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Video Game / Dante's Inferno

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Can be used as crib notes in lieu of the actual story if required for schoolwork.
Would badass box art lie to you?

''"This game would actually make a good recruiting tool for Christianity. Never has saving someone's soul been so hardcore! I'm sitting there on the good play through, and I'm forgiving every enemy I can, and going 'I forgive the shit out of you!' and 'mutha fucka, you just got forgiven' and 'oh, you little bastard, I'm gonna forgive you for that!' and the always good 'go to heaven fucker!'

The Inferno part of Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy is one of the most well-known, well-referenced pieces of work today. It described in great detail Dante's vision of what hell would be like, and in doing so invented many of the tropes associated with Hell. This has led to several film adaptations, theme park rides, and a video game adaptation, which is what this page is concerned with.

Rumored and announced midway through 2009 for a release date in February 2010, the game is about Dante, a fresh veteran of the Third Crusade, chasing after the kidnapped love of his life, Beatrice, through the Nine Circles of Hell while tearing the place — and the demons who inhabit it — to little pieces. Unlike Dante Alighieri, this Dante is muscle-bound, an expert magic wielder, and (after the first boss) carries Death's own scythe as his weapon against Hell's armies. As he descends deeper and deeper into the Inferno, he must confront his own sins, war crimes, and his family's past, and eventually faces off with Lucifer himself, who has kidnapped Beatrice in order to wed her and break free of Hell.

A DLC titled "Trials of St. Lucia" was released on April 29th, 2010.

Around the game's release date, an Animated Adaptation of the game was released on DVD and Blu-ray with some differences in storyline as well as a Comic-Book Adaptation that's mostly told from Beatrice's perspective.

A sequel to the video game was being planned, although with the closing of Visceral Games the future of the franchise is now in limbo (ironically).

This work includes the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Dante's father Alighiero constantly berated him and drove his mother to suicide.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The various sinners Dante encounters in the book are all there, some appear as statues and you get the option of talking to others and you can either forgive them or smite them. They even say a lot of the same things. Virgil's speeches are mostly faithful, if a little altered. Even the original political satire survived mostly intact ("In these popes and cardinals, greed suffered its excess"). The design of the Nine Circles in-game is actually quite accurate with Alighieri's descriptions (except for the level of Greed, and the changes there are understandable as the original version — people pushing boulders around to symbolize their drive for fortune — wouldn't make for very interesting gameplay). About the only thing that's really different is Dante himself, and the whole "Famous pagans as lords of hell" thing. Also, a few sources of controversy, like Mohammad in hell, and crusaders in heaven, have been taken out as well.
    • The Gates of Hell. The Gate itself was modeled after Auguste Rodin's Gates of Hell, which was described in Dante's Inferno to have a sign at the top that read a poemnote  about Hell. The sign itself was removed from the Door and is instead spoken by Charon (who is also half-demon half-ship and not a boatman demon).
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: The game changes the setting to the year 1191 as opposed to the presumed 1300 of the original poem, but the developers overlooked that some historical figures featured in the poem were either still alive in that year (e.g. Saladin who lived 1137-1193 but is found in Limbo (in the animated movie at least) or weren't born yet (e.g. Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II is found in Heresy, but wasn't born until 1194) and thus shouldn't be in Hell yet.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Despite the fact that he fought with the Guelph cavalry in the Battle of Campaldino, the historical Dante was more of a poet than a warrior. In the game, he is defined by his military background and ability to fight his way through hell.
    • Lucifer also qualifies, despite being an Adaptational Wimp at the same time. In the original poem, he's nothing than a gigantic, helpless idiot trapped in the Ninth Circle who barely interacts with Dante and Virgil. Lucifer is not Hell's chief lord, but Hell's chief prisoner. Here he's a much more active threat - he kickstarts the plot of the game by claiming Beatrice, delivers quite a few scornful insults about Dante's wickedness that are completely correct, and concocts an elaborate Batman Gambit to free himself from the Inferno that nearly succeeds.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: In The Divine Comedy, Satan, though discussed intermittently by the protagonist and Virgil during their journey through the Nine Circles of Hell, is not seen in person by the poets until they reach the last circle at the very center of Hell. In this game, Lucifer plays a far more active role and is first seen on Earth taking Beatrice's soul before Dante has gone through the Gate of Hell.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the original Inferno, Dante's sins he has to repent of include forgetting his dead muse in favor of living women, being arrogant about his poetry, and being afraid to walk through Hell. In the game, he's an adulterer who had sex with a slave girl while his wife fought off seducers back home, a mass murderer who kills hundreds of civilians, and a damned so self-righteous that he would let the Devil free of Hell before accepting God's judgement. To the extent that the poem's Dante is also the author, it doubles as a pretty extreme example of Historical Villain Upgrade.
    • It is also noted that Dante is essential to Lucifer's plan because he is guilty of every single sin in some major capacity, implied to all have been committed during the Crusade he partook in.
