—Baraka in Mortal Kombat X
Baraka is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series, who made his debut in Mortal Kombat II.
Baraka was introduced as a mean, unforgiving, and unpredictable warrior in service of The Emperor Of Outworld, (Shao Kahn) in Mortal Kombat II. He belongs to a race of nomadic mutants, later revealed in Mortal Kombat: Deception to be called Tarkata, a crossbreed between vile Netherrealm demons and denizens of Outworld, apparently populating the vast wastelands of Outworld. Like most members of his race, Baraka possesses long blades extending from his forearms. Although he has had numerous incursions with the Earthrealm warriors, he does not appear to have any particular rivalry or hatred towards Earth or its inhabitants. As a loyal warrior, he fights for those whom he calls "master".
While brainstorming possible character ideas for Mortal Kombat II, several designers visited a local costume shop and found a Nosferatu mask. They painted the mask to enhance its horrifying appearance and added false fingernails to appear as long fangs. This mask was worn by Richard Divizio, the actor who portrayed Baraka in the game. In a video interview, on the bonus DVD included with the special edition of Mortal Kombat: Deception, Divizio stated that the mask was a "skin-tight" fit, and throughout his motion capture filming he was sweating profusely. "He was a pretty cool character," Divizio said to Electronic Gaming Monthly in 1994, "but I didn't like him too much."
Early Baraka concept art by character designer John Tobias portrayed him as a masked, bald human ninja armed with hookswords. The swords were later used by Kabal — also played by Divizio — in Mortal Kombat 3.
Another Baraka concept portrayed him as a creature with extra-long, metal talon-studded, muscular arms, but it was felt this might create an unfair reach advantage and so was re-sketched with blades inspired by the X-Men's Wolverine, whose claws extend from his hands.
The third and final attempt at a Baraka design included a full head of black hair tied up in a bun, and a large red dot on his belt to go along with his familiar red-and-white tunic and black pants. The red dot, added simply as a decoration, was axed because it was misinterpreted as symbolizing the red dot on the Japanese flag, and the hair was gone shortly thereafter, finalizing Baraka's bald look used throughout the MK series.
In MKX, Baraka now has two little spikes coming out on each of his upper face cheeks; making him more unique and easier to identify among other Tarkatans.
In the early stages of Mortal Kombat II, Baraka was going to be given a fatality in which he would slice his opponent's stomach open and let their entrails spill to the ground. This was actually deemed too gory, even for Mortal Kombat by the development team and still has not been seen in game-form. This would eventually become Kabal's fatality in Mortal Kombat 2011.
Baraka's biggest drawback in his first appearance was that he lacked a moving special attack, and was thusly considered to be a low-tier character. Although only he and Jax (a high-tier) shared this problem, Jax's other specials were considered much better than Baraka's. This, combined with a bug that allowed opponents to leg sweep Baraka far out of normal range during his Blade Spark (due to a forward-extended blade when firing it), ensured his place near the bottom. Baraka was given better special moves in later games to improve his repertoire, and the sweep bug was fixed.
In Mortal Kombat Gold, Baraka has a scar lined with large metal staples splitting his body straight down the middle. According to a render of Baraka and Mileena found in Deception's Krypt, this was the end result of Baraka's brush with Kung Lao's Hat Slice fatality during Mortal Kombat Trilogy (although this fatality is only usable in MK2 and Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks). Baraka survived the attack and the staples were implemented to hold his body together while he healed. However, an unused bio for Baraka had him dying from Kung Lao's attack and being revived by Shinnok. This bio was released in a few strategy guides for the game, sparking the misconception that he had actually died.
In Mortal Kombat: Deception, after the use of a special move, Baraka's blades which came out in the process of the move would slide back in without a sound. However, if the player executes a special move in the Blade style, the blades will never shoot back in. Baraka is also revealed to be "The Scourge Of Outworld". This is the exact title given to Kintaro in the Malibu series of Mortal Kombat comics. Also, if Baraka is defeated in the first round, he will lift himself up using his blades and start the next round using his blades as his fighting style. He is the only character to switch to or remain in his weapon style after being defeated. All other characters revert to their first fighting style if using weapons, or remain in the same style if not.
In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon and in Mortal Kombat: Deception, Baraka is playable in all the mini-games available, these include Chess Kombat, Puzzle Kombat, and Motor Kombat.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
As a Tarkatan, Baraka possesses greater stamina and fighting power than a normal human, along with his trademark weapon - the Tarkatan blades that extend from his forearms. He is also shown in many cases to have a highly acute sense of smell, as he can tell the true identity of targets by their scent, and a potent healing factor, as he was able to survive Kung Lao's vertical hat slice fatality in the events of Mortal Kombat Trilogy (though he required giant staples to hold his body together).
