Characters of Devil May Cry
Devil May Cry is a series of video games set in the present, developed by Capcom and created by Hideki Kamiya. The series' success has led to comic books, novelizations, an anime series, guides, collectibles and a variety of action figures.
The series centers on Dante's mission to avenge the death of his mother, Eva, by exterminating demons. In the process he encounters his long-lost twin brother, Vergil, with whom he has a dysfunctional relationship. As the series progresses a demon emperor, Mundus, is found to be responsible for the murder of Dante's mother and the corruption of his brother. Although Dante is often featured as the main playable character, the player also controls other characters.
The characters in Devil May Cry were conceived by Hideki Kamiya, a video-game designer with Capcom and Clover Studio. Nero and several characters in Devil May Cry 4 were created by Tatsuya Yoshikawa, who said that designing Nero was one of the greatest challenges of his career. Each game in the series introduces a new antagonist and supporting characters.
- 1 Conception and influences
- 2 Protagonists
- 3 Antagonists
- 4 Supporting characters
- 5 Cultural impact
- 6 References
Conception and influences
Series creator Hideki Kamiya said that the title character from the manga series Cobra, by Buichi Terasawa, was the basis for Dante. Dante wears a red cloak to make the character's actions more eye-catching; red is the traditional Japanese color for a hero. The game 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) and Trish (Beatrice Portinari).
Shortly after the release of Devil May Cry 2, Itsuno decided the staff should develop a new video game, Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening. Morihashi was once again employed but this time took a bigger role during game development. As he had not experienced doing planning, he was given the role of writing the scenario. The game's main character, Dante, was given a different characterization than in the first Devil May Cry due to his original creator, Hideki Kamiya, not being involved within the project. While feeling his own take on the character did not equal the popularity of the original one, Morihashi enjoyed Dante's role in the game. Besides Dante, Morihashi felt challenging the making of Vergil due to how he had no prior design yet he still had to come up with an entire new one for the artists.
Devil May Cry 4 producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi said before the game's release that he wanted to make Dante appear more powerful than the other protagonist, Nero, to contrast the strength of a "veteran" with that of a "rookie". The series' storyline also required Dante to demonstrate his power after first game and its prequel, Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening. Kobayashi said, "When creating a sequel, you don't want to make a character weak again from the start for no good reason. Everyone wanted to see Dante be just as powerful as they remembered him," emphasizing that playing as Dante without his previous abilities would otherwise feel "very strange." Both main characters' capabilities were part of the series' early development.
Several weapons in the series are character-specific. One example is Pandora, a firearm designed by Kobayashi, who noted that he wanted to include a "transforming, multi-purpose AWD [sic] in Dante's arsenal. Something that could be used as an over the shoulder rocket launcher, or a crossbow, etc. In its final form, I wanted it to transform into something that would be even bigger than Dante himself." The weapon was inspired by anime series such as Macross and Gundam.
Character designer Tatsuya Yoshikawa said, "When working on this sort of game, the design doesn't come from just one person, it is necessary to take the history of the series and the feelings of the fans into consideration." Before designing the characters in Devil May Cry 4, Yoshikawa consulted staff members who had previously worked on the series to familiarize himself with previous elements. The characters were designed to emphasize their motion, and some demonic antagonists in Devil May Cry 4 resemble angels. These characters were designed to be attractive, while providing a contrast to other demons in the game. Yoshikawa noted that several main characters were somewhat difficult to design, but Nero was one of the greatest challenges of his career since the character would have to be accepted by the public and fit in the series' universe.
Dante, the series' primary protagonist, is a mercenary specializing in the paranormal and the main playable character in the first three Devil May Cry games. He is distinguishable by his red clothing, short silver hair, quick wit, dark sense of humor and cocky attitude. Dante usually has two heavily customized M1911 pistols (called Ebony and Ivory) or a two-handed sword known as Rebellion.
The character was voiced by Drew Coombs in the original Devil May Cry and Matthew Kaminsky in Devil May Cry 2. Reuben Langdon received the role in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, and has returned to the role in Devil May Cry 4, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds and Devil May Cry: The Animated Series. Dante's Japanese voice in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, Project X Zone, The Animated Series, 4 Special Edition and Project X Zone is provided by Toshiyuki Morikawa.
