Follow TV Tropes

Following

Video Game / Devil May Cry 4

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dmc4_cover_v2.jpg
"Now I know...[...] This hand was made for sending guys like you back to hell!"
Nero
Advertisement:

Devil May Cry 4 is a Stylish Action Hack and Slash game developed by Capcom for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC, originally released in February (the consoles) and June (PC) 2008. The game is the third Numbered Sequel in the Devil May Cry series after 2005's Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening.

Some time after DMC3, 1, and 2 (in that order), on the island nation of Fortuna, a young man with a demonic right arm named Nero is attending a religious service where his childhood friend Kyrie is performing when infamous devil slayer Dante crashes through the ceiling and shoots the sermonizing chief priest right in the head. The resulting events ensue as Nero is tasked by Credo, Kyrie's brother and a high-ranking official of the church of the Order of the Sword, to chase down Dante and make him answer for his crime. Things get more complicated when Nero starts coming across Hellgates spitting out demons across the island and the more sinister elements of the Order he's working for.

Advertisement:

Gameplay is an evolution of the systems developed in 3, focusing mostly on new series protagonist Nero, his motorcycle engine-equipped sword Red Queen, and his Devil Bringer right arm, which allows him to grab enemies and pull off powerful stylish attacks on them. Partway through the story, control switches back over to Dante, who plays similarly to how he did in 3 with a wide variety of melee and ranged weaponry, but now, there's an unrestricted Real-Time Weapon Change and an instantaneous Style-switching system. Several returning moves and abilities are also improved in terms of utility and animation speed.

In 2015, seven years after its original release, Capcom developed a remastered version called Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition and released it on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. New features included Turbo mode and Legendary Dark Knight difficulty (which were in the original PC release, but now implemented on the console versions for the first time) as well as three whole new playable characters: Vergil, Lady, and Trish.

Advertisement:

Aside from the main game, there are also supplementary materials and spin-offs for Devil May Cry 4, such as Deadly Fortune, a Japan-only two-volume novelization written by the game's scenario writer and published on 2009, Refrain, a simplified iPhone port of the game released on 2011, and three pachislot machines; the first two pachislot machine spin-offs (respectively released on 2013 and 2016) used the in-game assets, though the latter was titled Devil May Cry X: The Last Judgement Pachislot and contains additional cutscenes and lines that apparently tied Vergil's story closer to 4. The third pachislot, CR Devil May Cry 4 Pachislot, was released on 2018 and uses a different graphics engine to retell the events of the game's Special Edition.

This continuity took a hiatus when Capcom released the reboot/Alternate Continuity DmC: Devil May Cry in 2013, but would return with Devil May Cry 5 in 2019.


Tropes for this game and its spin-offs include:

