Developer NetherRealm Studios has not revealed many confirmed characters for Mortal Kombat 1 so far, but the initial roster of playable heroes and villains will likely get veteran players excited. The new fighting game is a direct sequel to the events in Mortal Kombat 11, and at the same time, a reboot of the Mortal Kombat timeline, as the newly anointed Fire God, Liu Kang, is capable of controlling time itself – in the previous game, he defeated the Keeper of Time, Kronika.
In the new game, Liu Kang seeks to bring forth an era of peace and prosperity. Nevertheless, his plans will be cut short by the return of Shang Tsung. In Mortal Kombat 1’s reveal trailer, the sorcerer is seen taking the lives of many well-known characters, all of which have been confirmed for the upcoming game as playable. It is still unknown if they will all be the main characters in Mortal Kombat 1, as the game will also introduce the Kameo system.
10 Fire God Liu Kang
Liu Kang is one of the confirmed characters in Mortal Kombat 1 and should play a big part in the campaign’s developments. He is Shang Tsung’s main opponent, and will likely be the initial barrier the villain faces, as Liu Kang is a keeper of peace. The Fire God is also featured on the game’s cover, which gives further importance to his role in the game.
As a Fire God and not only a mere combatant, Liu Kang will likely have a totally renewed skill set in Mortal Kombat 1. While he will likely still use martial arts in his fights, he can now rely on mystical powers – the reveal trailer even shows him using his new powers to execute Shang Tsung with dragon-like figures.
9 Kung Lao
In Fire God Liu Kang’s New Era, Kung Lao is one of the confirmed characters in Mortal Kombat 1. The hero is seen leading a peaceful life as a farmer in the countryside before Shang Tsung’s return and has exchanged his mortal hat for one without a blade. That will probably change once the game begins, as his bladed hat is the hallmark of his entire fighting style.
It is uncertain if this will be the Great Kung Lao, featured in Liu Kang’s ending in Mortal Kombat 11, or his previous incarnation. If it is the Great Kung Lao, he will likely be Liu Kang’s apprentice, as he was chosen by the Fire God as his Chosen Warrior. Of course, Liu Kang could have rebooted the universe even further, so the events in Mortal Kombat 11 are not as relevant in Mortal Kombat 1.
Sharing a simple farmer’s life in the countryside along Kung Lao is Raiden. The god is one of the confirmed characters for Mortal Kombat 1, as he appears in the game’s reveal trailer. The god of thunder seems to be bereft of his heavenly powers, however, which seems to indicate that his sacrifice to empower Liu Kang at the end of Mortal Kombat 11 was a permanent one.
Nevertheless, he seems to have returned as a regular human warrior, and will probably use all that is within his reach to fight against Shang Tsung. It is hard to imagine his reimagined skill set if he is truly no longer in control of his staple electrical powers, but he will likely go through some event that enables his abilities to come back, even if in a limited manner.
Scorpion’s return as a playable character in Mortal Kombat 1 was somewhat inevitable, as the ninja is one of the most popular heroes in the franchise. He is shown in the reveal trailer, wielding his kunai-rope dart when Sub-Zero approaches him in a restaurant. He wears his classic yellow suit and golden half-mask, both of which built his visual identity.
Later on, he is seen having his throat slit and head impaled by Shang Tsung, as the sorcerer individually kills off all the heroes shown in the trailer. However, all these deaths will likely be reversed once Liu Kang resets a timeline to start an organized war against the villain. As such, Scorpion and his other allies will make a return.
The other classic ninja that is confirmed as a playable character in Mortal Kombat 1 is Sub-Zero. Of course, this is Kuai Liang and not Bi-Han. Sub-Zero is shown in the same restaurant scene as Scorpion, as they walk toward each other holding their weapons. Nevertheless, they appear to have made peace with each other in the New Era.
This peace may be short-lasting with Shang Tsung’s return, and the exact details of how they will be part of the larger plot have yet to be seen. Most of Sub-Zero’s skill set should remain intact, as his control over ice was not taken away at any point before the end of the previous Mortal Kombat game.
Princess Kitana, seemingly now the empress of Outworld despite the non-canonical ending in Mortal Kombat 11, is returning as a character in Mortal Kombat 1. The blue-vested warrior is seen riding a cart along with Mileena, in an area filled with people who are likely in the Outworld after Shao Kahn’s demise.
Kitana looks outside of her cart to see the populace and, moments later, steps outside to watch the eclipse that marks the return of Shang Tsung. Later on, she has her eyes gouged out by the villain, who comes to eliminate all the peaceful warriors.
As mentioned before, Kitana is sharing a cart with Mileena, which was confirmed as a character in Mortal Kombat 1’s reveal trailer. After not being playable with MK11’s initial release, the fan-favorite hero will likely be controllable with the new game’s launch, as opposed to her later addition as a DLC character in the previous title.
The character will wear her classic pink warrior suit and a pink mask, which occludes her monster-like mouth. Her exact role in the plot is unknown, as she is often portrayed as an antagonist – if she will return to her former sensibilities is still a mystery.
3 Shang Tsung
Shang Tsung should be the game’s main villain, as he is the confirmed character in Mortal Kombat 1 responsible for the end of the peace in Liu Kang’s New Era. The sorcerer will come to visit the rest of the warriors that stood against him before, most likely with the intention of eliminating them.
The character is a smart one, so he will also probably try to recruit allies to his cause – perhaps Mileena and Scorpion, for instance. Shang Tsung will also likely be the cause of the return of other villains and the introduction of new ones. All players who pre-order Mortal Kombat 1 will receive him as a playable character.
2 Johnny Cage
Johnny Cage has been confirmed as a character in Mortal Kombat 1, though it is uncertain if he will be completely playable. The hero is speculated as one of the new Kameo Fighters, which is a system that will use secondary heroes to aid the main characters during fights. If Johnny Cage is, indeed, merely a Kameo Fighter, he may have his campaign presence significantly reduced.
If the classic hero is not completely playable, this may spark outrage among some members of the community, as Johnny Cage is a popular character. Nevertheless, his role as a Kameo Fighter may just be relevant enough to justify the change as a secondary character.
1 Leaked Mortal Kombat 1 DLC Characters
Aside from the officially confirmed characters for Mortal Kombat 1, a few playable heroes were also leaked. The leak comes from an early listing of the game’s Premium Edition on Amazon Italy, as reported by GameSpot. Players who buy the game’s more expensive versions will receive the Kombat Pack, which is said to include to following characters: Quan Chi, Ermac, Takeda, Omni-Man, Peacemaker, and Homelander. While the first three characters are classic returns to the franchise, the final three are guests from other popular adult-themed franchises.
Omni-Man is a powerful superhero from Invincible, while Peacemaker will likely take on John Cena’s interpretation of the anti-hero in the HBO Max TV show. As is the case with the two previously mentioned guests, Homelander, from The Boys, will likely be another popular addition. Tremor, Johnny Cage, Khameleon, Mavado, and Ferra, on the other hand, are all listed as Kameo Fighters from the Kombat Pack. As these are alleged leaks, however, they should be taken with a grain of salt before an official announcement by Mortal Kombat 1’s developer and publisher.