    • Some of the damned are said to be there for much more severe sins than in the original poem. For example, Thais The Harlot was originally sent to hell for flattery which most people today would regard as Disproportionate Retribution, so here she is damned for using her beauty to make men fight each other.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • In the poem, Beatrice is immune to all of Hell's tortures, nigh Omniscient, and able to travel between planets instantaneously, which qualifies her to save Dante from his sin. In the game, she's Dante's Damsel in Distress Love Interest who needs him to rescue her, which was a source of MAJOR controversy.
    • Lucifer, the origin of all evil and the creature gifted with the greatest intellect is defeated by a human too stupid to realize he's dead.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: In real life, Beatrice and Dante were both married to other people and they may have met each other as little as two times during their lives (making Beatrice a spiritual Lost Lenore of sorts for Dante). Here, they're explicitly betrothed.
  • Adapted Out: As the original poem featured a large cast, not all of them could be included in the game.
    • Some notable omitted characters from the poem include Geryon (a monster re-invented by Dante into fraud personified, cameoing in the game only as the statue holding Francesco's boss arena), Odysseus/Ulysses (one of the only side characters mentioned in all three canticles), and Caius Cassius, Marcus Brutus, and Judas Iscariot (who are gnawed on by Satan in the poem, though the last is referred to by way of the thirty Silver Coins that can be found throughout the game).
    • The lower circles get increasingly glossed over. The harpies, hellhounds, centaurs and Minotaur in the seventh circle don't appear, with only the latter two being represented by statues similar to Geryon. The eighth circle's Malebranche don't appear with the exception of their leader and Fraud's torments are also represented by statues. The different sub-regions of the ninth circle are skipped over entirely in favor of the imprisoned giants on its outer edge and a crumbling ice bridge that leads directly to Lucifer's prison in the center.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: A number of the demons, like those in Gluttony.
  • Anti-Villain: Francesco, Dante's former best friend. Who took the fall for Dantes massacre of Saracen prisoners, leading to Francesco's execution and condemnation to Hell. He's understandably pissed about it.
  • Artistic License – History: Suffice it to say, this game has historical inaccuracies.
    • The introduction shows Saracens on war elephants, which were not used during the Third Crusade.
    • In the game Dante is shown committing the Massacre of Ayydieh single-handedly, killing numerous women and children without Richard the Lionheart's permission. In reality Richard the Lionheart ordered the execution, and there is debate as to whether any non-combatants were killed there. Additionally, they were not killed in prison; they were killed on a hill outside of Acre.
  • Artistic License – Traditional Christianity: This game is not a good way to learn about Christianity, particularly the Catholic faith, as some aspects of the game contradict the medieval Catholic theology on which the original poem was based.
    • One of the doctrines is that damnation is permanent and irreversible because the person chose to be one of the damned in the first place. The mechanic where Dante absolves defeated enemies of their sins or absolves certain damned individuals blatantly flies in the face of this.
    • Many individuals are shown in Hell for specific sins, even when the circumstances of those sins would have reduced culpability to the point of making them venial. note  The most egregious example is Beatrice, who is shown being damned for Dante's sins rather than for her own (though her sin was wagering her soul to start with).
  • Art Shift: The Animated Adaptation goes through at least four different art styles over the course of the story. Most notable with Vergil, who goes through the most drastic changes in appearance each time.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Pretty much what happens whenever you absolve someone of their sins and regrets.
    • Also Dante to an extent as well; the Avenger stabbing him and then having conquered Death, Dante seems to be in a state between life and death, which may explain why he's able to pull off feats that would normally be reserved for other protagonists who are explicitly superhuman.
    • This would explain why several beings and souls refer to Dante as a "living" creature because, in a way, he's still living, but he's also no longer among the living.
  • Ascended Extra: In Canto XIX of "the Inferno", there was a passing mention of an individual who Alighieri called lo perfido assassin ("the treacherous assassin"). In this videogame adaptation, the assassin becomes a more prominent character in which he kills Beatrice, Alighiero, and later revealed to have killed Dante.
  • Attempted Rape: Dante's father is shown trying to come onto Beatrice in her flashback, but was interrupted by the assassin.
  • The Atoner: Dante. When Death tells him that not only is he damned, but also everyone he loved, he goes on a quest, not only to redeem himself, but everyone else he loves as well. Double Subverted at the end.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Cleopatra. Also Minos and Phlegyas.
  • Ax-Crazy: Dante himself, during the Crusades.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Most damned souls don't have much in the way of anatomical detail. On the demons' side, Phlegyas and Malacoda are just as naked as Lucifer, but don't have anything to see down there.
  • Batman Gambit: Beatrice is just Lucifer's bait to get Dante to destroy the chains holding him in Hell, as they are in Dante's way as he traverses Hell.
  • The Baroness: Cleopatra doubles with The Vamp (she is a succubus, after all).
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Minos has two of them.
    • The temptress enemy has a variation of this; she has a scorpion tail that she uses to both lash and sting with... but it comes out of her crotch.
  • Big Bad: Lucifer himself, who took Beatrice's soul to Hell and set Dante on his quest.
  • Big "NO!": Lucifer when Dante chains him back in Cocytus.
