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                  DMD BOSS/ENEMY STRATEGIES WITH IFRIT
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                          A "DEVIL MAY CRY" FAQ
 

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             Version 1.0 -- Updated: February 25, 2002.

       Check http://www.gamefaqs.com for the most recent version.

 Suggestions to improve this FAQ and other comments may be e-mailed to:
                          tedster17@attbi.com
 

 

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 TABLE OF CONTENTS
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NOTE: The actual titles of the sections and subsections listed below are
all typed in capital letters, which you can use to your advantage. For
instance, if you're looking for the section covering "Monster 2" you can
search for "MONSTER 2" with the browser's/program's case-sensitivity
option enabled to jump directly there.

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Introduction

Ifrit Abilities and Other Common Terms
  Ifrit Abilities
  What Order Should I Get Ifrit Abilities In?
  Common Terms

Comboing Enemies With Ifrit
  Dealing With Turned Enemies
  Marionettes, Bloody Maris, & Fetishes
  Shadows
  Blades
  Frosts
  Plasmas
  Nobodies

Non-Ifrit Enemy Tactics
  Sargassos
  Beelzebubs
  Sin Scissors
  Sin Scythes
  Death Scissors
  Death Scythes
  Kyklopses

DMD Phantom 2
  Required/Helpful Abilities & Weapons
  How Do I Hurt Phantom?
  Fighting Phantom 2 - (defense)
  Fighting Phantom 2 - (offense)
  When Phantom's Health Hits The Red - (defense)
  The "Other" Way To Defeat Phantom - (offense)
  Dangers Of Excessive Jumping - (defense)
  Phantom 1 Differences & Notes
  Stupid Phantom Trick

DMD Griffon 1
  Required/Helpful Abilities & Weapons
  Don't Fight After The Cutscene - (offense/defense)
  Fighting Griffon 1 - (defense)
  Fighting Griffon 1 - (offense)
  When Griffon Is About To Die - (defense)
  Miscellaneous Info - (offense/defense)
  Stupid Griffon 1 Trick

DMD Griffon 2
  Required/Helpful Abilities & Weapons
  Fighting Griffon 2 - (defense)
  The Griffon 2 Pattern - (offense)
  When Griffon Is About To Die - (defense)

DMD Griffon 3
  Required/Helpful Abilities & Weapons
  Before You Start The Battle
  Skip The First Part Of The Battle -- Practically - (offense)
  Fighting Griffon 3 - (defense)
  Fighting Griffon 3 - (offense)

DMD Nelo Angelo 3
  Required/Helpful Abilities & Weapons
  Opening Attack -- a.k.a. Using Meteor-level2 - (offense)
  Fighting Nelo 3 - (defense)
    Sword Attacks - (defense)
    Fireball Attacks - (defense)
    Phantom Sword Attacks - (defense)
    Preventing Additional Phantom Sword Attacks - (defense)
    Protecting Dante With Holy Waters - (defense)
  Fighting Nelo 3 - (offense)
    Miscellaneous Info - (offense/defense)
  Things That Get You Killed In This Battle - (defense)
  Nelo 2 Differences & Notes
  Nelo 1 Differences & Notes
  Using The Time Bangle Against Nelo 1 & 2 - (offense)

DMD Nightmare 3
  Required/Helpful Abilities & Weapons
  How Do I Hurt Nightmare?
  Gloopy Nightmare 3's Attacks - (defense)
    To Be Thrown, Or Not To Be Thrown
    Fighting Shadowy Nelo Angelo - (offense)
    Building Devil Gauge From Gloopy Nightmare
  Solid Nightmare 3's Attacks - (defense)
    Core-Damaging Techniques - (offense)
    Trish Decides To Help - (defense)
  Nightmare 3's Final Core - (offense/defense)
    The 100% Ifrit Way - (offense)
  Nightmare 3's Attack Pattern - (offense/defense)
  S Mission Ranking Notes
  Nightmare 2 Differences & Notes
  Nightmare 1 Differences & Notes
  Stupid Nightmare Tricks

DMD Mundus 1
  Required/Helpful Abilities & Weapons
  Analog/Gamepad Controls
  Fighting Mundus 1 - (defense)
  General Mundus 1 Strategy - (defense)
  General Mundus 1 Strategy - (offense)
  Do Double-Damage With The DT-Dragon - (offense)
  Stupid Mundus 1 Trick

DMD Mundus 2
  Required/Helpful Abilities & Weapons
  Fighting Mundus 2 - (defense)
    Mundus 2 Attack Pattern - (defense)
    Protecting Dante With Holy Waters - (defense)
  Using The Sparda - (offense)
  Fighting Mundus 2 - (offense)

DMD Mundus 3
  Required/Helpful Abilities & Weapons
  Fighting Mundus 3 - (defense)
  Fighting Mundus 3 - (offense)

DMD S-Rank Notes

Revision History

Acknowledgements

A Little About Me
 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 INTRODUCTION
--------------

When I first acquired the Ifrit gauntlets in Normal mode, I'd say my
evaluation of them was similar to that of most Devil May Cry players.
When you drop down to the ground after the cutscene, Dante has to face a
slew of Marionettes. I was psyched, because I figured the gauntlets
would enable me to wade through these puppets like they weren't even
there. This was not the case. After fighting with Alastor for so long,
Ifrit combos seemed very slow; I wasn't rewarded me with one- or two-hit
kills either. So I switched to Alastor, finished off the Marionettes,
and exited the area.

Next, I had to face Griffon. I figured I'd give the gauntlets a second
chance against him, but was completely thrashed by his lightning attacks
(which aerial flame-kicks only brought Dante closer to). Like many other
players, I got through the fight by using Air Raid after switching to
Alastor. This is when I decided to shelve the gauntlets, disappointed
they weren't the god-like instruments of death I was hoping for.

Does this sound familiar? I'd say the biggest setback people have about
accepting Ifrit as a viable weapon is the way it's introduced. You're
immediately dropped into a fight, then boss battle, with no Ifrit
abilities to help you (and no Time Statue to buy some from). Truthfully,
Ifrit _is_ pretty useless until you _invest_ in it. Once you purchase
some abilities, especially Kick13, Rolling Blaze, and Inferno, using the
gauntlets makes a lot more sense. By then most people have resolved to
sink the rest of their red orbs into Alastor and purple/blue orbs
instead, and may never really learn to use the gauntlets at all. This is
a real shame, since anyone who falls into this trap is cheating
themselves out of half of the gameplay, challenge, and ultimately
rewards Devil May Cry has to offer.

At first glance, this is simply a game about fighting monsters and
collecting items to advance to the next part of the story, not
puzzle-solving. However, this perception is very deceiving. The puzzle
aspect of the game doesn't become apparent until you progress through
the difficulty modes. In Normal, most obstacles can be overcome using
Alastor's Air Raid. In Hard mode, Air Raid is less effective. However,
in DMD mode, the damage Air Raid does to bosses (the toughest opponents)
is minimal, so you're encouraged to discover the ideal damage-dealing
methods to get through those battles. There are strategies using certain
devil arm and projectile weapons against each foe that work better and
faster than others. For me, the big puzzle of Devil May Cry is figuring
out the most effective ways to finish off the various enemies and bosses
and then developing the skill to do so consistently without getting
Dante hurt in the process.

Just for the record, I'm not saying Ifrit is "better" than Alastor.
During the course of the game I often have the Alastor equipped. The
devil arm swords have an edge in battles against large groups and
certain enemies due to their slashing speed, extra range, wider
coverage, and (with Alastor or Yamato) the ultra-helpful Air Hike and
Vortex-level2 abilities. In addition to those advantages, when no
enemies are around Stinger-level2ing allows Dante to travel from one
place to another a lot faster than simply running.

What I will say is that when you've purchased the appropriate abilities,
Ifrit is the superior weapon for defeating _bosses_. In every major boss
battle (except against Mundus) I was able to find ways to do more damage
and end fights in less time using Ifrit than I could using the swords.
The conclusion I've come to is that in DMD mode the swords are fine for
gradually chipping away at bosses' life bars, but using the Ifrit
gauntlets enables you to lop their health away in sizable chunks. It can
also be used just as (if not more) effectively against many other
regular enemies too. After experimenting with these strategies for
yourself, feel free to draw your own conclusions.

Although the boss and enemy strategies you'll find here are for DMD
(Dante Must Die!) mode, they'll also work in Normal and Hard modes...
only better. In fact, if you're persistent enough these strategies will
enable you to earn itemless S ranks in every boss battle regardless of
the difficulty level. You heard me right; once you learn to use Ifrit
well enough, you won't even _need_ Untouchable Stars any more!

In most cases, I've written up strategies for each "final" boss battle
rather than creating separate redundant strategies for each encounter
since the final bosses typically use all the same attacks they did
previously along with a few additional ones. Near the end of such boss
sections, I note absent attacks and other differences between the final
and previous battles. The exceptions are Griffon and Mundus; each fight
with then was unique enough to warrant a separate strategy for each
encounter.
 

 

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 IFRIT ABILITIES AND OTHER COMMON TERMS
----------------------------------------

- IFRIT ABILITIES -

( Magma Drive )   When you hold the R1 button, move the analog stick in
the opposite direction Dante's facing, and press the attack button.
Dante will do a grounded flaming uppercut that can launch certain
enemies into the air. Holding down the attack button will charge this
move, making Dante quickly slide closer to the enemy before unleashing a
more damaging uppercut. If you hold the button down long enough, the
uppercut will be released automatically. Note that even the quick
version of this move you get by tapping the attack button requires some
start-up time. An enemy attack that interrupts Dante before he releases
the uppercut will prevent it from coming out at all. You can Magma Drive
enemies that are knocked down before they get up again; this is a safer
approach than attempting to Magma Drive standing ones. This ability
provides the only non-DTed way for Dante to launch enemies with Ifrit,
so it's integral if you want to do involved combos. You'll probably get
Magma Drive early on since it's the least expensive Ifrit ability at a
mere 500 red orbs.

( Kick13-level1, kick13, Kick13 Auto-Combo, auto-combo )   When you hold
the R1 button down and move the analog stick towards the direction
Dante's facing as you press the attack button Dante will execute a
flaming roundhouse kick. It doesn't come out much faster than his normal
Ifrit punches, but he slides forward a little as he does it and it will
knock down certain enemies. If Dante's DTed when you execute this
command, he'll do an automatic combo that hits the victim multiple
times. You may be tempted to mash on the attack button while this
auto-combo is going, but I don't believe he'll do any extra hits or
squeeze any extra damage out of it (then again, this _is_ a Capcom
game). Is an important ability to purchase early on to compensate for
Ifrit's somewhat slow basic moves with a quick one that's capable of
knocking down its victims. The only bad thing about this ability is that
it won't hit certain enemies that have been knocked down until they get
up again. This ability costs 700 red orbs. NOTE: For clarity's sake, the
regular version of this move will be referred to as a "kick13" and the
version Dante does when he's DTed will be called the "Kick13 Auto-Combo"
or sometimes just "auto-combo" throughout this FAQ.

( Kick13-level2 )   Upgrading this ability gives Dante's regular kick13s
more range, speed, and coverage (however, they do the same amount of
damage as the previous version). Also, now when Dante does a Kick13
Auto-Combo he'll finish it with an additional kick at the end that will
launch certain enemies. This ability will put you back 2100 red orbs,
but both the extra range and final auto-combo kick are quite helpful.
NOTE: The remainder of this FAQ will assume that you've purchased the
Kick13-level2 upgrade.

( Rolling Blaze, RB )   This primarily defensive ability for Ifrit
surrounds Dante with flame whenever he jumps. The flames that appear
around him will negate most projectile attacks (including fireballs),
and will also damage nearby enemies, especially during hop-jumps. The
sole downside is that whether he's DTed or not the flames only protect
Dante on the way up; he will be vulnerable as he falls back to the
ground (unlike how it's depicted in the artwork... maybe this ability
was _too_ good and had to be toned down). In its own odd way, Rolling
Blaze compensates for not being able to Air Hike. In boss battles this
ability is _incredibly_ useful, and well worth the 3450 asking price.
NOTE: You'll often see Rolling Blaze shortened to just "RB"...
especially when it's used as an adjective.

( Meteor-level1 )   When Dante is DTed and you hold the R1 button down,
move the analog stick in the opposite direction he's facing, and tap the
attack button he'll quickly release a small fireball shot. The fireball
will automatically target the nearest enemy and detonate when it hits
(they rarely miss). One of these shots is often enough to kill a weaker
Marionette enemy; tougher enemies will take good damage from each one.
You can continue tapping the attack button to release additional shots
one after another fairly rapidly. By holding the attack button down,
Dante will charge up the fireball to make it larger and more powerful.
It'll become fully-charged after 1 symbol of devil gauge has been
consumed and then released automatically. Fully-charged Meteor1 shots
don't detonate when they damage their targets; instead they pass
_through_ them and may strike additional enemies for damage until they
hit a wall or other solid object. Dante can also shoot a
partially-charged fireball if you hold down then release the attack
button before the shot is fully-charged. This ability will cost you 900
red orbs.

( Meteor-level2, Meteor2, M2 shots )   The big difference after you
upgrade to this ability from Meteor-level1 is power and devil gauge
symbol consumption. The small shots you get by tapping the attack button
will use up 1 symbol of devil gauge apiece, but they will instantly kill
any puppet-enemy (including the tougher Fetishes). However, the large
fully-charged shots now consume 2 symbols of devil gauge (in about the
same amount of time as Meteor1 shots) and become immensely powerful. A
fully-charged Meteor2 shot will instantly kill nearly _any_ non-boss
enemy it hits (except for Shadows). Like the fully-charged Meteor1
shots, they continue to travel through their victims until they strike a
solid object. By lining one up correctly, it's very possible to
disintegrate multiple enemies with a single fully-charged Meteor2 shot
regardless of how much damage they'd normally take to defeat (especially
in hallway battles). Fully-charged Meteor2 shots are also especially
useful against Nelo Angelo. At 2700 red orbs, this is probably the most
important ability you need for non-boss battles in DMD mode, and from
this point forward the remainder of this FAQ will assume that you've
purchased this upgrade. NOTE: You may see Meteor2 shots shortened to
just "M2 shots."

( Inferno )   While DTed in midair, move the analog stick in a direction
and press the attack button. Dante will drop straight down and a rather
large circle of fire will erupt from the ground where he lands. As Dante
is crouching, the flames will completely surround and protect him from
most attacks as they rise. This is the most powerful ability in the
entire game. Many regular enemies like Marionettes, Bloody Maris,
Fetishes, and Plasmas will die regardless of which part of the Inferno
touches them; tougher ones will be stunned and temporarily unable to
attack. Enemies right next to Dante during the Inferno are hit for even
more damage than ones singed by the outer edge. Against bosses, Infernos
are often the best ways to do damage, and may stun them so Dante won't
be counterattacked before he recovers. The only drawbacks of doing an
Inferno are that each one will drain Dante's devil gauge of 3 full
symbols (if he has that many remaining) and there is some recovery time
involved when the blast ends (which can be cut short by firing a
projectile weapon). Of course, you'll pay through the teeth for this
ability. It's the most expensive one the Time Statues offer at a hefty
4850 red orbs.
 

- WHAT ORDER SHOULD I GET IFRIT ABILITIES IN? -

Everyone has a different opinion about this, but for people in DMD mode
who haven't purchased _any_ Ifrit abilities, my recommendation is to get
them in this order:

1) Kick13-level1 -- All of Ifrit's normal attacks, and also Magma Drive,
involve a little lag. However, kick13s come out a tiny bit faster and
knock certain enemies down. Instead of launching a puppet-enemy with a
Magma Drive, you can knock it down with a kick13, hit them with a
fully-charged punch as they get up (following up with quick PPKK combo
hits if you want), then follow with another kick13 once they're standing
to put them back on the ground again. In other words, you can do
knockdown-oriented combos instead of launch-oriented ones. They're not
as impressive, but they're usually safer. The Kick13 Auto-Combo will let
you burn devil gauge on a victim without giving it an opportunity to
retaliate. This ability is also inexpensive compared to many others.

2) Magma Drive -- Ifrit's version of High Time is the only way to launch
enemies for midair combos. The gauntlets' offensive abilities are
greatly reduced without this ability against many regular enemies, and
since it's the cheapest ability offered for Ifrit you might as well get
it earlier rather than later.

3) Rolling Blaze -- You definitely don't want to face a boss using the
gauntlets without this ability. It's useful for protecting Dante from
physical, projectile, and fireball attacks. Not having Rolling Blaze
with Ifrit is like not having Air Hike with Alastor.

4) Meteor-level1 -- When you have lots of devil gauge, this ability will
enable Dante to quickly eliminate hordes of regular puppet-enemies
whenever he's outnumbered, which can be a life-saver.

5) Meteor-level2 -- Once you read the "Dealing With Turned Enemies"
section, you'll understand why I'm giving this ability a higher priority
than Inferno in DMD mode.

6) Inferno -- It's finally time to save up and plunk down the red orbs
for the definitive ability of the Ifrit gauntlets. It's a devil gauge
syphon, but you usually won't care. Enjoy the power!

7) Kick13-level2 -- Although it was a bit of a pain, I hope getting by
without the extra kick13 range and the final launching kick of the
Kick13 Auto-Combo wasn't too tough. Now you've finally got them all!

Here's how my reasoning goes... You want to get Kick13-level1 then Magma
Drive early on since they're inexpensive, and you should practice using
them as soon as possible to get good at building up devil gauge for the
more powerful abilities. Rolling Blaze comes next because it provides
Dante with much-needed protection during his jumps and is indispensable
during boss battles; every Ifrit strategy in this FAQ with the exception
of Griffon 2's relies on RB's offensive or defensive capabilities
(sometimes both). Another important thing about these three abilities is
they always help Dante whether he's DTed or not. Next come the
heavy-duty Meteor and Inferno abilities (until then, use the Kick13
Auto-Combo to burn devil gauge). Finally, the Kick13-level2 upgrade
completes the list.

Why not get Meteor1/2 and Inferno earlier? If you bought them right off
the bat instead of the other skills, you'd have great abilities for
_burning_ devil gauge, but no helpful ones for _earning_ more. With only
Meteor1/2 or Inferno (or both) the gauntlets will only be useful when
Dante has plenty of devil gauge, but whenever he doesn't they'll be
difficult to use effectively. To really make use of the DT-only
abilities, you should learn to use the others well enough for Dante to
build devil gauge quickly and continuously... ideally without getting
him hurt in the process. That's why I suggest the order above. However,
if you're already purchasing Ifrit abilities in Normal or Hard modes,
Inferno should probably jump ahead of Meteor1/2 on my list. (Again, the
"Dealing With Turned Enemies" section will explain why.)
 

- COMMON TERMS -

Several of these terms will be explained again in the strategy sections
that follow, but I wanted to define them in their own section as well so
people searching for them will jump directly to in-depth definitions.

( Devil Trigger, DT )   If Dante is wielding a weapon that gives him a
devil gauge and has at least 3 symbols of the gauge filled, pressing the
L1 button will activate his Devil Trigger and temporarily transform him
into a demon, making his attacks more powerful while granting him
reduced damage from enemies' attacks and allowing him to use even more
special offensive abilities he may have purchased from the Time Statues.
Buying purple orbs will add symbols to the length of the devil gauge,
increasing the amount of time Dante stays transformed. You can have a
maximum of 10 symbols. In earlier difficulties, DTing regenerated some
of Dante's lost health... no such luck in DMD mode. He only receives the
other advantages. Devil Trigger will always be shortened to "DT"
throughout the remainder of this FAQ.

( wall-jump )   Dante doesn't need to earn this skill; he has it right
at the beginning of the game. The only reason I'm mentioning it here is
that it's the most common way to compensate for his lack of Air Hike
when you're using Ifrit. (It's also possible to jump off of airborne
enemies, or off the bodies of standing ones.) Wall-jumping can be
helpful in certain situations, particularly when Dante faces Shadows or
needs to evade puppet-enemies' projectile attacks.

( kickflip, RB kickflip )   To execute this skill, hold the R1 button
down, move the analog stick in the opposite direction Dante's facing,
and press the _jump_ button. Dante will flip backwards, kicking with his
feet, and land a little behind his starting point. Until Dante acquires
Rolling Blaze, his kickflips won't damage enemies. Even once you do, RB
kickflips only strike enemies Dante launches into the air and/or is
_very_ close to. When they hit, they don't do very much damage but they
do stun the victim or knock it backwards.

( flame-kick )   Dante automatically gets this skill when he wields the
Ifrit gauntlets. During a jump, press the attack button and Dante will
automatically target and kick down-diagonally towards the nearest enemy
with his leg surrounded in flames. This move will knock down standing
puppet-enemies. Flame-kicks on opponents that are lying flat on their
backs just after they've been knocked down will do major damage.
Wall-jumping for extra height increases the possible range of a
flame-kick and will make it hurt the victim(s) more when it connects. To
prevent DTed Dante from doing an Inferno instead of a flame-kick once
he's acquired that ability, let the analog stick center before pressing
the attack button.

( taunting )   Pressing the R2 button will make Dante taunt. The more
enemies that are nearby when he does, the more devil gauge he will be
rewarded with when the taunt is finished. There are two types of taunts.
By simply pressing down the R2 button, Dante will do a standard
single-handed taunt. However, if you _quickly_ press the R2 button from
being completely released to all the way down, Dante will do a
two-handed taunt instead. The amount of time the two-handed version
takes is only a little longer than the standard one, but Dante will earn
twice as much devil gauge for it. A double-handed taunt directed towards
a group of three enemies at close range can instantly earn 5 or 6
symbols for Dante. When you start the taunt, Dante will not be able to
move, but once you see his hand(s) motioning you can cancel out of the
taunt early via a jump or roll. Of course, you forfeit earning any devil
gauge when you cancel out of it, but it allows you to taunt a little
more aggressively than you could otherwise. Taunting is particularly
useful against close-knit groups of multiple puppet-enemies, Shadows,
and Mundus 2.

( grenade-kick13 combo, grenade-kick13 )   This is a very powerful
technique that builds devil gauge rapidly. To do it, you alternate
between firing grenades and kick13s at the nearest enemy. One catch
about this combo is that Dante's kick13s will buffer into each other.
So, to keep the combo going smoothly you want to jam on the shoot button
after each kick13 to release a grenade, but after each grenade you only
want to press the attack button _once_ for each kick13 to prevent any
buffering. Unfortunately, regular kick13s often miss enemies Dante's
standing right next to if they've been knocked down. In these cases, do
a fully-charged Ifrit punch instead, then resume grenade-kick13ing
afterwards. I recommend always leading with the grenades (especially
against Fetishes) since they cannot be parried. The grenade-kick13ing
technique works well on many types of ground-based enemies, but is
particularly useful against Frosts and for building devil gauge from
Nightmare's cores.

( grenade-roll )   If you just hold R1 and jam on the shoot button to
shoot grenades one after the other, you'll notice that they are not
fired rapidly. There's a huge lag after each one, leaving Dante
stationary and vulnerable to any enemies the grenade blast failed to
hit. However, if you keep R1 held down, move the analog stick to the
left or right of the direction Dante's facing, and press the jump button
after each grenade shot comes out Dante will roll immediately
afterwards. Doing this enables you to cancel out of the grenade gun's
recoil time. Just after Dante's standing after the roll, you can repeat
the process. Once you get the timing down, it's possible fire shots
rapidly enough to earn Stylish combo ratings. It's often better to
alternate between left and right rolls while grenade-rolling so the
camera angle won't change and confuse you into disrupting the combo. An
alternative to grenade-rolling from side to side is to grenade-kick13
towards or grenade-kickflip away from enemies. These options also allow
Dante to release grenade gun shots quickly enough to build combos, and
are very useful in hallway battles where obstructions along the walls
sometimes prevent the grenades from hitting their targets. Since the
kick13s or kickflips are not required to connect for damage, I'm lumping
them here under the "grenade-roll techniques" umbrella.

( shotgun twitch technique )   When Dante wields the shotgun and can
remain stationary while he fires, hold the R1 button down and alternate
between pressing the shoot button and quickly tapping the analog stick
in any direction to release shotgun blasts more rapidly. Like a
compressed version of grenade-rolling, taking this miniscule step to the
side before firing each blast cancels out of the shotgun's normal
recovery time and allows Dante to fire three of them in the time it
would normally take to release two. Using this technique will enable
Dante to juggle launched puppet-enemies until they die when there's no
other interference. It's also great against Nobodies and Mundus 2's
shooting sphere attacks.

( devil-charging shots )   With E&I, the shotgun, or the grenade gun you
can press and hold down the shoot button to make Dante devil-charge a
shot when Ifrit, Alastor, or Yamato (and in one battle even the Sparda)
are equipped. After a second, the gun(s) will ooze energy in whatever
flavor of devil arm you have equipped, and the next shots you fire will
be devil-charged without using up any symbols in your devil gauge. With
E&I, you can rapidly fire four devil-charged shots before the energy is
gone. However, the shotgun and the grenade gun are different. With them,
you can unleash two devil-charged shots by quickly separating them with
a roll, kick13, kickflip, hop-jump, or even a regular jump. In the case
of the shotgun, the second devil-charged shot can also be fired from the
air before Dante lands after a jump, hop-jump, or kickflip. Furthermore,
using the shotgun twitch technique will allow him to fire three
devil-charged shots instead of just two. It's possible to go directly
into devil-charging shots without firing an initial shot first by
holding down the shoot button _before_ holding down the R1 button, or
making Dante roll then holding down both the R1 and shoot buttons before
he recovers. This is useful against enemies that may not start attacking
Dante right after he enters a room if you don't disturb them (like
Frosts and Nobodies), and especially against Shadows since an initial
shot would provoke the recipient into attacking immediately. As an added
bonus, the extra damage done by Dante's devil-charged shots also enables
him to earn additional "real" devil gauge. You aren't allowed to
devil-charge shots with Nightmare Beta, which requires actual devil
gauge symbols to draw power from. When Dante's devil gauge is empty, the
NB will fire a very weak shot that bounces only a few times before
vanishing as soon as you press the shoot button. You can't devil-charge
the needlegun's shots at all.

( de-DTing technique )   One of the drawbacks those who don't care for
the Ifrit gauntlets often bring up is that their more powerful abilities
drain Dante's devil gauge too quickly. The price of 2 symbols for a
Kick13 Auto-Combo and 3 symbols for an Inferno seems pretty steep when
Dante's devil gauge can only store a maximum of ten. But what if there
was a way to use these abilities for a fraction of the symbols they'd
normally consume? Well, there is! You may have noticed that you can
squeeze an Inferno or Kick13-Auto-Combo out when Dante has only a sliver
of a symbol remaining in his devil gauge just before he reverts back to
normal. You can force the same thing to happen by deactivating DT
immediately after committing to one of these moves. DTing and de-DTing
each consume half a symbol of devil gauge. Furthermore, Dante's not
allowed to de-DT until the DT activation animation is finished, which
takes about a half a second. This means you can [DT, commit to either an
Inferno or a Kick13 Auto-Combo after half a second passes, immediately
de-DT afterwards] and whichever move you choose only costs Dante a
little over 1 symbol of devil gauge. Since Dante will not be in devil
mode when the Inferno or auto-combo comes out, he'll even earn a tiny
bit of devil gauge for any damage it does. Unfortunately, there are
other drawbacks in addition to the half-second setup time. Your Inferno
or Kick13 Auto-Combos do more damage when Dante remains DTed. (De-DTed
Infernos are still pretty darn powerful and affect a large area,
though.) Also, since Dante won't be in devil mode while executing the
moves, he can be interrupted during either of them more easily and will
take normal damage from the hit. A well-timed enemy attack may prevent
an Inferno from coming out at all (but after one's already started,
Dante's pretty safe until the recovery time begins). This is definitely
a technique worth learning as it makes the Ifrit gauntlets even more
powerful (and fun) to use.
 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 COMBOING ENEMIES WITH IFRIT
-----------------------------

Although the Ifrit gauntlets are ideally suited for concentrating power
on single foes, they can be used very effectively against groups of
regular, non-boss enemies if you take a little extra care.

You can temporarily hold certain enemies (Marionettes, Bloody Maris, and
Fetishes) in the air with regular E&I shots or 2 quick shotgun blasts
after launching them with Magma Drive or the final kick of a Kick13
Auto-Combo if you like. Using the shotgun twitch technique will enable
Dante to keep them airborne until they perish. With a little practice
you can even jump/hop-jump into launched enemies with Rolling Blaze,
then quickly leap off of them while they're in mid-air (jump straight up
to come down with an Inferno or jump in a direction to follow up with an
aerial projectile weapon attack and/or flame-kick). Another option is to
hold down the R1 button, move the analog stick away from the launched
enemy, and press the _jump_ button to do a kickflip, which will also hit
for damage so long as you've purchased Rolling Blaze.

If you launch an enemy and try to strike it as it falls with a punch
from Ifrit's PPKK combo, the enemy won't hang in the air as you continue
attacking like they do with the swords. Marionettes, Bloody Maris, and
Fetishes will take the hit as they fall to the ground, but they'll
continue to be hit by your PPKK strikes while there. However, if you hit
them with a well-timed regular kick13 as they fall, you can continue
with more rapid kick13s to hold them in place until they die.

Launched Blades and Frosts will often be batted out of range from PPKK
and kick13 attempts unless they're stopped by a wall. Furthermore, they
may even recover on their feet instead of landing on the ground and
getting back up again. For this reason, I recommend letting them hit the
ground while you either press and hold the attack button to do a
fully-charged punch or do a Magma Drive (either quick or fully-charged)
instead. Hitting them with Kick13 Auto-Combos after they hit the ground
will also work.

When a lot of enemies are clumped together or in a row approaching
Dante, a fully-charged Meteor2 shot will allow you to eliminate them all
if it's lined up correctly. (The exception to this rule is Shadows,
which you must use special methods to destroy.)

As there are far too many combos possible for me to list them all, just
a few samples are listed in each section. When you see portions of a
combo in braces, like {this attack, this attack, this attack}, it means
Dante can repeat that sequence of attacks over and over until the victim
dies as long as he's not interrupted. With a few exceptions, I've tried
to concentrate on reliable, efficient combos over flashy, difficult to
execute ones. Also, I'm not supplying detailed descriptions of each
regular enemy's attacks (this FAQ is long enough already).
 

