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Johnny Cage

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Johnny Cage
Real Name John Carlton
Gender Male
Status Alive
Origin Earthrealm (Venice, California)
Resides Earthrealm
Species Human
In Mortal Kombat
Weapons Bowie Knife (MK4)
Pistol (MK4)
Nunchaku (MK:DA, MK:D, MK:A)
Fighting Styles Jeet Kune Do (MK:DA, MK:D)
Karate (MK:DA)
Shinto Ryu (MK:D)
Shorin Ryu (MK:A)
Alignment Good
Games Mortal Kombat
Mortal Kombat II
Mortal Kombat 3 (tombstone only)
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (tombstone only)
Mortal Kombat Trilogy
Mortal Kombat 4
Mortal Kombat Gold
Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition
MK: Deception (cameo)
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
Mortal Kombat: Unchained
Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (tombstone only)
Mortal Kombat (2011)
Mortal Kombat X
Portrayers Daniel Pesina (MK, MKII)
Chris Alexander (MKT)
Linden Ashby (first movie)
Chris Conrad (second movie)
Matt Mullins (MKR) and (MKL 1)
Casper Van Dien (MKL 2)
Jeff Durbin (Live Tour)
Brad Halstead (Live Tour)
Ted Nordblum (Live Tour)
Jeff Bennett (Journey Begins)
Jeff Pilson (MK 2011)

Jcmk1Jcmk2 CageMKT

I make this look easy!


—Johnny Cage's Mortal Kombat (2011) Battle Cry

John Carlton, better known as Johnny Cage, is an action movie martial artist in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He is one of the most recurring characters and one of the seven original characters, debuting in the first Mortal Kombat arcade game.

About Johnny Cage

Johnny Cage was a struggling Hollywood action movie star who wanted to get his fame back. Originally entering the Mortal Kombat tournament to display his fighting skills and prove himself to skeptical movie critics and the movie-viewing public, who believed Cage was nothing more than an actor who relied too much on stunts and camera work and was not a real proficient fighter. Eventually, Cage becomes one of the most important defenders of Earthrealm. Though he occasionally lapses into his former selfish and materialistic ways, he has always been a brave and loyal warrior for Earthrealm.


Johnny Cage is depicted as the typical American action movie star; bare muscular build with karate pants and his trademark sunglasses. In his debut, his clothing was modeled directly after Jean-Claude Van Damme's character in Bloodsport, consisting of black shorts with a red Kung Fu belt and black shoes. From MKII to MK4, he is depicted with black pants with blue accents.

In Deadly Alliance onwards, his design becomes a fusion of his first and familiar appearances, regaining the black shorts, but with a Cage emblem and blue belt tied at his waist. He goes barefoot with bandage straps. Interestingly, he has dyed his hair blond.

In MK 2011, he has a similar outfit from MKII, but with slight changes: he keeps his sunglasses on all the time, his chest is tattooed with his own name, he has straps on his arms and hands, his pants' accents are blue, and his last name is on his belt.

Combat characteristics


Despite his air-headed and superficial demeanor, Johnny Cage is a strong and agile warrior, showing an excellent fighting technique during battle. After long periods of training with various masters of martial arts, Cage himself has acquired mastery of several fighting styles, such as the famous Karate.

Although Johnny Cage is a human being, he possesses superhuman powers. According to MK 2011, Johnny descended from a Mediterranean cult that bred warriors for the gods: warriors with special abilities. One of these is the ability to propel himself forward and increase the strength of his blows. When Cage uses this power, afterimages of a green color are produced. Cage can augment the power of these shadow attacks, which are represented by afterimages of a red color. In addition to these physical shadow abilities, Cage also has the ability to launch blasts of energy.

As shown in Mortal Kombat X, Johnny Cage can also harness this energy and encase his body with it, strong enough to withstand a death blow from Shinnok without receiving any injury to his person.

