Wei, led by Cao Cao and later Cao Pi, is represented in-game as a faction driven by its leader's vision of unity via force. It is this method towards peace that puts Wei at odds with the other two kingdoms, most poignantly, Shu. However, do not automatically label them as "bad guys" as that would be grossly oversimplifying the situation; for they genuinely aim to end the age of chaos that's enveloped China in their time (although they did tend to embrace the bad guy persona back in the day). Its officers are most often defined by their ambitions, for better or worse. The color used to represent them is a deep shade of blue, and its identifying animal is a phoenix/fenghuang (hou'ou).
Here's the list of characters categorized in the Wei Kingdom in Dynasty Warriors, arranged in their chronological appearance in the series.
Note: If you are looking for Sima Yi, his character listing is now on the Jin Playable sub-page, as from 7 onwards he is considered part of Jin rather than Wei
Debuting in Dynasty Warriors
"The One-Eyed General"
- "My might shall illuminate the path to victory."
Died: 13 June, 220
Style Name: Yuanrang
Japanese spelling: Kakō Ton "Genjō"
Height: 6'2" (188cm)
Weapon: Liuyedao (2-5, 7-9), Wolf teeth mace (6)
When Cao Cao died in 220 AD, his successor Cao Pi appointed Xiahou Dun the Supreme General of the entire Wei army. However, Xiahou Dun did not long outlast his master, and would also die in the same year. He was posthumously honored with the title "Marquis Zhong".
- Adaptational Badass: Even in the original novel, though a loyal general, Xiahou Dun was more skilled in politics and logistics rather than warfare. He was a wise and fair statesman, but had a tendency to fall into enemy traps and ambushes, and often needed rescue or backup on the battlefield. He preferred the arts and education to fighting, but his Dynasty Warriors incarnation is both a badass general and a warrior.
- Animal Motifs: To Xiahou Dun's weaponry in several of the games both in the localized and Asian scripts, he's often closely associated with the qilin's fang.
- Badass Baritone: English-wise, when he was voiced by Kirk Thornton, was a that of a deep, gruff and commanding tone. His Japanese voice isn't a slouch in this department either.
- Badass Beard: Xiahou Dun always had a beard, but as time went on, by 8, his facial hair became a lot less "uniformed" and more along the lines of a somewhat scruffy aesthetic, which compliments his gruff demeanor.
- Badass Family: A blood-related cousin to Cao Caonote and Xiahou Yuan, and an uncle to Xiahou Ba and Xiahou Ji.
- Barbarian Longhair: He used to have long hair before his makeover in 6.
- Berserk Button: In 8:XL, Xiahou Dun's spoken lines when dealing with Lu Bu's forces in his mini-campaign are practically seething with hatred and anger, just as much as when he has to put up with Guan Yu later, if not even more so.Xiahou Dun: I don't plan on letting you get away from us. In fact, this will be the last battle you'll ever fight!
- Defeating the Undefeatable: In Wei's Story Mode for 7, Xiahou Dun is the one who brings down Lu Bu.
- The Dragon: "Technically", he's Cao Cao's right-hand man, after all and those in Wu and Shu consider him as such.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In 5, back when Wei was the "evil" faction, he states his displeasure of killing peasants even if it's for Cao Cao's sake.
- Eyepatch of Power: After he lost his left eye to an arrow, he put on an eyepatch and went back to the battlefield.
- Eye Scream: The aforementioned arrow to the eye. Then in the novel, he pulls the arrow out and eats the eye off of the end stating it to be a waste to toss away a body part bestowed by his ancestors.
- Green-Eyed Monster: He wasn't a fan of Cao Cao letting Guan Yu temporarily join Wei; Cao Cao made no secret how much he admired Guan Yu and the games portray Dun as being somewhat jealous of his presence among Wei's generals. Of course, with Guan Yu making no secret of it being a temporary arrangementnote , can you really blame Dun?
- Gory Discretion Shot: The eye isn't seen except in his ending from the original Dynasty Warriors, whereas several other games have him simply yank out the arrow and toss it aside, with the arrowhead end conspicuously always off-screen.
- Handicapped Badass: Depth perception notwithstanding, he's still one of Wei's best generals.
- Historical Badass Upgrade: Historically, Dun was more of a bureaucrat and administrator who even studied on the battlefield, and his military record was abysmal. Specifically, his two well-known battles, Puyang and Bowang, ended in humiliating defeat. And in the former case not only he suffered Humiliation Conga from Lu Bu's forces (falsely believed a fake surrender, got caught off-guard and taken hostage by said fake defectors, and had to be rescued by one of his loyal subordinates Han Hao), the battle also cost him his left eye, which was shot by a random stray arrow. In the games and novel alike, said arrow is usually shot by an enemy general (Cao Xing) rather than it being a random stray arrow.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Wei's equivalent to Zhao Yun, though he focuses more on offense.
- The Lancer: To Cao Cao. Regardless of whose story you're playing, Xiahou Dun is always at Cao Cao's side and striking a personality contrast with him.
- Hunk: Missing eye notwithstanding, Xiahou Dun's handsome and manly.
- Sinister Scimitar:
- He provides the trope's image. Since 3(and barring 6), he wielded a "liuyedao", which in most cases, is pretty big. Subsequent reappearances shrank it to a regular dao since 7.
- Since 7:XL, he gets another weapon in its own weapon category, a "podao", though, it was really just the liuyedao againnote .
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: If Xiahou Dun is in a cutscene, there's a good chance he'll have a pithy one-liner at his disposal.
- The Rival: Starting from 5, with Guan Yu, with a lot of envy mixed in, since he knows how highly Cao Cao regards him. Because of this, Xiahou Dun often features in Fan Castle in order to personally slay Guan Yu, when he never did that in history or novels alike.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Again with Guan Yu in Warriors Orochi 3. Xiahou Dun works alongside Guan Yu once they both join the coalition, but he's not happy about it, though by maximizing their bond meter he gets over this somewhat.
- True Companions: to Cao Cao, alongside Yuan, especially in Wei's hypothetical ending in 8 when he follows his lord in Riding into the Sunset.
- Undying Loyalty: To Cao Cao, again. The novel and the games from 7 on makes it clear that they're cousins (Cao Cao's father having been adopted into the Cao family), since Dun explicitly addresses Cao Cao as one.
- The Unfettered: In NEXT, when Guan Yu attempts to leave Cao Cao's service, according to their agreement, Xiahou Dun takes it upon himself to stop or kill Guan Yu, since he knows his master will keep his word.
- Warrior Prince: Xiahou family is closely related to Cao royal family and fights for it on the field of battle.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Calls Cao Cao out for his lack of sympathy over the deaths of Dian Wei and Xiahou Yuan, though Cao Cao apologizes to them both on his deathbed.
- Worthy Opponent:
- A bizarre deconstruction in his long-time rivalry with Guan Yu. They respect each others' skills, but they can't stand one another. When he finally manages to kill the latter in 7, he both praises his skill and mutters how much he always hated him in the same breath.
- The rivalry is more one-sided in installments after 7 and during Warriors Orochi 3, where Guan Yu is more courteous to Xiahou Dun but Xiahou Dun makes no secret as to how much he despises the God of War.
- It is reconstructed in Warriors Orochi 3, where their learning to understand each other by maximizing the bond meter is important to their working together in the coalition and they still consider each other this.
"The Coming Evil"
- "There are none who can stop me in battle!"
Japanese spelling: Ten I
Height: 6'5" (195cm)
Weapon: Yue (2-5, 7-), ball and chain (6)
- Anti-Villain: When Wei was still a villainous faction Dian Wei was devoted to protecting Cao Cao and helping his dreams come true despite his ferocious nature.
- Bodyguarding a Badass: He's Cao Cao bodyguard who is also a badass himself. But the biggest moment where Dian Wei would do anything to protect his liege lord is in Wan Castle where he sacrifices his life to help Cao Cao escape.
- Bald of Awesome: It used to be Bald of Evil, since his moniker is "The Coming Evil". However, the Evil part turned back to just Awesome as Wei stopped being the "evil" faction.
- Bash Brothers: He's often seen with Xu Zhu, Cao Cao's other bodyguard.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Japanese-wise, Dian Wei sounds more boisterous, Hot-Blooded and joyful while being a badass bodyguard (in contrast to the more stoic, same-voiced Xiahou Dun). Toned down in the localization, where Billingslea tends to use a more deeper, scarier vocal emphasis on his "Coming Evil" persona, but retains the same personality.
- Died Standing Up: He never fell in his defense of Cao Cao's retreat from Wan Castle; not even after he died.
- Fire-Forged Friends: In Warriors Orochi 3, Dian Wei dislikes Jia Xu due to his prior attempt on Cao Cao's life. As their bond meter strengthens through combat they bury the hatchet.
- Guttural Growler: His English VA gives him this kind of voice.
- Heroic Sacrifice: His Last Stand at Wan Castle, Historically speaking, allows Cao Cao to escape.
- Hidden Depths: His Story Mode in 6 establishes him as being a Gentle Giant underneath it all. 7 and 8 emphasize this further, as Dian Wei is shown to be fiercely protective of peasants and has a strong sense of justice.
- Humble Hero: Played with. He's immensely confident in his power on the battlefield, but he turns into a simple and humble man in Cao Cao's presence.
- The Juggernaut: "The Coming Evil" refers to his unstoppable advance.
- Maximum HP Reduction: Suffers this in 8 during the Wan Castle incident, assuming that he survives at all.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: His completely canonical epithet is "The Coming Evil".
- Nerves of Steel: In Wei's version of Hulao Gate in 8, he stand bravely against Lu Bu and tells Cao Cao's group to go after Dong Zhuo while he's keeping Lu Bu busy.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The clearly muscled Manly Man to Xu Zhu's Sensitive Guy.
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: In the cutscene precedes Wan Castle in '8'', one of Zhang Xiu's maids playfully flirts with him. Dian Wei ignores her and shoos her away with his hand gesture.
- Simpleton Voice: It's more prevalent in the Japanese version but the English version likewise gives him sound like Dumb Muscle.
- Super Strength: Even by Dynasty Warriors standards, this guy is a beast. In 6, his profile even states that his strength is "superhuman". In 8, he pushes back Lu Bu of all people.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: When Dian Wei survives Wan Castle he's shown to not like or trust Jia Xu due to his attempt on Cao Cao's life. In some games they mend fences.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Axe, but the idea is the same. Unlike Jia Chong's throwing axes, Dian Wei can throw his and it will return to him in certain attacks.
- Truth in Television: True to his fictional counterpart, Dian Wei was historically described as a large, strong man who acted as Cao Cao's fiercely loyal bodyguard.
- Tsundere: Occasionally shows signs of this.Lu Xun: Oh, very well done! Master Dian Wei of Wei... Your strength and bravery are renowned. Your skill in battle, your mind and brilliance, you're the reason we defeated Guan Yu.
Dian Wei: That'll be enough of that. Some day I'll be facing you on the battlefield as well. Making friends with you will make it harder.
Lu Xun: Now I see. Beneath your warrior's manner, you're actually a very simple gentleman.
Dian Wei: What?! What do you know? Go on, get out!
- Undying Loyalty: He serves Cao Cao even unto pain and death. In 6, he insists on following Cao Cao on his journey, because he sees it as his purpose in life to protect his lord.
- Unstoppable Rage:
- Working-Class Hero: He's implied to have the origins of a peasant in some games. More pronounced in Warriors Orochi 3 when Dian Wei becomes the protector for peasant villages in Changban.
- You Shall Not Pass!: In 4, 4:XL, and 5, Battle of Wan Castle has him guarding Cao Cao's escape while he's standing in one place, obliterating as many as Zhang Xiu's soldiers as he can. It is averted in following games where he protects Cao Cao while following his escape.
"The Uncomplicated Warrior"
Style Name: Zhongkang
Japanese spelling: Kyo Cho "Chūkō"
Height: 6'0 1/2" (184cm)
He is a gentle-hearted giant who is a uniquely jolly man in Wei, Xu Zhu is a gluttonous fellow and often cites being hungry in some way during conversations. Though he seems to possess a childish intellect, his respect for his lord's generosity and wit makes him a loyal subject.
- Acrofatic: He's quite agile and capable of doing some impressive maneuvers despite his body type.
- Anti-Villain: When Wei was still a villainous faction, Xu Zhu was a simple and childlike man who was loyal to his lord even unto death.
- Bodyguarding a Badass: He's also Cao Cao's bodyguard. He would do anything to help his lord after Cao Cao emphatizes his plight as a farmer.
- Bare Your Midriff: In 7, for some inconceivable reason, his big belly shows.
- Bash Brothers: After their initial encounter, he is great comrades-in-arms with Dian Wei.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He's a gentle person and certainly doesn't look terribly intimidating, but woe be to anyone threatening Cao Cao.
- The Big Guy: He's fat, kinda dim and like the more traditional big guy Dian Wei, Xu Zhu can easily lay your ass out if you're his enemy.
- Big Eater: Lampshaded by Cao Pi in the first Warriors Orochi after recruiting him:Cao Pi: We don't need ropes for him; just find him something to eat and he'll be happy.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Carrying on from history, where he was noted to be a kind, humble, and quiet man who transformed into a terrifying figure on the battlefield.
- Dumbass Has a Point: In 8, it's Xu Zhu of all people who note the direction of the wind before the Battle of Chibi and how it makes him feel uneasy. In the hypothetical route, Guo Jia confirms his suspicions.
- Dumb Muscle: Quite simple-minded and generally not intelligent, yet can easily squash you flat with his massive club.
- Friend to All Children: He loves playing children's games when off-duty.
- Gentle Giant: Unless you bother Cao Cao, he's Big Fun.