- DEALING WITH TURNED ENEMIES -

The big problem with doing Ifrit combos in DMD mode is that the enemies
not killed quickly enough will eventually "turn." Their bodies become
super-charged with red bolts of energy, then any attacks they connect
with will hurt Dante much more than they normally would and very little
interrupts them from coming out. They also become much more resistant to
your attacks. Turned enemies look like they're DTed, but unlike Dante
they don't gain any extra abilities (after all, they were demons to
begin with). The grenade gun becomes especially useful in DMD mode since
using it liberally will allow you to kill more enemies before they get
the chance to turn, and its shots will even put certain enemies on the
ground after they've turned. Even when grenades don't knock down turned
enemies, they still earn devil gauge in a hurry; so learning to
grenade-roll well is _extremely_ helpful. Anyway, doing lots of long
combos (or using extra time to set them up) is much riskier in DMD mode
since a regular standing enemy can quickly turn and introduce Dante to a
world of pain between the hits of his Ifrit combos.

The primary method to rid yourself of turned enemies with the Ifrit
gauntlets is to use fully-charged Meteor2 shots. They will instantly
kill any turned enemies they hit (except Shadows) and can also finish
off multiple turned enemies if they're in a group or are lined up just
right. Surprisingly, Infernos are not nearly as effective as Meteor2
shots; turned enemies (especially Fetishes) caught in the blasts often
survive. If you must Inferno any turned foes (perhaps to kill off some
regular enemies with the same blast too) jump over their heads before
committing so they'll waste some time spinning to face Dante while he
recovers. Kick13 Auto-Combos also don't seem to damage turned enemies
very much, although they prevent any counterattacks from the victim and
can launch certain ones with the final kick.

Some fights display a "turning countdown timer" in the upper-left corner
of the screen when you enter a room. Dante will be trapped inside the
area until all the enemies have been killed. After the timer reaches
zero, all the remaining enemies (and others that haven't entered the
fight via portals yet) become turned, which can make things a lot more
difficult.

Each regular enemy combo section will be followed by a turned enemy
combo section.
 

- MARIONETTES, BLOODY MARIS, & FETISHES -

You have to be careful when fighting large groups of these
"puppet-enemies," using Rolling Blaze to protect Dante from their
projectile attacks (wall-jump to stay airborne longer if necessary). I
tend to use the grenade-roll technique liberally to keep enemies on the
ground and punish/launch them while they're down when opportunities
present themselves.

You can normally use one grenade gun shot, two shotgun blasts, or
multiple E&I shots to hold these enemies in the air after launching them
with Magma Drive or the final strike of a Kick13 Auto-Combo. (Using the
shotgun twitch technique will allow you to hold these launched enemies
in the air indefinitely.) The shotgun and E&I can also be used to
protect Dante as he falls to the ground after a jump. (I prefer the
shotgun, since it can stun several nearby enemies in a wider area;
immediately jump to safety once Dante lands.) By the way, E&I shots will
make launched puppet-enemies rise even higher when Dante's DTed. Any
time you think you're in trouble, burn devil gauge on an Inferno or line
up a fully-charged Meteor2 shot.

Quick Meteor2 shots make killing puppet-enemies like picking off
cardboard ducks at a shooting gallery, although each shot will cost 1
symbol of devil gauge. Also, if another enemy gets too close behind you
while you're releasing Meteor2 shots, you may start Kick13 Auto-Comboing
towards it instead.

You have to be more careful when you're up against Fetishes, as they can
do their quick flame-thrower counters between the hits of your combos.
It's safest to put them on the ground with a close-range shotgun blast,
grenade gun shot, flame-kick, or kick13 before punching them or
launching them with Magma Drives. By the way, standing Fetishes may
counter kick13, Magma Drive, or aerial flame-kick attempts. If you can,
jump over their heads and flame-kick them from behind as they turn to
face Dante for guaranteed knockdowns. Marionettes and Bloody Maris can
also parry and counter your Ifrit attacks, but it's easier to jump away
from their counterattacks.

When fighting these enemies in hallway battles, use grenade-roll
techniques to build up devil gauge quickly (grenades that hit multiple
enemies earn multiple symbols) then line up fully-charged Meteor2 shots
to disintegrate lots 'o baddies at once.

When you have breathing room to pull off a combo on a single enemy, here
are some samples:
 

[grenade, jump towards|up, flame-kick, grenade]
  |
While it won't earn you Stylish combo ratings, this is the quickest way
to kill any puppet-enemy without DTing. It's often just what you need,
especially in battles where "turning countdown clocks" are going. It
keeps Dante mobile, the victim on the ground until its demise, and will
earn you 3 symbols of devil gauge to boot (as long as the victim
survives long enough). You can opt to grenade-roll three times instead
to avoid putting Dante in a hazardous situation.
 

[quick Magma Drive, {kick13}, RB kickflip]
  |
After a Magma Drive you can time a kick13 to hit the launched enemy a
little after it starts falling. After the initial one connects, rapidly
doing more kick13s will allow you to hold the enemy in midair
indefinitely... well, until it dies anyway. After Magma Driving a
"fresh" Fetish, hold it there with four kick13s then finish it off with
a RB kickflip to end the combo with an extra flourish.
 

[quick Magma Drive, shotgun blast, shotgun blast, RB jump straight up,
aerial shotgun blast, RB jump away or to side, flame-kick]
  |
This combo uses the airborne victim to give Dante a makeshift Air Hike.
It can finish off a Fetish with full health when done correctly. Any
time you want to connect with a Rolling Blaze jump after launching an
enemy you're holding aloft with shotgun blasts or E&I shots you can walk
a little bit underneath it while shooting. In order for this combo to
finish off a Fetish, two conditions must be met. First, both of your
Rolling Blazes must substantially contact the airborne victim. With
practice, you'll succeed most of the time. Second, you want the
flame-kick to strike the victim just after it lands on the ground for
optimal damage; a premature or late flame-kick will hit for less damage
or may even whiff completely. You can also use E&I in this combo in
place of the shotgun, but it'll take longer and you must shoot _very_
quickly. It takes razor-sharp timing to kill a Fetish this way, which is
why it's one of my favorite combos.
 

[quick Magma Drive, grenade, kick13, RB kickflip, flame-kick]
  |
Another quick Fetish-killer, this combo only has two parts you may mess
up the timing on. Again, you have to do the kick13 after the victim
falls a little bit and the flame-kick has to connect right after the
Fetish hits the ground. Also, holding down the jump button makes it
easier to do the RB kickflip right after the kick13.
 

[Magma Drive, DT, hold R1 while backing away from the launched enemy
while firing 4 to 7 rapid E&I shots, quick Meteor2 shot]
  |
This one's all about style; the DTed E&I shots raise the launched enemy
even higher so your Meteor2 shot will hit and destroy it in midair. You
don't have to back away while plugging away with E&I, but the farther
you are, the more impressive the finale of this combo looks. This will
work on "fresh" Fetishes, Bloody Maris, and dark-purple Marionettes; the
others usually don't stay alive long enough. Doing this is a bit
wasteful of devil gauge, since the M2 shot was all you needed to kill
the victim in the first place. Although it's relatively easy to do, this
is still a combo you'll probably never tire of.
 

[knock enemy down with kick13|flame-kick|close-range shotgun
blast|grenade, jump up|towards depending on distance to downed enemy,
(optional aerial shotgun blast|a few E&I shots), flame-kick downed
enemy, Magma Drive (if necessary, charge it and/or run closer to ensure
it connects), (1 or 2 optional shotgun blasts|multiple E&I
shots|grenade), RB kickflip, (optional aerial shotgun blast|a few E&I
shots), flame-kick]
  |
If you use the shotgun and include all of the optional projectile weapon
attacks, this should be just enough to kill a "fresh" Fetish and will
certainly finish off lesser enemies. The perk is that the victim has no
chance for retaliation after it's on the ground. Again, I have better
results using the shotgun, making sure I fire it at the peak of Dante's
jumps and flame-kick immediately after the blasts come out... if not,
your flame-kick may miss. Wielding E&I seems to make connecting with the
flame-kicks much harder. You can also try to Rolling Blaze into, then
off of, the enemy in midair in place of a guaranteed RB kickflip after
the Magma Drive.
 

[first 3 (or less) hits of the PPKK combo, Magma Drive, hop-jump
straight up or towards enemy, (optional attempt to jump straight up
again immediately when Rolling Blaze contacts enemy), DT, Inferno]
  |
Again, you can jump off of the enemy in midair for additional damage and
extra height. A combo like this can be useful when other enemies are
closing in and will also be caught in the Inferno (you may opt to jump
towards them instead of straight up).
 

Turned Puppet-Enemies -- Puppet-enemies can be surprisingly tough to
kill once they've turned. None of the projectiles Dante can fire,
grenade gun shots included, will knock them down. However, they can
still be launched in one of two ways: DTed Magma Drives and the final
kick of the Kick13 Auto-Combo (if you de-DT before the final kick it
will _not_ launch the victim). Once launched, you can hold them in the
air until they die or you run out of devil gauge using DTed E&I shots.
(By the way, turned Fetishes become _ridiculously_ resilient to attacks;
you can burn an entire 10-symbol devil gauge on a previously untouched,
turned Fetish by hopping around it constantly unloading Infernos and it
will still be standing when you're done!) A fully-charged Meteor2 shot
is all you need to destroy any type of puppet-enemy, regular or turned.
If possible, line the shot up so it'll eliminate more than one. If you
simply must combo a turned puppet-enemy, here's how to quickly set one
up for a M2 shot kill.
 

[Magma Drive, DT before it connects, hold R1 while backing away from the
launched enemy while firing 3 or 4 rapid E&I shots, fully-charged
Meteor2 shot] ... against turned puppet-enemies
  |
You cannot launch turned puppet-enemies with regular Magma Drives (even
if they're fully-charged), but committing to one then DTing before it
hits _will_ launch them. Turned puppet-enemies will also rise higher
when hit by DTed E&I shots when they're in midair. In this combo, the
only reason you're firing the E&I shots is to give you enough time and
room to charge a Meteor2 shot without getting hurt by the launched enemy
before it's automatically released. You can also use the Kick13
Auto-Combo to launch them instead. If you wish to, you can fire DTed E&I
shots non-stop to lift the victim _really_ high. Unfortunately, doing so
usually won't do much damage and typically makes a quick Meteor2 shot
miss its mark... but you'll ultimately get a lot of extra red orbs from
the victim.
 

- SHADOWS -

With Alastor, the simplest way to rid yourself of a Shadow is to DT and
concentrate Air Raid fire on it until the core is revealed, then Vortex2
until it turns red. However, this is a somewhat long process that can
consume lots of devil gauge. With Ifrit, you'll have to settle for the
quicker, more efficient approach...

As long as you don't shoot them, Shadows are fairly docile, and will
only attack occasionally. In fact, you can often taunt near them for
devil gauge if you need some extra symbols without aggravating them at
all. To play it safe, you'll need at least 4 symbols of devil gauge. Now
equip E&I and hold down R1, keeping your distance from the Shadow
_without_ firing. Eventually, the Shadow will telegraph its "head spike"
attack as the area around its face gets "globby." When you see this,
keep R1 held down and jump straight up, activating DT at the peak of the
jump.

The spike will come out directly beneath Dante and he'll land on top of
it; start shooting DTed E&I shots like there's no tomorrow as soon as
you do. The Shadow will be somewhat stunned, and will remain in spike
form a bit longer than usual, but eventually will retract the spike and
return to feline form again. As you fall to the ground, keep firing like
crazy; the core will be revealed shortly thereafter. Stay DTed and run
next to the core, then do a full Kick13 Auto-Combo on it. When you're
done, the core will be red, and you'll have pushed it backwards during
the auto-combo away from the ground spikes it tries to use as a counter.
Should Dante return to normal before then, three regular kick13s will
usually be enough to turn the core red without putting him at risk from
the ground spikes.

Shortly afterwards, the angry red Shadow will attempt to grab Dante
before it detonates. You're at a big disadvantage with Ifrit if he's in
a wide open area since there's no Air Hike equivalent. The workaround is
to run towards the nearest wall and use wall-jumps instead. Jump up
towards a wall, then wall-jump towards the Shadow. It will often attempt
a grab and miss as Dante leaps over it. Continue doing this while
watching out for other attacks until the Shadow detonates.

You may turn the Shadow red without revealing the core at all if you
fire E&I shots quickly enough. It will start glowing red as the spike
retracts; and you should immediately start evading its attempts to grab
you. In fact, if you're _really_ fast with the shots, you sometimes
don't even need to DT at all; however, this method isn't always
successful which is why I prefer the "DTed way" instead.

Any of these methods will work in fights against multiple Shadows when
you manage to separate one from the other(s) so you can reveal its core
and/or turn it red without having your E&I fire drawn away from the
intended target or have the process interrupted by another's attack.
What you want to avoid at all costs is getting two or more Shadows riled
up at the same time by firing shots haphazardly. It's a much tougher
fight that way (albeit a lot more fun, if you're into extra stress).

Turned Shadows -- The method using DTed E&I shots described above will
also work against turned Shadows; if you want to use regular E&I shots
you'll have to make multiple attempts to wear the turned Shadow's
defenses down.
 

- BLADES -

Blade's carry shields they'll occasionally use to protect themselves
from being launched by your Magma Drive attempts and to evade your
Kick13 Auto-Combos. Of course, other attacks can be blocked as well.
Even fully-charged Meteor2 shots may be rendered harmless by Blades'
shields (at least the shields themselves will be destroyed, though).
However, you'll always connect with these attacks before a Blade
recovers from getting knocked down.

Flame-kicks and kick13s are great for destroying Blades' shields which
makes them a lot more manageable. However, flame-kicks involve some
recovery time, so flame-kicking when a lot of them are around is often a
bad idea.

Once a Blade has lost it's shield, kick13s don't seem to knock them down
(however, destroying a shield with a kick13 _will_ knock the Blade
down). When a Blade's shield is gone, you can then rapidly do 5 or 6
kick13s in a row to kill it off while preventing it from
counterattacking most of the time. Rapid PPKK combo hits also do a
decent job of holding single, shieldless Blades in place and prevent
them from sneaking hits in, but Dante still won't be totally safe.

Blades fight in packs, so you usually don't get too many comboing
opportunities until all but one or two have been eliminated (especially
in DMD mode, when one of the group has usually "turned"). Until then, I
recommend grenade-rolling most of the time, jumping away to safety under
the cover of Rolling Blaze when they get too close. When several (or
all) of them are knocked down, jump and flame-kick one in the stomach or
Inferno the group whenever you can get away with it. Also, use devil
gauge on Infernos when you feel like you're in trouble. It's not
terribly exciting, but it keeps Dante healthy.

Nightmare Beta is _fantastic_ against Blades when you use it properly.
Unlike the tactics against other enemies, you don't need to charge up
your shots (making Dante a stationary target) or use it in conjunction
with the Time Bangle. Instead, just keep firing single shots, jumping
away when any reptilian enemies get too close. Unlike other enemies, NB
shots will pierce the armor of any Blade they hit and put it on the
ground (unless it's already there). This also holds true for the weak
shots NB fires when your devil gauge has no symbols in it. In fact, with
an empty devil gauge holding down R1 then the shoot buttons will
auto-fire NB shots. You can easily earn Stylish combos by just walking
into Blade-populated room, putting some distance between them and Dante,
then auto-firing away. The only time your combo may be broken is if you
have to jump to evade an attack (but you can still fire NB in the air to
keep it going) or Dante gets hit by one. Since they'll be spending lots
of time on the ground, you'll have an enormous number of opportunities
for high-damage diagonal flame-kicks on their fallen bodies. NB is
definitely the best projectile weapon to wield with Ifrit against Blades
from a safety standpoint. Rolling Blaze protects him as he jumps up, NB
shots knock down nearby Blades as he falls. The only drawback is that
this doesn't allow you to build up devil gauge to use later (if the
Griffon 1 battle is coming up next, for instance).

When you knock down a Blade its feet will briefly rise up in the air,
then fall to the ground. Timing a peak-of-jump flame-kick to hit the
fallen Blade right as its feet touch the ground will do extra damage.
(Ideally, I think you want Dante to be as high in the air as possible
and hit the Blade at a 45 degree angle.)

As mentioned in the Enemy Notes, Blades' backs are their weak points.
Any time one is on the ground face-down, a flame-kick (even a hop-jumped
one) into its back counts as a Critical Hit and will kill it instantly
(this also includes the larger Blades). These opportunities are
sometimes infuriatingly difficult to take advantage of because Dante
often ends up flame-kicking a different Blade that's closed in on his
position instead of the fallen one. 

With the shotgun, one close-range blast will stun a Blade facing Dante,
and a second one before it recovers will knock it down face-up. However,
a close-range shotgun blast to a Blade's back will put it on the ground
face-down in one blast. With enough uninterrupted time, you can stun a
Blade facing Dante with the first blast then run or jump behind it to
shoot it in the back before it leaps away; connecting with a hop-jumped
flame-kick after that will finish it. Of course, the fewer Blades
involved in the fight, the easier this is to accomplish successfully.
Similarly, doing a Kick13 Auto-Combo into a standing Blade's back does a
lot of additional damage and is often all you need to kill the small
ones. Using Nightmare Beta or the grenade gun, you can knock a Blade
down, run behind it, shoot it in the back a little after it rises to its
feet again to knock it down a second time (shoot when its tail whips
downwards), and go for an easy hop-jumped flame-kick that way. However,
you'll need even more free time to do this.

Blades are too heavy to be held aloft by shotgun blasts or E&I shots
after being launched. However, you can get one really quick shotgun
blast (or very few E&I shots) in and still have enough time to start
(but not always hit with) another attack before they reach the ground.
If you shoot really quickly while DTed with E&I, you can sometimes hold
a launched Blade in midair a few inches above the ground after launching
it, but there's no practical use for this. Grenade gun shots on launched
Blades will typically miss. Trying to hit a launched Blade with Ifrit's
PPKK strikes or projectile weapons may bat it out of range from the rest
of your attacks, so you're usually better off letting the launched Blade
fall to the ground before continuing to damage it. All of these factors
combined make combos against them less involved than the
puppet-enemies...
 

[knock enemy down with grenade|NB shot|close-range shotgun blast,
(run closer if necessary), {quick Magma Drive}]
  |
Combos don't get much simpler than this. Any time you knock down a Blade
or launch it with a Magma Drive, you can follow it up with more {quick
Magma Drive}s until it dies. You can also do {fully-charged Magma
Drive}s over and over to finish it off more quickly, but your combo
rating will be worse and you'll be rewarded with fewer red orbs when
it's all over for the victim.
 

[knock enemy down with grenade|NB shot|close-range shotgun blast,
(run closer if necessary), {fully-charged punch, quick Magma Drive}]
  |
Repeating the {fully-charged punch, quick Magma Drive} part won't give
the Blade an opening to counterattack. Unfortunately, sometimes it will
get knocked away when your charged punches auto-release. If this
happens, jump towards it and flame-kick, then do a quick Magma Drive to
keep the combo going.
 

[knock enemy down with grenade|NB shot|close-range shotgun blast,
(run closer if necessary), {quick Magma Drive, RB kickflip, flame-kick}]
  |
Once started, continue the {Magma Drive, RB kickflip, flame-kick} part
to create an infinite combo until the Blade dies. Essentially this is
the same combo as in the puppet-enemies section with all the optional
shotgun blasts|E&I shots stripped away so Dante will recover from his
flame-kicks in time to keep Magma Driving the Blade before it can get
up. You can also lead into the initial Magma Drive with the first 3 (or
less) hits of the PPKK combo, but it's slightly more dangerous.
 

[knock enemy down with grenade|NB shot|close-range shotgun blast,
(run closer if necessary), DT, Kick13 Auto-Combo, two quick punches
after Blade lands, RB jump towards, (optional attempt to jump straight
up immediately when/if Rolling Blaze contacts enemy), Inferno]
  |
Blades can sometimes evade your Kick13 Auto-Combo when they're standing
(especially when they still have their shields), so you should knock
them down to ensure the final launching kick connects. If the victim is
at full health, run closer or do a regular kick13 towards them before
DTing and doing the auto-combo to maximize the damage. After the Blade
lands, quickly to the first two punches of the Ifrit PPKK combo and go
directly into a RB hop-jump towards it for a little extra damage and to
stun it from escaping the Inferno. You should have at least 4 symbols of
devil gauge when you start so you don't run out before the Inferno
(don't go for the optional jump off the airborne Blade unless you have
more). However, this combo will use up to 6 symbols of devil gauge if
you have that much, so you may opt for two Infernos instead if there are
other enemies in the vicinity. Unfortunately, it will take more than
this to kill one of the larger Blades; use one of the "repeating" combos
or go for a Critical Hit instead.
 

Turned Blades -- Infernos seem to be just as or only slightly less
effective against turned Blades as they are against regular ones. Since
there are normally several agile Blades constantly closing in on Dante's
position, Infernoing is recommended over fully charged Meteor2 shots
against these enemies. The other option is to ignore the fact that
they've turned and press on using the same strategy taking extra care
not to get tagged by their attacks. All the normal means of knocking
down regular Blades work against turned ones, and Magma Drives still
launch them too. Better yet, large or small turned Blades can also be
killed instantly by Critical Hits. So, all of the combos against regular
Blades will also kill turned ones... it'll just take longer unless it's
the final combo listed above.
 

- FROSTS -

Frosts are tougher versions of Blades with better offensive attacks.
They also can't be held aloft by any of your projectile weapons after
they're launched. However, unlike Blades they have no shields to protect
themselves from being launched by Magma Drives and Kick13 Auto-Combos
(though they may manage to hop away at just the right time). Due to
their extra weight, Frosts don't spend as much time leaping around as
the Blades. They often just plod around. However, they are capable of
attacking physically with their claws with lightning speed (especially
after they hop backwards to avoid one of Dante's attacks). Luckily,
Frosts are extra-susceptible to Ifrit's fire-based abilities.

Infernos do _major_ damage to Frosts. If Dante does an Inferno right
next to one and it doesn't die, it will only take 1-3 regular kick13s
more to finish it. When only the outer edge of the Inferno hits the
Frost, you're looking at 5 or 6 kick13s.

One annoying thing about these enemies is that hitting them with attacks
while they're airborne after launching them often allows them to bounce
out of range of the rest of your attacks and recover on their feet. It's
much better to let Frosts hit the ground before following up with
additional attacks. Fully-charged normal Ifrit punches work well. The
Frosts can still hop away as they rise, but you should be able to get
more damage in before they do.

Doing grenade-kick13 combos against Frosts works really well since the
grenades will interrupt their attack attempts and the kick13s hit for
good damage. The only attack they might squeeze in is a quick slash with
their icy claws, but the majority of the time they'll be continually
interrupted as they keep trying to do their icy Inferno knock-off. While
you're grenade-kick13ing, Frosts often attempt to hop to Dante's side in
an effort to mess up your combo. Watch for this and do your best to keep
the analog stick pointed at them whenever they try.

Multiple Frosts can be difficult opponents. Luckily, you never have to
face more than two of them simultaneously. However, that's how nearly
every Frost fight starts out. You can't keep your attention on any one
Frost for too long, or the other (typically not in view from the camera
angle) may hit Dante with a long-range attack like projectile Ice Claws,
or especially its Blizzard Teleport. If possible, try to hit both with
an Inferno, then kill off one of them with a Kick13 Auto-Combo. This
will give you some free time to concentrate on the remaining Frost
without interference, or at least until a portal opens and another joins
the fray. This way, you'll be able to minimize the amount of time there
are two running around simultaneously.

Without devil gauge against multiple Frosts, fire grenades whenever you
can to build it up. Spend the rest of your time running and jumping to
avoid their close- and long-range attacks.

You can quickly kill a single, regular Frost with a combo starting with
only 1 symbol of devil gauge if you're close by and the opportunity
presents itself (see first combo). Another option when Dante can DT is
to release a fully-charged Meteor2 shot, which will finish off any
Frost(s) it hits. A good time for this is after luring them into doing
their icy version of Inferno. After jumping out of this attack's range,
you'll have enough charging time so long as no other Frosts interfere.

Whenever a Frost is sandwiched between Dante and a wall, you can knock
it down or launch it, then keep doing either {fully-charged punch, quick
Magma Drive}, {fully-charged Magma Drive}s, or even simply hold down the
attack button for Ifrit's {fully-charged PPKK combo} until it dies.
Since the Frosts can only get batted away from Dante during his attacks,
it's more difficult for them to escape when there are walls directly
behind them. (I don't recommend {quick Magma Drive, RB kickflip,
flame-kick} or {quick Magma Drive}s, since they give the Frosts
additional opportunities to get away.)

Because Frosts are so susceptible to the Ifrit gauntlets, doing a
de-DTed Kick13 Auto-Combo will handily earn Dante more symbols than he
had when he started if enough hits connect while Dante's normal. You can
do them repeatedly until the Frost's demise if you aren't interrupted by
another one.

Here are some reliable Frost combos...
 

[grenade, kick13, grenade, DT, RB hop-jump towards Frost, Inferno]
  |
Actually, all you need is to connect with a kick13, Rolling Blaze, and a
close-range Inferno to finish a Frost. However, doing it this way will
earn an extra 2 symbols of devil gauge beforehand (which may enable
Dante to DT) and you'll have a better chance of connecting the Rolling
Blaze since the grenade gun shot will stun it a little longer than a
kick13. Finally, even if the Frost does attempt to hop away, it may die
even if just the edge of your Inferno touches it.
 

[keep grenade-kick13ing until Frost is knocked down, {fully-charged
punch, quick Magma Drive}]
  |
Continuous grenade-kick13ing will usually prevent the Frost you're
hitting from executing any of its attacks and earns devil gauge rapidly.
Watch carefully during each kick13 so you can immediately hold down the
attack button for the fully-charged punch if the Frost gets knocked
down. If the punch whiffs because the Frost hops just out of range as it
gets up, jump away to avoid the physical ice claw attack that almost
always follows, then resume grenade-kick13ing again. If another Frost
gets too close an Inferno will keep it at bay and likely finish off the
one you were comboing.
 

[DT, Kick13 Auto-Combo, quick punch after Frost lands, RB hop-jump
towards Frost, Inferno]
  |
This is probably the most reliable combo. Unlike the similar one listed
in the Blades section, you can be pretty sure your Kick13 Auto-Combo
will connect and launch, so there's no need to knock the Frost down
beforehand. If after launching the Frost you immediately hop-jump
straight up and Inferno, it may survive (I think it's momentarily
invulnerable when it hits the ground sometimes). However, a quick Ifrit
punch after it's on the ground and a hop-jump towards Inferno ensures
its demise as long as most of the Kick13 Auto-Combo connected.
 

Turned Frosts -- Since you're using Ifrit against these ice-based
enemies, turned Frosts are only marginally tougher than regular ones.
Grenade-kick13ing is not recommended, as they can attack through Dante's
regular attacks with ease. Like turned Blades, Dante's regular Magma
Drives will launch turned Frosts as well. The final "regular Frost"
combo listed above also works against turned ones without giving them an
opportunity to counterattack. Of course, fully-charged Meteor2 shots are
yet another method of eliminating them (again, this is particularly easy
when their icy versions of Inferno miss). De-DTed Kick13 Auto-Combos
also work against turned Frosts, but they hop out of range from the
auto-combo more often than regular Frosts do.
 

- PLASMAS -

Like Blades and Frosts, holding Plasmas in the air with shotgun blasts,
rapid E&I shots, or kick13s doesn't work either for just the opposite
reason... they don't have _enough_ mass. To make matters worse, just
about every attack Dante can do will make a Plasma duplicate itself (if
there aren't three in the area already). The good news is you'll never
have to face more than three simultaneously. Fighting multiple
human-form Plasmas can be difficult, but that's when you should use
Ifrit's equalizer... Inferno.

An Inferno will destroy any human-form Plasma caught in the blast
radius. If you were close enough to the originals, the same blast may
also finish off any duplicates they create. However, duplicates of
Plasmas killed by the outer edge of the Inferno may still survive. A
single Meteor2 shot will also kill a regular Plasma, but it may create
duplicates. Quick M2 shots are especially useful for quickly killing the
ones in bat-form (which never form duplicates).

There's only one good multi-hit combo against human-form Plasmas:
repeated {quick Magma Drive}s. It takes 5 to kill off a regular Plasma.
Sometimes, the Plasmas spawn duplicates as they die. Whenever a single
duplicate is created, continue your quick Magma Drives and extend the
combo even further for more red orbs. Sometimes, you can continue the
combo chain long enough to earn one of the giant red orbs you get for
defeating bosses.

Any time there are two or more Plasmas, you should be looking to
eliminate them all with an Inferno or reduce the number to just one so
you can resume Magma Driving again. If you're greedy, you may want to
fire away with E&I or the shotgun to ensure a third Plasma's presence
before jumping in with the Inferno to get more red orbs.

In the event you're facing multiple Plasmas and don't have enough devil
gauge to DT, run away and taunt to get more. Cancel out of the taunt via
an evasive jump if they get too close. You want the taunt to end when
the nearest Plasma is close for more devil gauge... but not too close.
You may have trouble doing this sometimes. After a Plasma attacks, it
can switch from walking to jogging towards Dante. In fact, the turned
Plasmas can run almost as fast as Dante does when he DTs with Alastor!

Turned Plasmas -- Turned Plasmas do become tougher to finish off. You
need multiple Infernos to kill grounded ones, so you're probably better
off jumping away for extra distance and using a fully-charged Meteor2
shot. The same goes for the bat-form versions. If you don't touch a
Plasma and wait for it to turn, then continuously {quick Magma Drive} it
to death (14 times) when it's in human-form, you'll be rewarded with a
giant red orb when it perishes.
 

- NOBODIES -

Annoyingly, regular Nobodies are so low to the ground that Dante's
regular kick13s often whiff unless they catch these enemies as they
execute an attack or they're on an incline and higher than he is.
However, you can use kick13s to break the masks they wear to grow large
so they'll shrink again. Nobodies can't be launched via any means.
They're also better than Blades at evading your attacks and sneaking
theirs in between Dante's PPKK strikes. This really hurts Dante's
offensive options. I've yet to find a reliable way to start a
ground-based, non-DTed Ifrit combo that will finish off a Nobody without
putting Dante's health at risk.

