Demons (also Devils) are an often malevolent race of beings primarily originating from the Demon World.
Demon's come into existence through varying methods. Some are born naturally while some are the result of Hell's influence on a human soul. Demons can also be artificially created by binding the souls of humans, animals, or even other demons to demonic flesh or materials.
Most demons are generally very selfish, power-hungry, and cruel; often seeking to increase their own power or influence at the expense of either other demons or humans. Very rarely do demons ever show remorse or pity, particularly when regarding humans - whom most demons regard as lesser beings. On the other hand, a few demons can be capable of love and compassion, and decide to live in the human world.
Dante suggests that when a demon shows selflessness, becomes capable of love, or at least chooses to fight for something other than themselves and their own ambition, they can achieve even greater power. Furthermore, it is suggested that demons can even become figuratively human, at least metaphorically, by learning to feel and express complex emotions such as sadness and love for another, both of which are considered definitive characteristics of human beings.
According to Dante's statements, humans can be, in a way, often worse than demons, by choosing to be evil out of their own volition, whereas demons are malevolent by nature. Lady makes a similar remark, realizing that there are humans who are just as evil as any demon, as well as demons who are capable of kindness, love, and compassion.
Relations with Humans
Because of their inherent beyond-human physical and mystical abilities, most known demons view themselves as superior to humans, and as such wish to rule over them. It is implied that before Sparda's uprising, the demons held dominion over the human world and there were many gates and portals created between the two realms; ever since Sparda sealed off the demon world from the human world, demons have been attempting to regain dominion over the humans.
It has been shown that certain demons can disguise themselves as humans and gain an incredible amount of influence in the criminal underworld, the wealthy upper-class, and even close family members and business associates of powerful individuals. However, there are also demons who deny their heritage and go to the human world to live in peace.
Despite the inherent differences and metaphysical inequalities between humans and demons, they are able to mate and bear half-demon offspring who possess the physical and mystical qualities of demons, and the spirit of humans. Such an example is the protagonist Dante, along with his twin Vergil, who are the sons of the human woman Eva and the demon Sparda. Nero, Vergil's son, is also of both human and demonic lineage. Hybrid demons are greatly despised by full-blooded demons, as they are seen as incomplete and thus a mockery of their power.
Types of Demons
These are the most overwhelmingly common types of demon, the ones which come from the Demon World. This is usually the type being referred to whenever the word "demon" is mentioned. They vary greatly in shape, intelligence, and power, composing the majority of enemies throughout the series.
A hybrid describes an individual with both demonic and human ancestry, usually born from the result of a demon and human relationship, but also those whose relations can be traced to a demon within their lineage. Because of this, these hybrids innately exhibit enhanced physical prowess and unique abilities thanks to the demon blood within them. Every hybrid has enhanced physical attributes, as well as the ability to infuse almost anything with the demonic energy that they possess. With this blood, they can transform into their demon state via an ability called the Devil Trigger. However, Dante and Vergil also possesses an ability called Sin Devil Trigger. This ability now allows them to harness the full totality of their powers though they cannot stay in the form for long.
Despite the potential for power, however, many demons look upon hybrids with scorn and label them no better than a mere human or simply half-breeds.
Some human-demon hybrids include:
- Quarter demon
These are demons that are created unnaturally using various methods, typically through a combination of magic and science. They all share some form of demonic abilities, whilst their form is often dependent on their intended function. Some may resemble pure-blooded demons or just normal humans with some supernatural abilities.
Arius' Secretary demon
Secretaries are artificially-created female demons used by Arius and the Uroboros Corporation in which they share similar characteristics to that of a human hybrid despite being fully demon. They're capable of retaining both a human appearance and the ability to transform via their Devil Trigger abilities. These demons resemble the guise of a beautiful, dark-skinned woman with red hair. Arius considers Secretaries to be similar to mannequins and at one point they were subject to "defects" that made them unsuitable for Arius to use.
Order of the Sword
The Ascension Ceremony is a method that gives humans both demonic power and forms that are used by the Order of the Sword. The ceremony has varying effects: giving the participant a transformation ability similar to the Devil Trigger, permanently transforming them into a demon, or giving them demonic power.
