|Force(s):|| Ma Teng's Forces|
Ma Chao's Forces
Zhang Lu's Forces
186 cm (6'1")
|Weapon Type:|| Qiang (2~9)|
Zhanmadao (6:S, SF)
|Playable Debut:||Dynasty Warriors 2|
|Real name:|| |
|Chinese name:|| |
馬超 - 马超
|Style name:|| |
|Chinese name:|| |
|Personal Item:|| |
|Sacred Treasure:|| |
Ma Chao (onyomi: Ba Chō) is Ma Teng's eldest biological son and heir, as well as cousin to Ma Dai. He distrusted Cao Cao and rebelled against him at Tong Gate. When he failed, Ma Chao resented the warlord when his family was executed in retaliation. He lost many more kin and property opposing Cao Cao until he surrendered to Liu Bei. Romance of the Three Kingdoms nicknames him "Ma Chao the Splendid" in ode to his magnificent armor and stalwart appearance. After his death, he has been dubbed one of the Five Tiger Generals.
His Dynasty Warriors incarnation ranked at ninth place in Gamecity's Dynasty Warriors 7 character popularity poll and was twenty-second place in the Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends popularity poll. The latest poll for the eighth installment puts him in twelfth. The character poll for overseas fans puts him in second place for the Shu division and ninth in the semi-final round. He also ranked fourth in Shin Sangoku Musou Online Z's first survey for most popular general. He also shares a duet image song with Ma Dai titled Like the Wind.
His character's height in Kessen II is 180 cm (5'11").
Role in Games
- "You are the most honorable warrior I have seen in this place!"
- ~~Kanetsugu; Warriors Orochi
Ma Chao is well known for his goal of a land of justice. When his family is destroyed by Cao Cao, he often leads a resistance against their killer at Tong Gate. After the conflict, he wanders and eventually meets Liu Bei at Cheng Du. Though they are enemies during their struggle, he is impressed by their valiant spirit and capable warriors. He joins Shu from then on and participates in their Southern or Northern Campaigns.
His Legend Mode in Dynasty Warriors 4: Xtreme Legends happens after the battle at Jia Meng Gate. Ma Chao has just been recruited by Liu Bei, who accepts him as an equal. However, to appease disbelievers, Liu Bei asks him to undergo a short trial against his army. When the time limit ends, Ma Chao is fully accepted into Shu's ranks and is congratulated by the other Five Tiger Generals.
In Dynasty Warriors 5, Ma Chao is a warrior of Xi Liang who is trained by his father since his youth. He joins his father's campaign to drive Dong Zhuo away from their lands. After the battle, Ma Teng and his clansmen are invited to attend to the emperor and are executed for treason by Cao Cao. Enraged and vilifying Wei, Ma Chao pacifies Quanzhong for his clansmen and rallies with Han Sui at Tong Gate. In his story, he claims victory but loses many friends and comrades in his quest for vengeance. Left with nothing but hatred, his meeting with Liu Bei changes the youth's outlook with his vision of unity. Feeling in debt to his new liege and emphasizing with his loss, Ma Chao aids the front at Yi Ling. When Liu Bei dies, he believes in the hopes of his fallen comrades and defends their dreams at Jie Ting and Bai Di Castle. With Wei their only opposition remaining, he feels no spite for his enemies and only desires to deliver justice in the name of Shu. In his ending, he challenges Cao Pi and Sima Yi to an unknown conclusion.
He shares his Legend Mode in Xtreme Legends expansion with Pang De and the duo work together to reclaim Ji Castle. Driven to end Cao Cao's claim in his homeland, he leads his army to reclaim Liang. He leads a no-nonsense, frontal assault against many powered up Wei generals. Since he is influenced by revenge and hatred, he loses Pang De's trust and his comrade deserts him. Recruiting him for Shu is also one of the objectives in the Jia Meng Gate Legend Mode.
Ma Chao's ending scene in Dynasty Warriors: Online has him and the player in the middle of a horse race. While running towards the sunset, the general proudly declares his companion a source of motivation to continue his endless journey.
