Ma Dai

From Koei Tecmo Wiki

Ma Dai (onyomi: Ba Tai) is Ma Chao's cousin who is best known for slaying Wei Yan. Romance of the Three Kingdoms instead portrays him as a faithful retainer who previously served Ma Teng and is Ma Chao's constant companion. His proclamation the moment before he kills Wei Yan is often quoted in Three Kingdoms media.

Before his playable Dynasty Warriors appearance, he was a generic Shu NPC since its second entry. He placed sixteenth place in Gamecity's Dynasty Warriors 7 character popularity poll; he placed eleventh in the Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends popularity poll. In Famitsu's character survey, he placed in three categories: eighth place for sibling, second place for friend, and fifth place for most desired boyfriend. The latest poll for the eighth installment puts him in twenty-sixth. The character poll for overseas fans puts him in eighteenth place for the Shu division. This incarnation also shares a duet image song with Ma Chao titled Like the Wind.

In most titles, Ma Dai lives past his historical death in 235, and is present in later Shu campaigns following Zhuge Liang's death.

His character's height in Kessen II is 165 cm (5'5").

Role in Games

Dynasty Warriors

Ma Dai is considered to be Ma Chao's loyal and faithful cousin throughout the Dynasty Warriors series. He first appears with his cousin at Tong Gate and is often the only general to continue serving Ma Chao after Han Sui's defection. He continues to follow Ma Chao into Shu and occasionally appears next to Wei Yan during the kingdom's final battles. If Shu tries to exterminate Wei Yan in his Legend Mode during Dynasty Warriors 4: Xtreme Legends, Ma Dai is the general closest to attacking the "traitor". He can be played in Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires as a light officer with no attributes.

His playable appearance in Dynasty Warriors 7 follows his basic history from previous ports, stating that he followed Ma Chao after Cao Cao's attack. He is seen fighting beside Ma Chao in Story Mode, acting as his cousin's support in his campaigns. Although Sima Zhao struck him down during one of Shu's later invasions in Wei, Ma Dai recovers to keep participating in future attacks. In their final battle at Chengdu, Ma Dai dies with the other Shu defenders in battle.

In his first Legendary Battle, Ma Dai aids Ma Chao in defeating Cao Cao at Tong Gate. His second Legendary Battle is the Battle of Mt. Qi where he aids Zhuge Liang in launching a counterattack on the Wei forces.

The Xtreme Legends expansion has Ma Dai's Hero Scenario take place at Wu Zhang Plains. Jiang Wei orders a withdraw after Zhuge Liang's death, but Wei Yan disobeys the command and charges towards the enemy. Since they cannot afford to lose the valued general, Ma Dai is ordered to search and retrieve Wei Yan. Although members in the Shu army have their doubts regarding Wei Yan's allegiances, the young general remain optimistic and is intent on rescuing his comrade from danger. He does so after he helps ally troops repel the Wei army, eventually locating Wei Yan at the Wei main camp. Wei Yan charged in alone to try to assassinate Sima Shi.

As Sima Shi flees, Ma Dai stops Wei Yan from pursuing and asks why he is so reckless in battle. Continuing from his earlier reply to Ma Dai, the masked warrior answers that he wants to create a "world of benevolence" by himself since Zhuge Liang and Liu Bei are no longer alive to make it happen. An exasperated Ma Dai explains that those remaining in Shu still have a chance to fulfill this dream, since they carry on their commanders' will. He emphasizes that it can work if everyone works together to make it happen, which Wei Yan seems to understand.

Ma Dai makes his appearance in Dynasty Warriors Next as a member of Liu Bei's army alongside Ma Chao after the formation of Shu. During the Battle of Wuzhang Plains, he helps Zhuge Liang infiltrate Wei's supply base by directing him to a nearby cliff above it. He also outlives his cousin by appearing in Jin's chapter.

In Dynasty Warriors 8, Ma Dai reprises his role from the previous installment, fighting alongside Ma Chao. Joining Shu, he fights at Mt. Dingjun and the Wuzhang Plains. In the hypothetical route, Ma Dai helps Jiang Wei in invading Luoyang.

