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Sima Zhao
Dynasty Warriors 9 artwork
Character Information
Force(s): Wei
190 cm (6'3")
Weapon Type: Dao
Significant Battle(s):
Playable Debut: Dynasty Warriors 7
Historical Information
Real name:
Sīmǎ Zhāo
Chinese name:
司馬昭 - 司马昭
Style name:
Chinese name:
Posthumously honored as Emperor Wen of Jin (太祖文帝). In Romance of the Three Kingdoms, his style name is written with one different character (子尚).
Warriors Orochi Info
Sima Zhao Cadre
Nobunaga Oda League
Initially available (WO3) Nagashino (WO4)
Character Type:
Power (WO3)
Technique (WO4)
Sacred Treasure:

Sima Zhao (onyomi: Shiba Shō) is Sima Yi and Zhang Chunhua's second son, Sima Shi's younger brother, and Wang Yuanji's husband. Using the foundations laid by his predecessors and his ingenuity for talent, he extended the Sima family influence to gain the people's favor by quelling several civil rebellions. When he was in power, Wu's armies failed to penetrate his formations and Shu surrendered. His high esteem in the imperial court helped his son, Sima Yan, later establish the Jin Dynasty. However, there are some records that state he may have maintained his power and good image through well-planned propaganda as his more questionable behind-the-scenes actions have been brought to light (especially with a famous proverb that makes out his intentions to be obvious to even a passerby).

Prior to Jin's introduction faction in the Dynasty Warriors series, he was formerly a Wei non-playable character since the Second title. He is twentieth place in Gamecity's Dynasty Warriors 7 character popularity poll and placed twenty-eighth in the Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends popularity poll. In Famitsu's character survey, he placed ninth place for most desirable friend. The latest poll for the eighth installment puts him in forty-first. The character poll for overseas fans puts him in third place for the Jin division and fifteenth in the semi-final round.

Role in Games[]

"You're awfully quiet. Not what I'd expect from the leader of a fallen army."
"And you're not at all what I'd expected from a traitor to his kingdom. If anything, you have shown you possess the confidence and bearing of a true ruler"
~~Sima Zhao and Liu Shan; Dynasty Warriors 7

Dynasty Warriors[]

Since Dynasty Warriors 3, Sima Zhao appears as a minor general under the forces of Wei. He appears at He Fei Castle fighting for Sima Yi. He plays a somewhat major role during Meng Huo's Legend Mode in Dynasty Warriors 4: Xtreme Legends. He leads the massive Wei army to subdue the Nanman tribesmen. When he hears the natives mock his father, he gets upset. He acts in a similar manner as his father and even adopts his "Imbeciles!" line. In Dynasty Warriors 5, he additionally aids his father at Jie Ting and Chen Cang. During Sima Yi's ending in the sixth title, he is scolded by Sima Yi for believing he will automatically inherit his father's legacy should the former die.

Sima Zhao is first seen in Dynasty Warriors 7 fighting the Shu forces at the Wuzhang Plains. He is seen helping his helping his father and brother defeat Gongsun Yuan at the start of Jin's story mode. Afterwards, Sima Zhao joins Cao Shuang's foolhardy conquest on his father's behest. The lack of provisions has morale immediately lowered which amplifies with Ma Dai's surprise attack and Cao Shuang's bumbling orders. Sima Zhao defeats Ma Dai to cover the troop's escape, furthering his family's reputation. He supports his father and then his elder brother's conquests.

His brother puts him to work at Dongxing, expecting him to keep an eye on Zhuge Dan. Despite knowing the risks of failure, Sima Zhao slackens in his duties and allows Zhuge Dan to fall within Wu's trap. He reluctantly decides to help his comrade when Wang Yuanji patronizes him to action. Their forces retreat to Hefei Castle, and Sima Zhao asks his brother for reinforcements. They succeed in the second clash. Sima Shi, who wants his brother to take his responsibilities seriously, holds Sima Zhao fully accountable for the loss at Dongxing. He is later seen at Tianshui and finds himself heavily surrounded by Jiang Wei's army. Sima Zhao and his men are marginally saved by Guo Huai's heroics. Returning to Wei, Sima Zhao then helps his brother quell a civil riot within the court. Although successful in dispatching their foes, Sima Shi later dies due to the internal rebellions and Sima Zhao becomes his successor.

