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Video Game / Dead or Alive

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Get ready, fight!

(Scene: Two Gamers on a Couch.)
Gamer 1: (nervous, interrupted by gameplay footage) Well, I - I only play it for the fighting. I appreciate the expansive... multi-tier environments, the 16 characters with the... the pixel shaded bump-mapping... (Gamer 2 giggles.) and the rich plot development. Seriously, why else would I play it? (Beat)
Gamer 2: She kicks high.
(Scene of Kasumi high-kicking an opponent.)
-Dead or Alive 3 "She Kicks High" commercial

A big, bouncy 3D Fighting Game franchise akin to Tekken and Virtua Fighter. Even though the male fighters (initially) outnumber the female fighters by a slim margin, it's the women who are the real stars of the show.

The actual story is about the dealings of the sinister DOATEC corporation, who hold the Dead or Alive tournament as a front to finance the genetic research in creating the ultimate fighter. A runaway ninja named Kasumi gets tangled in the struggle, using the tournament as a means of escape and to look for her lost brother Hayate, and take revenge on her traitorous uncle, Raidou. Other characters enter the tournament for their own personal reasons, but all get sucked into DOATEC's larger scheme. Ayane, who is also looking for Hayate, is required to kill her half-sister Kasumi (as desertion from a ninja clan is punishable by death); Ryu Hayabusa (remember him?) is looking for him as well; Hayate is trying to recover the memories he lost after being experimented on by DOATEC; Zack's just doing it for the money; and it builds steam from there. Later on, the story shifts towards Helena Douglas, who is the daughter of the original leader of DOATEC, Fame Douglas, and the current heiress to the DOATEC chair. She plays a key role in the scheme of the real villain, Victor Donovan, who secretly aspires to control DOATEC from the shadows.


Of course, nobody plays the game for that. They play the game for... well, another reason.

Despite the vast quantities of Jiggle Physics, the game actually has a great deal of independent merit of its own, being much more fast-paced and kinetic than the 3D fighters that it competes with while remaining technical and reasonably well-balanced. It's generally considered in the top-tier of 3D fighting games, along with Virtua Fighter, Tekken and the Soul series.

After the fights, the women tend to get together and play beach volleyball in a spinoff series called "Dead or Alive: Xtreme". Starting from Xtreme 2, there are also other activities like jet skiing in addition to the volleyball component.

Though sometimes shortened to DOA, not at all to be confused with the Film Noir D.O.A. (which is quite lacking in mostly visible breasts in comparison). Additional things that this should not be confused with can be found on Dead or Alive. For the viewer's inconvenience, the 2006 film adaptation of the games is titled DOA: Dead or Alive, instead. Also, the franchise should never be confused with the '80s group of the same name, who performed the memelicious "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)".


Main Series (Fighting Games):

  • Dead or Alive (1996 - Arcade, Sega Saturn, PlayStation [Remake])
    • Dead or Alive++ (1998 - Arcade)
  • Dead or Alive 2 (1999 - Arcade), (2000 - Dreamcast, PlayStation 2)
    • Dead or Alive 2 Millennium (2000 - Arcade)
    • Dead or Alive 2: Limited Edition (2000 - Dreamcast [Japan-only])
    • DOA2: Hardcore (2000 - PlayStation 2)
  • Dead or Alive 3 (2001 - Xbox)
  • Dead or Alive: Ultimate (2004 - Xbox) (double-pack of Dead or Alive and a remake of Dead or Alive 2)
  • Dead or Alive 4 (2005 - Xbox 360)
  • Dead or Alive: Dimensions (2011 - Nintendo 3DS)
  • Dead or Alive 5 (2012 - PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
    • Dead or Alive 5+ (2013 - PlayStation Vita)
    • Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate (2013 - PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
    • Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate: Arcade (2013)
    • Dead or Alive 5: Last Round (2015 - PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
    • Dead or Alive 5: Infinite (2017 - Android)
  • Dead or Alive 6 (2019 - PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)

Xtreme Sub-series

  • Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball (2003 - Xbox)
  • Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 (2006 - Xbox 360)
  • Dead or Alive Paradise (2010 - PlayStation Portable)
  • Dead or Alive Xtreme 3: Fortune (2016 - PlayStation 4) (Asia only)
    • Dead or Alive Xtreme 3: Venus (2016 - PlayStation Vita) (Asia only)
    • Dead or Alive Xtreme 3: Scarlet (2019 - PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch)
  • Dead or Alive Xtreme: Venus Vacation (2017 - PC)

Get ready, tropes!

