Mortal Kombat Wiki
Mortal Kombat Wiki


All realms will tremble before me! Outworld will again be conquerors, never the conquered!


—Shao Kahn during Kotal Kahn's execution in Mortal Kombat 11.

Shao Kahn is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. A powerful tyrant of the Outworld throne, he is one of the most celebrated villains in not only the fighting game genre, but the video game genre as a whole. Alongside Shinnok, Shao Kahn serves as a primary antagonist of the franchise in many instances.

Shao Kahn made his debut in Mortal Kombat II as the final boss, a role he also served in Mortal Kombat 3 and in later games. He later returned as the non-playable final boss in Mortal Kombat (2011), serving as the main antagonist of the game's Story Mode.

Shao Kahn returned in Mortal Kombat 11 as a pre-order bonus character while also having a role as a secondary antagonist in the game's Story Mode, in addition to being one of the announcers for the game's Arcade. He reprises his role as a secondary antagonist in the Aftermath Story Mode expansion, serving it alongside Sindel.

About Shao Kahn

Shao Kahn the Konqueror is the emperor of Outworld, and has served as the main antagonist for most of the series. In many respects, he resembles a large Asian warrior, and is well known for his God-like strength which rivals, if not outright exceeds, that of Raiden. He is also known for his extreme callousness, brutality, ferocity in battle, and fondness for personal executions, although he has occasionally spared the lives of his subordinates after proving their worth to him. He has also spared the lives of other victims such as Sindel and Kitana, raising the latter like his own daughter and treating the former like his own wife. However, his true power that has served him well and allowed him to rise above the image of a mere warlord is his high intelligence and profound knowledge of the black arts. Like his subordinate Shang Tsung, he has the power to consume other souls. It is revealed in Mortal Kombat: Deception that Shao Kahn was an advisor to Outworld as Raiden was to Earthrealm, which would suggest that he is, in fact, a God, as well as the former protector of Outworld during Onaga's rule.

Perhaps Shao Kahn’s greatest strength lies in his ability to work towards his goals with great tenacity and his ability to organize. However, his greatest weakness is his arrogance and overconfidence. Shao Kahn has often underestimated mankind, and therefore tried to conquer Earthrealm many times, with or without a queen (consort), to no success. He also possesses a blinding lust for conquest that can sometimes overwhelm his better judgment, allowing him to be manipulated by those that are cunning enough to exploit this weakness.


Shao Kahn is one of the few non-ninja characters whose appearance has stayed consistent throughout the years. He is easily recognizable by his intimidating stature; his apparent height varies between appearances, but he is always significantly taller than regular characters. He is almost never seen without his trademark warlord helmet which features a skull-like design with a long crest at the forehead. His attire usually consists of spiked shoulder pads, similarly designed knee pads and gauntlets, and a skull medallion embedded in two straps that intersect across his chest. When his helmet is removed, he appears to be bald with a slightly demonic face featuring red eyes and small spikes protruding from his head.

In Mortal Kombat 11, Shao Kahn retains the same key design features along with a more detailed helmet and pauldron. In addition, his whole body now appears dragon-like, with spikes protruding from his skin, apparently only a design change to make him look less human than previous iterations. However, during some interactions in the game's Arcade, it's implied that Shao Kahn wields the power of his former master and previous Kahn, Onaga. He shares the same dragon-like irises as Sheeva, further supporting this idea. A full body picture of Shao Kahn without his armor further shows dragon-like scales across his arms and legs, along with dragon-like spikes protruding from the back of his head.

Combat Characteristics

Powers and Abilities

Shao Kahn is shown to be an immensely powerful being throughout the series. He is able to utilize magic and has superhuman strength and durability. He is also able to charge at the opponent with considerable speed and power. His kombat abilities were demonstrated during the events of Mortal Kombat 3, where he defeated Kung Lao with relative ease. Armed with his Wrath Hammer, Shao Kahn can send opponents flying with one swing. During the events of Armageddon, he was able to smash through Mileena's magic barrier with his hammer.

Like Shang Tsung, he can absorb the souls of others to increase his own power, often through the usage of Soulnados. His ability to absorb souls is so potent, he can rob the billions of souls of an entire realm with a hand motion, often using portals in conjunction with his soul steal to access the souls of a realm without stepping foot on it. The warrior souls he has taken have also retained their memories such as combat knowledge, making him wiser with every soul he imprisons within him.

Shao Kahn is one of the few wielders of the mysterious green energy besides Johnny Cage, Cassie Cage, Nightwolf and Jade. He is one of the most versatile wielders of green energy, as he can use it to create energy weapon constructs such as spears, generate protective forcefields that reflect projectiles and fire energy beams seemingly from his eyes and shoot laser beams from his hands. He can enhance his strikes with green energy to increase the power behind his attacks, greatly increase his attack speed with it (like how Johnny Cage uses green energy to speed up his attacks in his Little Improve fatality) and sometimes use it to propel himself to great distances.

Apart from his projectile attacks, Kahn's knowledge of magic seems to include cloning, as this is how he managed to avoid assassination at the hands of the Deadly Alliance. After escaping into the wilderness, he was able to heal and resuscitate a mortally wounded Goro and recruit him back to his cause. Shao Kahn has also created a body of flesh and bone for Shang Tsung using his magic when the evil sorcerer's original body was vaporized by Raiden's suicide attack in the events of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. He is capable of resurrecting others as well, he demonstrated this ability in the events of Mortal Kombat Trilogy where he brings Mileena back to life after she was killed by Kitana.

His powers extend to wielding psychic powers, as he was able to enslave the thousands of souls within the magical being Ermac using his powerful mind control and is capable of using telekinesis to lift and rag doll opponents.

It is revealed in Mortal Kombat 11 in an interaction between Scorpion and Skarlet that Shao Kahn has knowledge in other fields of magic as well, as he was the one who taught Skarlet how to use Blood Magik.