- Grounded: Tarkatan blades on ground
- Airborne: Tarkatan blades in the air
- Sparky: Sparks from Tarkatan blades
- Flying Shard: Baraka fires a spark by scraping his blades together and aiming at his opponent. This is called Spark in MK 2011. This is called (MKII, MKT, MKG, MK:D, MK:SM, MK:A, MKvsDCU, MK 2011, MKX - Sparky)
- The enhanced version is called Sparked which causes a knockdown as well as increases the damage. (MK2011)
- Double Shards: Baraka shoots two sparks. (MKX - Sparky)
- Aerial Shard: Baraka shoots a spark upwards. (MKX - Sparky)
- Chop Chop Blades: Baraka slices his opponent up vertically with his blades numerous times. In MK vs DCU, he follows up with his Mutant Blades move. In MK 2011 Baraka repeatedly stabs his opponent in the gut rather than slashing them, and is only called Chop Chop. (MKII, MKT, MKG, MK:D, MK:SM, MK:A, MKvsDCU, MK 2011, MKX)
- The enhanced version is called Chop Chop Shop and stabs the opponent two more times. (MK2011, MKX)
- Blade Swipe: Baraka performs a quick, strong swipe at the opponent with his blade. This move is implemented an advancing auto-combo move called Slices in MK 2011. In MKX, Baraka leaps forward. (MKII, MKT, MK:SM, MK 2011, MKX).
- The enhanced version is called Slicer. Baraka adds an uppercut to the end of the Slices combo. (MK2011)
- Deadly Slices: Adds armor and increased damage. (MKX)
- Blade Spin: Baraka would spin like a top with his blades extended, damaging his opponent. Baraka could spin indefinitely in the MKT version of this move. (MKT, MKG, MKvsDCU, MK 2011, MKX)
- The enhanced version is called Spinner and connects with two more slices in his vicious spin.
- Bladetop: Baraka finishes the move with an Air Blade Spin. (MKX)
- Blade Charge: Baraka quickly lunges at his opponent with both blades out. In MK vs DCU, this move appears after Baraka's Chop Chop Blades connects. In MKX, Baraka will toss his opponent behind him if the move connects. (MK:D, MK:A, MKvsDCU, MK 2011, MKX)
- The enhanced version is called Blade Rush. This increases the damage and range. (MK 2011)
- Scraping Charge: Adds armor and increased damage. (MKX)
- Scrape Kick: Baraka releases his Tarkatan Blades and launches at his opponent with his legs. This move is a command attack rather than a special move in MK 2011. Baraka is very vulnerable if this attack misses his foe completely. (MKvsDCU, MK 2011)
- Triple Flying Shard: Baraka jumps high and shoots three shards at once. (MK:SM)
- Air Blade Spin: After a jump, Baraka spins like a top, damaging his opponent. (MK:SM, MKX - Airborne)
- Blade Trip: Baraka performs a quick, strong swipe at the opponent's legs, tripping them. (MKX)
- Tippy Blades: Baraka moves around with his blades in a handstand position. (MKX - Grounded)
- Spinning Kicks: Baraka, during the move, does a spinning kick. (MKX - Grounded)
- Forward Kick: Baraka, during the move, does a forward kick. This attack ends the move immediately after executing it. (MKX - Grounded)
- Overhead Slam: Baraka wraps his legs around his opponent and does a overhead slam, similar to one of Sonya Blade's moves. (MKX - Grounded)
- Blade Dive: Baraka leaps forward in the air, extends his blades and dives downwards. (MKX - Airborne)
- Tarkatan Diver: Baraka kicks forward after diving, adds armor. (MKX - Airborne)
- X-Ray Move - Nail and Impale: Baraka rushes forward, impaling his opponent with both blades & lifts them up like in his MK2 fatality. He then rams his left blade through their carotid artery damaging the neck, throat and jaw and then through the eye socket causing damage in the skull. After this, Baraka kicks the opponent off his blades and they'll go flying back with a trail of blood. (MK 2011)
- X-Ray Move - Nailed It: Baraka rushes towards the opponent with one blade extended. If this connects, Baraka will take out his blade and slams the opponent's face on the ground, shattering the skull. Baraka then axe kicks the back of the opponent's skull, craving it. (MKX)
- Free-Fall Super Move: Baraka performs his Blade Spin move before swiping at his opponent with one blade, knocking them to the ground. (MKvsDCU)
- Throw: Baraka lifts his opponent up in a choke, then promptly extends his blades through their face before either kicking them off (forward) or flings them away (backward). (MK 2011)
