“I need to hear this from my mother! To talk to her! I’m going to see her!” —Kokoro in Dead or Alive 6.
Kokoro (Japanese: 心) is a young maiko (apprentice geisha), and baji quan martial artist in the Dead or Alive series, who made her official debut in Dead or Alive 4.
A sweet and polite girl, Kokoro is the illegitimate daughter of Fame Douglas and one of his former mistresses Miyako, making Kokoro the half-sister of Helena Douglas. It is possible that if Helena were to give up her control of the Dead or Alive Tournament Executive Committee, Kokoro would be next-in-line to take control. However, it seems that Kokoro has little to no knowledge of her connection to DOATEC and the Douglas family.
Spoiler warning! Major plot details and endings below. (Skip section)
Kokoro was conceived by her mother Miyako while she was a mistress to Fame Douglas, but she never told who her father was.
While Miyako kept her connections with DOATEC as head of the subdivision DOATEC Japan, Kokoro was oblivious to her heritage and was placed in training to be a geisha – a traditional, female Japanese entertainer whose skills include classical music and dance. While she had her heart in her training, Kokoro also gained a love for the martial arts and started to train herself in the art of baji quan as a result.
Kokoro was confronted by Ayane about Kasumi, but both girls managed to escape her wrath.
During the events of the third Dead or Alive Tournament, Kokoro was walking home and saw a passed out high school girl. This girl was Kasumi disguised as a high schooler to keep her shinobi secret from getting out. Kokoro asked her if she needed any help but Kasumi refused despite having a major fever, and fled as she saw Ayane approaching. When Ayane asked her where Kasumi ran off to, Kokoro refused to tell her. Ayane was angered and was forced to fight her. In the end, Kokoro fled as well without saying a word to Ayane.
The Fourth TournamentEdit
At 17 years old, Kokoro started to focus more on her baji quan training and asked her mother if she could participate in the fourth Dead or Alive Tournament. While Miyako was not happy about her daughter’s choice, she hesitantly gave her permission but warned Kokoro that she might not necessarily like what would come of it.
During one of her initial matches, Kokoro faced the drunken master Brad Wong, who seemed to take a liking to her. Kokoro, however, was put off by the drunk and vehement fighter and declined his offer for a drink. After several rounds of the tournament, Kokoro met Helena. Unaware that they were related, Kokoro was surprised when Helena recognized her as Miyako’s daughter before their fight. It is then that Helena mentions that Kokoro should learn her fighting technique, pigua quan. After the tournament, Kokoro returned to Kyoto where she resumes both her maiko and martial arts training.
New Zack IslandEdit
After the fourth tournament, she went to New Zack Island without telling her mother Miyako.
The Fifth TournamentEdit
Two years later, while on a business trip to Tokyo with her mother, Kokoro took a stroll through the city and spotted Helena on a monitor announcing the reformation of DOATEC and the return of the Dead or Alive Tournament, which push hope in Kokoro that she will be able to see Helena again. The very next moment, a construction site collapses and during the chaos Kokoro is knocked over by Lisa Hamilton, who she challenges to a fight and demands an apology (unaware to her Lisa was actually lost to Ryu Hayabusa since their fight in the same place). After their battle, Lisa asks the girl how Miyako is doing, implying that the two fighters know each other through DOATEC.
The next few days, Kokoro returned to Kyoto to train for the up-coming tournament, having friendly spars against Jann Lee and Akira. She spots Jann Lee practicing with his nunchaku in a building. Jann Lee throws the weapon in her direction, expecting her to catch it and demonstrate her knowledge with them. Instead, the nunchaku crashes into a vase nearby and she wonders what he did that for. They then spar.
After her fight with Jann Lee, she comes out of the building to the sakura courtyard and continues to practice her baji quan as she is approached by Akira. He demonstrates his own baji quan skills and challenges her to a friendly spar before she is picked up by Zack to go to the tournament.
When Kokoro arrives, Zack takes her to meet Helena and the two of them have a friendly conversation. During their chat, Kokoro asked Helena what kind of man her own father was, implying that Kokoro may know – or as least suspect – that Fame was her father. However, neither woman confirms nor denies the fact and they go on to have a friendly fight.
At the fifth tournament, Kokoro made it to the quarterfinals, but was defeated by Eliot.
Back on New Zack IslandEdit
Kokoro once again went back to New Zack Island simply to take a vacation in the island once again. Happy to be back at New Zack Island, Kokoro decides to just go and enjoy her vacation so that can make some happy memories of the time she spent at the island. She also decides to do more training so that she can win the next tournament.
