|Weapons||Spiked Club (MK4)|
Crude Hammer (MK:A)
|Appearances||Mortal Kombat 4|
Mortal Kombat Gold
MK: Deception (cameo)
Mortal Kombat (2011) (cameo)
|Portrayers||Ed Boon (MK4 & MKG) |
David Beron (MKA)
Jim Helsinger (Conquest)
About ReikoEditReiko is a grim and stoic looking man with black and white hair, glowing blue eyes, and a penchant for brutality. He was originally introduced in a typical ninja archetype in Mortal Kombat 4. He also has a mask-like black tattoo over his eyes.
In his first appearance, Reiko appeared as a male adult with glowing blue eyes and black markings on his face, similar to Shang Tsung and black hair featuring white highlights on the sides. Much like many of the characters that debuted in MK4, Reiko bore a facial semblance to another person in the MK team, with the case of Reiko being Ed Boon himself. His attire was the standard ninja outfit with a a dark purple sheen, although he lacked the traditional mask. This outfit was used in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon as his alternate costume. On the back of the outfit was the insignia of the Brotherhood of Shadow. Making his reappearance in Armageddon, he was redesigned to feature an outfit strikingly similar to Shao Kahn, as referencing to him fancying wearing his helmet and pretending to be him when he was not around. However, unlike Shao Khan, he wears pants, his skin is tanned a bit and his hair is shorter.
Originally, Noob Saibot was to be in Reiko's place on the character selection grid for Mortal Kombat 4. It was decided that the game had too many ninjas already, which was a subject of complaint from Mortal Kombat Trilogy, the game most immediately prior to Mortal Kombat 4. Also, Noob Saibot was described as being too hard to see in some stages as he blended into the background very easily, so he was renamed and made into Reiko. The outfit for Reiko was not changed from the outfit created for the Noob Saibot character model; only the character's head and spiked gauntlets were added. Home versions of Mortal Kombat 4 included Noob Saibot as a secret character, and it can clearly be seen that the character model is virtually identical to Reiko.
With Mortal Kombat 4's arcade release, it was hinted that Reiko shared a connection with Sareena, as was mentioned on the game's official website and in the official strategy guide. This was justified by both wearing the emblem of the Brotherhood of Shadows on their clothing, a slight resemblance between the two (similar black marks on their faces and both sharing black and white hair), and that the events of Mortal Kombat 4 mostly followed up on the events of Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero. However, this relationship was never developed and later forgotten as the Reiko/Kahn controversy began.
There was initially some confusion as to what weapon Reiko would use in Armageddon. Early videos showed him using a giant sword called the Devastator, but a later versus screen render showed him wielding a hammer known as the Crude Hammer, similar to Shao Kahn's Wrath Hammer. However, another versus screen render released soon after this showed him holding the Devastator once again, causing question as to which was correct. Upon the release of the game, it was revealed that Reiko was indeed using the Crude Hammer as his weapon, while the Devastator was given to Fujin.
Not much is known about him, save that his primary occupation is that of a general. In this capacity, he has served both Shinnok and Shao Kahn. He has also served as a member of the Brotherhood of Shadow. During Shinnok's war against the Elder Gods, he was presumed killed. He later resurfaced during the time of Mortal Kombat 4, but after Shinnok was defeated, he disappeared once again. He later emerged in Shao Kahn's army, to whom he has served until now. In his Armageddon bio card, John Vogel states that Reiko received the position of general as Shao Kahn approved of the fighter's ruthlessness, which he is said to look for in his soldiers.
Reiko apparently has great aspirations to one day replace the emperor, as it is described in Mortal Kombat: Deception's Konquest mode that he likes to sneak into Kahn's chamber room and wear his helmet. His own attire has a great similarity to Shao Kahn's. Reiko also states in the game that he will one day rule Outworld himself.
In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon's Konquest mode, Taven encounters Reiko in his war room in Shao Kahn's fortress. It is revealed here that, for unknown reasons, Reiko has an intense disliking of Quan Chi. Reiko tries to get Taven to join Kahn's army, having been impressed by his skills in combat, but Taven has none of this as he only intends to find and kill Quan Chi. Although Reiko is intrigued by the prospect, he had been ordered by Shao Kahn to protect the emperor's allies, which included the sorcerer, so he engages in battle with the intruder. Reiko is ultimately defeated, but as he limps away, he relishes in the irony that his failure would lead to the death of Quan Chi.
