Kano is a fictional character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He is one of the few original characters, debuting in the first Mortal Kombat arcade game.

About KanoEdit

A portion of Kano's face is covered with a metal plate as a result of wounds he sustained at the hands of Major Jackson Briggs prior to the events of the series, with the plated eye being a glowing red orb capable of emitting laserlike beams. Originally a mercenary and leader of the international crime cartel known as the Black Dragon he rises beyond the level of mere brutality and aggression by also being sly and cunning. It was through his resourcefulness that he convinced Shao Kahn to spare his life, and it was through ruthless ambition that he later ascended to position of general of Outworld's armies. Kano combines the features of a cowardly minion, a lone survivor, a crazed madman, and an intelligent commander. His actions have made him the enemy of Lt. Sonya Blade.


Kano is the leader of the Black Dragon organization, a criminal empire of cut-throat madmen. Making his first chronological appearance in Mortal Kombat: Special Forces, he freed fellow Black Dragon cohorts No Face, Tasia, Jarek and Tremor from a U.S. Special Forces security facility, under the pretense that they would reform the Black Dragon organization. In reality, he intended to use them as pawns to slow down any Special Forces agents who might pursue him. Annihilating an entire squad at the site of the prison break, he and his cohorts escaped.

With his Black Dragon associates given their assigned tasks, Kano headed to Outworld where he recovered the Eye of Shitian, an artifact through which he would acquire incredible power. Unfortunately for him, however, Major Jackson Briggs had overcome his accomplices and caught up to him. The two fought, and Kano was defeated. Jax used the eye to transport them back to Earthrealm, and proceeded to bring Kano into custody, though Kano escaped soon after.

He entered Shang Tsung's Mortal Kombat tournament after hearing rumors that Tsung's palace was filled with gold and other riches: Kano intended to steal them for the Black Dragon. At that time, the Black Dragon was the primary target of the U.S. Special Forces and would remain so for a number of years. He was pursued by Lt. Sonya Blade, who held a personal grudge against Kano because he had killed a former partner of Sonya's. While Kano was free to take part in the tournament of his own accord, Sonya and her unit were captured by Shang Tsung's minions. Tsung offered Sonya an ultimatum: compete in Mortal Kombat, or she and her unit would be executed. If she won, they would all be free to go. Sonya and Kano survived the tournament but many others died, including Sonya's men. After the final battle between Shang Tsung and Liu Kang, Kano teamed up with Sonya and Johnny Cage to fight Goro. During the battle, the island began to crumble because of Shang Tsung's defeat and before they knew it, Kano and Sonya found themselves in a forest in Outworld. They were found and captured by Shang Tsung. Eventually, Sonya was rescued by Jax who subsequently arrested Kano, but before Kano could be taken back into custody, he escaped once again to Outworld.

Although most Earthrealm warriors assumed Kano to be dead, he instead managed to save his own life by convincing Shao Kahn to accept him as a weapons instructor for his armies. As a man with a knowledge of Earthrealm weaponry, he was the most suitable candidate. Later, during the events of Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Sonya tossed Kano to his (surmised) death from the roof of a high building. He was found by Motaro, who healed and imprisoned him. In turn, Motaro was attacked and killed by Sheeva, who freed Kano from his prison. Although they originally hatched a plan to murder Shao Kahn, Kano turned on Sheeva in the decisive moments, with Sheeva's death as a result. Kano was then hastily promoted to general of Outworld's rapidly shrinking army.

Eventually Kahn's forces were defeated. Earthrealm was free, and so was Edenia. Shao Kahn's act of promoting Kano, however, proved to be a lucky shot, as Kano was a very competent general. Even in the face of overwhelming odds and the tactical mastership of Princess Kitana and her Edenian-Shokan army, Kano stood ground and eventually managed to repel the invading army. He returned to Shao Kahn's palace just in time to watch from the shadows as Shang Tsung and Quan Chi sprung their attack on the weakened emperor. As soon as the battle was finished, Kano declared his allegiance to the new rulers of Outworld, the Deadly Alliance. The two had Kano oversee the enslavement of a small village, who would construct a temple over Onaga's tomb to house the Soulnado. During its construction, Kano was personally assaulted by Li Mei, but Quan Chi intervened.

His intervention was due in no part for any particular affinity for the criminal, however. The Alliance had made a deal with the Red Dragon member Mavado; he would eliminate the swordsman Kenshi in exchange for the opportunity to fight and defeat Kano. Mavado attacked and left Kenshi for dead, earning his battle.

It would seem that Mavado won the fight, as in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Kano is found by Taven to have been held prisoner by the Red Dragon Clan for quite some time. Before escaping their facilities, Kano explains to Taven that the Red Dragon had been experimenting on him, as well as their own clan members, in an effort to create real-life genetically engineered Dragons and Human-Dragon Hybrids, Kano mentions that they were trying "something new" on him, although he leaves before he elaborates on what that "something" is.

