185 cm (6'1")
|Weapon Type:||Talisman cards (5, 8)|
|Playable Debut:||Dynasty Warriors 5|
The Treasury of Tao
Zuo Ci (onyomi: Sa Ji) is a legendary person who is famous for visiting Cao Cao. He is a master of illusions, sorcery, and fortune telling. He supposedly lived to be 300 years old before he became an immortal being.
He was voted to be the sixtieth most popular Dynasty Warriors character in the Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends character popularity poll. The latest poll for the eighth installment puts him in eightieth. The character poll for overseas fans puts him in fifth place for the Other division.
Role in Games
- "The darkness has lifted... And yet the world still cannot find the light."
- ~~Zuo Ci; Dynasty Warriors 5
Zuo Ci has trained thirty years in the mountains to perfect the mystic arts. Upon his descent from hermitage, he decides to end the chaos by first looking for the land's greatest hero. He suspects Liu Bei for the position but senses that a stronger individual named Cao Cao exists. After he personally judges Cao Cao at the Yellow Turban Rebellion, he admits Cao Cao is a splendid individual but remarks that the lord will never fight in the name of justice or for the people. Although his support for Liu Bei strengthens, Zuo Ci wonders if he can unite Cao Cao's might and Liu Bei's virtue for the land's benefit. Seeing them together at Hu Lao Gate, Zuo Ci is confident that he can deal with Dong Zhuo for them. Though victory is won for the Allied Forces, Cao Cao defeats Liu Bei some time afterwards, and the latter is separated from his brothers. Zuo Ci's plan to have the two lords collaborate is put on hold, and he decides to protect Liu Bei.
Predicting that Liu Bei cannot reach his full potential without his sworn siblings, he aids Yuan Shao at Guan Du to help the brothers' proper reunion. He formally introduces himself to Liu Bei at Chang Ban and assists the escape. While he supports Liu Bei, he continues to appeal to Cao Cao and hopes the conqueror may listen to his pleas after Chi Bi. Cao Cao never submits to Zuo Ci's opinions and dies after He Fei. Liu Bei's personal vendetta to avenge his brothers at Yi Ling is achieved, but he also passes away. Seeing no talent in Liu Chan's clumsiness, Zuo Ci's hopes for the ideal world of peace are gone. Even so, he reasons that the land Cao Pi wants to make would be similar to his father, which is something that Zuo Ci cannot condone. He therefore joins the effort to stop Wei at Wu Zhang Plains. After the battle, the elder is content to leave the future of Shu in Zhuge Liang's capable hands. However, he foresees that the Prime Minister has little time left to live. Regrettably seeing his efforts wasted, he transforms into a crane and flies away to places unknown, waiting for another time for one to quell the darkness.
He shares his Legend Mode in the Xtreme Legends expansion with Pang Tong and Zhang Jiao. A year before the Yellow Turban Rebellion takes place, the three magicians compete for the book Master Lao offers, The Way of Peace. Zuo Ci also guest stars in the Two Qiaos and the Husbands and Wives Legend Modes. In the former, he is an old friend of the two Qiao's father, and he honors his promise to challenge the future husbands. He is the one who offers the test in the second stage and holds a renowned scroll as the prize.
In Dynasty Warriors 8, Zuo Ci makes his appearance on Wei's hypothetical story branch as an observer from the mystic realm who seeks to stop Cao Cao's bloodshed. Still a firm believer of Liu Bei's virtuous rule, he infiltrates Xuchang and tries to assassinate Cao Pi with sorcery only to be thwarted by the stationed officers of Wei. His personal stage has him succeed in the attempt as well as reveal how he was able to neutralize the castle's security in the first place.
In Dynasty Warriors 9, Zuo Ci is fought as part of the tutorial battle when first playing as Sun Jian, Liu Bei, or Cao Cao, which if completed before doing Story Mode, can unlock all the officers under that respective kingdom once the first tutorial battle against Zhou Cang is completed at the start of Chapter 1.
