Grey Cloud, better known as Nightwolf, is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He made his debut in Mortal Kombat 3, and has become one of the most prolific Native American characters in video games.
Nightwolf is a Matoka 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.
Originally, his tribe was Lakota-Sioux (hence why he refers to Raiden by 'Haokah'), but this was later retconned in Mortal Kombat 11. He is now a member of a fictional tribe called the Matoka.
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 and hatchets of spirit energy have been added to his arsenal in MK 2011 for throws and kombos. In MK11, Nightwolf can summon three spirit animals, Komo (a bear), Hana (an eagle) and Kiba (a wolf, which is also a reference to Defenders of the Realm).
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 wolf named Kiba, 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.
In Mortal Kombat 11, The name Nightwolf is revealed to be a ceremonial title passed down from individual to individual of the Matoka Tribe by their Great Spirit. Through this moniker bestowal, Grey Cloud has access to a host of supernatural powers reminiscent to those in prior MK games but with wider pronunciation in their application. He now has access to the green force which various other fighters possess, enhancing his natural resilience and assault capability, but also uses it differently than most. He conjures green energy constructs in the shape of various native american weaponry during combat. Nightwolf is also shown to infuse his shamen magic into his Bow & arrows, causing them to turn blue. Both electrifying then calling down lightning on afflicted targets.
He also makes use of his force halo as a protective skin layer energy field to deflect projectiles and teleport behind the enemy. Other times he'll simply infuse the energy into already existing weapons like his Gunstock War Club or Timber Ax.
New skills shown in MK11 are his heightened spiritual connection which enables him to imbibe on the power of his spirit animals to increase his own physical abilities or give status ailments to his enemies. Kiba augments his physical might strengthening overall attack power, Komo bolsters his defensive ability to lessen damage taken in Kombat and Hana is another ranged attack with which Nightwolf both uses to disorient adversaries or keep her stationary to further augment himself.
- Rising Tomahawk: Nightwolf uppercuts his opponent with a tomahawk. In MK 2011, this is called Axe Swing. In MK11, this ability requires two ability slots and conflicts with Lunar Orbit and Moonfall when equipped, disabling the option to select Lunar Orbit or Moonfall. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK 2011, MK11 - Equip Ability)
- The enhanced version is called Tomahawk Bash. After the first upswing, Nightwolf slams the opponent back down with his tomahawk.
- In MK11, amplifying the move has Nightwolf follow up with a jumping club strike, bouncing the opponent off the ground for more combo opportunities.
- Reflector: Nightwolf glows green and redirects projectile moves back at his opponent. This is called Reflect in MK 2011. In MK11 the duration of the move can be extended by holding down the button. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:D, MK:A, MK 2011, MK11)
- The enhanced version is called Absorb and allows Nightwolf to use the projectile as a source to regain some of his health.
- Moonlight Reflector: Amplifying the move has Nightwolf teleport behind the opponent. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Spirit Arrow: Creating a mystical bow, Nightwolf shoots an arrow at his opponent. In MK 2011, this is called Arrow Shot. In MK11, Nightwolf can delay the shot. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:D, MK:A, MK 2011, MK11)
- The enhanced version is called Multi-Arrow and fires three arrows at once, with the arrows going diagonally up, straight and diagonally down.
- In MK11, amplifying the move has Nightwolf fire three arrows in a straight direction.
- In MK11, spending a bar of Defensive meter allows Nightwolf to cancel the move.
- In MK11, channeling natural force bestows electrical qualities to his quivers.
- Red Rising Tomahawk: Performing the button combination immediately after a combo will have Nightwolf perform a red version of the move that comes out much faster. (MKT)
- 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)
- Rhino 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, MK11)
- The enhanced version is called Power Charge. After the initial hit, Nightwolf strikes the opponent a second time.
- In MK11, amplifying the move has Nightwolf follow up with an overhead hatchet strike.
- If the hatchet successfully lands on its own, whether the opponent successfully blocks the first hit and not the second or the second strike lands on its own, turns the attack into a Krushing Blow, with the weapon lodging deeper into the opponent's skull, dealing twice the original damage and stunning the opponent briefly.
- Fast Rhino Charge: Faster version of the Rhino Charge where Nightwolf glows red instead of green. (MKT)
- 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, MK11)
- 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.
