MK9, X ,and 11 Headcanons (meaning headcanons only meant for the timeline that consists within these specific games)(Proceed at your own risk when it comes to MK1! Spoilers may be ahead!)
⦁ Kung Lao has tons of uncles, aunts, and cousins, especially on his father’s side. His father Kung Peng, before his death, had a total of eight brothers and six sisters; he was the seventh born overall. Out of his siblings, excluding himself, twelve of them had children. His mother Mao Xiang only has two sisters, and each are married and have their own kids. In all, Lao has more than twenty five cousins, and no matter the age, they’re a handful at yearly family gatherings. In both past and present timelines, he is praised and constantly compared to the Great Kung Lao, but in the present timeline, after his death in the hands of Shao Kahn, many became depressed and/or too ashamed by the events, that some took it upon themselves to try and forget Kung Lao ever existed.
⦁ Due to what becomes of him in the future, Kung Lao has developed a dislike for people standing behind him, even if he trusts the person. It’s not a fear, but more of an unnerving feeling where he feels someone will plainly snap his neck like Shao Kahn did. He won’t speak of it much or even at all; he prides himself with confidence to show dislike in something as small sounding as this.
⦁ Kung Lao's hat has supernatural properties on its own, allowing it to materialize back to him no matter where he throws it or where it ends up. It also allows him to teleport straight to it upon throwing it, but he heard rumors among his relatives that the Great Kung Lao could teleport without the use of this hat, but he never displayed teleportation due to believing his own natural fighting abilities. No one in the family bothered to see if that was true. Kung Lao asked for Raiden’s help, and with his training, he learned to teleport without his hat, though prefers to keep his hat on his person.
⦁ What if Kung Lao broke free from his revenant state?
As thankful as he would be to being saved by his old allies, his persona would never be the same. His usual determination and overwhelming pride ceases, only to become more in touch with his calmer side but shows slight hints of timidity. He continues to have an ego, but it’s no where near as big as it use to be, and instead shames himself constantly for everything he’s done while under Quan Chi’s control.
He becomes so abashed by his uncontrollable actions, that he’s plagued with nightmares. Every. single. night. Even sometimes when he closes his eyes just briefly. He can handle the nightmares enough, but what he can’t handle is being suddenly shunned for things he was forced to do. He feels he can’t even face his own family, distressed that they will treat him like an evil outcast by stripping him from their name.
What hurts him the most is beginning anew. After the fall of the Wu Shi, he blames himself for taking part in the deaths of his shaolin masters and brethren. He’s suffering, but he’s trying to move on as best he can.
⦁ Though younger than Liu Kang, Kung Lao’s upper body strength VERY SLIGHTLY surpasses his best friend’s. His arms are a tad harder with muscle and when looked at closely, there is a very small difference in size. He lacks in the amount of leg muscle Liu Kang has, but that doesn’t mean he can’t kick hard.
⦁ Even the greatest of them all has his flaws, and he’s not so fond about admitting them, because it embarrasses him to let most people know what he can’t do. He’d rather let people know what he CAN do.
He’s not a good cook. He can make simple meals on his own, but no one should expect him to make anything above simple or exquisite like dishes.
He may talk smooth, but he can’t sing to save his life, so don’t expect him to serenade…unless it’s in a very soft tone, almost like a whisper, in his native tongue. When he sings like that, it’s calming and sounds quite heavenly.
He also can’t play any instruments, but his twin sister Kung Shi use to play the Guzhang very well; he use to love the sound of it until her passing, and now hearing it breaks his heart and he avoids listening to the sound of one.
⦁ Kung Lao will always think that he’s better than everyone else, even better than Liu Kang at times. His ego had been stewing and ready to boil over since he was a child, due to a father who constantly prided on and on about his son- the reincarnation of the Great Kung Lao.
He’s aware of his pride, and does believe that he is great, and he is. No one within Lao’s family can best him and when members do challenge them, he’s kind about it while giving them tips on how to better their skills.
