(DOA) is a media franchise based on a fighting video game series produced by Tecmo and developed by Team Ninja. It is primarily composed of fast-paced 3D fighting games that begun with the original ''Dead or Alive'' in 1996. ''DOA'' is the creation of Tomonobu Itagaki, who has since left the company and is no longer working on the series, which continues without him. ''Dead or Alive'' has been praised for its impressive fighting system, graphics, and interactive environments. In addition to its fast-paced countering-based play system, the franchise is also known for its female characters. This aspect of the series' popularity led to the creation of the spin-off game ''Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball'' and its sequels, where the females and their sex appeal play a more focal role than it does in the core ''Dead or Alive'' series. A live-action film adaptation ''DOA: Dead or Alive'' was released in 2006.


left|A tag throw by Helena_Douglas_and_[[Leifang_against_Ayane_in_''[[Dead_or_Alive_Ultimate.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Leifang.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Helena Douglas and [[Leifang">Helena Douglas and [[Leifang against Ayane in ''[[Dead or Alive Ultimate">Leifang.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Helena Douglas and [[Leifang">Helena Douglas and [[Leifang against Ayane in ''[[Dead or Alive Ultimate'' The ''Dead or Alive'' series focuses on fast-paced [[gameplay in a [[3D computer graphics|three-dimensional playing field. Like other modern fighting games that attempt to emulate real life martial arts, ''DOAs input system is designed so controls correspond to the game character's actions; if the character moves forward with a punch, the controls most likely would include the punch input and pressing forward on the directional pad. In comparison to others in the fighting game genre, such as ''Virtua Fighter'', the series places emphasis on striking characters quickly and efficiently. There is an emphasis on quick combos and air-juggles since the game's countering system and fast recovery times prevent slow, technical sets of moves in most instances. One of the series' most innovative additions to the genre is its countering system. Beginning with the original ''Dead or Alive'', players could tap the guard button and a direction corresponding with the anticipated attack, which would do a powerful counterattack. Counter holds must be timed correctly and match the direction of the attack being countered. If the attack targets the torso, the player must also take into account is the attack a punch or a kick. The series controls also make the instances of speed and simplicity more congruent with the focus of timing and combos in mind, as the commands for basic attacks are widely considered more straightforward than most video games. There is only one button for punch, kick, throw and guard, with the player rarely having to combine more than two different input schemes together at a time. The series uses interactive features that appear in certain fighting arenas, called Danger Zones. Fighters caught in a Danger Zone will take extra damage, giving the attacker a slight advantage. These environmental areas can be anything from falls to explosives to breakable structures. If a fighter has low health, being trapped in a Danger Zone is more likely to knock them out than a normal attack, although in certain titles, elements such as falls cannot do this, and instead just leave the fighter with very low health. Since ''Dead or Alive 2'', the series has implemented its Tag team fighting system, allowing characters to switch back and forth for combo attacks and even attack simultaneously when timed correctly. The Tag Mode also included special throws unique to certain pairs of characters and allows for the participation of four players, something not common in the genre. ''Dead or Alive 3'' introduced Attack Change, a feature in the tag mechanics where the fighting character can switch places with a partner, in which the character jumping in can then unleash an attack at the same time. Since ''Dead or Alive 3'', Tag can be used in the other game modes. ''Dead or Alive 5'' uses a revamped control system and features a more cinematic experience, especially with regards to Danger Zone effects. Power Blow is a triggered powerful attack that can enable the player that is low on health to knock the opponent character away in a selected direction, possibly initiating a cinematic quick time event called Cliffhanger. The game's new Critical System features Critical Stuns, Critical Combos, and Critical Bursts. There is also a strong online component, including a spectator mode. ''Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate'' further added the vertical Power Launcher and an extensive Tutorial mode. In addition to the normal control system, ''Dead or Alive 5 Plus'' for the PlayStation Vita features optional touchscreen-based controls from first-person perspective. The spin-off ''Xtreme'' series is mostly based around two-on-two matches of beach volleyball and casino gambling. After the original ''Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball'', the available activities have expanded to include the likes of watercraft racing and beach photography, while emphasizing the series' breast physics.

