Darkstalkers Redirection

Sometimes I have to ask myself why I have a set of Darkstalkers novelty head-wings. The answer is complicated.

It’s exactly what it looks like: a promotional Darkstalkers Resurrection band that you can wrap around your head like a Burger King crown. The bat-wings imitate the headgear of Morrigan, as she’s the focus of the Resurrection art and the main character of the series. Darkstalkers is notable in that respect. Street Fighter and Guilty Gear and Tekken and most other major fighting games deem men their iconic leads, but Darkstalkers has Morrigan. I suspect that's because she usually looks ready to spill out of her demon-lady costume if someone so much as pats her on the back, but hey, small victories.

Capcom gave away these bat-crowns at conventions back in 2012. They had just announced Darkstalkers Resurrection, a collection of the two best games in Capcom’s monster-fighter series, and so they put together a large booth for the game. It was a fine time to like Darkstalkers, as I certainly do. Resurrection was a great repackaging of the series, and Capcom strongly implied that they’d make an all-new Darkstalkers if the reissue did well enough.

A little blot of dread grew in me. As excited as I was at the promise of a new Darkstalkers, I suspected that Resurrection wouldn’t do so well and that Capcom wouldn’t make much Darkstalkers merchandise beyond this little strip of paper that looks vaguely like a crab's maw if you view it from behind. So I resolved to save mine. I made sure I that I got it home in one piece, and I didn’t try wearing it at the convention, even though that would’ve given me a shot at winning a free download of Resurrection (I was content to buy the game twice, once on Xbox Live and again on the PlayStation Network). I would not tarnish so wonderful an artifact with my slovenly nerd-brow.

I was right. Horribly, horribly right. Resurrection didn't sell nearly well enough to begin a new golden age of Darkstalkers, and Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono, who for years claimed “Darkstalkers are not dead,” is now a shade more taciturn about the subject. Yet Capcom still keeps Darkstalkers alive with artbooks, this poster set, and suggestively posed Morrigan statues that I wouldn’t put on my shelf. So the series will survive as long as fans lurk in the wastelands of Resurrection’s online lobbies or needlessly remind people that Morrigan is a succubus and not a vampire. They’re keeping the faith, and so am I.