  • Achievement Mockery: Dead or Alive 4 has the "20 Straight Losses in DOA Online" achievement. As you can guess, it requires you to lose 20 times in a row in online matches.
  • Advertising Campaigns:
  • Age-Inappropriate Dress: Every game before 5 had this. You could beat teenage girls in skimpy clothes to unconsciousness, and most of the prone KO states would have all their panties exposed. ( In 5, you need to move the camera yourself to see their panties in the defeat animations.)
  • All Just a Dream:
    • Kasumi's Dead or Alive 4 ending, where she dreams of being a mermaid.
    • The opening of Bass' story chapter in 5 has him riding down the road on his Cool Bike, then there's an explosion on the oil rig he works on.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The PlayStation version of the original Dead or Alive contained nothing resembling a story. Not in the game, anyway. The backstory is told through rather tiny text written on the outer edges of the pages over the course of the entire instruction manual insert in the jewel case.
    • The second game isn't much of an improvement; while there are now cutscenes between the fighting, they're incredibly short and only provide the bare minimum of the plot. Kasumi's story mode is particularly egregious: Something about a Kasumi clone, Hayabusa wants her to stop her mission, Ayane wants to eliminate her, Kasumi thinks Hayate is her brother... all rather perplexing if you just go by what the game presents you with.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: vs. Omega/Genra.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: In the story mode for Dimensions, the first four chapters go over the events of the series from the point of view of the ninja characters. The fifth and final chapter re-tells the events from the second game on from Helena's perspective.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: A staple in the series. Xtreme is slightly different in that you get money from completing various objectives (winning in volleyball; completing the pool hopping game; etc.), which you can then use to buy a swimsuit of your choice.
  • Anime Chinese Girl:
    • Lei Fang.
    • Pai Chan as well in Dead or Alive 5.
  • Anti-Hero: Ayane and Bayman.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: In Dimensions, we see 4 examples of this in the Chronicle mode cinematics. Considering this is a fighting game, the way the victims recoil in response looks kind of weird.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Jann Lee, for whom fighting was a way to escape the miserable circumstances he grew up in. Sometimes it seems the only way to gain his respect is to beat him in a fight.
  • Art Evolution: In every game thanks to improving hardware, but Dead or Alive 6 takes the cake for now, with a brand-new engine that can display even more realistic details then what was possible before.
    • The “Soft Engine” that Team Ninja debuted on the PS4/One version for DOA5 Last Round (sadly not the same for PC), not only made the girls have a new type of jiggle physics but also made their models noticeably curvier, comparing Ayane’s base model from Last Round to her model in Xtreme 3, one can see the difference right away.
  • Artistic Age: Exploited; the localized games refuses to give away the ages of the characters who were minors: Kasumi, Ayane, Kokoro and Eliot. For the girls, this was due to the fact that they're exploited to extreme cases of Ms. Fanservice by wearing revealing to downright fetish clothing, and due to Values Dissonance in the West, it wouldn't stick well for 16-17 year olds to be seen this way. Done away with in 5, which explicitly takes place two years after Dead or Alive 4, so everyone is now 18 or older (although the game doesn't state the ages of the characters anymore). See the character pages for details.
    • In an interview, Tomonobu Itagaki explained that, while in the West it's seen acceptable in media to sexualize women from 18-20 years old, in Japan it's acceptable from 16-18 years old. However, for a lot of people, that explanation didn't cut it. For some, it made things even worse.
    • Played straight with Helena, Christie, Tina and Lisa. With their rather mature looks and personalities, you’d think they’d be in their late 30s… but they’re all only in their 20s, with the “youngest” being Helena at 23 and Christie being the “oldest” at 26 (this also makes her the oldest female character in the series, not counting Nyotengu). Rachel could also be included here, but since her age is unknown, there is a possibility that she’s probably as old as she looks.
  • Badass Back:
    • Ayane has a whole set of moves based on this, Kokoro has this as well.
    • Brad Wong also has quite a few backward attacks as well. Then again, it's all part of the Drunken Master style of fighting.
  • Badass Normal: Regular old teenagers who fight for fun can hold their own against ninjas, mystical superpowered beings and a genetically altered interdimensional clone of one of aforementioned ninjas.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Both played straight and averted with the female fighters, depending on the game.
  • Barely-There Swimwear: Numerous examples in the Xtreme series, with the greatest example being the Venus swimsuit, which is basically some string and some gemstones.
  • Battle Butler: Christie, to Helena in 3.
  • Battle in the Rain: It's always raining on the Burai Zenin stage in DOA2U.
  • Beach Episode: The Xtreme subseries is one big Beach Episode. Fanservice is cranked Up to 11 here. There are no men to be seen (except Zack, and 3 even goes as far to maximally restrict him as well), swimsuits are everything and the bouncing volleyballs are the main attraction....
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Played straight in the first four titles, but averted in Dead or Alive 5, where everyone becomes relatively dirty and grimy by the time the fight's over and stays that way for the rest of the match; of course, the player can turn that detail off in the options.
  • Between My Legs: Christie's ending in Dead or Alive 4.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Gen Fu is really a sweet old man. But if you cross him, watch out.
    • The same goes for Kasumi, Kokoro and Eliot.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Zack in Helena's Dead or Alive 4 ending.
    • Ryu in Dimensions during Kasumi vs. Kasumi Alpha and Ayane & Hayate vs. Omega.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Characters give and take some pretty severe beatings with nothing to show for it. Unsurprising, given the aim. This is eventually averted in DOA6, where the characters do bleed when taking hits to the face.
  • Body Horror: The series isn't sold on it like some other fighting games, but a lot of the attacks do result in grotesque, unnatural, and violent angles for body parts to end up in. Take the leg and ankle of NiCO here. If her leg and ankle bent like that in real life, her knee and ankle would be hanging on by a thread inside. There's a very real possibility she'd need an amputation from the knee down, or at least heavy reconstructive surgery.
  • Boobs of Steel:
    • Even by Dead or Alive standards, Tina's boobs are huge and she's also physically the strongest girl in the game.
    • DOA 5 Ultimate gives us Rachel, who's not only strong canon-wise, but is also arguably one of the best characters in the game.
    • Last Round brings a new champion with Honoka, who not only has the biggest chest in the cast, but her fight style is very based on physical strength, despite her slender figure.
  • Boss Rush: Arcade course 6 in Dimensions plays like one of these, culminating with a battle against a Secret Character on a Secret Stage.
