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The future you offer is not worth living. It will not come to pass.
 

 

—Liu Kang to Kronika in Mortal Kombat 11.

Biography

  • Mortal Kombat (2011): "Orphaned at a very young age, Liu Kang was raised by Shaolin monks, who taught him the way of the spiritual warrior. They soon recognized his potential as a contender for the Mortal Kombat tournament and rigorously trained him for this task. Raiden, too, understood that Liu Kang was Earthrealm's best hope for freedom and introduced him to Master Bo' Rai Cho to further his development. Once fully trained, Liu Kang bested all challengers and earned the high honor of representing the Shaolin in the Mortal Kombat tournament. He and Raiden then embarked on their fateful journey to Shang Tsung's island to compete in this pivotal kontest."
  • Mortal Kombat X: "Liu Kang was Earthrealm's champion, winner of two straight Mortal Kombat tournaments. Under Raiden's tutelage, Liu Kang defeated both Shang Tsung and Shao Kahn, becoming a legend throughout the realms. But when Shao Kahn's Outworld forces invaded Earthrealm, Liu Kang split with Raiden over how to respond. During a disagreement between them, Liu Kang was accidentally killed. His soul was collected by Quan Chi, who used it to create an evil "revenant" version of Liu Kang. He now serves Quan Chi and the Netherrealm."
  • Mortal Kombat 11: "Shaolin monk and Champion of Earthrealm. Liu Kang was an orphan adopted and trained in the arts of kombat by the Shaolin order. He honored them by defeating Shang Tsung in Mortal Kombat and saving Earthrealm as "the Chosen One," a title that weighs heavy on his shoulders."

Storyline

Mortal Kombat (2011)

Liu Kang is first seen interacting with Raiden, as he is preparing for the first Mortal Kombat tournament. He is alongside Raiden when they approach Johnny Cage, and is notably upset when Johnny Cage shows disrespect to Raiden. Liu Kang appears once again when Raiden explains the situation regarding the Mortal Kombat tournament to Sonya and Jax. He is shocked when he finds that Kung Lao has snuck into the tournament. Kung Lao loses to Scorpion and Liu Kang helps him up.

Liu Kang's first appearance fighting is when Ermac is revealed as "the latest creation of Shao Kahn". Even though Liu Kang was never shown to have fought in the tournament, Shang Tsung states that Liu Kang is the final Earthrealm warrior remaining. Liu Kang defeats Ermac, and is later shown training with Raiden. Raiden receives another message from his future self, and states that the "He must win" must be Liu Kang. After Raiden leaves, Liu Kang is approached by Kitana, who tries to kill him. Liu Kang manages to defeat her. When Kitana tells Liu Kang to kill her for her failure to assassinate him, he refuses, stating that their encounter never happened.

Liu Kang then faces Scorpion and Quan Chi in a two-on-one battle, and defeats them both. He is then led to face Goro in Goro's Lair. After defeating Goro, Liu Kang returns to Shang Tsung's Throne Room, where he faces Shang Tsung. After defeating Shang Tsung, Liu Kang is regarded as Earthrealm's savior, although Raiden notices his amulet has cracked even more.

A ceremony at the Wu Shi Academy is held in honor of Liu Kang's Mortal Kombat tournament victory. As night falls, a revitalized Shang Tsung and an army of Tarkatans assault the academy. Jax is knocked unconscious, and when he awakens, Liu Kang is among the Earthrealm warriors who explain the latest situation to him along with Sonya's capture. As Johnny Cage, Jax, and Raiden appear to continue the new Mortal Kombat tournament, it is revealed that Liu Kang along with Kung Lao has been sent to free their Shaolin masters.

Liu Kang later appears with Raiden, Johnny Cage, Smoke, and Kung Lao when they are approached by Jade. It is during the conversation that Liu Kang learns of Kitana's capture and imprisonment. After a brief argument with Raiden over what to do, Liu Kang and Kung Lao head to the Tower to try to find Kitana. There they discover Kitana has been moved, and are suddenly attacked by Sheeva and Noob Saibot. Liu Kang faces Sheeva, while Kung Lao faces Noob Saibot, and eventually Goro, who - after being defeated by Kung Lao - informs the two of them that Kitana has likely been executed in the coliseum. Furious, Liu Kang knocks Goro out. Kung Lao, however, believes that Kitana may still be alive, and they hurry to the coliseum.

