Cao Cao was a prominent figure of the Three Kingdoms period in Chinese history. Born in the year 155 CE, he grew to become a powerful warlord and official of the Han Dynasty in its waning years. He used the imperial government's weakness to his advantage, eventually founding the Kingdom of Wei. His portrayal in modern media is often shaped by his depiction in the historical novel Romance of Three Kingdoms, which paints him in a more villainous light than his counterparts, particularly in contrast to Shu founder Liu Bei. He died in the year 220, and control of Wei passed on to his son Cao Pi.
In Video Games
As an important figure in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Cao Cao is a figure commonly depicted in games based on the text, including Koei's long-running strategy game series based on the novel. He is similarly a major figure in the Dynasty Warriors series, in which his standard weapon is a sword and his special techniques often involve ice element attacks.
In Kessen II, which is a story that very loosely adapts characters from the novel for the purpose of an original romantic narrative, Cao Cao goes to war with Liu Bei over the love of Diaochan. He is also depicted as having been granted the Mandate of Heaven, meaning that Liu Bei must fight the will of Heaven itself in order to defeat him.