Kung Lao or Liu kang?
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Kung Lao or Liu kang?
09/29/2010 10:13 PM EST
Who is more popular and more original in Post MK3 Games?
Liu Kang or Kung Lao?
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
09/29/2010 10:47 PM EST
Kung Lao.

Liu Kang sucks. Always did.
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
09/29/2010 10:53 PM EST
I was always partial to Liu Kang. I'm a big fan of the Bruce Lee expy in pretty much any fighting game (Fei Long in SF, Marshall Law in Tekken) so I just love playing as him and hearing that WATAIIIIII WAAAA!

Of course now with Tag Team I can rock both of them and bring back the bad boys of Shaolin Monks
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
09/29/2010 11:16 PM EST
I didn't like Liu Kang until Robin Shou. To me, Liu Kang's character was nothing without the movie and Robin Shou's performance.

But Kung Lao is still a pretty flat character in my mind. If only he had a Robin Shou somewhere to give him character depth.
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
09/29/2010 11:20 PM EST
That's a tough one. I'd say Kung Lao, but I might be biased because I absolutely HATE Kang. Cannot stand him. Have not liked him from the beginning. And on the flip side I do like Kung Lao.

Kung Lao just seems more bad-ass, more mysterious. I think of him as a "cool" character I want to play the game with. I really like his special moves and fatalities.

Kang is a joke to me; a cartoon character (and a bad one at that). The longer his hair grew and higher his screeching got, the more annoying he became IMO, and the more I hated him. And like I said before, I already didn't like him. I don't even really care for the dragon fatality in MKII. Graphically it looked cool, but it made no sense. No one else could turn into an animal, so it just didn't fit for me. (I think the Animalities are a joke as a whole anyway.)

I'm quite certain Kung Lao's been in less games, and Kang seems to be more "important" to the story as Earth's champion, I mean they killed him off and then brought him back as a zombie (another reason I hate him). So maybe the general consensus would be Kang, I really don't know.
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
09/29/2010 11:42 PM EST
I rather prefer Liu Kang. He was always one of my favorites to play when I was younger, he just has cooler moves IMO. And storywise, Kung Lao just always came off as the sidekick who didn't have what it takes. Yeah, he looks badass, like an Asian Clint Eastwood, but he's never won the big stakes boss fights like Liu can because he doesn't have Liu's...I dunno, dragon/elder god-themed chosen one powers?

Kung Lao nearly dies against Kahn in MK3 and couldn't even beat Shang in Deadly Alliance. He's great supporting cast, he'd make a good teacher character to replace Bo' Rai Cho in the future when the old man retires or bites it or they just decide not to bring him back...but he's no main hero. The idea that they might have him win one of the tournaments instead of Liu in this game is just not believable for me.

Plus, unlike most people, I actually like the Kitana romance sideplot.

In fact, I was pretty disappointed that Kung Lao was ever brought back in MK Gold. I liked the way his death was what inspired Liu to win in 3 and thought revealing "Nope, he faked it and went into hiding" was a total cop-out.
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
09/30/2010 12:03 AM EST
RazorsEdge701 Wrote:...but he's never won the big stakes boss fights like Liu can because he doesn't have Liu's...I dunno, dragon/elder god-themed chosen one powers?

Like rooting for the guy who gets a promotion for banging the boss' daughter.

OUR HERO FOLKS!
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
09/30/2010 12:18 AM EST
When I bought MK: SM I picked Kung Lao, right off the bat...

Kung Lao is a badass at heart. Personally, I think he has the better fatalities when you compare the two (except for Liu's dragon of course). The bicycle kick and fly kick are two-bad ass moves... so when Liu Kang was killed, they revamped the bike kick and gave it to Kung Lao... I think the MK team really wanted Kung Lao to replace Liu Kang as the hero, but maybe the developers took the story in a different direction for MK: Deception

Hat Buzzsaw V Arcade Drop = buzzsaw any day
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
09/30/2010 12:21 AM EST
XiahouDun84 Wrote:
RazorsEdge701 Wrote:...but he's never won the big stakes boss fights like Liu can because he doesn't have Liu's...I dunno, dragon/elder god-themed chosen one powers?

Like rooting for the guy who gets a promotion for banging the boss' daughter.

OUR HERO FOLKS!

