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Created by  John Tobias
Creator  John Tobias
Played by  Reiner Schöne
Shinnok shinnok DeviantArt
Designed by  John Tobias (MKM:SZ/MK4) Steve Beran (MK:A) Jennifer L. Parsons (Annihilation)
Voiced by  Steve Beran (MK4/MKG) Herman Sanchez, Knute Horwitz (MK:A) Ken Lally (MK2011) Troy Baker (MKX)
Motion capture  Carlos Pesina (MK:A) Chris Bashen (MKX)
Portrayed by  Gary Wingert (MKM:SZ) Reiner Schöne (Annihilation)
Origin  Netherealm (formerly The Heavens)
First game  Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero (1997)
Movie  Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
Similar  Quan Chi, Raiden, Liu Kang, Jax, Kenshi

The best character in mortal kombat x mortal kombat x shinnok gameplay mkx online ranked

Shinnok is a fictional character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. First appearing as the nonplayable boss of the 1997 side-scrolling action-adventure game Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, he made his selectable debut in the three-dimensional fighting title Mortal Kombat 4 the same year. In the series canon, Shinnok is a disgraced former Elder God who was imprisoned in the eternally-damned Netherealm, which he rules alongside the nefarious sorcerer Quan Chi while seeking revenge against Raiden for his banishment. He plays his most controversial role to date as the main antagonist in Mortal Kombat X, due to him being absent from most of the game's story, only appearing at the beginning and end.


Shinnok Shinnok on MKARTFANS DeviantArt

While he is associated with Quan Chi due to their recurring partnership throughout the Mortal Kombat series since their collective 1997 debut, Shinnok has not fared as well in terms of long-term popularity and storyline presence. He has been selectable after Mortal Kombat 4 in two other games (the compilation title Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, and Mortal Kombat X) with cameo roles in other installments, in addition to not featuring in any alternate media or merchandise save for a supporting role in the 1997 feature film Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. General and media reception has been mixed to negative, mainly for what is considered to be his unimposing stature as a boss character in the series.

Shinnok Shinnok Character Giant Bomb

Mortal kombat a shinnok tribute

In video games

Shinnok Shinnok Character Giant Bomb

Shinnok is introduced in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (1995), first in Noob Saibot's biography as an unnamed "evil and mysterious fallen Elder God" who is worshipped by a faction called the Brotherhood of the Shadow, then is identified by name in his ending. In Mileena's biography, she is described as encountering Shinnok in the Netherealm after she is slain by Kitana.

Shinnok made his official debut as the nonplayable final boss of Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero (1997), chronologically set prior to the events of the first Mortal Kombat game. His background was expanded therein as a disgraced Elder God forcibly expelled from the Heavens after committing crimes against his fellow deities. He yearned to rule Earthrealm (Earth) with immense power acquired by the creation of a magical amulet, but comes into direct conflict with Earthrealm's protector, the thunder god Raiden, who defeats Shinnok after centuries of warring that nearly destroys Earth, then strips him of the amulet and banishes him to the Netherealm. The scheming sorcerer Quan Chi assists Shinnok in defeating its ruler Lucifer in exchange for power and the opportunity to co-rule at Shinnok's side. Shinnok assembles a fanatical cult called the Brotherhood of the Shadow that is dedicated to worshipping him. Quan Chi hires Lin Kuei clansman Sub-Zero to find the lost amulet, a task he accomplishes, and Quan Chi presents the object to Shinnok, who is unaware that it was a meaningless duplicate while Quan Chi secretly kept the original for himself. Sub-Zero defeats Quan Chi and Shinnok in battle, sending them both into exile, then steals the (fake) amulet from Shinnok and returns it to Raiden at the game's conclusion.

Shinnok is the main (and immediately playable) boss character of Mortal Kombat 4 (1997), in which he invades and annexes the otherworldly realm of Edenia with the aid of Quan Chi's forces and the traitorous Edenian Tanya. He then declares war against the Elder Gods, specifically Raiden for his punishment, but his mission fails after he is defeated by perennial Mortal Kombat champion Liu Kang. He destroys Raiden in his noncanonical ending, is betrayed and killed with the amulet in Quan Chi's ending, and eliminates Reptile (described in his biography as "a general in Shinnok's army of darkness") in the latter's conclusion after taking offense at Reptile's demand that his race be restored as compensation for his service.

