Like Liu Kang, Kung Lao was a former Shaolin Monk with great potential. His ancestor, also named Kung Lao, was a great fighter and was once champion of Earthrealm until he was defeated by Shokan warrior Goro. Now a member of the White Lotus Society, a group of Earthrealm fighters all trusted to fight against tyranny, Kung Lao fights in the Mortal Kombat tournaments to protect all that is close to him (Liu Kang, Earthrealm, and the other Chosen Warriors).
Kung Lao did not fight in the first tournament, despite being in most of the other Mortal Kombat games and being one of the main characters in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. This was because, although he was chosen, he declined, knowing the victor would become attacked numerously (which went against his pacifist beliefs) and that he would become obsessed with the tournament like his ancestor did, which also went against his beliefs. Therefore Raiden chose Liu Kang as defender of Earthrealm.
Mortal Kombat II
Kung Lao fought in the second tournament because he was chosen by Raiden to be a defender of Earthrealm. As Goro was not killed in Mortal Kombat II, Kung Lao-from knowing that 500 years ago, the great Kung Lao was defeated by the Shokan prince-had to stop the terrible menace and ventured to Outworld to do so in Mortal Kombat. Also, he joined the tournament because of the fact that his Shaolin friends were slaughtered by the Tarkatan, and therefore proceeded with Liu Kang to Outworld.
Mortal Kombat 3
Kung Lao realized that his ultimate dream of the White Lotus Society being founded in the Wu Shi Academy could not happen at this moment; Outworld emperor Shao Kahn had invaded Earthrealm. This time, Kung Lao actually went face to face with Shao Kahn, who brutally attacked him leaving with wounds so large that many believed him to be dead. Outraged by this assault, Liu Kang challenged Shao Kahn and defeated him for a second time.
Mortal Kombat 4
Kung Lao was once again fighting against Goro, who had still survived the attack in Mortal Kombat II. Kung Lao attacked the Shokan warrior; however, this was not an attempt to kill Goro, merely an act of vengeance to the death of the great Kung Lao. Kung Lao and Goro shook hands afterwards, and their conflict ceased.
Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
Finding out that Liu Kang was killed in the hands of Shang Tsung, Kung Lao vowed revenge. However, he knew that Shang Tsung and Quan Chi were too powerful; therefore, he honed his skills, training under Bo Rai Cho and forming an alliance with Kitana.
Mortal Kombat: Deception
However, the battle was lost. Powered by his soulnado, Shang Tsung was overpowering Kung Lao. Quan Chi had already killed Kitana and the rest of the White Lotus. Kung Lao eventually died too, leaving Raiden on his own to fight the Deadly Alliance. However, he was brought back to life as a slave of Onaga, and eventually was returned to his normal self by Ermac.
Mortal Kombat (2011)
After his ancestor was defeated by Goro 500 years ago, Kung Lao’s enters the Mortal Kombat Tournament in order to restore honor to his family. Although fighting for Earthrealm’s freedom, his ultimate goal is to bring down the fierce warrior Goro and to win the Mortal Kombat tournament to bring back honor to his family’s name. Bent on revenge, he is outmatched by Liu Kang in a qualifying match. Believing that he is still ready for the tournament, he gains admittance to the tournament by disguising himself as one of Shang Tsung’s guards.
Most of Kung Lao's special moves focus around his hat, which is steel rimmed and can deal fair damage.
Hat Throw: Kung Lao throws his hat at the opponent. In some Mortal Kombat games, this hat could be directed, and in others, it would not knock them off the ground, but dig into them, taking away more damage but leaving the opponent more able to strike you. (Appearance in every Mortal Kombat game)
Flying Kick: Kung Lao would jump into the air, then dive down, hitting the opponent with a flying kick. (Appearance in Mortal Kombat II, III)
Spin: Kung Lao would spin around; any part of the opponents body hitting or coming close to Kung Lao whilst doing so would result in the opponent getting hit and flying away. (Appearance in Mortal Kombat II)
Air Teleport: Kung Lao would fly up into the air and then materialize behind the opponent. Kung Lao could then kick or punch the opponent. (Appearance in every Mortal Kombat)
Kung Laos main fighting style is Shaolin Fist, which utilizes quick combos ending normally in a strong strike which hits the enemies onto the ground. In Armageddon, this was improved even more; the enemy would be launched into the air, resulting in a possible Air Combo that would continue the strike and increase damage.
Kung Laos weapon style is his Broadsword, which is a standard sword that he could use to do basic attacks.
Hat Chop: Kung Lao would chuck his hat at the opponents head, resulting in in decapitation of the opponents head. (Appearance in all Mortal Kombat games)
Spin of Death: Kung Lao spins around, the opponent eventually getting sucked into it and flying out in pieces. (Appearance in Mortal Kombat III)
Hat Slash: Kung Lao chops the opponent vertically, slicing the opponent in half. This has been voted the best fatality in Mortal Kombat II. (Appearance in Mortal Kombat II)
Mortal Kombat (2011)
Special Attacks / Enhanced
- Dive Kick
- Hat Toss
- Spin Attack
Kung Lao delivers a swift palm strike to his opponent's throat, crushing their windpipe. As the victim chokes, Kung Lao leaps into the air and comes down with a vicious chop to the back of the neck, breaking several vertebrae.
- Hat Sawblade - Kung Lao slings his hat into the ground creating a vertical buzzsaw, then grabs his opponent by the feet and pulls the victim through the spinning blade splitting the body in half vertically. He then holds the two halves of the body aloft in victory.
- Hat Boomerang - Kung Lao throws his hat past his opponent and as it comes back to him, boomerang style, the hat cuts off his opponents head. Kung Lao then catches his hat and vertically slices his opponents body in half.