Some good news is that rapid shotgun blasts pretty much paralyze
Nobodies. You want the far edge of the blasts to touch them, so if
there's a slight gap between your shots Dante won't be close enough for
a Nobody to squeeze a hit in. The wide range of the blasts allows you to
prevent multiple Nobodies from attacking when they're all in your line
of fire. If one grows large, DT and back off a bit while continuing to
fire so it doesn't catch you with its jump-kick attack. It will shrink
again shortly afterwards. If you're lucky enough to be standing behind a
Nobody as your blast away with the shotgun, it won't be able to
counterattack, or even face, Dante at all (unless it turns). So, all you
need to defeat Nobodies are lots of shotgun blasts and time. However,
time is a luxury you don't always have in DMD mode.

You can use the shotgun twitch technique to release blasts more rapidly
than you can by simply jamming on the shoot button. While you're holding
the R1 button down, alternate between pressing the shoot button and
briefly tapping the analog stick in any direction to fire more quickly
and eliminate the chances of any nearby Nobody stunned by the blasts
from slipping an attack between them.

Against more than one Nobody, hold R1 and maneuver Dante so the shotgun
blasts hit as many as possible. As described above, DT and keep firing
if one grows large. Deactivate DT when it shrinks back down again. When
one of them "turns" you should immediately DT and Inferno the group. The
Inferno should finish off at least one of them. If a "fresh" small
Nobody is caught right next to Dante during the blast, it will either
die or be on the brink of death. A few more shotgun blasts will do the
trick. Larger ones require a little more damage.

Grenade-rolling also works well against Nobodies. Even when they aren't
fighting alone, the explosions often prevent the ones that aren't
targeted from flanking Dante, especially during hallway battles. The
most useful grenade gun method is to do repeated {grenade, RB
kickflip}s. The RB kickflips sometimes interrupt large Nobodies' jump-in
and long-range attacks. Furthermore, this combination also does an
excellent job of protecting Dante when he's backed into a corner.
 

[multiple rapid shotgun blasts to get close, {RB jump over Nobody,
aerial shotgun blast, flame-kick, (optional shotgun blast)}]
  |
When Dante can't DT, simply continue jumping over the Nobody, firing
aerial shotgun blasts followed by flame-kicks (and optional grounded
shotgun blasts) until it dies or you earn enough devil gauge to Inferno
it. The Nobody won't have time to set itself up for an attack, and
you'll finish it off much quicker working flame-kicks in than you would
using the shotgun alone. This combo can also be effective against
multiple Nobodies when they're close to one another. If one of the
Nobodies is large and tosses an eyeball-bomb on the ground, do not
continue to flame-kick. Dante will stupidly home in on the closest
intact eyeball instead of the nearest Nobody when you do any move
involving the attack button, so use shotgun blasts exclusively until any
eyeballs have exploded. Another method is to repeatedly {grenade, RB
jump over Nobody, (optional grenade)}; but don't jump over one's head
until it's facing Dante or he may be struck when he lands. The grenade
gun version of this combo doesn't offer Dante nearly as much protection
against multiple Nobodies as the shotgun version does.
 

There's another way to deal with Nobodies. When Dante hits a Nobody
that's facing him with a Magma Drive, it'll actually be knocked out for
a little while. It's body will straighten at a 40 degree angle, and it
will fall forward until its chin is on the ground. A second later, the
Nobody will recover and resume its normal behavior. However, another
Magma Drive before it gets up on its own will prop it back up for
additional punishment.
 

[Magma Drive, {kick13}]
  |
For this to work, your Magma Drive must hit the Nobody when it's facing
Dante; hitting it from behind will not allow you to continue the combo.
The easiest way to finish off a Nobody you've managed to knock out is to
do regular, repeated {kick13}s. None will ever whiff, and they'll keep
the Nobody propped up until it dies. (When the victim is large, doing
this looks particularly uncomfortable.) You can also opt to time quick
or charged Magma Drives to hit right after the Nobody's chin is on the
ground to keep propping it back up again until death. Grenade-kick13ing
also works, as will using the shotgun twitch technique. Against lone
small Nobodies, my favorite method is to plug away with continuous E&I
shots while walking around. Yet another option is to repeatedly do the
Ifrit PPK combo followed by a Magma Drive when the Nobody hits the
ground again. This works the way you'd expect it to against small
Nobodies, but against large ones you want to start the PPK combo after
it starts falling forward and the second punch will miss. What you want
to avoid is doing the final PPKK kick or Magma Driving too early as
either of these will topple a propped-up Nobody onto its back, allowing
it to recover.
 

The problem is that if you simply try Magma Driving a Nobody on the spur
of the moment, you'll fail the vast majority of the time. The Nobody
will typically sidestep your attempt and/or interrupt it with an attack
(or throw) of its own. The Magma Drive's windup even takes too long when
you do the quick, non-charged versions. For the greatest chance for
success you should try to connect with it when the Nobody's vulnerable,
either as it's hopping up and down, putting a mask on to grow larger, or
facing Dante during its Devil Gauge Stealing Song.

Well, not quite. If you've already acquired it, an extremely slick path
to successfully Magma Driving a Nobody on the chin is to use the Time
Bangle. Simply activate the Time Bangle, quick Magma Drive the Nobody's
face, deactivate the Time Bangle, and commence with the kick13ing or
whatever you decide to punish the victim with. If they aren't too close
to one another when time is stopped (and you have enough devil gauge),
you can even Magma Drive multiple Nobodies then start time up and kick13
one to death while the others are incapacitated. This will also help
Dante build devil gauge to use the Time Bangle again.

Turned Nobodies -- Like turned Blades and Frosts, turned Nobodies are
also only hurt marginally less by Infernos. If one remains next to Dante
during the entire blast and survives, only a little more damage will be
required to finish it. It may be possible to knock out a turned Nobody
by DTing right before a Magma Drive hits it in the face (regular ones
won't work) and do the PPK strikes followed by a Kick13 Auto-Combo...
but if you have enough devil gauge for all that, you may as well just
Inferno and be done with it.
 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 NON-IFRIT ENEMY TACTICS
-------------------------

As I mentioned in the introduction, all the enemies in Devil May Cry
have some sort of weakness to a particular devil arm, projectile weapon,
strategy, or sometimes a combination of all three. In the spirit of
being thorough, following are abridged mini-strategies against enemies
the Ifrit gauntlets are not best suited, or simply aren't required, for.
 

- SARGASSOS -

Against the small Sargasso skulls, one grenade gun shot is all you need.
Hold R1 as you approach one, shoot when it advances towards Dante, and
you're done (but you only earn a single red orb for your trouble... or
lack thereof). Grenade-rolling against the large ones works well whether
they're turned or not. In the underwater bridge fights with Alastor,
hold R1 and Stinger2 towards the first Sargasso skull Dante aims at.
Follow that up with one or two slashes to kill it, then Stinger2 to the
next one to travel in a giant circle until the last one is dead. If
you're quick enough with the Stinger2s, you can build a nice long combo.
You can also kill small Sargassos with a single shotgun blast after each
Stinger2.
 

- BEELZEBUBS -

Rapidly firing shotgun blasts will work just fine (the shotgun twitch
technique isn't necessary), as will grenade-rolling. Just try to jump
away when they attempt to spew their larvae at Dante to clog up your
projectile weapon. If you have enough time, and you often will right
when fights against these enemies start, DT and release a fully charged
NB shot to rid yourself of many bugs in one fell swoop. Better yet, wear
the Time Bangle before DTing if you have it.
 

- SIN SCISSORS -

Against groups of Sin Scissors, the safest thing to do is repeatedly
stun them with shotgun blasts then run closer and shoot them again
before they recover. However, when there's only one you may want to go
for a Critical Hit. Equip Alastor, hold the R1 button to keep aiming at
it, and slash once to stun the Sin Scissors when puts Dante between its
scissor blades. When you stun it, will temporarily look off to Dante's
left. If it stays stunned long enough, you can quickly release R1, run
to Dante's left, and shoot it at point blank range in the face with the
shotgun, E&I, or even the slower grenade gun or Nightmare Beta (for this
to work, the Sin Scissors must be looking directly into the barrel of
your projectile weapon; if you just move closer and shoot the _side_ of
its head you won't get it). Sometimes it will recover from the stun
early, but most of the time it won't. You'll know you got a Critical Hit
and not just a normal kill because a few orbs will appear immediately
after they die before a second set appears when the body disintegrates.
It may be easier for some people to keep the R1 button held down after
stunning the Sin Scissors and walk directly in front of its face while
plugging away with E&I to get the Critical Hit that way. However, all
that's required is a single E&I shot to its face before it recovers.
Regardless of the method used, be sure to jump away from the falling
scissors.
 

- SIN SCYTHES -

These enemies are ridiculously easy to finish off with two close-range
shotgun blasts (sometimes just one). Only killing Sargassos with grenade
gun shots is easier. Watch out for falling scythes when one dies.
 

- DEATH SCISSORS -

The quickest way to finish off a Death Scissors is to connect with
multiple Air Hiked or wall-jumped downward Alastor slashes on its mask.
Unfortunately, the Death Scissors will often parry your downward slash
attempts. Repeatedly doing this combo seems to work the best for me:
{rising High Time, jump|Air Hike, downward slash}. You want to rising
High Time up close to the Death Scissors, then jump (ideally off its
head) and downward slash immediately afterwards. You'll have a much
higher success rate doing this than simply Air Hiking or wall-jumping to
repeatedly come down with downward slashes. I believe when Dante's close
enough, jumping off the Death Scissors briefly stuns it, so following
with quick downward slashes results in more hits and fewer parried
attempts. If the Death Scissors is visible lollygagging outside the cage
walls or hovering near the ceiling, repeated projectile weapon fire will
draw it closer so you can continue doing the combo. Should the Death
Scissors ever be directly below Dante you can sometimes keep jumping off
its head to stay above any attacks it does, then try to connect with a
downward slash as it recovers. When it starts corkscrewing through the
cage walls, DT and either Vortex (if you have Vortex-level2, hold down
the attack button to keep Dante spinning... and invulnerable), Air Raid,
or jump when you hear the sound of each corkscrew attempt while moving
around the cage in a large circle until the attack ends. In this battle,
DTing is primarily a defensive tactic rather than an offensive one. If
Dante's on the ground he'll have extra speed to help him evade each
corkscrew attempt and even if one does hit him it won't do as much
damage. With at least 6 symbols of devil gauge, using the Time Bangle
can make this a _really_ short fight. Before it turns, stop time when
the Death Scissors is close to the ground and is holding the scissors in
front of it, run behind it (so your attacks won't be deflected), Air
Hike and downward slash its mask 4 times, deactivate the Time Bangle,
and watch out for the falling scissors.
 

- DEATH SCYTHES -

Although they may be "the highest ranking of all the Sins," they're much
easier to kill than Death Scissors are. If you can, move Dante to an
area where the camera views him from a distance and/or from above. Like
the Death Scissors, repeated projectile weapon fire tends to draw them
closer if they start circling or get too far away. Death Scythes will
then float upwards when they're near Dante, and quickly swoop down next
to him, slashing horizontally with their scythes. When they do, jump
straight up to evade their attack, then Air Hike straight up to get
above them and follow with a downward slash as they recover. They tend
to attack twice in a row via this method, so be prepared counter a
second attempt with another Air Hiked downward slash. Death Scythes will
perish once you connect with four of them. Since you're jumping straight
up and coming down with the slashes, you probably won't activate one of
the tornado mines they scatter about. Any time you do, either downward
slash to quickly come down to the ground again or DT and start Vortexing
to protect Dante. If it summons its extra scythes, try to get above it
by either Air Hiking or jumping straight up off its body then come down
with a final downward slash to kill it before the scythes get there. Of
course, you can also use the Time Bangle against Death Scythes just as
you can against Death Scissors. As always, after killing one of these
enemies jump away from their falling weapons.
 

- KYKLOPSES -

If you don't have a full devil gauge, squeeze in grenade gun shots as
you run and jump to evade the Kyklopses' pouncing attempts and the rocks
they spit until you do. Then simply jump (Air Hiking's even safer), DT,
and start Air Raiding. If you concentrate all of your Air Raid bolts on
one Kyklops while moving around to dodge any flying rocks, that will be
enough to kill it. Afterwards, Dante will often run out of devil gauge
and drop to the ground (you may have to evade attacks for a little
while). Eventually, you'll be rewarded for the death of the first
Kyklops with a full devil gauge and can return to Air Raiding and finish
off the second one. Occasionally you'll manage to kill the first Kyklops
quickly enough that Dante will remain DTed in flight mode the entire
time.
 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 DMD PHANTOM 2
---------------

Phantom can be a tough cookie to crumble when you first face him, but
this Ifrit strategy should make this battle a lot easier. You'd _think_
this magma monster would be immune to or at least take reduced damage
from the Ifrit's fire-based attacks; just be glad he doesn't. Besides,
you've surely heard the saying... "Fight fire _with_ fire."
 

- REQUIRED/HELPFUL ABILITIES & WEAPONS -

Rolling Blaze, Inferno, Kick13-level2, and to a lesser extent
Meteor-level2 are all helpful in this battle. You'll want to wield the
grenade gun as your projectile weapon.
 

- HOW DO I HURT PHANTOM? -

You can normally only hurt Phantom with attacks that strike him in the
head or abdomen when he's in spider-form. When he takes his
scorpion-form you can attack/shoot where his abdomen used to be for
damage as well. Generally you'll want to attack his head. Relying on Air
Raid or Vortex-level2 to get past Phantom quickly and easily does _not_
work in DMD mode. Air Raid does a piddly amount of damage to him now,
and Phantom spins away whenever you Vortex2 him to minimize the damage
done. Grenade gun shots, Infernos, and kick13s will be your primary
means of punishing Phantom now.
 

- FIGHTING PHANTOM 2 - (defense)

Phantom can take two forms during this battle: spider and scorpion.
Following are Phantom's attacks when he's in spider-form:

Fireballs -- When Phantom prepares to shoot a fireball, the area around
his mouth glows bright yellow as it charges up. Sometimes the glow may
be visible even when Phantom is not due to a poor camera angle. There
will be a quick circular pulse of energy around his mouth a split-second
before the fireball comes out. He can aim his fireballs either upwards
at a 30 degree angle or horizontally. He can also fire two fireballs in
quick succession. Often, he hops backwards a little before charging the
fireball(s) to trick you into jumping towards him and into harm's way.
In any case, there are three ways to avoid getting hit. If you are able
to kick13 (or flame-kick after a jump) Phantom in the face when the
fireball is half-charged, it will often explode prematurely and Phantom
will take damage, becoming stunned as he rears back. In the event you're
directly in front of Phantom's mouth but don't think you have time for
this, you want to jump diagonally to one of his sides and continue
running or jumping towards his hind end to avoid the second fireball if
he decides to fire it. At mid- or long-range, you want to roll to evade
the first fireball (rolling when you see the circular pulse), then jump
in the same direction to avoid a possible second fireball. By the way,
if a fireball strikes Dante during a Rolling Blazed jump, it will
detonate without harming him (this may not hold true if you're jumping
_towards_ the fireball... don't do that). Unfortunately, there's no way
to deflect them back at Phantom for damage like you can with the swords.

Claw Swipes -- Phantom can do one of two versions of these claws swipes
when Dante is near his face. If Dante is close to only one claw, Phantom
will try to swipe once with it as he pivots in that direction. However,
if Dante is directly in front of Phantom's face, there will be two
swipes, one from each claw, as Phantom advances forward a little.
Jumping in any direction except directly towards whichever claw is
swiping is all you need to do to avoid taking damage, even without
Rolling Blaze. If you lure him into doing the double claw-swipes you can
easily jump away from and attack him before he recovers from the failed
attempt. Just be ready to jump/roll immediately upon landing if he opts
to do another attack instead.

Pouncing Spider -- Phantom's legs constrict and tense up, glowing in
flames as he stores up his energy. Then in an incredible feat of
strength he launches his heavily armored body high into the air in an
attempt to land on top of Dante. Your natural instinct will be to jump
away immediately... _don't_. when Phantom's on his way back down, you
can Rolling Blaze _through_ his body without getting hurt (and doing a
little damage to him) as long as he was nearby when he leaped. Until you
get the timing down, you want to jump when the flame trail at Phantom's
starting position vanishes. The best direction to jump is towards where
Phantom originally was so Dante will land directly behind him, safe from
most of his attacks. If he leaps at you from a distance, you'll get hurt
if you try to jump towards him as he falls; jump away instead.

Hidden Lava Plumes -- Like an ostrich, Phantom buries his face into the
ground. Shortly afterwards, six lava plumes will emerge one at a time,
starting wherever Dante's standing and following him around until the
last one appears. The only thing you can do to avoid getting hit by them
is to keep moving. Running will be enough to keep you ahead of them;
however, jumping while evading this attack is a bad idea since you can't
continue moving horizontally until you land again. Of all Phantom's
attacks this is probably the easiest one to get hit by, especially when
he's off-camera. So, whenever you can't see what Phantom's doing, keep
running around until you can again before firing grenades, taunting, or
doing anything else that keeps Dante stationary and vulnerable.
Sometimes, Phantom hops back before this attack, lulling you into
thinking a fireball attack is starting up instead of this one. When you
do realize the lava plumes are coming, you can lead them in a path that
takes you in front of Phantom. After that, jump and flame-kick him in
the face after the final lava plume appears for an easy counter that
will stun him, allowing you to escape retaliation. By the way, the lava
plumes will even go through Phantom's body to hit Dante; sadly, this
doesn't hurt the magma spider a bit.

When Phantom takes his scorpion-form he gains some extra attacks, but it
becomes much easier to jump onto his back and attack him when you land
there successfully. Following are the additional attacks Phantom can do
after his abdomen unravels into a scorpion tail:

Scorpion Sting -- Phantom twitches his tail then tries to catch Dante
with the stinger on the end of it, occasionally throwing him if it
connects. If Dante is in front of Phantom, the stinger will thrust
forward towards him. Evade it by jumping to the side and/or away from
him. If Dante is near one of Phantom's sides, the tail will swipe that
side in a wider area attack. Jump away from Phantom, or towards his
rear. In Normal and Hard modes, this was a pretty sad attack. However,
in DMD mode the Scorpion Sting comes out much quicker, and the "side"
versions are especially dangerous. Any time Phantom is in scorpion form,
you'll always be safe from getting stung when Dante's behind him or has
jumped and landed on top of his body. (If you do get stung and Dante is
thrown, be sure to watch him rise to his feet.)

Fire From The Sky -- Phantom charges a fireball, but this time there is
no yellow glow beforehand, and it shoots upward from his back into the
sky. A second later, five fireballs will rain down on him from above. In
ways, this is simply an aerial version of the Hidden Lava Plumes attack,
only a bit more difficult to avoid. Again, jumping is a bad idea as
Dante won't be able to keep moving while he falls back to the ground and
will probably get hit. There are two ways to avoid this attack. The
first is to recognize when it's coming early on, choose a direction with
lots of space, and run in a straight line until the fireballs stop.
Every fireball comes from point of origin above Phantom's head, so you
can also dodge them by keeping the same distance from his body as you
run clockwise or counterclockwise around him until they stop. If you
were slow to realize this attack was coming, perhaps due to a poor
camera angle, quickly press the Start button and switch to Alastor via
the menu. Hold the analog stick in a direction as you exit the menu so
Dante will be running when he returns to the battle; DT to run even
faster if you can. An offensive option is to quickly hurt Phantom enough
to make him reel back by attacking his face just after he starts
executing this attack (the Kick13 Auto-Combo works nicely). Once he
reels back, this will prevent any fireballs that haven't already begun
coming down from doing so. However, any time all the fireballs fall to
the ground, Phantom's armor will become Burnt Out as this attack ends.

(Burnt Out) -- Whenever he finishes his Fire From The Sky attack, and
occasionally after he's released several fireballs, Phantom becomes
"burnt out." His armor temporarily turns to ash, and offers no
protection from any of Dante's attacks. Take advantage of this
vulnerability by either burning or earning devil gauge with the Ifrit.
When Phantom recovers from being Burnt Out, he'll always fire one or two
fireballs in the general direction he's facing. However, these fireballs
can't be detonated prematurely via kick13s to Phantom's face.

Fatal Claw -- Phantom reaches out with his right claw in a grab attempt
when Dante's near his face. If he succeeds, he may slam Dante on the
ground a few times and then you'll be treated to one of those
red-screened animations you see whenever he dies from an enemy's throw.
The claw moves pretty slowly, so evading this attack via a jump should
not be a problem. However, Phantom won't even attempt this "fatality
throw" unless Dante has so little health that he'll die from it.
 

- FIGHTING PHANTOM 2 - (offense)

Fighting Phantom isn't terribly complicated. When you're not evading his
attacks; you should be executing or trying to set up one of these three
tactics.

Bait And Switch -- When Phantom approaches Dante while protecting his
face with his front claws, wait for him to get close and fire a grenade
right when he moves them. Cancel out of the grenade gun's recoil time by
jumping (or kickflipping) away from Phantom. If the spider/scorpion
hasn't recovered from his claw swipe(s), fire another grenade (followed
by an optional kick13 if you want to press your luck) immediately after
landing. Now if possible, try to do the same thing again. Three
successful grenade hits to Phantom's face will make him rear back in
pain. Continue doing this as long as you have room when you're trying to
earn devil gauge. An alternative way to use this tactic is to shoot him
in the face with one grenade (make sure it actually hits his face and
isn't blocked by a front claw), then lure him into a double Claw Swipe
attack. This time jump back towards his face, DT, and hit Phantom with
an Inferno right after the second swipe misses. The Inferno will make
him rear back, giving Dante enough time to recover and escape any
counterattack.

Scissors Cut Rock -- When Phantom does his Pouncing Spider at close
range, jump towards him as he's coming down to Rolling Blaze though his
body and land behind him. After you land, start kick13ing (or
grenade-kick13ing) him. Although your attacks will be rendered harmless
by Phantom's armor, they'll build devil gauge rather quickly. The
spider/scorpion typically reacts to this situation in one of three ways.
First, he may leap back into the air with another Pouncing Spider
attempt. Even if you whiff one of your kick13s (or grenades) when he
jumps, you'll still have time to Rolling Blaze through his body and land
behind him again. Second, he may hop away while simultaneously spinning
to face Dante and begin one of his attacks. All you have to do is
continue kick13ing towards his face to interrupt whatever attack he's
attempting. When you interrupt him, he'll be stunned and reel back so
you'll have time to get away before he recovers. Third, he may opt to
just slowly turn and face you. Continue kick13ing his armor as he
rotates, jumping away when you get close to his front claw in case he
tries to swipe you with it. Afterwards, go back to the Bait And Switch
tactic.

Burn Him When He's Down -- If you're nearby with 5 or more symbols of
devil gauge when Phantom becomes Burnt Out you should leap towards his
face and execute this combo as quickly as you can: [DT, Inferno,
grenade, RB kickflip, (optional grenade), RB hop-jump towards, Inferno].
Skip the optional grenade unless you're already jumping towards
Phantom's face to start the combo as the fifth fireball comes down. The
combo's final Inferno should interrupt Phantom's fireball attempt once
he recovers from being Burnt Out. He'll reel back which will give Dante
the opportunity to escape. If you're further than a jump away, DT and
charge a Meteor2 shot until it auto-releases. Then fire shots rapidly
until Phantom's armor protects him again. In case it's not obvious, when
Phantom's armor is solid it will protect him from Infernos as well as M2
shots; those attacks can only harm him when they contact his face.

Any time Dante's far from Phantom, keep grenade-rolling to build-up
devil gauge until he jumps or crawls closer, paying special attention to
any attacks he starts. Whenever the camera's only on Dante, run/roll
until you can see Phantom again so you aren't surprised by one.
Listening will help you identify most of them, except for Hidden Lava
Plumes.
 

- WHEN PHANTOM'S HEALTH HITS THE RED - (defense)

Phantom moves and does physical attacks more quickly once his life bar
(and his body) is red. The tactics described above still work, but you
may be taken by surprise by his sudden bursts of speed if you aren't
aware of them. Phantom can actually outrun Dante when he's wearing the
Ifrit gauntlets (but if he tries to hit him with the Claw Swipes,
they'll miss as long as you keep running). For this reason, you should
either take extra care when doing the Bait And Switch tactic (keep
running and only fire grenades/Inferno just after the second Claw Swipe
comes out) or avoid it altogether.
 

- THE "OTHER" WAY TO DEFEAT PHANTOM - (offense)

You may have noticed the circular glass skylight in the center of the
battlefield. You may have also noticed that when Phantom lands on it
after his Pouncing Spider attack the glass is damaged a little. If you
can trick Phantom into jumping onto it five times, it will shatter
completely and the battle will be over. At the very beginning of the
match, run towards the middle of the skylight, then jump towards the
spot where Phantom leaped from. When you land, start doing the Scissors
Cut Rock tactic described above. Sometimes you can get Phantom to jump
and smash the glass three or four times in a row before he switches to a
different attack. Rolling Blaze makes it fairly easy to defeat Phantom
this way before barely a fraction of his health is gone.
 

- DANGERS OF EXCESSIVE JUMPING - (defense)

One of the biggest problems you may come across when using the Ifrit
gauntlets against Phantom is that he tends to catch you with his
Pouncing Spider attack a lot more often than he did when you wielded
Alastor. This is probably because you've become really accustomed to
jumping so frequently with Air Hike without many negative consequences.
However, Rolling Blaze only protects Dante on the way _up_. With Ifrit,
you want to jump to avoid Phantom's Claw Swipes, Fireballs, Scorpion
Stings, and to RB through his Pouncing Spider attempts. Any other time,
try to run or roll instead. If you jump when you're not forced to, and
Phantom opts to do his Pouncing Spider attack immediately afterwards,
the chances Dante will land in time to Rolling Blaze through his body
instead of getting squished are pretty slim. That goes double for
whiffed flame-kick attempts; earning devil gauge by repeatedly
flame-kicking then bouncing off of Phantom's armor is a terrible idea.
In addition to those reasons, you can't always evade the Hidden Lava
Plumes or Fire From The Sky attacks unless Dante's feet are on the
ground. So, unnecessary jumping is definitely something you should try
to curtail unless you don't mind taking a hit or two...
 

- PHANTOM 1 DIFFERENCES & NOTES -

Differences -- since you're indoors, Phantom will never use the Fire
From The Sky attack when he takes scorpion-form (he'll use Hidden Lava
Plumes instead)

Miscellaneous Notes -- the camera _hates_ you in this battle, it often
aims at Dante without simultaneously showing you what Phantom's doing :
whenever you can't see Phantom do _not_ attack him, try to run towards
an area where the camera will change angles so you _can_ see him,
watching/listening for telltale indicators of his attacks : use the
pillars as protection from fireballs, but don't stand too close since
the blasts can still hit you through them : you can taunt for extra
devil gauge symbols when there's a pillar between you and Phantom _only_
when you're certain he's shooting a fireball... never taunt if he might
attack with Hidden Lava Plumes instead
 

- STUPID PHANTOM TRICK -

I originally beat DMD Phantom 1 by DTing with Alastor and using
fully-charged then hop-jumped and Air Hiked shots with Nightmare Beta
(which travel through his armor nicely), switching to Ifrit and the
grenade gun when I needed to build devil gauge (so I could flame-kick
Phantom's face when he missed his attacks). This strategy is only
recommended for patient people as this method takes longer than using
Ifrit abilities alone to defeat him; but you can still use it to get an
S mission rank against Phantom 1 or Phantom 2.
 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 DMD GRIFFON 1
---------------

Dodging a few of Griffon 1's attacks can be a real pain, but once you
learn how to successfully and consistently this battle is more about
endurance than anything else.
 

- REQUIRED/HELPFUL ABILITIES & WEAPONS -

Rolling Blaze and Inferno are the most useful skills in this battle.
Meteor-level2 can also be helpful. The E&I handguns are the best
projectile weapons to use in this fight.
 

- DON'T FIGHT AFTER THE CUTSCENE - (offense/defense)

Immediately after the cutscene ends, Dante will be in front of the
entrance and Griffon will be off to the right, out of sight of the
camera, starting up one of his lightning bolt attacks. This is the worst
possible scenario; you can't see Griffon and you don't know which attack
is coming. So, immediately after the cutscene ends, run back through the
door into the area you originally found the Ifrit gauntlets in.

If necessary, shoot Blades with the grenade gun to build your devil
gauge up to the maximum, then go back to face Griffon. Things will go
much differently this time around. Griffon will be standing to the left
of the door waiting for you when you enter this time. After his life bar
fills up, he'll hop next to Dante without attacking. You can DT as he
does and hit him with a free Inferno. Afterwards, just stand there.
Griffon will hop away, but occasionally hops right back for another
Inferno (definitely try to chase him down for a third if he does). If he
doesn't hop back towards Dante immediately, he's getting ready to fire a
mid-range lightning attack. Quickly hold down the R1 button and fire a
few E&I shots to get the camera behind you, then prepare to jump to
avoid whatever's coming.
 

- FIGHTING GRIFFON 1 - (defense)

Lightning V's -- Griffon starts with a horizontal bolt of electricity
Dante will have to leap over, then electric V's emerge from his beak and
close in on Dante from both sides. Jump to the left or right as the
"low" V's close in so a "high" V will be shot next. Continue jumping
until the attack is over, working in a few E&I shots between each V if
you feel like it. This is usually a mid-range Griffon attack.

Horizontal Bolts -- Griffon precedes this attack with an initial
Lightning V, then horizontal bolts are fired at Dante. They track
Dante's height, so you'll jump to evade the first one, then the third,
etc. You can also fire a few E&I shots between bolts for a little
damage/devil gauge whether you're in the air or on the ground. This is
also typically used as a mid-range attack.

Lightning Spider Web v1 -- While Griffon is airborne, he screeches then
shoots a ball of energy onto the ground. From it, a Lightning V emerges,
which Dante must jump to the side to avoid as it closes in. After the
lines of the V combine, they form bolts of energy which then zigzag
horizontally around the battlefield. First, a faint outline of each bolt
will appear, giving you a chance to avoid it by jumping or rolling away
before it fully charges and becomes dangerous. After evading the initial
V, jumping/rolling to the left or right is often all that's needed to
evade the subsequent bolts, which may also enable you to keep the camera
on Griffon. This is important, since he often fires several of these in
a row. As the next V closes, any remaining bolts from the previous
attacks will vanish just before you hit the ground after jumping to
evade it (unless you jump really early). Griffon can use this attack at
any time, regardless of his distance from Dante.