- Manchild: "Uncomplicated" is right; the politics of the Three Kingdoms certainly goes over his head.
- Red Baron: His historical nickname, "Tiger Fool".
- Reluctant Warrior: He's not particularly fond of fighting, but does so for the people.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The somewhat more openly compassionate Sensitive Guy to Dian Wei's Manly Man.
- Simpleton Voice: He has the high-pitched inflection that shows his "uncomplicated" nature.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Despite also using the correct pinyin, his given name is misspelled as "Zhu" instead of "Chu"; thus, Xu Chu was his actual name historically.
- Stout Strength: Xu Zhu is both very large and very powerful, as well as quicker than he looks.
- Truth in Television: Much like his fictional persona, Xu Zhu was historically a very large and strong man who was also simple-minded and honest.
- Undying Loyalty: Between him and Dian Wei up there, you really shouldn't mess with Cao Cao; they are a wall of muscle that cannot be swayed by anything other than relentless force.
- Working-Class Hero: An ex-farmer who joined the army to help ensure stability and prevent food shortages.
- Working Class People Are Morons: He is the archetype of the hardworking and loyal peasant who needs his more intelligent liege lord to tell him what to do.
- You Shall Not Pass!: In Battle of Tong Gate, especially for 5, where he's fighting against Ma Chao while protecting Cao Cao who is trying to convince Han Sui to defect at the time.
"The Hero of Chaos"
- "A new world of my design shall emerge from the chaos!"
Died: March 15, 220
Style Name: Mengde
Japanese spelling: Sō Sō "Mōtoku"
Height: 5'8 1/2" (174cm)
Cao Cao is the leader of the Wei Kingdom, known for his cunning and ability to bring together legendary generals to fight for his cause. He is called the "Hero of Chaos" and the man who can perhaps unite China in these turbulent times.
Relentless in his desire to end the land's chaos, Cao Cao will use any means to achieve his plans, even if it makes him an enemy to the other kingdoms. Fueled by his ambition to rule the land, he believes his rule to be predestined and is undeterred when Shu or Wu call him a traitor to the Han Empire.
- Action Dad: In addition to being a warlord he is also the father of many children. Among them are Cao Pi, Cao Ang, Cao Zhang, Cao Zhi, and many others.
- A Father to His Men: Despite his stern temperament Cao Cao treasures his vassals as his own family, a trait reportedly inherited from his historical counterpart. In the crossover, Nuwa, worrying that Cao Cao will turn into a monster, sees him interacting with his family and subordinates and concludes that, though it isn't quite the brotherly love of Shu, it's close enough.
- Alliterative Name: Cao Cao. You really can't get more alliterative than having the same name twice... as long as you do not put in his style-name (Mengde) somewhere.
- Ambition Is Evil: In 2 to 5, his ambition to rule the land was considered evil in regards to Shu (for instance) who were more focused on "noble" goals. From the crossover on he tends to be portrayed in a more positive light.
- Anti-Villain: From 6 on, particularly in the Shu and Wu campaigns, characters will remark that basically he is a good guy with bad methods. Guan Yu, for instance, says that he is a fair man who seeks to bring peace, "worthy to be called a hero" but that he does not let his heart be swayed by emotion and so is not sympathetic to the common people. In his own, he frequently drops the villainy altogether.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: There are various good reasons why this guy can become a leader and one of them is his skill with a sword.
- Badass Baritone: It's the kind that gives off a sense of authority.
- Badass Beard: A mustache and beard combo that befits Cao Cao's cunning and ruthless nature.
- Badass Family: The leader of the Cao family, with his son Cao Pi, daughter-in-law Zhenji, cousin Cao Ren and nephew Cao Xiu; since his father was originally a member of the Xiahou, his cousins Xiahou Dun, Xiahou Yuan, nephew Xiahou Ba and niece Xiahou Ji could fit as well.
- Beard of Evil: Back when Wei was the "evil" faction.
- Cool Horse: Two. One is Shadow Runner, his normal mount, the other is Storm Runner, which he used during a hunting incident with Emperor Xian.
- Cool Sword: So cool, he is one of the characters whose Weapon of Choice remains the same throughout the series.
- Defeat Means Friendship: His usual response upon capturing enemy officers, even those who have personally wronged him, like Jia Xu whose trap killed Dian Wei, is to offer them a job. In particular, the Wei story in 8 emphasizes this, with Xiahou Dun getting more and more frustrated with it, to the point of almost demanding an explanation when his cousin looks like he's giving a job offer to Lu Bu. However, he also gives each recruit a Secret Test of Character at the same time, and gives power only to those who pass. In particular, when Lu Bu fails, he is slain, while Xu Shu is only offered a better job if he reveals his ambition to surpass Zhuge Liang and quell the chaos.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?:
Nu Wa: Cao Cao, I have enjoyed watching you fight.
- Downplayed. But in Warriors Orochi 2, he never hesitates to tell off and call out the mystic Nu Wa whenever he finds out that she's messing around with him.
Cao Cao: I already told you, I'm the ruler of Wei. Do not waste your time testing my abilities.
- In Warriors Orochi 4, he rejects Ares' offer to join him because he follows his own path and he's the Hero of Chaos.
- Dirty Old Man:
- This is usually averted in the games where Cao Cao's characterization tends to revolve entirely around taking over China, as well as averted for his historical self. However, there are occasions where it comes up.
- It was said he lusted after both of the Qiao sisters and wanted to add them to his harem. A 4: Xtreme Legends stage (Tong Que Tai) has the two Qiaos escaping from his horny clutches. Historically, this is just unconfirmed rumor because Cao Cao wrote some poems about praises that was possibly aimed for Qiao sisters. In the Romance novel, Zhuge Liang exploits this to provoke Zhou Yu so he will agree to ally with Liu Bei.
- It pops up again in 8, though only referred in camp conversations. Not only is he ogling Xiaoqiao, he's doing it towards Zhenji, after she's married his own son.
- Interesting enough, he doesn't appear to lust after Cai Wenji, even after he freed her from her kidnapper. Granted, Cai Wenji's father Cai Yong is a very good friend of Cao Cao's, so there might be an ulterior motive there, but their friendship is purely platonic.
- He's back to lusting after the Qiao sisters in an 8: Xtreme Legends DLC stage.
- Doppelgänger Attack: His weapon can produce short-lived clones to attack at a distance in 8. His True Rage Attack and Storm Rush lets his clones do the rest of the chopping and carving.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: Say what you will about his methods, but no one can say that Cao Cao didn't know real talent when he saw it. Incredibly Fat? Ludicrously Flamboyant? Not the brightest bulb in the shed? doesn't matter - if you do good by him, he personally sees that you're rewarded equally. In 8, the first half of his story mode involves him finding powerful allies in unlikely places, and offering them all places in his army even if they'd previously fought against him. The one exception is Lu Bu, and even then, he gives him a chance to surprise him alongside his friend and comrade.
- Also borders as a Reasonable Authority Figure when you consider that in real life, records stated that Cao Cao would never let anyone get away with abusing their power and/or slacking off on their job; as long as you were honest and dedicated, you were good in Cao Cao's book. That, and there were clear times Cao Cao wasn't afraid to admit he was wrong about something and openly accepted constructive criticism.
- Evil Chancellor: While he is the real power in Wei, he is actually "only" a high-ranking minister, and in earlier games he uses this as an excuse for his campaigns of conquest and subjugation. In 7, he's accused of this by Emperor Xian himself. The Evil gets kinda deemphasized as Wei stops being an "evil" faction, per se.
- Expy: Of Nobunaga Oda in 7, since he covers his sword in a dark aura similar to Nobunaga. In the "what-if" ending of the Wu Story Mode for 8, he is Driven to Suicide in a similar manner to what happened to Nobunaga in history.
- Final Boss:
- Of the hypothetical routes of both Shu and Wu in 8. Both end with both factions allying together to invade Wei's capital city of Xuchang.
- In 8:XL, he is also this for Lu Bu's historical route, which ends with the Battle of Xiapi.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Just like with Liu Bei, his campaign in 8 starts out with just him, Xiahou Dun and Xiahou Yuan, and from there he not only goes on to found the most powerful of the three kingdoms (to the point that Shu and Wu need to form an alliance to stand a chance against him) but the only one officially backed by the Han emperor.
- The Good Chancellor: 8 finally makes him this, even before embarking on the hypothetical route. The Emperor, worried that he will become another Dong Zhuo, speaks to Cao Cao and finds him to be, if ambitious and unscrupulous, a man of personal integrity with high-minded goals for peace and prosperity, and gives him his blessing to run Wei.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: Played With. Cao Cao was initially treated as a villainous character, but later games began looking to his historical record, which portrayed him as a capable and wise ruler. While he's slowly gotten a better characterization as the series has gone along (especially after 6), outside of the Wei campaign, he's still mostly portrayed as ruthless and cruel. Historically, he was an excellent leader both as an administrator and a commander, and he treated his men as family (though this particular aspect of his personality is very much part of his character in the games).
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Cao Cao's tendency to recruit officers based solely on their talent and ambition comes back to bite him badly in several cases where Sima Yi stages a rebellion and takes control of Wei.
- Honor Before Reason: When he's defeated at Xuchang in Wu's hypothetical path, he chooses to die instead of ruling together with Liu Bei and Sun Quan, but not before giving a final boast.Sun Quan: Cao Cao, will you join us, and form an alliance of peace? Liu Bei, yourself, and me. I believe a land supported by the three of us could still work.
Cao Cao: Impossible. My path is one of conquest. My ideal is absolute power and control. If we join hands, the land will be unstable. There is no true peace there.
Sun Quan: You will not change your mind? You will not lend your strength to my cause?
Cao Cao: I am a man. I will live and die walking my own path. Go, Tiger of Jiangdong. You are the victor in this war.
- Horned Hairdo: Always has two tufts of hair that stuck out from both sides of his head. In 6 a peasant mistakes him for the devil.
- Humiliation Conga: Suffers a few of these, particularly during his escape from Chibi which historically went without any hitches. Both the game and the novel portrayal of him tend to make it a running gag in that heaven seems to literally be on his side being the most likely explanation for his quick recoveries.
- It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Prior to 6 his name was pronounced "Cow Cow" instead of the accurate "Tsao Tsao". Unsurprisingly, this is a source of jokes among fans.
- Just the First Citizen: Though technically only a high-ranking minister, he is the real power behind Wei, and everyone knows it.
- Like a Son to Me: He treats his nephew, Cao Xiu, like his own son and lets him reside with his own son, Cao Pi.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: In Chen Gong's "What If" DLC scenario for 9, he spares him after executing Lu Bu and recommends him to work under Liu Bei. Unfortunately for him, this gives Chen Gong the momentum to defeat him by manipulating Liu Bei, Ma Chao and Sun Ce to work with his strategies, defeating him at Luoyang and taking the Emperor under his control.
- The tales of Lu Bu and Diaochan in 6 also count, seeing as they occurred because Cao Cao didn't fight them at Xiapi. He is killed off at the end of their stories.
- Noble Demon: In earlier games, even the heinous acts he commits are done with the intention of bringing order and safety to a chaotic world.
- Not So Different: When Xiahou Yuan notes the unlikeliness of Liu Bei being the leader of the last Anti-Cao Cao forces in Wei's hypothetical route in 8, Xiahou Dun shoots back that their rush to power started with them running away from Dong Zhuo. Cao Cao accepts this, and finally acknowledges Liu Bei as a Worthy Opponent.
- Outliving One's Offspring: His eldest son, Cao Ang, is killed in Wan Castle.
- Parental Neglect: During the events of Wan Castle Cao Cao mourns the death of Dian Wei while paying virtually no need to the death of his eldest son, Cao Ang. This doubles as Truth in Television since historically Cao Cao flat out said that he was weeping for Dian Wei but not Cao Ang. Though when it came to his time on the death bed, he admitted the deaths of both his sons and Dian Wei were some of the biggest mistakes in his life.
- Regent for Life: He is chancellor and regent of Han until his death. His last title when he was still alive is "King of Wei".
- The Rival: Liu Bei and the Sun family are his main obstacles to a unified China under his rule.
- Riding into the Sunset: In Wei's hypothetical ending in 8 along with Xiahou Dun and Yuan. Also in Dian Wei's story mode in 6, he rides away from Wei after the fighting is over.
- Self-Made Man: He once was Dong Zhuo's subordinate before betraying him by failed assassination on the tyrant. After he managed to escape Dong Zhuo's clutches, he raised his own army in his hometown, starting with his family from Cao and Xiahou, and later Xiahou Dun also brings Li Dian, Yue Jin, and Dian Wei to serve him. He even had the handicap of being adopted by a eunuch family, and being part of a eunuch's family was a MAJOR disadvantage politically after the eunuch rebellion that led to Dong Zhuo seizing power. Becoming China's most powerful man having that political disadvantage is an incredible feat.
- So Proud of You: Despite their misgivings, he really considers Cao Pi as a worthy heir and hopes that he continues his legacy to unite the land. This is more pronounced in Warriors Orochi 1 where he and Dian Wei show up as reinforcements at the Battle of Yamazaki after being missing for the whole story and is very proud that his son is able to keep Wei together and resist Orochi that he lets him take command of their forces in the final battle.
- Tempting Fate: During his escape from the Battle of Chi Bi in most of games, he criticizes Shu's pursuit of him, mentioning he would've placed an ambush at particular points on the map. Guess what happens?
- The Unfettered: Played with. While Cao Cao is famed for his ruthless ambition, he also has many lines he refuses to cross. Still, it is his rival's deep idealism that drives an initial wedge between he and Liu Bei.
- Warrior Poet: Usually only mentioned through his conversation with Cai Wenji, that his historical background as poet is also brought to the game's characterization, which was passed onto his son Cao Zhi.
