The original Devil May Cry for the PlayStation 2 is one of the most important video games of all time. If nothing else, it is the quintessential action game, more or less setting the foundation for fast-paced action in a 3D environment. Even today, Devil May Cry holds up tremendously well thanks to its air-tight level design and deep mechanics.
It had quite the storied development, however. Devil May Cry began life as the fourth Resident Evil, but development quickly derailed off course and Capcom saw fit to turn the prospective RE4 into a new IP while Resident Evils series creator, Shinji Mikami, worked on the fourth title. With Hideki Kamiya now working on Devil May Cry instead of Resident Evil 4, a new breed of video game was born.
10 The Team Behind DMC1 Never Made Another Devil May Cry
Unfortunately, for as influential and important as Devil May Cry was, the team behind the game never actually got to make a follow-up. Instead, Capcom very quietly started development of a sequel without ever alerting Hideki Kamiya. This, naturally, resulted in the infamous Devil May Cry 2, a game so bad that some fans still refuse to acknowledge it.
Interestingly, Team Little Devil would regroup years later as Team Little Angel in order to work on the first Bayonetta. In many respects, this makes Bayonetta a spiritual sequel of sorts to the first Devil May Cry. If nothing else, it’s certainly the better of the two DMC1 follow-ups.
9 Getting To Know Tony Redgrave
Given that Devil May Cry began life as Resident Evil 4, many fans simply assume that this meant that Dante was originally Leon. In truth, the game that was Resident Evil 4 would have focused on a character named Tony Redgrave, an invincible man with a strange body that allowed him to pull off superhuman feats.
With the shift from RE4 to DMC1, “Tony Redgrave” became Dante’s alias. Interestingly, while the game itself doesn’t focus on Dante’s perceived invincibility, it’s still very much a part of his character. It’s also for the best that Kamiya ultimately chose not to shine any light on this aspect of Dante’s character.
8 What Devil May Cry Doesn’t Mention About Sparda (The Sword)
At first glance, Sparda (the sword, not the man) kind of blows. Dante can’t use his Devil Trigger and Sparda seems to play like a worse version of Alastor, Dante’s most useful weapon in the game. Unfortunately, this is a case of Devil May Cry failing to convey information properly. Sparda isn’t worse than Alastor by any means.
In fact, on Hard and Dante Must Die, it’s undeniably the best weapon available. On DMD, Devil Trigger no longer heals Dante so there’s no real reason to trigger it outside of the most desperate of moments. Better yet, Dante doesn’t even need Devil Trigger. Sparda is as strong as Alastor in its DT form without the need of transforming. That’s pretty damn useful.
7 The Confused Romance Between Dante & Trish
According to Hideki Kamiya himself, there was never anything romantic between Dante and Trish. Which only makes sense considering Trish is a demonic clone of Dante’s mother. At the same time, the game’s musical score very much presents this idea that Dante and Trish are romantically involved.
It’s impossible to ignore track titles like “I’m Coming,” “Blue Orgasm,” and the ever so subtle “Dante & Trish ~ Seeds of Love.” That last one specifically is the game’s staff roll, but the first two tracks specifically play during the game’s final escape sequence where Dante works together with Trish. Here’s hoping that “Pillow Talk” isn’t referencing Dante and Trish post-game.
6 The Only DMC With An Emphasis On Horror
Well, kind of. Every single Devil May Cry game (with perhaps the exception of DMC4) embraces a gothic-horror aesthetic, but DMC2 through 5 (the reboot included) never go beyond using horror as a visual style. Which is fine— the games don’t need that— but it’s worth noting just how well the first game uses its horror.
It’s genuinely scary at times, using its fixed camera in order to create both tension and atmosphere. Dante is far more capable than any RE protagonist before him, so it’s not as if the character himself should be scared, but DMC1 actually uses this to amplify the terror in some areas. It makes for the creepiest game in the franchise.
5 Capcom’s Most Creative Boss Rush
Boss rushes are a Mega Man staple that briefly became a Capcom staple. Both Devil May Cry 1 and 3 feature fairly interesting boss rushes to counter Capcom’s usual “Fight All Of Them In One Go” methodology. In DMC1 specifically, the final boss fight against Nightmare can potentially transition into a boss rush.
Upon being absorbed by Nightmare, Dante will need to fight one of his previous foes. Should players dodge Nightmare’s absorption, however, they won’t need to actually play through the boss rush. A skilled player can skip out on the full Nightmare completely, only focusing on the main boss himself. Now that’s good game design.
4 The Arcade Connection
Compared to other games in the series, the original Devil May Cry’s stages are incredibly short. Someone who knows what they’re doing can comfortably get through the game in two hours with little to no struggle (as far as navigation goes). It gives DMC1 a very arcade-like quality, one that encourages replaying the game often.
Which makes sense, considering Kamiya would have grown up in an era where arcades would have been his main method of playing video games. It’s only natural that such a design philosophy would seep into his game. It also makes Devil May Cry 1 all the better. It has the depth of later entries isolated in small, digestible chunks.
3 The Game’s Not Over Until Dante Must Die Is
On the subject of replaying Devil May Cry, the game isn’t quite over when players finish Mundus. Upon clearing Normal, Hard is unlocked. Enemies are changed, bosses have more attacks, and the game as a whole is much tougher. After beating Hard, Dante Must Die is unlocked. It’s usually here where dedicated fans drop off.
But they shouldn’t! Devil May Cry is clearly designed to be played from Normal, to Hard, to Dante Must Die. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to claim that Devil May Cry’s Normal and Hard modes exist specifically to train the player for Dante Must Die. Until Mundus is killed on DMD, the game's not over.
2 Action Was The Focus Even When DMC Was Resident Evil 4
Much in the same way fans assume that Leon was the main character of the Resident Evil 4 that became Devil May Cry 1, fans also assume that DMC is a result of Kamiya wanting to focus more on action than survival horror. The fact of the matter is that Resident Evil 4 was always going to be more action-heavy with Kamiya at the helm.
This is true for Kamiya’s previous RE game, Resident Evil 2. A clear survival horror title, yes, but one that amps up the action from the first game exponentially. Tony Redgrave’s entire character seems to suggest that Kamiya went into RE4 wanting to make an action game. It really was only a matter of time before Capcom made him change gears.
1 Devil May Cry’s Wii Port
This is quite the grain of salt, but perhaps the most fascinating one in the franchise. Known for their Wii and PS2 ports, Red Fly Studio hasn’t had a major release in a few years now (understandably) but a YouTube channel claiming to represent Red Fly Studio posted several proofs of concept videos roughly three years ago.Most went ignored, but their most popular video was of a Devil May Cry 1 port for the Nintendo Wii. This game wouldn’t have been a straight port, however, and would have re-used assets from Devil May Cry 4 in order to make the game look more modern. It’s an incredibly interesting project, but one that probably wouldn't have paid off.