Mimicry is a fighting technique used in the Mortal Kombat series.

Shang Tsung, a known user and master of the Mimicry technique

Mimicry is where a fighter mimics their opponent's fighting styles or abilities, whether this be from the opponent they are facing or stealing abilities or fighting styles from other opponents. Mimicry is a rather difficult trait to master, however some have managed to master the technique to perfection, making them some of the deadliest fighters in the Realms.

The Technique

When utilizing mimicry, various traits take place. With some, the fighter will simply perform a move identical to the opponent or a different fighter. This is not to be confused with a fighter barrowing a move from another fighter, similar to both Kenshi and Ermac's telekinetic abilities or Reptile's original appearance in the first Mortal Kombat where he barrows both Scorpion and Sub-Zero's moves. Some fighters possess a far more advanced form of mimicry in the manner that they can morph or shapeshift into the fighter to perform an attack or fighting style.

The Sorcerer Shang Tsung is by far the most well known user of the technique and has mastered it in a manner far beyond anyone depicted in the series. In addition to performing attacks identical to the opponent, Shang Tsung has mastered the ability to morph, or rather, shapeshift into a fighter or even the person he is currently fighting, mimicking not only their abilities, but their appearance, voice, and overall fighting style to a deadlier effect.

The Fallen Elder God of Death, Corruption and Darkness, Shinnok, is a master of a form of Mimicry, as he is able to perfectly replicate and perform his opponent's attacks in an identical manner as them. On some occasions, he can even morph into his opponent in a similar manner like Shang Tsung or even create a duplicate copy of his opponent when mimicking them. An example of this exists in Mortal Kombat X, where Shinnok creates a phantom version of Ferra to attack for him or briefly morph into a Xenomorph to attack someone.

The cyborg known as Triborg has a cyberized version of mimicry in the form of his shapeshifting abilities. Similar to Shang Tsung, Triborg can transform himself into four of the pervious Lin Kuei assassins, Sektor, Cyrax, Smoke and Sub-Zero, the latter two in their cyborg forms. When doing this, he retains some of his natural fighting abilities while applying one of the four ninjas in his databanks to fight, replicating their abilities like no other cyborg before him.

The guest character Alien shows a minor form of mimicry due to its race's genetic trait to take on the characteristics of the host it is born from. While not entirely on the some level of mimicry as Shinnok or Shang Tsung, the Xenomorph will exhibit similar fighting tactics to its host while adapting to it and integrating it into its own. This is shown in its origin franchise, but also shown in Mortal Kombat X by the Tarkatan-Xenomorph. Born from a Tarkatan warrior of unknown origin, once it reached adulthood, it utilized the techniques seen by many Tarkatan warriors due to inheriting the Tarkatan Blades of its host.

The guest character Terminator also has forms of mimicry through voice manipulation, however this is not depicted in its guest appearance in Mortal Kombat 11. Other Terminators in its origin franchise also possess shapeshifting abilities, however the T-800 model can only manipulate its voice to sound like someone completely different.

List of Known Users of Mimicry


  • Alien (Non-Canon Guest Character)


  • Shang Tsung was the first user of the technique, dating all the way back to the first Mortal Kombat.
  • The Alien is the only character with a natural form of Mimicry.
  • In Mortal Kombat X, with his Mimicry move, Shinnok is able to steal his opponent's Brutalities should he follow the requirements to complete it during the match.
  • In MKX, the character Triborg is introduced as the first pure cyborg of the series with the ability to shapeshift and mimic the fighting styles and abilities of Sektor, Cyrax, Smoke and Sub-Zero.
    • He is the first cyborg to be able to shapeshift and one of two fighters in the series after Shang Tsung to shapeshift into another fighter for kombat.
  • In Mortal Kombat 11, Shang Tsung could steal his opponent's Brutalities by using his Soul Steal by morphing into them and performing their Brutality, however, similar to Shinnok, the Brutality's requirements must be met to perform.
  • In MK11, Shang Tsung not only mimics his opponents by using his Soul Steal, but is also able to mimic Reptile, Rain, Ermac, Smoke, Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Noob Saibot, all of which are integrated into his special moves.
    • Additionally when selecting him before a match, he will transform into two of the seven ninjas before selecting an arena.
      • He will also morph into one of them after winning a round or on a rare occasion after performing a Brutality.
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