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*'''Splitter:''' Liu Kang performs a backflip kick, launching his opponent in the air. He proceeds by concentrating fire on his feet and leaping into the air. He then lands onto his airborne opponent, impaling them with both his legs. Finally, he splits his legs, tearing the opponent's upper and lower body apart. Blood and flesh start to rain as Liu Kang lands and wipes his boot. (''MKX'')
*'''Splitter:''' Liu Kang performs a backflip kick, launching his opponent in the air. He proceeds by concentrating fire on his feet and leaping into the air. He then lands onto his airborne opponent, impaling them with both his legs. Finally, he splits his legs, tearing the opponent's upper and lower body apart. Blood and flesh start to rain as Liu Kang lands and wipes his boot. (''MKX'')
*'''Burn Out: '''Liu Kang delivers a barrage of punches to the opponent's torso, followed by four more, each one leaving a burning hole in the torso. Liu Kang charges fire into his fist and delivers a one inch punch with enough power to destroy the entire torso. (''MK11'')
*'''Burn Out: '''Liu Kang delivers a barrage of punches to the opponent's torso, followed by four more, each one leaving a burning hole in the torso. Liu Kang charges fire into his fist and delivers a one inch punch with enough power to destroy the entire torso. (''MK11'')
*'''Unnamed Fatality:''' Liu Kang does a double hitting overhead cartwheel kick to knock out the eyes of the opponent, then uppercuts them which causes the upper torso to fly upwards while the arms and head are separated. He then takes out his nunchucks to strike each falling body part into viscera starting with an arm, the head and finally the torso. (''MK11'')
===Other Finishers===
===Other Finishers===

Revision as of 13:26, April 23, 2019

Liu Kang MK1Liu Kang MK2Liu Kang MK3

Show me what you can do.


—Liu Kang's Mortal Kombat (2011) Battle Cry

Liu Kang (劉鋼)[1] is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He is one of the few original characters, debuting in the first Mortal Kombat arcade game. He serves as the protagonist of the first four games, the live-action films and the original comic book series. He became the Grand Champion of Mortal Kombat throughout the first four tournaments, a title that remained undisputed in the original timeline.

In the alternate timeline, he only became the Grand Champion on two occasions, due to the fact that a third tournament did not take place during the invasion of Earthrealm. Although Liu Kang appears in every main Mortal Kombat game, he is not playable in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, as he was killed by the Deadly Alliance.

About Liu Kang

Liu Kang is one of the most popular and accessible characters in the series. He is one of Earthrealm's greatest warriors, having defeated many to prove his valor. Throughout the series, he has been gradually portrayed as the main hero, becoming champion after the first Mortal Kombat tournament. Kang has found a nemesis in the traitorous Shang Tsung, a sorcerer who he has defeated on numerous occasions. He is often considered the greatest threat to the plans of Shang and his emperor, Shao Kahn. He is a member of the White Lotus Society and trains extensively at the Wu Shi Academy. It was at the Academy that he was murdered by a Deadly Alliance of Shang with Quan Chi.

In the first entry in the series, Liu Kang was shown to be non-violent, in that his finisher did not graphically kill the opponent. Starting with Mortal Kombat II, however, all of his Fatalities were more gruesome.

His body was resurrected without his spirit in Mortal Kombat: Deception. This physical half killed hundreds of innocent people, with the skills he refined to protect them while he was alive. Liu Kang retained his personality as a zombie, as he still had his trademark yells. A notable exception is the intro of Armageddon, where he groans like a recognizable zombie.

He is said to be one of the Great Kung Lao's last descendants through various media (a trading card, the first film, etc.) It is possible that Liu Kang and Kung Lao are cousins. He is referred to as the "Immortal Champion of Mortal Kombat" in later games, and his ending in Mortal Kombat: Deception has him again assuming the role upon his restoration to life.


At his debut, Liu Kang appeared to be among the many Bruce Lee pastiches; an adult of Chinese origin with a bare chest, black pants and white sneakers. From MKII and onward, he is depicted with shaggy black hair, a red headband, spiked gauntlets, red and black kung fu pants, and kung fu slippers; still keeping his upper body bare (with the exception Mortal Kombat 4 where he has a tank top). This design is one of the most consistent in the series.

He is depicted as a zombie in Mortal Kombat: Deception. He gains a ghastly grey tint on his decaying skin, showing the most damage on his peeling face. He retains his usual attire, but now wears a pair of Houan chains with hooks attached to his gauntlets given to him by Raiden when he became corrupted. In his ghost form, his attire is different than what his corpse wears, instead wearing mandarin boots and pants similar to his original with a new sash and chickenmark design on the sides. In MK vs DCU, Liu Kang has greater muscle mass than most characters in the roster and wears a champion belt. In MK 2011, Kang's appears with a red sash brandishing the Elder Gods' symbol instead of the belt. His physical appearance is altered once more, with longer hair and a more well-rounded physique. Kang loses a lot of skin when taking damage due to his lack of armor or layered clothes.

As of Mortal Kombat X, Liu Kang has become one of Quan Chi's Revenants and since has become a dark version of himself, twisted by the sensibilities of the Netherrealm. While he still possesses the familiar glowing yellow veins and glowing eyes as other characters, he now sports a dark, armored uniform made from steel, leather and dragon scales. His hair has grown past shoulder length and keeps it tied like a ponytail. While he retains his iconic headband, it has been tattered. As Emperor of the Netherrealm, he dons a full set of spiky armor with the familiar trappings of a denizen of the Netherrealm. In his default "what-if" form, he has aged significantly like most other characters; his hair the same length as it is as a revenant, but now grey from aging and styled slightly different. He also wears a red and black vest with a black dragon decal. His alternate outfits are "Tournament" & "MK1", one which was based off his MK 2011 alternate costume's appearance, the other being a reimagining of his classic appearance from Mortal Kombat II.

The continual use of dragons and the MK logo in Liu Kang's techniques, his costumes in recent games, and recurring Fatalities (e.g. his Arcade Drop) all reinforce the perception that Kang is the mascot of the series. However, it should be noted that while Liu Kang has been an important character to the series, both Scorpion and Sub-Zero could also be potential mascots, though no official statement has been made by the developers.

