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I was a fool, I had been deceived that I had been working for a greater good, I was in fact an unknowing tool of a greater evil.


Mortal Kombat: Deception Bio

Shujinko (Japanese: 主人公) is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He made his debut in Mortal Kombat: Deception as the main character and protagonist of Konquest Mode.

About Shujinko

Shujinko made his debut in Mortal Kombat: Deception as the game's rogue protagonist. He is an adventurer who, as a boy, dreamed of fighting Shang Tsung. He has traveled the realms and learned the kombat skills of many warriors. Without knowledge, Shujinko has done many evil deeds such as: offering Lei Chen to Hotaru, acting like a mercenary of some sort, using Bo' Rai Cho's warrior medallion to gain such credibility to join the Lin Kuei, being deceived by Damashi and challenging the Elder Gods for powers. His old age has made him wise, but at a cost: he bears an immense guilt for releasing Onaga into the realms again, and now that he is discarded by the Dragon King, has vowed to make up for this mistake. A member of the White Lotus Society, he shares traits with the games' Shaolin monk characters, such as his great receptiveness, deliberation and ability to meditate for weeks. Nevertheless, before all other things, he has always been a traveler and a student at heart.

In the New Era, Shujinko becomes a student of Raiden and Kung Lao in the Wu Shi Academy.


Of all the Mortal Kombat characters to appear in the series, Shujinko goes through the most drastic and progressive changes. At the start, Shujinko appears as a young teen with short, shaggy black hair dressed in red and brown village clothing. Upon adulthood, Shujinko's hair grows slightly longer and tied into a ponytail and wears a bright blue gi and beige pants, looking a bit like a warrior on his very first journey. Upon stepping into the pool in Chaosrealm, Shujinko gains a beige gi and a fairly long goatee with small streaks of gray. After the purification he received from Nightwolf, Shujinko adorns himself in armor, resembling much like a seasoned warrior. His hair is now loose and has grayed from age moving into his elderly years and has grown a fairly long parted mustache. Near the end of Konquest, He has long white hair pulled back in a ponytail behind his head. He has bushy white eyebrows and a long white beard. He wears a very baggy beige kimono over equally baggy black pants.

Alternate costume: Shujinko is bald and has a three "pronged" goatee type facial hair. He wears a half grey/ half orange baggy shirt. Draped over his chest is what looks like a bid with an East Asian symbol adorned on it. His right arm is exposed except for a wrist guard. He wears a thin brown sash with a light brown flap hanging in front of his legs. He wears baggy dark pants over black and brown boots laced up to his knees. On his back, Shujinko has Scorpion's spear hanging in his belt.

Combat Characteristics

Powers and Abilities

In his young years, Shujinko was trained by the Outworld martial artist, Bo' Rai Cho, the same one who had trained Liu Kang and Kung Lao, proving he was quite formidable in combat. After his first encounter with Damashi, he is imbued with a supernatural 'gift from the gods'. This gift allows Shujinko to copy the powers of anyone he fights and any super he can see or acknowledge (which can be noted as by mere thoughts or just by reading a book. In Deception's Konquest, he is shown turning into other fighters prior to a match). Thus far, he has absorbed the powers of the likes of Liu Kang, Sindel, the ancestor of Sub-Zero, Scorpion, etc. Due to his otherworldly experiences with other kombatants across the realms, Shujinko would undoubtedly be very powerful at this point. However, his elderly status may have indeed hindered his strength though the times he has been captured were intentional, as he does not seem to believe in violent confrontations in defense of his innocence.

