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Somedays, I wished I never left Fengjian.
 

 

—Raiden in an intro dialogue with his mirror self in Mortal Kombat 1.

Biography

  • Mortal Kombat 1: "In the village of Fengjian, Raiden was known for his kindness and charity. He was happy to spend his days tending to the fields, as well as to his friends and family. So when he is asked to leave Fengjian and become one of Earthrealm's champions, Raiden hesitates. But he soon realizes that to best serve his village, he must join them. As the threats to Earthrealm mount, Raiden must mature into the great warrior that Liu Kang knows he can be."

Storyline

Before he shed his status as Titan and Keeper of Time, Liu Kang reflected on the Raiden he's known, remembering his nobility, leadership, and righteous heart, as well as his dangerous temper and rage. In order to prevent the new Raiden from following in his footsteps, Liu Kang decided to turn Raiden mortal, not a god of thunder, to prevent him from falling into anger and repeating history.

Mortal Kombat 1

The new, human Raiden grows up in the village of Fengjian, where he works on a farm with his childhood friend, Kung Lao. The pair frequent the local tea house, and practice martial arts taught to them by its owner, Madam Bo. Raiden is content to remain in Fengjian, unlike the more adventurous Kung Lao, who laments their mundane life on the farm. This prompts Raiden to challenge Kung Lao to a bet - the last to fill their cart pays for dinner at the Teahouse.

The two are seated by Madame Bo herself later that evening and are questioned about their training. After she is dissatisfied by Kung Lao's excuse, Raiden expresses his relief that Lao is paying, sparking an argument over who lost the bet, and the nature of the bet itself. The bet is settled when Kung Lao challenges Raiden to a fight, with the former emerging victorious. At the end of the meal, Raiden comments on the generous portions of food Lao ordered.

As Raiden is gathering the money to pay Madame Bo, the teahouse is accosted by the Lin Kuei, led by Smoke, who intends to extort "protection money" from Madame Bo. When the ninjas begin trashing the teahouse and Smoke throws Madame Bo off a balcony, Raiden and Kung Lao rush to her defense, defeating Smoke in kombat. Raiden single handedly overpowers three other ninjas, to his and Lao's amazement, before the pair are attacked by Scorpion and Sub-Zero. Raiden is tackled down a flight of stairs by Sub-Zero, while Kung Lao engages Scorpion. Raiden is outmatched by the more experienced ninja, being frozen to a bar by the grandmaster's ice powers, but is saved by Kung Lao's intervention. After freeing himself from Sub-Zero's ice, Raiden tends to an unconscious Madame Bo, and is surprised when she immediately awakens, chipper as usual.

As the two express their amazement at her recovery, they are approached by a hooded figure, who asks Madame Bo if the two are ready. The figure introduces himself as Lord Liu Kang, protector of Earthrealm and the God of Fire. Liu Kang explains that the two have proven worthy of becoming his champions in the upcoming martial arts tournament with Outworld. Kung Lao readily accepts the offer, although Raiden is reluctant to leave the village. After Madame Bo encourages him to take up the mantle of champion, he and Kung Lao are directed to the Wu Shi Academy, while Liu Kang leaves to gather other champions.

Raiden is later seen at the academy, training with the monks. He witnesses Kung Lao's demonstration of his razor-rimmed hat, to which he expresses concern. The two mingle with the other champions, Johnny Cage and Kenshi Takahashi, until Liu Kang summons them to determine who will serve as champion during the tournament. Raiden faces down and defeats Cage and Takahashi, before Liu Kang gives the champions leave to rest until his final match against Kung Lao.

That evening, Raiden and Kung Lao prepare for their match. Lao suggests that Raiden concedes, as the latter has never beaten him in a fight, but Raiden refuses, and defeats his friend, earning the right to represent Earthrealm in the tournament. To match his Outworld opponents' magic and skills, Liu Kang gives Raiden a magic amulet, which grants him power over lightning, similar to his godly counterpart. Despite the concerns of Raiden and Kung Lao, Liu Kang assures them that they will not be fighting in Mortal Kombat.

A week later, the group leaves for Outworld's capital, Sun Do, where they are greeted by Outworld's twin princesses, Mileena and Kitana. Raiden expresses his amazement at the new world as they travel, although he confides his anxiety about losing the tournament to Liu Kang. At the palace, he meets General Shao, who taunts the young monk, before the conflict is defused by Liu Kang.

