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Is Kotal Kahn the most humiliated character? (spoilers)


Thrill Kill
We're talking about an actual character here. Not Kobra or Hsu Hao who are intentionally made fun of in intros.

And while a character like, let's say, Noob Saibot is a jobber in the story modes, I think Kotal Kahn had it much worse than the usual "jobbers".


-MK 11 - Aftermath

I'll be covering only the games. I hope my english is good enough! We might go through some inconsistencies in his character, so every discussion is welcomed here.

Mortal Kombat X

Kotal Kahn is the main character in Chapter 2. By now we know he is a more rational ruler than Shao Kahn, he respects the Reiko Accords, and is facing a civil war.

I think he's okay in this chapter. We see how he survives an assassination attempt. He defeats a couple of characters, and he's established as a tough guy with a calm demeanor. He sounds rational. He is capable to defeat a trained mercenary like Kano, an Edenian warrior like Tanya, a Demigod like Rain and Mileena herself.

There is a funny moment where Kotal is dive kicked from the roof of a building by Rain, but that's it.

Now let's move on to Chapter 4.

Kung Jin is the main character in this chapter. After some trouble caused by the Shaolin warrior during the execution attempt of a thief, D'Vorah summons Kotal Kahn to talk to the Earthrealmers.

We learn that while the Special Forces are dealing with a refugee crisis from Outworld... Kotal has no idea about it.

He suspects the Kombat Kids are working for Mileena and plans to execute them. But Kung Jin steps in, and challenges Kotal to a duel.

There is great dishonor to someone who refuses a duel. So Kotal KAHN accepts and threatens Kung Jin to kick his ass.

But then Kung Jin wins. He just defeated the Kahn of Outworld.

Then with Kotal Kahn on his knees, instead of killing him Kung Jin makes him work for them.

If Kung Jin had killed Kotal Kahn here... would Mileena win the civil war by default?

In Chapter 6 we have a flashback. There, Kotal and Reptile are convincing D'Vorah to join them in a coup against Mileena.

Here we see Kotal upset that Mileena is not willing to ally with Earthrealm to fight against the Netherrealm.

Back to the present, D'Vorah and Cassie capture Mileena and take back Shinnok's ammulet. D'Vorah kills Mileena, and then... Kotal Kahn captures the Kombat Kids. He says that Earthrealm failed to protect Shinnok's ammulet so he doesn't trust them anymore.

So he sends D'Vorah to secure the ammulet but of course she steals it. After that, the Kombat Kids escape on their own and defeat Kotal's fighters. Then the idiot Reptile assumes that D'Vorah (of all people) is working with the Kombat Kids so the whole thing was planned by Raiden to get the ammulet back. Reptile is doing conspiracy theories and Kotal believes him.

In that moment Kotal snaps and says "let's invade Earthrealm!"

... okay.

Kotal arrives with his army. But then his Ginyu Force is hilariously defeated again by the Kombat Kids.

Takeda tries to explain to Kotal what the hell is going on but he won't listen. He just acts like a maniac.

That's not all. Kotal decides that he will appease Shinnok by bringing him the heads of the Kombat Kids (like Shinnok cares who they are)... so Kotal Kahn is willing to bow to Shinnok just to "win time" (yeah sure, if Shinnok had been succesful in taking the Jinsei it would've been game over for every realm)

And Shinnok of all people!

(echoes of "I'm not a god of my word, Reptile!")

Not being intimidated by that, Jacquie kicks his ass.

Then Kotal and his army are chased away by Sub-Zero and the Lin Kuei. Back to Outworld with a massive defeat on his shoulders.

That's the last we see of him in Mortal Kombat X.


A couple of years later, Mortal Kombat 11 is announced. Every few weeks NRS would release trailers and do Kombat Kasts to reveal and show every character going to be in the game.

On March 20th they released the "Kotal Kahn Reveal Trailer". People were excited to see how he would play and all. In the trailer he fights against Jacqui. And gets his ass kicked.

