Scorpion (Mortal Kombat)

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Mortal Kombat character
Scorpion in Mortal Kombat 11 (2019)
First appearanceMortal Kombat (1992)
Created byEd Boon
John Tobias
Designed byJohn Tobias (early games)
Luis Mangubat (MK:DA, MK:D)
Mark Lappin (MK:SM)
Cy Mandua (MK2011)
Portrayed byChris Casamassa (1995 film, television)
J.J. Perry (1997 film)
Ian Anthony Dale (web series)
Hiroyuki Sanada (2021 film)
Voiced byEd Boon (1992-2005)
Simeon Norfleet (MK:A)
Patrick Seitz (2008–present)
Ron Yuan (MK11)
Motion captureDaniel Pesina (MK, MKII)[1]
John Turk (UMK3, Trilogy)[1]
Nico Milado (MK11)
In-universe information
WeaponKunai (all series media)
Broadsword (MK4)
Katana (MK11)
FamilyHarumi Hasashi (wife; deceased)
Satoshi Hasashi (son; deceased)
OriginJapan (Earthrealm); reborn in the Netherrealm
Fighting stylesHapkido (MK:DA, MK:D, MK:A, MK9, MKX, MK11)
Pi Gua (MK:DA)
Moi Fah (MK:D)
Ninjutsu (MK9, MKX, MK11)

Scorpion is a playable character and the "mascot" in the Mortal Kombat fighting game franchise by Midway Games/NetherRealm Studios. Making his debut as one of the original seven playable characters in Mortal Kombat in 1992, he is an undead ninja specter seeking revenge for his death at the hands of Quan Chi.

One of the franchise's signature characters, Scorpion has been playable in nearly every Mortal Kombat fighting game, except for the original version of Mortal Kombat 3 (1995). He has represented the series in crossover fighting games and in guest roles in other games, while appearing in various official series merchandise and alternate media. Scorpion is featured on the logo of NetherRealm Studios, the successor of Midway Games.


Mortal Kombat games[edit]

"Scorpion" is the alias of Hanzo Hasashi, formerly one of the finest warriors of the Japanese Shirai Ryu ninja clan,[2] until he was slain by Bi-Han, a member of the Lin Kuei (a rival clan of Chinese assassins) who worked under the name "Sub-Zero". Scorpion became a "hellspawn" revenant residing in Hell, later called the Netherrealm, who sought vengeance against those responsible for the destruction of his clan and the murder of his family, including his wife Harumi and his son Satoshi. Although essentially neutral in allegiance, Scorpion joins forces with anyone who can assist in his plans of revenge. He was once manipulated by the sorcerer Quan Chi, whom he promised his life to in exchange for his impressive kombat abilities in order to defeat Sub-Zero.[1]

In his initial backstory, displayed in the first game's (1992) attract mode, he is described as only having enmity towards Sub-Zero, which was attributed to rivalries between their opposing ninja clans. His ending revealed that he was actually an undead specter who had been killed by Sub-Zero and was survived by a wife and child.[3] This was further explored in a tie-in comic book written and illustrated by MK co-creator John Tobias and published by Midway. In a one-page scene, set aboard a junk en route to Mortal Kombat tournament host Shang Tsung's private island, Scorpion shocks Sub-Zero with his unexpected return exactly two years after his death, declaring that his "demons" had allowed him to return and avenge his demise.[4] After Shokan Prince Goro's defeat at the hands of eventual champion Liu Kang, Shang Tsung's army launched an attack, forcing Scorpion to team up with Sub-Zero, the thunder god Raiden, and other tournament survivors to hold them back before he killed his rival and disappeared.[4]

In Mortal Kombat II (1993), Scorpion discovers Sub-Zero has somehow returned, and planned to compete in the second Mortal Kombat tournament held in the otherworldly dimension of Outworld and hosted by the realm's emperor Shao Kahn. He tracks his nemesis down but notices, in the process, Sub-Zero sparing the life of an opponent in battle. Scorpion realizes that this is not Bi-Han, but instead his younger brother, Kuai Liang, who had taken on his brother's codename in his memory and was tasked with completing his failed mission of assassinating Shang Tsung. As a result, Scorpion vowed to serve as the new Sub-Zero's guardian in atonement for killing his older brother.[5]

In the 2005 beat 'em up spin-off Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, set during the events of Mortal Kombat II, Scorpion is a boss character who attempts to kill the game's playable protagonists Liu Kang and Kung Lao. He appears in both masked and unmasked forms, with the latter being named "Inferno Scorpion". The planned co-op game, Mortal Kombat: Fire & Ice, which would have starred Scorpion and Sub-Zero as the protagonists, was canceled when Paradox Development, the developers of Shaolin Monks, "couldn't do it in time and under budget."[6]

