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Shacknews Best Cameo of 2019: Shang Tsung (Cary Tagawa)

It's not just that Shang Tsung returned in Mortal Kombat 11, but THE Shang Tsung returned in Mortal Kombat 11. The Shacknews Best Cameo of 2019 goes to Shang Tsung and original Mortal Kombat movie actor, Cary Tagawa.


NetherRealm enjoys its cameos, whether it's in the Mortal Kombat series or its sister series, Injustice. While Mortal Kombat 11 has its share of cameos, which include The Terminator and Joker, it's actually an old face that has created the most buzz. Returning from 2011's Mortal Kombat, it's Shang Tsung. He came bearing a familiar face and not just one that he's borrowed from the many souls he's stolen.

In an act of true fan service, the Mortal Kombat 11 incarnation of Shang Tsung is played by Cary Tagawa, the original actor from the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie. For the younger generation who isn't familiar with his work, let's go back in time to the old MK theatrical release.

Understandably, this was a big deal to old-school MK fans, especially those who attended this year's C2E2 and saw an older Tagawa show up on-screen as the keeper of Shang Tsung's island Krypt.

"For this [Krypt], we decided to get Cary Tagawa to be your guide, your host, of the Krypt and he's kind of narrating with you, going around," creator Ed Boon told the C2E2 crowd. "What's exciting is, in addition, is Shang Tsung, Cary Tagawa, is our first DLC character that we're going to have."

Tagawa's performance did not disappoint, as his trailer showed off just a few weeks later.

For bringing back those treasured memories of one of the best video game movies ever made, we award Cary Tagawa, the man behind Shang Tsung, for Shacknews Best Cameo of 2019.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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