  • Action Commands: It's necessary to find specific moments of vulnerability against bosses before the Devil Bringer can be used.
  • Action Girl:
    • Gloria who is actually Trish is introduced by having her single-handedly wipe out almost every monster that is about to attack Nero.
    • Lady and Trish get a playable campaign of their own in the Special Edition.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: There are two types of currency in this game: the series-standard Red Orbs, which pop out of enemies and destroyed environmental objects, and the new Proud Souls, which are awarded at the end of missions based on your ranking. Red Orbs are only used to buy items, while Proud Souls are used to buy new abilities. Adam Smith's hatred makes the price go up every time you buy an item. And every time you buy a new ability, the price of everything afterwards goes up... though you can also freely refund spent Proud Souls and unlearn abilities if you want to try something else, which lowers the prices again.
  • Adaptational Badass: In the pachislot, Nero somehow dodges all of the moving lasers without even activating a Chrono Slicer (In the game, there's a grayscale filter whenever time is slowed down by the device, which doesn't happen in this pachislot cutscene).
  • Adaptation Deviation: In the pachislot, there are cutscenes that significantly deviate from the events of the game:
    • Nero fights Sanctus Diabolica and the Savior in the floating platforms set in Mission 18. This doesn't happen at all in the game because Nero is inside the Savior at that time and Sanctus Diabolica is never seen outside of the giant statue.
    • Both Dante and Nero team up to finish off the False Savior. This is different in the actual game wherein Nero alone dealt the final blow.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The cutscenes of the pachislot show some stuff that aren't present in the actual games:
    • Agnus looking at an experimental Angelo armor.
    • When Nero obtains the Yamato, there's a scene of him imitating the movements of Vergil's specter as if the two are conducting a training session.
  • Airborne Mook:
    • The Gladius can fly in their default or sword forms, though strong attacks or firearms can knock them to the ground or walls.
    • Mephistos and Fausts are scorpion-like demons that conceal themselves in black mist to float through the air. If the Devil Bringer is used on them, their shadowy cloak dissolves and their true form falls to the ground.
    • Angelos occasionally fly or float around in order to quickly approach the player character from a distance.
  • Alien Blood: Only half-humans bleed red, while organic demons have blue, green, or orange blood instead.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • According to the weapon concept arts in page 108 of the Devil May Cry: 3142 Graphic Arts artbook, the standard-issue swords for the Order's Knights are named "Caliburn", while the swords used by the officers (such as Credo) are named "Durandal". Nero's Red Queen is also a heavily-modified version of the latter type.
    • In the 3142 Graphic Arts artbook, Nero's character bio straight up mentions he's Vergil's son, a plot point that's only hinted at by the game itself.
  • Almost Kiss: Nero and Kyrie get interrupted by an approaching horde of Scarecrows during the game's last cutscene before the credits.
  • Always Close: No matter how much time you have left in Mission 12, the Order of the Sword HQ always collapses right behind Dante.
  • Anachronic Order:
    • This was originally the third chronological entry in the series, though this was later retconned to take place after 2, making its chronological placement actually match up with its number.
    • This game generally takes place after 3 and 1, but Vergil's cutscenes in the Special Edition canonically happen before the events of 3.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: After Mission 11, the playable character switches from Nero over to Dante, and then switches back to Nero after Mission 18. The usual penalties for starting with a fresh character are completely avoided, as Dante inherits all the Red Orbs, items, and Proud Souls Nero acquired and vice versa.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The second epilogue features Dante, Trish, and Lady discussing the events of the game when they receive a call for their next gig. Cue them smashing out of the agency, complete with Angels Pose and background explosion.
    Dante: Come on, babes...
    All Three: ...LET'S ROCK!
  • Animated Armor: The Bianco/Alto Angelos are artificial Knight Templar demons made by the Order of the Sword, serving as the organization's foot soldiers or mooks. They hold the combined essence of a human member and a "dark angel", possessing mechanical suits of armour to carry out their orders.
  • Anime Theme Song: L'arc-en-Ciel's "Drink it Down" for the game's commercials.
  • Another Side, Another Story: The Special Edition adds campaigns for Vergil and the pair of Lady and Trish; there is minimal story for these campaigns, basically limited to one intro and one ending cutscene, and the actual levels and enemies are exactly the same as the normal Nero/Dante campaign. The new characters, however, play vastly differently from Nero and Dante, and the premise of Vergil's campaign (that he visited Fortuna before the events of DMC3 to investigate a cult devoted to Sparda) is taken as official canon.
  • Antepiece: All platforming types in the game start off with an easy version to let you get the hang of their required mechanics, but then the later missions arrive with their more difficult variants:
    • The first Grim Grip / Continuum Pad section in Mission 2 simply lets you grapple from Point A to Point B, but the next ones involve chaining your grapples from multiple Grim Grips in mid-air, then on the later areas and higher difficulty modes, some Grim Grips move on their own. Sanctus also summons flying objects that suspiciously look like Grim Grips during his boss fight, allowing you to get close to him by grappling on those things.
    • The first Gyro Blades section in the Fortuna Castle simply tasks you to destroy a special door behind you, then the next versions require you to move Gyro Blades across a large portion of the room, such as a hallway.
    • The first vanishing floor section in the Mitis Forest is just a straightforward walk over a short gap, then a later version involves a chasm with the floors appearing and vanishing at seemingly-random patterns.
    • The first Chrono Slicer section in the Order of the Sword HQ just requires you to slow down time to cross the fast-moving lasers nearby, but the next laser traps are more complicated, require more skill to cross over, and the Chrono Slicers are placed in tricky spots encouraging trial-and-error.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Dying and choosing "continue" a few times in the same mission automatically handicaps the enemy.
    • Air Hike is now decoupled from the weapons' ability upgrades; you only buy it once unlike in DMC3 where it had to be bought separately for Dante's three Devil Arms.
    • In the previous games, the demonic Sealed Doors summon an ethereal hand that can damage the character if you try to stick close to them. This game removed the "ethereal hands" so that the player doesn't have to worry about getting blindsided anymore.
    • In Mission 6, the Dice Game will end for as long as you reach the final tile even if the die's number exceeds the required steps in between that destination.
    • The miasma in Mission 16 causes you to take Damage Over Time in most of the level's indoor areas. Fortunately, Green Orbs are usually scattered in the corners, and all enemies will drop Green and/or White Orbs upon death to help you recover some lost health. And even if your character dies in one hit when playing on "Heaven or Hell" or "Hell and Hell" modes, the miasma will not kill you in one hit. Otherwise, it would be unfair if you die immediately when you start the mission.
    • The Devil Trigger gauge's depletion is temporarily paused when Nero is executing a lengthy Devil Buster sequence against a boss.
    • There's an option that enables a mini-map at the corner of the HUD, eliminating the hassle of going through the menu every time you need to check the map (as it was in the previous games). The mini-map also highlights where you previously came from when you visit a room, so that you won't easily get lost in the labyrinth-like sections.
    • This game introduced the "Get More Orbs" skill in the franchise, but it acts like a quality-of-life feature anyway. It greatly expands the scope of your orb acquisition range, allowing you to collect orbs from afar faster than usual.
    • Just like the previous DMC games, The vanilla version of 4 uses a slot-based save system wherein you have to manually save your progress. However, the Special Edition removed the slot-based save system as it uses an Autosave system instead. It also streamlined or consolidated all of your characters' progress on a single file. So unlike 3:SE where Dante and Vergil playthroughs are independent from each other, the player doesn't have to worry about saving the other playable characters' individual progress on separate files. Just like what the vanilla version did when switching between Nero and Dante, your Red Orbs, Vitality and Devil Trigger gauge upgrades are also persistently carried over across all playable characters, so the player doesn't have to worry about finding and farming collectibles again when switching between the Nero/Dante, Lady/Trish, and Vergil campaigns.
  • Arc Words: "They worship a demon as a god?" Dante and Vergil say this on separate occasions when they question the Order of the Sword's motives. Berial has a variant of it with "A human, posing as god?" when he notices Sanctus and the Savior floating above the city of Fortuna.
  • Armed Legs:
    • Dante obtains the Gilgamesh, which aside from turning into gauntlets, also covers his legs with organic metal. The spurs in his boots empower his kicks during some charged combos.
    • In the Special Edition, Vergil uses the gauntlet-and-greave weapon Beowulf just like how he did back in the third game. However, this incarnation of Beowulf functions similarly to Dante's Gilgamesh in terms of their Charged Attack mechanics and indicators.
  • Artifact Title: In DMC1, "Dante Must Die" made sense because the only playable character is Dante. In DMC2, the mode is renamed depending on who you are playing as (so there's a "Dante Must Die" mode and a "Lucia Must Die" mode), the same goes for DMC3 and its counterparts for Dante and Vergil. DMC4 however, turned this into an artifact title. You don't even start the game playing as Dante, while the Special Edition introduces Lady, Trish and Vergil, yet the mode is still named "Dante Must Die".
  • Artificial Brilliance: A Blitz's lightning ray can be jumped over. If you do this strategy on the harder modes, the demon will quickly aim upwards in an attempt to hit you and prevent you from doing it over and over.
  • Attack Its Weak Point:
    • Bael and Dagon are staggered once the ice chunks above their head are destroyed. They also receive more damage if you hit their tongues when they open their mouths. When playing as Nero, their tongues also serve as the parts vulnerable to Buster.
    • In Mission 18, the Savior takes damage by attacking its face or the blue jewels in its body.
  • Audible Sharpness:
    • The Yamato has these sound effects when it's swung in-game, but it also applies on certain cutscenes such as when it creates a ringing noise when Dante slowly sheathes it after destroying the central Hell Gate.
    • Some of Dante's swings with the Rebellion produce a ringing sound. This is easily noticeable on the first and third swings of Rebellion Combo A.
  • Autosave: Unlike most of the previous DMC games and the vanilla version of 4 which relied on a slot-based save system. The Special Edition revamped the save system to record all of your progress into a single file. This also lets the game auto-save on a regular basis, usually when switching between certain menus or when you purchase upgrades and skills.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Using Nero's trademark Buster moves is ill-advised while fighting crowds. While they deal sufficient damage to individual enemies, their animations take a while, and some don't even give him invincibility frames.
    • Nero's Showdown is extremely efficient — but has a short range, takes several seconds to charge, and whiffs if the target moves away during charging, so you'd better know what you're doing when you use it.
    • As Dante, the Rebellion's Round Trip can be followed-up with Pandora's PF422: Grief to shred the same target and kill it faster, but the latter move makes him stand still and become vulnerable to other enemies' attacks.
  • Backtracking: Quite literally, as Dante's part of the game essentially retraces Nero's steps in reverse. This was exacerbated by how the initial run with Nero already had some backtracking in and of itself.
  • Badass Boast: Nero's battle theme, "The Time Has Come", is a string of boasts meant to showcase his confidence:.
    "I'll tell you now, I'm the one to survive... You'll never break my faith or my stride... I'll have you choke on your own demise, I make the Angels scream, and the Devil cry!"
  • Balance Buff:
    • Compared to the previous three games, Dante's Devil Trigger form received significant improvements here. For example, buying Air Hike gives Dante another Air Hike (which equates to a triple jump) and some of his moves are given new mechanics and combos instead of simply increasing their damage (Stinger is now a multi-hitting, drilling stab that goes through enemies, Kick-13 has extra hits added and comes out faster).
    • This game introduced the "Trigger Heart" upgrade to the series, a passive ability that slows down the depletion of the Devil Trigger Gauge, effectively prolonging the character's Devil Trigger state compared to how it was in the prior games.
  • Barehanded Blade Block:
    • Agnus does it to Nero's Red Queen, with his pinkies sticking out, at that.
    • Nero's demonic arm makes invoking this trope routine for him, at least in cutscenes. With said arm's Buster mechanic, the player can sometimes do it too in-game during specific situations, but you need to time it down properly.
  • BFG: Dante's Pandora, a suitcase which has several forms of guns that start at about the size of his torso. Among other things, it can turn into a bazooka, a stationary laser turret and a flying craft equipped with roughly twenty rocket launchers, all of which fire at once.
  • BFS:
    • Nero's Red Queen is almost his own height in terms of length, and when he obtains Yamato, he is backed up by a ghostly spirit that carries an even longer version of the katana. The Devil Sword Sparda also returns in its already-awakened form, and it's still huge when wielded by the characters. Near the finale, Nero carries both the Red Queen and the Sparda on his back just as easily. In the Special Edition, Trish uses the awakened Devil Sword Sparda as her main melee weapon; it still has its long reach and the ability to extend and transform.
    • Berial has a huge flaming warblade, while Angelo Credo also uses a huge sword. The Gladius demons can fly and transform into swords larger than the protagonists' weapons. Angelo Agnus also wields the latter demons as his personal weapons during his boss fights.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Dante starts to become one for Nero toward the end, with hints that further adventures will make the relationship explicit. Overlaps with Trickster Mentor.
  • Bishōnen Line: The hardest boss in the game? Not the giant toad. Not the four-legged demon the size of a building wielding a massive sword. Not even the commander of Fortuna's guard in angel form. No, it's the silver-haired man of average build and not much taller than Nero himself.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Sanctus is dead, the Order of the Sword is no more, and Dante permanently entrusts the Yamato to Nero. Kyrie accepts Nero for who he is, demonic blood and all, but the only home they've ever known is in ruins and Credo, Kyrie's only remaining family, is dead.
