Nightmare is a gargantuan pitch-black golem, roughly humanoid in shape, but without a distinct head, and bulbous spiked hands resembling tree roots. Its body is comprised of a demonic fluid with some solid metallic plating: this fluid expands and contracts into Nightmare's body in a manner similar to breathing. Nightmare's most notable feature is its glowing purple core, located at the base of where its neck would be. While not summoned, Nightmare appears as black coloration in V's hair and as tattoos on his body.
Nightmare's appearance was originally identical to the original Nightmare from Devil May Cry, an enormous condensed pile of slime with demonic material and a number of skeletons are partially submerged, but took a smaller and more simplistic golem form once contracted with V. In his golem form, Nightmare is 3.5 meters tall, but is capable growing even larger if it wish to, such as becoming as large as Goliath in V's special Checkmate animation.
Unlike the other two familiars, Nightmare can only be summoned by activating V's Devil Trigger, and will remain in battle until the DT gauge empties or V manually dismisses it by deactivating DT. Also unlike the other two familiars, Nightmare is capable of killing enemies without any need for V to finish them.
Like the original Nightmare, V's Familiar Nightmare appears to be an automaton designed purely for combat, and exhibits no meaningful personality traits beyond its incredible capacity for destruction and instinct to protect V at any cost. In Nico's reports, she considers Nightmare to be mindless. The only thing it seems to understand is not to attack its master or fellow Familiars, and unless V is riding on it, it does not respond to orders and acts according its own intuition. Although, contrary to his appearance, Nightmare seems to display some degree of sentience and intelligence, such as in its attempts at intimidating V (before being contracted to him), having a sense of self-preservation, or coming to acknowledge V as its master once he gave Nightmare back its core.
Nightmare acts as a kind of focal point for the three familiars: when it is summoned, the other two are restored if they are in Stalemate, and in the final battle against the three familiars Nightmare is shown to be capable of channeling its power to revive Griffon and Shadow. It is only with Nightmare's defeat that the three are vanquished.
Though loyal to both V and Vergil, all three familiars recognize their continued existence will only bring him pain. They intercept Dante, with Griffon claiming that they want to kill him themselves, though in truth they simply wish to die by his hand. Nightmare only participates in the last of these battles.
Nightmare was 'born' alongside Griffon, Shadow, and Phantom after a dying Vergil used the Yamato to cut away everything he felt unnecessary about himself. This included his humanity and his memories of his time as Nelo Angelo, which manifests as 'Nightmares', demonic creatures resembling several of the demons that also formerly served Mundus.
Nightmare escaped from the Sparda ancestral home and hid itself in abandoned church, keeping itself in a slime-like form. When V and Griffon arrived to the church to, Nightmare reformed into its real appearance, which greatly frightened the two.
After a failed attempt to take down Urizen, Vergil's demonic half, V summoned Nightmare to help him and Nero escape the Qliphoth after Dante loses his battle against Urizen. After making sure V landed safe, Nightmare retreated back into V's body. For the next month, Nightmare would help V and his fellow familiars to slow Qliphoth's growth until Nero returned to Red Grave City
Once Nero reunited V after a month to take Urizen again, V would summon Nightmare when in need of greater power against the demonic hordes invading Red Grave City, or whenever he needed the all-powerful demon to break down something impeding his path on his journey.
When V re-merged with Urizen to bring about Vergil's rebirth, Nightmare joined with Griffon and Shadow in confronting Dante as he made his way for his brother at the top of the Qliphoth, with Nightmare joining Griffon and Shadow in one final battle with Dante, Nightmare using V's Cane to summon itself. Nightmare would sacrifice its own vitality to heal Griffon and Shadow during the battle, but was ultimately defeated by Dante, and died alongside its fellow familiars, refusing to return to Vergil to give him peace from his painful memories as Nelo Angelo.
- Devil May Cry 5 promo site
- V can unleash his full power to call upon this gargantuan demon.
- When summoned, Nightmare may crash onto the battlefield like a meteorite, or burst through parts of the environment to heed the call. Its sluggish movements belie unsurpassable strength and nigh-invulnerability. Wherever Nightmare appears, its massive fists or brutal laser beams are the last thing enemies ever see.
- Nico's Character Report - Nightmare
- The last of V's demon helpers.
- Unlike the other two, doesn't seem like this thing thinks for itself. Near as I can make out, it's only got three purposes: destruction, destruction, and destruction.
- Also unlike V's other two helpers, I'm not seein' any references to a demon like this one in any of the old Order of the Sword texts. What does that mean? That not even the Order knew this thing existed?
- Nightmare's theme (Psycho Machine) when Dante fights him in Mission 18 is a remix of Nightmare's theme (MENTAL MACHINE) in Devil May Cry.
- The Nightmare familiar bears a greater resemblance to the Shadow Devil from the Mega Man franchise than the original Nightmare.