Lightning Spider Web v2 -- Two Lightning V's simultaneously emerge from
Griffon's beak. All of the beams converge at a point in front of him and
you should jump diagonally away to whichever side looks safer to avoid
getting hit. After all the beams converge, they also form a solid bolt
of lightning that zigzags, with each new bolt being preceded by a faint
outline beforehand. The big difference is that these bolts travel in
_all_ directions instead of just horizontally. You need to jump, roll,
and run to avoid getting hit. This is usually a mid- or long-range
attack, and Griffon can do it whether he's standing or airborne.

Lightning Plunge -- Griffon flies very high into the air, then several
lighting bolts strike the ground near Dante as he swoops down with his
claws and slams onto the ground, typically screeching once after
landing. To avoid this attack, all you need to do is be running in any
direction other than towards him when he lands. He usually does the
Lightning Plunge when you're at short- or mid-range, but every so often
as a long-range attack too.

Carpet Bombing -- Griffon hovers in the air, faces Dante, then glides
towards him. Energy orbs fall to the ground behind him which will damage
Dante if they hit him. The demo shows Dante leaping through the energy
orbs, destroying them with Rolling Blaze as he does. This is a bit
tricky since he can't touch Griffon's wing tips or legs, which may hurt
Dante if he contacts them whether he's on the ground or jumping. The
easiest way to avoid this attack is to run to the side as Griffon
approaches and jump in the same general direction Dante's headed but
just a little towards where Griffon's coming from a split second before
his beak will be above Dante. You can also roll to the side at this
moment, and Rolling Blaze away afterwards. If you must jump from
underneath Griffon, do it at an angle between his wings and feet so you
don't hit them. Sometimes he makes two or three bombing runs in a row
before landing. Other times, he'll precede each one with a Lightning
Spider Web v1 attack (or even v2 every once in a while) which can make
evading the Carpet Bombing attack quite difficult; run and jump in
whichever direction is clear to (hopefully) give you ample room to avoid
the energy orbs.

Electrocution Bolts -- Griffon telegraphs this attack by charging his
body with lightning, which then spreads to form a "shield" of dangerous
bolts around him, and then fires three electricity bolts towards Dante.
The bolts home in on him, and the best way to avoid them is by rolling
to the side right before they hit. After each homing bolt, a follow-up
wave of lightning bolts travel from Griffon towards Dante. They'll miss
him as long as he stands still after each roll. Separating the homing
bolts from the rest of the lightning around Griffon is extremely
difficult when the camera is too close. So, if you're nearby when he
starts this attack, there are two good options. You can Inferno/Rolling
Blaze/flame-kick him like crazy in the hopes of bringing him down before
the shield bolts become dangerous, or switch weapons to Alastor via the
Start button and run away (DTing if you can) when you don't think going
berserk has a chance of succeeding. Griffon can initiate this attack
regardless of the distance between him and Dante, but he'll usually be
in one of the "corners" of the battlefield when he does (especially the
one that has the Holy Water on top of the building).

Panic Attack -- When you manage to jump too close before Griffon
finishes one of his attacks, he switches to this annoying short-range
"panic attack" where he fires 2 V's simultaneously diagonally in front
of him. This often occurs when you're in the midst of a Rolling
Blaze/Inferno assault. If possible, try to jump/roll to his side and a
little behind his feet to avoid getting hit. It's very easy to get
caught by this short-range attack, but if you're really close to Griffon
when he starts one of the others, you may want to risk it.
 

- FIGHTING GRIFFON 1 - (offense)

The basic plan is to spend most of the battle holding R1 as you back
away from Griffon while shooting at him with E&I to build devil gauge.
This should keep the camera on him and enable you to correctly identify
and dodge his lightning attacks. When he charges towards Dante and you
want to continue earning devil gauge, jump/hop-jump towards, then
_through_ him with Rolling Blaze for some damage. When you land,
continue walking away while shooting him with E&I as he turns around.
Whenever your devil gauge is full and Griffon's far away, feel free to
fire DTed shots at him for a while.

If you want to live dangerously, when you have plenty of devil gauge and
Griffon runs at you, DT and jump/hop-jump towards him, doing an Inferno
immediately after the Rolling Blaze connects. Try hitting him with
additional Infernos after that. It helps when Griffon is sandwiched
between Dante and a wall so his attempts to hop away from your Infernos
will fail. When this isn't possible, keep jumping to his sides with
Infernos whenever possible (so you don't get struck by his attacks) to
bring him down to the ground. If he does manage to hop away, let the
analog stick center during a jump so you can flame-kick to get close
again. If you're not certain you'll be able to hit him with three
Infernos, deactivate DT, back off and return to plugging away with E&I
while increasing the distance between the two of you.

Hitting Griffon with three Infernos will usually be enough to make him
fall to the ground. If it doesn't, it'll only take a few more Rolling
Blaze hits and/or flame-kicks to do so. When he's near, Rolling Blaze
towards his head/body, then off to the left or right, and follow up with
a flame-kick if he hasn't started a lightning attack so you'll land
alongside Griffon instead of making Dante an easy target.

Whenever Griffon falls, he will be briefly invulnerable to all of
Dante's attacks. The safe thing to do is start backing away firing E&I
as fast as you can. When Griffon gets up, you'll be far away, and he'll
almost always charge towards you and do a beak attack. By the time he
gets there and you have to Rolling Blaze through him, your 10 symbols of
devil gauge will be nearly filled. If you want to Inferno him while he's
down instead, stay close while shooting him with E&I until the shots
start doing damage, then Inferno once or twice (use E&I shots to shorten
the recovery time), then deactivate DT and start backing away and firing
to earn back some devil gauge. Infernoing while Griffon's lying on the
ground is "free" damage, but none of it counts towards knocking him down
again until he's standing upright.

While dodging the Lightning V's and Horizontal Bolts attacks, you can
jump early when the "low" ones are released and fire two to four E&I
shots at the peak of your jump to ensure the next one will be "high"
while earning a little extra damage/devil gauge. During the Lightning
V's, you may have time to fire a few shots on the ground, too.

If you avoid the Lightning Plunge by running, you can leap back towards
Griffon as soon as he lands, DT in mid-air, and hit him with an Inferno.
Use an E&I shot to cut the Inferno's recovery time short, then hop-jump
and do another while Griffon screeches.

Should Griffon fall to the ground when you're far away, you can fire
DTed E&I or fully-charged Meteor2 shots (which work particularly well in
this battle) at him when you have devil gauge, or regular E&I shots if
you don't.
 

- WHEN GRIFFON IS ABOUT TO DIE - (defense)

When Griffon's life bar is depleted, dangerous bolts of lighting will
surround the immediate area as he escapes. So be careful not to kill him
with an Inferno or physical attack to prevent Dante from taking needless
damage. Use E&I or Meteor2 shots to safely finish him from a distance.
 

- MISCELLANEOUS INFO - (offense/defense)

In the Griffon 1 and 3 battles, several red circular platforms appear
that I guess are supposed to somehow help you in this battle.
Personally, I hate them. The only time I jump onto one is by accident
when it wasn't in view of the camera, then my jumping patterns are
thrown off until I land on the ground again (sometimes getting hit).
Maybe you're meant to use them to avoid the Lightning Spider Web v1
attacks, but Griffon always switches attacks when you do this anyway.
Also, the platforms appear and vanish without warning, sometimes
dropping you into the very attack you jumped on them to avoid. In my
opinion, there's only one beneficial thing they do in this battle...

Sometimes during the Carpet Bombing attack, Griffon will get "stuck,"
dropping the energy orbs beneath him harmlessly. Usually, this happens
when he's in a corner of the battlefield (sometimes fenced in by the
little platforms that appear), or is trying to glide towards Dante along
the curved edge of the coliseum. You can just stand there and shoot him
with E&I or Meteor2 shots as he diligently keeps trying to advance. He
typically gives up and returns to the ground after three to five failed
bombing attempts. Take advantage of the opportunity to wear down his
health until he does.

Avoid going into the corner that has the Holy Water on top of the
building at all costs during this battle. When Dante's back there, the
camera will be on him, and you won't be able to see what Griffon's
doing. Even worse, Griffon often uses his Horizontal Bolts attack when
you're there, but the bolts will come out about three times faster than
normal making them _extremely_ difficult to avoid. Other places Dante
can be that agitate Griffon are inside of the enclosure you exited just
before you saw the Blades cutscene and the secluded area to the right of
that with the movable tombstone. Hanging out in any of these places too
long pretty much guarantees Dante's death (the Blades enclosure is my
favorite, since you can see what's going on by holding R1, albeit not
for very long unless you use an Untouchable Star). These may be
glitches, or perhaps Griffon roosts in these areas and he's fiercely
territorial...
 

- STUPID GRIFFON 1 TRICK -

You _never_ have to fight Griffon 1 in Devil May Cry, _ever_. When you
first get the Ifrit gauntlets in Normal mode, it's possible to light the
torch to the right of door you have to use to leave this area via an
Ifrit attack during the Griffon 1 fight, complete the rest of the
mission, and _still_ earn an S-rank when the results are tallied (why,
Capcom... why?) so long as you earned enough orbs and didn't take too
much damage (fulfilling the time requirement after skipping this boss
battle should pose no difficulty). To make this even easier to bypass,
re-enter the "gauntlets area" after the cutscene ends, switch to Alastor
via the Start menu, and return. While Griffon's life bar fills, DT and
use whatever devil gauge you have for extra speed as you run towards the
exit on the right. When you reach the unlit torch, switch to Ifrit via
the Start menu, punch once to light it, roll to the left immediately
after it's lit, and run through the door. If all goes well, Dante won't
get scratched. Or you can dodge Griffon's attacks as you slowly make
your way to the door instead, looking for an opening to punch the torch
and exit. Finally, you can fight Griffon using Alastor until he falls,
making a break for the door while he's down. (As much as I like the
Ifrit gauntlets, until you invest red orbs in their abilities they're
not too useful.)

If you don't want to even _see_ Griffon 1, you can save and then reset
your game after collecting the items in the Ifrit gauntlets room. By
doing this in Normal mode, all of the items (including the gauntlets,
which you can now buy abilities for prior to starting the mission again)
will be in your inventory. Now defeat the three Blades after the
cutscene a second time, then either go light the torch and exit to skip
the battle entirely or if you'd been saving up red orbs in anticipation
of acquiring the gauntlets you can take your newly-purchased Ifrit
abilities for a Griffon 1 test drive.

In Hard and DMD modes, avoiding this fight is even easier. Just don't
enter the area where you originally found the Ifrit gauntlets in the
first place. Since they're already in your inventory, equip them, punch
the door, and exit. You can even earn an S mission rank doing this, too
(bad, Capcom... bad!). One drawback to taking advantage of this loophole
is that you'll be forfeiting some helpful stuff if you bypass the
Griffon 1 battle this way in the later difficulties. There's a devil
star in the gauntlets room as well as a yellow orb (assuming you picked
up the blue one in Normal), but the big draw is the giant 1000 red orb
piece where the Ifrit gauntlets used to be. Of course, there's nothing
stopping you from making a mad dash for the exit after you've defeated
the Blades and collected these goodies or using the save/reset/reload
method... except your sense of pride in the knowledge that you truly met
every challenge Devil May Cry could throw at you, that is...
 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 DMD GRIFFON 2
---------------

Until you know what to do, this can be one of the most exacerbatingly
difficult battles in the game...
 

- REQUIRED/HELPFUL ABILITIES & WEAPONS -

Rolling Blaze is helpful, but Inferno is the essential ability for this
battle's strategy. Again, you'll want to equip the E&I handguns.
 

- FIGHTING GRIFFON 2 - (defense)

Due to the confined nature of the battlefield, the developers decided to
make Griffon's lightning attacks a bit less lengthy during this battle.
You should be very happy they did; I know I am...

Some of Griffon's attacks are altered versions of the ones he used in
the previous encounter. To save you some time, at the end of each
attack's description and notes I've indicated whether the text is new,
has been updated, or is the same as what you may have read before.

Energy Wing -- If there's a single attack Griffon does that will stick
in your mind as the most irritating, odds are this is the one. Griffon
approaches Dante and attaches a red wing of energy to him with yellow
electric bolts that act like a rubber band. There's no way to avoid this
attack, or prevent Griffon from doing it. The "bolt rubber bands"
perpetually pull the red energy wing towards Dante. The first time Dante
is struck, he doesn't get hurt, but will be shot up to the top of the
battlefield then fall down to the deck of the ship again as the energy
wing continues to bounce towards him. After that, the red energy wing
will typically hit him for damage, stunning Dante in the process which
may leave him vulnerable to any other attacks Griffon's doing.
Sometimes, Dante may be re-launched into the air again. Eventually, the
red energy wing will vanish on its own, but that's not good enough.
You'll want to eliminate the blasted thing as soon as possible so you
can concentrate on avoiding any other attacks without interference. Jump
over it as it approaches and immediately start shooting it with E&I as
it passes by. I think your shots do more damage when the energy wing is
moving away from you, and Dante can fire faster in the air then he can
while standing. You'll usually have to do this several times before it
is destroyed. If your timing is good, you can hop-jump through it for
additional damage via Rolling Blaze. In the event Dante gets launched up
into the air, immediately DT if you can and mash the shoot button to hit
the energy wing as many times as possible. Often, you'll destroy it
before you land again. Annoyingly, you don't earn any devil gauge for
damaging the energy wing since it's an attack. (new)

Lightning V's -- While airborne at mid-range, Griffon releases up to
three V's that emerge from his beak and close in on Dante from both
sides. Since Griffon will be airborne and Dante will be on the deck of
the ship below him, you should run, hop-jump, or jump towards or away
from Griffon to avoid each V depending on how the two of you are
oriented to one another. Often, there's also a horizontal "lightning
spider web" attack after the first V closes. (updated)

Horizontal Bolts -- While airborne, Griffon fires up to three horizontal
bolts at Dante. Again, when he's firing from above Dante, jump or run
towards or away from him to avoid the bolts depending on his angle of
attack. Like the Lightning V's, this is also a mid-range attack.
(updated)

Lightning Spider Web v2 -- Two Lightning V's simultaneously emerge from
Griffon's beak as he hovers in the air. All of the beams converge at a
point in front of him and you should jump diagonally away to whichever
side looks safer to avoid getting hit. After all the beams converge,
they also form a solid bolt of lightning that zigzags around in random
directions, with each new bolt being preceded by a faint outline before
becoming dangerous. The big difference is that these bolts travel in
_all_ directions instead of just horizontally. All you need to do is
jump, roll, and run to avoid getting hit. This is usually a mid- or
long-range attack, and he can do it whether he's standing or airborne.
(same)

Electrocution Bolts -- Griffon flies between the middle and rear masts
or to the bow of the ship, screeches, then drops onto the deck. If Dante
is standing on the deck, he'll be momentarily stunned and take a tiny
bit of damage; jump when you hear the screech so this won't happen.
After landing, Griffon starts charging his body with lightning, which
eventually spreads to form a "shield" of dangerous bolts around him, and
then fires three electricity bolts towards Dante. Like several of the
lightning bolt attacks, this one has been toned down to make it more
manageable to avoid on the cluttered deck of the ship, but now it's just
lame. When you see each of the three initial flashes, Dante's location
is noted and several vertical bolts of lightning travel towards it.
Beyond that, these lightning bolts have no homing capabilities (although
some of the trailing bolts stray a bit to the left or right of the
rest), and they move slowly enough that only running room is needed to
evade them. After you've moved to safety, you'll even have time to do a
double-handed taunt before the next bolt comes. (updated)
 

- THE GRIFFON 2 PATTERN - (offense)

Destroy any Energy Wings Griffon attaches to you as described above and
avoid his other aerial lightning bolt attacks, but hang around on the
lowest deck of the ship as much as possible instead of climbing the
masts or staying up near the captain's door. Other than DTing to destroy
any Energy Wings that launch you into the air, try to conserve devil
gauge as much as possible; you'll need at least 3 symbols (ideally 4) to
start the pattern.

Eventually Griffon will land in the area between the middle and rear
masts of the ship and the screen will go dark as he winds up his
Electrocution Bolts. This attack is _horrible_, for Griffon, that is.
When the third vertical wave of lighting bolts is fired, you want Dante
to be standing on the deck on the other side of the middle mast (in
other words, you'll see Dante in foreground, the center mast, and then
Griffon behind that). As soon as you see the flash indicating the final
bolt is on its way, run to the right and through the corridor towards
Griffon.

If you have at least 4 devil gauge symbols jump towards and Inferno him
at the earliest opportunity, then when Dante's DTed silhouette "blinks"
afterwards hop-jump straight up and Inferno again. You want the Infernos
to hit Griffon, but you don't want to accidentally Rolling Blaze
into/through him yourself. The second Inferno should strike Griffon
right as he's squatting to leap back into the air again (if you can only
do a single Inferno, I think this is when you want to hit him). After
that, move a little closer to the corridor "entrance" and plug away at
him with E&I to earn back some devil gauge. Around 90-95% of the time
he'll screech and land on the deck again (jump midway through the
screech so Dante doesn't get stunned).

Now Griffon's gathering his energy for another ineffective Electrocution
Bolts attack. Build up devil gauge using either E&I or simply by
taunting. You should be able to earn at least 3 or 4 symbols worth
before the screen goes dark again. When that happens, run through the
corridor in a straight line towards the foreground so the first bolt
won't hit you. Now you're in a corner. After he fires the second bolt,
run from that corner to the left, so Dante, then the middle mast, and
finally Griffon are all in a straight line. When he fires the final
lightning bolt, start the pattern over again as described above. (If for
some reason you didn't earn enough devil gauge before the bolts started
coming; you actually have time to taunt after evading the first two
bolts to earn some more... you only need 4 symbols to get two Infernos
off back-to-back anyway.)

Sometimes the pattern gets broken and you have to dodge the Energy Wings
and his other attacks again, but occasionally Griffon sticks to his
pattern until the very end (despite the fact that it's not working well
at all).

After many, many frustrating DMD Griffon 2 battles, discovering this
pattern enabled me to ultimately earn an itemless "S" ranking for this
mission.
 

- WHEN GRIFFON IS ABOUT TO DIE - (defense)

Killing off Griffon with an Inferno is a really bad idea, as he releases
multiple lightning bolts around his body once his life bar is depleted
like Griffon 1 does. To make matters worse, he always flies towards
Dante as he leaves the ship with more seemingly random, but still
dangerous, bolts striking beneath him (and I think above him, too). So,
use a projectile weapon to finish him, then move Dante to an area of the
ship where you've got plenty of left/right space to roll, jump, and pray
so those parting strikes will miss. If you can, DT (or stay DTed) so if
Dante is struck it will be for less damage.
 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 DMD GRIFFON 3
---------------

Griffon 3 is easily dealt with in this battle once you learn to evade
his many attacks and play a mid- to long-distance game against him. You
can also fight him up-close and personal by trying to continually put
him on the ground over and over again, but the potential for Dante
taking damage is greater.
 

- REQUIRED/HELPFUL ABILITIES & WEAPONS -

Rolling Blaze, Meteor-level2, and Inferno are the most important
abilities for this battle. As always against Griffon, choose E&I as your
projectile weapons.
 

- BEFORE YOU START THE BATTLE -

It's recommended that you have a full devil gauge, or at the very
minimum enough to DT, before activating the cutscene that precedes this
battle. You can enter the coliseum and exit to fight a Death Scythe
which will reward you with a full gauge when you defeat it.

When you enter the coliseum, either take one of the "elevator beams" to
the upper level, or jump onto the inner edge of the stands, jump towards
the center of the coliseum from there, then Air Hike in the opposite
direction to reach the upper level that way. Once there, make your way
to the topmost level. Take a green orb (or both) if you need some more
health, then make your way to the center of the upper walkway to trigger
the yellow orb (blue, if you've managed to miss it until now) to fall.
You can't get it later, as there will be some structural changes when
the battle's over. There's another yellow/blue orb on the outer edge of
the upper walkway, but you can get that _after_ the Griffon 3 battle if
you're satisfied with your performance. Stinger-jump towards the door
where you entered the coliseum and you'll be ready to proceed...
 

- SKIP THE FIRST PART OF THE BATTLE -- PRACTICALLY - (offense)

Make sure the Ifrit gauntlets and E&I are equipped, and the Time Bangle
is not. Then trigger the cutscene by running from the door to the center
of the coliseum. Don't let the camera change angles when you do this.
When you see Dante again after the cutscene ends, immediately DT and
start charging up a Meteor2 shot (after approaching the door as
described above, you'll have to move the analog stick _up_ as you hold
down R1 and then the attack button). Wait until the M2 shot is
automatically released. If you started charging within the correct
window of time, the shot will hit Griffon _twice_ and do double-damage.
After the second hit registers, deactivate DT as Griffon rises into the
air while running to the other side of the walkway for a clear shot at
him after he flies away to "safety," and start plugging away with E&I.
You'll know when he's about to fall because the camera will zoom in on
Dante (so you can't see Griffon's not _really_ over the walkway he
crashes through).

When everything goes perfectly, Dante should have over half a gauge
worth of DT and all of his health intact. Griffon will be down to 2/3rd
of his life bar, didn't get the chance to do those irritating "lightning
spider web" attacks and, even better, won't do them for the remainder of
the battle. Best of all, this whole process will take around 15 seconds,
minus the cutscenes.

In the event the fully-charged Meteor2 shot hits Griffon twice, but he
attacks you on the ground instead of flying up immediately afterwards,
try to Inferno him if possible and follow the "second part" strategy.
Eventually, he'll take to the air as described above. If he starts doing
a "lightning spider web" attack, make sure you're on the same half of
the coliseum as he is and jump up into the stands, firing E&I as you
walk around near the edge there. The horizontal versions that start with
V's won't hit you in the stands, only the other type can (but you'll
often activate the cutscene before then anyway).
 

- FIGHTING GRIFFON 3 - (defense)

Some of Griffon 3's attacks are altered versions of the ones he used in
the Griffon 1 battle. To save you some time, at the end of each attack's
description and notes I've indicated whether the text is new, has been
updated, or is the same as what you may have read before. (I skipped the
Lightning Spider Web attacks since you shouldn't even have to deal with
them if you follow the strategy described above.)

Lightning V's -- You should be familiar with this one by now... Griffon
starts with a horizontal bolt of electricity Dante will have to leap
over, then electric V's surround and close in on him from both sides.
Jump to the left or right as the "low" V's close in so a "high" V will
be shot next. Continue until the attack is over, working in a few E&I
shots between each V if you feel like it. The only improvement to this
attack is that the V's come out a bit quicker than in the first
encounter. This is usually a mid-range Griffon attack. (updated)

Morse Code Bolts -- This attack begins with a simultaneous initial
horizontal bolt _and_ lightning V, so you have to jump to the side to
avoid both simultaneously. After the opening bolts, Griffon's
electricity attacks alternate between horizontal lines and dots. Instead
of matching Dante's height, they follow a pattern. The high and low
lines alternate, and are always separated by a mid-height dot. Run to
the left or right and jump when he shoots the first low horizontal bolt.
Roll in the same direction after Dante lands, and continue to alternate
between jumps and rolls until this short- or mid-range attack ends.
(new)

Lightning Plunge -- Griffon flies very high into the air, then several
lighting bolts strike the ground near Dante as he swoops down with his
claws and slams down where they struck. To avoid this attack, run to the
left or right of Griffon and jump in the same direction when you see the
lightning. There are three differences in this improved version of the
original attack. The first is that you must evade it by running left or
right; Griffon will now hit you if you run away from him as he swoops
down. The second is that if Dante is standing on the ground when Griffon
lands, he'll be momentarily stunned and take a little damage; you must
be jumping when he strikes the ground to avoid this. The third
difference is that instead of screeching afterwards, he often hops away
from Dante immediately after landing. If you want, you can diagonal
flame-kick at the top of your evasive jump to hit Griffon and resume
close-range attacks again. He usually does this when you're at short- or
mid-range, but occasionally at long range too. (updated)

Bar Code Bolts -- This is Griffon's favorite attack to use during this
battle. He fires eight waves of multiple vertical bars of electricity
towards you. They seem to have moderate homing capability, and the
attack area is very wide, so you can forget about avoiding them by
running or jumping. Roll to the side just before each wave reaches Dante
to avoid getting hit. The greater the distance between the two of you,
the easier it is to time your rolls correctly. Also, be careful about
which way you point the analog stick; aim it at a right angle to or a
little bit towards the oncoming wave of lightning bolts; if you to roll
both to the side _and_ backwards it's possible to roll diagonally into
them. If you're far enough from Griffon, you can also hold R1 and
maneuver Dante directly between two of the bolts (easiest while you're
firing DTed E&I shots to help you position Dante), but rolling's safer
once you have the timing down. Griffon most often uses this as a mid-,
or long-range attack, but can also do it when Dante's close. (new)

Electrocution Bolts -- Like the previous versions, Griffon telegraphs
this attack by charging his body with lightning, which spreads to form a
"shield" of dangerous bolts around him, and then fires three electricity
bolts towards Dante. The bolts home in on him better and faster, but
without as many follow-up bolts as Griffon 1's version. Like the Bar
Code Bolts, to avoid these you need to roll to the left or right just
before they reach Dante. Unlike the Bar Code Bolts, roll a little too
early or too late and you'll _definitely_ get hit; they home in that
well. After each initial bolt, there's a second one afterwards. As long
as Dante remains where he is, the follow-up bolt won't hit him. Griffon
typically uses this attack at least once during the battle. He may also
opt to do it regardless of how far away Dante is. Separating the homing
bolts from the rest of the lightning around Griffon is extremely
difficult when the camera is close by. So, if you're right next to him
when he begins the wind-up for this attack, there are two good options.
You can Inferno/Rolling Blaze/flame-kick him like crazy in the hopes of
bringing him down before the shield bolts come out, or switch weapons to
Alastor via the Start button and run away (DTing if you can) when you
don't think going berserk has a chance of succeeding. (updated)

Panic Attack -- When you manage to jump too close before Griffon
finishes one of his attacks, he switches to this annoying short-range
"panic attack" where he fires 2 V's simultaneously diagonally in front
of him. This often occurs when you're in the midst of a Rolling
Blaze/Inferno assault, or when he runs up to you and doesn't do a beak
attack. If possible, try to jump/roll to his side and a little behind
his feet to avoid getting hit. It's very easy to get hit by this
short-range attack, but if you're really close to Griffon when he starts
one of the others, you may want to risk it. (same)
 

- FIGHTING GRIFFON 3 - (offense)

This strategy is nearly identical to the one for Griffon 1; you just
need to learn to evade his new and updated attacks consistently. The
paragraphs with differences/additions will be noted as they were
previously in the "defense" section. By the way, the Meteor2 opening
attack portion of the strategy makes this battle seem quicker than the
Griffon 1 confrontation.

The basic plan is to spend most of the battle holding R1 as you back
away from Griffon while shooting at him with E&I to build devil gauge.
This should keep the camera on him and enable you to correctly identify
and dodge his lightning attacks. When he charges towards Dante and you
want to continue earning devil gauge, jump/hop-jump towards, then
_through_ him with Rolling Blaze for some damage. When you land,
continue walking away while shooting him with E&I as he turns around.
Whenever your devil gauge is full and Griffon's far away, feel free to
fire DTed shots at him for a while. (same)

If you want to live dangerously, when you have plenty of devil gauge and
Griffon runs at you, DT and jump/hop-jump towards him, doing an Inferno
immediately after the Rolling Blaze connects. Try hitting him with
additional Infernos after that. It helps when Griffon is sandwiched
between Dante and a wall so his attempts to hop away from your Infernos
will fail. When this isn't possible, keep jumping to his sides with
Infernos whenever possible (so you don't get struck by his attacks) to
bring him down to the ground. If he does manage to hop away, let the
analog stick center during a jump so you can flame-kick to get close
again. If you're not certain you'll be able to hit him with three
Infernos, deactivate DT, back off and return to plugging away with E&I
while increasing the distance between the two of you. (same)

Hitting Griffon with three Infernos will usually be enough to make him
fall to the ground. If it doesn't, it'll only take a few more Rolling
Blaze hits and/or flame-kicks to do so. When he's near, Rolling Blaze
towards his head/body, then off to the left or right, and follow up with
a flame-kick if he hasn't started a lightning attack so you'll land
alongside Griffon instead of making Dante an easy target. (same)

There are two major differences when Griffon 3 falls. First, he is
invulnerable to your attacks until his core covers itself up, allowing
you to earn less devil gauge from him before he stands again. Second,
the overall time he stays on the ground is much shorter than in the
Griffon 1 battle. Since you can't hurt him while the core is visible,
run towards the center of the battlefield until it's covered, then
resume backing away while firing E&I. Since you won't get quite as far,
Griffon may charge at you when he's standing, or do a mid- or long-range
attack instead. The riskier alternative is to keep punching (or
grenade-kick13ing/punching) his feet until he's almost standing. Time an
Inferno to hit him right when he's standing upright (so the damage will
count towards knocking him down again) then continue to Inferno until
you're out of devil gauge or Griffon hops too far away. Return to
backing away and shooting E&I again when either happens. (new)

Should Griffon ever run towards you _without_ swinging his head to the
side, that means trouble. He's likely to do one of his lightning bolt
attacks (most often Bar Code Bolts, but possibly one of the others). He
may hop back before this attack; hope he does, because otherwise you're
at ground zero not knowing what to expect... You can either try DTing as
you jump to Griffon's side with Infernos (which unfortunately won't
prevent an attack unless the damage is enough to make him fall before it
starts). Another option is to jump towards his chest, then to one of his
sides. The opening bolts of Griffon's attack will appear, then the twin
V bolts of the Panic Attack will fire in Dante's general direction and
you may escape unscathed. (new)

While dodging the Lightning V's, you can jump early as the "low" ones
are released and fire two to four E&I shots at the apex of your jump to
ensure the next one will be "high" while earning a little extra
damage/devil gauge. You can sometimes opt to fire a few shots on the
ground as well. (same)

Should Griffon fall to the ground when you're far away, you can fire
DTed E&I or a couple of fully-charged Meteor2 shots at him when you have
devil gauge, or regular E&I shots if you don't. Unfortunately, Griffon
doesn't stay on the ground as long as he did in the first confrontation,
so you can't punish him quite as severely with repeated M2 shots. Also,
take care not to release an M2 shot while his core's still visible.
(updated)
 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 DMD NELO ANGELO 3
-------------------

DMD mode's Nelo Angelo 3 can be one of the toughest bosses to face when
things go badly. In one sense, Nelo 3 is even more dangerous than Mundus
since he has several attacks that can take Dante from full health to
death in a matter of seconds, even if you managed to collect all the
blue orbs to extend both of his lifebars to their maximum capacities.
Make a mistake during this fight, and Dante will usually be punished
swiftly and harshly for it. On a higher note, Ifrit's aerial flame-kick
steals the show in this battle by making it easy to counterattack Nelo
before he recovers from his attacks after avoiding them via jumps...
even when Dante's far away.
 

