Best Reptile Designs In Mortal Kombat

Highlights

  • Reptile’s design has evolved throughout the Mortal Kombat series, with different versions showcasing a range of looks, from humanoid to more grotesque and natural lizard designs.
  • The Mortal Kombat 2011 version of Reptile features a more gladiator-like appearance, with smoother skin and fewer scales, and incorporates spiky features through the use of spike gauntlets and a beak-like mask design.
  • Mortal Kombat X presents a more fearsome and scaly version of Reptile, with scales covering more of his body, a costume decorated with bone shards, and the ability to open and close his mouth even when wearing the mask.

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Reptile is a Mortal Kombat fighter who’s been there from the beginning and continually experiences major tweaks to his design across the series. Since Reptile is from the realm of Zaterra, he’s a lizard-like being by DNA, but he has an extra intriguing ability where he can shapeshift into a human, and this is always what influences each design.

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Reptile’s evolved quite a lot from his early pixel sprites in the arcade games and dropped the human look from time to time for a more grotesque and natural lizard design. With Mortal Kombat 1 showcasing yet another new version, it may be time to examine his previous looks in former timelines.

8 Mortal Kombat 2011

Reptile's character design from MK 2011.

Mortal Kombat 4 was the first game to introduce the brand-new fully humanoid reptile look rather than keeping the original green ninja skin, and that design saw some major improvements down the line. Mortal Kombat 2011 gives a more gladiator look to the lizard, especially with how the armor is designed to be worn on the character.

This Reptile design also features smoother skin with much fewer scales, mostly appearing around the chest and shoulders. The spike gauntlets are a nice way of incorporating the spiky features normally seen on his skin, but the mask shape has a beak-like design that leaves the impression of the face being more like an eagle rather than a reptilian creature.

7 Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

Close-up of the features of Reptile's Armageddon design amid a black background.

2006’s Mortal Kombat: Armageddon brings back the Reptile design from Shaolin Monks, and it’s something entirely different from any version that’s been seen before. This one probably best combines the more traditional ninja outfit and lizard form, but the mask now becomes a bandaged mummy look that now has the fighter’s mouth and sharp teeth exposed.

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It’s the most menacing and horror-esque Reptile design, and the uniform has some nice cosmetic upgrades, such as the gold lining and emblem, and the bandages wrapping around the arms are another great detail. Reptile here looks more buff, and the scales are more pronounced with a better texture, though he has no spiky features aside from his sharp nails.

6 Mortal Kombat X

Reptile in Mortal Kombat X spewing acid from mouth, arms raised at the side.

Mortal Kombat X Reptile feels like a much more fearsome and scaly remaster of 2011’s Reptile design. The mask and cowl still give off that strange beak design that forms the exact shape in the area around the eyes, however, the mouth can now freely open and close even with the mask over it, so there’s no more need for him to take it off for spewing acid or using his tongue.

The scales cover more of the body, and the costume is decorated with bone shards that cover the lining of the chest plate, shoulder pads, armbands, and entire back. The sharp nails also leave a green swipe trail when they slash at an opponent, and the brutalities and fatalities keep some of the classic components but with more modern and updated gruesome flair.

5 Mortal Kombat 11

Split-image of the top and bottom half of Reptile from MK11 Shang Tsung's transformation, with the details of the suit highlighted.

Unfortunately, Reptile wasn’t brought back for the main roster or even as a DLC fighter in MK11, but the shapeshifting Zaterran still appears in two unique ways. This character makes some cameos in the Krypt section of the game, where the design largely stays the same from MKX, but his classic green robe outfit actually now becomes a part of DLC fighter Shang Tsung.

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MK11’s Shang Tsung has the ability to transform into all the ninjas – Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Ermac, Rain, Smoke, and Reptile – mimicking their brutalities and special moves on opponents. It’s phenomenal seeing the graphically updated version of Mortal Kombat 2’s cloth attire on a new model, even the details on the knee pads being an exact match to the original.

4 Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance

Reptile launching his long tongue out at an opponent during his Deadly Alliance fatality.

This design for Reptile follows the full lizard debut from MK4 and can be considered the precursor look to the lizard form you see now on Reptile in Mortal Kombat 1. The Zaterran can now wield a Raptor blade known as Kirehashi, and it’s overall a much better effort compared to the odd superhero-y choice for Mortal Kombat 4’s Martian Manhunter-style Reptile.

This Reptile has no mask, and the lizard features are on full display, the face looking more like a cute iguana, and the head having a curved horn tip. In fact, the spikes continue down the spine and form all around the tail, and it’s also the earliest version of Reptile to receive the appendage for his design.

The gold emblem on the waistband became a new accessory that carried over into the MK: Shaolin Monks design.

3 Mortal Kombat 2021 Film

Reptile in Sonya's headquarters in Mortal Kombat 2021

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that this was how Reptile debuted in the 2021 live-action Mortal Kombat movie because this design is almost identical to the lizard form in Mortal Kombat 1. Although you never see the human underneath the monstrous lizard skin (unlike the 90s film), the brief Reptile scene was one of the movie’s highlights.

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Reptile makes an intro in the early part of the movie, sneaking into the garage by way of the cloak ability where Kano, Sonya Blade, and Cole Young are getting acquainted with each other. The fight sees him be invisible for a large portion of it, but once you get a good look at the design, it’s a more intimidating mix between Curt Conners and a giant velociraptor than Deadly Alliance’s look.

2 Mortal Kombat 2 And Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3

Reptile Mortal Kombat Fatality

While Reptile was also in the first Mortal Kombat game, you really don’t start to see the details of his green ninja costume until MK2 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, which essentially are the same character design but with different textures on the green suit. And you may notice a slight change in the masks, but you just can’t go wrong with this classic and iconic style.

Mortal Kombat 2’s suit has a fabric pattern of small square patches, while Reptile’s UMK3 outfit looks more like armor with larger squares along the sides. The lizard transformation affecting only the head in the fatality is also quite a solid start to what his future concepts would have in store.

1 Mortal Kombat 1

Left half of the photo is a Mortal Kombat 1 screenshot of Reptile in human form, and on the right side of the photo is a picture of Reptile in his lizard form

Mortal Kombat 1 not only brings Reptile back as a playable fighter and has him be a part of the main story, but the new design hits the nail on the head, knocks that nail out of the park, and then some! This is ultimately the best of both worlds when it comes to Syzoth, letting both his human form and giant deadly lizard form shine separately through a complete transformation.

There’s a refreshing new vision made to the human form, most noticeably his mask not needing to hide the face anymore and the many tattoos on his body.

You can also see some elements of his outfit borrowing from character designs in the past timelines, like the black hood using the lines from MKX’s cowl, the green cloth wrapped over a black suit, and the spiky shoulder pads. The carnivorous reptilian design is a flawless victory itself.

NEXT: Mortal Kombat 1: The Best Character Endings

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