Five Kharacters I Want to See in Mortal Kombat 1

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Five Kharacters I Want to See in Mortal Kombat 1

July was a good month for Mortal Kombat fans. Plenty of character reveals thus far, with Geras the latest reveal at DreamCon 2023, and we know something big is coming at EVO. But that roster still has plenty of space left on it, so now felt like a good time to sound off my wishlist.

Here are five characters I want to see in Mortal Kombat 1.

5. Nitara

The mysterious vampire from Deadly Alliance would make for a welcome return in Mortal Kombat 1.
Image Source: Mortal Kombat Wiki

Technically speaking, Nitara should be number one on this list. Nitara was my favorite character Midway introduced in Deadly Alliance. I'm putting Nitara lower on the list because of the Mortal Kombat 1 roster leak. So far, that leak has been 100% accurate, and Nitara is one of the characters on it. Leak, don't fail me now. 

Purge your mind of the abomination that was the Nitara in the recent live-action Mortal Kombat movie. That was Nitara in name only. The real Nitara isn't some generic goon of Shang Tsung. The real Nitara is a vampire from the conquered realm of Vaeternus. She's only interested in freeing Vaeternus from Outworld's grasp. And, fittingly for a vampire, she does so from the shadows. 

After locating a mystical orb that could free Vaeternus from Outworld, Nitara finds herself unable to retrieve it as it sits beneath molten lava (A Tremor would be useful right about now). So, what does she do? First, she scouts out Cyrax. Cyrax being a cyborg, he would be able to descend beneath the lava and retrieve the orb for her. 

Knowing she'd need to give him something in return for his services, Nitara first befriends Reptile by giving him an artifact sacred to his realm Zaterra. After earning Reptile's loyalty, she sets him on Cyrax with the specific command to attack his arm panel, the device that allows Cyrax to move between realms. 

Reptile's attack on Cyrax is successful, and Nitara then immediately approaches Cyrax with a deal: retrieve the orb, and I'll send you home. With no other option for returning home, Cyrax agrees. Cyrax retrieves the orb, and Nitara sends him back to Earthrealm using the magical gemstone around her neck. 

After Cyrax gives her the orb, Nitara shatters it to pieces and successfully separates Vaeternus from Outworld. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, a Mortal Kombat character that isn't a hero that achieves their ultimate goal

Immediately following Nitara's success in freeing her realm was a new challenge: the genocide of her race. The Datusha-wielding Ashrah has been busy wiping on vampires left and right. So, what does Nitara do? She finds Ashrah and beats her

This lady gets stuff done.

Nitara joins the Forces of Darkness in the Battle of Armageddon (Presumably since Ashrah fought for the Forces of Light) and dies along with everyone else. And unfortunately, that's where Nitara's story ends. Nitara has made no appearances in the NRS era so far so that awful film version of the character is the only Nitara modern Mortal Kombat fans know. 

NetherRealm, please fix that. 

4. Kabal

Kabal started out strong in MK9, but it went downhill from there.
Image Source: Mortal Kombat Wiki

Kabal is one of the most competitively dominant characters in both eras of Mortal Kombat. MK9 Kabal was my personal favorite iteration of the character. I was never a fan of Midway Kabal going from vowing to repent for his past criminal life in MK3, to becoming blindly loyal to Havik in Deception and becoming a bad guy again because reasons. 

Mortal Kombat 9 saw Kabal as a former Black Dragon member who renounced his criminal past and became a cop and partner of Stryker. We don't get much of Cop Kabal before Kintaro burns him to a crisp. After a clutch double save by Shang Tsung and Kano, NRS Kabal gained his iconic look and superspeed. 

But after this, Kabal gets the short end of the stick storywise. Kabal insta dies to Sindel in MK9 and spends the rest of MK9, MKX, and MK11 are generic Netherrealm revenant number 4. But MK11 does a bit more to stain Kabal's character. 

