Darkstalkers 3 / Vampire Savior

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.

Jedah... the badass new boss of Darkstalkers. Don't argue with him.

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, & Lilith. Unfortunately, Pyron, Donovan & Huitzil were cut from the original arcade version of the game (but do make an appearance in the console versions of the game). 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 the two upgrades and the original Vampire Savior is in 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.

Darkstalkers 3's selection screen is particularly catchy.

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.

Fighting on the side of a skyscraper... FTW.

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).

Overall, Darkstalkers 3 was a superb-looking game at the arcades and on consoles at the time of its debut, and was the definitive version of Darkstalkers (until Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower). The Playstation version of Darkstalkers 3 also included a cool Color Edit Mode where you can customize each character's color scheme to your liking. I believe this was the first Color Edit Mode to ever appear in a console fighting game, and for the time was a fun and innovative fighting game bonus mode.


morrigan-ds3-art.png (108535 bytes)         zabel-ds3-art.png (121821 bytes)         felicia-ds3-art.png (133564 bytes)         lilith-ds3-art.png (140658 bytes)

Click Here for all character art!

Page Updated: October 25th, 2019
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            Saturn
Nov. 5th, 1998                PS1
Nov. 18th, 1998             PS1
Nov. 30th, 1998             PS1
Apr. 24th, 2012            PSN
Characters Demitri Maximoff, Jon Talbain, Victor, Zabel, Morrigan Aensland, Anakaris, Felicia, Bishamon, Rikuo, Sasquatch, Hsien-Ko, B. B. Hood, Q-Bee, Lilith, Jedah, Huitzil (console), Pyron (console), Donovan (console), Anita, Dee ( Darkstalkers Collection)

Featured Video:

Related Games: Darkstalkers, Darkstalkers 2, Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower, Darkstalkers: Resurrection, Warzard, Bloody Roar, Mace: The Dark Age, Pocket Fighter, Street Fighter III: New Generation, Capcom VS SNK, Capcom VS SNK 2, Capcom Fighting Evolution, SNK VS Capcom: Match of the Millennium, SNK VS Capcom Chaos, Marvel VS Capcom, Marvel VS Capcom 2, Marvel VS Capcom 3

Gameplay Engine  8.0 / 10
Story / Theme  8.5 / 10
Overall Graphics  8.0 / 10
Animation  8.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  8.5 / 10
Innovation  8.0 / 10
Art Direction  10 / 10
Customization  8.0 / 10
Options / Extras  8.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  9.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun  7.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  7.0 / 10
Characters  9.0 / 10

 8.7 / 10

 Review based on Arcade / PS1 version    


Final Words: Darkstalkers 3 offers a stylish presentation all around. The original intro movie of the game is still one of my all time favorites. The gameplay of the series has evolved significantly, with Darkstalkers 3 being the fastest and most frantic installment to date. 

Considering the time period in which Darkstalkers 3 was released, I think the gameplay system was starting to show its age a bit. However, the charismatic character designs and unique art style still managed to make a statement in the genre.

While Darkstalkers 3 was a great game in 1998, I was actually far more excited to see many of the series characters cross over to other fighting game series over the years, including: Capcom VS SNK, SNK VS Capcom Chaos, Capcom Fighting Evolution, Match of the Millennium, and Marvel VS Capcom. I only wish more characters from Darkstalkers made guest appearances in other Capcom games.
~TFG Webmaster