- Why Are You Not My Son?: At the end of Chapter 7 in Wei storyline in 9, Cao Cao praises Sun Quan for his leadership and being a worthy successor to his late father and brother and wishes that he wants a son just like him. Except that he said this in front of Cao Pi, his own son and heir, which prompts Cao Xiu to call him on this. After Cao Cao left, Cao Pi is deeply hurt with his father's statement. Later on, Cao Cao asks Sima Yi on his opinion about Cao Pi which causes him to reevaluate that he is a worthy successor.
- Worthy Opponent: Despite his disdain for the practicality of Liu Bei's high-minded idealism, Cao Cao respects his personal charisma and moral fiber. Whenever he kills Liu Bei, particularly in 8's hypothetical ending, he pays homage and respect to his fallen rival.
Debuting in Dynasty Warriors 2
"The Happy General"
- "I've been waiting for a chance to show what I can do!"
Style Name: Miaocai
Japanese spelling: Kakō En "Myōsai"
Height: 6'0" (183cm)
Weapon: Dadao (2-3), Mace and bow (4-5), Dao (6), Bow (Strikeforce-7), Bow and rod (8, 9 DLC), Twin rods (9)
Not one for eloquence, Xiahou Yuan is a gruff yet practical man of war. Though dedicated to his family's vision, he is more social and loose than his older cousins, willing to crack affable jokes during battle. Always on the go, Xiahou Yuan thinks every battle as a step in Cao Cao's conquests and wants them to be done and over with as soon as possible. He has little tolerance for interruptions and is known to have a short fuse when the enemy gains the advantage.
- Action Dad: He is father of Xiahou Ba.
- Benevolent Boss: He is shown to be good friends with Guo Huai in Hanzong Campaign.
- Big Fun: Shorter and rounder than most of the cast, and also a very jovial good-natured guy that can be quite reasonable.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: His main weapon is a club, but he can also use arrow-based attacks in both 4 and 5, and returns in 8. However, the very latter provides him a moveset that makes him use a very heavy artillery arrow roughly the size of his own mace, while also having some of its charge attacks fire wind-tunnels that trail his said arrow on the second inputs.
- Bumbling Dad:
Xiahou Yuan: Just when I was wondering who this handsome guy is, turns out it's my son!
- Plays this in 7 and Warriors Orochi 3 with Xiahou Ba, who he treats more like a friend than his child.
- Apparently his idea of parenting involves headlocks...lots of them.
- Characterization Marches On: Before 4, Yuan usually bares a gruffly, hot-blooded demeanor similar to Dun. 4 began the fashion of painting him as a more affable, wise-cracking man, and the edgier sides of his personality gradually tones down by later installments until Xiahou Ba becomes playable.
- Cool Uncle: He's very doting to his niece, Xiahou Ji, who also sees him as her father figure. In turn when Xiahou Yuan was killed at Hanzhong, Xiahou Ji requests her husband, Zhang Fei, to arrange a private funeral for him which Zhang Fei complied.
- Defiant to the End:
- In Shu's extra stage for 8:XL, he fires one last arrow at Liu Bei before drawing his last breath, forcing Fa Zheng to Take The Arrow.
- This also happens again in 9 where he battles Huang Zhong and after being outnumbered by Shu forces, he tells the old man that he will see him on "the other side" before he gets hit squarely on the face by Huang Zhong's arrow.
- Fat and Skinny: Has this dynamic with Zhang He throughout campaigns around Hanzhong.
- Heaven Above: A number of his iron clubs in the fourth, fifth and eighth installments nod to the nine different heavens of Chinese mythology in their Asian port names.
- Historical Downgrade: At least compared to his more famous cousin Dun, Yuan is rather overshadowed. Dun already became some sort of icon as "one-eyed warrior" while Yuan was kinda The Generic Guy in the earlier games until 5 fleshed out more of his personality. Historically, Yuan was way more active in military than Dun, who was more like an administrator and not a very good military general. Yuan is also famous enough that his branch of family also became famous (which is also a major reason for Zhang Fei taking Xiahouji, Yuan's close niece, to be his wife) and at least four of his childrennote were active during Northern Campaign under Cao Zhen and Sima Yi's leadership, and eventually one of them went on to serve Jin Dynasty despite another branch of Xiahou family (Xiahou Xuan and Xiahou Huinote ) was known to be hostile towards Sima family. Some of Yuan's other grandsons/descendants also served Jin Dynasty. As for Dun, not much is known about his children/descendants, but it's at least known that one of his sons, Xiahou Mao, was incompetent general on the top of being womanizer.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: As of 4 he wields a bow. He eventually uses a lot of different arrow-based attacks later on, ranging from fire-raining arrows to a large-energy arrow shot as of 7. Also uses his rod in the place of his arrow for his second EX Attack in 8: XL.
- In Spite of a Nail: In Shu's story mode, despite him being killed at Hanzhong, Xiahou Yuan still appears against them in the Hypothetical route.
- Japanese Pronouns/Verbal Tic: A very unique case in that Xiahou Yuan in the Japanese dub uses "oresama" (a more pompous way to say "ore") as the pronoun to refer to himself with "da ze" being his usual ending tic; Xiahou Yuan is often not befitting the usual archetype that use such Japanese speech patterns a la his jolly nature.
- Like a Daughter to Me: He considers his niece, Xiahou Ji, as his own daughter. He even respects her decision to stay with Zhang Fei after seeing how happy she is with him.
- Odd Friendship: With Zhang He, especially in 5.
- The Pollyanna: There's a good number of his artworks/renders that makes him show off his bright smile.
- The Rival: Huang Zhong in most cases (he was even the one who historically killed Xiahou Yuan). The two of them however, are instead close friends in the Warriors Orochi series.
- True Companions: To Cao Cao, alongside Dun, especially in Wei's hypothetical ending in 8, where he follows his lord Riding into the Sunset.
- Stout Strength: Like Cao Ren, he's rounder (but not too shorter) than most characters and this is reflected in his strength.
- So Proud of You: He's very proud that Xiahou Ji is no longer a sheltered girl but a strong-willed woman despite that they're on opposing sides.
- Warrior Prince: The Xiahou family is closely related to Cao royal family which he fights for in this age of war.
"The Unmatched Blade"
- "Victory on the battlefield is worth any cost!"
Style Name: Wenyuan
Japanese spelling: Chō Ryō "Bun'en"
Height: 6'1" (185cm)
Weapon: Gouliandao (2-5), dual yue (6-9)
However, during the battle of Xia Pi, Lu Bu's forces were defeated by a combined Wei and Shu army. Lu Bu was defeated and captured by Cao Cao, and Zhang Liao would submit and faithfully serve Wei until his death. Most famously, he led a comparatively minuscule army at Hefei, and crushed a gigantic Wu force attacking it, stopping Wu's northern invasion cold and leaving the whole kingdom terrified of him.
- Action Dad: His son Zhang Hu is still generic, but this trope is still played. In Battle of Hefei for 7, he is accompanied by his son, to the very least.
- In earlier installments, Zhang Liao was a steadfast man of honor who happened to work for Wei. Later installments have made him even more sympathetic, but his faction has stopped being villainous by that point.
- He's also the more noble member of Lu Bu's faction in 8:XL's Lu Bu campaign.
- Badass Mustache: He has the facial hair of a musketeer to go with the hat.
- Badass Crew: Leader of the Five Wei Generals, and probably the most dangerous in personal combat.
- Big Damn Heroes: If the player's character is on his side then hearing the panicked screams of "It's Zhang Liao! Zhang Liao has come!" from the enemy force at Hei Fei is morale raising.
- Bodyguard Betrayal: In Dong Bai's storyline for 9, he leaves her to join Lu Bu instead after he clashed with him. Dong Bai is very pissed with this that her last campaign is all about defeating him and Cao Cao.
- Composite Character: Because Pang De was removed in 6, Zhang Liao absorbed parts of his attributes (appearance, his "path of the warrior" speech and his weapons). Reversed in later installments.
- Death Seeker: Once captured at Xia Pi, he wished to die a warrior's death, but Cao Cao, impressed by his bravery, spared and recruited him.
- Crutch Character / Guest-Star Party Member: Serves as this to Dong Bai in her story in 9. He acts as a bodyguard for her in the opening of her story, but leaves to join Lu Bu as soon the story starts proper.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: Zhang Liao singlehandedly defeats Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Zhao Yun and Liu Bei in Wei's Story Mode for 7.
- The Determinator: When fighting against him in He Fei, he returns no less than four times after being defeated.
- The Dragon: Before joining Wei upon his master's death, Zhang Liao served as Lu Bu's second in command and the other great warrior in his entourage.
- The Dreaded:
- Mothers in Wu used him as a bogeyman to frighten their children after his victories at Hefei. It leads to some rather useful Gameplay and Story Integration, as his very presence in certain missions terrifies enemy troops and reduces their fighting ability. As shown in Warriors Orochi 3, however, Zhang Liao himself isn't comfortable with this status.
- Fittingly, his stratagem in Dynasty Warriors NEXT is "Fearsome Tale", which reduces the defense of all enemy troops.
- He was already feared before being Cao Cao's general, when he was Lu Bu's subordinate. Facing Lu Bu the battlefield is already pants-crappingly horrifying. Facing him AND Zhang Liao? Just give up.
- Face Death with Dignity: Does this after he is defeated in Xiapi. Cao Cao, however, is impressed by this and not only spares him but recruits Zhang Liao.
- Friendly Enemy: In one of the earlier Dynasty Warriors installments, the "Escape of Guan Yu" stage opens with a cutscene with the departing Guan bidding farewell to Zhang Liao due to a Worthy Opponent cordiality.
- Honor Before Reason: A rare example where it turns out to be the correct thing to do is his and Lu Bu's capture at Xiapi. Zhang Liao chooses to Face Death with Dignity, but Cao Cao is not only impressed enough to spare Zhang Liao's life over Lu Bu's (although that may be how Lu Bu cannot be trusted), he also recruits Zhang Liao.
- The Lancer: He could be considered this for Lu Bu; both are mighty and feared warriors but while Lu Bu is comparable to a savage beast, Zhang Liao is gentlemanly. He is also the closest thing Lu Bu has to a friend in the series.
- Nice Hat: So glorious it has remained consistent since his introduction.
- One-Man Army: Powerful enough to earn Lu Bu's respect? Defeated a vastly larger army at Hefei? Even in a series where most playable characters are this trope, he stands out.
- Palette Swap: Wears a mostly black outfit (with shades of red) while still serving Dong Zhuo and Lu Bu in 8, and while playable in Lu Bu's mini-campaign in 8XL.
- Power Trio: With Li Dian and Yue Jin at Hefei, where Li Dian outgrows his personal feud with Zhang Liao and Yue Jin learns to broaden his talents. Even when Li Dian and Yue Jin were non-playable characters, they had this moment!
- Recurring Boss: In Wu's hypothetical version of the Battle of Hefei in 8, he appears several times. Even with Wu's most brilliant strategists working overtime to counter his every move, Zhang Liao keeps getting up four or five times throughout the battle, each time gaining increased damage and combat resistance.
- Secret Test of Character: In NEXT, after Xia Pi Cao Cao asks Chen Gong, Lu Bu, and Zhang Liao to serve him as generals and strategists. Chen Gong refuses angrily and dies Defiant to the End. Lu Bu agrees, but Cao Cao knows he cannot be trusted and executes him. Zhang Liao remains silent, ready to die with dignity, and Cao Cao, impressed, gives him a job. Meanwhile, in 8, during the Wei campaign, he asks them what strength means to them. Lu Bu defines strength in brute physical terms, as the power to take what he can whenever he wants, while Zhang Liao defines it as the power to make one's beliefs into reality. The circumstances change, but the result is the same.
- Token Good Teammate: During his servitude with Dong Zhuo and Lu Bu, he tends to express disgust towards their more brutal methods. The mooks in Lu Bu's mini-campaign lampshade it, but conclude that his high morals are also the reason he stays with them, as the duty of a subordinate to a superior.
- The Worf Barrage: Played with in Wei's Story Mode in 7 at the Battle of Chang Ban, where he uses an attack that would instantly kill a normal opponent against Zhao Yun, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei.
Debuting in Dynasty Warriors 3
"The Disciple of War"
- "There is no truer path than that of the warrior."
Style Name: Gongming
Japanese spelling: Jo Kō "Kōmei"
Height: 6'1" (185cm)
Weapon: Great Yue (3-5, Next-9), Ji (6-7)
Considered to be a mighty warrior with a strong sense of justice, Xu Huang is a man who adamantly stays true to his life as a warrior. He does not care for politics or bribery, believing that only one's strength can carve the new future. A man who lives by his blade, he will even continue his lifestyle during times of peace.
- Anti-Villain: He serves Cao Cao to achieve martial perfection rather than to fulfill personal greed or ambition.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Has this characterization in 5 due to many of his lines, tune, and speech pattern emphasize his confidence in his fighting abilities. In Warriors Orochi 2, he even gets along with Musashi who is also depicted as Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy in Samurai Warriors. This characterization is no longer present as of 7 where he's depicted as more serious-minded warrior.
- Badass Crew: Among the Five Wei Generals.
- Blood Knight: A positive example - while he's seeking fights here and there, Xu Huang regardless prefers fair fights, to aid him in perfecting his fighting style.
- An Axe to Grind: A "great axe" in all appearances until 6, and again from NEXT onward. It appears that his real life and novel persona also used this weapon.
- Friendly Rivalry: To Guan Yu, who has tailored dialogue to the effect of "He is a Worthy Opponent and I must surpass him!" in most installments.
- Graceful Loser: In 6, for instance, he thanks the player's character as he dies because it is a warrior's death by a stronger warrior.
