Per wiki policy, Spoilers Off applies here and all spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned.
It's the grand finale for the Sons of Sparda. You can bet emotions are gonna run high at some point.
- Before 5, all we knew from 3's manga and what little other supplemental material was that Eva had died trying to protect young Dante when their home was attacked. From the Final Trailer, we see from a young Dante's perspective of Eva frantically shoving him into a closet while their home is burning around them, as the game's main theme "Legacy" hauntingly plays in the background. One can easily sense Eva's Adult Fear on trying to make sure Dante survives, more than likely knowing that she won't make it.Eva: If I don't return... You must run, by yourself, alone. You must change your name... Forget your past and start a new life... As someone else... A new beginning...
- "More than likely" nothing. When you watch the scene, you can tell by her facial expressions that she's aware that she's not going to make it and is trying to give Dante some pieces of advice to try and make a life for himself, because she's not going to be there to raise him. Even worse is that this scene happens while Dante is comatose, giving some implication that Dante is not only still traumatized by it, but might even sometimes have nightmares about it!
- In the full game we finally get new context regarding how Eva's death changed Dante and Vergil's relationship for the worse. After Eva made sure Dante was safe, she went to try and find Vergil, who had been separated from them in the chaos. But not a second after she leaves to try and find Vergil, we hear her scream, confirming that was the moment she was killed by Mundus's demons. Unlike Dante, who was able to move on and follow her last wishes, Vergil never got over her death and decided to pursue power so he would never be helpless again or let anyone else die. When Vergil finally found Dante again, he became angry that his brother took the opposite path from him and ended up with a happier life while he believed that Eva abandoned him. Eventually, he came to hate Dante for his successes and decided to manipulate his life from the shadows so the two could eventually face each other, swearing to defeat him. It's only after he splits himself into two parts, V and Urizen, that Vergil comes to realize that abandoning his humanity for power was a terrible, terrible idea.
- What's worse is Vergil never knew how deep Eva's love for him went. She could've kept quiet while looking but she was so scared for her son's safety she called out to him. Not seconds later she was found and murdered by Mundus' forces.
- After a newly resurrected Vergil hands the exhausted Dante his ass, thanks Nero, and leaves, Dante tries to push Nero out of the conflict. Nero's first reaction is to finally get utterly fed up with Dante not taking him seriously. This forces Dante to finally drop the bomb that Vergil is Nero's father. Nero looks utterly devastated by the truth.Dante: Go home, Nero. This doesn't concern you.
Nero: Like hell! I lost my right arm because of him!
Dante: This isn't your fight. I need to stop him, and that's all that matters.
Nero: I'm not gonna let you have all the fun, Dante!
Dante: You don't get it!
Nero: Lemme guess, I'm dead weight? You can shove that
Dante: That's not it, Nero!
Nero: WHAT IS IT, THEN!?
Dante: HE'S YOUR FATHER!
Dante: I had the feeling, the first time I saw you, but I just wasn't sure. And then I saw how the Yamato reacted... and I was certain. He's your father. Now he needs an ass-kicking... But I can't have you go kill your old man.
Nero: My father...?
- What makes this so gut wrenching is just how quickly Nero goes from white hot anger to quiet shock. All his pent up anger towards Dante disappears instantly, and he can barely talk. If you listen closely, you can even hear Nero utter a Little "No" as he processes everything those three words mean.
- Nero is confused and mad as hell following this scene. When he gets to the Devil May Cry van as the Qliphoth root they're driving on is collapsing behind them, all he can focus on is getting back to fight Vergil as he can't get past having lost his arm to the guy and having been used by his human side to resurrect. Lady, who knows more than anything how killing one's father is something you don't really recover from, confirming that she's still haunted over a decade later by her patricide of Arkham in 3, tries to talk to him out of trying for revenge, to no avail as he takes a running dive out of the van. Lady's expression throughout the scene and her yelling of Nero's name as he leaves is heartbreaking as she no doubt sees him starting down the same lonely path as her, or worse his father.Nero: This doesn't make any SENSE!
