So, once we have the Presbyterian Pastor Day this week, I decided to talk about how this image gone from men of virtue to stripper fantasies.
I’m joking guys.
During the Lune meeting to define the subjects of this month, I couldn’t stop making stupid jokes and that was one of them (although the Presbyterian Pastor Day is real and shouldn’t be a joke, Sam and Dean as priests was stronger than I).
Once we had the debut of the Lunar Arcade this month – with my post about the Game Awards 2020, which you can find here – we took the game theme for the week and I’m going to talk about which is probably my favourite game series on the face of the earth: ladies, gentleman and potencies, today is Devil May Cry day!
So come with me, Artemis, and this extra person called Dante, because today our train will set off to get to know better this series filled with humor, adrenaline, demons and, why not, tears!
Origins and Relations to Resident Evil
Who never played – or heard of – Resident Evil with its numerous zombies and survival horror ambience? I think, mainly because of the movie series, the title gained a lot of highlight on mainstream media and the zombie fever arose along with themes of survival/apocalypse.
Until then, 1999/2000 when the game started being developed, there were three main games on the Resident Evil franchise: the first, on the famous mansion with Jill and Chris, the second, in which we got to know Leon on his first day as a cop in Racoon City, and the third, which put us to run as Jill escaping the terrible Nemesis and his “STAAAARS”.
From them, the team started developing a fourth game – wanting, though, to take it to a slightly different path from the rest of the series.
It got so different, they decided to create a new franchise, which became Devil May Cry.
And it wasn’t all for nothing: with new ideas and new styles, Resident Evil won its fourth edition – being one of the most famous and successful of the series (even though everyone suffers trying to escape from zombies with Ashley being kidnapped every half a second)!
Devil May Cry 1
And that’s when in 2001, Capcom released its new game franchise: Devil May Cry! Falling under the action/adventure genre and directed by Hideki Kamiya, the game brought inovations for the genre and was well received back than – making us understand the reason for being a classic in action games.
Divided in Missions as levels, the game brought a mechanic of alternating between guns and swords, as well as using the famous Devil Trigger, besides a combat that encourages you to use different combos to get style points. That’s the best way to play the game: with style and using everything you have at your disposal at the same time, making up combinations and different combos.
Although the game is packed with unstoppable action, we also have puzzles – the famous ones that make us spend nights in deep thought on the Resident Evil series – and Secret Missions – which are missions hidden through the map, found by the most attentive players.
(For people who like horoscopes: I always say it’s one of the biggest Aries games on earth)
On the plot, we are introduced to Dante, a demon hunter – relations with Dante Allighieri’s Inferno is not a coincidence – who has this job in order to get revenge for the loss of his mother and brother under the hands of demons. Trish, a misterious woman, appears on Dante’s shop – in a very peculiar way, might I add – and takes him to a mission in Mallet Island, where she says the demon emperor, Mundus – responsible for the deaths on Dante’s family – wans to return to earth.
But it isn’t that simple. Dante is the son of the demon Sparda with the human Eva, being that Sparda was responsible for staying by the side of humans in a battle and closing the gates of hell. Therefore, Dante is half human and half demon – being able to use his extraordinary abilities in battle, including the Devil Trigger: the possibility of transforming into a demon for a period of time.
Dante trusts on Trish right away, because she is the perfect image of his mother. But everything is much more complicated than that once they arrive at the island.
And I’m not going to spoil the rest of the story – only that it’s here we start the wonderful mania of this game of having Dante impaled by his own sword.
If it’s worth it? Devil May Cry generally is, specially if you like the series and wants to know more about it. Dante is a charismatic character (and we have one of the best dubbing scenes on the history of games that you can’t stop yourself from laughing), with a sensitive and complicated story, having both the action and the emotion to leave us with an aching heart.
Regarding difficulty, it’s known for being difficult. The game is old – from 2001 remember – so some controls might be clunky and somo mechanics not as fluid as today, as well as the graphics not as excellent. There is a remastered version by Capcom, but it doesn’t get to the level of a The Witcher 3, for instance.
