- "You have women fight for you? Coward! You won't leave here alive!"
- —Raidou to Hayate in Dead or Alive 6
Raidou was a nukenin ("missing shinobi") from the Mugen Tenshin clan, and one of the recurring secondary antagonists of the Dead or Alive series alongside Alpha-152. Raidou is the final boss of the first Dead or Alive. He was the older brother of Shiden, brother-in-law of Ayame, the father of Honoka, and Ayane, and the uncle of Hayate and Kasumi.
A power-hungry warrior, he raped his sister-in-law Ayame, resulting in her giving birth to Ayane. He was killed by Kasumi during the first Dead or Alive Tournament in revenge for Hayate's supposed death. After Raidou's death, Donovan recovered his corpse and ordered NiCO to revive him as a cyborg, christened New Raidou in Dead or Alive 6. However, he was eventually destroyed by the combined effort of Ayane, Kasumi, and Hayate, leaving no trace of him behind.
Raidou was born as the eldest son to the main family of the Mugen Tenshin clan. He was praised at one time for his natural talent for the arts of the Tenjinmon style of Mugen Tenshin ninjutsu. His father, Burai, was the 16th master ninja of the clan at the time.
As Raidou's training intensified, Burai became uneasy with his eldest child. While Raidou's younger brother Shiden took the clan's principles as his own, Raidou's fighting style was only suited to murder his opponent. As the years went by into adulthood, Raidou critically injured every sparring partner he had with no remorse or restraint. Some of them wound up dead, causing Burai to regret ever teaching him the highest skills of the Tenjinmon's teachings. Sensing great darkness within Raidou, he feared that the path Raidou walked would lead the clan to its destruction. He thus gave the title of chief ninja to Shiden and taught him the technique given once a generation from one clan chief to the next.
Raidou felt betrayed by his father, and never spoke to him for a time. When Burai came to see him, Raidou let out a sinister laugh as his lips curled into a deformed smile. Crimson lightning made from his own evil Ki rode up and down his body as he left the Tenjinmon house. He hid his presence from the villagers as he departed, no longer a human to the clan, but a demon.
The Birth of a Demon
After leaving the clan, Raidou developed his uncanny ability to copy the skills and techniques of every warrior he had encountered. With it, he traveled and "stole" various techniques from various fighters, soon surpassing many other fighters.
At some point after he left the village, Raidou had a daughter who would become known as Honoka and share his ability to copy martial arts styles. Nothing is known of Honoka's mother, however, and Raidou does not seem to have played any role in raising Honoka. A few months after Honoka's conception, Raidou returned to the Mugen Tenshin clan for the sole purpose of raping his sister-in-law. Easily able to overpower Ayame, this vicious crime results in the conception and birth of Ayane, his second known daughter.
The "Murder" of Hayate
About sixteen years later, Raidou returned to the village once more, launching an assault in order to gain the clan's special technique: the Torn Sky Blast. Easily overpowering Ayane and Hayate at normal hand-to-hand combat, Hayate tried to use the Torn Sky Blast against him, despite Ayane's pleas against it. Raidou succeeded in copying the technique from Hayate, and after a short "energy duel", Raidou overpowered Hayate with it, making him crash into a tree and crippling his spine, making him slip into a coma.
One month after injuring Hayate and gaining the Torn Sky Blast, Raidou continued to travel the world, defeating fighters and stealing techniques; it is not known if he officially entered the Dead or Alive Tournament, but he could have in order to steal techniques from the greatest fighters in the world. He also acted as the bodyguard for Fame Douglas during this time (while avoiding stating his role in attacking the Mugen Tenshin village), and even attempted to protect the latter from Bayman, although he ultimately failed.
Eventually, he was found by Kasumi, who had been looking for the person who crippled her brother, and was seemingly killed by her with the help of Ryu Hayabusa, where he was hit by the Torn Sky Blast and impacted explosive containers.
