Walkthrough (lower difficulties)
Dante starts in front of the small structure to one side of the main room from Mission 09: New Strength, which previously had a Holy Water on the roof. Before anything, the first thing to do is double back and return all the way to the underground chamber with the rotating spike-floor. Examine the skull engraving on the wall to start Secret Mission 08: Treasure of the Reaper, a tough battle which tasks Dante with killing three Shadows in this confined area. After claiming the Blue Orb Fragment, return all the way back to the room where the mission began.
This room will either contain a pack of Blades or two Kyklops. Fighting them is optional. Regardless, proceed to the covered passageway with the three doors that Dante could not open when he first came to this area. The Emblem Shield now allows Dante to open the glowing doors with shield motifs on either side of the main doorway.
Dante's task here is to acquire an item called the Pair of Lances, which will open the main door. Regardless of which path the player chooses, the first path they take will always have the item Luminite near a pile of Fetish parts at the start. This item lights up a small area around Dante when he is in the dark: before getting it, Dante cannot go through the door at the bottom of the stairs in this room.
The Pair of Lances will always be at the end of the first path Dante goes down, after which he can proceed through the main locked door to take on the boss if the player so desires. However, the first possible place to acquire the game's last gun, Nightmare-β, is found by going down the second. After going down one path and returning, a brief cutscene will show it is now night, and that a group of five Sin Scythes have replaced the previous enemy spawns in the main room.
Blue path (left)
The first room is on two levels: right above the blocked doorway across from the entrance is a ledge which Dante can jump up to for a small Red Orb Cache. Directly ahead is an odd heap of material surrounded by Fetish parts, which contains the Luminite. Downstairs will be Marionettes on Easy Automatic, and Fetishes on all other difficulties: down here is also a Divinity Statue and a large door. Prior to going through, walk away from the door to find a cracked section of wall blocking an archway: smashing this allows Dante to enter a side-chamber with various junk that can be smashed for Red Orbs and a Green Orb: one of them instead contains a Blue Orb Fragment. In addition, a Holy Water can be found on the floor at the back of the room.
The next area is rather similar to the area with the rotating floor in Mission 14: Deep Darkness & Towering Mountains with a rotating floor and a spike wall, but in this case there are no spikes springing out of the floor. Instead, there are a series of points where the path pinches in, and at regular intervals spikes will shoot horizontally across the width of these. Touching the sides of the spikes will also damage Dante.
On this path, there are four sets of spikes, and Dante is accosted by a group of Sin Scythes as he makes his way through, so switch to the Shotgun. Halfway along there is a small tunnel in the left-hand wall, which leads into a small room with some Red Orbs and an odd device on the floor. Standing on this will restore Dante's Devil Trigger gauge at a fairly rapid rate, with no limit as to how much it can be used. Outside of Dante Must Die mode this can be used to heal for free if the player feels Dante's health is insufficient.
After getting past all the spikes the corridor doubles back on itself, with a pool of strange purple fluid visible below a small platform jutting out of the wall. This liquid is not quite as dangerous as it looks, only being a "damage floor" that will slowly drain Dante's health if he touches it: if Dante falls, going back to the edge of the pool provides some steps to get out.
Jumping to the small platform allows the player to see an equally small pedestal which has the item for this path on it. Jump to this, pick up the item, and then double back to return to the main area.
Red path (right)
The first room is largely the same including the Red Orb Cache location, save that behind the cracked wall the only item found is a Yellow Orb. The second room is similar with another DT recharge platform halfway along, but this time there are no enemies in the area with the rotating floor and only two sets of spikes, and Dante is instead tasked with activating a pair of wheel devices to drop two platforms down in the area with the pedestal, in order to make a path to it. Once activated, they remain so: they are not timed. On this path there is no damage floor.
Do not jump to the pedestal with the item right away: picking it up will make the platforms lift back up, and they cannot be dropped down again as the wheel devices become inactive. Instead, go down into the pit below and defeat the Blades, then double-jump with wall jumps or Air Hike underneath the pedestal. It may take a few tries, but if Dante gets the right spot a Blue Orb Fragment will appear and drop down onto the platform as well. This would be impossible to reach with the platforms raised back up.
Jump over and collect the Fragment and the item: with the platforms raised, Dante must now drop into the pit, but this is not a problem with the Blades already dead. Climb out of the pit and have Dante retrace his steps back to the main room.
Entering the Coliseum
Interact with the main door after getting the Pair of Lances to open it. This allows Dante entry to a massive, ominously empty ampitheater. Touching the glowing blue-green magic circle in the middle of the arena will start the boss battle, but do not do this just yet.
Instead, go into one of the alcoves on the left and right of the arena: these are teleporters that warp Dante to the level above. On both sides, jumping to the level above allows Dante to acquire a Green Orb, which can be saved for the battle if the player desires. Midway along the walkway along the back wall of the arena is a Yellow Orb, and if Dante stands at the exact midpoint of the top level of the bridge structure that bisects the arena, the mission's final Blue Orb Fragment will appear and drop down. These can be acquired in the first stage of the boss battle, though it is not a good idea to try this.
When ready, touch the magic circle to initiate the final encounter with...
Griffon starts the battle with a similar set of moves to the first encounter rather than the pared-down set he had in the second. Griffon tends to spend most of this phase of the battle in the air, and will create the same platform-stacks the appeared during the first battle. His abilities are as follows:
- Gust: Griffon can now perform a variant of this attack while flying, targeting a broad area of ground in front of him. If Dante is in this area (defined by an area of kicked-up dust) he will be knocked down and take minor damage.
