Ma Chao

Translated Description:

Lone horseman that can outmatch a thousand troops


Qiang General Sword




Shu Army

First Playable:

Chaos of the Three Kingdoms

First Appearance:

Chaos of the Three Kingdoms

Ma Chao is a character that is first playable on the first Chaos of the Three Kingdoms, he is a Shu officer who want to avenge the death of father caused by the hands of Dark Lord Cao Cao. He is the second main hero of the game.&nbsp


Ma Chao is a valiant and straight forward young general who is skilled at riding horses and destroying his enemies with his father's famous calvary of Liang Province. Since Ma Teng was killed by Dark Lord Cao Cao, Ma Chao has chased and attacked his sworn enemy from the Battle of Jicheng to The Battle of Tong Gate, after he was defeated gravely by the Wei army, Ma Chao finally found his place in the Shu kingdom and vows to destroy the dark lord of Wei and avenge his father's death.

Historical Information Edit

Early life

Ma Chao was born in Maoling, Fufeng (northeast of present-day Xingping, Shaanxi) to the warlord Ma Teng and a Qiang woman. His father was one of the many warlords who emerged at the end of the Han Dynasty, and was appointed "General Who Conquers the West" (征西将军) by the imperial court.

Ma Chao was ordered by his father to follow Zhong Yao, Director of Retainers, to attack Guo Yuan and Gao Gan in Pingyang.[2] In the ensuing battle, Ma Chao was hit by an arrow in the foot, but he wrapped his foot in a pouch and continued fighting. He managed to defeat the enemy, while his subordinate Pang De slew Guo Yuan.[2] When Cao Cao became chancellor later, he wanted Ma Chao to serve in the capital city but Ma declined.

At that time, Ma Teng had disagreements with Han Sui, "General Who Controls the West", and he left Liang Province to work in the capital. Ma Teng was appointed "Minister of the Guards" by Cao Cao, and the rest of his family moved to Ye.[2] Ma Chao remained in Liang Province, and was appointed "Lieutenant General" (偏将军) and ordered to take over command of his father's forces. He also received the title of "Marquis of Duting" (都亭侯).

[edit] Uprising against Cao CaoFurther information: Battle of Tong Pass and Battle of Jicheng

In 211, Cao Cao sent Zhong Yao and Xiahou Yuan to lead an army to attack Zhang Lu in Hanzhong. They were due to pass through Liang Province along the way, and Ma Chao suspected that Cao Cao was planning to attack him. He reconciled with Han Sui and contacted Yang Qiu, Li Kan, Cheng Yi, and others. They formed an army of about 100,000 strong to attack Cao Cao at Tong Pass.

Before the battle, Cao Cao went forth to negotiate with Ma Chao and Han Sui. Ma Chao thought highly about himself and secretly planned to capture Cao Cao. However, he was afraid to move when Cao Cao's bodyguard, Xu Chu, glared at him. Cao Cao later put Ma Chao's family to death for the rebellion. Cao Cao then used Jia Xu's ploy to make Ma Chao and Han Sui become suspicious of each other and turn hostile. Ma Chao and Han Sui's army was annihilated by Cao Cao's forces at the Battle of Tong Pass. Ma Chao escaped west after his defeat and was pursued by Cao Cao to Anding. There, Cao Cao heard about unrest in the north and ordered his troops to retreat east.

Ma Chao led the forces of the western tribes to attack the prefectures in Longxi and all the prefectures submitted to him, except for Jicheng.[3] Ma Chao scored a victory at the Battle of Jicheng and killed Wei Kang, the Inspector of Liang Province, and occupied the city. He declared himself "General Who Conquers the West" (征西將軍) and took over governance of Bing Province and control of military affairs in Liang Province. Wei Kang's deputies, Yang Fu, Jiang Xu, Liang Kuan, Zhao Qu and others, were unhappy with Ma Chao and plotted against him. Yang Fu and Jiang Xu rebelled in Licheng and Ma Chao left Jicheng to suppress the revolt but failed. In the meantime, Liang Kuan and Zhao Qu closed the gates of Jicheng and denied Ma Chao entry. Ma Chao had no choice but to seek shelter under Zhang Lu in Hanzhong.

