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Again, I must face a Sparda... Strange fate. Isn't it?
—Mundus, Devil May Cry

Mundus, known as the Prince of Darkness, is the overarching antagonist of the Devil May Cry franchise. He is a devil prince who ruled the Demon World two thousand years ago, overthrowing the previous ruler of the Demon World and threatening the human world. Some time after conquering the devil throne, Mundus' rule was challenged by the demon god Argosax, and a great war followed that divided the Underworld in two sides. Upon trying to take over the Human World, the demon swordsman Sparda, his right-hand man at the time, rebelled and defeated him and his armies, sealing him away in a vault on Mallet Island.[11] He appears as the main antagonist and final boss of Devil May Cry.

Appearance[]

Visually, he looks like a god. He purposely makes himself look godlike, so we took that to heart by making his silhouette godly and majestic... The crumbling second form is meant to to show how pitiful he really is in contrast with the majesty of that first form.
—Tomoya Ohtsubo (Enemy Motion Artist)

Mundus' appearance when he battles Dante is that of a gigantic living statue of an ageing, muscular, bearded man with enormous feathered wings, resembling figures such as Zeus or the common Christian depictions of God. The statue has a circular depression in his chest, where an eye-like core is located in his god form. Mundus' true form is a grotesque, writhing mass of living tissue, with three eyeballs (with grey irises) and hundreds of hands coming out of it, revealed during the final battle when Dante destroys portions of the statue.

Additionally, Mundus often appears as three glowing orbs arcing with energy. He is seen this way while communicating with Griffon, Trish, and before battling Vergil.

Personality[]

Mundus is depicted as the epitome of evil within the Devil May Cry universe. He is a sadist who has no compassion or empathy for his minions and act without regard to their loyalty, gleefully killing one of his own generals, Griffon, after the latter failed to defeat Dante and pleaded for his master's aid, or even using Trish as a bargaining chip over Dante to ensure an easy victory as well as to taunt and gloat at him while also mocking his attachment to her.

Mundus has no regard for his servants, considering them only expendable and replaceable pawns. For instance, in his effort to kill Dante and Vergil, he first sent lower demons, and then created and dispatched black knights against the brothers, improving the demons' capabilities after each failure.[12] Having no tolerance for failure, he punishes or dispose of those servants who don't meet his expectations, as in the case of Trish and Griffon.

Mundus shows strong aversion to the good side of human nature, like the selflessness and caring behaviors. After impaling Dante while he was distracted by concern for Trish, Mundus expresses disappointment in human nature.[13] He considers Trish's sacrifice to save Dante from his deadly white energy beam as an "odd" behavior, labeling her a "useless scum" for that.[13] He considers the "heart" as a restraint to power and strength, a tumor of weakness.[14]

Mundus demonstrates manipulative and cruel behavior to achieve his goals. To lure Dante into a trap on Mallet Island, he exploited his filial affection for his deceased mother by creating a demon in her image .[15] He also takes advantage of this by ordering Trish to betray Dante during his fight against Nightmare[16], then again in the marble vault by threatening her life just to distract Dante and catching him off guard.[13]

Like most other demons in the series, Mundus has a low opinion and disregard of humans, even going so far as to wonder if Dante's human heritage had weakened his father's blood. He appears to regard humans as entirely interchangeable, being confused at the idea that Dante would not accept Mundus making him a new mother to replace Eva, or "as many as he would like", and labeling her a "useless being".

Though he hates Sparda, he did note he could see the same 'light' from Sparda's eyes in Dante's, which could indicate a measure of respect he once held for his greatest general, though this could also simply be a fallback reference as to how both Phantom and Griffon saw Sparda within Dante. Mundus is also very driven by his goals, setting servant after servant to destroy Dante before finally taking the fight to the devil hunter himself. And even after losing again, he still forced a smaller Hellgate open in a bid for vengeance on Dante.

