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Kuai Liang Render
General Information
Real Name Kuai Liang
Gender Male
Status Alive
Origin Earthrealm
Resides Earthrealm
Species Human/Cryomancer
In Mortal Kombat
Affiliations Lin Kuei
Allies Sonya Blade
Jax Briggs
Johnny Cage
Cassie Cage
Kung Jin
Jacqui Briggs
Takeda Takahashi
Bo' Rai Cho
Enemies Ermac
Shang Tsung
Shao Kahn
Quan Chi
Noob Saibot
Ferra & Torr
Erron Black
Kotal Kahn
Liu Kang
Kung Lao
Kurtis Stryker
Weapons Kori Blade
Alignment Good
You should rally your companions rather than mock your superiors.


—Sub-Zero, to Kung Jin in Mortal Kombat X.


  • Mortal Kombat (2011): "An assassin of the Lin Kuei clan, Kuai Liang commands the power of ice and cold. Unlike other members of his clan, he and his older brother, Bi-Han, were abducted as children by the Lin Kuei and trained in the techniques of assassination throughout their lives. Though his codename is Tundra, he has now assumed the mantle of Sub-Zero to honor his brother after Bi-Han's mysterious death. With the help of his fellow Lin Kuei Smoke, Sub-Zero tirelessly hunts the one who killed his brother."
  • Mortal Kombat X: "Kuai Liang and his older brother, Bi-Han, served the Lin Kuei assasin clan faithfully until the first Mortal Kombat tournament. There Bi-Han, codename Sub-Zero, was killed by the demon Scorpion. Kuai Liang assumed the Sub-Zero name and went to Outworld to find his brother's killer. Meanwhile, the leadership of the Lin Kuei embarked on the Cyber Initiative, converting its members to cybernetic ninjas to increase their efficiency and remove their human imperfections. Kuai Liang was captured and converted. Eventually, Raiden and the defenders of Earthrealm restored his soul, and he joined their cause. He was later killed in the Outworld invasion, his soul claimed by the Netherrealm sorcerer Quan Chi. Sub-Zero served the demon realm during its subsequent war with Earthrealm. Returned to humanity by Raiden in the aftermath, Sub-Zero rebuilt the Lin Kuei--this time as a benevolent organization dedicated to the protection of Earthrealm."


Mortal Kombat (2011 video game)

During the first tournament, Bi-Han (elder Sub-Zero) is slain by Scorpion, despite Raiden's efforts to change Scorpion's mind. Before the events of the first tournament, Bi-Han's younger brother, Kuai Liang, was known as Tundra. During the second tournament, Tundra assumes the identity as Sub-Zero to honor his brother's death. Sub-Zero is seen with Smoke as they attempt to gather information on Bi-Han's disappearance. The two split and Sub-Zero then heads off to investigate something, when he is confronted by Cyrax. Cyrax tells him he has to come with him so he can become a cyborg, but Sub-Zero tells him that he will never comply. They fight and Sub-Zero wins.

Sub-Zero allows Cyrax to escape, intending to finish his task. He is then met by Sonya and Jax who were following Cyrax. Upon seeing him, they are confused and say that he is dead. Sub-Zero explains to them he is Bi-Han's younger brother and inquires what they know about his death. Sonya tells him he was killed by Scorpion and to check the coliseum. They are then confronted by Ermac, who causes Jax's arms to explode. After his victory, Sub-Zero tells Sonya he must go the coliseum, and directs her to a nearby portal back to Earthrealm.

Sub-Zero goes to the coliseum and demands that Shao Kahn let him fight Scorpion. Shang Tsung, however, makes him fight Reptile. Sub-Zero defeats him, and eventually, Quan Chi summons Scorpion. Sub-Zero defeats Scorpion, but before he can kill him, Lin Kuei cyborgs, led by Cyrax and Sektor, capture him. Cyrax and Sektor swear alliegence to Shao Kahn in exchange for Sub-Zero. Shao Kahn agrees and Sub-Zero is taken back to the Lin Kuei Temple to be automated.

