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Self Demonstrating / Liu Kang

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https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/liu_kang_mk11octet_stream.png
 (To fully grasp Liu's storied history, think of him speaking through Robin Shou, Tom Choi, or Matthew Yang King. If you speak Spanish, then Óscar Flores is the way to go.)
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For those who do not know me, I should tell you that self-reflection is one hell of a thing.

Here I am, at the Dawn of Time, with Kitana by my side, reflecting on my long and eventful life...and in some cases, un-life.

I have been many things, troper. Shaolin Monk. Warrior. The Immortal Champion. Revenant. Netherrealm Emperor. And now, Fire God and Keeper of Time. I served Raiden as his finest champion, and both Kronika and Shinnok as their most lethal enforcer.

Funny how things come back full circle.

Four times I would go on to defend both my title and Earthrealm in the Original Timeline: On Shang Tsung's Island, in the Outworld Tournament, during Shao Kahn's invasion of Earthrealm, and during the Netherrealm Invasion of Edenia.

My name is Liu Kang. Not much is known about my personal life, but what I can tell you is that I was born in the Hunan Province of China to Lee and Lin Kang, both deceased. I also have a brother, named Chow Kang. No one knows where he is.

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I spent my childhood with the Shaolin, until I was noticed by the Thunder God Raiden, who recruited me into the White Lotus Society, a sect of Shaolin dedicated to defending Earthrealm.

You can say that I was something of a prodigy, with Shaolin Wushu being my style of choice. The Shaolin gave me a purpose. They were my family. I also built up a close friendship with Kung Lao, one that was also a friendly rivalry.

Then, I received the invitation to Shang Tsung's tournament. And as the saying goes, the rest is history.

I was one of seven chosen warriors, among them being the action star, Johnny Cage, the undead Shirai Ryu specter Hanzo Hasashi, better known as Scorpion, Bi-Han, the original Sub-Zero, the uncouth bandit, Kano, the tough-as-nails Special Forces lieutenant, Sonya Blade, and Raiden himself.

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But I was The Chosen One. The one who would defeat not only Goro, but also Shang Tsung and break Outworld's streak.

In the Outworld Tournament, I fought not for honor, but for revenge, as for revenge in winning the tournament, Outworld invaded and slaughtered my fellow monks at the Wu Shi Academy. Shao Kahn felt my wrath in the same manner as Shang Tsung.

When Shao Kahn invaded Earthrealm, I fought not for vengeance, but to survive. I was the primary target for Kahn's extermination squads. But when that damned warlord killed Kung Lao...he awakened the sleeping dragon once more. For the second time, I defeated Kahn, and freed Earthrealm from his reign of terror.

We honored our dead, and moved on with our lives, rebuilding what Shao Kahn had ravaged.

That peace would not last.

Kitana and Sindel - her memory restored - freed Edenia from Outworld and ruled the realm with a velvet glove. That was, until Shinnok and Quan Chi invaded Edenia. The call for aid went out, and once again, I was among those who answered.

Cassandra Cage isn't the only one who bested Shinnok. I was the second. Bi-Han was the first.

Once Shinnok was defeated, Kitana approached me with an offer: an invitation to rule by her side in Edenia, for eternity. I refused, stating that my duties as Champion were more important.

She understood. Sometimes, it sucks being a monk.

I returned to the Wu Shi and continued to train.

Then, things began to fall apart for Raiden and his champions. And it was my death at the hands of Shang Tsung and Quan Chi that was the catalyst of the chain of events that followed.

For a time, my soul was tormented by Shang Tsung. With his demise following the Dragon King Onaga's return, it was freed. But I did not ascend to the heavens. With my friends and Kitana slain and revived as brainwashed slaves under Onaga's control, I could not leave them to such a fate. With the aid of Ermac, I was able to free my former comrades of Onaga's control.

Raiden, having been corrupted in his attempt to stop Onaga, revived my body using the forbidden art of necromancy, transforming it into a mindless killing machine. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in stopping it.

I heard that my walking corpse was finally put down in the Battle of Armageddon. How and by who, I do not know. All I know is that Shao Kahn had won the prize.

But Raiden could not let it end like this. So he sent back several cryptic messages to his past self with the words, "He must win!"

The visions were received by his past counterpart, on the eve of Shang Tsung's tournament.

As before, the tournament played out as it had done in the past. Then, things changed once we were in Outworld. Kuai Liang ended up captured and turned into a cyber-ninja, rather than Smoke. And Shao Kahn snapped Kung Lao's neck after he had defeated both Shang Tsung and Quan Chi.

Kahn should have stayed dead after I punched a hole through his torso.

With each setback and loss of life to Shao Kahn's forces, my faith in Raiden began to waver. Sindel's deadly housecall on the Forces of Light and Kitana dying in my arms were the breaking point. I thought Raiden had lost his mind.