I'm just saying, Shao Kahn's got the power of a god, what's a bladed hat gonna do to him? Liu has much more impressive seeming powers, and rather than shrug and go "Anyone can beat him, Liu just happened to be the one who did", which simply doesn't make sense, the more logical thing to do would be to EXPLAIN why Liu is the one, and IMO, the best course would be to go "it's no coincidence that Liu's moves and animal form look exactly like the Elder Gods do. The dragon theme is symbolic, he's got a gift. He's the only one who CAN fight Kahn." And then flesh out the REASON he's the chosen one. Did he work really hard for it and achieve some sort of enlightenment? Is it just destiny?
I believe there's a story to be told there and it's more interesting to me than Kung's standing around grimacing all the time going either "I don't wanna be a hero, it's too hard" or "I wish I were the hero, I'm so jealous". Either way, I don't hate Mr. dark and broody, but in this particular scenario, fuck 'im.

Of course, your problem with Liu has always been his personality and I don't agree with that one either. I think there's depth to be found if a writer who actually cared to show it was at the helm, and the only time we've ever had a writer care about exploring Liu's thoughts and feelings about being immortal and his relationship with Kitana and all that stuff was, shamefully, Defenders of the fucking Realm.
Also, I used to like talking story with you, man. Is this bitter old man phase ever gonna end or what?
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
09/30/2010 12:33 AM EST
Kung Lao all the way. Ever since his appearance in mkII I loved him. The razor rimmed hat is just something I'm never gonna lose interest in :). Liu Kang is fine as a character. I don't mind him. I enjoy his bike kick, but I'd always choose Kung Lao over him. If anything changes from this revisit its that Kang doesn't have any future in winning the tournament. Kung Lao loses his "sidekick" persona and realizes his true strength and kicks major ass
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
09/30/2010 12:50 AM EST
Liu kang why?

Cause he is awsome no questions asked smile

Ps. Also cause one of his fatalities represents the MK logo so BONUS POINTS!
Haters gone' hate.
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
09/30/2010 11:04 AM EST
^^^ exactly his fatality is the MK logo...that is str8 up awesome-ness. but kung lao is more of a technical fighter.liu kang is more of a bruce lee kinda guy.id go wit liu kang tho.the bicycle kick is the best!
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
09/30/2010 11:30 AM EST
I never liked Liu Kang, I actually hate him. His fatalities are lame And he is just annoying. His moves are.... different. Which is a good thing to some people. I'm just saying my own opinion.. I never really paid attention to Kung Lao either until just recently. I decided to give him a try in MKII and he's great, a true badass. Probably had one of the best fatalities. How can anyone compare a dragon to cutting someone in half then them fall apart?? That's awesome! So Kung Lao is now in my top 5:D
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
09/30/2010 12:30 PM EST
Liu Kang fan here. The way he plays just always fit my style. Though I will give a special mention of Kung Lao being my favorite in MKDA, the one game where Liu Kang is absent.

But yeah in MKSM, I think I've only been Kung Lao like twice since I got the game, always pick Liu Kang, his moves and fatalities are much more sweeter in that game to me.

Also as a Bruce Lee fan, I enjoy any characters that is at least somewhat based on him.
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
09/30/2010 05:18 PM EST
RazorsEdge701 Wrote:
Also, I used to like talking story with you, man. Is this bitter old man phase ever gonna end or what?

Outlook not so good.


The issue with singling out ONE lone character as the ONE lead hero over all others in an ensemble story is it kind of trivializes the other protagonists. Particularly the ones that embark on more satisfying journeys, with better conflicts, and achieve more development.

Yeah, I'm sure Liu Kang trained hard, learned martial arts, and achieved some sort of enlightenment over time. And what....the younger Sub-Zero didn't?
But Liu has persevered through loss and learned that the life of a hero requires sacrifice. And Kitana hasn't? Scorpion hasn't endured loss? Even fucking Sonya's taken her share of blows.

What conflicts has Liu overcome? Trying to decide if it's okay to kill or not? That might be okay...if overdone and boring...but it's kind moot when you look at Sub-Zero, Kitana, Kung Lao....all noble and heroic figures themselves....and see they seem to have no issues balancing when it's okay to kill and when it's not.
So by the end of MK2, I guess Liu learned that sometimes it is necessary to kill your enemy. Congratulations Liu....everyone was a couple of steps ahead of you on that one.

Oh, but maybe it's Liu purity that makes him, and no one else, the special one who can defeat Shao Kahn.

How fucking lame is that? Not to mention childish and unrealistic. I think this is problem with Liu Kang in general. He's a Silver Age hero living in a context that's, at worst, 90's era "dark & grim"....or, at best, something resembling complexity and ambiguity. Further proof, in my opinion, why Liu should('ve) die(d) during MK2.

