Devil May Cry Makes Me Feel Like a Bully

By Astra W

#ThrowbackThursday dashes and slashes with Dante from Devil May Cry. Find out why I think the son of the legendary Sparda is quite the bully.

KWEH!

I have fond memories playing this ultra-cool game when I was a teenager. Back then, PlayStation 2 was all that kids my age wanted. The first Devil May Cry was a genre-defining game, with its stylish sword-slashing and brutal button-mashing combat mechanic. However, it also made me feel like a bully.

“Lock & Load”, the title of the song above, is my favorite from the whole soundtrack. This version extended the song to twice its original length.

Devil May Cry‘s History and Legacy

Devil May Cry Logo
Devil May Cry Logo

Devil May Cry (デビル メイ クライ, Debiru Mei Kurai) is a stylish hack and slash action game developed and published by Capcom. The game was released on the PlayStation 2 in 2001. The game director Hideki Kamiya who previously directed the critically acclaimed Resident Evil 2. Kamiya would later direct other successful games such as Viewtiful Joe, Ōkami, and the Bayonetta series.

The first game was so successful that Capcom decided to make a sequel. Unfortunately, Devil May Cry 2 sank due to it being quite different from its older brother. Kamiya was not asked to direct DMC2 either. Then, the franchise followed with Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening (a prequel), and Devil May Cry 4 (a sequel set between DMC and DMC2). Fortunately, Capcom learned a lesson and both games did considerably better than DMC2.

DmC: Devil May Cry Cover
DmC: Devil May Cry Cover

Capcom requested another game development company named Ninja Theory to create a different DMC game. Titled DmC: Devil May Cry, the game was published by Capcom and released in 2013. During the development time, fans of the original series disliked the first redesigns of Dante. Ninja Theory listened and polished the character design. Overall, the game has gotten a pretty good reception.

Devil May Cry‘s Story

Dante is the son of a legendary demon knight Sparda. Long ago, Sparda defected to the human world, sealed Mundus and his army of demons, and eventually built a family. At the start of the game, Dante is an established demon hunter who is on a quest to find out more about the deaths of his brother and mother.

Dante's first meeting with Trish
Dante’s first meeting with Trish

One evening, a woman with supernatural power drops by Dante’s shop. The mysterious woman introduces herself as Trish and looks just like Dante’s deceased mother. After a brief skirmish, Trish informs Dante that Mundus, the demon emperor responsible for the deaths of Dante’s brother and mother, has returned.

Trish brings Dante to an island where Mundus has opened a portal while preparing to take the human world. So begins Dante’s journey to uncover his past.

What Do I Think About Devil May Cry?

I really like the first game despite some problems I have with its sub-par English dub and fixed camera angles. The game was one of my earlier purchases back when I owned a PS2. If you are interested, it has been ported to a high-definition version for both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

But let’s talk about why the game made me feel like a bully. Now, I have to preface this with some caveats: one, this article is made partly for fun. This is me reminiscing about the times when I pretended to be a cool and epic demon hunter. Two, I dislike bullying and I, like many people, have been bullied before. Three, DMC is a work of fiction and should be treated as such. Four, like many other action games, they reward you for kicking ass. So, one should not feel bad bullying fictional demons in a game. Only fictional demons, okay? Lastly, this should in no way be taken as an encouragement to bully any person or other living beings.

Gian, a famous bully from Doraemon
Gian, a famous bully from Doraemon

According to different sources listed below, bullying can be distilled into this: it is an aggressive act and behavior that dominates and causes physical as well as emotional harm towards the victims. There are different types of bullying behavior such as: physical, verbal, emotional, and more recently, cyber.

Dante is a cocky and snarky person. He would often trash talk or taunt his opponents. Well, why does he do that? As a powerful son of legendary demon knight, Dante knows he can afford to toy with his adversaries. Meaning, throughout most of the game, Dante is most probably not using his full potential. Canonically, or at least according to the in-game cutscenes, Dante has only struggled with Nelo Angelo, a boss, and the head honcho, Mundus. It makes sense because they are supposed to be strong opponents.

Flock off, feather face
Flock off, feather face!

Let me give some examples. After finally beating Phantom, one of the game’s bosses, Dante quips that he is indeed Sparda’s son and bids the dying demon, “[s]weet dreams” while blowing a kiss. In another occasion, Dante mocks Griffon, a demonic bird that also serves as a boss. The rather infamous taunt of, “[f]lock off, feather face” is accompanied by a Bruce Lee’s iconic Jeet Kune Do stance and a come-at-me-bro gesture.

Just replace Saitama with Dante
Just replace Saitama with Dante

I like to think that since Dante is that strong, his showmanship is another way of taking his time to play with the enemies. Like a cat playing with its prey. Okay, that is kind of morbid and cute at the same time.

The game rewards and ranks you for chaining combos and showy attacks.Yes, the game is difficult by design and the enemies are hard to kill. However, the higher hit-points give plenty of chances to experiment with different moves. You cannot execute flashy moves if the demons die in one hit, right?

Note the Stylish! rank
Note the Stylish! rank

There is a certain joy to being able to show off combos, avoiding taking damage, and schooling the wretched creatures. It is a very effective way to flaunt Dante’s physical superiority over others. That is why I remember feeling like a bully when I played the game. Though, it might just be me.

Sources: StopBullying.gov, Pacer.org, Wikipedia, (Devil May Cry), and Devil May Cry Wikia.

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Astra W

I am a Chocobo mug who loves puns and is driven by the thirst for nostalgia. You will usually find me writing about days past like an old person. Other than that, I usually gawk at different visual arts or exercising my fingers on games. Or napping in the kitchen cabinet.

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