This article was originally posted in October 2013.
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Like Hansel, Vampires are so hot right now. True Blood and Twilight are still leading the way for TV and film, while games like Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 are bringing the charming, dead folk to our consoles. In fact, video games have always had a very close relationship with vamps. Sometimes they're sexy love interests, sometimes they're deadly final bosses, and occasionally they're cute side-kicks.
So, just in time for the release of the final chapter of the Lords of Shadow trilogy, here is a list of the 10 best vampires in games. Some are scary, some not-so-much, but one thing unites them: they're all FAR more likeable than R Patz's emo-vamps from the Twlight series. Just sayin'.
10. Cole MacGrath (inFamous: Festival of Blood)
What, you didn't know that inFamous's protagonist was a vampire? Huh. Weird. Well, he is--at least in inFamous 2's DLC. In it, Zeke tells a tall tale of when Cole was a vampire, and while this never technically happened, it makes for a good excuse to play as a Cole with vampire powers. After becoming a monster he's able to drain the blood from civilians and use new abilities that spice up inFamous' traditional zap-heavy action.
9. Jeanette/Therese Voerman (Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines)
Vampires are inherently cool because of the whole 'live forever and drink blood' thing, but Jeanette--or Therese?--is bizarre in a whole different way. While most gaming vampires live up to traditional tropes, Jeanette is really two people, a schizophrenic persona living in the body of her sister. Or maybe it's the other way around? That's up to you to decide. I'll never forget my encounter with the ultra flirty Jeanette, or her club-owning, strictly business sister Therese--nor will I forget having to decide which (both, perhaps?) to silence forever.
8. Jurgen (Sam & Max)
Turned into a vampire by Slushie, a vampiric elf (which--for the record--is the absolute worst way to be sired into vampiredom), Jurgen first appears in Sam & Max's Night of the Raving Dead, where he operates an evil nightclub. He has also appeared in a number of Sam & Max episodes since, both as antagonist and as a passive annoyance. Whether he's raiding an ancient tomb, working for the Devil as a receptionist, or building a Frankenstein-like monster, he's always fun to encounter... so long as you're not offended by German stereotypes or shirtless men with nipple rings.
7. Carmilla (Castlevania: Lords of Shadow)
Vampires are often seen as seductive figures, luring poor men and women to their doom whenever they fancy a quick, O-positive snack. Carmilla, the vampire queen from Lords of Shadow, is very much that kind of vamp. She tempts Gabriel into forgetting his (dead) wife, but when the holier-than-though protagonist refuses, she quickly turns on him. Funny thing is, Gabriel then becomes Dracula after relentlessly pursuing a quest to 'save' his wife, so he really has more in common with Carmilla than he thinks. Irony, yeah? Also, seriously Carmilla: there are these new things called clothes. Try wearing them or you'll freeze to de... oh right. Got it.
6. Demitri Maximoff (Darkstalkers)
This debonair bloodsucker is a true Casanova, seducing women (Morrigan included) with his devilish grin and lavish abode. As far as fighting games go, he's one of the most inviting characters in the Darkstalkers series, given that he's pretty much a carbon copy of Ryu. There is one exception: Demitri's Midnight Bliss special attack, which transforms any character--be they male or female--into an alluring dame. Yes, Demitri does suck the life out of them in the very next moment, but it seems more dignified than the traditional fangs-to-the-neck approach.
5. Vamp (Metal Gear Solid)
Is Vamp really a vampire? It's debatable. His family died in a bombing and he drank their blood, and he has cool superpowers, and Listen, this is the Metal Gear Solid series: it's full of twists and turns. Few would be surprised if the next game reveals that Vamp is all part of Snake's imagination, or that he's actually Count Dracula. All that matters is that he's awesome, and makes for several memorable boss fights across the series.
4. Rayne (Bloodrayne)
What's better than a vampire? A sexy vampire, obviously--just ask any Twilight fan like myself. But what's even better than a sexy-ass vampire? A sexy vampire that kills Nazis, natch. Such is Rayne's lot in life, as she chews her way through the Schutzstaffel in the sexiest positions possible. Seriously, she wraps her legs around their heads as she feeds. It's wonderful, if you're into that kind of thing.
3. Valvatorez (Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten)
The main character of Diseaga 4 was once a great and powerful vampire, but decided to give up drinking blood after he failed to scare a girl he met 400 years ago. Proud, noble, and weakened by hunger, Valvatorez has never gone back on his word. Instead, he's turned to a new obsession: sardines. Yeah, those salty little fish that are great either barbecued or on toast. Seriously, give them a go. They're pretty cheap too, and they're a great source of Omega 3 oil, which is just super for your joints. Sorry, what was I talking about. Vampires or something.
2. Kain (Legacy of Kain)
Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain ends with a choice--series hero Kain can either save or damn the world. Most games would make the "good" choice the canonical one, but not Blood Omen. Instead, it's technically in-canon that Kain decides to take over, serving as a dark vampire god in the game's sequel. The trope of "the good guy in the old games is the bad guy in the new ones" isn't a unique one, but it's still cool to see the undead bloodsucker sitting on a throne, looking like a boss. It's also strangely similar to Gabriel Belmont's fate in Lords of Shadow. Speaking of Castlevania...
1. Dracula (Castlevania)
"What is a man?" Dracula yells from his throne, tossing his glass to the floor because he's apparently had enough blood for the night. "A miserable little pile of secrets!" he continues in one of the greatest quotes in video game history. Dracula is the video game vampire. Dracula may very well be the biggest crossover star in media history, and he's earned his fame--the blood-sucker is elegant and magical, striking a curious mixture of fear and lust into the hearts of everyone.
There are, obviously, plenty of other vampires that you've been able to stab through the heart. So, what are your favorites? Let us know which bloodsuckers you favor in the comments below.