In Mortal Kombat 1, the vast variety of characters unfolds with iconic figures and surprising returns. From the chilling abilities of Sub-Zero to the enigmatic presence of Tanya, and the fresh reimagining of Scorpion, MK1 boasts a diverse roster. Additions like the versatile Kameo Fighters further enrich the intense battles, showcasing NetherRealm Studios’ commitment to evolution and innovation in the storied franchise.
How Many Characters Are There In Mortal Kombat 1?
There are 22 playable main characters in Mortal Kombat 1, 6 more Kombatants as a part of the Kombat Pack DLC, and one pre-order bonus character that can be also bought as a standalone if you did not pre-order MK1.
In Mortal Kombat 1, Ashrah makes a return after a 16-year hiatus, having a distinctive backstory and captivating fighting style.
Although not a staple in the series, her reappearance is noteworthy given Mortal Kombat 1’s roster shakeup. Ashrah’s role in Mortal Kombat 1 is central to the rebooted universe’s storyline. A demon-turned-hero, she wields the mystical sword, Kriss, combining blade skills with light-based powers. Originating as Quan Chi’s minion, Ashrah now seeks to purify her soul by slaying demons.
Her rivalry with Quan Chi intensifies the plot, hinting at her possible ascension from demonhood. Her early inclusion can reshape the story dynamics, positioning her as a potential pivotal hero.
In Mortal Kombat 1, Baraka, originally a Tarkatan warrior from past games, undergoes a significant change in his character’s origin.
Previously an antagonist, he’s reimagined in Liu Kang’s universe. Baraka’s new backstory presents him as a respected Outworld merchant turned victim of the Tarkat disease. This ailment transforms individuals into Tarkatan-like figures.
Exiled due to his condition, Baraka becomes a leader for those affected, striving to improve their situation. As the narrative hints at the Tarkat disease playing a central role in Mortal Kombat 1’s story, Baraka may shift from a typical villain to a more nuanced, potentially heroic figure.
3. Ermac (Included With Kombat Pack Only)
Ermac, once a hidden character, became official in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, known for his distinct red and black color scheme, green glowing eyes, and facial bandages.
In Mortal Kombat 1, Ermac returns as a DLC character, but fans have expressed dissatisfaction with his latest design, primarily his lack of a mask or bandages, altering his iconic look. Although there’s time for design modifications before Ermac’s release, players hope for alternative outfits that could bring back his classic appearance, ensuring his true essence remains in Mortal Kombat 1.
4. General Shao
General Shao, distinct from the earlier Shao Khan, possesses telekinesis and wields a war axe. In Mortal Kombat 1, this physically imposing figure, influenced by dragon’s blood, is subservient to Sindel.
Contrasting past narratives from the Mortal Kombat games, Sindel now holds power over Shao in MK1, cautioning him against rebellion and reminding him of his father’s legacy. While currently loyal, fans anticipate a potential betrayal by Shao, driven by his ambitions and a hinted-at significant paternal history, making his role intriguing and layered within Mortal Kombat 1’s storyline.
Geras, first introduced in Mortal Kombat 11 as Kronika’s loyal servant with god-like abilities, returns in Mortal Kombat 1.
In this installment, Geras has transitioned from an antagonist to the protector of the Hourglass, previously used by Liu Kang to vanquish Shang Tsung. The new narrative portrays Geras and Liu Kang sharing a camaraderie. Known for his mastery over the sands of time, Geras displays his unique combat abilities in the trailer, including a striking Fatality against Baraka.
In Mortal Kombat 1, Havik stands unique as the sole locked character at the game’s outset.
To access Havik, players must conquer the main story mode, with Havik becoming available after the 15th chapter.
Originating from Mortal Kombat: Deception in 2004, Havik, dubbed the “Cleric of Chaos,” is characterized by his sadistic tendencies and remarkable ability to recover from grave injuries, all while maintaining an eerie smile. His distinguishing features include an almost skeletal facial appearance and attire emphasizing his exposed ribs and intense body mutilations, making him an intriguing spectacle for the Mortal Kombat fandom.
7. Homelander (Included with Kombat Pack Only)
Stemming from comic origins, Homelander brings with him Superman-like heat vision, setting him apart from another character, Omni-Man.