  • Bishōnen Line: Lucifer starts out as a giant demon but partway through the fight shows his "true" form, which is only a bit taller than Dante.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Dante still has a long journey ahead of him and Lucifer is still at large, but both Beatice and the rest of humanity are for the time being safe.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: Dante is a sinner, but his opponent is Lucifer so the audience would naturally side with the lesser villainous character.
  • Bloody Bowels of Hell: Gluttony consists of nothing but flesh and organs.
  • Break Them by Talking: Lucifer and the rest of Hell spend the entire game doing this to Dante.
  • Broken Pedestal: Francesco use to see Dante as a hero before witnessing his morally questionable actions during the Crusades.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: The circle of Anger is as much of a dark, gloomy swamp as it was in the game's source material. Some of the hateful souls condemned to this circle can be seen fighting each other in the background while others reach out of the mud to try and pull Dante in with them, though neither has any effect on gameplay as they are purely visual effects. There's also a point where you have to fight off several demons before the platform you're on sinks into the swamp.
  • Building Swing: One of Dante's primary means of locomotion, with the scythe acting as an extendable grappling hook.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Subverted; Dante's father taunts him to do it, but Dante absolves him instead of punishing him. Dante's father's last words to his son are:
    "Go on, use me as an excuse! Blame me for everything!"
  • Canon Foreigner:
    • Bella Abati and Alighiero di Bellincione, the historical Dante Aligheri's mother and father respectively, were not featured in the poem.
    • Francesco is straight-up Original Generation, as the real Beatrice Portinari never had brothers, only sisters. Though he might have been based on the real Dante's own half-brother, Francesco Alighieri.
  • Catch and Return:
  • Censor Steam: Beatrice usually has this wafting down around her. Subverted in the final cutscene.
  • Central Theme: Atonement. Dante, the main character, must drudge through every Circle of Hell to break away from his Holier Than Thou Never My Fault mindset and accept responsibility for the sins that landed him there to begin with to atone and become worthy of the love of Beatrice that he squandered. In stark contrast with Satan, who atones for nothing and seeks to only obtain more due to still being unwilling to repent.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Lucifer, full stop.
    • Dante has his moments too.
  • Chickification: This happens to Beatrice, who in the source was infinitely more intelligent, moral, and beautiful than Dante and allowed Dante to get through Hell unscathed in the first place. In order to turn Dante into an Action Hero who single-handedly kills every demon ever, Beatrice has been reduced to a passive object of desire who gets captured by the Devil and can't do anything because of Dante's sins.
  • Collapsing Lair: Lust and Heresy start collapsing once you beat their bosses, leading to escape sequences that take you to the next layer.
  • Combat Tentacles:
    • Temptresses can extend tentacles ending in scorpion-like stingers a long distance.
    • King Minos has them as well, jabbing his spiky tail up through the ground repeatedly.
  • Continuity Snarl: The Dark Forest DLC, assuming it is even canonical to begin with, is supposed to take place after Dante's time in the Third Crusade and before arriving at his home. However, he has in his possession Beatrice's Cross and the ability to perform magic attacks, and he has some familiarity with Demons which he shouldn't have yet. Beatrice also appears in her ghostly form. Beatrice's presence is the only part of it that even gets handwaved with the explanation that St. Lucia is intervening.
  • Corrupt Church: Very much so, if the various Popes in Hell and the Large Ham bishop in the cutscenes are any evidence on the matter.
  • Crapsack World: Earth is a war-torn mess of chaos where the vast majority of the population are damned, with the percentage growing by the day. The Inferno was initially simply a prison for damned souls, but Lucifer made it into his own personal torture pit where all else is in constant pain. Paradise does exist, but we never see it.
  • Cross Attack:
    • Partway through the tutorial, Dante obtains Beatrice's cross, which emits cross-shaped blasts of holy light to form most of the game's ranged attacks.
    • Alighiero's Signature Move is Sins of the Father, a barrage of crosses that move back and forth for repeated homing hits. He also tries to bludgeon Dante with a giant version of his cross necklace, the gem at the center of which teaches Dante the first level of Sins of the Father.
    • During the final battle, Lucifer will counter cross attacks with bursts of inverted red crosses.
  • Crucial Cross: Dante fights his way down into the depths of hell to rescue his beloved Beatrice from Lucifer. As the game progresses, Hell's influences begin to corrupt Beatrice, and she loses her faith in Dante's attempts to get her back. Eventually, she gives up entirely and tells Dante off. Feeling completely hopeless, Dante tosses to the ground the cross that she gave to him before she died, an instrument he's been using as his primary weapon this whole time. Only when she sees the cross, she realizes what he's been through, and the archangel Michael comes to free her from Hell.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Every time Dante rides a Beast or Phlegyas. The only enemies that are a threat while Beast-riding are the Beast Tamers that try to retake control of the Beast. Everything else dies. The only challenge is deciding on how you want to slaughter your foes. Roast them with firebreath? Turn them into pancakes with your fists? Literally stomp on them? Eat them? It's a tough choice.
    • Also, between Dante and Death after Dante steals Death's scythe... and cuts him in half with it. Turns out to just be a delusion Dante is having.
  • Damsel in Distress: Beatrice is the reason Dante is driven to fight his way through hell; she's held captive there in the deepest circle.
  • Dead All Along: Dante, of course.