Discovering that Kitana is indeed still alive, Liu Kang goes to release Kitana from her imprisonment. Meanwhile, Kung Lao steps up and takes on the role of "he must win". After Kung Lao defeats Shang Tsung and Quan Chi in a two-on-one battle, and Kintaro shortly after, Shao Kahn kills Kung Lao in cold blood, enraging Liu Kang. As a result, Liu Kang faces, defeats, and seemingly kills Shao Kahn with a fiery punch. Kahn, however, survives thanks to the help of Quan Chi's magic. Quan Chi later resurrects Kahn's dead wife Sindel on Earth, allowing Kahn to invade Earthrealm.

Liu Kang accompanies Raiden to see the Elder Gods. They try to convince the Elder Gods to stop Shao Kahn, but the Elder Gods refuse to intervene. Shortly after they return to Earthrealm, they find almost all of the Earthrealm warriors dead, and Nightwolf sacrificing himself to kill Queen Sindel. Liu Kang rushes to a mortally wounded Kitana's side, as she eventually dies from her wounds , dying wiling holding Liu Kangs hand. Liu Kang is visibly upset with Raiden following the deaths of the Earthrealm warriors. After Raiden's latest suggestion to ask Quan Chi for help, Liu Kang believes Raiden to have become mad and refuses to go with him to the Netherrealm.

When Raiden returns from the Netherrealm and reveals to Liu Kang that "He must win" actually refers to Shao Kahn, Liu Kang refuses to let Shao Kahn win. He fights with Raiden, but is defeated. Shortly afterward, Shao Kahn enters Earthrealm, and Liu Kang once more tries to stop him. Again, Raiden forbids him to do so by sending electricity bolts in front of him. Infuriated, Liu Kang throws a fiery punch at Raiden, who defends himself with a blast of lightning. The combination of Raiden's electricity and Liu Kang's own fire severely burn Liu Kang's body, causing him fatal injuries. A horrified Raiden begs the mortally wounded Liu Kang to forgive him. The final words spoken by Liu Kang are to Raiden: "You....have killed us....all." before he closes his eyes and passes on.

After Shao Kahn's final defeat at the hands of Raiden and the Elder Gods, Liu Kang's body is taken away by Raiden, Sonya, and Johnny Cage.

Mortal Kombat X (Comic Series)

Liu Kang is featured briefly in Hanzo Hasashi's flashback to Shang Tsung's tournament, fighting Scorpion and Quan Chi at the same time.

It is later revealed a temple was erected in the fallen warrior's honor, called the Kang Shaolin Temple, and it is there the monks protect the Kamidogu of Chaosrealm for Raiden.

The revenant of Liu Kang appears in Netherrealm alongside his fallen Shaolin brother Kung Lao and the undead princess Kitana, questioning Quan Chi of their next course of action after Havik's failure to deliver them Shinnok's amulet. Ultimately, it is decided to use Shinnok's newest acolyte D'Vorah to wait for an opportune moment to claim the amulet to release the fallen Elder God.

Mortal Kombat X

Liu Kang's earliest appearance in the story mode chronologically takes place in Raiden's flashback to twenty-five years earlier during the time both he and Kung Lao were alive before Shao Kahn's tournament in Outworld. After the Wu Shi Academy was invaded, several monks were kidnapped by Baraka and his Tarkatan horde. Liu Kang sets off with both Raiden and Kung Lao to free the monks. The trio eventually discover the monks being loaded onto a ship under the command of D'Vorah. He engages the Tarkatan Horde alongside Kung Lao, while Raiden deals with both Baraka and D'Vorah. After defeating their enemies, they proceed to free the monks on the first ship. Raiden then tells Liu Kang that he must return for the tournament, leaving Liu Kang and Kung Lao to seek out and free the remaining monks on the second ship that has already departed. Liu Kang promises Raiden that he will not fail, to which Raiden replies that he knows with a smile.

