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Vampire Savior (Darkstalkers 3)

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Vampire Savior - The Lord of Vampire (a.k.a. Darkstalkers 3 in the USA) is the third incarnation of the Darkstalkers series. It was released in 1997 and much of the game mechanics have been borrowed by Capcom's later Versus series. The game can be extremely fast paced, especially at high level competitive play, and in its nine years of life so far it remains pretty well balanced.

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Community Links

  • FightCade : An online plateform for arcade gaming, where people gather to play online and chat about the game.
  • Discord Fightcade Group : A Discord group useful for finding people to play Fightcade games with.


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Throughout the guide there will be a lot of jargon thrown around and, unless you know what these terms are referring to, it might be difficult to understand some of the more complex lingo and slang used. For example, what is Hit Stun and Block Stun? What do we mean when we use the word "frames?" So before we begin, please take some time to look over the glossary to familiarize yourself with some of these terms so the rest of the guide will make more sense.

Game Elements

Life Bars

The Life Bar works quite differently from your average 1 on 1 Capcom-Styled Lifebar. The normal nature of the lifebar is, you get hit, and the damage stays. Vampire Savior doesn't follow this trend. Rather, damage is dealt in Red(Permanent damage), and White(recoverable damage). While there's not much to talk about as far as red damage goes, there's a bit to know about white damage.

I'm 99% sure that every damaging move in Vampire Savior causes white damage. The ratio of white to red damage increases with the length of the combo being done(big combos equal lots of white damage). But white damage, is still damage. You can lose a round, if the white damage reaches the end of your life bar

Reducing your white damage [to just red damage] is quite simple; stay out of hit or blockstun. Being in blockstun (blocking in layman's terms) halts the reduction of your white damage. This can be best done by either: a. running away b. rushing down.

Capcom has followed two trends as far as life points are concerned. In their past [and later] games, characters within their [Capcom's] games have had two main ways of varying life bars:

  • Uniform life points, with varying defenses, where characters take a percentage of damage, and deal fixed damage with attacks.
  • Uniform defense and offense stats for attacks, but varying life points.

As of now, I believe characters have varying defenses, with uniform life points. It has been stated from a source, that [all] character in the game have 144 units of life, which supports my initial notion.

Round System

Following in suit with life bars, Vampire Savior strays away from the generic round system. Your standard match gives each character "bats," which are essentially stocks of life. When you fill a lifebar with full damage, the match pauses briefly, a bat is taken away, then the match resumes.

The opponent who didn't lose a bat (there are cases where traded hits cause both opponents to lose bats simultaneously) is free to run about to setup wakeup mindgames, and heal white damage in the [very] brief intermission.

And of course, the match is 100% over when a character loses both bats. Double KO can happen.

Meter System

Every character in Vampire Savior has up to 99 levels of meter. Despite this fact, except in special cases, you should really have no more than 3 levels of meter in a higher-level match (It's somewhat of a sign that you don't know how to use your meter).

Generally, ES and EX moves require one level of meter. Some EX moves require two. Dark Forces also require one level of meter.

The Meter bar is made up of 144 units. (Actually maybe 145, but having 144 units of meter does not equal one level. You must go a bit beyond 144 units.)

Combo Rules

There are three forms of doing combos in Vampire Savior:

  • Two-in-ones
    • Two-in-ones require a move to be bufferable. It is the action of doing a special move during the animation of a normal move. The recovery of the normal move will cancel into the special move, allowing for it to combo. Hence two-in-one. Can also work in the air.

  • Linking
    • Linking is a play on the startup and recovery of normal and special moves. It is performed by a character doing an attack, recovering before the opponent, and performing another attack all before the opponent recovers.

  • Chaining
    • Chaining is performed by canceling the recovery of one normal move into another. It is done from weaker to stronger buttons, going from punch to kick. You can google an image of how it works, or one day someone will put an image of the general pattern up.

You CANNOT cancel a normal move during a chain into a special or super move. You CAN link from a chain combo into a normal (or Special) move, thus allowing you to cancel that normal (Provided it is bufferable.) into a special move.

Another special case with canceling chain combos are command input EX Moves. These Supers are done by inputting odd commands in sequence. As such, characters such as Gallon (Talbain), Demitri, Morrigan, and other characters can cancel a chain combo into one of their EX moves.

Universal Abilities


Vampire Savior allows for ground and air blocking. Blocking while on the ground follows normal trends: Block Standing for high hitting attacks, and Crouching for low hitting attacks.

Air blocking is a bit different. Much like Street Fighter Alpha 3, an airborne character cannot block a normal attack from an opponent who has their feet on the ground. However, some normal moves, such as Aulbath (Rikuo)'s s.fp, or B.B. Hood (Bulleta)'s s.F+mp may be blocked in the air, as well as all ES and EX moves. Air blocking also has virtually no blockstun, allowing for characters to retaliate instantly.