During the Earthrealm invasion, Sub-Zero appears once more, now in his automated form as Cyber Sub-Zero. He attacks Kabal but is defeated. At Smoke's request, he is brought to Jax, who removes the slaving protocols in his CPU, giving him his free will back. He regrets all the things he did for Shao Kahn, so he joins the Earthrealm warriors, and goes to spy on Outworld. After a brief discussion, Sektor orders Sub-Zero to go on a mission with him. He informs Sub-Zero that he scanned his neural net, and knows he has been reprogrammed. Sektor ordered him to open his access panel, but he attacks him instead, starting a fight between the two, which Sektor loses.

By searching in the defeated Sektor's data banks, he discovers the location of Kano, Kintaro, and Goro. He finds the three of them in the Bell Tower torturing soldiers. After a failed attempt to get information, he freezes the three of them, and frees the soldiers. After they escape, Kintaro and Goro break free of the ice they were trapped in, leaving Sub-Zero to fight both. He does so, and emerges victorious. The freed soldiers are then pushed back by Ermac. Sub-Zero warns them to stay back, then fights and defeats him. After asking the soldiers their next location, he goes to the graveyard. The soldiers wish him good luck, another jokingly saying he didn't need it.

In the graveyard, Sub-Zero comes across Quan Chi and Noob Saibot as Chi conjures up a spell to create a Soulnado. When he confronts Noob, he discovers that Noob is his older brother. After Noob relinquishes any family ties with him, they fight, with Sub-Zero emerging victorious and claiming that he was right: they are no longer brothers. At Nightwolf's advice, he reports back to Raiden. When Raiden leaves with Liu Kang to try to talk to the Elder Gods, he is left under Nightwolf's command. Some seconds later, he detects the Lin Kuei Cyborgs, and they are ambushed. After they dispatch the Cyborgs, Sindel appears and states that she "will finish what the Lin Kuei did not". The Earthrealm warriors engage her in battle, and he, along with most of them, is killed when Sindel destroys his circuits. He is later resurrected by Quan Chi to serve him in the Netherrealm. Smoke, Jade and Cyber Sub- Zero prepare to fight Raiden, but then Raiden leaves to deal with the Emperor Shao Kahn.

Mortal Kombat X (Comic Series)

In the past, Kuai Liang took on his brother's colors and codename, Sub-Zero, and fought his killer, Scorpion, in Shao Kahn's tournament in Outworld. Sub-Zero defeated Scorpion and was ordered by Shao Kahn to finish him. Kuai made it clear he would not kill for him, but for his brother and prepared to finish Scorpion when a group of cyborg Lin Kuei appeared around him. Sub-Zero screamed in defiance that he would not be turned but was captured and put through the cyborg process.

Kuai eventually regained control of himself but was shortly killed there after by Sindel. When he next regained consciousness, he was in the Netherrealm before the arch sorcerer Quan Chi. Sub-Zero was confused by the fact his friend Smoke was restraining him along with Jax Briggs and Quan Chi explained their souls belonged to the Netherrealm, as Kuai's now did as well. Quan Chi told Kuai his army needed resilient souls for the coming war, and while Kuai defiantly declared he would not be his slave, Quan Chi retorted he would be his puppet and used his magic to lift Kuai into the air before destroying his cyborg body, freeing what little remained of his organic body.

Quan Chi then used his dark sorcery to regrow Kuai's human body, reviving him as one of his revenants and forcing him to serve the Netherrealm.

In the final hours of the Netherrealm War, Sub-Zero fought alongside fellow revenants Scorpion and Jax Briggs against a squad of Special Forces soldiers in Quan Chi's fortress. Sub-Zero was ordered by Scorpion to protect Quan Chi but was too late as Sonya Blade defeated the sorcerer, allowing Raiden to finish his incantation, knocking Kuai unconscious.

Kuai would awaken months later, confused and believing himself in another hell. When a voice called out to him, Kuai lashed out in anger with an ice blast, but Raiden easily deflected it, telling Kuai he was safe in the Sky Temple. Kuai was confused about being truly alive again and Raiden explained his restoration to life was due to his power combining with Quan Chi's and the thunder god welcomes Kuai back. Kuai expresses his deep remorse over the actions he committed under Quan Chi's control, asking Raiden how he could live with himself.

