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Deng Ai
Dynasty Warriors 9 artwork
Character Information
Force(s): Wei
200 cm (6'7")
Weapon Type: Drill spear (7~8)
Revolving crossbow (8:E)
Great axe (9)
Significant Battle(s):
Playable Debut: Dynasty Warriors 7
Historical Information
Real name:
Dèng Ài
Chinese name:
鄧艾 - 邓艾
Style name:
Chinese name:
士載 - 士载
Possibly born in 197.
Warriors Orochi Info
Hanbei Cadre
Nobunaga Oda League
Liu Bei Resistance's
Dongkou (WO3)
Tedorigawa (WO4)
Character Type:
Power (WO3~4)
Sacred Treasure:

Deng Ai (onyomi: Tō Gai) is one of the generals who served Wei. He was famed for his ability to instantly analyze a battlefield for the best places to store grain and position troops. Deng Ai was discovered by Sima Yi and contributed to fighting Shu's northern campaigns led by Jiang Wei. His army is accredited to have caused Liu Shan's surrender. However, his slightly growing arrogance allowed his colleague Zhong Hui to slander him, which ultimately lead to events that ended in Deng Ai's death.

Before his playable appearance in the Dynasty Warriors series, he was an NPC Wei general since the second installment. He is thirty-sixth place in Gamecity's Dynasty Warriors 7 character popularity poll and fifty-third in the Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends poll. The latest poll for the eighth installment puts him in sixty-eighth. The character poll for overseas fans puts him in ninth place for the Jin division.

His height in Kessen II is 185 cm (6'1").

Role in Games

Dynasty Warriors

Throughout the Dynasty Warriors series, Deng Ai appears as a regular subordinate general for Wei or Sima Yi. In Dynasty Warriors 4, he is seen at Cheng Du. During the fifth title, he is a somewhat prominent general at the Wu Zhang Plains. In the Wei version of the stage, he is an officer under Zhong Hui, who sets up the catapults in order to repel the Shu forces. Conversely, Deng Ai prepares the catapults in the Shu version of the map.

For his playable appearance, Deng Ai is first seen as a Wei general at Wuzhang Plains, helping the offensive against Shu. He is later seen meeting Sima Zhao as they are on orders to assist Cao Shuang's conquest in Shu. While the campaign ends in failure, Deng Ai is pleasantly surprised by Sima Zhao's integrity and henceforth places his faith in the Sima family. He supports their efforts against Shu and Jiang Wei.

During one such an encounter at Tianshui, Deng Ai and Guo Huai are ordered to rescue the surrounded Sima Zhao. Guo Huai's heroics leads to their seemingly turnaround victory. However, he and his men soon discover Guo Huai's corpse and are faced with Jiang Wei's swift counteroffensive. As opposed to losing their drive by the death, Deng Ai commands the men to fight in honor of the departed general's memory. As such, they have a resounding victory over Shu. When Jiang Wei launches the invasion at Duangu, Deng Ai and Zhong Hui are ordered to stop their foe. Deng Ai attempts to conduct the formation rationally and with careful planning, but Zhong Hui refuses to accept his authority and hastily leads the troops. With the Wei army trapped soon after, Deng Ai is impressed by Jiang Wei's cunning but moves to counter. After he rescues Zhong Hui, Deng Ai personally defeats Jiang Wei and causes a second withdraw.

Deng Ai leads his men to take the mountain path for the final battle at Chengdu. They encounter a mysterious fog, and phantoms of Zhuge Liang haunt the Wei troops. Remaining calm throughout their supernatural encounter, Deng Ai dispels the illusion to restore morale and continues the march to Chengdu without further incidents. He is last seen joining the subjugation forces within Shu.

In his first Legendary Battle, Deng Ai fights Sun Quan and the Wu forces with only a few allies as the main forces are busy with Shu. His second Legendary Battle is Zhong Hui's rebellion which has Deng Ai protect Sima Zhao from the traitor and Jiang Wei.

