Yan Liang
Yan Liang (DWB)
Character Information
Force(s): Yuan Shao's Forces
Weapon Type: Spear (2~5, 7)
Sword (6)
Great sword (8)
Flail sword (Blast)
Unit Type: Hero (2~6)
Warrior (7~8)
Significant Battle(s):
First Appearance: Dynasty Warriors 2
Historical Information
Real name:
Yán Liáng
Chinese name:
顔良 - 颜良
Style name:
Chinese name:

Yan Liang (onyomi: Gan Ryō) is a general under Yuan Shao. In the Romance of the Three Kingdoms novel, he and Wen Chou are portrayed as Yuan Shao's greatest generals. The two are held as priceless warriors, who are demons on the battlefield. Historically, not much is known about him.

He placed thirtieth with fans in Gamecity's Shin Sangoku Musou Blast first card promotion poll.

Role in GamesEdit

Dynasty WarriorsEdit

In most of his appearances, Yan Liang acts as one of Yuan Shao's prominent generals. Usually, he, along with Wen Chou, have powered-up statistics compared to normal generics. Yan Liang also acts as Yuan Shao's bodyguard, and whenever he is defeated, his commander questions who defeated Yan Liang. Yuan Shao's confidence in Yan Liang and Wen Chou is also expressed at Hulao Gate or Sishui Gate in some games. Yuan Shao will show his frustration within the fact that no one is brave enough to challenge either Lu Bu or Hua Xiong by stating, "If only Yan Liang or Wen Chou were here!". Yan Liang's death at Guandu will provoke Wen Chou to avenge his comrade's demise.

Warriors OrochiEdit

In the original Warriors Orochi, Yan Liang acts as an officer under Yuan Shao in the Shu storyline, at the Battle of Cheng Du Castle. He and the rest of Yuan Shao's forces are confused, as Da Ji's messengers have tricked them into believing that the Coalition Army are the undead, resurrected by Orochi.

In Warriors Orochi 2, Yan Liang appears in Yuan Shao's command at the Battle of Shizugatake against Cao Cao's forces, as one of the reserve generals stationed in the western garrison. When he is defeated, Zhang He asks who could have defeated the great Yan Liang, if the player does not have Zhang He on his or her team. He will appear once more for Wei at Guan Du, where if the Orochi frontline officers are lured into the center of the battlefield, Yan Liang along with a few others ambush them from the rear.

Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit

In the Romance of the Three Kingdoms games, Yan Liang appears as an officer for Yuan Shao. He has high leadership and 90's war, making him one of the strongest officers in the game. However, his other stats are very low, making him an easy target for ploys of any decent strategist. He is a skilled cavalry general in all games as well. In the eleventh installment, his skill reduces the morale of any attacked unit by a good amount.

The twelfth installment has him feature in an event during the prelude of the battle of Guandu, in which he leads Yuan Shao's troops to attack Baima, but he is killed by Guan Yu in one blow. Wen Chou suffers the same fate shortly afterwards at Yanjin.

Voice ActorsEdit

  • David Berón - Dynasty Warriors 5 (English-uncredited)
  • Darrel Guilbeau - Dynasty Warriors 7 (English-uncredited)
  • Dan Woren - Dynasty Warriors 8 (English-uncredited)
  • Patrick Seitz - Romance of the Three Kingdoms: The Legend of Cao Cao (English-uncredited)
  • Gwon Changuk - Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed (Korean)
  • Kim Hyeseong - Romance of the Three Kingdoms: The Legend of Cao Cao (Korean)
  • Takanori Hoshino - Sangokushi Legion


  • "With this blade, I will tear the armies of Wei asunder!"
  • "Ridiculous... To be killed by someone like you..."
"You seem to have gotten caught up in your own abilities!"
~~Yan Liang and Guan Yu; Dynasty Warriors 5

Historical InformationEdit

Yan Liang opera

Yan Liang's mask from the Peking opera.

Yan Liang served under Yuan Shao, during the later eastern Han Dynasty, and before the Three Kingdoms era of China. Although little, almost nothing is shown in records. In the Records of Three Kingdoms, by Chen Shou, he has some role in Yuan Shao's, Guan Yu's, and Cao Cao's biographies. It's been stated that Yan Liang was highly praised by Yuan Shao, and was the highest-ranking general under him.

In the year 200, Yuan Shao built up an army of 100,000 and marched on Xuchang, a city used as Cao Cao's base. To ensure a safe crossing of the Yellow River, Yuan Shao sent Yan Liang to attack Baima fort as a diversionary tactic. Ju Shou, the advisor of Yuan Shao, suggested that he was too weak to handle it. However, in a countering tactic, Cao Cao moved his main force on the western Yellow River, diverting the Yuan forces in the same direction. However, Guan Yu and Zhang Liao were sent to relieve Baima. From there, Guan Yu saw Yan Liang's chariot, and rode to attack. He impaled Yan Liang among the mass of enemy troops, and brought back Yan Liang's head.

Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit

His Pompous Praise and Dong ZhuoEdit

"What a pity my two able generals, Yan Liang and Wen Chou, are not here! Then should we have someone who would not fear this Hua Xiong."
―Yuan Shao, praising his two best generals at the Battle of Sishui Pass.

