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Villain Overview
You will die, mortal!
~ Shao Kahn taunting a Mortal Kombat fighter before the fight begins.
Don't make me laugh.
~ Shao Kahn
Bow to me!
~ Shao Kahn
I am Shao Kahn! Konqueror of worlds! You will taste no victory!
~ Shao Kahn to Liu

Kang in Mortal Kombat (2011).

Shao Kahn (also known as The Konqueror) is the main antagonist of the Mortal Kombat series. He is the omnipotent emperor of Outworld. He also appears as the main antagonist in Mortal Kombat II, 3, and 9, as well as the secondary antagonist in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon and the combined main antagonist in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.

History

Pre-Mortal Kombat

Unmasked Shao Kahn on His Throne

Shao Kahn but without his signature helmet yet, already became the new Emperor of Outworld.

Shao Kahn was originally a royal advisor to the first emperor of Outworld known as Onaga the Dragon King, and that position was somewhat similar the celestial title "Protector" and the duty to the specific realm. But soon, consumed by his lust for power, Shao Kahn poisoned his former king and assumed the throne, turning the once unified and glorious realm of Outworld into an extremely dangerous and dystopian empire.

Mortal Kombat II

Shao Kahn (MKSM)

Shao Kahn in his MK II attire in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks.

Kahn concocted a plan to lure the Earthrealm champions to Outworld; if they could be killed, they would not be able to cause further damage to his plans. He captured Kano and Sonya Blade to use as bait, and enraging Liu Kang by sending Baraka and his troops to destroy the Shaolin temples, they confidently waited for the Earth warriors to fall into the trap. Despite Kahn's vast power, Liu Kang's determination saw him through, and he defeated the despot. Unwilling to accept defeat, Kahn called his armies to destroy the Earthrealm warriors. They fled back to Earthrealm, out of Kahn's clutches.

Mortal Kombat 3

Shao Kahn in Earthrealm

Shao Kahn along with his palace fortress that emerged during his invasion of Earthrealm.

In an attempt to claim Earthrealm, Shao Kahn has his Shang Tsung and his other elite mystics revive Sindel but to where she would be revived in Earthrealm so he can go "reclaim" her forcibly to merge Earthrealm with Outworld. Upon doing so most of the souls in Earthrealm are stolen be Shao Kahn except those who are protected by Raiden. However due to Raiden being weakened due to the forced merger Raiden was unable to fight Shao Kahn on his own. Shao Kahn upon hearing of survivors sent his troops to kill all survivors. As Raiden and Earths defenders fight his men, Shao Kahn annoyed seemingly killed Kung Lao with an energy attack once Kung Lao defeated Goro. This lead to Liu Kang directly facing and even defeating Shao Kahn who then ordered his men to retreat thus preventing the merger and returning the world to it's original state. His revival of Sindel also weakens his power as Kitana was able to return her to her original mindset freeing their realm from him along with several of his troops abandoning him to return to Sindel's side.

Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance

In Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Shao Kahn was approached by Quan Chi and Shang Tsung, who pretended to offer themselves as servants. However, the two attacked the weakened Shao Kahn and slay him.

Mortal Kombat: Deception

Mortal Kombat Deception Shao Kahn Ending

Mortal Kombat Deception Shao Kahn Ending

Shao Kahn's MK:D Ending

It was revealed that the Shao Kahn killed by Shang Tsung and Quan Chi was actually a clone and that after being weakened from his attempted takeover of Earthrealm, Kahn had created the clone to rule Outworld for him, while he recovered. Shao Kahn found his former servant, Goro, mortally wounded and healed him, regaining the allegiance of the Shokan. The two set out to overthrow Onaga, so as to let the emperor regain his control over Outworld.

Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

Shao Kahn had become the ruler of Outworld again and joined forces with Quan Chi, Shang Tsung, and Onaga in an uneasy alliance so as to gain the god like powers of Blaze. In his ending, Shao Kahn defeated Blaze and claimed his powers, destroying all of his enemies. He eventually conquered all other realms and joined them with his own. However with nothing left to conquer, Shao Kahn went insane from the boredom.

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

Shao Kahn (MKvDCU)

Shao Kahn second half of Dark Kahn.

Main article: Dark Kahn

At the beginning of the game, Shao Kahn had been defeated and met in a graveyard with his secret ally, Quan Chi. He was blasted into a portal by a blast of lightning from Raiden, causing him to combine with Darkseid and transform into Dark Kahn. After his defeat, Kahn ended up in the DC universe, rendered powerless. Kahn was then imprisoned in the Phantom Zone by Superman.

Ending87878

Shao Kahn escapes the Phantom Zone with a collection of Kryptonian criminals now at his command.

In his ending, while the Phantom Zone weakened the others imprisoned there, the magical nature of Kahn's powers made it have the opposite effect on him. It restored his power, allowing him to escape the Phantom Zone along with an army made up of all the others imprisoned there, who swore him their allegiance in gratitude and joined Kahn in his quest to take control of both universes.

Alternate Timeline

Mortal Kombat (2011)

My venom spreads... It is the end of all things. Armageddon.
~ Shao Kahn preparing to end all reality.

At the beginning of the Story Mode of Mortal Kombat 9, every character (presumably) dies during the Battle of Armageddon. The only ones who were left standing were Raiden and Shao Kahn. Before Raiden was killed by Shao Kahn, the thunder god showed images of events to his past self so he can alter the future, also leaving his past self one message: "He must win!"

After Liu Kang won the original Mortal Kombat tournament, Shao Kahn decides to execute Shang Tsung for his failure. Begging for his life, Shang Tsung told Shao Kahn that if he called for another tournament and wins, he could have another chance at conquering Earthrealm, to which Shao Kahn agrees to. During the tournament, Shao Kahn is approached by the new Sub-Zero (who assumed the identity of his older brother, the original Sub-Zero), demanding that he fight Scorpion as revenge for killing his brother, which the emperor allows after the ice warrior proves his skill by defeating Reptile. Before Sub-Zero could finish off Scorpion after beating him, Lin Kuei cyborgs suddenly appear and subdue the warrior. Cyrax and Sektor approach Shao Kahn, offering their loyalty and service to the emperor in exchange for Sub-Zero, which Shao Kahn accepts. The emperor then summons his daughter Kitana and scolds her for allowing Earthrealm warriors to so easily appear before him after he had ordered her to intercept them while the tournament was taking place. Upset by her father's words, and with encouragement from Raiden, Kitana begins to search for answers and eventually makes a disturbing discovery: Shao Kahn was planning to create a "perfect daughter" to replace her. Upon learning of Kitana's discovery, Shao Kahn reveals to Kitana that he is not her real father, and that he originally did not want to accept her as his daughter. But now, with his new daughter's creation, he no longer has to accept Kitana as his daughter, and sentences her to death. Continuing with the Mortal Kombat Tournament, Kung Lao defeats both Quan Chi and Shang Tsung at the same time, as well as Kintaro afterward. As Kung Lao was celebrating his victory, Shao Kahn sneaks up behind the gloating Shaolin warrior and snaps his neck, killing him. Enraged, Liu Kang tackles Shao Kahn and fights him. Even with his incredible strength, Kahn loses and is nearly killed by Kang. Everyone believed he was dead, but Raiden's Amulet was still cracked, indicating that the events in the timeline that his future self warned him about were still going to happen. It turns out that Quan Chi accelerated Shao Kahn's healing and saved his life.