Game information

Liu Kang was the only Mortal Kombat character who had a Fatality in which the opponent was not explicitly murdered (save for the Pit Fatality). His finishing move was also the only one in the original MK game that was performed without the background dimming. This was because Kang was depicted as a Shaolin monk, and Shaolin monks in general have strict beliefs against committing murder. However, starting with Mortal Kombat II, he was given gory Fatalities as he was depicted as a renegade monk who had "strong Shaolin beliefs, but was no longer a part of the Shaolin monks". Kang has also appeared in nearly every Mortal Kombat fighting game, with the notable exception of Deadly Alliance, though he still appears in the game's intro.

A victorious round against Shao Kahn in Mortal Kombat II does not lead to Kahn's usual voice declaring that the player's character wins. If Liu Kang is the chosen fighter, he will utter a small war cry upon winning the round.

Liu Kang deals double damage upon Onaga in Mortal Kombat: Deception, a bonus granted by the developers for the difficulty of unlocking him. It's possible that Liu Kang retains this ability in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon against bigger opponents.

He is one of four Mortal Kombat characters to have a spinoff game based around them (Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks). He and Kung Lao are the game's two protagonists.

Even though Liu Kang appears in his spirit form for the events of Deception and Armageddon, his alternate costume in both games depicts his human form. This human form in Deception and Armageddon depicts Liu Kang prior to his death or if he was still human. He was never truly restored to life until MKvsDCU, which ignored the event of his death. In MK 2011, he is still zombified in the story mode intro that takes place at the aftermath of Armageddon until the new storyline begins, where he is once again human until his demise by the hands of Raiden.

The hooked chains that hang from the arms of Liu Kang's zombie form have garnered much demand from fans to be used as a weapon style in the series, especially after Kang himself uses them as such in Armageddon's intro movie (where he rolls the chains up his wrists to fight Shang Tsung, and later uses their hooked tips to stop the sorcerer from reaching for the top of the pyramid). So far, however, these demands seem to have fallen on deaf ears at Midway, and the chains remain a non-interactive costume accessory for the character. Because these chains seem to have appeared arbitrarily to give Zombie Kang a more 'dark' feel, many fans demanded a canonical explanation for why the character has them.

The origins of Liu Kang's shackles were finally revealed in Raiden's bio in the game Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, where he described the shackles as enchanted chains used by an ancient tribe to control the dead. These are known as Houan Chain Hooks. As such, he placed them on the corpse of Liu Kang, recited an ancient incantation, and revived the Shaolin monk as his personal enforcer. [2]

Combat characteristics

Powers and abilities

Liu Kang has proven himself to be one of the most powerful characters in the series' span, emerging victorious from every Mortal Kombat tournament he's been involved in. Liu Kang possesses incredible agility, acrobatic skill and martial arts, though the latter is more common. These skills were developed during his training with Bo' Rai Cho, who also taught Kang the Flying Kick technique. It is suggested that Kang meditates regularly in order to keep increasing strength as well as maintain it. Due to his recurring status as the Mortal Kombat champion, Liu Kang hardly seems to age.

Liu Kang is commonly associated with the element of fire, which comes in the form of shooting firebound projectiles. He appears to have some degree of control over it as the fireballs sometimes form dragon-like shapes, and has even used the element for finishers as well. Kang also appears to possess a degree of shapeshifting, able to transform himself into a Chinese dragon which includes a serpentine body with small arms. In Shaolin Monks, the form is also revealed to have fire-breathing capabilities, most likely associated with his ability to use fire.

Besides his fiery projectiles, he has other abilities related to the element. He can also ignite his limbs on fire to add fire damage to his attacks and teleport in a burst of flames. Liu Kang can also steal what appears to be a person's energy and convert it into a fireball. In MK11, Liu Kang has the ability to summon and control a massive winged dragon of fire to assist him in combat.

In MKX, Liu Kang is shown to be able to manipulate his Yin and Yang energies through the Dualist variation, firing searing hot blasts of light in his Yin state along with healing properties while firing dark energy blasts and strengthening himself through his Yang state. He is also shown firing these dark projectiles in the game's Story Mode.

As a reanimated corpse, Liu Kang is incapable of human speech but still retains all of his combat knowledge. He can shrug off lethal blows such as a broken neck and can no longer feel any pain inflicted on him. His zombie physiology allows him to quickly recover from lethal injuries and freely twist and contort his body whilst in combat. He wields two Houan chains that can quickly age people to death if they are caught by its hooks.

