Devil May Cry is a series of video game set in the modern day, developed by Capcom, created by Hideki Kamiya, and produced by Shinji Mikami. Originally intended to be a sequel in Capcom's Resident Evil series, Devil May Cry has been cited as the foundation of a sub-genre of action games by the name of Extreme Action, where the premise of classic 2D games such as Castlevania is transitioned into 3D. The series centers on main character Dante's goal of avenging his mother's murder by exterminating demons. In the process, he encounters his long lost brother with whom he develops a dysfunctional relationship. As the series progresses it is revealed that the demon emperor Mundus is responsible for the loss of Dante's mother and the enslavement of his brother. The gameplay consists of heavy combat scenes in which the player must attempt to extend long chains of attacks while avoiding damage in order to exhibit "stylish" combat; this element along with time and amount of items collected and used are taken under consideration when grading the player's performance.
The success of the video game series has led to the creation of comic book, novelization, an anime series, guides, collectibles, publications, and a variety of action figure. As of 2008 there are four games in the series. The original character designs for Devil May Cry were based on ideas from Hideki Kamiya, a video game designer formerly employed by Capcom and subsequently by Clover Studio. He directed Devil May Cry after working on Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2. The creation of Nero and several of the characters in Devil May Cry 4 was done by Tatsuya Yoshikawa, who stated that designing Nero was one of the biggest challenges in his career. Each game in the series has introduced a different antagonist and back-up characters.
Series creator Hideki Kamiya has stated that the titular character from the manga series Cobra by Buichi Terasawa served as the basis for Dante. He also stated that Dante was designed with a cloak to make the character's intense action look more colorful. The reason behind Dante's red clothes is that in Japan red is a traditional color for a hero.
Devil May Cry 4's producer Hiroyuki Kobashi noted prior to the release of that game that they wanted to make Dante seem significantly more powerful than Nero. This was done in order to create an evident difference between the strength of a "veteran" when compared to a "rookie". Another reason for this portrayal is based on the series' continuity, which made the team trying to reflect the power that Dante would possess after the events of the first game and its prequel. Kobashi said that "When creating a sequel, you don't want to make a character weak again from the start for no good reason. Everyone wanted to see Dante be just as powerful as they remembered him." emphasizing that playing as him without his previous abilities would otherwise feel "very strange". The abilities for both main characters were elected and designed since the early stages of development.
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Links: Wikipedia: Mundus Devilmaycry.org: Mundus Capcom US