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"This party's getting crazy! Let's rock!"
Dante
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Devil May Cry is a Stylish Action Hack and Slash Video Game Franchise created by Hideki Kamiya, and developed and published by Capcom in 2001. Originally intended to be the fourth installment in Capcom's Resident Evil series, Devil May Cry has been noted as the Trope Codifier for modern 3D Hack and Slash Stylish Action games.

Taking place in the modern day, the games revolve around Dante, the Anti-Hero Half-Human Hybrid Demon Slaying son of an Ascended Demon named Sparda. Thousands of years ago, Sparda sealed away his fellow demons and freed the human world from their control. However, Sparda eventually died, leaving behind a human wife named Eva and two halfbreed twins named Dante and Vergil. Without Sparda to protect them, Eva is soon murdered, Vergil becomes an Anti-Villain obsessed with power, and Dante decides to work as a demon-hunting sword-for-hire so he can find the demons responsible for tearing apart his family and give them their just desserts. And make a great deal of money, of course.

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Gameplay focuses on using mixtures of Hack and Slash, Launcher Moves, Ground Pounds, Dash Attacks, Video Game Dashing, Double Jumps, Super Modes, and Stance Systems to create stylish, fast-paced Combos. Onus is placed on the player's skill with their moveset, and their ability to alternate between different weapons and moves. However, Adventure Game elements such as puzzle-solving and exploration are also featured.

Compare other Hack and Slash video games, in particular Hideki Kamiya's PlatinumGames spiritual successor, Bayonetta. Despite the identical title acronym, the series aren't related with Run–D.M.C. or Detroit Metal City.

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Main games

Other works

Crossover appearances and Cameos

Related media and spin offs

  • Devil May Cry (2002): A Light Novel prequel to the first game.
  • Devil May Cry 2 (2003): A light novel prequel to DMC2.
  • Devil May Cry (2004): A Comic Book series published by a Canadian publisher Dreamwave Productions that is (loosely) based on the first game.
  • Devil May Cry 3 (2005): A two-volume manga prequel to DMC3. note 
  • Devil May Cry: The Animated Series (2007): Follows Dante's adventures between the first and second games.
    • Devil May Cry Drama CD Vol.1 (2007) and Vol.2 (2008): Three scenarios voiced by the Japanese cast, the stories occurring during the same time as the anime.
  • Devil May Cry 3 Pachislot (2007): A pachislot machine using the in-game assets.
  • Devil May Cry 4: Deadly Fortune (2009): A Japan-only two-volume novelization of DMC4 done by the game's scenario writer.
  • Devil May Cry 4 Pachislot (2013): A pachislot machine using the in-game assets.
  • DmC: Devil May Cry - The Chronicles of Vergil (2013): A prequel graphic novel of DmC.
  • Devil May Cry X: The Last Judgement Pachislot (2016): A pachislot that used the in-game assets, the "X" pronounced "cross". Contains additional cut scenes and lines that apparently tied Vergil's story closer to 4.
  • CR Devil May Cry 4 Pachislot (2018): A pachislot machine that uses a different graphics engine to retell the events of 4SE.
  • Devil May Cry: The Live Hacker (2019): A live-stage play that takes place after 3.
  • Devil May Cry 5: -Before the Nightmare- (2019): A prequel light novel with multiple vignettes detailing what different characters were up to before and during the prologue of 5, like how Nico and Nero met.
  • Devil May Cry 5: Visions of V (2019): A manga spinoff showing V's side of the story leading up to the events of 5.
  • Devil May Cry: The Bloody Palace (2020): A board game produced by Steamforged Games Ltd.
  • Devil May Cry: Pinnacle of Combat (2020): A mobile game developed by China-based Yunchang Game. The game uses 3's version of Dante, Lady, and Vergil's designs but also uses elements from 3, 4, DmC, and 5 while telling a completely different story not related to the main titles.
  • A Netflix-based animated adaptation produced by Adi Shankar. While details are currently sparse, he has stated that this new show will join Castlevania (2017) in what he is calling the "bootleg multiverse".

This page is gettin' crazy! Let's list examples!

Note: Each game in the series now has its own page, as does the anime. If a trope or an example only applies to one or two games in the series, or only to the anime, put it on that page. Likewise, Character-specific tropes must be placed on their Character folders, especially tropes that only apply to one or two characters. To simplify the labels in this page's trope list, the mainline games are referred to by their numbers, while acronyms (e.g. TAS, DmC) are used if necessary.

     General tropes for the entire franchise 
  • Action Game: The general gameplay consists of pulling off long, stylish chains of attacks to dispose of enemies, with the player's dexterity being rewarded with items and a higher score.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Every time you purchase an item, its price goes up. After five or so purchases, the price will freeze.
  • Airborne Mook: Each game always includes one or more types of flying demons, such as the Bat-form Plasmas in 1, Puias and Flambats in 2, Bloodgoyles in 3, Mephistos, Angelos and Fausts in 4. Bathos, Pathos (and their shielded versions) in DmC, Green Empusa in 5, etc... They typically move fast and zip around, but are vulnerable to firearms and can fall if damaged enough.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield:
    • Before battling Mundus in 1, he and Dante end up in a universe Mundus conjured up, where you then proceed to shoot fireballs at him.
    • In the finale of 3, you fight a blob-shaped Arkham in some kind of shallow pool of various shades of purple and pink with a lot of black spots thrown in (Said black spots are the eyes and mouths in the faces of the souls of the damned that make up the pool). The exploding dolphin things he summons as backups are also writhing in technicolor energy.
    • In DmC, A lot of areas in Limbo are full of blown-out, super bright colors and equally trippy designs. Lilith's nightclub deserves a mention, though - it's literally a demonic night club crammed with flashing neon lights and jittering sound waves with colors even more super-saturated than regular Limbo.
    • Many Bloody Palace stages tend to be this, with strange light shows going on under the floor or nebulae flying by.
  • Anachronic Order: For the original continuity, the major installments are chronologically arranged in this order: Manga 3 -> 3 -> 1 -> Anime -> Novel 2 -> 2 -> 4 - > Novel 5 -> 5. The original confirmation of 5 taking place after 2 was courtesy of French gaming site ActuGaming's interview with director Hideaki Itsuno, and 5 producer Matthew Walker's responding tweet to a fan's question. However, Capcom TV later streamed a quick summary video that put 2 before 4, causing much confusion until Walker confirmed it on Twitter.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • In 1, the Nightmare fights make you face off against all the previous bosses. But when you fight Nightmare Nelo Angelo, you fight his phase two form instead of his far more difficult phase three form.
    • In 2, Mission 15 requires the player to defeat a set number of enemies within two minutes to progress. The enemies become weaker with each failed attempt.
    • In 3, dying a few times on Normal mode unlocks Easy mode.
    • In 4, choosing "continue" a few times in a chapter automatically handicaps the enemy.
    • In DmC, enemies will be less aggressive when out of sight, keeping you from getting blindsided too often. Likewise, Angel-element enemies never have shields, since every reliable method that can break shields is Demon-infused.
    • There are several quality-of-life features in 5, covering new mechanics introduced in the game (like Nero's Wire Snatch being usable even without Devil Breakers), or resolving issues that plagued older DMC games (like how 5 now automatically turns off Devil Trigger mode every time a Bloody Palace floor is cleared).
  • Armor Is Useless: The playable characters' weapons cut and pierce armored enemies like butter. The only enemies that can defend against the player's attacks are those with magical barriers, shields or demonic weapons of their own.
  • Arrange Mode:
    • Starting from the third game, there's the "Heaven and Hell" mode where both you and the enemies are One Hit Point Wonders.
    • "Hell or Hell" mode is the Son of Sparda difficulty when it comes to enemies, but you still die in one hit.
    • "Legendary Dark Knight" mode fills the areas with dozens of enemies at once.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • After launching an enemy airborne, it's possible to keep them suspended in mid-air by continuously firing at them with your guns. Law of Motion/Gravity be damned, this is an example of the cool things that you can do. Vice-versa, playable characters can briefly slow down their descent from mid-air by firing their guns.
    • While the series does its level best to ignore physics completely, it does at one point toss a lampshade how Dante is too cool for the laws of motion. The description of Spiral's "trick shot" ability in 3 states that Dante ricochets the bullet off multiple surfaces to increase its speed, which means that he knows a local supplier of non-conservation-of-energy bullets.
    • In 1, the Frost enemies are said to be at below absolute zero temperature. This might be trying to imply that they're supernaturally cold, but it still sounds like a failure of logic, or at least physics. In the Kelvin Scale, nothing can be colder than absolute zero.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The Always Chaotic Evil Demon World lives by this rule.
    Vergil: Might controls everything.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Plenty of bosses receive more damage when certain parts of their body are attacked (e.g. Beowulf's eyes, Cerberus' heads, Phantom's face, The Savior’s crystals, Gilgamesh’s back, etc...) Oftentimes, dealing enough damage to any other part would stagger the boss, leaving their weak spots exposed.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Sparda sword in 1. While a sword that can turn into a scythe is stupidly sweet, the lack of a Devil Trigger leaves you significantly better off using Alastor or Ifrit. At least, until the final battle, where it proves worthy of its name. Sparda does the extra damage Alastor does during Devil Trigger; nothing to write home about at first, but as you ramp the difficulty up towards "Dante Must Die", actual Devil Trigger abilities become progressively more useless, and melee attacks become your primary source of damage.
    • Nevan in 3 sure is awesome, but ridiculously difficult to use, mainly because most of its attacks involve moving the left stick in a precise direction (not just forth or back as with other weapons). Since Dante's position constantly changes, that makes things quite tricky. It is also complex and rather unclear in terms of holding and releasing buttons.
    • Showdown in 4 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.
