Urizen is the name given to a demon who takes the title of Demon King – the main antagonist of Devil May Cry 5. "Urizen" is, in fact, the demonic half of Vergil's soul made flesh; the embodiment of his lust for power.
Urizen is a colossal humanoid creature with 37 eyes along all his body and head, large sharp teeth and claws. His most prominent features are the thick root-like layers of flesh that cover his body, encircling his face and reaching up to form a spiked "crown" on his head. In his standing form, thick severed roots with spiked tips drape down from his back like a cloak. He also has several blue glowing orbs on his body.
After devouring the demonic fruit of the Qliphoth, the growths that cover his body slough away and reveal his true form: a large blue demonic humanoid with eyes dotted all over his body, with three larger eyes on his shoulders and torso. His face is uncovered, largely human but with sharpened teeth.
Urizen is first mentioned in V's first chapter, where shortly after Dante, Trish, and Lady arrive with him in the depths of the Qliphoth, they hear an ominous roar so powerful it shakes the very ground under their feet, with V realizing Urizen had 'awoken', and his plan to attack the Demon King as he rested had failed.
In Trish's chapter, Urizen battles her and Lady, ignoring their best efforts to harm him with his demonic crystal protecting him from every attack they throw at him, even ignoring the Devil Sword Sparda and the multi-shot capabilities of the Artemis before defeating them.
Dante and Nero's later chapters recant their own fruitless struggle against Urizen as depicted in Devil May Cry 5's prologue, with Dante ultimately defeated and his sword Rebellion destroyed, while Nero is dragged away by V after losing against the Demon King.
The prologue of Visions of V depicts Urizen on his throne within the depths of the Qliphoth while V watches on, reading William Blake's "Poison Tree" poem.
The first chapter of Visions of V depicts Vergil using the Yamato to cast off his dying human flesh, along with the lingering nightmares of his time as Nelo Angelo, which gives 'birth' to V and his familiars. Vergil then transforms into Urizen, whose mere presence almost kills V until he is rescued by Griffon. Demons later begin to appear in Red Grave City, drawn by Urizen's presence, with Griffon warning V that more will follow due to Urizen still retaining possession of the Yamato.
Urizen is in fact the demonic half of Vergil, a being created after Vergil uses Yamato to split his human and demon halves in an attempt to heal the damage done to his body over the years and gain more demonic power by removing his human flesh. Embodying Vergil's thirst for power with none of his human morality to hold him back, Urizen uses the Yamato to open a portal to the Demon World and calls forth the demon tree Qliphoth in Red Grave City, intending to have it drain the blood of humans to spawn a fruit of concentrated power and allow him to ascend to the level of a god as the former devil emperor Mundus once did.
Urizen also claims the empty throne of the Demon World and takes command of the vast armies of demons in the Underworld to slaughter humans in Red Grave City to harvest their blood, with the demonic hybrid sorceress Malphas acting on his behalf. The demon colossus Goliath sought to challenge Urizen's claim to the throne by devouring the fruit of the Qliphoth first, but was killed before he was able to attempt such. The other half of Vergil's essence, the human known as V, acts to stop him, hiring Dante, Trish and Lady to go after Urizen within the depths of the emerging Qliphoth, and later recruiting Nero to help as well. Urizen easily defeats the team of demon hunters, defeating Lady and Trish before Dante's arrival. The legendary devil hunter is aware of Urizen's true identity and eagerly battles his brother's demonic half, though despite his efforts, Urizen has become far more powerful than Dante by feeding off of the blood already gathered by the Qliphoth and easily defeats his brother. Before Urizen can kill Dante, Nero arrives, eager to settle the score, having been told by V that Urizen was the one who took his demonic limb, the Devil Bringer, to claim the Yamato.
Nero is no match for Urizen at all in his weakened condition and is almost killed as well, when Dante revives, shooting Urizen to gain his attention and engages the demon king in his Devil Trigger state, giving V enough time to rescue Nero and allow the two to escape the Qliphoth, but even with this additional power, Urizen is capable of holding Dante back before suddenly hitting Dante so hard that he shatters Rebellion with a single punch, knocking Dante out of Devil Trigger. As Urizen boasts of his overwhelming power and uses the roots of the Qliphoth to smother Dante, Trish uses the last of her strength to throw Dante his father's sword, the Devil Sword Sparda, allowing Dante to escape and regain his Devil Trigger form, but even the Sparda's overwhelming power fails against Urizen, who simply strikes Dante with enough force to send him flying out his lair and through the trunk of the Qliphoth, the toll of Dante's injuries leaving him in a month long coma.
