Nero (ネロ) is a main character in the Devil May Cry series of hack and slash 3D action games. He first made his debut in Devil May Cry 4 as the main protagonist and appears in Devil May Cry 5 as the lead protagonist again. He is the son of Vergil, the nephew of series lead protagonist Dante and the grandson of Sparda and Eva. Nero was formerly a Holy Knight in the Order of the Sword, a religious order that worships Sparda and fights to protect the world from demons.
An orphan that was adopted by the Order of the Sword, Nero has grown up to be a Holy Knight in the Order in the city of Fortuna. Nero is the grandson of the legendary demon knight Sparda (in-game, he is referred as a descendant of Sparda in Devil May Cry 4), hence his right arm and the powers of the “Devil Bringer”. He tends to not get along well with others and prefers to work alone, so he is usually given the Order's "special assignments", Nero actually prefers to act as a lone wolf.
At a very young age, Nero was taken in by Kyrie and her brother Credo (along with their now deceased parents). They are the only family he knows, although he and Credo don't always see eye to eye when it comes to rules. He and Kyrie both fall in love some point prior to the beginning of DMC4; this love plays a major part during the events of the game.
Nero wears a long black and red coat with The Order of the Sword's insignia sewn into both shoulders. He also wears a red zip-up hoodie/vest underneath this coat, a black muscle-shirt beneath that, and a pair of black pants. In addition, he wears two rings on his left hand: one on his index finger that has the emblem of The Order of the Sword on its face, and another on his ring finger which bears a rose design, identical to the designs on his belt buckle, coat clasp, and coat buttons. He has white hair brushed down and blue eyes similar to Dante and Vergil.
In Devil May Cry 5, Nero sports a much shorter hair, similar to the alternate Dante and now wears a less gothic and a more casual attire, consisting of a dark blue hooded jacket, a dark crimson shirt and black pants with military-style combat boots. After the loss of his Devil Bringer arm, his business partner Nico replaced it with a cybernetic arm called Devil Breaker.
In contrast with Dante's laid-back and occasionally flirtatious attitude, Nero is a serious, cynical, sardonic and somewhat anti-social person. He is a choleric character, prone to mood swings, and has been seen to both cry and become very angry multiple times during the events of Devil May Cry 4.
He is also very rebellious, much like Dante and Sparda before him: he wields guns, despite the Order's general prohibition against them; he doesn't really believe in the Order's religion; and cares little for the legend of Sparda. Despite this, he is also very loyal to his friends, especially to Kyrie and Credo. Even though he doesn't care for the Order's religion, Nero still participates in some of their activities out of respect for Credo and Kyrie.
Like Dante, Nero is a somewhat arrogant and cocky person. He shares Dante's habit of casually mouthing off to even the most powerful of his enemies, making taunts and sarcastic jokes on the battlefield. Nero also taunts in a similar, sarcastic fashion to Dante: one taunt involves him bowing mockingly and asking: "Shall we dance?"; another has him aiming the Blue Rose at his enemies and saying "Bang!" instead of shooting; and still another has him applaud his enemies.
When he first received the Devil Bringer, he considered it a curse, and covered it with a medical sling to hide it out of shame. However, over time he begins to accept his demonic power but doesn't fully accept it until the end of Devil May Cry 4.
Concept and design Edit
Nero was created by the Capcom staff as a new protagonist who would develop across the Devil May Cry series because Dante had become stronger with each game. Nero was created as a weak character who develops new powers in the story until he reaches Dante's level. This was mostly done through his "Devil Bringer" ability, which makes him stand out. Another reason for Nero's introduction was to attract new gamers to the franchise. The Devil Bringer was originally suited to be part of Dante's mechanics, but the staff found the games would be more interesting if a character who cannot transform into a demon would develop a demon arm. Capcom wanted to balance the traits between Nero and Dante. While Nero was created to be weak due to his young age, Dante comes across as a more experienced person based on his previous works.