- Mortal Kombat 4: "Once a general in Shinnok's armies, Reiko lead the forces of darkness into the battle against the Elder Gods. Once thought killed during that onslaught, he resurfaces and joins the battle against Earth's forces."
- Armageddon Bio Card: "Reiko has served Shao Kahn and Shinnok. He also served for a time as a member of the Brotherhood of Shadow. His skills in battle is legendary, though little else is known about this mysterious warrior."
- Assassin Throwing Stars: Reiko throws a stack of shurikens at the opponent at once. In Armageddon he throws them at the opponent, one by one. (MK4, MKG, MK:A)
- Quick Spin Behind: Reiko does a quick top-like spin and slides around the opponent to their back in one quick motion. Also known as "3D Teleport", as it is a prime example of MK4's quasi-3D. (MK4, MKG)
- Vertical Teleport: Reiko leaps upwards disappearing in the air, then reappears behind the opponent coming up through the ground. This attack was borrowed from Noob Saibot. Reiko can forego the slam & instead attack the opponent normally when he comes up, whereas Noob could not. (MK4, MKG)
- Shadow Grab: While performing the Vertical Teleport, Reiko grabs and slams the opponent to the ground upon reappearing behind them. Copied from Noob Saibot's Teleport Slam. (MK4, MKG, MK:A)
- Devastating Flip Kick: Reiko twists his body in an impossible fashion landing a flip kick without his opposite foot even leaving the ground. Li Mei received this move later in Deadly Alliance and Deception under the name Carnival Spin. (MK4, MKG, MK:A)
- Charging Pain: Reiko performs a shoulder ram like Shao Kahn, but with a blue-ish energy representation of Shao Kahn's helmet appearing covering his head. (MK:A)
- Throw: Reiko lifts his foe up & power bombs them into the floor while shouting random gibberish. If performed too close to a wall, Reiko will instead whipslam his foe to the ground. (MK4)
- Shoulder Break: Reiko turns his foe around & quickly wrenches both of their arms upward in reverse. His foe can be attacked before they are able to turn back around. (MK4)
- Thrust Kick: Reiko delivers a mighty kick to the opponent's torso which causes it to fly right straight off as the arms and head are left spinning in midair whilst the legs crumble to the ground. The arms land on the ground moments later (MK4, MKG)
- Shuriken Barrage: Reiko throws a deadly multitude of shurikens at the opponent, covering the entire body before throwing the last one in to the head, causing the opponent to fall in a puddle of blood (MK4, MKG)
- Mortal Kombat 4: (Non-Canonical) Reiko is seen when a portal opens up. He steps through the portal, which leads him to Shao Kahn's throne room. Shao Kahn's helmet is eventually lowered onto Reiko's head.
- Armageddon: (Non-Canonical) "When the godlike power of Blaze flashed through Reiko's body, he felt his old desire for power returned more intensely than before. Now more powerful than even Shao Kahn, Reiko defeated the emperor and claimed his helmet. As he placed it on his head, his body fused with it, transforming him into a warlord of unprecedented savagery!"
The Reiko/Kahn controversyEdit
For the most part, Reiko began as a simple new character added to put new faces in Mortal Kombat 4. However, as the game arrived on PlayStation and Game Boy Color, some alarming and heavily-debated developments took place. In the early releases of Mortal Kombat 4, Reiko's ending showed him stepping through a portal and nothing more. However, as the game made its way into home systems, this scene was further elaborated on. On the other side of the portal, Reiko arrived in Shao Kahn's throne room, where the Emperor's skull mask lowered onto his face. This quickly led to a division among fans, some believing that Reiko was actually Shao Kahn or becoming his successor, with others rejecting the idea entirely.
The "Reiko is not Kahn" faction put forth the arguments that many MK character endings are not canon; many previous endings had been neglected in developing the story to date. Another argument was the great difference in heights of the characters, Shao Kahn being much taller than Reiko. Also given is an episode of Mortal Kombat: Conquest in which Reiko and Shao Kahn are seen together. On top of that, used as evidence was Ed Boon's confirmation that the two were not the same.
In truth, little thought was put in either version of Reiko's ending. His original ending, in which he simply walked into a portal and disappears, was created as a joke, nothing more. As the home versions were released, it was decided Reiko's joke ending was not funny, and the extra scene in which Reiko dons Shao Kahn's mask was added to give an element of mystery to the character (this ending is only seen in the PC and Playstation versions, however; the Nintendo 64 version of Reiko's ending does not include the scene after he crosses the portal).
