Devil May Cry (2001): Half-Human Hybrid demon slayer Dante fights his way through a demon-infested Haunted Castle to prevent the Big Bad his father sealed away from returning, along the way crossing paths with his brother Vergil and picking up a demon sidekick named Trish.
Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening (2005): In a prequel to the first game, Dante tries to stop his brother Vergil from opening a Hell Gate to get his hands on the power of their father, along the way teaming up with a Badass Normal demon slayer called Lady who's looking for her demon-worshiping dad.
Action Girl: Lucia and Lady. Beryl in the second novel.
Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Every time you purchase an item, the price goes up. And yet after five or so buys, the price will freeze.
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.
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 light shows going on under the floor or nebulae flying by.
Anachronic Order: Placed in chronological order, it's more like: Manga -> 3 -> 1 -> anime -> 4 -> Novel 2 -> 2.
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).
Armed Legs: Dante wields these with his Beowulf Devil Arm in 3. It returns in the form of Gilgamesh in 4.
Armor Is Useless: Dante and Nero's weapons cut like butter through enemies in armor, as only enemies with magical barriers or demonic weapons of their own can defend against Devil Arms.
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, a powerful demon who turned on his masters and became a champion of the human world.
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.
Awesome yet Practical: On the other hand, Real Impact 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 deal extra damage like Sparda and has a Devil Trigger.
While we're at it, the fully upgraded Ifrit can count too. The fire gauntlets are most useful against a single or two opponents. Meaning the best use for them are against some of the bosses. Its charged attacks are murder against bosses like Nightmare and Nelo Angelo. It just eats away their health (even on Dante must Die mode). Also, a player can kill the Shadows pretty fast if good enough.
Backtracking: In 4—and how! Nearly every reviewer called it out. Basically, 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.
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.
Dante actually does have a room full of weapons. You can see an entire wall full of them in DMC.
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.
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?)
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. 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 demi-human) villains. Lampshaded in the second novel, where Chen declares that "I should announce my presence like the big bad boss that I am!"
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 4. Sadly, no gameplay usage.
Blob Monster: Nightmare and Mundus' true form in 1, Argosax the Chaos in 2, Arkham in 3.
Dante has his Royal Guard skill that can block anything if properly done, including explosions, electrified floors and 100ft tall statues drop kicking him. Use it wrong and Dante will take damage and the guard will be broken.
Nero from the fourth game can block attacks by meeting them with his Power Fist the Devil Bringer. Blocking all sorts of attacks, giant spears, massive demons and even punches from the Savior.
Many enemies from bosses to mooks can put up a defensive stance and stop attacks cold. Some of the heavier attacks can go around these.
Blood Knight: While 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!"
While Dante does seem to enjoy spicing up his line of work, in context of the events of 3, the above quote could be alternatively seen as Dante forcing himself to enjoy the upcoming demon death carnival after living through an extremely physically and emotionally taxing day. Compare this, for example, to his behavior in the first two games and TAS, where he's pretty reserved while on the job and even outright says in the original that Devil May Cry is a means to an end.
Dante: "The way I figure it, in this business, a lot of your kind comes around. And if I kill each one that comes, eventually I should hit the jackpot sooner or later."
Blood Magic: When you kill monsters, you collect their crystallized blood and offer it to the nebulous God of Time to upgrade your powers.
Boss Banter: Nearly every boss, especially Vergil in DMC3.
"You are not worthy as my opponent." "Now... I'm motivated!" "You...! TRASH!"
Boss Rush: 3 and 4 each have one level devoted entirely to this.
1 has this in the form of diving into Nightmare to fight shadow versions of previous bosses in order to do massive damage to Nightmare itself. 2 also has a psuedo-boss rush in the form of Argosax the Chaos.
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 4's 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+.
In 1 during the first cutscene Dante mentions that he's doing the job so he hits the jackpot and gets to the demon that killed his mother. His line just before the killing blow? Jackpot!