- REQUIRED/HELPFUL ABILITIES & WEAPONS -

You need Rolling Blaze and Kick13-level2 at the minimum in this fight.
If you can afford them, Meteor-level2 is the next most important ability
against Nelo, and Inferno rounds out the list. This is a devil gauge
oriented strategy, so you'll be wielding the grenade gun to help earn
symbols quickly.
 

- OPENING ATTACK -- a.k.a. USING METEOR-LEVEL2 - (offense)

Hopefully, you have a full 10-symbol devil gauge. If you don't, go back
out the door and grenade some Fetishes to fill it up (you may have to
exit and return several times if the game keeps giving you Nobodies,
which you'll always hear laughing or jumping up and down). When you're
ready, make sure the Ifrit gauntlets and the grenade gun are equipped,
the Time Bangle is not, and run into the main area to activate the
cutscene. After it ends, run away from Nelo a step or two so Dante's
near the center of the circular seal on the floor, DT, and begin
charging a Meteor2 shot.

Hold down the attack button until the shot automatically releases, then
begin charging another when the first one is two-thirds of the way to
Nelo. After the first shot hits and he "wakes up," he'll try to attack
in one of two ways. He'll either start winding up one of his Stinger
attacks or begin charging a fireball of his own. If a Stinger attack is
coming, continue charging your second Meteor2 shot. It should
auto-release and hit Nelo as he's sliding forward, stopping him before
he reaches you. If he starts to charge up his own fireball, you want to
release it early when Nelo's halfway to two-thirds of the way through
his charge to get as much damage as possible and still prevent his
fireball from coming out (use Nelo's "fireball charging sound" to judge
when to release your shot). Firing Meteor2 shots rapidly is safer and
keeps him off balance, but doesn't do nearly as much damage as
fully-charged ones will.

When using Meteor2 against Nelo, you always want to charge the shots
until they auto-release except under three circumstances. First, you
have to release a shot early to stop one of Nelo's long-range Stinger or
fireball attacks. Second, Nelo is within a sword swing of you and the
last shot you released didn't phase him (jump away _immediately_ or
Dante will get slashed). Third, any time you have less than 2 symbols of
devil gauge, release the remaining shots as rapidly as possible. Nelo
typically teleports whenever Dante reverts back to normal. If you were
charging up a final shot when he does, it'll often (annoyingly) miss.
So, fire the shots rapidly whenever you have less than 2 symbols left to
ensure the opportunity to do a little extra damage isn't wasted.
 

- FIGHTING NELO 3 - (defense)

Here's a list of Nelo's attacks and how to deal with them. The general
rule of thumb is to always jump to the side to evade his (physical)
sword attacks and fireballs to set up opportunities for easy
flame-kicks...
 

- SWORD ATTACKS - (defense)

When Nelo's far away, he can slide towards Dante quickly as though he's
going to strike with a Stinger. He can actually do _any_ of the sword
attacks in his arsenal (and fireballs too) after the stinger-slide. In
addition to this, Nelo does not have to stinger-slide in a straight
line. He may take a curved path towards Dante instead. Doing so may
allow him to evade Meteor2 shots if you're not careful (release the shot
early so you can jump away to safety if you're not certain it will hit).

Nelo's Stinger v1 -- Like Dante, Nelo's learned this move too. The bad
news is that Nelo's is way more powerful than Dante's. The good news is
that he telegraphs it with a wind-up first. The farther away he is from
Dante, the longer the wind-up. Jump to the side to avoid the oncoming
blade as Nelo has the option of following this attack with Nelo's
High-Time if he whiffs it. This makes jumping directly over him whenever
he's doing a stinger-slide attack very risky.

Nelo's Stinger v2 -- Nelo slides in like he's going to do a normal
Stinger, but does a wide horizontal slash when he gets close instead. He
often does this at close range with very little start-up time. He never
follows this attack up with any extra swings, so just jump to the side
right before he slashes and you'll be fine.

4-Hit Sword Combo -- Nelo swings his sword diagonally, then horizontally
in front of him, pauses for a split second, then does two more diagonal
swings with less range. Nelo turns a little towards Dante with each
sword slash. His second slash, essentially Nelo's Stinger v2, is the
most dangerous; it covers a huge horizontal area in front of him with
longer range than the others. Occasionally Nelo stops after the second
swing and starts walking around instead of continuing. By the way, this
is one of Nelo's most dangerous attacks. If all four swings connect,
Dante will either be dead or barely alive even if you have the maximum
health allowed.

Vertical Slash -- Nelo charges his sword as he holds it over his head
pointed behind him, then slashes straight down in front of him. This is
by far the easiest of all Nelo's physical sword attacks to avoid. All
you need to do is jump, roll, or run in any direction other than
directly in front of him. When one of Nelo's slashes grazes a Rolling
Blaze, his attack often becomes the Vertical Slash. This attack does not
link into any others.

Nelo's High Time -- By now you've seen Dante do this a thousand times,
so you already know what the wind-up looks like. His sword is pointed
diagonally behind him at the ground, then it rises into the air in front
of him a split second later. Like Dante, Nelo can rise up with it or
stay on the ground. He sometimes slides backwards a bit first to trick
you into missing one of your attacks. Neither version automatically aims
as well as Dante's (thankfully), but the blade usually faces your
general direction. When he's in the air, Nelo typically does an
Ifrit-like diagonal kick from the air, but may follow up with a downward
slash instead. Like the High Time, Nelo's kick also has limited homing
capabilities; however, it's not nearly as good as Ifrit's version. To
evade Nelo's High Time, you want to jump either to the side or
diagonally behind him. You can either run to the side or jump again to
evade the diagonal kick. Jumping away from Nelo usually doesn't work;
Dante will be hit by the diagonal kick by the time he lands. Also, if
you're struck by the rising version of Nelo's High Time and the downward
slash after that, you can expect Dante to lose at least one and a half
lifebars worth of health.

One-Two Punches -- Nelo darts in and punches downward with his left
hand. The attack will stun Dante if it hits him, but it often whiffs.
That really doesn't matter, since he follows it with a _really_ fast
Magma Drive-like punch that will launch Dante into the air should it
connect. If it does, he invariably follows up with Nelo's High Time then
a diagonal kick or a downward slash. If you're lucky enough to see the
first punch miss, jump away immediately or Dante will pay. The initial
punch is usually a pretty short range attack, you probably won't get hit
by this too often unless Nelo gets you as you're landing. Like his other
attacks, the punches are avoidable by jumping to the side as soon as you
recognize them. Sometimes instead of the second punch, he does a kick
that comes out after a short delay. If his initial punch missed, you
should already be jumping to the side by then. If the first punch tagged
Dante, wiggle the analog stick while mashing on the jump button to
hopefully escape his kick.
 

- FIREBALL ATTACKS - (defense)

Nelo faces Dante and you hear a swooshing noise as he pulls his hand
back and charges up a fireball, then his hand shoots forward as the
fireball is released. As is the case with many of Nelo's attacks, it has
lots of power but really poor accuracy. Unlike your Meteor2 shots, which
will home in on Nelo _wherever_ he is, Nelo only pivots slowly to follow
Dante's movements. If you're close enough, you can jump over his head or
diagonally behind him and just stand there; the fireball won't even come
close to hitting you. If you're far away, jump, roll, or even simply run
to the side as they're released to evade them. If you want, you can even
kickflip to evade them. Nelo often throws several fireballs at Dante one
after the other. You can fire a grenade after evading each one to earn
some easy devil gauge symbols whenever he does. By the way, Nelo can't
aim his fireballs above or below a 45 degree angle.
 

- PHANTOM SWORD ATTACKS - (defense)

Nelo teleports high into the air near either the enormous window or the
two stairways that surround the entrance. Shortly afterwards he summons
levitating phantom swords that will fly towards Dante. Nelo has many
versions of this attack... _too_many_.

Sword Halo v1 -- Nelo summons a spinning circle of vertical swords that
appear above Dante's head and follow him around. Sometimes the circle is
large when it first appears, then its diameter grows smaller as time
goes by. Although rare, there are other times when the circle starts out
small and grows larger. Eventually, the circle stops expanding or
contracting and the swords fire downward. If the circle was contracting,
the swords will come down in a rapid-fire fashion. If the circle was
expanding, they'll all come down simultaneously. Not getting hit depends
on how large the circle is when the swords start coming down. When the
circle is large, it's better to remain stationary and let them come down
around Dante. However, you want to roll or jump to the side to avoid the
swords whenever the circle is small. The alternative is to jump in a
triangular or square pattern as soon as the circle of swords appears,
relying on Rolling Blaze to destroy some or maybe all of them. This
usually works pretty well, and it's simple to do, although Dante is
completely defenseless each time he falls back down to the ground.

Sword Halo v2 -- This is an extension of the Sword Halo v1 attack; while
it's in progress the circle of swords will suddenly vanish and appear
high above Dante, usually completely out of view. Now dodging the swords
becomes a lot more complicated. When the swords vanish, the circle will
do the opposite of what it was doing before. If the circle was
contracting, it will start expanding, and vice-versa. To make matters
worse, if the swords are fired right after they vanish, they'll travel
in a diagonal path that goes through Dante's head (obviously, you always
want to be rolling/jumping away right after they vanish). As time
passes, the angle the swords will take changes from the diagonal path to
a completely vertical one (but remember that the circle is also either
contracting or expanding). Furthermore, if the swords would have been
rapid-fired at Dante before, they'll now come down simultaneously, and
vice-versa. Here's a typical example of how this works... Let's say the
sword halo was large and contracting when it vanished. This means the
swords would have come at Dante rapid-fire, but now they'll come down
simultaneously. You want to start rolling/jumping immediately to
hopefully avoid getting hit in case the swords are fired right away and
come down diagonally. As time passes, the angle the swords will take
changes from diagonal to completely vertical, and the circle will have
expanded to its maximum diameter. So, if they haven't been fired for a
while, you'll want to stop evading (since the size of the circle is
large) so you don't jump/roll _into_ them when they come down. Now
here's an example of the opposite scenario... If the size of the sword
halo is small and expanding when it vanishes, this means the swords will
be coming down rapid-fire rather than simultaneously. However, since the
circle will now be contracting, you'll _always_ want to be rolling or
jumping to evade them since they'll be concentrated on Dante's position
whether they come down diagonally _or_ vertically. You may be able to
destroy some of the swords via Rolling Blaze if you wall-jump to gain
more height, but it's really risky since Dante will be defenseless for a
long time as he falls back to the ground if any remain.

Sword Halo v3 -- Once again the swords appear in a circle above Dante,
but this time they're not vertical. The circle is much wider, and the
swords stay aimed at Dante as they spin around him. A split second after
the swords stop spinning, they'll be fired and simultaneously converge
on the spot they're all pointed at. This is the easiest offensive
phantom sword attack to avoid. If Dante's near the peak of a jump when
the swords stop spinning, they'll miss him as he lands; if he's on the
ground, jump into the air to evade them. Just don't stay at the same
altitude when the circle stops spinning. Also, sometimes Sword Halo v1
turns into Sword Halo v3.

Horizontal Wave -- Nelo summons a horizontal line of swords. The swords
follow Dante up and down as he jumps. They will fly towards him in a
rapid-fire fashion from one end of the row to the other. Once the swords
start flying, the ones that haven't yet continue to aim at Dante in a
limited capacity. Jumping diagonally away from Nelo towards the swords
that were fired first works well; Rolling Blaze protects Dante as he
goes up, and the swords at the other end of the row won't hit him as he
comes down. With good timing, you can also roll left or right just
before Dante's hit to evade them that way. You can also jump towards,
then wall-jump from, a wall to get above the wave of swords.

Vertical Wave -- A vertical line of swords appears. Similar to the
Horizontal Wave, each one stays aimed in Dante's general left/right
direction until it's rapid-fired towards him. Roll to the side then jump
in the same direction (or even just run if you have enough room) to
avoid getting hit when they're fired.

Pyramid Wave -- This is one of the most dangerous phantom sword attacks
Nelo uses. Thankfully, he doesn't do it very often. The swords appear in
a pattern resembling a horizontal pyramid aimed at Dante. The entire
pyramid stays aimed at him, and very little time goes by between when
the swords appear and when they're fired. A very quick grenade gun shot
will blast away several swords in the center of the pyramid and you may
be able to jump backwards (or kickflip) through the oncoming wave
unscathed. However, the window between when the swords appear and when
you must fire the grenade is _very_ small. Shoot too late and your
grenade will hit the first sword as it flies towards you, but the blast
won't be close enough to destroy any others, and you'll probably get
hit. Unless you're ready and waiting for this attack, you'll often be
forced to evade it. However, dodging it isn't easy. I have the best luck
when I imagine a line between Dante's position and the center sword of
the wave, then jump at a 45 degree angle from this line away from the
swords hoping any that aren't destroyed by Rolling Blaze on the way up
will fly by or miss before you start falling to the ground unprotected.

Hovering Swords -- This attack is _pure_evil_! A living blanket of
phantom swords appears around Dante. They're always aimed at him, follow
him wherever he goes, and constantly switch locations like they have a
nervous tick. Then they start flying at him from random locations,
rapid-fire style. Dante can destroy some with Rolling Blaze, but you
won't have enough time to eliminate all of them before they become
dangerous. If you do manage to destroy a good number of them, jumping
around in a square or triangular pattern may get Dante through the rest
unscathed; but you can't count on it due to the randomness of their
attack angles. Rolling to the side works sometimes, but I'd rather rely
on Rolling Blaze to protect Dante half the time than to have no
protection at all during and between rolls. By the way, you may have
collected all the blue orbs in the game and have two completely full
life bars, but if you're unlucky enough that nearly the entire wave of
swords hits Dante (each sword can stun him long enough for the next one
to hit) he'll probably die from this attack in about 1.5 seconds. Sound
bad? It gets worse. Sometimes this attack _lingers_; most of the phantom
swords will fly at you, but a few won't. They'll continue hovering
around you, fidgeting around and changing locations, waiting for good
time to strike as the next attack comes. In the worst possible scenario,
some swords are still lingering as Nelo floats down to the ground and
comes in with physical sword attacks! Dante stunned by lingering phantom
sword + Nelo's 4-Hit Sword Combo = one very dead Dante... Another fly in
the ointment is that when Nelo's health is in the red, he often does
this attack then proceeds to shoot fireballs at Dante from the air. The
best Ifrit counter I've found against this attack is Inferno. The swords
hover low enough that an Inferno blast will destroy them all. (However,
wasting devil gauge to cancel out this attack only makes you hate it
even more; de-DTing helps soften the blow, though.) If you don't have
enough devil gauge to DT, destroy/evade them with Rolling Blaze as best
as you can and pray.

Sword Shield v1 -- Nelo summons his phantom swords to form a vertical
shield around his body. The swords protect him until they're broken by
your attacks/grenades or enough time passes. After forming the shield,
Nelo falls to the ground and typically stinger-slides towards Dante with
a physical sword attack. Just evade his attacks until the swords
disintegrate on their own. When you see the shield form, move Dante near
a wall so when Nelo gets close, you can jump against it then wall-jump
over his head and run over to the other side of the battlefield. The
swords should disintegrate shortly afterwards.

Sword Shield v2 -- Again, phantom swords appear around Nelo's body, but
this time they're horizontal and pointed outward instead of vertical.
This version is _far_ more dangerous than the other due to the
horizontal real estate the swords occupy. To make matters worse, instead
of disintegrating when their time is up, they fly outward instead. Once
again, Nelo will usually stinger-slide towards Dante and you should jump
against a wall then wall-jump over Nelo. This time it's _critical_ that
you don't make a mistake and fall down next to him. Between the phantom
swords stunning you and Nelo slashing away with the real thing, Dante
may as well be falling into a giant garbage disposal. Try to be jumping
or wall-jumping (or go up onto the stairs) to avoid getting hit when the
phantom swords fly outwards. Also, shooting grenades at them when you
have the opportunity will prevent at least a few from being used as
projectiles.
 

- PREVENTING ADDITIONAL PHANTOM SWORD ATTACKS - (defense)

You want to bring Nelo back down to the ground when he floats up into
the air and starts his phantom sword attacks as soon as you can...
especially before he has a chance to summon the Pyramid Wave or Hovering
Swords. From the central area of the giant room, if you get close enough
to Nelo he'll fall back down to the ground again (but this won't cancel
out any phantom sword attack he's already begun). When he's near the
giant window, you need to go a little past the steps in the center to
make him fall. When he's floating by the entrance, running or jumping up
onto either of the stairways is better so you won't be right next to him
when he lands. Obviously, you want to get away when he starts coming
down, and you may still have a phantom sword attack to deal with as
well. However, the longer Nelo stays up there, the more likely it is
Dante will take damage, so I advise always running/jumping closer to
make him drop unless he's summoned one of the "wave" attacks.

If Nelo happened to float directly above Dante because he was standing
in one of those two locations, you want to quickly move him back "out"
to the central area and cross the threshold again to make Nelo fall.
Wall-jumping up to him will also bring him down, but then you may land
simultaneously right next to each other... not a good idea.

Any time you're sure a Sword Halo attack won't hit Dante if he's
standing still, you can also DT and fire a quick Meteor2 shot at Nelo.
As long as a new phantom sword attack doesn't get in the way, the shot
will hit him and bring he'll fall back down to the ground. In the event
Sword Halo v1 becomes Sword Halo v2 or v3, immediately start
jumping/rolling to evade it and deactivate DT. On the other hand, if
Sword Halo v1 was the expanding type and is still going (or already
missed), you can keep Dante where he is and continue firing Meteor2
shots until your devil gauge runs out instead. You may opt to try this
immediately after evading any other phantom sword attack, too.
 

- PROTECTING DANTE WITH HOLY WATERS - (defense)

When Dante doesn't have enough time or devil gauge to deal with a
phantom sword attack, you can opt to use a Holy Water as a last resort.
Until the damaging flash comes out, he'll be invulnerable to _every_
attack. Doing this will get Dante past any "wave" phantom sword attacks
and while the damaging flash won't hurt Nelo much, it will bring him
back down to the ground. However, Holy Waters won't simultaneously
destroy any phantom swords that remain in the air (because they are
attacks and don't have life bars). Still, using a Holy Water after Nelo
summons Hovering Swords will make him invulnerable while most of them
are fired, and you'll only have a few (often none) remaining after the
Holy Water's flash. If any are still lingering, hold the analog stick in
a direction and be jamming on the jump button to protect Dante with
Rolling Blaze as soon as you gain control of him again. If you don't use
any additional items during this mission and Dante takes no damage
whatsoever from start to finish, it's theoretically possible to use five
Holy Waters and still get an S rank when the results are tallied.
 

- FIGHTING NELO 3 - (offense)

DMD Nelo 3 is a formidable foe, but he's susceptible to Ifrit combos,
which prevent any sort of counterattack once the second hit connects (as
long as you don't make a mistake). The five parts of the typical combo
are described below.
 

1) Flame-Kick To Get Close

About 85% of the time, you'll start an Ifrit combo by hitting Nelo with
a diagonal flame-kick during a jump. Since Nelo's attacks are so
damaging, you can't just flame-kick whenever you want to. A blocked or
parried flame-kick will bounce Dante into the air, which is a really bad
place to be against a foe that can kill him with a single sword combo.

The safest times to flame-kick Nelo are: just before or after a
fireball, when he's taunting, and when he slumps over into his
"vulnerable stance" after parrying an attack or one of his sword slashes
is deflected by Rolling Blaze.

Some moderately safe times to hit him with a flame-kick are
_immediately_ after he's swung his sword and missed, and when he's
walking around (especially if you can hit his back or side).

You'll be rewarded for being patient and concentrating on avoiding
Nelo's attacks until good flame-kick opportunities present themselves.
Acting rashly gets you killed in this battle, so try to keep your cool
at all times.
 

2) Punch Twice

Now that you're next to Nelo, do two normal Ifrit punches. One of two
things will happen: Nelo will block them or the punches will connect.
When the punches connect, press the attack button a third time for a
normal kick and then and do a kick13 (analog stick towards, hold down
R1, press attack button). Immediately after the kick13 hits him, fire a
grenade. This will make Nelo block. (If you accidentally do the fourth
kick of the PPKK combo, immediately follow it with a kick13 to make him
block.) By the way, if you need devil gauge when you're nearby on the
ground and Nelo's taunting/vulnerable, run in front of him and do the
[PPK, kick13, grenade] combo, charging the initial punch for extra
damage if you have time. Whichever way it goes, you will now be standing
in front of a blocking Nelo...
 

3) Jump Over Nelo's Head and Flame-Kick Him From Behind

That's right, Nelo's great at blocking... _frontal_ attacks. However,
jumping directly over his head and flame-kicking him in the back just
after he starts blocking will always hit him. Even better, you can often
_continue_ comboing after that...
 

4) Run a Step Closer and PPK

The flame-kick from behind will stagger Nelo away from you; he'll also
crouch over a little. You want to be hitting him with the initial punch
of the normal Ifrit PPK combo just as he stands fully upright again.
There are two ways to do this. One way is to partially charge the
initial punch immediately after Dante recovers from the flame-kick for
some extra distance, but this is very easy to mess up. The simpler way
is to run a step closer to Nelo (it may be 1-1/2 steps, depending on how
steep the angle of your flame-kick was) and tap the attack button once
or twice. Do all three hits of the PPK combo if the initial punch
connects. Even when you get really good at this, Nelo will still
teleport away to safety about a third of the time. However, Dante's
initial punch will always connect when he attempts to retaliate with a
physical sword attack. It's very important not to commit to more than
two punches; otherwise if Nelo doesn't teleport too far he can easily
slash Dante before he recovers. Whenever the PPK connects you can finish
the combo...
 

5) Possible Combo Finishers

There are several ways to proceed after the PPK strikes, but these are
some reliable ones. (There are also some "facing Nelo" combos and combo
notes mixed in since it would have taken longer to write them up in a
separate section.)
 

[kick13, grenade] ... back-turned or facing Nelo after PPK combo
  |
When you're trying to build devil gauge, after the kick of your PPK
combo connects follow it with a kick13 and then fire a grenade at Nelo
for an extra half-symbol of extra devil gauge.
 

[DT, Kick13 Auto-Combo, grenade, charged Meteor2 shots] ... back-turned
or facing Nelo after PPK combo
  |
This is the bread-and-butter combo when you have a lots of devil gauge.
Quickly DT during or just after the kick of your PPK combo and then do
the Kick13 Auto-Combo. This is a lot more damaging than doing the
auto-combo from the front since he can't block _any_ of it. When the
final kick of the auto-combo connects and sends Nelo staggering away
fire a grenade and start charging a Meteor2 shot. You won't be able to
hit Nelo with it, he always teleports away too soon. Unfortunately for
him, Meteor2 shots automatically target the nearest enemy. So, release
your partially-charged shot when Nelo reappears from his teleport to hit
him, and continue charging and releasing them as described earlier. 
Facing Nelo Notes -- This combo can also be used when you're facing
Nelo. Even better, the DTed grenade shot usually makes Nelo block just
like a regular one would, giving you ample time to release an _almost_
fully-charged Meteor2 shot next (if you keep charging until it
auto-releases, Nelo can teleport to safety before it hits him).
 

[DT, quick Meteor2 shots] ... back-turned Nelo after PPK combo only
  |
Immediately after the PPK combo, DT and fire a quick Meteor2 shot into
Nelo's back. As long as you don't charge them very much, you can keep
pelting him while keeping him turned away from you. (This is really
about adding insult to injury, not doing damage. How can you not enjoy
repeatedly Meteor2ing Nelo in the back?) Another option is to allow Nelo
to teleport as you attempt to fully-charge one of your follow-up shots
for additional damage. Of course, how long you should charge that next
shot is completely dependant on where Nelo teleports to. By the way, if
you were very close to Nelo when you started the back-turned combo, you
may be able to connect with the entire PPKK combo before going into the
Meteor2 shots. However, if you whiff the final kick Nelo may teleport
and possibly interrupt Dante before the first M2 shot is released.
 

[RB hop-jump towards, DT, Inferno, charged Meteor2 shots] ...
back-turned or facing Nelo after PPK combo
  |
After the kick of the PPK combo hits, _immediately_ hop-jump towards
Nelo and hit him with Rolling Blaze. The instant you hear the Rolling
Blaze connecting (it will hit twice if your aim was good), quickly DT
and Inferno. Immediately after recovering from the Inferno, start
charging a Meteor2 shot so you can hit Nelo when he reappears from his
evasive teleport. Then continue Meteor2ing until your devil gauge runs
out. The critical point of this combo is the hop-jump Rolling Blaze; if
it misses Nelo (or you jump instead of hop-jump) he'll teleport away to
safety before the Inferno comes out. Should you Inferno after whiffing
the Rolling Blaze attempt it may either hurt Nelo or set Dante up for a
counterattack depending on the location Nelo teleported to; it's much
better not to commit until you're sure the RB connects. By the way, it's
sometimes possible to follow the PPK combo with a Kick13 Auto-Combo and
connect with the Rolling Blaze afterwards _if_ Nelo is pushed into a
wall or other obstacle that prevents him from staggering too far away
after the auto-combo's final kick. Unfortunately, there's no easy way to
set this up. You have to be ready to take advantage of the opportunity
when it arises. 
Facing Nelo Notes -- When facing Nelo, you should probably release at
least one quick Meteor2 shot after the Inferno before charging them as a
precaution in case Nelo tries to slash Dante instead of teleporting
away.
 

[RB hop-jump towards, DT, Inferno, Kick13 Auto-Combo, (conditional
grenade), charged Meteor2 shots] ... back-turned after PPK combo only
  |
When you become proficient with the previous combo, you'll notice that
sometimes Nelo gets pushed away by the Inferno, but sometimes he stays
right next to Dante throughout the entire blast. When the latter occurs,
you can get a Kick13 Auto-Combo to connect immediately afterwards. If
the final kick of the auto-combo connects, fire a DTed grenade into
Nelo's back. After that, start charging an initial M2 shot to hit Nelo
with after he reappears from his teleport then follow up with
fully-charged ones whenever possible. If the final kick of the
auto-combo misses, skip the grenade and go directly into charging your
initial M2 shot.
 

[RB hop-jump towards, DT, Inferno, Kick13 Auto-Combo, hop-jump
diagonally behind Nelo, Inferno, charged Meteor2 shots] ... facing Nelo
after PPK combo only
  |
Like the back-turned extended combo above, when Nelo remains next to
Dante after the "facing Nelo" Inferno you can also follow it with a
Kick13 Auto-Combo. Again, the final kick of the auto-combo may connect,
but it often doesn't and Nelo will go into his blocking stance before
it's finished. When this happens, you should hop-jump past Nelo's left
or right side and Inferno once Dante is behind him (jumping directly
over his head takes too long). Of course, if the final kick of the
auto-combo _does_ connect, you should fire a grenade as Nelo staggers
back to put him in his blocking stance, then jump directly over his head
for an easy second Inferno.
 

[kick13, grenade, jump over Nelo's head, DT, Inferno, charged Meteor2
shots] ... facing Nelo after PPK combo only
  |
After the grenade forces Nelo into his blocking stance, simply jump over
his head to hit him from behind with an Inferno. After that Nelo will
try to teleport to safety. Start charging a Meteor2 shot to hit him when
he reappears since he sometimes teleports within slashing range of
Dante. If he's not too close, continue releasing charged M2 shots to
maximize the damage until your devil gauge runs out.
 

As far as the combos involving Infernos go, they probably aren't the
most efficient use of devil gauge. Infernos use up symbols rapidly, but
their damage is only maximized when Nelo remains close to him throughout
the entire blast. Learning to de-DT just after you commit to them will
prevent Dante from losing as many symbols, but they'll be less powerful.
By the way, Nelo can avoid taking any damage if he goes into his
blocking stance before Dante unleashes an Inferno in front of him and
may counterattack before you can recover. By contrast, Meteor2 shots
automatically target Nelo, can keep him at a distance, do lots of damage
when they're fully charged, and rarely miss once you know when Nelo
tends to teleport.
 

- MISCELLANEOUS INFO - (offense/defense)

Whenever you see Nelo's sword light up before his 4-Hit Sword Combo, you
can be sure he's going to taunt when it's over. This is especially
obvious when he holds his sword vertically in front of him while it
charges. He'll also taunt after doing Nelo's High-Time followed by the
diagonal kick. After evading these attacks, rush in for your free combo.

A quick Rolling Blaze into Nelo's sword when he holds it vertically in
front of him prior to the 4-Hit Sword Combo will put Nelo into his
vulnerable stance. The bad news is that setting this up is very
dangerous since Dante pretty much has to be standing directly in front
of Nelo when he recovers from a move or taunt to do this reliably.

In the event a flame-kick attempt is blocked, and Dante bounces up into
the air within Nelo's slashing range (wearing a sign that says "slice
me") the only proactive thing you can do is try to time another
flame-kick with the next sword swing. Frantically jamming on the attack
button for more flame-kicks rarely works. It may be a lost cause, but
it's still a better alternative than just landing in the midst of Nelo's
powerful sword slashes. On the other hand, Dante often bounces far
enough away that he _will_ be able to land safely; unfortunately,
there's not a lot of time for you to make your judgement.

Any time it's safe to flame-kick Nelo (before/after fireball, taunting,
slumped over, you jumped behind him as he blocked), you can hit him with
an Inferno and follow up with charged Meteor2 shots whenever Dante's
within jumping range. However, if you try Infernoing after Nelo's
already begun an attack, Dante probably won't interrupt it and will get
slashed.

