The Shurikens (Japanese: 手裏剣; literally: "hidden hand blade"), also known in the West as "throwing stars" or "ninja stars", are traditional Japanese concealed weapons that were generally used for throwing, and sometimes stabbing or slashing. They are sharpened hand-held blades made from a variety of everyday items such as needles, nails and knives, as well as coins, washers and other flat plates of metal.
Shurikens can come in a variety of forms. Some are manufactured while others can be improvised from tools. The edges of shuriken are often sharpened so they could be used to penetrate skin or open arteries with the littlest of ease.
The ninja stars are now the traditional projectile weapons for members of the diabolical ancient cult known as the Brotherhood of Shadows including Noob Saibot, the deceased older brother of Sub-Zero, whose soul was corrupted because of the ordeal with the Brotherhood of Shadows' sacred treasure which belongs to their eternal master, the fallen Elder God Shinnok. Noob Saibot uses them in Mortal Kombat: Deception.
Reiko also uses these in Mortal Kombat 4 and Mortal Kombat Gold. In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon he throws several Shuriken one-by-one, his nearest (to the opponent) hand throws and the farthest hand holds the shuriken.
These mysterious weapons impale their victims with deadly accuracy, then vanish swiftly in a puff of smoke.
The shurikens later reappeared as collectible Relics under the name "Noob's Stars" in the Konquest mode of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon.
Cyber Sub-Zero uses a set of remote-controlled Shurikens, in his second Fatality called Brain Freeze in Mortal Kombat (2011). He fires multiple shurikens into his opponent's head, then causes them to spin, slicing the opponent's brain and causing them to go into rigor mortis, killing them instantly. When used on guest character Kratos, he does not go into rigor mortis, but simple falls backward once his brain is shredded.
In Mortal Kombat X, while none of the characters use shurikens during gameplay, they are used for the Lin Kuei's Faction Kills. In Shuriken Storm, a barrage of shurikens are thrown at the opponent's chest and just before they believe the barrage has concluded, a final star flies straight into their face, finally killing them. The final Faction Kill for the Lin Kuei, called Brain Freeze, has a single frozen shuriken strike the opponent's face, freezing their head. As the opponent falls backwards, their head shatters upon making impact with the ground.