These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Kamiya's original vision was that Vergil had been kidnapped as a child (when Dante lost a mother and brother to evil twenty years ago), and was never anything but a good guy who managed to break loose to help his brother. The author of the first novel decided to ignore that, and wrote Vergil as an evilbadass who was around during Dante's teens. One of these Vergils was obviously much cooler than the other, and DMC3 made the novel's version of the character canon.
Eva as well. Silk Hiding Steel or Action Mom? Dante saying that Trish, who is an Action Girl, lacks her "fire" implies the latter, as does the fact that she was able to keep Mundus from getting her children in the attack that killed her. Except in the original version, she didn't: Vergil was kidnapped and Dante was killed.
None of this even accounts for what is brought to the table if Viewtiful Joe and Bayonetta are taken as canon to DMC lore. For starters, the latter all but outright states that Eva is an UmbraWitch, while the former retroactively elevates her to Chessmaster-level Guile Heroinewho plays the role of Big Good throughout the entirety of the original game. The DMC2 novel, while non-canon, shares a similar view, the only difference being that she explicitly takes command of her husband's army after his death in an alternate timeline.
Dante has his fair share of this, too, thanks in part to his Let's Get Dangerous moments where he completely drops all signs of his usual jovial and flippant nature to start kicking copious amounts of ass without a single word wasted. And then there's Dante's characterization in the second game, which is so vastly different from every other appearance of his. The fact that Dante's personality isn't 100% consistent between games, the anime, the novels, and the like, coupled with his Hidden Depths, only adds to the layers of interpretation.
Author's Saving Throw: Many fans are saying that the DmC preboot being an Alternate Continuity is clearly this due to the backdraft caused by it. Basically, this means that it's a reboot, but it's still canon to the previous games in that it takes place in the same multiverse, so the classic Dante and lore still "exist."
Awesome Music: Love should also be given to the battle music, particularly the two tracks from Devil May Cry 3, "Taste the Blood" and "Divine Hate." "Taste the Blood" crosses over with both Crowning Moment of Awesome and Crowning Moment of Funny when Dante gets the Nevan weapon—a literal electric guitar—and tests it out by performing the aforementioned song. Complete with sounds of an audience cheering (though no actual audience is seen) and stage pyrotechnics.
Phantom's reappearance towards the end of 2. He just randomly pops out of nowhere, despite (in his last appearance) melting after being impaled on a spiked pillar. The fact that he's inexplicably mute doesn't help, although the description for that particular mission hints that Time Travel may be involved.
Breather Boss: Baal in 4 isn't a very hard fight, probably because he comes after a long slog through the castle collecting all the Gyro Blades. He telegraphs his attacks from a mile away, they're all easy enough to dodge, and he gives you tons of opportunities to damage him.
He can become a pain in hard mode though. Echidna however, is this on any difficulty.
Most cutscenes in DMC4 also qualify. Dante performs Jeet Kune Do on a demon, Nero recharges bullets by throwing them and making his gun grab them, etc.
Demonic Spiders: Blitz from DMC4. They're more like Demonic Beetles, really, but most players can agree they'd rather fight an actual boss than one of these. Far from the only one though.
Chimera Assaults are especially so. To put it simply, in higher difficulty mode, simply trying to get near them is potential suicide.
Then there's Alto Angelo. Its lesser brethren, Bianco Angelo, can't fight back if backstabbed, but Alto can and will teleport like kids on crack, impossible to buster unless their shield is down, and like Bianco, cannot be snatched. EVER.note At least trying to use the Snatch on them doesn't hurt you or anything; the game just treats them like a grapple target from the platforming sections.
Shadows from DMC1: they're fast, hit hard, can't be damaged by melee attacks and can only be finished off by attacking a core which is revealed briefly after a certain amount of damage — plus they're spiteful enough to try a Taking You with Me, which you have to run around like a headless chicken for upwards of 10 seconds to avoid. Have fun trying to beat three of them at once on a 100% run.
The Arachne from DMC3 also fit this trope when you fight them in swarms.
