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Zhang Liao is known as a hardened veteran of war within the series and is feared by many officers in various games. Ordinarily, he starts as a general under Dong Zhuo and Lu Bu. While he may continue to serve them in their respective Musou Modes, he will become a Wei officer during his story. Although he is one of the generals present at the Five Passes, he will also not oppose Guan Yu's departure from Wei. He is best known for his unshaken defense at He Fei.

In Dynasty Warriors 4: Xtreme Legends, Zhang Liao and two ally generals are surrounded by overwhelming odds at He Fei. Undeterred, he rushes into battle to wipe out the massive Wu army. While he hurries to aid his allies, he faces several generals including Lu Meng and Zhou Tai. His might startles Sun Quan and the Wu leader issues a retreat soon after.

Described as a soldier who has a history of serving unworthy masters, Zhang Liao starts as one of Dong Zhuo's generals at Si Shui Gate in Dynasty Warriors 5. After Dong Zhou's death, he follows Lu Bu to Xia Pi Castle. During the conflict, he proves his valor and, not wanting to see his talents go to waste, Guan Yu attempts to convince him to join his side. Though he refuses due to his faith in Lu Bu's honor, Zhang Liao feels he wasn't completely content with either of his previous lords and swears allegiance to Cao Cao after Lu Bu's defeat. While in Wei, he finds a purpose with Cao Cao and escorts his liege's escape from Chi Bi. When Cao Cao reaches Guan Yu, Zhang Liao accuses the Shu general as hypocritical for forsaking Cao Cao's acts of kindness towards him, one of which includes Red Hare. Thanks to his statements, both parties part ways peacefully and Guan Yu thanks him for preventing what could have been a regretful event. Rebuilding their forces after their loss, Wu attacks Zhang Liao's post in He Fei. He leads a brave resistance and stalls the large army long enough for Cao Cao's reinforcements. Distinguished in two kingdoms as a fearsome warrior, his name inspired awe in all who heard it and he is content to finally serve a worthy master.

His Legend Mode in the Xtreme Legends expansion occurs when he is under Lu Bu's command and groups him with his master and Diao Chan. The trio work together to surround Pu Yang Castle and join forces with the Wei defector, Chen Gong. After the battle, Zhang Liao notes that he can see past Lu Bu's violent nature and recognizes him as a honorable man.

Zhang Liao starts his story as an officer in Wei in Dynasty Warriors 6. Since his previous lords only fought for strength and power, he begins to question how he can fight for himself. While he swears to wage war for Cao Cao's vision, he asks other generals in Wei their purposes for fighting to find his own justifications for being a warrior. Once he realizes his strength can pave a path for the less fortunate, he gradually becomes one of Wei's finest generals and is named the army's Commander. After the other two kingdoms fall, Zhang Liao swears to uphold peace in the new land his lord desired.

Super Smash Sisters

Zhang Liao is seen non-playable in Super Smash Sisters. With his guan dao halberd, he can make a fearsome proposition in combat. His guan dao is also capable of summoning winds. He admires a tough woman's beauty and chivalry.

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