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Johnny Cage

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Johnny Render

Full Name

John Carlton


Johnny Cage


Mortal Kombat


Movie star


Karate and Jeet Kune Do


Performing in movie films


-To become the most popular movie actor ever.
-Help Raiden in his quest to save Earthrealm.

Type of Hero

Comic Relief, Arrogant Fighter, Egomaniac

I make this look easy!
~ Johnny Cage's Battle Cry in Mortal Kombat (2011).

Johnny Cage is a martial arts movie star and a hero from the Mortal Kombat series of fighting games.


Mortal Kombat

Johnny Cage was a martial artist trained by masters the world over, but was looked down on by film critics and the movie-going public for using special effects and wires in the fight scenes of his movies. However, Cage's signature Shadow Ball and Shadow Kick techniques were real feats that he performed, not special effects. In order to prove that he was a real fighter, he entered the Mortal Kombat Tournament. While Liu Kang and Shang Tsung faced off in their final battle, Cage joined forces with Sonya Blade and Kano to fight against Goro. After Shang's defeat at the hands of Kang, the island began to crumble, but the movie star was saved by Raiden and dropped off on a U.S. Special Forces boat near the island.

Johnny back in Hollywood

Cage was then interrogated by Major Jackson Briggs about the what had happened to Sonya. Cage told him everything about what had happened on the island, but the Special Forces did not believe him. After his release, Cage returned to Hollywood and made a movie about his adventure, titled Mortal Kombat, that revived his career.

Mortal Kombat 2

Biocage 22

Cage's MK2 bio

Not long afterwards, Cage was filming a commercial when he was attacked by Shang Tsung, Mileena, Baraka, Kitana, and Kintaro. Overwhelmed at first, Jax arrived to help him and they were soon joined by the rest of Earthrealm's warriors, who helped them drive off the attackers. Cage then accompanied the others to Outworld to take part in the new tournament and Liu Kang succeeded in defeating Shao Kahn. However the defeated emperor ordered his warriors to kill the warriors of Earth and while Cage's comrades escaped, he was killed by the forces of Outworld.

Mortal Kombat 3


Cage in MKT

When Shao Kahn began merging Earthrealm with Outworld by having his dead queen, Sindel, resurrected on Earth, Cage's ascent to Earthrealm was blocked. He soon found that he was one of Raiden's chosen warriors, whose soul was protected. Johnny then aided the other chosen warriors in defeating Shao Kahn and stopping the merger. With the emperor defeated, Cage was free to ascend to the heavens.

Mortal Kombat 4

John 23

Cage's MK4 bio

As Shinnok's invasion of Earthrealm began, Cage watched from the heavens as the events went on and sought out Raiden. Johnny then asked the thunder god to restore him so that he could fight alongside Liu Kang and help defeat Shinnok. After the fallen Elder God's defeat, Cage's revival seemed permanent and he stayed on Earth, where he resumed his movie career.

Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance/Deception


Cage in Deadly Alliance

A few years later, Cage was stuck working on the film, Mortal Kombat: The Death of Johnny Cage, where his character was constantly killed and brought back again. Though upset at the way he was being portrayed and believing his adventures were far more entertaining, his contract prevented him from leaving. But luckily for Cage, Raiden approached him and asked him to help in the fight with the Deadly Alliance. At first, Johnny thought it was the actor that played Raiden, but when he saw the actor eating lunch, he realized that it was the real thunder god. Cage was told to go to Shang Tsung's island for more instructions and he found a loophole in his contract that allowed him to leave. Johnny decided that this new adventure would be used to make his own movie and after arriving at the island by parachute, he found out about Liu Kang's death, then went to Outworld to help

Johnny Cage and the others after being freed

battle the Deadly Alliance. However Cage was killed in the final assault against Shang and Quan Chi, overwhelmed along with his comrades by their Tarkatan horde. But when Onaga returned, he resurrected Johnny and the others as his slaves. Later, Cage and his allies were freed by the combined efforts of the spirit of Liu Kang and Ermac.

