Killer Instinct Wiki

You'll make a fine specimen!

— Kan-Ra's intro quote

Kan-Ra is a cursed sorcerer from Ancient Babylon and a new playable character introduced in the Season Two of Killer Instinct (2013). Condemned by the Babylonian King that he betrayed to walk the Earth as a decaying corpse, Kan-Ra seeks to undo his affliction through whatever means he can find - and is more than willing to inflict a few of his own unto others along the way. He is the nemesis of Aganos, the war-golem sent by his former sovereign to hunt him down and destroy him.

In Shadow Lords, Kan-Ra also runs the Emporium, a place where the player can purchase, sell, or craft various artifacts to help the characters progress in their quest to defeat Gargos.



Kan-Ra has an emaciated, corpse-like appearance due to the powerful curse that was placed on him thousands of years ago. He is covered in tattered, linen bandages akin to those of a mummy, and is wearing ornaments, items, and jewelry which are a mesh of Babylonian, Assyrian, Achaemenid, and Egyptian craftsmanship, reflecting his ancient origins in Mesopotamia. Kan-Ra's skin has wasted away to a dark, gray-ish brown coloration and his teeth have largely decayed. A thin layer of gray hair still remains visible along his jawline and the back of his head. He keeps a large knife along with various arcane items under a sash on his side. His eyes glow bright white, making it seem as though he has neither pupils or irises.

Kan-Ra's retro costume appears fully covered with bandages from head to toe, more closely resembling a mummy than before. His face is much more decayed, including his lips, which shows off his decayed teeth. He also only has a single red eye, the other being a blank black socket.


"Death is only the beginning"

Kan-Ra is an ancient and megalomaniacal individual who lost his humanity long ago in endless pursuit of greater power. He's always willing to act in an underhanded fashion if this means he can gain the upper hand, such as when he sought to assassinate his own king while attempting to frame his co-conspirator for the murder, and he never hesitates to manipulate others to his advantage. In spite of his genius and deviousness, however, Kan-Ra’s egomaniacal pride and lust for power trouble his otherwise keen judgment, often leading him to make myopic decisions.

For example, he's the one responsible for bringing Gargos back to Earth after he opened up a dimensional portal to the Astral Plane while searching for a god-like power. He's also the one who reanimated Eyedol in a desperate attempt to even the playing field with Gargos, though the mighty demon lord swiftly broke free of his necromantic control, and set off on his own. Kan-Ra appears to be seeking redemption for these somewhat serious mistakes by working together with the Alliance, supplying other characters with access to the potent magical artifacts in his emporium in Egypt during the events of Shadow Lords. Whether this recent shift in Kan-Ra's behavior is sincere or is being fueled by hidden and far less noble intentions, however, remains an open question.


Only one being has ever faced Death and emerged victorious. Kan-Ra's sorcery has no equal, but his true weapon is Fear.

— Kan-Ra's story mode description

Kan-Ra is a mighty but maddened archmage who hails from the ancient empires of Mesopotamia. He is proficient in dangerous black magics, the knowledge of which he has steadily been accumulating over the countless centuries of his cursed existence. Kan-Ra can use his linen bandages as whip-like appendages or traps by invoking his powers of telekinesis, manipulate desert sands and sirocco winds from afar, and control powerful bursts of shadow energies. Most importantly, his dark sorcery enables him to proclaim curses, afflicting his victims with various maledictions that slow their movement and sap their life's energies. In Rivals Mode, he also had a device known as the Siphon, which he used to drain his opponents of their essence after defeating them, which he later used to open a portal to the Astral Plane--unknowingly allowing the forces of Gargos to enter the Earth.

Killer Instinct (2013)[]

Kan-Ra's debut in Killer Instinct (2013)


Cursed to rot after a failed assassination attempt on his sovereign over 2000 years ago, Kan-Ra endured for centuries by constantly balancing the curses he places on himself with the boons provided by dark magic and artifacts. His solitary goal: to gain knowledge that will grant him absolute power over all of mankind. After getting imprisoned by Maya’s order hundreds of years earlier, an Ultratech attack on Maya’s city accidentally frees Kan-Ra — releasing him back onto an unsuspecting world that’s full of new mysteries and ripe for his... dissection.

He has been hunted by the war-golem Aganos for hundreds of years, a construct tasked with his destruction. The two have clashed on several occasions, but neither have had any truly decisive victories over the other.

Extended Story[]

Death is no Obstacle:

Main article: Death is no Obstacle


Information in italics denotes information not provided in the in-game command list.

