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Johnny Cage

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Johnny Render
Background information
Origin Mortal Kombat
Hero information
Full name John Carlton
Alias Johnny Cage

Mr. Cage

Occupation Movie star
Powers / Skills Shadow powers

Superhuman strength, speed and durability
Skilled Martial artist
Jeet Kune Do

Hobbies Spending time with Raiden and his allies

Performing in movie films
Making jokes

Goals Become the most popular movie actor ever.

Help Raiden in his quest to save Earthrealm.
Reunited with Sonya, and his daughter Cassie.

Family Robert Carlton (father)

Rose Carlton (mother)
Rebecca Carlton (sister)
Cindy Ford (ex-wife)
Sonya Blade (ex-wife)
Cassie Cage (daughter)

Friends / Allies Original Timeline:
  • Liu Kang
  • Sonya Blade
  • Raiden
  • Sub-Zero
  • Kung Lao
  • Jax Briggs
  • Kitana
  • Ermac

Current Timeline:

  • Raiden
  • Cassie Cage
  • Sonya Blade
  • Jax Briggs
  • Sub-Zero
  • Jacqui Briggs
  • Kung Jin
  • Takeda Takahashi
  • Fujin
  • Kenshi
  • Li Mei
Enemies Original Timeline:
  • Goro
  • Motaro
  • Shang Tsung
  • Quan Chi
  • Shao Kahn
  • Onaga
  • Movie Critics

Current Timeline:

  • Shao Kahn
  • Cyrax
  • Sektor
  • Kano
  • Quan Chi
  • Reptile
  • Baraka
  • Shang Tsung
  • Ermac
  • Sindel
  • Motaro
  • D'Vorah
  • Shinnok
  • Smoke
  • Nightwolf
  • Kitana
  • Jade
  • Kabal
  • Kurtis Stryker
  • Liu Kang
  • Kung Lao
  • Jarek
  • Tremor
Type of Hero Comic Relief
Arrogant Fighter

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

Now, as I'm sure you're unaware, judging from the lack of gift cards, today's our teams six-week anniversary.
~ Johnny Cage to Cassie's team

Funny... Beautiful... Saving the world... My work here is done.
~ Johnny Cage, Handing over Earthrealm Champion status to Cassie

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


Johnny Cage is depicted as the typical American action movie star; bare muscular build with karate pants and his trademark sunglasses. In his debut, his clothing was modeled directly after Jean-Claude Van Damme's character in Bloodsport, consisting of black shorts with a red sash and black shoes. From MKII to MK4, he is depicted with black pants with blue accents.

In Deadly Alliance onwards, his design becomes a fusion of his first and familiar appearances, regaining the black shorts, but with a Cage emblem and blue belt tied at his waist. He goes barefoot with bandage straps. Interestingly, he has dyed his hair blond.

In MK 2011, he has a similar outfit from MKII, but with slight changes: he keeps his sunglasses on all the time, his chest is tattooed with his own name, he has straps on his arms and hands, his pants' accents are blue, and his last name is on his belt.

In MKX, 20 years prior to the main events of the game, he sports a military vest and pants. His default form in the same game features him with a short sleeved hoodie, along with a grayish blue shirt that partially covers his name tattooed on his chest. He also has bandages wrapped around his wrists and black fingerless gloves.

Powers and Abilities


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.


  • 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 Heroes

Main Heroes
Bo' Rai Cho | Cassie Cage | Johnny Cage | Kung Lao | Liu Kang | Raiden | Scorpion | Shujinko | Sonya Blade | Sub-Zero | Taven
Secondary Heroes
Fujin | Jade | Jacqui Briggs | Jax Briggs | Kenshi Takahashi | 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 | Nitara | 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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