Following his death at the hands of Kasumi, what was left of his body was soon found by Victor Donovan. He was reassembled and outfitted with cybernetic parts by a new female scientist named NiCO. Under an early stage of mechanization, most of Raidou's memories were erased, leaving only his desire for power and destruction, and most of all, revenge against Mugen Tenshin and other ninja clans who sided with his former clan, such as the Hayabusa clan. In order for Raidou’s condition to reach the final stage, his illegitimate daughters Honoka and Ayane are targeted by Donovan's organization, MIST. Eventually, however, he is destroyed by the combined efforts of Ayane, Kasumi, and Hayate, leaving no trace of him behind at last.
Aside from Raidou himself, MIST also utilized a purely robotic look-alike against Hayate as well as Kasumi and Ryu Hayabusa.
- See also: Raidou's costumes
Raidou is a broad, well-built man with defined muscles, a squared jaw, and tanned skin. His hair has grayed, and his hairline is receding due to old age, but it's long enough to be pulled back into a ponytail. He also possesses facial hair shaped into sideburns, meeting into a mustache, leaving the chin bare. His clothing tends to be frayed and torn, possibly due to damage in fights or from living in rough conditions.
Despite being human, Raidou has had a more demonic appearance at times, as seen in Dead or Alive and Dead or Alive Dimensions: his skin and hair become much darker, and his eyes gain a red glow. In Dimensions, he also becomes clouded in red energy. It's unclear why this transformation occurs, but it may be due to the uncontrollable amount of power he gains, turning him into an inhuman creature. It is also possible that his craving for power was so immense that he was willing to subject himself to the DOATEC scientist, Victor Donovan's Superhuman experimentation.
After being turned into a cyborg by NiCO (at the request of Donovan), Raidou's right eye and arm are now completely robotic, the eye exuding a crimson glow. He has lost a significant portion of his hair due to having the eye grafted onto his face. Due to being dead for two years, his skin has decayed into a sickly shade of grey, and his left eye has whitened so that the pupil is no longer visible.
Raidou has an insatiable lust for power, as well as the overwhelming desire to control everything. He wants to be able to control all forms of martial arts techniques; be they physical, mental, or mystical. His desire is to be the strongest fighter, thus being able to dominate anyone and everyone, and remake the concept of martial arts into his own image. In addition to his desire for control, Raidou is obsessed with finding and gathering techniques of mystical power and adding them to his repertoire. This includes a wide variety of ninja techniques as well as other martial arts.
Finally, Raidou's desire for power and his megalomania have made him into a brutal sadist. He laughs at and mocks the Mugen Tenshin ninja as he dominates them during his theft of the Torn Sky Blast. He enjoys manipulating others and likes the idea of being able to control a person's every move. By crushing the spirit and will of those weaker than himself, his mastery is confirmed.
Raidou is also shown to hold sexist attitudes, mocking Hayate more than once for having women fight alongside him. He called him a weakling for having women protect him, suggesting he saw them as inferior to men.
Despite losing all of his memories upon being revived as a cyborg, Raidou's insatiable lust for power, death and revenge remains intact. Upon being fully revived with the unwilling help of his daughters Ayane and Honoka, however, he is implied to have regained his memories, and even indicates he was planning on returning from the grave beforehand.
Raidou's name in kanji (雷道), means "thunder path" or "thunder way".
According to Tom Lee around the time of Raidou's return in Last Round, Raidou was brought back to fulfill the Western audiences' desires for more males (while the other newcomer to appear in the game, Honoka, was focused more on the Japanese audiences).
Raidou and Shiden were always competing with each other during the reign of their father Burai, the 16th master of the Mugen Tenshin clan. Because of his unstable rage, he was seen as unfit to lead the clan, the honor instead going to Shiden, and Raidou has hated his brother ever since. Their daughters Ayane and Kasumi would also have a rivalry similar to theirs, however, Ayane and Kasumi would be on friendlier terms while Raidou's decisions and actions would eventually lead to his demise.
Raidou always had a lustful eye on Ayame, Shiden's wife. He wanted to make her his, but she loved Shiden and that infuriated him further. So he caught her off guard during a stormy night and raped her. This atrocity lead to Ayame having a deep hatred towards him ever since.