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In:
    • In the first mission, the Rebellion lands this way in the foreground as Nero pummels Dante on the floor.
    • If you knock a Gladius demon out while it's flying, it transforms into a sword and stabs the ground on its way down.
    • Defeating a Mega Scarecrow causes the huge blade in its body to fly up then fall to the ground point-first before shattering.
    • In the finale, the Sparda lands on its sharp end as it falls after Nero defeats Sanctus Diabolica.
  • Blade Run: Nero does it on a giant sword that was originally attached to a statue of Sparda when he first battles Dante. Sadly, no gameplay usage.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage:
    • In addition to the return of Dante's Royal Block skill, Nero can block attacks by meeting them with his Devil Bringer (especially during cutscenes). In-game, a well-timed Buster can block all sorts of attacks, from giant spears, massive demons, and even punches from the False Savior. There's also the "Hold" skill which makes him carry a demon as a makeshift living shield.
    • Some enemies and bosses, like the Bianco and Alto Angelos, the Assaults, Berial, and Angelo Credo can put up a defensive stance to stop your attacks cold, although their shields or guards can be broken with enough hits or by using heavier attacks. In the finale, Sanctus Diabolica can also use the Sparda to block Nero's attacks and stagger him.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The game features the female trio of Trish (blonde), Lady (brunette) and Kyrie (redhead).
  • Bloodstained Glass Windows: The game opens with Dante crashing a church gathering and shooting the head honcho in the face.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The Pandora's PF262: Jealousy form fires downward shots while Dante is airborne, but each individual shot deals lesser damage compared to the other forms' missiles and it can't hit targets directly below Dante. Despite these seemingly basic or situational traits, its high rate-of-fire means that it's the fastest way to fill up the Disaster Gauge, which in turn allows Dante to quickly unleash the Pandora's stronger Gunslinger forms.
    • Instead of fighting the demons directly via your weapons and stylish combos, certain rooms and areas allow you to activate a nearby Gyro Blade and send it around to do the fighting for you. The Gyro Blade might take a couple of hits from your weapon before it can reach its fastest spin, but it's often enough to one-shot the enemies even at higher difficulty modes, and enough to remove the lightning barrier of the Blitzes in just a few seconds.
  • Boss Arena Recovery: Berial, the first boss, leaves behind health-restoring orbs when he smashes buildings. At least, until you get to the higher difficulties— which turns him into a sort of Wake-Up Call Boss if you were still expecting them.
  • Boss Rush: Mission 19 tests Nero one last time as he's forced to take down Berial, Dagon, Echidna and Angelo Agnus within The Savior, but those fights involve a puzzle segment in between.
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • Mostly played straight for Dante, Lady, and Trish because they never run out of ammunition, and are never shown reloading during cutscenes and gameplay. It's just subverted for Dante whenever he has to eject the empty casings at least most of the time after firing shots from his shotgun.
    • Nero subverts this during gameplay since he can shoot as long as he wants, but if he stops, he will finish with what is apparently a quick reload animation by flicking his wrist.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Completing the "Must Die" difficulty unlocks a "Super Costume" for the related character(s). It grants unlimited and regenerating meters for Devil Trigger and other mechanics like Nero's Exceed.
  • Breaking Old Trends:
    • Dante only has one leading lady in each of the first three games (Trish in 1, Lucia in 2, Lady in 3). This game broke the trend by having both Trish and Lady working with him in the Devil May Cry business from now on.
    • In the first three games, the Shotgun doesn't have a unique name and must be obtained as an unlockable weapon somewhere in the stages. In this game, Dante has a shotgun named "Coyote-A" as one of his starting ranged weapons alongside Ebony & Ivory.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: The Special Edition allows you to unlock the Super Costumes instantly by buying the Time Saver DLC instead of unlocking them by the usual, harder way of finishing Dante Must Die mode.
  • Button Mashing:
    • Depending on the grappled enemy, Nero's Buster and Devil Buster deal more damage if the player mashes the grab button.
    • Dante's Dance Macabre requires the player to mash the Style button quickly in order to execute the full combo sequence; letting go for a while prematurely ends the combo.
  • Call-Back: Nero would've wanted to gift a golden necklace to Kyrie near the beginning of the story. He finally manages to give it to her at the finale.
  • Camera Screw:
    • The Fixed Camera angles can be confusing depending on where they are placed, but usually, the camera faces the door where you just came from, so you have to walk several steps further when you enter a room before knowing what you're about to deal with.
    • The Advancing Wall of Doom section with Echidna has the camera facing the thing that's chasing you from behind, which makes it a bit hard to anticipate the path ahead.
  • Cap: Your Stylish points are capped at 99999.
  • Catch and Return: During the battle with Credo, the spears that he throws can be caught with the Devil Bringer and then thrown right back at him.
  • Charged Attack: Nero, Dante, Lady, and Trish can all charge their guns.
    • Dante and Trish's work like in the previous game, but the former doesn't need to be in Gunslinger style to do it.
    • Nero's works like a standard Mega Man-style charge shot, but later upgrades to it allow it to blow up adjacent enemies or add an additional delayed explosion...that is actually, by far, his strongest attack.
    • Lady's pistols work like Nero's, being Mega Man-style with a delayed explosion at the highest level. Her shotgun works interestingly in that charging fills up a meter and up to three lights next to her health gauge; the more lights filled, the longer she can end up firing powered shots. Finally, Kalina Ann, her rocket launcher, roots her in place as long as she's charging and deals devastating damage in return.
  • Charge Meter:
    • Charged attacks performed via the "Hold" input glow to indicate their charge levels, like Nero's Devil Bringer changing colors depending on the level of charge obtained. It's usually the largest glow that indicates the highest charge.
    • "Collect"-type charged attacks have unique meters to indicate their levels, such as Dante's Royalguard meter and Pandora's Disaster Gauge. Specific weapons even glow in accordance to their charge meter, such as Red Queen turning red as it accumulates EX Gauge.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Several conspicuous objects (such as Gyro Blades and Wing Talisman platforms) scattered in the Fortuna Castle do nothing at first or be ignored by your playable character, but would later become necessary elements in platforming and puzzle-solving after you obtain their proper key items.
    • Nero's Devil Bringer is arm-slinged during the prologue, which he then quickly uses as a trump card to beat Dante. It also serves as the container of the Yamato mid-way through the game's story, especially after Dante allowed Nero to keep the sword as his own in the finale.
  • Clean Cut:
    • Yamato, a katana apparently so sharp it can effortlessly cut through several feet of stone from about half a mile away and separate dimensions.
    • Dante's Rebellion, which is only slightly less impressive than Yamato, but managed to cut a magical cubic meter stone/steel die neatly in half.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: Once Nero and Kyrie leave The Savior's body, Sanctus becomes its core instead, transforming it into the False Savior. Since the giant statue is no longer stable after the second "merge", it can barely even stand upright, can only just swing its fists and roar at Nero, and is defeated by three properly-timed Busters.
  • Colossus Climb: Mission 18 consists of Dante leaping around dozens of platforms arranged around the Savior as he battles it. He then has to climb a limb for the jewels that can't be reached normally.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • Secret Mission seals start off with a glowing red emblem. If a Secret Mission is already cleared, its emblem becomes black.
    • The Combat Adjudicators have color-coded glowing parts that help you determine which specific character are they vulnerable to.
    • The platforms of the Dice Games are color-coded to differentiate their functions; white platforms are free space, blue platforms give you orbs, red platforms spawn enemies or traps, and yellow platforms either move your statue ahead to a shortcut or send it back to another yellow platform.
  • Colour-Coded Timestop: A grayscale filter is used when the time-suspension Chrono Slicer devices are activated.
  • Companion Cube: Downplayed with the Red Queen. It's still primarily treated as Nero's sword, but in the ending cutscene of Mission 1, he calls it a "battle companion" and Kyrie refers to it using a feminine pronoun.
    Kyrie: She yearns for your touch.
  • Competitive Balance:
    • Trish is a Close-Range Combatant: her primary weapon isn’t actually the Sparda Sword this time around; it’s her fists, which either do weak damage or have to be charged to be truly effective - both of which means it takes her time to defeat enemies. Furthermore, she doesn’t have a lot of options in mobility, instead having attacks which bring enemies to her or keep them stationary to help give her time to attack.
    • Lady is a Glass Cannon and Long-Range Fighter. She doesn't have access to a Devil Trigger like other characters do, thus lacking their regenerating health in that mode and her limited melee attacks are incredibly slow and comparatively weak. To compensate, a lot of her long-ranged moves involve a hailstorm of bullets and high explosives, and she has a meter in place of the DT Gauge which allows her to cover her surroundings with extremely deadly grenades.
    • Nero is the Jack-of-All-Stats. He doesn’t have access to other weapons or Styles as the other characters do, but he also doesn’t have a lot of glaring weaknesses in mobility or defence, as he has both a dodge move and the ability to move himself or enemies around with his Devil Bringer. Furthermore, with his Red Queen’s Exceed gauge and his Devil Bringer attacks, he can upgrade his modest abilities to do a lot more damage.
    • Vergil is a Lightning Bruiser. He loses a lot of the versatility he had with Dark Slayer Style in 3, but he more than makes up for it with a wide repertoire of attacks which come out very fast, hit very hard, and can cause him to positively zip around. In his Devil Trigger mode, he takes this Up to Eleven, even by the standards of this franchise!
    • Dante is the Master of All, who can switch between the first four styles from 3, plus allowing him to switch between seven different weapons, which altogether makes him very versatile without sacrificing anything. Effectively using all of his myriad attacks and mechanics to their fullest potential requires lots of time and practice.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Boss Dante is infinitely superior to any version the player has ever had access to, if only because of computerized accuracy; he can react to and counter your attacks as soon as you input them.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • To the first Devil May Cry game:
      • The Assault demons are very similar to the Blades from DMC1. The Frost demons also return from that game, complete with an almost-identical Mook Debut Cutscene.
      • As mentioned in their Library file, the Bianco Angelos are made from the fragment of a demon known as the "dark angel", referring to Nelo Angelo. The Deadly Fortune light novel also explains that fragments of Nelo Angelo's armor ended up in Fortuna.
      • Just like in DMC2, Trish wearing sunglasses in her Devil Trigger mode serves as a reference to the prologue cutscene of the first game wherein she wore glasses as she barges into Dante's shop and provokes him.
      • Vergil has an unlockable costume that shows him with nasty-looking scars all over his face, which are the results of his corruption as Nelo Angelo.
    • To Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening:
      • During his second match with Nero, Dante explains that he seeks the Yamato because it was originally his brother's, referencing the plot point established in 3 wherein the sword was Vergil's inheritance from Sparda. According to the Deadly Fortune light novel, the Yamato, alongside the fragments of Nelo Angelo's armor, ended up in Fortuna.
      • When Dante obtains the Yamato, he unlocks the Dark Slayer Style, the similarly-named Style of Vergil in the Special Edition of 3. He also tries to slick his hair back when he switches to this style, as a reference to his brother doing it in 3.
      • The final slash of Dante's basic Dark Slayer combo has a long animation that can be cancelled into other moves. But if the animation is played until Dante sheathes the katana and it makes a "click" sound, it would boost the Style Gauge when it's done in the middle of a fight, just like how it does with Vergil's Yamato combos in 3.
      • From Vergil's opening cutscene in the Special Edition of this game, there's a poster of Beowulf the Lightbeast in the corner of the screen.
      • Vergil's EX costume is a red Palette Swap of his outfit, just like his red-clad counterpart boss fight when playing as him in the Special Edition of 3.
      • Lady's DMC3 appearance can be purchased as a DLC costume.
    • Lady and Trish are already well-acquainted in this game, which makes sense because they first met in the 2007 anime adaptation.
  • Contrived Coincidence: When Kyrie is taken away by the Angelos, Nero repeatedly punches the ground with his Devil Bringer in a fit of rage. His fist just happens to crack the ground enough and destroy the demonic roots entangling the bridge to the Order of the Sword Headquarters.
  • Corrupt Church: The Order of the Sword worships Sparda and preaches the extinction of all demons. However, this is all a ruse. The organization's true objective is to seek demonic power, awaken a gargantuan demon-statue whom they call "The Savior", and use it to conquer the world.
  • Counter-Attack: Used with Royal Guard to completely nullify damage taken and drastically increase damage dealt.
  • Creative Closing Credits: Just like DMC3, you battle a horde of demons as a timer counts down and the credits roll. There's an added difficulty where you, as Nero, can't let even a single Scarecrow touch Kyrie in order to see an extra ending.
  • Crucified Hero Shot:
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The island of Fortuna, where the capital has a congregation called the Order of the Sword that worships Sparda. The architecture has a medieval feel, the innocent bystanders and Redshirt Army wear hooded monk-style robes, while the leader Sanctus looks very much like a Roman-Catholic Pope and is referred to as His Holiness. The Order turns out to be a rather corrupt bunch of Knight Templars that want to wipe the slate clean with a demonic invasion and the creation of a false Savior so that they can usher in a new Utopia.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max:
    • Immediately after slaying Dagon, at least four or five more Dagons show up through the hell gate. Dante then obtains the Pandora, and proceeds to effortlessly wreck all of the boss's friends with a lethal combination of Pandora's abilities. Try replicating THIS in-game? You can't. Granted, all of those functions are available, but are in no way that powerful, flashy, nor are easy to pull off in-game.
    • Just like DMC3, the Yamato's Absurdly Sharp Blade factor gets turned up to eleven in this game's cutscenes. Nero wrecks a building's roof with it, and Dante even managed to slice a giant monolith in half with just a single slash from the Yamato at an extremely far range.
    • Dante's handguns are still overpowered in cutscenes. How about making a boss explode with a single pistol shot, the weakest attack in the game no matter how many times you try and upgrade it?
    • There are plenty of things that Nero's Devil Bringer can do in cutscenes but not in actual gameplay. Punch Dante's sword? Crush a giant statue's head? Those are only on cutscenes.
    • In the Alto Angelo's Mook Debut Cutscene, it manages to kill two Assaults in one fell swoop. While the Alto Angelo is an Elite Mook, and it's possible for its kind to fight Assaults in-game thanks to Mêlée à Trois, it doesn't normally deal a One-Hit Kill to any of its targets.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • Certain moves have different inputs between this game and DMC3. Dance Macabre, for example, is "Lock-on + Back + Style Action" in 3, but "Lock-on + Forward + Style Action" in this game. Round Trip previously had that input, but it and Overdrive have swapped places as well.
    • Originally, Nero can activate and move a Gyro Blade with his Buster and make it spin faster using his Red Queen. In the Special Edition, Lady and Vergil control Gyro Blades differently than him; they activate and move a Gyro Blade using a melee attack (which is bound to the same key as Nero's Red Queen abilities), and they make it spin faster using a ranged attack instead (whereas Nero's Blue Rose does nothing to a Gyro Blade).
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Nero's Blue Rose allows you to do this against most bosses. Yes it will take forever to kill them and you won't get any significant stylish points, but constantly spamming them with your infinite ammunition revolver will eventually take them down. Notably, this is a valid option against Credo who is very difficult to land hits on with anything else (he also counterattacks your sword slashes), but he is completely indifferent to the damage taken from gunfire. Trying this tactic against Dante will have him shoot your bullets out of the air with his instead.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack:
    • Dante's Real Impact, or Nero's Showdown are very powerful moves, but they have long animations and also require the initial hit to connect with an enemy. Otherwise, the character will be left defenseless for a few moments.
    • The Royal Release makes its return from 3. With the proper timing, Dante can unleash a powerful punch. Mistime it otherwise, and it will just be a regular Release. Missing this attack completely can also make him briefly vulnerable to whiff punishes.
    • Nero can also use his Devil Bringer's Buster to reverse some powerful enemy attacks instead of dodging them, but this feat requires some precise timing. For example, knocking back the combined sphere attack from a Bianco Angelo and Alto Angelos, interrupting Echidna's bull-rushing attack, throwing Credo's spear back, or grabbing Sanctus while he is charging at you with the Sparda.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Dante sees the conviction within Nero after fighting him to a standstill, and despite questing for Yamato, he smoothly steps aside and lets Nero use it for the latter's mission of saving Kyrie. He eventually allows Nero to keep the Yamato by the end of the game.
  • Demon of Human Origin: It's revealed that the Order of the Sword's chief alchemist, Agnus has been experimenting with turning humans into false-angelic demon knights with Credo and the Alto Angelos being the successful results. The "Angel Creation" laboratory room also shows the supposed transformation process of the latter kind. He even converted himself into a demon and we see Sanctus go through the "Ascension Ceremony" in-game.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Vergil's S-Rank taunt in 4:SE has him spinning a miniature Summoned Sword on his index finger before shattering it. If you launch an enemy directly upwards and taunt under them, they can actually fall back onto the spinning blade which is actually coded to deal damage and juggle them.
    • In Mission 18, the normal way of destroying The Savior's jewels requires you to topple the boss first. But if you manage to destroy an exposed jewel while the boss is still floating in the middle of the stage, a cinematic plays and shows the boss flinching on the specific body part where the jewel is located. This unique interaction can be observed more easily in Heaven or Hell mode where the jewels are shattered in one hit.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: Unlike the previous games, DMC4 took the idea of "destructible objects in the environemnt" and ran with it to initiate a cutscene, namely Nero having to get on top of a huge chandelier and slice it with his Red Queen.
  • Diegetic Switch: During the first cutscene fight with Dante, Nero throws off his headphones when he decides it is time to get serious. The music which is heard from his headphones becomes the background music for the rest of the scene.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • Lucifer is very unwieldy and unusual as the weapon basically consists of sticking enemies with explosive needles, yet has a low damage output per hit. However, when mastered, Dante can lock down crowds of enemies, pin down the larger ones, and blow them all up with the toss of a rose.
    • Dante can also change styles mid-combo. It requires a bit of dexterity (going from analog stick to D-Pad) but when pulled off right, you can extend combos (For example, you can do Swordmaster's Aerial Rave > Dark Slayer's Aerial combo in midair) and compensate for holes in Dante's style made by the larger places you have to fight in (Air Trick > ground fighting > Swordmaster's Dance Macabre).
    • Dante's Royal Guard allows him to completely nullify damage by blocking at the right instant just as an attack hits. This also boosts Style rating, Devil Trigger energy, and lets you save power for your monstrous counter-attacks, but you'll have to memorise enemy attack cues and patterns to get the timing right.
    • Instant Revving with Nero (EX-Act and later MAX-Act). Revving up the Red Queen allows you to dish more damage and change the properties of some of your attacks. You can stand still and rev up the sword by tapping the Rev button a couple of times (up to a maximum of three levels) that charge up the next attack you do. But with the EX-Act upgrade, you can rev your sword as you slash it by pressing the Rev button as your sword makes contact with an enemy. This adds a single Exceed level instantly and can be done with every sword attack Nero has, provided you have the timing down. Later on, you can purchase the MAX-Act upgrade, which requires even more precise timing, but doing so will instantly grant you all three Exceed levels in a single go.
    • Using enemies as platforms to reboot aerial combos (also known as "jump cancel") requires a very precise timing, but allows you to stay in the air indefinitely once you master it.
    • Distorting with Dante. Certain attacks can be enhanced with extra hits, equal to the damage of the initial hit, if Dante Devil Triggers then immediately goes back. How this is done is by Triggering on the hit itself, which then doubles the Hit Stop. However doing this is very tricky as you have to do it when the hits properly connect. The most practical application of this is the Distorted Real Impact, which adds so much damage to an already-devastating attack that you can one-shot virtually any boss with it.
    • Mastering Vergil's Concentration in the Special Edition. Vergil stays firmly on the "technician" side in his Technician vs. Performer dynamic with Dante and the Concentration mechanic steers into this. By fighting efficiently (not making any extra attacks and dodging enemies) as well as moving slow and deliberately during a fight, you raise Vergil's Concentration gauge (the meter that wraps around his life bar) and benefit from enhanced attacks as well as extra attacks at its zenith. Getting too frenzied or taking damage will diminish it so in order to make the most use of the meter, you have to be very aware of your surroundings and avoid overzealously rushing around the battlefield on foot (you can use his Dark Slayer teleports to your heart's content, though).
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The Lucifer acquisition cutscene, where Dante gives a rather graphic description of how the weapon is supposed to be used, but hilariously combined with Large Ham and sexual innuendos.
      Dante: "First I whip it out! Then I thrust it with great force! It penetrates every angle! Until, with great strength, I ram it in! In the end, we are all satisfied."
    • Sanctus' line when he entices Nero to surrender and be merged with Kyrie inside The Savior. His figure of speech is both interpreted literally because The Savior supposedly fuses the bodies of the individuals used as its "cores", and figuratively because he knows that Nero and Kyrie romantically love each other.
      Sanctus: "Is it not your wish to become one with her?"
  • Dope Slap: At the end of the second Dante boss fight, there is an Internal Homage to Dante's impalement attempt on Vergil in 3, which is mimicked exactly by Nero's lunging attack in this game. Dante easily dodges it and slaps him in the back of the head.
  • Double Entendre: Aside from Dante speaking innuendos immediately after acquiring Lucifer, the weapon's attacks are named after sexual terms: Splash, Ecstasy and Pin-up.
  • Double Jump: While Air Hike returns as usual (thankfully decoupled from weapons as it was in previous entries), this is taken one step further by Dante's Devil Trigger form to enable a triple jump.
  • Dramatic Spotlight: Before and after the boss fight against Agnus in Mission 17, the Opera House is mostly dim, save for a spotlight that shines on Agnus and Dante whenever they speak their theatrical lines. Then again, these cutscenes are referencing Hamlet, justifying the existence of a spotlight.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • Nero sort of does this with Yamato and Red Queen for his moves Maximum Bet and Showdown, but only when Devil Triggered.
    • Vergil's Force Edge moveset, which utilizes Yamato as a backup weapon, is a straighter example.
  • Dueling Player Characters: Dante serves as both a tutorial boss in the beginning and is fought again later on, both as Nero. Three guesses on the kind of fight that the second one turns out to be...
  • Dynamic Entry:
    • Dante makes his appearance in the game by crashing through a stained-glass ceiling and shooting the prominent religious figure Sanctus in the head.
    • As Dante approaches Kyrie in the prologue, Nero interrupts him by sending a dropkick with both feet to his face. This move can be executed in-game and is labeled as "Rainbow".
  • Easy Level Trick:
    • Using the Devil Bringer's abilities (Snatch or Buster) against the dice allows the player to manipulate the dice game since any of those abilities would guarantee that the number on top will remain when the dice stops spinning. In the Special Edition, Lady and Vergil can do it too using their standard Launcher Moves. With a bit of pattern memorization and proper attack timing, the randomness factor gets eliminated, trivializing significant portions of Mission 6 and Mission 19.
    • A platforming segment in Mission 7 requires you to go through disappearing platforms while being ambushed by Mephistos. This is tricky since getting hit will likely knock you off the platform, force you to fight another battle below, and have you repeat the same section from scratch. You can actually lure the Mephistos on the starting solid ground to kill them there. Since they don't respawn, this tactic prevents them from bothering you as you go through the disappearing platforms. Secret Mission 7 features this segment as its main challenge, so the same trick still applies even if a total of five Mephistos spawn this time and the platforms have more challenging patterns.
    • Secret Mission 6 requires you to kill all Chimera Seeds before any of them can take over the lone Scarecrow. Its screenshot shows everyone on the starting ground floor, implying that you have to fight all Seeds only on that area. However, unlocking the Hold ability allows Nero to just carry the Scarecrow on top of the cliff, and then jump down to kill all Chimera Seeds.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: There are fights inside the elevators of the Order of the Sword HQ, but the elevators only move after you clear out the enemies, and some elevators are actually stuck regardless of the battle inside.
  • Energy Weapon: PF398 Revenge, the laser cannon form of Pandora, shoots a ray of light in front of Dante or Trish.
  • Environmental Symbolism: All of Nero's battles with Dante take place in some classy room to show how those aren't completely serious fights, and Dante isn't serious about killing Nero; more like toying him instead. By comparison, the final battle in The Savior's heart is much darker in terms of the arena's appearance, and more climactic in terms of the tone.
  • EX Special Attack:
    • The weapon Pandora has a special Disaster Gauge that is filled up by using normal attacks, and can be spent by using Gunslinger Style attacks.
    • Nero's Exceed mechanic requires you to charge up your sword, and then expend the charges to perform a greatly enhanced version of your next move. It's even in the mechanic's naming theme; most powered-up moves are prefixed with the letters "EX".
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Devil May Cry 4 is a bit more vague, but seems to take place over a couple days - the game starts at daytime, the second boss is fought at night, daytime returns at the halfway point, night returns for the second trip through Fortuna Castle, and the final boss and credits sequence is during the sunset.
  • Face Palm Of Doom: Happens at the end. Except instead of grabbing the face of the False Savior and then releasing the energy, Nero uses the Devil Bringer to project an even bigger hand which is closer to the Savior's scale. Then he just crushes its face.
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: The Mega Scarecrows are huge and have a ton of health, but that's about it. They are close to the Fausts and Blitzes in terms of raw damage output, but they are even slower than regular Scarecrows, take a long while to attack, flinch at the slightest hit, are very susceptible to knockback, and rarely retaliate. Their only gimmicks are their rolling attack, and their back blade which falls back two seconds after they die.
  • Fanservice:
    • While all of the ladies' outfits spanning the series are fanservicey as hell, Gloria's has the most revealing one so far, and her fighting style really takes the cake.
    • That Lucifer acquisition scene with Dante speaking a lot of innuendos.
    • Trish and Lady both seem to have received a Fanservice Pack in this game as well.
  • Fighting Spirit: Nero's Devil Trigger manifests as a katana-wielding demonic spirit that looks similar to Vergil's Devil Trigger form.
  • Finishing Move: Nero's Buster moves against bosses won't necessarily finish the boss off, but they tend to do a lot of damage, and they definitely look like finishing moves. Notably, finishing off Sanctus Diabolica with a Buster changes the animation so it dramatically repeats the moment of impact three times, and Nero shouts the Once an Episode "Jackpot!" Catchphrase. A Buster is also required to defeat the post-final boss, The False Savior.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: It's mentioned in a dialogue line and some texts; Berial introduces himself as "The conqueror of the Fire Hell". However, said location is never shown.
