Devil May Cry (Japanese: デビル メイ クライ Hepburn: Debiru Mei Kurai) is a hack and slash video game series developed by Capcom and created by Hideki Kamiya. Originally intended to be a sequel in Capcom's Resident Evil series, in development it became such a radical departure from the series' style that it was developed into a new property entirely. The series centers on the main character Dante's goal of avenging his mother's murder by exterminating demons. The gameplay consists of heavy combat scenes in which the player must attempt to extend long chains of attacks while avoiding damage in order to exhibit stylized combat; this element along with time and the number of items collected and used are taken under consideration when grading the player's performance.
The series is very loosely based on the Italian poem Divine Comedy by the use of allusions, including the game's protagonist Dante (named after Dante Alighieri) and other characters like Vergil (Virgil), Trish (Beatrice Portinari), Lucia (Saint Lucy), Trismagia (Satan), Furiataurus (the Minotaur), Geryon, and Cerberus. Many of the enemies are also named after the Seven Deadly Sins, such as "Hell Pride" or "Hell Lust".
The series has been a success with the first three games selling multiple million copies and being awarded the "Platinum Title" award by Capcom. The success of the video game series has led to the creation of comic books, novelizations, an animated series, guides, collectibles, publications, and a variety of action figures. A high-definition remaster of the three PlayStation 2 titles was released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2012 and again in 2018 for the Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC. The collection features trophies/achievements and high definition graphics. During the 2010 edition of the Tokyo Game Show, Capcom revealed a new game, named DmC: Devil May Cry. It was developed by Ninja Theory and was a reboot of the series that explores similar themes and also satirizes certain social themes.
|2001||Devil May Cry|
|2003||Devil May Cry 2|
|2005||Devil May Cry 3|
|2006||Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition|
|2008||Devil May Cry 4|
|2012||Devil May Cry HD Collection|
|2015||Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition|
The gameplay of the series focuses primarily on fast-paced, highly stylized combat; gaining a high style ranking requires long attack and evasion strings while avoiding damage. The game also features some puzzle-solving and exploration elements retained from its survival horror origins, but these are downplayed; Devil May Cry games place the emphasis on action. In later games, the system was slightly modified so players had to actively vary the attacks used, so as to maintain the style rank. The style rank is tracked during combat with letter grades, from worst to best: D, C, B, A, S. They are also represented by words that start with the first letter of the class, "Dull" for D for example. The third game introduced "SS" and "SSS" ranks, which continues in the fourth game in the series, as well as the reboot. The player's performance on each level is also ranked using these letters.
The "Devil Trigger" ability enables the player's character to transform into a devilish form with additional powers based on their current weapon, while the character's strength and speed increase and health is slowly restored. Notable weapons in the series include the swords Force Edge/Sparda in Devil May Cry, Rebellion in Devil May Cry 2, and Yamato in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening. Ammunition for the player's guns (semi automatic pistols named Ebony & Ivory throughout most of the series) is infinite due to the 'style!' meter and ranking encouraging players to attack continuously while avoiding damage.
Dante is generally the lead character in the games, although most of the games do offer another character; Devil May Cry 2 featured Lucia, the Special Edition of Devil May Cry 3 allowed the player to use Vergil, and Devil May Cry 4 featured a new protagonist named Nero. Devil May Cry 2 also allowed the player to play as Trish once they had completed the game with either Dante or Lucia.
Devil May Cry 2 introduced the ability to perform combination attacks in mid-air and an evasion button. It also introduced a weapon-change button, so the player could cycle through ranged weapons without switching to the inventory screen.
Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening added a selection of gameplay styles, allowing the player to focus on their favorite techniques or weapons, whether it be swords, guns, evasion or defense. Each of the four basic styles gain experience points, which unlock more techniques and abilities without costing "red orbs", the common currency of the series. A second weapon-change button was added, allowing the player to cycle through the character's melee weaponry, specifically known as Devil Arms, as well.
Devil May Cry 4 brought one major innovation in the form of the main character Nero's "Devil Bringer" arm, which gives players the ability to pull distant enemies in to be attacked, or smash them into the ground. Nero is also armed with a sword that can be "revved" up via a throttle handle, allowing players to precharge the sword for extra damage on the next hit, or with precise timing it can be charged after each attack, for extra damage and style. As Dante, players can also seamlessly switch fighting styles in mid-combat.
