Mortal Kombat Wiki
Advertisement
Mortal Kombat Wiki

 
 
No, Liu Kang....thank you. Joining up with you really has changed the arcs of our lives.
 

 

—Johnny Cage to Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat 1

Biography

  • Mortal Kombat 1: "Like many stars before him, Johnny became addicted to his fame. He came to measure his self-worth by his fans' adoration and their praise of him on social media. But with his star now fading, Johnny is fighting an uphill battle to remain relevant. He joins Liu Kang's Earthrealm champions hoping that it will provide his career and his fame a desperately needed boost."

Storyline

In restarting the timeline, Liu Kang designed the fates of every inhabitant, including his old beloved friends & allies. John Carlton was one of the first of Liu Kang's newfound friends in his past life. Feeling that he needs a restart in the New Era, Liu Kang stripped him of his old supernatural powers and yet still remains the egotistical movie star he's always been under the name Johnny Cage. Not ready for him to meet Sonya Blade again, he places him married to a woman named Cristina, and acquiring the legendary sword Sento in his collection.

Mortal Kombat 1

At the start of Mortal Kombat 1, Johnny is seen filming Temple of Katara Vala. He returns to his estate with Cris, now his ex-wife, and has an argument with her about their relationship, with Cris eventually leaving him alone. Johnny then grabs a drink out of frustration & devastation, before hearing the sound of someone returning to his estate. Thinking it was Cris and becoming delighted, he is instead surprised at being confronted by a man in a suit wielding a katana, who demands Sento, claiming it as a family right. Johnny refuses to believe that the man is a member of the long-dead Taira clan, Sento's historical owners, and engages him in kombat, defeating him and knocking him unconscious.

Johnny ties the man to a chair and waits for him to awaken before beginning an interrogation, learning that the man's name is Kenshi Takahashi and that he seeks to redeem the Taira clan (not dead, but hiding their name behind "Takahashi") from their affiliation with the Bakuto, an early predecessor of the Yakuza. Johnny still refuses to believe Kenshi's story, but is interrupted by the sound of his doorbell ringing. When he goes to answer it hoping to be the police, however, he is stupefied by the bizarre appearances of his new guests - Liu Kang, Bi-Han, and Kuai Liang. Johnny is further dumbfounded by Liu Kang's claims to be a god of fire and a protector of "Earthrealm", as well as his need of both Johnny and Kenshi for an unknown purpose. To Johnny, the entire affair appears to be a prank set by Cris, but when he attempts to stop Bi-Han from untying Kenshi, he is promptly kicked into a wall, causing the Hiculi sitting on a stack of nearby tables to tumble off and shatter on top of him. Now enraged that the "pranksters" have gone too far, Johnny swiftly defeats both Sub-Zero and Scorpion and demands they pay for the damage. However, all evidence of the intruders being nothing more than wackjobs is dispelled when Liu Kang stops the battle by igniting his form, triggering Johnny's fire alarm. While Kuai Liang finishes untying Kenshi, a thoroughly confused Johnny makes Liu Kang reintroduce himself. The mysterious deity reveals that both Johnny and Kenshi have been selected to join the champions of Earthrealm, and that doing so will change the arcs of their lives. To that end, Johnny and Kenshi travel to the Wu Shi Academy to join Raiden and Kung Lao for training.

Johnny trains with his new companions for several months and occasionally films the regimen on his phone (such as the test run of Kung Lao's new kombat hat), but grows tired of waiting for something exciting to happen, especially considering Liu Kang's promise. Additionally, he begins to have a rivalry with Kenshi, with each getting on the other's nerves (Johnny due to his occasional immaturity and Kenshi due to constantly trying to reclaim Sento). Finally, though, a gong is sounded, and Liu Kang reveals that the time has finally come for the tournament between Earthrealm and Outworld. However, due to Outworld hosting this time, only one champion from Earthrealm may participate, so Liu Kang sets up a mini-tournament between the four warriors to decide Earthrealm's representative. Raiden is chosen to step forward, and Johnny jokes about Liu Kang getting the weak ones out first, but is quickly silenced when Liu Kang reveals that Johnny will be the one to fight him. Regardless, Johnny prepares to fight Raiden, reminding the farmer of his superstar status and telling him he can't handle "this much boom" (Liu Kang rolling his eyes, knowing how similar Johnny is to his predecessors). However, the calm and collected Raiden beats Johnny, much to Kenshi's sarcastic delight.

