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Johnny Cage
Series Mortal Kombat series
First game Mortal Kombat (1992)
Voiced by Jeff Bennett (MK: The Journey Begins)
Live action actor(s) Daniel Pesina (MK, MKII)
Chris Alexander (MKT)
Linden Ashby (first film)
Chris Conrad (second film)
Jeff Durbin (Live Tour)
Fictional information
Origin USA Earthrealm
Fighting styles
Jeet Kune Do (MK:DA)
Karate / Shōrin-ryū (MK:DA, MK:A)
Weapons Scimitar (MK4, MKG)
Nunchaku (MK:DA, MK:A)

Johnny Cage, whose real name is Jonathan Carlton, is a main video game character from the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. The character was modeled after Jean-Claude Van Damme.[1]



Mortal Kombat

In the first game, Johnny is derided by film critics and the movie-going public for using special effects and wires for his fights. Unknown to them, his patented "Shadow Kick" and "Force Ball" were not effects; he actually performed those supernatural feats after years of training with various masters. To prove it to the world, he entered the Mortal Kombat tournament. During the final battle between Liu Kang and Shang Tsung, he teamed up with Sonya and Kano to fight Goro near the pit. When Shang Tsung's island fortress began to crumble because of his defeat to Liu Kang, Raiden saved Johnny and dropped him off at a boat that belonged to the Special Forces Agency near the island. He then met Jax and was interrogated by him on the whereabouts of Sonya. Johnny told Jax all about the events on the island, but the major didn't believe him. After Johnny was set free, he made the movie Mortal Kombat, based on his experiences, which revived his then-failing career.

Mortal Kombat II

Not long after that, Johnny was attacked while shooting a commercial by a revitalized Shang Tsung, Kintaro, Baraka, Kitana, and Mileena. Luckily for him, Jax arrived and tried to help him. They were later joined by the other Earthrealm warriors to help fight the horde off. He then traveled into Outworld with his friends for Mortal Kombat II. Eventually, Liu Kang challenged Shao Kahn, proving again he was the true champion of Mortal Kombat; Kang beat the emperor within inches of his life. Defeated, Kahn ordered his forces to kill the Earth warriors. While Johnny’s comrades were fortunate to make their way back to Earthrealm, Cage was caught by one of Shao Kahn’s extermination squads and killed.

Mortal Kombat Trilogy

When Shao Kahn invaded Earthrealm by way of a loophole involving having his deceased Queen Sindel reincarnated on Earth in Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Cage, due to the merger of the realms blocking his ascent into the Heavens, was one of the chosen warriors whose soul was protected by Raiden. Like the other chosen warriors, he became a target for Kahn's Extermination Squads yet again.

Mortal Kombat 4

After Shao Kahn’s defeat at the hands of Liu Kang, Johnny’s soul was free to leave to a higher place. Johnny watched from the heavens as the events of Mortal Kombat 4 unfolded and the fallen Elder God Shinnok attacked Earthrealm. Johnny Cage sought out Raiden so that he could restore his deceased soul and fight alongside Liu Kang once more and help defeat Shinnok. After the defeat of Shinnok, it appeared as though Raiden’s revival of Cage was permanent as he did not ascend back to the heavens but instead remained on Earth.

Deadly Alliance

Years later, in the events of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Johnny Cage went on to film Mortal Kombat: The Death of Johnny Cage, in which he was repeatedly killed and brought back to life. Upset at the way he was being portrayed, believing his own adventures were far more entertaining, he wanted out of the movie but he couldn't due to his contract.

As luck would have it, he was approached by Raiden, who asked him to help fight the Deadly Alliance of Quan Chi and Shang Tsung. At first, Johnny thought it was the actor who played Raiden, but when he saw the actor eating lunch, he realized it was the real Raiden, who told him to go to Shang Tsung's island for further instructions. He found a loophole in his contract and left the movie. He would then use this new adventure to make his own movie. Arriving on the island by way of parachute, he learned of Liu Kang's death and went to Outworld to help his friends. Between the end of the events of Deadly Alliance and the beginning of the events of Mortal Kombat: Deception, Cage was killed during the final assault on the Deadly Alliance (he, Sonya, Kung Lao, Kitana, and Jax were overwhelmed by the Deadly Alliance's Tarkatan warriors). Soon afterward, he was resurrected by Onaga and made into his slave. Ermac's Deception ending, which shows him and Liu Kang's spirit being successful in rescuing the enslaved Earthrealm warriors, is generally accepted as the possible explanation.


