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General Shao surprisingly revealed to have below average stamina in Mortal Kombat 1 but there is lore reason behind it

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • August 26, 2023 at 9:17 a.m. PDT • Comments: 3

NetherRealm Studios recently hosted the third Kombat Kast for Mortal Kombat 1. During the stream, the crew provided detailed breakdowns for Rain, Sindel, and General Shao before showcasing a match between General Shao and Baraka.

Though it wasn't specifically highlighted, it could be noticed that Shao Kahn had 950 stamina. In other words, General Shao is our first instance of a character having below average stamina in Mortal Kombat 1.

Liu Kang, Sub-Zero, Kitana, Kenshi, Li Mei, and Johnny Cage were all recently playable in the Mortal Kombat 1 Beta. Notably, all six of these fighters had 1,000 health.

Similarly, we saw the health totals for Scorpion, Smoke, Rain, Sindel, and Baraka during the three Kombat Kasts that have aired. All five of these characters also had 1,000 health.

Thanks to content creators getting an early look at Mortal Kombat 1, we also know that Kung Lao and Raiden have 1,000 stamina each. Both characters end up fighting against one another in the first chapter of Mortal Kombat 1's story.

Though Ashrah and Geras also made appearances during the second Kombat Kast, the setting that shows health totals was seemingly not turned on when these combatants were shown. As such, it's currently unknown how much life Ashrah and Geras have in Mortal Kombat 1.

While it might seem a bit odd for General Shao to have less durability than all these other fighters considering how tall he is comparably, there appears to be a lore reason behind his frailness.

"Born into a proud military family, Shao was expected to become a solider," said General Shao's bio on the Mortal Kombat 1 website. "But he was a sickly child who, though brilliant and eager, had an infirm body."

"Shao's disability infuriated his father," continued the bio. "He dismissed his son's physicians and designed an extreme program to build his son's strength and endurance."

One look at General Shao's appearance in-game really demonstrates that this extreme program was indeed successful. However, it seems some of that frailness has remained.

Fans have begun to speculate that when Liu Kang crafted the new timeline for Mortal Kombat 1, he intentionally sabotaged certain characters that he held responsible for consequential events of the previous timeline. This theory seems to hold up considering that Shang Tsung wasn't gifted with any latent magical abilities in the new timeline, as seen at the beginning of Mortal Kombat 1's story mode.

This is quite the difference from how Shao Kahn was in previous timelines. In the final version of Mortal Kombat 11, Shao Kahn had 1,100 stamina which made him tied for having the highest amount of health in the game alongside RoboCop.

Of course, the decision to give General Shao below average stamina in Mortal Kombat 1 is also likely being influenced from a balance concern. Funnily enough though, Shao Kahn, despite having above average health, was traditionally a low tier in Mortal Kombat 11.

It seems that NetherRealm Studios is confident that General Shao will be such an imposing contender in Mortal Kombat 1 that it is necessary for him to have below average durability. We'll just have to see just how well this idea holds up when the game releases on September 14, 2023 for Premium Edition and Kollector's Edition owners.

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