  • Deadly Lunge: The disgustingly tubby Gluttons of the Third Circle are incredibly slow and easy to take down, but if you are distracted by other enemies, they may lumber towards you and snatch you up. If you fail the quicktime struggle, they eat you alive.
  • Deal with the Devil: Beatrice. She's agreed to become Lucifer's lover in order to appease him after losing a wager that Dante would be faithful to her during the Crusades.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If you die, you are simply greeted with a passage of the Comedy, and get instantly teleported to the nearest checkpoint.
  • The Death of Death: at the beginning of the game Dante tries to kill the Grim Reaper himself in order to avoid being dragged to Hell. It doesn't quite work that way though...
  • Deathly Dies Irae: The opening references dies irae, complete with Ominous Latin Chanting, perfect for setting the mood for a journey through Hell.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Remaining relatively true to the source material, Dante's former mentor is in Hell for engaging in sodomy. The dissonance may be why you earn an achievement for absolving him. Not to mention the religious extremism present in all places.
  • Demon of Human Origin: Downplayed. Many of the enemies you face are souls corrupted and transformed by their own sins post-damnation, though they're considered distinct from the actual demons..
  • Demon Slaying: Considering that almost every enemy in the game is a demon, this is a given.
  • Demoted to Extra: Malebolge and Cocytus, which compared to the other circles, are the less expanded levels. Many of the guardians of Hell in the original novel, however, appear as statues (like the Minotaur, Geryon, and Pluto).
  • Deranged Animation: The flashbacks to the Crusades.
  • The Devil Is a Loser: Lucifer spends the majority of his boss battle crying about how God abandoned him Paradise Lost style.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Dante has a long resume of this. Among other things, he punches out Death, Cleopatra, Cerberus, his own father, his fallen comrade templars, and Satan.
  • Dirty Old Man: Dante's father. The minute his son is nowhere to be found, he immediately attempts to rape his daughter-in-law.
  • Determinator: Dante starts out his quest by killing Death, then proceeds to bring a one-man holy war down upon all of the legions of hell that dare to stand in his way, up to and including the Devil himself.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The nameless assassin, in retaliation for Dante sleeping with his wife as part of a deal for freedom which Dante honored, kills Dante, travels all the way to Europe to find Dante's home, and kills Dante's father and his love Beatrice. His determination is nearly on Dante's level.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Lust is a Freudian nightmare, and it's not subtle about it.
  • Downer Beginning: The story opens up with Dante dying and finding out the his lover Beatrice has died and been taken by Lucifer down to Hell.
  • Dual Boss: You fight Marc Antony and Cleopatra together.
  • Driven to Suicide: Well, the Suicides forest. If Dante is hit by the effect of the forest fruit, you must button mash before he kills himself.
  • Dying Dream: The reality of Dante's descent into Hell. There is no psychopomp named Death, and Dante never fought him for his scythe. He was stabbed in the back and that was the end of it.
  • Eat Me: Against Cerberus.
  • Enfant Terrible: The unbaptized babies are cute little babies with scythes for arms who want to kill you.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Dante is clearly shown to love his mom very much.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Cleopatra is genuinely grief-stricken when Dante kills Anthony. They did damn themselves to be together forever, after all.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Dante, who holds a burning hatred of all Heretics during the Crusades, honors his deal with the slave woman and releases both her and her husband after he sleeps with her.
    "I'm no brute."
    • Cleopatra, who as far as we know has stayed faithful to Marc Antony despite spending hundreds of years in Hell, is genuinely disgusted by Dante's betrayal of Beatrice.
  • Evil Living Flames: The Fire Minion and Fire Guardian normally take the form of Super Smoke, but will ignite themselves to attack. Hitting them with cross attacks in this state freezes them into cinders, which can then be destroyed by the scythe. Malacoda also becomes one of these when fully ignited and it takes more hits to knock him out of it.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: Naturally if you're a resident in Hell, then there'll be a lot of disfigured humanoid abominations overpopulating it.
  • Eye Scream: Dante's father is murdered with a cross through his eye.
  • Fan Disservice: Lust, of course, includes attractive, nude, female demons that have creepy ways of attacking, as detailed below. There's also plenty of nudity in both the game and the animation from deformed monstrosities.
  • Fanservice: Beatrice is an Innocent Fanservice Girl. Dante also goes through the majority of the game shirtless, and is wholly naked at the end.
  • Fat Bastard: The Gluttonous demons and Dante's father.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Lucifer is polite and soft-spoken, if somewhat sarcastic. It's just an act; once you start really putting the screws to him he goes full Large Ham.
  • Final Boss: Naturally Dante takes on the king of Hell himself in the climax.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: As might be expected from a game set in Hell. Though to be fair, it only applies to Anger and Heresy. Limbo and Lust are dark and gloomy realms, Gluttony is a visceral realm and Treachery is an icy land.
  • Flunky Boss: Charon, Cleopatra, and Francesco attack Dante with a few goons supporting them.
  • Follow the Leader: The developers are being pretty open about their God of War inspirations.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Early on the Lust level, Cleopatra pretty much gives away Lucifer's plot while gloating to Dante that Beatrice's part in this game will be so small.
