There are in fact
two Sub-Zeros: older and younger. Both are blue garbed warriors (assassins,
but not "ninjas", since the Lin Kuei are Chinese despite being called ninjas
in several Mortal Kombat games) that descended from Cryomancers, an Outworld
race possessing the ability to generate and control the powers of ice,
although both of them were born in Earthrealm. The younger one bears a
conspicuous scar on his right eye, however, as of Deception the scar has
faded away. The Elder Sub-Zero appeared in the first Mortal Kombat and
then, after being killed by Scorpion, his younger brother replaced him
for the rest of the games, his elder brother later became the undead Netherealm
wraith, Noob Saibot.
The two Sub-Zeros
are sons of a Chinese father and a Caucasian American mother. It is known
that the father of both brothers (the fourth man to be known as Sub-Zero
in his lineage) was a secret operative for the clan in the United States.
He married an American woman and together they had two sons and a daughter.
Against the will of their mother, the father took the sons with him to
move back to China at a certain time, and as such both brothers became
warriors of the Lin Kuei. The mother and the daughter remained in the U.S.
Following the death
of his older brother and failure to kill Shang
Tsung, the young Lin Kuei warrior was sent to Outworld along with his
close friend Smoke to complete the assignment after Shao
Kahn's Mortal Kombat tournament was announced. While traveling to Outworld
with Smoke, Sub-Zero discovered Scorpion's foul vendetta against his brother;
Scorpion had risen from the Netherealm once more upon learning of Sub-Zero's
"survival" and continued to hold a grudge against the new Sub-Zero, believing
him to be the same man that killed him years ago. However, Scorpion received
a rude awakening when he witnessed Sub-Zero spare the life of a defeated
opponent whom he battled during the tournament, which left him confused
for he did not understand why this Lin Kuei warrior showed mercy. Scorpion
then came to the realization that this new Sub-Zero was the younger brother
of the man who murdered him so long ago, and thus swore not to harm him.
Sub-Zero never learned why the specter spared his life. Despite their efforts,
neither accomplished the mission that they were tasked to do for the Lin Kuei, although they did assist Liu
Kang, Raiden, and their allies in Liu Kang's
battle with Shao Kahn. Smoke and Sub-Zero returned
home empty handed.
In the events leading up to Mortal Kombat
Trilogy, the Lin Kuei obtained technology that could vastly improve the
effectiveness of their warriors, and they chose four of their number to
undergo the procedure that would turn them into cyborg assassins: Sub-Zero,
Smoke, Cyrax, and Sektor. Sub-Zero and Smoke refused to participate, and
fled the clan, who declared them anathema. While Sub-Zero successfully
managed to escape, Smoke was captured and subsequently turned into a cyborg.
In leaving the clan, Sub-Zero had broken the Lin Kuei codes of honor. After
Smoke's automation, the Lin Kuei programmed the three cyborg assassins
to hunt and terminate Sub-Zero, who by this time had received a vision
from Raiden and agreed to join the rebellion against a new threat.
The armies of Shao
Kahn attacked Earthrealm, and Sub-Zero was among the few mortals whose
souls were spared so they could fight Kahn and his extermination squads.
These events also signalled the beginning of Sub-Zero's transition to a
greater moral consciousness. Unluckily for Sub-Zero, his cybernetic assassins,
lacking souls, also survived. Sub-Zero eventually encountered Smoke and
convinced him that he still had a soul, which then overrode Smoke's Lin
Kuei programming. With his new ally, Sub-Zero battled and defeated both
and Cyrax. However, instead of destroying
Cyrax's CPU, he reprogrammed the cyborg to hunt and terminate Shao Khan
(at which Cyrax failed - he would wander in Jade's Desert and become trapped
there). Smoke was less fortunate: he was captured by Shao Kahn's troops
and transported to Outworld as a curiosium. Eventually, the Earthrealm
warriors were victorious and Earth was restored to its normal state.
When the banished
Elder God Shinnok threatened the Earthrealm, Raiden once again summoned
Sub-Zero to assist in the defense of Earth. In homage to his older brother,
Sub-Zero donned his sibling's uniform, and brought to the battle information
passed to him which could prove essential to Raiden in his mission to stop
Shinnok. In the meantime, Quan Chi had convinced
Scorpion that Sub-Zero still retained some culpability for the destruction
of the Shirai Ryu, turning the spectre's hostile attentions to him once
more. Sub-Zero met Scorpion in Goro's Lair and the two fought, with Scorpion
gaining the upper hand. When it seemed that Scorpion was going to kill
Sub-Zero, the Lin Kuei revealed that he had no role in the murder of Scorpion's
clan. Quan Chi, convinced that Sub-Zero was about to die nonetheless, readily
admitted his guilt to Scorpion, who then turned on Quan Chi and transported
the sorcerer into the Netherrealm, where Scorpion hunted Quan Chi unceasingly.
This was to be the last time Scorpion and Sub-Zero were to actively oppose
Kombat 2, Mortal Kombat 3, Ultimate
Mortal Kombat 3, Mortal Kombat 4, Mortal
Kombat Trilogy, Mortal Kombat: Gold,
Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Mortal
Kombat: Deception, Mortal Kombat:
Mortal Kombat VS DC Universe, Mortal
Kombat 9, Mortal Kombat X, Injustice