Raiden (雷電) is one of the few original characters in the first Mortal Kombat game, and in addition, is the one of the few character, who appears playable in every game within the series.
Raiden is the eternal God of Thunder, protector of Earthrealm, and arguably one of the most powerful characters in all of Mortal Kombat. After the second defeat of Shinnok, he ascended to the status of Elder God. Being a god, he possesses many supernatural abilities, such as the ability to teleport, control lightning and fly. As a god, he is used to thinking in terms of eternity rather than normal human lifespans, and so he has a radically different outlook on life.
Although being formless and ethereal, Raiden often takes form on mortal planes. As such, he appears as a fully-grown man wearing predominately white robes and a blue vest, his face usually shadowed by a straw hat. The effect is enhanced by his glowing blue eyes that radiate with electricity and long white hair, befitting of his god-like status. In Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, one of his outfits is finished by a flowing blue cape. Lastly, his power is so great that he constantly radiates with lightning energy, electricity constantly dancing and crackling around his being. In Deception and Armageddon, his visage is warped by Onaga's malevolent aura when he sacrifices himself, reforming as a dark warrior dressed in black robes and dark armor, his eyes changed from a soothing blue to a belligerent red. His cape was changed to a subdued red and appears tattered at the end. Due to the events of Mortal Kombat (2011), this change was rendered null.
Good, although in Deception and Armageddon, he is been depicted as an angry and vengeful god who, in his game ending, kills Shujinko for endangering Earthrealm (in other words, he is tired of humans putting the world in frequent danger, and he wants Earthrealm to "stay safe"). This is mostly because of the corruption that happened to him after he sacrificed himself in the fight with Onaga. As of the Battle of Armageddon, he appears to have been restored to the side of good by Fujin and Kung Lao.
Interestingly, his MK ending also humorously depicted him inviting other gods to compete in Mortal Kombat, and it resulted in the destruction of Earth (however, this was before his role as a mentor to the heroes had been established and the ending is non-canon).
It is worth noting that in production art unlockable in the "Krypt" in Mortal Kombat: Deception, the new Raiden design used after the revival of Onaga (black and generally darker in appearance than in previous games), is described as belonging to "Dark Raiden." Additionally, during an encounter with Shujinko in Konquest mode, the new "dark" Raiden offers to train him and warns him that he is "not the Thunder God you once knew."
In MK (2011), Raiden appears in his original form, although his "Dark Raiden" outfit is his alternate costume.
- His conical, straw Chinese coolie (harvester) hat, one of Raiden's most recognizable features.
- Has electricity running across his body in MK, MK4 / Gold, and MK: Deadly Alliance.
- He became notorious for yelling randomly while performing his Torpedo move. Fans originally believed that he was yelling Japanese phrases. Interestingly, others thought that he was actually speaking English, and thus Raiden's phrases were misinterpreted as "Get back in the car!", "Gimme ma money!", "Freddy bought a car!" or even "Your mother's from L.A.!" Midway soon revealed that Raiden was merely speaking gibberish and not actual Japanese or English words. This was featured in the VH1 program I Love 1992, when Edwin McCain thought Raiden said "Santa Monica!" (Raiden was voiced by Midway employee Jon Hey in the first two games.)
- A saya (katana scabbard) appears on two of Raiden's secondary costumes. However, he is never seen using the sword.
- Glowing white, occasionally blue eyes. Dark Raiden, however, has red eyes. Now, glowing white in Mortal Kombat (2011).
Powers and abilitiesEdit
Raiden is the god of thunder and lightning, and as such, he is immensely powerful and has complete control over electricity. He usually keeps behind the scenes in the games and rarely fights, although one notable exception was in Deception, where he fought both Quan Chi and Shang Tsung, and was able to hold his own for most of the fight. Using the element of lightning, Raiden can fire torrents of lightning or concentrated blasts, in addition to being able to form full fledge thunderstorms as depicted in Deadly Alliance. He also has the ability to fly, which he uses to fling himself at an opponent and shove them into a wall. In Mortal Kombat (2011), it is shown that he can also use electricity to heal others. He also has the ability to teleport to another destination by transforming his body into an ethereal state. Despite his godly status, he is not indestructible and has limits. Raiden, like any other god, will have his powers taken away should he enter a domain not native to him, with Outworld being the most prominent example of this. His powers can return to him once he returns however. It is also because of his godly status that he is forbidden to directly participate in any Mortal Kombat tournaments unless he takes on a mortal form.