- HeelFace Turn: Historically, he was actually a rebel in the past before being recruited in an actual army. Man Chong was the one who convinced him to defect.
- Honor Before Reason: Inverted in Shu's historical route for 8. When Xu Huang participates in the flood attack at Fan Castle for the sake of his kingdom, he chooses to forsake his honor by fighting with underhanded tactics to slay Guan Yu. This is lampshaded by the God of War himself.
- Nice Hat: He always wears his turban in all games.
- Out-of-Character Moment: He is one of the officers who sides with Sima Yi's rebellion against Cao family in 6 and he only does it to test himself; pretty odd for an honorable guy like him.
- Warrior Monk: The focus is primarily on the "warrior" rather than the "monk," but Xu Huang seeks to achieve enlightenment through the perfection of his deadly art: the so-called "Pinnacle of Might."
- Worthy Opponent: One of many Wei officers who consider Guan Yu to be this.
"The Champion of Magnificence"
- "I shall shower this battlefield in elegance and grace!"
Style Name: Junyi
Japanese spelling: Chō Kō "Shungai"
Height: 6'4 1/2" (194cm)
Weapon: Claws (3-5, 6:S, Strikeforce-8, 9 DLC), Qiang (6), Throwing daggers (9)
He was in many battles, most noticeably his role in the battle of Jieting when he trapped Shu's young strategist Ma Su on a mountain road and nearly killed him.
- Agent Peacock: He tries to be beautiful in all his fights, both in appearance and tactics.
- Ambiguously Bi: Shows a deep appreciation for officers of either gender whom he considers elegant/beautiful but doesn't really display any explicit romantic interest in these officers.
- Animal Motifs: Runs with the butterfly motif since 4, appearing in some of his attacks as representation of his obsession with beauty. 4 even gave him an alternate costume with butterfly wings, while 5 added energy butterflies to some of his attacks. Finally, 7 goes as far as giving him a butterfly attack that looks like (and is named after) the "Moonlight Butterfly". This is most likely due to the fact his name is pronounced "Chō Kō" in Japanese, which is the Japanese word for butterfly ("Kō Chō") in reverse.
- Badass Crew: One of the Five Wei Generals.
- Bare Your Midriff: His main outfit in 5 was the only one that showed only his midriff. 6 only showed the leftside, while 3 and 7 showed his midriff and then some. Every other outfit averted this by covering the entirety of his torso.
- Bishōnen: The first Wei officer to be young and attractive and it gets taken rather far. Koei seems to have done this with him as a character based on the fact that he was a recognized poet.
- Character Exaggeration:
- No small part in terms of improved voice acting, but the peak of his flamboyancy reached in 6, where he wears high heels. This is later toned down in later instalments.
- Koei definitely did this with his character as a whole, which was most likely most based on his interest and encouragement in learning the pre-Qin Five Classics which Koei might've equated to high culture.
- Chewing the Scenery: Just watch one cutscene and hear him declare "Let us have a GLORIOUS Fight!" He even manages to be silly when he's sincerely consoling Xiahou Ba over the death of his father.
- Combat Aestheticist: The guy really likes beauty. He finds it on a lot of things, especially on the battlefield, where he wants everything - from the formation of his troops (who are implied to be as camp as he is) to he and his troops' fighting style - to be beautiful.
- Dance Battler: Many of his combo strings and Musou attacks resemble ballet.
- Dance Party Ending: In character-based games such as 5 and 9, his story would always end with him leading his troops for a dance party.
- The Dandy: He always dresses to impress, and takes good care of his looks.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: In earlier installments, if you squint, it's hard to tell him and Zhenji apart.
- Everyone Has Standards:
- In 6 he says that attacking refugees to provoke Liu Bei into a confrontation would be an effective plan, but "lacking in grace".
- In 7, he expresses to Zhao Yun his distaste over having to attack a man carrying an infant.
- The Fighting Narcissist: Subverted, He looks and acts vain but he falls short on the Narcissist requirement. He genuinely praises other people's actions if he finds them beautiful. In Empires games or those with bonds like 7 and 8, he admits he can fall in love with others if he finds them beautiful enough for his tastes.
- Large Ham: His sexuality and morality may both be in question, but his glorious flamboyance is not.
- Long Haired Prettyboy: Long hair is part of his beauty.
- Milking the Giant Cow: You'd be hard pressed to find a cutscene where he doesn't do this.
- Nonindicative Name: One of his claws is called Godly Axe.
- Palette Swap: He wears gold during his time of serving Yuan Shao.
- Pride: Very much in love with himself, though if you marry him in 6: Empires, he will tell you not to work too hard and spoil your beauty.
- Sissy Villain: If you consider Wei the villains, you have a man who loves wearing fabulous clothes, using beautiful words, and performing elegant dances. Comically, the troops under his command, despite not really showing it on their models, appear to share this characterization.
- Trial by Combat: Participates in this in order to find out who is the most beautiful in all the land.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
- No matter how much Zhang He flounces, twirls and sing songs during his monologues, other Wei officers barely bat an eye and converse with him completely in the norm.
- 7 averts this in many cases, as there are a few unique quotes used by allies and enemies alike involving his sheer fruitiness.
- Vanity Is Feminine: Whatever his sexuality, there's no denying that Zhang He is both very vain and very feminine.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: His design in 3.
"The Imperial Flower of Beauty"
- "I hope you enjoy this as much as I will."
Japanese spelling: Shinki (Shin Raku for her real name)
Height: 5'4 1/2" (163cm)
Weapon: Flute (3-5, 7-8, 9 DLC), Whip chain (6, 9)
Zhenji is a slightly arrogant woman who knows her status in society and isn't afraid to say it. She can sometimes come off as cold and aloof, even to her own husband, but she is loyal to Wei and supports her father-in-law Cao Cao in his quest to unite the land.
- Adaptational Jerkass:
- In both the novel and historical records, Lady Zhen was a Nice Girl and a top contender of The Woobie. Ever since she debuted in Dynasty Warriors, she's portrayed as a proud Ice Queen that eventually Took a Level in Jerkass and started Unholy Matrimony with Cao Pi; she's not exactly nice anymore (but still capable of it, on a select few). The 'villainy' comes from the fact that she's with Wei, the 'villain' group, but latter games had made the faction more rounded up, so she's not quite villainous anymore.
- This also applies to her relationship with Yuan Xi. Historically, he was away in You Province while Zhen was in Ye with Yuan Shang's mother when Cao Cao's army took over the city and the two women were found and captured by Cao Pi who is then infatuated with Zhen. In most games, she willingly abandons Yuan for Cao Pi. In 4:XL, she even defects to Cao Pi (if the player chooses) without being defeated.
- Alpha Bitch: Played with. She does look down on other factions' ladies, including harsh rivalries with Yue Ying and Lianshi over their husbands and looks, but she treats her own faction's women as friends and equals without much drama.
- Ambiguously Bi: While she's devoted to her husband, Zhenji has oddly flirtatious tailored dialogue with other female officers.
- Battle Couple: She accompanies her husband, Cao Pi, on his campaigns.
- Blue Blood: A lifelong aristocrat, born and married into privilege and wealth. Twice.
- Break Them by Talking: Played straight in 8 when she attempts to demoralize Yue Ying and Zhu Rong.
- Composite Character: It's possible that the game's Zhenji is combination between historical Lady Zhen and Lady Guo (which is Cao Pi's new favourite wife and the one whom he choose as his empress historically). It would explain why their relationship remains happy, and also why, after her husband was introduced, Zhenji became noticeably meaner.
- Distressed Damsel:
- One of the missions on Chibi in 9 revolve around a group of Wei soldier squads, one of them being led by Zhenji, being separated after the fire attack. Playing as a Wei character involve saving her from Wu soldiers that think she'd make a good trophy, playing as Shu/Wu character involve attempting to round her up for capture, on succeeding, Zhenji will contemplate about killing herself rather than becoming the trope for real, but a Wei soldier will volunteer as a decoy and tells her to make a run for it.
- In one side mission of the first Warriors Orochi game, she's under attack by Orochi's forces in response to Cao Pi's betrayal. Then, Fuuma Kotaro sends a phantom version of her husband to kill her until the real Cao Pi rescues her.
- Dragon Lady: This is averted on two counts. 1.) Since this is China, everyone is Chinese and 2.) Zhenji is capable of acting decent among her allies and gets along well with sweet characters like Cai Wenji.
- Graceful Ladies Like Purple: Though mostly because it's the faction color. Note that when she's serving as an officer under the Yuan family, her outfits are very yellow.
- Gratuitous Princess: She is Cao Pi's empress throughout their lives, without the drama that accompanied it in history and the novel. Naturally, this does not include the "drama" of fighting for Wei.
- Ice Queen: Played with. Zhenji is cold, cruel, and sarcastic to characters in other factions, but she's nicer to her friends and allies.
- Insult Backfire: Zhenji may not have a very high view of the other factions' ladies, but her jabs towards them... leave a lot to be desired, as her insults often get thrown back in her face.
- In Wei's hypothetical story, she doesn't hesitate to comment on Zhu Rong's lack of "class" and calls Yueying a coward in front of her face. However, both women just ridicule her for opening her mouth.
- In Wu's hypothetical story, she tells Shangxiang that she should do some learning in etiquette. Shangxiang responds that Liu Bei likes her the way she is.
- Lady of War: Graceful, dignified, and fights with an instrument rather than a weapon. Note that she's rather darker than the usual depiction.
- Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Not an installment goes by where Zhenji doesn't show up to a brutal battle in a gorgeous dress.
- Magical Flutist: All appearances except 6 and 9; if she doesn't beat you to death with her iron flute, she'll play it a tune that can kill you.
- Ms. Fanservice: Zhenji is essentially the first example of this trope for Dynasty Warriors series, as her clothes always show off her skin since her debut.
- My Name Is Not Durwood: Her actual name is Zhen Luo, though the games call her "Zhenji".
- Palette Swap: She wears gold when she serves Yuan Shao due to being married to one of his sons, Yuan Xi.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: She is one of the few female characters whose beauty is noticed by several other characters. As a noblewoman (albeit one active on the battlefield) she has pale skin and beautiful black hair.
- Rich Bitch: The bitch is debatable ("yes" for enemies and "no" for allies), but Zhenji was born into wealth and married into it twice.
- Running Gag: Much of Zhenjis unique dialog against enemy officers in DW8 is with female characters who happen to be wives of major characters within their factions; her targets are Shangxiang, Zhurong, Yueying and Daqiao, Zhenji inflates her ego and taunts them with diminishing their value as proper women of etiquette compared to her grace, wondering how they even got married, slandering their husbands as well by saying they dont have a keen eye for picking women. All the taunting doesnt work because the women Zhenji targets are all strong willed and will fire right back.
- Satellite Character: Has become less of an independent character since Cao Pi was introduced. Given her little storyline involvement in 7 and Warriors Orochi 3, she has started to become more of a supporting character for her husband. Unusually, she was introduced as a unique playable character two games before her far more historically impactful husband.
- The Smurfette Principle: Ever since her debut, Zhenji has been the single woman character for Wei, but she lost her status since the introduction of more ladies like Cai Wenji and Wang Yi. Both of them did not make the cut for the strategy RPG spinoff which once again relegates Zhen to this trope for Wei.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Historically and in the novel, Cao Pi forced her to commit suicide when he found a new favorite and because their son Cao Rui is suspected to be Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe since he was born rather prematurely, so Zhenji is suspected to be already pregnant by Yuan Xi by the time she married Cao Pi. The games make no mention of this, since said favorite never appears, so the two of them remain Happily Married. Alternatively, it's possible the favorite's traits are transplanted into Zhen herself (which may explain why, when Cao Pi was introduced, she got noticeably meaner).
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Has become noticeably crueler since 5. Then again, given her husband made his debut in that game, and considering how he's portrayed, this isn't such a stretch. Also, see Composite Character above.
- Took a Level in Kindness: A small one but noticable in 8, as she gets along well with Cai Wenji and acts nicer.
- Unholy Matrimony: Again their villainous attributes depends on the game and the viewer but she definitely has the matrimony with Cao Pi - quite happily, thanks to Spared by the Adaptation.
- Women Prefer Strong Men: She usually ditches her first husband Yuan Xi because she sees him as being too weak, when compared to the men of Wei, in particular Cao Pi.
- Your Cheating Heart: How her defection to Cao Pi was depicted in 4:XL if the player chooses, as she willingly abandons Yuan Xi to be with Cao Pi.
Debuting in Dynasty Warriors 4
"The Steady Shield"
- "May my shield serve to protect my lord from the chaos!"
Style Name: Zixiao
Japanese spelling: Sō Jin "Shikō"
Height: 5'8 1/2" (174cm)
Weapon: Spiked shield (4-5, 7:E-8), Trident (6), Flail (7, 9)
A cousin of Cao Cao's and one of his most trusted retainers, Cao Ren is an excellent general known for his ability to defend locations from attack. He would gladly sacrifice his life to help his lord.
Cao Ren is a kind and compassionate man who is an adamant practitioner of endurance. He usually refers to himself as an immovable rock obstructing his enemies' path who will not falter unless he is broken. A pacifist at heart, he actually dislikes war and those who actively perpetuate it. He sees war as a necessary evil, the only way to end the currently ongoing strife. He cares for the safety of his allies and enemies, believing that everyone should live in happiness.
- Animal Motifs: The crane and peng (in his third weapon) and fenghuang and/or roc (fourth weapon and weapon in 6), which most likely ties into being a divine yet compassionate being of grace.
- Anti-Villain: Back when Wei was still the "evil" faction, he was already the stalwart and noble defender of his lord with very notable Gentle Giant qualities apparent in the fourth and fifth installments.
