Newly unveiled footage from Mortal Kombat 1 has got the fans in a right tizzy, suggesting that the arch-nemesis Shang Tsung might not be the big bad we’re all bracing ourselves for. Instead, it seems a much-loved character might be poised for a rather grand comeback in this inaugural reboot.
Shang Tsung in Mortal Kombat 1: Villain or Anti-Hero?
Shang Tsung, the soul-stealing sorcerer, is undeniably a fan favourite when it comes to villains in Mortal Kombat. His debut as the unbeatable, unplayable final boss in the original arcade version of Mortal Kombat, and subsequent roles in MK 2 and others, had us all captivated. And though he’s as evil as they come, fans have developed a peculiar fondness for him, partly thanks to his transition into a somewhat grey character in later instalments.
Mortal Kombat 1’s creators have already given us the joyous news that Shang Tsung is a playable character this time around. However, they’ve kept silent about whether he’s also the principal antagonist of the narrative. Then came a stress test clip of Mortal Kombat 1 posted on Twitter, teasing a potential clue about the actual villain. In this intriguing snippet, two Liu Kang players square off on the character selection screen. One Kang inquires if Onaga exists in the other’s timeline. The response is a corker – Onaga is not just existing, but ruling.
Onaga’s Potential Comeback in Mortal Kombat 1: A Fan Theory Worth Exploring
Onaga, the notorious Dragon King, once wore the crown of Outworld. His terrifying villainy first reared its head in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, and he made a comeback as a playable character in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. Even after his demise, he remains a beloved entity in the MK cosmos, with fans rating him as one of the most formidable characters in the franchise. So, the mere hint of his return in Mortal Kombat 1 is likely to have fans biting their nails in anticipation.
Of course, one shouldn’t put all their Kombat coins in one basket just yet. This tantalising footage doesn’t serve as a definitive proof of Onaga’s comeback. The exchange between the Liu Kang players could simply be a cheeky nod to the deceased Dragon King, and nothing more.
The crown of villainy in this new instalment is up for grabs. Mortal Kombat 1 harks back to the series roots, where Shang Tsung was the prime antagonist, and so it would be fitting for him to reprise that role. However, to inject a rejuvenating essence into the latest entry, they might just bestow the mantle on a fresher villain, perhaps someone like Onaga.
Mortal Kombat 1 is slated for release on September 19th, with availability on Nintendo Switch, Windows PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.
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