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YMMV / Dirge of Cerberus

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Depending on your point of view, Lucrecia can come across as either a remorseful victim of Hojo's insanity looking to make amends for harming the only man who ever really loved her, or as a callous heartbreaker who strung Vincent along for years, accidentally killed his father, dumped him for Hojo, and then experimented on her own son in utero, only to seal herself inside a crystal because she just couldn't live with herself any more. And Vincent still loves her.
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    • The Tsviets. Are they only monsters who committed atrocious actions for purely selfish motives or are they sympathetic people who were raised that way and driven insane due to the inhuman treatment they suffered? Well, it depends when you come to the characters themselves one to one.
    • Weiss in the online game: a Nominal Hero who did it right to kill the Restrictors or a monster?
    • Nero: Were his feelings for Weiss simply an extreme form of brotherly love or were they incestuous feelings?
    • Did Genesis come back as a new antagonist or for the purpose of saving the world? note 
    • Is Shelke's Defrosting the Ice Queen attitude toward Vincent only due to the fact that she collected Lucrecia's data to help Vincent, or does she genuinely like him?
  • Awesome Music:
    • Regardless of the game's quality, you have to admit Masashi Hamauzu did a good job.
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    • Likewise, Gackt's absolutely kick-ass songs during the gameplay and the ending credits.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Vincent got pushed pretty hard into this trope by this game, after being quite popular in the original (it's why this game exists to begin with). Always on his side were his design, mysterious nature, and cool factor; always against him was his surprising lousiness and people who found that same cool factor insufferably tryhard. Dirge added in heavy piles of (w)angst and a supremely complicated backstory that posited him as more or less central to the universe, and that's before getting into its own quality! Suffice to say that how one feels about Vincent in this game is probably how one feels about the entire Compilation project as a whole; either it fleshed out one of the best parts of the original game, it ruined the mystique of something with potential, or it took something that wasn't interesting to begin with and shoved it in the spotlight.
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  • Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game:. While opinions on the plot vary heavily, its detractors consider it to be So Bad, It's Good and its fans genuinely like it. This is in contrast with the gameplay, which puts in a pretty solid effort for "most boring shooter on the PS2."
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Believe it or not, Nero comes across as this due to his oddly compelling design, his accent and, of course, his relationship with his brother. Many see him as one of the best things in the game.
  • Evil Is Cool/Evil Is Sexy:
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Unsurprisingly, this game made a lot of people pair up Vincent and Yuffie (which was already a popular, if not slightly reaching, ship in the fandom) due to their numerous interactions, their polar opposite personalities, and the fact that they save each other quite a lot over the course of the story.
    • Weiss/Nero also has a large fanbase, largely due to the dubious nature of Nero's relationship with Weiss and his actions in the plot because of them. In terms of straight pairings, Nero/Shelke has some fans too.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Oh, where do we start? Nero's face jockstrap? Weiss's karate pants? The Deepground soldiers' Mako-infused glowing uniforms? (Though to be fair, they'll die without Mako infusions.) Rosso's butt-cape and Azul's horse blanket? Heck, even Vincent's Chaos form might count as a heroic example. This is exactly why The Dark Id's LP includes a special feature at the end of some updates titled "Fuck Tetsuya Nomura," dedicated to mocking the character designs of this game.
  • Foe Yay:
  • Fridge Logic: Reeve pilots Cait Sith remotely, a plot point from the original game. And then Reeve gets shot in this game for a brief Disney Death surprise early on, and it's Actually a Doombot piloted by Cait Sith. And then it just becomes illogical when the real Reeve and Cait Sith move actively and independently at the same time on-screen, right next to each other with no signs of remote control. No, this is never explained.
  • Ham and Cheese:
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Weiss has spiky white Anime Hair and karate pants, and during his boss fight, he has a Flash Step, he can attack you so fast you can't see his hits coming, and he dodges almost everything you throw at him. Weiss mastered Ultra Instinct over a decade before Goku did!