[edit] Service under Zhang Lu

Ma Chao was unhappy with Zhang Lu as he felt that Zhang was not capable nor ambitious enough to make great achievements.[2] He asked Zhang Lu for troops to attack Liang Province from time to time, but never succeeded.

Zhang Lu once thought of marrying his daughter to Ma Chao, but Wang Shang, one of Zhang's followers, opposed the idea, saying that Ma Chao was courageous but inhumane and untrustworthy.[4] Another follower of Zhang Lu suggested that Ma Chao will not love those around him.[5] Zhang Lu then decided to abort his plan. Ma Chao regretted causing the deaths of his family members, as on one New Year's Day, he lamented to a relative, "A big family with hundred members, all sharing the same fate in one day. Now are there only the two of us to give greetings to each other?"[6]

Due to Ma Chao's disgraceful past, Zhang Lu became suspicious of Ma's loyalty to him, and he sent Yang Bai to watch over Ma. After sensing that Liang Province was not easy to conquer and that Zhang Lu distrusted him, Ma Chao led his men out of Hanzhong to live with the Di people around Wudu.

[edit] Service under Liu Bei

When Ma Chao heard that Liu Bei had besieged Liu Zhang in Chengdu, he killed Yang Bai to prove his loyalty and sent a secret letter to Liu Bei, requesting to join him. Liu Bei was pleased and he sent Li Hui to bring Ma Chao to Chengdu.[7] Liu Zhang surrendered and Liu Bei occupied Yi Province. Liu Bei appointed Ma Chao as "General Who Pacifies the West" (平西將軍) and put him in charge of Linju, which befitted Ma Chao's previous title of "Marquis of Duting". Ma Chao was subsequently promoted to "General of the Left" (左將軍) when Liu Bei declared himself "King of Hanzhong".

In 221, Ma Chao was appointed "General of Agile Cavalry" (驃騎將軍) and governor of Liang Province, and received the title of "Marquis of Lixiang" (斄鄉侯).[2] Liu Bei's edict read: "I'm not capable but I need to preserve the Han Dynasty. Cao Cao and Cao Pi will be remembered for their sins. I'm disconsolate by their wrongdoings. Our people loathed them and hoped that the Han Dynasty will be restored, such that the Di, Qiang, Xunyu and other ethnic groups will be willing to join us. The northerners look up to you and your valour is well known there. I've an important task for you: I hope that you will use your influence to govern them well and show concern for them. You must show the benefits of the Han government and be impartial in rewarding the good and punishing the evil. You must not let our people down."[8]

During the Hanzhong Campaign, Ma Chao followed Zhang Fei to attack Cao Hong in Wudu. Ma Chao and Zhang Fei attempted to trick Cao Hong into believing that they were planning to attack his rear route, but Cao Xiu saw through their ruse and advised Cao Hong to launch a counterattack. Ma Chao and Zhang Fei were defeated and forced to retreat. As a consequence of Ma Chao's defeat, the Di people turned their allegiance to Cao Hong and killed Wu Lan, one of Ma Chao and Zhang Fei's subordinates.

[edit] The case of Peng Yang

When Peng Yang was appointed governor of Jiangyang and was about to leave Chengdu to assume office, he visited Ma Chao and said, "If you're in charge of external affairs and I'm in charge of internal affairs, the country will not be hard to pacify."[9] Ma Chao interpreted Peng Yang's statement as: "If you rebel outside Chengdu and I assist you inside, the country is not hard to conquer." Hence, Ma Chao secretly reported Peng Yang's "treacherous speech" to the chancellor Zhuge Liang and Peng was executed for plotting a rebellion.