Later that night, Johnny is seen with Kenshi joking about placing bets on Raiden and Kung Lao's fight, with Kenshi suggesting he bet Sento on the outcome and Johnny refusing him as usual. Once Raiden beats Kung Lao and is delegated as Earthrealm's champion, Johnny and the others witness Liu Kang present Raiden with an amulet imbued with the power of lightning, with Johnny filming Raiden testing his new powers out. Johnny, along with the rest of Liu Kang's posse, enter the latter's portal to the mystical Outworld.

The group arrives and meets Princesses Mileena and Kitana, much to Johnny's delight, as well as Tanya and the other Umgadi. As they are escorted to Empress Sindel's court via carriages, Johnny quickly starts filming whatever he can, up until their arrival to the palace itself, where he spectates Raiden's victories against Li Mei and Reiko. During that evening's banquet, Johnny quickly begins conversing with Kitana and is shocked to discover her lifespan, as well as that of other Outworlders. The next day, Johnny again spectates Raiden's final matches against Kitana (replacing Mileena) and General Shao, congratulating him afterwards as they return to Earthrealm.

Johnny is sent on a more precarious mission not long after the tournament ends, due to Liu Kang and Geras discovering the sorcerer Shang Tsung's potential interference in the peace between Earthrealm and Outworld. Along with Kung Lao and Kenshi, Johnny is tasked with covertly sneaking into Outworld and capturing Shang Tsung using a talisman attuned to his chi. Due to Johnny bringing Sento with him, he and Kenshi continue to quarrel as they travel, with Johnny boasting about his ownership and an angry Kenshi becoming fed up with his taunts and his own inability to save his clan. The trio stumble upon a Tarkatan Colony, where Shang Tsung and a band of Outworld soldiers attempt to corral rabid Tarkatans. One particular Tarkatan is held down so Shang Tsung can extract his bone marrow, but the Tarkatan and his people gain the upper hand. Stifling a yawn, Johnny is content with the beasts killing the sorcerer, but Kenshi reminds him that Liu Kang wants Shang Tsung alive, and so they defend Shang Tsung from the Tarkatans, though he escapes from their clutches with his shapeshifting. Surrounded by the Tarkatans, the group is saved by Kenshi's quick thinking and are introduced to Baraka, the leader of the colony and the one Shang Tsung extracted bone marrow from. The groups become allies, and Baraka offers to lead the Earthrealmers to Shang Tsung's laboratory since Liu Kang's talisman was broken in the prior skirmish.

Johnny and the others approach the laboratory, though Baraka cannot guarantee what awaits them inside. Kenshi tells Baraka to wait outside instead while he, Johnny and Kung Lao infiltrate it directly. Sneaking up to the second floor, they discover Shang Tsung, Tanya, and High Mage Rain observing an unconscious Mileena, tied to a medical recliner. Misreading the situation due to Shang Tsung's prior actions and his mentioning of Baraka's marrow to the others, the Earthrealmers believe Shang Tsung to be infecting Mileena with Tarkat, and reveal themselves to stop him (Johnny making an Alien joke completely unknown to all others present).

The Earthrealmers' plan goes completely awry upon the truth being revealed - Shang Tsung was, in fact, devising a cure for a Mileena who had already contracted Tarkat, and who now loses control of the affliction upon awakening. Kenshi and Johnny hold her off while Shang Tsung makes more serum, but fighting "Monster Mileena" without lethal action proves a difficult task. Johnny is nearly killed by the rabid princess, but Kenshi saves him at the cost of his eyes, which Mileena strikes with her nearby sais, much to Johnny's horror. The altercation ends with the arrival of Kitana, General Shao, his guard, and the Shokan Goro, who quickly incapacitates Johnny and Kung Lao before they can prove their case to Kitana. Unconscious, the Earthrealmers (and Baraka, whom Shao's party captured outside) are taken underground to Shang Tsung's real laboratory to be killed as part of the sorcerer's true, vile experiments.

In their jail cell, Johnny manages to rise and immediately rushes to Kenshi's side, aghast at what the swordsman now has to suffer through. Realizing the lengths Kenshi would go to in order to save him, Johnny promises to Kenshi that he will never forget his sacrifice, before Baraka alerts him to their horrendous surroundings. As Kung Lao also awakens, they meet their jailer, a shapeshifting Zaterran named Syzoth who was blackmailed into to working for Shang Tsung due to his family being at risk. Syzoth hands Johnny an eye balm that will dull Kenshi's pain. Ripping off the red cloth on his outfit, Johnny spreads the balm on it and wraps it around Kenshi's eyes as a blindfold, earning a sigh of relief from the swordsman.

