darkstalkers felicia image
darkstalkers felicia image
Narrative Review by John Baxa Carnegie Mellon University [email protected] The Story In the world of Darkstalkers, there exists the human world… and the world of the Makai, a dimension ruled by a group of powerful noble demons. The story of “Darkstalkers 3” begins when Jedah, a powerful demon noble, is resurrected from a century long death. He awakens to an impure Makai that disgusts him and decides that the only way to save the world is to recreate it. He creates a new dimension called the “Majiden” and lures in powerful demons and humans to use as sacrifices to power its creation. Each character enters the “Majiden” with their own goals, but many share a common struggle: They must fight for the chance to be reborn. Strongest Element Morrigan and Lilith’s union. Morrigan offers Lilith her body as a vessel in a moment where the two characters are simultaneously mother and daughter, lovers, and two halves of the same whole. This gift marks a pivotal growth for Morrigan, a selfish and aloof character. After Morrigan absorbs Lilith, she unknowingly receives the final piece of her identity she’s been seeking. At the end of her story, Morrigan is flying high, excited by the world, feeling as if she can do anything and sees the world through new eyes. She emerges from the crucible of the game renewed in a way the player may not have expected. Weakest Element The Cast Main Characters Morrigan Jedah The aloof, succubus anti-hero looking for new experiences The villainous reaper Lich bent on recreating the world Lilith The missing third of Morrigan’s soul desperate to keep her body Sasquatch. He’s cute, lovable, and untroubled... and tonally distant from many of the characters in the game. Most characters are reaching the end of series-long arcs, dealing with sacrifice, death, and apocalypse. Sasquatch’s ending involves him eating bananas with his tribe. His inclusion in the story makes sense as comedic relief, but his static development feels less meaningful and fulfilling than other characters’ arcs. Side Characters Lessons Learned An interesting dramatic question Hsien-Ko Two sisters trapped in zombie form, trying to get home Felicia Rikuo Viktor A kind catwoman starting a career as a singer A merman searching for the few living members of his kind A monster collecting souls to bring his sister back to life •Most fighting games’ stories operate under the conceit of a “fighting tournament.” Here, a far more interesting question is asked: “Who will be reborn?”, which leads to more meaningful stories. Collections of stories to explore a theme Highlight •Anthology narrative structure can be an effective medium to explore a theme, story, or dramatic question from numerous angles. The Fetus of God stage. It’s a pulsating, cavernous womb littered with phallic cilia and a giant demonic fetus. It’s body horror done well--it’s gross, mesmerizing, and uncomfortable to look at let alone fight in. Here, the game takes the theme of rebirth and makes it concrete. You battle Jedah in this demonic womb and whoever emerges victorious will get the second chance at life they desire. Ludonarrative synchronization •Story and theming unite with mechanics (e.g., “damage gauge system”) to create a fast and brutal, yet harmonious, gameplay experience. The genre is still limited •Despite its strengths, Vampire Saviour is confined by the fighting game genre’s reduced focus on story. More can be done to explore how the genre can offer rich opportunity for characterfocused journeys.