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Gaming’s greatest Draculas

Dracula Redux

Spotted in: Super Castlevania IV (SNES)

Habits: Teleporting around the room, shooting purple fireballs, being able to survive after having his face torn off with a bullwhip.

Great because: While he’s essentially just a reworking of the first Castlevania’s Dracula, there’s something about this Dracula that’s oddly comforting to us – probably because A) half our staff played through Super Castlevania IV a combined 2,637 times as kids, and B) on the grand scale of Draculas, he’s kind of a pussy.

Yes, his fireballs are a pain because they can’t be jumped over, and split into multiple smaller fireballs when whipped. Yes, it takes an average of two hits to remove one bar from his life meter. And yes, all his attacks are a pain in the ass to avoid. Once you get his life meter down far enough, though, he disappears and the room turns red, crackling with lightning.


Above: Oh man, we’re totally in for it now

Knowing Dracula’s epic history of transformations, we braced for the worst, expecting the powerful-for-its-day SNES to throw a giant, world-shattering boss fight our way. Instead, Dracula came back like this:


Above: ‘BLUH! My face is now a skull! BLUH! BLUUHHH!’

What’s more, his attacks this time were super-easy to dodge, being just four columns of lightning that telegraphed their appearance at the top of the screen. We didn’t even have to contend with a second life bar this time around, leaving us with no conclusion other than that Dracula choked under pressure. At least his death scene was memorable.


Above: And then all the bats burned but one, which went off to cry by itself before disappearing


Guilt Tripula

Spotted in: Van Helsing (PS2, Xbox)

Habits: Ignoring gravity, turning into a demon, having awkward conversations with the hero.

Great because: Sometimes the most interesting Draculas come from the shittiest games, and the Van Helsing movie adaptation took what was already an unusual version of Dracula and made him have an awkward-silence-filled chat with Hugh Jackman.

Then you get into a couple of fights with him, but probably the less said about those, the better.


Demitri Maximoff

Spotted in: Darkstalkers series (Arcade, PSone, Saturn, PS2, PSP)

Habits: Being extremely muscular, pursuing some kind of vendetta with Morrigan, having a tiny head.

Great because: OK, so Demitri is a distinct character with his own personality, but… look at him! A big, impeccably dressed vampire who looks like a cross between 1980s Schwarzenegger and Liberace? How could he possibly be based on anyone else but Dracula?

Also, one of his special moves is briefly turning all his male opponents into transsexuals (or his female opponents into hotter female opponents) before sucking their blood, and if that’s not worth shoehorning him into an article about a different character entirely, then we don’t know what is.


Anime Dracula

Spotted in: Dracula X: Rondo of Blood (PC Engine, Wii)

Habits: Kidnapping women, laughing a lot, turning into a giant demon.

Great because: Aside from looking a whole lot better than every other Dracula to come before him, this version of Dracula was the first to really be a character, instead of a symbol of evil that waited at the end of the game. He appeared in cutscenes, with spoken lines. He made an effort to be slimy toward hero Richter’s girlfriend, giving players an actual reason to despise him. And also he was the first iteration of Dracula to use the now-standard balls of destruction in addition to his classic cape-fireballs.

Aside from that, he feels kind of like another redesign of the first Castlevania’s Dracula, complete with a hoppy demon form he turns into once you’ve whittled away his life bar.

Admittedly, this was a pretty damned easy Dracula, especially after some of the bastard-hard bosses the rest of the game throws your way before he shows up. If nothing else, though, he set the stage for what might be the best Dracula ever – as well as establishing that Castlevania’s Dracula, in a bold departure from the classic Bela Lugosi/Christopher Lee model, has white hair.


Above: And also really huge shoulders

36 comments

  • brettjohnson - November 1, 2010 1:37 a.m.

    When Satan showed up in Lords of Shadow I was convinced he was Dracula. Disappointed when he wasn't :(
  • TyeTheCzar - October 30, 2010 10:47 p.m.

