Devil May Cry Wiki

Devil May Cry 2 is an action game published by Capcom in 2003 exclusively for the PlayStation 2. The game is set after the events of Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry: The Animated Series.[1] It has been criticized for a variety of development decisions, which made the game considerably different from its predecessor; among these decisions was the lowered difficulty.

Set in modern times, on the fictional island of Vie de Marli, the story centers on Dante and Lucia in their fight to stop a sinister businessman named Arius from raising the demon Argosax and achieving supreme power. The story is told primarily through a mixture of cutscenes using the game's engine and several pre-rendered full motion videos.


Despite the success of the original Devil May Cry, the sequel was not created by Hideki Kamiya or Capcom Production Studio 4. The first notice Kamiya's team was given about any sort of sequel occurred during localization of Devil May Cry in North America and Europe, when a member of Devil May Cry 2's team asked Kamiya for the design document and screenplay of the first game. The choice to already make a sequel greatly surprised Kamiya.[2] Since the game's release, Kamiya has expressed disappointment that he was not called on by his superiors at Capcom to direct Devil May Cry 2.

Instead, the sequel was granted to another production studio within Capcom, Capcom Studio 1 which was originally focused on arcade games.[3][4][2] The follow-up was greenlit in summer of 2001 to capitalize on the high awareness and popularity of the first game.[5] According to producer Tsuyoshi Tanaka, the thrust of the design was to make Devil May Cry 2 bigger than its predecessor; Tanaka estimated that the game's environments were approximately nine times as large as the first. Dante was made more "grown-up and serious" since a producer didn't like how wise-cracking the character was in Devil May Cry.[6] The emphasis on puzzles was also downplayed,[3] with the camera system revamped to allow for better action scenes. Changes from the first game were influenced by surveys distributed by the development team, allowing them to patch any areas identified as weak by the people surveyed. This includes more combos and acrobatic moves for Dante and Lucia[7], and the ability to change weapons on the fly[8]. The addition of Lucia as a playable character was a response to player complaints that Trish was not playable in the first Devil May Cry.[7] Dante's motorcyle was supposed to play a larger role in driving missions and as a weapon,[9] something Itsuno personally proposed to the programmers.[10] A great number of features, enemies and levels were cut due to a short development time, such as adaptive difficulty, multiple routes with differing length[11], a rival similar to Dante who could shoot energy balls,[6] a boss similar to a dragon with fire attacks[9] or Dante vocally reacting as his style ranking changes during combat.[11] Originally, the game was supposed to be set in New York, but after September 11 terrorist attacks that idea was abandoned.[12]

Capcom Studio 1 member Hideaki Itsuno, fresh off finishing his work on Capcom VS. SNK 2,[13] was asked to reorganize the project, essentially putting him in the directing chair with 6 months of development left.[14] In exchange, he would go uncredited,[6] though he ended up as the only credited director in the final release. In an interview, Itsuno said that "nothing was getting done and that needed to change. The scenario hadn't been written, the cutscenes had yet to be shot, and they hadn't decided what to do about Dante's Devil Trigger. They had determined that at least the 'Stinger' attack was essential, so at least they had someone who was going to take care of that. (laughs) But none of the other attacks had been worked on at all."[6] By the end of development, every staff member was mobilized, and even members outside the team such as Hiroyuki Nara were called in to finish the game, with Nara working on Dante's unlockable Devil May Cry costume as well as making Trish playable. Though he tried to import Dante's original moveset over to Trish using the first game's source code, he ended up having to recreate them by eyeballing the animations thanks to a retail copy of Devil May Cry.[6] Morihashi, who handled a multitude of odd jobs, found the toil taxing, to the point of coughing blood: "I was living close to the company, so I'd get home around dawn, bathe, change clothes, and then head right back. I was practically sleeping at work so I wouldn't be late. (laughs) I'd even take naps during lunch breaks". Despite the situation, he was still invested in the series, and asked for Kamiya's advice on how to tackle a sequel featuring Vergil.[6]

Itsuno did everything he could while struggling to release a quality finished product in the conditions the game was. He accomplished everything his superiors wanted from him, but wasn't satisfied. He didn't want Devil May Cry 2 to be his legacy within the series,[6] so before development had wrapped,[15] Itsuno asked his higher-ups for Devil May Cry 3, with himself as director from the start of the project. He rallied Team Devil to stay for it; some members shared his sentiment, with many wanting to work with what they learned making Devil May Cry 2. With regards to player reception, Devil May Cry 2 pleased those who found the original too difficult, but drove much of the player base away, which made Team Devil's goal to win them back.[6]

In November 2020, Capcom was targeted by a ransomware attack, which led to a file batch containing the source code backup for Devil May Cry 2 leaking on the internet.[16]


Devil May Cry 2 is an action game where the player guides either Dante or Lucia through an urban environment, fighting an abundance of demons in fast-paced combat. The game itself consists of missions with specific goals in the play area of the game itself. The player's performance in each mission is ranked from D to S based on the time taken to complete the mission, the amount of Red Orbs collected, the overall "style" displayed during fights which occurred, item usage, and damage taken. In contrast to the rest of the gameplay, the style judging system used in the game has been cited as being the most harsh in terms of how it judges the player's performance.