ES & EX Moves

Both ES and EX Moves require meter. Some EX Moves require two or more.

ES Moves

ES moves are special moves to a higher degree. They are generally the special move enhanced in some sort of way. ES moves are performed by doing the motion of the special move normally, except with two buttons of whatever type it requires. (i.e. Morrigan's Soul Flash, QCF+P, can be used in an ES form by doing QCF+PP)

EX Moves

EX moves are the "Supers" of Vampire Savior. But unlike other Capcom games, the Supers of Vampire Savior are merely unique special moves. They have no invincibility, and may not necessarily have high priority. Normal EX moves are performed with their own motions, and two punches or Kicks. Command input (Or Sequential input) EX moves require their own combinations of directions and attack inputs.

Dark Force

Dark Force (abbreviated "DF" for short) is a mode that every character has available. It is activated by pressing the punch and kick buttons of same strength (light punch with light kick, medium punch with medium kick..etc). A DF requires at least one level of meter (Certain DFs require two or more), and adds additional effects and states unique to each character. The DF mode increases regeneration of white damage, but makes all damage taken and dealt during that mode red (permanent). Many of these DF effects can be generalized into 5 different categories:

Category Characters Description
  • Demitri
  • Felicia
  • Pyron
  • Donovan
The characters with this Dark Force get an assist, which adds an extra hit in intervals relative to your inputs (maybe a half second after an attack input). Since these additional hits do not knockdown and the assist characters are invulnerable, pressure can be applied to a greater extent (opponents must account for being knocked) The additional hit fills holes in not only pressure, but in combos as well.
  • Morrigan
  • Lilith
  • Talbain
  • Huitzil
This Dark Force type has two primary types, but both function in much the same way. An additional image of the character mimics the attacks of the character at the enemy in unison, or after the attack input has been inputted.
Morrigan and Lilith have mirror silhouettes available, which appear opposite of the opponent, and attack in unison. Mirror attacks negate hit pushback (since the opponent is being hit from two sides, though needs to block from the direction of the real character (no Urien unblockables)).
Lilith, Gallon, & Phobos have delayed silhouettes, which mimic the inputs of the character behind them. This form of silhouette dark force is generally more advantageous, since it protects the character better than the mirror silhouette, and allows for more damage opportunities with its inherent enhanced pressure and ability to fill in combo holes (Allowing for interesting loops)
  • Jedah
  • Q-Bee
  • Huitzil
  • Rikuo
This Dark Force type [which is quite self explanatory], allows the character to be in a state of indefinite jump for the duration of the dark force. Characters have full eight direction mobility, and have the same chain rules apply as normal. Aulbath's "flight" puts him in an indefinite crouch state, with 8 direction movement. Q-Bee and Jedah's Dark Forces doesn't have recovery frames.
Power Moves
  • B.B. Hood
  • Hsien Ko
  • Lord Raptor
  • Victor
  • Anakaris
This dark force type has a character gain new moves for their normal move set. Some characters gain additional properties, but this change in their movesets are the focus of their Dark Force.
Enhanced Armor
  • Bishamon (Super)
  • Sasquatch (Super)
  • Hsien Ko(Hyper)
  • Rikuo (Hyper)
  • Anakaris (Hyper)
There are two forms of enhanced armor used throughout Capcom fighting games: Hyper Armor and Super Armor. Super Armor allows for a character to allow for a hit to connect against them before they go into hit stun. Hyper armor prevents a character from entering hit stun all together. Both Armor enhancements are still susceptible to throws.

Other Moves

Guard Canceling

Guard Canceling is the Alpha Counter of Vampire Savior. It is performed while in blockstun, and only on the ground. The command motion for any Guard cancel is:

forward, down, down-forward+attack(A Shoryuken motion)

while in blockstun. All guard cancels have frames of invincibility. The attack button (punch or kick) varies with the character, and is listed in each character's respective guide.

A guard cancel can be buffered in to, if a player can properly predict the need to block a move correctly within a 14 frame window. This is done by performing the motion, blocking, then immediately pressing the attack button to finish the guard cancel input.

*All guard cancels have ES forms(Anakaris only have an ES version) **Also important to know, is that guard cancels do not always guarantee a clean hit(Some of them are slow, and some of them are fast, without talking about the ones that won't even hit).

Tech Hitting

Also known as pushblocking(Or Advancing Guard for the MvC players), Tech Hitting is performed by inputting anywhere from 3 to 6+ attack inputs during block stun within a 12 frame window. It can only be done on the ground.

It pushes the opponent away a distance, depending on your last input of the tech hit. A strong button will push them far away, and a weak button will do the opposite, pushing them far away enough for you to dash at them and retaliate. There is a random success in executing a successful tech hit.

