Video Game: Dante's Inferno
Can be used as crib notes in lieu of the actual story if required for schoolwork.
Would badass box art lie to you?
"This game would actually make a good recruiting tool for Christianity. Never has saving someone's soul been so hardcore! I'm sitting there on the good play through, and I'm forgiving every enemy I can, and going 'I forgive the shit out of you!' and 'mutha fucka, you just got forgiven' and 'oh, you little bastard, I'm gonna forgive you for that!' and the always good 'go to heaven fucker!' I just wish you could forgive the lust demons. Heaven would be so much better with those sexy bitches in it."
part of Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy
is one of the most well-known, well-referenced pieces of work today. It described in great detail Dante's vision of what hell would be like, and in doing so invented many of the tropes associated with Hell. This has led to several film adaptations, theme park rides, and — most recently — a video game adaptation, which is what this page is concerned with.
Rumored and announced midway through 2009 for a release date in February 2010, the game is about Dante, a fresh veteran of the Third Crusade, chasing after the kidnapped love of his life, Beatrice,
through the Nine Circles of Hell while tearing the place — and the demons which inhabit it — to little pieces. Unlike Dante Alighieri, this Dante is muscle-bound, an expert magic wielder, and (after the first boss) carries Death's Scythe itself. As he descends deeper and deeper into the Inferno, he must confront his own sins, war crimes, and his family's past, and eventually faces off with Lucifer himself, who has kidnapped Beatrice in order to wed her
and break free of Hell.
A DLC titled "Trials of St. Lucia" was released on April 29th, 2010.
Around the game's release date, an Animated Adaptation
of the game was released on DVD and Bluray with some differences in storyline.
A sequel to the video game is being planned.
Now has a character page
This work includes the following tropes:
- Abusive Parents: Dante's father Alighiero constantly berated him and drove his mother to suicide.
- Adaptation Distillation: The sinners Dante encounters in the book are all there, and you get the option of forgiving them or smiting them. They even say a lot of the same things. Virgil's speeches are mostly accurate. Even the original political satire survived mostly intact ("In these popes and cardinals, greed suffered its excess"). The design of the Nine Circles in-game is actually quite accurate with Alighieri's descriptions (except for the level of Greed, and the changes there are understandable). About the only thing that's really different is Dante himself, and the whole "Famous pagans as lords of hell" thing. Also, a few politically incorrect things, like Mohammad in hell, and crusaders in heaven have been taken out as well.
- The Gates of Hell. The Gate itself was modeled after Auguste Rodin's Gates of Hell, which was described in Dante's Inferno to have a sign at the top that read a poemnote about Hell. The sign itself was removed from the Door and is instead spoken by Charon (who is also half-demon half-ship and not a boatman demon).
- Anthropomorphic Personification: A number of the demons, like those in Gluttony.
- Anti-Villain: Francesco, Dante's former best friend. Dante ended up framing him for the slave massacre in order to save his own skin, leading to Francesco's execution and condemnation to Hell. He's understandably pissed about it.
- Art Shift: The Animated Adaptation goes through at least four different art styles over the course of the story. Most notable with Vergil, who goes through the most drastic changes in appearance each time.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Pretty much what happens whenever you absolve someone of their sins and regrets.
- Ascended Extra: In Canto XIX of "the Inferno", there was a passing mention of an individual who Alighieri called lo perfido assassin ("the treacherous assassin"). In this videogame adaptation, the assassin becomes a more prominent character in which he kills Beatrice, Alighiero, and later revealed to have killed Dante.
- The Atoner: Dante. When Death tells him that not only is he damned, but also everyone he loved, he goes on a quest, not only to redeem himself, but everyone else he loves as well. Double Subverted at the end.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Cleopatra. Also Minos and Phlegyas.
- Ax-Crazy: Dante himself, during the Crusades.
- Bad Ass: Dante all the way. He starts off the game by killing Death and taking his scythe. He proceeds to fight his way through Hell, ultimately killing any and every demon that gets in his way. All as a baseline human, to boot.
- He apparently gets it from his father, who, for all his faults, puts up a valiant fight against the unnamed assassin.
- Batman Gambit: Beatrice is just Lucifer's bait to get Dante to destroy the chains holding him in Hell, as they are in Dante's way as he traverses Hell.
- The Baroness: Cleopatra doubles with The Vamp (she is a succubus, after all).
- Beware My Stinger Tail: Minos has two of them.
- Bishounen Line: Lucifer starts out as a giant demon but partway through the fight shows his "true" form, which is only a bit taller than Dante.
- Bloody Bowels of Hell: Gluttony.
- Breaking Speech: Lucifer and the rest of Hell spend the entire game delivering one to Dante.
