RAIDEN Rayden-mk2-fix01

I am of truth and light. I protect Earthrealm.


—Raiden in Mortal Kombat X

Raiden (雷電) is one of the few original characters in the first Mortal Kombat game, and in addition, is the one of the few characters to have appeared in every generation of Mortal Kombat games as a playable character. 

About Raiden

Raiden is the eternal God of Thunder, protector of Earthrealm, and arguably one of the most powerful characters in all of Mortal Kombat. After the second defeat of Shinnok, he ascended to the status of Elder God. Being a god, he possesses many supernatural abilities, such as the ability to teleport, control lightning and fly. As a god, he is used to thinking in terms of eternity rather than normal human lifespans, and so he has a radically different outlook on life. This is not to say he is incapable of understanding human values and psyches.


Although being formless and ethereal, Raiden often takes form on mortal planes. As such, he appears as a fully-grown man wearing predominately white robes and a blue vest, his face usually shadowed by a straw hat. The effect is enhanced by his glowing blue eyes that radiate with electricity and long white hair, befitting of his god-like status. In Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, one of his outfits is finished by a flowing blue cape. Lastly, his power is so great that he constantly radiates with lightning energy, electricity constantly dancing and crackling around his being. In Deception and Armageddon, his visage is warped by Onaga's malevolent aura when he sacrifices himself, reforming as a dark warrior dressed in black robes and dark armor, his eyes changed from a soothing blue to a belligerent red. His cape was changed to a subdued red and appears tattered at the end. Due to the events of Mortal Kombat (2011), this change was rendered null. However, he seems to return to this form in the post-credits scene of Mortal Kombat X, though now he wears Shinnok's Amulet.


  • His conical, straw Chinese coolie (harvester) hat is one of Raiden's most recognizable features.
  • His name is sometimes spelled "Rayden" in the video game series.
  • He has electricity running across his body in MK, MK4, MK Gold, MK: Deadly Alliance, MK 2011 while wearing his alternate outfit, and in MKX.
  • Raiden became notorious for yelling randomly while performing his Torpedo move. Fans originally believed that he was yelling Japanese phrases. Interestingly, others thought that he was actually speaking English, and thus Raiden's phrases were miselucidated as "Get back in the car!", "Gimme ma money!", "Freddy bought a car!" or even "Your mother's from L.A.!" Midway soon revealed that Raiden was merely speaking gibberish and not actual Japanese or English words. This was featured in the VH1 program I Love 1992, when Edwin McCain thought Raiden said "Santa Monica!" (Raiden was voiced by Midway employee Jon Hey in the first two games.)
  • A saya (katana scabbard) appears on two of Raiden's secondary costumes. However, he is never seen using the sword.
  • He has glowing white, occasionally blue-tinted eyes. As Dark Raiden, however, he has red-tinted eyes.

Combat characteristics

Powers and abilities

Raiden is the god of thunder and lightning, and as such, he is immensely powerful and has complete control over electricity. He usually keeps behind the scenes in the games and rarely fights, although one notable exception was in Deception, where he fought both Quan Chi and Shang Tsung, and was able to hold his own for most of the fight. Using the element of lightning, Raiden can fire torrents of lightning or concentrated blasts, in addition to being able to form fully fledged thunderstorms as depicted in Deadly Alliance. He also has the ability to fly, which he uses to fling himself at an opponent and shove them into a wall. In Mortal Kombat (2011), it is shown that he can also use electricity to heal others. He also has the ability to teleport to another destination by transforming his body into an ethereal state. Despite his godly status, he is not indestructible and has limits. Raiden, like any other god, will have his powers taken away should he enter a domain not native to him, with Outworld being the most prominent example of this. His powers can return to him once he returns however. It is also because of his godly status that he is forbidden to directly participate in any Mortal Kombat tournaments unless he takes on a mortal form.