His Story Mode begins in Chapter 8. Noticing the two main warlords who could unite China under their banner in Cao Cao and Liu Bei, after having a short encounter with Cao Cao and demonstrating his Taoist magic to him, Zuo Ci decides to aid Liu Bei, seeing his dream of a land of virtue and benevolence worthy of his assistance. After helping to secure Hanzhong from Cao Cao's counterattack to avenge Xiahou Yuan, Zuo Ci continues to aid Liu Bei, including traveling to Jiangling to offer his assistance to Guan Yu, warning him of the threat he poses to both Wei and Wu, and how they might join forces to eliminate him. Guan Yu appreciates the assistance of Zuo Ci, but even with his help, the attack on Fan Castle soon falters and fails when Zuo Ci's warnings come true as Sun Quan betrays the Shu-Wu alliance against Wei and joins forces with Cao Cao to take out Guan Yu. Despite Zuo Ci's help, Guan Yu, Guan Ping, and Zhou Cang meet their end at the hands of the Wei-Wu alliance, while Guan Suo, Xing, and Yinping are able to escape with Zuo Ci back to Chengdu to deliver the grim news to Liu Bei and Zhang Fei. Driven only by anger and revenge, and with further fuel added to the fire with Zhang Fei's murder by assassins that flee to Wu afterwards, Liu Bei orders a retaliatory strike against Wu, which causes Zuo Ci to see that Liu Bei's dreams of a land of virtue and benevolence have been buried by bloodlust and vengeance. He attempts to talk Liu Bei out of his attack on Wu at Yiling, but Liu Bei refuses out of a sense of honor. As a result, Zuo Ci agrees to aid Liu Bei one more time to protect his life from the coming battle and its outcome. After he attempts to aid Liu Bei one last time at Yiling, only for the attack to fail thanks to Zhu Ran and Lu Xun, Liu Bei is forced to take what's left of his army and retreat back to Baidi Castle to regroup, unable to attain vengeance for his sworn brothers' deaths.
In Zuo Ci's ending, he appears to an ailing Liu Bei as Sun Shangxiang is sleeping next to him. After the two exchange final words with each other before Liu Bei passes on, Zuo Ci steps outside to gaze at the sky and wish Liu Bei well in the afterlife before mysteriously vanishing, possibly to return when he sees another warlord worthy of his aid to unite China under their banner.
During Orochi's scenario, he is one of the members within the mystic army that opposes Orochi's tyranny. Zuo Ci creates doubles of himself to stir confusion in the serpent army. Though defeated by his opponents, the elderly man is satisfied to know Orochi's strength firsthand and retreats.
By the time Warriors Orochi begins, he brings Yoshihiro and Xing Cai to free the crestfallen Zhao Yun. Informing the warrior that Liu Bei still lives, he assists their escape from Zhao Yun's prison cell. Advising them to focus on running rather than fight, Zuo Ci vanishes once the trio runs outside Ueda Castle. He continues to reinforce but not officially join Shu, helping Guan Yu and Zhang Fei at Mikatagahara as well as the army's final battle against Orochi at Koshi Castle.
In the sequel, he appears once more before the Orochi army to support Liu Bei at Shi Ting. Deeming the leader to be the only hero who can end the incoming wars, he uses his body doubles to aid his allies. While serving Shu, he spends his time observing Taigong Wang's changing perceptions for humanity. He shares his dream stage in the title with Pang Tong and Zhang Jiao. The three sorcerers challenge their spells against Nene's ninja magic. Zuo Ci's personal contribution in the battle is dealing with Hanzō's technique which rejuvenates Nene's army dramatically.
Becoming an immortal being after Orochi's second defeat, Zuo Ci had left the dimensional world and lived within the mystical realm. Sensing Hydra's emergence, however, he returned as an ally of humanity. He gladly offered guidance to the isolated Benkei and Ryu. With the warriors as his allies, Zuo Ci guides them to Anegawa to disrupt Kiyomori's sorcery. After he offers his service to the coalition, the elderly taoist helps their fight at Mt. Dingjun and later encourages his monk companion to search Tedorigawa.
In the downloadable stage, "Art of War", Zuo Ci teaches Sima Zhao and Motonari the reasons why people fight in war, showing that there are things worth fighting for. In another scenario, "Virtue's Burden", he helps Joan, Liu Bei, and Ieyasu in saving peasants and fighting with Nobunaga against Dong Zhuo. Zuo Ci opposes his fellow mystics and protects Orochi in "Demons vs Mystics", believing that wiping the demon out with sheer strength is wrong.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Zuo Ci appears as a special non-playable character in Romance of the Three Kingdoms. He often wanders around the cities of China and has different roles in each game. In the tenth installment, building up a relationship with Zuo Ci enables the player to learn the Wizard skill for use in battle.
In Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI, Zuo Ci again wanders the cities. If the player finds a shrine or relict in the area of the city Zuo Ci is located in and chooses to destroy it, Zuo Ci might appear and curse the player's ruler, causing him to become ill and sometimes even die from the illness. On very rare occasions, he can be found in a city when using the Search command. The player will get different actions to choose from and, depending on his choice, Zuo Ci will act accordingly. In the Power-Up Kit expansion, Zuo Ci appears more frequently in small events, sometimes requesting the player to give him food. If the player accepts, Zuo Ci will increase the player's TP. He also appears in Cao Cao's Debate challenge scenario, in which he charges Cao Cao of plagiarizing in his new book and allows him to prove that he did not plagiarize by debating famous strategists of the era.