Since Shao Kahn lost the Mortal Kombat tournament, he could no longer merge Earthrealm with Outworld. Quan Chi recommends invading Earthrealm, but Shao Kahn points out that he cannot invade Earthrealm due to the protective ward Sindel placed after sacrificing herself. In order to start an invasion, Sindel needs to be revived to nullify the ward. Quan Chi successfully resurrects the empress, negating the ward and allowing Shao Kahn to invade Earthrealm. During the invasion, Motaro is killed. After Shao Kahn discovers this, Sindel insists that she can finish what Motaro started. Shao Kahn agrees, but before sending her to fight, he kills Shang Tsung and transfers the innumerable souls the sorcerer absorbed to Sindel, increasing her power immensely. With her newly acquired power, the empress arrives in Earthrealm and single-handedly kills almost every hero, except for, Raiden, Liu Kang, Sonya Blade, and Johnny Cage, before being killed by Nightwolf, who sacrifices himself to stop her. Raiden then figures out that the person his future self was referring to when he said "He must win!" was Shao Kahn. If the emperor attempts to merge Outworld with Earthrealm without winning a Mortal Kombat tournament, the Elder Gods would be able to punish him for breaking the rules they set in place. Raiden tried to explain to Liu Kang that they must allow Shao Kahn to merge the realms, but the Shaolin Monk dismisses the thunder god's statement as "insane". Kang then fights Raiden after a heated argument between them, leaving Kang dead after an accident in the fight. Once Kahn enters Earthrealm, Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade attempt to stop him, but the emperor effortlessly pushes them aside, knocking them both out. He then approaches Raiden, who submits himself to the emperor and accepts Kahn's victory, stating that further resistance will not help Earthrealm win. Shao Kahn starts brutalizing and taunting the thunder god for denying him his "rightful claim" in the past, and nearly kills him before the Elder Gods intervene and grant Raiden some of their power.

Shao Kahn's Death (MK9)

Shao Kahn's defeat.

Raiden and Shao Kahn then fight, with Raiden emerging victorious thanks to the power of the Elder Gods. Dazed and severely weakened after the fight, Shao Kahn lifts his hammer and tries to strike Raiden again, but Raiden delivers one final blast, allowing the Elder Gods to restrain the emperor and send him away for punishment, leaving only his damaged warlord helmet behind. The helmet was later retrieved by Quan Chi as he was discussing Kahn's defeat with Shinnok.

Mortal Kombat X

Mortal Kombat X takes place 25 years after Shao Kahn was defeated. Although the warlord never physically appears in the game, he is mentioned a few times during the story. A statue of him appears in the game's introduction as well.

Shao Kahn Statue

Shao Kahn's statue, as seen in the introduction.

After his defeat at the hands of Raiden and the Elder Gods, the successor to the outworld throne was heavily contested between Mileena and Kotal Kahn. Mileena claims that her status as Shao Kahn's daughter makes her the rightful heir to the throne, while Kotal Kahn believes this claim is illegitimate, as Mileena was created in a lab by Shang Tsung.

Appearances in other media

At the end of the film Mortal Kombat; Raiden, Liu Kang, Sonya Blade, Johnny Cage, and Kitana witness a giant storm cloud. There, they see a translucent version of Shao Kahn. Kahn declares that Earthrealm belongs to him, but Raiden replied, "I don't think so."

Continuing the story in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Shao Kahn appears before the heroes along with Sindel, Motaro, Sheeva, and other evil fighters. He kills Johnny Cage by breaking his neck.

He later holds Kitana hostage after Scorpion is successful in taking her to him. Kahn offers her a drink while in captivity, but she spits it back at him, angering him.

Raiden implies that he and Kahn are brothers and that they are the sons of Shinnok. Kahn managed to, presumably, kill off Raiden, but was ultimately defeated by Liu Kang.

Shao Kahn appeared as the main antagonist of the cartoon series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm.

Personality

Shao Kahn is treacherous, violent, ruthless, sarcastic, persuasive, egotistical, and bloodthirsty, so he has driven to his goals, yet also possesses a strange sense of humor, laughing maniacally all the time. He desires only power and will do anything to make sure he has it, showing great paranoia at times. Kahn is also extremely manipulative, malevolent, arrogant, and cruel, so he desires only to conquer other realms and add them to his own. He also 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..

