Retro Halloweekend usually focuses on games within the horror genre because, duh. However, this week we’re going to switch things up a bit and talk about a fighting game! Yes, you heard right, a fighting game. Darkstalkers 3 to be exact. And while I don’t have extensive knowledge of the series as a whole, I have spent some time with the third entry and I can safely say, it is totally fit for Halloween time.
Darkstalkers takes place in an alternate reality where Earth is usually under some kind of demonic or supernatural threat. Originally, Earth and the demon realm Makai were merging and this phenomenon brought about the Darkstalkers, a group of monsters as well as their hunters that fought in an everlasting battle to rule the night. By Darkstalkers 3, one of the nobles of Makai has been resurrected and he wants to remake the demon realm by stealing the souls of the Darkstalkers. Okay, it’s a fighting game franchise. There’s nothing really compelling about these stories but Darlkstalkers made a name for itself by being a fast-paced, mechanically tight, fighting game with one of the most unique cast of characters out there.
That cast is built around the monster stories we’re so familiar with. The Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood turn into Jon Talbain and B.B. Hood. The Swamp Thing turns into the merman, Rikuo. Frakenstein turns into Victor von Gerdenheim and so on and so forth. What’s special about Darkstalkers is that these characters aren’t just ripped out of the fables and folklore we’re familiar with, but they are given their own unique backstories and personalities. The werewolf, Jon Talbain isn’t just a wolfman but is part of a royal bloodline that’s been cursed by lycanthropy. B.B. Hood isn’t some sweet, innocent, child, but a gun-toting, strong teenage badass. And since this is a fighting game, it’s worth mentioning that each character feels a players completely unique to each other. Some are fast, some are slow, some have range, and others are meant to get up close. Even the movesets are pretty varied so if one character doesn’t mesh well, there’s bound to be one that will fit more into your own playstyle.
With such a diverse set of characters obviously influenced by monster movies and folklore, Darkstalkers is basically “Halloween Fighters” making it a perfect fit for Retro Halloweekend. But sadly, the series has been dormant for quite some time with the latest release being Darkstalkers Resurrection which is just an HD compilation of Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors and Darkstalkers 3. I guess there’s no more demon realms out there. Because of this, we haven’t gotten to further push the monster fighter genre with new characters and I definitely have some ideas for new Darkstalkers fighters.
Amelia the Ghost
I’ve got a few ideas for Amelia here. First of all, she’s a ghost. Now, the Samurai in Darkstalkers is actually just a ghost possessing the armor so there’s technically already a ghost character in the game. However! I want Amelia to be a straight up transparent, floating, amorphous ghost. That would involve being able to morph and change shape to create really weird and crazy attacks that are definitely not outside the realm of Darkstalkers.
Since Amelia will be able to shape shift her body, she would actually have a wide range of attacks that will span short, mid, and long. And to counter that versatility, she would have to be pretty weak in both strength and health. But hey, she’s a ghost so that makes all the sense in the world.
Finally, and I’m not exactly in favor of this idea; since Amelia is a ghost that can morph and change her body, she could possibly be a Shang Tsung type of character. Basically she would be able to morph into any other character in the game and take on their move sets.
Dooey Dublin the Doll
This doll is actually a puppet that was made in Ireland. He was the toy of his best friend, a 9-year old boy with a bit of an attitude until they were torn apart by a shipwreck on their way to America. The crew lost their lives but Dooey found his way to the shore. Drowning in sorrow, he turned his back on happiness and took to a life of drugs, sex, and crime. Yes, he’s still a puppet.
Dooey’s short size and wooden body would work to his benefit, making him a little harder to hit with a sturdy health bar to boot. However, his strength would be one of the weakest which is kind of tough considering he would be a close-quarters combatant. His specialty? Using his body parts as weapons!
Gore used to work in a haunted house as a teenager. As someone who completely obsessed over all things horror, he collected memorabilia from his favorite movies and weird cultural artifacts meant to bring about doom. One day, on his 30th birthday a mysterious package was on his doorstep. He opened it find a screaming skull that blew out his ear drums. A sudden feeling of agony washed over him and all he wanted to do was make others feel the same way. He went to his job at the haunted house that night and waited for each new group of kids to walk past his section. He butchered 47 people that night.
Gore is a big, lumbering, strong character in Darkstalkers. Like Dooey, he’d be a close-quarters fighter but nowhere near as fast. Most of his attacks would involve his carving knife. Honestly, he’s a pretty basic fighter but I think the masked villain character is a perfect fit for the Darkstalkers universe so put him in!
I don’t know if Darkstalkers has much of a future considering the current state of Capcom. And fighting games in general are a rare sight to see these days. But the Darkstalkers series was a fantastic game in fighting history with a unique idea, interesting and outrageous characters, and solid gameplay and if Capcom wants to make a new game they can feel free to use these characters I just made up. Hell, I’ll even help design them!