YMMV / Darkstalkers

  • Americans Hate Tingle: Or, more accurately, Capcom Japan seems to hate Gallon, if their complete refusal to do ANYTHING with him is any indication. So they'll never pick up on all of the hints we've been giving them. Sadly, even despite Niitsuma's preference for him, Talbain STILL didn't make the cut for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (aside from a skin for Amaterasu, which admittedly isn't much, but...)
  • Awesome Art: The game is extremely stylish, from the varrying artstyle to the top-notch animations and spritework. Capcom really put thier guns on it.
  • Awesome Music: Gonna be trouble, Baby I'm a trouble man....
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Rather literally. Although this may be because Darkstalkers never really took off, and of course sex sells, Morrigan and Felicia are the only people anyone seems to remember from the games. It's quite telling that in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the three Darkstalkers include Morrigan, Felicia and Hsien-Ko.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Sasquatch's whole story.
  • Crazy Awesome: Wouldn't be the same without it.
    • Lilith, interestingly enough, has a move that may top them all. Who else has a possible One-Hit Kill super that forces your opponent to dance in a beatmania-type mini-game?
  • Designated Hero: A few.
    • Demitri: He won't stop at anything to achieve his revenge.
    • Morrigan: Her adoptive father wants her to be a legitimate hero for Makai, but she's just too "busy" shirking her responsibilities and having fun. However, she becomes less of this over time, especially after fusing with Lilith and feeling the need to actually be responsible. Her sister, Lilith, is slowly becoming one.
    • Donovan: He's more than a little of a Knight Templar, and his vampire side takes him over in his ending.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Lilith is very well liked despite being a villain in the series. Mostly because she has a sympathetic backstory.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
  • Evil Is Cool and Sexy: Demitri (although he's more "Dark" than "Evil") treads between the character types of Anti-Hero and Anti-Villain, and is pretty damn close to Draco in Leather Pants territory, but still has his fair share of fans.
    • Also Morrigan (although she too subverts the "evil" part, and with much more certainty than Demitri).
    • Jedah, who—unlike Morrigan and (arguably) Demitri—plays the "evil" part straight. Mostly, anyway.
  • Fandom Rivalry: A one-sided variant with Street Fighter, as many Darkstalkers fans are incensed that the former keeps getting more and more promotion and games, while the latter is constantly screwed over and relegated to, if anything, appearances and cameos in crossover games. To put things in perspective, here's what was said at SDCC 2013 when Capcom announced that no new Darkstalkers games were planned...
    Matt Dalgren: Darkstalkers Resurrection did not perform as well as we would have liked to hope. You never know what the future may hold, but Street Fighter is definitely not dead. There is nothing Darkstalkers on the immediate horizon for sure.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Felicia and Jon Talbain. Almost every media adaptation has paired them up, or at least had them run into each other on a regular basis. Capcom does a suspicious amount of teasing with these two. Although there's nothing to suggest it in-game, in every Darkstalkers property outside of the games to which Capcom has given their stamp of approval, from the US cartoon series and OAV to the UDON comics, Jon and Felicia always share a bond of one variety or another; they're either friends, comrades in battle, traveling companions, or even living together. A manga from 1996 actually has the two sleeping together in the same bed.
    • Demitri and Morrigan. It's not nearly at the height of Felicia/Jon, but it does have a good share of vocal supporters.
    • You'd be surprised at how many times the pairing of Morrigan/Felicia pops up among the fandom. Morrigan's pet names for Felicia (apparently, Morrigan still calls Felicia "kitten" according to Cross Edge, and in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Morrigan tags out with Felicia with the call of "Kitty!") do not help in the slightest.
    • Donovan/Hsien-Ko was likely started due to their interactions in the anime.
    • Mixed with Crossover Ship, Morrigan is frequently paired with Dante of Devil May Cry fame (potentiated by Marvel vs. Capcom 3). Along with Dante/Bayonetta, this ship seems to be more popular than all of the actual pairings in-universe for both series.
  • Franchise Killer: The hastily-released Japan-only arcade updates Vampire Savior 2 and Vampire Hunter 2 are widely regarded as having heavily damaged public interest in the series. On top of being slightly modified versions of Vampire Savior (and said modifications being largely disliked), the roster was split between two separate games due to hardware limitations, and the Vampire Hunter 2 title was misleading due to the original Vampire Hunter being a fairly different game gameplay-wise. Even the fact that three previously dropped characters were brought back into the mix wasn't enough to counter all the negatives, and series' remaining fans quickly abandoned these versions in favor of previous entries. Every Darkstalkers release since has been some kind of port of the existing entries in the series.