When he was asked regarding Zuo Ci's removal from the Dynasty Warriors series, the producer remarked that he would likely not return. He wanted to keep presenting the series from a quasi-historical view and felt Zuo Ci would not necessarily fit in with that image. The inclusion of "hypothetical" scenarios for the newest Dynasty Warriors was the biggest reason for changing his mind. He admitted he would have felt bad to cut Zuo Ci again since he considers him a part of the series. Suzuki, however, doesn't consider Fu Xi and Nuwa a part of the "missing cast" since their characters were completely rebuilt for the Warriors Orochi series.
A quaint yet mysterious individual, Zuo Ci is a wizened mystic who speaks humbly. He does not care for material wealth or status, defying the times with his focused view on morality and the future. Though seemingly frail, he possesses a great deal of power that excels other characters, such as his ability to teleport and transform. Despite his supernatural might, he deeply respects humanity's goodness and wishes to meet one who can end the strife plaguing the land.
Zuo Ci's weapon of choice within the Dynasty Warriors series are paper talismans inscribed with the belief to dispel various forms of ill fortune when used (呪符, jifu). They are commonly used to support a practice of sorcery within fiction, protecting or instilling its users with the powers of the characters inscribed on the slip of paper. Although the magic can be easily dispelled by destroying the paper or its inscriptions, the properties of using these charms may be a powerful tool for damaging or sealing various malevolent spirits. The animals depicted on Zuo Ci's charms, as well as their colors, are references to the Four Spirits and the Four Symbols. From weakest to strongest: tiger, dragon, fenghuang, qilin.
His second weapon takes its namesake from xian, commonly known as an immortal form for a spirit within Daoism. These beings are akin to hermits with nearly omnipresent, supernatural powers, and can freely walk the mortal or divine realms to teach their Daoist crafts to devoted students. Xian are not necessarily gods, however, as gods reign in an entirely different realm and stature. For instance, xian continue to display subdued human traits and can be killed in spite of their immortality; gods have a single, dominant personality and can remain for an eternity. The term is popularly associated with enlightened males for their afterlife, such is the case with Taigong Wang and Zhuge Liang. Specific beasts and women may also fit the bill - Xi Wangmu, for instance, is actually a xian and not a goddess within Daoism. As a dominant ruler in Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires, he calls his five greatest warriors the "Five Sages", a reference to his origins as a lone but wise hermit.
His third weapon is literally named "severe weather", but it maybe a reference to the everyday chaos found within daily life. It's implied that his weapon has the power to cut through such problems cleanly. Zuo Ci's fourth weapon is named after darkness (冥), but the same character is also sometimes used to describe the afterlife for a newly departed soul. When paired with the following "heaven" character, his charm may have been granted the power to dispel the gloomy world.
On his character model, one of his eyes has a tattoo over it likely in ode to some adaptations describing that he was blind in one eye, albeit under unknown circumstances or even intentionally.
The original name for his Personal Item in Warriors Orochi is Dunjia Tianshu or The Book of Concealing Method. Within Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Zuo Ci studied the three volume text (containing scrolls for techniques to manipulate the heaven, earth, and person) for thirty years before confronting Cao Cao.
- Michael Forest - Dynasty Warriors 5, Warriors Orochi series; first and second games only (English-uncredited)
- Dan Woren - Dynasty Warriors 8 (English-uncredited)
- Smokey Miles - Dynasty Warriors 9 (English)
- Minna Wang - Dynasty Warriors 9 (Chinese)
- Choi Jun Yeong - Dynasty Warriors 5 (Korean)
- Masaharu Satō - Dynasty Warriors and Warriors Orochi series (Japanese)
- Miho Miyagawa - Sangokushi Legion
- Masahito Yabe - Youkai Sangokushi (Japanese)
- Shinji Nagano - Sangokushi Hadou (Japanese)
- See also: Zuo Ci/Quotes
- "I shall now demonstrate my knowledge of the arcane arts."
- "Watch closely. You may find this amusing."
- "You were always plotting against Lord Cao Cao, weren't you?! And I'll bet you're the one responsible for his death, too!"
- "Ignorance may be bliss, but it sure is pathetic."
- "Shut up! You're going to pay for what you did!"
- ~~Xu Zhu and Zuo Ci; Dynasty Warriors 5
- "You are but a living corpse who has chosen to watch the world go by. You have no need for this book. Let me pass! There is a new world that I have sworn to create!"
- "There is a purpose to my observation. Hence I am here. It is you who have no need for the book. It gives birth to overwhelming ambition. I cannot allow that to happen."
