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Arcade Mode, also known as Story Mode, is a game mode in Killer Instinct (2013) that was introduced in Season 1. It follows the story arc of each of Season 1's characters (except Shadow Jago) throughout their participation in the Killer Instinct tournament. It is played in a similar fashion to the Arcade Mode present in Killer Instinct 2, as the five first battles are random and each character has multiple endings depending on whether or not the player kills (by finishing the battle with an Ultra Combo) his/her rival and Fulgore (who is the default final opponent for all Season 1 characters). It was officially launched on March 27th, 2014.

The story was continued in the following seasons with Season 2's Rivals Mode and Season 3's Shadow Lords Mode.



Height: 6'1''

Weight: 205 lbs

Age: 30

Threat Level: EXTREME

Last Known Location: Himalayas

Story: After a lifetime devoted to purity and discipline, Jago is tortured by knowledge that the last vestiges of the evil Tiger Spirit, Gargos, remain within him. He sets forth to discover an opponent strong enough to purge Gargos' corruption in the crucible of combat.

Rival: Orchid


Spare Orchid, ULTRA Fulgore:

Having defeated the strongest of his opponents, Jago failed to purge Gargos' corruptive force. Waging a constant internal battle, he resolves to return of the abandoned Tiger Temple to wrestle through his crisis of faith, and pursue his destiny to become the Master of the Tiger Spirit.

ULTRA Orchid, Spare Fulgore:

Distraught of having to end his sister's self-destructive crusade of vengeance, Jago's will momentarily falters. Gargos' corruption strengthens, crushing the monk's iron discipline. Jago is consumed by flames of hatred, and is reborn as a weapon of chaos.

ULTRA Both Orchid and Fulgore:

His battle at an end, Jago feels the demons within begin to subside. His glimpse of peace is short lived, as the memory of his lost sister burns like an ember. Tortured by the unending spiritual battle he wages, Jago enters self-imposed exile in the abandoned Tiger Temple.


Height: 5'11''

Weight: 415 lbs

Age: 50

Threat Level: HIGH

Last Known Location: Europe

Story: Having endured agonizing procedures to remove his freakish cybernetic implants, Sabrewulf feels no closer to reclaiming his humanity. Barely clinging to sanity, he nurses an addiction to ancient medicines and artifacts which seem to slow his descent into savagery.

Rival: Thunder


Spare Thunder, ULTRA Fulgore:

Sabrewulf recognizes another restless spirit in Thunder, who admires the wolf for being one with his spirit guide. Sabrewulf comes to realize he is not a man with the body of a wolf, but a wolf with the heart of a man. He accepts the beast within, and resolves to remain a lone wolf.

Spare Fulgore, ULTRA Thunder:

Bloodlust reawakened in combat, Sabrewulf directs his savagery towards the relics and medicines which promised a return to human form. Seeing them as a source of weakness, he smashes them to dust, surrendering his last vestiges of humanity. The Age of the Wolf begins.

ULTRA Both Thunder and Fulgore:

A wolf knows only survival, but a man can know victory. Triumphant against every adversary, Sabrewulf feels more human than he has in years. As the moonlight ebbs away, he feels a transformation sweep over him, and begins to wonder if he should put on a shirt.


Height: Variable

Weight: Variable

Age: Unknown

Threat Level: EXTREME

Last Known Location: Arctic Rim

Story: Honor-driven Glacius has returned to Earth as protector, to safeguard against misuse of technology he was forced to leave behind after his last journey. His ship's power core stolen, Glacius is determined to find the thief, and undo the damage done by his abandoned tech.

Rival: Sadira


Spare Sadira, ULTRA Fulgore:

Glacius has defeated all who have come into contact with his technology, removing any evidence of his presence. Ever vigilant, the alien continues on his journey, knowing the influence of his lost technology continues to spread, and determined to repair the damage at all costs.