In Shu's expanded storyline, Ma Dai appears at the altered Hanzhong and Yiling campaigns, and leads reinforcements for Liu Shan at Yong'an. In Wei's storyline, he appears with Ma Chao after their success at Tong Gate, and their subsequent invasion of Chang'an. He also appears in the altered Hanzhong campaign and at Zitong, where he charges the Wei army in both scenarios. In Wu's story, he still appears at Yiling recurring the same role as with the historical battle. In Jin's story, he appears in Zhuge Liang's invasion of Shangyong.

Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed has Ma Dai reprise his role in the Battle of Chengdu as an enemy-turned-ally. Following Ma Chao's defection to Liu Bei, he tries to alleviate the tension between his cousin and Zhang Fei, though the older general chides him for spoiling people.

In his bond story, the Ma clan is forced to seek refuge under Zhang Lu after Han Sui sells them out to Cao Cao. Ma Dai's performance in battle impresses the Shu forces enough to recruit him and Ma Chao. Together, the cousins rise up among the ranks and earn a great deal of trust in return.

When disease claims Ma Chao's life, the bereaved Ma Dai soldiers on by closely working under Zhuge Liang. He contributes to the Southern Campaign's success by disguising himself as a barbarian soldier to help capture Meng Huo. After helping subjugate the Qiang tribe, he agrees to fulfill the dying Zhuge Liang's order of slaying Wei Yan if he shows signs of defecting. Contrary to how the main games portray their character dynamics, Ma Dai simply kills Wei Yan without remorse during the latter's betrayal and inherits his position as a reward.

Warriors Orochi

In the original time line in Warriors Orochi 3, Ma Dai sacrificed himself so his cousin could safely escape Kiyomori's resurrected army. A future Ma Chao and his partners rescue him from his demise at Yiling. He helps the plot to save Huang Zhong by helping to clear the serpent army encampment at Tedorigawa and assists the treasure hunt at Taoshui.

Returning late to the distorted world at Warriors Orochi 4, Ma Dai is surrounded by Athena's army at Kawanakajima but is rescued by the arrival of Yue Jin, Naomasa Ii, and Masanori Fukushima, all three competing to be the first to save him. He later takes the time to ask the trio what being a vanguard meant to them. After the battle, he uplifts the spirits of his comrades when they remember that their recklessness endangered their camp, and he soon joins the Coalition.


During Wei's story in Kessen II, he fights for his cousin's cause at Tong Gate and is one of the generals who leads an active assault. Presumably after the battle, the cousins lose sight of one another and reunite later. Ma Chao values his kinsmen and proclaims him as a "brother". During Shu's story, Ma Dai may join at his cousin's behest when they face Cai Wengi. Alternatively, he can be lost in a desert mirage created by Zhuge Liang and he continues to fight with her when he escapes. Compared to his other counterparts, Ma Dai is childish and pouts to the orders given to him. He cheerfully refers to his cousin as "Brother Ma Chao".

He leads a similar unit as Ma Chao except he has a weaker War rating and limited use of magic.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Ma Dai has appeared in every entry of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series. He normally starts out in service to Ma Teng from a young age, then follows Ma Chao into the service of Zhang Lu and eventually joins Shu. He is a strong general who excels at leading cavalry, with his military stats usually being in the low to mid 80's. In terms of abilities, he is usually comparable to the likes of Guan Suo and Guan Xing, though in earlier entries of the series he surpasses them. The thirteenth entry of the series has him share a special bond with Zhuge Liang dubbed "Blade of Virtue" in reference to Zhuge Liang's confidence in him.

Character Information


When thinking of figures in Three Kingdoms fiction who are popularly known for being close to Ma Chao, Ma Dai is usually the first one people name. Therefore, he was added into the cast. The focus for his design, which became his trademark with developers, was "That stylish hat!" He is the first Warriors character to be designed completely based on their headwear. He was given wavy hair to try to imply his western plain land origins. His magical paintbrush is supposed to personify his unexpected dark side that is hidden underneath his cheery persona.


Ma Dai gains respect and trust with his common sunny deposition. Occasionally he childishly pouts aloud when something displeases him, yet Ma Dai always brightens to look onward to the future. Honest with his thoughts, he wants to emphasize the positives in life to his comrades. He is the easy-going contrast to his serious cousin, who he affectionately refers to as his "young master" (若, Waka). Despite his seemingly innocent cheerfulness, he takes his duties to heart and is not afraid of taking someone's life or losing his own if it means protecting Ma Chao or his country. Ma Dai can show his true nature with dead seriousness and maturity, dropping the usual lively tone in his voice for a rare and strikingly brief moment.

