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Gaming’s greatest Draculas

Neclord

Spotted in: Suikoden (PSOne, PS3), Suikoden II (PSOne)

Habits: Turning into clouds of bats, unsuccessfully kidnapping “brides,” playing pipe organs dramatically in front of stained-glass portraits of himself.

Great because: Proof that Draculas don’t always have to take center stage to be memorable, Neclord hits all the right notes for a minor villain: he’s pompous, overconfident and tends to prey on those weaker than himself. He’s not a traditional vampire, having been transformed by magic instead of blood-drinking or a curse, but the cape and affectation for pipe organs mark him as a classic Dracula.

However, he’s also proof that being a Dracula is sometimes skin-deep. He talks a good game, but Neclord’s a classic coward, and when his back is against the wall and his powers are taken away, he turns into a sniveling little bitch.

So long, Neclord. Out of all the Draculas on this list, your death was probably the most gratifying.


Soma Cruz

Spotted in: Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA), Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (DS)

Habits: Wearing fur-trimmed longcoats, devouring souls, beating down all his old friends.

Great because: While it’s probably up for debate, there’s one thing that elevates Soma Cruz above all other Castlevania heroes and puts him in a class by himself: while everyone else is out to kill Dracula, Cruz is Dracula. Or at least a reincarnation of Dracula, who’s finally managed to restrain his evil nature after centuries of death and rebirth.

The redeemed-villain angle is almost always a compelling one, and when Castlevania finally decided to exploit it, the results were pretty amazing. Not only is Soma one of the most unique Castlevania heroes, fighting by stealing powers from his enemies, but he also presides over two of the best Castlevanias on any system. More interestingly, it’s also possible for him to succumb to his Dracula side in Dawn of Sorrow, opening up an entirely new game mode starring Julius Belmont, Yoko Belnades and Alucard (aka Genya Arikado) as they fight to put Soma down.


Reebokula

Spotted in: Drac’s Night Out (NES)

Habits: Flipping switches, hypnotizing villagers, dying in one hit, getting the drop on everyone with his wicked-phat Reebok Pumps.

Great because: It’s pretty rare that a game puts you in control of Dracula himself, and even rarer that it happens in a poorly conceived, never-released advergame for Reebok’s early-‘90s line of Pump shoes.


Above: Really?

In a rush to get to his girlfriend Mina’s house, Dracula has to walk down an extremely long staircase before dawn strikes. His only defense against the legions of villagers in his way is a sketchy hypnotism power – unless of course he can locate a pair of Reebok Pumps™, which make him faster and able to execute long spin-jumps that can stun the locals into submission!


Above: REALLY?

Jesus, what the hell? Is this “Shitty product-placement Draculas” now? Let’s just move on…


Bearded Dracula

Spotted in: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PSOne, Saturn, Xbox 360, PSP)

Habits: Giving contemptuous speeches, being haughty, attempting to murder his own son.

Great because: Out of all the Draculas on this list, this is the one with the most potential to redefine how we think of the character. No longer a silent enemy or a monster that tries to hide in human form, this Dracula – in a re-staging of Rondo of Blood’s climax – gave us one of the most awesomely terrible bits of dialogue ever recorded, in a videogame or otherwise:

Which in turn gave us one of the best gag-deaths we’ve ever seen, in the mind-shatteringly difficult PC game I Wanna Be The Guy:

More seriously, this was also the first time Dracula had really been given a motive for his continual attempts to make everyone miserable: over the course of the game, we learned that he’d once loved a woman – Alucard’s mother – who was wrongly burned as a witch by a mob of angry villagers. This was the closest Dracula had ever come to being a sympathetic, complex character – none of which stopped him from skipping straight to the demon stage of his usual transformations by challenging his son from the back of a throne-monster made of H.R. Giger’s wet dreams.

Oct 28, 2010

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No matter how many times you kill them, they always come back for more 



 

The scariest videogame characters that were never designed to be scary They do no wrong, for they do not know what it is 


 


What if… Hitler smoked pot? 
And what does this have to do with videogames, exactly?  

 

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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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