Mortal Kombat 11 Fans Discuss Why Shao Kahn Looks Like That

Mortal Kombat 11 Fans Discuss Why Shao Kahn Looks Like That

Shao Kahn is perhaps the most fearsome antagonist in Mortal Kombat. No matter if the Deadly Alliance is up to no good, the Dragon King returns, Shinnok invades, or a literal time-controlling god appears, the former ruler of Outworld is the one everyone’s always wary of. Perhaps it has something to do with his skull helmet, massive warhammer, or towering stature, but the Kahn maintains his position as the ultimate bad guy of the MK universe.

Even when Kronika was messing with time in MK 11, Shao Kahn’s imposing return saw him toss Kotal Kahn aside and take back his throne. However, this iteration of the villain looked a bit different from his previous outings. While Shao Kahn had been portrayed as something very close to a human before, in MK11 he has scaley, dragon-like features. This has led to the community questioning just what exactly he is.


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Over on the Mortal Kombat Subreddit, amidst all the MK12 discussions, the ironically named Ko’atal shared concept images and screenshots of the character, and asked, “Bro wth is Shao Kahn? The wiki says he’s an Immortal but It also says Raiden and Shinnok are immortals but they look human”. The concept images show him without his armour and revealed just how different he looks from previous games.

window.arrayOfEmbeds[“bro_wth_is_shao_kahn_the_wiki_says_hes_an”] = {‘reddit’ : ‘"n<blockquote class="reddit-embed-bq" style="height:500px"><a href="">Bro wth is Shao kahn? The wiki says he&rsquo;s an immortal but It also says Raiden&rsquo;s and Shinnok are immortals but they look human Shao look likes a Brown Onaga without horns do immortals take different forms or something?</a>nby <a href="">u/Illustrious_Tap189</a> in <a href="">MortalKombat</a></blockquote>nn"’}; window.arrayOfEmbedScripts[“reddit”] = “"<script async src="" charset="UTF-8"></script>"”;

“Shao Kahn didn’t look like that before MK11. It was a design choice they suddenly made,” replied HeavyNorseSFGB. “As for what he is… Back when Onaga lived and was the emperor of Outworld, Shao Kahn was very much for Outworld as Raiden is for Earthrealm. That could potentially mean he was once a god, the protector of Outworld. However, he killed Onaga to gain his throne, and so the Elder Gods took away his godhood.”

While this seems like a sound theory, there’s no real lore proof to back it up. Tr00ly had another theory. “Personally, my headcanon is that he consumed part of Onaga’s soul and it made him look the way he does. OR, (and this is trying to reconcile the new design with an in-universe reason), Kronika’s meddling possibly merged timelines and his appearance changed [because] that’s how he really looks in another universe.”

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Other theories suggested that like the Shokan and Dragon King Onaga himself, Shao Kahn also belongs to the last vestiges of a race that descends from dragons. Either there aren’t too many of this race around, or we just never get to see them.

Maybe this will be touched upon in Mortal Kombat 12, which, while not being officially announced, has been confirmed thanks to an investor call. While we don’t know anything about the upcoming title, Boon has teased the return of the Konquest mode on multiple occasions.

NEXT: Why I Bounced Off Dragon Age: Inquisition

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