In the making of the game, Capcom wished to keep Nero's traits, except that Kyrie is his love interest, under wraps. Writer Bingo Morihashi was inspired to write Nero's story by the writings of late manga artist Ramo Nakajima in the series Amagasaki City; "I love you, so I protect the city you love". Love is the focus of the Devil May Cry series; Devil May Cry 4 focuses on Nero's love for Kyrie. While making the game a simple story similar to Hollywood movies involving a damsel in distress, the staff were satisfied with the story because it also carried Morihashi's ideas well.
Fearing negative feedback, as happened when Konami's stealth game Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty introduced a new character, replacing protagonist Solid Snake with newcomer Raiden, producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi stated Capcom aimed to make Nero fun to play, even when compared to Dante; they said the team aimed to make him stronger at some point. Kobayashi described Nero as "characteristically wild, quite immature, young, and very passionate. At the same time he is kind of a rebel." Capcom had planned ideas for another Devil May Cry game, in which Nero would return and possibly team up with Dante. The company, however, first expected to see the fan response to Devil May Cry 4.
Nero's name means "black" in Italian. Capcom originally planned to name him after the French sculptor Auguste Rodin, who created The Gates of Hell from Dante's Inferno. This work is referenced in Devil May Cry 4; it causes demons to spawn within the human world. The Capcom team, however, later wanted a simpler name similar to the ones from Dante and Vergil. Bingo persuaded the staff to use the name Nero from the Roman emperor with the same name; he said the similarities between Nero and the name of Vergil's alter-ego Nelo Angelo were coincidental and there is no connection between these two characters. Most of Nero's moves were named after casino terms, which Morihashi believed would fit with the character's personality.
Nero was designed by Tatsuya Yoshikawa who did research for the entire Devil May Cry series when designing the new main character. Yoshikawa was satisfied with Nero's appearance and he believes he fits the Devil May Cry world. Nero's physical appearance underwent several changes during the development of Devil May Cry 4; early designs looked more like Vergil until the final design that resembled Dante. Additionally, the Devil May Cry 4 Material Collection Artbook shows a myriad of sketches and changes over Nero's design. Several concepts of him include Nero in white clothes similar to those worn by the rest of the Order and some which are very aristocratic in appearance. In most of them, Nero has a much slimmer build, and his eyes are a different color, where they are predominantly yellow, in contrast to the color seen in the final version of the game. The artbook also has several images depicting Nero with a full Devil Trigger that has wings, but this design was scrapped in exchange for the spectre-like form seen in the final game. Yoshikawa also created Nero's Devil Trigger form. Unlike Dante's transformation that makes him look like a devil, Nero's Devil Trigger generates a creature situated behind his back. Nero's hood covers one eye as a form of symbolism, which was left up to the fans. Yoshikawa wanted to incorporate this into the game and hoped to make it into a figurine, but this was not possible.
Nero's redesign for Devil May Cry 5 was intended to contrast with Dante's older look. Capcom used an older incarnation of Nero so he would be "at the top of his game in body and mind". Because the graphics of the game are meant to be as realistic as possible, Nero's face was modeled after an actor named Karlo Baker.
Early life Edit
Years ago at some point during Vergil's visit to the city of Fortuna, he impregnated an unknown woman who gave birth to a boy and shortly thereafter the baby boy was left on the doorstep of a orphanage, getting the name Nero from the black blanket he was found wrapped in. He would later meet Kyrie and her older brother Credo along with their parents and together, the three of them grew up as a family. Throughout his childhood, Nero would be teased by many of the children in Fortuna, who accused him of being a bastard child of a prostitute (due to the fact that no one knew who his mother was). Nero would later be taught in the art of swordsmanship by Credo, and he and Kyrie would grow romantic feelings for each other. The siblings' parents were later killed by demons (unbeknownst to Nero, these demons were humans who failed in maintainig their sanity in the Ascension Ceremony, a magical ritual created by the Order of the Sword), this event would lead Nero to not believing in God.
Eventually, despite his conflicting beliefs, Nero would go joining the Order of the Sword, not only because he idolized Credo and his sense of justice but also for the sake of protecting Fortuna, a city Kyrie held dear. However, he would gain the dislike of the members due to his lone wolf nature, apparent terrible skills in teamwork, and utilizing guns which were forbidden but Nero had very little, if any, care at all for their beliefs and rules.
