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Hero Overview

This fight will be your last!
~ Sub-Zero's battle Cry in Mortal Kombat (2011).
My brother participated in this folly. I do so only to face his killer!
~ Sub-Zero, demanding to Shao Kahn that he will face Scorpion.
You stood together against formidable odds. Lesser warriors would not have fair so well.
~ Sub-Zero after saving Cassie, Jacqui, Kung Jin, and Takeda.
We share blood. We are not brothers.
~ Sub-Zero using Noob Saibot's own words against him after defeating him in Mortal Kombat 11.

Kuai Liang, better known as Sub-Zero, is the current Grandmaster of the Lin Kuei and the main rival of Scorpion, as well as one of the main protagonists of the Mortal Kombat fighting game series.


Sub-Zero dresses in the familiar blue-garbed ninja-like uniform. Originally, Sub-Zero was depicted with Asian facial features as revealed in the ending when unmasked, due to a Chinese-American heritage.

Around Mortal Kombat 3, Sub-Zero was given a scar over his right eye to help differentiate himself from his older brother. Sub-Zero was the first ninja-like character in the series to go on without a mask and wore a less-concealing version of his outfit.

In MK4, he wore the traditional uniform his brother wore, but again wears an updated version of his MK3 outfit in Deadly Alliance featuring Chinese characters. His alternate costume from Deadly Alliance and beyond is more of a stream-lined version of his original costume featuring the Dragon Medallion on the right side of his chest. In Deception, Sub-Zero dons an ancient armor once worn by his Cryomancer ancestors.

In Mortal Kombat X, Sub-Zero regained his human form and became a Revenant serving under Quan Chi. Like the others, his skin turned pale and his veins glowed yellow along with his eyes. His outfit was similar to his earlier appearance, but twisted by the sensibilities of the Netherrealm, which included a steel spine-like decoration on his back and a more armored vest. Unlike his previous appearance, he did not wear a hood but still retained his mask. Upon being freed from Quan Chi's control, he wears an outfit similar to his MK3 and MKDA appearances, but allowed his facial hair to grow out. His scar is still featured prominently, which is caused by Kano instead of original timeline's Lin Kuei.

Interestingly, Sub-Zero is one of the few characters in the series to show signs of natural aging (faster than anyone due to the Dragon Medallion). Around Deadly Alliance, he is depicted with slight wrinkles and graying hair, which has begun to bald around the time of Deception. His scar also changes blue, and eventually fades from his face entirely.

In sporadic appearances beginning with MK4, Sub-Zero bears a flexible ice sheet on his forearms, a sign of his growing power of cryomancy. This aesthetic choice was carried over into MKX with his Cryomancer variation.


Sub-Zero is extraordinarily resistant to fear which together with his ice powers have given him the artist name Sub-Zero. He had the guts to quit his ninja clan, which marked him for death, and has even gone public about his criminal past (no Dark Secret).

Apparently he is driven only by his own motivations with no fear of any outside interference. Being a ninja he is cautious, quiet, and sure not to draw too much attention on himself. While showing the world that he's one of the good guys he, at the same time, takes care not to make himself an easy target for his clan enemies. For other individuals he appears to be a person of great bravery and self-knowledge.

Being a former ninja he still does what he then did best; he kills his opponents having no qualms about it. Also being hunted constantly has put his senses into a state of constant alertness but being cool about it he wouldn't appear paranoid about it.

Powers and Abilities

Being the descendant of the cryomancers, Sub-Zero possesses power over ice and the ability to control it in many forms. He can flash-freeze people and create an ice statue of himself to act as a scapegoat that can flash-freeze opponents.

With the Dragon Medallion, Sub-Zero can form a large sword made of ice called the Kori Blade, which he uses for his alternate weapon fighting style. He also has great martial arts skills thanks to his training with the Lin Kuei and these skills are increased by the Dragon Medallion and his ancestral armor. Sub-Zero can even freeze the moisture in the air into any form, including an icy mist, indicating that he can freeze molecules.

In his ending in Deception, his Cryomancer armor was shown to speak to him and guide him in battle. As Cyber Sub-Zero, his skills were greatly enhanced and is apparently the strongest of the Lin Kuei cyborgs, able to fight off both Goro and Kintaro, two of the strongest Shokan, at once. Cyber Sub-Zero retained his cryomancy powers and could form a large sword made of ice, drop ice bombs from his chest, and cover himself in a sheet of ice, causing anyone who hit him to freeze. He had a teleport move where he separated in a flash of light and reformed behind his opponent.


