Kabal was first introduced in Mortal Kombat 3, sporting long black hair, Hookswords, superhuman speed, and a respirator. He was a mysterious warrior who survived an attack from one of Shao Kahn's extermination squads and, as a result, gained a horrifying visage concealed only by his respiratory mask. His ending reveals that he was actually a member of the Black Dragon. At the time of his introduction, he appeared as a force for good, but eventually reverted to his evil ways, planning to place himself as the head of the new Black Dragon clan.
In the reset timeline of Mortal Kombat (2011), Kabal is shown to be on the side of good by the time of the Outworld invasion, although Kano later attempts to convince him to return to the Black Dragon. It is also revealed that it was Kano who healed Kabal and gave him his respiratory mask. Before his disfigurement by Kintaro's flames, he was an NYPD officer alongside Kurtis Stryker. Both he and Stryker later join the Earthrealm warriors in their struggle against Shao Kahn, but are killed by a resurrected Sindel. Their souls are then collected by Quan Chi and reanimated as undead revenants. Under the sorcerer's spell, he serves the fallen Elder God Shinnok and aids Quan Chi in his quest to free his master and take over the Earthrealm.
In Mortal Kombat 11, the revenant Kabal serves Liu Kang and Kitana, who had by that point become emperor and empress of the Netherrealm, alongside Jade and Kung Lao. A younger pre-disfigurement Kabal appears as well, summoned due to Kronika’s meddling with timeline. This Kabal is still a member of the Black Dragon, and fights a younger Sonya after hearing from the older Kano that she is the one to disfigure him in the future (this being a lie in order to get the two to fight).
Due to his constantly shifting allegiances, Kabal's true underlying personality is somewhat vague. As a Black Dragon member, he is shown to be every bit as greedy, ruthless, and amoral as Kano. But at a certain later point, he leaves the Black Dragon and joins the police force to atone for his past crimes, although he is later brought back to the side of evil by Havik (in the original timeline).
Kabal was originally going to be named Sandman, with wrist-mounted buzzsaw blades instead of hookswords. This was eventually dropped in favor for his current look, though rumors existed that Midway had briefly thought about using the discarded idea for a new character before abandoning those plans as well (Though this is somewhat implemented with Human Cyrax).
According to the MK team, in Deception they finally could show Kabal in the way he was intended to be in the 2D games: the long trench coat and the backpack. They couldn't do this because digitizing the costumes' characters was limited in 2D graphics. But by creating them in 3D graphics, they can build them from scratch.
Kabal's hookswords were first designed for an early plan of Baraka during preproduction of Mortal Kombat II. They were also used as generic weapons that were packaged with select characters in a line of MK action figures that briefly hit the market in 1995, which were based on the figures of G.I. Joe.
In the original plans for Mortal Kombat: Special Forces, a pre-scarred version of Kabal was to be introduced as one of the Black Dragon bosses. Screenshots were released and the character model can still be seen in the game, though he has no name or special significance. Of note is that he had a Southern accent and left the player his hookswords for use. This concept was later used in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, where there is an optional mission to rescue Kabal in the Wastelands.
A strange glitch could occur in the Sega Genesis version of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, where, if the player entered the combination for Kabal's MK3 Animality after the "Finish Him!" message was displayed, his own head would be knocked off by no visible means and various glitches appeared. This is because the programmers forgot to delete Kabal's Animality code.
Powers and abilities
Being a Black Dragon warrior, Kabal is a ruthless but level-headed kombatant. His weapon of choice is a pair of Hookswords, which he can use to eviscerate his enemies with ease. After being ambushed by Shao Kahn's extermination squads, he is forced to wear a respirator system to keep himself alive, and wears a mask to hide his hideous deformity, which is apparently so revolting that other kombatants would cower in fear because of it (strangely though, in Mortal Kombat 2011, the kombatants are oblivious to his face).
Kabal's other defining trait is his superhuman speed. He is able to move at such blinding speeds he appears as a blur, making him the fastest character in the series. His speed has even been compared to The Flash from the DC Universe. It was later revealed in Mortal Kombat 2011 that his speed is due to his brief time in Outworld, his ravaged body exposed to the magic-heavy atmosphere of that realm granting him such power.
