Hao Zhao
Hao Zhao (ROTK14)
Character Information
Force(s): Wei
Weapon Type: Polearm (5)
Sword (6)
Club (7)
Great sword (8)
Unit Type: Large Warrior (5)
Hero (6)
Warrior (7~8)
Significant Battle(s):
First Appearance: Dynasty Warriors 5
Historical Information
Real name:
Hǎo Zhāo
Chinese name:
Style name:
Chinese name:
April 229

Hao Zhao (onyomi: Kaku Shō) is a general who serves Wei. He is famous for defeating a Shu army led by Zhuge Liang during the Siege of Chencang.

His height in Kessen II is 165 cm (5'5").

Role in Games

Hao Zhao is an officer located inside the castle during the battle of Chen Cang in Dynasty Warriors 5. Should the Shu forces manage to break through the gates, Hao Zhao will equip the archers inside the castle with fire arrows. Dynasty Warriors 6 has him appear only at Shi Ting opposing Wu. In Special, he appears as an enemy at Tong Gate and Jie Ting. In Dynasty Warriors 8, Hao Zhao appears as the enemy commander at Chencang in Shu's story and dies at the end of the stage.

In Dynasty Warriors 9, Hao Zhao can be found during the Hanzhong campaign in Wei's side as one of Wang Ping's potential replacements. If Hao Zhao is selected, he will send some engineers to launch a fire attack on the Shu forces to help the player. During Zhuge Liang's first set of Northern Campaigns, Hao Zhao will be held up by Yueying's juggernauts and will be unable to move. In Wei's side, rescuing him causes the juggernauts used by the other Shu forces to stop working. In Shu's side, defeating him will only provide a morale boost.

Hao Zhao appears as an officer of Wei in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms games. He has very high leadership and high war and intelligence stats, making him a decent officer in battle who can hold his own against most enemies. He is usually skilled with defensive unit types and siege weaponry. His skill in the eleventh installment has a chance of nullifying any damage taken if he has less than 3,000 troops in his unit.

The English adaptation of Kessen II calls his character Guo Shao, likely due to a misreading of the Chinese characters in his name. He is a late arrival for Cao Cao as he reinforces his lord at Tian Shui at Sima Yi's behest. Developers describe him to be a brave general who is calm and patient. He leads an army of archers into battle and is a nearly impenetrable defensive unit, even on the game's harder difficulty levels.

Voice Actors

  • Park Seongtae - Romance of the Three Kingdoms: The Legend of Cao Cao (Korean)
  • Shiyoki Kitatani - Kessen II (Japanese)


  • "We're not through yet! Ready the fire arrows!"

Historical Information

Hao Zhao was born in Taiyuan, Bing Province. He started his service under Cao Cao after the latter had conquered northern China. When he entered the army, he became a commander of a division and had many military accomplishments, which earned him a great reputation. He eventually became "Zahao Jiangjun" and was stationed in Hexi. The common people and foreign tribes were in awe of him. In 215, Hao Zhao served as a subordinate commander under Zhang Liao at Hefei, where he killed the enemy general Chen Wu.

After the Wei army defeated Ma Su at Jieting, Wei commander Cao Zhen sent Hao Zhao to fortify Chencang because he expected Zhuge Liang to attack it. Sure enough, Zhuge Liang advanced and surrounded the city. As he was unable to take the city, he sent a man named Jin Xiang to the walls, who was from the same county as Hao Zhao. Jin Xiang tried to persuade Hao Zhao to surrender, but the latter only said, "You are well acquainted with the laws of the House of Wei, and you know very well what kind of man I am. I have received much grace from the state and my house is important. There is nothing you can say; I have only to die. Return and thank Zhuge Liang for me; he may launch his attack." Jin Xiang returned to Zhuge Liang, who sent him again to the walls, this time telling Hao Zhao that his troops were no match for the Shu army. Hao Zhao replied, "My previous words to you are now fixed. My friend, I know you well but my arrows do not." Thus, Jin Xiang left again.

Zhuge Liang knew that he greatly outnumbered Hao Zhao and that reinforcements would not arrive in time. He decided to attack the city using siege towers and ladders. Hao Zhao countered by using fire arrows against the ladders, which caught fire and burnt the soldiers to death, as well as using stones tied up by ropes and smashed the towers. Zhuge Liang then catapulted wooden frameworks made of double cross-pieces into the walls and filled the city moat with earth in order to scale the walls directly. Hao Zhao then built a second wall inside the city. Finally, Zhuge Liang tried to use tunnels to enter the city, but Hao Zhao intercepted them by digging his own tunnels. The troops fought for many days, until Zhuge Liang retreated due to Wei reinforcements arriving.

