John Carlton, better known as Johnny Cage, is an action movie martial artist in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He is one of the most recurring characters and one of the seven original characters, debuting in the first Mortal Kombat arcade game.
Johnny is a descendant of an ancient Mediterranean cult who bred warriors for the gods -- warriors who possessed power beyond that of mortals.
Johnny Cage decided to join the Mortal Kombat tournament to prove himself as a fighter. He went to the harbor and waited for the ship that would take him to Shang Tsung's island, along with his agent and personal secretary. Both were fearful about his security, and tried to convince him to not attend the tournament. Cage, however, said that no one would even touch him. After he boarded the ship, Cage was harassed by the Black Dragon leader known as Kano and his allies. A fellow Shaolin Monk named Liu Kang managed to help Cage, beating several of the thugs, while the superstar attacked a distracted Kano, knocking him down with a Shadow Kick. After the brawl, Cage and Kang presented each other. Arriving at the island, Cage joined forces with Liu Kang and Sonya, a member of the United States Special Forces, and during the tournament, they became great friends. Johnny, Liu Kang and Sonya formed an alliance to protect Earthrealm and they were mentored by the Thunder God, Raiden. During the final battle between Liu Kang and Shang Tsung, Johnny teamed up with Sonya and Kano to fight Goro near The Pit. When Shang Tsung's island fortress began to crumble because of his defeat at the hands of Liu Kang, Raiden saved Johnny and dropped him off at a boat that belonged to the Special Forces Agency near the island. There, he met Major Jackson Briggs and was interrogated by him on the whereabouts of Sonya. Johnny told Jax all about the events on the island, but the Major didn't believe him. After Johnny was set free, he made the movie Mortal Kombat, based on his experiences.
Mortal Kombat IIEdit
Due to a recording from Sonya received by the U.S. Special Forces, Jax realized that Cage's version of the history was true and the Major went to meet with the superstar once more to personally apologize for disbelieving him. Not long after that, Cage was shooting a commercial and was suddenly attacked by a revitalized Shang Tsung, Kintaro, Baraka, Kitana, Mileena, and Jade. At the same time that Jax arrived in the set, Cage was violently blasted trough the wall right in front of him. Jax managed to help him fight against the invaders, taking on the mighty Shokan, Kintaro. They were later joined by the other Earthrealm warriors who helped them fight the horde off. Raiden appeared, put an end to the fight, and Shang Tsung proposed a new Mortal Kombat tournament. Once again, Johnny reunited with his allies to protect Earthrealm, traveling into Outworld. Eventually, Liu Kang challenged Shao Kahn, proving again that he was the true champion of Mortal Kombat; Kang defeated the emperor within inches of his life.
Mortal Kombat TrilogyEdit
After his defeat at the hands of Liu Kang, Shao Kahn led a massive invasion against Earthrealm in order to take this realm by force. Earthrealm was attacked by Kahn's extermination squad, and during this entire riot, Johnny Cage was killed in a fight against Motaro, leader of Kahn's forces. Cage's soul was unable to ascend to a higher plane of existence, and returned to its body. Cage then became one of the chosen warriors fighting against Kahn's invasion.
Mortal Kombat 4/Mortal Kombat GoldEdit
After Shao Kahn’s defeat at the hands of Liu Kang, Johnny’s soul was free to leave to a higher place. Johnny watched from the heavens as the events unfolded and the fallen Elder God Shinnok attacked Earthrealm. Johnny Cage sought out Raiden so that he could restore his deceased soul; the restoration of Johnny's soul allowed him to fight alongside the Earthrealm defenders once more and to help defeat Shinnok. After the defeat of Shinnok, it appeared as though Raiden’s revival of Cage was permanent as he did not ascend back to the heavens but instead remained on Earth.
Mortal Kombat: Deadly AllianceEdit
Years later, Johnny Cage went on to film Mortal Kombat: The Death of Johnny Cage, in which he was repeatedly killed and brought back to life. Upset at the way he was being portrayed, believing his own adventures were far more entertaining, he wanted out of the movie but he couldn't due to his contract.
