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Ma Su
Ma Su (DWB)
Character Information
Force(s): Shu
Weapon Type: Sword
Swallow swords (Blast)
Unit Type: Strategist
Significant Battle(s):
First Appearance: Dynasty Warriors 3
Historical Information
Real name:
Mǎ Sù
Chinese name:
馬謖 - 马谡
Style name:
Yòucháng
Chinese name:
幼常
Born:
190
Died:
228

Ma Su (onyomi: Ba Shoku) is an officer of Shu who served Liu Bei. His talents were admired by Zhuge Liang, but Liu Bei did not approve of Ma Su and warned that he not be highly praised. In modern times, he is considered the youngest of the Five Changs in the Ma family (the others including Ma Liang and his older brothers), individuals who shared the chang (常) in their names and were talented intellectuals. He is best known for losing the battle at Jieting and causing Zhuge Liang to cry tears of grief when he ordered Ma Su's execution.

His height in Kessen II is 170 cm (5'7").

Roles in Games

Dynasty Warriors

Ma Su participates as a lesser-officer in many battles in the Dynasty Warriors series. In Dynasty Warriors 5 at the Battle of Yi Ling, Ma Su, along with Wang Ping, will appear as reinforcements under Zhuge Liang, after the Wu army has succeeded in their fire attack and Liu Bei has escaped through the stone sentinel maze and arrived safely in the main camp. However, his major role comes at Jie Ting, when he leads the Shu army against the Wei army lead by Sima Yi. Similar to what occurred historically, Ma Su sets up the main camp upon a hill without orders, allowing the Shu forces to be surrounded. The goal for the Shu army in the battle is to hold off the Wei forces and protect Ma Su until Zhuge Liang arrives with the main unit. The goal for Wei is to defeat him before the unit can arrive.

In some scenarios, he will also appear at the Battle of Wu Zhang Plains. Should the player defeat him at Jie Ting beforehand in the fourth title, Sima Yi will mock him for his previous failure and cause his morale to drop greatly.

Ma Su's historical downfall can be mitigated in one of the alternate routes of Dynasty Warriors 8. Instead of being executed for his grievous mistake, a repentant Ma Su is pardoned by Zhuge Liang at the behest of the other officers. He is given a chance to atone by helping spearhead the attack on Chencang with Xingcai, Guan Suo, and Zhang Bao.

Warriors Orochi

In the first game, Ma Su is among Zhuge Liang's group of officers and is among the Shu officers forced to serve Orochi. He and his brother are among Zhuge Liang's ambush troops at Wujun and he is tasked with protecting Edo Castle's secondary ward, where he is in charge of the castle's defenders in Zhuge Liang's absence.

Kessen

In Kessen II, Zhuge Liang introduces him to Liu Bei after their victory at Chi Bi. Though described as fresh talent, Ma Su is skittish and his voice cracks as he talks. He starts with below average stats but may become a good magician in higher levels.

Voice Actors

  • Tony Oliver - Dynasty Warriors 5 (English), Warriors Orochi 2 (English-uncredited)
  • Steve Staley - Dynasty Warriors 7~8 (English-uncredited)
  • Takehiko Watanabe - Kessen II (Japanese)
  • Ryōtarō Okiayu - Romance of the Three Kingdoms drama CD series

Quotes

  • "It's important to adjust one's strategy. Zhuge Liang will understand."
  • "The battle isn't over yet! The warriors of Shu are not so easily beaten!"
  • "How will Shu be led now that Lord Liu Bei is dead? ...Zhuge Liang will have no time to rest. "
  • "Ma Su, I will decide what to do with you later. Right now, you must retreat."
"It wasn't supposed to be like this, my lord. If only the battle had gone the way I had planned!"
"Now is not the time to make excuses. Perhaps I was a fool for believing in you."
~~Zhuge Liang and Ma Su; Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends

Historical Information

Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Ma Su initially appears as one of Zhuge Liang's protégé's and speaks with Zhuge Liang regarding their punitive expedition against Wu. When Liu Bei is defeated, Ma Su and Zhuge Liang attend to their lord at Baidicheng. Upon seeing Ma Su, Liu Bei politely orders him away in order to speak with Zhuge regarding the youth. Despite Zhuge Liang seeing Ma as a potential pillar of the state, Liu Bei warns his advisor that he believes Ma to be arrogant and tells Zhuge to not give Ma Su any important task.

Zhuge Liang follows this order to a degree and often has Ma Su simply act as a confidant. Once Zhuge Liang begins making plans to begin his Northern Campaigns, he moves south in order to subjugate the Nanzhong region first. Ma Su then created the plan to capture Meng Huo seven times during the southern campaign.

After Meng Huo's surrender, Ma Su advised Zhuge Liang to spread false rumors about Sima Yi as Cao Rui was suspicious of the man. Zhuge Liang did as advised, and Sima Yi was dismissed from his position. Following this, Zhuge Liang began his first campaign and successfully captured the cities of Nan'An, Shanggui, Anding and Tianshui.

These defeats, however, caused Cao Rui to reinstate Sima Yi, who now led fresh reinforcements alongside Zhang He in order to attack Jieting, a strategic chokepoint for the supplies of the Shu army. As Zhuge Liang predicted the attack, he asked the others who would volunteer for the area's defense. Although Ma Su volunteered for the task, Zhuge Liang initially rejected, remembering Liu Bei's previous advise. Ma Su, pressed further, however, and volunteered to submit himself in military law should he fail.

Despite his suspicions, Zhuge Liang accepted Ma Su's advise and had Wang Ping act as Ma's rear support. Before parting Zhuge Liang advises Ma Su to not encamp upon the hill. While marching to Jieting, Ma Su and Wang Ping discussed their formations, and Ma Su wished to encamp upon the hill, following the advantage of higher ground written with many of books of the military arts. Wang Ping, more familiar with the area, advised against such a move as Ma Su's water supply was a long distance and he could easily be cut off and isolated if he encamped at the top of the mountain.

Although Ma Su did not accept Wang's counsel, he allowed Wang Ping to at least lead some troops at the mountain's base as support in case the Wei forces did as Wang had said. Predictably, Sima Yi, Sima Zhao and Zhang He all arrived to laugh at Ma Su's decision to camp on the hill and surrounded him. Zhang He was then sent to keep check on Wang Ping's forces in order to prevent reinforcements from coming to Ma Su's aid.

Despite losing his water supply, Ma Su led multiple charges downward in order to try and break the encirclement. Though many of these attempts failed, Ma Su was eventually able to escape and rejoined Zhuge Liang's troops. Bound and left without words, Ma Su was scolded by Zhuge Liang for not only rejecting his advise of not camping on top of the hill, but for also rejecting Wang Ping's honest counsel, putting the general in unneccesary danger, and forcing their northern campaign to a screeching halt. Tearfully, Ma Su replied that someone like him deserved death, and only asks that Zhuge Liang take care of his family once he is executed.

Shedding tears, Zhuge Liang complies and orders Ma Su's execution in accordance with the law. After Ma Su's death, Zhuge Liang upholds his promise and treated Ma Su's remaining family well.

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