Making his debut in Mortal Kombat 3, Cyrax was one of the three cybernetic ninjas created by the Lin Kuei, in an effort to convert all members into unfeeling, cold-hearted, cybernetic assassins to improve their performance. Of all the three cyborgs, Cyrax appears to be specialized in Hand-to-Hand Combat. He was assigned to hunt down the renegade, former Lin Kuei member Sub-Zero as designated unit LK-4D4. Of the three cyborgs, he has become the first to recover his humanity. This is due to the efforts made by Sonya Blade and Jax Briggs. He has currently allied with them as a token of his appreciation. In the alternate timeline of MK 2011, he was automated and dutifully serves the Lin Kuei, but was visibly opposed to the process before being presumably automated against his will.
Cyrax debuted as a palette swap of the cyborg ninja character with a yellow sheen, sporting bright armor and a helmet that slightly protrudes forward to produce a crude beak and wires from the back of his head. In Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance, Cyrax gains a redesign, courtesy of the Special Forces, now featuring new, shining armor, as well as a heartbeat regulator on his chest. In the latest Mortal Kombat, Cyrax is given an entire overhaul featuring more armor plating and visible scratches thanks to graphical improvements as well as green eyes. His chest cavity also opens up to reveal an energy core. His helmet is also almost changed completely, still possessing the crude beak-like appearance. Underneath, the robotic shell reveals Cyrax to have dark skin. He bleeds oil this time around too, much like in MK Deception and Deadly Alliance, represented by a dark bluish-black/black color.
He and his robotic counter-parts, Sektor and Smoke, began as palette-swapped characters to work around technical limitations to increase the number of playable characters. Since their appearances in the MK3 series, each character's appearance has evolved independently. Of late, they have only appeared in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon together all in robotic form. While Sektor and Cyrax were playable in Mortal Kombat Gold, only Cyrax was playable in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, while Sektor appeared in Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition. Smoke was playable as part of a tag-team with Noob Saibot in Mortal Kombat: Deception. However, they all have returned for Mortal Kombat: Armageddon as individual characters. However in Mortal Kombat (2011) Sektor, Cyrax and Smoke (through a free DLC) are also all playable in robotic form, also in Mortal Kombat X in a DLC form Sektor, Cyrax and Smoke fuse together to make Triborg (Cyber Sub-Zero as well).
Initially, fans speculated that Cyrax was a robotic Scorpion, because of the latter's absence from MK3, their similar color schemes, and similar moves that involved hauling an opponent towards them for a free hit.
In the development stage of Mortal Kombat 3, Cyrax and Sektor were referred to as "Mustard and Ketchup" before their names were finalized. Cyrax has separate combos in the Sambo style in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance named Ketchup and Mustard, a reference to this.
Cyrax's face was first seen in-game during Mortal Kombat Gold. His alternate costume depicted him in the same outfit, but lacking the front of his mask. Although he stated he was human again after the process Jax and Sonya performed on him, he is clearly still a cyborg in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, giving a plausible explanation as to why he still bleeds oil or "black blood" in the game. While Cyrax's normal outfit in Deadly Alliance shows him more robotic than human, his alternate costume shows him to be almost completely human with cybernetic parts in his body, although his "being human again" probably just refers to him regaining his memories and conscience, as he will always have cybernetic implants in his body no matter what, making him a cyborg.
In most Mortal Kombat games, Cyrax bleeds a black oil (except during fatalities), a contrast to other characters whose blood is red or green.
Cyrax's Mortal Kombat Gold storyline – being recovered from the desert by the Lin Kuei and sent once more to kill Sub-Zero – was contradicted by Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance's Konquest Mode, which stated that he was "recovered by Special Forces agents Sonya Blade and Jackson Briggs." It is interesting to note that this seems to acknowledge an unused bio for him that appeared in Prima's official strategy guide for Gold, which does state he was rescued by Special Forces and reprogrammed to fight on the side of good against Shinnok. Cyrax is seen trapped in the sand in the background of Jade's Desert stage in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, despite also being a playable character. This foreshadows his ending in that particular game.
