Among all the characters in the video game medium, Vergil is one of the most iconic rival archetype characters, with everything mirroring the protagonist. While he might not be the most prominent character in the first game, Devil May Cry 3 changed that. Being the best character in the best game of the franchise, Vergil has been catapulted into one of the greatest rival character of all time, the nemesis for the player to surpass and defeat.
However, you won't get the full picture by simply playing the game, as Devil May Cry is the kind of franchise that releases companion novels for its games. All the in-depth lore are released separately, and to understand Vergil, you have no choice but to read those. Devil May Cry as a franchise will not be the same without him.
10 - Vergil’s evil version: “Nelo” Angelo
It is a mistranslation. Vergil’s corrupted alter ego was supposed to be named Nero Angelo but was incorrectly translated to Nelo. Ironically, later games do not have this mistranslation – Vergil’s son is displayed correctly as “Nero”. As Devil May Cry 5 does not fix the Nelo mistake – it looks like the dev has decided to just roll with the name Nelo.
9 - Vergil was intended to die in the original version of Canon
The original design of Vergil has a lot of differences compared to the current version from Devil May Cry 3. Kamiya’s original idea was having Vergil killed in the backstory, and that remains unchanged until he left. His take of the original story is rather dark, with Vergil killed by Mundus when he was a child.
After that, Vergil served Mundus as a soldier of hell, up until Devil May Cry 3, that is. The third installment of the franchise was designed to be a prequel – retconning the backstory of the first game – with Vergil survived the events with Mundus. The third game also adds a lot of Dante and Vergil interactions that happened before the events of the first game.
8 - Vergil and Sparda shares the same musical motif
Dante’s Sparda costume from the first game is rather special – besides changing the player’s appearance, it also changes Dante’s battle themes. Sparda’s battle theme, “S”, while similar to Dante’s, also lifts quite a few musical cues from Vergil’s main theme, “Ultra Violet”.
Sparda’s design greatly resembles Dante’s, in both gameplay and style, it does make sense that something from Vergil would be rehashed to make the Sparda costume. In order to showcase Sparda most correctly, it is just fitting to use traits from both Dante and Vergil since Sparda is like cooler than both of them combined.
7 - Vergil and Dante share the same character model in the first game
Vergil’s rival role is essentially locked down since the original Devil May Cry, as Capcom always intended for him to be a mirror to the player. Vergil is also Dante’s twin brother – so it does make sense to use Dante’s model as a character base for Nelo Angelo.
With the exact same models, the battle between the two characters would be more thematically beautiful – while also saving the developers from having to create another character model. However, copying everything down to the smallest details is just bad practice – that’s why they have Vergil use summonable swords instead of guns.
6 - Vergil was designed to be a cooler character than Dante
While Vergil has appeared since the first game of the franchise, it isn’t until the third game did he become a complete fleshed out character. The idea behind Vergil’s design is that they want to create a rival who’s cooler than Dante that the player couldn’t help loving him.
Because Dante’s main character arc had him growing from a douche into somewhat likable, it is just appropriate that they create someone more appealing to the player early on. This also aids in creating a “Dynamic Duo” style, in which Dante has to grow out of his immature personality, whereas Vergil is already mature emotionally.
5 - Vergil has more raw power than his brother
One of the few things that could be seen clearly in Devil May Cry 5 is Vergil’s raw power. When it comes to strength, Dante’s older brother has him beat. It is not a surprise since Vergil has dedicated is entire life around the philosophy of “power”. And with that power, Vergil has beaten his twin brother multiple times across all five games.
Dante usually wins at the end (not counting Devil May Cry 5), but that’s mostly due to Dante’s own power and not because of Vergil lacking strength. As Vergil nearly destroyed Dante in their first fight in DMC 1, it can be said that he could overpower Dante reliably when it comes to strength.
4 - There are still much that can be improved in his combat ability
However, the reason that Vergil keeps losing to Dante about 50% of the time is that Dante is obviously a far more versatile fighter. It is generally agreed that if Dante hasn’t had to fight all three of V’s familiars before Vergil in DMC 5, he could have beaten Vergil. Overall, he is just the more adept fighter between the two, with greater growth potential (the guy keeps mastering new weapons every new game!) that he could afford to swap out for another weapon bases on the job.
Vergil does not lack the skill to use weapons, he just does not want to use anything but the Yamato. In Devil May Cry 3, he can pretty much match Dante when push comes to shove. If Vergil actually diversifies his kit, he would be more than a match for Dante.
3 - Gilver, Vergil’s alias prior to DMC’s events
While Devil May Cry’s lore is always first and foremost based on the games, its spin-off novels are also something that one should take into account. Devil May Cry is one of the few franchises that use works of literature to expand its already considerable lore. There is a companion novel for every game, and they are just getting thicker and thicker over time.
In one of the companion novels written by the main writer of the series, Vergil has an alias called “Gilver” that he used when working with Dante prior to Devil May Cry 1. As “Gilver” is pretty much a combination of Vergil’s original depiction in the first game and the DMC 3 version, it is a great way to pay homage to the first draft of the character.
2 - Vergil is semi-playable in DMC 5’s code
Every game that has a PC version is possible to be datamined reliably, and a huge blockbuster like Devil May Cry 5 is a prime target. The fans have stripped the code bare – which leads to a revelation: Vergil is a playable character within the game code. This could be treated as a signal for further DLCs in the future, just like Vergil’s own chapter in the remake DmC (which no one wants to talk about).
However, having a playable character model is not a surefire way to expect a new DLC or proof of cut contents. In Devil May Cry 3, Lady is one of the playable characters in the code, but the player can’t use her in either the original or the Special Edition release.
1 - Dante and Vergil, not so identical anymore
The idea that Dante and Vergil are identical twins stay true to at least Devil May Cry 4 – with the two brothers shared the same character model (in the first game) and facial textures (in the third game). In Devil May Cry 4’s Special Edition, however, Dante’s appearance was changed to match the series’ timeline, while Vergil’s looks stayed the same. In Devil May Cry 5, Capcom took it even further, with Dante looking older than Vergil. It can still be argued that Vergil’s “death” stop his aging, but the day that the two “identical twin brothers” can share the same face model has already long passed.
If you enjoyed this article, you might want to try out the latest installment of the series, Devil May Cry 5 (if you have not played it already!). It is one of the best hack and slash game released this year, with a fast-paced explosive style of gameplay -players who dig deeper would be able to enjoy an extensively crafted combat system. While the game does not redefine the series, it is still able to impress pretty much everyone, both newbies and die-hard fans.