Devil May Cry

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Dante the Demon Slayer, as he appeared in the original game.

"Let's rock, baby!"

Thousands of years ago, demons were invading the human world through a tower known as Temen-ni-Gru. Fortunately for humanity, a powerful devil named Sparda "woke up to justice" and kicked ass, sealing away Mundus, the demons' leader, and their world. It's never explained why he didn't just kill Mundus; the implication is that Mundus is literally unkillable. At any rate, he seals up his own power and takes human form for many more years, eventually fathering the halfbreed twins Dante and Vergil with the human woman Eva. Then he dies mysteriously. And Eva gets killed in a demon attack, but not before Dante hides and Vergil escapes.

Fast forward ten years. Vergil has joined up with a strange, bald wizard named Arkham and raised Temen-ni-Gru again in the hopes of gaining more power. It's Dante's job to go in and kick ass, which he does. This is the plot of Devil May Cry 3. Arkham dies, Vergil falls into the depths of the demon world and Dante, at the suggestion of his sometimes-ally, the huntress Lady, names his demon-hunting business Devil May Cry.

Some time later, in the first Devil May Cry, Trish, a demon who looks like Dante's mother, bursts into his shop and "invites" him to Mallet Island to prevent Mundus from returning. He accepts, kicks ass, and seals Mundus away again, although he still doesn't succeed in killing Mundus. Trish becomes Dante's sidekick.

Some more time passes and the focus of Devil May Cry 4 shifts to newcomer Nero, part of a Sparda-worshiping cult known as the "Order of the Sword", whose party gets crashed by Dante. Demons attack the city soon afterward and Nero has to kick ass. In process, he discovers that his higher-ups are Not So Different from the demons he fights but The Reveal comes too late and Dante has to take action and kick ass too in order to rescue him. Nero then kicks more ass and saves his kidnapped girlfriend Kyrie from the bad guys. Cue True Love's Kiss (well, almost).

Even more time passes, and Dante has gone (mostly) silent. He's called to the remote Dumary Island to investigate a corporation seeking demonic power, which he does, and he kicks ass. Again. That's Devil May Cry 2.

Basically a series of American-style action films in video game form, these are among the best examples of Action Games in recent memory. Be warned, however, except for the second one, they're really, really hard. It's Real Difficulty, though.

A new game has been announced, and it's an Alternate Continuity known as DmC: Devil May Cry under the development of Western Developer, Ninja Theory, the creators of Heavenly Sword and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. Current previews seen so far seem to imply the game is going for Darker and Edgier with Dante shown scowling, dark-haired with patches of white (and scrawny) with a fondness for smokin' a cigarette, as well as shots of him being imprisoned and interrogated in an grungy asylum. So far, the fan outcry has varied from Ruined FOREVER to They Changed It, Now It Sucks. The fact that Ninja Theory's previous work (and likely dry-run for this title) Enslaved bombed hard (despite getting pretty good reviews) does not soothe fan anxieties in the slightest.

Then, there is the anime series, called Devil May Cry: The Animated Series which follows Dante's adventures between the first and fourth games. Also has two novels that directly precede the installments they are named after, a two-volume novelization of the fourth game, and a three two-volume manga somewhat preluding the third game. [1]

Meanwhile, in 2011 Dante, Trish, and Vergil made their way to the roster of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (Dante and Trish in the original release, Vergil in the Ultimate Updated Rerelease). They have all been warmly received. Later, Dante was added to the Capcom stable in Project X Zone (partnered with Demitri Maximoff).


This page's gettin' crazy -- let's list examples!
  • Absolute Cleavage: Gloria, and to a lesser extent Trish and Lady.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Every time a sword is used in a cutscene.
  • Action Bomb: Hell Wraths
  • Action Commands: In 4, it is necessary to find specific moments of vulnerability against bosses before the Devil Bringer can be used.
  • Action Game
  • Action Girl: Lucia and Lady. Beryl in the second novel.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Glaringly obvious in this series. Every time you purchase an item, the price goes up. Eventually, after five or so buys, the price will freeze. (This doesn't apply to limited-stock items like Blue or Purple Orbs.) The forces that are powering Dante and Nero up in exchange for demon blood know they can squeeze more out of him.
  • Adaptation Distillation: One can somewhat call it this way from a translation perspective in regards to the first two novels, as several lines present in the original Japanese aren't used in Tokyo Pop's versions.
  • Affably Evil: Agni & Rudra
  • AI Breaker
  • Airborne Mook: Bat-form Plasmas in 1. Puias and Flambats in 2. Bloodgoyles in 3, Mephistos and Fausts in 4.
  • Air Guitar: One of Nero's more extreme taunts in 4 is to strum an air guitar in front of his enemies. And if you stop and listen, it's actually making real music.
  • All Swords Are the Same: In 2, you get a normal sword, a BFS and a fencing sword, but only the look and damage differs, the combos are exactly the same. That's one of the reasons this episode is considered the black sheep of the series.
  • Almost Kiss: Dante and Lady in 3, Nero and Kyrie in 4.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Vergil
  • Always Close: In 4.
  • Always Identical Twins: Dante and Vergil
  • Alternate Continuity: According to Ninja Theory, the DmC preboot is now this.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: Before battling Mundus, he and Dante end up in a universe Mundus conjured up, where you then proceed to shoot fireballs at him.
    • Many Bloody Palace stages tend to be this, with strange lightshows going on under the floor or nebulae flying by.
  • Ambiguous Gender: The Despair Embodied is said to be a he, but it can't seem to make up its mind on which sex it wants to be. It changes depending on the current weapon: whip is female, sword is male.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: For some reason, the Tokyo Pop translation of the manga has Dante drinking beer instead of tomato juice. Apparently a fondness for tomato juice is too quirky a trait for Dante to have.
  • Anachronic Order: Placed in chronological order, it's more like: "Manga -> 3 -> 1 -> anime -> 4 -> Novel 2 -> 2.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Nero -> Dante -> Nero in 4
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: In 3, the player is rewarded for completing the game with...less clothes. The option to play Dante shirtless for the whole game is unlocked. (Although technically he's not wearing a shirt in his standard outfit, he's just also not wearing his longcoat.)
  • Angels Pose: Dante, Trish, and Lady.
  • Animated Armor: The Bianco/Alto Angelos from 4.
  • Anime Theme Song: L'Arc~en~Ciel's "Drink It Down" for 4's commercial.
  • Another Side, Another Story: 3 has Vergil Mode in the Updated Rerelease. He plays surprisingly different from Dante, considering their blood relationship.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The series invokes this in later games. In mission 15 of the second game, the enemies become weaker each time you are unable to beat them in 2 minutes. In the third game, dying a few times on normal mode unlocks easy mode; in the fourth, choosing "continue" a few times in a chapter automatically handicaps the enemy − which is actually frustrating since it's so subtle that until the score screen the game lets you foolishly believe you succeeded because you got better (see Easy Mode Mockery below).
  • Apocalypse Maiden: Nearly everyone involved in 3.
  • Armed Legs: Dante in wields these with his Beowulf weapon in the 3. It returns in the form of Gilgamesh in 4.
  • Armor Is Useless: Neither Dante nor any of the playable characters in the franchise ever wear any kind of protective gear (except in the second game). The trope is averted by the playable characters because most of what they're dealing with literally would make armor irrelevant, and subverted by several enemies whose armor makes defeating them considerably more difficult.
    • Also averted in 4 with "Dreadnaught", the ultimate Royal Guard technique, which covers Dante with an impenetrable armor, making him effectively invincible for a short amount of time.
  • Artistic License Physics: While the series does its level best to ignore physics completely, it does at one point toss a lampshade on the fact that Dante is too cool for the laws of motion. The description of Spiral's "trick shot" ability states that Dante ricochets the bullet off multiple surfaces to increase its speed, meaning he knows a local supplier of non-conservation-of-energy bullets.
    • The first game also says that the Frost enemies are at below absolute zero temperature. This might be trying to imply that they're supernaturally cold, but it still sounds like a failure of logic, or at least physics.
  • Ascended Demon: Sparda, of course.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The Demon World (with most of its populace being Exclusively Evil) lives by this.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Beowulf's eyes, Cerberus' heads, Phantom's face...
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Mundus in 1, The Savior in 4.
  • Audible Sharpness: Dante and Vergil are particularly fond of this trope, the slightest movements of Rebellion and Yamato before the twins fight producing this high-pitched sound for dramatic effect.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Real Impact and Twister-Tempest most of the time in 3, some Buster moves while fighting crowds in 4.
    • Real Impact's position is somewhat reversed in 4 with the Distorted Real Impact; if timed properly, it becomes THE boss-killing move of the game.
    • Showdown in 4 is extremely efficient -- but has a short range, takes several seconds to charge and whiffs if the target moves away during charging, so you'd better know what you're doing when you use it.
    • Also, the Sparda sword back in 1. While a sword that can turn into a scythe is stupidly sweet, the lack of a Devil Trigger leaves you significantly better off using Alastor or Ifrit. At least, until the final battle, where it proves worthy of its name.
      • Sparda does the extra damage Alastor does during Devil Trigger; nothing to write home about at first, but as you ramp the difficulty up towards "Dante Must Die", actual Devil Trigger abilities become progressively more useless, and melee attacks become your primary source of damage.
    • Nevan in 3 sure is awesome, but ridiculously difficult to use, mainly because most of its attacks involve moving the left stick in a precise direction (not just forth or back as with other weapons). Since Dante's position constantly changes, that makes things quite tricky. It is also complex and rather unclear in terms of holding and releasing buttons.
  • Awesomeness Meter
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: In 2. Definitely not in the way you expect. Especially because Dante is the one crowning.
  • Awesome Yet Practical: On the other hand, RI is indeed very powerful and good to look at, and other Buster moves are more effective than standard attacking.
    • Playing as the Legendary Dark Knight in the first game is both stylish and practically cheating; Yamato does extra damage like Sparda, and has a Devil Trigger.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Lady and Dante, as well as Dante and Vergil, in 3.
  • Back Tracking: In 4--and how! Nearly every reviewer called it out. Basically, all Dante's part consists of doing everything Nero did in reverse order.
    • There was backtracking in the other installments as well (Mallet Island for 1, the Uroboros building in 2, and the Temen-ni-Gru's lower levels in 3), but those were the well-done "environment change" versions of the trope.
  • Badass: Just about every action-oriented character.

"I'll tell you now, I'm the one to survive...you'll never break my faith or my stride... I'll have you choke on your own demise, I make the Angels scream, and the Devil cry!

