It never fails: you're just playing some game, minding your own business and beating guys left and right, when suddenly you run into some complete n00b. Well, Mortal Kombat II proved the same thing could happen in arcades and on consoles that's now happening on Xbox Live.
Noob Saibot emerges from the darkest region of reality -
a region known as the Netherealm. He belongs to a group called the Brothers of the Shadow, and worships an evil and mysterious fallen Elder God. His mission is to spy on the events taking place in the battle between the realms and report back to his enigmatic leaders.
Noob was introduced in Mortal Kombat II in much the same way that Reptile was introduced in the original: as a hidden color-swaped ninja. There was no secret involved in finding him - you just had to win 50 matches in a row. At least you had to work to find Jade and Smoke, the other two hidden characters.
When he first appeared, Noob Saibot wasn't really a palette swap: that term implies a simple change from one color to another - like the original versions of Mario and Luigi - but Noob was solid black; more of a silhouette than a swap. He shared Scorpion's moves, but the sprites onscreen lacked any kind of detail. As the series progressed and the ninjas became more diversified, that changed.
This figure is based on Mortal Kombat: Deception, so he actually has, you know, "colors." And a costume. And details. Because despite what Hasbro seems to think, no one's foolish enough to buy a figure that's just painted one solid color. Noob's costume is similar to the "ninja" outfits worn by all the Lin Kuei guys, but still distinct. Instead of a loose tabard, he's wearing a fitted tunic, and his pants look quilted - hinting at his in-story origins as the original Sub-Zero. He has thick armored bracers over arm wraps, and his shin guards are held on by large silver rings.
Noob's sculpt is decent - not great,
but not below Jazwares' usual "middle of the road" standards, either. However, the paint could use some work. Rather than black, the figure uses several dark greys to convey the character's look (though Jazwares has recently re-released the figure with darker paint apps). The areas where the skin meets the costume are sloppy, and the silver on the rings and buckles is really just applied to the surface, rather than following the shape of the items. Picking a Noob Saibot from the shelf isn't a question of finding the best one, but of finding the one that looks least bad. Pay special attention to the face and mask.
Though Noob's hands are molded as closed fists, he comes with two swords. And no swappable hands. The hell?
Sure, it may seem like a major cock-up on the part of the manufacturer, but the truth is simpler: Noob wasn't supposed to come with any accessories, which left some money in the budget for him. Thus, Jazwares took the opportunity to toss in some bonus weapons you can give to another character. Sure, the things are complete crap, made from soft plastic and warped before you even get them out of the tray, but it's the thought that counts, right?
The articulation on Noob is the standard we've seen on all the figures in this line: balljointed neck, balljointed shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, swivel waist, balljointed hips, a mid-thigh swivel, hinged knees and hinged ankles -
it's nothing impressive unless you've been playing with nothing but DC Direct for a while, but at least I didn't have the same trouble as I did with Reptile.
Noob Saibot was famously named after Mortal Kombat's two creators, Ed Boon and John Tobias. It was rumored that the character could no longer be called "Saibot" after Tobias left Midway games, but that's not true - his lifebar just says "Noob" beause it's short and the programers didn't bother typing in the whole thing. The ending cinematics still refer to him by his full name, so the rumor is just that - a rumor. In any case, for those who are building an army of Mortal Kombat ninjas, there will be no ignoring Jazwares' Noob Saibot. For everyone else, don't feel bad if you don't find him.