Plot and characters

The ''Dead or Alive'' series depicts a collection of skilled martial artists in a worldwide competition named the Dead or Alive tournament. DOATEC (Dead or Alive Tournament Executive Committee), a massive corporation with unknown motives, holds the fighting competition in arenas ranging from the North Pole to the Amazon rain forest. ''Dead or Alive'', the first game in the series, introduced the initial characters and their reasons for entering the tournament. For example, Zack enters for profit, while Kasumi, a runaway female ninja and the series' main protagonist, enters the tournament to seek revenge against Raidou who crippled her brother Hayate. Kasumi wins the first DOA tournament, however the strict laws of ninja society prevent Kasumi from returning to her village, and she becomes a hunted fugitive. ''Dead or Alive 2'' is set less than a year later, as Tengu threatens the world. Kasumi's brother Hayate, previously injured by Raidou, returns from being a subject in DOATEC's bio-weapon experiment Epsilon. New fighters include Ein (Hayate), Helena Douglas and Leon. Eventually, Ryu Hayabusa defeats Tengu and wins the tournament. ''Dead or Alive 3'', takes place shortly after the defeat of Tengu. This game's plot concerns a secret goal of DOATEC's mad scientist Victor Donovan to produce the ultimate fighter, called the Omega project. Through Epsilon and Alpha stages, DOATEC wipes the ninja Genra's memory, turning him into the vicious Omega; a third tournament is held to test Omega's abilities. In the end, Kasumi's half-sister Ayane defeats her former master and wins the tournament. The game introduces four more fighters, the first playable appearance of Hayate, and the brand new fighters Brad Wong, Christie, and Hitomi. ''Dead or Alive 4'' again explores DOATEC's attempts to create a powerful clone of Kasumi with the Alpha project. The various fighters discover the true nature of DOATEC and set out to stop it. Helena wins the tournament and decides to give the title to Zack. The game introduces three new fighters, Eliot, Kokoro, and La Mariposa. The fifth game, ''Dead or Alive 5'', is set two years later. DOATEC is newly reformed with Helena still in control and Zack appearing to be in employ. Jann Lee beats Hitomi in the last round of the tournament, thus winning. However, Jann Lee still felt that there is one person whom Jann Lee wants to defeat in order for him to be a true winner, Rig, who at first has an amnesia, but presumably ruse, and calling Donovan, “dad”. Meanwhile, Kasumi, Ryu, and Ayane, with the help from Helena, fight to destroy the Alpha project and stop Donovan. Continuing to ''Dead or Alive 6'', DOATEC and Mugen Tenshin discovers that MIST is after the fifth tournament qualifier participant Honoka, due to having a similar power signature as Raidou, causing them to keep an eye on her in different ways. Even worst part by the time when the sixth tournament begins, Rig is indeed amnesia and was unknowingly being implanted by MIST with a trigger into having him brainwashed to serve them under the alias “Victor Donovan Jr.”, causing everyone like Bass and Jann Lee begin to worry and suspicious of Rig's current situation. For the final tournament match, Jann Lee once again officially a winner, but unofficially defeated by a worthy street fighter, Diego. Ayane and Honoka are soon kidnapped by MIST into unwillingly revive Raidou, their biological father as an undead cyber ninja demon. As her older-half-sister Honoka still weaken, Ayane can still catch up with Kasumi and Hayate to kill the revived Raidou once and for all, leaving no trace of him behind. Helena, who arrived at one of MIST's hidden laboratory to secure the place, approaches a young scientist who act as Lisa's replacement and responsible behind Raidou’ resurrection, NiCO. Although NiCO attempt to revive Helena's mother, Maria, Helena found out what she will be planning on reviving those who were dead, and completely disagree for good reason to keep moving forward, much to NiCO's denial and escape from Helena.