The Sixth Tournament Edit
Kokoro was put under Helena’s care after her mother Miyako abruptly left, mainly due to evidence implicating her as being involved in MIST. Largely because of this, Kokoro was left depressed. She was then visited by NiCO, who explained she knew her mom and that Miyako was the one who gave her a job. Kokoro, however, drove her off when NiCO empathised with Kokoro’s sense of abandonment, although not before NiCO left behind a photograph that piqued her interest: it featured Kokoro and Helena as children, together with Fame Douglas.
She then asked Helena what the photo was about, admitting NiCO’s role in supplying it to her. Helena replied that it wasn’t NiCO’s to give, before reluctantly confirming Kokoro’s suspicions that the two shared the same father, and thus were half-sisters. Kokoro did not believe this, and demanded to learn of it from Miyako herself, even fighting Helena and beating her. However, Helena begged her not to go, and admitted that, barring Kokoro, she had no one else in her family left. Kokoro ultimately heeded Helena’s request, although she was still despondent over this revelation. She eventually sparred with Zack when he supplied her with an invite to the sixth tournament, feeling better as a result. She also attempted to help dress Nyotengu, although her criticisms and constant redos irritated Nyotengu.
Arrival on the Venus Islands Edit
She arrived at the Venus Islands in order to partake in the Venus Festival, largely so she could hone both her Baji quan and geisha dance training. She eventually found the owner when wondering where to find the festival. She then agreed to become his partner, after asking what it was about.
3 Dead Or Alive 4 Kokoro’s Ending
DOA4 “She Who Was Allowed To Live”
Spoilers end here.
Kokoro in her pink kimono as it appears in Dead or Alive 4.
See also: Kokoro’s costumes
Compared to the other female brawlers in the series, Kokoro is considered the most feminine and girly in appearance. She has black, bottom-length hair worn loose with a small segment tied in a decoration up front on the left-hand side of her face and also has gray eyes, full lips, rosy cheeks, pale skin, and soft facial features. She is of average height and one of the shortest fighters with a petite body. In Dead or Alive Dimensions, her hair is tied back with a yellow bow, due to the graphical limitations of the Nintendo 3DS. Her re-design in Dead or Alive 5 was left pretty much unchanged for her original appearance, however her face was slimmed to a oval shape and her eyes are not as round any more. Her hair has also been slightly shortened from bottom length to about waist length and is thinner while her bangs are also adjusted to be more natural and less unnecessarily long. Her hair decoration on her shoulder length side lock has also been redesigned and is smaller and the player can choose one of four different variants to wear at the character select.
Her trademark outfit is a pink kimono with a brightly colored floral pattern. While it appears to be a proper, decorative kimono with a red collar of a maiko and an obi sash around the waist, it is actually incorrectly dressed so the skirt is loose, allowing Kokoro to move with more ease while fighting as well as giving her some sex appeal by exposing her legs. The outfit also includes okobo sandals and a type of sock known as tabi. It should be noted that while Kokoro had the kimono since her first appearance in Dead or Alive 4, she is only seen wearing it during the opening sequence and it was not available during gameplay. The kimono later became a playable costume in Dead or Alive: Dimensions and Dead or Alive 5.
Other costumes Kokoro has sported in the series include alternative kimono and yakata, school uniforms, and casual clothing involving skirts or the colour pink. Her default swimsuit in Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 is the Sweet Cherry: a side-tied pink bikini with a top designed to expose a lot of cleavage. In Dead or Alive 5, she wears more school-girl and gym inspired outfits from before, and she even receives an updated version of her mini skirt and off the shoulder top from Dead or Alive 4. In Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, she can also wear her hair in a shoulder length side-ponytail for the first time as well with a lavender bow. In the Last Round version of the game she receives an additional hairstyle: A ponytail with braided sides and adjusted bangs that feature a parted section as well as straight cut.
Possibly due to her up-bringing, Kokoro is well-mannered and well-spoken but also delicate and soft in nature. Similar to Kasumi, Kokoro appears to be one of the more merciful and gentle-spirited fighters; after she wins a fight, she may ask if she hurt her opponent too much or if she has gone too far with the fight and extends an apology. She is also very hospitable and immediately helps people in need like the time she wants to help the ill Kasumi but her help was denied due to Ayane hunting her. Kokoro is very kindhearted and sweet to others and for a girl her age, is very mature beyond her years.
She does seem weak emotionally at times. She does indeed fight to the best of her ability but, if she loses, she calls out for her mother. This would indicate that although she is confident in her style, losing proves to be a bit too much for her. Her sheltered life and Miyako’s protectiveness over her could have made it hard for her to adapt to the harsh reality of the tournament.