Dynasty Warriors Next has Deng Ai aid Sima Yi's coup against Cao Shuang's faction. He provides the Sima family with strategic advice during their campaigns against the kingdom of Shu, often cautioning them not to underestimate Jiang Wei and his allies. In Jin's ending, he is among those attending Sima Yi's rallying of the troops.

In Dynasty Warriors 8, Deng Ai has a role similar to the one in the previous installment. In the hypothetical route, he helps in rescuing Guo Huai from death at Mt. Tielong. He then accompanies Sima Shi in defeating Shu at Chengdu.

Though he does not appear in Wei's story, he still appears among Wei's officers as early as Chibi. In Wu's hypothetical route, he helps support the Sima clan at Runan, and Cao Cao's final stand at Xuchang.

In the Xtreme Legends expansion, Deng Ai appears in the fictional defense of Shangyong against Zhuge Liang. His role after Shu's demise is further expanded as he and Wen Yang first attempt to escape from Zhong Hui's grasp at Chengdu, and later assist in defending Shangyong Castle. With their victory, Deng Ai and Wen Yang see Zhong Hui off one last time before his punishment is completed.

Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed gives Deng Ai a bond story that highlights his achievements under the Sima clan's leadership. Having impressed Sima Yi with a precise report on military-grade farm projects along the Huai River, he is entrusted to help lead the army to Chengdu using his navigational skills. He easily bypasses the rugged terrain of Jiange and captures Shu's capital, leading to their quick surrender. His story ends with him locked in bitter conflict against Jiang Wei, lamenting they could have been friends if not for the war.

In Dynasty Warriors 9, Deng Ai begins as one of Sima Yi's subordinates sent to aid Cao Shuang's foolhardy campaign at Mt. Xingshi. Disappointed with the regent's recent actions, Deng Ai joins Sima Yi in taking action against Cao Shuang, capturing the capital and the man's private group of officials. Upon executing them, Wang Ling rebels at Shouchun and Deng Ai helps put a stop to the rebellion.

Sima Yi soon dies shortly, with Sima Shi taking the reins over Wei. Deng Ai continues to aid Wei throughout Sima Shi's battles at Hefei Castle, as well as against Jiang Wei's northern campaigns until Sima Shi's untimely death during the rebellion of Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin.

Continuing to serve Sima Zhao, Deng Ai eventually helps in the conquest of Shu, being part of the mobile unit working around the main Shu army to attack Chengdu.

After conquering the capital and accepting Liu Shan's surrender, Deng Ai consolidates his efforts to building more canals and waterways for the peasantry. He is honored by the peasants thanking him for giving them a bumper harvest as a result and accepts their request for him to join their banquet.

In Zhong Hui's personal DLC scenario, Deng Ai remains a staunch rival throughout Zhong Hui's career, often attempting to complete missions only to find that Zhong Hui had finished them before his arrival. When Zhong Hui turns against Sima Zhao after Wu and Shu are conquered, Deng Ai is charged with defending one of the gates of Hefei Castle. He can be demoralized if Zhong Hui manages to slay Deng Zhong at the supply depot of Sima Zhao's army, while his men can be demoralized if Zhong Hui came ahead of all the missions Deng Ai was meant to accomplish.

Like the other officers that aid Sima Zhao, he is killed by Zhong Hui.

Warriors Orochi

Warriors Orochi 3 has him stationed at Dongkou as a part of the original defense. He gladly welcomes Hanbei and company from the future and obediently joins their cause. Throughout the rest of the game, he follows Hanbei. He also personally seeks to restore Zhong Hui's loyalty as he and his comrades storm Luoyang, confused as to why the younger general would betray his lord in the first place. The veteran's past experience with the youth and his strategies to invade the castle helps Mitsuhide and Nagamasa sway Zhong Hui's heart back to the coalition.

In Ultimate, Deng Ai returns to Wei, and assists Cao Cao in aiding Pang Tong, who is besieged by the demon army. It later turns out that Pang Tong was actually one of Kyūbi's tails, and he would later deceive Shu forces led by Zhang Fei into attacking the Wei army.