- Teleport: At will, Raiden vanishes and reappears behind his opponent. (MK, MKII, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK:D, MK:A, MKvsDCU, MK 2011, MKX)
- The enhanced version is called Sparkport and will have Raiden appear behind the opponent and quickly teleporting back in front.
- Electricity: Raiden sends a bolt of lightning flying at his opponent. In MK 2011, this is known as Lightning. (MK, MKII, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK:DA, MK:D, MK:A, MKvsDCU, MK 2011, MKX)
- The enhanced version is called Bolt. Raiden fires two bolts, one behind and one in front of him. The one behind him wraps around the map hitting the opponent in the back.
- Torpedo: Raiden flies at his opponent and pushes them against the wall. He could perform the move in the air. In MKvsDCU, it's called The Superman and in MK 2011, the move is named Electric Fly. (MK, MKII, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK:D, MK:A, MKvsDCU, MK 2011, MKX)
- The enhanced version is called Thunder Fly. This increases the attack's speed and damage.
- Shocking Touch: Raiden grabs his opponent and holds them in the air while electrocuting them, then punches them to the ground. In MK 2011, this is named Electrocute. (MK:DA, MK:D, MK:A, MK 2011, MKX)
- Shocker: Raiden grabs his opponent and electrocutes them. In MK 2011, this is the enhanced version of Electrocute. This lets Raiden grab the opponent one step farther. (MKII, MKT, MKvsDCU, MK 2011, MKX)
- Vicinity Blast: Raiden performs a closer range version of his lightning, but with more knockback and a wind effect to it, which can be charged up. In MK 2011, it can't be charged. (MKvsDCU, MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Vicinity Burst. This knocks the opponent back.
- Projectile Cancel: Raiden cancels out his Lightning or Vicinity Blast when charging it. (MKvsDCU)
- Reverse Electricity: Raiden sends a bolt of lightning in the other direction hitting an opponent from behind. This appears partially as the enhanced version of Lightning. (MKT, MK 2011)
- Electric Slide: Raiden slides across the floor and hits his opponent with his shoulder, electrocuting them in the process. (MK:DA)
- X-Ray Move - Shock Therapy: Raiden sends a beam in close range (when and if it connects), blinding the opponent. Then he teleports behind the opponent and elbows their back damaging their spine, heart, and ribs. Raiden then teleports in front of them and delivers a chop directly at his opponent's forehead, damaging the skull. Raiden finally sends a bolt of electricity through his opponent's head, making them fall down. (MK 2011)
- Unnamed X-Ray: Raiden teleports towards his opponent, delivers a roundhouse to their jaw, dislocating it, then grabs them by their spinal column and relases a powerful electric shock, then teleports in front of his opponent and strikes them in the liver, rupturing it. (MKX)
- Free-Fall Super Move: Raiden grabs his opponent, electrocuting them, before throwing them to the ground below. (MKvsDCU)
- Throw: Raiden punches his opponent several times before electrocuting them. He then blasts them backwards with a bolt of lightning, or he teleports behind them and knocks them to the ground with an electrical blast. (MK 2011)
- Electric Decapitation: Raiden sends a surge of electricity into his opponent's head and it explodes. In the Super Nintendo version of MK, the electricity reduces them to a pile of ash and a skull. In MK 2011, this move has become a part of his throw. (MK, MKT)
- Invisible Electrocution: In the Game Boy version, Raiden teleports into the ground and rises as a mass of electricity. He then proceeds to cover and shock his opponent, electrocuting them to death. (MK)
- Explosive Uppercut: Raiden crouches down and sends a vicious electrically-charged uppercut to his opponent blowing them into pieces. (MKII, MKT)
- Electrocution I: Raiden grabs his opponent, holds them a few feet off the ground, and sends electricity into their body, which causes them to explode. (MKII, MKT)
- Electrocution II: Raiden lodges his hands into his opponent's chest, lifts them over his head, and sends surges of electricity into their body, making them explode. (MK4, MK:DA)
- Staff Shock: Raiden calls for his staff, lodges the end into his opponent's chest, lifts them up and shocks them until they're dead. This was also Raiden's first in-game use of a staff. (MK4)