  • Firearms Are Cowardly: Nero is the only Order of the Sword member who uses a firearm, being the most irreverent and despised member of the group. Fitting to their name, the other members only use swords as they feel guns are dishonorable and weapons fit for the feeble.
  • Firing One-Handed: Nero fires the giant Blue Rose with one hand — the only time he uses both is when you're firing a Charge Shot. If the size of Blue Rose's caliber is of any indication in comparison to real life firearms in that same range, the closest possibly the Smith & Wesson Model 500 revolver, it would smash into a regular human's face if the other hand wasn't used to brace for recoil.
  • First-Episode Twist: Nero's right arm is slinged in the prologue cutscene, implying that he's handicapped. Mid-way through the first mission, Nero uses said arm to block Dante's sword, revealing his arm to be of demonic nature which grants him Super Strength.
  • Flaming Sword:
  • Flash Step:
    • Frosts can disassemble their bodies at the molecular level, quickly moving across the room using the moisture in the air as a medium, and then reforming somewhere else.
    • Dante and Vergil retain their short-distance teleportation techniques ("Air Trick" and "Trick" respectively) from DMC3.
    • Nero's "Table Hopper" dodge is fast enough to leave a streak/after-image and pass through enemy attacks. Further upgrades increase the number of flash steps that can be performed in quick succession.
  • Flawless Victory: You receive a "No Damage" bonus at the results screen when you complete a mission without taking any damage.
  • Flipping the Bird: Near the end of Mission 11, Nero sticks out the middle finger of his Devil Bringer to Dante as Nero gets absorbed into The Savior.
  • Flunky Boss:
    • Agnus will constantly send out demons of his own conception when you fight him. He puts a spin on this trope when he transforms into Angelo Agnus because he can wield his summoned creatures as his own weapons aside from just letting them attack independently. It can also be subverted since you can actually use these demons against him by grabbing them with Nero's Buster.
    • Echidna to a lesser extent, as she sometimes spawns Chimera Seeds to distract you.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Nero attempts this against several Angelos charging at him in order to quickly get to Sanctus and save Kyrie.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Those with a careful eye will be able to spot Dante perched casually atop one of the nearby buildings watching Nero's opening fight with the Scarecrows — slow-motion is all but required at first because it's only seen as the camera follows Nero's high-speed aerial acrobatics. Dante also shows up near the end of the prologue, just as Director Hideaki Itsuno's credit disappears.
  • Game Mod: DMC4 has an active modding scene which is mainly focused on cosmetic stuff.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • On higher difficulty modes, Dante will use Gilgamesh, Pandora and Lucifer during his boss fights within the first half of the game even if he would properly acquire them in the second half.
    • When you replay Dante's missions after completing a certain point near the end-game, he sets out to the Opera House to retrieve Yamato despite already wielding it via the Dark Slayer Style. This also applies to subsequent playthroughs via New Game+.
    • There's barely any story there in the first place, but Vergil's trip to Fortuna in 4:SE apparently happens before the events of 3. Despite this, he already has the Force Edge (which he wouldn't get until the final battle of 3) and Beowulf (which he only acquires in the middle of 3), Dante is an enemy you must fight (in his 4 attire), and Fortuna has not changed in the intervening years (which would be a substantial gap considering he and Dante were only young adults in 3 and by 4, Dante is a years-long seasoned demon hunter).
  • Gameplay Automation: Automatic Mode eases a lot of the complex controls and context-sensitive combos, but the most obvious advantage is that shots are automatically charged for as long as the player hasn't fired their guns yet, even in the middle of a combo.
  • Gathering Steam: Nero's sword has the "Exceed" system which combines this trope with Charged Attack; he "revs" the sword's handle which charges up heat energy into the sword; there are 3 units of it in the Exceed meter. If the meter is filled, each of his sword's normal combo strikes will become stronger as they consume one unit per strike, and his special moves with the sword consumes all of the meter. The unique part is how the meter is gained: he can normally rev it (just like how Gatling guns spin up first) to fill the meter, but to fill each unit, the "rev" button must be pressed 3-4 times; it becomes tedious quickly to always rev it before you attack. But, he can also rev it during his sword strikes - called Ex-Act - and doing so will automatically give him one full unit that is immediately spent, making the strike immediately powerful; this can be done in normal sword combo attacks as well as special sword attacks. Even better, if he revs it during a specific frame of each sword strikes - called Max-Act - he will instantly gain 3 units (i.e full meter) with each swing, with one unit immediately being used.
  • Giant Mook: Mega Scarecrows are larger and tougher than normal Scarecrows, but are also a lot slower and aren't dangerous when cornered.
  • The Goomba: The game has two types of Scarecrows (labeled "Arm" and "Leg" depending on which limb is their blade attached to), but aren't aggressive from a distance unlike their larger Mega Scarecrow variants.
  • Goomba Springboard: "Enemy Step" returns as the mechanic that allows you to jump off enemies' heads. Unlike the previous game where it is incorporated with the "Kick Jump" ability, this game makes it a purchasable, separate ability upgrade.
  • Grapple Move:
    • Nero's Devil Bringer Buster moves. They are performed by pressing the right control button (circle or B, depending on console) without pressing the aim button, and are able to grab any enemy Nero will encounter, up to and including bosses. Though bosses and Elite Mooks can only be grabbed on certain conditions, like when they are dazed. It is also capable of Catch and Return on certain projectiles and deflecting some melee attacks. Excluding Scarecrows, Fausts, and Mephistos,note  every enemy in the game gets a unique Buster move.
    • Angelo Agnus can grab the playable character in order to drain their health and heal himself.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol:
    • The Devil Bringer's functions include "Snatch" and "Hell Bound", two abilities that allow Nero to pull enemies toward him or fling himself towards them respectively by extending a spectral arm. Certain objects in the environment can also be gripped, allowing him to reach distant areas or grab collectibles that are normally out of reach.
    • In the Special Edition, Lady's Kalina Ann has a bayonet that can be fired to perform similar grappling hook functions that allow her to rappel towards objects in the environment, though she tends to use it to fling enemies into the air rather than pull them closer.
  • Gratuitous French: One of the chapter titles is "Le Porte de l'Enfer", French for "The Hell Gate" (literally "The Door of Hell").
  • Gratuitous Italian: One of the chapter titles is "La Vita Nuova", Italian for "The New Life".
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Dante says "Adiós kid" to Nero after their first battle.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Nero's various Buster Grapple Moves often involve picking up an enemy and flinging/slamming it around, damaging other nearby enemies upon contact with the grabbed target.
  • Ground Punch: Gilgamesh's Swordmaster move "Shock!" (and its jumping variant, "Shocking!") where Dante slams his fist into the ground. If you execute it immediately, it creates a small shockwave, but if you charge it up, you get a fairly large splash zone.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The objective text for Secret Mission 8 is misleading. The mission actually requires you to perform Royal Block 5 times consecutively, but the text doesn't mention the "consecutively" part anywhere.
    • The game never tells you that Chrono Slicers can also slow down the nearby enemies, as it mostly just serves as a solution to the laser hallway puzzles. There are rooms where enemies spawn near a Chrono Slicer, but the player can just simply beat them up without realizing that the device can be activated in the middle of a fight.
  • Gun Kata: An early cutscene in the first mission involves Dante and Nero putting Gun Kata maneuvers through their paces against each other, even while airborne.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: For no apparent reason other than "they're both incredible hams," when Dante and Agnus meet, their argument takes on the form of something akin to a melodramatic opera with a full dramatic orchestra and waxing poetry that wouldn't be out of place in high-school Shakespeare. It is glorious.
  • Hand Cannon:
    • Nero has the Blue Rose, a customized Smith & Wesson Model 500 with barrels at the twelve and six o'clock positions of its six-shot cylinder (normal M500s have five shots), which somehow fires two shots at once with a single hammer as stated in its description. He can fire it one-handed, and it can later be upgraded to have a demon-powered Charged Attack that fires delayed-detonation high-explosive rounds.
    • Dante's signature pair of Ebony & Ivory pistols look like handcannons, but they're more like heavily customized Colt .45 M1911s. What gives them their Hand cannon status, however, is that the bullets fired by them are charged (and somehow reloaded) by Dante's power.
  • Harder Than Hard: In addition to Dante Must Die as usual, 4 also introduces Hell and Hell mode, where the enemies have normal health and you die in one hit.
  • Hellgate: Various giant monolith hellgates dot the island of Fortuna, guarded by the big demons that Nero and Dante face. Part of the Big Bad's plan is opening one portal in Nero's hometown to justify the Savior's existence. They eventually get destroyed by Dante.
  • Hellhound: The Basilisks are canine-like artificial demons created by Agnus. Typical of dog behavior, they always attack in packs and whimper upon death, but in place of their heads are detachable flaming skulls that can be fired like fireball projectiles.
  • Hero Antagonist:
    • For the first half of the game, Dante is presented as the protagonist Nero's main enemy, culminating in their duel in Mission 10. But after said mission, the identity and objective of the real villain Sanctus are revealed, along with Dante's true reasons for opposing Nero.
    • Credo genuinely wants to protect the citizens of Fortuna and believed that the Ascension Ceremony was a good idea. He was also very reluctant in fighting Nero, but couldn't actually disobey Sanctus at first as he's Just Following Orders. However, he sides with the heroes when Kyrie has been hostaged, an act that would lead to his death.
  • Heroism Motive Speech: Nero has two. The first one, in Mission 6, is a variant because Nero is just declaring his motivation aloud for the first time: he decided on it before the game started. The second one is given after he defeats Sanctus, telling him what he lacks, and how he's nothing like Sparda, but he, instead, is, because he has someone to love.
  • Homage: By this game, the callbacks to other Capcom games became very obvious, starting with Dante's uppercut moves resembling the Shoryuken from Street Fighter and Nero's Devil Buster against the Alto Angelos being identical to Zangief's Ultra Final Atomic Buster.
  • Hybrid Power: Agnus wonders why Dante is stronger than him, despite claiming a difference in power. Dante doesn't give him a straight answer, but strongly hints that it's because Agnus and the rest of the Order have surrendered their humanity, while Dante holds onto his human side because they have something demons lack.
  • Hypocrite: The Order of the Sword are a weird case. Specifically, it's not their secret, under-the-table dealings that make them hypocrites, but their public image. They've styled themselves as an angelic Light Is Good, Knight Templar, Crystal Dragon Jesus-esque cult organization that despises anything demon-related (Credo and Agnus even call themselves "Angels" after being infused with Demonic power), even though they worship Sparda, a dark-visaged Noble Demon. Sparda's son Dante himself also claims the Order might've gotten some facts wrong due to the confusion surrounding Sparda's myth. If anything, their secret experiments with controlling demonic power to fight demons is more in line with worshiping a demon that protected humanity.
  • Idiosyncratic Combo Levels: This game's Stylish Ranks are: "Deadly!", "Carnage!", "Brutal!", "Atomic!", "Smokin'!", "Smokin' Style!" and "Smokin' Sick Style!"
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: While the previous games tended to stick with Easy to Very Hard with the exception of the Harder Than Hard Dante Must Die, 4 renames the difficulty levels to thematically appropriate ones. Easy becomes Human, Normal becomes Devil Hunter, and Hard becomes Son of Sparda. There is also the gimmicky difficulties of Heaven or Hell/Hell and Hell (everyone or only the player character dies in one hit) and Legendary Dark Knight (way more enemies spawn at once than usual).
  • Idle Animation:
    • Nero would inspect his Devil Bringer arm.
    • Dante has two animations: looking around with his hands on his hips, then stretching out an arm while still looking around. The other is a little funnier — it looks like he might have dozed off standing up with his arms crossed.
    • Vergil does a Badass Armfold pose.
    • Trish checks her nails.
    • Lady stretches her arms, plants the Kalina Ann on the ground, then leans on it.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • Continuing the Running Gag of the series, Dante gets impaled and pinned to a statue of Sparda in the game's opening by Nero.
    • Nero gets stabbed the first time by a lance and then a demonic living sword before awakening his Devil Trigger, much like Uncle Dante.
    • Nero can use his Devil Bringer to pierce the Bianco Angelos and Angelo Credo with their own weapons.
    • Credo dies after Sanctus impaled him up-close with the Yamato.
  • Implied Love Interest: In the Special Edition's opening cutscene for Vergil's campaign, there's a red-clad woman whose eye Vergil catches as they walk past each other. This may or may not be Capcom subtly showing the mother of Nero, as supplementary material confirmed that Nero is Vergil's son.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Continuing with the series' trend of clothes somehow repairing themselves, Nero's clothes remain intact even if he was just pierced with the Bianco Angelos' lances and Agnus' demonic sword. Dante also gets ticked at Berial for not noticing that he was sitting on the demon's flaming tail soon enough. His coat doesn't look charred though, despite his dialogue claiming that it was charred.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: 4 takes it up a notch from even the previous game. Blue Rose is a two-barrel revolver, Red Queen is a petrol-powered BFS, Gilgamesh is literally organic metal that forms gauntlets and boots with spurs, Pandora's forms (other than suitcase) and Lucifer are just impossible to describe. On the enemies' side, the Alto Angelo armor wields a smaller revved-up flame/vibro-sword just like Nero's Red Queen, while the Bianco Angelo armor wields an equally insane rocket-powered lance for jet-propelled lunges.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Continuing series tradition, Dante repeats his pool trick from 3's intro when getting Echidna's attention, replacing the billiard balls with seeds. Later in the game, he shoves Yamato into the heart of the Savior by shooting it with eight bullets that stack up one right behind the last.
