Ever wondered the origins of the Killer Instinct characters? Here I write about possible influences for each character and where Rare probably got their ideas from.

B. Orchid

Black Orchid I can't say Rare was inspired by any particular sources. The earliest version of Black Orchid seems to be a blonde amazon, plus she was the first character created for KI. A later version of Orchid in Nintendo Power featured her with just a black outfit. I imagine they made the green and yellow become her main outfit since it provided more contrast to the backgrounds in the game.


ZX Spectrum Sabre Wulf Game Boy Advance Sabre Wulf I have to guess that since Rare created a lot of other unique creatures for the fighting genre, it only made sense to include a popular fantasy creature such as the werewolf. Rare made a game called on Sabre Wulf for the ZX Spectrum in 1984 and a sequel was made in 2004 for the Game Boy Advance. In the game are characters known as Sabreman and Sabre Wulf, I'm not sure who the Sabrewulf in KI is, it's probably just a tribute to their old game since there is a spelling difference, plus there is no indication either is a werewolf. Sabrewulf's ending in KI also refers to him as Count Von Sabrewulf, and neither game mentions him having that title.


T-1000 Iceman I don't think he was inspired by Iceman (a Marvel Comics superhero), because the character existed as a typical alien killer prior to ever becoming an ice creature. However the liquidize special move may have been inspired by Terminator 2's T-1000, who was a machine made of liquid metal and could morph itself into other things. However, I'm not sure if Glacius was made before Cinder, but if so, it may have just made sense to have a creature opposite of him.


The Terminator Borg Even though Fulgore doesn't look too much like The Terminator, the idea of a may have came from the movie, even though they are really just robots. It's also possible the idea came from the Borg from Star Trek : The Next Generation, since Fulgore has special moves like the plasma-port, reflect and eyelaser. It could also be argued that robots and cyborgs are pretty standard enemies in video games though.


The Human Torch The Human Torch, who is a Marvel Comics superhero.


velociraptors In 1993 the movie Jurassic Park was released and became a blockbuster hit. The Velociraptors depicted in the movie probably inspired Rare for their own dinosaur character.

Chief Thunder

T Hawk T. Hawk from Super Street Fighter II.

TJ Combo

Balrog and Jax Balrog from Street Fighter II (US Version) and Jax from Mortal Kombat. You could argue a point for Mike Tyson, but I think Rare probably played fighting games themselves and were influenced on what they wanted in their own game.


Jason and the Argonauts The movie Jason and the Argonauts features walking skeletons that fight with swords and shields. Spinal's original name before Rare changed it was "Argo", so I think its safe to say this is where the idea was born.


Ryu Ryu from Street Fighter II.


Cyclops The Cyclops from Jason and the Argonauts. It may have been a tribute to Ray Harryhausen (stop-motion model animation legend), because its the exact same character. They both have horse like legs, carry the same club, and both are cyclops. The only changes Rare made was to give it 2 heads, earrings (which are only noticable on huge renders), and 2 horns instead of just one, in which one is slightly smaller than the other (which again really isn't noticable).


Conan the Barbarian Its pretty obvious the idea for Tusk came from the movie Conan the Barbarian.


Valeria Since Conan the Barbarian had Valeria as a sidekick, I suppose Rare went with that idea and decided to make her look like she lived in a jungle.

Kim Wu

Chun Li Its hard to say exactly, but I would have to say she is inspired by Chun Li from Street Fighter II, based on her dress.


Zuul I assume someone at Rare must of looking at a building and saw gargoyles on top of it. In my opinion, this makes the most sense because its rare to ever see gargoyles in a game. However its possible its based on Zuul from Ghostbusters (however it looked more like a dog and didn't have wings). It may also have been influenced by Batman, the scene where Batman is perched like a gargoyle.