    • From 5, the taunts gained from the EX Provocation skill are elaborate, well choreographed sequences that give an instant SS rank. That said, they only give the rank if done fully, they're extremely long, leave you vulnerable, and they're the most expensive upgrades in the shop. V is the only character who could possibly use it in proper combat, since his demon pets can still attack while he dances.
    • Certain moves don't work well when you're surrounded by crowds, mostly due to them attacking only one target per each use, or the character is left vulnerable. This happens to Real Impact for most of the time in 3, 4 and 5. Some of Nero's Buster moves in 4 also have this problem - While they deal sufficient damage to individual enemies, their animations take a while, and some don't even give him invincibility frames.
  • Awesomeness Meter: Combat is graded based on a number of factors, including variations within combos, number of hits, and damage taken.
  • Backtracking:
    • There is backtracking in the early installments (Mallet Island for 1, the Uroboros building in 2, and the Temen-ni-gru's lower levels in 3), but those were the well-done "environment change" versions of the trope.
    • It's also present in 4 — and how! Nearly every reviewer called it out. Basically, Dante's part consists of doing everything Nero did in reverse order. This was exacerbated by how the initial run with Nero already had some backtracking in and of itself.
  • Badass Crew: Dante, Trish and Lady make up the Devil May Cry agency, which specializes in hunting demons. All three of them have a deep respect for each other and are equally capable of eliminating their enemies.
  • Badass Family: Three of the playable characters are Vergil, Dante, and Nero, all of whom are descendants of the legendary knight Sparda and have inherited his demonic powers.
  • Badass in Distress
    • 2 has Lucia, who is perfectly capable in-game, but has to be rescued by Dante from explosions in cinematics twice. She also doesn't accomplish much without Dante, being captured by Arius and staying behind while he enters the portal to Hell. She does, however, kill Arius when he returns as a demon.
    • In 4, Nero is absorbed into the Savior midway through the game. It takes Dante jamming Yamato into the giant statue's crystal to wake Nero up inside.
    • In DmC, Vergil is powerful enough to be the final boss but gets in trouble a few times throughout the game. In the first instance, he's cornered by a demon and has to be saved by Dante (mainly because Vergil can't use his powers without outing himself as a Nephilim - which would give away their trump card to Mundus). The second time is during the fight with Mundus, where Mundus sucks him into the vortex and keeps him there until Dante busts him out.
    • Much to Morrison and Nero's surprise, Dante, Trish and Lady are actually defeated by Urizen in the prologue of 5, with both girls getting captured by Urizen via the Qliphoth's roots and Dante being MIA and assumed dead by most characters.
  • BFS:
    • Nero's Devil Trigger specter wields an oversized version of the Yamato sword.
    • The standard swords of Nero and Dante are almost their own height in length. The Vendetta blade in 2 is also about as broad as Dante's shoulders.
    • Nelo Angelo's sword and Berial's warblade are long, large blades.
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: Swords always land pointy end in, no matter how big or unbalanced they seem. The camera would often focus on them if it happens, like the Rebellion in the climax of 3, or the Sparda in the finale of 4.
  • Blob Monster:
    • The Nightmare boss in 1 is an amorphous black mass that tries to swallow Dante. If exposed to light, it morphs into a solid, robotic form. It returns in 5 as one of V's summons, taking the form of a towering muscular demon that can emerge and dissolve into a puddle of goo as it enters and exits battles.
    • Argosax the Chaos is an amalgamation of almost every boss in the second game, resulting in a grotesque lump of flesh with countless demons' faces and limbs gruesomely merged into each other.
    • Arkham in 3 degenerates into a bulbous, slimy monster after he fails to contain the power of Sparda.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage:
    • Dante has his Royal Block skill that can negate anything if properly done, including explosions, electrified floors, and 100ft tall statues dropkicking him. Mistime it, and Dante will take damage and the guard will be broken.
    • Nero from the fourth game 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.
    • Many enemies, from bosses to mooks, can put up a defensive stance and stop attacks cold. Some of the heavier attacks can go around these.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Dante's leading ladies in the first three games are the blonde Trish in 1, redheaded Lucia in 2, and brown-haired Lady in 3.
  • Blood Magic: When you kill monsters, you collect their crystallized blood and offer it to the nebulous God of Time to upgrade your powers.
  • Blown Across the Room:
    • Certain moves of the playable characters (e.g. Dante's Stinger, Nero's Charged Shots) can push the demonic mooks away upon contact.
    • The bosses' more powerful attacks send the player character flying across the arena, stunning them briefly. They come in various forms, like Berial's explosive shockwave, or Goliath's fireball.
  • Boss Rush: Played with, as each game gets progressively closer to a true boss gauntlet. In 2, Argosax is an amalgamation of the previous bosses, whom the player has to fight simultaneously. In 3, one of the levels requires the player to kill previous bosses in order to progress, but the battles are tied to a puzzle, meaning a savvy player can make it through that sequence while fighting three bosses at most. Finally, 4 has a true Boss Rush in the penultimate level, as Nero is forced to take down Berial, Bael, Echidna and Agnus when they are revived within The Savior.
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • Dante can run out of ammo but his weapons refill automatically given time. According to 1's game manual, one of his demonic powers creates more bullets in his guns.
    • While Lady and Nero have shown impressive reloading skills, Lady plays this straight during Mission 16 of 3 when Dante picks a fight with her. Nero subverts this in 4 during gameplay since he can shoot as long as he wants but if he stops (don't do anything else), Nero will finish with what is apparently a quick reload. In 5, this is subverted again for Nero's Color Up skill. He reloads the Blue Rose with special bullets, yet he never runs out as the skill can be used over and over again.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • Completing the "Must Die" difficulty in 1, 3, 4, & 5 unlocks a "Super Costume" for Dante or the other playable characters. These costumes are all purposely overpowered as they grant unlimited meters for the Devil Trigger transformation, and other mechanics like Nero's Exceed. In DmC, they are classified as Perks instead of costumes.
    • Beating the last of 12 Secret Missions in the first game offers you a Bangle of Time. Equipping it changes Devil Trigger to stop time, though it doesn't work on bosses and it's obtained so late in the game you only really get to use it during New Game+.
  • Camera Screw: The series frequently changes the camera angle mid-jump. The key to your survival is that the game doesn't realign your controls until you land, so you need not jerk the controller around.
    • The third fight with Griffon in 1 is nearly unwinnable on higher difficulties because of this.
    • 2's camera is particularly bad. You'll often find yourself shooting away at enemies the camera seems to have no intention of showing you.
  • Camp: The dialogue is hammy, the action defies physics, and the very concept of the game is Rule of Cool.
  • Car Fu:
    • In 1, Trish bursts through Dante's door on her motorcycle, then she hurls it at him.
    • In 3, Dante uses Lady's motorbike to drive up Temen-ni-gru's outer wall, falls towards it for a short distance, and then is besieged in midair by demons. So he beats all of them up with the motorbike, which explodes shortly after he lands, leaving only the handlebars.
    • In 5, Nico rams demons with the van she and Nero are riding on during the prologue, Goliath hurls an ambulance at Nero before they fight, while the Caveliere is a motorcycle/dual-wield chainsaw hybrid devil arm, complete with Bike-Fu when used by Dante.
  • Catch and Return:
    • Vergil does this in a cutscene in 3. That is, he catches and returns bullets, with his sword.
    • In the battle with Credo in 4, the spears that he throws can be caught with the Devil Bringer and then thrown right back at him.
    • In DmC, the blades thrown by the Witches can be hooked using Demon Pull and kicked back at them.
  • Catchphrase: "Jackpot!" is a recurring catch-phrase, usually said right before defeating the Big Bad. Throughout the series, Dante, Vergil and Nero have said it.
  • Central Theme: Fatherhood.
    • Dante's father Sparda is the Greater-Scope Paragon of the series, and many of Dante's foes have a bone to pick with the disappeared Legendary Dark Knight. His character arc largely revolves around his acceptance of the power he inherited from his father.
    • In contrast, Vergil embraces his demonic heritage and wishes to surpass Sparda in power. Ironically, he finds himself on the other side of the theme when it's revealed that he fathered later protagonist Nero; said paternal bond actually convinces Nero to save both Dante and Vergil from their perpetual feud, even though Vergil was never part of his life.
    • Lady gets involved in the plot of the third game because her father Arkham has committed numerous atrocities, including murdering her mother, in the pursuit of greater power.
  • Chaos Architecture: Despite being supposedly the same building, Dante's shop has multiple and drastic redesigns through the games and the animated series. Notably in the first and second games, it is contained in a single small room while in later works, it is more spacious and has stairs leading to a second floor.
  • Charged Attack: Both types of charged attacks are present in a lot of moves:
    • The "Hold" type:
      • This is a common feature that applies to firearms, where Dante, Nero and Lady can charge their shots for extra damage.
      • Certain melee attacks (e.g. Drive, Judgement Cut, Maximum Bet) can be held for more damage. They might also come with the benefit of a "Just Frame" Bonus upon releasing the charge at opportune times. Other moves (e.g. Round Trip) require the button to be held in order to execute them in the first place. Some games also have gauntlet-type weapons (e.g. Gilgamesh, Eryx) with this mechanic.
    • The "Collect" type:
      • In all games where it's available, Dante's Royal Guard style comes with a Royal Guard meter that is filled by blocking hits from enemies. He can then perform an attack called "Release" where he releases all of the meter stored for a single powerful attack.
      • In 4, Pandora has a Chaos Gauge which is filled by doing normal attacks with it, and depleted by using its more powerful Gunslinger style attacks, such as the "Argument" and "Omen".
      • Nero's Red Queen has a special mechanism called Exceed, where he can rev his sword to increase its power, and it has 3 levels. It is charged by either tapping the rev button multiple times, or doing it while you're attacking normally with the EX-Act skill.