  • Game-Breaker: In Vampire Savior, the Darkstalkers game still most played by the competitive fighting community, Q-Bee, Sasquatch, and Talbain are infamous for being three of the most powerful characters in the game whilst also being some of the easiest. B.B. Hood also gets some hate for her "unblockable" (it's not really, but let's not get too technical here), and Lord Raptor is also extremely good, but he's also very hard to play.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: For many a year, fans have been clamoring to get Jon Talbain into one of the Vs. titles (it works for Americans, who view werewolves and Bruce Lee to be awesome things). Point in case: Ryota Niitsuma, the producer of Marvel vs. Capcom 3, notes that he wanted to add more characters from this series to the game, but couldn't due to time constraints. Jon would have been his pick.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • I Am Not Shazam: The Bishamon in Vampire Savior/Savior 2/Hunter 2 and one of the Bishamon in 3 (as noted on the Characters page) is not the man who was enslaved by the will of his armor, but the armor itself having gained its own sentience.
  • Iconic Character, Forgotten Title: Morrigan and to a lesser extent Felicia, no thanks to the Vs. series. The mainstream knows they exist, but Darkstalkers remains a Cult Classic.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Felicia. She suffers constant discrimination, abuse, and misunderstanding throughout the game franchise and the spin-off series, but still manages to keeps her cheerful attitude and hopes of a better future.
    • Jon Talbain used to be a normal nobleman until the night it was revealed he turned into a werewolf, everyone then treat him as an outcast even if Jon didn't have a malicious heart, only trying to control his beast impulses via Training from Hell. Just when he thought he has controlled the impulses fully, the adults still refuse him. Children does, but time by time, Jon still had to leave them to train lest he brutalizes them with his beast fury. Despite this, he never gave in to angst and continued to be a fearsome werewolf doing what he feels is right for those he cares for. And if you want to get meta, this may apply with how he's never been featured in crossovers despite fan demand, but any cameos he had made sure that his 'fearsome werewolf' feel is still intact.
    • Victor. His story may even edge out Donovan's as the most tragic in the series. At first, he believes his deceased creator to be ignoring him for not being strong enough. Shortly after the jarring realization that the old man had actually passed on, his sister suddenly ceases to function, leaving him alone once more (which is even more heart-crushing in the text epilogue of Night Warriors). Eventually, he realizes that the only way to revive Emily is to give his own life, which he does without hesitation. Worst of all, he is ignorant of the fact that her body, being a "prototype" of sorts, will probably not be able to continuously generate electric "life force" and is thus likely to run out of power before long.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Bulleta/B.B Hood. Her grandmother was killed by a werewolf, but still...
  • Just Here for Morrigan: Pretty much the general public's only link to the series is through her popularity in her appearances in Capcom vs. Whatever games, which is why she's up front and center in Resurruction's cover. It was a good effort, but didn't work too well...
  • Magnificent Bastard: Jedah. It should be noted that being Ozom's Unwitting Pawn via Phlebotinum Overload in his backstory is what gave him the idea for Makai's "salvation," which turned him into a Magnificent Bastard.
  • Mainstream Obscurity: Has a cult following over the years, but is solely known for Morrigan Aensland, the sexier-than-sex succubus who has appeared in more crossover games than her own. Good luck finding someone who can name any other characters besides maybe Lilith, her moe sister, Jedah, an insane Grim Reaper-styled demon who mutilates himself to attack people, or Felicia, a near-nude Cat Girl. Possibly Hsien-Ko as well due to her appearance in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. They probably won't know anything about the gameplay either. The series is Best Known for the Fanservice, and not much else.
  • Memetic Mutation: Yoshinori Ono's DARKSTALKERS ARE NOT DEAD announcement seems to be working its way up. In the case of MvC3 (with the possibility of an all Darkstalkers team of Morrigan, Felicia, and Hsien-Ko being defeated) and Resurrection's unfortunate commercial failure, this is sometimes twisted into DARKSTALKERS ARE DEAD.