- Raging Flash: Kabal runs forward at a very fast speed past his opponent, leaving them spinning into a dizzy state. In MK 2011 and MK 11, this is called Nomad Dash. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:D, MK:A, MK 2011, MK11)
- The enhanced version is called Nomad Charge. This increases the speed of Kabal's start up. (MK 2011)
- Dash Cancel: Kabal can cancel out of his Nomad Dash at the cost of one defensive meter. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Plasma Blast: Kabal fires a purple projectile from his mask. He can do this both on the ground and in the air. In MK 2011, this is called Gas Blast. In MK11, Kabal instead emits a short-ranged cloud of lethal vapor from his mask which damages close opponents and restands them. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:D, MK:A, MK 2011, MK11 - Equip Ability)
- The enhanced version is called Vapor Blast. This makes the projectile larger in size and increases damage. (MK 2011)
- Amplifying this move has Kabal fire a bigger cloud which deals damage over time as well as stunning the opponent and slightly healing Kabal if he stands in it. (MK11)
- Sawblades: Kabal summons sawblades from the ground, cutting the opponent. In MK 2011, this is called Buzzsaw. In MK11, he throws it straight forward. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK 2011, MK11)
- The enhanced version is called Saw Blades and sends two blades instead of one.
- Amplifying this move has Kabal throwing a buzzsaw that hits mid and can be turned into a combo by using Nomad Dash.
- In MK11 if the amplified version connects as a Punish, the attack is turned into a Krushing Blow, where the saw causes major blood loss, dealing double the original damage.
- Nomad's Touch: Kabal thrusts out his hands towards the opponent, and - if they are in range - will be caught in an odd field that draws them in to collide with Kabal, though only the opponent gets hurt when they make contact. (MK:D, MK:A)
- Tornado Slam: Kabal takes both hookswords and slashes in front of him, if the opponent is in range, they will be hooked. He then spins the hookswords, spins the opponent around, and slams them on the ground. This move was once his grab move. In MK11, the move is known as Hook Slam, and Kabal dashes to the other side before slamming them to the ground. This attack has armor breaking properties, ignoring the armor granted by specific abilities and Fatal Blows. (MK 2011, MK11)
- The enhanced version is called Cyclone Slam. Kabal will spin the opponent around twice before slamming them. (MK 2011)
- Amplifying this move allows Kabal to spin the opponent two more times before slamming them, dealing more damage. (MK11)
- In MK11, if either the normal or the amplified version connects as a Kounter or a Punish or breaks armor, the attack is turned into a Krushing Blow, where when Kabal slams the opponent, he shatters their ribs, dealing increased damage, and sending the opponent high in the air for a juggle. If the attack is used to break armor, the opponent will not bounce off the ground.
- Air Buzzsaw: Kabal throws his buzzsaw diagonally down while in the air. (MK11)
- Amplifying this move has Kabal recover faster after throwing his buzzsaw.
- Rolling Buzzsaw: Kabal rolls his buzzsaw along the floor, hitting the opponents' shins. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Amplifying this move allows Kabal to roll a second buzzsaw which trips the opponent.
- Straight Buzzin': Kabal throws a straight buzzsaw while mid-air. This ability replaces Air Buzzsaw when equipped. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- As with Air Buzzsaw, amplifying this move allows Kabal to recover faster.
- Low Hook Grab: Kabal snags the opponent by the ankle with his hooksword, launches them up and punches them in the spine, sending them away. This ability conflicts with Low Spinner when equipped, disabling the option to select Low Spinner. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- If the opponent is blocking high while this move connects, the attack is turned into a Krushing Blow, which has Kabal shatter their spine with a punch, dealing double the damage.
- Hook Grab: Kabal grabs an airborne opponent by the ankle with his hooksword and slams them to the other side. This ability conflicts with Nomad Spin when equipped, disabling the option to select Nomad Spin. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Amplifying it pops up the opponent after slamming them down, allowing for combos.
- Low Spinner: Kabal whirls around swinging his hook swords and follows up with a low slash tripping up the opponent. This ability conflicts with Low Hook Grab when equipped, disabling the option to select Low Hook Grab. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Amplifying this move has Kabal uppercut the opponent to pop them up into the air.
