It has begun!
 

 

—Shang Tsung in Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath story.

Biography

  • Mortal Kombat (2011): "A treacherous sorcerer who consumes the souls of his victims, Shang Tsung has played host to the last nine Mortal Kombat tournaments in Earthrealm, stacking the odds in favor of his master. Originally from Earthrealm, Shang Tsung's magical abilities led him to discover the realm of Outworld. There he fell in league with its ruler, Shao Kahn, and pledged his life to him in return for enhanced power. He is now bound to the emperor by powerful dark magic. For centuries he has submissively done Shao Kahn's bidding. Should he fail in his mission to secure Earthrealm, he will suffer the emperor's wrath."
  • Mortal Kombat 11: "Soul Sorcerer and historic host of the Mortal Kombat. Born in Earthrealm, Shang Tsung’s relentless pursuit of powerful magic led him to Outworld, where Shao Kahn offered him a dark power that no sorcerer on Earthrealm could. Shang Tsung pledged his eternal loyalty to Shao Kahn in exchange for this evil magic, but he is no faithful servant. He dreams of the day his sorcery will overtake Shao Kahn’s, and he’ll pay any price to get there."

Storyline

Mortal Kombat (2011)

Shang Tsung hosts the first Mortal Kombat tournament in his elderly form. It is Shang who decides who faces who for each match, and forces Johnny Cage to be the first of the Earthrealm fighters to fight, following insults made by the actor regarding Shang's age. However, Cage overcomes the challenges thrown at him by Shang. Later, after Sonya manages to free her superior, Jax, from imprisonment, Shang Tsung prevents them from leaving his island by shooting their rescue helicopter down. He also attempts to have the Lin Kuei Cyrax killed for speaking with Raiden. When the final Earthrealm competitor, Liu Kang, remains, Shang Tsung attempts to stack the deck against him. Each attempt, however, fails, as Liu Kang defeats all of his challengers, including Goro. Shang Tsung is the final opponent for Liu Kang, and is ultimately defeated, sparing Earthrealm from being merged into Outworld.

When Shang Tsung returns to Shao Kahn, he is almost executed for his failure. However, Shang Tsung proposes a new idea for a single tournament to be held in Outworld, to replace the current system of ten. Shao Kahn agrees to the concept, and rejuvenates Shang Tsung. As Shang Tsung goes to the Wu Shi Academy to tell Raiden of the latest tournament, Tarkatans attack the academy when the Thunder God rejects. Raiden engages Shang Tsung in combat, with the latter managing to escape back to Outworld. During the attack, Sonya is captured by Shang Tsung, forcing Raiden to accept the latest rules and start the second tournament.

Shang is seen in the Emperor's throne room, when Raiden, Jax, and Johnny Cage show up. Jax impulsively steps up to find out where Sonya is, and Shang announces they have a "volunteer" for first kombat. Shang then makes Jax fight Baraka. Jax defeats the Tarkatan, and then confronts Shang Tsung, demanding to know where Sonya is. Shang just makes a snide comment about how Jax and Sonya are always having to rescue each other. He is about to make Jax fight a new opponent, when Reptile appears and whispers something to him. Shang then asks the emperor permission to pause the tournament while he attends some important business.

Later, Shang Tsung is seen in the Living Forest striking a deal to buy Black Dragon weaponry from Kano. They are interrupted by Smoke, who wants to know how the Elder Sub-Zero died. After Kano fails to defeat Smoke, Shang Tsung morphs into the elder Sub-Zero and partners with Reptile in an attempt to defeat Smoke, but they ultimately fail. Sektor then appears and attacks Smoke, allowing Shang Tsung, along with his allies and bringing the Black Dragon's weaponry to escape.

Shang Tsung is again seen in Kahn's Arena, administrating over the matches. When the younger Sub-Zero appears and demands to fight Scorpion, the murderer of his older brother, Shang Tsung tells him that no one makes demands of the emperor. He then orders Reptile to attack Sub Zero.

After Kitana discovers and defeats Mileena in Shang Tsung's Flesh Pits, the sorcerer appears and reveals to Kitana that he is "perfecting" her by creating clones of her. The two then fight, and Kitana subdues him. When Kitana brings Shang Tsung to Shao Kahn for punishment for his experiments, she is shocked when Shao Kahn praises him instead, revealing that he knew about Shang Tsung's activities all along. As a result, Kitana is imprisoned while Shang Tsung is released and ordered to fetch Mileena. Later on, Shao Kahn has Shang Tsung team up with Quan Chi to face Kung Lao. Kung Lao proves victorious over both sorcerers.