Kokoro tends to not react strongly to being startled or surprised. Even when objects are exploding around her it takes her quite a long time to react to them. Jann Lee threw a pair of nunchaku to Kokoro only to have them fly right past her and draw her into total bemusement. When Helena confirms their relationship and that Fame Douglas is her father, Kokoro seems to take a few seconds to process the information.
Aside from her merciful personality and innocence, she is shown to have a short temper, the only time she acts harshly in words or actions is when Brad made an advance on her and she pushed him away, the time that Ayane called her a liar and not being polite, and Lisa who accidentally bumped into her and told her to be vigilant on her surroundings. She also shows this in Dead or Alive 6 when NiCO tries to empathize with her for her mother’s sudden absence.
The kanji used to spell Kokoro’s name (心) means “heart,” which reflects her gentle and kind nature.
Helena & Kokoro’s elegant team-up on Christie
Kokoro is Helena’s half-sister since she is the daughter of Fame Douglas. Miyako had left for Japan and raised Kokoro there, whereas Helena was raised in France. While the two of them are half-sisters, Kokoro doesn’t know who Helena is. On the other hand, Helena seems to know about Kokoro and Miyako (as she was old enough to remember).
In the fourth Dead or Alive tournament, the two eventually meet and Helena feels weird upon coming into contact with Kokoro. Helena remarks, “Our blood… Is that what brought us here together?” While preparing for battle, Helena shouts, “you must learn my techniques!” (This is a nod toward the relationship between the sister styles, baji quan and pigua quan)
When Helena announces the Fifth Dead or Alive Tournament, Kokoro recognizes her and the two meet at Taylor’s Bar, where Kokoro asks Helena about her father, telling the woman that she did not remember hers. Helena assures her that her father was a good man, “as Kokoro’s was.” Helena shows much kindness and love towards Kokoro and spars with her as well to see how strong she has gotten since the fourth DOA tournament.
Upon being supplied with it by NiCO, Kokoro shows Helena a photo of herself and Helena as kids with Fame Douglas and confronts her on this. After Helena reluctantly confirms to Kokoro that they are indeed half-sisters and that Fame is indeed their father, Kokoro is angrily confused and upset and intent on finding and questioning her mother, even fighting and beating her now-revealed sister when she insisted on keeping her. However, after giving Helena a sad farewell, Kokoro ultimately stops upon learning from her that the latter doesn’t have anyone else in her family left, accepting her protection and staying around the area where she can be protected even if she still feels confused and upset about not being able to learn it from her mother.
Kokoro & Akira Double Shoulder Team-up
In the Dead or Alive 5 story mode, Kokoro and Akira test their show of skill, seeing as they are both masters in the art of baji quan. Kokoro tries to show him that she too can be just as strong in baji quan. They feature a new tag alliance in this tournament with team poses and team up moves.
Interestingly enough, Akira’s childhood friend and possible girlfriend Aoi Umenokoji is also a maiko/fan dancer as well, and she too practices a martial art.
In Dead or Alive 5’s story mode, it is revealed that Kokoro and Lisa know each other. When they bump into each other during a wild scramble in the city, Lisa easily recognizes Kokoro. Although Kokoro may know Lisa through Miyako working with her, it is unknown, however, if Kokoro is aware of Lisa’s exact occupation.
Their first acquaintance was when Kokoro was walking home and saw Kasumi disguised as a high schooler to keep her shinobi secret from getting out. Kokoro showed concern for Kasumi as she was suffering from a high fever and asked her if she needed any help but Kasumi refused, and fled as she saw Ayane approaching. They met again in Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 and got along well as they are the same age and have similarly compassionate dispositions.
Kokoro and Ayane initially got off on the wrong foot when they first met, largely because of Ayane threatening Kokoro due to trying to hunt down her half-sister Kasumi and attempting to kill the latter, ultimately forcing Kokoro to flee. However, later on they seemed to get along fairly well, as Kokoro played a game with Ayane and Misaki (with Kokoro struggling to win until she did and had Ayane get the girls drinks), and later aided Ayane in helping out Fiona with her beauty spa treatment. In addition, they also worked together regarding a movie shooting that the owner organized, with Ayane also initially thinking when seeing Kokoro crying that the owner did something to upset her. Despite this, however, they did get into a minor argument after an incident during filming where Kokoro apparently removed part of Ayane’s dress due to Ayane not being privy to this information (as the two had different scripts).