Signature Moves

  • Light Spear: Shao Kahn crouches down to his knees and throws a long light spear at his opponent. In MK11, the attack is called Merciless Spear, and now has a physical appearance rather than being made of light and energy, however it is still summoned as such. The attack has an increased hitbox unlike most projectiles, allowing it to hit ducking opponents, however there is a chance for it to miss this way and can even miss on standing opponents if they are too close (See Errors). (MKII, MK 2011, MK11)
    • In MK 2011, the attack has armor on startup.
    • Equipping the Wicked Wounds Jinsei Augment increases the stun duration of Merciless Spear by five times its original duration, leaving the spear in the opponent much longer before disappearing. The opponent, however, is not actually stunned by the attack if successful, however they will be completely vulnerable to any of Shao Kahn's attacks if they are not blocked correctly. (MK11 - Jinsei Augment Bonus)
  • Charging Spikes: Shao Kahn shoulder rams his opponent with a shadow trail following behind him. In MKII, MK3, and UMK3, Charging Spikes had white trailing shadows and in Trilogy was replaced to green, however in N64 version, the shadows were blue. In MK11, the attack is called Shoulder Charger which knocks the opponent away from Shao Kahn if it successful hits. (MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:D, MK:U, MK:SM, MK:A, MKvsDCU, MK 2011, MK11)
    • In MK 2011, the attack has armor on startup.
    • In MK11, Shao Kahn can amplify the attack to deliver an additional strike for increased damage. When amplified, the attack can deliver two separate attacks depending on a button input and can be amplified as many times as possible. Additionally, Shao Kahn can delay when amplifying the attack, however the attack cannot be amplified if it is blocked by the opponent and can only be delayed if it successfully lands.
      • Shao Kahn uppercuts the opponent into the air for increased damage and a juggle effect.
      • Shao Kahn delivers an overhead fist slam covered in green energy, knocking his opponent to the ground. This version deals more damage than the juggle effect and has Shao Kahn recover much faster than the opponent. This attack has armor breaking properties, ignoring the armor granted by specific abilities and Fatal Blows. When breaking the armor of a Break Away, the attack will deal very little extra damage, however the opponent will bounce off the ground for a juggle rather than being knocked down. This juggle effect does more damage than the uppercut version.
  • Wrath Hammer Attack: Shao Kahn summons his Wrath Hammer and smashes his opponent over the head with it, setting them up for a free hit. In Deception and on, the Wrath Hammer became a weapon style and thus was no longer needed as an individual special move. In MK11, the attack is called Hammer Lunge, and can be used at different ranges, called Close/Far Hammer Lunge, respectively. The far version of Hammer Lunge can reach the opponent full-screen distance. Additionally in MK11, successfully landing the attack bounces the opponent off the ground for a juggle. Shao Kahn is vulnerable as he leaps with his hammer, leaving him open to attack in some instances. When leaping, Shao Kahn is also capable of dodging incoming projectiles when timed correctly. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MKvsDCU, MK 2011, MK11)
    • In MK 2011, the attack has armor on startup.
    • In MK11, amplifying the attack has Shao Kahn impale the opponent in the stomach with his spear immediately after slamming them then tossing them in the air and away for increased damage. Shao Kahn is much more safe if this version is blocked by the opponent. Additionally, the attack creates considerable pushback. The amplified version of this attack is capable of being Flawless Blocked, leaving Shao Kahn vulnerable to Flawless Block Attacks.
  • Explosive Ball: Shao Kahn fires a green star like fireball, seemingly from his mouth or eyes. In Deception and Armageddon this is called Explosive Blast. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:D, MK:U, MK:SM, MK:A, MKvsDCU)
  • Uplifting Knee: Shao Kahn performs a rising knee attack with a streak following behind him. Between two games, Uplifting Knee had white shadows, but in Trilogy they were replaced by green. In the N64 version however, they were blue. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:D, MK:U, MK:SM, MK:A, MK 2011)
  • Hammer Dance: Shao Kahn swings his hammer at an alarming rate, causing his foe to fly. He makes nine dancing strikes and one final strike. (MK:SM)
  • Ridicule: Shao Kahn taunts, mocks, and ridicules his opponents with insults, mockery, or just plain laughter. It is a trademark of Shao Kahn's and is what makes him one of the more memorable bosses in fighting game history. In Deception, performing a Ridicule could heal Shao Kahn, though only a tiny sliver of health would be recovered and could only be performed three times a match before it was automatically disabled. Same goes for Armageddon; however, in it there is no limit to the amount of times this is used. It heals him once for a rate above 10%, and decreases the more it is used. (MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:D, MK:U, MK:SM, MK:A, MK 2011, MK11 - Equip Ability)
    • In MK11, the attack has two versions with different effects. Additionally, both effects can be active at the same time;
      • Ridicule: Shao Kahn points at and taunts his opponent.
        • Successfully performing this version causes the opponent to catch fire with a green flame for a short time, reducing all the damage they deal by 50% for the duration. Only the first strike or initial strikes of the opponent's Fatal Blow will be reduced. If Shao Kahn is attacked before the opponent catches fire, the debuff will not take effect. Connecting or being struck by a Krushing Blow or Fatal Blow ends this effect prematurely.
      • Humiliate: Shao Kahn laughs at his opponent.
        • Successfully performing this version causes the opponent to catch fire with a green flame for a short time, only this time, Shao Kahn's damage dealt is increased by 25%. Only the first strike of the Shao Kahn's Fatal Blow gains the damage bonus. If Shao Kahn is attacked before the opponent catches fire, the buff will not take effect. Connecting or being struck by a Krushing Blow or Fatal Blow ends this effect prematurely.
          • Equipping the Mocking Laughter Jinsei Augment triples the duration of both Ridicule and Humiliate. Additionally, their effects are intensified, reducing the opponent's damage dealt from Ridicule to 50% and increasing the damage they receive from Humiliate to 100%. (MK11 - Jinsei Augment Bonus)
  • Grab and Punch: Shao Kahn lifts his opponent up by the throat with one hand and then smashes his fist into their face, sending them sailing back. In Deception and Armageddon, this is simply his throw, and if performed next to a Death Trap, could automatically knock opponents into them. (MKT, MK:D, MK:U, MK:A, MKvsDCU)
  • Emperor's Shield: Shao Kahn creates an energy shield to either reverse attacks or to shatter the opponent. (MK:D, MK:U, MK:A, MKvsDCU)
  • Mystic Choke: Shao Kahn engulfs his foe in a force field and slams him/her twice in the chest. (MK:A)
  • Hammer Throw: Shao Kahn throws his hammer at the opponent, stunning them and setting them up for a free hit. This attack can only be blocked with Nightwolf's Absorb, Kratos' Golden Fleece, and Kenshi's Blade Absorb, and can be evaded with Freddy Krueger's Nightmare Stance and Jade's Shadow Flash. Shao Kahn has armor on start-up. In MK11, the attack is called Wrath Hammer, does not have armor and no longer stuns, but can hit ducking opponents. (MK 2011, MK11 - Equip Ability)
    • In MK11, after landing two consecutive Wrath Hammers in a row, the second Wrath Hammer turns into a Krushing Blow, causing the hammer to shatter the opponent's ribcage on impact, knocking them further back and dealing over three times the attack's original damage. This can also count if the opponent is struck by Wrath Hammer during a combo, so long as the second hit successfully connects after. This Krushing Blow can also trigger on airborne opponents.
      • This Krushing Blow damage can be increased slightly if Dark Priest or Humiliate are active, or greatly if both effects are active at once.
  • Hammer Swing: Shao Kahn uppercuts the opponent with his hammer, launching the opponent into the air for a juggle. Shao Kahn has armor on startup. In MK11, this is a basic attack called Dragon Toe, which has Shao Kahn uppercut the opponent with a single-handed hammer swing. In MK11, the hammer swing still juggles the opponent, but no longer has armor. Additionally, Shao Kahn can connect this attack consecutively, however connecting the attack too many times eventually knocks the opponent to the ground. (MK 2011, MK11)
  • Hammer Cut: Shao Kahn sweeps the opponent with his hammer. Shao Kahn has armor on startup. In MK11, this is a basic attack called Hammer Slammer, which is Shao Kahn's sweep attack, in which he steps forward and sweeps the opponent with a low hammer swing. This attack does not have armor in MK11 and is considerably faster than Hammer Cut from MK 2011. (MK 2011, MK11)
  • Upward Shoulder: Shao Kahn performs an upward shoulder charge, launching the opponent in the air for a juggle. While charging, Shao Kahn leaves a green shadow trail when performing the attack, similar to his Charging Spikes. Shao Kahn performs this during his Fatal Blow in MK11 but never in the actual game. Shao Kahn has armor on startup. (MK 2011)
  • Scum Grab: Shao Kahn quickly grabs the opponent out of the air by the throat and throws them on the ground in the opposite direction. This attack has armor breaking properties, ignoring the armor granted by specific abilities and Fatal Blows. When breaking the armor of a Break Away, the damage dealt is slightly increased. (MK11)
    • Amplifying the attack has Shao Kahn slam his hammer on the downed opponent after throwing them to the ground for increased damage.
  • Up Wrath Hammer: Shao Kahn uppercuts his opponent into the air with his hammer, where his hammer is teleported above them, slamming down on them and knocking them to the ground shortly after. Shao Kahn does not have to connect the first strike of the attack to have his hammer land on the opponent, however the hammer will not always land on the opponent if this is done. The attack can be used at two different ranges, normal or close range, called Close Up Wrath Hammer, respectively. Shao Kahn is vulnerable when the hammer is teleported before landing on the opponent, however this window is extremely small. This attack is considered a projectile once the Wrath Hammer teleports above the opponent. This ability conflicts with Seeking Wrath Hammer when equipped, disabling the option to select Seeking Wrath Hammer. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
  • Seeking Wrath Hammer: Shao Kahn throws his hammer backwards, where it loops around the fightline offscreen and strikes the opponent from behind. Unlike Wrath Hammer, this attack does not have an increased hitbox and can miss ducking opponents. This ability conflicts with Up Wrath Hammer when equipped, disabling the option to select Up Wrath Hammer. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
  • Dark Priest: Shao Kahn summons a Shadow Priest who enchants his Wrath Hammer, causing it to glow green for some time. While active, all attacks involving Shao Kahn's Wrath Hammer deal 10% increased damage. The final strike of Shao Kahn's Fatal Blow is not affected by this damage bonus. In the Towers of Time and Arcade, Dark Priest also changes the properties of Shao Kahn's attacks, changing his hammer attacks from dealing Physical damage to Chaos damage. If Shao Kahn is attacked before his hammer turns green, the buff will not take effect. In some instances, even if Shao Kahn blocks the attack, the effect will still not take effect. Connecting or being struck by a Krushing Blow or Fatal Blow ends this effect prematurely. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
    • Equipping the Corrupt Religion Jinsei Augment triples the duration of Dark Priest. Additionally, its damage bonus is increased by an additional 40%. (MK11 - Jinsei Augment Bonus)
  • Ground Shatter: Shao Kahn slams the head of his hammer on the ground, damaging the opponent's shins and feet, causing them to stumble. This can also re-stand the opponent in some instances when it successfully connects during a juggle or on an airborne opponent. Shao Kahn is vulnerable just before he slams the hammer's head in some instances, however this window is extremely small. When this attack is blocked by the opponent, it creates pushback. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
    • Amplifying the attack has Shao Kahn deliver a second, overhead slam, knocking the opponent down for increased damage. Despite Shao Kahn performing this action, the amplified version is not actually an Overhead attack. Shao Kahn is much more safe if this version is blocked by the opponent. Additionally, the attack creates considerable pushback.
  • (Air) Wrath Hammer: Shao Kahn throws his hammer at the opponent from the air at a downward diagonal angle. This ability is separate from his Wrath Hammer ability and does not require Wrath Hammer to be selected to use. This attack does not count towards the Krushing Blow requirement of Wrath Hammer. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
  • Annihilation: Shao Kahn swings his hammer overhead, forcing his opponent to the ground. He then slams the head of the hammer on the ground, forcing the opponent to stand back up where he slams the hammer over their head, knocking them down for a second time. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
    • Amplifying the attack no longer has Shao Kahn deliver the second hammer slam, but instead has him impale the opponent in the stomach with his spear after slamming the hammer on the ground, after which he spawns his hammer, spins, and knocks his opponent away full-screen distance for increased damage.
    • If Dark Priest is active, performing the regular version of the attack turns the attack into a Krushing Blow, having the second hammer slam shatter the top of the opponent's skull, dealing increased damage and bouncing the opponent into the air for a juggle.
      • This Krushing Blow damage can be increased slightly if Humiliate is active.
  • Skewered: Shao Kahn stabs upward with his spear, snatching airborne opponents out of the air and slams them on the ground with his spear in front of him. This attack has armor breaking properties, ignoring the armor granted by specific abilities and Fatal Blows. When breaking the armor of a Break Away, the attack deals increased damage, however this increase is extremely small. This ability replaces Scum Grab when equipped. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
    • Amplifying the attack has Shao Kahn slam the opponent in the opposite direction, but bounces them for a juggle. The attack can only be amplified once for the juggle effect. This version of the attack deals slightly less damage at the expense of the juggle effect.
  • Spear Charge: Shao Kahn charges at his opponent with his spear drawn, stabbing them in the stomach and knocking them away. This ability replaces Shoulder Charger when equipped. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
    • Amplifying the attack has Shao Kahn release the spear after stabbing the opponent, causing them to fall to their back. He rolls forward, grabbing the spear, still impaled into the opponent, picks them up and bounces them off the ground for a juggle and dealing increased damage in the process. The amplified version of Spear Charge does slightly more damage than the juggle amplified Shoulder Charger and has a considerably increased juggle effect. Additionally, unlike Shoulder Charger, Spear Charge can be amplified regardless if the opponent blocks the attack or not, however this offers nothing as a result and can only be amplified once during a combo.