  • Bag of Spilling: There must be a room full of demonic weapons in Dante's office by this point. Though Dante seldom needs anything besides Ebony, Ivory, and his sword Rebellion.
    • Somewhat justified in that Rebellion and Ebony/Ivory are (arguably) his most versatile weapons, and at this point it seems guaranteed that Dante will pick up new weapons while on the job.
  • Bald of Evil: Arkham in 3.
  • Bandaged Face: In the first novel, Gilver aka Vergil.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Played completely straight by Jester in 3, and performed by both Dante and Vergil to each other simultaneously (leaving both with bleeding hands), also in 3. Agnus does it to Nero in 4, with his pinkies sticking out, at that.
    • Nero's arm makes invoking this trope routine for him, at least in cutscenes. The player can sometimes do it too, but you need to time it down to a few milliseconds.
  • Battle in the Rain: Dante VS Vergil in 3.
  • Beam Spam: Multilock. Admittedly not all that impressive.
    • To a degree, the Nightmare-Beta from 1. Charge it up, and let a huge volley of penetrating laser shots recoil around the room like crazy. (Does it count as Beam Spam if it's just the same beams over and over?)
  • Beat Them At Their Own Game: Inverted in the final fight of 3, where Vergil picks up Sparda's other broadsword to use against the one Dante inherited.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Trope fitting to a T to the relationship between Dante and Lady in the third game. Granted, didn't become the Official Couple, but which has so far for Dante?

Dante: I'm beginning to think I've got rotten luck with women.

  • BFG: Kalina Ann, Spiral, the Grenade Launcher, the Stinger, and several Pandora forms.
  • BFS: All the starter weapons of the sword-wielding major characters, with specific examples below.
    • Nero DT spirit's Yamato.
    • The standard swords of Nero and Dante are around their own height in length.
    • Among the enemies, we have Nelo Angelo's sword, Berial's warblade and Bolverk's spear. Yes, spear. It despite being a blade on a stick, it has a very long, large blade. Oh, and Dante's Vendetta and Merciless swords from 2.
      • Some of them ARE huge swords.
  • Big Bad: Mundus, being King of Hell, is indubitably the Biggest Bad of all. However, the other titles have featured human (or demihuman) villains. Lampshaded in the second novel, where Chen declares that "I should announce my presence like the big bad boss that I am!"
  • Big Brother Mentor: Dante starts to become one for Nero toward the end of 4, with hints that further adventures will make the relationship explicit.
  • Bifurcated Weapon: In 3, Dante wields Agni and Rudra, a pair of serrated scimitars (that are actually the heads and attached spines of a pair of demons) that he can combine into a Double Weapon for certain attacks.
  • Bishonen
  • Bishounen Line: Despair Embodied is stronger than Argosax, if you count the former as a form of the latter.
  • Bizarre and Improbable Ballistics: Throughout the course of the series.
  • Black Blood: Averted. Anything that looks organic bleeds red, human or not.
    • Except for some of the demons in 3, which bleed sand. Justified, since it's properly stated that the Hell's demons (except Envy) are made of sand. Envy and Abysses bleed fluid and blood, respectively.
    • However, it's played mostly straight in the fourth installment. Only (half-)humans bleed red, organic demons have blue, green or orange blood.
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: The series is a big offender of this. There may be one or two exceptions at best, but other than that, swords always land on the pointy end. And every time you disarm Agni and Rudra while fighting them, the blades will fall like this as well!
  • Blade Across the Shoulder: Dante with Rebellion. Nero also occasionally does this with Red Queen.
  • Blade Brake: Lady with her bayonet.
  • Blade Run: The Shadow enemies in the first game will sometimes attack by extending long spikes from their body, which then stay out for a few moments. While they're out, the player can stand on them, as seen here at around 1:50.
    • Nero does it literally on the sword that was originally attached to a statue of Sparda when he first battles Dante in the early cutscenes of the fourth game. Sadly, no gameplay usage.
  • Blob Monster: Nightmare in 1, Argosax the Chaos in 2, Arkham in 3.
    • Mundus' true form is also hinted to be this.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Each of Dante's leading ladies in the first three games fit the bill. Trish (1) is a blonde, Lucia (2) is the redhead, and Lady (3) is raven-haired.
    • Beryl from the second novel counts as another redhead, preceding Lucia chronologically-wise.
  • Blood Knight: Okay, technically it's his job, but Dante does seem to enjoy his work a little more than normal.

Dante: Well bring it on! I love this! This is what I live for! I'm absolutely crazy about it! *cue Cheshire Cat Grin*

  • Bloodless Carnage: Everybody of demonic origin has mad regen skills, though blood is seen in cutscenes.
  • Blood Magic: When you kill monsters, you collect their blood (which conveniently crystallizes into red orbs in contact with air) to upgrade your magic powers. Justified in that there is a bounty system in placed by some nebulous God of Time.
  • Bloodstained-Glass Windows
  • Bloody Murder: Enemies shooting blood bullets.
  • Blown Across the Room
  • Blue Eyes: Dante, Vergil (playing piercing-ice straight), Nero, Eva, Trish (being a copy of Eva), and Sparda in human form.
  • Bolivian Army Ending:

Dante: "Yeah... Let's go all the way to Hell..."

  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Arkham in 3.
  • Boring but Practical: Killer Bee, Just Shooting Cerberus and Gigapede--However, given the system, not encouraged.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: The battle with Nightmare in 1. He first appears as a completely invulnerable pool of black goo which swallows Dante up if he touches it. Hitting the switches that surround the arena enough causes him to take on a more solid form which, while more dangerous, is also vulnerable after it attacks.
    • The enemy file justifies it by saying that since the Nightmare is a monstrous living machine, it needs to have a seal on its power to prevent itself from overloading, since it's already dangerously unstable. Striking the disc is sort of like removing its safety switches, both for itself and you.
  • Boss Arena Recovery: Berial, the first boss in 4, leaves behind health-restoring orbs when he smashes buildings. At least, until you get to the higher difficulties—-which turns him into a sort of "Wake-Up Call" Boss if you were still expecting them.
  • Boss Banter: Nearly every boss, especially Vergil.

"You are not worthy as my opponent."
"Now I'm a little motivated!"
"You..! TRASH!"

  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Alto Angelos, Shadows, Blitzes, Fausts.
  • Boss Rush: 3 and 4 each have one level devoted entirely to this.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Dante never runs out of ammo. According to the first game's manual, one of his demonic powers creates it.
    • While Lady and Nero have shown impressive reloading skills, Lady plays this straight during mission 16 of 3 when Dante picks a fight with her. Nero subverts this in gameplay as he can shoot as long as he wants but if he stops (don't do anything else) Nero will finish with a quick reload.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Completing the highest "Dante Must Die" difficulty in the first, third and fourth games unlocks a "Super Costume" for Dante or the other playable characters, which grants unlimited energy for the Devil Trigger Super Mode. In this case, the game is still hard, even for a maxed-out character.
    • Beating the last of 15 secret missions in the first game offers you a Bangle of Time. Equipping it changes Devil Trigger to stop time, though it doesn't work on bosses and it's obtained so late in the game you only really get to use it during New Game+.
  • Bring My Red Jacket: Dante wears a big red Badass Longcoat and gets swords through him a lot.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Nero and Kyrie, despite having been raised in close enough proximity for the Westermarck Effect to kick in. They're more of a Not Blood Siblings thing, but it's obvious the writers have no idea what it means to have a brother-sister relationship since infancy.
  • Bullet Catch: Vergil's Yamato-spinny move.
    • Dante catches one of Lady's bullets with his teeth and then spits it out.
  • Bullet Dancing: Inverted when Dante uses it against the villainous Jester in 3. Parodied when Jester starts doing the Charleston.
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: Nero. He's a major Jerkass to just about everybody he knows, listens to his own theme song very loudly during church, and should by rights have been excommunicated long ago. He also happens to be incredibly good at his job. Weirdly, he seems to be kosher to the idea of God, as seen by his end-game speech, he's just not really fond of the church he freaking works for.
  • Button Mashing: 3 has "crazy combos" activated by button mashing during execution of certain moves. All of them are variations of "hit it two dozen times per second".
  • By the Power of Greyskull: Averted in3: Vergil's soundbite prior to DDT signifies the usage of a move, not the DT itself that can be done wordlessly, plus Dante and Playable Vergil don't say anything while DTing either.
    • Played straight with Vergil's pre-Sparda Trigger soundbite ("You're going down.", for those wondering) in Mission 20, in that he never DTs without saying it.
  • Cain and Abel: Dante chose to go with his human heritage, Vergil with his demonic, and the two never met peacefully again.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Averted in 1 and 2, where Dante only makes war cries. Subverted in 3: Ref Real Impact, where he shouts "Rising Dragon" and doesn't spare a coherent line for the real Rising Dragon. Played straight in a couple of cases in 4, but still, it's usually taunts and warcries.
    • However, while nobody usually calls the attack's actual name, both protagonists and some bosses always shout certain phrases before some attacks. Nevan is particularly guilty of this.
  • Camera Screw: The series frequently changes the camera angle mid-jump. The key to your survival is that the game doesn't realign your controls until you land, so you need not jerk the controller around.
    • The third fight with Griffon in 1 is nearly unwinnable on higher difficulties thanks to this.
    • The second game is particularly bad. You'll often find yourself shooting away at enemies the camera seems to have no intention of showing you.
  • Camp
  • Cape Wings: Dante does this with his coat in the third game.
  • Captain Obvious: Jester

Jester: You're not going to shoot me, are you? If you do, I'll die, you know.