Nero is one of the protagonists of Devil May Cry 4 and Devil May Cry 5. An orphan adopted by the Sparda-worshipping Order of the Sword, Nero grew up to become a Holy Knight of the Order. He does not get along well with others and prefers to work alone, so he is usually given the Order's "special assignments." The character is voiced by Johnny Yong Bosch in English, and by Kaito Ishikawa in the Japanese version of Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition. Nero will return as one of the primary protagonists in Devil May Cry 5.
Lucia, along with Dante, is one of the two primary protagonists in Devil May Cry 2. An agile fighter, she uses two ornately carved curved daggers. Like Dante, she can Devil Trigger (transform into a "harpy," a birdlike demon of light). Lucia is voiced by Francoise Gralewski.
Lucia is a member of Protectorate, a clan of guardians in the Vie de Marli with the blood of devils. She invites Dante to her island so her adoptive mother, Matier, can ask him to help them defeat Arius (a man who has turned their land into a devils' paradise). Dante accepts, and he and Lucia begin their quests. The player later learns that Lucia is actually Chi, a devil bred by Arius but abandoned as defective. When she reaches Arius, Dante has already defeated him and rides his motorcycle to the demon world to stop an ancient demon. After Dante leaves, Arius (now a monster) rises from the ruins and attacks Lucia; she defeats him, and awaits Dante's return.
Although Vergil is Dante's Older identical twin brother, they are very different; Vergil embraces his demonic side and is obsessed with gaining power. He is the secondary antagonist in Devil May Cry 3 and a playable character in the game's special edition. Vergil appears in Devil May Cry as Nelo Angelo, corrupted and controlled by Emperor Mundus. He also appears as a playable character in the crossover fighting game, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. In English, Vergil is voiced by Daniel Southworth in Devil May Cry 3 and Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition; Nelo Angelo is voiced by David Kelley in Devil May Cry. In Japanese, he is voiced by Hiroaki Hirata in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Project X Zone 2 and Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition.
Mundus is the sadistic king of the demon world, a semi-amorphous creature with three orb-like eyes that poses as a giant white-skinned seraph with a third eye on his forehead and a scar on his chest. Mundus was defeated by Sparda two millennia ago, making him Dante's nemesis as he murdered his mother Eva and turned Vergil into his thrall when Dante's brother tried to defeat him as depicted in Devil May Cry 3.
As the primary antagonist in Devil May Cry, concealing himself in a statue, Mundus begins to enter the human world and created Trish in Eva's image to lure Dante to Mallet Island to kill him. But as his forces failed him, gleefully killing off his minion Griffon before Dante's eyes, Mundus was forced back into the Demon World after Dante defeats him with help from Trish after she decided to aid him.
A statue of Mundus is seen briefly in Devil May Cry 2. In Dante's storyline in the PlayStation 2 version of Viewtiful Joe, he possesses Captain Blue to take revenge on Dante and Trish. Mundus also appears in the second Devil May Cry novel in a parallel universe, where he is confronted by Dante and Nelo Angelo's forces.
Arius, the primary antagonist in Devil May Cry 2, is an insane, wealthy businessman who owns an international company, Uroboros. He wants to find the legendary Arcana, artifacts which would allow him to raise Argosax from the demonic realm and use his power to control the world. Human at the beginning of the game, Arius has access to powerful magic (which enables him to fight demon hunters like Dante) and can create his own demons. Near the end of the game, in Lucia's scenario Arius survives his battle with Dante. Infused with the power of Argosax, he attacks Lucia (first as a demonic version of himself). As he begins to lose, he mutates into a giant creature.
Argosax the Chaos
Argosax the Chaos was a cruel demonic deity who once rivaled Mundus and was one of the main antagonists of Devil May Cry 2. Like his sovereign, Argosax was imprisoned in the void of the Underworld by Sparda when the rebellious knight came to the aide of the clan of Dumary Island. Using the Arcanas - sacred relics used to exorcise Argosax centuries prior - Arius intended to absorb the demon's power to achieve apotheosis. Instead, as Dante had switched the Medaglia coin with his own, the ritual was incomplete and caused Arius to become possessed upon dying.
