Tecmo Co., Ltd is a Japanese developer and publisher who were established on the 31st of July 1967 in the Chiyoda-ku district of Tokyo, Japan. Initially according to their official sites archive they were involved in the facilities management of various retail properties. In 1981 they expanded the companies focus to include a consumer business division to develop amusement machines as well as setting up a North American subsidiary in march of that year called Tecmo.Inc based in Los Angeles, USA.
In 1986 the company changed its name to Tecmo Corporation and started developing consumer software for the Japanese market as well as developing software for the Nintendo Famicon.
The company is now known as Tecmo Koei Games which was formed by a merger between Koei Co., Ltd and Tecmo Co.,Ltd in 2009 this formed a holding company called KOEI TECMO HOLDINGS CO., LTD and in April the following year Tecmo as a separate entity ceased to exist becoming part of the present day company know as Tecmo Koei Games.
デッド オア アライブ2 or Dead or Alive 2 was originally a Sega Naomi arcade title. In fact it was among the first titles to be developed using the hardware. On September 1998 Tecmo announced that they had been secretly working on developing a sequel to the popular arcade and consumer hit Dead or Alive but it wasn’t till the power of the upcoming Sega Naomi arcade system that they had been able to realise their vision. Linked to below is the official Tecmo website which talks about the power of the Naomi development system allowing them to create a new instalment in the series. (C) 1999 TECMO All rights reserved.
As an example of just how early Tecmo were working with Sega as a licencee on the Naomi system is below is a link to official Sega Noami announcement dated the 18th of September 1998 and Tecmo already had Dead or Alive 2 up and running. (C) 1998 Sega Enterprises.Ltd
Tecmo only released one title for the Dreamcast and that was デッド オア アライブ2 or Dead or Alive 2 which was published on the 28th of September 2000 and retailed for ¥6,800. The game was developed by the in-house Tecmo development called Team Ninja and was published in two different versions a limited edition with unique cover art, a picture disc and what Tecmo call’s a ‘Digital Venus’ cgi gallery. The standard edition which has a different cover lacks the picture disc and the Digital Venus cgi gallery. As seems to be the trend for Japanese Dreamcast releases the standard edition is significantly harder to obtain compared to the limited edition. The link below is to the official Tecmo Dead or Alive 2 page relating to the Digital Venus cgi gallery & information on the Dead or Alive 2 network fan club.(c) TECMO, LTD.
The demand for Japanese titles around the turn of the millennium especially arcade ones was probably at the highest it had been. There is a convoluted publishing history about the game with the games director Tomonobu Itagaki stating Tecmo went and published an unfinished version on the Playstation 2. Below is a report from Eurogamer.net that Tomonobu Itagaki talks about how the game was published early.(c) 2012 Eurogamer.Net
The game was very different from its initial western release compared to the later domestic Japanese release for both the Dreamcast & Playstation 2 iterations. It was enhanced with extra content that Team Ninja continued to work on in the intervening months before the game was finally published in Japan. Perhaps the unusual step of being released first outside of Japan was the fact that Tecmo had signed an exclusivity deal with Sega of America to have Dead or Alive 2 as a Dreamcast exclusive for six months for the North American market. I’ve linked to an IGN article which confirms the titles North American exclusivity deal. © 1996-2017 Ziff Davis, LLC
The North American release of Dead or Alive 2 was published by the subsidiary company Tecmo.Inc. The European publishing rights were acquired by Acclaim Entertainment.Ltd. Below i’ve linked to the official press release about Acclaim acquiring the publishing rights for the European market. © ACCLAIM is a registered trademark of Acclaim Entertainment, Inc. 2000.
Dead or Alive 2 is a 3D fighting game that is probably just as famous for it’s graphic fidelity as its simple to pick up and play gameplay. You pick one of the initial twelve unlocked characters and make your way through the games story mode. One nice touch are the character specific interactions between certain fights there generally well done and not that common to see especially at the time when Dead or Alive 2 was released. All the cutscenes in the game use the in game engine and transition to and from gameplay very smoothly.