Signature moves

  • Green Shadow Kick: Cage slides across the floor with one foot at a steady speed, followed by a green-colored afterimage and connects with a kick to the torso of his opponent with the other one. In MK 2011 the move is called Shadow Kick, however, he keeps the green trail. (MKMKII, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK:SM, MK:DA, MK:A, MK 2011, MKX)
  • Red Shadow Kick: The more powerful incarnation of the Green Shadow Kick, which leaves a red trail. This is the enhanced version of the Shadow Kick in MK 2011 and is called Eclipse Kick, the range and damage of this technique is augmented, and Johnny Cage is armored while performing the kick. After the move is done, Johnny sometimes says "You got Caged!" or "Watch This!" (MKT, MK4, MKG, MK 2011, MKX)
  • Plasmic Bolt: Cage throws a green bolt of energy at the enemy. In MKII and onwards, the bolt is curved upwards. In Deadly Alliance the screen shakes if the projectile hits the opponent, while in Armageddon the screen will not shake. In MK 2011 this is called a Forceball and can have a high arc or low arc. (MKMKII, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK:DA, MK:SM, MK:A, MK 2011, MKX)
    • The enhanced versions are Double Low ball and Double High ball. On either one of these, Johnny fires a second ball in a straight direction at his opponent.
  • High Green Orb: A higher version of the curved energy bolt. (MKII, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK 2011, MKX)
  • Triple Green Orb: Johnny shoots 3 low green orbs one after another. (MK:SM)
  • Split Punch: One of Cage's most memorable moves where he does a split and punches the opponent in the groin. This previously only worked on male fighters -- against women, instead of punching, he would simply do a split and stand back up. Available in both Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks and Mortal Kombat (2011), it can be performed on both male fighters and female fighters. In MK 2011 it is called Nut Punch. (MK, MKII, MK4, MKG, MK:SM, MK 2011, MKX)
    • The enhanced version is called Nutcracker and turns Cage's fist green with energy.
  • Green Shadow Uppercut: Cage would leap into the air and deliver an uppercut with his elbow which launched his foe into the air, leaving a green trail. In MK 2011 Cage uses this move as his Breaker attack. (MKII, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK 2011)
  • Red Shadow Uppercut: A faster version of the move, which leaves a red trail. In MK 2011, this move is done after the Ultra Flipkick and after performing this move he will say "Johnny Cage!". (MKT, MK4, MKG, MK:SM, MK 2011).
  • Sliding Uppercut: A new move given to Cage that has him do the split and rise up in the air delivering an uppercut to the opponent (this may resemble the Shadow Uppercut and the Split Punch combined). (MK:DA, MK:A)
  • Flipkick: Cage does a somersault kick that launches his foe into the air, leaving a green trail. This move began as a command attack available in MK: DA. (MK 2011, MKX)
    • The enhanced version is called Ultra Flipkick and leaves a red trail, as well as following up with a Red Shadow Uppercut.
  • X-Ray Move - Ball Buster: Cage taunts his opponent. If, during this time, they attack him, he parries them and performs a triple Split Punch in the opponent's groin area. As they double up, he jumps and then slams his elbow on their back, dealing damage to their spine. There was a glitch that allowed him to do this over and over again without any energy in the super meter by staying crouched while holding down the block button, but the glitch has since been patched. It is also one of the few X-Ray moves that allow the player to continue their combo after doing it; though conversely, it cannot be used to finish off any combos as it requires the enemy to attack. (MK 2011)
  • Unnamed X-Ray Move: Cage delivers a sweet chin to his opponent's head, snapping their jaw. Then, Cage proceeds to forcefully pull their head into his knee with such force that shatters their skull. To end it, Cage then does a backflip, with his foot sending his opponent upwards, but not without snapping their neck. (MKX)

Other Moves

  • Throw: Cage punches his foe twice, drops a low chop to their genitals, forcing them to lean forward, then either smashing them in the face with a glowing fist (Forward) or sidestepping around to kick them to the curb (Backward). (MK 2011)
  • Throw: In older games, Cage would perform a very standard fighting-game-fare body throw. (MK, MKII, MKT, MK4)
  • Knee Bash: Cage grabs his foe in a headlock and quickly slams them with a knee kick. (MK4)
  • Pop Up: Cage performs a brutal, lightning-fast snapkick, launching his foe into the air. (MKII, MK 2011)