Raiden told him to make amends and explained Earthrealm needed his help. The thunder god then assigned Sub-Zero to retrieve one of the Kamidogu, the dagger having been stolen by the Red Dragon clan.

Sub-Zero attacks the temple in Linxia, China, where the dagger is held in a vault, slaughtering the Red Dragon soldiers inside with ease. Holding the last one hostage with an ice knife at the soldier's throat, Sub-Zero makes it clear he is no longer in Quan Chi's service and demands the door to the vault be opened. When the soldier refuses, Sub-Zero simply throws him through the doors, breaking them open.

Inside the chamber, Sub-Zero sees the dagger is gone and demands to know who has it. Kuai is then attacked from behind, a lazer beam knocking his mask off, before the Black Dragon mercenary Kano gets him in a headlock, dragging the Kamidogu over Kuai's eye, scarring him. Kuai tries to tell Kano the dagger is cursed as his eyes turn red, but Kano retorts that Raiden lied to him and prepares to tell the cryomancer the truth behind the Kamidogu.

Sub-Zero manages to escape Kano's grasp by slamming him into a nearby pillar, but Kano is able to stab him in the shoulder with the dagger, wounding him. As Sub-Zero collapses to his knees, Kano reveals that those cut by the Kamidogus become possessed, and only death can free them. Refusing to die again, Sub-Zero freezes and smashes Kano's optic implant, bringing the mercenary to his knees. While Kano curses at him, Kuai Liang collects the dagger and escapes.

In Raiden's vision, Sub-Zero is seen fighting the automated Lin Kuei.

Sub-Zero's whereabouts are revealed, having been on the run with the Kamidogu dagger he recovered years ago. In Bukittinggi, Indonesia, Sub-Zero attempts to flee from automated Lin Kuei cyborgs, who unsuccessfully attempt to convince him to return and be converted, proclaiming it removes all weaknesses. Telling the cyborgs that they are not Lin Kuei and declaring he has no weaknesses, Sub-Zero draws the Kamidogu and offers it his blood, invoking the Blood Code.

Using his enhanced power, Sub-Zero freezes the squad of Lin Kuei, as well as the entire building they were standing on and part of the city. Possessed by the dagger, Sub-Zero admires it as the voice of the demon dwelling within it proclaims the time of the Blood God is near.

Kuai froze the entire city of Kahishari, Japan and more Lin Kuei cyborgs that had been pursuing him, killing thousands of innocent people in the process. Resting at a frozen temple, Kuai hears the voice of the demon as Hanzo Hasashi and his apprentice Takeda Takahashi approach, the demon reminding him of Hanzo's role in Bi-Han's death and warning him that Takeda is not to be trusted, proclaiming that both have defied the Blood Code before ordering Kuai to remove their spines.

Kuai greets Hanzo, saying he did not recognize him without the fire in his eyes before demolishing the frozen temple with a single punch. Hanzo declares that while killing Kuai won't bring back the people he killed, it will stop him from hurting anyone else. The demon takes full control of Kuai as he draws the Kamidogu, spikes of ice emerging along Kuai's back, arms and shoulders, and speaks through him to mock Hanzo as his Scorpion persona takes over, much to the demon's joy, forcing the rematch between Scorpion and Sub-Zero to begin.

Before the battle begins, Scorpion demands to know if he is speaking with Kuai Liang or the demon within the Kamidogu. The possessed Sub-Zero mockingly asks if Raiden had not explained that the dagger is a key, not a vessel, and declares that the real power is in the blood as he cuts his wrist with the dagger to further empower himself with Blood Magik. Sub-Zero points to Takeda as the demon reminds him of when he executed his friend Fox.

Scorpion holds his student back before launching his first attack, throwing both of his spears to impale Kuai before igniting them with hellfire and dragging the cryomancer towards him. Sub-Zero recovers and grabs the chains, freezing them solid and extinguishing the hellfire before shattering them. Sub-Zero throws an ice blast at Scorpion, but he teleports to dodge the attack. The possessed Kuai demands Scorpion stop dodging and "Get over here!"