Deng Ai was a part of Sima Yi's group of officers when they were forced into submission by Nobunaga in Warriors Orochi 4. Maintaining an alliance with both the Oda and the Date, they are attacked by Liu Bei and Xu Shu at Tedorigawa in order to bring them away from the Oda side. Despite countering the rebel army's sabotage of the allied ambush, Guan Yu and Zhuge Liang arrive to help defeat the Date-Wei army. After their defeat, Deng Ai and the rest of the Date-Wei army surrender and join the rebel army.

After the rebel and Oda armies merge to form the Coalition, Deng Ai accompanies Sima Zhao in helping rescue Zhong Hui at Baidi Castle.


Deng Ai first appears assisting Ma Chao's forces at Tong Gate to oppose Wei and joins Cai Wengi after the battle. If the player chooses to fight Cai Wengi during Wei's story, he will appear as her subordinate general. If Cao Cao rides alone to greet him, he will be touched by the conqueror's trust in him. After locating the real Cai Wengi, he joins Wei.

Character Information

Deng Ai's Shin Sangoku Musou 15th Anniversary artwork.


Deng Ai was created to be seen as a chiseled general of many years of experience. To emphasize his years on the battlefield, he was given a buff physique to toughen his body. The selective usage of metal for his outfit is to emphasize his role as the muscle power for Jin. Since his bandanna conceals his eyebrows, it makes it intentionally difficult to perceive his emotions. The producer believes it lets him be a taciturn and persuasive character. Deng Ai is meant to be a brash looking yet sincere character for Jin.


For his playable Dynasty Warriors appearance, Deng Ai is a Wei general who once acted as a minster in office. After witnessing Sima Yi's intellect, however, he decided to return to the battlefront and watch over the troops during the campaigns against Shu.

He has a hobby of looking at maps and, to preserve their accuracy, he is cautious of the war changing the geography. His humbleness yet sharp wit makes him a valuable and trusted ally for the Sima family.

He has an affinity with Hanbei, Mitsuhide, and Nagamasa in his Warriors Orochi appearance. The latest instalment has Kiyomasa consult Deng Ai for irrigation designs once peace returns. Guan Yinping idolizes the general's respectable physique and asks for his diet and working regimens, though Deng Ai is surprised by the maiden's lack of awareness as well as her own determination.

His favorite food is pig's feet.

Character Symbolism

The item Deng Ai is affiliated with in Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate, the Waterway Maps, calls back to how he first claimed Sima Yi's attention. As Wei was promoting agriculture for its upcoming wars against Wu and Shu, Deng Ai was sent to various areas to inspect the land. His succeeding assessment, known as the Ji He Lun, stated that the land was fertile, but lacked moisture. Deng Ai then sent irrigation plans that made use of the Huai river, and Wei's granaries were dramatically increased thanks to Deng Ai's proposal.

Voice Actors

  • Steven Blum - Kessen II (English-uncredited)
  • Richard Epcar - Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires (English-uncredited)
  • Alan Shearman - Dynasty Warriors 6 (English-uncredited)
  • Matt Lasky - Dynasty Warriors 7~8 (English, uncredited)
  • Jose Saldana - Dynasty Warriors 9 (English)
  • Xudong Gao - Dynasty Warriors 9 (Chinese)
  • Cho Nagyun - Romance of the Three Kingdoms: The Legend of Cao Cao (Korean)
  • Masato Obara - Dynasty Warriors 7~9, Warriors Orochi 3 (Japanese)
  • Takehiko Watanabe - Kessen II (Japanese)
  • Tōru Nara - Youkai Sangokushi (Japanese)
  • Kōsuke Gotō - Sangokushi Hadou (Japanese)