  • Head Pop: Johnny Cage delivers a bloody and savage uppercut that tears his opponent's head off. A glitch allowed the Fatality to be performed multiple times in MK. In MK4, his fist glows with green orb when performing the fatality. (MK, MKII, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK:SM)
    • Triple Punch Decapitation: A bizarre Fatality in which Cage performs his uppercut Fatality, only instead of one head, Cage knocks off three. Most likely done in parody of a glitch discovered in the first Mortal Kombat game, where Johnny Cage could knock off multiple heads in his Fatality. (MKII, MKT)
  • Torso Rip: Johnny Cage grabs his enemy around the torso and rips their torso off, and throws it to the ground. In Mortal Kombat 4, he twists the torso before ripping it off. He uses this fatality as a finisher for the Kreate-A-Fatality in Armageddon. (MKII, MK4, MKG, MK:SMMK:A)
  • Torso Kick: Johnny Cage begins to smoke, right before he performs a Shadow Kick that tears a portion of the opponent's torso off. The remaining portion then falls on what remains of the enemy. (MKT N64)
  • Backbuster: Cage would lift his opponent over his head and then bend them over his shoulders causing the opponent to explode into pieces. Only available in the CD versions of the game. (MKT)
  • Brain Rip: Cage pokes the opponent's belly, making him/her puke out blood then thrusts his hand through the enemy's head, it goes through the skull and reaches the brain, where he rips it out of their head. (MK:DA)
  • Forceful Shadow Kick: Cage performs a Shadow Kick strong enough for his foot to penetrate the enemy's flesh. Only available in the SNES version of Mortal Kombat. (MK, MK:SM)
  • Super Split Punch: Cage performs his groin strike move, only takes it a step further by continuing to assault his opponent's genitals with a series of punches until with one final blow, he punches the enemy in half. (MK:SM)
  • Heads Up: This Fatality is a combination of the Head Pop and the Torso Rip Fatalities. Cage uppercuts his opponent's head off, then he finishes by ripping off their torso and throwing it to the ground as the head bounces up. He then catches the head and holds it up. (MK 2011)
  • And The Winner Is...: Johnny Cage karate chops the opponent's head in half and takes out a trophy. He then says, "And the award goes to..." and plants the trophy in between the two chopped halves of the opponent's head. Then while the announcer says "Johnny Cage Wins." Johnny pushes the opponent, making them fall to the ground. (MK 2011)
  • Here's Johnny: Cage punches his opponent around, then forces his hands into the opponent's back, which he could manage to rip through. He then peeks his head towards the opponent's open torso and says, "Here's Johnny" at the screen, then pulls back before the victim falls backward dead bleeding profusely. (MKX)

Other finishers

  • Friendship: Autograph: Johnny Cage signs a photo of himself stating: "TO MY BEST FAN! Cage" (MKII, MKT)
  • Animality: Hyper Kangaroo Kick: Cage turns into a kangaroo and kicks his opponent off screen. (MKT)
  • Babality: Johnny Cage takes a pencil and paper and draws on it. The wind then blows the paper away, making it land on the screen, showing the player a poorly-drawn picture of Cage (in the style of pictures painted by small children) and a few words saying, "To My Best Fan! Johnny Cage." which is most likely a homage to his Friendship in earlier games (see above). (MK 2011)

Appearances in other media

Mortal Kombat

Johnny Cage was portrayed by Linden Ashby in the first Mortal Kombat movie. In the film, he is a Hollywood action movie star who is branded a fake by the media, and seeks to prove otherwise to the world. He is invited to compete in the Mortal Kombat tournament by his sensei, Master Boyd, who in reality was a disguised Shang Tsung, posing as Boyd to lure Cage into the tournament. He is chosen along with Liu Kang and Sonya Blade as representatives of Earthrealm in the tournament by Raiden. During the tournament, he fought Scorpion, and won, and later caused the demise of Goro, avenging the death of a fellow fighter named Art Lean, one of the few people who believed the authenticity of Cage's abilities. He accompanies Liu Kang and Kitana to Shao Kahn's castle in the Wastelands of Outworld to rescue an imprisoned Sonya, and witnesses the climatic battle between Liu Kang and Shang Tsung.

As a homage to his Friendship in MKII, he left behind an autographed picture of himself after he defeated Scorpion. The film also took a page from Malibu's 1994-1995 MK comic book series by starting his love interest with Sonya.

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

Johnny Cage appears during the opening sequence of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, played by Chris Conrad.

When Shao Kahn takes Sonya Blade hostage, Cage successfully saves her from certain death at the hands of Kahn, only to be intercepted and killed in Sonya's place soon thereafter when Kahn snaps his neck. His death leaves Sonya emotionally gulit-ridden.

Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins

Johnny Cage appears as one of the main characters opposite Liu Kang and Sonya Blade in the animated film Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins. The trio are guided by Raiden who explains to them the situation and the history of Mortal Kombat. Through the course of their journey, they encounter several adversaries, including Scorpion, the elder Sub-Zero, Goro, and a Tarkatan army, all of whom are aligned with Shang Tsung.