Signature moves

  • Teleport: At will, Raiden vanishes and reappears behind his opponent. In MKX, besides being able to reappear behind the opponent, he can also reappear in front of them, about a jump distance behind them and even fake the teleport, which will trigger the animation but keep him in place. However, doing any version of the teleport besides the classic one (which leaves him right behind the opponent) will slightly deplete the Super Meter. (MK, MKII, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK:D, MK:U, MK:A, MKvsDCU, MK 2011, MKX - Displacer Variation)
    • Both in MK (2011) and MKX, the enhanced version is called Sparkport. In MK (2011), it will have Raiden appear behind the opponent and quickly teleporting back in front.
    • In MKX, Raiden will recover after the teleport faster, allowing him to punish enemies more quickly. Alternatively, he can wait some time before reappearing, completely vanishing for some moments. He can also use it to extend a current combo, though miss timing it can allow the opponent to attack or block.
  • Electricity: Raiden sends a bolt of lightning flying at his opponent. In MK 2011 and MKX, this is known as Lightning. In the Thunder God variation in MKX, it can be charged for more damage, and this charge can also be canceled out of with a dash or run. (MK, MKII, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK:DA, MK:TE, MK:D, MK:U, MK:A, MKvsDCU, MK 2011, MKX)
    • Both in MK (2011) and MKX, the enhanced version is called Bolt. In MK 2011, Raiden fires two bolts, one behind and one in front of him. The one behind him wraps around the map hitting the opponent in the back.
    • In MKX, the enhanced version electrocutes the enemy, also slightly suspending them in the air while doing so, and can't be ducked. In the Thunder God variation it can no longer be charged, but can be stopped in place at any point of the arena after being fired by spending a second part of the Super Meter on it.
  • Torpedo: Raiden flies at his opponent and pushes them against the wall. He can perform the move in the air. In MKvsDCU, it's called The Superman and in MK 2011 and MKX, the move is named Electric Fly. (MK, MKII, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK:D, MK:U, MK:A, MKvsDCU, MK 2011, MKX)
    • Both in MK 2011 and MKX, the enhanced version is called Thunder Fly. In MK 2011, this increases the attack's speed and damage.
    • In MKX, the enhanced version does more damage and has armor. In the Displacer variation, both Electric Fly and Thunder Fly can be enhanced after Raiden has grabbed the opponent, tossing them backwards and teleporting behind them to strike them down with a punch.
  • Shocking Touch: Raiden grabs his opponent and holds them in the air while electrocuting them, then punches them to the ground. In MK 2011 and MKX, this is named Electrocute. In MK 2011, Raiden won't punch the enemy at the end, but simply let them fall on the floor, and in MKX the electric charge sends the opponent flying across the arena. (MK:DA, MK:TE, MK:D, MK:U, MK:A, MK 2011, MKX)
  • Shocker: Raiden grabs his opponent and electrocutes them. In MK 2011 and MKX, this is the enhanced version of Electrocute. In MK 2011, this lets Raiden grab the opponent one step farther, but takes a slightly longer period to start. In MKX, it does more damage and launches the opponent into the air, allowing for a juggle. (MKII, MKT, MKvsDCU, MK 2011, MKX)
  • Vicinity Blast: Raiden performs a closer range version of his lightning, but with more knock back and a wind effect to it, which can be charged up. In MK 2011, it can't be charged. In MKX, Raiden lifts his arms up and passes an electric current through them to shock an airborne foe, which can also be extended for some time if the button is held down. This won't hit enemies on the ground. (MKvsDCU, MK 2011, MKX)
    • Both in MK 2011 and MKX, the enhanced version is called Vicinity Burst. In MK 2011, this knocks the opponent back with increased damage.
    • In MKX, it will hit enemies around Raiden by producing a powerful electric explosion that irradiates from his body. It also has armor.
  • Projectile Cancel: Raiden cancels out his Lightning or Vicinity Blast when charging it. (MKvsDCU)
  • Reverse Electricity: Raiden sends a bolt of lightning in the other direction hitting an opponent from behind. In MK (2011), this appears partially as the enhanced version of Lightning. (MKT, MK 2011)
  • Electric Slide: Raiden slides across the floor and hits his opponent with his shoulder, electrocuting them in the process. (MK:DA)
  • Rising Thunder: Raiden rushes upwards to strike his opponent with a lightning-charged punch. (MKX)
    • The enhanced version is called Thunder Strike. After the initial uppercut, Raiden will slam the opponent to the ground with a hammerfist, bouncing them off the ground and allowing for a juggle.
  • Static Trap: Raiden places an orb of electricity in front of himself that will last for about ten seconds. This move has many versions that allow him to place the orbs in various positions around himself, such as above and behind. The orb itself won't harm the opponent if they touch it, but if two of them are present, an electric current will flow between them, which will electrocute the enemy if they touch it. (MKX - Master of Storms Variation)
    • If the forward or backward Static Trap is enhanced, Raiden will instantly shoot both ones, and they will connect into an horizontal currrent.
  • X-Ray Move - Shock Therapy: Raiden sends a beam in close range (when and if it connects), blinding the opponent. Then he teleports behind the opponent and elbows their back damaging their spine, heart, and ribs. Raiden then teleports in front of them and delivers a chop directly at his opponent's forehead, damaging the skull. Raiden finally sends a bolt of electricity through his opponent's head, making them fall down. (MK 2011)
  • X-Ray Move - Shock Therapy: Raiden shoots his opponent into the air with a blast of lightning. The victim flies up through the clouds, and Raiden follows, grabbing hold of the victim's spine and releasing a powerful electrical current through the opponent. He then summons lightning to shoot the opponent back down the ground. The opponent then bounces off the ground and a few feet into the air. Raiden then teleports under his enemy and brings his knee into the opponent's spine, breaking it in half. (MKX)

Other moves

  • Free-Fall Super Move: Raiden grabs his opponent, electrocuting them, before throwing them to the ground below. (MKvsDCU)
  • Throw: Raiden punches his opponent several times before electrocuting them. He then blasts them backwards with a bolt of lightning, or he teleports behind them and knocks them to the ground with an electrical blast. (MK 2011)
  • Power Discharge: Raiden grabs the opponent by the neck to force them against the ground, and then fires streams of lightning to send them sliding backwards across the floor. (MKX)
  • Throw: Raiden grabs his opponent, applies two shockwaves to their chest followed by a third that sends the opponent flying away. (MKX)