The series was created by its original director and producer Tomonobu Itagaki after he became a programmer for Tecmo, which was in need of a hit to boost sagging game sales. In this vein, Itagaki made a wager with the head of the company, assuring the president he would create a video game that would garner a fan base. Following the initial working titles of "Ninja Fighter" and "Poligon Fighter", he named the series "Dead or Alive" to demonstrate the series' fail or succeed status and proceeded to form a division in the company named Team Ninja. Itagaki's inspiration for the series derived from the ''Virtua Fighter'' and ''Fatal Fury'' series in Japan and the ''Mortal Kombat'' series in America, with ''DOAs fast gameplay and sexual appeal drawn from the former series, and the ability to knock opponents off multi-level landscapes from the latter. When asked how he wished the series would contribute to the fighting genre, Itagaki replied: "I want people to remember ''DOA'' as a game that was very aggressive and combative. As to ..how it contributed to the fighting genre – I look at it as something similar to how sushi was released in this country and became mainstream. You know, like, some people like graphics, some people like animation, some like flashy character design and so forth. Through ''DOA'', we want to reach out to those people and become somewhat of a mainstream game." After Tecmo's classic (but at that time long dormant) ''Ninja Gaiden'' series was revived in 2004 by Itagaki and Team Ninja, they began linking it back with ''Dead or Alive'', setting the franchises within the same universe with overlapping characters and events. As it was a complete reboot of the series and did not continue the canon of any previous ''Ninja Gaiden'' titles, the developers were free to do with the universe and its characters as it saw fit, and so the game was implemented into the ''DOA'' universe by being set up as a prequel to the first ''DOA''. In addition, ''Ninja Gaiden'' protagonist Ryu Hayabusa, who had already been on the roster of every ''DOA'' fighting game since the beginning, plays a major role in that series' overarching storyline, which has been fleshed out during the development of the subsequent ''Ninja Gaiden'' titles. Having featured Ryu in most of ''Dead or Alive'' games during a development of ''Ninja Gaiden'' reboot, Team Ninja then included the character Ayane and Kasumi in most of ''Ninja Gaiden'' games. Conversely, several characters from ''DOA'' have roles in the rebooted ''Ninja Gaiden'' series, initially only appearing during story sequences but becoming fully playable characters in special modes in later games. Rachel and Momiji, characters originating from the ''Ninja Gaiden'' series, appear in updated versions of ''Dead or Alive 5''. Before his departure from Team Ninja, Itagaki stated in 2006 that he had a new ''DOA'' game planned, but in a 2008 interview he said about the series: "This is another area that my closest colleagues and I all agree that we were able to achieve the definitive fighting game with ''DOA4''. So we're not looking to extend the series at this point." In a released statement on June 3, 2008, Itagaki announced his resignation from Tecmo (July 1, 2008) due to business troubles with then president of Tecmo, Yoshimi Yasuda. Itagaki stated that this would unfortunately lead to the end of production for the game and its series. However, Tecmo replied with the announcement that Team Ninja would not be dissolved upon Itagaki's departure, stating that both the ''Ninja Gaiden'' and ''Dead or Alive'' franchises would remain in production and that some projects were already underway. As of 2016, the series continues two decades in, making it one of the longest-running fighting game franchises that still receive new installments. ''Dead or Alive 5'' was created in partnership with Sega AM2 of ''Virtua Fighter'' fame, featuring several guest characters from that series. ''Dead or Alive Paradise'' was the first ''DOA'' console game not developed by Team Ninja.


Main series

Updated versions





Live-action film

A live-action feature film titled ''DOA: Dead or Alive'', directed by Corey Yuen and starring Holly Valance, Devon Aoki, Jaime Pressly, Sarah Carter and Natassia Malthe was released in the United States on June 15, 2007. In the film, four female fighters are invited to a martial arts contest; they begin as rivals, but work together to uncover the secret that Donovan, the organizer of the tournament, is trying to hide. Not screened in advance for the press, the film received negative reviews from critics and was a flop at the box office.

Cultural impact


The series has a fanbase. Fans of ''Dead or Alive'' series have made notable artwork, books, mangas, fan fiction, fangames, fan videos, fandubs, fansites, fanzines, fan films, and cosplays about the series.


The merchandise of ''Dead or Alive'' series is produced by the other companies. Products include figurines, dolls, action figures, stuffed toys, strategy guides, board games, trading card games, flashlights, posters, bookends, calendars, backpacks, playing cards, soundtracks, clothing, cups, mugs, tumblers, bowls, hats, tapestries, bookmarks, greeting cards, suitcases, mousepads, card holders, pillows, keychains, wall decals, stickers, badges, perfumes, puzzles, lighters, USB flash drives, wallets, skateboards, helmets, roller skates, lithographs, iPhone cases, calculators, duffel bags, carpets, statues, postcards, CD players, special limited edition consoles, photo albums, toiletries, towels, audiobooks, electronics, lunchboxes, door hangers, tote bags, tattoos, watches, clocks, arcade controllers, pinballs, shopping bags, stamps, and stationery.


The ''Dead or Alive'' games have been mostly well received. The fighting series have received positive reviews, with ''Dead or Alive 2'' having the highest ratings out of the numbered games, and ''Dead or Alive 5'' having the lowest except its ''Plus'' version for the Vita. By July 2013, the ''DOA'' series has shipped 8.6 million copies worldwide. As of July 2016, the series had sold 9.7 million copies worldwide.
Nikkan Sports, 7-13-2016.


External links

''Dead or Alive''
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