Orphaned at a very young age, Liu Kang was raised by Shaolin monks, who taught him the way of the spiritual warrior. They soon recognized his potential as a contender for the Mortal Kombat tournament and rigorously trained him for this task. Raiden, too, understood that Liu Kang was Earthrealm's best hope for freedom and introduced him to Master Bo' Rai Cho to further his development. Once fully trained, Liu Kang bested all challengers and earned the high honor of representing the Shaolin in the Mortal Kombat tournament. He and Raiden then embarked on their fateful journey to Shang Tsung's island to compete in this pivotal kontest.
Having defeated Shao Kahn, Liu Kang believed he was the only one capable of defending Earthrealm against outside threats. During the invasion Raiden had been more burden than ally. Brazenly he demanded the Elder Gods grant him the thunder god's status. In a one-match Mortal Kombat tournament, Liu Kang defeated his former friend and mentor. Liu Kang's request was granted. He was made a god, the new Protector of Earthrealm.