Combat itself is based on the style the player demonstrates during a fight. The rating the player gains for style is improved by hitting enemies continuously while avoiding damage. This ranges from "Don't Worry", progressing to "Come On!", "Bingo", "Are You Ready?" and peaking at "Show Time!!". If the character takes damage, the Style Gauge goes back to "Don't Worry".

The game's combat controls are noticeably different than those of the first game. Melee weapon combos are based on pressing the analog stick in conjunction with the attack button, rather than on the timing of the attack button presses alone. New to the series is an evasion button, which allows Dante or Lucia to roll, dodge enemy attacks, or run along walls. Another new feature is a weapon-change button, which allows the player to cycle through ranged weapons without switching to the inventory screen.

The game also features puzzle-solving and exploration elements. Gameplay involves the player examining their surroundings to find items and orbs. Red Orbs are used to upgrade weapons or purchase items, which allow them to restore their damaged health or even instantly revive should they be killed by an enemy's attack.

The Devil Trigger ability enables Dante and Lucia to transform into a demonic form. This unlocks special Devil Trigger-only attacks as well as allows Dante and Lucia to tap into the power of their Amulets, which is also a new feature to the series. Unique to this game is the Majin Form — an enhanced form of the Devil Trigger — available to Dante when he is low on health.


Devil May Cry 2 begins with Lucia and Dante separately entering a museum where an important item called the Arcana Medaglia is stored. After defeating a group of demons in the museum, Lucia invites Dante to follow her to Vie de Marli, where he is introduced to Matier, her mother. Matier explains that she once fought alongside Dante's father, Sparda, to defend the island against demons. She asks Dante to help fight Arius, an international businessman who uses demonic power and seeks to conquer the world. Dante flips a coin as an answer, and decides to help when the coin lands on heads. After Dante leaves Matier and Lucia discuss the Arcana, the items required for Arius to release Argosax.

Lucia eventually confronts Arius, who reveals that she was his creation. When Lucia moves to strike Arius, he uses his magic to blast her away. Shortly afterwards, Dante meets up with Lucia, who gives him the last of the Arcana before leaving. Dante then encounters Matier and tries to pass the Arcana to her. Matier, in turn, asks Dante to take the Arcana to save Lucia, who has gone to fight Arius again. Dante flips the coin again to decide if he will help; it lands on heads, and he departs to aid Lucia. Meanwhile, Lucia enters the Uroboros building and attacks Arius, who captures her. Dante arrives and trades the Arcana for Lucia, then attacks Arius. To escape, Arius forces Dante to decide between saving Lucia or killing him.

Lucia, worried about the ritual and conflicted about herself, wonders how they will stop Arius. Dante waves her off, stating he will find a way. Dante leaves Lucia to think as he departs to defeat Arius. Matier arrives a short time later, sets Lucia's mind at ease, and decides to rejoin the fight against Arius. Dante arrives to find Arius in the middle of his immortality-inducing ritual. Apparently not at all phased by the completion of the ceremony, Dante stands confident. Another fight ensues, in which Dante finishes Arius off with his pistols. Outside, Lucia confronts Dante and demands that he kill her because she fears she will become a demon herself. Before the issue can be resolved, a large stream of energy strikes the tower and a portal to the demon world is opened. Dante and Lucia argue over who will enter and close it from the inside; Dante offers to leave the issue up to fate. He flips the coin and it once again lands on heads, leaving Dante to enter the portal to deal with Argosax after leaving the coin with Lucia.

After Dante departs, Arius returns to life bearing demonic power. While Lucia fights Arius, he finds himself injured and attempts to distract her, a tactic which fails; Lucia goes on to defeat him. Within the portal, Dante fights and defeats the partially summoned Argosax. Finding the portal closed, Dante instead drives further into the demon realm on a motorcycle. In the aftermath of the battle, Matier attempts to reassure Lucia about Dante's fate, insisting that Sparda returned from a similar trip. Lucia examines the coin Dante left with her and discovers that both sides are identical. Sometime later in Dante's shop, Lucia muses about Dante and how Sparda, having taken the exact same journey to hell, came back. Outside, the sound of a motorcycle echoes, and Lucia leaves to investigate who it is.

Difficulty Modes[]

Main article: Difficulty Mode

Devil May Cry 2 was criticized for its easy difficulty compared to its predecessor. Unlike the other games, Devil May Cry 2 has no Easy difficulty mode. Beating the game with either character unlocks Hard mode for that character, and beating Hard mode unlocks the "Must Die" difficulty for that character's campaign.


Main article: Costumes

Capcom worked with the Italian clothing company Diesel, which is known for designing clothes for video games, to create unlockable costumes for Dante and Lucia. Promotional material featured the characters with the costumes in Diesel stores across Japan. Dante has an unlockable Devil May Cry model, alongside appropritae sound effects and voice clips, while Lucia can unlock an Arius' secretary skin.


