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Smoke (Mortal Kombat)

Smoke is a fictional character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series.

About Smoke

A former member of the Lin Kuei clan and a longtime friend of younger Sub-Zero, Smoke debuted in Mortal Kombat II as a hidden character to fight against. He was often spotted in the Living Forest stage in which he (along with Jade) peeked out of the trees. Smoke was simply a gray palette-swapped version of Scorpion with puffs of smoke surrounding his body. He would appear randomly before matches, offering clues that would enable the player to fight him, as Reptile had in the original MK.

In the official Mortal Kombat II comic by John Tobias, Smoke was revealed to be a Lin Kuei warrior, and the clan itself was depicted as becoming a high-tech organization.

Mortal Kombat 3 continues this in the storyline, where he was once again a hidden character, but accessible to players with the use of a code. In this appearance, he was (and continues to be) a tortured human soul trapped in the body of a cyborg. His most defining feature is the fact that he constantly seems to emit smoke or vapor. This, combined with his power to teleport and turn invisible, once made him one of the Lin Kuei's top assassins.

Storyline

Smoke started out as a Lin Kuei assassin. He was a friend and ally of the younger Sub-Zero, and had gone with him to Outworld on his mission to kill Shang Tsung. They did not accomplish their mission. When Sub-Zero and Smoke returned to the Lin Kuei, they discovered that their clan had chosen to transform their best warriors into cyborgs, already performing the procedure on Sektor and Cyrax. Smoke and Sub-Zero turned on their clan and fled. Sub-Zero managed to escape, but Smoke was captured and converted into a cybernetic warrior, designated LK-7T2. Under the programming of the Lin Kuei, Smoke was forced to hunt his old friend.

During the events of MK3 and Shao Kahn's invasion of Earth, Smoke's fortunes continued to fail him. Although he discovered, with Sub-Zero's help, that he still retained his soul and was in fact one of Raiden's Chosen warriors and aided Sub-Zero in defeating Cyrax and Sektor, he was captured by Kahn's forces. The inert Smoke was transported to Outworld as a trophy and was locked away in the bowels of Kahn's fortress.

Nearly a decade later, however, he was discovered by Noob Saibot. He reactivated the cyborg, whose nanotechnology set about repairing and improving his systems. Reprogramming Smoke to obey only him, Saibot turned the cyber-ninja into both his ally and template for a future army of cyber-demons that was to rise from the Netherealm. Although Ashrah's ending depicted Smoke's innate goodness battling his cyborg programming, Smoke remained paired with Noob until the next game.

In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon's Konquest mode, Smoke appears with Noob staging an attack on the Lin Kuei temple located in Arctika. It is shown that Smoke has the ability to transform humans into shadow warriors, dark versions of their former selves. He does battle with Taven but is eventually beaten. He teleports away to inform Noob of Taven's interference with their plan.

In Smoke's Armageddon ending, he defeats Blaze and fuses with his power. His nanobot technology increases and becomes a life of its own. The microscopic machines begin to multiply at an exponential rate, eventually consuming the entire realm of Edenia until they transform it into a living grey material that calls itself Smoke.

Combat characteristics

Signature moves

  • Spear: In his human form, Smoke's spear attack was identical to Scorpion's version. In his cyborg form, Smoke would catapult a trident-like spear from his chest rather than his arm. (MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT)
  • Teleport Uppercut / Smokeycut: Smoke would go underground and then reappear under the opponent's chin, hitting them on the way. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:D, MK:A)
  • Air Throw: While in the air, Smoke could grab the opponent and throw them back on the ground. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
  • Invisibility: Smoke disappears in a cloud of smoke. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
  • Stinky Cloud: Smoke dodges back, leaving a cloud of black smoke in his former position, which chokes the opponent if they get caught in it. (MK:D, MK:A)
  • Stinky Fingers: Smoke waves his hands and a cloud of smoke is summoned, choking the opponent if they are in its path. (MK:A)
  • Play Dead: Smoke falls flat on his back and vanishes in a puff of smoke then reappears behind the opponent. (MK:A)
  • Robo-Punch: Smoke dashes forward doing a straight punch. (MK:A)

Appearances in other media

Film

The robot version of Smoke appeared in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, and was played by Ridley Tsui. He was a silver-colored version of Sektor, as he shot missiles from his chest in lieu of his harpoon. His backstory with Sub-Zero was ignored in the film's non-canon storyline; Smoke was instead sent by Shao Kahn to keep Liu Kang and Kitana away from Sindel, but he was collaboratively destroyed by Liu Kang and Sub-Zero.