Due to the fact that the Game Boy Color version of the game lacked full motion video endings, the developer, Digital Eclipse, was forced to elaborate on Reiko's ending and its meaning on their own. Therefore, they followed on Reiko's extended ending mentioning his quest to conquer Earth. But due to the fact that not even the makers of Reiko's extended ending were sure if he would indeed be Shao Kahn, the Game Boy ending was kept vague and non-specific. Later this ending along with the other home version endings were all put to rest with an official statement that Reiko and Shao Kahn were not the same person and never were meant to be.
Mortal Kombat: Deception used its Konquest mode to debunk the myth that Reiko is Shao Kahn. There is a mission in which Shao Kahn sends Shujinko to give Reiko a warning, after Kahn hears a rumor that Reiko has been sneaking into his chamber to wear his helmet. Reiko tells Shujinko that he likes to wear Shao Kahn's helmet. Moreover, Reiko claims he is a commander in Shao Kahn's army. The anticlimactic nature of this explanation is probably the result of Midway poking fun at the situation. John Vogel, who is currently in charge of Mortal Kombat's storyline, has confirmed that Reiko and Shao Kahn are not the same person. Additionally, backwards speech given during Deception's Konquest mode by male residents of Chaosrealm and Netherrealm (who are actually voiced by Vogel himself) very bluntly state, when reversed, that Reiko is not Shao Kahn.
Reiko's return in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon finally put the issue to rest with him and Kahn being included as separate characters. However, Reiko's attire was changed to even further resemble Kahn's, including a hammer weapon similar to Kahn's own Wrath Hammer and a special move in which Reiko charges the opponent with what appears to be a glowing energy version of Kahn's helmet covering his head, further poking fun at the fan controversy. Also, his ending in this game, as stated above, can be seen as some kind of joke after the parallelism between him and Kahn, as it happens much like the way his Mortal Kombat 4 ending does – with Reiko wearing Kahn's helmet and becoming the new sovereign of Outworld.
In a GameInformer review for the Nintendo Wii version of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, a screenshot showing Reiko performing his charge move at Liu Kang is present. In the screenshot's caption, the authors mistakingly joke that Shao Kahn is teaching Liu Kang dance moves to pick up women, while in reality, the character charging at Liu Kang in the photo is actually Reiko.
Appearances in other mediaEdit
TelevisionEditReiko's sole live appearance on the aforementioned Mortal Kombat: Conquest partially acknowledges his early video game biographies as a devout general of Shao Kahn. Though he is never seen in combat, Reiko acts as a military messenger for the emperor, informing him of developments in Outworld that Kahn himself cannot witness firsthand from the throne. Reiko encountered the encroaching armies of Kreeya on the borders of Outworld and engaged in their destruction while fighting Kreeya's Amazonian forces. Reiko was one of the few warriors unshakably loyal to Shao Kahn, swearing fealty on the emperor's sword and threatening death by his hand to anyone who betrayed Kahn.
Reiko also has a very minor one-frame appearance in the official Mortal Kombat 4 comic that was distributed with some versions of the game. He was shown as one of the hundreds of warriors travelling to Edenia through a portal to aid Shinnok in his invasion of the realm.
As they both shared a strikingly similar facial appearance, many players believed Reiko to be Johnny Cage's brother in Mortal Kombat 4. However, it is more likely that Midway actually based his image on a real person and happened to use him twice (as they have done several times in other Mortal Kombat games) In Mortal Kombat: Deception's Konquest mode, in addition to appearing in Outworld regarding the mission involving Shao Kahn's helmet, Reiko also appears in Edenia. He orders the player, as Shujinko, to bring a secret communication to a soldier in Shao Kahn's army. Reiko is also seen as a prisoner in the background of the "Dark Prison" stage in the game.
Though this character is male, Reiko is actually a feminine Japanese name, causing another bizarre controversy. When mentioned in Mortal Kombat 4 and Mortal Kombat Gold, his name is clearly pronounced "REE-ko." However, Reiko is a common Japanese name which is pronounced "RAY-ko", although it is a typically female name (Hotaru is another male character in the series who uses what is normally a female Japanese name). In Deception's Konquest mode, Reiko's name is pronounced "RAY-ko," causing debate among fans over how his name is meant to be pronounced. More recently, the "RAY-ko" pronunciation of his name is continued in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon.
- Once a general in Shinnok's army.
- Once a member of the Brotherhood of Shadow.
- Joined Shinnok's forces to fight the Earth warriors in MK4.
- Went to work for Shao Kahn after Shinnok's defeat.
