It is said that there is only one true ruler of Outworld…and that ruler had returned.


—Shujinko, Mortal Kombat: Deception Intro

Onaga, the Dragon King, is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He made his debut in Mortal Kombat: Deception, in which he also served as the main antagonist and final boss. He then became playable in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon.

About Onaga

Onaga was introduced in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance under the cryptic name of the "Dragon King", the long-dead ruler of Outworld preceding Shao Kahn. Not much was known about him, except for the fact that his army was deemed undefeatable but, at his untimely death, allowed itself to be mummified and kept in an ancient tomb that remained uncovered until the necromancer Quan Chi stumbled upon it. Onaga is one of the series' characters through which the One Being is said to work. His most important powers include superhuman strength, resistance to all forms of magic, and the innate power to raise the dead.


A millennium ago, Onaga, also known as the Dragon King, was the true ruler of Outworld. Hoping to gain eternal life, he ordered the last known dragon egg to be kept, hoping that the blood of an infant dragon would grant him immortality. However, he died before this could be fulfilled. Shao Kahn, one of his chief advisors, had him poisoned and took over his rule of Outworld. His army, however, was kept in a mummified state. This army was considered undefeatable because Onaga possessed the innate power to raise the dead. By means of constant resurrection during battles, his army truly was undefeatable. During the millennia that followed, Onaga was apparently forgotten.

Quite some time before Liu Kang's victory over Goro and Shang Tsung at the Shaolin Mortal Kombat tournament, Onaga communicated through death to Shujinko through an avatar named Damashi. He persuaded Shujinko to embark on a quest to unite the Kamidogu, claiming he was carrying out the will of the Elder Gods, as well as granting him the power to learn the fighting techniques of warriors he encountered. Shujinko readily embarked on his quest, beginning to set in motion events that Onaga hoped would lead to his eventual return to power. Additionally, a sect of holy men still dedicated to him had been guarding the egg of the last great dragon in a chamber of molten lava. During the events of Mortal Kombat II, they captured the Outworld elemental Blaze, who was forced to guard the egg until it was ready to hatch and revive the king.

A few years later, Quan Chi and Shang Tsung, the Deadly Alliance, used their powers to resurrect Onaga's army. Their plan was to use this army to conquer Outworld and eventually, all the other realms as well. Raiden embarked on a mission with the Earthrealm warriors to Outworld to stop their plans, but his attempt ultimately failed. His comrades were slain and he himself was defeated by the Deadly Alliance in person. However, their victory was short-lived. The vampiress Nitara convinced Reptile to help her access the chamber of the last dragon egg. The chamber also held an orb that would separate Outworld from the vampire realm. After she destroyed the orb, Nitara left, but Reptile, feeling betrayed, arrived almost as soon as she transported herself to her native realm. At that moment, the egg hatched and sent its energy into Reptile, which fulfilled the prophecy of Onaga's return. The Dragon King, as such, used the transformed body of Reptile as a host, after he had gained the ability to rise himself from the dead through Shujinko's actions.

Just as his army stood ready to receive commands from Quan Chi, who had emerged victorious in a battle with his former ally Shang Tsung, Onaga returned. Even the combined might of Shang Tsung, Quan Chi and Raiden was not sufficient to defeat him. Raiden's desperate last measure was to use a self-destruct magic that released his godly essence, but that only succeeded in destroying Onaga's army and, presumably, the two sorcerers. Onaga was unaffected due to being resistant to all forms of magic and was now in possession of the amulet Quan Chi previously held.

It was at this time in which Shujinko, finally realizing he had been duped, took action. He traveled through the realms in order to find recruits to fight Onaga. All of these warriors came from extremely diverse origins but Shujinko planned to unite them to fight this enormous threat, who was now in possession of the six Kamidogu (found in the Temple background) and attempting to unite all of them into one.