Scorpion, along with all of the game's palette-swapped human ninja characters, was not playable in Mortal Kombat 3, but returned in the 1995 upgrade Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 when Shao Kahn tried to conquer the Netherrealm after his invasion of Earth, and enlisted the ninja in his forces. Scorpion's allegiance to the Kahn quickly dissolved when he discovers, in a continuance of his MKII storyline, that Sub-Zero was one of Earth's chosen warriors, with whom he sided in their final showdown with Shao Kahn.[1]

Quan Chi was officially introduced into Scorpion's rivalry with Sub-Zero in the main MK storyline, starting with Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero (1997). Scorpion is featured therein as an unplayable boss character, appearing twice throughout the game. Despite playing a minor role, his background was officially expanded in a feature on the game's official website, where his real name and that of his clan were revealed, while his yellow outfit was described as an apparent mockery of the Lin Kuei after former Lin Kuei member Takeda developed ninjutsu before leaving the clan and forming the rival Shirai Ryu.[2] Scorpion is enlisted by Quan Chi to find a map hidden in a Shaolin temple, a task the sorcerer also gave to Sub-Zero in order to engage the two rival ninjas in combat. If the player performs a killer move on Scorpion, he will reappear as another boss later in the game. In Mortal Kombat 4 (1997), Quan Chi tricked Scorpion into believing that Sub-Zero was involved in the deaths of his family and clan, resulting in the specter allying with him. In Scorpion's ending, he emerges victorious over Sub-Zero, but Quan Chi reveals his involvement in killing Scorpion's clan and family. When the sorcerer attempts to banish Scorpion, the latter grabs the former at the last minute, sending them both to the Netherrealm.[7] A variation of this ending was seen in Sub-Zero's conclusion, when Sub-Zero stands over a fallen Scorpion before being knocked down by Quan Chi, who again reveals his scheme and claims that both ninjas were pawns for the fallen Elder God Shinnok, which results in Scorpion killing Quan Chi and declaring Sub-Zero free of his curse.[8]

Scorpion's MK4 ending is carried over into Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (2002), where he relentlessly hunts down Quan Chi, only to be attacked by the Oni Drahmin and Moloch, whom the sorcerer had hired as protection and to help free him from the Netherrealm. In his non-canonical ending, Scorpion is killed when Drahmin and Moloch hurl him into a Soulnado, a magical tornado consisting of tormented souls trapped between Earthrealm and Outworld. In Scorpion's biography in Mortal Kombat: Deception however, he is depicted as having escaped as well. He meets the Elder Gods, which, coupled with his witnessing Raiden's death and the emergence of Onaga, the Dragon King, causes him to accept a new role as the Elder Gods' servant while working to prevent Onaga's merging of the realms.

In the Konquest mode of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (2006), Scorpion cuts a deal with the Elder Gods to serve them in exchange for the resurrection of the Shirai Ryu and his wife and son.[1] However, they resurrect them as undead beings. Enraged, Scorpion seeks to destroy the Elder Gods' chance of preventing Armageddon by taking the elemental Blaze's power, but the Edenian demigod Taven defeats him and he is later killed by Sub-Zero in a battle royal amongst the series characters in the game's opening sequence.[9]

In the 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot, an alternative-timeline retelling of the first three titles, Scorpion reprises his role from the first game in seeking vengeance against the elder Sub-Zero, Bi-Han. This time though, he serves Quan Chi from the start, unaware that the sorcerer is the mastermind behind the murder of his family and clan. Raiden, attempting to alter the timeline in hopes of averting Armageddon, talks Scorpion into sparing Sub-Zero's life in exchange for reviving the Shirai Ryu. Scorpion agrees, and when he defeats Sub-Zero in the Netherrealm, he refuses to kill him. However, Quan Chi convinces Scorpion otherwise by showing him a graphic vision of Sub-Zero murdering his wife and child. Despite Sub-Zero protests, Scorpion promptly incinerates him. He reappears on the tournament grounds holding Sub-Zero's skull and spinal column.[10] Later in the game, the younger Sub-Zero Kuai Liang seeks revenge for his brother's death by demanding a fight with Scorpion in Shao Kahn's arena, which Quan Chi grants. Scorpion immediately recognizes the new Sub-Zero as the original's younger brother, and while he is defeated, Kuai Liang is apprehended by his clan before he finish the revenant off.[11] Scorpion is last seen when he fights and loses to Raiden in the Netherrealm before disappearing.[12] In his non-canonical arcade ending, the Shirai Ryu appear before Scorpion as ghostly apparitions who reveal the truth about their murder and aid him in killing Quan Chi for his deception. In Sub-Zero's ending, he learns the truth about his and Scorpion's families and offers the specter a chance to join him in his quest for vengeance. Scorpion accepts, joining Sub-Zero to form their own Deadly Alliance.[13]