Ascension Ceremony demons vary in behavior that ranges from ordinary humans with free will, to robotic-like machines. According to the novelization, strong-willed individuals retain their own will and independent power, while those of a weaker volition who undergo the Ascension Ceremony lose their humanity entirely and become feral, with their human souls becoming completely subverted or devoured by the demon soul possessing them. Artificial demons created through the Ascension ceremony include:
Agnus uses another, unknown method to create demons by magically combining various animals with weapons. Among them are:
Powerful demons made by transubstantiating human, demon, or hybrid souls and binding them to the armors created by Machiavelli.
This is a unique example. According to Nico's Enemy Reports, Artemis was created by Urizen fusing the Devil Arm Artemis with a human host. The demon shared the same coloration and long-range laser attacks as its gun counterpart. It is unknown whether it is possible to do this with other devil arms or with non-humans, similarly to the Angelos.
This is another unique example. Gilgamesh was a Qliphoth root encased in the demonic metal it was named after.
A unique type of demon created by manifesting one's traumatic memories. Nightmare can create lesser versions of these demons in its inner dimension including Nelo Angelo and Dante . Vergil created a handful of Nightmare demons discarding his trauma from his time as Nelo Angelo using Yamato:
The Nightmares created by Vergil can attack, but cannot kill other creatures due to their "dream-like" nature causing spiritual damage instead of physical damage. They require a host to survive, lest they fade over time. The host can then call upon them, both being able to be controlled and act autonomously. When inside their host, they can communicate telepathically with them.
Demons are hierarchical in nature in a manner similar to pack animals or hive insects. The abilities of demons are often greatly varied among the middle and higher ranks. Demons usually seem to possess powers that are based on a certain element, such as fire, ice or lightning. Demons also come in a wide array of shapes and sizes, are considerably stronger and more resilient than both humans and earthly creatures in order to survive and thrive within the otherworldly and often harsh terrain of the Underworld, and are able to perform superhuman and supernatural feats with relative ease. The most prominent ability displayed by almost every demon seen in the series thus far is immortality; demons are known to live for over two thousand years without being subject to old age or death. In Devil May Cry 2, Arius sought this natural gift of everlasting life by summoning the powers of Argosax.
After a demon is killed, it is possible for its soul and power to be turned into a weapon known as a "Devil Arm", though, as shown with the Sword of Sparda, a demon does not necessarily have to die to create a weapon from its power. Some demons willingly give their souls in battle if their opponent proves their strength.
Even though demons possess abilities beyond that of any human, that does not prevent humans from being able to fight and even kill a demon. Humans with enough skill to do so seem to be very rare, but those that do often become Devil Hunters.
- Different types of demons appeared in the series. In the first game most of the lesser demons were "spirits" possessing objects or elements ( the Marionette were evil spirits possessing puppets and the Kyklops were evil spirits possessing earth and rocks for example).In Devil May Cry 2 some demons used to be humans but became demons at some point like the Msira or the Finis Demon. In Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening the 7 Hells are demons from the Demon World who need medium (like sand) to exist in the Human World. In Devil May Cry 4 the Scarecrow are animated by little insects-like demons called Trypoxylus. Those differences are explained in the Devil May Cry 5: Before the Nightmare novel, Matier say that demons come from the demon world to the human world through gaps, when demons seep through those holes only their consciousness move so they can only possess things in the human world, except if the demon is a bug or an insect (which can be a reference to the Trypoxylus). Sometimes bigger gap appears and more powerful demons can physically come to the Human World.
- Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, Lesser Demons File — Arachne: "Once the soul of a human female, the soul transformed when it reached the outer crust of the netherworld. Uses her tightly spun spider webbing to ensnare her victims."
- Devil May Cry 4
- Devil May Cry graphic novels
- Devil May Cry: The Animated Series
- Devil May Cry 4 - Echinda: How shameful to be beaten by a human!
- Devil May Cry 5, Nico's Reports — Character Reports — Restored Nero: "Battlin' demons, seein' all kinds of crazy crap comin' up from the underworld—that's all in a day's work for devil hunters. But to watch a guy who's three- quarters human just bust out a new arm? That is deeply unsettlin'. [...]"
- Devil May Cry 2
- Devil May Cry 4: Deadly Fortune
- Devil May Cry 5: Before the Nightmare,Chapter 2: Dante