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Devil May Cry

Devil May Cry
Genres Action-adventure game
Hack and slash
Developers Capcom
Ninja Theory
Publishers Capcom
Platforms PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iOS
Platform of origin PlayStation 2
First release Devil May Cry
August 23, 2001
Latest release DmC: Devil May Cry
January 15, 2013
Official website Official site

Devil May Cry (Japanese: デビル メイ クライ Hepburn: Debiru Mei Kurai) is a video game series developed by Capcom and created by Hideki Kamiya. Originally intended to be a sequel in Capcom's Resident Evil series, Devil May Cry was 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 amount of items collected and used are taken under consideration when grading the player's performance.

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 anime 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. The collection features trophies/achievements and high definition graphics.[1][2]

During the 2010 edition of the Tokyo Game Show, Capcom revealed a new game, named DmC: Devil May Cry. The new game is developed by Ninja Theory and is a reboot of the series that explores similar themes and also satirizes certain social themes.


  • Gameplay 1
  • Series plot 2
    • Original series 2.1
    • Reboot 2.2
  • Development 3
  • Other media 4
  • In other games 5
  • Reception 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


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 and fifth game in the series. The player's performance on each level is also ranked using these letters.[3]

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.[3] Notable weapons in the series include the swords Force Edge/Sparda in Devil May Cry,[4] Rebellion in Devil May Cry 2,[5] and Yamato in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening.[6] Ammunition for the players 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.[3]

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 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.[7]

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 "reved" 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.[8]

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.[9][10]

Series plot

Devil May Cry series
fictional chronology

The chronological order of the Devil May Cry series does not follow the release order of the games. The first game in the timeline is Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening followed by Devil May Cry, Devil May Cry: The Animated Series", "Devil May Cry 4 and then Devil May Cry 2.[11] The anime series is set sometime between Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry 4. The latest game, DmC, takes place in an alternate universe.[12]

Original series

The plot begins with Devil May Cry 3 in Dante's as yet unnamed shop as a mysterious man named Arkham arrives with a message from Dante's brother, Vergil.[13] An immense tower erupts from the ground a short distance away from the shop, and Dante takes it to represent a challenge from Vergil.[14] 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.[15][16] 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".[17][18]

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 descendent of Sparda can defeat him.[19] Dante explores Mallet Island, where Mundus is set to return, encountering a variety of demons, including a strangely honourable opponent named Nelo Angelo.[20] 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.[21] 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.[22] Dante and Mundus then battle on another plane of existence, and Trish returns, lending Dante her power, and helping him to defeat Mundus.[23] 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 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.[24] Dante flips a coin, and based on the result, he decides to help.[25] Lucia confronts Arius, who reveals that she was his creation.[26] Shortly afterward, Lucia gives Dante the last of the Arcana before leaving to face Arius alone.[27] Dante then encounters Matier who asks Dante to take the Arcana to save Lucia from Arius.[28] Lucia attacks Arius, though he captures her. Dante arrives and trades the Arcana for Lucia, then attacks Arius, who escapes.[29] 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.[30] After Dante departs, Arius returns to the human world, though Lucia goes on to defeat him.[31] 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.



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".[32] 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.[33]

Despite the success of the original Devil May Cry, the sequel was not created by Kamiya or Team Little Devils.[34][35] 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.[36]

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.[37] They chose Ninja Theory, impressed with their work on Heavenly Sword which the staff thought would work with a Devil May Cry game.[38] Nevertheless, in 2013 Itsuno showed interest in continuing the original Devil May Cry series by developing the fifth installment.[39]

Other media

There has 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.[40][41] 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.[42] On July 25, 2008, both WildStorm (a DC Comicsimprint) 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.[43]

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.[44] 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.[45]

In other games

  • In the Viewtiful Joe games, another Capcom series created by Hideki Kamiya, Devil May Cry characters appear in the PlayStation versions. Dante is a playable character in the PlayStation 2 port of the first Viewtiful Joe. The PSP version of Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble includes Dante, as well as costumes based on Vergil, Trish, Sparda, Marionette, and Plasma.
  • Dante was set to appear in Soulcalibur III, but did not make the roster. However, templates exist to make a number of characters using the create-a-character mode, including both Dante and Vergil.[46]
  • In a deal between Capcom and Atlus, Megami Tensei character designer Kazuma Kaneko did the designs for Dante's and Vergil's demonic forms in Devil May Cry 3. In return, Atlus included Dante (in his Devil May Cry 2 garb) as a character in an enhanced release of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne titled Maniax in Japan. The later English localization of Nocturne was based on this Maniax edition of the game.[47]
  • Dante and Trish are playable characters in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds. Vergil is also playable, along with Dante and Trish, in the updated Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Both Dante and Vergil retain their Kazuma Kaneko-designed Devil Trigger forms for these installments, since their inclusions are based on the third game of the Devil May Cry series.
  • The DmC: Devil May Cry version of Dante is featured as a playable character in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.
  • Dante is a playable character in Project X Zone for the Nintendo 3DS. He is part of a pair unit along with Darkstalkers '​ Demitri Maximoff.