In Mortal Kombat X, which takes place two years after the previous game, Scorpion was sent to attack the Special Forces alongside a revenant version of Kuai Liang. Due to the efforts of Raiden and his allies however, they were restored to their human forms and freed from Quan Chi's control. Over the course of the following two decades, the newly restored Hanzo Hasashi reformed the Shirai Ryu, trained Kenshi's son Takeda Takahashi, and made amends with the young Sub-Zero after he revealed Quan Chi was responsible for the murder of his family and clan. When the Special Forces captured Quan Chi, a revenge-minded Hasashi subdued them and released the sorcerer so he could challenge him to a final fight before he killed him. Concurrently, Quan Chi's associate D'Vorah appeared so she could have the sorcerer free Shinnok from his amulet. Hasashi decapitated Quan Chi, but not before he could finish reciting a spell to successfully free the fallen Elder God, who immediately incapacitated everyone in the surrounding area.

In Mortal Kombat 11, Hasashi continues to lead the Shirai Ryu in protecting Earthrealm as its Grandmaster a further two years after MKX and Shinnok's defeat. When the keeper of time Kronika caused a time anomaly in an attempt to erase Raiden from history, she brought a past version of Scorpion to the present so she could recruit him to her fold with the promise of resurrecting his clan and family.[14] Meanwhile, Hasashi worked with Sub-Zero to foil Lin Kuei clansman turned cyber ninja Sektor and his plans to build a Cyber Lin Kuei army. They were successful, despite facing opposition from Bi-Han, who had been resurrected as the revenant Noob Saibot, and learning that Sektor played a role in murdering Hasashi's clan and family.[15] After Kronika's forces compromise or destroy most of their bases, Hasashi agrees to house his Earthrealm allies at the Shirai Ryu's Fire Gardens.[16] To help locate Kronika's Keep, Hasashi suggests forging an alliance with Kharon, a ferryman who transports unfortunate souls to the Netherrealm who he and Sub-Zero met while they were revenants.[17] He succeeds in recruiting Kharon and convincing his younger self to turn away from Kronika, but he is killed by D'Vorah. With his dying breath, he urges his younger self to abandon his pursuit of vengeance and defend Earthrealm. Scorpion keeps his word and joins the allied forces of Earthrealm and Outworld to stop Kronika.[18][19][20] In his non-canonical arcade ending, the younger Scorpion fails to keep his promise to his future self, and kills Kronika so he can restart history to ensure his loved ones' survival. When he discovers that otherworldly forces conspire to make sure the tragedy always repeats itself, he undergoes a quest for revenge against them.

Other games[edit]

Scorpion appears in the 2008 crossover title Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, participating in the war between the two titular franchises. In his ending, the essence of Dark Kahn finds a host in Scorpion's body, making him the most powerful being in the universe.

Scorpion joined the cast of 2013's Injustice: Gods Among Us as a downloadable character. In his single-player battle ending, wondering how he ended up in this world, Scorpion confronted the demon Trigon, who summoned him out of anger that he had left his demon army and robbed him the glory of defeating the One-Earth High Councilor (Superman). Scorpion fights and defeats Trigon before taking command of his demonic forces, which he plans to use to rule the world.

Scorpion has also featured as a guest/cameo character in four non-fighting Midway Games titles: NBA Jam Tournament Edition (1995),[21] The Grid (2000),[22] MLB Slugfest: Loaded (2004),[23] and Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy (2004).[24]

Character design and gameplay[edit]

Q: Do you think it's possible to create new [MK] characters that can have the same impact?
A: You can look at other franchises, like the X-Men for example, where there have been tons of new team members, but characters like Cyclops, Storm, Jean Grey, Professor X, Magneto, and Wolverine will always be the core of who they are. Can you replace them? Sure, but why? The X-Men will always have Wolverine and MK will always have Scorpion and I don't think that's a bad thing.

John Tobias in 2012[25]

