Liu Kang is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He is one of the few original characters, debuting in the first Mortal Kombat arcade game. He serves as the main protagonist of the first four games, the live-action films and the original comic book series. He became the Grand Champion of Mortal Kombat throughout the first four tournaments, a title that remained undisputed in the original timeline.
In the alternate timeline he only became the Grand Champion on two occassions, due to the fact that a third tournament did not take place during the invasion of Earthrealm. Although Liu Kang appears in every main Mortal Kombat game, he is not playable in Deadly Alliance.
Liu Kang is one of the most popular and accessible characters in the series. He is one of Earthrealm's greatest warriors, having defeated many to prove his valor. Throughout the series he has been gradually portrayed as the main hero, becoming champion after the first Mortal Kombat tournament. Liu Kang has found a nemesis in the traitorous Shang Tsung, a sorcerer who he has defeated on numerous occasions. Kang is often considered the greatest threat to the plans of Tsung and his emperor, Shao Kahn. He is a member of the White Lotus Society and trains extensively at the Wu Shi Academy. It was at the Academy that he was murdered by the Deadly Alliance of Shang Tsung and Quan Chi.
In the first few entries in the series, Liu Kang was shown to be non-violent, in that his finisher did not explicitly kill the opponent. Starting with Mortal Kombat II, however, all of his finishers involved killing the opponent in one way or another.
His body was resurrected without his spirit in Mortal Kombat: Deception. This physical half killed hundreds of innocent people, with the skills he refined to protect them while he was alive. He retained his personality as a zombie, as he still had his trademark yells. A notable exception is the intro of Armageddon, where he groans like an actual zombie.
He is said to be one of the Great Kung Lao's last descendants through various media (a trading card, the first film, etc.) It is possible that Liu Kang and Kung Lao are cousins.
He is referred to as "The Immortal Champion of Mortal Kombat" in later games, and his ending in Mortal Kombat: Deception has him again assuming the role upon his restoration to life.
At his debut, Liu Kang appeared to be among the dime a dozen Bruce Lee pastiches; an adult of Chinese origin with a bare chest, black pants and white shoes. From MKII and onward, he is depicted with shaggy black hair (even though shaolin monks are bald), a red headband, spiked gauntlets and red and black Kung Fu pants, still keeping his upper body bare (except in Mortal Kombat 4
where he has a tank top). This design is one of the most consistent in the series.
He is depicted as a zombie in Mortal Kombat Deception. He gains a ghastly green tint on his decaying skin, showing the most damage on his peeling face. He retains his usual attire, but now wears a pair of chains with hooks attached to his gauntlets. In MKvsDCU, Liu Kang has greater muscle mass than most characters in the roster and wears a Championship belt. In MK 2011, Liu Kang's appears with a red sash brandishing the Elder Gods' symbol instead of the belt. His physical appearance is altered once more, with longer hair and a more well-rounded physique. Liu Kang loses a lot of skin when taking damage due to his lack of armor or layered clothes.
The continual use of dragons and the MK logo in Liu Kang's techniques, his costumes in recent games, and recurring fatalities (e.g. his Arcade Drop) all reinforce the perception that Liu Kang is the mascot of the series. However, this has never actually been confirmed by the developers.
In Mortal KombatEdit
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: AnnihilationEdit
In the second movie, he joins the Earthrealm warriors to stop Shao Kahn's menace. Jade appears as his secondary love-interest, and Nightwolf helps him learn to master his Animality.
His dragon form appears briefly with a more western design, while retaining the klassic green coloration. This form has wings, but he is not shown flying with them.
Mortal Kombat: LegacyEdit
Liu Kang has been confirmed to appear in Mortal Kombat: Legacy, during its second season. Surprisingly, he will be fighting against Earthrealm as a disillusioned villain. He scolds Kung Lao for wanting to protect humanity, and could be an alcoholic. He is seen fighting against Stryker in a recent trailer.
Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the RealmEdit
Liu Kang is one of the lead characters in the animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm. Even though in other media he's the main protagonist, the animated series focuses on a group of heroes instead of just one, leaving him to reprise important roles on few episodes. In Episode 4 Skin Deep, he shows jealousy towards Rain, Kitana's old fiancee. His turkey voice is not used in this series. In Episode 1 Kombat Begins Again, it is replaced by a loud banshee shriek.
Liu Kang is the main protagonist of the Malibu Comics series. His story is mostly intact (he being an Order of Light monk out to restore the tournament to their righteous owners), though in the comics he is not the chosen one to defeat Goro, the role instead falls on a character created exclusively for the comics: the twin monk brothers Sing and Sang, which are capable of fusing their bodies and minds into one being, Siang. Liu Kang steps as the only hope for the Temples of Light after Siang is brutally murdered by Goro. Another changed aspect is that he works in Chicago as an architect, having left the Order of Light before the events of the first series.
The following series Battlewave states Liu Kang won the first tournament, which happened after Blood & Thunder ended and is never shown in any comic, after defeating Goro. He returns to his normal life, but suffers from constant attacks by an unknown force of ninjas and later receives help from Johnny Cage's bodyguard Bo when Goro ambushes him in an office building. Eventually he decides to travel to Outworld, realizing that he cannot avoid Mortal Kombat.
Liu Kang is never shown interacting with Kitana, thus their relation is never brought up or developed, instead choosing to pair her with Kung Lao. His friendship with Kung Lao is also greatly overlooked, only becoming friends during the Blood & Thunder series when Kung Lao saved a near death Liu Kang after Kano backstabbed him.
Story of Joining Sora's TeamEdit
When Liu Kang was still dead, he was brought to life by Ghoulia Yelps by using her Death Control powers. After when Liu Kang understood what Ghoulia says, Liu Kang became an honorary member of the team as an undead Zombie Master, and comes together with Kitana after he becomes healthy again.