Cyborgs are characters who have some parts of their body, or their entire body changed to cybernetic parts to improve their performance and abilities. This is done through a process commonly referred to as robotization or automation.
- Sektor (unit LK-9T9): Was the first to undergo the process of automation through the Cyber Initiative program, where he would prove to be their biggest success. The Lin Kuei programmed the cyborgs to do their bidding, and Sektor's main objective was to seek out and kill Sub-Zero, who left the clan after refusing to be transformed into a machine. Sektor was devoid of a soul, lost all human emotions, and has never succeeded in his mission.
- Cyrax (unit LK-4D4): Was the second Lin Kuei warrior who was turned into a cyborg. However, Cyrax was captured by Sub-Zero, reprogrammed, and permanently malfunctioned. He was then found by Sonya Blade and Jax Briggs, and was partially returned to his human state. In gratitude, Cyrax joined the Special Forces.
- Smoke (unit LK-7T2): Was the third and only member of the clan to be forcefully transformed into a cyborg against his will. After returning from a mission, he and Sub-Zero learned of the Lin Kuei's plans to transform their members into robots. The two fled; Sub-Zero escaped, but Smoke was captured and forced to become a cyborg. Although Sub-Zero was eventually able to help him rediscover his humanity and restore him to the side of good, he was later captured in Outworld by Shao Kahn's army. Hopelessly imprisoned, he chose to shut himself down. Afterwards, Smoke was found by Noob Saibot and reactivated, along with some tampering of his machinery. The two would form a team called Noob-Smoke. Smoke was torn between serving his new master and searching for his lost humanity. As of the Battle of Armageddon, he appears to have been once again restored to the side of good by Sub-Zero.
- Sub-Zero (unit LK-52O): Replaced Smoke in Mortal Kombat (2011) due to Raiden's interferance. In this timeline, Smoke was saved, and Sub-Zero was turned into a cyborg against his will instead. He regained his soul almost right after automation when he engaged Kabal in kombat, and helped the Earthrealm Warriors. He was later killed by Sindel, with his soul afterwards being one of the many claimed by Quan Chi, who later restored him to his human form after deeming technology unreliable. Unlike the other Cyborgs, Cyber Sub-Zero's blood is blue instead of black; there is no in-game explanation for why that is, but the assumption can be made that it is likely some kind of refrigerant.
- Triborg: The last remaining cyborg of the Cyber Lin Kuei and the Cyber Initiative as a whole, with the ability to shape shift into four other previous Lin Kuei cyborgs; Sektor, Cyrax, Smoke and Cyber Sub-Zero. He seeks genocide to organic life forms and the reformation of the Cyber Lin Kuei and Cyber Initiative under his leadership.
- Frost: After her failed assassination attempt against Scorpion and later alienation from the Lin Kuei, Frost allied herself with Kronika, who promised her fame and recognition in her New Era. In addition to this, Kronika had Frost heavily cyberized in accordance with her plans to reawaken the Cyber Initiative.
- Hydro: He appeared in Mortal Kombat: Legacy, as a test presentation for Cyrax and Sektor. They completed their mission and killed him.
- Skarlet: Skarlet is converted into a cyborg by the Lin Kuei Cyber Initiative in a Challenge Tower on the PS Vita version of Mortal Kombat (2011).
- Unnamed Cyborgs: Multiple unidentified cyborgs appear in Triborg's Arcade Ending in Mortal Kombat X, including a red cyborg, two grey cyborgs, a green and yellow cyborgs.
- The Terminator: A cybernetic organism with living human tissue over its metallic endoskeleton built for infiltration and assassination missions by its creator, Skynet.
- RoboCop: Once a human police officer before was brutally killed in line of duty, Alex Murphy was later rebuilt as a cyborg through Omni Consumer Products.
- Unit 5: A black cyborg ninja, but is essentially a darkened version of Cyrax. Yet when his armor is appropriated by Reptile, it is essentially a green version of Cyber Sub-Zero.
It has never been clear as to how mechanical the automations truly are. In Mortal Kombat 3, a damaged cyborg sparks, and its skeleton is revealed. The skeleton is almost completely mechanical, aside from the rib cage and skull. The rest of the body is filled with odd mechanical parts and wires. This was about as complex as the cyborgs were at the time. In Mortal Kombat Gold, it was revealed that the cyborgs wore helmets and retained their faces underneath; Cyrax's alternate outfit and ending revealed this. His face had several implants on the eye and chin (which were removed in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance). Although Cyrax claimed to be human again in his Gold ending, he is still clearly mechanical as demonstrated by his abilities in Deadly Alliance, although this could be merely a figure of speech referring to regaining his humanity. In Mortal Kombat: Deception, however, Smoke's appearance does not allow the possibility of retaining flesh. This is most likely due to being remodeled from the nanomachines in his body. Sektor's level of cyberization has never been elaborated on, although Cyrax's Armageddon ending implies that it is possible for him and Smoke to return to their human forms with the power of Blaze. The X-Ray Moves in Mortal Kombat (2011) reveal that the Lin Kuei cyborgs retain their biological skeleton and organs, although this is muddled by certain Cyborgs' brains being exposed from within their helmets after taking enough damage.
In Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition, it is revealed that Sektor eventually creates his own clan of cybernetic warriors called the Tekunin. They are featured prominently in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon's Konquest mode, where Sektor captures the protagonist Taven and brings him aboard his Tekunin warship until later he and his clan were attacked by Sonya Blade and the Special Forces, thus enabled Taven to escaped his captors.
Cybernetically Enhanced Individuals
These individuals, while not completely cyberized like some of the cyborgs in the series, have cybernetic enhancements on their bodies, granting them additional abilities and improving the individuals as a whole.
- Kano: A Black Dragon criminal and mercenary, who has a metal plate over the right half of his face with a mechanical eye, capable of emitting laser beams & wireless interface in certain Arcade Endings. Kano would further galvanize his bionics, gaining a cyber heart implant similar to Hsu Hao for further augmentation.
- Jax Briggs: A Special Forces member who became a cyborg after his arms were ripped off by Ermac, his arms having been replaced with cybernetic metal arms.
- Hsu Hao: A Red Dragon spy, who has a pulsating cybernetic implant that also enhances his strength instead of a heart.
- Kabal: A Black Dragon criminal-turned-police officer, fitted with a cybernetic life support system after he was burned alive by Kintaro.
Behind the Scenes
According to John Tobias, the cyberninjas started with John wanting to do a haunted armor, somebody else had the idea to making it a robot. Although wasn't convincing at first, the idea had an opportunity when John used the part about the Lin Kuei using advanced tech from the MKII official comic to tie the robots as assassins for the Lin Kuei. One of the inspirations of the entire Sektor/Cyrax subplot (a.k.a Cyber Initiative) was the Tinman from The Wizard of Oz. Instead of full robots, they were former human members from the Lin Kuei and, like the Tinman, they longed to be human again (like Cyrax and Smoke in the first timeline).
The outfits used for the cyborg ninjas in MK3 were actually a mix of BMX motocross gear, hockey protection, duct tape, and rubber tubing with some custom alterations made for the ninja part. The only completely original element used was the helmet itself. Jax's cybernetic arms were actually painted onto actor John Parrish to give them a more fluid, high tech feel.
- On June 22nd, 2011, the first Compatibility Pack for Mortal Kombat (2011) was released as a free DLC patch for those who are not yet able to purchase the new DLC character Skarlet. Included in this pack are the MK3 skins for Sektor and Cyrax, making these costumes the first free character-related DLC. Cyber Sub-Zero also later received a MK3 style costume with the Freddy Krueger compatibility pack, making him the only non-classic character to receive a Klassic Costume.
- In every appearance they've made, the Lin Kuei Cyborgs bleed black fluid, supposedly oil, as opposed to red blood, with the exception of Cyber Sub-Zero in Mortal Kombat (2011).
- In Mortal Kombat (2011), Sektor, Cyrax and Cyber Sub-Zero are the only cyborgs with unique color schemes and designs. Every other Lin Kuei Cyborg uses a gray scale version of Cyrax or Sektor's design; no generic cyborg with Cyber Sub-Zero's design is ever seen. The design of these generic Cyborg Lin Kuei are thematically similar to the invading cyborgs from Mortal Kombat Defenders of the Realm.
- In Mortal Kombat (2011), although Sub-Zero replaces Smoke as the Lin Kuei Ninja automated against their will, Raiden briefly receives a vision showing Smoke being changed into a cyborg from the original timeline. In the vision, Cyber Smoke is represented by a gray scale Sektor, similar to the generic Lin Kuei cyborgs. However, John Vogel later acknowledged the cyborg frame used by Sub-Zero may in fact be the same frame used by Smoke in the original timeline. The design itself appears similar to Smoke's cyborg outfit in Mortal Kombat Deception and Mortal Kombat Armageddon.
- By viewing the battle damage models, one can discover that the head and brain are still somewhat intact through the shell, although small cybernetic implants have been installed as well as their eyeballs being replaced by robotic ones.
- Triborg is currently the first shape-shifting cyborg, being able to transform and completely manipulate the fighting styles of Sektor, Cyrax, Cyber Smoke and Cyber Sub-Zero from his databanks.
- Also, it is currently unknown who Triborg originally was.
- Triborg is the only complete cyborg as a playable character in Mortal Kombat X.
- Frost is the first female cyborg in the series.
- She is also the first Cyber Lin Kuei to keep her original head frame.
- Similar to Triborg in MKX, Frost is the only complete cyborg to be a playable character in Mortal Kombat 11.
- https://twitter.com/therealsaibot John Tobias addressing about the cyberninjas in his Twitter
- Mortal Kombat Memories: Development Tales from NetherRealm Studios – PlayStation.Blog