Morrigan Aensland (Japanese:, Hepburn: Morigan nsurando) is the female protagonist and fictional villain in Capcom’s Darkstalkers series. She first appeared in Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors in 1994, and she has since appeared in every game in the series, as well as in various related media and merchandise, as well as in multiple video games outside the Darkstalkers line, including most entries in both Marvel vs. Capcom and SNK vs. Capcom.
Morrigan is both the main character and an anti-hero in Darkstalkers, being the strongest character after regaining her powers and never being stopped from tricking, raping, and killing men.
Morrigan is a succubus and a powerful princess (later queen) of the demon realm Makai, who is very vain and lives for nothing more than the excitement of battle and human souls, but gradually begins to take her royal responsibilities more seriously despite her obsessive fascination with human souls, as she only kills humans. Her sister-like split part is Lilith, and her rival is Demitri Maximoff, and her moveset is similar to Ryu and Ken from Street Fighter.
|Morrigan in Darkstalkers Resurrection (2013)|
|First game||Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors (1994)|
|Created by||Alex Jimenez and Capcom Japan design team|
|Designed by||“Mori” (original game)|
Shukō Murase (Japanese animated series)
|Voiced by||English Japanese|
|Occupation||Princess of the Aensland House|
Queen of Makai (later games)
Morrigan is a succubus in the Darkstalkers series, and the adopted daughter of the demon king Belial of the Aensland House, one of the three major houses of Makai (, lit. “Demon World”), who prophesied her birth in Scotland in 1678. Belial also foresaw the dangers of Morrigan’s incredible power. If she did not properly control her power, it would consume her body and cause catastrophic damage to the world. To prevent this from happening, Belial sealed two-thirds of her soul away until she could withstand her full power, while keeping one-third in himself and returning it to Morrigan upon his death. The remaining one-third was sealed within a pocket dimension that eventually evolved into its own being, Lilith. Morrigan grew up unaware, cared for by two lesser demons named Lucien and Mudo. She found her life as a sheltered princess in the Aensland castle boring, so she would frequently visit the human world in search of entertainment, tempting humans of all sexes and fighting for her own pleasure. She can enter the human dimension without using the gates and instead relies on her own translocation ability.
Centuries later, in Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors (Vampire) and Darkstalkers: Darkstalkers’ Revenge (Vampire Hunter), Morrigan is drawn to a strange immense power (which turns out to be the alien fire demon Pyron) and returns to the human world. Morrigan finds Pyron and challenges him to a fight, but she is defeated because he is too strong for her. Instead, the defeated vampire lord Demitri Maximoff, her father’s sworn enemy, absorbs Pyron’s power. Sixteen years later, Belial dies, and Morrigan is informed that she is the heir to the Aensland throne, and will rule for the next 1,200 years. Despite becoming the rightful ruler of Makai as Queen of the Night, Morrigan continues to shirk her responsibilities and pursues her hedonistic and thrill-seeking lifestyle as before. Meanwhile, Demitri has returned to Makai shortly after learning of Belial’s death and challenges Morrigan to a demon realm battle. Prior to the events of Darkstalkers 3 (Vampire Savior), Morrigan gradually accepted the insistent vampire’s demand, with Jedah Dohma appearing after his century-long nap and creating the Majigen, which sucked Morrigan and her castle into it. Jedah freed Lilith who is compelled to find Morrigan, eventually merging back into her as depicted in both their endings.
Morrigan was the first Darkstalker character to cross over from the original fighting game series to the Marvel vs. Capcom series. Morrigan appeared in Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes (1998, remade as Marvel vs. Capcom Origins in 2012), as well as an alternate “Lilith-style” character. Morrigan was a hidden character; in her intro cutscene, Lilith appears and merges with her, alluded to in Morrigan’s ending in Vampire Savior. She appears alongside fellow Darkstalkers characters Anakaris, B.B. Hood, and Felicia in Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (2000). She was later joined by Felicia and Hsien-Ko in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (2011), Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (2011), and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite (2017); Morrigan’s adversary in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is Iron Man. She is the only playable character in Tatsunoko Production’s universe crossovers Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes (2008) and Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars (2010). Morrigan also serves as the sole playable representative of the Darkstalkers series in the SNK vs. Capcom entries Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000 and Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium 2001; for SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium, she is joined by Felicia and B.B. Hood.