3 follows suit, with Vergil getting in on the action. The subtext is that Dante and Vergil started out in the demon slaying business together, and "Jackpot!" was something they liked to say. Which adds a ton of subtext to the use in the first game, considering Dante is saying it to the guy who possessed and caused the death of his brother...
In 3, after the Car Fu segment, Dante discards the handlebars of Lady's bike. One of the Game Clear artworks you can unlock is her holding them giving Dante a Death Glare while he walks away casually.
Call Back: In 2, Dante comforts a teary-eyed, distressed Lucia at endgame by telling her "Devils never cry." This not only parallels his words to Trish in the final portions of the first game, but Lucia herself parallels Trish's origins as an Artificial Demon created by the game's Big Bad. She's good from the start, unlike, but wonders if her parentage and status as a demon means she'll turns on the humans.
Call Forward: 3 has a lot of calls toward the original, particularly where Vergil is concerned.
Vergil uses Beowulf's power to create gauntlets. Bringing to mind that Nelo Angelo knocked Dante's sword out of his hands and almost defeated him with his hand-to-hand skills.
When the second fight with Vergil gets to its halfway point, Vergil does Dante's old weapon switch animation when pulling out Yamato.
At the end when Lady sees Dante she asks him if he is crying and he says, "Devils never cry," remarking the words at the end of 1 and 2.
Calling Your Attacks: Averted in 1 and 2, where Dante only makes war cries. Subverted in 3; he shouts "Rising Dragon" during Real Impact yet 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.
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 then there is DMC3: Special Edition, which is the same game with a nerfed difficulty and a Vergil mode.
Charge Meter: A visual charge via various weapons, usually performed by the "hold down button" input and seen through effects, like Nero's Devil Bringer changing colors depending on the level of charge obtained. Pandora and Red Queen's Exceed system have actual meters in 4.
A straighter 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 in 3. They later are involved in the ritual used to open the gate to the underworld.
Boss Dante in 4 is infinitely superior to any version the player has ever had access to, if only because of computerized accuracy.
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.
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.
Counter Attack: Used with Royal Guard to completely nullify damage taken and drastically increase damage dealt.
Creative Closing Credits: Notable in 3 and 4 where you have to kill as many demons as possible as a timer winds down while the credits roll. 4 has the added difficulty where Nero - you, the player - can't let a single Scarecrow touch Kyrie in order to see an extra ending.
Crossover: In Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne (or at least the Updated Re-release that became the US and PAL versions) 2!Dante is fought in 2 boss battles (both optional, but to skip the first one you have to permanently lock yourself out of the bonus dungeon). He also appears as a playable character in the PS2 verison 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.
This is also coupled with Executive Meddling (since Hideki Kamiya left Capcom, it's been the new director of the series who believes that Dante has been used far too much). However, our prayers have finally been answered: Dante (and Trish) are in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (with Vergil later added to the roster in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3)! YEAH!
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, 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 diffcult boss as Dante, immediately afterwards 4 of his kind come through the hell gate. Dante then manages to obtain the Pandora, and proceeds to effortlessly wreck all 4 of the boss's friends with a lethal combination of Pandora's abilities. Try replicatingTHIS 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.
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. Again 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.
Dante's mother; canon is decidedly unspecific about how she died though.
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 Killevery 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.
Devil May Cry has a polytheistic setting, Dante even upgrades his powers by offering demonic blood to the god of time. "God" is either the principle deity of the pantheon or some characters like Nero and Berial remain monotheists despite evidence against it.
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-atttacks, but you'll have to memorise enemy attack cues and patterns to get the timing right.
Same with Lucifer in 4. Beginner points are basically kick out a lot of blades with Pin-Up, then use Bondage to impale and then Ecstasy to finish.
Changing styles mid-combo in 4. It requires a bit of dexterity (going from analog stick to D-Pad) but when pulled off right you can extend combos (Swordmaster's Aerial Rave -> Dark Slayer's Aerial combo in midair) and compensate for holes in Dante's style made by the larger places you have to fight in (Air Trick -> ground fighting -> Swordmaster's Dance Macabre).
