Character Profile Wikia
Series Mortal Kombat
Age Unknown
Birthday Unknown
Sex Male
Species Cryomancer
Height 6'2" (188 cm)
Weight 210 lbs (95 kg)
Alignment Chaotic Good (Old Timeline)

Neutral Good (Current Timeline)

Kuai Liang, better known as Sub-Zero, is one of the main protagonists in the Mortal Kombat series. He's a member of the Lin Kuei clan of assassins and he shares the poster boy status with Scorpion


Kuai Liang and his older brother, Bi-Han, served the Lin Kuei assasin clan faithfully until the first Mortal Kombat tournament. There Bi-Han, codename Sub-Zero, was killed by the demon Scorpion. Kuai Liang assumed the Sub-Zero name and went to Outworld to find his brother's killer. Meanwhile, the leadership of the Lin Kuei embarked on the Cyber Initiative, converting its members to cybernetic ninjas to increase their efficiency and remove their human imperfections. Kuai Liang was captured and converted. Eventually, Raiden and the defenders of Earthrealm restored his soul, and he joined their cause. He was later killed in the Outworld invasion, his soul claimed by the Netherrealm sorcerer Quan Chi. Sub-Zero served the demon realm during its subsequent war with Earthrealm. Returned to humanity by Raiden in the aftermath, Sub-Zero rebuilt the Lin Kuei--this time as a benevolent organization dedicated to the protection of Earthrealm.

Powers & Abilities

  • Ice Manipulation: Sub-Zero can create and control ice at will.
    • Ice Blast: Sub-Zero sends a blast of ice directly towards the opponent to temporarily freeze them in place for a free hit. He could also freeze opponents in midair, if timed correctly.
      • Ice Beam: Sub-Zero will shoot a beam of ice, making it easier to hit opponents in the air.
    • Slide: Sub-Zero slides across the floor, leaving a trail of ice behind him, and knocking the opponent off their feet.
    • Ground Ice: Sub-Zero freezes the floor and whoever steps on the circle of ice will temporarily slip all over the place, setting the opponent up for a free hit. Since it aims for the opponent's feet, it cannot be blocked.
    • Ice Clone: Sub-Zero creates an ice clone of himself anywhere he chooses, and anyone who touches it will freeze.
    • Ice Shaker: Sub-Zero emits a wave of cold air from his body freezing anyone or anything near him.
    • Ice Burst: Sub-Zero sends out a pulsing wave of ice, knocking the opponent off their feet.
    • Weapon Creation: By shaping his ice into various forms, Sub-Zero can create several weapons made of ice.
      • Kori Blade: The blade itself is made by Sub-Zero's freezing water vapor, manipulating it so that it forms the shape of the sword
      • Frost Hammer: Sub-Zero summons a large warhammer made of ice and pounds the opponent into the ground with it.
      • Ice Daggers
    • Barrier of Frost: Sub-Zero forms a large barrier or shield of ice in front of him that cancels projectiles and freezes opponents who touch it.
    • Frozen Aura: Sub-Zero covers himself in an armor-like layer of rock-hard ice, rendering him immune to chip damage.
    • Ice Shower: Sub-Zero shoots ice straight overhead which falls back down atop his opponent. He can shoot it close, mid way, or far away to freeze the opponent.
    • Cold Shoulder: Sub-Zero rushes the opponent with his shoulder, leaving a trail of ice behind him on the ground. This is the replacement of his Ice Slide in these games.
    • Ice Physiology: Sub-Zero can turn either parts or his entire body into ice at will.
      • Tombstone Teleport: Sub-Zero's body becomes ice, falls backward into the ground, and reappears behind his opponent.
      • Icy Counter: Sub-Zero quickly covers himself in a sheet of ice. If an opponent attacks him physically whilst in this state, they will automatically be flash-frozen as Sub-Zero disappears and reappears behind the opponent with his Kori Blade in hand to strike them down.
    • Ice Nugget: Sub-Zero makes a nugget out of ice above his opponent, which comes crashing down onto the opponent. It is unblockable.
  • Fatalities:
    • Snowball Grenade: Sub-Zero creates a small orb of ice and launches it at the opponent. It lodges within their chest and detonates, causing them to explode from within.
    • Ice Shatter: Sub-Zero deep-freezes his opponent, then uppercuts their upper body, shattering it in the process.
    • Freeze Kick: Sub-Zero freezes his opponent and kicks them, smashing them to pieces.
    • Freeze and Throw: Sub-Zero freezes his opponent before ripping the head off, sliding away, then throws the head at the opponent, shattering the body and head.
    • Frosty!: Sub-Zero breathes icy breath at his opponent, who falls back and shatters upon contact with the floor.
    • Overhead Ice Smash: Sub-Zero grabs the opponent and presses them over his head. After freezing the opponent, Sub-Zero breaks them into pieces with his own hands.
    • Spine Rip: Sub-Zero grabs the opponent's neck, and tears out their spine and skull. This Fatality was taken directly from his older brother.
    • Skeleton Rip: Sub-Zero rips the whole skeleton out of his opponent's body.
    • Below Freezing: Sub-Zero freezes the legs of his foe and shatters them. He then walks forward, ignoring the victim's pleas for mercy, and stomps them, causing their head to explode.
    • Have an Ice Day: Sub-Zero freezes his opponent from the feet up to the waist. He then rips the opponent's torso off and holds the victim's bleeding torso.
    • Spinal Smash: Sub-Zero rips the opponent's spine and skull out through his/her chest. He then freezes the opponent's body and smashes it with the spine.
    • Chest Kold: Sub-Zero freezes the front of his opponent's chest before punching through it, leaving a huge, gaping hole through their torso, with their spine intact. He reaches in and grabs this with both hands, breaking it in half. Finally, he presses the victim over his head and rips them completely in half.
    • Bed of Ice: Sub-Zero forms a frozen bed of spikes behind his opponent, then kicks them onto the surface and jumps onto them, impaling them in several places. He then stands over the opponent and gives a final stomp, the spikes penetrating the skull with one eyeball gouged out and impaled on a spike.
    • Animality: Sub-Zero turns into a Polar Bear and begins mauling his opponent with his teeth and claws
    • Friendships: Sub-Zero has two, apparently. One involves him pulling a Sub-Zero doll out of nowhere and telling people to buy it. The other involves surrounding himself in a Snowman.


