I am Shao Kahn, conqueror of worlds! You will taste no victory!
~ Shao Kahn
Shao Kahn
Shao Kahn MK9 Render

Real Name

Shao Kahn



Current Status



Mortal Kombat


Mortal Kombat II (June 25, 1993)

Recent Appearance

Injustice: Gods Among Us(April 16, 2013)




Callous, Arrogant, Overconfident


Main Antagonist (MK1, MK2, MK3/UMK3/MKT, MKA, MKVsDCU, MK9)

Played By

Brian Glynn (MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT) Steve Ritchie (voice) (MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT) Frank Welker (voice) (first movie) Brian Thompson (second movie) John Vernon and Michael Des Barres/Ramon Campos (Brazilian version) (DotR) Jeffrey Meek (MK Conquest) Aleks Paunovic (MKL) Patrick Seitz (MKvsDCU) Bob Carter (MK 2011)

Shao Kahn is the main antagonist of Mortal Kombat II, III and 9 and arguably, Mortal Kombat Series, as he is somehow involved in every game and the series as a whole.

Pre-Mortal KombatEdit

Long ago, Shao Kahn once served as an advisor to Onaga when the latter ruled Outworld as the Dragon King. Onaga's Empire had become the most powerful in the realms and so he began searching for a way to become immortal. Before his goal could be realized, Shao Kahn made his move by poisoning Onaga and taking his kingdom. Leading whatever troops that remained loyal to the Dragon King, Kahn continued many of the former emperor's plans. He continued to add lesser realms to Outworld, either through direct conquest or through Mortal Kombat.

A milestone in his military victories was the merging of Edenia with Outworld. After his warriors had won in Mortal Kombat, Kahn invaded the realm. On the battlefield, Kahn killed King Jerrod, and took Queen Sindel as his own queen through forced marriage, raising her daughter, Princess Kitana, as his own daughter. He had the young princess trained as his personal guard and as an assassin. Unfortunately for Kahn, Sindel took her own life in an attempt to escape what she believed was eternal subservience to the Emperor. However, Shao Kahn held her soul in Outworld, stopping her transition to the afterlife, not willing to let his beloved queen go so easily.

Mortal Kombat 1Edit

Many years later, Kahn chose Earthrealm as his next conquest. He sent Shang Tsung and eventually Goro to Earthrealm to prepare it for an invasion in the event of Goro maintaining his position of champion. A turning point came when Prince Goro defeated the Great Kung Lao (Not to be confused with his ancestor of the same name) and started a winning streak that would last for 500 years. Shang Tsung, a shapeshifter, supervised the tournament. The tenth Mortal Kombat however, saw the defeat of both Goro and Shang Tsung by a Shaolin monk, Liu Kang, ruining five hundred years of Tsung's winning streak.

Mortal Kombat IIEdit

Shang Tsung returned to Outworld and begged Shao Kahn for his life, and came up with a plan to lure Earth's chosen warriors to Outworld for a second tournament. Convinced, Shao Kahn spared Tsung's life and restored his youth. If Earthrealm's champions could be killed, they would not be able to cause further damage to Kahn's plans. With the captured Kano and Sonya Blade as bait, and enraging Liu Kang by sending Baraka and his troops to destroy the Shaolin temples, they confidently waited for the Earth warriors to fall into the trap. Despite Kahn's vast power, Liu Kang's determination saw him through, and he defeated the despot. Unwilling to accept defeat, Kahn called his armies to destroy the Earthrealm warriors. They fled back to Earthrealm, out of Kahn's clutches.

Mortal Kombat 3Edit

By this time, Shang Tsung was able to resurrect Queen Sindel in Earthrealm, and Kahn would be able to cross the border to claim his beloved wife. Kahn had Tsung proceed, and once he invaded Earthrealm, he began to merge it with his own realm of Outworld. Nearly every living being in Earthrealm had their souls ripped from their bodies by Kahn, claiming them as his own. Kahn's day finally seemed to have come. Kahn sent extermination squads to hunt them down and kill the remaining survivors, but Lord Raiden had protected the souls of a handful of warriors. It would be their task to try to stop Kahn, and return Earthrealm to its normal state. In the ensuing fights, Kahn was confronted by Kung Lao, another Shaolin monk and descendant of the warrior Goro defeated to become champion of Mortal Kombat, but Kahn blasted a powerful spell on Kung Lao nearly killing him. It was Liu Kang who again managed to defeat Kahn. Worn down from the battle, Kahn recalled his squads and retreated back to Outworld. This stopped the merger with Outworld, and restored Earthrealm to its original status. To make matters worse for Kahn, many of his loyal soldiers had abandoned him, and Kitana had succeeded in turning Sindel to her side, restoring Edenia as an independent realm.