  • Injured Vulnerability: Bosses are staggered after receiving a certain amount of damage. In this brief state, they can't fight back and are left defenseless from Nero's Buster.
  • In Medias Res: Dante killed Sanctus in the prologue, but the actual story began before that. A flashback cutscene at the end of Mission 12 explains that Lady requested him to investigate and deal with the Order of the Sword in Fortuna, while Trish secretly went ahead to the destination, carrying the Devil Sword Sparda with her.
  • Interface Spoiler: The rankings page shows how many missions there are in the game and which ones you get to control Dante in.
  • It Runs on Nonsensoleum: Nero's sword Red Queen has a combustion engine built into the handle called the Exceed, with its limiters removed. It makes the sword do more damage when you rev it up like a motorcycle. Supplementary material states the engine coats the blade in fuel. How this equates to it being able to be swung faster is anyone's guess.
  • It Was a Gift: Midway through the game, Nero is already in possession of the Yamato (the katana that Sparda and Vergil once used), but he still asks Dante to let him keep the sword to fight with, as he needs it in order to save Kyrie. In the finale of the game, Dante lets Nero keep the sword permanently as a gift "worth giving" when Nero tries to return it to its rightful owner, Dante. Of course, Dante merely wants it to "stay in the family".
  • The Juggernaut: The Dreadnaught ability, activated in its full power with the Royalguard Style, temporarily turns Dante into this, giving him a full, impenetrable body armor. As long as Dante has a Royal Gauge, he can't run, only walk in that form, but that just makes him all the more frightening because he still has access to his other weapons and movesets.
  • Justified Tutorial: The first mission slowly goes through the basic controls as the fight progresses against Dante. At first, Nero can only bring up his Blue Rose, justifying the shoot and evasion controls. He then picks up a Caliburn in the next cutscene and the tutorial teaches you how to perform a basic melee combo and a Launcher Move. Nero's sling is removed later on, allowing him to use his Devil Bringer and for the tutorial to teach you the Buster mechanic. If the Tutorials setting is disabled in the menu, all of these scenes will be skipped and the game will immediately start with the proper boss fight.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The Yamato is a major plot device during the events of this game; its broken form was kept in the Order of the Sword, but is later reformed or "resurrected" by Nero when he unlocks his Devil Trigger. When it's re-obtained by the Order, they used it to open a monolithic Hellgate. Dante went to reclaim it and used it to quickly destroy the same Hellgate from a distance. Finally, the Yamato is the catalyst in waking Nero up when he was absorbed into The Savior.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook:
    • Mephistos and Fausts have a high resistance against melee damage as long as their shadow cloaks are still present, to the point where individual melee attacks can be reduced to Scratch Damage. The game encourages you to use ranged attacks and firearms to dispel their cloaks first, and only then can they be properly damaged with melee attacks.
    • The Blitz have an electric barrier that damages and stuns you if you try to hit them with melee attacks. Just like the Mephistos and Fausts, the game encourages you to use ranged attacks and firearms to dispel the electricity first before the Blitz can be properly damaged with melee attacks.
  • Lag Cancel:
    • Though "jump canceling" (a technique that allows you to bounce off an enemy in order to repeat an action that can normally only be done once in a single jump) has existed in some form for most of the series (there are even loading screen animations that demonstrate it in DmC: Devil May Cry), Capcom actively acknowledged its existence for the first time on their official YouTube channel by demonstrating it with Vergil in the Special Edition of this game.
    • Just like DMC3, cancelling short hops and rolls into the guarding animation of the Royal Guard style is a very effective defensive tactic.
    • The long cooldown at the end of many of Vergil's attacks (specifically, ones where he sheathes his sword) can be cancelled with a Summoned Swords teleport, with the downside of also cancelling the Concentration Gauge boost that occurs when the sword clicks fully into the sheath at the end of the animation.
  • Large Ham: Dante is clearly having the time of his life during this game, but Agnus on the enemy's side also seems to revel in overdramatic gestures and declarations, probably to help combat his stutter. Guess what happens when he and Dante meet?
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • The "History of DMC" video unlocked by beating this game gives away all of the spoilers and plot twists from the first three games.
    • Gloria is actually Trish in disguise. Later installments or related media casually revealed it because this game's Special Edition, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and Devil May Cry 5 have Palette Swaps of dark-skinned Trish in white clothes (matching Gloria's colors) as unlockable cosmetics or Downloadable Content. It's also revealed in one of the Pachislot spin-offs' cutscenes.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: This and DmC are the only games in the series that do not use Red Orbs as currency for move upgrades (this game uses a separate currency called "Proud Souls" while DmC uses a stat point system). 5 goes back on the older design decision and resumes using Red Orbs as the only type of currency needed to buy both items and move upgrades.
  • Level in Boss Clothing: The Savior in Mission 18. You really spend more time jumping around on floating platforms to avoid its attacks or waiting for opportune moments to destroy its weak spots than actually fighting it directly.
  • Level in Reverse: Most of Dante's playable portions in the main campaign have the same levels Nero went through during its first half, but are played in reverse direction and contain some minor alterations or additional gimmicks.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Order of the Sword turns out to have incredibly sinister motives despite their angelic themes.
  • Lighter and Softer: Not in terms of story or subject matter, but visually, 4 features a much brighter color palette for its demons, level design and environments than the first three games which take place almost exclusively in bleak environments such as a haunted castle, an abandoned island, and a gothic tower respectively.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Secret Mission 4 requires you to find 99 hidden Red Orbs within a given time. Although the orbs are collected as bundles or caches, their locations and amounts are randomized every time you attempt this Secret Mission. Depending on your luck, you can easily complete this mission by finding two large Red Orb caches near the starting point, or the game might force you to do it the hard way by finding three caches, with some of them placed above the tight pillars of the second floor.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me:
    • Angelo and Assault type enemies carry shields which they can use to block the player's attacks from the front.
    • Angelo Credo uses a purple wing-shield to block your attacks, and it takes several hits or Buster punches to even break it temporarily. Supposedly according to the lore, the shield also symbolizes his willingness to remain loyal to the Order of the Sword.
    • After defeating Angelo Credo, Nero acquires the Aegis Shield upgrade for his Devil Bringer arm, which allows him to use enemies like living shields.
  • Macross Missile Massacre:
    • Pandora's PF594 form, nicknamed Argument, can launch multiple rockets at once at the cost of half the Disaster Gauge.
    • In the Special Edition, Lady's "Hysteric" move for the Kalina Ann returns, albeit the cluster of missiles are smaller than Pandora's.
  • Male Gaze: During Gloria's introductory cutscene, the camera briefly focuses on her hips and butt as she performs a flying kick against a Scarecrow.
  • Marathon Level: Unlike the previous iterations of the Bloody Palace mode from DMC2 and DMC3, this game's Bloody Palace has 101 levels, but you fight through one level at a time, and with an extendable timer.
  • Meaningful Background Event: Long before Nero obtains Yamato, which clearly implies Vergil is his father, Dante can make you wonder how he is connected to Nero right in the game's first cutscene, with him lurking around watching as Nero kills demons.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter:
    • This game marks the debut of Nero, the first playable character in the series who has an emphasis on new mechanics never seen in the prior games, such as the ability to enhance his swordplay on-demand (Exceed), he's also the first true grappler archetype of the series thanks to his Buster mechanic, and his Devil Trigger functions differently as it supplements his attacks with extra strikes instead of directly boosting his damage.
    • For a series that places much emphasis on stylish melee combos, Lady in the Special Edition stands out for being the only playable character who's primarily focused around ranged attacks and combos; she has a grand total of three melee abilities (one basic ground combo, one air combo, and one Helm Breaker-style attack) and no Devil Trigger (her Devil Trigger gauge instead powers a Combo Breaker that involves throwing several grenades around herself), but boasts a vast array of ranged abilities that allow her to keep crowds of enemies at bay and empower her guns to levels never before seen in the series.
  • Mêlée à Trois: Between the player characters, the Order of the Sword, and the demons. This actually comes into effect during gameplay as Angelos frequently end up tussling with demons while battling you at the same time.
  • Money for Nothing: Red Orbs, obtained from killing enemies and destroying environmental objects, only purchase items, which are of variable importance depending on one's skill, while Proud Souls, obtained at the end of missions by performing stylishly, will purchase new skills. This had the effect of making Red Orbs fairly unimportant since a good player wouldn't need to purchase recovery items to stay alive.
  • Monsters Everywhere: There are demons everywhere in the "Legendary Dark Knight" difficulty mode. Originally a PC-exclusive mode for the vanilla version of the game, it was later included on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions thanks to the Special Edition.
  • Mook Bouncer: Faults appear under your feet to swallow you and, if you don't react fast enough, teleport you to an underground room full of Chimera Assaults, before forcing you to do the fight you were engaged in all over again. Thankfully they're usually easy to avoid.
  • Mook Chivalry: Bianco Angelos only attack one at a time when they are led by an Alto Angelo.
  • Mook Commander: The Alto Angelos are definitely this to Bianco Angelos. Being led by an Alto significantly improves their coordination and increases their agressiveness; any good strategy guide will recommend to take the Alto down first in those fights.
  • Mook Horror Show: Dante shows exactly how strong he is against members of the Order when they attempt to fight him after he shoots Sanctus in the intro. As expected, he is as a steamroller to them, and only Nero stands a chance of even stalling him.
  • More Dakka: The cutscene where Dante acquires Pandora. It begins as a minigun, then transforms into a triple-barrel rocket launcher, culminating in what is basically a floating, one-man munitions repository. Dante decides not to continue on to the next form after that.
  • Morph Weapon: Pandora has no less than 666 forms, but the game only grants you access to seven of them. From a suitcase, it can turn into a bowgun, missile-launcher, minigun, laser, buzzsaw, or even a flying missile platform!
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • In Mission 17, both Dante AND Agnus got into the act of being as over-the-top as possible while engaging in Hamlet-esque theatricals before their fight.
    • The game ends with Dante kicking down a door, making an Angels Pose with Lady and Trish, having an explosion right behind them, and firing his guns indiscriminately for no reason other than to look cool.
  • Mythology Gag: Dante's EX costume evokes the dark-red color palette of his Alternate Continuity counterpart from DmC along with the black hair.
  • Nerf: Dante's powerful Styles from 3 grant fewer abilities in this game, as a price for being able to switch them on the fly.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: It's only until this game where the Yamato is mentioned and shown to have the ability of opening and closing Hellgates, and giving Nero a spectral Guardian Entity as his Devil Trigger. The Special Edition also gives Vergil a new powerful skill that allows him to time-freeze anything hit by the Yamato's slashes (Judgement Cut End).
  • Nice Hat: The Faust demons wear sinister yet cool-looking dark cowboy hats made out of the same shadow substance as their cloaks.
  • The Nose Knows: Dante can smell Dagon from a mile away, but intentionally screws around with him and pretends to fall for his tricks to humor himself.
    Dante: You can hide that body. But that smell, woo!
  • Notice This: Aside from the recurring series-wide examples such as collectibles glowing and the camera focusing on the next destination, Nero can also gain the Auto-Search passive ability from the Rusalka's Corpse. It causes his Devil Bringer arm to glow and produce a ringing noise when he's in the proximity of a Secret Mission seal or a hidden Red Orb cache, with the cues becoming more prominent as he's near those secret objects.
  • Not the Intended Use: We do know that Dante has Improbable Aiming Skills, but if you play Mission 18, you can actually lock on and shoot at The Savior's blue crystals from afar using Ebony & Ivory, even while said boss is floating (the intended way is to stun The Savior by hitting its hands, or activating the stationary lasers and cannons, and then hit the crystals afterwards). Playing the "Heaven or Hell" difficulty mode with this tactic will allow you to finish the fight in just a few seconds, or under a minute if you count the transitions and phases. The developers accounted for the possibilty of players discovering this trick, especially in the aforementioned mode, as The Savior has unique and specific flinching animations whenever these happen.
  • Number of the Beast: Pandora is said to have 666 forms. Obviously, we don't get to use them all; only seven are available.
  • Offhand Backhand:
    • The introduction of the first Alto Angelo. Dude doesn't even stop walking to kill the two Assaults that rush him.
    • Dante finishes Echidna by shooting at her without even looking.
    • Nero pulls off one with Yamato at the end of the final battle against Sanctus Diabolica.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Ominous Chanting makes up a considerable portion of the soundtrack. Considering the game's Crystal Dragon Jesus themes, this makes perfect sense.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • A Buster instantly kills any Chimera Seed that hasn't attached itself to a host.
