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Mortal Kombat 1: New Details on Sindel, Rain, Shao from August 24 Kombat Kast

The latest Kombat Kast gave new insight on Sindel, Rain, General Shao, and more.

August 24 marked the third official Kombat Kast livestream for Mortal Kombat 1, which provided extended gameplay breakdowns for the newly-revealed Sindel and General Shao. Rain also tagged along, as did several Kameo fighters who hadn’t yet been examined.

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Only two out of the three typical Kast hosts were on hand this time, as Netherrealm Studios senior system designer Derek Kirtzic is in Germany for Gamescom. That left NRS community manager Tyler Lansdown and QA manager Stephanie Brownback to hold the fort by themselves, which also made the Kast go a lot faster than usual.

Mortal Kombat 1 August 24 Kombat Kast Details

How Sindel Plays in MK1

Screenshot by NRS/YouTube

Traditionally, Sindel has been built around zoning and control of space, although her newer installments have also given her some solid combo potential if and when she gets in on an opponent.

In MK1, Sindel retains some of her old keepaway games, including a fireball (or “hair ball”) that she can fire high, low, or in the air. Up close, she has a number of quick kicks and flips that can keep an opponent guessing.

The big-ticket ability Sindel has in MK1, however, is the ability to deliberately change the rules of the Kameo system. In the New Era, Sindel is still the Queen of Outworld, and can exercise her regal authority to affect both her and her opponent’s Kameo.

For herself, Sindel can activate a buff that lowers her own Kameo’s recharge time. When enhanced, that move can stun an opponent’s active Kameo, which takes it out of play for a few seconds. Sindel’s got another move that actually lets her take control of her opponent’s Kameo, either taking it out of play or giving her a single use of the Kameo’s moves. This doesn’t lock out Sindel’s own Kameo, so she can set up a combo with up to 3 Kameo moves in it.

However, Sindel’s Kameo brainwashing is deliberately high-risk/high-reward; if she isn’t able to catch her opponent’s Kameo right when it appears onscreen, it’ll simply miss. You have to make a guess when an opponent might use their Kameo and preempt it.

How Rain Plays in MK1

Screenshot by NRS/YouTube

Rain has been overhauled in MK1, to reflect that he’s gone from a street revolutionary/palette-swap ninja to the High Mage of Outworld. While he’s still got a couple of his old moves, like his trademark “around the world” roundhouse kick, Rain now does a lot of his fighting with his water magic and wizard’s staff.

In MK1, Rain is focused on zoning, with moves that include an anti-air projectile, an air blast, and a water bubble, which blocks a single enemy projectile before it can hit Rain. As seen in the Lin Kuei trailer, Rain can also set up whirlpools as a trap on the ground, which will pop an enemy up for a combo if they step or fall into them.

The newest move in Rain’s arsenal is the ability to set up water portals onscreen, which he can teleport through at any time, either to get in on an opponent or to teleport away.

How General Shao Plays in MK1

Screenshot by NRS/YouTube

As the Gamescom trailer revealed, Liu Kang didn’t simply wish Shao Kahn away to the cornfield in his New Era. Instead, Shao is a respected general and veteran in Outworld’s army, who’s had no desire for greater power until relatively recently.

The New Era’s General Shao retains a lot of the original version’s sheer power. Armed with an axe instead of a hammer, Shao is once again a high-powered brawler/grappler who can do tremendous amounts of damage with throws, slams, and combo strings.

The big mechanical feature for Shao is his Power Strike, a heavy overhead blow with his axe that, whether it hits or misses, leaves the axe embedded in the ground for several seconds. While Shao’s unarmed, all his attacks change, including his standard throw. He can also control the axe remotely in order to deliver a full-screen earthquake attack, or use a short-lived buff that gives his axe greater attack power.

Kameo Details and Other News

  • Sareena has two different types of projectile and an invincible flip kick that can be used both as a wakeup option and an anti-air move. Her most interesting skill as a Kameo is arguably the ability to place a rune on the ground, which rapidly drains super meter from an opponent who stands in it.
  • As a side note, two of Sareena’s Kameo moves are named after Kia and Jataaka, her demon partners from 1997’s Mortal Kombat Mythologies. Both Kia and Jataaka died in Mythologies and have, unusually for MK characters, stayed dead. However, they’re reportedly scheduled to return as antagonists in the forthcoming MK animated movie Cage Match.
  • As Brownback noted during the Kast, a Sindel/Sareena teamup can effectively lock an opponent out of the ability to use their Breaker, either by stunning their Kameo or draining their super meter. In MK1, your Breaker requires 3 bars of meter and your Kameo being off cooldown and available.
  • MK’s most hated playable character, Kurtis Stryker, returns as a Kameo in his MK3 getup. His skills include his old MK3 grenade toss, a baton strike that can be either straight on (the “cop bop”) or a sweep, and coming in behind an opponent to handcuff them. The latter move is reminiscent of one of the ways you could use Johnny’s stunt double in MK11.
  • Stryker uses his air taser as the animation for his Breaker, which recalls one of his Fatalities in MK3.
  • While Baraka hasn’t gotten a full gameplay breakdown yet, he was shown in a pre-recorded fight against General Shao at the end of the Kast. The New Era’s version of Baraka has arm blades that regenerate in seconds if they’re snapped off, which lets him throw them as projectiles.
  • Motaro, as a Kameo, is surprisingly mobile, as well as oppressive. As seen in the Gamescom trailer, Motaro can walk forward holding a shield that reflects projectiles or pick up your character and teleport with them, both of which are crazy options for slow-but-strong characters like General Shao. In addition, he’s got his old MK3 tail blast and command throw.
  • Motaro’s Fatality is brand-new. He uses his tail blast to pulp an opponent’s head and upper torso at point-blank range.

That’s most of what we learned out of MK1’s newest Kombat Kast. With less than a month left before MK1’s release, stay tuned for more information.

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Thomas Wilde
Survival horror enthusiast. Veteran of the print era. Comic book nerd.