As luck would have it, he was approached by Raiden, who asked him to help fight the Deadly Alliance of Quan Chi and Shang Tsung. Raiden told him to go to Shang Tsung's island for further instructions. He found a loophole in his contract and left the movie. He would then use this new adventure to make his own movie. Arriving on the island by way of parachute, he learned of Liu Kang's death and went to Outworld to help his friends.
Mortal Kombat: DeceptionEdit
Cage was killed during the final assault on the Deadly Alliance (he, Sonya, and Jax were overwhelmed by the Deadly Alliance's Tarkatan warriors besides Kung Lao and Kitana were killed by Shang Tsung and Quan Chi). Soon afterward, he was resurrected by Onaga and made into his slave. Some time later, he was freed from this state by Ermac and the spirit of Liu Kang.
Mortal Kombat: ArmageddonEdit
Johnny became disheartened that both Raiden and Liu Kang were unable to unite and lead the Earthrealm warriors. Then, he began to receive visions of Shinnok creating several portals in different realms. He decided to visit these areas to confirm his visions, and sure enough, he found evidence that Shinnok had been there. Deciding to take action, Johnny Cage saw in his visions that Shinnok's next destination was Shang Tsung's island fortress. When he arrived at the island, he saw Shinnok scheming with Quan Chi to take Shao Kahn's fortress by force. When Quan Chi vanished back through the portal which he came through, Johnny Cage attacked. He caught Shinnok off guard and appeared to have the upper hand, until the former Elder God retreated in a cloud of smoke, leaving Johnny to decide what to do next.
Soon after, Cage began gathering many of the good-aligned warriors such as Nightwolf, Sub-Zero and Kenshi to create an army to fight against the Forces of Darkness during the Battle of Armageddon. The resulting battle killed nearly all fighters present, including Cage, who was decapitated by an unknown opponent.
Back to the PastEdit
Before the Mortal Kombat tournament begins, Johnny Cage meets Sonya Blade and tries to hit on her, much to her annoyance. In the first match of the tournament, Johnny is pitted against Reptile, whom he assumes is merely an actor, by Shang Tsung, after making insulting comments regarding Tsung's age. He defeats Reptile, and celebrates his victory by bad-mouthing the other kombatants and flirting with Sonya before being ordered to face Baraka, who he believes is just another actor in make-up. Johnny defeats Baraka and is commanded by Shang Tsung to kill him. Initially taking this as a joke, Johnny, realising that Tsung is serious, refuses to do so. Afterwards, everyone begins to leave and Johnny is approached by Raiden and Liu Kang, who attempt to inform him of what will happen to Earthrealm should they fail to win the tournament. Johnny, however, doesn't believe anything that they say, stating that he is an actor, and only saves the world in movies. He then leaves to catch up to Sonya, in an attempt to ask her out on a date.
Johnny finds Sonya on the bridge high above the Pit and continues to flirt with her. Frustrated by his persistence, Sonya attacks him. Johnny manages to subdue Sonya, but feels guilty about the fight. Shortly after, Kano appears and throws Johnny off of the bridge, but he is able to grab onto the edge. Kano, seeing that Sonya is "softened up" from the fight with Johnny, seizes the opportunity to finish her off. Johnny then leaps back onto the bridge, steps in and defeats Kano in combat, earning the respect and gratitude of Sonya in the process.
After Sonya helps an injured Jax escape from Goro's Lair, and defeats Kitana, Jade and Kano in combat, the three of them are lead away by Shang Tsung, leaving Sonya and the injured Jax alone. Johnny, Raiden, and Liu Kang then appear. Raiden uses his powers to heal Jax, while Johnny explains to Sonya that Raiden is a God. Johnny, Sonya, and Jax agree to help Raiden.
