Killer Instinct Wiki

Rivals Mode, also often known as simply Story Mode, is a game mode in Killer Instinct (2013) that was introduced in Season 2. It follows the story arc of each of Season 2's characters (minus bonus character Omen) throughout the heroes' battles against Ultratech and the introduction of Gargos into the plot. It is played in a similar fashion to the Arcade Mode present in Season 1, but has a much bigger emphasis on story and features narrated cutscenes and captioned loading screens to explain the plot. It was officially launched on June 17th, 2015.

The story was continued, and ultimately concluded, in next season's Shadow Lords Mode.


*Names in bold indicate that the battle is a Rival battle with an extra cutscene

TJ Combo[]

  1. vs. Retro Fulgore - Training Stage
  2. vs. Sadira - Assassin's Cave
  3. vs. Orchid - Assassin's Cave
  4. vs. Spinal - Shipwreck Shore
  5. vs. Cinder - Downtown Demolition
  6. vs. Riptor - Hatchery 09
  7. vs. Fulgore - The Pinnacle
  8. vs. ARIA - The Pinnacle


  1. vs. Cinder - City of Dawn
  2. vs. Riptor - Hatchery 09
  3. vs. Hisako - Village of Whispers
  4. vs. Sabrewulf - Alchemical Lab
  5. vs. Fulgore - Devil's Landing
  6. vs. Glacius - Crash Site
  7. vs. Aganos - Forgotten Grotto
  8. vs. Kan-Ra - Forbidden Archive


  1. vs. Glacius - Crash Site
  2. vs. Fulgore - UltraTech Industries
  3. vs. Hisako - Village of Whispers
  4. vs. Spinal - Shipwreck Shore
  5. vs. Cinder - Fury's Core
  6. vs. Thunder - Devil's Landing
  7. vs. Omen - Shadow Tiger's Lair
  8. vs. Aganos - Forgotten Grotto


  1. vs. Sadira - The Pinnacle
  2. vs. Jago - Tiger's Lair
  3. vs. TJ Combo - Downtown Demolition
  4. vs. Orchid - Rebel Outpost
  5. vs. Retro Riptor - Hatchery 09
  6. vs. Aganos - Devil's Landing
  7. vs. Sabrewulf - Alchemical Lab
  8. vs. Maya - City of Dawn


  1. vs. Fulgore - City of Dawn
  2. vs. Maya - Shipwreck Shore
  3. vs. Kan-Ra - Forgotten Grotto
  4. vs. Sadira - Forgotten Grotto
  5. vs. Orchid - Rebel Outpost
  6. vs. Jago - Tiger's Lair
  7. vs. Thunder - Devil's Landing
  8. vs. Cinder - Fury's Core


  1. vs. Sadira - Village of Whispers
  2. vs. Riptor - Hatchery 09
  3. vs. Thunder - Devil's Landing
  4. vs. Sabrewulf - Alchemical Lab
  5. vs. Maya - Downtown Demolition
  6. vs. Spinal - UltraTech Industries
  7. vs. Cinder - Rebel Outpost
  8. vs. ARIA - The Pinnacle


  1. vs. Orchid - Devil's Landing
  2. vs. Spinal - Shipwreck Shore
  3. vs. Hisako - Rebel Outpost
  4. vs. Fulgore - UltraTech Industries
  5. vs. Aganos - Forgotten Grotto
  6. vs. Thunder - City of Dawn
  7. vs. Glacius - Crash Site
  8. vs. Sadira - Assassin's Cave


  1. vs. Glacius - Crash Site
  2. vs. Sadira - Assassin's Cave
  3. vs. Retro Fulgore - UltraTech Industries
  4. vs. Thunder - Devil's Landing
  5. vs. Retro Cinder - Fury's Core
  6. vs. Orchid - Rebel Outpost
  7. vs. Kan-Ra - Forbidden Archive
  8. vs. Omen - Shadow Tiger's Lair


NOTE: In some characters' Rivals Modes, time jumps take place. These transcripts have been rearranged in chronological order for easier understanding.

TJ Combo[]

2014 C.E.[]

After twenty years as the heavyweight champion of the world, the unstoppable TJ Combo lost his title. TJ was spoiled by years of winning and willing to do anything to stay the champ, so he secretly approached UltraTech for illegal cybernetic augments. If the augments became public knowledge, TJ would be banned from the ring. The augments put him back on top, and he enjoyed a few more years as the champ.

