The wait is almost over! Tomorrow, we’ll finally be able to play Devil May Cry 5! At long last, we’ll be able to rejoin Dante, Nero and all their friends, both old and new. But we still have a day to go, so I can’t rant about how possibly great or disappointing this game is yet. So what else is there to do but to look at the past?
Many newcomers may be hopping into DMC for the first time with the release of five. As such, they may be confused about some things. Who are any of these characters? How do they relate to one another? Well, never fear! I’m going to break the story down for you so that you can be all set and ready for the newest game in the series.
Thanks to the Devil May Cry Wiki for making this post a lot easier to write. If you want to check out any of these things in greater detail, click the link below and give the Wiki a read.
With that said, let’s get started with an iconic quote from our boy Dante:
This party’s getting crazy! Let’s rock!
Our plot begins two thousand years ago. The human and demon worlds are linked together, and demons use that link to rule over the human race. But one day, a powerful demon woke up to justice (their words, not mine) and decided to fight for the humans. This was Sparda, the legendary Dark Knight and the single most important mother fucker in the entire Devil May Cry series.
After beating the hell out of basically the whole demon world, Sparda brought his battle to an end. Using the power of Yamato, a special katana, a strange red amulet, his own demonic blood and that of a human priestess, Sparda locked the demon world from the human world, and his own powers along with it. He locked his abilities within Force Edge, a great sword that made the core of his favored weapon: Sparda.
Huh. Guess the Dark Knight was a bit of a narcissist.
One day, after spending a few thousand years in hell, Sparda got lonely. He snuck out of the demon world and married a human woman named Eva. Eventually, she gave birth to two children: twin brothers Vergil and Dante. Knowing what fate will await them, as they carry his blood, Sparda gave his children two weapons. To Vergil, he gave Yamato, which you’re familiar with. To Dante, he gave Rebellion, a bad-ass great-sword who’s purpose is currently unknown. For all we know, it’s just a really cool sword. Eva gives the two brothers the amulet Sparda used in his ritual, divided in half between the brothers.
Shortly after his sons births, Sparda returned to hell and died of mysterious circumstances. Now emboldened by the Dark Knight’s death, the demons decided to claim some revenge. Breaking out of hell, because apparently Sparda did a really bad job, they murdered Eva and burned the brother’s home. Having gotten separated, Dante believes that his brother is dead, and he moves on with his life alone.
Many years went by. Dante is now working as a mercenary in an unnamed shop, and he’s doing what he loves most: slaughtering demons and looking awesome while doing it. During one of these jobs, he reunites with Vergil, but their reunion is far from joyous. Their lives have forged each other into polar opposites, and they clash in their first battle, ending in a draw.
We rejoin Dante one year later for the beginning of the first actual game in the timeline (and the best game in the series by a wide margin): Devil May Cry 3. Dante has officially set up shop, but he still hasn’t come up with a name for his business. He doesn’t have any time to think though, as a mysterious bald man with a magic moving scar thing named Arkham appears with an invitation from Vergil.
As well as a whole bunch of demons that wreck his shop and stomp on his pizza. Bastards.
Shortly after slaughtering his assailants, Dante watches as a giant tower emerges from beneath his home city. This is Temen-Ni-Gru (which is very dangerous to say fast), the doorway to the demon world as well as where Sparda’s sealed away powers are hidden. Atop this tower is Vergil and Arkham, who await Dante. Also within this structure is a mysterious woman with mismatched eyes and a big ol’ rocket launcher.
We’ll get back to her. She may be important later.
Dante climbs to the top of the tower, meeting both the mysterious woman and a mad clown named Jester, and confronts Vergil again. This time, however, the match is an overwhelming loss in Vergil’s favor. He steals Dante’s amulet and leaps down the tower to the bottom, leaving Dante to bleed. However, our hero is far from dead. Rather, he awakens to a new power within him: the power of his father Sparda, the Devil Trigger.
With a new power in his hands, Dante shoots down the tower to the bottom, where he runs into the mysterious woman again. Here, he gives her a lazy nickname, as she claims she doesn’t have her own: Lady. Leaving her behind, he descends into the basement of the tower after his brother.
Meanwhile, Vergil and Arkham have a falling out, and Vergil stabs Arkham and leaves his bloodied body for Dante and Lady to find. When they do, Lady snaps, revealing to Dante that the man before them had murdered her mother in his attempt to become a Devil, and he is in fact her father. Losing her will to fight, Lady lets Dante go, remaining alone with her father’s corpse.
However, Arkham isn’t dead yet! He ‘reveals’ to the woman, whom he calls Mary, that he’s been possessed by Vergil the whole time, and she needs to stop him! So she continues on, catching up with Dante and Vergil just at the height of their rematch. The three clash for a bit, leaving themselves incredibly exhausted. Then, the story takes a twist as Jester appears and reveals his true identity: Arkham!
Arkham reveals that he’s been playing Dante, Vergil and Lady the whole time. He’s done this in order to move all the necessary pieces into the ritual room in order to undo Sparda’s spell and take the Dark Knight’s power for himself, all while leaving the three exhausted. He wipes the floor with the three, ascends with the tower and enters the demon realm, claiming Sparda’s power through Force Edge.
