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Devil May Cry 1: Advanced Tactics

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  1. Devil May Cry 1: Advanced Tactics
  2. by Dahbomb
  5. The original Devil May Cry is considered the grand father of the modern 3D stylish action genre. In fact, the creator of the game Hideki Kamiya billed the game as a "stylishly hard gothic action" game. I personally believe that this billing of DMC is what really sets the tone of the series and what sets it apart from the other action games out there.
  7. STYLISH    
  8. There has always been a preference of style over substance in the series even ingrained in the various stylish cutscenes of the franchise. Dante is the ultimate stylish, bad ass video game protagonist and the day DMC was born was the day style in gaming was re-invigorated (and then again when DMC3 was released). It should be mandatory for every Webster dictionary to have a picture of Dante next to the word "stylish". Style is of course subjective and even over the course of the series style has changed with changes in direction but even to this day the word "stylish" and Devil May Cry go hand in hand.
  10. HARD    
  11. This is something that I feel most people overlook or understate when it comes to the franchise. DMC games are SUPPOSED to be hard and challenging. If they were not difficult you would not be bothered to learn the intricacies of it's combat. The games in fact are balanced around the fact that you get to keep your weapons/stats across difficulties and even then the game's higher difficulties prove challenging for even the more seasoned gamers. The difficulty comes with a great deal of satisfaction and makes you wanting more. You gain new abilities/new weapons, you want to test your new toys and tricks on better/strong enemies and push yourself to the limit. The challenge in the game is necessary to prompt the player to learn the game rather than just doing the motions and let the game take you for a ride.
  13. GOTHIC
  14. This is where I feel the original Devil May Cry is different from the other games in the series. DMC has always been a moody, atmospheric type game taking place in creepy environments void of sunlight and human existence. The roots of the series can even be traced to the Resident Evil/survival horror genre although it has diverged from it greatly. DMC1 is the game where these gothic roots are most present and although other games in the series attempt to replicate the feel... they just don't seem to have the same level of craftmanship to them or at least they don't put in the same effort into this aspect of the series. I would say the series has strayed more towards the "stylish" aspect and less of the gothic.
  16. ACTION
  17. DMC has and always will be an action game at heart. That means everything you do is geared towards killing some demon scums. Even if it's some down time puzzle solving, it's just a break to get you fighting in another area. Dante is a demon hunter by profession and even the story is built up to the fact that Dante is going to be fighting demons no matter what. The game play is balls to the wall combat driven action where you are always looking to inflict damage on the opponent while maintaining a high degree of style to your play. This involves juggling the opponent in the air with hand guns, performing intricate sword combos on them, transforming into a demon to burn them to cinders or blow them up with a few rounds of a grenade gun. There is no block button in the DMC games because it's entirely an offense driven game although you are given a very valuable roll to get you out of tight situations or some counter moves (sword deflects or parry) to help you keep on the offense. Like every other action game out there, the point is to kill enemies while not getting killed yourself only in DMC you do it with style.
  21. That was all I had to say about DMC1 in general and what the series means to me as a fan. I am not going to talk about the story or how DMC came to be thus... there are plenty of youtube videos and articles covering that aspect of the game. I am also not here to sell you on the game, there are reviews and player impressions for that. I am here to give an insight on the aspect of the game that still remains relevant after 10+ years... the game play.
  23. This OT does not begin to cover the depth that is found even in DMC1 which is considered the more basic of the main DMC games (DMC3 and DMC4 trump DMC1 in terms of options and tools at the disposal of the player). It does however have more emphasis on fundamental action game mechanics and general application of tactics. DMC1 is less about technical execution and more about tactical enemy combat. By tactics I mean you need to be able to learn enemy patterns, weaknesses as well as the strengths and applications of your own tools. You aren't rewarded for doing insanely high execution combos in rapid succession like you are in subsequent DMC games because quite frankly you don't even have the tools to do so but your toolset is almost perfectly fine tuned to handle the enemies you face in the game to the point where you basically have to know just about everything about the combat to squeeze out maximum efficiency and results.
  25. There is more emphasis on enemy interaction and thus proper understanding of the game requires proper analysis of the enemies along with the toolset at Dante's exposal. So this post will be divided into two main categories: the weapons and the enemies. In the weapons sections, the moves and various mechanics will be discussed and in the enemies section ways to beat them, critical/weak spots, tactics.
  30. Sword Combos: All the sword weapons in DMC1 (that includes Force Edge, Yamato, Alastor and Sparda) have the same 3 basic combo strings. /\,/\,/\ is two slashes followed by a downwards slash that sends a weak enemy flying but has a lot of recovery. /\,/\, slight pause, /\,/\,/\ is a 5 hit combo that adds two upwards slashes side to side before ending in the same downward slash. /\,/\, delayed paused, mash /\ is the Million Stab (originally called Sashimi) where Dante does a series of quick stabs before ending in a powerful stab that sends the opponent back. All these slashes can be cancelled into one of the special moves like Stinger or Hightime except for the last hits. You can also roll out of them to make yourself safe or jump out.
  32. Note: While in Devil Trigger, you do not have access to Combo I and it is replaced by Combo II by default.
  34. One combo is better than the other when it comes to fighting against bosses or groups of enemies. Million Stab might give the most style but it does poor damage for the amount of time that Dante might be vulnerable to attack. The bread and butter combo against most stationary immovable targets (like let's say the core of an enemy) is Combo II and before the final hit cancel into Rising Hightime into Helm Breaker. It's the best bang for your buck.
  36. Sword Cancelling: No matter which combo string you use, you will have to end it some time or cancel it and there isn't much way to keep a string going in uninterruptable fashion... Or is there? Each sword slash has some recovery animation that can be cancelled (by doing even a simple motion like attempting to pull out your guns or twirling the stick around). By doing something like 2 slashes, attempt to pull out guns, 2 slashes you can cancel the recovery of a slash and immediately do another one. If timed perfectly you get 4 slashes almost uninterrupted allowing you to dish out damage against a single target very effeciently. You can even do this with one slash (slash, either pull out guns or twirl the stick, slash). This requires some precise timing but it's not difficult to master.
  38. Deflection/Parry: Many physical attacks originating from a weapon can be deflected or parried. This includes most attacks from Marionettes, Sin Scythes/Sin Scissors, Death Scissors/Scythes even a boss like Nelo Angelo. By deflecting with proper timing you can even expose the enemy and then counter attack by cancelling the animation into a special move or make yourself safe by rolling away. Some projectile based attacks can also be deflected with proper timing sometimes even nullifying them completely and exposing the enemy. Enemy moves which can be parried/deflected will be covered in the enemies section. Sometimes it's necessary to perform a deflection for a critical hit even.
  40. Enemy Step & Wall Jump: Enemy step has evolved greatly in the DMC series. In DMC1 it's a rather basic tool to get out of harms way or get the height advantage on tall or airborne opponent. The great thing about enemy step is that it resets your air actions meaning if you already did Air Hike, you can do an enemy step and then you are allowed to do another Air Hike. To perform an enemy step you simply jump off of an enemy, just be wary that you are pressing X where the opponent's hit box is (you have to be aware what surface of an opponent is steppable). Wall jump is like an enemy step off of a wall only you can't do it more than once (there is no limit to enemy steps).