Despite its faulty execution, the ritual was sufficient enough to create a portal to the devil's prison - enough to enable Argosax to escape if given time. Seeking to put an end to this scheme, Dante elects to enter the gateway and face the demon deity like his father before him. When he first appears, his native form - the Despair Embodied, a fiery horned hermaphrodite with angelic wings - is gestating inside of a chrysalis composed of the reanimated corpses of assorted bosses from games 1 and 2. He's capable of channeling their power while in this form.
Emerging from the destroyed mass after a lengthy battle, the Despair Embodied challenges Dante. It's able to use energy and projectile attacks with its wings as well as teleport and shapeshift its arms into swords in its male form and whips in its female form as its main weapons. After another long confrontation, the demon's wings shatter from exhaustion and Dante finally destroys the disgraced lord with a lighting-infused gunshot from Ivory. However, with the portal having sealed behind him during their battle, Dante was now trapped in the demonic realm.
Arkham (アーカム Ākamu) is the main antagonist in Devil May Cry 3, which takes place before the events of the first Devil May Cry game, and the estranged father of Lady. In the game, he is a scholar in the demonology and the supernatural who sought to break the seal Sparda made to prevent Temen-ni-gru tower from serving as a Hell Gate. Arkham also desired to become a demon, a failed attempt by sacrificing his wife Kalina Ann resulted with the left side of his face scarred but gave him some power. Arkham tricks Vergil into helping him while assuming the guise of the lunatic Jester (ジェスター Jesutā) to lead Dante through Temen-ni-gru, playing the brothers against each other along with exploiting Lady's attempts to avenge her mother to bring all the factors of unsealing Temen-ni-gru into place. Arkham then travels through the completed gate to retrieves the Force Edge, combining its power with the restored halves of Eva's amulet to absorb Sparda's power. Through he becomes a demon resembling Sparda, Arkham's body is unable to compensate with the power as he mutates into an amorphous abomination that Dante and Vergil defeat together. Arkham is reverted to his original state as he ends up back in human world where Lady kills him.
The character, in form his normal and Jester forms, is voiced and motion-captured by Adam D Clark. Arkham's name was intended to be Hyne (pronounced "Hai-neh"), but Reuben Langdon (who voices Dante) thought it would be inappropriate in English and convinced Capcom to change it. Jester's name was intended to be "Joker".
Sanctus is the primary antagonist in Devil May Cry 4, who masterminded the game's events. The proclaimed Vicar of Sparda and general of the Holy Knights, regarded as one of the greatest spiritual leaders of the Order of the Sword, Sanctus was apparently killed by Dante at the beginning of the game. But in reality, Sanctus survived as he had himself infused with demonic essence in an ascension ceremony. Sanctus originally planned to use Dante to give life to the Savior, a colossus in Sparda's image housing collected demon essence, but decides to use Nero after his righthand Angus revealed the truth of the Order's actions. After Credo failed in retrieving Nero for him under false pretenses, Sanctus takes matters into his own hands by having Agnus kidnap Kyrie to have the Savior absorb her so it can assimilate Nero. Sanctus than uses the Yamato to open the artificial Hellgates before merging into Savior to commence his plan to wipe out all demons and rule the world while projecting himself through an animated suit of armor. Dante manages to sabotage Sanctus's scheme before freeing Nero to rescue Kyrie while defeating a mental construct of Sanctus, Nero completely destroying him by using the Devil Bringer on the Savior. The character is voiced by Liam O'Brien in English, and Ikuya Sawaki in Japanese version of Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition.
Agnus is the chief technology researcher and alchemist of the Holy Knights of the Order of Sparda in Devil May Cry 4, developing demon-killing weapons for the Knights. An introverted workaholic, he rarely appears outside his office and few people in the cult know about him. It is later learned that he has been experimenting with the broken Yamato and creating demon-based weapons. Agnus has an alternate form (resembling a cross between a beetle and a moth), and stutters when stressed. Near the end of the game, he is killed by Dante when he tries to keep the Yamato. The character is voiced by T.J. Storm in English, and Yuya Uchida in Japanese version of Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition.