- Batman Gambit: Pulls this off during Shu's story mode in 8, by deliberately allowing Guan Yu to take Fan Castle so that the Wei Forces stationed there can encircle the Shu Forces.
- Big Damn Heroes: Historically and in his Legend Mode in 4: XL, where he charges out of his position held at Jiangling Castle to save Niu Jin's ass (who was provoked by the opposing Wu forces outside). Despite losing Jiangling afterwards, he only gets demoted by one rank due to his successful efforts in that rescue.
- Cool Helmet: Rarely seen without a helmet because he is big on defense.
- Delinquents: Historically in his younger days, to the point where he was disowned by his father. He eventually changed from this to be very disciplined and battle-hardened while enlisted in the army.
- Demoted to Extra: Starts suffering from this as the Wei roster expands, particular in 6. Despite his early presence in 7 and 8 he winds up serving fairly minor roles as the series go on. Then it is inverted in 8: Xtreme Legends where Wei's expanded scenarios put more focus on him.
- Genius Bruiser: He is a large warrior wearing heavy armor and he is also one of the most tactically adept of Cao Cao's generals, even capable of using the complicated Eight Gates Formation.
- Guyliner: In the form of war paint; older games gave it a scarred-yet-sad-and-compassionate touch.
- Hypocritical Humor: Calls out Guan Yu for using a flood attack in 5, forgetting the fact that said tactic was used to beat Lu Bu.
- Nice Guy: Very much so in the previous installments (his debut in 4 and 5), where he speaks a lot about peace and encourages people to relish in it.
- Power Trio: With Yu Jin's The Spock and Pang De's The Kirk at Fan Castle. Cao Ren, by his nature, is emotional The McCoy.
- Reluctant Warrior: This is what happens when an Actual Pacifist forces himself to become a Martial Pacifist. He has a notable dislike for war and those who revel in it.
- Stone Wall: Tactics-wise. Being a Martial Pacifist, he heavily prefers defensive, retaliatory tactics over aggresive ones.
- Stout Strength: His torso is squat and almost spherical, but his muscular arms are thicker than most character's legs.
- Token Good Teammate: Amongst ambitious, jerkass, scheming, "villainous" characters, Cao Ren is a peace-loving man who hates chaos. It's zigzagged post-5, since most of the other Wei characters take swings in AntiVillainy (and there have been many other highly-sympathetic characters introduced, particularly Cai Wenji), thus Ren doesn't stand out like he used to.
- Undying Loyalty: To his cousin, and to the idea of peace, he will stand like a wall against any threat.
- Warrior Prince: He is cousin of Cao Cao, member of Cao royal family, and fortress guard.
Debuting in Dynasty Warriors 5
"The Cunning Successor"
- "Know that one day this entire land will be mine!"
Died: June 29, 226
Style Name: Zihuan
Japanese spelling: Sō Hi "Shikan"
Height: 5'11 1/2" (182cm)
Weapon: Bifurcating twin jian (5, 8-9), jian (6), Longsword (6:S), dual jian (7)
Cao Pi is the second eldest son of Cao Cao and husband of Zhenji. He becomes the first emperor of Wei and strives to even surpass the dreams of his father. Though a loyal and respectful heir, Cao Pi is also determined to surpass his father's image and realize his own goals.
To this end, he remains apathetic to Shu and Wu and is unimpressed by their efforts to oppose him. He shares an affinity with Sima Yi as their combined efforts soundly unites Wei's army after his father's death. At the same time, however, he loosely trusts his strategist's loyalty.
While he may seem cold and callous to others, he is gentle and sweet to his beloved wife.
- Antagonistic Offspring: A complicated aversion. Cao Pi respects and even loves his father, after a fashion, and serves him loyally, but he also wants to move out from under his shadow and be known as his own man rather than as Cao Cao's son, and he carries some resentment about how big of a shadow his father casts.
- Ascended Extra: He debuted in two games after his wife, which means, for a time, Cao Pi was stuck as the role of a generic model officer and eclipsed by Zhenji in popularity. Then he made his debut in his fifth game, and garnered a lot of popularity to become a pseudo-Breakout Character (he's a top contender of most popular Dynasty Warriors character on the Wei side, hotly competing the position with Zhao Yun, and even getting a DLC Mission in 9 and a deification form in Warriors Orochi 4) that he took over the 'more popular character' position from Zhenji and often became the headliner of Wei on equal times or more with Cao Cao. Cao Pi REALLY escaped his 'stuck in the shadow of his father and wife as an extra' stigma.
- Bishōnen: The second good-looking young officer to be introduced for Wei, though subdued in comparison to Zhang He.
- A Day in the Limelight: Is the head of the Wei faction and the primary protagonist of their campaign in the first Warriors Orochi, and remains the focus character even after his father's reappearance.
- Bifurcated Weapon: His dual swords connect to each other in 5, which he can also uses them as Double Weapon. He gets this weapon back in 8.
- Dual Wielding: Twin broadswords between 7 and NEXT. This was very much true for his historical-self due to being both The Perfectionist and The Ace, that he even resorted to learning how to wield both swords and bows even with his left hand when he was growing up.
- Deadpan Snarker: Notable in Warriors Orochi.
- Dragon with an Agenda: To Orochi and Ares in the crossover. Averted with his father, whom he neither betrays nor usurps.
- The Emperor: He is founding emperor of Wei.
- End of an Era: From the perspective of Sima Yi, Cao Pi was the last competent ruler of Wei from the Cao family. His death, and the perceived incompetence of the Cao Emperors that followed him, become major motivating factors for the Sima clan to usurp the Caos and take control of Wei (and later become the Jin Dynasty)
- The Evil Prince: Subverted. He has some telling dialogue and narration, especially in his debut game, which makes it plain that his father's ambitions mean nothing to him and that he's got his own, very different vision for Wei. He takes this no further, supporting Cao Cao's cause as best he can, and succeeds him in the proper way.
- Final Boss: Of Wu's historical route in 8, which ends with the first Battle of New Hefei Castle, and hints at the Forever War that will be waged between Wei and Wu attempting to invade one another.
- Glory Seeker: After his father's death in 9, he scoffs at the idea of succeeding him as "King of Wei" (as he did in history, supposedly) given that the title dictates that he's still a subject to the Han Dynasty while he has higher aim: usurp the Han throne to become the emperor himself. He then had staunch Han loyalists who intended to assassinate him eliminated so there's nobody in his way into becoming emperor.
- Historical Badass Upgrade: In the novel/history, while Cao Pi was an excellent "domestic" style ruler that built a strong foundation for Wei after Cao Cao's passing (by improving its internal aspects), he was not a good military commander, as his campaigns usually ended in failure (especially his numerous repeated failures to invade Wu). In the games, he's a fierce fighter/commander in his own right on top of being an excellent politician.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: A bit minor since he isn't as "heroic" as other characters, but historical Cao Pi is known for his many ruthless actions and Kick the Dog moments note . In here? He's still a callous guy, but also shows care of his subordinates in a gruff, aloof way and genuinely loves Zhenji, though still in a standoffish way that she reciprocates.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: During Wei's version of the Battle of Chi Bi in some games, Cao Pi recognizes the danger of Wu's fire attack, though Cao Cao brushes it off. Since his father's the one in charge, Cao Pi's only able to move himself and his wife to stop the attack.
- Inverted in 8, where Cao Pi is the one to scoff at the suggestion that Wu's fire attack will work due to changing winds, and it requires both Guo Jia and Xu Shu to convince him otherwise.
- I Am Not My Father: He wants to step out from his father's shadow and be his own man. He proves it by doing something which his father would never do which is to become an emperor. In the crossover, he tells Mitsunari that he wants to find his own path.
- In Spite of a Nail: In Wei's hypothetical route, Cao Pi still succeeds his father even though, the elder, Cao Ang survived.note
- It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": In 5 his name was pronounced "Cow Pee" and the fans have never let the series forget it.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Very sweet and gentle with Zhenji, a stark contrast from his behavior in the books. His reign is also a period of relative peace in the endless wars of the Three Kingdoms, and in the crossover he goes to great lengths to secretly help the resistance while appearing to work against them. He is also very close to his cousin, Cao Xiu, that he still encourages him to call him by his style name despite being the emperor.
- Killed Offscreen: In 9, his death wasn't presented onscreen but he is shown to be coughing which illustrates that the stress and the repeated failures to conquer Wu took a toll to his health. Several characters such as Sima Shi lament that he died at a young age (around 39 years old; but if you use the East Asian age reckoning, he was 40 years old at the time of his death).
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: He usually keeps it up in a ponytail, but it's there and adds to his Bishōnen factor.
- Love at First Sight: With Zhenji in incarnations where both are playable. Most of the time, his woos are successful, especially if his side is the one that wins at the end of Guan Du.
- Nice Hat: His hypothetical scenario DLC costume has him wearing a beadless and smaller version of a mianguan which sort of looked like a small box.
- Personality Powers: Uses ice in most of his attacks, like his father, but it reflects his cold personality much more closely.
- The Rival: Lu Xun and Sun Quan are highlighted as this in 7 and 8. Liu Shan could also be considered this, though Cao Pi looks down on him more than anything
- Shape Shifter Guilt Trip: He is just about the only character in his own series and the crossover who can No-Sell it. When Zuo Ci and Da Ji attempt to conjure up phantoms of his father, unlike every other character in both games, he laughs them off as obvious tricks and cuts them down without hesitation. While it reflects his coldly rational nature more than anything else, both Mystics wonder if his obvious family issues have something to do to it.
- Slouch of Villainy: After becoming emperor, he tends to do this in cutscenes of the Wei/Jin storylines for 9. In contrast to Liu Bei, Liu Shan and Sun Quan, Cao Pi is very comfortable in sitting the throne which he got from the last Han emperor. This is presumably used to visualize how historically he did enjoy his enthronement as he's known to celebrate his coronation lavishly, much to the disagreement of his own mother Lady Biannote and (as she only told her father) Xin Xianying.note
- Spared By Adaptation:
- Historically was not alive in Battle of Hefei Castle (year 234) but he's the Wei commander in that battle in 5 and 8. Some games also consider him still alive around the time of Zhuge Liang's Northern Campaign, at least until Wuzhang Plains although he didn't appear in that stage for the game because he's busy in Hefei Castle (both happened in year 234, as Wu's invading Hefei Castle while Shu's fighting in Wuzhang Plains is part of Zhuge Liang plan to trap Wei in a pincer attack) except for 5 in his own and Zhenji's story. Another example is that he is Wei's commander in Jieting for 5. Historically, the entire Northern Campaign happened during Cao Rui's reign.
- Despite his reign as emperor being shown in 9, he's still alive during the Battle of Shiting (year 228) though he is suffering from an illness. After the battle ended with Cao Xiu's rescue, Sima Yi and Man Chong receive news that Cao Pi quietly passed away of his illness. Historically, the Battle of Shiting occurred in Cao Rui's reign which is two years after Cao Pi's death.
- In his hypothetical scenario, Cao Pi is able to outlive his own death and succeeds in reuniting the entire land under his name.
- Stuck in Their Shadow: In-Universe. In his father Cao Cao's, even in the crossover when he's the main character of the Wei campaign. It's very evident in his dialogues with Mitsunari and Ares that his biggest obstacle in his life is to overcome his father's shadow. In the novel, although he's the one to force the last Han Emperor's abdication and seize the throne, Cao Cao is retroactively canonized as the "Martial Emperor of Wei".
- Super Mode: One of the eight characters to receive a Deification mode in Warriors Orochi 4. His form is based from Poseidon, the Greek god of the seas, which seems to fit his ice motifnote and his Sacred Treasure is the Trident. His deified Unique Magic has him summoning a tidal wave that wash out his enemies.
- Unholy Matrimony: Happily Married to Zhenji, despite his otherwise cold and cruel demeanor.
- The Usurper: He forced Emperor Xian to abdicate and installed himself as the new emperor, which established the Cao-Wei kingdom.
- Warrior Prince: Before succeeded his father, he loyally served him as an officer on the battlefield.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: A complicated case. He doesn't really show it much but it's obvious that he wants to prove that he's a worthy heir to his father. However, it is not to extent that he wants to be like him rather he wants to inherit his legacy. In the Hideaway conversations, he asks the male player character about his feelings on his father but he immediately changes the subject.note
- "I shall show the land what a true warrior is capable of!"
Style Name: Lingming
Japanese spelling: Hō Toku "Reimei"
Height: 6'9" (205cm)
Weapon: Dual yue (5, 7:XL), Wolf teeth mace (Next-9)
Pang De is a stoic veteran who bravely stays true to his principles. He believes that a traditional warrior should never question their orders or be mislead by their own doubts during their duty. However, his insightful nature allows him to be a bit flexible in his loyalties. He won't hesitate to join a cause that he deems to be worthy. His consistent valor in battle continues to gain him respect wherever he goes.
- Adapted Out: He is one of the playable characters who was cut off in Dynasty Warriors 6. He is eventually brought back in Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends.
- Ascended Extra: Was in many games as a generic officer, but became a playable character in 5 and its spin-offs.
- Badass Army: He can summon the Xiliang cavalry to charge with him during his second Musou Attack in 7: Xtreme Legends
- Badass Beard: They emphasize his senior status and differ him from his younger master, Ma Chao.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He, along with Ma Dai, help stall for Ma Chao's escape at Warriors Orochi 3. In some games, he also pulls this off at Fan Castle.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: In 5:XL, he abandons Ma Chao after the young warlord becomes increasingly violent and consumed by vengeance. Historically, he never abandons Ma Chao and, in fact, it was Ma Chao (and, along with him, Ma Dai) who abandons him when Ma defects to Liu Bei while Pang De was left behind in Han Zhong protecting their lord Zhang Lu.
