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Aeons have tempered my blade...

— Tusk's intro quote

Tusk is a playable character who was introduced in the 1996 arcade game of Killer Instinct 2. A legendary barbarian and warrior champion who was called Tunth-ska in the ancient world, Tusk is a hefty fighter characterized by his preternatural vigor and mastery of two-handed greatswords. In Killer Instinct (2013), he's an immortal guardian renowned as the "Watchman of the Gods", who was created 10,000 years ago by an angelic race of demigods to serve as the Earth's sentinel against the demon lord Gargos. Tusk made his return to the KI franchise after twenty years on March 29th of 2016, as the 4th character released during the Season Three of Killer Instinct (2013).



In Killer Instinct 2, Tusk has the appearance of a Germanic tribal warrior, who is dressed only in fur leather boots, a belt with a skull for a buckle, a fur-lined loincloth around the waist, and who has a large tattoo of a green dragon painted across his torso; his long locks of blond hair are drawn tightly against the back of his head and are cinched closely together.

In Killer Instinct (2013), Tusk takes on a more Viking-like appearance. He retains his blond hair, but it has become shorter and now features a braided beard. Tusk's face appears more elderly and stern than before, reflecting the immortality he shoulders. He wears black, modern-looking cargo pants that are torn off at the knees, along with an ancient, tattered green tartan and a white sash tied around the waist. He also has a brown belt and a gold buckle with several pouches strapped to his back, and wears a baldric over the right shoulder. He retains his fur-trimmed leather boots, and has gained fur and leather vambraces on his forearms. Tusk now features an elaborate set of tattoos across his massive torso, representing a Viking motif with rune markings that blaze a fiery red when Instinct Mode is full, and his new greatsword Warg-gram similarly has intricate runic designs etched into its blade. In combat, the sword will begin to heat up and glow red-hot due to the friction caused by the force of Tusk's strikes.

Tusk's retro costume largely mirrors his original KI2 outfit, including the long locks of blond hair, but with a few changes: He no longer dons his black war face paint, and instead features two golden arm bracelets and a leather strap on his right thigh. He wears a necklace made from the canine tooth of a saber-toothed tiger, which can also be seen in his default costume.



Never-ending vigil

Often mistaken for a Viking who lives in the modern era, Tunth-ska is an ancient barbarian tribesman uplifted into immortality by angelic beings to become an undying guardian to the world. Though Tusk lived among Vikings for several hundred years and took a liking to their culture, he predates modern history. He was alive before farming was developed. He saw creatures long extinct today. He ate mammoth meat and fought with saber-toothed cats and short-faced bears. His sword Warg-gram, which was created alongside him, was the only hardened steel tool in existence for at least 7,500 years. He wandered the Earth before the ancient Sumerians, the ancient Egyptians, and the ancient Greeks—participating in their civilizations and outliving them all.

Tunth-ska thus watched as the human race gradually went from disjointed tribes of hunter-gatherers to colonies of farmers, to settlements, to city-states, to kingdoms, to empires to the governments of today's world. He has seen technology progress from sharpened stones tied to wooden sticks all the way up to the internet and modern smartphones. He speaks languages which no longer exist, and he has lived among peoples and cultures that are lost forever to the mists of time. He normally doesn't pursue human relationships of any sort, for every other person he encounters becomes just a tiny speck in his unending life. He was created by the gods in an antediluvian past for the sole purpose of destroying another god, and he has lived for over 10,000 years, waiting to fulfill that purpose.

He is Tusk--the immortal Watchman of the Gods.


Info to be added...

Killer Instinct 2


With the return of the Demon Lord to the land, Tusk leaves the arena to issue his challenge. Only by defeating all adversaries can a hero gain the right to face the evil Gargos.

Extended Story

A barbarian killing machine from the cold wastelands to the north, Tusk is the last of a warrior caste decimated by the bitter rivalry of the Warlords and finally reduced to a sole survivor during their costly banishment to Limbo. He now lives in wealth and glory as Champion of the old world’s Gladiatorial Arena; but when the demonic shadow of Gargos rises again, Tusk sets his jaw, takes up his blade and casts aside all other responsibilities to settle this blood feud once and for all.


Ki2 tusk mov

Tusk in KI2

Kill Maya, Don't Kill Combo: Tusk has achieved his goal and now awaits a greater challenge. With another challenge successfully completed, Tusk thirsts once more for battle. He begins the arduous journey back to the arena. With younger and more skilled fighters around every corner, Tusk wonders how long he'll remain champion.

