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You'll know from the taste of my blades.


Baraka to his mirror self in Mortal Kombat 11

Baraka & the Tarkata

Baraka and his warriors are part of the brutal nomadic species

The Tarkata, also known as Tarkatans, Mutants, and Nomads, are a brutal species of warriors situated in Outworld.

Previously, the Tarkata were an interspecies breed of warriors. They were considered a mix of a humanoid race from Outworld and a demonic race from the Netherrealm.

However, this has been changed in the alternate timeline, as Baraka tells D'Vorah in Mortal Kombat X that his realm was conquered by Shao Kahn. This could suggest that the Tarkatans are from their own realm and not a fusion of Outworld and Netherrealm inhabitants as previously established.


The Tarkata

Baraka leading the Tarkatan hordes.

Tarkatans are well known for their combat prowess throughout Outworld, Sheeva recognizing that "there is no victory without the Tarkata." However, they are often depicted as unintelligent, bloodthirsty brutes that serve the currently most powerful leader. There are certain cases of Tarkatans displaying more intelligence and cunning, such as Baraka knowing that the meeting Mileena had scheduled with him in the ancient Beetle Lair was a trap and sent another Tarkatan in his place. As well as this, in his Mortal Kombat 2011 ending, he is able to detect the scent of Shang Tsung in the form of Shao Kahn, leading him to kill the impostor and allow Shao Kahn's forces to claim Earthrealm. This may however indicate that Baraka is more an exception to the typical Tarkatan, as he was often shown having to reign those under him command back in line. Regardless, the Tarkatan are shown to be easy riled and quick to devolve into bloodlust at the slightest provocation.

According to Mortal Kombat, all Tarkatan males joined Shao Kahn's army once they came of age and survived the brutal Ritual of Blood. Among the ranks present within their armies included that of an Enforcer. Tarkatan females appear in Mortal Kombat 11.

In Jade's Deception ending, it was revealed that it is possible to gather concentrated Tarkatan essence and seal it within a container. When the container is shattered near a person, the nearby Tarkata enter into an uncontrollable frenzy as they believe the person with the essence as a rival male.

The Tarkata also have a unique language, which is commonly spoken between them. Non-Tarkatans who understand and speak their language include Raiden and Skarlet.

They are well known for their kombat prowess throughout Outworld, Sheeva recognizing that "there is no victory without the Tarkata."

Alternate Timeline

Mortal Kombat (2011)

The Tarkata play a prominent role in the invasion of Earthrealm initiated by Shao Kahn. The Tarkatans are bolstered by arms supplied by Kano's Black Dragon guild, and are able to easily overwhelm Earthrealm's defenses.

Mortal Kombat X

The Tarkatan are seen again in Mortal Kombat X during the story mode.

Flashbacks to five years ago reveal when Mileena was Empress, several Tarkatan accompanied her to confront Kotal Kahn and his fellow insurgents against her rule, with Baraka along side her. The Tarkatans attack after Mileena orders them to kill those conspiring against her. In the end, they are defeated, with their leader, Baraka, being viciously executed by D'Vorah.

Even after Mileena's deposing, the Tarkata remain fiercely loyal to her. During the present events of the story, Mileena and her allies (Tanya and Rain, who freed her from prison) ambush Kotal Kahn's forces with hordes of Tarkatans. Upon Mileena's signal, the Tarkatans storm the Outworld Marketplace, first targeting Kotal's allies (D'Vorah, Erron Black and Ermac) who ruthlessly kill them. Mileena paid for Kano to kill Kotal, hoping to not be forced to unleash her ultimate weapon: the Amulet of Shinnok, acquired by Kano in exchange for gold. After Kotal defeats Kano & Tanya, he is attacked by two more Tarkatans. Then, he spots Mileena, Rain and other Tarkata on the roof of a building. Having grown fed up, he transports there. Mileena is surprised but orders the Tarkatans to attack. Though, Kotal slays them effortlessly.

Mortal Kombat 11

In the interim between the end of the Outworld Civil War, Kotal Kahn had all of the Tarkatans killed in retribution for them supporting Mileena's attempted coup. When Baraka, who was brought from the past to the present by Kronika, discovered this, he was enraged, though Kronika promised to restore his species as she set history back on its rightful course. Kronika fulfilled this promise by displacing the Tarkatan Kamp to the present timeline. Though Baraka and his Tarkata initially supported Shao Kahn as the emperor sought his throne back, they eventually sided with Kitana after she swore the Tarkatans would receive better treatment if they sided with Kotal Kahn. The Tarkata would then join Kitana and the Shokan in storming Kronika's Keep.

Current Timeline

Mortal Kombat 1

In the new timeline, the Tarkatans are once again a separate species within Outworld, but return to their original depiction as mutants. Tarkatans are now former Outworlders and Edenians infected with a disease called Tarkat, which gradually disfigures them into the Tarkatan's appearance seen in other timelines. Overtime the disease reduces the mental state of its victims to primitive and savage monsters, with only a few managing to keep their humanity.

Tarkat disfigures its victims to the point that they are almost, if not completely unrecognizable, save Mileena who retains most of her normal appearance with the exception of her eyes, teeth and jaw that splits open on command. The disease affects its victims differently, some minor, others severe or worse, causes death in some. Baraka reveals that not only did he get infected, but so did his wife and children, who all perished at the virus's effects. Baraka and his Tarkatans also grow spikes that protrude from their body, eventually causing them to grow their Tarkatan Blades. Due to no official cure for the disease, Baraka states that the only release and freedom from the disease is death.