- Tomahawk Swing: Nightwolf grabs his opponent, switches sides with them and delivers three tomahawk strikes to the neck, the gut and the groin, knocking them away. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Amplifying the move doesn't knock the opponent away as they drop to the ground next to Nightwolf.
- Ancestral Light: Nightwolf raises his tomahawk and summons a pillar of light that strikes the opponent. This ability requires two ability slots.(MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Amplifying the move summons a bolt of lightning after the pillar that knocks his opponent off their feet.
- Spirit Tracks: Nightwolf rolls towards the opponent and sweeps the opponent's feet with the gunstock club. This ability replaces Rhino Charge when equipped. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Amplifying the move has Nightwolf follow up with an uppercut that knocks the opponent away.
- Ancestral Hunter: Nightwolf gains the ability to amplify the move mid-roll and perform an uppercut that knocks the opponent upwards right away. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Lunar Orbit: Nightwolf tosses his tomahawk into the air and has it drop diagonally to the ground. The attack can be used at three different ranges, normal, close and far range, called Close/Far Lunar Orbit, respectively. This ability conflicts with Rising Tomahawk and Moonfall when equipped, disabling the option to select Rising Tomahawk or Moonfall. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Moonfall: Nightwolf tosses his tomahawk forward and makes it lodge into the ground, allowing his to use follow-ups. The attack can be used at three different ranges, normal, close and far range, called Close/Far Moonfall, respectively. This ability conflicts with Rising Tomahawk and Lunar Orbit when equipped, disabling the option to select Rising Tomahawk or Lunar Orbit. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Quick Recall Axe: Nightwolf teleports the tomahawk back into his hand.
- Recall Axe: Nightwolf summons the axe and makes it fly into his hand, hitting the opponent on the way back.
- Lightning Arrow: Nightwolf creates an energy bow imbued with lightning and shoots an arrow that summons a bolt of lightning from above. Nightwolf can delay the shot. This ability replaces Spirit Arrow when equipped. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Spending a bar of Defensive meter allows Nightwolf to cancel the move.
- Spirit of Kiba: Nightwolf summons his wolf spirit, Kiba, to increase his damage for several seconds. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Amplifying the move grants Nightwolf one hit of super armor during the move.
- Spirit of Komo: Nightwolf summons his bear spirit, Komo, to decrease the damage he takes for several seconds. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Spirit of Hana: Nightwolf summons his eagle spirit, Hana, to increase the speed and distance of Rhino Charge. This ability conflicts with Hana's Wrath when equipped, disabling the option to select Hana's Wrath. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Hana's Wrath: Nightwolf sends his eagle spirit, Hana, to strike his opponent. This ability conflicts with Spirit of Hana when equipped, disabling the option to select Spirit of Hana. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- 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)
- Fatal Blow - Spirit Hunter: Nightwolf summons his spirits to stun his opponent, then he summons a mystical bow and shoots spirit arrows at the opponent including their neck. He strikes his opponent with his tomahawk at the side of the opponent's head and summons a bolt of lightning to electrocute them. (MK11)
- 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)
- Throw (Forward): Nightwolf swings at the opponent's neck with his tomahawk, turning them around, lodges the hatchet in their shoulder, bringing them down to their knees, and strikes them on the head with a gunstock club. (MK11)
- Throw (Backward): Nightwolf drives a spirit knife into the opponent's neck, switching sides, summons a beam of light that burns the opponent and then strikes them away with Rhino Charge. (MK11)
- Grappling Stalker: Nightwolf gains the ability to perform Helmsplitter and Razor's Edge kombos. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Helmsplitter: Nightwolf delivers two punches, then tackles the opponent to the ground and drives his tomahawk into their skull.
- If this combo is performed on the opponent as a Kounter or Punish, the combo is turned into a Krushing Blow, with the weapon lodging deeper into the opponent's skull, dealing twice the original damage.
- Razor's Edge: Nightwolf delivers a low kick, followed by a falling knee strike at the opponent's foot. Finally, he grabs their leg, stabs it with a spirit dagger, brings them to the ground and stabs the target in the chest once and in the gut three times.
- Helmsplitter: Nightwolf delivers two punches, then tackles the opponent to the ground and drives his tomahawk into their skull.
- Deadly Talon: Nightwolf does a kick, and elbow, and finishes with a overhead chop to their head, knocking them down.