In the edition packaged with the Devil May Cry HD Collection, players can unlock PS3/PS4 Trophies and Xbox 360/Xbox One Achievements for their exploits.


Critical reception[]

PlayStation 2[]

The game received mixed reviews by 40 critics, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[17] Chief among the complaints was that the difficulty was lower than in the first game.[18] The combat system was also criticized as being less refined, with individual weapons being weaker or stronger variants of the same weapon instead of different weapons with their own advantages and disadvantages. Boss battles were criticized for requiring less strategy than the original. The environment was less detailed than the environments of the first game, trading detail for open space which also made stringing moves and combos together more difficult since enemies were more spaced out, nullifying one of the primary attractions of the first game.[19] Furthermore, Dante's personality change did not sit well with reviewers.[20] The addition of a second disc was seen as a cheap way for the developers to increase replay value since Lucia's missions are simply recycled material from Dante's own missions, with only minor variations.[21] GameSpot chose Devil May Cry 2 as the Most Disappointing Game of 2003.[22] UGO Networks ranked Devil May Cry 2 19th on its list of "The Biggest Disappointments in Video Games", adding "Devil May Cry was so good [...] There was no way Devil May Cry 2 could've lived up to the hype, but it didn't have to fail so spectacularly."[23]

However, the game received some positive reviews. PSXextreme, for example, countered arguments by many critics, stating that the environments only looked worse due to their range, and that the only reason Devil May Cry 2 failed to surpass its origins was due to the lack of challenge.[24] Electronic Gaming Monthly praised the game's control scheme and new ideas, as well as the idea of featuring the two protagonists on separate discs.[25] Play called Lucia's side of the story "a cruel sonnet of self-realization wrapped in a story steeped in religious overtones", stating that the story alone was reason to purchase the game.[26]

Nintendo Switch[]

On September 19th 2019, Devil May Cry 2 was re-released as a standalone digital title on the Nintendo Switch eShop, much like Devil May Cry previously or Devil May Cry 3 right after. As such, it received a critical reevaluation, gaining a score of 50 on Metacritic by 8 reviewers.[27] Steven McGehee of Digital Chumps is the only critic to give a positive score of 7.5/10, saying the game is "fun" and "worth playing through".[28] Nintendo Enthusiast was much more critical, giving a 60/100, claiming that it " comes off as a failed experiment more than anything else." and that "it pales in comparison to the rest of the franchise".[29] PJ O'Reilly from Nintendo Life panned Devil May Cry 2 with a 4/10, stating that it's "a confused and oddly bland game with a nonsensical story, boring level design, terrible enemy AI and a central protagonist who has seriously lost his mojo."[30]


Capcom positioned Devil May Cry 2 as a blockbuster title for the fiscal year.[31] It sold well, becoming one of the top ten best-selling games in the United Kingdom for the first half of 2003.[32] It earned the 500,000 yen Gold Prize at the 2003 PlayStation Awards for selling between 500,000 and 1 million copies in Japan by July.[33] However, it did not meet corporate expectations[31]: sales totalled 1.4 million copies worldwide by the end of March 2003[34], slightly below their 1.66 million forecast,[35] itself a reduced estimate from initial projections.[36] The game's market shortcomings and troubled creation reflected wider struggles within the company: the cancellation of 18 titles in concurrent development with it led Capcom to undertake mid-production evaluations and stronger pre-development project vetting.[37] As of 31 March 2022, over 2.9 million units have been sold[38]: 1.7 million of the PlayStation 2 release; combined with 1.2 million of the Devil May Cry HD Collection PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 releases in both physical and digital form.

Advertising slogans[]

  • Japan – 悪魔と踊ろう (, Akuma to odorō?, lit. Let's dance with the Devil)
  • North America – Cooler Than Hell!


  2. 2.0 2.1
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Devil May Cry 2". PSM. Vol. 6, no. 6 #59. Imagine Media. June 2002. pp. 048–051. ISSN 1095-4163.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 北裏裕章, ed. (June 2015) [14 March 2013], Devil May Cry 3•1•4•2 Graphic Arts, translated by Caleb Cook; M. Kirie Hayashi, Udon Entertainment, ISBN 978-1-927925-48-5
  7. 7.0 7.1
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Devil May Cry 2". monitor. PlayStation 2 Official Magazine – UK. No. 26. Future Publishing. November 2002. p. 046.
  11. 11.0 11.1
  12. Devil May Cry 3 Material Archive - Note of Naught p. 88
  15. 青柳昌之, ed. (30 March 2006), "3: Interviews", デビル メイ クライ 3 設定資料集 Note of Naught [Devil May Cry 3 Material Archive -Note of Naught-], enterbrain, pp. 087–099, ISBN 4-7577-2767-4
  26. "Play Magazine's Devil May Cry 2 Review". Imagine Publishing. 2003-03-01. p. 40.
  29. [1] The Nintendo Enthusiast website shut down in 2022, and there exists no archive for the review.
  31. 31.0 31.1

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