Kill Combo, Don't Kill Maya: Tusk has achieved his goal and now awaits a greater challenge. Finding one of his past adversaries particularly grateful to him for destroying Gargos, he escorts Maya back to her homeland. Tusk and Maya wed and embark on a long rule over Amazonia. But Tusk is never truly happy, his thirst for battle remaining unquenched.

Don't Kill Maya and Combo: Tusk has achieved his goal and now awaits a greater challenge. Finding one of his past adversaries particularly grateful to him for destroying Gargos, he escorts Maya back to her homeland. But the thirst for battle soon calls again and Tusk returns to the arena to continue his life as a warrior, leaving Maya with her people.

Kill Combo and Maya: Tusk has achieved his goal and now awaits a greater challenge. With another challenge successfully completed, Tusk thirsts once more for battle. He begins the arduous journey back to the arena. For now at least, he lives only for the fight. More than living up to his now legendary reputation, Tusk goes on to become the greatest undefeated champion ever seen.

KI Gold Ending: None of his enemies possessed the skill to prevent his hard fought victory. The mighty tasks of the warrior Tusk are written into legend this day. But, the achievements are but a small part of what is to come. Tusk must face new adventures and experience greater dangers. But that is another story...


Main article: Stonehenge


  • Web Of Death: Quarter Forward, Down, Quarter Back, Fierce Punch [Great Opener]
  • Boot Kick: Quarter Forward, Down, Quarter Back, Any Kick [Great Opener]
  • Skull Splitter: Quarter Back, Down, Quarter Forward, Fierce Kick [Great Opener]
  • Back Stab: Forward, Quarter Forward, Down, Quarter Back, Back, Quick Punch [Great Opener]
  • Conqueror: Forward, Down, Quarter Forward, Any Punch
  • Fake Skull Splitter: Down, Quarter Forward, Forward, Quick Kick
  • Air Double: Quarter Forward, Down, Quarter Back, Any Kick
  • Throw: Forward, Fierce Kick
  • Reverse Throw: Back, Fierce Kick [In An Opponent's Throw Move]
  • Parry Move: Back, Hold Quick Punch
  • Pressure Move: Forward, Fierce Punch

Special Moves

  • Combo Breaker: Forward, Down, Quarter Forward, Any Punch And Any Kick
  • Ultra Combo Breaker: Down, Quarter Back, Back, Quarter Back, Down, Quarter Forward, Forward, Fierce Punch [Requires 6 Super Bar Blocks]
  • Mini-Ultra: Back, Quarter Back, Down, Quarter Forward, Forward, Medium Punch
  • Ultra Combo: Forward, Quarter Forward, Down, Quarter Back, Back, Medium Punch
  • Ultimate Combo: Forward, Down, Quarter Forward, Medium Kick
  • 0-Ultimate Combo: Down, Quarter Forward, Forward, Down, Quarter Forward, Forward, Medium Punch

Super Moves

  • Super Boot Kick: Quarter Forward, Down, Quarter Back, Forward, Fierce Kick [Requires 3 Super Bar Blocks]
  • Super Web Of Death: Down, Quarter Forward, Forward, Back, Fierce Punch [Requires 3 Super Bar Blocks]
  • Shadow Move: Quarter Back, Down, Quarter Forward, Back, Fierce Kick [Requires 3 Super Bar Blocks]
  • Pillar Of Flames: Quarter Back, Down, Quarter Forward, Back, Quick Kick [Requires 4 Super Bar Blocks]
  • Super Conqueror: Down, Quarter Back, Back, Quarter Back, Down, Quarter Forward, Forward, Fierce Punch [Requires 6 Super Bar Blocks]

End Specials

  • End Special 1: Forward, Quarter Forward, Down, Quarter Back, Back, Quick Punch, Quick Punch
  • End Special 2: Forward, Down, Quarter Forward, Any Punch, Fierce Punch
  • End Special 3: Quarter Back, Down, Quarter Forward, Fierce Kick, Fierce Kick
  • End Special 4: Forward, Down, Quarter Back, Any Kick, Fierce Kick
  • End Special 5: Forward, Down, Quarter Forward, Quick Punch [After First 4 Enders]

Killer Instinct (2013)

Trailer killerinstinct tusk 20160324

Still from Tusk's reveal in KI 2013

Tusk's teaser was released on February 24th, 2016. It showed his new greatsword, Warg-gram, and much of his body. Tusk's official trailer was first released on March 4th, 2016. He became one of the playable characters for Season 3 of Killer Instinct (2013) on March 29th, 2016.


