Motaro made his first appearance in Mortal Kombat 3. He is a Centaurian, meaning that he has the body of a stallion and the torso of a man. He also has a pair of capricorn-like horns and has a long, metallic rat-like tail he can use as both an energy channeling point and a limb. He is nearly 9 feet tall. Centaurians are known for their hunting prowess and their mystical powers.
Motaro, along with his entire race, harbors a deep-seated hatred for the Shokan, whom he sees as inferior. The two races constantly struggle against each other in order to prove their value to Shao Kahn and to finally define which is superior.
In the realm of Outworld, Motaro's race of Centaurians had come into conflict with the Shokan. Shao Kahn, Emperor of Outworld, had begun to favor the Centaurians over the Shokan, and had been punishing the latter, aiding the Centaurians in the defeat and subjugation of the Shokan race. When Kahn formed special extermination squads to eliminate the chosen warriors of Earthrealm during his invasion, Motaro was appointed to head this elite group of savage warriors.
Sonya Blade's defeat of Kano during the events of Mortal Kombat Trilogy had resulted in the Black Dragon member being thrown from a skyscraper to the streets below. Motaro recovered the severely injured Kano, and brought him back to Shao Kahn's fortress. After reviving him with magic, Motaro then imprisoned the criminal so that he could later be punished by Kahn for failing to defeat Sonya. It is at this point that Motaro was assaulted and supposedly killed by Sheeva. However, he returns in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, but since then the Centaurs have been put under a curse by the Shokan, turning him and the rest of his race into bipedal Minotaurs.
In Motaro's Armageddon ending, he defeats Blaze, causing the firespawn's essence to consume him. When the fire stops, Motaro finds himself walking on four legs again, having lifted the Shokan's curse on the Centaurs. He vowed that the Shokan would pay dearly for their treachery.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
Being a member of the Centaurian race, Motaro possessed incredible strength, so strong that he could knock human opponents several feet away with a single punch. His four-legged lower torso gave him the speed of a horse, allowing him to travel vast distances with ease and possibly unleash powerful charge attacks. He possesses a razor-sharp tail that fires energy blasts from the tip of the tail. Perhaps Motaro's most notorious ability is his absolute immunity to projectile attacks. Motaro's skin appears to have some sort of reflective surface that automatically repels long range attacks to the point of sending them right back at opponents (Nightwof uses this as a special move) . He also possesses the power of teleportation as he can easily smash his foes from behind. In Armageddon, a mysterious Shokan curse had removed two of his legs, relieving him of his more powerful abilities, his skin no longer possessing reflective abilities.
- Tail Projectile: Motaro fires an energy blast from his tail at the opponent. In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, this move can only be performed in Mount Stance. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:A)
- Grab and Punch: Motaro lifts his opponent up by the throat with one hand and then smashes his fist into their face sending them sailing across the screen. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Teleport: Motaro vaporizes in a wavy fashion and reappears behind his opponent in the same manner (or, in Armageddon, in a wavy puff of green smoke). In Armageddon, Motaro can be knocked out of the teleport, up to the point where he begins to reappear. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:A)
- Bull Charge: Motaro charges at his opponent, knocking him/her down. (MK:A)
- Head Rip: Motaro rips off his opponent's head and raises it in victory. Only available in the Nintendo 64 version. (MKT)
- Mortal Kombat Trilogy:(Non-canonical) "Motaro wins."
- Armageddon:(Non-canonical)-- "Flames lashed at Motaro's body as Blaze released his energy. The searing pain consumed Motaro as he staggered about the top of the pyramid. When at last the fire dissipated, Motaro felt the familiar sensation of walking on four legs! He had undone the curse that had transformed his Centaur race into Minotaurs. With renewed purpose, Motaro vowed that the Shokan would pay dearly for their treachery."
Appearances in other mediaEdit
Motaro appears in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, portrayed by former American Gladiators star Deron McBee. His rivalry with Sheeva is briefly hinted at, and in his last battle sequence, he is defeated by Jax.
Motaro appeared twice in Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm. He and his Centaurian warriors were present at the castle in which Rain held Kitana hostage. He was later seen during the plot to overthrow Shao Kahn. After being warned by Raiden, Motaro appeared to fight the treacherous Shang Tsung and the Shokans led by Sheeva.
Motaro was seen as one of the most difficult bosses in the Mortal Kombat series. This is because projectiles, which were effective on his predecessors, are useless against him, most of them bouncing back at the player and often resulting in an accidental free hit, while other projectiles simply went through him, leaving the player extremely vulnerable. He was also known to teleport frequently, often grabbing his opponents, whether from behind or after blocking their jump kicks. It was also dangerous for a player to block his attacks, since he or she will be put off-balance. He could also shoot up to three fireballs at a time, and if all linked together in a combo, could reduce the opponent's energy to as much as 57%. In Mortal Kombat Trilogy, his ability to reflect projectiles was greatly lessened; at close range, they would now work properly. Scorpion could spear him, Sub-Zero freeze him, and so on. In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, he loses his immunity altogether and can now be attacked with projectiles like most other characters.
Both Motaro and Shao Kahn are playable in the SNES and Sega Genesis versions of Mortal Kombat 3 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 via a secret code menu, though they remain unselectable in single player mode. He is also playable in Mortal Kombat Trilogy.
Motaro's single unique fatality, only seen in the Nintendo 64 version of Mortal Kombat Trilogy, is often seen as cheap, since the animation is simply Motaro's grabbing pose with the opponent's head being ripped off in the process. His sprite also fades to darkness with the background when this fatality is performed, unlike other normal fighters who remain fully lit.
As described in his Armageddon bio card, the developers were faced with the decision (prompted by fan demand to include him, as revealed in the latest Fight Night interview from fan site Mortal Kombat Online) of not including Motaro in the game or removing his back legs due to the difficulty of compensating for his unique half-horse body shape. They decided to remove his back legs with the explanation that a curse was placed on his race. Reportedly, Motaro's Centaur body structure was the main problem, as the MK team would need much more extensive programming and testing to successfully integrate Motaro's Centaur frame into interacting properly with knock-downs, throws, and fatalities and death traps that required limbs to be torn or cut off or Motaro to be impaled. They did admit, however, that such a feat would be possible in later games, hinting at the possibility of Motaro returning in his normal Centaur form.
Unlike most other boss characters, Motaro takes much more damage when hit, can be thrown and attacked with normal and special moves as though he were a non-boss character, and cannot throw boss characters. He also shares the same set of Kreate-A-Fatality moves as the non-boss characters.
- Like Kintaro, Motaro's name seems to have a connection to Japanese myth. It is a slight resemblance to Momotaro, a hero in Japanese folktale. However, also like Kintaro, everything else about Motaro has nothing to do with the tale.
- John Tobias said during an interview (MK3 Official Kollectors book was published by EGM Masters series in 1995) that Motaro was actually influenced by a toy he had when he was a kid. There was a toy line called "The Micronauts", the figure in question being the line's antagonist, Baron Karza. Baron Karza was paired with a horse named Andromeda. The upper body of Baron Karza could connect to the body of Andromeda once Andromeda's head and neck were removed. The end result looks like a black metallic robotic version of Motaro.
Mortal Kombat 3:
- Headed Shao Kahn's extermination squads in MK3.
- Found and revived Kano in MK3.
- Killed by Sheeva after MK3.
- He and his race of Centaurs were put on a curse by the shokans before Armageddon.
- He and the rest of his race turned back to normal after Blaze's defeat.
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