  42. You cannot cancel air moves with enemy step and you can't really do it too well off of grounded/fallen opponents either. This is a stark contrast from future DMC games particularly DMC3 where the ability to cancel air moves with enemy step opens up an entire avenue for combo execution. But alas none of that can be discussed here as aside from Shotgun Hiking there is very little tricks you can do off of enemy step in DMC1.
  44. Air Hike: This is essentially just a double jump move that is purchased as a special move from Alastor. You cannot use Air Hike with any other weapon aside from Alastor.
  46. Evasive Roll: Performed by holding the Left analog stick either Left or Right + R1 + X. The roll has some start up invincibility which means that a perfectly timing roll can get you out of ANYTHING. This is the preferred method of evading for Dante and it's a tool that has to be mastered as this allows the player to remain unscathed while keeping on the offense.
  48. Devil Trigger
  49. This is a transformed state that is available to if you have either Ifrit or Alastor/Yamato equipped (it's available with Sparda under a certain condition...). During DT, you inflict more damage, are faster if you have Alastor equipped, regenerate health (rate depends on difficulty), take less damage and your attacks have infinite hyper armor (which means that you cannot be interrupted out of your attacks). On top of this, all your guns are super charged and fire charged DT shots as long as DT is active and the main reason why you want to be using DT in DMC1 is that it gives you access to some of the most powerful moves in the game along with a Flight mode that is only available with Alastor. Devil Trigger gauge management is a core part of playing DMC1 and moreso than any other DMC game because of the tools and buffs it gives you.
  51. Re-DT Trick: Some moves of Devil Trigger burn a certain number of gauge upon activation until recovery. A move like Inferno can burn up to 3 bars. However, you don't need any bar to active the move and once you activate the move you can turn off Devil Trigger and have the move come out without any additional cost to meter because you aren't even in DT mode. Some DT gauge is expended upon activation and de-activation plus moves will do less damage than their DT'd up counter parts and since you aren't in DT you can be interrupted out of moves. HOWEVER... because you are performing these moves while not in DT getting hits with these DT exclusive moves while not in DT allows you to gain gauge off of them. A well placed, well timed Inferno using the re-DT trick can self sustain itself. Quite a few moves of Ifrit benefit from this trick greatly so it's a worthy little mechanic to take advantage of in certain situations and to manage your meter more cost efficiently.
  53. Devil Trigger Escape: Most capture or grab states inflicted by the enemy can be completely escaped by just turning on Devil Trigger. This is something that escapes the knowledge of most newcomers but this little trick applies even in the other DMC games! Whenever you get caught in something (like the Marionette War Cry), just turn on DT.
  55. Taunting: You can't have a stylish action game without taunts. Taunting is yet another mechanic that has been greatly evolved over the course of the franchise. In DMC1 you have two types of taunt. A single tap of the button causes Dante to do a single handed taunt. Not a lot of recovery on this and gives you some gauge if you do it close to a few enemies. More enemies = more gauge and a more sustained style rating. However, holding down the taunt button causes Dante to do a double handed taunt. This has much more recovery but the rewards even greater as you get much more gauge if you complete it on multiple surrounding enemies. Taunting is even useful against bosses if you want that much needed DT gauge. You can always cancel the recovery of a taunt with a roll if things get dicey.
  57. Style Rating System: The Style rating system in DMC1 is rather basic compared to what it is now. It goes from the D - Dull to S - Stylish. This a cursory HUD of your performance in game. Sustained damage to the opponent will see sustained increase in style although it is governed by a few factors most noteably the number of opponents struck, the type of moves used (stylish moves, crowd controlling moves, gun moves, DT moves etc) or if you used some special trick to inflict damage on the opponent (like a well timed deflect). As long as you avoid getting hit and keep hitting, you will raise the bar and subsequently the number of orbs you receive on kill and a better ranking at the end of a mission (also yielding more red orbs). However, in DMC1 there is no limiter on move repetition so it's perfectly fine to repeat the same move over and over again. In other DMC games, style rating decreases RAPIDLY upon repetition of a move.
  62. Dante's weapon of choice in all DMC games is going to be a broadsword. In DMC1, the main one that you will be playing with through the majority of the game is Alastor. Alastor is a rather versatile weapon that makes up for it's lack of relative power by it's general speed and toolset. In DMC, it's possible to beat the game with any weapon set up (even the inferior Force Edge which is quite unremarkable) but certain weapon set ups are more effective against certain enemy types. Ultimately it's up to the player which weapon set up he prefers because all main DMC games (which includes DMC1, DMC3 and DMC4) are balanced so that every weapon set up can be used to beat the game with if the player is proficient enough. So you will never hear someone say this weapon is the best, more like this weapon is the best choice in this circumstance.
  64. STINGER (R1+Forward+/\)
  65. The Stinger is to Devil May Cry as the Hadouken is to Street Fighter. It is the first special move that is available for purchase for your sword in every DMC game and it should always be the first move you purchase for any DMC game. Dante lunges forward with his sword and delivers a powerful strike that sends weaker enemies flying and most regular enemies in heavy hit stun. Dante can cancel out of his normal sword attack with this move making it a vital part of your arsenal. The knock back can hit up to 3 Marionettes at once making it an excellent crowd clearer or use it’s piercing ability to break the Blade’s armor. In combos it is used to keep an enemy pinned down after it’s knocked back by other moves like the Helm Breaker or after a Grenade shot (in fact Stinger -> Grenade Gun -> Stinger is a rather effective tactic if you are feeling lazy). The distance of the lunge depends on the level of Stinger as does the damage so it’s a worthy investment to level it up when you get the orbs. The speed of the Stinger also allows you to traverse short distances quickly.
  67. In subsequent DMC games, the Stinger is upgraded to allow cancellation into the Million Stab move which allows Dante to start whole new combos by getting in using the lunge of the Stinger but without the troublesome knockback hit of the actual hit (because the hit is cancelled). This feature is however not available in the original DMC game but it’s something to look forward to in DMC3. Another difference is that in DMC1 Stinger will NOT knockback an aerial opponent but in other DMC games it while retain it’s knockback property against aerial opponents.
  69. Stinger Lunge: At the edge of a naked ledge, performing a Stinger allows you to propel yourself forward with the momentum of the Stinger lunge. This launches you forward a great distance and while it’s great for getting around it’s main application is to get to particular hidden spots in the game for either extra red orbs or even a Blue orb fragment!
  71. HIGHTIME (R1+Forward+/\, hold /\ to rise)
  72. If the Stinger is the Hadouken of DMC…. then Hightime is the Shoryuken. Hightime is the default launcher in the game and this is the passport to combo heaven in all DMC games. By holding down the /\ button you can rise yourself up with the enemy and perform air combos/juggles or even use the rising property for anti-air purposes. Hightime disables enemy actions because they are launched and until they hit the floor they are completely vulnerable, making it a valuable asset to your arsenal.
  74. Just like Stinger, Hightime can be cancelled from any sword normal. A stock Hightime combo includes doing any regular sword combo into Hightime, juggle with hand guns, follow up with a Rising Hightime, shoot with hand guns in mid-air, finish it off with Helm Breaker. Doing combos like these raise your style gauge faster.
