Shujinko made his debut in Mortal Kombat: Deception as the game's protagonist. He is an adventurer who, as a boy, dreamed of fighting Shang Tsung. He has traveled the realms and learned the kombat skills of many warriors. His old age has made him wise, but at a cost: he bears an immense guilt for releasing Onaga into the realms again, and now that he is discarded by the Dragon King, has vowed to make up for this mistake. A member of the White Lotus, he shares traits with the games' Shaolin monk characters, such as his great receptiveness, deliberation and ability to meditate for weeks. Nevertheless, before all other things, he has always been a traveler and a student at heart.
Of all the Mortal Kombat characters to appear in the series, Shujinko goes through the most drastic and progressive changes. At the start, Shujinko appears as a young teen with short, shaggy black hair dressed in red and brown village clothing. Upon adulthood, Shujinko's hair grows slightly longer and tied into a ponytail and wears a bright blue gi and beige pants, looking a bit like a warrior on his very first journey. Upon stepping into the pool in Chaosrealm, Shujinko gains a beige gi and a fairly long goatee with small streaks of gray. After the purification he received from Nightwolf, Shujinko adorns himself in armor, resembling much like a seasoned warrior. His hair is now loose and has grayed from age moving into his elderly years and has grown a fairly long parted mustache. Near the end of Konquest, Shujinko appears in beige robes not unlike an enlightened martial arts master. By this time, he is well into his elder years; his hair has completed turned white and his facial hair has grown past his chin.
Decades ago, Shujinko as a young man, was approached by a ethereal spirit entity that called itself Damashi. Damashi claimed to be the agent of the Elder Gods who was tasked with finding a mortal who had the courage and potential strength to undertake a quest for the Elder Gods. Shujinko, then only a child, eagerly accepted and Damashi charged him with gathering the six Kamidogu of Earthrealm, Netherrealm, Chaosrealm, Outworld, Orderrealm, and Edenia. To aid Shujinko in the quest, Damashi mystically instilled in Shujinko an enhanced ability to observe and then wield the Kombat abilities of warriors that he came across. Shujinko suddenly grown into an adult because of the Chaosrealm's water, and the different lifespan and time in the Chaosrealm
It took Shujinko decades to gather the Kamidogu. But in that time, he traveled widely through the realms and his innate kombat talent grew dramatically. Shujinko faced danger and adventure at every turn. Early in the quest, he fought briefly alongside the Lin Kuei during which time he learned the clan's cryomancery secrets.Later, he would literally journey into the dark and hoary Netherrealm, where he would bear witness to a rivalry forming between Ashrah and Ermac.
In Outworld, Shujinko faced off against Baraka and the Tarkatan hoard-- then on the verge of slaughtering an entire city whose prefect had defied Shao Kahn. Determined to prevent an unimaginable massacre, he then journeyed to Seido, the Realm of Order.
There, after helping to quell a civil uprising instigated by Darrius and the resistance movement, Shujinko enlisted the aid of Hotaru and the Seidan Guard. They then journeyed to Outworld. The Seidan guard proved to be more than a match for the Tarkatan horde, and Shujinko thus liberated the city and its people. Queen Sindel blessed this Edenian Sword for Shujinko during his travels in her kingdom of Edenia
His journeys would take him elsewhere still until, after helping Queen Sindel to drive back an invasion attempt into Edenia by Shao Kahn, Shujinko found the sixth Kamidogu. Shujinko then made his way back to the Nexus where he planned to present the Kamidogu, thus gathered, to the Elder Gods. However, Onaga, after revealing himself to be Damashi, confronted Shujinko and took the Kamidogu for his own.Onaga, having acquired the Kamidogu, traveled to Outworld to re-assume his throne as the original ruler of the realm. From there, he intended to use the Kamidogu to attain ultimate power by re-making the realms in his image.
