Raiden (also spelt Rayden) is the guardian deity of Earthrealm in the Mortal Kombat franchise. Commanding the powers of thunder and lightning, he has regularly guided the mortal heroes of Earth in their efforts to protect it from the forces of darkness.
Original timeline Edit
For countless centuries, the thunder god Raiden has served the Elder Gods as Protector of the realm of Earth. In fact, it was by Raiden's pleas that the Elder Gods created the Mortal Kombat tournament as a safeguard to give Earthrealm and other realms a fighting chance against Shao Kahn, who sought to dominate all the realms and merge them with Outworld. As Protector, Raiden was appointed the mission of seeking out and recruiting the best warriors Earth had to offer to compete in the tournament and face the fighters of Outworld.
As a god, Raiden is not permitted from directly taking part in Mortal Kombat, but has taken a more active role in Earthrealm's defence since the last official tournament, personally training fighters and offering them guidance. He has even forfeited his immortality on occasion in order to fight alongside the chosen warriors without breaking the tournament rules, and did the same again during the Outworld Invasion of Earthrealm. After leading the Forces of Light to victory over Shao Kahn and later the fallen god Shinnok, Raiden would be granted Elder God status, entrusting Earthrealm to the wind god Fujin.
When the threat of the Deadly Alliance rose years later, Raiden refused to stand idly by and watch as events unfolded, relinquishing his Elder God status in order to return to Earth and lead its champions into battle once more. The Forces of Light travelled to Outworld and fought to stop Quan Chi and Shang Tsung from resurrecting the mummified army of the Dragon King, Onaga. Sadly, most of the warriors fell in battle and Raiden was forced to battle the two demonic sorcerers himself, but he also was not powerful enough to stop them. Their epic battle was interrupted when Onaga himself returned and Raiden mustered all of his ethereal energy to destroy the Dragon King. He unleashed a huge blast of energy that seemingly destroyed him, Quan Chi and Shang Tsung, but it was not enough to fell Onaga.
Raiden's essence soon gathered again in the Earthrealm, where, because his essence was corrupted because of Onaga, he had now become furious with the way Earthrealm's inhabitants had treated their own realm. He became even more enraged when he learned that Shujinko had foolishly unleashed the Dragon King by attaining the Kamidogu of various realms for him. With that, his patience exhausted, Raiden then decided he was going to punish those who placed Earthrealm in harm's way.
Raiden's shift in attitude comes to a head when he tried to brutally slay Shujinko for his errors, but Shujinko was able to survive Raiden's attack, surprisingly Raiden turned his attention away from Shujinko and towards Liu Kang's corpse.
Removing Liu Kang's body from its grave, Raiden took it to an underground temple that belonged to an ancient sect of necromancers called the Houan, whom he had destroyed centuries earlier. Binding Kang's body with enchanted shackles the Houan had used to control their revived undead, Raiden spoke the enchantments etched into the temple's walls that revived his former ally, infusing it with a thunderclap of lightning. The corpse of Liu Kang was now the enforcer of Raiden's will, and he sent it on a mission to wreak havoc on those he believed did harm to Earthrealm. This caught the attention of Shinnok, who appeared before Raiden and offered him an alliance. If Raiden were to assist him in whatever he wanted, Shinnok would try to ensure the safety of Earthrealm. Raiden was well aware of Shinnok's deceptive nature, but he accepted the offer in an attempt to secretly uncover Shinnok's plans.
During the Battle of Armageddon, Raiden appeared to have regained at least some of his sanity and fought alongside the Forces of Light at the Pyramid of Argus. All of the kombatants were slain over the course of the battle until only Raiden and Shao Kahn remained, but Kahn had gained the power of Blaze and Raiden was unable to defeat him. Before Shao Kahn finally destroyed him, Raiden used the shattered remains of his amulet to send his past self a cryptic message: "He must win".
