Dead or Alive Wiki

"Get back in one piece, people! Please."
—Irene in Dead or Alive Dimensions

Irene Lew, otherwise known as Aileen in the first Dead or Alive, and by the codename Sea Swallow, is a CIA agent and an ally of Ryu Hayabusa from the Ninja Gaiden series.

She is the main female lead in the original Ninja Gaiden trilogy for the NES, serving as Hayabusa's romantic interest and the series' damsel in distress. In the reimagining of the original NES series of Ninja Gaiden, Irene was first introduced in the 2008 title Ninja Gaiden II using the name "Sonia", before using her real name in Dead or Alive Dimensions, which marked her first visual appearence in the Dead or Alive series.


The Second Tournament[]

Assigned by the CIA to investigate the Dead or Alive Tournament Executive Committee, Irene encountered her partner Hayabusa after he departed from Lisa Hamilton's suite on the Freedom Survivor, with information on DOATEC Germany. After Hayabusa retrieved data and Kasumi from the research facility, Irene analyzed it and both are shocked to discover that DOATEC has resurrected Hayate from his comatose state.

Kasumi wanted to go find her brother, but Hayabusa stood against the idea and slapped Kasumi. Irene rebuked Hayabusa for hitting her, but when Kasumi left anyway, she was unable to stop Hayabusa from sending Ayane after her. While Hayabusa was knocking other fighters out of the competition, Irene infiltrated DOATEC and investigated further. After the tournament, she finally meets Hayate, fully recovered from his amnesiac state.

The Third Tournament[]

While investigating the tournament sponsers in DOATEC, Irene watched the fight between Hayabusa and Hayate with Ayane. She tried to talk Ayane into stopping the two men from having to use their Ninpo techniques on each other, but she was captured by the assassin Christie and was used as bait to lure Hayabusa away from the Tenjin Ninjas for Genra to get his hands on them. Hayabusa rescued Irene, but they were almost too late to stop Genra, prompting the Super Ninja to save them.

The Fourth Tournament[]

Backing the Mugen Tenshin Clan on their assault against DOATEC, Irene and the CIA assisted in the raid on DOATEC's facilities. She stated that the codename for the operation is "Sonia", and asked that the shinobi come back alive.

The Sixth Tournament[]

During the sixth tournament, Irene was responsible for transporting Hayabusa and Kasumi to M.I.S.T.'s lab shortly after the latter got an SOS message from her half-sister, Ayane. Although she wasn't sure about it due to the recklessness of charging the front gate, Hayabusa assured her that Hayate was already present and drawing fire, meaning security was reduced overall. After they reached the drop point, Irene then contacted her boss to inform them her mission was a success, with the implication being that she aided them so they could delay Phase 4's preparations.



Irene's appearence seems to have changed in Dead or Alive: Dimensions from Ninja Gaiden, to match the "anime-style" of Dead or Alive. Her eyes are now blue-green and larger in size, her face is rounder, her lips are now pink, and her hair is slightly short and more layered. She also wears a more casual outfit, as apposed to the CIA Agent dress in Ninja Gaiden, composing of a hot pink corset-like shirt, a green army jacket, ripped black tights, and tanned boots and mini-shirt. She is still pale-skinned, platinum blonde, and still sports her red tattoo, a belt with magazine holders, and cord necklaces, although the cores are now much shorter.


Irene is a headstrong and gutsy woman who is also gifted with a knack for espionage. She is highly skilled with firearms of many different kinds, from hand guns to RPGs. She is also very loving and affectionate to Ryu Hayabusa as well when he is around her. She is quite firm and serious when it comes to her jobs especially dealing with Ayane about Ryu's whereabouts as seen in NInja Gaiden.


Irene is from the name Greek Ειρηνη (Eirene), which derived from a word meaning "peace". This was the name of the Greek goddess who personified peace, and was one of the Horae.

The alias, Sonia is used in the many areas of the world including the West, Russia and India. In Hindi, the name means 'golden', derived from सोना (sonā) which means 'gold', which in turn comes from Sanskrit सुवर्ण (suvarṇa; su- means 'good' and varṇa means 'color'). Her codename "Sea Swallow" is another name of the Common Tern, a seabird.


Ryu Hayabusa[]

Her relationship with Hayabusa began in the original NES version of the series. As a CIA agent she was under orders to retrieve the twin Demon Statues, and afterwards fell in love with Hayabusa, ultimately running a curio shop together. In the rebooted version of the series, Irene and Hayabusa meet during the Demon Statue incident in Ninja Gaiden II, where the two of them started off as professional partners and grew closer with time. When Ryu defeated the demon god Vazdah the first time around, Irene ran up to hug him.

In Dead or Alive Dimensions, Hayate and Ayane suspect something is going on between the two, but Hayabusa and Irene seem to keep them guessing on what their relationship entails.

