Baraka was introduced as a mean, unforgiving, and unpredictable warrior in service of Outworld emperor 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 Netherealm demons and denizens of Outworld, apparently populating the vast wastelands of Outworld. Baraka, like most other members of his race, possesses long blades extending from his forearms. Although he has had numerous incursions with the Earthrealm warriors, he appears not to have any particular rivalry or hatred towards Earth or its inhabitants. A loyal warrior, he fights for those that he calls "master".
In the events leading up to the second Mortal Kombat tournament, Baraka led the attack on the Shaolin Temple of Light in Earthrealm, which spurred Liu Kang to seek vengeance in Outworld as predicted by Shao Kahn. During the ensuing tournament, Baraka partnered with Mileena to overthrow Shao Kahn and rule Outworld, but canon states that their plan never came to fruition. Mileena was murdered and Baraka was sent away to the lowlands of Outworld.
Following Shao Kahn's fall from power after Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Baraka escaped and spent time traveling alone. In the time before the events of Mortal Kombat Gold, Baraka encountered the necromancer Quan Chi while wandering through Edenia. Quan Chi offered Baraka a chance to rule the realm at his side if he agreed to join the army of Shinnok. Eager for battle, he readily accepted. Once again Baraka planned to betray his new masters, but after Shinnok was utterly defeated, his opportunity was also lost once again.
During the events of Mortal Kombat: Deception, Baraka found yet another new master in the risen Dragon King, Onaga, in whose strength he had great faith. Freeing Mileena from her prison, Baraka recruited her to Onaga's ranks. She posed as Princess Kitana, using her position to misdirect the Edenian forces into combat against the Tarkatan raiding parties well away from Onaga. This was intended to give the Dragon King the time he needed to complete his schemes.
In Baraka's Mortal Kombat: Armageddon ending, he defeats Blaze and possesses godlike power. He decides that he will never serve anyone again. He threatens Shao Kahn and Onaga to bow before Lord Baraka or die, but they respond by attacking. Baraka's blades grow twice their normal size and he impales them through their hearts, then throwing their lifeless bodies over the pyramid side. Now the ruler of Outworld, he wants a queen and gives Mileena a choice. She chooses wisely.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
Being a Tarkatan, Baraka possesses incredible strength and stamina. He also possesses a potent healing factor, as he was able to survive Kung Lao's vertical slice Fatality, though he was required to wear metal staples.
Baraka's main factor are the large blades protruding from his arms. These blades are Baraka's main weapon of choice and that of the Tarkatan. By grinding his blades against each other, Baraka can fire sparks of energy towards his enemies.
- Flying Shard: Baraka fires a spark by scraping his blades to his opponent. (MKII, MKT, MKG, MK:D, MK:SM, MK:A, MKvs.DCU)
- Chop Chop Blades: Baraka slices his opponent up vertically with his blades numerous times. (MKII, MKT, MKG, MK:D, MK:SM, MK:A, MKvs.DCU)
- Head Swipe: Baraka performs a quick, strong swipe at the opponent with his blade. (MKII, MKT, MK:SM)
- Blade Spin: Baraka would spin like a top with his blades extended, damaging his opponent. (MKT, MKG, MKvs.DCU)
- Mutant Blades: Baraka quickly lunges at his opponent with both blades out. (MK:D, MK:A)
- Back Kick: Baraka gets on his hand and launches his opponent with legs. (MKvs.DCU)
- 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. (MKII, MKT, MKG, MK:SM, MKvs.DCU)
- Mutant Dissection: Baraka uses his blades to stabs 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 Kabob: Baraka stabs the victim's head and rips it off the body kabob style. (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. (MKvs.DCU)
- Friendship: 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 a moment later. (MKT)
- Hara-Kiri: Baraka decapitates himself. (MK:D)
Appearances in other mediaEdit
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 are 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.
Baraka made several appearances in Malibu Comics' MK comic book series, making his first appearance on the first issue of Goro's miniserie 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 show [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.
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 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" by the development team and still has not been seen in game-form.
Baraka's biggest drawback in his first appearance was that he lacked any sort of "moving" special move and was widely 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.
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 MKII 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. But, 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.
- After the release of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance many fans believed Baraka to have truly been dead as a cutscene recording his death in Mortal Kombat Gold was an unlockable in the Krypt. This was further believed as the other Gold endings were unlocked as a montage and Baraka's was the only one to be a stand only unlockable. This was immediately debunked as Baraka was featured in Mortal Kombat: Deception as a main key component.
- Baraka was one of the few characters ommited in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. The others were Johnny Cage and Raiden.
- His name means "blessed" in Arabic.
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