Unable to initially accept his new right to command, he is at first obedient to Emperor Cao Mao. Reality for Sima Zhao doesn't completely sink in until he repels Jiang Wei's invasion at Taoshui. Gradually accepting his duties as a leader, he realizes he can achieve his own path in life without feeling restricted by expectations for his family. As he personally subjugates Zhuge Dan and the Wu invaders during their second conflict, he offers his enemies unadulterated mercy and service under his name. The invitation doesn't hold for Zhuge Dan, however, as Sima Zhao is upset by the rebel's callousness. He personally slays the instigator.

Cao Mao, who has long since felt his power to be threatened by the Sima family, then declares war on Sima Zhao. Uninterested in ruling as emperor, Sima Zhao kills Cao Mao and allows Cao Huan to become the new Emperor of Wei. He then concentrates his efforts to end Shu and offers Liu Shan a chance to surrender in their duel. The Shu emperor stalls but eventually complies once the Wei army reaches the gates of Chengdu. As allies, they happily toast one another with hopes to outlive the past and to create a new future. After accepting the title as King of Jin, Sima Zhao has an off screen death one year later. His son, Sima Yan, takes over and creates the Jin Dynasty.

In his first Legendary Battle, Sima Zhao fights his older brother who is furiously angry at him for eating his meat bun. His second Legendary Battle takes place after Sima Shi's death. But for some reason, he fights warlords who have passed away long before as he learns how to be a leader.

In Dynasty Warriors Next, Sima Zhao participates in the coup against Cao Shuang, resulting in the Sima clan's rise to power. During the final battle against Shu, he is made commander by Sima Yi who wishes to test his son's capabilities. The young man proves his worth by undermining Jiang Wei's ambush and slaying Liu Shan. Later on, he and Zhuge Dan are forced to cooperate with one another when Wu attacks Shouchun. His efforts in cutting down the approaching troops earn him praise from the other officers. When Wu's territories fall under their control, Sima Zhao congratulates his father for unifying the land. He and Sima Shi are present during the inauguration of their new kingdom.

Dynasty Warriors 8 has Sima Zhao reprising his actions from the previous installment. During Jin's historical route, his hesitance to kill is emphasized throughout the entire narrative due to his refusal to accept possible leadership. Jia Chong pushes for him to practice cruelty in order to steel himself as a proper ruler yet Sima Zhao broods over the issue —even when the victims' deaths emotionally pain him— until Taoyang when he orders the execution of the captured Xiahou Ba. Sima Zhao gains the conviction to face reality and rule by his own principals, allowing and accepting Shu’s surrender.

In the hypothetical route, Sima Shi survives Xuchang so Sima Zhao's leadership never comes to pass. Happy to live with his peaceful idealism, he helps his brother by attacking Jianye and joining the final battle of Chibi. After Sima Shi is named Emperor of Jin, Sima Zhao leaves the capital to explore the land, promising Wang Yuanji that he will return someday if he is needed.

In the Wu and Shu hypothetical routes, Sima Zhao appears on the later stages alongside his family supporting Wei. In Shu, he appears guarding the bridge at Luoyang and unsuccessfully attempts to prevent the expeditionary force lead by Jiang Wei from escaping. In Wu he appears defending Runan from Lu Su's invasion force.