  • Card-Carrying Villain: Arkham
  • Capcom Sequel Stagnation: Mostly averted gameplay-wise, each game improves it in its own way and has its own atmosphere. Story-wise however, we don't learn a whole lot between 1 and 4… and there is DMC3: Special Edition, which is the same game with a nerfed difficulty and a Vergil mode.
  • Car Fu: Dante uses Lady's motorbike to drive up Temen-Ni-Gru's outer wall, falls towards it for a short distance, and then is besieged in midair by demons. So he beats all of them up with the motorbike, which explodes shortly after he lands, leaving only the handlebars.
  • Catch and Return: In the battle with Credo in 4, the spears that the boss throws can be caught with the Devil Bringer and then thrown right back at him.
  • Catch Phrase: "Jackpot!"
  • Charged Attack: Both kinds.
  • Charge Meter
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Lady, and Nero (subverted).
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Damned Chessmen
    • A more straight example would be the biplane encountered in the first mission of the first game (christened Carnival according to Viewtiful Joe). It is later used to make your escape from Mallet Island. Nobody knows how or why it was here to begin with but, who cares.
    • The bells you see strewn throughout Temen-ni-gru. They later are involved in the ritual used to open the gate to the underworld.
    • Dante's lucky coin in 2 is used in a Fakin' MacGuffin Batman Gambit to fool Arius.
    • The Yamato resurfaces as a major plot point in 4.
  • Chewing the Scenery: "I should have been the one to fill your dark soul with LIGHT! (light... light...)"
  • Clean Cut: Yamato, a katana apparently so sharp it can effortlessly cut through several feet of stone. From about half a mile away. Also used to separate dimensions. Also Rebellion, which is only slightly less impressive.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: Mundus, Possessed Arius, the False Savior.
  • The Collector of the Strange: Dante's massive collection of demon skulls.
  • Colossus Climb: Against the final boss of 4.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Dante wears red. Vergil wears blue. Thus, you can tell them apart when it's raining and their hairstyles are the same.
  • Color-Coded Timestop: Reversed colors in the first and third game, grayscale in the fourth.
  • Combat Stilettos
  • Combination Attack: Slightly subverted first with Dante and Trish; Dante merely draws on both his and her power to blow Mundus out of the water. Played straight with Dante and Vergil in 3, who hack away at Arkham, then repeat with each other's swords, and then blast the hell out of him with a single shot from Ebony & Ivory. Both overlap with Finishing Move.
  • Companion Cube: Nero's sword
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Devil Triggered boss Vergil > Devil Triggered player Vergil. Boss Dante in 4 is infinitely superior to any version the player has ever had access to, if only because of computerized accuracy.
    • The final fight against Vergil, on the hardest mode, in 3. He spends more time in his Devil Trigger mode than out of it (where he heals, doesn't flinch, tends to disappear for extended periods of time while attacking you, and uses some harsh combos), and if you thought it was bad when the fight started, bear in mind that he starts using Devil Trigger even more once you knock him below half health.
  • Conflict Killer: Arkham. The conflict picks up immediately after the awesome Rivals Team Up.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: The fight against Arkham, in a uniquely straightforward example -- Dante fights him until he's down to half health. Then Vergil shows up, and suddenly you can't use the Devil Trigger or your style moves. After beating Arkham, Dante and Vergil fight each other, and can once again use their Devil Triggers and style attacks.
    • During that fight, the game creates Vergil using the basic mechanics of the Doppelganger style. Since the style requires Devil Trigger to create the Shadow, the player can't use it during the fight. However, there's still no in-game justification for it.
  • Continuing Is Painful: To an extent. The thing is, when you use an item, it's used for good: if you die, you will have to do the sequence (or the entire level) again without the items you already used, which may force you to go back to the loading screen. Then again, the game does all it can to discourage light use of items, so if a passage or boss is hard, a more clever method is to try and get as far as possible without using them at first.
  • Continuity Reboot: Word of God still states DMC is an origin story, not part of this trope. The difference in personality and appearance is supposed to be because whatever causes Dante to become his familiar Devil May Cry self is whatever transpires in this particular game.
    • During the recent live interview, the game was referred to as a "rebirth" of the series...so as to what exactly it is, no one knows.
    • Flip-Flop of God: Ninja Theory has called it an "origin story", a "reboot", and a "reimagining" at different times.
    • Ninja Theory have recently come forward and confirmed that it's not canon to the first four games.
  • Cool Mask: Nelo Angelo. During the third and final battle, when he finally takes it off and reveals that he's Vergil, he's even more of a challenge than before.
  • Cosmetically Advanced Prequel: 3 is set before 1, yet the controls are significantly more elaborate in 3, leaving Dante — by comparison — positively arthritic in the original.
  • Corrupt Church: The Order of the Sword in 4.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Arius
  • Counter Attack: Used with Royal Guard to completely nullify damage taken and drastically increase damage dealt.
  • Creative Closing Credits
  • Creepy Centipedes: Gigapede in the third title.
  • Crossover: In Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne (Or at least the Updated Rerelease that became the US and PAL versions) Dante is 2 boss battles (Both optional, but to skip the first one you have to permanently lock yourself out of the bonus dungeon.) also appears as a playable character in the PS2 version of Viewtiful Joe. Word of God states the various non-native games he has been in already is the reason he is not in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Dante loves this when getting impaled.
    • Nero also gets some.
  • Cryptic Conversation: While it's not quite a conversation, Vergil's "might controls everything" speech (quoted at the top of his Characters section) kickstarted a whole bunch of Alternate Character Interpretation.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Sparda-worshippers in 4 are very Roman-Catholic, referring to Sparda as their Saviour. Their leader, referred to as His Holiness, looks very much like the Pope.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Vergil versus Beowulf.
    • Dante vs. everyone in 2.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Nero and DB?
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Even if you beat Vergil on top of that tower without getting hit once, the cutscene makes it look like you were losing the whole time, with Dante panting and barely keeping up while Vergil calmly deflects most of his attacks. Then Vergil stabs Dante through the guts with his own sword.
    • Even when you have Quicksilver and Doppelganger as styles, Dante doesn't use them aside from one cutscene each. He would have needed Quicksilver in Mission 13, when trying to shoot Jester, or when they had Arkham surrounded; he could have used Doppelganger in Mission 19 to double the damage he could have inflicted on Arkham's blob form, or Quicksilver to avoid that arm flying at him, or Quicksilver to catch Vergil from falling to his apparent death. He used Cerberus to catch a motorcycle, but he couldn't do that to catch his twin? (Though Vergil clearly didn't want to be saved.) It's like the game doesn't know what to do with this guy.
    • Dante never uses equipment other than the default Rebellion and Ebony and Ivory in cutscenes, save the ones in which they are acquired and the one example with Cerberus. Likewise Dante and Vergil never use Devil Trigger in cutscenes save the one where Dante acquires his.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Dante simply cannot die in cutscenes. At all. Although he does come across as careless and incompetent at times, see immediately above.
    • Also, the Yamato in 3 and 4. Cutscenes make it seem everything dies of being in the same room with it.
    • Dante's handguns seem to have the odd ability to be able to kill pretty much everything he shoots with them in one blast. Compare to gameplay, where your same guns deal slightly more damage than throwing a large pebble.
    • 4 in particular may be the worst offender of this trope in video game history. While you can certainly pull of some decently badass looking moves in-game, the kind of stuff that both player characters, Dante especially, do in cutscenes is jaw-droppingly ridiculous. The zenith is after beating a rather difficult boss as Dante, that boss immediately resurrects... into at least 5 or 6 copies of himself. Dante than manages to obtain the Pandora, and proceeds to effortlessly wreck all 6 copies of the boss's shit with a lethal combination of Pandora's abilities. Try replicating THIS in-game. Granted, all of those functions are available, but are in no way that powerful, that easy to pull off (a couple even fall into Awesome but Impractical territory), that easy to control, or simply that flashy.
  • Damage Discrimination: Subverted.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Switch between 1 and 3. Thankfully the latter lets you remap the controls to your liking. Better yet, try going from 3 back to 1. Thought you had it bad forwards? It gets worse.
    • Thankfully, the HD collection remaps the controls of 1 to make them similar to the other games.
  • Damsel in Distress: Most girls in this franchise are quite capable of taking care of themselves, but then the fourth installment gave us Kyrie, whose entire raison d'être is to be saved by Nero.
    • The second game has Lucia, who is perfectly capable in-game, but has to be rescued by Dante from explosions in cinematics twice. She also doesn't accomplish much without Dante, being captured by Arius and staying behind while he enters the portal to Hell. She does, however, kill Arius when he returns as a demon, so Lucia probably steers closer to Badass in Distress.
  • Dark and Troubled Past
  • Darker and Edgier: 2
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Dante uses his demonic powers for good.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Gloria
  • Dark-Skinned Redhead: Lucia
  • Deadly Lunge: The Stinger and its variants, though some enemies have their own versions too.
  • Deadly Upgrade: Seen in 3.
  • Deadpan Snarker: If their particular flavor of snark can be considered deadpan, it would make it this: The Video Game.
  • Death By a Thousand Cuts: Million Stab
  • Death by Origin Story: Kalina Ann, motivating Lady to go for revenge.
  • Death or Glory Attack: The Royal Release in 3 and 4. In a sneaky way, the Devil Trigger itself in 3. If simply used, it's a teeny burst that mildly inconveniences enemies. If charged up fully, with a maxed-out DT gauge, it will One-Hit Kill every minor enemy in the game. However, using it this way leaves you with only a few seconds of Devil Trigger time, so you better hope you got them all. In 4, Nero can also use his Devil Bringer to reverse some powerful enemy attacks instead of dodging them. For example, knocking back the combined sphere attack from a Bianco Angelo and Alto Angelos, throwing Credo's spear back or grabbing Sanctus while he is charging you.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Between Dante and Lady, as well as Nero.
    • Dante must defeat the Devil Arms before he can use them as weapons. Agni and Rudra in particular are very enthusiastic about this trope, practically begging Dante to take them with him.
  • Defector From Decadence: Sparda
  • Degraded Boss: The third game's Hell's Vanguard, while losing the lifebar, gains potential Devil Trigger ability. Double inverted with Frosts from 1.
  • Dem Bones: Sargassoes from 1 and 2.
  • Demon Slaying: The point of the series.
  • Desperation Attack: DDT in 2.
  • Deus Ex Machina: Trish suddenly being revived in time to save Dante. They never mentioned it again.
  • Devil but No God: But there doesn't seem to be a god to oppose him. Partly subverted in the enemy files for 3, where it explicitly states that the Fallen enemies are just that, fallen angels. God is clearly significantly less interested in the world than the devil though. Unless he's just letting Dante do all the heavy work....
    • Also subverted by Nero's direct reference to God (the first direct reference of the series) in 4.
    • Berial seems to refer to God in the fourth game: "A human posing as God? How ridiculous!"
    • The God of Time that sells upgrades for demon blood probably doesn't count.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: Typically a way to pick up a few extra red orbs.
  • Diegetic Switch: In 3, "Dante's Office (7 Hells Battle)" starts playing from Dante's jukebox and then becomes the battle music for the first mission.
  • Different As Night and Day: Dante and Vergil
  • Difficult but Awesome: Royal Guard. If you do manage to pull it off, though, it looks amazing. Using RG to cancel Spiral and Kalina Ann is also difficult but rewarding to master.
    • To elaborate, the style lets you completely nullify damage by pressing block at the right instant, just as an attack hits you. This also boosts style rating, devil trigger energy and lets you save power for monstrous counter-attacks, but you'll have to memorize enemy attack cues and patterns to get the timing right.
    • Nevan seems all but useless at first, but when you actually master it, it will kick a lot of butt.
  • Difficulty by Region: The third game is infamous for this. The Japanese release wasn't easy to begin with, but the Western release took the Japanese Hard mode and made it the Normal mode.
  • Difficulty Spike: The third game is the most difficult in the entire series.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Two puzzles in the first game involve fire-breathing T. Rex skeletons that are called dragons.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Vergil. He instead uses his Summoned Swords, which function exactly like a gun.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Acquiring Lucifer cutscene.
  • Doomed Hometown: Dante wrecks his shop with a sneeze in the second mission of 3 and it can't be accessed again for the rest of the game. Played for laughs (especially since the shop's been torn to hell by the previous mission and the sneeze is just the last straw).
  • Dope Slap: In 4, at the end of the Dante fight.
  • Double Entendre: Every single word pertaining to the weapon Lucifer. Every single line of Dante's dialogue immediately after acquiring it, and the names for every one of it's attacks.
    • Jester calling Temen-ni-Gru a "thick shaft that causes women to shudder".