  • Charge Meter:
    • All weapons that have "Hold"-type charged attacks glow to indicate their charge levels. The visuals vary depending on the character, weapon, or game, but 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:
    • The biplane encountered in the first mission of 1 (christened Carnival according to Viewtiful Joe). It is later used to make your escape from Mallet Island. Nobody knows how or why it was here to begin with but, who cares.
    • Dante's lucky coin in 2 is used in a Fake MacGuffin Batman Gambit to fool Arius.
    • The bells you see strewn throughout Temen-ni-gru in 3. They later are involved in the ritual used to open the gate to the underworld.
    • The Damned Chessmen in 3 are a common threat throughout the tower. In Mission 18, you finally square off with the entire chess board, king included.
    • The Yamato from 3 resurfaces as a major plot point in 4 and 5. It started off as a broken weapon kept by the Order for research, but Yamato later reforged itself to be wielded by Nero, and is then used to open and close one giant Hellgate. Some years later Vergil steals it from Nero and uses the sword to split himself in two, creating V and Urizen.
    • In 4, Nero's Devil Bringer is arm-slinged during the prologue, which he then uses as a trump card to beat Dante. It also appears briefly in a scene of 5, before it got yanked by Vergil.
  • Colour-Coded Timestop: Reversed colors in the first and third games, grayscale in the fourth.
  • Competitive Balance: Whether it's comparing the different ways Dante can deal out the hurt with his various weapons or styles or just comparing the playable characters with each other, this trope shows up in each game, wherein a weapon or character has a balance of both strengths and weaknesses.
  • Continuing is Painful: When you use an item, it's used for good, and if you die, you will have to do the sequence (or the entire level) again without recovering the items you already used. Then again, the game does all it can to discourage light use of items.
  • Create Your Own Hero:
    • Dante became a demon hunter to eventually find and kill the demon that killed his mother. In 1 that demon, Mundus, makes the foolish mistake of luring Dante to his island in an attempt to kill him. Worse, Mundus' cruel treatment of his minion Trish makes her pull a Heel–Face Turn and lend her power to Dante in his climactic battle with the villain.
    • A quite literal case with Lucia, the Deuteragonist of 2. She is revealed to be one of the demons created by Arius but was discarded for being a "defect". She is adopted by the demon hunting clan of the Vie du Marli and kills Arius in the game's climax.
    • In 3, Arkham's murder of his wife Kalina Ann results in their daughter Mary, now known as Lady, becoming a demon hunter and killing him.
    • Vergil, Dante's Evil Twin brother, begets a child named Nero who would go on to be the protagonist of 4 and 5. Nero would also defeat Vergil in the latter game.
    • DmC basically retreads the same backstory of the original continuity but with some alterations - Mundus' murder of Eva and torture of Sparda led Vergil and Dante to embrace their Nephilim heritage and be reunited. This ultimately comes back to bite Mundus in the ass, big time, as he is later killed by the twins.
  • Creative Closing Credits: Notable in 3, 4 and 5 where you have to kill as many demons as possible as a timer winds down while the credits roll. 4 has the added difficulty where you, as Nero, can't let even a single Scarecrow touch Kyrie in order to see an extra ending, while in 5 Dante has to compete with Vergil for the highest kill count.
  • Crucified Hero Shot:
    • Dante loves this pose when getting impaled, to the point where it doubles as a Running Gag. While it usually happens on the floor or in a wall, the anime adaptation shows him pinned to a life-sized cross.
    • This happens to Trish when she is held captive by Mundus in 1.
    • Nero also gets some, especially that time when he awakened his Devil Trigger in 4.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max:
    • Cutscenes usually make the characters kill enemies with one hit.
      • Yamato in 3 and 4. Cutscenes turn its Absurdly Sharp Blade factor up to eleven, making it seem like everything else dies of being in the same room with it even without showing a direct contact with the blade. 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.
      • Handguns seem to have the odd ability to kill pretty much everything with one blast. An extreme case happens in 4, Dante makes Echidna explode using this. Compare cutscenes to gameplay, where a single pistol shot is the weakest attack in all games no matter how many times you upgrade it.
      • 4 in particular may be the worst offender. After beating a rather difficult boss as Dante, immediately afterwards five more of his kind come 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.
    • While you can certainly pull of some decently badass-looking moves in-game, the kind of flashy and acrobatic stunts that player characters, Dante especially, do in cutscenes is jaw-droppingly ridiculous.
    • 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.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • Switch between 1 and 3. Thankfully the latter lets you remap the controls to your liking. Better yet, try going from 3 back to 1. Again thankfully, the HD collection remaps the controls of 1 to make them similar to the other games.
    • Certain moves have different inputs between 4 and 3. Dance Macabre, for example, is "Lock-on + Back + Style Action" in 3, but "Lock-on + Forward + Style Action" in 4. Round Trip previously had that input, but it and Overdrive have swapped places as well.
    • 5 has quite a lot of moves with revamped controls compared to previous games, (Nero's Split and Break Away in place of Devil Trigger, the launcher of Dante's Balrog compared to Ifrit and Beowulf, etc...). Switching between the playable characters could also change control layouts. And when Devil Sword Dante is used, it has a slightly different moveset than either Rebellion or Sparda.
  • Dark and Troubled Past:
    • Dante and Vergil have the entire business with Mundus killing their mother Eva during a demon attack, their father Sparda later disappeared and died from unrevealed circumstances. The demon attack on their household and their mother's death shaped them into who they become. The brothers even briefly discuss their childhood in 5.
    • Lady has a supreme asshole of a father who murdered her mother and used her in a horrible plan to open the Hell Gate that Sparda closed.
    • In DmC, Dante's life has gone to hell after Mundus killed his mother. He became a delinquent growing up, who killed the abusive head of the orphanage he was taken into since she was a demon. He also broke out of prison several times and got into multiple confrontations with the police.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Dante uses his demonic powers for good. Ditto with Sparda (after he woke up to justice), Trish (after her Heel–Face Turn), and Nero (who received a demonic bloodline because he's the grandson of Sparda).
  • Dash Attack: The "Stinger" move and its variants used by several playable characters (like Nero's "Streak") and certain bosses (like Sanctus Diabolica's Sparda Stinger) make them lunge forward with their weapons.
  • Death by a Thousand Cuts: Trying to kill enemies using only guns require this, since most guns in the series only deal minor damage. To compensate, Dante has certain moves (including the Gunslinger Style) where his handguns have faster rate of fire than usual. Nero's Blue Rose in 4 is even worse that Dante's handguns because of its slower firing rate.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack:
    • The series has a lot of powerful moves with long wind-ups or animations, such as Dante's Real Impact, or Nero's Showdown. Those two examples even require the initial hit to connect with an enemy, otherwise, the character will be left defenseless for a few moments.
    • The Royal Release is one risky Counter-Attack. 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.
    • In a sneaky way, the Devil Trigger explosion in 3. If simply used, it's a teeny burst that mildly inconveniences enemies. If charged up fully, with a maxed-out DT gauge, it will One-Hit Kill every minor enemy in the game. However, using it this way leaves you with only a few seconds of Devil Trigger time, so you better hope you got them all.
    • In 4, Nero can also use his Devil Bringer 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.
  • Demon of Human Origin:
    • Starting from 2, turning into a powerful demon has become one of the main goals of every Big Bad and it's always for the sake of more power.
    • 4 puts a spin on this. 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. He even converted himself into a demon and we see Sanctus go through the "Ascension Ceremony" in-game.
  • Demon Slaying: Dante's stock in trade, and the primary point of the series. This also becomes the "job" of his allies in the Devil May Cry joint.
  • Devil, but No God: Not in the strictest sense. If there's something odd going on, a powerful demon is largely behind it, yet no Big Good is opposing him. Gods are mentioned, such as the God of Time (whose statues are used by Dante and Nero to upgrade their abilities), but none of them play a major part in the stories.
  • Die, Chair, Die!:
    • Typically a way to pick up a few extra red orbs. If it's clearly not a fixed portion of the scenery, it can be destroyed.
    • Sometimes, the destructible object is even part of the scenery yet you can interact with it by whacking your weapon.
      • 4 took this idea and ran with it, such as Nero having to get on top of a huge chandelier and slice it.
      • DmC incorporates this as well to varying degrees, usually with the Demonic weapons and marked spots on the environment - Arbiter and Eryx can smash cracked walls, while Dante can deliberately use his Demon Pull ability to detach certain objects.
    • In 5 V can summon Nightmare in certain places where it can break through walls, creating new pathways.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • Royal Guard. If you do manage to pull it off, though, it looks amazing. Using RG to cancel Spiral and Kalina Ann is also difficult but rewarding to master. To elaborate, the style lets you completely nullify damage by blocking at the right instant just as an attack hits you. 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.
    • Nevan seems all but useless at first, but when you actually master it, it will kick a lot of butt.
    • Lucifer in 4 also appears weak at first due to its low damage output per hit, but you can pull tricky stuff with it. Beginner comobs are basically: kick out a lot of blades with Pin-Up, use Bondage to impale a target, and then Ecstasy to finish them off with explosions.
    • Changing styles mid-combo with Dante. It requires a bit of dexterity (going from analog stick to D-Pad) but when pulled off right you can extend combos (For example, 4 lets you 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).
    • Instant Revving with Nero. Revving up the Red Queen allows you to dish more damage and change the properties of some 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 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 rev levels in a single go.
    • Using enemies as platforms to reboot aerial combos (a technique which is also known as "Jump Cancel") requires a very precise timing, but allows you to stay in the air indefinitely once you master it.
