Kenshi Takahashi is a blind swordsman and a hero from the Mortal Kombat series of fighting games.
Losing his Sight
Kenshi was a born warrior that wandered the Earthrealm, searching for worthy opponents and then defeating them to increase his pride. One day, he met a man named Song, who convinced him that a great warrior needed a great sword. Kenshi was lead by the man to an ancient and highly powerful sword, that was perfect for a warrior of his caliber.
But when he opened the well that it was supposedly contained in, the souls trapped there overwhelmed him and stripped him of his sight. Song revealed himself to be Shang Tsung and absorbed the souls, then left Kenshi to die. But the sword, which did exist, called out to the blinded warrior and led him out of the tomb, also revealing its origins. It had been wielded by Kenshi's descendants, a long line of great swordsman, and the well where he had found it had been the resting place of his ancestors. The blind warrior spent the next decade training his senses, while at the same time hunting for Shang Tsung to pay him back for defiling his ancestry and betraying him.
Adventure in OutworldKenshi's path for revenge lead him to the Special Forces and his skills were noticed by Sonya Blade and Jax Briggs. The two were at the time, looking for members to join their new Outerworld Investigation Agency that could venture into Outworld. Realizing that this was his chance to pursuit Shang Tsung, Kenshi underwent the required examinations and tests, then joined the group. His chance came when he was assigned to go to Outworld so as to find the missing cyborg, Cyrax. During his time there, Kenshi came across the fusion of souls known as Ermac and in pity, he broke Shao Kahn's control over him. Out of gratitude, he taught the blind swordsman how to use his latent telekinetic powers in combat and to sense the presence of people and objects around him.
Kenshi soon found about the Deadly Alliance and their plans, but was unable to contact the Outerworld Investigation Agency since it had been blown up by Hsu Hao. However the Deadly Alliance was aware of Kenshi and sent Mavado to kill him, who defeated him in combat and left him for dead. However the blind swordsman was found by the Lin Kuei Grandmaster, Sub-Zero, who nursed him back to health. Because of the ice ninja's kindness, Kenshi formed a temporary alliance with him to try and find a portal back to Earthrealm. This alliance soon formed into a close friendship and after Shang Tsung's death in his battle with Onaga, Kenshi felt the souls of his ancestors return to his sword. With his quest for vengeance now over, Kenshi left the Special Forces and remained separate from Sub-Zero's Lin Kuei after returning to Earthrealm, preferring to be battle alone, though he remained an ally of both.
Kenshi began to hunt the corrupt, guided by his ancestors' sword. He attacked during the night, making use of the dark to strike unseen and succeeded in taking down a number of criminal organizations. Kenshi later came across a coded message that was supposed to be sent to Mavado that allowed him to find out about the Red Dragon Clan's plans to hunt down the demigod, Taven. But before he could learn their secret base's location, Kenshi encountered Johnny Cage, who was gathering the warriors of the Forces of Light to battle against Shinnok and the forces of evil.
The blind swordsman declined the offer, thinking that it was just another pointless struggle between good and evil. However, while on a mission to bring down the Red Dragon and have his vengeance on Mavado, Kenshi received a psychic premonition, that told him everything about Taven and Daegon's quest. His sword also urged him to join the Forces of Light for the upcoming battle and Kenshi took heed of the new insight, deciding that he would be the one to lead the Forces of Light into battle.
In his ending, Kenshi's defeat of Blaze gave him back his sight and increased his other sense to extremely high levels. But this sensory overload was too much for the swordsman and he retreated to a remote cave in the mountains, where he would remain isolated in a dark, soundless cavern.
- Early on, his name was "Blind Gi" and as his development went on, he was named "Blind Kenshi". Eventually the later part became his official name.
- Kenshi's name comes from the two Japanese words, kenshi, which means swordsman, and kensei, which means sword saint. In Deadly Alliance, it is mentioned that he is referred to as the "Sword Saint".
- Though Kenshi is officially listed as 6'1 in Deadly Alliance, a glitch sometimes makes the 1 double, listing his height as 6'11.
- He is unaffected by Sonya and Kira's Kiss of Death moves, since they aim for the eyes.
- Despite his blindness, Kenshi still takes part in Deadly Alliances "Test Your Sight" challenge, using his hearing to determine his choice.
- One of the Game Over messages in Shaolin Monks is "Who is Kenshi? Why is he blind?"
- According to Deception's Konquest Mode, Kenshi learned Tai Chi as a child and Judo in his adolescent years.
- After he stabs his opponent with his sword for his first fatality in Deception, he appears to be doing a small street dance before taking his sword to slice his opponent.
- Kenshi is one of the few characters in Deadly Alliance seen doing a kata and he is seen performing it at the end of the credits. Depending on what costume he was played as in, he will do the kata in that costume.
- Kenshi is the only character to perform a traditional Hara-Kiri in Deception, slicing open his own abdomen.
- He is one of the first characters to get their bio on the Armageddon website.
- Kenshi's alternate costume in Deadly Alliance does not wear a blindfold and it is believed that this is what he looked like before being blinded.
- One of his combos is called Blind Justice, a reference to another blind hero with superhuman senses, Daredevil.
- Kenshi is seen in the trailer for the new 2011 Mortal Kombat game, fighting Daegon at the Pit.
- He is seen in the opening to Armageddon, stabbing Sheeva in the chest as she is strangling Ermac and Nightwolf, then had a sword fight with Quan Chi, but was stabbed in the stomach. Before the sorcerer could finish him off, Ermac (actually Shang Tsung in disguise) used his telekinesis to throw him away and then shapeshifted back into Shang Tsung and stomped on Kenshi's chest, finishing him off.
- Kenshi's fatality from Deadly Alliance, where he sent out waves of mental energy at the opponent, causing their eyes to be pushed out of their sockets, then bends their limbs in unnatural directions ending with the head, was listed seventh in Screwattack's Top 10 Worst Mortal Kombat Fatalities list.
- Kenshi was voted number 7 on Screwattack's Top 10 Mortal Kombat Kharacters list.