  • Moe: Felicia. B.B. Hood, too, if you can look past the more disturbing elements of her personality.
  • Nightmare Fuel: This being a series that has monsters and supernatural entities as fighters, it should serve as no surprise that there's some legitimately terrifying stuff in this series.
    • The "Fetus of God" stage from the third game. Spoiler for the faint of heart: it's a rather realistic literal Womb Level, with a giant horned fetus with no skin, just covered by muscles and veins, in the background. It awakens and stares at you while pulsating at the end of the match.
    • Most of Jedah's moves involve extremely bloody self-mutilation, and one of his counters even involves decapitating himself and growing his head right back after spraying his blood all over the opponent. Also his laughter.
    • Jedah's ending. The villain successfully massacres all life throughout the universe and his specially designed fetus awakens. We hear a baby's cry as the fetus looks straight at the screen.
    • The Midnight Bliss move from Demitri can change guys to hot girls, and hot girls to hotter girls in most cases. But it's particularly disturbing to see that right afterwards, Demitri picks them up and literally sucks the life and blood out of them, leaving the girls a shriveled, skeletal corpse. The fact they explode and return to their normal forms right after can offset this, but the brief images are still a little disturbing, to say the least.
      • In addition, after transforming the unfortunate victim, Demitri takes on his true form as he drains them. Said form is that of a horrific humanoid gargoyle/bat hybrid.
    • Demitri's Nightmare Face in the Night Warriors animated movie. It is full of more sharp, long, ROTTEN teeth than a vampire should have. No wonder people like Morrigan more. On the other side of the Pacific, we have the ugly animation of the TV show.
    • B.B. Hoood herself is ultimately one of the scariest characters in the series. While she may appear to be a innocent little girl, she is anything but. The development team themselves have stated that she herself is supposed to show how humanity can be much darker and frightening than any monster in fiction and it shows. She herself is an S-Rank Darkhunter whose heart and soul are so twisted and filled to the brim with malice and hatred that she was genuinely mistaken by Jedah Dohma to be a Darkstalker. In fact, her reasons for hunters for hunting the darkstalkers isn't out of atonement like Donovan or to make the world a better place like Hsien-Ko and Mei-Ling. She is, in fact, a Sadist who is driven by Greed and the sheer hatred she has for darkstalkers. Not to mention, because of her heart being so dark in the first place, a simple gaze from her is enough to put fear into lesser darkstalkers.
      • BB Hood's ending. We see that a family of wolves are watching the news about a psychotic murderer on a violent rampage, but the family dismisses it as nothing. Then, we cut to outside their home, where BB Hood is standing, brandishing her knife, while watching them through the windows.
    • Queen Bee's ending involves her taking over the world with an army of insects.
    • Lord Raptor's ending after he takes down Pyron. As reward for defeating the Evil Overlord, Raptor is given Pyron's power. We then see an unholy formation as Raptor fuses Pyron's corpse to him in order to become a stronger demon. It ends with Raptor promising to take down his former master after he's down killing all humans.
    • Pyron's ending. Which involves bringing Hell on Earth and the death of all humanity.
  • Older Than They Think: Morrigan's Darkness Illusion super was the first move to use the button press sequence (LP, LP, F, LK, HP) that is now associated with Akuma's Shun Goku Satsu.
    • Apparently the Shun Goku Satsu was even nicknamed "Goukiness Illusion" by some Japanese players at the time of its debut.
    • Despite what some may think, Dee, Donovan's evil form, was actually not something Capcom made just for the PS2 release. He was in fact an abandoned concept from the development of Vampire Savior. Producer Noritaka Funamizu specifically mentions this Demitri-headswap Donovan in the book All About Vampire Savior, and notes that he was "nearly finished."
  • One-Scene Wonder: Despite being in the first episode for all of ten minutes, Raptor's appearance was one of the highlights of the OVA.
  • Polished Port: The Sega Saturn port of Vampire Savior is not only arcade perfect, it even brings back the three missing characters from Night Warriors, complete with their own single-player endings. The PlayStation EX Edition port, while not as good by comparison, includes all 18 characters as well, plus both upgrades (Savior 2 and Hunter 2).
