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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."

The Inferno 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 under construction.


This work includes the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Dante's father Alighero 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Big "NO!": Lucifer.
  • Bishounen Line: Lucifer.
  • 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!"
  • 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!"
  • 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.
  • Combat Tentacles: Temptresses. You don't want to know the details. If you do, Lawrence Friday did a Let's Play.
    • King Minos has them, as well.
  • 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.
  • Crusading Widower: Dante.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Deal with the Devil: Beatrice.
  • 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.
  • Dirty Old Man: Dante's father.
  • The Determinator: Dante starts out his quest by killing Death, then proceeds to bring a one man holy war down upon all of the legions of hell that dare to stand in his way, up to and including the Devil himself.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The nameless assassin, in retaliation for Dante sleeping with his wife as part of a deal for freedom which Dante actually honored, a deal that she offered, kills Dante, travels all the way to Europe to find Dante's home, and kills Dante's father and his love Beatrice. His determination is nearly on Dante's level.
  • Distressed Damsel: Beatrice is the reason Dante is driven to fight his way through hell; she's held captive there.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Lust is a Freudian nightmare, and it's not subtle about it.
  • Driven to Suicide: Well, the Suicides forest. At one point, Dante is influenced by a demonic tree and, if not quick enough to resist, kills himself.
  • Eat Me: Against Cerberus.
  • Enfant Terrible: The unbaptized babies are cute little babies with scythes for arms who want to kill you.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Dante is clearly shown to love his mom very much.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Cleopatra is genuinely grief-stricken when Dante kills Anthony. They did damn themselves to be together forever, after all.
  • Eye Scream: Dante's father is murdered with a cross through his eye.
  • Fan Disservice: Lust, of course, includes attractive, nude, female demons that have creepy ways of attacking, as detailed below. There's also plenty of nudity in both the game and the animation from deformed monstrosities.
  • Fanservice: Beatrice is an Innocent Fanservice Girl. Dante also goes through the majority of the game shirtless, and is wholly naked at the end.
  • Fat Bastard: The Gluttonous demons and Dante's father.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Lucifer.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: You don't say.
    • Though it actually is sometimes averted.
  • Follow the Leader: The developers are being pretty open about their God of War inspirations.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: 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.
  • Good Is Not Nice: The Absolve finishers aren't too terribly less brutal than the Punish finishers. For those who haven't played the game, the Absolve finishers literally burn the sin out of the damned, causing them to explode in holy light.
  • The Grim Reaper: The first boss; he's sort of weak, actually, compared to the other things to be found in Hell.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Beatrice is beautiful, pure, virtuous, and blonde.
  • Heroic BSOD: Dante when he finds his mother in the Forest of Suicides, since he always thought she had died from a fever when he was a child.
  • Historical Badass Upgrade: Dante. In real life, he had some military service, but was essentially a scholar and historian.
  • Historical-Domain Character: You find famous souls scattered about all over the place, such as Boudica, Attila the Hun, and a couple different Roman emperors, among others. In addition, there are a significant number of people present who were not famous, but whom the real life Dante had a personal beef with and so wrote into the original story to get back at.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Justified, since they work for hell and probably have gotten powers because of it:
    • Cleopatra is a 30-foot tall succubus who rules over Lust.
    • Marc Antony is a 10-foot tall warrior wearing golden armor that looks like it's made out of other shades.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Dante kills Death with his own scythe.
    • King Minos has his face split in half by his own spiked wheel.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: Dante's trusty cross.
  • Horny Devils:
  • Infant Immortality: Completely, utterly averted: among the first monsters you meet are the unbaptised children of Limbo, little weeping babies with scythe blades instead of arms.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Beatrice.
  • Invulnerable Attack: Enemies will still try to attack Dante during a grab, but as long as you have started the kill animation — as opposed to still mulling whether to Punish or Absolve — any attack that is not another grab will just pass harmlessly through him.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Upon completing the Eighth Circle, Dante is told to face his sins of betrayal by the Queen of Hell, Beatrice. Believing himself eternally damned and Beatrice worthy of Heaven, Dante asks for forgiveness and places Beatrice's cross on the ground. This results in the restoration of Beatrice and her rescue by the archangel Michael, leaving Dante to face his final challenge.
  • Karma Houdini: The unnamed assassin never receives punishment for his killing spree.
  • Karma Meter: Albeit one with Gameplay and Story Segregation. You level up your cross and scythe depending on how you execute enemies. Absolving them earns you Holy points that give you more Cross moves to buy and "Punishing" them earns you Unholy points for scythe moves.
  • King Mook: Malacoda, a fiery demon. Fittingly enough, he was the boss of the Malebranche devils.
  • The Knights Templar: Dante seems to have been one, judging by his uniform.
  • Large Ham: Many; King Minos, Lucifer, and the cutscene bishop are the most obvious examples.
    • One of the damned souls in Heresy gives us a fine example of scenery chewing:
    "What will become of MYY GOOD NYYAAAAAAMMMMEEE!?!!!"
  • Like a Badass out of Hell: Dante.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Cleopatra.
  • The Lost Lenore: Beatrice.
  • 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 again. Don't ask how she makes them.
  • 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.
  • Off Model: The Anime's animation ranges from gorgeous and/or fluid (Manglobe, Film Romannote  and Dong Woo), to sub-par (Production I.G) to just average (JM Animation).
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: It wouldn't be a game set in Hell without it.
  • One True Faith: Zig-Zagged. Pagans are in supposedly in Hell, but Lucifer tells Dante that those he fought in the Crusades are not, after all, in this Hell. What he means by that is anyone's guess, and is probably best left that way.
    Satan: This isn't their Hell, Dante. It's yours.
    • One way to interpret this is that Dante seeing his enemies in Hell would have given him satisfaction.
  • One-Woman Wail: The slopes in between each layer generally feature a creepy version of this usually sorrowful wail.
  • Politically Correct History: Averted and played straight. The game pulls no punches about the conduct of Dante as a Crusader (the whole story’s about sin, after all), but removes the original poem’s indications that Mohammed was in hell, and puts Crusaders there as well for their murder of Muslim civilians.
  • Posthumous Character: The majority of the characters shown in-game are already dead — this being Hell, after all — although Beatrice and Dante deserve special mentions.
  • The Power of Friendship: Dante returns Lucifer to his prison by using the souls of his family and friends.
  • Rated M for Manly: Dante is now a very muscular Crusader who neglects to wear a shirt...so the player can easily see the cloth-tapestry cross that he's sewn onto his skin.
  • Recycled INSPACE: It's God of War IN (Christian) HELL!
    • More of a repeat since God of War has already tackled "Hell"... And "Purgatory" and "Heaven".
  • Redemption Equals Death
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tainted Veins
  • That's No Moon: How Phlegyas reveals himself in the Styx River.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: How Beatrice ends up biting it, thus resulting in her being condemned to Hell. Also Francesco.
  • To Hell and Back: Subverted.
  • 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. Stay classy, Visceral!
  • 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.
  • Viral Marketing: Mass: We Pray, a spoof of The Moral Substitute which actually had people very worried that it was a real product. Also, notable people in the media who cover video games received items tailored to a specific Deadly Sin:
  • 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.

The DLC includes the following tropes:


    Creator/ManglobeDeadman Wonderland
CröixleurFantasy Video GamesDark Age Of Camelot
The BoondocksCreator/MOI AnimationG.I. Joe: Renegades
CröixleurHack and SlashDark Messiah
ChaoticCreator/Dong Woo AnimationDead Space: Aftermath
Dangerous DaveAction GameDark Ages
D4 PrincessCreator/MadhouseDearS
DamnationXbox 360 Darksiders

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