Aggregate review scores
As of April 29, 2011.
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Devil May Cry (PS2) 92.60%[48] (PS2) 94[49]
Devil May Cry 2 (PS2) 73.56%[50] (PS2) 68[51]
Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening (PS2) 84.11%[52]
(PC) 70.87%[53]
(Special) 88%[54]
(PS2) 84[55]
(PC) 66[56]
(Special) 87[57]
Devil May Cry 4 (PS3) 84.13%[58]
(X360) 83.26%[59]
(PC) 80.05%[60]
(PS3) 84[61]
(X360) 84[62]
(PC) 78[63]
DmC: Devil May Cry (X360) 86.33%[64]
(PS3) 85.75%[65]
(PC) 85.10%[66]
(X360) 86[67]
(PS3) 85[68]
(PC) 85[69]

The Devil May Cry series has sold over ten million copies world wide,[70] with each release becoming a Platinum title.[71] Devil May Cry 4 stands as the franchise' top-selling title with 2.6 million units sold.[72] On the other hand, the reboot was met with poor sales that forced Capcom to reduce their expectations.[73]

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".[74][75] Devil May Cry has been cited as the beginning of a sub-genre of action games called "Extreme Combat", which concentrate on powerful heroes fighting hordes of foes with a focus on stylized action.[76] 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".[77] 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,[78][79] Chaos Legion,[80] and Blood Will Tell.[81]

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,[82] and third among ScrewAttack's "Top ten coolest video game characters" list.[83] The popularity of the Devil May Cry series led to a line of Devil May Cry action figures produced by Toycom.[84] Japanese company Kaiyodo produced a similar line for Devil May Cry 2 and a Devil May Cry 3 Dante action figure.[85][86]


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  13. ^ Arkham: Is your name Dante? Son of Sparda? Dante: Where did you hear that? Arkham: From your brother. He sent this invitation to you. Please accept it. Dante: Invitation huh? (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
  14. ^ Dante: It's been nearly a year since we last met. Where does the time go? No doubt you've got some fun planned for me. Right Vergil? (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
  15. ^ Jester: It was quite a ride, you know! If any of you had died before getting here, our little plan would have gone to waste! Therefore, my job was to get you to battle each other in order to weaken you. But at the same time, I needed to guide you here and make sure you were kept alive. I even went so far as dressing like a complete idiot! (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
  16. ^ Arkham: He plucks the threads that make us dance, finger and toe! We surrender in joy to the lowest of the foul and rank; we submerge through darkness, rancid filth. Hour by hour, we move downward, ever closer to Hell, in a slow, steady gait. Now, let the world resonate! Sloth! Gluttony! Greed! Envy! Lust! Wrath! And pride! A bell of chaos that tolls human desires! After two thousand long years, the once sealed gate to the demonic world will open! Destruction! Carnage and Despair! Let your instincts drive you! Entrap this world in fear! As its very name Temen-ni-gru strikes terror into the heart of mankind. Then I will become the ultimate ruler of this wasteland engulfed with pandemonium. The demonic power that Sparda once imprisoned... will be mine! (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
  17. ^ Lady: Are you crying? Dante: It's only the rain. Lady: The rain already stopped. Dante: Devils never cry. Lady: I see. Maybe somewhere out there even a devil may cry when he loses a loved one. Don't you think? Dante: Maybe. (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
  18. ^ Lady: Oh, speaking of a kind devil, he finally decided on a name for his shop. It took him quite a while to pick one. Want to know the name? Devil May Cry. (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
  19. ^ Trish: Yes, his powers were sealed by Sparda, he's attempting to take control of the human world again. He has been preparing to open the gate on... Mallet Island. (Devil May Cry) Capcom, 2001
  20. ^ Dante: This stinking hole was the last place that I thought I’d find anyone with some guts. (Devil May Cry) Capcom, 2001
  21. ^ Griffon: Yours is definitely the power of Sparda... No. Even more so. (Devil May Cry) Capcom, 2001
  22. ^ Dante: How much longer are you going to keep zapping? Come out and show yourself, Mundus! (Devil May Cry) Capcom, 2001
  23. ^ Trish: Dante, use my power! Dante: Trish! Okay! (Devil May Cry) Capcom, 2001
  24. ^ Matier: Son of Sparda... we must ask this favor, of you... You see, there's a man who's transformed our land into a demon's paradise; his name is Arius. And although he is the president, of an international public corporation... he uses the demon power. Please, deal with Arius and his master for us. (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
  25. ^ (After flipping a coin and noticing the result is heads.) Dante: ...Looks like it's your lucky day. (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
  26. ^ Arius: You are my creation. Lucia: Liar! Matier is my mother. Arius' secretary removes her mask, revealing the fact her face is identical to Lucia's. Arius: She merely found you when you were about to be disposed of, and then raised you as a soldier. Is that what you consider to be a mother? (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
  27. ^ Lucia: But... actually... I do not deserve this power... Lucia: Bring this to Matier for me... please... I... I've got something that I need to take care of... (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
  28. ^ Matier: There is one more thing I need to ask of you, son of Sparda. My daughter went to face Arius all by herself... Please, take these, and save Lucia. (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
  29. ^ Arius: You cannot win... someone is holding you back... Lucia: Ugh, forget about me! Kill Arius! Dante: Don't worry. I've got you... (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
  30. ^ Lucia: But...! Dante: Let's leave it to fate. Heads, I go; Tails, you go. He flips the coin and it lands as heads again Dante:See ya around. Lucia: Don't you want to hear the story about Sparda from... Matier? Dante: I know... He did the same thing... Hold on to my coin, Lucia. (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
  31. ^ Arius: You are not human! You are just a monster... a monster that I created! Lucia: Dante told me... Devils never cry! (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
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    Borst, Brian (June 4, 2003). "Devil May Cry Action Figures". Pop Culture Shock. Archived from the original on January 16, 2012. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
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  86. ^ " Listing for Devil May Cry 3 Dante Revoltech action figure". Retrieved April 23, 2007. 

External links

  • Capcom USA's Official "Devil May Cry" portal
  • Official Devil May Cry 2 website (Japanese)
  • Official Devil May Cry 3 website (Japanese)
    • Official DMC3 Special Edition website (Japanese)
  • Official Devil May Cry 4 website (Japanese)
  • Official Devil May Cry HD Collection website (Japanese)
  • Official "DmC" website (Japanese)
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