You need weapons to talk?
~ Sub-Zero to Cassie Cage
Shao Kahn is gone. You are free.
~ Sub-Zero to Ermac
Only if I must.
~ Sub-Zero telling Ferra and Torr he will fight them if he has to
Defend yourself!
~ Sub-Zero to Goro
Must everything be a joke?
~ Sub-Zero to Johnny Cage
You are not worthy.
~ Sub-Zero when Kano wants to join the Lin Kuei
A more noble way to live.
~ Sub-Zero after Kotal Kahn wonders why he is helping Earthrealm
The former champion.
~ Sub-Zero to Liu Kang
Only to be your slave.
~ Sub-Zero after Quan Chi says he restored him
There are. Frost chief among them.
~ Sub-Zero after Sonya Blade wonders if their are any female Liu Kang
If you wish.
~ Sub-Zero after Sonya Blade wants to find out if Special Forces or the Lin Kuei are better
A serious error in judgment.
~ Sub-Zero when Cassie Cage thinks she doesn't need allies to fight Sub-Zero
Not corrupted. Freed!
~ Sub-Zero after Ermac notices Kuai Liang's soul changed after siding with Earthrealm
I will show you mercy.
~ Sub-Zero to Ferra & Torr
We do not have to be enemies. Only if I must.
~ Sub-Zero to Goro
At times I regret are alliance.
~ Sub-Zero to Johnny Cage
We once fought together. Yes a pity.
~ Sub-Zero to Kitana
You're a formidable warrior. But you lack conversation.
~ Sub-Zero to Kitana
I have warned against false bravado.
~ Sub-Zero to Kung Jin
Yes, I believe I am.
~ Sub-Zero when Kung Jin wonders if he is ready to throw down
Your overconfidence will.
~ Sub-Zero after Kung Lao thinks the Lin Kuei master can not stop him
You have my respect, Shaolin.
~ Sub-Zero to Liu Kang
Challenge accepted.
~ Sub-Zero after Liu Kang believes he will beat Sub-Zero again
Enough, Mileena.
~ Sub-Zero to Mileena
Desist, unstable one.
~ Sub-Zero to Mileena
Do not seek to beguile me.
~ Sub-Zero to Quan Chi
You reject my aid. Earthrealm needs better protection.
~ Sub-Zero to Raiden
You attack me Thunder God?
~ Sub-Zero to Raiden
You would risk your race's extinction? You evoke pity, not fear.
~ Sub-Zero to Reptile
You enslaved me!
~ Sub-Zero to Shinnok
Yes, a pity.
~ When Sub-Zero has to Sonya
Impress me.
~ Sub-Zero to Takeda
The Dragon Medallion having amplified the godlike power granted him by this victory over Blaze, Sub-Zero was no longer a mere warrior, but an ice god. He was, however, a false god. He became a deity without the consent of the Elder Gods, who sent their champions to hunt him down and destroy him.
~ Sub-Zero's Mortal Kombat Armageddon ending
Noob Saibot: You. You are not worthy of the name Sub-Zero.
Sub-Zero: Who are you to judge?
Noob Saibot: I wore those colors before you.
Sub-Zero: Bi-Han?!
Noob Saibot: Yes, Kuai Liang. It is I. Quan Chi restored me.
Sub-Zero: Restored? You and I both. We are just flawed copies of our former selves.
Noob Saibot: I have no flaws. Quan Chi has perfected me.
~ Sub-Zero to his fallen brother, Bi-Han now Noob Saibot.


  • In Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, Sub-Zero was voiced by the late Luke Perry.
  • In an Malcolm in the Middle episode, Resse mentioned that no one believed he beat the secret level of Mortal Kombat and Hal responded by saying, "No one beats Sub-Zero".
  • Sub-Zero was inspired by Glacier, a professional wrestling character in World Championship Wrestling.
  • The name of his weapon, the Kori Blade, comes from the Japanese word for ice.
  • Sub-Zero has appeared in every Mortal Kombat fighting game to date in one incarnation or another, the same as his brother.
  • His brother's name was originally going to be Tundra, which was given to him until his brother's death.
  • Sub-Zero is the only character in Mortal Kombat's original timeline to show signs of natural aging unlike in the new timeline.
  • His primary costume in Deception resembled Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • In Mortal Kombat Shaolin Monks VS. Mode, when a player picks Sub-Zero's second costume, he resembles Noob Saibot, the undead corrupted form of his older brother and previous bearer of the Sub-Zero moniker Bi-Han.
  • In the Mortal Kombat Conquest TV series, Sub-Zero had an sister named Lisa but this is the only universe where he had a sibling aside from Noob Saibot, though Noob's bio In Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero mentions he and Kuai Liang have a unnamed sister.
  • In the intro to Mortal Kombat Armageddon, Sub-Zero is seen clashing blades with Scorpion then being blasted off the pyramid along with several other character by Shang Tsung's fireball attack.
  • Sub-Zero was voted number 2 on Screwattack's list of Top 10 Mortal Kombat Kharacters, just losing the top spot to Scorpion.
  • Before Midway went bankrupt back in 2010, Sub-Zero appeared as a guest character for NBA Jam: Tournament Edition in addition to The Grid (Midway's last arcade game).
  • Cyber Sub-Zero was the result of Raiden seeing a glimpse of the future where Smoke became a cyborg as was part of the original time line. Because he saved Smoke, Sub-Zero was captured to become a cyborg instead.
  • There is no actual dialogue in Cyber Sub-Zero's ending, only images with no narration.
  • Cyber Sub-Zero has the lightest build of all the Lin Kuei cyborgs and also has a unique tint of blue for his blood. This may be some form of anti-coolant or antifreeze so his cyborg components can work with his freezing powers.
  • The announcer does not say the "Cyber" part of Cyber Sub-Zero's name similar to how Smoke in Cyber form is still refer to as Smoke.
  • In a dialogue between Sub-Zero and Noob Saibot in MK11, their grandfather is revealed to be the first Sub-Zero.
  • According to a dialogue between him and Sindel, the ancestors of Sub-Zero came from a part of Edenia named Articka.


