A guide for Tips & Tricks in Devil May Cry to help you get to the good parts of DMC 2 (yes they exist), while making the bad parts as painless as possible.
Have you ever wanted to play Devil May Cry 2? Probably not, but you got it as part of the collection so might as well, right? Can it really be as bad as everyone says. Well, no… not as long as you know what you’re doing.
You see, Devil May Cry 2 is the worst thing a game can be: mediocre. It’s not good enough to stand on its own merits, but it’s not so bad that it becomes funny, like Superman 64 and so on. Believe it or not, it does actually have some parts that are pretty decent in their own right, but you have to slog through the bad parts to get there. This guide will hopefully help you do just that.
First, we have to recognize that DMC 2 has two things going for it: It’s the shortest DMC game, and it’s the easiest. That means that it’s a relatively quick and painless game which can be breezed through in an afternoon or two. For most games, this would be a bad thing, but the fact is that DMC 2 has one other important aspect about it which makes this an advantage:
DMC 2 is boring.
That’s it. That’s the only thing wrong with it. It’s not mechanically broken, it’s not buggy. It’s not any of the other things that usually make a game bad. It’s just so uninteresting that even Dante himself seems bored throughout. Fortunately, there are some things which we can do to remedy this. I’ve separated them into three sections, combat related tips, non-combat related tips (exploration, etc.), and tips specific to the second playable character, Lucia, whose “disk” is very different from Dante’s.
General advice on what to do, and more importantly what not to do, to make your experience more streamlined and enjoyable.
- Don’t bother farming for red orbs. I know that sounds contrary to everything you know about DMC, but hear me out.
Between DMC 1 and DMC 3, the series suffered from “orb inflation.” The most expensive upgrade in the first game is around 5000 orbs. That’s the price of a cheap upgrade in DMC 3. Unfortunately, this game is stuck in between those two, which leaves it in an awkward transitional state where enemy orb rewards are near-DMC 1 levels, while orb prices are near-DMC 3 levels. This means that it takes a ridiculous amount of grinding to be able to afford anything, and is generally not worth it.
The only efficient method of orb farming is the Bloody Palace, which you don’t unlock until after you’ve already beaten the game. This excellent design choice is par for the course for DMC 2, unfortunately.
That said, I recommend spending what orbs you do get on the following, in order of priority:
It’s best if you prioritize one gun and sword in particular to upgrade and ignore the rest. I personally recommend upgrading Ebony and Ivory, your starting pistols, as the first gun, and Vendetta, the high-damage sword, as your first sword, but it doesn’t really matter which you pick so long as you stick to one.
- Related to the above, don’t bother trying to raise your style rank. Like DMC 1, and unlike DMC 3 and later, it’s stupidly hard to raise and even more stupidly hard to maintain, instantly dropping back to the lowest level after just a second or two of not hitting anything. While it does have an effect on the amount of orbs enemies drop, the effect is pretty minor and not worth the effort. Try to raise your style rank if it’s convenient for you, but don’t go out of your way to do it.
Additionally, don’t try to S rank missions. The requirements to do so are hidden, obtuse, and so ridiculously difficult that you’ll almost never clear a mission with anything above a B no matter how hard you try.
- Don’t try to find secret rooms. This game has the same problem DMC 1 does where the secret rooms are too well hidden for their own good, usually requiring you to do something stupid like activate a random section of wall that looks no different from any other section of wall, or backtracking a long way to a door you went through ages ago, but only during one specific mission that takes place far away from that door. Worse, unlike every other DMC game, you aren’t guaranteed a blue orb fragment for clearing a secret room. Some do give fragments, but these are rare, and more commonly all you’ll get for clearing a secret room is a white orb, instead. While white orbs are at their most useful in this game given how broken devil trigger is and how slowly the bar fills, it’s still not worth the effort of searching for a secret room just for that.
- Hold down Right Trigger to disable automatic lock on. Yes, this requires its own tip. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
- Certain enemies respawn infinitely whenever you enter a certain area. Not even just when you change rooms, but just when you’re nearby their spawnpoint. Needless to say, don’t bother wasting your time killing these enemies. Farming orbs off them is pointless as mentioned above, and they’re just going to respawn anyway.
Notably, this includes that f***ing awful helicopter boss from Dante’s mission 5. Every time you kill it, it’ll just respawn when you enter the next room. For the entire level. You can only permanently kill it in its proper boss fight at the end of the level. Which, by the way, takes forever, because it has entirely too much health and is flying, because, you know, it’s a helicopter, so 90% of the fight is spent plinking away at it with your guns for no damage. Needless to say this is considered one of the worst bosses in the entire series and you seriously do not want to waste time and effort killing it more than once.