DmC: Devil May Cry introduced the concept of changing environments to the gameplay. Players would be able to reach hidden areas through the use of the "Ophion" whip and grappling-hook, in addition to the weapon having similar functions to the "Devil Bringer" from Devil May Cry 4. Additionally the environment itself would often "attack" Dante by changing its architecture and infrastructure to a much more hostile form, often prompting fast-paced chase sequences and platforming scenarios.
The chronological order of the Devil May Cry series does not follow the release order of the games. The two first games in the timelines are Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition (Vergil's Story Part), then Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, followed by Devil May Cry, Devil May Cry: The Animated Series, Devil May Cry 4 (both Nero and Dante, and Special Edition's Lady and Trish's Story Parts) and then Devil May Cry 2. The latest game, DmC, takes place in an alternate universe.
The plot begins in Devil May Cry 3, when Dante's as yet unnamed shop as a mysterious man named Arkham arrives with a message from Dante's brother, Vergil. An immense tower erupts from the ground a short distance away from the shop, and Dante takes it to represent a challenge from Vergil. Following numerous battles Dante arrives at the tower's summit, Temen-Ni-Gru, and battles Vergil. Vergil defeats Dante, apparently killing him, and departs the summit. However, the dormant devil power within Dante revives him, and he sets out in pursuit of Vergil. He eventually catches up to him in the control room located in the tower's basement. The brothers battle again until they are interrupted by Lady, then Arkham, who reveals that he has been manipulating all three of them to reactivate the tower. He intends to steal the Force Edge, Sparda's sword, and reopen the gates to the demon world, over which he will rule. Arkham leaves Dante, Vergil and Lady for dead and heads into the demon world. However, Dante follows him, eventually catching up with him, where he and Vergil work together to defeat him. Dante and Vergil then fight one last time, with Dante proving victorious. At this point, Vergil then dives deeper into the demon world. Returning to the human world, Dante meets Lady outside the tower where she coins the phrase "devil may cry" while trying to comfort Dante over the loss of his brother. They form a friendship and the beginnings of a partnership in demon-slaying, and he names his shop "Devil May Cry".
Devil May Cry begins with Dante being attacked in his office by Trish. He brushes off her assault and she explains that the attack was simply a test to see if he really is the son of Sparda, as the demon emperor Mundus is planning a return, and only a descendant of Sparda can defeat him. Dante explores Mallet Island, where Mundus is set to return, encountering a variety of demons, including a strangely honourable opponent named Nelo Angelo. Dante is defeated by Angelo, but upon Angelo seeing Dante's locket, with a picture of his mother, he flees, sparing Dante's life. Other encounters with Mundus' demon generals serve to indicate Dante has become even more powerful than his father since his initial awakening on the summit of the tower in Devil May Cry 3. Nelo Angelo attacks twice more in later missions, and is eventually revealed to be Dante's brother, Vergil, who has been forced into Mundus' service since diving into the demon world at the end of Devil May Cry 3. Dante defeats Angelo, killing him, and releasing his brother from Mundus' control. He then enters the underworld in search of Mundus himself. Once there, Trish sacrifices herself to save him, and Dante comes to understand the power of Sparda that Vergil had sought in Devil May Cry 3. Dante and Mundus then battle on another plane of existence, and Trish returns, lending Dante her power, and helping him to defeat Mundus. Dante and Trish escape as the island collapses, and later work together in the renamed shop, "Devil Never Cry".
