Mortal Kombats 2 Kung Lao Characters Explained

Mortal Kombat’s 2 Kung Lao Characters Explained

When character is the Mortal Kombat series say the name “Kung Lao,” they could potentially be talking about two major characters from the same family.

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Mortal Kombats 2 Kung Lao Characters Explained

The Mortal Kombat series has its fair share of iconic characters, and the razor-hat-wielding Kung Lao is no exception. However, when Mortal Kombat characters say the name “Kung Lao,” they could actually be referring to two different characters, and discerning the difference between the two can be confusing.

It is worth wondering how there are even two Kung Laos to begin with. With all of the time traveling that Mortal Kombat characters have been doing, many could likely assume that two of the same Kung Lao from different Mortal Kombat timelines might have crossed paths. This does happen, but that’s generally not what people are referring to. Usually, they’re talking about two distinct people who lived in very different time periods. In reality, the mad-hatted kung-fu fighter fans get to play as is just the descendant and namesake of the original “Great” Kung Lao.

Despite the fact that fans are more familiar with the younger Kung Lao, he’s the one who actually seems to live in the other’s shadow. In the Mortal Kombat universe, the older Kung Lao isn’t called “Great” for no reason. Before Liu Kang managed to win the Mortal Kombat tournament in MK1 and its 2011 remake, the Great Kung Lao was the only Earthrealm champion who could actually stand up to the tournament’s evil host, Shang Tsung. Unfortunately, Kung Lao’s greatness wouldn’t last too long, as the four-armed Outworld warrior Goro would eventually defeat the Great Kung Lao in Mortal Kombat before giving him the Fatality treatment.

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Who Mortal Kombat’s Great Kung Lao Was

It took another five centuries for Earthrealm to find a warrior strong enough to beat Goro. By some twist of fate, that warrior happened to be a descendant of the Great Kung Lao’s. Ironically, however, this warrior was not the descendant to inherit the original’s name. Instead, it was Liu Kang who would eventually beat Goro. He would also go on to travel through time and meet the Great Kung Lao face-to-face in MK11.

Needless to say, the younger Kung Lao was not happy about this turn of events. In the second version of the timeline (the series of events shown starting in MK 2011), “Young Lao” actually sneaks into the first Mortal Kombat tournament against the wishes of both the Shaolin Temple’s Leaders and the Thunder God, Raiden. Kung Lao did well enough in the tournament (for about five minutes) before Scorpion nonchalantly eliminated him. That would not be the end of Kung Lao’s brashness, however. When the final stages of the second Mortal Kombat tournament began, Kung Lao fought his way through the combined forces of Shang Tsung and Quan Chi, as well as the four-armed tiger-man, Kintaro. As Kung Lao celebrated his victories in front of Outworld’s crowds, Outworld Emperor Shao Khan crept up behind him and brutally snapped the Shaolin warrior’s neck.

The younger Kung Lao would spend the next couple games as a zombie revenant under the control of Quan Chi, and later Revenant Liu Kang. In Mortal Kombat 11, fans were able to see the human Kung Lao again via some time travel shenanigans. In that game, both the Revenant and time-displaced human young Kung Laos live up to their name by dying at the hands of someone they didn’t stand a chance against anyway. Some things never change.

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