Cyrax's self-destruct fatality, initiated via his arm console, closely resembles that of another fictional character: the titular antagonist from the Arnold Schwarzenegger film, Predator. Certain elements of both characters' armor, such as the faceplate, dreadlocks, and net weapon are also similar. Fans have widely considered Cyrax, along with the other cyborgs, to be some sort of homage to the character.
In Deadly Alliance, Cyrax’s Pulse Blade weapon had a blue colored blade. In Armageddon, the blade was changed to green. This is likely a homage to the Star Wars films, where the main character Luke Skywalker has a blue lightsaber and then, in a later film, constructs a green one.
Powers and abilities
As a cybernetic ninja, Cyrax is well-equipped, both in martial arts involving ninjutsu and weaponry. Cyrax houses a number of weapons in his chest cavity designed for both incapacitating and destroying targets. Of the three cyborg ninjas, Cyrax is most associated with bombardment, his arsenal full of timed explosives with a seemingly unlimited supply. He also has access to an 'energy net' capable of incapacitating his targets completely. When his soul was returned to him, not only did Cyrax retain some of his cybernetic parts, he was also outfitted with state-of-the-art technology, courtesy of the Outworld Investigation Agency. Cyrax was now equipped with a portable device that would allow him to freely traverse across the realms without the need of stationary portals. In addition, his armor is heat-resistant, as he was able to completely submerge himself in molten rock without severely damaging himself in the process. His net weapon was replaced with a buzzsaw-like appendage, used for mid-range combat. Cyrax is also able to relocate himself across short distances by separating all of his limbs and head as his torso would transport to a different area where all of the discarded limbs would rejoin.
In Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Cyrax fires a similar net, but it is compromised of nanomachines that completely eat the flesh, blood, and organs of any unlucky targets, completely destroying them without even leaving the marrow behind.
- Energy Net: Cyrax fires a green energy net from his chest which ensnares the opponent temporarily. In MK 2011, his human form launches it from his hand rather than his chest. The move is also called Net. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MKG, MK 2011, MK11)
- The enhanced version is called Electro Net and will drain the opponent's Super Meter as long as they are ensnared.
- Detonator: Cyrax drops a bomb from his chest compartment in front of him, which explodes after a couple of seconds. He can shoot the bomb either far or near. In MK 2011, his human form takes it from his belt and throws it. It is also known simply as Bomb in MK 2011. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MKG, MK:DA, MK:A, MK 2011, MK11)
- The enhanced version is called Sticky Bomb, in which Cyrax throws a bomb with three spears and a slight rocket propulsion, that pierces the opponent and then explodes.
- In MK11, the amplified version takes less time to explode, or will explode on impact should it make contact with the opponent. The juggle effects remain the same.
- Teleport: Cyrax vanishes and reappears behind the opponent. In Mortal Kombat Gold, Cyrax can follow up with a special throw after teleporting. In MK 2011, his human form replaces it with a smoke bomb teleport. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MKG, MK:A, MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Bangport. Cyrax causes an explosion when teleporting, which can hit the opponent.
- Air Throw: Cyrax can throw his opponent when his opponent is in the air. In Mortal Kombat Gold, Cyrax can perform this move even if his opponent is not in the air. In MK 2011, this is called Anti-Air. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MKG, MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Power Anti-Air and allows Cyrax to grab his opponent from a farther distance.
- Funky Spin Kicks: Cyrax performs a spin kick while balancing on one of his legs. In Armageddon, his leg seems to be on fire while doing this. (MK:DA, MK:A)
- Reverse Kick: Cyrax performs a reverse kick to his opponent, sending him/her on the other side. (MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Donkey Kick and lets Cyrax slide in with a second kick before kicking them into the air.