See also: Deng Ai/Quotes
  • "I remember when you were just a clerk who spent all his time looking at maps. You've grown strong."
"My lord! I have merely fulfilled the assignments I have been given."
"I see. Maybe it's time I started giving my sons assignments as well."
~~Sima Yi and Deng Ai; Dynasty Warriors 7
  • "So you like looking at maps, huh? Do you travel too?"
"There are some things a map can't tell you. So sometimes I go on a trip to see them with my own eyes."
"Then you must know a lot about local food. I'm going to the south soon, do you have any recommendations?"
"I'm sorry. I never pay attention to what I eat."
~~Ma Dai and Deng Ai; Dynasty Warriors 8
  • "Please, Master Deng Ai, tell me... How come you never get lost?"
"I too sometimes lose my way. That I why I like maps, and if I don't have a map, then I ask someone who knows the area. There is no shame in actually being lost, Master Mitsuhide. You should be more concerned about a heart that fears becoming so."
~~Mitsuhide and Deng Ai; Warriors Orochi 3
  • "Master Deng Ai, will you teach me some of the secrets of your engineering techniques? Please!"
"Master Kiyomasa Katō, is it not? You certainly seem passionate... But may I ask why?"
"Lord Hideyoshi wants to create a land where everyone can be happy. I want to help him do that."
"Hmm... I do not see how engineering techniques and happiness are linked."
"To create a land where everyone can be happy, the land must first be united and at peace. It will be a long battle. Supplies will be the key to victory. But the transportation of supplies is a burden on the people, and it drives up food prices in the regions."
"So you want to use irrigation techniques to grow grains near enemy territory, yes? I have had the same idea, and put it into practice."
"That is not all. Peace will mean an increase in people and an increase in their need for food. I wish to enrich our land through the power of engineering."
"And that will make the people happy... I see. I will give you the benefit of what experience I have."
"Thank you so much!"
~~Kiyomasa and Deng Ai; Warriors Orochi 4


See also: Deng Ai/Movesets

Dynasty Warriors 9



Keys: Square Flow Attack • Triangle Reactive Attack • Circle Musou X Jump/Mount

Deng Ai is affiliated with the great axe in this appearance.

Unique Flow Attack:
Unique Trigger Attack (R1 + ):
Special Technique (R1 + Circle):
Musou (Circle):
Aerial Musou (X + Circle):


See also: Deng Ai/Weapons

Dynasty Warriors 8

Deng Ai still uses the lance as his default weapon in this title. But starting in Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires, his new weapon of choice is the revolving crossbow.

Historical Information

Originally from the county of Yiyang, Deng Ai lost his father at a young age. As a consequence of this and the growing wars, he and his mother were forced to move from Runan to Yingchuan. Despite his lowly position and humble beginnings, Sima Yi recognized his talents and had him promoted within the upper levels of the Wei administration. His contributions in agricultural development earned him the post of governor in Nan'an.

In 263, he took part in the war to conquer Shu Han with Zhong Hui. Jiang Wei fended them off somewhere south of Hanzhong. Deng Ai suggested to pass troops through Yinping but Zhong Hui rejected the idea. Deng Ai then carried out his own plan with his son Deng Zhong and troops and it turned out to be a great success. They eventually managed to enter Chengdu, and the Shu emperor Liu Shan surrendered. Zhong Hui however, seemed to have other plans of his own, he saw Deng Ai's growing arrogance in his efforts of capturing Chengdu as an opportunity.

Jiang Wei, however, did not want the Kingdom of Shu to fall. He was determined that Zhong Hui wanted to rebel against Wei. They united, defamed Deng Ai through slander that involved Sima Zhao receiving letters of Deng Ai's supposed actions (while any proof of Deng Ai's innocence was intercepted by Zhong Hui while he himself was masterfully forging letters), and thus Zhao told Deng Ai that all of his actions can only be enacted through imperial edict.