- Nomad Spin: Kabal spins around in place, dealing damage to the opponent if they're close enough. This ability conflicts with Hook Grab when equipped, disabling the option to select Hook Grab. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Amplifying this move has Kabal add one more spin and deal two more hits.
- Slight Gas: Using his gas canister, Kabal propels himself forward mid-air with a slight burst of gas. This ability requires two ability slots. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Flash Parry: Kabal clanks his hookswords together in front of himself, stunning the opponent when they hit him, allowing for combos. This however, reduces the damage for his combo. This ability conflicts with Extended Hook when equipped, disabling the option to select Extended Hook. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Extended Hook: Kabal links his hookswords together to extend his reach and pulls the opponent towards him. This move restands the opponent as well as pull them closer. It is safe when done on a blocking opponent. This ability conflicts with Flash Parry when equipped, disabling the option to select Flash Parry. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- X-Ray Move - Kabal's Deep: Kabal first uses his Raging Flash to daze his opponent before sliding in to break both of their shins. Afterwards, he runs up behind them and slashes the opponent's back with his hook swords, causing damage to the shoulder blades, ribs, and spine before slamming the opponent to the ground. (MK 2011)
- Fatal Blow - Off the Hook: Kabal dashes to the other side to hit the opponent from behind, then two more times, appearing in front of them. He then spins his hookswords in a circular motion, slashing at the opponent multiple times before stabbing both swords through their body. After he knees them, he removes his swords by cutting the opponent sideways away, making them fall to their knees. Kabal then sinks one hooksword under their chin, which comes out of their mouth. Kabal ends by throwing the hooked opponent to the other side. (MK11)
- Vertabreaker: Kabal grabs his opponent in a sleeper hold and knees their back before throwing them to the ground. (MK:D, MK:A)
- Throw - Whirling Hooksword Slam: Kabal rapidly whirls his opponent around twice and slams him/her to the ground using a hooksword. This became a special Move in MK (2011). (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Throw (Forward): Kabal sinks one hooksword into the opponents' shoulder, then trips them. He then holds on the hooksword and spins himself and the grounded opponent before flinging them away. (MK11)
- Throw (Backward): Kabal impales the opponent in the chin with his hooksword, throws them backwards, causing them to bounce up. He then slams the airborne opponent again, making them bounce again. He finishes the move by slamming the opponent again using both his hookswords. (MK11)
- If Kabal performs this on an opponent who has failed a Throw Escape during a previous Throw before, the attack is turned into a Krushing Blow, where when Kabal slams the opponent into the ground, the impact breaks their neck, dealing over double the original damage.
- Maimed and Mangled: Kabal strikes the opponent with a hook sword's handle, follows up with a slash and an overhead kick. (MK11)
- If Kabal connects the kombo as a Kounter or a Punish, the attack is turned into a Krushing Blow, where when Kabal delivers the overhead kick, it shatters the entire top of the opponent's skull, dealing increased damage, and sending the opponent high in the air for a juggle.
- Extermination Squad: Kabal pokes forward with a sword, follows up with a downwards slash and an uppercut swing. (MK11)
- If Kabal connects the kombo as a Kounter or a Punish, the attack is turned into a Krushing Blow, where the hook causes major blood loss, dealing double the original damage and giving Kabal a small window for a juggle.