- Ragdoll: After performing Reverse Kick, Cyrax grabs his opponent in mid air, and throws them down on the ground. (MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Ragdolls.
- Slice and Dice: Cyrax opens his chest compartment and a giant sawblade emerges. In MK 2011, his human form takes it out from his armbands. In MK 2011, it is simply known as Buzzsaw. (MK:DA, MK:A, MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Saw Blade and allows Cyrax to detach the saw and use it as a projectile.
- X-Ray Move - Cyberdriver: Cyrax launches his opponent up into the air with a bomb, which causes them to flip upside down. He then teleports up to them and kicks them causing the spine and ribs to break. He then grabs the opponent, while they are still upside down, and pile-drives them into the ground, shattering pieces of their skull and neck with his foot on top of their head. (MK 2011)
- Throw: Cyrax grabs his opponent, pulls them forward, then takes out a bomb which he beats him/her over the head with twice, then detonates it. (MK 2011)
- Throw: Cyrax's original throw was a flip-piledriver which caused his foe to bounce for an additional hit. (MK3, MKT)
- One-Two: Cyrax lunges forward with a punch, then takes a quick swipe with his hand saw. (MK 2011)
- Bomb Punch: Cyrax strikes his foe in the head with a bomb, causing it to detonate in his hand (while not hurting him at all) & bouncing his foe up for a juggle. An extremely deadly move in high-level play. (MK 2011)
- Grab Punches: More like an unblockable combo-sequence than a standalone move, Cyrax will grab his foe & punch them three times, stunning them briefly. (MK 2011)
- Throw: Cyrax forces the opponent to the ground, turns his hand into a buzz saw, and slice them from the chest to the waist and then throws them away on the ground, sliding them forward. (MK11)
- Self-Destruct: Cyrax uses his arm console to activate a timed self-destruct mechanism. He detonates, killing his opponent. This move was used as Smoke's hara-kiri in Deception. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MKG)
- Helicopter: Cyrax spins his head like a helicopter with the 'hair' serving as the blades before flying up off screen. He appears a second later above the opponent headfirst as he descends upon the victim and slashes them to bits from head to toe before flying off screen and reappearing via Exploding Teleport (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Super Bomb: Cyrax lays down a bomb that blows the opponent into pieces (MK3) (Game Gear and Master System versions only)
- Armageddon: Copied wholesale from Smoke. Cyrax opens his chest cavity and releases an absurd amount of explosives. The screen then moves to a shot of the Earth a few moments before it explodes. (MKG)
- Internal Grinder: Cyrax opens up his chest cavity to reveal a large mechanical arm. Using it, he grabs a hold of the victim by the head and slams them onto the ground three times before pulling them into his own body. During the time inside of his body, Cyrax grinds the body into pieces before turning around and spewing out the remains. In Mortal Kombat Tournament Edition for the GBA, Cyrax slams the opponent twice, with the second slam killing the opponent. (MK:DA)
- Buzz Kill: Cyrax turns his hand into a sawblade and slices his opponent with it. Cyrax finishes the job by kicking the opponent, making him/her fall down in pieces. In his alternate human form, the sawblade comes out from one of his armbands. (MK 2011)
- Nothing but Net: After entering some coordinates into his arm module, Cyrax fires an energy net that passes straight through the enemy. The opponent screams as they see their arms fall off, then fall to pieces shortly afterward. In his alternate human form, the net is obtained from his pocket. (MK 2011)
- Friendship: Do the Charleston: Cyrax dances the Charleston. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Animality: Cyber-Jaws: Cyrax turns into a shark and ingests the opponent. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Babality: He plays with one of his explosives rolling it and giggling. It then explodes, and Cyrax starts to cry. If the Babality is done on Cyrax's human form, he will cry out normal tears instead of oil. (MK 2011)
Appearances in other media
Cyrax briefly appears in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. The storyline involving his connection to the Lin Kuei was eschewed in favor of him being sent by Shao Kahn, the emperor of Outworld, to kill Sonya Blade and Jax Briggs. After entering the research facility which Jax was being held, Cyrax engages Jax in battle whilst Sonya deals with the extermination squad accompanying Cyrax. Cyrax's body self-destructs after Sonya incinerates him with a variation of her "Kiss of Death" Fatality. In the film, he displays the ability to shoot tiny, spike-studded grenades and a corrosive, green plasma net - seemingly capable of rapidly and completely disintegrating organic matter, but is successfully and harmlessly blocked by Jax's cybernetic arms. His abilities as a ruthless martial arts fighting machine are shown, as he dominates Jax for almost the entirety of their confrontation. His name is not mentioned; he is just referred to as "a robot" by Sonya in a later part of the film. During the end credits, however, he is identified as Cyrax.