Cage's profile in Armageddon mentions his worries about the future. Since Liu Kang had died, and Raiden was now following his own personal agenda, the warriors who have long battled against the forces of darkness didn't seem to have a leader anymore. Some time later, Cage began to receive visions of Shinnok, who was coming up with a plan and giving commands to his minions. Cage decided to find out what was going on, by visiting the locations that he saw in his visions. He found evidence that Shinnok had been to these places, and eventually found Shinnok himself at Shang Tsung's island fortress. Communicating via a portal, Shinnok was speaking to Quan Chi, commanding him to gather their forces and take control of Shao Kahn's Outworld fortress. Once the portal disappeared, Cage approached Shinnok, and the former Elder God attempted to use his powers against him. Cage evaded Shinnok's attacks, and even managed to overpower him. Shinnok retreated by vanishing in a cloud of smoke. Now that Cage knew something about Shinnok's schemes, and with no one else to lead an assault, he took it upon himself to gather his allies and plan a course of action.[2]

In his ending in Armageddon, after defeating Blaze and gaining godlike powers, Johnny Cage gives up his superficial life for a life of enlightenment.[3]

Character development

Johnny Cage's real name came from Midway game artist John Carlton, who worked on the NBA Jam series.

Cage was initially modeled after actor Jean-Claude Van Damme, around whom Mortal Kombat creators Ed Boon and John Tobias initially wanted to center a new fighting game, but Van Damme had commitments to another company for a game that was never made. Cage's appearance in the first game was loosely based around Van Damme's portrayal of Dux Ryu Ninjutsu founder Frank Dux in the 1988 movie Bloodsport, from his outfit to his Split Punch. He would wear his trademark sunglasses only in his winning animations in the first two games, but never removed them in Mortal Kombat Trilogy and onwards.

Since Deadly Alliance, Cage has been designed to look more like a Hollywood actor; he is made more muscular and his glasses become more stylish. His hair also changed to a shorter, dark brown style in Mortal Kombat 4, and later to a longer, tousled golden brown in Deadly Alliance and onward.

Cage was the only character in the original Mortal Kombat who did not have a past history with any of the other characters.

Game information

Cage was the last character in the original game to be given a Fatality. Until a last-minute brainstorm by co-creator John Tobias that later evolved into the uppercut Fatality, he was simply going to throw his opponent across the screen as a finishing move.

Cage was left out from the Game Boy versions of the original Mortal Kombat, II, 4 and Deadly Alliance due to memory constraints. However, he appears in the Game Boy Advance-exclusive Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition.

One of Cyrax's Konquest missions in Deadly Alliance has him practicing moves against Johnny Cage, supposedly taking out his frustration over how much he hates Cage's films. According to his Konquest mode, he appeared on Celebrity SMASH TV (Smash TV was an arcade game developed by Midway before the release of the first Mortal Kombat). He donated all of his winnings on the show to charity.

Also in Deadly Alliance, Cage serves as a tribute to Bruce Lee as he uses Lee's Jeet Kune Do fighting style and the nunchaku, Lee's signature weapon, as his weapon style. In his ending, the movie poster features Quan Chi, Shang Tsung, Moloch, and Scorpion in the background and shows Cage and Sonya together at the forefront, with Cage standing proud and Sonya clinging to his leg, suggesting a love interest between them.

In Armageddon, Johnny Cage and Goro are shown in one of the main menu screens, portraying them as rivals. Cage also appears in the opening cinematic of Armageddon where he first fights Darrius and later Kano before pushing Sonya off the pyramid to protect her from a melee assault by Quan Chi during the latter's battle with Kenshi and then gets tackled to the side of the pyramid's main stairway by Hsu Hao.

Reportedly, John Vogel disliked Cage's storyline in Mortal Kombat Trilogy and Mortal Kombat 4 and Cage's back-story in Deadly Alliance can be viewed as a revision of this, with Mortal Kombat: The Death of Johnny Cage explaining away - and mocking - his repeated death and revival during Mortal Kombat Trilogy and Mortal Kombat 4.

Appearances in other media


Linden Ashby as Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat.

In the first Mortal Kombat movie, Johnny Cage was played by Linden Ashby, whose portrayal was faithful to the games in keeping with Cage's personality and his knack for comic relief. Much like his storyline in the games, Cage suffered a bad reputation with film critics and was made out to be a fake by the tabloids. Cage had a match with Scorpion, who countered Cage's Shadow Kick by teleporting them both to his hidden lair in the Netherrealm to fight which resulted in Cage emerging the victor through the use of weaponry scattered around the lair which results in turning his own fatality against himself. After Johnny finished Scorpion, he left behind an autographed picture of himself, a homage to his Friendship as seen in Mortal Kombat II. Johnny later challenged Goro. During a prematch face-off, Goro destroyed Johnny's sunglasses, and Cage retaliated with a Split Punch to the groin, causing the Shokan warrior considerable humiliation; he defeated Goro by leading him to a nearby cliffside and kicking him off the edge. Cage notably had romantic tension with Sonya throughout the film, a page taken directly from the comics by Malibu where he and Sonya had a relationship. He was also featured in the animated film Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins as one of the main characters.