  • Double Jump: Justified; Anybody with the Air Hike ability (either naturally or granted by a Devil Arm) performs the second jump by creating a magic platform under their feet and leaping off that.
    • Taken one step further by Dante's Devil Trigger form in 4 to enable a triple jump.
  • Down the Drain: In 1.
    • Also in 2, but Lucia only.
  • Dual Boss: Agni and Rudra.
  • Dual-Wielding: Lucia with all her weapons, Dante with Agni and Rudra, Vergil with Yamato and Force Edge. Nero sort of does this with Yamato and Red Queen for his moves Maximum Bet and Showdown, but only when Triggered.
  • Dynamic Entry: Dante's face, meet Nero's feet!
  • Easier Than Easy: Heaven or Hell is really not as hard as it sounds. As long as you use your guns it pretty much becomes "Press X To Win mode".
  • Easter Egg: Did you know 3 has a two-player co-op mode, albeit under strict conditions? A second player can press Start on a spare controller whenever Dante uses the Doppelganger technique to control Dante's shadow. The same trick can also be used to control Vergil during the battle against Arkham.
    • Some of the extra costumes count as well. For example, beating the second game on Dante Must Die difficulty unlocks Dante's original outfit from 1, complete with the Force Edge in place of Rebellion and most of Dante's sound files are switched from Matthew Kaminsky to Drew Coombs, his original VA from the first game.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses
  • Easy Mode Mockery: In 1 and 3 you are offered the choice to switch to Easy Mode under certain conditions of poor play, getting a D rank in the first mission and dying three times in the first mission respectively. 4 pulls this off in a far more subtle way... Continuing a certain number of times within a mission automatically handicaps the enemy, something you're unaware of until you get a degraded rank at the end of the mission.
  • Elemental Powers: All over the place with the Devil Arms, ranging from fire, to ice, to thunder, to light. Also the demon themselves, which are often stated to use determinated elements in order to appear in a solid form.
  • Eleventh-Hour Superpower: The Sparda Devil Trigger in 1, which only works against Mundus and nowhere else. Without cheating of course. Also Yamato and Dark Slayer in 4, except they can be used elsewhere and aren't especially overpowered.
  • Elite Mooks:Alto Angelos, Shadows, Blitzes, Fausts, Hell Vanguard.
  • Enemy Mine: Dante and Vergil against Arkham.
  • Energy Weapon: Nightmare-Beta in 1, Artemis in 3, and PF398 Revenge (the laser cannon) in 4.
  • Essence Drop: May be the Trope Codifier for modern action games. Demonic blood comes in three flavors: red (currency), green (health) and white (Devil Trigger gauge).
  • Everything Fades
  • Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: It's hard to tell what those things Arkham summons are. They're a little like dolphins, except they're apparently trying to grin-and-tackle you to death.
    • Same thing can apply to the Cutlass enemies found in 4. They're invulnerable when they're swimming through the floor/walls/ceiling in the tunnels, and the only way to get them is when they're leaping to attack you or forcing them out via strong attacks like Stinger or Charge Shot.
  • Evil Hand: Devil Bringer, although how much control it's exerting over Nero is unclear. Possibly a subversion, since the hand itself doesn't seem to be "evil" per se, just demonic.
  • Evil Laugh: Sanctus in 4 does it while playing the act of the hero who saves the day.
  • Evil Twin: Vergil.
  • Expy: Nell in the first novel is an Eva Expy. She's so similar that Vergil uses her to recreate Eva's sacrifice and trigger Dante's memories. Then, the second novel featured a redhead human hunter with a big gun working with Dante to stop an evil businessman who wanted the power of a god, specifically Sparda. Then, 2 (which came later), had a redhead hunter working with Dante to stop an evil businessman who wanted the power of a god, and 3 had a human hunter with a big gun working with Dante to stop an evil man who wanted the power of Sparda.
  • Eye Scream: The way Dante leaves Leviathan's body in 3.
  • Fallen Angel: The Fallen, of course.
  • Fan Service: The Powers That Be seem to have recognized their sizable female fanbase as of 3, as shirtless Dante being an unlockable most definitely qualifies. While all of the ladies' outfits spanning the series are fanservicey as hell, Gloria's...fighting style...in 4 really takes the cake. And that's not even mentioning that Lucifer acquisition scene with Dante.
    • Speaking of 3, the character artist specifically states in the Note of Naught artbook that coatless!Vergil "was designed to give our women users huge nosebleeds".
    • Nevan. The type of demon she is justifies this, but still. "Sugarrr."
    • Trish and Lady both seem to have received a Fan Service Pack in 4.
  • Faux Action Girl: Trish; apart from throwing a motorcycle at Dante in the first game (an attack which is easily brushed off), slaying some minor demons off-screen (in the anime and the fourth game), and getting into a catfight with Lady (in the anime), she never does much that would qualify her as an legitimate Action Girl. Her most impressive feat yet is arriving in the nick of time and helping Dante deliver the last blow to Mundus...after Dante beat him into a crumbling mess with the Sparda sword to begin with.
  • Fetch Quest
  • Fingerless Gloves: Regular fingerless gloves for Dante and Vergil in 3, no-thumb-and-index-finger gloves in 4 for Dante.
  • Finger-Twitching Revival: Happens when Dante first acquires Alastor.
    • Also happens in 3 after Vergil stabs him. He promptly gets stabbed again.
  • Finishing Move: Wild Stomp in 3.
    • 4 Has Nero's Buster moves against bosses; they won't necessarily finish the boss off, but they tend to do a lot of damage, and they definitely look like finishing moves.
  • Firing One-Handed: Dante using the shotgun, Nightmare Beta, and Artemis. Often chalked up to his superhuman strength.
    • Nero firing Blue Rose with one hand -- the only time he uses both is when you're firing a Charge Shot. If the size of Blue Rose's caliber is of any indication in comparison to real life firearms in that same range, the closest possibly the Smith & Wesson Model 500 revolver, it would smash into a regular human's face if the other hand wasn't used to brace for recoil.
  • Flaming Sword: Agni in 3, wielded with the wind sword Rudra (fun fact: properly applying wind to fire makes the fire (bigger). Also, Red Queen becomes something like this when revved up. Berial sword.
  • Flashback Nightmare
  • Flash Step: The various "Trick" techniques by Vergil and "Air Trick" by Dante after maxing Trickter Style. Vergil occasionally takes this to Teleport Spam levels in the second and third boss battles with him.
    • Nelo Angelo (being Vergil and all) has the same ability, but this is undermined both by the blue flames that signify his flight path as well as the fact that he rarely uses it to his advantage. Frosts, ice demons that appear in 1 and 4, possess a similar ability which involves the disassembly of their bodies at the molecular level, quickly moving across the room using the moisture in the air as a medium, and then reforming somewhere else.
  • Flipping the Bird: Nero to Dante.
  • Flunky Boss: Agnus will constantly send you demons of his own conception when you fight him. Subverted though, since you can actually use these demons against him by grabbing them with Nero.
  • Flynning: Subverted after the second Vergil battle.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: In 4, Nero attempts to get to Sanctus to save Kyrie.
  • For Massive Damage: Beowulf and Cerberus.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Credo. Even his sister fails to ask about him at the end of the game.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Those with a careful eye will be able to spot Dante perched casually atop one of the nearby buildings during Nero's opening fight with the Scarecrows -- slow-motion is all but required at first due to the fact that it only seen as the camera follows Nero's high-speed aerial acrobatics. Dante also shows up near the end of the prologue, just as Director Hideaki Itsuno's credit disappears.
    • The introductory cutscene to every mission in 3 incorporates the mission number somewhere, often very briefly such as the 9 on a fallen 9mm shell case or a 20 in the clouds above the level.
  • Gameplay Grading: Your combos are graded from D (dull) to SSS (ssstylish).
    • After level completion you'll also get a letter grade.
    • The names for the grades are different for every game.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: a minor example in 3. During the ending cutscene, Dante gives Lady her rocket launcher back. But then we have playable credits, where--if Dante had the rocket launcher equipped during the Final Boss--he can still use it. Despite Lady visibly wielding it alongside him.
    • A bigger example in 4 is when you replay Dante's missions. He sets out to the Opera House to retrieve Yamato despite already wielding it.
  • Gangsta Style: How Dante holds E&I when firing and strafing.
  • Get Back Here Boss: Sanctus, so much. Unfortunately, throwing your controller at him doesn't work.
  • Giant Spider: Phantom. Giant Magma Scorpion-Spider too be more precise. Still doesn't stop Dante from insulting it. Also his smaller brothers, the Kyklops and in 3 the Arachne.
  • Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: Despair Embodied in 2. Also the 75% of the bosses, to be honest.
  • Give Me a Sword: Subverted in 4, as Nero doesn't ask for Dante to give him the Yamato to fight with, but to let him keep it to fight with. Dante lets him have the sword permanently by end-game, turning it into It Was a Gift.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Beowulf and Sparda.
  • A God Am I: Occurs twice--first with Arkham in 3, whose megalomania was so great that having his ass handed to him by both Dante and Vergil combined was not enough to shatter his delusion of invincibility, and second with Sanctus of the Order of the Sword, who sought to create an artificial God and unify with it to reign over a new utopia purged of chaos.
  • Godiva Hair: Nevan
  • Go for the Eye: Beowulf
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: Vergil's slicked-back 'do, complete with two cutscenes showing him slicking it back after it gets messed up.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Lady has the scar over the bridge of her nose, while Arkham has the disfigured side of his face.
  • Goomba Springboard: A minigame was made out of this mechanic in 3. You can buy the ability to do this in 4.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck: "Flock off, featherface!" It's also worth noting that later installments don't do this; 3, 4, and the anime in particular have their share of cursing. Nero even gets called out for using harsh language at one point.
    • The "Flock off, featherface!" line could have just been a pun. Griffon was a bird demon, after all...
  • Go Through Me: The details are vague, but it's implied by the manga and through Dante's dialogue as he cries over Trish's apparent death in 1 that Eva did this in order to allow a young Dante to hide when demons attacked their home.
  • Grappling Hook Pistol: Part of the Devil Bringer's functions.
    • Kalina Ann has a Bayonet Ya that can be fired to do this.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Nero's various Buster moves tend to involve throwing mooks around, with predictable results if they hit other mooks.
  • Gun Fu
  • Guns Akimbo: Dante, Trish, and Lady.
  • The Gunslinger: Just about every heroic character.
  • Guns and Gunplay Tropes: Pretty much all of them are featured in this series at one point or another.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Dante and Vergil are devil by Sparda's blood and human by Eva's.
    • Nero's technically a quarter-devil, if you're willing to look past story difficulties.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: The pre-battle cutscene prior to the fight between Dante and Angelo Agnus in 4 appears to be an (intentional) competition in which one of them can chew more scenery.
  • Harder Than Hard: "Dante Must Die"
    • Hell or Hell mode in 4. To fully explain: Heaven Or Hell mode is where you die in one hit, but so does every enemy, including bosses. In Hell or Hell mode, guess what dies in one hit and what doesn't.
      • Somewhat compensated, since the default power of enemies and bosses is that of the "Son Of Sparda" mode (AKA Bloody Palace difficulty), and by the time you get it you must have passed the game on "Dante Must Die" difficulty, which grants you infinite Devil Trigger gauge upon completion, making this mode a continuous Curb Stomp Battle. Of course, since the endless DT is a selectable before choosing the mission, and it is indeed broken, the game decreases your final mission score conveniently (the maximum score attainable to you while on infinite DT mode is "D"). Passing this mode without infinite DT, however, is much more of a challenge.
  • Hand Cannon: Ebony & Ivory are fitted with massive ported compensators that more than put them in this ballpark, while Blue Rose is a carbine-sized revolver.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Vergil! Dante! It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Healing Factor: Dante and Vergil. Nero in DT, at least in cutscenes.
  • Heart Container: Blue Orbs
  • Heel Face Revolving Door: "Dear Vergil: please PICK A SIDE ALREADY! Thanks. Love, the fans."
  • Heel Face Turn: Sparda; he "woke up to justice", and then proceeded to kick Mundus's ass and seal him away.
  • Hellfire: Ifrit from 1 is described as projecting this.
    • Berial from 4 too, him being the "Conqueror of the Fire Hell".
    • Furiataurus from 2 seems to be covered in it and bleeds lava when attacked.
  • Hell Gate
  • Hell Hound: Cerberus, of course
  • Hellish Horse: Geryon
  • Hero Antagonist: Credo in 4.
  • Hero Insurance: Inverted in DmC: Devil May Cry. Dante here is outright accused of being a terrorist because nobody can see him battle the demons in Limbo, only his leaving behind a trail of destruction. Dante himself, helpfully, could care less what people call him.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Nero and Kyrie.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Don't worry, that last part was fixed. And Eva's just hiding in the amulet, according to Viewtiful Joe. Her expy, Nell's death in the first novel was a Heroic Sacrifice, meaning that Eva pulled one since Vergil caused her death specifically to remind Dante of Eva's.
  • High-Class Glass: Sparda
  • High-Pressure Blood
  • High-Speed Missile Dodge/Rocket Ride: Surfing on a rocket in 3. Plus the scene where Dante basically playfights with Lady, spinning through the air while she shoots at him, hitting only his coat.
  • Hollywood Healing: Subverted with Lady.
  • Homage: Quite a few, including callbacks to past Capcom games, starting with Dante's uppercut moves resembling the Shoryuken from Street Fighter and Nero's Devil Triggered Buster against the Alto Angelos being identical to Zangief's Ultra Final Atomic Buster.
  • Hot Dad: Sparda. You have to be if Nevan lusted after you!