In Jin's expanded story, Sima Zhao first appears in Cao Shuang's sudden insurrection at Luoyang, being attacked by archers. He takes the role of commander in many of Jin's other battles at Shangyong against Zhuge Liang, at Shouchun against Wen Qin, and helps his brother search for ingredients for the perfect meat bun. Sima Zhao is informed by Wen Yang and Deng Ai of Zhong Hui's rebellion, and he quickly sets out for Bashu, helping convince Zhong Hui's reluctant followers to defect. After the victory at Bashu, Sima Zhao is besieged at Shangyong, but is able to turn the situation around with Liu Shan's help.

In Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed, one of Sima Zhao's bond stories has him demonstrate a compassionate side by convincing Wen Yang not to commit suicide and instead rejoin Wei for the sake of his men. He also partakes in Zhang Chunhua's hunger strike during her story despite his initial reluctance to do so.

Dynasty Warriors 9 places Sima Zhao as one of his father's supporters against Zhuge Liang's northern campaigns at Tianshui and Wuzhang Plains before moving to defeat Gongsun Yuan at Liaodong. Though they are victorious in both fronts, the Sima family's growing influence becomes a concern for the Cao faction in Wei. Cao Shuang, against Sima Zhao and Xiahou Xian's advice, leads an attack on Mt. Xingshi, which leads to the needless deaths of many Wei soldiers.

To punish Cao Shuang, Sima Zhao joins his father's coup, and they execute Cao Shuang and all his close associates. After this, Wang Ling rebels at Shouchun, and Sima Yi dies to illness shortly after, leaving his sons to perform the rest of the work. Rescuing the defeated Wei forces at Dongxing, Sima Zhao turns west to defend Wei against Jiang Wei. As his brother was wounded by the attack, Sima Zhao begins to question his own methods, which is put to the test when Shi falls after the suppression of Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin's rebellion. Placed as leader of the Wei army, Sima Zhao moves west to defeat Jiang Wei a second time, but Zhuge Dan, who was stationed at Shouchun, rebels.

Capturing Zhuge Dan, Sima Zhao learns that a spy was sent in the emperor's name to induce Zhuge Dan into rebelling. Executing the leader, but promising to spare the soldiers, Sima Zhao deduces that Jia Chong was the real one behind the rebellion, though he admits that Zhuge Dan would've likely rebelled one way or the other. Returning to Xuchang, Sima Zhao realizes that all three rebellions at Shouchun were due to Cao Mao's hoodwinking. Swearing to end Wei and create a new era, Sima Zhao rebels against the emperor after an execution warrant is made against him.

Killing Cao Mao and seeing all three kingdoms as relics of the past, Sima Zhao begins the conquest on Shu. Breaking through the kingdom's defenses, Sima Zhao accepts Liu Shan's surrender. Though Jia Chong wishes to snuff out any remaining hope from Shu's people and former retainers by executing the emperor, Sima Zhao refuses and wishes to fulfill his promise to keep Liu Shan safe.

Paying a visit to the defeated man after his relocation, the two discuss how they were both forced into the shadows of their forefathers, and Sima Zhao notes that he grew too uncomfortable in the shadow and wished to do things for himself. While Liu Shan wishes to have the same strength as Sima Zhao, Sima Zhao warns him to commit to his decisions and that Liu Shan would risk death had he had the same strength Sima Zhao has.

In Zhong Hui's personal DLC, Sima Zhao retains his normal roles under both his father and brother throughout Zhong Hui's rise to power. Though aware of Zhong Hui's true intentions, Sima Zhao, like his father, encourages Zhong Hui by having him act as the chief advisor for the invasions of Wu and Shu. Before setting off for Shu, he negatively responds to Zhong Hui's inquiry of a promotion after the campaign, stating that the general's desires is something that should be taken, not given, and that the Sima family will always believe that the land should always be given to the most talented. He also ask Zhong Hui what he would do with the land if he was the conqueror.