During the following title, Ma Chao appears in the battle of Cheng Du as a reinforcements for the defending army. In Zhao Yun's story, he is disgruntled when Liu Bei rides into battle in the name of vengeance, saying that his lord's choice is not one of justice. Zhao Yun restores his faith in Liu Bei by reasoning that, though their lord's delivery may be flawed, he is still staying true to his beliefs.
In Dynasty Warriors 6: Special, he begins his story by trying to avenge his father's death at Tong Gate. Once he's betrayed by Han Sui and many of his officers, Ma Chao realizes he was believing in a tainted justice and wanders to find a new life for himself. He then goes to Zhang Lu who orders him to go to the aid of Liu Zhang who is nearly defeated from the hands of Liu Bei. He successfully defends Cheng Du but once again suffers betrayal when Liu Zhang joins Cao Cao. Remembering his enemies' valor during battle, he joins Liu Bei and becomes a zealot for their army at Jing Province and Mt. Ding Jun. When Liu Bei loses Guan Yu, Ma Chao tries to convince his lord to avoid seeking vengeance since it will only repeat the cycle of hatred. Though Zhao Yun tells him that it is an honorable deed, his view of a virtuous Shu pales after they take Sun Quan's life at Yi Ling. Even so, he participates at the Battle of Jie Ting to aid Ma Su and to repay his debt to Shu. No longer clouded by anger, he takes Cao Cao's life nevertheless. With the land united, Ma Chao then sells his sword to purchase a fine horse and rides freely towards the horizon.
Ma Chao appears in each of the Three Kingdoms' Story Modes in Dynasty Warriors 7. His earliest chronological appearance would be during his family's revolt in Liang Province against Dong Zhuo. Sun Ce is impressed by his splendid valor and appearance, challenging him in a duel. Retreating after his defeat and later wanting to avenge his father's death, he opposes Cao Cao at Tong Gate within Wei's Story Mode. Beaten by Jia Xu's tactic to turn Han Sui against him, Ma Chao flees to become a subordinate under Zhang Lu. Knowing that Zhang Lu has no sympathy for the remnants of Xiliang, Zhuge Liang and Fa Zheng desire to have him join Liu Bei during their attack at Chengdu. They succeed by using Li Hui to remind Ma Chao of his hatred for Cao Cao. Seeing the error of his ways, Ma Chao agrees to serve under the righteous Liu Bei. He makes his last appearance within Shu's ranks during their attack at Mt. Dingjun and Fan Castle.
His first Legendary Battle gives players the chance to personally use Ma Chao during Tong Gate, letting him finally obtain the vengeance he desires for his murdered clan. For fans of the novel, his second Legendary Battle reenacts his participation at Jiameng Gate as opposed to Chengdu. This time, however, he loyally defends Zhang Lu as Liu Bei's flood of generals attempt to invade the area.
The Xtreme Legends expansion adds a Hero Scenario centered on Ma Chao. It happens after Chibi and Ma Chao seeks vengeance for his father's death. Rebelling against Cao Cao at Guanzhong, he leads the cavalry of his homeland to stampede the battlefield. He entrusts his father's brother-in-law, Han Sui, to perfect their pincer by attacking Cao Cao from the south. Ma Dai addresses concern over a rumor of Han Sui being old friends with Cao Cao and a letter written by Cao Cao in Han Sui's possession. As these worries are being stated Jia Xu appears on the field to seal the deal. Ma Chao hurries eastward to stop the strategist's plot. If he succeeds, Han Sui will charge to attack Cao Cao. Ma Chao duels his father's adversary but fails to slay him in battle.
Several years after these events, Ma Chao and his cousin joined Liu Bei and are stationed within Nanzhong. Having remembered his past, Ma Chao admits that he met Liu Bei at the grimiest time of his life and is thankful to have been salvaged by his lord's benevolence. Though his lord has passed away, Ma Chao passionately swears to someday make his lord's vision a reality.
