The great philosopher Plato once said, "The measure of a man is what he does with power." But to these guys, power is the measure of a man.
The fourth season's finale is quite possibly the highest-scale fight in the series' history, pitting the most overpowered villain Tetsuya Nomura has ever put to data against one of two insanely over-the-top brothers of whom Hideki Kamiya has much to be proud. The hosts will match the power of the earth wielded by a fallen angel against the strength of hell brandished by a power-hungry devil, a genetically-enhanced super soldier against a naturally powerful demon slayer - for Sephiroth and Vergil have both dealt and accepted death before, but only one can take victory in a Death Battle.
To start the episode off, the hosts look at Sephiroth - or, more accurately, the exploits of the Shinra Electric Power company that created him. Legends of the "Promised Land" painted it as a source of unlimited energy, but all methods of finding it had long been lost until Shinra stumbled across Jenova, an apparent individual from the Promised Land-hailing Cetra. Cracks about phoenix down aside, they had no method of bringing Jenova back to life - and therefore were unable to have her lead them to the Promised Land herself - so they settled for using her as a basis to create Cetra of their own. Multiple attempts were made to merge Jenova's cells with humans', and eventually one succeeded - Sephiroth. This served as the basis for Shinra's SOLDIER program, though none of their (deliberate) future endeavours managed to truly surpass their original success. Sephiroth is strong and skilled enough to efficiently wield the Masamune, a nodachi with a 7'2'' blade, single-handedly, and is an effective and terror-inspiring warrior, one claimed to be "far stronger in reality than any stories you may have heard about him". Jenova's son was a key player in the Wutai War, ending with Shinra's conquest of the last free nation on the Planet and Sephiroth's name immortalized in war legend. Alas, during a fateful mission to the town of Nibelheim, Sephiroth discovered the truth of his heritage - the Jenova project. Nibelheim was burned to the ground as Sephiroth was driven to madness, only to be stopped by mercenary Cloud Strife, who impaled him on the Buster Sword, and threw him in a Mako Reactor.
However, as Mako Reactors draw from the Lifestream - the source of life across the Planet - this led to Sephiroth becoming far stronger in death than he ever was in life, capable of reconstructing his body, manipulating others who possess Jenova's cells, and controlling the corpse of Jenova herself. He is strong enough to throw grown men hundreds of feet against gravity, fast enough to fly at supersonic, and durable enough to take a blade through the torso. In addition, he has immense power over illusion, capable of trapping people in entire phantom worlds, and his merging with the Lifestream has given him an unlimited pool of magic and unparalleled access to any spell he has ever cast. A single kick from Sephiroth is enough to hurl a grown SOLDIER through solid concrete, and the flame breath of a grown dragon is incapable of so much as harming him; that same flame breath eliminated fellow SOLDIER Zack Fair in a single blow. Three years after Meteorfall - at which time Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi has confirmed Sephiroth was nowhere near his full power - he was able to guard himself from Cloud's strike, which was hard enough to crater the metal around him, an impact estimated at 1600 tons of force.
Sephiroth's most iconic form possesses a single black angel's wing extending from his right shoulder in reflection of his fall from grace, and the heavenly associations make themselves clear with his ultimate attack, Supernova. Although its original animation is infamously overpowered, Sephiroth's pursuit of the Black Materia - with which he summoned Meteor - makes it clear that he is not generating this himself, but transporting his opponents into the place where it occurs. His own "presence" within this devastation also serves as an example of his illusion abilities; Sephiroth cannot survive the explosion of a sun himself, but simply puts his own image there to intimidate his foes. That being said, one should not take these debunks of his powers as an indication that he has not earned his infamy; his every clash with Cloud Strife pushes the would-be SOLDIER to his limits, and Sephiroth is widely acknowledged as the single greatest threat to the Planet, both by others and himself.
- Sephiroth: I will... never be a memory.
With the One-Winged Angel given a thorough thrice-over, the hosts turn their attention to Vergil - similarly focusing on his origins in the demon lord Sparda. Leader of a mutiny in the underworld two thousand years ago, Sparda struck down his cruel master Mundus and placed a powerful seal between earth and hell. However, a creator often knows the weakness of his creations, and in time Sparda found himself slipping through to the overworld and romancing a human woman named Eva. Their union bore two sons; previous Death Battle victor Dante, and his elder brother Vergil. Rivals and foils from birth, the foolish, demon-hating Dante and the serious, heritage-embracing Vergil were separated when a group of demons who had formerly served Mundus killed Eva in vengeance against Sparda. Thought dead, Vergil in fact struck out on a journey to seek the power of his father Sparda, and claim it for his own.