    Hear me out, GR! Say, if you're going to do one about "normal" vampires, which I implore that you do, then you will include the following: First, the vampire sisters Remilia and Flandre Scarlet; these centuries-old tykes have enough power to wipe out any of the Draculas on this list. The first girl, is a spoiled brat who has her own mansion and can turn the air into red mist; the littler sister, Flandre, is so powerful that she had to be locked in the basement(but doesn't mind it), and is more than a bit wacky in the head. Arcueid Brunestud, from the plot-with-the-occasional-porn Visual Novel Tsukihime and the why-the-hell-hasn't-this-come-over-here-yet fighter Melty Blood, is just as powerful as the aforementioned Scarlets; however, if you've played the Visual Novel or read the manga, she's an extremely well-written and sympathetic character with an unusually lighthearted personality for a vampire in spite of her tragic backstory. From the same games, Nero "Nrvnqsr" Chaos. If you aren't the kind of guy who can see a monsters "lines" and cut them, then you'll be dead the minute he sees you. I assume you'd want to know how terrifying he is, so copy-paste this if you dare: http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/0/208/405240-nero.jpg
  • cronoman66 - October 30, 2010 7:35 p.m.

    That Darkstalkers video for me sums up exactly why it won't be remade/have a sequel unless its rebooted or something, Darkstalkers is a great game but its insanely werid and contains a lot of stuff on par with that video
  • R_U_Guys_From_British - October 30, 2010 1:50 p.m.

    Another great read!
  • DRAKULAxx - October 30, 2010 2:03 a.m.

    Really Mikel? No mention of me? BLASPHEMY!
  • NinjaJamez - October 29, 2010 10:47 p.m.

    i LMAO with the i wanna be the guy video xD. but seriously, SOTN dracula is by far the best i've seen
  • batmanboy11 - October 29, 2010 7:37 p.m.

    Good stuff.
  • purple_omlet - October 29, 2010 6:46 p.m.

    I'm slightly upset to not see The Count of Ground-soaking Blood from Boktai. There is no way he doesn't immediately remind you of Dracula.
  • BarbwireTino - October 29, 2010 5:34 p.m.

    I am so pleased that you mentioned the "Vampire Trophy" as something that vampires have. It made my day. I am going to go watch some Venture Bros in celebration.
  • Cleanser247 - October 29, 2010 5:15 p.m.

    Very nice feature Mr. Reparaz! I really enjoyed it : D Casltevania's dracula fight really was a creepy final battle!
  • bonerachieved - October 29, 2010 3:04 p.m.

    YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA DAR CULAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
  • Stahlbrand - October 29, 2010 2:42 p.m.

    Fuck yeah, SotN Dracula wins all. He is the Dracula by which I measure draculas.
  • PhantomDave - October 29, 2010 1:40 p.m.

    God I remember D....if you played it right, as in beat the game, it took all of 2 hours...cuz you were timed. LOL With zero replay value. That's what's called not your money's worth. Plus you could theoretically make it a pretty brutal drinking game if you drank every time they uttered the name Laura...which was about every 30 seconds.
  • OnyxOblivion - October 29, 2010 12:56 p.m.

    Soma...Thank god you have Soma.
  • ThatSkinnyGuy - October 29, 2010 12:03 p.m.

    Ahh Mikel, you forgot the greatest Dracula in ALL of gaming... Cliff Blezinski, The Shitting Dracula.
  • Clovin64 - October 29, 2010 11:21 a.m.

    That Midnight Bliss video made me fell...weird. Time to watch it again...
  • Yaro - October 29, 2010 10:13 a.m.

    Antista's Ring?
  • philipshaw - October 29, 2010 10:11 a.m.

    Great article and some quality SOTN dialogue
  • wladodragovic - October 29, 2010 9:06 a.m.

    Around the third page I already thought "Hm, what about Neclord, he was a total Dracula... Nah, you guys haven't played Suikoden" And then you won me over with the fourth page. I'm still in mild delirium.
  • sepirothpk - October 29, 2010 8:59 a.m.

    @ventanger You mean awesome! OT: The opening you gave, if I didn't have the article title already, I would have thought you meant Hitler and his Nazis

Showing 1-20 of 36 comments

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