Dead or Alive Wiki

Dead or Alive 3 (also known as DOA3) is the third main installment (5th overall) of the Dead or Alive fighting series. Developed by Team Ninja and published by Tecmo, Dead or Alive 3 was first released on November 15, 2001 in America as a launch title for the Xbox. It was the first title of the series not to be released in the arcades, and the last game in the series to be rated "T for Teen" until Dead or Alive Dimensions was released.

Running on the Xbox's hardware, Dead or Alive 3 offered superior graphics compared to its predecessors, particularly in its more detailed and expanded environments. The game was very well received and a commercial success upon release, selling over 2 million copies worldwide, becoming the best selling title in the franchise, and one of the top 10 best selling Xbox games.

Dead or Alive 3 would later become backwards compatible with the Xbox 360. On November 10, 2021, the game was made available to download on Xbox Live worldwide. On November 15, 2021, the game was made backwards compatible with the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.


Shortly after the events of the second Dead or Alive Tournament, the Dead or Alive Tournament Executive Committee took the leader of the Hajinmon sect of the Mugen Tenshin clan, Genra, as a human weapon, to create the "ultimate fighter", as part of Project Omega.

The experiment was a success, and Genra was turned into the monstrous, inhuman creature Omega. To test the subject's skills against others, DOATEC held the third Dead or Alive World Combat Championship to use as a testing ground.

The leader of the Mugen Tenshin clan, Hayate and his half-sister Ayane (Genra's foster-daughter and heir) entered the tournament, also with their friend Ryu Hayabusa, to kill Omega to stop any destruction that may arise, and to kill Genra.

As the shinobi made it to the final rounds, an argument started about who should kill Omega: as leader of the clan, Hayate felt it was his duty to help a fellow master, and Ayane felt that, as the foster-daughter of Genra, only she could slay the monster her father had become.

After defeating Hayate, Ayane was the one who faced Omega. She managed to destroy the super-human, and Genra was laid to rest. As a result of Genra's passing, Ayane became the new master of the Hajinmon Sect.


The character selection screen showing off the playable characters, excluding Ein.

Dead or Alive 3 features seventeen playable characters, four of which were new to the series in this title. Only one character is unlockable and can not be played in Story Mode.

Returning playable characters[]

  • Kasumi, a kunoichi who rejected her duty to become the leader of the Mugen Tenshin clan and instead became a nukenin so that she could avenge her brother, Hayate, who was paralyzed by their uncle Raidou. Day after day, Kasumi is forced to defend herself from attempts on her life by highly skilled shinobi assassins. Now learning that Hayate is to be at the third Dead or Alive tournament, Kasumi is determined to see her brother once again.
  • Ryu Hayabusa, the modern super shinobi and the best friend of Kasumi's brother, Hayate. In the last tournament, he successfully brought down Bankotsubo, the feared Tengu of Destruction, who had brought chaos to the whole world. This time around, Hayabusa enters the tournament to save the world from Omega, an evil being created by DOATEC.
  • Zack, the funky dude who taught himself Muay Thai. One day, after spending all his winnings from the last tournament, Zack realizes that he has forgotten to do the one thing that he wanted to do: go to Las Vegas and enjoy the many luxuries of the famous city. Needing money to help fund his trip, Zack enters the tournament once again.
  • Gen Fu, the master of xinyi liuhe quan who fought in the previous Dead or Alive tournaments to obtain the money needed to cure his sick granddaughter, Mei Lin, who was suffering the ravages of a rare disease. Thanks to the prize money, Mei Lin is growing better and better everyday. However, one last surgery, which will require a vast sum of money, is needed to cure her completely. To save the life of his granddaughter, Gen Fu enters the tournament to win the money.
  • Tina Armstrong, a superstar in the world of women's pro-wrestling and the only daughter of the professional wrestler Bass Armstrong. She is a woman of boundless ambition who thirsts for even greater fame and celebrity. Although she finally made her debut as a model following the last tournament, Tina enters the tournament yet again to this time become an actress.
  • Bass Armstrong, an undefeated bad guy professional wrestler. Although Bass has already retired from his job, he enters the tournament to stop his daughter Tina from winning the tournament. Though Bass loves his daughter very much, he has always wanted Tina to become a professional wrestler, and is extremely upset in hearing that she now wants to become an actress.
  • Leon, a mercenary whose lover, Rolande, died in his arms saying "The man I love is the strongest man in the world". In order to justify Rolande's last words, Leon entered the last tournament, only to be defeated. With the memories of Rolande still haunting him, Leon is determined to win this time around, pledging his all upon the desert grave of his lost lover.
  • Bayman, the professional assasin who acquired his Russian martial arts in the military. Victor Donovan, who hired Bayman in the first tournament to assassinate Fame Douglas, sent a sniper to dispose of the assassin. Bayman easily quashed this feeble attempt on his life and in retaliation against his former client, enters the tournament to seek Donovan.
  • Jann Lee, the fighter without a cause who still walks a lonely path. Though the reputation of Jann Lee (also known as "the Dragon") is universal, his search for a stronger enemy never ends.
  • Leifang, known to many as the young genius of t'ai chi quan. Ever since Jann Lee saved her from a gang years ago, she has entered the Dead or Alive tournaments to test her skills against his. Jann Lee has demonstrated his superior skills in the last two tournaments, but Leifang won't let that stop her.
  • Helena Douglas, the illegitimate daughter of Fame Douglas, former leader of DOATEC, and his third known mistress. Whether she likes it or not, she is dragged into the intertwined conspiracies within DOATEC as the only living relative of Douglas. Captured at last by the anti-Douglas faction of DOATEC, Donovan challenges her to win the tournament. Wanting to know the truth, Helena has no choice but to fight.
  • Ayane, the younger half-sister of Kasumi and Hayate. Ayane's former teacher and foster father, Genra, the leader of the Mugen Tenshin clan's Hajinmon sect, has disappeared. Now the most powerful shinobi in the Hajinmon sect, Ayane learns that Genra has been turned into a puppet by DOATEC for its dastardly new project, Omega. Seeing what has become of her beloved father, Ayane realizes that fate commands her to put Genra out of his misery.