Nevan: Your father was a handsome devil. But you're no slouch yourself.

  • Hot Mom: Eva. C'mon, Trish was made to resemble her!
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: Dante, the half-devil demon hunter.
    • Same to Trish and Nero.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Both played straight and subverted, especially within 3. While Vergil's sword(s) are always present, and Lady has a pistol, a machine-gun, a crossbow thingymajig, and even a rocket launcher all clearly visible on her body... we have Dante, who can carry three swords, giant three-sided nunchaku, a scythe-guitar, huge gauntlets and greaves, two pistols, a shotgun, a demonic laser gun, an anti-tank rifle, and a rocket launcher (Lady's, as mentioned)... on his back? Inside his coat? In his pants pockets? It's worth noting that Beowulf and Artemis will show on Dante's avatar at all times if he has them equipped, but supposedly he's got them on his person at all times. Where do they go?
  • I Call It Vera: Played straight with Kalina Ann (and likely Ebony & Ivory).
    • Not to mention the Blue Rose and Red Queen.
    • Luce & Ombra("Light & Shadow" in Italian)/Ebony and Ivory have both names if their guns written on a side of both guns.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels
  • Idle Animation: First game, Dante had a different animation for whatever firearm he had equipped. With Ebony and Ivory, he would twirl them and put them away, whereas when equipped with the shotgun, grenade launcher, or Nightmare-Beta, he would put one hand in his pocket while he would rest his weapon arm on his shoulder.
    • In 3, Dante would scratch his head in annoyance, cross his arms, and tap his foot impatiently.
    • In 4, Nero would inspect his arm. Dante actually has two animations: looking around with his hands on his hips, then stretching out an arm while still looking around. The other is a little funnier -- it looks like he might have dozed off standing up with his arms crossed.
  • I Let You Win: Jester in 3: SE.
  • I'll Kill You!: Beowulf says this both times he Turns Red.
  • Immune to Bullets: Used lightly in 3, but otherwise heavily subverted. In fact, inverted at least twice.
    • Played straight in 3 during two of Lady's cutscenes, the first getting shot in the head twice, and the second to the stomach, right before the fight with Lady.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Acquiring Alastor, awakening of Dante's and Nero's Devil Trigger.
    • In 1, Phantom meets his end this way. Griffon is also pinned to a sacrificial pentagram by a giant pointy rock.
    • There seems to be a Running Gag of Dante getting impaled at least once per game. In the first game it's Alastor, in the third Vergil stabs him twice, and in the fourth he gets impaled and pinned to a statue of Sparda in the game's opening.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Cutscene after Lady battle. Justified though in that she is a normal human that just got the tar beat out of her by Dante. Double vision, trembling, almost unresponding limbs, almost passing out from the damage, are clearly plausible justifications--and all happening at the same time...
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Dante, Vergil, and Nero.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: They regenerate from damage! Played with when Dante disgustedly glares at Lady for shooting holes in them.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: There are a couple of weapons that are just cool. Others are impossibly awesome.
    • From 4: Blue Rose is a two-barrel revolver, Red Queen is a petrol-powered BFS, Gilgamesh is literally organic metal that forms gauntlets and boots with spurs, Pandora's forms (other than suitcase) and Lucifer are just impossible to describe.
    • Nevan deserves mention from 3. See "Instrument of Murder" for details.
    • No nunchuks are as cool as large-size three-sided ones that can spout ice.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Amongst many examples that could be given, in 3, Dante both flips a billard table over and proceeds to shoot the white ball, initiating an aerial game of pool to take place which knocks out a couple of demons when the balls hit their heads, AND, at a later point, he also deflects bullets by shooting them out of their trajectory path.
    • Dante can block Lady's pistol shots by shooting them out of the air with E&I when you fight her in 3. Nero does the same to Dante in the tutorial for 4.
    • He later repeats the trick when getting Echidna's attention in 4, replacing the billiard balls with seeds.
    • Also in 4, shoving Yamato into the heart of the Savior by shooting it with 8 bullets that stack up one right behind the last.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Cerberus has an unusual configuration for a three-section nunchaku. Then there's Nevan, the scythe-equipped electric guitar...which sees more use in combat as a guitar than a scythe. (And shoots bats, sound waves and electricity.)
    • Well, given that Cerberus's form is clearly meant to represent his three heads and Nevan may be a Leanashe/Dearg-Due/Dearg-Dul, this could be justified. Could.
    • Pandora. Regardless of how awesome all of its forms are, let's face it: You're blasting stuff to pieces with a suitcase.
  • Inescapable Ambush: And if you try to run, the barricade will smack you away.
    • Disappointingly absent in 4. The smack you away part, not the inescapable part.
  • Informed Ability: Credo's swordsmanship.
    • You'll see it in battle, but at this point he's not a human anymore.
  • Ink Suit Actor: For the third game, an unknown stuntman named Reuben Langdon was brought in to do mocap for Dante. Whether they planned it that way or not, he's now Dante's official voice actor as well. Daniel Southworth as Vergil also in the third game and Johnny Yong Bosch as Nero in the fourth.
  • Instant Death Radius: Vergil with Spiral Swords, (un)fortunately only on DMD, will lay on the hurt if you let Dante get hit by them. Inverted with Beowulf, whose feathers of light will punish you for staying too far.
    • You can damage enemies when you activate the Devil Trigger (in 3, at least), but this is less of an instant death radius and more of an instant minor annoyance with very little knockback radius.
  • Instrument of Murder: Nevan from 3, a guitar that shoots lightning, controls bats, plays loud enough to kill demons, and turns into a scythe. No, we can't emphasize that enough.
  • Invisible to Normals: Although no one seems to care about Temen-ni-Gru, Dante runs a demon-hunting business.
    • Possibly not with Temen-ni-Gru. Poke around the urban areas wrecked by the tower and demons and you get Resident Evil-styled text descriptions telling you about how everyone around has been hideously killed by the demons in ways you shouldn't think about. There is, thus, no one around to notice immediately after the tower emerges, and one might hypothesize that the National Guard/JSDF is surrounding the base of it, unseen, by the end.
  • Invulnerable Attack: Royal Release
  • Is That What He Told You?: Inverted. Vergil uses this line on Lady after she confronts him in Mission 13 over Arkham's being possessed.
  • I Shall Taunt You/Taunt Button: It refills Devil Trigger orbs and raises the Style meter. Both Nero and Dante have "Come on!", though while spoken in different fashions, the function is the same.
  • It Runs on Nonsensoleum: Red Queen's Exceed
  • It Was a Gift: Yamato and Rebellion to Vergil and Dante, passed down by Sparda. Then it's Yamato to Dante to Nero, with Dante letting Nero keep the sword when Nero tries to return it to its "rightful" owner. Also the amulets to the twins from Eva.
  • I Will Protect Her: Pretty sure Nero says this word-for-word at least once.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold
  • Jiggle Physics
  • The Juggernaut: The Dreadnaught ability in 4 temporarily turns Dante into this, with a full, unpenetrable body armor. He can't run, only walk in that form, but that just makes him all the more frightening.
  • Jumped At the Call: ... But only if it shows up in person. Dante picks up the phone, blows whoever is calling him off, hangs up, and then instantly goes to Temen-Ni-Gru when Arkham shows up in person. For all we know, that was Arkham himself calling on the phone.
    • If it was, he would have been on a mobile phone just outside the door, considering he walked in about five seconds after Dante put the phone down.
  • Katanas Are Just Better
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: Envies from 3 are functionally identical to the most basic Prides except for their nigh-immunity to launches and knockbacks.
  • Lag Cancel
  • Lampshade Hanging
  • Large Ham: Dante to a T. Acts like a cocky sonofagun almost constantly during the story. Especially clear in the opening cutscenes of 3 and 4, where Dante isn't fighting so much as playing with his enemies.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Dante in the first novel, verging on split personality syndrome. Justified because he's basically in deep denial: Vergil keeps trying to give obvious hints and Dante refuses to pick up on them until Vergil pulls all the stops by causing Nell to die the way Eva did.
  • Laser Hallway: Several in the middle chapters of 4. You will not like it.
  • The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort: Dante in cutscenes.
    • Dante has a healing factor to help him, and when the fights get serious, he can be agile enough not to suffer a hit in the first place.
  • Leap and Fire: Notable aversion.
    • To a certain extent in 3.
  • Life Drain: Agnus' speciality in 4. You can see (and hear) these attacks from a mile away but if you're too busy fighting the mooks he sends at you, they can catch you off guard.
  • Light and Mirrors Puzzle: In 3.
  • Light Is Not Good: Mundus' appearance in 1, Beowulf and the Fallen from 3, and the Order of the Sword from 4.
  • Light Novel: Two novels with events that precede games 1 and 2 respectively (although the first novel got booted out of canon because of 3), while two more is actually a two-part novelization of 4.
  • Lighter and Softer: Not in terms of story or subject matter, but visually, part four features a much brighter color palette for its foes and environments than the third, which takes place almost exclusively in a gothic tower.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Dante, Vergil, Nero. Trish might be a literal example, although she also has Super Strength. And then there is Beowulf, a towering behemoth who is surprisingly agile and loves to beat you down with nothing more than his claws.
  • Limit Break
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Mundus 3 in 1.
  • Locked Door: All over 1. Some simple puzzles in 3. By the way, don't go near the locked doors, they'll turn into a giant hand and grab your soul away from you.
  • Lost in Translation: Nelo Angelo is the single greatest cause of fan argument for this whole series. Among the reasons why that aren't spoilerriffic, his name is mistranslated: it is supposed to mean "Black Angel" in Italian, but thanks to the problem the Japanese have with R's and L's, the letter got switched up: thus his name would, accurately, be Nero Angelo (for once the R is actually supposed to be there), which is what caused controversy all over when 4 was in the works.
    • The "R to L and vice-versa" problem occurs in the more usual fashion with Berial. As always, the name is (almost certainly) supposed to be "Belial", but the Japanese are apparently incapable of getting that right/the translation team never catches it.
      • The kicker of it all regarding Nelo Angelo? In the game's Japanese manual, it's spelled -- IN ENGLISH -- "Nero Angelo".
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Angelo and Assault type of enemies in 4. Later Nero acquires Aegis Shield upgrade for your arm, which allows him to use enemies like that.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Pandora's Box missile platform mode, mini version with Kalina Ann's Hysteric.
  • Mad Scientist: Agnus from 4, Arius and co. from 2, Chen from the second novel.
  • Made of Iron: Both the Sons of Sparda have a massive Healing Factor to explain this, but Lady manages to shrug off some serious damage despite being entirely human.
    • Pretty much everything in the world. HOW many hits with a BFS does it take to kill most enemies?
  • Male Gaze: Ahem.
  • Malevolent Architecture: In 3, pretty much the entire tower of Temen-Ni-Gru, which was basically built to be as demonic as possible. But the most appropriate example is in one of the hallways. You thought those wall-saw-blades were annoying during fights when they were on the walls? Heh.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Nelo Angelo in 1, Jester in 3 (if his face isn't a part of his anatomy).
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Sparda and Vergil. Dante's lack of this has been theorised by some as symbolic of their estrangement, which may make his case a Defied Trope.
    • He still apparently has the money for Impossibly Cool Clothes, a set of very nice custom made guns, a castle-like office building, and (if you look at the scenery in his office) what appears to be several thousand dollars worth of music equipment.
  • Manly Tears
  • The Many Deaths of You: Exclusive to 1 were fatalities enemies could use on Dante. Some were seriously disturbing. Likely included as a reference to its stylistic predecessor.
  • Marathon Boss: Vergil at the end of 3 is this, at least the first time. If you don't deal him enough damage when his guard is open (which is not often), they will be nullified quickly since he heals when in Devil Trigger. Of course, he is even less open when his health is low. And that's in Normal mode; in Dante Must Die, let's just say he's an endless nightmare.
  • Naughty Tentacles: When the Soul Eaters (luminous tentacled Personal Space Invaders) go for Dante. They always attack from behind, giggling and screaming, and when they snatch him up to drain his DT it looks rather wrong.
  • Martial Arts Do Not Work That Way
  • Meaningful Name: Yamato and Rebellion, the keepsake swords of Vergil and Dante. The former is is a Japanese term referring to the people and traditional nationalistic spirit of Japan, and in the past to the nation itself. It fits with Vergil's aesthetic and commitment to tradition and power, while the latter is more representative of Dante's resistance to said commitment.
    • Many of the characters are named after The Divine Comedy. By the time you've reached 4 and they named one hero after a Roman emperor, however, it's fairly obvious they're just picking names they like. Nero Angelo is Italian for Black Angel so it is meaningful, since Nelo Angelo is Vergil, a half-demon. Dante and Vergil are obviously meaningful (in the Divine Comedy, Dante descends into hell with Vergil as his guide; the twins' lives are vaguely similar) and Mundus, which means "world", is rather fitting for the name of a being that can conjure up entire universes.
    • Earlier than 4. By the time you've reached 3 and realized the "foundation that brought out fear" shares its name with the Great Ziggurat of Ur, you know they're just picking names out of a hat. Or that Dante lives in Iraq. (Which, coincidentally enough, the city in 3, as seen from atop of the Temen-Ni-Gru, is surrounded by a vast, erm, desert...)
    • Trish is taken from Beatrice of the same poem.
      • Even Lady is taken from the poem. Lady as in Madonna (same thing in Italian), as another name for the Virgin Mary (as in Lady's real name).
      • Ditto with Lucia, a martyr who aided Dante on his quest, arguably mirroring Lucia's relationship to Dante in 2.
    • Nero's name was explained in the novel's afterword as just being something the author picked because they thought it was cool. In-story, he was named that after being found in a black blanket.
    • Plus Credo, Agnus, Sanctus, Kyrie, and Gloria from 4 are all named after the different parts of the Roman Catholic "Ordinary of the Mass".
      • Their naming actually makes a bit of sense. Nero was a Roman Emperor well known for persecution of Christians, and the Order, with whom he is in conflict with, are all named after elements of the church. Also, all of the aforementioned characters that use demonic power have names that are Latin words, as opposed to the odd man (well, woman) out, Kyrie, which is a Greek word.
      • Suffice to say, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Melee a Trois: Between Dante, Vergil and Lady in 3, until Arkham shows up and forces the Sons of Sparda to work together. Between the player characters, the Order of the Sword, and the demons in 4.
  • Metal Scream: The cutscene for gaining Nevan in 3 (which makes a lot of sense, really) along with the game's Theme Song Devils Never Cry