Soon, the Empress of Outworld, Sindel, arrives to commence the tournament. Liu Kang introduces her to Raiden, whom he describes as embodying the best qualities of the people of Earthrealm. Sindel notes the farmer seems nervous, to which Raiden agrees, as he is up against a series of powerful kombatants in an unknown world. Sindel assures him he has every reason to be, since the warriors before him will certainly prove a challenge. As is tradition, the first fight is against Sun Do's First Constable, Li Mei. Having been told of Li Mei's tragic history with the royal family by Liu Kang beforehand, Raiden defeats her but respectfully bows to her afterwards, which Li Mei returns.

Raiden is then tasked with fighting General Shao's second-in-command, the war-weathered Reiko, who takes note of Raiden's lack of battle experience and warns him that he is woefully unprepared. However, Raiden prevails, cheekily noting that Reiko was bested by a simple farmer. He asks Sindel about his next opponent, but she tells him to be patient, having adjourned the tournament until the next day, and requesting her guests attend the evening's banquet.

At the banquet, Raiden sits with Liu Kang, observing as Johnny attempts to make small talk with Kitana. Raiden wonders what Liu Kang sees in Johnny, but Liu Kang tells him that the superstar is a hero, though he may not yet realize it (mirroring the old Raiden telling Liu Kang the same thing about Johnny in the previous timeline). He also introduces Raiden to Rain, the High Made of Outworld. Seeing Tanya and Mileena converse, Raiden wonders if he will have to face Tanya in kombat, to which Liu Kang denies, as it would go against his and Jerrod's traditional rules for the tournament. The fire god explains the nature of Tanya's occupation as an Umgadi, and Raiden expresses worry over Outworld's need for such protection. Liu Kang reveals Outworld's past has been difficult, and the scars of history remain despite Sindel bringing about a new golden age.

Sindel calls for an open dialogue in an attempt to further the bond between realms. Raiden eagerly expresses his excitement in meeting the people of Outworld, claiming that they share more in common than they realize. General Shao, however, ruins the dialogue by retorting that they could not be more different, and nearly enters a rant before Sindel stops him in his tracks and dismisses him, Shao relenting under the pretense of being drunk.

The next day, Raiden continues to excel in the tournament, defeating numerous opponents (including Kotal, Motaro, and Sheeva). With only two fights remaining, Raiden prepares to do battle with Sindel's daughter, Mileena, but he and Liu Kang are surprised to see Kitana has been chosen to fight in her stead. Liu Kang questions the choice in fighter, but Sindel makes the excuse that Mileena is away on a pressing imperial matter. Liu presses his concern, stating that he has not prepared Raiden for Mileena, but Sindel counters by wondering if Raiden can simply improvise, considering how far he has already made it in the tournament. Raiden asks Liu to be confident in him, knowing he can prevail, and the fire god relents. Kitana claims she will be no easier to defeat than Mileena, to which Raiden agrees as they prepare to do battle. Again, Raiden proves victorious, and exchanges a series of compliments with Kitana before she returns to sit by her mother.

Sindel then introduces the General Shao and his accomplishments, now donning his war helm and menacing his battle axe. Raiden remarks on Shao's feats, to which Shao replies that a full recitation of his accomplishments would take multiple days to complete. Regardless, Raiden's unprecedented winning streak does not end, and he bests Shao in kombat to finally win the tournament for Earthrealm. Though Sindel congratulates him, the arrogant Shao refuses Raiden's help in standing up and brushes him off. Victorious, Raiden turns to Liu Kang, who graciously thanks him for his efforts in maintaining the peace between realms. They reconvene with the other champions, and after bidding their Outworld hosts farewell, Raiden and the others return home. However, the momentary peace brought by Raiden's victory is no sooner dispelled when a conversation between Liu Kang and his steward Geras reveals that a new threat in the form of the deceptive sorcerer Shang Tsung has begun to rear its head.

In an attempt to preemptively trounce Shang Tsung's plot before it gains headway, Liu Kang sends Kung Lao, Johnny Cage and Kenshi to Outworld in secret to try and capture the sorcerer, since Raiden's golden tournament run will have undoubtedly made his face more recognizable. While Raiden remains in Earthrealm, the other champions' mission is botched, and they flee back to Earthrealm with new allies in Syzoth and Ashrah, who provide more intel on the situation: Shang Tsung colludes with fellow sorcerer Quan Chi, and both plot to manipulate General Shao and other key Outworld individuals into overthrowing Sindel and collapsing the peace between realms for an unknown benefactor. Another attempt by the Lin Kuei to capture Shang Tsung at his Earthrealm base in Ying Fortress goes awry when Sub-Zero renounces his oath after being manipulated by Shang Tsung, leaving his brothers to defeat him and retreat as the sorcerers' soul stealers are activated.

