Top 10 Characters I Hope to See in Mortal Kombat 11
One of the most exquisite joys of popping in a new Mortal Kombat game is taking a gander at the new characters. Fighting games essentially boil down to mechanics, timing, and strategy, but for me, a new MK is like the next book in a series. I want to know what happens, who stands where, and what newcomers have entered the fray. With the series reboot from 2011, we didn’t really get any new characters, which sort of bummed me out. Essentially, we were handed the roster of MK Trilogy sans bosses, along with the omnipresent Quan Chi plus one the most popular post-MKT protagonists (Kenshi). Skarlet was really the only new character we got, though we did see a retooled Sub-Zero in the form of Cyber Sub-Zero.
So, when Mortal Kombat X dropped, I was ecstatic to see so many new faces. Of the 23 immediately playable characters, 8 are brand spankin’ new. Best of all, most of them feel like they really belong in this new story and we don’t have nearly the disconnect that we experienced with games like Deception. I can’t really speculate on what kind of new characters we might get in a new game, but I can run down who I’d like to see return. Even though we’ve probably got a good 3 or 4 year wait for the next installment, it’s never too early to start thinking about what this new roster will look like.
Here are 10 characters I’d like to come back. This isn’t just a list of all time favorites, this is based on where the story is at and the possible endings presented from MKX. This list will not include confirmed dead characters, though that doesn’t mean an undead one won’t pop up! If you’re not aware of the storyline in Mortal Kombat X and don’t want to spoil it, you may want to stop reading now!
As of writing this, we have only have very limited information Tremor. He was planned to make his in-game debut as early as the home ports of UMK3 as a brown palette swapped male ninja with earth-like powers. Although scrapped in favor of Rain, he did show up as an unplayable boss in the action-adventure MK Special Forces, supposedly as some sort of rogue Lin Kuei-turned-Black Dragon operative. His ninja-like appearance has been kept mostly intact with noticeable rock-like enhancements.
We don’t quite have access to Tremor yet (though he is coming…eventually), but the latest MKX update gave us his bio! Although not featured in the Story Mode, perhaps his ending will shed some more light on his overall role in Shinnok’s invasion. Here’s what we know so far:
“Tremor has the powers of an Earth elemental. He can create earthquakes, form stone and lava projectiles and shape the ground to suit him. His current status with Kano’s Black Dragon clan of arms dealers is unknown, as a recent mission seems to have created much animosity in Tremor toward both Special Forces and Kano.”
Why do I want to see Tremor in the next installment? Mostly because of his extremely delayed debut as a playable character. Fans have been crying out for Tremor for almost 2 decades, and I’m right there with them. Let’s finally give “the last palette swapped ninja” a proper treatment. Besides, wouldn’t some rock and stone based powerups be awesome?
Reiko got a really shitty deal after his appearance in MK4. His original ending showed him wordlessly walking into a portal and nothing more. As revisions were made and the home versions were released, his ending was expanded; on the other side of the portal he sat in a throne whereupon a very Shao Kahn-esque helmet was lowered onto his head. I thought this was a pretty cool ending. Sadly it led to a lot of speculation that Reiko was in fact Shao Kahn. The worst was yet to come. Midway, in their infinite sense of humor, decided to start jokingly refer to this “myth” in subsequent games. After this, Reiko’s stint as a serious character was effectively destroyed.
But with this new timeline, maybe Reiko has a shot at a new life. I always appreciated the mystery surrounding his character, and I felt that it fit in perfectly with the dark, dank, stagnant mood of MK4 and MK Mythologies. The most we ever really know is that he’s a member of the Brotherhood of Shadow (and thus a follower/worshiper of Shinnok), though as the games wear on he seems to be established as a general in Shao Kahn’s armies. With a proper reintroduction though, his murky status could be resolved.
With Liu and Kitana now (presumably) in charge of the Netherrealm, it seems like we might have a decent excuse to learn some more about the Brotherhood of Shadow, especially with Shinnok’s “death.” Reiko might not ever be the next Scorpion on Sub-Zero, but his status as hell-bound cult member could easily be turned into something quite interesting.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I am not a fan of the Orderrealm/Chaosrealm conflict. The idea had potential, but it was executed in all the wrong ways. However, one of the most interesting post-MK4 characters came out of the deal, and that was Havik, the “Cleric of Chaos.” Such a wildcard contender could really shake things up in the standard fight of good vs. evil. Though I think that having something as pedantic as a being devoted to chaos needs to be a bit more refined, I love the idea of this bizarre extra-dimensional humanoid who has no real allegiance.
