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Cao Ren by Rydain

Version: 1.2 | Updated: 11/18/08

Cao Ren FAQ v1.2
Written by Rydain Darkstar <rydain@gmail.com>
Last Revised November 18, 2008

===============================================================================
                           
                                Table of Contents
                           
===============================================================================

 1)  Introduction                                                       [INTRO]

 2)  Unlocking Cao Ren                                              [UNLOCKING]

 3)  Move Set                                                         [MOVESET]

 4)  Getting Equipped                                                   [EQUIP]

 5)  Battle Advice                                                  [HOWTOPLAY]
    
 6)  Analysis of Fighting Aptitude                                   [ANALYSIS]

 7)  Weapons, Abilities, and Tactic                               [WEAPONS_ETC]
 
 8)  Quotes and Dialog                                                 [QUOTES]
 
 9)  Revision History                                               [REVISIONS]

 10) Credits                                                          [CREDITS]

 11) Legal Junk                                                         [LEGAL]

===============================================================================
            
 1)  Introduction                                                       [INTRO]

===============================================================================

 Guess who's back.  Back again.  Rockman's back.  Tell a friend.
 
 Once a sniper, Cao Ren became a stomp bouncer in Warriors Orochi.  Now he 
 returns to his old school distance attacks with upgraded projectile damage 
 and a brutal new spread shot blaster special.  Cao Ren is strong when 
 initially unlocked and downright beastly when built up.  His -ex charges do 
 ridiculous damage and self-replenish musou with a good setup.  Unsurprisingly,
 he's still a defensive powerhouse as well.
 
 This FAQ contains Japanese text.  Set your browser encoding to Shift JIS to
 properly display it.
 
===============================================================================
            
 2)  Unlocking Cao Ren                                              [UNLOCKING]

===============================================================================

 Complete Wei Story 5.  The end.
 
===============================================================================
            
 3)  Move Set                                                         [MOVESET]

===============================================================================

 This is Cao Ren's full attack string.  Some moves may not be available if he
 isn't leveled up enough.
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Standard Attacks
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 S              Left to right swing.
 SS             Right to left swing.
 SSS            Up to down swing.
 SSSS           Left to right swing.
 SSSSS          Right to left swing.
 SSSSSS         360-degree spin.
 SSSSSSS        Right to left swing.
 SSSSSSSS       Up to down swing.
 SSSSSSSSS      Cao Ren swings his arms apart horizontally.

 Dash attack    Headbutt charge followed by a two-armed horizontal slash.
                You can steer, but you can't stop until it's done.

 Jump attack    Left to right swing.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Charge Attacks
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 C3, C4, C5, and C6 activate weapon elements.
 
                    ________________________________________
 
 
 C1 / T         Your garden-variety stomp.
    
 C2 / ST        Uppercut that knocks enemies into the air.  Press and hold T
                before the first swing is done.  Otherwise, you will start into
                a C3.
                  
 C3 / SST       Cao Ren shoots long range energy blasts out of his buckler
                blade.  More T presses produce more shots.  This charge stuns
                enemies.  The final round is a 3-way shot that activates weapon
                attributes.

 C4 / SSST      Cao Ren threatens to hug the enemies and they all fall down.
                At least that's what it looks like.  This is a crowd busting
                move.
                  
 C5 / SSSST     Ground pound splash launcher.

 C6 / SSSSST    Cao Ren charges with his buckler blade held out in front.

 Jump + T       Cao Ren flips forward and does a stomp with a smallish area
                of effect.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Special Attacks
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
 C2-ex          Cao Ren dashes forward and grabs.  If he connects with an 
 (S + R1)       enemy, he blows them away with a huge 360-degree shockwave.  
                The initial backswing, grab, and shockwave activate weapon 
                elements.  Press and hold R1 before the first swing is done.
                Otherwise, you will start into a C3-ex.

 C3-ex          Cao Ren unleashes a six-round barrage - five 3-way shots plus
 (SS + R1)      a 5-way ender.  All shots are elemental.

 R1 counter     Cao Ren dashes forward, knocking enemies away with a wide
                range slash.

 Musou          A series of back and forth swings followed by a stomp.
    
 True musou     As above, plus a badass introductory splash screen and a
                flashy second stomp with an enormous shockwave.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Horse Attacks
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 S string       Up to six slashes alternating from side to side.

 T              Two slashes, one on each side of the horse.
 
===============================================================================
            
 4)  Getting Equipped                                                   [EQUIP]

===============================================================================
 Recommended Weapon Elements
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 The first seven elements should be as follows.
 
