games / Columns

The 10th Hour 04.22.11: Favorite Mortal Kombat Characters

April 22, 2011 | Posted by Armando Rodriguez

My personal Mortal Kombat week comes to an end with this editon of The 10th Hour. Taking a break from the “Wanted Remakes” series (don’t worry; we will get back to that next week!) I have decided to make a list of my 10 favorite Mortal Kombat characters. The list is about those characters that I truly enjoy playing as, which means that it is a very personal thing and not necessarily represents the best characters in the series. The list is mostly based on Mortal Kombat Trilogy since I never spent much time with the later games, but might include some bits of stuff from the new Mortal Kombat. In just two days, I have spent 8-10 hours with the game…that’s how addictive it is. Expect my full review at some point before Monday. Now, on to that list!

The 10th Hour: Favorite Mortal Kombat CharactersSize>

10.Johnny Cage: I don’t play that well as Johnny Cage. I like to think that I am competent with him, but that’s not the reason why he makes this list. I love Johnny for three things: He (used to) look like Jean Claude Van Damme in Bloodsport, he has the awesome power of the Nut Shot and he is the type of obnoxious punk that is so over the top he turns himself into a joke. Seriously, in the new Mortal Kombat some people want to fight him simply because he talks too much. In his fictional story, he also starred in what has to be the most ridiculous concept for a movie ever conceived: Ninja Mime. Yes, Ninja Mime. It sounds like such a retarded idea that I am mildly interested in someone making it for real so I can watch it. His uppercut fatality that allowed you to rip-off multiple heads in the older games is also good for a laugh. Oh and by the way, did you know that he died in the events of the original Mortal Kombat Trilogy and somehow found his way back? Yes, Johnny Cage gave death the Nut Shot.

9.Sektor: Sektor is one of those characters that a lot of people hate because he can spam those rockets and teleport uppercuts like crazy. Trust me, I hate him….unless I am playing him and doing the spamming. Sure, it was toned down in the later games, but he still has awesome combos with those two moves. He is also the only cyber-ninja who never seems to break from his spell and stays obedient to the Lin Kuei. Both of his MK Trilogy fatalities were pretty cool as well. Sadly, I have yet to play as him in the new MK, since I have mostly spent my time with the story mode. I did unlock his alternate costume (which I am not going to spoil because I feel it is going to be a real treat for MK fans) and so far he and Cyrax’s alternates are two of the things I have loved the most in the new MK.

8. Cyber-Sub Zero: I know what you are thinking….he is a new character and I shamelessly admitted to having playing about 8-10 hours of MK. So why do I love him so much? He is like a cross between Sektor, Cyrax and Sub-Zero. He has the ability to freeze and slide, but also has a teleport, ice grenades and one of my favorite moves so far, the Ice Parry. Similar to how the ice statues from the human Sub-Zero work, the Ice Parry freezes someone who touches it…..but it’s no statue, it’s you! That makes it a lot more useful than the statues in my book and easier to trick people into it. His x ray attack is also the only one I have seen thus far that requires you to be airborne to perform it and it looks awesome as well. He makes a giant ball of ice and smacks it over your head, then makes an ice sword that he plunges through your ribs. I was worried that a Cyber-Sub Zero wouldn’t live up to the hype, but I have to admit it is every bit as cool as I imagined.

7. Jax: Jax’s Gotcha Grab was one of the most annoying move ever, which means that I loved using it. But what really made me love Jax was the Arm-Rip fatality from Mortal Kombat II. Then the ridiculously over the top “Giant Foot Stomps on You” Fatality from Mortal Kombat 3. Really, the series has a ton of over the top stuff, but they never even bothered with an explanation as of how Jax can turn himself into a giant. Or how he can turn his arms into giant blades and chop people up in pieces. All in all, Jax looks like a real bad-ass and that’s what makes me want to play him. He looks like he can kick ass….oh and he also beat up Motaro in the second MK movie. That has to count for something.

6.Kabal: Another thing that I loved about the new MK was the recreation of Kabal’s origin, something that made me a happy camper indeed. He has quickly become one of my favorite characters in the new MK, from his X-Ray move that has a good range to it, to the awesome combos that can be done thanks to his ground saw blades and fireballs. He also looks even more like a Bad-Ass if that’s possible. His MK Trilogy fatality in which he removed his mask and scared the crap out of people is one of the funniest things in the entire series. But his new MK fatalities are amazing….I won’t spoil them, but they are amongst the best in the game. Although I played him a bit in the older games, it is the new MK that has made me join the large Kabal fan club.