X-Rays/Fatal Blows

  • X-Ray - It's Official: Shao Kahn hammers his opponent to the ground and grabs their arm. He then stomps on their head (breaking the whole skull), lifts the opponent up by the arm, and delivers a skull-shattering headbutt. (MK 2011)
  • X-Ray - It's Official: Shao Kahn summons his Wrath Hammer, pointing at the opponent while saying "Bow to me!". He then leaps at the opponent, slamming his hammer down on them, shattering their spine and ribcage and crushing their intestines. Immediately after, he grabs the downed opponent by their arm and stomps on their head, shattering the entirety of their skull before picking them up by the arm and delivering a skull shattering headbutt that further destroys their skull, with the impact sending the opponent flying across the screen. (MK Mobile - Konqueror Card)
  • Fatal Blow - You Suck: Shao Kahn impales the opponent with his spear and slices them twice across the chest before launching them upwards with a vertical slash. He then performs an Upward Shoulder before grabbing the opponent's leg and throwing them down to the ground and nailing them to the ground with his spear. Finally, he spawns his Wrath Hammer and slams it down hard on the opponent's head. (MK11)

Other Moves

  • Throw (Forward): Shao Kahn grabs the opponent and slams his fist down on their head, forcing them to their knees. He then taunts the opponent, summons his hammer and performs a golf swing to the opponent's face that knocks them away. Shao Kahn has armor on start-up. (MK 2011)
  • Throw (Backward): Shao Kahn grabs the opponent and slams his fist down on their head, forcing them to their knees. He then taunts the opponent, summons his hammer and takes a step behind the stunned opponent and delivers a hammer swing to the back of their head, knocking them away. Shao Kahn has armor on start-up. (MK 2011)
  • Throw (Forward): Shao Kahn jabs the opponent in the stomach and over the head with his hammer, bringing them down on all fours, then launches them across the arena with a golf swing. (MK11)
    • If this is used as a Reversal Punish or Getup Punish, the attack turns into a Krushing Blow, where when Shao Kahn delivers the golf swing, it shatters the entire front of the opponent's skull, dealing nearly double the original damage, and sending the opponent high in the air for a juggle.
      • This Krushing Blow damage can be increased slightly if Dark Priest or Humiliate are active, or greatly if both effects are active at once.
  • Throw (Backward): Shao Kahn hits the opponent in the stomach with his hammer, then spins around the opponent, hitting the opponent in the back of the head with his hammer. (MK11)
  • DIE: Shao Kahn strikes the opponent with the butt of his hammer's handle, backhands the opponent then stabs them in the stomach with his spear, where he stabs them three more times in the chest with his spear before kicking them away. The final stab of this combo is capable of being Flawless Blocked by the opponent, leaving Shao Kahn vulnerable to Flawless Block Attacks. (MK11)
    • If Shao Kahn has successfully landed three or more Merciless Spears, the combo turns into a Krushing Blow on the combo's next successful usage, where the final stab is dug significantly deeper, causing blood to splatter and dealing double the combo's original damage.
      • This Krushing Blow damage can be increased slightly if Humiliate is active.
  • You Will Never Win: Shao Kahn kicks the opponent in the knee, before stomping on their foot, opening them up for additional attacks if successful. This combo has a follow-up attack. The stomp of this combo is capable of being Flawless Blocked by the opponent, leaving Shao Kahn vulnerable to Flawless Block Attacks. Additionally, Shao Kahn cannot continue this combo with its follow-up attack if the second hit is Flawless Blocked, however he can still use special attacks. (MK11)
    • Last Breath: Shao Kahn grabs the opponent and hoists them above his head, slamming the side of their body over his head before dropping them head-first onto the ground in the opposite direction. This final grab acts as a High Throw and is unblockable, however it can miss ducking opponents. This final grab is capable of striking an opponent during a Getup Roll, similar to a standard Throw.
      • If the opponent is under the effects of Ridicule or Humiliate or both, the combo turns into a Krushing Blow, where when Shao Kahn slams the opponent over his head, he shatters the opponent's spine and back ribcage. The damage dealt varies on which effect is present upon connecting the combo, with Ridicule dealing almost double the original damage, and Humiliate dealing over double the original damage due to the damage bonus of Humiliate. This Krushing Blow can still trigger if only the final grab connects, as long as the opponent is affected by Ridicule or Humiliate.
  • Battle Ready: Shao Kahn has armor against all attacks that have a base damage of 4% or less damage. Modifiers and Augments that reduce the damage of attacks that do 5% or more damage do not count towards this armor bonus. (MK11 - Jinsei Augment Bonus)
  • War Hammer: Shao Kahn's hammer attacks have a 20% to be unblockable and deal 200% increased chip damage to blocking opponents. (MK11 - Jinsei Augment Bonus)
  • Bold Konqueror: Shao Kahn's attacks that deal Chaos damage deal 50% increased damage. Additionally, Shao Khan takes 30% less damage from all attacks that deal Physical damage. (MK11 - Jinsei Augment Bonus)

Mobile Game Moves

  • Culling The Weak: Once per match, when utilizing Emperor's Bash on an opponent with 40% or less health, Emperor's Bash will kill the opponent. Boss Characters are immune to this. Shao Kahn has a chance to assist tagging in Outworld teammates by throwing his hammer at the opponent from off screen to deal damage. (MK Mobile - Konqueror Card - Passive)
  • Hammer Throw: Shao Kahn kicks his opponent then summons his hammer and throws it at them, stunning them and setting them up for a free hit. (MK Mobile - Konqueror Card)
  • Emperor's Bash: Shao Kahn grabs his opponent, slams his fist on their head to force them to his knees. He then summons his hammer and smashes them with it, sending them flying. The attack is completely unblockable. (MK Mobile - Konqueror Card)


  • Head Crusher: Shao Kahn hammers his opponent into the ground leaving only their lost consciousness. (MK3) (GameBoy version only)
    • Shao Kahn hammers his opponent into the ground leaving only their head sticking out. He then laughs before hammering his opponent into a bloody explosion. (MKT) (N64 version only)
  • Home Run: Shao Kahn uppercuts his opponent into the air, and smashes them to pieces with his hammer as they fall. In MK 2011, he grabs the opponent by the neck and flips them in the air before delivering the killing blow. (MK:D, MK:U, MK 2011)
  • Fore: Shao Kahn hammers his opponent into the ground and then, when they are buried up to their torso, smashes their head off with a golf swing. (MK:D, MK:U)
  • Emperor's Bash: Shao Kahn boasts out to the crowd then pounds his opponent with his hammer several times, eventually breaking their neck. (MK:SM)
  • Double Down: Shao Kahn jabs his hands into the middle of his foe's torso and slowly rips their body in half down the middle. (MK 2011)
  • Back Blown Out: Shao Kahn hits the opponent in the stomach with his hammer, then smashes them over the back of their head, bringing them down on all fours. Finally Shao Kahn delivers a golf swing with his hammer, crushing the opponent's head inward with it flying through and out of the back with their entrails of their downed body with the spine attached due to the force of the blow delivered. (MK11)
  • Kahn-Sequences: Shao Kahn slams his hammer over the opponent's head, crushing their neck inward and forcing the opponent to their knees. He then replaces his hammer with his spear, stabbing the opponent in the stomach and lifting them up into the air. Shao Kahn slams their body on the ground, cutting the opponent vertically in half with his spear, with their head falling through their severed body into a pile of their organs underneath their upright but collapsing body. (MK11)


