Lord Raiden - MK1 Picture

"The fate of billions depends upon you! Heh heh heh...



Raiden is the God of Thunder and Lightning, and for as long as the realm of Earth has existed, he has been its protector. He is worshipped primarily by the Shaolin Order of Light, and is responsible for founding the White Lotus Society, a secret organization of martial artists dedicated to keeping the world safe from extradimensional threats.

Normally forbidden to directly interfere in the affairs of mortals, Raiden is approached by Shang Tsung and offered a personal invitation to compete in the Mortal Kombat tournament. Knowing that Tsung's master, the emperor of the realm of Outworld, needs only one more victory on his behalf to earn the right to conquer Earth, Raiden assumes a mortal form, risking his very immortality in order to partake in Tsung's deadly game and guide the Chosen Warriors of Earth to victory.

Though he is immeasurably wise, an eternity of life experience causes him to think in terms far longer than the human lifespan. Furthermore, with Earth on the brink of conquest, its protector has begun to lapse into cynical indifference. As a result, Raiden carries a nonchalant approach to even dire situations and often veils his advice deep within a dry, sarcastic wit. Nonetheless, it was his compassion for human life that led the Elder Gods to choose him as Earthrealm's protector over his four brothers, the Gods of Wind, Earth, Water, and Fire, and his incessant teasing often helps his charges to discover the answers they seek for themselves.

Even in a human body, Raiden is an intimidating and dangerous force, standing seven feet tall, possessing eons-worth of battle prowess, and retaining much of his power, possessing mastery over electricity, the ability to teleport and fly, and the power to summon his signature weapons to his hand; a lightning rod-esque wooden quarterstaff and a massive warhammer.

Artist Commentary:

Raiden's original MK1 costume is extremely bland: little more than a white jumpsuit, really. I decided to pull from his looks in the film, Mythologies, and the TV show Conquest, making the white outfit look more like a beggar's robes, letting his hair hang loose under the coolie hat, and adding the blue shawl. I also decorated the Thunder God with golden ropes and trim based on his Shaolin Monks in-game model.

The idea here was to make him both more humble and more godly at the same time, truly a deity in disguise. I'm also a total sucker for anything Christopher Lambert related. >_>


In the Japanese religion Shinto from which the character is derived, Raiden is usually portrayed as a demon or ogre that beats a drum to create thunder. His appearance in Mortal Kombat, however, is inspired by the character "Lightning" from the movie Big Trouble in Little China.

The famous dialogue he utters whenever he performs his flying attack is in fact complete gibberish, no matter how many people tell you he's screaming "Johnny bought a car!" or some other such nonsense.
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