  • Doppelgänger Attack:
    • When Dante uses his Doppelganger style in 3, he can create a single duplicate of himself. The duplicate will mirror Dante's movements and attacks, but the player can choose to increase the lag between the command inputs and the duplicate's response — or a second player can take control instead.
    • The doppelganer's rules from 3 apply with Vergil's Devil Trigger in DmC, minus the second player controlling the doppelgänger. This is also the last phase as the Final Boss in Dante's story.
    • Vergil also does this in the final battle of 5.
  • Double Jump: All playable characters have a double jump ability which is usually named "Air Hike". In most instances, the second jump is performed by creating a magic platform under their feet and leaping off that. It's taken one step further by Dante's Devil Trigger form in 4 to enable a triple jump.
  • Dual Wielding: Lucia with all her weapons, Dante with Agni and Rudra, Vergil with Yamato and Force Edge. Nero sort of does this with Yamato and Red Queen for his moves Maximum Bet and Showdown but only when Devil Triggered.
  • Elemental Powers: All over the place with the Devil Arms, ranging from fire, to ice, to thunder, to light. Also the demons themselves, which are often stated to use determinated elements in order to appear in a solid form.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower:
    • The Sparda Devil Trigger in 1, which only works against Mundus and nowhere else. Without cheating, of course.
    • For Dante, Yamato and Dark Slayer in 4 are obtained relatively late into the first playthrough, except they can be used elsewhere after that and aren't especially overpowered.
    • In 5, Nero unlocks his own Devil Trigger form while racing to intervene between Dante and Vergil killing each other during the penultimate mission. This gets carried into New Game+ though.
  • End Game Results Screen: At least each game in the series does this, usually with a slower mix of the game's theme playing in the background.
  • Essence Drop: May be the Trope Codifier for modern action games. Demonic blood comes in three flavours: red (currency), green (health), and white (Devil Trigger gauge).
  • Everyone Loves Blondes:
    • At the very least, Sparda did fall in love with Eva, creating a demon-human hybrid of generations.
    • In 1, Mundus tried to capitalize on Eva's beauty by making Trish in her image in an almost successful attempt at baiting Dante (he appears to be drawn to Trish solely on the basis of her resemblance to his departed mother, but nothing comes to pass).
    • In TAS, Patty Lowell is a young blond girl who serves as Dante's female partner if Lady and Trish are absent. When they first meet in the Devil May Cry shop, Dante even thinks about asking Patty on a date in about 10 years or so.
  • Extremely Short Timespan:
    • 1 opens in Dante's shop at night, and the rest of the game seems to take place over a single night, with the first level at dusk and Dante and Trish escaping as the sun rises.
    • 3 has the first few missions seemingly taking place as the sun sets, the action in Temen-ni-gru happening at night, and the end credits during the following morning.
    • 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.
    • Besides the prologue taking place a month before the main events of the game, the main portion of 5 takes place over only about 11 hours from 5AM to 4PM, helpfully illustrated by the Title In present at the start of every mission. The sun appears to be setting during the credits sequence.
  • Fanservice:
    • The Powers That Be seem to have recognized their sizable female fanbase as of 3, as shirtless Dante being an unlockable most definitely qualifies. Speaking of 3, the character artist specifically states in the Note of Naught artbook that coatless Vergil "was designed to give our women users huge nosebleeds." Then there's Nevan. The type of demon she is justifies this, but still, she says stuff like "Sugarrr", makes orgasmic sounds when she takes a hit, and kisses Dante to replenish her health.
    • While all of the ladies' outfits spanning the series are fanservicey as hell, Gloria's outfit and fighting style in 4 really take the cake. And that's not even mentioning 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.
    • After being captured by Urizen in 5, both Lady and Trish are trapped inside Bosses and when they're rescued, they're completely naked, with only strategic arms and Scenery Censor to conceal their nudity before they're both given a Modesty Bedsheet.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Regular fingerless gloves for Dante and Vergil in 3 and Lady in 5, no-thumb-and-index-finger gloves in 4 for Dante, and only the left hand for Nero and only the right hand for V in 5.
  • Flaming Sword: Agni in 3, wielded with the wind sword Rudra (fun fact: properly applying wind to fire makes the fire bigger). Red Queen in 4 becomes something like this when revved up, and there's also Berial's sword, naturally.
  • Flash Step:
    • The various "Trick" techniques by Vergil and "Air Trick" by Dante after maxing Trickter Style. Vergil occassionaly takes this to Teleport Spam levels in the second and third boss battles with him.
      • Nelo Angelo (being Vergil and all) has the same ability, but this is undermined both by the blue flames that signify his flight path as well as the fact that he rarely uses it to his advantage.
      • In 5, V's dodge has him move in this manner rather than rolling like other characters, but only when Shadow is available. He can also do one as a part of a finisher. Makes sense, cause V is a part of Vergil.
    • Frosts, ice demons that appear in 1 and 4, possess a similar ability which involves the disassembly of 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.
    • In 2, a specialty of The Despair Embodied is disappearing from sight and then blindsiding you with one of its attacks.
    • 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.
    • In the DmC continuity, Vergil's Sword Illusions in Angel mode would make him teleport to the pierced enemy.
  • Game Mod: 3, 4, DmC and 5 have an active modding scene which is mainly cosmetic outside of the notable mods whose features were later implemented by Capcom in updated versions of the involved games:
    • Style Switching Mod for 3 which gives you the ability to switch styles on the fly DMC4-style and makes the questionable PC port of 3 run better. The Nintendo Switch port of Devil May Cry 3 incorporates an official Style Switching feature into gameplay, as well as the ability to swap through all weapons on the fly with the right control stick. The option to play with the original fixed loadout for your style and weapons is also available.
    • Using a tool for the PC version of 5 makes it possible to play as Vergil in the base game, using a few techniques that he doesn't use in his boss fight. A later mod attempted to make this a more complete experience with better hit boxes and fewer oddities. With the Special Edition elevating Vergil to fully playable, what was left behind were likely hooks for the developers to add such a feature at a later time.
  • Gameplay Grading: Player performance is graded from D to SSS. It grades not only the overall stage completion time, but also combos during battles. The latter is maintained by factors like the combo's length, variance (i.e. not spamming the same technique), and flawlessness (i.e. not getting hit). Otherwise, the battle's grade slowly decays over time and impacts the mission ranking.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom:
    • Subverted with Sparda. He's a demon with distinct glowing eyes in his true form, but had a Heel–Face Turn long before the games to become a sort of savior figure to parts of the human race.
    • Dante does it towards the end of 1 when he stops fooling around with Mundus and gets really pissed off.
      Dante: SILENCE!
    • Beowulf, whose red eye glows when he Turns Red in 3.
    • Nero as well in 4, once Agnus manages to piss him off enough.
  • A God Am I:
    • It happens with Arius in 2, but only after he starts going loopy towards endgame. Arguably, he could have instead careened into Drunk on the Dark Side.
    • Arkham in 3, whose megalomania was so great that having his ass handed to him by both Dante and Vergil combined was not enough to shatter his delusion of invincibility.
    • Sanctus of the Order of the Sword in 4, who sought to create an artificial God and unify with it to reign over a new utopia purged of chaos.
    • In DmC, Mundus has a serious god complex, that when Dante pissed him off, he said this:
      "You don't fuck with a god."
    • In 5, Urizen labels himself divine, despite being a monstrous demon.
  • Goomba Springboard: Known as "Jump Cancel", jumping off enemies' heads (including those in mid-air) is one of the techniques that playable characters can learn. This is useful for keeping yourself in the air for extended amounts of time. There's also a Secret Mission centered around this in 3.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol:
    • The Devil Bringer's functions in 4 include "Snatch" and "Hell Bound", two abilities that allow Nero to pull enemies or fling himself towards them. Certain flying objects in the environment can also be gripped, allowing him to reach higher areas. Nero later replicates these functions in 5 via his prosthetic arm's "Wire Snatch".
    • Kalina Ann has a bayonet that can be fired to do this in 3.
    • In DmC, Dante has the Ophion, a hook that can either pull targets toward him (Demon Pull), or vice-versa, letting Dante hook himself to the target (Angel Lift). Most platforming sections mandate the use of this tool.
  • Guns Are Useless: In most of the games, shooting an enemy does about as much damage as spitting on them. 2 is the only exception, as it ramped up the damage of guns and made it possible for them to stunlock opponents - and then revealed why this had been the case for so much of the series, as it meant hammering the shoot button handled basically everything. 3 rebalanced it a bit to make it possible to get through the game with guns, but not monotonous or easy.
  • Harder Than Hard:
    • The "Must Die" (e.g. Dante Must Die, Lucia Must Die) difficulty mode in most games, where all enemies get tougher and have access to Devil Trigger after a set period of time has passed.
    • "Hell or Hell" mode in 4, DmC and 5. If "Heaven Or Hell" mode is where you die in one hit but so does every enemy and bosses, in Hell or Hell mode, guess what dies in one hit and what doesn't. To compensate this a little bit, the difficulty of enemies is that of the "Son of Sparda" mode.
  • Healing Factor: A perk of playable characters having demonic blood. In gameplay, this is a benefit of Devil Trigger. In cutscenes, this is a reason why Dante and Vergil can remain well and fine despite taking hits that would've killed a regular human being.
  • Heart Container: Blue Orbs, both full (usually bought from the God of Time) and Fragments (the usual reward for Secret Missions, also found in gameplay). Purple Orbs serve the same purpose for the Devil Trigger meter, though without Fragments and almost exclusively bought.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Sparda; he "woke up to justice", and then proceeded to kick Mundus's ass and seal him away. "Demons/"Half-Demons" waking up to justice" has since been a recurring plot point in the series. Aside from Sparda, this also happens to Trish, and in 5, the reveal that V's summons committed Suicide by Cop via Dante so that Vergil won't suffer the mental trauma from Mundus's torture any longer.