  • The Klassic: Shao Kahn performs an uppercut, decapitating the opponent with an upward hammer swing with their spine still attached. This Brutality is shared with every character. (MK11)
    • Must not block an attack for the entirety of the final round.
    • A button must be held.
  • Obliterated: Shao Kahn performs a Hammer Lunge, causing the opponent to completely explode due to the impact of his hammer slam. (MK11)
    • The opponent must be blocking.
  • Spiraling Out: Shao Kahn performs an amplified Annihilation, where when he delivers the spinning hammer strike after impaling the opponent, their upper body is cut horizontally in half and launched into the air spinning around before falling to the ground. The opponent's legs stay upright for a brief moment before falling to the side. (MK11)
    • Shao Kahn must perform a Mercy during the match.
  • Charging Through: Shao Kahn performs a Shoulder Charger, charging through the opponent, bisecting them in half vertically from the head down. (MK11)
    • A button must be held.
    • Can not be performed on a juggled or airborne opponent.
  • Going Ham.....mer: Shao Kahn performs his Throw (Backward), only this time, he mercilessly beats the opponent to death with his Wrath Hammer, striking them five consecutive times with the final blow destroying the opponent's body and causing one of their legs and their head to pop off with the spine still attached. (MK11)
    • A number of Ridicules or Humiliates must be performed during the match.
    • A combination of both abilities counts towards the above note.
  • Kahn Croquet: Shao Kahn performs his Throw (Forward) with the final swing decapitating the opponent and sending their head flying upward. (MK11)
    • A button must be pressed repeatedly.
    • Will not trigger on Krushing Blow, if it has not been activated during the match.
  • Head Kabob: Shao Kahn performs his DIE combo, only this time instead of kicking the opponent away, he impales them two more times before stabbing and picking them up with his spear and planting it in the ground, ripping the opponent's head off upon planting while the body remains on the spear. Their head is impaled at the end of the spear as Shao Kahn performs his Brutality Victory Pose. (MK11)
    • A button must be held.
    • Will not trigger on Krushing Blow, if it has not been activated during the match.
  • Spoils Of War: Shao Kahn performs a Skewered, only this time instead of slamming the opponent on the ground, he summons a Shadow Priest that grabs and rips the opponent's head off as Shao Kahn lifts them. After their decapitation, he plants the spear in the ground, with the opponent's corpse dangling from the bladed end and the Priest disappears with the opponent's head. (MK11)
    • Requires a number of Skewereds to connect during the match.
  • Nothing Left: Shao Kahn performs the overhead amplified version of Shoulder Charger, slamming his fist down on the opponent with enough force that their upper body is destroyed on impact with their head and arms popping off. (MK11)
    • A button must be held.
  • Kickin' Reiko Style: Shao Kahn performs a Kahn Kick, destroying the opponent's upper body in the process. The opponent's arms and head float in the air while spinning rapidly for a moment before falling to the ground in a similar fashion to Reiko's Thrust Kick Fatality. (MK11)
    • Requires a number of Kahn Kicks to connect during the match.
    • A button must be held.
  • Knock Their Block Off: Shao Kahn performs a Rage Strike, decapitating the opponent with their spine still attached as it flies towards the screen. (MK11)
    • Shao Kahn cannot have his back facing the screen.
    • A button must be held.

Other Finishers

  • Hara-Kiri - Hammer Throw: Shao Kahn launches his hammer into the air, and it comes back down and crushes his head. (MK:D, MK:U)
  • Babality: Shao Kahn exclaims "NO!" as though he were about to die normally, but quickly notices the situation. Facing the winner, he decrees "You suck!" in a high-pitched voice, and then turns to the screen and laughs with both hands on his hips. (MK 2011)
  • Friendship - Winner Winner Outworld Dinner: Shao Kahn raises his hammer, then hits a Strength Test with so much force the bell at the top breaks. Shao Kahn then laughs in triumph. (MK11)
  • Culling The Weak: Once per match, Shao Kahn performs his Emperor's Bash Special 2, only this time, he crushes the opponent's head with his hammer instead. The opponent's body disappears shortly after, with Shao Kahn either taunting them if the match continues or laughing at them if he has won the match. (MK Mobile - Konqueror Card)
    • This requires the opponent to be at a certain health level, otherwise Shao Kahn will swing his hammer as normal and the finisher will not be performed.
    • This can not be avoided by characters with passive abilities that allow them to dodge specials.
    • Can not be performed on Boss Character Cards.

Movie Appearances

Mortal Kombat

Shao Kahn appears in both Mortal Kombat movies. In the first movie, Kahn's appearance is only as a special effect at the end of the film (though he is referred to throughout the movie only as "the Emperor"). His voice is provided by an uncredited Frank Welker (who also did vocals for Goro in the movie).

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

In the second movie, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Kahn is played by Brian Thompson and is the main antagonist; he is ultimately defeated and killed by Liu Kang in the final battle.

In Annihilation, as an attempt to shock the viewer, Raiden announced that Shao Kahn was his brother and Shinnok their father. He bore the same tattoo on his right shoulder as a sign of their family that Raiden wore. This has never been made official in MK canon, and most fans have dismissed this as another example of how far removed from the games Annihilation was.

In 2008, eleven years after Annihilation, Shao Kahn's relationship with Raiden was mentioned in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, with Raiden's profile stating that the two are brothers. Given the game's non-canonical status, it has caused many to again disregard this information.

Mortal Kombat: Legacy

Aleks Paunovic portrays Shao Kahn in Mortal Kombat: Legacy.

His motives and history are mostly kept intact from the games though he so far lacks his distinct war helmet and Wrath Hammer, and his relationship with Sindel is slightly changed.

First seen in episode four in flashbacks, Shao Kahn's realm of Outworld won ten Mortal Kombat tournaments, allowing him to merge Edenia with his realm and conquer it. He participated in the slaughtering of the Edenians, observing his brutal Tarkatan hordes kill every man and woman they came across. When Shao Kahn's forces claimed the capital and the castle, he personally prevented Sindel and her child Kitana from escaping, and revealed to her that the man she thought was her husband Jerrod, was in truth nothing but a decoy after his general Baraka slew him before her very eyes and contemptuously told her king had already fled.

Having claimed Edenia for himself, Shao Kahn took Sindel as his wife and Kitana as his own daughter. Shao Kahn grew to have genuine feelings for Sindel, even love her, but she only showed contempt and disgust at his advances. Fearing Kitana would grow to hate him from Sindel's influences, Shao Kahn tasked the sorcerer Shang Tsung to create a clone of Kitana but with Tarkatan blood, a true daughter of his own, and named her Mileena. This proved to be too much for Sindel, and she took her own life, leaving Kahn to raise the girls himself.

Shao Kahn raised the two, and after realizing their exceptional skills for combat, began training them as his personal assassins. He also manipulated their maturing emotions in their adolescence, particularly Mileena's by showing more affection for Kitana, to ensure that they remained loyal only to him. As the two grew older, he eventually assigned them the task of hunting down the remainder of Jerrod's impersonators before finally ordering them to kill the former king himself, though he warned them of grave consequences should they fail.

Though they succeeded, with Mileena having personally struck Jerrod down herself, Shao Kahn was unaware Kitana had learned of her true origins. When he next brought Kitana and Mileena before him, Shao Kahn began to discuss his new plans for merging Earthrealm to theirs, and though not stated on screen, his desire for them to enter the Mortal Kombat tournament.

Though mentioned by Mileena and Kitana in season two, Shao Kahn does not physically appear, as Shang Tsung commands his chosen fighters while in Earthrealm.

TV Appearances

Shao Kahn appears in Mortal Kombat: Conquest, played by Jeff Meek. Despite having lost much of his physical stature from the games and movies, he has a much more threatening disposition, though he rarely interacts with the heroes of the series (due to his inability to travel to Earth). However, he does have a romantic side (as he seduces and charms several women in the series, including two of Quan Chi's undead female slaves) and shows a fatherly, caring relationship with Kitana despite the fact that she is covertly working against him. Jeff Meek's role is more interesting when one considers that he played Raiden on the same show, occasionally opposite himself. In episode 21 Stolen Lies, he deceives a society of people called the Shaakans into believing that he is their god; every aspect of their culture (Farland = Outworld, children pretending to steal souls, a six-armed Shokan warrior and Kahn's henchmen on the scarf, a skull on the head of a Shaakan warrior) reflects this blind worship of the Outworld emperor.

Shao Kahn also appeared in several episodes of the animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm as the main villain. He still seeks to conquer Earthrealm and have it as another addition to his collection of enslaved realms that he had merged with Outworld.

Comic Book Appearances

Shao Kahn makes his first appearance during the Battlewave series of Malibu Comics, though he already was present during the first, Blood & Thunder. Shao Kahn remained mostly faithful to his game counterpart, being the Emperor of Outworld and attempting to take Earthrealm for himself. During the two series, he never appears wielding his trademark helmet, instead always shown with his visible face and design taken from the official Mortal Kombat II comic written by John Tobias. However, in Kitana & Mileena, a comic about Kitana's past, Shao Kahn does appear wearing his helmet.

Shao Kahn appeared during Blood & Thunder while communicating with Shang Tsung by means of a big purple orb. He became disgusted by Shang Tsung's hold of the tournament, so he used his powers to bring all the kombatants into Shang Tsung's palace, triggering the big fight shown in the Tournament Edition final issue.

