Gametalk 4: Devil May Cry and the Cruciality of Main Characters

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Gametalk 4: Devil May Cry and the Cruciality of Main Characters

Yet another gametalk, this time I talk about how important the main character really is (other than of course, leading us through the story)

Remember the days of the PS2? I’m sure you do. The Playstation 2 was probably THE console EVERYONE had during the early years of the 2000’s. It’s count of games, was enormous. Ace Combat, Metal Gear Solid, Jak and Daxter, Rayman, Dynasty Warriors (3 was the best), a huge wad of fighting games, Viewtiful Joe, Sly Cooper, Rachet and Clank, Onimusha, God of War, freaking Grand Theft Auto (San Andreaaas) and finally, Devil May Cry (I’m forgetting a lot of games I know)

In my opinion, DMC, GoW, Onimusha, and Dynasty Warriors paved the way for the hack and slash games that would come out in the middle to later years of the 2000’s (DMC’s creator would eventually make Bayonetta, one of the most over the top games EVER made). I mean, the concept was exceedingly simplistic. Get a big weapon and kill countless shit with it. But from the games I have mentioned above, I think Devil May Cry had the most style and flair. Although the best game from the series would be released 4 years after the original, the game made itself known before it.

Although I do wish to talk about the games and storyline itself (cause it isn’t that big) I wish to talk about the series’ work with its main character, Dante. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this will be a talk on how important our lovably arrogant main character will change throughout the series, both garnering huge praise and big disappointment. Lemme get the release history and storyline out of the way

Let’s make this real short

DMC was released in 2001 and introduced us to the characters and settings. DMC2 was released in 2003 and introduced another character and setting. DMC3 was released in 2005 and gave us the origin story of the characters. DMC4 was released 2008 and gave us a completely new character. The “reimagination” of the series abbreviated as DmC slated to release this year. The HD Collection of the first 3 games coming this April. In chronological order it goes 3, 1, 4, and 2

The story’s prologue goes like thus: A legendary demon warrior named Sparda rebels against his own kind to save the human race. With his great sword, he trapped the demons off into a seperate realm from the human world by defeating the demon emperor, Mundus. He then sealed the world off through intricate means to make sure that re-opening the gate to the demon world would be extremely difficult. After this is done, he falls in love with a human woman named Eva who bears his twin sons, Dante and Vergil. Sparda is said to have disappeared but Eva loved her sons very much. She gives them 2 amulets and the swords their father used to fight the demons. Later on, Eva would die by the hands of Mundus’ demons who have found a way back into the human world. Driven by rivaled emotions, the brothers take seperate paths to avenge their family

So lets go over 3 very quickly as it is the first in the storyline. Some years after that big event Dante somehow gains a building for and tries to open a business for demon hunting. One day, a mysterious man named Arkham walks into the yet un-named shop and tells Dante that his brother has invited him to something. The man leaves and Dante is instantly assaulted by demons. Dante effortlessly beats them down and heads out to find his brother. Immediately a gigantic tower erupts in the middle of the city and Dante’s instincts tells him that his brother is up the tower. On the other side, another demon hunter simply called, Lady fights up the tower as well to find Arkham, her father. Dante defeats many demons and confronts his brother on top the tower. Vergil and Dante face off and Vergil is the victor in the first of many fights to come. This event awakens the inner demon within Dante and with newfound strength, chases Vergil and Arkham to the basement of the giant tower. Within the basement, Arkham gets owned by Vergil after he realizes the hints that Arkham planned on betraying him. Dante and Vergil once again fight in the basement of the tower but they are evenly matched. Arkham returns to reveal his plans to make the two sons of Sparda spill their blood and lures his daughter, Lady down to the basement to undo the seal of Sparda by using their blood and the amulets. Arkham gains entrance to Hell and the three are seperated. Vergil disappears and Dante climbs up the tower once more. After a brief fight with Lady, Dante gains her trust and she leaves him to find her father. Dante enters the demon world and fights Arkham who has absorbed Sparda’s power but becomes a huge blob. Mid-fight, Vergil reappears and fights alongside Dante to defeat Arkham and banishes back to the human world where he is finished off by his daughter. Dante and Vergil face off one last time and Vergil ends up losing. Vergil says that he will stay in the demon world and tells Dante to leave. Vergil disappears with his sword and his half of the amulet.

I think I wrote more than I needed to so I will keep the next 3 short

DMC: Dante meets Trish, a woman who looks like his mother. She hires him to stop the return of Mundus in a castle on Mallet Island. Dante fights his way though the demons and fights his hypnotized brother who assumed the title of Nelo Angelo. After Dante kicks the asses of Mundus’ commanders, he fights Mundus after Trish gets owned by failing to trick Dante. Dante seals off Mundus once more and he works with Trish on his business on demon extermination.