Mortal Kombat: Deadly AllianceEdit

The emperor was now greatly weakened, and would remain so for a period of several years, remaining inactive during Shinnok's war against the gods. The Edenians had in the meantime made peace and military treaties with the Shokan, on whom Kahn had always heavily relied, and were ready to attack Outworld a few years later. It was only through his new commander Kano's ingenuity, and the stealth of his assassin Noob Saibot (who critically wounded Goro) was Kahn able to save the day (in a manner of speaking) and force the Edenian army into a draw. Soon afterward, the sorcerers Quan Chi and Shang Tsung entered his throne room, and swore false allegiance to the emperor. Quan Chi and Shang Tsung caught Shao Kahn off guard and seemingly killed him. This would appear to be the demise of the mighty Kahn.

Mortal Kombat: DeceptionEdit

Kahn did not die, and that it was a clone that Quan Chi and Shang Tsung killed. The real Kahn appeared to the wounded Goro and, using what little power he had left, revived him, thus gaining Goro and the Shokan as allies once again.

Mortal Kombat: ArmageddonEdit

Shao Kahn is the Emperor of Outworld once again. It was revealed in the bios of Shang Tsung and Mileena that Shao Kahn had regained power after Onaga's defeat, by storming his own fortress (then under the command of Mileena who had earlier deceived and used Kitana's Edenian force to capture the fortress) with the aid of Goro and Shang Tsung. When he succeeds in using his own brute force to storm the throne room, Mileena surrenders to him and Shao Kahn becomes Outworld's ruler once more.

Later on, he would go on to form an uneasy alliance with Quan Chi, Shang Tsung, and Onaga in the hopes of defeating Blaze and seizing his god-like powers. Shao Kahn soon found himself fighting his allies and was carried off by Onaga after an unsuccessful attack on Shang Tsung. Kahn somehow escaped from his former emperor and killed Blaze. Kahn becomes the ultimate winner of Armageddon, kills Raiden and conquers all realms, before descending into madness.

Mortal Kombat vs DC UniverseEdit

Warning! The following non-canonical to the main story!

Shao Kahn is first seen humiliated by his defeat at the hands of Raiden. Quan Chi knows that Shinnok would not be pleased. Raiden confronts the Outworld Emperor and seemingly kills him before taking Quan Chi before the Elder Gods. However, Shao Kahn did not die: he merged with Darkseid and they became Dark Kahn. Superman and Raiden defeat Dark Kahn and soon, Shao Kahn awoke in the DC universe in Darkseid's throne room. Without his powers, Kahn is left to rot in the Phantom Zone. In his personal ending, however, the zone gave back Shao Kahn's powers enough for him and other kryptonian villains to escape and start a conquest of world domination.

Mortal Kombat 9Edit

Shao Kahn is shown fighting Raiden on top of the Pyramid of Argus. Kahn has his powers from Blaze's defeat, allowing him to defeat Raiden and beat the thunder god into submission. Kahn gloats that he is no longer bound by the Elder Gods' rules and that he will now bring about the destruction of all reality. As a result, Raiden sends a message to the Raiden of the first Mortal Kombat's time. As Shao Kahn prepares to finish him off, Raiden's final message is "He must win."

As the timeline shifts, the first Mortal Kombat tournament is the focus. While Shao Kahn is not there, he is monitoring the tournament. When Shang Tsung is defeated by Liu Kang, an irate Shao Kahn prepares to kill Shang Tsung. However, Shang Tsung offers an alternate solution for Shao Kahn: holding a tournament in Outworld with new rules. Shao Kahn agrees, and rejuvenates Shang Tsung.

