Yao Fei (姚飞 Yáo Fēi) was a master archer. He was also the father of Mei and the late Shado, and was one of the former mentors and a good friend of Oliver Queen. He was a prisoner on the island of Lian Yu. He was believed to be extremely dangerous by the Chinese government. It was later revealed, by his daughter, that the Chinese military forced him to be their scapegoat in massacring innocent people, and that he was sent to the island for crimes he did not commit. In "Darkness on the Edge of Town", Edward Fyers attempted to make Yao Fei his scapegoat by forcing him to shoot down Ferris Air Flight 637, until Edward threatened to kill Oliver, Slade Wilson, and his daughter Shado. After Yao Fei shot down the plane, Edward killed him. His death was later avenged by Oliver, who kills Edward with an arrow to save Shado.
Not much is known about Yao Fei's past, though it is known that before reaching Lian Yu he was a general in the People's Liberation Army of China. The military massacred a large number of people, and Yao Fei was forced to take the blame for acts that he said were not committed by him.
Time on Lian Yu
Following the massacre, Yao Fei was sent to live on Lian Yu and soon became a prisoner of Edward Fyers, who wanted him to be the face of a war-related plan. About a year after being captured by Edward, Slade was put in a cell with him. Slade helped Yao Fei to escape from their cell. The two went to go find Slade's partner, Bill, only to find out that he had joined with Edward. The two men then escaped Edward's camp together. It isn't known what exactly happened after that, but Yao Fei and Slade had made plans to escape the island together on a supply plane.
In "Lone Gunmen", Yao Fei, who appeared to be attacking Oliver, was actually helping him. He took him to his hideout at a cave to care for Oliver until he awoke. Oliver questioned him about why he had been shot, with Yao Fei only responding that it was for his protection and proceeded to remove the arrow from Oliver's chest. While Yao Fei slept, Oliver ran off and was later found trapped in a net. After scolding Oliver, he freed him from the net and warned Oliver that "they" would kill him, running off with Oliver following."
In "An Innocent Man", later, Yao Fei arrives at the hideout to see Oliver looking at a photo of Laurel. He brought a cage with a bird and put it beside Oliver, saying "shengcún" repeatedly. When Oliver asks what it means, Yao Fei repeats himself without explaining and walks off.
During a flashback, Yao Fei is shown sitting by a fire at the hideout, toasting a bird's leg on a stick. Oliver awakes and attempts to grab at the stick, but Yao Fei single-handedly throws him aside. Yao Fei then hints at Oliver to kill the bird, but Oliver refuses and claims he has never killed anything. Yao Fei responds again by saying "shengcún". The flashback continues with Oliver begging Yao Fei for food, eventually realising that he is to kill the bird. Yao Fei watches as Oliver proceeds to apologise and kill it. While he eats it, Yao Fei approaches saying "shengcún". Oliver mistakes the word to mean "bird", but Yao Fei tells Oliver that it means "survive." Oliver is surprised at the fact that he speaks English, as he did not speak a word of it and only spoke Mandarin throughout their stay together in the cave even though Oliver did not understand. Although he began to speak English to Oliver, he feigned a lack of proficiency in the language until he joined Edward's army.
Yao Fei went on to tell Oliver that a bird will not be the last thing he would kill if he wanted to survive on the island. He held up Laurel's photo while telling Oliver to forget her, adding that he would not survive if all he did was stare at her photo.
In "Damaged", the next morning, Yao Fei shot a rabbit with an arrow and pointed at it, saying "dinner," and telling Oliver to pick up the body. Oliver did not want to, asking if he could use the bow instead. Yao Fei, bemused, gave Oliver the bow and asked him to shoot an arrow at a tree. Oliver missed his target, prompting Yao Fei to tell him that he would die badly. Following this, he told Oliver to retrieve the rabbit. On his way over, Oliver was captured by soldiers. Not wanting Oliver to reveal his whereabouts, Yao Fei went to the soldiers' camp and arrived at the tent just in time to stop Billy Wintergreen from killing Oliver. Immediately upon entering, Yao Fei threw down Edward and another soldier and then quickly shot an arrow at Oliver's tied hands to free him. Yao Fei then shot another arrow at Billy, which easily caught. Yao Fei and Billy immediately engaged in combat with Yao Fei using his bow as a melee weapon against Bill's sword. Yao was able to get Billy on the ground with a punch, giving him time to escape with Oliver. Yao Fei took Oliver back to the cave, revealing that he was surprised that Oliver did not break under torture. He handed Oliver a pack of herbs and left. Before Oliver could follow him, Yao Fei caused an avalanche at the mouth of the cave to keep him from leaving in order to keep him safe.
In "Year's End", Yao Fei later came back and unsealed the cave, surprised Oliver had survived. He put down some provisions for Oliver, later bringing in a prisoner - Edward Fyers. To meet up with Edward's men, the three of them trekked through the forest. During this time, Edward explained to Oliver what Lian Yu actually was and what it had been used for. As Yao Fei asked Edward to radio his troops to bring a plane, he mocked that Yao Fei was unable to see how incredibly easy it was to capture him. Edward Fyers' men, including Billy Wintergreen, emerged from the woods. Yao Fei promptly engaged in combat with him and was soon overwhelmed, being forced to surrender.
In "Trust but Verify", soon after, Oliver was able to steal the suit of one of Edward's men in order to attempt to rescue Yao Fei. As he entered the camp, he met with Yao Fei who was masked and unknown to Oliver. He was soon knocked out by Edward's men and woke up in a cage. Outside the cage was Edward, who revealed the identity of the mystery soldier: none other than Yao Fei himself, who had allegedly been working for Edward the entire time.
