Introduced in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Mavado in many respects embodies the underworld antipode of Kano. Where as Kano seems to rely mainly on scare tactics and brute force, Mavado relies on discipline and superior intelligence to fight. In battle, he uses a pair of signature grappling hooks to augment his attacks, allowing him to propel himself quickly around the arena. Mavado is a leading figure, second only to Daegon, within the Red Dragon, which the games reveal to be an ancient criminal organization whose existence is known only to its members, and whose most prominent rivals are the Black Dragon, an offshoot of the Red Dragon which was led by Kano but is now reformed under the leadership of Kabal. Mavado is depicted as a vicious, pitiless, and cruel crimelord.
Mavado's influence in the games' storyline began sometime before the events of Mortal Kombat 4. Since the Red Dragon's top priority (outside their later-revealed true main goal) is the extermination of the Black Dragon while still desiring to keep their existence secret, they decided to use the Special Forces to serve their own purposes. To that end, Mavado's instructed his subordinate, Hsu Hao, to infiltrate the Outer World Investigation Agency and help them in tracking down and killing the last members of the Black Dragon, a mission Hsu Hao performed to great success.
After the events of Mortal Kombat 4, with Jarek seemingly killed by Jax, and Kabal presumably killed by Mavado himself (the latter's trademark hookswords being taken as trophies in the process), Hsu Hao's task was deemed over. However, Mavado was then contacted by the Deadly Alliance. Both sorcerers saw the Red Dragon as a great potential ally for their eventual domination of Earthrealm. Mavado was hired to fend off Kenshi, in return acquiring the opportunity to be given the last Black Dragon member: Kano, at the time a general in the service of the Deadly Alliance. They also requested that the Red Dragon destroy the Outer World Investigation Agency's techno-portals to prevent the Special Forces from being able to travel to Outworld.
During the events of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Mavado complied with these tasks. He instructed Hsu Hao to destroy the Outer World Investigation Agency's underground portal facility, shortly before traveling to Outworld himself through a secret inter-realm portal located in the Lost Sea. Mavado tracked down and defeated Kenshi, allowing him to have his fight with Kano; however, rather than kill his foe, Mavado captured Kano and had his Red Dragon minions bring him to their headquarters. Like his overlords Quan Chi and Shang Tsung, though, he had little time to revel in his victory. Shortly before Mortal Kombat: Deception, Kabal returned fully recuperated from his stay in Chaosrealm and seemingly killed Mavado, retrieving his hookswords.
In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Mavado returns, apparently having survived. He is still seen wielding hookswords as a weapon, but these are presumably no longer Kabal's. In the game's Konquest mode, Mavado is seen in the Red Dragon's lair reporting to Daegon that the clan has located Blaze. Daegon then orders him to kill his brother Taven while he prepares to leave. Taven defeats Mavado, but Mavado is able to escape using a hidden elastic rope to propel himself into a secret compartment.
In Mavado's Armageddon ending, he discovers that upon defeating Blaze, he gained the ability to control those who wear the Red Dragon emblem. He telepathically influences his clan to defeat their enemies, and then tattooed the emblem on them. He uses his new army to take over the world.
- Deadly Alliance: "The Red Dragon had existed for centuries as a secretive criminal organization. Members such as Mavado wer highly skilled and disciplined warriors. But in the last century, many of the more reckless members became dissatisfied with the restraints the code of the Red Dragon placed on them and broke away to form their own gang. Since then, it has been the Red Dragon's number one priority to completely eradicate the infidels known collectively as the Black Dragon. It was thought that the Black Dragon had been completely destroyed until Mavado was approached by the two sorcerers Shang Tsung and Quan Chi. The sorcerers offered to hand over the last member of the Black Dragon, Kano, in return for Mavado's assistance in eliminating a spy in Outworld. Mavado accepted the offer and traveled to Outworld with Quan Chi and Shang Tsung by way of a secret inter-realm portal located in the Lost Sea. The swordsman who had been spying on Shang Tsung for the past few months would soon be eliminated."
- Armageddon Bio Kard: "A leader of the Red Dragon Clan, Mavado has undetaken a ruthless capaign of extermination against his rivals, the Black Dragon. Scouring the realms for his sworn enemies, Mavado vows that he will not rest until every last trace of the Black Dragon has been erased."
- Grapple Hook Strike: Mavado catapults himself with his ropes at the opponent, kicking him. (MK:DA, MK:A)
- Change Sides Hook: Mavado uses his ropes to evade the opponent's attack by swinging to the side. (MK:DA, MK:A)
- Anger Management: A power-up move that adds strength to Mavado's physical attacks. (MK:A)
- Low Grapple Slide: Mavado flies forward with a kick, using a grapple hook to anchor himself. (MK:A)
- Escape Grapple: Mavado uses his grapple hooks to pull himself backward and out of harm's way. (MK:DA, MK:A)
- Kick Thrust: Mavado sticks his hook claws into the ground as he stretches himself far back from his opponent. He then lifts his legs up, and as he does, a spike sticks out of each of his boots. He then releases himself and his feet hit his opponent, the spikes impaling him or her upon doing so. He then takes each foot off of his fallen victim, with one of the spikes taking an internal organ out of the victim's body. (MK:DA)
- Deadly Alliance: "For many years Mavado's Red Dragon clan had been secretly engineering the destruction of their rivals, the Black Dragon. Through careful manipulation, Mavado had used the Special Forces to unwittingly aid them in this task. In return for eliminating Kenshi for the Deadly Alliance, Mavado was finally granted his battle with the last known member of the Black Dragon: Kano. After a long, brutal fight, Mavado emerged victorious and all traces of the Black Dragon had been erased. Impressed with the fighting skill and discipline of Mavado as well as other members of his clan, Quan Chi realized the potential the Red Dragon held for staging the eventual invasion of Earthrealm. In return for their continued assistance, he offered crucial information about a new threat to Mavado's Red Dragon clan... the Lin Kuei."
- Armageddon: (Non-Canonical) "Mavado felt the fire of Blaze awaken something within him. Focusing his mind, he found he could control anyone bearing the Red Dragon symbol. Telepathically guiding his clan in battle, Mavado quickly subdued the Special Forces and the Black Dragon clan. He then tattooed their faces with the mark of the Red Dragon so they would serve him. As his forces grew, Mavado gained full control of Earthrealm."
Mavado had a cameo appearance in Mortal Kombat: Deception's Konquest mode in which the player, as Shujinko, finds him looking for an assassin to work for the Red Dragon clan in Edenia. The assassin would end up being Hsu Hao. Mavado is also found in Orderrealm, willing to trade for red koins
- Leader of the Red Dragon clan.
- Mentor of Hsu Hao.
- Subordinate of Daegon.
- Arch nemesis of Kabal.
- Recruited by Quan Chi in Deadly Alliance.
- Defeated Kano and brought him to the Red Dragon stronghold in Deadly Alliance.
- Nearly killed Kenshi in Deadly Alliance.
- Killed by Kabal before Deception.
- Somehow got revived and joined the forces of darkness in the final battle in Armageddon.
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