The immortal Watchman of the Gods, the colossal barbarian known as Tusk is a deathless warrior who has lived for ten thousand years and has honed his ability as a swordsman for all that time. Robbed of his memory, Tusk sat idle as Gargos commenced his invasion of Earth. Now awakened from his stupor, the legendary guardian sets out to find and slay the demon warlord. Wielding his arcane blade Warg-gram, Tusk smashes and cuts through his hapless foes with a primal power, his solution to defense: the sheer force behind his massive assaults.

Extended Story

Main article: Tusk's Extended Story


Chapter 2 — The Watchman Awakes:

Main article: The Watchman Awakes

Chapter 4 — Conflux:

Main article: Conflux

Shadow Lords

An End To Eternity

(1/4) - before fighting Mimic Thunder

Tusk: the mighty immortal who can't remember his past... (A frustrated Tusk is shown slamming Warg-gram into the ground with bone-shattering force.) He seeks an end to this endless life. (Images of Kim Wu suddenly begin to shimmer upon Warg-gram's blade. A Mimic Thunder then appears.) A Shadow-born Mimic! "Lord Gargos sent me to find you," the Mimic tells him. Tusk does not like being found.

(2/4) - before fighting Mimic Aganos

(Kim Wu appears before Tusk.) It's the woman from Tusk's vision in Warg-gram. She says that she is going to battle Gargos and needs his help. He asks what a mere stripling can do against a demigod? (A Mimic Aganos appears. Kim strikes it, but the Mimic brutally knocks her to the ground.) This one has the heart of a shieldmaiden. Tusk likes her. (Tusk readies Warg-gram and prepares to defend Kim Wu from the Mimic.)

(3/4) - after fighting Shadow Jago

(Having struck down Shadow Jago, Tusk approaches and confronts Kan-Ra.) Tusk demands information about the Shadow Lord! Kan-Ra knows this: Tusk and Gargos were born as equals. Now Gargos needs Tusk's blade. Then he will be omnipotent, and can slay even an immortal. (Tusk stares off into the distance.)

(4/4) - before fighting Kim Wu

Kim tells Tusk that he must keep fighting Gargos. The Shadow Lord is the only one who can set him free. (Kim Wu swings her fist and nunchaku through the air in frustration and outrage.) Kim asks if his own salvation is more important than the fate of billions? (The meaning of Kim's words pierces Tusk, and he regains his will and purpose. Tusk then draws Warg-gram from the ground and brandishes the mighty weapon.) Tusk will remain Tusk so that Gargos can be cast into oblivion.


Main article: Icehaven

Tusk's stage of Icehaven (KI 2013)

When the player performs an Ultra Combo in Icehaven, the shipwreck in the background will erupt in flames and its bow crashes into the frozen sea. If both combatants remain idle for a while in this stage, the remixed version of Tusk's classic Killer Instinct 2 theme, "Stonehenge", will start playing.



The scenery of Icehaven

Combo Trait - Deflect Windows: None of Tusk's grounded Medium or Heavy punch attacks (including special moves) can be canceled at all, due to the large size and weight of his greatsword. However, for a brief moment during Medium or Heavy punches he will flash white, and if any attack hits him during this flash he will instantly deflect the attack and counter.

Instinct Mode - 10,000 Years of Training: Enables Tusk to cancel any special move into another special move. Each time a cancel is used, a small piece of the Instinct meter is drained (in addition to the regular depletion that occurs when activated).

Command Moves

  • Backstab - (Forward+MP) - Tusk swivels around the opponent and slashes them down. If not performed at close range, it becomes a very slow dashing stab move dealing incredible damage.
  • Spine Splitter - (Back+HP) - Tusk rears up before stabbing the ground with his greatsword, kicking up a wave of sparks. Can cause stagger. Can be charged by holding the button to increase range and damage, and can be dash-canceled. Destroys oncoming projectiles.
  • Skewer - (Up+HP) - Tusk leaps into the air and stabs the opponent while they're down. Can only be performed if the opponent is still suffering from a hard knockdown.
  • Forward Throw - (Forward+LP+LK) - Tusk grabs the opponent around the waist and suplexes them into the ground.
  • Back Throw - (Back+LP+LK) - Tusk jabs the opponent in the chest with the hilt of his sword, then swings behind them and slashes them in the back.

