The Dead or Alive series has been around for quite some time. Since its inception in 1996, the series has become well known for the women that appear in the games. Many ladies have been a part of the game’s roster over the years, including female fighters from other franchises. Dead or Alive may be a solid fighter in its own right, but no one can deny that the women in the series are one of the main features.
Here are my top 10 ladies that have appeared in the Dead or Alive series.
No. 10: NiCO
NiCO is the latest addition to the Dead or Alive roster. Debuting in Dead or Alive 6, this blue-haired scientist is known as the Lightning Technomancer. She mixes Pencak Silat (a Southeast Asian martial art) with her electric gloves to create a unique yet dangerous fighting style. Unlike the other women on this list, NiCO is not physically well-endowed, being more modest in bust size. Despite her smaller frame, she is still able to hold her own with the rest of the game’s cast, providing a good challenge to all who dare face her.
No. 9: Mai Shiranui
Mai is technically not a Dead or Alive character. She originates from 1992 arcade title Fatal Fury 2 and is a part of the King of Fighters series. However, she will be making her second appearance in a Dead or Alive title with the latest entry, granting her a spot on this list. Like many of the characters in Dead or Alive, Mai is a kunoichi who is very well-endowed. Because of her sex appeal, she has become very well-known in the video game industry. Despite her looks, Mai can hold her own in the ring, and is a more than capable challenger.
No. 8: Momiji
Momiji made her first video game appearance in Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword, before joining the Dead or Alive cast in the fifth entry to the series. She is Ryu Hayabusa’s apprentice, and is the Hayabusa clan’s Dragon Shrine Maiden. Despite being an apprentice, she is a skilled kunoichi, and could be considered a prodigy. She holds true to her virtues, which she has inherited from her master. Momiji may be new to the franchise, but she has already stolen the hearts of many.
No. 7: Tina
Tina Armstrong has been a part of Dead or Alive since the series first released. She is the daughter of Bass Armstrong, the greatest wrestler to ever live. Tina is not afraid to show off her sex appeal, and she has become one of the franchise’s most popular ladies. Tina can be known for her many aspirations, as she has been a wrestler, rock star, actress, model, and more. The whole reason she even entered the first DOA tournament was to become a famous star. She is an incredibly extroverted character and one of the most provocative of all the female fighters in Dead or Alive.
No. 6: Christie
Christie is perhaps one of the sexiest assassins to ever grace video games. This practitioner of she quan first appeared in Dead or Alive 3, and has been a mainstay of the series ever since. She was hired by series villain Victor Donovan to eliminate Helena, at which she failed. She did kill Helena’s mother, however. Christie is the tallest of the female fighters, coming in at 5’10”. She is an incredibly ruthless individual, and is one of the franchise’s few female villains. She is definitely one serious femme fatale.
No. 5: Kokoro
Kokoro is a young apprentice geisha who makes her first appearance in the fourth entry of the fighting series. She practices the baji quan fighting style, and using it, she enters the fourth DOA contest. It is there that she finds out that she is Helena Douglas’ half-sister. Kokoro is perhaps the most feminine of all the women in Dead or Alive, and she is often seen wearing a pink kimono with a brightly colored floral pattern. The kimono is improperly worn, exposing her legs, giving her some sex appeal and allowing her to move easier to kick some ass.
No. 4: Helena
This French fighter made her debut in Dead or Alive 2, and has since been a major part of the series’ story. After both her parents are killed by assassins hired by franchise villain Victor Donovan, Helena takes over DOATEC, the company that oversees the DOA tournament. Helena practices the Chinese martial art pigua quan. She won the fourth DOA tournament, though she gives the title to Dead or Alive alumnus Zack, as her goal is to make DOATEC greater than before. She is definitely one of the series’ most beautiful, and talented, fighters.
No. 3: Ayane
This purple-haired kunoichi made her debut in the first Dead or Alive. Like her half-sister Kasumi, Ayane is a part of the Mugen Tenshin Clan. She is the youngest female fighter in the series, and was the winner of the third DOA tournament. Since her inception, Ayane has become one of the most popular characters in the series. She has also appeared in other franchises, most notably the Ninja Gaiden series alongside Ninja Gaiden star Ryu Hayabusa. Despite her youth, Ayane is a very capable fighter, having proven herself over the years.
No. 2: Kasumi
Kasumi has been a part of the Dead or Alive roster since its inception in 1996, and she serves as the series’ lead character. She is a kunoichi, and was formerly a part of the Mugen Tenshin Clan. She can be considered the face of the franchise and has played a large role in the overall story. She was the champion of the first DOA tournament, and had a number of clones based off her. She has a rivalry with her half-sister and Dead Or Alive alumna Ayane, which has split the game’s fan base for years. And I am sorry Ayane fans, but I gotta go team Kasumi.
No. 1: Leifang
Leifang is a Chinese beauty who has appeared in every Dead or Alive title. She is a practitioner of taiji quan, and is known for her elegant fighting style. Her main goal is to defeat Jann Lee and prove to him how strong she is, which she accomplished in Dead or Alive 4. Because of how serious about martial arts she is, Leifang has developed a rivalry with Tina, who believes that prowess in combat is purely physical. Over the years, Leifang has become one of the more popular characters in Dead or Alive. She has been my best girl since I first played the series many years ago, and I see that continuing with the sixth entry in the franchise.
GameLuster’s Tuesday 10 is a weekly column that highlights memorable, light-hearted facets of video games or the industry at large. The No. 1 is a hill that no one should die on, but it’s a hill that should be admired from far.