the traitor".

Rain as a villain is a great one. He's not out for revenge or to destroy. He's "Alexander the Great" to Kahn's "Genghis Khan" approach to conquest. One's a barbaric, murdering, powerful warlord; the other is a handsome, charismatic, skilled, manipulative warrior. Both are ruthless in their own ways, but Rain does his villainy with a bit of Bond villain-esque class and dignity that is almost commendable.

The view of Rain as a villain is easy to see, though. He threw his friends and allies to the wolves (so did Raiden), sucked up to an evil ruler when his skills and allies weren't enough (so did Raiden), and ultimately his decisions kept him alive when everyone else was dropping like flies (just like Raiden - why is Raiden considered a hero again?). Rain's goals are entirely self-centered, yet as good villains go, still very understandable. We've all had people look down on us, hold us back, tell us we weren't meant for greater things, to just fall in line, do as we're told, and never to aspire to reach something beyond our grasp because it would be too hard. Rain said "no, I'm better than that" and went about proving every naysayer wrong (and most of those naysayers ended up too dead to argue with him anyway).

Rain is the underdog, a sympathetic, if misguided, villain akin to Magneto or Ozymandias, one who doesn't seek to destroy but one who also feels his rule would be better than the current rule.

I remember a good story with the villain Dr. Doom, where someone said "to want to rule the world is not a crime" and Dr. Doom ultimately did conquer the world... and became a just, efficient, and beloved leader. The story had the heroes wondering if Doom's rule, and the happiness that came from it, made THEM the villains for standing in his way.

Perhaps the Rule of Rain would bring about a golden age for Edenia the likes of which they never saw under Sindel and Jerrod.

RAIN THE PRINCE
"I am Rain, a prince of Edenia".
Rain's "prince" joke has been used often, but also in several different ways to the point it's no longer a joke but rather an interesting and integral part of his persona.

The direct ways Rain has claimed royalty, at some point in the games, is through his bloodline to Edenia's protector god, Argus. In one instance, Kahn adopts him and he becomes "prince Rain of Outworld".

Most directly, his bio in Armageddon states: "the blood of Edenian royalty flows through his veins."

Which brings to question who Rain's mother is. Some speculation I've heard is he may be Kitana's cousin by way of an aunt that slept with Argus. What another suggested is that he's more than that: he's Sindel's son, born from an affair with a god and shamefully hidden by both god and queen from their spouses, making him a legitimately direct heir to the throne of Edenian and brother to Kitana. And maybe he got his love of purple from his mother...

As Defenders of the Realm and Conquest both suggested, in that continuity Rain was at one point the former lover of Kitana, which would have made him a Prince and heir to the throne by marriage had the relationship panned out, though this hasn't been incorporated into the game.

Despite all that, the exact nature of Rain's "prince" status has never been clarified, with multiple assumptions and ideas, but Rain is alone and thoroughly convinced he is outright royalty...

FUTURE RAIN THUNDERSTORMS
Rain's future remains compelling because Rain, as goofy as his origin was, has become a compelling character.

I think we're all waiting to see what Rain's ending will be; whether he lets arrogance corrupt him and turn him into the very incarnation of the enemy he waged war against, or whether he will be inspired, humbled, or converted by the revelations of his past, as Kitana had done for him in MK Trilogy.

Rain could become a surprising hero, or he could become a more notorious villain. He is not so far lost as to be irredeemable, but he's not so good as to be freed from the sway of power and prestige.

Rain is ultimately stuck in the middle. He is alone, as he's been since birth. He's a reject of every conceivable world; shunned by the gods, shunned by Edenian royalty, shunned by the Edenian resistance, shunned by his brothers and allies... Rain has no stability, no loyalty to anyone but himself; he is a ruler without a kingdom, a king without a throne.

And that's exciting to follow. Because, like his namesake, Rain is unpredictable. He may arrive to provide much needed relief to a struggling people, or he may bring about fear and loss and destruction to a desolate world. He is both life-giver and destroyer, and it'll be interesting to see which path he chooses in the days that follow.
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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 02:49 PM EDT
VERY well put Garlador! grin Rain's just power hungry, doesn't give a flying hoodini about anyone but himself. I said Shao Kahn gave Rain the title "Prince of Outworld", people givin me weird looks. Good theory about who's Rain's mommy.
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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 02:54 PM EDT
*applause*
An excellent post, Garlador. I loved reading this.
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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 02:59 PM EDT


I tee teed a little...that was awesome.wow
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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 03:00 PM EDT
You need to write a book. Good read!
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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 03:02 PM EDT
ErmacMk5 Wrote:


I tee teed a little...that was awesome.wow


I fucking lol'd so hard.

Great post Gar as usual.

