Killer Instinct's January Bonus Character Revealed

By Jonathan Barnes, 3 years ago
As Microsoft and Iron Galaxy move forward with Season Two of their free-to-play fighter, Killer Instinct, they're slowly dripping out a steady stream of fighters for the pugilistic pleasure of players. At the turn of the new year, they've revealed the fifth character for Season Two - a bonus character in fact - Omen, Herald of Gargos.


Since Omen is a "bonus character" he is not technically part of the eight characters that gamers will receive as part of the season, he's an additional one that DH is giving to all owners of either Season Two pack. At this time, they have no plans to sell Omen individually, so you'll need to buy into a pass to get him.
Freed from possessing Jago, the Herald of Gargos has drawn enough power through his battles as Shadow Jago to manifest physically on the mortal plane.

He is corruption, fear, and rage given form. He is the right hand of his master’s will. He is the sign of the darkness to come. He is shadow energy incarnate. He is Omen!
While more details will be coming next week, IG has teased that Omen's moveset has some of Jago's normals with the addition of some new ones, but all of his specials are either all-new or ones that only the boss version of Shadow Jago used. Here are some teases of Omen's repertoire:

* 3 shadow stocks!
* Shadow-powered ability to cancel any action, turn into shadow, and move a short distance in any direction
* Multi-hitting close-range kick special
* Powerful projectile zoning with some radical projectile options
* A special move that burns all 3 stocks!
* Aerial movement options
* Slide
Players who prefer to control the space in KI may take a quick shine to Omen, as IG says that he is "one of the best zoning characters in (the game)... situationally."

Since Omen does bear some resemblance to Shadow Jago in terms of moves and style, the developer did a quick Omen/Shadow Jago Q&A to (hopefully) clear up any confusion.

Why didn’t you give Shadow Jago his own moves instead?
Because Shadow Jago was an exclusive skin with the day-1 LIVE card and we want to maintain that exclusivity for the people that have him or have earned him through other means. Also, we wanted to add a character that was tournament viable, and that means they have to be available to everyone, not just a smaller subset of the playerbase.

We’ll look into fun ways to earn the Shadow Jago skin through some special events or in-game accomplishments so that more people can pick him up eventually and fill that 9th slot on the S1 roster.

Will Shadow Jago ever get his own moveset or at least the boss moveset?
Not in S2, but maybe we’ll do something more with him in the future. We’ve always said that we wanted to explore making him more of a real character, but all the discussion around that resulted in the creation of Omen, who is more unique and occupies a different niche than Shadow Jago did being just a brutal boss with too many tools at his disposal.

Can we at least get the boss intro / outro on the Shadow Jago skin?

We’ll look into what’s involved with that time-wise.

So does this mean that Shadow Jago is dead / gone in the new fiction?
There’s always the risk that Jago or someone else could be possessed by Omen, but I have the feeling that Omen is going to get rather fond of not simply being a manipulator of others. Who knows what he’ll get up to after he’s had a longer taste of freedom….

Does Omen have his own stage? Music?
Shadow Tiger’s lair was always Omen’s stage, it was just being borrowed by Jago while he was possessed. Musically though, you will hear something fresh for that stage.

Will Omen have his own story mode?
No. As he’s a bonus character, we didn’t schedule time to build a full story for him. He will be featured prominently in some of the S2 cast’s stories, as he's become a lot more important to the larger story than we originally planned.

Why is the bonus character coming in the middle of the season, not at the end?

Because the remaining 4 characters are very important to us, and Omen being a less-intensive character to build gives us the extra time we need to get the remaining 4 characters (Golem, Ghost, Cinder and ARIA) and their stages and visuals exactly where we want them as they release each month.

Does Omen have an ultimate?
He does not. Currently only the boss incarnation of Shadow Jago has one.

What happened to Shadow Jago’s (boss) other powers? Why doesn’t Omen have them all?
Omen is powerful, but not all-powerful. The transition from a formless controlling spirit to a (mostly) physical independent being has changed him.

When you put tease quotes in an earlier stream about unique properties of each of the remaining cast, which one was for Omen?
“Fear the potential”

Why did Omen’s silhouette in the launch trailer look so different?
That was before Omen freed himself from Shadow Jago. And yeah, we teased ya. Showing the wings would have pushed people way too far towards Gargos, who is NOT in S2’s cast.

Is Omen really Gargos?
No, he is not. Really. Stop.

Does Omen have colors? Accessories? Classic costume?
Colors, yes. Accessories, yes -- three sets total. Some very cool ones too. There are no plans to give him a classic costume.

Will Omen get a full trailer with a tease too?
Yes. Later this month!

When do we get to see him fully? Play him?
Following some suggestions and feedback from the forums, we said we’d try a different approach to streaming / showing off characters this month. We’re going to make good on that this month and see how it goes. So, next week we’ll live stream him in (near-release) action, then hit you with a trailer the week after, and his playable release will follow soon after the trailer is out.
Omen, Herald of Gargos will be available as part of Season Two of Killer Instinct and is only available by purchasing one of the Season Two DLC packs.
Jonathan Barnes
Written by Jonathan Barnes
Jonathan has been a news/views contributor since 2010. When he's not writing reviews, features, and opinion pieces, he spends his days working as an informal science educator and his nights as an international man of mystery.