- Double Check: Griffon releases an orb which descends to the ground if he is in the air, or creates one in his mouth on the ground. This unleashes two beams of electricity that snap together like scissors: jumping on the spot will just mean Dante gets hit when he lands, so either jump to one side or use the invincible frames of Dante's side-roll to evade it. Griffon can now perform up to eight sequential Double Checks. This attack will track Dante both horizontally and vertically, aiming the point where the two lines of electricity close at his location when the attack starts. He can also perform his old dual Double Check, now typically using it if Dante moves too close to him while he is performing one of his other attacks.Double Check:
- Horizontal Blockade: Griffon will always fire off one of these horizontal energy bolts before starting Double Check, and also has a much more dangerous new version. This starts by firing off one horizontal Blockade line and a Double Check at the same time, then alternates high and low Blockade lines with small energy balls fired at a height between the two.
- Chain lightning: After an aerial Double Check, the orb remains in place and traces out a faint pattern of straight lines across the arena. Lightning then arcs along these lines, dealing damage if Dante is touching them. This move now draws more lines than previous iterations.
- Rush: Griffon lunges at Dante and attempts to peck him, performing a swinging beak-slash aimed right at Dante followed by a downward beak stab aimed at a point behind him, aiming to catch him if he jumps backwards. In this phase of the battle Griffon does not run along the ground, instead using the drooped-wing posture of his old bombing run move to zip towards Dante in a similar manner to Stinger. He can also perform the rush and transition to a gust rather than using his beak.
Griffon's first phase is his most dangerous as there are several camera locations in the arena that do not properly track him or allow his position to be obstructed by the bridge, meaning it is hard to tell precisely what he is doing. In particular, stay away from the walls in front of the arena's seating, as these tend to have fixed cameras that point directly at them. His first phase can be skipped entirely on most difficulties and almost skipped on Dante Must Die by throwing Ifrit's Level 2 Meteor at him at the start of the fight just as he lands: if timed correctly, this will hit twice and knock off a huge chunk of Griffon's health.
After losing around 25% of his total health, a brief cutscene will show Griffon falling out of the sky, smashing through the walkway and tearing off one of his wings. The teleporters at the sides of the arena will stop functioning after this, and Griffon is no longer able to fly: the only air move he retains is his dive attack. He will also stop creating the stacks of platforms. This marks phase 2 of the fight, and Griffon's attacks will change.
In phase 2, his abilities are as follows:
- Evade: Griffon flaps his remaining wing and jumps to another part of the arena to reposition himself.
- Gust: Griffon sweeps his wings forward, kicking up dust to conceal the startup of his next attack and pushing Dante back if he is close by and not in Devil Trigger mode. He can also perform a 360-degree version of this move if Dante is behind him, usually following up by evading.
- Double Check: The same as phase 1, minus the aerial version.
- Horizontal Blockade: The same as phase 1.
- Blockade: Griffon's most common attack in this phase of the fight. He performs a gust startup and then fires walls of six vertical lightning columns with gaps between them. He will fire eight of these in a row, but will cut the attack short if he hits Dante. The wall is much too wide to evade it entirely, and it is best to line Dante up with the gaps and use the invincible frames at the start of Dante's dodge-roll animation (or even his jump, if the player is skilled with timing it) to increase the chance of the attack failing to connect.
- Thunderstorm: An upgraded version of the thunderstorm attack from the previous battle. Griffon stops moving and the arena darkens, the demon drawing in energy before causing lightning to strike all around him in a similar manner to his death attack from previous encounters. He then fires off chains of vertical lightning bolts, but this time they have significant homing capabilities, making it necessary to wait until they are very close before side-rolling to dodge them.
- Dive: Griffon lifts off and flies high into the air, then crashes back to the ground diagonally with lightning extending from his talons. Griffon's dive has improved tracking which means a backward jump will not evade it: it is necessary to dodge to the sides. It will also briefly stun Dante if he is touching the ground when Griffon lands, similar to Griffon landing in the previous battle. Griffon will also no longer stop and screech after landing, and can instead perform an evade and immediately start another attack.
- Rush: Griffon returns to running along the ground, but the move is otherwise the same as in phase 1. Griffon can also perform the run part of this attack but cancel the attack itself and use another move instead.
Now that Griffon is on the ground, the camera is more cooperative and should not be an issue. Griffon tries to keep his distance most of the time: it is a good idea to use the Grenadegun along with roll-cancelling to build up DT and deal damage while avoiding Griffon's attacks. Ifrit has some excellent moves for this fight: Inferno is as powerful against Griffon as ever, and Meteor is also extremely good at long range. While it is not as predictable as at the start of the fight, Meteors in this phase will still sometimes double-hit Griffon for enormously increased damage.
Jump on top of the fallen stone pillar: the top is an elevator platform, and takes Dante down into a chamber below. Walk towards the camera and interact with the glowing item held by the statue to get the Wheel of Destiny and complete the mission.
The Sin Scythes in the last chamber on the blue path are replaced with a Death Scythe, while the two Blades in the pit on the red path are replaced with two Shadows. After night falls, the five Sin Scythes in the main room are also replaced with two Death Scythes, though they only spawn one at a time.