  • Bowdlerization: In Dimensions, Ayame's flashback to being raped by Raidou doesn't have the sideboob shot that originally appeared in the Dead or Alive 2: Ultimate intro movie.
  • Brainwashed:
    • Ein, who after being dumped by the villains is revealed to be Hayate, Kasumi's brother, Ayane's half-brother, Shiden's and Ayame's son.
    • Genra in Dead or Alive 3. Though Dimensions revealed he was just evil.
    • Ayane in Dimensions.
  • Brawn Hilda: Spartan-458.
  • Breakout Character:
    • Ryu Hayabusa, who at the time of the original Dead or Alive, was a mere classic character that hadn't been seen for years; simply put, a Guest Fighter for old timers. Come the revival of the Ninja Gaiden series in 2004, Ryu's popularity soared. This success would be passed (or give it back) to Dead or Alive itself. Now, Ryu is heavily integrated to the plot, to the point of arguably being a main character himself.
      • With heavy inclusion of Ayane on the Ninja Gaiden side in return.
    • Both Marie and Honoka rapidly soared in popularity polls after their introduction, eventually resulting in the duo replacing Kasumi and Ayane on the cover art for both versions of DOAX3 — a feat previously unmanaged by any other character. Honoka is later revealed in Dead or Alive 6 to be Ayane's half-sister and Kasumi's cousin.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: For a given value of victory. Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 has you unlock clothing for the girls while you play it which serves no other function in order to make the already fanservicy sandbox-game more fanservicy. Too lazy to work for your fap? You can buy a girl's complete set using real-world money. Oh, and all of this only lasts until you reset the game's save slot, of which it only has one. So restarting the game on that particular account meant having blown your cash for nothing.
  • Briefs Boasting: Even some of the less boastful characters wear extremely small underwear. The fifth game is even an Image Source.
  • Bruce Lee Clone:
    • Jann Lee. Considering Jann is an Ascended Fanboy of Lee, it makes perfect sense.
    • Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate adds another who doesn't look like Bruce Lee: Jacky Bryant from Virtua Fighter.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Hitomi is Japanese with a German father; Kokoro is the child of DOA sponsor Fame Douglas and a Japanese geisha.
  • Cain and Abel: Ayane has to kill her sister Kasumi because of her clan's code which Kasumi broke. Raidou has also tried to murder his brother Shiden.
  • Canon Immigrant:
    • Spartan-458, who was somehow allowed into the Dead or Alive canon via Applied Phlebotinum Time Travel. Also notable in that she was not only the first female Spartan to be depicted in a video game, but the first Spartan ever seen on the Xbox 360 (Halo 3 was released a year later). Unusually, she's never actually appeared in any canon Halo media; she was specifically created for Dead or Alive 4.
    • Rio of Rio -Rainbow Gate!- was added to Dead or Alive Paradise as both a dealer in the casino and a unlockable character. She originated as the mascot of the Super Blackjack series of Pachi-slo games (a slot machine designed to bypass Japanese laws against gambling). Also, Tecmo co-developed the Super Blackjack series with pachi-slo maker Net.
    • Irene Lew from Ninja Gaiden finally made her long awaited, but sadly non-playable, appearance in 'Dimensions'.
    • Similar to Ryu's crossover, Momiji from Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword and Rachel from Ninja Gaiden enter the fray with Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate as canonical characters.
  • Cat Fight: A huge draw of the series is to get attractive girls to brutally beat each other to unconsciousness, all while exposing as much skin and panties as possible.
  • Ceiling Smash: Certain characters can throw characters into the ceiling in certain stages. Also in the fifth game any character can do this via power launcher again depending on the stage.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Pretty much the entire cast seeing as how they can take on Ninja Gaiden tier super ninjas. Jann Lee gets special mention for punching out a T-Rex onscreen.
  • Cherry Blossoms: Kasumi's motif.
  • Chick Magnet: Zack, who buys an island that sets the tone for the Xtreme side-series. Why does he do it? Because he can. One case is justified because at the end of 4 he saves Helena, who transferred her win in the tournament to him.
  • Combo Breaker: There are holds, which can be performed in most stuns from DOA2 onwards. Using the correct hold will usually reward you with damage and a knockdown, depending on the character, and timing the hold correctly will grant more damage. Cue lots of hold spamming during stun. Although, if the attacker thinks the opponent will hold, they can stop their combo and use a throw, which will do 150% damage to a holding opponent. Against some characters, that's over half your health gone.
  • Combos: Juggle combos are present but on the ground, you need to be a little more wary than most fighting games due to Holds that can be done during a string of attacks.
  • Comic-Book Time: For the first four games. As of 5, the cast has all officially aged two years.
  • Confusion Fu: Brad Wong.
  • Contract on the Hitman: Kasumi (the assassin after her was at first primarily Ayane); from the third game onward, Bayman.
  • Continuity Snarl: Ryu Hayubusa's timeline in regards to the NES Ninja Gaiden games, making it unclear when they happened and what his exact relationship with Irene Lew is.
  • Cool Boat: The Freedom Survivor. Introduced in Dimensions, it's said to be the world's largest cruise ship, and it serves as a floating headquarters for DOATEC used by Fame Douglas, Donovan and Helena in succession. And it seems to be more than a mere cruise ship, because it stores explosives in its cargo hold, and the expanse of black metal deck between the helipad and the superstructure is covered with what looks suspiciously like missile launcher hatches.
  • Counter-Attack: If it's not the copious fanservice, this is what the series is most well known for. The game places heavy emphasis in attack interception and reversing an opponent's offense.
  • Crossover: Dimensions featured the Pyrosphere from Metroid: Other M as a playable stage.
  • Cute Bruiser: Most of the females use Waif-Fu except for Tina Armstrong who is a pro wrestler, Hitomi who uses karate, Mila who is an MMA fighter and looks and fights just like real life cute bruiser Gina Carano, and the aggressive Rachel.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Mainly the ninja cast of characters (the good ones), especially in Dead or Alive 5. While the bad guys Victor Donovan and Christie are dressed in white, Kasumi, Ayane, Hayate and Hayabusa are all dressed in black. Ayane has also used her favorite/iconic dark purple.
  • Dating Sim: The Xtreme games are easily the best-known Dating Sim to the non-Japanese gaming market (and most people don't even know that's what they are).
  • Demoted to Extra: The "Chronicle" mode in Dimensions manages to include every major fighter from the entire series, but many characters only appear in one or two scenes. Some of the females have even been demoted to little more than Ms. Fanservice.
  • Dirty Old Man: The player can do this by putting their age up to the maximum to increases the Jiggle Physics. Also Brad Wong in-story.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Lei Fang to an unlucky(?) old man in her Dead or Alive 4 ending.
  • Dressed Like a Dominatrix:
    • One of Christie's numerous outfits is clearly meant to evoke this, being a combination of long gloves, a bustier, fishnet stockings, and thigh-high boots.