  76. HELM BREAKER (In the air /\)
  77. This is a mid air vertical strike that is quite powerful and sends the opponent flying back. This is great as a combo finisher but it’s better as a move to hit air borne opponents. It is also good at breaking armors of enemies like Blades and it’s also good as hitting enemies who have weaknesses at the top of their bodies like Phantom. You will be relying on this move a lot in pretty much all DMC games. Helm Breaker is the preferred move for performing deflections do to the active frames that it possesses.
  79. ROUND TRIP (Hold /\)
  80. Dante tosses his sword like a boomerang after charging it up. Dante has to rear back and get into a charged stance before he does this move making him vulnerable during this. Furthermore, the move itself doesn’t do a lot of damage and if it hits something with armor or against a blocking opponent it is wasted completely. This move is basically just for stylin’ purposes however it does have some interesting aspects to it. When you release the sword you can attack with Dante’s bare hands with a basic 2 punch kick combo that also sends the opponent flying if they are of the Marionette class. However to be even fancier, you can use the hit stun provided by the Round Trip to switch to your other Devil Arm Ifrit by pressing the R3 button (a lesser known aspect of DMC1 is that Dante can actually switch in real time but it’s a very delayed switch). This is the origin of the multi weapon combos that is now a staple of the franchise. You can also use the prolonged hit stun of Round Trip to charge up your guns or even the Nightmare Beta for some guns + sword combos.
  82. In DMC3, Vergil is able to perform Round Trip as well but his Round Trip is much more effective as during the charge time he is free to do whatever and after release he can take advantage of the real time weapon switch trick to do some really advance combos. Round Trip in DMC3 also has better tracking and hit stun properties making it overall an excellent combo and pressure tool.
  84. Round Trip Buffer trick: You can somewhat buffer the charge into the 2nd slash of a combo by doing something like /\, (start holding down /\), release. You will do 2 slashes and then release the sword. This somewhat mitigates the down time of the charge stance and is the preferred method of performing Round Trip to good efficiency.
  87. AIR RAID (While in DT mode, in the air press R1 to enter Flight mode and [] to shoot lightning bolts)
  88. Probably the first Devil Trigger exclusive move you acquire in the game. Upon acquiring this move you also gain the ability to enter into Flight mode at the cost increased DT gauge consumption. Flight mode can be used to get to areas in the game you might not be able to normally but the real draw to this move are the lightning bolts you shoot at the enemy. The bolts are very fast and instantly track meaning they don’t miss. Regular enemies get killed by this move very easily and you can do easy safe damage on bosses using this move. This move is very effective against enemies that are weak against projectiles or have no armor protecting them but be aware that this move scales HEAVILY against bosses on higher difficulties. It will barely do chip damage to DMD (Dante Must Die the highest difficulty level in all DMC games) bosses so learn to play the game without this move!
  90. It is worth noting that sometimes you may want to shoot guns while in Devil Trigger mode (necessary against some fights like against Griffon or Shadows) and because you are used to locking on to shoot with R1, this might cause some headache as attempting to shoot guns in mid air while in DT will cause you to go into Flight mode. You can avoid this by not pressing R1 at all when jumping and just tapping [] to shoot. Lock on is not necessary to shoot in mid air.
  92. VORTEX (After entering Flight mode, press /\)
  93. This is the other DT exclusive move of Alastor and it’s even more possible. While this move is difficult to control, at LVL2 it does the most damage out of any move from Alastor. Vortex basically causes Dante to swirl himself towards the opponent in a Psycho Crusher type manner (in fact in UMVC3 this move is basically called Dante’s Psycho Crusher). You can pressing /\ to keep spinning for more damage as long as you can control it. Against a crowd of enemies, Vortex goes through them like hot knife through butter and against bosses who are stationary and have huge bodies it does tremendous damage as well. Because of the way it moves around, it’s not as effective as you might imagine but it’s also very good as a defensive move as it can evade moves rather easily and in particular fights it can come in very handy.
  95. Instant Vortex trick: You don’t need to enter Flight mode first to perform Vortex. After performing a Rising Hightime, you can keep holding down R1 and then press a direction plus /\ to bypass the flight activation and go straight into Vortex. This is useful for performing some “combo video style” combos utilizing Vortex.
  97. IFRIT
  98. Ifrit is a pair of fiery gloves that Dante uses as a powerful Devil Arm. What Ifrit lacks in speed it more than makes up in damage. While Alastor excels at light weight crowd control, Ifrit excels at taking down heavier foes and is most notable for it’s boss killing ability. While most of Ifrit’s special moves are extremely expensive, you will find out that they are more than worth the investment.
  100. Charged Strikes/PPKK  (Tap /\ 4 times, hold down /\)    
  101. The basic combo of Ifrit is simply 2 punches and 2 kicks or for short referred to simply as PPKK. They pack enough punch to finish off the basic enemy in the game the Marionette. The main thing you need to take note of the PPKK is that every single move of this series can be charged up. Upon achieving maximum charge, the strike is released automatically. A fully charged strike deals immense damage and a fully charged PPKK combo does some of the highest damage in the game although it’s a very rare occasion that you will be able to perform it entirely. Charged moves also yield higher style ratings so there is more incentive of utilizing it other than damage.
  103. In subsequent DMC games featuring gauntlet/greaves weapons, they might have 2 levels of charges and usually each charge comes with it’s own property. A fully charged move in these games will not release automatically but if you release the charge at the exact moment of max charge you will receive additional bonus damage (a striking feature of DMC4’s Gilgamesh weapon). This adds another layer of depth and skill to this weapon class. Something to look forward to in future DMC games.
  105. KICK 13 (R1+Forward+/\)
  106. This is the Stinger version of Ifrit. It has much less reach than Stinger and you cannot perform the lunge trick with Kick 13. It has more horizontal reach and more damage though. Because most of Ifrit’s strikes have laggy start up, the Kick 13 is a very nice move to have as it has fast start up and also knock back property. You can cancel any of Ifrit’s strikes into Kick 13. Kick 13 also has the ability to break armors so ground based opponents like Blades who have frontal armor are susceptible to this move. Be aware that Kick 13 will usually whiff on fully grounded opponents. Leveling up this move gives it more reach and damage as well as adding additional hits and damage to its auto combo.
  108. Kick 13 AUTO COMBO : While in Devil Trigger mode, the Kick 13 is changed to a series of extremely fast flurry of punches and kicks also known as the Kick 13 Auto Combo. The auto combo has full guard break ability meaning any opponent even a boss like Nelo Angelo while have their guards broken. It also does tremendous damage. Leveling up Kick 13 to LVL2 adds a launcher kick at the end of the auto combo allowing you additional follow ups and combos but most regular enemies perish before receiving the final blow. Be aware that mashing or pressing additional buttons does NOT add damage or hits to the move. Also using the Auto Combo depletes your DT gauge and at LVL2 can take up 2 bars almost instantly so use this move very sparingly.
  110. KILLER BEE (In the air /\)
  111. This is a homing flying kick that packs a decent punch and knocks back opponents. The homing property of this move makes it very valuable in taking on enemies who are quick or are airborne. It can also aaaaaabreak armor and can also be used to deflect like Helm Breaker. Be aware that on landing, Dante is vulnerable to attacks.
  113. This move has limited application in combos in DMC1 however in DMC3 with the ability to cancel aerial moves into enemy step Killer Bee opens up an entirely new avenue for combos just like with Helm Breaker. The homing property of the move makes it so that you are always within combo distance of an enemy allowing for uninterrupted combo sequences.
