Who am I? I'm a guy who plays video games, talks way too much about comics and movies, likes Godzilla and Robocop, and lives up in Wisconsin. And yes. We get that much snow. Why should you read my blog? Because when I write I have fun, make up bullshit lists, and when I do get a little serious with some blogs I try to be insightful and use resources and facts to try and back up my opinion as much as I can. And if you don't follow my blog, I'll send you a picture of a sad kitten who wants some love.
Also, I tend to debate a lot and get up on a soapbox a bit from time to time. I like to debate for the sake of debating and I tend to find it fun to get other peoples perspectives on things, and sometimes I like to play devil's advocate a bit just for the sake of it. Basically, don't take me so serious sometimes even if it seems like I am being serious.
Since Destructoid is Devil May Crazy around here lately I thought I’d contribute with something of my own (besides my forthcoming review for DmC: Devil May Cry). Admittedly I got my idea to do this because IGN recently put up a list of their top 10 DMC bosses, and I thought they chose a couple of bullshit bosses. Since I’m always right and I know you, the glorious masses at Destructoid, all love me with all of your heart I decided to provide the real list of the best bosses in the history of the Devil May Cry franchise.
Destructoid’s Chris Carter and I share a similar opinion – the Devil May Cry franchise is the best action franchises in video games. One particular area that I think stands out are the bosses of the franchise. Devil May Cry bosses are generally pretty neat, unique, and a ton of fun to fight. There are some duds here and there along the way, a lot of DmC’s bosses are pretty forgettable and don’t even get me started on DMC2, but there are others that are absolutely fantastic.
Honorable Mention: Arkham Devil May Cry 3
The boss battle with Arkham is not good enough to find a spot on my top 10 list (honestly, it’s a fairly poor battle), however the boss fight itself does something that’s worth an honorable mention. Storyline wise Dante goes into the demon world in order to stop Arkham, who’s claimed the power of Sparda and wants to become a god. Dante realizes he can’t defeat Arkham alone when Vergil promptly shows up to save the day. Dante & Vergil promptly team up to take down Arkham, and the reason this makes the Arkham boss memorable is because if you have a buddy watching he or she can actually pick up a second controller and take control of Vergil, prompting an unexpected fun co-op romp (which also makes the boss substantially easier).
10- The Doppelganger Devil May Cry 3
The “fight your shadow” concept has been done a lot in video games (see: Legend of Zelda), but DMC3 puts a nice bit of flavor on it with the Doppelganger boss that appears late in the game. Doppelganger relies on shadows to survive so a key portion of this boss battle is to activate sources of light just as the Doppelganger is closing in on you, causing him to get stunned. Activate the light too soon and the boss will stay away (and promptly deactivate your light), so you have to wait until he’s dangerously close in order to launch your attack. The other trick is to attempt to activate all of the lights in the room which will cause the Doppelganger to be stunned for a longer amount of time (though this is riskier, as he will try to shut off lights while you activate others).
Doppelganger is a nice fight because it’s not entirely about just doing damage to the enemy and requires a bit more patience in order to safely attack. This boss is also one of the most ideal places to have the Quicksilver style equipped, which slows down time for Dante (which can double the length of time the Doppelganger gets stunned for).
9- Bob Bargas DmC: Devil May Cry
I personally think that DmC’s bosses are pretty uninspired and boring, Bob Bargas being the lone exception. While not the most challenging boss to figure out he’s one of the more unique bosses in the history of the Devil May Cry franchise. The floating digital head of totally-not-Bill-O’Reilly is fought in a pretty flashy almost Tron-like arena where he uses various large scale and sweeping attacks that, admittedly, are a bit reminiscent of Jester from DMC3. What makes the fight neat is that after you deal a bit of damage to Bargas himself he’ll throw Dante into a fight with basic-level enemies that ends up being portrayed from the perspective of a television news chopper. As mundane as DmC’s story and enemies get, Bob Bargas is one of the standouts.