Biologically, they are father and daughter, with Raidou being aware of this. But Raidou has no qualms about hurting Ayane in any way, although in the first game if he defeats her, he does ask if she hated him. To Ayane, Raidou is a disgrace to her, their clan, and all she stands for, even going so far as to infer when told by Raidou about their relationship that he's been dead a long time ago to her. When he left Hayate in a half-dead state, she swore vengeance on him.
Two years later, because Ayane had similar energy to that of Raidou, she alongside Honoka (who shared the same father as her) were forced by NiCO to revive him. Raidou then fought Ayane, as well as Hayate and Kasumi, and the three managed to defeat Raidou for good.
Hayate was the next heir to the Mugen Tenshin leadership, but Raidou saw him as weak and unfit to be the Master. He returned from exile and attacked the village during a stormy night, hoping to steal the Torn Sky Blast from Hayate, a skill passed from one clan master to the next. He mocked Hayate for allowing Ayane to protect him, challenging him and beating him easily, leaving the shinobi of the wind comatose.
Two years later, a revived Raidou fought Hayate, as well as Ayane and Kasumi, with Raidou again calling Hayate out for having women accompanying him in a fight. Unlike last time, Hayate and the others managed to successfully defeat Raidou for good.
Raidou hates all of Shiden's offspring, so he did everything he could in the tournament to kill her. But thanks to help from the Dragon Ninja, Ryu Hayabusa, Kasumi, filled with anger and rage over what Raidou did to Hayate, killed him using the very ninpo he stole from their clan.
Two years later, a revived Raidou fought Kasumi, as well as Ayane and Hayate, and ultimately was defeated for good by the three.
Because Ryu Hayabusa helped Kasumi in her fight against Raidou, he despises the shinobi and much like the other Mugen Tenshin Ninjas including Kasumi, he is considered an obstacle by Raidou to achieve his goals.
During the events of the first Dead or Alive Combat Championship Tournament, Raidou served as a bodyguard for Fame Douglas. This professional relationship is further shown when Raidou sensed Bayman's murderous intent and stepped in front of Fame to keep him safe. He knows nothing of Raidou's attack on the Mugen Tenshin Village, so it can be implied that Raidou acted on his own.
After Raidou's demise at Kasumi's hands in the first tournament aftermath, Donovan found Raidou's body and worked for two years in order to bring Raidou back to life. Donovan succeeded in doing so by enlisting the services of NiCO and transforming Raidou into a powerful ninja cyborg. Now Raidou is a secret agent working for Donovan as a debt for resurrecting him.
Honoka shares a mysterious connection with Raidou. Both have the ability to copy moves from other fighters merely from sight. They also both have a mysterious red misty energy. She seemingly recognized him in their tag team victory pose but didn't know from where. Before a tag fight, however, she says that she's "kinda scared" while conveying body language that indicated she was uncomfortable.
In Dead or Alive 6, it is revealed that Honoka is indeed Raidou's daughter, and she is targeted by MIST to aid in an experiment to revive him.
NiCO is the one directly responsible for resurrecting Raidou as a cyborg henchman of MIST. She also indicates that he was merely the prototype stage when asked by Christie.
- See also: Raidou's command lists
Raidou's fighting style consists of copied attacks from other characters. His repertoire makes him a very effective character, with attacks such as the Triple Strike (Kasumi), the Zansui (Gen Fu), and the Ti Kau Tron (Zack). Additionally, the command list is simplistic, and his execution time is above-average. However, Raidou's weakness is that of the other Dead or Alive ninjas; he does not excel in any one area of gameplay.
In Dead or Alive Dimensions and Dead or Alive 5 Last Round, Raidou's command list is substantially altered. He is slightly more unique, with some of his own moves as well as attacks copied from other characters like Bass Armstrong and Gen Fu. He is generally a very powerful character, but also extremely difficult to use due to his slow speed and the awkward execution commands of his most important moves. Saifu-Sho is essential to executing his longest and most damaging combos, but takes a bit more practice to pull off consistently. Together with his powerful launchers, however, it allows him to keep opponents (particularly lightweight ones) airborne for longer and deal maximum damage. He is also capable of using the Torn Sky Blast, making him one of the few characters with access to a ranged attack. The command for this move is mercifully simple, but the move itself is very slow and can be easily sidestepped. His throws and offensive holds are very damaging, but his most powerful ones are extremely tricky to pull off, with his unbreakable Tenho-Gorai-Sho (Underworld Drop) almost on par with Hayate's Raijin (although it is more damaging, doing 85 base damage) and his two-part offensive hold doing 80 base damage and being similarly difficult.