At times, it’s extremely easy to see how much it’s gotten to his head. He grew up being told how grand he was, his father and other family members praising him and his skills, feeding him true stories of his ancestor, showing him off to the Wu Shi masters and temple elders; He’s been told that he would be Earthrealm’s champion multiple times and he’s seen his father snap at those who thought Lao was normal or lesser than he believed.
Growing up, he’s learned that Kung Peng, though he respected and loved him, was too overbearing. He was great, and he knew it because of his bloodline and his already incredible abilities. Some time after Liu Kang was deemed the chosen one, Kung Lao began viewing himself as his friend’s equal, despite his father’s frustration over the fact.
He can still be an a**hole to those around him, but he’s not too conceited that he’s out to genuinely put them down. He knows everyone is great in their own way; he just considers himself to be a little better and he can’t help it. It's all thanks to his family...
⦁ When he wants to hide his shame, it tells me that out of all the other revenants, he’s more ashamed of his actions and wants to break free. He blames Raiden and would continue to blame him, but he blames himself for falling under Quan Chi’s control. Even though he’s undead, he’s in a lot of pain, but he followed Quan Chi because he had no choice, Shinnok because he was following his revenant allies, and Kronika because he was manipulated and believed that Raiden was truly all to blame.
Trying to steer his past self to understand his suffering failed, and when he went back to Kronika’s keep, he broke down in private. He understood in what he believed was right, and that was serving Kronika, but he absolutely despises having his honor shattered beyond repair.
So he wears a mask, to hide his utter shame in himself, and when he takes it off, his gray cheeks and underneath his glowing red eyes are forever stained with old and new tears. He still follows his orders without hesitation, and he’s still evil, but he remembers what pain is because he can still feel it.
⦁ As a revenant, Kung Lao has been molded into quite the manipulator. His silver tongue makes it easy to get what he wants from demons, and has even once persuaded an entire realm into an alliance pact with the Netherrealm.
His eloquence Is good for one thing but in reality, it’s not good for himself. He talks so much with that silver tongue of his that with Quan Chi’s magic, his everlasting loathing for Raiden, the shame he holds deep inside, and his visible jealousy of Liu Kang, he has convinced himself that there is no love of any kind. He’s fueled by hate and the joy of hurting others; he will dismiss all who attempt to get close to him, including his own family. It makes him believe that he doesn’t need to be saved. Even with what little humanity he has deep inside and his capability to feel shame in his actions, he’s truly a mixed bag of emotions, and the chances on saving him may sound even more slim than with any of the other revenants.
⦁ There are glowing cracks in a revenant’s skin. It’s possible to tell what their cause of death was, or where they were affected most, by watching for brightened illumination coming from a particular area. Kung Lao’s death was caused by Shao Kahn breaking his neck, so there’s a greater luminescence deep in the cracks upon his neck.
⦁ At the age of seven, Kung Lao took the vow of silence because he had an uncle who did the same thing and merely wished to do it too. The elders felt it was a good idea as it would help the little boy understand himself better, whilst giving the opportunity to be present within himself. However, it didn’t last long; in fact, it lasted for only a month and a week long. Prior to completely stopping, he had a hard time keeping his mouth shut most of the time because he simply liked to talk. Upset because he felt he would never be at inner peace with himself while fearing punishment, Master Wen, one of the monk elders before his death years later, comforted Kung Lao. He reminded him that the vow should never be forced and it’s considered frustrating the first time around. He also told him that even though silence may be golden, inner peace comes with more than just such. Meditation does such that for him even today…despite the fact that it doesn’t help with controlling his overconfidence in boasting. He wasn’t punished for breaking his vow, but while growing up, he was constantly told to tone down on his ego later in life, to the point where he was punished by his elders at times just for talking so highly about himself.MK1 Timeline headcanons (hcs that only apply for Liu Kang's timeline in MK1)
⦁ Kung Lao is the same age as Raiden, born in the same village with healthy competitive natures. Though very similar in body type, Kung Lao's body strength and speed also surpass by just a touch. This changes though when Raiden receives the power to wield thunder and lightning via the amulet Liu Kang gives him after proving himself as Earthrealm's champion.
