An evil construct brought to life through sorcery, Mileena is the result of Shao Kahn's desire to create a replacement for his adoptive daugher, Princess Kitana, one who would be unfailingly loyal to him. To this end, the Emperor's most powerful sorcerer, Shang Tsung, combines the essence of the Princess with the lifeblood of the Tarkatan species. Born unexpectedly with the razor-sharp gnashing teeth of a Tarkatan, she is a failure to her purpose. With her horrific visage, she will never be able to pass for Kitana. Rather than discard her, however, Shao Kahn decides that she can still be useful in spying on her "sister," allowing him to remain informed of any changes in her loyalties.
Perhaps it is the knowledge that her features will prevent her from ever achieving the end to which she was created, or the juxtaposition of violent Tarkatan blood with that of the peaceful Edenians, but Mileena's mind is unstable from the start. Though her role is only to report on Kitana's activities, she bears a growing resentment toward her, coveting the attention and privilege of Edenian royalty. Though eager to supplant her sister and occupy the throne, Mileena is also in touch with her more savage nature, even allying herself in secret with the Tarkatan warlord Baraka. It is this dichotomy which most defines her, as she simultaneously relishes and despises the Tarkatan blood in her veins. While she aspires to the crown, she is undeniably a creature of violence, taking no small amount of pleasure from the bloodshed that typifies the Mortal Kombat tournament. Her actions do not betray whether she is aware of this contradiction, but she is earnest in her desire to see her sister dead, perhaps believing that it will make her whole. Having been created rather than raised, Mileena is in many ways childlike; she can be single-minded, cruel, and temperamental, and shows little consciousness of or remorse for the suffering she inflicts.
As with the rest of the series' female ninjas, Mileena is fond of tight, form-fitting clothing, and her signature color has always been magenta. In order to compensate for her facial deformity, or perhaps to spite Kitana, to whom she is otherwise identical, she has taken to wearing increasingly more revealing outfits over the years. Beguiling her opponents with her seductive attire, it is often too late when her foes learn of Mileena's penchant for consuming the flesh of her enemies. Being a man-eater in the truest sense, her teeth are as deadly as her other weapon of choice: a pair of sai which she carries at all times. When fully masked, the only evidence of her unusual nature is her eyes, whose yellow color and reptilian vertical pupils betray her Tarkatan origin.
Shao Kahn's Assassin
Of the many realms conquered by Shao Kahn, Edenia is perhaps the most notable. After besting Edenia's warriors in Mortal Kombat, Kahn slays King Jerrod personally, taking his wife, Queen Sindel, as his own and adopting his daughter, Princess Kitana. After Sindel kills herself in defiance of Kahn, the Emperor seeks to ensure that Kitana will not defy him as well. Thus Mileena is born, spawned of Shang Tsung's black magic, intended to take the Princess's place. This was not to be, however, as the Tarkatan essence used in her creation results in a grotesque countenance. Not content to let his experiment go to waste, Mileena is trained as a personal guard and insinuated into his daughter's company as her sister.
For a time, Kitana and Mileena work together as assassins in Shao Kahn's service; though ostensibly her companion, Mileena's true task is to report any suspicious activity to her Emperor. During the events of the second tournament, she finds that Kitana is indeed in league with Earthrealm's warriors. Too enraged to notify Kahn, Mileena attacks her sister personally. Kitana prevails against her, killing Mileena and sending her soul to the Netherrealm.
Discovered by Shinnok, Mileena finds herself resurrected in the Netherrealm in order to serve him. She is sent to Earth, and instructed to spy on Shao Kahn's invasion on the Elder God's behalf. The process of resurrection has given her the further ability to read her sister's thoughts. Though she would like nothing more than the chance to take her revenge on Kitana, she will not have the chance, as Shinnok summons her back to the Netherrealm shortly after Kahn's defeat to assist him with plans of his own. During Shinnok's war against the Elder Gods, Mileena assists the fallen deity in conquering Edenia and capturing its rulers. Wishing to prove her superiority, Mileena allows the Princess to escape in order to face her in Kombat. The tables would be turned upon Shinnok's defeat, however, with Mileena being sealed away in an Edenian prison, where she would stay for several years.
Pretender to the Throne
It is not until the return of the Dragon King Onaga that Mileena is finally freed. Found by her one-time ally Baraka, he convinces her to serve the Dragon King, where she is able to exact vengeance on her sister by posing as the leader of the Princess's armies. Though aligned with Onaga, Mileena begins to entertain the idea of using the Edenian army to her own ends. Taking advantage of the weakened status of her former master, she storms Shao Kahn's fortress, declaring herself the ruler of Outworld. For a times she has the most powerful forces in either Outworld and Edenia.
