So, I recently wrote a post with a bunch of collected thoughts and speculation on MORTAL KOMBAT 11, but to be perfectly frank the real reason I wanted to write about MK11 was basically to talk about my personal wish list for what (or who) I would like to see in the game. Leave it to a verbose dimwit like me to spend 1,700 words without ever getting to the point! But hey, this way I get to spin off this wish list nonsense into its own post, which is probably for the better, anyway.
A few minor notes before we get started:
- This is a list of who I want to see in MK11 – but I’ll make note of how likely I think each of these guys are to actually make it into the game
- I’m operating under the assumption that all purported “leaks” are inaccurate, or at the very least not worth acknowledging until corroborated by official announcements
- The list is not in order of who I’d like to see more or less, or any other particular order for that matter
All right, so without further ado, let’s get on to the list!
1 – Cassie Cage
What’s not to like? Cassie is the daughter of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade – two of my all time favourite MK characters – and while exhibiting traits of both her parents in some on-the-nose ways, she still has a strong personality and style of her own. The story portrays her as a competent leader, if a bit green, and I’d be excited to see how she develops in future games. of course, on top of all that, she’s a blast to use as well! Cassie was one of the characters I played the most throughout MKX’s life, and definitely one of the first I’d like to try if she returns for MK11.
Likelihood to show up in MK11: Very high! She was essentially positioned as the lead of the new hero characters in MKX, and that’s unlikely to have changed. She was also generally well-received and popular among fans, making her more or less a shoe-in for MK11.
2 – Takahashi Takeda
This guy is a dork with two last names, but I love him nonetheless. Jokes aside, Takeda was a great addition to the MK cast; he has a cool look and a flashy moveset, and being connected with Kenshi and Scorpion (as their son and disciple, respectively) not only helps Takeda with some instant credibility, it acts as a bit of character development for his two father figures, too. Like Cassie I don’t just like Takeda for story reasons though; he was super fun to play, Shirai-ryu Takeda in particular had some very cool mobility options and ability to convert stray hits into flashy combos.
Likelihood to show up in MK11: Very high. Takeda was also a popular addition in MKX, and got a decent bit of screen time in the story mode thanks to his connections to popular older characters. If any of the Kombat Kids get cut from the MK11 roster, I definitely expect Jacqui and Kung Jin to disappear before Takeda.
3 – Kobra
For whatever reason, Kobra has pretty much always been universally loathed by the MK fanbase. I never quite understood why, because to me he was one of the more interesting new additions! Kobra’s backstory is basically that he was a world class competitive martial artist who grew bored of the tameness of fighting in a ring, and hungered for something more violent. Enter: Mortal Kombat. Even compared to Kano, that psychotic bloodlust as a driving force makes Kobra uniquely unhinged, a villain who’s motivated not by ideology nor personal gain – he just loves putting his martial arts skills to the test by killing the shit out of people, nothing else really matters. It’s easy to picture his fighting style being pretty unique too – traditional, orthodox karate (not really represented in the modern MK roster), sprinkled with the occasional dose of sadistic aggression. I’m the only MK fan in the universe who likes this guy, but I’ll keep fighting, dammit!
Likelihood to show up in MK11: Vanishingly low. Kobra was not well received at the time of his introduction, and in fact I’m not sure I have ever seen even a single other person wishing for his return. Just about anyone from DECEPTION is more likely to show up than Kobra.
4 – Shujinko
Ah, Shujinko. Who could possibly forget the charming goofball main character – whose name literally translates to “main character” in Japanese – of MK DECEPTION’s “Conquest” story mode? Shujinko’s lifelong quest to run secret errands for a mysterious entity claiming to be an Elder God (without offering any credentials), inadvertently setting up for Onaga’s conquering of Earthrealm (whoops) is not the real reason I’d like to see this old geezer back, though. No, the reason I’d be excited for Shujinko’s return is more because of his moveset gimmick: as the player progressed through Conquest mode, Shujinko would practice with various MK characters and learn about their fighting styles, and by the end of the story he would have a fully fledged moveset borrowing special moves from a whole bunch of different characters. I always thought this was a fun gimmick, but I think it has an especially huge potential with MK11’s Custom Variation system! Instead of being limited to a half-dozen arbitrary picks, a customization system could allow for any number of moves borrowed from any number of characters, and leave it up to the player to assemble a cohesive set that works well together.
Likelihood to show up in MK11: Fairly low. Shujinko was never all that popular a character (possibly because the story mode he starred in largely served to make him look like a huge dumbass) but if they were to revisit the storyline of Onaga the Dragon King (who was kinda popular), they’d almost have to involve him somehow.
5 – Nitara
Nitara was perhaps not the most developed of MK DEADLY ALLIANCE’s newcomers, but she did have a very clear conceptual gimmick (she’s a vampire) and a totally unique physical trait (big-ass wings) – which I think is more than can be said for most newcomers in DEADLY ALLIANCE and DECEPTION. Vampires have never really been heard of in the world of MK before or since, but I do think the idea of incorporating vampire mythology into the greater MK lore still is really cool! Not to mention, between some kind of blood-sucking ability and flight, she’d be poised to have a really unique moveset, with mobility options unlike any other character.
