What have I done wrong?! Even the heroic Sparda sacrificed a woman so that he could become a legend! I wished to be a god! And I sacrificed one miserable human being for that reason. That is all! Was that really so awful?
—Arkham, confirming that he is, in fact, completely insane, Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening

Arkham was a scholar and father of Lady who allied himself with Vergil in reviving Temen-ni-gru and worked to become a demon.[1] After a failed ritual involving sacrificing his wife, Kalina Ann, he then gained an alter-ego known as the Jester.[2] He then became interested in inheriting the power of Sparda, seeking out the Sword of Sparda to usher a new age of chaos. He was killed by the combined efforts of Dante and Vergil and his own daughter.[3]

He is the secondary antagonist and the main culprit of the event of Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening.

Appearance[edit | edit source]

Arkham appears as a tall, pale-skinned bald male adult. He dresses in a rather simple minister-esque fashion consistently of a purely black-colored ensemble devoid of color or any lightly-colored shades. His most distinguishing feature aside from his heterochromia is a large burnt scar covering the entire left side of his head and barely creeping over his face. In certain cutscenes whenever he begins to plot or becomes excited, this burn mark eerily squirms about. During the first half of the game, he is usually seen with a tome in his hand, though he is barely seen reading from it.

Personality[edit | edit source]

A sinister individual driven by his yearning to become a demon, Arkham is characterized as a cunning manipulator and intellectual scholar as well as a deluded and deranged pyschopath willing to sacrifice his own wife and use his own daughter in his endeavors. He also is willing to ally himself with those more powerful than him such as Vergil to make ends meet, ultimately betraying them when they serve their use. While in his usual persona, he is shown to be far calmer and maintains his composure.[3]

As Jester, he possess a flamboyant and clownish personality, possessing the cunning and intellect he has as Arkham but with a crazed personality. He constantly taunts, and even berates, his opponents in this persona. Dante's comments insinuate that his vexing nature is even more annoying than his own.[3]

Strategy[edit | edit source]

Jester[edit | edit source]

During the first battle, he does not flinch if he's hit unless you strike while he fans himself with his scepter (this is triggered by shooting him with any firearm, although Ebony & Ivory are the most effective). You are free to do your most punishing and powerful combos while he's doing this. After this, Jester vanishes and summons a flurry of energy spheres and behaves more like a circus ringmaster. He still won't flinch while doing this. The spheres can be unpredictable and hard to avoid, but he summons them in one of three attack patterns: scrambled, his most unpredictable attack, where the spheres bounce around the whole area; circulating, the easiest pattern to avoid, where the spheres move around the area in an orderly, yet slow and circular fashion; and waves, which is hard to avoid if the player is near Jester, where the spheres come from a single portal above Jester, but in quick, devastating waves of three spheres in all directions. The only way to endure the waves unhurt is through timing your rolling and staying far from Jester while he's doing this.

The second and third battles are similar to the first one, only with three major differences:

  • They can be skipped
  • Jester attacks a bit more aggressively
  • When about half his health has been depleted, Jester will summon a giant, smiling ball to ride and attack with.

When he summons the ball, Jester's arsenal of attacks will change slightly. Sometimes, the "ball" will shoot a bomb from its mouth, similar to the one that the Hell Wrath struggles with. Another ability it has is the uncanny ability to use the spectral hand found on demonic door barriers to attack, usually when Jester uses his spheres; it is possible to tell if the ball will use it if it appears to be straining something. Then, there are the four large demonic barriers the ball summons when Jester uses any sphere pattern. Finally, the ball has the ability to explode when you attack Jester with a Devil Arm before he attacks. Once you make your move, Jester vanishes. The ball laughs and explodes a short time later. Jester then summons a new ball. A quick strategy is to take advantage of the fact that you can actually make Jester tired while he's on the ball. Then, barrage him with Swordmaster aerials and avoid his attacks.

During the last battle, the ball has two more attacks: Jester will roll it around, damaging anything in its path, or he will bounce around the area with it.

It's possible to break the ball when Jester is fanning himself. Even though he will summon another one later, doing so will give you more time to attack.

During the fight with Jester, if you listen closely, you can hear him shout random quotes from his cutscene dialogues, including "Welcome to Hell!" and "Jester's gonna spank your butt, spank you on the butt".