Instant Revving with Nero in 4 (EX-ACT and later MAX-ACT). Revving up the Red Queen allows you to dish more damage and change the properties of some of your attacks. You can stand still and rev up the sword by tapping the Rev button a couple of times (up to a maximum of three levels) that charge up the next attack you do. However, purchase the EX-ACT upgrade and you can rev your sword as you slash it by pressing the Rev button as your sword makes contact with an enemy. This adds a single level instantaneously and can be done with every sword attack Nero has, provided you have the timing down. Later on you can purchase the MAX-ACT upgrade, which requires even more precise timing (maybe...one or two frames of tolerance) but doing so will instantly grant you all three rev levels in a single go.
Using enemies as platforms to reboot aerial combos (also known as "jump cancel") requires a very precise timing, but allows you to stay in the air indefinitely once you master it.
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 its 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.
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.
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. Additionally, most of Dante's sound files are switched from that of Matthew Kaminsky to Drew Coombs, his original VA from the first game.
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.
Essence Drop: May be the Trope Codifier for modern action games. Demonic blood comes in three flavours: red (currency), green (health) and white (Devil Trigger gauge).
Establishing Character Moment: The first cutscene in DMC1 does a good job of introducing Dante. He jokes to a woman who drove a motorcycle through his front door, points a sword when she looks like she can be hostile but doesn't use it, laughs off being impaled and electrocuted, sends a motorcycle flying with bullets and calmly takes the sword out of his chest. Character established.
DMC3 manages another one for the younger Dante in its first cutscene, just before the fighting starts - with multiple demons' scythes shoved through his torso and one of his handguns in easy reach... Dante grabs the slice of pizza right next to said handgun instead.
Excuse Plot: Actually averted, despite the great possibility to go in this direction (as the protagonist is a fearless badass and the whole point of the game is to be as stylish as possible, both of which would move product without any need for further exposition). There's a pretty well-woven tapestry of backstory and even some supplementary material for this series.
Plot is still not exactly a strong point of the series. The first game had few cutscenes and not much interesting dialogue and nobody can remember the story of 2 (or whether it even had one). 3 and 4 are just a little more decent, especially in the dialogues and character development, but don't explain a whole lot in the end (the threads Left Hanging for Nero are a sad example).
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.
Dante (and family) share many similarities to Inuyasha (and family).
Fanservice: 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."
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). Red Queen in 4 becomes something like this when revved up, and there's also Berial's sword, naturally.
Flanderization: Dante started out in 1 as a DisneyAnti-Hero (a Knight in Sour Armor). He posed as a mercenary and was picky about which jobs he took, but he would only refuse if the job lacked demons of any sort, taking the mission regardless of how much he got paid as long as demons were involved. Despite the wisecracking personality he had, he knew when to serious the hell up if it meant saving the world. Dante in 1 was kind enough to offer mercy to Griffon and Trish despite both of them wanting him dead (and it pays off on Trish's end; she joins him). Despite The Animated Series happening a short time after 1, they basically inverted his character as he is much more money-minded than demon-minded and prone to Out of Character and hypocritical moments, such as calling Modeus "pathetic" for wanting to avenge his dead brother. His debt to various people we've barely heard of are played up to uncomfortable laughs, and he's suddenly grown some Destructive Savior tendencies along with it. The later games just make him a Jerkass.
A bonus picture of 3 has Lady holding up the handlebar of her destroyed bike, with Dante shrugging in the distance. While it's understandable that she would want to be paid back for it, like the "debt" point, it's overplayed. Her later appearances end up having to do with either money Dante owes her for her bike, or money Dante owes in general.
Trish's Heel-Face Turn in the first game was remarked on by Mundus as being "sudden" ("Failure is one thing, but taking on an odd behavior like that..."). Later games have her as extremely impulsive and moody for no reason.
