My Mixed/Confused Thoughts On Liu Kang's Going Evil Bananas In Mortal Kombat!
For people who know me or what I write, something is certain, Liu Kang IS my favorite Mortal Kombat character, granted that Ryu is my favorite Street Fighter character. Now I could relate to him in more than one level or two, I could relate to him in a way in Mortal Kombat Legacy but why all the sudden changes for my favorite character?! Though I could relate to Liu Kang's going bananas which can mean going very angry or going very emotional, I just thought the term "going evil bananas" might fit him, just a term I coined from going bananas.
I thought about this more than once I wanted to write this and I hope this at least, helps me express my anger starting with that one Mortal Kombat game I freaking hate (for very personal reasons and I don't care if video game critics can praise it)... is the fact that at the beginning, they freaking killed Liu Kang! Man that was more than enough to make me say, "That's it! I'm dropping the game!" and I was excited to hear of his return to Mortal Kombat Deception. Even in zombie form, I was willing to play him but man, I'll admit I really think Shujinko is a bad addition to the series.
I thought I was enjoying myself pretending I've gone berserk but... I think here's the bigger insult...
I don't know how many facedesks I made playing through the Story Mode of Mortal Kombat (2011). For a reincarnation of the franchise, sure it did introduce a lot of stuff that made the game fun to play but seriously, I want to shout out, "Raiden you are so F*CKING STUPID! Not only did you kill more than half of the cast, you also killed Liu Kang!" to him at more than one level. Seeing Liu Kang go berserk and snapping, I can fully relate to that guy. I always felt that this was even dumber than him getting ambushed by Shang Tsung and Quan Chi. At more than one level, I don't blame my favorite Kombatant for his mistakes - he feels like he's been fighting for nothing no thanks to taking advice from the senile god of thunder. I felt like half of myself if not my entire self died while not only fighting Liu Kang as Raiden but also... that scene above made me go nuts. At more than one level, I've spent time showing no mercy or honor against Raiden whether he's controlled by the CPU or by a human character, I've developed hatred for the characters for years.
It's been some time and well, got to admit he's still F*CKING mad at Raiden, probably more than I am and I still feel him beyond more than one level. I would feel as crazy as he did, granted, Raiden really made things for the worse for the rest of us or that, most of Raiden's actions were guided by impulse and stupidity. Now I think most of his actions in Mortal Kombat X are because he was revived as a Revenant by Quan Chi to serve Shinnok in the Netherrealm. As much as I feel Evil is Cool for this guy and I love his badass Revenant outfit, I'd say something was really wrong with most of it. Liu Kang felt like a more evil version of Barnacle Boy going to the side of EEEEVVIIILLL because he doesn't get the respect he feels like he deserves.
I dunno, but with Liu Kang, I feel like he's not getting any respect he deserves as of late with how he was treated in Deadly Alliance, gets replaced by an old man in Deception (well I don't like Shujinko either, but that's just extreme favoritism for me) or worse, Raiden freaking killed him (by accident) in the last game which made me think, "WTF is with Ed Boon's head?" especially that, well, Ed Boon's favorite is Scorpion but honestly, DOES HE HAVE TO KEEP HURTING SUB-ZERO IN EVERY PROMO?! Good thing I didn't get any collectibles since well, I'm not really a Scorpion fan myself!
Looking at how Liu Kang got into Mortal Kombat X, I am at more than one level, I could sympathize with the character even when he's now EEEEEVVVVILLLL (hits Mermaid Man)... and well, more than once I've felt like going to the dark side to get even with people from my past. But really, I thought that while I could accept Liu Kang having his Revenant form or something but if I mean, for example we have the other characters recovering from their curse, why can't he?! We see Sub-Zero and Jax recovering, we see Scorpion overcoming his curse by Quan Chi (think of Ghost Rider getting free of Mephisto's contract).