- Godly Essence: Raiden charges up a ball of energy similar to the intro of Mortal Kombat: Deception. He then fires it at his opponent, blowing them (and Raiden himself) to pieces. (MK:D)
- Lightning Strike: Raiden calls down lightning until it strikes his hand and he fires lightning out of his other, shocking his opponent until they explode. (MK:D)
- Electrocution III: Raiden charges electricity into his hand and grabs his opponent, sending it through their body. The electric shock burns off all the opponent's flesh, leaving behind their burning skeleton. (MKvsDCU)
- Electric Slam: Raiden grabs the opponent, zaps them for a while, then flies up in the air with them. A couple seconds later, the opponent falls back down and lands headfirst in the ground. (MKvsDCU)
- Just A Scratch: Raiden charges two bolts of lightning and fires them at the opponent's arms, blowing them off, causing the victim to look at their stumps in a dazed shock. Then he fires another two at his/her legs, blowing them off, causing the victim to fall to the ground still upright. He then grabs his opponent and slams his/her head onto the ground behind him, crushing it. (MK 2011)
- Transplant: Raiden teleports behind the opponent and rips out the brain and heart from the torso. He then charges them and puts them back into place. The head begins to glow, and blows up, Then the torso explodes shortly afterwards. (MK 2011)
- Unnamed Fatality: Raiden grabs his opponent by the face, releasing powerful currents of electricity into their head, causing their eyeballs to pop out. The electric charge becomes so powerful their head pops off their neck and Raiden destroys it with a final blast of lightning. (MKX)
- Friendship: Raiden generates a miniature version of himself named Kidd Thunder. (MKII, MKT)
- Animality: Raiden turns into an electric eel and electrocutes his opponent until they explode. (MKT)
- Fergality: After inputting a code on the Sega Genesis version of MKII, Raiden would turn the enemy into a smoking version of Probe Ltd. employee Fergus McGovern, who worked on that port of the game. (MKII)
- Hara-Kiri: Self Electrocution: Raiden charges himself with electricity until he explodes. (MK:D)
- Babality: Raiden lifts his hands up and lighting appears from it until a thunderbolt almost strikes him, making him curl into a ball and causing him to cry in fear. (MK 2011)
In the first Mortal Kombat movie, Raiden is portrayed by Christopher Lambert and remains the guiding god of thunder, bent on doing all within his power to help the warriors of Earth gain victory in the Mortal Kombat tournament. Raiden also possesses a sense of humor which the other characters seem not to share, often prompting him to apologize after making dry remarks. According to the film, Raiden is forbidden from directly interfering in the tournament, an idea that was also used in the games.
In the 1997 sequel, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Raiden is portrayed by James Remar and is revealed to be low in the hierarchy of the gods, as he must seek their guidance when the emperor of Outworld, Shao Kahn, begins his invasion of Earthrealm. Raiden had a tattoo of a dragon on his right shoulder blade that was given to those who carried his family's bloodline. (It also allowed its bearers to travel between realms.) Shao Kahn also carried this same tattoo, and was revealed to be Raiden's brother while Shinnok was Raiden's father (This is a non-canon event created specifically for the film.). Mileena and Cyrax sported temporary versions that flew off when they were defeated. Many fans dismissed this as just another example of how far-fetched Mortal Kombat: Annihilation was from the games. Raiden does not have his movie tattoo in either Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance or Mortal Kombat: Deception; this can be seen on his alternative outfits as both have one of his shoulders bare, and in the games, his status among the Elder Gods varies so much it could be said he had attained the power to traverse realms at some point and never needed such a mystical tool. In Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, however, Raiden's bio states that he and Shao Kahn are brothers, although the game itself is not canonical.
