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Cao Bao

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Cao Bao
Cao Bao (ROTK12)
Character Information
Force(s): Tao Qian's Forces
Liu Bei's Forces
Lu Bu's Forces
Weapon Type: Spear
Unit Type: Warrior
Significant Battle(s):
First Appearance: Dynasty Warriors Vol. 2
Historical Information
Real name:
Cáo Bào
Chinese name:
Style name:
Chinese name:
Death year is debatable.

Cao Bao (onyomi: Sō Hyō) is an officer of Tao Qian who later went on to serve Liu Bei in 194. His quarrel with Zhang Fei resulted in Lu Bu's capture of Xiapi.

Role in GamesEdit

Cao Bao first appears in Dynasty Warriors Vol. 2 as a generic character with below average stats. The sixth title has him fight loyally under Liu Bei at Xia Pi during Lu Bu and Diao Chan's story modes. But starting in Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends onward, his defection is a central factor in Lu Bu's bid for the region. Imprisoned by Zhang Fei, he repays the player for freeing him by deliberately misguiding his former allies to go south, thinning out their ranks in the process. The eighth game's expansion repeats his role at Xiapi during Lu Bu's historical route. This time, the player must rendezvous with him at the central east base after diverting the enemy's attention to the western part of the map. Keeping him away from Liao Hua is essential in order to trick the opposing army into opening the castle gates.

As a recruitable officer in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series, Cao Bao's only decent stats are war and leadership. He is only active in scenarios where Tao Qian or Lu Bu still live.


  • "Hehe, my lie has weakened their defenses. Time to pay them back for their lack of hospitality!"

Historical InformationEdit

Record of Three Kingdoms notes that Cao Bao originally served Tao Qian. He fought against Cao Cao's invasion and lost against the invaders. Cao Bao joined Liu Bei after his lord's death and was ordered to guard Xiapi as its Chancellor during the campaigns against Yuan Shu.

Yingxiong Ji has two opposing accounts for his activities at Xiapi. Liu Bei's biography notes that Zhang Fei wanted to kill Cao Bao for unknown reasons, causing the other man to flee and fortify his camp. He soon colluded with Lu Bu into attacking the city. Lu Bu's scroll instead describes a heated quarrel between Cao Bao and Zhang Fei led to the former's death. The castle morale was in shambles and the castle defenders appealed to Lu Bu to drive Zhang Fei away. Then Lu Bu attacked and claimed Xiapi. There is no clear consensus for which account is correct but the end result for both is the same: Zhang Fei fled from Xiapi and Cao Bao disappears from historical records.

Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit

Romance of the Three Kingdoms establishes him as Lu Bu's father-in-law, his daughter being the general's second wife. He first clashed against Cao Cao's forces at Xu Province. He and Xiahou Dun prepared to duel each other until a sudden hurricane drove them apart, leaving them too distracted to continue. After Tao Qian's passing, his allegiance went to his lord's successor, Liu Bei.

Cao Bao's troubles began when he declined Zhang Fei's offer to drink heavily with the other officers during a banquet. His constant refusals angered Zhang Fei immensely, provoking the drunkard into giving him a hundred lashes upon learning his family ties to Lu Bu. Although the guests were able to rescind half of the punishment, the damage was done; Cao Bao felt thoroughly humiliated and wanted revenge. He sent a letter to his son-in-law informing him of Liu Bei's absence.

On that same night, Cao Bao and his men opened the city gates for Lu Bu's army and surprised the drunken Zhang Fei. He pursued his tormentor until the Zhang Fei's compromised state gave way to rage. Cao Bao suffered a back injury, lost his footing, and drowned in the castle moat.


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