Mortal Kombat: Rebirth

Matt Mullins plays Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat: Rebirth. Similar to his game counterpart, he is a movie star whose career has gone dry. In the following events, he begins a career as a secret agent, and is hired by the Deacon City Police Department to gather information on Baraka for them. After a brutal fight, Johnny is defeated by Baraka who subsequently decapitates him.

Mortal Kombat: Legacy

Matt Mullins reprises the role of Johnny Cage for the third episode of the online series Mortal Kombat: Legacy.

A short bio expose reveals Johnny Cage was a small-screen martial arts actor who once starred in Power Rangers, but begin experiencing problems as his career hit trouble. He began picking fights at clubs and getting arrested and his career suffered as a result.

Desperate to regain his fame, Johnny pitches a pilot for a series where he hunts down people pirating DVDS, though the executives are less then pleased or enthusiastic with his pitch, despite Johnny giving them exactly what they asked for. After the executive Emile leaves, Lance tells Johnny that he doesn't think TV is the right move for him, and a frustrated Johnny asks what is, saying he hasn't worked since Power Rangers went off the air.

Johnny tells Lance he needs something big and is confidant his show can be a hit. Lance promises Johnny he'll try to get him something on one of their channels but tells him to re-shoot his pitch pilot, complaining that the fighting is clearly fake.

Three weeks later, Johnny shows Lance and Emile his new pilot, but Lance turns the pilot off before it's even finished. Lance then reveals to Johnny that the project won't get off the ground. A frustrated Johnny asks them if they know how much work and money it took for him to make that pilot, and Lance reveals that the network is not renewing his development deal. Johnny is shocked he's being dropped, and he also learns that nothing he pitches will be sold if he's attached to the project.

When Emile and Lance are called on to the set, Lance offers to walk Johnny out but a disillusioned Johnny only curses him and remains seated as they leave. Johnny then breaks his pitch pilot's DVD in half and gets up to leave. However, as he's leaving, Johnny overhears Lance and Emile talking with an actress and is shocked when they pitch his exact same proposed series to her.

Infuriated, Johnny bursts in and grabs Lance, throwing him onto the floor before proceeding to pummel him, mockingly asking, "Does that look fucking fake to you?!" Johnny throws Lance aside and gets jumped by two security guards but easily takes them out with his superior fighting skills. Once the fighting is over however, Johnny quickly realizes the consequences of his actions when he sees Emile recording him and a sobbing Lance throws slurred threats to further ruin his career at him.

Johnny quickly begins to leave when he notices everything and everyone has stopped moving, as if frozen in time. Confused, Johnny is suddenly approached by a mysterious man. Johnny asks who he is, and the man reveals himself to be Shang Tsung, and he offers Johnny a "way out of everything."

Casper Van Dien portrayed Cage in season 2 of Mortal Kombat: Legacy.

In between seasons, Johnny refused Shang Tsung's offer, and later got into a fight after crashing a movie premier, which ended in him being arrested once again. As he sits in a crowded holding cell, time stops once again and Johnny is approached by Raiden, god of thunder. Wary and concerned for his mental health, Johnny initially refuses to believe what he is seeing but agrees to hear Raiden out after the thunder god promises to leave him hallucination free if he is still uninterested. With nothing left to lose, Johnny agrees to hear him out.

Though not seen, Johnny agrees to join Raiden and decides to fight for Earthrealm.

A week later, Johnny is the third to arrive on the island hosting the Mortal Kombat tournament, being recognized by Kurtis Stryker, before Sub-Zero and Kenshi arrive.

That night as the kombatants sit around a campfire, Johnny asks Raiden how they're supposed to win the tournament, with Raiden cryptically replying, "By surviving." When the fire goes out, Raiden reignites it with a burst of lightning, shocking Johnny. Raiden then explains that each of them possesses a supernatural ability, and on the island, it will be empowered further before pointing out Johnny's incredible speed. Johnny disbelieves this, calling it "bullshit" but shuts up when Sub-Zero demonstrates his own ice powers to put the fire out.

The tournament begins and Johnny spends a portion of the next day wandering the island, cursing and wondering why he agreed to come here when he hears sounds of a battle. Investigating, he witnesses Kenshi and Ermac's battle, and is shocked when he sees Kenshi deliver a Fatality on the demon, causing it to release dozens of souls. Stepping back in shock, Johnny steps on a branch, alerting the nearby Mileena and Kitana to his presence. Intrigued by the sight of the two beautiful women, Johnny removes his sunglasses and prepares to greet them when Mileena screams at him, her mouth contorting to reveal her Tarkatan fangs before she throws one of her sais at him.

