As far as the video game medium is concerned, Vergil is the quintessential rival character. While his presence in the original Devil May Cry may have been more in the background, but Devil May Cry 3 solidified him as one of the greatest video game characters of all time, the foil to surpass and ultimately defeat in combat.
It’s worth noting, however, that Devil May Cry is a franchise that keeps its juiciest lore in the background. Simply playing the games won’t paint the whole picture, especially not for a character as enigmatic and in-depth as Vergil. Devil May Cry wouldn’t be the same without him.
10 “Nelo” Angelo
For most of the original Devil May Cry, Vergil is only known by the alias “Nelo Angelo.” Corrupted by Mundus in the game’s backstory, Nelo Angelo is mostly devoid of all personality. The reveal that he was Vergil all along make the conflict with Mundus personal for Dante.While a good story, the “Nelo Angelo” name has a problem.
Specifically, the fact that it’s a mistranslation. Vergil’s alter-ego was supposed to be named Nero Angelo, but it wasn’t translated properly. Interestingly, while Vergil’s son is correctly identified as Nero, Devil May Cry 5 does not fix the Nelo Angelo mistakes.
9 Vergil Never Makes It Past Childhood In The Original Canon
Hideki Kamiya’s original vision for Vergil was quite different to what fans ultimately got with Devil May Cry 3. Before Kamiya left the series and Itsuno took over, the plan was that Vergil never made it past childhood. Where Dante made it out alive, Mundus actually did kill Vergil when he was a child.
From there, Vergil’s entire adult life was spent serving Mundus as one of his soldiers. It wasn’t until Devil May Cry 3 was decided to be a prequel that the first game’s backstory was changed so that Vergil not only survived the events with Mundus, him and Dante actually interacted multiple times before the first game.
8 Vergil And Sparda Share A Musical Motif
Dante’s Sparda costume in the original Devil May Cry isn’t just a cosmetic change, it also bestows upon the player new battle themes. Sparda’s personal themes end up taking over Dante’s and, interestingly, Sparda’s battle theme “S” lifts several musical cues from Vergil’s main battle theme, “Ultra Violet.”
Given that Sparda resembles Dante in both gameplay ability and design, it’s only fitting that something unique to Vergil be repurposed for the Sparda costume. After all, the intent is to showcase Sparda as accurately as possible. It’s natural he share traits with both Dante and Vergil. It just so happens that this sharing only extends to music.
7 Vergil Uses Dante’s Character Model In The First Game
While it was Devil May Cry 3 that solidified Vergil as the quintessential rival character, he’s had this role locked down since the original Devil May Cry. Capcom had always intended on Vergil actively mirroring the player, to the point where the developers used Dante’s character model as a base for Nelo Angelo.
In using Dante’s exact models, the two could interact more interestingly in battle while also saving the developers time when creating Nero Angelo’s model. This is also the reason why Vergil doesn’t use guns in-game. Instead, summonable swords were used as they didn’t require a firing animation.
6 Vergil Was Designed To Be More Likable Than Dante
While Vergil’s presence is felt as early as the first game, it isn’t until Devil May Cry 3 where he becomes a more fleshed out and complete character. The goal behind his design was to create a rival more likable than Dante, a character players would love to hate while also just genuinely loving him.
Since Dante’s arc had him growing into a likable character, it was important that audiences had someone immediately appealing to latch onto in case Dante’s unlikability proved frustrating early on. This also allows for a more dynamic relationship between the two as Dante has to mature emotionally whereas Vergil is already emotionally mature.
5 Vergil Is Stronger Than Dante
If there’s one thing Devil May Cry 5 proves, it’s that Vergil really does beat Dante when it comes to pure power. Of the two, Vergil is the stronger twin, dedicating his entire life to the philosophy of strength. Time and time again, Vergil proves his strength over his brother, besting him multiple times between all five games.
Of course, Dante wins in the end (with the exception of Devil May Cry 5,) but that’s mostly because of Dante’s own abilities and not Vergil’s lack of strength. When it comes to power, Vergil can overpower Dante reliably. Keep in mind that Vergil nearly killed Dante during their first fight in DMC1.
4 Vergil Is Less Skilled Than Dante
All that said, the reason Vergil keeps on losing is because Dante is the far more skilled fighter. Even in Devil May Cry 5, the only reason Dante doesn’t beat Vergil is because he had to fight all three of V’s familiars beforehand. Dante is an all around more adept fighter with better stamina and a keener ability to grow.
This isn’t to say Vergil isn’t skilled. As Devil May Cry 3 shows, he’s able to more or less match Dante when it comes to other weapons. The key difference is that Vergil doesn’t really bother changing up his kit, keeping him stagnant. Dante, on the other hand, swaps out his weaponry for every single job he takes.
3 Gilver, Vergil’s Alter-Ego
Devil May Cry will always be known first and foremost for its video games, and secondly for its literary spin-offs. More than anything else, Devil May Cry is a franchise that expands its lore through literature. Just about every single game in the series has some companion novel to fill in the blanks, and they’ve only been getting more in-depth with each game. .
According to one of the series’ side novels (also penned by the series’ main writer,) Vergil used the alias “Gilver” to hunt demons and work alongside Dante prior to the events of Devil May Cry. It’s an interesting way to depict Vergil’s character, especially since Gilver exists somewhere between the character’s original depiction and his DMC3 portrayal.
2 Vergil Is Semi-Playable In DMC5’s Code
Data-mining is just a natural part of video game discourse these days and it only makes sense that a major release would be stripped bare the moment fans got the chance to dig their hands into some code. Sometimes, data-mining leads to revelations: such as the fact that Vergil has a playable model within the code of the game.
That said, this isn’t proof of DLC nor is it proof that Vergil was intended to be fully playable. Lady is actually playable in Devil May Cry 3’s code, but she wasn’t playable in said game or its Special Edition release.
1 Dante And Vergil, Not So Identical Twins
Up to at least Devil May Cry 4, the idea was that Dante and Vergil were identical twins. They share a character model in Devil May Cry and the same facial model in Devil May Cry 3. With 4’s Special Edition, Vergil retained his DMC3 look whereas Dante was aged up to match the series’ timeline.Come Devil May Cry 5, it seems that this is the approach Capcom is taking with the twins. Dante looks older, Vergil looks younger, and the two very blatantly no longer share a face model. It can be argued that time simply aged Dante a bit worse, but it’s worth noting that these two identical twins are anything but nowadays.