Shang Tsung


Well-known member
Shang Tsung


Age: ?
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 210 lbs
Resides: Outworld

Shang Tsung's past remains shrouded in mystery, with his exact origins never specified and unclear at best. According to some sources, such as the TV show Mortal Kombat: Conquest, he was originally a human from Earthrealm. He participated in the Mortal Kombat Tournament, but he cheated in one of the battles. Breaking the sacred rules is considered treason against the represented realm and the Elder Gods, and so Shang was sentenced to death by the tournament judges. The Dark Emperor Shao Kahn took advantage of the evil in his heart and made a deal with Shang Tsung; that he would be spared if he swore allegiance to him. Tsung agreed and was taken to Outworld and was trained by the Emperor in the Black Arts.

When Tsung committed the atrocity of taking a soul, Shang Tsung was cursed by the Elder Gods not only to kill his enemies, but to take their souls as well. Only in this way would he hold off his grim fate: to age rapidly and die prematurely. As a side effect of his consuming the souls of others, Tsung was able to access their memories and knowledge, a happenstance which would greatly benefit him years later.

Tsung entered the Mortal Kombat tournament, quickly overcoming all competition and becoming Grand Champion. How long he retained the title is unclear; however the overconfident Tsung would eventually have it taken from him by the legendary Shaolin warrior monk, the Great Kung Lao.

Shang Tsung returned years later, now appearing far older, after the "mysterious" death of one of the tournament's three Grandmasters. He brought with him his greatest student: the Shokan prince Goro. He had been ordered by the ruler of Outworld, Shao Kahn, to finally bring about the winning streak in Mortal Kombat necessary to unbalance the Furies and weaken the dimensional gates, thus allowing the Outworld Emperor to conquer Earth. After a valiant but doomed fight, Kung Lao was defeated by Goro and killed. Tsung consumed his soul, and the Outworld's domination of the Mortal Kombat tournament had begun. Shang Tsung made contact with another sorcerer, Quan Chi. He had become aware of Quan Chi's quest for Shinnok's amulet, the location of which was known only to the Shaolin Monks. As a result of consuming the Great Kung Lao's soul, Shang Tsung had learned of it. In exchange for Quan Chi's, and Shinnok's, aid in completing a task for the Emperor Shao Kahn, he gave the location of the Map of the Elements – but failed to inform Quan Chi that no sorcerer could enter the Temple where it was stored. Over the next 500 years, as Goro remained undefeated, the tournament fell further into Tsung's depraved hands. He became the sole Grandmaster, and the tournament came to be held on his private island – in reality, a zone in between Earth and the Outworld.

During the tournament, despite having his youth restored and after a long brutal fight, Tsung lost to Liu Kang, this time in front of Kahn. After Shao Kahn's defeat at the hands of Liu Kang, Shang Tsung finished the process of Sindel's resurrection with the aid of his cult of Shadow Priests. Thanks to the help of Quan Chi and Shinnok, her soul would indeed be resurrected – but in Earthrealm, and tainted by evil. When Queen Sindel was revived in Earthrealm, Shao Kahn could reach across the realms and reclaim her, forcefully merging Earthrealm with Outworld. Shang Tsung led one of Kahn's extermination squads to hunt down the fighters that Lord Raiden had protected. Despite being granted more power than ever before, Tsung lost to Liu Kang again. Upon Kahn's defeat, Shang Tsung retreated with him back to Outworld, when the merger was reversed. Tsung would then be imprisoned and tortured for his failure to help his master merge Earthrealm into Outworld. He was periodically released to do Kahn's bidding, but was only released after regaining Kahn's favour. A few years later, Shang Tsung found Quan Chi in his palace courtyard, fighting Scorpion. When Quan Chi defeated him, he gave Shang an offer: if Tsung helped him revive the lost army of the Dragon King by means of his ability to transplant souls, he would open a "Soulnado" to the Heavens, giving him an endless supply of souls to feed on. Tsung accepted, and together, they formed the Deadly Alliance. In order to carry out their scheme, however, they first needed to remove the two largest obstacles in their way: Shao Kahn and Liu Kang.

Shang Tsung introduced Quan Chi to Shao Kahn, vouched for his loyalty, and then they attacked and apparently killed him (however, Shao Kahn appears in the GameCube version of Mortal Kombat: Deception, and reveals that they merely killed a clone). After killing him and accepting Kano's offer to serve them, they travelled through a portal, known only to sorcerers and deities, to Earthrealm and headed to the Wu Shi Academy. There, Shang Tsung disguised himself as Kung Lao and approached Liu Kang. As Liu practiced his kata, Shang revealed his true form and attacked. Although Liu had the upper hand, Quan Chi struck from behind, giving Shang the opportunity to finally take his revenge on Liu Kang by breaking his neck and taking his soul. Shang Tsung did not fully trust Quan Chi. Upon returning to Outworld, he gave the Oni Drahmin and Moloch, who had escaped from the Netherealm, an offer: after Tsung performed his part in the plan, Quan Chi, who the two despised for abandoning them in the infernal pits after promising to free them, would be theirs to do with as they wished.