Later in the tournament, Shang Tsung arranges a match between Johnny and Cyrax, who is assigned by the sorcerer to kill him. Johnny is defeated by Cyrax, but the assassin spares his life on behalf of Raiden. Due to his loss, Johnny is eliminated from the tournament. When the tournament ends in triumph for Earthrealm following Liu Kang's victory over Shang Tsung in the final bout, Johnny and the other Earthrealm warriors congratulate Kang on his victory. Johnny is also present during the celebration at the Wu Shi Academy. When the Tarkatans attack the Academy, Jax is knocked unconscious. When he awakens, Johnny is one of the Earth warriors who is seen standing over him. Jax learns of Sonya's capture by Shang Tsung, and all of the warriors proceed to the second tournament.
While Liu Kang and Kung Lao are sent to free their Shaolin masters from the Tarkatans, Johnny stays with Jax and Raiden. After Jax defeats Baraka, Raiden receives a vision of Sonya's scheduled execution and teleports the three of them to the Armory. Johnny berates Raiden about his teleporting that has left the three of them lost. Still attracted to Sonya, he starts questioning Jax about his relationship with her. Jax explains that he is Sonya's commanding officer, nothing more, but loses his temper when Johnny continues to brag about his interest in Sonya and gets into a fight with him. The scuffle is ended by Raiden, and the three are confronted by Jade, who orders them to leave immediately. Jax defeats Jade and apologizes to Johnny for his behavior. Accepting the apology, Johnny continues to accompany Jax and Raiden to the Dead Pool where Sonya is being guarded by Sheeva and her guards. Defeating them, they free Sonya, and Raiden orders Johnny to stay close to him. Johnny and Raiden travel to the Living Forest, where Raiden saves Smoke from the Lin Kuei cyborgs.
After Sub-Zero is captured by the Lin Kuei cyborgs, Raiden holds back Smoke to prevent the cyborgs from taking him away as well. Johnny can be seen alongside Smoke during the events. As Raiden realizes that his earlier actions of sparing Smoke have led to the automation of Sub-Zero, he decides to speak to Kitana, to which Johnny replies, "Sure, let's go ruin someone else's life."
When the Earth warriors approach Kitana in the Wastelands, she attacks them. Johnny reluctantly fights Kitana alongside Smoke but are both defeated. After Raiden tells Kitana to search in the Flesh Pits, the Earth warriors leave. They return to the Wastelands and find Jade, who had moments earlier defeated Mileena. Smoke enters a fight with Jade, believing Mileena (Kitana's clone) to be Kitana herself and that Jade had betrayed her. After Jade defeats Smoke, Raiden talks to Jade while Liu Kang, Johnny, and Kung Lao chat in the distance, mainly consisting of the two monks belittling Cage. When Jade informs the Earth warriors of Kitana's capture, Kung Lao and Liu Kang go to free Kitana, while Johnny stays with Raiden to continue in the tournament. Johnny is later defeated and eliminated from the tournament by Ermac.
Johnny returns during the Earthrealm invasion, fighting Motaro on The Street. Raiden intervenes and kills Motaro, altering the timeline to allow Johnny's survival. Johnny appears with the Earth warriors during their discussions and when they are ambushed by Lin Kuei cyborgs, who they successfully defeat. When Sindel emerges, she battles and kills most of the Earth warriors, however, Johnny, along with Sonya, survives the onslaught.
When Raiden attempts to stop Liu Kang from attacking Shao Kahn, Johnny and Sonya arrive to witness Liu Kang being electrocuted. While Raiden tends to Liu Kang, both Johnny and Sonya attempt to fight Shao Kahn, who easily blasts them away, knocking both unconcious. After Raiden defeats Shao Kahn and the Elder Gods take Shao Kahn away for punishment, Johnny and Sonya help Raiden to his feet. Johnny, along with Sonya and Liu Kang´s body, is teleported away by Raiden.
In total, Johnny Cage has died 3 times in the series.