Trish is a demon created by Mundus who strangely resembles Dante's mother, Eva. She has enhanced strength and agility, accelerated healing and the ability to use lightning. In English, Trish is voiced by Sarah Lafleur in Devil May Cry, and Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble, Danielle Burgio in Devil May Cry 4 and Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and Luci Christian in The Animated Series. In Japanese, she is voiced by Atsuko Tanaka in The Animated Series, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition.
Lady is a freelance demon hunter. A human, she is skilled in acrobatics and armed close quarters combat. Lady has black hair, eyes of different colors and a signature weapon, the Kalina-Ann (a customized missile launcher, similar to MANPADS). When fighting, she uses a CZ75 pistol with a compensator and a VZ61 submachine gun with a bayonet attached to it. She was named Mary by her father, Arkham, but she renounced the name when he murdered her mother in a ritual to obtain demonic power, an act which drove Mary to psychosis and obsessive vengeance. Lady first appears in Devil May Cry 3, when she refuses to identify herself to Dante; he replies, "Whatever, lady!" Lady formalizes her name in the game's denouement when she shoots Arkham, telling him that "Mary" is dead. Although she is not a villain, her role in Devil May Cry 3 is that of an antagonist, as she seeks to deter Dante and even fights him twice before finally coming to terms with him.
Sparda is the demonic knight who rebelled for humanity's sake 2,000 years before the events of Vergil's Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition. He defeated many demons and their emperor, Mundus, before sealing the gateway between the demonic and human worlds. Sparda's heroism made him legendary in the human world, and he is known as "the Legendary Dark Knight".
In Devil May Cry and its successors, Sparda left his power in his sword (known as the Force Edge or the Sparda) in the demonic realm. ("Sparda" is the Japanese inflection for "spada", a Latin word for "sword".) To seal the gateway between the worlds Sparda sacrificed his blood and that of a mortal priestess, using two complementary amulets as a key which he brought into the human world. To work, the amulets must be joined. At DMC, near the end of his life Sparda took a human wife (Eva) and fathered twin sons (Dante and Vergil). He gave the amulets to Eva, who passed them on to their sons. Vergil and Dante each received a powerful, enchanted sword from their father; Dante's sword was Rebellion, and Vergil's was Yamato. It is unknown how Sparda died, and Dante believed that there was confusion surrounding his father and his legacy.
Eva, Sparda's wife and mother of Dante and Vergil, was killed in a demonic attack. Eva has long blond hair. She gave each of her sons half of Sparda's amulet as a birthday gift, and rebooting of regular "Devil May Cry" Trish has resembled of her.
Matier, a supporting character in Devil May Cry 2, is an old woman and (like Lucia) part of the Protectorate clan. When she was younger, she and her clan fought the demons with Sparda. Matier is cheerful and optimistic, certain of Dante's eventual victory. She guides Lucia to reunite the Arcanas (mystical relics) and lure Dante (whom she calls "Son of Sparda") to their island. Although it is first claimed that Matier is Lucia's mother, it is later revealed that Lucia was created by Arius (who planned to dispose of her when Matier found and raised her). The character is voiced by Flo DiRe.
Credo, captain of hundreds of Holy Knights, is a strict, just man who is admired for his prowess on the battlefield. Kyrie's older brother, he sees Nero as family but finds him unreliable. He orders Nero to capture Dante for Sanctus' "assassination", but is part of Sanctus' plan to bring about the Order's "Savior". Credo tries to arrest Nero after he learn about the latter's demonic power, and transforms into a winged creature he believes is angelic. When Kyrie is kidnapped, to be used by the Order for Sanctus's grand plan, Credo loses his faith in the Order for using his sister as a tool and tries to help Nero save her. He is mortally wounded by Sanctus while trying to save Nero from capture, and Nero is absorbed into the Savior. Dying, Credo asks Dante to save Nero and Kyrie as his body dissipates into light. He is voiced by TJ Rotolo in English, and Rikiya Koyama in Japanese version of Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition.
