Baraka was introduced as a mean, frightening, and unpredictable Outworld warrior in service of Emperor Shao Kahn in Mortal Kombat II. He belongs to a race of nomadic mutants, later revealed in Mortal Kombat: Deception to be called Tarkata], who populate the vast wastelands of Outworld. Originally, this race was said to be a crossbreed between [[Netherrealm demons and Outworlders, but this is no longer canon; it is now claimed that the Tarkatans are a separate race whose realm was conquered and annexed long ago by Shao Kahn. As with all Tarkatans, Baraka is cannabalistic and possesses long, retractable blades extending from his forearms, making him one of the most deadly fighters in the Mortal Kombat universe.
Although he has had numerous incursions with Earthrealm's warriors, he does not appear to have any particular rivalry or hatred towards Earth or its inhabitants. His only interest is in doing what is best for his own people, and serving those whom he calls "master". He later ascends to the status of general, which makes him superior to all other Tarkatans, save for the half-Tarkatan Mileena.