Signature moves

  • Flying Kick: Liu Kang flies across the screen and connects with a kick to the opponent's torso. In MK 2011 and MKX this is called Flying Dragon Kick. As seen in the opening of MKII, and in one of Raiden's visions, move was used to defeat Shang Tsung. (MK, MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK:D, MK:U, MK:SM, MK:A, MKvsDCU, MK 2011, MKX, MK11)
    • In MK 2011, the enhanced version is called Flame Dragon Kick. Liu Kang's leg becomes covered in fire, making him quicker and increases damage.
    • In MKX, the enhanced version is called Flying Dragon Strike. It has more range, does more damage, and Liu Kang is armored while performing it.
  • Double Dragon Kick: An alternate version of Flying Dragon Kick, where Liu Kang delivers two flying kicks in quick succession to the opponent's torso rather than just one. This move replaces Liu Kang's Flying Dragon Kick in his Dragon's Fire variation. (MKX - Dragon's Fire Variation)
    • The enhanced version is Double Dragon Strike, it deals more damage and Liu Kang is armored while performing it.
    • Instead of the second flying kick, Liu Kang may choose to spend one bar of Super Meter to add a Bicycle Kick at the end of either Double Dragon Kick or Double Dragon Strike. The Bicycle Kick itself may then be enhanced with another bar of Super Meter (see more details below).
  • Dragon Fire: Liu Kang sends a fiery flame in the shape of a dragon across the screen out of his hands at his opponent. In most games after MKII, Liu Kang is also able to shoot it in the air. In MK 2011, this is called High Fireball. In MKX, the Fireballs themselves, their names and the way Liu Kang fires them change according to the variation chosen. (MK, MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK:D, MK:U, MK:SM, MK:A, MKvsDCU, MK 2011, MKX)
    • In MK 2011, the enhanced version is called High Dragon Fire. The fireball takes the form of a flaming black dragon.
    • In MKX, the different versions of this move are:
      • Fireball: Flame Fist variation version. Liu Kang lifts his leg and extends one of his hands to throw a fireball.
        • The enhanced version is called Fire Wave. Liu Kang will shoot a larger fireball out of both of his hands to deal more damage and hit crouching opponents. Fire Wave cannot be performed in the air.
      • Dragon Fire: Dragon's Fire variation version. Liu Kang throws a dragon-shaped fireball with both of his hands. It can be delayed or canceled out of.
        • The enhanced version is called Double Dragon. Liu Kang throws two fireballs rather than one. This move may be enhanced further to add a third, larger, fireball. Double Dragon may be performed in the air.
  • Low Dragon Fire: Liu Kang crouches and sends a fiery flame in the shape of a dragon across the screen out his hands at his opponent's feet. In MK 2011 and MKX, this is called Low Fireball. In the Dragon's Fire variation in MKX, it is once again called Low Dragon Fire. (MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK:D, MK:U, MK:SM, MK:A, MKvsDCU, MK 2011, MKX)
    • In MK 2011, the enhanced version is called Low Dragon Fire. The fireball takes the form of a flaming black dragon.
    • In MKX, this move cannot be enhanced in any of Liu Kang's variations.
  • Large Fireball: Liu Kang fires a larger fireball that sets his opponent on fire. (MK:SM)
  • Bicycle Kick: Liu Kang flies across the screen with a series of multiple kicks to the opponent's torso. (MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK:D, MK:U, MK:SM, MK:A, MKvsDCU, MK 2011, MKX)
    • In MK 2011, the enhanced version is called Bicycle Steps. Liu Kang's feet become enshrouded by fire, speeding up his kicks and adding an extra 3 kicks.
    • In MKX, the enhanced version is called Bicycle Flurry. Liu Kang will add four additional hits for more damage and is armored while performing it. In the Dragon's Fire variation, the Bicycle Kick can also be enhanced at any point to interrupt the series of kicks and make Liu Kang stomp his opponent in the head, bouncing them on the ground and allowing for a juggle.
  • Dragon's Tail: Liu Kang does a cartwheel kick on his opponent, similar to his first Mortal Kombat Fatality. Pressing another attack button will allow Liu Kang to follow up with another move that varies depending on the pressed button. (MKvsDCU)
  • Shadow Bicycle Kick: A faster version of bicycle kick which leaves a red shadow, this is somewhat copied from Johnny Cage's Red Shadow Kick, but Liu's Bicycle Kick makes it his own. (MKT)
  • Windmill Punches: Liu Kang delivers a series of quick punches to his opponent at the height of their chest. This replaces the Bicycle Kick in the Flame Fist variation. (MKX - Flame Fist Variation)
    • The enhanced version, Windmill Flurry, knocks the enemy away with a Dragon's Roar at the end.
  • Shaolin Flame: Liu Kang claps his fists together, engulfing them in flames and increasing the damage of his punches and fireballs for some time. (MKX - Flame Fist Variation)
    • The enhanced version is called Shaolin-ferno, it allows Liu Kang to recover much faster from the move.
  • Parry: Liu Kang gets in a parry stance with flames emitting from his hands. If his opponent attacks him while he's like this, he'll disappear in a burst of flames, reappear behind his opponent and deliver a swift surprise punch in the back. In MKX, this move is available only in his Flame Fist variation and is known as Dragon Parry, where he counters the opponent knocking them down with a flaming kick then he stomps the opponent on the chest. (MK 2011, MKX - Flame Fist Variation)
    • The enhanced version in MK 2011 is called Burning Parry. If Liu Kang is struck, he will connect with an uppercut.
    • In MKX, Liu Kang may enhance the move after connecting it, immediately after he stomps on the opponent, for an additional stomp and extra damage.
  • Dragon's Roar: Liu Kang delivers a powerful spinning back hand punch knocking the opponent away. (MKX)
    • The enhanced version is called Dragon's Wrath, it does more damage and knocks the enemy away for a greater distance. Liu Kang has two hits of armor when performing it.
  • Light Metamorphosis: Liu Kang switches to the Light state, in which he gains new moves based on the element of Light. (MKX - Dualist Variation)
    • Solar Flare: Liu Kang fires a burst of light from one of his hands at his opponent. This replaces his Fireballs in this state and variation, and so there are also Low Solar Flare and Air Solar Flare.
      • The enhanced version is called Solar Blast, Liu Kang fires a much larger burst of light with of both of his hands for more damage and to hit crouching opponents. Low Solar Flare and Air Solar Flare cannot be enhanced.
    • Yin: Liu Kang heals himself by standing still and focusing his energy. This lasts as long as the button is held and leaves him vulnerable to enemy attacks, but can also be canceled by a dash. However, if the button is simply released and the move is not dash canceled, Liu Kang has additional health replenished.
  • Dark Metamorphosis: Liu Kang switches to the Dark state, in which he gains new moves based on the element of Darkness. (MKX - Dualist Variation)
    • Soul Sphere: Liu Kang fires a dark and reddish projectile at his opponent, which will not directly damage them, but can be stopped in place at any time and position in the arena by performing Stop Sphere. It will explode some time after being stopped, launching the opponent in the air if they're nearby. This replaces his Fireballs in this state and variation, and so there are also Low Soul Sphere and Air Soul Sphere.
      • The enhanced version is called Dark Sphere, which explodes immediately after performing Stop Sphere and deals more damage. Low Soul Sphere and Air Soul Sphere cannot be enhanced.
    • Yang: Liu Kang focuses dark energy into his fists, increasing the amount of damage dealt by all of his attacks and giving charge to any incoming Soul Spheres to be fired, reducing the time they take to explode. The longer the button is held, the more damage Liu Kang's attacks will deal and the more charge will be given to his Spheres.
  • X-Ray Move - Chin Up: Another move based on his first Mortal Kombat Fatality, Liu Kang performs a butterfly kick and uppercut, which damages his opponent's jaw and skull and causes them to fly in the air. As they come back down he kicks them in the face, causing another damaging blow to the jaw and skull. (MK 2011)
  • X-Ray Move - For the Shaolin: Liu Kang delivers a jab to the face and a punch to the stomach before giving a palm to the nose, breaking the skull. Afterwards he kicks the opponent's stomach and delivers two more punches to the face before chopping the opponent's neck, shattering their vertebrae. Finally he kicks the opponent's face, and delivers three punches to the back, the third punch with enough impact to burst the opponent's ribcage. (MKX)
  • Fatal Blow: Liu Kang starts by doing a Dragon Roar, then hits the opponent across the face with his nunchaku. He then proceeds to summon his fire dragon from behind to bite down on the opponent who then disappears in an instant. With one fiery punch to the stomach, Liu Kang manages to send the opponent away. (MK11)