In Battlewave, Shao Kahn would arrange a different plan to open the portals. He kidnaps Sonya and, by means of hypnosis and brainwashing, convinces her to marry him. The marriage would weaken the barriers between realms enough to allow Shao Kahn to seize Earth easily (and make Sonya the queen of both realms and his wife). During the wedding ceremony held, however, the wedding would be crashed and he would be stopped by the Earthrealm warriors' interruption, ending with Sonya becoming free from Kahn's influence. In the comic, he claims to not be the romantic type, but he also states that Sonya is very beautiful as his bride. However, he soon comes to realize that both Outworld and Earth would be in turmoil as a result of the wedding, questioning his own plan and effectively calling off the ceremony.

Shao Kahn then would devise a tournament of sorts: a race to reach a medallion high into a frozen cliff. Two teams were arranged, with the ultimate victor being Sub-Zero for Earthrealm.


Mortal Kombat (film)

  • "You weak pathetic fools, I've come for your souls!"

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

  • "The Earth was created in six days; so too shall it be destroyed; and on the seventh day, mankind will rest... in peace!"
  • "Rayden, is of no concern to us."
  • "I AM TO BE FEARED for if you fail me now, I will feed you rotting corpse to the worms!"

Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks

  • "You insult me, flea. I am Shao Kahn. I will be your death! Follow if you want to defeat Shang Tsung. Follow me if you want to die at my hands!" (to Liu Kang and Kung Lao, after blasting Raiden)
  • "Silence! Your presence here is unwanted! Uninvited! But like all who come to this realm, you serve me, whether you are aware of it or not." (to Liu Kang and Kung Lao)
  • "Ah, your master. You know his voice so well, yet know him almost not at all. Your master is here. He wants to see you. He has another lesson for you!"
  • "Don't fail me again, Shang Tsung!"
  • "Your soul will soon suffer."
  • "As I said, all within this realm serve my will, even those that seek to betray me."
  • "Shang Tsung impersonated your master Raiden, and led you on a quest for power. The more you killed, the more powerful he became. He meant to use this power against me to become supreme ruler of Outworld. Now... what am I to do with you?"
  • "My people have spoken! And a king must, if only once every millennium or so, listen to the will of his people." (as he brings Kintaro out to fight)
  • "Finish him, Kintaro!"
  • "You disappoint me!"
  • "How pathetic!"
  • "Crush him!"
  • "Rip him apart!"
  • "There is something in you... that makes me feel like a conqueror again!"
  • "You can earn their freedom! If you defeat me, they will be freed!" (referring to Kitana, Johnny Cage, and Raiden)
  • "Earthrealm will be mine! It will fall as easily as Kung Lao!" (after he catches Kung Lao by the neck and casually tosses him aside)

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

  • "Hold your tongue, sorcerer."
  • "Raiden..."
  • "Quan Chi! Traitor!"
  • "What have you done?!"
  • "I am Shao Kahn! And you will bow to me!"
  • "What?"

Mortal Kombat (2011)

  • "Where are the Elder Gods, Raiden?" (in the intro)
  • "Their pathetic Mortal Kombat shackles me no longer."
  • "They masquerade as dragons, but are mere toothless worms."
  • "My venom spreads. It is the end of all things. Armageddon."
  • "It is done."
  • "Your time has passed."
  • "Ages wasted in foolish resistance."
  • "Now is the dawn of my rule."
  • "Yes. Pray to the worms, Raiden."
  • "As your world ends." (preparing to kill the Future Raiden)
  • "You failed me! Five hundred years I have waited! Now I must wait five hundred more!" (to Shang Tsung)
  • "Curse the Elder Gods and their tournaments. I should have taken Earthrealm by force! But I am bound by their rules, rules that can never be broken."
  • "Kill him." (Ordering Shang Tsung's execution)
  • "Kitana! Continue." (Ordering Kitana to stop and then telling Tsung to continue his proposition.)
  • "The tournament will begin!"
  • "And you shall." (in response to the younger Sub Zero's demand to fight Scorpion)
  • "And what do I gain from granting this bold request?" (to Sektor and Cyrax)
  • "Very well. He is yours." (allowing Sektor and Cyrax to take Sub-Zero)
  • "Kitana! ...How is it that Earthrealm ninjas brazenly appear before me when my daughter, Princess of Outworld, was sent to intercept them?!"
  • "Well done, sorcerer." (to Shang Tsung)
  • "I am your emperor! Your father was a weakling Edenian king. I annihilated him while merging his realm with Outworld and took his queen as my wife. If only I had not allowed Sindel to convince me of your worth... But now I have a true daughter!" (revealing the truth to Kitana)
  • "Return to the Flesh Pits. Bring me my daughter. Mileena." (to Shang Tsung)
  • "Raiden! Put forth a worthy champion... if you can."
  • "You will face Shang Tsung. And Quan Chi." (to Kung Lao)
  • "Witless boy. Do you know who I am?" (to Liu Kang)
  • "I am Shao Kahn! Konqueror of Worlds! You will taste no victory." (to Liu Kang)
  • "And you breathe because I restrain mine." (to Shang Tsung about his sorcery)
  • "I am not so easily killed. Quan Chi accelerated my recovery." (unexpectedly appearing before his lieutenants)
  • "Not. One. Word. Because of you, Outworld can no longer merge with Earthrealm!" (to Shang Tsung)
  • "Do you mock me? Sindel's Ward prevents me from setting foot in Earthrealm." (to Quan Chi)
  • "Of course. But even after millennia, her motives are a mystery" (About Sindel, to Quan Chi)
  • "I am weary of sorcerers, Quan Chi. Prove your worth. Bring her to me."
  • "Shang Tsung... The empress requires something of you." (just before sacrificing Shang Tsung to empower Sindel)
  • "Ah, Raiden. You have come to your senses." (when Raiden bows to him)
  • "All these ages you have fought me. You denied me my rightful claim. Not this time." (to Raiden)
  • "The Elder Gods fear me, now."
  • "I have won."
  • "Now, Raiden. Your world ends."
  • "An anemic effort from ineffectual deities. Today, I become THE Elder God!" (when the Elder Gods attack him through Raiden)

Mortal Kombat Mobile (Feats of Strength)

  • "Death becomes you!"
  • "Kneel before Shao Kahn!"
  • "Ha ha ha!"

Mortal Kombat 11

  • "It's official! You suck!" (Brutality quote)
  • "You are finished." (Brutality quote)
  • "End it."
  • "No!"
  • "Outworld will rule!"

Story Mode

Part 1: Mortal Kombat 11

  • "General Kotal?" (To Kotal Kahn, surprised he is alive)
  • "Kahn? Pathetic fool. You pretend to my throne!" (To Kotal Kahn, when he realized that Kotal is the current Emperor)
  • "What game are you playing, Raiden? What magic powers this delusion?" (To past Raiden, thinking everything is just a delusion)
  • "I am no refugee! I am Kahn of Outworld. Vacate my throne. Or I'll soak these sands with your blood!" (To Kotal Kahn, prior to a duel in favor of the throne of the ruler of Outworld)
  • "I will have my throne!"
  • "Empires must expand or die!"
  • "You evade my questions, D'Vorah."
  • "I routed your people. Burned this hive. Yet you aided me."
  • "Kotal "Kahn". How is it I'm dead and he sits on my throne?" (Questions Kollector about his death and Kotal's rise to Outworld's throne)
  • "You killed Mileena?! If this is true, you will die!" (Enraged towards D'Vorah after learning Mileena's death at the hands of D'Vorah while the pair prepares to fight, only to be interrupted by Kronika)
  • "The legends are true?"
  • "So you broke time?"
  • "How will fighting your battles benefit me?"
  • "You can wipe Raiden from history?"
  • "They shall." (Pledging his allegiance to Kronika with his Outworld army)
  • "Soon. It will be mine once Kotal is killed." (To Kronika regarding his army and when they will assist)
  • "What is it about Jade's blood that intrigues you, Skarlet?"
  • "You've suffered too long at this pretender's hands. But I've returned, and I will save you from his madness!"
  • "Only I can rebuild the empire. All realms will tremble before me! Outworld will again be conquerors, never the conquered!"
  • "Where's this boldness been hiding, Kitana? Had you shown it before, I'd have no need for Mileena." (To Kitana)
  • "Surrender, on the brink of victory? You're as feeble-minded as Jerrod."
  • "I wanted Jerrod's wife, not his heir. I kept you only to appease your mother."
  • "Do not expect mercy this time."