After a cold-hearted visit from Shang Tsung, Syzoth is forced to sic a group of experimental Tarkatans on the warriors. While Kenshi is hopelessly thrown in a chamber, Johnny puts up a slightly better fight before being recaptured as well, with both humans being electrocuted by a machine. Baraka and Kung Lao (the latter having reclaimed his hat) fight their way through a Super Tarkatan to free them, and also defeat Syzoth in the process, who desperately asks to be killed knowing what will happen to his family since he failed to stop the group's escape. Baraka, however, sympathizes with Syzoth, and spares him knowing he would have done the same, while Johnny retrives Sento. Shang Tsung arrives to trigger a poisonous gas that quickly fills the room, revealing he had already dispatched of Syzoth's family long ago, and disappears while also locking the laboratory door. Recruiting the angered Zaterran, the group manages to escape thanks to Baraka's brute strength breaking the door down. In his despair, Kenshi asks that he be left behind to avoid slowing them down, but Johnny refuses to give up on him, reminding him that the Taira need him.

Once outside, Johnny and the others make plans to return to Earthrealm via the portal gate at Sun Do. Traversing through a colorful forest, Johnny is reminded of one of his movies, Wicked Planet, and is pleasantly surprised to hear Kenshi recount some of the movie's story himself. Baraka reveals their environment to be the Living Forest, a woodland full of good-natured souls, and notes the presence of some family members within. As they walk, they learn more about Syzoth's plight, and that Shang Tsung plots with General Shao and Rain for an unknown scheme. Their conversation is interrupted by demonic cries, which leads the group to Ashrah, a righteous demon of the Netherrealm. After a misunderstood battle, they join forces with her and learn about her history with Quan Chi, another vile sorcerer who plots with Shang Tsung. The group decides to change directives and hunt down Quan Chi, since he could lead them to Shang Tsung. Though Johnny is more concerned about getting Kenshi back to Earthrealm safely, Kenshi insists on the former plan, so Johnny relents. Guided by Ashrah's enchanted kriss, they continue traveling. Much to Johnny's disgust, Syzoth eats an insect in human form.

Eventually, they stumble upon Quan Chi and his cohorts, where Quan Chi begins powering a soul stealer that will drain the Living Forest entirely. Led by Ashrah, they prepare to attack, but Johnny stops Kenshi before he can join them, under the pretense that he will indeed trip them up in battle. Johnny confiscates Kenshi's sword, but in return, finally hands him his beloved Sento, reaffirming that he is forever grateful Kenshi saved his life. Johnny and the others fight Quan Chi's cohorts, Johnny taking on Darrius, but the battles are interrupted by Quan Chi's completion of the soul stealer, which leaves the Living Forest in ruins. Quan Chi amalgamates the collected souls into a single being known as Ermac, who quickly begins overpowering the heroes, immediately thrashing Johnny and knocking him unconscious. In a sudden twist, the voices of Kenshi's ancestors emanate from Sento and grant him mystical senses that allow him to see and fight back against Ermac, siphoning some of the construct's souls and stealing his power for itself. With the newly-empowered Kenshi's help, Ashrah defeats Ermac and breaks the soul stealer, releasing the souls (one of which knocks Quan Chi out by draining his energy). Johnny regroups with the others and comments on the reveal of Sento's abilities, jokingly reminding Kenshi not to forget who gave him the sword. Kenshi likewise promises he won't forget.

Arriving in Sun Do during a nighttime festival, the group disguises themselves and the unconscious Quan Chi as partygoers using various costumes Johnny stole. Ashrah is less than thrilled about her hat, but Johnny claims it suits her. Kenshi expresses concern that hauling Quan Chi with them may attract suspicion, but Johnny likens the sorcerer to a drunk Mardi Gras fan. Syzoth, having surveyed the festivities from the rooftops, prepares a distraction for them to enter the portal and demonstrates his invisibility, which an impressed Johnny likens to Yautja's cloak from Predator.