The Deadly Alliance soon commanded Kano's troops to force a small Outworld village to construct a new palace around the tomb to house the Soulnado. When one of the citizens, Li Mei, attacked Kano, they offered to free her village if she could win a tournament they would hold. About the same time, they approached Mavado, offering him a deal as well; he could earn the right to fight and kill Kano in exchange for eliminating Kenshi, who had been spying on Tsung. Mavado accomplished his mission, and the Alliance granted him his wish. Li Mei, having won the local tournament, demanded her reward, but instead Shang Tsung started transferring her soul to a mummified soldier of Onaga's army. It was at this time that the forces of Earthrealm, led by Raiden, attacked. Li Mei was rescued by Bo' Rai Cho, who escaped with her, but the remainder of the warriors assaulted the Alliance.

The duo defeated Earthrealm's champions and eventually triumphed over Raiden as well. Their victory, however, would not be savored. Shang Tsung's lust for power and Quan Chi's suspicion finally came to light. The two fought, and Quan Chi emerged the victor. But immediately after defeating Tsung, he was confronted by a reborn Onaga, who seemed to shrug off his most powerful blasts with ease. Tsung regained consciousness, and recognizing the Dragon King to be an immediate threat, assisted Quan Chi in attacking him. Bare moments later, the thunder god did as well, but their combined efforts could not stop the former Outworld ruler, who had come to reclaim Shinnok's amulet and his ancient army. In Raiden's ensuing last-ditch attempt at victory through a self-sacrificial blast, Shang Tsung was caught in the blast, killing him. The thousands of souls he had consumed over the years were released, including the soul of Liu Kang.

In his Armageddon ending, he defeats Blaze and receives his power. He also gains the power to alter the forms of others. Shao Kahn rushes towards Tsung, but he turns Kahn into a Centaur slave. Tsung then becomes the ruler of Outworld.

Signature Moves
Morphing (MK, MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:DA, MK:SM, MK:2011)
Flaming Skulls (MK, MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:SM, MKvs.DCU)
Flaming Skull Eruption (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:SM, MKvs.DCU, MK 2011)
Soul Steal (MK:DA, MK:SM, MK:A, MKvs.DCU, MK 2011)
Forward Fireball (MK:DA, MK:A)
Fire Ring (MK:DA, MK:A)
Hot Escape (MKvs.DCU)
X-Ray Move: Soul Lust (MK 2011)

Soultaker (MKII, MK3,UMK3, MKT, MKDA, MKvsDC)
Back Breaker (MKvsDC)
Body Eruption (MKII)
Kintaro Morph (MKII)
Bed of Nails (MK3, UMK3, MKT)

Other Finishers
Friendship #1: Shang Tsung casts out his hands and makes a rainbow. (MKII)
Friendship #2: Shang Tsung turns into the main character from the Joust video game and hops offscreen. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
Animality: Cobra (MK3, UMK3, MKT)

His X-ray is called "Soul Lust"? Sounds interesting...
Personally, I didn't really pay much attention to Shang Tsung until he and Quan Chi killed Liu Kang. That was his signature moment for me; I remember thinking "Wow, he actually killed Liu". The MK team set it up perfectly too by letting Tsung be the one that inflicted the lethal blow. Anyways, I wonder what his fatalities will be like in MK9, it'll be interesting to see.
I LOVED Bruce Locke as Shang Tsung in MK:Conquest, whenever I saw him on screen, I approved.
Shang Tsung was always the defacto MK villain to me. Shao Kahn is overrated, and while I do like Quan Chi, he just cannot compare.
His old man look is not fit for human words.
I don't know who thought of that look for him in this game, but that person needs to get their hammer sucked NOW!
Shang is awesome but I wish they would make an option to turn his morphs on and off for the player to use. In MK3 you could change into anyone and use all their moves and Shang Tsung does this in the arcade ladder and story modes but it's locked for the player. I'd like to see a kombat kode or something to unlock that.
Ahh yeah, Tsung's character morphs and MK3 <3
Yeah, it would have been awesome to do that, but Tsung's still pretty awesome; makes me feel less guilty for beating up an old man lol.
Some of Shang Tsung's unused sprites from Mortal Kombat 1. To bad they didn't add the sword fatality in the game, that would of been cool. His laughing pose would have been better than his current win pose.
^ Holy shit, I never knew about that

Shang Tsung is one of my favorite MK characters, but I hate how much he got shit on in MK9
I love Shang Tsung, he's probably my favorite villain other than Shinnok, but the way NRS portrayed Shang Tsung in MK9's story really pisses me off

He was basically just a disposable yes man to Shao Kahn with barely any personality

And Quan Chi pretty much stole all of Shang's thunder as the sneaky bastard of the MK series


The man is a ****ing genius with the cunning and mental sophistication to match

They could have made young Shang into a much more charismatic type of villain, who relies on his deceitful tactics, good looks and overall charm to appeal to the better half of his victims before he betrays them

But nope, NRS just said, "**** all that, just have him killed by Shao Kahn near the end and have his soul absorbed by some old ass woman whose titties look younger than her actual face and body"

Even worse, it doesn't even look like he needs to consume souls anymore to survive like in the original timeline, he just does so :?