Designated Hero: Trish in 4, for giving the most powerful weapon in the game to the Order, allowing them to wreak havoc much faster than they would have originally. The only thing possibly keeping Trish a hero is that she's sided with Dante.
It's heavily implied that she did such an act out of boredom but also to quickly rise up the ranks of the Order in a short period of time and then relay info back to Dante. Granted, it was still a terrible decision, but it doesn't make Trish that bad of a person, not to mention that she and Dante manage to contain and quickly clean up her folly.
Epileptic Trees: Some fans believe that the zweihander Nelo Angelo wields is actually a corrupted version of the Yamato (in 3:SE, Corrupted Vergil's DT has him become Nelo Angelo, with the Yamato replaced by Nelo's sword). Similarly, they believe that Nelo's death factors into the Yamato's broken appearance in 4.
The collection of swords along the walls of Dante's shop could be a collection of Devil Arms from his off-screen missions.
Besides the Continuity Snarl behind the Word Of God-confirmed facts that Vergil is dead and Nero is his son, there's questioning over whether or not the Yamato is acting as his Soul Jar, considering that Nero's DT looks considerably like a fusion of Vergil's DT from 3 and Nelo Angelo. Not to mention that the quote in Nero's section is a pseudo-Call Back to one of Vergil's Motive Rants in 3.
Fan Dumb: Even after the reboot's release and all the contradictions it has with the original series' continuity, people still think DmC: Devil May Cry is a prequel. This is often said as a way to defend the immature personality of the reboot's Dante even though he is older than the one from Devil May Cry 3.
Fan Nickname: "Uncle Dante" for his portrayal in Devil May Cry 4 as well as his relationship with Nero.
Fanon: Nero being Vergil's son is never said explicitly in 4; the novel stating it and the guy from Capcom's localization having heard this somewhere are of dubious legitimacy. The game just says that he has "Sparda's blood"; which doesn't leave many possibilities, but at least two (Vergil and Sparda himself).
First Installment Wins: The first Devil May Cry is tied with 3. While the latter was criticized was for its strong difficulty, its updated edition fixed this by dialing the difficulty levels back a bit and became arguably the best Devil May Cry. Devil May Cry 4 is also viewed as the game with the most complex mechanics.
Freud Was Right: The entire theme of Trish (specifically, the implication was that Mundus was using her as a Honey Trap for Dante in the first game), but subverted. As said in Oedipus Complex under Dante's entry in the characters sheet, it doesn't work on Dante — he's visibly disturbed by her appearance.
Game Breaker: Devil May Cry 3's style Quicksilver puts Dante into bullet time for rather long periods of time, though it eats up is devil gauge. However, with enough devil gauge restoring items it becomes a little broken.
When playing in a unlocked mode with a certain costume, Dante has unlimited Devil Trigger. The game then essentially becomes "Dante slaughters everything in bullet time," so long as the player wants to be cheap.
Devil May Cry has Shotgun Hiking. With Air Hike and a shotgun you can endlessly jump and juggle an airborne target until it dies or you mess up the trick. (This isn't a bug; it's an exploit.)
The reboot has a Devil Trigger that paralyzes enemies. It gets even crazier with certain combinations. Using Devil Trigger and Demon Evade, Succubus can be defeated in 3 hits. Using Demon Evade, Devil Trigger and Overdrive results in the most anticlimactic boss fights. Even Mundus can be defeated in 11 hits.
Goddamned Bats: From DMC4, you have the Chimera Seeds. Bladey Planty thingies that just love to attach to other monsters so they can interrupt your combo. And that's just the tip of the iceberg, as on higher difficulties pretty much every mook is one.
The Nefasturris boss in 2 is apparently made of them.
Though commonly mistaken to be actual bugs, there are several unintentional exploits in the series: Jump Canceling in the third and fourth games, which allows for infinite aerial maneuvers; roll cancelling out of the Grenadegun's firing animation and Shotgun Hiking in the first game.
Heartwarming Moments: The ending of Devil May Cry 4 where Nero and Kyrie reconcile. The music "Shall Never Surrender" also helps.
