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Darkstalkers (Vampire): History of one of the most unjustly unjustly unknown sagas

The first license game was launched in 1994 and the latter in 2013 (although it is only a compilation of the different titles, the last original game was launched in 1997). If the license was quite popular in Japan, it has not had the same success in the West, eclipsed by Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat and Tekken.

Most games did not start here at that time, staying confined to the Japanese archipelago. But, now, with the launch of Capcom Fighting Collection , an anthology of 10 classics, including the complete series Darkstalkers, together for the first time outside of Japan, everything will change.

Tradition of dark stalches

Like many games of the time, Darkstalkers did not have exactly the same name in Japan than in the West. In the ground of the rising sun, the series is known as vampire . Several creatures of different folklores face there, for more or less known purposes. Some want to earn more power, others want to destroy the world, protect it or just make money.

It should also be taken into account that not all characters are necessarily available in all games. Here are all the protagonists of the license:

  • Morrigan Aensland (succubus, main heroin of the saga)
  • Demitri Maximoff (Vampire)
  • Felicia (Kemono: Woman cat)
  • Bishamon (Ghost)
  • Lilith Aensland (succubus, avatar of Morrigan)
  • Jedah Dohma (Evil Messiah, who recalls Grim Reaper, main antagonist in the third game)
  • Q-Bee (Kemono: woman-bee)
  • Victor von Gerdenheim (Frankenstein’s creature)
  • Lei-Lei (Jiangshi, a Chinese ghost, also known as Hsien-Ko)
  • Gallon (Wolf man, known as Jon Talbain in the West)
  • Bullet (Cazazpes inspired by red rack with great weapons, renamed as Baby Bonnie Hood for West)
  • Donovan Baine (Dhampire, half vampire, also hunters)
  • Phobos (robot inspired by Dogū, ancient Japanese statuettes. Refrivo as Huitzil)
  • Zabel Zarock (Rocker Zombie, also known as Lord Raptor)
  • Pyron (alien fire, final chief of the first games)
  • Sasquatch (Yeti)
  • Aulbath (Kemono: man-fish, also called Rikuo)
    Anakaris (mummy)

The plot is quite simple, an extraterrestrial way of life has come to earth to destroy humanity , and ironically, are the monsters, demons and other creatures that are the last bastion of men against extinction. Morrigan is the central character by default, since it is she whose search has the greatest impact on history, although this is not very clear in the first games. Unlike Ryu at Street Fighter , she did not appear so much and became the antiheroin of the series because her tradition was among the most worked in the game and she enjoyed great popularity among the players.

How to play

The series uses the six traditional Street Fighter attack buttons: 3 cuffs (LP small / MP medium / large) and 3 feet (LK small / medium / middle HK). On the other hand, the game is much faster than a classic Street Fighter, and can be considered one of the pioneers of the genre that then gave rise to other licenses such as Guilty Gear or Dragon Ball Fighterz. If the characters are less than In other licenses, each of them has its own gameplay. There are no clones or characters very similar as SHOTO at Street Fighter or Mishima in Tekken.

The movements are also very different according to the fighter played. For example, there are four different types of scripts:

  • The classic race on the ground
  • A small jump to make a overhead (high attack that can only be blocked by a standing guard)
  • The jet, which resembles the little jump, but where the character will go more and higher if the key is kept pressed
  • A teleportation

Each protagonist has a single type of Dash , here it is about clearly identifying that of your opponent to prepare the best possible answer.

In addition to the general speed of play, the series also brings novelties in the air field. It is possible to launch itself in the air or start on guard , unlike the Street Fighter games. Some fighters have unique movement options, which are listed below:

Anakaris can float in the air (instead of a neutral jump, that is, without another direction that is not 8 [up]), or make a triple jump

Darkstalkers - Fighting Game Retrospective
* Bullet can double jump
* Felicia can lean on the walls or sit on the head of an opponent (it does not hurt)
Lilith has a super jump
* Q-Bee can beat her wings to stay in the air
* Zabel Zarock can move while he is crouched

Specific combos can be achieved by simply pressing a more powerful blow. The longest chain (but not necessarily the best) is: LP, LK, MP, MK, HP, HK. It is also possible to make the equivalent of the EX movements of Street Fighter (called movements is in Darkstalkers) by pressing two similar buttons (two fists or two feet) during a special movement, at the expense of a resource bar. There are also called movements EX movements in Darkstalkers , but these have their own, specific controls for each fighter.

When spending a bar, it is possible to activate the dark mode by pressing a fist button and foot of the same power simultaneously. In dark mode, your character obtains specific properties, such as new movements, the ability to fly or super armor. Mugs are pushed 4 or 6 + MP or HP (including MK or HK if the fighter has a Mug on the foot).

The other interesting mechanics is a pursuit attack, which can be performed by pressing 6 + an attack key while demoling an opponent. It’s not hurt, but it can greatly reduce life that can be recovered over time (blue life in SFV).


Competitions around the license is mainly in Vampire Savior (Darkstalkers 3) with the turbo configured on 3. This is the most achieved and best balanced version of the license. However, it should be noted that it is commonly prohibited to play A oboro bishamon, one of the heads of the game, this is not due to its power, but that the optimum version of the game is the arcade, and it is not unlocked in the terminals but only in the console versions. That can change with the launch of the anthology, but you can take it into account.

The Shadow character is also prohibited. This time the reason is more evident, since in the competitions of fighting games, the winner is prohibited from changing character after a victory. O Shadow randomly chooses a set of movements of the entire cast and, therefore, is considered a character change. Lastly, Donovan, Pyron and Phobos are not in Darkstalkers 3 (to see if they are added in the anthology, but no additional information, better not count on them).

There are competitions in previous titles, but they are marginal (in a scene that is already marginal, in other words, it can cost you to find coincidences). Finally, Vampire Savior 2 is considered less good than the original version, so there is no Competition in this title. It is the same for Vampire Hunter 2.

At the level of Tierlist , this takes years engraved in stone.

  • S: Zabel, Sasquatch, Q-Bee, Gallon
  • A +: Aulbath, Bulleta, Bishamon, Felicia
  • A: Lilith, Lei-Lei, Demitri, Jedah
  • B: Morrigan, Víctor, Anakaris

However, the list of levels is only considered valid at a very high level. At the middle / advanced level, all the characters have a chance of Victoria. Darkstalkers 3 is one of the best balanced games of Capcom , and it is perfectly possible to win with all the fighters. And who knows, maybe we are pleasantly surprised to see that third parties B have received a little buff in the anthology to give them more opportunities, although again, we do not bet for that.

Let’s clarify that it is often stupid to give a list of levels before the launch of a game, but Capcom did not announce that the games would receive a patch of balance in the anthology, and Vampire Savior was launched in 1997 in Japan, so the title is Well known thoroughly.