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Devil May Cry is a series of video games set in the modern day, developed by Capcom and created by Hideki Kamiya. Originally intended to be the fourth instalment in Capcom's Resident Evil series, Devil May Cry has been cited as the beginning of a sub-genre of action games by the name of Extreme Action.
The series has been a marketing success with the first three games selling multiple million copies and all 4 being awarded the "Platinum Title" award by Capcom. The success of the video game series has led to the creation of comic books, manga series, three novelizations, an anime series, guides, collectibles, publications, and a variety of action figures.
As of 2012, there are four games in the series, with fifth game, DmC: Devil May Cry, in production. A compilation of the first three games, Devil May Cry HD Collection, was also released on March 28, 2012.
In 1998, after the completion of Resident Evil 3, preliminary work on a PlayStation 2 instalment 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 the first Devil May Cry.
Although the series is substantially different from its original inspiration, its lineage is still apparent, from the recurring boss characters and tendency towards grotesque adversaries, the need to solve elaborate puzzles to proceed, to the "This Game Contains Scenes Of Violence And Gore" warning at the opening sequence and "You Are Dead" game over screens. The violent finishing moves some monsters can perform are also reminiscent of its lineage.
Common gameplay elements
The gameplay of the series focuses primarily on fast and "stylish" combat; gaining a high style ranking requires long attack and evasion strings while avoiding damage. 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 continued in the fourth. Each level, or "mission", is also ranked using these letters. The player's overall grade is computed as a result of his or her total Style along with time and amount of items collected and used.
The game also features some puzzle-solving and exploration elements retained from its survival horror beginnings, but these are downplayed; Devil May Cry games put emphasis on action.
The Devil Trigger ability enables the player's character to transform into a devil-like form with additional powers based on their current weapon, while the character's strength and speed increase and health is slowly restored.
Dante is generally the lead character in the games, though Devil May Cry 2 featured two other characters, Lucia and Trish, who have their own missions to play through; the Special Edition of Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening allowed the player to use Vergil; and Devil May Cry 4 features a new protagonist named Nero, however Dante is playable through a sizable chunk of the storyline.
Each game in the series has added new elements to the gameplay.
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 as well as firearms.
Devil May Cry 4 added a major innovation in the form of Nero's Devil Bringer, which gives players the ability to pull distant enemies in to be attacked, push them away, or smash them into the ground. Players are also allowed to switch styles in mid-combat with Dante. The addition of Proud Souls to buy abilities allowed for a more flexible gameplay as they can be fully refunded and used again, if the player decides he or she would rather have a different ability. Red Orbs are still present, although they are used solely to buy items.
The series centers on Dante's goal of avenging his mother's murder by exterminating demons. In the process, he encounters and is challenged by his twin brother, Vergil, who Dante thought was dead. As the series progresses it is revealed that the demon emperor Mundus is responsible for the loss of Dante's mother and the corruption of his brother.
The chronological order of the Devil May Cry series does not follow the release order of the games. Devil May Cry 3 takes place first as a prequel to Devil May Cry, which is followed by Devil May Cry 4, and then finally Devil May Cry 2.
Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening
The story of the series begins in Devil May Cry 3 on Dante's as-of-yet unnamed shop as a mysterious man named Arkham appears to offer an invitation from Dante's brother, Vergil. An immense tower erupts from the ground a short distance away from the shop and Dante takes the situation as a challenge. Following numerous battles, Dante arrives at the tower's summit and encounters Vergil, who defeats Dante in combat and departs. Dante eventually catches up with Vergil in the control room located in the tower's basement. The brothers battle again until they are interrupted by Lady, then Arkham, who has been manipulating them all to reactivate the tower. Arkham intends to steal the Force Edge, Sparda's sword.
Dante crosses over to the demon world and catches up with Arkham, and he and Vergil work together to bring down Arkham. Dante and Vergil fight yet again, and Dante is victorious. 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
Devil May Cry begins with Dante being attacked in his office by Trish. He brushes off her assault and she claims that the demon emperor Mundus is planning a return. Dante explores Mallet Island, encountering a variety of powerful demons, including one named Nelo Angelo. Dante is defeated by Nelo Angelo in combat, but Nelo Angelo flees at the sight of Dante's half of the Perfect Amulet. Other encounters with Mundus' demon generals serve to indicate that Dante has become even more powerful than his father since his initial awakening. Nelo Angelo attacks twice more in later missions, and is eventually revealed to be Dante's twin brother, Vergil. Dante enters the underworld in pursuit of Mundus, where Trish sacrifices herself to save him. Dante uses the emotions triggered by Trish's actions to release the power of Sparda that Vergil sought in Devil May Cry 3. Dante and Mundus then battle on another plane of existence. Trish returns and lends Dante her power. Dante then defeats Mundus. Dante and Trish escape as the island collapses, and later work together in the renamed shop, "Devil Never Cry", although the name was reverted later.