Wisely, Johnny turns tail and runs, screaming in fear with Mileena and Kitana in pursuit.

After some running, Johnny hides behind a tree in a meadow, pleading to himself that someone yell "Cut!" before Mileena appears, stabbing the tree and narrowly missing Johnny. Despite pleas that they just talk, Johnny switches from defensive fighting to offensive and manages to hold his own with Mileena for a while before she lands a kick to his groin ("That's my move!") and then impales him through the shoulder with one of her sai. Johnny is helpless as Mileena orders Kitana to finish him, but Kitana has a change of heart and battles her sister, sparing Johnny.

When it appears Mileena is going to finish Kitana, Johnny intervenes, stabbing her in the foot with one of her sai ("That's for my sunglasses, bitch!") allowing Kitana to deliver a Fatality on Mileena. Johnny doesn't stick around to talk and flees once again.

Later, Kurtis Stryker runs into the wounded Johnny on another part of the island. Stryker helps Johnny with his wound and Johnny tells him of Mileena and Kitana's fight. Before he and Stryker can head for the shore, they are attacked by Liu Kang, with both narrowly avoiding the fallen Shaolin warrior's fireballs. Liu Kang recognizes Johnny and admits he thought he had a stunt actor, with Johnny clarifying it was "All me." Liu Kang admits that he must be good for him to have been invited to the tournament before offering Johnny the choices of dying quickly on the dirt or for a chance on his feet. Johnny opts to go down fighting and engages Liu Kang in an even fight, with Liu Kang further complimenting his skill before swiftly defeating the arrogant Johnny.

Before Johnny can be killed, Stryker intervenes but is likewise swiftly defeated, but both are saved by Kung Lao. The season ends with Johnny unconscious as Liu Kang and Kung Lao face off.

Comic book appearances

Johnny Cage is one of the main characters in the Mortal Kombat comic book series, where his portrayal in the comics is faithful to the games. He appears during the whole Blood & Thunder series, most of the time alongside Sonya, with whom he shares a relationship in the comics. His most serious moment is when he, under Raiden's advice, decides to not seek the power of the Tao Te Zhan, since he felt it would be like faking his moves in his films. During the second series, Battlewave, he is seen resuming his acting career when Sonya asks him to help with an investigation. He initially refuses, but later reconsiders what's important and decides to follow with Jax into the Outworld. In the meantime, he sends his musclebound bodyguard, Bo, to protect Liu Kang.


Mortal Kombat (film)

  • "Let's dance" (starting his scene shoot)
  • "This is where you fall down." (to an actor who missed his cue)
  • "Where d'ya get these guys?! And the press says I don't know how to do this stuff?!" (complaining about the low quality of his co-stars)
  • "Huh, thank God I didn't ask him to park the car." (after Liu Kang drops his suitcase into the water)
  • "Alright, tough guy, you wanna get... rough?"
  • "We got a guy with things coming out of his hand, we got another guy who freezes stuff, and then there's a man, who as far as I can tell, is made out of electricity. I mean, how did he disappear like that? What is going on here? Who is this guy?" (discussing with Liu Kang and Sonya what they are getting themselves into)
  • "Do I look like your travel agent?" (after Sonya asks where they are, as soon as they arrive at Shang Tsung's island)
  • "Oh, great! Can't wait to see what the bathrooms look like." (seeing the island's facilities for the first time)
  • "Y'know, when a woman looks at you like that... it usually means something."
  • "Come to a little tournament, he said. Be good for the career, he said. Yeah right..." (after witnessing Sub-Zero killing his opponent during his martial arts demonstration)
  • "You know, you gotta admire her... when she sets her mind on something... (about Sonya)
  • "Sonya, you go ahead. Find out what that was. Liu and I'll wait right here." (after seeing Goro projecting his shadow on the wall)
  • "Kitana went this way. I can smell her perfume." (covering up the fact they were walking in circles)
  • "You guys are lucky he stopped us." (after Raiden intervenes as dozens of guards are about to attack him, Liu Kang and Sonya)
  • "This is our tournament, remember? Mortal Kombat. We fight it." (asserting to Raiden his decision to fight Goro)
  • "Those were 500 dollar sunglasses, asshole." (taunting Goro)
  • "So, this is Outworld, huh? Well, I can see why they want a change of scenery."
  • "Liu, I hate this place. I do. I'm telling ya, I hate it. I'm in a hostile environment, I am completely unprepared. I'm surrounded by people who probably wanna kick my ass... it's like being back in high school!" (about Outworld)
  • "Nice dress." (about Sonya as Shang Tsung's prisoner)

