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Useful Notes / Lü Bu

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Among men, Lü Bu. Among horses, Red Hare.
— The Cao Man Zhuan

Style/courtesy name: Fengxian.

One of the most well-known historical figures of Imperial China, Lü Bu (呂布 or 吕布; the ü pronounced as in über, Unknown birth - 199 AD) was a military general and warlord of the Three Kingdoms period, infamous for his many acts of backstabbing against his superiors.

Public perception of Lü Bu was heavily influenced by the work Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The work dramatizes many aspects of his life and adds in many fictitious elements, exaggerating his personality and eventually portraying him in the public consciousness as one of China's most powerful warriors, but also a ruthless backstabbing traitor.

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Most of the time, it's often commonly sighted that Lü Bu was often someone who was so good at fighting, but lacked in strategy; most media can easily have him fall to a good number of ploys as an offset to his prowess whenever he appears. Historically, he was also someone who really lacked control over his own soldiers (thus making them act akin to village-pillaging bandits and also making them disunited misfits whom he couldn't link his faith with), making him an ineffective general at best.

His iconic weapon is his Fangtian Huaji/Houten Gageki ("Evened Heaven Stroking Halberd"), a weapon of considerable-yet-not-accurately-recorded weight that was an anachronism at best no thanks to his Romance of the Three Kingdoms version wielding it.


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Lü Bu in other media, which has him transliterated as "Ryo Fu" in anything that's Japanese:

  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Koei, in which Lü Bu is a mainstay and usually well known for his impressive WAR stat. His only drawback is his dumbass INT, which makes him suspectible to ploys.
  • Dynasty Warriors. Lü Bu (named as Ryo Fu in Japanese on'yomi with his style name being rendered as "Housen", since Dynasty Warriors is a Japanese series) is usually an antagonistic super boss, serving Dong Zhuo before striking on his own. There is a saying: "Don't pursue Lü Bu." You'd be best to heed that when you hear that being said. Although in your hand, he's usually a Game-Breaker. Famously voiced by Tetsu Inada ever since the very first fighting game installment. Most of the time, this version is the most iconic for his gruff demeanor and rather brutish approach on things (especially in the later games); often also dubbed as an "Ogre God" in the Asian versions in the dialogue and in the series as symbolism to his might.
    • This carries over in Warriors Orochi where Lü Bu sided with Orochi to find worthy opponents throughout the ages. He finds two: Honda Tadakatsu in the first game, and Minamoto no Yoshitsune in the second game. Poor Orochi didn't take account of Lü Bu's backstabbing record, so he ended up betraying Orochi at one point.
  • As with the genderflip Ikki Tousen, Lü Bu's counterpart is Ryofu Housen (his name rendered in Japanese on'yomi), a troubled buxom girl who served under Toutaku (Dong Zhuo), but ended up betraying him and dying together with her lover Chinkyuu (...Chen Gong!?). She came back temporarily for the 3rd season. Voiced by Akeno Watanabe.
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  • And again with genderflipping, in Koihime†Musou, Lü Bu/Ryo Fu (real name being Lian/Ren is instead an Emotionless Girl who likes animals. This is really contrasting to the historical/novel impulsive and hotheaded Lu Bu.
  • World Heroes features 'Lü Bu' as a playable character, once again rendered as "Ryo Fu" in Japanese on'yomi.
  • In Fate/EXTRA, Lü Bu becomes a Berserker-class Servant under Rani VIII. Voiced by Kunihiko Yasui, though he's limited to just voicing semi-robotic roars since that's how Berserkers worked in the verse. Fate/Grand Order would later make his horse Red Hare a Rider-class Servant as a sentient centaur.
  • In Tekken although Lü Bu doesn't appear in person, Feng Wei has a move called 'Spear of Lu Bu'note  and he can be customized to look like he's wearing Lü Bu's attire.
  • In the Panda Entertainment fighter/strategy game series Sango Fighter, Lü Bu is a rather unremarkable Dragon to Cao Cao in the first game (having more moves than everyone else helps though), but gets a Historical Badass Upgrade in the second. For starters, he has 3 bars(300HP) compared to everyone else's 2 in the strategy mode. For another, if you can't kill him in a single "round"(defined as every faction taking a turn), he completely heals up by the next, even if he was down to a single HP. Everyone else has to settle for 20/25/30 HP healed per turn. For gameplay balance, that's justifiable, since he's the only faction that has no backup generals, so if he loses, it's game over for his owner(CPU or player). He also has 3 different ways to use up his super bar(projectile/uppercut/grab), compared to most others' 1 or 2. Those with projectiles get upgraded projectiles, some have super grabs, others, like Xu Ju(the fat guy with the yellow do-rag) have ONLY the super grab(which makes him dangerous up close, as he won't accidentally use up his bar on anything else).
  • The Ravages of Time has quite the subversion of the novel in its depiction of Lü Bu: he's brawn ''and'' brains, though just as backstabbing-prone...not that the author minds that.
  • Lü Bu is a warrior hero in the MOBA game Arena of Valor, accompanied with Diao Chan as a mage hero. He was also previously in the original iteration of the game, Wangzhe Rongyao, although in that game he took the kit that would become the kit for Maloch (True Damage enchant, lifesteal plus slow, a mighty leap). Lü Bu's current kit (triple strike, long range projectile, attack steroid) is ironically taken from Wangzhe Rongyao's rendition of his executioner, Cao Cao.
  • Overwatch gave a Lu Bu-inspired skin to Reaper in the 2019 Lunar New Year event. This is fitting, as Reaper is a deadly character in the right hands, and Gabriel Reyes joined the terrorist group known as Talon after the fall of Overwatch. His former allies continue to question why he betrayed them.
  • Yo-Kai Watch spinoff Yo-kai Sangokushi has Orcanos Lu Bu as a boss. He returns as one of the six befriendable "Commander Yo-kai" in Yo-kai Watch 3.
  • Lü Bu is a starting lord under Dong Zhuo in Total War: Three Kingdoms. As a Vanguard-type lord (a frontliner intended to break apart hordes of high-armour melee infantry but vulnerable to debuffs and archers), his immense Instinct stat (which governs melee damage) makes him a One-Man Army in the character-centric Romance Mode balanced by his immense unreliability: After Dong Zhuo's death he usually becomes a wandering lord hireable on the open market who is liable to backstab anyone who hires him. In the more realistic Records Mode his stats makes his personal bodyguard of heavy cavalry quite formidable as well (especially as they are Unbreakable), but his poorer non-Instict stats means he's a rather subpar general for an entire army.
  • He’s given a quick reference in I Wanna Be the Guy, with a portrait of him appearing in the Hall of Former The Guys. Said portrait has a flame trap built into it.
  • In Record Of Ragnarok he is the first warrior to represent mankind in the tournament against the gods. He ultimately loses to Thor.

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