Ma Chao makes his appearance in the seventh chapter of Dynasty Warriors Next as reinforcements requested by Liu Zhang. Impeding the advance of Liu Bei's forces on Chengdu, he calls them bandits and is challenged by an irate Zhang Fei to a duel. After losing the bout, he is struck by their leader's sincere wish to bring peace back to the land. As a result, he sides with Liu Bei during the Battle of Chengdu and asks the outraged Liu Zhang to surrender quietly. He is also present in Shu's penultimate movie scene where he and the other Tiger Generals praise Liu Bei for making his land of virtue a reality.
In the hypothetical route, Ma Chao helps in the ambush of Chang'an and convinces Jiang Wei to join their cause. Ma Chao later arrives in Luoyang with the majority of the Shu forces as reinforcements before joining the final offensive against Wei at Xuchang.
The expansion has him collaborate with Zhang Lu to attack Chang'an in one of Wei's new what if scenarios. He also moves to support Guan Yu in his final battle at Maicheng. In one of Shu's new what if scenarios Ma Chao fights alongside many of Shu's officers at the Wuzhang Plains to end Wei once and for all.
In Warriors Orochi, Ma Chao forms an army resisting Orochi with Jiang Wei, Yue Ying, and Ranmaru. He clashes with the Orochi army led by Sun Ce and escapes from their grasp. After his defeat, he struggles to save peasants from Sima Yi at Kawanakajima. Nobunaga aids him and, if all the villagers escape, he pledges to join their cause.
He helps Wu defeat Lu Bu at Yang Ping Gate and joins their cause in Warriors Orochi 2. In the name of justice, he teams with Nagamasa and Kanetsugu in their dream stage to save peasants from Kiyomori.
In Warriors Orochi 3, Ma Chao is one of the three known surviving generals of the original timeline. He initially fled through Yiling alongside Huang Zhong, Ma Dai and Xu Shu to reinforce Odawara Castle, where he was chosen to lead the reinforcements. Unknown to him was that Huang Zhong and Ma Dai had decided to stay behind to sacrifice themselves. Urging Xu Shu to move on without him, he returns back to Yiling to see Ma Dai and Pang De's corpses. With Odawara Castle still falling, he banded together with Hanbei and Sima Zhao on the battlefield in a last-ditch effort to defeat the Hydra, but their weapons prove ineffectual, and they are forced to flee instead. The trio are later saved by Kaguya, and she allows them to travel back into their past to rescue their fallen allies.
He becomes one of the leaders for the coalition forces. He eventually travels back in time to prevent the disaster at Yiling, hunts down Kiyomori and Sun Wukong to stop their sorcery, and defends various positions of the coalition front, even it means he has no choice to allied with Cao Cao in order to save a peaceful humanity.
In Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate, Ma Chao is accompanied by Nagamasa. During this time, Nagamasa urged Ma Chao to revive his hostilities against Cao Cao. With additional aid from the Nanman, he confronts Cao Cao only to be stopped midway by Zhuge Liang who exposes Nagamasa as a doppelganger created by Tamamo. One of the mirror realm revisions has him see through the ruse much earlier when the heroes use the Divine Mirror against the impostor. The original timeline's version of Yiling is also reminisced by the rest of the Shu generals.
In Warriors Orochi 4, he first appears with Kanetsugu Naoe to rescue the peasants being attacked by Dong Zhuo and the Oda army. Later, his refusal to let the Hōjō troops drink from a poisoned water reservoir is integral to the success of Fa Zheng's plan to trick and eventually defeat Ujiyasu. In one of the side stages, he argues with Masanori, Naomasa, and Yue Jin about who should be leading their army's charge, only to eventually work together to save Ma Dai and defeat Athena.
In Kessen II, Ma Chao appears in Shu's story during their siege of Cheng Du. He leads a cavalry armed with crossbows and is a good offensive warrior. Before he clashes with the enemy, he'll usually lead a unique charge with a handful of his troops, in which they ride their horses forward like surfers. He declares his wishes to join Liu Bei so he can avenge the death of his homeland. He assists the southern campaign against King Meng Huo and may request for his cousin, Ma Dai, to join Shu when they face Cai Wengi.
