Liu Kang (Chinese: 劉康; pinyin: Liúkāng) is a video game character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. First appearing in the series' first title, Liu Kang is portrayed as a Shaolin monk who enters the Mortal Kombat tournament to save his world, Earthrealm, from being destroyed due to having lost nine consecutive tournaments. Since his victory in the tournament, Liu Kang acts as defender from the Earthrealms along with the Earth's warriors and his mentor, the thunder god Raiden. Liu Kang appears in most games as a playable character, including as the lead character from Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks along with Kung Lao, and has also appeared in the live-action films from the series and the comic adaptations. His character was created to be the hero of the series, with most of his moves being less violent and easier to perform than the ones from other characters. His critical reception was mixed, with some of them criticizing his gameplay while others noted him to be entertaining.