When Scorpion reappears behind Sub-Zero, Kuai causes the spikes along his body to turn into deadly glacier spears that impale Scorpion. Sub-Zero flips Scorpion over him while mocking him for going through the motions, claiming he is a wraith and that the man is a lie before sliding into Scorpion to knock him over. Kuai then kicks Scorpion into a glacier, shattering it, all the while the demon continues to speak through him, claiming Hanzo Hasashi is a weak impostor and that when he is destroyed, the real Scorpion will rise.

The possessed Kuai suddenly realizes his Kamidogu is gone and sees Takeda absconding with the dagger. Amused, the demon uses the last of the Magik in Sub-Zero's blood to 'freeze a moment in time' and uses Kuai's enhanced power to unleashes a massive blast of ice that traps Takeda and Scorpion in ice, freeing Kuai from the possession as the Blood Magik is used up. A wounded and bleeding Kuai is shocked and confused, looking around the destroyed city and wondering how he did all the damage. When he sees Hanzo frozen in a glacier, Sub-Zero reacts in time to summon two Kori Blades to parry Scorpion as the Shirai Ryu breaks free with his sword drawn.

As Sub-Zero clashes his Kori Blades with Scorpion's hellfire coated Mugai Ryu, Kuai pleads his innocence to Hanzo in desperation but Scorpion refuses to listen, only kicking Sub-Zero back while following up with his swords, all the while mocking Kuai for blaming his actions on the Kamidogu before shattering his kori blades. Kuai declares that the dagger possessed him while firing an ice blast at Scorpion and kicking him over with a slide.

Kuai promises to return with Scorpion to Raiden to explain his actions but Scorpion only rages about how Kuai's brother denied the Lin Kuei's involvement with the destruction of the Shirai Ryu. Angered by Hanzo's inability to let go of the past, Kuai shouts at him to move on and proclaims that there are no more Lin Kuei, revealing the cyborgs killed all those who would not convert, with Kuai claiming he is all that is left of his clan.

Scorpion summons two demonic minions to hold an off-guard Sub-Zero in place, declaring they will finish their feud before impaling Kuai Liang with both of his swords. Spitting blood, Kuai weakly tells Hanzo he is not a monster and pleads with him to remember the horrible things they both did in Quan Chi's service and asks him to remember the agony of being controlled by an evil spirit.

Scorpion denies ever being controlled, and removes his mask to reveal his burning skull before unleashing a breath of hellire on a screaming Kuai. Sub-Zero is spared from death when Scorpion's student Takeda manages to escape the ice and reason with his master. Hanzo then dismisses his demonic minions and removes his swords, telling a burned Kuai he may live, not for long, but long enough to reflect on his misdeeds. Kuai then collapses in a pool of his own blood as Hanzo and Takeda depart, leaving Sub-Zero in the ruins of the city he froze and destroyed.

Left for dead by Hanzo, Kuai futilely tried to struggle to his feet when a voice called out to him, telling him to stop or he would bleed out faster while telling him to ask himself what his life has meant up to this point. The stranger then treats Kuai's wounds as Kuai explains his story up to that point, and tells the man who saved his life, Bo' Rai Cho, that he will never be free, saying he will always be forced to kneel before sorcerers and demigods. As Bo' Rai Cho helps Sub-Zero up, the cryomancer contemplates hara-kiri, but Bo' Rai Cho laughs this off and tells him Raiden owes him a favor, which confuses Kuai.

Sometime later, Kuai Liang has been training with Bo' Rai Cho in Pura Bratan, Bali. Smashing several layers of bricks with a single blow, Kuai pauses in his training when Bo' Rai Cho arrives, informing him that their thief has done his job. Impressed how fast that was, Kuai takes the flashdrive Bo' Rai Cho removes from the delivered envelope, telling his perplexed teacher that this is what he has been waiting for. Kuai Liang then declares that it is finally time to shut down the cyber Lin Kuei.

Accompanied by Bo' Rai Cho, Kuai heads to the outskirts of Shulianghua, China, where he reveals the location of Sektor's army of cyborg ninjas is an old fallout shelter. Telling his teacher the door is the only way in or out, Kuai begins to freeze the door as Bo' Rai Cho asks if the cyber Lin Kuei are waiting for him. Telling Bo' Rai Cho that he's "Counting on it" Kuai shatters the frozen door with an ice covered fist.

