Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening
|Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening|
North American box art
|Series||Devil May Cry|
|Engine||DMC3 engine (proprietary engine)|
|Genre(s)||Action-adventure, hack and slash|
|Distribution||Optical disc, download|
Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, released in Japan as simply Devil May Cry 3 (Japanese: デビル メイ クライ 3 Hepburn: Debiru Mei Kurai Surī ), is an action-adventure hack and slash video game that was developed and published by Capcom, released in 2005 for the PlayStation 2 (also ported to Microsoft Windows in 2006). The game is a prequel to the original Devil May Cry reflected in the younger cast.2 The game retains elements from the two previous games and expands the combat system with multiple fighting styles. The story is told primarily through a mixture of cutscenes using the game's engine with several pre-rendered full motion videos.
Set years before the events of the first Devil May Cry, an enchanted tower named Temen-ni-gru, the story centers on the dysfunctional relationship between Dante and his brother Vergil.3 The events of the game take place just as Dante has opened up his demon hunter agency,4 and before Dante's demonic heritage has reached its full potential.5 In developing the game, Capcom's members wanted to address the criticism Devil May Cry 2 had which resulted in a bigger focus on combat than its predecessors.
Upon release, Devil May Cry 3 was widely criticized for its high level of difficulty,67 but was praised for improvements over its predecessor, and a return to the challenging gameplay of Devil May Cry. The game was later rereleased featuring a more casual difficulty and Vergil as a playable character. A manga prequel to the game was also published in Japan in 2005.
Gameplay in Devil May Cry 3 consists of levels called "missions", in which players must fight numerous enemies, perform platforming tasks, and occasionally solve puzzles to progress through the story. The player's performance in each mission is graded from D at the bottom, up through C, B, A, with top ranks of S and SS, which have the strictest requirements. Grades are based on the time taken to complete the mission, the amount of "red orbs" gathered (the in-game currency obtained from defeated enemies), "stylish" combat, item usage, and damage taken.8 "Stylish" combat is defined as performing an unbroken series of varied attacks while avoiding damage, and is tracked by an on-screen gauge. The longer the player attacks without repeating techniques and evades damage, the higher the gauge rises.8 The gauge starts with no grade, becomes "Dope" after a minimum number of attacks, then proceeds with "Crazy", "Blast", "Alright", "Sweet", "SShowtime", and peaks at "SSStylish"; if Dante receives damage, the style rating drops a few levels; if the gauge is on "Crazy" or below, it will reset. The game's battle system allows the player to chain attacks together, with each weapon having a number of unique attacks. Although the game mainly focuses on an aggressive approach to battle, the player must employ some strategy as the enemies have a wide variety of artificial intelligence tactics, and will respond to a number of events.9
The Devil Trigger ability enables the player's character to change into a demonic form. This alters the character's appearance, increases attack and defense, slowly restores health, and enables special attacks. The Devil Trigger state lasts as long as there is energy in the Devil Trigger gauge, which is refilled by attacking or taunting enemies in the normal state, and decreases when using the Devil Trigger transformation or other abilities which draw on Devil Trigger power (such as the Quicksilver and Doppelganger styles discussed below).8 Devil Trigger mode is not available to Dante until one third of the way through the game, while Vergil (who is playable in the Special Edition) has the ability at the outset.
The major difference from previous Devil May Cry titles is the combat system, which allows the player to choose one of Dante's six different combat styles with different special techniques related to the style's focus. Style selection is available at the start of each level, as well as during gameplay at checkpoints. The styles available are: Trickster, for dodging and agility; Swordmaster, with extra abilities for swords and other melee weapons; Gunslinger, which has more techniques for firearms; Royal Guard, which allows the player to repel attacks with a properly-timed button press, and thereby charge energy for retaliation; Quicksilver, which slows down enemies while the character attacks at normal speed; and Doppelgänger, which creates a shadow double that fights alongside Dante. A second player can also control the shadow double by pressing "Start" on a second controller. A two-player mode, similar to Doppelgänger style, is accessible while fighting against Arkham.10 In the special edition of Devil May Cry 3, Vergil has one style called Dark Slayer with techniques similar to Trickster.
