One of the most popular — if not the most popular character in the entire series — Scorpion has been a part of the Mortal Kombat universe since its inception. Scorpion is neither bad nor good; he’s simple out for revenge. And it’s this morally-ambiguous persona that has made the character so popular amongst players who are looking for a bloody virtual brawl. After all, what better motivation is there to have in a fighting tournament than revenge?
You already know Scorpion’s arch-enemy is Sub-Zero. You know he wears a killer yellow ninja suit, shoots chain-spears from his hands, and yells “Get over here!” But there’s a lot about the game’s most intriguing antihero that you may have missed. The Mortal Kombat series juggles a ton of characters and has a habit of putting various plot points in between their games. So we’ve taken a look at Scorpion from his original incarnation, to his film and web-series appearances, all the way up until the comics and canon series. And as it turns out, there’s a lot more to Scorpion than just his sinister appearance and antagonistic catchphrases.
Here are 15 Things You Never Knew About Scorpion.
15. He’s a fan of Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Who would’ve thought that the undead hellspawn loved movies as much as we do? And had such impeccable taste to boot? Though Scorpion never tells us explicitly how much he adores James Cameron’s 1991 action masterpiece, he definitely gives Terminator 2: Judgment Day a wink — or should we say a thumbs up — during one of his scenes in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks.
Once you defeat Scorpion, keep an eye out for the easter egg after a group of skeletons drag Scorpion into the lava. Before succumbing to the fiery depths, Scorpion’s arm raises up and he gives the player a thumps up. This is an undeniable nod to the ending of T2, where the T800 gives the same endearing gesture to John Conner before submerging himself into a vat of molten metal.
Now if only Scorpion had been a Die Hard fan, he could’ve duct taped a gun to his back and saved himself from the lava in the first place.
14. He may be based on a real person
Though many of Mortal Kombat‘s human characters use code names — such as Bi-Han and Kuai Liang both adopting the moniker of Sub-Zero — you may have thought the hellspawn was forever known as Scorpion. But in fact, Scorpion was once an honorable man who went by the name of Hanzo Hasashi, and the name may be a reference to the famous samurai Hattori Hanzo.
During the Japanese Sengoku period (specifically the mid-late 16th century), Hattori Hanzo was a well-known ninja who was credited with saving the life of Tokugawa Ieyasu, who he then helped become the ruler of Japan. Hanzo was known as a master spear fighter, which is a possible reference to Scorpion’s palm spears. Over-exaggerated tales of Hanzo’s exploits also included the samurai’s ability to quickly disappear then reappear in another location, which can also be seen in Scorpion’s signature teleportation attacks.
Even 400 years after his death, Hattori Hanzo remains a notable figure in popular culture, receiving shout-outs in the ’80s cartoon ThunderCats and Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. Though we can’t say Scorpion was definitely based off of Hattori Hanzo, the similarities only add another layer of intrigue to the already mysterious character.
13. He’s voiced by the game creator
Ed Boon, who co-created the series alongside John Tobias, provided his voice for Scorpion in every installment of the series up until Mortal Kombat X. While Tobias served as lead designer, Boon served as the series’ lead programmer as well as voice actor, and he helped make Scorpion’s famous “Get over here!” taunt the most popular catchphrase in the games. Boon also provided his vocal talents for Scorpion in both feature films, even though the character was played by different actors in each movie.
Variations of the phrase can be heard throughout the series. For instance, in the versus mode of Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, after the player spams Scorpion’s spear move repeatedly, the catch phrases would become increasingly aggressive, saying “Get the f*** over here!” and “Get over here, b****!”, which will no doubt add to your competitor’s agitation.
In the 2008 edition of Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition, Boon was even awarded the world record for “longest-serving video game voice actor.” As Boon continues to be actively involved in the Mortal Kombat series and its various side projects, it’s safe to assume that he’ll be back to voice his favorite character once again.
12. He was already dead before the first tournament began
Like much of the Mortal Kombat series, large chunks of the story take place in between each game, which leaves the player to connect the dots of each character’s story arc. But the same can be said about the beginning of the series. These characters have backstories, which gives them reasons to want to fight in the tournament in the first place. And as it turns out, Scorpion’s reason for competing is better than most.
When he arrives at the first tournament, Scorpion is already an undead ninja specter, seeking revenge for his own death at the hands of Bi-Han. Bi-Han, the original Sub-Zero, was a member of the Lin Kuei, whereas Scorpion/ Hanzo Hasashi was one of the finest warriors of the Shirai Ryu. The Chinese and Japanese clans were fierce rivals, and after being slain, Scorpion aligns himself with anyone, good or bad, who will aid in his revenge against Bi-Han.
11. He’s the only character to kill someone in the first tournament
By the end of the first tournament, Scorpion gets his revenge against Bi-Han, and interestingly enough, he is the only character to kill someone during the first tournament in the original Mortal Kombat game.
After Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, the series rebooted itself in the 2011 game simply titled Mortal Kombat. Following the deaths of nearly all of the characters, Raiden sends a message back in time to his younger self in an attempt to alter the course of events. In the new timeline, it almost appeared as though Scorpion was going to spare Bi-Han’s life. Scorpion defeats Kung Lao and Nightwolf during the tournament, but refuses to kill either of them. Raiden then convinces Scorpion to also spare Sub-Zero’s life in exchange for Raiden trying to resurrect Scorpion’s fallen loved ones. Scorpion agrees, but after Quan Chi shows Scorpion false visions of his family being murdered by Bi-Han, he ultimately decides to kill the cryomancer once again.
10. He can suppress his Scorpion persona
After being murdered by the Lin Kuei assassin, Hanzo Hasashi became a tortured soul wandering the Neatherrealm. Intrigued by his never ending lust for revenge, the evil necromancer Quan Chi resurrected Hanzo as the revenant Scorpion. In the earlier games, there was no indication that Scorpion could return to his human form. However, in the later games and particularly the Mortal Kombat X comics, Hanzo is able to control his evil persona much in the same way Bruce Banner can learn to control the Hulk.
In the comics, during the final hours of the Neatherrealm War, Hanzo’s life is restored. He contemplates suicide, only to be saved by the blinded warrior Kenshi Takahashi. Later, when Hanzo is poisoned by one of his enemies, he suffers visions of his family being killed. When he awakens, he once again breaths hellfire. Hanzo confesses to one of his students that hellfire is not a fighting style that can be taught — it is a curse. Hanzo can only call upon the demonic powers by reliving the tragic murder of his wife and child. Hanzo continues to suppress his Scorpion persona, and he eventually becomes a warrior for Earthrealm.
9. He previously allied himself with Sub-Zero after MK2
In Mortal Kombat X, the characters of Scorpion and Sub-Zero are finally able to make peace when Scorpion learns that Quan Chi is the true architect of all his suffering. However, the two adversaries were actually able to put their differences behind them decades earlier during the conclusion of Mortal Kombat 2.
When Scorpion becomes shocked and enraged that Sub-Zero is participating in the second tournament, the hellspawn leaves his home in the Netherrealm to face off against his murderer once again. However, he discovers that the new Sub-Zero is not Bi-Han, but his younger brother, Kuai Liang. Kuai is a merciful assassin who ultimately defeats and spares Scorpion’s life. Now with a newfound respect for his mortal enemy, Scorpion actually becomes Kuai Liang’s secret protector. After being recruited by the emperor Shao Kahn for his fighting ability, Scorpion was forced to turn his back on the emperor when he discovered that Kuai Liang was fighting for the other side. However, in Mortal Kombat 4, Scorpion is told by Quan Chi that the second Sub-Zero was responsible for murdering his family, which reignites the famous Scorpion/Sub-Zero rivalry. It’s…a bit complicated.
8. His “Toasty!” fatality has appeared in the most games
It’s only appropriate that one of the most beloved MK characters has the most popular fatality. Scorpion’s “Toasty!” fatality has appeared in nine MK games to date, making its first appearance in the original Mortal Kombat. The fatality includes Scorpion ripping off his mask to reveal a flaming skull underneath. The character then spews hellfire upon his opponent, usually searing off their skin and flesh until they’re nothing but a skeleton.
The “Toasty!” fatality was really made famous by Dan Forden, a sound and music composer who worked on several famous arcade games, including the MK series. Forden was friends with creator Ed Boon, who ultimately decided to throw Forden’s face and the “Toasty!” expression into the game. The mock is no doubt a reward to those who pull off the deadly move, while also being an annoyance to anyone who suffers at the hands of Scorpion’s hellfire. A few variations of the line can be heard in different games, including “Toasty 3D!” in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, and “Crispy!” when players are fighting in Scorpion’s Lair.
7. He was always the first opponent in Mortal Kombat Advance
Mortal Kombat Advance was the Game Boy version of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, and it was released on December 12, 2001 to universal ridicule. The storyline was largely the same as MK3, although the graphics were downsized, the blood was minimized, and a number of fatalities and stages were removed from the game. Mortal Kombat Advance was subsequently ranked one of the worst games ever for the Game Boy Advance, and the editor of Electronic Gaming Monthly even gave the game the first zero rating in the magazine’s history.
Why so much hate, you might ask? Because the game wasn’t just a downgrade, it was also infuriatingly hard. Even when playing in easy mode, the computer opponents would get stuck in never ending combo loops, making it nearly impossible to advance to the next fight. On top of that, Scorpion, a notoriously difficult fighter to begin with, was always the first character a player would have to compete against. Gamers were thrown into the fire right out of the gate, and fans were not appreciative of that.
6. He’s originally from Osaka, Japan
According to the official MK4 strategy guide, Hanzo Hasashi is originally from Osaka, Japan, and in certain MKX intros, particularly with the character Takeda, Hanzo’s dialogue is even spoken in Japanese.
To bring some authenticity to the character, actor Ian Anthony Dale was cast to play Scorpion in Mortal Kombat: Legacy, a web anthology series that debuted on Machinima’s Youtube channel back in 2011. Dale may be an American actor, but he is of French, English, and, most importantly, Japanese descent. Since the objective of the web series was to ground Mortal Kombat in the real world, Scorpion’s dialogue is spoken in Japanese with English subtitles. The two part episode, simply titled “Scorpion & Sub-Zero”, takes place in a wintery Japanese landscape, where the audience is given an in-depth look at Hanzo Hasashi’s backstory as an honorable family man and member of the Shirai Ryu, before he is ultimately betrayed and turned into the hellspawn known as Scorpion.