Ed Boon emphasizes their distinct gameplay dynamics, ensuring they won’t feel like mere clones. With NetherRealm’s history of integrating outside characters into the Mortal Kombat universe, and given both characters’ predisposition for raw power and intensity, it is easily anticipated that their unique Fatalities will be remarkable. Homelander’s growing gaming prominence is evident, as he’s also featured in Call of Duty 2 and Warzone.
8. Johnny Cage
In Mortal Kombat 1, Johnny Cage, a foundational character and famous actor, returns with a twist to his narrative.
Known for being the comic relief with his wit and humor, Johnny’s characterization has evolved throughout the series.
However, Mortal Kombat 1’s rebooted timeline threatens to erase his matured, fatherly, and heroic development from Mortal Kombat 11. This version may revisit his younger, more arrogant persona, challenging established perceptions and potentially reshaping his trajectory in the series. The new timeline presents an unpredictable future for Johnny Cage.
In Mortal Kombat 1, Kenshi is a blind swordsman introduced in Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance.
Harnessing swordplay, telekinetic, and psychokinetic abilities, he battles adversaries with finesse. Unique to Kenshi’s gameplay is his Sento Spirit, a separate entity with its own moves. Playing Kenshi requires managing both the character and his spirit, and setting up intricate combos. However, the spirit is vulnerable, and Kenshi’s offensive options diminish if it’s incapacitated.
In Mortal Kombat 1, Kitana, originally introduced in the second game as a purple-clad, bladed-fan-wielding ninja, is the Edenian princess with a tumultuous past involving Shao Kahn and her mother, Sindel.
Despite Edenia’s newfound peace under Sindel’s rule, subtle hints suggest Kitana may oppose this serenity. Mortal Kombat 1 story hints show a potential shift of Kitana into a more antagonistic role, challenging the new peace and possibly aligning with adversaries. This change could be a testament to the unpredictable consequences of tampering with timelines, suggesting that past events influence her present actions.
11. Kung Lao
Kung Lao, introduced in Mortal Kombat’s second game, is the descendant of the Great Kung Lao who battled against Shang Tsung to defend Earthrealm.
In the Mortal Kombat 1 reboot, Liu Kang reshapes Kung Lao’s destiny, merging past and current versions. This Kung Lao, free from the chains of being “the chosen one,” showcases a deeper bond with Raiden, exuding familial warmth and humor. They share a brotherly relationship, contrasting with previous depictions. While Raiden is entwined in larger narratives, Kung Lao emerges as a protector of the common man, grounding the tale in relatable heroism.
12. Li Mei
Li Mei in Mortal Kombat 1 is a member of Edenia’s elite guards, facing exile following the death of their king.
Li Mei’s MK1 narrative intertwines with Tanya’s, as they hold contrasting allegiances, with Tanya remaining loyal to Mileena and distrusting Li Mei.
In her foundational story, Li Mei’s soul is captured by Shang Tsung, eventually aiding against the Mortal Kombat series’ antagonists. Given her and Tanya’s ties to Onaga in original timelines, their introduction hints at the Dragon King’s potential emergence as Mortal Kombat 1’s central antagonist.
13. Liu Kang
Liu Kang, once a Shaolin Monk and a consistent figure in every Mortal Kombat game, becomes the God of Fire and Keeper of Time in Mortal Kombat 1.
Holding the champion title of Mortal Kombat, Liu Kang’s universe-resetting actions shape the storyline of Mortal Kombat 1. As the series’ central protagonist, he uses a blend of swift martial arts and fiery power to uphold the harmony of his newly established realm. His journey from mortal champion to godlike entity remains a focal point in Mortal Kombat 1’s narrative.
Mileena, a favorite among fans, first debuted in the second Mortal Kombat game, often playing an antagonistic role and serving Shao Kahn with her lethal side.
In Mortal Kombat 1, three decades after her inception, she continues her deadly spree. Boasting brutal fatalities, her prowess not only lies in her formidable moveset but also in her chillingly efficient finishing moves, enhancing Mileena’s reputation as one of Mortal Kombat 1’s most fearsome fighters.
Nitara reintroduced in Mortal Kombat 1 after her last appearance in 2006’s Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, is a deadly vampire from Vaeternus.
Nitara utilizes her vampire attributes, such as claws, fangs, and aerial prowess, fiercely defending her race in the battles of Mortal Kombat.