Part 2: Aftermath

  • "Wife, I have missed you."
  • "If Quan Chi were here, I'd hoist him by the ankles, and split him through for all the time he stole from us..."
  • "We'll have all the time we need."
  • "Kronika?! Where was she when Kitana stole my throne? We'll make her choke on her empty promises."
  • "Observe, wife, as I dissemble this construct." (If the player chooses him)
  • "Fear that gold-plated relic? HA!"
  • "I'll pulp you and send you back to her in jars!"
  • "Do you enjoy this?" (After defeating Geras)
  • "It will be mine to watch you punish him." (After the player chooses Sindel)
  • "A thousand years, and you haven't lost a step."
  • "What a fine trophy for my arena!"
  • "Enough prattle, fools! You will bow and serve the Empire."
  • "Deal with the jester. I'll school this unruly child." (If the player chooses him)
  • "Ha! Shinnok schemed before he was worthless in battle."
  • "That you beat him only proves that truth."
  • "Now you understand true power." (After defeating Cassie Cage)
  • "Why waste tears on weaklings?"
  • "How many of his bones shall I break for you, wife?" (If the player chooses him)
  • "Twice you fought in the tournament, and twice you failed."
  • "Why Raiden thought you a contender baffles me."
  • "Was that your best?" (After defeating Johnny Cage)
  • "By all means." (After the player chooses Sindel)
  • "Seize the vessel and dump its cargo! We need speed to overtake Kharon's fleet!" (Commands the Shokans)
  • "No doubt the little princess is hiding."
  • "I have found Kitana. Come!"
  • "He and I have unfinished business." (If the player chooses him)
  • "It's a pity the time merger disrupted the tournament. I was about to snap your neck."
  • "I fear nothing, monk."
  • "You're a disgrace to your line." (After defeating Kung Lao)
  • "Kung Lao... Snapping your neck would be too easy for you."
  • "Tell me, did your masters teach you to swim?"
  • "Naïve girl, your mother is not bewitched. She never has been." (To Kitana about her mother)
  • "Let the women be, Chosen One. You owe me kombat." (To Liu Kang)
  • "Yours is to grovel before me, boy!"
  • "After we kill Kronika, that will be everyone's destiny."
  • "It is genius, you pathetic fool!" (After defeating Liu Kang)
  • "Kitana was a false Kahn, a traitor to Outworld! She conspired with Raiden to lead you astray!"
  • "But we will grant clemency now, and riches in the New Era... to all who renounce Kitana and fight under our command."
  • "Let's finish them."
  • "All the better."
  • "Beyond that door: ultimate power."
  • "How easily you are felled, Kronika. Once your power's mine, I will rule eternity!"
  • "You're drunk on the Crown's power, Shang Tsung. In stupor, you forget your place."

Gameplay Taunts

  • "Bow to me!" (In MK11, he says this after knocking the opponent down or after his Last Breath combo)
  • "Feel the wrath of Shao Kahn!"
  • "Feel the power of Shao Kahn!"
  • "Don't make me laugh." (Also in MK Mobile through Feats of Strength, in MK11 after winning a round)
  • "You will never win!"
  • "You will die, mortal!"
  • "Prepare to die!"
  • "You are pathetic!"
  • "Is that your best?"
  • "That was pathetic!"
  • "You weak, pathetic fool!"
  • "You are nothing!"
  • "Your life ends."
  • "You suck!" (Also in MK Mobile through gameplay and Feats of Strength)
  • "It's official! You suck!" (In MK11, he says this after performing a Brutality)
  • "You're still trying to win?" (In MK11, he says this after winning a round)
  • "Ha ha ha ha ha ha!"
  • "I rule this world!" (MKII and MK Mobile from his Konqueror Card Passive)
  • "Outworld will rule!" (MK11)
  • "Worthless and weak!" (MK11)

Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge

  • "You have failed me!"
  • "Silence!"
  • "Gather all forces. It's time to end this game, once and for all."

Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms

  • "Ahhh, at last, as it should be. You and I... to the death."
  • "Yes. Come to me. Come to die!"



  • Shao Kahn started out unmasked and with large gnashing teeth similar to Baraka, since everyone from Outworld was originally to be of Baraka's race. The idea of all inhabitants of Outworld being Tarkatans was later dropped.
  • His height changes considerably between depictions. In the 2D games, he was scaled to be even taller than the Shokan Goro and Kintaro, with a height estimated to be 7'6'', yet he was depicted as only half a head taller than the regular characters in Mortal Kombat: Deception and Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. In Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, he appeared to stand around seven-and-a-half feet, with Liu Kang and Kung Lao only coming up to his chest, but he was not quite as tall as either Shokan character. He appears to be around the same height in Mortal Kombat (2011) as he was in the 2D game, about a head taller than the playable characters, however he is same height as Goro and Kintaro.
    • This is also depicted in Mortal Kombat 11 where he is the tallest character on the roster, however he is roughly the same height as Raiden, Geras, Kotal Kahn, The Terminator, Spawn, Sheeva, and RoboCop.
  • Shao Kahn was never seen unmasked in a game until Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, where once he loses half his health, a scene plays in which he pulls out a hammer and throws it at the player, which the player throws back at him and smashes the mask to pieces. His face is based on the MKII comic depiction.
    • This would later be changed in MK11 where he is given sharp teeth and a large nose, which also marks the first time Shao Kahn can be seen helmetless in a mainline canonical game.
  • Shao Kahn's voice is an ever present sound in the Mortal Kombat games. Even when he isn't present, he can be heard in the form of an announcer with phrases such as "Outstanding", "Well Done", "Incredible", "Superb" and "Excellent". He also orders you to finish your opponent at the end of a match (supporting his character type). His voice can be heard in Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict, which featured Mortal Kombat themes. Starting in Mortal Kombat II, he narrates the match. He would often laugh when a kombatant was low on health. He was the announcer for all games from MKII until MK4, where Quan Chi was the announcer. Kahn resumed being an announcer afterward, even when you fight and kill him as an opponent.
  • Though Shao Kahn was initially shown to be well over 10,000 years old, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon places him as being even older. Shao Kahn was shown to be highly infamous before Taven and Daegon were sealed, which happened before Shinnok's fall from grace. In Shinnok's ending in Mortal Kombat 4, he states that Raiden had imprisoned him for "millions of years", which aligns with his fall and the battle for Earth being the cause for the cretacous extinction event that killed the dinosaurs and led to the Saurians fleeing Earthrealm. This would seem to be an example of time passing differently between realms–as it has been noted at times to do–as it would otherwise humorously mean that Shao Kahn had been unsuccessfully attempting to conquer Edenia for at least 65 million years, since Taven stated that Shao Kahn had made an unsuccessful attempt at the realm before Taven was sealed. The period of Shinnok's fall has also been alternately referenced as only thousands of years ago at times, and this may be also simply be an example of an inconsistency in the timeline.
  • In many official depictions of Shao Kahn made by Midway, he is shown wearing a cape, which he takes off before starting a fight. Mortal Kombat: Deception was the first game in which he wore the cape in-game. He later wears smaller capes with some of his outfits in Mortal Kombat 11, which also have an emblem of his Helmet on it.
  • Shao Kahn's name was accidentally hyphenated in the closing credits of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation ("Shao-Kahn").
  • Though Kahn has no official Animality in the games, in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Kahn is given the Animality of a Five-Headed Hydra.
  • Shao Kahn's "mask" or "Skull Mask" is actually a Kabuto, a Japanese Samurai helmet with a Menpō, a face mask commonly worn with the Kabuto.
    • In MK11 through the Kustomization, Shao Kahn can wear different variations of his iconic mask, from MKII to MK 2011 to brand new variations for MK11.
  • Despite being the "announcer" for most games, Shao Kahn will have a different voice actor in-game then when commentating.
    • In MK11, two voices of Shao Kahn are selectable as announcers for gameplay, the default and Shao Kahn himself (See Below).
  • In a Top 10 list hosted by, Shao Kahn was placed at #4 of the best Mortal Kombat Characters in the Mortal Kombat Series.
  • Shao Kahn has been the final boss in more Mortal Kombat games than any other character, serving as the final boss in MKII, MK3/UMK3/MKT, MK:SM, and MK 2011.
  • In the Parody fighting game Divekick, in Kung Pao's story, she is the daughter of Theodore Khan, an evil dictator. Theodore Khan is likely a parody of Shao Kahn.
  • A 1993 UK-published strategy guide for Mortal Kombat II described Kahn as being "dressed like a '70s disco queen."

Mortal Kombat II

  • Shao Kahn not only makes his debut in Mortal Kombat II, but also replaces Shang Tsung as the final boss, a role he takes over for a majority of his appearances in the franchise.
  • Shao Kahn was digitally re-sized to a taller height to make him tower over the playable characters. Ironically, the actor who played him, bodybuilder Brian Glynn, was not nearly as imposing in comparison; a photograph published in GamePro magazine of Glynn and Ed Boon standing side-by-side, which was snapped during production of the game, showed that Boon was taller.
  • Although Shao Kahn holds a staff in Mortal Kombat II, he is never been seen using it.
    • It also makes an appearance in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, however like before, he never uses it during gameplay.
      • It makes a reappearance in MK11 as a Kollector trade item known as Blood Scepter in the Krypt, but once again he never uses one during gameplay nor can the one from the Krypt be used at all.

Mortal Kombat 3/Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3/Mortal Kombat Trilogy

  • This game marks the first game in which he uses his Wrath Hammer and becomes his signature weapon for the rest of his appearances in the series.
  • Shao Kahn is the only character who bleeds from Robot Smoke's teleport.

Mortal Kombat: Deception

Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

  • Shao Kahn is the one of the only remaining survivors in the original timeline after winning Armageddon.

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

  • Shao Kahn serves as a primary antagonist for the game along side his DC counterpart Darkseid.
  • Shao Kahn and Darkseid would accidently merge in the game's Story Mode, creating the game's sole original character and final boss known as Dark Kahn.