Special Moves

  • Skull Splitter - (QCB+P) - Tusk brings his greatsword down overhead and smashes the ground. Can be performed midair. Works as a Knockdown Ender.
  • Conqueror - (DP+P) - Tusk performs a rising uppercut with his greatsword. Pressing (HP) while still midair will have Tusk spike the opponent down with a hilt bash. Works as a Damage Ender.
  • Immortal Spirit - (QCF+K) - Tusk dashes forwards. Avoids projectiles and can be canceled into other moves by pressing a button of any strength. Works as a Stagger Ender - the first ever instance of such.
    • Moosejaw - (LP or LK) - Tusk performs a shoulder check.
    • Collateral Damage - (MP or MK) - Tusk performs a short sliding kick.
    • Destroyer - (HP or HK) - Tusk spins and swings his greatsword down. Hits overhead.

Shadow Moves

  • Shadow Skull Splitter - (QCB+P+P) - Tusk performs five consecutive slashes with his greatsword. Can be performed midair, where Tusk brings his greatsword down and smashes the ground, hitting five times and kicking up a wave of sparks.
  • Shadow Conqueror - (DP+P+P) - Tusk performs a rising uppercut with his greatsword that hits four times. Tusk can also spike the opponent down afterwards.
  • Shadow Immortal Spirit - (QCF+K) - Tusk performs a shoulder check that hits five times.

Ultra Combo

  • 25 Hits

Ultimate Combo

  • Tusk leaps into the air and slams Warg-gram to the ground with massive force, causing the surrounding area to become engulfed in flames. He then storms towards his opponent in a berserker's rage, slashing the victim across their torso with the greatsword four consecutive times. As a fifth and final strike, Tusk brutally impales them upon Warg-gram's blade, killing them instantly. He then pulls the massive greatsword out of his opponent's body, which immediately collapses to the ground. Tusk thrusts Warg-gram into the soil while issuing a battle cry, leaving the victim's remains to smolder in the flames.


Thousands of years have passed since my flesh was forged... My memory was taken from me, scattered like snow in a storm. This blade... My friend, is Warg-gram... Let evil come! For I am the Watchman of the Gods!

—Tusk in his trailer

You were fast - until I hit you.

—Tusk to Omen in his trailer

You play at being a dragon, little one - playtime is over.

—Tusk to Riptor in his trailer

For the dead there is only one rule - stay dead!

—Tusk to Spinal in his trailer

Death comes to all. Except me.

—Tusk's victory quote

Wolf spirit!

—Tusk activating Instinct Mode


—Tusk's famous battle cry in Killer Instinct 2

I already like you better when you're angry, young shieldmaiden.

— Tusk to Kim Wu during the events of Shadow Lords

And who created you, little campfire?

—Tusk to Cinder in the Novella

You reek of the grave, my lady...

—Tusk to Mira in her teaser



Killer Instinct 2

Killer Instinct (2013)


  • According to designer Adam "Keits" Heart, Tusk has found that he is an immortal swordsman, and unlike other returning characters he is not a "remake" but the original Tusk from Killer Instinct 2 who has survived since the Neolithic era. Heart described Tusk's fighting style as a transition from "patient bully" in the early game to "absolute berserker" when reaching Instinct Mode. Heart also humorously added that Tusk's new greatsword may well be "the biggest sword of all time".
  • Tusk's new facial design and voice-over for Killer Instinct (2013) were inspired by Chris Hemsworth from Thor, and similar-looking actors like Travis Fimmel from the Vikings television series.
    • The modern cargo shorts Tusk wears in Killer Instinct (2013) appear to be a reference to the Techno Viking, and the many fan-made variations and tributes to his meme.
  • In Killer Instinct (2013), Tusk tends to spout one-liners in his trailer like an action movie hero from the 1980s, as a tribute to his original basis on Arnold Schwarzenegger's Conan the Barbarian.
  • The 2nd chapter of the Killer Instinct Novella, titled "The Watchman Awakes", reveals that the traits which Tusk prefers in his women are "tall and strong-looking with a pretty oval face, and long braids". Interestingly, this matches Maya's new appearance for Killer Instinct (2013) in precise detail.
    • Tusk's "Primal" accessories reflect his prehistoric origins, and bear a notable resemblance to the outfit that was worn by Maya in Killer Instinct 2; and also to her own retro costumes in Killer Instinct (2013).
  • Tusk's background story for Killer Instinct (2013) reveals that he commanded a vast army against Gargos' first invasion of Earth, thousands of years ago. The 3rd chapter of the KI Novella, titled "Dragon's Choice", mentions that the progenitor of Kim Wu's lineage, the Korean warrior-woman who first bonded with the holy dragon spirit Yeouiju, did the same. This implies that Tunth-ska and Kim Wu's distant ancestor were the two leaders, or generals, of this ancient human army.
  • The Germanic runes that are tattooed between Tusk's shoulder blades in Killer Instinct (2013) roughly translate to: "In Strength There Is Wisdom".
  • The name of Tusk's sword, "Warg-gram", is derived from the Old English "Warg", meaning wolf, while "gram" is derived from the Nordic "gramr", which means wrath or anger. "Warg-gram" literally translates to "Wolf-anger" or "Wrath of the Wolf" in the northern European languages.
    • Tusk's association with wolves and dragons indicates a connection to the divine as well as the apocalypse, tying in with his role as an immortal guardian who stands in between Gargos and the Earth.
  • Narwhals, arctic water predators that are characterized by their large protruding "tusks", are featured in Tusk's new Icehaven background stage. The stage also shows a polar bear hunting after seals.