  • Hellfire:
    • Ifrit from 1 is stated to be projecting this.
    • Furiataurus from 2 seems to be covered in it and bleeds lava when attacked.
    • Berial from 4 too, him being the "Conqueror of the Fire Hell."
    • In the Chronicles of Vergil comic spin-off for DmC, Hellfire is described as a place or a dimension. It is where Dante was imprisoned one year before the events of the game.
  • Holy Water: A standard item throughout the series. It blasts all Mooks nearby when used, and takes a good chunk out of any boss's health-meter. Handy on the lower difficulty-levels, a vital resource on the higher ones.
  • Homage: Several moves are callbacks to past Capcom games, mostly from the Street Fighter franchise. For example, Dante's uppercut moves resemble the Shoryuken, Nero's Devil Triggered Buster against the Alto Angelos being identical to Zangief's Ultra Final Atomic Buster, Killer Bee/Starfall is Akuma's Tenma Kujinkyaku, Volcano appears to be Akuma's Kongo Koretsu Zan from Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, Rising Dragon is the Shoryuken with bits of the Shinryuken added in, Divine Dragon resembles the Shinryuken even more, and Tornado is the Shinkuu Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku. There are also callbacks outside of Street Fighter though, such as Hyper Fist being a reference to the Hokuto Hyakuretsu Ken from Fist of the North Star.
  • Hunter of His Own Kind:
    • In the backstory, Sparda turned against his fellow demons and sealed them back to their own world. His son, Dante, is a half-devil demon hunter who hunts demons that sneak into the world.
    • The same thing applies to some of Dante's allies, like Trish (a full demon) and Nero (a quarter-demon) who are also part of the Devil May Cry gig. In 2, Lucia is a full-blooded demon who was discarded by her creator for being a "defect", and was adopted by a clan of demon hunters who themselves have demon blood.
  • Hybrid Power: Sid in TAS, Agnus in 4, and Urizen in 5 wonder why Dante is stronger than they are, despite all three claiming a difference in power - Sid had absorbed Abigail's power before being defeated, whereas Agnus claims that Dante is "not human", and Urizen had gotten a recent power boost. While Dante never gives Agnus a completely straight answer, it pretty much boils down that although Dante has the power of demons, it's also because he has the soul of a human that makes him more powerful, which can easily be applied to Nero as well and Vergil later on in 5. Director Hideki Kamiya of 1 has tweeted that it's because humans have heart, which demons lack, as well that Dante chooses to live as a human.
    Dante to Sid: "It's about souls. ... Basically, here's the story, Sid. Someone like you who's let a soul rot can't measure up by just getting some power, not to someone with a real soul. That's not how it works down here."
    Dante to Agnus: "You surrendered your humanity. It's that simple."
    Dante to Urizen: "It's not about loss... Strength is a choice! Fighting like hell to protect what matters! You threw away everything you ever had! No wonder you have no true power!"
  • Idiosyncratic Combo Levels: The series played a major part in popularizing this trope in video game form. The names vary between games but are consistently alphabetical from D to A, then go from S to SSS afterwards.
    • 1 has "Dull", "Cool!", "Bravo!", " Absolute!" and "Stylish!"
    • 2 has "Don't worry", "Come on!", "Bingo!", "Are you ready?" and "Showtime!!"
    • 3 takes it further with "Dope!", "Crazy!", "Blast!", "Alright!", "Sweet!", "SShowtime!!" and "SSStylish!!!"
    • 4 has "Deadly!", "Carnage!", "Brutal!", "Atomic!", "Smokin'!", "Smokin' Style!" and "Smokin' Sick Style!"
    • 5 has "Dismal!", "Crazy!", "Badass!", "Apocalyptic!", "Savage!", "Sick Skills!" and "Smokin' Sexy Style!"
    • DmC has "Dirty!", "Cruel!", "Brutal!", "Anarchic!", "Savage!", "SSadistic!!", and "SSSensational!!!".
  • Idle Animation:
    • In 1, Dante had a different animation for whatever firearm he had equipped. With Ebony and Ivory, he would twirl them and put them away, whereas when equipped with the shotgun, grenade launcher, or Nightmare-Beta, he would put one hand in his pocket while he would rest his weapon arm on his shoulder.
    • In 3, Dante would scratch his head in annoyance, cross his arms, and tap his foot impatiently.
    • In 4, Nero would inspect his arm. Dante actually 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.
    • In DmC, Dante would turn his head from side to side.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • There seems to be a Running Gag of Dante getting impaled at least once per game. In 1, it's Force Edge and Alastor, in 3, Vergil stabs him twice, in 4, he gets impaled and pinned to a statue of Sparda in the game's opening by Nero, in 5, Dante stabs himself with the Rebellion to obtain Devil Sword Dante and his Sin Devil Trigger.
    • Nero getting stabbed the first time by a lance and then a demonic living sword before awakening his Devil Trigger.
    • Vergil finally gets to have his turn at being impaled in 5. He separated his human and demon halves by impaling himself with the Yamato. During the final boss fight in Mission 20, he can impale Nero first if the player times right, which immediately prompts Nero to yank out Yamato and impale Vergil in return.
    • Even the enemies are on the receiving end of this: Phantom meets his end this way after falling through a ceiling and landing on a statue's spear. Griffon is also pinned to a sacrificial pentagram by a giant pointy rock.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Dante, Vergil, and Nero can pull off some moves that would require superhuman strength, speed, and reflexes, or are backed by supernatural abilities. The series made them demonstrate ridiculous tricks with the sword, like; catching and parrying bullets, tossing enemies away with a baseball swing, making blinding-fast stabs with one hand, creating portals and distortions out of thin air, sending shockwaves via slashes, tossing the sword and making it return like a boomerang, igniting the sword in flames, etc...
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Clothing in the Devil May Cry series seems to boast a Healing Factor, as they appear to regenerate from wounds inflicted on their wearers.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: There are a couple of weapons that are just cool. Others are impossibly awesome.
    • From 3, Nevan deserves mention. It's a literal "electric guitar". Also, no nunchuks are as cool as large-size three-sided ones like Cerberus that can spout ice.
    • From 4: 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.
    • From 5, Blue Rose and Red Queen return, while Dante has Cavaliere (a chainsaw-motorcycle hybrid) and Dr. Faust (A Nice Hat that absorbs Red orbs and can unleash attacks such as meteorites).
  • In Harm's Way: A meta example as the player is tasked with taking a more high-risk, high-reward approach to combat due to the Style rank. There are ways to go about battles without putting yourself in a lot of danger (like by using firearms from a distance or by relying on aerial combos to keep you above the action on the ground) but these will result in a weak Style rating since repetitiveness is punished. So the only way to keep the Style meter cranked up is by getting right into the mix, varying your assault to get a higher ranking, all while running the risk of taking a blind-side attack that will deplete the Style rank you're fighting so hard for.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: For 3, a stuntman named Reuben Langdon was brought in to do mocap for Dante, and he later became the character's official voice actor as well. There's Daniel Southworth as Vergil also in 3, and Johnny Yong Bosch as Nero in 4. They also returned to reprise their roles in 5.
  • It Was a Gift:
    • For the twins, Yamato and Rebellion to Vergil and Dante respectively, are passed down by Sparda. Their mother Eva also gave them amulets.
    • In the finale of 4, Dante lets Nero keep the Yamato when Nero tries to return it to its "rightful" owner.
  • "Just Frame" Bonus: All of the games in the series have this to some extent.
    • The most common example having the player delay one attack somewhere in the basic combo, which completely changes the rest of the combo. DmC: Devil May Cry helps players time the delay by having Dante's sword shine at the point the next attack should be.
    • Some charged attacks have a small window in which letting go of the attack button right as the attack hits max charge results in either a more powerful or faster attack, such as Dante's Drive or Vergil's Judgement Cut.
    • Dante's Royalguard style takes advantage of such proper timings when an opponent is about to hit him. "Just" Block nullifies all damage, while "Just" Release is a stronger Counter-Attack.
    • Nero's optimal playstyle revolves entirely around this. Normally, the Red Queen's Exceed attacks need to be revved up, which is a lengthy process, but if the player presses the rev button at specific points in any attack, the Red Queen instantly gets one Exceed charge. One upgrade allows players to get all three Exceed charges at once, but has an even tighter timing window than the normal version.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Yamato is such an absurdly powerful weapon that can do ridiculous feats regardless of the wielder. It can take down monoliths with one slash, One-Hit Kill a lot of enemies in cutscenes (usually via Delayed Causality), open portals, catch bullets and line them up, etc... It's also the major plot device during the events of 4.
  • Kill Enemies to Open: Doors sometimes become locked with magical barriers, requiring you to kill all the demons in the room before proceeding. In the first three games, the demonic barriers will smack you if you try to get close to them.
  • Lag Cancel:
    • "Jump Cancel" allows you to bounce off an enemy while both of you are airborne in order to repeat an action that can normally only be done once in a single jump. This is technically "unofficial" (since Enemy Hike is really meant as a tool to change your direction in the air when near an enemy) but Capcom has never removed it (back when it was originally known as "Shotgun Hiking" in the first game) and by Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition, they are actively acknowledging its existence for the first time.
    • Quick movements can also cancel an attack's animation, allowing the player to input another move earlier than intended. For example in 3, moving just a fraction while using the shotgun cancels its reloading time, and jumping or rolling cancels the (longer) reload time on the Grenade Launcher. In 3 and onwards, 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) in Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition 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.
  • Launcher Move: Dante's "High Time" move since 1, where you could stylishly suspend enemies in the air with sustained gunfire. Sequels later made this a recurring technique, introduced air combos, character-specific variants (e.g. Nero's "High Roller") and more ways of launching enemies airborne.