Story[]

Before Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening[]

Two millennia ago, the Devil Prince Mundus was born into the depths of the Demon World as it snowed in the Human World, and quickly rose to power. After building a great army and immense power due to consuming the powerful Qliphoth fruit, he slew the previous Demon King and took the title for himself. After this period, a devil god named Argosax appeared and challenged Mundus' rule, waging a war against the Prince of Darkness. This great war eventually led to the separation of the Demon World into two sides; one ruled by him, and the other ruled by Argosax.[17] An indeterminate amount of time after this war, Mundus planned to lead an assault on the Human World and conquer the realm for himself, ruling both worlds as one, but Sparda, a powerful demon knight, woke up to justice, leading him to single-handedly defeat both Mundus and his armies, seal away the Demon World, and then seal one of the gates connecting them deep underground. In response, Mundus planned revenge against Sparda's family. His demons attacked and killed Eva, Sparda's wife and the mother of his twin sons.

Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening[]

At the end of Devil May Cry 3 in the secret ending, as Sparda's son Vergil found himself trapped in the Demon World, he comes upon Mundus, who glares down on him silently with his triple eyed avatar. Vergil challenges him in battle. Though this battle is never seen, Vergil, in his weakened state, is defeated and transformed into Nelo Angelo, leading into the events of Devil May Cry.

Devil May Cry[]

In Devil May Cry, Mundus attempts to escape into the Human World by opening a Hell Gate on Mallet Island. At the same time, he uses Trish to manipulate Sparda's other son, Dante, into coming to the island so that he can be killed. Mundus had previously been worshipped as a god by the inhabitants of of the island, under the name "Pluto", with a prophet foretelling his eventual return to the Human World through the island. Dante can find a large statue depicting Mundus' younger form in the main hall of the castle, which subsequently vanishes at night once the evil powers of the Underworld begin affecting the layout of the castle's interior.

He first appears after the third battle with Griffon, ruthlessly executing his fallen general after he pleads to Mundus to be healed and strengthened to defeat Dante. Mundus is not seen again until Nelo Angelo's ultimate defeat, commenting to Trish that Vergil had fallen and saying she knew what she had to do. While Trish does ultimately lure Dante into a trap to battle Nightmare, this fails and Mundus appears, threatening Trish with the consequences of her failure.

When Dante finally arrives in Mundus' lair, a chapel like area, and sees the Devil Emperor sitting on his throne, musing on the irony of again facing a Sparda, with Dante retorting the irony of Mundus' defeat at his hands. Mundus however has one last card to play: The captured Trish. Playing on Dante's feelings for Trish, Mundus ruthlessly impales Dante with three beams of red energy, taunting Dante's weakness. Mundus prepares to deal the final blow when Trish intervenes, seemingly sacrificing herself for Dante.

Annoyed with his creation's 'behavior' Mundus again attempts to destroy Dante, but the young devil hunter deflects the blast and demands Mundus show himself. Deciding to honor Dante's words, Mundus sheds his marble like form, revealing his aged, angelic body and then transports himself and Dante to his pocket dimension. There, he comments on how he now sees the light of Sparda's eyes within Dante's own. When Dante demands to know why Mundus used his mother's face, Mundus calls her a 'worthless being' and suggests to Dante he could make as many as he wanted. Dante demands silence and this sparks the final battle between the two, with Mundus flying off into the darkness and Dante assuming his father's form via Devil Trigger.

Dante succeeds in injuring Mundus but himself is knocked down into the pit of lava below, Mundus following. Mundus attempts to overwhelm Dante with his raw power but Dante overcomes him after a lengthy battle, and Mundus painfully takes to the skies, screaming as his wings fall away and his pocket dimension fades away, seemingly taking Mundus with it.

However, the prince of darkness returns as Mallet Island begins to collapse, literally tearing open a much smaller Hell Gate in the sewers, directly in front of Dante. The grievously wounded Mundus vowed Dante would not leave, and Dante decided to stand his ground, swearing the island would become Mundus own burial ground. Though his powers had been greatly weakened, and Dante was able to chip away at his body, exposing his hideous true form, Mundus only mocked Dante's efforts, calling his powers weak in the Human World.