After Shao Kahn's defeat and apparent death at the hands of Liu Kang, Shang Tsung is among the Outworlders deciding who should replace Shao Kahn as emperor. When Mileena is suggested by Baraka, Shang Tsung scoffs and argues that Mileena only exists as a result of his sorcery, implying that he should be the new emperor. Shao Kahn emerges, however, and thus Shang Tsung's quest to become emperor is quickly ended. Shao Kahn is furious with Shang Tsung, because now Outworld can no longer absorb Earthrealm, having lost the tournament. Quan Chi, however, suggests that Outworld simply invade Earthrealm, convincing the emperor that the Elder Gods are too weak to stop him.

During the invasion, Kabal, a former friend and ally of Kano, is badly burned by Kintaro. Kano brings Kabal back to Outworld, where Shang Tsung uses his magic to heal some of Kabal's injuries. When Motaro is killed by Raiden during the Earthrealm invasion, the recently revived Sindel states that she will finish what Motaro has started. To ensure her success, Shao Kahn drains the souls from Shang Tsung's body and transfers them into Sindel, killing Shang Tsung in the process. However, when Raiden asks Quan Chi for assistance in the Netherrealm, Shang Tsung is not among the resurrected souls. It is possible that Quan Chi did not resurrect him purposely, since Shao Kahn allegedly only granted Quan Chi the souls of the fallen Earthrealm warriors for his service but not those of his own willing servants (hence explaining why Sindel was amongst those Quan Chi resurrected but Shang Tsung and Motaro were not).

Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath

Just as Liu Kang attempts to create a new history along with Raiden using the Hourglass, but was stopped by the sudden arrival of Shang Tsung (once again in his older form), Fujin, and the human Nightwolf. They warned the Fire God that using the Hourglass without Kronika's Crown would eventually shatter it, which proved correct when Liu Kang used it to see the outcome of what would come next. Shang Tsung claims Kronika appeared to all of them and banished them to the void because they refuse to aid her. The group explain Kronika's Hourglass can only be controlled by her crown, which was destroyed alongside her, and enacts a plan to go back in time before it was destroyed. Shang Tsung told Liu that he could send the three of them to the past to retrieve the crown. Despite opposition from Raiden, Liu Kang agrees.

As Liu Kang sends the three to the past, they were sent to the Kahn's Arena, where they witness Jade freeing Kotal, acknowledging the fact that Kitana was fighting Shao Kahn. The three escape into the Koliseum Beast Pen, only to be discovered by Kollector. As Nightwolf defeated Kollector, Shang Tsung and Fujin both killed the beasts. As the three acknowledged on how much time they took, Nightwolf suggested that they go straight to Shang Tsung's Island and take the crown. Shang Tsung refuses due to the fact that Kronika's Outworld allies have alerted their existence, which could cause Cetrion to claim the crown quicker. Knowing how they weren't enough to take Cetrion down, they needed someone else's assistance. Shang Tsung suggested they needed Sindel. Fujin was disgusted with the idea, knowing the fact that she could've killed all Earthrealm and Outworld warriors had Nightwolf not sacrificed himself to kill her. Shang Tsung explained how she was "bewitched" by Shao Kahn and that she could be restored to her "more heroic self". The two were conflicted, but they went along with Shang Tsung's plan.

As they headed to Earthrealm, they head for the Wu Shi Dragon Grotto to acquire the Jinsei, which is part of reviving Sindel. As Fujin guards the Dragon Grotto, Shang Tsung and Nightwolf both head to the Shaolin Trap Dungeon, only to be confronted by Geras, Frost, and an army of Cyber Lin Kuei. As the two fight their way out, Nightwolf defeats Frost while Shang Tsung was still clashing against Geras. Fujin arrives in time to assist Shang Tsung and Nightwolf in taking Geras down. As Nightwolf defeats Geras and dismembers him, Shang Tsung summons a portal with Fujin's assistance to send Geras to Chaosrealm. The three head to Netherrealm, only to be captured by the three revenants, Liu Lang, Nightwolf, and Kitana.

The three were held captive at Shinnok's Bone Temple. They find revenant Sindel, who would enjoy feeding Shinnok, Shang Tsung's soul. Nightwolf breaks the three out and fight their way out against Netherrealm army. As Nightwolf defeats Sindel, revenant Nightwolf critically wounds Shang Tsung, only to be saved by his human self. As Nightwolf defeats his revenant self, Shang Tsung absorbs the revenant's soul to heal himself up. As Shang Tsung finishes healing, they head back to Outworld to seek help from Sheeva.