Nevertheless, if you go with a mentality that this game has almost 20 years from his release, you’ll have a lot of fun and understand why it was such a success!
(And be introduced to our favourite market pastry that is Dante, poor guy, I love this man)
Devil May Cry 2
You know when they say that all families has a bad apple?
Well. This is the one from DMC’s universe.
(If you’re a fan and are already thinking about DmC from Ninja Theory: hold your horses, ’cause I’ll get to this disgrace)
Released by Capcom on 2003, now we have the hack n’ slash classification – genre inside action that is given to games focused in combat with changes of styles and frantic combo combinations. Although the reviews for the first one were positive, Devil May Cry 2 had mixed opinions – and it’s remembered til this day as the “worst” game of the series.
Keeping the Missions as levels and the ranking for style points throughout the gameplay, we also have the Devil Trigger mechanic and puzzles from the prior game. It was added, though, a way to dodge enemy attacks and to change weapons during the fight without having to open the inventory.
Beyond that, differently from DMC 1, on this game we can control either Dante or Lucia – a new character.
The main critiques were that the difficulty os this game is lower than the previous one. Apart from that, the battles require less strategy, with the gameplay too focused on fire weapons, as well as less detail scenery and too much open space. Beyond all of this, Dante’s personality turned completely the other way: much more serious than in the previous game, he barely speaks during DMC 2.
Regarding the plot, Dante meets Lucia in one of his missions, a woman who apparently hunts demons like him. Following her to Dumary Island, Dante gets to know Matier, Lucia’s mother, who tells him how she fought alongside Sparda to protect the island. Now, Matier and Lucia need help to defeat Arius, a businessman who intends to summon the demon Argosax to rule the world.
And that’s how, with almost no words, Dante goes in his second adventure with us. Yes, again starting everything with a mysterious woman – a classic.
And here’s the million dollar question: is it worth it? Honestly, I think only if you’re a huge fan of the series. I myself never played it and intend to play only because I like Devil May Cry too much. But I’ve already seen some gameplays and it didn’t spark much of my interest.
I maintain it: if you want to play to have your own experience and opinion, remember it’s an old game and that must be taken into account!
Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awekening
Now it’s my time to fangirl: Devil May Cry 3 was the first one I played from the series and I strongly recommend any newcomers to start from there. A friend of mine recommended it and said I’d like it a lot and he was so right.
Released in 2005 by Capcom and originally to Play Station 2, again classified in the hack n’ slash genre, DMC 3 brings Dante back to his glory. With a story that is set decades before the first game, now we can understand more of this universe and about Dante’s past.
Regarding the game in general, we have the same things as before: puzzles, combats with style rank, Devil Trigger, diverse weapons to be used during fights… And a new thing: the possibility to play in four different styles.
Right at the start, the player can choose between Trickister – focusing on agility and dodging during combat – Swordmaster – giving new abilities and combos with swords – Gunslinger – with diverse different uses of fire weapons – and Royal Guard – focusing on repelling and hitting back attacks. Throughout the game, it’s also possible to unlock the modes Quicksilver – to control time – and Doppelgänger – giving the ability to fight side by side with a copy of Dante.
This game is notoriously difficult. I played on PS2 and suffered every second: it took me a month to get throught the first boss. After that, I selected easy mode and it was going ok until someone challenged me – then I went back to normal mode and decided to finish the game (note that I was a person limited to Crash, Pac Man and Star Wars I back then).
Regarding the plot, Dante is much younger and just opening his shop – for now, without a name – to hunt demons. He receives the visit of a misterious man named Arkham (I think you already understood how Dante’s missions start, huh?), saying Dante’s brother invites him for something.
It’s on this game, then, that we get to know Vergil – and I swear there isn’t a biggest love and hate character in my life, because the way I want to punch this man isn’t a joke – Dante’s twin brother, with the same powers as him and even stronger. Summoning the tower Temen-ni-gru, Vergil intends to open the gates of hell in search for more power, being helped by Arkham – a human who also seeks power.
