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Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening (デビル メイ クライ 3, Debiru Mei Kurai Surī?) is the third game in the Devil May Cry series. It is a prequel to the first Devil May Cry game, making it the first game in the series chronologically.

Dante's twin brother, Vergil, and a man named Arkham release the ancient tower of Temen-ni-gru from below a modern city and conspire to use Dante to unlock the gate to the demonic realm. While working toward confronting his brother, Dante encounters Lady, a fellow devil hunter, and the mysterious Jester, an enigmatic clown that aids Dante throughout his journey.


Devil May Cry 3 plays very differently from its predecessors although the premise still remains the same: slaying demons while solving puzzles to progress through the levels.

Unlike the first and second game, Devil May Cry 3 puts much more emphasis on style rather than simple demon slaying. As such, combat is much more intense and faster than before. Players can now switch between both Devil Arms and firearms with the R2 and L2 buttons, allowing for a very powerful and stylish string of combos. The Stylish Rank is now represented by a gauge. As players land successful hits and dodge attacks, the gauge increases. Once filled up, it will go up a rank.

Stylish Rankings:[]

  • Dope!
  • Crazy!
  • Blast!
  • Alright!
  • Sweet!
  • SShowtime!
  • SSStylish!

If the player takes any damage, the gauge will be reset at a lower level and if the same attack is repeated over and over again, the gauge will not increase until a new one is performed.

In addition, players are free to choose how to go about each mission through Styles, which change the way Dante fights, thus allowing diverse ways to gain Stylish points. Trickster focuses on evasion techniques, allowing the player to deftly dodge attacks of any kind. They essentially increase Dante's speed and helps increase the Stylish gauge by using such evasive abilities. Swordmaster focuses on Devil Arms/melee combat. It allows maximum use of such weapons to their fullest extent and is recommended for those, who prefer close-quarters combat. Gunslinger brings about the best in each firearm allowing the player to unleash devastating firepower at a distance. Royalguard is arguably the strongest and hardest style to master. It allows the player to effectively guard and counter any attack delivered towards Dante and turn their powers back at them. Recommended for expert players, Royalguard is the hardest to master, but once perfected, makes Dante invincible. Later in the game, players can gain two extra styles: Quicksilver, which slows down time while allowing the player to move at normal speed, and Doppelganger, which animates the user's shadow to assist in offense.

Special Edition[]

Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition is a re-release of Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening with an impressive list of added content:

  • It is now possible to play as Vergil on a separate save file. Vergil fights with only 3 melee weapons (Yamato, Beowulf, and Force Edge) and only has one style, Dark Slayer. He plays through the same levels as Dante but without the voiced cutscenes and behaves like him during scripted scenes. He also still fights a "Vergil" boss three times, however, this boss has a red coat to differentiate it from player Vergil. Players have nicknamed the character "Vante" to resolve confusion.
  • The game difficulty modes were shifted down so that the Special Edition's Normal mode is equivalent to the original's Easy mode, and a new Very Hard mode was added to replace the original Hard mode.
  • The Bloody Palace from Devil May Cry 2 was also added, though it ends at the 9999th floor instead of restarting, and beating it with either character allows them to obtain their first Super costume without completing the Very Hard mode.
  • The "Demo Digest" mode was added, allowing the player to view any previously seen cutscene along with a hidden scene from the main menu.
  • Three boss fights were created for Dante to fight the Jester character - the first of these is mandatory, while the next two are optional. Vergil can also fight him, although it is not mandatory for him either.
  • The Super glitch in the first game was corrected so that Quicksilver and Doppelganger still drain energy, even while using the Super costumes. However, to compensate for that, a new Super Legendary Dark Knight costume was added which preserves the glitch.

Nintendo Switch[]

On November 25, 2019 the Special Edition was announced for the Nintendo Switch, following the previous two installments. It was released February 20, 2020 worldwide, available as a digital download only, both separately and as a part of the Devil May Cry Triple Pack bundle.[1] On January 7, 2020 producer Matt Walker announced three extra features would be coming to the Switch version:[2][3]

  • Style Switching: The first of these features, revealed on January 16, was Style Switching with directional buttons in a new Free Style mode.[4][5]
  • Equip all of Dante's weapons at once: The second, revealed on January 30, was the ability to switch between all unlocked weapons at any time with a new Radial Menu option in Free Style mode.[6]
  • Co-op in the Bloody Palace: The third feature is the ability to play the Bloody Palace mode in a local co-op.