As a final boss of Dead or Alive 6, the boss version of Raidou has an Infinite Break Gauge and can cast a shadow to hide from his opponent for few seconds.
The following are Raidou's official stats as listed in the games.
|Dead or Alive 5 Last Round||4/5||4/5||4/5||5/5||2/5||5/5|
Raidou is an unlockable character in all versions of Dead or Alive and Dead or Alive Dimensions. To unlock him:
- Sega Saturn and Dead or Alive 1 Ultimate: Complete Arcade Mode with all the characters with all the default settings.
- PlayStation: Complete Tournament Mode with all the characters with all the default settings.
- Dead or Alive ++: Complete Tournament mode with Kasumi and enter "SIAWASE?" at the name entry screen.
- Dead or Alive Dimensions: Complete Tag Challenge Mission 20.
Dead or Alive series
- Dead or Alive (arcade) (non-playable, 1996)
- Dead or Alive (Sega Saturn and PlayStation) (unlockable, 1997-98)
- Dead or Alive ++ (unlockable, 1998)
- Dead or Alive 1 Ultimate (unlockable, 2004-05)
- Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate (non-playable, 2004-05)
- Dead or Alive Dimensions (playable, 2011)
- Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (playable, 2015)
- Dead or Alive 6 (playable, 2019)
- Dead or Alive/Dead or Alive 1 Ultimate
- Dead or Alive Dimensions
- Dead or Alive 5 Last Round
- Dead or Alive 6
The following are the music themes used for Raidou throughout the series.
Note that the Dead or Alive ++ remix does not have an official name.
|"DEAD OR ALIVE"||Dead or Alive (arcade, 1996)|
Dead or Alive (Sega Saturn and PlayStation, 1997-98; Arcade/Tournament Mode)
Dead or Alive 1 Ultimate (Arcade Mode)
Dead or Alive Dimensions
Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (optional theme)
Dead or Alive 6 (optional theme)
|"Raidou's theme"||Dead or Alive ++ (unused)|
|"Ketsui no Toki"||Dead or Alive Dimensions (Chronicle Mode: Chapter 1)|
|"Dead or Alive Reboot"||Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (default theme)|
Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate Arcade
Dead or Alive 6 (optional theme)
- See: Raidou gallery
- For the original Dead or Alive, Raidou was originally supposed to be named Hong Dee (フォン・ディー Fon Dī) and he was to be a Chinese taiji quan practitioner.
- In a first Dead or Alive concept art showing Gen Fu playing shogi with Kasumi and Raidou, it shows Raidou with white sclera and black pupils instead of his normal red, glowing sclera.
- Raidou has had differing ages, ranging between 50 and 48 years in the first Dead or Alive, and then being 46 in Dimensions, before being labeled as secret in Last Round.
- Raidou's appearance in Dead or Alive 5 Last Round can be considered non-canon as he is not formally shown being revived until Dead or Alive 6.
- Although he does not make a physical appearance in Warrior All-Stars, he and his possible connection to Honoka was alluded to in the bonding scenes between Kasumi and Honoka, as well as the Kasumi/Honoka recruitment dialogue. In particular, Kasumi decided to keep an eye on Honoka due to her sharing similar powers to Raidou. Later Kasumi asks Honoka who her father was, with Honoka admitting she never knew her father.
- It's implied that Ayane and Honoka's unusual features (having red eyes and unusual hair colors such as purple and salmon pink, respectively), as well as their abilities, were the result of genetic mutations caused by being conceived after Raidou lost most of his human traits.
- Raidou is one of two characters to appear as the final boss in two main games’ storylines, the other being Alpha-152.