Her reign is to be short-lived, however. Having restored his former strength during the time of Armageddon, Shao Kahn now assaults his own fortress with the aid of Goro and Shang Tsung. Trying to shield herself from the Emperor's wrath, Mileena barricades herself in the throne room, and has her sorcerers cast a defensive barrier on the door. Even being magically bolstered, it is no match for Shao Kahn's brute strength, and soon Mileena is face to face with the Emperor. Still believing her to be Kitana, the remaining defenders rush to her aid, only to find themselves stabbed from behind by their "princess". Choosing fealty over death, Mileena reveals her identity to Kahn, and swears her allegiance.
Upon her surrender, Mileena is tasked with the capture of Shujinko, whom Kahn believes will be useful in swaying Onaga to his side. Shujinko accepts an invitation from Mileena, presumably under the guise of Kitana; upon his arrival at Kahn's fortress, he is faced with the risen Emperor and his allies. Mileena captures him personally, fulfilling her duty to Kahn. But having been ruler for a time, she now chafes at the thought of servitude. Unfortunately, she realizes that while Shao Kahn lives, she has no hope of retaking the throne of Outworld. For this reason she travels to Edenia, hoping to reclaim her position there.
Though mostly non-canonical, there is usually interesting information revealed about Mileena in her endings, such as her secret alliance with Baraka. It is worth noting that despite stating that Baraka was killed, her Deception ending is still considered canon, as Baraka sends another Tarkatan in his place.
Mortal Kombat II (non-canon)
With his attention focused on Kitana, Shao Kahn notices too late the treachery of Mileena. Launching an attack on the distracted Emperor and his forces, they are no match for her speed. Having vanquished Kahn, Mileena rules as Outword's queen, with Baraka her king.
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (non-canon)
Winning the third tournament once again allows Mileena to become the queen of Outworld. Aided by Baraka, she captures Sindel and Kitana, and uses them as leverage to force Shao Kahn to create fourth tournament. This time Baraka will win, becoming the ultimate champion of Mortal Kombat.
Mortal Kombat Trilogy (non-canon)
Driven by fear of Shinnok, who resurrected her, Mileena's goal is to subvert Kahn's invasion in preparation for her new master's war. Her ability to read Kitana's thoughts and the motives of Earth's warriors is quite effective to that end, and when she finally destroys her father, Shinnok steps forth to claim the realm for himself.
Mortal Kombat Gold (non-canon)
Confronting her sister in her throne room, Mileena demands that Kitana submit to her and bequeath her title. Maintaining defiance, Kitana ridicules her sister's origin as a slave created by Shang Tsung, telling her she would never be accepted as royalty. Despite acknowledging the truth of these words, Mileena is enraged, hurling Kitana from a window at the back of her throne room.
Mortal Kombat: Deception (canon)
Mileena has no trouble taking control of Kitana's armies in disguise, as most assumed her dead long ago. She gives command of her armies to Bo Rai Cho, instructing him to act against Baraka's Tarkatan horde. To her surprise, he prevails, and with the most powerful army in either Outworld or Edenia now at her command, she is closer to her goal than ever. With only one loose end to tie up, she requests Baraka's presence at the Beetle's Lair, where she ambushes and kills him. Having slain the only person who knew of her deception, she is now free to pose indefinitely as Princess Kitana.
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (non-canon)
With the power of Blaze, Kitana and Mileena are made one for a single moment. While Mileena is made whole by this process, her sister has been granted a set of razor-sharp Tarkatan teeth. Mileena is finally able to ascend the Edenian throne without needing her mask. Meanwhile, Kitana goes mad in the dungeons of her own palace, with no one believing her to be the true Princess.
Mortal Kombat (2011) (non-canon)
Although Mileena kills Shao Kahn, it was all part of Shang Tsung's plans. In his next phase, he was to kill Mileena and claim Shao Kahn's power inside her. Mileena finds out and kills the sorceror and increases her strength. Mileena then sets her sights on the soul of a thunder god.
Fatalities & Finishers
Mileena's ferocity continues well after the match has ended, as her Fatalities are typified by gleeful sadism and a knack for cannibalism matched only by Reptile. In some finishers she is apt to cackle maniacally while finishing her opponent. Some of her finishers, such as her UMK3 Friendship and Animality, reference her hideousness in a humorous way.
