Devil May Cry (video game)
|Devil May Cry|
North American PlayStation 2 box art
|Developer(s)||Capcom Production Studio 4|
|Series||Devil May Cry|
|Genre(s)||Action-adventure, hack and slash|
Devil May Cry[a] is a hack and slash action-adventure video game developed by Capcom Production Studio 4 and published by Capcom, released in 2001 for the PlayStation 2. Set in modern times on the fictional Mallet Island, the story centers on Dante, a demon hunter who uses his business to get his revenge on the demons after losing his brother and mother. He meets a woman named Trish who takes him on a journey to defeat the demon lord Mundus. The story is told primarily through a mixture of cutscenes, which use the game engine and several pre-rendered full motion videos. 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).
The game was originally conceived in 1999 as Resident Evil 4. Due to the staff feeling it would not fit the Resident Evil franchise, the project dropped its ties to Resident Evil and was made into its own story instead. Devil May Cry received prominent coverage in the video game media due to the impact it had in the action game genre, its high difficulty and the high overall scores given to it by professional reviewers. It is often considered to be one of the greatest and most influential action video games of all time. The game has sold more than three million copies, and spawned multiple sequels and a prequel.
The gameplay consists of levels called "missions", where players must fight numerous enemies, perform platforming tasks, and occasionally solve puzzles to progress through the story. The player's performance in each mission is given a letter grade of A, B, C, or D, with an additional top grade of S. Grades are based on the time taken to complete the mission, the amount of "red orbs" gathered (the in-game currency obtained from defeated enemies), how "stylish" their combat was, item usage, and damage taken.
"Stylish" combat is defined as performing an unbroken series of varied attacks while avoiding damage, with player performance tracked by an on-screen gauge. The more hits the player makes, the higher the gauge rises. The gauge starts at "Dull"; progresses through "Cool", "Bravo", and "Absolute"; and peaks at "Stylish". Repeatedly using the same moves causes the gauge to stop rising, forcing the player to use every move in their arsenal. The gauge terms are similar to the grades given at the end of the missions. When Dante receives damage, the style rating resets back to "Dull". Players can also maintain their style grade by taunting enemies at close range.
The player can temporarily transform Dante into a more powerful demonic creature by using the "Devil Trigger" ability. Doing so adds powers based on the current weapon and changes Dante's appearance. The transformations typically increase strength and defense, slowly restore health, and grant special attacks. It is governed by the Devil Trigger gauge, which depletes as the ability is used, and is refilled by attacking enemies or taunting in normal form.
Devil May Cry contains puzzles and other challenges besides regular combat gameplay. The main storyline often requires the player to find key items to advance, in a manner similar to puzzles in the Resident Evil games, as well as optional platforming and exploration tasks to find hidden caches of "orbs". Side quests, called "Secret Missions" in the game, are located in hidden or out-of-the-way areas and are not required for completion, but provide permanent power-ups. They typically challenge the player to defeat a group of enemies in a specific manner or within a time limit.
|Devil May Cry series chronology|
Devil May Cry begins with Dante being attacked in his office by a mysterious woman named Trish. He impresses her by easily brushing off her assault, and tells her that he hunts demons in pursuit of those who killed his mother and brother. She says the attack was a test, and that the demon emperor Mundus, whom Dante holds responsible for the deaths of his family, is planning a return. The scene jumps to their arrival at an immense castle on Mallet Island, whereupon Trish abruptly leaps and vanishes over a high wall.
