Cao Zhang
ROTK12 Cao Zhang
Character Information
Force(s): Wei
Weapon Type: Polearm (2~6)
Club (7)
Great sword (8)
Unit Type: Hero (2~4)
Large warrior (5~6)
Warrior (7~8)
Significant Battle(s):
First Appearance: Dynasty Warriors 2
Historical Information
Real name:
Cáo Zhāng
Chinese name:
Style name:
Chinese name:
1 August 223

Cao Zhang (onyomi: Sō Shō) is Cao Cao's fourth son who is said to have wrestled wild animals with his bare hands. His father nicknamed him "Yellow Beard".

He became famous for victories against the Wuhuan tribes, but deemed an unworthy heir due to his disinterest in studies. There are several rumors surrounding his death, the most famous tale though, involved him being poisoned by Cao Pi.

Role in GamesEdit

For his appearance in Dynasty Warriors 2, Cao Zhang tends to appear as a sub-officer of his father during the later Wei battles until Wu Zhang Plains. He is given an expanded role in the sequels, where he starts to appear around Chi Bi and serves in numerous battles, mainly against Shu.

In Dynasty Warriors 6, Cao Zhang again continues to serve Wei past his historical death. At He Fei Castle, Cao Zhang will be the commander of Wei's forces if the player chooses to play as Cao Cao. Otherwise, he will replace any other Wei general or fight on his own.

In Dynasty Warriors 7, Cao Zhang only appears at Shu's version of Guandu and at Mt. Dingjun. In the former, he is part of Cao Pi's party who ambush Liu Bei. In the latter, he tends to defend the foot of the mountain in Wei's perspective.

Dynasty Warriors 8 has Cao Zhang appear more frequently again, with him now also appearing at Nanjun fighting the Wu forces. He also joins his father at Baidi Castle to unite the land in Wei's hypothetical path.

In Warriors Orochi, Cao Zhang often serves as a replacement officer for either Cao Pi or Cao Cao throughout Wei's storyline.

In Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Cao Zhang's greatest strength is his skill in battle. His leadership is in the mid 80's whereas his war stat might even reach the low 90's. His other stats fall off greatly in comparison though, so he should always be given an intelligent deputy to keep him from falling to enemy ploys. He is always given a very high cavalry rating and his skill in the eleventh game allows him to confuse enemy units through cavalry tactics. This, paired with his high strength and the natural attacking advantage of cavalry, makes him an excellent officer to deal huge amounts of casualties to enemy units.

Voice ActorsEdit

  • Kenji Sugimura - Sangokushi Legion


  • "This is a key location. Until my father arrives, I will keep it safe!"

Historical InformationEdit

Cao Zhang was the second son of Cao Cao and Lady Bian and Cao Cao's overall fourth son. In his youth, he excelled in archery and in unarmed combat. He was even said to have fought tigers with his bare hands. Cao Cao always criticized him for lacking interest in academic learning and once sent him to a university. Cao Zhang complained that a real man should lead armies and not become a doctor. When Cao Cao allied with Sun Ce to destroy Yuan Shu, Cao Zhang married the daughter of Sun Ce's cousin Sun Ben.

In 218, the Wuhuan in You Province rose in rebellion and Cao Zhang, at that time Northern General of the Household, was sent to quell it. Before his departure, Cao Cao and warned him that he would be punished for any mistakes as any other subordinate would. Cao Zhang then set out with 1,000 infantry and a few hundred cavalry and arrived before the local government force. Cao Zhang ordered his men to defend the roads until reinforcements arrived and the Wuhuan were unable to break through. Cao Zhang displayed great valor in the battle and it is said that several arrows were embedded in his armor. Despite much opposition, Cao Zhang ordered his army to pursuit the enemy when they retreated. When one of his subordinates reminded him of Cao Cao's orders that the jurisdiction of Dai may be not crossed and the enemy not pursued, Cao Zhang said that a good general would not follow dull orders and threatened anyone who did not join the pursuit with death penalty. Thus, Cao Zhang and his men pursued the enemy forces and dealt a major blow to the Wuhuan, killing several thousand men. The Xianbei tribe leader Kebineng led a force to oversee the battle between the Wei forces and the Wuhuan and when he saw the victory Cao Zhang had scored, he decided to submit to him.

Afterwards, Cao Zhang went west to participate in the Hanzhong campaign, but he was too late and stationed himself at Chang'an. Cao Cao promoted him to General of the Elite Cavalry and left him at Chang'an to guard it against any attacks by Liu Bei. In 220, Cao Cao died while Cao Zhang was en route to see him. Cao Pi ascended the throne and immediately sent all of his brothers back to their fiefdoms, fearing that one might want to contest the succession. In 222, Cao Zhang was enfeoffed as King of Rencheng. In the following year, Cao Zhang went to the capital to attend court and caught an illness, from which he died in the same year. He was posthumously named King Wei, meaning awe-inspiring King. He had a son named Cao Kai and an unnamed daughter.

Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit

Third son of Cao Cao. In his youth, he convinced his father to allow him to learn more in the ways of fighting and horseback riding rather than civil studies. When he was older, he commanded his own cavalry unit in his father's northern territory. During Shu's Hanzhong campaign, Cao Zhang arrived to aid his father where he dueled Liu Feng, Liu Bei's adopted son, and defeated him.

When Cao Pi inherited the throne, Cao Zhang led his army to the capital, entered alone and swore loyalty to his brother. During a meal, Cao Zhang's drink was poisoned, and he died minutes later.