Morrigan has also represented Darkstalkers in non-fighting games, appearing in the crossover tactical role-playing game Namco × Capcom (2005) and the multi-company crossover tactical role-playing games Cross Edge (2008), Project X Zone (2012), and Project X Zone 2 (2015), in all cases appearing with other Darkstalkers personalities, as well as in puzzle games Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo (1996), Street Fighter Puzzle Spirits (2015), and Puzzle Fighter (2017), in a fighting game Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix / Pocket Fighter (1997), in card games SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash (1999) and Street Fighter × All Capcom (2013), in a mobile game Street Fighter Battle Combination (2015), and in a browser-based social card game Onimusha Soul (2014). With all of her appearances in Capcom crossover projects, Morrigan is the single most common Darkstalkers cast member to appear outside of the origin series.
Morrigan is a playable guest character in the Sega Dreamcast port of Psikyo‘s shoot ’em up game Gunbird 2 (2000), in the North American version of We Love Golf! (2008), and in the Japanese version of action role-playing video game Monster Hunter Frontier (2011). Furthermore, she has her own mobile game, titled Osanpo Morrigan (お散歩モリガン Morrigan Taking a Walk), and made cameo appearances in games such as Street Fighter Alpha 2, Capcom Fighting Evolution, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game. Her collaboration guest appearances in mobile social games have included Samurai Kingdom and The Knights of Avalon among others, and her costume can be worn by Chun-Li in Street Fighter V and by Frank West in action-adventure game Dead Rising 4.
Character design and portrayal
Morrigan is typically depicted as a beautiful young woman with long sea-green hair, dressed in a sleeveless black bustier-like top adorned with white feathers and a small heart cut out of the midriff; purple nylons emblazoned with bat patterns; black boots; and conspicuous batlike wings protruding from her back and sides of her head. She can reshape her wings and limbs into a variety of weapons, including spikes, blades, and drills, as well as a jet pack or a handheld laser cannon, and she can use them to defend herself from enemy attacks. Her wings can detach from her, forming an army of bats to aid her in battle, and her outfit is also made of a swarm of supernatural bats. She can also teleport, fire magical energy blasts, and split herself into two different mirror images that remain her physical forms until they are rejoined. Her human form is similar, but without wings and with blonde rather than green hair at times. Morrigan preys on stolen dreams and life essences of sleeping humans, and a single kiss can completely drain energy from her victims. Morrigan stands 172 cm tall, weighs 58 kg, and measures 86-56-83; she frequently speaks in sexually suggestive double entendres and flirts with males more than females. Her relationship with Demitri is far from antagonistic, and it may one day lead to the end of their house feud.
The team decided early on in the development of Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors to have two female characters: a catwoman and a female vampire, who would become Felicia and Morrigan, respectively. Felicia was supposed to be the “sexy” female character in the title, while the vampire was supposed to be the “cute” female character. Morrigan’s design, on the other hand, took on a sexier tone, causing Felicia’s character concept to change accordingly. The plot of Darkstalkers was developed by the Japanese designers from the very simple stories of Morrigan and Demitri, whose names were suggested by the overseas staff for a properly aristocratic feel; their relationship formed the foundation that was then fleshed out from there. Morrigan was originally intended to be a female vampire; her design was heavily masculine, inspired by Go Nagai’s Devilman Lady. Darkstalkers creator, Capcom USA producer Alex Jimenez, changed her into a succubus because the game already featured a vampire, Demitri. Morrigan’s role in the game was supposed to be similar to Chun-Li’s in Capcom’s own Street Fighter fighting game series. Her outfit reflects her personality, which is “somewhere between a batlike demon and a charming lover.” According to Kotaku, she is one of Capcom’s “least-dressed female characters” and “one of the most fan servicey.”
