The Yamato is Vergil's trademark dark-forged katana appearing in Devil May Cry, Devil May Cry 3, Devil May Cry 4 and Devil May Cry 5. It is a legendary sword that was once wielded by his father Sparda, who originally created it alongside the Sparda and Rebellion when the Dark Knight split his power into three pieces, and was named by him to embody a "god of death". It was later left to Vergil as a keepsake.
The Yamato is a katana; the exact details of how it looks change throughout the series. In the first Devil May Cry, the Tsuka (柄? lit. "handle") has the traditional gold wrapping, with black ornaments, and the Tsuba (鍔? lit. "guard") is octagonal. In later installments, the guard is an oval, and the tsuka-ito seems to be braided from white and dark blue material. The blade features several intricate ornaments, most notable is a relief of a dragon at the endpoint of the hilt and with an ornate bronze guard with dragon motifs. The inside and back of Nero's Devil Bringer mimic the design of the blade's hilt.
In Devil May Cry 5, the Yamato has been given a renovation. The tsukamaki handle has pattern closer to a real katana, giving it the traditional diamond shape in the negative space. There is no longer a dragon on the pommel/kashira, and the rim fittings from throughout the sword no longer have flowing line patterns in gold on shakudo like black metal; rather, gold dragon styled menuki are inserted underneath the tsukamaki to allow for the fingers to grip. The tsuba/hand guard is now gold and a deep navy blue, shaped like an octagon with two trapezoidal halves, each with gold dot pattern patches and in a grove like motif with gold rings, inside of which are various circles in clusters of three, arranged in triangular patterns, and the gold habaki/fuller is also with a similar embossed pattern. The hamon featured is a kawazuko choji or tadpole head clove flower styled hamon as similar to those found on blades historically made by Osafune Nagamitsu. The blade has also been given prominent temper lines.
The scabbard is black, made of traditional lacquered wood, and features several metallic ornaments on its far end. In Devil May Cry 3 and Devil May Cry 4 it has a gold kurigata (absent in the manga). In Devil May Cry 5, the color of kurigata is black. It also features a yellow sageo, the cord used to tie the katana to the waist. In Devil May Cry 5, the sageo is blue, with gold dot accents.
In Devil Trigger, Vergil and Nero have different, but similar designs for the scabbard. For Vergil, it alters to appear similar to the sheath of a Kris, an Indonesian traditional dagger and is colored dark blue. It attaches to an additional appendage on his left arm, and it can adjust the position to allow Vergil to draw or sheathe his sword quicker and thus leaves Vergil's left hand free to wield the blade or other weapons. For Nero, the sheath appears to be more segmented, but it is otherwise identical.
In Sin Devil Trigger, Vergil absorbs the Yamato into his body and it can be manifested from one of his two blue arm-mounted energy blades.
Despite having a scabbard, Yamato is only occasionally worn on the waist; Vergil and Dante carry it with their hands during battle (though Vergil has been shown to wear it on his waist when not in use), Nero absorbs the Yamato within his Devil Bringer, and Sparda used to strap it to his back when he was alive. In Devil May Cry 5 there are several instances during which the scabbard seems to be absent from Vergil's person, only for it to unceremoniously reappear when Vergil is next seen.
Yamato is far sharper than ordinary blades, and is imbued with tremendous demonic power. The sword is said to be able to cut through anything, even the very fabric of space itself. This ability is shown primarily through the sword's ability to create portals for its wielder to travel through.
Vergil utilizes an ability called Judgement Cut in which he draws and swings so fast that Yamato doesn't appear to even leave its sheath (similar to Iaijutsu, a style of sword techniques). It creates a distortion in space that engulfs his target which is sliced multiple times by the blade in very rapid succession. This ability is capable of hitting any enemies that are within the rather large distortion radius.
Dante attempts to imitate this move in Devil May Cry 4 and the result is a similar ability called Slash Dimension but it lacks the precision and potency of Judgement Cut due to Dante's inexperience with wielding Yamato, unlike Vergil. Both abilities are able to strike far away opponents. Dante and Vergil demonstrate Yamato's ability to cut far away enemies with normal swings as well. Vergil, during Dante's battle with Arkham where Vergil appears and slices Arkham's hand off from atop a pillar a good distance away, and Dante, when he uses it to destroy the Hellgate with a single swing from a great distance away in Devil May Cry 4.
Similar to Dante's Rebellion, the Yamato is able (to an extent) to bring out its wielder's true potential. This is shown in Devil May Cry 4 during Mission 7. As Nero was about to die as the hands of Agnus' Bianco Angelos, his Devil Bringer resonated with the broken Yamato and restored it, which was something not even Agnus could do. The sword awakened Nero's power, allowing him to access a Devil Trigger of his own.