Serving justice that dwells in me!
Lifeless corpses as far as the eye can SEE!!!

  • Mighty Glacier: The Nelo (Nero if not for translation issues) Angelo DT for Vergil from 3: Special Edition.
  • Mirror Boss: A new one every game.
    • Maybe barring 2. The closest you have there are Bolverk and The Despair Embodied, who take a few cues from Nelo Angelo (moreso the former).
  • Mismatched Eyes: Lady and Arkham from 3; here it indicates that they're related, and that relation pretty much is why she is even there.
  • Monster Arena: Bloody Palace from 2 on.
  • Monster Clown: Jester in 3.
  • Monster Mash: Argosax the Chaos is the literal embodiment of this trope; he's a bizarre fusion of several bosses that you faced in 2 (Phantom, Furiataurus, Nefasturris, Jokatgulm, and Oranguerra), as well as Griffon from 1.
  • Monsters Everywhere: In the "Legendary Dark Knight" difficulty mode of 4. PC-only, though.
  • Mook Bouncer: As part of a boss fight.
    • The Faults in 4 appear under your feet and, if you don't react fast enough, teleport you to an underground room full of Chimera Assaults, before forcing you to do the fight you were engaged in all over again. Thankfully it's easy to avoid.
  • Mook Chivalry: Breached variously; Enigmas from 3 are probably the definitive example.
    • Frosts in 4 also love to do combined attacks. As well as Angelos when they are led by an Alto.
  • Mook Debut Cutscene: Nearly every single enemy in the series has a special introduction. It can be pretty awesome.
  • Mook Horror Show: The fights against Dante in 4 go a long way towards showing how frightening Dante must look like to everyone standing against him.
  • More Dakka: Upgrading the gunslinger style in 3 lets you shoot faster in general, plus you can use Kalina Ann's mini Macross Missile Massacre. Also the Artemis has multi-target-lock.
    • The cutscene where Dante acquires Pandora in 4. First a minigun, then a triple-barrel rocket launcher, culminating in what is basically a floating, one-man munitions repository. Dante decides not to continue on to the next form after that.
  • Morph Weapon: The Sparda and Pandora's Box.
  • The Movie: Apparently.
  • Mundane Utility: Sometimes the items you acquire do basic things like, opening a door or dispel a barrier have a little over-dramatic description... for example, in 3 you get to use the Steel Soul (containing the brave soul of an immortal and invincible hero)..... to open ONE single door. And so on...
  • Mythology Upgrade: When the games aren't screwing mythology up, they're doing this. Cerberus's ice powers, for instance.
    • In Cerberus' case, it might make sense if you remember that in the Divina Commedia, Cerberus is the keeper of the Gluttony sinners, who are tormented by hailstorms. So... hail... ice... it might make sense.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Dante, Nero, and Vergil.
    • Sanctus Diabolica
  • Named Weapons
  • Nerf: The Devil Trigger offers special abilities and attacks in 1 and 2; it is all but useless in 3.
  • Never Bring a Knife to A Fist Fight: Subverted: Vergil pulls out Yamato after he finds that using Beowulf alone isn't stopping Dante from kicking his ass. Beowulf and Ifrit may deal the most damage in gameplay, but Dante never uses them in cutscenes.
  • New Game+: Almost compulsory for the higher difficulty levels; in fact, one of the most difficult Self Imposed Challenges is to play Dante Must Die! mode without using this.
  • Nigh Invulnerability: Dullahans from the front, Doppelganger in the dark, Doppleganger Style, Just Guard, Devil Trigger Majin Form (Desperation Devil Trigger) in 2.
  • Nintendo Hard: The franchise is known for this -- in fact, one of the reasons people dislike the second game so much is that the game is a damn sight easier than it's predecessor.
    • Special note should be made of the initial Western release of DMC3, as the release saw the Easy mode removed and the other difficulties all down ranked in name to compensate; so Normal mode was actually the Hard mode from the Eastern release. When the Special Edition was released later, the difficulties were kept the same as the Japanese release.
  • No Damage Run: Compulsory for Special Bonus in 1 and SS in 3.
    • Hell or Hell mode in 4. Good luck.
  • Non-Linear Sequel: 3 comes before 1 before 4 before 2. DmC is allegedly a Prequel to 3.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Jester. Also Dante from the point of view of the demons, who regard him as a foolish human based on his appearance...until he wipes the floor with them.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: Lady, in 3. Dante himself averts this trope; he jumps off a tower just to get to the bottom. In gameplay, there are a couple places where you can jump from obscenely high places and land normally.
  • Not What I Signed on For