If Sword Halo v2 has been in progress for a while with the circle of
swords enlarging, and Nelo is stinger-sliding towards Dante, the best
option is to time a jump straight up to avoid getting hit by both
attacks. Should Nelo stop directly beneath Dante, you may be able to
jump off his head to safety to escape subsequent slashes.

Once Nelo's life bar turns red, destroying his phantom swords will also
hurt him. So if he summons Hovering Swords, there's no downside to
destroying them with Infernos.
 

- THINGS THAT GET YOU KILLED IN THIS BATTLE - (defense)

Not being patient enough to wait for good flame-kick opportunities 
(tsk, tsk)

Hovering Swords are still lingering when the next phantom sword attack,
or Nelo himself, comes at you and prevent you from evading (most
annoying since you can see this coming a mile away, but it's too late to
do anything about it)

Waiting just a little too long to release a Meteor2 shot and trading it
for a fireball or stinger-slide attack from Nelo (bad trade)

Jumping backwards to get away from Nelo when he tries to Stinger you
(doh!)

Landing on a bannister near the window or one of the stairway railings
when Nelo's nearby (what were the odds of _that_ happening...)

Trying to overwhelm Nelo, or force a parry that makes him vulnerable, by
jamming on the attack button (doesn't work 97% of the time)
 

- NELO 2 DIFFERENCES & NOTES -

No Phantom Sword attacks; can be frozen with Time Bangle; there are two
green health orbs in this battle: one on top of the high pillared
structure where you receive the Chalice right before Nelo arrives, and
another in the lower section
 

- NELO 1 DIFFERENCES & NOTES -

No Phantom Sword attacks; can be frozen with Time Bangle; during the
fight, Nelo will teleport up to higher tiers of the castle and beckon
for Dante to follow him; the first time he teleports, you can stay on
the ground close below him, hold the analog stick in his direction, and
keep jamming on the R2 button to quickly replenish your devil gauge via
taunts before jumping up to continue the fight; to do this when he
teleports the second time, you have to jump up and lure Nelo closer to
the opening in the floor/ceiling as you jump back down before he'll be
in taunting range
 

- USING THE TIME BANGLE AGAINST NELO 1 & 2 - (offense)

Nelo 1, Nelo 2, and also the Shadowy Nelo you face when you get grabbed
by Nightmare 3's Throw To Underworld attack can all be frozen with the
Time Bangle and hit for easy damage until your devil gauge runs down.
You ideally want to stop time when he's in his vulnerable stance or
taunting. After that, run up to him and start grenade-kick13ing him
until time starts rolling again. When it does, Nelo will lose a huge
chunk of his life bar. It's also possible to freeze him when he's just
walking around, charging his sword, or executing an attack. However,
grenade-kick13ing him then will do much less damage. Furthermore, his
sword may even deflect your kick13 attempts.

NOTE: Not getting enough practice fighting Nelo 1 and Nelo 2 will make
taking on Nelo 3 like jumping from Normal mode directly to DMD mode;
you'll be much better off in the long run if you learn to fight against
him early on when he's weaker and slower...
 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 DMD NIGHTMARE 3
-----------------

The keys to beating DMD Nightmare 3 are learning how to handle each
attack, the order he usually does them in, and lots of practice.
 

- REQUIRED/HELPFUL ABILITIES & WEAPONS -

You _need_ Rolling Blaze for this battle... badly. Inferno is the most
important offensive ability. Kick13-level2 and Meteor-level2 can also
help out in the damage department. Once again, you'll be wielding the
grenade gun for this strategy.
 

- HOW DO I HURT NIGHTMARE? -

This is for anyone using this strategy the first time they fight
Nightmare; the rest of us know all too well what to do...

When you first face Nightmare, he'll appear as a gloopy green puddle of
slime with a bunch of parts floating inside. You cannot damage Nightmare
by attacking the slime puddle with via _any_ means. In the area where
you're fighting, there will be at least two wall symbols that act as
timers. Hitting a wall symbol with a melee weapon attack until it's
"full" will activate several multicolored circles on the floor that will
force Nightmare to solidify into a gigantic version of the Nightmare
Beta weapon. Shortly after this transformation, it will begin attacking
you. After each attack, you'll have the opportunity to hurt Nightmare by
attacking its core, which will have surfaced from Nightmare's neck or
rear. The core looks like a disco ball and its surface will reflect
Nightmare Beta shots away harmlessly (so don't fret if you missed
picking it up). Like the Shadows, you must attack Nightmare's core to
damage it. Fortunately, you can use both melee and projectile weapons
(except NB) to do so. The core will eventually retract back into
Nightmare, and you'll have to deal with another attack if the wall
symbols are still running down. When they're empty, Nightmare will
revert back to his gloopy, invulnerable form after completing any attack
he's already started; you'll have to fill another wall symbol to
solidify him and continue to damage his core again.

In case it's not obvious as you keep reading, I think if there was some
sort of award for "Best Boss in a Video Game," Nightmare would have an
excellent chance of winning. It's a really original, clever design; and
the fact that he's so tough doesn't hurt in the "memorable" department
either...
 

- GLOOPY NIGHTMARE 3's ATTACKS - (defense)

Throw To Underworld -- When Dante gets too close to Nightmare's edges,
or is standing in it, the green slime will try to grab him by forming a
venus flytrap shape around him. The _first_ time he's grabbed, Dante
will be taken to an alternate destination/dimension (it _looks_ like the
Underworld, so that's what I'm calling it) where he will first have to
fight some Sargasso skulls. Using the grenade gun makes this easy. Press
the R1 button to aim Dante at the closest one. Move towards it, holding
R1 again as you get close and killing it with a grenade gun shot once it
starts moving towards you. Go counterclockwise around the stage until
the other four skulls are destroyed. When you kill the fifth one, the
"head" Sargasso skull (sorry, couldn't resist) will swoop down to attack
Dante from its perch in the center of the battlefield. Jump away from it
when it gets close to stun it with Rolling Blaze, then keep
grenade-rolling until it's dead. After it's gone a shadowy version of
Nelo Angelo will drop in (literally) looking for a fight. After Dante
defeats Shadowy Nelo, a portal will appear which allows him to return to
the "real" battle. When he does, he'll break out of the slime and
Nightmare will lose a sizable chunk of health (about 25% of its
lifebar). After returning from this "nightmare," the wall symbols will
run down more slowly. This means you'll have to spend more time dodging
Nightmare's attacks before you'll have to "wind-up" a wall symbol, but
you'll also have extra opportunities to damage Nightmare's cores.
Another benefit is that your attacks will damage the cores even more
than they would had you not been grabbed. This only happens _once_
during the battle; getting grabbed again after returning from the
Underworld mini-battle will only damage Dante.

Ice Slugs -- Little slug-like creatures squirm out of the Nightmare
puddle and chase Dante. There doesn't seem to be any way to kill them
using hand-to-hand or projectile weapons. When they get close to Dante,
they curl up and leap in his direction. If they land on him, they'll
continue to squirm for a while, then drop to the ground beneath his feet
exploding in a small cluster of ice crystals that does damage. There are
two ways to deal with these creatures. One is to jump over their heads
or even run directly towards them; they'll leap and explode where you
_were_ instead of your new position. The other way is to let them leap
onto Dante, then jump around a few times until they fall off. You don't
even need to jump; simply be running in a direction when they drop on
their own and the ice crystals will miss Dante. They often leap onto him
when you're busy trying to activate a wall symbol or building devil
gauge. By the way, if you let one chase you around for too long, it will
explode without leaping at Dante first; they also explode whenever they
leap and miss. All in all, the Ice Slugs are more of a nuisance than
anything else.

Solitary Confinement -- The puddle of slime briefly expands, then
contracts, as Nightmare oozes upwards and adheres to the ceiling with
the Machinegun Spheres in close pursuit. A square structure is formed
there, and guided missiles fire from each of its four sides in turn.
Jumping directly towards one of these missiles usually results in Dante
taking damage. You can deflect them back at Nightmare if they contact a
Rolling Blazed jump to the side, straight up, or away; however, they
won't do any damage. If you run underneath the square area, Nightmare
will trap Dante in a cage using mesh walls formed out of its slime. If
Dante can't free himself from this cage by attacking its _corners_
(attacking the mesh walls does nothing), Nightmare will turn gloopy
again and land on him, doing over a full lifebar's worth of damage. If
this doesn't kill Dante outright, he'll also be frozen in a large ice
crystal. Oddly enough, the ideal tactic is to be captured in the cage as
soon as you can. Why? One reason is that when Dante gets caged, the
missiles aren't fired any more (although already airborne missiles can
still hurt him, so jumping immediately after the cage walls fall to
protect Dante with Rolling Blaze is a good idea). If Dante runs towards
Nightmare's center from the edge of the slime puddle _immediately_ after
it expands, the cage walls will drop before _any_ are fired. Another
reason to become trapped is that breaking out of the cage isn't
difficult at all, you'll even earn some devil gauge doing so. The best
way is to continuously Rolling Blaze into one of the corners. If you do
this immediately after getting trapped, you'll still have time after the
corner opens to turn around (aiming via the R1 button won't work) and
grenade-kickflip three times to exit and earn a total of 4 or 5 devil
gauge symbols. By the way, always _run_ underneath the square area; if
you jump as you enter it, the cage walls may hurt Dante as they come
down. Also, it's possible for Dante to trigger the cage walls, but
become stuck on the outside. You can still Rolling Blaze near a cage
corner for extra devil gauge should this happen. Finally, even if Dante
was outside of the cage, he can still be frozen in the ice crystal if he
touches the slime puddle too soon after it falls back to the ground.

Slime Swirl -- The center of Nightmare's puddle rises up and "twists"
itself. Dante is only in danger when he's standing in the affected area,
which is pretty unlikely. If this attack hits, Dante may additionally be
grabbed via the Thrown To Underworld attack if that hasn't happened yet.
Whether Dante gets grabbed or not, the Slime Swirl will do minor damage
to him when it connects.

Slime Spatters -- Occasionally, little globs of slime will ooze up out
of Nightmare's puddle into the air and arc as they land back in again.
To get hit by these grease spatter-like globs, Dante has to be standing
within or right next to the Nightmare's puddle. He'll take a tiny bit of
damage whenever he's hit by an ooze glob, so they're only a dangerous
threat when he's barely alive. Avoiding them by keeping your distance is
simple enough except during the Solitary Confinement attack, where ooze
globs will sometimes fall on Dante from the ceiling. Generally, they're
nothing to worry about.
 

- TO BE THROWN, OR NOT TO BE THROWN -

If you want, you can avoid the Throw To Underworld attack for the entire
battle. There are two major differences when you decide to play it out
this way. The first is that the wall symbols run out of time more
quickly, and Nightmare will only have time to attack once or twice
before turning gloopy instead of three or four times. The second is that
your attacks do less damage than they would had you beaten Shadowy Nelo
first. These two factors mean that fighting Nightmare without getting
thrown takes much longer. The good news is that you can fill your devil
gauge before you solidify Nightmare every time, and the overall pace of
the fight is slower. If you're having trouble dealing with Nightmare's
attacks when they're done back-to-back, opting not to be thrown may make
the difference for you.
 

- FIGHTING SHADOWY NELO ANGELO - (offense)

Nightmare 3's Shadowy Nelo is just that, a poor replica of the real
thing. He takes damage _much_ worse than the real Nelo Angelo, and seems
a little slower, too. Thankfully, Shadowy Nelo won't use any phantom
sword attacks in this mini-battle. However, the attacks he does use hurt
just as much as the real Nelo's, so don't take this fight too lightly.

If you're really having trouble with this battle, there is a rather
dishonorable way to defeat him. When you jump up onto the top of one of
the tall stumps and Nelo's nearby, he can't hurt Dante with any of his
attacks (Nelo can't shoot fireballs above a 45 degree angle). While
you're up there, you can hold the analog stick towards him and rapidly
press R2 to quickly build devil gauge. When you're full, you can jump
back down, fight him until you run out, then jump back up again.
Alternatively, you can use the Time Bangle and grenade-kick13 or
grenade-stinger combo him before jumping back up. (If you stop time with
a full 10-symbol devil gauge when Nelo is in his vulnerable stance or
taunting, then grenade-kick13 him continuously until time starts up
again, sometimes that will be enough to finish him.) Finally, you can
throw Roundtrips at him, DTing just before they make contact and
optionally shooting too, without getting off the stump at all (just be
sure you don't push Nelo back so far his fireballs can hit you). If you
choose to wear the Time Bangle against Shadowy Nelo, be sure to take it
off before returning to the Nightmare battle.

By the way, when you're playing one of the earlier difficulties, it's
possible to get grabbed by the Throw To Underworld attack with barely
any health and an empty devil gauge, and return to face Nightmare with
maximized health and a full devil gauge by repeatedly using this tactic
to completely heal Dante since DTing still earns life back in those
difficulty modes.
 

- BUILDING DEVIL GAUGE FROM GLOOPY NIGHTMARE -

Although you can't _hurt_ Nightmare in his puddle form, you can still
earn devil gauge from him by either shooting it with grenades (only half
a symbol per shot, though) or taunting. The quickest way to fill up is
via Dante's two-handed taunt. If necessary, run and jump to avoid any
Ice Slugs, but when you get a free moment, move Dante near the edge of
the slime and _quickly_ press the R2 button down as far as it will go
for this version of his taunt, which will earn 2 symbols of devil gauge
so long as you don't jump or roll to cancel it before it's complete. If
an attack hits Dante or an Ice Slug leaps onto him before the taunt is
finished, that will also prevent you from earning any symbols.

After escaping from the Solitary Confinement cage, make sure Dante's at
a safe distance then start a two-handed taunt as Nightmare falls back to
the ground to earn an additional 2 symbols worth. By the way, taunting
Solitary Confinement's slime walls for devil gauge does _not_ work.

I used to immediately run over to the wall symbol to solidify Nightmare
each time he turned gloopy. However, since the fastest way to damage the
cores is by using devil gauge this approach makes a lot more sense.
 

- SOLID NIGHTMARE 3's ATTACKS - (defense)

Machinegun Spheres -- Six spheres emerge from Nightmare's neck and
sides. They shoot machinegun lasers at Dante and constantly track him
until they retract. Slight hits don't hurt him much, but when several
lasers strike him simultaneously the damage really adds up so you always
have to run/jump/roll to avoid them. Each time Nightmare takes solid
form, this attack is almost always his first. Machinegun Sphere fire
also acts as a filler between most of Nightmare's attacks. Whenever
possible, try to position Dante directly in front of Nightmare when the
Machinegun Spheres begin to fire. When they appear, jump to the left or
right, then run back in the opposite direction around the battlefield
until they stop and the next attack comes. The path of the shots will
follow Dante's jump, making it safe to double back. By the time they
stop, you'll be diagonally in front of Nightmare and in a good position
to handle his next attack (usually the Ice Beam or Triple Spike-Stabs).

Ice Beam -- After the Machinegun Spheres retract, white beams of light
shoot forward along the floor from Nightmare's head while its core
surfaces above its neck, surrounded by protective rays of light. If
Dante is struck by the beams of light on the floor he'll take damage and
be stunned, possibly long enough for the Ice Beam to strike him. If you
get stunned, hold the analog stick diagonally towards one of Nightmare's
sides and wiggle it a little while mashing the jump button to hopefully
evade in time. The rays emanating from Nightmare's core when it first
appears hurt Dante too, and can also stun him long enough for the Ice
Beam to connect. So, don't get too close to Nightmare while they're
still there. The rays disappear just before the Ice Beam begins to fire;
this is your cue to jump towards the core and use a diagonal flame-kick
to land alongside it for some free core-smashing time. Be careful not to
flame-kick from Nightmare's rear towards the core, as you'll sometimes
hit it and continue sliding forward into the Ice Beam. If the Ice Beam
strikes Dante, kiss one of your lifebars goodbye (sometimes even more)
as Dante is frozen in a giant ice crystal. Moving the analog stick back
and forth will help him escape sooner. However, while the Ice Beam is
firing, Nightmare often pivots about wildly which makes it possible to
get hit _twice_ by a single Ice Beam attack. Get hit twice and you'll
have zero health when it's all over; Dante won't be quite dead, but the
slightest scratch will kill him. After the Ice Beam stops, the core will
begin to syphon away any of Dante's remaining devil gauge. I'll describe
ways to deal with this "attack" later...

Triple Spike-Stabs -- I'd say this is probably Nightmare's most
dangerous attack overall. If you are in front of or behind Nightmare
when the Machinegun Sphere fire ends, it will quickly rotate so its side
is facing you, then a hatch will open up and spikes will shoot out
towards Dante three times. The stabs come out _very_ quickly, homing in
on his location, and the timing between them is off just enough to trick
you into getting nailed by each subsequent attempt. The real danger
comes when Dante's already alongside Nightmare when this attack starts
since the spikes come out almost immediately after you hear the sound of
the hatch opening. For this reason, you want to always be in front of or
behind Nightmare prior to this attack so you get the tell-tale rotation
beforehand. The good news is that Rolling Blaze does a great job of
deflecting this attack. For the best results make Dante hop-jump in a
direction (by _tapping_ the jump button) so the spikes contact Dante's
_side_. There's a much greater chance he'll be hurt when he's leaping
towards or away from the stab attempts. Also, doing a normal jump right
when this attack begins will sometimes result in the first stab attempt
missing, but the second one hitting Dante before he lands. So again,
hop-jumps are safer. Once you have the timing down, deflecting this
attack isn't difficult as long as Nightmare pivots beforehand. As an
added bonus, whenever you manage to deflect a stab attempt, none of the
remaining stabs will come out, and you'll have that much more extra time
to damage the core at Nightmare's rear. If none of the stabs are
deflected, the core retracts shortly afterwards.

Guided Missile Waves -- After the Machinegun Sphere fire stops, the core
surfaces near Nightmare's rear surrounded by protective rays. Don't get
too close or Dante will get hurt. Just before the rays vanish, several
waves of missiles will rise up just behind the core, stall for a second
as they reach their peak, then fly towards Dante. They home in pretty
well, but they can be avoided easily by running around Nightmare and
jumping to the side whenever they get too close for comfort. You can
even evade them by jumping back and forth between the same two spots.
Should any stray missiles come into contact with Rolling Blaze, they
will be reflected back and hit the core for some damage. It's nice when
this happens, but you definitely shouldn't try to deflect all the
missiles back via Rolling Blaze as the margin for error is small. Again,
it's dangerous to jump directly towards a missile flying at Dante as
Rolling Blaze may not protect him. If you have enough devil gauge for
three Infernos (i.e., 7 symbols worth), jump to the side to avoid the
first wave, then DT in the air and start Infernoing. Jumping back and
forth near the core while Infernoing will result in extra damage from
all the missiles that get reflected back. The non-DT offensive way to
deal with the missiles is be behind Nightmare to it's left or right (out
of range of the core rays), then quickly go into the grenade-roll
technique as the first wave of missiles emerges. If you're quick enough,
you may be able to fill your devil gauge while doing decent damage.
However, this can be risky as getting hit by a stray missile, or rolling
too soon into the rays around the core, may stun Dante long enough to
get hit by the next entire wave. (By the way, sometimes the core is
located too close to the wall for you to even attempt positioning Dante
back there and grenade-rolling without getting hit by the protective
rays.) I recommend moving Dante diagonally in front of Nightmare to the
left or right of his head whenever Machinegun Sphere fire ends as often
as possible so (hopefully) this attack never gets used in the first
place (if it _is_ used when you're near Nightmare's head, the Machinegun
Spheres may _not_ appear beforehand; the core will appear at his rear
and the first wave of missiles will be fired shortly thereafter).

Boomerang Wing -- This is a very damaging attack, but it's one of the
easiest to deflect with Rolling Blaze when you're quick to identify it.
One big clue to watch for is that this attack might not be preceded by
Machinegun Sphere fire (particularly when it's Nightmare's first attack
after solidifying). For a few seconds, Nightmare will do nothing, then
the core surfaces from Nightmare's neck (once again with the dangerous
protective rays) as a hatch opens on Nightmare's right or left side and
his head tilts down. A portion of Nightmare's body emerges from the
hatch, floats up to the height of the core, and unfolds into a giant
wing. After unfolding, the wing begins to spin like a propeller and
proceeds to circle the battlefield rapidly several times. Eventually it
will stop, fold up, and re-enter Nightmare's body via the hatch. Getting
hit by the Boomerang Wing hurts Dante... a _lot_. Even worse, taking
damage from it does not make it fold up again; it will continue to
circle the battlefield as if nothing had happened. If you were paying
attention and noticed that the Machinegun Spheres did not appear (and
the core did not appear on Nightmare's rear, indicating the Guided
Missile Waves attack), immediately run towards Nightmare's head and
position Dante below the center of the unfolding wing. Just after it
locks in place and begins to spin, jump straight up to make it contact
the Rolling Blaze and start folding back up again. Take care not to jump
too early; the wing isn't vulnerable until after it starts spinning, so
you don't want Dante right alongside it when the protective flames of
Rolling Blaze vanish. If you miss this initial deflection opportunity,
the Boomerang Wing will follow one of two patterns. In the close-range
one, it follows a path close to Nightmare's body in a figure-8 pattern.
In the center of the 8, the wing usually flies over Nightmare from
head-to-rear (sometimes rear to head) before it swerves to either the
left or right. To deflect it when it's following this pattern, position
Dante in front of Nightmare's head, then hop-jump to the left or right
into its path as it approaches so it will contact Dante's side during
his Rolling Blaze. In the long-range pattern, the Boomerang Wing does
one circle close to Nightmare's body, then travels in a large circle
along the outer edges of the battlefield, half-inside and half-outside
the walls. If it does this, hop-jump via Rolling Blaze whenever it gets
near, but don't go out of your way to hit it, just concentrate on
evading it instead. The Boomerang Wing always stops and returns to its
starting position from Nightmare's _left_ when it does the large
circular pattern. In any case, if you don't want to be hit when it
returns from circling the outer edges of the battlefield, stand nearby
Nightmare on the side it didn't emerge from, where you can fire grenades
at the core from safety.

(Core Stealing Devil Gauge) -- This isn't really an attack so much as an
irritation. After the Ice Beam and Guided Missile Waves attacks, the
core begins to syphon away Dante's remaining devil gauge. If you
continually grenade-kick13 combo the core, you'll do a little better
than break even symbol-wise. To actually _earn_ devil gauge while the
core's trying to steal it, don't attack... taunt. Do a two-handed taunt
then hold the analog stick towards the core and repeatedly press the R2
button until it retracts. After the Ice Beam attack ends, doing this
will enable you to build up around 3 symbols of devil gauge by the time
you have to evade the next attack.
 

- CORE-DAMAGING TECHNIQUES - (offense)

You'll be able to do much more damage to Nightmare's cores when they
appear if you have a good plan in mind. Following are combos that will
help you maximize the damage done during each core-thrashing
opportunity.
 

(Build Devil Gauge)
  |
[repeatedly grenade-kick13 combo]  or  [taunt]
  |
Any time you want to build devil gauge, repeatedly grenade-kick13 combo
the core to earn some (or stalemate the core's attempts to take yours)
while doing damage. (You need to repeatedly tap the shoot button for
each grenade, but only tap the attack button _once_ for each kick13 to
keep the combo going smoothly.) You can also opt to taunt instead.
Always stalemate or taunt after every Guided Missile Waves attack ends;
DTing's not worth it since the core retracts so quickly.
 

(After Ice Beam -- with full 10 symbol devil gauge)
  |
[flame-kick next to core, DT, grenade, hop-jump straight up, Inferno,
grenade, hop-jump straight up, Inferno, grenade, hop-jump straight up,
Inferno, grenade, hop-jump straight up, Inferno, Kick13 Auto-Combo]
  |
I used to think that the most damaging thing you could do to the core
was four Infernos. I was wrong... way wrong; you can cancel Infernos
with grenade gun shots, grenade gun shots with jumps, and jumps with
Infernos. If you jump up and flame-kick the core immediately after (or
slightly before) the Ice Beam comes out, it's not hard to do the combo
above with a little practice. So, that's a total of a regular
flame-kick, four DTed grenade gun shots, four Infernos, and a Kick13
Auto-Combo. If you're too slow to flame-kick next to the core, it will
steal what little devil gauge you have left before you can start the
auto-combo (like Inferno, it only needs a smidge of devil gauge to
begin). By the way, if you jump up to flame-kick the core while or
_immediately_ after the protective rays recede, it's possible to replace
the auto-combo with a fifth Inferno provided you do everything quickly
enough. It's sometimes difficult to make that jump when the camera angle
changes, though. Furthermore, if you modify this combo so you're DTing
before each grenade gun shot then de-DTing immediately after committing
to each Inferno you can squeeze even more grenades and Infernos into
this combo before running out of devil gauge.
 

(After Ice Beam -- the easier "devil gauge efficient" way)
  |
[flame-kick next to core, hold attack button down to do a fully-charged
PPKK combo, DT just before the initial punch hits, keep attack button
held down until final kick hits, grenade, hold attack button down to do
a fully-charged PPK combo]
  |
Charging up each strike of Ifrit's PPKK combo to the maximum actually
does really good damage on Nightmare's core while Dante's DTed. In fact,
you can even get a little more damage with this combo during the Ice
Beam than the quad-grenade/inferno-kick13-auto-combo followed by normal
grenade-kick13ing until the core retracts. There are two drawbacks...
The first is that this combo extends into the Core Stealing Devil Gauge
portion of Nightmare's attack routine. You won't be able to build up any
extra devil gauge by taunting during that part; it's a trade-off. The
second is that executing this combo is like watching paint dry. Still,
this alternate method only requires 6 symbols of devil gauge including
the amount that gets stolen. If you were really quick to flame-kick next
to the core when the protective rays receded, you can squeeze an extra
grenade gun shot in after the final kick. Holding the R1 button down
throughout this entire combo smoothes the transitions between the Ifrit
strikes and the grenade gun shots. In the event your devil gauge is
running too low to complete the whole thing, you can replace the last
strike with a grenade followed by a Kick13 Auto-Combo or possibly a
hop-jump Inferno.
 

(After 1st Triple Spike-Stab Deflected)
  |
[flame-kick next to core, DT, grenade, jump, Inferno, grenade, jump,
Inferno, grenade]
  |
The core will retract shortly after the third grenade hits, but if you
were really close when you deflected the initial spike and do everything
quickly enough, you may be able to hit the core with a third partial
Inferno.
 

(Immediately After Boomerang Wing Is Deflected)
  |
[flame-kick next to core, DT, grenade, jump, Inferno, grenade, jump,
Inferno, grenade, jump, Inferno, grenade]
  |
Again, since you don't want to fall off Nightmare's back you're
jumping/hop-jumping straight up before doing the Infernos.
 

- TRISH DECIDES TO HELP - (defense)

At some point while you're damaging the core when Nightmare's lifebar is
in the red, the battle will be interrupted by a cutscene as Trish
arrives to participate. The bad news is she's here to help Nightmare,
not Dante. Immediately after the cutscene ends, move forward into or
backward towards the screen to avoid her initial yellow bolt of power.
She'll fire them periodically during the remainder of the fight. They
really don't do much damage on their own; the danger its that they'll
stun Dante long enough to be hit by one of Nightmare's more powerful
attacks. Whenever you see one, stop whatever you're doing and jump away
to safety. She doesn't fire them once Dante's started doing close range
attacks on the core, but she may begin firing one just before then, so
be careful. Also, be especially wary of her attacks whenever you're
activating a wall symbol.
 

- NIGHTMARE 3's FINAL CORE - (offense/defense)

When you reduce Nightmare 3's lifebar to zero, instead of just dying
like you'd think it would, Nightmare bounces back with its red lifebar
energy restored. Becoming a hybrid of its solid and gloopy forms, its
solid body sinks into the slime puddle. The core hovers above it, too
high to hit with normal Ifrit attacks from the ground even if you were
standing on Nightmare's back. You'd never get that chance anyway, since
the core is surrounded by protective rays. Other larger offensive beams
are emitted from the core starting near Dante's feet then pivoting up
towards the ceiling. If Dante doesn't move to avoid them, he'll get hit
(and stunned). While these beams are continually homing in on Dante,
they aren't the only attacks he has to worry about. Missiles and Ice
Slugs are periodically released. Furthermore, if you get too close to
the gloopy edge of the slime puddle, Nightmare will make flytrap-grab
attempts. Trish continues firing her yellow bolts to stun Dante as well.
Eventually, the protective rays and offensive beams will vanish and the
core will try to steal your devil gauge. However, the other attacks
_don't_ stop. After this, the offensive beams grow in numbers (they get
increasingly worse the more damage you do) until the Final Core's
lifebar is completely depleted.

The toughest thing about the Final Core is by the time you're figure out
what you're supposed to be doing, Dante's nearly dead. If there's ever a
time you'll be tempted to use an Untouchable Star, this is it. By the
way, before you get your wheels spinning, the Final Core's flytrap-grabs
do _not_ Throw To Underworld so you can damage Nightmare via a simple
(by comparison) Shadowy Nelo fight in the event you've managed to avoid
getting grabbed until now; they just hurt. You still have to deal with
this fight the hard way... unless you resort to using items, that is.

Let me preface what you're about to read by saying that in Devil May Cry
it's always helpful to use the right weapon for the right job. 99% of
the time, Ifrit is the ideal weapon to get you through all of the
non-Mundus boss fights in the shortest amount of time. That said, the
best ability to use against N3's Final Core is Alastor's Air Raid. It's
the only ability in the game that will allow Dante to unleash DTed power
on the core while simultaneously evading its (and Trish's) many attacks.
But just knowing to use it won't be quite enough to defeat the core.

Be Prepared -- You don't want to face the Final Core without a full
10-symbol devil gauge. So, when Nightmare is really low on health,
gradually wear him down with grenades and kick13s until he has the
tiniest sliver its lifebar remaining. Continue avoiding/deflecting
Nightmare's attacks, but instead of attacking the core, taunt to build
up your devil gauge instead. Keep taunting if he turns gloopy. An
alternate way to go about this is not to be grabbed by the Throw To
Underworld attack until Nightmare has a little less than 25% of its life
left. Then the final core will be triggered as you return from beating
Shadowy Nelo with a full devil gauge; be sure to equip Alastor before
you return.