Yamato was used to seal a pathway to the Demon World—the Hell Gate on Fortuna. The gate is reopened by the Order of the Sword using Yamato but was later destroyed by Dante, who was using the same blade.
In Devil May Cry 5, Vergil was able to use Yamato in a manner similar to what his father did to separate the Human World from the Demon World; but instead of cutting away the two worlds from each other, he used it to separate his physical body and memories in a desperate decision to gain more demonic power, heal the destructive damage inflicted on him from the countless battles he had endured over the decades that were breaking down his body, and rid himself of his lingering traumas from his time as Nelo Angelo.
Two halves were born from this separation, the Demon-half resulting in the birth of Urizen and Human-half resulting in the birth of V, as well as creating several 'Nightmare' demons that based their forms on Mundus' servants on Mallet Island. In order to defeat Dante, Urizen used the Yamato to open a massive portal in Redgrave City to summon forth the Qliphoth, so that it would feed on the human citizens blood and create a fruit of concentrated divine demonic power. While too small to be used by Urizen as a conventional weapon, Yamato was instead transformed into a large human-sized crystalline structure that served as his shield, creating barriers to defend the usurper from physical attacks while also flying around to block attacks from any side.
Yamato once belonged to Vergil's father, Sparda who split his immense power into it as well as Force Edge and Rebellion, and according to the Order of the Sword, it was used to seal the "true Hell Gate". It was eventually given to Vergil as a memento, and he used it as his primary weapon.
Vergil wields the Yamato during his attempt to reactivate the Temen-ni-gru alongside Arkham, to unlock the sealed gate of the Demon World and claim his father's power and sword, the Force Edge, for himself. When he is ultimately defeated by Dante, Vergil falls into the Demon World with Yamato, where he is found by Mundus. Vergil attempts to defeat the demon king like his father, but is defeated and reborn as Nelo Angelo.
Yamato was badly damaged and shattered by Mundus during or after his battle with Vergil. Before turning Vergil into his servant, the elder Son of Sparda lost his grip on Yamato's hilt and the sword was lost to him afterwards.
At some later point, Yamato was found by the Order of the Sword - albeit in its shattered state. It was kept in Agnus's Containment Room within Fortuna Castle but is restored and taken by Nero when his dormant powers as an heir to Sparda emerge. From then on, Nero is able to use the sword while in Devil Trigger. Dante attempts to reclaim the Yamato from Nero, stating that such a powerful weapon had to "stay in the family", but let Nero hold onto it as he went off to save his beloved Kyrie. However, it is taken back from him by Sanctus when he is absorbed into the Savior and is then used by Agnus to reopen the Hell Gate. After slaying Agnus, Dante retrieves Yamato from the gate seal and uses it to destroy the gate, after which he wields it while in his Dark Slayer Style. While fighting the Savior, Dante uses the blade to free Nero and sends it back to him so that the youth can finish the fight against Sanctus. After the battle, Dante charges Nero with keeping it, having realized the boy to be his brother's son after seeing its reaction to him in their second fight, though he would not reveal this to Nero until some time later.
One of Yamato's shards was found by the fire demon Balrog, who used it to escape the Fire Hell realm of the Demon World, with this shard being destroyed during Balrog's battle with Dante.
Yamato would remain in Nero's possession for an untold period, remained inside of his Devil Bringer arm as the young hunter continued his career in slaying demons. Unfortunately, Nero would lose possession of Yamato after getting ambushed by Vergil, who effortlessly tore the Devil Bringer off from Nero and reclaimed his lost sword. Vergil would then use the sword to return to his childhood home in Red Grave City, where he then used the Yamato's ability to separate man and devil on himself in a bid to heal his decaying body and increase his demonic power, while also ridding himself of his human heart and the painful memories of his time as Nelo Angelo.
This created the powerful full demon who would come to be called Urizen, while Vergil's humanity would inhabit his cast off crumbling flesh, which came to call himself V. V would allow the discarded Nightmare demons to inhabit his body so they would not fade away, keeping them and himself alive for a short time, as separated from Urizen who now wielded the bulk of their once shared demonic power, V's own body was slowly crumbling away with every move he made as what little demonic power he had left was not enough to sustain it.