In brief, Ma Chao's main concern after joining Shu was to solidify his position in the state by getting rid of Peng Yang, whom Zhuge Liang disliked.[10]

[edit] Death

Ma Chao died at the age of 47 in 222. Before his death, he wrote to Liu Bei, "Most of my extended family of 200 people were killed by Cao Cao. Only my younger cousin Ma Dai is left. Let him continue our family line. I entrust him to you, Your Majesty. That's all I have to say."[11]

Ma Chao was granted the posthumous nobility title of "Marquis Wei" (威侯) and the title was inherited by his son, Ma Cheng. Ma Chao's daughter later married Liu Bei's son Liu Li, the Prince of Anping. When Ma Chao defected to Liu Bei, he left his concubine (surnamed Dong) and his son (named Ma Qiu) in Zhang Lu's domain. After Zhang Lu surrendered to Cao Cao, Cao Cao presented Lady Dong to Yan Pu, and Ma Qiu to Zhang Lu. Zhang Lu killed Ma Qiu personally.[2]

[edit] Family

Father: Ma Teng, a prominent warlord who served as Minister of the Guards in Luoyang. He was executed on Cao Cao's orders after Ma Chao started a rebellion.


Ma Xiu, younger brother, executed on Cao Cao's orders after Ma Chao started a rebellion.

Ma Tie, younger brother, executed on Cao Cao's orders after Ma Chao started a rebellion


Ma Dai, younger cousin, became a general in Shu Han


Lady Dong (董氏), Ma Chao's concubine. She remained in Zhang Lu's domain when Ma defected to Liu Bei. Cao Cao presented her to Yan Pu after Zhang Lu surrendered.


Ma Qiu (馬秋), born to Lady Dong. He remained in Zhang Lu's domain when his father defected to Liu Bei. Cao Cao presented him to Zhang Lu after Zhang surrendered. Zhang Lu killed him personally.

Ma Cheng (馬承)

Lady Ma (馬氏), married Liu Bei's son Liu Li, the Prince of Anping


A Bronco Shining With Honor

  • First Appearance: Chaos of the Three Kingdoms
  • Description: Ma Chao performs a overhead vertical slash to his enemies. Wind Elemental.

The Black Stallion's Resolve

  • First Appearance: Chaos of the Three Kingdoms
  • Description: Ma Chao unsheathes his sword and charges forward, turning his sword into a drilling cyclone to impale his enemies. Wind Elemental.

A Stallion's Leap Towards Freedom

  • First Appearance: Chaos of the Three Kingdoms
  • Description: Ma Chao will summon a stampede of Broncos made out of wind elemental energy and will send them to crash into enemy soldiers. Wind Elemental.

Valor Attack: True Stallion Flash

  • First Appearance: Chaos of the Three Kingdoms
  • Description: Ma Chao's most advantageous attack, he delivers a number of 13 slashes to enemy soldiers and jumps backwards and then unleash a powerful huge blade of wind energy and hurls it his enemies which will gravely cut through the enemy soldiers, killing them. Wind Elemental.

Stallion Rush

  • First Appearance: Chaos of the Three Kingdoms 2
  • Description: Ma Chao rushes forward and performs a 12 hit combo to his enemies before finishing them off with a circular slashing uppercut imbued in wind energy. Wind Elemental.

White Stallion Dance

  • First Appearance: Chaos of the Three Kingdoms 2
  • Description: Ma Chao will slash at his enemies three times and swings his sword forward which a creates a strong wind that will blow them away. Wind Elemental.

Bronco Pierce

  • First Appearance: Chaos of the Three Kingdoms 2
  • Description: Ma Chao charges forward and spins at enemies while holding his sword out. Wind Elemental.

Valor Attack: Final Stallion Burst

  • First Appearance: Chaos of the Three Kingdoms 2
  • Description: Ma Chao performs a powerful 25 hit combo toward his enemies and unleashes a barrage of wind energy blades that devastates and kills them on impact. Wind Elemental.