|“||You turned on your fellow Elder Gods. You betrayed your title. You deserved much worse!||„|
|~ Raiden about Lord Shinnok in Shinnok's Mortal Kombat Gold ending.|
|“||Remove the shadow from the light, the shadow grows.||„|
|~ Lord Shinnok|
Shinnok is an Elder God 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 overthrown his fellow deities. Shinnok is also forever worshipped by an ancient, 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, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon and Mortal Kombat X. Overall, he is the tertiary main antagonist of the MK franchise.
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.
Shinnok's fall from grace was caused by his lust for power and more specifically, his desire to take Earthrealm for himself. At the dawn of time, when the realms were created, Shinnok desired to rule Earthrealm, and thus acquire for himself immense power. However, Shinnok couldn't enter Earthrealm without the Elder Gods being aware of his actions. To resolve this issue without directly defying the sacred rules, Shinnok created a powerful amulet, weakened the dimensional barriers, and entered Earthrealm. During the war against his fellow gods, he came into direct conflict with the thunder god Raiden.
While in the final stages of the war, Raiden was forced to choose between sacrificing Earth's indigenous races, or ceding the rule of Earthrealm to Shinnok. The Elder gods intervened, and assisted Raiden in his struggle. Raiden defeated Shinnok, and stripped him of his amulet and his status as an Elder God. Shinnok was then banished to the deepest regions of the Netherrealm. However, at the expense of Shinnok's defeat, the dimensional fibers of the worlds were severely weakened, and the Saurians - Earth's indigenous life form at the time - were nearly exterminated.
In the Netherrealm, Shinnok endured constant torture from the Netherrealm's overlord, Lucifer. Shinnok was at his mercy until he encountered a sorcerer, Quan Chi, who could travel through the realms at will. Quan Chi would aid Shinnok in overthrowing Lucifer and taking his throne, becoming ruler of the Netherrealm. As payment for Quan Chi's efforts, Shinnok endowed him with incredible powers, making him arch-sorcerer of the Netherrealm, and made him his most-trusted servant.
Shinnok began building his second army of darkness, and plotted to escape the Netherrealm once more. In order to do so however, he would need his lost sacred amulet. After centuries of searching, Quan Chi eventually discovered the amulet's whereabouts for him. It had been placed in atemple by Raiden, and guarded by four Elemental gods. Using the Lin Kuei warrior Sub-Zero (the elder), Quan Chi recovered it, but unbeknownst to Shinnok, he created a flawed replica in its place which he delivered, keeping the original for himself.
In Mortal Kombat: Deception, Shinnok sends Shujinko to retrieve the amulet and return it to him, claiming Quan Chi had left in a city of the Netherrealm. Once returned, Shinnok notices a "difference" in the amulet. Implicating it was Quan Chi's fake amulet returned.
His time in the Netherrealm was well spent, having built a massive army, as well as a fanatical cult of demons called the Brotherhood of the Shadow, dedicated to worshiping him. Also loyal to him was Tanya, an Edenianwoman who became a traitor to her realm after she let Shinnok into the realm. He changed the Netherrealm's appearance as well, to make it look closer in appearance to Earthrealm.
Shinnok would ultimately be the catalyst for Shao Kahn's successful breach of Earthrealm. Years before, through Shang Tsung, the emperor of Outworld had bargained with Quan Chi to have Shinnok resurrect the soul of the Edenian queen Sindel upon Earthrealm, which would allow Shao Kahn to cross over to it from Outworld. In return, Shang Tsung had been the one to provide Quan Chi with the location of Shinnok's amulet. By the time Shao Kahn's forces were prepared, Sindel was resurrected, and Earthrealm was laid open. During Kahn's failed invasion, Shinnok ordered Noob Saibot to spy on these events and eventually sided with the Earthrealm warriors (Shao Kahn had also unsuccessfully attempted to invade the Netherrealm, which Shinnok had seen as a sign that the Emperor was becoming too powerful).
With the defeat of Shao Kahn and the retreat of the Outworld forces, Shinnok's Army of Darkness began its own assault on the realms. Its first target was Edenia. After successfully posing as a group of refugees, Shinnok and his highest generals, using Tanya's Edenian connections, were allowed entrance to the peaceful realm. Immediately, he seized this opportunity to bring in a full-scale invasion force, and captured Queen Sindeland Princess Kitana. After that, he began his attack against the heavens and there, he killed 3 of the 4 Elemental Gods (a weak Fujin escaped barely but was followed by demons and before the final blow by them, he was saved by Liu Kang and Kai).
Despite all these successes, the specter of doom arrived for Shinnok. The amulet he had was a fake, the real one in Quan Chi's hands. The sorcerer himself was captured by Scorpion and trapped in the Netherrealm. Raiden and his warriors defeated many of Shinnok's soldiers and the former Elder God faced Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat. Although the evil deity tried his best, he lost to the Shaolin Monk and Raiden ultimately banished Shinnok back to the Netherrealm.