Unbeknownst to Onaga, Shujinko had united many warriors and absorbed their fighting abilities, and was planning an attack on the Dragon King's stronghold. Shujinko had destroyed each of the Kamidogu, giving him the opportunity to eliminate Onaga. But as Shujinko landed the final blow, Onaga's soul was forced from Reptile's body and dragged down to the Netherrealm, where he was bound by Nightwolf. He remained there for a long time until he was discovered by Shinnok, who had also been trapped there. The fallen Elder God proposed that he would give Onaga his place at the Outworld throne in exchange for his help in returning his own power. Onaga reluctantly agreed, for the time being.

Shinnok informed Onaga about Blaze and the godlike power that would be given upon whoever defeated him in kombat. He proposed that the Dragon King join with Quan Chi, Shang Tsung, and Shao Kahn so that he may stand a better chance at attaining the power. Onaga did not trust Shinnok, and suspected that the former Elder God had something else up his sleeve. But with no other alternative to escape the Netherrealm, he accepted. Satisfied, Shinnok opened a portal to Outworld and sent Onaga back through, where he met with Quan Chi, Shang Tsung, and Shao Kahn and allied with them. He vowed that he would take Blaze's prize for himself, and would destroy everyone who ever stood in his way.

However, Onaga's desire for revenge against Shao Kahn proved to be greater than his desire to gain Blaze's prize. When Shao Kahn was knocked towards the edge of the Pyramid of Argus, Onaga grabbed him and flew far away from the pyramid. His former advisor managed to escape and return to the battle, leaving Onaga's final fate uncertain.


  • Bio Kard: "Centuries ago, before the rule of Shao Kahn, Outworld was controlled by Onaga, the Dragon King. Recently Onaga has found his way back to Outworld and is attempting to reclaim his former empire by any means necessary."
  • Armageddon: "I had nearly regained my throne as Emperor of Outworld when my plans were undone. My pawn Shujinko had grown more powerful than I ever anticipated. Rallying warriors to his cause, he absorbed their fighting abilities and shattered the six Kamidogu, rendering me vulnerable. Only the amulet I had retrieved from the sorcerer Quan Chi gave me protection. But as Shujinko landed his final blow, an outside force simultaneously ensnared my soul and expelled me from my host body. I found myself bound to a rune in the Netherrealm. I languished there until I was found by Shinnok, a fallen Elder God. Like me he was trapped in that accursed place, denied domination of the realms by lesser beings. Shinnok offered me a chance at revenge: I would regain my rightful place as ruler of Outworld in return for my unquestioned servitude. I bow to no one, but I considered his offer. Shinnok was nearing his ascension from the Netherrealm, but he feared another defeat -- either by his enemies or his allies. He would emerge unchallenged if they were all eliminated. To achieve this, he needed an Edenian half-god named Daegon to defeat a fire elemental. The godlike energy Daegon would receive from that victory would bring about this slaughter. However, many other warriors also sought that power. Should Daegon fail, should some other warrior defeat Blaze, Shinnok's plans would go unfulfilled. Shinnok was most concerned with Shao Kahn, my most hated enemy. He proposed that I feign reluctance, but join Quan Chi's new alliance in order to stay close to the traitor. I would then follow him to the final battleground and prevent him from reaching Blaze. When Daegon finally won the prize, the kombatants would all be slain and I would be given Outworld to rule once more. As an added incentive, Shujinko, languishing in Shao Kahn's dungeon, would be mine to do with as I pleased. I did not trust this fallen Elder God. I suspected treachery. If all went as he had planned, I would most likely be among the dead. But I accepted his offer in order to free myself from that accursed Netherrealm. Satisfied, Shinnok conjured a portal and spoke through it. He then raised his hands and clenched his fists. With a demonic shout, my soul was freed from the binding symbol and I was released from the Netherrealm. I awoke in my original body, covered in dragon's blood. Before me stood Shang Tsung, Quan Chi, and my hated enemy, Shao Kahn. I will pose as Shinnok's pawn and join Quan Chi's alliance. Shao Kahn will never reach Blaze. But I would be a fool to allow Daegon victory. Once I have slain the fire elemental and have taken the prize for myself, I will have Shinnok's head. Onaga serves NO ONE!"

