Shujinko Is Mortal Kombat’s Version Of Forrest Gump

Although he wasn’t introduced until Mortal Kombat: Deception, Shujinko is one of the most important characters in the entire MK universe.

There are a lot of important characters in the Mortal Kombat universe, but the most important fighter of all might just be Shujinko from Mortal Kombat: Deception. As the star of Mortal Kombat: Deception‘s Konquest mode (the best RPG experience the franchise has delivered to date) Shujinko traveled throughout multiple time periods and areas key to events in Mortal Kombat’s history, and ended up making a serious impact on the timeline whether he tried to or not.

Shujinko (and the entire 3D era of Mortal Kombat which encompassed Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Mortal Kombat: Deception, and Mortal Kombat: Armageddon) isn’t remembered very fondly by the Mortal Kombat kommunity at large. There are a number of likely reasons for this – Deadly Alliance, Deception, and Armageddon controlled much differently than previous 2D entries in the Mortal Kombat series, more in line with Mortal Kombat 4 than anything else – but one of the main reasons is because of Shujinko isn’t a very smart character.

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The plot of Mortal Kombat: Deception, as told through the game’s Konquest mode, concerns the reawakening of The Dragon King Onaga and his undefeatable army. Shujinko himself plays an important role in this story, as he is the one who is tricked into collecting all of the Kamidogu (magical items) needed to free Onaga and allow him to walk the realms once more. Throughout most of Mortal Kombat: Deception Shujinko thinks he is on a mission from the Elder Gods, but really he is only a pawn in Onaga’s schemes.

Mortal Kombat’s Shujinko Touched Many People’s Lives

Shujinko Mortal Kombat

Shujinko was trained by multiple people in his youth, including Mortal Kombat’s Bo Rai Cho and an ancestor of Sub-Zero. He visited many different realms while he was under the direction of Onaga, including series mainstays like Edenia and the Netherrealm as well as entirely new areas like Orderrealm and Chaosrealm. Along the way he encounters nearly all of the characters who had ever appeared in the Mortal Kombat franchise up to that point, and either engages in battle with them or helps them complete some sort of task (or, more often, both). It’s entirely because of Shujinko that Kenshi is allowed to be in the Mortal Kombat tournament in the first place, and he’s one of the few people who have actually interacted with Meat, Mortal Kombat 4’s secret character, in canon.

Mortal Kombat’s Shujinko was created to be somewhat of a blank-slate protagonist, and his only real power is the ability to copy the moves of other fighters. This is so players making their way through Konquest mode can get a chance to familiarize themselves with every character in the game and their move sets. Shujinko also unfortunately had a fairly bland-looking face and an odd voice, which led to him being easily mocked by fans. The clear naivete in his actions concerning his “quest from the Elder Gods” and the way he seems to stumble into important situations in the Mortal Kombat universe time and time again brings to mind another famous character who kept getting into similar predicaments – Forrest Gump.

Forrest Gump was a simple man, but he made a major impact on the lives of everyone he met, and he was somehow involved in nearly all of the most memorable moments in history (that were accessible to him during the years he was alive, of course). Shujinko is the exact same kind of character, one who is only trying to do his best and keeps showing up everywhere. He may not have the most memorable one-liners or special moves, and he might not be well-remembered by fans or represented in the current Mortal Kombat game roster, but Shujinko is one of the most important characters in the history of Mortal Kombat, even if he wasn’t trying to be.

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