In chapter 5, during the year 190 AD, Yuan Shao led an alliance against a tyrant governor, Dong Zhuo, marching his army towards the capital, Luoyang. The alliance encountered a heavy resistance, when they reached Si Pass. Its defender, Hua Xiong, scattered the vanguard, led by Sun Jian. Hua Xiong then led an attack on their main camp, killing two allied generals. Yuan Shao said, "What a pity my two able generals, Yan Liang and Wen Chou, are not here!". Guan Yu, a sworn brother of another leader, Liu Bei, rode out to Hua Xiong, killing him in a battle, before Yan Liang and Wen Chou could arrive.

Eventually, Dong Zhuo withdrew his troops from Si Pass, and in chapter 6, abandoned the capital before burning it to the ground. The alliance against Dong Zhuo quickly marched onto Luoyang, and started putting out fires, and rebuilding what could be saved. A soldier came to inform Yuan Shao that the imperial seal of Qin Shihuang, the first emperor of China, had been found by Sun Jian. The next day, Sun Jian informed Yuan Shao that he and his army would be withdrawn, as he had fallen ill. Yuan Shao then confronted Sun Jian about the Imperial Seal and his supposed possession of it, but Sun Jian denied having it. The argument heated until Sun Jian and his generals drew their weapons. However, Yan Liang and Wen Chou protected Yuan Shao until the matters calmed. The alliance under Yuan Shao broke up soon afterwards.

Campaign against the Great CavalryEdit

"Formerly you were regarded as loyal and public spirited, and we chose you chief of the confederacy. Now your deeds prove you cruel and base and wolf-hearted in behavior! How can you look the world in the face?"
―Gongsun Zan, challenging Yuan Shao.

In the year 191AD, in chapter 7, Yuan Shao decided to take Jizhou from Han Fu, and wrote a letter to Gongsun Zan, a highly-feared warlord. The letter requested a joint attack on the region, which Zan accepted. At the same time, however, Yuan Shao wrote a letter to Han Fu, informing him that Gongsun Zan's forces were intent on invading Jizhou. Han Fu surrendered the region to Yuan Shao. Yan Liang accompanied Yuan Shao, and protected him from two assassination attempts by two of Han Fu's generals. Gongsun Zan heard of Yuan Shao's capture of Jizhou, and sent his brother, Gongsun Yue, to demand his share. However, Yuan Shao rejected Gongsun Yue, requesting to only be spoken to by Gongsun Zan himself. However, when Gongsun Yue was leaving, he was ambushed and killed by soldiers claiming to be Dong Zhuo's. Gongsun Zan then led an invasion against Yuan Shao's company.

Yuan Shao prepared an army to meet Gongsun Zan, and Yan Liang, along with Wen Chou, were given command of the vanguard. Qu Yi commanded the center, while Yuan Shao himself commanded the rear. The forces met at the River Pan. Wen Chou was able to repel Gongsun Zan and therefore his army for the day.

Yuan Shao scored initial success. The next day, the enemy's general, Yan Gang, came to challenge. But, Yan Liang's archers isolated him, allowing Qu Yi to cut him down. Yuan Shao's army then attacked in full force and drove his enemy back. Yuan Shao, though, went too far out, and was surrounded by the enemy. Yan Liang led reinforcements to save his lord and drove enemies back until Liu Bei arrived with an army to aid Gongsun Zan. From there, Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei led a small force straight for Yuan Shao. Yuan Shao, terrified, dropped his sword and was chased back across the River Pan.

In 198 AD, Yuan Shao re-mobilized for a final attack on Gongsun Zan. Yan Liang accompanied the army, and after a siege on the Yijing Tower, Gongsun Zan was finally defeated. Yuan Shao now ruled over four regions, and at the same time, possessed an army of one million men.

In chapter 13, Yan Liang was sent by Yuan Shao to attack Lu Bu. Lu Bu, however, fled and took refuge with Liu Bei.

Against the Devil HimselfEdit

In the year 200 AD, Yuan Shao decided that he would go against his childhood friend, Cao Cao, and in chapter 25, sent Yan Liang with one hundred thousand veterans to attack Baima. Soon after Cao Cao's army arrived, Yan Liang scouted, seeing an enemy officer, Song Xian approaching. He rode out, and after only three bouts, Song Xian was dead. Wei Xu rode out to avenge his fallen comrade, and began spitting instrumental insults at the triumphant Yan Liang. However, he did not say a word, instead riding out towards Wei Xu and killed him with a single slash of his sword. Xu Huang was next, and came out to challenge Yan Liang. The two fought for twenty bouts, before Xu Huang was forced to flee back to his own army. With no officer capable of defeating a brave Yan Liang, Cao Cao withdrew his army and summoned Liu Bei's general and oath brother, Guan Yu. Yan Liang, instead of pursuing, retired to his own camp.

On one day, Yan Liang sat under the command canopy of his battalion, then seeing a horseman rushing towards him. Before he could ask who the approaching rider was, Guan Yu was on top of him, and killed him with a single strike.

In another version of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, prior to the battle of Baima, Liu Bei tells Yan Liang that Guan Yu is in Cao Cao's forces, and that if he were to show, he'd like him to be asked to come to see Liu Bei. Yan Liang upon recognizing Guan Yu from Liu Bei's description of him, he thought that Guan Yu was coming to join him, so he took no defensive preparation as Guan Yu struck him down.