    • Every time you descend a level of Hell, you find a series of links and chains in your way that you need to break in order to go forward. You hear Lucifer's laughing every time they are broken because you are getting a step closer to freeing him from his prison.
    • When Dante finds own his mother in Hell, she tells him that it's too late for them to be saved. This indicates that Dante is Dead All Along.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Lucifer's big floppy dong is in full display, though with the lighting and the angles, you'd have to actually be looking for it to notice it most of the time. Phlegyas and Malacoda are also naked, the former due to being hundreds of feet tall and the latter due to being able to light himself on fire, though Barbie Doll Anatomy is in effect for both of them.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In-Universe, everyone damned to Hell are stuck there for eternity and cannot change to become good, which is why it would be bad if Lucifer broke out. In gameplay though, Dante is free to absolve sinners left and right allowing them to go to Heaven, no heavenly grace required.
    • At the same time, Dante's interaction with Virgil as well. In the original work, Virgil was always at Dante's side as the ladder is guided through Hell, here, Virgil, at least during gameplay, vanishes and reappears at various points all throughout Hell waiting for Dante to offer guidance.
    • However, there is a brief cutscene where Dante discovers his mother in Violence where Virgil is shown physically walking next to Dante. Therefore, the above instance could perhaps be justified due to the setting's more action-oriented redesign.
  • The Ghost: God himself is referenced occasionally throughout the game, but he is never seen. Justified, since Hell is a realm defined by its distance from God.
  • Giant Woman: Cleopatra is now a 30-foot-tall giantess with mouths for nipples and rules over the Ring of Lust with Marc Antony as her smaller-but-still-huge enforcer. Why? Because her boss fight would be so cool looking. She shrinks down after Dante beats her fight and attempts to kill him with no success.
  • God Is Good: Despite never actually appearing (you are in Hell after all), the game makes it quite clear that this trope is in play. Comes with the source material.
  • Go into the Light: The battle against Death features a light in the background that looms ever closer as Death's health is whittled down and ultimately engulfs the battlefield, followed by a fade to white. Double Subverted as he initially seems to have survived the encounter, but is ultimately revealed to have been Dead All Along.
  • Good Is Not Nice: The Absolve finishers aren't too terribly less brutal than the Punish finishers. For those who haven't played the game, the Absolve finishers literally burn the sin out of the damned, causing them to explode in holy light.
  • The Grim Reaper: The first boss; he's sort of weak, actually, compared to the other things to be found in Hell.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Beatrice is beautiful, pure, virtuous, and blonde.
  • Handicapped Badass: King Minos has no eyes, but he's a very challenging boss encounter.
  • Hanging Up on the Grim Reaper: Death comes to claim Dante's life. Not only does Dante refuse, but he also kills Death with his own scythe and claims the scythe. It turns out Death never came in the first place, Dante himself was Dead All Along. This also explains why Death was such a pushover.
  • Heavenly Blue: Overlapping with Color-Coded for Your Convenience, Holy abilities tend to have bluish-white coloration to them, while Unholy ones tend to have yellow coloration.
  • Heel–Face Turn: By the end of the game, Dante realizes the error of his ways and seeks to atone for his sins. The ending also implies that even God is providing him a possible second chance to enter Heaven.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Some of the background music is eerily reminiscent of the theme music from the Shadow Temple. This is, of course, served with a healthy dosage of screams from the damned.
  • Heroic BSoD: Dante when he finds his mother in the Forest of Suicides, since he always thought she had died from a fever when he was a child.
  • Historical Badass Upgrade: Dante. In real life, he had some military service, but was essentially a scholar and historian.
  • Historical Domain Character: You find famous souls scattered about all over the place, such as Boudica, Attila the Hun, and a couple of different Roman emperors, among others. In addition, there are a significant number of people present who were not famous, but whom the real-life Dante had a personal beef with and so wrote into the original story to get back at.
  • Historical Fantasy: This story takes place at the time of the Third Crusade, and features crusader Dante venturing into Hell.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Justified, since they work for hell and probably have gotten powers because of it:
    • Cleopatra is a 30-foot tall succubus who rules over Lust.
    • Marc Antony is a 10-foot-tall warrior wearing golden armor that looks like it's made out of other shades.
    • Another individual worth mentioning is Alighiero. The historical Alighiero di Bellincione, the father of Dante Alighieri, was a respected banker and, as far as is known from surviving documents, a decent parent. The character of Alighiero presented here is an avaricious, lecherous, and abusive bastard who gets worse when he is turned into a demon who really crosses the Moral Event Horizon.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Dante kills Death with his own scythe.
    • King Minos has his face split in half by his own spiked wheel.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: Dante's trusty cross, which provides most of the game's ranged attacks. There are also holy spells that Dante can learn along the way.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Dante and Beatrice died by being stabbed by swords in the beginning.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl:
    • Beatrice is always nude whenever she puts in an appearance throughout the game.
    • Dante may count as a male example, seeing as how he's unaware that he's naked while walking towards Purgatory.
