|Dead or Alive character|
Tina Armstrong in Dead or Alive 5
|First game||Dead or Alive (1996)|
|Created by||Tomonobu Itagaki|
|Voiced by (English)||Sally Dana (DOA2H)
Kate Higgins (DOAX2–present)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Mami Koyama (DOA)
Yūko Nagashima (DOA2–present)
|Portrayed by||Jaime Pressly (film)|
|Birthplace||Texas (United States)|
|Fighting style||Professional wrestling|
|Occupation||Wrestler and model
Rock star (DOA5)
Tina Armstrong (ティナ・アームストロング Tina Āmusutorongu?) is a player character in the Dead or Alive fighting game franchise by Team Ninja and Tecmo Koei. She was introduced in the original Dead or Alive in 1996 as an American professional wrestler dreaming of greater fame. In future series appearances, she is indecisive about her career interests, wanting to become either a model, actress, rock star, or politician, all to the chagrin of her overprotective father, Bass Armstrong. Tina has appeared on official series merchandise in addition to the feature film DOA: Dead or Alive, and has received critical reception as one of the most iconic video-game blondes.
In Dead or Alive games
Tina Armstrong is the only daughter of famous pro wrestler Bass Armstrong, who raised her alone after her mother's death. He wanted Tina to follow him into the wrestling industry, and trains her for such at a young age. Though she is already an expert wrestler as a teenager, she dreams of expanding her horizons beyond the wrestling scene. In the 1996 original Dead or Alive game, Tina joins the Dead or Alive fighting tournament as a vehicle for becoming discovered by Hollywood. Bass opposes this decision as he does not want her to quit wrestling, and therefore joins the tournament himself to prevent her achieving her goals. Tina reaches the final against Kasumi, but she ends up forfeiting the match. She nonetheless collects the cash prize after Kasumi refuses it. In Dead or Alive 2 (1999), Tina aspires to become a supermodel, for which she bleaches her hair blonde and dresses in skimpy outfits. She ends up having to fight her own father in the competition, and emerges victorious. She gets her wish and begins modeling on a television show.
Tina joins the fourth competition in Dead or Alive 4 (2005) now wanting to become a rock star, over which she and Bass quarrel before she officially defeats him again. After the tourament's conclusion, she goes on to shoot a garish music video. Tina enters New Zack Island in Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 (2006) to escape the clutches of her overprotective father, whom she needed to stay away from to prevent any more conflicts. After she finally made her debut in Hollywood as a model, Tina decides that she wanted to be an actress and enters the third tournament to promote herself. Bass tries to stop her once again but she got annoyed at him, telling him that it's her dream and he is not the boss of her any more. She defeats him, and goes on to star in an action film after the tournament concludes.
In Dead or Alive 5 (2012), Tina has quit competitive fighting since achieving success in the entertainment world, but she is lured out of retirement and recruited into the fifth tournament by Zack (owner of Zack Island in the Dead or Alive Xtreme games). Tina defeats him in battle and then takes out Virtua Fighter character Sarah Bryant as her reaction to Zack confusing her with Sarah. When Tina publicly announces her plans of returning to competition, Bass attempts to stop her once again, this time by posing as a tournament contestant named "Mr. Strong". After he eliminates her in the quarterfinals, he reveals his identity and Tina convinces him in turn to join her as a father-daughter team, but further reveals that she now wants to transition into politics.
Tina is a young Caucasian woman with blonde hair and blue eyes, and in the English-language versions of the Dead or Alive games, she speaks with a heavy Southern accent. In the 1996 original game, she is a brunette and wears simple blue wrestling gear, which is greatly minimized in the first two sequels to a black bra and matching leather panties accentuated only by either cowboy boots or a short vest, while her hair color was permanently changed to blonde. Her design follows suit with cowgirl-style outfits and American flag motifs Tina has additionally donned various wrestling gear from different eras and regions. With the increased quality of the character renders in Dead or Alive 5, Tina was given a more realistic appearance with smaller eyes and even more revealing outfits. Dead or Alive 5 Last Round pre-order bonuses included Tina's skimpy "Showstopper" costume from Amazon. Her wardrobe in Last Round includes a downloadable costume of Mail from Nihon Falcom's Popful Mail.
Saturn Power described Tina as a "nightmare opponent" due to her throw-oriented style. UK's unofficial Dreamcast Magazine called Tina "in every respect, the consummate Dead or Alive 2 babe" and cautioned not to "let her looks deceive you as she's one of the best best fighters in the game." According to DOA4 guide by GameSpot's Matthew Rorie, "Tina's moveset is definitely that of a wrestler: lots of powerful mid and high punches, complemented by a dizzying array of throws." That author opined that, similar when playing as Bayman, Tina's player has to "be an expert at baiting" their opponent into attempting to counter their moves, "and then making them pay." DOA4 guide by GameSpy's David McCutcheon states "Tina has a lot of disadvantages, mostly lying in her lack of speed in close combat" and thus requires "trickery and a great sense of reading [one's] opponent ... to succeed consistently with the female wonder. The upside to Tina is that she is a brute, despite her lack of strength by comparison to the other brutes in the game. Being an agile female, she draws a fine line between a fast character and a pure strength character, making her a decent starting fighter." She is also able to performs additional special moves while fighting on a wrestling arena. According to Official Xbox Magazine, in DOAX Tina is "very strong at the net and will be able to spike right through most characters' blocks or defense, but her finesse moves are lacking. She's weak as a back row player, though, as she's not very good at digging."