In the present, Liu Kang is first seen in the Netherrealm, now an undead revenant servant of Quan Chi. He along with the undead revenant versions of Kung Lao, Kitana, and Sindel ride to Quan Chi's fortress to await D'Vorah's arrival with Shinnok's amulet. As they approach the fortress, Quan Chi and company are ambushed by the Special Forces led by Jax and Kenshi along with the aid of Sareena. As the other revenants are fighting off the Special Forces, Liu Kang fights his way out and escorts Quan Chi to safety. As they arrive at the fortress, they are followed by Jax who intends to take Quan Chi back to Earthrealm. Liu Kang tries to stop Jax, expressing his disdain at him for rejoining Raiden's side. Jax replies that Raiden did his best and that he saved Earthrealm, but Liu Kang retorts that Raiden murdered him and stole everything from him. The two fight, and Liu Kang is defeated, resulting in Quan Chi being captured.

Liu Kang later appears along with Kung Lao, Kitana, Sindel, and Smoke on Earthrealm after Shinnok is freed. He along with the other revenants pledge their allegiance to him. Liu Kang then informs Shinnok of the human presence in the Netherrealm, but Shinnok is unworried and says they will be neutralized later. Liu Kang and the other revenants then accompany Shinnok and D'Vorah, along with the captive Johnny Cage, to the Sky Temple, where Shinnok attacks Bo' Rai Cho with his amulet. Raiden soon arrives to stop Shinnok only to be surrounded by the revenants. Liu Kang asks if they can kill Raiden, but Shinnok orders them to let him live so that he could seal Raiden himself. As Shinnok leaves for the Jinsei, Liu Kang, along with the other revenants, taunt Raiden before the latter proceeds to engage them. Raiden successfully knocks out Sindel, Kitana, and Smoke with electricity, then defeats Kung Lao in kombat. He is then confronted by Liu Kang. Before their fight, Raiden tries to reach out to his former student by telling him that this is not his destiny. Liu Kang retorts by sarcastically asking Raiden if he still has visions of the future. He then reminds Raiden of his death at the latter's hands. Raiden claims it was an accident, but Liu Kang thanks Raiden for "freeing" him and declares that he will help Shinnok overthrow the Elder Gods. The two fight, and Liu Kang is defeated by his former mentor.

After Cassie Cage, Jacqueline Briggs, Takeda Takahashi, and Kung Jin arrive at the Sky Temple, they overhear Liu Kang, D'Vorah, Kitana, and Sindel discussing Shinnok's plans to conquer Earthrealm and invade the Heavens. Liu Kang leaves with Kung Lao and Smoke in order to find a way to access Raiden's portal to the Heavens. He then comes back with Kung Lao and Smoke after Cassie has defeated Sindel and Kitana. Takeda and Jacqui hold off Liu Kang and his undead comrades long enough for Cassie to defeat Shinnok. After Shinnok is defeated and the Jinsei restored, Liu Kang retreats back to the Netherrealm with the other revenants.

In the post-credit scene, Liu Kang and Kitana are now the rulers of the Netherrealm. Both he and Kitana are threatened by Raiden who throws them the severed, yet still living head of Shinnok. Raiden, who has become corrupted after cleansing the Jinsei, declares that he will no longer stand by and simply defend Earthrealm, and goes on to state that any who threaten Earthrealm will suffer "fates worse than death." Raiden then departs, leaving Liu Kang and Kitana to stare at Shinnok's head.

Mortal Kombat 11

Part 1: Mortal Kombat 11

By this point, Liu Kang had been further corrupted by Shinnok's influence and planned to invade Earthrealm. Raiden and the Special Forces launch a preemptive strike on the Bone Temple to stop their attack. As Raiden fights the Netherrealm demons outside the temple, the Special Forces infiltrate the temple to destroy it. While watching Raiden fight, Liu Kang immediately realizes he is the distraction and tries to stop the Special Forces, but he and the others ultimately fail and the Bone Temple is destroyed. Believing all is lost, Liu Kang and Kitana resign to their fate, before Kronika arrives. He questions who she is, and she simply restores the temple, prompting the revenants to aid in her schemes.

Thanks to her temporal anomalies, the younger Liu Kang prior to his death is brought to the present timeline alongside his friends and enemies. Despite hearing what his modern counterpart has become, he still trusts Raiden and allies himself with Earthrealm's warriors. Before returning to Earthrealm with Raiden and Kung Lao, Liu Kang gives his farewell to Kitana with him bowing to her, and the Princess hugging him. Liu Kang and Kung Lao eventually make their way to the Shaolin temple where the Wu Shi Dragon Grotto is located to stop Kronika's forces from stealing the Jinsei that she seeks. As they successfully evade the traps in the Shaolin Trap Dungeon, they are encountered by the past version of Scorpion and defeat him and Jade.