5. He’s a downloadable character in Injustice: Gods Among Us
Also a product of NetherRealm Studios, Injustice: Gods Among Us is a Mortal Kombat-style fighting game featuring a cast of characters from the DC Universe. The story is set within an alternate timeline for the Justice League, which finds Superman establishing a new world order after being bested by the Joker. The game was well received by critics, and even earned the award for Best Fighting Game in 2013. Its sequel is due out sometime next year.
Despite being set in the DC Universe, the character of Scorpion was later added as the third downloadable character for the game, following Lobo and Batgirl. Scorpion was also given an entirely new costume design by comic book artist Jim Lee to better incorporate the character into the game. In his character’s intro, Scorpion is about to deliver his death blow to annihilate Sub-Zero once and for all, when suddenly he is transported into another reality. At the close of the game Scorpion is searching for answers about who summoned him into the strange new world.
4. He’s an all-around athlete
While Scorpion has appeared in a few spinoff fighting games outside of the Mortal Kombat series, the hellspawn has also made appearances in a number of sports games, including NBA Jam: Tournament Edition and Major League Baseball: SlugFest.
NBA Jam was released by Midway in 1993 as an arcade basketball game. It was extremely popular amongst gamers, raking in over $1 billion in quarters and becoming the highest-earning arcade game within a year of its release. The game became infamous for including non-NBA players, as it was possible to play a 2-on-2 game of basketball with President Bill Clinton, First Lady Hillary Clinton, Scorpion and Raiden. Just seeing these characters donning a pair of short-shorts was already enough to make NBA Jam an instant arcade classic.
Scorpion also made an appearance in Major League Baseball: SlugFest, where it was possible to have an entire team of Scorpions face off against a team of Sub-Zeros. The game even allowed players to attack the other teammates, and would let you swap out a sword for the tradition baseball bat.
3. He has more skins than any other character in MKX
The character’s appearance has come a long way since the original 1992 game, where Scorpion actually started out as a palatte swap from the original Sub-Zero. In the latest Mortal Kombat game, while a number of the characters have five skin swaps, including Sub-Zero, Liu Kang and Kitana, Scorpion actually has a total of seven swaps, all of which can be obtained through unlocks or downloadable content.
The Klassic Scorpion Skin available in MKX is reminiscent of the original character, complete with a black hood, yellow mask and cloth ninja suit. The most intricate skin, titled Injustice, features the character in jagged armor reminiscent of an actually scorpion, with claws that curl around the characters shoulders and hood. This skin can only be unlocked by beating 100 ladders on the mobile app. Meanwhile, if you’d like to play as the character in his more honorable, human form without having a mask shielding his expressions, the skin of Hanzo Hasashi can be unlocked by completing level 10 of MKX‘s story mode. Scorpion’s other skins include Tournament, Kold War, Infrared and Gold.
2. A Scorpion/ Sub-Zero co-op game was once in the works
In 2005, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks was released, which expanded on the typical fighting game format by centering around a story mode. Shaolin Monks focuses on Liu Kang and Kung Lao, two of Earthrealm’s most prestigious warriors, as they travel through various realms attempting to thwart the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung. The game sold over a million copies and was greeted with positive reviews.
A sequel with the working title Mortal Kombat: Fire and Ice was planned, and was even put into development from late 2005 to early 2006 by Paradox Development. The story would focus around a co-op between Scorpion and Sub-Zero, and a prototype level was even built with the two characters featured in 3D. Unfortunately, Paradox couldn’t get the game done in time and under budget. A large chunk of the studio was laid off, and Paradox was eventually renamed Midway Studios Los Angeles.
Despite no signs that the game will ever continue its development we can’t help but wonder what a co-operative game between Scorpion and Sub-Zero would look like. After all, their relationship is certainly a rocky one. But if Quan Chi was the primary villain, we could definitely imagine the two teaming up to fight alongside each other once again.
1. He’s appeared in every game except MK3
It’s no secret that Scorpion is one of co-creator Ed Boon’s favorite characters. He provides the voice for him, after all. Scorpion was given more make-overs than any of the other characters in MKX, and he’s has appeared in every game aside from 1995’s Mortal Kombat 3.
MK3 swapped out a few series favorites, including Scorpion and Raiden, in exchange for some new playable characters, such as Nightwolf, Kabal, and the widely-loathed Stryker. MK3 also stepped away from its Eastern theme and set the fighting in more modern, Western settings, such as urban highways and city rooftops.
Therefore, Sub-Zero remains the only character to appear in every Mortal Kombat game to date (though both Scorpion and Raiden were added into Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 later that year, making that version of the game indisputably superior). After all, what good is a Mortal Kombat game without the presence of our favorite anti-hero?
So did we forget any need-to-know information about Scorpion? Let us know in the comments!