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Goro is a player character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series.
Concept and design
John Tobias explains that Goro was created when he and Ed Boon discussed bringing "a big brooding character" to the first Mortal Kombat. Tobias made Goro slightly Asian-looking, while the idea for his arms came from one of the Sinbad movies. Unlike other characters in the first Mortal Kombat, Goro was not based on a digitized actor but instead on a clay sculpture created by Curt Chiarelli. After creating it, he used it as a base for a latex model to make a 12-inch tall painted miniature. After recording a video of an actor making motions similar to those Goro would make in the game, Tobias used stop motion animation to move the miniature's body to match the actor's movements frame for frame. According to Ed Boon, the clay sculpture used to animate Goro in the first Mortal Kombat was twisted around and bent so many times that it simply fell apart. In Goro's Deception bio card, when explaining how Goro was animated, Boon mentions a second model for Goro had also been created; this second model was not used for animation and is still in usable condition to this day, and is also currently in Boon's personal possession.
In video games
Goro became Grand Champion of the Mortal Kombat tournament after defeating the Great Kung Lao. For 500 years, he remained undefeated and helped Shang Tsung grow ever closer to achieving Shao Kahn's goal of domination over Earthrealm. In his 10th title defense, however, he faced Liu Kang. Making use of Goro's overconfidence after years of being the undefeated warrior, Liu Kang was able to secure victory. Goro disappeared during the tournament's aftermath, and he was believed to be dead. It is theorized that he actually retreated back to his kingdom during this time. Goro reappears in Mortal Kombat Trilogy as a playable character.
Goro would resurface after Kahn's downfall, during the events of Mortal Kombat 4. Despite having the intent to avenge his losses at Liu Kang's hands, Goro began to take an interest in the matters of his own race and joined his fellow Shokans in war against the Centaurians. Princess Kitana intervened and negotiated a truce and peace accord between both races. The meeting was interrupted by Kung Lao who desired to challenge his ancestor's killer. The Shaolin Monk lashed out with a ceremonial strike of revenge that left Goro's chest scarred. Considering the score settled, the two shook hands. When Shinnok and his legion were defeated and Edenia was free once more, Goro and the Shokan race decided to ally themselves with the Edenians, agreeing to sign a peace treaty with the Centaurs as a condition of their new partnership.
Years later, during the time of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, the united Edenian and Shokan forces attacked the weakened Shao Kahn's armies. Exhausted from battle, Goro was struck from behind by Noob Saibot. He was mortally wounded, apparently dying from the injury, and Kitana held a royal funeral for the fallen Shokan prince. However, Goro is able to survive, being saved from death by Shao Kahn himself, with the promise of returning the Shokans to their former glory and the banishment of the Centaurs in exchange for his allegiance. Agreeing to these terms, Goro placed his royal seal on a nearby disfigured fallen Shokan (whom Kitana and the Shokan army found and mistook for him, successfully deceiving them while hiding his defection), and resumed his place at Shao Kahn's side. Goro also appears as a boss character in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, attacking both Liu Kang and Kung Lao.
In Konquest Mode of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Goro is confronted in Shao Kahn's fortress by Taven who wishes to kill Quan Chi but must get past Goro in order to do so. Taven eventually defeats Goro, who storms off. In the 2011 game, Goro reprises his role from the first tournaments.
In other media
Goro appears in the first Mortal Kombat movie, in accordance with his original story, as the champion of Mortal Kombat. In the movie, Goro is portrayed as an evil warrior, steeped in the authoritarian traditions of Outworld and does not look favorably upon humans. After defeating a long series of opponents, including Johnny Cage's friend Art Lean, he is in turn defeated and sent falling to his death by Cage. He is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson, with vocal effects also provided by Frank Welker.
In the novel based on the film, Goro was shown to be a slightly more noble creature. Goro still fell off a cliff to his death, but rather than having this inflicted upon him by Johnny Cage, Goro deliberately dropped himself, explaining that he would rather die than live in disgrace, and that Shokan warriors die in battle.
In the animated film Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins, Goro confronts his older brother Durak for a jeweled egg in which the winner was to tribute to their father Gorbak. He ends up losing the fight after hanging from a cliff while Durak tries to help him up. Goro betrays his brother and knocks him into the pit.
Goro had a prominent role in Malibu's Mortal Kombat comic book adaptations and was the first character to have his own three-issue miniseries, entitled Goro: Prince of Pain. Goro's story did not differ greatly from his in-game profiles, being the Mortal Kombat champion and having previously bested the Great Kung Lao. He was also portrayed as an unstoppable force, easily dispatching the Earthrealm warriors alone, and only having a hard time against Raiden. He remained undefeated during the first three issues of the Blood & Thunder series, having lost for the first time in the second issue of Prince of Pain against Zaggot's creation, the Kombatant. In the following Battlewave series, he remained on Earth after his defeat, and, to appease for his failure, started hunting down the Earthrealm warriors; he injured Jax in battle but was unable to defeat Liu Kang. In the fourth issue he had a mini-story at the end ("When Titans Clash") where he returned to Outworld to fight for Shao Kahn, settling a rivalry with Kintaro along the way.