Amidst all that, Dante goes to the tower in order to stop his brother from doing something terribly stupid (as Vergil always does, in a matter of fact) and along the way meeting Lady, a – I think you already know, right? – mysterious woman who also wants to stop all that madness and apparently hunts demons.
Pause to appreciate all the women on Devil May Cry, but specially Lady and Trish for being amazing examples of strong, independent and wonderful women during the series.
Oh, and we also have Jester: a completely derranged jester demon who helps Dante along the way and you don’t know if he is good or bad – but you’re sure he is insufferable.
This game’s plot is definitely emotional. Although it has long action scenes and rampant shootings during the whole game, Dante and Vergil have a complicated relationship, that turns even more complex because of Sparda and the tragedy they lived when children. Both of them have a feud that we don’t know if they’ll ever surpass it.
While Vergil believes his strength is on his demon side, Dante believes his strength is on the human side. While one seeks to abandon his own humanity to become more powerful and stronger without a vulnerable point, the other seeks to embrace humanity and reject demon powers seeking strength on his own character and good at his heart.
Although it’s a good heart filled with beer, pizza, strawberry sundae and annoying Christmas uncle jokes.
But amid this clash of moral values and idealisms, only one can come out as a winner.
“I see. Maybe somewhere out there even a devil may cry when he loses a loved one. Don’t you think?”– Lady, Devil May Cry 3
Lady’s phrase explains well the series – and it’s Dante’s inspiration to finally name his business.
Devil May Cry 4
And in 2008, Capcom released Devil May Cry 4 – as a continuation of the series, chronologically after the happenings of DMC 2. In general, it guaranteed good critiques, bringing a new protagonist and a rich story – although it was criticized for using backtracking on missions from half the game and beyond.
Meaning, you play as the new protagonist until certain Mission and then, after that, you go back the same maps with Dante.
Personally, I didn’t mind the backtracking – exactly because you play with two different characters, needing to think of new strategies and combat modes, once the two of them have completely different mechanics.
When I bought this game at the realease, my notebook couldn’t run it well back then, so I played in slow motion because there wasn’t enough fps for a decent gameplay. But well, it’s Devil May Cry, it was worth it.
We start this story with Nero, a rebellious guy who lives in the city of Fortuna and works for the Order of the Sword – a local religion that worships Sparda as a god. Nero is orphan and is very close to Credo – Capitain of the Holy Knights of the Order – and Kyrie – Credo’s sister: gentle with a great heart, besides being Nero’s crush – who were like his adoptive siblings.
And wow, how we suffer at the start seeing like Nero is a pastry trying to demonstrate Kyrie he likes her, but he is proud to the last strand of his hair mantaining all that “cool” pose.
What causes a great commotion on the city, is when Dante arrives at the middle of a mass and kills Sanctus – the main priest, like a pope to that religion. With the whole city in panic and sudden demon attacks, Kyrie and Credo help evacuate civilians while Credo orders Nero to go after Dante.
What few people know is that Nero has devil’s blood – indicated mostly by his arm, something he hides at all costs so he doesn’t suffer prejudice or begins to be persecuted. After all, although all his pose and demonic powers, Nero is a good hearted kid.
Going after Dante, all his belief on the Order and religion – which already wasn’t that great – begins to be put at doubt when unraveling a conspiracy and having his beloved Kyrie put in danger.
With a completely different mechanic because of Nero’s arm, abilities and weapons, Devil May Cry 4 is an excellent game that – again, my opinion here – doesn’t make backtracking with Dante something boring!
Devil May Cry 5
You must remember I mentioned DmC before when I talked about DMC 2, right?
DmC was a game produced by Ninja Theory and released in 2013 which is, in general, a good game. I’ve already heard a lot of people saying the gameplay and graphics are interesting – the problem, though, is that the game would be a reboot (meaning a restart) of the franchise in an alternate reality. That brings a new Dante that didn’t settle right with the fans: trying to westernize the game, it lost a lot of meaning and Devil May Cry lore, remaining only a shell that tries to be “cool”, “edgy”, “rebellious” and “no filter” in contrast to all the moral clash we had before about what it means to be a demon or a human.
