Dragged into a mysterious portal by-way-of Victor Donovan's M.I.S.T. time-travelling experiment, the ruler of Japan’s Warring States era Ii clan, Naotora Ii, emerges and stranded in present-day next to a competitor of the DEAD OR ALIVE fighting tournament. Given no other choice but to fight for her life, and keeping her family motto of ‘once on the battlefield, one must face the enemy head on’ in mind, a determined Naotora sets out to emerge victorious from this strange new challenge.
Hisashi Koinuma, the producer of the Samurai Warriors series, wanted to answer fans' requests for new characters while appealing to the team's desire to include characters who could fit the multiple scenario options in the series main story mode. He comments that these characters feel as though they would not normally fit in a typical Samurai Warriors title. In Naotora's case, she was designed to be a contrast to previously established female characters in the series. The ladies in the cast more or less choose to fight, yet Naotora was conceptualized to be the woman forced against her will to battle. Koinuma remarks that this is derived from her historical inheritance as clan head, which seems as though it was imposed on her merely because she was the only surviving applicant. The developers are fond of her and call her "Naotora-chan".
Owing to her hailing from the Sengoku Period of Japanese history, Naotora Ii wore Japanese armor befitting that time period, such as ribbed shoulder armor and red lacquered armor. Her boots were also fitted with blades, and she also had a slightly flushed face. She had long black bottom length hair styled in a traditional hime cut with straight cut ends, straight bangs, and short blunt sidelocks that framed her face. She never wore her hair loose however: she wore her hair in practical low loose pigtails that cascaded down her back, and wore various head ornaments and hair bands depending on her chosen outfit.
She also had a significantly large bust like many of the other female fighters, although she also had a slight mole between her cleavage and her left breast.
Naotora is kind and optimistic but shy. She is habitually apologetic for any mishap she believes to have caused others, which even extends into battle against her enemies. She often remembers the words of her best friend, Tazu, or her great-grandfather, Naohira, for guidance. Her friend's words instill her with the bravery to fight; her ancestor is the all-knowing sage of their family creed to her. She is unfortunately unaware that Naohira has become a loon in his elderly years and is often misguided to do several violent and/or unnecessary deeds on his behalf. Her lack of tact has made the elders of the Ii clan shake their heads in shame. Their condemnation and her bashfulness doesn't cloud her selfless desire to persevere for Naomasa's sake.
Although she half-dreads her duties, Naotora feels very insecure of her giant proportions. She towers over other women and men, and awkwardly sticks out in crowds. Her showy battle attire embarrasses her, but she keeps it because Naohira told her to wear it for their family honor. She mistakenly believes herself to be ugly, clumsy, and brutish. When she isn't worried about the future of her clan, she fears the possibility of forever forsaking her chance to live a normal life of femininity.
Naotora is grateful to have someone understand her and feels safe with his reassurance. She often gains the courage to decide her clan's future through their private chats together. Naotora dotes on Naomasa and happily smothers him with affection. She frets when the daredevil antics from his playable counterpart offends others, often apologizing for him and voicing her faith in his honorable traits. Even when he reaches adulthood, she hasn't dropped her preference for calling him by his childhood name, Toramatsu, and struggles to correct herself. Naotora rejoices when Naomasa kindly permits her to keep using it.
Naotora (直虎) is a masculine name that uses the "Nao" (直, "straight") passed on within the Ii family.
- See also: Naotora's command list
Naotora Ii fights using powerful kicking attacks enhanced by the blades attached to the ankles of her metal combat boots.
In Dead or Alive, this general style is transferred over; She utilizes a multitude of multi level kicking attacks that do impressive damage, and has easy to perform commands from her kicking strings, as well as some arm-based strikes, and even attacks involving use of her buttocks. Although she is fast, she tends to struggle against faster strikers like Kasumi, and as such is recommended to be played at a mid range for her attacks which cover decent distance and have longer start ups.
Her moves, while powerful and quick, are somewhat linear and have a lot of recovery in her more over the top attacks, and most of them are unsafe on block or highly telegraphed. She has very few punch attacks, and most of her moves are high or mid kicks, which can put her at a disadvantage against characters who possess an expert hold for those hit levels.
She has access to a special "Ii Family Creed" stance that has powerful follow ups, but they are highly predictable and telegraphed, and they have somewhat slow start up making them foolish to use at close range.
She has simple and effective throws, but her holds are mediocre and leave much to be desired as far as advantage and damage go. She also has access to a spinning drill like attack that has very long range, and is great for whiff punishment, despite it being very unsafe.
Overall, she is a simple skillgate type character who can be quite effective in a match, but avoid mashing, or you'll receive heavy punishment. In stage transitions, particularly instances where the player is descending to a lower level, Naotora will sometimes end up clumsily falling down uncontrolled, and then land butt-first on the fighter, although this will have no negative impact on the player.
Dead or Alive seriesEdit
- Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (playable DLC, only for arcade; PS4; XONE and Steam/Windows, 2016)
Non-Dead or Alive appearancesEdit
Samurai Warriors Naotora first appeared in the Japanese-only Samurai Warriors Chronicles 2nd as one of its three new characters. She is the Ii clan head who is new to her responsibilities. Her friend from the Iio family, Tazu, tells her to trust Ieyasu Tokugawa. She fights for the Tokugawa throughout the series to foster the infant Naomasa and to someday pass on clan leadership to him. Her same origin story and actions are repeated with few alterations in Samurai Warriors 4.
Samurai Warriors 4-II has her fight until Komaki-Nagakute, where she gladly passes on Ii clan leadership to a matured Naomasa and retires. The Women of War scenario addresses her low self-esteem with a group dance performance.
The same persona appears as DLC in Romance of the Three Kingdoms Maker.
Samurai Warriors Naotora and her son star in a Samurai Warriors event for the now-defunct Quiz Battle Toukiden social game. They appear as Mitama (departed heroes) and are aware that they are already dead. Naotora is more willing to help the nameless protagonist than her son, who leaves their saviors behind. She urges the protagonist to rescue Naomasa from danger and is happy when the duo get along.
- "Roaming Blossom" - Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (default theme), Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate Arcade
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- She is the first guest character to be originally from the first party company itself (although the series she's from was developed specifically by W-Omega Force, thus technically making her second party), and the first guest character in the 5th game not to be a guest character from third party Sega's Virtua Fighter.
- Because of her hailing from the Samurai Warriors franchise, her debut set/DLC's release coincided with the Samurai Warriors Collaboration DLC set.
- She is currently the only female fighter in the Dead or Alive roster to be a confirmed mother (due to her being the adoptive mother of Naomasa Ii in the Samurai Warriors franchise), and one of only five characters in the roster to be confirmed parents (the only others being Bass Armstrong, Gen Fu, Shiden, and Raidou).
- Most likely because of her DLC status, she is currently the only one of Dead or Alive 5 Last Round characters to have absolutely no tag throws or tag team interactions with any characters
- Dead or Alive 5 Last Round is the first game in which she has been given an English dubbing, despite the fact that her home series has received western releases as well.
- On a related note, she is currently the only guest character to have both Japanese and English voices rather than resorting to her native tongue regardless of version, as the Virtua Fighter guests as well as SPARTAN-458 and Mai Shiranui (despite formerly having English voices) did even in the overseas releases (the VF guests using old sound bytes from Virtua Fighter 5).
- Naotora Ii is the second Dead or Alive fighter to appear during the game as a result of Time Travel (in her case, travelling to the future), the only other being SPARTAN-458 from Dead or Alive 4, who travelled from the future in her case. Coincidentally, both also were guest fighters in their respective games.