External links


Killer Instinct 2/Gold Characters
Playable Jago ·Black Orchid ·TJ Combo ·Glacius ·Sabrewulf ·Spinal ·Fulgore ·Maya ·Kim Wu ·Tusk
Boss Gargos
Killer Instinct (2013) Characters
Season 1 Jago ·Sabrewulf ·Glacius ·Thunder ·Sadira ·Orchid ·Spinal ·Fulgore ·Shadow Jago
Season 2 TJ Combo ·Maya ·Kan-Ra ·Riptor ·Omen ·Aganos ·Hisako ·Cinder ·ARIA
Season 3 Kim Wu ·Tusk ·Arbiter ·Rash ·Mira ·Gargos ·General RAAM ·Eyedol ·Kilgore ·Shin Hisako
Killer Instinct Universe
Playable Characters
Killer Instinct Logo HD Jago ·Orchid ·TJ Combo ·Glacius ·Thunder ·Sabrewulf

 ·Spinal ·Riptor ·Cinder ·Fulgore ·Eyedol

Killer Instinct 2 Kim Wu ·Maya ·Tusk ·Gargos
Killer Logo copy Season 1 Sadira ·Shadow Jago
Season 2 Kan-Ra ·Omen ·Aganos ·Hisako ·ARIA
Season 3 Mira ·Rash ·Arbiter ·General RAAM
Season 3+ Kilgore ·Shin Hisako
Non-Playable Characters and Organizations
Minor Characters Eagle ·The Chairman ·Ryat Adams ·Babylonian King ·The Master ·Yeouiju
Organizations Ultratech ·Red Eyes of Rylai ·Disavowed ·Night Guard ·The Coven ·The Alliance
Comics KI Nintendo Power ·KI Issue #1 ·KI Issue #2 ·KI Issue #3 ·KI Special #1 ·KI Special #2 ·KI Special #3
Extended Stories The Secrets of the Tiger ·The Lycanthrope's Tale ·The Ice-man Cometh ·Murder of Crows ·The Widow's Bite ·The Firecat's Summoning ·The Quest of the Searing Skull ·Fulgore Mark 03 Field Manual-L ·Glory Days ·Temperance and Vengeance ·Death is no Obstacle ·You and Your Riptor Unit ·The Herald of Gargos ·Peacemaker ·The Everlasting Child ·The Third Degree ·Evolve or Die ·Kim Wu's Extended Story ·Tusk's Extended Story ·Mira's Extended Story ·Gargos' Extended Story ·The Reawakened ·Rash's Extended Story ·Arbiter's Extended Story ·General RAAM's Extended Story
Killer Instinct Novella The Road to Ravensburg ·The Watchman Awakes ·Dragon's Choice ·Conflux ·ARIA for Noömorph ·Shadows at Dawn
Soundtracks Killer Cuts ·Killer Instinct Gold Cuts ·Killer Instinct Season 1 Soundtrack ·Killer Instinct Season 2 Soundtrack ·Killer Instinct Season 3 Soundtrack
Music "The Way U Move" ·"It's A Jungle" ·"The Instinct"
Gameplay Combo & Counter Breaker ·Ultra Combo ·Ultimate Combo ·Humiliation ·Combo System ·Instinct Mode ·Shadow Meter ·Shadow Moves ·Shadow Counter ·Knockdown Value ·Lock out ·Frame Data ·Character Accessories ·Arcade Mode ·Rivals Mode ·Shadow Lords Mode

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