    • Countering the energy ball fired by an Alto Angelo and several Bianco Angelos (from formation) can destroy them all and easily net an SSS rank when timed properly. This is most easily done with a Charged Shot or Nero's Buster, although other melee attacks and firearms can accomplish it as well.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: The "Heaven or Hell" difficulty mode returns from 3 (a mode where everyone dies in one hit), but 4 also introduces "Hell and Hell", which only makes the playable character this while enemies and bosses have regular health.
  • One-Man Army: Befitting its namesake Sparda, the Legendary Dark Knight difficulty mode (available in the original PC release and the Special Edition re-release) pits you against enormous hordes of enemies in every area.
  • One-Winged Angel: Devil Trigger gives demonic appearances to Dante and Vergil, as usual, but it also applies to the Order of the Sword's members — one of whom becomes a literal One Winged Angel.
  • Our Angels Are Different: The Order of the Sword likens its ascension process to becoming angels, most notably evident in the Bianco and Alto Angelo armors looking like angelic knights. However, given the demonic powers at work, they are nothing but another form of devils, or artificial demons created by Agnus.
  • Our Souls Are Different:
    • In DMC1, devils are pretty much referred to as having no souls at all to speak of. The same concept is said about humans that "become devils" in 4.
    • Anyone expecting 4 to be consistent with the concept of devil souls presented in 3 is going to get very confused at Echidna, Bael, Dagon, and Berial not turning into Devil Arms after being beaten.
  • Palette Swap:
    • When playing as Dante in the Bloody Palace mode, an all-black Mirror Boss will be fought in the 101st floor.
    • In the Special Edition, all of the playable characters' EX costumes are just palette swaps of another character's color themes; EX Nero has Vergil's colors, EX Dante has DmC Dante's colors, EX Vergil has a red theme just like his red-clad boss version when playing as him in 3:SE, while EX Lady and EX Trish simply reference each other's default colors.
  • Parental Abandonment: Nero was abandoned in Fortuna at an early age by his biological parents, and his adoptive parents end up dying from a demonic attack in his early childhood. Growing up, Nero never met his father, Vergil (they had a brief exchange in Nero's mind during the Deadly Fortune novelization when he's activating his Devil Trigger through the Yamato, but Nero doesn't know his relationship to Vergil at that point), and his mother's identity is unknown.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Nero needs to lower a drawbridge and presses the button several times. No dice, so he gets frustrated and shoots it. This somehow works.
  • Player Nudge: In the final mission, the game will remind you at least twice that the False Savior has to be destroyed using Nero's Buster. In the preceding cutscene, Nero monologues about the power of his demonic arm, and the game will quickly zoom in to said arm when the player regains control afterwards.
  • Powered Armor: According to supplementary material, the Alto Angelos are demon-ascended Order of the Sword members who wear modified versions of the Bianco Angelo armor suits.
  • Power Fist:
    • Nero's Devil Bringer arm allows him to perform various feats using it such as Super Strength, a Megaton Punch and mostly Grapple Moves. The arm usually summons an astral version of itself, which can enlarge or extend as Nero wills it.
    • Slaying Echidna grants Dante Gilgamesh, an organic metal that forms into gauntlets which grant him his usual punching moveset, but with the addition of cowboy spurs that overlap this trope with Armed Legs.
  • The Power of Love: Although this is a recurring theme in the series alongside Hybrid Power, it is exemplified again in this game when Nero's love for Kyrie made him stronger (it's the catalyst in unlocking his spectral Devil Trigger). It's also discussed in the Final Boss fight; when Sanctus questions why he is unable to wield Sparda's power, even though he wields the legendary demon's weapon, Nero tells him it is because Sparda had the capacity to love another person, even a human, and this is what Sanctus lacks.
  • Practical Taunt: Though taunting has always been useful for boosting your Style ranks and replenishing Devil Trigger in the series, Vergil and Trish in the Special Edition have taunts that actually do damage to enemies right in front of them.
  • Protection Mission:
    • Secret Mission 6 requires you to kill all Chimera Seeds without letting any of them take over the lone Scarecrow.
    • In the playable credits, Nero has to protect Kyrie from a horde of Scarecrows within a given time in order to unlock the bonus ending cutscene.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: Scarecrows and Mega Scarecrows are burlap sacks re-animated and controlled by demonic beetles called Trypoxylus.
  • Purposely Overpowered:
    • The Super costumes return from 3, which in addition to granting infinite Devil Trigger, automatically grants Nero a maxed out Exceed gauge for all of his attacks.
    • Of all the new characters added in 4:SE, Vergil is easily the strongest. He was heavily buffed from his original release in 3:SE, having insane mobility and reset potential thank to his new Dark Slayer teleport tricks. His new attacks cover some of his original weaknesses (a major lack of crowd control and attacks that use rapid swipes to lock down one foe and build style), and his concentration mechanic makes him incredibly dangerous as it continually buffs him the better you play. At high levels of play, Vergil can absolutely decimate anything that so much as looks at him, and it's obvious that this was not a mistake. But it's Vergil, of course, so no one really minds.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Some of Nero's Busters have him battering the enemy in such a fashion, especially if he's Devil Triggered.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Dante delivers a one-liner version to Agnus after defeating him, namely that the primary reason why Agnus lost was because he had "surrendered [his] humanity".
    • In the Final Boss fight, Nero serves one to Sanctus after the latter all but screams about why the Sword of Sparda wasn't giving him any power. Nero verbally smacks back at Sanctus on the reason why the latter wasn't "worthy" of Sparda's power in the first place.
      Nero: Never could take those legends too literally. But I do know that Sparda had a heart. A heart that could love another person, a human. And that is what you lack.
  • Real-Time Weapon Change: Dante now carries all his weapons at once without needing to stop at Divinity Statues, and can switch between any of them and any of his Styles instantly with the press of a button.
  • Recurring Boss: Every boss except two (Credo and The Savior) is fought multiple times in the same playthrough, though little if anything is changed about the subsequent battles except your playable character. Agnus sets the record for having four battles, two of them being re-fights with the same character.
  • Recurring Riff:
    • Dante's battle theme is a remix of "Lock & Load", his second battle theme in the first game.
    • "Out of Darkness" is used as a shop theme and is played during cutscenes involving both Nero and Kyrie.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning:
    • Sanctus briefly sports these when he is revived. His eyes become red for good when he becomes Sanctus Diabolica.
    • Nero stares down Agnus with these upon activating his Devil Trigger for the first time, complete with Theme Music Power-Up, Power Echoes, Battle Aura, and a Badass Boast. It happens again when Sanctus (who's controlling an Alto Angelo at that time) escapes with Kyrie, leaving Nero to deal with some Mooks to vent his rage on. The red eyes, along with the blue aura and voice distortions, are also applied in-game as hallmark features of Nero's Devil Trigger.
  • Reforged Blade: Vergil's Yamato is shattered by Mundus when he tries to fight the demon king in his weakened state after the third game. The broken hilt and blade are later recovered by the Order of the Sword and later reforge themselves (or in other words, the katana was "resurrected", according to Agnus) then merge with Nero's Devil Bringer arm in this game.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: The cloaked Mephisto and Faust demons are both named after characters (Mephistopheles and Faust, respectively) from the Faust myth of German folklore.
  • Retcon: At least in the context of the games, Lady now officially works in the Devil May Cry business as of DMC4. This follows the continuity established in 3, but retcons a plot point in 1 (taking place between 3 and 4) where Dante clearly works alone and there is no mention of another partner besides Trish even at the end of that game.
  • The Reveal: The new Order of the Sword member, Gloria? She's actually Trish in disguise! Dante knew it from the beginning, and Sanctus had his suspicions, but it's intentionally surprising from the audience's point of view because Trish and Gloria look nothing like each other.
  • Reverse Grip:
    • Nero's launch move High Roller uses this, compared to Dante and Vergil's standard grip for High Time.
    • Dante switches to reverse grip for the Drive shockwave.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Breaking background objects for orbs and collectibles is already a staple in the series, but this game also contains an exaggerated example. In the first fight against Berial, the houses in the area yield green orbs after being destroyed. However, the player isn't the one doing the "vandalism", Berial himself would destroy the houses during the fight.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: All Combat Adjudicators utter the same rhyming lines when you attack them with the wrong character.
    Combat Adjudicator: By your hand, you cannot break out clasp. That power lies in another's grasp.
  • Roboteching: The projectiles of Pandora's PF594: Argument missile platform, and Kalina Ann's "Multiple" and "Hysteric" moves fire clusters of micro-missiles that bend trajectories either to simply spray in random directions, or to seek the locked-on target.
  • Rocket Jump: Lady in the Special Edition has this as her double jump, although she's using the force from the rocket firing rather than the explosion. It can damage enemies that are below her.
  • Rocket-Powered Weapon:
    • Red Queen is a sword with an engine built into it. According to background information, Nero built it himself.
    • The Bianco Angelo armors have jet-powered lances that are used for high-speed joustings.
  • Roll-and-Move: A level involves Nero being locked in a room with a life-sized board game. Hitting the die moves a Nero piece on the board, and based on the space landed, produces a variety of results. The goal of the game is to land on the final space with an exact roll, which unlocks the door and allows Nero to proceed. When Dante later encounters the same room in his campaign, he decides to cut the middleman and cleaves the die in half, destroying it and unlocking the doors immediately.
  • Ruder and Cruder: This game started a trend of using profanity in the series, such as Nero's "bullshits" against Sanctus and raising his middle finger against Dante.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Over-analysis has unearthed a bevy of symbolism. For starters, Rebellion piercing through the forehead of Sparda's statue in the prologue serves as a foreshadowing of how Dante fights The Savior (who bears Sparda's likeness) in Mission 18. One of The Savior's critical weak points is the jewel on its forehead, which Dante destroys.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: The Basilisks are straight up Hellhounds rather than the snake-like beast from European legends.
  • Sculpted Physique: The Savior, which essentially IS an enormous marble statue of an angel. You get to see its entire body in cutscenes and in a boss fight.
  • Second Hour Superpower:
    • Nero's core mechanics for his Devil Bringer arm (Snatch and Hell Bound) are unlocked when he absorbs the Evil Legacy item in the second mission, since the first mission is completely a tutorial/warm-up fight in nature.
    • Nero acquires his Devil Trigger ability after resurrecting and acquiring Yamato, the sword that once belonged to Vergil.
  • Sequel Hook: As Nero inherits the Yamato in the finale, he asks Dante if they could meet again. Dante responds by pointing two of his fingers up, seemingly a sign of affirmation. This promise is fulfilled 11 years later with Devil May Cry 5.
  • Sequence Breaking: As shown in this video, it's possible to take advantage of aerial combos and inertia to skip some parts of the level, such as Echidna's Advancing Wall of Doom section in Mission 7, or the spinning blades in the Security Corridor of Mission 10. Dante can also clip through the Underground Laboratory's ceiling at the beginning of Mission 16, skipping the lower areas, and heading straight through the Fortuna Castle's entrance.
  • Serkis Folk: Johnny Yong Bosch performed both voice and motion capture for Nero, in addition to Reuben Langdon's return as Dante.
  • Shock and Awe: The Blitz infuses its whole body and claws with lightning in order to teleport around the area, perform sneak attacks, or zap the playable character with a beam.
  • Shoot the Dog: Dante shoots Sanctus in the very first mission because he knows of the Order's true objectives and wants to prevent them from awakening The Savior and carrying out Sanctus' nefarious plan. However, his attempt fails, and Sanctus is fully healed and revived when the Order of the Sword infuses him with demonic energy via the Ascension Ceremony.
  • Shoryuken: Gilgamesh's strongest attack, Real Impact, looks like this, although it functions as a bit of a Death-or-Glory Attack as well.
  • Shooting At Your Own Projectiles: Dante throws Yamato towards The Savior's heart, then fires his guns' bullets towards it so the sword could fully enter its body.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Nero's sword is named "Red Queen".
    • In Mission 17, there are bits of Hamlet references before and after the fight between Dante and Agnus, such as the latter holding a skull, although the most obvious giveaway is Dante saying "And the rest...is silence." - the last part of Hamlet's Final Speech.
    • The Game Over text is "Abandon All Hope...", an excerpt of "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here." from Dante's Inferno.
    • Street Fighter's Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors system is in full force when Nero and Dante fight each other for real. If you try to throw Dante when he is using either the Gunslinger or Swordmaster style, your throw attempt will backfire due to Dante quickly attacking you. If you try to slash or shoot Dante when he is in the Royal Guard style, he will block or parry your attack. However, he becomes vulnerable to being thrown with a Buster or Air Buster when doing so. In short, direct attacks > throws > blocking > direct attacks, much like the relationship between punch/kicks, throws, and blocking in SF.
    • Dante can parry attacks in the Royal Guard style somewhat similarly to Street Fighter III. The same sound effect for a successful parry in SFIII even plays when you successfully parry an attack.
    • In the Special Edition, Lady and Trish get a few attacks from Sengoku Basara's Magoichi and Kasuga.
    • In the Special Edition, clearing all Missions in the "Hell And Hell" mode earns you the "Tonight, We Dine In Hell" achievement.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: Dante's Dark Slayer Style, which is obtained alongside the Yamato near the end of his first playthrough. It has basic ground and aerial combos, but they open more possibilities when used in tandem with the other Styles and melee weapons. Its Slash Dimension ability only creates a wall of slashes, but it shines in New Game+ playthroughs, Legendary Dark Knight mode and Bloody Palace because it gives Dante a more effective crowd-control move.