Scorpion appeared in the first Mortal Kombat as one of three palette-swapped ninja characters along with Sub-Zero and Reptile. His early origins were revealed by the series' original chief character designer John Tobias in September 2011 when he posted several pages of old pre-production character sketches and notes on Twitter. Scorpion and Sub-Zero were simply described as "[a] palette swap for 2 ninjas—a hunter and the hunted," while Tobias also considered the concepts of either one of them fleeing their clan, or a "revenge story" involving the then-unnamed characters being part of rival clans.[26] In regards to the game's strict memory limitations, co-creator and programmer Ed Boon recalled: "A lot of attention went into the economics of it, and so we knew that if we could take a character and change their color and use basically the same memory to create two characters, we'd save a lot of money and we'd have two characters." Scorpion was given a yellow palette with the developers deciding that it would symbolize fire as the exact opposite to Sub-Zero's ice blue, which "prompted the story behind them being these opposing ninja-clan-type characters."[27] A third ninja swap, Reptile, was added in the third revision as a hidden character who was outfitted in green and used Scorpion's spear (along with Sub-Zero's freeze) as part of his offensive arsenal; he was devised by Boon as "a cooler version of Scorpion."[28] The original costume was created from a modified ninja-like outfit bought at a Chicago costume shop[27] and was red for filming in the first game, but a different yellow one with a quilted vest and knee-high shin guards was utilized for Mortal Kombat II.[29] This in turn made the other male ninja characters therein—Sub-Zero, Reptile, and hidden characters Smoke and Noob Saibot—palette swaps of Scorpion, with the latter two also using Scorpion's spear when players fought them separately in secret battles. Scorpion and the ninja characters were first played by Daniel Pesina, who was replaced by John Turk for Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and the 1996 compilation Mortal Kombat Trilogy, while Sal Divita played the character in MK: Mythologies.

While his ninja-outfit template from the first generation of games has remained relatively unchanged over time, the software technology of the post-Mortal Kombat 4 three-dimensional releases have allowed more detailed costuming for the characters, and Scorpion's costumes were duly enhanced with objects such as two katana swords strapped to his back and his spear attached to a rope tied to his belt in Deadly Alliance,[30] and a set of ornate shoulder epaulets in Deception, in which his alternate costume was a throwback to the two-dimensional MK titles. Scorpion's MK2011 costume is his most detailed to date and inspired by his namesake, such as the character's abdomen-shaped shoulder pads, the two stinger-handled swords crisscrossed on his back, and the exoskeletal pattern on his hard-shell face mask.[31] Scorpion was included with Sub-Zero, Reptile and Ermac in a bundle of classic costumes from the first Mortal Kombat that was released as downloadable content for the 2011 reboot.[32] For Injustice: Gods Among Us, he received a new costume designed by comic artist Jim Lee.[33] In the original Mortal Kombat's fighter-selection screen, Scorpion had regular human eyes, as his identity as a resurrected specter was meant to be a mystery, but he was given solid yellow or white eyes for every release thereafter starting with MKII,[33] while actors portraying Scorpion in live-action media such as the feature films and the Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series were outfitted with opaque contact lenses in order to achieve this effect.

Mortal Kombat creator Ed Boon has voiced Scorpion in a special move and has regarded him as his favorite character.

Scorpion yells one of two taunts—"Get over here!" and "Come here!"—at his opponents when he hits them with his spear. They were voiced by Boon in the games and both feature films, but only one of them ("Come here!") was included in the home ports of MK and MKII due to memory constraints. According to Boon, the second of the character's phrases originated because he thought "it would be funny to have him yell out 'Get over here!' when he [threw the spear]," and he was thus encouraged to get behind the studio microphone and record the taunts.[34] As confirmed by Daniel Pesina,[35] that phrase was originally an idea of Kano's actor Richard Divizio, as was Scorpion's skull face, inspired by the classic film Jason and the Argonauts.[36] Twenty years after the first MK game's release, Boon included creating the spear move as well as the character itself among his personal high points of the franchise's history, adding: "I remember people sitting in my office all day just doing this uppercut [on a speared enemy] again and again, like 'Oh my God, that feels so good.' It just became the cornerstone of [the game]."[37] MKII saw the debut of the popular phrase "Toasty!", which was voiced by series sound designer Dan Forden during a variation of Scorpion's "Flaming Skull" Fatality or at random when any of the game's characters landed an uppercut. According to Tobias, it first originated as "You're Toast!", which was a taunt bandied among the designers during game-testing sessions.[38]