In the film DOA: Dead or Alive, Tina is trying to escape her wrestling background and prove to be a real fighter. She is constantly bothered by Zack who has a crush on her. She is also bothered by Bass who wants her to return to wrestling. In the Tournament, she beats both Bass and Zack to advance to the semifinals, and is one of the four women to beat Donovan near the end.
Tina's actress Jaime Pressly said about the film being shelved: "I can’t say that I’m upset that it didn’t come out. We were working with a director, Corey Yuen, who is one of the number one action and marital arts directors in the world. That’s why we did the film. In the process of filming, a lot of bad stuff came up and happened, [and] it just didn’t turn out the way that it should have. And I think for gamers, a lot of the stuff was inaccurate because they changed it along the way."
Various merchandising items have been released featuring Rina Armstrong, such as figures from various manufacturers including Bandai, Epoch and Kotobukiya. Other merchandise has included a key-chain figurine and tapestry from Tecmo, women's swimwear and an oppai mousepad from Tecmo Koei, and assorted items from Famitsu. Her card was added to Sega's game Samurai & Dragons in 2013.
The character has been often noted for her sex appeal. In 2000, Tina was ranked as number one "girl on the Dreamcast" by Dreamcast Magazine, described as "undeniably the most gorgeous," and won a reader poll by Revista Oficial Dreamcast, easily defeating the staff's other choices (Claire Redfield, Sophitia, Lara Croft, Ulala and Chun-Li) with 34% of all votes being casted on her. She later won G4's Video Game Vixens of the year award for 2005 in two categories: "Dirtiest Dancer" and "Video Game Vixen of the Year".
Sega Saturn Magazine named this "hot all-American babe with buns of steel" as the "muscle" of the first DOA game. Official Xbox Magazine preferred Tina over Ayane as the "Queen of Fighters" in Dead or Alive Ultimate "because of her violent wrestling moves." IGN stated in 2004: "We love Tina, because she fights unlike any of the other women in DOA. She's got a bit of tomboy and American sass and [and s]he's got power to go along with beauty and puts the real ladies of the WWE to shame. If her sexy cat outfit doesn't convince you she's a winner, you have got some serious emotional issues." In the article titled "Battle of the Beauties: Gaming's Hottest Female Characters Face Off" by Rich Knight of Complex Tina faced and won against Rainbow Mika from Street Fighter in the female wrestlers category. She was also featured in Complex's list of most humiliating victory quotes in fighting games, and made third place on GameDaily's 2008 list of top wrestling characters in video games. GamesRadar's Henry Gilbert ranked Tina as the fourth best wrestler in video games, observing "Tina can pull off just about every devastating grapple ever invented--all while wearing a string bikini, no less--but she dreams of using her talents for something more."
Brazilian magazine SuperGamePower listed her among the 20 "muses" of video games in 2001. Including her on his 2007 list of 50 greatest heroines in video games, Rob Wright of Tom's Games wrote "she absolutely oozes sex appeal in between fights." PLAY ranked Tina as the third top "hottest" blonde in games in 2010, also jokingly calling her breasts "the undisputed #1 and #2 of all Dead or Alive’s features." In 2011, the staff of UGO included her among the "hottest girls in games", stating "this female wrestler hits harder than any of the other DoA characters while still managing to show off the maximum amount of skin. We call that a perfect recipe for both in and outside of the fighting ring." UGO's Aubrey Sitterson also ranked Tina as 11th in her 2011 ranking of the "foxiest fighting females to be ever pixelated," described as a "perennial favorite when it comes to Dead or Alive Xtreme 2's totally-classy, not-objectifying-women-in-the-least bikini-clad Butt Battles," while Rich Shivener of Joystick Division chose Tina's breasts (together with Kasumi's) as the seventh "most incredible chest" in video games. She was listed fourth on Brazilian site Portal PlayGame's 2014 selection of their top 100 female video game characters. She is, however, not very popular in Japan, where she failed in a popularity poll to qualify for Dead or Alive Xtreme 3.
According to Official Xbox Magazine, Dead or Alive "girls have always been slightly controversial, with high-minded types lamenting the gratuitous use of bouncing bosoms" but eventually "all gamers, feminists included, realise[d] that Tina, Kasumi et al are actually rather fit." Tina Armstrong's "strong arms and legs" in DOA2 impressed the actress and model Leila Arcieri, while the actress and model Jaime Bergman said she reminds her of herself. Nevertheless, Matthew O'Mara of National Post alleged Tina embodies the most "sexist design choices" in DOA5U, including having a second idle animation and more outfits than any other character in the game. On the other hand, Zachary Miller of Nintendo World Report praised Tina's alternate idle animation as the "most impressive realism in terms of movement" in the history of video game breast physics. He also noted that "Tina and Kasumi are the only ladies with bikini costumes and they both display the usual DoA jiggle more than the other ladies" in Dead or Alive: Dimensions while writing about his favorite "chesty heroines on Nintendo systems."
Electronic Gaming Monthly praised the film's "for its hot chicks [and] spirited casting: My Name is Earl’s white-trash hottie Jaime Pressly as Tina!" even as they excepted the rest of the film to be "crap". Pressly's role in the film was ranked as the third "hottest woman in video game movies" by Peter Rubin of Complex in 2012.
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