Kung Lao was raised in the Order of Light, a monastery of Shaolin monks. While he lived happily with his family and friends, Kung Lao prepared for his entire life to fight in Mortal Kombat. He was trained thoroughly under the monastery’s phenomenal martial artists, teaching him moves many would think impossible. All of Kung Lao's training made him undeniably the monastery’s best fighter. Being the first person on Earthrealm to represent the Order of Light in Mortal Kombat, he would do battle with the evil sorcerer and shape shifter Shang Tsung (500 years before Liu Kang would do the same).
Despite Shang Tsung having the advantage of winning nine consecutive Mortal Kombat tournaments, Kung Lao defeated him and became Grand Champion, saving Earthrealm in the process. While it is common for the victor to take his opponent's life, Kung Lao spared the sorcerer. As champion, Lao could not age. Fifty years later, he was defeated in Mortal Kombat by Goro, the Shokan prince. Afterward, Kung Lao's soul was taken by Tsung, the now old man he spared half a century before. In Deception his soul is presumed freed after Shang Tsung is killed by Raiden's failed attempt to destroy the Dragon King giving his soul peace after over 5 centuries of torment.