Devil May Cry is one of the first games I played for PS2. My Father bought DMC and Final Fantasy X, a move that solidified the type of games I covet. Instantly, Devil May Cry demands your attention and sets a standard for action games that I stand by to this day. If a studio starts marketing a high action, hack and slash video game, my first thought is always, “Will it be as good as DMC?” To me, this is the industry standard for action.
Capcom put together a winning formula with responsive controls and a classic Demon Hunting tale. You play as Dante, the son of the Legendary Dark Knight Sparda. Without getting deep into five games worth of content, he is a half-demon who runs “Devil May Cry,” a demon-hunting service reached via phone. In each game, you face hordes of demonic forces gathered by the most recent big-bad. No one expects much from story beats like this, but two things serve this title well: it’s gameplay and Dante’s brother, Vergil.
Who exactly is Vergil?
Vergil is Dante’s identical twin Brother (Technically, they only look the same in DMC3). Their lives take different trajectories after Mundus, ruler of the Demon Realm, attacks their family. The Legendary Dark Knight Sparda is a demon, the right-hand of Mundus. He grows compassion for the mortal realm and stands against the demonic hordes. He takes up a life on Earth, eventually settling down with Eva to have Dante and Vergil. Demons hold grudges, though, and Mundus seeks revenge against his former general.
Though Dante and Vergil survive as children, Vergil’s reaction to his Mother’s death is vicious. He rejects humanity due to their weakness and seeks to increase the power of his demonic heritage. He does all the wrong things for all the right—okay, sometimes he commits these heinous acts because he was too weak to protect his Mother. Other times, he’s just cruel, and I’m here for it. Everyone must be since Capcom keeps capitalizing on his playability.
Vergil’s true power: Special Editions
It seems he is the element of the series that brings people back, literally. DMC1 introduces him as Nelo Angelo, a mostly silent Black Knight who is later revealed to Vergil. It’s not until DMC3 that we see who he truly is before he was twisted into Nelo Angelo. As an Easter Egg, plug in a second controller in a boss battle that includes Vergil – This is the first time the character is in our hands. The story is heavily involved with Dante and Vergil’s rivalry, making it the best offering since the first game. However, I’m a fool to think Capcom’s obsession with special editions would not touch this series. Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition was announced, and the thing that opened my wallet was the promise of playing as Vergil.
That’s all it takes to get people to purchase another version of the same game, and it took Capcom a while to figure that out.
His absence was felt in DMC4
The fourth installment of Devil May Cry released and introduced us to Nero, a character sporting the same white-hair and demonic powers as Dante and Vergil. Vergil is absent from the game, still presumed dead from part 1, but Dante is still active. Nero’s heritage isn’t touched on, but fans of the series suspect his Father to be Vergil. However, speculation seemed a fruitless venture.
Ninja Theory developed DmC: Devil May Cry, a modernized reboot of the series that Capcom published. DmC: Devil May Cry later received DLC to allow us to play that version of Vergil. At this point, Devil May Cry 5 seemed dead.
Then Capcom started fishing for interest – that’s what I call it. Devil May Cry 4 received a special edition, and guess what the sell was? You can play as Vergil. It does add a host of playable characters, such as Trish and Lady (Yes, she calls herself Lady), but Vergil is why we rush back to this series. He is given a few short cinematics this time around to detail his time in DMC4’s setting, though it still acts as a prequel.
Rewarded with Devil May Cry 5
Without testing the audience’s interest, we wouldn’t have Devil May Cry 5. The fifth installment inevitably draws Vergil out of the series’ past. It makes for a thrilling story, a conclusion to familial conflict fans have waited impatiently for. For me, the game answers nearly every question I have, save for who Nero’s Mother is. We see his alleged Mom in the DMC4 special edition, but I need more than a face obscured by a hood. Before I go off on another tangent, using Vergil to pull us back to the series multiple times led to this epic installment! So… what’s up with the special edition of DMC5?
Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
Guess who’s back? Vergil.
Capcom adopts the tried-and-true ability to play as Vergil, tempting us to pay more to do it. I’m not just tempted; I’m going to buy it. You see, Vergil is my second favorite villain in gaming history (Sephiroth is my first). Any chance I am given to cut through legions of demons as the antagonist-turned-anti-hero is reason enough to open my wallet. If you knew me, this wouldn’t be a surprise; I have all versions of Devil May Cry on Playstation and Xbox. It’s a waste of money, but I can’t stop. I won’t have to, it seems.
Capcom knows their audience, and I will be right there with them every time they decide to re-release a DMC game with Vergil as the prize.