Raiden (雷電), also spelled as Rayden, is the main protagonist of the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He is one of the few original characters, in the first Mortal Kombat game.
When Earthrealm was young, Raiden was its protector. He fought the rogue Elder God Shinnok, who wished to rule it, in a war that threatened to destroy Earthrealm itself. One of the casualties of the war was the Saurian civilization (of which Reptile was a member), forcing the remaining survivors to emigrate to another world, which they named Zaterra.
With the aid of the Elder Gods, Raiden managed to defeat Shinnok. Stripping him of his amulet (the source of his Elder God powers), he banished the evil Elder God to the Netherrealm, and placed his powerful amulet in a secret location- a Temple of the Elements he constructed in the mountains of Nepal. He assigned four gods to guard the amulet — the gods of Wind (Fujin), Fire, Earth and Water.
When the elder Sub-Zero stole Shinnok's amulet for Quan Chi millions of years later, Raiden appeared before the Lin Kuei warrior, and told him to enter the Netherrealm and steal it back, lest Shinnok use it to free himself. Raiden was unable to do it himself, as he would lose all of his powers in the Netherrealm. Sub-Zero did as requested, for the time being, removing Shinnok as a threat.
Some time later, Shang Tsung invited Raiden to participate in Mortal Kombat. Aware of the threat posed by this tournament to the future of Earthrealm, Raiden took the form of a human to compete.
One year later, Raiden found that he had no choice but to accept Shang Tsung's offer of Mortal Kombat in Outworld. Knowing full well the treachery of Shang Tsung and brutality of Shao Kahn, he warned the surviving members of the Shaolin tournament and disappeared alone to the Outworld.
After the Earthrealm warriors' victory, Raiden had to scramble to protect his warriors' souls when Shao Kahn reached across the realms and reclaimed his resurrected Queen Sindel. With the safety of his champions ensured, Raiden wished to fight alongside them, but was unable to due to the merger between Earthrealm and Outworld. The Outworld menace now ruled Earthrealm, and Raiden had no choice but to give up his godhood in order to fight. Following Liu Kang's defeat of Shao Kahn, he reclaimed his status as both a god and Earthrealm's protector.
Raiden and his warriors again entered battle when Shinnok escaped the Netherrealm to once more wage war against the gods. Shinnok's attack caught the Elder Gods off-guard and killed many of the gods of Earthrealm. However, this time the war would also be fought by mortals; with Liu Kang uniting Earthrealm's warriors under the banner of the troubled Thunder god, Raiden's Forces of Light emerged successful. Now granted the status of Elder God, he turned over his position as Earthrealm's protector to Fujin.
As an Elder God, Raiden could not interfere when Shang Tsung and Quan Chi killed Liu Kang many years later. Disgusted at his peers for their refusal to intervene, he renounced his position as an Elder, gathering his warriors to stop the Deadly Alliance. This time, disaster struck the heroes. The Earthrealm warriors were all slain in battle with the Tarkatan horde and in a desperate measure, he confronted Shang Tsung and Quan Chi in front of the Soulnado, but was defeated.
He returned to his feet when Onaga, the Dragon King, entered the chamber, and stood beside Tsung and Quan Chi as they attacked Onaga. When he saw that their attacks barely slowed Onaga down, Raiden released his godly essence, the effect of which was a single, massive explosion. It obliterated the Dragon King's tomb, snuffed out the Soulnado, apparently destroyed the Deadly Alliance and Raiden himself, but did not harm Onaga. Raiden's essence soon gathered again in the Earthrealm, where, because his essence was corrupted because of Onaga, he had now become furious with the way Earthrealm's inhabitants had treated their own realm. He became even more enraged when he learned that Shujinko had foolishly unleashed the Dragon King by attaining the Kamidogu of various realms for him. With that, his patience exhausted, Raiden then decided he was going to punish those who placed Earthrealm in harm's way.
Raiden's shift in attitude comes to a head when he tried to brutally slay Shujinko for his errors, but Shujinko was able to survive Raiden's attack, surprisingly Raiden turned his attention away from Shujinko and towards Liu Kang's corpse.
Removing Liu Kang's body from its grave, Raiden took it to an underground temple that belonged to an ancient sect of necromancers called the Houan, whom he had destroyed centuries earlier. Binding Kang's body with enchanted shackles the Houan had used to control their revived undead, Raiden spoke the enchantments etched into the temple's walls that revived his former ally, infusing it with a thunderclap of lightning. The corpse of Liu Kang was now the enforcer of Raiden's will, and he sent it on a mission to wreak havoc on those he believed did harm to Earthrealm. This caught the attention of Shinnok, who appeared before Raiden and offered him an alliance. If Raiden were to assist him in whatever he wanted, Shinnok would try to ensure the safety of Earthrealm. Raiden was well aware of Shinnok's deceptive nature, but he accepted the offer in an attempt to secretly uncover Shinnok's plans.
His story is further expanded in the Konquest mode of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, when Taven encounters him. He informs Taven that he had struck a deal with Shao Kahn, agreeing to let the Emperor of Outworld conquer and rule all other realms, so long as Earthrealm was left alone. In return, Raiden agreed to hunt and eliminate Taven for Kahn, so that he could claim Blaze's godlike power for himself. Raiden confronts Taven as Kahn, Onaga, Shang Tsung, and Quan Chi escape into a portal leading to Edenia. He is unsuccessful however, as he is defeated by Taven, and left unconscious on the ground. Taven, while still being in shock and disbelief at Raiden's actions, leaves and follows the villains through the portal.
Unbeknownst to Raiden, however, Fujin had become aware of his change of attitude and outlook and had decided to do something about it. Teaming up with Liu Kang's former ally, Kung Lao, he intended to defeat Raiden and Liu Kang and try to restore them, aware that they may have to destroy them if unsuccessful.
Raiden apparently regained at least some of his sanity as he later participated in the Battle of Armageddon on the side of Light. He and Shao Kahn became the last two kombatants standing and they fought on top of the Pyramid of Argus. With power of Blaze, Kahn easily defeated Raiden. Before Kahn landed the final blow, Raiden used the shattered remains of his amulet to send his past self a cryptic message: "He must win".
Mortal Kombat vs DC UniverseEdit
Having repulsed Shao Kahn's invasion, Raiden confronts him and Quan Chi at a graveyard. The Thunder God blasts the Outworld ruler into a portal, seemingly killing him. Raiden then brings Quan Chi to face the Elder God's judgment. What Raiden failed to see was that he had merged his world with the DC universe.