Biography[edit | edit source]

Before Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening[edit | edit source]

In accordance to both Lady and Vergil, Arkham is a scholar who studied in the black arts. Years ago prior to Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, Arkham married a woman named Kalina Ann, and the two eventually gave birth to Mary (who would later abandon the name for Lady). According to Lady, the only family she ever had was her mother, indicating that Arkham and his daughter were not close. At some point, Arkham came to discover the history of the Legendary Dark Knight, Sparda, as well as the godly power the demonic warrior possessed. It is at this point that Arkham becomes obsessed with the power of the devil, and wished to be a god in order to rule the world. In this pursuit of godhood, Arkham sacrificed Kalina in a ritual to gain demonic power. However, it ended in failure, resulting in a large burn scar on the entire left side of his head, and the ability to transform himself into a demonic clown named Jester who wields dark magic. The event also resulted in Mary forsaking her father and swearing to hunt him down and kill him to avenge her mother even if it takes her whole life.

Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening[edit | edit source]

Despite the failed ritual, Arkham is undeterred in his mission. As told by Lady, Arkham would go on to kill innocent people in his drive for demonic power, but likely also ended in failure. At some point in time, Arkham also comes to know the history of the Temen-ni-gru, an unholy tower constructed by devil worshipers in order to break down the veil between the Human World and the Demon World. Eventually, Arkham comes in contact with Vergil, the elder of the twin sons of Sparda, in a library. Being completely aware of Vergil's demonic heritage and desire to gain demonic power like himself, Arkham explains to Vergil that resurrecting the tower is the way to obtain his father's ultimate power. He then decides to work with Vergil in order to help him acquire the power of Sparda. However, little does Vergil know is that he is only a pawn in Arkham's own scheme to gain Sparda's power.

Arkham and Vergil then rendezvous at the lower entrance of the Temen-ni-gru. As Vergil unseals and renames the majority of the Seven Sins of the tower, Arkham goes over to the younger of twin sons of Sparda (Vergil's twin brother), Dante. Arkham reveals himself to Dante, taking note of his half of the Perfect Amulet around Dante's neck, and tells him that his brother has sent him an invitation. He disappears after flipping over Dante's desk, leaving him to battle a small group 7 Hells; consisting of Hell Prides, Hell Lusts, Hell Sloths, and a Hell Vanguard.

After the Temen-ni-gru rises from the from beneath the earth, Arkham stands at its peak with Vergil, reveling in its mystique and informing Vergil that Dante indeed still has his half of the Perfect Amulet.

Arkham then becomes aware that his daughter, Mary, is lurking within the tower, and goes to the lower levels to confront her. On his way down, he runs into Dante and assumes the form of Jester. Dante having advanced to the upper levels after defeating the first guardian Cerberus. As Jester, Arkham annoyingly aids Dante in moving up the tower. He then encounters Mary, tries to provoke her into shooting him, taunts her about the fact that he was the one who named her, and then tossed her over the tower's edge. He would later meet with Vergil again, who has succeeded in besting Dante in battle and taking his half of the Perfect Amulet.

And then, he and Vergil escaped to the lower sanctums of the tower to put the next phase of their plan into motion.

At the lower sanctums, Arkham continues to speak in awe about how the Temen-ni-gru has inspired fear into the hearts of men and how the evils within it were sealed by Sparda. Arkham and Vergil then make their way to the Obsidian Path. There, Vergil becomes suspicious of Arkham because he let Mary live. Although Arkham did give Vergil a reasonable answer, Vergil was not convinced and proceeded to stab Arkham in the back. Vergil then chastised Arkham on his failure to gain demonic power; in response, Arkham pointed out Vergil's own incomplete nature as a half-demon. Finally, Vergil stabbed Arkham again and mortally wounded him. Vergil left Arkham for dead and proceeded without him.

Still alive despite his injuries, albeit barely, Arkham attempts to crawl his way down the halls, but apparently does not get far before losing consciousness. His body is found by both Lady and Dante simultaneously, and Lady tells Dante about Arkham's past and her connection to him. Moments after Dante leaves, regaining consciousness, Arkham tells Lady that he was possessed/manipulated by Vergil into doing his bidding. He tells Mary that if Vergil succeeds in breaking down the veil to the Demon World, the Human World would be thrown into chaos. He pleads her to stop Vergil before seemingly dying. After Lady goes on her warpath for Vergil, Arkham's body disappears.

