Vampire/Darkstalkers series
Lyndsey Beatty
This is a brand-new section here at Gaming Insurrection, where we break down the mechanics and intricacies of a GI favorite game to maybe inspire you to try it and fall in love with it much as we have. This section will feature tips and tricks for understanding the system of a game and shed some light on how things work, the important parts of menus and character workings. And we'll also do it in video form. Learn the background on some of the fun games of the past for a variety of genres with Gaming Insurrection's Systems!

Starting out of the gate
This is the game that started it all. Built as an evolution to Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Vampire features air blocking, crouch walking, chain combos and super combos. The super combo meter, once filled, constantly drains until empty and refilled. And, individual rounds are present.

Chain combos are important in Vampire Hunter and became widely used in later fighting games. Chain combos start with Light Punch or Light Kick and move up in strength as hits are strung together. 

An all-star cast
The earliest version of the franchise roster focuses on different types of monsters and horror icons. The final roster includes eight playable characters (Aulbath/Rikuo, Gallon/Jon Talbain, Zabel Zarock/Lord Raptor, Morrigan, Demitri, Bishamon, Felicia, and Victor) and two non-playable boss characters (Pyron and Huitzil/Phobos).

Vampire: The Night Warriors (1994)
Vampire Hunter: Darkstalkers' Revenge (1996)
Vampire Savior: The Lord of Vampire (1997)
New to the sequel
The sequel game is confirmed to be a retelling of the first game story-wise. Features-wise, Vampire Hunter has stockable super combo reserves, ES Specials (extended versions of special moves), EX Specials (super moves), a round system, and choices between Normal mode or Auto blocking mode.

Two newcomers
Donovan, a damphir, and Lei-Lei, a Jiangshi, join the cast of characters. They are the titular vampire hunters.
Final round
Vampire Savior is the last truly new game in the series. Instead of rounds, the game features the Damage Gauge System. Similar in concept to Killer Instinct, the characters are downed with life markers instead of using rounds.

New concepts
The biggest introduction in Vampire Savior is the Dark Force mode, where each character gains things such as special moves, flight, shields or doppelgangers to fight alongside them in a timed environment. Damage dealt while in Dark Force mode is not recoverable as normal damage is in the course of normal play.

Roster changes galore
Vampire Savior overall saw four new characters added: B.B. Hood, Q-Bee, Lilith and Jedah. The arcade versions eliminate Donovan, Pyron and Huitzil/Phobos, but most console ports of the game added them back to the roster. There were further changes in the sequel games Vampire Savior 2 and Vampire Hunter 2.
What's the best version?

Vampire Savior is considered the definitive version of franchise and is the most played in modern fighting game tournaments. Hunter 2 and Savior 2 are not considered definitive because of massive changes to the game engine. The best ports of Vampire Savior are the CPS2 board for arcade, Darkstalkers Resurrection for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and the version found in Vampire: Darkstalkers Collection for PlayStation 2.