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He is named as the one true ruler of Outworld. Onaga is the antagonist in Mortal Kombat: Deception and one of the most powerful characters in the Mortal Kombat series. He was first introduced in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance under the cryptic name of the "Dragon King", the long-dead ruler of Outworld, even before Shao Kahn. Not much was known about him, save for the fact that his army was deemed undefeatable but, at his untimely death, allowed itself to be mummified and kept in a tomb that was not uncovered until the necromancer Quan Chi stumbled upon it. Onaga is one of the series' characters through which the One Being is rumored to work. His most important powers include superhuman strength and resistance to all forms of magic, and the innate power to raise the dead as well.

Millennia ago, Onaga, also known as the Dragon King, was a ruler of Outworld. Seeking eternal life he ordered the last known dragon egg to be kept hidden and guarded hoping the blood of an infant dragon would grant him immortality. However, he died before this could be fulfilled. Shao Kahn, one of his chief advisors, had him poisoned and took over his rule of Outworld. As a result Onaga's army (considered undefeatable because Onaga possessed the innate power to raise the dead) was cast into a mummified state. During the years that followed, Onaga was apparently forgotten. With the exception of his holy men, nobody knew that Onaga had actually cheated death and was able to retain consciousness from beyond the grave. It's unknown for sure how this is, but it's speculated to be because Onaga drank the infant dragon's blood in the past.

Quite some time before Liu Kang's victory over Goro and Shang Tsung at the Shaolin Mortal Kombat tournament, Onaga communicated through death to Shujinko through an avatar named Damashi. He persuaded Shujinko to embark on a quest to unite the Kamidogu From Earthrealm, The Neatherealm, Edenia, The realm of order, The Realm of Chaos and Outworld, claiming he was carrying out the will of the Elder Gods, as well as granting him the power to learn the fighting techniques of any warrior he encountered and faced in battle. Shujinko readily embarked on his quest, beginning to set in motion events that Onaga hoped would lead to his eventual return to power. As well, a sect of holy men still dedicated to him had been guarding the egg of the last great dragon in a chamber of molten lava. During the events of Mortal Kombat II, they captured the Outworld elemental Blaze, who was forced to guard the egg until it was ready to hatch and revive the king (Onaga's soul residing inside the infant dragon).

A few years later, Quan Chi and Shang Tsung, the Deadly Alliance, used their powers to resurrect Onaga's army. Their plan was to use this army to conquer Outworld and eventually, all other realms with as well. Raiden embarked on a mission with the Earthrealm warriors to Outworld to stop their plans, but his attempt ultimately failed. His comrades were slain and he himself was defeated by the Deadly Alliance in person. However, their victory was short-lived. The vampiress Nitara tricked Reptile into helping her disable Cyrax's arm console so he could help her access the chamber of the last dragon egg. The chamber also held an orb that would separate Outworld from the vampire realm. After she destroyed the orb, Nitara left, but Reptile, feeling betrayed, followed them and arrived shortly after she transported Cyrax to Earthrealm and herself to her native realm. At that moment, the egg hatched and sent its energy into Reptile, which fulfilled the prophecy of Onaga's return. The Dragon King, as such, used the transformed body of Reptile as a host, after he had gained the ability to rise from the dead himself through Shujinko's actions. Shujinko having placed all the Kamidogu in the Nexus made their power accessible to the Dragon King. From beyond the grave he absorbed a portion of Kamidogu power and gained the ability to rise from the dead. After he was revived he first went to the Nexus to reveal to Shujinko that he manipulated him into collecting the Kamidogu for him and not for the Elder Gods. Shujinko realized that his life had been mislead by evil and ran out of the Nexus which left Onaga to collect the Kamidogu for himself, making him invulnerable and augmenting all his current abilities.

Just as the army stood ready to receive commands from Quan Chi, who had emerged victorious in a battle with his former ally Shang Tsung, Onaga returned. Even the combined might of Shang Tsung, Quan Chi and Raiden was not sufficient to defeat him. Raiden's desperate last measure was to use a self-destruct magic that released his godly essence, but that only succeeded in destroying Onaga's army and, presumably, the two sorcerers. Onaga was unaffected and was now in possession of the amulet Quan Chi previously held. He then revived the Earth warriors as his pawns and used them and a newly-forged alliance with the Tarkatan horde to keep Edenia's army at bay while he searched for the spells that would allow him to fuse the Kamidogu together and grant him supreme power. However, just as he was about to do so, Shujinko rallied the remaining warriors against him and, empowered beyond the Dragon King's own expectations by his ability to absorb other warriors' fighting abilities, defeated Onaga and destroyed the Kamidogu, leaving Onaga with only Shinnok's amulet as his sole form of protection. It was at this time in which Nightwolf took action. Having absorbed the sins of his tribe, he traveled to the Netherrealm with the intention of sealing Onaga's soul within the realm. His mission was successful, as he bound Onaga's soul to a mystic symbol, weighed down by his people's sin.

Some time later, Onaga was approached by Shinnok in the Netherealm. Shinnok offered to restore Onaga's rule over Outworld if Onaga would help Daegon defeat Blaze and gain godlike power. As this would also ensure his release from the Netherealm, Onaga reluctantly agreed, though he held his own suspicions against the Elder God. He was released from his bondage and returned to his own body, surrounded by Shao Kahn and the sorcerers Quan Chi and Shang Tsung. He then feigned reluctant acceptance into a treaty between himself and the others, but swore to gain Blaze's power for himself. In his Mortal Kombat: Armageddon ending, Onaga defeats Blaze and becomes all powerful. He then uses his new power to take revenge on his enemy, Shao Kahn. After beating him to the point of death, he refuses to kill him. Instead, he hires Shang Tsung and Quan Chi to torment Shao Kahn forever while Onaga became the ruler of outworld once again.


Mortal Kombat: Deception


Mortal Kombat: Armageddon



Page Updated:  May 9th, 2021

A buffed up Reptile with wings? He's like the "evolved" version of Reptile... if they were Pokemon. (The MK series seems to take itself as seriously as Pokemon sometimes.) Onaga is close enough to existing MK designs to fit into the series naturally. He's not the worst Mortal Kombat design (not by a long shot), but "Onaga The Dragon King" just sounds like a cheezy character from a children's book - much like the rest of the Mortal Kombat storyline in recent years. I remember laughing at Onaga's "epic" introduction in MK: Deception... this dude in a dragon costume is trying way too hard.

Onaga's face and horns designs are pretty cool... but his armor and overall design lacks originality and generally bores me. He seems like a Diablo enemy or boss that you kill in a few hits if you leveled up the correct stats. Furthermore, Onaga's moveset design in MK : Deception and MK: Armageddon were painfully uninspired and underdeveloped. Simply put, Onaga doesn't really doesn't do anything particularly exciting while fighting. Same old stiff MK animation as usual. All show and no go... like most Mortal Kombat games and movies.

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