Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, also known as Shin Megami Tensei: Lucifer's Call in Europe due to licensing issues, is a game in the Megami Tensei series of Role Playing Games.
A young Japanese teenager (whose name is chosen by the player) and his two friends visit their sick teacher in the hospital but find it deserted. They witness an event called "The Conception" where all humans outside the hospital are killed to prepare the world for its rebirth. Lucifer, in the guise of a young boy, appears before the protagonist and transforms him into the half-demon known as the Demi-fiend (Hitoshura in Japan). Traveling across the newly formed Vortex World, the Demi-fiend must choose to either ally with one of the powers seeking to re-shape the world or find his own path. Depending on the player's actions the Demi-fiend may restore the world as it was, recreate it to follow a new philosophy, or fully embrace his demonic powers and leave the world dead and barren.
Dante was not in the initial release of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. He was added in the re-released Maniax edition of the game and in international versions of Nocturne.
Dante is asked by a disguised Lucifer to hunt down the Demi-fiend and is given a Candelabrum that will react to the one the Demi-fiend possesses. Because of this, in his initial encounters Dante acts as a formidable enemy. The player will fight against Dante twice, the first time at the entrance of the Mantra building in Ikebukuro, and the second time in the Labyrinth of Amala's Third Kalpa. The first battle is a mandatory boss fight, but the second is entirely optional if the player does not choose to explore the Labyrinth of Amala.
Dante is known to have been present in Tokyo prior to the apocalyptic Conception. He was first described as a "foreign guy in red" by a non playable character. Dante's first physical appearance happens at the start of the game when the Demi-fiend is leaving the hospital in Shinjuku. He does not confront the Demi-fiend at this point and merely makes a nonchalant reference to his employer and current job, seemingly untroubled by the state of the World. Since the NPC that first described him was found in the same ward, he presumably survived the conception by entering the hospital safe zone or was alternatively saved by his demonic heritage. Dante first confronts the Demi-fiend in Ikebukuro by leaping off a ledge on the top of the Mantra headquarters in an homage to the beginning of Devil May Cry 2. Despite the height of the fall he lands on his feet with no apparent damage and challenges the player to battle.
In the Third Kalpa of the Labyrinth of Amala, Dante will chase after the Demi-fiend as he tries to run. If Dante catches the Demi-fiend he will use Stinger (a dangerous physical attack with a 40% chance to instantly kill a party member) and then retreat; the player is then placed back at the entrance, forcing the player to start the chase sequence over again. Reaching the end of the Third Kalpa initiates a final boss fight, which concludes with Dante purposefully missing a Stinger that would have killed the Demi-fiend by stabbing the wall between his arm and torso. He goes on to explain that if either one of them died only his contractor would benefit. Dante also hands a candelabrum to the the Demi-fiend, allowing the latter deeper access into the Labyrinth of Amala.
In the entrance of the Fifth Kalpa, Dante offers to join the Demi-fiend's party. If the player accepts Dante's services he will say that he usually charges an incredible amount of money for his services, but since the Demi-Fiend is a rare opponent he will makes an exception and offers to give a discount if the Demi-fiend wins a coin toss. Because Dante is using his double-sided coin, betting Heads will mean the Demi-fiend only has to pay Dante 1 Macca (the currency of the game) for his services, while tails will require him to pay half of his current Macca.
Dante explains that he chose to offer his services to the Demi-fiend because he was suspicious of Lucifer's true motives. In reality Dante was merely one of several powerful foes hired by Lucifer to test the Demi-fiend's power. Despite this Dante does not make any further comment on his former employer, even if the player chooses to ally with Lucifer. Additionally, because Dante does not appear in any of the game's endings his ultimate fate is unknown.
Development of Dante's character
Producer Cozy Okada said about Dante's inclusion in the game: One of the staff members in Japan, who happened to be a big fan of the DMC series, came up with the idea of including Dante from Capcom's in an upcoming SMT game. At first I thought it was a crazy idea, but realized that Dante is a devil hunter and this might actually work out and presented the Nocturne game concept to Capcom.
In exchange for Dante's presence in Nocturne, Kazuma Kaneko, the principle artist behind Character and Demon designs in the Shin Megami Tensei series, was brought into the Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening project to design the Devil Trigger forms of Dante and Vergil.
Dante possesses the following Abilities in Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne.
- E & I - Dante fires several shots at a single enemy.
- Rebellion - Dante uses a powerful melee attack on a single enemy.
- Bullet Time - Dante fires at all enemies with Ebony & Ivory. Can cause "Panic" status.
- Never Yield - Once per battle negates a fatal blow and leaves Dante at 1 HP (passive ability)
- Holy Star - Nullifies -nda (Stat lowering) effects for all party members.
- Provoke - Dante taunts all enemies, lowering their defenses but increasing their attack. Dante also regains MP.
- Intimidate - Aids in recruiting enemy demons (passive ability).
- Son's Oath - Dante's attack power is increased by 50% (passive ability).
- In Nocturne HD Remaster Dante's physical skills also bypass enemy physical resistence/immunity.
- Round Trip - Dante performs Round Trip, dealing an Electric element attack on all enemies.
- Whirlwind - Identical to Round Trip but dealing Force (wind) damage.
- Stinger - Dante performs a Stinger attack on one enemy. Has random chance of an instant kill based on Dante's level; the higher Dante's level, the higher the chance. While Dante is an enemy, this chance is fixed at 40%.
- Showtime - Dante performs High Time, Rain Storm, and Helm Breaker in quick succession; in game terms this deals a powerful Almighty (a non-elemental property in the series) attack on all enemies. The words Bingo!, Are You Ready?, and Showtime! appear as he performs the attack.
A second version of Maniax, Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne Maniax Chronicle Edition, was released on October 23, 2008 as part of a Japanese limited edition of Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon: in this version, Dante is replaced by Raidou Kuzunoha the XIV, the protagonist of the third and fourth Devil Summoner titles. In the HD Remaster release, slated for Japanese release in 2020 and worldwide release in 2021, Raidou appears in the game by default, but the player has the option to have Dante appear instead with the purchase of the Maniax Pack DLC.
- Though he is considered a Demon in terms of gameplay, Dante cannot be created by Demon Fusion nor used for Demon Fusion in the Cathedral of Shadows. Any attempt to fuse Dante with another demon will earn the player a comment from the minister of the Cathedral that not even he could handle a man such as Dante,
- Dante is a powerful ally, but since he cannot be fused Dante cannot be customized or upgraded, meaning he cannot learn the skill "Pierce", which allows its user to ignore enemy resistances. This makes Dante a poor party member should the player choose to fight Lucifer.
- This has been rectified in the HD Remaster, where the Son's Oath passive skill now includes all the benefits from the "Pierce" skill.
- The player can choose to jump of the same ledge Dante does when he first appears in Ikebukuro, but if they do their party will be reduced to one HP. However, if Dante is in the player's party he alone will be unharmed by the jump.
- The European version of Nocturne Maniax has a "Featuring Dante from the Devil May Cry series" label on the box art, which has been humorously poked fun at by fans and Atlus staff alike.
- Despite being one of the most powerful allies in terms of statistics, Dante never exploits his real potential in this game by never entering into any form of Devil Trigger.
- Nocturne's article on Wikipedia
- Nocturne's article on the Megami Tensei wiki
- Dante's article on the Megami Tensei wiki