A second attack on Ying Fortress brings about another revelation: Shang Tsung and Quan Chi's benefactor, whom they believed was a woman named "Damashi", was actually another Shang Tsung who fought Liu Kang for control of an artifact called the Hourglass in the previous timeline. Their battle caused time's fabric to rip apart, resulting in endless timelines diverging from one. With this new "Titan Shang Tsung" planning to use a soul-powered stone army to assault Liu Kang's timeline, Raiden and the others prepare an attack to disrupt the army's efforts while Liu Kang reclaims his power as Keeper of Time. While Scorpion's group distracts the bulk of their forces, Raiden, Shang Tsung and Quan Chi move to use their magic to bring down the portals used to transport the army.

The plan goes slightly awry when most of the warriors' dark duplicates focus their attention on the the Deadly Alliance. While Raiden continues attacking a portal, Shang Tsung and Quan Chi defeat the dark Ermac and Kenshi before returning to assist him. They move to the next portal, where Raiden saves the pair from Dark Rain and Dark Smoke, much to Shang Tsung's chagrin. Upon reaching the third portal, they are confronted by Dark Shao, who initially has the upper hand before being overpowered by their numbers. Shang Tsung notices that the more damage Dark Shao takes, the weaker the portal becomes, so Raiden reluctantly agrees to help kill Dark Shao to permanently shut it down. However, he is blasted aside by Dark Scorpion (joined by Dark Sub-Zero) and forced to fight Dark Shao one-on-one while the sorcerers take over to fight the ninja. Much to Raiden's own chagrin, Shang Tsung and Quan Chi get even with him when they save him from Dark Shao and kill him along with Dark Reiko before the three get to destroy the portal.

During these events, Liu Kang manages to recover his Titan status and reach out to other timelines, meeting with Titan companions who also diverged from the previous era - including a version of the original Raiden, who had prevailed over Kronika personally. Titan Raiden assists Liu Kang in fending off Titan Shang Tsung's attack on Liu's Hourglass, contending with the evil Liu Kang and Kung Lao before being overwhelmed and knocked down. Liu Kang and Kitana manage to defeat the rest of Shang Tsung's cohorts, giving Raiden time to recover and use his powers to help restore Liu's Hourglass, forcing Titan Shang Tsung to momentarily retreat. Once more realizing the severity of the threat Shang Tsung poses, Raiden suggests they take the fight to his timeline.

Both the current and Titan Raiden join the Forces of Light in the second Battle of Armageddon in Titan Shang Tsung's timeline. The current Raiden is attacked by a rejuvenated Dark Shao, but Titan Raiden steps in to aid him. Other versions and amalgamations of Raiden appear for the battle, including more than the ones listed below:

  • The other version of the original Raiden from Mortal Kombat 11 from Titan Shang Tsung's version of events, in which he was corrupted into Dark Raiden like the one from Mortal Kombat X.
  • A version of the current Raiden amalgamated with Kung Lao who resembles Dark Raiden.
  • A Tanya wielding electric powers called Shock Priestess.
  • A Li Mei wielding electric powers called Guard of Thunder.
  • A Reiko wielding electric powers called Warlord.
  • A version of Raiden similar to the current one who can be selected as the final warrior who aids Liu Kang in defeating the Titans Shang Tsung and Quan Chi, before being sent back to his respective timeline.

In the end, the Forces of Light prevail, and the current Raiden and Liu Kang return to their timeline. Sometime later, they are seen having dinner at Madame Bo's teahouse, along with Liu Kang's other champions. Johnny fills them in on his plans for a movie that will tell that masses all about their adventures across realms, much to Raiden's amazement. Though Johnny offers them all parts in the film, Raiden must decline on his and Kung Lao's behalf (much to the latter's disappointment), since new initiates will arrive at the Wu Shi the next day and they need to be trained. Liu Kang then departs to aid Kuai Liang in building the Shirai Ryu, but not before thanking Raiden and the other champions for their efforts in protecting Earthrealm once again.

Endings

  • Mortal Kombat 1 (Canonical): "Were it not for my godly counterpart, I would not have survived the battle against Titan Shang Tsung. Meeting him, though, raised questions. Why did I replace him in this new era? Why was I made mortal? Lord Liu Kang told me of his Raiden's nobility and righteousness. About his steadfast leadership in the defense of Earthrealm. He also told me about Raiden's dark side. How he could be consumed by rage and cast aside the rules he otherwise lived by. Making me mortal and incapable of such anger was to keep me from following in his footsteps. Though I understood the reasons why, I felt I had been done a disservice. To survive the coming battles, I may need the edge that only great rage can bring. As the Shaolin couldn't aid me, I sought someone who could. Someone to stoke the fire within me... and teach me to master it. For this, I could have no better teacher than the Shirai Ryu's Grandmaster."
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