Scorpion's signature special move throughout the series has him hurling a harpoon-like spear (described as a kunai) at his opponents, making him the only other character besides Kano to have a physical weapon in the first Mortal Kombat. The spear, attached to a length of rope, impales his opponents through the chest and sets them up for a free hit as Scorpion then jerks on the rope to pull them in to close range. This move was designed by Pesina, who did not like the original lasso move as it reminded him of that of Wonder Woman,[35] and inspired by the ancient Asian weapons known as a rope dart.[36] His other incumbent special throughout the series, save for Deadly Alliance, has been his Teleport Punch, where he flies offscreen during battle and then reappears to strike his opponent from behind. Scorpion additionally gained a new leg-takedown maneuver in MKII that was not well-received (Sega Saturn Magazine called it a "ridiculous" move that "no one ever used").[39] He was considered a lower-tier character by GamePro in their 1993 MKII character rankings, rating him eighth out of the game's twelve playables and describing both him and Sub-Zero as "formerly a top-tier character [who] doesn’t have much of a chance in MKII since all of the male ninjas have some poor matchups," with Scorpion faring the worst against Jax and Mileena.[40] Ed Lomas of Sega Saturn Magazine described the character as having "simple yet effective" special moves in UMK3 that "make him good for beginners, [which] doesn't stop him from being a useful character," while his "trusty" spear was "perfect for setting up combos."[39] GameSpy, in their Deception walkthrough, described the character as "a well-rounded character that has strengths in combos as well as in special and normal moves."[41] They additionally described the spear as "useful as ever" in Armageddon, adding, "Between [that and his] other special moves ... Scorpion pretty much has everything covered."[42] Prima Games' MK2011 strategy guide considered Scorpion to be well-balanced with no distinct weaknesses or advantages, while winning more than half of his fights against the game's other characters.[43] He is also a playable character for both the versus and story modes in Shaolin Monks, where his move sets in this game are largely identical to Liu Kang's with some original techniques.[44]

Scorpion's signature finishing move from the original game up until Mortal Kombat 4 was his "Fire Breath" Fatality, in which he removes his mask to reveal a skull right before immolating his opponent. A variation of this finisher was included in MKII: entering a different button/joystick combination added the spoken "Toasty!" phrase that simultaneously appeared on the screen. While the "Fire Breath" was brought back for Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe in 2008, his spear has otherwise served as his primary tool in his Fatalities in the three-dimensional games, from impaling his opponents through the head and then decapitating them in Deadly Alliance, using it to yank off their limbs in Deception, and plunging it into their chest before kicking them through a portal that left nothing but a skinned corpse hanging from the spear's chain in MK2011 ("Nether Gate"). His second Fatality in the reboot, "Split Decision", had Scorpion using one of his back-mounted swords to hack his opponent to pieces.

Scorpion would indirectly play a role in the fabrication of the-then nonexistent character Ermac when Electronic Gaming Monthly published a doctored screenshot of Scorpion from the original game in 1993. A lot of other characters in MK1 like Chameleon use his template.[45] This subsequently spawned false player rumors of a glitch that would turn Scorpion's sprite red with the name "Error Macro" appearing in the energy bar.[46] Ermac became playable in UMK3, in which he was a red palette swap of Scorpion who shared his Teleport Punch.

Other media[edit]


In Jeff Rovin's 1995 non-canon novelization, set before the first game, Scorpion plays a minor role and his backstory deviates from the games, as he is something of a combination of a father and son instead of an individual ninja specter. The father, a former Lin Kuei member turned tolltaker named Yong Park, was killed by Sub-Zero in front of Park's family and his body dumped into a canal. Yong's spirit merges with his young son Tsui's body in order for the latter to seek revenge under the form of Scorpion, during which his costume and armor magically appear on his body. When Scorpion challenges Sub-Zero to battle in hopes of avenging his father's murder, they do nothing more than exchange words before Sub-Zero sets off a smoke bomb and escapes. Scorpion never uses his spear aside from a scene in which he shoots it at a tree as a test shortly after his transformation.[47]

With the exception of the novel, Scorpion has been portrayed in alternate Mortal Kombat media as an antagonist, and his spear was never used in any sort of graphic nature as in the games. In the Mortal Kombat series produced by Malibu Comics, he is simply a specter consumed by revenge against Sub-Zero, and his spear was changed to a weapon resembling a spiked morning star that was attached to a whip-long length of either chain or rope. An altered version of his confrontation with Sub-Zero from the Midway comic was expanded in the first issue of the 1994 Blood & Thunder miniseries, by way of a one-page flashback of their fateful battle that ends with Scorpion being killed off-panel.[48] Scorpion, along with the other series characters from the first game, seeks to solve all the riddles inside Shang Tsung's mystical tome, the Tao Te Zhan, in order to gain absolute power (which no one accomplishes). In the third issue, the combatants are all imprisoned inside Shang Tsung's dungeon before Scorpion appears and frees them from their bonds,[49] and in the fourth issue, when the fighters are stranded in Outworld after Raiden frees them from the dungeon, Scorpion kills Hydro, a Lin Kuei companion of Sub-Zero created exclusively for the series. Sub-Zero then destroys Scorpion's mortal form in a quick battle, and Scorpion (now an apparition) is then driven off by Raiden, who then declares that Sub-Zero was now under his protection.[50] Scorpion was additionally featured in a special #0 issue as the centerpiece of a short story titled Kombatants, which was originally published prior to the miniseries and has him facing Sub-Zero once more as the other combatants sing his praises in the background.[51] The first page of the third issue of Blood & Thunder, which showed Scorpion hurling his weapon at an off-panel Sub-Zero, was a near-exact duplicate of Kombatants' title page.[52] During the "Tournament Edition" double-issue conclusion of the miniseries, Scorpion loses a fight to Kitana, who had stopped him beforehand from killing an unconscious Sub-Zero. In the 1995 Battlewave miniseries, Outworld emperor Shao Kahn returns Scorpion to the living world using a mystical gem called the Deathstone, which also allows Kahn to resurrect an army of undead soldiers under his control with Scorpion as his general; his army replaces the mutants that engrossed his ranks. One of the warriors under Scorpion's command was the twin-fighting monk duo Siang, who had been killed by Goro in the Blood & Thunder miniseries and was resurrected but still maintained a mind of his own, and therefore wanted to escape Kahn's control; Scorpion therefore fatally stabs Siang through the heart in a mercy killing before destroying the Deathstone.[53] In a 1995 one-shot featuring Baraka, titled "Babality", Scorpion still possesses the Deathstone and attempts to abduct an Outworld mutant baby who is under Baraka's protection, but he is thwarted by Noob Saibot before Baraka destroys the gem.[54]

