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Darkstalkers

Darkstalkers, known in Japan as Vampire (ヴァンパイア Banpaia), is a series of 2D fighting games developed and published by Capcom, beginning with Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors (Vampire: The Night Warriors) in 1994. The series is set in a pastiche Gothic horror universe and features a highly stylized, cartoonish graphic style. It features characters based on either various kinds of monsters (the titular “darkstalkers”) or their hunters, who are all engaging in combat against each other. Darkstalkers introduced many of the concepts used in later Capcom fighting games, including its first use of 16-bit color animation sprites and gameplay mechanics later employed in the Street Fighter Alpha and Marvel vs. Capcom series. Besides video games, the Darkstalkers media franchise also includes an anime miniseries, an American cartoon TV series, a Canadian comic book series, and many books of various kinds and other media released only in Japan. Some individual characters (usually the series’ mascots Morrigan and Felicia) appeared in the later Capcom games, as well as in a few crossover games released by other companies.

Plot

The Darkstalkers games take place on the planet Earth that is in the process of merging with a realm known as Makai. The reason for this merger varies depending on the continuity, but a continuing theme is that the union of realms brings the arrival of the Darkstalkers to the human world, the term being a catch-all for the various creatures of legend. The greatest of these supernatural creatures, and the greatest among those who hunt them, meet in battle to determine who will rule the night.

In the sequel, Vampire Hunter (Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge), an alien overlord named Pyron returns to Earth after being away for many years. His quest to conquer the world using an army of robots brings the Darkstalkers out of hiding to oppose his rule over humanity and the supernatural. A second sequel, Vampire Savior (Darkstalkers 3), saw the return of Jedah, previously one of the nobles of Makai, who decides that the only way to save the realm is to take control of it by force. Accordingly, he lures the Darkstalkers into a trap to use their collective souls to remake the realm and control both humanity and supernatural.

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