Until 4, however, this could have been justified as Dante mellowing out over time. He makes the expected leap from Jerkass to Jerk with a Heart of Gold over the course of 3, which would naturally bring him up to the more Knight in Sour Armor portrayal of 1. As stated before, however, 4 more or less Jossed this.
It could just be that he's riding high on the fact that he's likely surpassed even his father's strength at this point, and that's brought back a lot of his cocky jerkish behavior from back in 3. If you wanted to be morbid and aren't one of the many fans who ignore the second game entirely, you could explain the absence of Lady and Trish as something bad happening to them and him blaming himself and becoming sober and serious for that game.
Flash Step: The various "Trick" techniques by Vergil and "Air Trick" by Dante after maxing Trickter Style. Vergil occassionaly 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.
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. Looking at the stills for each cutscene in Theater mode will most likely reveal all of these instances.
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 Ebony & Ivory when firing and strafing.
Dante does it towards the end of 1 when he stops fooling around with Mundus and getsreallypissed off.
A God Am I: Occurs twice—first with Arkham in 3, whose megalomania was so great that having his ass handed to him by bothDante 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.
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!" in 1. 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 DMC3 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.
Nero's technically a quarter-devil, if you're willing to look past story difficulties.
Ground Punch: The Inferno ability, along with all its offshoots (Volcano, Shocking!) have Dante smash the ground with his fist to create either a wave of lava, a blast of Hard Light or a heavy shockwave.
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 conveninently (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 in 4 is a carbine-sized double-barrel revolver.
Heart Container: Blue Orbs, both full (usually bought from the God of Time) and Fragments (the usual reward for Secret Missions, also found in gameplay). Purple Orbs serve the same purpose for the Devil Trigger meter, though without Fragments and almost exclusively bought.
Rising Dragon (as said above) is the Shoryuken with bits of the Shinryuken added in, Divine Dragon resembles the Shinryuken even more, and Tornado is the ShinkuuTatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku. All of these come from Street Fighter.
Thesetwo videos showcase some more coincidences/similarities.
There are even allusions to some of SNK's fighters.
Hybrid Power: 4 has Agnus wonders why Dante is more powerful than he [Agnus] is. While he [Dante] never gives Agnus a straight, it pretty munch boils down that he [Dante] has the power of the demons and determination or soul of a human that makes him powerful, which can easily be applied to Nero as well. Kamiya has tweeted that it's because humans have heart, which demons lack.
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?
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.
Dante gets impaled by Trish in the second cutscene of the first Devil May Cry with the Force Edge prior to the above example.
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.
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.
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.)
Disappointingly absent in 4. The smack you away part, not the inescapable part.
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.
Intentional Engrish for Funny: A sort-of retconned version - concept art for Ebony & Ivory in the first game had "FOR TONY REDGRAVE, BY .45 ART WARKS" written on the slides. When presented with the perfect opportunity to fix that with the novel, they instead ran with it, where even the sign outside the aforementioned shop spells the word "work" incorrectly, and Dante makes fun of the owner for being a bad speller.
Invisible to Normals: Although no one seems to care about Temen-ni-gru in 3, 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.
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 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.
Jumped at the Call: ... But only if it shows up in person. Dante picks up the phone in 3, 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.
Then again, Arkham or whoever was calling might not have simply had the password for Devil May Cry's services. Dante might be a handyman, but only for demon-related jobs.
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.
Life Drain: Agnus' specialty 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. Nevan from 3 is also quitefond of this.
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, 4 features a much brighter color palette for its foes and environments than 3 (plus 1 and 2), which takes place almost exclusively in a gothic tower.
Locked Door: All over 1 and 2. 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."
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.
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 characters from The Divine Comedy. The fact that the twins are named Dante and Vergil should've been your first clue.
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.
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...)
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.
Eva is named after Eve (Eva is the Latinate form of Eve).
