We have to grow stronger...
This article/section is in need of improvement. If you have a good knowledge of the subject, feel free to add your information to the article. Once improvements have been made, this notice may be removed.
Dead or Alive Ultimate (also known as DOA Ultimate or simply Ultimate) is a compilation versus fighting collection, and the seventh installment of the Dead or Alive series. Developed by Team Ninja for the Xbox, the compilation features an enhanced port of the Sega Saturn version of Dead or Alive, known as Dead or Alive 1 Ultimate (デッドオアアライ1 ブアルティメット Deddo oa Araibu Wan Arutimetto), and a remake of the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2 title Dead or Alive 2, known as Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate (デッドオアアライ2 ブアルティメット Deddo oa Araibu Tsū Arutimetto).
First published by Tecmo in October 2004, across both discs Ultimate features fifteen different playable characters, and twelve different game modes, including online multiplayer, which requires Xbox Live in order to work. 2 Ultimate also has unlockable bonus content for Dead or Alive 3.
As of December 14, 2006, with the backwards compatibility update for the Xbox 360, the Xbox release of Dead or Alive Ultimate can now be played on the Xbox 360. As of April 15, 2010, the online features of Dead or Alive Ultimate, along with other online titles of the Xbox, has been shut down on said platform. On November 10, 2021, Dead or Alive Ultimate 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.
A PC-based game based on Dead or Alive Ultimate, titled Dead or Alive Online has been announced but only a open beta version was released, before the servers were shut down on January 9, 2010.
In 2004, Team Ninja released Dead or Alive Ultimate; a compilation containing a port of the Sega Saturn version of Dead or Alive, and an enhanced remake of Dead or Alive 2, which utilized the graphics engine used for Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball. As well as improved graphics, 2 Ultimate offered Dead or Alive 3 game mechanics, new game content, and the inclusion of Hitomi as a unlockable character.
The system set forth by Tecmo for online play in Dead or Alive Ultimate was intended to recreate the feel of playing at an arcade. Players would log onto a shared "lobby", and then observe other matches until it was their turn to participate. Each lobby has a set of gameplay parameters that is determined by its creator, allowing for tournament-style play. This compilation makes it the second online 3D fighting console game to be released in America and Europe, (Mortal Kombat: Deception being the first) and the first online 3D fighting console game in Japan.
Being a compilation of the first two games that introduces new features, online play, and various unlockables, the story of Dead or Alive Ultimate plays out as it did in the original games. However, a new CG opening was included in 2 Ultimate, further explaining the relationship and history of Ayane, Kasumi and Hayate.
Dead or Alive 1 Ultimate characters
- Kasumi, a young kunoichi who instead of taking up the responsibility to become the new master of the Mugen Tenshin clan, secretly left her village without a trace to seek 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 professional assassin who is well known in the darker side of the world. As a child, Bayman witnessed the assassination of his parents, and was later trained by the Army in Russian martial arts to become a special agent. Now posing as a participant at the tournament, Bayman must complete his new assignment: assassinate the notorious leader of DOATEC, Fame Douglas.
- Lei Fang, an impulsive, yet determined prodigy of t'ai chi quan. 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 xinyi liuhe quan. Haunted by the fact that his granddaughter, Mei Linn, is severely ill and suffering in agony, Gen Fu has come out of the retirement to enter the tournament and win the prize money which will save Mei Linn's life.
- Tina Armstrong, a pro-wrestler since high school who has worked her way up to become of the world's most feared and lethal competitors. 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 absorbed himself into the study of Jeet Kune Do to replace the feeling of loss from when his parents died, Jann Lee eventually fought purely for the sake of fighting. On day, Jann Lee heard the rumor of a tournament to honor the strongest fighter in the world. Wondering if he could find what he has been searching for at the tournament, Jann Lee prepares himself for combat.
- 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.
Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate characters
- Kasumi, a true-bred kunoichi who instead of taking up her responsibility to become the new leader of Mugen Tenshin clan, chose the path of avenging her older brother, Hayate. In the previous Dead or Alive tournament, Kasumi defeated her uncle Raidou, the man who severely crippled her brother, and thus was able to win the tournament. However, this victory came at a price, as Kasumi was soon after taken captive by the Super-human Development Project. Before she was able to escape her captivity, the people of the project created a clone from her DNA, Kasumi α.
- Ryu Hayabusa, the modern super shinobi and the best friend of Kasumi's brother. Hayabusa has vowed to take responsibility and confront Bankotsubo, the Tengu of Destruction. Though the task of facing the Tengu would be a suicidal act for any ordinary man, Hayabusa owes it to himself and to mankind to confront his fate.
- Gen Fu, a master of xinyi liuhe quan who despite vowing to never unleash the destructive power of his techniques (especially his legendary, destructive attack "Goken"), enters the Dead or Alive tournament once again in order to win the great sum of money that will help save the live of his sick granddaughter from her rare disease.
- Helena Douglas, the illegitimate daughter of the former DOATEC leader, Fame Douglas and a famous opera singer. While performing at the opera house, a shot was fired at Helena, but her mother bravely took the bullet for her daughter instead, ending her life instantaneously. While trying to find the culprit, Helena learned that the murder of not only her mother, but her father as well, is somehow related to DOATEC and the tournament. Joining the second tournament, Helena is determined to find the assassin.
- Tina Armstrong, the super star of the women's pro-wrestling world and the daughter of the undefeated champion of professional wrestling, Bass Armstrong. With her beauty and ambition that knows no bounds, Tina knows that her victory in the tournament will push her popularity to the next level.
- Bass Armstrong, an undefeated bad guy professional wrestler and the loving father of Tina. Just like any normal father, Bass doesn't like his daughter using her sex appeal to gain her celebrity status and enters the tournament to stop Tina's "cheap" ambitions and at the same time, teach her about the tough reality of fighting.
- Zack, a self-taught genius of Thai-style boxing of which his strength and his eccentricity is second to none. Because of his frank and funky personality, Zack's popularity is growing, and he re-enters the tournament to feed his hunger for public attention and to win the prize money.
- Leon, a lonely mercenary who wanders all over the world. His lover, Lauren, a thief of the Silk Road, died in his arms saying, "The man I love is the strongest man in the world". In order to fulfill the last words of his love, Leon aspires to be the strongest man on Earth.
- Jann Lee, a young master of Jeet Kune Do who fights from his soul. With his strange bird-like cry, Jann Lee always strikes his opponents with his soulful dragon attacks. Always appearing at battles where only the strongest of men fight, Jann Lee enters the tournament to be the most powerful in his life's destiny.
- Leifang, one of the younger fighters in the tournament and has been called a fighting genius by many. To fight and defeat Jann Lee is her ultimate goal, and his absolute dominance in the combat arena only fuels her challenging spirit.
- Ayane, a kunoichi and the younger half-sister of Kasumi, whose shadow Ayane is destined to live in always. An expert in ninjutsu, Ayane's deadly fighting style has given her the nickname "Female Tengu". Ayane joins the tournament in pursuit of Kasumi, as her master and foster father, Genra, has ordered her to kill the now runaway. This is no hard task for Ayane as she bears a great hatred towards her sister.
- Ein, a man who was left to die in the esoteric Black Forest of Germany. Even though he now suffered from amnesia, his deep desire to fight stayed intact within his beaten body. Mastering karate in a very short period of time, Ein goes down the road of battle to find his true self. Now participating in the tournament, Ein hopes to find answers to his past.
- Bayman, the man who assassinated Fame Dogulas in the first Dead or Alive tournament.
- Tengu, also known by his real name Gohyakumine Bankotsubo; an evil villain of the tengu realm who murdered Kuramasan Maouson, the leader of the Tengu. Descending into the human realm to escape the Tengu laws, the Tengu considers the hopes and struggles of humans to be insignificant, claiming that all disasters are nothing more than illusions he has brought about. All disasters that have befallen the age will later be referred to as the "Disaster at the End of a Century".