    • Rachel retains her black leather leotard, thigh-high boots and opera gloves from Ninja Gaiden.
  • Drunken Master: Brad Wong.
  • Eagleland: Tina and Bass (a mixture of both types). Possibly Probably Zack too.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The original Dead or Alive featured ring outs and limited 3D movement. The edge of the ring would explode if you landed on it but otherwise the game was a very different beast from what followed. The rest of the series takes place in very real world-esque environments full of obstacles and uneven surfaces. There are walls and you can be knocked off of areas into lower areas (so no ring outs).
    • Tina's voice in the first game, being much deeper than the games that followed. This is due to The Other Darrin.
  • Earn Your Fun: Dead or Alive 5 challenges the hardcore among the hardcore players if they want to unlock 3 extremely skimpy swimsuits for Tina, Christie and Lisa; the game features a whopping total of 8 levels of difficulty: Rookie, Easy, Normal, Hard, Champ, True Fighter, Master and Legend, with the last three being unlocked after the preceding difficulty is beaten; rest assured that your average player can’t go through Hard without losing continues, if you want those rare swimsuits you must mow through Legend (4 difficulties beyond Hard) without losing a single continue on Arcade for Tina’s, Time Attack for Christie’s and on Survival for Lisa’s. Simply put, it’s a nightmare to get these pieces of clothing for the girls. The computer on Legend is on an whole new level of reading and countering any attack the player tries to connect. Just beating this mode is a chore, but beating it without losing continues is absurd, and that’s not enough. Even though the task on Arcade and Time Attack is already beyond insane to complete, at the end of the day is just 8 Stages each. On Survival though, it’s 100 Stages. So yeah, even some of the most hardcore players stop at Tina and Christie’s swimsuits. Luckily it can be avoided by playing 200 online matches.
  • Edge Gravity: Starting with 2, walking to the edge of a surface incurs a hard stop for your character. You cannot walk yourself over a cliff, your character must be hit over the edge for it to trigger.
  • Even Bad Girls Love Their Adopted Fathers: Ayane; see Manly Tears below. She also shows a more tender and emotional side around her mother in Dimensions.
  • Excuse Plot:
    • Xtreme Beach Volleyball, which comes up with only barely justifiable reasons for the girls to be there.
    • Some of the fights between the relatively minor characters are started for some quite petty reasons, like Kokoro challenging Lisa for bumping into her in the street.
  • Expy:
  • Fanservice: "She kicks high", indeed. The only female character who avoids this is Nicole, the Distaff Counterpart of Halo's Master Chief. She still has a smoking hot body under the power armour, since her measurements are B49" W30" H41".
  • Fanservice Model: In DOA2, Tina aspires to be a supermodel, for which she bleaches her hair blonde and dresses in skimpy outfits. She ends up having to fight her own father in the competition, and emerges victorious. She gets her wish and begins modeling on a television show.
  • Fanservice Pack: Irene Lew (confirmed to be Sonia from NG2 in Dimensions sure has changed compared to her rather plain original design; now she's a Miss Universe like every other woman Team Ninja has ever modeled in 3D.
  • The Faceless:
    • Miyako, Kokoro's mother. It's averted in Dead or Alive 5's story mode.
    • Victor Donovan in Dimensions. The only time the camera focuses on the front of his face is when he puts on Omega's mask.
  • Flashy Teleportation: Kasumi can do this with cherry blossom petals, Ayane with iris petals. Ryu smokes out with leaves, Hayate with raven feathers.
  • Free Floor Fighting: Quite a few arenas have sections where you can knock your opponent into another area, like off balconies, down stairwells, or through walls.
  • Friendly, Playful Dolphin: Helena swims with dolphins in her ending cinematic from the third game, and some dolphins jump around in the background of the Zack Island stage in DOA5.
  • Gaiden Game: The three Xtreme Beach Volleyball games dispense entirely with the male combatants and put the women on an island with volleyball nets and the skimpiest bikinis known to man. The Dead or Alive series itself qualifies as this for the newer Ninja Gaiden series.
  • Gainaxing: Dead or Alive's shtick since the first game, but in Dead or Alive Xtreme 2, each breast has its own physics, meaning both can jiggle independently. It look as ridiculous as it sounds. Taken one step further in Dead or Alive 5 where you can invoke this trait.
  • Genre Shift: In Xtreme Beach Volleyball; guess what they do instead of fighting...
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man:
    • Ryu impersonates Lt. Noah in Dimensions and delivers a backhand slap to Kasumi in an attempt to stop her from searching for Hayate.
    • Also Hayate while being offended by some of Ayane's accusations toward Kasumi.
  • Giant Waist Ribbon: Ayane, a.k.a. "The Giftwrapped Ninja".
  • Good Is Not Soft: Kasumi. Nicest character in the series? Check. Lethal fighting skills? Check. Seeks to kill Raidou after he attacked her brother? Oh check.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Younger women like NiCO, Marie Rose, Honoka, Kokoro, Lei Fang, and Hitomi tend to have panties with stripes, polka dots, or other fun patterns. Not unsurprising, as most of those girls are 18 and those kinds of designs tend to be favored by young women.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Again, Xtreme Beach Volleyball: they love playing with their enemies. It's even possible for you to play as Christie and get Helena to be your volleyball partner if you give her enough dolphin-related merchandise, completely ignoring the fact that you killed her mother (although to be fair, Xtreme Beach Volleyball was before Dead or Alive 4, which is where Helena learned that information).
    • Though Xtreme 2 takes place after the reveal in Dead or Alive 4.
  • Gory Discretion Shot:
    • Fairly mild variation. If the player, as Ayane, beats Kasumi in Dead or Alive 2's story mode, she either leaves Kasumi for dead in the snow (the camera just focusing on Ayane as she glares down before muttering "...traitor") or finishes her off with a jutsu of some description, cutting away just as Ayane finishes "casting" it. Either way, you never see a corpse.
    • Zigzaged by Hayate's ending in Dead or Alive 4. It opens with him violently slicing a mook in half. However, for the rest of the scene, the Jitter Cam is so intense that you can't really see much more than a few splashes of blood.
  • Grapple Move: Every character has a front throw and a crouching throw, a back throw and back crouching throw. Some characters have chain throws. There are also wall throws and environmental throws.
  • The Grappler:
    • The father/daughter combo of Bass and Tina Armstrong, a pair of pro wrestlers with devasting throws and chain grapples. Bonus points for when they team up, as they gain special WWE style tag team manuevers.
    • Special mention goes to Lei Fang, who has special counters that position the opponent and her own set of chain grapples as well.
    • Ryu Hayabusa is one of the staple "ninja" characters, meaning he's very quick and nimble...but amongst the ninjas, he excels the most in throws and grapples. Notably, he has multiple setups and variations on the Izuna Drop.
    • As her gimmick, Nyotengu can use her wings to fly, but she also can use many different types of power throws, including being able to grab her enemies while flying.
    • Leon and Bayman are moveset clones that utilize a military-inspired skillsets of CQC and Sambo, respectively. As such, they use a lot of grapples, holds and takedowns in their repertoire.