  • Light Is Not Good: Mundus' appearance in 1, Argosax's final form in 2, Beowulf and the Fallen from 3, and the entire Order of the Sword from 4 all evoke light, angels and holiness, but are actually antagonists.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Dante, Vergil, Nero. Trish might be a literal example, although she also has Super Strength. And then there is Beowulf in 3, a towering behemoth who is surprisingly agile and loves to beat you down with nothing more than his claws.
  • Locked Door: All over 1 and 2. Some simple puzzles in 3. By the way, don't go near the locked doors, they'll turn into a giant hand and grab your soul away from you.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • The "R to L and vice-versa" problem when translating between Japanese and English.
      • Nelo Angelo is the single greatest cause of fan argument for this whole series starting from 1. Among the reasons why that aren't spoilerriffic, his name is mistranslated: it is supposed to mean "Black Angel" in Italian, but thanks to the problem the Japanese have with R's and L's, the letter got switched up: thus his name would accurately be Nero Angelo (for once the R is actually supposed to be there). The kicker of it all regarding Nelo Angelo? In the game's Japanese manual, it's spelled — IN ENGLISH — "Nero Angelo". The whole deal with the "Nelo Angelo vs. Nero Angelo" translation also seeped in when 4 was still in development and announced to have a protagonist named Nero.
      • In the more usual fashion with Berial. As always, the name is (almost certainly) supposed to be "Belial", but the Japanese are apparently incapable of getting that right or the English translation team never catches it.
    • In 5, this trope caused some plot holes for the English dub. For example, Dante taunts Vergil about his abusive parenting by calling him out for ripping off his own son's arm. Vergil's response is "My son...means nothing to me!" which sounds cold-hearted even for Vergil. Apparently, the actual dialogue in Japanese was supposed to be Vergil simply being clueless and not understanding what Dante is talking about, but the way it comes across in the English script gives the sequence its funny outcome.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Pandora's "Argument" move in 4 and Kalina Ann's "Hysteric" move in 3, 4:SE and 5 all spray a cluster of missiles.
  • Made of Iron:
    • The descendants of Sparda have a massive Healing Factor to explain this.
    • Lady manages to shrug off some serious damage despite being entirely human.
    • Pretty much every demonic enemy that can be encountered. HOW many hits with a BFS does it take to kill even a single one of them? This is later demonstrated in 5: As Red Grave City is invaded by demons, the soldiers with ordinary firearms find it hard to even kill the weakest Mooks.
  • Meteor Move: The games allow you to smack enemies into the air and also considers enemy bodies as targets for wall-jumping. Hilarity ensues. For some reason, this is far more satisfying to do in the first game, possibly because the game's combo reward system doesn't expect you to torment enemies like this.
  • Monster Arena: From 2 onwards, a feature known as "Bloody Palace" is included in the games. In it, the player is faced against waves of common demons with increasing levels of difficulty on subsequent floors, while bosses are fought at regular intervals.
  • Mook Debut Cutscene: Nearly every single enemy in the series has a special introductory cutscene. DmC introduced the trend of showing the names after a dramatic pause, which is implemented again in 5 complete with Boss Subtitles.
  • More Dakka:
    • Dante's "Honeycomb Fire" is a move for the Ebony & Ivory which increases his fire rate at the cost of standing still.
    • Upgrading the Gunslinger style in 3 lets you shoot faster in general, plus you can use Kalina Ann's mini Macross Missile Massacre. Also the Artemis has multi-target-lock.
    • The cutscene where Dante acquires Pandora in 4. First a minigun, then 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:
    • In 1, the Sparda weapon (the ultimate form of the Force Edge) works like this, changing from a sword, to a spear, to a sickle, depending on your moves.
    • In 3, Nevan, is an electric guitar Devil Arm that can morph into a sickle when swung.
    • 4 has Pandora, a suitcase that can turn into a bowgun, missile-launcher, minigun, laser, buzzsaw, or even a flying missile platform!
    • Dante's Rebellion is cast as this in DmC. It's a sword that can tap into Dante's Angelic or Demonic heritages, thus changing its form into either a scythe or an axe.
  • Mundane Utility: Some Key Items do basic things like opening a door or dispelling a barrier, but their appearances or item descriptions can be over-dramatic or unexpected. For example: In 1, there are items that resemble weapons (Staff of Judgment, Death Sentence, Trident, Pair of Lances) but are only used to unlock doors. In 3, you get to use the Steel Soul (containing the brave soul of an immortal and invincible hero) to open ONE door, and so on...
  • Mythology Upgrade: When the games aren't screwing mythology up, they're doing this.
    • Cerberus's ice powers in 3, for instance. It might make sense if you remember that in The Divine Comedy, Cerberus is the keeper of the Gluttony sinners, who are tormented by hailstorms.
    • In 1, Alastor is a sword found impaled into a statue of the Judge of Death. In demonology, Alastor is the name given to the supreme arbiter of the court of Hell, or alternately, Hell's chief Executioner. Furthermore, Alastor is a Greek term for "avenger", notably both a title given to Zeus and the name of a man executed by Zeus, which would explain the lightning attacks in the game.
  • Named Weapons: Most of the playable characters' weapons are given names (Rebellion, Ebony & Ivory, Yamato, Kalina Ann, Red Queen, Blue Rose, Arbiter, Osiris, etc...). By extension, the Devil Arms retain the name of their respective demons (Sparda, Nevan, Beowulf, Agni & Rudra, Gilgamesh, etc...)
  • Nemesis Weapon: Whether its the original continuity nor the DmC continuity, Dante's sword Rebellion and Vergil's katana Yamato were handed down by their father, Sparda. The two twins are bitter enemies.
  • New Game+: Upgrades and unlockables are carried over across playthroughs for as long as they are on the same save file. This feature is almost compulsory for the higher difficulty levels; in fact, one of the most difficult Self Imposed Challenges is to play Dante Must Die! mode without using this.
  • Nintendo Hard: The franchise is known for this.
    • In fact, one of the reasons people dislike the second game so much is that the game is a damn sight easier than its predecessor.
    • Special note should be made of the initial Western release of DMC3, as the release saw the Easy mode removed and the other difficulties all down ranked in name to compensate; so Normal mode was actually the Hard mode from the Eastern release. When the Special Edition was released later, the difficulties were kept the same as the Japanese release. As the Western "Hard" difficulty had no analogous equivalent in the Japanese version, it was given the new title "Very Hard" in Special Edition.
  • No Fair Cheating: The Super costumes (unlocked by completing Dante Must Die mode) grant the character infinite Devil Trigger energy (as well as other added features like instant MAX-Acts for Nero or a perma-full Concentration Gauge for Vergil). However, health regeneration is disabled, moves that use DT Energy (Like Time-Lag, Showdown, or Summoned Swords) will still drain the meter down (and in the case of Royalgaurd style in 5, you have to put yourself into a cool down state for the Revenge Gauge to refill back to max), and starting from 4 onwards, using Super costumes will cut your total mission score by a certain percentage.
  • Non-Linear Sequel: 3 comes before 1 before 2 before 4 before 5. DmC was originally a prequel to 3 before it eventually became a reboot.
  • Occult Blue Eyes: Dante, Vergil, and Nero all have bright blue eyes. All three are part demon and have powers attributed to their demonic heritage.
  • Offhand Backhand:
    • In every game after the first, Dante can fire one of his twin pistols in a direction he's not facing, a move referred to as "Twosome Time"; notable in that Dante will frequently pick improbable poses for this (i.e. firing forward and left has him point his left gun forward and his right one behind his back). There's also a move that lets him swing his shotgun around like it's a nunchaku, hitting enemies in every direction without specifically having to turn towards them.
    • One recurring trend in cutscenes involves gunslingers like Dante, Nero and Trish shooting demons surrounding them without even looking behind.
    • In 3:
      • Dante does this in many forms in his intro. Some notable ones include kicking a mook that is being dragged with him because said mook's scythe is stuck in him and another blade by cutting down a ceiling fan onto the mooks below using a scythe blade lodged in his chest. All that and he's just walking over to his jukebox.
      • Vergil also pulls an incredibly badass one of these on a Hell Vanguard, delivering an inhumanly fast Diagonal Cut with Yamato.
    • In 4:
      • 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.
    • In 5:
      • In the scene leading up to the final battle, Nero does this to Dante with one of his Devil Bringer wings/arms to stop him and Vergil from trying to kill each other.
      • Dante and Vergil deliver a simultaneous one to Nero when they leave for the Demon World to cut off the Qliphoth's roots and Nero tries to stop them towards the end.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting:
    • This is usually present as the background music when you visit the Divine Statues.
    • The second and third battles with Vergil in 3 feature battle music that ends in a foreboding chant. Also, the song "Stage Music 9 (Demon World) by Tetsuya Shibata begins with nothing but such chanting.
    • In 4, Ominous Chanting makes up a considerable portion of the soundtrack. Considering the game's Crystal Dragon Jesus themes, this makes perfect sense.
    • It's also present quite a bit in 2, primarily in levels, cutscenes, and boss battles during the latter half of the game.
  • Once an Episode:
    • Dante is impaled on his own sword at least once in every installment, barring 2.
    • Breaking glass ceilings either by Dante or by some other recurring character.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • Can be done to some enemies in the first game by hitting them in a specific way: Sin Scissors can be killed in a single shotgun blast by shooting their masks point blank right after they attack and Blades can be killed with a single downwards air attack on their back after being knocked down from behind. Both of them give some extra Red Orbs before the ones they normally drop after their death animation to show the player they did it correctly... as if the Blades flailing around on the ground spraying blood everywhere wasn't enough of an indication.
    • In 1, it's also possible to do this on a boss fight during Mission 8. If the player lures Phantom to jump and land on the glass platform five times, it would break, making him fall and be skewered with a large spike.