- Sai Stab - (MKII, MK:SM): Mileena repeatedly stabs her opponent with her sai, either kicking them aside or allowing them to slump to the ground afterwards, depending on the game.
- Man-Eater - (MKII, UMK3, MKT): Mileena literally swallows her foe whole before turning to spit out their remains.
- Nail Barrage - (UMK3, MKT, MKG): Whipping out a container of nails, Mileena fills her mouth and proceeds to spit them rapid-fire at her unfortunate foe. The losing player is propelled off-screen in UMK3/MKT, while in MKG their nail-ridden corpse is shown
- Sai Assault - (MKG): Very similar to the Nail Barrage, she throws an impossible number of sai at her opponent, lodging them in all areas of their body. The camera zooms in to show the results of the attack.
- Neck Gnaw - (MK:D): Removing her mask, Mileena sinks her teeth into her opponent's neck. Chewing until she dislodges their head, she then spits it to the ground, turning to the camera with no small amount of satisfaction.
- Sai Kick - (MK:D): Mileena tosses her sai high in the air, kicking them both into her opponent's chest when they descend.
- Be Mine - (MK:2011): A combination of the previous two Fatalities. Mileena lodges her sai in the opponent's chest before sauntering over to them. After a long pause, she rips their head off, briefly gnawing on it before throwing it to the ground.
- Torso Rip - (MK:2011): Similar to Kira's Fatality in Deception, Mileena first pins her opponent's feet to the ground with her sai before ripping their torso from their legs.
- Friendship - (MKII): Mileena extends her hand, dropping a single seed which immediately sprouts and produces a blue flower.
- Friendship - (UMK3, MKT): Mileena whips out a mirror and gazes into it unmasked. As it shatters, a short utterance can be heard from Shao Kahn. There is some debate as to what exactly is said, but the prevailing theories point to either "Crispy" or "Pretty."
- Animality - (UMK3, MKT): Morphing into a diminutive skunk, Mileena proceeds to spray her foe, causing them to scream and fall over.
- Hara-Kiri - (MK:D): Mileena drives her sai into both sides of her head, instantly killing herself.
|Mortal Kombat II||In her initial appearance, Mileeana is clad simply in a magenta leotard with black sash. As is common with Mortal Kombat's ninjas, her face is mostly hidden behind a mask of a matching color. She sports knee-high boots, long gloves,and a headband. This is also one of the few early appearances where Mileena's hair is not tied back in some fashion.|
|Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3|
Mortal Kombat Trilogy
|The main contrast from her previous attire is of course the laced window of this version's leotard. Aside from that, it is very much in keeping with the previous outfit. The headband is dropped, arm bands are added, and a more liberal use of black helps to make it a little less plain than the initial costume. Finally, her hair has been pinned back, though this might have been done to make the digitization process easier|
|Mortal Kombat Gold||This version is notable in being the first time Mileena's outfit differed from Kitana's in any way save color. Despite this, both stay very similar to the design of their UMK3 costume, with Mileena losing the laces. Perhaps most interesting, this is the only appearance in which Mileena is shown to have milky white eyes similar to Scorpion. She also appears with a ponytail, which she would become fond of in later appearances|
|Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks||Acting as a bridge between the earlier designs and the later ones, Mileena's Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks attire shows significantly more skin than either Jade or Kitana's, with a completely exposed midriff. This trend would continue, and this iteration also marks the switch from a mask to a more Arabian style veil|
|Mortal Kombat: Deception|
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
|Heavily inspired by her Shaolin Monks costume, Mileena once again sports a veil and a bare midsection. The biggest change to the costume is a set of long flowing sleeves intended to further cement an Arabian appearance. Her veil is also partially transparent, allowing observant players to see her teeth even during combat|
|Mortal Kombat: Deception|
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
|Showing more skin than any outfit to date, Mileena's Deception alternate was made famous when she was featured mostly wearing it in a special render created by Midway employee Pav Kovacic for a gaming edition of Playboy magazine. This outfit leaves almost nothing to the imagination, and the Playboy render is only marginally more revealing than the actual in-game costume. The veil used here is nearly identical to her primary outfit, though she does wear her hair down for the first time since Mortal Kombat II|
|Mortal Kombat (2011)||Clearly influenced by her Deception alternate, this design nonetheless updates a few elements of the original. She returns to wearing a mask, though it shows elements of the veil from the previous games. She now shows yellow Tarkatan eyes as well, with vertical pupils. This is also the culmination of Mileena's gradually shortening hair, which is now shoulder length.|