Film and television[edit]

Chris Casamassa as Scorpion in the 1995 film Mortal Kombat. His initial design had looked "nothing like in the games", but was changed later[55]

Scorpion was played by Chris Casamassa in the 1995 Mortal Kombat film. His rivalry with Sub-Zero is only mentioned in passing by Shang Tsung in the storyline, which instead had them both serving as his slaves under his command. Scorpion's spear was a living snake-like creature that shot from a slit in his palm and could fly to a limited extent. It is first seen when he engages in a standoff with Johnny Cage on Shang Tsung's ship, and later during his fight in the tournament against Cage that begins in a rubber tree forest, when the spear directly follows Cage until it goes completely taut with Cage just out of reach. Scorpion fires the creature a second time, but Cage dodges it and it fatally smashes into a tree. The fight continues in Scorpion's lair until Cage finally wounds Scorpion with several discarded weapons right after Scorpion performs his "Fire Breath" Fatality as an offensive move, causing Scorpion to burst into flames as he bleeds a glowing lava-like blood before exploding entirely. Scorpion's lair was constructed inside an airplane hangar and was not included in the script nor the movie novelization, in which Cage merely knocks Scorpion out in the forest with his Shadow Kick. The character briefly returned in the 1997 sequel film Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, where he again worked for a higher power, this time Shao Kahn. Following a failed assassination attempt on Liu Kang and Kitana by Smoke and one of Kahn's extermination squads due to the unexpected interference of the younger Sub-Zero, Scorpion confronts the would-be targets, but ends up dueling Sub-Zero instead. After incapacitating Sub-Zero, he kidnaps Kitana and escapes through a portal. He was portrayed by J.J. Perry, who played Cyrax. Casamassa reprised his role from the first film in several episodes of the 1998-1999 TV series Mortal Kombat: Conquest with an origin different from that in the games. Scorpion commands his lover, Peron, to murder Sub-Zero's sister, and Sub-Zero kills Peron in retaliation, culminating in a duel which ends in a draw due to the arrival of Kung Lao, Siro, and Taja, who come to Sub-Zero's aid. Both Peron and Sub-Zero's sister were noncanonical characters created exclusively for the show.

In the 1995 animated film Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins, Scorpion was again depicted as a henchman to Shang Tsung opposite Sub-Zero. The backstory relationship of Scorpion and Sub-Zero is explored during the course of the film in a computer-animated fight sequence. He made one appearance in the 1996 animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm in the second episode ("Sting of the Scorpion"). His rivalry with Sub-Zero is vaguely explored, as no explicit mention is ever made of Sub-Zero killing him. Scorpion instead serves as an independent entity of evil, while his spear was depicted as a green snake-like head attached to a length of chain.

In the 2010 live-action short film Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, directed by Kevin Tancharoen, Scorpion, addressed therein by his real name, is depicted as a voluntary prisoner being questioned by Deacon City police captain Jackson Briggs regarding an underground tournament hosted by Shang Tsung. Sonya Blade shows up late in the film with a confidential document stating that Scorpion had killed Sub-Zero's brother. Knowing that Sub-Zero will enter Shang Tsung's deadly tournament, Scorpion agrees to participate and leave no one alive. He was played by Ian Anthony Dale and appears as a normal human, though his eyes are completely white and his signature weapon does appear.

