Mortal Kombat 1 releases on September 19th for Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PC and Nintendo Switch, and though it follows the events of Mortal Kombat 11 and Aftermath, it’s effectively a clean slate. This is a new universe with new origin stories, relationships and roles, even if the characters are familiar. Nevertheless, there are a few faces we’d like to see, whether it’s iconic legends or underappreciated Kombatants, starting with…
If you’re going to have a Mortal Kombat title with Liu Kang, Sub-Zero, Scorpion and Johnny Cage – the classics that defined an entire era of fighting games – then Sonya Blade has to be there. It would also make sense from a narrative perspective: Sonya sacrificed herself heroically in Mortal Kombat 11 and was absent for most of the story (not counting her younger, past self). Bringing her back, especially in an era of peace when she’s fought for so long, feels poetic.
Of course, if you’re going to have Sonya, then there’s no way Kano can’t be present. Aside from his fun fighting style, which incorporates knives, lasers and grappling, his personality has always provided some much-needed humor. The question, now, is how his story intertwines with Sonya’s, if at all, and whether he’s on the straight and narrow or up to no good in the New Era.
It feels less like we should ask if Reptile will be in Mortal Kombat 1 and more like we should ask, “Which version?” The Saurian has adapted both human and reptilian appearances throughout the years, though he’s always worked at the behest of Shang Tsung and Shao Kahn. Still, his invisibility and acid spit helped him stand out amid the other ninjas and could make an excellent addition to the reboot’s roster.
Ermac has had a long and storied history with the franchise, whether it’s being controlled by Shao Kahn or working with Kotal Kahn for the betterment of Outworld. His sheer range of abilities has always been great, using teleportation and telekinesis to overwhelm opponents. Again, how his fate will play out in the reboot remains to be seen, but if Outworld does become involved, it wouldn’t be odd to see him step up to the plate.
It’s unknown if Shao Kahn would come back – we could maybe see Liu Kang reviving Shang Tsung for laughs, but Shao Kahn? The all-conquering and cruel ruler of Outworld? Given the state of Edenia and its relative peace, he either doesn’t exist in Mortal Kombat 1 or hasn’t invaded it yet. Nevertheless, his status is iconic, and even if his entire history is different, it wouldn’t be a Mortal Kombat title without him.
Goro was last seen in Mortal Kombat 11 on his throne in the Krypt. The last time we saw him alive was in Mortal Kombat X, where he served as a DLC character who wasn’t involved in the main story. Given all the time resetting shenanigans, surely he would appear in some capacity, right? He’s about as iconic as Shang Tsung or Shao Kahn when it comes to villains, after all.
Debuting in Deadly Alliance, Kenshi has always been a cool character. A blindfold-wearing fighter with heightened senses who fights on the side of good and has a sword? Who could resist? His role in the Shirai Ryu, with his son being trained by Hanzo Hasashi, and freeing Ermac from Shao Kahn, may be completely different if he ever returned in the reboot. Heck, he may not even be blind anymore. Regardless, we’d like to see him return.
If Goro felt shafted post-Mortal Kombat 9, spare a thought for poor Kintaro. He debuted in Mortal Kombat 2 and returned in Deception and Armageddon. While he had a decent role in Mortal Kombat 9, he was defeated by Stryker, of all people. Even if he didn’t figure in Mortal Kombat X, his heroic death in the comic series warrants some resurrection – and reparation – in the reboot.
The Kollector was always a curious character, using a variety of weapons and tools to dismantle fighters. Still, despite his obsession with, well, collecting, he has a creepy vibe that’s almost somewhat endearing. If the major villains in Mortal Kombat 1 need a henchman just running around, collecting body parts, Kollector could be an option, especially since he only really appeared in MK11.
Even if he didn’t debut in the first game with Sonya and Kano, Jax’s fate feels intertwined with the two. Regardless, given the horrors he went through in Mortal Kombat X, and his alliance with Kronika in MK11 before returning to the side of good, it feels like Jax is ready for a new story. Besides, his style of punching things with metal arms is still appealing.
While the relationship between Mileena and Kitana as sisters has always been complicated, Jade’s motives have usually been clearer. She may have been loyal to Shao Kahn in Mortal Kombat 9 but always cared for Kitana and tried to protect her. On seeing the latter suffer from her actions, Jade sought to make amends, even remarking to Mileena how she was more of a sister to Kitana. So it’s more than a little odd to see Mileena and not Jade opposite Kitana in the reboot. It doesn’t mean she’s completely absent, but her inclusion seems a given.
Despite being somewhat of a boss (albeit not the final boss) in Mortal Kombat 3, Motaro has always felt even less appreciated throughout the franchise than Kintaro. He was summarily disposed of by Raiden in Mortal Kombat 9 and hasn’t been seen since. If ever there was a time to bring the Centaurian back and start with a clean slate, the New Era would be it.
Even if his character design has had mixed opinions throughout the franchise’s history, Nightwolf did play a central role in Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath. Not only did he reject Kronika, but tried to stop Shang Tsung when his deception became clear. To that end, it feels like he has unfinished business with the sorcerer. The question now is whether he’s popular enough to get in over everyone else.
Of the many characters who never really made the jump to the previous timeline’s video games (not including the MKX comics), Havik has always felt underappreciated. Hailing from Chaosrealm, he’s an agent of chaos above all else, which plays into his erratic fighting style. Who else in the reboot could claim to snap their neck and then back to restore health? He could be an unexpected wild card in the new story.
Besides looking cool, there are plenty of reasons to bring back Kabal. He’s always had a fun fighting style which mixes speedy attacks and grapples with his hook swords in awesome ways. Even if he was on Kronika’s side throughout Mortal Kombat 11, his connection to Kano could see him return in the reboot, one way or another. Whether that’s part of the Black Dragon or with Earthrealm and the side of good remains to be seen.
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