  • The Scrappy:
  • Scrappy Mechanic: In Resurrection, the YouTube upload function, since it only uploads in 360p resolution. Exclusive to the 360 version, however, is the high probability that your replay's audio will desync and a portion of the match will be cut off. And in some cases, the game won't let you upload replays at all. The option is permanently grayed out even after you link your Gamertag to your YouTube account.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: The Darkstalkers series often comes across as "just another 90s fighting game" to those who first experience it now, likely because so many of the new things it brought to the table such as chain combos, guard cancels, air blocking, ES specials, improved animation, and a cast full of something other than the same old martial arts archetypes have now been copied by so many other fighters (including its own predecessor, Street Fighter.)
    • Apparently even some American game reviewers in the 90s didn't notice several of the mechanical differences from Street Fighter, so to some extent Darkstalkers was underappreciated in its time, too.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: Since the roster includes a vampire, a werewolf, a pastiche of Frankenstein's monster, a mummy, and a merman, this series can easily be considered an unofficial Universal Horror video game adaptation.
  • Spiritual Successor: Since Capcom has yet to actually make another game for this series, fans have had to turn to other alternatives. Two noteworthy successors in particular are Killer Instinct (2013) and Skull Girls, both of which have heavily-stylized non-human characters among its roster.
  • Stoic Woobie:
    • Anita. Played straight in both accounts: According to her backstory, her parents were killed by a Darkstalker and the people from the orphanage where she stayed shunned her as a witch. To make things worse, the only person that actually cared for her (in this case Donovan) sacrificed his last remains of humanity to protect her.
  • Tear Jerker: Cecil's reaction to Huitzil/Phobos being defeated.
    • Anita's reaction to Donovan's Downer Ending in Night Warriors.
    • Lei-Lei/Hsien-Ko and Lin-Lin/Mei-Ling's Night Warriors ending.
    • Dee's ending in the Japan-exclusive Vampire: Darkstalkers Collection: After killing Jedah, the game proceeds as though Dee (an evil version of Donovan) is about to fight a young woman who is not named, but is, in truth, an older Anita. The game fades to white before the fight begins, and as the credits roll, Anita is shown at a graveyard, suggesting that she ended the suffering of the man who once saved her soul.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The third game in the series, Vampire Savior, received criticism from existing fans of the series at the time of its release. Complaints were made about many aspects of the game, including the changes to the system mechanics and movesets, the removal of characters from the previous games, and the addition of new characters who who many saw as out of place.
  • Too Cool to Live: Victor ends up Killed Off for Real after performing a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Ugly Cute: Sasquatch. He can be quite of a loveable dork despite his scary appearance. Just look at some of his poses and mannerisms.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Lilith gained a lot of fans who felt sorry for her, despite being The Dragon to Jedah.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Dimitri is not exactly the most sympathetic character, but he was originally meant to be one of the heroes.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Despite the bright animation and lack of excessive blood, this game is not for children. The game has a huge amount of Fanservice, deep emotional stories, and brutal violence. It's actually a miracle that the series didn't get an "M" rating at all. Though to be fair, "M" rated games weren't popular yet when the series started out.
  • The Woobie:
    • Hsien-Ko and Mei-Ling. Poor girls.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Lilith. Just take a look at her backstory. Played straight in her ending (Morrigan's ending, despite Lilith losing, offers a more satisfactory conclusion as Morrigan welcomes Lilith back into her body, resulting in a win-win situation for both of them: Morrigan's power gets exponentially multiplied (possibly reaching full level), and Lilith's sense of existence is assured).

The American cartoon

  • Badass Decay: Several of the darkstalkers were already changed into weaker characters for the series, but every character would lose once an episode.
  • Bile Fascination: Some people only see the cartoon to see how bad it is.
  • Broken Base: Literally the only thing fans argue over is if the American cartoon is So Bad, It's Good or So Bad, It's Horrible. Of course, some people just say it's plain bad.
  • Critical Research Failure: The very idea that the Darkstalkers franchise was marketed towards kids has become one of the biggest criticisms against the show. Arguably, this applies to all the characters too since the show ended up being an In-Name-Only product with little to no connection to the source material it was based on.
  • Damsel Scrappy: Harry. He needs the heroic characters to rescue him all the time. He's not exactly redeemed by his lack of character and accidentally endangering the heroes every time.
  • Designated Hero: Harry. Although he's not outright villainous, he's allegedly The Chosen One who'll save the world from Pyron and bring peace between humans and darkstalkers. However, he spends all of his screen time complaining and needing rescue from the heroes while accidentally getting them into trouble.