Other Moves

  • Free-Fall Super Move: Liu Kang, his fists on fire, spins around hitting his opponent several times. Then he fires a Dragon Blast at them, knocking them to the ground. (MKvsDCU)
  • Throw: Liu Kang grabs his opponent, punches them three times, then either delivers a final fiery punch (Forward Throw), or climbs on top of them and kicks them in the back of the head (Backwards Throw). (MK 2011)
  • Throw: Liu Kang grabs his opponent and delivers a few rapid punches to the chest and two more to the head, another to the chest then he kicks the opponent away. (MKX)


  • Deadly Uppercut: Liu Kang simply does a butterfly twist and uppercuts his opponent. The opponent isn't explicitly murdered unless it is used as a Stage Fatality, and was created to show Kang's faith in the Shaolin way. In Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, the opponent explodes into pieces upon hitting the ground. In MKvsDCU, this was a special move instead of a Fatality. This Fatality has been integrated into his X-Ray move for MK 2011. (MK, MKII, MK:SM)
  • Dragon Bite: Liu Kang's signature Fatality, in which he morphs into a large dragon and chomps the upper body of his opponent. In the Game Boy version of MKII, he still turns into a dragon, but scorches his opponent alive instead, then the remains explode within a few seconds, scattering the bones. This Fatality became Liu Kang's Animality in MK3 and was reverted to a normal Fatality in MK4. In MK4, the dragon picks the opponent up after biting the opponent, violently shaking them, before slamming the corpse back to the ground. In MK 2011, it is called The Beast Within, and the dragon takes on a chrome-like appearance similar to the dragon in the game's logo, complete with flames coming out of its nostrils. (MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MKG, MK4, MK:SM, MK 2011)
  • Arcade Drop: Liu Kang disappears, then an arcade cabinet of MK crushes the opponent. Afterwards, Liu Kang reappears and does his victory pose. In MK vs DCU, Liu Kang does not disappear when the arcade cabinet falls onto the opponent, leaving the opponent squirming as they are crushed. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MKvsDCU)
  • Incinerate: Liu Kang disappears and reappears inside his opponent as living fire, immolating the victim from the inside before reappearing. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
  • Fire Shot: Liu Kang tosses the opponent high in the air towards the screen, then shoots a fireball at them, causing the opponent's body to explode. (MK4, MKG)
  • Focused Fireball: Liu Kang extracts what appears to be the opponent's chi and charges it with his own into a large fireball. He then fires it at the victim, tearing them to pieces. (MK:D, MK:U)
  • Soul Invasion: Liu Kang transforms into a spiritual state and enters the victim's body. Afterwards, the possessed victim rips their own head off to reveal Liu Kang's head in its place before bowing down. (MK:D, MK:U)
  • Fiery Head Clap: Liu Kang charges his arms with fire and claps the opponent's head, destroying it. (MK:SM)
  • Fire/Kick Combo: Liu Kang fires a large fireball which sets his opponent on fire. He then does his Flying Kick, making them explode. (MK:SM)
  • Shaolin Soccer: Liu Kang uppercuts his opponent's head off, then does a backflip kick that sends the head flying towards the victim's body, making it explode. (MK:SM)
  • Arm Rip: Liu Kang tears off his opponent's arms and beats them to death with them. (MK:SM)
  • Bonebreak Combo: Liu Kang kicks his opponent's leg then snaps their arm, leg, and neck. (MK:SM)
  • Giant Stomp: Liu Kang kicks the opponent in the gut, sending them back and on the floor. He then jumps and impales the opponent in the gut with his feet, twisting his legs to make the lower half of the opponent explode. (MK:SM)
  • Fire Combo: Liu Kang sucker punches the foe to the ground, then does multiple bicycle kicks to their face before jumping high into the air to throw a fireball onto the opponent's body. (MKvsDCU)
  • Fist of Flame: Liu Kang bows and charges his hand with fire, then punches his fist through his opponent's chest and pulls it back out, leaving his arm bloodied and the opponent with a gaping wound in their chest as they collapse onto the ground in defeat. This Fatality was also used in Liu Kang's fight against Shao Kahn toward the end of Kung Lao's chapter in Story Mode to defeat the Emperor. (MK 2011)
  • Sore Throat: Liu Kang rips his opponent's larynx out of their throat, then shoves it back into their mouth, letting his opponent stand and choke on their own blood for a moment before pushing their body over with his finger. (MKX)
  • Splitter: Liu Kang performs a backflip kick, launching his opponent in the air. He proceeds by concentrating fire on his feet and leaping into the air. He then lands onto his airborne opponent, impaling them with both his legs. Finally, he splits his legs, tearing the opponent's upper and lower body apart. Blood and flesh start to rain as Liu Kang lands and wipes his boot. (MKX)
  • Burn Out: Liu Kang delivers a barrage of punches to the opponent's torso, followed by four more, each one leaving a burning hole in the torso. Liu Kang charges fire into his fist and delivers a one inch punch with enough power to destroy the entire torso. (MK11)
  • Unnamed Fatality: Liu Kang does a double hitting overhead cartwheel kick to knock out the eyes of the opponent, then uppercuts them which causes the upper torso to fly upwards while the arms and head are separated. He then takes out his nunchucks to strike each falling body part into viscera starting with an arm, the head and finally the torso. (MK11)

Other Finishers

  • Friendship #1: Dancing Monk: A disco ball comes down from the top of the screen and Liu Kang dances. (MKII)
  • Friendship #2: Shadow Theater: A projector screen appears and Liu Kang uses his fingers to make a shadow puppet of the MK dragon. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
  • Hara-Kiri: Liquidation: Liu Kang releases what appears to be green fire and melts himself. Similar to one of Ashrah's Fatalities. (MK:D)
  • Animality: Liu Kang performs his Dragon Bite Fatality (see more details above). (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
  • Multality #1: Dragon Breath: Liu Kang turns into a dragon and breathes fire onto his enemies. (MK:SM)
  • Multality #2: Trial By Fire: Liu Kang creates several fireballs that makes enemies explode when hit. (MK:SM)
  • Brutality: Rage Mode: Liu Kang covers himself in flames, running towards his opponents, fires an exploding fireball at the foe, and pounding his opponent and stomping them to death. (MK:SM)
  • Babality: Liu Kang will try to perform a cartwheel, only to fall on the ground and cry. (MK 2011)
  • Brutality #1 - Hot Head: Liu Kang jumps and fires a fireball at the opponent's head, turning it into flaming bones. (MKX)
  • Brutality #2 - Dragon's Den: Liu Kang rushes at his opponent and performs an elbow blow at the opponent, blasting their torso off. (MKX)
  • Brutality #3 - Kounter Top: Liu Kang parries his opponent and knocks them down, forwarding with three powerful stomps on their chest; the last one leaving a gaping hole in their body and popping their head off. (MKX - Flame Fist Variation)
  • Brutality #4 - Tread Lightly: Liu Kang performs a Bicycle Kick and then stomps them on the head, crushing it and sending blood and skull fragments flying. (MKX - Dragon's Fire Variation)
  • Brutality #5 - Hot Mess: Liu Kang throws a large fireball that burns a gaping, charred hole through their abdomen. (MKX - Dualist Variation)
  • Brutality #6 - Deep Fried: Liu Kang throws his Low Fireball at the opponent, but it completely burns off the skin of their legs and lower torso. (MKXL - Secret)

Movie and TV Appearances

Portrayed by Robin Shou, Liu Kang is the main protagonist in both Mortal Kombat films (Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation). These films created a romantic relationship between Kang and Princess Kitana, which was never hinted upon during MKII or the prequel comics. This was integrated into the games from MK4 onward.

Mortal Kombat

In the first movie, Liu Kang's brother Chan was killed by Shang Tsung. The guilt of his brother's death provides Kang's primary motivation for competing in the Mortal Kombat tournament.

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

In the second movie, he joins the Earthrealm warriors to stop Shao Kahn's menace. Jade appears as his secondary love-interest, and Nightwolf helps him learn to master his Animality.

His dragon form appears briefly with a more western design, while retaining the klassic green coloration. This form has wings, but he is not shown flying with them.

Mortal Kombat: Legacy

Liu Kang appears in Mortal Kombat: Legacy in its second season, portrayed by Brian Tee.

For the first time in the series, Liu Kang does not fight as Earthrealm's champion but as one of Outworld's chosen kombatants, serving under Shang Tsung himself, having become disgusted by humanity's vices.

Sometime in the past, Liu Kang was a member of the White Lotus and participated in the Mortal Kombat tournament before and emerged victorious, even defeating Shang Tsung by decapitating him, though this did not kill the demigod sorcerer.

After this, he chose to leave the White Lotus and pursue a life with his girlfriend Molly, much to the disappointment of his friend and fellow monk Kung Lao. Liu Kang became a chef for a diner and proposed to his girlfriend, only for a robbery to take place the same day, with one of the robbers taking Molly hostage. Unable to intervene in time, Kang could only watch in horror as his love was killed right before him.

After this, Liu Kang killed them in revenge, exercising 'karma' he claimed to Kung Lao when he went to his friend, looking for sympathy for Molly's death. Lao instead turned his back on Kang, disappointed by his actions and forbid him from returning to the White Lotus temple.

Over the next ten years, Liu Kang became a bitter hitman, killing those he judged unworthy and confirming to himself the righteousness of his path. Two weeks before the next Mortal Kombat tournament, shortly after finishing a job, Kang was confronted by Shang Tsung in a restaurant, although he initially did not recognize him. Shang was offering recruitment to Kang, urging him to fight for Outworld.

At first, the former monk refused, claiming he still fought for Earthrealm, but Shang Tsung appeals to Liu Kang's hatred of the evils of Earthrealm's populace and his growing animosity at Kung Lao for abandoning him. At this, Kang agreed to fight for Outworld.

Two weeks later, Liu Kang is drinking himself into a stupor in Macau when he gets into a fight with some thugs, and while he brutally dispatches most of them, the last one gets the upper hand and is pummeling Kang senselessly before Kung Lao intervenes. The two former friends converse, but Kang refuses to hear anything that Lao has to say, only slurring belligerent curses at him and punches him when he refuses to get out of his way. Lao then departs and Kang contemplates for a moment while holding the ring he had given Molly.

The next day, Liu Kang is the last kombatant to arrive on Shang Tsung's island, appearing among the sorcerer's chosen fighters, much to Shang's delight.

Liu Kang would lie in wait in the center of the island where he spotted Kurtis Stryker and Johnny Cage as the cop tended to Johnny's wound. Kang instigated a battle with them by throwing a fireball, knocking Stryker out and further injuring Johnny. Recognizing the actor, Kang was briefly surprised to discover he was skilled enough to be invited to the tournament and offered Johnny two choices: to die in the dirt or a chance on his feet. Johnny opted to fight, and while Kang was momentarily impressed, the action star could hold his own, as he was quickly and easily defeated.

Before he could kill Johnny, Stryker revived and shot Liu Kang with his stun gun. Kang overcame the pain and fought Stryker up close, dodging all of his handgun's shots and even stole the weapon before proceeding to bash Stryker's head with the butt of the weapon. Kang attempted to execute Stryker with his own weapon but Kung Lao intervened yet again, disarming the rogue monk with his hat toss.

Kung Lao expressed his shock at Liu Kang's appearance and his horror over the fact he was fighting for Shang Tsung, and pleaded with his former friend that it was not too late to go back on the right path. But Kang refuted all of Lao's words before declaring humanity was not worth protecting. He then challenged Lao, but his former friend refused to fight, so Kang declared that he would die.

The season ends as the two stare each other down.

Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm

Liu Kang is one of the lead characters in the animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm. Even though in other media he's the main protagonist, the animated series focuses on a group of heroes instead of just one, leaving him to reprise important roles on few episodes. In Episode 4, Skin Deep, he shows jealousy towards Rain, Kitana's old fiancee. His turkey voice is not used in this series. In Episode 1, Kombat Begins Again, it is replaced by a loud banshee shriek.

Comic Books

Comics Published by Malibu:

Liu Kang is the main protagonist of the Malibu Comics series. His story is mostly intact (he being an Order of  Light monk out to restore the tournament to their righteous owners), though in the comics he is not the chosen one to defeat Goro, the role instead falls on a character created exclusively for the comics: the twin monk brothers Sing and Sang, which are capable of fusing their bodies and minds into one being, Siang. Liu Kang steps as the only hope for the Temples of Light after Siang is brutally murdered by Goro. Another changed aspect is that he works in Chicago as an architect, having left the Order of Light before the events of the first series.

The following series Battlewave states Liu Kang won the first tournament, which happened after Blood & Thunder ended and is never shown in any comic, after defeating Goro. He returns to his normal life, but suffers from constant attacks by an unknown force of ninjas and later receives help from Johnny Cage's bodyguard Bo when Goro ambushes him in an office building. Eventually he decides to travel to Outworld, realizing that he cannot avoid Mortal Kombat.

Liu Kang is never shown interacting with Kitana, thus their relation is never brought up or developed, instead choosing to pair her with Kung Lao. His friendship with Kung Lao is also greatly overlooked, only becoming friends during the Blood & Thunder series when Kung Lao saved a near death Liu Kang after Kano backstabbed him.


Mortal Kombat (2011)

  • "Show me what you can do!"
  • "You should be more respectful of Lord Raiden. He is the protector of Earthrealm, the god of thunder, the..." (To Johnny Cage)
  • "This tournament is more than a chance at personal glory. We're fighting for the very survival of Earthrealm." (To Johnny Cage)
  • "What do you see in him?" (Discussing Johnny Cage with Raiden)
  • "Your visions... what causes them?" (To Raiden)
  • "I trust you will make the right decisions." (To Raiden, about the visions)
  • "I am ready!" (Facing off against Ermac)
  • "Earthrealm will not fall into your master's hands!" (After defeating Ermac)
  • "You're good! Show me more." (To Kitana)
  • "I am impressed." (after defeating Kitana)
  • "I hope we meet again. Under... different circumstances." (To Kitana, after their fight)
  • "I do not fear you, demon." (To Scorpion)
  • "As I said, I do not fear you. I pity you." (After defeating Scorpion and Quan Chi)
  • "I know who you are, I am ready for you!" (To Goro)
  • "It seems the Shaolin trained a warrior greater than a Shokan." (After defeating Goro)
  • "Shang Tsung! Only one fight remains. Face me... in Mortal Kombat!" (Facing off against Shang Tsung)
  • "Say it!" (After defeating Shang Tsung)
  • "But you are responsible for her capture! You persuaded her to turn against Shao Kahn!" (To Raiden)
  • "Noticed that I'm ignoring you. (When Kung Lao is teasing him about Kitana)
  • "You lie!" (To Goro)
  • "But I am not he who must win." (To Raiden)
  • "The murderer of my friend!" (To Shao Kahn after he killed Kung Lao)
  • "You will taste your own blood!" (To Shao Kahn)
  • "On your feet!" (After defeating Shao Kahn)
  • "For Kung Lao, the Shaolin and Earthrealm!" (Just before delivering a final blow to Shao Kahn)
  • "But the battle is joined here, in Earthrealm."
  • "We abandoned them! And they're dead!" (To Raiden, after discovering Sindel has killed most of their allies.)
  • "What is next Raiden? Tell me the future! How do we honor their "sacrifice"?!" (To Raiden)
  • "What?! Grovel before Quan Chi?! What will he demand? What price will be paid?" (To Raiden)
  • "I have prayed it not true. But you have gone mad, Raiden. Your visions, they are nothing. Delusions of an addled mind."
  • "Back from the Netherrealm empty handed I see."
  • "That is insane!" (When Raiden tells him they must let Shao Kahn merge the realms)
  • "He is here!" (When Shao Kahn begins to enter Earthrealm)
  • "Then you are my enemy!" (When Raiden refuses to let him fight Shao Kahn)
  • "Enough of your madness! If you must die, SO BE IT!" (To Raiden)
  • "You... have killed us... all!" (After being mortally wounded by Raiden)

Mortal Kombat X

Story Mode

  • "We must withdraw."
  • "In your weakened state, is it still possible for you to release Shinnok?" (To Quan Chi)
  • "So you returned to Raiden? A fool will follow fools." (As he attacks Jax)
  • "He murdered me!" (To Jax about Raiden)
  • "You were not there! He stole everything from me!" (To Jax about Raiden)
  • "You do not deserve to rejoin us." (To Jackson Briggs)
  • "Instead you will learn... There are worse things than death." (To Jax, before their fight)
  • "Praise be to Lord Shinnok." (Pledging allegiance to freed Shinnok)
  • "More visions, Raiden? Do you still see the future?" (Mocking Raiden)
  • "I was put here by your hand." (To Raiden)
  • "I should thank you. You freed me. The Elder Gods you blindly serve? I will help Shinnok end their rule!" (To Raiden)

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

  • "It was really your move. I merely redirected your own power against you. And I could seek your chi. I know you were there."
  • "I am surprised to see you so soon after Shao Kahn's defeat."
  • "Many White Lotus have also disappeared."
  • "Do you think is responsible?"
  • "The Lin Kuei and the Black Dragon."
  • "You'll need more than just my help. Contact Sonya Blade. She has a better understanding of the Black Dragon than I. I will search for Sub-Zero."
  • "Snow... Out of place this time of year. If my hunch is correct..."
  • "I'm not surprised."
  • "Not yet. But I feel I'm getting... close!"
  • "It was you who attacked me, ninja."
  • "I didn't kill any Lin Kuei."
  • "We're investigating the disappearance of our comrades as well."
  • "It seems we have a common enemy, Sub-Zero. The question is are you willing to work together to uncover the truth?"
  • "Because I'm about to save your life."
  • "Go. Now! We will meet again later."
  • "I have seen this trick before..."
  • "Your illusion does not fool me, Shang Tsung!"
  • "Strange. If this was Shang Tsung, he would've reverted back to his normal state."
  • "This aura... It feels strange. Foreign. I must take him to my masters. They will be able to attune to his chi and discover his origin."
  • "Masters! Masters! Where are they? Why won't they answer?"
  • "Shang Tsung..."
  • "May the Elder Gods find you in another realm for your treachery, sorcerer."
  • "This is Liu Kang."
  • "Have you found Kano?"
  • "The Lin Kuei aren't behind this. They are suffering losses as well. I think there is a new threat. I fought a warrior, something resembling a red devil with a bolt of lightning on his chest."
  • "At first, I thought it was Shang Tsung transforming his appearance. I have ruled out that possibility. This is a different warrior altogether. I clearly sense an abnormality in his chi."
  • "The energy that courses through all things in the universe. This aura is unlike anything I have seen before. I will try to attune to it."
  • "I will be fine."
  • "I am Liu Kang."
  • "I thought I defeated you, sorcerer..."
  • "By the Elder Gods, I will finish you!"
  • "Kitana..."
  • "Kitana?"
  • "Kitana!"
  • "Then Dark Kahn must be stopped."
  • "I will... do as you asked, Raiden."
  • "Shang Tsung and I have just arrived at the Fortress. No sign of the--"
  • "The warriors Sub-Zero warned us about."
  • "Do not test me, Shang Tsung! I should've killed you at the Academy!"
  • "Shang Tsung, your treachery ends here!"
  • "How... How can this be? You are more powerful than before..."
  • "You defeated him. You defended me."
  • "I owe you my gratitude."
  • "I can sense something... Something's big... It's here!"
  • "Raiden... Stop!"

Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm

  • "Could I have beaten him without Kitana's secret?"
  • "Hey, Sub-Zero's cool! Uh, sorry. He's a warrior of honor."
  • "What is it now Stryker? You know, backseat drivers are usually in the same vehicle."
  • "I still don't understand why I have to pilot this...this thing! I'd rather face a thousand ninjas than a single computer!"
  • "Better suck it in!"
  • "No can do. We have all we can handle out here!"
  • "The truth is, I've never been sure I could've defeated Sub-Zero's brother without your help, Kitana."
  • "Wait! Think before you leap!"
  • "Yeah. But no one's in more danger than Kitana."
  • "Sub-Zero! Don't let your anger give Scorpion the edge!"
  • "Scorpion! I challenge you to Mortal Kombat!"
  • "Sub-Zero! Without honor, you're no better than your brother!"
  • "Sub-Zero gave me the tool, I merely used it."
  • "No wonder this place was condemned, it's ready to cave in."
  • "I'd say we were outnumbered."
  • "Hey, watch it! Man, you just took ten years off my life!"
  • "I'm not exactly ageless. We don't grow old, but either way, I'd rather not be a shish kabob."
  • "Never age...?"
  • "Flawless victory!"
  • "It's kind of strange, but I've been thinking a lot lately. About never growing older, because of the Mortal Kombat tournament."
  • "Right, but since the Outworlders violated the rules, there may never be another tournament, which means I may...I may never age."
  • "That's part of it, but the idea of spending eternity in constant struggle, I just don't know if I can handle it."
  • "You don't look a day over five hundred."
  • "Well then, I guess that makes us the perfect match..."
  • "Just hold on a second! I'm not convinced we should be following this guy anywhere!"
  • "Who is he? And why are you acting like you owe him something?"
  • "I'm not leaving! Not without Kitana!"
  • "Maybe...but I have to know! I'm staying!"
  • "Don't you see? I need to know the truth about Kitana; if she really cares about Rain or about me. Who else can I grow old with?"
  • "Tell me something Stryker: why did you stay?"
  • "We make a good team Kitana, even if I let my emotions cloud my judgment."
  • "Who--or what--is that?"
  • "Listen, we still have a couple dozen nomads to contend with. Best we can do is split up."
  • "Zip! There's no rip here!"
  • "It's not about trusting you, but you've gotta admit you're wearing us down."
  • "It must be nice knowing you're not losing it."
  • "Get Stryker clear, we'll cover you!"
  • "Stryker's right! You need time to cool off and think about what you did!"

Mortal Kombat: Legacy

  • "For the past three years I've done things you wouldn't believe."
  • "But each time the righteousness of my path was confirmed."
  • "They're unworthy and ungrateful."
  • "You're naive to think humanity is worth protecting."


  • Liu Kang is the longest running protagonist in franchise history, playing the hero for an entire decade. However, in recent years, he has been written into increasingly-antagonistic roles, starting as a monstrous zombie beginning in Mortal Kombat Deception and culminating in becoming an anger-driven enemy in Mortal Kombat (2011), resulting in his accidental death at Raiden's hands. Throughout Mortal Kombat X's story mode, though he is an unwillingly evil revenant, his behavior portrays him as a self-centered, taunting and vengeful warrior, while his human form in the game's Arcade mode portrays him as jaded and self-aggrandizing. 
  • Liu Kang retains all of his special moves from Mortal Kombat into Mortal Kombat (2011).
  • Liu Kang is uniquely playable in all 5 Mortal Kombat Arcade games: MK, MKII, MK3, UMK3 & MK4.
  • Liu Kang is the default choice for player 1 in MKII and the default choice for player 2 in MK3. In both games, the opposing default character is a reptile-themed villain (Reptile and Shang Tsung respectively.)
  • The original Mortal Kombat was the only game that portrayed Liu Kang without his red bandana, arm gauntlets, or red & black pants.
  • Contrary to his ending in MK Armageddon, Liu Kang cannot relieve Raiden as Protector of Earthrealm in the original timeline as Fujin has held that position since the final moments of the Mortal Kombat 4/Gold storyline. The concept of Liu Kang ascending to godhood is perpetuated in Shang Tsung's ending, and his own, with varied results in MK 2011.
  • Liu Kang was originally going to be called Yoshitsune Minamoto, a historical character based on a famous Japanese clan but John Tobias stated that they could not deal with the name.
  • Ho Sung Pak, who played Liu Kang in the first two games, also portrayed Shang Tsung in the first game as well. He did not reprise his role in MK3 along with other actors from MK & MK II. He was replaced by Eddie Wong.
  • The wrestler Human Tornado uses a move he calls the Liu Kang Kick in homage to the character.
  • Liu Kang was intended to be a “surprise/secret” character during Mortal Kombat: Deception, being one of the most difficult to find/unlock during Konquest because the creators intended to cause a shock to the fans of the series by having their hero resurrected in such a corrupted way. This even lead them not to release an official high resolution render of the character (to avoid any leaks).
  • Liu Kang's MKII Dragon Bite Fatality resembled the Mortal Kombat dragon logo. It became his Animality in MK3, UMK3, and MK Trilogy, then returned as a Fatality in MK4/MK Gold.
  • Liu Kang's ending in MK vs DCU showed him becoming a Mortal Kombat version of Captain Marvel. The words used to transform were screamed in the opening theme of the first live-action film - "MORTAL KOMBAT!".
  • Liu Kang is unique in that he has his own voice files in each game he has appeared in, which consist of 'kiai', a shouting technique that serves to maximize the force of the user's attacks.
  • Liu Kang's dialogue speaking voice was changed from a regular American voice in Shaolin Monks to a more East Asian inspired accent in MK vs DCU.
  • Liu Kang is in several "Top 10" lists hosted by His zombie form was placed at #9 of the worst characters in the Mortal Kombat series due to his late accessibility (needing to clear MK:D's Konquest Mode) as well as his zombie status; and both his Dragon Bite and Deadly Uppercut Fatalities were both placed at #2 of the best and worst Fatalities in the Mortal Kombat series respectively.
  • The damage Liu Kang received in the alternate timeline by Raiden is the same that Kintaro gave Kabal, just not to the same degree: burns all over his body, a blinded left eye and (possible) damage to the lungs.
  • Zombie Liu Kang can be playable through the Kombat Kode "Zombie Kombat" in Mortal Kombat (2011).
  • In MK 2011, Liu Kang is the only character to be playable in another character's chapter in the Story Mode. He wears his more traditional bareback costume, mirroring his victory over Kahn in the original timeline.
  • An achievement for the Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection is called THE CHOSEN ONE, referring to Liu Kang's moniker in the films. It is earned by completing all three tournaments.
  • Liu's alternate color for MK3 is orange instead of blue. Orange is the traditional color real-life Shaolin monks wear.
  • Liu Kang was the second fighting-game character to be based on Bruce Lee. He is predated only by Kim Dragon from World Heroes, released two months before the first MK game.
    • One of the versus intros in Mortal Kombat X literally has Reptile refer to Liu Kang as "Little Dragon", which was the English translation for Bruce Lee's mandarin name, Li Xiao Long.
  • Liu Kang's official theme is titled, "Born in China."
  • Liu Kang has been in every major game but not every spin-off. The only major game to not feature him as a playable character was Mortal Kombat:Deadly Alliance.
  • In MK 2011, Liu Kang is one of three characters whose X-ray move is based on an original fatality, the others being Baraka and Mileena.
  • In Mortal Kombat X, if the player chooses any of Liu Kang's skins that depict him as being alive (ex: "Tournament" and "MKI"), his fighting grunts will be high-octave "kiai" noises. However, if the player chooses his Revenant skin, he will instead fight with regular-octave, serious grunts.
  • Liu Kang's arcade outfit in MKX is never seen in the Story Mode. This is the same for Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Kitana, and Kung Lao.
  • In a technical sense, he is one of the few characters to be dead in both the original and current timelines.
  • His Diamond card in the mobile game of MKX is one of two Diamond cards that lacks a grapple attack. The first was Erron Black's Bounty Hunter card.
  • His Klassic card in the mobile game is one of two cards that have an alternate Special 2, this being achievable when he is on fire where he summons a fire dragon that sets the entire enemy team on fire.
    • The second is Jason Voorhees' Relentless card, which changes after using his Special 2 twice.
  • Klassic Liu Kang is the only character card in the mobile game that inflicts a debuff on himself, this being the fire damage-over-time debuff.
  • Liu Kang's Klassic card in the mobile game is one of three cards that are immune to damage-over-time effects. The other two are Dark Raiden and Klassic Reptile.
    • Klassic Liu Kang and Dark Raiden are the only character immune to power drain effects.
      • Liu Kang gains a damage boost to his basic attacks, while Raiden reverses the effect and gains power instead.
      • The only way for Klassic Liu Kang to lose power is with the Frostbite debuff.
      • When Injustice 2 Raiden siphons power, Liu Kang is unaffected and simply gains increased damage every second. This is not the same for Dark Raiden, however.
  • Liu Kang is mentioned in Injustice 2 by Raiden, who is featured as a playable guest character. His name also appears on some of Raiden's gear.
  • Liu Kang is one of two characters to receive two Revenant outfits. The other is Kitana.
  • Liu Kang is one of four characters in MKX to be safe on a Low poke. The others are Torr, Takeda, and Kung Jin.
  • According to Daniel Pesina on WWE Xavier Wood's up up down down Youtube Channel. Liu Kang's later design from MK2 onward was modeled after Marvel's character Shang Chi.[3]
  • cetrion told Liu Kang that he uses Onaga fire.


  • Despite being in his Flame Fist variation in the Story Mode, his is shown to be able to spawn the Soul Sphere from his Dualist variation. This is a consistency error.
  • The frame data on his Dragon's Roar special attack is significantly incorrect. He is safe when using the regular version of the attack despite being negative on block, being -2. The actual data is around +1 to +4.

His Dark Emperor card in the mobile game has spawned numerous glitches. They are listed below;

  • If the player's character is not stunned by Dark Emperor Liu Kang's passive at the start of the match, the player will still be unable to attack Liu Kang for the five seconds. As of Update 1.18.1, this has been corrected.
  • If the player's character is not stunned by his passive and they tag out, there is a chance to create a clone of the character that remains on the field until they are tagged back in. See Glitches and Errors. This has been corrected.
  • If a Relentless Jason card is not stunned by his passive and Liu Kang uses a special attack, excluding his X-Ray, Jason will evade, and when he returns, he will be unable to attack Liu Kang and Liu Kang will not attack at all and the player will be unable to tag to any other character. The only way to fix this when it happens is to exit the current match or restart the game itself. It is unknown if this has been corrected or not.
    1. Japanese manual of SNES version Mortal Kombat)
  • Raiden's Armageddon bio. Official Mortal Kombat Armageddon website. (Retrieved on 2007-01-23).
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