|Devil May Cry series
Devil May Cry 3 opens in Dante's yet-unnamed shop as a mysterious man named Arkham arrives with an invitation from Dante's brother Vergil in the form of a brutal demon attack.12 After Dante defeats the enemies, an immense tower erupts from the ground a short distance away.213 Sensing Vergil atop the structure, Dante takes the situation as a challenge.14 Dante starts fighting demons during his journey who, once defeated, become his weapons.15 Dante is then attacked by a woman on a motorcycle, whose name later becomes Lady, Arkham's daughter who wants to take revenge against her father for her mother's death.1617 Arkham is working for Vergil and they plan to take Dante's half of the amulet their mother gave them and use its power to reactivate the tower's ability to connect the human and demon worlds.18
After numerous battles, an encounter with a being calling itself Jester,19 Dante attains the tower's summit and battles Vergil. Vergil soundly defeats Dante, steals his amulet, and departs. Dante's dormant devil powers emerge as a result of this setback, and he takes off in pursuit. He eventually catches up in the control room located in the tower's basement, where Vergil cannot reactivate the tower. The brothers battle again until they are interrupted first by Lady and then Jester. Jester reveals that he is in fact Arkham, and has been manipulating them all to reactivate the tower for his own ends. Arkham's plan is to cross over to the demon world and steal the Force Edge, the dormant form of Sparda's original sword which contains the bulk of Sparda's old power, and use it to rule over a demon-infested Earth.2021 The tower then transforms as the spell is broken, carrying Arkham upwards to the summit, while Vergil vanishes in the confusion.
Dante battles his way back up the tower and eventually fights Lady for the right to pursue Arkham. Dante wins and Lady lends him her most powerful weapon. Reaching the summit once again, Dante crosses over to the demon world and catches up with Arkham, who has assumed Sparda's demonic form. Overwhelmed by the power, Arkham transforms into a blob-like creature and battles Dante. Halfway through the fight, Vergil reappears and the brothers work together to bring Arkham down. Arkham is thrown out of the demon world in a weakened state and lands atop the tower where Lady kills him. In the demon world, Dante and Vergil battle over ownership of the Force Edge and the amulet halves. After being defeated, Vergil decides to stay behind as the portal closes, vanishing into the darkness with his half of the amulet.22
Dante meets Lady outside the tower the two form a friendship and the beginnings of a partnership in demon-slaying, and he names his shop "Devil May Cry".2324 A scene after the credits reveals Vergil in the demon world, weakened yet determined, as he charges into battle against his father's old foe, Mundus.25
Following the mixed reception received by Devil May Cry 2, Capcom decided to develop Devil May Cry 3 in a similar manner to the series' more critically successful first entry, Devil May Cry. Gameplay elements such as the size of environments and the game's battle engine were reconsidered. Other aspects of Devil May Cry 2 which were criticized, such as Dante's cockiness being toned down and the game's weak difficulty, were brought back in line with Devil May Cry.26
According to a pre-release interview with the game's producer Tsuyoshi Tanaka, the thrust of the game's design was the creation of a new battle system allowing the player to control weapons in new and "stylish" ways. This went along with the design of a new type of in-game camera designed to keep the character in focus so as to avoid disorienting the player in crowded battle scenes. According to Tanaka, the difficulty of Devil May Cry 2 was toned down to get wider acceptance in the Japanese market, but this move had made the game lose support in other markets. To deal with this situation the Japanese release of Devil May Cry 3 had a lower difficulty than the North American and European releases. Dante's attitude was emphasized to reflect a younger and more arrogant character than in previous installments.27 For the voice acting and motion capture of the character, Reuben Langdon was hired. Although was told several times how to do Dante's portrayal, he decided to do his own rendition of Dante as he was confused with the staff's suggestions.28
Capcom also produced a second version called the "Special Edition", which was released on January 24, 2006 in North America. A Microsoft Windows version of Devil May Cry 3, with slight graphical changes, was developed by SourceNext and published by Ubisoft on June 28, 2006 in Europe and on October 16, 2006 in North America.