In the case of a song having a meaningful name, the track that plays over the fourth game's ending, "La Vita Nuova," takes its name from the collection of Courtly Love poetry written by the historical Dante. This works on a number of levels: first, the song plays over the start of Nero and Kyrie's new life together; second, Kyrie's acceptance of Nero as he is marks the signing and sealing of their love in a way that the Dante of the poems could not attain; third, as was common in Courtly Love poetry, the love being celebrated brings the protagonist closer to the divine.
Mêlée à 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.
Mighty Glacier: The Nelo (Nero if not for translation issues) Angelo DT for Vergil from 3: Special Edition.
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).
Money for Nothing: Averted in the first three games because red orbs could purchase moves in addition to items, so you had to run a balancing act between buying items or saving for new moves but played straight in the fourth game (red orbs only purchase items, which are of variable importance depending on one's skill, while Proud Souls will purchase new skills).
Nightmare is a warp boss in 1, where it's a double-edged sword: if Dante gets sucked in by Nightmare, he's sent to another dimension to fight an earlier - but weaker - boss. However, when he defeats the weaker boss, a good chunk of damage is dealt to Nightmare when Dante escapes.
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.
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.
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...
In Cerberus' case, it might make sense if you remember that in The Divine Comedy, Cerberus is the keeper of the Gluttony sinners, who are tormented by hailstorms. So... hail... ice... it might make sense.
Nerf: The Devil Trigger offers special abilities and attacks in 1 and 2; it is all but useless in 3.
Not entirely. The increased footspeed, increased offensive power, increased resistance to flinching, and Healing Factor are still quite useful. On top of that, special abilities still do exist with certain Devil Arms (i.e. Air Raid with Nevan).
Reversed in 4. For example, Dante gains Air Hike by default (thus meaning that buying Air Hike gives DT!ed Dante a second Air Hike) and the properties of some of his moves are changed (Stinger is now a multi-hitting, drilling stab that goes through enemies, Kick-13 has extra hits added, comes out faster, and ends with a Genocide Cutter).
The Styles were nerfed in 4 as a price for being able to switch them on the fly.
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.
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 its 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.
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.
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).
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, barring 2.
Breaking glass ceilings either by Dante or by some other reccuring character.
One-Hit Kill: Can be done to some enemies in the first game by hitting them in a specific way: Sin Scissors can be killed in a single shotgun blast by shooting their masks point blank right after they attack and Blades can be killed with a single downwards air attack on their back after being knocked down from behind. Both of them give some extra Red Orbs before the ones they normally drop after their death animation to show the player they did it correctly... as if the Blades flailing around on the ground spraying blood everywhere wasn't enough of an indication.
A Buster-counterattack against the ball of energy an Alto and several Bianco Angelos shoots (if in formation) at Nero in 4 can easilly net a SSS rank when timed properly (especially true if the Alto is weak or doesn't have a high enough vitality).
One-Man Army: Like all action game protagonists, Dante fits. However, according to the backstory, Sparda single-handedly fought off the unrestrained forces of Hell, taking this trope Up to Eleven.
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.
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."
The Other Darrin: Dante's voice actors. They didn't bring one back for a second game until 4.
This is made even more jarring if one considers Dante's appearance as a Secret Character in the PS2 version of Viewtiful Joe. Although it came out a year after 2 (where he was voiced by Matthew Kaminsky), Dante's voice actor is the same as the original game (Drew Coombs). In other words, it went from Drew Coombs, to Matthew Kaminsky, back to Drew Coombs, and then finally to Reuben Langdon, who has been voicing Dante ever since 3.
This doesn't even factor in Dante's other out-of-universe appearance as an Guest Fighter in Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, where Dante's voice actor is Kaminsky again (however, it's just a case of reusing his grunts and warcries from 2).
Dante was Darrin'd again for the reboot, this time being voiced by Tim Phillipps. Granted, that Dante is technically a different character with a different personality, so keeping the same voice actor would have been odd.
Trish's VA was also subjected to this, as it changed from Sara Lafleur in 1 to Danielle Burgio in 4. It would seem that out of all of the recurring characters (what few there are), only Lady has kept her VA (Kari Wahlgren).