Likelihood to show up in MK11: Low. Nitara seems like the kind of character to develop a decently loyal fanbase, but even among more obscure MK characters she never struck me as all that popular. I would probably expect to see Frost or Li Mei back before her.
6 – Sheeva
Funnily enough, despite ticking plenty of boxes in terms of my taste in characters, it was really only relatively recently that Sheeva rose to be one of my favourites. Recently enough, in fact, that the only version of Sheeva I’ve spent any real time with is her MK9 incarnation – where she unfortunately was extremely bad. A poorly designed grappler whose grabs could be avoided or even blocked(!), she wasn’t just among the weakest characters in the game, she also just wasn’t all that fun to play. With their more recent games, NRS have shown that they seem to have gotten the hang of how to design grapplers – so I would love for them to give Sheeva some redemption by bringing her back as a more effective, fun to use grappler character in MK11.
Likelihood to show up in MK11: Somewhat decent. Being part of the original MK3 (and by extention MK9) roster, Sheeva does have a degree of built-in popularity not afforded most characters on this list, and she did sit out MKX fuelling at least some desire for her to come back. It’s possible they’d bring her in as the “big body” replacement if they retire Ferra/Torr.
7 – Mavado
Let’s get it straight: Mavado was a terrible, terrible character. He had an underdeveloped backstory, and his gimmicky fighting style making use of bungee cords not only looked incredibly stupid, but also featured overtly comical sound effects undermining any efforts to make this guy look cool. The only reasons this guy isn’t considered the absolute bottom of the barrel as far as MK characters go are spelled “Jarek”, “Drahmin” and “Hsu Hao”. So why could I possibly want to see him back? Well, unlike those other losers, Mavado actually has pretty good potential. The bungee-based fighting style – while poorly executed in MKDA – could be something pretty awesome if done well. A well-designed Mavado could have totally unique movement options, weird setups, and flashy combos that involve throwing himself and his opponent all over the screen. I’d love to see it.
Likelihood to show up in MK11: Not very high. I wouldn’t rule it out entirely, but in simple terms it comes down to there being lots of characters from this era, with some – not including Mavado – having vocal fanbases wishing for their return. If NRS are interested in bringing back the Red Dragon as a story element I could see it, but otherwise I’d sooner expect characters like Havik or Fujin.
8 – Skarlet
A made-up “secret” character turned DLC character with little plot impact, she was neat enough that I would love to see her become more properly implemented in the story. I do think MK9 did about as good a job as they could fleshing her out from “Kitana, but red” to an actual character of her own, and I was really quite fond of her design as well as her moveset. With Mileena (presumably) out of the picture, and hints towards Shang Tsung returning, maybe there’s room for Skarlet in MK11 as well.
Likelihood to show up in MK11: Low. If she were to be included I would definitely consider it a bit of a curve ball – I would consider it much more likely for her to remain a one-off, sort-of-in-joke similar to most hidden characters in previous MKs. Give it a special excuse (like everyone coming back for Armageddon) or just enough time, and she’ll be back, but I don’t think it’s quite her time yet.
9 – Sareena
I couldn’t necessarily give you a strong or well-argued reason for why I like Sareena, I just kinda do, and always have. I was puzzled but grateful to see her graduate from side character in the much-maligned – and dare I say “misunderstood”? – MK MYTHOLOGIES: SUB-ZERO to a member of the MK cast proper, but we’ve yet to see how she would play in a modern NRS game. If I have to give motivation beyond “she’s hot and I kinda like her I guess?”, then I suppose her former association with Quan Chi could provide some kind of story-based backdoor for ol’ Lord Quan to return in future games.
Likelihood to show up in MK11: Possible. Sareena’s one of those characters who must be popular with certain people within Midway/NRS, because it always kinda felt like she was given more room and significance than she seemed to warrant – being given full-blown playable character in status in ARMAGEDDON on account of.. being shoehorned into a second version of the GameBoy Advance port of DEADLY ALLIANCE? On top of that she appears as a story character in MKX – so clearly someone still cares about her (not that I’m complaining!). With her track record I definitely couldn’t rule her out.
10 – Zebron
HELL YEAH! I mean, come on. How is Zebron not the greatest MK character to never actually see the light of day? In case you’re unfamiliar, this artwork of Zebron was featured as an unlockable in the Krypt in MK DEADLY ALLIANCE. Now, the Mortal Kombat series has a rich tradition of taking rumours, old abandoned ideas, in-jokes (or all of the above) and turned them into actual characters, and I say it’s high time for Zebron to make his big debut. There is no way you can convince me that Zebron is any more stupid than Tremor or Alien.
Likelihood to show up in MK11: lol