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.
This game contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Lucia gets her own campaign and is just as powerful as the male lead.
- 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.
- All Your Powers Combined: Argosax's first form is a pile of flesh and blood composed of pieces from Phantom, Griffon, Orangguerra, Jokatgulm, Nefasturris, and Furiataurus. Each demon will fire its signature attack at Dante if the hunter is within their line of sight.
- 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 games 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.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: Beating the game on lower difficulties 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: Played with. Sickened by Arius' delusions of grandeur, Dante "crowns" him by riddling his body with bullets.
- BFS: Dante's Vendetta and Merciless swords. The former is about as thick as Dante's torso, while the latter is as long as Dante's height.
- Bishōnen Line: Argosax is introduced as a grotesque amalgamation of the other bosses' bodies, but upon taking some damage, he morphs into a more powerful humanoid form.
- Bittersweet Ending: Dante destroys Argosax, but is trapped in the Underworld with apparently no way out, so he rides deeper in on a motorcycle that happened to be there. Lucia, meanwhile, finally comes to terms with her Dark and Troubled Past and is the one to kill Arius for good. But when Lucia finds out Dante's coin is a Two-Headed Coin, she realizes that he tricked her so she wouldn't have to go on what amounted to a suicide mission. Sometime later, Lucia visits Dante's shop, musing about how Dante's sacrifice parallels the story about Sparda Matier promised to tell him, and sadly notes that Sparda came back in the end. Then Lucia hears a motorcycle outside and goes to investigate.
- 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.
- Dark-Skinned Redhead: Lucia has tan skin and bright red hair.
- Diabolus ex Machina: In the game's penultimate mission, Dante sabotages Arius' ritual by replacing one of his artifacts with an ordinary coin. However, in the final level, Argosax is summoned anyways, as a portal to the demon world inexplicably opens, forcing Dante to step inside to fight him.
- 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: While all the bosses in this game (except Arius) are nothing but gigantic monstrosities that show up out of the blue to attack Dante, special mention goes to Phantom's appearance. There's no build up to it, only a cutscene 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.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: Once Arius has been dealt with, Lucia tearfully begs Dante to kill her as well, as she cannot bear the fact that she is one of the villain's artificial demons. Dante naturally refuses, telling her that "devils never cry".
- 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.
- Loose Canon: By and large, 2's impact on the series has been kept to the barest of minimums. Prior to the timeline rearrangement around 5's release, 2 was stated to have been set long after the events of 4 in such a way that it was deliberately kept out of any ongoing story arcs at the time. However now 2 resides between 1 and 4 but even so, it has almost no relevance to the present canon. 5 uses story elements touched on in 1, 3, and 4 but nothing from 2 (2's only appearance in anything related to 5 is in the prologue novel Before the Nightmare).
- 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 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.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Dante after defeating Arius."'King'? Yeah, here's your crown..."
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Argosax is an extremely powerful demon lord who is trapped in the Underworld. Arius' plan is to summon him in order to harvest the creature's power.
- Sequel Difficulty Drop: This game is much easier than the first one, due to less aggressive enemy AI and overpowered guns that let Dante safely snipe enemies from a distance without fear of any counter-attack.
- 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: Dante is much more serious in this game than in any other game in the series. 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 repeatedly flips one as he teases Lucia and Matier over whether he should help them or not. He hints that the quirk may come from his father.
- Villainous Breakdown: Arius has a meltdown after realizing that Dante has successfully sabotaged his ritual, screaming in anguish and hatred before they fight.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...!"