  115. MAGMA DRIVE (R1+Back+/\, hold /\)
  116. This is the default launcher for Ifrit. Magma Drive does more damage than Hightime but is slower and CANNOT be used to rise Dante up with the enemy. Instead it is chargeable which at full charge gives Magma Drive huge vertical reach and some additional horizontal reach allowing to launch multiple foes. Furthermore a fully charged Magma Drive launches opponent much higher allowing you to squeeze in more hits before they finally come down. Magma Drive comes with an additional very useful property of guard breaking even without charging making it an invaluable move for fighting a block heavy opponent like Nelo Angelo.
  118. While in DMC1 you cannot rise with this move, in DMC3/DMC4 you can rise up with the uppercut while also retaining it’s charge properties. This allows you to launch several opponents in the air while also rising yourself up… and this is where Dante got his own actual Rising Dragon move!
  120. ROLLING BLAZE (Press X)
  121. During any jump, Dante is engulfed in flames. This is a passive ability of Ifrit and applies to any jump. The start up of the flames have deflection properties imparting Dante with a temporary protection against some of the weaker physical and projectile based attacks in the game. This is one of the most useful moves in the game and it can save your life in tight situations while also turning a defensive situation into an offensive one as this moves is a physical attack of your own and is capable of deflection. To take maximum advantage of the Rolling Blaze, jump away by doing a back flip (R1+Back+X). The move can even hit opponents who aren’t hitting you and counts as an actual physical attack so you can use this in aerial combos as well.
  123. METEOR (While in DT mode, R1 + Back + /\, hold /\)
  124. The first DT exclusive move of Ifrit. Dante tosses out a fireball at the locked on target’s position. It’s great at dealing with opponents far away. The move can also be charged which increases the size and damage of the fireball tremendously. At LVL2 it becomes one of the most damaging moves in the game because a fully charged Meteor LVL2 does not stop until it hits a completely solid object (like a wall) meaning anything caught in its path is going to get incinerated. A well aligned charged Meteor shot can destroy all enemies in the vicinity and deal massive damage to even the tankiest of bosses. Note that a fully charged Meteor LVL2 fireball absorbs 2 gauge of DT so you have to make the shot count. During the charge, Dante is completely vulnerable but since he is in DT mode he cannot be interrupted out of the charge stance.
  126. It is worth noting that because the inputs for Meteor and Magma Drive are identical, sometimes you may want to use Magma Drive and get out Meteor. To avoid this, you have to use Magma Drive at close range against an opponent and precede the Magma Drive with a single hit of PPKK before inputting the command. Likewise, to ensure you get a Meteor instead of Magma Drive you must be at a safe distance away from the opponent and not precede the move with any regular attack. This can be a cumbersome element as against Nelo Angelo 3 both tools of Ifrit are extremely valuable at taking down the boss.
  128. INFERNO (While in DT, in the air move left analog stick in a direction + /\)
  129. Last but certainly not least, Inferno is the definitive powerhouse nuke of the game. Dante while Devil Triggered comes down to the earth and unleashes a literal inferno around him unleashing multiple waves of demonic fire. No regular enemy in the game can survive an Inferno and most sub bosses can even perish if they are caught in the epicenter of the Inferno making it the perfect crowd clearer. Inferno is most damaging closest to Dante so well placed Infernos are crucial. They do significant damage to bosses but like all DT exclusive moves bosses in higher difficulties take less damage from these moves but it’s still worthwhile to hit them with an Inferno when you get the chance. If the price at 4850 orbs wasn’t enough, after activation Inferno burns through 3 of your DT gauge making it the most expensive move in the game.
  131. The cost of Inferno can be mitigating by using the Re-DT trick mentioned above. Well placed Infernos can even recuperate their cost almost instantly. It is worth noting that since the input for Killer Bee and Inferno are a bit similar you have to be careful when using Killer Bee while being Devil Triggered. To avoid getting an accidental Inferno, make sure your stick is in the neutral position before pressing /\ for the Killer Bee. Killer Bee homes whether you move the stick or not.
  134. The trademark dual pistols of Dante that he is most known for. There is no DMC game without E&I. There is an old saying among the DMC fans, “Swords come and go but Ebony and Ivory are forever”. E&I aren’t known for their damage but they are useful for their overall utility. They can chip at enemies from distances that other guns usually can’t touch but their weak impact means they deliver almost no hit stun to the enemy so at close range the opponent can still freely attack. This is where newcomers usually get beat up a lot as they just sit there shooting at enemies at point blank. E&I are for maintaining style gauge at long distances and used within combos while enemies are afloat to juggle them, keeping them in a disabled state. This has become a staple method of performing and maintaining combos in DMC. While you shoot E&I in the air, you float a bit and the shots slow your descent making them an invaluable defensive tool in certain combat situations.
  136. With each DMC game, the E&I get more and more new moves to really supplant the idea that they are supportive weapons made to augment your combos not to dish out direct damage.
  138. Charged Shots: All guns in DMC can be charged up by holding the [] button while locking on. You can’t use your Devil Arms while in this state. Upon release you shoot out charged up shots in the color of your equipped Devil Arm (yellow for Ifrit, purple for Alastor). The basic function of the charged shots is to add damage to the guns however this ability is the most useful for E&I as it imparts the guns with a powerful knockback property. The extra damage is also extremely useful as even against bosses the guns do considerable continuous chip damage. Of course while in DT mode your guns are charged all the time.
  140. SHOTGUN
  141. Shotgun is yet another weapon that has become sort of a trademark for the series. Since the game rewards up close and personal combat more than just sitting back and shooting all day, a gun that is designed for more close quarter combat is of course going to have more utility. The Shotgun delivers a powerful knockback at close range but at long ranges it barely does any damage at all. The wide spread arc is perfect for fighting against air borne opponents like the Sins with some sort of armor on them as a well placed blast can knock these opponents off balance or leave them exposed. It is great at dealing with crowds of weaker enemies but not so great at dealing with bosses. You get one shot of the gun per jump so pairing it with Alastor and Air Hike allows for multiple shots in the air and it’s no surprise that Alastor and Shotgun are a popular pairing for dealing with air borne opponents. Charged up Shotgun shots gives it a wider arc of fire and more damage.
  143. Shotgun Twitch: There is a slight delay in between shots where Dante cocks the gun before firing. This can be eliminated by twirling the stick around quickly as Dante fires his shot which cancels the recovery of the first one allowing you to quickly fire off the next one. You can get 2 shots off very fast with the Shotgun using this method. In combination with Air Hike, you can do Shotgun, twitch, Shotgun, jump, Shotgun, Air Hike, Shotgun in very rapid succession.
  145. Shotgun Hiking: The Shotgun does not knock back opponents who are in a juggled state. By performing a juggle, you can do Shotgun, jump, Shotgun, Air Hike, Shotgun, Enemy Step, Shotgun, Jump, Shotgun, Air Hike, Shotgun…. until you reach the very upper limit of the ceiling. The Shotgun blast in mid air puts them in the perfect position for a jump/air hike into an enemy step which resets the air actions allowing for more jumps/air hikes and Shotgun blasts. This is a very fun way of dealing with Fetishes.