On March 10th, a Version 1.0.1 patch released which fixed some bugs and glitches that were found in the game. With the most notable issue that has been fixed, is a very destructive bug that causes the save file for Dante to be corrupted if the player tried to load it while playing as Vergil. This bug caused Dante's arsenals to become corrupted when choosing them on the Divinity Statue or during real-time gameplay.


DMC3 Dante inside the shop

Dante inside the shop.

Devil May Cry 3 (A prequel to the previous two games) begins with Dante, in his yet-to-be-named shop, receiving a call from a needy customer, but mentions he hasn't started business. As he digs into a pizza from a pizza box, an unnamed individual comes in and speaks about him being the son of Sparda. He is then revealed to be working for Dante's older twin brother Vergil. He talks about the history of their father and hopes he can accept his invitation. The visitor vanishes as Dante picks up a pizza, the "invitation" arrives in the form of an onslaught of demons. As Dante leaves his shop to beat more demons, an enormous tower, the Temen-ni-gru, emerges in the background. As Dante progresses, he sets off to accept Vergil's "invitation" and begin the quest.

DMC3 Dante faces Cerberus

Dante faces Cerberus at Temen-ni-gru's entrance.

When coming across the entrance to the tower, Dante faces Cerberus (a massive three-headed hellhound) who warns Dante that he isn't welcome in the region, nor the tower because he looks like a human. Dante defeats the demon where it realises Dante is unlike any other human. He is unsure about his true "nature", but Cerberus nonetheless offers his soul (the first of many bosses that give Dante weapons after defeat) as a weapon to give Dante protection against further danger. Dante is shown up by a woman on a motorcycle who doesn't waste time and overtakes Dante, giving him more motivation to climb the tower.

The stranger and Vergil employ various measures to prevent any intruders into the tower, namely Dante and the woman, from stopping their secret plans. They seek Dante's half of the Perfect Amulet, the only momento left from their mother. It holds the hidden power, when the two halves are joined, to open the door to the Demon World within the tower (in a function similar to a Hell Gate.) The bald stranger, Arkham, has a bond with the woman, who is revealed to be Mary, his daughter. Mary came to the tower to kill her father because he sacrificed her mother to gain power. The four characters complete various tasks and goals, occasionally meeting throughout the tower.

DMC3 Dante vs Vergil 1

Dante arrives at the top of the demonic tower, ready to battle his brother.

While progressing through sections of the tower, Dante comes across a fifth, more enigmatic character, named Jester, who has knowledge of the tower and most of its functions. Facing demons and many puzzles, Dante makes it to his brother at the peak of the tower, where they fight each other brutally. Vergil overwhelms his brother and stabs him with his sword, Yamato. When Dante resists and tries to keep going (to get his amulet and sword back), Vergil uses Rebellion, Dante's own sword, to make sure he was dead. As Dante lies on the tower, presumed to be dead, his sword "tastes" Dante's blood and builds up his dormant devil powers. The energy explodes, triggering his true power. Dante falls unconscious and when he awakens, he finds his true might and heads out to get back to Vergil as fast as possible.

