Vampire Savior / Darkstalkers 3

Jedah, one of the high nobles of Makai, is resurrected after a premature death long ago. Seeing the state of the demon world, he decides that the only way to save the world is to recreate it. To this end, he conjures a dimension known as Majigen, to which he summons worthy souls to feed his new world. As luck would have it, those souls belong to the characters from the first two games, in addition to three newcomers.

Darkstalkers 3 character selection screen.

The third installment of the Darkstalkers series, Darkstalkers 3 (known as Vampire Savior in Japan) presents the biggest and most colorful cast yet. Four brand new characters join the roster: Jedah, Q-Bee, B.B. Hood, and Lilih Aensland. Pyron, Donovan & Huitzil were cut from the original arcade version of the game, but do make an appearance in the later console versions. There were actually two simultaneously released "updated versions" of Vampire Savior that debuted in Japanese arcades only a few months after the original release: Vampire Hunter 2: Darkstalkers' Revenge and Vampire Savior 2: The Lord of Vampire.

The key difference between these two versions and the original Vampire Savior is the character roster. Vampire Hunter 2 features the same character roster and soundtrack as Night Warriors (known as Vampire Hunter in Japan), omitting the characters introduced in Vampire Savior, while Vampire Savior 2 features the Vampire Savior cast along with Donovan, Huitzil & Pyron, omitting J. Talbain (as well as Dark Talbain), Rikuo & Sasquatch. But thankfully, all characters appeared in the console ports of Darkstalkers 3 / Vampire Savior.

Meet Jedah... Darkstalkers' badass new boss.

Darkstalkers 3
introduces the "Damage Gauge System". Battles take place during a period of one round, with each fighter having two "Life Markers" (by default) which diminish after one character runs out of vitality. Basically, this enables faster bouts than the typical "best 2 out of 3" round system previously used. The player can also regain a portion of their life during battle if they manage to avoid taking further hits. Darkstalkers 3 also introduces the "Dark Force System" which allows players to perform special abilities unique to each character for a limited time period.

Meet B.B. Hood and her hunters!

Following suit with previous installments, the music, artwork, and character animation of Darkstalkers all stand out as 100% original. The new stages are intricately designed, creepy, and are really effective at getting you into the unique setting of Darkstalkers. Following suit with past installments, the interesting new Darkstalkers character designs offer diversity and present some awesome new play styles. No doubt a 2D fighting game player of any level can find a character in Darkstalkers 3 that they enjoy using (if they take the time to properly learn the character, that is). Even if the gameplay doesn't suit your fancy, any artwork enthusiast can appreciate the amazing art direction of Darkstalkers (thanks to Capcom's team of master artists).

Darkstalkers 3 stage designs are off-the-charts good!

Darkstalkers 3 was visual and artistic masterpiece when it released in arcades and on consoles. It looked like to other fighting game that came before it! The Sega Saturn version of Vampire Savior was the definitive version of "Darkstalkers 3" to play on console (until the later Dreamcast port, titled Vampire Chronicle For Matching Service, and the later Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower released on PSP).

FUN FACT: The PS1 version of Darkstalkers 3 is an inferior port when compared to the Sega Saturn version, due to missing character animations and longer load times. However, the PS1 port includes an exclusive Color Edit Mode where you can customize each character's color scheme to your liking. This was the first Color Edit Mode to ever appear in a console fighting game.





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Page Updated: May 11th, 2024
Developer(s): Capcom
Publisher(s): Capcom
Artwork by: Bengus, Edayan, Daigo Ikeno, Dai-Chan
Platform(s): Arcade, PlayStation, PSN, Sega Saturn
Release Date(s): 1997                                      Arcade
Apr. 16th, 1998             Sega Saturn
Nov. 5th, 1998                 PS1
Nov. 18th, 1998              PS1
Nov. 30th, 1998              PS1
Apr. 24th, 2012             PlayStation Network
Characters Demitri Maximoff, Morrigan Aensland, Felicia, Jon Talbain, Victor, Lord Raptor, Anakaris, Bishamon, Rikuo, Sasquatch, Hsien-Ko, B.B. Hood, Q-Bee, Lilith Aensland, Jedah, Huitzil (console), Pyron (console), Donovan (console), Anita, Dee ( Darkstalkers Collection)

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Featured Video:

Related Games: Darkstalkers, Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge, Vampire Chronicle For Matching Service, Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower, Darkstalkers: Resurrection, Warzard, Bloody Roar, Groove On Fight, Mace: The Dark Age, Pocket Fighter, Street Fighter III: New Generation, Capcom Vs. SNK, Capcom Vs. SNK 2, Capcom Fighting Evolution, SNK Vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium, SNK Vs. Capcom Chaos, Marvel Vs. Capcom, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, Capcom Fighting Collection

Gameplay Engine  8.0 / 10
Story / Theme  8.5 / 10
Overall Graphics  8.5 / 10
Animation  8.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  8.5 / 10
Innovation  8.5 / 10
Art Direction  10 / 10
Customization  8.5 / 10
Options / Extras  8.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  9.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun  7.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  7.5 / 10
Characters  9.0 / 10

 8.7 / 10

 Review based on Sega Saturn version    


Final Words: Darkstalkers 3 was one of the most stylish 2D fighters of the late 90's. What a presentation! The arcade intro movie is still one of my all time favorites, right along with the character select screen (and the catchy BGM). Darkstalkers 3 also debuted two of my favorite characters in the entire franchise, B.B. Hood & Jedah! These incredible character designs are instant classics, pure 90's Capcom brilliance, and are arguably charismatic enough to star in their own spin-off games (if Capcom ever took the opportunity to do such a thing). 

The gameplay system shows its full maturity in Darkstalkers 3... with impressive character moveset evolution and arguably the best game balance (and variety) to date. Even so, considering the time period in which Darkstalkers 3 was released, the gameplay system was starting to show its age in some areas. In my opinion, the non-dramatic super moves that initiate at the same speed as regular special moves make the suspense and match conclusions fall a bit short, at times. (It's just comes down to personal taste, really.) However, Darkstalkers 3 was definitely the fastest and most frantic installment of the series to date. It's definitely worth playing and easily enjoyable for all levels of 2D fighting game players!

Like the prequels that came before it... Darkstalkers 3 made an impactful statement with its vivid art style from Capcom's brilliant art direction, insane animation quality, and loveable character designs. Long after the release of Darkstalkers 3, many characters from the roster made guest appearances in other Capcom fighting games, including: Capcom Vs. SNK, SNK Vs. Capcom Chaos, Capcom Fighting Evolution, SNK Vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium, and the Marvel VS Capcom series.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen

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