He is mainly seen trying to cheer up his brooding cousin or Wei Yan, but he also shares a bit of a kinship with Pang De. Ma Dai considers him a talented general who he used to idolize for his ferocity and composure, though his respect is fractured when Pang De chooses to side with Wei. Zhuge Liang also places his absolute faith in him.

He forms a bond with Kunoichi in his Warriors Orochi appearance, respecting her fun-loving conduct with her duties. Ma Dai even hurries to her rescue before she accepts her fall to a brainwashed Yukimura.

Character Symbolism

The original name for his fourth ranked weapon in Warriors Orochi 3 names a roaring divine hound. The same canine is known as Erlang Shen's animal companion and one of his trusted weapons in Chinese literature.

Voice Actors

  • Grant George - Dynasty Warriors 6 (English-uncredited)
  • Justin Giddings - Dynasty Warriors 7~8 (English-uncredited)
  • Osamu Ryutani - Dynasty Warriors 7~9, Warriors Orochi 3~4 (Japanese)
  • Ryan Lefton - Dynasty Warriors 9 (English)
  • Chenyang Fu - Dynasty Warriors 9 (Chinese)
  • Hisayoshi Suganuma - Kessen II (Japanese)
  • Kim Hyeseong - Romance of the Three Kingdoms: The Legend of Cao Cao (Korean)
  • Kōji Tsujitani - Romance of the Three Kingdoms drama CD series (Japanese)
  • Kiyono Yasuno - Youkai Sangokushi (Japanese)
  • Reigo Yamaguchi - Sangokushi Hadou (Japanese)
  • Akio Katō - Sangokushi Three Kingdoms TV series


See also: Ma Dai/Quotes
  • "You shouldn't worry about this loss. There was nothing you could do."
  • "I am Ma Dai, cousin to Ma Chao, face me!"
  • "I am always impressed with how exceptionally capable you are. You make it easy to focus on crafting my strategies."
"I’ll gladly take on any task, even if it’s one that no one else wants to do. That’s just who I am."
"I am truly thankful. Truly..."
~~Zhuge Liang and Ma Dai; Dynasty Warriors 7
  • "I... need to talk..."
"What's wrong? You look really serious..."
"Everyone... avoids... me... I have... no friends...!"
"Yes you do, right here! It's okay, everybody likes you, Wei Yan."
~~Wei Yan and Ma Dai; Dynasty Warriors 8
  • "I've heard that the people of Liang Province are skilled horse riders. Can you give me any tips?"
"We spend out entire lives with horses, right from when we are born. It allows us to understand them intimately. That's why I have the confidence to ride any horse. Even the one that belongs to your father."
"Hah, even you couldn't hope to ride Red Hare. He's never let anyone but my father ride him. Those who have tried have been thrown off. Painfully thrown off, too. I would not recommend trying it."
"You never know! I am skilled at bringing wild horses under my control."
~~Lu Lingqi and Ma Dai; Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers
  • "Ma Dai! I am overjoyed to see the righteous flames of justice burn brightly within you!"
"The flames of justice? ...Oh, oh yeah, sure."
~~Ma Chao and Ma Dai; Warriors Orochi 2
  • "Master Ma Dai. Can we finally..."
"Yes, I know! You want to fight. I do not break promises with a friend. Prepare yourself!"
"Master Ma Dai!"
~~Yukimura and Ma Dai; Warriors Orochi 3
  • "Boo!"
"Were you surprised? I'm really good at surprising people."
"No true samurai would allow himself to be surprised by such a childish trick."
"But even samurai aren't perfect. Even samurai can be vulnerable when they're tired, for example. Perhaps the real reason you didn't react when I said "Boo!" was because you were tired-- too tired even to react."
"Will you shut up?! A true warrior keeps his mouth shut, and fights. If you can't do that, then leave!"
"Uh-oh, looks like I've made you mad. I had hoped to charm my way into your good graces."
"Hmph... Your plan has backfired."
"So it seems. Still, I'll have time to get to know you better, I'm sure."
~~Ma Dai and Katsuie; Warriors Orochi 4


See also: Ma Dai/Movesets

Dynasty Warriors 9

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

Ma Dai is affiliated with the twin axes in this title. When equipped with it, Ma Dai can perform the following unique attacks listed below.