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.
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.
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.
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 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 levelheaded. 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 in 3, two talkative demon swords wielded by headless demon bodies, one red and one blue, though they both seemed the same.
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 kindof guythatVergil 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 High Time. Dante also switches to reverse grip for the Drive shockwave.
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.
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'sInferno, he is a serpent-like creature with wings and a human face. There's never been a depiction of him as a horse.
The achievement in Devil May Cry 3 HD for defeating Arkham is "Asylum"; it's possible that the character was originally named after said asylum. Additionally, Jester was originally going to be named after The Joker.
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.
Subverted by Jokatgulm in 2. You can bypass hacking away at her tentacles and instead go straight for her head, but that merely makes the fight more difficult.
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...)
Averted by Vergil in 3, who always carries his katana, Yamato, in its sheath at his side. In his final boss appearance, though, he plays this straight with Force Edge.
Averted in 2's prequel novel, with one illustration in which the leather belt/harness Dante's wearing across his chest (in official game art, at that) holds Rebellion on his back.
Also averted in 3, where Dante wears a harness with holsters for his guns and the back of his trenchcoat has a strap for holding in Rebellion. Played straight with all his other weapons or when using most of the other costumes, though.
Tell Me About My Father: Averted. Dante cares little about wanting to know about Sparda (to the point where Lady knows more of the legends than he does), and Nero has yet to know who his father is to even ask.
The Lady's Favour: Lady handing Kalina Ann to Dante with the request that he "free" her father is this minus, y'know, the whole love interest thing in 3.
Gender flipped in 2, where Dante bequeaths his lucky coin to Lucia before heading into Demon World to face Argosax.
Theme Naming: The Seven Hells from 3, although the semblance is spotty at best. Also, five of the important characters draw their names from The Divine Comedy, and the Order of the Sword have a Christian hymn theme going.
Threatening 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.
At the beginning of 3, Dante complains that the demons wrecked his shop - and he hadn't even named it yet. At the end of the game, Lady tells Dante that "Even a devil may cry when he loses a loved one." Chronologically, this would be the phrase's first appearance.
Also Arkham in his human form or Sparda form. One might make a point that you fight him as Jester, but the spinning leg kick/roundhouse Arkham uses to send everyone flying indicates they'd fight very differently.
Updated Re-release: DMC3: Special Edition. PC version of 4 also had improvements over the console releases.
Victor Gains Loser's Powers: Started in 3, continued in 4. Nero has a lesser version of this, but Dante (and Vergil while he was alive) can turn the spirits of defeated enemies into weapons. This is the implied origin of Ifrit and Alastor from 1, presumably thanks to Sparda.
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 this world...!"
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Dante is rarely seen killing humans, while he brutally finishes off hundreds of often equally sentient demons. Though many times hes stated hes willing to let them leave if they simply stopped and ran off home.
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.
Awful Truth: Dante doesn't take the revelation of Trish working for Mundus all along rather well.
Boss Arena Idiocy: Nightmare 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 it take a more dangerous, but also vulnerable, form.
Chewing the Scenery: "I should have been the one to fill your dark soul with LIGHT! (light... light...)"
Convection Schmonvection: The souls of the dead envelop most of the area in Mundus' core in flame, and only by standing on large rocks can you protect yourself. Luckily for you, the flames don't actually radiate heat; you're fine as long as you're touching ground.
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.
Deus ex Machina: Trish suddenly being revived in time to save Dante. They never mentioned it again.
Unless you take Hideki Kamiya's implications in Viewtiful Joe that Eva's spirit haunted the Perfect Amulet and subsequently revived Trish to be canon.
Development Gag: Dante's alias, Tony Redgrave, likely serves as one to DMC's history as one of the many RE4 prototypes; the version that was retooled in the original game featured a protagonist named Tony.
Easily Forgiven: Trish counts. At first subverted that Dante wants nothing to do with her by the end of mission 20 due to her working for Mundus, but it becomes played straight when he finally forgives her after defeating Mundus.