 雷 Bolt        Increases damage, stuns enemies, and hurts nearby foes as well.

 陽 Flash       Breaks enemies' guard.

 斬 Slay        Has a chance of outright killing peons and always does a nice
                chunk of damage against officers.  Too useful not to include.
 
 吸活 Absorb    To fuel C2-ex, C3-ex, and the occasional counterattack.  Fills
                efficiently with the initial C2-ex strike and high Range or
                with C3-ex in dense crowds.  Activates on elemental C3 blasts
                as well.
 
 破天 Air       Increases the damage of any scattering or juggling charge.
                The C2-ex shockwave scatters, and a target hit by the grab 
                will be airborne when the blast strikes them.  C3-ex often 
                juggles.
 
 神速 Agility   Essential for safe C4 execution without the Stability 
                upgrade skill (頑強).  Improves the speed of C2-ex.
 
 極意 Might     Why hit like a truck when you can hit like a semi?
 
                    ________________________________________
 
 
 For the last slot, choose from the following depending on your preferred
 moves.

 旋風 Range     For melee versatility and efficient C2-ex musou drain-back.
 
 勇猛 Brave     For more anti-officer oomph.
                
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Recommended Weapon Upgrade Skills
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 The following upgrade skills are highly recommended.
 
 賦活           Slowly replenishes musou.  Improves battlefield endurance
 Supremacy      during long stints of soloing.
 
 頑強           Your charge attacks will not be interrupted by regular attacks.
 Stability      Lets you be more reckless with C2-ex and C3.
          
 金甲           Arrows and bullets won't flinch you.  Hooray for more tanking.
 Resolve
                    ________________________________________
 
 
 Just for fun, you may wish to give the following a try.
 
 飛龍           Allows you to jump cancel out of charge attacks.  Eliminates
 Highflier      C3 ending lag and allows for more combo versatility.  This
 (Hiryu)        isn't needed for safety, but it's fun to play with.
 
 天舞           Transforms Cao Ren into spin 'n spraying hedge clippers on 
 Almighty       speed.  When musou is full, most attacks carry elements.  This
 (Tenbu)        includes S attacks and C3 blasts - basically, everything except
                for C2.  Rockman can already dominate with his powerful -ex 
                specials, but REN-BU is always good for a laugh.  You may wish
                to limit Agility because it can be difficult to consistently C3
                when it is maxed.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Recommended Abilities
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 Regardless of setup, these four are essential.
 
 特殊強化       Makes perfect sense for a character reliant on charge attacks.
 Boost           
 
 速度上昇       More foot speed translates to better offense and defense.
 Impulse        

 攻撃強化       It always hurts to hit extra hard.  Har har har.
 Potence        

 技型強化       Increases attack power even further.
 Technique     
 
                    ________________________________________
 
 
 Consider any of the following depending on your play style and the rest of Cao
 Ren's setup.
 
 連撃回復       If you find yourself losing life when running solo on high 
 Adrenalin      difficulty.  Don't forget to break your combos periodically 
                because Adrenalin only fills once when you hit 10.  C3 spam or
                C2-ex on a large enough peon group will trigger a 10+ combo.
                I haven't needed this much except for no-pickup solo runs of
                battles with health-eating fire or poison, but it's good to 
                know about.
 
 必殺強化       Pumps up any musou-consuming attack.  The bonus stacks on top
 Awakening      of everything else related.  Noticeably improves the power of
                Cao Ren's -ex charges.
 
 馬術強化       Horses are no longer obsoleted by high-level Impulse.  Impulse
 Cavalier       now beefs up the horse, so you can blaze around maps at warp
                speed.  I usually prefer to steal somebody else's horse, but
                it can sometimes be helpful to begin with a fast mount.
 
 消費軽減       Decreases the cost of musou-consuming attacks.  Especially
 Conserve       handy if you plan to self-restore most of your musou with
                Absorb and the Supremacy upgrade.  Small amounts of musou are
                more efficiently recovered than larger chunks of a long bar.
 
 無双増加       Lengthens the musou bar.
 Focus          
 
 防御強化       Until he is leveled up, even Rockman can look more like Sandman
 Fortitude      on high difficulty.  His defense stat eventually gets to a
                point where enemies barely scratch him, even on 5-star chaos,
                without Fortitude equipped.
 