16. Omni-Man (Included With Kombat Pack Only)
Omni-Man, originally from Robert Kirkman’s “Invincible” series, joins Mortal Kombat 1’s lineup, introducing a new challenge. Represented as an intensely powerful yet morally complex Viltrumite, Omni-Man straddles the line between heroism and brutal villainy.
While Omni-Man’s raw strength and brute fighting style are evident from comics & series, NetherRealm faces the intricate task of showcasing his underlying righteousness and innate goodness. The developers want to ensure both his might and depth are properly reflected in his character dynamics when the Kombat Pack 1 releases officially sometime in Spring 2024.
17. Peacemaker (Included With Kombat Pack Only)
Peacemaker, DC’s sharp-tongued anti-hero, is among the new additions in Mortal Kombat 1’s Kombat Pack DLC. Originally showcased in “The Suicide Squad” and later in his self-titled series, his violent flair aligns seamlessly with Mortal Kombat’s ethos.
In Mortal Kombat 1, his fatalities could borrow directly from his cinematic exploits, from a no-look explosive bullet kill to utilizing specialized helmets like the devastating Sonic Boom and X-Ray ones. Furthermore, his shield-shot move, reminiscent of a scene from his show’s finale, could prove to be a fan-favorite fatality, complementing the Mortal Kombat 1’s visceral combat style – that is if it makes it to the game.
18. Quan Chi (Included With Kombat Pack Only)
Quan Chi, a notorious sorcerer from the Mortal Kombat universe, is set to return in Mortal Kombat 1 via the Kombat Pack DLC. While initially believed to be absent from the MK1’s storyline, keen fans spotted him, donning his recognizable red and green attire from Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, incapacitated in the recent Mortal Kombat 1 official Banished trailer.
This intriguing discovery hints at a potential tie-in with Ashrah’s story, as she once served Quan Chi but later betrayed him. While Quan Chi’s appearance suggests possible story cameos from other characters, the extent of his role remains speculative.
Raiden, the iconic Thunder God, initially served as a guardian of realms and Shang Tsung’s competition rules in the first Mortal Kombat.
However, in Mortal Kombat 1, Liu Kang, having become an all-powerful deity, reshapes reality, altering Raiden’s destiny.
Now a humble farmer alongside Kung Lao in Fengjian village, Raiden in Mortal Kombat 1 possesses his lightning abilities but lacks past knowledge. Once driven by godly duties and often distant from humanity, the new Raiden now embodies genuine unity, sacrifice, and honor. As Liu Kang’s chosen champion, this revamped Raiden is set to play a pivotal role, focusing on peace and unity rather than revenge.
Rain in Mortal Kombat 1 is a demi-god Edenian prince and one of the original palette swap ninjas.
Previously rumored to be excluded, Rain is now confirmed as a main roster playable fighter. With ambitions to conquer Outworld in the original timeline, MK1 showcases him battling alongside Kung Lao, hinting at a significant in-game role.
In Mortal Kombat 1, Reiko, once known as the Outworld blood god and an imitator of Shao Kahn, makes a return.
Originally serving Kahn and later aligning with elder god Shinnok, Reiko was absent in recent titles. Now, in Mortal Kombat 1’s altered timeline, Reiko is an Outworld sergeant serving General Shao, no longer mimicking Kahn’s appearance. His fighting style has evolved, forgoing Shao’s helmet but retaining his signature shuriken attack from previous iterations.
In Mortal Kombat 1, Reptile, an original ninja from the series, returns with familiar acidic abilities.
Originally a secret Kombatant, Reptile, also known as Syzoth, traditionally aligned with power figures like Shao Kahn to dominate realms but had a hidden motive of liberating his homeworld, Zaterra.
In the MK1 reboot, while his classic look and moves are retained, Reptile’s story and motivations have seen significant changes, addressing past criticisms of his static character development and underutilized potential.
Scorpion, historically known as Hanzo Hasashi, is a signature figure in Mortal Kombat 1, hailing from the Shirai Ryu clan.
In the rebooted universe, his original rivalry with Sub-Zero takes a twist: the two iconic ninjas are portrayed as brothers. This evolution of Scorpion’s dynamic, away from bitter enemies, showcases an intriguing development in their lore. As expected, Scorpion continues to exhibit brutal Fatalities, reflecting his intense and violent history within the Mortal Kombat series.
24. Shang Tsung (Pre-Order Exclusive Character Only)
Shang Tsung, a renowned villain from previous Mortal Kombat titles, re-emerges as the primary antagonist in Mortal Kombat 1.