In Dynasty Tactics, Ma Chao initially played a minor role with a generic voice. Dynasty Tactics 2 changed it and gave a more prominent role in either story. In Lu Bu's story, he borrows troops from Ma Chao to continue his war against Cao Cao. Later on in the story line he gains Ma Chao's trust after he rescues him and he respects Lu Bu as his commander of their forces.
Although his hair is not always seen when wearing a helmet, the producer assures that Ma Chao is not -and never has been- bald in the Dynasty Warriors series. He affirms this point again when a fan asked if Ma Chao is bald in the upcoming installment.
Filled with a warrior's pride, Ma Chao is a straightforward man who believes in making his future with his own power. A firm believer in justice and heroics, he always declares his intentions in battle for all to hear. His determined proclamations are not always appreciated by his listeners from his home or from rival armies since he often yells the loudest in Shu's army. While his charisma and honesty win him followers, his lack of foresight and planning sometimes cost him their trust, as he occasionally neglects to consider others while completing his own personal goals. In addition, there is some hypocrisy in his actions, as refuses to forgive Cao Cao for killing his father yet is baffled that Wang Yi "still holds a grudge" against him for slaughtering her family.
He shares a mutual friendship with Zhao Yun as both warriors agree on similar morals and mindsets. Back when they were together at Xiliang, he idolized Pang De. When his comrade leaves him to join Cao Cao, his opinion of the warrior sours due to the betrayal and he starts to consider Pang De one of his worst enemies, but his hatred is replaced with continuing comradeship in later installments. He resents Cao Cao in most of his appearances, but his degree of hatred changes with each title.
Within Koei titles, Ma Chao (and to an extent, his father) is affiliated with horses and is seen as a brave cavalry captain. His crowning historical moment of leading horsemen into battle was when he and his troops fought Cao Cao at Yellow River, an attack which could have potentially killed Cao Cao. Impressed, Cao Cao remembered Ma Chao's imposing figure and praised his adversary's bravery. The valiant image of Ma Chao is thoroughly expanded in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, as his reputed stature and horseback riding were admired even when he was seventeen years old. A much simpler reason for people who aren't familiar with either sources may be that his family name (Ma) literally translates to "horse" in English. The Japanese pronunciation of his name, "Bachou", is sometimes tied to a pun for "horseback riding" (馬上, bashou or bajou).
In the Japanese version of Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires, Ma Chao is given the nickname of "The Justice Avenger" while the English version changes it to "The Defender of Justice". As a dominant ruler in Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires, he calls his five greatest warriors the "Five Splendid Generals".
Most of Ma Chao's weapons within the Dynasty Warriors series deal with either references to horses or him being a skilled horseman. The original name for his third weapon and his Standard spear in Dynasty Warriors 6 literally means "iron horsemen", but it is also a metaphorical term for a brave yet feared rider with unsurpassed fortitude and a solid helmet. His Skill spear implies he is a master of stallions and his skill chart in the same game depicts the upper body of a running steed. Ma Chao's personal item in Warriors Orochi specifically refers to the horse reigns of his homeland with its original name.
Though he is associated with the proficient mount of his home, Ma Chao has at least one weapon named after a dragon to represent his ties to Shu in the series. The original name for his Level 11 weapon, for instance, may be translated as "Sharpened Twin Dragons". Dragons within Chinese mythology represents ties to the Imperial family and are considered fortuitous beasts. Doubling their positive traits with a twin ensures harmony between them and a cooperative relationship. His Strength weapon of his spear set is named in ode to a quick dragon.
