After being inspired by the Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball opening remaster in 5K, Free Step Dodge owner, Matt Ponton remastered the entire Dead or Alive 2: Ultimate opening cut scene in glorious crisp 8K running at a stunning 60 frames per second over a long weekend of work. This is considered by many DOA players to be one of the best cut scenes in the series if not one of the best CGI cut scenes in fighting games. Nearly 20 years later this incredible story has been retold looking more beautiful than it ever has.
The scene starts with Kasumi and Ayane's childhood, playing innocently and enjoying life outside as all kids should. The first thing players will notice about this scene is how clear and colorful it is compared to the now blurry original - eternally stuck in a blurry 480p at 30fps. If we were to take a gander now at the original it would almost terrify you. The water reflections off of the characters, their sleek textures and even the rocky environments hosting the gorgeous waterfall have all been uplifted by this remaster.
This video is the original upload to YouTube by IGN; and this version actually runs at 360p, but seeing the original work can show you how far technology has come along in a very short period of time when you think about it. The original video has a lot of darkened areas that are brought to life by the remaster and the detail of the characters are cleaner than ever before.
The 60fps provides characters cleaner animation, and you can see that clearly in comparison to the original as Kasumi is taken away by her clan from Ayane. Details are more focused and the color remains striking as they move away from Ayane's view. As Ayane is left in the rain you can see objects such as the shrine to her left in a clearer view.
As part of the next scene the foreshadowing rain tells an ominous story of what's to come for Ayame. As the camera creeps in from the rainy night you can clearly see Kasumi's family through the window. With the 8K version Raidou's stained teeth, menacing features & Ayame's tears are far more visible and make DOAs most chilling scene all that more effective.
At 1:56 when Ayane was moved to the Hajinmon village you can now blaringly see Hayate & Kasumi from the start of the first frame of the sequence. The characters are cut much better with more visible detail, and still fit the warmth of the room perfectly. I always found the candles bouncing off the characters glowing skin to be an attractive and unique look to this scene from anything I've seen in a pre-rendered cut scene for a game.
Those beautiful pinwheels at 2:17 are now far more popping in color... and you can even make out the flower and butterfly prints on them clear as day.
Ayane's youth-teenager transition is running exactly as intended in the remaster with that iconic haircut and slow motion hair twirl. All of the details and emotions are captured impeccably in the remastering of this sequence while remaining dark an ominous.
According to Matt Ponton the Raidou Fight was the most time consuming scene to put together because of the 60fps interpolation. Adding the 30 extra frames per second between each set of the original 30 frames. Also keep in mind that each second of 8K upscale is about 1 gigabyte in size with the official video clocking in at 5 minutes and 4 seconds. If the AI does not calculate the right time - it must be edited and tweaked. Below is a screenshot of poor interpolation.
After Ponton's initial test run for doing this he discovered a way to to rip and convert the footage directly from the XBOX disc. This video is layered not just with upscaling, but the craftsmanship and work ethic of Matt Ponton. Thank you for this wonderful recreation of our favorite Dead or Alive scene!
What CGI cut scene would you like to see remastered from DOAs catalogue of classics? It's nice to see that people are talking about this - Zakkurye even did a reaction video for the scene.