Clancy Brown provided the voice of Raiden in the 1996 animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm. Like many of the other characters, Raiden is based on his movie incarnation and often speaks in a tone of sarcastic wit. While still the leader of the defenders, Raiden will not hesitate to fight alongside his allies to give them the fighting edge. The episode Resurrection in particular is the first time in the franchise to show Raiden's overwhelming fighting experience, almost defeating Shang Tsung single-handedly without the need for his ethereal powers. He does not get along with Sheeva in this series, which carried over to the second film.
Raiden also appeared in the animated film Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins. He instructs Liu Kang, Sonya and Johnny Cage about the nature of Mortal Kombat as well as the background of Shang Tsung's minions, including that of Goro, the Great Kung Lao, Scorpion and Sub-Zero while ordering Tsung not to try to kill the Earthrealm warriors before the tournament begins.
Canadian actor Ryan Robbins portrayed Raiden in the 6th episode of Mortal Kombat: Legacy. In the episode, Raiden arrives to Earth to participate in the Mortal Kombat tournament, but is taken into custody by the personnel of an asylum, who mistake him for an inmate. Declaring himself "Raiden, the Thunder God and protector of Earth" only confirms to the psychiatrist his mental "disease", and he starts a therapy by force, continuously drugged in order to lower his "unusual physical strength". When Raiden, after three months, still refuses to admit he's just a normal human, the psychiatrist has him lobotomized. Raiden, however, heals immediately after, and, after asking the help of an inmate girl, Blue, starts a riot, during which the personnel hits him with tasers, having the only effect of recharging him and making him more powerful. At the end, the psychiatrist hits him in the forehead with a tranquilizer gun, thus incapacitating him. Raiden is lobotomized once again, and left on the hospital's table. In there, he is reached by Blue, who, under his previous instructions, stabs him with a surgical instrument, so Raiden is released from his actual physical form, allowing him to incarnate himself somewhere else. After a thunder storm, Raiden appears in China, ready to take part in the tournament. His blood appears blue to differentiate him from mortal humans.
David Lee McInnis protrayed Raiden in Season 2 of Mortal Kombat: Legacy.
Between the events of season one and two, Raiden recruited several fighters for Earthrealm to battle Shang Tsung's chosen kombatants, including the ronin Kenshi, the ninja Sub-Zero, the police officer Kurtis Stryker, White Lotus monk Kung Lao, and disgraced action movie star Johnny Cage.
Raiden appeared before Johnny while he was incarcerated, and while Cage was wary of him due to his encounter with Shang Tsung, Raiden offered to leave him alone if he would just hear him out and still refused to join. Raiden was able to convince Johnny to fight for Earthrealm.
Sometime later, the chosen fighters arrived on the island to compete in the tournament, with Raiden greeting them on the shore. That night as they conversed around a campfire, Raiden demonstrated his ability to harness and control lightning when the fire went out, reigniting it with a single burst of electricity. He then explained to the kombatants that each of them possessed an innate supernatural ability that would manifest on the island. Though Johnny Cage was in disbelief, Sub-Zero demonstrated his own talent for ice manipulation by freezing the fire before asking Raiden when the tournament would begin.
Raiden grimly replied, "Now." He was not seen after this, presumably waiting on the shore and observing the tournament from afar due to his godhood forbidding him from personally entering.
In the non-canon Malibu Comics three-issue miniseries Rayden and Kano, Raiden has two female servants named Wynd and Rayne. In Malibu's Blood and Thunder storyline, Raiden did not take part in the MK tournament, claiming that he was not allowed to compete.
- Son of Shinnok.
- Brother of Shao Kahn.
- Mentor of Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade, Jax Briggs, and Kitana.
- Killed by Shao Kahn.
- Revived by the Elder Gods.
- Ascended to Elder God status, joining the pantheon.