But just then, Trish returned and gave Dante her powers, supercharging the devil hunter who blasted Mundus with his overpowered handguns, sending the Prince of Darkness screaming back into the Underworld. As he was forced to return to the demon world, Mundus vowed to Dante he would return and rule the Human World.

Devil May Cry 2[]

DMC2 Mundus

A Mundus statue in the opening of Devil May Cry 2.

In the opening cutscene of Devil May Cry 2, a nearly exact copy of the statue of Mundus' younger angelic form is briefly shown as the narration recounts a portion of the tale of Sparda.

Devil May Cry 5: Visions of V[]

In flashbacks depicted as memories Vergil's human half V receives upon forming contracts with the demon familiars Griffon and Shadow show the aftermath of Vergil's failed attempt to fight the Demon Emperor. Mundus strings Vergil's impaled body up, mocking the Son of Sparda and cursing the Legendary Dark Knight for "sullying demon blood in a human womb". As the defeated Vergil claims he can still fight, Mundus picks the beaten half-demon up and begins transforming him into Nelo Angelo, stating he has no need for a heart, nor ego, and shall become his servant, beginning to christen him with a new name before the memory ends.

When V and Griffon confront the powerful Nightmare, Griffon reveals the original Nightmare's origins, having been created by Mundus desiring an all powerful demon as his living weapon. Using his own blood as part of Nightmare's creation, the Prince of Darkness succeeded, overwhelmingly so, as the newly born Nightmare possessed the power and capability of destroying the Demon World itself. Fearing this, Mundus quickly enslaved Nightmare to his will, while also sealing the bulk of its power.

Powers and Abilities[]

Hailed as the Prince of Darkness and Devil Emperor, Mundus has the power to back up these titles. He was known for having posed a difficult challenge to the god-like legendary Dark Knight Sparda and was powerful enough to surpass the earlier level of might wielded by the Sons of Sparda, as shown by his easy victory over Vergil and even Dante. He could challenge Dante while the demon hunter was using the power of the Sparda.

As the ruler of the Demon World, Mundus has absolute control over almost all lesser demons within his domain. His power was great enough to rival Argosax, another demon king, to the point where a war between them split the Underworld into 2 factions.

His power is so great that it can't fully manifest in the Human world. Moreover, this condition was one of the reason why he lured Dante into Mallet Island, as he could have fight at full power the son of Sparda only inside the demon realm.[18] Since his power can't fully cross into the Human world, he can manifest in it by taking the appearance of a God-like angelic statue.[19]

Powers[]

Supernatural strength: As a god-like demon, Mundus possesses high amount of strength. He is able to easily punch through stone.

Supernatural durability: Mundus is also incredibly resilient, surviving his first battle with Sparda and capable of taking direct hits from Dante wielding Sparda's true power for an extended period of time. Even while his statue shell has begun falling apart, he was generally unharmed by Dante without the power of Sparda.

Flight: By virtue of his wings, Mundus is capable of taking flight.

Abilities[]

Demonic energy manipulation: Mundus is capable of projecting extremely powerful demonic energy. He can fire red energy needles from his eyes, hands, or back that are strong enough to cause Dante pain. By charging large amount of energy into his third eye, Mundus can fire a powerful beam of white energy.

Universe creation: Mundus is powerful enough to create a universe filled with stars and at least one planetoid.[20]

Demon creation: Mundus is capable of creating powerful demons, as he was the one who created Trish, Nightmare, Leviathan, Blades, Assaults, and Frosts.

Mind manipulation: Mundus is capable of suppressing one's memories and altering one's personalities to make them serve him.

Power augmentation: Mundus can enhance the powers and abilities of chosen individuals.