Morrigan’s character was voiced in most games by Yayoi Jinguji until 2011, when Rie Tanaka took over. Erin Fitzgerald provided Morrigan’s English voice for Cross Edge, and Siobhan Flynn provided Morrigan’s English voice for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and its update. Morrigan has had the same 2D sprite set in most of her appearances since Capcom vs. SNK 2 (2001) as she did in the original Darkstalkers game. As a result of her ten appearances between 1994 and 2001, Morrigan was listed in the Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition as the “most reused character sprite in a fighting game.” Her sprites look particularly bad and out of place in Capcom vs. SNK, where they have become visibly pixelated and have gained a black outline. Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, the first game in which she was featured as a 3D polygonal model, received an updated character model in 2008. Morrigan and Felicia were particularly difficult to implement in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 due to their ever-changing forms. In Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo and Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix, a completely different super-deformed style design sprite is used, as well as an alternate nurse costume. Morrigan received a DLC “casual outfit” costume based on her human form from the Darkstalkers games and anime series in the Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Femme Fatale Pack, which was also available for free with pre-order from GameStop. Morrigan has a few more alternate costumes in Cross Edge. She was redesigned for Onimusha Soul’s feudal Japan theme.
In the Darkstalkers canon, Morrigan is from Scotland, but neither her first nor last name is Scottish. She is named after the Morrgan, an Irish mythological goddess whose name translates to “great queen,” whereas “Aensland” is a nonexistent surname in any Gaelic language and is possibly a derivative or alternate spelling of the Scottish surname Ainsley by Capcom. Capcom made a reference to this in their 2005 action game Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening, where a devil woman named Nevan (a Japanese transliteration of “Nemain”) can manipulate bats; in some versions of Celtic mythology, Nemain was one of the Morrgan’s aspects.
Morrigan’s “Soul Fist” special move (a massive flaming skull projectile) is very similar to Street Fighter’s iconic “Hadouken” fireball. She is noted for being simple to use, and her “Valkyrie Turn” is a particularly damaging special move that is difficult to connect with. “Shadow Blade,” “Vector Drain,” “Shell Kick,” “Vernier Dash,” “Soul Eraser,” and “Darkness Illusion” are among her other specials.
Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge: Morrigan was featured in Sega Saturn Magazine “Those who thought Demitri was the [game’s] Ryu should consider Morrigan to be distinctly Ken-like, as she expertly imitates [his] Dragon Punch… Morrigan, who is easy to use and has a Valkyrie Turn that deals more damage than you thought possible (despite being difficult to connect), is a Saturn Mag favorite, not least because of her costume change cheat [code].” MAXIMUM expressed his thoughts. Morrigan is a woman “a particularly adaptable character” whose “speed and power will often overcome the most formidable foes.” This, combined with a special attack that can inflict up to 17 hits on its own, makes her a formidable foe.” According to the Darkstalkers 3 Sega Saturn Magazine guide, her “Morrigan’s Dragon Punch ripoffs and fast fireballs put her in the Ryu clone category, but her flight abilities, speed, and strength put her on par with [the game’s boss] Jedah. This she-vampire is more powerful than her sister and faster than Demitri.”
In Pocket Fighter, EGM2 described Morrigan as a “well-balanced character” with “a lot of hits” and “decent” flash combos. Morrigan in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is, according to the Spanish edition of Official Dreamcast Magazine, “skilled and powerful, but does not stand out in any way. Her best attack is the Soul Eraser, but the rest of her Hyper Combos aren’t bad either.” Morrigan summons Lilith to perform her Hyper Combo “Silhouette Blade” in the original Marvel vs. Capcom. In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, this is replaced by “Shadow Servant,” in which Morrigan, a split version of Morrigan, copies all of the original Morrigan’s attacks. She also summons Lilith for her Marvel vs. Capcom Hyper Combo “Eternal Slumber” wherein Morrigan seduces her opponent behind a stage curtain.
