||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (March 2013)|
Censored artwork of Felicia in Darkstalkers Resurrection
|First game||Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors (1994)|
|Created by||Alex Jimenez|
|Designed by||Akira Yasuda (Darkstalkers series)
Aya Takemura (Namco × Capcom)
|Voiced by (English)||Lisa Ann Beley (cartoon)
Janyse Jaud (anime)
Melissa Fahn (Cross Edge)
G.K. Bowes (Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Kae Araki (Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors, Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, Pocket Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, Darkstalkers 3, Capcom Fighting Evolution, Namco × Capcom, Cross Edge)
Kana Asumi (Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3)
|Birthplace||Las Vegas Valley|
Felicia (フェリシア Ferishia?) is a fictional character in the Darkstalkers series of fighting games by Capcom. She is a catgirl who first appeared in the 1994 game Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors and its subsequent sequels, later appearing in other Capcom games outside of the Darkstalkers series and related media and merchandise.
Conception and design
The character was originally envisioned by Capcom producer and Darkstalkers original creator Alex Jimenez as a beautiful long-legged African vampiress. Early in the development of Darkstalkers, the team decided to have two female characters: a catgirl and a vampiress, characters who would eventually become Felicia and Morrigan, respectively. Initially, Morrigan was to be the "cute" female character of the title, while Felicia would be the "sexy" female character. However, as Morrigan's character developed into that of a succubus she was made to be far more sexually appealing, and the roles of the two characters were reversed.
Felicia is a cute-faced, curvaceous "bakeneko". As such, she has cat ears, pointed teeth, a tail, and oversized hands and feet that resemble a cat's paws, complete with sharp claws that she uses in battle. She also has a heavy mane of long blue hair, blue eyes, and an "outfit" that consists entirely of thin strips of skimpy white fur. The fur leaves her technically nude except for that which partially covers her breasts, portions of her stomach and hips, and forms panty-like bottoms, as well as covering her arms and legs. Her name is adapted from Latin Felicity ("happy" or "happiness").
In video games
Felicia is a catwoman who was taken in and raised by a Catholic nun named Rose. When Rose passed away, Felicia left her town hoping to become a music star. She knew that the outside world was not pretty as it was filled with much prejudice towards darkstalkers for being different. Despite this, Felicia never lost hope, as she remembered what she was told before that one has to obtain happiness on their own. She wishes there to be a way for peaceful coexistence between darkstalkers and humans alike. For that, she pursues her dream of becoming a star to serve as a bridge between them. During her travels, she met many other catgirls of her kind. With her new found catgirl friends (Alto, Grace, Lucy, Nana & Mimi, Nonno, and Piko), she set out for her dream of being on stage.
Besides the Darkstalkers series, Felicia appears as a playable character in several other video games, including Capcom Fighting Evolution, Cross Edge, Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, Pocket Fighter, Puzzle Fighter, SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium, SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 and Onimusha Soul (redesign to fit it feudal Japan theme). In the crossover tactical role-playing game Namco × Capcom, Felicia teams up with King II from Tekken to make the only two-character team in the game to include both a Namco character and a Capcom character.
The anime OAV Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge (1997), Felicia is shown as already having a certain amount of success as an entertainer and is just starting a tour in the human world with her own traveling show. However, her tour gets off to a rough start when she is almost killed by monks pertaining to an anti-darkstalker militia and the zombie Lord Raptor saves her by promptly killing them all. Later, as Pyron begins his bid for world domination, Felicia attacks his Huitzil robot army. She destroys a few of the robots before being overwhelmed, but she is saved when the werewolf Jon Talbain intervenes. She is taken in by a human doctor and befriends the local children, only to be captured by a human paramilitary group. The doctor rescues her and with her faith in humanity renewed she, along with Talbain, lures the robots out of the town and destroying them with an explosives laden train. A major difference between this Felicia and the game's Felicia is that there is no mention of her origin and her religiosity is reversed: while it can be assumed from her being raised by a nun that the game Felicia is Catholic, her anime counterpart informs Raptor she is ambivalent to organized religion.
Felicia is the main hero in the American cartoon series Darkstalkers (1995), in which she was accompanied by Harry Grimoire, a character created for this particular series whose purpose (aside from a plot device) was mainly to get Felicia into trouble. She is also stated to be several hundred years old in this. Her dreams of being a singer are never mentioned (although in the first episode she was fired from Cats because her "costume" was "out of date"). Felicia was also depicted as possibly being the last of her kind, despite having other catgirl friends in the game series itself.