Orb summoning: Mundus can summon orbs for various purposes. He has dark grey ones that generate a force field to protect him from attacks or that he can fire at an enemy. He has smaller white ones that can fire white energy needles.

  • Electricity manipulation: Mundus is capable of sending lightning from the sky at an enemy.
  • Fire manipulation: Mundus can summon fireballs or a fire dragon from the ground.
  • Magma manipulation: Mundus displays the ability to summon dragons made of magma that can spit fireballs, as well as being able to create magma pillars.
  • Stone manipulation: Mundus can summon meteors to rain down from the sky or to hurl large boulders at his enemy.

Appearances in Other Media[]

Viewtiful Joe[]

In Viewtiful Joe, Mundus convinces Captain Blue to get revenge on Dante and Trish by possessing him, but the plan ultimately fails due to Eva. He makes a return appearance in Red Hot Rumble alongside Sparda and Vergil.

Devil May Cry: Peak of Combat[]

Mundus appears in one of the trailers and is showcased to be fighting against the Devil May Cry 3 versions of: Dante, Vergil and Lady.

TEPPEN[]

Hbm095

One of the cards Mundus is featured in TEPPEN.

Mundus is featured in the Blood Destiny card (No. COR 180), he is seen fighting the Devil May Cry 4 version of Dante who is wielding the Devil Sword Sparda.

Mundus is also mentioned during Dante's story when a strange-looking woman appears before Dante and mentions the Land of Illusion, it is stated that Mundus is the reason why Dante fights.

As of the "Haunted by Memories" expansion, Mundus appeared once again in a card that recreates one of the cutscenes in Devil May Cry.

In the expansion "Demon Dogfight", Mundus is added as a Legendary card, and the storyline of the expansion reveals one-hundred years ago, his forces battled for a unique Qliphoth fruit born from the death of Darkstalkers character, Belial Aensland, adoptive father of Morrigan Aensland. Lucifer, from Ghosts 'n Goblins, is stated to serve him at this time, and Mundus is shown battling Jedah Dohma, the Dark Messiah, also from Darkstalkers. The outcome of this battle is not shown.

Background[]

The Mundus Cereris was a pit in Roman mythology which contained an entrance to Hades, the underworld, which was ruled by Pluto, the Roman god of the underworld; Mundus is identified as Pluto twice within Devil May Cry.[21][22] The stone covering the pit, known as the lapis manalis, would be removed three times a year, and when it was removed it was believed that the spirits of the blessed dead would commune with the living.

"Mundus" is Latin for "world". Mundus's name is likely a reference to "prince of the world", a euphemism for the devil found in the Gospel of John. This is referenced in the BradyGames strategy guide: "Mundus is actually a Latin term referring to the 'vile world' or the 'imagined universe.' The world is also included in the dream-philosophy works of Carl Jung. Therefore, it is not difficult to see how the god of the evil Underworld would have such an allegorical name."[23] Mundus' three eyes are likely a reference to Satan, who is portrayed with three faces in Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy. Mundus' pseudo-angelic appearance also coincides with Satan's traditional role as a fallen angel within the Christian faith.

Though Mundus' appearance and basis is rightfully in the fashion of that of Judeo-Christian design, the absence of any God sort of figure mentioned throughout the series appears to draw basis from the Demon King Mara and the fiend's depiction from Japanese Buddhism; known as the Dairokuten Maō (第六天魔王, lit. Sixth Heaven Demon King), Mara keeps his figure as a being who dwells in the furthest reaches of the Sixth Heaven of the Desire Realm, responsible for the creation of the world to keep all in its carnal grasp, and is the leader of demons who follow him under his command. Like Mara, Mundus bears this in his aspects, from his heavenly facade to being the literal king of the Demon World.