  • Slow-Motion Pass-By: In a cutscene of Mission 10, there's a slow-mo effect and a dramatic blow of wind as Nero passes by Dante after they fight for the second time. Immediately afterwards, the two formally told their names to each other.
  • Smart Bomb: Lady's Burst Attack in SE serves this purpose. It requires all the energy stored in the DT Gauge, but makes Lady temporarily invincible and blasts nearby enemies with a high-powered attack.
  • Solve the Soup Cans:
    • Nero must play a standard move-from-start-to-finish board-game built into a room, where the piece is a statue of Nero, he must roll a large, demonic die cube by smacking it with his sword or shooting it, and different circles may spawn enemies, spawn orbs, or send you back.
    • Subverted when Dante reaches the puzzle and just slices the huge die in half. The room lets him through.
  • Some Dexterity Required: As Dante, transforming the Pandora from PF013: Epidemic to PF124: Hatred is simple enough; you just need to wiggle the left and right directional inputs while holding the gun button. Transforming it from PF124: Hatred to PF398: Revenge is more complicated; you have to quickly spin the directional inputs into two half-circle motions while holding the gun button.
  • Something About a Rose: Lucifer has a move that involves Dante simply tossing a rose. Doing this detonates any red "needles" currently on the field.
  • Sprint Shoes: The "Speed" ability that can be bought for the playable characters increases their running speed after they move continuously for a short time.
  • Stance System: Dante's Styles, like in 3, except this time he can switch between them in the middle of gameplay, even mid-combo.
  • Stepping Stones in the Sky: Dante does it literally in the cutscenes of Mission 18 in order to maintain altitude while fighting The Savior.
  • The Stinger: Lady arrives in the Devil May Cry shop, carrying the reward money for the Fortuna incident. After some friendly banter between them, Trish picks up a phone call of a customer who knows the shop's Trust Password and needs some demon-slaying services. Dante gears up and the two ladies tag along as he kicks open his shop's door, with all three doing the Angels Pose.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: Fortuna is an island. If the level design, cutscenes and environment didn't make it obvious enough that the game's setting is surrounded by water, then the in-game Map menu's background will. This interface also confirms additional context or lore regarding the setting, such as the rainforest being named "Mitis Forest", and the frozen mountains being named "Lamina Peak". The central, residential area is also labeled as a "castle town", which goes along with how Lady describes it in the Devil May Cry shop.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Nero's Devil Bringer can bring small enemies in and toss them easily, and against large ones, it will bring him to them fast. Against bosses, it becomes a lot larger and more powerful depending on the opponent and situation such as tossing a dazed Berial and Dagon up, grabbing Echidna's tail from a distance, blocking punches from the massive Savior and becoming five times larger to break the latter giant's face apart.
  • Superdickery: Dante shooting Sanctus. It turns out that Sanctus was the Big Bad and this was Dante trying to take care of things before he could carry out his evil plan. Unfortunately for Dante, it didn't take.
  • Swiss Army Weapon:
    • Pandora has 666 forms, only a few of which actually appear in gameplay.
    • Lady's Kalina Ann does a decent job, functioning as a rocket launcher, a grappling hook, a double-jump booster, and a powerful melee weapon with its bayonet.
  • Sword Beam:
    • Dante's "Drive" causes a shockwave to jet across the ground and damage all enemies in its path. Vergil has a horizontal version of it using the Force Edge.
    • Nero has "Maximum Bet", a Devil Trigger-exclusive move where he uses his swords to fire off a wide X-shaped energy wave that also pierces through targets. In the cutscenes, Nero produces energy beams by swinging the Yamato.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement:
    • The Yamato from 3, previously important only as Vergil's inheritance from Sparda, resurfaces as a major plot point in 4, as it hosts a demonic spirit within it and is capable of opening Hellgates. It started off as a broken weapon kept by the Order for research, but Yamato later reforged itself to be wielded by Nero. When it turns out that Nero is able to resurrect the weapon's power, he becomes a target for the bad guys. Dante later uses it to slash the giant Hellgate in the center of Fortuna.
    • A disguised Trish gave the Devil Sword Sparda to infiltrate the Order of the Sword, even though it had to be retrieved afterwards.
  • Sword Sparks: This happens in the lengthy Buster sequence between Nero and Dante, swinging their swords so hard that sparks flash upon each contact.
  • Teased with Awesome: In the main story campaign, the player obtains and uses Gilgamesh, Pandora, Lucifer and Yamato for only a short time before switching control from Dante back to Nero. Luckily, there's the New Game+ feature and the Bloody Palace mode for you to play with those weapons again.
  • Technicolor Blade: Although the previous games also made certain weapons glow depending on their element, the Lighter and Softer color palette of DMC4 meant that vibrantly-colored blades are more prevalent; Red Queen can glow orange or red to emphasize that it's a Hot Blade, and there's the Devil Sword Sparda which glows crimson/dark red. However, the most obvious example is the Yamato which almost always glows bright purple whenever it's used in cutscenes or in gameplay, but glows red when it's used to open the real Hell Gate.
  • Teleport Spam: Blitz enemies will not stand still for more than a second until you nullify their lightning armor.
  • Temporary Platform: There are several vanishing platforms in the Mitis Forest when playing as Nero. Instead of using the "disappear a while after being touched" scheme, however, these have a defined schedule of their own.
  • Theme Naming:
    • Credo, Agnus, Sanctus, Kyrie, and Gloria are all named after the different parts of the Roman Catholic "Ordinary of the Mass".
    • Red Queen and Gilgamesh have moves named around gambling themes. Lucifer's moves have an erotic/sexual theme. Pandora's moves are named after the evils from its original legend in Classical Mythology.
  • Threatening Shark: The Cutlass. They're invulnerable when they're swimming through the floor/walls/ceiling in the tunnels, and the only way to get them is when they're leaping to attack you, or forcing them out via strong attacks like Stinger or Charged Shot.
  • Throw the Mook at Them:
    • Mission 6 has The Containment Room. The "boss" is the glass which separates you and Agnus, and the mooks are Gladius — basically Flying Lizard Swords. You can go ahead and attack the glass itself, but you will do very little damage. The trick here is grab the critters with Buster and aim at the glass to throw it there.
    • You fight Agnus more directly at the end of Mission 9. While not the main gimmick of the fight this time around, he does still summon Gladius, and they can still be thrown at him for a good bit of damage.
    • Due to SE's Trish, Vergil and Lady lacking Buster and thus having a hard time with the Containment Room, they can send Gladius demons hurtling into other enemies by attacking them while they're impaled into the scenery.
  • Timed Mission: Halfway through Mission 12, the Order of the Sword HQ is about to collapse as The Savior is no longer there. A countdown begins as the player has to make their way outside of the building.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: The game was originally set before 2, but with the rearranging of the timeline to be set afterward, Dante has now become this retroactively, being closer to his characterization in 1 and 3.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailers gave away things like the true intentions of the Order of the Sword, the failure of an attempted Shoot the Dog incident, and the continued importance of the demonic katana Yamato.
  • Turns Red:
    • Like 3, most bosses pull this by gaining new moves or becoming more vicious as their health gauge is reduced to a certain threshold. Bael and Dagon also turn red literally.
    • The same also applies literally with Blitzes moving faster when they're about to die.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: There are two missions that force you to play a "dice game" where you must move your playable character's statue along blocks in the style of Snakes and Ladders. Dante just says fuck that and cuts the die in half rather than bother doing it.
  • Updated Re-release: Like 3, it comes in the form of a "Special Edition" for The Eighth Generation of Console Video Games (the original release of 4 was on the seventh generation). It added Turbo mode and Legendary Dark Knight difficulty (which were in the original PC release, but appeared here on console for the first time) and also added Vergil, Lady, and Trish as playable characters. Other features include unlockable costumes (which were absent in the vanilla version), achievements/trophies, a revamped save system, and some graphical tweaks. Notably, it also came out nearly seven years after the original, whereas 3's Special Edition only took one year, and roughly around the same time, a similar "Definitive Edition" arrived for the reboot, DmC: Devil May Cry.
  • Use Their Own Weapon Against Them:
    • Nero and Dante's first battle ends with Nero impaling Dante against a statue with his own sword.
    • When Nero fights a Bianco Angelo, successfully using Buster on it will cause Nero to grab the lance out of the Angelo's hand and ram it through its chest-plate. One of Nero's Buster animations against a weakened Angelo Agnus also lets him pick up some Cutlass demons dropped by the latter and impale the boss using their sword forms.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: The goal of the Order of the Sword is to use the denizens of the Demon World to destroy the Human World so that they can bring about Sanctus' twisted version of Utopia.
  • Victor Gains Loser's Powers:
    • Nero has a lesser version of this compared to the trend set by 3. He just absorbs various abilities (like Credo's Aegis Shield) into his Devil Bringer over the course of the game instead of acquiring new weapons which Dante and Vergil did before.
    • This would apply for Dante like it did in 3, but Gilgamesh, Pandora, and Lucifer are not actually indicative of the powers used by the bosses who guard them, but were actually keeping the Hellgates open.
  • Villain Ball: Sanctus kidnaps Kyrie on Agnus's recommendation, but the reasons why are unclear at best (the closest implied answer is that it's for leverage over Nero and Credo...which he already has, and indeed using Kyrie explicitly turns them against the Order). He eventually ends up using her as part of the core for the Savior, but he notes explicitly that this is a Plan B, with Plan A being Dante.
  • Wardrobe Wound: The fire demon Berial catches Dante sitting on his tail and angrily shakes him off. Dante then mockingly complains "Wish you'd noticed me sooner... now, my coat is all charred."
  • Weapon Across the Shoulder:
    • Nero rests his sword across his shoulder like Dante does in multiple cutscenes, but is in no danger of cutting himself because it's a single-edged blade. This can also happen in-game - If the player doesn't move Nero after executing Red Queen Combo B, thus letting the recovery animation play until the end, Nero will rest the blunt side of Red Queen on his shoulder while he puts his right hand on his hip.
    • Dante rests a sheathed Yamato across his shoulders during a late-game cutscene.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Mission 6. Nero stumbles upon Agnus' laboratory and discovers that the Order of the Sword aren't actually the good guys; they created the Hellgates and artificial demons such as the possessed Angelo armors. He nearly dies as he's cornered by a surprise attack but quickly revives thanks to the newly-restored Yamato. By the next mission's cutscene, Agnus reported this incident to Sanctus, making Nero a target of the Order.
    • Mission 8. Credo blocks Nero's path to the Order's Headquarters, but he is defeated by the younger devil hunter. However, they didn't realize that Kyrie was in the scene and she just saw her two loved ones fighting each other. By this point, she is now aware of Nero's demonic arm. Agnus then appears and takes Kyrie hostage, which shakes Credo's own faith in the Order.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Sanctus outright mocks Nero and Credo when both go after him to save Kyrie.
  • When All You Have is a Hammer…: Nero's arm. He uses it to throw enemies, to grab them or to teleport to them, to solve puzzles, to perform Action Commands on bosses, to store and use MacGuffins, et cetera. In comparison to Dante, who has tons of tools to handle those situations, Nero only has the Devil Bringer, but it is equally as versatile.
  • Where It All Began: In a way. The whole game started at the opera house to when Nero was heading. By the end, Nero and Dante fight Sanctus Diabolica and "The Savior" respectively near the very same opera house.
  • Who You Gonna Call?: The Order of the Sword is supposed to act this way for the island of Fortuna. It's a religious group with knights trained to fight demons, but it's eventually shown to be somewhat dubious as the Order uses demonic powers to enhance themselves.
  • Wing Shield:
    • The Bianco Angelos and Alto Angelos' wings also function as their collapsible shields. The shields can be destroyed to negate their flight, but will reform after a while.
    • Credo's "Angelo" form has one of his wings turn into a shield that can block frontal attacks.
  • Womb Level: The final level which takes place in the body of the Savior.
  • The Worf Effect: The Alto Angelo makes its debut by killing two Assaults at once with a single slash, even if the Assaults were previously established to be formidable and aggressive demon types.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Nero's Busters against the Bianco and Alto Angelos. Hell, Nero's special busters against most of the bosses qualify as well!
  • Yellow Lightning, Blue Lightning:
    • Just like in the previous games, Trish uses yellow lightning.
    • Dante's Devil Trigger transformation is punctuated by a red lightning that appears on his position.
    • The Blitz demons initially use yellow lightning and electricity which literally turn red when they are in low health.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Dante tries to kill Sanctus before he can obtain the power of The Savior (in the opening cutscene, no less!) but it doesn't do anything meaningful because Sanctus is revived later anyway.
  • You Remind Me of X:
    • After their first duel in the beginning, Deadly Fortune has Dante muse about Nero having the same look in his eyes as Vergil did.
    • Berial notes that Nero reminds him of someone after his boss fight. According to Deadly Fortune, he is talking about Dante.
      Berial: I see... Neither demon, nor human... So that is the case. You, too, are the same as him...
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: Even on New Game+ playthroughs, it's a common trend in the series to re-acquire Key Items, or interact with certain objects again in order to make progress in the stages. DMC4 in particular, has an egregious example with the Evil Legacy. It's a Key Item that permanently provides Nero's Devil Bringer with the Snatch and Hell Bound abilities, yet you cannot latch onto Grim Grips unless you interact with the pedestal that houses said key item.
 
Feedback

Video Example(s):

Top

Judgement Cut End

While in Devil Trigger with full concentration, Vergil cuts through space and time in an awesome display of power.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / LimitBreak

Media sources:

Report