5.Kitana: The cuter-faced princess (when compared to her “sister”) is someone I have been using since MK 2. There is just a ton of combo opportunities using her fans, that thing that causes others to levitate and her flying punch. What originally attracted me to her was the unusual choice of weapon: someone beating up people with fans is really cool. Her fatalities also happen to be awesome in every game. The fact that she is also a primary character whose story is very compelling and important among the MK lore is just a bonus to me.

4.Liu Kang: Since the first time I played Mortal Kombat II I was 8 years old, I was usually attracted to characters who had a certain special move that I liked (like Johnny Cage’s nut shot). So it is no surprise that I fell in love with Liu Kang because of the Bicycle Kick. Not only is the sound Liu Kang makes while doing it hilarious, but the move looks cool as hell. Then he had that fatality in which he turned into a dragon. Oh man, that was my favorite MK 2 fatality. Overall, he has become a fantastic character with killer combos and his new MK fatality (that looks straight out of a Friday the 13th movie I watched, but don’t remember which one) has also garnered plenty of usage in the new game. A lot of people hate him because he is the default hero of a series full of cooler characters like Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Smoke and Kabal, but I think Liu Kang symbolizes everything we should look for in a hero. He is a fantastic fighter, has a good heart, is committed to ending evil’s rule and is willing to sacrifice himself in the process.

3.Scorpion: It is hard to admit, but I am starting to dislike Scorpion a bit, or at least get burned off him. He was my main character since the very first MK, but it seems he has become the Ken/Ryu of MK: The character everyone uses online. I swear that 8 out of every 10 matches I have online is against a Scorpion and the fact that everyone uses him has turned me off somewhat, like I don’t want to preach to the choir and become “just another Scorpion” in the long list of Scorpions other players have to fight online. I love the concept, he is like a Ninja version of Ghost Rider, and his fatalities are always awesome. Hell, his original fatality from the new MK is the one I liked the best from the demo and the reason he was the first character I played as when I got the full game. His MK1 fatality is such a classic that it was a pre-order bonus for the new game and, dare I say it? It is even more awesome than before. Not to mention that his MK4 fatality of turning into a giant scorpion was my favorite from that game. Scorpion was going to be #1 on this list, but I bumped two others in front of him simply because I am burned out. But I know one day, soon enough, Scorpion and I will burn some people to a toasty crisp online and the love will be rekindled.

2.Sub Zero: I am starting to think one day Cyber-Sub Zero will be over the classic one on this list, but for now I love good old Sub more. His spine rip fatality is the stuff of legends and the first fatality I ever saw, which was what got me into the game. Nothing like a 6-year old watching one blue ninja rip-off a yellow ninja’s head and spine to make him want to play the game himself. It was a real thrill, a combination of excitement and fear that few games have managed to create in me. Plus, the fact that the game was geared at adults and I was playing it gave me an added thrill as well…doing something you are not supposed to be doing! Anyway, he also became my main in MK3 and UMK3, the first character I could consistently beat Shao Kahn with on my first try and his Body split fatality (in which he freezes the opponent, lifts him over his head and then splits him in two) is one of my favorites from MK 3. I hope they release the “Marked for Death” Sub Zero as an alternate costume at some point because it looks plain bad-ass.

1.Cyber-Smoke: Cyber-Smoke is the character I miss the most in the current MK. I wanted to see his legendary “Blow off the world” fatality in HD. His combination of Scorpion’s spear and Sektor’s Teleport Punch made him an instant favorite. His Brutality was the first one I managed to pull off as well. I was never as good with him and I was with Sub-Zero and that’s one of the reasons that dragged me back to him: I wanted to master him! I wanted to make other people cry at my incredible gaming expertise. I almost did once….I remember walking into a Namco Time-Out arcade and watching some dude play. He was really good with Kabal and was beating the single player mode pretty easily, not an easy feat on an arcade machine that is designed to eat up your money. He spotted me looking over his shoulder and asked me if I wanted to play. “Sure, let me go change some quarters into tokens” I said. But no, he was such a “master” that he told me not to worry about it. He would pay my game because he was certain he was going to beat me and he didn’t want me to lose my money. Ok….. Guess what happened? Yes, I beat him and finished him with a fatality and everything. Dude looked totally dejected. I have seen people get dumped by their significant others and look happier than that guy. He never even asked for a rematch, he just looked at me with sad little eyes and said “Good game” before walking off to a Cruisin USA machine. I did get my butt kicked by the A.I. in the next fight ….but it’s the initial part of the story that matters!

Until next week folks and remember to leave your lists at the bottom of the page. Next week we will go back to the list of franchises I would like to see brought back. I welcome suggestions as of which company you would like to see next: Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft or Nintendo.


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Armando Rodriguez
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