Morrigan appears in the 1997 anime OVA series Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge. She would frequently leave at will out of boredom, much to the chagrin of her guardians, the Aensland family’s elder men. Belial, her father, is not mentioned. In the first three episodes, Princess Morrigan is shown fighting the werewolf Jon Talbain. When the vampire lord Demitri Maximoff attempts to return to Makai, she seeks to fight him, but their erotic duel is cut short when Huitzil detects them. Morrigan returns to Earth after Demitri is defeated by Pyron in the final episode, where she finds him unconscious in the ruins of his castle. Demitri awakens unexpectedly and tries to vampirise Morrigan, but she does not resist, much to his surprise. Morrigan informs Demitri that he may become Makai’s leader after all, as a change of leadership is required to prevent the island’s current chaos from destroying itself. They later witness Donovan’s victory over Pyron. Morrigan was voiced by Rei Sakuma and dubbed into English by Kathleen Barr in the anime.
Morrigan is portrayed as a malevolent, evil, and amoral succubus in the UDON Comics series Darkstalkers, who wants nothing more than to visit the human world to eat human souls and dreams, completely ignoring her duty as future ruler of the Makai Realm. Morrigan’s attitude irritates her father Belial and causes problems for her two servants, Lucien and Mudo. She eventually learns of Demitri’s restoration and goes to warn her father, only to discover that he is about to die. She returns to the human world to fight Demitri and prove herself worthy of the Makai Realm and the power that Belial sealed away many years ago. It is implied in the special issue Morrigan vs Demitri that if Belial had not sealed away Morrigan’s power, she would have evolved into a being similar to Pyron and destroyed the Earth and Makai. Morrigan’s bats are the souls of her human victims, which are not destroyed but remain alive inside her body after she drains them, in a state of eternal bliss and pleasure. Morrigan, aside from consuming souls, has no qualms about murdering and exploiting humans, but she sees herself as simply taking people’s souls in exchange for eternal bliss.” She also appears prominently in the sequel series Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors, where she, Demitri, Donovan, and Pyron all fight each other. Morrigan continues to kill humans in the later crossover series Street Fighter vs Darkstalkers until she meets Lilith and learns about Jedah’s plan. Morrigan and Lilith fight and defeat Jedah with the help of her enemy Chun-Li and other uneasy allies, and then they merge, restoring Morrigan to her full power.
Despite everything she’s done, Morrigan is crowned queen of Makai and gets away with her crimes.
Morrigan also appears in the comedic Darkstalkers drama CDs Vampire Knight, Darkness Mission, and Dengeki CD Bunko EX: Vampire, voiced by Rei Sakuma, Kikuko Inoue, and Yumi Tma, as well as in a number of yonkoma parody comics based on fan submissions. She appears as a lead character in several Darkstalkers adaptations, including the 1995 manga anthology Dark Angel and Akihiko Ureshino’s series of gaiden novels, most notably Witch of the Crimson Moon in 1995 and Where the Souls Go in 1996. Morrigan appears in Run Ishida’s 1996 manga Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge, which was published in English by Viz Comics in two different versions in 1998 and 2000 as Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge, and spends the entire second half of the 2000 tradeback edition fighting Donovan, as well as Mami Itou’s 1997 Darkstalkers/Red Earth: Maleficarum, a Red Earth crossover manga published in English by UDON Comics in 2010 Morrigan uses her secret identity as biotechnology researcher Professor Mori in Hiroaki Wakamiya’s 1996 manga Victor: Messenger of Doomsday to study the human world.
Morrigan was redesigned as a character and changed into a villain in the non-canon cartoon series Darkstalkers, voiced by Saffron Henderson. Morrigan’s cartoon character is envious, rude, power-hungry, and despises humans, particularly men. She is said to eat her victims and is a direct descendant of the evil sorceress Morgan le Fay (the series’ protagonist, an original character named Harry Grimoire, is a descendant of Merlin). Her appearance was also changed, making her appear slightly older and wearing a less revealing costume; GamesRadar commented USA on this. “gave her the look of the Wicked Witch of the West rather than a sexy, soul-sucking, battle-loving demon.”
Scores of various figures and statuettes of Morrigan were produced by different manufacturers. These include the figures released by Capcom themselves, Bandai, Banpresto, Diamond Select Toys, E246, Epoch, HBC-Brote, Heihachi Zazen, Kotobukiya, Kurushima, Marvel, Max Factory, Mersa, Moby Dick, Modeler’s High, Oonishi Kouji, OOXOO, Organic, Pop Culture Shock Collectibles, SOTA Toys, Yamato, Yoiko, and Yujin, among many others.
