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|“||Prepare to die.||„|
|~ Shao Kahn taunting a Mortal Kombat fighter before the fight begins.|
|“||You weak pathetic fools, I've come for your souls!||„|
|~ Shao Kahn in the ending of the 1995 movie.|
|“||All realms will tremble before me! Outworld will again be conquerors, never the conquered!||„|
|~ Shao Kahn in Mortal Kombat 11.|
Shao Kahn, also referred to as The Konqueror, is one of the two main antagonists (alongside Shinnok) of the Mortal Kombat series. He is the archenemy of Raiden as the two have fought for many millennia over the fate of Earthrealm.
He was once the trusted advisor and Right-Hand to the ancient Dragon King Onaga as well as the protector of Outworld. Until he betrayed Onaga and took over as the omnipotent emperor of Outworld, wanting to conquer more and more realms so he can expand his empire. He is also the father of Kitana and Mileena, the husband of Sindel and master of the sorcerer Shang Tsung.
In the original timeline He serves as the unseen overarching antagonist of the first Mortal Kombat game, the main antagonist of Mortal Kombat II, Mortal Kombat 3 and Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, a mentioned character in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, a minor antagonist in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance and Deception, and the secondary antagonist of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon.
In the alternate timeline he serves as the main antagonist of Mortal Kombat (2011), a posthumous antagonist in Mortal Kombat X, and the Mortal Kombat X comic series, and a DLC character and major antagonist in Mortal Kombat 11, and its story mode DLC, Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath.
He also serves as the overarching antagonist of the first movie, the main antagonist of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Mortal Kombat: Legacy, Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm and Mortal Kombat: Conquest, and the overarching antagonist of Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge.
- Steve Ritchie: Mortal Kombat II, Mortal Kombat 3 (and its variants), Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
- Frank Welker: Mortal Kombat movie
- John Vernon and Michael Des Barres: Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm
- Nigel Casey: Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
- Patrick Seitz: Mortal Kombat VS DC Universe
- Bob Carter: Mortal Kombat (2011)
- Ike Amadi: Mortal Kombat 11
- Fred Tatasciore: Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge
- Brian Glynn: motion captures for games Mortal Kombat II, Mortal Kombat 3 (and the latter's variants)
- Brian Thompson: Mortal Kombat Annihilation
- Jeffrey Meek: Mortal Kombat Konquest
- Aleks Paunovic: Mortal Kombat Legacy
- Stephan Scalabrino: face model for Mortal Kombat 11
|“||You are nothing!||„|
|~ One of Shao Kahn's taunts.|
|“||He always had more ego than skill.||„|
|~ Shang Tsung about Shao Kahn.|
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 or at least when fighting his opponents. He desires only power and will do anything to make sure he has it, showing great paranoia at times whenever he believe someone plans on overulling him. Kahn is also extremely manipulative, malevolent, arrogant, and cruel, so he desires only to conquer other realms and add them to his own. On the other hand, he does 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 in the second film.
|“||Don't make me laugh.||„|
|~ One of Shao Kahn's taunts from Mortal Kombat III.|
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 Mortal Kombat: Armageddon ending, he successfully merges all of the Realms to Outworld, but he is soon driven to madness, because there are no longer any realms left to conquer.
In the rebooted timeline, players get to learn more about Shao Kahn's true personality. Throughout his appearances, he shows how little he cares about anyone but himself; only showing concern for those he considers useful. This includes Sindel who he never shows any actual affection despite their interactions making it seem that he did care for her deep down. This is shown with his horrible treatment of his henchmen as he only shows regard towards them whenever they prove useful.
Powers and Abilities
|“||Is that your best?||„|
|~ One of Shao Kahn's taunts.|
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 fireball 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.
|“||Feel the wrath of Shao Kahn!||„|
|~ Another one of Shao Kahn's taunts.|
Another testament to his abilities is that his god-like strength can match (or outright exceed) someone like Raiden's caliber. This fact ultimately holds true in the Mortal Kombat (2011) intro, where he defeats and kills Raiden in the previous timeline. Upon merging Earthrealm with Outworld, Kahn's already powerful might increase to the point where he could put of a good fight against Raiden when fused with the Elder God's powers; even tanking a lighting blast with no visible discomfort. Despite this, Raiden still managed to kill him after a lengthy battle.
- In the movie Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, he was depicted as Raiden's brother.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 a minor character who was murdered by Shang Tsung, who then became champion.
- Shawn Kittelsen, one of the writers of MK11, confirmed on Twitter that Shao Kahn was not killed in MK11's Story Mode, but was simply blinded by Kitana. This turned out to be true as Kahn later appears in the Aftermath expansion as one of the playable fighters/main characters before getting killed for real after Shang Tsung absorbs his and Sindel's souls after defeating them both in kombat.