Johnny Cage had a cameo in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, and was played by Chris Conrad. He was killed by Shao Kahn in the opening scene when Kahn blocked a Shadow Kick sent his way in Cage's attempt to save Sonya, and snapped his neck shortly thereafter.

Comic books

Johnny Cage is one of the main characters in the Mortal Kombat comic book series. His portrayal in the comics is faithful to the games, keeping both his desire to prove his moves are real and his personality traits. He appears during the whole Blood & Thunder series, most of the time alongside Sonya, with whom he shares a blossoming relationship in the comics. His most serious moment is during issue 4 when he, under Raiden's advice, decides to not seek the power of the Tao Te Zhan, since he felt it would be like faking his moves in his films.

During the second series, Battlewave, he is seen resuming his acting career when Sonya asks him to help with an investigation after Jax was brutally attacked. He initially refuses, but later reconsiders what's important and decides to follow with Jax into the Outworld. In the meantime, he sends his musclebound bodyguard, Bo, to protect Liu Kang.

Reception ranked Johnny Cage fourth on their "Top 11 Mortal Kombat Characters" list, praising his role as the comic relief of the series with the added statement that "there's nothing better than kicking somebody's ass with a fighter that's supposed to be a joke".[4] GameDaily put him 23th in their feature "Top 25 Gaming Hunks", stating "If you can't marry Brad Pitt, you can always settle for Mortal Kombat's Johnny Cage".[5] ranked him 9th in their "They Is Risen" feature, which covered the ten most notorious video game resurrections. The publication noted that one of the most remarkables part of his character was that he was one of the few ones who died during the storyline.[6] IGN listed him as a character they would like to see as downloadable content for Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, stating Johnny "remains a favorite among MK heroes, even though he's spent a good portion of the series' life in a coffin".[7]



Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Johnny Cage

Game Series Mortal Kombat series
1st Appearance Mortal Kombat
Alter Ego:
Japanese Name:
Affiliation: Good
Species Human
Blood Type:
Birthplace: Earth
Fighting Style: Jeet Kune Do (MK:DA)
Karate / Shorin-Ryu (MK:DA, MK:A)
Weapon(s): Bowie knife (MK4, MKG)
Pistol (MK4, MKG)
Nunchaku (MK:DA, MK:A)
Special Skill(s):
Voice Actor(s): Daniel Pesina (MK, MKII)
Chris Alexander (MKT)
Linden Ashby (first film)
Chris Conrad (second film)
Jeff Durbin (Live Tour)
Mortal Kombat stub
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Mortal Kombat series
Main series
Mortal Kombat | MK2 | MK3 | MK4 | Deadly Alliance | Deception | Armageddon | Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 | Mortal Kombat Trilogy | Mortal Kombat Gold | Mortal Kombat Advance | Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition | Mortal Kombat: Unchained
Adventure Games:
Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero | Mortal Kombat: Special Forces | Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
Black Dragon - Brotherhood of the Shadow - Deadly Alliance - Elder Gods - Lin Kuei - Outer World Investigation Agency
Red Dragon - Shirai Ryu - Special Forces - Tekunin - White Lotus Society - The Noob-Smoke Alliance - Wu Shi Academy
Ashrah - Baraka - Blaze - Bo' Rai Cho - Chameleon - Cyrax - Daegon - Dairou - Darrius - Drahmin - Ermac - Frost - Fujin - Goro - Havik - Hotaru - Hsu Hao - Jade - Jarek - Jax - Johnny Cage - Kabal - Kai - Kano - Kenshi - Khameleon - Kintaro - Kira - Kitana - Kobra - Kung Lao - Li Mei - Liu Kang - Mavado - Meat - Mileena - Mokap - Moloch - Motaro - Nightwolf - Nitara - Noob Saibot - Onaga - Quan Chi - Raiden - Rain - Reiko - Reptile - Sareena - Scorpion - Sektor - Shang Tsung - Shao Kahn - Sheeva - Shinnok - Shujinko - Sindel - Smoke - Sonya - Stryker - Sub-Zero - Tanya - Taven
Minor characters | Realms | Species | Storyline | Arenas| Konquest mode
Film: Mortal Kombat | Mortal Kombat: Annihilation | Mortal Kombat: Devastation | Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins

This article uses material from the "Johnny Cage" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

Johnny Cage is a fictional character in the Mortal Kombat games for video game consoles.

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