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~ Shao Kahn taunting a Mortal Kombat fighter before the fight begins.
Don't make me laugh.
~ Shao Kahn
Bow to me!
~ Shao Kahn
I am Shao Kahn! Konqueror of worlds! You will taste no victory!
~ Shao Kahn to Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat (2011).
Shao Kahn, also referred to as The Konqueror, is one of the two main antagonists of the Mortal Kombat series along with Shinnok. He is the omnipotent emperor of Outworld.
He also appears as the main antagonist in Mortal Kombat II, 3,Shaolin Monks, and 9, as well as the secondary antagonist in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, as a major antagonist in Mortal Kombat 11 and fused with Darkseid into becoming the combined main antagonist Dark Kahn of the crossover game Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.
Shao Kahn is a treacherous, violent, ruthless, sarcastic, persuasive, egotistical and bloodthirsty sadist, so he has driven to his goals by any means, yet also possesses a strange sense of humor, laughing maniacally all the time. He desires only power and will do anything to make sure he has it, showing great paranoia at times. Kahn is also extremely manipulative, malevolent, arrogant, and cruel, so he desires only to conquer other realms and add them to his own. He also shows compassion and romanticism in some media, such as the live-action series (as he seduces and charms several women in the series, including two of Quan Chi's undead female slaves) and shows a fatherly, caring relationship with Kitana despite the fact that she is covertly working against him.
Jeffrey Meek's role is more interesting when one considers that he played Raiden on the same show, occasionally opposite himself. In episode 21, "Stolen Lies," he deceives a society of people called the Shaakans into believing that he is their god; every aspect of their culture (Farland = Outworld, children pretending to steal souls, a six-armed Shokan warrior and Kahn's henchmen on the scarf, a skull on the head of a Shaakan warrior) reflects this blind worship of the Outworld emperor.
In Battlewave, Shao Kahn would arrange a different plan to open the portals. He kidnaps Sonya and, by means of hypnosis and brainwashing, convinces her to marry him. The marriage would weaken the barriers between realms enough to allow Kahn to seize Earth easily (and make Sonya the queen of both realms and his wife). During the wedding ceremony held, however, the wedding would be crashed and he would be stopped by the Earthrealm warriors' interruption, ending with Sonya becoming free from Kahn's influence. In the comic, he claims to not be the romantic type, but he also states that Sonya is very beautiful as his bride. However, he soon comes to realize that both Outworld and Earth would be in turmoil as a result of the wedding.
In Shao Kahn's personal Armageddon ending, he successfully merges all of the Realms to Outworld, but is soon driven to madness, because there are no longer have any realms left to conquer.
Powers and Abilities
Shao Kahn is extremely powerful, able to utilize superhuman strength and magic. He wields the powerful Wrath Hammer, which can send opponents flying with one strike, and he seems to have some knowledge in cloning, as seen in Deadly Alliance. Kahn's moves include a powerful shoulder barge, a green star-like fire ball that he fires from his facial area, an uppercut that both generates a shield against projectiles and knocks opponents off their feet, and a rising knee attack that generates a streak behind him. He is also shown to be a masterful expert on several Chinese kung fu, including Tai Tzu and Lui He.
Another testament to his abilities is that his god-like strength can match (or outright exceed) someone like Raiden's caliber. This fact ultimately hold true in the Mortal Kombat 9 intro, where he defeats and kills Raiden in the previous timeline. Upon merging Earthrealm with Outworld, Kahn's already powerful might increased to the point where he could put of a good fight aganist Raiden when fused with the Elder God's powers; even tanking a lighting blast with no visable discomfort. Despite this, Raiden still managed to kill him after a lengthly battle.
Steve Ritchie: MK II, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MKSM
John Vernon and Michael Des Barres: Defenders of the Realm
Bob Carter: MK2011
Ike Amadi: MK 11
Brian Glynn: motion captures for games MK II, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK Advance
Elder Gods (lost their powers and wiped out by Kronika)
Young Liu Kang (from original timeline, currently a god)
Young Johnny Cage (from original timeline)
Young Jax Briggs (from original timeline)
Young Sonya Blade (from original timeline)
Young Sub-Zero (from original timeline)
Young Scorpion (from original timeline, current leader of Shirai Ryu)
Young Kung Lao (from original timeline, current leader of the Shaolin Monks)
Blaze was no march the Konqueror. His strength increased tenfold, the Forces of Light could not fend him off his final invasion as he merged each realm with Outworld. But his ultimate triumph was soon to be his downfall. With nothing left to conquer, Shao Kahn was driven into madness.
~ Shao Kahn's ending in Armageddon.
The Elder Gods fear me now. Their pathetic Mortal Kombat shackles me no longer. They mascaraed as dragons, but are mere toothless worms. I know you can feel it... It is the end of all things.
~ Shao Kahn while fighting Raiden.
It's a shame Dark Raiden is gone.
~ Shao Kahn liked Dark Raiden more than normal Raiden
If Quan Chi or Shang Tsung return I'll kill them.
~ Shao Kahn to Raiden after mentioning that one of the sorcerers could return
The Elder Gods are gone Raiden.
~ Shao Kahn telling Raiden how the Elder Gods will not return
Shao Kahn was the main antagonist in the movie, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, where he was depicted as Raiden's brother.
Shao Kahn was the main villain of 4 games in the series (5 if counting Dark Kahn from Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe) while Shinnok was the main villain of 3 games in the series.
He always appeared with a cape in official depictions by Midway, which he took off for fights and it was not until Mortal Kombat: Deception that he wore it in combat.
Shao Kahn was originally going to be unmasked with large, fang-like teeth since everyone in Outworld was originally going to be of Baraka's race, the Tarkata. However, in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, he appeared for the first time unmasked after he threw his hammer at the player, but it was thrown back into his face, smashing his helmet. His appearance was like that of the Mortal Kombat II comic.
Shao Kahn was digitally redesigned to be taller in Mortal Kombat II, so he was much taller than other characters. However, his portrayer, Brian Glynn, was actually quite short, proving shorter than Ed Boon, one of the games creators, as seen in a photo that was taken of them.
In more recent games, Shao Kahn has been scaled down in terms of both size and build.
In a strategy guide in 1993 published for MKII in the UK, he was stated to dress like a 70's disco queen.
Shao Kahn was voted number four on the Top 10 Mortal Kombat Kharacters list made by Screw Attack.
In the internet video, he appeared in Annoying Orange Vs. Mortal Kombat as an minor character who was murdered by Shang Tsung, who then became champion.
Brian Glynn, the stunt actor that portrayed Shao Kahn in the original games, was humorously shorter than the majority of the cast but his figure was noted to be perfect for the character. As a result, his size had to be digitally alerted where Shao Kahn appeared to be taller than the majority of the characters.
Shawn Kittelsen one of the writters of MK11, confirmed on Twitter that Shao Kahn was not killed in MK11's Story Mode, but was simply blinded by Kitana. On the other hand, he still could have died when Kronika reset the timeline.