  • Combo Trait - Ranged Linkers: Kan-Ra can follow up certain ranged moves with his Spike Linker, bringing him closer and allowing him to continue his combos.
  • Instinct Mode - Curse of Drought: Kan-Ra's body begins leaking sand. This allows him to use Sand Jump, Sand Dash, Sacrifice and launch Tornado projectiles from Whirl without a Sand Trap. Kan-Ra can also Sand Dash cancel or Sand Jump cancel his normals on hit or on block.
  • Sand Traps: The majority of Kan-Ra's moves work in synergy with his Sand Traps. Sand Traps are conjured when using a handful of certain command attacks or special moves, and remain in place until utilized.

Command Attacks

  • Sand Punt - (HK) - Kan-Ra strikes with a slow, heavy kick that stirs up a Sand Trap directly in front of him.
  • Sand Geyser - (Down + HK) - Kan-Ra raises a geyser of sand that acts as an anti-air and spawns a Sand Trap.
  • Dune - (HK while airborne) - Kan-Ra plummets toward the ground, causing a tidal wave of sand to erupt on both sides of himself. The size of the waves increases based on the height. Leaves behind a Sand Trap.
  • Sacrifice - (LP+MP+HK, requires Sand Trap) - Kan-Ra explodes into sand, harming himself and his opponent before reforming his body from his Sand Trap. Reversal attack. Hard knockdown.
  • Anti-Air Sting - (Down-forward + LK) - Kan-Ra summons a scorpion tail from the Sand Trap. On hit, leaves the Curse of Weight on the opponent for a short duration, slowing their movement and attacks. Launches opponents on the ground.
  • Sting - (Down-forward + MK) - Kan-Ra summons a scorpion tail out of the Sand Trap. On hit, leaves the Curse of Weight on the opponent for a short duration.
  • Antlion - (Down-forward + HK) - Kan-Ra summons a violent antlion from his Sand Trap. This can recapture airborne opponents.
  • Sand Jump - (Down, then jump in any direction while on Sand Trap) - Kan-Ra summons a hand to boost him into the air for a super jump.
  • Sand Dash - (Dash while on a Sand Trap) - Kan-Ra summons a hand to boost him into the air for a very aggressive low jump.
  • Alternate Attacks - (Back or down-back + MP or HP) - An alternate set of attacks meant for a closer range.

Special Moves

  • Spike - (QCF+K) - A spike of sand rises from beneath the opponent, dealing damage and leaving behind a Sand Trap. Each strength tosses the opponent in a different direction. LK tosses the opponent violently towards Kan-Ra, MK tosses them slightly towards Kan-Ra, and HK tosses them away from Kan-Ra.
  • Swarm - (QCB+K, can be performed in the air) - Kan-Ra exhales a swarm of filthy insects that hover in place. Opponents can punch or kick these out of the way. One Swarm of each strength can be active at a time. Strength determines startup time and duration.
  • Whirl - (QCF+P) - Kan-Ra moves forward while spinning rapidly and will recapture opponents. Spinning over a Sand Trap will launch a tornado projectile and destroy the trap. Strength determines the distance traveled. The tornado projectile tosses opponents skyward and knocks them down.
  • Clutch - (QCB+P) - A long-range grab that causes a ground bounce. Each button extends Kan'Ra's bandages at a different angle. Hold a direction to change the slam location.

Shadow Moves

  • Shadow Spike - (QCF+KK) - Kan-Ra summons a series of sand spikes that cover nearly the entire screen and collapse into a Sand Trap.
  • Shadow Swarm - (QCB+KK, can be performed in the air) - Kan-Ra breathes a swarm of insects that track the opponent but cannot change elevation. The ground version pukes the Swarm onto the floor.
  • Shadow Whirl - (QCF+PP) - Kan-Ra spins violently in place, striking the opponent up to ten times. Recaptures. Hold a direction to adjust position slightly while spinning.
  • Shadow Clutch - (QCB+PP) - A quick long-range grab that bashes the opponent against the ground five times. Switches sides with the opponent.

Combo Openers

  • Dune - (HK while airborne)
  • Swarm - (QCB+K) - Kan-Ra exhales a deadly breath that opens a combo if it hits directly.
  • Whirl - (QCF+P)
  • Antlion - (Down-forward + HK) - Kan-Ra summons a violent antlion from his Sand Trap. This can recapture airborne opponents. Brings Kan-Ra to his opponent's location, allowing him to continue a combo when used as an opener.
  • Wrap Normals - (MP, HP or Down + MP) - These ranged normals have a special property, allowing them to cancel into the Spike Linker to start combos from a distance.