Mortal Kombat: Legacy

  • "Growing up, I was shy, I was weak. I actually got my ass kicked a lot. But martial arts changed all that, and I was reborn. And that gave the world... Johnny Cage."
  • "Piracy, burning more than just DVD's."
  • "Well, no shit the fighting's fake. It's a fucking movie!"
  • "You're dropping me? After all the fucking money I made you?
  • "'Get over here, you son of a bitch!"
  • "Does that look fucking fake to you?!"
  • "This is for my sunglasses, bitch!" 

Mortal Kombat (2011)

  • "I make this look easy!" (Battle Cry)
  • "You got Caged!"
  • "Oh yeah!"
  • "Damn, I'm good!"
  • "Come on!"
  • "Johnny Cage!!"
  • "Watch this!"
  • "Hey beautiful, Johnny Cage." (to Sonya)
  • "What? 'Massive Strike?' 'Citizen Cage?' 'Ninja Mime?' None of those ring a bell?"
  • "Kano? Wasn't in that one."
  • "Heh, that old geezer's the final challenge? Might as well give me the belt right now. They do have belts right?" (talking about Shang Tsung)
  • "What, How did you-?" (to Shang Tsung)
  • "Heh, That's right, That's right, who's it gonna be?"
  • "Nice stunt! Who's your agent?" (to Reptile)
  • "Alright! It's showtime!" (beginning his match against Reptile)
  • "He got caged!" (after defeating Reptile)
  • "That's it, ha ha, oh yeah, I am so pretty! And I'm takin' you down. I'm takin' you down. I'm takin' you out. I'm takin' you out. And I'm takin' you out... for dinner." (to several kombatants & Sonya Blade)
  • "Okay, nice makeup. But is it really necessary?" (to Baraka)
  • "Man, I love those blades." (after beating Baraka)
  • "My producer has GOT to meet you. We're doing 'Tommy Scissorfists' and..." (after beating Baraka)
  • "Finish him? Heh. Yeah right." (To Shang Tsung)
  • "Woah, woah, woah, wait a second. I'm not gonna kill anyone." (after Shang Tsung tells him to kill Baraka)
  • "What that's it? Really? Now where'd that hottie go?"
  • "Thanks. Nice hat." (to Raiden)
  • "Now look. I don't know what kind of role playing you guys are into, but count me out." (to Raiden and Liu Kang)
  • "What are you talking about?" (to Liu Kang)
  • "Dun dun dun. Look guys, I'm an actor. I save the world for the cameras. If this emperor is really a threat, call the military. Me, I've got a date with a blonde. Ciao!" (to Raiden and Liu Kang)
  • "Need help? I specialize in rescuing damsels in distress." (to Sonya)
  • "Look baby, I can't let you run loose without an escort."
  • "Ha Haa! Not bad for a... girl" (after defeating Sonya)
  • "Fine, have it your way. I'll just leave you to your... problems" (to Sonya)
  • "Step away from the lady!" (to Kano)
  • "Fans think my moves are all wirework and special effects. Truth is... I am the special effect!" (to Kano)
  • "Throw that on your... barbie... shrimp!" (after beating Kano)
  • "I'm not worried, I bet you can win this thing no problem."
  • "What should we do, besides standing around looking pretty?"
  • "Ouch..." (After Scorpion shows everyone the burnt-out skull of Sub-Zero)
  • "Ready for your beat down, Sunshine? Here it comes." (to Cyrax)
  • "What's a Goro?!"
  • "MVP, baby!" (after Liu Kang defeats Shang Tsung)
  • "The wrestler guy with a cow skull on his head? And why aren't the Kung Fu Twins here helping us?"
  • "So what's the deal with you and Sonya anyways? She's smokin' hot." (to Jax)
  • "He was busy hitting me in the face!" (to Sonya; about Jax)
  • "What are we? Chopped liver?" (to Raiden)
  • "Sure, let's ruin someone else's life." (after Raiden suggests that they turn Kitana against Shao Kahn)
  • "You couldn't have seen that in one of your hot flashes?" (to Raiden, after Kitana defeated both him and Smoke)
  • "'Lord'? I was with Smoke. I thought she was a bad guy. Girl. Guess he turned another one... What's Raiden got that I haven't got?" (about Jade)
  • "My head hurts just thinking about it."
  • "Liu Kang! Raiden! NO!" (when Raiden and Liu Kang are fighting)
  • "What did you do!?" (after Raiden has accidentally electrocuted Liu Kang)