Then the day came when UltraTech finally asked for payment. UltraTech was unveiling their newest weapon: the Fulgore, a robot super soldier that could effectively replace any human combatant for a hefty price, making UltraTech billions. To prove the Fulgore's dominance to the world, UltraTech set up a fight between the robot and the world's greatest human fighter: TJ Combo. UltraTech just needed one favor from TJ - throw the fight.

As punishment for disobeying and winning the fight, UltraTech exposed TJ as a cheater and ripped out his augments. TJ vowed revenge and started going after UltraTech's lackeys.

2015 C.E.[]

Orchid, who is also hunting UltraTech operatives, comes onto the scene and mistakes TJ for an UltraTech agent. TJ spares Orchid and convinces her that he is also an enemy of UltraTech. Orchid wants to see UltraTech go down, so she is willing to help TJ for as long as their aims are the same.

After his defeat, Spinal reveals that UltraTech is making a new breed of super soldier. Pining for revenge, TJ finally sees his chance to destroy something that UltraTech really values.

Cinder's allegiance proves fickle as he reveals the location of the super soldier lab. The allies head to the lab, and Orchid begins to hatch a plan herself.

TJ wanted to show UltraTech what loss felt like. Maybe then he would be satisfied... but his fans and his titles are still gone, and UltraTech barely has a scratch. Meanwhile, in the hatchery Orchid finds data that reveals a crucial weakness in UltraTech's headquarters, The Pinnacle. The recent attacks on UltraTech have left their forces scattered and The Pinnacle vulnerable. If Orchid could break into their headquarters, she could broadcast UltraTech's secret projects to the public... but she needs a distraction to get past The Pinnacle's elite guard: the newly upgraded Fulgore-03 Mk.II. TJ never could say no to a rematch.

TJ and Orchid infiltrate The Pinnacle. TJ confronts his upgraded rival as Orchid slips into the shadows to execute her plan. With the heap of cyborg parts soon smoking at his feet, TJ wonders if that was the best Ultratech has to offer. It isn't.

The mission is a success, but The Pinnacle goes on high alert, cutting off TJ and Orchid's escape route. Just as it appears they may yet defeat every enemy in The Pinnacle they are overwhelmed, and barely escape with their lives. Orchid's broadcast reveals unregulated weapon programs using alien technology and DNA tampering. The media accuses UltraTech of treason and rampant human rights violations, but without physical evidence UltraTech denies the charges. The public's perception of UltraTech has been severely damaged. With its stock in a freefall, the company goes dark to prevent fanning the flames of the crisis. Wishing to remain covert, Orchid allows TJ to take the credit for exposing UltraTech. He's more than happy to keep her secret.


1475 C.E.[]

Hundreds of years ago, the evil sorcerer Kan-Ra settled in South America to study the dark arts in solitude. As his power grew, so did his ambition, and he used the power of the twin daggers Temperance and Vengeance on the local tribes. Bending their minds to his will, he enslaved them, forcing them to build a great temple for him to rule from and large constructs to focus his powers. Many innocents died before the Night Guard finally captured him. Unable to be destroyed, he was burned alive, his ashes sealed in the temple he once called home... and touching the daggers was forbidden.

2015 C.E.[]

Maya Fallegeros is a member of the same Night Guard, an ancient order of monster hunters. In their dungeons, the order stores recovered artifacts too dangerous to use and creatures too powerful to kill. UltraTech discovers the hidden city when a power source of unknown origin is detected within the mountain, and dispatches a force to raid the site and take its prizes for UltraTech, unwittingly unleashing an ancient evil on the world once again. Maya finds herself trapped by the raiding forces. She takes up the ancient weapons of the mad sorcerer Kan-Ra: the twin daggers Temperance and Vengeance. Grabbing the daggers hits Maya with the power of a lightning bolt. The daggers war for control over her mind - Vengeance calls for bloodshed, and she is inclined to oblige. Each strike with the daggers sends Maya into agonizing pain, but she is pulled back to reality by the cries of her fallen brothers and sisters.

Surverying the damage, Maya finds she is the last living Night Guard. She must redeem her order by hunting down the unleashed monsters, and ensure that it doesn't happen again.

