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Scorpion was (and once again is) Hanzo Hasashi, a member of the shirai ryu clan. Although in the current timeline, Hanzo is once again alive and well, now the leader of the resurrected clan, things were not always so bright for him. As a young man, Hanzo’s clan was attacked by the Lin Kuei clan, led by Sub Zero. Hanzo’s entire clan was exterminated in the attack, including his wife and child, and Hanzo himself also lost his life. It wouldn’t be until years later that the attack was actually orchestrated by Quan Chi, and that Sub Zero and the Lin Kuei had been framed.
Revived and back for blood, Hanzo Hasashi became Scorpion, the revenge-crazed wraith spewing fire and throwing kunai-grapples everywhere. His quest for Sub Zero’s blood ends up leading him to the Mortal Kombat tournament. From there, though he gets his initial revenge, he discovers Quan Chi’s treachery, and finds a new target to fix his vengeance upon. This quest for revenge drives him in almost everything he does, until he finally ends Quan Chi with his own hands.
Vengeance is, quite honestly, an ugly thing. We’ve talked about it a bit before, with Kratos, and to be sure there are some solid similarities between him and Scorpion. Both had their loved ones killed through trickery and deception. Both throw their lot in with whoever has the power they need to see their vengeance fulfilled. Both are certified, grade-A, antihero badasses. However, both are also blinded by their quest for revenge.
Scorpion’s own quest for vengeance against Sub Zero is, in fact, rooted in lies and deception. His anger, however, leaves him so blinded that he can’t see that he’s merely being used as a puppet by Quan Chi. Later on, while trying to enact his vengeance upon Quan Chi, his desire to prolong Quan Chi’s death allows the sorcerer to release Shinnok with his dying breath.
In the end, vengeance is a poison to anyone who harbors it, no matter how righteous that vengeance may be.
So if we can’t emulate Scorpion’s vengeance in our effort to better ourselves, then what good can we take from his quest?
We spoke about this before, but the ideal of latching on to a single goal and pursuing it can pay off in a big way. What’s unique about Scorpion’s drive, however, is how personal it is to him. Sure, Link’s got the whole “save the world from evil” thing going, but the source of Scorpion’s inner fire is incredibly close and important to him: the death of his family.
Picking a singular drive, or goal, is all well and good, but if your reason for reaching that goal isn’t personal enough, you’re going to have a harder time reaching it than someone who picks something that is near and dear to their heart.
I see this all the time when I’m coaching people or drawing up fitness plans. Often they say things like, “I want to be healthier,” or “I want to lose weight,” but that’s not personal enough. It’s a goal, not a reason. Your goals should be backed up by deep-seated longings, urges, or desires within you.
Scorpion’s reason may have been toxic, but it was incredibly deep-seated within him. There wasn’t a single day where he woke up and said, “You know, I don’t feel like pursuing Sub Zero/Quan Chi today,” because there wasn’t a single day where he woke up and didn’t feel the pain of his dead family. Now, I’m not saying your reason has to be as dire as that, however it should be something you don’t have to struggle to believe, or think about.
Let me tell you, something like procrastination or laziness doesn’t even factor into your life if your reason for your actions is personal enough. People struggle with inaction and lack of ambition because of apathy. They just don’t care enough about what it is they want to do. Wanting to get in shape to be healthy sounds like a great reason, but if your health is not actually in dire straits, then you probably don’t care that much about being healthy in your day to day life. It’s just not a factor.
Working out because you have a big public competition coming up? Now that’s personal. The thrill of competition and the sting of public embarrassment are both super personal emotions. Losing weight because you want to be attractive to other people? Say what you will, but sexual drive and attraction are also incredibly powerful personal motivations.
In the end, vengeance will blind you. It will hurt you more than your revenge will ever hurt someone else. You’ll be carrying unnecessary baggage with you for as long as you hold your grudge. However, using indomitable emotions and feelings to latch onto a goal and pursue it can be a good thing, if you choose the right reasons.
That’s it for our time with Scorpion. I hope you enjoyed it! I’ll see you again on Monday! As always, remember to live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome!
Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace