—Shang Tsung's famous Battle Cry
Shang Tsung (尚宗); 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, in which he served as the final boss.
Shang Tsung returned as a playable character and secondary sub-boss in Mortal Kombat (2011) before Kintaro and Goro in the game's arcade while serving as a secondary antagonist in the game's Story Mode opposite Shao Kahn.
Shang Tsung returned in Mortal Kombat 11 as the guide in the game's Krypt and as a DLC character, being the first character available in the Kombat Pack.
About Shang Tsung
A powerful, deadly sorcerer and a primary villain in the Mortal Kombat franchise, Shang Tsung is a shape-shifter who needs to consume souls in order to sustain his health and life. In the Mortal Kombat series, he is the epitome of cunning and decadence, as symbolized by his preference for lavish parties, grand palaces, and stylish clothing. Unlike the crude Shao Kahn, this bombast is a facade, disguising Shang's true intellectual and mental sophistication. His arch-nemesis is Liu Kang, but throughout his unnatural lifespan, he has earned the hatred of many others, including Kung Lao and Kenshi.
Shang Tsung's allegiance to Shao Kahn granted him the status of a free roaming sorcerer. As such, he is able to move between realms without detection by the Elder Gods or local deities, an ability which has granted him many opportunities to commit atrocities over the centuries. Only Delia, Shinnok, Shao Kahn, and Quan Chi can match Shang Tsung's skills as a sorcerer.
Shang Tsung initially had the appearance of a decrepit old man. His skin was pale with long, balding white hair, a beard and mustache, with dangling thin fingers and long fingernails. He wore robes with shades of blue and yellow and had a sword holstered at his side at all times. Since MKII, he regains his youth, though with varying degrees. His skin returns to a natural tint and is depicted with long black hair. As with his older persona, he shares featureless white eyes. In both MKII and MK3, he wore yellow and black clothes. In Deadly Alliance and beyond, he wears a heavy red uniform. Interestingly, he is depicted with pupils, having brown eyes.
In MK 2011 during the first tournament, Shang Tsung wore a black kimono shirt with a golden accent, black pants, and black boots with a golden X decoration at the top. Above his kimono shirt, he wore a crimson vest-like robe, with a large golden trim at the edge of the robe and at the cuffs; black and gold decorations on the front of the robe, the robe has a long, single strip which falls down to around his boots; two, thin strips of black fabric protruding from the top of the pants; and a belt, with the middle colored black, the rest gold and a jade stone in the middle.
In MK11, he once again appears in his older and younger forms, the former being a slight redesign of his MK 2011 outfit with his younger form being a hybrid of his MK3 and MK 2011 appearances, sharing the similar design traits of the latter with the color palette of the former. Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa provides his likeliness for the character, his younger form in particular being based directly off of his physical appearance in the 1995 live action movie, sporting a near identical hair style and a complete lack of facial hair. One of his alternate costumes also grants him his look from the aforementioned movies. Interestingly, his old form has visible pupils rather than being pure white.
Shang Tsung is based off of Lo Pan from the 1986 film Big Trouble in Little China. Originally his name was intended to be Shang Lao. He used a staff and had the look of an ancient Chinese royal.
Powers and abilities
As mentioned above, Shang Tsung was cursed by mysterious entities identified only as his gods. The curse forcibly decreases his lifespan, unless he takes the souls of others to replenish himself. Shang Tsung's primary objective is to find an infinite source of souls on which to thrive indefinitely. Without souls, his body will rapidly age, wither, and eventually die.
However, due to his ability to absorb souls, he has also discovered an unforeseen side effect, granting him the ability to shape-shift into the people whose souls he has taken. The change is more than skin deep as he has access to their memories and powers as well. Shang Tsung is not required to steal a person's soul in order to morph into them, as he took on the form of Kung Lao to sneak up on Liu Kang. As a sorcerer, Shang Tsung wields incredible black magic, most of it provided by Shao Kahn though after the third and second tournaments, this is no longer the case. It would appear that he, when paired with Quan Chi, was able to defeat the Thunder God of Earth, Raiden.
Like his rival, Liu Kang, he is associated with the element of fire, able to fire flaming skull-shaped projectiles at his opponent. In addition to his projectiles, he has the ability to create a giant, flaming cobra of fire that easily defeated Raiden (as seen in Deception's opening cinematic). In Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, Shang Tsung could teleport using pools of fire. He can also use his element of fire for sorcery and black magic, such as his ability to create portals as seen in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. Early concept sketches of Shang Tsung for Mortal Kombat II revealed that he had a hidden, demonic form.
- Morphing: Shang Tsung assumes the shape of anyone in the game. In MKII and MK3 and its updates, Shang couldn't morph into the bosses. (Although in MKII, he could briefly morph into Kintaro as a Fatality) In Trilogy, he could morph into anyone in the PlayStation, Saturn, and PC versions only. In the Amiga versions of Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat II, Tsung's morph is limited to that of the character he is fighting against. In Deadly Alliance, he can morph into anyone on the Game Boy Advance ports only. In MK 2011, he uses the Soul Steal to morph into his opponent. As the sub-boss in MK 2011's Arcade Ladder, Shang Tsung can morph into two of the fighters the player has fought until him. In MK11, when morphed into another character, he has access to all of their Krushing Blows and Fatal Blows, albeit with a lower damage output (See Below). (MK, MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:DA, MK:TE, MK:SM, MK 2011)
- Flaming Skulls: Shang Tsung sends a fiery skull flying at his opponent. In the first game, he could fire up to six. In the later games it is up to three only. In MK 2011 and MK11, this is called Fire Skull. In MK11, Shang Tsung send the flaming skulls higher at the opponent than usual projectiles, causing the attack to miss if the opponent is either ducking or even blocking while ducking. (MK, MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:SM, MKvsDCU, MK 2011, MK11)
- The enhanced version of this is called Triple Skulls and fires three skulls, one after another.
- In MK11, amplifying the attack send another skull at the opponent for increased damage. The second skull is sent at the same height as the original, meaning it can miss opponents ducking or blocking while ducking.
- Equipping Inferno Skull will modify the amplified effects of the attack: (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Amplifying the attack a second time has Shang Tsung send a third and much larger skull at the opponent, knocking the opponent down and dealing even more damage. The third skull can strike ducking opponents.
- If only the third skull strikes the opponent, the attack turns into a Krushing Blow, where the skull's impact is greater and deals increased damage. The single skull itself deals more damage than if all three skulls strike the opponent.
- Flaming Skull Eruption: Shang Tsung summons his fiery skulls to burst out of the ground in a series of three, directed towards him. In MK 2011, this is move is called Ground Eruption and acts as the enhanced version of Ground Skull. In MK11, Shang Tsung only sends two bursts. The attack also has a far version, called Far Ground Eruption, respectively. This ability replaces Crashing Flames and requires two ability slots, and conflicts with Force Lift when equipped, disabling the option to select Force Lift. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:SM, MKvsDCU, MK 2011, MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Amplifying the attack has Shang Tsung create a third eruption that launches the opponent in the air for a juggle.
- Ground Skull: Shang Tsung summons a single flaming skull out of the ground. Shang can summon the skull Close, Mid way, or Far away from him. (MK 2011)
- Soul Steal: Shang Tsung steals a small portion of his opponent's life force. He also does this in Shaolin Monks in a manner similar to his Mortal Kombat II fatality. The special move version allows him to regain some health back. In MK 2011, he morphs into his opponent after using this move and gets a damage boost by 33%. If Shang Tsung uses this move on Goro, Kintaro, or Shao Kahn in the Ladder mode, the player will not morph, but will still get the damage boost. In MK11, after draining the opponent's life and morphing into them, Shang Tsung gains increased damage by 20%. Additionally, Shang Tsung gains access to the opponent's Krushing Blows and Fatal Blows, however they deal slightly less damage than their original. Performing Krushing Blows while morphed as the opponent that are shared between Shang Tsung and the opponent, like Throw and Uppercut Krushing Blows, disable Shang Tsung from using his own version of the attacks. Additionally, if Shang Tsung successfully uses the opponent's Fatal Blow, he can no longer use his own. Shang Tsung can remain morphed after the announcer says Finish Him/Her, however once Shang Tsung's combo ends, he returns to himself. (MK:DA, MK:TE, MK:SM, MK:A, MKvsDCU, MK 2011, MK11)
- The enhanced version is called Soul Capture. Shang Tsung stays as the opponent for a longer time.
- If Shang Tsung delivers the round-winning blow with Soul Steal, a glitch will cause him to have the damage boost for the rest of the rounds.
- In MK11, amplifying the attack doubles the amount of time Shang Tsung morphs into the opponent. The damage bonus remains the same.
- Forward Fireball: Shang Tsung shoots a fireball at his opponent. (MK:DA, MK:TE, MK:A)
- Fire Ring: Shang Tsung shoots a fireball from each hand. The two fireballs come together in a circle-like process, hitting the opponent at close or far range. (MK:DA, MK:TE, MK:A)
- Mysterious Magic: Shang Tsung glows with a green aura, and runs toward the opponent, suddenly disappearing just before reaching them, and reappearing right behind them to strike with a low sliding kick. (MK:A)
- Body Switch: With a gesture of his magic, Shang Tsung will switch places with his opponent. (MKvsDCU, MK11)
- Slide Launch: Shang Tsung does a slide kick that trips the opponent, then launches them into the air. (MKvsDCU)
- Hot Escape: Shang digs into the ground and erupts at his opponent as a means of teleportation. (MKvsDCU)
- Up Skull: Shang Tsung throws a skull upwards, which then falls above the opponent's head. The skull can strike a mid-air opponent while it is rising. The skull can be made to fall at three distances: Above, Behind, and In Front of the opponent. (MKvsDCU, MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Skull Storm and fires three skulls, one for each of the three distances and they all come down at the same time.
- Soul Warp: Shang Tsung uses his magic and switches places with his opponent. This also deal a small amount of damage. (MK 2011, MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Crashing Flames: Shang Tsung sends two fireballs towards the opponent's legs, causing them to stumble backwards on each successful hit. (MK11)
- Amplifying the attack has Shang Tsung send a third fireball that knocks the opponent down and further away from the sorcerer for increased damage.
- Corpse Drop: Shang Tsung pulls out his scroll and summons an overweight corpse to fall from above the opponent, dealing damage. The attack can be used at different ranges, called Close/Far/Very Far Corpse Drop, respectively. (MK11)
- Amplifying the attack has Shang Tsung destroy the corpse right after it lands, causing a fiery and bloody explosion that knocks the opponent off their feet and deals increased damage.
- Equipping Explosive Corpses will modify the amplified effects of the attack, causing the explosion of the corpse to launch the opponent in the air for a juggle. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Sorcery Rush: Shang Tsung slides across the ground with a wall of green energy in front of him and slides into the opponent, knocking them a considerable distance away from the sorcerer. (MK11)
- Vile Sorcery: Shang Tsung gains two effects using his scroll. Only one effect can be active at a time: (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Malignant Sorcery: Shang Tsung opens his scroll in front of the opponent, placing a red aura around them. During this time, the opponent's damage dealt is reduced by 25%. Connecting or being struck by a Krushing Blow or Fatal Blow ends this effect prematurely. Additionally, this effect ends if Shang Tsung successfully connects Soul Steal. Only the initial strike of the opponent's Fatal Blow have reduced damage.
- Vile Inscriptions: Shang Tsung opens his scroll next to himself, placing a purple aura on the opponent. During this time, all of Shang Tsung's damage dealt to the opponent is increased by 25%. Connecting or being struck by a Krushing Blow or Fatal Blow ends this effect prematurely. Additionally, this effect ends if Shang Tsung successfully connects Soul Steal. Only the first strike of Shang Tsung's Fatal Blow gains the damage bonus.
- Inferno Barrier: Shang Tsung pills out his scroll and summons a small fire tornado trap on the fightline behind his opponent. If the opponent makes contact with the trap, they will take damage. Shang Tsung can also place the trap in front of himself, called Close Inferno Barrier, respectively. Only one trap can be placed at a time, and can only placed again once the previous trap either deals damage, is blocked, or disappears. This ability conflicts with Soul Well when equipped, disabling the option to select Soul Well. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Amplifying either version alters the attack, causing it to travel towards the opponent after being created, but offers no extra damage. The Close version of the attack can travel a majority of the fightline, but does not reach full-screen distance.
- Soul Well: Shang Tsung levitates his vial of souls above the fightline. After every attack, with the exception of Krushing Blows and Fatal Blows, Shang Tsung absorbs a portion of the opponent's soul. Inputting the attack again has Shang Tsung absorb what was collected, healing him for 25% of the damage collected. If no damage was dealt, Shang Tsung will heal himself for 4% health. This 4% is also applied to the health returned if damage was dealt. If the attack's inputs are not done again to collect the soul essence in time, the vial will vanish and Shang Tsung will not gain any health. Connecting or being struck by a Krushing Blow or Fatal Blow ends this effect prematurely. Additionally, this effect ends immediately if Shang Tsung successfully connects Soul Steal. This ability conflicts with Inferno Barrier when equipped, disabling the option to select Inferno Barrier. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Shake: Transforming into Smoke, Shang Tsung stands in place and surrounds himself with smoke, where he parries any projectile that makes contact with him, with the exception of Fatal Blows. Upon successfully parrying, Shang Tsung counter attacks the opponent by teleporting above and kicking them down before returning to normal. The attack can be delayed. The counter attack from the parry is unblockable and unavoidable. This ability is barrowed from Smoke. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Amplifying the attack allows Shang Tsung, as Smoke, to parry basic attacks with the exception of low stacks and Fatal Blows. As with the original, the counter attack from the parry is unblockable and unavoidable.
- If Shang Tsung successfully parries two attacks twice in a row, the second parry turns into a Krushing Blow, with the counter attack resulting in Shang Tsung landing on the opponent with his palm, crushing the opponent's spine, various organs and shattering the rib cage and dealing over double the original damage.
- Superkick: Transforming into Rain, Shang Tsung performs a powerful roundhouse kick that send the opponent to the complete other side of the screen. The attack can be delayed or canceled, however canceling the attack requires and spends a bar of Defensive Meter. The ability is barrowed from Rain. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Amplifying the attack allows Shang Tsung to transform back into himself before the opponent lands on the other side of the screen, allowing for additional attacks after. The amplified version offers no extra damage and just simply has Shang Tsung recover much faster. The attack cannot be amplified if blocked by the opponent.
- If Shang Tsung cancels the attack, then successfully performs it again right after, the attack turns into a Krushing Blow, with the kick shattering the top half of the opponent's skull for almost double the original damage.
- Slide: Transforming into Reptile, Shang Tsung slides across the arena with a green slime under him, knocking the opponent in the air to the opposite side of the sorcerer. Unlike Reptile's original version of the attack, the attack takes slightly longer to activate and Shang Tsung travels a shorter distance. This ability is barrowed from Reptile. This ability replaces Sorcery Rush when equipped. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Amplifying the attack has Shang Tsung follow up with a drop kick identical to Reptile's Scaly Serpent combo from MKX to the opponent's back while they are in the air, knocking them further away and dealing increased damage.
- If Shang Tsung travels the maximum distance he can when sliding, the attack turns into a Krushing Blow when amplified, with the drop kick breaking the opponent's spine and several ribs and dealing over double the original damage.
- Force Lift: Transforming into Ermac, Shang Tsung lifts the opponent up with telekinesis and slams them onto the ground. This ability is barrowed from Ermac. This ability replaces Crashing Flames when equipped and conflicts with Ground Eruption, disabling the option to select Ground Eruption. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Amplifying the attack has Shang Tsung, still as Ermac, slam the opponent two more times, slamming them behind the sorcerer, then a final time in front, bouncing them off the ground for a juggle. Shang Tsung can only use this juggle effect once per combo.
- If the opponent is late to block the attack, the attack turns into a Krushing Blow, where when Shang Tsung amplifies the attack, the first slam has much more impact, causing the attack to deal increased damage and retaining the same effects. If this effect is successful, Shang Tsung can amplify a second Force Lift during his combo.
- Screaming Soul: Shang Tsung clutches his fist with energy and sends a fast moving Soul Ball at his opponent which knocks them away on contact. This ability replaces Fire Skull when equipped and conflicts with Inferno Skull, disabling the option to select Inferno Skull. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Amplifying the attack has Shang Tsung create an energy beam above him by levitating his scroll, where the beam is shot from to deal increased damage. The beam is shot at the middle of the arena and travels down the fightline until it is off screen, but the opponent will take damage regardless of where they are struck when the beam is created.
- Scatter Soul: Shang Tsung takes his vial of souls and shatters it into a small explosion of energy, knocking the opponent away. The attack can be delayed or canceled. Delaying the attack increases the damage of the explosion, which when fully charged deals double the original damage and retains the same properties. This ability replaces Corpse Drop when equipped and conflicts with Explosive Corpses, disabling the option to select Explosive Corpses. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Amplifying the attack has Shang Tsung grab the vial instead of crushing it and throw it at the opponent, which if it successfully hits them, will stun them and set them up for a free hit. The attack can not be amplified if it is delayed, nor can it be canceled once amplified.
- X-Ray Move - Your Soul is Mine: Shang Tsung magically drains a portion of the soul out of his opponent, showing only the muscles due to the soul taken from the skin (and the ribs broken due to his hands inside the opponent's chest), then delivers a skull shattering knee strike, knocking them away. (MK 2011)
- Fatal Blow - Shapeshifter's Barrage: Shang Tsung stuns the opponent with a burst of green magic, then transforms into Sub-Zero and slides into them and, before they fall, creates an icicle to pierce one of the opponent's eye, which freezes his opponent. He kicks his opponent away and transforms into Scorpion to use a Spear to reel the opponent back in and stabs them before slashing the opponent's throat. He lastly transforms into Noob Saibot to grab the opponent and flies up, then slams them headfirst into the ground. (MK11)
- Free-Fall Super Move: Shang Tsung floors his opponent with a massive fireball. (MKvsDCU)
- Throw: Shang Tsung grabs his opponent by the throat and drains a portion of their life force. He then flings the opponent away either forwards or backwards. This attack restores a very small amount of Shang Tsung's health. (MK 2011)
- Throw (Forward): Shang Tsung thrusts his hand into his opponent's chest and drains a portion of their life force. He then sends them away with a palm strike. This attack is slightly weaker than a usual throw, but in return restores 2% of Shang Tsung's health. (MK11)
- Throw (Backward): Shang Tsung opens a fiery portal beneath the opponent's feet that they fall into, and Shang Tsung stomps on their head, sending them in. Once the opponent is thrown out of the portal, Shang Tsung opens his scroll and strikes them with a fireball. (MK11)
- If this is performed shortly after Shang Tsung morphs back into himself after a Soul Steal, the attack turns into a Krushing Blow, with the stomp to the top of the opponent's head shattering the top of their head, forcing them through the portal, but this time he does not unleash a fireball. This version offers no extra damage, but launches the opponent in the air for a juggle.
- Rising Chest Kick: Shang Tsung runs forward and kicks the opponent in the chest, knocking them away. (MK11)
- If this attack is used as a Kounter or Punish to a Getup Roll, the attack turns into a Krushing Blow, with the kick to the chest now being a kick to the face that crushes the upper half of the opponent's skull inward and deals over three times the original damage.
- Reversed Pain: Shang Tsung delivers a chop to the opponent's stomach then a second overhead chop to their head, knocking them down. (MK11)
- If the second chop successfully lands, whether the opponent successfully blocks the first hit and not the second or the second strike lands on its own, the attack turns into a Krushing Blow, where the chop shatters the top of the opponent's head and bounces them off the ground for a juggle and increased damage.
- Tipping The Scales: Shang Tsung performs a chop to the opponent's head, a kick to the shin followed by a kick to the chest. (MK11)
- If this combo is performed on an opponent as a Kounter or Punish, the attack turns into a Krushing Blow, with the kick to the chest now being a kick to the face that crushes the upper half of the opponent's skull inward and dealing over double the original damage.
- Shapeshifter's Training: Shang Tsung gains access to Shake, Slide, Superkick, and Force Lift without the need to select them individually. When this is selected, Shang Tsung can no longer use Soul Steal and Corpse Drop. This ability requires three ability slots when equipped. (MK11 - Equip Ability)
- Note: There is no indicator that Soul Steal and Corpse Drop are disabled when this is selected (See Errors).
- Soultaker: Shang Tsung consumes his opponent's soul, leaving behind a shrunken corpse. In MKII, he would grab his opponent, whilst in MK3, he would levitate them instead. In MK:DA, he would levitate his victim and slam them onto the ground several times before jumping on top of them, each time extracting a part of their soul. In MKvsDCU, he transforms into his victim first, picks them up by the back of the neck, consumes the soul, then throws them to the floor before reverting back to normal. In MK 2011, this move has been downgraded to his throw attack. (MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:DA, MK:TE, MKvsDCU)
- Inner Ear Explosion: Shang Tsung enters his opponent's body. The body violently shakes until it explodes as Shang appears in the opponent's place. (MKII)
- Kintaro Morph: Shang Tsung morphs into Kintaro and punches the upper half of the opponent's body clear across the stage. (MKII)
- Bed of Nails: Shang Tsung makes a bed of spikes rise out of the ground and he slams his dazed opponent into them. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Back Breaker: In a variation to his Soultaker Fatality, Shang Tsung grabs his opponent and consumes their soul before throwing their body to the ground. He then stomps on their back, breaking their spine. (MKvsDCU)
- Bang Bang!: Parodying The Joker's first MKvsDCU Fatality, Shang Tsung transforms into an evil looking clown, takes out a gun and fires, but it is fake and instead a flag with the word 'Bang!' comes out of the gun. He drops it and starts to laugh. With the opponent in a bit of shock, anger and confusion, the clown then pulls out a real gun and shoots the opponent in the head, blowing the head to pieces, and proceeds to laugh maniacally. (MK 2011)
- Identity Theft: Shang Tsung enters his opponent's body and has them rip their own head off. Tsung then leaves the opponent's body and laughs maniacally in satisfaction. This Fatality is nearly identical to Liu Kang's Soul Invasion Fatality in Deception, but here Tsung simply leaves his victim's body once the deed is done. (MK 2011)
- Kondemned To The Damned: Shang Tsung summons glowing chains on each of his opponent's limbs. The chains lift the opponent up and Shang Tsung summons a firey portal below them. Two undead shaolin monks appear from the portal and start clawing at the suspended opponent, tearing their guts out. One undead monk rips off the opponent's face, whilst the other pulls their skeleton out from their suspended body through their open stomach. (MK11)
- Shokan Reborn: Shang Tsung throws a soul orb at his opponent's chest, tearing a hole and exposing their ribcage. A pair of arms break out from their lower sides and rip off the opponent's arms. A second pair of arms sprout in the place of the ripped arms and pull at the opponent's chest, tearing it apart with enough force to blow them into pieces, and emerging from the opponent's body is Kintaro who roars at the camera. (MK11)
- Friendship #1: Shang Tsung casts out his hands and makes a rainbow. (MKII)
- Friendship #2: Shang Tsung turns into the main character from the video game Joust and hops offscreen. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Animality: Shang Tsung turns into a cobra and swallows his opponent whole. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Babality: Shang Tsung turns into a baby, takes out a teddy bear and steals its soul. Afterwards, he sits down contentedly and puts his fingertips together as if he were plotting. (MK 2011)
- The Klassic: Shang Tsung performs an uppercut, decapitating the opponent with their spine still attached. This brutality is shared will every character. (MK11)
- Must not block for the entirety of the final round.
- A button must be held.
- Will not trigger on Krushing Blow, if it has not been activated during the match.
- Essence Thief: Shang Tsung performs a Throw (Forward), but, in true fashion of his Soultaker Fatality, picks up the opponent and steals their soul, leaving behind a shrunken and dry corpse. (MK11)
- Buttons must be pressed during the final hit.
- Visceral Punt: Shang Tsung performs a Throw (Backward), but instead of stomping on the opponent's head, he kicks it off with the spine still attached. (MK11)
- Walk It Off: Shang Tsung performs a Slide as Reptile, destroying the opponent's shins in the process. This is similar to Reptile's Knee Kapper Brutality in MKX. (MK11)
- True Fifty Fifty: Shang Tsung performs a Force Lift as Ermac and vertically rips the opponent in half. This is identical to Ermac's Gluttony Brutality from MKX. (MK11)
- Fountain Of Blood: Shang Tsung performs a Superkick as Rain that decapitates the opponent with their spine still attached. Shang Tsung quickly morphs back into himself and catches the opponent's head as it flies in from the opposite side before dropping it. (MK11)
- Spatial Override: Shang Tsung performs a Soul Swap, disappearing and then reappearing in the opponent's place, causing them to explode. (MK11)
- Must connect a number of Soul Swaps during the match.
- Secret Corpse Drop Brutality: Shang Tsung performs a Corpse Drop, only this time when the body lands on the opponent, it destroys and replaces their entire upper body. (MK11 - Secret)
- Brutality Steal: After morphing into the opponent he is currently fighting by performing Soul Steal, Shang Tsung can perform his opponent's Brutality, so long as the requirements for the Brutality are met and the opponent has the finisher unlocked. (MK11 - Secret)
Shang Tsung's name was hyphenated in Midway's official press release for the original MK ("Shang-Tsung").  He first appeared as an elderly man in his mid-eighties, then became a younger man in his late-twenties to early-thirties. According to GamePro magazine in 1993, the Mortal Kombat II version of Shang Tsung was 19 years old. (In an MKII feature by the magazine that same year, included was a rough sketch of Shang's "true form" – a twisted demon. Though it was drawn by MK co-creator John Tobias, this form has never actually appeared in canon.) 
In Deadly Alliance, he is roughly 45. Tobias wanted Shang Tsung's long hair to hang loose in Mortal Kombat 3, but potential problems with it flopping about whenever he jumped resulted in it being tied back into a ponytail. There are at least two different origin stories for Shang Tsung. On Midway's Mortal Kombat Mythologies website (long since inactive), it stated Shang Tsung was originally from Earth. This however presents a problem: namely, it was revealed Bo' Rai Cho could not fight in the Mortal Kombat tournament as his victories would be in Outworld's name, hence his training of Liu Kang. Therefore, any victories by Shang Tsung as Grand Champion would be in Earth's favor. However, his Armageddon bio makes reference to Shang binding his soul to Shao Kahn, which may explain why his victories would count for Outworld. Shang Tsung's Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition bio states his origin as "Earthrealm/Outworld". The 2011 game reaffirms that he was originally from Earth, and willingly bound his soul to Shao Kahn's in exchange for power.
In the original Mortal Kombat, Shang Tsung seems to be hovering on the floor, like his fellow Shadow Priests. Because of this, he is completely immune to sweep attacks and Sub-Zero's Slide. He can't transform into anyone in the GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox versions of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (Due to problems between switching character models). However, he did assume the form of Kung Lao and Ermac in the opening cinematics of Deadly Alliance and Armageddon, respectively. He could actually transform into anyone in the Game Boy Advance version of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (and the second re-release called Tournament Edition). Oddly enough, he can't transform into Reptile in that game.
Shang Tsung appears in the Dead Pool arena in Mortal Kombat: Deception, watching on a balcony (in his MKII attire). He is not normally playable in Mortal Kombat: Deception without the use of a GameShark code or Xbox mod. However, when he is used in a battle other than the fight challenges in Konquest mode, he uses the voice samples of the younger Shujinko, many of which are, otherwise, never heard in the game. For an unknown reason, Tsung's alternate outfit from Deadly Alliance is used as his character model in Deception when he is in kombat; however, in Konquest he is actually shown in his standard outfit from Deadly Alliance. Shang's Friendship in Mortal Kombat 3 turns him into a sprite from the arcade game Joust. He also has a joke picture in Deadly Alliance that promotes a foot-odor killer.
Film and TV Appearance
Although a powerful warrior, Shang Tsung regularly resorted to intimidation and trickery when dealing with his enemies. He lures Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, and Sonya Blade to the Mortal Kombat tournament by playing on their insecurities and desires. He kills Liu Kang's younger brother Chan Kang to lure the Shaolin monk to the tournament. He lures Johnny Cage in by telling the film star (in the form of one of his teachers) that if he wins, no one in the world will think of him as a fake. (It is unknown if he killed Master Boyd or not, as he takes his form.) He also hires Sonya's nemesis Kano to lure her to the tournament; however, Shang warns him that if he does so much as to touch her, he will apparently make Kano need a seeing-eye dog. Later, he betrays Kano and allows Sonya to kill him. Shang Tsung shows a particular interest in Sonya, as he plans to face her in the final battle of the tournament, seeing her as easy prey. (This interest is implied in the story mode of Mortal Kombat (2011), as shown in several scenes.)
Shang Tsung also harbored suspicions of Princess Kitana and tasked Reptile with watching her and keeping her away from Liu Kang. He expressed disappointment with Kitana after she (deliberately) failed to defeat Liu Kang in the tournament.
After the deaths of both Scorpion and Sub-Zero, Shang Tsung unleashed Goro upon the Earthrealm kombatants. He then allows Johnny Cage to challenge Goro, on the condition that he may challenge anyone of his choosing, in any place. After Cage killed Goro, Shang Tsung kidnapped Sonya Blade and took her to Outworld, where he intended to challenge and defeat her in the final battle of Mortal Kombat - thereby securing Outworld's victory.
After imprisoning Sonya in the Black Tower, Shang Tsung tried to trick her into fighting him. He told her that unless she accepted his challenge, Earthrealm would forfeit the tournament and lose (in truth, the rules of Mortal Kombat stated that no final battle could take place unless a challenge was accepted). Sonya defiantly declared that her friends would come for her. At that moment, Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, and Princess Kitana revealed themselves. Kitana berated him for attempting to use treachery and deceit to win the Tournament. Shang, despite knowing where her loyalties truly lay, stood down, and then formally challenged Johnny Cage. Liu Kang, however, stepped in and challenged Shang Tsung to Mortal Kombat, telling him to either fight or yield. Shang accepted Liu Kang's challenge and ordered his guards to leave.
During the battle with Liu Kang, Shang Tsung summoned an army of phantom warriors - the enslaved souls of those he had defeated in the past. After Liu Kang managed to defeat his minions, Shang Tsung then attempted to trick Liu Kang into letting his guard down by transforming himself into the image of his murdered brother Chan. Liu Kang was not fooled and continued the fight. During this time, the captured souls of Shang Tsung's victims rose up against him, weakening the sorcerer. Liu Kang finally used a fireball to knock Shang Tsung off a platform and into a pit of spikes. Shang Tsung was impaled on the spikes and died, his corpse rapidly decaying into a skeleton. All the captured warrior souls then escaped into the Heavens, including the monk's younger brother, Chan.
Mortal Kombat Rebirth
James Lew portrayed Shang Tsung in Mortal Kombat: Rebirth.
In the short, Shang Tsung is the owner of an illegal underground fighting tournament. He hired Baraka and Reptile to fight for the tournament. His appearance closely resembles his attire in the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie.
Mortal Kombat Legacy
Shang Tsung in this continuity is still one of Shao Kahn's servants and a sorcerer of unrivaled power, going so far as to call himself a demigod. He fulfills many of the same roles he did from the games.
Chronologically appearing for the first time in the fourth episode, Shang Tsung is summoned by Shao Kahn to create a clone of Kitana when Kahn fears that Sindel will raise her to hate him. Shang Tsung eagerly agrees to the task with a devious smirk, a flashback in the fifth episode revealing he stole some of Kitana's blood to create Mileena, though he mixed in Tarkatan blood to truly make her Shao Kahn's daughter.
Shang would reappear in the eighth episode, having aided fellow sorcerer Quan Chi in framing the Lin Kuei for the slaughter of the Shirai Ryu and the murder of Hanzo Hasashi's family. He then witnesses Quan Chi ressurect Hanzo as the spectre Scorpion to fight for Outworld in Mortal Kombat.
Shang Tsung would then appear in the third episode, stopping time around Johnny Cage before appearing from the shadows before the disgraced action star. He offers Johnny a "Way out of everything" and presumably attempts to recruit him to the side of Outworld for the Mortal Kombat tournament, though the next season reveals that he failed to recruit Johnny.
Cary-Hiroyuki Tawaga reprises the role in season 2 of Mortal Kombat: Legacy. This version of the character is unrelated to Tagawa's previous work as Shang.
Shang Tsung in his new form first appeared in the first episode, as all the Kombatants gathered together on the island. He then uttered, "It has begun."
Shang reappears in the ninth episode of the season, where he comes to Liu Kang with a proposal to join the forces of Outworld. He justified accepting such an offer since Kung Lao and the rest of Kang's friends had abandoned him, and Shang took advantage of this by saying joining Outworld in the tournament would provide excellent payback. Shang also hinted that he himself was once an Earthrealm warrior, but was left behind by his comrades, as was Kang, further enticing him. As Liu Kang came to the island in the first episode (and fought Kung Lao in the tenth episode), it would seem that the former Shaolin monk accepted Shang's offer.
Mortal Kombat: Conquest
In the Mortal Kombat: Conquest TV series, Shang Tsung (played by Bruce Locke) was portrayed as a sorcerer eager to take revenge on the Great Kung Lao, who had defeated him in Mortal Kombat. For most of the series, he is confined to the Cobalt Mines of Shokan for his failure in the Mortal Kombat tournament, although he occasionally escapes (his powers unaffected by the cobalt in the mines, thanks to his human heritage). He keeps the Kreeyan princess Vorpax in the Cobalt Mines as his personal slave and henchman until she is freed by her sisters. He is later chosen by Vorpax to be her mate after she obtains Queen Kreeya's powers.
Defenders of the Realm
Shang Tsung also made several appearances in the animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, including its 9th episode Resurrection when, after being defeated by Liu Kang back in Outworld, Shao Kahn's Shadow Priests found his bones and thus used their dark magic on them, bringing him back to life. Now reborn, Shang Tsung was able to serve his emperor Shao Kahn whom he loathed the most, as well as to seek revenge on the young Shaolin monk who had killed him. He was given "The Orb" (also featured in the Street Fighter, Savage Dragon, and Wing Commander Academy cartoons), a mystical artifact that enabled the user to manipulate the very elements of Earth, and even strip Raiden of his godly powers.
The Journey Begins
Shang Tsung also appeared in the animated film Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins as the main antagonist that had an army of Tarkatan minions as well as the loyalty of Goro, the Elder Sub-Zero, and Scorpion. He had his appearance from Mortal Kombat.
Shang Tsung plays his original role of main villain in the first series of the Malibu Comics, Blood & Thunder. Shang Tsung appeared in his old self, with his back story mostly unchanged (serving Shao Kahn to open the portal through 10 consecutive Mortal Kombat wins). He and Raiden share a bitter relationship, usually ending in either verbal assaults or draw fights. While Shang Tsung hosted the tenth tournament, he secretly planned to gain the powers of the mystical book Tao The Zhan, which granted immense strength to whoever resolves its seven riddles. Unfortunately for him, Kano steals the book and later Goro vanishes in thin air, forcing him to hold the tournament endlessly, making Shao Kahn quite disgusted. During the final issue Tournament Edition, Shang Tsung and Raiden joins forces to stop Goro after he took the power of the book, since he cannot be trusted with such strength.
During the Battlewave series, it is implied that Shang Tsung resumed the tournament after his plans were foiled and lost it alongside Goro at the hands of Liu Kang. He is seen in the first pages of issue 1 being pursued and punished by Shao Kahn, Kintaro and Gorbak (Goro's father). Even though Shao Kahn supposedly punished him, he later appears in the last page of issue 5 completely rejuvenated and still under Shao Kahn's servitude. Shang Tsung would later serve as leader of Shao Kahn's team during the tournament he prepared in the last issue of the series, Tournament Edition II.
Shang Tsung's last appearance is during Kung Lao's 1995 one-shot comic, in which he serves as an antagonist, attempting to kill the Shaolin monk through deceptive tricks using his shape-shifting abilities to use Lao's friends (Kitana, Baraka and Sub-Zero) and later his ancestor, the Great Kung Lao.
Mortal Kombat (film)
- "Your brother's soul is mine! You will be next!" (Points to Liu Kang, in a dream.)
- "You killed her partner, didn't you? She'll follow you into Hell. Just make sure she's on that boat. Sonya Blade must be at the tournament." (to Kano)
- I'm impressed. But it is my boat and if you'd like a tour, I'd love to give it to you myself. (to Sonya Blade)
- "If you so much as touch her, Kano... you're going to need a seeing eye dog."
- "Scorpion and Sub-Zero. Deadliest of enemies. But slaves under my power."
- "Lord Raiden. How good of you to grace us with your... presence..."
- "You've been chosen, Sonya. Much to my... delight."
- "It has begun!" (He looks up towards the sky as he says these words.)
- "Princess Kitana... She's our most dangerous adversary. Watch her carefully, Reptile. Keep her away from these humans."
- "Welcome. You're here to compete in Mortal Kombat. Tomorrow morning, the great Kombat begins. Some of you will even have the distinct honor... and pleasure... to face Prince Goro, our reigning champion. You are all witnesses to one of the greatest turning points in the history of your planet. Treasure these moments... as if they were your last. And now for a taste of things to come..." (Welcoming the kombatants to the tournament)
- "Flawless victory." (After Sub-Zero easily kills one of the guards by freezing the guard.)
- "It's true, Prince Goro. Why else would I have chosen such a disreputable looking cretin? Look at him. No dignity. No manners. Yet in the realm of Earth, men like him can amass great wealth and almost god-like power." (to Goro, about Kano)
- "After you've fought the girl. But remember. She's not to be harmed. Only humiliated. I have plans for my beautiful Sonya." (To Kano)
- "The emperor will not tolerate failure. And neither will I." (To Goro)
- "From this moment on, my Island will be your battleground. Liu Kang, you will be first! Let Mortal Kombat begin!"
- "Your soul is mine!" (Before taking the defeated Fighting Monk's soul away as the Monk begs for his life.)
- "Fatality." (after taking the soul of the Fighting Monk)
- "Sonya Blade, I have something for you, my dear..." (Sonya looks towards him, and says she doesn't want it.)
- "On the contrary, I have something you want very much. You can thank me later." (just before Kano enters the arena)
- "Yessss." (as Sonya gains the upper hand against Kano)
- "Kitana! That's enough! You disappoint me... Not very wise." (when Kitana deliberately allows Liu Kang to defeat her)
- "We've let these humans win enough." (to Goro)
- "Finish him!" (Ordering Goro to kill Art Lean, to which his does by bashing Art's head with a closed fist.)
- "Flawless victory. Your soul is mine." (Taking Art Lean's soul.)
- "Are you that eager to die?" (Response to Johnny Cage's demand to fight Goro.)
- "As you wish. As absurd as your request is, I shall grant it. In return, I reserve the right to challenge the winner myself. Or another of my choosing. In a place designated by me for the final battle of the tournament." (to Johnny Cage)
- "Finish him, quickly. Pay me my tribute." (To Goro)
- "You imbecile! Follow him! Finish him!" (To Goro)
- "I hereby exercise my right to challenge. I challenge... her!" (about Sonya)
- "We had a deal, remember? Mortal Kombat continues. I am simply changing the place. As we agreed." (taking himself and Sonya to Outworld)
- "Sonya. My sweet Sonya. There's no one else. If you don't fight, the Realm of Earth will forfeit the Tournament and its portals will open to out great Emperor."
- "One last chance, Sonya. Fight me in Mortal Kombat."
- "How dare you speak to me of treachery!" (To Kitana)
- "Johnny Cage! I challenge you!" (Lin Kang, cuts in and demands that Shang Tsung, fights him instead.)
- "I accept." (To Liu Kang's challenge)
- "Leave us! I will take care of this impudent mortal myself."
- "You fool!" (After Liu Kang drops an elbow, knocking him to the ground, he then spits on the floor.)
- "Liu Kang! I can see into your soul. You - will - die!" (He points at Lin Kang.)
- "You're mine!" (To Liu Kang)
- "They are mine... forever!" (When Liu Kang orders him to free the souls)
- "Save your pity for the weak!" (To Liu Kang)
- "NEVER!" (Final stand against Liu Kang, in which he charges towards him and gets punched around.)
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
- "Do you trust me?" (Posing as Raiden, approaching Liu Kang and Kung Lao as they spar)
- "Listen to my words as you continue your exercises, for you will need to remember them later. Shang Tsung is not as defeated as we had hoped. I faced him while you fought the attacking mutants. More, I believe he now defies the Elder Gods themselves. Baraka could not have come with a legion of mutant scum had Shang Tsung not been aiding him. With his defeat in the Mortal Kombat tournament, he will be anxious to prove himself superior to you, and take his vengeance. This will make him reckless and more dangerous than ever." (Posing as Raiden, speaking to Liu Kang and Kung Lao)
- "I had hoped you had time to heal your wounds in the tournament... but I was gravely mistaken." (Posing as Raiden, speaking to Liu Kang and Kung Lao)
- "You must go to Outworld. We must take the battle there if we are to save Earth." (Posing as Raiden, luring Liu Kang and Kung Lao to Outworld)
- "You waste my time. Your souls aren't even worthy additions to my power. Kill them! (To Liu Kang and Kung Lao, before ordering Shadow Priests to kill them)
- "Thank you. Thank for serving me so well...!" (Posing as Raiden, before attempting to execute Liu Kang with Raiden's staff)
Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
- "And soon, neither will you!"
- "Arrogant fool. I am Shang Tsung, and this is my island!"
- "And now, you will suffer the same fate!"
- "Flattery will get you nowhere."
- "Captain Marvel wins. Now, finish him!"
- "You disappoint me. Still, your mastery over the supernatural is exceptional."
- "Your challenge is not over. Let us see how you fare against the savage fury..."
- "...of Baraka's blades."
- "Impressive. You would've fared well in my tournament. But I'm afraid you could never have been champion of Mortal Kombat."
- "In the end, you would've face Shang Tsung!"
- "As you wish..."
- "We must return to Quan Chi. He may have the answer."
Mortal Kombat (2011)
- "Your soul is mine!" (Battle Cry)
- "Kombatants. I am Shang Tsung! In the coming days each of you will fight. Some are here of their own volition, others were brought here by chance."
- "You participate in the most important Mortal Kombat in history! This tournament, the tenth after nine Outworld victories, will determine Earthrealm's fate. If you defeat all of your opponents, you will face one final challenge... me."
- "Appearances can be deceiving." (after appearing near Johnny Cage)
- "Our first kombatant will be Mr. Cage!"
- "Reptile!" (Summoning Reptile as a challenge for Johnny Cage)
- "Your second challenge, Mr. Cage. Baraka!"
- "Congratulations, Mr. Cage. Now, FINISH HIM!" (after Johnny Cage defeats Baraka)
- "Very well. The tournament will resume at dawn." (when Johnny Cage refuses to kill Baraka)
- "Miss Blade. You do not disappoint. I have been expecting you."
- "On the contrary, you are very much a kontestant. You will face Sub-Zero, of the Lin Kuei clan of assassins." (to Sonya)
- "You aided their escape." (to Raiden, after Sonya and Jax escape)
- "They will not get far." (to Raiden)
- "You have a challenger - Kano." (to Sonya)
- "Kano is not your prisoner." (to Sonya, after she defeats Kano)
- "Scorpion! Specter of the Netherrealm! Resurrected by the sorcerer Quan Chi! Who among you is worthy of this challenge?"
- "An impressive start." (after Scorpion defeats Kung Lao and Nightwolf)
- "You will fight Sub-Zero soon enough." (to Scorpion)
- "A challenge! Scorpion versus Cyrax and Sektor!"
- "You were speaking with the Thunder God. Your indiscretion has jeopardized my plan." (to Cyrax)
- "Kombatants! I present this latest creation of Shao Kahn. He is many warriors, their souls fused into one being. Behold... Ermac!"
- "Kombatants! Only one Earthrealm warrior remains: The Shaolin Liu Kang. Is he ready to bear such a heavy burden? Earthrealm's fate is in his hands. Your opponent will be... Scorpion!"
- "Fighting with Scorpion... the sorcerer Quan Chi!"
- "Liu Kang... it has been years since an Earthrealm warrior has progressed this far. But the reigning champion is far beyond your ability. To the Lair with you!"
- "So be it!" (when Liu Kang challenges him to Mortal Kombat)
- "I concede." (after being defeated by Liu Kang)
- "My lord! All is not lost!" (to Shao Kahn)
- "But what if the rules were changed?" (pleading with Shao Kahn to spare his life)
- "The emperor has an offer, Raiden. A new tournament."
- "The emperor proposes a single tournament, to replace the current system of ten. It will be held in Outworld. If Earthrealm does not win, Outworld will absorb it. But if Earthrealm wins, Shao Kahn will abandon his claim to it forever."
- "Ah! The Earthrealm delegation has arrived. And we have a volunteer for First Kombat!"
- "Jackson Briggs! You will face... Baraka!"
- "Tell me, Major Briggs, do you and she do anything other than rescue one another?" (when Jax demands to know where Sonya is)
- "Your next opponent will be... What is it? Excellent. It seems I have a pressing matter to attend to. With the Emperor's permission we will re-convene later." (To Jax but Reptile interrupts baring important information)
- "You may tell your fellow Black Dragon that I am very interested in your merchandise." (to Kano)
- "Despite his failure at my tournament, I'll wager he was more powerful than you, Lin Kuei." (to Smoke, after assuming the form of the elder Sub-Zero)
- "Let us see if smoke can freeze." (in the form of the elder Sub-Zero)
- "No one makes demands of the emperor! Reptile!" (when the younger Sub-Zero demands he be allowed to challenge Scorpion)
- "Who now interrupts the emperor's tournament?!" (when Lin Kuei cyborgs teleport into the arena to capture Sub-Zero)
- "That is no way to treat your sibling." (after Kitana defeats Mileena)
- "I am merely perfecting you, princess. As difficult as that might be."
- "On that we agree." (to Quan Chi)
- "I cannot believe... Earthrealm has won." (after Liu Kang defeats Shao Kahn)
- "Mileena? She exists only because of my sorcery." (when Baraka states that Mileena should be the new ruler of Outworld)
- "Emperor, I-" (when Shao Kahn unexpectedly shows up alive)
- "Invasion?!" (reacting to Quan Chi's suggestion)
- "Yes, Emperor?" (last words before Shao Kahn sacrifices him to increase Sindel's power)
- Shang Tsung's Battle Cry originated from the Mortal Kombat movie and the TV series Mortal Kombat: Conquest.
- In Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance's Konquest mode, it is revealed that one of the souls he consumed during his tournaments was that of the samurai Muso Gonnosuke.
- Shaolin Monks, Deadly Alliance, Armageddon and Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe are the only games where the Soul Steal allows Shang Tsung to regain health.
- Shang Tsung uses his Morphing and Flaming Skulls during the intro of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, but they are not present during gameplay.
- In Mortal Kombat II, Shang Tsung had 2 different win poses, in the Arcade and earlier home versions of the game Shang Tsung's win pose would have him simply stand still while facing the screen, holding his hands at his waist. But in the Sega 32X, Saturn, and PlayStation versions it was found out that Shang had an unused laughing animation during his win pose.
- In Mortal Kombat 3, occasionally, Shang Tsung appears on the Master tournament ladder twice.
- Shang's alternate outfit from Deadly Alliance is based from the time he was champion of Mortal Kombat before the Great Kung Lao defeated him, as seen in the Mortal Kombat official comic.
- In MK (2011), Shang Tsung has his MK old man look as his alternate costume, to the point when his voice changes to his older tone when used in game.
- Shang Tsung is the only character who appears in all of the 2D games that is absent from Mortal Kombat 4. However, Shinnok's Mimicry move shares some similarities to Shang Tsung's abilities.
- A recurring animal motif for this character is cobras. Shang Tsung's Animality in MK3 is a cobra, and in the MK Deception intro he unleashed a huge flame in the form of a cobra to knock out Raiden. His primary outfit in MK 2011 also has cobras designed in his shoulders, back and belt.
- Shang Tsung appears on a movie poster during Johnny Cage's ending in Deadly Alliance.
- Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe reveals that Shang is accompanied by two women, who appear to be lovers. However, the game is not canon.
- Minus the clown model, his "Bang Bang!" fatality in MK 2011 is identical to, and could be perhaps perceived as a parody of The Joker's "Killing Joke" fatality from Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, due to its censorship in North America, such as the head shot here being considerably more violent than the Joker's fatality. It should be noted that in the Fatality Trainer, when the fatality is introduced, it mentions Shang having "picked up some tricks from an old foe". Officially, of course, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe remains non-canon.
- Up until MK 2011, Shang Tsung's elderly form remained unplayable as it was eliminated ever since MKII.
- In his MK (2011) Ladder ending, Shang Tsung is taught a move to defeat Liu Kang, who has become villainous, reversing the roles of hero and villain, though Tsung's motivations are based purely on revenge.
- In MKII there's a color palette swapping glitch which occur when there is a Shang Tsung Mirror Match. The glitch start out that if both players or CPU choose Shang Tsung as their character, while in battle the first Shang to morph into another character will reset the color palette back to default. If the second Shang also morphs into another character other than the one the first Shang morphed into, the palette will stay default. If the second Shang morphs into the same character that the first Shang morphed into, then that character palette will be the alternate color palette. Only the Shang who had the default palette and the first to revert back to normal would be the default color Shang Tsung, the second Shang to revert back would be the alternate color Shang Tsung. This minor glitch often caused confusion to players during a multiplayer battle due to the palette swap when morphing, this was fix in the sequels. In MK3, Ultimate MK3, and MK Trilogy if Player 1's Shang Tsung morph into another character, he would use that character's default color palette, if Player 2's Shang Tsung morph into another character (whether if they are the same character as the one Player 1 morph into or not), that character would appear in their alternate color outfit regardless which solved the problem of the palette swapping glitch.
- In MK (2011)'s Story Mode, after Quan Chi tells Kung Lao that "no Earthrealm boy could stop this Deadly Alliance", Shang Tsung said that "on that we agree". This implies that they normally do not get along.
- In some background material, however, their disagreements have not stopped their dealings with one another from being mutually beneficial. In the instruction manual for Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, there is a reference to Quan Chi learning of the location to the Map of Elements from none other than Shang Tsung. As it turns out, Shang Tsung gained the knowledge from consuming the soul of The Great Kung Lao.
- Though Shang Tsung could not morph into a hidden character until that character was unlocked, the Sega Genesis and Saturn versions of MK3 and UMK3 allowed him to morph into characters that many other versions lack. Characters like Smoke, Rain, and Noob Saibot.
- MK (2011) was the only game to mention Shang Tsung's origin. His bio states that he is originally from Earthrealm and discovered a portal to Outworld.
- Shang Tsung is the only character in MK 2011 whose throw move heals him.
- In a Top 10 list hosted by Screwattack.com, Shang Tsung was placed at #7 of the bearded characters in video games.
- In MK (2011), Shang Tsung appears to bleed red but whenever it stains on someone, it appears as a pitch black color. Whether this is intentional or a glitch is unknown.
- In MK (2011), Shang Tsung frequently precedes many of his special attacks, including all his Fatalities, with the phrase "你现在死!", which means "You die now!" in Chinese.
- Shang was originally supposed to have a Fatality in the original Mortal Kombat where he beheads the opponent with the sword at his side. Due to recent hacking, it was discovered that the sprites for this still exists within the ROM.
- Shang is mentioned in Mortal Kombat X in the Story Mode by Reptile and appears in Erron Black's arcade ending, revealing that he bestowed longevity to Black for his work over many years.
- When Reptile is in a mirror match in MKX, one of the Saurians will state they are Shang Tsung in disguise.
- Shang Tsung also appears in the mobile game of MK on Erron Black's and Shao Kahn's support cards as well as having a Faction Wars item in the Faction Wars shop.
- When Reptile is in a mirror match in MKX, one of the Saurians will state they are Shang Tsung in disguise.
- In Injustice 2, Sub-Zero mentions Shang Tsung in some of his pre-battle dialogue. This may occur if Sub-Zero faces himself, in which he suspects his double is actually a shape-shifting Shang Tsung. It may also occur if he fights the Enchantress who, like Shang Tsung, feeds on souls.
- In addition to being a DLC character in Mortal Kombat 11, Shang Tsung introduces the player at the beginning of the Krypt, which is located in his island.
- In Mortal Kombat 11 it's revealed that Shang Tsung's nature of collecting and feeding off souls is actually a trait designed by Kronika herself in order to keep a powerful backup of it in case she needed, as souls contain raw temporal energy of a lifetime each, essential for time craft.
- According to the Lore Minute in Shang Tsung's Kombat Kast, Kronika trapped Shang Tsung in a time void during the time quake due to his duplicitous nature and couldn't be trusted.
- When engaged in a mirror match dialogue, apparently Shang Tsung had a brother named Shang Lao. The brother's name is most likely a reference to Shang Tsung's beta name.
- In MK11, Shang Tsung can morph into the seven original klassic male ninjas as part of his moveset and Fatal Blow. These include Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Noob Saibot as part of his Fatal Blow, and Rain, Smoke, Reptile, and Ermac as individual special attacks borrowed from each ninja.
- Due to this, Shang Tsung's play style can be compared to that of Chameleon.
- However, only one klassic character who is not an original male ninja within Shang Tsung’s move list: Kintaro, who is part of his Shokan Reborn Fatality.
- The klassic male ninjas who are unconfirmed from being playable but confirmed only as part of Shang Tsung’s moveset, namely Smoke, Rain, Ermac and Reptile, including Kintaro who reuses the voice clips from MK 2011, despite the three latter ninjas’ in-game battle appearance in MKX (Rain was only an NPC enemy, while Smoke was cutscenes only in the game’s story mode).
- Due to this, Shang Tsung's play style can be compared to that of Chameleon.
- In MK11, despite having a connection to Erron Black, during interactions, nothing between the two is mentioned or discussed. It is unknown if this idea was retcon by the makers or nothing was made to be mentioned.
- Shang Tsung is the second of two original final bosses that are playable characters in MK11. The first was Shao Kahn.
- Coincidentally, both are DLC characters.
- Additionally, despite both being DLC characters, each have unique roles in the game;
- Shao Kahn is a secondary antagonist in the game's Story Mode while also being an announcer for the game's Arcade.
- Shang Tsung is the guide in the Krypt, where the character find treasures on his island.
- Similar to Shinnok in MKX, Shang Tsung can steal his opponent's Brutalities through his Soul Steal in MK11. He can not steal Fatalities, however neither could Shinnok.
- Due to this, in a technical sense, Shang Tsung has the most Brutalities out of any character in the game.
- In MK11, Shang Tsung is the only character that is assisted by another character during a Fatality, this being his Shokan Reborn Fatality where Kintaro rips the opponent apart from the inside.
- In MK11, through interactions, Shang Tsung seems to be aware of events after his apparent death at the hands of Shao Kahn in MK 2011.
- In MK11, Shang Tsung is one of the few characters that actually refers to Noob Saibot as Bi-Han.
- This is mentioned during an interaction where Shang Tsung is impressed that Noob Saibot survived a Soulnado, a reference to his apparent demise in MK 2011.
- In MK11, Shang Tsung claims he killed Ermac during an interaction with Kitana. This may be a reference to Ermac's MKX Arcade Ending, in which Shang Tsung consumed the souls within Ermac, killing the construct.
- In MK11, despite allying himself with Quan Chi in previous games, more recently MK 2011, interactions with some characters reveal Shang Tsung despises Quan Chi, even to the point of him wanting to kill the demon himself.
- In MK11, one of Shang Tsung's intros, which is called Infusion of Souls in-game, has him enter the fight with his opponent's appearance before he turns into his original form. The in-game intro is different from the almost-identical intro shown in his official gameplay trailer, as he will assume the form of his older self before turning into his younger self, rather than copying the appearance of his opponent, Raiden.
- In MK 2011, if Shang Tsung wins the round with his Soul Steal, he gains the damage bonus for the remainder of the match.
- In MK11, during his Infusion of Souls intro, his arms and hands will clip through any accessories the opponent may have when walking forward as them.
- This is easiest to see with Scorpion.
- In MK11, during his Kondemned To The Damned Fatality, after the zombie monks pull the opponent's skeleton out of their body, one of the monk's hand begins to phase through the opponent's skeleton before the frame freezes.
- Additionally in MK11 during his Kondemned To The Damned Fatality, even though the opponent's entire skeleton is ripped out, one can see the opponent's skull is still in their head.
- The same happens when the Fatality is performed on the Terminator, as it duplicates his endoskeleton skull.
- In MK11, when equipping Shapeshifter's Training, there is no indication in the Ability Selection of any abilities that are replaced, conflicts, or abilities removed despite Shang Tsung losing Soul Steal and Corpse Drop.
- In MK11, if Slide is selected instead of Shapeshifter's Training, an error occurs in the move list. The move itself is absent in the Special Moves List and lists its amplified version and Krushing Blow as being a part of Corpse Drop. The move can still be performed, but its indication and information in the Special Moves List are absent. This will not occur if Shapeshifter's Training is selected.
- ↑ Japanese manual of SNES version Mortal Kombat.
- ↑ Web Series ‘Mortal Kombat: Legacy 2′ Hitting February 17th. Latino Review. Retrieved on 2012-12-03.
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