At some point, a number of demons appeared suddenly from the Mitis Forest (the forest that surrounds Fortuna) and attacked the city. Luckily, Nero was present at the scene and exterminated all of the demons. During this incident, Kyrie was injured while Nero received a minor injury to his right shoulder. Nero's sword, the Red Queen, was damaged and sent for repair. Kyrie recovered completely, but Nero's shoulder never healed. Initially he believed it to be an infection, but upon realizing it was demonic power, he began training with it in secret.
On the day of the Festival of the Blade, Nero barely manages to make it to Kyrie's performance in time after dealing with a group of demons, with a man in red secretly watching him from the rooftops. He leaves her a gift and then prepares to leave, having grown tired of the preaching of the Order's leader Sanctus. Suddenly, the mysterious man in red, revealed to be Dante, bursts in through the glass ceiling during the prayer and kills Sanctus by shooting him.
Before Dante can confirm the kill, Credo and a battalion of knights confront him, but are completely outmatched. Kyrie, seeing that Dante is going to kill her brother, finally escapes Nero's hold on her and runs to them, but is knocked down in the process. When Nero sees Dante looming over Kyrie, he kicks him in the face and orders Credo and Kyrie to go get help while he stalls Dante.
The two fight, and Nero is forced to reveal his Devil Bringer. With it, he is able to knock Dante back and impale him with his own sword on Sparda's statue, but Dante frees himself and jumps down. Nero states that Dante isn't human, to which Dante then pulls Rebellion out and comments that they're the same, and points out the knights he had slain, who turned out to be demons. Confused, Nero watches as Dante flees the scene.
Shortly after, Kyrie returns Nero's sword, Red Queen, at Credo's request. Credo gives an order to Nero - to pursue the man in red, with witnesses seeing him heading to Fortuna Castle. Suddenly, all three feel the building shudder, and leave to discover the city's citizens being attacked by demons. While Kyrie and Credo lead the survivors back to headquarters, Nero fights off the remaining demons.
In order to pursue Dante, Nero goes through Fortuna, which has been completely overrun with demons. His pursuit of Dante leads him to discover the source of these demons: In a small village at the base of Lamina Peak, just outside the city, Nero finds the first Hell Gate and fights its guardian, Berial who is the conqueror of the fire hell.
After defeating Berial, Nero makes his way through a supernatural blizzard to Fortuna Castle, where he meets Gloria, a new member of the Order whom he's never seen before. After some exposition, Nero and Gloria go their separate ways. When Nero enters Fortuna Castle, he finds it infested with demons and starts to investigate. He finds the second Hell Gate and fights Bael, a large toad-like demon whose specialty is ice.
While exploring the castle, Nero stumbles upon a secret underground laboratory of the Order, where he meets Agnus, the Order's chief alchemist. Agnus reveals that he created the Hell Gates and uses them to summon demons, which he needs for his experiments. Agnus also reveals that by using this power, Sanctus hopes to rule the world by using the Savior, the god-like being the Order constructed.
Agnus has Nero nearly killed by his Bianco Angelos, but Nero dramatically unleashes his Devil Trigger, gaining a phantom-like appearance. In this form, Nero manages to repair the sword Yamato, which Agnus had kept in a containment field in his lab. Nero forces Agnus to reveal his Angelo form and retreat.
Nero heads towards The Order's headquarters, believing Credo knows more about what is going on. He crosses a bridge which leads into a cave concealed by a the Foris Falls and finds himself in the Mitis Forest. Here, Dante bumps into him, but their encounter is very brief. Dante apologizes snidely to Nero, stating that "it'll have to wait", and then jumps off a cliff. Nero fights countless demons on his way through the forest and eventually banishes Echidna the She-Viper, a dragon-like demon who treats the demons of the forest as her children. After that, Nero reaches the Headquarters without any other surprises.