New playabe characters[]

  • Hitomi, the daughter of a Japanese mother and a German karate master, who has been training his daughter since she was just a child. Always wanting to join the Dead or Alive tournament in order to test her formidable skills against the real world, Hitomi's father has finally allowed her to participate.
  • Brad Wong, a master of zui ba xian quan whose teacher, Chen, one day says to him: "Bring me the legendary drink. The name is "Genra."" Though these words are a riddle to Brad, he began his journey in search of the mysterious "Genra". After three years of wandering, he finds himself in the tournament.
  • Christie, a cold-blooded woman who possesses all the characteristics required of an assassin and who has undergone the ultimate adaptation in excelling in the art of she quan, which she employs to the fullest. Christie has been hired by Donovan, leader of DOATEC's anti-Douglas faction, and enter the tournament in order to keep an eye on Helena.
  • Hayate, the older brother of Kasumi and Ayane, and the newly ordained eighteenth leader of the Mugen Tenshin clan. He was the subject of DOATEC's experimental superhuman project (Project Epsilon), in which he lost his memory. But during the last tournament, he recovered his memory and officially became the leader of the Mugen Tenshin. He is now set to enter the tournament again in order to defeat Genra, the superhuman created as a puppet of DOATEC's Project Omega.

Unlockable characters[]

  • Ein, a merciless karateka who suffers from amnesia. In actuality, Ein was the identity which Hayate took on after being experimented on by DOATEC and losing all the memories of his past. After regaining his lost memories during the second tournament, Hayate returns to being his former self and no longer goes by the name of "Ein".

Non-playable characters[]

  • Chen, the great master of zui ba xian quan who three years ago sent Brad to find the legendary drink of Genra.
  • Hitomi's father, a karate master who has trained his daughter since she was a child. Believing that Hitomi is finally ready to face the world, the karate master allows her to join the tournament and test her skills.
  • Mei Lin, the granddaughter of Gen Fu who has been severely ill with a rare disease since the very first Dead or Alive tournament. Now needing one more surgery to save her life, Mei Lin's grandfather enters the tournament to win the prize money.
  • Omega, the evil superhuman of DOATEC's Project Omega who was once the leader of the Mugen Tenshin's Hajinmon sect, Genra. With the third tournament being used as Omega's "slaughterhouse", many of the shinobi he once knew, including his foster daughter Ayane, have entered the tournament to defeat him.
  • Rolande, a thief whose last words before her death inspired her lover, Leon, to join the tournament and fulfill her statement.
  • An unnamed woman who make her appearance at the Las Vegas casino in Zack's ending.


Helena and Christie performing a tag throw on Gen Fu.

The basic gameplay controls remain essentially unchanged from Dead or Alive 2. Some minor tweaks have been added to the game system in the form of increased counter periods, unrestricted 3D-axis movement, and less emphasis on juggling combos. All these gameplay enhancements make the game suitable for beginners, and makes the artificial intelligence more forgiving. Move properties for character attacks are updated. The game incorporated less damage percentiles in counter maneuvers. Fighters who are caught in hazardous falls can now be knocked out if they have very low health.