They then enter the grotto to see Geras taking the Jinsei. Kung Lao expresses fear they will run into their revenant selves, which becomes true as the revenant Liu Kang and Kung Lao arrive to impede them. The revenants mock their younger selves for trusting Raiden, as he was responsible for their deaths, but Liu Kang defends Raiden. The revenant Liu Kang challenges his younger self, commenting on how blind he was in the past. The younger Liu Kang overwhelms his revenant counterpart, commenting on how deluded he has become in the future just as Kung Lao defeats his revenant counterpart. They then confront Geras and defeat him, but Kronika halts and reverts time to collect the Jinsei.

After all of Earthrealm’s bases has been compromised alongside the death of the Elder Gods, and both Kotal and Jade are captured, the Shirai-Ryu’s Fire Garden is the only surviving base left and Raiden is the sole surviving God who learned that both Shinnok and Cetrion’s true loyalty are only towards their mother, Kronika, Liu Kang asks Raiden to send him and Kung Lao to rejoin Kitana in Outworld and rescues both Jade and Kotal from Shao Kahn, while also redeeming Tarkatans’ fate on behalf of Sheeva. Despite Shao Kahn crippling Kotal, Liu Kang and Kung Lao happily watch as Kitana puts an end of Shao Kahn’s terror by her own hands and Kotal makes her the Kahn of Outworld.

He eventually clashes with Raiden when the latter starts using Shinnok's amulet to power himself into executing a redeemed past Scorpion, whom he believed Kronika sent him, while Liu Kang stands for Scorpion’s true redemption since it was the latter’s late-present human-self who sent him. In the midst of the battle, the thunder god relents and tells a confused Liu Kang that he has realized that Kronika has been manipulating them to fight. Raiden explains that in every timeline, he and Liu Kang would fight with Liu Kang dying in every one. After the revelation, Raiden heals Scorpion and refuses to be the goddess' puppet while Liu Kang is pleased with this declaration. However, Kronika appears and kidnaps the younger Kang so that his revenant counterpart can absorb his soul to fight Raiden once more, killing him.

The revenant attacks Raiden who defeats him in a lengthy battle but rather than kill the evil counterpart like the latter expected, Raiden merges himself and past Liu Kang's previously deceased body with the revenant Kang, transforming them into Fire God Liu Kang, with past Liu Kang's consciousness prevailing, having also absorbed his revenant counterpart's memories.

With his new godly powers and the knowledge about the Hourglass and Kronika's plan, Liu Kang is able to combat her forces and her time manipulating abilities. The armies of Earthrealm and Outworld begin their assault on Kronika's Keep with Liu Kang's new abilities wiping out several legions to get through. Once inside however, Kronika reverses time sending Liu Kang's allies back to Kharon's Ship, forcing Liu Kang to battle the revenant counterparts of his friends alone. Liu Kang eventually defeats the revenant Kitana, Kung Lao, and Jade. Then Liu Kang battles Cetrion and defeats her. Kronika then reverses time for the final time to the Prehistoric Age.

Their battle has sent them to the dawn of time itself. Fortunately, Liu Kang has maneged to defeat her, using his fire to turn her to glass and destroy her body, including her crown. Raiden is separated from him leaving Liu Kang a God and the latter a mortal. During his conversation with Raiden, the former Thunder God bestows the title of protector of Earthrealm and the keeper of time to Liu Kang. When Liu Kang describes the task as hard to carry alone, Raiden suggests to advise him as long as he lives. Liu Kang agrees, and they began to reshape the sands of time.

Part 2: Aftermath

As the new Keeper of Time, Liu Kang attempts to create a new history along with Raiden using the Hourglass, but was stopped by the sudden arrival of Shang Tsung, Fujin, and the human Nightwolf. They warned that using the Hourglass without Kronika's crown would eventually shatter it, which proved correct when Liu Kang used it to see the outcome of what would come next. He sent the three back in time, right when Kitana would free Kotal Kahn and become the emperess of Outworld. The Fire God was aware that Shang Tsung would eventually get the crown and win, seizing control of the Hourglass, betraying and using those around him as pawns in his chess game, until he would give his checkmate. He would wait until Tsung's victory to happen to stop his plans.

