There are certain characters whose mere presence in certain series are expected. Their influence hangs over, perhaps due to their connections to the cast, influence on the plot, or motivations. In the Devil May Cry series, there is a person who fits that bill. It is someone who Dante keeps finding himself at odds with, even though the two often find themselves teaming up against a common enemy for the greater good. In Devil May Cry 5, we get this resolution. We have a greater examination of who that character is, what happens with their quest for power, and get a some resolution.
Editor’s Note: There will be so many Devil May Cry 5 spoilers below.
Vergil is everywhere in Devil May Cry 5. Perhaps even before people get a chance to properly realize it, he is there. V is the human part of Vergil, which he cut out of himself with Yamato in the hopes of surviving and recovering from his defeat at Dante’s hands in Devil May Cry. Nero’s arm was ripped off and Yamato was taken by Urizen, the part of Vergil that represented his entire demonic side and lust for power. V’s demons in the game, Griffon, Nightmare, and Shadow, were the monsters under Nelo Angelo’s in Devil May Cry, and here represent the trauma he experienced when corrupted.
Devil May Cry 5 uses V and Urizen to show how influential the two parts of Vergil can be. In the first and third games, we see him desperate for power, to ensure he could become Sparda’s equal and wield his Devil Arm. The human side of him, V, is insightful. He has no problem ruthlessly executing the demons in his path, but otherwise shows traits that Vergil never normally displayed. He expresses regret and sorrow over the lives lost at Red Grave City. He knows everything is his fault, both because Vergil cut V out of himself and Urizen is running rampant, and is attempting to set things right. He can be goofy, with taunts that have him conducting or “playing” music. He even has a dry sense of humor. Even though he is literally falling apart before our eyes, due to being one half of an incomplete whole, he keeps going to set things right.
With Urizen, we see the part of Vergil running on pure instinct. There is no human side to hold him back. This means he is possibly on par with Sparda, in terms of power, but the resulting demon is more like Mundus than the man Vergil aspired to be. Everything Urizen does is motivated by a desire to thrive and survive. Why is the Qliphoth there? So he could tap into his power and not quickly die, as V is, then take its fruit to gain his ultimate form. While the results are horrific, it also proves to be his downfall. Without the humanity, he falls to Dante, because Dante is fighting for something real.
When Vergil forms, after V merges with Urizen, we are seeing an the beginnings of a redemption arc for him. The demons that have been holding him back since Devil May Cry are gone. Griffon, Nightmare, and Shadow allowed Dante to defeat them. When he and Dante fight for the last time, he is looking out over the distance. Maybe he’s contemplating all he had done. It begins as one supposedly final fight to the death. But, things don’t always go as planned. Nero, who he has learned is his son, steps in using his own Devil Trigger to stop them. He shows that the destructive cycle can end and makes it happen. Dante accepts it immediately, but Vergil needs to be coerced before finally accepting Nero’s existence, strength, and truth. Because of these fights, he learns accepts that his power is better served helping close the portal and work with his family, though he promises future fights. He and Dante head through the portal to destroy the Qliphoth roots, finding themselves stuck there with plenty of time to fight both each other and the demons around them. There’s a sort of acceptance there, with the last fight we see with the two of them not having the same air of malice around it.
Devil May Cry 5 shows how power can corrupt absolutely, and the lengths people need to go to in order to set things right. We see the two separate halves of Vergil, the positive and negative qualities pitted against each other after one goes awry. We get to see him confront Dante again and get some sense smacked into him by his son. Then, at the very end, we get to see how the events of the game might have helped his relationship with Dante and helped change him. He has gone through the portal to do what was needed to save the day and, now there, it seems like the brothers may be on better terms with one another.
Devil May Cry 5 is available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.