As fans eagerly await news of Mortal Kombat 12, the franchise already boasts several memorable characters with decades of exciting characterization and lore. Drawing inspiration from Chinese mythology and the stories of the Shaolin monks, mortal combat represents unique character traits that intricately intertwine, naturally highlighting the synergies between the chinese astrology and the fighters mortal combat.
As a result, mortal combat contains a colorful list of memorable characters spanning decades and provides the perfect opportunity to present parallels between the Chinese zodiac signs and the fighters of mortal combat.
Rat – Quan Chi
Netherworld wizard Quan Chi has consistently shown the ability to adapt, anticipate, and remain versatile enough to always have absolute power at his fingertips. Combined with his skilled and esoteric professional choice, these traits stand as staples to mark Quan as the mortal combat Year of the Rat character.
On the Yin side, emphasizing the egocentric aspect of the Rat, Quan Chi only cares about his aspirations. Additionally, he exhibits a stubborn streak in his penchant for repeating mistakes and reluctance to form alliances while being the least compatible with those born in the Year of the Rooster. Due to his conniving personality and flashy abilities, fans want to see Quan Chi fight in Mortal Kombat 2.
Buffalo – Shao Kahn
Those born in the Year of the Ox exhibit strong willpower applied with a diligence rarely found. Outworld Emperor Shao Kahn exemplifies the Ox perfectly, seeking out jobs that require a specific skill set, like an Emperor, and showing persistence in trying to conquer all kingdoms repeatedly.
This same combination of diligence and perseverance will also become stubbornness; a quality shared in abundance by the Ox and the Shao. Unfortunately, some of Shao’s characteristics, such as a lack of eloquence and an air of unsociability, will forever put them at odds with those born in the Year of the Horse.
Tiger – Sub-Zero
Confident, courageous, and natural adventurers with a gift for propagation and leadership, the Tiger is truly fearsome. But, just as the King of the Forest must cultivate his “streak”, Sub-Zero would heroically develop the Lin Kuei and lead the clan through difficult times. Finally, fueled by the Tiger’s strong sense of justice, Sub-Zero would avenge the Lin Kuei and usher in peace between them and the Shirai Ryu.
In some cases, confidence can tend towards arrogance and impetuosity in the Tiger. Simultaneously, the inclination to lead can be interpreted as authoritarian, characteristics that Sub-Zero exhibited throughout his tenure on MK. Ultimately, Sub-Zero personifies the Tiger. However, his loyalty leaves him on the opposite synergistic side of the other Tigers, a coincidence not lost on the original Sub-Zero, his older brother Bi-Han.
Rabbit – Liu Kang
The luckiest sign of the Chinese zodiac, the Rabbit, is honorable and benevolent with a strong sense of caution. Earthrealm champion Liu Kang may be the most virtuous of them all mortal combat characters and identifies most closely with the many deeply human aspects of Rabbit, such as the inclination to teach and protect the community.
The Rabbit’s cautious nature manifests as being predictable and conservative, traits that have proven problematic for Liu Kang in the face of threats, as has his penchant for being indecisive about his fate. Additionally, Liu’s outspoken nature clashes with the cunning of the Snake, highlighting the less friendly of the Rabbit signs.
As the fifth sign of the Chinese zodiac, the Dragon represents abundant energy and supreme confidence. For example, former tournament champion Goro reigned undefeated for 500 years before suffering defeat. Maintaining such a long championship run would be possible thanks to the incredibly ambitious energies of the Dragon.
In Goro’s case, he would ultimately suffer vanity in his loss to Liu Kang and, believing himself to be unbeatable, would suffer from being unrealistic, both of the Dragon’s Achilles’ heels. Finally, Goro would become unstable in defeat, proving himself the sign of the Dragon, forever marking interactions with the Dog and Aries as tenuous at best.
Snake – Shang Tsung
Outworld wizard Shang Tsung represents the epitome of cunning and decadence in the mortal combat mythos, illustrating the qualities inherent in those born in the Year of the Serpent. Shang Tsung is indeed serpentine, from the lavish parties he throws during tournaments, to his obscure wisdom, to the determination to gain power he manifests from the start.