Kabal is one of the many fighters that Kronika brings to the present. But this human Kabal is different from the one we knew in MK9. Instead of being a redeemed Black Dragon member and honest cop, this Kabal is a corrupt cop who became a Black Dragon member. Who also already has his superspeed despite not having met Shang Tsung yet (With Shang Tsung's magic being the reason NRS Kabal has superspeed). Because reasons or something. 

So yeah. Kabal's characterization needs work. His MK11 arcade ending has him settling down into suburban life with Sareena, which was totally random. NRS should find a lane for this guy and stick with it. Plus, as a playable character, he's always a welcome addition.

3. Tremor

I have to say, for an Earth Elemental, settling for Black Dragon enforcer is pretty low.
Image Source: Mortal Kombat Wiki

You'd think a guy with the powers of an Earth Elemental would have a much more prominent role in the Mortal Kombat universe, but apparently not. Instead, Tremor is just a Black Dragon enforcer.

It didn't help Tremor that he made his debut in the better-off-forgotten Mortal Kombat: Special Forces. Tremor was supposed to debut as a playable character during the Midway era, but it never happened. 

As a “ninja” in the early years of Mortal Kombat, Tremor was quite the bland-looking character, being nothing more than a brown palette swap of fighters like Scorpion and Sub-Zero. NetherRealm thankfully gave the Earth Elemental a much-needed makeover. His new look emphasizes his geokinesis powers and makes him look very formidable. 

Appearing in the MKX comics and making his playable debut as a DLC character in MKX, Tremor's inclusion confused many new-generation fans, but his inclusion soon became a welcomed one. Two of Tremor's variations comfortably sit in S-Tier in recent MKX rankings. He's proven his worth as a playable character. All that's left is for him to get some better writing within the narrative. Tremor seems too powerful to be a mere background character. Special Forces introduce several interesting Black Dragon characters that NetherRealm could do much more with, none more so than Tremor. 

2. Sareena

Sareena has a lot of potential as a character, but it has never been realized.
Image Source: Mortal Kombat Wiki

Sareena is one of the few bright spots of Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero. Alongside Kia and Jataaka, Sareena debuted as an enforcer of Quan Chi. Elder Sub-Zero killed Kia and Jataaka but, for some reason, spared Sareena. Out of gratitude, Sareena would appear later and aid Elder Sub-Zero in defeating Quan Chi. After expressing her wish to escape the Netherrealm, Shinnok appears and seemingly kills Sareena. 

Only he didn't. Sareena survived, though she spent years as a prisoner in the Netherrealm. She would eventually escape via the same portal Quan Chi and Scorpion use in Deadly Alliance to reach Outworld. Soon after, she encounters Younger Sub-Zero, who grants her asylum within the Lin Kuei out of gratitude for her having helped his brother. Sareena quickly pledged herself to the Lin Kuei. 

Sareena is absent during Deception but appears again in Armageddon. She saves Younger Sub-Zero from Noob Saibot and Smoke in the Netherrealm, and helps Sub-Zero defeat them. Unfortunately, being back in the Netherrealm causes Sareena to revert from her human form to her original demon one. Sub-Zero attacks her, and Sareena flees; right back into the clutches of Quan Chi. After some Quan Chi voodoo magic, he makes her his minion again. Her downfall doesn't last long, as Sareena fights alongside the Forces of Light in the final battle. 

In the NRS era, Sareena briefly appears fighting alongside Kenshi and Jax against Quan Chi's forces, and in Kabal's MK11 ending, as his wife, and that's it. And that's a real shame. 

Sareena has a lot of potential to be so much more. It's bizarre Midway didn't attempt to give her an arc where she tries to save Bi-Han/Noob Saibot. NRS didn't either. What was the point of her redemption if she never does anything? NRS could easily give her some rapport with fellow demon Ashrah (Which could help free Ashrah from the Datusha's grasp and help her realize not all demons are evil and need to die), who is on the leaked roster. 

