From Resident Evil to Devil May Cry: the birth of Dante

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First with Monster Hunter World and now with the remake of Resident Evil 2, Capcom has been able to remedy some false steps, proving to want to revive its historic brands. For example, with four million copies sold in just one month, the return of Leon and Claire suggests a bright future for Resident Evil and the same could apply to Devil May Cry . The new adventure of Dante is one step away from the release and promises to rejuvenate a brand that has almost twenty years on its shoulders. In this regard, his conception would never have happened without Resident Evil 4, from whose development emerged an unprecedented experience, far from the survival horror and capable of distorting the concept of hack and slash. On the occasion we will recall the circumstances that led to the birth of Devil May Cry analyzing the particular playful formula that earned entry into Paradise to the son of Sparda.

From Tony to Dante: story of a Resident Evil "distorted"

That the character of Dante bears the signature of Hideki Kamiya is well known, as well as very evident. Son of the demon Sparda, the white-haired warrior with red robes – color that in the Rising Sun is attributed to the concept of " heroic " – is a professional killing-demon, guided by a single objective: to find and kill those who took his mother away from him. Jack Daniel's appraiser and lover of American pizza (but not the one with pineapple) the half demon is an unusual marriage between the Cobra of the manga of Buichi Terasawa and the same Dante Alighieri .

The descent into Inferno of Sparda's progeny – accompanied by a Trish that has little to do with Beatrice – is characterized by agitated clashes and environmental enigmas, without forgetting the gloomy colors typical of the imaginary of Shinji Mikami . Although almost twenty years have passed, it is still absurd to think about the fact that Leon and Devil May Cry's Spanish trip share a common past, the son of a troubled development in style Resident Evil 1.5 . The latter can be called a prototype of Resident Evil 2, born under a bad star and held back by the creative differences of the same Mikami and Kamiya.
The project Resident Evil 4 was proceeding along the same track, until – by biparting itself – it did not lead to the birth of two distinct and separate titles. But proceed with order.

The development of the "first" Resident Evil 4 started in December of '99: Mikami asked Kamiya to make a new title for the PS2 series, joining him to Noboru Sugimura the writer who a few years earlier had saved Resident Evil 2 from the creative limbo. Following the director's instructions, the writer created a story that could adapt to an out-of-the-box action game, focusing on the figure of the protagonist Tony. Endowed with a mind-blowing intellect and an apparent invulnerability, he would have to unveil the mystery about his superman condition. Such premises recall the tribulations of Alice in the first film of Resident Evil, and they turn away from the " brave humanity " by Chris, Jill and Leon.

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In addition, to highlight the dynamism of the action and the The overwhelming power of the character, Kamiya has abandoned the pre-rendered scenarios and the fixed chamber of the original trilogy, embracing the dynamic frames and 3D environments. To highlight the new directorial solutions, the director visited Spain and the United Kingdom together with some of his own, photographing gothic statues, stone floors and other elements useful for the realization of the scenarios. Although they tried to translate it all into sauce Resident Evil the developers failed to convince Mikami, who considered the game too far from the hinges of the series.

Without even realizing Kamiya was creating something totally new, which would soon assume the traits of a legend. On the other hand, while Resident Evil 1.5 just did not work, the prototype of " Resident Evil 4 " possessed innumerable qualities, despite not having real points of contact with the survival horror. Driven by Mikami himself, the director rewrote the plot of the game, setting it in a world on a collision course with Hell. Hence the references to Divina Commedia and the birth of Dante, a histrionic character with whom the players " would have liked to go to drink" .

From the smirked smile printed on the face, to the jokes out of context, to the aversion for cigarettes – something that would have made it even "cool" according to Kamiya – the protagonist was thought to get in tune with the public and become an icon. With the exception of the hero's parents, the cast remains the one of the Sugimura plot, as proof of the good work done with the characterization of the characters. Officially announced in November 2000, the project took on the name that would make it famous all over the world: Devil May Cry.

Released on PS2 the following year, the title of Team Little Devils has been a complete success, with three million copies sold and the praises of the specialized press. The public and the critics have praised not only the protagonists and the imaginary but also and above all a combat system outside the box and full of ideas, of those that only Kamiya could give birth

The charm of a deadly dance [19659003] For some rather unusual reasons, Devil May Cry owes much to another work by Capcom, which debuted in January in a remastered version. During a testing session on Onimusha: Warlords, Kamiya discovered that enemies could be kept in the air if hit repeatedly. What was a bug in all respects influenced the game designer, who decided to turn it into a gameplay element of his Devil May Cry .

