Stryker from Mortal Kombat 1 is still a police officer
Stryker is one of the more questionable characters in Mortal Kombat. His entire premise revolves around being a trigger-happy police officer driven by...
Stryker is one of the more questionable characters in Mortal Kombat. His entire premise revolves around being a trigger-happy police officer driven by power obsession. Even one of his deadly finishing moves in MK9 mocks police brutality. Considering the fact that his appearance was toned down in MK1 and many police-related memorabilia were removed, it seemed like NetherRealm was distancing themselves from this portrayal. But no, he is still a police officer.
In MK1, he is not a full-fledged fighter, but he appears as a cameo. When you summon him to attack your enemies, red and blue lights will flash, and a blaring siren will sound as if he has just arrived at the crime scene in his patrol car after you dialed 911. Once he is on the stage, he uses his stun gun, handcuffs, and shoots at the other fighter. Even his electric baton is used to crush their ribs. Perhaps he may not look as explicitly like a 'cop' in his earlier incarnations, but not much has changed.
One of his Fatalities begins once again with the sound of a police car siren before he attaches a bomb vest to the other fighter and triggers it. He also has a Brutality named "Busted," where he blinds the enemy with a flashlight, incapacitates them with the stun gun, and shoots off their head. This corresponds to his Fatality in MK9, where he says, "Police brutality coming up," although understandably, this line is absent in MK1.
With the increasing awareness of police violence, corruption, and disproportionate violence against Black people worldwide, and in the face of rising anti-police sentiments and eroding trust, many believed that Stryker would never make a comeback. He is a controversial character whose entire concept revolves around police brutality. He embodies an excessively violent police officer who uses his firearm and stun gun without hesitation. The only way many saw his return possible was through a comprehensive overhaul, a change in his backstory, and a transformation into... no longer being a police officer.
He doesn't have an extensive background story, apart from being an incredibly violent police officer who can also fight in close combat. That's why Raiden selected him for the tournament, to utilize these traits. To free him from that would mean altering his character. For this reason, many thought that NetherRealm would simply discard him and leave him in the past. But when he was announced for MK1, we saw him in a blue and white shirt with a reversed cap, without police badges or SWAT gear.
Nevertheless, he has remained the same character, even if he no longer dresses as overtly for that role. Stryker is a police officer with a tendency for violence that is far removed from reality and appears extremely insensitive.