Signature Moves

  • Spear Throw: A move borrowed from Scorpion, Shujinko sends out a rope with a tipped kunai at the end, it impales itself in its victims allowing Shujinko to pull them through the air towards him for a free hit, as well as causing a small bit of damage. Shujinko even goes as far as saying Scorpion's trademark sentences "Come here!" and "Get over here!" when using it. (MK:D, MK:U, MK:A)
  • Icy Breeze: A move borrowed from Sub-Zero, Shujinko sends a blast of ice towards the opponent to freeze them in place for a free hit. As with Sub-Zero himself, if Shujinko uses the move against an already frozen opponent, the blast will bounce back from the opponent, defrosting them, and towards Shujinko, freezing him in place and setting him for a free hit. (MK:D, MK:U, MK:A)
  • Flaming Fist: A move borrowed from Kobra, Shujinko dashes forward with a flaming fist extended, which knocks his opponents down. (MK:D, MK:U, MK:A)
  • Flip Scissor Kick: A move supposedly learnt from Bo' Rai Cho and later taught to Li Mei, Shujinko flips forwards in a circular motion, bringing his feet over his head and kicking the opponent and then landing back on his feet. (MK:D, MK:U, MK:A)
  • Flying Jinko: This move is a variation of Raiden's Torpedo move in which he flies toward the opponent while emitting small shockwaves from his body and shoving the opponent for a distance. (MK:D, MK:U, MK:A)
  • Bicycle Kicks: A move borrowed from Liu Kang, Shujinko flies across the screen with a series of multiple kicks to the opponent's torso and face. (MK:D, MK:U, MK:A)
  • Slide: A move borrowed from Sindel, Shujinko does a face-first slide toward the opponent. If it connects, he grabs their ankles, causing them to wobble, then bends upward and kicks them with both feet in the face, knocking the opponent down. (MK:D, MK:U, MK:A)
  • Opponent Slam: A move borrowed from Ermac, Shujinko uses what telekinetic powers he has at his disposal, to lift up and slam the opponent hard on the ground with a simple motion of the hand and arm. (MK:D, MK:U, MK:A)

Fatal Blow

  • Kameo Fatal Blow: Shujinko walks to the opponent and uses his hand to strike them in a fast way before using his other hand to grab their neck and squeeze their throat. Shujinko ends the move with a palm strike before the selected player approaches the opponent with their fatal blow. (MK1)

Other moves

  • Passing Time: Shujinko runs onto the fightline and starts meditating while hovering above the ground, filling his Kameo bar. This move can be delayed to make Shujinko run further. (MK1)
  • REALLY Passing Time: Shujinko runs onto the fightline and starts meditating in a lower position, filling his Kameo bar. (MK1)
    • Peace Out: Shujinko teleports away even without filling his Kameo bar.
  • Apep Punch: Shujinko performs a forward leaning punch and either starts meditating while hovering above the ground or in a lower position or performs one of the opponent's copied moves. (MK1)
  • Konquest Kick: Shujinko performs a front kick that knocks the opponent back and starts meditating while hovering above the ground or in a lower position or performs one of the opponent's copied moves. (MK1)
  • Mimic/Kopy Kat/Imitate/Replikate/Flatter: Shujinko mimics one of the opponent's moves, depending on the input. (MK1)
    • The list of the copied moves is:
      • Ashrah's Heaven's Beacon, Hell's Pillar and Light Ascension.
      • Baraka's Bleeding Blade', Baraka Barrage and Stab Stab (has Bleed effect).
      • Ermac's Spirit Punch (can be delayed and cancelled), Enhanced Witch Slam. Death's Embrace and Enhanced Hungry Souls.
      • General Shao's Death Quake, Devastator and Power Strike.
      • Geras's Sandstorm, Denial and Enhanced World Stop.
      • Havik's Twisted Torso, Neoplasm and Seeking Neoplasm.
      • Homelander's Laser Eyes, Soaring Strike, Low Laser Eyes and (Flight) Laser Eyes (diagonal).
      • Johnny Cage's Shadow Kick, Rising Star, Throwing Shade and Ball Buster.
      • Kenshi's Ancestral Guard, Soaring Sento, Force Push and Sento Stance.
      • Kitana's Fan-Nado , Fan Toss and Square Wave.
      • Kung Lao's Buzzsaw, Soaring Shaolin, Kung-Kussion and Shaolin Spin.
      • Li Mei's Enhanced Nova Blast, Sky Lantern and Shi Zi Lion.
      • Liu Kang's Low Dragon, (Air) Cosmic Flames, Dragon Breath and Enhanced Dragon's Tail.
      • Mileena's Staright Sai, Low Sai and Roll.
      • Nitara's Bad Blood, Blood Sacrifice and Leap Of Faith.
      • Omni-Man's Mega-Clap and Viltrumite Stance (Honorable Death, Tiebreaker and Up and Away).
      • Peacemaker's Force Multiplier, Activate Human Torpedo!, Activate Anti-Gravity and Activate Sonic Boom
      • Quan Chi's Head Rush, Sky Drop and Field Of Bones.
      • Raiden's Electric Orb (can be charged and cancelled), Electric Fly and Enhanced Lightning Port (teleports his partner).
      • Rain's Water Beam (can be charged and cancelled), Confluence Beam and Enhanced Upflow.
      • Reiko's Taktical Takedown, Assassin Throwing Stars, Pale Rider and Retaliation.
      • Reptile's Acid Spit, Acid Spitball, Dash Attack and Force Ball.
      • Scorpion's Spear, Enhanced Devouring Flame, Flame-Port and Twisted Kyo.
      • Shang Tsung's Straight Skull, Enhanced Ground Skull and Form Stealer (turns into his opponent's Kameo partner and gains access to all their moves).
      • Sindel's Hairball, Low Hairball, Queen's Command and Kartwheel.
      • Smoke's Shadow Blade, Smoke Bomb, and Enhanced Smoke Bomb's invisibility effect.
      • Sub-Zero's Ice Ball, Ice Klone Charge, Deadly Vapors and Enhanced Lin Kuei Slide.
      • Tanya's Heavenly Hand, Enhanced Umgadi Dodge and Drill Kick.
  • I Know You Are But What Am I (Forward Throw): Shujinko grabs the opponent and knocks them away using one of their Basic attacks or kombo attacks. (MK1)