Her bond with Bi-Han will be troublesome to establish in the New Era since this Bi-Han presumably didn't go through Mythologies. But that's the benefit of a fresh timeline; it gives you room to change and improve a character's backstory. Retcons are always risky moves, but since Midway barely did anything with Sareena, this character can be one of NRS's safer gambles. 

For starters, they can give the redeemed Sareena an outfit that isn't identical to the one she wore as a member of the Brotherhood of Shadow.

Just a suggestion.

1. Kai

Kai has been a nothing burger of a character for nearly 30 years. NRS could change that.
Image Source: Mortal Kombat Wiki

One of the biggest misconceptions in the Mortal Kombat community is that fans only criticize the NRS-era games and not the Midway ones. That's far from true. While I think the Midway games are superior in many ways, they still had plenty of bad writing and missed opportunities. None more so than Kai. Move aside, Kung Lao, the original Liu Kang-lite, is here.

Introduced in Mortal Kombat 4, Kai is a White Lotus Society member, friend, and apprentice of Liu Kang. He's unique in that after beating the game with Kai, his default weapon, the Ghurka Knife, switches to Raiden's Lighting Staff, which Raiden gives him in his Arcade ending. 

But it all goes downhill from there. 

Kai is bottom-tier in his own debut game. In the follow-up, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, the game that revitalized the Mortal Kombat franchise for many fans, Kai is not present. I find that odd, given that Shang Tsung and Quan Chi murdered his friend and teacher Liu Kang in this game. His MK4 ending does show Kai telling Raiden he plans on traveling the world to do some soul-searching, but come on, man. I thought Liu was your friend. 

Kai briefly appears in Deception's Konquest Mode. After an attack on the Shaolin, most of the monks are dead, and Kung Lao requests Shujinko find Kai in Outworld and ask him to help rebuild the monastery. Kai declines, telling Shujinko he'd only return to Earthrealm after he finished exploring Outworld. 

Did you or did you not just hear that almost all your Shaolin brothers are dead and the monastery destroyed? Kai's kind of a jerk. 

While Kai is busy exploring Outworld, Raiden has revived Liu Kang as an undead enforcer who is busy murdering people (Including Shaolin monks). And once again, Kai seemingly doesn't care. Midway made it hard to like this guy. 

Kai returns as a playable character in Armageddon. Shortly before the battle of Armageddon, Fujin and Kung Lao redeemed Raiden and calmed down Zombie Liu Kang. The third time wasn't the charm here, as Kai was again not present in an encounter he should've been involved in. Like all the Forces of Light, Kai dies in the ensuing battle. But Midway wasn't quite done making Kai one of the worst characters in the series. 

Kai was bad in Mortal Kombat 4. He's even worse in Armageddon. His War Club sucks. His upward and downward fireballs are terrible. His fireballs are so slow that Kai will rarely land them on CPU opponents. Landing them in a competitive match is basically impossible. Armageddon Kai has poor mixups, low combo potential, and his damage is a joke. As a result, Kai is once again a bottom-tier character. 

Kai's only appearance in the NRS era was in a text with Cassie Cage in one of her intros with Fujin. That's it. Kai made his way to Mortal Kombat nearly three decades ago, and neither Midway nor NRS has done him any justice. They haven't even come close. 

With Liu Kang now a God and Raiden and Kung Lao not even starting as Shaolin monks, there's a lot of wiggle room to slot Kai into the New Era and actually make him a character that can stand out from his allies. Let the man live a little NRS.

Five Kharacters I Want to See in Mortal Kombat 1
Xavier Geitz
When not busy writing about Esports, the latest and greatest digital gaming deals, and reviewing video game, you can find Xavier wandering Morrowind's Telvanni Coast, tirelessly petitioning for a Timesplitters 2 remake, or trying to understand the Concept of Love.