An alarm is issued as Kuai charges in, sliding under a missile fired from a nearby cyborg that he quickly dispatches with a punch before tearing it half. Sliding down the stairs in a trail of ice, Sub-Zero freezes another door and shatters it, arriving in the cyber Lin Kuei's databanks room. There, Kuai inserts the flashdrive into one of the computers, though the system is quick to detect a virus.

Sub-Zero dispatches another cyborg with an ice Kori Blade, and then moves on into the next area. Discovering a massive production facility, Kuai is disgusted as he realizes that Sektor began a cloning program to convert more cyborgs to expand his army. Leaping onto the floor below, Sub-Zero destroys four cyborgs using ice as armor while creating two more Kori Blades. He takes out eight more cyborgs using his cryokinesis and martial arts skills before he is finally subdued.

When one cyborg states that Sub-Zero will be prepared for conversion, Kuai defiantly shouts that he will never be converted again. The cyborgs begin leading Kuai away, and when he demands to know where he's being taken, they inform him they are leading him to their master. Kuai is presented before Sektor and Cyrax, and the red cyborg greets Sub-Zero, welcoming him back to the Lin Kuei while calling him traitor. Kuai tells Sektor that he is not back and that this no longer the Lin Kuei but a failed experiment, which earns him a rocket powered punch across the face from Sektor.

After vowing to mercifully terminate Kuai, Sektor demands to know what the virus is doing to the Lin Kuei's system. Seeing that the virus has almost completely uploaded, Kuai simply tells Sektor that it is fixing their system, while discreetly gathering ice in his hands. Though Sektor orders Cyrax to initiate a memory dump of their system to purge it of the virus, Cyrax hesitates, allowing Sub-Zero to freeze the cyborgs holding him in place and break free of their hold. Kuai tells Sektor that he's learned that while you can temporarily override someone's consciousness, you can't delete their humanity, all the while using one of the frozen cyborgs as a shield from Sektor's missile.

As the virus finishes installing, the system announces the slaving protocols have been disengaged, to which Sektor responds by mockingly informing Kuai that the cloning program made those obsolete and that there is no one there who shares Kuai's morality. Firing a missile that knocks Kuai over, Sektor orders Cyrax to immobilize him, and Kuai reaches out to Cyrax as the yellow cyborg prepares to fire his energy net, telling him he doesn't have to do this.

Cyrax disagrees, and suddenly fires his net at Sektor, revealing he has been freed from the slaving protocols. Sektor dodges using his teleport uppercut, and as Kuai moves to help Cyrax, welcoming him back to humanity, both are caught in the flames of Sektor's flamethrowers as more cyborg ninjas rush in.

Kuai counters Sektor's flames with a wave of ice, both elements canceling each other out. Confidant that Sektor couldn't keep his assault up for long, Kuai asked Cyrax if he could shut down the cyborg reinforcements arriving, and Cyrax revealed that only Sektor could, as each clone required a central master to operate. As Sektor boasted that his clone cyborgs had already quantified Kuai's strength, declaring he was no match for the crimson cyborg, Sub-Zero slid under the flames, using a shield of ice to protect himself.

Summoning two Kori Blades, Kuai severed Sektor's arms and flipped over the cyborg, tearing his head off clean with his bare hands, revealing he had been holding back the entire time. As the cyborg clones stood in confusion, Sub-Zero held Sektor's head for all to see, and the clones quickly declared Cyrax to be their new master. The yellow cyborg sent the clones out, and Sub-Zero told his old friend that their was hope now for the Lin Kuei and that he believed Cyrax and the clones could be restored to human forms.

Cyrax suddenly told Kuai that the clan's honor could only be restored by him and Kuai was confused when Cyrax thanked him for allowing him to fight beside him one last time. Kuai tries to convince Cyrax there was hope, but Cyrax declared that the Lin Kuei needed a clean slate and activated his auto-destruct sequence. Before the detonation went off, Cyrax declared Kuai Liang the Lin Kuei's new master and told him to make it count.

Sub-Zero survived the explosion by shielding himself in a barrier of ice. Stepping outside, Kuai found Bo' Rai Cho covered in flames and used his ice to freeze his master to save him. Shattering the ice around Bo' Rai Cho, Kuai apologized and promised his teacher a round of drinks.