- Head Inflation: Kabal uses his respirator and inflates the opponent's head like a balloon. The opponent floats on top of the screen. An explosion is heard as their blood, bones and organs rain down. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Freaky Face: Kabal removes his mask and reveals a horribly disfigured face. He screams at the screen as his hair rises before doing this to the opponent, which literally scares their soul out of them. In MK11, it returns as a Brutality though when he removes his mask, his upper body and face are censored, this was changed in patch 1.06 where he is shown with bug eyes and hair rises like in MK3 while still wearing a mask. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK11 (Brutality))
- Hook Up: Kabal kicks his foe upward into the air and slices them in half with his hooksword. In MK 2011, Kabal slices the opponent vertically, and their head is impaled on the hooksword upon impact. (MKD, MK 2011)
- Tornado Cut: Kabal kicks the opponent to make them start spinning, then pulls out a hooksword and slices the opponent into different pieces. (MKD)
- It Takes Guts: Kabal stabs his hookswords into his opponent's abdomen and rips their intestines out. As the opponent falls to the ground, he plants his swords onto the ground with the blades facing upward, and the opponent falls into the blades, impaling their shoulders in the process. (MK 2011)
- Road Rash: Kabal grabs the opponent's leg with his hooksword, then proceeds to run at an incredible speed, dragging the opponent behind him. This makes their face grind against the floor, shredding off their face and causing their eyeballs to fall out. He briefly stops to throw the opponent, dashes to the other side and slices the airborne opponent in half through the frontal body plane. (MK11)
- Hooked: Kabal slices the opponent's stomach, causing intestines to fall out, turning the opponent around. He then slices the opponent's Achilles’ tendons, slowly allowing the opponent to fall forward. Kabal quickly catches the falling opponent by holding his opponent's face with both hookswords. He finishes by placing his foot on their back and pressing his hookswords back, slowly cutting through the mouth, cutting the upper head off. (MK11)
- The Klassic: Kabal uppercuts the opponent's head off with their spine attached. It is available to all other characters. (MK11)
- The player mustn't block throughout the finishing round.
- A button must be held.
- Will not trigger on Krushing Blow, if it has not been activated during the match.
- Spin Me Right Round: Kabal does a Nomad Dash which spins the opponent so fast that their skin flies off their body, leaving only behind a lifeless opponent whose muscles are exposed. (MK11)
- Requires a number of Nomad Dashes to connect during the match.
- Rollin' Through: Kabal throws a Rolling Buzzsaw that destroys his opponent's shins. (MK11)
- Requires a number of moves involving the buzzsaw to connect during the match.
- Ripped Away: Kabal performs an Amplified Hook Slam, but instead of slamming the opponent to the ground, he keeps spinning them with his hookswords as their arms and legs break off until he tosses a limbless torso into the air. (MK11)
- Several buttons must be pressed during the spin.
- Deadly Vapors: Kabal does a Gas Blast which melts away the opponent's face and the front part of the torso. (MK11)
- Must not lose a round.
- A button must be held.
- Spinner Winner: Kabal does a Backwards Throw, but slams the opponent to the ground with such power it smashes their head and upper torso. (MK11)
- A button must be pressed repeatedly.
- Will not trigger on Krushing Blow, if it has not been activated during the match.
- Heart Attack: Kabal does a Low Hook Grab and severs the opponent's ankle before punching them in the back as they fall, knocking their heart out of their chest. (MK11)
- Must connect a number of hits before finishing with a Low Hook Grab.
- Screamer: Kabal amplifies Gas Blast and in vein of his Freaky Face Fatality screams at the screen as his hair rises before doing this to the opponent, which literally scares their soul out of them. When he removes his mask, his upper body and face are censored. (MK11)
- Mercy must be performed beforehand.
- This was changed in patch 1.06 where he is shown with bug eyes and hair rises like in MK3 while still wearing a mask.
- Nowhere To Run: Kabal performs his Left for Dead kombo and kicks the opponent with enough force to rip off their ankles. The opponent tries crawling towards Kabal before bleeding to death. (MK11)
- A button must be held.
- Fatal Blow must be available.
- Can't Breathe: Kabal executes a Hook Slam, but after grabbing the hooks again, he rips off the victim's torso and slams it to the ground. (MK11)
- A button must be held.
- Spin Cycle: Kabal does a Forward Throw and keeps grinding the opponent's back against the ground until internal organs are exposed, then tosses them away. (MK11)
- A button must be held.
- Requires a number of Throws to connect during the match.
