Nightwolf: Mortal Kombat 11's Next Fighter, Explained

Nightwolf Mortal Kombat header

While Mortal Kombat 11 might already feature an impressive roster of fighters, the iconic fighting game series is still fleshing out its field of characters through DLC.The first downloadable Kombat Pack will add four more characters to the game, including three fan-favorite Kombatants and Todd McFarlane's iconic Image Comics hero Spawn.

While  Shang-Tsung was widely advertised as DLC shortly after launch, we've really only just gotten a good look at another one of the franchise's returning champions, Nightwolf. To get ready for his role in Mortal Kombat X, CBR is taking a closer look at Nightwolf and his history with the Mortal Kombat franchise.

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Nightwolf Mortal Kombat Deception

After Mortal Kombat II's release, Nightwolf was developed as part of a create-a-character contest.  Nightwolf, or Grey Cloud, was introduced in Mortal Kombat 3. Originally portrayed as member of the Lakota-Sioux, this warrior's history now ties into the fictional Matoka tribe, where he has served as a historian, warrior and shaman. During Shao Kahn's invasion, he used his shaman powers to protect his tribe's sacred land. Unfortunately, this made the area a vital threat to Kahn's occupation of Earth. So he joins the remaining Earth warriors to fend off Kahn's invasion.

After the Mortal Kombat 3 spinoffs Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Nightwolf returned in Mortal Kombat Deception to defeat Onaga. He received visions of the Dragon King and his resurrection, quickly realizing that it was the fufillment of a prophecy. In order to have the power to defeat Onaga, he became his tribe's sin-eater and ate the sins of his tribes members. However, this corrupted his soul and made him a threat to his friends. Nightwolf then exiles himself to the Netherrealm with plans to draw Onaga to him and use the power from his tribe's sins to bind Onaga to the realm.

Nightwolf is also in Mortal Kombat Armageddon, as is every character from the series. He was successful in binding Onaga to the Netherrealm with help from Shujinko. Spirit guides helped him return to Earthrealm and warned him of an epic upcoming battle for the realms. He joins the Forces of Light against Shinnok and his Forces of Darkness and became the deceased Liu Kang's new spiritual anchor. Unfortunately, he is killed during the fight that killed most of the franchise's fighters.

Nightwolf's Original Timeline Design

Nightwolf Mortal Kombat

In this era, Nightwolf's design was heavily influenced by his Native American heritage.  His basic costume includes a blue bandana with two feathers worn pointed down, red face paint in the shape of an eagle, a black leather vest, blue armbands, silver wrist bands, blue jeans with a black strip with open slits on the side of each leg and brown suede boots with fringe.

Mortal Kombat Deception and Armageddon changes his wrist bands to blue, removes the black stripe with slits from his jeans, and removes the black vest for a red vest with strings across the chest and a tan scarf and belt across his neck and waist respectively.

His alternate costume from Deception / Armageddon gives Nightwolf a mohawk and black war face paint. He wears a red tanktop held with straps and a flap on the left side. His jeans return but with a dirty green color, brown kneepads, and boots like in his original costume but in a redder shade of brown.


Nightwolf also appears in the Mortal Kombat reboot, where Raiden traveled back in time to reset the timeline.

Nightwolf is in the original tournament and faces Scorpion but is defeated and doesn't appear until the invasion of Shao Kahn. He recruits Stryker to the Earth resistance and he assists a reprogrammed Cyber Sub-Zero. In order to stop the "soulnado" Quan Chi creates, he defeats Quan Chi and seemingly kills Noob Saibot. When the Earth resistance is ambushed by the Cyber Lin Kuei, he defeats both Cyrax and Sektor.

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After Sidnel takes out most of Earth's champions, Nightwolf sacrifices himself to kill her. However, his soul is later captured and used to be part of Quan Chi's Revenant army. Nightwolf makes a cameo appearance in Mortal Kombat X as a member of Quan Chi's Revanant army.

Nightwolf's Reboot Timeline Design

Nightwolf design

While it's no clear what role he'll play in Mortal Kombat 11, Nightwolf looks decidedly more like his non-Revenant self.

His MK11 outfit looks like his original one,but with a leather grey on top and brown color at the bottoms. His boots are folded rather than fringed, numerous straps for his knives, and he also wears an arrowhead as a necklace. His alternate outfit has him wearing a white wolf headress, and matching silver war paint on his face and chest. He also wears brown pants with brown boots and a waistcloth with a wolf design. Finishing off the outfit is ring arm bands, brown forearm bands with silver accents, a necklace of teeth, and a waist pouch.

Nightwolf's default look in Mortal Kombat 11 gives him a blue leather jacket with various accents and a belt pack across his chest. On his head is a blue and black cap and he has black and red war paint on his face. He wears tan pants with black knee pads and blue boots, shoulder pads, and gauntlets. He also has his club and tomahawk attached on each side of his waist.


Nightwolf's fighting style has changed significantly over the years. In MK3 / UMK3 / MKT, he was a rushdown character with lots of combo potential, while in Mortal Kombat Deception, Nightwolf was proficient in the Val Tudo and Tae Kwon Do disciplines. In the Mortal Kombat reboot, he's an excellent all-around fighter who deals nasty combo damage.

Historically, Nightwolf has been one of the leaders of Earth's warriors and has an especially close connection to Raiden. In his Friendship finishing move, he transforms into Raiden, and he occasionally refers to Raiden as Haokah, a Native American god of storms and thunder.

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