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 Armageddon ending, he successfully merges all of the Realms to Outworld, but is soon driven to madness, because there are no longer have any realms left to conquer.

Powers and Abilities

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 fire ball 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.

Another testament to his abilities is that his god-like strength can match (or outright exceed) someone like Raiden's caliber. This fact ultimately hold true in the Mortal Kombat 9 intro, where he defeats and kills Raiden in the previous timeline.

Quotes

Blaze was no march the Konqueror. His strength increased tenfold, the Forces of Light could not fend him off his final invasion as he merged each realm with Outworld. But his ultimate triumph was soon to be his downfall. With nothing left to conquer, Shao Kahn was driven into madness.
~ Shao Kahn's ending in Armageddon

Trivia

  • Shao Kahn was the main antagonist in the movie, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, where 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.
  • Shao Kahn was digitally redesigned to be taller in Mortal Kombat II, so he was much taller than other characters. However, his portrayer, Brian Glynn, was actually quite short, proving shorter than Ed Boon, one of the games creators, as seen in a photo that was taken of them.
  • 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 Screwattack.
  • In the internet video, he appeared in Annoying Orange Vs. Mortal Kombat as an minor character which he was defeated to death by Shang Tsung who became champion.

Navigation

           Mortal Kombat Villains

Main Villains
Dark Kahn | Onaga | One Being | Quan Chi | Shang Tsung | Shao Kahn | Shinnok

Other Villains
Baraka | Cyrax | D'Vorah | Daegon | Drahmin | Ermac | Erron Black | Ferra and Torr | Frost | Goro | Havik | Hsu Hao | Jade | Jarek | Kabal | Kano | Kintaro | Kira | Kobra | Mavado | Mileena | Moloch | Motaro | Noob Saibot | Rain | Reiko | Reptile | Scorpion | Sektor | Sheeva | Sindel | Skarlet | Smoke | Tanya | Tremor | Triborg

Undead Villains
Kitana | Kung Lao | Kurtis Stryker | Liu Kang

Guest Star Villains
Catwoman | Darkseid | Deathstroke | Freddy Krueger | Jason Voorhees | Kratos | Leatherface | Lex Luthor | Predator | Xenomorph

Non Playable Villains
Bannak | Cilene | Hideyoshi | Hydro | Jataaka | Jola | Kebral | Kia | Komodai | Oni Warlord | Oniro | Peron | Rojack | Ruby | Ruutuu | Siann, Mika and Sora | Zaggot | Zara | Zenkaro

Evil Races
Centaurians | Cyber Ninjas | Hellspawn | Kytinn | Oni | Shadow Assassins | Shokan | Tarkata | Tormentors | Wraiths | Zombies

Evil Organizations
Army of Darkness | Black Dragon Clan | Brotherhood of Shadow | Dragon King's Army | Festival of Death | Forces of Darkness | Kahn Guards | Masked Guards | Red Dragon Clan | Shaakans | Shadow Priests | Tekunin

Mortal Kombat Legacy
Liu Kang

           DEATH BATTLE Villains

DEATH BATTLE Combatants
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DBX Combatants
Trish | Jeanne | Jango Fett | King Dedede | Sasuke Uchiha | Hiei | Liu Kang | Alucard | Predator | Meta Knight | Broly | Doomsday | Akuma | Magneto | Darth Vader | Vegeta | Zod | Demitri Maximoff | Kratos | Goku Black | Black Adam | Taskmaster | Juggernaut | Harley Quinn | Juri Han | Mileena | Vergil | Scorpion | Baraka | Dio Brando | Catwoman | Black Cat

Other
Wizard and Boomstick | Possessed Super Saiyan God Goku Pop Vinyl Figure | Sarge