Kredo: I served the dream of a world you spoke of, the Savior you preached of... But you used my sister, Kyrie, who has nothing to do with this, and that is beyond forgiveness.

  • Number of the Beast: Pandora's Box is said to have this many forms--obviously we don't get to use them all.
  • Oedipus Complex: Subverted with Dante, who is never explicitly stated to be seeking to outdo his father, and is shown to be slightly disturbed by Trish's resemblance to his mother (specifically in the anime).
  • Offhand Backhand: The shoot in two different directions simultaneously variant.
    • Would the introduction of the Alto Angelus in 4 count? Dude doesn't even stop walking to kill the two Assaults that rush him.
    • 3: Dante's intro in bladed and ceiling fan flavors.
    • Vergil in 3, to the boss of Mission 2.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: The BGM for the second and third Vergil fights in 3. There's even more of that on 4's soundtrack. It's also present quite a bit in 2, primarily in levels, cutscenes, and boss battles during the latter half of the game.
  • Once an Episode: Dante is impaled on his own sword at least once in every installment.
    • Breaking glass ceilings either by Dante or by some other reccuring character.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Heaven or Hell mode from 3 on; Hell or Hell in 4.
  • One-Man Army
  • One to Million to One: Nevan teleports across her room (read: battle arena) by dissolving into bats.
  • One-Winged Angel: Devil Triggers, Arkham, the members of the Order of the Sword--one of whom becomes a literal One Winged Angel...unless that shield is a wing? Hard to tell.
    • It is. However, this still applies, both because his in-game title is "The One-Winged Dark Knight" and because he only has the one wing left after losing the shield to Nero.
  • Only One Name: We're never given anyone's last name.
  • Opposites Theme Naming: Trish's twin handguns are named Luce and Umbra ("Light" and "Shadow" in Italian) and are appropriately colored. Dante's handguns are named "Ebony" and "Ivory."
  • Orphaned Series: The 1 comic and 3 manga.
  • Our Angels Are Different: The Fallen and Bianco/Alto Angelo.
  • Our Demons Are Different: The lesser demons are Exclusively Evil, while devils are not. They may occasionally do a Heel Face Turn because of that.
  • Our Souls Are Different: Done to a head-scratching degree in this series. In 3, the souls of defeated devils turn into Devil Arms/combat Styles for use by whoever gets them, but it's never known what exactly happens to a human soul once their bodies are destroyed. In 1, devils are pretty much referred to as having no souls at all to speak of, and the same is said about humans that "become devils" in 3 and 4. Anyone expecting 4 to be consistent with 3, though, is going to get very confused at Echidna, Bael, Dagon, and Berial not turning into Devil Arms after being beaten. Needless to say, 2 is out of the question.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Part of the problem with the second game, when compared to the first. The fact that it was mediocre and forgettable didn't help either, though.
  • Painful Transformation: Limited; Dante howls in pain during his first chronological Devil Trigger usage, but never does so again during subsequent uses.
    • During one of the later cutscenes, Temen-Ni-Gru starts moving, morphing Dante in and out of his Devil Trigger form repeatedly. He looks around, apparently more interested in falling dust and the tower's shaking than his own changing body.
  • Painted-On Pants: Trish
  • Palette Swap: Vergil fights a red copy of himself in 3: Special Edition, instead of Dante.
  • Parental Abandonment: Dante and Vergil, Lady, Nero
  • Patronymic: Son of Sparda. Also, Fanon uses these to get around Only One Name: Dante and Vergil Sparda, Mary Arkham.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Dante to his jukebox in 3, although he does leave a dent in it. Nero to a drawbridge control console in 4, albeit unintentionally as he was surprised that it actually worked, despite the console sparking and exploding after he shot at it.
    • Dante needs to operate a machine to open the cage containing the next plot coupon. The machine's key is actually an ornamental spear. So he stabs the machine with the spear and, when nothing happens, kicks it. It works.
  • Perfect Play AI: Vergil, as well as Dante in 4.
  • Perverse Puppet: The Marionettes from 1.
  • Plot Induced Stupidity: Nero forgets that he has an extendable arm with which to save Kyrie. It happens twice.
    • Possibly justified, in that he is implied to have a very love-hate relationship with said arm, and that it's also implied to be a relatively new ability - under the stress of having his girlfriend taken away from him and being otherwise powerless to stop it, he may actually have forgotten about it.
  • Perma-Stubble: Dante's eternal five o'clock stubble in the fourth game.
  • Planet Heck: The first three games have near-endgame levels set in the demon world.
  • Playable Epilogue: In 3 and 4.
  • Plucky Girl: Lady. Her determination got her out of a Ten-Minute Retirement.
  • Possession Implies Mastery: It would be believable for Dante to know how to play guitar. How to spout lightning and bats from said guitar? Not so much, but who cares, it's awesome.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: The E3 2011 trailer for the reboot shows Dante activating his Devil Trigger. Instead of turning him into a demon (as that first happened chronologically in 3), it turns his mostly-raven hue white.
  • Powered Armor: Alto Angeloes have been said in supplementary material to be demon-ascended Order members wearing modded Bianco Angelo suits.
  • Power Fist: Ifrit, Beowulf, and Gilgamesh. As noted above, the latter two combine this with Armed Legs.
  • The Power of Rock: Nevan
  • Practical Taunt: Taunting restores your Devil Trigger gauge.
  • Progressively Prettier: Lady, from 3 to 4.
  • Punched Across the Room
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "The true Utopia…CAN! BE! BOOOOOOOORN!!!!! JUDGEMENT DAY! HAS! ARRIIIIIIIIIVED!!!!!!" Agnus, official scenery chewer of the Order of the Sword.
  • Purposefully Overpowered: The Super LDK/Sparda costumes from 3, acquired by beating DMD.
    • Also in 4, the costume is still the same as default but with infinite DT, magic for Dante and Exceed for Nero. Makes even the hardest settings modes (with the exception of "Heaven or Hell" and "Hell or Hell") nearly a breeze.
  • Rank Inflation: Style rank combos
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Kick13, Hyper Fist, and some of Nero's Busters.
  • Razor Wind: Drive and Judgement Cut
  • Reality Warper: Mundus is capable of creating sentient beings that are exact replicas of dead creatures, that even have the capacity for free will and the ability to betray him. And apparently that's not an effort for him at all. Unsurprising, seeing as he creates a new universe for the final battle of 1, purely for him and Dante to fight in!
    • It should be noted that Mundus is a literal god.
  • Hand Cannon: Nero's Blue Rose
  • Recurring Riff: Happens quite a few times from game-to-game. Bits of "Devils Never Cry", the main theme of 3, tend to work their way into music for battles or cutscenes involving Vergil in 3. "Dance With Devils", the intro of 2, has its octave changed to serve as "Evil Tower" (the theme of the battle with Nefasturris) while its guitar riff and Ominous Latin Chanting respectively are featured in "Shoot The Works" (Dante's second battle theme) and "Cry For The Moon" (Arius' boss theme). Dante's battle theme in 4 is a remix of "Lock & Load", his second battle theme in the original game.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: At the end of the original Mundus apparently kills Trish. Dante's eyes start glowing red, he stops cracking wise, and gains the Sparda Devil Trigger.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Dante & Vergil is the main example, although Dante and Nero could also count.
    • Dante/Nero is at least a partial inversion. Nero, wearing blue, is the one prone to emotional outbursts, though he is still pretty level headed. Dante, wearing red, is the mysterious and somewhat more stoic one, though he still keeps his brand of wacky. He spends a boss fight getting Nero to cool off. Dante arguably becomes more Red during his own section of the game, though not by much.
    • There's also the literal example of Agni and Rudra, two talkative demon swords wielded by headless demon bodies, one red and one blue, though they both seemed the same.
  • Red Right Hand: Devil Bringer, actually a Red-And-Blue-With-Blue-Glow Right Forearm.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Dante's MO
  • Refuge in Cool
  • Retcon: Mostly caused to the first game by the third.
    • In 4, Lady (who appeared in 3) works in the Devil May Cry business. But in 1, supposed to happen between 3 and 4, Dante clearly works alone and there is no mention of another partner besides Trish even at the end.
    • The Force Edge was originally a memento handed down to Dante by his father. The second game changed the sword to Rebellion and Force Edge was stuck in the underworld in the third game.
    • Trish remarks that Dante "lost a mother and brother to evil twenty years ago". The third game has Dante encounter his brother a decade or so after Eva's death, and Vergil's status as an antagonist is very questionable.
      • Kamiya's concept was that Vergil was kidnapped when Eva was killed, which explains why Dante didn't recognize Nelo Angelo: why would he connect an evil demon trying to kill him with a little kid who was never anything but a good boy? The memory the amulet triggered was one of his most recent of Vergil. The author of the first novel decided to ignore this and make teenage Vergil free, evil, and Badass, meaning that Dante should have had more recent not just memories but good memories of him since they were temporary partners. Then 3 decided to copy the first novel's Vergil and the second novel's plot.
    • Dante's speech to Trish in 1 implies that he and Vergil never actually knew Sparda, and all the twins had to go by were the stories Eva would tell them of him. Vergil apparently reminds Dante of Sparda, but the kind of guy that Vergil is just makes that comparison mind-boggling.