  • Sword Plant: Shujinko decapitates the victim with a quick slash from one of his swords. As the headless victim falls to their knees, he unsheathes the second sword and plants them in the opponent's shoulders before they crumple unto the ground. (MK:D, MK:U)
  • Shaolin Evisceration: Shujinko unsheathes his weapons as he promptly slices the opponent's limbs and head in quick succession before kicking them, causing the body to fall apart at the seams. (MK:D, MK:U)
  • Five Point Strike: Shujinko approaches the opponent and strikes their chest with his fingertips four times before charging up the last attack and striking them in the middle of the chest. A second after that, they vomit blood and scream as their heart explodes, making a gaping hole in their chest. (MK1)


  • Brutality Steal: After morphing into the opponent's Kameo fighter by performing Form Stealer, Shujinko can perform his opponent's Brutality, so long as the requirements for the Brutality are met and the opponent has the finisher unlocked. This can only be done when fighting Shang Tsung. (MK1)

Other Finishers

  • Hara-Kiri: Arm Slice: Shujinko throws both of his blades, outstretches his arms, as they are amputated upon falling down upon them. Shujinko reels in pain as he quickly collapses to the floor in a puddle of blood. (MK:D, MK:U)

Character Development

In Japanese, "shujinkō" (主人公) translates to "protagonist".

According to Shujinko's BioKard from Mortal Kombat: Deception, Ed Boon had labeled Shujinko as a "next generation Liu Kang".

Those who have seen the Chinese historical figure Pai Mei in films (such as Kill Bill Vol. 2) and other media may notice that Shujinko bears a very similar look. His alternate costume is at least partly inspired by the film Master of the Flying Guillotine.

Game Information

While playing through Konquest Mode in Mortal Kombat: Deception, local villagers say to Shujinko "May Lord Raiden bless you!" The irony in that statement is that in Raiden's ending, he kills Shujinko as a punishment for what he had done. Other villagers, found in the Netherrealm and in the Chaosrealm, would shout to him "you are being deceived!" in backward speech, alluding to Onaga's deception while posing as Damashi.

During his travels in Konquest Mode, Shujinko can interact with almost every major character of the franchise, either during the Konquest's linear story, as fight challenges or as side missions. The only characters he never met during Konquest are Chameleon and Khameleon. Additionally, he sees Cyrax, Goro, Kintaro, Sheeva, and Motaro, but does not interact with them at all. Worth noting is his brief encounter with the rarely seen Mortal Kombat 4 character Meat, whose cameo within the story was heavily debated before his inclusion in Armageddon.