Shao Kahn did nothing wrong

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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 03:02 PM EDT
I'm pretty sure that's more writing on Rain's backstory than anyone at NRS ever did.
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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 03:04 PM EDT
Rockchalk5477 Wrote:
You need to write a book. Good read!


Lol, The post was a book.


But well said, Garlador.

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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 03:10 PM EDT
So many connections with Kitana and Rain (Kitana also wore purple). It makes one think; should Rain have his own version of Mileena? It would obviously be an abomination of sort. Rain is like Wario from Super Mario to Kitana it appears.

Etymology of Rain: first and foremost, his name comes from Prince's song Purple Rain. Coincidence or not, it ends with an 'n' similar to other god-like characters with the exception of Argus (Raiden, Taven, Daegon & Fujin) and it's also an abbreviation of Raiden the god of thunder.
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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 03:31 PM EDT
Rain has only ever been a villain. wth.
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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 03:33 PM EDT
Fenix Wrote:
Rain has only ever been a villain. wth.


As seen in his vignette, he fought against Shao Kahn's forces as part of the Edenian Resistance Force. So no, he was not always a villain.
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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 03:53 PM EDT
Jaded-Raven Wrote:
Fenix Wrote:
Rain has only ever been a villain. wth.


As seen in his vignette, he fought against Shao Kahn's forces as part of the Edenian Resistance Force. So no, he was not always a villain.


In the old timeline Rain was pretty much always a villain.

I don't like how they changed the story at some parts. For example:

Baby Rain: Rain being tiny when he witnessed the invasion. Edenians live for a long time, and if Rain was that small during Shao Kahn's invasion, he's the youngest Edenian character in the series.

Orphaned Rain: He was the son of Argus, but was given to a general in the Edenian armies, who then raised him until he died in Kahns invasion.

Rain then went into hiding, and FORMED THE RESISTENCE HIMSELF (which would be hard to do if he was a baby.)

I don't really mind that he didn't actually form the resistence this time around, but I don't like how they raised him. He should've been a young man (In Edenian years) when he joined.
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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 03:57 PM EDT
Personally I think he fought with them because he was raised with them, not because he cared about" the Cause". Actually according to what we know thats actually what happened. Rain only cares about, about getting power. With that in mind I highly doubt that he would be a good king, in fact, I think that the actual pycho-womanchild Mileena would do a better job than him

But, like you said, that could be retconned and make him a jerk that deep inside cares
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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 03:58 PM EDT
jack4813 Wrote:

In the old timeline Rain was pretty much always a villain.


This is also wrong. Rain's MK Trilogy ending tells us about a heroic act of his, albeit it is non-canon.

"Rain fights valiantly for the emperor Shao Kahn. But it would be Kahn's own step daughter, the Princess Kitana, who turns Rain against him. Like Kitana, Rain's origins also come form their former realm of Edenia. He learns that his father was once a general in Edenia's army and died at the hands of Shao Kahn himself. Enraged at the truth of his history, he joins Kitana in aligning with the Earthrealm warriors. But his allegiance comes under question when he mysteriously disappears during an extermination squad attack. To prove his loyalty, he embarked on a suicide mission to destroy Shao Kahn and end the menace once and for all."
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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 03:58 PM EDT
^ He was also made into a "good guy" in his MKT ending.
Rain as a hero is not without precedent.

That was an intensely good read, Garlador.
It's a shame NRS' writers don't put even half that much effort into these characters' stories.

My original reasons for loving Rain were his unique and fun moves from MKT.
I *loved* the extra background he got in Armageddon, but I hated his gameplay there.

Now it seems we may have the best of both worlds.
His ending will be interesting indeed,
as it will likely have him discovering his divine heritage.

I can't wait to find out how he deals with this,
and I hope they don't take the easy way out by basically just retelling his MKA ending.

I'd prefer something like what you describe in your "Rain the Hero" section-
Rain saves Edenia simply because it's his "property,"
then ends up being an effective, if selfish, ruler.
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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 04:00 PM EDT
Jaded-Raven Wrote:
jack4813 Wrote:

In the old timeline Rain was pretty much always a villain.


This is also wrong. Rain's MK Trilogy ending tells us about a heroic act of his, albeit it is non-canon.

"Rain fights valiantly for the emperor Shao Kahn. But it would be Kahn's own step daughter, the Princess Kitana, who turns Rain against him. Like Kitana, Rain's origins also come form their former realm of Edenia. He learns that his father was once a general in Edenia's army and died at the hands of Shao Kahn himself. Enraged at the truth of his history, he joins Kitana in aligning with the Earthrealm warriors. But his allegiance comes under question when he mysteriously disappears during an extermination squad attack. To prove his loyalty, he embarked on a suicide mission to destroy Shao Kahn and end the menace once and for all."