Shujinko, now fully understanding this threat to the realms, born from deception, resolved to stop Onaga. Though the heart of the quest was proven to be farce, Shujinko, having faced and triumphed over continuous dangers, had become one of the most powerful warriors in the realms. He journeyed to Outworld where he was able to gather a number of powerful warriors to one location. Then, using the mystic ability Onaga endowed him with years earlier, Shujinko reached out for the warriors' essence, thus their combined powers supplemented his own. He then used this power to shatter the Kamidogu and brutally beat Onaga into submission, giving his former mentor Nightwolf the chance to trap Onaga's soul in the Netherrealm.
Shujinko was then, for a time, known as the hero of Outworld. However, he still felt some degree of guilt of bringing back the Dragon King in the first place. As such, he didn't feel worthy of their admiration. Some time later, Princess Kitana requested Shujinko to meet her at Shao Kahn's fortress, as her Edenian forces had apparently flushed out Reiko's elite guard, the last remnants of the old empire.
Shujinko however came to the realization that he and Kitana parted ways after Onaga's defeat, as she set out to help the spirit of Liu Kang. Shujinko thought either that she departed for Earthrealm for the quest and she came back sooner than expected, or that the invitation had not come from her at all. Deciding that he would not allow himself to be fooled again, he made the decision to uncover a possible plot of an unknown enemy to make himself truly worthy of the admiration Outworld has placed in him. It is revealed that the person who sent the deceptive invitation was Mileena, who he fought and allowed her to capture him at the behest of Shao Kahn. In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon's Konquest mode, Taven discovers Shujinko in the dungeons of Shao Kahn's fortress. After freeing him, Shujinko explained that he allowed himself to be captured on purpose so to as to get closer to his enemies, as he plans to take on Shao Kahn, Onaga, Shang Tsung, and Quan Chi by himself. He disappears soon after in the pursuit of his mission, leaving Taven to regard him an old fool.
In Shujinko's Armageddon ending, he defeats Blaze, allowing him to absorb the fighting strength of every kombatant. He becomes mad with power and destroys all the other fighters. He then challenges the Elder Gods for control of the realms
- Shujinko's Bio KardDeception: "I was a fool. I had allowed myself to be deceived into believing that I worked for a greater good. I was in fact an unknowing tool of a greater evil. My ego allowed Onaga, the Dragon King, to manipulate me into bringing together the lost Kamidogu. They are the very weapons by which the Elder Gods smashed the One Being, forming the many realms we call existence. But their misuse can also bring the realm crashing together again... reawakening the One Being... unmaking all reality. The realms are the shattered consciousness of the One Being, who has been working subconsciously through the Dragon King. Should Onaga succeed in conquering reality by fusing the Kamidogu, he will unwittingly begin a cascade of events that will merge all the realms together. The One Being will become whole once more, and all other beings will cease to exist. I must find and unite the warriors of all the realms if I am to save us. I will use the Dragon King's 'gift' against him."
- Armageddon: "Onaga was defeated. I had absorbed the fighting styles of scores of warriors and unleashed an assault on the Dragon King, purging his soul from this existence. His body collapsed - but after a moment of horrific cracking and twisting, it was the lifeless shape of Reptile that lay before me. For a time I was revered as a hero. The people of Outworld accepted me wholeheartedly as the defender of their realm. But their respect and gratitude were misplaced, for it was I who allowed Onaga to return. I played the role of champion to help inspire this war-ravaged land, but I did not feel worthy of their admiration. Some time later, word came to me that Princess Kitana requested my presence at Shao Kahn's fortress. Edenian forces had flushed out Reiko's elite guard, the last remnants of the old empire, and she wished to celebrate the occasion with the "Hero of Outworld" at her side. What gave me pause was that when Kitana and I parted ways after the fall of Onaga, she had expressed a desire to help Liu Kang's disembodied spirit. Therefore, I thought she had left for Earthrealm. Perhaps she had completed her quest and returned sooner than expected - or quite possibly this invitation had not come from Kitana at all! I am not as naive as I once was. I have had much experience with deception. It could be that a new threat is emerging in my adopted home. If I were to uncover a plot to destabilize the realm and fend off a potential coup, I truly would have earned the respect of the people of Outworld - and redeemed myself in my own eyes."