Other Morrigan-themed merchandise includes Capcom’s wall scrolls and posters, T-shirts, covers, a large microfiber towel, and so forth. She is very prominently featured in various Darkstalkers art books, including adorning the covers of UDON-published books Darkstalkers Graphic File, Darkstalkers Tribute, and Darkstalkers Official Complete Works, as well as in the collectible card game Universal Fighting System for which the starter set Morrigan Collector’s Tin was released in 2014.
According to Mike Fahey of Kotaku in 2012, “Morrigan Aensland from Capcom’s Darkstalkers is one of the most well-known video game characters. Her unique features have inspired dozens of statues, hundreds of cosplays, and thousands of works of fan art.” Tsubomi, a character in the anime series Ultimate Girls, appears dressed as Morrigan. Morrigan has appeared in a variety of unofficial self-published doujinshi works, including erotic comics like Hiroaki Samura’s Night of the Succubus and pornographic films like Layers Cute Hard: Yuuna. Ms. Fortune’s colour palette in the fighting game Skullgirls is a tribute to Morrigan.
Cosplayer Kassandra Leigh Purcell as Morrigan at Katsucon 2014
According to Brian Ashcraft of Kotaku in 2012, “Morrigan Aensland has become one of gaming’s most recognisable characters since her debut in Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors in 1994. Morrigan, a fan service favourite, continues to attract cosplayers eager to don the succubus’s revealing costume.” Capcom representatives were quoted as saying in 1996: “It is very popular when we include female characters. Have you ever seen the Japanese ‘Cost-play’ [sic] show? To [costume-]play the games, people dress up as Morrigan or Felicia.” Morrigan was cited in Helen McCarthy’s 2009 book 500 Essential Anime Movies: The Ultimate Guide as an example of the Darkstalkers character designs’ popularity, with fans frequently cosplaying as the character at various conventions since the original game’s release. In 2010, UGO’s Chris Plante described her as “Darkstalkers’ most recognisable character [and] also wildly popular with cosplayers,” and French television network TF1 named Morrigan one of the sexiest and most charismatic video game characters to cosplay. Phil Owen described GameFront’s 2011 article featuring Morrigan (and Lilith) cosplayers as “probably the sexiest gallery I’ve ever posted.” Brittany Vincent of Destructoid wrote in 2014: “Morrigan Aensland is the face of Darkstalkers for some. For every Felicia cosplayer running around in loose-fitting fur, there are a hundred Morrigans basking in the glory that only comes from attending conventions in a winged gymnastics costume.”
The Filipino Alodia Gosiengfiao (one of her favourite costumes) and the Americans Jessica Nigri and Linda “Vampy” Le, who called Morrigan “just damn amazing” as their “favourite by far” character and “the epitome of Succubus chic,” but noted it was difficult to make. Meg Turney, another cosplayer, said she would “love to do Morrigan someday,” but that “whoever designed the costume without shoulder straps was either someone who hated cosplayers and wanted them to suffer – or a dude.” Lindze Merritt was a well-known Morrigan portrayer who was later hired to play Morrigan during the official Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 Fight Club event in 2010. Morrigan was the first cosplay of Spanish cosplayer “Judy Helsing,” who later portrayed Bayonetta in Playboy for Nintendo.
