Raiden (雷電), formerly spelt Rayden, is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. Being the eternal God of Thunder, Raiden has been the one the most significant characters in the series along with being one of the most memorable characters in the fighting game genre.
Raiden made his debut as one of the few original characters in the first Mortal Kombat game and is the one of the few characters to have appeared in every generation of Mortal Kombat games as a playable character. He has been a major, central character throughout the series.
Raiden is the eternal God of Thunder, protector of Earthrealm, and arguably one of the most powerful characters in all of Mortal Kombat. After the second defeat of Shinnok, he ascended to the status of Elder God. As a result of his divine nature, he possesses many supernatural abilities, such as the ability to teleport, control lightning, and fly. He is also more prone to thinking in terms of eternity rather than normal human lifespans and has a radically different outlook on life.
Throughout the series, Raiden has served as a mentor and father figure to Earthrealm's champions, especially Liu Kang and Kung Lao. As Earthrealm's protector, he harbors an intense hatred for Shang Tsung, Shao Kahn, Shinnok, and anyone who would pose a threat to Earth.
In the ending of Mortal Kombat X's Story Mode and seen in Mortal Kombat 11, Raiden now assumes his corrupted form similar to that of his counterpart in the Original Timeline. His outlook on Earthrealm's protection drastically changes, where he lashes out at anyone, he deems a threat to Earthrealm, even leading a full-on invasion of the Netherealm to destroy Shinnok's Bone Temple. When Kronika erases this incarnation of Raiden from the timeline as a result of his defeat of Shinnok and her merging the timelines, his past incarnation is left to learn of his corruption and stop Kronika's plans of restarting the timeline, vowing never to walk the path of his future self.
Raiden, with his remaining abilities, was able to paralyze and petrify Shao Kahn! Liu Kang and Kung Lao finished the job and destroyed the Emperor. The Thunder God congratulated them both and assured their ancestors shall be at peace by the monks accomplishing the fallen's tasks by working together and saving Earthrealm. He then protected the heroes with his minimized powers as they headed back to the Wu Shi Academy. He escorted Sonya, Jax, and Johnny back to their corresponding homelands.
He then overheard a monk ranting to Kung Lao of the eternal curse he and Liu were bestowed with as Champions of Mortal Kombat, the way how the Great Kung Lao suffered. He then met with Kung Lao in all his lonesome on one of the balconies; he realized he may be an introvert, but he never saw his promising Champion like this. He was ashamed on not warning the heroes sooner, though he was reluctant as the curse would make them lose their focus and will to fight and fail to protect Earth.
He then made a sneaky move, incapacitating Kung Lao for a few months since he needed to rid his survivor's guilt; although Lao never noticed, as he abruptly wound up at New Jersey from China. The reason being was Raiden sensed Aiko's familiar aura, though she was grown, and he sent Kung Lao to Jersey to protect her. He then met up with Lao as he settled for the night with her, and he explained that the war with the resurrected Shao Kahn is still happening. He wondered if Aiko remembered the warriors, which was vague, and her powers were dormant due to age. Raiden awakened hidden memories from her lost early childhood assisting the team as their pacifier next to Nightwolf. He assured her the time will come if she should use her hidden potential. He then transported her and Lao to a barren battleground where Komodai and his Saurian army became stragglers from Outworld, remembering Aiko's an astraphobic. Lao was successful on helping the united team, and he offered them to catch up at their hidden base.
He was then seen in its main deck with all the Kombatants aside from Kung Lao, Aiko, Kiba, and Nightwolf who were busy with her first meditation session. He suspected that Shao Kahn still lives, perhaps even resurrected, though there hasn't been any activity in Outworld nor in Kahn's Keep since the lethal scrimmage of the Shokans against the Centaurs and Tarkans. As tension was beginning to build, he offered his warriors a week's respite, upon Stryker's suggestion. Sonya even wondered why he never summoned Johnny Cage during the past trimester as he did so with Lao and Aiko.
He was later seen evacuating the elder monks from the Temple of Light and other stragglers once he began losing his powers and strength. Earthrealm began to merge with Outworld, and the Wu Shi Academy was being ransacked by Kahn's extermination squads. With his limited prowess, he assisted Kung Lao against a few Centaurs before he collapsed. He requested for Lao and Aiko head to Nightwolf's sacred land in the US' East Coast. He and Nightwolf were still waiting for the other Kombatants to make it.
Little to no time, he teleported Aiko and Kung Lao to the East Coast and pointed out Nightwolf's reservation. He held back the monk for a second as he warned him of Aiko being fragile and handicapped. He relied on Kung Lao to protect her heart and soul, especially when it comes to Nightwolf's customs; growing up she became susceptible to them. It was also stated by Nightwolf that Raiden was able to unleash his Animality no problem as an electric eel.