Fire and Brimstone Hell: Mundus' Core contains a whole lot of "the souls of the dead", which manifest as periodic bursts of flame that damage you if you don't have a bunch of solid rock to protect you. In other words, time your jumps or get burned.
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!
Took a Level in Jerkass: Both Trish and Dante pull this on each other after she's revealed to be working for Mundus. Trish's reaction to Dante being down is laughing and telling him how he's easy to manipulate like a human, to which Dante responds by pointing his gun at her when she attempted to talk to him.
You Have Failed Me: Griffon faced a rather brutal dishonorable discharge at the hands of Mundus, which displeases Dante.
Devil May Cry 2
All Swords Are the Same: 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.
Macabre Moth Motif: Dante and Lucia fight an enormous moth as one of the bosses. The moth by itself isn't dangerous, but the eggs it lays hatch into larva that try to eat them.
Monster Mash: Argosax the Chaos is the literal embodiment of this trope; he's a bizarre fusion of several bosses that you faced so far (Phantom, Furiataurus, Nefasturris, Jokatgulm, and Oranguerra), as well as Griffon from 1.
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. Parodied when Jester starts doing the Charleston.
In the bonus boss fights against Jester, he does this whenever you attempt to shoot him, though after a few shots he's tired out and left wide open for some sword hits.
Button Mashing: "Crazy combos" are 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 Grayskull!: Averted - Vergil's soundbite prior to Devil Trigger 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-(Super) Devil 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.
Combat Tentacles: Soul Eaters (luminous tentacled Personal Space Invaders). Disturbingly enough, they always attack from behind, giggling and screaming, and when they snatch Dante up to drain his DT, it looks rather wrong.
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.
The Agni and Rudra boss is a justified example; when one of the brothers is defeated, the survivor grabs the loser's sword and starts Dual Wielding, gaining access to a few combo attacks.
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.
Doesn't Like Guns: Vergil. He instead uses his Summoned Swords, which function exactly like a gun.
Doomed Hometown: Dante wrecks his shop with a sneeze in the second mission 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).
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
Palette Swap: Vergil fights a red copy of himself in 3: Special Edition, instead of Dante.
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.
Boss Arena Recovery: Berial, the first boss, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Fake Ultimate Mook: The Mega Scarecrows are huge and have a crapload of health, but that's about it. They are even slower than regular Scarecrows, flinch at the slightest hit and rarely replicate - you just have to watch out for their roll attack, and their back blade which falls back two seconds after they die.
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.
Get Back Here Boss: Sanctus, so much. Unfortunately, throwing your controller at him doesn't work.
Give Me a Sword: Subverted, 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.
Grievous Harm with a Body: Nero's various Buster moves tend to involve throwing mooks around, with predictable results if they hit other mooks.
Ham-to-Ham Combat: The pre-battle cutscene prior to the fight between Dante and Angelo Agnus appears to be an (intentional) competition in which one of them can chew more scenery.
Mood Whiplash: The credits. To summarize, there's a touching moment with Nero and Kyrie complete with an Almost Kiss (sweet) which segways into a battle against an endless horde of enemies during the first half of the credits while Nero's rocking theme plays (badass). Then it once again turns soft for the second half while Nero and Kyrie stand looking at each other and finally hold hands (sweet). AND THEN it goes badass again by switching to Dante and company getting ready for their next gig.
Mook Horror Show: The fights against Dante go a long way towards showing how frightening Dante must look like to everyone standing against him.
Villain Ball: Sanctus grabs this one hard, and holds on for dear life. He has a decent enough plan: capture Dante to use him to power the Savior. So, he sends his second best man after Dante to capture him. So far so good. Then he goes and kidnaps Kyrie, turning two of his biggest assets against himself, for apparently no other reason than to be villainous. He's already said Dante was the best choice to power The Savior, so why suddenly decide to piss Nero off to use him instead?
Also, Agnus. He's just such an obvious villain that it's ridiculous.
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.
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.