Morrigan is widely regarded as the most iconic character of Darkstalkers, perhaps even more so than the franchise itself, and one of the most popular female video game characters in general. Mean Machines Sega described her in 1996 as “one of the most bewitching girl characters ever to appear in gaming, which explains her huge fan base in Japan – which includes both men and women!” Morrigan was named the 17th-best character of 1997 by the Japanese arcade gaming magazine Gamest, and the seventh-best female character on the Sega Saturn by the Japanese Sega Saturn Magazine. Morrigan was later named the 12th best video game heroine of the 1990s by the Japanese magazine Famitsu. Morrigan was named one of the 20 “muses” of video games in 2001 by the Brazilian magazine SuperGamePower. In their Girls of Gaming special in 2003, play introduced her and Felicia as being famous for how they “unified the haunting with the erotic, along with previously unseen levels of animation and creature design.” Luke Plunkett of Kotaku stated that he has “Morrigan has always been a fascinating character to me. Darkstalkers is a relatively obscure series that few people will have played on a regular basis, but Morrigan is always at the forefront of fan art and cosplay.” As a tribute, EGM reported on a newborn girl named Morrigan. In 2013, Tom Goulter of GamesRadar wrote: “Few characters have received as much attention from fans as Darkstalkers’ seductive succubus and Street Fighter’s high-kicking bunhead. Both have remained popular for decades (Morrigan will celebrate her 20th anniversary next year), and they have outlasted countless imitators to become standouts in the Capcom cast.” Morrigan was named one of the 30 best characters in Capcom’s three decades of history (since 1983), with the staff noting that “it’s hard to think of any more famous for their beauty” and that “she has a deeper backstory than some fan art would lead you to believe.”
“Morrigan has been a mainstay in the Capcom crossover fighting games and is definitely a fan favourite,” writes GameSpot. Play featured her in the “Girls of Anime” special, but later regretted not including her in Capcom Fighting Evolution’s “Girls of Gaming” special. Nate Ming of Crunchyroll called Morrigan the “FACE of the series,” and GamesTM called Capcom’s choice of Anakaris to represent Darkstalkers in the 2005 game Capcom Fighting Jam “a strange choice, to say the least.” Her outfit was one of two added to We Love Golf! by popular vote in a player poll. According to Kotaku’s Fahey, Cross Edge is a “RPG fan’s wet dream,” and “a game with Etna and Morrigan together alone is worth eleventy million dollars.” Morrigan was chosen by Game Informer in 2010 as one of twenty Capcom characters they would like to see in the rumoured crossover fighting game Namco Vs Capcom, with her Namco counterpart being Ivy Valentine. Complex ranked Morrigan as the 13th “most dominant” fighting game character in 2012, with “Capcom vs. DC Universe” as the third fighting game crossover idea they would like to see the most, for a battle between Morrigan and Wonder Woman. That same year, Lucas Sullivan of GamesRadar named her the fourth-best character in the history of the fighting game genre. Morrigan ranked ninth in Complex’s 2012 list of video game characters deserving of a spin-off, and Mike Andronico of Gamenguide ranked her as the number one “fiercest female in today’s fighting games” who “has stood the test of time as one of fighting games’ most iconic faces” by 2013. Morrigan was described by Crunchyroll’s Brittany Vincent in 2016 as “For good reason, this is a perennial Darkstalkers favorite. She’s stunning, powerful, and all-around amazing.”
Morrigan was frequently referred to as one of the sexiest characters in fighting games and gaming in general. In 2003, GameSpy’s Bryan Johnson named this “embodiment of sexual temptation” the third best “babe in games,” comparing her to SNK’s Mai Shiranui. Morrigan was ranked ninth on GameDaily’s list of the “hottest game babes” in 2008, and fourth on UGO’s list of the “foxiest fighting females to ever be pixelated” in 2011. Morrigan was ranked 37th (for the Darkstalkers version, called the “reason 12-year-olds packed arcades into the late ’90s”) and 11th (for the Marvel Vs. Capcom version, being “50% of all Comic Con costumes”) on GameFront’s 2011 list of “greatest boobs in video game history,” while China’s NetEase ranked her fifth (for the Marvel Vs. Capcom version, being “50% of all Comic Morrigan’s breasts were also ranked as the eighth-best in gaming history by Joystick Division’s Rich Shivener that same year, with the Italian edition of Tom’s Games ranking Morrigan’s cleavages as the second-best neckline in video game history in 2012, as well as Playboy including Morrigan’s cleavages among “the hottest video game breasts of