Sheeva was unconvinced due to the fact she felt disrespected by Shang Tsung, until she discovers Sindel's corpse. Sheeva suggested that they seek Kitana's permission, but that would lead to Shang Tsung's death, so Shang Tsung transform into a Shokan soldier. As the four were at the Dead Pool, they were confronted by Erron Black, Baraka, and Tarkatans. As the confliction began, Baraka notices Shang Tsung through his disguise (by scent) and impales him from behind. Erron Black suggested that they take Shang Tsung and the coffin to turn them in to Kitana. Baraka demands his soldiers to attack Shang Tsung, only for him to accidentally kill one of them as he drowns in the dead poll. Much Baraka's disgust, a battle clashes out, Baraka and Erron Black were then defeated. The four were then confronted by Jade, who acknowledges the fact Shang Tsung was at the arena. As Sheeva defeats Jade, they head for the Soul Chamber, only to discover it being occupied by Kotal. As Kotal awakened, he gets out of the chamber as he was healed enough to attack Shang Tsung due to the fact he was imprisoned in his Flesh Pits. Sheeva then defeats Kotal and then Shang Tsung and Fujin puts Sindel's body in the soul chamber. Kitana arrived and then proceeded to attack Shang Tsung, believing he was trying to corrupt her mother. Sheeva defeated Kitana and then the revival was complete.

As they arrived to Shang Tsung's Island, Shang Tsung and Fujin both went down to Goro's Lair to seek the crown, only to be confronted by Jax Briggs and Bi-Han. As Jax remembered his time in the lair, he attacks Shang Tsung while Fujin clashes with Bi-Han. As Fujin defeats him, Shang Tsung proceeded to absorb Jax's soul, only for Fujin to intervene. As Sindel and Nightwolf defeated Cetrion, Shang Tsung and Fujin arrived and drove Cetrion away. The younger Jax and Jacqui arrived and proceeded to arrest Shang Tsung and Sindel, but the older Jax calms the situation down and the rest give information of the crown.

As Shang Tsung and Fujin arrived to the Shirai Ryu Fire Garden, they were attacked by Kuai Liang and Scorpion (time displaced). As the two were defeated by Fujin himself, Fujin breaks Shang Tsung out of the ice, only for the two to be confronted by Raiden. Raiden striked at Shang Tsung and Liu Kang with the Amulet of Shinnok. As Fujin defeated his brother, his brother finally came to his senses and agreed to assist Shang Tsung. Kronika arrived to retrieve her crown by freezing everyone other than Fujin and Shang Tsung. As the two forced Kronika to retreat, Shang Tsung holds on to the crown, much to Raiden and Fujin's suspicion, he gave the crown back to them.

Shang Tsung was seen to have a secret conversation with Sindel. Shang Tsung believed his "allies" were fools for believing victory was at hand. Sindel belittled Kitana for taking Raiden's side. The two planned on meeting at the Isle, as he warned her to not be late.

In an unsurprising role, Shang Tsung betrayed his so-called allies right when Raiden discovered that Shang Tsung deceived them the whole time by freeing Shao Kahn. Shang Tsung then wears the crown at the right moment to superpower himself, claiming to be as equal as Kronika herself. He defeats Nightwolf, Raiden, and Fujin. While he takes some essence from the two gods, he will not kill them as they will be needed for later. Once Shang Tsung, Shao Kahn, and Sindel enter the Hourglass area, defeat the revenants, and weaken Kronika, Shang Tsung betrays Shao Kahn and Sindel, defeats them, and steals their souls. Then, Shang Tsung defeats Kronika and steals her soul.

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

If the player picks Shang Tsung and wins, the sorcerer chokes Liu Kang as he mocks him about his failure. Shang Tsung then consumes his soul, leaving behind his dried corpse. With his enemies vanquished, Shang Tsung subjugated the realms of the new timeline under his thumb, while making Raiden and Fujin his loyal minions.

If the player picks Liu Kang and wins, he pulls out temporal energy from the Hourglass, and blasts it at Shang Tsung. As the sorcerer's body slowly dissolves into dusts of sand, Liu Kang reaches out to him, picking up Kronika's Crown and molding a New Era.

Ending

  • Mortal Kombat (2011) (Non-Canonical): "Shang Tsung voraciously consumed Shao Kahn's soul, absorbing his immense power. Overwhelmed by his new found sorcery, he fled to Outworld. Moments before suicide, Shang Tsung was visited by Bo' Rai Cho. The mentor of warriors offered to teach him to control the dark magic, but for a special purpose: Liu Kang had become a god. The power had corrupted him, transforming him into a tyrant. He needed to be stopped. After rigorous training, Shang Tsung mastered the one technique that could finish Liu Kang. Vengeance would finally be his."
  • Mortal Kombat 11 (Non-Canonical): "Kronika's power overwhelmed me, such that I would have been driven mad... Had I not spent centuries mastering the dark powers beyond the grasp of ordinary mortals. Now I am the master of time and fate. But Kronika's fall proves that even Titans can be defeated. Though my power lets me roam infinite timelines and feast upon the souls of billions, I am vulnerable. To survive, I must return to the shadows, avoid confrontation, and work my will through the hands of others... More specifically, through the hands of my fellow Titans... These monstrous beings are plied easily by appealing their greed, vanity, and fear. Through them, every soul in eternity bends to my influence. In my New Era, morality will be exposed as the illusion it is. The cunning will prosper while the "good" suffer. This is the word of Shang Tsung. Have a nice day."
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