Famed for his sorcery, his Fatalities in MK1 demonstrate his dark arts, using potions to brutally defeat opponents. As an exclusive character, players can only access Shang Tsung by pre-ordering Mortal Kombat 1, emphasizing his special role and desirability among fans.
Introduced in Mortal Kombat 3, Sindel has intermittently graced the series, notably as a secondary antagonist in Mortal Kombat 11’s Aftermath.
In Mortal Kombat 1, she’s unleashed her true nature, evident in her ghastly Fatalities. Originally perceived as benevolent, her dark side has now flourished. As the Empress of Outworld, Sindel employs piercing screams, levitation, and her hair as lethal weapons, establishing herself as a formidable Mortal Kombat 1 Kombatant to reckon with.
Smoke, originally known as Tomas, has deep ties with the Lin Kuei clan. In Mortal Kombat 1, his narrative has shifted from his familiar roles in prior titles.
Historically associated with supernatural abilities, Smoke’s representation in MK1 is more grounded, portraying him as a regular human skilled assassin.
This evolution enhances the Mortal Kombat 1’s connection to Earthrealm’s contemporary setting. Notably, there’s speculation that Smoke may embody elements of Hanzo Hasashi (Scorpion), with shared traits and origins suggesting a potential merge of the two iconic characters’ histories, further complicating the dynamics within the Lin Kuei.
Sub-Zero, iconic for his freezing abilities, is a staple in Mortal Kombat, and in this installment, his identity sees a twist.
Historically, Kuai Liang assumed the Sub-Zero mantle after his brother, Bi-Han, became Noob Saibot. Now, in MK1’s narrative, Bi-Han returns as Sub-Zero, with Kuai Liang revealed as Scorpion. This unexpected shift, making them brothers instead of rivals, challenges the traditional animosity that defined them, adding depth and intrigue to their roles in Mortal Kombat 1’s evolving storyline.
28. Takeda (Included With Kombat Pack Only)
Takeda, originally known as Kenshi’s son trained by Hanzo Hasashi Scorpion, is set to appear in Mortal Kombat 1’s Kombat Pack 1 DLC.
However, MK1 hints at a character twist. Contrary to his previous narrative, Takeda’s inclusion seems tied to Hanzo Hasashi, the original Scorpion identity.
Given Liu Kang’s new world in Mortal Kombat 1, where character origin stories are reimagined, Takeda’s role is expected to diverge, possibly merging elements of Scorpion and Kenshi, focusing on his distinct fighting style rather than historical lineage, and setting a precedent for other Kombat Kids’ integration.
Tanya, an often under-utilized Edenian fighter, is surprisingly part of Mortal Kombat 1’s main roster, offering beginner-friendly moves and captivating finishers.
Her role in MK1 addresses the previously overlooked relationship with Mileena from MKX. While their past romance seemed inconsistent and shallow, Tanya is now portrayed as a devoted protector of Mileena, who’s afflicted by the Tarkatan virus. This narrative paints Tanya as a tragic bodyguard, intertwining love and duty, enriching both characters’ depth in the story.
All Kameo Characters In Mortal Kombat 1
Unlike all the main characters in Mortal Kombat 1 as listed above, the Kameo fighters are not directly playable in the game.
After choosing your main fighter in Mortal Kombat 1, you select a Kameo Fighter, whose abilities you can leverage repeatedly during a match. Intriguingly, some characters can be both your main and Kameo Fighter, allowing for scenarios where Sub Zero, for example, can be your chosen warrior and assist at the same time.
Here is the complete list of all Kameo characters in Mortal Kombat 1:
- Ferra (Included with Kombat Pack Only)
- Jax Briggs
- Johnny Cage (Included with Kombat Pack Only)
- Khameleon (Included with Kombat Pack Only)
- Kung Lao
- Mavado (Included with Kombat Pack Only)
- Sonya Blade
- Tremor (Included with Kombat Pack Only)
In conclusion, all Mortal Kombat 1 characters masterfully interweave legacy fighters with new iterations, encapsulating the franchise’s rich lore. From Tanya’s heart-wrenching saga to Takeda’s mysterious evolution, and Sub-Zero’s chilling duality, Mortal Kombat 1 offers a depth rarely seen in fighters. It’s a testament to the series’ resilience, always innovating while honoring its roots.
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