According to the harshly criticized and questionably accurate, Shanyang'gong Zaiji, the original name of Ma Chao's fourth weapon is tied to a story regarding him and Liu Bei. Sometime after Ma Chao had joined Liu Bei, he started to call his new lord by his style name, Xuande. Perhaps it was a casual slip or maybe he thought his lord liked him, but a vassal ignoring the rank of his master so hastily may also be considered very rude. Guan Yu and Zhang Fei heard Ma Chao's colloquial etiquette and were so outraged they wanted to kill Ma Chao. Liu Bei would have no part of it, saying that it would besmirch their name if it occurred. However, he didn't stop them from hiding themselves during his next meeting with Ma Chao, both ready to strike the visitor down if the general uttered Xuande once. Ma Chao, who wasn't warned or couldn't see the two generals in hiding, was able to understand the situation with one glance at Liu Bei's defeated expression. Heretofore, he would have greeted Liu Bei as Xuande; this time and for the rest of his life, Ma Chao would properly address his lord by title. Ma Chao later admitted he instinctively felt Guan Yu and Zhang Fei's killing intent nearby and correctly guessed the style name to be the cause. His original weapon name may be translated as "Dragon Keen Horseman", referring to the unintentional insult toward Liu Bei and Ma Chao using his wit to escape death.
To follow his detachment from Shu, Ma Chao's giant swords in Special instead choose to emphasize his own strengths as a warrior. The original name for his Standard blade notes he has the power to decimate soldiers on the field; the literal translation of these characters ("Ruin Army") is perhaps why its English name is named as such. His other weapons in the same game remain faithful to the original meanings with little modification.
- Koji Haramaki - Dynasty Warriors and Warriors Orochi series, Dynasty Tactics 2 (Japanese)
- Kim Gwanjin - Dynasty Warriors 2 (Korean)
- Zhang Hongyi - Dynasty Warriors 3 (Chinese)
- Yang Seok Jeong - Dynasty Warriors 3~5 (Korean)
- Tony Oliver - Dynasty Warriors 4, Dynasty Tactics 2 (English-uncredited)
- David Berón - Dynasty Warriors 5~8, Warriors Orochi series; first and second games only (English-uncredited)
- Clinton Elledge - Dynasty Warriors 9 (English)
- Yufei Ma - Dynasty Warriors 9 (Chinese)
- Kim Hye-seong - Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed (Korean)
- Dennis Falt - Dynasty Tactics (English)
- Takahiro Suzuki - Dynasty Tactics (Japanese)
- Matt K. Miller - Kessen II (English-uncredited)
- Ryōtarō Okiayu - Kessen II (Japanese)
- Christopher Corey Smith - Romance of the Three Kingdoms: The Legend of Cao Cao (English-uncredited)
- Choi Seunghun - Romance of the Three Kingdoms: The Legend of Cao Cao (Korean)
- Ryohei Nakao - Sangokushi 12
- Akira Kamiya - Romance of the Three Kingdoms drama CD series
- Katsuyuki Konishi - Sangokushi Legion
- Yusuke Kobayashi - Shin Sangokushi
- See also: Ma Chao/Quotes
- "I fear nothing and no one!"
- "No matter how dastardly the foe, none can withstand my spear of justice!"
- "You, who murder innocent people, do not deserve to live!"
- "To think that I would be praised so much... I'm glad that I have endured for so long!"
- "Ma Chao, you fought well. There is no need to throw your life away. Join me!"
- "I would endure the pain and anguish of a thousand deaths before joining the likes of you!"
- ~~Cao Cao and Ma Chao; Dynasty Warriors 6: Special
- "I will not ask for your forgiveness. If the chance ever comes again, I will do the same thing."
- "You have some nerve... Maybe I should cut you down right here?"
- "If it's a fight you want, I'm ready anytime. So, what will it be?"
- "I'll refrain from fighting here. I wouldn't want to soil the street with your blood."
- ~~Ma Chao and Wang Yi; Dynasty Warriors 8
- "Ah! Is this the famous Red Hare? The horse who can run all day and all night! What a beautiful creature!"
- "Hey. Don't touch my horse. He has a wild temperament. I don't care, but he'll kick anyone but me to death."
- "Amazing. Such a proud animal. A truly great horse must be loyal to his master and never allow the touch of others. I bet the wind feels wonderful riding on the back of such an animal. I hope I can find such a horse for myself one day."