Combat characteristics

Onaga appears to be one of the strongest beings in the entire Mortal Kombat series. His own power is ambiguous overall, but since Shao Kahn preferred poisoning Onaga as opposed to fighting him, he can be presumed to possess enough power that Shao Kahn feared facing him. When Onaga had the Kamidogu, he became nearly unstoppable and any direct confrontation with him was nigh impossible. This is displayed when the two strongest sorcerers, Shang Tsung and Quan Chi, combined with the power of Earth's Thunder God, Raiden, tried to stop him. The blasts from all three only pushed him away as he advanced towards them. Not even a self-destruct blast from Raiden was sufficient in destroying him, only doing little, if any visible damage. Being a dragon, Onaga is able to exhale flames in a concentrated ball of fire or a stream of fire, similar to a flamethrower. In Deception, Onaga was able to fly, but doesn't use this ability when fighting in Armageddon. He also possesses a degree of magic as he was able to spread his influence in the form of a spiritual avatar named Damashi, whom he used to manipulate Shujinko for many years to gain what he needed, also displaying his cunning and tactics.

Signature moves

  • Dragon's Fire: Onaga launches a fireball at his opponent. (MK:D, MK:A)
  • Flame Breath: Onaga spews flames, immolating the opponent and setting them up for an additional combo. (MK:D, MK:A)
  • Jumping Stomp: Onaga jumps up and creates a shockwave when he lands, causing damage to the opponent if they are grounded. (MK:D, MK:A)
  • Sliding Kick: Onaga lunges forward with a foot extended, tripping the opponent if he makes contact. (MK:D, MK:A)
  • Dirty Face: Onaga creates a small shockwave which knocks the opponent back a bit. (MK:D, MK:A)

Other moves

  • Super Powerbomb: After capturing his foe, Onaga flies up into the air and powerbombs the foe headfirst to the ground. (MKD)


  • Deception: (Non-Canonical) "My enemies had failed to prevent me from fusing all the weapons of the Elder Gods into one. I used this ultimate weapon to warp reality, merging the realms into a singular existence. The Elder Gods were helpless, and I used their own power against them, in the void beyond the one realm. Not satisfied with merely ruling the one realm, I seized all that exists and merged it into myself. There can be only one consciousness. I am everything. I have become... The One Being."
  • Armageddon: (Non-Canonical) "The forces of Darkness defeated Blaze, and the Dragon King seized the prize for himself, attaining ultimate power. He immediately focused his wrath upon the one being he despised most: Shao Kahn. Long ago, Shao Kahn had stolen Outworld from him. Now Onaga would repay that treachery. Shao Kahn was beaten to the point of death, but Onaga would not see him die so quickly. He ordered Quan Chi and Shang Tsung to deal with the former emperor. While Onaga reclaimed his throne, Shao Kahn remained a captive in his own dungeon, tortured by those who had once pledged to him their allegiance."

Character Relationships

Stage Relationships

  • Dragon King's Temple: Onaga's throne room and his place of worship, where all six Kamidogu and the Amulet of Shinnok are kept. (MKD)
  • Dragon Mountain: An old shrine for Onaga's worshipers in Outworld and also the location of the Dragon King's Temple. (MKD)
  • Lava Shrine: A chamber for the last of the Great Dragon egg, which would one day herald the return of the Dragon King. (MK:DA)
  • Lost Tomb: A long-forgotten temple where many of the Dragon King's army were held. (MK:DA)
  • Nexus Arena: A hub that contained portals to all six realms. Under the guise of Elder Gods agent Damashi, Onaga instructed Shujinko to acquire the Kamidogu from each realm and bring it back to the Nexus. After Shujinko had completed the quest, Onaga appeared and revealed his ruse. (MKD)
  • Sarna Ruins: The former temple of the Great Dragon Egg, relocated due to instability of the lands.
  • Shang Tsung's Palace: At Onaga's arrival, the Deadly Alliance had defeated the last of their opposition and had then turned on each other. With this looming threat, Raiden, Shang Tsung and Quan Chi teamed up against the Dragon King, to no avail. The palace was destroyed and all three were killed. (MK:DA)


