Nightwolf is an Apache warrior who, although introduced as a historian and a shaman, does not live in the past. He is a proud and fierce warrior dedicated to the cause of good, and is in contact with Raiden through visions. As such, he draws on both internal and external spiritual energy to enhance his power.
Powers and abilities
Initially just one of Earth's chosen souls, Nightwolf was revealed to be his tribe's shaman in Deception's Konquest mode. This role has been reiterated and expanded upon, along with fine-tuning of his techniques.
Nightwolf is absolutely in tune with all things spiritual. He is able to manifest bows and arrows created from spirit energy, and wields tomahawks of the same nature. He can empower his tomahawks with an ethereal green flame, or channel lightning into them for fatalities. Daggers of spirit energy have been added to his arsenal in MK 2011 for throws and kombos.
He is even able to completely purify a being of their sins over time. Fitting for his name, Nightwolf also has a close relationship with wolves and is able to communicate with them. In Mortal Kombat Annihilation, he is able to assume the shape of a wolf.
In Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, Nightwolf is shown to be rather quite tech-savvy, serving as the group's technician. He is also the operator, monitoring events worldwide while being to keep track of opening portals through a console. He is accompanied by a pet female wolf named Kiva, whom he bonds with to transform into his familiar appearance and utilize his shaman powers should the need arise for him to personally intervene or defend the base from invasion.
In Mortal Kombat: Deception, it is mentioned that Nightwolf becomes a Sin Eater, able to completely absorb evil energies whilst retaining his psyche. He utilizes the sins of his ancestors for this purpose: the evil weighes down any being - regardless of their powers - to bowels of the Netherrealm. He binds Onaga to the hellish realm after Shujinko slays him.
- Tomahawk Swing: Nightwolf uppercuts his opponent with a tomahawk. In MK 2011, this is called Axe Swing. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Tomahawk Bash. After the first upswing, Nightwolf slams the opponent back down with his tomahawk.
- Reflector: Nightwolf glows green and redirects projectile moves back at his opponent. This is called Reflect in MK 2011. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:D, MK:A, MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Absorb and allows Nightwolf to use the projectile as a source to regain some of his health.
- Spirit Arrow: Creating a mystical bow, Nightwolf shoots an arrow at his opponent. In MK 2011, this is called Arrow Shot. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:D, MK:A, MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Multi-Arrow and fires three arrows at once, with the arrows going diagonally up, straight and diagonally down.
- Red Spirit Arrow: Performing the button combination immediately after a combo will have Nightwolf perform a red version of the move that comes out much faster. (MKT)
- Shoulder Charge: Nightwolf glows green and then quickly dashes forward and knocks his opponent backwards. This is called Shoulder in MK 2011. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:D, MK:A, MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Power Charge. After the initial hit, Nightwolf strikes the opponent a second time.
- Lightning From Above: Nightwolf raises his arm and summons a bolt of lightning that knocks his opponent off their feet. In MK 2011, this is simply called Lightning. (MKD, MKA, MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Thunder Storm and hits the opponent skyward.
- Choke: Nightwolf grabs his opponent by the neck and raises them in the air before knocking them away with his Shoulder. (MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Strangle. Nightwolf summons a green knife and slashes the opponent's stomach twice before knocking them away with a Shoulder.
- X-Ray Move - Ancestor's Call: Nightwolf summons glowing tomahawks in the form of mystical green energy to turn his opponent around before forcing them into their shoulders. He then kicks them in the back, damaging their whole spine. (MK 2011)
- Throw: Nightwolf grabs his opponent and summons a green energy dagger which he sticks into their chest. He then throws the opponent away and summons a lightning bolt to strike them while they're on the ground. (MK 2011)
- Energy Channel: Nightwolf opens a portal on his opponent which teleports him/her away. If one looks closely, it appears that their skin and flesh is absent instantly within the light, indicating disintegration. In the story mode of MK 2011, he sacrifices himself to kill Sindel with this Fatality, taking his own life in the process. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Ascension: A variation of his Energy Channel Fatality, Nightwolf charges up his spiritual daggers with lightning, and plants them in the opponent's shoulders. He then summons a giant beam of light, that comes down and melts the opponent's flesh. (MK 2011)
- Lightning Axe: Nightwolf summons lightning to his axe and electrocutes his opponent to death. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Axe, Meet Head: Nightwolf throws a tomahawk at the opponent's face, killing him/her. (MK:D)
- Tomahawk Decapitation: Nightwolf decapitates his opponent using his tomahawk, sending the severed head in the air. Nightwolf then catches it and holds it up high for his victory. (MK:D)
- Little Off The Top: This is a combination of both of Nightwolf's Deception Fatalities. Nightwolf throws his tomahawk at the opponents head, then takes out another one to decapitate him/her. He then raises the axe in victory, with the head still attached. (MK 2011)
- Friendship: Nightwolf transforms into Raiden and a Mortal Kombat arcade machine falls down next to him. A message appears that says "No, but I can do a Raiden transformation," or "I've never seen a Kano transformation." In the Nintendo 64 version of Trilogy, he instead juggles tomahawks. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Animality: Nightwolf transforms into a wolf and bites his opponents several times. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Hara-Kiri: Homing Tomahawk: Nightwolf throws a tomahawk into the air, which comes back down onto Nightwolf's heart. (MK:D)
- Babality: Nightwolf lifts his tomahawk up high and an image of a wolf and moon appears behind him. The wolf howls and scares Nightwolf, making him cry. (MK 2011)
Appearances in other media
Nightwolf (played by Litefoot) appears in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation as the one who teaches Liu Kang how to use his Animality and telling him that he has to pass three tests in order to defeat Shao Kahn (only one test, Courage, is shown, however). He has no fight scenes, although he attacks Liu Kang in his wolf form (introduced in Mortal Kombat 3 and implied by his name) and strikes him unconscious with an axe in order to put him in a "dream state". After he strikes Liu Kang, he is shown sitting at a campfire in Liu's dream, helping him feel his Animality.
In Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, Nightwolf (voiced by Tod Thawley) served to offer both spiritual and technical help, having experience with computer technology. He only fought a few times, spending most of his time back at base monitoring the Earthrealm looking for dimensional rips. Nightwolf had a pet wolf named Kiva, who could merge with Nightwolf to increase his power.
- "Ancestors, give me strength!" (Battle Cry)
- "Your aggression is misplaced." (to Scorpion)
- "You're not the only one whose people have been victimized."
- "But I have found new purpose in serving the spirits. I do not cling to the past."
- "I have been searching for you, Kurtis Stryker."
- "I am Nightwolf. Lord Raiden is gathering the Earthrealm Warriors. You are among them."
- "I see you doubt yourself. Even after your victories. Come."
- "Do not lose faith in the spirits. They will guide you. Protect you." (to Raiden)
- "Go! Your soul is not safe!" (to Cyber Sub-Zero)
- "Not yet! We fight until the end!" (to Quan Chi)
- "Mere speed and skill will not win this war, Cyrax."
- "You are no match for the power of the spirits!" (to Sektor)
- "Perhaps even you can be saved." (After beating Sektor)
- "Monster!" (to Sindel)
- "Now, Sindel. Face the spirits' judgement!" (After defeating her)
- "Not... if I... take it... from you!" (To Sindel after her claims of victory)
- Nightwolf was originally designed as part of a Create-A-Character contest hosted by Midway games after the release of Mortal Kombat II, and was one of three winning characters, the other two being Stryker and Kabal.
- A preview of Mortal Kombat (2011), published in Gameinformer, shows a picture of him about to fire a Spirit Arrow. The caption jokingly said that DC comics should tell the story of Nightwolf as the first Green Lantern.
- Nightwolf and Sonya had their friendships altered in updates of MK3. Nightwolf transformed into Raiden for his Friendship in MK3, UMK3, and MK Trilogy. This was changed for the Nintendo 64 version of Trilogy with Raiden, despite the other versions, now becoming playable, so he juggles his axes instead.
- Nightwolf refers to Raiden as Haokah, the Lakota Indian thunder god. However, Nightwolf is Apache, not Lakota. He could be of mixed heritage, or a well traveled and accepting shaman who has adopted the traditions of many tribes outside his own in his quest to combat evil.
- Nightwolf and Sindel together follow a unique pattern: they appear in the exact same games as one another, including handheld ports. Both debuted in MK3 and returned together for its updates, Deception, Armageddon and MK 2011.
- The two never actually crossed paths until the latter game and its alternate timeline.
- In his victory pose and when he loses a round, he has the ability to teleport through a beam of light. This technique cannot be used by the player themselves.
- Nightwolf is one of very few characters to wear face paint into battle, along with Shang Tsung, Reiko, Sareena and Sheeva.
- Along with Sonya, Quan Chi and Kabal, Nightwolf never appears in Mortal Kombat (2011)´s Story Mode in his alternate costume.
- Nightwolf, Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Smoke and Jade in MK 2011 are the only characters that refer to Raiden as "Master" or "Lord". The other warriors call him simply "Raiden".
- Nightwolf is one of the two only male characters that still have a hairline after being transformed by a Babality. The other being Liu Kang.
- Nightwolf has one of the five chapters in which the character does not fight a good character in MK 2011's Story Mode; the others being Sub-Zero (Human and Cyber form), Kung Lao and Stryker.
- In MK 2011, Nightwolf is one of the only six characters to enter the arena via Special Move, using his Shoulder Charge. The others being Johnny Cage, via Shadow Kick, Kabal, via Nomad Dash and Kung Lao, Raiden and Cyrax, via their Teleports.
- There are other characters that use Special Moves in their intro, however, not as a mean of locomotion (e.g., Jax uses his Ground Pound).
- Sektor, Smoke, Skarlet, Sub-Zero and Scorpion also teleport and Sindel use her levitate as a mean of locomotion to enter the Battle Arena, however, they don't use the move itself, they only use variations.
- Nightwolf's Kombat victory pose is one of the only three in which the character will leave the arena. The others being Scorpion's and Cyrax's.
- Nightwolf is one of the seven characters who does not fight against a tag in their chapter in Story Mode. The others being Johnny Cage, Cyrax, Jax, Sub-Zero, Jade and Stryker.
- Nightwolf, along with Cyber Sub-Zero, are the only characters that are possessed by Shao Kahn in one of their endings.
- In the second match of the TNA Impact! video game story mode, there is a wrestler named "Nightwolf" This TNA game was made by Midway Games
- Though the games never specified what tribe Nightwolf belongs to, when asked, story mode writer Brian Chard stated that he always envisioned Nightwolf as a member of the Lakota Sioux