Havik was already a pretty weird looking guy (more zombie than anything) and I think the more subdued colors and textures of MKX would suit a redesign of this character very well. Hopefully, if he does pop up in this alternate timeline, we’ll get less slapstick antics and more of the creative weirdness that our cleric embodies. If Chaosrealm does make another appearance, I wouldn’t mind seeing other denizens of this world as well…
Rain has occupied a very finnicky place in he world of MK since his inception. What started off as a red (or purple?) herring quickly grew into a character, though he was the epitome of unoriginality at the time. Fortunately, instead of treating him as a perpetual joke, they actually did something with the character and gave him a fairly meaty backstory as far as peripheral characters go. Had we gotten a more linear sequel to the events of Armageddon, Rain was in prime position to assume a serious spot in the story.
He appeared in a similar role during the events of MKX’s Story Mode, though this time he was also embroiled in Outworld’s civil war-ish conflict. His motives were shrouded in mystery, but now that the resistance has effectively been squashed, it seems like he’ll be forced to find other ways to accomplish whatever goals he may have. This gives him a great reason to pop up once again, especially if the balance of power in Outworld and/or Edenia is threatened in the following game.
Rain has almost earned his chops as a main player, but I still want to see him come into his own as a more formidable contender.
Currently, Smoke is in the service of Quan Chi as an undead revenant (resembling Noob Saibot in almost every way) alongside former good guys like Liu Kang, Kitana, Kung Lao, Nightwolf, Sindel, Stryker, and Kabal. During his small appearance in MKX’s Story Mode, he refers to himself as only an “enenra.” Smoke, otherwise known as Thomas Vrbada, apparently gets his powers courtesy of a smoke demon, or enenra. As an evil revenant, his comment would seem to suggest that the demon has taken over completely.
Also during Story Mode, it is revealed that these revenants can only be “fixed” by somehow harnessing Quan Chi’s powers. Sonya begs a humanized Scorpion not to kill Quan Chi so that the remainder of their friends may be saved, but it is too late, and Scorpion does away with the sorcerer. If we put all the clues together, this would suggest that all those currently stuck as zombie-like thugs will remain as such.
I think it would be interesting to see one of these revenants grow as a character; Liu Kang and Kitana – presumably now rulers of the Netherrealm – are another interesting choice, but I’d love to see Smoke step out of Sub-Zero’s shadow. He’s been relegated to secondary status for far too long, and this “enenra spark” could be just what’s needed to put a new and distinctive spin on this old combatant.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Fujin; maybe it’s because he represents a different approach to godhood than Raiden, though he’s not nearly as indifferent as the elusive Elder Gods. Being that MKX borrowed heavily from the original story told him MK4, I’m surprised all we got of Fujin was a few cinematic clips.
As a god, I think there’s a lot of unrealized potential in Fujin, but more specifically, I’m interested in his role following Raiden’s (possible) descent into darkness. It happened back in Armageddon, and based on the post credits ending of MKX, it looks as though it’ll happen again. With Raiden becoming somewhat of a loose cannon fueled by disgust and contempt, Fujin would be the natural choice for a stand-in to help guide and mentor the forces of Earthrealm.
Khameleon might just be the most undervalued and obscure playable character in MK canon. I mean really, when you’re the one playable character left out of the game that includes every playable character, you’ve got to be having some self-esteem issues. Although later inserted into the Wii version of MKA, she seems to be added only due to fan reaction; Midway (now NetherRealm Studios) was content to leave her in the dust along with…well…nobody. Not even Meat, Mokap, or Chameleon…or even Sareena was left behind.
Anyway, against all odds, she actually had a story in MKT (including both a bio and an ending!) which saw her inexorably linked to Reptile and the race of Raptors/Saurians. Her MKA ending reinforces the connection to Zaterra. In all likelihood, Chameleon is also a Saurian, though I don’t believe the association has ever been made explicit. (Though a Reptile vs. Reptile mirror match in MKX includes opening dialog about “C(K)hameleon;” it’s unknown which one though…) Reptile has spent pretty much the entire life of MK as a lackey, and it’s about time we see another side to him – a side that wants to restore/repopulate/revive Zaterra rather than serve as a lap dog.
With Khameleon’s seemingly more independent spirit and possibly greater knowledge of Zaterra and the current status of the Saurians, she would make a fantastic foil for Reptile in an upcoming game. I’d love to get some more concrete information about Zaterra, especially after all these years of seemingly non-canon endings referencing the reemergence of the species. Having a strong-willed, independent, and female Zaterran to focus on in contrast to Reptile’s subservient tendencies would be a welcomed change.
You know, I never really thought much of Ermac until now. Even when he got his redesign in Deception, I always thought he looked sort of goofy and more like a comic book version of a wizard as opposed to a formidable warrior. His wardrobe hasn’t really changed all that much since then, but an offhanded comment I read from Boon (or some member of the development team) regarding his current status really got me thinking. Boon (or whoever) addressed Ermac’s increasingly mummy-like appearance as a sign that he’s losing control over the souls that comprise him without Shao Kahn around to “hold him together.”