When he became Urizen, the Demon King used the Yamato to open a massive portal to the Demon World in Red Grave City so that he could summon the demonic tree Qliphoth. In battles with Urizen, the Yamato took on the form of a reddish-orange crystal that prevented any attacks from reaching him. When the Qliphoth fully revealed itself, he calls the shield away, briefly reverting back into its original form for only a second before vanishing into his hand. After reforming, Vergil would then use the Yamato to battle both Dante and Nero before descending into Hell to cut the roots of the Qliphoth tree and seal the portal to the Underworld opened by Urizen.
Although Yamato is said to be able to cut through anything, this aspect does not carry through to gameplay for obvious reasons. Enemies with shields, such as Dullahans, are still invulnerable, and background objects are not affected.
Dark Slayer Style
Yamato is intimately linked to Vergil's signature Dark Slayer Style, which he uses in Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition and which Dante homages in Devil May Cry 4. As a warrior fallen from grace, Vergil can use the power of darkness to obtain new weapons and skills by leveling the style, and it interacts with his Yamato, Summoned Swords, Beowulf, and Force Edge. The style itself performs much like Dante's Trickster Style. In Devil May Cry 4, Dante obtains this style after receiving Yamato, but instead of being based on teleportation, it allows Dante to imitate Vergil's skills with Yamato.
Devil May Cry
In Devil May Cry, Yamato is only used for Dante's "Legendary Dark Knight" costume. It behaves exactly the same as the Alastor, even to the point that Sparda carries it on his back when not in use and wields it as a broadsword rather than using the Iaido technique, but has a slightly shorter reach. When Sparda enters Devil Trigger, Yamato transforms into the Sparda sword.
Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening
Vergil is the only character to use Yamato in Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition. When Vergil fights with Yamato, he uses both the scabbard and the blade in the Iaido style. When the Force Edge is equipped, Vergil fights with the Force Edge in place of the Yamato's scabbard. For Vergil's "Corrupt Vergil" or "Super Corrupt Vergil" costumes, Yamato transforms into Nelo Angelo's zweihänder when in Devil Trigger.
Devil May Cry 4
Both Dante and Nero wield Yamato in Devil May Cry 4. Nero's use of Yamato is limited to when he is in Devil Trigger, and even then he only has a few attacks with it. While in Devil Trigger, Yamato also grants Nero the ability to use a slightly different version of Summoned Swords. In contrast to Vergil and Dante's use of the Iaido technique, Nero wields Yamato without its scabbard.
When Dante obtains Yamato, he gains access to Vergil's signature Dark Slayer Style, but Dante doesn't have that many attacks with it.
In the Special Edition of Devil May Cry 4, Vergil wields Yamato once more, and has by far the most extensive and relentless arsenal of moves, incorporating both sword and scabbard in a refinement of the Dark Slayer style, including his infamous Judgement Cut.
Devil May Cry 5
Vergil returns wielding Yamato again in Special Edition of Devil May Cry 5. The gameplay is largely similar to its Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition incarnation, but Vergil also gains two new moves with it: Aerial Cleave, an equivalent of Helm Breaker, and Void Slash, a large circular attack that briefly suspends foes in time and slows them down, leaving them open for attacks. Yamato also gains increased attack range as concentration gauge increases.
|Yamato Combo I||N/A||,,||A quick 3-hit combo.|
|Yamato Combo II||N/A||,,-,,||Quickly slash the enemies in front of you 4 times before you slash down with great power. When using Devil Trigger, this replaces Yamato Combo I (in other words the need to pause between the second and third inputs is negated).|
|Million Stab||N/A||,,—, (rapid)||Quickly stab the enemy with blinding speed creating enough momentum to blast them backward.|
|High Time||N//A||++||Swing the sword in an upward rising motion, bashing up enemies into the air. Continue holding to jump, and again to slash down.|
|Air Hike||4,000||(mid-air)||Double jump in the air.|
|Round Trip||1,550||(hold and release)||Throw the sword like a boomerang.|
|Round Trip Combo||N/A||, , (Round Trip)||A right-left punch followed by a torso kick and kick 13.|
|Stinger||Level 1: 350; Level 2: 1400||++||With lightning speed, plunge the sword into enemies. Level 2 plunges the sword from an even further distance. If performed near an edge, the Stinger will continue into the air and become a long jump.|
|Vortex||Level 1: 1,150; Level 2: 2,400||(Air Raid)||Damage enemies with an intense spinning body attack. Level 2 keeps attacking as long as DT gauges last.|
|Air Raid||750||(mid-air, Devil Trigger)||Become airborne and be capable of performing aerial electrocution attacks. Press / to strike electrocution.|
It is worth noting, that after executing Yamato Combo, Upper Slash or Force Edge Combo, if Vergil is able to successfully complete the sheathing animation, he will gain a Devil Trigger Orb and a small increase to Style points as well.Also, performing a taunt with Yamato equipped, while there are enemies around, will cause Vergil to emit a black aura after a few seconds, that will replenish his Devil Trigger gauge on its own, as long as he is unharmed and stays in the taunting stance.
