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Red Queen

RedQueen
Romaji Aka no joō
Japanese 赤の女王
Appearances Devil May Cry 4
This blade's the best battle companion a swordsman could wish for!

Nero, Devil May Cry 4

The Red Queen is a sword belonging to Nero in Devil May Cry 4. It is a customized version of the blades used by the Order of the Sword and designed by Agnus. It is not a Devil Arm, but its unique construction makes it just as powerful.

DescriptionEdit

It has an ornately etched base, and appears to be modeled after the German Großes Messer (lit. "Great Knife"), but its most unique feature is that it has been specially customized with a motorcycle-like gear shift which, when pulled, sprays a flammable propellant across the blade and opponent, greatly increasing the power of its blows.[1] This system, known as "Exceed", can be revved up to three times, and can be released either in one incredibly powerful strike, or as three lesser, but still strong, blows. This system is also strong enough for Nero to be able to use it as a jet. This and several other modifications makes the Red Queen nearly impossible for anyone but Nero to wield.[2]

GameplayEdit

If the player does not press any movement keys at the last strike of Red Queen Combo B, and remains idle after the attack, Nero will have a completed animation and a pose depicting him to rest his sword on his shoulder, followed by a taunt. If the player is charging up the EX Streak, Nero will perform a pose of resting his sword like a baseball bat, then swinging the combo when the button is released. Now, if the player fills up the 3 EX slots while on this pose (Nero can still rev his sword while holding the button), the sword's edges will produce red sparks, and Nero will laugh.

ExceedEdit

EX-High Roller

Nero using EX-High Roller

The Exceed is a system unique for Red Queen. By revving the handle on the Red Queen, Nero can cause it to spray a flammable liquid over the blade, increasing the range and inflicted damage of its attacks. For certain techniques this changes their performance entirely. Because Exceeded attacks generate more style points and inflict more damage, mastering the technique is vital to competently playing as Nero.

The basis of the system is the Ex-Gauge, which consists of three slots. The current charge can be seen to the left of the Vitality gauge, and the Red Queen also glows more strongly with each new charged slot. The easiest way to fill the Ex-Gauge is by making Nero twist the sword's handle by pressing B l2/Bx lt, which is called Exceed. However, regular boosting is slow and dangerous in the middle of the battle, so it is usually better to use EX-Act or purchasable MAX-Act abilities instead. They are performed by pressing the B l2/Bx lt at the right moment of an attack, usually when the sword connects with an enemy, although the timing is the same even if Nero is swinging at empty air. MAX-Act, which fills all three slots, will be performed if the timing is exact, though if it is off by a few frames of animation EX-Act will be performed instead, filling only one slot.

If the Ex-Gauge is filled to any extent, the next attack becomes an EX attack. There are three levels of EX attacks, each new level requiring more filled slots in the Ex-Gauge than the previous. From the beginning only the first level of EX attacks is available, level two and three requiring Exceed 2 and Exceed 3 respectively.

Interestingly, if Nero fills up an EX slot while in Devil Trigger state, his demonic aura rises and grows larger with each Exceed level. This is seen clearly when the player uses the Super Nero costume, as the Devil Trigger is infinite and the Red Queen has maxed-out Exceed level.