In the Devil May Cry: The Animated Series, Dante is hired as the bodyguard of a young girl named Patty. While initially skeptical of his personality, Patty winds up growing attached to Dante and spends most of her time at his shop, often cleaning it or decorating it in a "girly fashion", much to Dante's dismay. While Dante's main job during the series is to protect Patty, he spends most of his time doing odd jobs he receives at his shop (which has been renamed back to "Devil May Cry" sometime after the events of Devil May Cry). Lady appears, working as an independent Devil Hunter, to hire Dante in order to pay off a huge debt Dante owes. Trish also returns, and it's revealed that she has been working away from Dante for some time in order to try to establish a solo career as a Devil Hunter. Lady and Trish meet for the first time and do not get along right away. Despite this, the three wind up working together to take on certain difficult jobs. Near the end of the series it is revealed that Patty's mother is the descendant of a human sorcerer, who once sealed away the power of an ancient devil lord, Abigail. Eventually the demon Sid emerges as the villain of the series, and reveals his evil plot involving the sealed away power of Abigail. While Lady and Trish fight off demons summoned by Sid, Dante fights and kills Sid himself. Sometime later, Dante, Trish, and Lady all get hired on the same job and take bets on who will win. Patty comes into Dante's shop to clean, showing that the two continue to have a somewhat father-daughter type of relationship.
Devil May Cry 4 (both regular and special editions story arcs) follows young demon hunter Nero from the Order of the Sword who awakens his own demonic powers while facing Dante after he had killed his leader. Nero goes on a quest to capture Dante but learns the Order is also causing the appearance of several demons. The Order learn that Nero has Sparda's blood in his body and the leader Sanctus captures by using his girlfriend as a bait. Dante decides to save Nero first by defeating the demon summoned by the Order of the Sword and then by giving him the sword of his brother, Yamato. After Nero awakens, he finishes off Sanctus and befriends Dante who lets him retain Yamato.
Devil May Cry 2 begins with Dante meeting an associate, Lucia, in a museum. She invites him to Dumary Island, where he meets her mother, Matier. She asks for his help in fighting Arius, a businessman who wields demonic power and is planning to use a collection of magic artifacts, the Arcana, to call forth a devil lord known as Argosax. Dante flips a coin, and based on the result, he decides to help. Lucia confronts Arius, who reveals that she was his creation. Shortly afterward, Lucia gives Dante the last of the Arcana before leaving to face Arius alone. Dante then encounters Matier who asks Dante to take the Arcana to save Lucia from Arius. Lucia attacks Arius, though he captures her. Dante arrives and trades the Arcana for Lucia, then attacks Arius, who escapes. A large stream of energy strikes the Ouroboros tower and a portal to the demon world is opened. Dante and Lucia argue over who will enter, but Dante flips his coin to determine that he will be the one to go. After Dante departs, Arius returns to the human world, though Lucia goes on to defeat him. Within the portal, Dante fights and defeats the partially summoned Argosax. Finding the portal closed behind him, Dante instead drives further into the demon realm on a motorcycle. In the aftermath of the battle, Matier insists to Lucia that Sparda returned from a similar trip. Sometime later in Dante's shop, Lucia muses about Dante and examines the coin he gave her, discovering it is two-headed. Outside the sound of a motorcycle echoes, and Lucia leaves to investigate. The player is not shown whether or not it is Dante.
DmC: Devil May Cry is set in an alternate reality of the series. The game's story takes place in Limbo City, a modern-day city secretly controlled by all-powerful demons, manipulating humanity through the comforts of life, with the demons themselves residing in a parallel plane called 'Limbo'. Living on the fringes of the brainwashed society is Dante, a young man at odds with the demons who constantly hunt him, and the civilian authorities they control. Dante is warned by a young woman named Kat that he is in danger just as a Hunter demon drags him into Limbo. Dante navigates the Bellevue Pier's carnival and kills the demon with Kat's aid, who can see into Limbo with her psychic powers. Dante returns to the human world and accepts Kat's offer to meet with her boss, Vergil.
Along the way, Kat explains that Vergil leads "The Order", a rogue vigilante organization intent on exposing the demons and releasing the world from their control. Vergil tells Dante that with his help the Order can bring down the demons. Dante learns that he and Vergil are not only long lost twin brothers but also Nephilim, the children of Angel and Demon and the only beings capable of killing the cruel demon king Mundus. Their demon father Sparda was Mundus' chief lieutenant in the war against the angels until he betrayed Mundus when he fell in love with the angel Eva and sired the twins. Mundus, afraid of the Nephilim, attacked the family and killed Eva. Sparda spirited his sons to safety, wiped their memories for their own protection and gave each a sword (Rebellion for Dante, Yamato for Vergil). Mundus imprisoned Sparda and condemned him to eternal torture and has hunted Dante ever since. After learning of his past, Dante resolves to help Vergil bring down Mundus and his regime.
