Mortal Kombat has a ton of ninjas within the games. Here is every ninja as well as their backstory within the series.
There’s no denying that characters like Liu Kang or Raiden the Thunder God have come a long way over the years. Mortal Kombat just wouldn’t be the same without them. However, those are not the characters that first come to mind when the franchise is mentioned; that honor goes to the technicolored ninjas like Scorpion and Sub-Zero.
The ninja characters have been iconic staples of the Mortal Kombat franchise from the beginning. They began as just color swapped versions of the same sprite with different abilities. But today, they have evolved into unique characters with exquisitely detailed looks, abilities, and backstories.
Rather than seeking ultimate power or wealth, Syzoth AKA Reptile’s only goal is to see his realm and race of Zaterra restored. Reptile is willing to kill or destroy anything in his path in the pursuit of that goal. This anger and rage made him the perfect weapon for Outworld to use in the tournament.
Reptile was one of Kotal Kahn’s first allies to help overthrow Mileena from the Outworld throne. His fate after the events of Mortal Kombat X is currently unknown.
Skarlet was another adopted daughter of Shao Kahn. In the new timeline, Skarlet was an Outworlder starving on the streets until Shao Kahn took her in and became empowered through genetic experimentation. Skarlet became a unique form of vampire and master of Blood Magik, allowing her to use blood as a weapon and a food source.
Much like Mileena, her loyalty to Shao Kahn is zealous and she is willing to do anything for her father. Skarlet also has a personal hatred for Kitana, despising her for her royal status while she was withering away on the streets. This earned her an unquenchable thirst for Edenian blood.
An earth elemental and technically one of the most powerful ninjas in the series. Not much is known about the character except that he is a member of Kano’s Black Dragon Clan. Most of his story comes from the Mortal Kombat X comics.
Tremor helped Kano to sway the Shokan armies to Outworld’s side again. The character originally debuted in the universally panned spin-off, Mortal Kombat: Special Forces only to get a massive upgrade as an underrated DLC character in Mortal Kombat X.
Jade is the loyal protector and surrogate sister of Kitana. They were raised together, they fought together, they defended Outworld for Shao Kahn together. That’s why when Kitana rebels against her adoptive father, Jade was not far behind her.
Jade was another to die and become an undead revenant. However, she returned during the time merger and reunited with her lost love: Kotal Kahn. Jade proved to be one of the most capable Edenian warriors and allies to Earthrealm.
An interesting creature comprised of a multitude of souls including Edenia’s King Jerrod. Ermac was created as a new weapon for Shao Kahn during the tournament who uses telekinesis in deadly ways; this includes the removal of Jax’s arms, making way for the famous cybernetic ones.
Originally, Ermac sided with Mileena after Shao Kahn’s death but when the truth of her origins was revealed, he sided with Kotal Kahn. It’s currently a mystery what happened to him after Shinnok’s death in Mortal Kombat X.
A strong but hot-headed apprentice of the younger Sub-Zero. Frost is a skilled fighter with much potential but her alliance with Sub-Zero ended when he made peace with Scorpion. Frost very much believed in the old ways, that the Shirai Ryu clan were nothing but animals.
The peace made Frost betray her old master and join forces with the titan Kronika. Frost became the new leader of the Cyber Lin Kuei in Mortal Kombat 11. She is defeated during the final battle against Kronika along with her Cyber Lin Kuei.
Two ninjas of the Lin Kuei, both victims of the Grandmaster and Quan Chi’s lies. Sektor is more zealous, truly believing that the Cyber Initiative was the best future for their clan while Cyrax was hesitant. This division between the two leads to their friendship ending.
Cyrax betrays the Lin Kuei, believing that being cyberized was too far and their clan had lost their way. However, Cyrax is still a victim of the new Cyber Lin Kuei and is stripped of his humanity. Sektor becomes the new Grandmaster only to be killed by the younger Sub-Zero later. During the time merger of Mortal Kombat 11, Cyrax is temporarily freed from his programming to help Earthrealm.
Tomas Vrbada AKA Smoke is a member of the Lin Kuei and a friend of the younger Sub-Zero. In the first timeline, Smoke was the one to become cyberized but in the second timeline, his fate was replaced with Sub-Zero. Smoke remained human and ended up joining Raiden’s forces to save Earthrealm.