  148. The most powerful gun in Dante’s arsenal. It knockbacks and delivers solid damage, even one shotting lowly Marionettes. The shot from the Grenade Gun travels a long distance but it’s rather slow in it’s trajectory meaning most aerial opponents can avoid it rather easily. It’s use is in dealing with larger, slower enemies that are usually grounded. The Grenade Gun CANNOT be used in mid air and after one shot it leaves you vulnerable unless you cancel it. Grenade Stinger Grenade is a popular but cheesy tactic in the game. The biggest advantage to using Grenade Gun is that against enemies who have thick armor, if you score a hit (even if it does 0 damage) you get a good deal of DT gauge back up to around ¾ of a single bar. By continuous spamming of the Grenade Gun you can get a ton of DT back really quickly. Combining it with taunt, you can amass a full 10 bars of DT in a matter of seconds. This is why the Grenade gun is a great choice for dealing with most bosses in the game.
  150. Grenade Rolling: As every shot of the Grenade Gun leaves Dante extremely vulnerable, it’s best to cancel the recovery into something safer and there is nothing safer than an evasive roll. By constantly doing Grenade Roll Grenade you can unload a volley of Grenades by keeping yourself nimble and hard to hit. This is a very cheap tactic as you can safely gain DT gauge and then proceed to spam the opponent with powerful DT moves to death.
  153. This is an extremely unique Firearm. It leeches off of Dante’s own DT bar per shot. The leech effect makes it a very unpopular selection amongst most players. However, it does have its uses although most are situational. A single anemic shot of Nightmare Beta is completely worthless although you can fire off a couple shots in the air making it a similar combo tool to E&I along with retaining the same float properties. The leech effect of Nightmare Beta will not take into place if you don’t have a DT capable weapon equipped although you can’t charge it either so it’s still pointless.
  155. The real fun begins when you start to charge Nightmare Beta. During the charge Dante is vulnerable and the longer the charge the more the DT gauge is consumed. Upon release a volley of large shots are released and they ricochet off of all surrounding hard surfaces lighting up the environment with an array of neon grey shots. They shots are rather damaging and cause a lot of hit stun plus the ricochet property on them allow them to decimate crowds in a narrow room. Against air borne enemies and lower level enemies it makes short work of them. Against multiple Shadows, Nightmare Beta is actually the best firearm to use.
  160. The Marionettes are the basic cannon fodder type enemies of the game. They are only a threat extremely early in the game when you don’t have special moves like Stinger or a weapon like Shotgun which makes them a bit challenging for new comers as they tend to just blast them with the hand guns at point blank (which is not recommended as the guns have no hit stun and they can attack through it). The Marionettes also have various types with different weapons and for a basic enemy they have more attack options than one would imagine.
  162. Tactics: Their basic physical attack can be deflected using Rolling Blaze which leaves them vulnerable to punishment. Launching a Marionette disables them completely and you can perform any type of combo on them while they are air borne. Knock back moves like Stinger/Kick 13 or blasts from Shotgun/Grenade Guns are particularly effective too as they can clear out groups of Marionettes isolating them so you can take them on one on one via juggles. Other attacks include a weapon toss, a deadly spinning move which should be avoided at all cost and a couple of grab moves. The basic grab move has them mounting on you and slashing until you decide to toss them away. You can do this by twirling the stick or immediately entering Devil Trigger if you have it. They also have a War Cry which is an area of effect spell that renders you completely paralyzed attached to strings until you decide to break out of it with the previously mentioned tricks. Finally, the more powerful versions Bloody Mari are capable of blocking so moves that break guard or DT’d attacks can negate their blocks and counters. There are also Shotgun carrying Marionettes who are especially worrisome to the new player. Any type of weapon set up or move works on Marionette so use what you are comfortable with and experiment your combos/abilities on these enemies before trying them on stronger foes.
  164. It is worth nothing that while not that threatening normally they become a huge hassle when in DMD as they have a Devil trigger of their own. They are unphased by normal attacks and can only be juggled using DT’d attacks. Thankfully if you kill the Marionettes in the area fast they won’t DT and this applies to most other enemies in the game as well.
  167. Fetishes can be considered the generals of the Marionettes army. They are much tougher and deadlier than Marionettes yet still like to hang around in swarm. They specialize in fire based attacks that come out of their wheel like weapon that they carry on both hands.
  169. Tactics: Generally speaking the same tactics that are effective on Marionettes are effective here. Knock back moves and launcher moves are essential here but your combos need to be stronger and lengthier as Fetishes have a ton of health. Like the Marionettes the Fetish can perform close ranged slashes, spin around while homing in you, mount you and perform the War Cry. On top of these moves they have a flame thrower spit move which has a visual cue of them rearing back before they do it (they can be hit of this animation), a firewheel toss move that is rather fast and has good range and finally their most effective move the fire block/counter move. The rate of blocking from Fetishes is much higher than a Marionette and every time they block they counter immediately with a flame burst from their wheels. Immediately evade if one of your attacks is blocked. Just like the Marionettes, Fetishes are completely vulnerable if launched or knock back. Stinger Kick 13, Hightime/Magma Drive, Shotgun/Grenade gun are just as effective here. Groups of Fetishes may require more powerful moves so don’t be afraid to use Vortex (the most effective DT exclusive move against them), Inferno (if bunched up), Meteor (if in a line) and Air Raid (if in an open area). Fetishes are great combo fodder enemy so practice your “style” combos on them. Round Trip is also worth using against them as is the Shotgun Hike trick.
  172. These enemies resemble ghostly apparition and are able to traverse through walls making them a bit difficult to attack in tight places. They are completely air borne enemies and have some armor on their faces that can be broken or their faces exposed through other means which will be discussed shortly. There are two basic types of this enemy and they differ in the weapon they carry (scythe or scissors) but otherwise their body structure is the same so the same weapons/moves are equally effective on both.
  174. Tactics: The basic scissor snip attack has a long wind up and can be taken advantage of. While it’s natural to just want to evade and then counter with a jumping attack, you can use the long wind up to perform more skillful maneuvers. Jumping on their head during the animation of this move stuns them briefly allowing you to gain positional advantage and come down with a powerful attack for more damage. Better yet you can deflect their attack with your own moves which leaves their face completely vulnerable for a critical attack. Other scissor attacks include a spinning move that cannot be interrupted so it’s best to avoid those. The Scythe type has 2 additional abilities which include a little platform like apparatus they summon up that heals them (you can in fact jump and attack on it) plus they can also grab you and steal your life that way (the usual escape tricks work here as well). Be aware that both the Scissors and the Scythes toss their weapons up upon dying and the weapon can hurt you as it’s coming down so watch out for it.
  176. The best weapons to deal with these enemies are Alastor and Shotgun. The Helm Breaker is great for parrying them or smashing their heads in which is the only part of their body that can be attacked. Shotgun is great for aerial enemies and a few well placed shots can kill them rather easily. Nightmare Beta is another very effective weapon against these enemies especially when there are a lot of them and in tight places. If you want to expend some DT gauge, then Air Raid is the best option against them as it decimates them very quickly.
