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access_time October 29, 2013 at 2:22 PM in Reviews by Ryan Bates

‘Capcom Encyclopedia’ fascinates video game enthusiasts, trivia lovers




Which two characters have been in every generation of Street Fighter titles, including all the crossover titles?

How do all the characters of the Resident Evil series relate to one another?

Who’s the only non-magic using human character in DarkStalkers, thereby making this lunatic the most “normal?”

And who the heck are Sexy Silvia, Mack the Knife, Nina, and the Chiki Chiki Boys?

Even the most voracious study of the gamersphere may not know some of these tidbits of minutia lying within the vaults of Capcom. More than just Mega Man, Capcom celebrates its 30th anniversary, and in honor of the milestone, DK Publishing has released the 30th Anniversary Capcom Character Encyclopedia. The volume, released in conjunction with BradyGames, includes over 200 entries ranging from Resident Evil’s corporate spy Ada Wong to Mega Man X’s polar opposite, Zero. The book prominently features several of Capcom’s most popular series, from Mega Man to Street Fighter II to the Ace Attorney series, but also gleefully delves into some of the more rare and unusual titles, such as Power Stone, Under the Skin, and Cyberbots: Fullmetal Madness.

Capcom Character EncyclopediaWhile the book never gets extraordinarily deep into detail (one page on Mega Man seems hardly fair), there is a lot of interesting facts that pique the imagination. Take, for example, Demitri Maximoff from the DarkStalkers series. Aside from being a powerful vampire who attacked the Aenslands for control of Makai, the demon world, he’s also one of the most recognizable figures from the 2D fighting series. So if someone like Felicia can make crossovers in the vs. Capcom fighting series, why not Demitri? The answer lies in one of Demitri’s most infamous moves, the Midnight Kiss. Using his evil powers, Demitri transforms the character into a female (or if the opponent is female, an even prettier female), then proceeds to brutally drain the fighter of his or her life force. Pretty cool attack, but a pain for designers. Every time Demitri appears in a fighting game, it requires a second, feminine version of each character in case Demitri chooses to use Midnight Kiss. Given the extra work just to keep a canonical version of the vampire in the game has stunted his outside appearances, while Morrigan and Felicia reappear quite frequently.

It would be hard to justify this as an art book or coffee table book, though brandishing it on your coffee table would be perfectly acceptable. But it makes for an interesting read for those who really love their video games, and the short blurbs for each character make for perfect quick reads.

The 30th Anniversary Capcom Character Encyclopedia is available in stores and on the DK Publishing website for $16.99.

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Want to know the answers to the questions at the top? Better go buy the book. Or check out my blog, Ryan’s Modern Life.



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