More details on arcade fighter Dark Presence (including new screenshots)

Shaggy March 31, 2008 11
More details on arcade fighter Dark Presence (including new screenshots)


(Click on the images to enlarge)

A little over a week ago we revealed some new information concerning a new 2D fighter that should come to arcades later this year known as Dark Presence. We promised that there would be more so here it is, a more detailed look at the games characters and move set, along with some never before seen screenshots.

I have said before that I am impressed with the level of detail that this game has received as I have learned about how much attention has been given to creating a very detailed and new way of approaching the 2D fighter. To start off each character has between 12,000-16,000 frames of animation for everything but finishing moves (with those it goes much higher). Where many 2D fighters are fairly static in their animation, Dark Presence is not. The high number of frames stems from some of the ideas that are in play for the game. For example, in most 2D games (if not all of them) when your character changes the direction that they are facing, the image is simply flipped which is good for saving memory due to the lower number of frames but it is not very realistic. Darkwilsonleftright.jpg Presence doesn’t use image flipping – both sides of each character were filmed separately and in fact the direction you face will determine the stance of the character as well as the moves that they use. This gives the game further depth as players will need to discover moves from each direction and judge on how effective they are in that situation.

To add further to this depth, the game goes beyond the basic and special moves and includes weapon entanglements, deflects, counter attacks and evasion moves. Speaking of weapons, they play an important role in the game – every character has a weapon and if they use a large weapon (say an ax) then the reaction of their opponent will be different than if that same person were hit with a sword. What the character is wearing will also affect how much damage they take (the less they have on, the more damage they incur) but Galloping Ghost has taken their time in balancing the characters out so that no one person is overpowering are unfair.

Reactions play a role in how the game plays – characters react realistically to where they were actually hit and depending on the reaction you can link moves together for more devastating attacks. This also brings us to the energy bars. For those that have seen the screenshots of Dark Presence, you may have noticed that there are four energy bars. The bars represent the state that the player is in and thus how they appear in the game. As an example if your energy hits the 3rd bar your character goes into a not well stance where they look a little beat up and hunched over; after that bar is up it gets more apparent that they are not well and on the last bar the character goes into a “Last Desperation” mode where if they choose to, they can throw their weapon (which can be picked up again) to inflict great damage on their opponent. In case you’re wondering as to how this will affect the length of the rounds, they are aiming at making this a one round match per fight although that might be adjustable in the options. I like the idea of one round where you have a good amount of energy. That way the fight doesn’t end too quickly and you’ll play smarter.

We’ll have more details coming along soon, including a video of the actual game in action (something that a lot of people have been waiting to see for a long time). Again, thanks to Galloping Ghost for the pics and information – it’s not often that we can talk about an upcoming arcade title with this level of detail as most arcade developers are quite protective about their new games.

[Galloping Ghost Productions]


  1. Paul March 31, 2008 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    Everything was fine until you said that when your character is facing the other way you have to learn a new move set. Uh oh…

    Fingers crossed they don’t blow it!

  2. Geo March 31, 2008 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    Do not tell me those are the game screnshoots…?
    if they are; it looks horrible, and i think the gameplay will sucks too, this is not a game that can compete with street fighter iv and many others, beside MK1,2 & 3 american devolopers sucks making fighting games……

  3. Tom March 31, 2008 at 11:02 pm - Reply

    12,000-16,000 frames of animation? I wonder does anyone know what the other fighting games out there usually have?
    Seems like the replay value in this game would be very high. Not to mention characters playing different on each side. Glancing at the picture before I read the article I didn’t even realize that those were the same characters! lol I’m just not used to seeing the back of a character in a fighting game.
    That would be interesting playing a match and then purposely trying to get to the other side to do some kind of special move that is stronger or something like that.

  4. Shaggy April 1, 2008 at 12:44 am - Reply

    Perhaps I should word it differently – I don’t think that an entirely new move set is accurate for each side but that there will be differences, yes. There are basic moves that will be similar however.

    As far as the in game shots go – one thing you have to remember is that gone are the days where a game looks good when not in motion when you compare it to when the same game is actually moving. You really have to see it in action and what I have seen indicates that it will look very smooth and animated – we’ll have a video to post soon.

    I don’t know the numbers of frames that other fighting games get per character but it’s probably around 1000 per character at best. Of course that varies with each game – something like SF3 has many more frames per character than SF2 did.

  5. sevenout April 3, 2008 at 2:26 am - Reply

    16,000 frames of animated crap.

    Why did the developer decide to go with digitized people? Is it 1991 again? I have no problem with the digitization process, especially with today’s technology, but the character designs and background designs are laughable.

    The game looks like a parody of “Mortal Kombat” style games.

    The digitization process would work on a grander scale; a game with a huge budget, but this game looks like it was put together by some kids with some broomsticks, plastic weapons, and way too much time on their hands.

    Mortal Kombat still looks better and it’s SEVENTEEN years old.

  6. Shaggy April 3, 2008 at 2:39 am - Reply

    If you have no problem with the digitization process, I’m curious as to why you’re criticizing this then, especially where you have not seen it in action at all? All we have are still screens and everyone passes negative judgment on it. Yes I am positive about it but that’s because I’m tired of people claiming that a game is great or terrible before they even play it. If I play it and it sucks then I’d admit it but I’d hate to pass up something that could be good but I didn’t try it out because it didn’t look like what meets our expectations.

  7. sevenout April 3, 2008 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    Shaggy, don’t get me wrong, if this game ever even makes it to (an) arcade, I will play it.
    However, my problem with the game is the near laughable character design and the total lack of any real innovation in any aspect of the game in the art department.

    The fat guy in the “biker” jacket is holding a plastic axe with a spinal column and skull attached to it for Pete’s sake! There is no practical way to wield such a weapon in reality because there is no real way to get a grip on the axe.

    Furthermore, one of the characters is clearly holding a broomstick as a weapon that has plastic blades taped on the ends of the broomstick; and is wearing a sock on his head!

    If Brevity was the goal of this game I would be all for it. However, this seems to be more of a “fanfilm,” than an arcade game.

  8. Shaggy April 4, 2008 at 1:31 am - Reply

    I’m not psyched about the characters themselves either but personally I’ve felt that most 2D fighter games that used digitized characters looked a little silly in that aspect. Everything is obviously exaggerated more by the fact that it’s in HD, but I understand what you’re saying. As long as you’re willing to give it a chance by playing it then that’s cool, I think that’s what everyone should do. Still, this game will have some nice effects going on, I mentioned some of that in my first post about the game. We’ll see some of that detail soon when they release the videos. 🙂

  9. defthreat July 26, 2008 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    So are you trying to tell me that those screenshots are infact real. Because to me it looks hell bogus. Like a bad photoshop job. Seriously… i play aloth of 2d fighters and i’ll give anything a go…. but this honesty looks appauling bigtime. I’d even rather play UMK3 over this just based on those dicey screenshots. holla if ya feel me.

  10. Shaggy July 26, 2008 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    Those are the screenshots I was sent so what can I say. There will be video coming along soon so we can all see what it’s like in motion but we’ll have to see it in person to get the best feel for it.

  11. Vamphyrial March 13, 2010 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    My List..
    1- Istanbul Beyleri
    2- Dark Presence
    3- Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
    4- Blaz Blue
    5- King of Fighters XIII

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