  • Ho Yay:
    • Or Bro Yay, as it was between Nero and Weiss.
    • Genesis has some with Weiss (who he calls "little brother") in the Secret Ending. It's justified, as all the Tsviets were spliced with Genesis's cells.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Lucrecia. She suffers horribly, but she brought nearly all of it upon herself.
    • The Tsviets fit this trope as well. They're monsters and yet you can feel sorry for them. Especially Nero. At least he has a happy ending of sorts.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Lucrecia experiments on her own son. While she's pregnant with him, no less!
    • While she's largely passive in the main game, the Multiplayer Mode has Shelke reveal the deception of the Tsviets rather sadistically to the player.
    • Deepground collectively crosses it by participating in a plan that involves massacring people and capturing the "pure" to then slaughter en masse to trick Omega into awakening.
    • Nero crosses it when he tortures Shelke. His usual abilities are largely painless and at times accidental, in comparison to this.
  • Narm:
    • Tetsuya Nomura's designs really got out of hand with this game. From the redesign of Chaos to be Bishōnen and covered in Too Many Belts, to poor Nero who effectively is wearing a jockstrap on his face.
    • The plot point involving the fact that the entire game starts off with Deepground raiding a celebration over the internet being restored. Yeah, the game doesn't outright say it at first, and dresses it up with fancy in-universe terms, but it's a global holiday for the occasion. Even worse, that whole "Hojo disappearing from being struck by lightning" in the intro? He uploaded himself to said internet, basically became a data ghost, and then possesses and re-animates Weiss - only for Weiss to erase him a good few minutes later without even a fight. It edges on spiraling the whole plot point into a borderline Big-Lipped Alligator Moment were it not for being such a catalyst, especially seeing as nothing in the original game even hinted at this sort of internet logic.
    • Shalua has lost her left eye. How does her visual design depict this? Is she wearing an eyepatch, or perhaps she has an Artificial replacement? No, she simply keeps her eye always closed. There aren't even any scars or other visual indicators of damage. It looks more silly than anything.
    • Shalua has a Heroic Sacrifice moment to save Shelke and Vincent, before Azul seemingly pastes her on the other side of a locked door. Except for two things; due to the game having Bloodless Carnage, instead of blood seeping under the door, it's oil that looks more like she pissed herself. And then shortly thereafter she's recovered completely intact and in a coma with her fate left ambiguous. This in spite of basically being mauled by a beast the size of a semi-truck.
    • How does Vincent march into the final battle on an 11th-Hour Superpower versus a godly entity that will be used to end the world? By being supported by The Power of Friendship in a moment that seems like it's lifted directly out of Super Sentai, complete with the whole VII cast (except for Red XIII, who got delegated to The Cameo in the ending) sharing the screen in a dramatic cut cheering him on. Vincent, deadpan as ever and voiced by the king of the tone himself, remarks about the situation with the cheesiest One-Liner you can get played straight, as if he's mildly annoyed that he's being dragged into this mess in the first place.
      Vincent: Guess I have no choice... It's time (Dramatic Pause) to save the world.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Hoo boy, in terms of what's explicitly shown this is probably the darkest game of the Compilation.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • The badass WRO airship fleet. And Cloud, Tifa, and Barret's appearance.
    • Genesis, for some.
  • Relationship Writing Fumble:
    • Even though Lucrecia was Vincent's love interest, his scenes with Yuffie (carrying her bridal-style, mutually saving each other, and Yuffie being the one who is worried when Vincent disappears as Chaos) come across as romantic. Same goes for Vincent and Shelke.
    • Weiss and Nero too. If it wasn't stated they were brothers, their relationship could be interpreted as lovers. Their interactions and dialogue don't help. Though for some fans, there is still Incest Subtext. The Japanese version adds more fuel; Nero uses the word "ai" when it comes to his love for his brother, implying there is something here.
