Thursday, June 2

From the Horse's Mouth

Team Ninja leader and creator of the Dead or Alive fighting game franchise Tomonobu Itagaki let loose some details about his latest upcoming game, Dead or Alive 4.

The mysterious, masked wrestler shown in the trailer (still hasn't been confirmed as Lisa from DOAX) is a friend of veteran DOA fighter Tina, and uses the Mexican 'lucha libre' style of wrestling.

The long-haired girl, named Kokoro-chan, is Japanese, and uses Hakkyoku-Ken style of martial arts. This school is most identified with the Virtua Fighter games from Sega, and Itagaki wants to exceed how the style was used in the VF games.

Helena, the blonde French opera singer and veteran DOA fighter, is the main character in DOA4, which is why she wasn't shown in the trailer. Her new status demands a more flashy debut. The DOATEC storyline (mainly involving the corporation's kidnapping of ninja siblings Kasumi and Hayate to create the ultimate soldier) will be the focus of the game, and for this purpose the DOATEC main headquarters was rendered fully and may be the setting of many of the battles.

DOA4's boss will evidently be Alpha 152, who appears in the trailer as another female character floating naked in a tube. Unlike most of the clones (of ninja girl Kasumi), apparently 152 is 'finished' and will do battle with the DOA characters at the end of the Story Mode. FINALLY a female end boss for DOA!

While he insists that 'they are not a fashion company', Itagaki admits that DOA started the costume-craze in fighting games, and will include as many alternative duds for the fighters as they can. Expect bunny suits, santa outfits and bikinis aplenty. Yay!

Itagaki has stated that Team Ninja is intending to have over 20 characters for DOA4. This means that the four new faces seen in the E3 trailer (including the blonde boy Eliot and Alpha 152) might not be the only new fighters debuting in the new game.

At the time of E3, DOA4 was supposedly 15 percent finished. Still, Itagaki hopes to have it ready by the release of Xbox360 during the holiday 2005 season.

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