Raiden met up with Sub-Zero who was teleported to the heart of the Appalachian Mountains; he forewarned the ninja that venturing into the Lin Kuei HQ was suicide, and he assured him Smoke was safe for the moment. That was unless he'd get to him before Oniro should hunt him down! Kung Lao, Nightwolf, and Aiko heard the abrupt rumble of thunder and the guys noticed it was him, contrary to her astraphobia; once they spotted the ice path in the distance, they knew it was Sub-Zero's calling card and went straight to him!
Later on, when Asgaarth saved Liu Kang and Kitana from a collapsing Bell Tower, he revealed that Raiden was unwell upon the merger of both Earth and Outworld; he hospitalized himself at the Jinsei Chamber and it won't be long if the sacred, healing liquid should run out. Raiden anointed the esteemed knight as the personal guard, but he followed the Dragon Jet and noticed the princess in peril. After the quartet were caught up, Asgaarth returned to his post. It was also shown in Aiko's heart meld with Kung Lao that Raiden was struggling to defend himself and other surviving Kombatants by a new horde of revenants led by a fallen Elder God and sorcerer associate who Kung Lao didn't know...
Asgaarth took Aiko straight up to Raiden's mysterious Sky Temple as both heroes doubted she'd be able to endure the massive armies. They arrived in the Jinsei Chamber with Raiden pretty much on life support... She grew very worried of the Thunder God's condition, as the Jinsei and the world were losing their vitality rapidly. They prayed for the heroes' success.
Raiden barely managed to teleport Kung Lao to the Jinsei Chamber after his fatal bout with Motaro, though they were unable to recuperate him... Aiko was devastated as she witnessed her lover's death, even after confessing her feelings for him... The god said that the merger was complete, and he and the Jinsei were currently powerless, unless if Liu Kang should destroy Kahn for good...
Raiden, Aiko and Asgaarth watched from the summit of the Sky Temple and the Champion was successful! The two realms started to regain life as souls returned to their vessels, even Kung Lao's! The Jinsei was restored, as was Raiden's powers thus forming the portal! He watched Aiko reunite with him and wake him up with a kiss. Lao was still dreading over Liu Kang's curse since he won thrice... He assured he can deal with it being ageless as he was still mortal. Raiden assured he'll discuss the matter with the Elder Gods, and they'd be easier to negotiate with on account of Earthrealm thriving in strength and proving to the Elder Gods it's capable of defending from other realms. Lao offered to stay in the Jinsei and rest more, relieving his fatigue and aching body. Raiden reminded him that his nephew's worried for him, and he mustn't linger on his doubts on not having the peace last for long. He then watched the pair share a passionate kiss before they slumbered, then he looked over the world once more, even when Asgaarth left for the Edenian ruins. He was also one of Aiko's mentors, training her to join the White Lotus Society as well as her cardiokinesis!
Raiden was first seen as he became proud and impressed on Aiko having a date with Kung Lao and looking nifty from the Shaolin maids. Aiko was anxious and couldn't wait to escape the hefty incents and the constant rotations with the large crowds, though he tried to assure her they did a great job preparing her. As he looked upon the koi pond, he flashed back over 500 years ago, as Aiko's relationship reminded him of the Great Kung Lao's with Jen Reyland. He summarized their union was tough, as her father Baron disallowed her on loving a rich man since Baron was attacked by the Black Dragons upon his debts. That didn't stop them, though, until one fateful night. After Lao became Champion, Jen was abducted and Baron was killed by accident since Takeda, possessed by Scorpion (not Hanzo Hasashi), was planning to take Great's soul for Shang Tsung. Unfortunately, he failed to protect Jen, then she gave him the key to her trading house as a last request. Since then, it'd been used as his base of operations, before his soul was finally taken by Shang 50 years later...
He stated that Lao kept dreading the date as he felt it'd be deja vu. Raiden never stopped Liu from travelling to America and find future Shaolin Monks since he felt it was the right thing; everyone has a right for their own destiny. He encouraged Aiko to make it a good one!
Raiden approached Liu and Kai near the Bayan Har Mountains after he spotted his brother crashlanding onto Earthrealm. The Army of Darkness' infantry followed to the crash site and the monks, assisted by a Dragon Jet, managed to save his life. Raiden warned of the apocalyptic war against Shinnok as he fought him thousands of years ago. He regretted that he lost an entire civilization while Earthrealm was encased in darkness. He dreaded that his old nemesis, Shinnok, escaped from the Netherrealm and waged war on the heavens as a result of his banishment. Raiden ordered the monks, Lao, Aiko and Nightwolf to gather all of Earth's forces once more.
By the time Johnny Cage reunited with Sonya in a chopper from Shanghai, he explained he was resurrected after two years by Raiden inside the Jinsei Chamber. He was revived within his intact body which was in an inanimate state due to his extensive injuries at the hands of Motaro. He decided to assist the team on account of Shinnok's invasions on Edenia and the heavens.