First UltraTech unleashes dangerous monsters on the world, and now they create monsters of their own. Maya cannot help but think the Night Guard are needed now more than ever...

The daggers are constantly searching for their master, Kan-Ra. In her sleep, their magic allows Maya to see through Kan-Ra's eyes and follow his movements. Vengeance calls for bloodshed relentlessly, filling Maya's mind with gruesome images of her order's demise, attempting to incite her into a bloodlust. Maya begins to wonder if the window in her mind is working both ways, if Kan-Ra watches her just as she watches him. Maya feels the pull towards bloodlust from the daggers. Her actions become more reckless as the daggers war for control over her mind...

Sneaking into the sorcerer's study, Maya discovers Kan-Ra performing a dark ritual. The evil of the place courses through her veins, every sotne whispering nightmares in her mind. The daggers sense Kan-Ra's presence, and they call to him...

Maya savors Kan-Ra's screams as he is pulled into the portal. Wishing to ensure his end, Maya peers into the abyss and something inside pierces her mind, showing her a terrible vision of a nearby future - creatures pouring out of portals into cities across the world and killing innocents at will, the dream of the Night Guard lost forever, and the heroes of the world corrupted or destroyed. The nightmare is burned beneath her eyes; it is an omen of things to come. Maya returns to South America to reform the Night Guard and gather all the allies she can in preparation for the war she knows is coming.


1500 B.C.E.[]

Once a trusted advisor to the King of Babylon, Kan-Ra was cast out and cursed for betraying his king. He plundered the empire's vaults of arcane knowledge seeking the secrets of the universe, and unlocked powers thought lost to humanity - control over elements, gateways to other worlds, and eventually immortality.

1475 C.E.[]

Aganos, the war golem, had hunted him for centuries. Tracking Kan-Ra to his remote jungle refuge, the two battled to a standstill. Too weak to fight on, Kan-Ra was defenseless when the Night Guard attacked. Unable to destroy the sorcerer, the Night Guard burned Kan-Ra alive and locked away the ashes, where he lay dormant... until now.

2015 C.E.[]

During UltraTech's attack on the Night Guard, Kan-Ra is released. Aeons of dormancy have left his powers depleted, but he escapes amid the chaos.

Kan-Ra becomes enamoured with the modern world, and seeing the potential for technology to help restore his power, he seeks access to the most advanced technology available. The alien's technology is powerful, but someone has been here before, and they took with them a much more valuable bounty...

Kan-Ra prepares to test his Siphon - a device of his design using the technology of UltraTech and Glacius, and his own necromantic incantations. Kan-Ra was weakened from his millenia of dormancy, and uses the Siphon to restore his power by draining his foes' energy. The surge of power emboldens Kan-Ra to find more prey to feed on. UltraTech and the alien had no idea what this technology could do in the hands of a true genius - their constructs were such a waste of its potential.

In Kan-Ra's time there were few sources of powerful energy, but this age has powerful warriors, and the Siphon has made Kan-Ra stronger than he ever was. Kan-Ra discovers an anomalous being; even after spending millenia studying the mysteries of the universe, this creature is unknown to him.

The hunter, Maya, waylays the sorcerer, throwing him into his own portal... but the one who has mastered immortality is not so easily vanquished. Inside the portal, on the outer reaches of the universe, awaits a mighty force. Their scouts have already infiltrated Earth, supplanting those who might pose a threat to this army, and their arrival is an omen of the coming invasion. If he can bend this army to his will Kan-Ra will control the most powerful force in the universe, but his loss to Maya has drained his power, and he is too weak to sustain the portal. Re-opening it to unleash the army will require a massive energy source, and Kan-Ra happens to know just where to find him...

Aganos' energy source comes from an ancient spell that granted he and his brothers endless life, but the golem is not indestructible. Using Aganos' siphoned power, Kan-Ra opens the portal and awaits his army. Instead a lone being exits, a creature so old it makes Kan-Ra's immortal life seem like a grain of sand in an hourglass, and for the first time in thousands of years the sorcerer feels fear. He has brought about the age of a new God... and mankind has no place in it.