Though mixed with a Tear Jerker and Narm, Dante crying over Trish's lifeless body is frequently thought of as one of the more touching (and hilarious) moments in the series.
Moral Event Horizon: Arkham crosses this line several times in Devil May Cry 3 due to how he used his wife and daughter. Sanctus and Mundus too but their actions feel less personal.
Half of the stuff the reboot's Vergil does including not caring about Kat's safety, shooting Lilith and her child when she was completely defenseless, his plans after Mundus' death and his "revenge" in the DLC chapter.
Dante also gets really close to the line to some when he mocks Mundus for his child's death. He does it to get him far from the Hell's Gate but several people reacted with a What the Hell, Hero? and care for Mundus.
Most Annoying Sound: KULUE!!! KULUEEEEEEE!!!! Made even worse when Nero starts to have a reverse puberty similar to Dante's below when he cries after fighting Agnus.
Narm Charm: The writers are bad at dramatic moments... DMC1 being especially bad, and DMC3 being somewhat more competent.
Dante: "I should have been the one to fill your dark soul with liiiiiiiiiiiight!"
For bonus points, Dante's voice cracks very unmanfully right at the end of that line, like he was suddenly struck with reverse puberty.
Nightmare Fuel: Depending on your personal threshold, Nobodies and The Underworld in 1. But especially Nobodies.
Fittingly enough, Nightmare. Yes, it is a large mass of gelatinous darkness with human bones stuck inside and it's slithering towards you. Have fun.
The entire castle in the second half of the first game is practically built out of Nothing Is Scarier. There are still enemies around to compromise the mood... but that's not much consolation when they're Frosts or Nobodies.
Mundus' crumbling appearance during the final fight with him can only be described as this.
The sequence inside the Leviathan in 3. Especially running away from the hungry, giant Gigapede in the intestines.
Most of the guardians of Temen-ni-gru, especially Beowulf.
Phantom, for those who hate spiders.
Griffon. His head is composed of several upper jaws around a hole.
Porting Disaster: The port of 3 from console to PC, thanks to Capcom outsourcing the porting job to another developer. Thankfully, Capcom learned their lesson after DMC3 and Resident Evil 4, resulting in the above.
A general complaint about DmC is that Ninja Theory and Capcom have somehow managed to make Dante a Replacement Scrappy to himself.
Lucia became this to Trish in the second game and ironically so, as Lucia's creation was likely in response to the lack of a playable Trish in the original DMC. It seems to have died down in the intervening years, partially because a good number of fans actually like the character (or feel that she was wasted potential), but mainly because most of the fanbase still wants to blot out Devil May Cry 2 from memory.
The Scrappy: Trish. Besides the fact that she doesn't really guide him much, her betrayal to Dante in Mission 20 has what nails her to be hated by fans.
More than likely the intended reaction, and a temporary one at that, what with the Heel Realization and Heroic Sacrifice that followed soon after. Aside of her debated Faux Action Girl credentials and some controversy about being the catalyst of 4's plot by handing Sparda over to the Order of the Sword, judging by the general warm welcome she received by DMC fans for (unexpectedly) joining the MvC3 roster, most of the hate delivered at Trish seems to have long-since subsided (unless we're talking about shipping, which is an entirely different can of worms).
It works because earlier games forced you to choose whether you wanted to spend your Red Orbs on items or abilities, and refunds weren't allowed. However, in 4, you can return abilities for a refund in Proud Souls (and at the current price!), allowing you to effectively customize your moveset.
Although to compensate for the customizeability, you can only get additional Proud Souls after you finish a mission, making it so that you can't get any new abilities mid-mission, and the cost of every single ability goes up when you buy one, making maxing out all abilities prohibitively expensive, far more expensive than the total cost of all abilities in any of the previous games... and naturally there's an achievement for getting all abilities. Furthermore, few people actually use the Red Orbs for anything beyond the storebought Blue and Purple Orbs and thus most of them just end up going to waste after you get the maximum number of both. The only good aspect about them is the fact that Proud Souls are shared between characters, meaning Dante won't start off with zero abilities when the game switches over to him.
