Shinnok is a vengeful,
powerful fallen Elder God. Unlike Shao
Kahn, Shinnok relies less on brute strength and fear-mongering, and
more on magical powers and ancient artifacts. He is the ruler of the Netherealm,
possessing millions of years' worth of knowledge and power, including the
ability to impersonate other beings perfectly.
Shinnok demands unwavering
faith and loyalty from his followers, and will not hesitate to kill anyone
who doubts or challenges him. Like Raiden, it
is unlikely that he can ever be truly killed due to the fact that he is
a god and thus, immortal. If his mortal form is destroyed, he will reform
himself, usually back in the Netherrealm where he was originally banished.
Shinnok's fall from
grace was caused by his lust for power, and more specifically, his desire
to take Earthrealm for himself.
At the dawn of time,
when the realms were created, Shinnok desired to rule Earthrealm and thus
acquire for himself immense power. However, Shinnok couldn't enter Earthrealm
without the Elder Gods becoming aware of his actions. To resolve this issue
without directly defying the sacred rules, Shinnok created a powerful amulet,
weakened the dimensional barriers, and entered Earthrealm. During the war
against his fellow gods, he came into direct conflict with the thunder
During the final stages
of this war, Raiden was forced to choose between sacrificing Earth's indigenous
races, or ceding the rule of Earthrealm to Shinnok. The angered Elder Gods
intervened and assisted Raiden in his struggle. Raiden defeated Shinnok,
and stripped him of his amulet. Shinnok was then banished to the deepest
regions of the Netherealm. However, at the expense of Shinnok's defeat,
the dimensional fibers of the worlds were severely weakened, and the Saurians,
Earth's indigenous life form at the time, were nearly exterminated.
In the Netherealm,
Shinnok endured constant torture from the Netherealm's overlord, Lucifer.
Shinnok was at his mercy until he encountered a sorcerer, Quan
Chi, who could travel through the realms at will. Quan Chi agreed to
aid Shinnok to overthrow Lucifer and take his throne, thus becoming ruler
of the Netherealm. As payment for Quan Chi's efforts, Shinnok endowed him
with incredible powers, making him arch-sorcerer of the Netherealm. During
his time in the Netherrealm Shinnok built a massive army and a fanatical
cult of demons called the Brotherhood of Shadow, dedicated to worshipping
him. He changed the Netherealm's appearance as well, to make it look closer
in appearance to Earthrealm.
Many years later,
Shinnok plotted to escape the Netherealm once more, but in order to do
so he needed his lost sacred amulet. After centuries of searching, Quan
Chi eventually discovered the amulet's whereabouts for Shinnok, hidden
in the Temple of Elements and under the protection of four elemental gods.
Using the Lin Kuei warrior Sub-Zero Quan Chi
recovered it, but unbeknownst to Shinnok, he created a flawed replica in
its place which he delivered, keeping the original for himself. Shinnok
would lose the fake amulet later against Sub-Zero.
Kahn's failed invasion of Earthrealm, Shinnok ordered Noob
Saibot to spy on these events and eventually side with the Earthrealm
warriors. Shao Kahn would later attempt, unsuccessfully, to invade the
Netherrealm as well. Shinnok took the chance to send Mileena
as well, seeing it as a sign that Shao Kahn was becoming too powerful.
Some time after Shao
Kahn's defeat, Shinnok put into motion his new plot to escape the Netherrealm,
having as first target Edenia. After successfully posing as a group of
refugees, Shinnok and his highest generals, using Tanya's Edenian connections,
were allowed entrance to the peaceful realm. He immediately seized this
opportunity to bring in a full-scale invasion force, and captured Queen
Sindel and Princess Kitana.
Shinnok, his newfound empire was short-lived. Despite invading the Heavens
themselves and killing many of the gods, Raiden and his warriors managed
to penetrate Shinnok's defenses in order to stop him, and Shinnok himself
was defeated by the shaolin monk Liu Kang. After his loss, Shinnok was
banished back to the Netherealm.