Cyrax appears in Mortal Kombat Legacy, portrayed by Shane Warren Jones. He is first seen being escorted to a facility where he and Sektor argue about the Cyber Initiative protesting it to be the end of the clan due to its submissive nature. His face is seen bleeding with a few bruises, indicating that he was taken by force, either by Lin Kuei agents or Sektor himself. They are first tested against two well-trained Lin Kuei agents and pass with flying colors. They are immediately brought in for cybernetic enhancements which includes removing their emotions but keeping their memories so they would become fully obedient. Their lower legs are removed before the armor is installed (using the MK 2011 model) onto their bodies where they are then tested in kombat against Project Hydro. At first Hydro seems to have the upper hand, but Cyrax pulls through and soon, he and Sektor quickly overwhelm the cyborg ninja, before performing a Fatality on him with a forked blade from his wrist.
Cyrax, along with the fellow cyborg Sektor, was shown in non-canonical human form in an episode of the cartoon, Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm. In the first episode, "Kombat Begins Again", Sektor and Cyrax led an attack on Earthrealm that was thwarted by Earth's warriors including the Lin Kuei warrior Sub-Zero.
Cyrax and Sektor were both shown in human form in this episode: Cyrax, ironically, as an Asian male, and Sektor as an African-American male. Cyrax's human look has since been contradicted by official renders and outfits in the main games where he appears as an African man from Botswana. Sektor´s human form is featured as an alternate costume in the new game, also contradicting his look in this series. The games eventually revealed that their races were reversed in the TV series.
Mortal Kombat (2011)
- "Safeties disabled, combat mode engaged." (Battle Cry; Cyborg form)
- "I'll kill you if I have to." (Battle Cry; Human form)
- "Your inferior clan is dead! Soon, you will join them."(To Scorpion)
- "Your obsession with Sub-Zero ends here!" (To Scorpion)
- "Scorpion will pay for this!" (after Scorpion has killed the Elder Sub-Zero)
- "His own doing?!" (To Raiden)
- "I am among those speaking out against the Grand Master's plan. Surgically transform the Lin Kuei into glorified robots? It kills our intuition, our instincts." (To Raiden)
- "We were invited by Shang Tsung."
- "My loyalty is to the Grand Master."
- "What are you doing? I'm not here to fight you. I'm assigned to kill Johnny Cage!" (To Sheeva)
- "I need to have a talk with your master." (After defeating Sheeva)
- "You mean to finish me? You couldn't even stop the actor." (To Baraka)
- "Now this fight is over!" (After defeating Baraka)
- "Shang Tsung has turned on me, I need to find out why."
- "Sektor, we need to talk. Our host tried to have me killed."
- "That should shut you up!" (After defeating Johnny Cage)
- "I won't kill him!" (Referring to Johnny Cage, sparing his life)
- "I eliminated him from the tournament. He didn't need to die." (discussing Johnny Cage with Sektor)
- "I used my judgment!"
- "We're not machines, Sektor. I chose to serve the Lin Kuei, but I will not surrender my free will!"