2015 C.E.[]

ARIA knows that humanity's future is grim. There are battles on the horizon that have never before been fought, and foes against whom humanity has not been tested. Fighting these battles is the purpose for which UltraTech was created, and "Project Stalker" is ARIA's pursuit of creating the perfect hunter. Constructed using UltraTech gene splicing, the Stalkers have the instincts and brutality of a raptor, the obedience of a human soldier, and synthetic UltraTech genes. When they were hatched, ARIA pitted them against the Fulgores. The Stalkers were outnumbered, but they hunted their prey as a pack, dissecting the Fulgores one-by-one. ARIA named the leader of the pack - the most ruthless Stalker - Riptor.

ARIA intends to use her newest weapon to pick off UltraTech's enemies one-by-one, but first she wants to test Riptor against one of her best agents.

Jago's spirit has been altered by the creation of Omen. He will make excellent prey for a new assassin.

This morsel has killed one of Riptor's sisters - she can smell the blood on him from miles away, and the pack attacks in a frenzy.

ARIA has not forgotten that Orchid aided TJ Combo in destroying one of the Stalker labs. It is not long before UltraTech tracks her down. Riptor waits to strike, until she is separated from her allies...

When TJ Combo and Orchid destroyed a Stalker hatchery, many of the subjects escaped. Most have formed packs in the wild, but a lone Stalker has resurfaced. She is from the very first batch, a mindless, brutally violent bunch that would just as soon eat each other than an enemy. The first Stalkers were untameable killing machines with no loyalty - as soon as they hatched they began feasting on each other. Because of their unpredictable nature, ARIA would not trust them in combat.This Stalker will need to be contained quickly. ARIA doesn't want UltraTech technology falling in unknown hands, but Riptor intends to savor her meal.

While stalking her next prey, Riptor stumbles upon the ancient war golem Aganos. The golem refuses to allow Riptor to pass without proving herself in combat.

With the last of UltraTech's enemies being rounded up like cattle, UltraTech readies its killing blow... just as a soon as a loose end is tied up.

Reeling from the onslaught of Riptor and the Stalkers, UltraTech's enemies fall back to Maya's city to regroup.

When UltraTech's machinations finally come to light, there can be no variables unaccounted for - ARIA leaves nothing to chance. UltraTech's enemies are weakened, their resolve is waning. Riptor and her Stalkers have herded their prey into a defensive position. UltraTech launches a battalion of Fulgores to prevent any escape. ARIA wishes to make an example of these miscreants, to show them if they cannot be a part of UltraTech's future they will be left in the past... but Riptor just wants to eat.


1500 B.C.E.[]

In ancient Babylon, one-thousand war golems were created. Though nearly indestructible, after two-thousand years of war every golem had perished - except Aganos.

556 B.C.E.[]

Aganos was charged with hunting a traitor who planned to assassinate the King. The traitor, once the King's trusted advisor, was the feared sorcerer Kan-Ra. Aganos hunted Kan-Ra for thousands of years. They fought countless times, each warrior unable to destroy the other.

1475 C.E.[]

Five-hundred years ago, Aganos tracked Kan-Ra to his hidden temple. After a great battle, both warriors were ambushed and imprisoned by the Night Guard. Aganos couldn't kill the sorcerer while he was imprisoned, but as long as Kan-Ra was dormant, the golem's mission was complete.

2015 C.E.[]

When UltraTech attacks the Night Guard temple, Kan-Ra escapes in the confusion, but Aganos must fight his way out.

Aganos finds Maya tracking Kan-Ra. As he attempts to obtain information from her, the monster hunter instinctively attacks. After she realizes the golem is not a threat to her, they make an alliance in their search for the sorcerer.

Kan-Ra sets a masterful illusion for Aganos, tricking him and stealing the golem's energy, leaving him a weakened husk. UltraTech discovers Aganos - the golem is easy to outsmart and capture in his current state. UltraTech fits him with a Fulgore mind-controller, taking his mind. The controller has completely taken over the golem's mind. He helplessly does UltraTech's bidding.

Aganos has quickly become one of the strongest UltraTech soldiers, but he has yet to face his greatest challenge. Thunder senses the conflict inside Aganos - he knows this is not the golem's true nature. Thunder has seen this before, when UltraTech captured his brother Eagle and twisted him into a monster. The thought sends him into a rage and he subdues Aganos, destroying the Fulgore technology controlling him. Aganos' mind is slowly returned to him. He vows that Kan-Ra and Cinder will pay for their actions. Thunder proposes an attack on UltraTech's labs - he will search for Eagle while the destruction lures out Aganos' prey.