Declaring that the Devil Sword Sparda no longer serves a purpose, or even a threat to his rule, Urizen has the roots of the Qliphoth engulf Lady and Trish, the demon king deciding to have the two serve him so that they may gather more power for him. Urizen uses both Lady and Trish as cores for two powerful demons, one formed from the Artemis Devil Arm, creating the Artemis, and has Trish empower the Cavaliere Angelo, who gains her formidable lightning powers. Over a month after the initial clash, Urizen's forces have gathered the blood of thousands of slain humans, growing the Qliphoth to titanic proportions, with the demon king waiting patiently on his throne inside the tree for its fruit to become ripe. Nero confronts Urizen again, the demon king bemused that Nero had come so far to die, even renouncing the name given to him by V to declare himself power incarnate.
Though the young demon hunter remains no match for the Demon King, he manages to break through Urizen's shield and land a single strike on his hand, surprising Urizen as he knocks Nero away. Angered that a powerless human with no demonic power would dare to strike him, Urizen is sufficiently enraged to finally rise from his throne, declaring he would make Nero regret being born a useless human and vows to give him despair and death. Urizen nearly kills Nero after their third battle, but this time Dante is the one who interrupts in his new Sin Devil Trigger form, saving Nero and allowing Griffon to carry him off to safety.
As Urizen recognizes Dante, the legendary Devil Hunter calls his new weapon, Devil Sword Dante, into existence to do battle with the Demon King. Dante holds his own against the Demon King, managing to finally best the seemingly undefeatable Urizen, but before he can strike a killing blow, the Qliphoth is fully revealed. Urizen recalls Yamato, declaring Dante's victory a simple inconvenience, and takes his leave to claim the fruit within the depths of the Qliphoth. Dante finds Urizen in the Qliphoth's lowermost chamber, the Demon King contemplating the fruit as Dante approaches him within an illusion of their childhood home. Though Dante tries to reason with his brother's demonic self, noting their mother's sacrifice to save them, Urizen brushes off Dante's tale, claiming that he has no recollection of Eva's death or even the place they stand in, revealing its true nature as an illusion created by the fruit of the Qliphoth, which Urizen claims has the power he has craved for so long and devours before Dante can stop him. Charged with power, Urizen sheds the rooted armor he had worn previously as he brushes off Dante's proclamation of losing the last bit of humanity he still had, claiming it to be a pitiful cry from one lacking strength.
Revealing his true form and reveling in his newfound power, Urizen bids his brother to come forth and engages in a final battle with Dante. Despite all the power the fruit gave him, he is still no match for Dante, and can only rage in confusion over his younger brother's greater power, demanding to know how he has such strength despite losing nothing. Dante refutes his brother's demonic half, claiming he has no real strength since has nothing to protect and threw away his humanity for nothing, leaving Urizen screaming in fury and finally defeated as Dante impales him through the chest. As the Demon King lays dying, Nero and a dying V arrive, with V approaching him, the fading human essence of Vergil conversing with his demonic half, noting how they had both lost each other, but are connected by their shared feelings, their need for power, and their hatred of Dante. Too late, Dante realizes who V really is and what his plan had been all along, but he is unable to act before V stabs his cane into Urizen's chest and in doing so reunites their divided essence in an explosion of blue light, restoring Vergil.
As the demonic half of Vergil, Urizen represents the darkest aspects of his personality, chiefly his unending thirst for power. Completely devoid of humanity, Urizen is utterly heartless and cruel, showing no mercy to his foes, be they demon, human or even a member of his original selves' family. He didn't hesitate to unleash the Qliphoth tree upon the human world, slaughtering thousands. Like most demons, Urizen looks down upon the powerless and weak, namely mortal humans.
Unlike most demons, who constantly taunt and rant against their enemies, Urizen is largely stoic and silent, appearing disinterested in those who challenge him. However, Urizen is also prideful and utterly convinced of his superiority, even going as far to proclaim himself power incarnate. After Nero managed to actually strike and wound him during their second encounter, Urizen looked stoically surprised before expressing his outrage that a weak human would dare to strike at him, his great anger forcing him to finally rise from his throne and fully battle with Nero, nearly killing him. He was also insulted in how Dante returned to battle him again, interfering with his battle with Nero, and appearing in his true Sin Devil Trigger form. Additionally, as noted by Malphas, Urizen's pride clouded his judgement at times, as he told his underlings not to dispose of the Sparda sword and even was dismissive of the prospect that any of Sparda's surviving kin could wield and even defeat him with it (which was later confirmed through Dante's acquisition of the Devil Arm and fusing it with the broken Rebellion into his own namesake weapon that was more powerful than either).