- "Tell the Grand Master, I am finished." (after defeating Sektor)
- "You are ordered to return to the Lin Kuei temple for assimilation." (As a cyborg, to Sub-Zero)
- "I am Lin Kuei Unit LK-4D4. You will come with me." (To Sub-Zero)
- "The Lin Kuei's loyalty and services." (In response to Kahn's question as to what he gets if he allows them to detain Sub-Zero)
- "My speed and skill are beyond you." (To Nightwolf)
Mortal Kombat 11
- "We require additional candidates for cyberization."
- "To better serve her, Sub-Zero. We defend Kronika as she re-writes history."
- "We act to secure the Lin Kuei's glory in the New Era."
- "You will be forced to serve." (To Hanzo Hasashi)
- "No. He ripped out my heart. Made me a machine." (Time-displaced cyborg Cyrax, after being freed by Sub-Zero)
- "Kuai Liang, is that you? You look so old. And Scorpion?" (Addressing to Sub-Zero and surprised by his age and Scorpion's appearance)
- "I can disable their communications network. It'll shut down this factory and every Cyber Lin Kuei connnected to it."
- "I'm in. I'll reformat the system drives and shut us all down. Goodbye, Kuai Liang."
- "Please, don't bring me back as a machine. I can't live like this."
- "Then until we meet again."
- Cyrax and Sektor's design was in part inspired by Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Predator (1987).
- When Cyrax performs his Buzz Saw fatality in Mortal Kombat 2011, music plays when he kicks the torso off of the opponent.
- Of all of the cyborg characters, he is the only one in MK3, UMK3 and MKT to have a different fighting stance and victory pose.
- According to his Deadly Alliance Konquest text box, Cyrax loathes Johnny Cage's films and "felt especially robbed of his eight bucks when he saw Johnny's film, Ninja Mime".
- In the opening movie to Armageddon, Cyrax emits the same soundbite used for all cyborg ninjas in MK3 when they take damage when he is knocked off by Sheeva. Fans have often misinterpreted this soundbite as him saying "Screw You!"
- Cyrax was dubbed "Mustard" during early development of MK3.
- In early versions of MK: Armageddon, Hapkido was supposed to be his unarmed fighting style.
- In Deadly Alliance, Cyrax is the only character without a death scream.
- In a game over message in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, it says, "Who will win, Stryker or Cyrax?"
- Actual game footage of Cyrax in MK3 using the name Mustard was used in his Bio Kard.
- In addition to his Bio Kard, Cyrax is seen launching three time bombs at once as opposed to the two that can be launched at a time.
- Cyrax's Sambo fighting style in Deadly Alliance is one of the fighting styles not used by any character in Armageddon, not even in Kreate-A-Fighter mode.
- Although Cyrax's armor is said to be heat-resistant (as stated above), he can still be defeated by being knocked into a death trap with lava. However, this is just a gameplay mechanic.
- Cyrax's Self-Destruct Fatality (along with Smoke's Armageddon Fatality) may be something of a precursor to the Hara-Kiri from Mortal Kombat: Deception.
- In Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance´s Krypt, an advertisement for the fictional self-help book "Feelings" can be obtained and found. Cyrax says it teaches him how to get in touch with his human side.
- When facing Jax Briggs and Sonya Blade in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Cyrax says, "Death is the only way out." This was also the name of the song, by Joseph Bishara, that played during the battle.
- In MK 2011, it was mentioned that although he is loyal to the Lin Kuei, he will not surrender his own free will. This is seen when Cyrax takes Raiden's advice and spares Johnny Cage.
- Cyrax is one of the two playable characters in Mortal Kombat (2011)´s Story Mode who aren't aligned with the forces of good, the other being Scorpion.
- In MK3, Cyrax can be seen stuck in the sand on the desert stage. This is a reference to his arcade ending. In MK 2011, at random times a classic model of Cyrax can be seen in the desert as well.
