Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Devil May Cry
Devil May Cry (デビルメイクライ) is a PlayStation 2 video game series by Capcom. It is a third person action game with some exploration elements. The game has a dark gothic tone to it, but is contrasted with its heavy metal music and the trash-talking, full of attitude, protagonist Dante, a laid back devil hunter who is surprisingly half devil himself. There are three released games. The games can be argued to be survival horror games, but they lack a mostly powerless protagonist.
Gameplay focuses primarily on fast and 'stylish' combat; gaining a high Style ranking (from worst to best, D to A, plus S) requires chaining Dante's normal and special attacks together in long strings while avoiding damage. Dante's signature weapons are his dual pistols (named Ivory and Ebony) and a large broadsword. He finds other firearms in the games, as well as devil arms (weapons infused with the power of devils). Dante is also capable of unleashing the power of his devil blood, called Devil Trigger, making him faster and stronger, as well as enabling him to use special Devil Trigger exclusive attacks. The game also features some puzzle solving and exploration elements evident in the survival horror genre. Finally, orbs of different color (red being the most common, representing the blood of the slain) are collected by exploration, killing enemies, or by purchase from Statues of Time, and are used to learn gain new combat powers and abilities.
The original developed quite a powerful fan-base, and although not the only one, it became an important killer game for the PlayStation 2, this was because it was released in an early stage of the console's lifetime. This lead to disappointment when the second instalment failed to be as unique from the first as the first was from existing action games. The third was billed as a return to the formula of the original and, thus far, has been moderately well received.
Devil May Cry (2001)
The first game of the series was originally planned to be Resident Evil 4. However, in prototype status, it proved to be too distinct from the Resident Evil franchise, hence its premise was changed and it became a game of its own. Considering their striking resemblance, Dante was most likely an early Leon prototype as well, but this has not been confirmed. It became a popular hit with players because of its graphics, engaging fighting system, solid supporting music, and and in the opinion of many, its sheer entertainment value, despite its relatively simple and short gameplay and numerous cliched enemies, such as giant scorpions and floating skulls.
The somewhat bare story revolves around Dante and his one-man devil hunting agency, named Devil May Cry, which he runs in the hopes of finding and killing the demons who killed his mother. Dante also has a brother named Vergil, who we learn very little about during the course of the game. The story alludes to the The Divine Comedy in the game's areas (roughly resembling and representing purgatory, hell, and heaven) as well as in some of the character names, however it is purely an aesthetic similarity, and indeed the game borrows from a very wide range of sources for inspiration. After a less than proper introduction, a woman named Trish, who bears a striking resemblance to Dante's mother, convinces him to hunt and kill a demon named Mundus.
The game uses red orbs to "purchase" new moves for Dante, increasing the variety in his fighting style, as well as other orbs to make him more powerful. The firearms of the game include the default pistols, a double-barreled shotgun, and a grenade launcher, as well as an automatic needle gun for underwater use and an energy cannon of demonic origin. Devil arms include his default Force Edge (a memento broadsword from his devil father, Sparda), the lightning broadsword Alastor, and the fire gauntlets Ifrit, as well as a true form of the first blade, a demonic looking transformable blade, named Sparda, the same name as of its original wielder.
The Devil Trigger enables Dante to transform into the elemental devil infused in his weapon, changing his appearance, increasing his strength and, with Alastor, becoming faster, gaining minor healing, and enabling him special Devil Trigger-only attacks. The Alastor Devil Trigger also enables Dante to fly. Ifrit's Devil Trigger gives Dante increased attack speed and fireball attacks. The Devil Trigger state lasts as long as there is power in his Devil Trigger Gauge, which increases by attacking enemies in the normal state and decreases by attacking in the Devil Trigger state and using Devil Trigger-only attacks.
Devil May Cry 2 (2003)
The sequel is sometimes seen as poor in comparison to its predecessor, despite its use of larger environments, new abilities, and a second, female protagonist. The sequel revolves around Dante, seemingly older and more serious than his previous incarnation, given a job by the elder of an island being harassed by a mining corporation. Critics say the story is less convincing than the first, feeling more like a forced attempt to justify a sequel where none was planned.
DMC2 features a new playable protagonist, Lucia, acting as Dante's contrast, being faster (but weaker) than the devil hunter. Her weapons include twin blades and throwing knives. Lucia has her own adventure on a separate disc, but the majority of the missions are similar to that of Dante's, only reversed, an element criticized by some who say it's a a cheap way to increase the replay value.
The game uses red orbs to upgrade the devil arms of Dante and Lucia, but they were simply stronger versions of the weapons without the addition of abilities or different appearances. Firearms and throwable weapons also feature this same update system. Both characters have three kinds of blades of different appearances, but exactly the same usefulness in battle: The default balanced weapons (Rebellion/Cutlass), the fast but weak weapons (Vendetta/Klyamoor), and the strong but slow weapons (Merciless/Zambak). Dante's firearms include his trademark pistols, as well as twin sub-machine guns, a double barreled shotgun, and a rocket launcher. Lucia's throwable weapons include throwing knives, darts, grenades, and a crossbow for underwater use.
The Devil Trigger is similar in function to the first game. It transforms the character into a stronger demon with healing abilities, but also introduces the elements into their attacks (lightning and fire, as well as the added ice element). The Devil Trigger also allows a few additional attacks not available in the normal state.
The main reason it is often seen as a let-down after the original is because it offered little new to the series. The addition of extra moves and slight graphical improvements was not enough to disguise what essentially feels like a rerun of the original, without the drive and dark gothic mood which had complimented it so well, not to mention the lack of a well written story.
Capcom, stated that they learned a lot from the failure of the first sequel to win over fans, announced the third game in the series as a prequel at Eł in 2004. Its first trailer at Eł was reasonably well recieved, with a stylistic return to the original game.
The biggest change is the new combat system, which allows Dante to choose one of six different styles of combat in each mission, enabling him to use special techniques related to the style's focus. Styles include:
- Gunslinger - Focuses on techniques for firearms.
- Swordmaster - Focuses on techniques for devil arms.
- Trickster - Focuses on dodging and agility.
- Royal Guard - Focuses on absorbing enemy strikes and projecting the energy back.
- Quicksilver - Allows Dante to slow down time while attacking at normal speed.
- Doppleganger - Allows Dante to utilize a shadow to double attacks.
Dante's Awakening takes place before the original Devil May Cry, displaying a younger--and cockier--version of the protagonist. The premise revolves around the sons of Sparda: Dante and Vergil.
Complete move list here.
- Devil May Cry 2
- Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening
- Dante Alighieri
- The Divine Comedy
- Viewtiful Joe, a cel-shaded game where Dante is a hidden character
- Resident Evil, the roots that gave birth to the Devil May Cry series
- Capcom's Official Devil May Cry website
- Capcom's Official Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening website
- Devil May Cry at Capcom Japan
- Devil May Cry 2 at Capcom Japan
- Devil May Cry 3 at Capcom Japan
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