- Throw: Baraka stabs the opponent with his blades, lifts them up and lets them flail for a few seconds and tosses them behind or forward. (MKX)
- Overhead Toss: Baraka's throw in older games. He performs a quick, two-handed overhead throw with a shout, sending his foe clear across the screen. (MKII, MKT)
- Double Kick: Perhaps the first instance of a button combo in MK, Baraka's close-up knee can be extended into a snap kick, lifting his foe off the ground. (MKII)
- Blade Decapitation: Baraka extends a blade and severs his opponent's head with a single swipe. (MKII, MKT, MKG, MK:SM)
- Blade Lift: Extending both blades, Baraka stabs his opponent in the torso and lifts him/her high. The victim screams and flails about helplessly before expiring, the limp form twitching as it slides down the deadly shears. In Shaolin Monks, Baraka spreads out his arms, cutting the torso into pieces. However, in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, he slices the foe twice, then lifts and throws him/her behind him. In MKX, this is downgraded back to its MKII version, only that Baraka uses one blade. (MKII, MKT, MKG, MK:SM, MKvsDCU, MKX)
- In MKX, this is simply called Lift.
- Mutant Dissection: Baraka uses his blades to slice the arms, legs, and neck of his victim, then stabs the torso and rips it out, leaving the arms, head, and legs. (MK:D)
- Head Spike: Baraka uppercuts his opponents head off, then skewers it on his arm blade, holding it up in victory. (MK:D)
- Chest Stab: Baraka kicks the opponent to the ground, jumps on top of him/her with his hands at his/her chest, and abruptly extends his blades. (MKvsDCU)
- Take a Spin: Baraka impales the opponent in the stomach with his blade, lifting them over his head, then he spins them around while using his other blade to cut off their arms, legs, and head. (MK 2011)
- Up the Middle: Baraka slices off the opponent's arms then impales them through the chest. Baraka then uses the other blade to slice the opponent vertically in half and raise their half-sliced body in victory. (MK 2011)
- Impaled It: Baraka pulls out his blades on the opponent's feet, flips over and grabs the opponent with his legs in a handstand-like position. Still in the position, he rips the opponent's torso with his legs still grabbing onto them. Baraka then slams the torso on the ground, excretes his blades and stands up, making an X with his blades. (MKX)
- Friendship: Present Box: Baraka stands upright, then produces a gift box and holds it out towards the opponent. (MKII, MKT)
- Animality: Baraka turns into a giant vulture and takes half of his opponent's body. The head falls back down moments later. (MKT)
- Hara-Kiri: Self Decapitation: Baraka draws out one of his blades and decapitates himself in one clean slice. (MK:D)
- Babality: He pulls out his blades, lifting himself up, but it backfires and his blades get stuck to the ground. He starts crying while in the air. (MK 2011)
Appearances in other mediaEdit
Mortal Kombat: AnnihilationEdit
Baraka (played by Dennis Keiffer) appeared in the second Mortal Kombat movie, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, along with another pair of his race. After a brief sword fight with Liu Kang, all three were killed. The shot of "Baraka's" body falling into the firepit surrounding the fighting ring is actually stock footage of Rain doing likewise earlier in the film.
Mortal Kombat: RebirthEdit
Lateef Crowder played Baraka in Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, where he was depicted as a former plastic surgeon named Dr. Alan Zane.
Zane is described as having accidentally killed a patient, and after that, the thought of being a failed surgeon drove him crazy, making him kill twenty four more people after going insane. In the short movie, Baraka took his surgery knives, pierced his face, sharpened his teeth, and attached 10 inch blades to his arms. Baraka fought Johnny Cage and killed him.
Mortal Kombat: LegacyEdit
Fraser Aitcheson plays Baraka in Mortal Kombat: Legacy.
Flashbacks in the fourth episode reveals Baraka led the Tarkatan hordes in the conquest and merging of Edenia with Outworld, slaughtering many innocent Edenians with his blades. Baraka personally executes one of king Jerrod's decoys when he attempts to aid queen Sindel and the infant Kitana in escaping. Baraka executes the decoy using his Blade Lift Fatality. This was Baraka's only appearance in the series.
