Kintaro was introduced as a replacement for the great Shokan warrior Goro, and was everything Goro was, including being of the Shokan race, but not of the same family. Being the supreme commander of Outworld's armed forces, he is second-in-command only to Shao Kahn himself, and harder to defeat than Goro. He is also slightly taller than Goro and stands nearly 8' 5" tall. He has clearly defined feline aspects, with tiger stripes on his back (more recently, claws and cat-like digitigrade feet in his Armageddon makeover as well), and has the ability to spit fireballs from great distances.
He shares his name with the Japanese folk hero Kintarō.
In Mortal Kombat II, after hearing of Goro's death at the hands of Liu Kang, Kintaro vowed to avenge his comrade and crush Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat. Kintaro tried to prove his loyalty to Shao Kahn when he traveled to Earthrealm with a Tarkatan horde to defeat Johnny Cage. Although the attack failed due to the intervention of other Earthrealm warriors, Kintaro continued to serve Shao Kahn. After Shang Tsung was defeated again by Liu Kang, Kintaro then challenged Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat. Kintaro fought well, but lost.
In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon's Konquest mode, Kintaro is seen in the Netherealm along with Sheeva, Havik, and a legion of demons all apparently working in an attempt to overthrow Shinnok's rule at his spire. However, Shinnok later reveals that this was all created as a test for Taven, and that the Kintaro fought by him was an illusion.
In Kintaro's Armageddon ending, he defeats Blaze and is offered four magical swords infused with power of any warrior of his choosing. Kintaro selects the powers of ice (Sub-Zero), fire (Scorpion), chaos (Havik), and order (Hotaru). The four fighters are killed and their souls are transferred into the weapons. Kintaro then uses the swords to vanquish his enemies and gain more power. Therefore, no one dared to challenge Kintaro to Mortal Kombat, in the hopes of ever defeating him.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
Like the other Shokans, Kintaro boasts brute strength, stamina and prowess. Unlike his brethren, Kintaro hails from a subspecies specializing in savagery. His strength and agility far exceeds that of Goro. Combined with savage style of kombat and mercilessness makes him one of the most lethal kombatants on the battleground. Other than that, he share similar powers to Goro.
- Fireball / Fiery Hands: Kintaro shoots a red fireball out of his mouth. (MKII, MKT, MK:SM, MK:A)
- Rapid Fireball: Kintaro shoots multiple red fireballs from his mouth in succession. (MKII, MKT, MK:SM)
- Teleport Stomp: Kintaro jumps off screen and comes crashing down on his enemy. (MKII, MKT, MK:SM)
- Grab and Pound: Grabbing his opponent with his lower arms, Kintaro pounds them with his upper arms, shaving off a good portion of his opponent's life. (MKII, MKT, MK:SM, MK:A)
- Shokan Roar: Kintaro roars, making him vulnerable (or healing in Armageddon). In Shaolin Monks, he does this move before a teleport stomp, and he is vulnerable to attacks when he roars. (MKII, MKT, MK:SM, MK:A)
- Four-Armed Grab: Kintaro grabs his opponent with all four arms and smashes him overhead. (MK:A)
- Breath: Kintaro inhales deeply, dragging the opponent in and, if they are caught, he will do Four-Armed Grab. (MK:A)
- Armageddon: "Upon defeating Blaze, a thunderous voice offered Kintaro four magic swords. Each would be infused with the power of any warrior of his choosing. Kintaro resolved to give the weapons the powers of fire, ice, chaos and order. As if wielded by invisible hands, each blade found its victim and slew him. The vanquished souls were transfered to the weapons, and there they will reside. With the powers of Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Havik and Hotaru at his command, none will challenge Kintaro and live."
Appearances in other mediaEdit
Kintaro is portrayed as a minor character in the Malibu Comics Battlewave series. Unlike the games, in which he attempted to avenge Goro's death, the comics shows he's bitter towards the Prince of Pain (Goro's nickname in the comics) since he's always at his shadow, and longs for a confrontation with him. His only noteworthy participation in the comics is when he kidnaps Sonya Blade while she leads an investigation team into Shang Tsung's crumpled island. In the comics, Kintaro refers to himself as the Scourge of Outworld.
