[Thanks to my good friend Square for the banner image!]
Vampire Hunter D is a Japanese novel series written by Hideyuki Kikuchi, with illustrations by Yoshitaka Amano, best known for being the primary artist on the first six Final Fantasy titles. The stories focus on a quiet yet powerful dhampir named D who works as a mercenary vampire hunter in the year 12090 AD, and the chatty magical symbiote who lives in his left hand. Its unique setting and style has inspired a number of adaptations, including audio dramas, a manga, and an upcoming American comic series and animated series. Although the books only began releasing in English in 2005, the animated movies gained cult popularity in the West in the 90’s/00’s due to TV and film festival rotation, as well as being marketed as animation for adults in a time before that was popular.
Vampire Hunter D is a survival horror game released in 1999 for the original PlayStation. While much of the game’s systems, progression and overall feel can be compared to the early Resident Evil games, Vampire Hunter D has a greater focus on action, replacing RE’s guns with swords and magic spells and adding new movement options such as jumping and strafing to the mix. These changes don’t all benefit the feel and occasionally make playing the game harder, but I appreciate what this game does to set itself apart.
The story of Vampire Hunter D (PS1) is loosely based on the events of the then-upcoming movie Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, which itself was based on the third novel in the series, Demon Deathchase. It even includes some animation and art assets from the movie, though the voice cast does not return. Within the story, D has been hired to save a young woman who was kidnapped by a vampire named Meier Link, or give her a peaceful end if she’s already been turned. He enters Chaythe Castle where Meier Link has locked himself away, and now it’s time for him to fight through demons and avoid rival bounty hunters on his way to complete his job.
I’m the mercenary ChorpSaway and I will be in the driver’s seat for this mission. I’m a fairly new fan of the series, but I really liked watching Bloodlust and wanted to explore this alternate take on it. Joining me are TheJayOfSpade, FutureFriend and Taoc from the Barbarois, who know nothing of the series and who I have hired to help me out by making jokes. Together we’re going to save a young woman and continue to push the eventual extinction of all vampires.
I will be completing the game with the best ending, but also showing the alternate scenes and endings in order to cover the entire contents of the game.
You’re free to talk about the content of Bloodlust or Demon Deathchase, since they’re largely different versions of the same general story, though I ask that you put spoiler tags on ending details until we get there. That said, I’d like to keep the discussion more focused on the game than the movie or book. It’s cool to talk about the differences but I don’t want the entire thread to just be about other media.