|“||There are demons everywhere...in every level of society, in every part of the world.||”|
Demons, or Devils, are one of the three known sentient species in the lore of the Devil May Cry series, alongside humans and angels, although the latter have never made any formal appearance in the original series. They are the primary lifeforms indigenous to the Demon World, better known as Hell or the Underworld. Although their exact nature is unclear or left vaguely defined in the series due to their unique and individual complexities and personalities, it is known that they embody the primordial forces of chaos and darkness, and thus have an innate predisposition for malevolence - or at least, aggression - towards other races and even each other under certain circumstances. As such, they have earned a reputation as monsters and deceivers within human folklore, theology and literature.
An alternative use of the word "demon" in the series is used to refer to any creature or force in the series that is malevolent or whose origin can be traced back to demons or their realm, but are not strictly pureblood demons.
Most demons are generally very selfish, power-hungry, and cruel; often seeking to increase their own power or influence at the expense of either other demons or humans. Very rarely do demons ever show remorse or pity, particularly when regarding humans - whom most demons regard as lesser beings. On the other hand, demons are capable to love and compassion, and some decide to live in the human world. In Devil May Cry 4, Dante suggests that when a demon becomes selfless or loves, or at least chooses to fight for something other than themselves and their own ambition, they can achieve greater powers. In Devil May Cry, it is suggested that demons can even become figuratively human, at least metaphorically, by learning to feel and express complex emotions such as sadness and love for another, both of which are considered definitive characteristics of human beings. Alternatively, and ironically, in Devil May Cry: The Animated Series, Dante comments on two occasions that humans are, in a way, worse and more terrible than demons due to their inclination to choose evil out of no reason other than selfishness or desperation, whereas demons are malevolent by nature and technically don't have a choice, or at least most don't know any better. Lady makes a similar remark at the end of Devil May Cry 3 by realizing that there are humans who are just as evil as any demon, as well as demons who are capable of kindness, love and compassion. This may imply that demons are very similar to, if not exactly the same as, humans in their essential nature, and that the definition of demons as completely evil and humans as completely good are simply moral prejudices and conceits perpetrated by humans.
DmC: Devil May CryEdit
In the reboot, demons are an ageless infernal species that have always been at war with their celestial counterparts; angels. They seem to have greater control over the human realm, not just through physical or magical force, but also through financial and political influence by taking advantage of the neoliberal capitalist nature of 21'st Century American society. Dante states that demons exist "in every level of society in every part of the world." The demons control everything, from banking to food production, which is visible in the dimension of Limbo. Here the lies of the demons are unmasked, showing that by controlling society they intend to subjugate humanity and harness their souls to become stronger in their war with the angels. A poster for "Candie's" hamburgers for instance becomes "GLUTTONY IS GOOD", and the ad "Home Loans for You" becomes "HOMELESS FOR YOU". The demons are even able to influence the media, either by controlling the humans involved or having demons give the news, such as Bob Barbas.
Demons and HumansEdit
Because of their inherent beyond-human physical and mystical abilities, most known demons view themselves as superior to humans, and as such wish to rule over them. It is implied that before Sparda's uprising, the demons held dominion over the human world and there were many gates and portals created between the two realms; ever since Sparda sealed off the demon world from the human world, demons have been attempting to regain dominion over the humans.
It is seen that certain demons have disguised themselves as humans and gained an incredible amount of influence in the criminal underworld, the wealthy upper-class, and even close family members and business associates of powerful individuals. However, there are also demons who deny their heritage and go to the human world to live in peace.
Despite the inherent differences and metaphysical inequalities between humans and demons, they are able to mate and produce half-demon offspring (traditionally referred to as a Cambion) which possess the physical and mystical qualities of demons, and the spiritual qualities of humans. Such example is the protagonist Dante, along with his twin Vergil, who were the sons of the human Eva and the demon Sparda. Nero is also of both human and demonic lineage, allegedly of Sparda's bloodline. Hybrid demons are generally greatly despised by full-blooded demons, as they are seen as incomplete and thus a mockery of their power.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
Demons are hierarchical in nature in a manner similar to pack animals or hive insects. The abilities of demons are often greatly varied among the middle and higher ranks. Demons usually seem to possess powers that are based on a certain element, such as fire, ice or lightning. Demons also come in a wide array of shapes and sizes, are generally considerably stronger and tougher than both humans and earthly animals in order to survive and thrive within the otherworldly and often harsh terrain of the Underworld, and are able to perform superhuman and supernatural feats with relative ease. The most prominent ability displayed by almost every demon seen in the series thus far is immortality; demons are known to live for over two thousand years without being subject to old age or death. In Devil May Cry 2, Arius sought this power by summoning the powers of Argosax.
After a demon is killed, it is possible for its soul and power to be turned into a weapon known as a "Devil Arm", though, as with the Sword of Sparda, a demon does not necessarily have to die to create a weapon from its power. Some demons willingly give their souls in battle if their opponent proves their strength.
Even though demons possess abilities beyond that of any human, that does not prevent humans from being able to fight and even kill a demon. Humans with enough skill to do so seem to be very rare, but those that do often become Devil Hunters.
There are three main biblical theories regarding the origin of demons: 1) They are fallen angels who sided with Lucifer in his revolt against God and were cast out of Heaven with him. 2) They are the disembodied spirits of a race that existed on Earth before humanity who were condemned and subsequently destroyed by God. 3) They are the malicious souls of the Nephilim, a race of human-angel hybrid cannibal giants who were condemned and slain by God when he sent the Great Flood.
The word demon comes from the Greek daemon, a being of Greek mythology intermediate between gods and men. These beings also served as attendant powers or spirits, which, ironically, is also a definition applied to angels.
- In Devil May Cry, Dante states that demons do not possess souls. However, this is untrue, as Bianco Angelos are powered by either a human or demonic soul. As such, this assumption is merely a moral prejudice on Dante's part from his traumatic experiences in his youth at the hands of demons. It is likely, however, that he meant it as a figure of speech rather than a literal meaning.