Unfortunately, Smoke would still meet his end at the hands of Sindel thus allowing him to be resurrected by Quan Chi. In Mortal Kombat X, Smoke was renamed to Enenra. After Shinnok’s defeat, he vanishes with no sign or mention of the character in Mortal Kombat 11.
Khameleon’s story is that she has none. She exists and is famously a poor excuse for a new character. She can imitate other female ninjas across the Mortal Kombat franchise. That’s it, that’s all that can be said about her and her male counterpart.
Unlike most of the male ninjas, Rain originates from Edenia: Kitana’s realm. Rain witnessed the invasion of Edenia but was smuggled away while his father fought Outworld forces. From then on, Rain would not have a dedicated allegiance to anyone; the only one that mattered was himself.
Rain sided with the Edenian resistance, then Shao Kahn (his own father’s killers), and even Mileena’s resistance. Rain also claims to be a demi-god, a son of Argus hence his power over water. Rain also had plans to kill Mileena and take over Outworld himself only to be thwarted by Kotal Kahn and Earthrealm forces.
Shao Kahn felt that Kitana was too weak so he had Shang Tsung use sorcery to mix Kitana’s blood and Tarkatan blood. As a result, Shang Tsung created a bloodthirsty clone with razor-sharp teeth. When Shao Kahn was killed, Mileena became Empress of Outworld until being overthrown by Kotal Kahn.
Mileena led a resistance, creating a civil war among Outworlders. In an alliance between Earthrealm and Kotal Kahn’s forces, Mileena was captured before being murdered by D’Vorah.
Even though the Lin Kuei had begun to lose their way, Bi-Han AKA Sub-Zero fought in the tournament to defend Earthrealm. However, due to being framed by the evil Quan Chi, Sub-Zero became the ultimate target for Scorpion’s vengeance thus resulting in his fatality. This would not be the end of Bi-Han, however.
Bi-Han would be resurrected but as a ninja who controlled shadow powers. Sub-Zero was gone, all that was left was Noob Saibot: cursed to forever serve the Netherrealm. Bi-Han’s new evil resulted in him becoming an enemy of Earthrealm, including his own little brother: Kuai Liang.
When Shao Kahn invaded Edenia thus transforming it into Outworld, he killed the king with the help of the traitorous Queen Sindel. The king and queen’s daughter, Kitana became the adopted daughter of the usurper and for millennia thought he was the real father. That is until the days of the tournament when the truth was revealed.
Devastated, Kitana aligned with the Earthrealm fighters to stop her adoptive father until her death during Shao Kahn’s invasion. Kitana came back as a loyal revenant to Netherrealm until becoming its Empress alongside the revenant Emperor Liu Kang. In the third timeline, Kitana does not die and instead overthrows Shao Kahn only to become the new peaceful Kahn of Outworld.
After the death of his older brother, Kuai Liang took up the mantle of Sub-Zero. Kuai investigated the new tournament to find the killer only to discover that Scorpion was behind it. As a result, a new rivalry between ninjas is born. Kuai also ends up fighting his own brother who had been transformed into a revenant named Noob Saibot.
Kuai ends up becoming a victim of the betrayal of his own clan. He is transformed into Cyber Sub-Zero, who breaks away from his own clan to assist Earthrealm during Shao Kahn’s invasion. However, Kuai’s cyberized life is made short by the evil Sindel who kills him alongside many other fighters. Kuai returned as a revenant but only briefly before being restored by Earthrealm, allowing him to retake control of the Lin Kuei and fix the damage that the previous grandmaster had caused.
Scorpion was a man named Hanzo Hasashi of the Shirai Ryu clan. Happy with a wife and child, his life turned to tragedy when his entire clan and family were murdered by Sub-Zero of the rival clan: the Lin Kuei. This was a ploy by Quan Chi, who framed Sub-Zero and killed Hanzo to stoke his rage.
The evil sorcerer would revive Hanzo as the undead revenant known as Scorpion. Scorpion fought for Outworld’s forces for years and even killed the original Sub-Zero until being freed by Earthrealm forces. Returning to the living, Hanzo reformed the Shirai Ryu and learned that Quan Chi is the true villain thus creating an alliance between Scorpion and Sub-Zero. This would last until Hanzo’s death at the hands of D’Vorah in Mortal Kombat 11.
NEXT: 5 Reasons Why We Want Injustice 3 Next (& 5 Why We Want Mortal Kombat 12)
Mortal Kombat, Mileena, NetherRealm Studios
World news – US – Mortal Kombat: Every Ninja & Their Backstory, Explained