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Knocked Out, also known as Knock Out, K.O., or KO'd, is a common phrase and state/condition used in video games. In Dead or Alive, a character is KO'd and thus loses the round when their health bar is exhausted, or if they have less health than their opponent when the timer runs out. Sometimes after KO, a countdown starts and can lead to Game Over if the player does not restart the match again.
It should be noted that in Dead or Alive, being KO'd does not mean that the character has been killed or literally knocked out; they are still visibly breathing, are able to talk and even move a little depending on how they land on the ground (see below).
While in the majority of DOA games an opponent can continue to be hit after they are KO'd (especially if the KO attack did not knock them over), in Dead or Alive 5 certain actions, such as a Power Blow KO, fixes the fighters in slow motion. This prevents any further attacks from taking place. Post-KO attacks have no additional consequence, merely serving as a visual flourish. Since Dead or Alive 4, fighters react realistically to attacks when knocked out, e.g. grabbing their stomachs in pain or shaking their heads. After a while, they'll actually stop moving all together, but this is most noticeable in Dead or Alive 5.
In Dead or Alive 6, characters can generally no longer be continuously hit after a KO, for unknown reasons, although it is still possible in survival mode, especially in older versions of the game where players could continuously hit the opponent and even "taunt" afterwards to prolong the opponent writhing on the ground before becoming unconscious.
Actions when on the ground (Dead or Alive 4 onwards)
- If a character is lying face up; they briefly shake their heads as if dizzy. If no further attacks are inflicted, they will turn onto their stomachs.
- If a character is lying on their stomach; they use their hands to prop up their upper body. They will shake their heads dizzily, and then slowly slump to the ground.
- If a character is hit with a hard high punch or kick, or with an otherwise very painful hit, they will begin squirming backwards in pain, while shaking their heads. They will eventually settle down, while turning to their side.
- If a character is hit with certain low attacks or hard-hitting blows that hit their legs, they will turn to the side, grasping the injured area, before collapsing to the ground.
- If a character is hit with a strong attack to their stomach, they will slowly slide forward while grabbing their stomachs in pain, before slumping to the ground, propping themselves up with their arms and shaking their heads dizzily.
- If a character is knocked out against a wall, they will sit on the ground slumped against the wall.
- If a character is hit with a low strike while laying on the ground, depending on where they are hit they will roll over in pain and lay on their side, or grab their stomach and writhe in pain for a moment.