During the second Mortal Kombat tournament, Shao Kahn is physically present. He also makes some of the matches instead of Shang Tsung. Shao Kahn becomes frustrated when after Sub-Zero defeats Scorpion, the Lin Kuei cyborgs appear in front of him. While he allows them to take Sub-Zero away for automation and is granted the Lin Kuei's loyalty and service, he demands that Kitana explain why Earthrealm warriors are able to brazenly appear before him, when he had earlier ordered her to kill them. Before she can explain, he dismisses her, which allows Raiden the opportunity to sway Kitana to the Earth warriors' side. When Kitana discovers the experiments in Shang Tsung's Flesh Pits, she defeats Shang Tsung and brings him to Shao Kahn. Contrary to Kitana's expectations, Shao Kahn compliments the sorcerer instead. He then reveals to Kitana that her whole life has been a lie, and orders her to be executed and replaced by Mileena. In the process, Kitana's best friend Jade overhears this, and aligns with the Earth warriors to rescue Kitana and defeat Shao Kahn.

Near the end of the second tournament, Shao Kahn pairs Shang Tsung with Quan Chi to face Kung Lao. However, they fail to defeat Kung Lao. Shao Kahn then sends out Kintaro to fight Kung Lao, but Kintaro also fails. As the arrogant Shaolin Monk celebrates his victories, Shao Kahn breaks the rules of the tournament by snapping Kung Lao's neck without issuing a challenge to Mortal Kombat. While Raiden attempts to electrocute Shao Kahn, an enraged Liu Kang assaults Shao Kahn. Liu Kang proceeds to defeat Shao Kahn, and punches a hole through his chest, mortally wounding him.

Later in the throne room, Kahn's lieutenants argue over who should be the new ruler of Outworld. The argument is quickly ended when Shao Kahn appears before them alive. It is revealed that Quan Chi used his sorcery to heal Shao Kahn. Upon returning to the throne room, Kahn berates Shang Tsung, as now Outworld has been forced to give up its claim to Earthrealm forever. Quan Chi, however, offers Shao Kahn an alternative solution: A direct invasion of Earthrealm.

Quan Chi explains that Kahn's former queen Sindel realized that the Mortal Kombat tournaments provided Earthrealm no real protection against Outworld. Thus, she committed suicide to create a barrier that would prevent Shao Kahn from physically entering Earthrealm and merging it with Outworld. Quan Chi goes on to explain that this barrier could be nullified if he were to resurrect and corrupt Sindel. Shao Kahn agrees to this, and in exchange, grants Quan Chi the souls of any Earthrealm warriors who are killed. With Sindel resurrected, Shao Kahn had an open window to merge Earthrealm with Outworld. He starts the invasion of Earthrealm as a result.

When Motaro is brought back dead, having been killed by Raiden, he is enraged. Sindel, however, states that she will finish what Motaro has started. To ensure that Sindel does not fail, Shao Kahn drains the souls from Shang Tsung's body, killing him. He then transfers the souls into Sindel. During this time, Kabal attempts to attack Kahn, but is intercepted by Mileena and Noob Saibot. After Kabal defeats Mileena and Noob, Kahn orders Quan Chi to seal the portal to Earthrealm, but Kabal manages to escape just in time.

After Sindel kills most of the Earth warriors before being killed herself by Nightwolf's sacrifice, Quan Chi reveals to Raiden in the Netherrealm that all of the souls of the lost warriors were granted to him by Shao Kahn. It is also during this time that Raiden discovers who "He must win" truly is: Shao Kahn. If Shao Kahn is allowed to merge the realms as he intends, he will be breaking the rules of Mortal Kombat, and the Elder Gods will destroy him.

As Shao Kahn appears to merge the realms, Liu Kang attempts to stop him, despite Raiden's warnings. Raiden electrocutes Liu Kang, which results Liu Kang's apparent death. Sonya and Johnny Cage attempt to stop Shao Kahn, who quickly incapacitates them with ease. After this, Raiden surrenders to Shao Kahn. Shao Kahn gleefully attacks Raiden and beats him mercilessly. However, as just Shao Kahn prepares to finish Raiden, the Elder Gods intervene, giving Raiden their powers. Raiden and Shao Kahn face off, and Raiden finally defeats Shao Kahn. As the weakened Shao Kahn attempts to attack Raiden one final time, Raiden blasts all of the Elder Gods' power into Shao Kahn, and the Elder Gods take Shao Kahn away for punishment. Raiden, Sonya Blade, and Johnny Cage then leave to help rebuild the world.

At the end, Quan Chi is seen picking up what's left of Shao Kahn's helmet. He then speaks with the fallen Elder God Shinnok, who reveals that all of the events in the game were actually part of Shinnok's master plan to escape the Netherrealm and take control of both Earthrealm and Outworld.