  • Snark Bait: It's not an exaggeration to say that Dirge is by far the most disliked and repudiated part of the Compilation. This is because of its poor handling of the characters from Final Fantasy VII, a silly plot, character designs which range from generic to gaudy and/or ridiculous (see Fashion-Victim Villain), and its underwhelming gameplay. Most people agree it's mediocre at best.
  • Squick: Shelke, suffering from a case of Older Than They Look, is a nineteen-year-old mind in a child's body. That doesn't stop the camera from awkward Male Gaze shots accentuating her bodysuit, or being an Implied Love Interest for Vincent, who is not only basically undead and forever pining for his lost first love, but far, far older than even Shelke's mental age. Which is also stunted to boot. At least Yuffie, another character in sort of the same boat, is legally an adult by this game. This gets worse with the Alternative Character Interpretation above, if one considers her having Lucretia's memories as potentially having inherited her feelings for Vincent too. Which could be romantic and tragic on one hand, and wholly disturbing on another.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • Shalua's fate.
    • Lucrecia's last talk with Vincent. Oh God...
      Lucrecia: This isn't how it was supposed to be. I've made too many mistakes. And I've hurt you so, so much. Why did I do what I did? I'm so sorry. But I'm so happy you survived.
  • That One Boss: Arch Azul has a horrendously stupid gimmick. He's immune to projectiles. This includes Bullets. Dirge of Cerberus is a THIRD-PERSON SHOOTER!! What you're supposed to do with him is transform and then beat him down with your Limit Break. This works unless Arch Azul gets lucky and then can stunlock you to death. Aside from the Limit Break, you have your claw and your magic which have both sucked from the start and time has not been sweet to them either.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Some Tsviets (such as Nero and Shelke) are really meant to be sympathetic, but some Tsviets can fall under this trope, such as Rosso. She's an Ax-Crazy murderer and a bloodthirsty psychopath, and she is the one who tortures Vincent the most. However, after watching the online cutscenes (only available in the Japanese release), you can't help but feel some pity for her when you learn that she had been trapped in Deepground since her birth and never went outside, only being used by the Restrictors to kill. With this knowledge, it isn't difficult to understand why she wants to destroy the world.
    • Weiss too. While he's very similar to Rosso, being a murderer without any remorse for his actions, and used his own Tsviets (including the player)—who helped him kill the Restrictors and died for it—simply to achieve his goals, the one thing he wanted the most was to leave Deepground and be free. There are also implications that he wanted to free Nero, who had largely been chained up during all this time.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Lucrecia is supposed to come off as a Well-Intentioned Extremist, what with her noble intentions and her clear remorse for her actions. However, she makes one horrible, stupid mistake after another: her lack of caution gets Vincent's father killed, she hooks up with Hojo, and she blithely experiments on her own child in utero. Then she seals herself away once she can no longer live with her actions... which leaves Vincent (one of the people she hurt the most) to clean up her mess.
    • Shelke just seems like an Emotionless Girl that was dragged into Deepground against her will and is put into horrible circumstances against her choice. But before she is forced to do a Heel–Face Turn because her allies decided that she wasn't useful to their plans anymore, she openly cooperated with and fully supported her "captors" as one of their primary members and as a leader of Deepground, making her wholly complicit in genocide; a plan that was intended to wipe all life from the Planet. Even worse, the Japan-only Online Mode pretty much had her Mind Rape the protagonist into complacency, and then Kick the Dog by telling them everything that'd worked for up to that point was just a ruse she created, and they got used like a sucker. While they're bleeding out and dying. She gets off scot-free for all of this as a Karma Houdini, with the only real punishment being her sister's fate (which potentially isn't even permanent).
  • Wangst: Vincent. Though it is consistent with Vincent telling Cloud in Advent Children that he had "never tried" forgiveness (read: forgiving himself), many fans found his self-loathing in this game to be unstomachable nonetheless.


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