Later, Arkham returns, once again assuming his Jester persona, and encounters Dante in the Torture Chamber following the latter's fight with Beowulf. He then laughs at how even Dante was unable withstand the soul-sucking effects of the Haywire Neo-Generator before telling him that Vergil is in the Lair of Judgement, trying to use the Perfect Amulet to open the gate to the Demon World. He leaves Dante, telling him that the Haywire Neo-Generator is the key moving forward, and that it, despite the device's soul sucking effect, will give him the power to fight the obstacles in his path.

After Dante and Vergil weaken and tire each other out in their rematch (with a mid fight appearence by Mary, Arkham arrives as Jester congratulating the three for playing their part. Alternating between his human and Jester forms, Arkham subdues Mary, Vergil, and Dante while revealing his plan. He explains that although Vergil had the Perfect Amulet and the blood of Sparda (from both him and Dante during their fight), Vergil didn't have the final key to unlocking the power of the Temen-ni-gru: the blood of the mortal priestess that Sparda used to seal the tower. Arkham then proceed to stab Mary in the leg, revealing to her that she is in fact a descendant of the priestess that Sparda sacrificed and that her blood was the final key. After making his plan known, Arkham is then surrounded by the three unwilling pawns who briefly set aside their conflicts with each other in order to stop him. At this moment, the tower activates and begins to rumble as its inner machinery starts shifting. Arkham takes this chance, and knocks all three off the platform as it raises to the top, declaring that he will acquire Sparda's power.

Arkham stands at the center of the platform while it acquires various angel themed bells as it rises to the top of the tower. Upon reaching the top, the portal to the demon world opens and Arkham, and gives an extended speech about how the portal to the Demon World will be opened and how he will become the god of the Human World after he gains the power of Sparda. He is then pulled in the Demon World. After making his way to the Forbidden Nirvana, Arkham finally comes to his prize: the Force Edge. He uses the Perfect Amulet to activate the sword and pulls it from the stone that it was stuck within. Upon taking the sword into his hands, demonic power flows through Arkham and he takes on the form of Sparda.

Later, Arkham encounters Dante. After a brief talk, Arkham utilizes the full strength of the demonic power he gained, and his corrupt heart causes him to turn into a hideous, amorphous blob. Dante and Arkham battle, but Dante is overwhelmed by Arkham's newfound strength. Before Arkham can deal the finishing blow, Vergil steps in and joins the battle. Through a combined assault, they defeat Arkham with a Jackpot, forcing Sparda's power out of him and driving him out of the Demon World. Arkham is then seen plummeting from the portal in the sky back to the roof of Temen-Ni-Gru. Grievously wounded, but still determined to become a god, Arkham attempts to crawl his way back to the Demon World. He is stopped by Mary who encounters him on the roof. Mary prepares to shoot Arkham, but he tries to justify his actions, chief among them, the murder of his wife, comparing it to the human sacrifice Sparda made in order "to become a legend." He pleads with Mary to help him, but she tells him that Mary is long dead and that her name is now Lady. Arkham pleads as Lady prepares her gun while , but she empties the remainder of her magazine into him, ending him and his maniacal ambitions forever.

Powers and Abilities[edit | edit source]

Arkham sweeping Lady, Vergil, and Dante.

After a failed ritual involving the sacrificing of his wife, he gained demonic power that is considered immature. This power was the ability to transform into his alter-ego, Jester, and himself as will. As Jester, he displays a multitude of powers.[3]

Powers[edit | edit source]

Superhuman strength: Arkham is capable of knocking off three people who were all carrying their heavy weapons, into one eachother and across a room in one kick. Despite his enhanced strength, he is still weaker than Dante and Vergil in good condition, but can fight humans like Lady with little difficulty.

Superhuman speed: While in his Jester persona, he dances about to avoid bullets from Ebony & Ivory. While confronting Lady in Mission 6, he was able to catch a book he had dropped on her face while preparing to toss her over a ledge.

Accelerated healing: Arkham can heal from injuries faster than humans can, having no signs of injury a short time after being shot or stabbed.

Teleportation: As Jester, Arkham has shown the ability to teleport short distances.

Wall walking: Arkham has shown the ability to walk on walls and ceilings.

Devil Trigger: Using Force Edge, Arkham was able to take the form of Sparda for a short time before transforming into a hideous blob-like creature.

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Jester's Magic at work.

