— Kan-Ra's intro quote
Kan-Ra is an accursed 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.
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.
Kan-Ra is a megalomaniacal person who has cast away his humanity in an endless pursuit of greater power. He is always willing to act in an underhanded manner if it 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 his hunger for power cloud his judgment, which often leads him to make myopic decisions.
For example, he is the one responsible for bringing Gargos back to Earth after opening a dimensional portal to the Astral Plane while in search of a god-like power. He's also the one who resurrected Eyedol in a desperate attempt to even the playing field with Gargos, though the demon warlord 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 the other characters with access to the potent magical artifacts in his Emporium 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.
— Kan-Ra's story mode description
Kan-Ra is a mighty but maddened archmage 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)
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
— Kan-Ra's victory quote
— Kan-Ra to Aganos in his trailer
— Kan-Ra desperately trying to control Eyedol