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The Weird Cartoon Event That Crossed Over Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, And Wing Commander

Crossover events are nothing new in the world of fighting games. Several of the most iconic characters in the genre have been teleported to other realms where they must then compete in rival tournaments. Scorpion from "Mortal Combat" was a guest fighter in "Injustice: Gods Among Us" while the entire "Street Fighter" roster has taken on the Earth's Mightiest Heroes in "Marvel vs. Capcom." It's been the dream of fans for decades that "Mortal Kombat" and "Street Fighter" characters will get to face each other in the ring. "Mortal Kombat" creator Ed Boon has said himself that Ryu would be his dream guest character to put in one of NetherRealm Studios' games. Sadly, these characters have yet to receive the opportunity to exchange blows.

It might surprise some fighting game fans to learn that – while there hasn't been a true crossover between these two properties – there is a common thread that connects them in the realm of television. It wasn't "Wreck-It Ralph," or "Ready Player One," or any other mass-media crossover event, though. It was a single character named Warrior King, voiced by Michael Dorn of "Star Trek: The Next Generation." This one man tied the worlds of "Street Fighter," "Mortal Kombat," and even the 1990 3-D space combat simulator "Wing Commander" together. While these three gaming properties might seem unrelated, they all aired on the USA Network, making a crossover of epic proportions possible.

The Warrior King first appeared in the Street Fighter animated series

The Warrior King first appeared in the 1995 "Street Fighter" TV series in the ninth episode of the second season. He is introduced in the episode as the ruler of a fantasy kingdom called Warrior's World. His home planet was barren until he used a magic orb to make the land fertile and sustain the lives of his people. This orb was incredibly powerful and so a group of dragon-riding wizards sought to steal its power for themselves. They invaded the Warrior King's palace and tried to steal the orb, forcing him to flee through a portal that allowed him to travel through time and space to keep the orb, and his kingdom, safe. This universe-hopping tom-foolery leads the Warrior King to several other realms, including those of "Street Fighter," "Mortal Kombat," and "Wing Commander."

The portal separates the Warrior King and the orb during the initial jump, allowing it to fall into the hands of M. Bison and Sagat. Warrior King would later appear and fight alongside many of the heroes from the "Street Fighter" roster. He even got more than a little bit flirty with Chun-Li during their struggle to recapture the orb. They eventually defeat M. Bison and get the magical artifact back, but the victory is bittersweet, as the Warrior King must say goodbye to Chun-Li and leave through another portal, attempting to return to his own world.

Warrior King's next video game crossover was in Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm

After a visit to the animated series based on the "Savage Dragon" comic book character, the Warrior King made his second gaming property appearance in Episode 9 of "Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm" – although it was admittedly pretty brief. The episode begins with Shao Kahn resurrecting Shang Tsung from a pile of bones before proclaiming that he has gained possession of an orb that allows whoever possesses it to "control the very elements of Earthrealm." Sound familiar? He then gives the orb to Shang Tsung and instructs him to take revenge on Raiden and the mortals of Earthrealm.

Shang Tsung does as he is commanded and proceeds to use the orb to drain Raiden's powers and harass the show's heroes. In the final battle, Raiden literally tackles Shang Tsung, forcing him to drop the orb before deciding to beat Tsung in a hand-to-hand fight, "mortal-style."

After the fight, Raiden declares that the orb is too powerful and that they can't risk it falling into the wrong hands again before baseball pitching it into another portal, this one leading into the depths of space. Just before the portal disappears, however, viewers see the shadowy silhouette of the Warrior King run from the sidelines and dive after the orb.

Warrior King's final appearance was in Wing Commander Academy

The fourth and final appearance of the Warrior King is in Season 1, Episode 8 of "Wing Commander Academy." The episode was titled, "Recreation," and it begins with a Kilrathi salvage ship and its Sartha escort being approached by three Scimitars being flown by Payback, Archer, and Maniac. The ships enter combat, and the Scimitars defeat the Sarthas before discovering that the salvage tug was carrying an ancient ship, which they then take back to the TCS Tiger's Claw. Upon inspecting this ship, they discover the Warrior King sleeping inside and make a course for the planet Oasis.

Several scuffles ensue as the Warrior King seeks to break free in order to find and recover his orb, and he eventually realizes that it is the source of power that allows Oasis, which was formerly a desert planet, to now be such a verdant world. He explains to Maverick what the orb is and tells him that he failed to protect Warrior's World, but that he wants to use the orb to create new life. After another battle, Archer convinces the Warrior King that it would be pointless to destroy Oasis just to bring life back to his own planet. Instead, the Warrior King takes one of the Scimitars and flies off into space, thus ending his trans-universal journey.