Baraka made several appearances in Malibu Comics' Mortal Kombat comic book series, making his first appearance on the first issue of Goro's miniseries, Prince of Pain. Baraka was portrayed as the classic brawn-over-brains type, and had the distinction of speaking in pidgin English; in the 1993 Midway-created Mortal Kombat II comic book, his only line is "Baraka shows Johnny Cage pain!"
Baraka was also featured in an eponymous one-shot issue by Malibu Comics in 1995. He was also one of numerous characters who habitually referred to themselves in the third person throughout Malibu's entire MK series. Baraka's background is mostly kept in the comic, having him as the leader of the mutants that form part of Shao Kahn's armies. On the following Battlewave series, though, he changes sides when Shao Kahn starts replacing his mutants with Scorpion's army of undead soldiers. He ends up joining with Kitana, Kung Lao and Sub-Zero in a rebel force set to defeat the emperor. Despite this, his violent nature often put him at odds with his former comrades.
- "They will taste your flesh!" (to Johnny Cage)
- "This fight is not over!" (to Cyrax)
- "My blades will find your heart!" (to Jax)
- "That is no toy! It belongs to Shang Tsung!" (to another Tarkatan who is fiddling around with a Spas-12 shotgun)
- "No one enters the Tower." (to Jade)
- "I do not take orders from you!" (to Jade)
- "Edenians have no loyalty." (after being beaten by Jade)
- "Mileena is his heir. She should rule." (when arguing about Shao Kahn's successor)
- His name means "bless" in Arabic and "peace" in Swahili.This is ironic, as he is the polar opposite of the latter, being a warrior.
- Baraka is the first character to swear in the comic book series and the franchise overall. He interrogated a monk while searching for Kung Lao and tells him: "Well, have a wild fucking guess!" when the monk seems unresponsive.
- His MKII design is carried over into Deception and Armageddon as an alternate costume.
- He was rumored to be playable in MK3 and UMK3 via Shang Tsung transformation, with a look similar to Kano's, but with a white stripe. This rumor was proven false by tests and experiments on MK3 and UMK3.
- Before Deception, many fans believed Baraka was dead due to a cutscene recording his death in Mortal Kombat Gold that could be unlocked in the Krypt of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. The other Gold endings were unlocked as a montage while Baraka's ending was a stand-alone unlockable, furthering this belief.
- In Deception, he used the Hung Gar fighting style that Reptile had in Deadly Alliance. Drahmin then used the same fighting style in Armageddon.
- In Konquest mode of Deception, while learning his blade style, an unusual glitch causes his blade to flash purple when he congratulates the player for completing a task.
- Baraka is seen in the opening scene of Armageddon fighting Kung Lao, and is later seen being hit by Shao Kahn's hammer atop the pyramid. In MK 2011, he is seen with his head split in half with Kung Lao's hat in between his halved head, while his left arm is missing but later shown in the spine of Sub-Zero, leading many to believe Baraka killed Sub-Zero but was then killed by Kung Lao.
- In his ending in MK vs DCU, Baraka and the Tarkata become the MK counterpart of the DC comics' alien race, The Dominators.
- In the short-film Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, Baraka has a much different origin. Instead of being a Tarkatan, he is depicted as a plastic surgeon, who accidentally killed a patient but has since then killed dozens of others on purpose. Ashamed of being named a failure, he pierces parts of his face, sharpens his teeth and has surgically applied metal blades on each of his forearms. In this film, his real name turns out to be 'Alan Zane'.
- His alternate costume in MK 2011 is similar to his armor from MK vs DCU and Armageddon.
- In MK 2011, if Baraka performs a Stage Fatality on the PS3 Exclusive Chamber of the Flame, his Tarkatan Blade will pierce through the opponent as he holds them over the three Fatality choices.
- Along with Nightwolf, Sonya, Kabal, and Quan Chi, Baraka never appears in Mortal Kombat (2011)'s Story Mode in his alternate costume (with the exception of the intro).
- Baraka's MK 2011 Ladder Ending is the only one in which Shao Kahn is not physically killed.
- Baraka's Mutant Dissection Fatality is seen briefly during the movie 40 Year Old Virgin, followed by one of Sub-Zero's fatalities. However, there is no way for two whole matches to be completed in the short amount of time that passes.
- They are also seen using Nintendo 64 controllers, despite the fact that they are playing Deception on the Xbox. This is done intentionally for comedic effect.
- Baraka's death in the original timeline mirrors that of his encounter with Kung Lao in MKII, and subsequent reappearance in Mortal Kombat Gold, where he was on the receiving end of his Vertical Slice finisher.