Mortal Kombat (film)Edit
- "Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. So why don't you show me what you plan to do about... (glances at more guards) them?" (Raiden to Sonya, Johnny Cage, and Liu Kang, after they defeat a small group of guards)
- "I don't think so!"
- "I think you'll find that this is the way out."
Mortal Kombat vs. DC UniverseEdit
- "The Realms are in constant flux. They shift and change like an endless dream. Shao Kahn's defeat should've marked our victory against a threatened merge of Earthrealm and Outworld. Instead, it heralded a new struggle for independence."
- "Your invasion in Earthrealm violated the rules of Mortal Kombat, Shao Kahn. Your Tarkatan horde has been routed by the Forces of Light. Even now, your allies desert you."
- "Earthrealm will never succumb to the forces of darkness, Quan Chi. Now, you will face the judgement of the Elder Gods."
- "But you are still Lin Kuei. Fight!"
- "Dark Kahn... the time has come to correct my mistake."
- "Superman! He's gone. Shao Kahn's throne room."
- "The realms has been restored."
- "If you are anything like Shao Kahn, you will find no refuge here, your fate will be decided by the Elder Gods."
Mortal Kombat (2011)Edit
- "He must win!" (Future self's message to the past)
- "You fought well." (To Johnny Cage)
- "Your last opponent was Tarkatan. He was born with those blades." (Talking to Johnny Cage about Baraka)
- "He represents Outworld, and had you lost, the Emperor, Shao Kahn, would come one step closer to physically absorbing our world into his." (Explaining the circumstances of the Mortal Kombat tournament to Johnny Cage)
- "The Elder Gods created the Mortal Kombat tournament to give Earthrealm a chance to defend itself. But if we lose this time, Shao Kahn will conquer all." (To Johnny Cage)
- "He is a hero, Liu Kang, though he may not yet know it." (Referring to Johnny Cage)
- "No. You will not be the one to challenge Shang Tsung." (To Sonya Blade, after seeing a vision of Liu Kang defeating Shang Tsung)
- "Shield your eyes." (To Sonya, blinding Shang Tsung and his guard)
- "You allowed them to escape." (To Shang Tsung, after helping Sonya and Jax escape)
- "In my visions, Shao Kahn becomes invincible. He destroys all life in Earthrealm. We will all die. I believe these flashes are a guide to defeating Shao Kahn. But disrupting the flow of time can have serious consequences."
- "I know it is you, Kung Lao. The Shaolin monks chose Liu Kang to represent your order in this tournament."
- "Scorpion. I understand your desire for revenge. But Nightwolf is right. There are other ways at which you may find peace."
- "Spare Sub-Zero's life and I will request that the Elder Gods return the Shirai Ryu to the realm of mortals." (To Scorpion)
- "Despite my efforts, my vision has come to pass. An unfortunate end, he once defended Earthrealm from the Netherrealm armies of Shinnok and Quan Chi".
- "He pays you to kill Earthrealm warriors. Betraying your own realm? I expect better. Even from an assassin. (To Cyrax)
- "Victory for Shang Tsung means the end of Earthrealm. And the Lin Kuei." (To Cyrax)
- "He must win". Those are my last words before I die. I believe it is you who must win." (to Liu Kang)
- "I do not understand why my amulet is further damaged. "He must win". If not Liu Kang, then who?"
- "I didn't realize your master was in the habit of rewarding failure." (To Shang Tsung)
- "I saw Liu Kang win the proposed tournament. I believe we must attend. But my earlier vision, of your victory over Shang Tsung, was not the solution I sought. Therefore this premonition must show an event I need to change. Perhaps "He must win" refers to another."
- "Enough! Jackson Briggs, you will restrain yourself." (Putting a stop to a fight between Jax and Johnny Cage)
- "Perhaps you are right Johnny Cage, you will stay close to me."
- "Close as a shadow, but twice as silent." (To Johnny Cage)
- "The flow of time has been changed. I spared Smoke this fate, only to watch this new Sub-Zero fall." (After the Lin Kuei capture the younger Sub-Zero instead of Smoke)
- "Kitana's faith is a slender reed, bent before the storm. If it can be uprooted altogether..."