DMC4: The mantle of main character is given to a new protagonist named Nero who fights against his own “guild” all for his girlfriend. Nero finds out that the people he worked for are harnessing the power of demons to become “angels”. Dante is considered the main bad guy until we see that Nero’s group was actually demonphiliacs (or at least obessed at becoming them). Nero and Dante work together in taking down a huge statue of Sparda and defeating the Order’s leader, Sanctus. No big storyline elements other than the fact Nero’s arm, his proficiency with Vergil’s weapon seems to indicate something

DMC2 is widely regarded as the ugly duckling out the games but I will go over that later

My main point of the post is to inform of the “main character” subject. Let’s take a visual look on our hero, shall we? We shall follow the release history

Devil May Cry introduced us to the character of Dante. One of the twin sons of Sparda. His “color” being red and his strange white hair. Dante is arrogant, cocky, but serious when he had to be. Dante is pretty damn easygoing. Trish enters his shop by crashing through a wall on her motorcycle and immediately stabs him with his own sword and she throws her motorcycle at him only for him to stand right back up. Being the first of the series, this was our “reference point” if you will, of the character of Dante. He has some sense of “honor” during fighting and he has his attitude of pissing everyone off. Dante gets sentimental when he finds out Nelo Angelo is his brother and when Trish appeared to have been killed. The game’s story and characters were said to be shallow but Dante was a likeable character

So, DMC had a good time with a good main character. Brash, but he was able to back it up. This time around in DMC2, Dante was all quiet. Dante’s trash-talking was completely gone and they made coin-flipping his main style of making up decisions(which was COMPLETELY random). Something REALLY BAD must have happened to make Dante (who in almost every other game has a jovial attitude). Dante was still a badass, but he was no fun. That point itself is one of the main points in the game’s downfall. Other than its less than innovative controls and looks, Dante was considered one of the worst shortcomings to the series. But still, he remains badass. He’s just not AS badass without all the trash-talk

DMC3 gave us how the series came into being, Dante once again is a arrogant badass who manages to kick-ass and laugh about it. It also shows us the background between Dante’s brother, Vergil. Dante being the arrogant dude with a big sword, guns, hair down, and a red coat. Vergil was the complete opposite by having a collected attitude, a katana, no guns, hair up, and a BLUE coat. People enjoyed seeing Dante act like who he was in the first game and they enjoyed having the DMC2’s Dante side resemble Vergil’s attitude. Almost manifesting the cries of fans, the two fight eachother numerous times. On an semi-un-related note, I mentioned that this was my favorite out of all the games. If you played DMC3 and tried to play the last 2, you wouldn’t be able to do so well. The combat mechanics were switched around and bit and they introduced a new system called Styles. Styles allowed Dante to focus on a particular style of fighting (that was pretty obvious). The Trickster style focused on avoiding attacks and getting past enemies. The Swordmaster and Gunslinger allowed for more intricate sword and gunplay. The Royal Guard focused on blocking enemy attacks. Throughout the game, you could gain 2 more styles which was being able to stop time and creating a clone of yourself. I just HAVE to talk about the game’s weapons. You can get triple nunchuks that shoot ice, twin-serratted swords and use fire and wind, a freaking electric guitar, and gauntlets that use light. The weapons were awesome, the bosses were memorable and it was just kickass. Vergil’s boss battles were very memorable fights (unless you were using Royal Guard to completely own the game)

DMC4 got some pretty bad rep during its reveal. Not many people liked the idea of Dante being replaced by Nero, Dante was portrayed “correctly” in the past 2 games and now they were going to ruin it by introducing Nero. Thankfully, Nero wasn’t as much of a loser everyone thought he would be. Dante was revealed to be a good guy too, only that assassinating a religious leader in front of his faithfuls isn’t the greatest way to win over someone. Dante remained pretty faithful to his “Correct” characterizations in the favoured 1st and 3rd game of the series. Dante also got a little more…respect to some people but he’s gotten a little less insulting but developed sarcasm in its stead. Dante retained his “styles” from the 3rd game and instead of using only one, he can switch his styles at will and that leads to INSANE combos.

Fans loved all but one of Dante’s incarnations and Dante’s latest incarnations drew in SO MUCH hate from the fans

As you see above, all but one Dante looks like…Dante. The last one still has the red coat but he has black hair and looks very different from his previous incarnations.