In Dead or Alive 6, she and Hayabusa were still close, with Irene even telling Hayabusa that charging in the front gate for M.I.S.T.'s lab was reckless, although he assured her that Hayate was acting as the distraction.


She was acquainted with Kasumi via Hayabusa, and told the latter off when he hit Kasumi when she tried to recklessly go after Hayate.

Two years later, Irene Lew transported both Hayabusa and Kasumi over to M.I.S.T.'s lab so they could drop in.


Dead or Alive series[]

Non-Dead or Alive appearances[]

Ninja Gaiden NES Trilogy[]

In the original Ninja Gaiden trilogy, Irene is an agent of a Secret Auxiliary Unit, working under the codename "Sea Swallow". However, she is shown to have quit that job and instead began working as a CIA analyst during the events of Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom.

At some point in the series, she marries Hayabusa and helps him run an antique shop in America.

Ninja Ryūkenden OVA[]

Voiced by Yumi Tōma, Irene appears in the Ninja Ryūkenden OVA where she is once again kidnapped, forcing Hayabusa to take up his sword to protect her.


Promotional renders
Promotional images
Ninja Gaiden series


  • Irene is mentioned in the first Dead or Alive, but only through Hayabusa's biography.
  • Yumi Toma who voices Irene Lew in the Ninja Gaiden OVA later went on to voice as Leifang in the Dead or Alive series.