  178. Critical Hit: To perform a critical hit on Sin Scissors, wait for it to do the scissor snip attack. It rears back and use this opportunity to deflect their attack with a physical attack of your own (best with a sword attack). If you did it right their scissors while flail to the side and they just hang their with the face exposed. Use this time to walk to their side where the face is facing and as soon as they are about to recover and you are close to their face… let a shot go of any weapon you have. Even a single shot of the handguns will kill them if you do it right so it’s definitely worth it to learn it plus this is the first Secret Mission that you do in the game so you have to know it anyway.
  180. The Scythes can be killed in similar fashion the attack that can be deflected is the one where they spin around you after and attack with the scythe. They however don’t give additional orbs on kill and their critical hit is harder to hit than the Scissors.
  182. BLADES
  183. The demonic armored lizard men of the game. They love to hunt in packs and are rather aggressive compared to your usual fodder enemies. They have frontal armor that has to be broken before you do series damage to them.
  185. Tactics: Blades are rather mobile enemies and they can evade some attacks completely if you get too auto pilot mode. Furthermore they can burrow underground and appear underneath you without much warning. At long distances they can throw out their bloody spikes as projectiles which can be deflected although you are better off evading them. At close range they have your usual physical slash attacks, a jumping slash attack, an upper cut slash and a rather powerful 3 hit combo attack (strike, launcher, knock down). The Blades have a unique ability in that if Dante’s health is low (in the red) they become more aggressive and faster so watch your health. The Blades usually comes with a beefier version of them that leads the pack but aside from their heavier weight they have no unique property to them.
  187. Most weapons are effective against them but only if you break their armor first. Moves like Stinger and Kick 13 are ideal for armor breaking as are Helm Breaker/Killer Bee. It is possible to launch and combo a Blade who isn’t guarding but you want to launch them from behind and then blast them away with the Grenade gun which causes them to fall on their faces, completely exposed from the behind for a critical hit. The general strategy against Blades is that of a hit run style, that is keep on the move and Stinger/Kick 13 to weaken their armor. A closely bunched pack can be killed with a well placed Inferno. Air Raid/Vortex are effective but Meteor misses too much to be recommended. Grenade Gun is great against them but Shotgun is not bad either. E&I is mostly for the air hang time and defensive maneuvering.
  189. KYKLOPS
  190. Kyklops are gargantuan spider enemies almost completely covered in rocks. They almost always come in pairs and resemble in body structure to Phantom although considerably smaller.
  192. Tactics: Kyklops are generally pretty dumb and have attacks that can hurt the other Kyklop. The high pounce move and rock projectile throw both can damage the other Kyklop so always have yourself aligned in between the 2 Kyklops as you can score some free damage this way. They have a couple of physical attacks they like to use when you are in their face Stingering. Their only weak spot is their face so hammer away using Stingers/Kick 13. As these enemies are quite durable yet slow, you can use the Grenade Gun to build meter by firing at their armor and then spam Air Raid at their faces to kill them. Likewise if you are feeling bold you can even do Vortex or Kick 13 Auto Combo to their faces for some very nice damage. Don’t attempt to counter their attacks with a Stinger like you can against Phantom, it’s not as effective against them.
  195. One of the first sub bosses you face in the game. These are red, bigger and nastier versions of the Sin Scissor and like to trap you in an electrical cage to fight you one on one.
  197. Tactics: You are in a very tight space in this fight and you can’t even wall jump off of the cage. Having Air Hike is extremely useful in this fight as is Rolling Blaze. Improperly placed physical attacks will usually get parried by the Death Scissors and it’s best to wait for him to do his more obvious attacks before hitting with an aerial attack (HB or KB). When he’s not attacking, chip away at his armor using either Shotgun or the Grenade Gun. Usually if you punish him enough he will cloak himself and then start to go into his torpedo spin attacks but he usually turns red and invincible before he does this. When this happens stop what you doing and go full on evasive mode as he will put you through some moves that will really test your evasive skills. Patience is more important in this fight than actual skill and just like the other Sin enemies he tosses his weapon up as he dies so watch out for that.
  199. Evasion and counter attacks is the best way to approach this fight. Well placed HB or KB is the key to winning this fight, not mindlessly slashing at his face because that will just get you killed. Firearms aren’t that useful in this fight and merely harass him not damage him (he will cloak more often if you spam him but you can use the Grenade Gun to build meter). Air Raid against him is a bad idea as the enclosed area makes you a sitting duck. Vortex and Meteor aren’t great either as he is too mobile for Meteor and usually outside the reach of Vortex. Inferno is the best DT move against him but you have to be sure that he is not either cloaked or in his red rage form because you will have wasted your Inferno if you hit him during any of these modes. Jumping on his head does stun him momentarily and give you a nice window of opportunity to strike him although the window is much less than the Sin enemies.
  202. The Death Scythe is one of the most complex enemies in any DMC game made. Every time you fight this enemy he will surprise you with something new and he is in fact the most powerful of the Sin/Death enemies. While he doesn’t trap you in an enclosed area like the Death Scissors, he still has traps and a ton of tools to take you down.
  204. Tactics: The difficulty of this fight varies greatly with the environment that you fight him in. In large open areas you can maneuver around, evade and use some of your better tools like Air Raid to take him down quickly. In tight areas, he can be fairly difficult because a lot of his moves aren’t telegraphed as obviously as the Death Scissors’. You will immediately notice portals on the ground, which are under the Scythe’s control. They launch you up and he attempts to swoop in slash you but you can use this opportunity to hit him with an aerial attack (HB or KB). You can use guns to harass him but he can easily just twirl his scythe and negate projectile damage although it’s worth noting that he CANNOT negate damage from Nightmare Beta making it an excellent weapon of choice in this battle. Death Scythe can toss his sword, swoop and in impale you on his scythe for huge damage but what makes him deadly is the ability to summon additional scythes. This powers up his offense greatly allowing him to perform new more powerful moves and do powered up versions of his previous moves. Watch out for when he stalks you as he is gearing up for his most powerful slash combo which takes advantage of multiple scythes to keep you locked in or his multiple scythe toss. Air Raid is effective against him but keep on the move. Vortex, Inferno and Meteor aren’t as effective as they can often miss. You have limited options against the Scythe as he is extremely high up and difficult to hit so use his portals to get to his level and smack him before he smacks you.
  206. SHADOW
  207. This is the first sub-boss class enemy you fight in the game and without proper knowledge most people get beat down by the Shadow fairly convincingly. The Shadow are more a puzzle albeit a very deadly puzzle.
  209. Tactics: The difficulty of Shadows varies greatly depending upon the environment. They are the masters of fighting in dark close quarter areas as their color and an ability to meld through walls makes It so that you have a hard time tracking their location. Shadows aren’t that aggressive until you start shooting at them after which they start doing bite attacks. Shadows in their feline form are completely unaffected by physical attacks so you have to play the hit and run game with guns. E&I is my weapon of choice in large areas against singular Shadows but Nightmare Beta especially against multiple Shadows in small rooms is the best weapon for the job as the shots ricochet and hit multiple target scoring you multiple core exposure at once. Trying to attack Shadows with swords/gauntlets in feline form will cause him to auto counter you with lance attacks shooting from his body. He can do various attacks where he can morph his body in a giant sickle and come spinning down on you, shoot long ranged spikes, grounded spikes and grab bite which does insane damage. After whittling down their body with projectiles, their core is exposed and now you are free to use your powerful moves to inflict damage. Be aware that even during this form the Shadow can hit a player who is standing in one spot so make sure you are hitting with attacks that move you forward (like Kick 13/Stinger). Even after you have inflicted fatal damage to the core, the battle isn’t over as now you have to deal with an enraged Shadow. He is much more aggressive and a bite will cause him to grab you, smack you around and then explode damaging you with it for a ton of your life. During this state you have no choice but to keep evading until he auto explodes although guns can make him explode faster. Air Raid is an alternative option to expose his core although then you won’t have the DT energy to inflict max damage to his core. Kick 13 Auto combo, Meteor and Inferno are all effective against the core.