Combo Linkers

  • Spike - (QCF+LK/MK or hold LK/MK) - A spike of sand rises from the ground with Kan-Ra appearing out of the sand right behind it. Ranged Linker that moves Kan-Ra in.
  • Swarm - (QCB+LK/MK or hold LK/MK) - Kan-Ra exhales a deadly breath. Damage Linker.
  • Whirl - (QCF+LP/MP or hold LP/MP) - Kan-Ra moves forward while spinning rapidly. Carry Linker.
  • Shadow Swarm - (QCB+KK) - Kan-Ra exhales a deadly breath.
  • Shadow Whirl - (QCF+PP) - Kan-Ra spins violently in place, striking the opponent up to ten times.

Combo Enders

  • Spike - (QCF+HK) - Launcher Ender. A spike of sand rises from the ground, dealing damage to the opponent and leaving a Sand Trap behind.
  • Swarm - (QCB+HK) - Special Ender. Kan-Ra exhales, releasing a cost-free air Shadow Swarm.
  • Whirl - (QCF+HP) - Wall Splat Ender. Kan-Ra moves forward while spinning rapidly.
  • Clutch - (QCB+HP) - Damage Ender. A long-range grab.
  • Shadow Clutch - (QCB+PP) - Clutch Ender. Kan-Ra slams the opponent back and forth several times.


  • Ultra Combo - (QCF+KKK) - Kan-Ra springs an elaborate trap, pummeling the opponent with a series of sand-based attacks and ferocious insects.
  • Stage Ultra - (QCF+PPP) - Only available on certain stages. Requires specific positioning in the arena.
  • Ultimate Combo: TBA


Kan-Ra's Forbidden Archive stage in KI 2013

Main article: The Forbidden Archive

Ultra Combo (32 hits): Kan-Ra's arcane spell book begins to levitate, and activates a spell which opens up a portal to the Astral Plane. The portal subsequently sucks various artifacts into it.

Stage ULTRA - BANISHED: During an Ultra Combo, the victor sends the defeated opponent in the air, causing five artifacts to hit them before they are sucked into the portal; afterward, the portal will disappear and the archive book will close.

Music Theme: During the slow music due to characters not moving, the samples from the Killer Instinct's main title theme will begin to play.


Killer Instinct (2013)


Ah! You will no longer need this!

— Kan-Ra's victory quote

Why do you continue? Centuries have passed, worn you down, and yet still... you pursue me. Was it that fool of a king? Was it his dying wish? I crossed oceans to elude you — and still you found me. But here, in this new time, I have access to power beyond your feeble imagination. So come, find me, and let us end this once and for all!

— Kan-Ra to Aganos in his trailer

Here you are... My prize! You were the only one to challenge him and now here you lie — divided. How do you feel about... second chances? Now, rise and serve ME! RISE... AND... SERVE! ...No...! You must OBEY!

— Kan-Ra desperately trying to control Eyedol

Things are getting... treacherous... out there.

— Upon entering Kan-Ra's Emporium during Shadow Lords

Everything has a price.

— Kan-Ra in the Emporium

The Titan - no, the ancient Shadow Lord, Eyedol - has grown too powerful. It is clear now that we were fools all along, believing that we could control his tremendous power. Something must be done.

— Kan-Ra during the events of Shadow Lords

Save the world? I seek only to prolong my own existence, child.

— Kan-Ra speaking to Kim Wu in the 4th issue of the 2017 KI comics

Fear not, child, Kan-Ra always pays his debts in full. And I am not a mummy!

— Kan-Ra to Kim Wu in the 2017 Dynamite comics

Aganos, you imbecile! Listen to me!

— Kan-Ra attempts to parley with Aganos in the 2017 comics


  • Kan-Ra's appearance, abilities and background story are heavily inspired by Imhotep from The Mummy. Likewise, Kan-Ra's name is a reference to Mumm-Ra, the main antagonist of the 1980s Thundercats cartoons.
    • While Imhotep from The Mummy was mummified alive for betraying the Pharaoh and violating sacred ground in Hamunaptra, Kan-Ra has been condemned by his king with a curse of rotting flesh. 
    • Kan-Ra's background as a scheming vizier (political adviser), who eventually betrays his royal superior in order to take the throne and gain power and status for himself, is very similar to the villain Jafar from Disney's Aladdin or to the Vizier from the Prince of Persia video game series. 
  • Kan-Ra can be customized to resemble Lo Pan from Big Trouble in Little China. This look was fittingly used for his appearance in Kim Wu's trailer.
  • Kan-Ra is known as "Gauze" in the storage files of the PC version of Killer Instinct (2013).
  • According to creative director Adam Isgreen, the words Kan-Ra utters when using his sand-based attacks and curses are in the ancient Sumerian language.
  • Kan-Ra's voice actor for Killer Instinct (2013), Edward Bosco, also voices the main antagonist, Gargos.

External Links[]