  • Invulnerable Attack: Enemies will still try to attack Dante during a grab, but as long as you have started the kill animation — as opposed to still mulling whether to Punish or Absolve — any attack that is not another grab will just pass harmlessly through him.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Upon completing the Eighth Circle, Dante is told to face his sins of betrayal by the Queen of Hell, Beatrice. Believing himself eternally damned and Beatrice worthy of Heaven, Dante asks for forgiveness and places Beatrice's cross on the ground. This results in the restoration of Beatrice and her rescue by the archangel Michael, leaving Dante to face his final challenge.
  • Karma Houdini: The unnamed assassin never receives punishment for his killing spree, though he will implicitly end up in Hell. Maybe. It's sort of ambiguous.
  • Karma Meter: Albeit one with Gameplay and Story Segregation. You level up your cross and scythe depending on how you execute enemies. Absolving them earns you Holy points that give you more Cross moves to buy and "Punishing" them earns you Unholy points for scythe moves.
  • King Mook: Malacoda, a fiery demon. Fittingly enough, he was the boss of the Malebranche devils.
  • Large and in Charge: Naturally, Lucifer would tower over all other bosses in his true form.
  • Large Ham: Many; King Minos, Lucifer, and the cutscene bishop are the most obvious examples.
    • One of the damned souls in Heresy gives us a fine example of scenery chewing:
    "What will become of MYY GOOD NYYAAAAAAMMMMEEE!?!!!"
  • Lethal Lava Land:
    • The circle of Greed is full of pits and waterfalls of molten gold that act like lava. Violence does something similar with the boiling blood of the Phlegethon and adds fire raining from the sky when you get to the Burning Sands.
    • The last section of Anger has lava pits that Dante can fall into as he moves along and while Heresy focuses more on fire than brimstone, there are a couple of lavafalls that Dante has to jump across.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Cleopatra after you kill Marc Antony. You'll need to take her out with quick time events and the Carnal Tower collapses under you when she dies.
  • The Lost Lenore: Beatrice, who dies before the game starts.
  • The Lost Woods:
    • Dante first sews the tapestry into his chest in the Dark Wood described at the beginning of The Divine Comedy. The place is made into a proper level in one of the game's DLCs, wherein Dante chases the assassin through a series of portals through the ruins and trees of the forest. The portals form a number of simple puzzles based on the direction of the moonlight. The level creates something of a Continuity Snarl since Dante has the cross and Beatrice appears in her ghostly form.
    • The Wood of the Suicides is the middle section of the Circle of Violence. Here, the souls of those who took their own lives are imprisoned in trees that resemble the bodies they left behind. In places, the trees will drop glowing fruits that Mind Rape Dante and any nearby demons into taking their own lives. The harpies and hellhounds that populate the forest in the source material are nowhere to be seen.
  • Male Frontal Nudity:
    • Lucifer's big floppy dong is in full display, though with the lighting and the angles, you'd have to actually be looking for it to notice it most of the time.
    • Dante's is also visible during the ending. Blink and you'll miss it, but clearly there.
  • Mind Rape: The trees of the Wood of the Suicides drop fruits that assault the minds of Dante and any demons that happen to be nearby, compelling them to take their own lives after a few seconds. Dante gets the ability to throw these himself after absolving his mother.
  • Mark of Shame: The cross Dante sewed onto his chest to remind himself of his sins.
  • Mook Debut Cutscene: The various "sin" demons all have one, a squicky one if possible.
  • Mook Maker: Cleopatra produces Mooks instead of fighting you directly.
  • Morph Weapon: The scythe's blade is articulated to attack in multiple different ways while the handle can extend to grapple or spear things or retract until Dante can use it as an arm blade.
  • New Game Plus: They call it Resurrection Mode and you get to play through with all the upgrades and relics you collected the first go around. However, it skips over the opening of the game and starts you off already on the descent into Hell.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Didn't you notice that during the whole game, several things you break in order to advance are in fact the gigantic chains that kept Lucifer imprisoned? Why do you think you kept hearing his laughter every time you approached one?
    • Also, slaying Lucifer's titanic body frees his human-sized true form that was trapped within.
  • Nipple and Dimed: Completely averted, to occasionally squicktastic effect.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Whenever Lucifer slips into Large Ham mode, the actor voicing him seems to be channelling Tim Curry. Appropriate, considering Curry once portrayed another version of The Devil.
  • No Name Given: The Large Ham cutscene bishop.
  • No OSHA Compliance: It is Hell, after all. Bridges are especially prone to collapsing, cracking, and generally falling apart.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: If you're seduced by Cleopatra, the game's over.
  • Notice This: There's a glowing wheel attached to anything in need of pushing, pulling, or climbing.
  • Obligatory Swearing: Cleopatra is the only character who uses swear words other than damn.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: It wouldn't be a game set in Hell without it.
  • One-Man Army: Dante literally takes on the Legions of Hell all by himself.
  • One True Faith: Zig-Zagged. Pagans are supposedly in Hell, but Lucifer tells Dante that those he fought in the Crusades are not, after all, in this Hell. What he means by that is anyone's guess, and is probably best left that way.
    Satan: This isn't their Hell, Dante. It's yours.
  • One-Woman Wail: The slopes in between each layer generally feature a creepy version of this usually sorrowful wail.