Hao Zhao was praised for his excellent defense against Zhuge Liang's troops and made a Marquis. When he returned to the capital, he was met by Emperor Cao Rui, who offered him many gifts for his service and praised him before his Prefect of the Palace Writer, Sun Zi. Shortly before he died in April 229, Hao Zhao said to his son Hao Kai, "I as a general, know what a general should not do. I have opened up many a grave mound, obtaining their wood to be used in making equipment in attacks during battle, and thus I know a grand funeral is of no use to the dead. You are to dress my body in everyday clothes. In life the living has a place of dwelling, in death where do they go? Today going to my grave is far away, north south east and west, it is up to you."

Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Defense of Chencang

When Zhuge Liang launched his second northern campaign against Wei, Sima Yi, based on his predictions, recommended Hao Zhao to build fortifications in Chencang. Sima Yi confidently assured the Emperor of Wei that Hao Zhao would render Chencang "absolutely secure." Zhao was promoted to General Who Guards the West and carried out his orders.

Zhuge Liang sent out scouts in preparation and received word that a solid barricade enshrouded in thorns blocked their way. Although urged to take an alternate route, Zhuge Liang proceed to march towards Chencang in order to reach the city of Jieting. When they reached the fortress-city, Wei Yan advanced with an army and surrounded Chencang. He met with no success attempting to capture the city, however, and was nearly executed by Zhuge Liang for his failure. Jin Xiang, a Shu counselor and childhood friend of Hao Zhao, set out to try to convince his friend to betray Wei. The first time they spoke, Hao Zhao would hear none of it, saying "There is nothing you can say; I have only to die. Return and thank Zhuge Liang for me; he may launch his attack." Jin Xiang was sent back by Zhuge Liang, and again tried to persuade Zhao to defect. Hao Zhao this time fitted an arrow and replied "Go! Or I will shoot. I meant what I said at first, and I will say no more." Upon hearing this, Zhuge Liang called the defiant general a fool, and he himself described his confidence best when he boasted "I do not think such a small place can beat me".

Against all odds

Having only had 3,000 archers to defend Chencang, Hao Zhao was greatly outnumbered by Shu's 300,000 strong army. The Shu armies' first attempt to scale the wall used siege ladders. Hao Zhao countered with fire arrows, burning the ladders and the men upon them. Zhuge Liang did not expect this, and became very annoyed. He then sent battering rams to try to smash the gates, which was countered by great stones, tied and suspended from the walls with rope, which were dropped and smashed the rams. The besiegers then attempted to fill the moats and attack the walls directly, but this was countered when a second wall was constructed from the inside. Liao Hua was sent with 3000 men to dig trenches into the city, but was foiled by counter trenches. The struggle continued for 20-odd days, with Zhuge Liang becoming increasingly depressed. News came of Wei reinforcements being led by Wang Shuang, and Zhuge Liang's army was unable to stop Wang Shuang's army from reaching Chencang, and lost two generals in the process. With Wang Shuang building additional fortifications and unable to stop him, Zhuge Liang took advice from Jiang Wei, whom said that Chencang "cannot be taken" with Hao Zhao at the defense. He retreated.


Hao Zhao was given the noble rank of Marquis and the Emperor made the comment to a Palace Writer that "your county has produced such an exceptional general, what worries should I have?" Hao Zhao's services were used frequently thereafter. However, following the death of Wang Shuang, Hao Zhao fell ill and was nearing death. When Zhuge Liang heard the news, he cried out in joy and immediately begun his third Northern Expedition. He organized a raid upon Chencang, and sent Jiang Wei and Wei Yan with 5000 troops to attack Chencang. Hearing of a Shu army at the walls from his deathbed, Hao Zhao roused himself to lead the defense again. Due to a ploy by Zhuge, fires broke out at each of Chencang's gates, and the sick man collapsed, saying his final words to his son Hao Kai. His words were recorded as thus:

"I as a general, know what a general should not do. I have opened up many a grave mound, obtaining their wood to be used in making equipment in attacks during battle, and thus I know a grand funeral is of no use to the dead. You are to dress my body in everyday clothes. In life the living has a place of dwelling, in death where do they go? Today going to my grave is far away, north, south, east and west, it is up to you."

Zhuge Liang sent the body of Hao Zhao and his family to Wei, respecting the loyalty the man had shown. Upon hearing the news of Hao Zhao's death, Wei general Guo Huai was described as being very frightened.


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