    • La Mariposa (who is actually Tina's friend Lisa) is a Masked Luchador that utilizes speed, flips and Capoeira-inspired attacks. She also has a host of high-flying throws and hurricaranas.
    • Mira is an MMA-inspired fighter that can shift from using stand-up striking and boxing, to using take downs and ground-and-pound attacks. She even has the ability to takedown her opponent while she herself is on the ground.
  • Gratuitous English: In the first Xtreme game, Japanese is the only language available (save for Zack). Most of the time, the girls speak in Japanese (despite their nationality, not applying to Kasumi and Ayane who are actually from Japan), but during matches you can hear them say random English phrases like "Nice spike!", "Nice serve!", and "Nice block!"
  • Gratuitous Ninja: Kasumi? Ayane? Ryu? Hayate? Hell yeah this fits.
  • Guest Fighter: Nicole, a female Spartan soldier, is playable in Dead or Alive 4 and Virtua Fighters Akira Yuki, Pai Chan, and Sarah Bryant joined the fray in 5. 5: Ultimate adds Sarah's brother, Jacky Bryant, and 5: Last Round adds Naotora Ii from Samurai Warriors and Mai Shiranui from Fatal Fury/The King of Fighters. Mai returns in 6 (making her one of the only examples in fighting games of a guest character returning between installments) and is joined by Kula Diamond.
  • Guide Dang It!: In Xtreme, the manual says nothing about the character avatars. The pose that the characters show indicates what kind of mood they're in. Characters in bad moods are much easier to defeat in volleyball. But even knowing this, it's not immediately obvious which mood is which without a little trial-and-error.
  • Heroic Bastard: Ayane eventually fits this, as she's the product of the first game's Raidou raping the mother of Hayate and Kasumi. 6 later reveals that Honoka has the same father.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: All six of them. Hayate frankly admits to Hitomi that he and Ayane are shinobi in Dimensions and the pair also have a lengthy conversation/sparring session with Gen Fu and Eliot in the following scene, wearing full ninja gear. They apparently have no care for surreptitiousness whilst in public.
  • Hoax Hogan: Bass Armstrong is a big pro wrestler who is very famous in-universe and has a daughter, Tina, who inherited his wrestling skills, being mostly his participations in Dead or Alive tournaments a way to stop her from her desires in every tournament. Bass is a clear expy to Hulk Hogan in much of aspects, especially that he mimics the Hollywood Hogan persona. Tina also seems based on Hogan's daughter Brooke, but it's more a coincidence than a real expy.
  • Husky Russkie: Bayman, a big strong guy from Russia who speaks with a Russian accent in the English dub.
  • Identity Amnesia: Ein (who is really Hayate) in 2 and Rig in 5.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover:
    • Nicole's story in Dead or Alive 4 suggests that the Halo series (or at least its semi-canon I Love Bees incarnation) occurs in Dead or Alive's far future.
    • Ryu Hayabusa, the star of original NES Ninja Gaiden games, exists in the Dead or Alive world. Ayane, a ninja who first appeared in the original Dead or Alive, returns the favor by appearing in Team Ninja's Ninja Gaiden games, which established that the Ninja Gaiden continuity is shared with Dead or Alive's. She's soon followed by Kasumi, and the characters who first appeared in Team Ninja's Ninja Gaiden games (Rachel and Momiji) crossed over into the Dead or Alive universe in DOA 5. Finally, Irene Lew, Ryu's Love Interest from the NES trilogy, was fully established in Dimensions to exist in both Team Ninja's Ninja Gaiden (where she was under the alias "Sonia") and Dead or Alive as well.
    • A trailer for Dimensions seems to suggest that the Metroid games possibly take place in the same universe as well, thus making Haloid's existence Hilarious in Hindsight.
    • DOA5 carries on the tradition with Virtua Fighter characters Akira Yuki, Sarah Bryant and Pai Chan.note 
  • Interrupted Suicide: Ayane appears ready to commit suicide, preparing to plunge a kunai into her throat while believing that Hayate hates her until her mother Ayame walks in on her. Helena also in 4; luckily Zack saves her.
  • Jiggle Physics: Not only is the series sold on it, but the series takes the ball, and runs with it. While the fighting game genre has plenty of examples of large breasts, this series is often deemed the queen of Hotter and Sexier in fighting games. The Xtreme Beach Volleyball series helps.
    • Not to mention the fact that original Dead or Alive was the first 3D game ever to have jiggle physics.
    • Dead or Alive 5 Plus for the PlayStation Vita takes this to ridiculous levels with its new "Touch Play" feature: if your own character is female, after winning a game and your character does her winpose, flicking the screen will jiggle her breasts, a feature somewhat similar to that of Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2.
    • And now Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate for the Playstation 3 directly takes after Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 once you activate the "OMG" option in the "Breast Motion" settings. While in-game after selecting any female character, just jiggle the controller and gaze at the results.
    • Dead or Alive 5: Last Round actually uses a secondary physics engine just for animating the female character's sweater puppies. Breasts will not just bounce, but compress and deform realistically as force is applied. It's actually quite impressive, technically speaking... Hey, what's with that look?
  • Lady of War: Helena, Lei Fang and Kokoro.
  • Large Ham: Tengu.
    • Special mention towards Bass, too. "YOU BETTER EAT! EAT SOME MEAT!"
    • Zack, of course.
    • Tina as well.
    • Akira, he gets special sound effects and camera angles to emphasize his hamminess.
  • Level Grinding: In all of the games, beating Arcade Mode unlocks a new outfit. And since the game features numerous costumes for each character, it takes a lot of Arcade playthroughs to unlock every outfit for every character. Taken Up to Eleven in DOA 5, which had the biggest cast of the series and over fifty costumes for each character. It can feel like grinding after a while.
  • Lighter and Softer: All four Xtreme games in a nutshell. The mainline series has a series of life or death matches, betrayal, assassination attempts, Heroic Bastards conceived from Child by Rape, suicide, character deaths in backstories, personal grudges, and so on. The Xtreme games are all about the women having fun while participating various activities with none of the canon grudges they have with each other in the main series.
  • Limited Wardrobe:
    • Zigzagged. The default selection of costumes for the characters contain lots of variation across all of them. However, the DLC costumes tend to follow a theme, and a lot of the costumes get recycled for each character.
    • It's also subverted with the girls' DLC costumes. They might all get similar schoolgirl outfits, but each girl usually gets four different sets of bras and panties. Depending on the outfit set, some of the panties even have different levels of coverage, ranging from boyshorts to bikini underwear.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Literally in Dead or Alive Xtreme 2. You have to get 9 Jackpots on Christie's slot machine to earn a Secret Ticket, which makes your character perform a poledance. The problem is, the machine you have to get the 9 Jackpots on is notorious for taking away anywhere between 100-500 times what you bet.
