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The Life and Mind of DamnBlackHeart
This is to help me stay actively writing. So expect to see rants, tips on writing, thoughts on subjects, me complaining of boredom, reviews, anime, movies, video games, conventions, tv shows and whatever life throws at me.
What Is The Time Period In The Devil May Cry Series?
From what I’ve gathered the Devil May Cry series takes place in a Retro Universe – basically where retro, vintage or antiquated technology, styles and aesthetics are still used, but which otherwise is or at least resembles The Present Day. Often cultural styles from different time periods are mixed and matched, usually with those that date no later than The ‘60s or so.

This makes sense as the technology in the series varies. For example, in Dante’s office he has a rotary phone, a boombox, a jukebox and a old color TV (in the anime). Later on in the series Nero shows up with some modernized-looking cordless headphones. This makes it hard to pin point the time period with just the few pieces of technology we’ve seen in the series. There’s also the possibility that Dante is just too poor to upgrade. But that doesn’t explain why the rest of the DMC world isn’t up-to-date either.

In Devil May Cry 5 each of the characters used telephone booths to make their calls. But when Nero was at the fancy-looking hotel, he made his call with a rotary phone. However, with Nico in order to receive those calls used what looked like one of those first mobile phone invented (which probably took hours to charge, lasted 35 minutes, and cost a lot too). Or it could have been a satellite phone? At that point, it was clear that the DMC world isn’t modeled after a particular time period and it’s not going for realism either.

After all, modern cell phones would have been a thing for them by now and even computers. Instead, it borrows things from different time periods to create a retro and aesthetic pleasing game for us to enjoy. With a bit of digging around I also found out that Hiroyuki Kobayashi (the producer of DMC4 and the anime series) once stated in an interview that the DMC world is very much like ours and it has phones – just not cellphones. I can’t find the original article, but there was another old article that had a similar discussion with him about it…


Hiroyuki Kobayashi: In Devil May Cry [series character Dante’s] office, they do have a phone, but it’s a black analog kind of phone. That feeling of what the world is like is something that we really want to protect, so even though it does have phones, we don’t want it to be a world where there is a cell phone and you can immediately talk to anyone in the world.

Having said that, it is a world where they do have motorbikes, so creating this mix between high-tech and analog technology – a world where some things have advanced and some things haven’t advanced – is pretty difficult.

For example, there’s a jukebox in Dante’s office, but it plays old vinyl records. Some parts of technology have advanced, and some haven’t advanced. Keeping that true throughout the series and the game is difficult, and we need to have all the core members on the same page. That is certainly one of the challenges in making the game. Having said that, it is a lot of fun to be able to create this kind of unique world of our own design.


After a little more digging I found more information on this subject and it’s actually a lot more recent too. On the Polygon website, Editor Matt Leone was at Capcom’s San Francisco office during this year’s Game Developers Conference. He met with Devil May Cry 5 director Hideaki Itsuno, senior producer Michiteru Okabe, and producer Matt Walker to discuss DMC5. Source: Devil May Cry 5: The post-mortem interview


Matt Leone [Interviewer]: To a certain degree, the game — and Devil May Cry in general — feels like a kitchen sink of different ideas; a lot of things could fit in the Devil May Cry world. Can you think of any things that have come up that felt too out of bounds for that universe?

Hideaki Itsuno: It’s interesting. I know this isn’t quite the direction you’re going for with that question, but there are things that technically don’t fit in a Devil May Cry, and it generally falls around the sense of style that we have. For instance, it’s not as cool for someone to take out a cell phone and say, “Devil May Cry” [with a normal voice]. But when you have a big landline phone on a desk, you can pick it up and say “Devil May Cry” [with a deep voice]. And that really comes down to the fact that we grew up in a certain era. We grew up in the ’70s and ’80s, before there was technology like this. That sense of style is something that’s been ingrained into us from having grown up in that period. There’s a lot of stuff in the game where they don’t use the latest technology, because from our point of view, this is what’s cool.

Eventually, if we ever have a director on a new Devil May Cry game who is in their 20s or something, they’ll have grown up with completely different stuff. So then the sense of style might change, and you might have stuff where in the game they’re watching YouTube or whatever.

But there’s also kind of that element of, what’s stylish? What we know to be cool is really based on our experiences in the ’70s and ’80s, but then also we have the cool dark hero element. Like with Dante, sure, he doesn’t really do terrible things — he doesn’t kill humans, that kind of thing — but there are dark aspects to him, or to the heroes in these games. Yet really, they’re pure, proper heroes that are very all about justice and protecting.


What got me thinking about all this was because when I was going over my old fanfiction I noticed something, well, more like the lack of something. I was wondering why I was making my character go to the library to research books for information on occult stuff when she could’ve just google’d it (or use an equivalent of the search engine).

I then realized that it felt out of place because not once had I ever seen or heard any mention of computers in DMC series (especially in DMC3 as that was the game my fanfiction was focused on). Maybe they do exist, but it was still in the early stages of creation? Or that it wasn’t available for the public and only scientist, military, government or whatnot were the ones using it? I do not know, but books are a valuable source of information and will always be around. So I figured I couldn’t go wrong with having my character go down the route of old-fashion research.

It also makes sense that when Devil May Cry first came out it was in 2001, so of course that has some influence. But even before that in 1998, after the completion of Resident Evil 3, DMC started off as a part of the Resident Evil franchise, under the name “Team Little Devil”. Early research and development work included a trip to Spain to examine various castles as a basis for the game’s environments. So course, that also helped to shape DMC into what it is today.

I get the feeling that DMC4 to DMC5 is kinda like when the 90s meet 00s. In which those who live in the era know what it was like to see cassettes and VHS tapes turn into CD-ROMs. Floppy disk to USB flash drives, Walkman/Discman to mp3 or ipods and so on.

Now, what about cameras? Hm, I do wonder which version of it is fitting for the DMC series. There’s a painted portrait of the whole family in Dante’s childhood home, but on his desk there is a photo of his mother. It might be one of those hand-coloring photograph? I figured because of the clothing they’re wearing looks old-fashion, it may suggest that photography might not have been that common during that time. Paintings were probably popular, but Eva’s photo on Dante’s desk is in color. Maybe it is an actual photo from a camera (the kind that’s not black&white – film camera possibly)? Unless it’s a small painted portrait of her?

I’ll research this later. Anyway, these were just my musings that spawn from my old DMC fanfiction. Obviously, I don’t have to be canonically correct but I personally like to do my best in sticking with the source material. That usually means I have to do a bit of research to properly understand, in order to build up the DMC universe from what I already know of it. I find that it helps to make it feel immersive for my readers when I do that.

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