Dante jumps from the tower, where he is swallowed by an enormous flying creature known as the Leviathan. As Dante kills the creature and comes across Mary again, where the two have an argument about their different "beliefs". He nicknames her "Lady" and escapes while she is forced to take the job to finish the demons for him. Arkham and Vergil make it to the tower's door, where Arkham uses his book to open it to proceed to the control room located in the tower's basement. Arkham taunts Vergil, telling him that he is a joke for being more human than demon. He impales Arkham and kills him, since he does not need his help anymore now that the door is open. Dante reaches the control room where Vergil is trying to get the tower awakened, he taunts him to keep him distracted with another battle. As Vergil takes his chance to get more of Sparda's blood from his brother to reactivate the tower, they are seen by Mary who steps in a forbidden area not meant for humans. Mary thinks Vergil corrupted her father, but the former was in fact manipulated. As they continue, Jester comes in and applauds their efforts for helping him get his desire. The Jester reveals himself as Arkham, and evades their attacks and overpowers their attempts to stop him. He tells Vergil that he is missing one key to get the Force Edge, a sword that has Sparda's power within in it. To become a new god, Arkham stabs Mary with the bayonet her cannon in order to get the blood that belonged to her ancestor. Sparda killed that ancestor to suppress the power of the tower and open the gate. With Dante's, Vergil's and Mary's blood, the tower starts to awaken. Arkham is brought up to the summit by an elevator and waits for his chant and the bells (which were a mystery until now) to be put together. Vergil is seen unconscious while the other two continue onwards.

Lady and Dante Fight

Lady forces Dante to fight her.

Dante progresses on his own path and when chasing with the fatigued Mary, he takes the chance to face her father for her and leave her out. Mary stubbornly fights Dante, insisting that she should be the one to kill him. After the fight, Dante explains his motivations and Mary entrusts him with Kalina Ann and her mission. Dante comes to the top of the tower, and fights his shadow, Doppelganger. After defeating it, he comes to Arkham in a strange area within the Demon World. Dante is disgusted by Arkham taking on his father's form, however, this is short lived as Arkham's dark heart causes him to transform into a blob-like creature. He battles Dante in an effort to be more powerful by any means necessary.


The brothers work together to defeat Arkham.

In the battle, as Dante was busy with Arkham, Vergil appears and takes his stand against the two. He and Dante take on Arkham for not backing away from the power when he could. The brothers are hindered by their weapons and Dante has one of his guns knocked out his hand. They remember their old, childhood saying of "Jackpot!". With the weakened Arkham taken out, he is kicked out of the Demon World and drops to the tower's top in with a force that paralyses his legs. Mary comes up to her father and as he pleads for her assistance, but she denies him and abandons her name as Lady. She chooses to end his life, but cries over the loss of her family. Back in the demon world, Dante and Vergil face off to have control of the sword. Dante is told to give up his amulet by his stubborn brother. Dante fights him off and ends him with a powerful slash at the peak of Vergil's swing, wounding him and making him fall into the dark part of the Demon World. Dante escapes the soon-to-be closed and unstable portal, taking the Force Edge and his amulet half back with him.

DMC3 Devil May Cry Shop

Dante is back at his shop, now named "Devil May Cry".

Returning to the Human World, Dante meets Lady outside the tower where she coins the phrase "devil may cry" while trying to comfort Dante over the loss of his brother. They form a friendship and the beginnings of a partnership in demon-slaying. He later on names his shop "Devil May Cry". By accomplishing certain conditions, there is an extra scene that shows Vergil's fate. Still in the Demon World, severely weakened, yet determined, he encounters Mundus, his father's old enemy, and charges into battle against him. His fate is later on revealed in Devil May Cry.

Difficulty Modes[]

Main article: Difficulty Mode

Devil May Cry 3 is said to be the most difficult game in the series, and the original release Is often regarded as one of the most difficult games of all time.[7][8] Enemies and bosses generally get tougher while the player gets weaker as the difficulty increases.

The North American version of the original game had a key difference between its Japanese version and the subsequent releases with the Special Edition: the difficulty levels were shifted up by one, meaning that, for example, the NA "Easy" would be equivalent to JPN "Normal" and the NA "Hard" did not exist in the JPN version at all, and would later become the "Very Hard" mode of the Special Edition.

When asked about this, Hideaki Itsuno stated that the reason why the NA version was made harder was because USA players (and the state of California in particular) could return their games within 30 days, Capcom USA instructed the Japanese development team to make the NA version harder because of that, after the feedback of the game being too hard, the team then released the Special Edition and all subsequent releases with the way the Japanese version was set up.[9]


Devil Arms[]

Fire Arms[]


Main article: Costumes

Devil May Cry 3 boasts the most alternate costumes for Dante to date, with his DMC1 outfit, two "coatless" variants, a Sparda outfit, and two "Super" costumes. Vergil has his own set of wardrobe changes, including a coatless version of his standard look, a variant on Sparda's outfit where he is turned into Nelo Angelo upon his devil trigger and two "Super" costumes; one for his regular outfit and one for his corrupted outfit.