As well as the main story mode Dead or Alive 2 on the Dreamcast has a wealth of other options including a time attack, Survival & training modes. Perhaps the most interesting is the next two options the tag mode allows you to obviously tag in your partner but also gives you access to specific character tag team moves for extra damage. The team battle mode is the games four player mode which is manic but i suspect is sadly underused compared to the other gameplay modes.
The User Profile System (UPS) is much more than a simple save file. It tracks all your in game data like your win/loss ratio, point totals & information on characters you’ve used. Also keeps a record of your points you’ve amassed by playing the game which in turn unlock outfits, the Digital Venus gallery & the extra characters. While Dead or Alive 2’s official site is still navigable one part features an interesting oddity on the hidden information page the titles font is completely different to any type used on the Dead or Alive series. It might just be a placeholder left in when the title was in development. You can check out the official site and see for yourself below. (c) TECMO,LTD. 1996,1997,1998,1999,2000
Below is a link to Tecmo’s official Dreamcast site where you can find much more in-depth information on the games Characters and systems. (c) TECMO,LTD. 1996,1997,1998,1999,2000
Tecmo supported the release of Dead or Alive 2 on the Dreamcast by organising various tournaments the most famous was the Over the Top tournament held at the Tecmo booth at the autumn 2000 Tokyo game show in which saw the culmination of the tournaments as the best arcade Dead or Alive 2 player took on the top Sony Playstation 2 player and the top ranked Sega Dreamcast Dead or Alive 2 player to find the overall champion Dead or Alive 2 player. Details of the Tournament including knockout rounds and winners can be found at the official link below. (c) TECMO,LTD.1996,1997,1998,1999,2000
Dead or Alive 2 was like so many Japanese Dreamcast titles internet compatible and the network functions allowed the user to sign up and access the DOA Network Fan Club which was a members only Dead or Alive site which featured semi regular emails, information about the game & a BBS board. Tecmo’s official information about the DOA Fan Club is linked to below. (c) TECMO,LTD.2000
Overall i’d recommend the Japanese limited edition version of Dead or Alive 2 for the most complete version of the game released on the Dreamcast. The Japanese limited edition is easily found and quite affordable. The standard edition as with most Dreamcast games is significantly harder to find.
T-3601M Dead or Alive 2 limited edition
T-3602M Dead or Alive 2
T-3601M Dead or Alive 2 limited edition
T-3602M Dead or Alive 2
I don’t have a specific sample cover relating to the normal edition (T-3602M). While i believe one probably exists there should also be a sample version for the limited edition that is less than the early placeholder prototype that i have. If you have a later version of either Dead or Alive 2’s sample covers please get in contact.
(NOT FOR SALE) 非売品 discs & other media
Dead or Alive 2 does have at least one known individual 非売品 disc and that is presented below.
610-7913 Dead or Alive 2
As for other items relating to the Dreamcast version of Dead or Alive 2 their exists quite a bit of official media. The first two i’ll cover here are the official guide books,
Dead or Alive 2 Perfect Guide
Published by SoftBank on 31st of October 2000 and retailing for ¥1,800
The other official guide book was Dead or Alive 2 Official Strategy.
It was published by Media Works again on the 31st of October 2000 and retailed for ¥1,650.
As for specific Dreamcast related soundtrack’s i wasn’t able to find any but Tecmo itself advertised the official Dead or Alive 2 soundtrack.
Below is the official site that contains song titles and other information. (c)TECMO,LED.1996,1999 WAKE UP/テクモ
Thanks for taking the time to read this entry on Tecmo hopefully you found it useful. If anyone has any other Japanese Dreamcast branded Dead or Alive 2 merchandise or even the final cover art sample covers please get in contact either through the site or on Twitter @dreamcastcollector