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Dante, not as you know him.
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Devil May Cry 2 is a Stylish Action Hack and Slash action game for the PlayStation 2, developed and published by Capcom in 2003. A sequel to the hit Devil May Cry, it's set in the city of Vie de Marli and centers on a stoic Dante, veteran demon hunter, and a mysterious redheaded woman named Lucia as they fight to stop the Uroboros corporation and its CEO, Arius, from reviving the demon Argosax.

This game was the first in the series worked on by Hideaki Itsuno (who would go on to direct the rest of the games in the main series) and introduced many mechanics that would be refined and expanded upon in later DMC games, such as an evasive action or a Real-Time Weapon Change button, as well as the Bloody Palace gauntlet.

It was followed up in 2005 by Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, and chronologically followed by Devil May Cry 4.

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This game contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Lucia, to the point where she gets her own campaign.
  • Airborne Mook: Puias and Flambats.
  • All Swords Are the Same: You get a normal sword, a BFS, and a fencing sword, but only the look and damage differs, the combos are exactly the same. That's one of the reasons this episode is considered the black sheep of the series.
  • Ambiguous Gender: The Despair Embodied is said to be a he, but it can't seem to make up its mind on which sex it wants to be. It changes depending on the current weapon: whip is female, sword is male.
  • Anachronic Order: Though it was the second game released, it originally took place long after 3, 1, and 4, due to the game’s poor reputation. It wasn't until 5 when they dared to put anything after this one, and when they did, they also rearranged things to make 2 take place before 4.
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  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Beating the game on lower difficulties generally just scores you a new outfit for your character.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: In Mission 15, the enemies become weaker each time you are unable to beat them in two minutes.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Definitely not in the way you expect. Especially because Dante is the one doing the crowning.
  • BFS: Dante's Vendetta and Merciless swords.
  • Bishōnen Line: Despair Embodied is stronger than Argosax, if you count the former as a form of the latter.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Dante destroys Argosax, but is trapped in the Underworld with apparently no way out, so he decides to ride deeper in on a motorcycle that was there for... some reason. Lucia, meanwhile, finally comes to terms with herself and is the one to put down Arius for good when he reanimates as a demon, but realizes that Dante tricked her when she finds out both sides of his coin are heads. In the epilogue, Lucia visits Dante's shop and, realizing that Dante going into the Underworld paralleled the story about Sparda that Matier promised to tell him, sadly notes that Sparda came back. Then Lucia hears a motorcycle outside and goes to investigate, but it's never revealed if it's Dante.
    Dante: "Yeah, let's go all the way to Hell!"
  • Call-Back: Dante comforts a teary-eyed, distressed Lucia at endgame by telling her "Devils never cry." This not only parallels his words to Trish in the final portions of the first game, but Lucia herself parallels Trish's origins as an Artificial Demon created by the game's Big Bad. She's good from the start, unlike Trish, but wonders if her parentage and status as a demon means she'll turn on the humans.
  • Camera Screw: You'll often find yourself shooting away at enemies the camera seems to have no intention of showing you.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Dante's lucky coin is used in a Fake MacGuffin Batman Gambit to fool Arius.
  • Competitive Balance: You can play as either Dante or Lucia. This one is mitigated slightly, however, since they can both be upgraded to become LightningBruisers.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Arius.
  • Darker and Edgier
  • Dark-Skinned Redhead: Lucia.
  • Desperation Attack: Devil Trigger Majin Form/DDT.
  • Dual Wielding: Lucia with all her weapons.
  • Easter Egg: Beating the game on Dante Must Die difficulty unlocks Dante's original outfit from 1, complete with the Force Edge in place of Rebellion. Additionally, most of Dante's sound files are switched from that of Matthew Kaminsky to Drew Coombs, his original VA from the first game.
  • Fake Difficulty: Rather than there being a button to hold to lock-on to enemies, as 3 and 4 would do, Dante/Lucia lock onto the nearest enemy automatically (and there is a button that can be held to turn this off). This causes two major sources of frustration - firstly, all attacks made are directed towards the enemy that is currently locked on to, even if you are aiming in the completely opposite direction. Secondly, you can't control which enemy you're locking onto, which particularly makes some of the flunky bosses more difficult since your character will spend half their time attacking their mooks.
  • Flat Character: Other than Arius, virtually all of the bosses in this game neither have personality nor even speak. They're just another enemy for Dante and Lucia to defeat.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Despair Embodied, the final form of the final boss. Also 75% of the bosses, to be honest.
    • Special mention to Phantom's appearance. There's no build up to it, only a cut scene depicting him falling from the sky. Dante doesn't even make any comment about it, despite having killed him some time before in the first game.
  • Guns Are Useless: This one actually averts it, in comparison to the rest of the series. In the other games, shooting an enemy does about as much damage as spitting on them. 2 ramped up the damage of guns and made it possible for them to stunlock opponents - and then revealed why this had been the case for so much of the series, as it meant hammering the shoot button handled basically everything.
  • Imperfect Ritual: Subverted. Dante attempts to sabotage the ritual to summon the Demon Prince Argosax by replacing the Arcana Medaglia with an ordinary coin, but the spell still creates a portal to the demon world.
  • Macabre Moth Motif: Dante and Lucia fight an enormous moth as one of the bosses. The moth by itself isn't dangerous, but the eggs it lays hatch into larva that try to eat them.
  • Male Might, Female Finesse: Co-protagonists Dante and Lucia; The former's moves are based on strong attacks while the latter was less powerful but made to be more agile and quicker. Trish, by virtue of being based on Dante's move set from the first game, however, is a subversion - by being both strong and female.
  • Monster Arena: Secret Rooms; this game also introduces the Bloody Palace.
  • Monster Mash: Argosax the Chaos is the literal embodiment of this trope; he's a bizarre fusion of several bosses that you faced so far (Phantom, Furiataurus, Nefasturris, Jokatgulm, and Oranguerra), as well as Griffon from 1.
  • Planet Heck: The near-endgame levels set in the Demon World.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Dante after defeating Arius.
    "'King'? Yeah, here's your crown..."
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Argosax.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: This game is much easier than the first one.
  • Shout-Out: Lucia's name is taken from Saint Lucia (Lucia in Latin), a Christian martyr who, in The Divine Comedy, acts as an intermediate and instructs Virgil to lead Dante through Hell and Purgatory.
  • The Stoic: For reasons unknown to everyone, Dante is this. Funnily enough, the game's back cover notes that he was supposed to have even more of a trash talking attitude there.
  • Two-Headed Coin: Dante. He hints that the quirk may come from his father.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Arius has an amazingly hamtastic one that completely destroys any credibility he had as a villain beforehand (which, mission-wise, was only four levels ago).
    Arius (before Dante fights him, after he discovered that Dante set him up by switching the Medalgia with his coin): "Wheeeooooooooo!"
    Arius (post-defeat): "Oooh...! No... My dream... my life... I was meant to be the KEEEEEEEEEEEEENG of this world...!"
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