Scarecrows are a species of lesser demonic creatures that appear in Devil May Cry 4. There exists three versions of Scarecrows: Scarecrow (Leg), Scarecrow (Arm), and Mega Scarecrow. They are very similar to the Marionettes in Devil May Cry, and serve as the game's basic enemies.
Scarecrow (Leg) and Scarecrow (Arm)
Each type of Scarecrow is a burlap sack filled with Trypoxylus, unintelligent beetles indigenous to the Demon World able to act as one to animate their scarecrow-like form. Scarecrows have executioner's blades fitted to their body, and are differentiated by its position — Scarecrow (Arm)s have executioner blades on their arms and fight with simple patterns that are easy to avoid, while Scarecrow (Leg)s have bladed legs which allow them to perform intricate, acrobatic feats of violence on their victims.
The Mega Scarecrow is a Scarecrow that is filled to the brim with Trypoxylus beetles and has several blades on its arms, tiny knifes on its legs and a giant blade in its stomach. It is stronger than its smaller brethren and is able to perform vicious spinning attacks, but it is slow and can easily be kept from responding to the player's attacks, specially when it is left out the camera vision angle. When it dies, the blade on its back will fly off and then fall on its remains, much like the Sins of the first game, and this blade can still damage the player.
Scarecrow (Arm) has three attacks:
First being blade swing: Scarecrow prepares to attack and then makes a broad swing with its blade.
Second being blade slash: Scarecrow prepares to attack and then makes a downward slash with its blade.
Third being spinning attack: Scarecrow swings its blade in arc, but this makes it lose its balance. This propels Scarecrow forward and then it makes a broad arc swing. Scarecrow regains its balance afterwards.
Scarecrow (Leg) has three attacks:
First being blade slash: Scarecrow prepares to attack and then makes a downward slash with its blade.
Second being spinning attack: Scarecrow jumps and spins its blade around, slashing in all direction.
Third being combo attack: Scarecrow makes a downward slash, jumps and then makes another downward slash with increased power.
Mega Scarecrow has three attacks:
First being blade swing: Mega Scarecrow swings its triple blades in a broad arc two times.
Second being body slam: Mega Scarecrow jumps in your direction and falls down with all its weight.
Third being spinning attack: Mega Scarecrow curls up and starts spinning its blades, then it rushes at you at high speed. Mega Scarecrow cannot be staggered while performing this attack.
Scarecrow (Arm) and Scarecrow (Leg) serve as the game's most basic enemies, thus, they are very easy to defeat. Keep attacking them, but be wary so that you don't get surrounded. On a side note, the Scarecrow (Leg) is much more agile and powerful, with sweeping, long-ranged attacks. Keep an eye on them at all times, or they will interrupt your combo swiftly and mercilessly.
Mega Scarecrows are tougher to beat than their other brethren as they can send their blades to boomerang towards you as well as spin on the ground towards you with their blades bared. However, they respond very slowly to attacks and can therefore be attacked continuously. The best way to deal with them is to keep attacking them, which makes them much less of a hassle. Mega Scarecrows will try to attack the player character while they are busy fighting other demons, so it is often a good idea to take out the Mega Scarecrow first. When a Mega Scarecrow is killed their blade will fly straight up and can cause damage if it lands on top of you.
Appearances in Other Media
Multiple Scarecrows can be seen at the starting cutscene in Dante's story.
Trypoxylus is the genus to which Japanese rhinoceros beetles belong. These beetles are frequently depicted as a cartoon character in popular media, much as bears or lions are in the United States. While it is said that the sacks are filled with Trypoxylus, it is not clear whether or not these insects are demonic bugs which are only named Trypoxylus, or normal Trypoxylus beetles possessed by demons.
Both Marvel and DC Comics have characters named "Scarecrow," both of which wear costumes made from burlap and use fear to manipulate and even murder people. Additionally, Marvel has an additional evil character named Straw Man, who is less human in nature, but shares the same motif. If these similarities are intentional, this would not be the first time Capcom paid homage to a comic book villain.
- One of Yuichiro Hiraki's inspirations when creating the Scarecrow was the villain from the "Drunken Monkey" movie, who strikes a pose where one of his legs is raised. Hiroyuki Nara also wanted the Scarecrow to contrast with the Marionette from Devil May Cry.
- In addition, Hiroyuki Nara wanted to pay an homage to My Neighbor Totoro by having something that'd look like the Soot Sprites to be the "filling" of the Scarecrow, however this idea didn't get a lot of support in the development team. There was also a lot of arguing about whether this filling should be clearly visible or kept it hidden.
- As mentioned in the Devil May Cry: 3142 Graphic Arts book, the giant blade on the Mage Scarecrow is actually attached to its stomach and not its back.
- In the small scene in Mission 2 that shows Scarecrows dancing in the street and on destroyed cars, there are different looking Scarecrows from the ones you fight. One of them has a different head design and its head is colored yellow and purple. The other one is a Scarecrow (Arm) that has the head and mask of a Scarecrow (Leg). It's head is also colored differently. These appear to be Scarecrows from early 2006 as they appeared in TGS 2006 gameplay videos as being able to be fought. It is likely Capcom abandoned this Scarecrow design for use for fighting them in-game.
- Being a burlap sack animated by swarm of malevolent bugs, Scarecrow greatly resemble (if are not inspired by) Oogie Boogie from Nightmare Before Christmas.
- In Devil May Cry 5, a Scarecrow appears in Nico's workbench.
Illustrations from the Devil May Cry 4 Devil's Material Collection artbook.
- Devil May Cry 4, Lesser Demons File — Scarecrow (Arm): "A demon borne with sacks filled of Trypoxylus. These insects are unintelligent; however, by moving as one, they bring life to their Scarecrow-like form. Their bladed arms were once used as executioner’s blades."
- Devil May Cry 4, Lesser Demons File — Scarecrow (Leg): "A demon borne with sacks filled of Trypoxylus. These insects are unintelligent; however, by moving as one, they bring life to their Scarecrow-like form. This Scarecrow’s leg-fitted blade grants it the ability to unleash breath-taking feats of acrobatic violence."
- Devil May Cry: 3142 Graphic Arts. p.133
- Devil May Cry 4, Lesser Demons File — Mega Scarecrow: "Filled to the brim with Trypoxylus, this Scarecrow has swollen dramatically in size, and possesses a power that clearly demarcates it from its other, less powerful, brethren."
- Devil May Cry: 3142 Graphic Arts. p.132