What better way to symbolize that in the land of Mortal Kombat, wish-washy fairy tale ideals don't happen. This can be further hammered home by the ruination of Edenia despite all Kitana's work. On that subject, maybe this time Sindel doesn't turn all the way good. Finally reaching its apotheosis when Raiden goes batshit crazy.

That the should be the overall tone of Mortal Kombat. No happy endings...just bittersweet ones, that come bruised and bloody.

If they're going to fuck around with the story, do something worth while. And getting rid of Schmucky McBlandpus...thereby forcing, I don't know, someone interesting to stand up to Shao Kahn would be a start. Rather than do it backwards by having Liu Kang blandly save the day and THEN try to make us actually care. Someone who, in facing Shao Kahn, will be forced to overcome greater conflict than...walking up to him and fighting him.
There are characters to choose from...the only one I'd be hesitant on is the younger Subz...who's story progression is groovy as is. And he isn't really ready to go full hero until t least MK4.

Oh, but they lack the special inexplicable god-touch that makes Liu Kang the special one and no one else. What are we saying here? He's a just a lifeless machine going through the motions who's only special because the gods said so.

Hey wait.....god....machine....sayyyyy.....
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
10/01/2010 04:36 AM EST
Well we'll just have to agree to disagree on the whole "MK should have downer endings" and "Liu is too silver age, every single character should be dark and gritty" thing.

But here's my problem with the rest of your argument, that someone with more depth should have won MK2 and 3: each of the characters you would put in that slot in Liu's place are either no better than Liu, or the idea of them beating Kahn is actively worse.

Scorpion and Sub-Zero have no place in the main events of MK1 thru 3, what makes them so interesting is their own periphery shit that they're busy with.

Sonya, Jax, and Johnny don't deserve it any more than Liu does and are vastly weaker than he is.

Raiden winning all the time instead of Liu would not only be the exact same problem as Liu winning all the time, it would be even worse because then you don't just have a very bland guy getting all the attention in an ensemble full of more interesting guys, you ALSO have a deity doing all the hard work for the mortals and taking the fate of the Earth out of their hands.

That just leaves the two I'm sure you'd like to see defeat Kahn the most, either Kung Lao or Kitana. Now here's my problem with that:

First of all, I already went into how neither of them is powerful enough to believably fight an entity of Shao Kahn's immense power. It's like if you were to say "I think Booster Gold could beat up Superman just because Booster's my favorite superhero." I like Booster Gold, but that's a stupid reason to win a fight.

Second, the only reason Kung Lao is any deeper or more interesting a character than Liu is, is solely because he's NOT the hero, he's NOT willing or able to be just like his ancestor was, he's his own man with his own destiny and he often struggles and fails. Replacing Liu with him would just make him into Liu Kang in a hat and then what have you done? You haven't "fixed Mortal Kombat", you've ruined a character who the only reason you liked, was because he was deeper than Liu.

Kitana at least doesn't hurt anything thematically or ruin her own character if she fights her stepfather...but Mortal Kombat 1 thru 3 are about saving EARTH, so an Earth character should be the one who saves the world.

Liu Kang is the only guy who fits. Because he was designed specifically to be that guy. He is a square peg in a square hole and everyone else is round. If we were talking about later games, I don't think he was thematically the right guy to win MK4, and I think killing him off and moving on was a great move in Deadly Alliance...but for just the microcosm of MK 1, 2, and 3, the central conflict is tailor made such that no other character in the games really makes sense resolving it BUT Liu Kang. (And note that he didn't do it alone anyway. Kung Lao and him do take on Kahn as a team in MK3, it's just that Kung gets knocked out of the fight, proving that he doesn't really have what it takes.)

People only want someone else to win instead because they don't like him and think he's shallow and underdeveloped. Why not argue ways they could develop him and make Liu himself a better character, instead of taking the lazy way out and saying they should just replace him?
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
10/01/2010 05:21 AM EST
RazorsEdge701 Wrote:
People only want someone else to win instead because they don't like him and think he's shallow and underdeveloped. Why not argue ways they could develop him and make Liu himself a better character, instead of taking the lazy way out and saying they should just replace him?


I agree with this. I like him however, and reason being i want him replaced is repetition. I understand he fits as the main protagonist et cetera, but I hate repetition. It just aggravates the hell out of me that only one person continues too win. Then again I'd much rather him win then have a character I love take his position and the team wind up fucking him over.