At the entrance he is met by Credo, whereupon Nero asks who Dante is. Credo draws his blade and exclaims that Nero does not have the authority to demand answers from him. Nero reflexively uses his Devil Bringer to block an attack from Credo, exposing his secret. Realizing that Agnus (who brought news of Nero's demonic power to the Orders' commanders only moments earlier) was right, Credo transforms into his Angelo form and declares that Nero is under arrest. A fight ensues, after which Credo returns to his human form and Nero emerges victorious, but Kyrie, appearing seemingly from nowhere, screams out when she beholds what she interprets as Nero, with a demon arm, trying to kill Credo.
Nero tries to explain and calm Kyrie, but Agnus swoops in and captures her, revealing Sanctus's desire to use her to get to Nero. Credo is furious as Agnus flies away with Kyrie, so he asks Nero to put aside this fight and vows to get to the truth from Sanctus. While Credo flies off to see Sanctus, Nero pursues Agnus and Kyrie.
Nero finds and fights Agnus in the Order's headquarters and succeeds in defeating him. Just as Nero is about to finish off Agnus, an army of Bianco Angelos, lead by none other than Sanctus himself, in the armor of an Alto Angelo swoops in to his aid.
As Sanctus leaves with Kyrie, Nero jumps after her, but he is only able to grab her necklace, which he gave her as a gift back at the cathedral. Nero turns around and continues to pursue Agnus, Sanctus, and Kyrie.
As Nero is on his way out of the headquarters, he runs into Dante and tries to ignore him, but Dante reveals that he wants Yamato back because it used to belong to his brother. Nero refuses, causing another fight between them. Although Nero is wielding Yamato, Dante is able to beat him, though he doesn't kill him. Dante allows Nero to keep the Yamato for now, seeing how he needs it and that he is calm headed. Dante asks Nero's name and so he reveals it to Dante, also commenting that each other's names were "not bad", showing their mutual respect.
Nero later finds Sanctus next to a giant statue resembling Sparda, which is the Savior. Sanctus asks Nero if he wishes to surrender himself and form the Savior's core together with Kyrie to which Nero refuses and attempts to rescue her, but fails and falls into Sanctus's trap. In the process, Sanctus takes the Yamato from Nero. Suddenly, Credo appears, enraged because Sanctus had used Kyrie, and attacks his former superior. Sanctus runs him through with Yamato, causing a mortal wound, and Credo falls off the Savior but is caught by Dante. He, together with Trish, witness as Nero is absorbed into the heart of the Savior. The Savior awakens and flies toward Fortuna. Credo asks Dante to honor one last request, to save both Kyrie and Nero, after which he dies.
Much later, Dante, having retrieved Yamato and destroyed all the Hell Gates, faces off against the Savior. After weakening the Savior's exterior, Dante thrusts Yamato into the core of the statue, awakening Nero and allowing him to escape the heart-like organ imprisoning him. After completing a number of trials within the Savior, Nero finally confronts Sanctus. Sanctus, having achieved even greater levels of power with the Sparda sword, asks why Nero betrayed the Order. Nero answers that Sanctus has done enough foul deeds to make Nero hate him. During their exchanges, Sanctus also scoffs at Nero for being held back by love.
Nero finally defeats Sanctus inside the Savior. In a final bid for victory, Sanctus implores Sparda for power, but his request remains unfulfilled. In a fit of rage, he asks why Sparda refuses to give him the power to kill Nero. The sword remains silent, but Nero explains to Sanctus that although Sparda was a demon, he did have a heart, one that could love another person. Lacking this, the sword will not grant his request for power. Nero saves Kyrie and kills Sanctus, and they escape the Savior.
Although it seems that all is finally over, the Savior suddenly transforms into the form of the False Savior, taking on Sanctus' appearance. Nero asks to fight in Dante's stead, and Dante acquiesces. Nero offers a quick prayer to God, during which he explains how he's come to terms with his demonic power, and destroys the False Savior and Sanctus once and for all by using it.
Nero meets up with Dante, with whom he exchanges thanks and friendship. With Dante about to leave, Nero tries to return Yamato back to him, but he refuses to take it saying it's now entrusted to Nero. In their final moments together, Nero asks Dante if they'll meet again, but Dante just vaguely waves in answer.