  • Electric Decapitation: Raiden sends a surge of electricity into his opponent's head and it explodes. In the Super Nintendo version of MK, the electricity reduces them to a pile of ash and a skull. In MK 2011, this move has become a part of his throw. In MKX, this Fatality is worked into a Brutality. (MK, MKT)
  • Electric Knockout: In the Amiga, Sega Genesis, Sega CD and the Sega Master System versions of MK, Raiden sends electricity to his opponent's head knocking them out. This is done without the blood code. (MK)
  • Invisible Electrocution: In the Game Boy version, Raiden teleports into the ground and rises as a mass of electricity. He then proceeds to cover and shock his opponent, electrocuting them to death. (MK)
  • Explosive Uppercut: Raiden crouches down and sends a vicious electrically-charged uppercut to his opponent blowing them into pieces. (MKII, MKT)
  • Electrocution I: Raiden grabs his opponent, holds them a few feet off the ground, and sends electricity into their body, which causes them to explode. (MKII, MKT)
  • Electrocution II: Raiden lodges his hands into his opponent's chest, lifts them over his head, and sends surges of electricity into their body, making them explode. (MK4, MK:DA, MK:TE)
  • Staff Shock: Raiden calls for his staff, lodges the end into his opponent's chest, lifts them up and shocks them until they're dead. This was also Raiden's first in-game use of a staff. (MK4)
  • Godly Essence: Raiden charges up a ball of energy similar to the intro of Mortal Kombat: Deception. He then fires it at his opponent, blowing them (and Raiden himself) to pieces. (MK:D, MK:U)
  • Lightning Strike: Raiden calls down lightning until it strikes his hand and he fires lightning out of his other, shocking his opponent until they explode. (MK:D, MK:U)
  • Electrocution III: Raiden charges electricity into his hand and grabs his opponent, sending it through their body. The electric shock burns off all the opponent's flesh, leaving behind their burning skeleton. (MKvsDCU)
  • Electric Slam: Raiden grabs the opponent, zaps them for a while, then flies up in the air with them. A couple seconds later, the opponent falls back down and lands headfirst in the ground. (MKvsDCU)
  • Just A Scratch: Raiden charges two bolts of lightning and fires them at the opponent's arms, blowing them off, causing the victim to look at their stumps in a dazed shock. Then he fires another two at his/her legs, blowing them off, causing the victim to fall to the ground still upright. He then grabs his opponent and slams his/her head onto the ground behind him, crushing it, with blood spraying out of the stumps in the legs (MK 2011)
  • Transplant: Raiden teleports behind the opponent and rips out the brain and heart from the torso. He then charges them and puts them back into place. The head begins to glow as he manipulates the charges, and blows up, then the torso explodes shortly afterwards, leaving behind just the victim's lower-half. (MK 2011)
  • Bug Eyes: Raiden grabs his opponent by the face, releasing powerful currents of electricity into their head, causing their eyeballs to pop out, still hanging by the optic nerves. The electric charge becomes so powerful their head pops off their neck and as it falls down, Raiden destroys it with a final blast of lightning. (MKX)
  • Conducting Rod: Raiden summons his staff and blasts a bolt of electricity which runs down on the ground and hits the opponents legs, blowing the opponent's lower legs off. He then runs towards the opponent and proceeds to stab his opponent in the mouth with the staff. He slowly levitates to his feet, and summons a stream of lightning to electrocute his opponent, using the staff as an electric rod to fry his opponent. (MKX)

Other finishers

  • Friendship: Raiden generates a miniature version of himself named Kidd Thunder. (MKII, MKT)
  • Animality: Raiden turns into an electric eel and electrocutes his opponent until they explode. (MKT)
  • Fergality: After inputting a code on the Sega Genesis version of MKII, Raiden would turn the enemy into a smoking version of Probe Ltd. employee Fergus McGovern, who worked on that port of the game. (MKII)
  • Hara-Kiri: Self Electrocution: Raiden charges himself with electricity until he explodes. (MK:D, MK:U)
  • Babality: Raiden lifts his hands up and lighting appears from it until a thunderbolt almost strikes him, making him curl into a ball and causing him to cry in fear. (MK 2011)
  • Brutality #1 - Super Shocker: Raiden grabs and Electrocutes his opponent until their head explodes. (MKX)
  • Brutality #2 - Dark Force: Raiden does his Throw, slamming the opponent and delivering electricity charges that split their legs apart. (MKX)
  • Brutality #3 - Overload: Raiden sends electricity charges at the opponent, teleports, and then does it again. The last electricity charge bisects them at the waist as both halves of their body fall on the ground. (MKX - Thunder God Variation)
  • Brutality #4 - Inside You: Raiden does an enhanced Electric Fly, flying into his opponent, throwing them and disappearing. However, the opponent is shocked to be pulsating electricity and screams before exploding, with Raiden taking their position. (MKX - Displacer Variation)
  • Brutality #5 - Power Outage: Raiden creates a Static Trap that zaps off the limbs of his opponent. (MKX - Master of Storms Variation)


Mortal Kombat

In the first Mortal Kombat movie, Raiden is portrayed by Christopher Lambert and remains the guiding god of thunder, bent on doing all within his power to help the warriors of Earth gain victory in the Mortal Kombat tournament. Raiden also possesses a sense of humor which the other characters seem not to share, often prompting him to apologize after making dry remarks. According to the film, Raiden is forbidden from directly interfering in the tournament, an idea that was also used in the games.

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

In the 1997 sequel, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Raiden is portrayed by James Remar and is revealed to be low in the hierarchy of the gods, as he must seek their guidance when the emperor of Outworld, Shao Kahn, begins his invasion of Earthrealm. Raiden had a tattoo of a dragon on his right shoulder blade that was given to those who carried his family's bloodline. (It also allowed its bearers to travel between realms.) Shao Kahn also carried this same tattoo, and was revealed to be Raiden's brother while Shinnok was Raiden's father (This is a non-canon event created specifically for the film.). Mileena and Cyrax sported temporary versions that flew off when they were defeated. Many fans dismissed this as just another example of how far-fetched Mortal Kombat: Annihilation was from the games. Raiden does not have his movie tattoo in either Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance or Mortal Kombat: Deception; this can be seen on his alternative outfits as both have one of his shoulders bare, and in the games, his status among the Elder Gods varies so much it could be said he had attained the power to traverse realms at some point and never needed such a mystical tool. In Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, however, Raiden's bio states that he and Shao Kahn are brothers, although the game itself is not canonical.


Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm and The Journey Begins

Clancy Brown provided the voice of Raiden in the 1996 animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm. Like many of the other characters, Raiden is based on his movie incarnation and often speaks in a tone of sarcastic wit. While still the leader of the defenders, Raiden will not hesitate to fight alongside his allies to give them the fighting edge. The episode Resurrection in particular is the first time in the franchise to show Raiden's overwhelming fighting experience, almost defeating Shang Tsung single-handed without the need for his ethereal powers. He does not get along with Sheeva in this series, which carried over to the second film.

Raiden also appeared in the animated film Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins. He instructs Liu Kang, Sonya and Johnny Cage about the nature of Mortal Kombat as well as the background of Shang Tsung's minions, including that of Goro, the Great Kung Lao, Scorpion and Sub-Zero while ordering Tsung not to try to kill the Earthrealm warriors before the tournament begins.

Mortal Kombat: Conquest

Jeffrey Meek played an oddly, less-serious yet still wise Raiden in the live-action series Mortal Kombat: Conquest.

Mortal Kombat: Legacy

Canadian actor Ryan Robbins portrayed Raiden in the 6th episode of Mortal Kombat: Legacy. In the episode, Raiden arrives to Earth to participate in the Mortal Kombat tournament, but is taken into custody by the personnel of an asylum, who mistake him for an inmate. Declaring himself "Raiden, the Thunder God and protector of Earth" only confirms to the psychiatrist his mental "disease", and he starts a therapy by force, continuously drugged in order to lower his "unusual physical strength". When Raiden, after three months, still refuses to admit he's just a normal human, the psychiatrist has him lobotomized. Raiden, however, heals immediately after, and, after asking the help of an inmate girl, Blue, starts a riot, during which the personnel hits him with tasers, having the only effect of recharging him and making him more powerful. At the end, the psychiatrist hits him in the forehead with a tranquilizer gun, thus incapacitating him. Raiden is lobotomized once again, and left on the hospital's table. In there, he is reached by Blue, who, under his previous instructions, stabs him with a surgical instrument, so Raiden is released from his actual physical form, allowing him to incarnate himself somewhere else. After a thunder storm, Raiden appears in China, ready to take part in the tournament. His blood appears blue to differentiate him from mortal humans.

David Lee McInnis protrayed Raiden in Season 2 of Mortal Kombat: Legacy.

Between the events of season one and two, Raiden recruited several fighters for Earthrealm to battle Shang Tsung's chosen kombatants, including the ronin Kenshi, the ninja Sub-Zero, the police officer Kurtis Stryker, White Lotus monk Kung Lao, and disgraced action movie star Johnny Cage.

Raiden appeared before Johnny while he was incarcerated, and while Cage was wary of him due to his encounter with Shang Tsung, Raiden offered to leave him alone if he would just hear him out and still refused to join. Raiden was able to convince Johnny to fight for Earthrealm.

Sometime later, the chosen fighters arrived on the island to compete in the tournament, with Raiden greeting them on the shore. That night as they conversed around a campfire, Raiden demonstrated his ability to harness and control lightning when the fire went out, reigniting it with a single burst of electricity. He then explained to the kombatants that each of them possessed an innate supernatural ability that would manifest on the island. Though Johnny Cage was in disbelief, Sub-Zero demonstrated his own talent for ice manipulation by freezing the fire before asking Raiden when the tournament would begin.

Raiden grimly replied, "Now." He was not seen after this, presumably waiting on the shore and observing the tournament from afar due to his godhood forbidding him from personally entering.


In the non-canon Malibu Comics three-issue miniseries Rayden and Kano, Raiden has two female servants named Wynd and Rayne. In Malibu's Blood and Thunder storyline, Raiden did not take part in the MK tournament, claiming that he was not allowed to compete.


Mortal Kombat (film)

  • "What you are about to face is vastly more important than your ego, your enemy, or your quest for revenge."
  • "Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. So why don't you show me what you plan to do about... (glances at more guards) them?" (Raiden to Sonya, Johnny Cage, and Liu Kang, after they defeat a small group of guards)
  • "I don't think so!"
  • "I think you'll find that this is the way out."

Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero

  • "Do you realize what you've done?!" (To Sub-Zero, in reference to Quan Chi stealing Shinnok's amulet from the Temple of Elements)
  • "Your ignorance and greed will cost this entire realm! You now have to set things straight."
  • "You better start believing in both! Because you're going to the Netherrealm, and you're going to bring back the amulet. We must act quickly. I have no dominion in the Netherrealm. You are reality's only hope."
  • "Then stand back! (opens a portal to the Netherrealm) This is a portal into the Netherrealm! Once through, follow Quan Chi, and try to get the amulet before he gives it to Shinnok! I also have this advice. Beware the Brothers of the Shadow. The Netherrealm is a place for lost souls. If you fail, your soul will join theirs... as well as all the souls of this entire realm."
  • "Impressive, Sub-Zero. Perhaps you'll reconcile your reckless past after all."
  • "Thank yourself, for undoing the problem that you created." (rebuking Sub-Zero)
  • "You are a superb warrior, Sub-Zero. Only you can control your destiny. Not even the gods can alter your chosen path in life.
  • "That was a yes. But only you can change it."