Like you said yourself, non-canon, so Rain has still always been a villain.

Not to mention, I think his MKT ending only had him becoming a "good guy" because back in those days, every ending involved killing Kahn. (Unless it was a lame boss ending like "Motaro wins")
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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 04:01 PM EDT
jack4813 Wrote:
Jaded-Raven Wrote:
Fenix Wrote:
Rain has only ever been a villain. wth.


As seen in his vignette, he fought against Shao Kahn's forces as part of the Edenian Resistance Force. So no, he was not always a villain.


In the old timeline Rain was pretty much always a villain.

I don't like how they changed the story at some parts. For example:

Baby Rain: Rain being tiny when he witnessed the invasion. Edenians live for a long time, and if Rain was that small during Shao Kahn's invasion, he's the youngest Edenian character in the series.

Orphaned Rain: He was the son of Argus, but was given to a general in the Edenian armies, who then raised him until he died in Kahns invasion.

Rain then went into hiding, and FORMED THE RESISTENCE HIMSELF (which would be hard to do if he was a baby.)

I don't really mind that he didn't actually form the resistence this time around, but I don't like how they raised him. He should've been a young man (In Edenian years) when he joined.


Kitana was likely an infant or a small child when Kahn invaded edenia. He did so about 10,000 years ago, and we're told Kitana is about 10,000 years old. Rain's probably in the same boat.

It was always my assumption that The General of Edenia mentioned in MKT was brothers with Jerrod...and that Rain's mother is the General's wife. Thus Rain would consider himself as a believed nephew of King Jerrod, Royal Blood.


I always figured Argus slept with Rain's mother behind the general's back, instead of entrusting Rain to said general.
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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 04:02 PM EDT
Garlador, you sir, should work at NRS glasses
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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 04:05 PM EDT
ErmacMk5 Wrote:
jack4813 Wrote:
Jaded-Raven Wrote:
Fenix Wrote:
Rain has only ever been a villain. wth.


As seen in his vignette, he fought against Shao Kahn's forces as part of the Edenian Resistance Force. So no, he was not always a villain.


In the old timeline Rain was pretty much always a villain.

I don't like how they changed the story at some parts. For example:

Baby Rain: Rain being tiny when he witnessed the invasion. Edenians live for a long time, and if Rain was that small during Shao Kahn's invasion, he's the youngest Edenian character in the series.

Orphaned Rain: He was the son of Argus, but was given to a general in the Edenian armies, who then raised him until he died in Kahns invasion.

Rain then went into hiding, and FORMED THE RESISTENCE HIMSELF (which would be hard to do if he was a baby.)

I don't really mind that he didn't actually form the resistence this time around, but I don't like how they raised him. He should've been a young man (In Edenian years) when he joined.


Kitana was likely an infant or a small child when Kahn invaded edenia. He did so about 10,000 years ago, and we're told Kitana is about 10,000 years old. Rain's probably in the same boat.

It was always my assumption that The General of Edenia mentioned in MKT was brothers with Jerrod...and that Rain's mother is the General's wife. Thus Rain would consider himself as a believed nephew of King Jerrod, Royal Blood.


I always figured Argus slept with Rain's mother behind the general's back, instead of entrusting Rain to said general.
\

Allow me to correct myself, youngest LOOKING.

I still havn'e figured out how they age. I call it the Wolverine effect.

Wolverine (marvel) is really old, probably about 100, but he aged (in terms of body growth) normaly up until he was like, mid-30's looking, and then just got older without ever looking older.

If he was a baby then, when did he stop being a baby, and turn into a toddler?

When did he turn into a young man?

I just want to know how long these things take.
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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 04:09 PM EDT
jack4813 Wrote:
ErmacMk5 Wrote:
jack4813 Wrote:
Jaded-Raven Wrote:
Fenix Wrote:
Rain has only ever been a villain. wth.


As seen in his vignette, he fought against Shao Kahn's forces as part of the Edenian Resistance Force. So no, he was not always a villain.


In the old timeline Rain was pretty much always a villain.

I don't like how they changed the story at some parts. For example:

Baby Rain: Rain being tiny when he witnessed the invasion. Edenians live for a long time, and if Rain was that small during Shao Kahn's invasion, he's the youngest Edenian character in the series.

Orphaned Rain: He was the son of Argus, but was given to a general in the Edenian armies, who then raised him until he died in Kahns invasion.

Rain then went into hiding, and FORMED THE RESISTENCE HIMSELF (which would be hard to do if he was a baby.)

I don't really mind that he didn't actually form the resistence this time around, but I don't like how they raised him. He should've been a young man (In Edenian years) when he joined.