- Building Swing: One of Dante's primary means of locomotion.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Subverted; Dante's father taunts him to do it, but Dante absolves him instead of punishing him. Dante's father's last words to his son are:
"Go on, use me as an excuse! Blame me for everything!"
- Canon Foreigner: Bella Abati and Alighiero di Bellincione, the historical Dante Aligheri's mother and father respectively, were not featured in the poem.
- Censor Steam: Subverted in the final cutscene.
- Chewing the Scenery: Lucifer, full stop.
" I HAVE WAITED ETERNITY FOR THIS EMANCIPATION!"
" I AM UNBOUND, NO FORCE SHALL STOP ME!"
" DID YOU REALLY THINK THIS WAS ALL ABOUT THE GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL? SHE WAS THE BAIT!"
- Dante has his moments too.
" FIGHT WITH ME CRUSADERS! SPILL THE BLOOD OF THESE HEATHENS! THERE IS NO SHAME! THEIR SOOOUUULS ARE ALREADY LOST!"
- Chickification: This happens to Beatrice, when compared with her role in the original source material. Somewhat subverted by the fact that Beatrice doesn't become truly relevant in the poem until Purgatory and Paradise, where she serves as a new guide, given that Virgil cannot leave hell.
- Christianity Is Catholic: Considering the poem was written about two centuries before the Reformation it's a given.
- Collapsing Lair: Lust and Heresy once you beat their bosses.
- Combat Tentacles:
- Temptresses uses these.
- King Minos has them, as well.
- Continuity Snarl: The Dark Forest DLC, assuming it is even canonical to begin with, is supposed to take place after Dante's time in the Third Crusade and before arriving at his home. However he has in his possession Beatrice's Cross and the ability to perform magic attacks and has some familiarity about Demons which he shouldn't have yet.
- Corrupt Church: Very much so, if the various Popes in Hell and the Large Ham bishop in the cutscenes are any evidence on the matter.
- Curb-Stomp Battle:
- Every time Dante rides a Beast or Phlegyas. The only enemies that are a threat while Beast riding are the Beast Tamers that try to retake control of the Beast. Everything else dies. The only challenge is deciding on how you want to slaughter your foes. Roast them with firebreath? Turn them into pancakes with your fists? Literally stomp on them? Eat them? It's a tough choice.
- Also, between Dante and Death after Dante steals Death's scythe... and cuts him in half with it. Turns out to just be a delusion Dante is having.
- Dead All Along: Dante, of course.
- Deadly Lunge: The disgustingly tubby Gluttons of the Third Circle are incredibly slow and easy to take down, but if you are distracted by other enemies, they may lumber towards you and snatch you up. If you fail the quicktime struggle, they eat you alive.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Remaining relatively true to the source material, Dante's former mentor is in Hell for being a homosexual who engaged in sodomy. The dissonance may be why you earn an achievement for absolving him.
- Demon Slaying: Considering that almost every enemy in the game is a demon, this is a given.
- Demoted to Extra: Malebolge and Cocytus, which compared to the other circles, are the less expanded levels. Many of the guardians of Hell in the original novel, however, appear as statues (like the Minotaur, Geryon, and Pluto).
- Deranged Animation: The flashbacks to the Crusades.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Dante has a long resume of this. Among other things, he punches out Death, Cleopatra, Cerberus, his own father, his fallen comrade templars, and Satan.
- The Lost Lenore: Beatrice, who dies before the game starts.
- Male Frontal Nudity:
- Lucifer's big floppy dong is in full display, though with the lighting and the angles, you'd have to actually be looking for it to notice it most of the time.
- Dante's is also visible during the ending. Blink and you'll miss it, but it's clearly there.
- Mark of Shame: The cross Dante sewed onto his chest to remind himself of his sins.
- Mook Debut Cutscene: The various "sin" demons all have one, a squicky one if possible.
- Mook Maker: Cleopatra produces Mooks instead of fighting you directly.
- New Game+: They call it Resurrection Mode and you get to play through with all the upgrades and relics you collected the first go around. However, it skips over the opening of the game and starts you off already on the descent into Hell.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- Didn't you notice that during the whole game, several things you break in order to advance are in fact the gigantic chains that kept Lucifer imprisoned? Why do you think you kept hearing his laughter every time you approached one?
- Also, slaying Lucifer's titanic body frees his human-sized true form that was trapped within.
- Nipple and Dimed: Completely averted, to occasionally squicktastic effect.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Whenever Lucifer slips into Large Ham mode, the actor voicing him seems to be channeling Tim Curry. Appropriate, considering Curry once portrayed another version of The Devil.
- No Name Given: The Large Ham cutscene bishop.
- No OSHA Compliance: It is Hell, after all. Bridges are especially prone to collapsing, cracking, and generally falling apart.