This encourages Zhong Hui to finally make his move and seize the Emperor at Chang'an and Luoyang from Sima Zhao's grasp. Rallying his remaining loyalists, Sima Zhao makes his final stand at Hefei castle against the combined forces of the remnants of Wu, Shu along with Zhong Hui's forces. Like many of his loyalists, he is killed by the general, who finally gives his response as to how he would rule the land.

Warriors Orochi[]

In the first and second Warriors Orochi games, Sima Zhao was an NPC who appeared in the Orochi army with his father.

Sima Zhao was originally amongst the defenders of Ueda Castle in the original timeline of Warriors Orochi 3. Unfortunately, the castle fell before he made it there, and Ueda Castle proceeded to fall during his absence. With nowhere left, he joined with Hanbei and Ma Chao to fight the Hydra itself, only to find their weapons ineffective and leading to them being surrounded. At the last minute, he and the others are rescued by Kaguya and are sent back in time to save the other generals from death. Sima Zhao's first move was to rescue Ueda Castle. After which, he joins the other generals in subduing the officers possessed by Kiyomori's control.

After a high amount of officers are rescued and Da Ji is captured, Kaguya transports Sima Zhao and others to Da Ji's past, before the arrival of the Hydra. Upon entry, Sima Zhao is forced to protect her from Cao Pi and Sima Yi's men at Tong Gate. Although he wins their trust at the end of the battle, Cao Pi and Sima Yi are unable to join him immediately due to their high position in Wei. After this, he joins his brother in making alterations to the battle in order to rescue Diaochan from Nezha's wrath.

When all the other warlords are rallied, he then becomes one of the leaders of the coalition, often being stationed to pacify and defend their northern positions. In the Good Ending, he is one of the proponents for settling their differences with one another and living in harmony within the dimensional realm.

In the downloadable stage, "Art of War", Sima Zhao and Motonari are given a lesson by Zuo Ci about what people fight for in war.

During Ultimate, Sima Zhao is among the generals that are captured and imprisoned within the Divine Mirror. Whilst trapped in the mirror realm, he mistakenly attacked Wang Yuanji's forces at Kawanakajima. Once he is defeated, the mystics that were also trapped in the realm explained the true cause of their misunderstandings. A fake of him does appear at Xuchang, where it aids Yuan Shao in sieging Dong Zhuo's men. Like all the others, he is sent back to his time once Kyūbi is finally defeated.

In the fourth game, Sima Zhao, Sima Shi and Wang Yuanji were among the first to be transported to the dimensional realm. Not knowing where they were, they were rescued by the Oda Army, and joined to help pay the debt of rescue. When trying to take the Ouroboros bracelet that the Coalition has, the trio were unexpectedly faced against Sima Yi and Zhang Chunhua and were defeated. Having paid the debt of the Oda, the three join the coalition.

Sima Zhao was tasked with obtaining another Ouroboros bracelet with Kanetsugu and Okuni at Baidi Castle, but was held back by Seimei Abe, Kanbei Kuroda Jia Chong. Sima Zhao, knowing Jia Chong, guessed that he had a plan that he could not divulge. After Odin took Zeus' power, Sima Zhao, Hanbei and Ma Chao were tasked to defend Fan Castle against an enormous enemy force, and was successful, with Zhao noting that they could have done this before and making an off-comment on going back in time to "do things over".

Aware of Zhong Hui's plans to eventually rebel against the demon army, Sima Zhao joins the Sanada at Baidi Castle to face Kiyomori and Loki, who are protecting Zeus's staff. During the battle, he ambushes Da Ji, but is cornered by her reserve troops and must be aided. He later helps rescue Zhong Hui, who is sandwiched between Kiyomori and Himiko's forces. Afterwards, when trying to find Zeus' body at Ōsaka, Sima Zhao finally predicted Jia Chong's plans and managed to assist him to defeat Da Ji. With his allies back, he continues to help against Odin's forces.

In Ultimate, he accompanies Gaia and Takatora Tōdō at Changshan, where they are surrounded by Odin's illusions and horrors. Fortunately, Hades arrives to rescue the Coalition's army and joins to help stop Odin.