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

  • "The Realms are in constant flux. They shift and change like an endless dream. Shao Kahn's defeat should've marked our victory against a threatened merge of Earthrealm and Outworld. Instead, it heralded a new struggle for independence."
  • "Your invasion in Earthrealm violated the rules of Mortal Kombat, Shao Kahn. Your Tarkatan horde has been routed by the Forces of Light. Even now, your allies desert you."
  • "Earthrealm will never succumb to the forces of darkness, Quan Chi. Now, you will face the judgement of the Elder Gods."
  • "You will release Liu Kang at once!"
  • "Release Liu Kang or I will take him from you!"
  • "Enough! Explain yourself."
  • "The Lin Kuei are not welcome here."
  • "But you are still Lin Kuei. Fight!"
  • "This is the end, Shang Tsung. I will finish you!"
  • "Step aside, Liu Kang!"
  • "Fight!"
  • "What have I done?"
  • "You are right. But this fight is mine alone. It was my lightning blast that created Dark Kahn."
  • "No. The rage will only turn us against each other. I will face him alone."
  • "Dark Kahn... The time has come to correct my mistake."
  • "Superman..."
  • "Neither do you."
  • "...and the common goal."
  • "Focus. We must focus."
  • "Superman! He's gone. Shao Kahn's throne room."
  • "The realms has been restored."
  • "If you are anything like Shao Kahn, you will find no refuge here, your fate will be decided by the Elder Gods."

Mortal Kombat (2011)

  • "He must win!" (Future self's message to the past)
  • "You fought well." (To Johnny Cage)
  • "Your last opponent was Tarkatan. He was born with those blades." (Talking to Johnny Cage about Baraka)
  • "He represents Outworld, and had you lost, the Emperor, Shao Kahn, would come one step closer to physically absorbing our world into his." (Explaining the circumstances of the Mortal Kombat tournament to Johnny Cage)
  • "The Elder Gods created the Mortal Kombat tournament to give Earthrealm a chance to defend itself. But if we lose this time, Shao Kahn will conquer all." (To Johnny Cage)
  • "He is a hero, Liu Kang, though he may not yet know it." (Referring to Johnny Cage)
  • "No. You will not be the one to challenge Shang Tsung." (To Sonya Blade, after seeing a vision of Liu Kang defeating Shang Tsung)
  • "Shield your eyes." (To Sonya, blinding Shang Tsung and his guard)
  • "You allowed them to escape." (To Shang Tsung, after helping Sonya and Jax escape)
  • "In my visions, Shao Kahn becomes invincible. He destroys all life in Earthrealm. We will all die. I believe these flashes are a guide to defeating Shao Kahn. But disrupting the flow of time can have serious consequences."
  • "I know it is you, Kung Lao. The Shaolin monks chose Liu Kang to represent your order in this tournament."
  • "Scorpion. I understand your desire for revenge. But Nightwolf is right. There are other ways at which you may find peace."
  • "Spare Sub-Zero's life and I will request that the Elder Gods return the Shirai Ryu to the realm of mortals." (To Scorpion)
  • "Despite my efforts, my vision has come to pass. An unfortunate end, he once defended Earthrealm from the Netherrealm armies of Shinnok and Quan Chi".
  • "He pays you to kill Earthrealm warriors. Betraying your own realm? I expect better. Even from an assassin. (To Cyrax)
  • "Victory for Shang Tsung means the end of Earthrealm. And the Lin Kuei." (To Cyrax)
  • "He must win". Those are my last words before I die. I believe it is you who must win." (to Liu Kang)
  • "I do not understand why my amulet is further damaged. "He must win". If not Liu Kang, then who?"
  • "I didn't realize your master was in the habit of rewarding failure." (To Shang Tsung)
  • "I saw Liu Kang win the proposed tournament. I believe we must attend. But my earlier vision, of your victory over Shang Tsung, was not the solution I sought. Therefore this premonition must show an event I need to change. Perhaps "He must win" refers to another."
  • "Enough! Jackson Briggs, you will restrain yourself." (Putting a stop to a fight between Jax and Johnny Cage)
  • "Perhaps you are right Johnny Cage, you will stay close to me."
  • "Close as a shadow, but twice as silent." (To Johnny Cage)
  • "The flow of time has been changed. I spared Smoke this fate, only to watch this new Sub-Zero fall." (After the Lin Kuei capture the younger Sub-Zero instead of Smoke)
  • "Kitana's faith is a slender reed, bent before the storm. If it can be uprooted altogether..."
  • "Perhaps Liu Kang was wrong about you. Or perhaps he sensed, as I do, that there is conflict within you." (to Kitana)
  • "You need answers, Kitana. I can help you find them, if you will trust in me. Go to Shang Tsung's Flesh Pits. Much will be revealed there."
  • "I am not pleased with this outcome either, Liu Kang. But there is no time. We must return to the tournament." (After learning of Kitana's capture)
  • "Perhaps you are meant to be the victor." (To Kung Lao)
  • "I will strip the flesh from your bones!" (To Shao Kahn, after Kung Lao's death)
  • "The Elder Gods have spoken. Earthrealm is free of Shao Kahn forever." (After Liu Kang defeats Shao Kahn)"
  • "But the price of victory was almost too steep to pay. Kung Lao's death is my fault. I encouraged him. Our triumph was not meant to be achieved in this way."
  • "It cannot be! Shao Kahn is dead! Yet the future remains unchanged!" (After discovering more cracks in his amulet)
  • "No matter my efforts, the future remains in peril. How could I have failed Earthrealm?"
  • "I must speak with the Elder Gods. Shao Kahn's violation must be punished."
  • "A distinction without a difference! Innocents are dying at the hands of Outworld!" (To the Elder Gods, after being told that Shao Kahn's invasion is not in violation of the rules of Mortal Kombat)
  • "I climbed to heaven, now I must plunge into the depths. I will go to Quan Chi. Ally our realm with his against the forces of Outworld."
  • "It disappoints me to see you here." (To Scorpion)
  • "Is this why you chose not to save your family and clan? To maintain your place at his feet?" (To Scorpion)
  • "Fetch your master, Scorpion. I must speak with him."
  • "Now, Scorpion. Fetch your master!" (After defeating Scorpion)
  • "I seek cooperation between Earthrealm and the Netherrealm." (to Quan Chi)
  • "Name your terms."
  • "I offer... I offer the souls of Earthrealm warriors who die in this conflict." (to Quan Chi)
  • "They would agree." (when Quan Chi laughs at his offer)
  • "Not just others! I offer my own soul as well. If I die, you will have it." (To Quan Chi)
  • "No! This was not meant to be!" (Discovering that Quan Chi has resurrected and enslaved all the fallen Earthrealm warriors)
  • "May the Elder Gods watch over you." (After defeating the resurrected Earthrealm warriors controlled by Quan Chi)
  • "Curse you, Quan Chi!" (After defeating more of the resurrected Earthrealm warriors controlled by Quan Chi)
  • "They must, only through Mortal Kombat may Shao Kahn merge the realms. Lest he face the judgment of the Elder Gods... Lest he face the judgment of the Elder Gods! He must win!"
  • "Thank you, Quan Chi. I now know what must be done."
  • "Liu Kang, I now realize what we must do. We must allow Shao Kahn to merge the realms!"
  • "The Elder Gods forbid it without victory in Mortal Kombat. When he does, the Elder Gods' fury will fall upon him. Defeating Shao Kahn before the merge is but temporary. He will return, bringing Armageddon. I have foreseen it!" (To Liu Kang)
  • "No! Do as I say! Have faith in the Elder Gods... have faith in me." (To Liu Kang)
  • "Liu Kang! I cannot let you fight Shao Kahn." (To Liu Kang)
  • "Liu Kang, do not interfere!" (After defeating Liu Kang)
  • "By the gods! NO!!" (After accidentally wounding Liu Kang)
  • "Liu Kang, forgive me..."
  • "Earthrealm's citizens suffer. Further resistance serves no purpose." (To Shao Kahn)
  • "Elder Gods, where are you? Why do you forsake me?" (As Shao Kahn beats him mercilessly)
  • "You violate our will, Shao Kahn. You merge realms without victory in Mortal Kombat. Our penalty is clear." (Speaking to Shao Kahn while possessed by the Elder Gods)
  • "It is over. But only at the gravest of costs." (After defeating Shao Kahn)
  • "So many are gone. Their light has sunk into the earth. I am responsible for their loss."
  • "Come. Let us tend the fallen. Then we must help our realm rebuild. Our work has only just begun." (To Sonya and Johnny Cage)

