The Red Queen is a sword belonging to Nero in Devil May Cry 4 and Devil May Cry 5. It is a heavily customized version of the Durandal, the officer's version of the Order of the Sword's anti-demon weapon, a design originally drawn by the Order's Chief Alchemist, Agnus.
Description[edit | edit source]
Red Queen was kept in the possession of the Order of the Sword at the time of the incident on Fortuna and was shown to be stored partially dismantled in a military-style protective case, sufficiently heavy that Kyrie could barely move it. It incorporates similar technology to the swords and lances used by the Order, but with significantly increased capabilities. Its precise origin is never stated, though it could be assumed to be an experimental weapon: the note that only Nero can wield it implies some degree of testing occurred in order to establish this. Nero is sufficiently familiar with Red Queen that he can fully assemble the sword within thirty seconds of opening the case.
It has an ornately etched base, and appears to be modeled after the German Großes Messer (lit. "Great Knife"), but its most unique feature is that it has been specially customized with a motorcycle-like grip which, when twisted, sprays a flammable fuel across the blade, greatly increasing the power of its blows. This system, known as "Exceed", can be revved up to three times, and can be released either in one incredibly powerful strike, or three separate stinging blows. This system is also strong enough for Nero to be able to use it as a jet. This and several other modifications makes the Red Queen nearly impossible for anyone but Nero to wield.
In Devil May Cry 5, the Red Queen has a more curved aspect to its blade, and the remainder of the sword has been totally redesigned. It lacks the ornate covering of the original Red Queen, instead having all the functional elements of the injection system exposed. Six large exhaust pipes are the most prominent feature, running along almost half the length of the back of the blade. The grip is roughly the same, though the "brake lever" is smaller. The sword now has an unusual guard in front of the grip which resembles a backwards basket hilt.
File[edit | edit source]
Devil May Cry 4[edit | edit source]
- Library - Arms - Nero's Arms
- RED QUEEN
- A mechanical sword with a powerful fuel injection system. The propellant sprayed onto the blade allows it to unleash attacks of great power; however, the Red Queen's complex customizations mean only Nero is capable of controlling it.
Devil May Cry 5[edit | edit source]
- Devil May Cry 5 promo site
- Turbo-charged demon cleaver
- A version of the Order's anti-demon weapon customized just for Nero. Equipped with a combustion engine, using the added power and propulsion to his sword swings. Revving the hilt like a motorcycle activates the Exceed system, which coats the blade in flames to set foes ablaze.
- Nico's Weapon Report - Red Queen
- Sticking a combustion engine on a sword to add some oomph to its blows...pretty slick idea. Seems like Daddy drew up the base design.
- You took the design and souped it up to make this here Red Queen. I gotta tell ya, I couldn't help but laugh the first time I saw it. No one in their right mind would dream up a rig like this. Without demon blood in your veins, dang thing'd go flying' outta your hand instead of into some bad guy!
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Red Queen focuses on wide, sweeping strikes and occasionally a 360 spin. Red Queen also has unique back-to-forward inputs for additional attacks. Combo A is a four strike combo that all of Red Queen's combos vary from. During Combo B, Nero repeatedly slams Red Queen into to enemy and can be extended if the player repeatedly presses the attack button. If the player remains idle after the last strike Combo B, Nero will rest Red Queen on his shoulder and hold that pose. Combo C consists of multiple 360 sweeps and is good for crowd control and defensive fighting. Combo D is almost the same as Combo A, except the final strike has more power behind it. Streak is an ability that will propel Nero forward and swipe Red Queen on contact with the enemy and has a near 360 swing. High Roller is Red Queens launcher and Nero can rise with it. Shuffle is a counter attack that first consists of a slide back that consists of invincibility frames followed by an attack to push the enemy back.
Red Queen has 4 basic aerial attacks. Aerial Combo is a three strike attack that throws the enemy to the ground. Roulette Spin's final hit sends the enemy higher in the air while gaining Nero more height allowing for more attacks. Split is an attack that slams Red Queen into the ground from the air. Calibur is an aerial equivalent to Streak.
