Is it pronounced Raiden or Rayden?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

Growing up as a fan of the Mortal Kombat franchise, I was always confused about the pronunciation of the character’s name. Some people said it as “Raiden,” while others insisted it was “Rayden.” It wasn’t until I dug deeper into the lore and history of the game that I finally got some clarity on the matter.

The character in question is the God of Thunder and protector of Earthrealm, who wields powerful lightning-based abilities. In the original arcade versions of the game, released in 1992, the character’s name was spelled as “Raiden.” This spelling was consistent across all subsequent official arcade releases, including Mortal Kombat II and Mortal Kombat 3.

However, when it came to the home console ports of these games, things got a bit confusing. Many of these ports, such as the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis versions, had to make some changes due to memory limitations and censorship issues. One of these changes was the renaming of certain characters, including Raiden.

In these home console versions, the character’s name was altered to “Rayden.” This change was likely made to avoid any potential legal issues or confusion with the popular character from the movie “Big Trouble in Little China” named Raiden, who also possessed lightning-based powers. So, in these versions, you would see the name spelled as “Rayden” in the character select screen and other menus.

It’s worth noting that these home console ports were not considered official arcade releases, and therefore, the spelling of the character’s name as “Rayden” was not consistent with the original arcade versions. This led to some confusion among fans, as they questioned the correct pronunciation of the character’s name.

To add further complexity to the matter, when Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance and Mortal Kombat: Deception were released, Raiden’s name was once again spelled as “Raiden” in both the arcade and home console versions. This brought back some consistency to the character’s name, at least in the official releases.

So, to summarize, the difference between “Rayden” and “Raiden” is primarily a result of the changes made in the home console ports of the original Mortal Kombat games. The original and official spelling of the character’s name is “Raiden,” which is used in the arcade versions and the later games. The spelling “Rayden” was used in certain home console ports to avoid legal issues and confusion with a character from another movie.