Confirmed Roster for Mortal Kombat 1: Meet All the Characters!

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Confirmed Roster for Mortal Kombat 1

A reboot aimed at returning the series to its origins, Mortal Kombat 1 has embraced its title despite being the twelfth installment in NetherRealm’s renowned fighting game franchise. Having thrived during the arcade and console era of 2D and 3D fighters, this infamously violent franchise has taken numerous twists and turns on its journey to becoming one of the best-selling series in the industry. While Mortal Kombat 1 pays homage to the days of the original trilogy, the franchise’s experimental outings over the years have introduced an almost countless array of Kombatants spanning generations.

NetherRealm has approached the decision to reset Mortal Kombat’s timeline for the third time with great care, particularly regarding the choice to have Fire God Liu Kang rewrite history. Amidst multiple extensive rosters featuring both forgotten characters from earlier games and newcomers from recent generations, opting to return to the basics represents a highly refreshing direction for the studio. While Mortal Kombat 9 also explored a similar dynamic after Armageddon’s reset, the fresh interpretations of existing characters found in Mortal Kombat 1 have already bestowed upon it a completely unique identity.

Mortal Kombat 1’s Kombatants

Mortal Kombat 1's Kombatants


In the new timeline, Sub-Zero has assumed the role of grandmaster of the Lin Kuei, following in his father’s footsteps. While he was once known for his disciplined training, the new Sub-Zero has grown complacent and harbors political ambitions for the Lin Kuei. This incarnation of Sub-Zero, known as Bi-Han (the original Sub-Zero who later became Noob Saibot), exhibits a more violent and harsh demeanor, deviating from players’ previous memories of the cold fighter.

Liu Kang

Serving as the new protagonist, Fire God Liu Kang assumes the role once held by Raiden after the events of Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath. In this “New Era,” which promises everyone the opportunity to find peace, Liu Kang stands as its protector. When a mysterious enemy threatens this reality, he fights to preserve it.


One of the most surprising twists in Mortal Kombat 1’s new timelines is the reinterpretation of Scorpion as Sub-Zero’s brother and a fellow member of the Lin Kuei. Stripping away his undead wraith history, Scorpion now engages in a productive rivalry with Sub-Zero. Disappointed by his brother’s disregard for their clan’s traditions, Scorpion keeps his icy counterpart in check, which may lead to a deeper conflict. Following the series’ past logic, this version of Scorpion could actually embody the identity of Kuai Liang, the original timeline’s Sub-Zero.


Contrasting the familiar image of the Thunder God, this version of Raiden in the new Mortal Kombat is a young farmer from the same village as Kung Lao. Possessing selfless and kind qualities, Raiden assumes Liu Kang’s original role as a humble hero guided by an elemental god.

Kung Lao

In the absence of his loyal companion Liu Kang, Kung Lao’s life takes a different path in this new world, despite his familiar appearance. Now a humble farmer, Kung Lao is a young warrior determined to earn glory and make something of his life in this altered timeline.


Presented as Kitana’s older twin sister and the rightful heiress of Outworld in Mortal Kombat 1, this rendition of Mileena no longer exists as a half-Tarkatan clone created as a twisted imitation of the princess. Initially identical to Kitana, Mileena develops the “Tarkat disease,” resulting in her disfigurement. This nuanced portrayal offers a fresh take on the femme fatale character, showcasing her complexities in ways unseen in the series before.


Departing from her usual position of royalty in Outworld, Kitana now serves as a loyal supporter to her sister, Mileena, who has assumed the role of the true princess being trained for Empress. Kitana and Mileena’s bond is stronger than ever before in this new narrative twist.

Johnny Cage

Departing from the character development seen in MKX and MK11, Johnny Cage returns to his Hollywood movie star persona. His opulent mansion serves as one of the game’s most memorable stages, and his new story portrays him as a fading 21st-century social media star, offering a refreshing update to his character.

Shang Tsung

Previously portrayed as the final antagonist in Liu Kang’s good ending in Mortal Kombat 11’s Aftermath DLC, Shang Tsung was seemingly erased from existence with the rise of the Fire God. However, his appearance in the Mortal Kombat 1 reveal trailer suggests the possibility of the sorcerer’s sinister realm, created in Aftermath’s bad ending, existing as well. Whether this incarnation is a new version of Shang Tsung or not, he is only accessible as a downloadable content character through pre-ordering the upcoming title.


Displaying unwavering loyalty to his fellow Lin Kuei members, Sub-Zero and Scorpion, Smoke shares a close bond with the brothers despite not being biologically related to them. Returning to his human form prevalent in Mortal Kombat 9, Smoke showcases his signature smoke-themed abilities and a new knife-focused fighting style. With his brutal yet lightning-fast strikes, teleportation, and aerial maneuvers, this interpretation truly captures the essence of a Mortal Kombat ninja.


Undergoing one of the most significant changes in the lore, Kenshi is now depicted as a reluctant member of a Yakuza-associated family on a quest to retrieve his iconic Sento blade. Initially introduced without his signature blindness, the events of Mortal Kombat 1 may lead to Kenshi losing his sight and transforming into the character familiar to fans.


Undergoing a complete reimagination, Rain appears as a sorcerer wielding a staff and retaining his water manipulation abilities. Making his base roster debut since Armageddon, Rain is part of an antagonistic force that opposes Liu Kang and the Lin Kuei. He retains his morally ambiguous nature from the original timeline when he was portrayed as arrogant Edenian royalty. Reflecting his new design’s wizard-like elements, Rain’s moveset features several screen-covering projectiles and a teleport, making him a technical choice for fans of NetherRealm’s notoriously dominant zoners.

Kameo Fighters Enter the Mortal Kombat 1 Arena

Kameo Fighters Enter the Mortal Kombat 1 Arena

Jax Briggs

Like his partner, Jax sports a throwback design in his Kameo form, featuring both of his undamaged organic arms while maintaining his brutal fighting style.

Sonya Blade

Embracing the vintage look of the original game, Sonya Blade’s Kameo appearance showcases her iconic 90s outfit, serving as a nostalgic callback and hinting at a roster filled with throwbacks.


glimpsed briefly in the gameplay trailer, Goro’s Kameo design presents him in regal attire, though his body size has been reduced from his traditional towering presence.


Completing the Special Forces-themed Kameo selection, Kano appears with a look that predates his iconic goatee, embodying his earlier appearance in the Mortal Kombat games.


n an updated tribute to his original appearance, Stryker’s Kameo form wields his trusty taser, embodying a pure homage to Mortal Kombat’s past and offering a taste of the fan service to come.

Kung Lao

The classic Kung Lao fans know and love returns as a Kameo fighter, complete with his signature bladed hat and agile combat style.


Confirming the throwback nature of the Kameo fighters, Sub-Zero dons his classic blue ninja attire and retains his iconic Spine Rip fatality, evoking nostalgia for longtime fans.


With an updated HD look, Cyrax’s Kameo appearance features his signature robot attire, granting players the assistance of his retractable saw blades and devastating bombs in battle.


Joining Cyrax, Sektor adopts his more sinister red appearance, utilizing quick supporting moves such as teleporting uppercuts and signature rockets to aid the player.


Predictably clad in his classic ninja outfit, Scorpion’s Kameo edition showcases his inhuman nature, as he removes his mask to reveal a skull during the iconic “Toasty!” fatality.


Despite her intricate cyborg iteration in Mortal Kombat 11, Frost surprises fans with her return to the simplicity of her classic design as a Kameo fighter. Betraying her master Sub-Zero in the original timeline, Frost embraces her twisted apprentice identity, aligning with the other members of the Lin Kuei.

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