- "Perhaps Liu Kang was wrong about you. Or perhaps he sensed, as I do, that there is conflict within you." (to Kitana)
- "You need answers, Kitana. I can help you find them, if you will trust in me. Go to Shang Tsung's Flesh Pits. Much will be revealed there."
- "I am not pleased with this outcome either, Liu Kang. But there is no time. We must return to the tournament." (After learning of Kitana's capture)
- "Perhaps you are meant to be the victor." (To Kung Lao)
- "I will strip the flesh from your bones!" (To Shao Kahn, after Kung Lao's death)
- "The Elder Gods have spoken. Earthrealm is free of Shao Kahn forever." (After Liu Kang defeats Shao Kahn)"
- "But the price of victory was almost too steep to pay. Kung Lao's death is my fault. I encouraged him. Our triumph was not meant to be achieved in this way."
- "It cannot be! Shao Kahn is dead! Yet the future remains unchanged!" (After discovering more cracks in his amulet)
- "No matter my efforts, the future remains in peril. How could I have failed Earthrealm?"
- "I must speak with the Elder Gods. Shao Kahn's violation must be punished."
- "A distinction without a difference! Innocents are dying at the hands of Outworld!" (To the Elder Gods, after being told that Shao Kahn's invasion is not in violation of the rules of Mortal Kombat)
- "I climbed to heaven, now I must plunge into the depths. I will go to Quan Chi. Ally our realm with his against the forces of Outworld."
- "It disappoints me to see you here." (To Scorpion)
- "Is this why you chose not to save your family and clan? To maintain your place at his feet?" (To Scorpion)
- "Fetch your master, Scorpion. I must speak with him."
- "Now, Scorpion. Fetch your master!" (After defeating Scorpion)
- "I seek cooperation between Earthrealm and the Netherrealm." (to Quan Chi)
- "Name your terms."
- "I offer... I offer the souls of Earthrealm warriors who die in this conflict." (to Quan Chi)
- "They would agree." (when Quan Chi laughs at his offer)
- "Not just others! I offer my own soul as well. If I die, you will have it." (To Quan Chi)
- "No! This was not meant to be!" (Discovering that Quan Chi has resurrected and enslaved all the fallen Earthrealm warriors)
- "May the Elder Gods watch over you." (After defeating the resurrected Earthrealm warriors controlled by Quan Chi)
- "Curse you, Quan Chi!" (After defeating more of the resurrected Earthrealm warriors controlled by Quan Chi)
- "They must, only through Mortal Kombat may Shao Kahn merge the realms. Lest he face the judgment of the Elder Gods... Lest he face the judgment of the Elder Gods! He must win!"
- "Thank you, Quan Chi. I now know what must be done."
- "Liu Kang, I now realize what we must do. We must allow Shao Kahn to merge the realms!"
- "The Elder Gods forbid it without victory in Mortal Kombat. When he does, the Elder Gods' fury will fall upon him. Defeating Shao Kahn before the merge is but temporary. He will return, bringing Armageddon. I have foreseen it!" (To Liu Kang)
- "No! Do as i say! Have faith in the Elder Gods... have faith in me." (To Liu Kang)
- "Liu Kang! I cannot let you fight Shao Kahn." (To Liu Kang)
- "Liu Kang, do not interfere!" (After defeating Liu Kang)
- "By the gods! NO!!" (After accidentally wounding Liu Kang)
- "Liu Kang, forgive me..."
- "Earthrealm's citizens suffer. Further resistance serves no purpose." (To Shao Kahn)
- "Elder Gods, where are you? Why do you forsake me?" (As Shao Kahn beats him mercilessly)
- "You violate our will, Shao Kahn. You merge realms without victory in Mortal Kombat. Our penalty is clear." (Speaking to Shao Kahn while possessed by the Elder Gods)
- "It is over. But only at the gravest of costs." (After defeating Shao Kahn)
- "So many are gone. Their light has sunk into the earth. I am responsible for their loss."