In "Vertigo", after this, Yao Fei brought Oliver to a fighting ring. Under Edward Fyers' orders, Yao Fei beat Oliver and used a moved that would make it appear as if he had killed Oliver. They took Oliver's body to a river where Yao Fei stepped up to the ledge, slipped a map in to Oliver's jacket, and pushed him in to the water.
In "The Odyssey", sometime later, Edward requested Yao Fei's help to train new recruits in archery. He later met Oliver in a tent. Oliver tried to reason with Yao Fei, but Yao Fei knocked him out before Edward could see them conversing. For handing Oliver to Edward, Yao Fei was later given five minutes with his imprisoned daughter, Shado.
In "Salvation", Yao Fei, still with Edward, met up with Oliver and Slade Wilson. Edward threatened to kill Yao Fei's daughter if they did not comply with his wishes. He promptly requested she be killed, leading to a major fight. In the crossfire, Yao Fei was shot and they were forced to leave him behind by his request.
In "Home Invasion", as Oliver, Shado, and Slade, began to talk in the crashed plane, Yao Fei arrived. His daughter hugged him, and he was questioned as to how he escaped. He blankly replied that he didn't, and the plane was quickly surrounded by Edward Fyers' men.
In "Darkness on the Edge of Town", after the three were captured, they were taken back to Edward's camp. As a means for bargaining, Edward would kill them if Yao Fei did not record the footage for him to send to the Chinese government that would make it seem as if Yao Fei was to blame for the Ferris Air bombings. No longer having a use for Yao Fei after the recording was completed, Edward promptly shot him in the head and killed him.
Yao Fei was a man of honor and good morals, he was kind, caring, and a loving father, the only reason why he was helping Edward Fyers was because he threatened to kill his daughter Shado, if he did not cooperate, Yao Fei was also intelligent and calculating, he knew the moment Edward no longer had any further use for him, Edward would not only kill him but Shado, Oliver and Slade as well,
When it looked like he was checking to see if his daughter was fine, after Edward shot her in the shoulder, he was actually secretly giving both her and Oliver knives, so they would not only free themselves and prevent Edward from killing them, but also stop him from shooting down a Ferris Air jet, so that his death would not be in vain.
- Peak of human physical condition: Yao Fei was in top physical condition for a man of his age.
- Master archer: Yao Fei was a master marksman and was portrayed through outstanding precision with his signature bow and arrow, using them as effectively as Oliver Queen uses them as the Hood. In fact, his greater experience in archery as well as providing Oliver with mentor-ship in the skill may prove his superiority in comparison to him. As noted by Edward Fyers, he initially thought Yao Fei looked ridiculous with such primitive and crudely made weapons until seeing for himself that Yao Fei took out three of his best men with them. He was impressed enough to order 25 compound bows in the next supply drop and wanted Yao Fei to train his men in using them.
- Master hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: In addition to his proficiency in the use of long-ranged weapons, Yao Fei had also proven his ability in close-ranged hand-to-hand combat, and martial arts. This was constantly shown by his ability to take down various armed men, even delaying the mercenary Billy Wintergreen. He was also the one who taught Oliver about variable acceleration.
- Bilingualism: As a native Chinese, Yao Fei speaks Mandarin fluently, in addition to English.
- Carbon Fiber Long Bow: Yao Fei's signature weapon of choice; a Carbon Fiber Long Bow. He has frequently demonstrated his mastery of this weapon. He also used it as an improvised quarterstaff, it was unknown if this bow was in his possession during his time in the Chinese military, or if it came into his possession after he was sent to Lian Yu, it is made from carbon fiber, it was most likely that it was designed by Yao Fei himself.
- Hunting Arrows: Yao Fei was very proficient in using arrows, combined with his Carbon Fiber Long Bow, when Edward Fyers first saw him with it, he thought he looked ridiculous, this was until Yao Fei took out three of his best men with it.
- Quiver: Yao Fei used his quiver to carry his arrows, similar to Oliver's quiver.
- Knife: As shown in "Lone Gunmen", Yao Fei possesses a knife, which he used to cut the ropes that were trapping Oliver.
- Green Hood: Usually worn down, it is unknown how Yao Fei got it. Yao Fei's green hood came into his daughter Shado's possession after his death. After her death Oliver wore it to honor their memory. Oliver later created a green suit with the hood to become the Starling City vigilante.
- Yao Fei gave Oliver his first scar.
- In the DC comics universe, Yao Fei is a superhero known as Accomplished Perfect Physician and a member of the Great Ten, a team of Chinese superheroes. There is also another member of that team that is known as the "Celestial Archer", who is a master archer like Yao Fei in Arrow. This version of Yao Fei seems to combine the abilities of both Great Ten members.
- Oliver wears Yao Fei's green hood as The Arrow, in honor of him and his daughter Shado.
- At one point, Oliver confirmed to John that Yao Fei trained him. However, the training before his death was minimal and was more of a mentor to him, however it should be noted that the time Oliver spent training with Yao Fei, was "offscreen" so it was very likely that the training was more than minimal.
- Oliver and Yao Fei share a signature move, gripping their opponent with their legs and throwing them. Yao Fei used a chokehold to make Oliver appear dead. In the present Oliver was seen using exactly the same technique (probably taught to him by Shado).
- Yao Fei was Oliver Queen's first mentor.
- Both he and his daughter Shado were killed with a gunshot to the head.
- Yao Fei and Shado were buried next to each other at Robert Queen's grave site.