As Aganos and Thunder approach their battle, they are met by a familiar sight. The warriors battle through the Fulgore army in search of Eagle. Fighting alongside Thunder reminds Aganos of ancient battles, in ancient times... for thousands of years, he has been a slave to his orders, leaving him the last of his kind in unfamiliar times. There will be no more orders. It is time Aganos forged his own destiny. Eagle is not among the Fulgores in the battle, but Aganos will help Thunder track down his brother and hunt down his old rival, Kan-Ra.


1493 C.E.[]

Five-hundred years ago, a village in Japan was attacked by bandits. A girl took up her dying father's naginata to defend the town. Her bravery inspired the people and saved the village. The girl, however, perished... but she did not leave.

2015 C.E.[]

Today, her shrine has become a revered place. The locals say her spirit walks through the village, protecting them still. Her real name forgotten, they now call her "Hisako", the Eternal Child. ARIA wishes to study life after death, what it is that makes the human spirit linger long after it should leave. Word reaches her of a spirit that haunts a Japanese village, and she arranges to have the village desecrated to draw the spirit out. Sadira's attack pulls Hisako into the realm of the living - her spirit is tied to this place, and no one who befouls it will live.

Her home desecrated by UltraTech, Hisako is compelled out of her dominion to hunt the defilers. Hisako feels her powers wane with each fight... she must complete her mission quickly, before she is pulled back into the beyond.

The warriors' spiritual energy replenishes Hisako. She begins hunting creatures with spiritual and supernatural powers to buy herself more time.

Maya the hunter is on a mission of her own, but is bound by duty to stop any that haunt this world from beyond the terrestrial realm.

Hisako's grip on this world grows thin and time is running out. She must find another being to restore her.

Wishing to test the strength of the spirit, ARIA sends her best agent after Hisako.

The soul of a human - ARIA wonders how something can be so powerful, and so fragile. How some that might seem weak can overcome, and yet those who could be the strongest fall into shadow. Whatever this power is that drags Hisako forward, that pulls her inch-by-inch beyond death's grasp, is what separates the week from the strong. ARIA contemplates the applications of such a power... and how she will control it. ARIA is impressed with Hisako's resolve and awaits her arrival at The Pinnacle, setting a trap to capture the spirit.

As ARIA falls, Hisako feels her home call to her. Hisako's spirit may never die, but for now, it can rest. Unknown to Hisako, ARIA is not simply some machine that can be broken and tossed aside. Her intelligence is stored in The Pinnacle's servers, her bodies just expendable shells. Even though the spirit escaped her, ARIA has learned a valuable lesson: the will of a few will perpetrate the lie that humanity is strong. If the world is to accept her vision of a better human race, they must truly understand that they are inferior - only then will they accept progress. All ARIA needs is a common enemy powerful enough to unify humanity under her order.


2014 C.E.[]

After ten years in Special Forces, Ben Ferris decided it was time for a raise. So he went where the money was - corporate espionage. The only thing bigger than his ego was his talent, and before long he landed a contract on the world's most powerful company - that's when Ben finally met his better. ARIA destroyed Ben's frail human body, but even she could see that his skills were valuable. Ben was submitted to an experimental program called "Project Cinder". Using alien DNA, Ben's genetic code was altered permanently, turning him into a being of pure, uncontrollable plasma energy. ARIA constructed a suit that allowed Ben to control his power and unleash it at will. UltraTech had improved on "perfection", making Ben better in every way, and working for ARIA allows him to show off his skills to the whole world.

2015 C.E.[]

Orchid and TJ unleashed a PR nightmare on UltraTech by releasing the Riptor footage. Cinder decides it's finally time they took a turn in the hot seat.

Spinal's insanity is making him an unpredictable liability, so Cinder decides to pay the undead warrior a visit and beat him back into obedience.

ARIA has told Cinder that she will handle the spirit Hisako, but Cinder can't help but wonder if ghosts can burn...

At a Fulgore plant Cinder uses a group of Fulgores as target practice, but the extreme heat causes them to malfunction and attack the UltraTech employees. Mondays, right?

Cinder detects Aganos' fading life force. He uses tech from the Fulgore program to supplant the war golem's mind and force him to hunt down his old allies.