In Dead or Alive 5, Zack mentions knowing Kokoro for no less than 10 years suggesting Zack has known Kokoro since before the original Dead or Alive tournament. Zack seems to assist Kokoro whenever possible such as when he flew her out to see her sister Helena. Kokoro seems to show no level of inhibition to being around Zack even when he is be socially clumsy. Kokoro is the only female to go to Zack island without any signs of coercion from Zack nor being asked into going, such as when Helena Douglas asked Marie Rose to go. Kokoro also giggled when Zack introduced her to Helena as “the Beautiful Kokoro” and struggled repeatedly trying to not gaze at him affectionately after Zack said this. Kokoro will also go so far as to allow Zack to touch her physically in a casual way without any signs of protest whatsoever in spite of attacking both Brad Wong for trying to grab her and Lisa Hamilton for touching her accidentally, suggesting the two are highly close. In addition, she briefly sparred with Zack at the latter’s suggestion when about to deliver invites for the sixth tournament to make her feel better when she was feeling conflicted about the then-recent revelation of Helena’s familial relationship to her.
She got along very well with Misaki, even helping her out with advice on how to set up the Venus Vacation. Her positive views on Misaki were such that she once openly admitted to wishing Misaki was her younger sister, with Misaki being slightly taken aback by this compliment. She later gave some advice on a gift Misaki was trying to give to Nagisa, although she admitted that she was a bit envious of Misaki due to being an only child herself.
She worked alongside Luna for the Goddess Game, acting as her partner while competing against Marie Rose and Leifang. While largely casual with each other, Kokoro was largely annoyed when Luna apparently took her role.
Unlike several of the other girls who have encountered Tamaki, Kokoro didn’t seem to mind Tamaki too much, although she was somewhat wary of her trying to leer at her. She also was somewhat embarrassed when Tamaki attempted to tighten her Anniversary dress in front of Helena.
She overall had a friendly disposition to Fiona, and helped her out with not only the Dancing Party of Love, but also gave her advice for how to dance. Similarly, she alongside Ayane also helped Fiona with her bride training beauty spa. She also implies that she largely sympathized with Fiona escaping her castle to the island due to doing something similar in the past.
She was largely obedient to her mother Miyako, to the extent of adhering to her geisha lessons and even resorted to asking for her permission to undergo the Dead or Alive fighting tournament. Kokoro also implies to the owner on her first birthday on the Venus Islands that, until that time, Miyako was the only person she celebrated her birthday with. As such, she was also heartbroken when Miyako abruptly left her in Helena’s care without even saying goodbye. Although caring for her mother, she nonetheless feels somewhat distant to her, at least during the fifth tournament, as she relayed to Lisa that her mom never tells her about her work. She also had a slight degree of rebelliousness towards her as well, as she went to New Zack Island without telling her.
She came into contact with NiCO at some time during the Sixth Tournament, with NiCO being the reason why she had the photo of herself, Helena, and Fame Douglas together. Although NiCO felt genuine empathy for her due to both their mothers having abandoned them, Kokoro was angered by this and began a fight with her that she managed to win and force NiCO to flee.
In Dead or Alive Xtreme 3, Kokoro and Marie Rose apparently don’t like each other, as they had a single musical note regarding their relationship level. Despite this, however, Xtreme Venus Vacation indicated that they at least had some respect for each other, as Marie Rose was among those Kokoro had a heart-to-heart talk with in “Naked Heart” regarding a questionnaire.
Dead or AliveEdit
Kokoro vs. Kasumi
See also: Kokoro’s command lists
Kokoro’s baji quan fighting style incorporates many effective low kicks and powerful high kicks to assist her powerful elbows and strikes. Her elbows and punches are very quick and can cause many critical stuns. She is described as being a character well-suited for beginners, due to her unbreakable chain throw, being the safest character in the game in relation to advantage and disadvantage, and being easy to execute moves and mix-ups with.
Her preferred range is up close as her elbow strike Ryogi-Chu does 50% more damage at point-blank, whilst also being extremely quick and causing a critical stun, making it a highly useful combo starter. Kokoro’s Byakko-Suigetsu strike is unusual in that it causes a critical stun whilst doing a higher than average 40 points of base damage, thus enabling her to create very long and damaging combos. The move will also parry mid-punches if timed correctly, although it causes less damage as a result.
However, one of Kokoro’s biggest disadvantages is that she is a very easy character to counter because of the number of mid-punches in her repertoire. Characters with strong holds like Bayman and Tina Armstrong can inflict an incredible amount of damage to Kokoro, making her fairly weak in a fight like this. She is also weak at tracking, having only a few moves that can hit a sidestepping opponent, making her pretty linear if not played mindfully. Compared to the varying attack strings of her sister Helena, Kokoro’s attacks appear to be less refined, but far more powerful.