The Yamato's Japanese name is written as "Enma Katana" (閻魔刀 Enma-tou?), referring to the Japanese name for the Hindu and Buddhist judge of the afterlife, "Yama". This means that the Devil Arm's name can be idiomatically read as "Yamatō".
The term "Yamato" (大和?) itself is a Japanese term originally used to refer to the Yamato Province of Japan. It was eventually extended to the entire nation of Japan, and is now used to refer to the unified people and traditional nationalistic spirit of Japan. As such, it symbolizes Vergil's aesthetic and commitment to tradition and his supernatural heritage, to complement Dante's retaliatory attitude symbolized by the Rebellion.
In keeping with Nero's theme of attacks being named with gambling terminology, his Devil Trigger attacks performed with the Yamato, "Maximum Bet" and "Showdown", are also gambling terms.
Notes and references
- Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition, Combat Adjudicator — Yamato: "I am the combat adjudicator. Only a dark-forged blade can move me."
- Devil May Cry, Devil Arms — 閻魔刀: Yamato: "It's the legendary sword wielded by Sparda. It is said that it has the will and the power to divide and wipe out the darkness."
- Devil May Cry 5, Documents — The Legend of Sparda: "'The Dark Knight Sparda split his power in three parts. One blade bore his own name; the second blade was named to embody retaliation; the final blade was named to embody a god of death.'"
- Devil May Cry 5, Weapon Reports — Rebellion: "The sword left to Dante by his legendary demon daddy, the Dark Knight Sparda. I've been slacking off on my devil sword studies, so I can't say much, but it ain't no normal weapon, that's for sure. I mean, that Yamato sword you had ganked from you has the power to separate man from demon, right? I bet this sword has some crazy powers of its own, too. But as things stand, I can't quite figure out what they might be."
- Devil May Cry 5, Dante: "The demonic power was activated in my once when Vergil lovingly jammed this through my chest. I always wondered...Why did my father give me the Rebellion?" / "Over the years, I've been stabbed and jabbed by a number of things. But who would've ever guessed..." / "If the Yamato can separate man from devil...Then what about the Rebellion?"
- Devil May Cry 3 Code: 1 — Dante, Vergil's Weapons File — Yamato: "Sharper than a Japanese sword. It is his aesthetic that compels him to never use guns."
- Devil May Cry 4, Nero's Arms File — Yamato: "A sword imbued with tremendous magic, it unleashes the latent power within Nero."
- Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition, Devil Arms File — Yamato: "A memento from Vergil’s father. This samurai-esque sword’s blade is said to cut through anything."
- Devil May Cry 4, Dante's Arms File — Yamato: "A katana used by Dante’s brother, it is both the key to opening the Hell Gates, and to their very destruction."
- Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition, Style File — Dark Slayer: "A warrior fallen from grace. The power of darkness gives birth to new weapons and skills."
- Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition, Customize — Style: "Allows player to avoid enemy attacks using special evasive movements."
|Devil May Cry|
|Characters||Dante - Eva - Mundus - Sparda - Trish|
|Bosses||Griffon - Nelo Angelo/Vergil (Greatsword, Summoned Swords) - Nightmare - Phantom|
|Lesser Demons||Beelzebub - Blade - Fetish - Frost - Kyklops - Marionette - Nobody - Plasma - Sargasso - Shadow - Sin Scissors & Scythe|
|Devil Arms||Alastor - Force Edge & Sparda - Ifrit - Yamato|
|Guns||Ebony & Ivory - Grenadegun - Luce & Ombra - Needlegun - Nightmare-β - Shotgun|
|Techniques||Charged Shot - Devil Trigger - Slash Cancelling|
|Items||Bangle of Time - Key Items - Perfect Amulet|
|Objects||Karnival - Red Orb Cache (Locations) - Red Orb Crystals|
|Locations||Dante's Office - Mallet Island (Broken Bridge) - Mirror World - Underworld|
|Music||Dante's Selection - Seeds of Love|
|Concepts||Devil Hunter - Jackpot|
|Miscellaneous||Clear Bonus Art - HD Awards - Transcript - Trial Edition - Walkthrough|
|Related Media||3142 Graphic Arts - Comic - Memorial Album "Precious Tears" - Sound DVD Book - The Sacred Heart|