Mortal Kombat X

  • "Master Bo' Rai Cho. I am pleased to see you. It has been many years."
  • "Most certainly. I presume recent circumstances precipitate your arrival?"
  • "When Kano misappropriated Shinnok's Amulet, he left behind a snare. Disabling it required that I travel to many strange realms..."
  • "I must retire to the Jinsei Chamber. Regain my strength."
  • "I do not know. Disabling Kano's snare demanded my full attention. Once I am rejuvenated, I will confer with General Blade."
  • "I hold out hope that we can turn this crisis to our advantage."
  • "Quan Chi's magic binds the souls of many we hold dear. Capture him, and we can force him to release them."
  • "As long as Quan Chi lives."
  • "I've long regretting losing our comrades' souls to Netherrealm's evil. Kung Lao and Liu Kang... They were like sons."
  • "I would move the Heavens to bring them back to the light."
  • "The others are disembarked. We need to determine its destination."
  • "Even with Tarkartans, there are boundaries we do not cross."
  • "It demonstrated Earthrealm's vulnerability. Shao Kahn knew we would have no choice but to agree to a new tournament."
  • "In good time, Kung Lao. First we free the Shaolin."
  • "For yours as well." (Confronting D'Vorah and Baraka)
  • "If you harm them, you answer to me."
  • "Ehm pala hey, Ba' rah kuh!" (Cursing Baraka in Outworld's language)
  • "You will return to the Wastes with no prize" (After defeating Baraka)
  • "When a god speaks, heed him." (After defeating D'Vorah)
  • "Let us free those aboard this vessel. Then you will find the second ship."
  • "The tournament begins soon. Join me as soon as you are able."
  • "Of that I am certain."
  • "You know not his power! His soul cannot be subjugated!" (To Shinnok)
  • "I would not boast of victory prematurely." (To Shinnok)
  • "You deserve a better fate." (After defeating Revenant Kung Lao)
  • "This is not your destiny, Liu Kang."
  • "The visions are gone. But I know what should be." (To Revenant Liu Kang)
  • "An accident. Which haunts me to this day." (To Revenant Liu Kang after being blamed for his death)
  • "I regret our paths have led here." (After defeating Revenant Liu Kang)
  • "You will not defile the Jinsei, Shinnok!"
  • "No, Shinnok... Even now... others come to defeat you." (To Corrupted Shinnok)
  • "Cassandra Cage..."
  • "Put me in the Jinsei..."
  • "Must be cleansed... Hurry..."
  • “Too long have I allowed Earthrealm to endure the horrors of war. Time and again we’ve defeated our enemies. But we’ve exacted no retribution. Demanded no remuneration. What have we gained for our mercy? More intrigue. More senseless violence. As new rulers of the Netherrealm, heed me. No longer will I simply defend Earthrealm. I will seek out and destroy all who threaten it. No mercy will be shown. No quarter given. Shinnok was an Elder God. Impossible to kill. There are fates worse than death.” (Presenting Revenant Liu Kang and Kitana Shinnok's disembodied head)


