Mortal Kombat: Devolution of Scorpion and Sub-Zero [Infographic]

Mortal Kombat X Infographic Header Scorpion Sub-Zero


April 14th, 2015 will mark the next milestone in a 23 year journey of the iconic fighting game Mortal Kombat, with the release of Mortal Kombat X . Since Mortal Kombat first hit arcades and home systems in 1992, it has been the subject of both ravenous fandom and intense scrutiny. No characters are more iconic than the two ninjas, Sub-Zero and Scorpion. As two of the original characters in the series, Scorpion and Sub-Zero are as old as the franchise itself - meaning they’re probably older than some of you reading this! The two ninjas started out as color-swapped versions of the same character and have since evolved to have their own unique looks, back stories, and relationships. So why don’t you ‘GET OVER HERE’ and check out this trek back through the last 23 years of Mortal Kombat with Scorpion and Sub-Zero?


Mortal Kombat X Infographic Header Scorpion Sub-Zero

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 Devolution Sub-Zero Vs Scorpion Infographic Transcript

One of the most iconic franchises in gaming history is getting its next installment this April 2015 with Mortal Kombat X. Ultraviolence, combined with some of the most iconic characters in videogame history has created a recipe for brutality that has lasted over two decades. Of those iconic characters, none are more recognizable than sub-zero and scorpion. These two ninjas, who started as color-swapped models of each other, have evolved rich backstories and unique looks, Scorpion, the embodiment of fire and vengeance and Sub-Zero, the ice-wielding leader of the ninja group Lin Kuei, have changed much over the years- see just how much as we turn back the clock from Mortal Kombat X  to the original Mortal Kombat.

Mortal Kombat X

Kuai Liang is still grandmaster of the Lin Kuei and ally to the forces of Earthrealm. Formerly bitter rivals, he is allied with Scorpion at the end of Mortal Kombat 2011. His fighting styles include; Cryomancer, Grandmaster, and Unbreakable. 

Systems: PC/PS4/ XBox One

Features Fighter Variations: Players can pick from 1/3 unique configurations for each character, which changes not only their move set but also their looks and adding weapons or special effects accordingly. 

Kool Info: Mortal Kombat X is the sequel to the re-booted Mortal Kombat (2011). It also features Scorpian and Sub-Zero as allies instead of most hated enemies. 

Mortal Kombat

Sub-Zero is actually two characters: The older bi-Han is killed early on and brought back as Noob Saibot, and the younger Kuai Liang, eventual Grandmaster of the Lin Kuei and ally to the forces of Earthrealm, is transformed into a Cyborg. He eventually regains his humanity. 

Scorpion is seeking vengeance against Sub-Zero for the murder of his family, though it wasn't relly Sub-Zero but Quan Chi who did the deed. 

Systems: PC/ PS3/ XBox 360

Features Series Reboot: The events of Mortal Kombat Armageddon have left the realms in shambles. Raiden sends himself a message, arriving before the events of the first Mortal Kombat Tourney, and reboots the series, changing many of the key events. 

X-Ray Movies: The new energy bar allows players to perform moves that zoom in on specific parts of the body, and allow players to see the real-time damage they are doing to their opponent's bones. Brutal.

Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe

Sub-Zero is shown as the counterpart to Batman, as both are brody and mysterious, and in conflict with Quan Chi and Scorpion. 

Scorpion acts as an agent of Quan Chi in the new world, hunting down both Sub-Zero and Katana On Quan Chi's orders. 

Systems: PC/ PS3/XBow 360

Features Komic Book Team-Up: The game pits the iconic heroes of the DC Comics Universe against the Mortal Kombat characters. Though not canon, it is a clear fan favorite. 

Free-Fall Kombat: In certain stages, characters can "fall through" the level and engage during free-fall, battling for position as to land on their opponent. 

Mortal Kombat Armageddon

Sub-Zero acts as a boss in the Konquest mode and his character is generally unchanged. 

Scorpion has to cut a deal with the elder gods to serve them in exchange for bringing back his loved ones. He is ultimately defeated in the final battle by his rival Sub-Zero. 

Systems: PS2/ XBox/ Wii

Features Create-A-Fighter: Armageddon allowed for players to create their own character, assign to the roster of over 60 fighters. 

Mortal Kombat Deception

Sub-Zero rejoins the members of Raiden's Earthrealm to battle a new threat in Onaga. 

Supposedly killed at the end of Deadly Alliance, Scorpian is alive and seemingly working for the Elder Gods- though his deal from Armageddon is not yet struck. 

Systems: PS2/ XBox/ Gamecube/ PSP

Chess Kombat: A Mortal Kombat spin on classic chess where pieces are modeled after characters. 