- If the final chop successfully lands on its own, whether the opponent successfully blocks the first and second hit and not the third or the third strike lands on its own, the attack is turned into a Krushing Blow, where the chop shatters the top of the opponent's head and bounces them off the ground for a juggle and increased damage.
- 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. This fatality later became his brutality in MK11. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK11)
- 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)
- War Ritual: Nightwolf cuts through his opponent's jaw with his tomahawk, creating a handhold from which he rips off their entire upper chest. He finishes them by throwing his tomahawk into their now exposed heart, splitting it in half. (MK11)
- Komo-tose: Nightwolf walks up to the opponent and proceeds to snap their neck, turning it around 180 degrees and launches them in the air with a strike from his gunstock war club. As they land Nightwolf catches the opponent and holds them over his head. He proceeds to summon his spirit bear Komo who appears behind him with a roar, then allows Komo to snap the opponent in half, breaking their spine, then flings both parts away. (MK11)
- The Klassic: Nightwolf 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.
- Skullcracker: Nightwolf performs his forward throw, but this time, his gunstock club actually scalps the victim on hit, with their eyes popping out of their eye sockets. (MK11)
- Dead Eye: Nightwolf fires an Spirit Arrow that pierces the opponent's eye socket, whose body fall to his knees. The eye also get stuck in the arrowhead. (MK11)
- No Leg to Stand On: Nightwolf executes an Spirit Tracks, destroying the victim's shins. (MK11)
- Right to the Heart: Nightwolf performs Razor's Edge kombo, makes a vertical incision in the opponent's front body with his spirit knife, rips it open and pulls out their heart. As the opponent stares at Nightwolf, he drives the knife into their head. (MK11)
- Native Violence: Nightwolf, after performing a Helmsplitter, repeatedly bashes his tomahawk unto the opponent's head, splitting it in two. He then retreats and performs his victory pose. (MK11)
- Faithful Obliteration: Nightwolf performs Ancestral Light, that disintegrates his opponent. (MK11)
- Pure Guts: Nightwolf does a Tomahawk Swing in which, when performing the strike on the groin, he slowly lifts the weapon, bisecting the opponent in half up to the chin. The legs then slides, letting some innards slip out. (MK11)
- Friendship #1: 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." (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Friendship #2: Nightwolf instead juggles tomahawks. (MKT) (N64 version only)
- 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 Kiba, 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."
- "Congratulations." (To Liu Kang after his victory over Shang Tsung)
- "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."
- "Haokah. How can Sub-Zero best help us?" (to Raiden about Cyber Sub-Zero)
- "Do not lose faith in the spirits, Raiden. They will guide you. Protect you." (to Raiden)
- "Sub-Zero, we will disrupt the Soulnado. I will be there momentarily." (to Cyber Sub-Zero)
- "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.
- Nightwolf's actor in Mortal Kombat 3, Sal Divita, mentioned in an interview his feelings about the Nightwolf costume looking better on paper than on himself.
- 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 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. They also both appeared as NPC in Story Mode of MKX and both were DLC characters in MK11.
- 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 (Sonya and Liu Kang additionally if you count variations).
- 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 2011s 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.
- According to one of his intro dialogue with Sub-Zero in MK11, the revenant Nightwolf is killed by Dark Raiden off-screen prior the Time Merger. While during an intro with Noob Saibot as well as D'Vorah, Nightwolf’s revenant-self is still alive.
- According to one of his intro dialogue with Shang Tsung in MK11, it was revealed that there was once a Nightwolf that came to his island, but she was defeated by Shang Tsung in a flawless victory.
- Another Nightwolf encountered D'Vorah though she was killed by her.
- Kotal Kahn also mentions meeting a Nightwolf centuries ago.
- Unlike other characters whose present revenant-self are default appearances (including Sindel’s), Nightwolf’s default appearance is his living past-self.
- Some of Nightwolf’s gears (particularly his revenant-self’s gears) in MK11 resembles Johnny Depp’s Tonto character from Disney’s 2013 adaption of Fran Striker’s Lone Ranger.
- Nightwolf's fictional tribe, the Matoka, are inspired by the Lakota People, a Native American Tribe that exists in real life.
- Through numerous character intro dialouges, Nightwolf reveals he allowed himself to be beaten by Scorpion during the first Tournament in hopes of pushing Scorpion onward to his path of redemption. Nightwolf believed if he had beaten Scorpion during there encounter, Scorpion may not have been freed from Quan Chi's control.