- "Ah, you know something of horse riding? However, there is no greater horse than Red Hare. Your wish will not come true."
- ~~Ma Chao and Lu Bu; Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers
- "Oh, I like it rough..."
- "Vulgar fiends! I-I am not so weak that I will just break for a woman's charms...!"
- ~~Nō and Ma Chao; Warriors Orochi
- "Orochi may have gone, but I will blow the winds of pandemonium through this world."
- "You may be here for chaos, but my spear is out for justice!"
- ~~Kotarō and Ma Chao; Warriors Orochi 2
- "This world is warped in so many ways... Will we ever be able to see justice here, I wonder?"
- "Master Ma Chao, justice resides not in the world itself, but in the hearts of those that inhabit it!"
- "You're right! As long as honor burns within my heart, I may find justice there!"
- ~~Ma Chao and Kanetsugu; Warriors Orochi 3
- "Ah, Ma Chao! You've got some unique armor right there."
- "Unique? Is that a compliment? This armor is my pride and joy. Ma Chao the Splendid! My armor, spear, and horse make me worthy of that name!"
- "Interesting. You have an aesthetic to match your skill in battle. Truly glorious!"
- "Masamune, is that what you worry about during battle? Thinking about appearances is likely to get you killed."
- "That's exactly why they matter so much. Enemies can flinch, fall back in fear. That's why I attempt to look my most glorious at all times. Whatever glory you have inside makes no difference to how you look. That's why you need to dress the part."
- "Hummm, I understand. It's my intent to display my warrior's soul through this armor."
- ~~Masamune and Ma Chao; Warriors Orochi 4
- See also: Ma Chao/Movesets
Dynasty Warriors 9
|Keys:||Flow Attack •||Reactive Attack •||Musou •||Jump/Mount|
Ma Chao is affiliated with the spear in this appearance.
- Unique Flow Attack:
- Unique Trigger Attack ( R1 + ):
- Special Technique (R1 + ):
- Musou ():
- Aerial Musou ( + ):
- See also: Ma Chao/Weapons
Dynasty Warriors 8
Ma Chao still uses the spear as his default weapon in this title.
Ma Chao was from Maoling county in the Fufeng precture. His father was Ma Teng, brothers were Ma Xiu and Ma Tie, and his children were Ma Cheng and a daughter.
In 192 AD, Ma Teng and his sworn brother Han Sui, were appointed titles under the Han, and were stationed at Mei and Jingcheng, respectively. In 194 AD, Ma Teng led his forces and attacked the court-controlling Li Jue but failed and fled back to Liang province. In 202 AD, Ma Teng joined Zhong Yao in fighting Gao Gan, where Ma Chao was sent with ten thousand to aid him, and a colonel of Ma Chao, Pang De, killed the other enemy leader. Ma Teng was appointed Commandant of the Palace Guards in the capital after having more disagreements with Han Sui, and Ma Teng's family moved near the capital in Ye. It is likely that most kinsmen moved. Ma Chao was made Lieutenant-General to lead Ma Teng's soldiers back in Liang province.
In 211 AD, Cao Cao made plans to attack Zhang Lu in Hanzhong and would have to pass through Ma Chao's area to get through. After hearing word, Ma Chao rose in rebellion with Han Sui to defend Tong Pass. Before a battle, when he met with Cao Cao on the battlefield between lines, Ma Chao thought of attacking Cao Cao then and there. The presence of Xu Chu who was staring at him all the while, made him not. During a time with no battles Han Sui had a casual conversation with Cao Cao, and Ma Chao suspected him of conspiring with the enemy. Cao Cao had a letter sent to Han Sui with many blocked out and changed words, also heightening suspicions against him. Ma Chao and Han Sui were forced to flee to Hanzhong after a harsh attack. Later in the year, Ma Teng and relatives near the capital were executed for Ma Chao's rebellion.