- Friendship # 1: True Camper: Kabal roasts a marshmallow on one of his hookswords. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Friendship #2: Bop It: Kabal rushes to a marimba and plays a melody. (MK11)
- Animality: Rhino Charge: Kabal transforms into a skeletal rhino and rams the opponent. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Hara-Kiri: Hooksword Surgery: Kabal drives a hooksword into his own face and collapses onto the floor. (MK:D)
- Babality: Kabal attempts to do a Nomad Dash (crawling as he's a baby), but fails and he ends up falling face first into the ground. He starts crying and a puddle of tears forms around him. (MK 2011)
Appearances in other media
Kabal made one appearance in episode 11 of the cartoon series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, in which he betrays Kano and the Black Dragon and befriends Sonya Blade. Sonya sees Kabal with his mask removed and she is startled, but later she expresses disgust over the prejudice he faced due to his disfigurement. Kabal is shown without disfigured features in the episode.
Mortal Kombat (2011)
- "Base, Eagle Two, we count eighteen."
- "One-eight bogies, Southbound on Olympic."
- "Eagle Two out."
- "Not what I was thinking when I swore to protect and serve." (To Stryker)
- "I'm thinking shoot first, ask questions later." (Referring to Reptile)
- "It ain't save down there."
- "Stryker! Check her out!"
- "Whaddya think? Friend or foe?"
- "Dressed like that?" (Referring to Mileena)
- "That guy just shot lighting. From his hands." (To Stryker, referring to Raiden)
- "How'd he do that?"
- "Kano? I was on fire."
- "I'm hideous."
- "I'm a freak!"
- "You gave those monsters their firepower." (To Kano, referring to the Tarkata.)
- "This is your fault!" (After knowing Kano provided weapon supplies for Outworld)
- "I should be dead! Now you're gonna be!" (Challenging Kano)
- "Now how do I get outta here?" (To Kano)
- "How do I get outta here?"
- "Outworld? Shao Kahn?"
- "Where is he?"
- "No. But I'm guessing you can."
- "That's him? On the throne?"
- "I can take him."
- "And I thought I was a freak." (After defeating Mileena and Noob Saibot)
- "Time to go."
- "This speed's incredible! Guess it's a side-effect of the Outworld magic."
- "Yeah. Says who?" (To Cyber Sub-Zero)
- "Heh. You say that like it means something."
- "Ha! Not as cool as you thought." (Defeating Cyber Sub-Zero)
- "That is not my brother. He's machine, I'm human." (To Sheeva)
- "Don't let the mask fool ya!"
- "Starting to feel like the old days. only faster."
- "Wait, you're the lightning guy. You helped Stryker. Stryker, is he..." (To Raiden)
- "You're right. We gotta help him if we can." (To Smoke)
Mortal Kombat 11
- "Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh." (Round Win quote)
- "Just how I like it." (Round Win quote)
- "I run hot. (Round Win quote)
- "Did I cut you?" (Round Win quote)
- "I still got it." (Round Win quote)
- "C'mon, fight me!" (Round Win quote)
- "Next one'll blindside you." (Round Win quote)
- "Let's finish this." (Round Win quote)
- "You're losing." (Round Win quote)
- "Ninja Mime 4 was bullshit!" (Round Win quote after defeating Johnny Cage)
- "Can anyone stop me?" (Brutality quote)
- "Who's next?" (Brutality quote)
- "Just die."
- "Too slow!"
- "Catch up!"
Part 1: Mortal Kombat 11
- "You’re a dead ringer for your mother." (Revenant self to Cassie Cage)
- "Kronika knew Raiden would send someone here." (Revenant self to Jax)
- "Jax Briggs. We were partners under Quan Chi’s command. You’ll join me again."
- "It's only you and me, this time. There's no castle to bury me under."
Part 2: Aftermath
- "There's more to come."
- "Too slow! I expected better, Fujin."
- "And the base?" (To Kano)
- "So Sonya’s the skank who burns me?" (Past self to Kano)
- "She’s dead."
- “Hope you’re ready for some pre-emptive vengeance.” (To past Sonya)
- “You, torturing me to get dirt on the Black Dragon.”
- During his Freaky Face Fatality in Mortal Kombat 3, Kabal faces forward and screams at the screen before screaming at his opponent beside him. Therefore, he has broken the fourth wall.
- In Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, Kabal's accent is similar to that of Elvis Presley's.
- One of Shaolin Monks' game over messages is "Kabal says thank you very much." This may be a reference to the mission in which the player could get the chance to wield his hookswords after rescuing him and/or a direct reference to Elvis Presley.
