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Alignment: Good

Species: God

Origin: N/A

Allies: Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade

Enemies: Shao Kahn, Quan Chi, Shang Tsung

Overview

Raiden, depicted in the 2011 version of Mortal Kombat

Raiden (sometimes known in console ports of early games as Rayden to prevent confusion with Raiden) is the god of thunder and a regular combatant in the Mortal Kombat franchise. He is depicted in the series as the protector of Earthrealm, with the ability to teleport, fly, and manipulate lightning. In some games, he serves as an instructor to the main protagonists.

Raiden is played by Carlos Pesina in Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat II, Michael Garvey in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero. In the films, he is played by Christopher Lambert in Mortal Kombat and James Remar in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. He appears as a secret character in early arcade versions of NBA Jam : Tournament Edition (along with Reptile, Scorpion, and Sub-Zero), and as an unlockable character in Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict. (sometimes referencing the series in taunts, such as "You fight like Johnny Cage!")

Story (canon)

Prior to the Tournaments

Millions of years prior to the Mortal Kombat games, he fought the rogue elder god Shinnok in a war that threatened to destroy Earthrealm. After being victorious, he banishes Shinnok to the Netherrealm and secured Shinnok's amulet of power in a secret location guarded by the gods of wind, fire, earth, and water. However, in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, the evil sorceror Quan Chi (with the help of the older Sub-Zero), stole the amulet and entered Netherrealm to bring Shinnok back. Unable to enter Netherrealm himself, Raiden instructs the older Sub-Zero to follow Quan Chi and retrieve the amulet. (which he accomplishes)

The Earthrealm and Outworld Tournaments

Raiden was then given a personal invitation to the Mortal Kombat tournament by its host, the evil sorceror Shang Tsung. (in which every tournament won by the massive Goro results in weakening Earthrealm's barriers to the invading force of the emperor of Outworld, Shao Kahn) Although he attended the tournament, it is unknown if he actually participated. After Shang Tsung's defeat in the hands of Liu Kang, Raiden receives a challenge from Shao Kahn for a new Outworld tournament. (in which the defeat of Raiden and the Earthrealm warriors results in the weakening of Earthrealm's barriers) Raiden advises Liu Kang, Kung Lao, and the forces of Earthrealm about Shao Kahn's intention. It is not known if he directly participated in the tournament.

Merging of the Realms

Raiden in Deadly Alliance

After Shao Kahn's initial defeat, he initiates a plan to merge the two realms via ressurection of the Outworld queen Sindel in Earthrealm. As Shao Kahn invaded Earthrealm and devoured millions of souls, Raiden protected a select few mortals. However, Shao Kahn counters by sending extermination squads to destroy any survivors. Due to the merging of the realms, Raiden could not participate as a god. He instead temporarily reliquinshed his status as a god and sacrificed his immortality. He leads the chosen warriors into battle, and (together with Liu Kang) defeat Shao Kahn once again.

The Forces of Light

After regaining his status as the god of thunder, Raiden was unaware that the amulet Sub-Zero retrieved from Netherrealm (before the first tournament) was fake. Quan Chi helps Shinnok escape and both escape to Edenia with the intention of conquering all the realms and the destruction of the Elder Gods. Raiden and the god of wind, Fujin, organize a group of Earthrealm warriors to combat Shinnok. Being victorious, Raiden is granted the status of Elder God, leaving the responsibility as the protector of Earthrealm to Fujin.

Against the Deadly Alliance

As an Elder God, Raiden could not interfere with the deadly alliance of Shang Tsung and Quan Chi. Disgusted, Raiden relinquishes his status as an Elder God and returns to being the protector of Earthrealm. After reuniting with his comrades in Shang Tsung's old island fortress, he leads them to Outworld to confront the two sorcerors. However, the forces of Earthrealm were slain, and Raiden was defeated. As the two sorcerors turned on eachother, they were confronted by the resurrected Demon King Onaga. In an effort to defeat Onaga, Raiden allied with the two sorcerors. In desperation, he used his godly energy to create a bomb in hopes of destroying Onaga. Onaga survived and took Shinnok's powerful amulet (used by Quan Chi) for himself.

Raiden's Corruption

Raiden's essence regathered in Earthrealm, but he became furious at how Earthrealm was treated by its inhabitants (particularly at how Shujinko was deceived into ressurecting Onaga). He vowed no longer to entrust the safety of Earthrealm to mankind. Instead, he chose to enforce the protection of Earthrealm and destroy all those who threaten it. Raiden reanimates the corpse of Liu Kang (who earlier was killed by the deadly alliance) to serve as his zombie enforcer. During the events of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Raiden makes a temporary alliance with Shinnok and Shao Kahn (who, in return, would spare Earthrealm).

