New Mortal Kombat 1 details suggest Shao Kahn’s returning under a new name

Brianna Reeves
Mortal Kombat 1 shao kahn

New character bios for Mortal Kombat 1 suggest longtime villain Shao Kahn will return but with a different name.

The shadow of Outworld Emperor Shao Kahn has long loomed large over the Mortal Kombat series. He’s appeared as the main antagonist of several games and movies, often serving as the final boss in the franchise’s story modes and challenge towers.

He last appeared in Mortal Kombat 11, though playing him required a preorder or DLC purchase. While the villain has yet to appear in MK1 marketing materials, new character details hint at his inclusion to some degree.

As the wait for the game’s launch continues, players can’t help but wonder what the new universe may have in store for the Outworld leader.

Shao Kahn may have just been confirmed for Mortal Kombat 1

On June 6, NetherRealm hosted a Kombat Kast featuring fresh gameplay footage and new information. The stream and accompanying gameplay trailer confirmed Smoke and Rain as playable characters. Soon thereafter, new character bios hit the web.

A character biography for Rain shared in the MK Discord reveals that he excelled at Outworld’s Imperial Academy of Sorcery. Apparently, Rain managed to draw the attention of General Shao. And Empress Sindel blessed him with the honor of becoming Outworld’s High Mage.

Fans on Reddit have especially taken an interest in Mortal Kombat 1 referring to Shao Kahn as General. Notably, it means the Kahn title no longer applies to the MK villain. One user commented, “General Shao officially confirmed, can’t wait to see his redesign.”

Others wonder if the title change may hint at the character being on the side of good this time around. After all, if Mileena and Kitana can bury the hatchet, anything’s possible. Of the potential lore shift, one fan said, “Imagine if Shao is actually a good guy this time around? Like the faithful general protecting Mileena and Kitana.”

NetherRealm has yet to confirm the specifics of General Shao’s standing in MK1. But it’s clear, this version of the Mortal Kombat universe will continue to subvert expectations.

Mortal Kombat 1 hits Nintendo Switch, PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S on September 19.