In the early years of Mortal Kombat, Johnny Cage was far from heroic. However, he has matured over the years and has become a true role model.
When Mortal Kombat debuted as an arcade cabinet, its biggest draw was its one-off kills. As players completed the button entries, they were able to horribly finish off their opponents in ways that have taken over the franchise with every new installment. It’s undeniable that the series started out as a straightforward, perhaps even immature, fighting game that focused on showmanship and action over story and lore. But that did not last long.
As the years passed and the franchise became more focused on history, Mortal Kombat began to mature. Games were able to take on more complex stories that revolved around themes of trust, betrayal, and even time travel. Today, the franchise is not only one of the biggest names in fighting games, but it has also gained enough traction to return to the big screen. Mortal KombatThe growth is impressive, and that transformation even reflects how one of the game’s most iconic characters, Johnny Cage, has grown.
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When Johnny was featured in the original Mortal Kombat, he was just a guy in gym shorts who kicked high. But as his story took shape throughout the many installments, it became clear that Johnny could be more than just comic relief. Cage was an action movie star who cared more about his looks and his job than saving the world from the enemies that came from the Netherrealm.
As Johnny’s story continued, he developed an attraction to the original series Sonya Blade, who was much more serious and duty-driven than he was. The two would collide heads as he constantly tried to hit her and missed. However, over time, Johnny became an admirable friend and an even more capable fighter. When it became clear that the war the Earthrealm heroes were fighting would last much longer than a tournament, Johnny decided to stay and help his friends.
Johnny Cage’s desire to be better even led him into a relationship with Sonya. The two married and had a daughter, Cassie. While the idea of Johnny being a decent dad would be unthinkable to anyone who only knew him from his previous appearances, Cassie’s introduction in Mortal Kombat X He showed that he inherited his mother’s sense of duty and his father’s sarcasm and intelligence. It’s clear that Johnny was an active and positive presence in Cassie’s life, and she probably wouldn’t have been able to defeat the game’s main antagonist, Shinnok, and save Earthrealm if it weren’t for her parents.
While Johnny Cage is by no means a perfect character, his arc is incredibly moving. Going from an arrogant and disinterested protagonist to one of Mortal KombatJohnny, the best leaders, shows that it is never too late for an immature or self-interested person to grow up and take on responsibilities that go beyond himself. This makes him the true hero of the series.
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