Perception is both a gift and a curse for the Snake Shang Tsung, as it leads to suspicion and frequent outbursts of jealousy. Suspicious and envious by their very nature, they are unapproachable, which Shang circumvents by being able to imitate Mystique and copy appearances. Unfortunately, this subversion and trickery of the Serpents in the franchise is responsible for some of the best rivalries in mortal combat.
Horse – Raiden
As the personification of the horse in the Chinese zodiac, Raiden has passed through the years as a constant ally of Earthrealm and its warriors, displaying equestrian patience while allowing Earth’s heroes to stumble, fall, and fall. get up. Exemplary in most of his relationships over the years, Raiden shows the indomitable spirit of the Horse in mortal combat.
Like everything in the universe, the Zodiac seeks balance. Unfortunately, as Raiden presents himself favorably for offering help to Earthrealm, he becomes rigid and inflexible, eventually becoming opinionated and bossy, all potential pitfalls for the Horse and the main reason for friction with the Ox.
Aries – Johnny Cage
Known for being hardworking and versatile, those born under Aries find success with a willing partner who accentuates their finer qualities. Johnny Cage, the martial artist and actor extraordinaire, successfully courted Sonya Blade, creating the best family dynamic in mortal combat.
Lacking true self-confidence earlier in the series, he exhibited sensitive and irritable demeanors coupled with a doubtfully Aries-related undertone of pessimism. However, he eventually evolves where his devotion to his family and dependability certify Johnny as the Aries of mortal combat.
Monkey – Mileena
Affable and self-confident apply to those born in the Year of the Monkey. No character in mortal combat represents those qualities better than one of the best villains in Mortal Kombat 2021, Milena. Skillfully utilizing the intelligence and initiative bestowed by the Monkey, her story will eventually culminate in her coronation as Empress of Outworld.
The Monkey needs to be vigilant because traits like ambition and self-confidence often turn into arrogance and impatience when left unchecked. Combined with an ever-present need for attention, Mileena’s jealousy of her sister Kitanna has been the biggest motivator and detriment in her unique story.
Rooster – Scorpio
If someone was born in the Year of the Rooster, capable and secure, he will be. Hanzo Hashashi of Shirai Ryu, better known as Scorpion, avenged his family across the realms and retained the independent and solitary nature prevalent among the Rooster.
Like his Rooster zodiac, Scorpio sometimes falls prey to his selfishness and impatience, having a history littered with repercussions from his quick temper. The lofty goal of inter-clan peace contributed to his betrayal by Bi-Han led Lin Kuei, perhaps illustrating the difficulties the Rooster can face against the Rat.
Dog – Kung Lao
There is no better combination of bravery, loyalty and reliability among the Chinese zodiac signs than the dog. As a descendant of the Great Kung Lao, the first Earthrealm champion of mortal combat, Kung Lao personifies the Dog by combining the qualities mentioned above with his intelligent and jovial nature in his search for the ideal peaceful life of the Dog in the family. It helps Kung Lao be part of some of the best relationships in mortal combat.
As a younger and less mature version of Liu Kang, Kung Lao has shown that his emotions, especially impatience, can sometimes get to him, leading to difficulties. Appearing emotional, when invested, and traditional, the Dog can find himself at odds with the Dragon, whose sometimes chaotic nature comes into direct conflict.
Pig – Kitana
The last sign of the Chinese zodiac, the Pig, endows his heavenly children with the qualities of a warm heart and an honest and sincere character. Princess Kitana represents them perfectly, and when combined with her optimism and graceful demeanor prevents her corruption at the hands of Shao Kahn. Eventually catching Liu Kang’s heart, Kitana would prove to be one of Earthrealm’s most capable fighters.
The qualities of pigs often lead to gullibility when they expect the same from others and it is not reciprocated. Romantics at heart, whose innocence can be quickly exploited by the Monkey’s more self-serving ambitions, Kitana often struggles with her heart, learning what every Pig must do, that there is a time for love and a time for war.
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