    • In 4, a well-timed counterattack (including Buster, firearms, melee weapons) against the energy ball fired by an Alto and several Bianco Angelos (if in formation) can easilly net a SSS rank and kills all the Angelos that fired it (especially true if the Alto is weak or doesn't have a high enough vitality). A Buster also instantly kills any Chimera Seed that hasn't attached itself to a host.
    • Sin Scissors return in 5 and they can be one-hit killed by parrying their attack with a melee weapon first, then using any other attack to finish them off.
  • One-Hit Point Wonder:
    • In the "Heaven or Hell" mode from 3 onwards, everyone dies in one hit - the player, enemies, even bosses.
    • "Hell or Hell" difficulty in 4 onwards only makes the playable character this while enemies and bosses have regular health.
  • One-Winged Angel:
    • Various playable characters have Devil Trigger forms that make them look monstrous.
    • Some villains from the original continuity were humans who converted themselves into demons. Their transformations usually make them monstrous or hideous than before: Arkham from 3 goes from an already unpleasant humanoid demon form to an even worse blob form, Credo from 4 turns into a literal "One-Winged Angel", while Agnus looks like an insectoid instead of an angel.
    • DmC has demons who disguised themselves as humans but later had to reveal their true forms when fighting Dante. Bob Barbas's real form is a giant holographic face with huge, fire-like mishmashes of data coming out of his head. Mundus ditches his "Kyle Ryder" disguise to become a colossal humanoid living statue made out of Limbo City itself.
  • Only One Name: Most characters (especially the main cast like Dante, Vergil, Nero, Trish, Lady, Lucia) and demons aren't given surnames.
  • Our Demons Are Different:
    • The lesser demons are Always Chaotic Evil, while higher devils are not. They may occasionally do a Heel–Face Turn because of that, like in Sparda's case.
    • Appearance-wise, just about every demon is completely different to each other and the sheer variety of what can be a demon is a little mind boggling. Living Puppets and Scarecrows? Demons. Human-sized lizards with shields and armour? Demon. Angelic suits of armour? Demon. Giant plant snake lady? Demon. Cat made of darkness? Demon. Flying whale? Demon. A clown? Demon.
    • Certain individuals also have demonic blood mixed with their human nature, but gain a full-on demonic appearance when using their Devil Trigger. Dante and Vergil are draconic humanoid lizards in their devil forms, while Nero's physical Devil Trigger in 5 resembles a Japanese Oni with spectral wing-arms.
    • In DmC, demons can disguise themselves as humans and blend into society.
  • Our Souls Are Different: Done to a head-scratching degree in this series.
    • In 3, the souls of defeated demons turn into Devil Arms/combat Styles for use by whoever gets them, but it's never known what exactly happens to a human soul once their bodies are destroyed.
    • In 1, devils are pretty much referred to as having no souls at all to speak of, and the same is said about humans that "become devils" in 3 and 4.
    • Anyone expecting 4 to be consistent with 3, though, is going to get very confused at Echidna, Bael, Dagon, and Berial not turning into Devil Arms after being beaten.
    • In DmC, the Lost Souls are human souls who are trapped in Limbo. They are found stuck on walls and wail in agony when Dante gets close. "Collecting" or attacking them releases Red Orbs.
  • Parental Abandonment: Some characters are on the receiving end of this:
    • Dante and Vergil (Eva died while Sparda disappeared when they were young)
    • Lady (her father Arkham killed her mother for power)
    • Nero (never knew his parents until he learns that Vergil's his father in 5).
  • Planet Heck: The first three games have near-endgame levels set in the Demon World.
  • Power Fist:
    • Dante has several of these, such as Ifrit in 1, Beowulf in 3, Gilgamesh in 4, Balrog in 5. The latter three combine this with Armed Legs.
    • In DmC, there's Eryx, a pair of demonic flaming gauntlets.
    • In 5, Many of Nero's large arsenal of Devil Breaker arms he uses during combat are attributed to this.
  • The Power of Love: Alongside Hybrid Power, it's a recurring theme throughout DMC. In the backstory, a demon being able to love a human is exemplified through Sparda and Eva. Humanity's capacity for love can make them stronger than demons, exemplified in 4 (Nero's love to Kyrie) and 5 (Nero's love to his uncle Dante and father Vergil).
  • Practical Taunt:
    • Taunting restores your Devil Trigger gauge and your Style gauge. Sometimes, it can be the difference between an SS combo and an SSS combo. The taunts also vary depending on your current Stylish Rank.
    • Vergil and Trish in 4:SE have taunts that do damage to enemies right in front of them.
  • Rated M for Manly: The series is all about Demon Slaying in stylish-as-hell Rule of Cool fashion. The playable characters' fighting styles also incorporate a lot of martial arts and kung-fu (Dante), Iaijutsu (Vergil), or wrestling (Nero). All of the games' music and songs also use rock and/or Badass Boasts.
  • Real-Time Weapon Change: Starting with 2, you could switch between your firearms on the fly but it would take until 3 for Dante to also be able to swap between his Devil Arms and truly amp up the possible style combinations. Technically being able to switch between firearms and melee weapons has been there since the start and is an integral part of the experience.
  • Recurring Riff: Happens quite a few times from game-to-game. Bits of "Devils Never Cry", the main theme of 3, tend to work their way into music for battles or cutscenes involving Vergil. "Dance With Devils", the intro of 2, has its octave changed to serve as "Evil Tower" (the theme of the battle with Nefasturris) while its guitar riff and Ominous Latin Chanting respectively are featured in "Shoot The Works" (Dante's second battle theme) and "Cry For The Moon" (Arius' boss theme). Dante's battle theme in 4 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, "Silver Bullet" is essentially a remix of "Devil Trigger" in 5, etc...
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Dante & Vergil is the main example, along with having their respective color-coded outfits.
    • Dante/Nero is at least a partial inversion. Nero, wearing blue, is the one prone to emotional outbursts, though he is still pretty levelheaded. Dante, wearing red, is the mysterious and somewhat more stoic one, though he still keeps his brand of wacky. He spends a boss fight getting Nero to cool off. Dante progressively becomes more Red during his own section of DMC4, though not by much.
  • Retcon:
    • Most plot points in 1 got retconned when the prequel game, 3, got released and were followed up by other sequels and spin-off materials:
      • In 4, Lady (who appeared in 3) works in the Devil May Cry business. But in 1 (taking place between 3 and 4), Dante clearly works alone and there is no mention of another partner besides Trish even at the end.
      • Force Edge was originally a memento handed down to Dante by his father. 2 changed the sword to Rebellion and Force Edge was stuck in the Demon World in 3 until Dante takes it back with him in the end.
      • Trish remarks that Dante "lost a mother and brother to evil twenty years ago." 3 has Dante encounter his brother a decade or so after Eva's death, and Vergil's status as an antagonist is very questionable. Kamiya's concept was that Vergil was kidnapped when Eva was killed, which explains why Dante didn't recognize Nelo Angelo: why would he connect an evil demon trying to kill him with a little kid who was never anything but a good boy? The memory the amulet triggered was one of his most recent of Vergil. The author of the first novel decided to ignore this and make Vergil free, evil, and badass, meaning that Dante should have had more recent not just memories but good memories of him since they were temporary partners. Then 3 decided to copy the first novel's Vergil and the second novel's plot.
      • Dante's speech to Trish in 1 implies that he and Vergil never actually knew Sparda, and all the twins had to go by were the stories Eva would tell them of him. Vergil apparently reminds Dante of Sparda, but the kind of guy that Vergil is just makes that comparison mind-boggling.
        Dante: "My mother always used to tell me that my father was a man who fought for the weak. He had courage and a righteous heart."
      • The name "Devil May Cry" comes from Enzo Ferino's testimony in the handbook (in reference to Dante: "He glares at a guy, and even the devil may cry!") and later was changed to the Title Drop by Lady ("Even a devil may cry when he loses a loved one"). The reason for "Devil Never Cry" returning back to "Devil May Cry" was because of Trish asking Dante to do so in volume 1 of the audio drama CD, prior to her meeting Lady in episode 4 of the anime. Trish wanted to travel around the world by herself, and "Devil Never Cry" meant that they owned the shop together, to which Dante agrees.
      • In 1, Trish was the first to know about Dante's quest for revenge. In the manga for the third game, the Mad Hatter and White Rabbit (and by extension, Arkham) knew as well.
    • A timeline variation happened after the release of 5. The order of events in the series went from 3, 1, the anime, 4, 2 and finally 5. However, an official trailer on the history of Devil May Cry now has 4 coming after 2.
  • Rewarding Vandalism:
    • Breaking background objects yields red or green orbs.
    • A very slight subversion happens in 4: In the first fight against Berial, the houses in the area yield health orbs after being destroyed. However, the player isn't the one doing the "vandalism", Berial himself would destroy the houses during the fight.
  • Ruder and Cruder: While 4 started a trend of using profanity (like Nero's "bullshits" and middle finger), it gets taken to an extreme in DmC, where practically every character is a complete Sir Swears-a-Lot, with the infamous example occurring during the encounter with the Succubus when she and Dante exchange F-bombs. 5 continued this trend but it's still tamer than DmC. Nero swears in the final mission, Dante says "shit" to Urizen, and Morrison calls Lady and Trish "bitches".
  • Rule of Cool: Serves as the physics engine for the universe, it seems. Also applies at a meta-level, as Hideki Kamiya was inspired to include the juggle mechanic in the original game due to a bug that caused enemies to float in the early versions of Onimusha: Warlords. Several of the cutscenes are impractically over-the-top purely for raw awesome factor (Dante fighting demons by swinging a motorcycle around, anyone?).