The times at which Shujinko interactions takes place however, are somewhat erratic and sketchy, as Konquest Mode's timeline can be very non-linear and confusing, due in part to a mix of the player's choices as they play, and inconsistent writing on the staff's part. The many errors in Konquest mode's timeline have caused many fans to completely write it off as non-canon, but still others believe it can be considered canon, so long as one realizes that they have to take the timeline with a large grain of salt.

Shujinko's voice can be heard in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks before Liu Kang and/or Kung Lao fight Shao Kahn but he is never seen and he is not heard in any other part of the game.

After the completion of the main story of Konquest mode in Deception, Shujinko will morph into a random character when he enters a battle. A glitch in the game will sometimes have him morph into Nitara or Kung Lao (both of whom are not selectable fighters in this game), albeit, without any special moves or combos. Occasionally, he will also morph into his younger self from the beginning of Konquest mode.

In both Mortal Kombat: Deception and Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Shujinko has the greatest number of specials and the longest combos. The tradeoff for this is that his defense has been greatly lowered, making him more susceptible to damage than other fighters.

Shujinko also has a close friendship with the general of the Seidan Guardsmen, Hotaru. However when he accidentally violates a curfew placed on the town of Lei Chen by the guardsman, he is arrested and placed in jail for many years. He eventually escapes, thanks to the intervention of Dairou, but as Shujinko plans to leave the realm of order with its Kamidogu, Hotaru stops him, believing him responsible for the deaths of the Seidan warriors that Dairou had actually slain while freeing Shujinko. The two old friends battle, with the Champion of the Elder Gods emerging victorious.

Shujinko appears in Cassie Cage's ending from Mortal Kombat X. Cassie is instructed by Raiden, to catch a 'soul stealer', which she assumes to be a resurrected Shang Tsung. After hunting and killing him, it is revealed that her target was actually Shujinko.

Shujinko returns in Mortal Kombat 1 as a Kameo Fighter, once again borrowing moves from certain opponents. Like Darrius, he is also given a redesign.


Mortal Kombat: Deception

  • "The Dragon King has not emerged from the portal! Perhaps he has lost interest in pursuing me... More likely he has gone to Outworld and will confront the sorcerer who possesses the last remaining object."
  • "I have been a fool! Blinded by the lure of adventure, I have endangered the realms and betrayed the Elder Gods. The blame is mine alone. What have I done?" (After running from Onaga and returning to EarthRealm through the EarthRealm Portal in the Nexus)

Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

  • "Stranger! The key you found! It will unlock my cell door! Please free me!" (Asking Taven to set him free from the cell)
  • "You have only my word, I am not here to do battle with you. My task is to eliminate Shao Kahn." (Taven)
  • "I thank you, stranger! I am Shujinko." (Taven)
  • "Not only will I defeat him, but a host of his allies. They are in his chamber now, plotting some coming battle." (Taven)
  • "I allowed myself to be captured. From this dungeon, I can enter Shao Kahn's Soul Chamber. Once there, I will be able to destroy Shao Kahn and all his allies in one stroke." (Taven)
  • "I suggest you leave quickly, Taven, for I cannot guarantee your safety."