Mortal Kombat (2011)

  • When he is performing his Ridicule, some of the classic taunts throughout the game returned, such as "It's official, you suck!", "Don't make me laugh!", and "Prepare to Die!".
    • This is also the same in MK11, however he is given new taunts while some of his klassic taunts will be spoken after he wins a round or when he performs a Brutality.
  • In a trailer for the game, Shao Kahn uses his Double Down Fatality on Raiden.
  • In his victory pose, a slave girl is shown crawling to and hugging his thigh as he proudly stands. This could imply that he has female slaves of his own.
    • Both their poses are reminiscent of pulp Conan the Barbarian artwork. In particular, a certain piece by Frank Frazetta.
    • This can be further shown in MK11, where he, in an interaction with Cassie Cage, states that Cage would be his new concubine. Kahn goes even further by saying that he likes females with "fire."
  • Shao Kahn's Hammer Throw can be avoided by any female character by simply crouching while the male characters cannot do this. This is due to the hitbox being smaller for female characters in comparison to the male characters.
  • In the start of MK 2011's story mode, Shao Kahn appears in his MK vs DCU costume, but is not present in the game. As his MK vs DCU outfit is similar to what he wore during the last leg of the 1st timeline, it was possibly a deliberate decision on the development team's part.

Injustice: Gods Among Us

  • Shao Kahn makes a cameo appearance during Scorpion's intro in Injustice: Gods Among Us.

Mortal Kombat X

  • In Mortal Kombat X, Ermac may say one of Shao Kahn's taunts, saying "Feel the Wrath of Shao Kahn!" during an interaction.
  • Shao Kahn's Hammer and armor can both be seen in Quan Chi's Fortress in Mortal Kombat X.
    • His Hammer can also be used as an interactable and a Stage Brutality.
      • When performing the Brutality and using the hammer in general, a green aura will surround the area the hammer slams down on, much like when Shao Kahn used it.
    • Using a mod to inspect Shao Kahn's armor in Quan Chi's Fortress shows the armor is damaged, particularly his helmet, in the same fashion as it is was shown in the ending of Mortal Kombat (2011).
  • Shao Kahn does not appear in Mortal Kombat X but only in cameos in character endings, a statue in the Story Mode and the Emperor's Courtyard Stage, and a crumbling statue in the opening credits. He is mentioned by many characters in interactions and by a few in the Story Mode.
    • Shao Kahn does not make a physical appearance in the game.
      • Shao Kahn also cameos in player card backgrounds and icons.

Mortal Kombat Mobile

  • Shao Kahn is a playable character in the mobile version of Mortal Kombat. He is a Diamond character given by completing the Relic Hunt, unlike the other Diamond cards who are Elite Pack exclusives.
    • Additionally, once Shao Kahn has reached his maximum fusion tier, it is impossible to receive his card again as the Relic Hunt becomes disabled once he reaches Tier X.
  • Shao Kahn is one of the few Diamond character cards that is not obtainable through Diamond Card Packs, rather he is obtainable through the Relic Hunt. Other notable Diamond character cards that follow this are Klassic Reptile, who is found in the Quest Mode, Black Dragon Kabal who was obtainable through the Towers of Horror, and Black Dragon Tremor, who was obtainable through the Black Dragon Tower.
  • Shao Kahn was the first character card to receive more than more than one exclusive Equipment Card.
    • Shao Kahn's Wrath Hammer was originally a card used by all characters, but with his release, it received an exclusive effect for Shao Kahn (See Below).
  • Shao Kahn is the only character that can acquire 4 bars of Super Meter. This can only be achieved if both his Helmet and Wrath Hammer are equipped to his card.
    • The fourth bar is not an extra ability, rather just extra Super Meter. It has no symbol for an attack and nothing will happen when the player clicks on it.
      • In addition, it requires the same amount of hits needed to fill the first bar of Super Meter.
  • Shao Kahn was the first character with the ability to actually kill his opponent, this being achievable through his Culling The Weak Passive.
    • In later updates following Update 2.0, several Diamond character cards would gain the ability to kill their opponent by using a Brutality if specific Equipment Card Sets where added to their cards, killing the opponent after a special Combo-Ender.
      • Skarlet's MK11 card could possibly fall into this category, as she technically makes the opponent explode using a Blood Ball when she defeats them.
  • Shao Kahn is one of six characters with a revamped X-Ray move for the mobile version of Mortal Kombat. The others are Freddy Krueger, Takeda, Kung Jin, Jade and Kintaro.
    • Shao Kahn and Freddy are two of four exclusive characters from MK 2011 with very different X-Rays than their originals. The third is Jade and the fourth being Kintaro who uses Goro's X-Ray from MKX.
      • Shao Kahn gains a new startup with a spine and rib shatter at the beginning.
      • Freddy gains a jaw-breaking punch in the middle.
      • Jade gains a new start-up in addition to destroying any and all male testicles upon slamming the opponent in the groin with her staff.
      • Kintaro borrows Goro's entire X-Ray.
      • Kung Jin has an additional slam at the end.
      • Takeda does not jump to his opponent and also teleports back to his original position after finishing his X-Ray.
  • Shao Kahn originally was the only Diamond character card with a Stun for his Special 1.
    • As of Update 2.0, Kold War and Spec Ops Scorpion are now Diamond characters, giving them this trait.
      • With Update 2.5, Black Dragon Tremor also has a Stun for his Special 1.
  • Shao Kahn is one of two characters in the mobile version of Mortal Kombat to give tagging in support to his teammates. The first was Erron Black's Black Dragon card.
    • However, Shao Kahn only supports Outworld teammates, whereas Erron Black supports any character tagging in and his Black Dragon teammates after tagging out, dealing supporting damage every 12 seconds.
  • In a technical sense, Shao Kahn is one of the few characters to tag-in with a special attack.
    • While these characters uses attacking special attacks, Shao Kahn points at the opponent and taunts them when tagging in.
  • Shao Kahn is one of the few characters with a completely unavoidable special attack.
    • Revenant Jax and Injustice 2 Raiden are the only characters with every special attack being unavoidable, as all their special attack break block on the starting hit.

Injustice 2

  • In the DC fighting game Injustice 2, although he is not mentioned by Sub-Zero or Raiden who are featured as playable guest characters, Shao Kahn's name appears on multiple pieces of Raiden's gear.
    • Sub-Zero and Raiden will mention Dark Kahn during interactions and clashes, however.
  • The way Brainiac sits in his ship and watches the fight in his arena in the DC fighting game Injustice 2 is very similar to how Shao Kahn sits in his thrones in MK 2011, the stages being Shao Kahn's Throne Room and Kahn's Arena, respectively.

Mortal Kombat 11

  • Shao Kahn returned in Mortal Kombat 11, becoming the second character in Mortal Kombat history after Goro to be a pre-order bonus character.
    • Shao Kahn appears in the Story Mode, making him one of five characters to appear in a game's Story Mode before becoming playable as a DLC character. The other three are Skarlet, Tanya, Bo' Rai Cho and Sheeva.
      • However, Shao Kahn was announced as a pre-order bonus before his appearance in the Story Mode was revealed.
    • This also makes Shao Kahn the first pre-order bonus character to actually have a role in the Story Mode of the game he is a pre-order bonus character in, as Goro had nothing to do with and was not present whatsoever in the MKX Story Mode.
      • Shao Kahn later gains a role in the Aftermath Story Mode expansion.
        • Goro was, however, the sub-boss in the game's Arcade Tower and regardless if the player purchased him or not, they would still fight him.
  • Shao Kahn is one of the few characters in MK11 with a different voice actor from his last appearance, which was in MK 2011.
    • For his appearance in MK Mobile, his only audio is some of his reused taunts from MK 2011. Additionally, he only has three lines used for his Feats of Strength, which are performed by his current voice actor. (See Above.)
  • Shao Kahn is one of two original final bosses in the series that appear as playable characters in MK11. The other is Shang Tsung.
    • Coincidentally, both are DLC characters for the game. However, Shao Kahn is a pre-order bonus character while Shang Tsung was released in the game post-launch with the Kombat Pack.
      • They later share a trait in being playable and serving as major antagonists in the Aftermath Story Mode expansion.
  • Shao Kahn is one of the few characters whose Arcade outfit is identical to his Story Mode appearance.
  • Shao Kahn is one of two Kahns who are playable in MK11, the other is Kotal Kahn, the former Emperor of Outworld in the Current Timeline.
  • Shao Kahn and Kotal Kahn are the only characters with more than 1000 health.
  • Shao Kahn reacts with rage upon learning of Mileena's death. Additionally, he becomes angry when his opponent mocks her during interactions. This is more than likely due to her strong loyalty to Shao Kahn as both an Emperor and father and that Shao Kahn himself cared more about Mileena than he did Kitana as his "daughter".
    • This is also supported by Shao Kahn hating the idea of Kitana as Kahnum of Outworld and deeming Mileena as an "improvement over the original", as stated by Baraka.
    • With Sindel's release, during interactions, she too even states that Mileena was as much a daughter to her as Kitana.
  • Upon delivering a Brutality, Shao Kahn will deliver one of his klassic taunts, such as, "It's official: You suck!".
    • Additionally, after performing certain combos and winning a round, Shao Kahn may deliver one of his many classic taunts at random.
  • Many of Shao Kahn's klassic taunts are reused as names for his combos.
  • Shao Kahn cannot be played without his mask on. However, when a Fatal Blow, Krushing Blow, or Fatality is performed on him, his helmet is removed.
  • Some of Shao Kahn's intros and outros feature him entering and exiting the fight through a giant green portal similar to the ones he used in MK 2011.
  • Shawn Kittelsen confirmed on Twitter that Shao Kahn was not killed in MK11's Story Mode, but was simply blinded by Kitana.
    • This was later confirmed in the Aftermath Story Mode expansion.
  • Shao Kahn is one of six announcers for Mortal Kombat 11 and one of five unlockable announcers. The other four are Kronika, Raiden, Johnny Cage and RoboCop.
  • After winning a round, Shao Kahn might turn away from his opponent with his hand raised shouting "Are you not entertained?!". This is a reference to the Ridley Scott film Gladiator where Russell Crowe's character, Maximus Decimus Meridius, shouts the phrase at the crowd after killing many opponents in the arena.
  • Many of Shao Kahn's klassic outfits return through the Kustomization. This includes his appearances from MKII all the way to MK 2011, although subtle changes are made to these outfits.
    • With this trait, he is one of the few characters in the game that did not receive a klassic outfit through DLC.
  • Shao Kahn is one of the few characters whose uppercut is from the use of a weapon and not a literal uppercut, resulting in him being one of the few characters that does not literally uppercut the opponent's head off when performing the The Klassic Brutality.
  • Interactions between Skarlet and Sindel reveal that Skarlet wishes to not only become Shao Kahn's second in command, but also his Queen.
  • An interaction with The Terminator shows that Shao Kahn is interested in the machine's success in driving humanity towards extinction in the machine's own timeline.
  • Interactions with Skarlet and Scorpion reveal it was Shao Kahn himself who taught Skarlet the deadly arts of Blood Magik.
    • Additional interactions with Skarlet reveal she wishes to learn Soul Magik, to which Shao Kahn believes is too much for her to handle.
      • Interactions between Shang Tsung and Skarlet as well as between Noob Saibot and Skarlet reveal that Blood Magik is weaker than Soul Magik.
  • With the release of Aftermath, Shao Kahn is one of the few characters with a Throw in a combo rather than a special attack.
Preceded by Emperor of Outworld Succeeded by
Onaga many millennia BMK - 10 AMK (2002) the Deadly Alliance (Original timeline)
Mileena (Current timeline)
Preceded by Ruler of Edenia Succeeded by
King Jerrod 10 000 BMK - 3 AMK (1995) Queen Sindel


