There have been eleven main Mortal Kombat games. Can you believe it? The 90s were that long ago. Since then the fighting game has become a gory institution as colorful ninjas and sorcerers and special forces agents collide to rip each others’ guts out in wacky martial arts tournaments.
But in the past decade Mortal Kombat has gone from just a recognizable violent fighting game to a really good recognizable violent fighting game. And the recently released Mortal Kombat 11 brings the reboot trilogy home with a story mode stretching across all of history and new ways for customizing characters to your liking, with different skills and gear to make the accessible mechanics even more varied and deep.
Expensive cutscenes and ancillary (arguably exploitative) side content aren’t worth anything though if your fighting game doesn’t have a solid roster. Fortunately, Mortal Kombat 11 gives you a diverse cast of kombatants on which to unleash your bloodlust. And we’re taking a look at every single one of them. Today’s fighter: Kotal Kahn.
Who Are They?
Ko’atal is an Outworld warrior who rose to the rank of Kotal Kahn following the death of previous Emperor Shao Kahn in the original Mortal Kombat era. He’s an Osh-Tekk, an ancient race that served as the inspiration for various Mayan gods. Before his heart was hardened by Outworld rule, he was romantically involved with Shao Kahn’s former warrior-servant Jade, whom he reconnects with in Mortal Kombat 11.
Kotal Kahn was introduced in Mortal Kombat X as part of a wave of new, more progressive next-generation characters following the time skip. Kotal rules more honorably than Shao Kahn and will ally with Earthrealm when it makes sense. Phil Lamarr busts out his Samurai Jack voice for the performance. Kotal is still plenty brutal, but in a poetic way.
It took me a while to realize that Kotal Kahn doesn’t have green skin but rather green ritual powder spread on regular human skin. The different outfits make this more obvious. As part of his whole Mayan aesthetic, you can equip Kotal with various totems to summon that buff his skills or cause sunlight to come down to hurt opponents. But I prefer to turn into a jaguar to maul foes or just carve them up with my big sword.
How Gross Is The Fatality?
Mortal Kombat is the perfect game for a character whose culture revolves around ancient (vaguely racist) South American blood sacrifice. So when Kotal Kahn murders you at his stone altar, draining your fluids and crushing your head, you just have to respect the religious custom.
Mortal Kombat 11 is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. For more, read our spine-ripping impressions of the game as a whole, learn more about Mortal Kombat’s history with the government, and check out our character guide for the much less violent fighting game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.