Curse of the Bloody Puppets is the first mission of Devil May Cry.
Walkthrough (lower difficulties)Edit
Dante starts out in front of the sealed door he entered though in the final cutscene, on a winding path heading towards the castle. Along the way the first two items of the game can be found: a Yellow Orb in plain sight in front of an altar-like structure, and a well-hidden Blue Orb Fragment. The latter is not visible, and is claimed by standing in the small tower next to the path: to reach this on a first run, the player has to have Dante wall-jump off the arched bridge leading to the tower, aiming to land on top of it. This is significantly easier on a New Game+ when Dante has Air Hike, but is quite achievable without it.
Proceeding up the path and into the cracked wall of the castle will result in it sealing behind Dante: this is the "official" start of the mission, with the area outside not being counted towards the level time for ranking purposes. This locks Dante in the castle's decrepit entrance hall, dominated by a statue of a mounted knight, with a larger statue of Mundus looming in the background with a blue flame burning in his outstretched hand. A strange red seal is placed over one of the doors which will snatch at Dante with a spectral hand if he stays near it for too long, while the other door is locked and requires a Rusty Key. The door with the magical seal will note it requires 45 Red Orbs to open if Dante examines it: it will try to attack Dante during this, but cannot hurt him while the text is on screen.
This area is intended as a jumping tutorial, and exactly 45 Red Orbs are scattered around the room. The only ones that might elude an inexperienced player are in the back-right of the room: to get to these, the player has to have Dante wall-jump off the collapsed section of floor to get higher, then proceed forwards and drop down a hole. There is also a Divinity Statue located directly above the door with the magical seal, though this cannot be used for now.
Additionally, the second Blue Orb Fragment of the mission is found in this room. It is located on the left side on a platform which can only be accessed by wall-jumping off the wall nearby, using a diagonal movement to land on the small floor area with the Fragment.
For a more experienced or patient player, there is a shortcut to obtain the required Orbs and more besides. To do this, the player must have Dante jump up on the horse statue's back from the stairway, jump up to the horse's head, and then make a careful jump from there, wall-jumping off the shaft of the raised spear and tapping slightly towards it, with the goal being for Dante to land on the tip. Successfully landing this tricky jump will uncover a Red Orb Cache, instantly granting Dante 100 Red Orbs.
Once Dante has accumulated at least 45 Red Orbs, return to the door to break the seal, and proceed inside. The next room is dominated by a closed portcullis, with a door to the left and some suits of armor to the right. Smash the suits of armor with Dante's sword to claim the third Blue Orb Fragment of the mission and some more Red Orbs. In general, small scenery items that stand out from the background such as tables, chairs, weapon racks and suits of armor can be smashed for Red Orbs, and the player will quickly get a feel for the sorts of items that can and cannot be destroyed through experimentation.
Proceeding through the next set of doors leads to a room with more breakable items and an archway which leads to stairs going up. At the top of the stairs a strange giant puppet is sprawled on the floor, next to a rusty-looking metal box. Going near this box triggers a brief cutscene showing a hole in the ceiling. However, first the player should have Dante proceed through the door here into another room. This room houses the mechanism for the portcullis and a mysterious ladder, but there is nothing Dante can do with either of these for the moment. Instead, the player should have Dante jump over the low railing to the left of the path between the chains. This lands Dante in a pool of water, which contains the fourth Blue Orb Fragment of the level. If all have been collected so far, they will form into a Blue Orb and increase the size of Dante's health bar.
After this, exit the room and jump up through the hole in the ceiling seen before. There are some bookshelves here that the player can examine for a little lore about the castle, but the main point of interest is a second puppet holding a glowing object in the corner of the room. Examining the puppet will reveal this to be the Rusty Key. However, as Dante starts to walk away a cutscene will trigger, showing the puppet has come to life.
This creature is a Marionette, the most basic enemy of the game: the blue, purple and green ones are Marionettes, while the red ones are called Bloody Maris. They are quite slow and easy to stun and juggle, but their large size gives them impressive reach and they have a range of attacks including melee attacks, a grapple attack, an AoE stun move and the ability to throw the weapons mounted on their arms. Those with small daggers will throw them straight at Dante, while those with crescent-shaped blades will throw them in a boomerang-like arc that intersects with where Dante was standing when they threw them: this is telegraphed with a distinctive whirring sound. They can also perform a deadly spinning attack with their arms outstretched. The Bloody Mari is tougher than a regular Marionette, deals slightly more damage, and also has the ability to block Dante's melee attacks in its frontal arc.
Since the stairway has not closed off the player can simply have Dante leave, but it is best to fight the wave of puppets to practise basic combat moves and get used to Dante's capabilities.
Once the puppets are dealt with, proceed back downstairs and out into the entrance hall, then make for the door that required the Rusty Key. Using it will allow Dante to enter a workshop area centered on an old-fashioned biplane with seaplane floats. More puppets hang ominously from the ceiling, but they are harmless for the time being. There is more scenery to smash here, and jumping up on the biplane allows Dante to access another Red Orb Cache by standing on the biplane's engine cowling, and the mission's final Blue Orb Fragment on top of one of the wings.
The other door to the room is currently sealed and declares that "15 puppets" are keeping it that way. The path forward is in the back-right corner of the room, behind the two suits of armor. Smashing them reveals a strange dial: this device is activated by hitting it with Dante's melee attacks until all of the symbols are lit, and will be seen many times on the Devil Hunter's journey through the castle. In this case, activating it operates the platform directly in front of it, which is an elevator leading down.
Down below is a circular arena with a group of Marionettes in the center: as soon as Dante steps off the elevator it will go back up, trapping him down here. After the first set of puppets have been dealt with, the three doors around the perimeter of the room will open, unleashing three more groups of puppets. Their armament is random, and some of them may have a Shotgun. This is quite a tricky challenge starting out, and it is very important to listen out for the sounds of Marionettes throwing their weapons to avoid being taken by surprise.
Once the Marionettes in the arena are defeated, the elevator will come back down. On returning to the workshop, the puppets hanging there before will drop down from the ceiling and attack: fight them as before, being wary of their numbers.
If the player is having trouble with this area, there is a cheap way to beat it: jumping up on the biplane's wing and firing down with Ebony & Ivory will allow Dante to engage them while mostly safe from their attacks, only having to watch out for projectiles. This is a common tactic in fresh-character Dante Must Die runs, as for some reason the Marionettes (and the Fetish present in this area on that difficulty) cannot enter their Devil Trigger state while Dante is up on the plane.
Once all of the puppets are vanquished, the sealed door opens: interacting with it will end the game's first level.
The first group of puppets will now include Fetishes, including replacing the inert one by the hole in the ceiling. Another Fetish is present in the workshop, and the number of puppets that control the door is increased from 15 to 17. In Dante Must Die mode, the enemies in the arena are on the game's first DT timer: both waves are on one timer, and when it expires all enemies remaining in the area (including those that have not spawned in yet) will enter Devil Trigger state.