 体力増加       More health comes in handy, especially at low levels and when
 Vitality       dealing with fire and poison.
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Recommended Setups
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Select your setup depending on how Cao Ren will be played.  Regardless of
 whether he will be run solo or swapped out for recovery, Ren's best weapon
 configurations include Absorb. (There's no point in dropping that element for
 anything else.) Thus, ability selection is the main difference between solo 
 and team setups.

 Attack Power Max -------------------------------------------------------------
 
    Great for team play and solo runs with C3-ex as the main means of
    self-replenishment.
 
    Weapon      Bolt / Flash / Slay / Air / Absorb / Brave / Agility / Might
                * Supremacy
                * Stability
                * Resolve
 
    Abilities   Boost / Impulse / Potence / Technique / Awakening
    
    For solo    Conserve / Adrenalin, Fortitude, or Vitality
    
    
 C2-ex Drain-back Versatility -------------------------------------------------
 
    With this setup, a maxed Cao Ren can still KO any 5-star chaos officer with
    one round of C3-ex.  Recommended for solo runs if you like to use C2-ex
    for efficient Absorb drain-back.  High-level Conserve is required to make
    C2-ex abuse worthwhile.
    
    Weapon      Bolt / Flash / Slay / Air / Absorb / Range / Agility / Might
                * Supremacy
                * Stability
                * Resolve
    
    Abilities   Boost / Impulse / Potence / Technique / Conserve / Awakening
    
    For solo    Adrenalin, Fortitude, or Vitality
 
===============================================================================
            
 5)  Battle Advice                                                  [HOWTOPLAY]

===============================================================================
 
 For examples of how to play Cao Ren, visit my YouTube account.
    
    http://www.youtube.com/RydainDarkstar

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 General Fighting Notes
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 It's all about sniping and bombing.  C3 is a handy staple for all occasions.
 Annihilate dense hordes with a C2-ex or C3-ex.  If enemies are closing in, 
 swat them away with C4.  
 
 Once Cao Ren is built up enough, he can live off his -ex charges.  C2-ex will
 one-shot many officers, and it can be used to soak up musou from crowds.
 C3-ex takes care of pileups and stronger targets.
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Move Set Analysis
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Cao Ren's buckler swings provide more coverage than is readily apparent.  The
 left/right swipes are over 180 degrees.  The vertical swings guard his entire
 front.  With a 4th weapon, they hit about a character's width on either side.
 Charge attacks are king in Warriors Orochi and Cao Ren's new staples occur
 early in his move set.  Thus, you won't fight all that much with the S string.
 Its protective nature is still worth noting.
 
 *  indicates Cao Ren's most useful attacks.

    C1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Alas, the stomp has been nerfed.  May be useful in a pinch for bothering
    enemies.
    
    
    C2 ------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
    Bah, another non-elemental charge.  C2 does have innate Flash, which can
    be helpful in the early game, but that's about all it's useful for.
    
    
 *  C2-ex ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    The unblockable wide-reaching crowd bomb is even better than before.  Its
    damage was cranked up, and the grab now has a more forgiving hitbox.
    Furthermore, the initial buckler swing is now fully elemental with quite 
    good coverage.  With Absorb and Range, that first strike will drain back a 
    chunk of musou from nearby enemies.  It can even replenish more musou than 
    it cost to deploy.  The initial swing covers Cao Ren's left side and some 
    of his back, so aim accordingly if using C2-ex to abuse Absorb.
    
    If you find C2-ex difficult to aim, try it on groups of peons, foes stunned
    with C3 wind blasts, or running enemies who aren't on the move long enough
    for a dash attack.  Draw some peons out from a crowd, turn around, and 
    chuck them before they can do anything to you.  Keep at it until C2-ex is
    second nature.  The utter destruction and potential musou recovery are well
    worth its learning curve.
    
    
 *  C3 ------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
    With improved range and drastically increased damage, this powerful snipe
    attack should be used against everything and anything.  Officers don't tend
    to block C3, so the early non-elemental shots will often connect.
    
    The range of C3 bullets increases with the weapon level.
    
    Note that this move has slight ending lag, so run off to a safe spot 
    beforehand.
    
    
 *  C3-ex ---------------------------------------------------------------------
 
    GET EQUIPPED WITH
    
    WIN BUTTON
    
    It's the Final Atomic Mega Buster!  C3-ex is a barrage of pure awesome in
    the form of six elemental spread shots.  Aim, fire, mow down most of the 
    screen in a hail of energy bullets.  With a tricked-out weapon and ability
    setup, this move can one-shot any boss critter in the game.  It even
    Absorbs well when used on dense crowds.
    
    The same notes about C3 location safety apply.
   