  • Made of Iron: Everyone. Thrown down some steps? Knocked off a multi-story building or a hundred meters tall mountain? Blown up? Meh, just keep on fighting like nothing happened. Even by fighting game standards, some of the damage the fighters can sustain is ridiculous. It's even more absurd in 5. Run over by a tiger? Hit head-on by a derailed train? Rocket to the face? No problem. Been sent flying towards a chopper? Guess which one goes down?
  • Manly Tears: Ayane's Dead or Alive 3 ending.
  • Martial Arts and Crafts: Downplayed in that everyone practices a real style with realistic possibilities and limits. Turned on its head in that everyone is Made of Iron. The only exaggerations that are noticable are the Ninja styles.
  • Meaningful Name: Dead or Alive is so named as it was an All or Nothing effort to get Tecmo out of the red, similar to another video game series.
  • Mega-Corp: The Dead or Alive Tournament Executive Committee, or "DOATEC". They have their hands in a variety of over-the-table industries like weapons development and oil drilling, but the corrupt command of Victor Donovan pushes them into more unethical areas such as bio-engineering.
  • Mighty Glacier: Spartan-458. She is one of the easier characters to play because she quickly pounds enemies into submission.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: Helena is convinced that Ayane was the assassin that killed her mother, but it later turns out that Christie did it, and she was sent to kill Helena, as well.
  • Mistaken Identity: The end of the E3 2012 trailer for Dead or Alive 5 has Zack praising Tina, who is practicing blows on a punching bag only to get put into a headlock by the real Tina. The "Tina" he was talking to is revealed to be Sarah Bryant. The same event also happens in Dead or Alive 5's Story Mode when Sara is introduced.
  • Mood Whiplash: Anything having to do with Zack. This is especially true with his ending in Dead or Alive 3, which was out-and-out slapstick. Dimensions has him coming in as comic relief at times in the more serious and ninja-focused Chronicle mode.
  • Moveset Clone: Bayman and Leon, Tengu and Nyotengu, and to a certain extent, Spartan-458 and Rachel.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Every female fighter is a source of fanservice, but special note goes to Kasumi (the star of the series), Christienote , Tina, and Lisa (each of the last three being a Shameless Fanservice Girl). Averted by Spartan-458 (who provided fans another kind of Squee!), and also by Miyako and Ayame.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Nearly every female and some of the males invoke this trope. Most of the girls are slender without any visible muscle showing, and they can go toe-to-toe with any well-built fighter that outweighs them by a lot. In real life, someone like Jann Lee would pulverize and beat someone like Lei Fang into paste.
    • This is taken to extreme levels with characters like NiCO. She's 4'8" and weighs 90 lbs. Even most of the other girls outweigh her by at least 15 lbs. In reality, bits of her would be scraped off the ground in a fight against someone of equal skill when they have 20+ lbs of muscle on her.
  • Mythology Gag: In Dimensions, Irene Lew, Ryu's Love Interest from the original NES trilogy, appears as his CIA contact during the story mode cutscenes. Hayate and Ayane both wonder if something is going on between them.
  • Ninja: A lot of the cast.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • Zack = Dennis Rodman. Which became funnier when Rodman himself voiced Zack in Xtreme Beach Volleyball.
    • The guy Christie assassinates in her DOA4 ending movie looks suspiciously like Steven Seagal.
    • With the more realistic models in DOA5, Momiji gains a resemblance to Monica Bellucci, and Rig is clearly based on Wentworth Miller.
    • In Dead or Alive Xtreme Venus Vacation, Luna's face looks a lot like that of Chloë Grace Moretz.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.:
    • Even more than being non-lethal, from 2 onwards no one even gets knocked out when they lose (they just lie on the ground trying to clear their head, still perfectly conscious). However, even leaving that aside, no one's worse for the wear when the over-the-top environmental interactions kick in (although it also makes the fact they don't even get knocked out even more absurd).
    • Subverted somewhat. The prone poses in earlier installments were just still bodies, but if the full head-shaking animation plays, their bodies do still fall to the ground and stop moving. It is still absurd that you can snap Ayane's neck so hard that her face is buried in her own cleavage, but she's right on her feet moments later.
  • "No Peeking!" Request: In Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 Owner Mode, the player can gift a swimsuit to the girl's, and if their "satisfaction level" is high enough, they may be willing to do a "Raw Outfit Change", meaning they'll change right then and there in front of you, but they ask you to close their eyes. The player can try to peek, but doing so will usually cause a Naked Freak-Out and severely drops the girl's satisfaction.
  • Not Just a Tournament: Fame Douglas envisioned the Dead or Alive World Combat Championship (the flagship operation of the Dead or Alive Tournament Executive Committee, hence its name) to be a mere tournament, but with his death, the tournament became a proving ground for the malicious science of Victor Donovan's experiments.
  • Odd Friendship: Especially in tag matches, where characters who don't normally interact or have opposing goals get along fairly well. It's mildly surprising to see Bayman get along with folks like Bass and Zack. It's a bit more evident with the female characters, especially with Kasumi.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: When she was introduced in DOA3, Christie was psychotically devoted to protecting Helena, so she could kill her herself.
  • Only One Female Mold: Despite being the focus of the cast, the female characters all have the exact same well-endowed hourglass figure, almost as though the character designers were more intrested in making them attractive then actually making them distinct from one another. Marie Rose and Nico stand out by being the Token Mini-Moe characters.
  • Only Six Faces: In relation to the above trope, the female characters also have very identical facial features. If it weren't for their varied hairstyles and eye colors, you wouldn't be able to tell them apart. This got some attention in 5 — Ayane, Kasumi, Hitomi and Christie have distinct enough facial features — but then Last Round had Honoka and Marie Rose with the exact same face.
  • Ornamental Weapon: Justified as most fights in the series are part of a formal hand-to-hand tournament that most likely forbids the use of weapons.
    • None of the ninjas use their swords except in cutscenes. Averted with Omega and once you've fought him, you'll understand why other characters can't.
    • Bayman doesn't use his gun, knife, grenades or who knows what hidden weapons he keeps on him.
    • Averted with Nicole, who uses plasma grenades.
  • Overlord Jr.: Rig is actually the son of Victor Donovan.
  • Panty Fighter: One of the best known examples of the "scantly-clad girls beat the crap out of each other genre" in gaming.
  • Perpetually Shiny Bodies
    • Averted in Dead or Alive 5 where the fighters sweat and get dirty, though this can be toggled in the options menu.
    • Dead or Alive 6 makes a point of featuring grime and blood.
  • Parrot Expo What: This dialogue from Dimensions.
    Ayane: How could karate stand against the Hajin-mon sect of Mugen Tenshin?
    Hitomi: Hajin-in the what now?
  • Professional Wrestling:
    • Tina, Bass, and Lisa/La Mariposa.
    • Mila is an MMA fighter, but includes a few wrestling moves in that mix, like a big boot and a Falcon Arrow.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Kasumi and Ayane.
