Not to be confused with Zhang Yang.

Zhang Yan
ROTK12 Zhang Yan
Character Information
Force(s): Yellow Turbans
Gongsun Zan's Forces
Heishan Bandits
Cao Cao's Forces
Weapon Type: Polearm (5~6)
Club (7)
Great sword (8)
Unit Type: Large warrior (5~6)
Warrior (7~8)
Significant Battle(s):
First Appearance: Dynasty Warriors 5
Historical Information
Real name:
Zhāng Yān
Chinese name:
張燕 - 张燕
Style name:
Chinese name:
Formerly named Chǔ Yān (褚燕). Also known as Zhāng Fēiyān (張飛燕).

Zhang Yan (onyomi: Chō En) is the leader of the Heishan (Black Mountain) bandits, an offshoot of the Yellow Turbans. He later surrendered to Cao Cao when the latter started his campaign against the Yuan family.

Role in GamesEdit

Zhang Yan is one of the enemy commanders at the Battle of Chang Shan alongside Gongsun Zan, where he faces Yuan Shao and Lu Bu in Dynasty Warriors 5. He defends the mountain base and is the target of Lu Bu's first attack, thus defeating him will give the player an advantage over the enemy.

Zhang Yan also appears as a Yellow Turban officer in both Dynasty Warriors 6 and Dynasty Warriors 7. In Dynasty Warriors 8, he additionally appears at Yan Province, being the last Yellow Turban general to defeat before the second appearance of Xu Zhu. The Xtreme Legends expansion has him serve as the enemy commander at Changshan.

In Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Zhang Yan is given high leadership and fighting skills, as well as a high cavalry rating. His domestic skills are rather low in comparison. His skill in the eleventh installment increases his movement range with cavalry units. He mostly serves the Yellow Turbans in the first scenario and then, depending on the game, becomes either a free officer or leads his own bandit force in Bing Province, before joining Cao Cao.


  • "O-Okay! I'll do whatever you want! Please, just don't hurt me!"

Historical InformationEdit

Zhang Yan was born as Chu Yan in Changshan commandery, Ji Province. He was given the nickname "Feiyan" by his soldiers, meaning "Flying Swallow", because of his agility and swiftness. In 185, he and a bandit leader called Zhang Niujue raided the city of Yingtao. During the raid, Zhang Niujue was mortally wounded and ordered his men to obey Chu Yan as their new leader before dying. Because of this, Chu Yan decided to change his surname to Zhang in honor of his dead comrade. During the following years, Zhang Yan's force grew steadily and was said to number a million. They operated from the Heishan mountains in Bing Province and thus became known as the Heishan bandits.

In 193, Zhang Yan was attacked by Lu Bu, who served Yuan Shao. Yuan Shao aimed to pacify the Taihang mountains at the western border of Ji Province, but Zhang Yan was able to fight Lu Bu to a stalemate and the latter retreated. Later, in 199, Zhang Yan received a plea for reinforcements by Gongsun Zan and went to help him against Yuan Shao, but Gongsun Zan was defeated and died before Zhang Yan arrived.

After Cao Cao defeated Yuan Shao at Guandu, Zhang Yan contacted Cao Cao and was made "General Who Pacifies the North". In 205, after Cao Cao conquered most of Hebei, Zhang Yan officially surrendered to Cao Cao and became Marquis of Anguo Village. He is not mentioned in historical records afterwards.

Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit

Zhang Yan first appears in Chapter 11 of the novel, when he and his Heishan bandits were attacked and defeated by Lu Bu, who served Yuan Shao at that time. Later, in chapter 21, Gongsun Zan sent a letter to Zhang Yan to ask him for help and proposed a two-pronged attack on Yuan Shao. However, Yuan Shao intercepted the messenger and used the letter to lure Gongsun Zan into a trap. Zhang Yan's last mention is in chapter 33, where he led 100,000 troops to surrender to Cao Cao, who made him "General Who Pacifies the North" and sent him with Yue Jin and Li Dian to attack Gao Gan in Bing Province.