The game adds a new feature in its Sparring mode called Exercise, an automatic command tutorial in which players can practice character moves while commands are displayed at the same time.

Tag Battle commands were changed to insert Attack Change, a new tag system feature where the fighting character can switch places with his or her tag partner, in which the character jumping in can then unleash an attack at the same time. The Tag Throws command was changed to pressing the Free and Punch button together. Tag Battle can now be selected in the game's Time Attack and Survival modes.

The game adds four new characters to the roster. By default, the game utilizes the Xbox controller's pressure sensitive analog buttons to allow shortcuts in performing certain moves, making the controls lenient to allow players new to the series to adapt to gameplay. Players have the option to turn the analog buttons on or off. As with previous entries in the series, it took advantage of the Xbox system's power to push the range of the graphics and stage sizes farther than Dead or Alive 2.

After the initial North American release of the game (termed "Dead or Alive 3.0" by the competitive community), the Japanese version ("Dead or Alive 3.1") featured many gameplay changes, with new attacks for characters, tweaked move properties for attacks, many new costumes, a new intro cinematic, much better free step movement, and the Xbox controller's analog stick no longer deactivates when the analog buttons are turned off. The European version ("Dead or Alive 3.2") fixed some issues with overpowered moves in 3.1 and is a bit weaker in free step movement, resulting in 3.2 becoming the preferred version of the three for video game tournament usage.

Unlocking Ein[]

Ein is the only unlockable character in Dead or Alive 3, and is playable in every gameplay mode, except Story Mode.

To unlock Ein, the player must finish Story Mode with every character then play Survival Mode with Hayate, getting enough victories so you can put your name in the rankings. While at the ranking screen, enter "EIN" in caps as the name.


The Dead or Alive 3 promo booth at the Tokyo Game Show 2001.

After the success of Dead or Alive 2, Tecmo was working on continuing the series when Microsoft approached them, offering a deal to develop the next Dead or Alive as an exclusive title for the recently announced Xbox. The Xbox was still in development, and Microsoft was in need of exclusive, high-profile games to show off the technical capability of their product. This deal also fit in with series creator Tomonobu Itagaki's design philosophy of always targeting the most powerful console available for the development of Dead or Alive games. An arcade release was also planned but was skipped due to the arcade's declining popularity.

In 2001, the release of Dead or Alive 3 was announced in Japan, but the game was first released in the US, in order to coincide with the American Xbox launch. An updated version of Dead or Alive 3 was then released for the Japanese and European Xbox launches several months later.

The Dead or Alive 3 promo booth at E3 2001.

Dead or Alive 3 saw the addition of two new female characters, Hitomi and Christie, and two new male characters, Brad Wong and Hayate (note that Hayate was not exactly a new character, as he appeared in the previous game as Ein, though his moveset is new). Hitomi quickly took off as one of the more popular female characters of the series, despite her late addition. Dead or Alive 3 became the best selling game of the series, one of the top 10 best selling Xbox games, and the best selling fighting game on Xbox.

Dead or Alive 3 was later re-issued as part of the Xbox Platinum Hits of games, sporting a new case design and a reduced price of $19.99.

Dead or Alive 3 later became backwards compatible with the Xbox 360. On November 10, 2021, Dead or Alive 3 was made available to download on Xbox Live worldwide. On November 15, 2021, Dead or Alive 3 became backwards compatible with the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.

Booster Disk[]

The European and Japanese versions of Dead or Alive 3 feature more content such as extra costumes, new attacks for characters, and a new CG introduction.

Because of its early release, the American version does not feature any of the above. On June 2002, the Official Xbox Magazine provided a 'Booster Disk' for Dead or Alive 3, which included the new CG introduction and all of the extra costumes released on the European and Japanese versions of the game. It did not, however, contain the extra fighting moves or general game balancing tweaks that the other versions brought.

The booster content continued to be provided with the Official Xbox Magazine demo disc from June 2002 to September 2002. Each disc featured the same content but gave magazine buyers multiple times to acquire it.

This update was also released as an unlockable in Dead or Alive Ultimate, called "DOA 3 Booster Disc". It can be unlocked if all costumes were unlocked for every character.

As of November 10, 2021, the European and Japanese versions of Dead or Alive 3 can be downloaded on American Xbox platforms via Xbox Live if the game is purchased first, and then changing the region in the Xbox settings to either United Kingdom or Japan before downloading.