Trish: I know you hate Vergil, but you can't kill your own father.
Lady: (Solemnly) It's true. You'd never recover from that. You saved us, you should be proud. Now you can put all this behind you—
Nero: Nico! Stop the car!
Nico: No chance! After all this, are you insane!?
Nero: Fine. I'll go by myself! (Quickly leaps out of the van)
- Griffon, Shadow and Nightmare willingly throw themselves at Dante knowing they cannot win just so Dante can be prepared for his final battle against Vergil. However, they have a personal reason as well. They were split from Vergil by the Yamato too, and are physical manifestations of the trauma he experienced as Nelo Angelo taking the form of the bosses from DMC1. They don't want him to go through that pain again by returning to him so their fight with Dante is a pure Heroic Suicide. Griffon's death is rather sad, especially for those who have owned a bird as a pet. As he fades away, he sincerely bids Dante good luck against Vergil, completely dropping his comedic, sarcastic attitude. For those who see him as the original Griffon reborn, this small bit of closure in Dante's life in the form of one last proper fight against him is doubly tragic.
- Griffon's death scene and final farewell to Dante have become even more tragic with the news that his voice actor, Brad Venable, passed away at the start of 2021.
- When Nero finds his resolve and rushes to stop his uncle and father from killing each other, he screams out that he won't let them die as his demon power awakens fully and he screams in pain. However it's a much more uplifting tone as the pain is a result of Nero's true Devil Trigger fully awakening, giving him the strength he needs to save Dante and Vergil. The sheer emotion from the scene combined with the music hits hard: a determined son moving to save his newly found a true, biological family, after he failed to save the man who he saw as a brother in the past.Nero: I couldn't save Credo. To this day, I hate myself for not having enough strength. But this time is different, I swear. I'M NOT LETTING YOU DIE!!!
- While undeniably awesome, Dante and Vergil's long awaited rematch quickly becomes this when you look past the action and start questioning the motivation. While no one can know for sure what side Vergil is on, he is not outright continuing Urizen's plans. He doesn't plan to conquer or destroy the world, either. So why does Dante fight him? While Lady, Trish and V try to justify it as two opposing ideologies that can never coexist, neither philosophy (to live as a human versus to live as a demon) makes itself known and Dante himself makes it clear that the only memories he has of Vergil are those of fighting against him. While the brothers' fights in 3 might have been a clash of ideologies, this fight is nothing more than two brothers trying to kill each other because that's the only way they know how to interact with each other anymore.
- Nero facing off against Vergil is an emotional, painful, and personal fight, bringing out what had to be a lot of frustration Nero had bottled up since Vergil took his right arm, the Tough Love Dante had been showing him, and his own sense of inadequacy through his own lost pride and losing Yamato that Dante had entrusted him with in 4. Not to mention the fact that Nero had just had to prevent both of his relatives from killing each other. Nero's voice cracking plus double Precision F-Strike and Vergil's realization just shows the strain in their new/odd relationship. Johnny Yong Bosch and Dan Southworth's performances as the estranged son and father respectively are brilliant at capturing this. "Improvisation for Violin on a Main Theme 'Legacy'" playing the leitmotif of "Legacy" at the start of their fight all but nails the brokenness both men has had to endure.Vergil: This has nothing to do with you. Stand down.
Nero: Nothing to do with me!? It has EVERYTHING to do with me!
Vergil: *softly* Nero...
Nero: *enters Devil Trigger and gives Vergil the finger* FUCK YOU!
Nero: Take me seriously now?
(when Vergil's life gauge is at 50% health)
Nero: You feeling accepting yet?
Vergil: Of your existence? Or your strength?
Nero: Both, you fuckin' asshole!
