Sub-Zero is among the most popular characters in the Mortal Kombat video game franchise and the only character to appear in every mainstream MK title. Throughout the series, Sub-Zero has fought for the safety of Earthrealm alongside Raiden and the Forces of Light. He has been widely recognized by the black and blue ninja trappings of the Lin Kuei.
In the 2011 Mortal Kombat game, the timeline has been altered and certain events have changed. In the original timeline, Sub-Zero escaped from the Lin Kuei when they tried to force him to undergo cybernetic augmentation, and his friend Smoke was captured and automated. In the altered timeline, however, their roles are reversed and Sub-Zero is captured while Smoke is saved by Raiden. The ice ninja becomes a cyborg and is designated LK-520. As a loyal Lin Kuei cyber-ninja, he fights alongside Sektor and Cyrax when the Lin Kuei aid Shao Kahn in his invasion of Earthrealm.
Sub-Zero fights Earthrealm warrior Kabal during the invasion but is defeated. Smoke requests that Sub-Zero be spared so that he can be freed from the Lin Kuei's control. Jax Briggs manages to remove the Lin Kuei's slave protocols from Sub-Zero's CPU, restoring his free will. The ice ninja aids Earthrealm's chosen warriors by attempting to spy on Shao Kahn, but Sektor scans his neural net and realises that Sub-Zero has been reprogrammed. The two cyborgs fight and Sektor loses, then Sub-Zero scans the fallen Sektor's memory banks for information.
With the information gathered from Sektor, Sub-Zero discovers and frees several human soldiers who have been captured by Shao Kahn's minions. He also discovers the necromancer Quan Chi and his revenant servant Noob Saibot conjuring a Soulnado, and attempts to stop them. Noob reveals to Sub-Zero that he is the corrupted remnant of Bi Han - the original Sub-Zero, who was slain by the spectre Scorpion - his brother. Sub-Zero battles the demon that was once his brother and defeats him by throwing him into the Soulnado. Noob's dark taint disrupts the Soulnado and dispels it, and Noob himself is destroyed.
The Earthrealm fighters are later attacked by Sindel and several are killed, Sub-Zero included. Upon his death, Sub-Zero's soul descends into the Netherrealm. Shao Kahn had promised the necromancer Quan Chi that he would be granted the souls of any Earthrealm warriors who perished during the invasion. With his dark magic, Quan Chi harvested Sub-Zero's remaining organic components and discarded his cybernetic shell. With Sub-Zero's organic parts, the sorcerer created an undead revenant of the ice ninja in a completely organic form.
The revenant Sub-Zero served Quan Chi and the fallen Elder God Shinnok during the Netherrealm War, but during an incursion into Quan Chi's fortress by Raiden and the Special Forces, Sub-Zero along with Scorpion and Jax were restored to life after Raiden's magic disrupted Quan Chi's attempt to turn Johnny Cage into a revenant. Restored to humanity, Sub-Zero has since returned to Earthrealm and taken over the Lin Kuei, rebuilding it into a force for good.
Powers and skillsEdit
- Cryomancy - Sub-Zero possesses control over ice and cold, a power he has retained since being augmented. He can fire icy blasts from his chest, though he subconsciously channels ki through his hands as he did when he was human.
- Martial Arts - Sub-Zero is a master of ninjutsu and shotokan karate.
- Freeze Parry - Sub-Zero envelops himself in a freezing aura as the opponent lands a blow. The opponent is left frozen and vulnerable to attack.
- Ice Bomb - Sub-Zero launches bombs from his torso that release an icy blast upon detonation, flash-freezing anyone in its radius.
- Kori Blade - Sub-Zero can use his Kori power to fashion weapons out of ice and often wields a frozen sword in kombat.
- Kold Fusion - Sub-Zero jumps on to his opponent and flash-freezes them both. Both he and the opponent then explode in a shower of ice crystals, with only their legs still intact.
- Brain Freeze - Sub-Zero fires two shurikens into the opponent's eyes, then fires a third charged shuriken into the enemy's head, which freezes him as it grinds into his brain.