Wait, she’s *not* dead?
Devil May Cry is a series renowned for its stylish action, but beyond all of the gunslinging, sword slashing and royal guarding, there is, in fact, a story. So, if you’re just jumping into DMC for the first time with Devil May Cry 5, here’s the entire plot summarized as quickly as we can rightfully do it.
First off, this is Dante:
He’s a red coat wearing, demon form bearing, gun-wielding, death-dealing, rocket riding, high flying, son of a gun. Or that’s what he would be if he was described by Ric Flair (WHOO!).
He’s actually a son of Sparda, the Legendary Dark Knight who, in the war between the human and the demon worlds went against his own kind to aid the humans. After defeating the demon king Mundus, Sparda closed the gateway connecting the human world to the demon one using his own blood, a special amulet, and the blood of a human priestess. For a while, everything was great: Sparda was a benevolent ruler for about 2,000 years, gained a human form and fell in love with a woman named Eva. The two had twin boys, Dante and Vergil, who he gave each a half of his special amulet.
Sadly, at some point (we don’t exactly know when or how) Sparda dies, and this is where things start to take a turn. Mundus’s demons return to the human world and kills Eva, leaving Sparda’s two sons orphaned and alone.
Devil May Cry 3
Fast forward to the start of Devil May Cry 3, which sees a young Dante just getting started with his as-of-yet unnamed demon hunting business. He gets approached by a man named Arkham, who offers him an invitation – well, it’s really more of a challenge from Vergil to meet him at the top of a tower called the Temen-ni-Gru.
Dante fights his way through the tower, running into a couple of extremely well-named characters: a Jester named “Jester” and a Lady named “Lady”, who’s out for revenge against the man who killed her mother. This all culminates with a ton of revelations that all kind of hit at the same time: The jester is really Arkham, Lady is actually Mary, his daughter, and Dante and Vergil both learn they’re sons of Sparda (but you knew that already).
Arkham reveals his scheme to open the gateway to the demon world and claim the sword of Sparda, called the Force Edge. Unfortunately for him, though, Arkham can’t handle that kind of power and transforms into a gross purple blob. Dante and Vergil team up to put down Arkham for good, Lady finishes the job, and then the two brothers have one final battle over who gets to keep Dad’s shiny necklace. Dante wins, Vergil gets stuck in the demon world along with his amulet, and Dante finally finds a name for his new shop…
Devil May Cry
Sometime later, a woman named Trish barges through the doors of Dante’s shop with a job: travel to Mallet Island to put a stop to Mundus, who’s planning his grand return to power after all these years. Dante makes his way to the island, fights his way through a ton of puppet monsters, a nightmare named Nightmare (they’re really good at naming things in this series, aren’t they?), and a mysterious swordsman named Nelo Angelo.
As it turns out, Nelo Angelo is actually Vergil. After getting stuck in the Demon World, he picked a fight against Mundus but lost and became a thrall under his command. After defeating Nelo Angelo for the last time, Dante gains the other half of his father’s amulet, causing him to finally realize what happened to his long lost brother.
Nelo Angelo wasn’t the only one with a secret, though – Trish is revealed to be an agent of Mundus all along. She betrays Dante, tries to kill him, fails and almost dies, but is saved by Dante for having a face that looks like his mother. I know, how… sweet?
Dante’s heroism causes a change of heart in Trish, and when Dante is about to get killed by Mundus during one of their confrontations, she sacrifices herself to save him. This causes Dante to activate his “Christian Bale Batman Super Serious Mode,” defeating Mundus in a wild boss fight.
Dante lays Trish to rest with his Amulet and makes his escape from Mallet Island. Of course, Mundus comes back for one more round, but is finally put down thanks to the combined effort of Dante and the notably not-dead Trish. The two escape on a plane, exchange some nonsensical dialogue and the credits roll, bringing us to…
Devil May Cry 2
We’re not going to spend too much time here because, honestly, the less spoken about DMC2, the better.
Dante meets a lady named Lucia, the two go to Dumary Island where they face off against Arius, a businessman who wants to release a powerful demon god named Argosax. Dante flips a bunch of coins, eventually defeats Arius and Argosax, and Dante rides his motorcycle off into hell.
Devil May Cry 4
Devil May Cry 4 shines the spotlight on a new character, Nero, who begins the game on the hunt for Dante, after he (Dante) crashes a party put on by the Order of the Sword and kills its leader, Sanctus. The Order of the Sword (SwOrder?) is a religious sect that worships Sparda, but we eventually learn that their true nature is far more nefarious, with its members undergoing “Ascension Ceremonies” that actually turn them into demons.
Sanctus is brought back to life thanks to an ascension ceremony, and he winds up orchestrating a plot to activate what’s known as “The Savior,” a gigantic statue in the image of Sparda, that he plans to use to conquer the world. In order to activate the statue, though, they need Sparda’s blood. Which, as luck would have it, Nero has! For reasons that aren’t really explained… but we can speculate that it probably has something to do with his devil-bringer arm, which has some obvious connection with Vergil.
Anyways, Sanctus captures Nero, locks him inside the Savior, and from there it’s up to Dante to retrace Nero’s steps, rescue him, and together they bring down Sanctus and the savior once and for all. From there, we turn our eyes towards Devil May Cry 5.
Thanks for making it this far! We’ve glossed over a lot, but hopefully, you’re all caught up on DMC’s lore and ready for DMC5.
Mitchell Saltzman is IGN’s resident action game fanatic. Devil May Cry is one of his all-time favorite series. You can chat with him all about it on Twitter.