- In MK 2011, Cyrax's human form was given unique animations for his special moves and thus showed off his fighting prowess before he was automated. In this case, Cyrax utilized special orbs that contained a special explosive substance that activated when the shell was burst open and also had the ability to use high-speed movements to escape his opponents while leaving behind a puff of smoke. This was in stark contrast to Sektor utilizing modern day weaponry.
- Cyrax, along with Sektor, are the only two characters with two different battle cries and health bar images (one for the cyborg form, and one for the human form). Cyrax also has several differences between his two versions which make them seem almost like two different characters in high-level play.
- In MK 2011, when Cyrax does his victory pose and Armless Kombat is on, he will not be able to hold the bomb inside his chest and it will fall to the ground and explode.
- In a Top 10 list hosted by Screwattack.com, Cyrax was listed at #6 for Best Mortal Kombat Characters in the Mortal Kombat Series.
- In Mortal Kombat: Legacy, Cyrax stays true to his MK 2011 design, but has claws in his hands instead of buzz saws.
- His Kombat victory pose is one of the only three in which the character leaves the Battle Arena. The others being Scorpion's and Nightwolf's.
- In MK 2011, Cyrax is one of the only five characters whose the victory pose is in a 3D model. The others being Sub-Zero, Reptile, Freddy Krueger and Mileena.
- Cyrax is one of the seven characters who does not fight against a tag team in their chapter in Story Mode. The others being Johnny Cage, Jax, Sub-Zero, Jade, Stryker and Nightwolf.
- Cyrax, Cyber Sub-Zero and Sektor are the only playable cyborgs in Mortal Kombat (2011). "Infantry" cyborgs are seen as non-playable opponents in several Challenge Tower levels.
- Despite being the shortest of the cyborg ninjas, he is the heaviest.
- Technically, Cyrax should be eliminated from the tournament in Mortal Kombat (2011), once he and Sektor were defeated by Scorpion. However, he remains in the Kombat. It's probably justified by the motive he had to kill Johnny Cage and Shang Tsung gave him another chance.
- In Mortal Kombat: Legacy, it shows that the story might be going towards his Mortal Kombat 3 version, where he gets his emotions and fights for good. The evidence that supports this is: Cyrax coming back to consciousness during the process of removing his emotions, his rebellious behavior toward's the Cyborg Initiative, and, during his battle with Hydro, an announcer was heard saying "Project Cyrax offline.", suggesting that some human quailities might have returned.
- Cyrax was explicitly mentioned in a court case involving the death of a boy killed by his friend after they had supposedly played MK3. A fictitious fatality (attributed to how the boy was killed) where Cyrax held his foe in a headlock & stabbed them in the chest with a knife was noted in the court proceedings. The lawsuit was dropped in part to the fatality's non-existence & how it couldn't be proven that Mortal Kombat specifically encouraged the incident.
- In MK3, despite having been clearly stated in his biography to be soulless, Cyrax can still produce a soul during Kabal's Freaky Face Fatality. However, this is merely a gameplay mechanic.
- Cyrax is the only Lin Kuei assassin not mentioned at all in Mortal Kombat X with the exception of interactions with Triborg.
- Additionally, although Cyrax is not actually present in Mortal Kombat X, his abilities and appearance are used by the DLC character Triborg who also replicates the appearances and abilities of Sektor, Cyber Smoke and Cyber Sub-Zero.
- Triborg houses the consciousness of all four ninjas, and Cyrax's name is mentioned when interacting with Sub-Zero.
- In Injustice 2, Cyrax unit code (LK-4D4) was mentioned by Catwoman in order to override Brother Eye security defenses.
- Additionally in Injustice 2, although he is not mentioned by either Sub-Zero or Raiden who appear as guest characters, he is referenced as one of Sub-Zero's shaders, a yellow shader called Cyber Initiative.