Mortal Kombat X

  • "Here's Johnny!" (when he is doing his Fatality)

Character Relationships


Mortal Kombat: Legacy

  • Is a famous actor and martial artist.
  • His career goes dry. He hasn't had work since "Power Rangers" went off the air. (This could be a sly reference to Matt Mullins role of Len in Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight)
  • Tried to regain his glory days by making a new television series, but is ignored by the producers.
  • Attacked one of the producers and several of his bodyguards after discovering that his ideas had been stolen.
  • Invited by Shang Tsung to participate in the Mortal Kombat tournament.


  • Once trained with an actress named Lynn Kway.
  • Has a bodyguard named Bo.
  • Is romantically attracted to Sonya.


  • The original name for Cage was going to be Michael Grimm. It was changed during preproduction of MK.
  • Cage's "real name" came from Midway game programmer John Carlton, who worked on the popular NBA Jam arcade series.
  • Brandon Lee was originally cast as Johnny Cage in the first film, but he died before filming began.
  • The name John Carlton was briefly mentioned in Johnny Cage's song from the Mortal Kombat album by the techno group "The Immortals"
  • Cage's body can be seen in the introduction of Mortal Kombat: Deception, located on the beginning of the stairway which leads to the Soulnado chamber, along with the other fallen Earthrealm warriors.
  • Despite being the first character designed in the game, Cage was the last character in the original MK to be given a Fatality. Until a last-minute brainstorm by co-creator John Tobias that later evolved into the Head Punch Fatality, he was simply going to throw his opponent across the screen as a finishing move.
  • In the first game, Cage was modeled after the Belgian actor Jean-Claude Van Damme. The creators wanted Van Damme to be Johnny Cage in the first Mortal Kombat, but Van Damme was unavailable due to his busy movie work. Johnny Cage's clothes in the first Mortal Kombat are almost identical to the clothes Van Damme wore in the last match in the 1988 movie Bloodsport and his split punch is taken directly from a move done by Van Damme in the movie. Cage's Nutcracker Split Punch was also inspired by Bloodsport.
  • The fictitious Johnny Cage film "Ninja Mime" is most likely inspired by the opening scenes from the action film "The Quest" in which the hero, dressed like a mime, evades authorities using martial arts like moves. The film stars Jean-Claude Van Damme, whom Johnny Cage is based upon, in the lead role.
  • In early arcade test versions of MKII, the word "Otomix" appeared on Cage's pants (they were worn by actor Daniel Pesina during filming), but was omitted in subsequent chip upgrades. Otomix is an established supplier of martial arts and athletic wear.
  • The Red Shadow Kick, and Red Shadow Uppercut special moves happened randomly in Mortal Kombat II. In Mortal Kombat 4, and Mortal Kombat Gold, selecting Player 2's outfit would cause the moves to have red shadows, rather than green. In MK 2011, the red shadow attacks return as powered up versions of Cage's original green shadow attacks.
  • Johnny Cage was cut from the Game Boy version of MK due to memory constraints, though a cheat code made him playable but he uses Sonya's sprite. He was also the only character from the first MK game who did not appear in Jeff Rovin's non-canon 1995 novel.
  • Cage's character model was exclusively recreated for Mortal Kombat Trilogy because Daniel Pesina was fired by Midway after appearing in an ad for the arcade game BloodStorm dressed as Cage, and thus his MKII sprites were not used. He was replaced by Chris Alexander. This was the first instance of Cage wearing his sunglasses while fighting, whereas previously he would only wear them during a victory pose, something that has persisted in all his appearances since then, including the continuity-retroactive MKSM.
  • In the first film, after Cage defeats Scorpion, a photo signed 'To my greatest fan' lands in the debris, a nod to his Friendship finishing move in Mortal Kombat II.
  • According to some of the extras in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, his official biographies, the official comics, the officially-released "Johnny Cage: In Your Face" video, Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, and Mortal Kombat: Legacy Johnny Cage has starred in the following movies:
    • Ninja Mime (a box office flop in America, but a cult classic in France; Cyrax loathed this film)
    • Dragon Fist
    • Dragon Fist 2
    • Son of Dragon Fist
    • HWAAAAA!! (according to MK:DA, it won an Oscar)