- Hitomi, the daughter of a Japanese mother and a German karate master, who has been training his daughter since she was just a child. Hitomi was the one who found Hayate in the Black Forest and took him into her family. Her father would also train Hayate, now known as Ein, in karate.
- Ayame, the wife of Shiden, leader of the Mugen Tenshin, and the mother of Hayate, Kasumi, and Ayane. Years ago, Ayame was raped by Raidou, her brother-in-law, which resulted in the birth of Ayane. However, it was not until years later when Ayane was a child that Ayame revealed to the girl that she was her biological mother.
- Ayane's guardian (あやねの育ての爺 Ayane no Sodate no Jī), the man who raised Ayane until she was fostered by Genra.
- Genra, the leader of the Hajinmon sect of the Mugen Tenshin clan. When Ayane was still a child, Genra took her in and began to raise her as his heir. Genra was also the one who ordered Ayane to assassinate Kasumi when the latter left the clan.
- Hayate, Kasumi and Ayane's older brother and the heir of the Mugen Tenshin clan. Shortly before the first tournament, he and his uncle, Raidou, fought in a dual which resulted in Hayate being severely crippled and comatose. It was this incident that made Kasumi leave the clan to find out who attacked her brother.
- Helena's mother, a world-class soprano singer and one of the former mistresses of Fame Douglas. It was because of the singer's deep love for her daughter that made her take a bullet meant for Helena and end her own life. With Helena now seeking revenge, her mother's unjust death is the main reason why she has entered the tournament.
- Kasumi α, the clone which was created from Kasumi's DNA.
- Lauren, a thief of the Silk Road who died before the second tournament in the arms of her lover, Leon. Her last words were the catalyst for Leon entering the tournament.
- Raidou, the biological father of Ayane and the paternal uncle of Hayate and Kasumi. A nukenin of the Mugen Tenshin clan, Raidou invaded the clan's village and crippled his nephew, but not before stealing the technique of the Torn Sky Blast from him.
- Shiden, the seventeenth leader of the Mugen Tenshin, Radiou's younger brother, and the father of Hayate and Kasumi.
- Two lesser ninja of the Mugen Tenshin who loyally serve their clan and the head family.
Dead or Alive Ultimate is a compilation game that includes a remade version of Dead or Alive 2, with re-developed graphics and new stages for the Xbox gaming system. It also includes the original version of the first Dead or Alive, with smoothed graphics, but lacks the additional content received in the later-released North America PlayStation version; it didn't have Bass or Ayane, nor any extra costumes. Both editions include online play.
Dead or Alive 1 Ultimate
Dead or Alive 1 Ultimate is essentially identical to its original, and is generally considered more of a collector's disc than for its content. Its most defining features were its speed, countering system, and danger zone. Unlike Tekken, Dead or Alive put an emphasis on speed, and relied more on simplistic commands and reaction time rather than long strings of combos.
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" and a "defensive hold"; 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 or, depending on the options, it could also completely consume it. When a character came in contact with it, it sent them in the air so the opposing player can execute a juggling air combo. However, this can be avoided with a Ukemi defensive roll.
Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate
Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate, being a remake created after the debut of Dead or Alive 3, takes elements and mechanics from both its original iteration and successor. The action of 3D-axis movement is as free-formatted as Dead or Alive 3, and Hitomi is now a playable character, albeit outside story mode. Other elements have been kept intact from Dead or Alive 2. These include higher damaging counters than in Dead or Alive 3, environmental hazards not warranting a knockout on a character, and a counter mechanism that is much harder to execute.
Despite being able to freely move on a 3D axis in the Ultimate version of Dead or Alive 2, most moves cannot be sidestepped as in Dead or Alive 3. Only a few moves, mostly jumps, are actually able to be avoided with a sidestep, such as Hitomi's back, forward + kick combo.
Another major change is in the revamped holding system in Dead or Alive 2. Formerly, holds were performed simply based on the three heights of high, mid, and low. In the Ultimate version however, mid-punches and mid-kicks have their own holds, requiring more thinking when using holds.