  211. Critical Hit: There is an attack where Shadow sort of rears back and delivers a long ranged straight spike at your location. It has some wind up but the action spike comes very fast. You can actually jump on top of the spike and doing so freezes Shadows in the stance allowing you to dish out damage with your hand guns. Charged shots are extremely useful in the entire battle of Shadows but they are particularly useful here as charged shots will be hitting directly at Shadows core despite being in Feline form. This is the best way of dealing with a single Shadow as you can damage and kill Shadow while it’s frozen up, even avoiding the red enraged stage sometimes.
  213. FROSTS
  214. The Frosts are another type of sub boss and one that likes to come in pairs. They can be described as souped up frozen versions of Blade although much nastier and beefier. Thankfully by the time you fight them you will have decent upgrades on Ifrit to handle them without much hassle.
  216. Tactics: Despite being extremely beefy health wise, Frosts are weak to Ifrit’s fire damage so obviously you should be using that weapon. Frost has the usual physical attacks of Blade along with a deceptive teleport attack that materializes shards of Frosts in its path, a long ranged ice spear attack that it shoots from it’s claws, Million Carats which is like the ice version of your Inferno, Crystal which is a row of ice crystals travelling across the ground and finally frozen regeneration where Frosts encase themselves in ice and recover health/limbs. Pressure them long ranged with Grenade Gun and at close ranged harass them with Kick 13 or start a combo on them with a charged Magma Drive. With gauge you can kill a Frost with a single Inferno if you land directly next to the Frost. Kick 13 Auto combo is also very effective against the Frost. When the Frost covers itself in ice, start attacking the ice with all you have as it will stop the regeneration process. Fight them like Blades and avoid their attacks to kill them.
  218. NOBODY
  219. A rather unique class of enemy with the ability to morph into stronger versions of themselves. They usually comes in groups but if they come along they are going to come as bigger versions of themselves. Thankfully they come rather late in the game and you will usually have the tools to deal with them effectively.
  221. Tactics: The most important thing you need to know about Nobodies is that you should not give them time to even breathe. Starting off they are rather weak small enemies with very basic physical attacks at close range. If you leave them alone they start dancing and screaming which activates their metamorphosis and turns them into huge demons. This is where stuff gets dicey as all their moves are stronger, their health is beefier and they have more moves. In this form, they can absorb your DT gauge at long distances. They can counter your attacks with a hop kick which sends you flying, they can grab you and smack you around and finally they usually like to set a giant eye as a trap on the round that explodes on contact. The basic strategy against them is to Stinger as soon as you lock one of them. Alastor is the preferred weapon against them due to the speed and mobility it provides with moves like Stinger, Air Raid and Vortex. Against big Nobodies Air Raid them with impunity or Stinger -> Grenade them to build meter and keep them pinned down. Air Raid usually makes them small really fast. Vortex is also effective against large opponents as are the powerhouse Ifrit moves if well placed. If you get off a launcher against a Nobody, this exposes them to severe punishment as a launcher causes them to rear back during which you can move around their back and start slashing it for high damage and easy kills. This isn’t a critical hit but this is a way to hit them where they are weak and exposed.
  223. PLASMA
  224. Plasma are multi-form energy based demons. They have a bat and human form. They like to replicate in human form which is basically their way of “spawning”. Plasma replicate Dante’s own moveset.
  226. Tactics: First thing you have to know about Plasma is that since they are energy/electricity based enemies, they are resistant against Alastor and take almost no damage from Nightmare Beta. Ifrit and a firearm of choice is the way to go although a non-electric sword like Sparda is also surprisingly effective. Bat Plasma are dealt as an airborne opponent, use projectiles to swat them out of the sky or use Killer Bee. A slightly charged Meteor drops a Bat Plasma instantly so use it when you have it. Humanoid Plasma are more complex as they don’t just attack with a couple of easy to read beams but a bunch of physical and long ranged moves. They have the classic Dante sword slash moves, their version of Inferno and their version of the PPKK combo/Kick 13 auto combo. When they are low on life they like to duplicate into clones so if you know a Plasma is close to death, hit them with a finisher Inferno move (even against multiple Plasma Inferno is very effective). Plasma can be juggled and combed with Magma Drive which is very effective if you want to style on them. Shotgun stuns them and keeps them in Kick 13 range so use it judiciously. Finally, the Plasma has a desperation beam attack in humanoid form that he only does when low on health but has to be avoided at all cost.
  229. These are the small fodder enemies of the game and they aren’t worth discussing outside of “blast them with the Shotgun until they are all dead”. They are a good source of easy DT gauge and if you get killed by them you might as well break your DMC disc in half.
  231. BOSSES
  233. PHANTOM
  234. Your first boss battle in a DMC game and it’s a lot more challenging than you are used to. Phantom is a giant molten spider/scorpion hybrid demon who is engulfed in rock hard armor with small juicy molten parts that you can hit for nice damage.
  236. Tactics: Phantom is pretty much invulnerable at the sides. You can hit him from his frontal side but he can easily counter with slashes. In spider form his rear end is protected but in scorpion form his back/rear is completely exposed and ripe for the picking. Use this opportunity to mount his back and start slashing at it. Alternatively you can just Helm Breaker at his back all day long. Alastor is the weapon of choice against Phantom as it’s speed and tools allow you to keep the pressure against him with relative safety. Phantom’s main fireball can be dealt in multiple ways, if you are feeling like a boss you can deflect it right back at him for good damage or you can make it explode in it’s mouth by just slashing his face which is just as effective. Phantom has a scorpion sting attack when in scorpion form which has deceptive range and can also impale you for extra damage. He can summon a pillar of lava, a volley of fireballs from his body aimed upwards that rain down on you, he can do a high pounce attack which can be exploited in the second battle to destroy the glass floor and instantly kill him and finally Phantom gets enraged when at low health where he becomes much more aggressive and crazier. You can choose to be a boss and attack Phantom head on at his face or chip away at his back with well placed Helm Breaker. Air Raid is the ideal DT move against Phantom as it attacks from an angle which hits all the sweet spot of Phantom but be aware that at higher difficulties Vortex is more damaging than Air Raid.
  238. On his second encounter like mentioned before, if you lure him into jumping on to the glass floor about 6-7 times he will die instantly. Finally, Phantom likes to cool down in between powerful attacks like the meteor rain and you are free to even attack his armor for damage.