Needing some time alone, Kuai retreated to Arctika, where he remained for several weeks, establishing a palace for the Lin Kuei there. As he was meditating before a Buddhist statue, someone approached him from behind. Flipping the interloper and easily pinning her down, Kuai demanded to know who she was and what she was doing there. The girl revealed her name to be Frost and explained that Raiden had sent her for a tournament.

Kuai was further confused when Frost explained it was a tournament to join the new Lin Kuei. Kuai was shocked to see Frost was not alone, dozens of other warriors having accompanied her. Standing before them, annoyed, Kuai told the large group that maybe one or two of them were worthy of becoming Lin Kuei and told them if they were to stay there was only one rule. Looking at Frost, Kuai stressed they were not to attack their new master. Bidding the warriors to follow him, Kuai mused he had much to figure out and that he would need to speak with Raiden.

Mortal Kombat X (2015 video game)

Kuai Liang, who has taken the role of grandmaster of the Lin Kuei, invites Hanzo Hasashi at the Lin Kuei temple to make amends. Hanzo thinks it is a ruse to completely exterminate the Shirai Ryu from existence, because for the longest time, he thought the Lin Kuei was responsible for the extinction of his clan. Kuai Liang explains that the Lin Kuei's honor was already blemished even before the Cyber Initiative. All of a sudden, Frost appears to attack the former Scorpion, making Hanzo believe Kuai Liang did want to kill him and fights him.

With Hanzo about to kill Kuai Liang, Frost prepares for another sneak attack, but she is intercepted by Kuai Liang, encasing her in ice. To prove his sincerity, Kuai presents Hanzo Sektor's severed head, and shows him the cyborg's preserved memories. It is revealed that it was actually Quan Chi, the very person Scorpion served as a revenant, who was responsible for the murder of the Shirai Ryu, Hanzo's wife Harumi and their son Satoshi. With the truth finally revealed to him, Hanzo and Kuai Liang have since gained mutual respect as allies.

Five years later, Kuai Liang is met by Cassie Cage and her team under orders from Cassie's father Johnny. Not wanting to converse with them, he and his warriors engage them in battle. Defeating Cassie and her team, Kuai reveals that the encounter is a test set up by him and Johnny, chastising Cassie's team's lack of unity while commenting that they have great potential.

Sub-Zero eventually witnesses the corruption of Earthrealm's Jinsei. Later when Cassie Cage and her team were ambushed by Kotal Kahn and his forces, Sub-Zero appeared along with his Lin Kuei warriors and said he would drive Kotal Kahn and his forces back to Outworld. What becomes of Sub-Zero after the battle is currently unknown.

Ending (Sub-Zero)

  • Mortal Kombat (2011): "After the victory over Shao Kahn, Sub-Zero learned from Raiden the truth, that the Lin Kuei were ultimately responsible for the deaths of Sub-Zero's and Scorpion's families. Enraged, Sub-Zero offered Scorpion a chance to share in his quest for vengeance. With the might of fire and ice combined, they were a storm of vengeful fury as they cut down their foes. Once justice had been done, Sub-Zero and Scorpion disappeared into legend, emerging from obscurity only to avenge the innocent. The Forces of Darkness will never stop this Deadly Alliance."
  • Mortal Kombat X: "Grandmaster Sub-Zero knew his Lin Kuei clan would need more than martial arts to stave off future threats to Earthrealm. In the frozen reaches of Outworld, he found the answer; a female frost dragon with a clutch of eggs. With his ability to freeze, Sub-Zero hatched the dragon-lings. They accepted their Lin Kuei masters and their training as kombat mounts. With a force of dragon riders, the Lin Kuei's ferocity became legend. None dared risk konflict with Earthrealm."

Ending (Cyber Sub-Zero)

  • Mortal Kombat (2011): "Although Sub-Zero's ending has no dialogue, it shows that after he defeats Shao Kahn he feels a certain rush overcome him. Shao Kahn's soul tortures his mind from the afterlife and inhabits his body. He upgrades his armour with motifs similar to those of the defeated emperor's. Shao Kahn lives."

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