Now I used to think that, "Hey it's fun to have a heel face turn or out-of-character writing." until I learned it the hard way that I've insulted myself whenever I refuse to voice my negative opinion. In this case, I felt like Liu Kang's current situation is really just as Jump The Shark with Cyclops' going crazy in X-Men following after he had merged with Apocalypse. Not only was he forcibly paired with Emma Frost but also, kill Jean Grey again? Now I learned it's okay to have a feel face turn here and there but, I felt like that it's really insulting to me the learning writer whenever the more experienced writers (let's say, they've got more YEARS than I ever did...) does something unusual just for the heck of a twist or shocking audiences. Part of my mistakes in writing is just to write something for the sake of shocking but I never expected more experienced writers to commit my mistakes.
While I was excited for his return in Mortal Kombat X (and I am yet to play the game but I've seen the Story Mode), I always thought that there's some weird implication behind his ending. I thought it was that he had a selfish side, yes we all do have it but remember, I always thought his Arcade Mode ending still WTFed me...
When I look at Liu Kang's Mortal Kombat X ending, I don't know if the "evil within" is an implication that he actually has an evil alter ego like Ryu andI feel like both characters are closer than you think. Mortal Kombat X could have actually tried to actually redeem Liu Kang rather than WTF Story Mode closing scene where a now corrupted Raiden (AGAIN) supposedly appoints him and Kitana as the new rulers in Shinnok's place. I always thought that, I wonder if Evil Liu Kang is what might be best called as bringing a darker and edgier story for the sake of it or what? I don't know if whether or not Netherrealm is implying Liu Kang has a split personality or is he really selfish deep within? My only theory is that Netherrealm is implying that he has a split personality as seen in the Dualist variation where he can shift between light and dark forces - though I wish his eyes glowed or something whenever he's using dark magic in that mode!
So when I thought of this post by ChrisXon Liu Kang where a goody selfless good suddenly becomes a selfish, remorseless bastard then that's another lesson for me to take in story writing that suddenly changing a character's personality for my own needs is STUPID. Though I'll just disagree with his implication theory (if that's ever an appropriate term) that Liu Kang is selfish but rather my theory (which is different from his) Liu Kang like Ryu, has an evil alter ego deep within. I can offer up another theory different from the implication theory that Liu Kang is selfish deep within. So what's my theory that is an alternative to his view? I think Liu Kang has a split personality or two, remember staying in the Netherrealm can corrupt the mind at more than one level.
So what's up with Liu Kang's ending... just reminded me of this ending...
Do you remember Jin Kazama's ending in Tekken 5 when he took over the Mishima Zaibatsu and in Tekken 6, the opening has him WRECK HAVOC across the world? Even if Jin Kazama was trying to defeat the Devil Gene, come on, that guy really did us all a disfavor by... DECLARING WAR ON EVERYONE JUST SO AZAZEL COULD COME OUT?! In Tekken 6, I always felt like smashing his head across the wall and I don't blame the characters for hating him for doing what he did. I mean, just because he wants to purge the world of Azazel doesn't mean he should blow off. So in a way, Liu Kang's ending is sort of the character getting somebody drunk with power or two, mad with revenge could actually progress them from goody selfless good to selfish, remorseless bastard though in Jin's case, he may still have some remorse left for what he did. I feel like Liu Kang might soon declare war on the realms just to bait Raiden out so he can have his revenge.
Granted, Ed Boon is a fan of Tekken as well and I wonder if the crew at Netherrealm Studios really had Jin Kazama in mind when the writers wrote Liu Kang's ending? When I look at Jin Kazama's ending in Tekken 5, Jin gives the expression that he's contemplating about world domination and two, both Jin and Liu Kang can be seen sitting on the thrones formerly occupied by the Big Bad. Jin occupies Heihachi's seat (which was once Kazuya's seat too) and Liu Kang occupies Shinnok's throne.
To close, as much as I hate to think about it, part of me embraces Liu Kang's heel face turn and part of me rejects it... it's just like Ryu fighting with Evil Ryu when it comes to my current opinion on Liu Kang considering that I do like him as the goody do good that he is but I thought that him having a possible split personality like Ryu in Street Fighter can be interesting. But then, I still hate the fact that somehow, I am not very happy with his heel face turn either. So really, I am confused on the matter of Liu Kang's going evil bananas!