8- Nevan Devil May Cry 3
Despite being a Devil May Cry boss, Nevan feels like a classic Mega Man robot master. Nevan jumps around to a few set points, has a shield you need to work your way through in order to attack her, has a fairly noticeable set pattern of attacks, and even has a specific weapon she’s weak to (the Cerberus nunchucks). Again, like a Mega Man boss if you adhere to her patterns and attack accordingly she can be a fairly tame fight but you get too aggressive or don’t play by her rules, Nevan will absolutely wreck you. Admittedly I’m a little biased towards Nevan naturally, because the scene that follows her defeat is one of the best things the franchise ever did and describes what Devil May Cry is supposed to be about in a nutshell.
7- Mundus Devil May Cry
The battle with Mundus at the end of the original Devil May Cry is a fun two-part battle that’s memorable on its own but is also good enough to quickly make you forget that you just watched the cringe inducing LIIIIIIIGHT sequence. Dante is super pissed at Mundus by this point in the game, so Mundus decides to get out of his goofy statue-shell-thing and promptly declare that it’s go time. Dante goes full demon-mode and engages Mundus in a Star Fox-like shooter sequence (!) before pounding Mundus back down to Earth to engage him in a more traditional fight. Mundus is appropriately challenging and in general was a pretty great boss to cap off the first game. The boss music for the first segment of this fight is also one of my personal favorite boss themes. Too bad his DmC version was an utter letdown.
6- Credo Devil May Cry 4
A trend I seem to notice in the DMC series is that the bigger a boss is the less threatening it actually is, such as the Gigapede from DMC3 or Mundus from DmC. Thus the boss fights against bosses that are more human sized tend to be harder and more fun. Credo fits right into this trend. Officially titled “Angelo Credo”, Credo is one of the higher ups in the Order of the Sword from DMC4 and proves to be quite a challenge to Nero regardless of difficulty. Credo is also one of the few bosses in DMC4 that Dante does not fight in the main story (which is unfortunate, that would have been fun) as he perishes before the Son of Sparda becomes a playable character.
5- Burial Devil May Cry 4
Burial is one of the few exceptions to DMC’s previously mentioned “big boss” trend. Burial is an absolutely huge demon who packs a pretty nice arsenal of maneuvers for both close and long distance combat. He can level a house with one swing of his sword and take away your health faster than Nero can scream “KYRIE!” plus on top of that Burial simply looks badass. While some will argue that Burial might be a glorified next-gen take on the Phantom from DMC1, I’d retort by saying that Burial is the badass that the Phantom should have been.
4- Agni & Rudra Devil May Cry 3
The pre-reboot Devil May Cry games are basically interactive Saturday morning cartoons, and the Agni & Rudra fight is that whole cartoony feel in a nutshell. This duo, whom are a talking pair of swords, guards a door in DMC3’s Temin-Ni-Gru tower and apparently haven’t had a visitor in ages. After Dante finally comes along, Agni & Rudra bicker about how they should entertain their guest before ultimately remembering that their job is to stop people from passing and promptly attack Dante. The Angi & Rudra boss fight is tricky because each character is a fairly formidable boss on their own, so fighting both of them simultaneously is a fairly hefty task (especially if it’s your first time playing through the game). Singling out one of the two is the knee-jerk reaction to fighting this boss, but it’s actually the least advisable tactic. Defeat either Agni or Rudra too early and the surviving member will pick up the sword of his brother and become an even tougher foe as a result. The key idea here is to keep both of them at relatively the same level of health, so that you can finish off the second one quickly before it can pick up the first one’s sword. It sounds easy on paper but can be pretty tough in execution, especially on the harder difficulties in DMC3. Upon defeating Angi & Rudra, they recognize that Dante worthy of wielding them due to Dante beating the crap out of them and beg Dante to take them along with. Dante agrees on one condition – they shut up.
3- Dante Devil May Cry 4
Yeah, you read that right. In Nero’s half of Devil May Cry 4’s story the Son of Sparda is a boss you fight twice. The first time you fight him he’s effectively the tutorial boss, the second time you fight him Dante stops holding back and shows you how it’s really done. Dante is an awesome boss fight because, while he’s still an AI and operates by patterns, he reacts and punishes your mistakes almost like a human would. For example, if you try to do Nero’s version of the stinger attack Dante will almost always teleport above you and hit you with a helm breaker attack for your hubris. Your gun is also useless against Dante as well because Dante responds to any firearms by blocking your bullets with more bullets – which is still the best way to block bullets, ever.