In his own trailer he is defeated and killed by fan favourite Jacqui Briggs. This is like MK4's Reptile Ending lol. So while a few people already made fun of him back in the MKX days, now he was starting to be seen as a joke by more people. The comments around the time were hilarious.


Now, let's jump into Mortal Kombat 11.

Chapter 2 - Timequake.

Kotal is still Kahn of Outworld. He is about to execute Kollector when the Timequake happens and fighters from the past appear in the Kolosseum. And we're introduced to his love interest, Jade.

But the fighting starts. Shao Kahn begins to kick the shit out of Kotal, and is about to kill him but he's saved by Liu Kang and Raiden.

Then Kotal defeats a couple of fighters and eventually Shao Kahn. But the villains escape with the help of D'Vorah.

In Chapter 5, Kotal goes with Jade and some scouts to find D'Vorah. Then they're attacked by giant bugs and Kotal falls into the Kytinn Hive. There, he is defeated by D'Vorah and she attempts to kill him.

And Jade saves him.

Later, Jade and some warriors try to infiltrate a Tarkatan camp but they fail. So Kotal with his soldiers raids the camp and wants to execute the Tarkatans. Jade disagrees with him, so she gives him a beating and leaves him unconscious.

Shao Kahn and his troops arrive, and he was probably wondering what the fuck happened. But he takes Kotal prisoner anyway.

Now we're in Chapter 7. Back at the Kolosseum, is now Kotal who faces execution.

But Kitana arrives with Baraka, Sheeva and their troops. During the battle, Kotal escapes and tries to attack Shao Kahn from behind. However, Shao Kahn KICKS HIS ASS and cripples him!

When Shao Kahn is about to deal the fatal blow, Kitana steps in and saves Kotal.

And Kitana defeats Shao Kahn.

Then Kotal hands the Kahn title to her, just like that. Kitana Kahn!


Mortal Kombat 11 - Aftermath

In Chapter 14, the group led by Shang Tsung is trying to reach the Soul Chamber to revive Sindel.

They see Kotal using the Soul Chamber to heal his wounds. However, he gets angry when he sees Shang Tsung and wants to kill him. Sheeva overpowers Kotal and defeats him.

In Chapter 16, Kitana's ship is attacked by the shokans led by Sindel and Shao Kahn.

During the battle you can see Kotal killing some shokans before trying to fight Shao Kahn again. And then... Shao Kahn kicks the shit out of Kotal.

Blow after blow, it's not a fight anymore.

Then, in Chapter 17 the ship reaches the shore where the armies are waiting for them.

Someone tosses Kotal's head out of the ship...

Kotal has been killed off screen.

His warriors cheer when they see Sindel and Shao Kahn. Not a single one of them seems to have a problem with this.

Kotal is dead.


At this point is like a recurring joke.

Kotal tries to fight someone. Loses. Another character steps in to save him.

Until... nobody was there to save him.

In MKX his behaviour starts to get more erratic and he acts like an incompetent as the story goes on. He does some silly shit, and there is no coming back from losing against a Kombat Kid in Chapter 4 after showing off in Chapter 2 and looking all tough.

But in MK11 he is on another level. He fails everytime. Even in his own chapter he has to be saved by Liu Kang and Raiden.

I don't know why they chose this approach to Kotal Kahn. I believe that they intended to make him look like a joke. He is a character with narrative weight, he isn't a goon or a background character. That's what separates him from characters like Reptile, Erron Black or Skarlet.
We know Reptile, Erron Black and Skarlet never win a single fight. But they do not have narrative weight. They're just enforcers to some bad guy. Kotal Kahn on the other hand was the KAHN OF OUTWORLD, he was supposedly a respected general and a capable warrior.

His head flying from the ship was like the punch line of his story.

"In a broader sense, "punch line" can also refer to the unexpected and funny conclusion of any performance, situation or story." -Wikipedia.

So, what do you think?

Are you as puzzled as a I am about this character?
They did him real dirty in Aftermath. Legitimately upset me because he's my favourite character in the series. I think he was done well in MKX and MK11 because we got to see his real character through his interactions and how he responded to things, but he was just kinda there in Aftermath. Dunno why he had to be kicked while he was already down like that.


