The Dullahan is a lesser demon in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening. It is a possessed husk of a once-perished demon knight that is nearly impervious to all attacks. It first appears in Mission 10: The job.
The Dullahan's only form of attacking includes stabbing using the rotating spikes attached onto the shield, and slashing airborne enemies with its sword. The effectiveness of its armor prevents all forms of frontal attack; its only weakness being the red gem embedded into its spine.
Dullahan has only two attacks.
First being rush: Dullahan rushes at you damaging you with the rotating spikes attacked onto its shield.
Second being upward slash: if you are mid-air, Dullahan will slash its sword to reach you with it.
Thanks to the invincible, auto-guard armour in the front, Dullahan is arguably the single most threatening enemy on the Heaven and Hell difficulty. On the other modes however, it is not as much of a concern, due to its lack of speed and offense.
The quickest way to defeat it is to use the Rebellion to attack the gem, as it has long enough reach to hit it from the ground or use Nevan's Air Slash. If you spend too much time in air, it can rise to the heavens with you. Thus, using Nevan's Air Raid maneuver is all but useless against a Dullahan. If you want to do an infinite amount of Killer Bee or Starfall with Beowulf, use it on Dullahan, because when it blocks your attack in mid air, you will stay in the air for some seconds and can continue using it again and again.
However, this depends on which kind of Dullahan the player is facing, as the first Dullahan seen in the game is rather "passive" since all it does is move in laps (not even reacting to you when you attack its soul gem). Later in the game, some Dullahans take on a more "aggressive" role, in which they attack and move freely like a proper enemy.
Another strategy is to wait until they charge at you and jump behind them. You should have enough time to kill them.
Development and background
The Dullahan is a malevolent Irish spirit which carries its head beneath one arm and rides a jet-black horse often attached to a hellish carriage made of bones and other grisly materials, similar to that pulled by Geryon the Timesteed. They are considered an omen of death, and they stop riding where a person is fated to die.
Dullahans in DMC3 were inspired by Flying Knights from the Ghosts 'n Goblins series and inherited their main concept—immunity to attacks from the front. Originally, they were going to attack emiting a beam from the mouth on their shields, but in the end that idea was discarded.
Notes and references
- Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, Lesser Demons File — Dullahan: "The possessed husk of a knight's suit of armor. Its adamantine shell makes it virtually impervious to frontal attack, its only weak spot being its hindquarters."
- Devil May Cry 3 Material Archive - Note of Naught. p. 042.