In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, it is revealed that Shinnok knew Taven and his family well before the start of Taven and Daegon's quest, as Taven is at first confused as to why an Elder God would reside within the realms. He calls upon Taven for help when being attacked by Li Mei in the Netherrealm, Taven ordering her to get away from "Lord Shinnok". Shinnok lied to Taven after Li Mei was defeated, claiming that he was no longer an Elder God because he "meddled in the affairs of mortals," and that, in his weakened state, he needed Taven to help clear out his sanctuary, which has been "overrun by demons." Taven completed this task, but alas, Shinnok was revealed to have easily deceived Taven, tricking him into kombatting images he conjured up himself. Shinnok tells Taven that Daegon (whom Taven was chasing) had already departed the Netherrealm after he defeated Shinnok's Kintaro and Sheeva illusions. With Taven gone, Shinnok was revealed to be aiding Daegon; Daegon was shown to be hiding behind Shinnok's throne the whole time. Shinnok began to doubt his choice in favoring the skills of Daegon immediately afterwards, claiming that Taven defeated his illusions much faster than Daegon did, and it was Shinnok who alerted the many combatants to the prize at the top of the Pyramid of Argus, telling them that whomever obtained this power would be granted godlike power.
Mortal Kombat (2011)
Shinnok is revealed to be the ultimate mastermind behind the events of the game's story mode, having used his acolyte Quan Chi to manipulate Shao Kahn into invading Earthrealm and merging the realm without victory in Mortal Kombat. Shao Kahn was killed by an Elder God-empowered Raiden, who afterwards departed with the few surviving Earthrealm warriors; Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade. Quan Chi and an astral projection of Shinnok discussed their plan's success and Raiden's survival. Shinnok was unconcerned and declared that he would be free soon and that both Earthrealm and Outworld would not survive the coming onslaught from the Netherrealm.
Mortal Kombat X comic series
Shinnok's imprisonment in his amulet was strengthened when the amulet is banished to a dark dimension, the lock being the Kamidogu bound in Raiden's blood. Havik, the cleric of chaos, seeks to claim all the Kamidogu to gain possession of Shinnok's amulet.
Shinnok is briefly seen in a flashback from Reiko's perspective reveals he witnessed Shinnok and Quan Chi discussing their manipulations of Shao Kahn after the konqueror's death at the Elder Gods hands.
Mortal Kombat X
2 years after Shao Kahn's invasion of Earthrealm, Shinnok launches an invasion of his own with Netherrealmforces and the Brotherhood of Shadow. Shinnok personally goes to the Jinsei Chamber in order to taint Earthrealm's life force with death. He defeated and nearly imprisoned Raiden and Fujin within his amulet, only to be struck down by Johnny Cage. As an outraged Shinnok incapacitates Johnny's companions, the Earthrealm warrior holds him off and passes the amulet over to Raiden, who imprisons the fallen Elder God within his own amulet.
Later, due to Quan Chi's and D'Vorah's machinations, Shinnok is freed from his amulet within the Special Forces base and easily swats aside the already weakened Earthrealm warriors. Not wanting to take any chances for more surprises, he personally takes Johnny Cage with him and departs with the revenants to theSky Temple in order to finish what he started years ago: to claim the power of the Jinsei. Once there, he is confronted by Bo' Rai Cho, but easily defeats him while a recently revitalized Raiden looks on helplessly as Shinnok makes his friend suffer in front of him.
He then heads for the chamber and leaves his servants to deal with him, promising to imprison Raiden within the amulet once his work is complete. With D'Vorah at his side, he has her hold Cage in place with her adhesives while her insects begin to devour his innards. As Shinnok approaches the Jinsei, a battered Raiden tries to take on the Elder God, but Shinnok holds him in place with a giant skeletal hand, grievously wounding him.
Finally unimpeded, Shinnok steps into the Jinsei and corrupts it, blanketing Earthrealm in a crimson red sky that taints the entire planet. As his powers grow, his form changes into a much more demonic visage. Now powered by the Jinsei, Shinnok seems unstoppable.
However, Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade's daughter Cassie Cage shows up along with Kung Jin to stop him. Shinnok steps out of the chamber, fully empowered by the Jinsei and easily knocks Cassie aside. Poised to kill Johnny himself in front of Cassie, he slowly burns his body with repeated energy blasts, enraging Cassie and prompting her to jump in front of his finishing attack. A repeat of twenty-five years ago occurs as Cassie blocks the attack with her body, now empowered by the same energy that her own father used.
In spite of his newfound power, the fallen Elder God is once again soundly defeated in battle by yet another member of the Cage family. With Raiden freed from his grasp, the Thunder God tells the Earthrealm warriors to put him in the Jinsei chamber, where he absorbs Shinnok's power into himself in order to purify the Jinsei and return Earthrealm to normal. Shinnok and D'Vorah are then taken into custody by Sonya and the Special Forces.
In the post credits scene, a corrupted Raiden arrives in the Netherrealm and warns Liu Kang and Kitana, now the de facto leaders of the Netherrealm, not to threaten Earthrealm lest they face fates worse than death. As a final warning, he shows them the severed, albeit still living head of Shinnok. As he could never die due to his Elder God nature, Shinnok is now condemned to a catatonic state.
Powers and Abilities
Shinnok is quite a powerful being thanks to him being an Elder God, 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.
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.
The evil Elder God Shinnok is portrayed by Reiner Schöne in the second Mortal Kombat movie, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, and according to Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Shinnok is the father of Raiden and Shao Kahn in the movie and he also appears to be the Elder God of Wind.
- Shinnok's fall from grace is similar to that of Satan (also known as Lucifer) in Judeo-Christian religions.
- Shinnok is loosely based on the demon Yan Wang from the 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.
- Shinnok was the only character to know the name of the guest characters such as the Xenomorph, Leatherface, Jason Voorhees and the Predator.
- 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.