Just as Mortal Kombat did with fighting games, Dante's crusade cleared the " juggling " in the hack and slash, also preceding God of War by Sony Santa Monica. The demons could remain suspended in the air with Ebony & Ivory bullets – the hero's guns in red – or with a series of quick blows. The dynamic shots and the same game were designed to enhance the battles of Dante, which in fact represented the fulcrum of the game offer.
Also ingenious was the introduction of the "level of style" in the fights, which probed in real time the variety and quality.

To do this Kamiya devised a bar system complete with five ratings: the player started the combo starting from " Dull ", the lowest, and was called to diversify the offensive to increase degree. Repeating the same developments would no longer guarantee the growth of the style, which stopped even when one was hit by an enemy. Making Its Way Through " Cool ", " Bravo ", " Absolute " and finally " Stylish ", was not at all simple, even because the difficulty was meant for – textual words – "challenge those who played the easy casual games". Eternally suspended between man and demon, the nature of Dante conditioned both the narrative fabric and the routines of play, revealing in one way or another without a solution of continuity.

Dante is the man who sheds tears on the lifeless body Trish, the swagger who makes a mockery of the monsters he faces but is also the progeny of Sparda, a demonic creature that can draw on dark powers. Activated the now famous " Devil Trigger ", the white-haired hero changed into a monstrous being that, depending on the selected weapon, had access to some powerful shots and the ability to fly. More resistant, agile and powerful than normal, this form had a limited duration and had to be recharged by jeering at enemies or by massing corpses.

Resident Evil's "interconnected environments" structure gave way to a more linear mission-based progression . Besides tearing up a lot of demons, Dante had to overcome some platforming sections, finding again some key objects essential to the completion of some puzzles. Also shared by Onimusha: Warlords this feature is just one example of the strong link between the original Devil May Cry and the brand of Resident Evil which – although diverging on the recreational front – they share some structural similarities. The player did not have to escape the secret missions that, assuming the features of real challenges, guaranteed further enhancements to Dante.

Crucial to the evolution of the character were also the "red spheres", the in-game currency needed to buy items and skills. Like the clashes, the main missions were subject to an evaluation system, which assigned a judgment in letters conditioned by some specific factors. It took little time to complete the level, not failing to kill demons with style, for example, it was necessary to obtain the legendary grade S and prove up to Sparda.

About this legendary figure, the masochists who ended the game "difficult" had access to a special mode, called precisely " Legendary Dark Knight ". Both in the movies and during the game, Dante gave the change to his father and this was also true for armaments. Ebony & Ivory were transformed into Luce e Ombra while the Yamato took over in place of Alastor . The developers have enriched the mode with exclusive musical themes and some visual goodies. For one thing, Sparda projected a shadow full of demonic wings, as evidence of its dark origins

Dante, Trish and the echoes of Resident Evil (Spoiler)

As we said a moment ago, Devil May Cry and the Residen Evil classics are very distant, yet it is impossible not to notice certain similarities that unite them. To begin with, Dante and Trish are not so different from Leon and Ada Wong neither by character nor by narrative developments. The handsome woman suddenly swoops into Dante's life and upsets her, guiding him into a nightmare far greater than either. The half demon goes too far and discovers that it has been used and betrayed, because Trish responded precisely to that Mundus that Dante should have eliminated.

Brave and brave, shows the most fragile side of himself when Mundus kills Trish before his eyes, bursting into a sincere cry and full of pain. We find these character traits in the Leon of Resident Evil 2 who – despite having discovered the true mission of Ada – is desperate when he believes he has lost it forever. Similarly, in the grip of guilt, Trish and Wong risk their lives to help their partners.

The similarities continue when one thinks of the final of Devil May Cry marked by a countdown that fans of Resident Evil well know.

Instead of the Tyrant, a now dying Mundus stands before our Dante, who needs Trish's help to defeat him. Not having super powers, the Wong of Resident Evil 2 passes an anti-tank bazooka to Leon, but the juice is good or bad the same. Last but not least, the agent's escape in jet skiing and Ashley in the final act of Resident Evil 4 – the real one – winks at the collapse of Mallet Island from which Dante and Trish manages to escape by air for the broken headphone

In this regard, the castle of the crazy Ramon Salazar resembles very much the structures of Mallet Island and not only for the architectural style. Born from Resident Evil, Devil May Cry boasts a decidedly dismal atmosphere, made even more disturbing by a careful soundtrack: although the soundtrack faces the metal and electronic music, the sound of Dante's steps and the opening of the doors highlights a survival horror matrix, once again exposing its origins.