- This game gives another layer for why Vergil has insecurity issues with his humanity, and the basis for it is shown in Dante's flashback from the day Eva died. The day that Mundus' demons ruined their lives, Eva successfully hid Dante from their pursuers, and then went in search of Vergil... only to be killed before she could reach him. From Vergil's perspective, it might have appeared as if his mother abandoned him and spent her last moments on Earth showing her favor to Dante. Vergil felt let down by the power of human love, since his mother's compassion for him had its limits. Determining that human love was worthless, and power alone is what mattered in this world, Vergil sought Sparda's legacy, since his father's power would allow him to never be hurt again by any force on Earth or in hell alike. Punctuated nicely by Dante's conversation with Urizen over it, who is Vergil's Demon half and embodiment of his lust for power.Dante: Vergil... Hey, is that the damn fruit you've been jabbering about? Doesn't look so special to me. (looks around at the illusion of their old home) Yep, this is where it all started. That day mother saved me and... left you behind. The thing you don't know is, she tried to save you, too. She kept searching and searching... until it killed her.
Urizen: I have no recollection of this tale, or this place. It's all an illusion, created by this extraordinary fruit. Its power you see, is all I've ever wanted. And with this...
Dante: No...! (runs towards Urizen)
Urizen: I will have everything! (eats the fruit, Dante tries to stop him but fails)
Dante: No brother, you don't have everything. That last shred of humanity you still had? You just lost it.
Urizen: That is nothing more than the pitiful cries of those without strength. Come to me brother... I shall enlighten you, Dante!
Urizen: How...How are you so powerful!? You never lost anything!
- The even more tragic interpretation might be that Vergil knows his mother tried to save him, but unlike Dante got to see her death up close and personal. Urizen's dismissal of this tale could very well be incomplete memory transfer, with V getting the lions' share of Vergil's sentimental memories... or it's symbolic of Vergil, through Urizen's persona, not wanting it to look like such sentimental things matter to him, even though they do. No amount of compassion or love gave Eva the strength to save him, nor did it empower Vergil to save her. So what good was love without power to back it up? Upon realizing that awful truth as he saw it, he chose to discard his humanity so he would never again lack the power he needed to save others. However, Sparda's legacy is based around the idea that power without love to channel it is worthless. The irony is that Sparda was able to save the world because he was able to love, and not in spite of it. Vergil denying that love matters to him is depriving him of the very power he wishes to have, and he's too stubborn to see it. The even more terrible truth is this, even if the fruit gave Vergil the power he wanted, the power to protect others has no meaning if you now lack the ability to love.
- Dante himself drives the point home (along with the point of his sword) during the last leg of the fight, sounding angrier we have heard him in the entire game.
Dante: It's not about loss. Strength is a choice...Fighting like hell to protect what's important. You threw away everything you ever had. No wonder you have no true power!
- Vergil's other reason for pursuing power is to protect himself from being victimized, as he was when he lost his family or when he was enslaved by Mundus. One could even argue that losing Yamato counts, given how strongly Vergil is identified with it and the DMC5 prequel novel indicates that he spent the years between Eva's death and DMC3 fighting off demon hit-squads. It's easy to conclude that he lost sight of his original goal and became obsessed with the power to defend against a hostile world. When he was defeated by Dante, by Mundus and then by Dante again, he would have seen his losses as further evidence that he needed more power. Vergil sacrificed everything and everyone in pursuit of his goals and he still wasn't strong enough to protect anything, not even himself.
- In a way, when V is recounting his "birth" to Trish. How Vergil separated him and Urizen into two beings, and how he realizes what a horrible mistake it was. His voice when recounting the tale sounds like it's cracking like he's crying or trying his hardest not to cry. Even when he asks if he did the right thing to Trish, Trish immediately picks up that he's seeing her as what Mundus made her to be, a copy of Eva, and rebuffs him. This can possibly be worse given Vergil obviously has issues over whether Eva did care about him or not.
- There is a silver lining in that Trish's rebuff has a message for him.Trish: I'm not your mommy, V. You're a big boy. And you need to see this through. Dante's war.
- There is a silver lining in that Trish's rebuff has a message for him.
- Vergil's state at the start of the game is utterly devastating for fans of the character. To see the once proud, noble and dignified Son of Sparda reduced to essentially a zombie makes you realise just how awful his life has been. Not only is his body literally falling apart, but he's so traumatised by the events of both Devil May Cry 3 and Devil May Cry that all he can think about is surviving by any means, no matter the personal or human cost.