- "Come. Let us tend the fallen. Then we must help our realm rebuild. Our work has only just begun." (To Sonya and Johnny Cage)
- "I spared Smoke this fate, only to watch this 'new' Sub-Zero fall."
- Raiden is one of the earliest instances of a playable god in a fighting game.
- He is the main protagonist of Mortal Kombat (2011), and co-protagonist of Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe.
- Raiden's MK Vs DC Universe ending implies that he has become like Ultraman, Earth-3's Superman, where his powers are inverted (e.g. Kryptonite fuels his powers, Yellow Sun Radiation weakens them).
- Raiden's Fatality in the original MK was drastically altered in the Super NES version due to Nintendo's strict no-blood policy at the time. The decapitation was changed to the opponent's turning into a gray pile of dust.
- Raiden's name is spelled Raiden in the arcade iterations of the Mortal Kombat games, and both Deadly Alliance and Deception. On the other home versions and in the Mortal Kombat films, his name is spelled Rayden. This was possibly because of copyright issues from a shoot 'em up named Raiden, or to avoid confusion with Raiden from the Fatal Fury series, a large wrestler. The console versions up until Mortal Kombat 4 and the movies changed the name to Rayden.
- Raiden's name is written as 雷電 in both Traditional Chinese and Japanese and 雷电 in Simplified Chinese. It's pronounced as "raiden" (phonetically) in Japanese and "léidiàn" (Pinyin) in Mandarin Chinese. This is simply the Chinese word for "thunder and lightning" that was borrowed in Japanese together with the Chinese characters. The first character (雷) in this word means "thunder", the second one (電/电) now mostly means "electricity" (in ancient times it meant "lightning").
- Raiden was modeled after the character "Lightning" from the 1986 John Carpenter movie Big Trouble in Little China.
- Lightning was one of three storms from the movie. Fujin corresponds most with Thunder (they share a suicidal final attack theme), while the purple ninja Rain corresponds to the third storm (also named Rain).
- Originally, Raiden was not going to be in Deception, and the opening of Deception explained why Raiden would not be in the game. However, this changed after fan complaints, and Raiden remained in the game; the character who would have replaced him, Fujin, makes only a cameo appearance in the Prison stage, and in the Orderrealm during Konquest. Despite this, logically, Fujin is still the protector of Earthrealm, as appointed in MK4.
- Raiden's alignment and personality change on the events of Mortal Kombat: Deception can be related not only to Onaga's presence, but also influenced by the Elder God's passivity. Since the supreme entities only interfere on Realm affairs when occurs a threat to their existence and power, after many times requesting help, Raiden adopted a machiavellian ideology of doing anything for the protection of Earthrealm, including allying himself to the Forces of Darkness. These steps didn't interfere on the Elder Gods affairs, so Raiden decided to do whatever was necessary to preserve Earthrealm, even not being its current protector at the time.
- In MK3 and UMK3 for both the arcade and home versions, Nightwolf's Friendship had him transform into Raiden and an arcade machine of MKII drop down with two quotes, "Yes, But I Can Do a Raiden Transformation" or "I've Never Seen a Kano Transformation" (despite not actually turning into Kano). This Friendship was omitted in the Nintendo 64 version of Mortal Kombat Trilogy, due to the fact that Raiden was in that game with the same MKII sprite.
- Raiden was originally going to use his staff as a weapon in MKII, but Midway were forced to omit it due to memory constraints.
- Of all the Kombat Kode symbols shown in MK3, Raiden's symbol was the eighth to appear if the player presses the right buttons seven times or in reverse by holding the joystick Up and press the right buttons three times.
- In the Super Nintendo version of the first MK, by killing the final opponent in the third Endurance Match with Raiden using his Shock to the Head fatality will make Goro appear grey just like the ashes when he defeated the opponent.
- Raiden's popularity as a "thunder god" and the way fans reacted to him when he made his debut ultimately led to the creation of other gods such as Fujin (the "wind god"). While they had their own uniqueness, Raiden was still considered to be the most popular of all the gods in the series.