Thus, the race is on! Lady is far ahead, with Dante right behind her, and Vergil god knows where behind them. Their goals are the same: kill Arkham. However, Dante believes that Lady isn’t capable of it, as she is entirely human, and he convinces her to stand down and leave it to him.
Charging into the demon realm, Dante faces down Arkham, but the Sparda-infused villain proves too much to handle. That is, until an unexpected ally appears: Vergil! Together, the two take down Arkham with a united “JACKPOT!” However, they’re unison is quickly over, and the two are back at each other’s throats.
Meanwhile, back in the human world, Arkham crashes back down with an embarrassing thud. Here, he’s met by Mary, who declares that her name is Lady. And with that, she blows him away, bringing her journey to an end.
Back in the demon world, Dante and Vergil have their final confrontation. Vergil is eager to claim his father’s power, but Dante has reclaimed his side of the amulet and is eager to stand in his brother’s way. They have one of the coolest final bosses in video game history, in which Dante is victorious, and Vergil falls into the demon world, assumed dead once again.
Dante and Lady reunite, slay the remainder of the demons in town, and Dante finally has a name for his shop: Devil May Cry. Meanwhile, back in the demon world, Vergil stares down a mysterious creature, whom he calls the ‘Prince of Darkness’. Drawing Yamato, he charges the monster down.
Spoiler alert: he lost. Which I’ll explain now in the game that started it all: Devil May Cry 1.
Dante’s been running the Devil May Cry for a while now. But he’s never got a job like this one. Suddenly, a blonde woman busts through the door, blasts him with lightning and throws a motorcycle at him. And then she asks him for help.
This woman is Trish, who looks just like his mother, and she’s come with a simple but dangerous mission for him. Sparda’s oldest enemy, Mundus, is on the brink of resurrection, and Dante is the only one who can stop him. Together, they head to a castle far away in the ocean, where they aim to stop Mundus’s revival.
A whole lot of stuff that doesn’t matter happens, and Dante runs into a mysterious doppelganger of himself named Nelo Angelo. The two fight numerous times, and Dante eventually defeats him. However, it’s not that he makes a discovery: Nelo Angelo was actually a possessed Vergil!
Now suitably motivated, Dante makes it into the demon world for the final battle. However, he hits a bit of a bump in the road as he’s betrayed by Trish, who has been a servant of Mundus the whole time! But she switches sides again because Dante’s a nice guy and saves her.
Dante goes to confront Mundus, but the Demon King proves too much for him to handle. But when Trish sacrifices herself to save him, Dante snaps, awakening a new power in his Devil Trigger. He faces Mundus down, beats him down, gives Trish his amulet and sword, drops the single greatest line in video game history, and escapes from the demon world. However, he’s cornered again by Mundus! But just as all seems lost, he’s rescued by Trish, and they successfully manage to escape. Trish becomes Dante’s partner in crime, and they rename the Devil May Cry to the Devil Never Cry.
Then they change it right back for Devil May Cry 4. Speaking of which…
The final story up to this point starts with a new character: Nero. He’s got spunk, he’s a punk and… he’s got a gross demon arm thing. He attends a church called the Order, which worships Sparda like a god, with his crush Kyrie (a lactose girl with no personality, look at her go) and her brother Credo. One day, as an old man (whom I shall call His Holiness, as they do in the game) is giving a speech, a strange man in red breaks through the ceiling and murders him!
Nero’s mission is simple: find the man in red and capture him! He heads off, traveling across the land in his search for His Holiness’s killer, fighting demons along the way. However, he comes across a strange man named Agnus, who is in possession of a broken but familiar sword: Yamato! Nero claims the sword, awakening to his own unique Devil Trigger, which is more like a JoJo Stand/ Persona than a Devil Trigger.
As his adventure nears it’s end, Nero comes to a discovery: the Order has been experimenting with demons, and they’re going to destroy the world! He goes to stop them, when he’s faced down with Credo! But oh no! Kyrie spots him as the fight ends, and she’s been kidnapped by Agnus!
Before he can confront the villains, Nero comes face to face once again with the man in red: Dante! Dante wants Yamato back, but Nero needs it to save his would-be date! SO Dante lets him go to face down His Holiness (oh yeah, he’s alive again by the way) and the giant statue super weapon thing: Savior.
He fails. Quite miserably.
With Nero defeated, Dante steps up to plate to save the day. He moves his way back through the game, kills all the same bosses a little more successfully than Nero did, and reclaims the stolen Yamato. He sends it flying through Savior to awaken Nero, who kills it from within and saves his literal prop of a love interest. Dante gives him the Yamato as a gift and strolls away, leaving Nero and his date alone in the ruined city.
Which leads us to Devil May Cry 5! What will happen? Will Nero get his arm back? Will Dante come out as a gay cowboy just to spite Ninja Theory? Will V reveal himself to be Lady’s goth sister-brother? WILL VERGIL SAY THE N-WORD AND KILL NERO?! We’ll just have to wait for tomorrow to find out!
I’ll be sure to tell you if Vergil says the word. I’ll keep an eye out.