The following are Kokoro’s official stats as listed in the games.
|Dead or Alive 5 (5+)||5/5||3/5||2/5||3/5||3/5||4/5|
|Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate
Dead or Alive 5 Last Round
Dead or Alive XtremeEdit
Kokoro is easy to recruit but sometimes you might want to wait a bit before asking her to become your partner. She is also very grumpy in the morning, so wait to talk to her and give her gifts until the afternoon or evening. In turn, Kokoro can easily become friends with everyone. In Dead Or Alive Xtreme 3, she is still easy to befriend and a bit grumpy in the morning like in Xtreme 2. However, she and Marie Rose don’t like each other as both of them are bearing 1 musical note to each other.
In beach volleyball, Kokoro seems to be an almost balanced player, just not as well-rounded as the likes of Helena, Christie, and Lisa. She has great speed, power, and good defense but she is somewhat lacking in technique and jumping skill, making her aiming weaker than the other girls aim. As well as the balanced players, she can make a good team with Leifang, who isn’t as strong as Kokoro but Leifang can play the more defensive part of the team. She can also add strength to a team-up with the weak Kasumi and still make a very fast pairing.
The following are Kokoro’s official stats as listed in the manuals for both Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball and Xtreme 2.
Dead or Alive seriesEdit
- Dead or Alive 4 (playable, 2005-06)
- Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 (playable, 2006)
- Dead or Alive Paradise (playable, 2010)
- Dead or Alive Dimensions (playable, 2011)
- Dead or Alive 5 (5+) (playable, 2012-13)
- Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate (playable, 2013)
- Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate Arcade (playable, 2013)
- Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (playable, 2015)
- Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 (playable, 2016)
- Dead or Alive Xtreme: Venus Vacation (playable, 2017)
- Dead or Alive 6 (playable, 2019)
The following are the music themes used for Kokoro throughout the series.
|“Moonlit Lady”||Dead or Alive 4
Dead or Alive Dimensions
Dead or Alive 5+
Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate (default theme)
Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate Arcade
Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (default theme)
|“Tehu Tehu Remix”||Dead or Alive 4 (Crash Club)|
See: Kokoro gallery
- In Dead or Alive 4, Kokoro uses a Kansai-ben first-person pronoun “uchi“, which is popular among Kansai girls, hinting that Kokoro may speak in the Kansai dialect.
- This would make sense as her current residence is Kyoto, which is in the Kansai region of Japan.
- Likewise, in the Japanese version of Xtreme Venus Vacation, she refers to the owner as “Owner-han”.
- In the Japanese version of Dead or Alive 5, one of her victory quotes has her reciting the Bushido saying “Amongst flowers the cherry blossom, amongst men the warrior.” The overseas version had significantly shortened it to “Cherry blossoms and warriors”, leaving very little context to her statements.
- Kokoro wears glasses in Dead or Alive 5. It is unknown if she wears prescription glasses or not.
- Both Helena and Kokoro are connected as sisters through music, performing arts, elegance and fashion sense. As half sisters, they share complementary, sister-style martial arts of pigua quan and baji quan. The styles were once united, but departed, but once again brought together. This resembles how the sisters are once more coming together.
- If Helena were to step down from her position at DOATEC, Kokoro would be next in line for the job due to her direct relationship with Fame Douglas.
- Tomonobu Itagaki commented that baji quan was first used in Virtua Fighter, which he called the “origin of 3D fighting games”. Virtua Fighter’s main character Akira Yuki used this fighting style but Itagaki hoped to reproduce the martial art more realistically with Kokoro in Dead or Alive 4.
- The reason Kokoro, Ayane, Eliot, and Kasumi do not have listed ages in western versions of the Dead or Alive games from the original Dead or Alive to Dead or Alive 4 is because they were under 18 years old. Tecmo decided to give them undefined ages to avoid the risk of a moral backlash from western countries.
- Kokoro, along with Leon and Tengu, are the only characters in Dead or Alive 4 to not serve as a sub boss in the game’s story mode.
- In Dead or Alive 4, if the player allows the opening scene to be played again, simply by not pressing start for a set amount of time, you will see Kokoro practicing her bajiquan, similar to how the setting and atmosphere is from the first opening. If you notice, however, her kimono is now in a different color, being blue instead of pink. However, this kimono is not selectable in any games that Kokoro has appeared in and is only seen the alternate version of the opening in Dead or Alive 4.
- In Dead or Alive 6 the blue kimono is now a potential outfit that Kokoro can wear.
- IGN featured Kokoro in their “Videogame Babe of the Day” series in 2006.
- The “Awkward Sisters” event for Xtreme Venus Vacation revealed that, barring her half-sister Helena, Kokoro is an only child.