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. However she Mileena gave command of Kitana's army to Bo' Rai Cho. His forces have defeated many Tarkatans, which angered Baraka. Although Mileena agreed to meet him in the Beetle Lair, Baraka decided to send another Tarkatan in his place.
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 (implying that Mileena accepted Baraka's offer)
- Mortal Kombat 2: "He led the attack against Liu Kang's Shaolin temples. Baraka belongs to a nomadic race of mutants living in the wastelands of the Outworld. His fighting skills gained the attention of Shao Kahn who recruited him into his army."
- Mortal Kombat Trilogy: "Baraka was sent to quell the uprising renegade race in Outworld's lower regions. After his victorious battle, the nomadic warrior returns to fight on the side of villainy. Under the guidance of Shao Kahn, Baraka will once again pose a formidable threat to his Earthen counterparts."
- Mortal Kombat Gold: "Ever the nomad, Baraka has spent much time wandering many realms. Whilst travelling back through Edenia, he is made an offer to rule the realm at the side of Quan Chi. Eager to return into battle for any cause, Baraka accepts, but has a different idea of how things will turn out."
- Deception: "I am of the Tarkata, a savage race of nomadic warriors bred from denizens of Outworld and demons of the Netherrealm. My kind have served many masters: Shao Kahn, Shang Tsung, Quan Chi... All have fallen. All have been weak. But our new master is strong! Invincible! We will slay all who oppose him! We will follow him to bloody victory! ONAGA! He has ordered us to ravage Outworld in order to distract the foolish allies and give him time to complete his plans. Mileena poses as Princess Kitana to confuse and misdirect the enemies of the Dragon King. She lies to them and tells them to attack our raiding parties. But our Lord will be nowhere near us. We draw their armies away from him. When my master's will is done, they will all be consumed!"
- MK vs DCU: "Tarkatans are vicious mutants from the wastes of Outworld, and Baraka is the most brutal among them. Serving in Shao Kahn's army, he gained the Emperor's favor and became one of his personal enforcers. Many of Shao Kahn's opponents have been slain by Baraka's retractable blades, including the defenders of Earthrealm during the Emperor's invasion. But when Shao Kahn was defeated by the Forces of Light, Baraka vowed to avenge his master and returned to Earthrealm to hunt them down."
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. In MK vs DCU, he follows up with his Mutant Blades move. (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. In MK vs DCU, this move appears ater Baraka's Chop Chop Blades connects. (MK:D, MK:A)
- Scrape 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 Uppercuts the opponents head off and holds up his blade as the head falls stabbing it on the blade. (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)
- Mortal Kombat 2: (Non-canonical) "Known for his unpredictable actions and wild fits of rage, Baraka goes on a rampage. After defeating the Earth warriors, he attacks Shang Tsung, Kintaro and finally Shao Kahn himself. After defeating Shao Kahn, Baraka's race of mutants arise from the wastelands and rebel against what is left of Kahn's army. They eventually win and the Outworld comes under the rule of King Baraka."
- Mortal Kombat Trilogy: (Non-canonical) "When Baraka's failure to apprehend several Earth warriors nearly results in Shao Kahn's demise, the nomad finds himself fearing for his own life. He falls out of favor with his emperor, and realizes it's only a matter of time before Kahn enacts revenge. Baraka remains loyal until the opposition from the Earth realm has been defeated. With Kahn in a weakened state from his battle with Rayden, Baraka strikes. The despondent emperor is no match for Baraka's attack. Then, fearing reprisal from those loyal to Kahn, Baraka escapes back into nomadic ruins from which he came."
- Mortal Kombat Gold: (Non-canonical) Baraka walks into Quan Chi's throne room. Quan Chi tells him not to worry as Baraka uneasily enters. Quan Chi tells Baraka that the Earth warriors that opposed Shinnok have been defeated and that his forces have won. Baraka mentions that he must hide in the shadows while Quan Chi sits on Sindel's throne. Quan Chi wants to know who Baraka was hiding from knowing the Elder Gods are finished. He then states that actually everyone except Baraka and himself are dead. Baraka fails to understand how Quan Chi could rule in a realm where no one exists on it. But Quan Chi states that the battle was actually an attempt to gain power and that he has succeeded in retaining it. But Baraka dislikes the idea that he has forsaken his existence into living in a realm ruled by a "madman." He then stabs Quan Chi to make him pay with his life. But the real Quan Chi was behind him and states he has no life to give. Shocked, Baraka sees that the one he killed was a fake and tries to attack the real Quan Chi. But he froze Baraka with his magic. After an evil snare, Baraka explodes, which leaves Quan Chi ruler of a realm only to himself.
- Deception: (Non-canonical) "Baraka assumed that the treacherous Mileena had given her armies a powerful magic. They fought with savage brutality, but he could not stop their advance. He vowed that Mileena would pay for her betrayal. Baraka's warriors brought word that she had agreed to meet with him in an ancient lair, but Baraka was no fool... He sent another in his place... Baraka's scouts reported that the Earthrealm warrior Sub-Zero was near. He allowed his remaining militia to deal with him and set off alone to ambush Mileena. He knew by the scent of Tarkatan blood on her clothes that she had already killed the one he had sent to meet her. But her sense of smell was not as keen as a true Tarkata's. She was unaware of Baraka's presence. He barked her name and when she turned to face him... he tore her apart."
- Armageddon: (Non-canonical) "With the power of Blaze within him, Baraka would never again serve another. Summoning Shao Kahn and Onaga before him atop the pyramid, he gave them a choice: Submit to Lord Baraka or die. They responded by attacking the Tarkatan. In a flash, Baraka's blades grew to twice their normal length and pierced his former masters through their hearts. Flinging their bodies down the side of the pyramid, Baraka turned his attention to a more important matter: Who would be his queen? He gave Mileena a choice. She chose wisely..."
- MK vs DCU: (Non-canonical) "As the worlds returned to normal, the Kombat Rage dissipated in its victims - except the Tarkatans. Through the Rage, the savage Outworld race has descended to an even greater level of bloodlust. Marking their foreheads with the blood of their enemies, they now storm throughout the realms, dominating all."
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, even for Mortal kombat, 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.
Bio Kard Edit
- 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 omitted in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. The others were Johnny Cage and Raiden.
- His name means "blessed" in Arabic.
- Marvel Comics' Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine bore an uncanny resemblance to Baraka. Marvel and MK fans alike have jokingly referred to that version as Barakapool
- Baraka's alternate costume in Deception and Armageddon is his MK2 appearance.
- In Deception, he borrowed the Hung Gar fighting style from Reptile in Deadly Alliance, then later Drahmin in Armageddon borrowed the Hung Gar fighting style from Baraka.
- In Konquest mode, while learning his blade style, an unusual glitch causes his blade to flash purple when he congratulates the player for completing a task.
- Baraka is seen in the opening scene of Armageddon, fighting Kung Lao, and is later seen being hit by Shao Kahn's hammer on the pyramid.
- In MK vs DCU,Baraka is one of the two characters that can draw a weapon.The other being Deathstroke.
- Baraka and Mileena have a love-hate relationship.This is settled in Armageddon,when Mileena becomes Baraka's bride in his ending.
- Served Shao Kahn in MK2 and MK Trilogy.
- Attacked Liu Kang's academy.
- Served Shinnok and Quan Chi in MK Gold.
- Almost died by Kung Lao's Body Slice
- Served the Deadly Alliance.
- Long time arch-rival of Bo' Rai Cho
- Served Onaga in Deception.
- Sent some Tarkatans to kill Sub-Zero.
- Sent another Tarkatan to kill Mileena.