Dante, with help from Kat, gradually takes down Mundus' operations. During the final stages of his campaign, Dante witnesses a SWAT team raid the Order's headquarters, killing everyone in sight. Dante rescues Vergil from Limbo but he is helpless to protect Kat from being brutally beaten and dragged back to Mundus' lair. Dante then kidnaps Lilith, Mundus' demon concubine carrying Mundus' unborn child, and offers to trade her to Mundus for Kat. During the exchange, Vergil kills Lilith, her child and the SWAT troops. The three allies narrowly escape as Mundus tears much of city apart in an outburst of power that depletes the Hellgate, a portal to the demon world within his stronghold in Silver Sacks Tower. Kat, recovering from her injuries, leads the brothers through a detailed plan to infiltrate the Towers and defeat Mundus. Dante draws Mundus out of his lair and Vergil closes the Hellgate, rendering Mundus mortal. Mundus forms a massive body for himself and confronts the brothers but ultimately, Dante lands the killing blow to destroy Mundus for good. Limbo collapses into the human world, making demons visible to humans and creating chaos and pandemonium worldwide.
After Mundus' defeat, Vergil reveals his true intentions: with their family avenged, he intends to rule humanity in Mundus' place. Vergil argues that as their saviors, they must protect humans "from themselves" yet he callously dismisses the human Kat's role in saving humanity. Dante is appalled at Vergil's attitude and defeats him in a climactic sword fight. Kat stops Dante from killing his brother and Vergil leaves in disgrace. Faced with a world now infested with demons and abandoned by his own brother, Dante questions his own identity with Kat comforting him claiming he's "Dante, nothing more and nothing less". The game ends with Dante's eyes glowing Nephilim Purple.
The DLC chapter Vergil's Downfall follows Vergil after escaping from Dante. He finds himself in an unknown dimension, where he is guided by the voice of Eva to "head toward the lights". Vergil reaches the light area but is stopped by illusions of Kat and Dante, who stabs him again. Vergil is saved by a hollow version of himself and is transported to an area where he has to fight to heal his wounds. In his journey Vergil kills the illusions to heal his wounds, and left Eva to mourn after discovering what a monster he had chosen to become. Vergil later defeats his hollow counterpart and takes his amulet. Vergil then returns to the real world and encounters demons, who begin to bow at his feet. Confident in his future, Vergil becomes the new Demon King and leads his new army to the unknown.
In 1998, after the completion of Resident Evil 2, preliminary work on a PlayStation 2 installment of the Resident Evil series began under the direction of Hideki Kamiya, under the name "Team Little Devil". Early research and development work included a trip to Spain to examine various castles as a basis for the game's environments. However, in prototype status, it proved to be a radical departure from the established Resident Evil formula and the survival horror genre in general. Rather than abandon the project entirely, the premise was changed and it eventually became Devil May Cry.
Despite the success of the original Devil May Cry, the sequel was not created by Kamiya or Team Little Devils. Instead, Hideaki Itsuno was appointed as the director of the sequel. Following the mixed reception received by Devil May Cry 2, Capcom decided to develop the next game in a similar manner to the series' more critically successful first entry. Gameplay elements such as the size of environments and the game's battle engine were reconsidered.
While the fourth game was a commercial success, the staff thought about rebooting the series taking into account how other game series had better sales. They chose Ninja Theory, impressed with their work on Heavenly Sword which the staff thought would work with a Devil May Cry game. Nevertheless, in 2013 Itsuno showed interest in continuing the original Devil May Cry series by developing a fifth installment. It was originally thought Itsuno revealed that the series could go on hiatus or end for good if Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition was not a commercial success. However, in an interview with GameSpot, Itsuno confirmed that the series future did not rest on Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition's sales. He also alleviated fears that DmC: Devil May Cry's sales killed the series, confirming that Capcom was satisfied with them. In mid-January 2016, Itsuno stated on Twitter that he’s begun work on a new project which couldn't be announced just yet and later in March, Reuben Langdon and Johnny Yong Bosch, who had done voice acting and motion capture for Dante and Nero respectively in Devil May Cry 4, took pictures of themselves in motion capture gear, leading to speculation that a new Devil May Cry game is in development. In response on Twitter regarding any truth about the speculation, Capcom Vancouver stated that "It's not a game that [they] announced that [they are] working on at [their] studio".