- Fireball: Goro shoots a green fireball from his arm. This attack is stronger than most projectiles, just like his physical attacks. It also appeared in Mortal Kombat 4, but this time it was shot out of his mouth, similar to Kintaro. In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, the fireball is larger, redder, and does standard projectile damage. In Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks Goro can shoot one from each hand, four in a row. In Mortal Kombat (2011) Goro returns to shooting one fireball from his arm. (MK, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK: SM, MK 2011)
- Leaping Stomp: Goro jumps off the screen and lands on the opponent much like Kintaro and Sheeva. However, in the original Mortal Kombat and in Mortal Kombat (2011), he does not jump all the way off the screen; he only jumps the height of a normal jump. This is also known simply as Stomp in Mortal Kombat 2011. (MK, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK: D, MK: U, MK: SM, MK: A, MK 2011)
- Chest Pound: Grabbing his opponents with his lower arms, Goro then pounds them with his upper arms, shaving of a good portion of his opponent's life. In Shaolin Monks, a Test Your Might occurs against Goro when he uses this attack. (MK, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK: SM)
- Goro Grab: Goro grabs the opponent in his bottom hands, then palms the opponents face in an upper hand, smashes them on the ground, and then flings them across the arena. This attack is also seen in the opening of Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, used on Johny Cage. (MK 2011)
- Spinning Fists: Goro holds out his arms and spins around, smacking his opponent multiple times with his outstretched flaming fists. This is known as Arm Spin in Mortal Kombat (2011). (MKT, MK: D, MK: U, MK: A, MK 2011)
- Tremor Pound: Goro jumps at the ground or hits it with all his arms making an earthquake. In Mortal Kombat (2011) this is called Ground Pound and Goro only smashes the ground with his upper two fists. (MK4, MKG, MK: D, MK: U, MK: A, MK 2011)
- Taunt: Goro will flex his upper arms and taunt the opponent. This can be used as an opening to strike Goro, as it does nothing else. (MK, MK 2011)
- X-Ray Move - Crusher: Goro grabs and raises his opponent from the waist with his lower arms, then puts his upper hands to their head and presses hard until he eventually crushes their skull. He then throws them overhead and slams them into the floor, damaging their skull, ribs, and chest. (MK 2011)
- Dragon Fangs: Goro takes out his Dragon Fangs, slices the foe upward, stabs them into the foe's torso, followed by taking one and driving it into his/her throat. (MK: D)
- Limb Rip: Goro grabs his opponent with his four arms and begins to tear them, then he throws them on the ground. (MK: D)
- Boss Fatality: Goro raises up the victim then drops them on his knee, breaking their spine. Then he grabs them by the head, slams them to the ground and then throws them far away. (MK: SM)
- Head Ripper: Goro grabs the opponent's head and tears it off with two arms. He then grabs it with his two other arms and tears it into 4 quarters. (MK 2011)
- Limb and Body Rip: Goro grabs the opponent with his upper hands and rips off the enemy's legs with his bottom hands. He flips them upside down and rips off their arms, and finally vertically rips the body in half. (MK 2011)
- Hara-Kiri - Self Impale: Goro impales himself with his Dragon Fangs. (MK: D)
- Babality: Goro starts clapping until he punches himself, making him cry. (MK 2011)
Goro was awarded the titles of Best Villain in the 1993 Nintendo Power Awards ("best, worst and biggest bad boy of them all") and the Hottest Gaming Hunk of 1993 by Electronic Gaming Monthly. His role in the Mortal Kombat games have been well-received; Techtree, stated that while Goro was not the main boss from the first game, he was probably the hardest boss. GameSpot praised Goro's moves in Mortal Kombat 4 as in contrast to the game's boss, Shinnok, he is harder to defeat. According to GameSpot, the fight against Goro in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks was however very easy to win this time, in contrast to other bosses fights from the same game.
He was ranked #20 in The 47 Most Diabolical Video-Game Villains of All Time poll by GamePro in 2008, and #67 in the list of Top 100 Videogame Villains by IGN. UGO.com featured him in their "Top 11 Mortal Kombat Characters" list, with comments focused on his appearance due to the "twist" his first appearance gave since he was very different from the other characters. GameSpot list of the Top Ten Boss Fights featured Goro due to how difficult was defeating him in Mortal Kombat, with a note that despite the introductions of bosses similar to Goro in sequels, Goro still remained as the "grand champion."
His addition to the GameCube port of Mortal Kombat: Deception received positive response by Greg Kasavin of the same site; he claimed he and Shao Khan fit well within Deception despite looking "anemic". GameSpy's Miguel Lopez described Goro as a "legendary villain" but at the same criticized his physical appearance from Deception as his "anatomical proportions seem a little off". IGN listed him as a character they would like to see as downloadable content for Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, noting "Goro was the real challenge" of the first Mortal Kombat title although Shang Tsung was the final boss from such game, adding that "MK is all about visceral thrills, and it doesn't get more visceral than bludgeoning your enemies to death with four giant, muscular arms".
In a 1994 article by Business Week, the film version of Goro was described as "the most advanced mechanical creature H[o]llywood has ever made." When it was announced the release of a third Mortal Kombat live-action film, IGN listed him as a character they want to see fighting in the film, but unlike the one from the first film which was a man wearing a suit, they wanted him to be made with CG technology.