His demon heritage has made Vergil well-equipped to follow his self-chosen path, with the ability to leap several times his own height, dash at supersonic, and heal his flesh innately. This healing factor is fast-acting enough that his vitals... aren't, and that Vergil can heal the entry cut of a sword swinging through his midsection before it has exited his body. His father's sword, Yamato, has found its way into his elder son's hands, and legends claim it can cut through anything in existence; Vergil has developed a Dark Slayer fighting style that revolves around drawing Yamato and returning it to its sheath before a human eye notices it has left. He also possesses the ability to invoke Summoned Swords, spectral blades that revolve around him and act at his command. When steel fails, muscle never falters, and so Vergil can also wield the Beowulf, a set of gauntlets and sabatons which empower his punches and kicks to make Vergil a veritable destroyer. Finally, Vergil can invoke his demonic heritage to take a truly hellish form known as Devil Trigger, which amplifies all of his natural abilities - strength, speed, healing, battle prowess, and intimidation factor.
Vergil has plenty of feats to boast of - multiple kills at unseen speeds being among his lesser achievements - but a sibling fight with Dante shows off his speed best. Faced with his younger brother's gunfire, Vergil was able to collect the fired bullets with revolutions of his blade, set them upon the ground before him individual of one another, and return them with a stroke. During the same fight, which took place in a heavy rainstorm, their sword swings alone shattered enough raindrops to create a 12''-diameter open space around them; with 30 drops in a cubic foot during comparable storms, this equates to 108,000 drops destroyed by the two brothers. In another fight, he struck the demon Beowulf (from whom his fisticuffs weapon takes its name) hard enough that it collided with the ceiling above; between Beowulf's size compared to Vergil's, the height of the battlefield, and the slow-motion of the scene, this gives Vergil a 720 million-newton punch. Though Vergil is not indestructible, Yamato's ability to sever dimensions allows him to flee any threats beyond his healing capabilities; despite having a few losses (and a brainwashing) to his name, being defeated by the ruler of the demon realm and a man of identical parentage does not make Vergil any less of a threat to hell and earth alike.
- Vergil: It would be fun to fight with the Prince of Darkness. If my father did it... I should be able to do it too!
The two fighters have been analyzed - quite literally - to hell and back; the stage is set, and the curtain is up. One advertisement for the Blue Apron cooking service later, and now, it's time for a death battle!
Cloudy skies hide the sun from an aged temple, with otherworldly blue flames burning in braziers around the environment. The elder son of Sparda is walking through this battlefield, Yamato sheathed in his left hand, when another presence descends; he turns to find Jenova's progeny standing opposite, Masamune seized in his right. Sephiroth can see the half-demon's strength; but Vergil sees only an enemy he must slay, for the silver-haired warrior charges him with weapon raised.
Two wide swings cut through the air, but nothing more, as Vergil manages to evade. He quickly raises Yamato, another two blows met on the demonic blade before he draws it from its sheath; it is Sephiroth's turn to parry, meeting the attacks on Masamune, and the battle becomes a rush of deflects and dodges. One blow sends the SOLDIER skidding back, but he only turns his nodachi in both hands to face the hunter, who promptly returns his own sword to its scabbard. Sephiroth charges forward, and though it seems his blow passes through Vergil entire, it has in fact been deflected, and he trades out Yamato for his Beowulf as he circles Sephiroth faster than the eye can see. Punches and kicks are met on Masamune once again, with Vergil using his speed to put his opponent on the defensive; a leaping blow forces Sephiroth to cast his first spell of the fight, a Barrier sending his opponent into the air. Orbs of darkness gather around him, and then quickly chase the demon skyward; the Shadow Flare converges and knocks Vergil back to the ground, sword back in hand. It is the angel's turn to showcase his own speed, and the two combatants become a blur of strikes; Vergil shifts between Yamato and Beowulf, finally landing a clean blow amidst the multitude of parried strikes, but Sephiroth returns the favour with several strikes, including a rushing impale from behind.
Vergil warps away to free himself of the blade, and while Sparda's son concedes the strength of Jenova's, he questions his opponent's speed. A charging flurry of strikes is barely met on Masamune, and while its wielder is still stumbling, Yamato is drawn for a barrage from behind, and quickly returned to its sheath. By the time Sephiroth can feel the blows, they have already drawn blood, and he realizes it's time to get serious; Jenova's reunion is upon him as a single angel's wing sprouts from his right shoulder, each feather dark as night. Several Sephiroth appear, each brandishing their own Masamune, and they charge Vergil at once. The demon has his hands full parrying their blows; one strike finds Yamato passing through the offending blade in an effort to parry, and a clean strike only finds the angel he attacks fading away. The others flying about him, he realizes are illusions - and when they all leap to him, he decides to get serious as well, his body changing as he invokes his Devil Trigger, slicing each illusion a hundred times with Dimension Slashes before they have begun to swing their blades.
