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Remove the shadow from the light, the shadow grows.
~ Words of Lord Shinnok.
The legacy of life is death, Raiden. My followers accept this and live on. They fight for me!
You turned on your fellow Elder Gods. You betrayed your title. You deserved much worse!
~ Raiden about Shinnok in Shinnok's Mortal Kombat Gold ending.
Shinnok is one of the main antagonists of the Mortal Kombat franchise. He is one of the Elder Gods that fell from grace and was banished into the dreaded Netherrealm after he attempted to conquer the Earthrealm as well as the rest of the realms and even tried to overthrow his fellow deities. Shinnok is the son of the great Titan Kronika and the brother of female fellow Elder God Lady Cetrion. Shinnok is also forever worshiped by an ancient and fanatic cult of demons and evil conjurers known as the Brotherhood of Shadow.
He is one of the most powerful villains from the Mortal Kombat series of fighting games. He first appeared in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, where he served as the main antagonist. He is also the main antagonist of Mortal Kombat 4, the overarching antagonist of Mortal Kombat (2011), the main antagonist of Mortal Kombat X, and a major antagonist in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon.
He is the known maker of the legendary Amulet of Shinnok, a talisman with powers beyond comprehension and also one of the Elder Gods' sacred relics known as the Kamidogu which helped make reality possible.
Powers and Abilities
Being a (former) Elder God, Shinnok possesses and wields immeasurable powers. His powers seeming to mainly revolve around darkness and the Netherrealm, such as summoning a skeletal hand from the ground to grip his opponent and take them into the Netherrealm.
Shinnok can also shapeshift and mimic the powers of other kombatants, however the powers he mimic must be in his jurisdiction. He can also take on a larger demonic form as shown in the final level of Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero when his precious amulet became stolen from him and in his anger, he transforms into a gigantic, unholy monster.
His magic abilities also include the ability of creating demons and wraiths to do his bidding, as well as creating clones and illusions of others and himself.
The fallen Elder God Shinnok, when combined with his Sacred Amulet (Amulet of Shinnok) once more, becomes already more powerful then ever, meaning he is allowed him to freely traverse the realms and open up portals as well as instantly destroys anyone and anything that stands in his way. Even the combined powers of Raiden and Fujin could barely slow him down (though one could argue that they were already tired from facing his army beforehand).
In Mortal Kombat X, when absorbing Earthrealm's life force, he turns into a demonic creature with immense power and the ability manipulate fire, as well as conjuring objects such as stones and bladed pillars. This also increased his strength as he was able to put up a decent fight against Cassie whose powers possibly surpass even that of Johnny. Even then, it took Raiden undoing the damage he caused to Earthrealm's life force to strip this newfound power away.
Old Baraka (killed by D'Vorah in MKX game, revived in MK 11)
Havik (killed by Scorpion in MKX comics)
Drahmin (killed by Quan Chi in MKX comics)
Kintaro (killed by Sonya, Cassie and Jacqui in MKX comics)
Mavado (killed by Cassie and Jacqui in MKX comics)
Hsu Hao (killed by Scorpion in MKX comics)
Noob Saibot (formerly)
Shang Tsung (returns in DLC for MK 11)
Shao Kahn (killed by Raiden and the Elder Gods, revived in MK11)
Revenant Liu Kang (dead)
Revenant Kung Lao (dead)
Revenant Kitana (dead)
Revenant Jade (MIA)
Revenant Kurtis Stryker (MIA)
Revenant Nightwolf (dead)
Reiko (killed by Havik in MKX comics)
Geras (defeated by Raiden)
Kronika (killed by Liu Kang)
Lady Cetrion (intended to be his arch-enemy by Lady Kronika, devoured by Kronika)
Elder Gods (depowered and defeated by Kronika)
Raiden (currently retired mortal advisor to Liu Kang)
Pre-Revenant Liu Kang (young Liu Kang from original timeline, currently the God of Fire and the Keeper of Time)
Pre-Revenant Kitana (young Kitana from original timeline, currently Kitana Khan, ruler of Outworld and later Keeper of Time)
Pre-Revenant Jade (young Jade from original timeline, currently Kitana Khan's advisor and bodyguard)
Pre-Revenant Nightwolf (young Nightwolf from original timeline)
Pre-Revenant Kurtis Stryker
Pre-Revenant Kung Lao (young Kung Lao from original timeline, current leader of the Shaolin Monks)
Scorpion (freed from Quan Chi's control)
Hanzo Hasashi (previously a revenant, killed by D'Vorah in MK11)
Sub-Zero (previously a revenant)
Old Jax Briggs (previously a revenant)
Old Sonya Blade (sacrificed herself in MK 11)
Bo' Rai Cho
Old Johnny Cage
Old Kenshi Takahashi (soul removed by Shang Tsung in DLC)
Kotal Kahn (former leader of Outworld)
Ferra and Torr
Shinnok is loosely based on the demon Yan Wang from the classical story Journey to the West.
In one of Kung Lao's match intro dialogues in MK X, he called Shinnok, "Lord Cockatrice." The name however might be loose reference to the mythical creature.
The figure that looks a lot like Shinnok that died in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon is his clone sent by the real Shinnok who was in the Netherrealm.
Shinnok was mentioned in an episode of Jeopardy.
Shinnok was the main villain of three games while Shao Kahn was the main villain of four games (5 if you count Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe).
During an intro dialogue between Raiden and Cetrion, the former questions/suggests that Shinnok's madness and evil were actually the works of his mother, Kronika's manipulations. Whether this is true or not is unknown.
The Crown of Shinnok comes with 3 different designs throughout the entire MK franchise.
It was originally a crimson bokgeon-styled headdress. This was its initial design since its first appearance in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero.
It is a crimson-ruby, ornate and spiky crown that is shaped like a spine or head of a dragon. This is the crown's primary semblance since Mortal Kombat: Armageddon.
In Mortal Kombat X, its front containing the famous spikes, was remade to combine regal and religious elements but with twisted details, representing the corruption of the fallen Elder God himself and giving him such additional boldness fitting for his dark nature, and clearly takes the form of diabolical horns, showing a more menacing and predatory appearance than religious.