Give all to another and save yourself
Kotal is given absolutely nothing to do. Its even worse when they seem to be bending over backwards to show how weak and vulnerable he is. Watching his head roll down the ramp was the worst.

To be fair, the only MKX newcomer to be given a good shot was D'Vorah. Interesting aesthetic, interesting moveset, recurring villain role without being a jobber.

Erron had potential but he was a lackey in MKX and is a lackey in MK11 too.


Lord of embers
Kotals your average run of the mill blue chipper the chuck palumbo of mk. Seriously thank you I've never laughed so hard


TYM's #1 L taker.
Just posted in the other thread but I'm real disappointed and upset since he's one of my favorite characters. But at the same time I don't think he's been done as dirty as other characters, we've seen and been told of his clout.

He was Sindel's Bodyguard, and then locked in the flesh pits because he was seen as a possible threat. He killed the king of the Shokan, and crippled Goro and Rain. He was able to amass allies and stage a coup against Mileena's rule. He bridged a decent alliance between earthrealm and outworld. Fought off an assassination attempt by Kano, Tanya, Rain and Mileena. And when Shao Kahn appears in his kolliseum he isn't afraid and doesn't back down from the fight.

But then everytime we see him in the story outside of his chapters, he's losing a battle and being an incompetent leader. For someone who is played up to be strong enough to be the Kahn of outworld it's lame.

I wouldn't say he's the most humiliated Mortal Kombat character though, maybe second place since MK4 Reptile is a thing.

Afk Skinny

bUt KiTaNa AlReAdY hAz HeR SaI!!
When even his OWN forces cheered, I couldn't help but laugh at how dirty they did him. He's like the fucking Night King, such high expectations, just to be meant with disappointment. I think nrs is the best at making a mockery of their own characters


Here's to hoping.
I also don't get it. I think they did a good job establishing his personality in the cutscenes in both games, and I really enjoy him as a character. But they undercut it so much by having him lose every single fucking fight. It's really hard to take him serious after that. Kinda sad.
He's supposed to be honorable, charismatic, and strong, that's why Shao feared him.

His forces quickly forget about him, denying all the good he has done for them, and cheer for Shao Khan who was nothing but a ruthless tyrant.

It's really a shame, he doesn't deserve this, people say Baraka and Reptile, but they are not as selfless as Kotal is, he genuinely cares for others and does what's best for all, even willing to give up power if it means unification of outworld.
Kotal is why I've just given up believin the writers want to do anything legit/interesting, which is a shame becuase MK really does have all the right parts to do something way better than "look protags chasing a mcguffin!"

MK9 did a nice job of rebooting the series and giving it some teeth. Shao Khan finally felt like a legit badass/threat, and a big deal. Not just some jobber with a hammer.

When i heard about Kotal for MKX i was super hype. This is the badass who's going to replace Shao, and he's based on Mayan/Aztec influences? Shit should be knocked out of the park, and they've got a lot of room to play with.

He was more good guy than i'd hoped, but whatever, still fun. And then they let a Kombat Kid baraka him. It was literally right there i snapped back to "right, yeah, fighting game, plot is noise in the way of playing". It's just so...lame. It's a bad way to establish your Kung Jin, its a terrible way to establish Kotal, and its throwing away boatloads of potential all so that you get an easier script.

I had 0 expectations for MK 11 and all I can say is it's a good thing I did, especially in relation to Kotal. Maybe not as egregious in my eyes but giving him the protag conflicted lovers plot copy pasted from whatever is again just such a huge waste. Oh well. Least the dude fights like he's not a villain of the week.
Yes on Twitter someone “spoiled“ me and said kotal Kahn is still a jobber. It didn’t even bother me that I was spoiled cuz I expected it. And even after seeing the story it was exactly what I expected
I really like Kotal Kahn, I think he's one of the most interesting of the new characters from the last two games. He's honourable, confident, and a warrior. However, it's clearly shown again and again that while he does indeed care for his people, he's not the best decision maker when it comes to being a ruler.