  • Relationship Values: In the Dead or Alive Extreme games, giving the other girls presents will make them more likely to partner up with you… provided you give them something they like. Some items, like all stripperiffic swimsuits, will make them less likely to partner up with you.
  • Re-Release Soundtrack:
    • While Aerosmith songs were used as themes for Dead or Alive 3, 2: Ultimate and 4, their FMVs that were re-purposed as cutscenes in Dimensions replace the songs with completely different instrumental pieces.
    • The two Bomb Factory songs "Exciter" and "Deadly Silent Beach" were removed from DOA 2: Ultimate.
  • Revenue-Enhancing Devices: Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate has new outfits pimped every week, pimped as in they are mainly fetish wear for the female fighters. To play the game at all requires constant updates and downloading all the costume catalogs for it to work regardless of whether or not any of the DLC is purchased.
  • The Rival: Ayane/Kasumi, Lei Fang/Jann Lee, Lei Fang/Hitomi, Hayabusa/Hayate, Leon/Bayman.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • Helena. She wants it because Ayane went on one to stop Helena from going after ninja, which resulted in her mother being killed. Kasumi willfully incurs the wrath of becoming a renegade shinobi by going on one of these after a fight between Raidou and Hayate.
    • Pretty much the plot of Dead or Alive 4 with the ninjas.
  • Rule of Cool:
    • When the series isn't delivering over-the-top fanservice, it revels in equally over-the-top cinematic sequences. How else would you describe a guy blowing up a tower while playing an electric guitar on a skateboard?
    • Which also applies to the gameplay, in general. A typical match can include knocking your opponent off a skyscraper, followed by being electrocuted as they fall through a neon sign, and land onto asphalt right in the middle of oncoming traffic. And the match simply continues as if it were only a minor fall.
  • Sand Bridge at Low Tide: Extreme Beach Volleyball has a sandbar as a place to play volleyball.
  • Secret Final Campaign: In Dead or Alive 4, only some of the roster is available when it is first played — unlocking others requires completing the storylines of certain other characters. The last one, Helena, is available only when all the others are completed.
  • Selective Enforcement: The whole situation with Kasumi and the Mugen Tenshin Clan has shades of this. Raidou had raped Kasumi's mother Ayame, stole the Torn Sky Blast, their most sacred technique, and broke Hayate's spine and put him in a coma, and the Mugen Tenshin decided not to bother going after him, whereas Kasumi decided to pursue Raidou herself because no one else would and is immediately branded a traitor and Marked to Die.
  • Sequel Hook: The ending of Dead or Alive 5 has this in the form of a stinger in which Rig speaks to Donovan about their next plan.
  • Sex Sells: Despite the series' steep learning curve and game mechanics, its main draw has always been the fanservice, jiggle physics, and plentiful female character models.
  • Set Swords to "Stun": Despite the abundance of clearly lethal activity, death and even injury are quite rare. DOA6 looks to avert this, splattering the edges of the screen with blood while the characters duke it out.
  • Sexy Soaked Shirt: Very noticeable on the women in 5 and 6. If they're knocked down in water a couple times, or they get too sweaty, any white tops will go see-through to reveal a bra that matches the wearer's panties.
  • She's Got Legs: Most of the female characters, and there are plenty of costumes that show them off.
  • Shirtless Scene: Some of the male characters have costumes that are shirtless, but Jann Lee is the one who appears shirtless most often.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The European Dreamcast release of Dead or Alive 2 added a costume for Zack which turned him into Michael LeRoi from Shadow Man, as Acclaim published the game in Europe. The costume would be retained in Hardcore and Ultimate.
    • In the Scramble stage of DOA5, you can see a billboard that has the cast of Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
    • DOA5LR's "High Society" DLC costume pack looks like Palette Swaps of Hotaru's dress from Dagashi Kashi, or is alternatively a Shout-Out to the "virgin killer outfit" meme from Japanese Twitter.
    • The Idol Singer DLC costumes are heavily inspired by AKB48, down to their schoolgirl design and how each costume variation is separated by categories like Team D, Team O, and Team A.
  • Some Dexterity Required: While a given for the fighting game genre, Hayabusa, Hayate, and the playable bosses in Dimensions posses combo throws that, while devastating (knocking off as much as a quarter of the health bar when pulled off), are done in sequences, requiring precise timing and inhuman precision with D-pad rolling. This does not prevent the AI from executing them flawlessly every time, of course.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Because the English translation romanized the names directly from the Japanese, a few of the names weren't translated properly from the original language; most notable are the Chinese names, which can be back-translated from the original characters. Using the Yale translation, Lei Fang should be Li Feng, Gen Fu should be Yuan Fu, and Brad Wong should be Brad Wang.
  • Spice Up the Subtitles: Before Dimensions and the 5th main title in the series all non-Japanese speaking fans had were subtitles to understand what the characters were saying, and these translations were heavily localized, ranging from the english text being a mere different reading of what the characters were saying to some other lines being almost completely different, as in it made some characters sound more rude and aggressive than they really were.
    Tina's intro dialogue in Dead or Alive 3:
    Japanese: "Honki de iku wa yo!" [in a playful tone, fitting of her personality]
    Literal translation: "I’m going serious!"
    Official localization: "I’m gonna open a can of whoop-ass on you!"note 
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad:
    • The female fighters in the series fit this to a T. They are featured so prominently throughout the main series and the male-less Xtreme spin-off that some people are surprised to learn that Dead or Alive actually has male characters.
    • Even moreso, Marie Rose and Honoka. Both are popular in Japan, not so much in the West, but that's OK... On the other hand, if Dead or Alive is collaborating with something else, you know who tends to accompany Kasumi for representation? Not Ayane, not Hayabusa. It's those two. For the record, they're side characters for the overall conflict of Dead or Alive or even Kasumi's personal struggles herself, not deuteragonist and tritagonist, and as far as seniority/legacy goes... they're fairly new.
  • SNK Boss: All of the final bosses to varying degrees, the worst being Kasumi Alpha-152 from Dead or Alive 4.
  • The Stinger:
    • Victor Donovan is seen putting Omega's mask on his face after the credits of Chronicle mode in Dimensions.
    • The ending of Dead or Alive 5 reveals that Rig is Victor Donovan's son and together they had plotted the events of the story.
  • Stripperiffic: Again, just about every female other than Miyako, Ayame, and Nicole, who you can really only tell is female by her voice.
  • Super Soldier: The entire plot is driven by Victor Donovan's plans to create super soldiers by capturing ninjas and cloning them against their will.