MovesetsEdit

Devil May Cry 4Edit

Action Command Description
PS3 Xbox 360
Red Queen Combo A B t,B t,B t,B t Bx y,Bx y,Bx y,Bx y Four quick sword slashes.
Red Queen Combo B B t,—,B t,—,B t (rapid) Bx y,—,Bx y,—,Bx y (rapid) Strong sword strikes that deal heavy damage to all those who fall in their path.
Red Queen Combo C B t,B t,—,B t,B t,B t,B t Bx y,Bx y,—,Bx y,Bx y,Bx y,Bx y A stylish and speedy combo created to damage scores of enemies at once.
Red Queen Combo D B t,B t,B t,—,B t Bx y,Bx y,Bx y,—,Bx y Slash away at an enemy and then drive into an enemy with a powerful coup de grâce.
Aerial Combo B t,B t,B t (mid-air) Bx y,Bx y,Bx y (mid-air) A succession of hits dealt in the air.
Roulette Spin B t,B t,—,B t (mid-air) Bx y,Bx y,—,Bx y (mid-air) Red Queen’s blade spun in mid-air in a deadly show of force. This attack will allow you to gain altitude.
Exceed B l2 Bx lt Uses the combustion system of the Red Queen to grant the next attack even more devastating power. Ex-Gauge can be charged to three power levels. Level 2 increases the EX-Gauge to 2 slots, allowing you to access level 2 Exceed moves. Level 3 increases the EX-Gauge to 3 slots, allowing you to access level 3 Exceed moves.
EX-Act B l2 just after an attack Bx lt just after an attack Right after an attack, quickly activate Exceed to fill one part of your Exceed gauge.
MAX-Act Just EX-Act Right after an attack, quickly activate Exceed to max out your Exceed gauge. Your timing must be absolutely perfect!
High Roller B r1+B d+B t Bx rb+Bx down+Bx y Launch an enemy skyward. By holding down B t/Bx y, you will follow the enemy into the air.
EX High Roller Exceed High Roller High Roller powered-up by the Red Queen's Exceed system. Revolutions increase depending on the Ex-Gauge level.
Streak B r1+B u+B t Bx rb+Bx up+Bx y A magnificent rushing attack that sweeps up surrounding enemies. Level 2 has greatly extended range.
EX Streak Exceed Streak Powered by the Red Queen's Exceed system, this Streak will never end. Revolutions increase depending on the Ex-Gauge level.
Split B r1+B u+B t (mid-air) Bx rb+Bx up+Bx y (mid-air) A violent descending slash that slams through an enemy and splits them right down the middle.
Double Down Exceed Split The propellant ignited on the blade of the Red Queen by the Exceed system powers the weapon downwards, eviscerating a foe.
Calibur B r1+<B d,B u>+B t (mid-air) Bx rb+<Bx down,Bx up>+Bx y (mid-air) Streak towards your foe in mid-air and strike with a heavy blow.
EX Calibur Exceed Calibur A version of Calibur powered by the Red Queen's Exceed system.
Shuffle B r1+<B d,B u>+B t Bx rb+<Bx down,Bx up>+Bx y After avoiding an attack by backstepping, rush forward and counter with a fast, powerful blow.
EX Shuffle Exceed Shuffle Powered by the Red Queen's Exceed system, this shuffle surely spells disaster. Revolutions increase depending on the Ex-Gauge level.

BackgroundEdit

"Roulette Spin", "Streak," "Split," "High Roller", and "Double Down" are gambling and casino terms. Even the name "Red Queen" refers to the Queen of Hearts or Diamonds in a modern card deck. Furthermore, in the Devil May Cry 4: Deadly Fortune it is stated that Nero's moves are named after gambling/casino terms because Morihashi Bingo thought of him as a 'sink or swim' person.

"EX Calibur" is a pun on the legendary sword of the same name which was wielded by King Arthur.

TriviaEdit

  • While the other Order weapons, the Caliburn and Durandal, have a "revving" ability similar to Exceed, this has no apparent effect on the blade's strength and speed. Early interviews with the game's director seem to imply that the primary difference between the Red Queen and other swords is the removal of the sword's rev limiter,[3] though this could merely be a reference to customization in general. The Bianco and Alto Angelos, which Agnus created, also possess an ability similar to Exceed in which they rev their weapon enough to actually propel them across the battlefield.
  • "Red Queen" is also used as the name for different computer systems in the Resident Evil franchise.
  • According to the Devil May Cry 4: Deadly Fortune novel, both Red Queen and Blue Rose melted away while Nero was trapped in the Savior's core, while in the game both weapons are still present during those scenes.

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Art of Devil May Cry 4 (2008), pp. 14, Red Queen: "Nero's blade is as singularly unique as its wielder. From its ornate etched base to its wickedly sharp curved tip, this sword delivers heavy damage when swung around at high speeds. But its most unique feature resides in the handle, boasting motorcycle-like gear shift which, when pulled, releases a flammable liquid spray across the opponent. This blade is as beautiful as its deadly."
  2. Devil May Cry 4, Nero's Arms File — Red Queen: "A mechanical sword with a powerful fuel injection system. The propellant sprayed onto the blade allows it to unleash attacks of great power; however, the Red Queen’s complex customizations mean only Nero is capable of controlling it."
  3. Game Informer (Nov 2006), DEVIL MAY CRY 4 - A NEW HUNT BEGINS: "Nero may be a new character, but he has the same affection for customized weaponry as Dante. Nero's blade, the Red Queen, is a tricked out version of the standard-issue weapon for the members of his order. 'Nero is a bit of a tuner,' explains Kobayashi. 'Just like people will take off rev limiters on their bikes, he's played around a bit with his sword.' This motorcycle analogy actually extends into the sword's in-game design, as it has what it appears to be a brake lever coming down from the cross guard. When asked whether this device is just for decoration, Kobayashi evasively responds: 'There is something to do with the grip on his sword which we can't reveal yet.' We're guessing it doesn't just make him decelerate."


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