Ian Anthony Dale as Scorpion in the 2013 second season of Mortal Kombat: Legacy. Dale, who has a background in kung fu, said that after rehearsals, his "arms and shoulders felt like they had daggers in them," while the contacts he wore were "cumbersome"[56]

Dale reprised his role as Scorpion in both seasons of Tancharoen's Mortal Kombat: Legacy webseries. In a two-part episode in the 2011 first season, his story takes place in feudal Japan, when Hanzo Hasashi is the leader of the Shirai Ryu and a family man training his young son, Jubei, in combat, much to his wife's disapproval. Hanzo is later summoned to a meeting with the shogun, which turns out to be a ruse by Bi-Han (Sub-Zero) of the rival Lin Kuei clan in order to lure Hanzo away from his village and leave it open to attack, which Hanzo realizes after he finds the shogun murdered in the middle of an icy road. After subduing Sub-Zero in battle, he returns to his village to find his family slain before he himself is killed from behind by Sub-Zero. Shang Tsung appears with Sub-Zero, who reveals himself as Quan Chi. Quan Chi resurrects Scorpion as a specter and promises him revenge against Sub-Zero in exchange for his services. The dialogue of Scorpion, his family, and Sub-Zero were in Japanese with English subtitles, and the use of Scorpion's spear is faithful to the games for the first time in any alternate media in that it actually pierces Sub-Zero's chest before Scorpion reels him in for a hit, but no blood is shown.

In the 2013 second season, a flashback shows that Hanzo and Bi-Han were childhood friends but driven apart by the mutual disdain of their clans. Two decades later, the Shirai Ryu and Lin Kuei have made some effort towards reconciliation, but Hasashi, while with his wife and son, encounters Bi-Han's younger brother, Kuai Liang, who provokes a fight and is killed by Hanzo offscreen. Hanzo and Bi-Han later meet to discuss the incident, and both are shown to be honorable men committed to maintaining the truce between their clans. Bi-Han swears that there will be no repercussions against the Shirai Ryu for Kuai's death, but after the events of season one, the resurrected Hanzo (now Scorpion) is convinced of Bi-Han's culpability in his family's and clan's deaths, not knowing that Bi-Han is not responsible and is instead incensed about the attack that he believes was carried out by his own Lin Kuei warriors. In the present day, Bi-Han and Scorpion fight in the Mortal Kombat tournament, during which Scorpion stabs his spear into Bi-Han's ankle. Despite Bi-Han's pleas that he was not involved in the death of his clan and family, Scorpion rips out his spine. This storyline was played out over the seventh and eighth episodes and filmed entirely in English. Dale said that the series "challenge[s] the assumptions that [Scorpion and Sub-Zero] have always been sworn enemies—we have new layers in their story and rivalries."[56]

Scorpion is the titular protagonist of the animated film Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge. The film follows the basic contours of the first game's storyline, as well as Scorpion's origins and past life as Hanzo Hasashi and the murder of his family and clan by Sub-Zero (actually Quan Chi in disguise) and the Lin Kuei. He is shown to more explicitly aid the Earthrealm warriors in the Mortal Kombat tournament before achieving his goal of avenging his family and clan by killing Quan Chi in combat.

Hiroyuki Sanada will portray Scorpion in the 2021 reboot of the film series.[57]

Promotion and merchandise[edit]

Along with the original series characters, Scorpion was highlighted on an individual track from The Immortals' 1994 album Mortal Kombat: The Album, titled "Lost Soul Bent on Revenge".

Scorpion has featured in various types of merchandise during his tenure in the MK series, mostly action figures and sculptures. Hasbro released the first Scorpion figures in 1994: a 3.75" version in which his mask was blue and he was packaged with a plastic scorpion accessory, then a twelve-inch figure whose design and packaged weaponry were more in line with the games. Toy Island distributed a Scorpion figure in 1996 as part of their MK Trilogy collection, which included a pair of hookswords, and Infinite Concepts put out a Scorpion figure in 1999. Jazwares released a 6" Deception figure in 2005, and a 2006 Shaolin Monks figure that was also included as part of a Hot Topic-exclusive two-pack with Sub-Zero,[58][59] in addition to a collection of figures in 2011: a 4" figure from their MK2011 line,[60] a "Klassic" four-incher,[61] and a "Retro" figure that featured an interchangeable skull head and which was packaged with Sub-Zero, Reptile and Smoke in a box set.[62] Syco Collectibles released a host of Scorpion merchandise in 2011-2012: 10" (with glow-in-the-dark eyes) and 18" polystone statues,[63][64] along with two busts—a 1:2 scale with a 15" base and light-up eyes; and a smaller bust with an 11" base that featured a detachable head.[65][66] Pop Culture Shock distributed a life-sized bust in 2011 that featured removable shoulder pads and light-up eyes,[67] as well as a 19" statuette based on his UMK3 design as part of their "Mortal Kombat Klassics" collection.[68] A 16.5" mixed-media statue was released by the company in 2012, in which Scorpion was sculpted in a spear-throwing pose and was outfitted in all black.[69]