- Horseback Heroism: Like Ma Chao, he is a native of Xiliang, and has excellent horseback combat abilities. From 7:XL onward, one of his Musou attacks can summon a wing of cavalrymen and a horse to launch a devastating charge.
- Mighty Glacier: Like Cao Ren, Pang De moves slower than average on foot, but makes up for it with tremendous weapon reach and horseback attacks.
- Older Sidekick: To Ma Chao, his younger lord.
- The Fettered: Though he is too proud a warrior to be a Technical Pacifist like Cao Ren, Pang De is still a man of high morals and personal integrity. His recruitment in the crossover boils down to shaming him into defection.
Debuting in Dynasty Warriors Strikeforce 2
"The Talented Lady of Woe"
- "Let us play a beautiful melody to welcome our new future."
Given Name: Yan (Wenji is her style name)
Japanese spelling: Sai Bunki (or Sai En for her normal name)
Height: 5'5" (165cm)
Weapon: Erhu (Strikeforce 2), konghou (7-8), Whip chain (9)
Although she would prefer to resume her everyday life of serenity, Cai Wenji is disturbed by the turbulent age surrounding her. In order to restore peace, she decides to personally assist in the battlefield.
- Ascended Extra: Her debut was an in-game custom created officer in 6: Empires. Strikeforce 2 gave her a unique character design. While DW7 fully entered her into the Wei Kingdom's character lineup. She also appeared in Kessen II as "Cai Wengi" and was portrayed as an Ax-Crazy barbarian witch.
- Bare Your Midriff: Despite being the Token Wholesome, she shows some flesh in her "Strikeforce" form in which her beautiful navel is exposed.
- Brainy Brunette: She was able to write down all of her father's numerous writings just from memory. She was also a famous writer/composer in her own right.
- Commonality Connection: With Diaochan in Cai Wenji's Legend mode in 7XL where they met each other. Diaochan held Wenji's loyalty to her father in high regard, and Cai Yong informed Wenji of Diaochan's loss of her father.
- Damsel in Distress: In 9 during the chapter of Cao Cao's attempt to assassinate Dong Zhuo, she's almost kidnapped by bandits and you have to rescue her. Helping her before infiltrating Luo Yang will cause her to unwittingly help you by distracting enemy guards with her music.
- Disproportionate Retribution: In 6:E, one would hope so...otherwise, what could she have done that was so bad that every single soldier and nature itself wants her dead?
- Foil: Shares some traits with Diaochan, but is significantly different in some ways. Both are highly devoted to their fathers and have talents regarding the arts: Diaochan dances, while Wenji plays the harp and composes poetry. In some games, both feel indebted to their lords where Diaochan follows Lu Bu after he kills Dong Zhuo for her, while Wenji wants to pay Cao Cao back for rescuing her from kidnappers. Regardless that both women have good intentions, the difference is that Diaochan isn't afraid to play dirty for the sake of the land, Wenji seems to favor more straightforward methods. Likewise, both Dong Zhuo and Lu Bu lusted after Diaochan, which she exploited to ruin their relationship and bring about Dong Zhuo's downfall while Cao Cao has no such designs on Wenji as he was the one to introduce her to her husband and Wenji seems to smooth the edges of Cao Cao's personality a bit.
- Fragile Speedster: Takes hits about as well as she looks like she would, but she's quick on her feet, has a ranged attack that strikes multiple targets at once, and good mounted combat skills to boot, mostly due to the fact that every single normal attack she does on a horse affects everyone within her radius.
- Hotter and Sexier: Wears a bit revealing outfit in 9 that shows her sideboobs.
- Innocent Innuendo: Maxing out her bonds with a male character invokes this; it's an intimate relationship but it only sounds physically so.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Cao Cao (22 years difference) on account that both enjoy good poetry.
- Lady of War: Like most Wei female officers, she is a dignified and classy lady who nonetheless serves as an officer on the front lines.
- Long-Lived: According to the in-game bio in 9, she died in 250. Meaning that she's still alive when Sima Yi's family began their rule.
- Morality Pet:
- Cao Cao shows great kindness to her. It was he who rescued her from nomads and provided her with a new life, and she generally serves to reflect his more-admirable aspects, such as his cultured love of beauty and art, to contrast with his ruthless ambition.
- Cai Wenjis utmost importance to Cao Cao is shown at its best in 8:XL's final stage for Weis missions. With her supposedly going missing, Cao Cao issues an order for his men to find and bring her back at once. The catch is that he doesnt issue the order to just any group of officers, he orders Xiahou Yuan, Li Dian and two of Wei's Great Generals, Yu Jin and Yue Jin, to personally go out and find Cai Wenji.
- Musical Assassin: Prior to 7, her Weapon of Choice is a chinese violin. Later games show her using a harp. In both cases, she fights by throwing out sonic projectiles that deal Splash Damage.
- My Name Is Not Durwood: An interesting case; this series in the English dub has Cai Wenji be the only character to use her style name, while nothing else outside of the Asian scripts/Japanese dub uses style names at all. Cai Wenji is also actually meant to be called "Cai Yan", as even in the Japanese dub, her normal name of "family name-then-given name" isn't mentioned.
- Also applies to her style name as well: historically, her style name was Zhaoji (or Shōki), but historians were forced to change the "Zhao" character via a naming taboo placed by the historical Sima Zhao.
- The Not-Love Interest: One of the few female characters of the series who does not have one or is one for others. No one is portrayed as her love interest after her introduction and her relationship with Cao Cao lacks the mildest hints of being anything other than platonic. It's justified in that case because she married another man after Cao Cao rescued her.
- Rescue Romance: Averted; Cao Cao rescues her from enemies, but they seem to be more like friends and she marries a different man afterwards.
- Silk Hiding Steel: A classy lady with the inner steel to join the battle field. Her poetry and music are moving in both the figurative and literal sense.
- Token Good Teammate: Played with. Cai Wenji definitely contrasts with the other ambitious Wei characters, with her honest-to-God serene and compassionate personality. However, by the time she becomes a playable character, years of Dynasty Warriors games have rounded off the rest of the Wei cast to the point that they no longer count as the "evil faction."
- Token Wholesome: Compared to the other female characters in the series. This has made her very popular with fans, and the closest that she's ever gotten to skimpy is a Zatanna-like Downloadable Content outfit◊ in 8. In 9, however, her sideboobs are exposed.
- Warrior Poet: Known for her poetry throughout the land, and promises to compose music about her companions during battle.
- Would Not Hit a Girl: More like "kill". She is on the receiving end of this in Shu's final hypothetical stage, "Capture of Wei", in 8 (unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Wang Yi or Zhenji.) She is the only Wei officer to survive the stage, given that she has the usual "withdrawing/retreating" quote upon her defeat, whereas every other officer utters their death quote instead.
Debuting in Dynasty Warriors 7
"The Calculating Man"
- "Even the darkest waters may be navigated through proper strategy."
Style Name: Wenhe
Japanese spelling: Ka Ku "Bunwa"
Height: 5'8" (172cm)
Weapon: Chain and sickle
Jia Xu is known as a straightforward and practical man and played a major part in helping Cao Cao defeat Yuan Shao in the Battle of Guandu, seizing control of the northern provinces. Jia Xu continues to serve under Cao Pi after Cao Cao dies.
- Ascended Extra: He was featured in previous installments with a generic character model; 7 introduced him so that Wei would have a playable strategist, since Sima Yi is part of the new Jin Kingdom and Guo Jia dies young.
- Badass Beard: Jia Xu's beard is rather thin, but it gives off the vibe of a mischevious trickster, which he is portrayed somewhat as.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: A very subtle example - a lot of his quotes suggests he's not one for putting in a lot of effort, and the better answer to his question in Conquest Mode is being content with a simple/happy life.
- Deadpan Snarker: Is not afraid to say what he really thinks about certain officers.
- Epic Flail: He uses his scythe like a flail in some attacks.
- I Gave My Word: Though he isn't really big on loyalty to any of his bosses, Jia Xu serves them faithfully until they're dead and never defects or backstabs them in the meanwhile.
- I Warned You: Was historically against going campaigning south, particularly against the Sun family. Cao Cao went ahead anyway, and Chibi happened.
- Long-Lived: As indicated by his birth/death dates. He was born before every other character in the game (whose birthdays are known), well before the Yellow Turban Rebellion in 184, and lived for another 4 years after Cao Cao passed away and Cao Pi formally established the kingdom of Wei. He died at age 77, in a setting where most characters rarely lived past 60.
- Remarkably, he outlives nearly every single other playable Wei character, with few exceptions. Xu Zhu, Xu Huang, Zhang He, Cao Pi, Cao Xiu, and Man Chong are the only ones confirmed to survive past him. And of those, Man Chong is the only one by any notable margin (died in 242).
- Manipulative Bastard: Shown as he basically places Han Sui and Pang De in a Sadistic Choice at Tong Gate and Yangping Gate, respectively. note
- Historically, he was even then quite the shady bastard who's deeds were left somewhat foggy, and some evidence has been brought to light that Jia Xu himself wanted it that way.
- Nice Hat: He wears a turban since his debut.
- Older Sidekick: To Zhang Xiu, later Cao Cao and Cao Pi.
- Older Than They Look: He is the oldest character in the games, beating out even Huang Zhong by a year. But he doesn't show it at all.
- Palette Swap: Wears a purple outfit while still in the service of Dong Zhuo in 8 and 8XL.
- The Pollyanna: He tends to sound very jolly in the Japanese dialogue via his usual "ha ha" tic, courtesy of Hideo Ishikawa.
- Secret Test of Character: After his capture following the aftermath of Wan Castle, Cao Cao asks him whether he served Dong Zhou and Zhang Xiu out of loyalty or the love of strategy. After complaining that the question is obviously loadednote , Jia Xu decides to be honest and admit that he worked for those men because he loves being a strategist and has a knack for it, and tells Cao Cao to get it over with. Rather than killing him, Cao Cao offers him a job.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Appearance-wise, he is the "manly man" to Guo Jia's "sensitive guy," and the two become close friends in 8.
- The Strategist: Originally for Zhang Xiu, a local lord that Cao Cao subjugated. When Zhang was dissatisfied with this, Jia Xu suggested what would become the attack on Cao Cao at Wan Castle. In 8, Jia Xu becomes the main strategist for Wei following the death of Guo Jia in the historical route.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: as he's responsible for Dian Wei's death, Cao Cao states he has no qualms about killing him if he's of no use to him.
Debuting in Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends
- "With me here, I suppose our victory is all but assured."
Style Name: Fengxiao
Japanese spelling: Kaku Ka "Hōkō"
Height: 5'9" (175cm)
Weapon: Orb and scepter (7:XL-8), Chang gun (9)
One of Cao Cao's greatest strategists who gave good counsel and was held in high regard, Guo Jia died during a campaign north from heat stroke during their march through the inhospitable northern deserts. After Cao Cao's defeat at the Battle of Chi Bi, he states afterwards, "If only Guo Jia was with us."
Guo Jia is described as a talented man of unsurpassed intelligence. He acts composed and gentile, a wistful smile present on his lips at all times.
- Ascended Extra: After a Famitsu poll had him topping the list of characters "the fans" would most want to see become playable/unique (post-7), TecmoKoei came up with a pair of concept art for him. He made his debut in 7: Xtreme Legends.
- Bash Brothers: With Jia Xu, also with Guo Huai in Warriors Orochi 3.
- Bishōnen: He's a rather attractive man.
- Brainy Brunette: Borderline between light brown and blond but either way, he is one of Wei's best strategists.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Part of his bon-vivant personality. In Warriors Orochi 3, he flirts with both Ina and Xingcai. Unfortunately for him, his advances are not only rebuffed but also catches the attention of their fathers, who are none too pleased.
- For Want of a Nail:
- He died at the age of 37. Cao Cao certainly thought he would have made a huge difference in Wei's coming battles, in particular remarking that the Battle of Chi Bi would never have gone the way it did had Guo Jia been there (which Dynasty Tactics chose to reflect). In 8, the developers added in hypothetical scenarios to the game. If the player fulfills all of Wei's "what-if" scenarios, including Guo Jia surviving his illness and Xu Shu defecting, their knowledge allows Cao Cao to overcome the fire attack and win the Battle of Chi Bi. He also pops up in Shu's "what-if" scenarios.
- His "what-if" scenario in 9 shows him living longer after Chi Bi. Despite their defeat at Chi Bi, Guo Jia coordinates with his fellow strategists to defeat Wu and Shu.
- Go Out with a Smile: His ending in the ninth game's "what-if" scenario has him drinking with his fellow strategists before he dies, satisfied that he is able to contribute his lord's success.
- The Hedonist: A positive example - he's of the "live and let live" type and always seek to get his enjoyment as long as he lives (knowing that he's going to die soon). This includes drinking and flirting. Played for drama in 8, where the mooks notice something's wrong with him, but assume he's just been drinking too much. Played for laughs in WO3, where after he ticks off Zhang Fei and Tadakatsu by hitting on their daughters, Guo Huai praises him for being willing to risk his life for simple pleasures.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In Dynasty Tactics at the Battle of Chi Bi, he boards a burning ship and crashes into Zhou Yu's ship, killing them both. In the historical route in 8 his campaigns against the Yuan brothers are portrayed as this, with him literally working himself to death to protect his kingdom. This is subverted in the hypothetical path, during which Guo Jia is severely weakened during the campaign against the Yuan brothers but eventually recovers.
- Historical Badass Upgrade: Historically, he's just a good advisor who made a good prediction about Sun Ce's death. In DW (especially in 8), he's one of the best strategists in Wei besides Jia Xu and Sima Yi. In Wei's hypothetical route he even outwits the combined plans of Zhuge Liang and Zhou Yu.
- Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball: Some of his charge attacks including hitting the balls that bounce around the screen.