- Vergil retains the memories of V and Urizen which means at long last knows the truth about the night Mundus' forces killed his mother. His pursuit of power that caused untold suffering and cost him everything was built off of the foundations of a wrongful assumption. Standing alone atop the Qliphoth he ponders to himself how different his life could have been if things were different and it clearly weighs on him. With an almost wearily sad tone in his voice, tells Dante it's time to finish things once and for all as if he's resigned himself to the fact that proving himself stronger that Dante is all he has left.Vergil: That day, if our positions were switched... Would our fates be different? Would I have your life, and you mine? (Sits upon a chair made from the Qliphoth) Let's settle this... Dante.
- Vergil's new theme in Special Edition, "Bury the Light", is a musical one. While the song itself is no less awesome, it does have a dark tone to it and the lyrics themselves are very tragic and perfectly encapsulate Vergil's character. They describe the trauma and suffering caused by his mother's death and the destruction of his home, his jealousy and hate for Dante because of how he managed to move on while Vergil couldn't, his insatiable lust for power, and ultimately how his embracing of his demonic heritage stems from his belief that humanity is a weakness, ironically never realizing that his own humanity is the very strength he so desperately craves. The composer, Casey Edwards, even describes the song as a reflection of "Devil Trigger", Nero's theme. While Nero remains human but chooses to embrace his demonic heritage to protect those he cares about, his father Vergil rejects his own humanity because of how much pain it caused him and instead chooses to be consumed by his darker impulses.♫ Bury the light deep within!Cast aside, there's no coming home!We're burning chaos in the wind!Drifting in the ocean all alone! ♫
- From the Visions of V manga, the day Dante and Vergil lost their mother, from Vergil's perspective.
- After a squabble with Dante, Vergil had run off to the playground on his own. It was then that he was attacked by Mundus' forces, completely alone. Even when he was being stabbed, all he could think about was his burning home in front of him and that his family was in danger. He screamed for help, but there was nobody. On the verge of death, Yamato somehow comes to Vergil's side and he resolves that he had to save his family by himself, gaining the power to butcher his attackers and make his way to the house. However, by the time the bloodied Vergil had arrived, the house was completely destroyed, and he turns to leave, assuming his family was dead. This was the moment the current, power-obsessed Vergil was born.
- The reason V recalls this memory at all? During the month where V had stayed in Red Grave City before Nero returns with his arm to gather information, he encounters a young boy and his unconscious mother being set upon by demons. The boy begs V to help, and refuses to leave his mother's side even though he was a defenseless child. Despite his previous objections, V saves them after he remembers how he wished there was someone to help him when he begged for help as a child too.
- What's even worse is that Vergil had assumed Dante had been killed too, when he was still in the closet their mother had hidden him in. If Vergil had tried searching, he might have found him and learned what had truly transpired, and spared the both of them from what their relationship would become as they grew older.
- Vergil's expanded ending for Special Edition has Dante asking Vergil about how it felt to meet Nero, making a crack about Vergil never getting to meet his grandkids if Vergil doesn't change his attitude. Vergil responds with putting Yamato to his brothers throat, with his expression making it clear that his recently discovered son is a sore spot for him. No doubt feeling some guilt for how their initial meeting played out. It carries over into his dialogue, too, as he goes from Tranquil Fury to being very audibly choked up as he tells Dante not to get in his way.
- The fight between Vergil and Dante in the former's Special Edition campaign has shades of this. After beating Dante the first time, the mission 19 end cutscene plays out as normal and the two brothers charge at each other in their Sin Devil Trigger forms, leading the player to expect a boss fight against Nero. However, right before Nero intervenes, the cutscene suddenly fades out and the fight continues, with Dante pulling out all the stops to defeat his twin brother. The fight has a strong sense of poignancy and finality to it, with both Dante and Vergil giving it all they got to bring the other down. Combined with a Triumphant Reprise of "Bury The Light" playing, it truly feels like a final battle between the Sons of Sparda, and serves as a reminder that this is potentially the last we will ever see of them.