In Devil May Cry 5, Nero has most of his moveset intact, with some new additions. His new moves are Hard Way, a leaping overhead strike that knocks enemies down and has super armor, and Payline, a diving sword attack that also has armor frames. Combo D has a new animation, with the final strike being more brutal.
Exceed[edit | edit source]
Exceed is a system unique for Red Queen. By twisting the grip on the Red Queen as if revving a motorcycle engine, Nero can cause it to spray flammable fuel over the blade, increasing the range and inflicted damage of its attacks. For certain techniques this changes their behavior entirely. Because Exceed attacks generate more style points and inflict more damage, mastering the technique is vital to competently playing as Nero.
The basis of the system is the EX-Gauge, which consists of three slots. The current charge can be seen to the left of the Vitality gauge, and the Red Queen also glows more strongly the higher the charge level. The easiest way to fill the EX-Gauge is by making Nero twist the sword's handle by rhythmically holding and releasing /. The dial in the EX gauge is useful as a guide when first learning to do this: Exceed will be charged until the needle in the dial stops moving, whereupon it is necessary to release the button, let the needle start to turn back, and then press it again. There are also sound cues for this: the revving will become a continuous sound when the dial "tops out."
However, regular revving is slow and dangerous in the middle of the battle as it slows Nero's movement speed, so it is usually better to use EX-Act or purchasable MAX-Act abilities instead. They are performed by pressing the / at ta specific point during a sword attack, usually when the sword would connect with an enemy. It is however not required that the blow actually connect with an enemy: Nero can perform even MAX-Act while swinging his sword at empty air. MAX-Act will be performed if the timing is exact, and fills the entire EX gauge, up to three slots if they have been unlocked. EX-Act's timing requirement is slightly less stringent, but it only fills one slot.
If the EX-Gauge is filled to any extent, the next attack will be be powered up: basic attacks will be faster and more powerful with an added flame effect, and use one slot of the gauge, while certain attacks will become "EX attacks" which use the entire gauge. There are three levels of EX attacks, each new level requiring more filled slots in the EX-Gauge than the previous. From the beginning only the first level of EX attacks is available, level two and three requiring Exceed 2 and Exceed 3 respectively.
The player cannot choose when to use built-up Exceed: it is automatically applied to the next attack with Red Queen if it is present. Exceed does not, however, "go away" by itself: the bar stays charged until it is used, and Nero will retain his Exceed level through doors, warps and cutscenes, only losing it if he completes a mission.
In 5 the Exceed mechanic is revamped. The timing is less strict than it was in 4, allowing the player to get EX-Acts and MAX-Acts more consistently. MAX-Act appears to now be a six-frame window (1/10 of a second) like the Royalguard Style perfect block window, rather than being frame-perfect as before. The EX gauge is also simplified, lacking the previous game's rev dial but with the indicators for the current Exceed level three glowing devices resembling Red Queen's exhausts, which are much easier to see without looking away from the middle of the screen. Interestingly, it is possible to EX-Act and MAX-Act from Nero's air taunt.
Exceed Enhanced Attacks[edit | edit source]
Using certain attacks with Exceed will change the way the attack functions and use up the entire EX-Gauge
EX Streak: Upon contact with the enemy, Nero does a full spin for each EX gauge slots filled while still pushing forward.
EX High Roller: Nero will strike upwards, rising with a number of spins equivalent to the slots in the EX-Gauge and dragging enemies into the air with him. The final height achieved increases with each Exceed level. A level 3 EX High Roller gains an enormous amount of height, and can be useful for reaching hidden areas.
EX Shuffle: A second strike is added to the counter-attack.
Double Down: An enhanced Split attack in which Nero stabs Red Queen into the ground below.
EX Calibur: EX Calibur is functionally the same as Calibur, but with an added flame effect.
EX Payline: Nero drills towards the ground wreathed in flames, knocking all enemies back.
EX Hard Way: The attack will make enemies bounce off the ground, giving an ample opportunity to follow up with aerial moves.
Interestingly, if Nero fills up an Exceed slot while in Devil Trigger state, his demonic aura rises and grows larger with each Exceed level. This is seen clearly when the player uses the Super Nero costume, as the Devil Trigger is infinite and the Red Queen has maxed-out Exceed level.