  • Lin Kuei Medallion: After defeating Sektor and becoming leader of the Lin Kuei, Sub-Zero adorned his former headmaster's medallion. With it, Kuai gains much finer control over his ice powers, allowing him to create more detailed, stronger, and more powerful ice attacks.
    • Enhanced Ice Weapons: With the medallion, Sub-Zero's ice weapons can become strong and stable enough to be permanent weapons in combat.

Alternate Forms

Cyber Sub-Zero

This is the form that Kuai Liang took when he was transformed into a Cyborg. He still has most of his attacks, but he also has new ice-based weaponry.

  • Enhanced Durability: Due to being a cyborg in this form, Sub-Zero's skin is replaced with a durable metal that is more resistant to impacts.
  • Ice Grenade: Cyber Sub-Zero has an infinite number of bombs located inside his chest that he can fire at varying distances. Upon explosion, anyone inside the blast radius is frozen solid.



  • Has the strength to rip someone's spine out and rip someone in half with one arm.
  • Can easily smash bones with his barehands.
  • Can destroy large ice buildings with one hand. 
  • He's been stated to be stronger than his older brother.
  • He can make ice weapons strong enough to destroy Lin Kuei cyborgs.
  • His ice blasts can counter the aforementioned flamethrower.
  • He can break through the steel doors of a fallout shelter, slide under a missile, and take out a Lin Kuei Cyborg.
  • As Cyber-Sub-Zero, he defeated Kano in a single attack.
  • Physically shattered a large temple with a punch.
  • Broke titanium with one chop.




  • Can control the Lin Kuei dragon medallion, a medallion that enhances the wielders power, but only if they have the strength to use it. If they're not strong enough to wear, they are completely frozen.
  • Has defeated Sektor, Cyrax, Ermac (twice), Reptile, Scorpion, Goro, Kintaro, and Batman.
  • He defeated Noob Saibot, the more-powerful reincarnation of his brother Bi-Han.
  • He could take out Cassie Cage, Kung Jin, Jacqui Briggs and Takeda Takahashi, consecutively.
  • With his army he stopped Kotal Khan’s invasion force, which included Ferra/Torr, Ermac, Reptile, and Erron Black.
  • Became the Grandmaster of the Lin Kuei in both timelines by defeating Sektor. In the second timeline, he managed to kill him by cutting off his arms and ripping off his head.
  • Killed a group of Tarkatan warriors in the Living Forest by himself.
  • His mastery of ice allowed him to harness the Dragon Medallion’s true power and increase his proficiency further.
  • Partially froze the city of Kahishari and killed all of its inhabitants.
  • In the Battle of Armageddon, he managed to kill Scorpion in a sword fight.
  • Put an end to the war between the Lin Kuei and Scorpion’s Shirai Ryu clan.
  • Defeated Ferra/Torr, who can make earthquakes felt across the Emperor's Kourtyard just by walking.
  • As Cyber-Sub-Zero, he was able to sense the Lin Kuei surrounded them while they were completely invisible.
  • Created a city block sized Ice blast.


  • Mortality: He may have incredible powers but he's still just a mortal man and can be killed by any means
  • Clouded Judgement: His emotional baggage and desire to live up to his brother's name has clouded his judgement more than once.

Fun Facts

the Middle, Reese mentions the fact that nobody believes that he beat the last level of Mortal Kombat, to which Hal responds "Because that's just ridiculous; no one beats Sub-Zero."
  • Sub-Zero inspired the professional wrestling character known as Glacier in World Championship Wrestling. Ray Lloyd, a regional Karate champion, played the role for several years.
  • Ed Boon stated that Sub-Zero was originally going to be called "Tundra", which canonically was Sub-Zero's original codename before changing it to Sub-Zero, honoring his fallen brother.