Who needs friends when you can have servants? Who needs affection when you can have obedience? Ah, why try to convince you when I can simply destroy you.
― Tsao to Sly after their first encounter
General Tsao is a rooster and self-appointed leader of a village in the Kunlun Mountains in China. He was the main antagonist of A Cold Alliance of Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves. He is obsessed with his family line, believing that it is superior to any others. He wishes to force the Panda King's daughter, Jing King, to marry him in order to create an even stronger lineage. In combat, Tsao uses both his skill with his bladed shield and his mastery over dark magic to defeat his foes.
He was voiced by Leo Chin.
Sly 3: Honor Among ThievesEdit
When the gang arrived in China to recruit the Panda King to help out with the Cooper Vault heist, he only agreed to on the condition that they help him to rescue his daughter, Jing King, who was being forced to marry Tsao against her will. The gang realized that the wedding date was on that Saturday, which meant they didn't have much time.
After attempting to fool Tsao as part of their operation, he caught them off-guard and entered their safe house, stealing the ThiefNet laptop in the process. Tsao then lured Sly Cooper into a sacred battle ground where his ancestors had fought off many opponents in the past and the power that was released from them remained in the area (which allowed the combatants the ability of flight). The two fought one another with Sly emerging victorious, taking back the laptop, but with Tsao managing to escape.
Despite seeming to know everything about the gang's plans, Tsao seemed completely oblivious about the gang's operation and had no idea that Jing King had escaped whilst a certain cop, Inspector Carmelita Fox, had taken her place to arrest him shortly after, who had mistaken him for Sly thanks to a set-up by the gang. During the wedding, Carmelita tazed Tsao with her shock pistol and arrested him. Though she was disappointed she didn't capture Sly, she still took this opportunity to take Tsao to jail as he had let undead praying mantis vampires run through the streets of the village. From what Sly had heard, the villagers were happy to see him behind bars.
General Tsao is a white-feathered rooster. He wears a purple gi with a golden plate on his torso. He has purple circles under his orange eyes, a yellow beak with a small black Fu Manchu. On his head is a purple and gold helmet with a large red feather and around his wrists are golden cuffs. His weapon of choice is a gold outlined shield with the Chinese word "prince" or "son of a king" (referring to his desire of marrying into the King bloodline) engraved in the middle.
Tsao is obsessed with his family line, believing it to be superior to all others. This leads him to seek a wife from a bloodline he considers worthy. He apparently respected the Panda King during his criminal years, and thus wanted to marry the King's daughter so that his children would have the lineage of both himself and the Panda King.
General Tsao is also known for being incredibly cruel, caring for nothing but himself (Bentley even quoted that Tsao had kicked a puppy, twice! Even Sly told Tsao that he's met some bad men in his life, but Tsao was considered the worst in his opinion.) He is also misogynistic, believing that as a woman, Jing King doesn't know up from down (during Feudal China it was a common belief that women were ignorant creatures). This implies that he has no respect for her, other than the prestige that his bloodline will gain by merging with the Panda King's.
Tsao is a powerful combatant, easily as strong and agile as Sly himself. In addition, he is a master of black magic. In battle, he used this to unleash streams of fireballs, send waves of zombie hands across the ground, and summon dragon spirits. He later used this magic to unleash an army of Jiang Shi vampires, and also to bring the dragon statue in his treasure temple to life, using it to attack the Cooper Gang. It is possible that Tsao's Black Magic may be part voodoo, making him similar to Mz. Ruby in this regard.
General Tsao's main weapon is a shield marked with a yin-yang symbol. In battle, a spinning array of blades emerges from the rim of the shield, essentially turning it into a large buzzsaw. The shield is also the model for Tsao's master computer avatar, a computer program he set to guard his personal files.
Notably, Tsao is the only villain who Sly and the gang never brought down on their own, due to his resourcefulness and ability to plan ahead. While every other adversary they faced was eventually brought down or destroyed, then hauled off to jail by Carmelita, the gang was forced to flee and instead leave Tsao's capture up to Carmelita's trickery.
- "General Tsao" is one of many alternate spellings of the popular Chinese dish, General Tso's Chicken.
- His name is similar to a sword-bearing gorilla called "Tso" who worked for the Panda King in the first game.
- Somewhat ironically (because of Tsao's misogynistic nature; believing women are ignorant), he is fooled and arrested by Carmelita, though she was fooled by Sly Cooper.
- Tsao fits two definitions of the word "rooster"; he is an adult male chicken and he is a cocky, vain individual.
- Tsao's shield, as well as the various banners around the Kunlun Mountains, read "王子" (wángzǐ) meaning "prince" or "son of a king," which he would have become if he married the Panda King's daughter.
- Tsao is one of three birds that can't fly in the Sly Cooper series. The other two are Arpeggio and Captain LeFwee.
- However, chickens can only fly very short distances.
- General Tsao, along with his guards and the Stone Dragon, make up five-twelfths of the Chinese Zodiac. The rooster, the dragon, the pig, the monkey, and the tiger are all represented. The other members of the Chinese Zodiac are the sheep, the dog, the rat, the horse, the ox, the snake and the rabbit.
- It is possible that Tsao might have known about Sly Cooper and his ancestors before meeting him. He referred to Sly as "the famous Sly Cooper" when they first met, and twice boasted that his family line is superior to the Cooper Clan (one if he wins the first part of his boss battle, the other just before Sly fights the Stone Dragon).
- Tsao is most likely modeled after the Chinese general Cao Cao, since he shares his cruelty and resourcefulness. Additionally it is mentioned that Tsao is a general from the north, equally to Cao Cao, who conquered northern China.
- In General Tsao's palace, there are statues of mandrills that were guards in the Panda King's level, and were also in the Panda King's stronghold.
- General Tsao is the second villain to discover the safe house. The first was Jean Bison in Menace from the North, eh! of Sly 2: Band of Thieves.
- General Tsao is one of the two Sly Cooper villains shown to have the power to reanimate the dead, the other being Mz. Ruby. Both were imprisoned specifically for this reason.
- Where his title of "General" comes from is unknown.
- He reuses sounds from the vulture guards in Prague when hit.