And in my anger, I lashed out at my former mentor. He defended himself. My flames and his electricity had somehow backfired on me. I was electrocuted and immolated at the same time.

Despite Raiden's pleas for forgiveness, I cursed him with my dying breaths. "You have killed us all."

As expected, one ending can be seen as a beginning in disguise. My soul was the last to be claimed by Quan Chi.

In life, I was Raiden's greatest champion. Now, I was a Revenant; an undead denizen of the Netherrealm.

I spent over two decades in the Netherrealm as a revenant. The Blood Code Incident was one of Quan Chi's schemes to retrieve Shinnok's Amulet; using the blood magic of the vampiress Nitara to taint the Kamidogu, and gave the mad cleric Havik the task of retrieving the Amulet.

Oh, Havik was successful in retrieving the Amulet, but the plan went off the rails when he decided to invade the Netherrealm instead.

Fortunately, Scorpion decapitating that madman brought those plans to a crashing halt.

We would bide our time, waiting for the moment to strike. It came when Kano stole the Amulet from Special Forces and handed it off to Mileena. The Brotherhood spy, the Kytinn D'Vorah, was ordered to steal the Amulet from Kotal Kahn once it was in his possession and deliver it to Quan Chi.

The scheme had several setbacks, but Shinnok was released from his prison, but at the cost of Quan Chi's life. Not wanting to make the same mistake underestimating Johnny Cage yet again, Shinnok ordered him to be taken with us.

In a way, Shinnok did underestimate a Cage. Just the wrong one.

With Johnny imprisoned and Raiden incapacitated, nothing could stop Shinnok from finishing what he had started decades ago. Or so we thought.

In an act of desperation, Cassandra Cage led her team on a raid on the Sky Temple. Despite having the numbers advantage, Team S-F would repel us and Cassandra would go on to defeat Shinnok and rescue her father.

With Quan Chi dead and Shinnok imprisoned, the. Netherrealm was ripe for a takeover. Kitana and I consolidated our power and seized control, becoming the Emperor and Empress of the Netherrealm.

But before we could enact a plan of vengeance, Raiden came to the Netherrealm. Purifying the Jinsei had corrupted him. Even now, I remember his warning to Kitana and myself, throwing down Shinnok's severed head at our feet:

"Too long have I allowed Earthrealm to endure the horrors of war. Time and again we've defeated our enemies. But we've exacted no retribution. Demanded no remuneration. What have we gained for our mercy? More intrigue. More senseless violence.

"As the new rulers of the Netherrealm, heed me. No longer will I simply defend Earthrealm. I will seek out and destroy all who threaten it. No mercy will be shown. No quarter given. Shinnok was an Elder God. Impossible to kill. There are fates worse than death."

This was not the Raiden I once knew. So to play it safe, we backed down, and quietly rebuilt our forces.

Two years would pass. Then, Raiden attacked the Netherrealm. But that turned out to be a diversion from the actual target: the Fortress itself.

Inadvertently, I was responsible for the death of Sonya Blade, as I used my fire to collapse the chamber she was inside. Then, I challenged her daughter. I lost, as did Kitana and Kabal.

We barely made it outside the fortress before it was reduced to rubble, Sonya having sacrificed herself to complete her mission.

It had been, for Special Forces, a Pyrrhic victory. Our forces were decimated, but at the cost of S-F losing General Blade.

Then...she appeared.

Kronika, the Keeper of Time, Architect of the Destiny of the Universe. She came to Kitana and myself with an enticing offer: a New Era, one without Raiden.

We both agreed.

In order for her plans to come to pass, Kronika summoned kombatants from the past, including myself, back when I was still alive...and naïve. I would confront my younger half alongside Kung Lao in the Dragon Grotto. I underestimated my younger self and lost that match.

Despite this setback, our forces were picking up momentum in our quest to bring about Kronika's New Era. The past and present versions of Kano captured the younger Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade and destroyed Special Forces' desert base, Cetrion retrieved Kronika's crown, aided by Jackson Briggs, and the Lin Kuei and Shirai Ryu suffered losses from Frost and the Cyber Lin Kuei.

But Raiden and his forces rallied. Cassandra Cage led the rescue mission and raided the Black Dragon's fight club. Kano finally met his end at Sonya's hands. Kitana's younger self rallied the Outworld rebels under her command and after a long, hard battle, killed Shao Kahn, thus becoming the new Kahn of Outworld.

But Kronika had several tricks up her sleeves. She kidnapped my younger self and brought him to her Keep. Using the sorcery I learned from Shinnok, I absorbed my younger self's soul, while keeping him alive.

Despite my newfound power, it was enough to defeat Raiden. We had our final confrontation at the Sea of Blood. Even now, he refused to kill me, deciding on a third option.