Dante: My mother always used to tell me that my father was a man who fought for the weak. He had courage and a righteous heart.

    • The name "Devil May Cry" comes from Enzo Ferino's testimony in the handbook (in reference to Dante: "He glares at a guy, and even the devil may cry!") and later was changed to the Title Drop by Lady ("Even a devil may cry when he loses a loved one,").
      • And about the name, it was changed to "Devil Never Cry" at the end of 1 but went back to "Devil May Cry" in 4, which is supposed to happen after that…
    • In 1, Trish was the first to know about Dante's quest for revenge. In the manga for the third game, the Mad Hatter and White Rabbit (and by extension, Arkham) knew as well.
  • Reverse Grip: Nero's launch move High Roller uses this, compared to Dante and Vergil's standard grip for Hightime. Dante also switches to reverse grip for the Drive shockwave.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Nero's Blue Rose
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Breaking background objects for orbs. Interesting, a very slight subversion in 4: In the first fight against Berial, the houses in the area yield health orbs after being destroyed--however, as the orbs will disappear later, it's probably best to ensure you don't lead him in the direction of all the houses and cause them to be all gone too quickly. So, don't jump to letting him smash everything.
  • Rising Dragon!
  • Roboteching: Pandora's Box missile platform, also Kalina Ann's Hysteric.
  • Rule of Cool: Serves as the physics engine for the universe, it seems.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Rebellion through Sparda statue forehead in 4, for starters. Over-analysis has unearthed a bevy of symbolism.
  • The Sadistic Choice: "Don't even think about it. Blink, she dies."
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Hello, towering light demon Beowulf.
    • Hey look, the guard dog of the Underworld is...an ice elemental?
    • Echidna more closely resembles her Greek counterpart, but what does that have to do with Gilgamesh?
    • The sad thing is, the character design for Beowulf is nearly perfect...for another demon entirely. Four wings? Check. Scorpion tail? Check. Claws and talons? Check. Lion-like face? Check. Beowulf, aside from his light powers, is a nearly perfect depiction of the demon Pazuzu.
    • Also, Geryon, in Greek mythology, was a hideous giant that looked like three men fused into one. In Dante's Inferno, he is a serpent-like creature with wings and a human face. There's never been a depiction of him as a horse.
  • Sand in My Eyes: "It's only the rain."
  • Sarcastic Clapping: Inverted in 4, played straight in 3.
  • Satan: Mundus. Who is not (nor is he related to) Lucifer in any way, as that's a completely different weapon.
  • Say My Name: KYRIIIEEEEEEEEEEE!
  • Scenery Porn: An especially good thing in 4, given the ridiculous amount of backtracking involved in it.
  • Schizo-Tech: Mallet in 1, Temen-ni-Gru in 3.
  • Sealed Badass in a Can: Sparda's power
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Mundus and Argosax
  • Secret AI Moves: Vergil in 3 has these.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge
  • Self-Made Orphan: Lady
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: Blatant between 1 and 2. Also happens between 3 and 4 although in this case it's more that the western release of 3 was infamously difficult…
  • Sequel Escalation: Kick13, Drive and the You Will Not Evade Me moves all experience this.
  • Serrated Blade of Pain: Agni and Rudra from 3.
  • Seven Deadly Sins
  • Shallow Love Interest: Kyrie, who is barely given any characterization at all besides the usual "kind and caring" shtick.
  • Shirtless Scene: 3's Coatless costume.
  • Shoot the Dog: Attempted, but failed, in 4.
  • Short-Range Long-Range Weapon: 3's Kalina Ann is atrocious about this. Its rockets explode automatically after a short ways from Dante even if there's nothing to hit!
  • Shout-Out: Almost everyone to the Divine Comedy. Various other sources get referenced along the way.
    • Dante's character is based off of the titular hero of Space Adventure Cobra, and the Nightmare gun is meant to resemble the Psychogun.
    • The manga has a "dungeon" that is practically a nightmarish version of Alice in Wonderland.
  • Show the Forehead: Vergil, in contrast to Dante's messy Blinding Bangs.
  • Shielded Core Boss: To name a few:
    • Leviathan's Heart, from 3, is encased in a hard shell that opens up for a short time when one of two adjacent organs is destroyed and before it regenerates.
    • Nevan, also from 3, has an electrical shield that drops when all of the bats surrounding her are destroyed. And then you must instantly attack her at least once or else she'll immediately regenerate the shield to full.
    • During both fights against Sanctus in 4, he is protected by a force field that you must destroy to damage him.
  • Shields Are Useless: Averted by all the playable characters for the same reason that Armor Is Useless. Subverted by a whole mess of baddies, most of them more difficult enemies to defeat (Frosts, Fallen Ones, Assaults...)
  • Shrouded in Myth: Sparda
  • Sibling Team: Dante and Vergil against Arkham in the second half of the penultimate Boss Battle of 3. It doesn't last for long...
    • However, it's implied that the two were like this (well, minus the ass-kicking) before they drifted apart.
  • Silence, You Fool: Several villains, including Berial.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Lampshaded by Dante in 3. He's getting sick of it.

Dante: Why do I gotta take the heat for my father?

Vergil: Why isn't this working?!

    • Arius from 2 has an amazingly hamtastic one that completely destroys any credibility he had as villain beforehand (which, mission-wise, was only four levels ago).

Arius (before Dante fights him, after he discovered that Dante set him up by switching the Medalgia with his coin): Wheeeooooooooo!
Arius (post-defeat): Oooh...! No... My dream... my life... I was meant to be the KEEEEEEEEEEEEENG of the this world...!

  • "Wake-Up Call" Boss: Phantom in the original, Cerberus in 3.
  • Wall Jump
  • Wall Master: Faults in 4.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Slow. Motion. Pizza. Eating. And the most epic instance of putting on a coat ever. Both in 3.
    • Pretty much any action sequence in 3 could fit the bill. He kills demons with bullet-propelled billiard balls for Sparda's sake! And this is after he takes breaks in his fight to eat his pizza! And that's after Dante performs the most epic version of sitting down and answering a phone call.
  • What Is This Thing You Call Love?: Sanctus outright mocks Nero and Credo when both go after him to save Kyrie.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Done to confusing levels throughout the series. Dante's "good" quality is his unwillingness to kill humans, even though it's been pointed out in the third game that humans have the potential to be horrifyingly evil and worse than even a demon could be, while demons have the potential to be kind and caring. Humans in general have an Informed Morality going on; their only redeeming value is the aforementioned kindness and caring. On screen, they're shown either being racist bigots even to the demons that value human life and haven't done them any wrong, or a demon has something to do with the humans' lack of good works; evil acts are Handwaved by it being a demon in disguise or they're actively seeking demonic power and being evil that way, making them fair-game for Dante to kill. On the rare occasion that they're just plain bastards with no demonic influence whatsoever, Dante doesn't touch them. Meanwhile, demons turn good specifically by wanting to 'become human' and gaining the good qualities of humanity and showing callous disregard for their own kind even though a human doing the reverse would probably be the highest level of bastardry ever. It's implied that Dante's only as good as he is because of being born half-human and siding with his 'human side' while Vergil was portrayed as evil for "siding with the demons"... even though he was trying to emulate his father who was the most triumphant example of Ascended Demon humanity had ever seen and is the reason they even exist. Again, the third game brings this up and points out the false dichotomy, but the series itself wants to dance back and forth with the Black and White Morality and can't seem to decide whether or not humans and demons are inherently moral or immoral.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer: Nero's arm. He uses it to throw enemies, to grab them or to teleport to them, to solve puzzles, to perform Action Commands on bosses, et cetera.
  • White-Haired Pretty Boy: Both Dante and Vergil, plus Nero and human-form Sparda.
  • Who You Gonna Call?
  • Why Am I Ticking?: Hell Wraths
  • Wild Stomp Them While They Are Down
  • Woman in Black: Nevan in 3. Trish plays this straight at first, but subverts it after her Heel Face Turn.
  • World of Badass: You know you're dealing with a World of Badass when even the humans are Made of Iron.
  • World of Cardboard Speech: In 3. Dante has two: First one to Lady, serving to show his own Character Development she brought out of him. Second to Vergil, to shown the culmination of this development, and just how serious he's being right now.
    • Nero, in 4, has two as well. First one, in mission 7, is a variant in the latter example because Nero is just declaring his motivation aloud for the first time: he decided on it before the game started. The second one is given after he defeats Sanctus, telling him what he lacks, and how he's nothing like Sparda, but he, instead, is, because he has someone to love.
  • World of Ham
  • Worthy Opponent: Vergil
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Nero's Busters against the Bianco and Alto Angelos.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Jester/Arkham's entire plan in DMC3.
  • You Have Failed Me...: Griffon faced a rather brutal dishonorable discharge at the hands of Mundus, which displeases Dante.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already
  • You Will Not Evade Me: Kalina Ann had such a move in Gunslinger style, but given the situational-ness of Gunslinger it didn't see much use. Nero's Devil Bringer has such a function against small enemies and is much more integral to his playstyle.
  • Youngest Child Wins: Dante against Vergil. Yes, they are twins, but conversations and in-game information seems to indicate Dante is the younger twin.
  • You Remind Me of X: In the first game, Dante reminds every boss he faces of Sparda. And in the third, he reminds Nevan of Sparda.
    • Normally, the player would automatically assume it's Sparda when Berial notes that Nero reminds him of someone in 4, but according to the novel it's Dante.

Berial: As... as I suspected, that is demonic po-!
Nero: I'm not a demon. I'm a human. Don't lump me in with you.
Berial: I see... Neither demon, nor human... So that's the case. You, too, are the same as him...
Nero: Him? Who are you talking about?

  • Your Head Asplode: Happens to Cerberus in 3 whenever you damage one of the heads enough.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: Soul Eaters, naturally.
    • Also, technically what Dante does to a lot of bosses.
  1. A third volume titled "Code 3: Lady" was planned, but for some reason the artist suddenly quit before completion.