Capcom promoted Devil May Cry 3's release with a multi-million dollar television campaign, along with prominent ads in video game magazines. The marketing campaign focused on the game's plot and its multiple fighting styles.26
Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening received generally positive reviews from critics. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation 2 version 84.11% and 84/1003134 and the PC version 70.87% and 66/100.3235 It was also included in Game Informer's list of top 50 games of 2005 and later received a "Game of the Month" award when the Special Edition was released.39 In 2010, IGN listed it as 18th in their list of top 100 PlayStation 2 games.45 In a 2010 retrospective, GamePro ranked it as the 28th best game for the PS2.46
Reviews typically praised the game for avoiding the mistakes of the previous title, as well as for the storyline, options for customization, "over-the-top" gameplay and new combat engine. The style-based combat engine was thought to produce fighting sequences that made those in other games, such as Ninja Gaiden and Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, appear unimpressive.47 Other aspects, such as the camera and controls, were also reviewed positively.740484950 In 2010, the game was included as one of the titles in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die.51
However, the first North American and European release was criticized for its difficulty even in reviews that gave it a high score. Reviewers took issue with Capcom's decision to turn the Japanese version's "Hard" mode into the North American and European "Normal" mode.3843 As a result, Devil May Cry 3 has often been recognized as one of the hardest games of all time by several websites.525354
The Special Edition release was ranked ninth in GameSpy's "Game of the Year" selection for the PlayStation 2 in 2006, and was praised for re-balancing the difficulty. Other aspects of the game, such as the inclusion of a survival mode called "Bloody Palace" and the addition of Vergil as a playable character, received positive reviews.48 Playing as Vergil was well received due to how different he was from Dante although the use of the same bosses as Dante and lack of cutscenes was criticized.5556
The PC version was widely criticized for being inferior to the PlayStation 2 version. Issues included the game engine, which was considered rough and under worked, the controls, and the inability to save the game anywhere on a given level and restart from that point in subsequent "loadings", a convenience afforded by most PC games.57 Jeremy Dunham of IGN gave the PC version a score of 5.8 out of 10 (compared to the PS2 version's 9.6),43 citing its "awful performance" and "craptacular controls" as major problems.58
Devil May Cry 3 was highly successful commercially, becoming the eighth best-selling game in Japan during the first week of release.59 The game sold over 1,300,000 units worldwide, thereby earning Capcom's "Platinum Title" status. The Special Edition also sold 1 million units.60
Following the release of Devil May Cry 3, Capcom released merchandise based on the game, including a manga written by Suguro Chayamachi and published by Tokyopop in North America, as well as a Dante action figure made by Revoltech. A source book entitled "Devil May Cry 3 Material Archive - Note of Naught" was released in 2006, containing previously unreleased production and CG artwork, storyboards, and a UMD video disc for the PSP, with trailers and videos (region 2 only).61 A three-disc Devil May Cry 3 soundtrack was released on March 31, 2005 shortly after the game's release, with Tetsuya Shibata and Kento Hasegawa credited as the producers.62not in citation given The lyrics for the vocal songs from Devil May Cry 3 were written, and the rough vocals performed, by Shawn McPherson.63
At the 2005 Tokyo Game Show, Capcom announced there would be a special edition of Devil May Cry 3.64 It included a number of gameplay changes and additional content. Most notably, players could now choose to play as Dante's twin brother, Vergil. Other changes included an added survival mode called "Bloody Palace" with a total of 9999 levels; a new Jester fight early in the game, with optional fights later; a "Turbo Mode" for 20 percent faster gameplay; and a continue system which can revive the character instantly, or allow the player to restart the fight they just lost as many times as they like. The game also has rebalanced difficulty. Vergil was made to contrast Dante's gameplay; While Dante was weaker than Vergil, he was still easier to control with Vergil requiring more skills to handle. Due to space limitations not all of Vergil's moves were added to the game.65
Vergil has only one style, "Dark Slayer" (similar to Dante's "Trickster" style), which includes evasive maneuvers, and can be leveled up twice, just like Dante's initial four styles. He has three weapons: his O-katana called Yamato, the Beowulf gauntlets and greaves, and the Force Edge broadsword. He has two ranged attacks; "Summoned Swords", which creates magical swords that can be used for a variety of effects,66 and "Judgment Cut" which creates spheres of damaging force.67
The new boss is Jester, a character who is encountered several times during cutscenes in the first edition of the game but is never actually fought. In Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition, he is a semi-optional boss (insofar as the first fight with him is mandatory but the later encounters can be skipped) who can be fought three times.
Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition was released on January 24, 2006 as part of the PlayStation 2 Greatest Hits Collection. It was later confirmed that the PlayStation 2 version of the game would also be released in Europe.68
On February 1, 2006, Ubisoft announced that they would be publishing a Microsoft Windows version of the game developed by SourceNext.69 The European PC version was the first to come out, even before the Special Edition was released for the PlayStation 2 in that region, being released on June 28, 2006. The North American version was released on October 16, 2006. The game was published in Japan on June 30, 2006. Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition was re-released in the Devil May Cry HD Collection for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, alongside Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry 2 on on April 3, 2012.70
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- Lady: I met the sons of Sparda - Both of them. Though the same blood of their father flow through their veins, the two battled each other fiercely like arch enemies. (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Dante: Damn it! you guys totally wrecked my shop and I haven't even named it yet! (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Vergil: Why do you refuse to gain power? The power of our father Sparda? Dante: Father? I don't have a father. I just don't like you, that's all. Vergil: Foolishness, Dante, foolishness. Might controls everything. And without strength, you can't protect anything. Let alone yourself. (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
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- Arkham: Is your name Dante? Son of Sparda? Dante: Where did you hear that? Arkham: From your brother. He sent this invitation to you. Please, accept it.. Dante: Invitation huh? (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Arkham: Well? Doesn't it excite you? The Temen-ni-gru has revived. The Great One who once ruled this earth as the medium between the Human world, and the Demon world. Isn't it a magnificent view? The greatest minds of their time, those who revered Evil, constructed this glorious edifice. Now after two millenniums of confinement it can at last fulfill the purpose for which it was intended - Vergil: That's... none of my concern. Did he have it? (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Dante: It's been nearly a year since we last met. Where does the time go? No doubt you've got some fun planned for me. Right Vergil? (Devil May Cry) Capcom, 2005
- Cerberus: You are not a human, are you? Dante: Who knows? I'm not even sure myself. Cerberus: Regardless, you have proved your strength. I acknowledge your ability. Take my soul and go forth. You have my blessing. Dante: Too easy! (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Vergil: Why didn't you kill her? Perhaps, because she is your daughter? Did some pesky fatherly love get in your way? Arkham: That is none of your - Vergil: To further your study of the black arts, you sacrificed your loving wife, to become a devil as well. Knowing this I thought you'd be more useful to me, but I was wrong. No wonder your attainment of power is incomplete. (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Lady: Shut up! He was obsessed with becoming a devil, so much he killed his own wife. For that he butchered innocent people too. He's the most vile kind of creature. To top it off, that filthy scum... is my father. Dante: Well, we have something in common. I have a dysfunctional family too.Lady: And what would you know about family? You're a demon! This is my father. My family! This was all supposed to end by my hand! (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Vergil: Why isn't this working?! is there something missing? Must more blood be shed? Dante : You seem to be in a bad mood. Vergil: Dante. Dante: So my mother's amulet is the key that unlocks the door to the Demon World. Good Plan, Pop. Vergil: Just the opposite actually... Originally it was the key to the Demon World but was given to humans as a gift. Dante: It doesn't matter to me one way or the other. More importantly I've came all this way. I'm sure you have time for one more game, right? Vergil: Why not? After all we share the same blood. I'll just use more of yours to undo daddy's little spell. Dante: So you want a piece of me. literally. Okay, bro. come and get it, if you can! (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Jester: That could be a problem. Just hear me out. You got nothing to lose, right? My name is Jester, and I know a thing or two about this place. That thing there, is a power generator for this entire sector. In order to open the door, you need to apply a little something to it first. Do you know what that is, kid? Or is that too difficult for you? Ahahahahahaha - (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Jester: It was quite a ride, you know! If any of you had died before getting here, our little plan would have gone to waste! Therefore, my job was to get you to battle each other in order to weaken you. But at the same time, I needed to guide you here and make sure you were kept alive. I even went so far as dressing like a complete idiot! (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Arkham: He plucks the threads that make us dance, finger and toe! We surrender in joy to the lowest of the foul and rank; we submerge through darkness, rancid filth. Hour by hour, we move downward, ever closer to Hell, in a slow, steady gait. Now, let the world resonate! Sloth! Gluttony! Greed! Envy! Lust! Wrath! And pride! A bell of chaos that tolls human desires! After two thousand long years, the once sealed gate to the demonic world will open! Destruction! Carnage and Despair! Let your instincts drive you! Entrap this world in fear! As its very name Temen-ni-gru strikes terror into the heart of mankind. Then I will become the ultimate ruler of this wasteland engulfed with pandemonium. The demonic power that Sparda once imprisoned... will be mine! (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Vergil: No one can have this Dante. It's mine. It belongs to a son of Sparda. Leave me and go, if you don't want to be trapped in the demon world. I'm staying. This place, was our father's home. (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Lady: Are you crying? Dante: It's only the rain. Lady: The rain already stopped. Dante: Devils never cry. Lady: I see. Maybe somewhere out there even a devil may cry when he loses a loved one. Don't you think? Dante: Maybe. (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Lady: Oh, speaking of a kind devil, he finally decided on a name for his shop. It took him quite a while to pick one. Want to know the name? Devil May Cry. (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Vergil: It would be fun to fight with the Prince of Darkness. If my father did it, then I should be able to do it too! (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
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- Official website at Capcom Japan (Japanese)
- Official website at Capcom Japan (Japanese) (Special Edition)
- Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition (PC) at Ubisoft UK website