In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (2006), in which Shinnok is selectable along with the then-entire series cast, he was not given an official biography but features in the game's Konquest mode as having been a friend of main protagonist Taven and his family for years. Taven is under the impression that Shinnok is still a force of good, as he rescues Shinnok from an attack by Li Mei and then helps him regain control of a spire from an army of demons that are later revealed to have been apparitions merely serving as a test. He makes a brief appearance in the beginning of the battle royal against the other combatants at the Pyramid of Argus in Armageddon's opening sequence, when he summons a pair of giant skeletal hands that emerge from the earth and pin Raiden to the ground before Raiden hits him with a lightning blast. Shinnok actually survives the battle as he had sent a doppelgänger of himself to the pyramid, and must face the being in battle after he defeats Blaze in his noncanonical ending. Despite his modest appearance in the game, it is revealed during Konquest mode that it was actually Shinnok who corrupted Taven and Daegon's quest by spreading the word to other fighters that Blaze's power was a gift, when he intended to lead them to total annihilation and claim the godlike power for himself, being the puppet master behind the Forces of Darkness.

Shinnok appears at the conclusion of the story mode of Mortal Kombat, the 2011 reboot of the first three titles. He is revealed therein to be the superior to Quan Chi, who informs him that their plan had "worked to perfection", namely spearheading the Netherealm's invasion of Earthrealm and Outworld, both of which had been greatly weakened over the course of Shao Kahn's invasion and defeat, combined with Quan Chi's machinations and Raiden's successful but flawed prevention of Armageddon.

In Mortal Kombat X (2015), his third selectable appearance and third overall in the Mortal Kombat series in which he serves as the final boss, Shinnok is first seen in flashback at Raiden's Sky Temple, fighting and defeating, Raiden, Fujin, and a group of Earthrealm warriors in combat at the Jinsei Chamber, the source of Earthrealm's life force, until Raiden seals Shinnok inside his own amulet, whose whereabouts are then unknown over the course of the next twenty-five years, when Mileena has acquired it. The amulet switches hands thereafter until Quan Chi is beheaded by Scorpion after a fight at an Outworld refugee camp in Earthrealm, after which his severed head completes the incantation of a spell that frees Shinnok. With the aid of Quan Chi's revenants (all of which were Earthrealm warriors killed during the previous game's events), Shinnok and D'Vorah assault the Sky Temple, where Raiden is subdued and the climax is established when Shinnok enters the Jinsei and corrupts it, transforming himself into a massive and powerful demon ("Corrupted Shinnok"). A Special Forces unit led by Cassie Cage arrives to battle the transformed Shinnok and Quan Chi's revenant army. After Cassie is victorious over Shinnok, Raiden then purifies the Jinsei, stripping Shinnok of his powers. In a tag scene following the story mode's closing credits, Raiden, corrupted after absorbing the fallen Elder God's energy from the Jinsei, issues a threat to newly appointed Netherealm rulers, Liu Kang and Kitana, should they endanger Earthrealm, stressing his stance by presenting them with Shinnok's disembodied but still-living head.

Design and gameplay

Shinnok's likeness in Mortal Kombat 4 was based on that of series art director Steve Beran. His skin tone is ash-white like that of Quan Chi, his palette features strong red, yellow, and teal tones, and his head is covered with a miter-like headdress. In Mortal Kombat Mythologies, Shinnok was portrayed in the cutscenes and gameplay by theater actor Gary Wingert, and similar to Shang Tsung in the original Mortal Kombat game, the character was designed as a wizened sorcerer with a floor-length green robe that concealed his lower body, while his offense in the game's final boss battle is exclusively magic-based as he hovered across the playfield. This was altered in MK4 to Shinnok wearing simple battle armor with the headdress but minus the robe, while he walked normally like the other characters.

He was first seen in the Mortal Kombat 4 attract mode standing with Quan Chi and toting a staff adorned with a replica of his amulet, but his assigned weapon in the game was instead a naginata-like spear, and the staff was not seen thereafter until it became his weapon in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. Shinnok is able to mimic the special moves of his opponents, like Shang Tsung in the two-dimensional games, but the graphical limitations of Midway's then-new 3D software prevented him from physically transforming into the characters, and he was stripped of this feature altogether in the Game Boy Color port of the game, which was substituted by standard specials of a spear attack and dash punch. Mortal Kombat co-creator and programmer Ed Boon admitted he believed that Shinnok was not imposing enough as a final boss on account of the character having no special moves of his own, while lead storyteller John Vogel explained that Shinnok "wasn't as powerful as he should've been" in MK4 because of Quan Chi having given Shinnok the fake amulet, thus weakening him and enabling the Earth heroes to defeat him in the storyline. His Fatalities in MK4 and MKX involve the summoning of massive skeletal hands that kill his defeated opponents.

Shinnok is unlockable in Mortal Kombat X upon completion of the story mode. Like the game's other playable characters, his offense is split into three gameplay variations. He retains his ability of mimicry in "Impostor", which allows him to steal one of his opponent's special moves during battle, in addition to gaining an aerial teleport. "Bone Shaper" has Shinnok conjuring a scepter crafted from bone that he uses for combo attacks, and for "Necromancer", his signature skeletal hands are used as his primary weapon. Prima Games described him in the game as "a character that relies almost entirely on the attacks he gains from his variations."