Commence Air Raiding -- Once your devil gauge is full, avoid Nightmare's
next attack (after activating up a wall symbol first, if necessary) then
switch weapons via the Start button to Alastor, Air Hike to the ceiling
away from Nightmare, quickly DT and tap the R1 button for flight mode,
then start flying in a circle around the battlefield while jamming on
the shoot button. The final core should be revealed after just one or
two Air Raid bolts. Continue circling it, keeping your distance from the
protective rays, but staying close enough that you don't waste many Air
Raid bolts on the Ice Slugs below you (that's why you want to fly around
up near the ceiling). The bad news is that you won't have enough devil
gauge to finish the core off completely. Keep an eye on the symbols, and
start moving Dante further and further from the core as you circle when
you've got less than a full symbol left to reduce the chance he'll be
hit by an offensive beam when he lands.

Grenade-Roll To Build Devil Gauge -- When you land, if the Final Core's
not already trying to steal your devil gauge, it soon will be. No matter
how you cut it, this part _blows_. You should roll immediately when you
land, then wait for a split second. Each time a beam appears near
Dante's feet (which is almost, but not quite, continuously), roll to the
side then fire a grenade at the core. Keep grenade-rolling back and
forth between two spots that won't make the camera angle change.
Hopefully Dante landed alongside Nightmare instead of near his head so
your shots will be clear. If not, you can grenade-roll to a better
position. This would be very simple if the other attacks weren't still
coming at you. Your grenade blasts will send many of the missiles back
at the core, and your rolls should help you evade them too. The big
problem is the Ice Slugs; when they get near, they mess up your rolling
attempts (as _they_ become the closest enemy). You either have to jump
over or run past them so they leap at and miss Dante, or continue
rolling in the same direction to stay ahead of them (which creates a
whole new set of problems due to changing camera angles). The other
things that may interfere with rolls are the wall symbols; get too close
and he'll be firing grenades at and rolling around them rather than the
Final Core. Of course, that's not all you have to worry about; you can't
roll too _close_ to the Final Core or Nightmare's flytrap-grabs will
hurt Dante. Trish's occasional yellow bolts don't help matters either.
Let me reiterate: _This_part_blows!_ The only good news is that you'll
only need to earn around 4 or 5 symbols of devil gauge before you can
stop this craziness...

Resume Air Raiding -- Once you've built up at least 4 symbols of devil
gauge, Air Hike to the ceiling again (jumping to the side as you do to
avoid any offensive beams), quickly DT, activate flight mode and
continue circling while Air Raiding again. As long as your bolts don't
home in on any Ice Slugs for too long, this second Air Raid onslaught
should be enough to finish the Final Core.
 

- THE 100% IFRIT WAY - (offense)

Remember the "Grenade-Roll to Build Devil Gauge" section above? Does
"this part blows" ring any bells? If for some reason you don't wish to
switch to Alastor to take advantage of Air Raid's strengths, you'll have
to grenade-roll against the Final Core _the_entire_time!_ Unfortunately,
the Ifrit gauntlets' abilities all have drawbacks in this battle. You
need to get too close to use Inferno, Kick13, Rolling Blaze or Magma
Drive, and Meteor2 has too much lag before and after the shots to be
helpful. So your only recourse is to DT whenever possible as you
continuously grenade-roll/jump/pray until the Final Core is eventually
overwhelmed. Sound like fun? It's not. The best mission rank I ever got
doing this was a B, and I have no intention of tormenting myself any
further attempting to do better...
 

- NIGHTMARE 3's ATTACK PATTERN - (offense/defense)

Until you learn to successfully deal with each of Nightmare 3's attacks
each time you solidify him, it may help to know which attack to expect
next. Here's a rundown that may help you through this battle. NOTE:
Every Nightmare attack listed below will be preceded by fire from
Machinegun Spheres.
 

(Nightmare's cutscene)

Let Dante get grabbed by the Throw To Underworld attack and defeat
Shadowy Nelo; enter portal to return to Nightmare fight; activate wall
symbol upon returning

-1st Attack Wave-
  |
Ice Beam; Triple Spike-Stabs; Ice Beam; (gloopifies)

Taunt/grenade to fill all 10 symbols of devil gauge from gloopy
Nightmare; activate wall symbol

-2nd Attack Wave-
  |
Triple Spike-Stabs; Boomerang Wing; Triple Spike-Stabs; Ice Beam;
(gloopifies)

(Trish's cutscene)

Taunt/grenade to fill all 10 symbols of devil gauge from gloopy
Nightmare; activate wall symbol

-3rd Attack Wave-
  |
Triple Spike-Stabs; Ice Beam; Triple Spike-Stabs; (gloopifies)
 

For this pattern to work, Dante must be near Nightmare's head when any
Machinegun Spheres fire ends. If he's not, you may get the Guided
Missile Waves instead of an attack listed above.

If you've been able to deflect each initial Triple Spike-Stab then use
that extra "core time" for building devil gauge via grenade-kick13ing,
and DT to use the Core-Damaging Techniques outlined above to counter his
other attacks, Nightmare should be near the point where you'll need to
carefully chip down his life bar in preparation for the Final Core's
appearance during the 3rd Attack Wave. Likewise, when Trish's cutscene
interrupts the battle is completely dependant on how quickly or slowly
you damage Nightmare's cores.

If you use the quad-grenade/inferno-kick13-auto-combo you'll definitely
want to taunt the Core Stealing Devil Gauge afterwards so you have
around 3 symbols worth when it retracts. As described in the Machinegun
Spheres notes, after each Ice Beam or Boomerang Wing attack ends, leap
off Nightmare's head to the ground directly in front of him then jump to
the left or right as the Machinegun Sphere fire begins. Double back in
the opposite direction underneath the laser fire when you land. When
they stop shooting, Dante will be in a good position to deal with the
Triple Spike-Stabs next.
 

- S MISSION RANKING NOTES -

If you don't care about your mission ranking, you can easily bypass
fighting the Frosts by using Rolling Blaze to jump through the first red
door, running past the first Frost you see, and jumping through the
second red door.

However, if you want an S mission rank I believe you must defeat the
Frosts to earn enough red orbs unless you use a method more lucrative
than grenade gun shots to defeat the Sargasso skulls. In any case,
finishing off the Frosts before facing Nightmare certainly won't _hurt_
your S mission rank chances, especially since restarting the mission
should Dante get hurt is not a huge setback at all.

Try to beat the first Frost you see without DTing, or the other one will
probably do a modified version of the Ice Wave attack where ice crystals
home in and emerge from the ground near Dante. I have the best luck
jumping _over_ the toned-down version used in this fight as it
approaches, but it's tough to avoid since you often can't see it until
it's too late. If necessary, revisit the "Frosts" comboing section to
brush up.
 

- NIGHTMARE 2 DIFFERENCES & NOTES -

Differences -- Nightmare 2 has no Final Core or Solitary Confinement :
you face Shadowy Griffon when Dante is grabbed by the Throw To
Underworld attack

Miscellaneous Notes -- the size of this battlefield is much smaller than
the others : when you jump up onto a balcony, gloopy Nightmare can still
attempt to flytrap-grab you there : jumping onto a balcony or stairwell
will keep you out of the path of the Boomerang Wing attack, where you
may be able to Meteor2 or shoot grenades at the core from safety : in
addition to a few pillars, there are some small obstacles scattered
about that Dante will slide off of should he land on them after a jump,
do your best to avoid this so you don't get hit while he does
 

- NIGHTMARE 1 DIFFERENCES & NOTES -

Differences -- Nightmare 1 has no Final Core, Solitary Confinement, or
Boomerang Wing : you face Shadowy Phantom when Dante is grabbed by the
Throw To Underworld attack : there are four wall symbols in the
cathedral instead of just two as in the other battlefields

Miscellaneous Notes -- the two wall symbols closest to Nightmare are
raised above the floor enough that the initial punch from Ifrit's PPKK
combo will miss them, use three kick13s instead : when Dante's against
the wall with the door that leads to the broken bridge, the Ice Beam
will not reach him (since you can't hit the core from there with Meteor2
shots while Nightmare's facing him, I recommend using the closer wall
symbols instead) : you may find that the combination of the many pillars
and inopportune camera angle changes conspire to make this battle a lot
harder than it ought to be...
 

- STUPID NIGHTMARE TRICKS -

When Nightmare starts its Guided Missile Waves attack, position Dante
out of range from the protective rays to the left or right or right of
the core and switch to Alastor via the Start button. Jump into the air,
DT, and activate flight mode. When the first missile wave appears, start
jamming on the attack button to Vortex2 them, making them target the
core. Continue Vortex2ing until the missile waves stop coming and the
core starts stealing devil gauge. When it goes just right, each Vortex2
pass will strike the core _and_ deflect all the missile waves towards it
as well. The missiles will swarm around the core like angry bees around
a hive someone swatted with a stick. It's a fairly entertaining sight to
see... okay, maybe I've been playing Devil May Cry a _little_ too much.

A well-timed Inferno on the middle of Nightmare's back can destroy all
the Machinegun Spheres right when they appear, and you may not even take
a single hit. This is easiest after the Boomerang Wing attack, but you
can also do it after deflecting the Triple Spike-Stabs attack or even
the Ice Beam if you have enough devil gauge. In either case, be careful
not to be too close to the core that surfaces next so Dante doesn't get
hit by any protective rays. If you're successful in Infernoing all the
Machinegun Spheres and the next attack happens to be the Triple
Spike-Stabs, Dante can just stand there (even better, taunting Nightmare
as he stands there) while all three stab attempts curl towards but fail
to hit him. For extra style points, using the de-DTing technique will
actually earn Dante additional devil gauge symbols in the process. (The
first time I accidentally did this I thought it was some sort of glitch;
I was jumping off of Nightmare's back to avoid laser fire from the
Machinegun Spheres when Dante still had a fraction of a symbol left, but
instinctively tried to flame-kick and got the Inferno instead.)
 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 DMD MUNDUS 1
--------------

The first half of this Mundus battle is an apparent homage to an arcade
classic. After the cutscene you trigger by approaching the statue, Dante
taps into his full demonic potential and engages Mundus "Space Harrier"
style. The important thing you need to do throughout most of this battle
is keep moving. Overall, I'd say getting through this portion without
getting hurt at all is 80% having a good game plan and knowing what to
expect. The rest is luck, mainly due to the random nature of the
Fireballs and Lightning Bolts attacks.

(NOTE: Although you won't need it right now, you should equip the
shotgun before approaching the statue and triggering the cutscene.
You'll be glad you did later... Even better, equip the shotgun _before_
you end Mission 21, so you won't have to remember to switch weapons in
the likely event you face Mundus multiple times before defeating him.)
 

- REQUIRED/HELPFUL ABILITIES & WEAPONS -

The only ability Dante uses in this battle is Vortex, activated via the
attack button. You're allowed to Vortex during this battle even if you
haven't purchased it; for this fight, it's a gimmie. Just like the
version offered by the Time Statues, Dante's invulnerable to everything
while spinning. Pressing the attack button activates it. Additionally
moving the analog stick in a direction beforehand is not required, but
is highly recommended in most cases. Dante will spin as little as one
time or as many as four times based on how long the attack button is
held down. Regardless of how many times he spins, there's always a
little stationary recovery time before he can move again after he stops;
being able to Vortex2 would have made this fight too easy. In addition
to the recovery time, Dante is prevented from Vortexing again for about
1.5 seconds after each recovery. Anyway, this is the move to go for when
you "paint yourself into a corner" as you attempt to avoid Mundus's
attacks.

As far as projectile weapons go, you aren't allowed to wield any. Dante
shoots Space Harrier-type shots when you press the shoot button (R1 is
not required). You can hold the shoot button down to make Dante fire
shots automatically, but you'll be able to fire them even faster by
jamming on the shoot button manually.

Another difference is the behavior of the L1 button; since Dante's
already in devil form, you don't DT when you press it. When you have at
least 3 symbols of devil gauge, pressing L1 releases a giant dragon that
will travel through all of Mundus's attacks and defenses to hit him for
damage. The more devil gauge you have, the more damage this DT-dragon
will do. The animation for this special attack starts instantly and
Dante's invulnerable until it ends, so you can use the DT-dragon as a
"smart bomb" to prevent Dante from getting hit if need be.

Finally, holding down the jump button allows Dante fly around three
times as fast as he does normally. This is _extremely_ helpful for
avoiding nearly all of Mundus's attacks.
 

- ANALOG/GAMEPAD CONTROLS -

During this particular battle, you are allowed to use either the analog
stick or the gamepad on the standard Sony controller. The analog stick
gives you airplane-like controls; pushing the analog stick up moves
Dante down, and vice-versa, while left and right are not reversed. The
gamepad gives you Space Harrier-like controls; the direction you point
to with the gamepad is the direction Dante moves. Use whichever you're
more comfortable with (I'd say the gamepad controls would be simpler for
most people).
 

- FIGHTING MUNDUS 1 - (defense)

Mundus's attacks during this battle mainly fall into two categories:
long-range and short-range. You always start the battle from afar, and
Mundus uses his long-range attacks until Dante's about 3/5ths of the way
to him before switching to the more easily avoided short-range attacks.
The long-range attacks will be listed first, since you'll have to deal
with them right when the battle begins. Getting nicked, much less taking
a solid hit, by an attack does a lot of damage in DMD mode; _any_ hit
will typically cost you around half a life bar at the minimum.

(Dark Sphere Summon) -- Mundus tenses his arms then throws them outward
as four large, dark spheres appear forming a rotating square in front of
him. These spheres enable a shield that protects Mundus. You must
destroy all of the dark spheres by hitting each one with four shots to
shatter the shield before your shots will hurt him. If you use Dante's
DT-dragon, it will shatter the shield as it travels towards Mundus
before hurting him. However, the DT-dragons can do even more damage when
you eliminate all of the dark spheres first. Firing a DT-dragon when
you're far away results in Mundus immediately doing another Dark Sphere
Summon after he's hit. He may do this at close range, too.

Giant Laser Beam -- Of all of Mundus's attacks, this one is the easiest
to see coming. After pausing, his hands move clockwise as eight white
symbols appear in pairs around his body, forming a circle around him.
After all four pairs appear, Mundus fires a gigantic white laser beam at
Dante. The height and width of the laser beam is about 1/5 of the
screen. It always travels either vertically from the top to the bottom
of the screen or horizontally from the right side to the left. The beam
can travel from one edge to the other quickly or slowly. If Dante's
headed in a direction, Mundus may lead with the laser beam so he'll move
into it. The safest way to counter this attack is to take advantage of
the invulnerability Vortex provides. While avoiding any other ongoing
attacks, press and hold the attack button (so you'll spin longer) to
Vortex towards a safe area when the laser beam moves towards Dante to
pass through it without taking damage. If there are no other attacks to
worry about, move towards it during your Vortex to minimize the amount
of time Dante and the beam overlap. Due to the two directions the laser
beam travels, the safest place to be when all eight symbols appear is
near the lower-left corner of the screen as this will provide additional
time to Vortex at the right moment. If this is the only attack in
progress, you can also shoot at dark spheres or Mundus himself near the
middle of the screen, execute a well-timed Vortex as the beam approaches
Dante without moving at all, then return to firing shots immediately
afterwards. This attack can be done at any distance, and Mundus may do
it several times in a row. Getting hit by the Giant Laser Beam usually
does over one and a half lifebars worth of damage to Dante.

Fireballs -- This is Mundus's most common, and most dangerous,
long-range attack. He waves his left hand over his head and fireballs
continually streak at you from the top-center of the screen for a while.
They can be really tough to avoid since many fireballs don't follow
Dante's exact path, but are fired in his general direction. Due to this
randomness and the large size of the fireballs themselves, you have to
pay close attention to their paths, and adjust Dante's accordingly. The
extra speed you get from holding down the jump button will enable you to
stay ahead of the fireballs easily. If you're very quick, or anticipate
well, you can also Vortex through any you find too close for comfort.
Stay away from the top edge of the screen, since you may not be able to
react in time to dodge/Vortex fireballs there. Without resorting to the
jump button's extra speed, following a wide, horizontal figure-eight
pattern in the lower half of the screen, moving diagonally upwards
during each pass through the middle works well and will also keep Dante
ahead of any laser attacks Mundus does.

Lightning Bolts -- In this long range attack, Mundus waves his right arm
over his head. A second later, several waves of one to three vertical
lightning bolts repeatedly appear and move towards Dante for a while.
When each wave appears, ensure that Dante isn't in one of their paths to
avoid damage. Avoiding these bolts by themselves is easy enough. The
best way is to keep Dante moving vertically as much as possible, moving
to the side when you need to avoid oncoming lightning bolts or double
back near top or bottom of the screen. However, things get tricky when
Dante's movement is restricted to vertical only, but you'd also like to
go left or right to avoid another attack in progress. As always,
whenever you get stuck between a rock and a hard place either Vortex or
DT-dragon. Also, avoid the left and right edges of the screen as it
looks like you can move further towards them than you actually can. The
extra speed you get from holding down the jump button will allow Dante
to quickly move to a relatively empty area, but travelling at his normal
speed allows you to "thread the needle" between the bolts with more
control. Alternating between the two speeds depending on your needs is
probably the best approach.

Rock Slabs -- When Mundus gestures to start this long-range attack,
giant slabs of rock are hurled at Dante. It's best to keep moving in a
large diamond-shaped pattern, since each meteor is aimed at Dante's
current position. The biggest danger involved from this attack is often
surprise since the rock slabs are composed of the same colors as the
background. It is possible to destroy the rock slabs by hitting them
with enough shots before they reach Dante or Vortexing through them.
Either way, the fragments won't harm him. However, it's a lot safer to
just avoid them. Since the rock slabs are wider than they are tall,
moving vertically often works better than horizontally. Once again,
using the jump button to move faster enables you to stay ahead of the
rock slabs without much difficulty.

Propeller Spheres -- Several sets of two gray spheres connected by a
bolt of lightning rotate in a circle as they spin towards Dante. You can
simply avoid them as they approach or Vortex through the lightning bolts
or the spheres themselves. You'll occasionally manage to destroy one of
the gray spheres with your shots from a distance and disable that
particular propeller, but it's very difficult to do this intentionally.
Most of the time there will be another attack in progress, and you
should concentrate on avoiding both simultaneously. Unless you're also
avoiding another attack, using the jump button's speed boost probably
won't be necessary.

Jumbled Spheres -- A jumbled, disorganized group of gray spheres bounce
around the screen, shooting white lasers towards Dante's current
location. All you need to do is keep moving to avoid getting hit. Trying
to shoot the spheres down is a waste of time, as the lasers they fire
are not very accurate anyway.

Circle Of Spheres -- Mundus crosses his chest with his right arm, then
waves it forward, summoning a sporadically revolving circle of spheres
that shoot white lasers at Dante. Again, you can shoot the spheres and
destroy some, but you're better off just avoiding the lasers by moving
in any direction except where you've just been. While this is
occasionally used as a long-range attack, it is most often used when
Dante is close to Mundus.

Red Lasers v1 -- Mundus curls his body, crossing his arms in front of
his face in an 'x', then raises his hands above his head. Red lasers are
fired from them as his arms move down to his sides. Like every other
multiple lasers attack, constantly moving away from wherever you were
prevents Dante from getting hit. Just after the final red lasers are
fired, you'll have a little extra time to shoot Mundus (or any dark
spheres to shatter the shield) before the next attack comes. Like Circle
Of Spheres, this attack is also used liberally when Dante is at
short-range.

Red Lasers v2 -- Again Mundus curls then straightens his body, this time
crossing his arms in front of his chest and swinging them outward.
However, the lasers come out quickly from his back and cover a much
wider area. This is just a slightly more effective attack than the other
version, and can be avoided the standard way. It's also typically a
short-range attack.

Mundus's Vortex -- Mundus crosses his chest with both hands and wraps
his wings around him, then begins to spin as he heads towards the middle
of the screen. The safest thing to do after he starts spinning is move
to the top edge or one of the corners of the screen to avoid getting
hit. Mundus will continue his Vortex as he travels off into the
distance, where he will begin a new barrage of long-range attacks as
Dante works his way closer again. Mundus's Vortex is always a
short-range attack and he almost always does it after being hit by
Dante's DT-dragon at close range.
 

- GENERAL MUNDUS 1 STRATEGY - (defense)

As mentioned previously, Mundus starts the battle with long-range
attacks, then switches to short-range ones when Dante gets close enough.
Usually there are three or four waves of long-range attacks before
Mundus switches.

Of the long-range attacks, Fireballs and Lightning Bolts are the most
dangerous; _especially_ when they both come simultaneously because the
methods for avoiding each of them are totally incongruent. You can try
to tough it out and avoid this combination, reserving your devil gauge
to damage Mundus with a more powerful attack later on. Doing the
figure-eight pattern in the lower half of the screen and moving
vertically to avoid lightning bolts when necessary works best for me.
You can use the jump button judiciously when the fireballs get too close
or stop firing shots and concentrate solely on evading with your thumb
on the attack button so you can Vortex without any delay if you get
pinned down. The other option is to fire your DT-dragon if you have
enough devil gauge; usually one of the two attacks will have ended by
the time the "dragon animation" is done. (It's a good idea to be moving
in a direction and Vortex immediately when the camera switches back to
Dante, just in case...)

As far as Mundus's multiple laser attacks are concerned, keep Dante
moving and never double back where he's just been and you'll be fine;
the extra speed Dante gets from pressing the jump button is not
required. Be careful when Mundus does long-range multiple lasers
attacks; if you're moving Dante in a circle, you may position him near
the same spot the lasers were originally fired at and needlessly take
damage when they finally reach him. Also, don't get tunnel vision
destroying the dark spheres only to get hit for being too focused.

When you Vortex to avoid an attack like the Giant Laser Beam, you should
always be moving Dante in a direction away from where he's been if there
are any fireball, rock slab, or multiple laser attacks in the air. If
you Vortex while remaining stationary, it's highly likely Dante will be
hit when he recovers.
 

- GENERAL MUNDUS 1 STRATEGY - (offense)

The first order of business is to destroy the dark spheres Mundus
summons and disable his shield. Right when the battle begins, move Dante
a little lower, then start moving left and right while firing shots as
rapidly as you can. You should be able to destroy one, sometimes two, of
the dark spheres before you're forced to evade the first long-range
attack.

Whenever one of the ongoing attacks is not Fireballs or Lightning Bolts,
flying in a circle tight enough to hit the dark spheres with your shots
is all that's required to eliminate them without taking damage. You can
also opt to veer closer to hit them while avoiding fireballs or
lightning bolts if you want.

When Mundus's shield is down, his wings are not vulnerable to your
shots, but the rest of his body is. Fly in a large horizontal
figure-eight pattern, travelling vertically at Dante's normal speed
while strafing him from head-to-toe (or toe-to-head) in each pass to do
minimal damage and (more importantly) build up your devil gauge. When
your shots won't hit Mundus during the circular portions of the
figure-eight, you can briefly hold down the jump button to speed Dante
into position for another strafing run.

At short-range, before and after Mundus's red laser attacks you can
rapidly fire shots at his chest. Start moving downward when you see him
start another red laser attack, then go in a circle strafing him from
head-to-toe again. Return to firing at his chest while evading the last
few lasers. If he does the Giant Laser Beam by itself, continue firing
shots from the middle of the screen, then move towards it and hold down
the attack button to Vortex through it just before it hits. After the
beam's passed by, stop spinning and resume firing shots again.

In the rare event Mundus does his Dark Sphere Summon when you're at
close range, you can fire quickly at the dark spheres to destroy three
of them before Mundus's next attack comes. If his next attack is the
Circle Of Spheres, you may even be able to eliminate them all and
shatter his shield without getting hit. The trick is not to chase after
any dark spheres, but to fire at the ones revolving towards Dante
instead.

During Mundus's Vortex, it's possible to counter-Vortex him for damage.
Fire shots at Mundus's chest as his wings fold around his body. After he
starts to spin towards Dante, move up until the tips of his wings are
just about to hit him (usually, Dante will be beneath the lifebars at
the top of the screen). Keep moving up as you Vortex (holding the attack
button down so the invulnerability will last longer) to hit Mundus for
some damage and escape unscathed. It's better to miss completely than to
Vortex too early or too close to his body and get hurt. It's _very_
important not to Vortex straight forward or you'll definitely take
damage when Dante recovers.

If you don't want to attempt a counter-Vortex, continue firing shots at
Mundus's chest, then strafe downward as he starts spinning and move to a
lower corner as he approaches. When the long-range attacks start again,
concentrate on destroying enough dark spheres from afar so Dante will be
able to DT-dragon out of a tight situation again.

What you're _really_ hoping for when Dante's at close range is the
Circle Of Spheres attack so you can...
 

- DO DOUBLE-DAMAGE WITH THE DT-DRAGON - (offense)

This is by far the most potent technique for hurting Mundus during this
battle. When Dante's so close that he stops moving towards him, keep
firing shots until he does the "right arm across his chest" motion that
precedes his Circle Of Spheres attack. When he does, concentrate your
shots on his chest, so Dante will be centered directly in front of him.
Either right as or just before Mundus throws his arm forward, press the
L1 button to unleash the DT-dragon. If Dante's position and timing were
correct, it will hit Mundus _twice_ doing double-damage. This will
dramatically shorten the length of this fight, and consequently the
amount of time you may make a mistake dodging Mundus's various attacks,
especially when all 10 symbols of Dante's devil gauge are full.

There is a downside to doing this. Mundus will almost always Vortex away
after you hit him with a close-range DT-dragon, whether it does
double-damage or not. In any case, you'll only be able to get a few
shots in afterwards before he spins past you. Then you'll have to start
shooting at the dark spheres from long range until you have enough to
DT-dragon again. Until you do, only the Vortex ability will be available
to help Dante out of tight situations. Furthermore, if you opt to
counter-Vortex Mundus's Vortex, Dante will have even less devil gauge to
start building from. However, once you've become accustomed to dodging
Mundus 1's attacks, the benefits far outweigh this disadvantage.

Also, Dante will stop moving towards Mundus at one of two distances. If
you are so close that the edges of Mundus's wings are not visible on the
screen, you'll have a much better chance of getting the DT-dragon to hit
twice than you would if he stops slightly further away. Unfortunately,
to my knowledge there's nothing you can do to ensure Dante will stop at
the closest distance. You just have to hope for the best. If one of your
long-range DT-dragons hits for double-damage you should thank your lucky
stars because it's not something you'll be able to duplicate reliably.
 

- STUPID MUNDUS 1 TRICK -

You can plug in a controller or joystick with rapid-fire capability to
get through this portion of the Mundus battle even quicker. Hopefully,
you'll still have at least half your devil gauge left over from the
previous mission, and be able to destroy one or two of the dark spheres
before evading the long-range attacks. Hold off until you can DT-dragon
for double-damage just before the Circle Of Spheres attack whenever
possible. After that, fire shots at Mundus's chest, hitting him while
Vortexing to safety as he approaches at the last second. Usually this is
enough to do a little over 50% damage. You can often do the same thing
again to finish the battle during the second Mundus's Vortex.

Just so you know, I've paid my dues by using the Sony controller to beat
DMD Mundus 1 over three times without taking any damage; accomplishing
this is both tough on the old thumb and good enough for me. Besides, the
first portion of the battle is merely a formality. DMD Mundus 2 is when
the _real_ fight starts...
 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 DMD MUNDUS 2
--------------

The second half of this battle makes up for the relative ease with which
you'll eventually learn to get through the Mundus 1 part. This fight is
_really_ hard to do well in without using items. Personally, I think
fighting two Nightmare 3's back-to-back would be easier. Mundus now uses
two varieties of attacks: ones that home in on Dante's position, and
wide-coverage ones that go everywhere. In the end, success depends on
learning the attack recovery times for both Mundus and Dante, endurance,
and keeping close tabs on your devil gauge. Even though you have the now
ultra-powerful Sparda, this is DMD mode; you'll be chipping away at
Mundus's life bar the entire battle.
 

- REQUIRED/HELPFUL ABILITIES & WEAPONS -

You _desperately_ need Roundtrip for this battle. When Dante's normal it
builds devil gauge and does better damage than any other long-range
attack. Roundtrips also do decent damage when Dante's DTed. The other
two abilities you can use with the Sparda in this fight are ones I'm
sure you'll have picked up by now, Stinger-level2 and Air Hike. (Unlike
Vortex in the Mundus 1 half of the battle, I'm not sure whether these
two abilities are "freebies" for this fight or not, but getting through
it without Air Hike would be _very_ difficult.) Since you'll be shooting
a lot of spheres, the wide range of the shotgun makes it the ideal
projectile weapon to use.
 

- FIGHTING MUNDUS 2 - (defense)

(Rock Slab Summon) -- During this non-offensive move, Mundus's arms
simultaneously wave outward then fall to his side. Afterwards, rock
slabs will rise up out of the lava. Mundus always does this to replace
the rock slabs destroyed after his White Fireball Frisbee, Power Punch,
and Lava Dragon attacks.

(Dark Sphere Summon) -- Mundus puts his right hand on his hip and
motions upwards with his left. Afterwards, four large, dark spheres
appear scattered around the battlefield close to the outer platforms.
They don't do anything offensive on their own, and each one can be
destroyed with four Sparda slashes or shotgun blasts (Stingers count
double). Even dark spheres on the far side of the battlefield can be
destroyed via shotgun blasts when they're close to Mundus, but there's
no way to target them directly. Each one you destroy earns Dante three
to 4 symbols worth of devil gauge; any you don't eliminate will be used
as ammunition for Mundus's White Fireball Frisbee attack.