If you play DMC4 on any of the higher difficulties, Dante really takes the gloves off for your fights against him and the tutorial fight turns into a tutorial benefiting a game like Dark Souls instead. On the later difficulties Dante also uses his full arsenal of weapons that he gets in Devil May Cry 4, which puts Nero at a sizable disadvantage. Technically Nero isn’t alone in regards to being able to fight Dante. The final stage of DMC4’s Bloody Palace mode is Dante also, which means that if you can reach the final stage of Bloody Palace as Dante then you’ll end up fighting against yourself. Yep, it’s as chaotic as you imagine.
2- Nelo Angelo Devil May Cry
Nelo Angelo is one of the recurring bosses in the original Devil May Cry. All in all, he is basically a badass. He wears demonic black knight armor, carries what can be politely called a Buster Sword, and completely screams “bad guy” the moment you see him. He’s also not a villain who does the typical villainy monologue, in fact he’s pretty much mute in Devil May Cry. I kind of like that about him though because he simply doesn’t mess around. The first time you encounter Nelo Angelo he walks up to Dante opens up a door that leads outside, motions for Dante to get out there, and heads out there to wait for Dante. Any boss that walks up to a guy like Dante and promptly tells him “you versus me, right now” and ends it right there gets props from me.
Fighting with Nelo Angelo is a pretty hefty battle since he can cut up Dante’s health bar like it’s made of paper, and he once again plays to the rule of “the smaller the DMC boss, the harder he is”. To make matters worse, Nelo Angelo returns with even more abilities than he did the last time you fought him. He will utilize teleports, projectiles, and swing his sword faster than anybody with a sword that hefty should be able to. In terms of the storyline, Nelo Angelo is a servant of Mundus (obviously) and has an aversion for Dante’s medallion that he carries around. This is explained later in the game because it turns out that Nelo Angelo is actually someone from Dante’s past who’s had his memories suppressed, someone who goes by the name of…
1- Vergil Devil May Cry 3
The other Son of Sparda is Dante’s twin brother, but their similarities don’t extend far beyond that. Dante’s brother Vergil was a brainwashed lackey to Mundus known as Nelo Angelo in Devil May Cry but we get to see Vergil in his prime in Devil May Cry 3, a prequel to the original. Vergil & Dante are presented as two sides of the same coin, similar yet still opposite of each other. Dante is cocky and foolhardy while Vergil is focused and resolute. Vergil is also the only being that can truly put the cartoonish red coated Son of Sparda in his place.
Like his Nelo Angelo alter-ego does in Devil May Cry you fight Vergil three times over the course of Devil May Cry 3, and each time Vergil brings something new (and deadly) to the table. It doesn’t really need to be said, Vergil isn’t a cakewalk by any stretch of the imagination. Take everything you know about how hard DMC3 is and pretend it’s harder than even that – that’s how tough Vergil can be. The final showdown with Vergil at the end of DMC3 should be a visual book on how to do a final boss battle properly. Everything boils down to Dante versus Vergil in a final one-on-one showdown, no gimmicks attached, the fight is hard (but in a fair way), and the fight really pushes you to use everything you’ve learned in the game to its fullest.
The buildup to this fight is done pretty well, also. Devil May Cry has never been a bastion of fantastic storytelling, but DMC3 really did a great job of putting Dante and Vergil on an inevitable collision course towards their final battle and it all comes together fairly smooth and organically – something DmC’s Dante versus Vergil showdown unfortunately couldn’t recreate successfully.
Hopefully this blog inspires you to go back and play some of the older games and relive some of these pretty fun boss moments. If you haven’t played the classic Devil May Cry games, well then shame on you! Seriously, go pick up the Devil May Cry HD Collection and Devil May Cry 4. You can get both of them for probably under thirty bucks.