It’s really tempting to do the DMC5 version, but I’ve got too much nostalgia for the DMC3 version.
Action games have one simple goal: empower the player. Make them feel as badass as possible. You shouldn’t just defeat your enemies, you should whoop their asses! Regular shmucks, bosses, no one should be safe from your wrath!
Still, games like these need to give the player something to strive for. An obstacle that they can’t overcome just yet. Most games have a simple solution for this: introduce a rival. Someone just like you, only stronger.
And none have done this better than Devil May Cry with Dante and Vergil.
Vergil is the DMC boss fight. And for good reason; the dude is fucking awesome! He is Dante’s opposite in every single way, from his appearance to his personality to even his fighting style. He is the ultimate test of the players skills and knowledge of the game. This power-obsessed half demon is truly the ultimate rival!
Over the course of the game, you fight Vergil a total of three times (’cause it’s DMC3, get it?). Each of these boss fights are incredibly varied, and they’re all pretty fun. Not only that, but they all change even more depending on the difficulty you’re playing on. On Normal mode, he’s a beast each and every time. By the time you get to Dante Must Die, the dude is a fuckin’ hurricane of death!
The first round is the simplest of the lot. You meet him at the top of the tower in which the game takes place for the first dramatic battle. Vergil’s move set here isn’t that complicated, even on the higher difficulties. Still, it is the most challenging boss of the early game, perfectly establishing that you aren’t ready to defeat him yet.
If only it weren’t one of those ‘you win but you actually lose’ boss battles…
The second round is a fair bit more complex, though I’d say it’s the easiest of the lot. Now in the bottom-most layer of the tower, a powered up Dante confronts an even stronger Vergil. Our wannabe samurai is now armed with a brand-new weapon and now takes you on more with martial arts than with his katana. His moves are fairly easy to dodge, but he does occasionally activate his Devil Trigger, making him hit harder and slowly recover his health. This time, the battle is cut short, essentially ending in a draw.
Then, at last, we get to the third and final fight, set in the realm between the demon and human worlds. This is the most iconic of the lot, as well as the most challenging. Playing through this one on DMD is absolutely brutal. This time, Vergil has got it all. He warps around at extreme speed and throws energy swords at you, meaning that he can and will fuck you up no matter where he is. On top of that, he can surround himself with those swords, making a deadly protective barrier. Deadliest of all is his Devil Trigger, which once again makes Vergil hit harder and heal himself.
This last battle is easily the hardest fight in any DMC game. It’s a battle simply to keep track of Vergil! He moves with the speed of a cheetah on speed and hits like a semi-truck being shoved by a train! You need to balance aggression and defense perfectly; if you don’t, Vergil will use his DT and heal himself or he’ll simply kill you before you can get close to killing him. You’ll need to be a true master of the game in order to even stand a chance.
And it feels sooooo good!
Vergil is the ultimate action game boss fight. It is the fight that every other action game has tried to replicate. Hell, even Capcom themselves recreated it with the Vergil fight in DMC5! It is a true challenge on the lower difficulties and a heart-pounding storm of brutality at the higher ones. It is truly spectacular.
It’s plenty empowering to mercilessly slaughter a horde of helpless enemies. But that enjoyment is nothing compared to the satisfaction of overcoming a foe far far stronger than you.