Dead or Alive (also known as DOA or DOA1) is the first installment in the Dead or Alive series.
Developed by Team Ninja and published by Tecmo, Dead or Alive was first released in arcades in 1996, using the Sega Model 2 system board and was later ported onto the Sega Saturn home console in Japan on October 9, 1997.
In 1998, a PlayStation version of Dead or Alive was released in Japan, North America, and Europe, with a different graphics and fighting engine, new background music, and two additional characters.
Dead or Alive ++ (デッドオアアライブ++ Deddo oa Araibu Purasu Purasu) was also released in 1998. This arcade-only release used the Sony ZN-1 arcade board and, while graphically similar to the PlayStation port of Dead or Alive, plays more like Dead or Alive 2. The game introduced a bigger emphasis on stuns and to that end, two separate hold systems were included, one inside and one outside of critical state.
Dead or Alive was followed by the series' first sequel Dead or Alive 2 in 1999.
- 1 Story
- 2 Characters
- 3 Gameplay
- 4 Development
- 5 Production credits
- 6 Videos
- 7 Packaging artwork
- 8 Trivia
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes and references
- 11 External links
Story[edit | edit source]
Prologue[edit | edit source]
A girl catches her breath and stares down at the gathering of warrior gods below. What she feels is not light, but darkness. Her mind wanders with thought.
She's made it this far...
She's traveled this far...
on just a few clues...
to avenge her brother.
The chance for revenge is near.
The insatiable ambition of the human race has lead to the abuse of scientific knowledge. Foolishly setting up the stage for the extreme battle on the land. Now, a new Dead or Alive battle is about to begin.
A girl calmly closes her eyes. She hears the vibration of the colliding power and the uncontrollable, violent melody.
She envisions numerous obstacles set ahead of her. The shadow waves to the courages men and the dignified women.
Kasumi, trusting herself...
into the wind.
the only thing left,
the whistling noise of the wind.
Characters[edit | edit source]
Playable characters[edit | edit source]
- Kasumi, a young beautiful kunoichi who instead of taking up the responsibility to become the new master of the Mugen Tenshin clan, secretly left her village without a word to find out the truth and discover who attacked and crippled her older brother, Hayate.
- Zack, an over-the-top DJ whose sole purpose for entering the Dead or Alive tournament is to win the prize money.
- Ryu Hayabusa, a powerful shinobi and the heir of the Hayabusa clan, Hayabusa accepts an invitation to the tournament to fulfil his thirst for challenge when he learned that his best friend's sister, Kasumi, had disappeared.
- Bayman, a man who witnessed the assassination of his parents as a child and then trained by the Russian Army in Command Sambo to become a special agent. Now working as a professional assassin, Bayman enters the tournament to complete his new assignment: assassinate the notorious leader of DOATEC, Fame Douglas.
- Lei Fang, an impulsive, yet determined prodigy of taikyoku-ken. Several years ago, Lei Fang was challenged by a gang of street fighters, and though was prepared to take them on single-handedly, she was rescued by a boy wearing a dragon emblem. Hating the though of someone believing that she can't handle things on her own, the incident left Lei Fang determined to one day find and defeat the very same boy who saved her.
- Gen Fu, an elderly gentleman who may just appear to be a feeble bookstore owner at first glance, is actually a great master of shini-rokugo-ken. Though no one knows why Gen Fu came out of retirement to enter the tournament, only his closest enemies suspect that it may have to do with the tragedy that surrounds his granddaughter, Mei Linn.
- Tina Armstrong, a pro wrestler since high school who has worked her way up to become of the most feared lethal competitors in women's pro-wrestling. Tina almost 'threw in the glove' last year until her father, Bass Armstrong, stepped in and convinced her to 'take on the world'. Though her father thinks that Tina has entered the tournament for the glory of winning, her real aim is to be discovered by Hollywood.
- Jann Lee, a young man whose parents died when he was a child, then left alone to fend for himself. Though at first he threw himself into the study of Jeet Kune Do to replace what he had lost when his parents died, Jann Lee eventually fought for just the sake of fighting.
Unlockable characters[edit | edit source]
- Raidou, a nukenin ("missing shinobi") and the paternal uncle of Kasumi. After leaving the clan, Raidou traveled around the world to steal moves and techniques from others fighters in order to grow stronger. It is later discovered that it was he who crippled Hayate.
PlayStation and Dead or Alive ++ characters[edit | edit source]
- Bass Armstrong, the father of Tina, who is known to dote on her and has trained her throughout her life to fight.
- Ayane, a kunoichi from the same clan as Kasumi, who was sent to kill her for running away from the clan.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Dead or Alive was unique in its debut in that it featured fairly different choices in gameplay than other 3D fighting games at this time. Its most defining features were its speed and countering system. Dead or Alive put an emphasis on speed and relied more on simplistic commands and reaction time rather than long combo strings. Furthermore, its countering system was the first in the fighting genre to utilize different commands that corresponded to each type of attack.
There are two kinds of holds, an offensive hold (OH) and a defensive hold (DH); furthermore, these commands are executed by holding back or forward on the directional pad along with the guard input to either force away or counter-damage an opponent. Finally, the game used an environmental addition called the danger zone, which surrounded the outer edges of the fighting arena (depending on the options, it could also completely consume it), and when a character came into contact with it, it sent them into the air so the opposing player could execute a juggling air combo. However, this can be avoided with an Ukemi (defensive roll).