In the edition packaged with the Devil May Cry HD Collection, players can unlock trophies or achievements depending on the platforms being played for performing specific actions in the game.

Advertising slogans[]

  • Japan (original release) – I'm absolutely crazy about it! (楽しすぎて狂っちまいそうだ!, Tanoshi sugite kurutchimai-sōda!?)
  • North America – Raise Hell
  • Europe (original release) – Different paths The same destiny…
  • Japan (Special Edition) – たまにはお前の遊びにつきあってやろう (, Tama ni wa omae no asobi ni tsukiatte yarō?, I'll try your game once in a while)
  • Europe (Special Edition) – The Demon-Killer strikes back!


  • Every chapter beginning cutscene has the number of the mission it precedes shown at some point (i.e. The chapter 3 shows Lady with her motorcycle, making the Two Hell Prides and a Hell Lust burn and form "3" or the trail of Arkham's blood to form number "11").
  • This was the only game in the series that had a pseudo-multiplayer mode until Devil May Cry 5 released. To do this, the second player must get a second controller and press start while the first player uses the Doppelganger Style's "After-image", or when Vergil joins the fight with Arkham. The second player will control a downgraded Vergil with less combos than normal, but with infinite health.
  • This is the first game in the original franchise series to have gore, even though it's not rated "Blood and Gore" on its ESRB rating - while other games censor wounds, or show miniature fountains of blood spraying. This is shown when the wounds left after the 7 Hell Prides impaled Dante with their scythes; after Vergil mortally wounds Dante with Rebellion, exposing Dante's wounded area; and when Vergil's and/or Dante's hands sink in each other's blade. This also includes the higher intensity of blood, where blood trails from Arkham in missions 11 and 20 - making Devil May Cry 3 the bloodiest game in the franchise.
  • Voice actor and motion capture actor series veteran Reuben Langdon was interviewed about the Japanese commercial of Devil May Cry 3; having starred in the commercial, the ad was planned to be bigger, but was denied the budget. Langdon was paid menially and was denied to keep the prop signature trench coat.
  • Each background theme in this game, such as the lyrical "Devils Never Cry" and the choir-esque orchestra for Unsacred Hellgate use a transition in the chords and sequences of a calm, pure human-based tone and where it all turns into a twisted demon-like demeanor which apparently defines the conflicts of humanity and demonkind within the series.
  • The font used in the logo for the U.S. and Japanese release of DMC 3 is a Mael by Dale Harris/Thorpe, with some manual tweaking of some of the letters by by Capcom.[citation needed]

See also[]


  1. Devil May Cry on Twitter: #DevilMayCry 3 Special Edition is set to rock 'n roll onto #NintendoSwitch on February 20, 2020 for just $19.99
  2. Devil May Cry on Twitter: A SSSpecial mini developer update on #DevilMayCry 3 Special Edition for #NintendoSwitch from producer Matt Walker (@retrootoko)
  3. Devil May Cry on Twitter: Three little extra features coming to #DevilMayCry 3 Special Edition for Nintendo Switch… any guesses as to what they might be…?
  4. Devil May Cry on Twitter: #DevilMayCry 3 Special Edition producer Matt Walker (@retrootoko) is back to introduce Free Style mode for the #NintendoSwitch version!
  5. Keep it Stylish with Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition’s new Free Style mode for the Nintendo Switch version - Capcom Unity
  6. Devil May Cry on Twitter: Time for another feature reveal for #DevilMayCry 3 Special Edition on #NintendoSwitch: Weapon Switching!
  7.'s 2008 Top Ten Most Difficult Games selection.
  8. IGN's Top 10 Most Challenging PS2 games (2005).
  9. Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition (Switch) - Bloody Palace Co-op Showcase