In his Armageddon ending, when Kano defeats Blaze, the transformation completes and he becomes a reptilian black dragon.[1]


  • Mortal Kombat 1: "A Mercenary, Thug, Extortionist Thief - Kano lives a life of crime and injustice. He is a devoted member of the Black Dragon, a dangerous group of Cut-Throat Madmen feared and respected throughout all of crime's Inner Circles."
  • Mortal Kombat 3: "Kano was thought to have been killed in the first tournament. Instead he's found alive in the Outworld where he once again escapes capture by Sonya. Before the actual Outworld invasion, Kano convinces Kahn to spare his soul. Kahn needs someone to teach his warriors how to use Earth's weapons. Kano is the man to do it."
  • Deadly Alliance: "Kano had been defeated in a battle with the Special Forces agent Sonya Blade during Shao Kahn's invasion of Earthrealm. Shao Kahn incarcerated Kano for his failure, but later hastily promoted him to General when he prevented the Emperor's assassination at the hands of the Shokan warrior known as Sheeva. With the merging of Earthrealm and Outworld not yet complete, Shao Kahn ordered Kano to portal back to the last remnants of Outworld to gather more troops for the final push agaisnt the Earthrealm opposition. Kano had remained in Outworld and served as General of Shao Kahn's military after the retreat from Earthrealm. For years he enjoyed the power of commanding the greatest army in Outworld. But Shao Kahn's power was fadind and there was a chance that Kitana's forces might spell the Emperor's undoing. When the sorcerers Shang Tsung and Quan Chi confronted Shao Kahn in a surprise attack, Kano decided not to interfere and remained hidden in the shadows to ally with the winning side. Once Shao Kahn was defeated, Kano offered his allegiance to the Deadly Alliance."
  • MK vs. DC: "An undisciplined but deadly thug, Kano is a killer for hire. His allegience to the Black Dragon clan has been profitable, though dangerous--exactly the way he likes it. Kano joined Shao Kahn's ranks during the invasion of Earthrealm, forsaking his own realm for personal gain. For his crimes, he is constantly hunted by the Special Forces agent Sonya Blade. Though he enjoys the chase, he knows that one day he will finish her in Mortal Kombat. That day might soon be at hand."

Combat characteristicsEdit

Powers and abilitiesEdit

Kano is extremely adept in kombat. What differentiates him from other kombatants, however, is his dependence on weapons rather than special powers. He very often uses his Butterfly Knives in kombat, whether he throws them at the opponent or uses them in hand-to-hand kombat. In addition, his eye laser is used often, mostly as a finisher but sometimes as a special move.

Another of Kano's special moves is his ability to tuck into a cannonball and propel himself at his opponents. This has been a signature move of his since the first game. Also, several of his finishers involve him ripping vital organs (or sometimes entire skeletons) out of the opponent's body. Along with the original Sub-Zero's Spine Rip fatality, Kano's Heart Rip helped Mortal Kombat garner significant controversy over its violence factor.

Signature movesEdit

  • Cannonball: Kano would crunch into a ball and fly at his opponent. (MK, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:DA, MK:SM, MK:A, MKvs.DCU)
  • Upwards Cannonball: Kano would aim his Cannonball upwards to an aerial opponent. (UMK3, MKT, MKvs.DCU)
  • Psycho Cannonball: This version saw Kano flying all over the screen. (MKT)
  • Knife Throw: Kano would throw a pair of knives at his opponent. (MK, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MKvs.DCU)
  • Blade Swipe: Kano slashes his opponents with his knife in an upward swing. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
  • Blade Spin: Kano spins both of his knives around his body, knocking the opponent up into the air if it connects. Only usable by MK1 Kano. (MKT)
  • Air Throw: While in the air Kano would use his legs to push the opponent to the ground. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
  • Chokehold: Kano would grab his opponent and lift them in the air by the throat and proceed to shake them. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MKvs.DCU)
  • Eye Laser: Kano shoots a laser from his eye at the opponent. (MK:DA, MK:A, MKvs.DCU)
  • Inner Rage: Kano concentrates for a short amount of time before covering his hands in red energy. Using this move increases the amount of damage dealt. (MK:A)
  • Fist of Power: Kano rapidly lunges forward and strikes the opponent with an energy covered fist. (MK:A)