Television

In the animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, Smoke appeared in one episode (titled "Old Friends Never Die"), serving the Lin Kuei clan and seeking Sub-Zero. He is briefly seen in human form in a flashback scene before becoming automated, where it is shown that he and Sub-Zero defected the clan together, but Smoke chose to stay behind at a certain point to help Sub-Zero escape. In the end, Smoke's human soul was able to overpower his programming and he stood to the vow of friendship between him and Sub-Zero. He was voiced by Jeremy Ratchford.

Smoke makes a very brief appearance in his human form during the ending of one Mortal Kombat: Conquest episode, following Sub-Zero's betrayal of the Lin Kuei. Smoke is called upon by the clan as the next warrior to be sent to hunt and kill the traitor, at which point he emerges from mist as a faint, grey figure with glowing red eyes.

Comic books

Smoke appears as a minor character in Malibu Comics series Battlewave, and appeared on the cover of the third issue along with Jade.He was a hidden assassin of Shao Kahn. He is usually seen with Jade, likely since fans regularly associated them with each other after they appeared in the background of the Living Forest in MKII. Among his abilities, he was capable of turning his entire body into smoke and making himself untouchable (though Jax disposes him easily by opening a hole in the plane they fight on, blowing him out). He would also spout the word "Toasty!" while speaking.

Smoke and Jade are ordered to take down menaces to Shao Kahn's rule. They attempted to kill the hospitalized Jax after Goro attacked him, but Jax stopped their attempt. They then hijacked the plane he and Johnny Cage used to travel to Outworld. Faced with defeat again, their last attempt to regain the emperor's grace was during Raiden and Kano's fight in the third issue of the miniseries Rayden & Kano, where they tried to kill a weakened Raiden, but were instead stopped by Kano himself.

Character development

Smoke was an unplayable gray clone of Scorpion in MKII, and in UMK3, he shared his uppercut decapitation Fatality with Ermac. In Mortal Kombat Trilogy, he was given his own set of Fatalities. His human form in UMK3, unlockable by entering a code after selecting his cybernetic form, was initially an actual part of the storyline. His ending described that he was able to somehow escape his artificial body, and had entered training in preparation for Mortal Kombat 4. However, Mortal Kombat Trilogy retconned this, and his human form was then described as being a non-canon character, simply how he remembered himself.

Before Smoke was created for Mortal Kombat: Deception, a tinted Cyrax was used as a filler until the final version of the game was finished. An unlockable photo of him as a tinted Cyrax is in the Krypt.

Unlike previous hidden characters who acquired their own unique special moves and combination attacks upon becoming part of the standard cast, Smoke continued to use techniques identical or similar to other characters through the MK3' series, in both his human and cyber forms. It was not until Mortal Kombat: Deception that Smoke arguably acquired his first original set of moves.

Game information

Both he and Jade appeared in the Mortal Kombat II stage Living Forest in the background, peeking from behind a tree. They also appeared randomly before a round to drop down clues.

In MK: Deception, his alternate costume shows his body as being fully composed of smoke and wearing clothes that are somewhat resemblant of the pre-Deadly Alliance traditional MK ninja outfit. This sparked debate as to whether this outfit was actually Smoke in his human form, or a cybernetic demon form. Information provided on production art from Deception seems to suggest that it is human; both of Noob-Smoke's appearances are depicted, with the comment that both Ninja Smoke and Robot Smoke have a lot of fans.

In Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, Smoke (still in his human form, the game having been intended to take place during the first two tournaments) challenges the player to complete five missions; doing so will unlock Mortal Kombat II. Although Smoke resembles his original MKII self in this appearance, his ninja outfit is completely black with gray piping as opposed to gray, with the area around his eyes being the only flesh visible.

In the Mortal Kombat: Armageddon: Prima Official Game Guide, Smoke's relic is called "Smoke's Cigarette," but the actual name of the relic in the game is "Smoke's Mask."

References

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