Alternate timeline Edit
Raiden's past self would receive his future message during the Mortal Kombat tournament and he would spend the coming days trying to determine the meaning behind the words. As he struggled to comprehend his future message, events unfolded as they had done for the most part, though some of the warriors of both Earthrealm and Outworld would perish or take different paths than they had done in the previous timeline. By the time Raiden realised the meaning of his message, most of Earth's champions had been slain. The message "He must win" meant that Shao Kahn must succeed with his invasion of Earthrealm. Since Kahn had broken the rules of Mortal Kombat to make his invasion possible, the Elder Gods would surely step in to stop him from achieving final victory. This proved to be correct and an empowered Raiden defeated Shao Kahn and reversed the merger of Outworld and Earthrealm, but at the terrible cost of many of Earth's champions.
While the Outworld invasion had been overturned, the dimensional fabric between the realms had been severely weakened. This instability had been masterminded by the fallen Elder God Shinnok and the Brotherhood of Shadow, and with the dimensional barriers weakened so, Shinnok and his unholy army of demons were able to escape the confines of the Netherrealm and launch a devastating attack on Earthrealm. Shinnok, aided by many demonic beasts and an elite guard consisting of revenant versions of Raiden's former allies who had fallen during the war against Outworld, intended to corrupt the Jinsei, the life force of Earth itself. Fortunately, Raiden was aided by fellow deity Fujin, the Shaolin and the Special Forces. With them and the surviving kombatants from the Outworld invasion, Raiden succeeded in thwarting Shinnok's menace, trapping the evil deity within his own amulet.
For twenty-five years following the Netherrealm War, Earth enjoyed a period of relative peace. This peace was threatened, however, due to difficult relations with Outworld, which was dealing with its own civil war. Worse still, the threat of Shinnok's return loomed large as his amulet had fallen into the possession of Mileena, Shao Kahn's heir. Mileena had gained significant power from the amulet, but the forces of Kotal Kahn were able to take it back from her and Mileena was then executed. D'Vorah, Kotal's closest ally, was in fact working for Quan Chi, and stole the amulet in order to deliver it to the necromancer.
With the amulet, Quan Chi would be able to free Shinnok, but he was intercepted by Sonya Blade and the Special Forces. While in custody, Quan Chi was attacked and killed by his former servant Scorpion, but not before he was able to carry out the spell that would release Shinnok from his prison.
Released from the amulet, Shinnok gathered his revenant followers and led them to the Jinsei Temple. Raiden is attacked by the revenants and kept at bay while Shinnok proceeds to the Jinsei Chamber where he will corrupt Earth's life-force. Raiden is able to defeat the revenants and follows Shinnok, but ultimately fails to stop him from tainting the Jinsei. He is held in captivity along with Johnny Cage and warns Shinnok that there are still other warriors who will oppose him. He is proven correct as help arrives in the form of Johnny's daughter Cassie Cage, who has inherited the same mystical fighting power her father had used to defeat Shinnok before.
Cassie battles against a transformed Shinnok and defeats him before releasing Raiden. Raiden then steps into the Jinsei in order to purify it, saving Earthrealm from destruction once again. However, after emerging from the purified Jinsei, Raiden has adopted a much darker persona. He is last seen meeting with Liu Kang and Kitana in the Netherrealm, warning them that any further aggression towards Earthrealm will be dealt with decisively and ruthlessly. To illustrate his point, Raiden throws the severed but still-living head of Shinnok before the revenants' feet, then vanishes in a flash of lightning.
Powers and abilities Edit
- Immortality - As a god, Raiden is unbound by mortal laws of life and death. He must, however, take on a mortal form in order to take part in Mortal Kombat.
- Thunder Magic - Raiden has absolute control over the power of the storm and can summon blasts of lightning and electrocute opponents with a touch.
- Teleportation - Raiden can teleport anywhere within a realm at will. He must create portals in order to travel between realms.
- Martial Arts - Raiden's favoured fighting styles are Jujutsu, Nan Chuan and Tae Kwon Do, but he has practiced virtually all Earth martial arts over the millennia of his life.