Mortal Kombat Armageddon

Johnny Cage had become disheartened by that fact that Raiden and Liu Kang could no longer unite and lead the Forces of Light. But he began to receive visions of Shinnok creating portals throughout the realms and decided to visit these places to confirm the visions. Upon arriving there, Cage found evidence that the fallen Elder God had been there and decided that he had to take action. His next vision told him Shinnok would be at Shang Tsung's island fortress and when he arrived there, Johnny saw the fallen Elder God plotting with Quan Chi to take over Shao Kahn's fortress. After the sorcerer disappeared into the portal he had come through, Cage attacked Shinnok and had the upper hand, until he disappeared in a cloud of smoke. Cage was left to decide what to do next and eventually realized that he would have to unite the Forces of Light for the final battle himself.

In his ending, after Cage defeated Blaze, the powers of a god rushed through him, giving him greater strength and dexterity, as well as new insight to his existence. With help from the Shaolin masters, Cage left his former superficial life behind him and became enlightened.



Johnny using his Shadow Kick

Johnny Cage is an extremely skilled martial artist, thanks to his extensive training and despite being a human, he is not without a few supernatural powers. These powers specialize in shadow and he can use them to propel himself forward, increasing the strength of his blows and leaving green afterimages in his wake. Cage can increase the speed of these attacks, which instead leaves a red afterimage and can also throw a ball of shadow energy. He also has a move where he drops doing the splits and then punches the opponent in the groin, though this only works on male fighters. As his alternate weapon fighting style, Cage uses a set of nuchaku.

Movie appearance

Johnny Cage (MK Movie)

Linden Ashby as Johnny Cage in the first Mortal Kombat movie

Johnny Cage was portrayed by Linden Ashby in the first Mortal Kombat movie. In the film, he caused the death of Goro, avenging the death of a fellow fighter named Art Lean. Before doing so, he fought Scorpion too, and won. The film also took a page from Malibu's 1994-1995 MK comic book adaptations by starting his love interest with Sonya. As a homage to his Friendship in MKII, he left behind an autographed picture of himself after he defeated Scorpion.
Chris Conrad as Johnny Cage

Chris Conrad as Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

Chris Conrad played Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. He makes a brief cameo appearance in the opening scene, in which he successfully saves Sonya Blade from certain death at the hands of Shao Kahn, only to be quickly killed by him.

Matt Mullins plays Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat: Rebirth. Similar to his game counterpart, he is a movie star whose career goes dry. Then in the following events, he begins a career as a secret agent. He is then hired by Jax and Sonya Blade to get info on Baraka. After a brutal fight, Johnny is laying on the floor and Baraka decapitates him.

Johnny Cage (MK Legacy)

Matt Mullins as Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat: Legacy

Matt Mullins reprises the role of Johnny Cage in the upcoming Mortal Kombat: Legacy.

In the third episode of the series, Cage is an action star fallen in disgrace, who's dropped by his producers who, after refusing two of his proposals for a show, declare that the audience is interested in action movies no more. Moments later, Cage finds out that the two are using his ideas for the show to launch an actress. Enraged, he violently beats one of the producers and some security agents. Leaving the studios, he is approached by Shang Tsung, who stops time and proposes him to change his life forever.