The final major set of changes instituted in Dead or Alive Ultimate is the inclusion of slopes, which are a type of environmental hazard where those knocked down them roll down the slope, taking damage as they fall. All of the characters also now have slope-based throws that are executed when they are near them instead of their normal throw.
|Raidou||1 Ultimate: Clear Arcade Mode with all characters with default settings|
|Bayman||2 Ultimate: Clear Story Mode with Leon on normal difficulty|
|Tengu||2 Ultimate: Clear Story Mode with all the characters|
|Hitomi||2 Ultimate: Have either a Dead or Alive 3 or Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball save file, then clear Story Mode with Ein on normal difficulty.|
- For more information: Dead or Alive Ultimate Original Sound Trax
While this game brings back the old mechanics of Dead or Alive 2 from the Dreamcast, some changes to the music and remixes were added; each character, except Hitomi, has their own remix which plays in the Ray House.
- See: /Production credits
Development and release
In 2004, after the release of Dead or Alive 3, Team Ninja once again remade Dead or Alive 2, this time for the Xbox system. In the planning stages, this new game was originally named Dead or Alive Online for its addition of online support. On January 14, it was renamed to Dead or Alive Ultimate and promised fresh content, additional characters and an upgraded version of the original Dead or Alive for the Sega Saturn. According to Tecmo, the name change was due to the opinion that "Ultimate would more accurately describe the feeling players feel upon experiences with the game".
In Japan, Dead or Alive Ultimate was released with a crystal-clear blue version of the Xbox system that included a controller of the same color, a copy of Dead or Alive Ultimate, and some bonus Kasumi-themed extras. In the United States, two trading cards with character pictures on them were randomly included in each game as part of a collector's edition. The game disc of the North American release also contains the Booster Pack for Dead or Alive 3, which adds numerous character costumes and a new opening cinematic for the game. This disc also included a G4-produced segment from their Icons series detailing the history of the Dead or Alive series, along with interviews featuring various people from the video game industry, including series creator Tomonobu Itagaki. A guide book titled Dead or Alive Ultimate: Prima Official Game Guide by Prima Games was release on November 4, 2004.
With the December 14, 2006, backward compatibility update for the Xbox 360, the Xbox release of Dead or Alive Ultimate can now be played on the Xbox 360. On November 10, 2021, Dead or Alive 1 Ultimate and Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate became available to download separately on Xbox Live worldwide. On November 15, 2021, Dead or Alive Ultimate became backwards compatible with the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.
In Japan, Dead or Alive Ultimate was released with a crystal-clear blue version of the Xbox system that included a controller of the same color, a copy of Dead or Alive Ultimate, and some bonus Kasumi-themed extras.
In the United States, two trading cards with character pictures on them were randomly included in each game as part of a collector's edition. The game disc of the U.S. release also contains the Booster Pack for Dead or Alive 3, which adds numerous character costumes and a new opening cinematic for the game. This disc also included a G4-produced segment on the history of the series that offered a video interview with series creator Tomonobu Itagaki.
Awards and Nominations
In 2005, Dead or Alive Ultimate was awarded "Fighting game of the year" at the National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards. The game was also nominated for "Best Fighting Game" at the GameSpot Game of the Year Awards.
- Command lists
- Dead or Alive Ultimate Original Sound Trax
- Fighting quotes
- Promotional artwork and wallpapers
- Dead or Alive Ultimate became the first Dead or Alive fighting game to be rated M, CERO 17+, and PEGI 16+ due to female characters with revealing outfits and the allusion of rape in the opening cutscene. In the whole series, it's the second game to received this rating; Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball received a mature rating first.
- Dead or Alive Ultimate was the first fighting game to be included in the World Cyber Games.
- This was the last Dead or Alive game to utilize a controller's pressure sensitive analog face buttons. On future systems' controllers, analog face buttons are replaced with digital ones that are non-pressure sensitive.