Tanya: Mortal Kombat's Ultimate Traitor, Explained

Mortal Kombat Tanya feature

The Mortal Kombat franchise has had many traitors over the years since its inception in the '90s. One of the most famous ones has been Tanya, the yellow-clad female warrior from Edenia, and she's earned that reputation. Tanya has sold her people out in her lust for power and even tried to murder Princess Kitana to prove she was the best killer in the peaceful land.

Tanya made a surprise return as a downloadable character to 2015's Mortal Kombat X, so with that in mind we're taking a closer look at Tanya, her past, and how she's taken a slightly different approach to achieving her negarious goals.

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Mortal Kombat Tanya

Tanya is the daughter of an Edenian ambassador, first introduced in Mortal Kombat 4. She allowed refugees into the realm, but some of those refugees were Shinnon, Quan Chi and disguised Netherrealm assassins, who tried to take over take over. This resulted in Kitana losing her parents, including Queen Sindel, but Tanya was actually in on Netherrealm's plan all along.

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Tanya wanted a new regime so she could have more control, which is what drove Jade to hunt her down. Tanya essentiallysold Edenia out, leaving it vulnerable for the likes of Shao Kahn (who'd imprison Sindel later on), the Dragon King Onaga in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance and Blaze in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon to wreck the realm. Tanya would repeatedly try to lure Liu Kang and any other allies Raiden hired into traps during these eras, while also playing off of Kitana's heartstrings due to their history. Luckily, Jade would always be on hand to remind Tanya that she needed to be brought to justice for what she did to the throne.


Tanya Mortal Kombat

Tanya was initially made a re-skin of Kitana for MK4. Her move set was much quicker and fluid, though, boasting fireballs, air drills and boomerangs. She'd be altered as the series progressed in games like Mortal Kombat: Deception and Armageddon, using tonfas and a staff. Tanya evolved from a skilled warrior into one who could use magic as well, dabbling as a Pyromancer.

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MKX built on this and brought all her styles and weapons together with a few more upgrades. Tanya became more of a neck-snapper like Sonya Blade, had the teleporting skill of Mileena and used a mystical purple substance to enhance her abilities and attacks in battle. Most of all, Tanya had some deadly boots with heels she used to walk, stomp, stab and crush opponents in various Brutalities and Fatalities. She became a warrior known more for leg-work and kicks, feeling like the ideal mix of Jade, Kitana and Mileena.


With Raiden altering the timeline to kickstart MKX, Tanya's role got a rejig. She's still the ambassador's daughter, but she became an ally of Mileena as she wanted Outworld and Edenia to be free from Kotal Kahn's grip. Tanya was even willing to work with the likes of Baraka to get the job done, but when Kotal killed Mileena, Tanya found herself short of comrades to help bring Edenia back to its glory days.

She partnered with another Edenian, Rain, and it seemed as if Tanya wanted redemption. However, as her ending showed, this was all a ruse. She betrayed Rain and turned him into Kotal's legion as part of a bargain for her life. Tanya would end up with a life sentence, but this allowed her the time to plot so she could achieve her ultimate goal and claim the throne for herself. Since she's still ready to betray anyone and has Jade as an enemy,  it's safe to say old habits die hard. The Edenian warriors always suspected she was still shady, and this confirms that  Tanya didn't change at all. Tanya may not be in MK11 at the moment, but fans believe she might be secretly part of Kotal's hit squad alongside the likes of Erron Black, waiting for her chance to shine and make a move for the throne herself.

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