  • Cage's original name was going to be Michael Grimm, but this was changed during Mortal Kombat's preproduction.
  • His "real name," Jonathan Carlton, comes from the Midway programmer, John Carlton, who worked on the NBA Jam series.
  • Cage was the last of the original Mortal Kombat characters to get a fatality and before a last-minute idea by Ed Boon to make his fatality the Head Punch, he was instead going to toss his opponent across the screen.
  • In the first game, Cage was modeled after the actor, Jean Claude Van Damme, who the creators had wanted to portray him in the first game, but was unable to do so because of his movie schedule. Cage's clothes in the game greatly resembled Van Damme's outfit in the last match of the movie, Bloodsport, and his split punch move is taken from one that he used in the movie.
  • Cage once made a movie called "Ninja Mime" that is most likely based on the opening scenes of the action film, "The Quest," where the hero, dressed as a mime, evaded the authorities using martial arts moves. The movie also starred Jean Claude Van Damme, who Cage was based on, in the starring role.
  • In early arcade test versions of Mortal Kombat, the word "Otomix" appeared on Cage's pants, which were worn by the actor, Daniel Pesina, during filming, but this was omitted later. Otomix is a supplier of athletic and martial arts wear.
  • He is the only character in the original Mortal Kombat not to have any connection with the other characters.
  • Cage's Red Shadow Kick and Red Shadow Uppercut moves happened randomly in Mortal Kombat II. In Mortal Kombat 4, selecting Player 2's outfit would cause the moves to have red shadows.
  • Cage was cut from the Game Boy version of Mortal Kombat because of memory constraints and the only member of the original MK cast never to appear in Jeff Rovin's 1995 novel.
  • Cage's sprite was recreated for Mortal Kombat Trilogy due to the fact that Daniel Pesina, who portrayed him earlier, appeared in a commercial for the arcade game, Bloodstorm, dressed as Cage and was replaced by Chris Alexander.
  • Brandon Lee was originally going to portray Johnny Cage in the first Mortal Kombat movie. Also in the same movie, after Cage defeated Scorpion, a photo of him signed "to my greatest fan" lands in the debris, a reference to his friendship finisher in MKII.
  • Some think that Cage defeated Goro in the first Mortal Kombat tournament, but in the video game storyline, it is was Liu Kang who defeated him. In Shaolin Monks, when Kang and Kung Lao fought Goro, Johnny Cage intervened and finished him.
  • According to Deadly Alliance, Johnny has starred in Ninja Mime, Dragon Fist, Dragon Fist 2, Son of Dragon Fist, HWAAAAA!, Sudden Violence, Aquatic Assault, Exiting the Dragon of Death, 7 Poisons, Cage Match, The Gist of My Fist, 24 Karate Gold, Who's That?, Wu Shu (TV series), Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat II, Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance, and Mortal Kombat: The Death of Johnny Cage. He also appeared on Celebrity SMASH TV.
  • Cage is regarded as the comic relief character of Mortal Kombat.
  • Though Mortal Kombat usually replaces "c" with "k" in the games, Johnny's last name is an exception. It is probably more than coincidence that the Japanese word, kage, means shadow.
  • John Vogel was reported to dislike Cage's storyline from Mortal Kombat Trilogy and Mortal Kombat 4. His repeated death and revival is mocked by Mortal Kombat: The Death of Johnny Cage.
  • In Unreal Tournament 2, Raiden will occasionally taunt his opponent by saiyng that they "fight like Johnny Cage"
  • Cage's fatality in Shaolin Monks, where he punches the opponent repeatedly in the crotch then delivers a final punch that smashes off the opponent's legs, was voted third on Screwattack's Top 10 Mortal Kombat Fatalities list.
  • On Screwattack's Top 10 Mortal Kombat Kharacters list, Cage was voted number 10.


Mortal Kombat 4 - Ending - Johnny Cage00:46

Mortal Kombat 4 - Ending - Johnny Cage

Johnny Cage's MK4 Ending

Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance Johnny Cage's Ending00:51

Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance Johnny Cage's Ending

Johnny Cage's MK:DA Ending

Mortal Kombat 2011 - Johnny Cage Ending01:11

Mortal Kombat 2011 - Johnny Cage Ending

Johnny Cage's MK 2011 Ending

Mortal Kombat Heroes

Main Heroes
Liu Kang | Raiden | Bo' Rai Cho | Scorpion | Sub-Zero | Kung Lao | Shujinko | Taven | Cassie Cage | Johnny Cage | Sonya Blade
Secondary Heroes
Fujin | Jade | Jacqui Briggs | Jax Briggs | Kenshi | Kitana | Kung Jin | Kurtis Stryker | Nightwolf | Sindel | Smoke | Takeda Takahashi
Other Heroes
Ashrah | Cyrax | Dairou | Ermac | Erron Black | Kabal | Kai | Khameleon | Kotal Kahn | Li Mei | Meat | Mokap | Reptile | Sareena |

Non-Playable Heroes
Arctic Monks | Argus | Art Lean | Asgaarth | Blue | Bo | Cassar | Chan Kang | Daahraan | Delia | Dion | Earth God | Edenian Warrior | Fire God | Gemini | Great Kung Lao | Hanna | Hydro | Jen Reyland | Jerrod | Jubei | Kana Hasashi | Kiba | Lance | Lori | Sanchez | Maya | Miss Bishop | Orin and Caro | Ramath | Ruby | Siro | Taja | Torque | Vapor | Water God | Wynd | Rayne

Good Organizations
Edenian Freedom Fighters | Elder Gods | Forces of Light | Order of Light | Special Forces | White Lotus Society

Non-MK/Guest Star Heroes
Batman | Captain Marvel | Catwoman | Green Lantern | Kratos | Superman | The Flash | Wonder Woman

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