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 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).
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: The game changes the setting to the year 1191 as opposed to the presumed 1300 of the original poem, but the developers overlooked that some historical figures who were either still alive in that year (e.g. Saladin who lived 1137-1193 but is found in Limbo (in the animated movie at least) or weren't born yet (e.g. Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II is found in Heresy, but wasn't born until 1194) shouldn't be in Hell yet.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: In The Divine Comedy, Satan, though discussed about intermittently by the protagonist and Virgil during their journey through the Nine Circles of Hell, is not seen in person by the poets until they reach last circle at the very center of Hell. In this game, Lucifer plays a far more active role and is first seen on Earth taking Beatrice's soul before Dante has gone through the Gate of Hell.
  • Adapted Out: As the original poem featured Loads and Loads of Characters, not all of them could be included in the game. Some notable omitted characters from the poem include Muhammad and Ali (for the aforementioned reason under Adaptation Distillation above), Cain (despite a region of the ninth circle being named for him), and Caius Cassius, Marcus Brutus, and Judas Iscariot (who are gnawed on by Satan in the poem, though the last is referred to by way of the thirty Silver Coins that can be found throughout the game).
  • 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.
    • The temptress enemy has a variation of this; she has a scropion tail that she uses to both lash and sting with... but it comes out of her crotch.
  • Big "NO!": Lucifer When Dante chains him back in Cocytus
  • 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.
    • Dante has his moments too.
  • 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.
  • 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 in the deepest circle.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Lust is a Freudian nightmare, and it's not subtle about it.
  • Dual Boss: You fight Marc Antony and Cleopatra together.
  • Driven to Suicide: Well, the Suicides forest. If Dante is hit by the effect of the forest fruit, you must button mash before he 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 is polite and soft-spoken, if somewhat sarcastic. It's just an act; once you start really putting the screws to him he goes full Large Ham.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: As might be expected from a game set in Hell. 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.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Some of the background music is eerily reminiscent of the theme music from the Shadow Temple. This is, of course, served with a healthy dosage of screams from the damned.
  • 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.
    • Another individual worth mentioning is Alighiero. The historical Alighiero di Bellincione, father of Dante Alighieri, was a respected banker and, as far as is known from surviving documents, a decent parent. The character of Alighiero presented here is an avaricious, lecherous, and abusive bastard who gets worse when he is turned into a demon who really crosses the Moral Event Horizon.
  • 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: The Temptresses and Cleopatra, but instead of being attractive, they're extremely disturbing.
  • 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 is always nude whenever she puts in an appearance throughout the game.
  • 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, though he will implicitly end up in Hell. Maybe. It's sort of ambiguous.
  • 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!?!!!"
  • 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.
  • 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-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 the player can easily see the cloth-tapestry cross that he's sewn onto his skin.
    • Somewhat subverted as this was meant to be a realistic depictions of what hell is said to be like. Which would be horrifying and filled with nudity (especially in lust) and violence, not to mention people only go there for one reason. While it did change the basic story of what the book was about, it was pretty faithful to its core message of redemption and ends on a peaceful note.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: It's God of War IN (Christian) HELL!
  • Rerouted From Heaven: Beatrice. The whole plot is about fixing that.
  • Rescued from the Underworld: Dante's mission is to plumb the depths of Hell, find Beatrice, and fight his way back out. He succeeds. Sort of.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out: The Achievement for finding all 30 pieces of silver is "Good Old Judas".
  • Sinister Minister: There's the bishop in the flashbacks, and the heretic and pagan enemies.
  • Sinister Scythe: Taken from and used against Death himself.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: While the game overall retains its source material's Idealism, however it is deliberately scaled back here. One good example is that whereas Christianity is portrayed as a good influence in the Divine Comedy, here it shows that it did not have a completely beneficial effect on the Human kind by depicting the bloodshed brought about by the Crusades (including having the protagonist take part in an unprovoked killing of slaves). The cynicism is further dialed up in Animated Epic in which Satan gives a monologue in which he proclaims that the physical world is "Another Hell", that "humans are its demons", and that by implication of allowing The Evils of Free Will that God Is Evil.
  • 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.