Meanwhile, the Revenant Liu Kang uses an amulet to bind the trio when they land in the Netherrealm, and order his minions to take them as hostages in Shinnok's Bone Temple. He later appears at the final chapter, ready to confront Raiden, before his legs are broken due to Shao Kahn making such damage to his past self. What happened to him after that is unknown.

The past version of Liu Kang is not kidnapped by Kronika in this timeline, but is nonetheless present when Raiden almost becomes Dark Raiden one more time, and ferry to Kronika's Isle in the same ship where Kitana, Kung Lao, Jade and Kotal Kahn are. When said ferry is ambushed by Shao Kahn's forces, Liu Kang faces either Sindel or Shao Kahn, and is defeated. When his and Kitana's body are dropped by the Outworld duo, Liu Kang, despite his injures, tries to reach his hand to Kitana's, but right when the two are close to handholding, Shao Kahn steps on Liu Kang's hand. Though not seen at first, Shao Kahn later cripples Liu Kang's legs, rendering his present, Revenant self incapable of avenging himself against Raiden. His fate as of then is unknown but is presumably killed by Shao Kahn, resulting in the erasement of his future self.

Fire God Liu Kang reappears in the climax of the last chapter, repeating the words Shang Tsung called out to him at the start ("Cease, before you doom us all.") to prevent to sorcerer from taking Kronika's role. It is revealed he allowed Shang Tsung to progress as he did for the latter to claim the crown, at the cost of losing his friends. The player can then choose whether they use or fight Fire God Liu Kang.

If the player picked Shang Tsung, the sorcerer defeats Liu Kang, and chokes him as he mocks Liu Kang about his failure. Shang Tsung then consumes his soul, leaving behind his dried corpse.

If the player picked Liu Kang, he pulls out temporal energy from the Hourglass, and blasts it on Shang Tsung. As the sorcerer's body slowly dissolves into dusts of sand, Liu Kang reaches out to him, picking up Kronika's Crown and molding a New Era. After the transition, a White Lotus temple is shown, it's Shaolin monks training vigorously. In a room, a Great Kung Lao is seen shaping his statue (said statue is the same one Kung Jin steals in Mortal Kombat X's Story Mode). Fire God Liu Kang then appears in front of him, startling the young monk. When Liu Kang mentions that he is a God, the Great Kung Lao becomes embarassed by his response and humbly greets him, with Liu Kang noting that the Great Kung Lao is humble, unlike his reincarnation. After riddling the Great Kung Lao with said response, Liu Kang claims that is time to make him train, since he is the Fire God's Chosen Warrior.

Endings

  • Mortal Kombat (2011) (Non-Canonical): "Having defeated Shao Kahn, Liu Kang believed he was the only one capable of defending Earthrealm against outside threats. During the invasion, Raiden had been more burden than ally. Brazenly, he demanded the Elder Gods grant him the thunder god's status. In a one-match Mortal Kombat tournament, Liu Kang defeated his former friend and mentor. Liu Kang's request was granted. He was made a god, the new Protector of Earthrealm."
  • Mortal Kombat X (Semi-Canonical): "With Shinnok defeated, Liu Kang explored the Netherrealm--a world that, without Shinnok's controlling power, had descended into chaos. Liu Kang was no sorcerer or Elder God, but his fighting skill was more than enough to beat Netherrealm's demons into submission. Liu Kang realized that Netherrealm was his for the taking--and that ruling appealed to him. He would assume Shinnok's throne--and ponder the konquering of other realms."
  • Mortal Kombat 11 (Semi-Canonical): "What does it mean to wield the Sands of Time? To be the Chosen One? It means making choices that break your heart. For the protection of all, I shared Kronika's power with the people I trust and loved most. Together we replace the Elder Gods that Cetrion had betrayed... and became eternal guardians of the realms. Still... My heart longs for a simple life. The kind one cannot have being the Chosen One, let alone an Elder God. What Kitana and I would not give for those simple pleasures. Perhaps in another timeline, they could be ours."
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