  • Onaga is one of the three most powerful beings in Mortal Kombat universe alongside Blaze and Dark Kahn.
    • His strength is rumored to be near that of the One Being, a powerful existence who has fought the Elder Gods long time ago.
  • Onaga's throw in Deception resembles a Super Powerbomb where he flies up into the air after capturing his foe and powerbombs the foe to the ground, but it is changed into a juggernaut boss' regular throw in Armageddon.
  • When fighting Onaga in Deception, touching one of the Kamidogu results in him doubling over in pain. When combos are performed on him during this state, they actually do more damage than they normally would.
  • While Onaga is unplayable in Deception outside of third-party cheat devices, there is evidence that he was meant to be an unlockable character: an unused ending for Onaga that can be found in the Krypt, as well as Puzzle Kombat models for the character.
  • As a playable character, Onaga only has one fighting style (Dragon, which is his own style and not to be confused with the actual Dragon fighting style that other characters in the game use) that cycles repeatedly when the Change Style button is pressed. Also, in the on-screen move list, only one of his special moves is listed, and one (non-working) combo is listed under his fighting style.
  • Reportedly, playing as Onaga in Puzzle Kombat is very difficult, as the character model's wings obscure a good part of the player's screen, and his special builds up very slowly. Likewise, playing against him is also hard, as his wings conceal what he is going to do next.
  • Onaga is the second boss in the series to be immune to projectile attacks, the first being Motaro.
    • Unlike Motaro, however, Onaga does not reflect the projectile back at the opponent. On the flipside though, Onaga was shown to be immune to Raiden's projectiles, along with those of the Deadly Alliance, in a cutscene (Deception game intro), whereas Motaro got killed by an intense projectile of Raiden's in a cutscene of Mortal Kombat (2011) when the Centaur was attacking Johnny Cage, perhaps hinting that immunity to projectiles was not a real canon power of Motaro's, but merely something exclusive to gameplay so he could become more difficult as a sub-boss.
  • Onaga is the first final boss of the series with a bestial appearance as opposed to the more human-like bosses of past games such as Shang Tsung, Shao Kahn, and Shinnok.
  • If a character was to do a low kick ending combo to Onaga in Deception, he can be heard saying "NO KICKING!" in a somewhat whiny nature.
  • Although part of the original Forces of Darkness team-up, Onaga does not appear much in the opening to Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. His only appearance shows him grabbing onto Shao Kahn and flying away.
  • Onaga is most vulnerable to Liu Kang's Bicycle Kick.
  • In Raiden's ending in Deadly Alliance, Onaga was briefly seen with an entirely different look compared to his current design.
  • Since Ed Boon stated in the past that his all-time favorite fighting game series is Tekken, which he likes playing in his spare time, it is possible that the idea of Onaga's appearance in Deception and beyond was influenced by the Tekken boss True Ogre, whose forms have a very similar design to the Dragon King.
  • Excluding Stage Fatalities and the Kreate-A-Fatality, Onaga is one of eight characters including Blaze, Daegon, Mokap, Chameleon, Khameleon, Dark Kahn and Moloch never to receive his own finishing move.
  • Onaga is one of the two characters who is not interested to get the ultimate power from within Blaze. He only desires to get his revenge against Shao Kahn. The other character is Liu Kang (in his zombie state).
  • It is unknown what happened to Onaga after the events of Armageddon.
  • Onaga makes a brief cameo during two of Raiden's visions and is mentioned in Shao Kahn's bio in Mortal Kombat (2011).
  • In MK 2011, it is seen that Shao Kahn's throne is much larger than Kahn himself. This further confirms that Onaga used to be the ruler of Outworld—the throne was meant for him.
Preceded by: Emperor of Outworld Succeeded by:
Unknown Number of years unknown - many millennia BMK Shao Kahn
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