Whose great idea was it to put a time limit on Bloody Palace?
The style system in 3. Why the hell should the player choose between the ability to Flash Step and that to guard? Between multi-aiming with guns and additional melee attacks? This is a great source of Fake Difficulty against bosses or enemies you face for the first time, and gets especially annoying in the penultimate boss, where the fact of having Vergil fighting with you prevents you from using any of your styles. Thankfully, 4 allows you to change styles whenever you want, including mid-combo, making the system much more interesting to exploit, if tricky to master.
Seinfeld Is Unfunny: When it came out, reviews lauded the first game for its fast action and deep gameplay; today many players who try it find it kind of slow, clunky and limited (not to mention the infamous triangle jump). It has the right to be, since it basically set all the foundations of the modern Beat 'em All genre, three years before God of War and Itagaki's Ninja Gaiden.
That One Attack: If you get swallowed by Nightmare, you're sent into a demonic dimension where you must fight several Sargassoes and one of the previous bosses to get out.
This also doubles as Nightmare's Achilles' Heel. Escaping from this dimension deals a sizable portion of damage to Nightmare's health bar, and also makes the light switches needed to keep Nightmare solid last longer for the rest of the battle. However, it only works once; you can only be swallowed up by Nightmare once as all subsequent attempts to eat Dante simply results in a normal bite.
The fact it only works once is Fridge Brilliance; the dimension is stated to be a result of Dante's underlying mental trauma from all his demon-hunting. The bosses that appear are also Killed Off for Real by the time the fight they can appear in happens. So Dante is facing his demons in the form of his most recent traumas; the most recent bosses. The attack only works once for that fight because it's Dante overcoming that particular trauma.
That One Boss: Griffon, Nightmare, Trismagia, Leviathan's Heart, Arkham, Vergil, Dante, etc... You take your pick.
In general, Vergil Mode in 3:SE. It's a full-on retread of Dante's story, complete with facing a red-clad Vergil (dubbed "Vante" by fans). Playing as Vergil is undeniably cool, but it's a crying shame that you only get a glimpse of his side of the tale for all of two cutscenes.
Not only that, but They Wasted A Perfectly Good Character to fight against in Bloody Palace mode. When playing as Nero or Dante in Bloody Palace mode, the final boss... is Dante/ShadowDante respectively. You never get to fight an AI controlled Nero as the last boss when playing as Dante.
Unnecessary Makeover: Lady in 4, considering she wasn't unattractive to begin with and appealed to a lot of fans in 3.
Villain Decay: When you first see Arius in 2, he's a calm, cunning, and competent villain who actually poses a threat to Dante. He even seems to be slightly Genre Savvy, considering that he tries to use Lucia being held hostage against Dante. The next time you see him, it's like he's a completely different person. And there's no viable reason for it.
What an Idiot: Trish. Taking a powerful sword capable of subduing the Prince of Darkness and handing it to a Corrupt Church is NOT a good idea.
Not necessarily idiotic and possibly done because It Amused Her. Judging from the way she and Dante act throughout the course of the game, it was a stunt she pulled without his permission because it was fun. Considering that Dante is a One-Man ArmyBadass and will curbstomp the bad guys anyway, any entertainment is welcome.
Also, in the first game, Dante saves Trish when she is about to be crushed by debris. Why? Because she looks like his mother. He could have convinced her to pull a Heel-Face Turn after this since she only betrayed him due to following orders so that they can defeat Mundus together and leave Mallet Island, but no, he just leave her behind after the third boss fight with Nightmare all because he is mad at her for revealing she's working for Mundus.
What Do You Mean, It's Not Didactic?: The plot from Devil May Cry 3 appears to be loosely based on The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri with similar developments in the story. While in the poem Dante understands Christ's divinity, the Dante from Devil May Cry 3 learns to respect his father Sparda. There is also an amount of Fridge Brilliance such as Cerberus' frozen body.