Friday, April 16, 2010

The Darkstalkers Official Artwork Extravaganza

Back in the day, a kickass video game mag existed. It was called Diehard Gamefan and it was notable for acknowledging the beauty of game art. When it wasn’t splashing its pages with concept or promotional art, it was using the graphics of the games themselves as part of the layout. Often, the text of a given article would be laid out on top of art — whether hand-drawn or digital. The pages popped with color and life. I loved it.

At some point during Gamefan’s run, it put out strategy guides, including one for the second game in Capcom’s Darkstalkers series, Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge. This particular guide kept true to Gamefan’s standards and included a whole lot of official artwork for the game. Recently, I discovered the guide in a box of books I hadn’t seen in years, and I decided that I should scan the art and post it online. I’m sure I’m not the only one who can appreciate it. My only regret is that the guide came out before the third game, Jedah’s Damnation, so what I’m posting here won’t include Lilith, Q-Bee or B.B. Hood — each a well-crafted and respectable character in her own right.

Hope this brings back some fond memories of joystick-waggling for a few people. (Click any image to access larger versions of it.)

demitri darkstalkers

Main vampire Demitri in his transformed, demonic state.

darkstalkers art demitri

Here Demitri is again, with one of his conquests.

talbain gallon darkstalkers

British werefolf Jon Talbain. Neat fact about ol’ wolfy, via Wikipedia: His Japanese name is Gallon. In Japanese, the name would be pronounced like the word garou, “hungry wolf.” The word may sound familiar to anyone who played the latest and possibly last incarnation of SNK’s Fatal Fury series, Garou: Mark of the Wolves. Had I known at the time, this little linguistic nugget would have made the “It’s a Secret to Everybody” post.

victor darkstalkers

Victor von Gerdenheim, the game’s take on Frankenstein’s monster even though he was erroneously referred to as just a Frankenstein. Really, shouldn’t we just use golem and cover our bases?

raptor zabel darkstalkers

Undead Aussie rocker Lord Raptor, known in Japan as Zabel.

sexy morrigan darkstalkers

An even more sexed-up Morrigan Aensland, the batty succubus who became the series’ mascot. I love that a bat is functioning as her shirt clasp.

anakaris darkstalkers

Freaky mummy man Anakaris.

felicia darkstalkers

Werecat Felicia, who’s probably the only naked female fighting game character that I’d still refer to as “cute” and not “sexy.” Maybe it’s her proximity to Morrigan?

bishamon darkstalkers

Bishamon, the samurai possessed by cursed armor, accompanied by the ghost of his wife, Orin.

rikuo darkstalkers

Protean merman Rikuo, who gets to be the game’s Dhalsim.

donovan darkstalkers

Vampire-hunting dhampir Donovan Baine, accompanied by the strange psychic girl Anita.

anita donovan darkstalkers

Donovan and Anita again.

donovan elementals darkstalkers

Donovan alongside the various elementals that aid him in battle. Note that the ice elemental is labeled Brizzard in stead of Blizzard.

anita darkstalkers

Anita surrounded by toys inspired by the “reduced” forms various characters suffer when struck by Anakaris’s pharaoh’s curse breath.


The fighters themselves with their little mascot forms.

sasquatch darkstalkers

Comic relief character Sasquatch.

huitzil darkstalkers

Mayan mechano-man Huitzil.

hsien-ko / lei-lei

Hsien-Ko, the Chinese hopping ghost with a heart of gold and a sleeve full of cutting implements.

hsien-ko lei-lei darkstalkers

Hsien-Ko and her twin sister, Mei-Ling, who splits their current form time share-style.

pyron darkstalkers

And finally evil galactic overlord Pyron.

And below, some composite illustrations:

darkstalkers nightwarriors

darkstalkers we await your return

darkstalkers composite

anita's diary

Even the Darkstalkers fear the consequences of getting caught reading Anita’s diary. Is that Akuma lurking in the background?

morrigan sien-ko felicia darkstalkers

The three ladies, before the other three ladies showed up.

morrigan demitri darkstalkers

And, finally, Morrigan and Demitri by moonlight.

Again, I hope this stirred up some long-forgotten gaming memories for a few readers. Hey Capcom, how about a new Darkstalkers already?

Capcom, previously:
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