  • Raiden is one of the earliest instances of a playable god in a fighting game.
  • He is the protagonist of Mortal Kombat (2011), and co-protagonist of Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe.
  • Raiden's MK vs DC Universe ending implies that he has become like Ultraman, Earth-3's Superman, where his powers are inverted (e.g. Kryptonite fuels his powers, solar radiation from a yellow star weakens them).
  • Raiden's Fatality in the original MK was drastically altered in the Super NES version due to Nintendo's strict no-blood policy at the time. The decapitation was changed to the opponent's turning into a gray pile of dust.
  • Raiden's name is spelled Raiden in the arcade iterations of the Mortal Kombat games, and both Deadly Alliance and Deception. On the other home versions and in the Mortal Kombat films, comics. and TV series', his name is spelled Rayden. This was possibly because of copyright issues from a shoot 'em up named Raiden, or to avoid confusion with Raiden from the Fatal Fury series, a large wrestler. The console versions up until Mortal Kombat 4 and the movies changed the name to Rayden. Ed Boon disliked the way that Acclaim changed Raiden's spelling. [1]
  • Raiden's name is written as 雷電 in both Traditional Chinese and Japanese and 雷电 in Simplified Chinese. It's pronounced as "raiden" (phonetically) in Japanese and "léidiàn" (Pinyin) in Mandarin Chinese. This is simply the Chinese word for "thunder and lightning" that was borrowed in Japanese together with the Chinese characters. The first character (雷) in this word means "thunder", the second one (電/电) now mostly means "electricity", or "lightning" in ancient times.
  • Raiden was modeled after the character "Lightning" from the 1986 John Carpenter movie Big Trouble in Little China.
    • Lightning was one of three storms from the movie. Fujin corresponds most with Thunder (they share a suicidal final attack theme), while the purple ninja Rain corresponds to the third storm (also named Rain).
  • In MK4, Raiden and Johnny Cage share the same fighting stance.
  • Originally, Raiden was not going to be in Deception, and the opening of Deception explained why Raiden would not be in the game. However, this changed after fan complaints, and Raiden remained in the game; the character who would have replaced him, Fujin, makes only a cameo appearance in the Prison stage, and in the Orderrealm during Konquest. Despite this, logically, Fujin is still the protector of Earthrealm, as appointed in MK4.
  • Raiden's alignment and personality change on the events of Mortal Kombat: Deception can be related not only to Onaga's presence, but also influenced by the Elder God's passivity. Since the supreme entities only interfere on Realm affairs when occurs a threat to their existence and power, after many times requesting help, Raiden adopted a machiavellian ideology of doing anything for the protection of Earthrealm, including allying himself to the Forces of Darkness. These steps didn't interfere on the Elder Gods affairs, so Raiden decided to do whatever was necessary to preserve Earthrealm, even not being its current protector at the time.
  • In MK3 and UMK3 for both the arcade and home versions, Nightwolf's Friendship had him transform into Raiden and an arcade machine of MKII drop down with two quotes, "Yes, But I Can Do a Raiden Transformation" or "I've Never Seen a Kano Transformation" (despite not actually turning into Kano). This Friendship was omitted in the Nintendo 64 version of Mortal Kombat Trilogy, due to the fact that Raiden was in that game with the same MKII sprite. Perhaps as a nod to this, Nightwolf becomes Raiden's second-in-command in the story mode of MK 2011.
  • Raiden was originally going to use his staff as a weapon in MKII, but Midway were forced to omit it due to memory constraints.
  • Of all the Kombat Kode symbols shown in MK3, Raiden's symbol was the eighth to appear if the player presses the right buttons seven times or in reverse by holding the joystick Up and press the right buttons three times.
  • In the Super Nintendo version of the first MK, by killing the final opponent in the third Endurance Match with Raiden using his Shock to the Head fatality will make Goro appear grey just like the ashes when he defeated the opponent.
  • Raiden's popularity as a "thunder god" and the way fans reacted to him when he made his debut ultimately led to the creation of other gods such as Fujin (the "wind god"). While they had their own uniqueness, Raiden was still considered to be the most popular of all the gods in the series.
  • He also appeared as a secret character in Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict, NFL Blitz and NBA Jam: Tournament Edition, as well as a cameo appearance in a pinball machine, Bally's 1994 World Cup Championship, in a bonus round.
    • To unlock Raiden in Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict, the player had to complete all the challenges. Two of the challenges are called "Unreal Kombat". The challenges involved 3 people at once though rather than their traditional 2. Also all 3 people used staff weapons for their melee weapons.
  • The television show Mortal Kombat: Conquest is the only portrayal of Raiden as sort of "laid back" god, where he seems like a normal human (or guardian over Kung Lao) rather than an immortal being.
  • Raiden has been portrayed by Midway employee and martial artist Carlos Pesina in all his 2D games' appearances, except in MK Trilogy's versus screen, where he is portrayed by Sal Divita.
  • In Deception, Raiden's ending is the only ending to be narrated by himself.
  • In his profile from the Brady Games' Official MK4 Fighters Companion strategy guide, Raiden's favorite food is "nuclear buffalo wings". This guide also said that Kid Thunder is his favorite nephew.
  • Actors Clancy Brown and Christopher Lambert, both starring in the film Highlander, have both portrayed Raiden.
  • When Shao Kahn killed Raiden in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, his dragon Tattoo did not fly off when he died when all of the others with tattoos did. He explains this in the movie as Cyrax's, as well as Mileena's being temporary, as they are not in Raiden's bloodline.
  • During the development of Mortal Kombat Armageddon, early screenshots showed Raiden's pre-Dark Raiden portrait being used for the character select screen, implying Raiden had returned to his original self. When the game was ultimately released however, the portrait had been changed to his Dark Raiden version, and was left as such in the games unchanged from Mortal Kombat Deception.
  • In MK (2011), Nightwolf refers to Raiden as Haokah, the Lakota Indian thunder god.
  • In Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, he was supposed to partake in an extensive fight scene with Sheeva (Marjean Holden). Despite being in the shooting script (and subsequent novel adaptation), it was cut from the film. Raiden instead fights a pair of Reptile clones, and Sheeva is crushed by a falling cage.
  • In MK (2011), if Raiden is using his "Dark Raiden" costume, his teleport will be red instead of white.
  • If certain X-Ray Moves are performed on Raiden, his hat will fall off. However, it will not fall off during Fatalities, similar to Kung Lao's Razor-Rimmed Hat.
  • Raiden's name and status as a god are taken directly from the Japanese thunder god Raijin.
  • He is the last playable fighter in Mortal Kombat (2011)'s story mode.
  • Raiden's alternate costume in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance is his first official appearance hatless. Also, he has a katana on his waist, but he does not use it in battle.
  • In Mortal Kombat (2011), one of Raiden's fatalities is called "Just A Scratch". This is a reference to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, in which the Black Knight fights King Arthur and is dismembered, the Black Knight says "Tis but a scratch". Raiden also severs the opponent's limbs and leaves the head like in the film. Unlike the film however, where King Arthur decides to just leave the limbless Black Knight be and go, Raiden picks up the dismembered body and smashes the head in to kill them.
    • This is the second fatality to reference a scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail as Kung Lao's "Unfriendly Rabbit" fatality from Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks is likely a reference to the Rabbit of Caerbannog from the film. 
  • In the MK (2011) Arcade Ladder, Raiden appears in eight endings, including his own. This is more than any other character in the game.
  • Raiden's official theme is titled "Eternal Life".
  • If Reptile's Yummy! Fatality is performed on Raiden, Reptile will swallow his head, while his hat is still on.
  • In a Top 10 list hosted by, Raiden's Godly Essence Fatality is listed at #5 for the Worst Fatality due to Raiden blowing himself up during the Fatality.
  • Raiden had a different X-Ray Move for Mortal Kombat X during development, compared to the one found in the final version. This version has the same start as the final version, with Raiden shooting electricity at the opponent, but it doesn't send them flying. Instead, Raiden comes in close and attacks them with a high kick, similar to the one performed by Johnny Cage during his X-Ray Move. Raiden then grabs the victim's spine and releasing a powerful electrical current through the opponent, before teleporting in front of them, and punching them in the liver, sending them flying backwards.
  • Doing a Clash in Injustice 2, The Joker and Black Adam will make a reference to Raiden; with Black Adam referring to Raiden as "The guy with the bamboo hat".
    • This reference could have been a foreshadow for Raiden's appearance in Injustice 2 as a playable guest character via the Fighter Pack 2.
  • WWE Superstar Xavier Woods is playable in the WWE Immortals game as Raiden.
  • In MKX, he and Shinnok are the only characters to address guest character Leatherface as "Leatherface".
    • Shinnok will, however, address Leatherface by last name in addition to calling him "Leatherface".
  • In MKX, Raiden, along with Sub-Zero and Reptile, has the weakest X-Ray attack, dealing only 31% damage.
  • In the mobile game of MKX, Raiden's Dark Raiden card is one of three character cards immune to damage-over-time effects. The others are Klassic Liu Kang, and Klassic Reptile, though Reptile is only immune to Poison.
    • His Dark Raiden card is also one of two cards immune to Power Drain. The second was Klassic Liu Kang.
  • Raiden's Klassic Diamond card is one of five cards in the mobile game with the Grapple bonus on all his specials. The others are Jason Voorhees's Slasher card, Jax's Revenant and Klassic cards, and Raiden's Injustice 2 card.
    • Injustice 2 Raiden is the only card in the mobile game with Grapple attacks that are completely unblockable. This is because all the attacks break the opponent's block at the start of every special rather than in the middle.
    • Raiden's Brutality Inside You pays homage to the climactic fight scene in the end of the 1999 film The Matrix in which Neo does the same into Agent Smith and explodes from the inside.