Dante seems to understand that Urizen merely represents not only his brother's thirst for power, but also his desire to never become weak and cast away like he originally believed his mother had done to him. Urizen believes that the only way to grow more powerful was to lose something. In Urizen's case, Vergil's humanity. Thus, he fails to understand on how Dante can be so powerful since he has never "lost" anything.
- Nico Enemy Report - Urizen
- Your target—the demon king.
- Thing is, I can't find any mention of Urizen in any of my demonology texts. You'd think a guy who crowns himself king of all demons would be a little more infamous...
- Well, superstar or not, he's definitely got the power to keep a grip on the throne. But you don't need me to tell you that, huh?
- Listen, if you're sure you wanna take this guy down... watch your ass, all right?
- Nico Enemy Report - Urizen (Mission 08)
- This sheds some light on what Urizen was up to—rooting himself into the Qliphoth to grow fat on its power. He wasn't just fighting you sitting down outta contempt. He needed to stay rooted into that thing to absorb its power.
- That makes it all the crazier that he cut himself off to move around!
- Those shreds of the Qliphoth left in his body looked like a real headache, attacking and defending at Urizen's will. How you got outta this fight alive I'll never know.
- Nico Enemy Report - Urizen (Mission 17)
- All that blood...all that life force focused into the fruit of the Qliphoth. When Urizen ate that thing his whole "king of hell" gig seemed like nothing— he had the power to shake the foundations of the world.
- He was so damn powerful that he just cast off those vestiges of the Qliphoth that were his weapons and armor. They were only slowin' him down.
- From then on, all he needed was his own physique— the ultimate expression of killing power.
- To take him on and win... you'd need the power of a god.
Urizen as a boss is fought a total of five times throughout Devil May Cry 5 in the following missions: Prologue, Mission 8, Mission 10, Mission 12, and Mission 17. Of these battles, only Mission 12 and Mission 17 are mandatory to defeat him, while both Prologue and Mission 8 end after Nero loses all his health, although he can be beaten if you are skilled enough and doing so will unlock a secret ending and the next difficulty setting after whichever setting this battle is won on. Mission 10 cannot be won, and the battle will end after a certain amount of damage is inflicted on either Urizen's crystal or Dante.
Defeating Urizen in the Prologue is entirely possible without an upgraded Nero, it is simply VERY difficult, even on Human or Devil Hunter settings. Like with Mission 10, the battle with Urizen automatically ends once Nero's health bar has been depleted.
The battles taking place in the Prologue, the first half of Mission 8 and the last part of Mission 10 are all the same, with Urizen sitting upon his throne, using a crystal of red demonic power to conjure a barrier to protect himself while he bombards his opponent with various energy projectiles. Urizen will use Artemis' smaller Laser projectiles that will strike around the area his adversary is standing on, requiring them to dodge, or Artemis' sweeping full energy beam attack, which must be jumped over or rolled under to avoid. As Urizen's crystal takes more damage, he will occasionally fire two of these beams, one after another, in sweeping blasts.
Urizen will also employ Elder Geryon Knight's time stopping spheres to capture his opponent in slowed time, usually following up with more energy blasts of Artemis or Goliath's plasma fireballs twice in a row for maximum damage. He will use Goliath's fireballs in-between Artemis' lasers as well, and these spheres inflict high damage with each strike. Urizen's last energy based attack is to conjure five pillars of blue flames underneath his opponent, which must be jumped over to dodge.
Attacking Urizen's crystal is the only way to destroy his barrier and reach Urizen directly. The crystal has high health and strong defenses, coupled with Urizen's constant bombardment of energy attacks making attacking the crystal directly for long stretches unwise. The crystal is vulnerable to long range attacks from Nero and Dante's revolver and handguns respectively, with charged shots recommended for maximum damage. Attacking the crystal with Red Queen or any of Dante's Devil Arms at close range with the fast and high damaging combos will also do plenty of damage but sticking close carries the risk of being caught in any of Urizen's attacks. After the crystal has taken a certain amount of continuous damage, Urizen will raise his right hand out and release a pulse shockwave to knock his adversary away from it, inflicting partial damage as well.
The crystal is not without its own defenses, and after taking enough damage, it will glow and hum for a split-second before expanding into a series of high-damaging spikes that will send Urizen's opponent flying backwards.
Once Urizen's crystal has lost all its health, his barrier will be destroyed and he will become vulnerable to attack. In the Prologue, Urizen remains on his throne as he repairs the crystal to restore his barrier, leaving him open to attack from Nero's Red Queen, Blue Rose, or various Devil Breakers, and Devil Trigger and Buster if the mission is being replayed, for a very short period of time. Once Urizen restores his barrier, the crystal will be back to full health but with lowered defenses. To make up for this, Urizen's attacks become more aggressive.