all time.” Morrigan was named the “third-hottest” video game character in history by Complex’s Larry Hester in 2012, the “fifth-sexiest” woman in video games by Spanish IGN, and the “17th-hottest” female video game character by Kristie Bertucci of Gadget Review. Morrigan was named the eighth-most attractive female video game character by Scott Marley of the Daily Record in 2013, and Steve Jenkins of CheatCodes.com named her the “seventh-hottest video game girl” of all time. In 2014, Travis Hubert of Cheat Code Central named her one of the “old school hotties who still got it.” In 2015, Thanh Niên of Vietnam named her the seventh-most sexy female video game character. Morrigan was listed as one of the 11 “hottest babes to ever hit the video game world” by UGO in 2008, stating that “one thing that video game babes have over the real-life variety is that it’s much easier for a girl who’s made of pixels to rock an absolutely ludicrous outfit and still look hot… she doesn’t look a year of her 300, and her appearances across the Capcom fighting franchises prove that the company has an excellent eye. Morrigan was named one of the nine sexiest “bad girls of videogame land” by Gelo Gonzales of Filipino FHM in 2009, while Manolith included her on their top lists of “sexiest video game women” and “hottest female video game protagonists.” CraveOnline’s Johnny Firecloud included this “iconic succubus” on his 2010 list of the ten “hottest video game girls of all time,” saying she’s “more than just an anatomic wonder – she’s also one of the single most sexually stylistic ladies in gaming land.” “In fact, Morrigan is so popular that many people know of her sultry looks who have never touched a Darkstalkers game,” said Japanator.com’s Bob Muir of her inclusion on the list of “Japanese gaming’s top ten hottest girls.” In 2012, Fernando DaQuino of Tecmundo named her one of the ten sexiest video game characters, MSN Malaysia named her one of the twenty “hottest women in video game history,” and UGO named her one of the 99 “hottest” fictional women of the year, calling her inclusion the best thing about Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. Tom’s Guide’s John Corpuz named her one of the twenty “hottest video game babes” of 2013 and stated that “when it comes to 90s fighting games, Darkstalkers’ Morrigan is the definitive poster girl.” Morrigan finished fourth out of 50 contestants in a poll for the most erotic girl in fighting game history conducted by Japanese web portal Goo in 2016; she was later voted third in a 2018 poll.
Morrigan was named to IGN’s Scott Cullura’s list of top “chicks behaving badly” in 2008 for her “penchant for magic and kick-ass fighting moves,” with her outfit described as “one that would make even Jenna Jameson blush.” While Zoomin Games named her costume the second-most sexy in games, GamesRadar’s Charlie Barratt cited Morrigan as one example of “the most shameless—and least surprising—character cliché of all time,” which is “the half-naked woman.” Morrigan was named to GameDaily’s list of ten “babes who shouldn’t meet your mom” in 2008, as well as Virgin Media’s list of ten “game girls you wouldn’t dare to date” in 2010. Rich Knight of Complex pitted her against Agent Rayne in a “battle of the beauties” feature in 2011, comparing them to “the sexy goth girls you were too afraid to ask out in high school” and selecting Morrigan, but Richard Coombs of Blistered Thumbs ranked her as the number one video game woman “you wouldn’t want to be with” because “that would probably be the scariest romance you could ever be in.” On Valentine’s Day 2012, Complex included “Morrigan’s bloodlust” on their list of “14 aspects of our perfect Valentine—one video game girl at a time” to build a perfect woman. In their 2014 April Fools’ Day feature, Game Revolution included an alleged rumour of Morrigan’s romance with Nintendo’s Princess Daisy.
Despite her popularity, Morrigan, like the rest of the Darkstalkers cast, was not well-received for her appearance in the 1995 animated series. According to Rachel Jagielski of VentureBeat, she was the “normally sensual succubus” who “looked, if not terrible, really boring” in the show. The character was described as “old and creepy” by Ryan Winterhalter of GamesRadar, and “frightening in most close-ups” by Hardcore Gaming 101. According to 411mania.com, this version of Morrigan is “awful,” and her Scottish accent is “inappropriately wrong,” and the show itself is “the worst video game cartoon in history.” The anime version has received much better reviews; for example, in his review of the third episode, Bryn Williams of Gamers’ Republic chose the “extremely erotic” scene of Morrigan taking a bath as the “highlight moment.” Fans have panned her comic version, owing primarily to her unfaithful and infamous portrayal in the comics.