Kyrie joins Nero as they both agree its all over, and although the city is in shambles they express no regret, instead they show their desire to be together. Despite Nero's demon power, Kyrie show total acceptance of him. Nero returns the necklace to her and they nearly kiss, but they are interrupted by some remaining Scarecrows. Nero fights them off while Kyrie waits, agreeing to kiss him later, after which they are finally able to do.
Nero appears as the protagonist and one of the three playable characters in the game. By this time, he is still in a relationship with Kyrie, having formed their own branch of the Devil May Cry business. When a cloaked figure severed his Devil Bringer right arm, Nero goes in search of the perpetrator while at the same time fighting off a widespread demon invasion in Red Grave City. He works with expert craftswoman Nico who has created a prosthetic replacement of his hand.
Nero wields a sword named Red Queen, a revolver called Blue Rose and the "Devil Bringer" powers of his right arm. Later in the game, he somehow repairs and wields Yamato, along with a Devil Trigger form where, unlike Dante, he is shadowed by a giant disembodied demon spirit (instead of becoming more demonic). It is in this form that he wields the Yamato. Because of his connection to Vergil, the shadow hovering over Nero resembles Vergil's Devil Trigger form.
Powers and Abilities Edit
Nero has proven himself to be extremely powerful, easily capable of defeating several powerful demons such as Berial, Echidna and Dagon, slaying countless demons on his way through the Mitis Forest, fairly quickly besting Credo who had gained a large increase in power from the Ascension Ceremony, easily beating Agnus and killing Sanctus while he was in his final ascended form and powered by both The Savior and the sword of Sparda's immense energies with ease, and striking the final blow to the weakened Savior. Nero's most remarkable feat thus far was that how he managed to defeat Dante himself when Dante held back, with Dante openly acknowledging Nero as being more powerful than most of his opponents, and managed to fight against Dante using full power but was ultimately beaten and he did note that Dante had not been fighting to kill.
- Superhuman Strength: Nero is shown to be extremely strong, able to easily overpower Berial, whose huge flaming sword he easily blocked using only his left hand and Red Queen, and he even forced Berial's sword back with a strong thrust, as well as outmatch Angelo Credo in strength while he was matched in most categories. He is capable of contending against Dante in battle despite his own extreme strength and wielding his Devil Bringer, can even overpower him, able to easily throw him away.
- Superhuman Speed, Reflexes and Agility: Nero holds outstanding speed and reaction time. In addition to being able to run on Echidna's back faster than gravity, he can effectively keep up with Dante's own speed and agility in battle.
- Demonic Energy Channeling: Nero has shown the ability to channel his demonic energy into his gun from his Devil Bringer or in the air to perform Charged Shots and Air Hike.
- Master Combatant: Nero is a highly proficient and experienced combatant, both armed and hand-to-hand combat. Receiving extensive training personally from Credo, the Supreme General of the Order, his combat abilities are great enough that he is the only one who has no partner and he is greatly respected by his peers for his superb skills. Nero's fighting skills have proven to easily surpass any member of the Order of the Sword as well as demons that he encounters and he could even go toe-to-toe with Dante for quite some time, even besting him once, although he remarked that Dante was not fighting to kill.
Other appearances Edit
Nero appeared as an icon in Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale.
- As explained above, he is named after Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, better known as Emperor Nero of Rome. It was widely believed (even at his time) that Emperor Nero was the one who started the Great Fire of Rome, although some historians say otherwise. To deflect the blame, he targeted Christians, ordering some to be thrown to dogs, while others were crucified and burned.
- Nero is the son of Vergil and the nephew of Dante. While the exact full details of this have yet to be officially established by Capcom in a Devil May Cry game, in Devil May Cry 4: Deadly Fortune it was purely assumed that Nero is the son of Vergil and a prostitute (due to the fact that no one knew who his mother was). The claim that he is Vergil's son was allegedly confirmed at "Captivate 2009" by one of the Capcom employees who worked on the game's localization.According to said employe, DMC4 was originally going to include this fact but it was removed for the possibility for setting up a story in the future, making it ambiguous. The claim was later confirmed in the official Devil May Cry series artbook, Graphics Arts 3142, and by Hideaki Itsuno in June 2018.