Many reviews of DMC 2 will tell you that the guns are very overpowered. Some will go so far as to claim that you can win the game just by holding the shoot button.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO WIN THE GAME BY HOLDING THE SHOOT BUTTON.
This is at the top of the list for a reason. I’m about 80% convinced that 90% of the people who say that DMC 2 is the worst thing they ever played followed this bit of meme “advice” about the guns and made the experience about ten times worse than it already was.
You see, while guns are technically “overpowered” in this game, it’s a bit more nuanced than that. They do exactly as much damage as they do in every other DMC game, i.e. barely any. What makes them broken is the fact that they can stun lock enemies. So, while guns only is a viable strategy, it’s also really slow and boring, which is exactly what we don’t want.
That said, there are some boss fights where using only or almost only guns is the optimal strategy. The key word there is some. Many bosses are slow-moving bags of hit points, and using guns on them is even more boring than using them on normal enemies.
In regards to sword play, there isn’t much to mention. Dante has access to three different swords, which all behave pretty much the same. He starts with a balanced sword. He later gets one which has more damage, but less range, and after that he acquires one which is the opposite, less damage, but more range. Other than that, they all function pretty much identically. I personally recommend the high damage sword, since more range is very rarely useful in this game, except in the rare instance where it’s needed for a puzzle.
Also worth noting is that Dante’s famous Stinger attack sucks in this game. It has very little range and very high knockback, meaning trying to use it as the gap closer it usually is often ends up with the enemy further away from you than when you started. Instead, the best way to engage enemies in melee is to dodge roll toward them.
On that note, you have a dedicated dodge button in this game, similar to trickster style from later DMC titles. It is very useful, and should be relied upon for dodging enemy attacks 99% of the time. There is almost no reason to dodge by jumping or using the standard lock-on dodge when you have this.
- Devil Trigger
Devil Trigger in this game is a mixed bag. On the one hand this game has arguably the most powerful devil trigger in the whole series, but on the other hand it also has the slowest to charge DT gauge by a large margin. Plus, unlike most other DMC games, attacks in Devil Trigger form drain your meter faster.
Just like every other DMC game, devil trigger gives Dante more damage, more defense, and slowly regenerates his health.
Unlike every other DMC game, it also turns his hands into godly machine guns of death.
There is literally no reason to ever press the melee button in Devil Trigger form. If anything, you’ll be dealing less damage this way. You see, this is the one exception to the “don’t hold shoot to win” rule. When you are in devil trigger, absolutely hold shoot to win. There is no better way to spend your DT gauge then by mowing down everything in your path with your auto-aiming beam of hot death. In fact, quite a few boss fights in this game can be summed up as: build meter, enter DT, hold shoot. This may sound boring, but the vast majority of bosses in this game are so needlessly tanky that this is really the only way to make them tolerable. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
There is also a secret, “ultimate” Devil Trigger which can only be accessed when Dante’s health is very low. This form is very powerful, gives Dante an entirely new set of attacks, and makes him fully invincible for the duration, which is fixed, lasting the same amount of time no matter how much DT gauge you had, and draining all of it when it runs out. However, it’s best not to try to enter this form on purpose. Although you can tell when it’s available by your health bar turning red – that’s turning red, not flashing red – the amount of health required is so low that many attacks will just kill you outright without passing into the required threshold.
- The Amulet
Finally, let’s take a minute to discuss the amulet. The amulet is actually a pretty interesting mechanic which lets you customize your devil trigger, and it’s honestly too bad they never tried something like it again.
There are three stones you can slot into your amulet. One is for mobility, one is for combat, and one lets you choose the element of your attacks in devil trigger. Each stone has three potential options you can pick from, which I’ll now briefly describe, because God knows the game isn’t going to.
Mobility: These three are pretty self-explanatory.
Aerial Heart: Lets you fly in Devil Trigger, similar to Air Raid in the other DMC games. Useful, but kind of niche compared to quick heart.
Quick Heart: Lets you run really fast in Devil Trigger. IMO the most useful Mobility stone.
Aqua Heart: Lets you swim faster in Devil Trigger. Only Lucia can use this, because Dante has no underwater areas. Not very useful but you might as well equip it if you have it for the whole two underwater segments Lucia has.
Combat: These require a little bit of explanation.
Offence Heart: Increases your damage while in Devil Trigger. At least that’s what it claims to do, I noticed literally no difference when I had it on because your damage in devil trigger is already so high and the bonus this provides is evidently pretty minor.
Healing Heart: Massively increases your life regen while in devil trigger. IMO the most useful combat stone. As long as you consistently land hits and aren’t actively suicidal in combat you can survive for a very long time with this stone. Remember that attacks in DT drain your meter faster, so if you need to heal don’t attack while using this stone.