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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 MisakiLunaFionaNagisaKannaMonicaSayuriPattyTsukushiLobeliaNanamiEliseKoharuAmyShandyYukinoShizukuReika
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
More information and archives
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Playable KasumiAyaneHayateEinRyu HayabusaHelena DouglasChristieLa MariposaHitomiBaymanKokoroJann LeeLeifangTina ArmstrongBass ArmstrongZackEliotGen FuBrad WongLeonRaidouGenraAlpha-152Kasumi αTengu
Secret character Shiden
Non-playable characters AnneAyameFame DouglasIrene LewLaurenMariaVictor Donovan
Guest characters RidleySamus Aran
Gameplay modes ChronicleArcadeSurvivalTag ChallengeFree PlayTrainingLocal PlayInternet PlayShowcase3D Photo AlbumFight RecordOptions
Gameplay terms AttacksBoss BattlesCharacter SelectComboCounter BlowCritical HitDanger ZoneHoldsKnocked OutMatchMove DataSide SteppingSpecial MovesStagesStancesTag ThrowsThrowsTriangle System
Plot subjects Dead or Alive World Combat ChampionshipDOATECExiled shinobiMugen Tenshin Ninja ClanNinpoProject AlphaProject EpsilonProject OmegaRunaway shinobiShinobiTorn Sky Blast
Martial arts Ba ji quanCombat SamboDrunken fistJeet Kune DoKarateLucha libreMuay ThaiNinjutsuPi gua quanPro-wrestlingSnake fistTai ji quanTengu-doXing yi quanXinyi liuhe quan
Other terms CreditsCutscenesEndingsFigurinesGenra (wine)System VoiceTournament Winners
Stages 999 MetersAzuchiDanger ZoneDojoEternal HelixFallen MiyamaFreedom SurvivorFrozen PeaksGenetic Biolab (Advanced) • Geothermal Power PlantHellfireKyoto in BloomLoreleiSacred MiyamaTaoWhitewater Valley
Non-playable locations Great OperaMugen Tenshin Village
Character themes "Alpha-152" • "Ayane's theme" • "Bass' theme" • "Blood Tie" • "Cracker" • "DEAD OR ALIVE" • "Gen Fu's theme" • "Hayabusa's theme" • "Jann Lee's theme" • "Jintsuriki" • "Karma" • "Kasumi's theme" • "Kasumi α's theme" • "Knifepoint" • "Leifang's theme" • "Monster" • "Moonlit Lady" • "Red Moon" • "Reincarnate" • "Shiden's theme" • "Successor" • "Tina's theme" • "Tribal Beats" • "Turn On The Lights" • "Vigaku" • "Zack's theme"
Chronicle Mode tracks "Brave Heart" • "The Broken Arrows" • "Dance Of The Angel" • "DOATEC" • "Ketsui no Toki" • "Look Ahead" • "Tengu-mai" • "Unbroken Chains"
Other tracks "D.O.A." • "Dimensions Training" • "Vs. Ridley" • "Wired"
Command listsCostumesDownloadable contentFighting quotesMerchandisePromotional artwork and wallpaperTag throws
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Playable KasumiAyaneHayateRyu HayabusaHelena DouglasChristieLa MariposaHitomiBaymanKokoroJann LeeLeifangTina ArmstrongBass ArmstrongZackEliotBrad WongRigMilaMomijiRachelMarie RosePhase 4NyotenguHonokaRaidouTamakiDiegoNiCO
Guests Mai ShiranuiKula Diamond
Gameplay modes StoryDOA QuestVersusArcadeTime AttackSurvivalTrainingOnlineDOA CentralTheaterMusicLibraryOptions
Gameplay terms AttacksBoss BattlesCharacter SelectComboCounter BlowCritical HitDanger ZoneGame OverHoldsKnocked OutMatchReplaySide SteppingSpecial MovesStagesStancesThrowsTriangle System
Plot subjects DOATECDead or Alive World Combat ChampionshipMugen Tenshin clanMISTNukeninProject AlphaShinobi
Martial arts AikidoBa ji quanCombat SamboHayabusa-style AikijutsuHonoka FuJeet Kune DoKarateLucha libreMixed martial artsMuay ThaiNinjutsuPencak SilatPi gua quanProfessional wrestlingSnake fistStreet FightingSystemaT'ai chi quanTaekwondoTengu-doXing yi quanXinyi liuhe quanZui quan
Other terms CabbageCreditsCutscenesEndingsGlassesSystem VoiceTournament WinnersThe King of Fighters series
Stages A.P.O.Chamber of PotentialChinese FestivalDOA ColosseumForbidden FortuneHidden GardenLost ParadiseMiyabiThe MuscleRoad RageSeaside EdenSweatThe ThrowdownUnforgettableZero
Dead or Alive 6 Soundtrack
Stage themes "Abandoned" • "the afterimage of KURENAI" • "the afterimage of SHIKKOKU" • "Can't Stop This Feeling" • "Co-Destruction" • "Cold Punishment" • "DEAD OR ALIVE" • "Fall into Infinity" • "Gotta Move On ~DEAD OR ALIVE 6 Remix~" • "The Great Sailing" • "Jintsuriki" • "THE MUSCLE" • "THE NAMELESS GO MAD" • "Orientronic" • "Virtue" • "with the Goddess" • "Zany Zapper" • "THE ZEN"
Story Mode tracks "Alone / Dissidents" • "Bloody Nocturne" • "Blazed up Melpomene" • "Drunk Jam Session" • "Free" • "Knifepoint" • "Machinations" • "Marie and Honoka" • "Oiran Drive" • "Our Little Secret" • "RAI-GEN-TAI-TEN" • "The Roar of the Crowd" • "YES or YES"
Other tracks "Act Of Universe" • "Circle" • "Conditioning" • "Deep Impact" • "Dimensions Training" • "D.O.A." • "Excelsior" • "FACE" • "Evolution" • "Have a Break!" • "Headliners" • "Ignition" • "Intersection" • "The New Century" • "Ontology" • "Physical System" • "Result" • "Showdown" • "Transcendence" • "ULTIMATE" • "Urges" • "X-ray" • "Zero Hour"
DLC tracks "the afterimage ~club mix~" • "Baby Dry Your Eyes" • "Boogie Circuit" • "Coconut Groove" • "Empty" • "FACE ~club mix~" • "Hold My Lovin'" • "Honey" • "In The Sunset" • "Let's Go Together" • "Like the Blue Sky" • "Playa Del Sol" • "Tropical Beat" • "Violet Eyed Beauty" • "with the Goddess ~club mix~"
Optional character themes
Dead or Alive "AYA" • "Blade of "RYU"" • "Code Name "BAYMAN"" • "Concentration" • "DEAD OR ALIVE" • "The Fist of TAIKYOKU Blows up" • "Heated Heartbeat" • "Ketsui no Toki" • "Kokou no Kenshi" • "Megadeath" • "No Money" • "Power is Beauty ~more beautiful mix~" • "Superstar"
Dead or Alive 2 "B-boy no "B"" • "Blazed up Melpomene" • "Grand Style" • "Hitohira" • "Natural High" • "Tehu Tehu" • "The Shooted" • "YES or YES" • "You Are Under My Control"
Dead or Alive 3 "Blood Tie" • "Cracker" • "Eternity" • "I don't believe it!" • "It's to Show" • "Knifepoint" • "Look Ahead" • "Mayflower" • "Monster" • "Power Shovel" • "Prismatic Butterfly" • "Reincarnate" • "Trip" • "True Beauty"
Dead or Alive 4 "Drunk Wolf" • "Fang" • "Flowerbed" • "Hunter's Moon" • "I Feel For You" • "Moonlit Lady" • "Purity" • "Russian Roulette" • "Serpent Dance" • "Solitary Desperation" • "Steel Horse Rider" • "Serpent Dance" • "Shade" • "Successor" • "Tribal Beats" • "Turn On The Lights" • "The Wind is Howling" • "Zany Zapper"
Dead or Alive 5 "Bloody Nocturne" • "Dead or Alive Reboot" • "El Diablo ~DOA5 Ultimate mix~" • "Fuga ~DOA5 Ultimate mix~" • "Machinations" • "Oiran Drive" • "Our Little Secret" • "The Roar of the Crowd" • "Sacred Flower"
Dead or Alive 6 "Icicle"
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