Liu Kang is a shaolin monk that follows the teachings of the shaolin White Lotus Society. He is in love with Princess Kitana but can not commit to their relationship because he has to protect Earthrealm. Liu was a student of Bo' Rai Cho who taught him the Flying Dragon Kick. After a great battle with Shang Tsung, he came out on top, becoming the champion of Mortal Kombat. After coming home and finding his people killed he decided to travel to Outworld to seek revenge.
Liu Kang follows the teachings of the Shaolin White Lotus Society and was sent to the Temple of Light to defeat Shang Tsung. He desired to defeat Shang Tsung and bring the tournament back to its Shaolin owners. Liu Kang was trained by Master Bo'Rai Cho, who taught him the Flying Kick. As he made his way to the tournament, he met and became friends with Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade. At the time of Liu Kang's entry, Outworld had won nine Mortal Kombat tournaments in a row. Upon hearing of Goro's defeat, Shang Tsung challenged him. After an epic battle, Liu Kang defeated Shang Tsung with his Flying Kick, emerging as the new champion of Mortal Kombat.
Coming home from Tsung's island, he found many of his Shaolin killed in a vicious attack by a Tarkatan horde. Enraged, Liu Kang decided to travel to Outworld, backed by fellow White Lotus member and spiritual brother Kung Lao, Raiden, Sub-Zero's younger brother and Smoke to seek revenge. Before he traveled to Outworld Liu Kang went to Hollywood to seek Johnny Cage's help.
Luckily, Liu Kang arrived at the right time as Cage was being attacked by a Tarkatan horde. Now joined with Johnny and new found friend Jax they finally traveled to Outworld. At the tournament, he and Kung Lao met Kitana, and Liu Kang began to fall in love with her. He learned the true nature of the Outworld tournament but competed anyway. While it is unclear as to what matches took place, it is known that Liu Kang fought Shao Kahn, eventually overpowering the emperor Shao Kahn. Near defeat, Kahn ordered his forces to destroy the earth fighters, forcing earth's heroes to return home and to begin preparing for the coming invasion.
After returning home to Earthrealm, Liu Kang, along with Kung Lao, began training a new generation of Shaolin Warriors, but was interrupted when the invasion began. As Kahn's extermination squads were sent to kill Earth's chosen warriors, Liu Kang found himself the primary target. Kung Lao who went against Kahn was neraly beaten to death. Enraged, Liu Kang, who thought Kung Lao perished, challenged the Emperor to Mortal Kombat, and after the final battle, he defeat Shao Kahn again, causing him and his forces to retreat back to Outworld. The souls that Khan had trapped were set free and, just before the protal closed, Liu Kang was thanked by Kitana for his part in saving both Earth and her realm from Shao Kang.
Liu Kang traveled to America to look for a new generation of Shaolin warriors to train. While there in America, he met his old friend Kai. The two then traveled back to China, where Liu Kang trained Kai to be a Shaolin Warrior. However, the peace was not to last, as the fallen Elder God Shinnok had escaped from Netherrealm through a portal to Edenia. Upon learning that Kitana had been captured, Liu Kang sent out his own to save her, but he was unsuccessful. Liu Kang returned to Earth, where he began gathering Earth's warriors to save and assist his mentor, Raiden.
Eventually, Liu Kang confronted the fallen Elder God Shinnok and once again emerged victorious, effectively ending his attack on Earth. Liu Kang returned to Shaolin Temples, believing he has lost Kitana forever. However, the Edenian Princess appeared through a portal from Edenia and thanked Liu Kang for all he had done. She offered him a change to join her at the throne of Edenia. However, due to the responsibilities as a Mortal Kombat Champion, Liu Kang was forced to decline her offer.
For some years, Liu Kang went on to enjoy relative peace. However, the Deadly Alliance would make itself known on Earth by its successful assassination attempt of Liu Kang. Shang Tsung posed as Kung Lao and snuck up on the champion as he was practicing his katas. Shang Tsung was assisted by Quan Chi, who caught Liu Kang in the back with a projectile. Shang Tsung used this distraction to gain the upper hand and snapped Liu Kang's neck and proceeded to consume his soul. Liu Kang's mutilated body was discovered by his friend Kung Lao, and he was laid to rest at the Wu Shi Academy, where a shrine was built to honor him.
In the events of Mortal Kombat: Deception, Raiden released his godlike essence in order to destroy Onaga, killing Shang Tsung and presumably Quan Chi in the process. While it is unknown whether or not Quan Chi and Shang Tsung are truly dead, it has been established that the thousands of souls that Tsung consumed in the past were released, including that of Liu Kang. Furthermore Raiden, now somehow corrupted in his reformation, reamimated Liu Kang's body and sent it on a rampage, slaughtering many of Liu Kang's fellow Shaolin monks. Liu Kang's spirit decided to stay in Outworld to assist in the war against Onaga, but he soon discovered his body's "resurrection" and was mad at what he had done. Although Liu Kang wasn't technically responsible, he couldn't help but feel responsibility for the actions committed by his corporeal form. He also learned about his comrades and how they had been enslaved by Onaga. From there, Liu Kang enlisted the mysterious ninja Ermac as an ally and had two missions to complete. The first was to try and save his friends from Onaga with Ermac, the second to defeat and stop his body from doing further harm. In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, he accomplished his first task by saving his friends but was unable to reunite his body and soul.
He was accompanied by Kitana in order to find a way for him to merge with his body again. They later met up with Nightwolf, who still drained after using his shamanic powers on Onaga, offered to look after Liu Kang after using what magic he had left to relieve Katana of her burden. In his ending, players that upon defeating Blaze, Liu Kang's body and soul reunited, and he gained the power of a god. Liu Kang then confronted the corrupted Raiden, and reluctantly defeated him in an epic clash. With the consent of the Elder Gods, he replaced Raiden as Protector of Earthrealm.