    • Sudden Violence (Said to be award-winning)
    • Aquatic Assault
    • Exiting the Dragon of Death (opposite Hong Kong action star Channie Jack, a spoof of Jackie Chan)
    • 7 Poisons
    • Cage Match
    • The Gist of my Fist
    • 24 Karate Gold
    • Who's That?
    • Wu Shu (a TV series)
    • Mortal Kombat
    • Mortal Kombat II
    • Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
    • Mortal Kombat: The Death of Johnny Cage (cancelled)
    • Caged Rage
    • Every Dog Has Its Day
    • Massive Strike
    • Iron Claw
    • Time Smashers
    • Citizen Cage (a spoof of Citizen Kane)
    • Tommy Scissorfists (a spoof of Edward Scissorhands)
    • Fight Dirty
    • World's Most Wanted (a spoof of Wanted)
    • Power Rangers (A T.V. series presumably based on the real-life series produced by Saban Capital Group)
    • You Got Caged (2 pilots not picked up by the network, later turned into You Got Saved but with no Johnny Cage)
    • Pirates of the Outworld Demons (a spoof of Pirates of the Caribbean)
    • Stryker: I Was Doing My Job as Kurtis Stryker (as of Stryker's MK 2011 ending) (cancelled by Stryker himself)
    • Brokenose Mountain (a spoof of Brokeback Mountain)
  • He also appeared on Celebrity SMASH TV (as a result, Smash TV and the Mortal Kombat series are both portrayed as occurring in the same fictional universe). He won the episode he was in, and donated his winnings to charity.
  • Cage is the comic relief character of Mortal Kombat (claimed in a bonus item in the Mortal Kombat: Deception double pack).
  • Though Mortal Kombat is notorious for replacing the letter "c" with "k", Cage is an exception. It's probably more than coincidence that Kage (影, pronounced "ka-ge") in Japanese means "shadow," and Johnny Cage is the master of many "shadow" move techniques.
  • In Unreal Championship 2, Raiden will occasionally taunt his opponent by stating that they "fight like Johnny Cage!".
  • His MKII ending showed him battling Shao Kahn on the big screen.
  • After MKII, it's unknown what happened to Johnny Cage at the time MK3 occured. Some speculated that he was killed after the events of MKII, some say he got killed by the Outworld Extermination Squad. The game even hinted that he might be dead by showing his tombstone at the Graveyard stage. Cage, however, wasn't confirmed dead until MK Trilogy where his bio stated that he was resurrected by Raiden to help the Earth realm warriors fight against the Outworld invasion.
  • A tombstone entitled "CAGE" can be seen in the Graveyard arena for every game but MK (2011).
  • The movie poster seen during Cage's ending in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance featured both himself as the main character, standing in the forefront, and several other characters, including Sonya as his romantic interest, as well as Shang Tsung, Quan Chi, Scorpion, and Moloch as antagonists.
  • Reportedly, John Vogel did not like Cage's storyline in Mortal Kombat Trilogy or Mortal Kombat 4.
    • Furthermore, his Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance bio can be viewed as retconning this, with Mortal Kombat: The Death of Johnny Cage explaining (and mocking) his repeated death and revival during Trilogy and MK4.
  • He was the first character created for Mortal Kombat, and the test prototype of the original game had just two Johnnies fighting each other
  • A glitch in MK makes Johnny Cage's Uppercut, if performed quick enough, knock off a phantom head of the opponent, though this can be only done on Kano, Sub-Zero and Scorpion. In MKII this became an actual fatality, but this time Johnny Cage uppercuts three heads off.
  • Originally he used a variant of Mileena's X-Ray Move before it was changed to his infamous "Split Punch".
  • Cage is the only character in MK 2011 whose X-Ray move is a counter as opposed to being a direct damage attack like the rest of the characters.
  • If Johnny Cage performs his And the Winner is... Fatality on Kratos, for some reason, he will not get a trophy planted in his head. This may be because he is a guest character.
  • In a Top 10 list for the best Mortal Kombat characters hosted by, Johnny Cage was listed at #10.
  • In a Top 10 list for best Mortal Kombat fatalities, also hosted by, his Nut Buster fatality from Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks was placed at #3.
  • In another Top 10 list hosted by, Johnny Cage was placed at #9 of the P.A.B ("Pussy Ass Bitch") characters in the game histories, due to his nutpunch.
  • Johnny Cage's official theme is titled "Prepare Yourself".


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