  • Open Heart Surgery: Kano's signature fatality has him ripping the heart out of his opponent's chest, then hoisting the still beating organ in the air in triumph. Variations of this fatality have also been used by other members of the Black Dragon. (MK, MKT, MK:SM)
  • Laser: Kano fires a concentrated heat beam of energy towards the opponent to boil their body until it tears into pieces. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
  • Skeleton Rip: Kano pulls out the victim's entire skeleton by grabbing the skull from their mouth and jerking it out, leaving the rest of the body to fall flat on the floor in a heap of skin. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
  • Multiple Surgery: Kano pulls out his opponent's heart, liver and kidneys two at a time. (MK:DA)
  • Knife Toss: Before executing this fatality, he slowly walks away from his opponent, then he throws both Butterfly Knives into the opponent. (MKvs.DCU)
  • Flip Stomp: Kano grabs the opponent, flips backwards with them, then jumps into the air. He comes back down and stomps on them with full force. (MKvs.DCU)

Other FinishersEdit

  • Friendship: Kano blows a bubble from a piece of gum in his mouth and the bubble explodes in his face. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
  • Animality: Kano turns into a tarantula and clamps onto his opponent, crushing the very life out of them. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)


  • Mortal Kombat: (Non-Canonical) "With the defeat of Goro and Shang Tsung, Kano will bring his own brand of treachery to the Tournament. His Black Dragon organization forms a monopoly over the contest that brings Shame and Torment to all those involved. Their reign will end in anarchy and death. It will result in the final dismantling of the Tournament and the Battle of the Sans."
  • Mortal Kombat 3: (Non-Canonical) "When Shao Kahn lets Kano live he fails to recognize the resourcefulness of the scheming human. Kano lures Kahn's armies away on a false mission: then nukes them using a stolen weapon. He fights the remaining warriors and finally defeats Kahn himself. Kano's true intention is to take over the souls which Kahn once possessed. But Kano is unable to control the spirits as they escape and attack him. Rumored to have suffered a violent death, Kano was ignorant of the fact that he saved the world that he tried to conquer."
  • Deadly Alliance: (Non-Canonical) "Kano and Sonya had fought before. Although Kano was humiliated by his defeat at her hands so many years ago, this time the outcome would be different... Kano had stolen Quan Chi's amulet at the request of Shang Tsung. With the amulet in his possession, Kano came to the realization that he was now in total control of the revived undefeatable army. Rather than hand the amulet and the army over to Shang Tsung, Kano kept them for himself, and used the army to ambush Sonya, ending their long rivalry once and for all."
  • Armageddon: (Non-Canonical) "For months the Red Dragon had kept Kano hidden in their mountain stronghold, an unwilling test subject for a new process designed to transform humans into dragons. Kano escaped, however, before they could finish. Infused with godlike energy from Blaze, the process was rejuvenated; Kano was transformed into a black dragon-human hybrid."
  • MK vs DCU: (Non-Canonical) "Though the Kombat Rage completely disappeared once Dark Kahn was defeated, it drove Kano irreversibly mad. Turning on friend and foe alike, he became an outcast. Kano's appearance changed as well. He has painted his face to further express his seething anger. Alone, in the depths of insanity, Kano endlessly repeats, "Death to Shang Tsung... Death to Shang Tsung... DEATH TO SHANG TSUNG!""

Character RelationshipsEdit

Video Games:

  • Freed Jarek, Tremor, Tasia, and No Face from custody in MK Special Forces.
  • Defeated by Jax after MK Special Forces.
  • Arch nemesis of Sonya, who tried to capture him before MK1.
  • Entered Shang Tsung's tournament to steal gold and treasure.
  • Assisted in fighting Goro alongside Sonya and Johnny Cage and eventually escaped from Sonya.
  • Captured by Shang Tsung to bring him to Shao Kahn.
  • Apprehended by Jax but was quickly able to escape and went to Outworld.
  • Worked for Shao Kahn during the earthrealm invasion.
  • Fought Sonya on top of a skyscraper and was thrown off by her and almost died.
  • Founded and revived by Motaro.
  • Freed from his cell by Sheeva who wants revenge against Shao Kahn. Then he betayed Sheeva and had her killed by Shao Kahn and Kano got promoted to general in his army.
  • Fought Kitana's soldiers along with his soldiers and lost to her soldiers.
  • Went back to Shao Kahn's fortress and spotted Shang Tsung and Quan Chi sprung their attack on Shao Kahn. Then he allied with them.
  • Enslaved Li Mei's village.
  • Encountered Shujinko and forced him to be enslaved in the village.
  • Fought and defeated by Li Mei.
  • Lost to Mavado and brought Kano to his stronghold to experiment him.
  • Escaped from his experimentation and encountered Taven and told him that the Red Dragon had been creating hybrids of humans and lizards DNA.
  • Joined the forces of darkness to the last battle in Armageddon.
  • Killed Stryker in Armageddon.


  • Killed by Sonya in the first movie.

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