  • In the mobile version of MK, when Shao Kahn uses his Emperor's Bash Special 2 attack, his hands are incorrectly placed on his hammer during the mini-game.
  • In MK11, during Shao Kahn's Bone Krusher Intro, when he points at the opponent, if a Kosmetic Outfit is selected where his left arm is covered in spikes and his fingers are clawed, his fingers will clip through his thumb when he points at the opponent during interactions.
  • In MK11, his hands completely change positions from the start of his Back Blown Out Fatality, as his hands are positioned near the head of the hammer as he pulls up on the swing, then appear at the end of the handle when the camera zooms in on the same position when it starts.
    • Additionally, as the Fatality starts, the handle for his hammer phases through his hand at the end of the handle.
  • In MK11, in the Kustomization and when selecting Shao Kahn before a match, various errors are present depending on Shao Kahn's armor, his hammer, intros and outros, all having different results;
    • Helmet Errors:
      • During the fighter selection process, if his helmet has extensions by the jaw, these extensions will completely clip through Shao Kahn's armor in the collar area and through his shoulder pads.
      • During the fighter selection process, his helmet can also clip through his shoulder pads. Additionally, the back of his helmet can do this as well.
      • During the fighter selection process, the back of his helmet completely clips through the handle of his hammer when it is placed on his shoulder.
    • Hammer Errors:
      • During the fighter selection process, if Shao Kahn is selected with armor that either is missing a shoulder pad or completely lacking shoulder pads, his hammer will briefly float above his shoulder.
      • When inspecting his Call to Arms Intro along with his Skull and Bones and Quitting Time Outros, if Shao Kahn is selected with armor that either is missing a shoulder pad or completely lacking shoulder pads, his hammer will briefly float above his shoulder.
      • If Shao Kahn is equipped with a hammer with the head smaller than his default hammer, the hands of his servant carrying the hammer by the hammer's head will be misplaced during his Heavyweight Intro.
      • During the fighter selection process, Shao Kahn's hammer always clips through the shoulder pad of the shoulder he places his hammer on.
  • In MK11, during the fighter selection process, when Shao Kahn clutches his fist at the opponent, his bicep completely clips through his armor's shoulder pad.
  • In MK11, after performing his Going Ham.....mer Brutality, if one looks at the opponent's corpse, one can see that the wound where their leg comes off is completely see-through.
  • In MK11, the updated version of Wrath Hammer's Krushing Blow requirement is incorrect, as it lists the attack as "Hammer Throw".
  • In MK11, his Merciless Spear can completely miss opponents, even if they are standing in front of Shao Kahn within the Spear's hitbox.
  • In MK11, an error that was patched but has resurfaced, when Shao Kahn performs the Krushing Blow version of his Last Breath combo, the opponent will incorrectly swap sides when the Krushing Blow is triggered if Shao Kahn performs it with his back not facing the camera.
    • Additionally, there is a chance that Shao Kahn's hands will be incorrectly placed when the effect triggers, where he is holding onto and holding up nothing.
  • In MK11, during his DIE Krushing Blow, Shao Kahn's spear completely clips through his hand as he stabs the opponent in the chest.
    • Additionally, when Shao Kahn performs the Krushing Blow, he is stabbing the opponent with only one hand on the spear, but as soon as the cinematic ends, he is stabbing the opponent in the stomach with his spear with two hands on the spear.
  • In MK Mobile, Shao Kahn can kill Boss Characters with his Culling The Weak Passive despite them being immune. This error seems to have occurred with Update 3.0 and can be done on Boss Characters in the Kold War Tower.
  • In MK11, if Shao Kahn wins the match by starting up his DIE combo, the second hit of the combo misses, separating the combo in its entirety despite being the correct distance to perform the combo.
    • This in turn can prevent Shao Kahn from either performing a Fatality at the end of the match nor can Shao Kahn perform his Head Kabob Brutality due to the separation of the combo and it not following the Brutality's requirements.
  • In MK11, if Shao Kahn successfully performs his Charging Through Brutality from Shoulder Charger's maximum range, the opponent will appear to become cut in half from the head down without Shao Kahn making contact with them or charging through them.
  • In MK11, there is a note for Shao Kahn's You Will Never Win combo, stating the combo can not be canceled into special attacks when Flawless Blocked, however the combo can in fact be canceled into specials if Flawless Blocked.
  • In MK11, Shao Kahn can perform his Obliterated Brutality on opponents that are not blocking. This occurs during a Last Breath, in which the opponent's Defensive Meter no longer defends the chip damage, however in this case, the Brutality should not trigger given the requirement.
  • In MK11, if Shao Kahn performs his Kickin' Reiko Style Brutality on Raiden, the Brutality result is significantly incorrect, where when Shao Kahn kicks Raiden, Raiden's upper body is not destroyed and his legs become duplicated with his still intact torso, although skinned rather than being normal. Why this occurs only on Raiden and what causes this error is unknown.
  • In MK11, if Sho Kahn has Wrath Hammer or (Air) Wrath Hammer equipped, playing him in the Klassic Towers or Towers of Time will cause an incorrect note for both attacks, stating "Coverts Hammer attacks to deal CHAOS damage while active", this actually being the description for the Dark Priest attack.


Ashrah | Baraka | Blaze | Bo' Rai Cho | Cassie Cage | Cetrion | Chameleon | Cyrax | D'Vorah | Daegon | Dairou | Darrius | Drahmin | Ermac | Erron Black | Ferra/Torr | Frost | Fujin | Geras | Goro | Havik | Hotaru | Hsu Hao | Jacqui Briggs | Jade | Jarek | Jax Briggs | Johnny Cage | Kabal | Kai | Kano | Kenshi | Khameleon | Kintaro | Kira | Kitana | Kobra | Kollector | Kotal Kahn | Kronika | Kung Jin | Kung Lao | Li Mei | Liu Kang | Mavado | Meat | Mileena | Mokap | Moloch | Motaro | Nightwolf | Nitara | Noob Saibot | Onaga | Quan Chi | Raiden | Rain | Reiko | Reptile | Sareena | Scorpion | Sektor | Shang Tsung | Shao Kahn | Sheeva | Shinnok | Shujinko | Sindel | Skarlet | Smoke | Sonya Blade | Stryker | Sub-Zero | Takeda | Tanya | Taven | Tremor | Triborg

Alien | Freddy Krueger | Jason Voorhees | The Joker | Kratos | Leatherface | Predator | RoboCop | Rambo | Spawn | The Terminator
Batman | Captain Marvel | Catwoman | Dark Kahn | Darkseid | Deathstroke | The Flash | Green Lantern | The Joker | Lex Luthor | Superman | Wonder Woman