- He also appeared as a secret character in Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict, NFL Blitz and NBA Jam: Tournament Edition, as well as a cameo appearance in a pinball machine, Bally's 1994 World Cup Championship, in a bonus round.
- To unlock Raiden in Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict, the player had to complete all the challenges. Two of the challenges are called "Unreal Combat". The challenges involved 3 people at once though rather than their traditional 2. Also all 3 people used staff weapons for their melee weapons.
- The television show Mortal Kombat: Conquest is the only portrayal of Raiden as sort of "laid back" god, where he seems like a normal human (or guardian over Kung Lao) rather than an immortal being.
- Raiden has been portrayed by Midway employee and martial artist Carlos Pesina in all his 2D games' appearances, except in MK Trilogy's versus screen, where he is portrayed by Sal Divita.
- In Deception, Raiden's ending is the only ending to be narrated by himself.
- Raiden is the first 'god' character to appear in a versus fighting game, as well as the first playable.
- In his profile from the Brady Games' Official MK4 Fighters Companion strategy guide, Raiden's favorite food is "nuclear buffalo wings".
- This guide also said that Kid Thunder is his favorite nephew.
- Both Clancy Brown and Christopher Lambert have portrayed Raiden, because both actors starred in the film Highlander.
- When Shao Kahn killed Raiden in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, his dragon Tattoo did not fly off when he died when all of the others with tattoos did. He explains this in the movie as Cyrax's, as well as Mileena's being temporary, as they are not in Raiden's bloodline.
- Raijin Thunderkeg, a hero character from DotA, is possibly based on Raiden because both of them are divine beings of electricity and the storms, have power over lightning and thunder, wear similar hats, and must take a mortal form to participate in battle.
- During the development of Mortal Kombat Armagddon, early screenshots showed Raiden's pre-Dark Raiden portrait being used for the character select screen, implying Raiden had returned to his original self. When the game was ultimately released however, the portrait had been changed to his Dark Raiden version, and was left as such in the games unchanged from Mortal Kombat Deception.
- In MK 2011, Nightwolf refers to Raiden as Haokah, the Lakota Indian thunder god.
- In Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, he was supposed to partake in an extensive fight scene with Sheeva (Marjean Holden). Despite being in the shooting script (and subsequent novel adaptation), it was cut from the film. Raiden instead fights a pair of Reptile clones, and Sheeva is crushed by a falling cage.
- In MK 2011, if Raiden is using his "Dark Raiden" costume, his teleport will be red instead of white.
- If certain X-Ray Moves are performed on Raiden, his hat will fall off. However, it will not fall off during Fatalities, similar to Kung Lao's Razor-Rimmed Hat.
- Raiden's name and status as a god are taken directly from the Japanese thunder god Raijin.
- He is the last playable fighter in Mortal Kombat (2011)'s story mode.
- Raiden's alternate costume in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance is his first official appearance hatless.
- Also, he has a katana on his waist, but he does not use it in battle.
- In Mortal Kombat (2011), one of Raiden's fatalities is called "Just A Scratch". This is a reference to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, in which the Black Knight fights King Arthur and is dismembered, the Black Knight says "Tis but a scratch". Raiden also severs the opponent's limbs and leaves the head like in the film. Unlike the film however, he picks up the dismembered body and smashes the head to kill them.
- In the MK 2011 Arcade Ladder, Raiden appears in eight endings, including his own. This is more than any other character in the game.
- The Brazillian cartoon makers enterprise Mundo Canibal homaged Raiden, as he has a cameo in the video Produtos Podre Shop Nova Geração performing a "fatality" against a cockroach and being used as insecticide named "Raydem", which is a parody of the "Raid" inseticide.
- Raiden's official theme is titled "Eternal Life".
- If Reptile's Yummy! fatality is performed on Raiden, Reptile will swallow his head, while his hat is still on.
- In most media adaptations of Mortal Kombat, Raiden is depicted with a more humorous and sarcastic personality.
Protector of Earthrealm
Beginning of Earth - 5 AMK (1997)