  • Sadly Mythtaken:
    • Cerberus, the guard dog of the Underworld, is an ice elemental in the third game, making him more of a Mythology Upgrade to his Divine Comedy counterpart.
    • The character design for Beowulf is actually based on Pazuzu. It has four wings, a scorpion tail, claws and talons and a lion-like face?.
    • The Basilisks from 4 are straight up Hellhounds rather than the snake-like beast from European legends.
    • Geryon, in Greek mythology, was a hideous giant that looked like three men fused into one. In Dante's Inferno, he is a serpent-like creature with wings and a human face. There's never been a depiction of him as a horse.
    • Agni and Rudra are no longer the Hindu gods of fire and the storm respectively, but instead sentient scimitars wielded by headless brutes. While Rudra in Hindu mythology does have a secondary rubric in storms (and thus connected to winds), his primary shtick is as an archer. The Hindu god of wind is Vayu.
  • Shielded Core Boss:
    • Leviathan's Heart, from 3, is encased in a hard shell that opens up for a short time when one of two adjacent organs is destroyed and before it regenerates.
    • Nevan, also from 3, has an electrical shield that drops when all of the bats surrounding her are destroyed. And then you must instantly attack her at least once or else she'll immediately regenerate the shield to full.
    • Subverted by Jokatgulm in 2. You can bypass hacking away at her tentacles and instead go straight for her head, but that merely makes the fight more difficult.
    • During both fights against Sanctus in 4, he is protected by a force field that you must destroy to damage him.
    • In 5, Urizen puts up a shield that Nero or Dante must destroy before he can be damaged. After some time, he will regenerate the shield and while it goes down easier, his attacks became more aggressive and hits much harder.
  • Shock and Awe:
    • Trish, Griffon, Blitz, Nevan and King Cerberus are demons who naturally have lightning powers. The latter two also retain their powers even after they become weapons for Dante.
    • The Alastor sword and Nero's Overture Devil Breaker are lightning-elemental weapons.
  • Shout-Out Theme Naming:
    • Almost everyone to The Divine Comedy. The series' Theme Naming borrows heavily from it.
      • Dante - Writer and main character of The Divine Comedy.
      • Vergil - Dante's guide through Hell and Purgatory that was based on a real Roman poet Publius Vergilius Maro.
      • Trish - Derived from Beatrice, Dante's lover and guide through Heaven.
      • Lucia - Taken from Saint Lucia (Lucia in Latin), a Christian martyr who acts as an intermediate and instructs Virgil to lead Dante through Hell and Purgatory.
      • Lady/Mary - Refers to the Catholic Madonna ("Our Lady" in Italian), otherwise known as the Virgin Mary.
    • Apart from The Divine Comedy, various other sources get referenced or used along the way, such as William Blake in 5 via the character named Urizen.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Metal Gear. Devil May Cry is a Japanese action game series with many nods to American action cinema. Twin sons fight over their inexplicably missing father's legacy.
  • Sprint Shoes:
    • Stinger has this as its mechanic. Fun fact: if you use Stinger and jump off a cliff, you jump insanely far.
    • In the earlier games, Dante's Devil Trigger form could also increase his movement speed on certain conditions (equipping Alastor in 1, using the Majin Form in 2, equipping Rebellion or Cerberus in 3). 4 and 5 has the "Speed" ability which allows the player character to sprint properly after a bit of sustained jogging. V's version of "Speed" is named "Quickplay" instead.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Sparda, Dante, Vergil and Nero have recurring physical traits that run in the family, such as white hair and blue eyes.
  • Super Mode:
    • Devil Trigger boosts the offensive capabilities of characters, enhances most of their moves and grants a Healing Factor.
    • Any of the "Super" characters since they usually include a permanent Devil Trigger form plus other bonuses.
  • Sword Beam: Certain recurring moves by Dante (including his DmC counterpart), Vergil and Nero make them release energy waves from their blades.
    • 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 of 4, Nero produces energy beams by swinging the Yamato.
  • Sword Sparks: Almost any time when blades clash against each other.
    • In 3, Dante and Vergil lock swords so hard that not only do sparks fly, their weapons start glowing red-hot from the sheer friction being produced. A similar scene happens in 5 when the brothers lock swords again after Vergil re-emerged.
    • This happens in the lengthy Buster sequence between Nero and Dante in 4, swinging their swords so hard that sparks flash upon each contact.
    • A slow-motion variant happens in DmC when Dante and Vergil lock swords near the finale.
  • Theme Naming:
    • Five of the important characters draw their names from The Divine Comedy.
    • The Seven Hells from 3 are named after the Seven Deadly Sins, although the semblance is spotty at best.
    • In 4:
      • 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.
  • Trope Maker: The Devil May Cry series is this for the Stylish Action sub-genre of 3D games, and the first game of which was directed by eventual Bayonetta creator Hideki Kamiya. The third entry, largely considered to be the series' finest installment, is often seen as the "refinement" of the genre, while the fifth game is considered a masterpiece of Stylish Action.
  • Turns Red:
    • Several bosses become more aggressive or receive new mechanics and moves after their HP is reduced to a certain threshold. For example, Vergil takes advantage of this regardless of the continuity (In 3, his Devil Trigger lasts longer, while in DmC and 5, he summons a Doppelganger), Nevan (She starts to use her Kiss of Death move), etc... A few of them may even undergo a change in appearance, such as Cerberus, Bael and Dagon literally turning red.
    • Even Elite Mooks can have this tactic, such as Blitzes moving faster when they're about to die.
    • Taken Up to Eleven on the "Must Die" difficulty of the games. Every enemy can enter their Devil Trigger phase if left alive for too long. This makes them tougher, faster, much more aggressive and sometimes gain new moves.
  • Updated Re-release:
    • Devil May Cry HD Collection is a compilation of remastered HD ports of the first 3 installments of the series
    • Both 3 4, and 5 were given "Special Editions" that added new playable characters among other features.
    • DmC calls it "Definitive Edition" instead, featuring all DLCs and some gameplay tweaks.
  • Vague Age: Even though the characters mature or grow up in later installments, the series doesn't explicitly mention anyone's exact ages, protagonists and antagonists alike.
  • Victor Gains Loser's Powers: Started in 3, continued in 4 and 5. Nero has a lesser version of this, but Dante (and Vergil while he was alive) can turn the spirits of defeated enemies into weapons. This is the implied origin of Ifrit and Alastor from 1, presumably thanks to Sparda.
  • Wall Jump: While jumping and making contact with walls, pressing the jump button again makes the player character do this trope. This enables them to reach higher locations even before the Air Hike ability is unlocked.
  • Who You Gonna Call?:
    • The eponymous shop, Devil May Cry, hunts demons and devils for a fee. Apparently, the business has been confused for a more generic We Help the Helpless outfit before, hence Dante having a password that only those really needing demons slain would get. Initially, Dante was the only one slaying demons around, but over time, he later had this gig extended to his allies like Lady, Trish, and Nero. The latter even got his own Devil May Cry sign and placed it on Nico's van.
    • The Order of the Sword from 4 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.
    • It has been suggested, at least in the expanded materials like the novels, that there are other little demon-hunting outfits in the universe.
  • World of Badass: You know you're dealing with a World of Badass when even the humans are Made of Iron.
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already:
    • Some attacks must be purchased before they can be used no matter what, even if the method to use them is as simple as holding the analog stick towards or away from a locked-on enemy.
    • Replaying missions with abilities, items, and weapons unlocked from previous playthroughs also results in this. For example, the Key Items in 4 are absorbed into Nero's Devil Bringer. The Evil Legacy item in particular, permanently gives him the Snatch and Hell bound abilities, yet you cannot latch onto Grim Grips unless you interact with the now-empty pedestal that once housed the aforementioned Evil Legacy.

     Additional tropes from spin-offs and other media 
  • Adaptational Badass: In the Devil May Cry 4 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 Devil May Cry 4 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 Distillation: One can somewhat call it this way from a translation perspective in regards to the first two novels, as several lines present in the original Japanese aren't used in Tokyopop's versions.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The cutscenes of the Devil May Cry 4 pachislot shows 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.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: For some reason, the Tokyopop translation of the manga has Dante drinking beer instead of tomato juice. Apparently a fondness for tomato juice is too quirky a trait for Dante to have.
  • Animal Sweet on Object: There's a manga where Dante says that he once proposed to a mop while drunk.
  • Bandaged Face: In the first prequel novel, Gilver aka Vergil.
  • Intentional Engrish for Funny: A sort-of retconned version - concept art for Ebony and Ivory in the first game had "FOR TONY REDGRAVE, BY .45 ART WARKS" written on the slides. When presented with the perfect opportunity to fix that with the novel, they instead ran with it, where even the sign outside the aforementioned shop spells the word "work" incorrectly, and Dante makes fun of the owner for being a bad speller.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Dante in the first prequel novel, verging on split personality syndrome, going by "Tony Redgrave". Justified because he's basically in deep denial: Vergil keeps trying to give obvious hints and Dante refuses to pick up on them until Vergil pulls all the stops by causing Nell to die the way Eva did.
  • Light Novel: Three novels with events that precede games 1, 2, and 5 respectively (although the first novel got booted out of canon because of 3), while two more are actually a two-part novelization of 4.
  • The Movie: Apparently, and apparently based on DmC, but due to DmC's... contentious presence in the franchise, it's unknown if it'll be used.
  • Orphaned Series: The 1 comic by Dreamwave due to the company folding, and 3's prequel manga due to the artist quitting before volume 3.
  • Shout-Out: The Devil May Cry 3 manga has a "dungeon" that is practically a nightmarish version of Alice in Wonderland, as well as characters named Alice and Mad Hatter.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Dante in the first prequel novel, apparently due to Eva's death.


We are falling
The night is calling
Tears inside me
Calm me down...
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