As Syzoth begins distracting Outworld security (Kenshi splitting with the group to help him fight), Johnny and the others close in on the portal gate, but are pursued by General Shao and his minions. Quan Chi begins to come to, so Johnny and Kung Lao beat him up before Shao closes in and Quan Chi manages to stagger off. With Syzoth and Kenshi swinging back down from a building to join them in battle, both parties clash - Johnny literally kicking things off by personally targeting Goro for knocking him out in their last bout. As Motaro and more guards approach, Syzoth shouts for the others to beeline for the portal, with Johnny getting one last sucker punch on a dazed Goro to knock the Shokan out cold before they escape.

Back in Earthrealm, Liu Kang arrives to meet them, and Johnny gives him a quick rundown on their failed mission and Kenshi's new method of sight. Seeing his fatigue, Liu Kang advises him to rest and eat before they discuss further. Relieved, Johnny asks for a martini for himself, James Bond-style, before remembering to introduce Ashrah and Syzoth to Liu Kang. However, Liu Kang halts all hopes of relaxation upon Ashrah mentioning Quan Chi's collusion with Shang Tsung, leaving Johnny disappointed that he won't get his martini.

While Johnny and the other champions rest, Liu Kang's endeavors in Outworld reveal the true enemy - Shang Tsung from a timeline in which he bested Liu Kang for control of The Hourglass and became a Titan who manipulated Liu Kang's timeline to his own ends. With the prospect of a soul-fueled Dragon Army and malicious portals leading into the current timeline under construction to deal with, Johnny and the other heroes join forces with the double-crossed Shang Tsung and Quan Chi to disrupt Titan Shang Tsung's efforts. At the site of the Titan's gateway constructions, Johnny uses a $30,000 stealth drone to get a better idea of their enemy's numbers, impressing Mileena with the technology. Following Scorpion's plan, he, Mileena, Kitana and Kung Lao charge the Dragon Army head on to serve as a distraction for Raiden, Shang Tsung and Quan Chi to attack the portals directly.

Various versions and amalgamations of Johnny are seen during the second Battle of Armageddon. These include one who looks similar to the current Johnny (possessing mystical powers, much like his counterpart from the past era) who fights alongside a female counterpart named Janet Cage and a warrior Ninja Mime to tie with a Goro wielding four Wrath Hammers, as well as evil counterparts of the latter two Cages. Additionally, there exists an amalgamation with Baraka called Johnny Savage, one with General Shao called John Kahner, one with Liu Kang called Fire Cage, one with Reiko called Reiko Starr, one with Ashrah called Screen Demon, and many more. A different version of Johnny Cage who resembles the current one can be selected as the final warrior who aids Liu Kang in defeating the Titans Shang Tsung and Quan Chi, before being sent back to his respective timeline.

With the second Battle of Armageddon over, Johnny is seen in the epilogue of the main story enjoying dinner with Liu Kang and the other champions at Madam Bo's teahouse and showing off various shots of landscapes he plans to use for a cinematic universe that will tell Earthrealmers all about Outworld and the realms (as per requested by Liu Kang in Johnny's character ending). Though he offers his new friends parts in his new movie, which he plans to write and direct for rather than star in, each of them declines due to their personal duties. Before Liu Kang departs to assist Kuai Liang in building the Shirai Ryu, Johnny takes the opportunity to thank him for keeping his promise - the arc of Johnny's life has indeed changed for the better. As a smiling Liu Kang leaves the teahouse, Madame Bo slaps the check on the table, and the champions lightly bicker over who gets stiffed with the bill, with Johnny asking Kenshi to pay for the dinner, while Kenshi says that Raiden and Kung Lao should be the ones to pay due to the fact that they are the ones that invite Johnny and Kenshi before Johnny relents and pays for them, recounting that his business manager told him he could write the whole thing off.

Endings

  • Mortal Kombat 1 (Canonical): "Since this whole thing kicked off, I'd wondered why Liu Kang chose me to be his champion. I mean, sure, I was killin' it as a martial arts star. But it's one thing when it's all for show. It's different when you're playin' for keeps. Then Liu Kang let me in on his master plan. He wanted the masses to know about the worlds beyond them, the one filled with gods and monsters. And he wanted me to tell 'em about it. But I knew revealing the truth all at once would be too shocking of a plot twist for most. That's why I pitched doing a bunch of stories, to slowly get people used to it. And if there's one thing I can do, besides kick ass in kombat, it's build a cinematic universe. I'm servin' up movies, streaming series, games, you name it. I like that I'm doing a public service. And it doesn't hurt that I'm making more than a few bucks. It's the kind of synergy that would make any studio mogul proud."
Advertisement