In the UDON Comics version of Darkstalkers, Felicia is still looking for her big break into stardom; unfortunately being a catgirl proves to be a very large roadblock on the path to fame. Along the way, she runs into Talbain who believes that humans are treacherous and vile, while she thinks that the current hatred between humans and darkstalkers are just a few "bumps in the road." Despite the fact that his interference costs her a potential gig, Felicia asks Talbain to accompany her, so that she can try to prove to him that humanity is not all bad. Eventually, they end up at the Catholic orphanage where Felicia grew up; her foster mother is named Sister Cecillia and is still alive and active in her foster daughter's life.
Several figurines of Felicia have been made since her introduction, ranging from immobile figurines by companies such as Kaiyodo, Volks, Yujin, Clayz, Kotobukiya, and MIT Japan, to a posable action figure by Medicom Toy. She is also a character card in the collectible card game Universal Fighting System. In the shōnen manga series Love Hina, a few of the main female characters appear in the costumes of B.B. Hood, Hsien-Ko, and Felicia—though much less revealing—for Halloween in chapter 86 of the manga. In the Cartoon Network animated series Mad (2011), Felicia makes cameo in the season one segment "Gaming's Next Top Princess".
Reception and cultural impact
Featuring Morrigan and Felicia in their Girls of Gaming special in 2003, Play wrote that the two are famous for how they "unified the haunting with the erotic, along with previously unseen level of animation and creature design." She also appeared in volume 2 of Play's "Girls of Gaming" series, noted as one of the greatest female characters in fighting games and with a comment: "what can you say about a cat-girl that wears something so skimpy it barely passes as an outfit?" The book 500 Essential Anime Movies: The Ultimate Guide cited Felicia as an example of the popularity of the Darkstalkers character designs, with fans frequently cosplaying as the character at various conventions since the original game's release. PLAY magazine described her as one of Capcom's "most beloved characters", featuring her in their "Girls of Anime" special. Felicia has become a popular subject of cosplay, even as, according to GameFront's Phil Owen, her "costume is quite elaborate, which means it’s easy to f–k up." Patrick Roesle of Hardcore Gaming 101 remarked, "All you need to know about Felicia is that she's extremely agile, emits piercing shrieks during battle, and has starred alongside Talbain in more hentai/slash fanfiction than you can probably wrap your mind around."
Felicia was second only to Morrigan in GameFAQs' favourite Darkstalkers character poll. GameDaily named Felicia one of their favorite Capcom characters of all time, ranking her as fifth on their list of their top 25 and naming her also their favorite female in the Darkstalkers series. GameDaily also listed her as one of their favorite American female characters in video games, and also third on their list of the "hottest game babes". In Unreality's Queen of the Iron Fist Tournament, Felicia won with Kitana, but lost to Sophitia. In 2011, UGO.com's Aubrey Sitterson ranked her as sixth among the fighting games' finest female fighters, commenting how "the fact that we think about her purring when we scratch her pushes us dangerously close to the Furry border." In 2012, Larry Hester of Complex ranked her as the 22nd "hottest" video game character, while MSN included her among the 20 "hottest women in video game history". In 2013, GamesRadar staff included Felicia among the 30 best characters in the three decades of Capcom's history, writing: "Felicia has the grace, agility and claws that fit her cross species, with body language comes off more cat than human, and it extends to her personality as well. Behind Morrigan, she’s likely the most well known Darkstalker, and has had cameos and playable appearances in multiple games. But when will she get the spotlight she deserves in a true Darkstalkers comeback?"
On the other hand, Sega Saturn Magazine described her as "too cute for her own good," questioning her viability compared to other characters in the franchise. In 2012, Chad Hunter of Complex ranked her as the ninth-most stereotypical character in video games (representing "Nearly Nude Female Fighters"), commenting how the "slutty innocent fighter girl stereotype was blasted off the charts with Felicia" while adding that she was "embarrassing and a weak character on top of it. This kitty cat should be put down for good." PC World included her in their list of "video game characters that are supposed to be sexy...but aren't." In ScrewAttack's Death Battle, Felicia lost to Taokaka from BlazBlue.
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