It was revealed by the Saurians at the ruins of Zaterra that Raiden evacuated a large number of Saurians as his first conflict with Shinnok transpired thousands of years ago; it was exactly the same cataclysmic event that put an end to the dinosaurs and enveloped the world in darkness and death for centuries.
Raiden appeared inside the Edenian Palace after Scorpion killed off Quan Chi and retained the Amulet. Knowing it was the real deal, he urged Hanzo and Kuai to return it to the Temple of Elements in Earthrealm, contrary to having Bi-Han let the demon sorcerer keep it for himself after the cryomancer cleared the way. Since the guardians were no longer around, the labyrinth would still be tumultuous, thus urging them to hurry and bind Shinnok into the Netherrealm while still remaining powerless. The ninjas left, and he ordered Nightwolf to stay put and help the army. And just for lulz, he incapacitated the stunned Baraka in order to not cause any more mayhem.
Raiden alerted Liu Kang that Kung Lao, after following his screams, and Aiko had been dragged into the Netherrealm by Shinnok, making the monk nervous. He and Fujin assisted him thru till they reached Shinnok's temple, the Fire Well, but they arrived too late for Lao and Aiko had their hearts corrupted. While Shinnok stunned the brothers, Liu was barely a match for the cardiokinetic and his best friend. Shinnok drew the hero close and was about to waste away his heart until Nightwolf performed a ritual that allowed his and the compatriots' strength to cross into the Netherrealm from the Edenian Palace. With Shinnok weakened by his pure memories and thoughts, he lost the Amulet temporarily by Liu's strong Kick, though Lao retrieved it via Teleport, and Shinnok attached it to the Staff! By the time Hanzo and Kuai restored the REAL Amulet at the Temple of Elements, Shinnok's powers ran out and realized he only was using the duplicate! Raiden stunned the usurped couple before taking them to the Jinsei while Liu backed the hapless Elder God to the spiked Well! Fujin pushed the monk aside before he and Raiden forced Shinnok into the massive spikes below!! The two Gods became the new Champions and escorted the hurt hero back to Edenia!
The team cheered, and Liu remembered of Lao and Aiko's fate, and so Raiden took him to the Sky Temple. He and Johnny greeted them, and the monk forgave them for what they'd done... He stayed with them for several hours until they finally returned to China.
Meanwhile, Raiden ascended into the heavens to announce to the Elder Gods the war was over! One of the elders congratulated the Thunder God a position among their ranks; however, he must choose a successor to watch over Earth. He chose his younger brother, Fujin, to be its new guardian. He soon broke the news at the Elder Gods' chamber after one of the celestials briefed the elemental on his new assignment. Fujin was enthusiastic on accepting in being Earthrealm's protector, and Raiden warned the people are good though have a tendency to self-destruct. He assured Raiden he won't fail him.
Finally, Raiden summoned most of his nearby warriors for his final farewell to Earthrealm near Fujin's crater. Needless to say, most of the spectators grew emotional, including Aiko, Liu, Kung Lao, and Kung Jin. He assured the crying boy he shall return when the need arises, or if he wanted to make an occasional visit. Lao and Aiko assured they'll gift him at the Dragon Grotto. She and Liu made a kowtow upon his exit, only for her to hide her tears, while Lao hid his sorrowful face under his hat. Liu queried if he'll never see him again, while Aiko wondered it was because of her future; he assured it wasn't and he'd be there if the heroes should need him. Even Kuai and Sindel looked at the full moon, with the latter wishing him Godspeed.
Mortal Kombat: Vengeance
Raiden began striking the Wu Shi Arena via lightning, albeit sporadic and violent. As an Elder God, he had witnessed what transpired there with the likes of the Deadly Alliance and Liu Kang. He hastily went down to Earth, putting the Elder Gods at unease, and sacrificed most of his advanced prowess; luckily, he was able to make a dragon amulet, much like Shinnok forging his, and encased Liu's soul just before it was taken by Shang Tsung! He attacked the Academy and was soon joined by Nightwolf, both conjuring their fatal electricity! Unfortunately, the deadly duo got away and he wasn't certain how to comfort his disciples including Aiko and Kung Lao. Only Liu's voice snapped them out of their bereavement, then Raiden summarized what happened. He wanted to keep Liu's soul, the former Champion of Earth, in case the unthinkable should happen! Remembering his old nemesis and being an Elder God, he vowed to do so, and he led his small group of warriors on a quest for revenge and to stop the Deadly Alliance here and now!
- Raiden happens to be the inspiration of Lightning, one of the trio of elemental villains working for Lo Pan in the action parody, Big Trouble in Little China.
- Hard to believe that Raiden's VA in Defenders of the Realm, Clancy Brown, actually happens to be the same one who currently voices Mr. Krabs in SpongeBob!
- Ikran had a difficult choice between Clancy Brown and Dan Bakkedahl, Christopher Lambert was chosen as the voice for her former Onondaga OC for Sleepy Hollow, Chief Turgado, and someone had to be more serious. Guess Dan would have to do...