The real Sephiroth makes to strike him from behind, his wounds having been bathed in Cure; he and Vergil begin to trade blows once again, the devil again switching between Yamato and Beowulf to keep Sephiroth off-guard. This time is more successful, landing several solid blows on the angel; when he begins to fly about at high speed, Sparda's son invokes his Summoned Swords, meeting each blow from Masamune on one of his revolving blades. Jenova's son is forced to invoke illusions once again to keep them busy when Vergil gets up close; one Sephiroth meets Beowulf on Masamune, while another fends off the phantom edges. When they outlast his blows and go for their own, Vergil again deals them each a Dimension Slash and resheaths Yamato, causing them all to fade away.
Sephiroth has only been biding time; the world around the combatants now shatters, revealing the skies are already alight in Supernova. Vergil has been fighting his opponent in an illusion while the sun has detonated; if his opponent's blade can rend dimensions, Jenova's son needs to keep him occupied until he has no chance to do so. The Supernova washes over Sparda's eldest, searing through his enhanced state; despite the pain, he manages to draw Yamato, pulling himself back to the battlefield. But the blaze has already taken its toll - his Devil Trigger has been burned away, and his capacity for healing already well-worn. Vergil can only take comfort in his freedom as Masamune impales him from behind, and Sephiroth lifts him into the air; a well-placed swing of the blade cuts the demon in half, and the angel is left standing with his back to the carnage.
A winning streak and a losing streak are both left broken as the hosts begin to analyze why - starting with the weapons of the fight. Despite Yamato's dimension-cleaving powers, the legendary claim that it can cut through anything is verifiably exaggeration; both Dante's own sword, Rebellion, and a human-made rocket launcher were able to guard against its blows, and stronger materials like mutated demon flesh required Vergil to contribute his own strength in severance. In terms of strength, though Sephiroth has no clear feats of his own, his strength capabilities can be compared to those of fellow First-Class SOLDIER Zack Fair. Zack once cleaved a solid metal door clean through - estimated to require 980 million newtons, well exceeding Vergil's 720 million-newton Beowulf punches; further, Sephiroth was roughly three times stronger than Zack at the time of the Nibelheim incident, giving him an output of 3.5 billion newtons. Although Vergil was demonstratably faster than Sephiroth has ever been shown to move, Sephiroth is no stranger to fighting foes with higher speeds; and though Vergil's healing factor was unprecedented, it did have its limits, whereas Sephiroth possessed unlimited use of his magic abilities - including various White Magic spells - so long as he had time to cast. Vergil has previously shown high susceptibility to illusions, meaning Sephiroth's own illusion powers are capable of both earning him that time and safely obscuring Supernova; nothing Vergil has ever survived compares to the sheer output of a sun's demise. Ultimately, though both combatants are infamously overpowered, Vergil was disadvantaged enough that he would be shown no mercy, for his foe has none.
- Boomstick: Looks like this devil's cried for the last time.Wiz: The winner is Sephiroth.
Sephiroth vs. Vergil contains examples of:
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Boomstick comments that Vergil's Devil Trigger enhances his power, speed, and healing... and just plain makes him look badass.
- Season 3 opens with Dante fighting Bayonetta and winning. Season 4 ends with Dante's brother Vergil going up against Sephiroth and losing. For bonus points, both losers were defeated by their greatest advantage being nullified (Dante striking down Madama Butterfly, Vergil's healing factor getting burned down) before being impaled on a Japanese sword.
- Season 4 opens with Lara Croft (a Square Enix character) winning against Nathan Drake. Season 4 ends with another Square Enix character winning.
- Broken Win/Loss Streak: After Cloud's loss to Link in Season 1 and Tifa's to Yang in Season 2, Sephiroth's victory ends Final Fantasy VII's losing streak.
- Discontinuity Nod: Both characters are given nods to non-canon appearances. Sephiroth's Kingdom Hearts I appearance is shown and reference is made to Lance Bass of N Sync voicing him there; he also wields Masamune in his right hand as he did in that game. The rebooted Vergil from DmC: Devil May Cry is slightly referenced in the mainline version's backstory, and Yamato's ability to transport Vergil to different locations is taken from this incarnation... until Devil May Cry 5 showed that the canon version can do the same thing too.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Vergil may have lost, but he survived the supernova! That alone is a badass feat to go out on.
- Healing Factor: Both combatants possess incredible healing abilities. Vergil's was noted to be far faster than Sephiroth's, but more limited. Sephiroth's was much slower, but was only limited by his pool of magic, which was infinite. When the fight temporarily shifted to the Final Fantasy VII-style info box, it showed that Vergil's healing factor was so great that none of Sephiroth's attacks had any real affect on him. Unfortunately for the Son of Sparda, a sun exploding in his face was enough to completely drain him.
- Mythology Gag: The name of the track for Sephiroth vs. Vergil is "One-Winged Devil". While perhaps obvious given the clash between One-Winged Angel's trope namer and a Devil May Cry representative, it also references Cloud, who possesses a single demon wing in Kingdom Hearts I.
- Shout-Out: One combo Vergil performs on Sephiroth while equipped with Beowulf heavily resembles the Hoyokusen attack used by Chun-Li, a fellow Capcom character, in various fighting games.