As for improving Liu Kang, I'm really not entirely sure where I could begin. I don't see that many issues with him as a character. He's had an okay story and he's always been good too fight with. Um, I just wish for once they could pull him aside.. Have him doing something else. Give him another matter that he focuses on. Have someone else win the tournament because he was out becoming a deeper character. Give him some damn side story is what I'm driving at. He does so much for Earthrealm which is good for its inhabitants, but at what cost? He's missing out on rivalries, making more friends, or enemies besides the main ones. The love interest... Ah Kitana, this is one thing right here that makes him feel more relate-able. It gives him a little more depth. I just wish they could pull him from winning and have him deal with something else. Maybe communication is broken so Raiden and everyone else can't contact him, or maybe he winds up ya know fucking up. Like a normal person would.

I really do like Liu Kang. I just wish he had more too him.
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
10/01/2010 06:16 AM EST
It only seems like repetition if you think of MK1, 2, and 3 as three seperate stories.

I think of them as three acts of the SAME story, and that the person who wins the MK tournament should also be the person who saves the Earth at the very end, because when you're telling an arc, that is how you wrap that arc up. You have the guy who steps forward as the hero in act 1 be the guy who slays the dragon in the finale, you don't have some asshole like Kabal come out of nowhere and kill-steal.

What I think they should do though, to greatly reduce the sense of "Liu wins too many times" that people seem to have, is fix the middle. Have MK2 NOT have a final battle. Instead of Liu fighting Shao Kahn in the arena at the end, have Kitana discover "this whole second tournament's just a ruse! It's all a distraction, he's about to launch an invasion on Earth while you're all not looking!" So they all take off back to Earth to prepare instead.

This would have two benefits. Not only would Liu not "win too much", because he'd only be winning two boss fights, not three, it would also make the final battle between Liu and Kahn in MK3 way more dramatic, because if Liu has already beaten Kahn once before, and did it one-on-one, how is there any tension if he does it a second time, and that time he's tag-teaming him with Kung Lao?

MK2 should be more like...the Empire Strikes Back part of the MK story. The heroes face the villains and they don't straight up lose, but they don't really "win" either, they just manage to escape by the skin of their teeth to prepare for a much bigger battle.
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
10/01/2010 06:27 AM EST
Liu Kang should be handled like Hitler. Make what you will out of that remark.

Useless, purposeless carbon copy.
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
10/01/2010 06:34 AM EST
That's exactly the way it should have been. Skip the final fight in mkll and move into mklll.. Actually I never really thought of mk1-3 as acts. That makes a hell of a lot of sense.. The revisit has a three in one deal too. What your saying is basically gonna change how I look at it from now on. It doesn't seem nearly as repetitive as it does if you think of it as three different games. I'm cool with it from this perspective. :) thanks lol
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
10/01/2010 06:59 AM EST
I'm sure this comparison is going to tick a few people off, but I think it's a good one.

Liu Kang is to Goku as Kung Lao is to Vegeta

Liu Kang is always a step ahead and just seems to have an understanding that others can't achieve. He's very pure, the ultimate good guy.

Kung Lao works extremely hard to keep up with Liu Kang, and he's always just behind him. He's a sort of "bad ass" who can really whoop ass when he needs to. But he lacks the purity and understanding that Kang has.


I love both characters, but Liu Kang is the chosen one.
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
10/01/2010 09:21 AM EST
Liu Kang.

Kung Lao was always crap, boring, and i don't understand why people complain about Sonya, Jax, Cage and Liu Kang's stale storyline but not about Kung Lao's even when they're all on the same boat. He sucks.
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
10/01/2010 11:27 AM EST
I'm just saying, if they're going to fuck around with the story...as a lot of people believe, "get it right"...don't pussyfoot around it.

Liu dies in MK2. Butchered by Shao Kahn, who brags how Sindel's resurrection is inevitable and Earth is his. Boom, there's your Empire Strikes Back ending, setting up Act III. So this leaves Kung Lao as the only one capable of saving Earth. So effectively, we've moved Kung Lao's "I don't like to fight but now I really have no choice" dilemma from MK:DA and moved it up a bit.

And if you really want an explanation why he's more a match for Kahn now, rather than the original timeline....urm, just say the gods gave him their magic "you're special" touch.
I suddenly find myself thinking of that song from Transformers.

"YOU GOT THE TOUCH!"

Anyway, if you go down this road, Kung Lao...and you know what, let's throw Kitana and Sindel into this mix because, shouldn't they be in the general vicinity? There was something they kind of forgot about emphasizing in the original storyline.
Oh yeah...Sindel was Kahn's link to Earth and she turned on him. That should've meant something!

