A Review of the Characters in Mortal Kombat X, in No Particular Order (pt 1)

By request, I’m going to start by talking about Cassie Cage. Below the jump!

Cassie Cage: Cassie seems like a pretty popular new character. I like her design quite a bit. She’s got a great haircut: an underbuzz with a tight bun.


Cassie Cage (I keep wanting to call her Cassie Cain, but she was a Batgirl) is the daughter of Sonya Blade and Johnny Cage. She’s Sassy. Sassy Cassie. This is supposedly a trait she gets from her dad, but the fact of the matter is that in this brave new world of Mortal Kombat, nearly everyone is a little bit sassy. It’s a bit like Mortal Kombat as written by Joss Whedon.

Cassie Cage (I keep wanting to call her Cassie Caine, but she’s an erotica novelist) is a Milennial, so she takes a Selfie as part of her Fatality. This then gets posted to a board called Friendship, which is a pretty damn good gag.

As Syndrome might’ve expressed it, it’s cool that those crazy kids got together and Got Bizay. I do wish they hadn’t really gone with the name Cassie. It causes some mild confusion in my head.

I was also disappointed by her semi-inexplicable Towers ending.


Sonya Blade: Between MK9 and MKX, Sonya Blade decided a shirt was the way to go. I normally don’t really object to T&A, but I like the MKX outfit better because it suits the character’s role a bit better. Her original MK1 outfit was kind of an aerobics leotard, so she’s getting closer to Special Forces with every iteration. The MK9 outfit seems to be a favorite of cosplayers though.

I think the MKX braid looks a little odd in close-ups. It feels like the artists concentrated more on making it look like hair than looking like braided hair, which would actually be more ropelike.

This is the second time in Mortal Kombat that a playable character is someone’s Mom, and maybe also the… fourth time in any video game ever? Exaggerating a little, but cool Moms are not very common in game (contrast with Dads).

By the way, if you happen to be in Chicago this weekend, Chicago’s female game development group the Voxelles is having a Mother’s Day themed Game Jam! I’ll be there too!

Johnny Cage: Johnny was never my favorite in the older games. The super-arrogance just didn’t quite work for me back then. I think being slightly older suits him. In the original game, introducing a character who was a famous actor meant you just kinda had to take for granted “this guy is a famous actor.” Now there is the weight of lore behind this, so, it’s like, yes, of course that’s famous-actor-man-Johnny-Cage! Of all the Sassy one-liners in the game, Johnny probably has the best ones. He is the designated King of Sass.

Design-wise, he’s also found a shirt between installments, which I also like. I also like the way they’ve aged him (and Sonya) up.


Raiden: The game’s called Mortal Kombat, but yet, even from the very first installment, a literal god was thrown into the works. It kind of mucked up the whole “Mortal” thing right from the get-go.

Raiden means well, I guess. But he’s kind of a dick.

I had one of those cone-shaped hats for a really long time. I guess I figured someday I’d be able to work it into a cosplay but I don’t actually cosplay and that has never happened.

Jax: My favorite Jax design in MKX is the “retired Jax” where he dresses as a farmer, wearing flannel, but still has the cybernetic arms.


I do not have a device compatible with the MKX app so that I can download this as a playable costume though, which makes me sad.

Jacqui Briggs: Jacqui is a polarizing design as far as I have heard. One half of the internet is thrilled and another half has complained, for the same basic reasons: something-something social justice something-something Reasonable Armor. I’m personally kind of on the fence. She’s grown on me a little but probably won’t be a go-to for me. I actually prefer the tank top variant to the heavy armor variant, for what that’s worth. I like the little shake-off and arm-rub she does as her victory pose.

Her part in the story prior to Jax’s chapter is a reminder that dudes out for revenge are almost always trying to avenge their wives but ladies out for revenge are almost always trying to avenge their fathers.

Kung Jin: Speaking of social justice, Kung Jin is apparently the first gay Kombatant. Everything around this seems handled well enough. Having watched the rather-subtle coming-out scene that happens in the story mode, both hubby and I looked at each other, and said: “That was kind of sweet, actually. I can’t find anything to pick fun of in that.” So good on the MK writers for doing something fairly subdued, which would seem otherwise a little out of character for them.

Aside from that, the character is an archer who is the younger cousin of Kung Lao. He’s another one of the younger characters, so he is Sassy. Visually, his design doesn’t really scream to me, but the weapon is cool.

Kung Lao: Mentioning Kung Lao in a logical place, but not sure I have too much to say about him. Another guy who’s fine but never been one of my favorites. I do appreciate that the MKX designers just went nuts designing weird variations on the razorblade hat.

I don’t actually believe that all MK outfits must be “reasonable” and this is a good example: this man has a glowing razorblade for a hat.


It is nice, however, when a character design reinforces the purpose or role of that character. In this case, the purpose/role of Kung Lao is, also: razorblade for a hat.

Next time: ninjas.