In Hanzhong, Ma Chao began taking over Cao-controlled commanderies and besieged Ji Castle. The Inspector and Grand Administrator of the city opened the gates in surrender, and after entering, Ma Chao killed them both and appointed himself General who Subdues the West, Governor of Bing Province, and Controller of Military Affairs in Liang province. Several non-Han tribes, such as the Qiang and Di, aided him and during the campaign Ma Chao's courage was compared to the likes of Lu Bu and a famous Western Han general, Han Xin. Ma Chao would later have to flee to Zhang Lu, who thought about giving his daughter in marriage to him, but someone reminded, "A man like this: if he feels no affection for his own parents, how can he care for others?" The idea was dropped.
Zhang Lu was asked for troops by Ma Chao to retake Liang province, and so troops were given to him, but he was repeatedly beaten back by Xiahou Yuan. In 214 AD, Ma Chao knew Zhang Lu had minimal interest in his agenda and was discouraged by the fact. Liu Bei besieged Chengdu and had an officer of his go to Ma Chao. Ma Chao wrote to Liu Bei, expressing his wishes to surrender to him, and after being secretly sent soldiers from Liu Bei, Ma Chao advanced to siege Chengdu from the north. Within ten days of arrival, Liu Zhang surrendered Yi province to Liu Bei, Ma Chao was made General who Pacifies the West.
The Dian lue records that once he heard that Ma Chao was coming, Liu Bei happily said, "I am going to get Yi province!" It also has that Ma Chao left behind his secondary wife and son in Hanzhong with Zhang Lu. Cao Cao captured Hanzhong from Zhang Lu, and gave the two to Zhang Lu, who killed them himself.
After participating in Liu Bei's Hanzhong campaign and Liu Bei made himself King of Hanzhong, Ma Chao was made General of the Left. In 221 AD, Ma Cao was made the second highest-ranking military title in an administration, General of the Agile Cavalry, governor of Liang province, and Marquis of Li Xiang. Liu Bei ordered Ma Chao to introduce the Han culture to the northern non-Han tribesmen, since he was on good terms with them. It is unknown whether this last mission succeeded.
In 222 AD, Ma Chao passed away at 47 and was posthumously made Marquis of Yuewei.
Chen Shou, author of the Records of Three Kingdoms, condemned Ma Chao for getting his clan killed, frequent abandoning of his other family members, bad campaigns and his false courage, but thought of his future actions as recompense.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Ma Chao was born in Liang Province. He swore vengeance upon Cao Cao when he learned that Cao Cao executed Ma Teng, Ma Chao's father. After receiving a letter from Liu Bei requesting that he attack Cao Cao, Ma Chao marches his forces out and meets Cao Caos army at Tong Pass.
After numerous failed assaults by Cao Cao, Ma Chao attacks the pass and Cao Cao's troops flee in terror. Ma Chao's power is so great that while fleeing, Cao Cao heard someone crying "Cao Cao is he with the red dress". Cao Cao immediately tore off his red dress and continued fleeing but before too long he heard more people crying "Cao Cao is he with the long beard" at which point Cao Cao cut his beard but someone also saw this and shouted to Ma Chao that he had sawed off his beard, so Ma Chao demanded that all people with short beards were to be captured, hearing this Cao Cao wrapped a part of a flag around his chin and fled only narrowly escaping with the help of Cao Hong and Xu Chu.
Not long after Xu Chu sent a written request for a duel with Ma Chao. Ma Chao accepted and the next day the two generals met. For more than 200 bouts they fought with neither one gaining the advantage nor losing strength, returning only briefly to gain new steeds. After 230 bouts Xu Chu tried to stab Ma Chao but was evaded whereupon Ma Chao took the opportunity to strike Xu Chu's heart, but Xu Chu grabbed his spear and broke it in two. Instead of rushing back to his own lines to gain a new spear Ma Chao simply fought with Xu Chu with half of one, whilst his opponent retained the other half and each struggled to gain both parts of the spear. But before too long, Cao Cao grew afraid for his general and ordered his army to attack and so Ma Chao's forces moved in and crushed Cao Cao's assault. When Cao Cao returned to his camp, he had less than half of his troops remaining.
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