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Karai SNES
Karai
Biographical information
Ethnicity

Japanese

Weapon(s) of choice

Ki javelin

Occupation

Foot Clan/Shredder Elite leader,

Affiliation

Foot Clan, Shredder Elite

Physical description
Species

Human

Gender

Female

Hair color

Black

Bandana color

Red

Eye color

Black

Out of universe information
Era(s)

1987 games

First appearance

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters

Teachers and Students
  [Source]

Karai functions as the final boss in both the 1993 Sega Genesis (Mega Drive) and Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) releases of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters, where she is fighting without the use of any weapon. In both versions, she orchestrated the events of the games, working with Krang (Genesis version) or the Rat King (SNES version). Her costume and move sets are quite different between the two versions; in the Genesis version, her main attacks include a ki javelin and a nasty wheel kick. In the SNES version, she has many throws and air punch attacks. In this version, she also has a super move ("Dark Thunder" in western releases, and "Oni Henka" in the Japanese version) where she transforms into a demonic version of herself and spits lightning.

Karai was notorious as an extremely difficult boss to defeat (especially on Genesis) and is a secret player character in the SNES version (in the Genesis version she is only unlockable with the use of a cheat device) where she can be unlocked by the use of a cheat code. Because of the relative obscurity of the TMNT Mirage comics (as compared to the 1987 cartoon and the films), many players did not recognize Karai in Tournament Fighters and assumed her to be an original character created by Konami for the game.

  • In the story mode of the SNES version, "Master Karai" (who is not known to the Turtles) arrives in New York with "the forces of the Shredder Elite" in order to avenge the Shredder, and kidnaps Splinter and April O'Neil to lure the Turtles into fighting her minions (oddly with the Shredder himself as the game's sub-boss); before her boss fight, Splinter says Karai "posseses super human powers." In the Tournament mode, "a very strong fighter by the name of 'Karai'" is announced by April to be "still alive" and challenges the winner of the titular fighting tournament to fight her, making her the final boss to beat. Her appearance in the SNES version is roughly based on the one from the Mirage comics but her in-game design is androgynous and confusingly masculine, leading some players at that time (and even Nintendo Power's strategy review) to assume it was a male character.
  • In the Genesis version Karai, looks much more feminine than in the SNES game (quite similar to the SNES version's original character Aska) appearing with brown hair and wearing samurai-style armor without a helmet or blades with bare thighs and a thong. She also has a different backstory in the Genesis game, in which she sent the Turtles' clones to kidnap Splinter into Dimension X. She suddenly reveals herself to be the true mastermind behind this at the end of the game, following the player's defeat of Krang. In addition, the regular ending has Karai saying that it was only her clone that had been destroyed. As she can be truly killed only in the alternative ending after finishing the game at the hardest difficulty setting.

Trivia

  • The kanji on the lower level of her stage in the Genesis version, reads "忍", meaning endure or persevere, and is the first character in "Ninja".

See Also