Trivia[]

  • During the fight with Berial, a sign reading the name "Mundus Vivendi" (Latin for "world of living") can be seen briefly twice, once before falling from its post, and again when it is shown on the ground. Within the universe this is likely just a coincidence, the city of Fortuna has many other signs in Latin, but to the player it is likely a a nod toward Berial's former master Mundus.
  • In Devil May Cry 4: Deadly Fortune, it is mentioned that Mundus' statue form was a result of his power being "too strong" for him to cross to the Human World in his true form.
  • In a 2018 Famitsu interview, Hideaki Itsuno stated that the Cavaliere Angelo in Devil May Cry 5 was a faulty creation of Mundus.[9][excerpt 1]

References[]

excerpts
  1. 1.0 1.1 "確かにロードがないのも快適ですね。話は変わりますが、今回初公開となる、ダンテ編で戦ったボスについてお聞かせください。
    伊津野 ボスの名前はキャバリエーレアンジェロと言います。アンジェロとを聞いてピンときた方もいるかもしれませんが、第1作で登場したムンドゥスの作った忘れ形見という設定ですね。このボスは不完全な存在で、拠り所がないと機能しないんです。ですが、拠り所を見つけると、かなりパワフルな悪魔になりますよ。"

    Translation:

    "For sure, the road ahead isn't going to be easy. By the way, could you tell us about the first boss you meet in Dante's chapter?
    Itsuno: Sure, the boss is named 'Cavaliere Angelo'. Now, you may hear the word 'Angelo' and think of something obvious, but this is actually a creation of Mundus from the first game. However, he didn't do a great job and it ended up being a faulty creation, so it needs a sort of 'base' or 'spark' to function. That said, if it does happen to find a 'base' then it's going to be quite a formidable demon to fight against."
references
  1. 1.0 1.1 Devil May Cry Bradygames strategy guide
  2. Devil May Cry Enemy File - Frost; Mentions "Dark Emperor", referring to Mundus
  3. Devil May Cry 4 - History of Devil May Cry
  4. Devil May Cry 3 end credits scene - Vergil: "It'll be fun to fight with the Prince of Darkness."
  5. Devil May Cry 5 - Trish: "Even the almighty Mundus used it to become the king of the underworld."
  6. Devil May Cry "There's a word left by a notable prophet when he visited this castle. It states, "Pluto shall come on the promised date and separate heaven and earth. One with black wings of treachery shall come and stand in Pluto's way."
  7. Devil May Cry, Enemy File — Blade: "They are soldiers created by the Dark Emperor to take control of the surface. They use a kind of reptile as host bodies, thus having much lizard-like characteristics."
  8. Devil May Cry 4, Lesser Demons File — Assault: "An elite demon sired by the emperor of demon-kind. Able to burrow through the ground with its sharp claws, Assaults have varied attack techniques. They use their shields to ward off blows, but destroying it will render them defenseless."
  9. 9.0 9.1 『デビル メイ クライ 5』クリエイターインタビュー 開発陣に東京ゲームショウ2018で発表された最新情報について聞いてみた【TGS2018】
  10. "Devil May Cry 4: Deadly Fortune, Volume 2, Stage 16
  11. Devil May Cry 1 instruction manual
  12. Devil May Cry 5: Before The Nightmare, Chapter 13: Trish
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Devil May Cry, mission 22.
  14. Devil May Cry 5 Visions of V: chapter 5
  15. Devil May Cry 5, Morrison's letters part 4
  16. Devil May Cry, Mission 20
  17. Devil May Cry 5: Before the Nightmare
  18. Devil may cry 5: Before the Nightmare novel
  19. Devil May Cry 4: Deadly Fortune, Stage 12
  20. Hideki Kamiya tweet
  21. Devil May Cry: "There's a word left by a notable prophet when he visited this castle. It states, "Pluto shall come on the promised date and separate heaven and earth. One with black wings of treachery shall come and stand in Pluto's way.""
  22. Devil May Cry: "There's something written, "The confronter of the path, Pluto's dragon. Prove your bravery with your sword and the dragon will fall in its own flame.""
  23. Bradygames DMC Guide - Mundus Entry
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