  • Tangled Family Tree: Raidou is Shiden's brother, making Ayane both the half-sister and cousin of Ayame's other children Kasumi and Hayate. Honoka of 5: Last Round adds a new wrinkle to this, having a direct but unexplored connection to Raidou and sharing a face model with Marie Rose, either of which may or may not be familial.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Later games introduced the use of the Triangle system, wherein normal attacks were beaten by Holds, which were then beaten by Throws which were then beaten by normal attacks. Countering an attack with its superior will lead to a Hi Counter that deals more damage and stun.
  • Tag Team: Dead or Alive 2 introduced Tag Battle mode, where characters can fight in teams of two. Some characters are closer than others, having specialized intros, outros, tag throws, or even just calling out for one another on switching.
  • Take That!:
    • Itagaki, Team Ninja's former lead designer, was incensed by the Tekken series taking shots at Dead or Alive through a radio commercial, and has returned fire accusing Tekken 4 and on from suffering quality decay.
    • Marie Rose, an eighteen-year-old Swedish lolita, was created specifically to spite Swedish distributors for refusing to release the games in Sweden in the wake of a child pornography scandal.
  • There Are No Therapists: Ayane and Helena have both attempted suicide. And Helena has (or had) more than enough money to afford professional help.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Jann Lee's backstory. He spent his childhood as a weak, bullied kid that can only escape the harsh reality by watching Bruce Lee films. Then he became an Ascended Fanboy. And the rest is history.
    • Kasumi is a gameplay example of this in Dead or Alive 4. Her move set got a deep upgrade, making her faster, more agile and overall more powerful, but without making her cheap nor broken. In other words, she evolves from a Jack-of-All-Stats to more of a Lightning Bruiser, like the rest of the ninja characters.
    • Elliot from his past appearances to DOA 5, where he goes from a pretty able but doubtful guy to a confident, stonger fighter who is about to learn the final stage of his training.
  • Tsundere: Following the trend of their Red Oni, Blue Oni personalities, Ayane is a Type A and Kasumi a Type B.
  • Uncle Tomfoolery: Zack in Dead or Alive 4. Taken Up to Eleven in his ending, to cringe-worthy levels.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 makes no attempt to explain how Zack got his island resort back after it was hit by an asteroid at the end of DOAX2. Presumably, he got help from his alien buddies again.
  • Updated Re-release: Happened a few times with the series.
    • The original game was revamped as Dead or Alive++, which included the extra characters from the PlayStation version and altered some of the mechanics. The PlayStation version itself had improved graphics and more characters over the arcade and Saturn releases (it also featured enhanced and modified gameplay, removing ring outs and replacing them with an infinite field of Danger Zone beyond the starting square).
    • The amount of Dead or Alive 2 updates is insane, with a second arcade release titled Millennium and two different ports were released for the Dreamcast and Playstation 2 consoles, which contained various tweaks, stage additions and new costumes between all versions. Bayman was brought back in the Japanese Dreamcast version and would also appear in DOA2: Hardcore for the PS2, the final version of Dead or Alive 2.
    • Dead or Alive: Ultimate is a double-pack of the original Dead or Alive and an updated version of the sequel (though Dead or Alive 2: Ultimate is significantly different, changing some of the gameplay mechanics and adding Hitomi from Dead or Alive 3, so that it's more of a Video Game Remake than a simple re-release).
    • Dead or Alive 5
      • Ultimate is this for Dead or Alive 5. It features Canon Immigrant Momiji from Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword, Rachel from the Xbox Ninja Gaiden, Leon (who wasn't in Dead or Alive 5), Hayate's alter-ego Ein, and another guest fighter from the Virtua Fighter series, Jacky Bryant. It also includes a fair amount of Dead or Alive 5's DLC as well as completely new costumes.
      • Ultimate also has a lot of DLC exclusive to it, much of which is associated with the arcade revision of the game; Ultimate: Arcade. Arcade also adds three more characters not present in the base Ultimate game: Marie Rose, Phase-4, and Nyotengu as well as more stages.
      • A "final" version of the game entitled "Last Round", featuring additional stages, characters (Raidou, the boss from the original DOA, and a new girl; Honoka), and balance adjustments (as well as the inclusion of all of Ultimate's downloadable content, including characters) was released in 2015. In 2016, Last Round received two more Guest Fighters as DLC: Samurai Warriors' Naotora Li and Fatal Fury/The King of Fighters mainstay Mai Shiranui.
  • Video Game Remake:
    • DOA2 Ultimate is a remake of DOA2 with DOA3-quality graphics, revamped gameplay, and Hitomi from 3 as a secret character.
    • Dead or Alive Dimensions is a remake of the first four games in the series for the Nintendo 3DS. It takes the opportunity to make the storyline more self-consistent, retconning the plot where necessary. (For example, Dimensions shows that when Kasumi ran away from her village to find Hayate in DOA1, Christie [who wasn't introduced until DOA3] used her helicopter to prevent Ayane from killing Kasumi and took Kasumi away to participate in the first Dead or Alive Tournament.)
  • Waif-Fu:
    • Taken to an egregious extreme. All female characters are skinny and look like models, yet are capable of blowing fighters twice their size across the arena in a few punches.
    • Dead or Alive 4 adds Eliot, a skinny teenage boy who can kick anyone's ass as well, though he does practice a specific form of martial arts popular for having a lot of physical power without requiring beefy muscles.
  • Walking Swimsuit Scene: Nearly every scene in the Xtreme spin off games is this.
  • We Don't Suck Anymore: Tecmo's promotion for 5 had a general campaign for players to actually take it seriously, explaining the tagline "I'm a Fighter". For whatever reason, this ended up being undermined and they dove back into massive amounts of fanservice over the course of the various releases (possibly even in excess of previous Dead or Alive titles, which is saying something). Seems they're trying again with 6 (using a Darker and Edgier aesthetic instead of merely attempting to refocus the series).
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Helena threatened to shoot Kasumi dead just because of she was in her way, or more likely so that DOATEC could no longer use her to create another Alpha-152.
  • A Winner Is You:
    • There are no endings in the first game; it jumps right to the credits after the character's victory pose.
    • Kasumi has no ending in the second game; it just fades to white and the credits roll. Yes, there is a very brief stinger after the credits, but she doesn't even appear on camera, only in voice over.
  • World of Action Girls: Every female character, obviously. In-story, Kasumi, Ayane, Christie and Helena are the predominant ones. Gameplay-wise, Tina is also one of the most successful female characters.
  • World of Buxom:
    • A staple of the series, though this aspect was toned down notably in Dead or Alive 5. There is still boatloads of fanservice, but there appears to be a slightly larger, more realistic variety of breast sizes.
    • The arcade version of Dead Or Alive 5 Ultimate now adds Marie Rose, a girl with a small bust into the mix.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: The Xtreme side-series.

Alternative Title(s): Dead Or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball


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