Now before you say "Well, they just turned him into Liu Kang with a hat," (oh..you already did. Asshole.) let's play the butterfly game with what happens beyond MK3. Shinnok & Quan Chi invade for MK4. I guess that'll drag Kung Lao back into the fight...but who's to say he's the one that saves the day? The fight with Shinnok seems more appropiate for Raiden...being they're personal enemies...and/or Sub-Zero & Scorpion...what with their ties to Quan Chi and all.

Keep on going...what about MK:DA? Here's a thought...Quan Chi & Shang Tsung, since Liu Kang is already dead, don't bother making a trip to Earth. They concentrate all their efforts on Outworld, with the Dragon King's army. Raiden catches wind of this and decides to take action...as he did in the original timeline.

But here's the twist: Kung Lao doesn't. Remember, his main reason for fighting in MK:DA was avenging Liu Kang. If Liu's already dead...what's Lao fighting for? He's doing his "I just want to leave in peace thing." Since the Deadly Alliance isn't threatening Earth, he doesn't see a reason to go and fight.
I mean, if we're going to make Kung Lao a douche...which seems to have been the goal of the MK team since Shaolin Monks...let's make him one by developing what's been established about him, rather than retconning him into a jealous child.

Naturally Raiden and...hey, wouldn't this be a great time to make something out of KAI finally...they think he's an asshole for not wanting to fight (again) and they go off. And Kai goes to find Bo' Rai Cho and maybe we can finally learn more about him and what he brings to the table.
AND and, Kung Lao's indifference adds some more fuel to Raiden's future "I can't tolerate humans who don't do enough to protect Earth!"

Maybe Kai, for all his youth & energy, and despire Bo' Rai Cho's training...doesn't succeed in beating Shang Tsung. But let's not kill him and bury him like they did to Kung Lao in the original timeline. We'll let him escape. Ah, but Kung Lao will think he was killed. Now he feels guilty and realizes what a douche he is.
Meanwhile, Kai bumps into Shujinko and gets mentored by him. More development!

So now, Kung Lao doesn't really get turned into "Liu Kang with a hat." Kai gets a chance to be more than...whatever he currently is. We've set up natural conflict between Kung Lao and Raiden...foreshadowing his "dark" turn. The story keeps on trucking...and as an added bonus, with Liu Kang dead, Kitana never gets shackled with that piece of shit romance.
OR....they can try to make Liu Kang interesting for the eighth time and keep things as they are...leading to Kung Lao's burial, Kai doing absolutely nothing, Kitana being branded by the "damsel in distress" label, and a fucking zombie.

If they're going to screw with the story....in for a penny, in for a pound.
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
10/01/2010 12:53 PM EST
XiahouDun84 Wrote:
And if you really want an explanation why he's more a match for Kahn now, rather than the original timeline....urm, just say the gods gave him their magic "you're special" touch.

And if that's not good enough for you, try this on for size....

One of my biggest issues with Shang Tsung is that...despite being touted as a crucial, plot-shaking character...he really didn't do anything that effected MK3's outcome. Being the culmination of the Shao Kahn saga, it really would've been appropiate for Shang to have factored in somehow with what wound up happening.

Here's our chance. With Liu Kang dead, Shang is left to his own devices...no longer as obsessed with getting his revenge on the vanilla wonder. These devices include sabotaging Kahn's power with the ambition to take control when the Earth invasion was locked up.
THAT'S what helps Kung Lao defeat Shao Kahn.

But why doesn't Shang make his move? Well, here's another one for yeh...

The younger Sub-Zero, as we know, after dealing with his little cyborg dilemma, joins the Earth heroes to fight Kahn's forces and that's a big deal for him because it's the beginning of his transition into a heroic figure.
But what did Subz actually contribute to the battle? Who did he fight?

The reason Shang doesn't capitalize on his sabotage manuever was because he was stopped by the younger Sub-Zero...therefore bringing closure to the mission that brought Sub-Zero into the game in the first place.

DAMN I'M GOOD!!!!!

We'll let Shang survive...gravely wounded perhaps, hence his hiding out in his little bungalo until MK:DA....but all the same: score one for Sub-Zero. A solid contribution to the story and pretty impressive victory...perhaps foreshadowing he has a destiny of his own....

So what's the score: I've got development and advancement for Kung Lao, Kitana, Kai, Sindel, Shang Tsung, & the younger Sub-Zero, and a steady plot flow that maintains character consistency without making too much a mess of what's been established.

What's Liu Kang got?
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RE: Kung Lao or Liu kang?
10/01/2010 03:03 PM EST
You know more people are going to say Kung Lao because he has a hat. But I say Liu Kang.
hey