So what am I getting at this you say? Yes, you understand that I love the series but the main point I wanted to get across was Dante himself

DMC, 3, 4 were very well recieved while 2 and the new remake are mostly hated by fans. I mean, ALL the games were praised for it’s story and gameplay (4 was kinda low because you basically backtracked with Dante from where Nero left off). But why is 2 bashed so much alongside the new remake. People really enjoyed Dante’s character being the core part of the entire series. People criticized DMC2 (which was considered a pretty reasonable sequel) for lacking Dante’s trash talk and people criticize the new DMC by noting the new Dante’s overall look. The game itself looks pretty crazy, which is indeed a great thing but a large group of the series’ fanbase complains about Dante’s new look. The gameplay and graphics looks pretty wicked and strangely beautiful but it does show the good and the bad when people defend Dante’s old character compared to the new

Here take a look at this nice quote from 1UP.com defending a bit on Dante

“The essence of Devil May Cry is all about ‘cool,'” he says. “It’s about Dante being cool and making you feel cool when you’re playing it, and so the combat and the style system and everything is integral to that. But, you know, what was cool 12 years ago — I think that was when the first game came out [Editor's Note: he's a bit off, as the first title came out in 2001] — isn’t cool anymore. If Dante, dressed as he was, walked into any bar outside of Tokyo, he’d get laughed out. What Devil May Cry did when it launched was it brought everything that was great about action cinema like the fashion, music — it was like a cultural melting pot — and I feel like now, for Devil May Cry to have that same impact, it needs to draw on new things. New music, new ways of cinematography, new fashion.”

I kinda rambled along once more, but I hope I got my post across on how a main character could divide the fanbase. The point I would like to make here kinda relates to this season’s Guilty Crown series, namely on our lead, Ouma Shu. I will go more in depth on that topic when I review it in a few weeks but for the new Dante’s fate:

 You have to realize that the new Dante (newest)  is essentially a different Dante as it is called a “re-imagining” of Dante’s character. But if they really do stay true to Dante’s character, that emo looking kid is gonna be a white haired, trash talking badass.

This point is pretty late in the post but the inFAMOUS series for the PS3 had a similar experience. The first game had our main character, Cole Mcgrath, as a bald and pretty rough character. In the sequel, his serious look was gone and a hipster-ish, and significantly younger look (with a full set of hair and pretty diverse looking fashion). The outcry of dislike over this new Cole was so large that Suckerpunch actually reverted Cole’s look back to stay more faithful to the first one

that’s all for now folks

5 responses »

  1. Soooo, let me get this straight, people hate DMC 2 for sole purpose of the changes made to Dante himself as a character? Surely there must be more to it than that! Why am I asking this? Because I plan on buying the DMC collection when it comes out. (Though I think it’s stupid to have removed the Reverse Compatibility feature, I suppose in the end it was inevitable.).

    Back to Dante, you know, it’s reasons like this I’m glad I’m not a hardcore enough fan of many things to go and criticize the character’s APPEARANCE! Based on your impressions on how the game looks, it doesn’t sound like the reboot will be a bad game. It’s the overreaction of hardcore turds that made it look bad.

    Anyway, how good is DMC4 gameplay-wise compared to its predecessors?

    Lastly, Bayonetta reference nets you additional respect points in my book. Take my praise for what you will.

    I so want Lollipop Chainsaw to be good because it looks pretty cool so far.

    Sorry for rambling on.

    • Well, they toned down the difficulty in DMC2 compared to DMC1, I was pretty sure there existed other reasons for its negative views but people really seem to hate on that version of Dante. I plan on buying the HD collections as well. Mostly for 3 and being able to play Vergil again but having 1 and 2 with 3 (which is the best one for me) is a nice deal.
      The overall game looks pretty promising, but I have to admit, I was kinda mad when they changed his cool, arrogant attitude to an emo-looking, modern day hood. But they kinda freshened up his character for the better so far.
      DMC4 is still a good game, if you can forgive the game for making you backtrack all the way through, its a fun experience. Nero’s gameplay is very different from Dante’s
      Lollipop Chainsaw looks very lol-worthy (in a good way, it looks very funny and pretty promising) and action packed considering that it was made by the guy who made No more Heroes
      I ramble all the time, tis fine good friend

  2. I agree that the way you order the games but I still don’t get why they were scrambled up (maybe to cover story from before but more than likely to me act like Star wars in a game way and is not started like on 3 or 4 whatever) I only really played 4 and I was thinking there was something missing so I see now and I thank you if I can get on my real cpu sometimes if it actually works I could try helping you sometime anywhere I (don’t know where because your such a great blogger) but either way I try to help and be able to get on my real account since this computer can’t handling sign in for wordpress (akward I know) but oh well thanks for the blog about this as always it helped me alot :)

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