Habits: Floating around, choking and tossing intruders, turning into a huge bat, dealing out awesome kicks to the face.
Great because: Unlike the last two entries, this guy isn’t actually named Dracula, but he fits the part better than either of them. A key part of being Dracula is getting dolled up in a tuxedo and cape just so you can sort of hang around in a musty haunted castle, so this guy’s unnecessary sartorial splendor makes him a Dracula even if he prefers to go by Nosferatu.
While most other Draculas seem to prefer a hands-off approach, relying on bullshit magic to dispatch heroes, Nosferatu seems to relish a good fight, with his close-quarters attacks disrupted only by his need to float up near the ceiling and/or occasionally turn into a weird bat-thing.
He can also unleash a mean kick, something just out-of-character enough to justify us calling him out despite the shitty, abortive Prince of Persia-meets-Castlevania mess of a game he inhabits.
Surprisingly, though, he was the only vampire we’ve ever heard of who could be punched to death by one man, leaving us to wonder how in the hell he got to be so feared.
Spotted in: D (3DO, PSOne, PC, Saturn)
Habits: Being made of meat, infecting his progeny with a cannibalistic curse, forcing his descendants to eat their own daughters.
Great because: Just look at him. No suavity, no pretense of drinking blood – no clothes. This is a Dracula that gets right down to business, and we respect that. Over the course of the weird old adventure game D, protagonist Laura Harris learns that she’s a descendant of Dracula, and as such she’s the inheritor of a curse: all members of her family are, at some point in their lives, hijacked by the spirit of the old vampire and forced to attack and eat their loved ones. Get the bad ending, and Laura’s father does exactly that:
Spotted in: Castlevania III (NES)
Habits: Summoning columns of flame, turning into really gross abominations, filling up the entire screen as an unmoving statue.
Great because: Look, no series has reinvented Dracula as many times as Castlevania, so be prepared to see it pop up on this list a few times. After his weirdly huge, inanimate, strangely Grim Reaper-like appearance at the end of Castlevania II, Castlevania III was a return to form for Dracula. Not only was he actually recognizable as Dracula this time, but instead of a weird parlor trick involving a mask and the floor, he greeted you the way a dark lord should – from his throne.
He then resorted to teleporting around the room, using a magic wand to conjure up columns of flame while you mercilessly whipped him in the face. This was actually kind of lame, but what came next made him one of the better Draculas on this list.
Above: DAMN WHAT THE HELL
Once you’d whipped the flesh off all his new faces, Dracula’s second form would die – but then the ridiculous third one appeared, which was a giant birdlike statue. A giant birdlike statue with lasers.
If you died here, you’d have to start the level all over again – so it was a lucky thing that medieval lasers moved slowly, and weren’t really that hard to dodge.
Spotted in: Final Fantasy XI (PC, PS2, Xbox 360)
Habits: Stomping around an ice cave, slashing at adventurers with one oversized claw, turning people into bats (!?).
Great because: Just look at that huge bastard. A powerful boss accessible to level-70 adventurers (in a Castlevania-referencing mission called Bloody Rondo), Dracula hangs out in the Leujoam Sanctum plotting various wicked deeds. He’s also the most un-Draculalike Dracula on this list, but his name checks out, and the batwings and Nosferatu face are clear signs that he’s an undead blood-drinker. We’re not sure what’s up with the fiddler crab-like claw and extremely tight armor, but admit it: if you saw the above image scribbled in a 14-year-old’s notebook, you’d think it was a pretty awesome Dracula.
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