  241. The definitive bad ass boss fight of DMC. Nelo Angelo is a demonic knight who has a scary resemblance in fighting style to your own and thus makes it an epic duel of swordsman. The build up to the final Nelo Angelo fight is one of the greatest moments in DMC history but a rather subtle one if you aren’t aware of the history between the two…
  243. Tactics: The first fight of Nelo Angelo has you fighting against him using the Alastor. Nelo Angelo is a master swords man and is proficient at blocking, without DT active it is hard to pierce his defense. Clashing swords with Nelo Angelo causes him to do a Hightime after which he has multiple follow ups (Helm Breaker, Killer Bee etc.). Nelo Angelo isn’t phased by normals attacks when he is gearing for a sword attack so hit him with Stinger to knock him off balance. Nelo Angelo has multiple sword attacks and even hand to hand moves but all aside from the horizontal lunge attack resemble your own so you know what to expect. Be aware that when Nelo Angelo does a lunge attack at you, he isn’t committed to a Stinger and can do a horizontal slash or do any of his combo moves at close range. Nelo Angelo can teleport away when he is lower on health and taunt you to coming to him and usually harass you with obvious Meteor fireballs. A lot of Nelo Angelo’s attacks are well telegraphed and can be countered. If he counters your attacks, evade and retaliate with Stinger. If you get him slightly stunned, perform a long combo string to keep the pressure up and the damage up. Nelo Angelo likes to block so use this time to chip away with projectiles which are otherwise useful in this fight aside from DT gain. Air Raid and Vortex are a waste of meter, your meter is better spent on DT’d up sword slashes.
  245. In subsequent battles, you will have access to Ifrit and the Grenade Gun. Even though Nelo Angelo is harder in the 2nd battle, it’s overall much easier thanks to Ifrit’s toolset. Pretty much all of Ifrit’s moves are designed to dismantle Nelo Angelo. Rolling Blaze is excellent for deflecting Nelo’s physical attacks and stunning him while Killer Bee is great to home in on Nelo Angelo once he is exposed. Better yet Magma Drive causes a guard break on Nelo Angelo so use this move in block strings to continue the pressure. Counter his Meteor with a Meteor of your own and once you have the meter, pummel him with Kick 13 Auto combo or Inferno if you have it. At long distances you can harass him with Grenade gun and build meter off of it, he has to close in to fight against him. Kick 13 is great for pressuring him as well or closing the distance at mid range.
  247. In the 3rd battle, Nelo Angelo taps into his long dormant powers and gains access to the Summoned Sword moveset which gives him a huge edge in the battle. Before doing the Summoned Swords technique, he likes to perch on the top of the stage and will summon swords in various formations on top of you as they home in to pierce you. Avoid these at all costs and Rolling Blaze can destroy the swords as they count as projectiles. After he is done throwing swords, he will encircle himself with additional swords, which makes him hard to approach so keep your distance and throw Grenade/Meteor until the swords expire. Each of the sword formations and even the defensive sword formation have different patterns and properties to watch out for which makes this battle uniquely challenging as it becomes an exercise in constant evasion. The best way to deal with it is to simply get Nelo Angelo off of his perch by firing of a semi-charged Meteor in his direction. He will drop instantly. The rest of the fight is the same as before but Nelo Angelo is more menacing and more damaging plus he leaves himself open for attack far less.
  249. If you are a bad ass and still want to fight Nelo Angel o using Alastor, you have options. By mastering the sword cancelling technique it is possible to keep Nelo Angelo in extremely long strings because he is in constant uninterruptable hit stun. DT’d sword slashes still break his defense and Stinger is still a good counter tool. A Round Trip aimed at Nelo Angelo as he is perched up can dislodge him.
  251. GRIFFON
  252. Griffon is a giant demonic bird with a rather weird face. His flight makes him a hard target to hit without projectiles and he himself is a master of projectiles. He usually fights you in open arenas.
  254. Tactics: Griffon fires off various different red energy projectiles at you in multiple formation and you have to be on your toes to avoid them. For the majority of all encounters against Griffon, you are going to be using E&I to chip away at his health and charging it constantly or even using DT’d up charged shots. This is a unique boss battle in that your firearms are more useful than your devil arms especially charged up E&I gun shots. You can alternatively use Nightmare Beta and then switch to Grenade Gun when your DT gauge runs out if you are feeling the long ranged fight. There isn’t much difference between the various forms of Griffon battles except that in the 2nd battle he likes to attach you with a Griffon “kite” that launches you and tracks your position although you can attack it with guns to nullify it completely (in the 2nd fight I recommend Alastor for the Air Hike but for 1st and 3rd I recommend Ifrit). By Griffon 3 fight you should have access to Meteor so charge it up and fire at his location when he is more stationary for some very nice damage. Once you damage him enough, he will drop to the floor and this is your time to unleash your powerhouse moves like Inferno and Kick 13 Auto Como or even the Meteor. Air Raid while effective is not entirely recommended because Dante can only move in one plane and a lot of Griffon’s projectile attacks cover a single plane very easily so the flight mode can make you vulnerable. In earlier Griffon fights he usually has energy platforms around that you can jump on to elevate yourself to his level to attack him with physical attacks but it’s generally unsafe because he likes to cover his platforms well. There isn’t much to this battle in terms of mechanics, just a lot of shooting and evasion until he drops then you bring down the hammer swift.
  256. Critical Hit: It is possible to get a fully charged Meteor LVL2 to hit twice on the 3rd battle of Griffon at the very beginning of the battle. It sort of hits him on the counter out of one of his moves and it does obscene damage even on DMD mode. Practice with the move to find out the right timing.
  259. The Nightmare is the de facto “blob” boss fight in DMC. He’s sort of an enigma in terms of combat as much of the fight is taken up trying to expose his core. Nightmare has a lot of tricks up his sleeve and can be a rather difficult fight.
  261. Tactics: Nightmare is completely invulnerable to your attacks in his normal form and much be exposed via hitting the dials that are found in the arena. Find the combo that allows you to light up the dial in a single series. Once lit up, Nightmare’s core is exposed although he still has plenty of options to protect it. Two of his attacks namely the Nightmare Boomerang and Spikes can be deflected via Rolling Blaze with exquisite timing but it’s worth it to learn this trick as it exposes the core for a long duration of time. Nightmare has various tricks which includes siphoning Devil Trigger gauge, absorbing you into his body and make you fight through a gauntlet of Sargassos plus a boss fight (a weak version of either Phantom, Griffon or Nelo Angelo) and summoning various miniature enemies to do his bidding. The core itself can attack Dante too via lasers, sludge missiles and mini missiles that should be avoided at all cost. Nightmare’s most devastating move is the ice beam which covers a large area and he can spin it around to hit you if you are grounded but his core is completely exposed during this time so home in on it using Killer Bee and go to town. Note that depending on your position versus Nightmare he will do particular attacks more often: front = Ice beam, behind = missiles = side = spikes and boomerangs. Any time you have the core exposed for too long hit it with a charged LVL2 Meteor or DT’d fully charged PPKK combo. Use Inferno and Kick 13 auto combo when you have little time to hit the core.
  263. The 3rd fight has Nightmare going berserk when he is at low health. He will continuously fire off lasers, missiles, sludges, attach himself to the ceiling, trap you or even gain the help of Trish to zap you. This particular part of the fight requires expert evasion. This particular part is also where you want to swap out to Alastor and start doing Air Raid as it allows you to dish out damage at a safe distance away from all the mess of moves he is throwing out you. As a final note, whenever Nightmare is unexposed hitting him with Grenade Gun will still build up a ton of meter so abuse it along with taunts. You should always have enough meter to hit the core hard.
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