- In Hebrew "kabal" translates to "Capacitor" while in Arabic, it translates to "Fortress." Also, "cabal" usually refers to a secret group or organization. As per the MK tradition of changing C's to K's, it could form his name.
- In a Top 10 list hosted by Screwattack.com, Kabal's Freaky Face was placed at #9 of the worst fatalites in the Mortal Kombat series.
- In a technical sense, he is one of the few characters to be dead in both the original and current timelines.
Mortal Kombat 3
- He has the same voice actor as Nightwolf, Rain, Chameleon and Raiden.
- He was portrayed by Richard Divizio, the same actor who played Kano and Baraka.
- He was considered too powerful for Mortal Kombat 3, so Midway toned down his power for Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3.
- Kabal's 'skeletal rhinoceros' seen in his Animality is Kirin/Qilin (Tsi-lin), a fictional beast of Chinese myths.
Mortal Kombat: Deception
- Kabal is the only character to have a style-branching combo, going from the armed weapon style to the first unarmed style.
- In Konquest mode, Kabal is one of two characters (the other being Tanya) who will attack Shujinko if he is bumped into. Normally, the aggressive characters must be punched by Shujinko before they react by assaulting him back.
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
- Even though Kabal has his hookswords back, Mavado still has a pair of hookswords.
Mortal Kombat VS DC Universe
- Kano mentions that The Flash is so fast that "You'd give Kabal a run for his money", acknowledging his superhuman speed.
Mortal Kombat (2011)
- His alternative costume is his pre-injury police outfit with his breathing equipment. It also features an update to his classic MK3 mask.
- Upon closer inspection, Kintaro's flames not only burned Kabal's skin and lungs, but blinded his left eye as well. This can be easily seen in his 3D model.
- If a Fatality that involves the torso's removal is done on Kabal (such as Reptile's Weight Loss), his hookswords will fly in the air and as the legs falls down, the swords will fall down together with the legs, and clip into the floor.
- Kabal along with Sindel, Kung Lao, Sonya, and Reptile are the only five characters whose special moves are affected by the Headless Kombat modifier. He loses his Vapor Blast move.
- Along with Sonya, Quan Chi and Nightwolf, Kabal never appears in Mortal Kombat (2011)'s Story Mode in his alternate costume. However, his alternative costume does have the same police uniform that his regular, un-burnt self had when he is introduced.
- This is the first game where Kabal's superhuman speed´s origins are explained. It is a residual effect of Shang Tsung's magic.
- However, during Story Mode, he refers to this as "a result of the Outworld magic".
- When Kabal performs his It Takes Guts fatality, and when the opponent falls on his hookswords, the blood is always red, no matter what color the opponent's blood usually is.
Mortal Kombat X
- Kabal is not playable in the game, but appears in cameos of the Story Mode as one of Quan Chi's Revenants.
Mortal Kombat 11
- Kabal returns as a playable character with his base appearance resembling that of his klassic outfit from Mortal Kombat 3, but with minor, subtle changes.
- It is also possible to play without his mask on and additionally his pre-melted design.
- During a mirror match intro, both Kabal's make a parodic reference to the 1994 film, Forrest Gump.
- In his Tower ending, he is married to Sareena.
- Unlike his fellow Black Dragon-related characters Kano and Erron Black, Kabal is the only enemy-only playable character in the Story Mode whose past and present selves can be fought in certain chapters.
- Kabal is also the only character whose past and present selves never encounter each other.
- Kabal is also the 5th character to coming from MK11 to appear in Mortal Kombat Mobile, as well as the 3rd Gold MK11 character to be announced in the series. The other two are Jade and Raiden.
- ↑ https://twitter.com/domcianciolo/status/1120691002484961283
- ↑ As a "chosen warrior", he was to be good in Mortal Kombat 3. However, he became evil since Mortal Kombat: Deception. In Mortal Kombat (2011), Kabal is portrayed as good once again.
- ↑ He is briefly mentioned in the Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe crossover by Kano, who after meeting the Flash says "You could give Kabal a run for his money". He is one of the few MK characters not present in the game to be referenced in it.