In addition to the original song in the game, three songs by the American rock band Aerosmith also appear in Dead or Alive 3, and can be heard in the game's Settings option. Nine Lives was used as the opening theme, and Home Tonight was played over the credits. Amazing was not used in the actual game, but was a music sample under the Settings option.

After the release of Dead or Alive 3, Tecmo released the Dead or Alive 3 Original Sound Trax featuring every original track from Dead or Alive 3.

Production credits[]

See: Dead or Alive 3/Production credits


Dead or Alive 3 received generally very positive reviews following its release. IGN gave the game 9.4 out of 10, giving a lot of praise to the game's improvements on its predecessor and the graphics, which were considered one of the best examples of Xbox graphics at the time; under the graphics sub-section, reviewer Anthony Chau gave it a 9.9 out of 10, claiming that "only Halo rivals the graphic quality" of the game. In Japan, Famitsu scored the game a 37 out of 40.On GameSpot, Dead or Alive 3 received an overall score of 7.9 out of 10; the reviewer also praised the graphics, saying the game "looks absolutely stunning" and was the "best-looking home fighting game ever released" (at the time) but commented that "once you get past its graphics [...] you'll find that Dead or Alive 3 doesn't offer much of anything that hasn't been done in other 3D fighting games."

In 2002, Dead or Alive 3 reached sales of over 1 million copies worldwide in the first five months after its release. The game became the third best-selling launch title next to Microsoft's Halo: Combat Evolved and Project Gotham Racing and the first third-party Xbox game to earn Platinum Hits status. Next Generation ranked Dead or Alive 3 as the 59th highest-selling game launched between January 2000 and July 2006 in the United States. In 2008, Cinema Blend ranked it as the eight best fighting game of all time. In 2011, Complex ranked it as the 15th best fighting game of all time. GamesRadar included it among the Xbox games "that shaped the generation", and later included it in their list of "best original Xbox games".

Awards and Nominations[]

In 2002, Dead or Alive 3 was awarded "Console Fighting Game of the Year" and nominated for "Outstanding Achievement in Animation" at the Interactive Achievement Awards. The game was also awarded "Outstanding Fighting Game Sequel" and nominated for "Outstanding Animation in a Game Engine" at the National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards. The game was also awarded "Best Console Fighting Game" and was nominated for "Best Graphics in a Console Game", "Best Multiplayer Console Game", and "Xbox Game of the Year" at the Electric Playground's Blister Awards. The game was also awarded "Best Graphics, Technical" at the GameSpot Game of the Year Awards and was nominated for "Best Xbox Game" at it's Reader's Choice Awards. Dead or Alive 3 was also nominated for "Xbox Game of the Year" at the Golden Joystick Awards.


Packaging artwork[]

See also[]


  • The font style of the Dead or Alive 3 logo became the current style logo for the series.
  • Dead or Alive 3 was the first fighting game to support "True" Widescreen display.
  • It was the first fighting game to support 5.1 Surround Sound (Dolby Digital 5.1).
  • It was the first game in the series to be included in video game tournaments.
  • It was the first fighting game to receive an award from the National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers.
  • It was the first fighting game to receive the "Best Graphics, Technical" award from Gamespot.
  • The commands in Dead or Alive 3 were colored to match the Xbox controller's face buttons: X, Y and B becoming Free, Punch and Kick. This has remained consistent for the rest of the series, even on other platforms.
  • In the 11th episode of the sixth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer entitled "Gone" from 2002, two of the Trio members, Andrew Wells and Jonathan Levinson, play Dead or Alive 3 at the arcade. The screen shows them playing as Jann Lee and Brad Wong in the stage Tao.

External Links[]