Movesets[edit | edit source]
|Red Queen Combo A||
|Four quick sword slashes.|
|Red Queen Combo B||
|Strong sword strikes that deal heavy damage to all those who fall in their path.|
|Red Queen Combo C||
|A stylish and speedy combo created to damage scores of enemies at once.|
|Red Queen Combo D||
|Slash away at an enemy and then drive into an enemy with a powerful coup de grâce.|
|A succession of hits dealt in the air.|
|Red Queen’s blade spun in mid-air in a deadly show of force. This attack will allow you to gain altitude.|
|Uses the combustion system of the Red Queen to grant the next attack even more devastating power. Ex-Gauge can be charged to three power levels. Level 2 increases the EX-Gauge to 2 slots, allowing you to access level 2 Exceed moves. Level 3 increases the EX-Gauge to 3 slots, allowing you to access level 3 Exceed moves.|
|Right after an attack, quickly activate Exceed to fill one part of your Exceed gauge.|
|Right after an attack, quickly activate Exceed to max out your Exceed gauge. Your timing must be absolutely perfect!|
|Launch an enemy skyward. By holding down /, you will follow the enemy into the air.|
|EX High Roller||High Roller powered-up by the Red Queen's Exceed system. Revolutions increase depending on the Ex-Gauge level.|
|A magnificent rushing attack that sweeps up surrounding enemies. Level 2 has greatly extended range.|
|Powered by the Red Queen's Exceed system, this Streak will never end. Revolutions increase depending on the Ex-Gauge level.|
|A violent descending slash similar to 'Helm Breaker' that slams through an enemy and splits them right down the middle.|
|The propellant ignited on the blade of the Red Queen by the Exceed system powers the weapon downwards, eviscerating a foe.|
|Streak towards your foe in mid-air and strike with a heavy blow.|
|A version of Calibur powered by the Red Queen's Exceed system.|
|After avoiding an attack by backstepping, rush forward and counter with a fast, powerful blow.|
|Powered by the Red Queen's Exceed system, this shuffle surely spells disaster. Revolutions increase depending on the Ex-Gauge level.|
|Red Queen Combo A||A quick and dirty 4-hit sword combo.|
|Red Queen Combo B||A series of heavy blows deal heavy damage to anything unlucky enough to get in the way.|
|Red Queen Combo C||A flashy sword combo versatile enough to lay out unsuspecting foes over a wider area.|
|Red Queen Combo D||A brutal series of strikes culminating in a powerful final blow.|
|Aerial Combo||A series of mid-air sword slashes.|
|Roulette Spin||Spin the Red Queen's blade in mid-air, cutting up enemies. This attack will allow you to gain a little altitude.|
|Exceed||Uses the combustion system of the Red Queen to grant the next attack even more devastating power. Ex-Gauge can be charged to three power levels. Level 2 increases the EX-Gauge to 2 slots, allowing you to access level 2 Exceed moves. Level 3 increases the EX-Gauge to 3 slots, allowing you to access level 3 Exceed moves.|
|EX-Act||Right after an attack, quickly activate Exceed to fill one part of your Exceed gauge.|
|Right after an attack, quickly activate Exceed to fill one part of your Exceed gauge.|
|Payline||A swift mid-air strike that exploits an enemy's weak point. Brushes off enemy attacks when activated.|
|Hard Way||A swift strike that exploits an enemy's weak point. Brushes off enemy attacks when activated.|
|High Roller||Cleave into an enemy, launching them skyward. Continue holding // to follow the enemy into the air.|
|EX High Roller||Exceed High Roller||High Roller powered-up by the Red Queen's Exceed system. Revolutions increase depending on the Ex-Gauge level.|
|Streak||A magnificent rushing attack that sweeps up surrounding enemies. Level 2 has greatly extended range.|
|Streak powered-up by the Red Queen's Exceed system. Revolutions increase depending on the Ex-Gauge level.|
|Split||A violent descending slash that slams through an enemy and splits them right down the middle.|
|The propellant ignited on the blade of the Red Queen by the Exceed system powers the weapon downwards, eviscerating a foe. The attack area increases depending on the Ex-Gauge level.|
|Calibur||Streak towards your foe in mid-air and strike with a heavy blow.|
|A version of Calibur powered by the Red Queen's Exceed system, increasing its distance depending on the Ex-Gauge level.|
|Shuffle||After avoiding an attack by backstepping, rush forward and counter with a fast, powerful blow.|
|Shuffle powered-up by the Red Queen's Exceed system. Revolutions increase depending on the Ex-Gauge level.|
Appearances in Other Media[edit | edit source]
Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition[edit | edit source]
The Red Queen appears on the back of Ed's "Nero" costume. It cannot be used as a weapon by Ed.