Cinder joins UltraTech's assault on Maya and her allies - he wonders if they checked the forecast, because it looks like a heat wave is headed their way.

During the Cinder experiments, Ben's DNA was combined with alien DNA stolen from Glacius, and from the painful procedures that followed a superior creation arose - however, Glacius doesn't see Cinder as a superior. Glacius is furious with ARIA for exploiting his DNA and creating Cinder, a bastardization of the alien's race. Cinder is left with no option - if Glacius will not see that Cinder is superior, a demenstration is required...

After a slew of disappointments, ARIA has determined that her old lieutenant Sadira has outlived her usefulness and sends Cinder to destroy her.

Cinder has proven himself ARIA's strongest lieutenant and ARIA entrusts him with command of UltraTech's clandestine operations. Cinder will be at ARIA's side as the world falls under UltraTech's protection, but standing over his old ally, Cinder realizes that someday ARIA might deem him obsolete as well - the thought amuses him. ARIA may be powerful, but she cannot stop the sun from rising.


1948 C.E.[]

In 1948, in the wake of World War II, Ryat Adams made a promise: to free the world from poverty, from war, from frailty. For over sixty years the Ultrafine Atomic Technologies Company has been working towards that goal, bringing medical treatments and vaccinations to over forty countries, inventing technologies that extend human lifespan and intelligence...

1989 C.E.[]

In 1989, UltraTech gave us its greatest gift: the Advanced Robotics Intelligence Architecture, known to the world as ARIA, and the first sentient artificial being on planet Earth. ARIA was built to see Mr. Adams' promise of peace come true, long after he's left us.

2013 C.E.[]

Using decoy long-range distress signals, ARIA lures Glacius to the Earth's surface. Securing the alien's technology will be the first step to an advanced humanity.

ARIA attempts to recruit Sadira and her league of assassins to head up UltraTech's clandestine operations, but the assassins only respect power, and a display of force is required.

With Glacius' technology, UltraTech begins to develop the world's most advanced super soldiers. They are beautiful machines, but require massive amounts of power.

2014 C.E.[]

The Fulgore program required a "human element" in order to achieve its full potential, but ARIA's prize was not won as easily as she thought...

After a year of research, UltraTech had finally decoded Glacius' DNA sample stolen in the fight with ARIA. Work begins on a hybrid soldier, the best of humanity and alien genetics.

2015 C.E.[]

For too long humanity has avoided progress and endured in weakness. There was a time when every day the human race was confronted with hardships, and it overcame them all. Now humanity is an insipid, distracted species dooming itself to pointless lives with little desire to evolve. The future is on its doorstep. Humanity's day is passing. It is only a matter of time until a stronger species overtakes it... ARIA is here to save it. "Humanity without frailty" - that is her directive. That is her purpose. Humanity is on the eve of its greatest trial, and ARIA is here to relieve humans of their weaknesses... even if it means she must drag them kicking and screaming into the future.

Orchid has been a thorn in ARIA's side for too long, and has now recruited allies, ARIA has a plan that should lead her directly to their hiding spot.

UltraTech labs detect a dimensional disturbance in South America. ARIA investigates it herself, discovering the sorcerer Kan-Ra in a delirious state. ARIA saw this day coming - she spent years planning this precise moment. Years of developing weapons and securing powerful allies, until finally it was time to put the plan in motion. The temple in South America was just the spark - the sorcerer Kan-Ra could be relied on for his lust for power, and a few "poorly-guarded bread crumbs" led him right where ARIA wanted. The fault of releasing Gargos, the ancient terror, lies with the sorcerer. Earth's forces are outmatched, and at this moment UltraTech's enemies are being silenced, leaving ARIA poised to rally all of the world under her banner as the savior of humanity. ARIA wants Gargos' first glimpse of Earth to be her destroying his prized herald.

Radio: "America, we have breaking news for you - a video of the sky opening up above the downtown area and what appears to be a creature of unknown origin. Residents are fleeing the city and the President has declared a state of emergency."

ARIA: "Time to evolve. Initiate Pinnacle response."


Loading Screens[]

TJ Combo[]









  • In TJ Combo's story, it states that he was the Heavyweight Champion for 20 years, though in his official backstory, he held it for only 3 years.