- Height: 5'10"
- Weight: 185 lbs
- Nationality: Chinese
- Martial Art: Shaolin Kung Fu, Jun Fan, Pao Chui, Karate, Jeet Kune Do, Monkey, Dragon.
- Weapons: Dragon Sword, Nunchaku.
At his debut, Liu Kang appeared to be among the dime a dozen Bruce Lee pastiches; an adult of Chinese origin with a bare chest, black pants and white shoes. From MKII and onwards, he is depicted with shaggy black hair, red headband, spiked gauntlets and red and black Kung Fu pants, still keeping his upper body bare. In Mortal Kombat Deception, he is depicted as a zombie. He gains a ghastly green tint on his decaying skin, showing the most damage on his peeling face. He retains the same attire but now wears a pair of chains with hooks attached to his gauntlets which he can use to reel in his opponents, though this is never actually used in-game.
Liu Kang's MK3 outfit is his most used outfit. It is used in the later games such as MK4, MKD, and MKA, it also serves as Liu Kang's primary costume in Shaolin Monks. In MKvsDCU, Liu Kang is wearing the same oufit but with a different appearance and in MK2011, Liu Kang's later appeared, this time with a red sash and the Elder Gods' medallion on it.
Powers and Abilities
Liu Kang has been shown to be one of the most powerful characters in the entire Mortal Kombat series. He possesses an incredible level of acrobatics, agility, strength and martial arts. His signature flying kicks were taught to him by Bo'Rai Cho. Liu Kang possesses the ability to control fire. He is able to shoot them out as fireballs and use them as part of his finishers. He also has the ability to shapeshift into a Chinese dragon.
- Flying Kick: Liu Kang flies across the screen and connects with a kick to the opponent's torso. In MK 2011 this is called Flying Dragon Kick. (MK, MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK:D, MK:SM, MK:A, MKvsDCU, MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Flame Dragon Kick. Liu Kang's leg becomes covered in fire, making him quicker and increases damage.
- Dragon Fire: Liu Kang sends a fiery flame in the shape of a dragon across the screen out of his hands at his opponent. He is also able to shoot it in the air, and kneel down to send it at his opponent's feet. In MK 2011 this is called High Fireball. (MK, MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK:D, MK:SM, MK:A, MKvsDCU, MK 2011)
- The enhanced versions are called High Dragon Fire and Low Dragon Fire. The fireball takes the form of a flaming black dragon.
- 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:SM, MK:A, MKvsDCU, MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Bicycle Steps. Liu Kang's feet becomes enshrouded by fire, speeding up his kicks and adding an extra 3 kicks.
- 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)
- 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. (MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Burning Parry. If Liu Kang is struck, he will connect with an uppercut.
- X-Ray Move - Chin Up: Another move based on his first Mortal Kombat fatality, Liu Kang performs a cartwheel 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)
- 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)
- Deadly Uppercut: Liu Kang simply does a cartwheel 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. This move has been turned into part of his X-Ray in MK 2011. (MK, MKII, MK:SM)
- Dragon Bite: Liu Kang's signature Fatality, in which he morphs into a large dragon and consumes the upper body of his opponent. In the Game Boy version of MKII, he still turns into a dragon and scorches his opponent alive. The remains explode a few seconds after, scattering the bones. This Fatality was turned into an Animality in MK3 and back into a normal Fatality in MK4. In MK 2011, the dragon takes on a more chrome-like appearance, similar to the game´s logo, complete with flames coming out of the dragon's nostrils. It is also called The Beast Within in MK 2011. (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, the arcade severely crushes the opponent, but the opponent still squirms. (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, then destroys them with a fireball. (MK4, MKG)
- Soul Invasion: Liu Kang transforms his body into a spiritual state and enters the victim's body, possessing it. A second later, the victim rips their own head off to reveal Liu Kang's head replacing it before bowing down. (MK:D)
- Focused Fireball: Liu Kang extracts what appears to be the opponent's chi and charges it with his own before firing it back at the victim, tearing them to pieces. (MK:D)
- Fiery Head Clap: In a manner similar to Jax, Liu Kang claps on his opponent's head. The only difference is that he charges his arms with fire. (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 snaps his opponent's 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, twisting his legs to make the lower half of the opponent explode. (MK:SM)
- Fire Combo: Liu Kang uppercuts the foe and then bicycle kicks him/her then slams down with a flaming fist to the torso. (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. (MK 2011)
- 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/Fatality : Liu Kang transforms into a dragon and eats the upper half of the opponent. (This was a Fatality, but later became an Animality and then back into a Fatality) (MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK: SM, MK 2011)
- 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 covering 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)
Video Game Appearances
- Mortal Kombat
- Mortal Kombat 2
- Mortal Kombat 3
- Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
- Mortal Kombat Trilogy
- Mortal Kombat 4
- Mortal Kombat Gold
- MK: Deadly Alliance (cameo)
- Mortal Kombat Advance
- MK: Deception
- MK: Shaolin Monks
- MK: Unchained
- MK: Armageddon
- Ultimate Mortal Kombat
- MK vs. DC Universe
- Mortal Kombat (2011)
- Mortal Kombat X
- Mortal Kombat 11
Portrayed by Robin Shou, Liu Kang is the main hero in both Mortal Kombat movies (Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation), and it is there that his love interest with Kitana develops, and was later ported to the games.
In the first movie, Liu's brother Chan was killed by Shang Tsung. The guilt of his brother's death provides Liu'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.
Mortal Kombat: Legacy
Liu Kang will appear in Mortal Kombat: Legacy
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 medias 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 in the series. In Episode 1 Kombat Begins Again, it is replaced by a loud banshee shriek.
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's 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.