Kool Info: The Konquest mode follows the story of a character names Shujinko, which literally translated from Japanese to "Protagonist". 

This was the first time online multiplayer was available. 

Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance

After defeating the Cyborg Sektor, Sub-Zero becomes the leader of the Lin Kuei Clan. DEadly alliance also features Frost, his female ice-wielding apprentice. 

No longer under the assumption Sub-Zero was responsible for the murder of his family and clan, Scorpiion hunts down Quan Chi and Clan, Scorpion hunts down Quen Chi relentlessly. Although not canonical, Scorpion is killed at the end of the game. 

Systems: PS2/ XBox/ GameCube/ Gameboy Advance

Features Style Variations: Each fighter is granted three unique fighting styles, generally two hand-to-hand and one weapon-based. These styles can be changed during Kombat, at the push of a button. 

Kool Info: Deadly Alliance included an area called Krypt, where players could buy extra features and behind-the-scenes info with items called "Koins" through the opening of "Koffins". 

Mortal 4 Kombat & Mortal Kombat Gold

As one of the first games in the series with a story, the relationship between Scorpion and Sub-Zero is deeply explored. Sub-Zero is summoned by Raiden to ain in the defense of Earthrealm from Shinnok. 

Scorpion seeks revenge against Sub-Zero again, though he quickly learns that it was the sorcerer Quan Chi who was responsible for the deaths of his kin in this game. 

Systems: Arcade/ Windows/ N64/ Playstation/ Dreamcast/ Gameboy Color

Features First and Last: MK4 was the first time that the Mortal Kombat franchise moved into the 3D world, but it was also the last time the games were made into arcade boxes. 

Kool Info: Weapons were featured for the first time in MK4 and characters could perform a special move that allowed their character to draw a weapon. These weapons changed the playstyle of the characters slightly. 

Mortal Kombat 3

(Ultimat Mortal Kombat 3 & Mortal Kombat Trilogy)

Sub-Zero leaves the Lin Kuei, who are turning their members into Cyborg, and subsequently becomes the target of three Cyborg ninjas-smoke, Sektor, and Cyrax. 

Scorpion is originally hired to join the forces of Shao Kahn but switches sides when he learns that the Sub-Zero he swore to protect is fighting against Kahn. 

Systems: Arcade/ Sega Genesis/ Super Nintendo/ Play Station

Features Ruin: For the first time, characters could run instead of simply walking across the arena. The inclusion of the run button made for significantly faster gameplay. 

Kool Info: Many of the original actors who played the characters left midway due to royalty disputes, leading to new-updated character models being used for characters included in the older games. 

Mortal Kombat II

After the original Sub-Zero is killed in the First Mortal Kombat Tournament, his younger brother takes on the montle and enters the tourney in MKII. 

Scorpion learns that Sub-Zero has returned, and after confronting him, realizes it is not the warrior from the first Mortal Kombat tournament. In atonement for killing the new Sub-Zero's brother. Scorpion becomes his guardian. 

Systems: Arcade/ Game Gear/ Sega Genisis/ Super Nintendo

Features Spin-Offs: While not a true feature of the game itself, MKII was the story that spawned the two action-adventure spin-off games, Mortal Kombat: Sub-Zero, and Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks

Kool Info: As the second game in the series, MKII improved on many of the previous installments' best features- most importantly including multiple fatalities for each character. 

Mortal Kombat

Sub-Zero is killed by Scorpion. Scorpion kills Sub-Zero at the conclusion of the tournament. 

Systems: Arcade/ Sega Genisis/ Super Nintendo/ PS2/ PS3/ XBox/ XBox 360/ Game Boy

Features Digitized Graphics: Designer midway games used real actors to portray the characters in their game, leading to ultra-realistic representations of the characters and ultra-realistic violence. 

Kool Info: Mortal Kombat was one of the many violent videogames to come out of the years 1992-1993. It was used as an example of the corruption of society and lead to the creation of the ESRB- The supervisory body responsible for rating video games. 

Writer: David Rosencrance, Designer: Jacob Kuddes, Editor: Marlon Heimerl, Sources:

What do you think? Did this bring back some fond, brutal, childhood memories? Did any of these games make it into your home system? Leave your Mortal Komments below, and feel free to check out our selection of Mortal Kombat Costumes while you're at it!

David Rosencrance
David Rosencrance David “Rosey” Rosencrance is an Inbound Marketing Specialist for Rosey is a lover of food, friends, whiskey, and words. As a student of the written word, Rosey prides himself on his ability to create run-on-sentences, to make up words, and to convince others that these pseudo-words were real the whole time. When he’s not either writing or cruising Reddit, you’ll probably find him in front of his computer adventuring in Azeroth with his lovely wife, or in the kitchen experimenting like some sort of mad scientist.