Time Heart: This game’s equivalent of the bangle of time/quicksilver style, complete with the Jojo-esque inverted colors. This particular stone is quite well hidden: for both Dante and Lucia it can be acquired during the segment where you have to kill enemies within the time limit to open the portal to hell. In one end of the room there is a weird bulge in the floor, knock enemies into this bulge repeatedly and it will open to give you the stone. For Dante this is mission 15, for Lucia it’s mission 11.
That said it’s actually not really worth the effort. The time slow effect is clunky, only happening for a brief moment when you land a melee attack, and is partially redundant when you have the frost heart (see below.)
Elemental: These require a lot of explanation, and the game gives you literally none.
Essentially certain enemies have elemental weaknesses similar to DMC 3, and these stones are how you hit those weaknesses. However, they only affect your attacks in devil trigger and you’ll barely notice it even when you do hit a weakness. Instead the stones are more useful for the passive effects they give to your attacks while in devil trigger.
Electro Heart: Adds a lightning trail to your sword attacks, increasing their range and damage slightly. Additionally some attacks may call down a lightning strike for extra damage. This one would be pretty good if if weren’t for the fact that you’ll rarely be meleeing in devil trigger.
Flame Heart: Adds a fire trail to your sword attacks, essentially prolonging their hitbox by damaging enemies that touch it. The least useful of the three.
Frost Heart: Causes your attacks to freeze enemies in place for a brief moment. This is as stupidly broken as it sounds, especially because unlike the other two it works on guns. This stone freezes enemies briefly. Dante’s DT gun shoots very fast. Do the math.
Lucia is unique among alternate playable characters in DMC in that she actually plays through a slightly different set of missions than Dante. It’s honestly too bad that she’s never made a reappearance outside this game, because she’s not a bad character, she just has the misfortune of being stuck in this game. Her gameplay is actually pretty unique, to the point where I felt she deserved her own section.
Notably, her version of the game is slightly shorter and slightly easier than Dante’s, being only 13 missions instead of 18.
Lucia has a few key gameplay differences from Dante:
- Her melee weapons are two swords instead of one. As a result she has less range than Dante, but attacks faster. She is better than him against single targets, but worse against crowds.
- Instead of guns, she uses thrown weapons. Her default throwing knives are actually pretty powerful, being arguably even better than Dante’s starting pistols. However, all the rest of her throwing weapons suck, especially the cranky bombs. Just stick with her default daggers and you’ll be fine, though.
- Her devil trigger is completely different: she turns into a bird-thing which attacks by shooting homing feathers from its wings. Although it’s not as powerful as Dante’s uber machine gun hands of death, she also builds meter quicker than Dante, and spends it slower, giving her more time in DT overall. Also, she notably starts with the Frost heart equipped to her amulet, which is exactly as busted as it sounds.
For the most part, Lucia’s missions progress similarly to Dante’s, and all of the same tips mentioned in prior sections apply. However, there is one major exception: Lucia has two underwater levels.
While these underwater levels aren’t quite as bad as DMC 1’s underwater levels they still aren’t great. They are slow, clunky, and the boss at the end of the second underwater level is one of the more annoying bosses in the game. In addition, please listen closely to what I’m about to tell you:
And the end of Lucia’s mission 6 she will find herself in a sort of underground temple-type structure. She will have to dive down into the water to progress, marking the start of the two underwater levels. She can either enter through a large door, ending the level, or dive down deeper into a small alcove to find a new weapon, the bowgun.
Whatever you do, DO NOT END THE LEVEL WITHOUT GETTING THAT BOWGUN.
You see, the bowgun is the only effective weapon Lucia can use in the underwater levels. Emphasis on effective weapon. If she doesn’t have the bowgun, she will be stuck using the cranky bombs, which are somehow even worse in water than they were on land. Without the bowgun, Lucia’s underwater levels border on unplayable. With the bowgun, they aren’t so bad.
The only other noteworthy thing about Lucia is that the game actually requires you to beat her story before it considers the game “complete.” In other words, you will not unlock hard mode, bloody palace, etc. unless you have beaten the game as both Dante and Lucia. If you then go on to beat hard mode as either character, you will unlock a secret third playable character, Trish from DMC 1. But do you really want to play through DMC 2 again?
If you’ve managed to make it this far, congratulations! You are now well-equipped to play the worst DMC game.
If, on the other hand, you made it this far and thought “hell no, I’m not playing that,” that’s also fine, I’ve saved you the trouble of playing a game you probably weren’t going to enjoy anyway. Either way, it’s a win-win.
If you have any comments or suggestions please feel free to leave them below. If you have any tips of your own you’d like to add, feel free to mention them and I’ll see about adding them to the guide.
That’s it for the Devil May Cry Guide. I hope you guys appreciate it and are Thankful to Dūmlūpe for his wonderful guide. All credits belong to his effort If you find this guide useful, kindly rate it on the Steam Community.
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