  • 6 or more inputs will guarantee a pushblock.
  • 5 inputs allows for 75% rate of success.
  • 4 inputs allows for 50% rate of success.
  • 3 inputs allows for 25% rate of success.

Tech hitting gives the person teching frame advantage. This trait of tech hitting makes it more desirable in some cases over guard canceling.

Also worth noting, is that buttons pressed simultaneously count as only one (1) input toward a tech hit.

(Important note: Anakaris is the only character in the game that can't pushblock.)

Throwing & Throw Tech Hitting

Throws are performed by pressing the direction forward or back and P or K. Only Medium and Heavy punches or kicks may perform normal throws.

Throw Tech Hits counter throws. In this case, they are performed in the exact same manner as the throws: press the direction forward or back and P or K. Only medium and strong punches or kicks may counter normal throws.

I also do not have the frame data for these either currently, but from experience, the Vampire Savior engine allows for much leeway in performing a tech hit to counter throws. Very much like Super Street Fighter II Turbo.

All normal throws have a 1 frame startup(And Anakaris doesn't have normal ground/air throws).

All characters also have an unblockable command throw of some sort. All of which have their own respective command input, and frame data. These command throws are un-techable(with few exceptions).


Upon knocking down your opponent, you have the option to add an extra hit to your opponent with a pursuit. Pursuits deal strictly white damage, but even white damage may be all that is necessary to apply damage to maintain pressure.

To perform a pursuit, simultaneously press up and a punch or kick (U+P, or U+K).

Pursuits can be ES'd, by performing the command with two punches or kicks. They can also be avoided by strategic wakeups. This should not deter players from using pursuits though, since a missed pursuit will still keep you near your opponent, which may be desirable for many characters.

Pursuit Frame data will be listed with their respective characters.

Strategic Wake-Up

Upon 'being knocked down, press left or right, and an attack input. your character will then move left or right(depending on which direction you held).

This allows for you to evade pursuits, keep on (or away from) your enemy, or just throw off their mind game.


Dashing is performed by tapping forward [or backward] twice in in consecutive succession. Doing so, makes your character dash, hop, or glide (depending on your character). This is a necessity to the game of every character in Vampire Savior, as is discussed further.

Frame data for dashing is located in each respective character's page.


See glossary for best explanation.

General Strategies

Refer to the Strategy Section.

Miscellaneous Information

Vitality/defense Rankings

Tier Characters
Tier 1
(60 Damage, Highest Defense)
Tier 2
(64 Damage)
Tier 3
(65 Damage - Average Defense)
B.B. Hood
Tier 4
(67 Damage)
J. Talbain
Lord Raptor
Tier 5
(72 damage, Lowest Defense)
Hsien Ko

Character Heights

Tier Characters
Tall Victor
Normal Demitri
B.B. Hood
Lord Raptor
Short Felicia
Hsien Ko
J. Talbain

Foot Speed Comparisons

Character Walk Forward Walk Back
Anakaris 2.25 1.2
B.B. Hood 3 2.75
Bishamon 2.375 2.125
Demitri 3 2.625
Felicia 3.75 3.125
Hsien-Ko 3 2.625
J. Talbain 4.375 3.875
Jedah 3 2.625
L. Raptor 2.75 2.5
Lilith 3.25 2.75
Morrigan 3.25 2.75
Rikuo 3.5 3
Q-Bee 3 2.625
Sasquatch 2.25 2
Victor 2.5 2.25

Data gathered via Artmoney and memory examination while the CPS-2 arcade game was running. Characters Oboro Bishamon, Gold Lord Raptor and Dark Talbain have the same walk speeds as their base characters. Raptor's crouch walking speed is the same as his regular walking speed.

Tier Characters
Fast Lord Raptor
Average Sasquatch
B.B. Hood
Slow Hsien Ko

Generally Accepted Tier List

(No particular order within each category. As unbiased as possible and taken from varying sources. Can be further divided, but resources currently not at hand)

Tier Characters
Top Sasquatch
Zabel(Lord Raptor)
Mid Lei Lei (Hsien-Ko)
Aulbath (Rikuo)
BB Hood(Bulleta)
Bottom Anakaris

Credit/Ender/Legal stuff

many tidbits & just about all of frame data was found from thhese sites:

Japanese website with the frame data and hitboxes

English translation by a brasilian

if someone would be so kind as to translate the name of it, that would be nice.

Relevant Discussions

Past Vampire Savior videos

Updates/other notes

Available characters


Lilith - in research ;

Anakaris - info(frame data to be transposed)

Jedah - info being reworked (frame data finished)

Sasquatch - info & frame data(finished?)

Lei lei(hsien ko)-info & frame data(finished?)

Aubath(Rikuo)-info & frame data(finished?)