Unlocking characters[edit | edit source]
|Raidou||Sega Saturn and PlayStation: Clear Arcade/Tournament Mode with all the characters on the default settings|
Dead or Alive ++: Clear Tournament Mode with Kasumi, and enter "SIAWASE?" at the name entry screen
|Ayane||PlayStation: Unlock all of the costumes for each character, including Raidou|
Development[edit | edit source]
Tomonobu Itagaki has stated that he was dissatisfied with the way modern fighting games were presented; he missed the old arcade-style of play and had another vision for the fighting game genre. Having worked for Tecmo for a long time, Itagaki was eventually given the opportunity to develop a fighting game.
The game, the first Dead or Alive, was released in 1996 as an arcade game for the Japanese market. It was a success in Japan but not in the West. This was possibly because of the competing game Tekken, which was already a popular fighting game series for the PlayStation.
Versions[edit | edit source]
Four different versions of the original Dead or Alive were released:
Arcade version[edit | edit source]
The original version of Dead or Alive was released in arcades in October 1996, utilizing Sega's Model 2 arcade board (it was also the first time Sega licensed their hardware to a third-party company; in this case, Tecmo). The game ran on a modified Virtua Fighter 2 engine, featuring eight playable characters with three costumes each, and the boss character Raidou.
Sega Saturn version[edit | edit source]
It was later ported to the Sega Saturn in Japan on October 9, 1997. The game was never released in North America or Europe. This version added an FMV intro, Time Attack, V.S., Survival, Training and Kumite modes. Unlockables included the ability to play as Raidou, new costumes for each character, and Kasumi's System Voice.
However, this version was downgraded graphically compared to the arcade version. In contrast to the original's fully 3D modeled backgrounds, the Sega Saturn conversion used bitmap tricks and overlapping layers in the same fashion as the Sega Saturn version of Virtua Fighter 2 did. Some details in stages were removed altogether, such as the roof of L's Castle and the swaying bridge in Hayabusa's stage. The characters also had lower-polygon models.
PlayStation version[edit | edit source]
On March 12, 1998 in Japan, Tecmo released Dead or Alive for the PlayStation. This version included numerous differences compared to the arcade and Saturn versions; a different graphics engine with Gouraud shading, a revamped fighting engine, new background music, and new stages. Similar to the Saturn version, the stages consisted of 2D bitmaps, but could now extend infinitely (similar to Tekken), which eliminated ring-outs.
The most notable addition was the two new characters; the wrestler Bass who was available from the start, and the unlockable Ayane. It also included more costumes to unlock (only for female characters), Kasumi, and Ayane's System Voices (as "Sakura" and "Wakana", the first names of their voice actors), and additional voice clips.
The PlayStation version was released in North America on March 31, 1998, and later in Europe in July 1998. These versions omitted the text-only epilogues at the end of Arcade Mode. The European version added even more costumes, typically one or two per character.
Dead or Alive ++[edit | edit source]
The final revision, Dead or Alive ++ was released in arcades in September 1998, running on Tecmo's TPS arcade system (Capcom ZN-1 with custom bios). It is commonly considered a half-step between the first game and Dead or Alive 2. Although aesthetically similar to the PlayStation version, it featured many changes to the gameplay. These changes include being able to position characters before the start of a round, changing most throws to Hold+Punch, and a six-point hold system, the most complex in the series.
|Dead or Alive||Dead or Alive ++|
This version added a "Tag Battle", although it was more like Team Battle with two characters. Ayane was playable from the start and Raidou could be unlocked fairly quickly. Each character had four costumes, two from the original and two from the European PlayStation version. A few of the costumes were exclusive to this version of the game and some were slight recolors.
Dead or Alive 1 Ultimate[edit | edit source]
In 2004, Tecmo released a revamped version of the Sega Saturn port made to run on the Xbox, along with an updated version of Dead or Alive 2. Named Dead or Alive Ultimate, it was basically the original Sega Saturn game ported to the Xbox, making graphics slightly more colorful and smoother, sound from stereo to surround, and adding Xbox Live Online Gaming. The Saturn version was chosen as it was Itagaki's "personal favorite".
Production credits[edit | edit source]
- See: /Production credits
Videos[edit | edit source]
Packaging artwork[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Kasumi is unlocked as a trainable monster in Monster Rancher 2 by going to the Shrine and inserting the Dead or Alive disk in the PlayStation Disc Tray.
- In the prototype version, there was a Muay Thai character named Kelly. It is believed that he later became Zack. The photos can be seen here.
- On the cover of the PlayStation release, Kasumi has white hair. It is unknown why this is.
- Early posters and screenshots of the game shows Kasumi wearing a red variant of her default costume and without stockings.
- The name of the training dummy in the Sega Saturn version is "Toreko", as stated in the official guidebook for the game.
- In the West, it was believed for many years that the training dummy was Ayane due to her having the dummy's bodysuit as a recurring costume in later games, starting off in the PlayStation remake.
See also[edit | edit source]
- Command lists
- Fighting quotes
- Dead or Alive (arcade soundtrack)
- Dead or Alive (PS Version) Original Sound Tracks
- Promotional Artwork and Wallpapers
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]