Kung Lao is a fictional character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. Kung Lao is a former Shaolin monk and a former member of the White Lotus Society. He stands in the shadow of his great ancestor, the Great Kung Lao, but unlike his great ancestor he has no desire to be champion and would rather live a life of peace. He is close friends to the Mortal Kombat champion Liu Kang as well, he has sought counsel from master Bo' Rai Cho. He has since left the sanctuary of the White Lotus Society. Of the Earthrealm warriors, Kung Lao is the most outspoken pacifist, although he will not hesitate to severely punish those who attack him, Earthrealm, or his friends. His trademark is his razor-rimmed hat, which he can employ quite powerfully and effectively in combat.
Kung Lao's attacks are based upon wind-type moves. His most notable attack is the Hat Toss, which could be directed in Mortal Kombat 2 and Mortal Kombat 3, beginning in Mortal Kombat Gold his hat could not be directed. Many of his fatalities involve the use of his hat to some extent. Kung Lao can be seen in Mortal Kombat II, 3, and Shaolin Monks wearing the Chinese character [http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E6%AD%A6 武] which means military/wu shu/martial arts.
Kung Lao was portrayed by Anthony Marquez in Mortal Kombat 2 and Mortal Kombat 3. He stated in Kung Lao's bio card that after the first Mortal Kombat, the creators wanted another monk character other than Liu Kang. He also stated that the wearing of his hat was like, "it's like being Clint Eastwood in an old western movie." Ed Boon even considered Anthony Marquez as, "one of the best martial artists we worked with." According to Mortal Kombat co-creator John Tobias in a 1995 interview with EGM, Kung Lao's hat was inspired by the 1964 James Bond movie Goldfinger, in which a character named Oddjob threw his derby as a deadly weapon.
Kung Lao is possibly (next to Liu Kang) the last known descendant of the Great Kung Lao, a former Champion of Mortal Kombat, who lost the title and his life to Goro 500 years previously, resulting in Kung Lao's death at Goro's hands and the start of Shang Tsung's rule over the tournament. Kung Lao was originally the one to represent the Shaolin in the Mortal Kombat tournament but he declined, knowing of the consequences of becoming champion. As a result, Liu Kang was chosen and emerged as the winner.
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Official Site: Midway
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