Dante explores the castle and encounters the game's stock enemies, demonic marionettes. He also finds a new sword called Alastor, and battles the first boss, a giant spider/scorpion demon named Phantom. Dante wins the battle, but in what becomes a recurring theme, the defeated boss monster reappears a short time later in a corridor, forcing Dante to choose a narrow escape or to fight in the tight confines. After further exploration and combat, Dante battles a demon named Nelo Angelo who impresses Dante with his confidence. Dante manages to defeat Nelo Angelo and is about to deliver the final blow - but unfortunately, Nelo Angelo evades him, and counterattacks Dante furiously with a series of punches and kicks. The demon prepares to kill Dante but suddenly flees upon seeing the half-amulet Dante wears, which contains a picture of his mother. The demon attacks twice more in later missions, and is eventually revealed to be Dante's identical twin brother, Vergil. After Angelo/Vergil's death, his amulet joins with his brother's half, and "Force Edge", the game's default sword, which had belonged to the twins' father, changes into its true form and becomes the Sparda sword.
When Dante next meets Trish, she betrays him and reveals that she too is working for Mundus, but when her life is endangered, Dante chooses to save her. Claiming he did so only because of her resemblance to his mother, he warns her to stay away. Yet when he finally confronts Mundus, who is about to kill Trish, Dante again chooses to save her and is injured. Mundus tries to finish him off, but Trish takes the attack instead. This unleashes Dante's full power, thus allowing him to take on the form of Sparda. Dante and Mundus then battle on another plane of existence.
Dante is victorious, and leaves the amulet and sword with Trish's immobile body before departing. Returning to the Human World, Dante finds that the island is collapsing, and is cornered by the injured Mundus, who has followed him back to the Human World. Dante fights Mundus, now back to his regular strength, when Trish also returns and lends Dante her power. Dante defeats Mundus, who vows to return and rule the human world. When Trish tries to apologize she begins to cry, and Dante tells her it means she has become human and not just a devil, because "devils never cry". Dante and Trish escape on a plane as the island collapses. After the credits, it is revealed that Dante and Trish are working together as partners, and have renamed the shop "Devil Never Cry".
First hinted at in early December 1999, Devil May Cry started out as the earliest incarnation of Resident Evil 4. Initially developed for the PlayStation 2, the game was directed by Hideki Kamiya after producer Shinji Mikami requested him to create a new entry in the Resident Evil series. Around the turn of the millennium, regular series writer Noboru Sugimura created a scenario for the title, based on Kamiya's idea to make a very cool and stylized action game. The story was based on unraveling the mystery surrounding the body of protagonist Tony, an invincible man with skills and an intellect exceeding that of normal people, his superhuman abilities explained with biotechnology. As Kamiya felt the playable character did not look brave and heroic enough in battles from a fixed angle, he decided to drop the prerendered backgrounds from previous Resident Evil installments and instead opted for a dynamic camera system. This new direction required the team to make a trip to Europe where they spent eleven days in the United Kingdom and Spain photographing things like Gothic statues, bricks, and stone pavements for use in textures.
Though the developers tried to make the "coolness" theme fit into the world of Resident Evil, Mikami felt it strayed too far from the series' survival horror roots and gradually convinced all of the staff members to make the game independent from it. Kamiya eventually rewrote the story to be set in a world full of demons, taking it from the Italian epic poem Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri; he changed the hero's name to "Dante". The title character from Buichi Terasawa's manga series Cobra served as the basis for Dante's personality. Kamiya based his idea of Dante on what he perceived as stylish: wearing a long coat to make the character "showy" and a non-smoker, as Kamiya saw that as "cool". The character wears red because, in Japan, it is a traditional color for a heroic figure. Kamiya has also stated he perceives Dante as "a character that you would want to go out drinking with", someone who was not a show-off but would instead "pull some ridiculous, mischievous joke" to endear people to him. He added that this aspect was intended to make the character feel familiar to audiences. The cast of characters remained largely identical to that in Sugimura's scenario, although appearances of the hero's mother and father were written out of the story. The game's new title was revealed as Devil May Cry in November 2000.
The game was developed by Team Little Devils, a group of staff members within Capcom Production Studio 4. Some of the major gameplay elements were partially inspired by a bug found in Onimusha: Warlords. During a test-play, Kamiya discovered that enemies could be kept in the air by slashing them repeatedly, which led to the inclusion of juggles by gunfire and sword strikes in Devil May Cry. According to the director, Devil May Cry was designed from the ground up around Dante's acrobatics and combat abilities. The decision was made late in the development process to change the game to a more mission-based advancement, instead of the more open-ended structure of the Resident Evil games. Devil May Cry's difficulty was intentional, according to Kamiya, who called it his "challenge to those who played light, casual games".