    
 *  C4 ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    If enemies are closing in, this will get them off your case.  With Bolt
    and Range, it's a 240-degree area of effect smash.
    

    C5 ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Takes a while to get to, has ending lag, and doesn't do anything especially
    well.  At least it looks cool.


    C6 ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Might be fun for variety when clawing your way out of a crowd, but C4 is
    generally more useful.


 *  Jump + T ------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    This does not carry elements, but it is fast enough.  Excellent for 
    escaping.


 *  R1 counter ----------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Incredibly useful because it combines a dash with a wide-coverage
    knockback.
    
===============================================================================
            
 6)  Analysis of Fighting Aptitude                                   [ANALYSIS]

===============================================================================

 Cao Ren is a top-notch all-around warrior, capable of breezing through all
 manner of enemy pileups.  I easily ran him through high difficulty battles 
 long before his stats, weapon, or abilities were maxed.
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Strengths
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 C2-ex and C3-ex are pretty much broken.  They execute quickly, have superb 
 coverage, and do incredible damage.  Both specials can self-replenish as well.
 When Cao Ren is maxed and mastered, his -ex specials give him one of the
 fastest consistent offenses in the game.
 
 C3 isn't far behind on the uber scale.  Even before Cao Ren gets built up, it 
 brings plenty of pain.  
 
 Thanks to his naturally high defense, Cao Ren can Leeroy with his -ex specials
 when he has the anti-flinch Stability upgrade.  He can afford to take a few
 lumps in exchange for recklessly blowing up crowds or being an immovable 
 machine gun turret.
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Shortcomings
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 The -ex charges and counter are fairly expensive.  This may limit Cao Ren's
 endurance until he gets Absorb and musou extending abilities.
 
 Cao Ren suffers from the same S string glitch that he had in Warriors Orochi -
 being unable to flinch even peons with his regular attacks.  This isn't much
 of an issue because his staple attacks are distanced and/or widely explosive.
 He can also counterattack to get out of trouble.
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Recommended Teammates
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 As a soloist, Cao Ren is an awesome one-man army.  When pumped up, he's just
 absurd.  If you want him to show off as well as possible, take some team 
 buffers along for the ride.
 
    * Hideyoshi Toyotomi - His attack speed buff turns Cao Ren into a 
      peon-harvesting death machine.
    
    * Sun Jian - Must I explain the hilarity of 10-second infinite musou + 
      -ex special spam?
    
    * Anyone with a team-wide attack buff - For comical damage overkill.  Cao
      Cao's buff is especially nifty because it includes hyper armor, so
      you can attack uninterrupted.
      
                    ________________________________________
 
 
 To support Cao Ren, I suggest the following.
    
    * Cao Cao - If you don't have the Stability upgrade and you want to Leeroy
      like mad, Cao Cao's hyper armor team buff will do the trick.
      
    * Sun Wukong - For speedy travel if you aren't equipping Cavalier.
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 As a Teammate
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Cao Ren is a fantastic crowd clearer and duelist.  Take him along to
 obliterate anything in your path.
 
===============================================================================
            
 7)  Weapons, Abilities, and Tactic                               [WEAPONS_ETC]

===============================================================================
 Weapons
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 Buckler Blade (+9 base attack)
    
 Strike Buckler (+19 base attack)
    
 Crane (+38 base attack)
    
 Roc (+76 base attack) - obtained randomly from weapon boxes on 3-star and
 above hard battles or any chaos battle.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Abilities
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 防御強化 Fortitude -----------------------------------------------------------
 
    Defeat 3 officers.
 
 
 特殊強化 Boost ---------------------------------------------------------------
 
    Keep life at or above 30% and get 80 KO's.
    
    
 待機回復 Recuperate ----------------------------------------------------------
 
    Without using musou attacks, get 100 KO's within the first 10 minutes of 
    battle. 
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Tactic
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 Shield - Get 100 KO's to increase your commander's defense.

===============================================================================

 8)  Quotes and Dialog                                                 [QUOTES]

===============================================================================
 As an Ally
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Character Select: "I am the shield that stands for the innocent!"
 Switch: "For the innocent!"
 R1 Throw: "This is it!"
 Musou: "You leave me no choice!"
 True Musou: "Now's the time!"
 Officer Defeat: "One more enemy outlasted!"
 1000 KO's: "I will never yield and never break!"
 Tactic: "Now is the time for the impenetrable shield!"