- ~~Zhang Jiao and Zuo Ci; Dynasty Warriors 5: Xtreme Legends
- "Why have you not told them of Kiyomori's designs?"
- "What good would it do? It would merely incite panic. Do they not have enough to deal with in Da Ji? Should I have confused them even more?"
- "No... You are testing them. You plan to see just how far the human spirit will stretch."
- "Think what you will. That is your right. Hehe, you do seem to have a soft spot for these humans, I must say."
- ~~Zuo Ci and Taigong Wang; Warriors Orochi 2
- "Mystic arts and ninjutsu share much in common. They penetrate the mind and spread confusion."
- "We must do what we have to do. Let us bring the darkness in this world to light."
- "You dirty your hands too for the cause of righteousness? We have both been charged with a difficult role."
- ~~Zuo Ci and Ryu; Warriors Orochi 3
- "Master Zuo Ci, I hear you have trained in a place close to the Mystic Realm. Does this mean you've lived longer than a normal, mortal man?"
- "Perhaps, and perhaps not. Faithful believer. What would you wish for, if you had thousands of years at your command?"
- "Of course, for everyone to be happy. I would swing my lance for as many thousands of years as it took to achieve that."
- "I fear that is not how things would turn out. Amid the immutable flow of infinite time, your heart would dry out, and your faith would fade."
- "No, it would not! Th is feeling is eternal, I assure you."
- "You have such a look in your eyes. Even as I know how difficult such a thing would be, it still makes me want to find some truth in your words. Stand by your faith, then. At least while we share our time in this world, I will support you."
- "Thank you for the kind words, Master Zuo Ci. I will not betray your expectations! Let us continue the fight to bring happiness to one and all!"
- See also: Zuo Ci/Movesets
Dynasty Warriors 9
|Keys:||Flow Attack •||Reactive Attack •||Musou •||Jump/Mount|
Zuo Ci is affiliated with the shaman rod in this appearance.
- Unique Flow Attack:
- Unique Trigger Attack (R1 + ):
- Special Technique (R1 + ):
- Musou ():
- Aerial Musou ( + ):
- See also: Zuo Ci/Weapons
Dynasty Warriors 8
Zuo Ci uses the talisman cards as his default weapon in this title.
Zuo Ci was a Taoist that practiced on Emei Mountain. He was nicknamed, "Master Black Horn". In reality, Zuo Ci never predicted Cao Cao's death and served him until retirement.
In historical texts, Zuo Ci studied atop the Mount Tianzhu, practiced medicinal alchemy and nourished his vital essence by controlled breathing, as well as other means. It is said that he could live for long periods without eating. He was also very knowledgeable in the Confucian classics and in astrology.
Very little is known about him historically, but there are many legends about him in folklore and other people say that some of these legends are historically true with no specific basis of reason.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Zuo Ci is a legendary personage of the Three Kingdoms period of China. Though he is known as a local of Lujiang, the years of his birth and death are unknown. It is believed that he had existed before the collapse of the Han Dynasty, and it is claimed that he lived to three hundred. He learned his magics and path to longevity from the Taoist sage Feng Heng, and eventually passed his arts to Ge Xuan.
Around the year 200 CE, a warlord by the name of Sun Ce, who was a strict Confucian, wanted to kill Zuo Ci and chased him on horseback. Zuo Ci, unmounted, still managed to escape by seemingly walking slowly.
Later, Zuo Ci went to Cao Cao, who granted him a pension to do his magics. Cao Cao may have shown an interest in the Taoist approach to longevity by doing this, but his son Cao Zhi wrote that the pensions are only intended to keep the magicians and their wild teachings under control. Zuo Ci showed Cao Cao's court a number of magics, such as catching an exotic fish from an empty copper pan, and teleporting far away to buy ginger. Zuo Ci once fed a whole court assembly with food and wine, but Cao Cao soon found out that Zuo Ci had emptied every wine shop in the region with his magic for this purpose. Cao Cao tried to execute Zuo Ci, but Zuo Ci escaped by walking through walls. When someone reported that Zuo Ci had been sighted in the market, everyone in the market became identical to Zuo's appearance. Another report said Zuo Ci went to the mountaintop, so Cao Cao and his men went, and realized Zuo Ci was concealed among a flock of sheep. Knowing he cannot find him, Cao Cao announced to the flock of sheep that he was merely trying to test Zuo Ci's skill, and had no intention to kill him. At the moment, a goat stood on its hind legs and spoke. Cao Cao's men rushed to the goat, only to find the rest of the flock also turned into goats and started standing and speaking like humans. Zuo Ci was never found by Cao Cao's men again.
Zuo Ci eventually retired from the world to practice his arts in the mountains.