  • In MKX, when a fatality or brutality that causes the removal of a fighter's eyes is performed on Raiden in his Future outfit, incorrectly when his eyes pop out they will be red instead of blue, much like his Dark Raiden outfit.
  • Though probably unintentional, in MKX, in the Story Mode Raiden explains that Shinnok's Amulet can not be destroyed. However, certain fatalities can destroy the Amulet while Raiden is in his Dark Raiden outfit. This is likely just a gameplay mechanic as the Amulet is just a cosmetic.
    • This is perfectly seen when Jason performs his Kill For Mother fatality from the left side on Raiden.
  • Another similar error is the fact that Raiden and Fujin both state in the MKX Story Mode that Shinnok can not be killed, as he is a former Elder God. In the post-credits scene, this is again stated by Raiden and proven by Shinnok's severed yet still breathing head. However, when Shinnok's Revenants invade the Sky Temple and surround Raiden, Liu Kang will ask Shinnok if they can "kill" Raiden. This could bring confusion as to whether or not the Elder Gods can actually be killed.
    • Despite Shinnok and Raiden being killed during fatalities and brutalities in gameplay, this in not included in the above observation as it is gameplay mechanics.
  • When performing Raiden's Super Shocker brutality during an online match, Raiden's opponent will fly away for a split second before returning to Raiden where they're electrocuted until their head explodes.
  • In MKX, his chin occasionally clips through his arcade outfit's jacket during interactions.
  • Despite not being affiliated with the Netherealm in the ending of the MKX Story Mode, Raiden's Dark Raiden card is a Netherrealm card.
  1. Acclaim changed Raiden' spelling

Preceded by

Protector of Earthrealm

Succeeded by

Beginning of Earth - 5 AMK (1997)


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