In General

  • His name is a reference to Shujinkō (主人公), which means "protagonist" in Japanese.
  • Shujinko is a composite character with no moves of his own. All of his special techniques are copied wholesale from other characters, specifically the ones he trains under in the Konquest mode of Mortal Kombat Deception, although the input commands are not identical to those used by the ones who originated the techniques.
  • As shown in Deception Konquest Mode, he joins the Lin Kuei when he was young. He has done few missions for the organization (joining only to gain the ancestor of Sub-Zero's knowledge of fighting) and is believed to never really have affiliated with the group in ideology. Just the process of being affiliated and doing dishonorable deeds in their name, however, it was enough to leave a taint upon his soul that would later permit him access to the Netherrealm, a place only sinful souls may enter.
    • According to John Vogel, the Sub-Zero who taught the freezing abilities to Shujinko in his youth was not Bi-Han or Kuai Liang, but their ancestor, who could be their grandfather as the event happened decades ago.[1]
  • Shujinko's secondary costume in Deception and Armageddon is that of the antagonist of the classic Kung Fu movie The One Armed Boxer vs. The Flying Guillotine (1975).
  • During his Fatalities, he uses two Dan Tien Daos, but during gameplay, he can only use one.
  • Although Shujinko encounters a number of other longtime characters in the Mortal Kombat series in all stages of his life, he seems to age while they do not. Although this makes sense for non-Earthrealm natives such as Bo' Rai Cho, Li Mei, Mileena and Hotaru, who are known to live far beyond the normal human lifetime, he also encounters Earthrealm-natives such as Nightwolf and Kenshi, who appear the same as they do in the present day throughout the various phases of Shujinko's life.
  • Due to the structure of Deception's Konquest mode, if a subquest is not completed but revisited after Shujinko has progressed to an older form, or in some cases is activated earlier than expected through sequence breaking, Shujinko will use a voice belonging to a form other than what he is currently appearing as. Such examples include using his teenage voice as a boy, or using his seasoned warrior voice while as an old man.
    • Max Crawford performs Shujinko's lines for all of his ages.
  • He is nicknamed "Old Dragonbeard" by the Wu Shi Academy.

Mortal Kombat: Deception

  • Shujinko narrates all of the characters' endings except Raiden's and Onaga's (unused ending). each one narrate their own ending.
  • He uses the Mantis and Shaolin Fist fighting styles that Kung Lao had in Deadly Alliance, as Kung Lao was not a playable character in Deception.
  • He can be unlocked by beating Konquest mode.
  • Although Shujinko is the playable character in Konquest Mode, due to his copy nature, the player will rarely use Shujinko himself during battles, as he will typically morph into another character at the start of a fight.
  • If Liu Kang's Soul Invasion Fatality is performed on him, Liu Kang's head will not appear after he rips Shujinko's head off.
  • Shujinko in his young form is the only other playable version of Shujinko, albeit only in the first "chapter" of Konquest when the player must train with Bo Rai' Cho to learn the basic controls. All other forms of Shujinko beyond his youngest and oldest form lack a fighter model, only featuring a Konquest overworld model.
  • Young Shujinko can be made playable via hacking device.
    • Young Shujinko is the most functional of all unplayable characters; the player can even use all unlockable special moves while playing as him.
    • All of his in-game battle voice clips are complete.
    • Fatalities and Death Traps can be performed on him without any kinds of glitches.
    • Interestingly, Shujinko will even say, "Get over here!" in his young voice while doing his "Spear" move (hinting that Young Shujinko was intended to be a playable character or alternate costume but was left out in the final game).
  • Shang Tsung has the same voice clips as Young Shujinko during his fight challenge in the Konquest Mode.
  • If Shujinko goes to the cave that has the first Kamidogu before being told what the password is, he will guess that the password could be "toasty", "frosty", "password", "goski", or "Lin Kuei". If he is asked what the password is, after all that, he will say "I have NO idea".
  • In the beta, his fighting style was Karate.

Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

  • Shujinko can be found in Konquest Mode, trapped in a cell in Shao Kahn's fortress while fighting The Executioner. After defeating him, Taven frees Shujinko out of his cell. He is one of the few characters in Konquest Mode that are met but not fought, with Taven dismissing him as a foolish old man.
  • Shujinko only has the use of the Mantis style in Armageddon, due to Kung Lao using the Shaolin Fist style.

Mortal Kombat X

  • An elderly Shujinko makes a small cameo in Cassie Cage's ladder ending, where she beats him to death under the mistaken assumption he is Shang Tsung.

Mortal Kombat 11

  • Mentioned in Liu Kang's dialogue against Kung Lao and himself.

Mortal Kombat 1

  • Shujinko's Kameo Fatality, Five Palm Strike, is one-to-one based on the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart technique from the film Kill Bill: Vol. 2, used by protagonist Beatrix Kiddo to kill Bill.


  1. Shujinko Bio Card - YouTube
    [00:48] John Vogel explains that the Sub-Zero who met with Shujinko was an ancestor of the current Sub-Zero.


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