Unique Attacks
Unique Flow Attack Finisher: Enemy Downed + Square Square Square Square: Performs a spin slash while moving a short distance away, leaving behind a whirlwind that dazes foes momentarily.
Unique Trigger Attack: R1 + Triangle: Lifts enemies up with a swirling slash using the right-handed axe, then raises it upward to generate an updraft of wind to further juggle foes.
Special Technique: R1 + Circle: Swings axes upward to create two fierce tornadoes that approach Ma Dai and converge into one. Inflicts wind damage on nearby foes. Based on his prior first EX Attack as he gives this particular move a name in the Japanese script (旋風陣; lit. "Whirlwind Array").
Musou Attack: Circle: Performs alternating sets of double axe swings with the first hit done horizontally and the second aimed in a more diagonal manner. Ma Dai briefly turns around after finishing a single set to repeat the process in different directions until the cycle phase ends. The finisher has him casually toss one axe up in the air and fling the other at a lower height to make it fall down first, causing the ground to erupt and send foes airborne. Upon jumping on top of that axe, Ma Dai generates a radial shockwave infused with the wind element and latches unto the first axe he threw in time to land on it, producing a powerful burst of air that knocks away surrounding enemies.
Aerial Musou Attack: X Circle: Launches a vertical rotating swipe imbued with lightning followed by a fierce ground strike that produces tremors and trails of electric currents in its wake.
Horse Maneuvers
Summon Horse: L2: Summon horse to the battlefield. Holding L2 as the horse approaches will allow the character to automatically mount them.
Auto-Run: Riding Mode + L2: Automatically runs towards a specified destination. If a destination has not been set, the horse will instead run towards the location of the player's currently selected mission.
Sprint: Riding Mode + Direction + R1: Causes horse to run at a faster pace. Doing so depletes their stamina each time.
Jump: Riding Mode + Direction + R2: Causes horse to jump high while running.
Horse Fast Attack: Riding Mode + Square: Performs a fast and seamless attack while mounted. The attack itself varies depending on what type of weapon is equipped and whether the enemy is grounded or airborne.
Horse Trigger Attack: Riding Mode + Triangle: Performs an attack that sends enemies flying into the air. May vary depending on what type of weapon is equipped.
Horse Musou Attack: Riding Mode + Circle: Causes horse to sprint by consuming Musou instead of stamina.
Dismount Horse: Riding Mode + X: Dismounts from horse and resumes default fighting stance.
Bow Maneuvers
Shooting Mode: 🡻: Pulls out bow and assumes archery stance. Can be cancelled by tapping 🡻 again.
Switch Arrows: 🡸 or 🡺: Switches between different types of arrows.
Bow Attack: Shooting Mode + Square: Fires current arrow at a target. Can lock on targets by tapping R3.
Lower Bow: Shooting Mode + X: Lowers bow while squatting down.


See also: Ma Dai/Weapons

Dynasty Warriors 8

Ma Dai still uses the brush as his default weapon in this title.

Historical Information

Ma Dai is Ma Chao's younger cousin who is mentioned in the Record of the Three Kingdoms. His earlier history remains unknown and he isn't mentioned until Ma Chao was dying in 222. His cousin said, "I am among the 200 people who survived Mengde's (Cao Cao's) cruelty, yet it is Ma Dai who will remain. I entrust him to faithfully serve His Majesty (Liu Bei) and preserve our family." When Ma Chao passed away, Ma Dai was given the rank of General Who Pacifies the North and was named Marquis of Chencang.

After Zhuge Liang died of illness, Wei Yan and Yang Yi were mutually hostile towards one another. When rumors of Wei Yan's defection reached Liu Shan's ears, Ma Dai was ordered to slay the betrayer. According to the Record of the Three Kingdoms and the Book of Jin, Ma Dai killed Wei Yan during the latter's escape. There are no accounts of him being rewarded for his deed.