           Kombat2.png MortalKombat.png Heroes Kombat2.png

Main Heroes
Bo' Rai Cho | Cassie Cage | Johnny Cage | Kitana | Kung Lao | Liu Kang | Raiden | Scorpion | Shujinko | Sonya Blade | Sub-Zero | Taven

Secondary Heroes
Fujin | Jade | Jacqui Briggs | Jax Briggs | Kenshi Takahashi | Kung Jin | Kurtis Stryker | Nightwolf | Sindel | Smoke | Takeda Takahashi

Other Heroes
Ashrah | Blaze | Cyrax | Dairou | Ermac | Erron Black | Ferra & Torr | Hotaru | Kabal | Kai | Khameleon | Kotal Kahn | Li Mei | Meat | Mokap | Nitara | Reptile | Sareena | Sheeva

Non-Playable Heroes
Argus | Art Lean | King Jerrod | Liu Chan

Good Races
Edenians | Elder Gods

Good Organizations
Edenian Resistance | Lin Kuei | Outer World Investigation Agency | Shirai Ryu | Shaolin Monks | Special Forces | White Lotus Society

Non-MK/Guest Star Heroes
Batman | Captain Marvel | Catwoman | Flash | Green Lantern | John Rambo | Kratos | Predator | RoboCop | Spawn | Superman | Terminator | Wonder Woman

Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins: Johnny Cage | Liu Kang | Raiden | Scorpion | Sub-Zero | Sonya Blade
Mortal Kombat (1995): Johnny Cage | Liu Kang | Raiden | Scorpion | Sonya Blade | Sub-Zero | Jax Briggs | Kitana
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation: Johnny Cage | Liu Kang | Sub-Zero | Raiden | Scorpion | Sonya Blade | Jax Briggs | Kitana | Cyrax | Ermac | Sheeva | Nightwolf | Sindel | Smoke
Mortal Kombat: Rebirth: Johnny Cage | Scorpion | Sonya Blade | Jax Briggs
Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge: Scorpion | Liu Kang | Raiden | Johnny Cage | Sonya Blade | Kitana | Jax Briggs | Reptile | Nitara
Mortal Kombat (2021): Cole Young | Scorpion | Liu Kang | Raiden | Jax Briggs | Sonya Blade | Kung Lao | Johnny Cage
Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms: Scorpion | Sub-Zero | Liu Kang | Kung Lao | Raiden | Johnny Cage | Sonya Blade | Kitana | Jax Briggs | Kurtis Stryker | Smoke | Jade | Li Mei

           InjusiceTitle.png Heroes

Batman (2021) The Flash | Green Lantern | Supergirl | Catwoman | Harley Quinn | Lex Luthor | Deathstroke | Green Arrow | Nightwing | Black Canary | Batgirl | Martian Manhunter | Zatanna | John Constantine | Atom | Blue Beetle | Firestorm | Black Lightning | Plastic Man | Alfred Pennyworth | Huntress | Captain Atom | Etrigan | Ragman | Deadman | Doctor Fate | Batwoman | Guy Gardner

Justice League
Superman | Wonder Woman | Aquaman | Hawkgirl | Robin | John Stewart | Shazam

Teen Titans
Raven | Cyborg | Starfire | Red Robin | Superboy | Wonder Girl

Red Hood | Mera | Power Girl | Swamp Thing | Lobo

Non-Injustice/Guest Star Heroes
Scorpion | Sub-Zero | Raiden | Hellboy | Leonardo | Donatello | Raphael | Michelangelo