However, one of Deng Ai's only letters to Sima Zhao proposed to him this:

Vin1.jpg "In battle, sometimes uproar should precede action. If we now use our conquest of Shu as the opportunity to act against Wu, the Wu will be shattered by fear; this is the time when we should carry all before us. On the other hand, as a result of the great campaign we have made, our generals and troops are worn out and cannot be employed immediately. Therefore we must take time in executing our plan. We ought to leave here twenty thousand men of the Longyou troops and another twenty thousand men of the Shu troops, manufacture salt by boiling and iron by smelting for the important functions of war and husbandry; at the same time we ought to construct ships in preparation for sailing downstream. After these are done, we should send our envoys to tell them how their interests will be affected. Then, the Wu will be certain to surrender to us; we may thus conquer them without making any campaign against them."

"Now we ought to treat Liu Shan liberally in order to induce Sun Xiu to surrender, bring peace to the gentry and the people in order to make the people from afar come to us. If we, without any ado, were to send Liu Shan to the capital, the Wu would think that he was being banished; they would be discouraged in their intention to come over to us. We ought to stretch a point and temporarily leave him as he is now. In the autumn or winter of the following year, when the Wu will have been conquered, it may be possible."

"Liu Shan ought to be enfeoffed as Prince of Fufeng with emoluments; also his attendants ought to be supplied with their needs. In the prefecture of Fufeng, there is the Dongzhuowu, which ought to be converted into his palace. His sons ought to be enfeoffed as Dukes and Marquis, with the different counties in the commandery as their appendages. By this means, would he be shown special honors for having surrendered."

"We ought to set aside Guangling and Chengyang for the Wu. Then will he be filled with awe and love us for our virtue, and will surrender voluntarily."


It was from there, that Deng Ai in a nutshell, proposed to take advantage of the conquered lands around Shu and to put everyone in Shu to work to benefit both themselves and Wei in the long run, which may also incite Wu to surrender for their own benefit instead trying to continuously fight. Should Wu still fight, Deng Ai also proposed to Sima Zhao to prepare a fleet of ships in order to sail along a previously-inaccessible route to attack Wu. It was debated that should these plans come to fruition, the war for the land would have been over before the end of 264.

Despite this, Sima Zhao's doubts towards Deng Ai were expressed in this letter:

Vin1.jpg "When, under your orders, I started on the expedition, I received your instructions. Now the rebels have surrendered. In presuming the Imperial authority and conferring appointments, my intention was to put the newly surrendered at ease; I think I acted properly as far as it was expedient. Now, the Shu have surrendered one and all; their territory extends to the South China Sea and in the east it abuts on Wujun and Kuaiji. Therefore, it is necessary that I restore tranquility as early as possible. If I must await instructions from the State, the journey back and forth would take days and months. It is a principle prescribed since the Spring and Autumn period that a Great Officer: "If he, going out of the country, can stabilize the foundation of his country and effect advantages to the State, may take power into his own hand."

"Now, the Wu have not surrendered and they are intimately associated with the Shu. We should not bind ourselves to routine and fail to act properly. The Art of War says, ‘One does not seek fame when advancing nor evade punishment when retreating.’ I indeed fall short of the ancients of virtue, but I do not act too modestly and ruin the cause of the State."


Wei Guan was then ordered to capture Deng Ai, but promised to the latter's subordinates that their commander would be returned immediately once the matter was sorted out. Jiang Wei's plan failed eventually and the Army killed him and Zhong Hui along with several other figures.

Soon, Deng Ai's innocence was founded, and his soldiers tried to rescue him, but Wei Guan upon realizing the mistake feared that Deng Ai might take vengeance on him so he and Tian Xu killed Deng Ai and his sons; Tian Xu in particular held a personal grudge against Deng Ai for a while.

As a result of the fake slander, the rest of Deng Ai's family was exiled to the western regions until being brought back by Sima Yan upon learning of the framing.

Deng Ai, prior to his appointment, was often mocked for his stuttering problem, a fault which he used to his advantage in speaking with his superiors in some circles of historical debate, who mostly regarded his curious stuttering as jokes or witty expressions. Regardless, his stutter made it difficult for him to get appointed properly and made several others deem him as stupid; beforehand, his skills and potential were mainly dismissed as mere hobbies. It was not until a fateful encounter with Sima Yi that Deng Ai's talents were discovered from there onward.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms


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