Once Urizen's barrier has been destroyed in Mission 8, he rises from his throne and battles Nero directly. For this stage of the battle against Nero and later again as Dante in Mission 12, Urizen employs all of his previous energy attacks but adds a few new moves for increased difficulty. He will use the various roots of the Qliphoth attached to his back to strike out and impale his adversaries, inflicting high damage. His crystal will still defend him in this phase but no longer creates a full barrier to protect Urizen, and it can be destroyed by high-damage attacks, leaving Urizen vulnerable to direct attacks. Urizen can be staggered in this phase, leaving him open to high-damaging combos. In this phase of the battle, only Dante can defeat Urizen, as Nero's battle will end once his health bar is depleted.
The final battle against Urizen takes place in Mission 17, with Dante as his opponent. Having devoured the fruit of the Qliphoth, Urizen sheds the root like armor he previously donned and reveals his true form. He moves much faster without the armor to weigh him down, while retaining all of his previous energy attacks, he adds a few new and dangerous techniques to his repertoire. He can now teleport around the battlefield using portals resembling Malphas, and when attacked directly by Dante, can strike back with downward punches and high kicks resembling Vergil's combos with Beowulf, inflicting massive damage. He also begins using purple variants of Vergil's Summoned Swords that strike out in random patterns that inflict high damage and knock back.
As his health becomes lower, Urizen will resort to two dangerous desperation attacks, one being where he stands in the center of the battlefield, with both Urizen and the ground beginning to glow with a faint purple aura while he crosses his arms over his chest. When this aura reaches its zenith, Urizen will summon hundreds of spiked roots of the Qliphoth to burst from the ground to impale Dante. This attack can be avoided with a timed jump or dodge, or by quickly running to one of the areas on the ground that is not glowing.
On higher difficulties, Urizen will move to the center of the battlefield and draw his right arm down and back while beginning to glow with a purple aura. After a few seconds of building power, Urizen will dash, unleashing a powerful rising uppercut imbued with his massive demonic power. If this uppercut connects, it can take off over half of Dante's health bar in a single strike.
The best way of inflicting damage against Urizen in Missions 12 and 17 with Dante is charging his Sin Devil Trigger meter and activating it once full, using the Sin Devil Trigger's high-damaging attacks to empty his health meter rapidly. When too much damage has been inflicted on Dante, use regular Devil Trigger to recover health while attacking him head-on, the raised damage status of Dante's attacks usually being enough to stagger him momentarily, allowing Dante to inflict more damage and recover health.
In the Bloody Palace mode, some of Urizen's attack patterns differ from the ones that are in the campaign mode. For example, in the Bloody Palace, he never uses time stopping spheres.
Powers and Abilities
Urizen is easily the most powerful entity seen in the series thus far, with his power increased to a different level than even Mundus, the Prince of Darkness himself and former Emperor of Hell, and therefore also the equally powerful Demon God Argosax, who had subdued every demon in the Underworld with his power. In Nico's notes, she states that after consuming the fruit from the Qliphoth, Urizen had the power to shake the foundations of the world, and going so far as to say that one would need the power of a god to defeat him in that state.
His power is so overwhelming that not only was he able to effortlessly defeat Nero, Trish and Lady, leaving them incapable of fighting back in their first fight, and even the infamous Dante, who has defeated past Demon Kings, proved to be no match for Urizen when the latter wasn't even moving from his throne. He easily overpowered Dante in Devil Trigger state and shattered Rebellion with a single punch. Even the power of Sparda is nothing to him, as he was able to swat Dante wielding their father's sword out of the Qliphoth and declared that it no longer served any purpose for him.
Urizen primarily manifests his demonic powers through overwhelming waves of force, bombardments of energy blasts, spheres of plasma, sweeping lasers, and is even capable of slowing time itself by creating localized domes or manifest pillars of blue flames to erupt under the ground of his adversary. His unrelenting offense is coupled by the absolute defense provided by the crystal of demonic power created from Yamato as a nigh-unbreakable barrier, which protects Urizen from all attacks. Though this barrier can be destroyed by unrelenting attacks or power equal or superior to Urizen himself, Urizen can restore it by infusing it with more demonic power. Even without this shield, Urizen is by no means defenseless, and is fully capable of using his great size and strength in conjunction with his energy attacks.