An unhinged warrior made up of thousands of other warrior souls? Yeah, that got me interested! I like his new found decaying approach to Ermac’s psyche, and it gives him some character knowing that he’s got some serious internal conflicts going on. For this reason alone, I can’t wait to see Ermac (or what becomes of him!) by/during the events of the next Mortal Kombat game. If he’s currently in a state of transition, what’s he going to transition into? Will one soul assert dominance like in his MK (2011) ending? Will he grow more erratic and start causing waves of his own throughout the principle players? Will we see him going to great lengths to preserve his very being?
There are so many possibilities when it comes to the “de-evolution of Ermac” and I’d love to see how this affects the upper echelon of Outworld politics. Although I’m in no hurry to see Shang Tsung return to the scene, he’s the only other character that’s been as crazy about souls as Ermac, and as suggested by Ermac’s MKX ending, it seems only natural that the two cross paths in some form or another.
2. Kotal Kahn
Storywise, Kotal Kahn is perhaps the most impressive new addition to the roster. For one thing, he’s not Shao Kahn! But even better, he doesn’t act like Shao Kahn. He’s not obsessed with Earthrealm, he’s not out to conquer new lands that we know of, and he speaks very coolly, calmly, yet also firmly. He has an interesting demeanor, one certainly more befitting an emperor than Shao Kahn.
Kotal may not have been at the center of the action in MKX, though I’ll be interested to see how he reacts on behalf of Outworld during whatever crisis occurs next. I really enjoyed his ending where Outworld now had to defend itself against Raiden in the Mortal Kombat tournament, and although this probably won’t happen exactly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Outworld on the defensive due to Raiden’s (potentially up and coming) vigilance. The guy has an entire empire at his disposal; it’s not difficult to imagine him pulling some serious weight in the MK universe.
I was trying to make this list in such a way where I wouldn’t have to give away my number one pick so soon….but it was unavoidable! Without a doubt, Raiden is who I’ll have my eye on the closest going into Mortal Kombat 11. The game itself drops a few hints at what may be on the horizon (anything from a slightly different version of the “Deadly Alliance” to the events of MKA), but one thing is almost guaranteed: the emergence of Raiden as a force not to be fucked with.
Raiden’s pompous solemnity has always sort of grated on me (I was really glad that Lambert brought some humor to the role in the 1995 film), but to see him shrouded in black with long, sharp fingeails and glowing red eyes raises all kinds of possibilities. What’s most interesting though is that Raiden’s motives haven’t changed – he still wants to protect Earthrealm – he’s just ready to reach his goals in entirely different ways.
I can’t wait to see an enraged and vengeful Thunder God. Will he simply fry everyone in his path? Will he become a threat that the humans are forced to deal with? Has he been corrupted beyond redemption after his selfless purification of Earth’s “Jin-Sei”? I don’t want to see Raiden become a straight up bad guy, but I wouldn’t mind watching a god sink into the depths of madness for a little while!
With so may characters, narrowing it down to 10 wasn’t easily. Here are a few that were in the running, but did’t quite make it.
Is Jade dead? Maybe…but she’s one of only a very characters who we don’t really know what happened to after the events of MK 2011. She doesn’t appear to be a part of Quan Chi’s undead armor, though Kitana’s Mournful variation sees the princess in possession of Jade’s (former?) weapons. It’d be nice to see her come back, if only to know what happened to her!
Kai is on the list for no good reason other than that I’d like to see him get some proper treatment from the developers/writers. Ok, so maybe his status as “the black Liu Kang” didn’t really work out, but with many of our heroes stuck as masterless zombies, the series is going to need some new everyman good guys to fill the void.
Skarlet was one of the more interesting parts of MK 2011, and I’m kind of bummed that we don’t get to find out what happened to her during the events of MKX. Her status as basically a “blood elemental” makes her an interesting counterpart to both Ermac and Meat. Granted she had little place in the story, but I really don’t want her to go down in history as an obscure DLC character that never appeared before or since. (Tremor could easily fall into this boat as well.) Oh well. Maybe with the disappearance of Shao Kahn and his magic she dropped to the floor in a puddle of blood and ran down the drain…
Another lukewarm being introduced to us via the whole Orderrealm/Chaosream conflict, Hotaru had something going for him that the other Seidans didn’t: he actually looked pretty cool. His ideology made him boring and his questionable special moves involving lava didn’t help him establish much of an identity, but damn they sure had some stylish armor in Orderrealm.
Maybe Hotaru could be reintroduced as some type of inter-dimensional bounty hunter, now on the lookout for Havik!
Well, that’s the list! With so many characters across MK history, it wasn’t easy to choose, and there are several others I could’ve made cases for (Sareena, Erron Black, Noob Saibot, Kano) as well as a few others I expect to play important roles (the Special Forces youngin’s, Liu and Kitana) in upcoming games. I’m not sure how reasonable my picks are, but I do think they’d be exciting and/or interesting. Of course the real question revolves around what the story itself will be about, and without knowing that it’s tough to guess anything at all.
After everything we’ve seen in MKX, who do you want to see fill in the roster when the next game rolls around?
Written by The Cubist
Share This Post