There have been multiple printed adaptations of the series. Two Devil May Cry light novels written by Shinya Goikeda and illustrated by Shirow Miwa have been published, first in Japan in 2002 and later translated and released in the United States in 2006. The first, entitled Devil May Cry Volume 1, was published in Japan in conjunction with the release of the first game and depicts Dante in an adventure set prior to the events of the game. The second novel (entitled Devil May Cry Volume 2 in the U.S.), was published in Japan to coincide with the release of the second game and takes place after the events of the first game. Publisher Tokyopop released the books in the United States in June and November 2006, respectively.
Two volumes of a planned three-part Devil May Cry 3 manga series have been published in Japan and the United States. Taking place a year before the events of Devil May Cry 3, the manga tells the story of how the characters came to be where they are at the start of the game.
An anime series entitled Devil May Cry: The Animated Series featuring Dante debuted on the WOWOW TV network in Japan on June 12, 2007. The series ran for 12 episodes. The show was produced by the anime studio Madhouse and was directed by Shin Itagaki. Bingo Morihashi, one of the writers for the third and fourth games, was one of the writers on the show.
Three issues of a comic adaptation of the first game were published by Canadian publisher Dreamwave Productions in 2004, but the series was left unfinished when the company went bankrupt in 2005. On July 25, 2008, both WildStorm (a DC Comics’ imprint) and Capcom announced that they are joining to create a new Devil May Cry comic book series. The details on the new comic series, including creative team and launch month, will be announced at a later date.
Bingo Morihashi also wrote a Devil May Cry 4 novel titled Devil May Cry 4 Deadly Fortune. The two volume series was released by in Japan in 2009 and featured multiple scenes that were not included in the original game due to time restraints.
On February 28, 2011, it was announced that Screen Gems, the company responsible for making Capcom video game series Resident Evil into a film series, had purchased feature film rights to the Devil May Cry series. It has been stated that Kyle Ward will be writing the script for the film. It has also been confirmed by Capcom at E3, that the film will be based on the new game, DmC: Devil May Cry, though Dante's look will stay more true to his classic self. The film is being positioned as an origin story for Dante.
|Devil May Cry||(PS2) 94|
|Devil May Cry 2||(PS2) 68|
|Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening||(PS2) 84|
|Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition||(PS2) 87
|Devil May Cry 4||(PS3) 84
|Devil May Cry HD Collection||(X360) 77
|DmC: Devil May Cry||(X360) 86
|DmC: Devil May Cry Definitive Edition||(XONE) 86
|Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition||(XONE) 76
The Devil May Cry series has sold more than ten million copies worldwide, with each installment receiving Capcom's "Platinum Title" (Awarded when a title sells over a Million Units). Devil May Cry 4 stands as the franchise' top-selling title, reaching 3 million units sold by June 30, 2015.
The Devil May Cry series has received overall positive reviews. In 2010, IGN placed Devil May Cry at #42 and Devil May Cry 3 at #18 in their "Top 100 Playstation 2 Games". Devil May Cry has been cited as the beginning of a subgenre of action games called "Extreme Combat", which concentrate on powerful heroes fighting hordes of foes with a focus on stylized action. The game has also been described as being the first game that "successfully captured the twitch-based, relentlessly free-flowing gameplay style of so many classic 2D action games". The series has become the standard against which other 3D hack and slash action games are measured, with comparisons in reviews of games including God of War, Chaos Legion, and Blood Will Tell.
Dante's confident and fearless attitude have gained him widespread popularity. He was ranked as the seventh of GameCrush's "Top 10: Most Badass Video Game Characters" list, and third among ScrewAttack's "Top ten coolest video game characters" list. The popularity of the Devil May Cry series led to a line of Devil May Cry action figures produced by Toycom. Japanese company Kaiyodo produced a similar line for Devil May Cry 2 and a Devil May Cry 3 Dante action figure.