After devouring the fruit of the Qliphoth and shedding the rooted armor connecting him to the tree, Urizen manifests a few new abilities that he couples with his previous forms of energy attacks. His increased speed from removing his armor allows him to move so fast he is nothing but a blur, and is even able to teleport through large portals that he can summon directly. He also begins using large Summoned Swords to launch at enemies, an ability his true self made frequent use of. Urizen also begins using more hand-to-hand based techniques such as heavy downward punches and high kick strikes, or even a charging uppercut imbued with his tremendous demonic power.
Outside of his offensive powers, Urizen possess more creative abilities, such as making Trish and Lady the cores of new powerful demons to serve him. His armor also connects him directly to the Qliphoth, giving him absolute control over the demon tree and its roots, which serve as extensions of himself that are capable of attacking his enemies.
However, even Urizen's abilities have their limits, as after an arduous struggle, Nero managed to break through his shield and actually wound the Demon King, though this injury was minor at best and healed in moments, the attack enraging Urizen more than hurting him.
While Urizen's demonic power, physical abilities and durability all surpass prior Demon Kings and Dante prior to his coma, he lacks Vergil's finesse and skill. He almost totally relies on overwhelming his opponents with his various abilities.
In Nico's notes, Urizen remained seated on his throne in the Qliphoth during his battles with Dante and Nero not only out of contempt but also to further empower himself from all the human blood the demonic tree was gathering. In addition, Dante was able to battle Urizen to a stand-still after recovering from their last battle and appearing in his true Sin Devil Trigger form. Later on, when Urizen had devoured the fruit from the Qliphoth, he attained power beyond reckoning, but even then he was still defeated by Dante who had unlocked his true hidden power.
The name Urizen comes from the English poet William Blake's mythology. Urizen is a godlike being and the embodiment of conventional reason and law. Urizen never actually uses the name himself: rather, it is assigned to him by V, reflecting the latter's fondness for Blake's poetry, with the demonic half of Vergil embodying the literal Urizen as a being of godlike strength and supreme logic, divorced entirely from human consciousness and compassion, who believes in power over all else.
Urizen's name is derived from the words "Your reason", which is used by V himself to describe the demon to Dante in the flashback shown in Mission 9. It is also based on the Greek word meaning "to limit", which ironically reflects Urizen, who was the result of Vergil's attempt to grow stronger through becoming a full demon, but had his potential limited without his humanity alongside it.
Appearances in Other Media
Urizen makes an appearance in Teppen with its "The Devils Awaken" card pack in three different cards. One is a legendary card titled "Dark Usurper Urizen", while the other two depict Dante clashing with Urizen in Devil Trigger before Rebellion is destroyed titled "Dead Weight" and the last shows Urizen picking the fruit of the Qliphoth called "Forbidden Fruit".
- Urizen's name is never stated in any official pre-release Devil May Cry 5 media such as trailers, the name being revealed through interviews with developers and leaked gameplay demo footage.
- There are several hints to Urizen's true identity before it is revealed in Mission 12:
- When Urizen shatters the Rebellion and knocks Dante out of Devil Trigger in the Prologue, there is a close-up shot of Dante's eye reflecting Urizen's form, a recreation of a similar shot in the opening intro of Devil May Cry 3, where Vergil is about to impale Dante with Rebellion and his reflection is caught in Dante's eye.
- If Nero manages to defeat Urizen in the Prologue or Mission 8, Urizen will utter, "Is this...my limit...?" Which is Vergil's death quote in Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition.
- While the lighting of the Qliphoth interior hides this, Urizen's rooted armor possesses a blue tone, while his visible eyes are green, the same as Vergil's Devil Trigger form. Urizen's true form better emphasizes this.
- Urizen's arms and legs bear a strong resemblance to Nero's demonic Devil Bringer arm, hinting his true identity and of their relation.
- Finally, Dan Southworth, Vergil's voice and motion capture actor, is also Urizen's mocap and voice actor, with his voice's pitch shifted an octave lower to hide this.
- Urizen also shares many traits with the former Demon King Mundus:
- They both spent much of their time sitting on a throne.
- Both are towering giants.
- Urizen and Mundus created Black Knights and used strong opponents as cores.
- Urizen emulates Mundus' own feat of summoning and devouring the fruit of the Qliphoth to obtain absolute power and kingship over the Demon World.
- They even have a similar sweeping laser beam attack, although Mundus could use his beam at two different angles, while Urizen is limited to a sweeping blast.
- The battle against root-covered Urizen is very similar to the optional battle against No Heart in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (the first version of which was released in 2010). Both begin with the boss sitting on a throne with their sword transformed into a floating object, which the player must attack to destroy the shield wall it creates while avoiding the boss' projectile attacks, after which the boss gets up from the throne and engages the player character in direct combat.