During the alternate scenario where the real Perseus exposes Hades's plan to steal Yggdrasil's power by killing Odin, Sima Zhao is among the heroes sent back in time to rescue the god from Hades's ambush.

It is also revealed that Zhong Hui was originally part of his group of officers, but Sima Zhao had sent him to spy on the demons before-hand.

Character Information[]

Sima Zhao's Shin Sangoku Musou 15th Anniversary artwork.


Sima Zhao is considered the indispensable character for ending the Three Kingdoms period. His design was made to be loose, friendly and open to contrast his brother's reserved image. His character arc during Jin's Story Mode is what makes him the "lead character" in a sense. To follow the common protagonist image, he was affiliated with a sword.

Suzuki commented. His design in 9 is based on the idea that, due to his personality, he would wear his elegant, white-themed outfit with a more relaxed tone. He is outfitted with lightweight armor made of high-quality material that features a distinctive Sima family pattern. He does, however, wear things casually, giving him a vagrant appearance with relations to those in power.


Originally someone who acted very akin to his father via his portrayal as an NPC, Sima Zhao's playable appearance has him act as the light-hearted contrast to his stern older brother. In spite of his casual attitude and attire, he possesses an intellect which matches his father and older brother. Since his reliable family members are in power for the start of his story, however, Sima Zhao feels he has no reason to actually worry about politics or government rulings. Easily regarding the conflicts in the land as "pointless" or "bothersome", Sima Zhao is first seen as a youth who refuses to try or take responsibility. He dispassionately follows orders to keep his family in power, and tends to be weirded out by his family's quirks (such as his father and brother's tendency to evily laugh) as the only straight-sane-man of such comical situations.

When he personally experiences the hardship of losing his family to war, Sima Zhao is forced to seriously consider his future. Though being entrusted with the right to lead initially paralyzed him, he eventually gains the confidence to think for himself. Once he no longer concerns himself with meeting other people's expectations, his true qualities begin to shine. His desire is to break the futility he sees in blindly following past traditions in a land of unprecedented harmony. Sima Zhao's views may be too radical for his opposition to accept, but his wishes to fulfill them empowers his rulings and leadership. In spite of his new found decisiveness, Sima Zhao tries to retain his gregarious optimism in his hope for a better future. Sima Zhao sees Liu Shan as a kindred spirit of sorts, as he sees that Liu Shan may act like a fool in name alone, but he thinks much deeper than his actions imply. In the latest installment, Sima Zhao is a close friend of Xiahou Ba, and soldiers from camp report that they often discuss personal matters with each other.

His family members and Wang Yuanji seek to discipline him during his youth, irate by his laziness and immaturity. Even so, they have faith in the qualities he keeps to himself. He may act skittish when facing his elder brother or Wang Yuanji's chastising, but Sima Zhao appreciates their concern for him. Yet despite his rulership capabilities and the support he has for it, there still blatant implications that his father and brother are still more naturally capable than his is.

For his Warriors Orochi appearance, he shares special conversations with Sakon, who advises him to stop complaining over doing tasks, and Shuten Dōji, whom he accidentally teaches to do nothing but complain about chores. In the fourth installment, he enjoys sneaking off and taking naps with Hanbei, one of his comrades from the prior war. He is also constantly lectured by Kanetsugu Naoe over the ideals of honor and love, which Sima Zhao can only find exasperation in.