The Red Queen is one of Nero's weapons in the game, it's used when the player selects the "Attack" command.
The Red Queen appears on Nero's back in the game.
Background[edit | edit source]
"Roulette Spin", "Streak," "Split," "High Roller", "Shuffle", and "Double Down" are gambling and casino terms. Even the name "Red Queen" refers to the Queen of Hearts or Diamonds in a modern card deck. Furthermore, in the Devil May Cry 4: Deadly Fortune it is stated that Nero's moves are named after gambling/casino terms because Morihashi Bingo thought of him as a 'sink or swim' person.
"EX Calibur" is a pun on the legendary sword of the same name which was wielded by King Arthur. Similarly, "EX Act" is a pun on how the move requires exact timing from the player.
The Ex moves all increase damage done, or change properties, similar to Ex move in Street Fighter.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- While the other Order weapons, the Caliburn and Durandal, have a "revving" ability similar to Exceed, this has no apparent effect on the blade's strength and speed. Early interviews with the game's director seem to imply that the primary difference between the Red Queen and other swords is the removal of the sword's rev limiter, though this could merely be a reference to customization in general. The Bianco and Alto Angelos, which Agnus created, also possess an ability similar to Exceed in which they rev their weapon enough to actually propel them across the battlefield.
- In Devil May Cry 4, if Automatic Mode is active, some of the automatically used combos are actually impossible to do normally (such as three hits from Red Queen Combo B immediately followed by an overhead finisher from Red Queen Combo D).
- "Red Queen" is also used as the name for different computer systems in the Resident Evil franchise.
- According to the Devil May Cry 4: Deadly Fortune novel, both Red Queen and Blue Rose melted away while Nero was trapped in the Savior's core, while in the game both weapons are still present during those scenes, for obvious gameplay reasons. However, in Devil May Cry 5, both weapons are seen intact and functional albeit with visible differences either from them being modified or remade entirely.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- CAPCOM: Devil May Cry 5 Official Site, Character - Nero
- The Art of Devil May Cry 4 (2008), pp. 14, Red Queen: "Nero's blade is as singularly unique as its wielder. From its ornate etched base to its wickedly sharp curved tip, this sword delivers heavy damage when swung around at high speeds. But its most unique feature resides in the handle, boasting motorcycle-like gear shift which, when pulled, releases a flammable liquid spray across the opponent. This blade is as beautiful as its deadly."
- Devil May Cry 4, Nero's Arms File — Red Queen: "A mechanical sword with a powerful fuel injection system. The propellant sprayed onto the blade allows it to unleash attacks of great power; however, the Red Queen’s complex customizations mean only Nero is capable of controlling it."
- CAPCOM: Devil May Cry 5 Official Site, Character - Nero
- Game Informer (Nov 2006), DEVIL MAY CRY 4 - A NEW HUNT BEGINS: "Nero may be a new character, but he has the same affection for customized weaponry as Dante. Nero's blade, the Red Queen, is a tricked out version of the standard-issue weapon for the members of his order. 'Nero is a bit of a tuner,' explains Kobayashi. 'Just like people will take off rev limiters on their bikes, he's played around a bit with his sword.' This motorcycle analogy actually extends into the sword's in-game design, as it has what it appears to be a brake lever coming down from the cross guard. When asked whether this device is just for decoration, Kobayashi evasively responds: 'There is something to do with the grip on his sword which we can't reveal yet.' We're guessing it doesn't just make him decelerate."