Spare Fulgore, ULTRA Sadira:

As Sadira collapses in defeat, she sends a signal to activate Glacius' lost power core. Paired with an Ultratech device, the searing energy of the core opens a dimensional rift. Through ragged breathes, Sadira murmurs the words, "My mission is complete. The path is open."

ULTRA Both Sadira and Fulgore:

Convinced of the danger posed by Earth's inhabitants, Glacius evacuates the planet. He triggers a self-destruct signal to the lost tech, setting off an explosion that decimates the earth. In his hearts, Glacius knows he made the only possible decision.

Chief Thunder[]

Height: 6'4'' 

Weight: 295 lbs

Age: 47

Threat Level: HIGH

Last Known Location: Seven Devils, Idaho

Story: Unable to let go of his grief and consumed by the mysteries that still surround the loss of his brother Eagle, Hinmatoom (Thunder) strikes an accord with an unfamiliar figure in exchange for recovering Eagle's remains so that he can be given a traditional burial and both can find peace.

Rival: Orchid


Spare Orchid, ULTRA Fulgore

Hinmatoom's victories have not filled the grave on Devil's Throne. His brother's spirit will never rest until his body returns home. Grieving and lost, Hinmatoom resolves to "walk the Path" of Eagle, knowing it will lead to answers, or death. Thunder will be content either way.

Spare Fulgore, ULTRA Orchid

A competitor in the first Ultratech tournament, Orchid knows what became for Hinmatoom's brother. In defeat she sees a chance to turn Hinmatoom into an ally, revealing the truth of Eagle's remains. "There are no remains. There is no body, because Eagle is not dead."

ULTRA Orchid and Fulgore

Eagle's murder was blamed on a 600-year-old immortal, but he was not dead. Unable to create an artificial intelligence equal to a human fighter, Ultratech sought a "pure fighting spirit" upon which to base a new AI. Ultratech has plundered Eagle's mind to create the ultimate fighter.


Height: 5'7'' 

Weight: ???

Age: ???

Threat Level: HIGH

Last Known Location: Thailand

Story: Leading the Red Eyes of Rylai assassins, Sadira has long observed the fighters of previous tournaments. Ordered by a shadowy figure to “prepare the way”, she has chosen this moment to reveal her singular purpose of eliminating all former competitors.

Rival: Jago


Spare Jago, ULTRA Fulgore:

Sadira savors victory against all who opposed her. Glacius' alien power source has been secured and ARIA believes it is strong enough to rip open a path through space itself. What is at the other end of that path, no one can guess.

Spare Fulgore, ULTRA Jago:

Secrecy has long been Sadira's greatest weapon, but now, she has been dragged from the shadows to become a puppet for ARIA. She has won riches beyond imagination, but the price of her newfound wealth may be too great, and the ultimate prize too small.

ULTRA Both Jago and Fulgore:

Long ago, Sadira abandoned her humanity to an unending quest for wealth and power. Now, allied with ARIA, she has both. Abandoning her life lived in secret, she vows to extend her network of assassins into one that will blanket and terrorize the globe.

Black Orchid[]

Height: 5'9'' 

Weight: ???

Age: 32

Threat Level: UNKNOWN

Last Known Location: Eastern Europe

Story: Paranoid, unstable and disavowed from her agency, Orchid is determined to carry out her crusade against the dismantled organization, Ultratech. In war-torn Eastern Europe, she sets out to build an underground network that will prove Ultratech is still active.

Rival: Sadira


Spare Sadira, ULTRA Fulgore:

Gasping and defeated, Sadira reveals the identity of the one who sanctioned her life: ARIA leads a reborn Ultratech. With renewed purpose, Orchid becomes a mercenary angel of vengeance, bent on burning Ultratech to the ground.

Spare Fulgore, ULTRA Sadira:

Branded a rogue and psychotic, Orchid leaves behind a wake of death and terror in her single-minded campaign against Ultratech. As others are drawn to her cause, Orchid's network becomes an increasingly unstable and deadly global force to be reckoned with.