- In Vergil's Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition ending, the shadow that looms behind him looks very similar to Nero's Devil Trigger form, futher supporting the relation between them.
- While the 3142 Graphics Arts artbook has confirmed Nero's placement with his relation to Vergil and his family, various other sources released later such as the Capcom 30th Anniversary Character Encyclopedia seem to still refer to Nero's placement as unknown for some reason.
- In early publicity art, screenshots, and trailers for Devil May Cry 4, Nero's Devil Bringer originally had a golden glow before it was changed to blue; the reason for this change is unknown, however it is speculated that it was changed to hint and represent that Nero was the son of Vergil by sharing the blue colour.
- Nero is mentioned in Deadpool's win quote against Dante in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 ("Next time, maybe you should let Nero do your fightin', skippy").
- Drew, the main protagonist of Platinum Games' canceled Scalebound, bears a strong resemblance to Nero; he has white hair and a right arm covered in dragon-like scales with a blue, glowing pattern, wears cordless headphones and wields a sword in his left arm. It should be noted that Platinum Games consists of several former Capcom staff members, including original Devil May Cry series creator Hideki Kamiya, who was not involved in Devil May Cry 4's development but did cite the game as research when developing Bayonetta.
- It is unknown wether Nero is left or right handed. He may be ambidexterous, and simply prefer to use his normal arm to wield his sword in.
- The character is voiced and motion captured by Johnny Yong Bosch.
- ↑ https://www.gamesradar.com/devil-may-cry-4-interview-the-men-behind-the-mayhem/4/
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20140103190600/http://www.1up.com/previews/devil-cry-4_2?pager.offset=1
- ↑ https://www.wired.com/2007/10/interview-hiroy/
- ↑ cite book|title=Devil May Cry: 3142 Graphic Arts|publisher=Capcom, Udon Entertainment|year=2015|isbn=978-1927925485|pages=211
- ↑ https://www.gamesradar.com/devil-may-cry-4-interview-the-men-behind-the-mayhem/5/
- ↑ http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/devil-may-cry-4-interview
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20140103190116/http://www.1up.com/previews/devil-cry-4_2?pager.offset=2
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 https://web.archive.org/web/20130602104915/http://www.capcom-fc.com/devil4column/2009/07/_deadly_fortune_1.html
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20140103190454/http://www.1up.com/previews/devil-cry-4_2?pager.offset=3
- ↑ https://www.ricedigital.co.uk/devil-may-cry-3124-artbook-review/
- ↑ cite book|title=Devil May Cry 4 Devil's Material Collection Art Book|publisher=Capcom|isbn=978-4862331854|year=2008|page=31
- ↑ http://gearnuke.com/devil-may-cry-5-interview-neros-lineage-design/
- ↑ http://www.siliconera.com/2018/07/18/devil-may-cry-5-devs-on-balancing-photorealism-with-action-the-mystery-3rd-hero-more
- ↑ https://www.dailystar.co.uk/tech/gaming/682955/Devil-May-Cry-5-Nero-Dante-DMC-News-2019-Release-Date-pegi-Devil-Trigger-Updates-August-13
- ↑ Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition Website Inroduction (Vergil)
- ↑ http://archive.videogamesdaily.com/features/dmc4_iv_p2.asp
- ↑ http://www.siliconera.com/2009/05/17/these-characters-didnt-make-the-tatsunoko-vs-capcom-cut/
- ↑ http://www.capcom-unity.com/carbo/blog/2009/04/28/captivate_2009__devil_may_cry_news_no_new_game_unfortunately Captivate 2009 - Devil May Cry News (No New Game Unfortunately)
- ↑ http://devilmaycry.wikia.com/wiki/File:Nero_Vergil_Relation_Confirmation.jpg
- ↑ https://us.blastingnews.com/gaming/2018/06/devil-may-cry-5-director-confirms-that-vergil-is-neros-father-possible-release-date-002630961.html
- ↑ http://www.gamespot.com/news/6207621.html
For more images of this character, see their Gallery.