Devil May Cry 4
In Devil May Cry 4, Lady calls upon Dante to investigate the Order of the Sword, a cult-like group that worships Sparda and has been collecting Devil Arms. Dante is originally uninterested, but Trish goes on ahead and takes the Sparda sword with her. Later, Nero witnesses Dante assassinate the Order's leader, Sanctus. Nero attacks Dante and awakens his Devil Bringer arm, only to find that Dante was not taking their fight seriously. Nero pursues Dante, and along the way comes to realize that the Order is opening gates to the demon world in order to harness its power. After a battle against Agnus, Nero discovers and magically restores the Yamato, which the Order had found broken in several places. Sanctus is revived through demonic power, and he sets in motion a plan to capture Nero by kidnapping Kyrie, Nero's love interest. Nero pursues and fights Sanctus, but is ultimately captured and used to form the core of The Savior, a giant demon in the form of a god. Dante steps in and destroys all the Hell Gates that the Order has opened, then fights against the Savior. Unable to destroy it from the outside, he leaves that task to Nero to defeat it from the inside. While inside the Savior, Nero kills Sanctus and rescues Kyrie, and ultimately destroys the Savior. Dante entrusts Yamato, which formerly belonged to Vergil, to Nero, and . Later, at the Devil May Cry shop, Lady pays Dante and Trish for their work. Then, a customer with the password phones in, and the three head out to take on another mission.
Devil May Cry 2
Devil May Cry 2 begins with Dante entering a museum where an important item called the Medaglia is stored. There, also, Lucia invites Dante to Dumary Island. Lucia's mother, Matier, asks Dante to help fight Arius, a businessman who wields demonic power. Dante decides to help. Lucia confronts Arius, who reveals that she was his creation. Shortly afterwards, Lucia gives Dante the last of the Arcana before leaving. Dante then encounters Matier again and she asks Dante to take the Arcana to save Lucia. 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 Uroburos tower and a portal to the demon world is opened. Dante and Lucia argue over who will enter, but ultimately it is Dante who enters the portal to deal with Argosax.
After Dante departs, Arius returns, though Lucia goes on to defeat him. Within the portal, Dante fights and defeats the partially summoned Argosax. Finding the portal closed, 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. Outside, the sound of a motorcycle echoes, and Lucia leaves to investigate. The player is not shown whether or not it is Dante.
- In all of the released games of the franchise, one of last levels makes you fight most of the previous bosses once again before proceeding to the final boss of the said game.
- Gameplay videos of DmC show a car with the license plate "DMC5", an in-joke from Ninja Theory.
|Dante - Trish - The Dark Knight Sparda|
|Griffon - Mundus - Nelo Angelo - Nightmare - Phantom|
|Beelzebub - Blade - Fetish - Frost - Kyklops - Marionette - Nobody - Plasma - Sargasso - Shadow - Sin Scissors & Scythe|
|Alastor - Force Edge & Sparda - Ifrit - Yamato|
|Locations & Miscellaneous|
|Bangle of Time - Broken Bridge - Devil May Cry (shop) - Mallet Island - Mirror World|
|Arius - Dante - Lucia - Matier - Trish|
|Argosax - Bolverk - Furiataurus - Infested Chopper - Infested Tank - Jokatgulm - Nefasturris - Noctpteran - Orangguerra - Phantom - Tartarussian & Plutonian - Tateobesu - Trismagia|
|Blade - Demonochorus - Erupt Gel - Finis Demon - Flambat - Infestant - Goat Clan - Mancer Demon - Msira - Puia - Sargasso - Savage Golem - Secretary - Spicere|
|Dante's weapons: Merciless - Rebellion - Vendetta - Ebony & Ivory - Missile Launcher - Shotgun - Submachine Guns|
Lucia's weapons: Cutlaseer - Klyamoor - Zambak - Bow Gun - Cranky Bomb - Darts - Throwing Daggers
Trish's weapons: Sparda - Luce & Ombra - Nightmare-γ
|Locations & Miscellaneous|
|Demon World - Dumary Island - Human World|
|Arkham - Dante - Lady - Vergil|
|Agni & Rudra the Firestorm - Beowulf the Lightbeast - Cerberus the Ice Guardian - Doppelganger the Deathvoid - Geryon the Timesteed - Gigapede - Leviathan - Nevan the Lightning Witch|
|Abyss - Arachne - Blood-goyle - Damned Chessmen - Dullahan - Enigma - Hell Vanguard - The Fallen - Seven Hells of the Demon Army - Soul Eater|
|Devil Arms: Agni & Rudra - Beowulf - Cerberus - Nevan - Rebellion - Yamato|
|Dark Slayer - Doppelganger - Gunslinger - Quicksilver - Royalguard - Swordmaster - Trickster|
|Dante's Office - Demon World - Human World - Residential Area - Temen-ni-gru|
|Agnus - Credo - Dante - Gloria - Kyrie - Lady - Nero - Sanctus - Trish|
|Bael & Dagon - Berial - Containment Room - Echidna - The Savior|
|Alto & Bianco Angelo - Assault - Basilisk - Blitz - Chimera Seed & Chimera - Cutlass - Fault - Frost - Gladius - Mephisto & Faust - Scarecrow|
|Nero: Blue Rose - Devil Bringer - Red Queen - Yamato|
|Buster - Dark Slayer Style - Gunslinger Style - Royalguard Style - Swordmaster Style - Trickster Style|
|Fortuna - Fortuna Castle - Mitis Forest - Lost Woods - Foris Falls|