Devil May Cry received a "Gold" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), indicating sales of at least 200,000 copies in the United Kingdom. By July 2006, Devil May Cry had sold 1.1 million copies and earned $38 million in the United States alone. Next Generation ranked it as the 48th highest-selling game launched for the PlayStation 2, Xbox or GameCube between January 2000 and July 2006 in that country. Combined sales of the Devil May Cry series reached 2 million units in the United States by July 2006.
The game received critical acclaim, with reviews from video game news websites typically praising its gameplay innovations, action, visuals, camera control, and gothic ambience. The game also received positive reviews from video game print publications for similar reasons. Game Informer summarized their review by saying the game "makes Resident Evil look like a slow zombie". Devil May Cry also frequents several Top Video Games of All Time lists. Gamefury, for instance, listed Devil May Cry at #31 in their Top 40 Console Games of All Time feature. In 2010, IGN listed it at #42 in their "Top 100 PlayStation 2 Games". Dante also received noteworthy praise to the point of becoming one of the most famous characters in gaming.
The game was also subject to criticism, however. Next Generation objected to the difficulty level, wondering if the challenge was added to prolong the gameplay. The Electric Playground pointed to the unusual control scheme and lack of configuration options. GameSpy cited the camera's behavior, the learning curve for the controls, and graphical shortcomings such as flickering and jagginess. GameSpot criticized the game's conclusion for its dramatic change in gameplay to a rail shooter-like style at the story's climax, as well as a leveling-off of the difficulty. Lastly, Gamecritics felt that the story was overly short and the characters were underdeveloped.
Devil May Cry has spawned a sequel, Devil May Cry 2 and a prequel, Devil May Cry 3; both of which have sold more than two million copies. A fourth game, Devil May Cry 4, was released on February 5, 2008 in the United States for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. Total sales for all versions as of February 10, 2016 is well over 3 million copies. The game has likewise resulted in the release of two novels by Shinya Goikeda, and an anime series. On October 15, 2004, three years after the game's release, a soundtrack containing the game's music was released alongside the soundtrack to Devil May Cry 2. Plans for a PlayStation Portable installment, tentatively titled Devil May Cry Series, and a live action film adaptation have been announced, although it was later confirmed in 2009 that the PSP adaptation of Devil May Cry was officially cancelled. A reboot titled DmC: Devil May Cry was released in 2013 by Ninja Theory and Capcom. Kamiya considers his 2009 video game Bayonetta to have evolved from Devil May Cry although he played the sequel Devil May Cry 4 when developing it. In a 2017 interview with Dengeki PlayStation, Kamiya expressed interest in making a remake of Devil May Cry. A fifth installment, Devil May Cry 5 was released on March 8, 2019. The game was ported to the Nintendo Switch on June 25, 2019 worldwide and on June 27, 2019 in Japan.
Devil May Cry has been cited as the beginning of a subgenre of action games called "Extreme Combat", which focus on powerful heroes fighting hordes of foes with a focus on stylish action. 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". The series has become the standard against which other 3D action games are measured, with comparisons in reviews of games including God of War, Chaos Legion, and Blood Will Tell.
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- 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
- Dante: This stinking hole was the last place that I thought I'd find anyone with some guts. (Devil May Cry) Capcom, 2001
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- Dante: This was my mother's. Now I'm giving it to you. My father's also here now. Rest ... in Peace. (Devil May Cry) Capcom, 2001
- Trish: Dante, use my power! Dante: Trish! Okay! (Devil May Cry) Capcom, 2001
- Dante: Trish...devils never cry ... These tears, tears are a gift only humans have. (Devil May Cry) Capcom, 2001
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