  • Politically Correct History: Averted and played straight. The game pulls no punches about the conduct of Dante as a Crusader (the whole story’s about sin, after all), but removes the original poem’s indications that Mohammed was in hell, and puts Crusaders there as well for their murder of Muslim civilians.
  • Posthumous Character: The majority of the characters shown in-game are already dead — this being Hell, after all — although Beatrice and Dante deserve special mentions.
  • The Power of Friendship: Dante returns Lucifer to his prison by using the souls of his family and friends.
  • Psychosexual Horror: The circle of lust is where sinners are punished for the deadly sin of lust. The Temptress & Seductress of Lust were once women who lived lives full of Lust, so utterly consumed by it that they were corrupted into demonic creatures with a huge tendril emerging from their sternum to the navel down to the vagina, seemingly an unholy fusion of their corrupted genitals.
  • Purgatory and Limbo: As in the source material, Limbo is the first circle of Hell and Minos judges most of the damned to deeper circles. The mountain of Purgatory appears in the game's final cutscene, with Dante starting to make his way there after defeating the devil.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Dante chooses to stay behind in Hell in order to atone for his sins by vanquishing the Devil himself.
  • Rerouted from Heaven: Beatrice. The whole plot is about fixing that.
  • Rescued from the Underworld: Dante's mission is to plumb the depths of Hell, find Beatrice, and fight his way back out. He succeeds. Sort of.
  • Rule of Cool: Seems to be the line of thought behind the development process of this game: "How can we take the Inferno and make it badass?"
  • Rule of Symbolism: Every Circle of Hell is designed in such a way that the scenery shows the sin it embodies, although Lust, Gluttony, and Greed deserve special mention in this regard.
  • Run the Gauntlet: The ten-part Eighth Circle of Hell is given a video game twist by having each ditch be a room full of enemy groups previously fought in the game. Each bolgia/ditch is made distinct by adding a handicap on Dante relating to the type of fraud punished there, like having his health slowly stolen away while in the bolgia for thieves.
  • Satan: Well, obviously. He's the Big Bad and Final Boss.
  • Scenery Gorn: The one positive trait everyone can agree on.
  • Second Hour Superpower: Dante only gets Death's Scythe after clearing the Crusades opening. From there, the Scythe becomes Dante's main weapon and method of progression on his massacre through the Inferno.
  • Serial Escalation: Often, primarily in the level design, and most visibly in terms of squick factor. Gluttony is somewhere near the top of this, although Violence's giant river of boiling blood competes.
  • Sequel Hook: Don't forget, the Inferno is only the first canticle of Dante's epic. After defeating Lucifer, Dante arrives at the base of Purgatory and is briefly reunited with Beatrice. He tears off the cross on his chest and casts it aside. As he begins his climb to redemption, the cross transforms into a snake, which sneaks away as Lucifer's laugh is heard.
  • Setting Update: Something of an inversion in regard to time period. Whereas The Divine Comedy was composed in circa 1300 and its events occur at that time, the game changes the setting to take place earlier in 1191 shortly after the conclusion of the Third Crusade.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Not all of them, however. Lust, Gluttony, Greed, and Wrath are all prominently featured in their own circles (all in Upper Hell, outside of Dis), but like in the poem, where the others aren't referenced until the Purgatorio, enviers, acediacs, and the vainglorious are absent.
  • Shout-Out: The Achievement for finding all 30 pieces of silver is "Good Old Judas".
  • Sinister Minister: There's the bishop in the flashbacks, and the heretic and pagan enemies.
  • Sinister Nudity:
    • Lucifer commonly appears as a bald naked, spindly wraith made of black smoke (though no genitals can be seen through the fog).
    • Temptresses, the demons of Lust, are naked except for a vague skirt around their waists. They also sport massive wounds running from their stomachs down to crotch level; as their introduction demonstrates, this wound occasionally splits open to reveal a huge, suspiciously phallic stinger.
    • Cleopatra, the boss of the Lust Circle, is also topless - on top of being a giant purple demoness with Unbaptized Infants crawling out of the mouths where her nipples should be.
    • The Gluttons are all naked - but are so morbidly obese and filthy that it's impossible to see any genitalia. For added revulsion, they also sport mouths instead of hands and More Teeth than the Osmond Family.
    • In the finale, when Lucifer is able to manifest a physical form no longer bound by Cocytus, he takes on the appearance of a typical devil complete with goat's legs and hooves... and no clothes, so his big floppy penis is on full display.
  • Sinister Scythe: Taken from and used against Death himself.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: While the game overall retains its source material's Idealism, however, it is deliberately scaled back here. One good example is that whereas Christianity is portrayed as a good influence in the Divine Comedy, here it shows that it did not have a completely beneficial effect on humankind by depicting the bloodshed brought about by the Crusades (including having the protagonist take part in an unprovoked killing of slaves). The cynicism is further dialed up in Animated Epic in which Satan gives a monologue in which he proclaims that the physical world is "Another Hell", that "humans are its demons", and that by implication of allowing The Evils of Free Will that God Is Evil.