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v · e · d
Dead or Alive 3
Playable KasumiRyu HayabusaHitomiZackGen FuBrad WongTina ArmstrongBass ArmstrongLeonBaymanJann LeeLeifangChristieHelena DouglasHayateAyane
Unlockable Ein
Non-playable characters ChenHitomi's fatherMei LinOmegaRolandeWoman in Zack's ending
Gameplay modes Story ModeTime Attack ModeSurvival ModeTag Battle ModeTeam Battle ModeVersus ModeWatch ModeSparring ModeTheaterOptions
Gameplay terms AttacksAttack ChangeBoss BattlesCharacter SelectComboCounter BlowCritical HitDanger ZoneGame OverHoldsKnocked OutMatchName EntryReplaySide SteppingSpecial MovesStagesStancesTag ThrowsThrowsTriangle System
Plot subjects DOATECDead or Alive World Combat ChampionshipGenra (wine)Mugen Tenshin clanProject OmegaRunaway shinobiShinobi
Martial arts Jeet Kune DoKarateNinjutsuPi qua quanPro-wrestlingRussian martial artsShe quanT'ai chi quanThai-style boxingXinyi liuhe quanZui ba xian quan
Other terms CreditsCutscenesEndingsOpeningsSystem VoiceTournament Winners
Aqua PalaceAzuchiBeachDanger ZoneDOATEC HKForestIce CaveIron HellLoreleiLost WorldOmega's stagePancratiumSnowTaoX Octagon
Dead or Alive 3 Original Sound Trax
Character themes "Blood Tie" • "Cracker" • "Eternity" • "Four Thousand" • "I don't believe it!" • "It's to Show" • "Karma" • "Knifepoint" • "Look Ahead" • "Mayflower" • "Monster" • "Power Shovel" • "Prismatic Butterfly" • "Red Moon" • "Reincarnate" • "Trip" • "True Beauty"
Ending themes "Caribbean Blue" • "Eclipse" • "Firelight Holly" • "Gen-fu's Treasure" • "Goin' for Broke" • "Hunting Time" • "I'll Be There For You" • "Killers" • "Magic In The Night" • "The Moon Leads Her To..." • "Perpetual Motion" • "Reaction" • "Route X" • "Son Of The Dragon" • "Start In Life" • "Sunny Side" • "War Zone"
Other tracks "A Wind" • "Amazing" • "Conditioning" • "Deep Impact" • "Home Tonight" • "Nine Lives" • "Stand Up" • "X-ray" • "X-ray Reflecting Mirror"
Command listsCostumesFighting quotesMerchandisePromotional Artwork and WallpapersSurvival Mode ItemsTag Throws
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Main series Dead or AliveDead or Alive 2Dead or Alive 3Dead or Alive 4Dead or Alive 5Dead or Alive 6
Spin-offs and related titles Dead or Alive++DOA2: HardcoreDead or Alive UltimateDead or Alive OnlineGirls of DOA BlackJackDead or Alive DimensionsDead or Alive 5+Dead or Alive 5 UltimateDead or Alive 5 Last Round
Dead or Alive Xtreme sub‑series Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach VolleyballDead or Alive Xtreme 2Dead or Alive ParadiseDead or Alive Xtreme 3Dead or Alive Xtreme Venus VacationDead or Alive Xtreme 3 Scarlet
Canceled games Dead or Alive: Code ChronosProject Progressive
Related series Other Koei Tecmo series Ninja Gaiden seriesWarriors seriesFatal Frame seriesSuper Swing GolfDeception series
Third-party Crossovers Virtua Fighter seriesSNK MultiverseSenran Kagura seriesAzur Lane series
Playable characters Main cast KasumiZackRyu HayabusaBaymanLeifangGen FuTina ArmstrongJann LeeBass Armstrong/Mr. StrongAyaneHelena DouglasLeonEinHayateHitomiBrad WongChristieLa Mariposa/Lisa HamiltonKokoroEliotRigMilaMomijiRachelMarie RosePhase 4NyotenguHonokaTamakiDiegoNiCO
Secondary Kasumi αShidenFalse Kasumi
Final bosses RaidouBankotsuboGenraAlpha-152
Xtreme only MisakiLunaFionaNagisaKannaMonicaSayuriPattyTsukushiLobeliaNanamiEliseKoharuAmy
Guest characters SPARTAN-458Rio Rollins TachibanaAkira YukiSarah BryantPai ChanJacky BryantNaotora IiMai ShiranuiKula Diamond
Non-playable characters Main series Alicia ArmstrongAnastasiaAnneAyameBuraiChenFame DouglasGoldieHitomi's fatherIrene LewIsabellaKuramasan MaousonLaurenMariaMei LinMiyakoMuramasaNikiVictor Donovan
Guest characters RidleySamus Aran
Non-canon characters Max MarshWeatherby
Miscellaneous characters Toreko
Gameplay modes StoryVersusArcadeTime AttackSurvivalTag BattleTeam BattleTrainingOnlineSpectatorAlbumMoviesFight RecordTitlesHelp & OptionsMusic
Gameplay terms AttacksAttack ChangeBoss BattlesCharacter SelectCliffhangerComboCounter BlowCritical HitDanger ZoneGame OverHoldsKnocked OutMatchMove DataPower BlowPower LauncherReplaySide SteppingSpecial MovesStagesStancesTag ThrowsTriangle System
Plot subjects DOATECDead or Alive World Combat ChampionshipMugen Tenshin clanNinpoNukenin (missing shinobi)Project AlphaProject EpsilonShinobiTengu
Other terms CreditsCutscenesEndingsGlassesOpeningsSystem VoiceTournament Winners
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