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Showdown with Nightmare is the twentieth mission in Devil May Cry.

Walkthrough (lower difficulties)[]

Dante is now in the Underworld after passing through the gateway at the end of the previous mission. The column of light that Dante starts out in can be used as a teleporter should the player wish to backtrack, though there is no reason to do so in this mission. Proceed towards the camera and jump up into the high opening, then go along the pulsating corridor. This will lead to a door blocked by a pulsing red membrane: these blockages simply need to be struck with a melee attack to get rid of them. Switch to Ifrit if it is not already selected, and head through.

In the next room is a Divinity Statue along with a pair of Frosts. Defeat them and break through the membrane on the far side of the room to trigger the final battle with...

Boss: Nightmare[]

Nightmare has not changed much since the previous battle and still uses the same attack pattern in solid form (ice beam/missiles, triple stab, ice beam/missiles, triple stab, boomerang, triple stab, repeat). See Mission 16: Nightmare of Darkness for a summary of Nightmare's core mechanics. The room is extremely confined this time, barely larger than Nightmare's fluid form, and there is only one wheel device in the middle of the wall. Due to this, it is quite easy to lock on to Nightmare while trying to activate the wheel: it is best to only attempt to attack the wheel when Dante is directly in front of it, otherwise he may perform a melee attack towards Nightmare instead. For convenience, its abilities in fluid state are now:

  • Net attack: Nightmare's liquid form jumps up to the ceiling, summoning machine gun orbs and firing waves of missiles. Since it is not on the floor, it cannot be forced into its solid state during this attack. If it manages to get directly above Dante, it will transform part of itself into a slimy net anchored to the ground, with Dante imprisoned inside it. Dante then has a limited amount of time to deal enough damage to one of the corners of the net (the sides are invincible) to make it break: if he fails, the rest of Nightmare drops down on top of him, dealing devastating damage and also freezing him as if he were hit by the ice beam. Nightmare will deal the same amount of damage if Dante touches it within three seconds of the attack concluding. It is actually a good idea to get trapped, as once Dante is inside the net Nightmare has to stop firing missiles.
  • Spawn creature: Nightmare spawns an odd grey slug-like creature at its edge, which crawls along the floor towards Dante, then curls up and leaps at him. These creatures are invulnerable and cannot be hit by any of Dante's weapons. If they hit Dante, they will cling to him for a while before dropping off him to the ground: when this happens the creature self-destructs, forming a tiny version of a Frost's ground slam attack that can freeze Dante in place. If they miss Dante they will self-destruct on hitting the ground. If Dante is frozen, wiggle the left stick to free him more quickly.
  • Globule: Small globules of ooze constantly jump up from the pool of slime before falling back into it. If Dante is hit by one of these he does not react and the damage is minuscule to the point a player may not even notice it has happened, but it can ruin a no-damage run.
  • Swallow: A Venus flytrap-like slime structure rises up from under Dante's feet, tracking him and turning as it slams shut. Jump to avoid this. Nightmare often starts out this battle by trying to use this attack, so be wary while heading towards the wheel device for the first time.
  • Swirl: The entire pool twists in one direction, then back in the opposite direction while the middle rises up. If Dante is standing in it when it does this, the attack will connect.

The first time Dante is hit by swallow or swirl, he will be dragged into an "evil dimension" where he will have to deal with five Sargassos, followed by a larger and tougher cyclops Sargasso, and then fight a weaker "shadow" version of a previously-seen boss. This time around Nelo Angelo is encountered inside Nightmare: this is basically the same version fought in Mission 11: Fate, and luckily does not have the Summoned Swords from his final form.

In solid state it has the following abilities:

  • Machine gun orbs: Nightmare performs this attack as soon as it has fully formed, and between its main attacks when it does not have a core exposed. Three small orbs move into a triangle pattern on each side of Nightmare's hull and rapid-fire small projectiles towards Dante. The damage is minimal, but getting hit by several of the orbs at once can make for quite a bit of damage. The orbs can be destroyed with gunfire or AoE attacks. Their tracking is both slow and poor, so jumping away from where the player wants Dante to be and then back will mean most of their shots are not even directed at where he is.
  • Vent: As a core comes out, it appears in a blaze of white light, some of which forms into white lines which can deal damage and briefly stun Dante. This is particularly dangerous with the top core, as it may stun Dante long enough for him to be hit by the ice beam.
  • Ice beam: Only the top core can perform this attack. Nightmare's front section slides backwards and it starts rotating to track Dante, broken white lines coming out of its front and crawling along the ground. It then unleashes a massive beam which will freeze Dante much like its spawned creatures and deals heavy damage. It can rotate on the spot while performing this attack: how much depends on the state of the top core. In addition, it can pivot its front section in a limited horizontal and vertical arc to aim the beam more precisely or swing it around in a narrow cone.
  • Triple-stab: Only the rear core can perform this attack. Nightmare spins on the spot to turn side-on to Dante (it will twitch visibly if already in position) and shoots out a spear-like structure three times in a row. Dante can either dodge this or parry it with a melee attack or Rolling Blaze: if parried, the rear core will be briefly stunned and will stay out for longer and take no further action until it retracts.
  • Boomerang: Only the top core can deploy this attack, but it is always deployed at a specific point in Nightmare's attack sequence regardless of where Dante is standing. Nightmare's front section lowers, and a section of Nightmare's body emerges from its left or right side, rises into the air, unfolds and starts spinning. It then either moves in a sideways figure-eight pattern above Nightmare (with the middle of the "8" passing directly along the length of Nightmare's hull) or in a wider circle around the arena before returning and being re-incorporated into the opposite side to the one it came out of. Like the triple stab, the boomerang can be parried with Rolling Blaze or a sword strike, which will cause the core to stay out longer and render it vulnerable. The best time to do this is right as it starts spinning: jumping up under it with Rolling Blaze should parry it before it can even move. If it does manage to get moving, it becomes a lot harder to time a parry, but it can be avoided by jumping.
  • Missiles: Only the rear core can perform this attack. Nightmare shoots off volleys of small homing projectiles that fly into the air before turning towards Dante. Shooting these or hitting them with an AoE attack will cause them to turn back and hit the core, though they are fired so quickly on higher difficulties that only Vortex is a safe bet to do this without taking damage.
  • Siphon: After an ice beam or missile attack, Nightmare will siphon away Dante's DT Gauge, taking a maximum of 2.5 runes. This cannot be stopped, but Dante can attack the core to earn DT back, or taunt Nightmare to earn more DT than he loses.
  • Devil Trigger: Nightmare is the only boss in Devil May Cry which can enter this state: it does so after it has absorbed enough DT from Dante via its cores. Its DT surrounds it with a red lightning effect and increases its damage by around 250%, but does not last for a very long time. It is rare for the battle to last long enough for it to actually perform this attack.

Once Nightmare has been reduced to 25% health, a cutscene will show Trish interceding: after this cutscene Nightmare starts out in its liquid state, and will almost always jump to the ceiling and try to perform the net attack if it has not done so already. After this point, at irregular intervals a section of the blue barrier will glow yellow, followed by Trish's lightning attack coming into the arena in a straight line from that direction about a second later. This only does minor damage itself, but staggers Dante briefly, which can allow Nightmare an opportunity to attack. Prior to the final core phase of the fight, Trish cannot use this attack while Nightmare's core is exposed.

Final Core[]

Once Nightmare's health is fully depleted, the arena will be flooded with light and after about one second the demonic machine will enter its last phase, exposing a previously unseen third core and regenerating 25% of its health. It constantly attempts to re-form its armored hull, but can never actually do so. This core starts out undamaged but colored red: luckily it actually still takes normal damage like a blue or green core. Core state no longer matters at this stage in the battle, so do not worry about shattering this core.

The final core attacks constantly: it spawns the slug-like creatures it would normally only be able to use in its liquid state and will often use the damaging version of swallow twice in a row. It also has a new ability to fire searing white energy beams like those of a Plasma from the core itself: these start out aimed at the floor before panning up to the ceiling. Dodge to the sides to avoid these. As soon as it has taken any damage it gains the ability to fire missiles, and will start doing so during the next set of beam attacks.

Even this final core still follows a strict pattern: it will always start out with vent, then enter a pattern of firing seven beams in a row, then a spread of several beams, then enters a DT-siphoning phase before repeating the beam attacks. After every third set of beam attacks, the core will insert a different beam attack variant where it rapidly fires closely-spaced beams in a circle around it, circling itself twice before going on to siphoning DT. However, the missile attacks, spawned creatures and Trish's attacks from outside the arena impose a number of unpredictable conditions on the battle.

The best way to deal with it is to fill the DT Gauge using taunts before striking the finishing blow on Nightmare's first form, then do as much damage to the final core as possible with Air Raid or Vortex 2. Both attacks have issues with targeting things other than the core, but persevere. If Dante runs out of DT, use roll-cancelling with the Grenadegun to build it back up quickly. If the player is having trouble and does not care about their stage rank, they can use an Untouchable to power through this phase.

Once the final core is destroyed, the mission ends.

Higher difficulties[]

No changes aside from enemy health and damage.