Scorpion was one of thirteen MK2011 characters depicted on life-sized standing cardboard cutouts from Advanced Graphics.[70] Funko released a Scorpion bobblehead in 2011,[71] and he was one of twenty characters featured on 2.5" x 3.5" collectible magnets by Ata-Boy Wholesale that year.[72] He appeared along with Kabal, Quan Chi, and Shao Kahn in a collection of 2.5" super-deformed figures released by Jazwares in 2012.[73]

Reception and legacy[edit]

Cultural impact[edit]

Scorpion has made several cameo appearances in television programs, such as Drawn Together, Robot Chicken, and The Cleveland Show. The character was featured along with Raiden, Ermac, Jax, and Shang Tsung in a 2014 animated short film produced by Comedy Central that parodied the Mortal Kombat games.[74]

Critical reception and popularity[edit]

Scorpion, along with Sub-Zero, is often regarded as one of the most popular and iconic characters in the Mortal Kombat franchise, and in the fighting-game genre in general. SuperGamePower gave him and Ryu from Street Fighter a shared award for the best fighter of 1996.[75] Game Informer rated Scorpion the third best fighting game character in 2009,[76] while UGO Networks ranked Scorpion second only to the series' main protagonist Liu Kang in their 2012 list of the top characters in the franchise.[77] PLAY magazine ranked him fourth on their list of top ninja characters in 2013.[78] Lucas Sullivan of GamesRadar, in 2012, ranked him as the seventh best fighting game character in the genre's history due to the "coolness of his 'undead antagonist' factor. Despite the fact that he started out as a mere palette swap, Scorpion’s appeal made him a frontrunner in every major MK game to date."[79] Complex featured Scorpion in a whole host of best-of lists: he was ranked the fifth-most brutal fighter in the series[80] and the 15th best video game mascot,[81] in addition to Complex naming him the fourth-"most dominant" fighting game character in 2012.[82] the 23rd "most badass" video game character of all time,[83]

As Scorpion is regularly intertwined with Sub-Zero throughout the series, they have often been paired together in regards to critical reception. Sharing the fifth spot on the top video-game ninja list by PC World in 2009.[84] He tied with Sub-Zero at the top of Game Revolution's 2006 list of the top ten "old school" MK characters,[85] and a 2011 GamesRadar article discussed their evolution across the Mortal Kombat series, citing them as its two most popular characters.[86] Together, Scorpion and Sub-Zero were voted the fifth most iconic characters in the two-decade history of the PlayStation by readers of PlayStation Official Magazine – UK in 2015.[87] GamePro ranked Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and the other ninjas from the series third in their 2009 list of the best palette-swapped video game characters, adding that Midway Games "has turned the art of making new characters from other, different-colored characters into a science."[88]

Special moves and Fatalities have been mostly very well received. In 2010, IGN listed Scorpion's "Flaming Skull" as the second best MK Fatality without specifying any particular title in the series, due to how the player's perception of the character changes when he removes his mask.[89] They called it an "enduring classic", noting that the finisher was notably unchanged in future games as a result of its connection with the character.[90] His spear attack was ranked ninth in GameSpot's 2002 list of the top ten fighting-game special moves of all time as the single most powerful yet balanced attack in the original game, as well as for its initial shock value, furthermore deeming it "the definitive Mortal Kombat move."[91] The "Nether Gate" from MK2011 was included by FHM on their list of the game's nine most brutal Fatalities.[92] His MKII Friendship, shared with Sub-Zero and Reptile, placed in Prima Games' 2014 list of the series' top 50 Fatalities, in addition to the "Nether Gate", his stage Fatality from MK2011, and the "Flaming Skull" from the original MK.[93][94][95] We Got This Covered ranked the "Nether Gate" among the reboot's top finishers: "Sub-Zero does another spine rip in this game, but it’s not as repulsive as it was a decade ago. Scorpion, however, has found a new way to use his favorite weapon for maximum damage."[96] Paste rated it the fourth best Fatality from MK2011, in addition to rating the "Flaming Skull" as the third best finisher from the first game.[97] However, his Animality from UMK3/Trilogy (a penguin that lays an exploding egg) tied with that of Rain as the eighth worst finisher in the series according to GamePro.[98]

Scorpion's catchphrase "Get over here!" was listed in PLAY's joke list of ten best chat-up lines.[99] According to PlayStation Universe in 2011, Scorpion "has spawned one of the most iconic catchphrases in gaming history" and "remains a firm fan favorite nineteen years since his debut."[1] The phrase was a factor in ScrewAttack ranking Scorpion first on their list of the top series characters.[100]

See also[edit]

Media related to Scorpion at Wikimedia Commons


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