Character #4

A hard fought battle leaves Raiden in 4th place. Raiden is a wise and powerful elemental God, formerly the Earths protector before becoming an Elder God himself. Often leading the forces of good against those of evil, Raiden has played a pivotal role in the Mortal Kombat franchise. Raiden’s story starts at the beginning of the creation of the realms, He fought the rogue Elder God Shinnok, who wished to overthrow his fellow gods, in a war that threatened to destroy Earthrealm itself. With the aid of the Elder gods, Raiden managed to defeat Shinnok and banished him to the Netherealm and secured the amulet in the Temple of the Elements. When the elder Sub Zero stole Shinnok’s amulet from the temple for Quan Chi. Don’t know about you, but if I was Raiden, I’d be just a little pissed off. Anyway, Raiden appeared and instructed him to enter the Netherealm and steal it back. Raiden never realized that Quan Chi would remain in possession of the amulet while Raiden received a copy which Sub Zero returned. Some time later, Shang Tsung invited many of the warriors of Earthrealm to participate in Mortal Kombat on his island. Aware of the danger that Shang Tsung and his tournament poised to the future of Earth, Raiden assumed mortal form and fought in Mortal Kombat as well. He is also the only one to have witnessed Sub-Zero’s death at the hands of Scorpion. After Liu Kang’s triumph in the tournament, Raiden accepted Shang Tsung’s challenge because failure to do so would mean Kahn would win. However, again aided by Liu Kang and the warriors of Earthrealm, Raiden prevailed over Shang Tsung and Shao Kahn. Bet Raiden “lol’d” at Kahn for losing to a turkey boy, I know I would!

Raiden was able to protect the soul of Liu Kang and other ‘chosen ones’ when Shao Kahn invaded Earthrealm. At first unable to participate due to the merger of both realms, Raiden sacrificed his own immortality in order to help his chosen warriors against Shao Kahn after the Elder Gods refused to assist him. In the end, Raiden and the warriors of Earthrealm were able to defeat Shao Kahn and his minions, repelling the invasion back into Outworld and restoring Earth to its rightful state. Some time after the invasion was driven back into Outworld, Shinnok rose from the Netherealm and conquered Edenia and soon planned to take Earthrealm. Liu Kang and the other Earth’s warriors joined Raiden and fought against Shinnok and his forces and emerged victorious. Now granted the status of Elder God, he turned over his position as Earthrealm’s protector to Fujin. Though this would eventually work against him, because as an Elder God, Raiden could not interfere when Shang Tsung and Quan Chi killed Liu Kang many years later. Heh, bet he was pissed at Fujin for not doing anything… He renounced his position as an Elder and gathered his warriors to stop the Deadly Alliance but this time however, he fucked up. The Earthrealm warriors Sonya, Jax and Cage were slain in battle with the Tarkatan horde. Kitana was slain by Quan Chi while Kung Lao was slain by Shang Tsung… apparently. In a desperate measure, he confronted Shang Tsung and Quan Chi in front of the Soulnado. He fought well, but the numbers game soon mounted up and he was defeated. Stupid Raiden… never take your eyes off your opponent, you have two hands, shock them both at the same time! Fool… He returned to his feet when Onaga entered the chamber and, putting his differences aside with Shang Tsung and Quan Chi, he tried to help them as they attacked Onaga. When he saw that their attacks barely slowed Onaga down, Raiden released his godly essence, in an explosion.

Raiden’s essence soon gathered again in the Earthrealm, he turned into an angry emo, dressed in black and began hating everyone. Especially Shujinko for unleashed the Onaga and giving him the Kamidogu. Oh noes, an angry emo god, run away! With his patience exhausted, Raiden decided he was going to take matters into his own hands. Removing Liu Kang’s body from its grave, Raiden took it to an underground temple and revived him. This caught the attention of Shinnok who appeared before Raiden, offering him an alliance. He accepted his alliance so he could discover Shinnok’s plans. Raiden also made a deal with Shao Kahn, agreeing to let the Emperor conquer and rule all other realms, so long as Earthrealm was left alone. In return, Raiden agreed to hunt and eliminate Taven for Kahn, so that he could claim Blaze’s godlike power for himself. Raiden confronts Taven as Kahn, Onaga, Shang Tsung, and Quan Chi escape into a portal leading to Edenia. But wait, isn’t Raiden supposed to be powerless in Outworld? Guess people seem to forget this… He is unsuccessful however, as he is defeated by Taven. Poor Raiden… getting beaten up by two mages and their magic missiles, then beaten by a half-god/farm boy. Lol, Emo god not happy.

Raiden is one of the few characters I am certain will reappear in the new Mortal Kombat games, he is one of the most popular characters and with his new darker turn, has a lot more story to exploit.

Adam’s Input

No, not Raiden from the Metal Gear series, the thunder god himself comes in at number 4. He’s one of the most powerful fighters in the MK series, so it’s obvious why he is a favorite among the fans. Who doesn’t want to play as a god among mortals? And it unlikely Raiden can ever be truly killed. So it’s usually a win-win situation when you play as Raiden. He da man! Err.. god!

Grail’s Input

If I could have any superpower in the world, it would be the ability to blast lightning from my fingertips. So when Raiden arrived on the MK scene all those years ago, he was an instant favorite of mine. And the heavy inspiration from Big Trouble in Little Chinatown didn’t hurt either. Who would have thought that the evil god in MK1 who was only competing because he was “bored” would turn into a powerhouse and champion of the people of earth – and then back again! OK so he didn’t turn completely evil, perhaps corrupted is a better word. Much like his good mate Liu Kang, Raiden only really got some attention late in the series, in his case, MK Deception. With the introduction of a dark and vengeful Elder God, the Thunder God got a whole new lease on life. But somewhere in there is the peoples champion that we all know and love, fighting, struggling to break free from hate. And it’s this internal struggle that makes him all the more intriguing and also gives him a better than even chance of making it into the next-generation of MK games. Have a nice day.

Dave’s Input

It’s not hard to see why the Thunder God Raiden made it into the top 5. For one he’s a god with extraordinary powers, has a pretty unique look and a cool move set including that awesome torpedo that never gets old. I wasn’t too appealed to Raiden back in the early days of MK1 and MKII but once I saw the first motion picture I became much more appreciative of his character. Christopher Lambert for MK3 all the way!