We thought he succumbed to a very literal twist of fate, but you can't keep a good Shaolin monk down! Kung Lao returns to battle in Mortal Kombat X - as showcased in a brutal new gameplay trailer! Where has he been and where did he get his new hat? Take a closer look at the new design with classic hat in this official render:

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Kung Lao was to be the first big character reveal for 2015, but the legendary fighting monk managed to sneak out early via Finnish magazine Pelaaja [more]. Whether in magazine, digital screenshot, or video trailer, we're happy to see Kung Lao back in action, sporting the whitened hair of a wise kung fu master!

The new design roots its dark palette in the original appearance of Kung Lao way back in Mortal Kombat II. Selectable Character Variations adapt the blue and black attire, with his trademark hat also getting switched up based on the fighting mode of choice! A jaggedly serrated version gives the smooth razor-edged klassic a dose of malicious millinery intent!

Kung Lao's return raises many questions. Raiden asks where his heroic charge has been in the new trailer - vocalizing what a lot of fans are wondering! Kung Lao was among the long list of klassic kombatants thought dead at the close of Mortal Kombat (2011) - taking a shock neck snap in reference to Liu Kang's surprise death in the original timeline sequel: Deadly Alliance. Could the "Netherrealm War" referenced by the comics be responsible for his apparent resurrection? What part will necromancer Quan Chi play with his army of dead? What ever the reason - we're happy to see Kung Lao back!

He's back! Is it better than ever? Register to share your thoughts, theories and fashion critiques on the Mortal Kombat X forum!