Spinning Spheres -- Again, Mundus motions upward with his left hand
while his right hand rests on his hip. Afterwards, five spinning beige
spheres appear one after the other. A second after each one appears, it
starts firing two waves of white lasers outward, starting from the left
and shooting rapid-fire at Dante's current height as they spin
counterclockwise. You need two regular shotgun blast hits to destroy
each beige sphere. If they're nearby when they appear, you can often
destroy them before they start shooting by holding the R1 button down as
you move left or right, blasting away. The shotgun twitch technique is
helpful any time beige spheres are within range and Dante doesn't need
to evade another attack. As you hold down the R1 button, alternate
between pressing the shoot button and briefly tapping the analog stick
in any direction to fire shots more rapidly than Dante would normally.
Doing this improves your chances of destroying the spheres before they
can shoot a single laser. If Dante's DTed, he can jump and fire the
shotgun from the air to destroy a sphere with one blast, but
unfortunately the blast radius is much smaller so you'll have to
maneuver Dante so the sphere is between him and Mundus before you fire.
If you can't destroy a sphere before it shoots lasers in your direction,
time a jump or Air Hike right as a laser will be coming your way and
fire an aerial shotgun blast when you're sure Dante's clear. If
necessary, fire again when you land. The good news is after a sphere
fires two waves of lasers towards Dante, it will disappear on its own.
By the way, this is one of the most dangerous attacks in Mundus's
arsenal because it lingers like Nelo 3's Hovering Swords do,
interrupting your attempts to deal with other attacks (especially the
White Fireball Frisbees). When this happens, DT if you can to rid
yourself of the spheres as quickly as possible via aerial shotgun
blasts, or run away from them, jumping to avoid any lasers that get too
close and walking to avoid lasers fired from a distance after that.

Row Of Spheres -- Mundus motions upward with his left hand with the
other on his hip for this attack, too. This time, a row of six beige
spheres appears in front of Dante on the outer platform. They remain
stationary for a little while, then start floating to the left as they
fire white lasers outward. They circle the battlefield one and a half
times, so if they aren't all destroyed they'll eventually approach again
from the right, still firing. The best way to deal with these spheres is
to run between two of them and fire four shotgun blasts. If Dante runs
between the 3rd and 4th ones it's possible to destroy every single
sphere then and there. If not, you should still reduce the number
remaining to at least half. If you've acted swiftly, the spheres won't
have started moving yet. Run (or Stinger) forward to the inner edge of
the platform. Since the lasers from the spheres always fire outward they
won't be able to hit you there, even when they come around the second
time. Keep this in mind during Mundus's next attack. Anyway, from the
inner edge of the outer platform, you can sometimes fire the shotgun and
hit any spheres you missed as they move to the left, often destroying
them before they can hurt Dante during a second pass.

Machinegun Spheres -- You know the sphere-summoning drill by now, right
hand on hip, left motions upwards. Afterwards, six beige spheres appear
in a circle around Mundus. They don't do anything for a few seconds,
then they fire a lot of scattered white lasers in whatever direction
they're facing. It's definitely in your best interest to eliminate at
least the sphere aimed in your general direction. If you stand near the
middle to outer edge of a far platform. You'll easily be able to shoot
and destroy them before they become dangerous. Of all Mundus 2's sphere
attacks, this is the easiest to deal with.

Rock Slab Smash -- Mundus swipes out with his left arm at any "inner"
rock slabs in the vicinity. This move is only dangerous when Dante's
standing on, or is in the path of the fragments that will be created by
the destruction of, an inner rock slab. In either case, Air Hike to
safety while attempting to avoid the slab fragments. Mundus often
follows this attack up with the Power Punch.

Power Punch -- Mundus winds up with his right hand, again smashing any
rock slabs he contacts, then slides forward towards Dante going all the
way to the outer platform. It's actually really easy to avoid getting
hit. If you're on the inner platform, run (or Stinger) forward until
Dante's at the inner edge of it directly in front of Mundus (but not on
the far left of the platform you start the battle on). That's it, now
Mundus's punch will miss. If a rock slab is between the two of you,
jump, then Air Hike to the side so Dante's above the punch when it
arrives.

Magma Slashes -- Mundus reaches down into the lava and swipes his hand
up into the air, sending a thin, vertical wave of magma towards Dante.
He can slash twice back-to-back by using his right, then left hand, or
he can do a single slash with just his left hand. The Lava Swipes are
easy to evade when you see them coming; you can even hold the R1 button
down as you fire shotgun blasts while moving to the side. When you're on
an outer platform, they're only dangerous if you're doing (or have just
done) an attack with long recovery time like a Roundtrip or a charged
fireball.

Strafing Lasers -- Mundus poses as he uses his left hand to strafe red
lasers outward from the right side of the screen to the left. The most
effective way to evade them is to jump to the left when the lasers get
close, then Air Hike to the right as they pass beneath you. It's also
possible to roll under the red lasers to evade them, but since they're
emitted randomly there's a greater chance Dante will take damage.

Laser Rainstorm -- Mundus crouches in a fetal-like pose as lasers emerge
from his back into the air. A second later they start raining down on
Dante's position. They seem to come down randomly, so the best tactic is
to _immediately_ start rolling to the left or right when you see the
windup for this attack, and don't stop until the lasers do (you can roll
faster than you can run when Dante's not DTed). If you're at the far
left or right of an outer platform and _immediately_ start rolling right
when Mundus crouches down, you'll be able to stay ahead of this attack
until it ends. If you didn't identify it that quickly, but have enough
devil gauge, you can DT to run ahead of it, then deactivate DT and start
rolling once you've got a good lead. Also keep in mind that if you're
running to the right on the platform Dante starts out on, you can easily
jump or Air Hike up onto the next platform (especially when DTed) so you
don't have to take your chances doubling back through the lasers upon
reaching the edge. This is a tough attack to avoid successfully when
Spinning Spheres is also active; alternating between rolls and jumps in
the same direction may help

White Fireball Frisbee -- This is a very intimidating attack. Mundus
poses, moving his elbows out behind his back as any dark spheres that
haven't been destroyed are converted into white fireballs. Anywhere from
four to zero (if you destroyed every dark sphere) fireballs will be
created and orbit Mundus. After a second or two, Mundus will do a
release pose and the fireballs will fly towards Dante. Sometimes they
fly directly at him and sometimes they travel a bit to his left or
right. This makes them very difficult to dodge effectively. You may be
able to roll, jump, and/or Air Hike away from them once in a while, but
doing it consistently is a totally different story. The best way to deal
with the fireballs is to DT and deflect them back towards Mundus using
Dante's short, 3-slash combo. I used to think that you always wanted to
destroy every dark sphere so Mundus would have no ammunition for this
attack when he went through the motions. Since then I've revised my
strategy... here's why. The more fireballs Mundus has orbiting him when
he does this attack, the slower they come at Dante, which usually makes
it easier to time his DTed 3-slash combo to deflect all of them back for
substantial damage. The important thing is to watch the _fireballs_, not
Mundus; his release pose often prompts you to start the DTed 3-slash
combo too early; if you're very quick to realize you did, doing the
5-slash combo instead may save Dante some pain. From the inner edge of
an outer platform, if four fireballs are coming, start slashing when the
first one is 2/3rd to 3/4 of the way to Dante from Mundus. When three
fireballs are coming, start slashing when the first one is 1/2 to 2/3rd
of the way to Dante. When two fireballs are coming, start slashing when
the first is 1/2 of the way to Dante. If only one fireball is circling
Mundus, it'll come at Dante _really_ fast; start slashing immediately
when you see him do his release pose. It's easiest to slash all the
white fireballs back when three are released. If Row of Spheres isn't
coming around for a second pass, running back to the far edge of the
outer platform may make timing the slashes easier for you. Mundus can
also do this attack when he has no ammunition. Sometimes a fireball will
be created from thin air, then orbit him before it's released like the
"standard" version of this attack. However, Mundus may also raise both
arms over his head, and a fireball will be fired from the shape he's
made shortly afterwards; start slashing a second after his hands form
the "triangle." If at all possible, move Dante to a location where there
isn't a rock slab located nearby (roll, or DT early and run) since
oncoming fireballs will destroy it and the fragments may hurt Dante as
he slashes (it's okay if the fireballs hit an inner rock slab, though).
In the event you don't have enough devil gauge to DT, quickly destroy a
dark sphere with two Stingers or run to the inner edge of the outer
platform to taunt for more during this attack's wind-up. A double-handed
taunt from there will earn 2 full symbols of devil gauge. By the way,
preparing to time the DTed three-slash combo can be very difficult while
the Spinning Spheres attack is still going...

Lava Plumes -- Mundus slams his right hand down into the lava, and eight
lava plumes will emerge from the ground one at a time starting beneath
Dante's current position and following him around. This is one of the
easier attacks to avoid, as all you have to do is be running when the
first plume rises and not stop until the last one does. When you run out
of platform in the direction you're running, you'll still have enough
room to turn around and go the other way without getting hit. The only
time you'll have any trouble is when another attack is going on
simultaneously.

Lava Dragon -- This is the attack you'll learn to love. Like Lava
Plumes, it begins with Mundus slamming the lava with his right hand.
This time, a lava dragon's head and neck will emerge from the lava and
start moving towards Dante. Stay away from any rock slabs between you
and the dragon since it will smash any it touches, forcing you to
jump/Air Hike to avoid the fragments. When the dragon is nearby, it will
rear back its head and then whip it forward as it releases a fireball at
Dante. Until it's defeated, it'll continue to periodically release more
fireballs. Fortunately, finishing off the lava dragon is easy when Dante
can DT. When it gets close, jump away then Air Hike towards it to evade
the fireball it releases. Then you can DT and slash downward from above
with the Sparda. Either of Dante's long combos will finish it. Once it's
defeated, you'll be rewarded with a green health orb, usually worth one
full life bar. Without devil gauge, the quickest way to defeat the
dragon is to deflect the fireball back at it with a well-timed slash.
When the path between Dante and the dragon is clear, a safer approach is
to throw a fully-charged Roundtrip as it approaches (and/or taunt) to
earn enough devil gauge so you _can_ DT. By the way, a fully-charged
DTed Roundtrip will usually be just enough to kill a lava dragon; it may
not even get the chance to release a fireball. Obviously, when Mundus
continually summons lava dragons, it makes surviving this fight a lot
easier. Even after you defeat one, don't let your guard down. If you
were dealing with the lava dragon while Mundus summoned more rock slabs,
they can still be smashed and hurt Dante as the dragon submerges again
even _after_ you've collected your green orb.

Rising Dragon -- Mundus crouches while slamming both hands down into the
lava. A split second later, a circle of fire will appear wherever Dante
was standing when he did, and a giant flame dragon will rise into the
air, taking Dante with him for lots of damage if it can. As long as
you're rolling/running/jumping to the side immediately after his hand
hits the lava, this attack will miss.

Fire From The Sky -- Again, Mundus slams both hands into the lava.
Afterwards, ten fireballs begin rising into the air. Just after Mundus
returns to an upright position, they'll come down one at a time in rapid
succession. Avoiding them is more difficult than the Lava Plumes due to
the size of the explosions. When you first see the meteors rising, roll
to the left or right edge of the platform, whichever is closer. Then
start running to the other end of the platform after Mundus rises (do
_not_ roll or DT while running) and you'll be able to make it to the
other side as the final meteor comes down without getting hit. DTing to
run faster results in Dante reaching the left or right edge of the
platform more quickly, but with additional fireballs still on their way
down. If you reach the end of a platform and there are still a few
meteors that haven't come down yet, running along the outside edge often
allows you to double back fairly safely whether Dante is DTed or not.
Another option is to move away from the inner/outer edge of the platform
to the opposite one, then roll back in the direction you came from. As
described in the Laser Rainstorm notes, you may also be able to jump
from the right edge of the platform Dante starts from to the higher
platform on the right rather than attempting to double back at all.
Mundus may unleash this attack multiple times in a row. Fortunately, he
doesn't resort to using it until his lifebar is down to 25 percent (just
before it turns red).
 

- MUNDUS 2 ATTACK PATTERN - (defense)

Mundus's attacks during the lava battle follow a cycle that enables you
to take an educated guess at which one will be coming next. Here's the
cycle:

1) Cycle Starter : Mundus always the cycle by summoning up rock slabs
from the lava.

2) Dark Sphere Summon and any "shooting spheres" attack : Mundus's next
two actions will be to summon one of the "shooting spheres" attacks and
the Dark Sphere Summon. You don't know which order or types he'll choose
since he does the same gesture for all of them. What you _can_ be sure
of is that one of these will definitely be the Dark Sphere Summon.

3) Magma Slashes/Red Laser Attack : Mundus will do his Magma Slashes,
Strafing Lasers, or Laser Rainstorm next.

4) Potluck : Now Mundus optionally alternates between "shooting spheres"
attacks and the Magma Slash/Red Laser attacks, Lava Plumes, and Rising
Dragon. He can go into one of his Cycle Ender attacks at any time,
sometimes even skipping this phase and going directly to the Cycle
Ender. (In case it's not obvious, you _really_ don't want this part to
end with Spinning Spheres.)

5) Cycle Ender : This will usually be the White Fireball Frisbee (which
Mundus may even pointlessly go through the motions without any dark
sphere ammunition). If all of the dark spheres have been destroyed for a
while, he may opt for Power Punch (often preceded by Rock Slab Smash),
or (hopefully) Lava Dragon. Afterwards the cycle starts over from the
beginning.
 

- PROTECTING DANTE WITH HOLY WATERS - (defense)

When Mundus winds up the White Fireball Frisbee but Dante is not in a
good position to deflect them back with DTed Sparda slashes (perhaps due
to a lingering Spinning Spheres attack or an outer rock slab being
directly in front of him) you can use a Holy Water as a last resort to
protect him. Press the Start button to select the Holy Water via the
menu right when you would normally slash to deflect the first fireball
back. Until the damaging flash (which will barely hurt Mundus) comes
out, Dante will be invulnerable to all attacks. Any white fireballs,
rock slab fragments, and/or lasers will pass through him harmlessly
until then. If you're sure no outer rock slabs will be in the way, you
can also use a Holy Water right when the white fireballs start revolving
around Mundus's body to destroy any Spinning Spheres in the air. Dante
will recover in time to DT and slash the fireballs back without
interruption. Theoretically, you should be able to use five Holy Waters
and still be rewarded with an S-rank for this DMD mission if Dante
doesn't take any damage during the Mundus 1 and Mundus 2 fights.
 

- USING THE SPARDA - (offense)

The Sparda becomes an incredibly powerful weapon in this battle. In
fact, it's the only melee weapon the game will let you wield against
Mundus. The problem is that the Sparda is also very heavy, so Dante's
normal running speed suffers greatly when compared to the Alastor or
even the Ifrit gauntlets. If you need to move left or right quickly when
Dante's not DTed, rolling works better than running.

Although some of the Alastor's abilities carry over when using the
Sparda during this fight, they aren't the ones you'd hope for. Dante can
only Stinger, Roundtrip, and Air Hike with the Sparda. (I suppose
Vortex2 or Air Raid would have made this battle way too easy.)

Whether you're DTed or not, slashes and Roundtrips with the Sparda have
longer recovery times than you're used to with the Alastor, particularly
when Dante's DTed. You have to be careful not to commit to actions that
will result in Dante taking damage.

When Dante DTs, he moves as fast as he would with Alastor equipped
(maybe a little faster). This speed includes jumps, too. However, he
doesn't roll more quickly or further than he does when he's normal.

If Dante DTs and jumps into the air with the shotgun equipped (or E&I or
Nightmare Beta), he can fire DTed aerial shots. E&I and Nightmare Beta
shots function the way you'd expect them to during a jump, but DTed
aerial shotgun blasts are different. Although they're more powerful, and
can destroy a beige sphere in a single blast instead of two, the radius
of the blast is much smaller. Still, when you're DTed, the shotgun is
the best weapon to use. Basically, you can be fairly sure you'll hit
anything directly between Dante and Mundus with a DTed aerial shotgun
blast (jump and Air Hike, if necessary, to put Dante in position), but
hitting targets near the edge of the shotgun's normal blast range
depends solely on luck. By the way, you can DT _after_ you've started
charging a Nightmare Beta shot to conserve a little devil gauge, then
jump and Air Hike around firing aerial shots after releasing the charged
one. (I prefer sticking with the shotgun the whole time, as switching
weapons breaks up the continuity of the battle.)

When you press the shoot button while Dante is DTed, he will release a
quick fireball at Mundus unless another target (like the Lava Dragon or
a dark sphere) is between them. You can jam on the shoot button for a
rapid-fire barrage; Dante will step forward a bit as he releases each
one. You aren't required to hold R1, and he'll shoot fireballs on the
ground regardless of whatever weapon you have equipped until he's normal
again. You can use quick fireballs to destroy the beige spheres from the
Row Of Spheres attack as they float to the left (although you may still
get hit). You can also use them to destroy dark spheres to allow Dante
to remain DTed longer. The bad news is that Dante's fireballs do not
home in on targets from the Mundus's regular "shooting spheres" attacks.

Instead of shooting fireballs rapidly, you can hold the shoot button to
charge one up instead. There seems to be no way immediately charge a
fireball without releasing a quick, single shot first. Anyway, the
charged shot will do more damage to Mundus than continuous, rapid ones
will in the same amount of time. Like Meteor2 shots, they auto-release
when they're charged to their maximum capacity. The drawback is that the
recovery time from a charged fireball is much longer than from the quick
ones. You should release it early when you see Mundus is almost ready to
unleash an attack and you're worried Dante won't recover in time to
evade it. Magma Slashes are particularly dangerous since they come out
so quickly. Jumping or rolling afterwards may cut the recovery time
enough for Dante to escape unharmed.
 

- FIGHTING MUNDUS 2 - (offense)

There are three keys to doing well in this battle. First, you need to
learn Mundus's recovery times for all of his attacks. Second, you need
to learn the recovery times for Dante's attacks with the Sparda,
(especially Roundtrips and charged fireballs), so Dante will be mobile
when Mundus's attacks are coming. Third, you need to conserve devil
gauge. Deactivate DT whenever it drops to 4 symbols. You'll lose some
devil gauge by deactivating early, but all you'll need to do is fire a
few shotgun blasts (or taunt) to earn enough back so Dante's "DTable"
again; that's the important thing. If you can't earn enough to DT before
Mundus throws a White Fireball Frisbee, Dante's stuck between a rock and
a hard place... Again, running (or Stingering) to the inner edge of an
outer platform and doing a double-handed taunt will earn 2 symbols of
devil gauge. It's often useful to do this after releasing a
fully-charged Roundtrip for 5 or 6 quick symbols, as taunts are easily
cancelled out of when necessary.

Whenever a cycle starts, check and see if the rock slabs he summons are
conveniently located for Dante to jump in close to Mundus. If they are
and Mundus's first offensive attack is Machinegun Spheres, jump up to
the inner rock slab, firing the shotgun at the beige spheres when you're
high enough to destroy at least the one aimed at Dante and the one to
it's left (the inner slab rotates to the left, into that sphere's
lasers). Then DT and start slashing away at Mundus. The alternative is
to hit Mundus with repeated DTed Stingers from the outer rock slab, but
some may miss him. You can also jump in and attack him from a rock slab
when his first attack is Row of Spheres, since the lasers always fire
outwards. These are the _only_ times I recommend jumping in close to him
and attacking, since you know that his next move will be the Dark Sphere
Summon, and the one after that will be an attack you'll have to evade,
but won't destroy the rock slab you're standing on. Hopefully, this
attack will be the Magma Slashes, so you can get a few extra swings in
with the Sparda before retreating to deal with whatever "shooting
spheres" attack is next in the line-up. If the next attack as you're
slashing on the rock slab is the Laser Rainstorm, stay DTed as you jump
back to the outer platform, then run in a direction, deactivating DT and
switching to rolls when you've got a good lead. Whichever attack comes
next, the important thing is to stop slashing with the Sparda in time to
avoid it.

For the most part, I recommend staying on the outer platforms during
this fight. Earn as much devil gauge as you can via shotgun blasts,
destroying dark spheres, Roundtrips for additional minor damage against
Mundus when the rock slabs aren't in the way, and taunting him when they
are. When you have 9 or 10 symbols worth, try to release a fully-charged
Roundtrip at Mundus and DT right before it hits to do substantial damage
as you deal with any incoming attacks and deactivate DT as the Sparda
returns.

My advice is to destroy the dark spheres for extra devil gauge when it's
convenient, but don't go out of your way to eliminate every one since
the more there are, the easier time you'll have deflecting them back at
Mundus with a DTed three-slash Sparda combo for good damage and a
quicker end to this fight. When Mundus is reeling back after successful
white fireball deflections, release a fully-charged Roundtrip next, then
hit him with a partially-charged fireball so you'll recover before his
next attack. When you're low on devil gauge, release the fireball first,
then deactivate DT as you fully-charge a regular Roundtrip to earn more.

The only problem with this approach is that successfully slashing the
fireballs back while the Spinning Spheres attack is also going without
taking any damage can be extremely difficult at times. Remember that you
can use a Holy Water as a last resort. You can always try to destroy
every dark sphere Mundus summons if you want, but you won't always
succeed (especially if he does the Laser Rainstorm, which will use up a
lot of shotgun blasting time). Also, be aware that the dark spheres are
solid objects that may get in your way as you're trying to evade
attacks, so you may want to destroy the ones that appear in the middle
of the platform Dante's on so they don't get in his way later.

Whenever you see Mundus slam the lava with his right hand, always run to
the left or right under the assumption he's summoning the Lava Plumes
rather than the Lava Dragon. You'll be kicking yourself if you don't and
Dante takes damage for it.

After evading the Power Punch attack, DT and do the multiple-stabs combo
but hold down the attack button to go into a fully charged-Roundtrip at
the end instead of the final Stinger-like thrust. Release a
partially-charged fireball after that.

In the event Mundus does his Strafing Lasers attack while Meteors From
The Sky are coming down, your best bet is to be running to the right to
avoid the fireballs and roll underneath the lasers as they strafe to the
left. If you try jumping and Air Hiking over the lasers, Dante will hang
in the air too long to avoid getting hit by a fireball. Also, whenever
you're evading the Meteors From The Sky attack, keep an eye on Mundus in
the background so you know what to expect next. You may have _another_
wave of ten fireballs on the way, with a very slight pause between them.

Without using items, this is by far the toughest battle in Devil May Cry
for Dante to complete... good luck!
 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 DMD MUNDUS 3
--------------

Once you know what to do, this is a very uneventful battle; even in DMD
mode. Although it's not immediately obvious, time is your biggest enemy
in this fight.
 

- REQUIRED/HELPFUL ABILITIES & WEAPONS -

The best ability against Mundus 3 is definitely Alastor's Vortex-level2.
As far as projectile weapons go, you'll only need to fire _two_ E&I
shots the entire battle.
 

- FIGHTING MUNDUS 3 - (defense)

This is a quite a departure from the previous battle... only four items
in this list (one's rather passive, and another's not even an attack).

Eye Laser -- This is a long-range attack where Mundus shoots a laser out
of the eye on his forehead and strafes from the right side of the screen
to the left. If you're far from Mundus and ready for it, jumping over it
is easy. However, the beam comes out and strafes across the screen fast
enough to catch Dante if he was involved in any charging type of attack.
Once again, this is a _long-range_ attack. If you're right next to any
portion of Mundus's body and don't jump up into the laser when it's
fired, Dante will be totally safe.

Erupting Wounds -- Areas of Mundus's chest where the hands emerge
occasionally erupt like Nobodies do when they die when you hit them with
certain attacks. If Dante is near these areas, he may take damage. All
you have to do is avoid jumping or doing attacks directly in front of
Mundus that bring him in too far (like Stingers or RB jumps) to prevent
Dante from getting hurt by the eruptions.

(Scream Of Rage) -- Mundus will periodically move his head low to the
ground then raise it up to the ceiling as he bellows in rage (or is it
agony?). The only reason I'm including it here is while he screams, he's
invulnerable to all of your attacks.

The Harder They Fall -- This is the only serious threat you need to
worry about. Mundus will continually crawl towards Dante when this
battle begins. Should he get too close, he'll rise up high then fall
forward... unceremoniously squishing Dante and killing him instantly.
Thus, the final Mundus battle is all about depleting his lifebar quickly
enough to prevent this from happening. When tentacles emerge from
Mundus's chest (they won't hurt Dante), it means you don't have much
time left.
 

- FIGHTING MUNDUS 3 - (offense)

You probably don't have much devil gauge since you just fought a Shadow
in the curved hallway. The first thing you should do after the cutscene
ends is fill all 10 symbols worth. Doing this is simple. run left or
right until Dante's next to one of Mundus's hands and taunt until it's
full. You can also keep grenade-rolling forward into the screen, but
that will take longer.

Now you want to DT and wear down Mundus's lifebar as quickly as you can
so Mundus doesn't squash him. Just like in the Phantom hallway fights,
Vortex2ing is an _amazingly_ efficient way to do this. Just jump into
the air, DT, and Vortex2 away. After Dante starts, let the analog stick
return to the center as you mash the attack button so Dante will keep
auto-aiming towards Mundus's head. Even if he becomes temporarily
invulnerable during his Scream Of Rage, you should still finish off his
entire lifebar without taking any damage whatsoever. (It's also possible
get through this part without getting hurt using Ifrit and the grenade
gun, but you'll be cutting this portion of the battle _really_ close.)

Once Mundus's lifebar is gone, another cutscene will be triggered. Dante
must now build up 3 symbols of devil gauge so he can DT then fire an E&I
shot with Trish's power added to his own.

After the cutscene ends, it's clear Dante doesn't have much room left
and you're supposed to feel pressured to fire away with E&I as quickly
as you can to build up those 3 symbols. However, for some strange reason
firing a single devil-charged shot will instantly fill _every_symbol_ in
his devil gauge (don't ask me why; I suspect it's a glitch). If you
either hold down the shoot button _then_ press and hold the R1 button
afterwards or roll to the side then hold the R1 and shoot buttons down
before Dante recovers, you'll be able to start devil-charging a shot
without firing an initial one first. So, that's shot #1. After releasing
it your devil gauge will magically become full, then all you'll need to
do is fire shot #2 after DTing and "it looks like we have a winner."
 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 DMD S-RANK NOTES
------------------

In previous difficulties, to get an S-rank in a mission you had to earn
enough ranking points by not taking too much damage throughout the
entire mission, collecting a certain number of red orbs, completing the
mission within a certain time limit, and not using too many consumable
items.

In DMD mode, the time limit becomes either been dramatically extended or
unlimited. This is presumably to compensate for the fact that it will
take longer to kill any enemies that turn. Since collecting enough red
orbs is rarely a problem, this means you can play as carefully as you
like to preserve Dante's health (by now you've probably maxed out his
lifebars, which also helps) to make earning an S-rank when the mission
is complete much more likely. The average player will get more S-ranks
with less trouble than in previous difficulty levels... except for the
missions that include boss battles.

Boss battle missions are a _lot_ more difficult than their Normal and
Hard mode counterparts. Due to the increased amount of damage the boss's
attacks do and the overall amount of punishment they can withstand, you
should expect to face each boss multiple times before earning an S-rank
for those missions, even when you beaten them easily before. The general
rule of thumb is that when the total amount of health Dante's lost
throughout the entire mission would not be enough to change the color of
his lifebar from green to orange (or red) and you've also met the red
orb requirement, you should be rewarded with an S-rank for the mission.

For some odd reason, in certain boss battle missions it's possible to
earn an S-rank even if Dante exceeds this "maximum" amount of damage;
this is particularly true of the Mundus 2 battle, and sometimes of the
Nelo 3 battle. I've yet to discover exactly what circumstances are
required for this to be possible, but if the game rewards you with a
boss battle mission S-rank when you probably don't deserve it my advice
is to just smile and keep pressing forward. Earning those S-ranks is
tough enough already...
 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 REVISION HISTORY
------------------

Version 1.0 -- Created February 25, 2002. -- After a very long time in
the works, this FAQ was finally released. I hope it was worth the wait!
 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
------------------

I'd really like to thank all the contributors at GameFAQs Devil May Cry
message board. Participating on the DMC board enabled me to learn
volumes more about this great game than I ever would have on my own. At
first, I was the one asking the questions. Later, I found myself doing
my best to answer them. That's where most of this document's content
came from. While thinking about people's questions, I was able to
mentally take a step back from the game and think more critically about
what the best answers were. In many cases, I wound up questioning my own
tactics and arrived at better solutions.

Special thanks go to -Valik- for supplying Nightmare 3's attack pattern
and the concept of the de-DTing technique, -SinisterSamurai- for
supplying valuable devil-charging information, -Run DMC- for discovering
the shotgun twitch technique, -Vio La- for the idea of saving then
reloading your mission after collecting all the items in the Ifrit
gauntlets area, and -mewtwo 58- for pointing out I'd overlooked two of
Nightmare 3's lesser attacks.

Roughly a quarter of the content in this FAQ is in some way directly
related to miscellaneous DMC board contributors' posts. I just
recompiled, organized, and in some cases expanded on the information.
Thanks go to both the people who asked good questions _and_ the ones who
posted answers. I'm certain this FAQ never would have been developed
without your help. Even if it had, it wouldn't be nearly as informative.

justaNewbie
 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 A LITTLE ABOUT ME
-------------------

Video games have always been one of my primary sources of entertainment.
In particular, I've always been drawn to the arcade games that you dump
a lot of money into to learn, but can play for hours on a single
quarter/token once you really understand how they work. Such games
include the original Gauntlet (choose the elf, if possible turn the
machine off and on to get special potions earlier and more frequently),
Magic Sword (choose the thief), Rolling Thunder (on certain levels you
can backtrack for extra machinegun ammunition), Shinobi, and Spy Hunter
to name a few.

My all-time favorite arcade game has to be Crazy Taxi. It looks very
simple at first. However, like all great video games, as you play it
more and more you realize how deep it actually is. I've even built a
website in its honor (www.crazytaxi.net) explaining how to play the game
well enough to earn at least $20K every time (I've earned over $100K on
two arcade machines, and am working on a third). I'd say the website is
almost as thorough as this FAQ is.

Given this background, I was _wired_ to latch onto Devil May Cry. It has
all of the elements I look for in a game: it's challenging, it has
considerable depth but is still fun to play even when you just scratch
the surface, it involves strategy, and with enough practice you can
learn to do some really impressive-looking stuff. The only areas it
falls short in are occasional poor camera angles and a less-than-stellar
storyline, but with the great gameplay, graphics, and sound I could
really care less.

Hopefully my work on this FAQ will help you enjoy Devil May Cry even
more and possibly convert a few Ifrit-haters into afficionados. Those
that are already on the gauntlets' bandwagon may want to download the
1024x768 wallpaper image at:

     http://www.capcom-europe.com/capcom/dmc/images/postcard02.jpg

If it ever vanishes, let me know and I'll e-mail you a copy.
 

Ted Murach
tedster17@attbi.com
 

 

========================================================================
 

 

                  DMD Boss/Enemy Strategies with Ifrit

 

          All contents of this FAQ Copyright (c) 2002 Ted Murach.
                          All rights reserved.