In other media

Shinnok was to feature in one episode of the 1996 animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm that was never produced. A character and storyline guide published for the show's writers by Threshold Entertainment prior to production had mapped out an extensive plot involving what would become Shinnok's Mortal Kombat 4 backstory of his "fierce takeover" of Earthrealm (Edenia in the game) and his desire to "avenge his past" against Raiden, all while backed up by the Brotherhood of the Shadow, whom the Earthrealm defenders battle before becoming trapped in the Netherealm (described in the guide summary as a "dead planet"). Shinnok attempts to force Raiden into revealing the location of the heroes' secret headquarters, and while Nightwolf rescues his comrades from the Netherealm, Shinnok confronts Raiden as part of a subplot involving the latter being "forced to face a past that he wished to forget ... filled with untold treachery and deceit" that is not specified but had resulted in Shinnok's imprisonment. The defenders regroup at headquarters in time to assist Raiden in driving Shinnok out of Earthrealm. Save for a flashback of Scorpion being banished to the "realm of lost souls" in the second episode, no explicit reference to the Netherealm nor the Brotherhood of the Shadow was ever made in the series.

Shinnok's backstory and design in the 1997 film Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, in which he was played by German actor Reiner Schöne, differed greatly from that of the games. He had a regular human appearance and was outfitted in a long, hooded black robe and neck-length blond hair, while he was depicted in the plot as the browbeating father of Shao Kahn (and, later revealed, Raiden). He has no fight scenes, and is banished to the Netherealm (specified as such in the movie novelization but not in the film) by the Elder Gods at the film's climax after attempting to interfere in the final battle between Kahn and Liu Kang. In a closing scene that was included in the script and shot, but not added to the final print in time, he and Quan Chi are seen together in the Netherealm with Shinnok speaking the line, "Together, Quan Chi, we will be unstoppable." He was not identified in the film until the ending following Kahn's death, and his name was misspelled as "Shinnock" throughout the novelization.

He makes a one-panel appearance in a special-edition tie-in comic book included with the 1998 PC release of Mortal Kombat 4, in which he and his Netherealm denizens capture Edenia upon emerging from a portal created by an orb that Quan Chi (posing as a refugee from another realm) had given to Sindel.


The character has been coolly received by fans and critics. Shinnok was ranked 44th in UGO Networks' 2012 list of the top fifty Mortal Kombat characters, while he was ranked 43rd in a 2013 online fan poll hosted by Dorkly that rated the series' entire playable roster. Robert Workman of GamePlayBook rated Shinnok seventh in his selection of the ten "Worst Mortal Kombat Characters Ever" in 2010. "The most threatening this guy gets is when he summons giant hands to squeeze someone to death." Den of Geek ranked Shinnok 35th in their 2015 rating of the series' 73 playable characters, critical of how he was built up "as this Satanic ender of worlds" in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, but was "just a lazy Shang Tsung" in Mortal Kombat 4, while "it wasn’t until Armageddon and Mortal Kombat 9 that they were able to make him seem like an actual threat," and further adding that in Mortal Kombat X, he "was pretty fun as a hybrid of Emperor Palpatine and Loki." Hardcore Gaming 101 called him "one of the lamest final bosses in the series" and said, "He can steal the moves from other characters and summon skeleton hands, but that's more or less it, which is pretty lame for a guy who overthrew Lucifer." Mikel Reparaz of GamesRadar described the character as "a pale old man in a stupid hat."

Complex named Shinnok the second-most underrated Mortal Kombat character behind Kenshi in 2011, calling him "simply an uber-evil version of Merlin," and the site ranked him sixth in their selection of the twenty "most brutal" characters in 2013, for his "cunning and deviousness," while considering him to be "arguably as heartless as Shao Kahn." In 2012, C.J. Smillie of Game Rant named Shinnok as a downloadable character wanted for a future Mortal Kombat release. "Including Shinnok as DLC would not only acknowledge the huge plot twist at the end of the [MK2011 story] mode, but also serve as a sneak peek of things to come." Liam Martin of Digital Spy rated Shinnok's "Hell Hands" second behind Quan Chi's "Leg Beatdown" as his favorite Fatality from MK4. Eric Snider of remarked in his review of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, "We find out that [Raiden] and Shao Kahn are actually brothers, and that their father, the evil Shinnok ... is one of the Elder Gods. This must have been the 'Luke, I am your father' moment of the Mortal Kombat series."


Shinnok Wikipedia