ULTRA Both Sadira and Fulgore:

With only personal conviction to maintain her crusade against Ultratech, Orchid nearly falters-- until she is again reunited with her brother, Jago. Each grappling with inner demons, they are strengthened by mutual cooperation, resolved to aid each other to the end.


Height: 5'6'' 

Weight: 120 lbs

Age: 660

Threat Level: UNKNOWN

Last Known Location: UNKNOWN

Story: Awakened after centuries, and under the control of an ancient artifact, Spinal's sole quest is to find the Mask of the Ancients. The relic was used to give him life and bind him to this world. Spinal's hope is that once it is in his possession, it will grant him freedom.

Rival: Sabrewulf


Spare Sabrewulf, ULTRA Fulgore:

Though Sabrewulf manages to escape, Spinal succeeds in recovering the Mask of the Ancients. Returning to his ancient lair, Spinal destroys the mask, freeing his soul forever. Peace washes over Spinal, and he joins his ghostly crew, vanishing with the outgoing tide.

Spare Fulgore, ULTRA Sabrewulf:

Spinal defeats Sabrewulf, only to discover control of his body is no longer his own. He struggles to break free, but is powerless against an unseen force, a chilling voice gloats, "An immortal warrior? I do believe I'll have a good use for you..."

ULTRA Both Sabrewulf and Fulgore:

Triumphant against all who stood in his way of his quest for freedom, Spinal's prize is finally within reach. Savoring his victories, eternal rest had lost much of its appeal. Spinal decides there will be enough time for peace--for now, wanderlust, adventure, and freedom are enough.


Height: 6'5'' 

Weight: 550 lbs

Age: 1

Threat Level: EXTREME

Last Known Location: ACCESS DENIED

Story: Protocols reactivated. Enhanced system bootstrap complete. A new Fulgore prototype is online, with a singular directive: ELIMINATE ENEMIES OF ULTRATECH. However, the mind of the machine is different. It plans. It feels. It is aware. It is somehow... human.

Rival: Orchid


Spare Orchid, ULTRA Fulgore:

SYSTEM MALFUNCTION. KILLING BLOW ABORTED. How can a machine know mercy? Fulgore cannot ignore his imperative to destroy but human "memories" interfere with his machine logic. Unable to digest the echoes of a fighting spirit, Fulgore attempts to process his true nature.

Spare Fulgore, ULTRA Orchid:

PROTOTYPE. APPROVED. Echoes of a lost humanity have been purged from Fulgore's systems. The sum of what remains is a merciless machine, driven to destroy. Without a cycle spared to savor his victories, Fulgore begins a search for his next adversary.

ULTRA Both Orchid and Fulgore:

Thousands of Fulgores have been created, only to be destroyed, remade, and improved upon... But this one is different. Individuality and independence now race through his circuits. Still a killing machine, Fulgore rejects his coded imperatives and ponders his next target.

Secret boss and ending[]

A secret battle can be fought against Shadow Jago: in order to fight him, the player must see all three endings of a character in Arcade Mode, regardless of difficulty. After doing that, that character (or any other character that has all three endings) must go through Arcade Mode again on at least Hard or higher difficulty. The player must not lose one fight, get two Supreme Victories, Ultra one opponent before the Rival character, and then Ultra the Rival. If the conditions are met, the final fight against Fulgore is skipped and Shadow Jago is fought in the Shadow Tiger's Lair instead.

If Shadow Jago is defeated, a new ending sequence showing a montage of all the characters of Season 1 and ARIA's silhouette is played, with a speech by ARIA:

You have shown fierce resolve to defeat every adversary, but have also revealed a vulnerability. I, ARIA, know everywhere you are weak, everywhere you are blind, everywhere you are defenseless, and UltraTech shall be the agent of your destruction.