⦁ Kung Lao praises Raiden's sister for her martial arts skill, but there are some in Fengjian who think it may just go a little bit deeper than just admiration for one's abilities.Other (HCs that apply for timelines that take place in 9, 10, 11, and 1. Some can also apply for games before 9)
⦁ Kung Lao has multiple rabbits, whom he visits on multiple occasions, at his family’s home territory outside the monastery. They’re kept well fed, exercised, and kept within a large, protective pen outside of his parents’ home. He has high knowledge on taking care of them and loves each equally, with the exception of one rabbit in particular.
He has eight so far, five females and three males, spayed and neutered respectively; he knows how rabbits can get.
Xiao Xue and Qi Qi are white Holland lop females, while Bao is a tri colored Holland lop male.
Jiaozi is a sandy male American rabbit and Hua is a black Beveren female; Kung Lao adopted both while in America.
Yuming is a dark gray and black female Flemish Giant, and Xing is a white Flemish Giant male.
⦁ The last rabbit he owns is Xiaolian, who is a Himalayan female, slightly larger than the other rabbits, excluding the giants. She’s a special girl, born not only as albino, but with a thirst for meat. This is because she was bred by two rabbits Bo Rai Cho brought to Outworld from Earthrealm. The enviroment oddly changed her and her siblings' temperments and diet. Bo Rai Cho gave the rabbit to Kung Lao while a trainee under his wing, to experiment whether or not these changes will stick or change whilst being raised in a more suitable realm for rabbits. It never did...but there wasn't a single ounce of worry from Kung Lao. Bo Rai Cho was just surprised that she hadn't killed the boy or others. It's as if she and the young boy were destinied to bond with one another. Over the years, her muzzle has become permanently stained blood red, no matter how many times Kung Lao had tried cleaning the marks away. He pays extra attention to her, to keep her under control by training her in a calm environment. She’s his favorite, and he has the ability to pull her out of his hat from any location; she doesn’t mind it at all. In MK1, this is the only rabbit he owns, but she's not a bloodthirsty creature.
⦁ When Kung Lao gets angry, he tends to hold a grand chunk of it back and will mostly let it stew inside him, so when he’s upset like that, it’s mild. A part of his training growing up was not to allow anger to cloud his judgement. Sometimes, he’ll snap back in a mild manner, but it’s nothing serious. It’s actually takes a lot to get him to reach his actual boiling point, but when he snap, he SNAPS. Threats, even getting physical sometimes– if the target is someone he cares about, he will definitely regret it in the long run and wish to comfort them.
⦁ When it comes to romance, after a couple dates, Kung Lao will definitely start trying to impress his significant other. Showing he’s the best is in his nature, and he’ll go far with it as long as it doesn’t hurt others.
⦁ When he’s happy, it’s pretty easy to tell. His eyes brimming with bright energy, his chest will looked puffed out like he’s ready to burst with pride, and he’ll show off that handsome smile of his. He just looks plain pleased with himself. He’s most happy at the Wu Shi and with his pets.
⦁ Besides training, tending to and bonding with his rabbits, and meditate, Kung Lao likes to read. Though he doesn’t as often as he sometimes wants to, he found that, as a teen, reading helped passed time whenever he decided not to attend class. He’s most fond of martial arts books and, as a bit of a guilty pleasure, books filled with suspense.
⦁ Kung Lao does have a sweet tooth; he doesn’t worry about gaining weight or losing his physique whenever he eats sweets and candy because he exercises.
He absolutely loves caramel; he could eat tons of it if he could. Somewhere in his bedroom, he has a secret stash of caramel squares hidden away. He also likes mango flavored sweets or any fruity candy, cream filled and jelly filled doughnuts, fried ice cream, and sticky rice cakes.
He doesn’t mind chocolate; he likes it but he doesn’t eat much of it unless it contains a favored filling inside.
⦁ This is a man who can’t sing, but he can definitely dance. Kung Lao may brag about being the best, but if there’s one thing he has the right to brag about, it’s dancing. His moves are quite graceful and sleek, and giving him something to dance with, like fans, a sword, or even a wooden rod burning at both ends, he’ll charm his audience with his moves. It comes easily to him because he combines his fighting styles with the art of dance.