Diao Chan is a character from the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, though it's unclear if she is a fictional character or based on an actual person. An exquisite beauty, she was the adoptive daughter of Wang Yun, a man that served as a minister for the tyranical Dong Zhuo. Displeased with Dong Zhuo, Wang Yun asked Diao Chan to help him in a plot to create tension between Dong Zhuo and his powerful warrior Lu Bu.
Wang Yun first spoke with Lu Bu about marrying Diao Chan to him, but afterward, she was given to Dong Zhuo as a concubine. Soon after that, she began to create tension between Lu Bu and Dong Zhuo by playing off of the affections that both held for her. She would request that each of them rescue her from the other. Eventually, the tensions rose to such a point that Lu Bu went to Wang Yun to plot the assassination of Dong Zhuo. The subsequent plot succeeded.
Following Dong Zhuo's death, Diao Chan followed Lu Bu as he embarked on his own in the contest to control the land. However, he was eventually captured by Liu Bei and Cao Cao following the Battle of Xia Pi and put to death. Diao Chan's ultimate fate is not recorded in the novel.
Diao Chan in Video Games
As a video game character, Diao Chan's most prominent and notable appearances are in the Dynasty Warriors series. Her first appearance came in the original fighting game as one of the few female characters on the roster, and she has appeared in every primary entry in the series since. In these games, she is most frequently seen during the battle of Hu Lao Gate, in which she fights alongside Dong Zhuo and Lu Bu. In games predating Dynasty Warriors 6, her standard weapons are twin maces. In Dynasty Warriors 6 and 7, her primary weapon is a chain whip. In these games, Diao Chan's feelings for Lu Bu are typically depicted as genuine.
In her Musou Mode in Dynasty Warriors 6, Diao Chan's story remains true to the novel as far as casting her as Dong Zhuo's concubine, as well as conspiring with Wang Yun in his plot to overthrow the tyrant. She strives to fulfill her adoptive father's desire of restoring the Han Dynasty. To do so, she constantly manipulates Lu Bu to do her bidding while attempting to hide her motives. However, she is caught by Cheng Gong, Lu Bu's adviser, and eventually Lu Bu himself. Lu Bu, who doesn't want to upset Diao Chan, ultimately decides to go along with her plan and revolts against Dong Zhuo.
Diao Chan has also appeared in the spin-offs of the Warriors series, such Dynasty Warriors: Empires expansions and the Warriors Orochi games. Outside of the Warriors franchise she has appeared in titles such as Destiny of an Emperor and Kessen II. In the Kessen II storyline, her role is dramatically redefined, as she is made the love interest of Liu Bei, who fights to rescue her from the clutches of Cao Cao.