 Praise: "None can challenge you!"
 Enemy Officer KO Praise: "Remember, defense is the key!"
 100 KO Praise: "We can't let them get the better of us!"
 1000 KO Praise: "Defense! Attack! You are the master of both!"
 1000 KO Praise 2: "Your might and resilience is a sight to behold!"
 Endangered: "Will history record me as the defeated...?"
 Thanks: "Your timing could not have been better."
 Thanks 2: "Your aid is most appreciated!"
 
 
                    =--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=


 If approaching an enemy, give them a chance to talk before you squish them.
 
 Wei 2 ------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
    Kotaro Fuma: "I cannot allow Lu Bu's defeat, not when he brings such chaos
    to the world."
    
    Cao Ren: "I can't stand by and leave the land to people who reap chaos."


 Wei 5 ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Cao Ren: "Lord Cao Pi, don't let your guard down."
    
    Cao Pi: "I know even Orochi will not be able to breach your defenses."
    
    Cao Ren: "Watch as the Serpent King's blade shatters upon my armor."
     
                    ________________________________________
 
 
    When he rallies himself:
    
    Cao Ren: "I cannot fall here...not while peace is still fresh in this 
    land."
 
 
 Wei 7 ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Kiyomori Taira: "I will pass the time until Orochi is whole by watching as
    you slowly die."
    
    Cao Ren: "I will devote my all to bringing this battle to a quick end."


 Wei 8 ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Random comment before battle:
    
    Cao Ren: "Orochi...We will defeat you and set this world right.  Everyone!
    Forward!"
     
                    ________________________________________
     

    Sima Yi: "You fools!  Orochi is revived.  You cannot stand against him!"
    
    Cao Ren: "I'm disappointed in you.  I'll make sure you won't live to see
    the next age."
     
                    ________________________________________
 

    Orochi X: "Come, show the Serpent King your true strength."
    
    Cao Ren: "I will protect the dreams of Wei...no...of all the people of the
    land!"
 
 
 Dream Mode Battle ------------------------------------------------------------
 
    Zhang He: "You have no idea of the importance of beauty, and so you will be
    eliminated."
    
    Cao Ren: "Can't you appreciate the beauty in the heart of a man who risks
    it all to save the woman he loves?"
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 As an Enemy
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  
 Greeting: "I shall teach you the horrors of war!"
 Retreat: "I shall return before this is all over!"
 Death: "It's quiet...nothing like the chaos of the land..."

                    ________________________________________
 
 
 Approach Cao Ren as Hanzo Hattori:
 
 Greeting: "I will drag you into the light!"
 Retreat: "I will not go gently into the night!"
 Death: "Your dedication... It is remarkable..."

                    ________________________________________
 
   
 Approach Cao Ren as Ranmaru Mori:
 
 Greeting: "Let us pit our skills to protect what we must."
 Retreat: "Use that blade to protect the innocent..."
 Death: "War is ultimately... meaningless..."

                    ________________________________________
 
   
 Approach Cao Ren as Nagamasa Azai:
 
 Greeting: "Time to test your faith!"
 Retreat: "I will not die like a dog..."
 Death: "The lance of faith is too powerful even for my shield..."

===============================================================================
            
 9)  Revision History                                               [REVISIONS]

===============================================================================

 v1.2   11/18/2008 - Referenced upgrade skills by their official English
        translations.  Updated setup recommendations.  Tweaked formatting.  
        Added quotes.

 v1.1   5/19/2008  - Added Japanese text for weapon elements and abilities.
        Updated weapon and ability recommendations.  Added information about 
        the S string flinch bug.  Linked to my YouTube account with a basically
        maximized Cao Ren video.  Included specifics on Tenbu (Almighty) 
        element activation.

 v1.0   4/29/2008  - Initial revision of this FAQ.
 
===============================================================================
            
 10) Credits                                                          [CREDITS]

===============================================================================

 Black Kite for his Musou Orochi translation FAQ that made it possible for me
 to understand enough text to play this game.
 
 Unknown_PC and many others on the GameFAQs MO:MS board for information about
 weapon enchantment crafting.
 
 NightShadows for tactic translations.
 
 Humble Novice for ally praise quotes.
 
 DeadManWalkingX3 for discussion on a maximized Range-less setup.
 
===============================================================================
            
 11) Legal Junk                                                         [LEGAL]

===============================================================================

 This FAQ is copyright 2008 by Rydain Darkstar <rydain@gmail.com>  Feel free to
 pass it around, put it on your website, print it out for future reference (or 
 kindling, toilet paper, or anything that floats your boat), et cetera, blah 
 blah blah, whatever.  Just don't sell it or take credit for any of my work 
 expressed herein.

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