His last mention in historical records is 235, in which he and his army invaded Wei. He was defeated by Niu Jin and fled after his army was cut down to 1,000 men.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms

In the novel, Ma Dai is depicted as a positive supporting character. He accompanied Ma Teng to the capital and escaped from his uncle's execution through a disguise. He returned to Ma Chao and participated in his cousin's battles. He followed Ma Chao into Liu Bei's services.

Zhuge Liang formally dubbed him as a vassal of Shu during the Northern Campaigns and Southern Campaign. He participated in a few of Zhuge Liang's plans, some of which includes ambushing Sun Li's troops and slaying the fictional Chen Zao. After the strategist's death, Ma Dai foresaw Wei Yan's betrayal thanks to a secret plan left behind to him by Zhuge Liang. According to the strategist's instructions, he was to feign loyalty to Wei Yan's cause and gain his favor. Ma Dai would only strike his former comrade down when Wei Yan would yell, "Who dares to slay me!?" True enough, Wei Yan did proclaim the same words and Ma Dai acted accordingly, dispatching the traitor by striking his back. Ma Dai was rewarded with the ranks that Wei Yan abandoned and earned respect as a loyal subject. Since he disappears from the novel after this deed, some readers speculate that Ma Dai quietly succumbed to illness and died soon after.


Dynasty Warriors
Main Titles Dynasty WarriorsDynasty Warriors 2Dynasty Warriors 3Dynasty Warriors 4Dynasty Warriors 5Dynasty Warriors 6Dynasty Warriors 7Dynasty Warriors 8Dynasty Warriors 9
Expansions Empires (4)Empires (5)Empires (6)Empires (7)Empires (8)Empires (9)Special (6)Special (7)Xtreme Legends (3)Xtreme Legends (4)Xtreme Legends (5)Xtreme Legends (7)Xtreme Legends (8)
Spin-Offs 100man-ninAdvanceApuriBlastBlazing BattlesDS: Fighter's BattleGodseekersMahjongNextOnlineOverlordsPSP PortPSP Port Vol. 2SLASHStrikeforceStrikeforce 2UnleashedVersus
Wei Characters
Cai WenjiCao CaoCao PiCao RenCao XiuDian WeiGuo JiaJia XuLi DianMan ChongPang DeWang YiXiahou DunXiahou YuanXu HuangXu ZhuXun YouXun YuYu JinYue JinZhang HeZhang LiaoZhenji
Wu Characters
Cheng PuDaqiaoDing FengGan NingHan DangHuang GaiLianshiLing TongLu MengLu SuLu XunSun CeSun JianSun QuanSun ShangxiangTaishi CiXiaoqiaoXu ShengZhou TaiZhou YuZhu Ran
Shu Characters
Bao SanniangFa ZhengGuan PingGuan SuoGuan XingGuan YinpingGuan YuHuang ZhongJiang WeiLiu BeiLiu ShanMa ChaoMa DaiPang TongWei YanXiahoujiXingcaiXu ShuYueyingZhang BaoZhang FeiZhao YunZhou CangZhuge Liang
Jin Characters
Deng AiGuo HuaiJia ChongSima ShiSima YiSima ZhaoWang YuanjiWen YangXiahou BaXin XianyingZhang ChunhuaZhong HuiZhuge Dan
Other Characters
Chen GongDiaochanDong BaiDong ZhuoHua XiongLu BuLu LingqiMeng HuoYuan ShaoYuan ShuZhang JiaoZhurongZuo Ci
Miscellaneous Characters
NPC Shu NPCsWei NPCsWu NPCsJin NPCsOther NPCsBodyguardsUnit TypesLixia
Playable Edit CharactersPhoenix, Dragon, ChimeraShin Sangoku Musou Blast OfficersBeauty YuFu XiKing MuLei BinNuwaSanzangSun WukongXi WangmuXiang Yu
Various Factions
Allied ForcesDong Zhuo's ForcesFive Bushel SectForces in XiliangGongsun Zan's ForcesHan DynastyHeishan BanditsLiu Biao's ForcesLiu Yao's ForcesLiu Zhang's ForcesLu Bu's ForcesNanmanTen EunuchsWuwanYellow TurbansYuan Shao's ForcesYuan Shu's Forces