Due to the anticipation for both he and Goro to face one on one (since both are impressive and legendary sub-bosses), Malibu Comics wrote as a response a special When Titans Klash mini-story at the end of issue four of the Battlewave series, in which Kintaro has his dream match against Goro. The short struggle (about two to three pages) ended with Goro victorious, and served to reconcile both Shokans in the comics' continuity.
Kintaro was originally going to be a playable character (a tall anthropomorphic tiger with two arms). While his size would not be a problem (all the playable characters were digitally resized to be the same height), the impending difficulty of creating an extensively detailed fur-lined costume, however, led to Midway's revamping of the character into the game's four-armed boss in the same way as Goro.
Kintaro's appearance since Mortal Kombat II has shifted from simply looking like a tiger (stripes instead of spots like Goro sports) to being an actual tiger Shokan; he is distinguished from other Shokan by having true feline features (actual fur, digitigrade feet, fangs and a distinctly feline nose). His unique features, which differentiate him from other Shokan, are explained by the fact that he descends from a rare and ancient family lineage, known for its brutality.
For Armageddon, Kintaro's tiger appearance was played to the hilt, including his weapons: his Saber Teeth resemble (in both looks and name) the oversized fangs of the smilodon, or "sabertoothed tiger", and both it and his other concept weapon design (a set of circular gauntlet-mounted blades known as the "Tiger Claws") have a distinct tiger's eye jewel imbedded in their center. In fact, one of the concept renders of his weapon actually makes a reference to the Survivor song Eye of the Tiger when noting the jewel, encouraging players to "blast it loud and hard" while playing.
For a long time after his introduction, he was seen as one of the hardest bosses in all of the Mortal Kombat series. This was because he was able to grab someone in mid-attack and throw him or her to the ground, usually followed by a teleport-stomp. He also shot up to three fireballs at a time. The extreme difficulty in defeating him was enough to provoke a comment from Video Games magazine, in their 1993 review of the home versions of MKII, that Kintaro was "the hardest [fighting game] boss ever...He doesn't just beat you; he kicks your ass."
Shang Tsung had a fatality in Mortal Kombat II where he morphed into Kintaro and punched the opponent's upper-body clean across the screen. This has been noted as the hardest fatality to pull off in mortal kombat as it requires you to win your final round while holding low punch through the entire fight, then releasing it two seconds after the end of the round. This is the only time Kintaro was featured in a finisher in the Mortal Kombat series prior to Shaolin Monks.
When a player is defeated by Kintaro in Kahn's Arena, after Shao Kahn says "Kintaro Wins", the crowd cheers.
On his biography card, Ed Boon stated his favorite move for Kintaro is his Teleport Stomp. Ironically, this move doesn't appear in Kintaro's move roster in Armageddon.
Kintaro's fate after MKIIEdit
There has been much debate over what happened to Kintaro after the events of Mortal Kombat II. It was mentioned in The Ultimate Guide to Mortal Kombat CD-ROM that Kintaro was vaporized to dust by Raiden, but that was never confirmed to be canon. In Mortal Kombat: Deception's Konquest mode, Kintaro is mentioned to still be alive and leading Shao Kahn's armies in an assault on Edenia (and can be found in Earthrealm in a grove of trees, though his reasons for being there are unclear, and it is likely just a cameo), while in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, Kung Lao and Liu Kang rip Kintaro to pieces after defeating him, though this may indicate that either Liu Kang or Kung Lao defeated him in one on one combat. It should be noted, however, that Shaolin Monks is considered non-canon. Mortal Kombat: Armageddon further muddles the waters, as while he can be fought in the Netherealm in the game's Konquest mode (thus possibly indicating that he may have in fact died during or after MKII), it is later revealed that he and the other characters that the player fights in Shinnok's Spire were merely phantasms created by the fallen Elder God to test the power of the mode's protagonist, Taven, thus further confusing fans as to what Kintaro's true fate is.
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