  • Dark Magic: As Jester, Arkham shows many magic related abilities
  • Exploding spheres: As Jester, he summons circles that produce spheres that float about in various formations and speeds that explode on contact. These formations include floating around in a set pattern, bouncing around erratically in random patterns, and in quick, successive waves.
  • Demonic ball summoning: Jester can summon a demonic ball with a face that resembles his own. He stands atop the ball and it can spit out explosives that are nearly identical to the ones carried by the Hell Wrath. He can also have the ball bounce around in an attempt to crush his enemy or roll quickly to run over his opponent. This ball can also create barriers similar to the ones that block doors in order to limit enemy movement options. If an enemy spends too much time near the ball, it will explode.
  • Barrier: Jester forms a barrier to protect himself from his spheres.

Intellect[edit | edit source]

As a scholar, he is extremely knowledgeable on Sparda and his life, the Demon World, and other subjects pertaining to the nature and history of demons.[3] He is the one who told Vergil of the various safeguards Sparda put on Temen-Ni-Gru and how to undo them, such as the seven demons whos names Sparda had stripped away. He also has knowledge of how to open the doors of Temen-Ni-Gru without having to undo the various puzzles or gather specific items that Dante needed to obtain.

Arsenal[edit | edit source]

Perfect Amulet: Arkham was shortly in possession of the Perfect Amulet and used it to activate the latent power of Force Edge.

Force Edge: For a short time, Arkham held Force Edge, absorbing its power and even taking the form of Sparda.

Marotte: As Jester, he carries a bronze marotte with a turquoise gem at the top.

With Force Edge[edit | edit source]

After obtaining the Force Edge, Arkham gained the powers of Sparda. Dante encounters him in Mission 19. Unable to control Sparda's legendary power, Arkham turns into a hideous, blob-like monster with various new abilities.

Supernatural strength: Arkham can easily pick up and restrain a grown man.

Accelerated healing: Arkham can reattach limbs that have been removed.

Legion spawning: Arkham can spawn small demons known as Arkham's Legions to attack enemies.

Appearances in Other Media[edit | edit source]

Teppen[edit | edit source]

Arkham is featured in five cards in the game, three of them are based on his human form while the other two are based on his Jester form.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Jester is the PS2 memory card save icon for Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition. When attempting to copy, he'll start juggling the balls he's holding. Attempting to delete the save will cause him to get down on his hands and knees and shake his head in disappointment with the balls he was juggling being strewn on the ground next to him.
  • The name "Arkham" is a reference to the fictional town of Arkham, Massachusetts, which is the setting for several stories composed by American author H.P. Lovecraft. The town is given the epithet "witch-haunted", and has a recurring role in Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos (a series of tales that focus on the existence and designs of the Outer Gods: malevolent, ancient entities that attempt to infiltrate Earth and obliterate all human life).
  • Arkham might also be a reference to "Arkham Asylum", a facility housing the most notorious criminals in the DC Comics universe. One of the most famous inmates is the Joker, a possible inspiration for Jester.
  • According to Reuben at the Tales of Anime convention held from April 6, 2007 to April 8, 2007 at San Francisco, CA, Arkham's original name was going to be "Hyne" (pronounced "Hai-neh"), but Reuben thought it wouldn't work in English, so he convinced Capcom to change it.[4]
    • In the same interview, Jester's original name is revealed to have been Joker. Jester's design, voice, and mannerisms are similar to the Batman villain Joker, with the Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition boss fights having Jester refer to himself as Joker. This was likely changed to avoid copyright infringement.
  • In Devil May Cry 5, Arkham is referenced twice:
    • In one of Morrison's Letters, Morrison stated that Lady once let something slip about how both she and Dante killed someone in their families, Dante, his brother, and Lady, her father.
    • In one of the cutscenes, after Nero asks Trish about Vergil being his father, Trish retaliates by saying Nero shouldn't kill his own father, to which Lady replies that "It's true. You'd never recover from that".
  • The scars on Arkham's face come from when he sacrificed his wife to perform a ritual.[5]
  • The name of Arkham's book is known as "魔剣文書" in Devil May Cry 3 (manga).

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Devil May Cry 3 Manual: "Arkham works closely with Vergil. Although human, he is driven to become a demon
  2. 3142 Graphics Art Book
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening
  4. Devil's Lair coverage of the DMC Movie Commentary panel
  5. Devil May Cry 3142 Graphic Arts,Page 028:"He got the facial scars when he sacrificed his wife to perform a ritual that ended up failing."

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