Alexander Lucard: Somewhere Sean Manchester is looking at today’s Halloween entry and is adding to this to his litany of “proof” that I am indeed the Lord of the Undead…
Although Dracula is one of the most famous fictional creations in the history of mankind, based on a real life Wallachian warlord named Vlad Tepes, his video game appearances tend to be a bit dull compared to his only two appearances on the printed page by Irish write Bram Stoker. If you were to do a search of the word “Dracula” on this site, over 100 articles would come up, a good portion of which are either my old folklore column, Nyogtha, or jokes by my staff about the fact my name is A.Lucard aka Dracul.A. Ho ho ho.
Just this year we’ve had Dracula 3, which was awful, Operation Darkness, which polarized those who played it, and Dracula: Origin, which started great but eventually devolved into Dracula/Cthulhu fan fiction. Later this year we have two Castlevania games coming out, and yet not a single one of these games featuring the undead Count will portray Dracula in any way, shape, or form close to the personality and appearance Stoker gave him.
In fact, there are only two video games I feel have ever come close to capturing the original essence of Stoker’s epistolary novel and they are Dracula: Unleashed and Dracula: Resurrection. You can read my full length commentary of both of those here.
So how does one fix Dracula and make him as frightening a creature on the digital stage as he has been on stage, screen, and print? After games running the gambit from Crazy Vampire Dracula to Dracula In London, can the most famous vampire of them all be saved? That’s the real question isn’t it/ After all, even the best games he has appeared in like Symphony of the Night just use a pretty generic vampire that they slap the Dracula name tag on. Sadly the only company I feel has ever been able to truly capture the Count properly was a French point and click developer that has long since ceased to exist. Maybe someday we’ll get more than just two games that both capture Stoker’s vision and are also fun to play.
Matt Yaeger: Most of the games I’ve seen Dracula in have been Castlevania games. So apparently he can be beaten by beaten by some dude with a whip. There was also a pretty decent point and click Dracula game for the Playstation (Editor’s note: This is a port of the PC game Dracula: Resurrection). Dracula in videogames is just a boss battle to get past, so the king of vampires doesn’t have the same feeling of being an unspeakable horror as he does in books and in movies.
ML Kennedy: Dracula.
Dracula will always mean one thing to me. I hear “Peace on earth and mercy mild; God and sinners reconciled” and then my vampirized girlfriend kills me (well, really Alexander Morris).
Three dozen times, I heard those lines from a Christmas song in the Sega CD game, Dracula Unleashed. Three dozen times it meant my demise.
It got to be that I got jumpy whenever I heard Christmas carols. “Hark! The herald angels sing? . . . Where are you, Dracula?! Why do you torment me?”
I still look over my shoulder at the end of A Charlie Brown Christmas. They sing that song.
It’s enough to make a guy hate Jeebus.
Anisette is an undead whore.
Guy Desmarais: I always heard tales of Dracula and the Castlevania series when I was younger. In case I didn’t make it known previously on this site, I am a horrible gamer, so I will admit that as a youngster, I never could make it to the Count. I would always die before getting there. WAY before getting there. Still, he succeeded in scaring me once when he appeared on the cover of Nintendo Power in the form of a severed head being held by Simon Belmont. Holy crap that was scary to a 5 years old.
Mark B: I don’t have much faith in Dracula as a villain anymore. I just can’t. Simon Belmont killed him. Richter Belmont killed him. His own kid killed him. A bunch of people who are only tangentially related to the Belmonts killed him. The Monster Squad kill- er, banished him to another dimension. Christ, Buffy killed him twice inside of an hour. But we love him too much to let him go; until it was decided certain Castlevania games would cease to be canon (including Sonia Belmont’s game because apparently FUCK WOMEN, THEY CAN’T KILL DRACULA, which is about when I decided to stop buying the games, oddly enough), there was about one Tuesday in the 1800’s where he WASN’T running around ruining everyone’s day, he’d been resurrected so much.
Of course, “What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets!” is probably the single greatest boss line ever (even though it WAS an Andre Malrux quote), so I guess dude still has some steam left…