- Improbable Weapon User: He uses a pool cue and balls; considering his Weapon of Choice, his given profession DLC outfits are related to ball sports like tennis and billiard.
- Ill Boy: In his debut for 7:XL, he hid this fact silently in his ending. In 8, preventing his natural death is one of important things you need to do to unlock Wei's hypothetical path.
- Leitmotif: Quite an awesome one: Trick and Magic.
- Nice Hat: Wears one in all of his appearances so far.
- Passing the Torch: In 9, he wants Xun You to take his place as one of Cao Cao's strategists, knowing that he might not live very long.
- Sadistic Choice: Pulls one on Guan Yu, threatening to harm Liu Bei's family if he doesn't serve Wei. Note that this is exclusive to 7: Xtreme Legends and did not happen in the novel, where it was entirely a negotiation between Cao Cao and Guan Yu with Zhang Liao as the mediator.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Appearance-wise, he is the "sensitive guy" to Jia Xu's "manly man" and two become close friends.
- Ship Tease: Has one with Ina in Warriors Orochi 3Guo Jia: What great weather... I wish I could just stay here with you forever.
Ina: What is the matter, Lord Guo Jia? We'll be together forever, fear not.
- Shout-Out: His second costume in 7 is black and red leather with white hair. It's gonna be one crazy party!
- The Strategist: Serves as this for Cao Cao's earlier battles, most notably at Xia Pi and Guan Du. In the hypothetical route, he continues serving this role in Chibi and during the subjugation of Wu and Shu.
- The Unfettered: His strategies always take all possible courses of action into account, even if some of them are dirty or immoral. For instance, flooding Lu Bu's castle to flush him out inflicted great suffering on the peasants.
- "Revenge is the one thing that guides my every move."
Japanese spelling: Ō I
Height: 5'7" (170cm)
Weapon: Twin trishula (7:XL-8), Emeici (8:E, 9 DLC), Wind and fire wheels (9)
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She cold and aloof unless Ma Chao is in the vicinity. It overlaps with Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette.
- Arch-Enemy: Ma Chao, "the Demon of Xiliang", is the one she dedicates her remaining life to killing.
- Cleavage Window: Downplayed in her debut in 7:XL, but the window is played up in 8.
- Badass Cape: In her debut game 7:XL. Her designer said it was an homage to Spawn. By 8, it's more of a Badass Longcoat.
- Battle Couple: Averted. Although historically and in the novel she fought alongside her husband, he has yet to appear in the games as of 8.
- Boobs of Steel: Averted, despite that metal bustier she wears giving her literal ones. She's the only physically-oriented female in the Wei character lineup, but, while no slouch, she's got a ways to go to catch up with Zhenji.
- Dark Action Girl : Her aerial Musou Attack shows her sadistic side, pinning the enemy on the ground and stabbing the enemy's throat while letting out an Evil Laugh and screaming about how good it feels.
- Dual Wielding: Her Weapon of Choice is a pair of trishula, which are essentially large bladed sais. This is changed to a pair of emeici in 8: Empires.
- Flashback Nightmare: Suffers from constant nightmares about her family dying in flames. According to her bond conversations, she also gets them about anyone she's particularly close to. Her tailored dialogue with Ma Chao refers to her constant ill dreams about him.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: Historically, Wang Yi was a very morally upright and righteous character who stood up to Ma Chao for his tendencies to massacre civilians and cause general chaos, and suffered greatly at his hands. However, given Ma Chao's in-game depiction and that fact that he's been around for most of the series, as well as Wei being the "evil" faction for quite some time, it only makes sense that Wang Yi would be depicted as the villainous one upon her introduction to the series, and probably a little over the top in brooding and sadism, especially when compared to the newly rounded out Wei faction, though there are hints that makes her look more pitiful and her villainy making sense.
- Improbable Weapon User: Her emeici look, for all intents and purposes, like a pair of elaborately decorated, double-sided knitting needles...and make for lethally efficient weapons in her hands.
- Lady of War: A very dark, gloomy, and violent version. Notably Truth in Television as well: she is the only woman historically proven to have fought during the Three Kingdoms Era.
- Manipulative Bitch: In Wu's hypothetical route for 8, she tricks Guan Yu and Zhang Fei into believing Sun Shangxiang is a traitor to her husband Liu Bei and Shu. The glossaries note that her historical counterpart was a keen military and political strategist on top of being a personal combatant.
- Ms. Fanservice: Her outfit is rather suggestive for someone whose main motivation is to take revenge on Ma Chao.
- No Doubt the Years Have Changed Me: The Ma clan characters who encounter her are rather taken aback, and imply that she was a very different person before Ma Chao killed her family and set her out on a quest for vengeance.
- The Not-Love Interest: Like Cai Wenji, she's never portrayed as a love interest to any character. Historically, she's married, but her husband never appears and her primary characterization revolves mostly around Revenge. Makes sense, since due to her characterization, her husband is dead by Ma Chao's hands and the death of her husband was but just one reason why she hates Ma Chao so much.
- Recurring Dreams: According to Warriors Orochi, she carves his head off every night in her dreams and calls it even.
- Revenge Before Reason: In Warriors Orochi 3, Wang Yi appears to be controlled by Orochi, but when she breaks free of it, she still wants revenge on Ma Chao and attempts to kill him until Noh, Oichi, and Sima Yi stop her. It forms an interesting contrast with Ma Chao: while he too is motivated heavily by revenge (and for a much less justifiable reason), he is able to put aside his hatred of Cao Cao for the greater good and does have other major motivations, while Wang Yi's revenge has utterly consumed her.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: More than half of her dialogue revolves around vengeance. Some even veer into Revenge Before Reason territory, despite her insistence to the contrary. Her death quote if slain by Ma Chao, in particular, can show how far she can fall; it's delivered in a delusional, despairing tone:Wang Yi: Everyone... I have avenged you... Now you can rest in peace...
- She's Got Legs: All of her outfits show off her legs without showing much skin.
- This Is Unforgivable!: Ma Chao's slaughter of her family pushes her into an endless quest for revenge.
- Token Evil Teammate: Oddly, she fills this role in the modern Wei army. Her obsession with Ma Chao and dark, violent personality come together to make her one of the least moral members of the team, frequently advocating ruthless solutions like torturing Guan Yu to find Liu Bei.
- Unknown Rival: When she confronts Ma Chao for the last time during the final battle 8's hypothetical campaign, he is more surprised than anything to see her still holding a grudge. Notably, though she has lots of tailored dialogue for fighting Ma Chao (including a unique line that only plays if he escapes without being killed), Ma Chao has none for her outside of unique events.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Although the woman absolutely despises Ma Chao, in Conquest Mode for 7, the player can have her serve under Ma Chao as a sworn ally.Wang Yi: You would have me serve under you? Does your cruelty know no bounds?
- When She Smiles: Despite being a gloomy lady, she does occasionally smile... when she's thinking about how to kill Ma Chao, which makes her smile actually scary without going to slasher levels. However, in the "what-if" ending for 8, Yi seems to finally have a genuine smile after listening to music performed by both Zhenji and Cai Wenji. It also helps that Ma Chao is dead.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Only the inside of her thighs are uncovered in 7. Averted in 8, where she's clearly just wearing (very tight) armored pants.
Debuting in Dynasty Warriors 8
- "I shall not disappoint you!"
Style Name: Wenqian
Japanese spelling: Gaku Shin "Bunken"
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
Weapon: Twin hookswords (8, 9 DLC), Twin rods (9)
- Ascended Extra: Made numerous appearances as a generic officer until 8.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: Before Hefei, he lacked experience defending fortresses and was most famous as a vanguard commander. However, he grows into the role after Cao Cao's direct orders put him in command of the defense as his comrades ride out to attack.
- Badass Crew: Part of the Five Wei Generals
- Bash Brothers: With Li Dian, who he's good friends with.
- Bishōnen: Younger and prettier than most of the Wei officers.
- Dual Wielding: Wields a pair of hook swords as his Weapon of Choice.
- Expy: Weirdly, of Rob Liefeld character Shatterstar. Yue Jin has the same sort of facial protector, unusual paired blades, long flowing sashes, lopsided shoulder protector, large exposed biceps, and the pointy knees of later Liefeldian armor designs; even his hair color isn't too far off. The only thing he's missing is the ponytail and the gritty dark Anti-Hero personality.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: His generic counterpart in 5, gave him the large warrior render, despite Yue Jin being reputed for shortness.
- Glory Seeker: Despite his Humble Hero status, Yue Jin is also eager to prove his worth to Wei, even if it means taking jobs that he's unsure of being able to accomplish (but he usually succeeds, anyway).
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Being the ferocious warrior as he is, Yue Jin is covered with scars. He has one on his face resembles the letter "X".
- Height Angst: Vertically challenged and has issues about it, kind of like Edward Elric. If anything, at 170 cm, he's the shortest adultnote warriornote malenote .
- Humble Hero: Always humble and not the type to flaunt his skills. Li Dian notes that he kind of "lacks self-confidence".
- Nice Guy: Always courteous, polite, and respectful, even to his opponents and enemies, claiming it would be an honor to face them.
- Older Than He Looks: He is one of Cao Cao's earliest generals, yet he looks youthful.
- Power Trio: With Li Dian and Zhang Liao at He Fei, even when Yue Jin was still a non-playable character
- Spared By Adaptation: Historically, he died sometime before Cao Cao's death, probably shortly after or at the Battle of Ruxukou (his last appearance in the novel, where he got shot in the face by Gan Ning), but in the game, he is still alive during Cao Pi's reign.
- Unfortunate Names: His name, when spoken in Chinese, is pronounced very closely for menstruation in the same language.
- "You can count on me to get things done!"
Style Name: Mancheng
Japanese spelling: Ri Ten "Mansei"
Height: 5'11" (180cm)
Weapon: Wheeled halberd (8), Guandao (9), Monk's spade (9 DLC)
- Ambiguously Bi: A possible interpretation of That Came Out Wrong. This happens regardless of the character's gender.
- Ascended Extra: He was a generic officer in many games prior until 8.
- Bash Brothers: He's introduced alongside fellow then-newcomer Yue Jin, and the two are quite close in their appearances together.
- Bishōnen: Like Yue Jin, counterbalancing the older Wei cast.
- Exotic Weapon Supremacy: His weapon in 8 is a pike with spiked wheels attached to the pike.
- Fire-Forged Friends: He buries the hatchet with Zhang Liao after Hefei, seeing the depth of his character and commitment to duty, and the two men work together to achieve a great victory. It throws their relationship into stark contrast with their Wu opposites, Gan Ning and Ling Tong.
- Gut Feeling: A firm believer in this, and his intuitions are always right.
- Older Than He Looks: He is one of Cao Cao's earliest generals, yet he looks youthful. It makes sense since the historical Li Dian died young.
- The Resenter: A minor case towards Zhang Liao, who was still serving Lu Bu at the time when Dian's uncle died fighting his army. He gets over it during the Battle of Hefei.
- Power Trio: With Zhang Liao and Yue Jin at He Fei, depsite being a non-playable character pre-8
- Spared By Adaptation: Historically died sometime before Cao Cao's death. But in the game, he is still alive during Cao Pi's reign.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: A very straight example of the trope, as he fits all criteria.
- That Came Out Wrong: Li Dian tends to lavishly praise his friends' skill, only to quickly backpedal when he realizes it sounds like an innuendo.Li Dian: [when praising performance] I think I'm in love... uh, forget I said anything!
- Verbal Tic: In the Japanese version, he tends to use "ore" ("me") as punctuation.
Debuting in Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends
- "I will punish all those who disobey the law!"
Style Name: Wenze
Japanese spelling: U Kin "Bunsoku"
Height: 6'5" (195cm)
Weapon: War trident
- Aloof Ally: His playable persona is very strict and feared by both enemy and ally alike. A scene in 8:XL shows him being alone while other Wei characters are having a banquet.
- Badass Crew: With Yu Jin, the Five Wei Generals are complete at last.
- Badass Mustache: Most likely to show his status as the eldest of the Five Generals.
- Character Exaggeration: His need to execute people for failures, which wasn't that pronounced via his historical-self in comparison.
- Cool Old Guy: The eldest of the Five Wei Generals. Though "Cool" really depends on your definition of the word.
- Elemental Powers: His War Trident moveset relies heavily on three elemental powers. There's a fourth element that increases damage and attack speed if certain criteria are met.
- Father to His Men:
- Though not seen very often due to his strict attitude, Yu Jin genuinely does care about his men, especially via his historical records where he greatly rewarded those who did their job very well.
- Even when he surrenders at Fan Castle, his first priority is that his men should be spared.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: The 3 main elements of his trident. By using Charge attacks that correspond to the correct element when activating C1 three times (C2 and C6 for Ice, C3 for Lightning and C4 and C5 for Fire), the next C1 will activate a 4th Slash element, which effectively increases the damage and attack speed of the weapon, and can unleash a special version of C1 that unleashes all of it at once.
- Genius Bruiser: A dangerous fighter as well as a competent battlefield tactician, like when he turned the tables at Fan Castle in 8:XL by driving a wedge between Wu and Shu forces.
- Grumpy Old Man: One of his quotes involves executing his soldiers for not being punctual.
- Prongs of Poseidon: He wields a war trident as his Weapon of Choice.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: In 9, he executes some of his own soldiers in the middle of Battle of Wan Castle because they pillaged nearby village.
- The So-Called Coward: Although he's known for his surrender to Guan Yu and subsequent humiliation as a Dirty Coward in both history and the novel, the game depicts Yu Jin as a dignified, brave officer with none of the cowardice in sight. Word of God has it that he was designed as a character that would defy the audience's expectations. Although his surrender still happened in the historical route carryover in DW8, however, he's a lot more regretful in being forced to surrender than pleading for his life; the historical Yu Jin also found this to be an option that he needed to take in order to reduce casualties.