That’s why I recognize it might be a good game, but it’ll never go down – personally – as part of the Devil May Cry franchise.
After that, the years went by and we thought Devil May Cry would never be back with the story of the previous games – that Dante and Nero would never see each other again.
Until 2018’s E3.
And I can safely say the comotion was general. At first, I was very scared of what would happen, because of DmC I mentioned before, but Devil May Cry 5 is definitely a sequel that was worth waiting 10 years for.
Yes, ten years. I almost cried when it came out. I haven’t played it yet because I intend to revisit all games from the series on chronological order before finishing with the fifth installment – if you want to follow me being an emotional fangirl, I’ll probably stream that on our twitch channel, so follow us there! (although all gameplays will be in Portuguese, at least for now)
Released in 2019 by Capcom, Dante and Nero are back as demon hunters, apart from adding another new playable character to the narrative. With that, you need to adapt not only to the known mechanic of the previous characters, but with the new that arises with a completely different gameplay.
As a result, DMC 5 won Best Action Game on Game Awards 2019, Award for Excellence on Japan Game Awards 2019, and many other awards and nominations in cerimonies around the world.
On this game, Nero is back without his demon arm: it was torn off by a demon called Urizen, making Nero travel with Nico – specialist in weapons and a danger to humanity behind the steering wheel of a van – to the city of Red Grave, taken by a giant demon tree called Qliphoth and the demons that came with it.
Dante, Trish and Lady, however, already were on mission to stop Urizen, hired by a – yes, you already know it – mysterious guy named V. Urizen, though, is much stronger than all of them and Nero and V have no other option but to run.
Posteriourly returning to the city, Nero and V want to finish the job and rescue the hunters from Urizen. V, for being weak, depends on the help of Griffon, Shadow and Nightmare – a bird, a panther and a monster of shadows, making his gameplay completely different from other characters.
Although Nero doesn’t have his arm like in DMC 4, he uses a mechanic version made by Nico, which can be altered during the game, giving us new options on the gameplay.
The game develops even more Dante’s and Vergil’s story, as well as Sparda’s and Eva’s, diving on the brothers memories and making us question what would be different if he hadn’t lived that great tragedy on their childhood.
Meanwhile, we have revelations that were already suspected, the return of characters from the series and an ending worthy of leaving any fan with tears on their eyes.
The Main Point of The Devil May Cry Series Stories
I thought it would be easier to sum everything up here at the end.
As I mentioned on DMC 3, Dante and Vergil have a feud because of ideals each of them have regarding humanity and demonic powers. While one of them see power on being full demon, the other see power on being full human.
At the end, even if Dante is a whacky dude that goes around woohooing everytime he is in a fight, taunts the most powerful demons, makes annoying Christmas uncle jokes and stuffs himself with pizza without paying a single bill of his own shop, he ends everyone with his moral lessons: what makes you good is your heart, not the condition in which you were born.
What does it mean?
If you are a demon and you have a good heart – just like Sparda, who decided to protect humans, and Trish who decided to remain as a hunter by Dante’s side – you are a good being who deserves to live a good life.
If you are a human and have a rotten and corrupted heart – as Agnus, who sold himself so he could become a demon, or Arkham, who sacrificed his own family for power – you are a despicable being, even more than any demon.
The series teaches us that humans might be horrible beings hiding behind a facade of integrity and good deeds, while demons might be kind beings hiding their good deeds so they won’t suffer prejudice from society.
If we take that to our own reality, how many times did we see people who say they are just and righteous and in reality are completely corrupt and rotten? How many times we see people who suffer prejudice and are considered evil just because of how they look like and in reality are gentle and worried with others?
It’s exactly the way Dante is. Or Nero. Or Trish. Or Lady… Everyone has their flaws. They are rebellious and live lives that many would deem dangerous or rude – but, deep down, everything they do is because of empathy and good hearts.
For many, Devil May cry may be “just a game series” – but, for those who know it, it’s more than that: it’s a story that, apart from being fun and exciting, has a lot to teach about always seeking to be a better human, it doesn’t matter your origin.