Voice Actors[]

  • Peter Doyle - Warriors Orochi series (English-uncredited)
  • Kaiji Tang - Dynasty Warriors 7~8 (English-uncredited)
  • Ian Coleman - Dynasty Warriors 9 (English)
  • Huang Bin - Dynasty Warriors 9 (Chinese)
  • Kim Taeyeong - Romance of the Three Kingdoms: The Legend of Cao Cao (Korean)
  • Daisuke Kishio - Dynasty Warriors 7~9, Warriors Orochi 3~4 (Japanese)
  • Kensuke Satō - Youkai Sangokushi (Japanese)
  • Taira Kikumoto - Sangokushi Hadou (Japanese)

Image Songs[]

Live Action Performers[]


See also: Sima Zhao/Quotes
  • "I'm sure I can find better ways to spend my time."
  • "Why must people cling to their outdated ideals so stubbornly?"
  • "I suppose I'll have to go out there and do something once in a while."
  • "My lord, your tactics in the last battle were exceptional!"
"Oh, stop. Flattery will get you nowhere."
"Your humility becomes you, scion of the Sima family."
"Humility...? Now I know you're putting me on."
~~Deng Ai and Sima Zhao; Dynasty Warriors 7
  • "Zhao, this matter is too important to leave to others. Please entrust everything to me."
"You always take things too far. But I think you are qualified for this."
"Going too far is just what we need. You can count on me."
"Okay! Then let's make tonight's banquet the biggest and best one yet!"
~~Jia Chong and Sima Zhao; Dynasty Warriors 8
  • "Liu Bei, is it. He is more qualified than many people, I'm sure. But can he really hope to rule a nation?"
"Many heroes have stood up against this chaos, but none treat the people as well as he. In both actions and words. He listens not only to his officers, but also each and every one of his men. There is truly no other like him."
"Geh. Just being a leader would be enough of a pain, but doing all that stuff too? Maybe he can achieve an ideal land. I don't think it's a good idea to carry too much of people's expectations. If he does that, sooner or later he will break. You should only identify the ones you can't afford to forsake and keep those. Though even that is too much work for me."
~~Sima Zhao and Zhao Yun; Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers
  • "I'm trying to stop complaining... but I've got a way to go."
"You've got a long history of it, after all. You aren't going to earn people's trust overnight."
"What a bother... ah, right, sorry."
~~Sima Zhao and Sakon Shima; Warriors Orochi 3
  • "Master Sima Zhao, what kind of training do you receive from Lady Yuanji?"
"Training, did you say? That's not really the nature of our relationship. Honestly, I'd call it closer to punishment!"
"Punishment? Whatever do you mean?"
"For example. In the middle of my duties, I cut out and take a break. When I return, Yuanji is standing right in the middle of the room. "Where did you go? Tell me, I won't be angry." Hah, with a look like a demon on her face!"
"Th-That does sound ominous!"
"Knowing I've been caught, I tell her the truth. "I was just napping in the shade." Her eyes narrow. "Sit there, my lord, and do not make a sound. No matter what happens.""
"And what happens-- happened? What happened next?"
"Well, the kind of punishment I can't even describe. I really can't."
"Huh? Master Sima Zhao. The actual punishment is the bit I want to hear about. Was it at least administered with love?"
"Yes. So much love, that's why I can't begin to describe it."
~~Kanetsugu and Sima Zhao; Warriors Orochi 4


See also: Sima Zhao/Movesets

Dynasty Warriors 9[]



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

Sima Zhao is affiliated with the dao broadsword in this appearance.

Unique Flow Attack:
Unique Trigger Attack (R1 + ):
Special Technique (R1 + Circle):
Musou (Circle): Performs the first portion of his original Awakening Musou for the initial part, then finishes with his Musou I animation (though a stationary lightning trail is sent out on the upward slash, and a wind burst is sent forward when he performs the kick).
Aerial Musou (X + Circle): Same as before, only blue flame-strikes shared by all standard Musou Attack effects trail the slashes.


See also: Sima Zhao/Weapons

Dynasty Warriors 8[]

Sima Zhao now uses the striking sword as his default weapon in this title.

Historical Information[]

Romance of the Three Kingdoms[]



  • English voice actor Kaiji Tang tattooed his arm with the Sima Family crest to express his enjoyment of voicing Sima Zhao.
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