  • The Sociopath: Lucifer invented evil by rebelling against God, and has decided to spend his eternal imprisonment trapping any soul he can in eternal torture. He uses his shadow to corrupt people on Earth, sadistically taunting anybody who opposes him. The ending reveals that he has learned nothing from his imprisonment, and simply wants the entire universe gripped in his wretched claws.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The commercial famously uses Bill Withers's "Ain't No Sunshine" to honestly pretty cool effect.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: A weird variant: Dante has the ability to either absolve souls in Hell (after which they presumably go to Heaven) or damn them (meaning they stay in Hell). In the book, he certainly has no such power (or any magic powers, really) and all the people he meets in Hell are stuck there.
  • Spirit Advisor: Virgil.
  • Starter Villain: Death, though starter antagonist might be a more fitting name for him given that he has no connection to Satan or any of Hell's other inhabitants and was simply doing his job of sending the souls of the deceased to their appropriate destinations.
  • Stock Scream: A falling soul in Limbo does the Wilhelm Scream.
  • Stupid Evil: Satan. This version shows pretty much everything wrong with modern Lucifer portrayals in media: the stereotypical pride and manipulative traits are so mixed up that, instead of an imposing figure, he ends up coming across as more of a raving melodramatic lunatic.
  • Succubi and Incubi: The Temptresses and Cleopatra, but instead of being attractive, they're extremely disturbing.
  • That's No Moon: How Phlegyas reveals himself in the Styx River.
    • Also in the 9th circle.
    Virgil: These are not towers, but giants.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: How Beatrice ends up biting it, thus resulting in her being condemned to Hell. Also Francesco.
  • To Hell and Back: Subverted. Dante finishes his business in Hell, but he has to go through Purgatory in the ending.
  • Too Many Mouths: The Gluttons and their boss, Cerberus.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Having done so, one of Dante's side purposes in his journey is to avoid meeting the same fate that his father did. Made creepily evident by some combat and aesthetic similarities, like using the cross as a ranged weapon and a cross on the chest.
  • Undead Child: The unbaptized babies, because well, you know... and you get the "Bad Nanny" achievement from killing them.
  • Unholy Matrimony:
    • Cleopatra and Marc Antony.
    • Beatrice and Lucifer, briefly.
  • Vagina Dentata: The "temptress" creatures in the circle of Lust have these. On top of having prehensile vaginas.
  • The Vamp: Cleopatra, who doubles as The Baroness. The temptresses may also count, but they don't really try to seduce Dante, as they're too focused on tearing him to shreds.
  • Video Game Caring Potential/Video Game Cruelty Potential: The "absolve" or "punish" options.
  • Video Game Vista: When Dante hijacks Phlegyas, he pilots him across a long bridge to the City of Dis. Once they're close enough, the camera pans out, showing a panoramic view of the whole city.
  • Villain Has a Point: Many of the villains, in particular King Minos, Lucifer at times, and especially Francesco, are absolutely correct in their condemnations of Dante for all of the sins that he has committed.
    King Minos: "And you thought a crusade would offer you grace?"
    Lucifer: "And you actually believed him? (referring to the fraudulent bishop) You actually believed these salesmen of salvation?"
  • Villain Protagonist: Definitely played straight by Dante during his time in the Crusades, as he is a mass murderer who committed most if not all of the sins of the Nine Circles of Hell. People remind him of this frequently. However, he subverts this during his actual journey through Hell, as he is there for an unambiguously good cause and begins to realize how horrible of a person he really was in his life the further he goes down.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Just look at the box cover.
  • Wall Crawl: One of the other ways of getting around Hell. By the way, the walls you crawl on throughout Hell are made out of the souls of the damned — who keep moaning and screaming over their damnation as you crawl all over them.
  • We Can Rule Together: Lucifer proposes this to Dante in the end. Dante shoots him down with, "All I want is to be rid of you!"
  • Welcome to Hell: Charon greets all of Hell's new arrivals by telling them to abandon all hope.
  • Wham Line:
    • After the brother of the woman Dante slept with travels all the way to Florence to murder his father and Beatrice, he drops the following, making you realize just why he did it.
    Assassin: She wasn't my sister. She was my wife.
    • The line Lucifer drops during the final battle that makes you realize you were playing right into his hands:
    Lucifer: "You are the best, Dante. Many have tried and many have failed me. Brave Ulysses, the great Alexander, Attila, Lancelot... Only you possessed a soul black enough to free me."
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Beatrice spends a good chunk of the game doing this, especially after she temporarily joins with Lucifer. So does Francesco, during your fight with him.
    • Both Lucifer and Cleopatra repeatedly remind Dante of just how the whole thing is his fault.
  • Womb Horror: The game begins with Dante being sent to Limbo before making his way deeper into Hell. Limbo contains enemies in the form of demonic unbaptized babies who spawn out of fiery furnaces shaped like a woman's enlarged birth canal.
  • World of Ham: It's Hell. If people aren't screaming lamentations or cackling madly, something's wrong.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: The scythe for Unholy attacks and the cross for Holy attacks.

Alternative Title(s): Dantes Inferno


Dante's Inferno

The damned souls Dante has freed on his journey assist him in defeating Satan.

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