Kitana was likely an infant or a small child when Kahn invaded edenia. He did so about 10,000 years ago, and we're told Kitana is about 10,000 years old. Rain's probably in the same boat.

It was always my assumption that The General of Edenia mentioned in MKT was brothers with Jerrod...and that Rain's mother is the General's wife. Thus Rain would consider himself as a believed nephew of King Jerrod, Royal Blood.


I always figured Argus slept with Rain's mother behind the general's back, instead of entrusting Rain to said general.
\

Allow me to correct myself, youngest LOOKING.

I still havn'e figured out how they age. I call it the Wolverine effect.

Wolverine (marvel) is really old, probably about 100, but he aged (in terms of body growth) normaly up until he was like, mid-30's looking, and then just got older without ever looking older.

If he was a baby then, when did he stop being a baby, and turn into a toddler?

When did he turn into a young man?

I just want to know how long these things take.



In a lot of fantasy, other races age the same as we do up until adulthood, then slow down.

I always figured, judging by Kitana who looks in her late 20s, that after she reached maturity 9,982 years ago, she's aged roughly a year every thousand.

Rain is probably physically about 27 or 28.
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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 04:40 PM EDT
Can't make a more extensive post at the moment, but I don't believe for a second Rain's a sympathetic character, not in the least. Leave us not forget that his MKA ending specifies he enslaves the Edenians. He is absolutely out for power, and out for self.

I don't feel it's fair to compare him to Raiden, as I feel our dear thunder god was written terribly in this game. Butchered, in fact.

This new bio is wonderful, but it only reinforces my opinion that Rain is a self-centered jackass; I seriously doubt his ending will show otherwise.

Nice read, however.
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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 04:53 PM EDT
re: vignette

that he fought in a resistance means nothing, not every member of a "resistance" is a noble freedom fighter. Many of them simply have no choice. Its clear Rain was never in it for "the cause" as he turned on his allies (in violent fashion, if the vignette imagery is to be believed) the moment he didn't get his way.

re: mkt ending

like 75% of the mkt endings are invalid by mk4, and another 20% or so are invalid by MKDA. In addition to the absurd notion that everybody was ready willing and able to just kill Shao Kahn, everybody turns out to be a hero in the end.


If anything Rain has become a sort of conan (movie) character where the injustices of his youth have evolved into some sort of personal quest for glory. The only nobility in his quest is that the person he has to topple to get to the top is a documented bad guy.
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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 04:53 PM EDT
Shadaloo Wrote:
Can't make a more extensive post at the moment, but I don't believe for a second Rain's a sympathetic character, not in the least. Leave us not forget that his MKA ending specifies he enslaves the Edenians. He is absolutely out for power, and out for self.

I don't feel it's fair to compare him to Raiden, as I feel our dear thunder god was written terribly in this game. Butchered, in fact.

This new bio is wonderful, but it only enforces my opinion that Rain is a self-centered jackass; I seriously doubt his ending will show otherwise.

Nice read, however.


I know, right?

Rain will always be an evil ass to me.

@ErmacMk5

Really? Do some fantasy stories actually STATE this? That's always what I would assume with wolverine, but everytime I bring that point up to a friend, they say it's stupid, and "Why would he just slow down all of the sudden?"

If you could just provide a source, this long lasting debate (hell, even my dad disagrees with me) could be ended.
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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 05:01 PM EDT
Shadaloo Wrote:
Can't make a more extensive post at the moment, but I don't believe for a second Rain's a sympathetic character, not in the least. Leave us not forget that his MKA ending specifies he enslaves the Edenians. He is absolutely out for power, and out for self.


What's interesting is both of Rain's endings, the one where he goes on a suicide mission to kill Kahn AND his enslavement of Edenia, are non-canon. Which means we still don't know what Rain's ulterior motives, either firm justice or cruel oppression, are.

For a similar case, look at Sheeva. In MK:A, her ending portrays her as a destructive goddess of evil... but in MK2011, her ending paints her as one of the most noble, honest, brave, selfless, and capable rulers and warriors in the entire franchise's history.

And Raiden killed everyone in mad god-like insanity in MK1... and kind of went nuts in MK:D's ending too. But in other endings he's quite noble.

That leaves Rain with two non-canon endings at either side of the spectrum, one of redemption and honor, and one of selfish dominance and cruelty. That's a broad brush and BOTH are applicable to Rain.

It remains to be seen which pieces are picked up for his current, inevitable future.
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RE: The Retcons of Rain
07/14/2011 05:25 PM EDT
dude, every mka ending sucks. every single one. Need I remind you of Galactus Smoke and kintaro's power ranger swords?

rain is a bad guy. Always has been, always will be.

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