- Non-Standard Game Over: If you're seduced by Cleopatra, the game's over.
- Notice This: There's a glowing wheel attached to anything in need of pushing, pulling, or climbing.
- Obligatory Swearing: Cleopatra is the only character who uses swear words other than damn. It comes off as forced and unnatural.
- Oedipus Complex: Dante and his father end up duking it out in the Fourth Circle of Hell.
- Rerouted From Heaven: Beatrice. The whole plot is about fixing that.
- Rule of Cool: Seems to be the line of thought behind the development process of this game: "How can we take the Inferno and make it badass?"
- Rule of Symbolism: Every Circle of Hell is designed in such a way that the scenery shows the sin it embodies, although Lust, Gluttony, and Greed deserve special mention in this regard.
- Satan: Well, obviously. He's the Big Bad and Final Boss.
- Scenery Gorn: The one positive trait everyone can agree on.
- Second Hour Superpower: Death's Scythe.
- Serial Escalation: Often, primarily in the level design, and most visibly in terms of squick factor. Gluttony is somewhere near the top of this, although Violence's giant river of boiling blood competes.
- Sequel Hook: Don't forget, the Inferno is only the first canticle of Dante's epic. After defeating Lucifer, Dante arrives at the base of Purgatory and is briefly reunited with Beatrice. He tears off the cross on his chest and casts it aside. As he begins his climb to redemption, the cross transforms into a snake, which sneaks away as Lucifer's laugh is heard.
- Setting Update: Something of an inversion in regard to time period. Whereas The Divine Comedy was composed in circa 1300 and its events occur at that time, the game changes the setting to take place earlier in 1191 shortly after the conclusion of the Third Crusade.
- Seven Deadly Sins: Not all of them, however. Lust, Gluttony, Greed, and Wrath are all prominently featured in their own circles (all in Upper Hell, outside of Dis), but like in the poem, where the others aren't referenced until the Purgatorio, enviers, acediacs, and the vainglorious are absent.
- Sinister Minister: There's the bishop in the flashbacks, and the heretic and pagan enemies.
- Sinister Scythe: Taken from and used against Death himself.
- Shout-Out: The Achievement for finding all 30 pieces of silver is "Good Old Judas".
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The commercial famously uses Bill Withers's "Ain't No Sunshine" to honestly pretty cool effect.
- Spirit Advisor: Virgil.
- Starter Villain: Death, though starter antagonist might be a more fitting name for him given that he has no connection to Satan or any of Hell's other inhabitants and was simply doing his job of sending the souls of the deceased to their appropriate destinations.
- Stock Scream: A falling soul in Limbo does the Wilhelm Scream.
- Stupid Evil: Satan. This shows pretty much everything wrong with modern Lucifer portrayals in media: the stereotypical pride and manipulative traits are so mixed up that, instead of an imposing figure, he ends up a raving melodramatic lunatic that only a moron would ever be fooled by.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: The corpse of Dante's father is left for him to discover, a cross rammed into his eye.
- Too Many Mouths: The Gluttons and their boss, Cerberus.
- Turn Out Like His Father: Having done so, one of Dante's side purposes in his journey is to avoid meeting the same fate that his father did. Made creepily evident by some combat and aesthetic similarities, like using the cross as a ranged weapon and a cross on the chest.
- Undead Child: The unbaptized babies, because well, you know... and you get the "Bad Nanny" achievement from killing them/
- Unholy Matrimony:
- Cleopatra and Marc Antony.
- Beatrice and Lucifer, briefly.
- Vagina Dentata: The "temptress" creatures in the circle of Lust have these. On top of having prehensile vaginas.
- The Vamp: Cleopatra, who doubles as The Baroness. The temptresses may also count, but they don't really try to seduce Dante, as they're too focused on tearing him to shreds.
- Video Game Caring Potential/Video Game Cruelty Potential: The "absolve" or "punish" options.
- Villain Protagonist: Dante is a mass-murderer. People remind him of this frequently.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Just look at the box cover.
- Wall Crawl: One of the other ways of getting around Hell. By the way, the walls you crawl on throughout Hell are made out of the souls of the damned — who keep moaning and screaming over their damnation as you crawl all over them.
- We Can Rule Together: Lucifer proposes this to Dante in the end. Dante shoots him down with, "All I want is to be rid of you!"
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- Beatrice spends a good chunk of the game doing this, especially after she temporarily joins with Lucifer. So does Francesco, during your fight with him.
- Both Lucifer and Cleopatra repeatedly remind Dante of just how the whole thing is his fault.
- World of Ham: It's Hell. If people aren't screaming lamentations or cackling madly, something's wrong.
- Yin-Yang Bomb: The scythe for Unholy attacks and the cross for Holy attacks.