Kyrie is a supporting character introduced in Devil May Cry 4. She was born and raised in Fortuna and works as a singer for the Order of the Sword. She is Credo's sister, and Nero's childhood friend and love interest. After being misled into thinking that Nero is evil, Kyrie was held hostage by Agnus under orders of Sanctus in order to lure Nero to the Savior. He arrives too late however, as she had already fused with the Savior before he arrives. Her fusion causes Credo to defect from the Order after recognizing Santus' evil scheme. When Dante frees Nero from captivity in the Savior, Nero can free Kyrie (who has accepted Nero again and wants to spend her days with him). The character is voiced by Stephanie Sheh in English and Saori Hayami in a Japanese version of Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition, and motion-captured by Laura Napoli.
Nicoletta Goldstein, nicknamed Nico, is a supporting character in Devil May Cry 5 who is Nero's tech support as she developed his Devil Breaker prosthetic. She is also the granddaughter of Nell Goldstein, the gunsmith proprietor of ".45 Caliber Works" who made Dante's signature handguns, "Ebony & Ivory".
Although Enzo Ferino does not appear in any of the Devil May Cry games, he is mentioned as an associate of Dante in the first game's manual. He has appeared in several novels, manga and anime as Dante's friend and contact in the mercenary world. In the first Devil May Cry drama CD (based on The Animated Series), Enzo is featured and voiced by Yasunori Matsumoto. As shown in the manga, he has also appeared in Bayonetta as an informant for the titular superhuman (who is looking for a black-market gem).
When Devil May Cry was released Dante's personality was praised, with IGN describing the character as a "maverick head-hunter" "believable" and "awesome". His confident, fearless attitude have made him popular; the character ranked seventh on GameCrush's Top 10: Most Badass Video Game Characters list and third on ScrewAttack's Top Ten Coolest Video Game Characters list. The original game's demonic enemies were "ferocious", the sub-bosses "incredibly tough" and the bosses (particularly Vergil) "very tough", providing many of the game's challenges. Eurogamer called the demons "some of the most bizarre-looking creatures you will find this side of American McGee's Alice" and the bosses "vast", with their battles requiring a variety of strategies (although the fight with Nightmare was considered repetitive).
In its review of Devil May Cry 2, GameSpot said that the characters lacked personality (based on the removal of distinctive traits from Dante). It also felt that Lucia's role was too small, not allowing the character time to develop. The website called the game's enemies "mindless", noting that most (including the bosses) could be defeated with the default attacks.
The missions where the player controls Vergil in Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition added "an all-new and unique play style". Being able to play his story arc was "such a blast that Capcom could probably have released his modes separately for $19.99 and gotten away with it".
The characters in Devil May Cry 4 were said to resemble a "legion of seraphim the likes of which gamers have never seen before, and it puts an interesting spin on what all of our preconceptions of 'good' are in a video game". 1UP.com noted that the enemies shared visual elements with the military personnel of actual religions: "Considering the visual nature of the heavily-armored, winged, angelic warriors scattered around the various missions, it'd be easy to confuse these characters with crusaders of Christian origin."
In addition to the games, anime and manga, Devil May Cry characters have appeared in merchandise including novels, comic books, a skin variety on the PlayStation Portable, a special edition of the PlayStation 3 console and several soundtracks. Capcom has made other merchandise available, including concept art for The Animated Series, T-shirts, rings, collars and handbags. The series' popularity led to a line of action figures produced by Toycom; Kaiyodo produced a similar line for Devil May Cry 2 and a Devil May Cry 3 Dante action figure. Kotobukiya produced statues (including Vergil and Dante) based on the characters after the release of The Animated Series and Devil May Cry 4, and other merchandise includes posters and framed stamps for the series' 10th anniversary.
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- Matier:Oh yes. .. We are the guardians of. .. this land, Vie de Marii. .. Our clan once fought against the demons with Sparda. Son of Sparda, we must ask this favor of you. You see, there's a man who's transformed out 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? Dante:Looks like it's your lucky day. (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
- 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
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- Mundus: Those eyes... deep in them I see the same light as in Sparda's eyes. Dante: Why my mother? Mundus: That useless being? If you need a mother, I can create as many as you want. Just like I created Trish. Dante: Silence! (Devil May Cry) Capcom, 2001
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- 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
- 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
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- Eva: Vergil. ..Dante. ..Happy Birthday Dante: Wow! Cool!! Vergil: I want chocolate!! Dante: No, I want chocolate!! (DMC Devil May Cry) Capcom, 2013
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