  • Ethnic Scrappy:
    • Morrigan got a super thick Scottish accent that soon became the Most Annoying Sound.
    • The show's incarnation of Hsien-Ko sadly became this thanks to her exaggerated accent.
  • Ear Worm: We're the Darkstalkers!
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Several of the show's staff commented how they felt like this show was going to be the next best thing like Ghostbusters. The show proved very unpopular and didn't last 13 episodes.
  • He Really Can Act: The voice acting is considered questionable at best and ridiculously narmy at worst... with one exception. While Scott McNeil's skill as a voice actor isn't in question (especially if you've heard his various other roles), his performance as Lord Raptor is considered a highlight and one of the show's legitimately good points, to the point that he was brought back to voice the character again in the english dub of Night Warriors: Darkstaler's Revenge and is considered the fan-preferred english voice for Lord Raptor in any media the character appears in.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • A bespectacled child wizard named Harry.
    • Pyron's ship A.I. is a dead ringer for 343 Guilty Spark, right down to the Smug Snake personality, and they even have extremely similar voices.
    • Within the franchise, the episode with the Crystal Skull has Demitri using it to banish his enemies to another dimension. Then Vampire Savior comes and gives us Jedah's Majigen ("Wicked Dimension"), where most of the cast are drawn to.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Lord Raptor's voice actor Scott McNeil being among one of the only highlights of the series becomes this since his performance earned him a Role Reprisal in the much better anime OVA where Lord Raptor's popularity skyrocketed thanks to him playing the role more seriously.
  • Idiot Plot: The series finale involves Pyron's mean brother Terramon arriving to help his brother conquer the Earth since he's has failed at it himself. So instead of having Pyron tell his brother to get lost or challenge him over who gets the Earth, he instead invites all the Darkstalkers, both heroes and villains, to a fancy dinner party to prove to his brother that he's successfully conquered the planet by enslaving the other Darkstalkers opposing him in order to trick him into going away after his visit. Naturally, this doesn't work out.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Pyron. His whole plan to conquer Earth is motivated out of gaining respect from his mother.
    • Harry, who many of his haters classify as a Fake Ultimate Hero.
  • Memetic Molester: Morrigan. The most evident scene is when she abducts Harry and tucks him into bed after caressing him.
  • Memetic Mutation: Lord Raptor's Rap Song.
  • Misaimed Fandom: The series was made for kids... despite being made from an adult video game series. Unfortunately, neither adults nor children got into the cartoon and it failed.
  • Narm: This video summarizes it.
  • No Yay: Anakaris develops a disturbing interest in Felicia after he brainwashes her into becoming his wife.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Harry. He was not liked for being added as a Kid-Appeal Character in a franchise that was never made for kids to begin with.
    • Hairball, the Sasquatch/Big Foot's son is equally disliked for being an annoying Bratty Half-Pint that pisses off the other characters.
  • So Bad, It's Good: It's to be expected when your cartoon adaptation is made by the same company responsible for such works as G.I. Joe Extreme and the cartoon adaptation of Street Fighter.
  • Snark Bait: If anyone asks what's the worse videogame cartoon ever made, chances are that this show will come up.
  • Squick: Anakaris, a centuries old, decaying mummy, brainwashes Felicia into becoming his wife and forces her to make out with him while his prisoners watch. It's as gross as it sounds.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Darkstalkers was never a series intended for children. But that didn't stop the Executive Meddling from removing all the Nightmare Fuel, the fanservice, the complex character stories, and altering the beautiful character designs to make the show family friendly.
  • Uncanny Valley: Harry looks a bit...unnatural.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Another major reason why Harry is so despised is that he has no interesting character depth compared to the iconic videogame characters. It doesn't help that he gets too much focus.
  • Video-Game Movies Suck: Well, video game cartoons suck. This cartoon was unfortunately one of the many failed attempts to make a show based on a popular videogame. ScrewAttack has listed it as one of the worst cartoons ever based on a videogame simply for making it unrecognizable to the source material entirely.
  • Villain Decay: In the American cartoon, Pyron seems to be a completely incompetent villain, at least compared to his video game counterpart. In the ninth episode of the series he even has to be saved from Huitzil.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Darkstalkers