- Was ordered to protect Shao Kahn's allies.
- For unknown reasons, he despises Quan Chi.
- Encountered and defeated by Taven.
- Joined the Forces of Darkness to the final battle in Armageddon.
- Fought against Kenshi in Shao Kahn's tournament but the outcome is unknown.
Mortal Kombat 4
- His face looks like Shang Tsung in MK3.
- Has the same fighting stance as Jax, Jarek, and Noob Saibot.
- One of two characters (the other being Sektor) to never speak in their respective ending.
- He is modeled by Ed Boon's face.
- Although Reiko's outfit is essentially a minor modification of the standard Male Ninja outfit, he is generally never grouped with them.
- Reiko's ending in the arcade and Nintendo 64 versions of MK4 was lengthened in other releases. He is the only character to receive such a change.
Mortal Kombat: Deception
- He is one of the unplayable characters seen trapped in a cage in the Dark Prison stage.
- In Konquest mode, he can be found in Outworld and Edenia.
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
- His alternate costume is his MK4 appearance, although missing the Brotherhood of Shadow symbol on the back.
- He uses the Ying Yeung fighting style that Mileena had in Deception.
- Originally Reiko was given a sword, the Devastator, but it was later decided to instead give him the Crude Hammer in the same manner as Shao Kahn to further push the idea of Reiko attempting to mimic Shao Kahn. The sword was instead given to Fujin.
Mortal Kombat (2011)
- He appears in the background of the Pit II stage fighting Daegon, Frost, Kenshi, or Sareena.
- After Sub-Zero is taken away, Shang Tsung mentions his name in the next match against Kenshi.
- Also, in the cutscene before the battle between Kabal and Cyber Sub-Zero, in the latter's POV, one of the pictures is that of Reiko.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Reiko's Bio Card. Mortal Kombat: Armageddon Premium Edition Bonus Disc, Midway Games, 2006.
- ↑ MK4 Road Tour Report. The Realm of Mortal Kombat. Retrieved on 2007-01-22.
- ↑ MK4 IRC Developers Chat. The Realm of Mortal Kombat (1998-08-12). Retrieved on 2007-04-05.
- ↑ MortalKombat.Com's Fight Night 1999. Mortal Kombat Online (1999-08-25). Retrieved on 2007-01-22.
- ↑ Official Mortal Kombat 4 Site. Midway Games. Archived from the original on 1998-01-22.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Template:Cite book
- ↑ Reiko's Bio. Mortal Kombat 4, Midway Games, 1997.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Shao Kahn: "I have discovered that Reiko, formally my most trusted general, has been entering my private chamber to wear my helmet." Konquest mode. Mortal Kombat: Deception, Midway Games, 2004.
- ↑ Reiko: "But just between us... his helmet will belong to me in due time." Konquest mode. Mortal Kombat: Deception, Midway Games, 2004.
- ↑ Reiko's Ending. Mortal Kombat 4, Midway Games, 1997.
- ↑ Reiko's Ending (FMV). Mortal Kombat 4 (Home ports), Midway Games, 1998.
- ↑ Ed Boon MortalKombat.com Chat. Mortal Kombat Online (2001-04-11). Retrieved on 2007-01-22.
- ↑ Ed Boon DragonData.com Chat. Mortal Kombat Online (1999-09-16). Retrieved on 2007-01-22.
- ↑ Reiko's Ending. Mortal Kombat 4 (GBC version), Digital Eclipse, 1999.
- ↑ Male Citizen: "Reiko is not Shao Kahn, though sometimes, he secretly wears the emperor's helmet." Konquest mode (Reversed). Mortal Kombat: Deception, Midway Games, 2004.
- ↑ Episode 16 - Kreeya. Mortal Kombat: Conquest Episode Guide. The Mortal Kombat Conquest Site. Retrieved on 2007-01-28.
- ↑ Episode 20 - Balance of Power. Mortal Kombat: Conquest Episode Guide. The Mortal Kombat Conquest Site. Retrieved on 2007-01-28.
- ↑ Mortal Kombat 4 Limited Edition Comic Book. 1998, Midway Games
- ↑ Reiko: "Halt. I am Reiko, general of Shao Kahn's army. You will carry this document to an Outworld foot soldier near the palace, who will take it to Shao Kahn himself." Konquest mode. Mortal Kombat: Deception, Midway Games, 2004.
- The Kombat Pavilion – Fan site with information on the Reiko-Kahn controversy. Due to the page being out of date, it argues against the now-canon explanation.