Baraka once again is the leader of the Tarkatans, however in a different light. Baraka is a former Edenian merchant plagued with the virus. He establishes the Tarkatan Colony for the other infected as a means to keep them safe from Outworld oppression. Baraka later aids the new Earthrealm champions in their search for Shang Tsung and to protect Mileena, the Princess of Outworld and Heiress to the throne who has also been infected with the disease.

Mileena, while now being the naturally born twin sister of Kitana is also infected with the disease, however her afflictions are not as severe as Baraka and his other Tarkatans. While Baraka faces heavy disfigurement, Mileena retains the same physical traits as her previous timeline counterparts, such as her cat-like irises and Tarkatan teeth. Additionally, as a departure from her previous timeline counterparts, Mileena's jaw slits open on both sides and she gains arm-blades that are hidden in her gauntlets. Mileena is given a serum to negate the effects of her Tarkat, however when not administered the correct dosage or not given it in time, her Tarkat afflictions take over, causing her to lose control and transform with the aforementioned afflictions. After becoming Empress, she interacts with Baraka, where he becomes an ambassador for the infected, with Mileena bringing supplies and support to the Colony.


The Tarkatans' most distinctive physical traits are their long, sharp teeth, large mouths, and extendable, retractable blades protruding from their bodies, especially their arms, which possess the ability to quickly regenerate after being broken. Baraka is their leader. Mileena is a half-Tarkatan clone, with this heritage inspiring the Tarkatans' devout loyalty to her in the current timeline. The Tarkata are a nomadic species, mainly living in Outworld's wastelands. The story presents them as hailing from the Netherrealm, having migrated to Outworld. This race possesses a love for battle and loyally serves whoever is in command (Shao Kahn, the Deadly Alliance, etc.). They are shown to be bestial in nature and both volatile and uncoordinated in the absence of a leader, though there are examples of Tarkatans with higher intelligence, such as Baraka.


Major Characters

  • Baraka
  • Mileena (Genetic Experiment: half-Tarkatan, half-Edenian in the original and alternate timelines; Tarkatan in the Current Timeline)

Minor Characters

  • Tarkatan Soldiers
  • Tarkatan Leader
  • Tarkatan General
  • Tarkatan Fighter
  • Tarkatan Clone
  • Super Tarkatan Clone
  • Tarkatan Brute
  • Tarkatan Banner Grunt
  • Tarkatan Warrior



In Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, Shang Tsung's ending indicates that the sorcerer was both impressed and angered by Captain Marvel defeating him. Using his magic, he mixed the blood on a torn piece of Captain Marvel's cape with that of a Tarkatan warrior creating a horrific race of Super-Tarkata that would be loyal to Shang Tsung.

In Mortal Kombat 1, Super-tarkatans were one of Shang Tsung's creations, bloated tarkatans that grew to a much larger size and became much stronger and deformed than their common variants.

TV & Movie Appearance


The Tarkata in Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm.

The Tarkatans first appeared alongside Baraka in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. They are seen wearing cloaks, with the exception of Baraka himself, who disposes it in favor of preparing a battle against Liu Kang.

They later appeared but without Baraka in the animated film Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins and the MK cartoon series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm (here, they were called Nomads, because the term Tarkata was mentioned for the first time in Deception, a game that was released years after the premiere of Defenders of the Realm).

The Tarkatans are also featured in the webseries Mortal Kombat: Legacy, and while still retaining their bloodthirsty demeanor and trademark blades, their distinctive teeth seem to have been toned down. They are shown invading the realm of Edenia, led by their general, Baraka.


  • In MK 2011's Challenge Tower, there are several challenges in which the opponent(s) are Tarkatans of various rankings: Soldier, Leader, and General.
  • Originally, Tarkatans were going to be the native inhabitants of Outworld.
  • It is possible to make a Tarkatan character in Kreate-A-Kharacter, though lacking their distinct arm blades.
  • Interestingly, there has only been three playable Tarkatans throughout the entire series; Mileena, Baraka, and the Xenomorph (spawned from a Tarkatan host).
    • Of the three, Baraka is the only pure-bred Tarkatan that has been playable, while Mileena and the Xenomorph are hybrids with Tarkatan genes.
      • The Xenomorph's appearance is the only one of the three that is non-canon.
  • Baraka was given subtle changes for MKX to help easily identify him when amongst other Tarkatans and Mileena was given a change for her Tarkatan teeth to give her a more human-like appearance. Her teeth would be reverted to her original Tarkatan teeth in Mortal Kombat 11.
  • Mortal Kombat X is the only game thus far to feature three Tarkatans in the main game; Baraka, Mileena, and Xenomorph (a Tarkatan-Xenomorph hybrid)
    • However, Baraka is a Story Mode NPC, while Mileena and Xenomorph are playable in the Arcade.
  • In the DC fighting game Injustice 2, although the species is not mentioned by Sub-Zero or Raiden, who are featured as playable guest characters, the species' name appears on some pieces of Raiden's gear.
  • The first female pure-bred Tarkatan appears in Mortal Kombat 11's Story Mode alongside other Tarkatans.