- His ending in 9 illustrates that surrendering is one of his options to lure Guan Yu out of the open and to minimize casualties. In a flashback prior to the Battle of Fan Castle, he informs Cao Cao about this which causes the latter to be concerned of his reputation. Back in the present, Cao Pi seems to be aware of Yu Jin's plan and thanks him in behalf of his father.
- The Stoic: Rarely shows any emotion, lest it weakens his troops' discipline.Yu Jin: Showing emotions in the face of danger only serves to weaken discipline.
Debuting in Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires
- "I have come to assist you."
Style Name: Wenruo
Japanese spelling: Jun Iku "Bunjaku"
Height: 5'11" (180cm)
Weapon: Formation wand (8:E), Throwing daggers (9)
Via some negative records, he is said to be shamed to death by Cao Cao after he openly opposes Cao Cao's acceptance to the rank of Duke of Wei, though in actuality Xun Yu had to be left behind in Shouchun due to an illness much to Cao Cao's dismay and concern for his health; said illness eventually claimed Xun Yu's life.
- Ascended Extra: Throughout the Dynasty Warriors series, Xun Yu is a constant general for Cao Cao in numerous battles as a generic officer since the second title. 8: Empires marks his debut as a unique playable character.
- Bishōnen: Consider that he came from the same village as Guo Jia; that place raised some handsome men.
- Boring, but Practical: Most of his charge attacks are basically the same, just throwing/setting the traps. If used cleverly, they can tear the enemy apart.
- The Chessmaster: On par as a strategist, he foresees that the alliance between Liu Bei and Sun Quan would break due to Guan Yu staying in Jing province. So, he advises Xiahou Dun and the other Wei officers to let Liu Bei and Sun Quan fight each other while Wei conserve its forces and resources for the meantime. In his ending, he states to Cao Cao that he would continue to guide him only because he wants the chaos to end.
- Commander Contrarian: In 9, he opposes Cao Cao of attacking civilians who are following Liu Bei to Xiakou and disapproves his appointment as Duke of Wei. The latter part causes Cao Cao to demote him off his ranks and reassign him to administrative duties.
- Dark Is Not Evil: His outfit in 8 Empires has a lot of black on it and looks somewhat sinister as a result. This couldn't be less indicative of his personality.
- Distressed Dude: Rescuing him is the objective of the first phase of the Battle of Puyang in 8.
- Historical Beauty Update: Most portrayals of him usually sports a mustache, implying that he's not a young man. Here, he's a clean-cut high-grade Bishōnen.
- More like a youthfulness upgrade rather than beauty upgrade. Xun Yu himself was recorded as a tall and beautiful man with very fragrant scent. He began to serve Cao Cao in his late 20s, until his death in his late 40s. This playable character design is likely made to represent his youthful appearance, rather than his bearded old man persona.
- Historical Badass Upgrade: While a very intelligent man, when compared to other strategists, the historical/novel Xun Yu mostly stays indoors, managing politics and working as an advisor. In the novel, he is never mentioned to take part in any battle. His game counterpart is as much of a force to be reckoned with as any other playable character.
- Magic Wand: His weapon is called the Formation Wand in the game. It also has a knife underneath, making it resemble some sort of buddhist praying tool.
- Officer and a Gentleman: He addresses foes just as politely as allies.
- Nice Guy: One of the nicest characters in the entire cast given his respectful manner of speaking and loyalty.
- Nice Hat: Has one in his playable appearance. As a matter of fact, many of his previous what-if DW artworks also feature him wearing one.
- Older Than He Looks: He is one of Cao Cao's earliest supporters
- Power Floats: He floats in midair in the secondary state of his Musou Rage with numerous wands floating around him.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: After trying to convince Cao Cao to turn down his appointment as the Duke of Wei, Cao Cao reassigns him to administrative duties in Xuchang because he doesn't need any more support from him and wants his talents to be use elsewhere...which is basically his way of saying, "If you don't agree with me, you're fired!". Xun Yu is aware of the implication that Cao Cao will no longer listen to him anymore.
- Secret Keeper: He's the one of the few people who knew of Guo Jia's illness after seeing him cough. When Xun Yu wanted to inform Cao Cao about this, Guo Jia tells him to keep it a secret knowing that this might break the moral of their men.
- Sheltered Aristocrat: Implied by some of his lines in 9. He admits he isn't used to shop in markets and didn't know anything about nightlife. He even innocently wishes to be educated about that "kind of entertainment". He also doesn't seem to understand the border between romantic and platonic love. Considering his background coming from a distinguished family of scholars, one can assume he spent his youth being groomed to be advisor of the king, losing his opportunity to learn about love (historically, he was engaged while he's still a baby, and wasn't recorded to have another wife).
- Spared by the Adaptation: He never suffers his fate from the novels where Cao Cao offers him an empty box which made him realize that he has no need for him and thus, he commits suicide. Instead, his ending shows him confronting Cao Cao and declaring that he would still guide from the shadows. That's the last thing the players heard about Xun Yu and it is presumed that he passed away of his illness just like his historical counterpart.
- Token Good Teammate: Stands out from the rest of Wei by being one of the nicest characters in the entire cast, and proclaims his ultimate loyalty to be not to Cao Cao personally, but rather to the Han and ending the chaos; serving Cao Cao is simply the best way to demonstrate said loyalty. That being said, by the time Xun Yu is playable, Wei has long since abandoned being designated as the clear-cut "evil" faction.
- Trap Master: He can set traps with his wand on the ground, each links one another and can juggle the enemy once activated.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Han dynasty, and in negative records and folklore he gets shamed to death for said loyalty. In his ending in 9, he vows that he would aid Cao Cao because he wants to end the chaos and not for him.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Despite being one of Cao Cao's best officials and one of the foundations of the Wei kingdom, Xun Yu was a notable one to pass away from illness at quite a fairly young age. Historically, the bigger sides of his family (especially his children) couldn't even live past 40 years old.
Debuting in Dynasty Warriors 9
- "To the glory of Wei!"
Style Name: Wenlie
Japanese spelling: Sō Kyū "Bunretsu"
Height: 5'9" (175cm)
Weapon: Fan sword
- Animal Motifs: Horses. Historically, he's regarded by his uncle as the "Thousand Leagues Horse" of the Cao clan due to his mobility, loyalty and swiftness. In his Hideaway dialogue, he compares himself to a horse.
- Badass Army: One of the real reasons Wu Army needed to use a trick to defeat him is because he commands Wei's elite army, The Tiger and Leopard Cavalry.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: In Wang Yi's ending, he asks her for a drink. Later on, he's sitting on the floor very drunk while Wang Yi manages to hold on her own.
- Distressed Dude: In Shiting, due to Zhou Fang's deception.
- Establishing Character Moment: In the beginning of his storyline, Xiahou Yuan jokingly tells him not step on the wheat fields on the orders of Cao Cao because the farmers haven't harvested them yet due to the war. Cao Xiu is surprised about this because he accidentally step on a wheat fields and goes to Cao Cao to "face his punishment", not realizing that this is really a joke.
- Hero-Worshipper: He looks up to his uncle and Jumped at the Call when Cao Cao raised an army. Unlike Cao Pi, Xiu is pretty open in showing admiration to Cao Cao.Cao Xiu: You are amazing, Uncle.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Following an apparent traitor of the enemy army to a secluded area? Not the best idea. Even Sima Yi and Man Chong comment that Cao Xiu is too gullible and trusting to accept Zhou Fang's surrender.
- Older Than They Look: He joins Cao Cao as early as campaign against Dong Zhuo and is supposedly several years older than Cao Pi.note
- Spared by the Adaptation: His final appearance in the Wei storyline in 9 is after the Battle of Shiting where he experienced his embarrassing defeat and his reaction to the death of his cousin, Cao Pi. Afterwards, it is expected that he died at some point after the Battle of Shiting. However, in the Shu storyline, he appears in the Battle of Wuzhang Plains.
- Super Gullible: He believes anything that people tell him at face value even though they're just joking. This is his Fatal Flaw which led to his shameful defeat at the Battle of Shiting.
- Undying Loyalty: To his family which is also his reason for helping his uncle in the first place due to his fatherly nature to him. Specifically, he's very close and loyal to his cousin, Cao Pi, as they live together under the same roof when they were children. When Cao Cao highly praises Sun Quan to the point of wishing that he wants a son just like him in front of his own son, Cao Xiu swiftly defends that Cao Pi is a worthy heir. Even in history, Cao Pi himself comforts his cousin when his mother died which shows how very close they are.
- Unwitting Pawn: He led his troops into Wu territory following Zhou Fang's advice. It turns out Zhou Fang is actually a loyal Wu general who pretended to defect to Wei and led him into an ambush which resulted in his disastrous defeat by Wu forces at the Battle of Shiting.
- Weapon of Choice: Shared with Zhong Hui and Guan Xing, Cao Xiu wields the fan sword, which is effectively a bladed fan that can also detach said blades.
"The Smiling Schemer"
- "May my superior strategies lead us to victory."
Style Name: Boning
Japanese spelling: Man Chō "Hakunei"
Height: 6'1" (185cm)
Weapon: Shooting bladespears
Man Chong is a strategist and politician of Wei. Known as a courageous and prudent person, he assisted Cao Ren at Fan Castle and strengthened Hefei Castle's defenses. He is also good friends with Xu Huang.
- The Baby of the Bunch: Despite being the tallest, he's actually the youngest among Wei's strategists. Even though his skills aren't to be doubted, he still needs to be reminded to dress properly by his seniors Xun Yu or Xun You.
- Badass Longcoat: As per being a strategist, according to Koei's design choices. His coat is sleek, white and sleeveless with blue highlights and gold trims.
- Cleavage Window: Because of the uneven buttoning of his shirt, the players get to peak on his chest which can be a bit distracting.
- Dual Wielding: He wields two short spears called "Shooting Blade Spears".
- End of an Era: The last (playable) great officer of Wei while it's still under control of the Cao family. The passing of such notable Wei generals is what prompts Sima Yi to oust his co-regent, Cao Shuang, and thus essentially place Wei under control of the Sima family.
- The Engineer: Basically, he's the one responsible for New Hefei Castle. In his ending, he even gives Sima Yi a tour around the newly constructed Hefei castle.
- Expy: His appearance and laid-back personality is similar to the Japanese strategist Mouri Motonari of Samurai Warriors.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: It should be noted that he's wearing his shirt unevenly in his render. It reflects his relaxed personality.
- Long-Lived: Born in 172, a few years before the Yellow Turban Rebellion, and dies in 242, well after all other playable Wei officers have passed away, and only a few years before Sima Yi takes full control of Wei.
- The Pollyanna: He's very cheerful and laid-back that Xun Yu reminds him to be more respectful when he introduces himself to Cao Cao. After the flood attack in Fan Castle, he tells Cao Ren that the men lost their confidence due to the attack and need support from their leader which prompt Cao Ren to rally them.
- Trap Master: Let's just say this guy is obsessed with traps. He's the one who put a lot of traps in New Hefei Castle and encourages Sima Yi to find any flaw on the traps that he had built in his ending. Even his conversation during the Hideaway scenes shows him talking about traps.
- Unfortunate Names: Using his Style Name, Man Boning, is a particularly notable example for pretty self-explanatory reasons (for the English speakers anyway).
- "It is an honor to serve you."
Style Name: Gongda
Japanese spelling: Jun Yū "Kōtatsu"
Height: 5'7" (170cm)
Xun You is an adviser of Wei and a skilled strategist comparable to his relative Xun Yu and Sima Yi, enough to be well trusted by Cao Cao. His actual blood-relation with Xun Yu however, is often ambiguous in historical records. Described as a highly profound and insightful thinker, Xun You was also known for his great humility and dignity. He preferred to give his advice to Cao Cao in private and frequently refused high honors and vast rewards.
- Always Someone Better: Though he is humble, he feels insecure that he might not catch up with Guo Jia and Jia Xu. Guo Jia says otherwise and believes that Xun You is a great strategist.
- Badass Family: Blood relative of Xun Yu, both of them are Cao Cao's earliest strategists.
- Badass Longcoat: Again, for being a strategist. His is simple yet elegant in design, and predominantly a dark shade of blue.
- Drunken Glow: In Guo Jia's "what if" scenario, Xun You gets drunk after he and the rest of the strategists celebrate their victory for Cao Cao. Jia Xu actually likes him being drunk.
- Humble Hero: Often described as one historically, frequently refusing higher honors and rewards. In the game, Guo Jia praises him for his role in the Battle of Guandu but Xun You just scoffs it off, saying that he just happened to be the one who had the leaked information.
- Perma-Stubble: He's one of the two characters (the other is Xu Shu) who had this type of facial hair. Unlike Xu Shu, his stubble is more noticeable.
- The Quiet One: Dian Wei notices that Xun You rarely talks about other things asides from strategies. Guo Jia explains that Xun You only talks when necessary and likes to keep his thoughts to himself. It is implied however that he can be a bit of a Motor Mouth with your character in Hideaways.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: He is very calm and calculating whenever he discusses his strategies. When he's with Guo Jia, he slowly opens up about his insecurities. His quiet personality makes him a frequent target of Jia Xu's teasing with the element of surprise. In his ending, Xun You gradually warms up and starts to hang out with Jia Xu.
- Undying Loyalty: To Cao Cao. Unlike his relative Xun Yu who is loyal to the Han, Xun You sticks to Cao Cao and approves his appointment as Duke of Wei, knowing that this is the next step to King of Wei and later, Emperor which he believes that this is Cao Cao's way to end the chaos.
- Whip Sword: His Weapon of Choice. He wields it with grace and methodical precision.