Kung Lao (traditional Chinese: 空佬; pinyin: Kōnglăo) is a player character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. Kung Lao is a former Shaolin monk and a former member of the White Lotus Society. He stands in the shadow of his great ancestor, the Great Kung Lao, but unlike his great ancestor he has no desire to be champion and would rather live a life of peace. He is close friends to the Mortal Kombat champion Liu Kang as well, he has sought counsel from master Bo' Rai Cho. He has since left the sanctuary of the White Lotus Society. His trademark is his razor-rimmed hat, which he can employ in combat.
As stated in Kung Lao's bio card that after the first Mortal Kombat game, the creators wanted another monk character other than Liu Kang. According to Mortal Kombat co-creator John Tobias, Kung Lao's hat was inspired by the 1964 James Bond movie Goldfinger, in which a villain Oddjob threw his special derby hat as a deadly weapon. Kung Lao was portrayed by Anthony Marquez in Mortal Kombat II and Mortal Kombat 3 and Ed Boon said Marquez was as "one of the best martial artists we worked with." Kung Lao is read in Chinese as 公老 (Gōng lǎo) and is roughly translated as "Old Man".