An excellent warrior and battle commander, yes. And excellent political leader, not so much. He has a solid track record of making really bad leadership decisions in both games, and the official Mortal Kombat X comics.

He is also no Shao Kahn, few other characters in the franchise are, and far more easily beaten than Shao ever was.

Being in such a position of power though, you're going to see, and fight him more.
I really like the IDEA of Kotal. Great visual design, cool gameplay. I love the personality. A good man ruling a violent, conquering horde of an empire and struggling to remain a good man in the face of what it takes to do that. Excellent voice casting. There's a lot here to like.

But then he does get done dirty by the writing. It's not even that he loses, necessarily. It's that he ALWAYS loses, it seems. Kung Jin is the biggest offender. I'm actually not that bothered by his loss later in MKX when he attacks Earthrealm. He wasn't fully in his right mind anymore, on the edge of panic in the face of Shinnok's seemingly inevitable victory. But Kung Jin is just awfully hard to get past.

MK11 actually does a pretty good job with Kotal, honestly. At least at first. It at least tries to justify his defeats. He gets to beat Shao Khan 1 on 1, before Shao escapes. His loss to Jade is due to his feelings for her, as he's holding back and she isn't. He loses the rematch to Shao, but he's Shao Khan, so again, I'm no that upset by that. The fight can go either way between the two, and this one went badly for Kotal, fine.

The stuff with giving Kitana the empire also doesn't bother me that much. Kotal is newly crippled, leaving him very much exposed to danger as the Khan. And Kitana has just done the impossible and united the major players of Outworld to a single cause.

All of his losses in Aftermath can be chalked up to still being weak or not fully healed. Even his final defeat comes at the hands of Shao and Sindel, who are portrayed as being utterly unstoppable together (they are meant to echo Fire God Liu Kang in the main story mode, where Liu plus Raiden is just unbeatable).

But then you get that moment where his head is thrown off the ship. Ok, Shao Khan is winning the story mode, that's actually not that bad. But then his whole army cheers and switches sides? What? Which goes back to the problem. He beats Shao Khan in their first head to head, but otherwise, how often does Kotal win? The guy is like 8-20 or something sad in story mode matchups. It's fine if you want him to lose, but in order to keep him from being a joke he needs to win almost as often. (See, Raiden, Liu Kang et al)

Dankster Morgan

she don’t call me daddy she call me Grandmaster
It is really really awful, why even put him in the game? Why do characters like Kitana get such special treatment now? Sindel decides not to execute her in Aftermath when she had no problem gutting her in MK9. Kotal just gets cucked at every turn and it's really frustrating.

Dankster Morgan

she don’t call me daddy she call me Grandmaster
A lot of characters lose fights without it coming off as disrespectful. Sub, Scorpion, Kung Lao, Jade, and a couple others lose quite a few fights but they don't end up looking like tools.
It is really really awful, why even put him in the game? Why do characters like Kitana get such special treatment now? Sindel decides not to execute her in Aftermath when she had no problem gutting her in MK9. Kotal just gets cucked at every turn and it's really frustrating.
For Sindel, she was under Quan Chi's spell at the time, which was to obey Shao Kahn without question. Shao Kahn wanted Raiden and his allies dead, which included Kitana. Their souls would go to the NetherRealm, Shao Kahn's terms of "payment" to Quan Chi for NetherRealm's assistance in conquering Earth Realm.

Now she's resurrected and free, and clearly a manipulator. She seems to enjoy breaking people, and that's what she's doing to Kitana now.
I was done liking Kotal story wise when Sheeva choked him out and put him to sleep in aftermath. He gets no respect and now he is a joke character.
Yeah this got me annoyed. Kotal BODIED Goros Dad, and Goro as well. It's fair that my boy Shao stomped Kotal, because to be fair - Shao is one of the only characters who could do it.

That being said, Kotal is right up there in terms of strength and ability, yet got washed time after time - no way could Sheeva 'restrain' Kotal, but alot of his L's in this game (D'vorah, Jade lol), and MKX (Kung Jin, XD) are just silly. They need to do him better because right now he is almost King jobber himself.