Changing the Past

While battling Shao Kahn as the lone remaining warrior at the top of the pyramid from Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Raiden sends a message to his past self just as he is about to lose that "He must win." This message is received by Raiden just prior to the tournament from the original Mortal Kombat. Upon receiving this message, an amulet belonging to Raiden begins to crack. The god of thunder tries to alter the flow of time to prevent the vision that he saw, but his efforts are continually either negated or have unintended affects. In managing to rescue Smoke from the Lin Kuei, for example, he leaves open a door for Sub-Zero to be captured and turned into a cyborg instead. As time marches on through the second tournament and eventually Shao Kahn's invasion of Earthrealm, Raiden becomes more confused and distraught as his efforts appear to be in vain; many of his allies are killed and his amulet continues to crack, until he finally understands what his future self had told him, "He must win" meant "Shao Kahn must win." Due to a loophole in the rules regarding Mortal Kombat, if Shao Kahn were to enter Earthrealm himself, it would be a direct violation of the rules, and he would be subject to punishment by the elder gods.

Though he realizes this truth, he is unable to convince Liu Kang, who has become convinced that Raiden is mad. He intends to stop Shao Kahn from entering Earthrealm himself. Raiden tries to stop him, but in his efforts, accidentally kills him. Forced to contend with Shao Kahn alone, Raiden receives the support of the elder gods and is able to defeat him. Raiden then rejoins with Sonya Blade and Johnny Cage, intent on rebuilding after the devastation.

Endings (non-canon)

Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat II Arcade Cabinet featuring Raiden

Raiden becomes bored of Shang Tsung's sorcery, Goro's brute strength, and the weakness of the other competitors. He invites other gods to participate in Mortal Kombat, resulting in Earthrealm's destruction. Have a nice day.

Mortal Kombat II

By winning the Outworld tournament, Raiden destroys Shao Kahn (and his minions) and destroys the dimensional gates between Earthrealm and Outworld.

Mortal Kombat Trilogy

In order to exist in the merged realms of Outworld and Earthrealm, Raiden relinquishes his status as a god and his immortality. He leads the chosen Earth warriors into battle, eventually defeating Shao Kahn himself.

Mortal Kombat 4

After defeating Shinnok and leading his forces of light into victory, Raiden is granted the status of an Elder God. In his place as the protector of Earthrealm, he chooses Fujin.

Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance

Earthrealm must be protected. Raiden abandons his status as an Elder God and remains on Earthrealm as the Thunder God.

Mortal Kombat: Deception

Corrupted after releasing his god-like essence during the game's introduction, Raiden became disgusted with mortals. He kills Shujinko for unknowingly being a tool for the Dragon King Onaga (despite Shujinko undoing his mistake and destroying Onaga).

Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

After Raiden defeated Blaze, his strength increased beyond that of the other gods. Using his new-found power, he destroys all the realms so that none would threaten Earthrealm again. (It is unsure in the ending if Earthrealm is destroyed, as nobody would threaten a realm that doesn't exist)

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

After the inter-dimensional conflict, Raiden returned to Earthrealm only to discover that exposure to the sun weakened him greatly. Quan Chi offers Raiden a jade-colored stone that replenishes his power in return of his sworn allegiance.

Mortal Kombat (Reboot)

Even though Shao Kahn had been defeated much of his invasion force from Outworld still roamed free and had to be dealt with. To combat this threat Raiden recruits four warriors and divides his souls placing one part in each of them. Now Raiden can be in four places at once to combat the forces of darkness.

Mortal Kombat Legacy

Raiden appears in the 6th episode in the first season of web series, Mortal Kombat Legacy. At the beginning of the episode you see him descend upon Earthrealm and land on the grounds of a mental facility. Since he is dressed in all white the grounds keepers assume he is a patient of the facility and keep him locked in a room. He begs for release to "Fight in the Mortal Kombat tournament or Earthrealm will fall." but of course that only makes people think he's crazier.

Raiden escapes the facility by befriending a fellow inpatient named Blue. She stabs him in the heart and he disappears and reappears in an alleyway in what appears to be a Chinatown. He grabs a straw hat off a nearby onlooker and walks away.

Mortal Kombat (2011)

Special Attacks

  • Lightning
  • Electrocute
  • Electric Fly
  • Teleport
  • Vicinity Blast

Enhanced Attacks

  • Bolt
  • Shocker
  • Thunder Fly
  • Sparkport
  • Vicinity Blast

X-Ray

Raiden hits his opponent with a blast of lighting and teleports behind him or her to deliver a devastating blow to their spine which appears to break several vertebrae. He then teleports back in front of them to deliver an upward palm strike to their face which shatters their entire skull. He finishes by letting off an electric bust from his hand in the dazed opponent's face.

Fatality

  • Raiden uses his lightning abilities to first zap the arms off of his opponent, then their legs. Finally, he picks up the limbless victim, and throws them head first into the ground, killing them. He then hold his arms high, buzzing with electric power.
  • Raiden teleports behind his opponent and yanks out a piece of their head and body, imbues it with lighting magic and shoves it back in. He then uses the power of lighting to make their head and torso explode.

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