He imbued his godly powers and combined the younger Liu Kang with me. Thus, Raiden was gone, and I remained. I was now a God of Fire, with control over fire and electricity.

With my revenant's knowledge, we initiated our attack on Kronika's fortress. However, we were too late. As I and my allies stormed the Hourglass, Kronika began to rewind time, leaving me alone against herself, Cetrion and the three remaining revenants, Kitana, Jade, and Kung Lao.

I had no other choice but to kill my former comrades. Then, Kronika ordered Cetrion to kombat me. She had the power, but lacked the heart to win. At Kronika's request, she sacrificed herself to Kronika, giving her the power to rewind time, erasing the timeline.

For all she had done...for the pain she had wrought...Kronika had to die.

Now, we're back where we started, here at the Dawn of Time, with Kitana by my side. I was able to reach her before she was gone completely. No more will man be at the whim of a mad Titan. Each person shall choose their own destiny. No matter what the trials, Kitana and I shall face them together.

Thanks in part to that annoying buffoon, I somehow made it into what he calls the Cage Cinematic Universe. And although it pains me to say it, I am very impressed with my live-action counterpart. It also incorporated one important aspect: my attraction to Kitana.

Before Kronika pulled off her Temporal Armageddon, I was among several of Raiden's champions who fought with and against the Justice League and their enemies. But with what Kuai Liang and Raiden told me, that world and the one where Superman went insane and became the leader of a tyrannical regime could possibly be one and the same. And with the re-emergence of that insane clown back in Earthrealm, I must agree with my comrades in that he must be put down like the mad dog that he is. Also, this shrinking superhero (apparently the third one) from the same world as Superman sounds like me, and he has even said that he and this woman named Vixen were like Jacqui and Takeda.

Follow these tropes, and see my life through your eyes.

    As Raiden's Champion 

    As A Zombie 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/db66266e4f731ecbe9976ebd2016999e.png

    As A Revenant/The Dark Emperor 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dark_emperor_liu_kang.png

    As The Fire God 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/firegodliukang.jpg
 

  • The Ace: Kronika was right to fear my power once I merged with Raiden.
  • Big Good: Taking over Raiden's place when he merged with myself and my revenant.
  • Book-Ends: Both the first chapter of Mortal Kombat and the last end with me and Shang Tsung locked in, well, kombat.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After all of the pain I went through, I managed to save Kitana before Kronika wound back time to the point of no return. Now, with the woman that I love, we can make things better for everyone.
  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Not that Kronika made it easy for me, but I was able to put a stop to her plans single-handedly.
  • Big Good: By becoming the new Keeper of Time, I have redeemed my name and my honor.
  • Deity of Human Origin: I was quite possibly the first Fire God when Raiden merged both my human and revenant selves with his power.
  • The Dreaded: Kronika concluded that should I merge with Raiden, then I would be powerful enough to stop her plans, hence the never-ending cycle of Raiden and I fighting each other. She was right. As it happens, this applied to me, Raiden and Shang Tsung, of all people.
  • Good Counterpart: To Kronika. Unlike Kronika and her obsession with order, I shall allow mortals to choose their own destiny.
  • Guile Hero: I was no fool. I knew Shang Tsung would betray us the second he claimed the Crown of Kronika. I thus lied about having to stay at the Hourglass and allowed him to carry out his misdeeds until at last he had the Crown, and I was in position to take it from him. This unfortunately meant that, to succeed in this endeavour, a lot of my friends and other good warriors would have to meet with unfortunate fates, my past self included. But in my New Era, they will fare better.
  • I Lied: I told Shang Tsung I would have to remain at the Hourglass. Then, at the final second, I appeared without incident and stopped him. A consummate liar like him should have been able to tell when someone else lies.
  • Invincible Hero: Even after Kronika stacked the odds against me by rewinding time and robbing me of my allies, leaving only herself, Cetrion and the remaining Revenants, I bested them all in kombat.
  • Kirk Summation: Cetrion couldn't defeat me because her heart wasn't in the kombat. Despite my attempts to sway her to my side, her loyalty to Kronika was absolute. Admirable, yet misguided, Cetrion.
  • Locked into Strangeness: Upon becoming the new Fire God, my hair has become white to show off my new status.
  • Physical God: The merging of powers made me strong enough to take on the Revenants, Cetrion, Kronika and a massively powered Shang Tsung in rapid succession.
  • Power Glows: As the Fire God, one distinguishing characteristic is the glowing tattoos of light.
  • The Watcher: As Keeper of Time, I allow free will to all, rather than manipulate them like Kronika had done.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: After all the time Kung Lao spent in my shadow, I felt it only right that his ancestor be my champion in the New Era.

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