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|“||The world was born from darkness. Unending darkness. A crucible of chaos. But even to that primordial existence there came a ray of light. The universe was eventually split in two. The darkness became the realm of demons... and the light became the domain of mortals. The two worlds existed together for what seemed like an eternity. But one day the lord of the dark world said... "These realms were once united, so why not rule them as one?" From that era forward, the dark fought to control the light, and the light struggled to defy the dark.||„|
|~ Opening narration of Devil May Cry 3 (manga) (about the Demon World).|
The Demon World (in Japanese: 鬼の世界, Oni no sekai), known by many names including the "Underworld" (in Japanese: アンダーワールド, Andāwārudo), "Hell" (in Japanese: 地獄, Jigoku), the "Netherworld" (in Japanese: 冥界, Meikai), and the "Demonic World" (in Japanese: 悪魔の世界, Akuma no sekai), is the demonic world of pure evil that is a both a parallel and a threat to the Human World (Earth), and it primarily serves as the dark, negative afterlife for evil humans (as mentioned in some of the library files; however, the games never provide any actual proof of that) and home to demons within the Devil May Cry universe.
The Demon World is an extension of the original darkness that covered the universe before the coming of light. It is in the Demon World where natural demons are born and also seems to serve as a source of power for the demons born there (or at least their power is reduced when they are cut off from the Demon World).
Most of the Demon World that is seen does not hold to the same natural/physical laws as the Human World. It is generally a dark and desolate place, and incredibly dangerous.
The Demon World would also appear to serve as the dark, negative afterlife for "evil" humans.
2000 years before the events at Mallet Island, the Human World and the Demon World were locked in a bitter war. Because humans were weaker than demons, the outcome of the war seemed inevitable. Until the Dark Knight Sparda, born of the demonic world, awoke to justice, and turned against his kind to aid the humans. He alone defeated the armies of Hell, and sealed away the demonic realm using his own Yamato, his blood, and the blood of a human priestess.
The Demon World is a confusing and dangerous place, to say the least, and this eternal world of evil can leave a lasting impression on one's soul beyond comprehension. It seems to consist of many different planes and realms, with some, if not all, corresponding to a particular element or theme (The Fire Hell and Frozen Soil, for example).
Dante, the Son of Sparda, travels to the Demon World in every game except for Devil May Cry 4, where it does not appear at all.
Devil May Cry
In the game's last 3 missions, Dante enters the Demon World to confront Mundus. Typically, the realm is laden with devils, mostly mid/high-ranking ones. Mundus' abode consists of an organic and fleshy interior which pulsates as though it were alive. His throne room however, has an almost heavenly atmosphere as if it was built like a temple. It is very pristine and is made of a lustrous, marble-like material. It is illuminated by bright, immaculate rays of light and is accompanied by pleasant cathedral music.
Devil May Cry 2
Dante enters the Demon World once more to confront the dark realm's former master Argosax. The landscape appears to be nothing short of a vast, seemingly everlasting dark wasteland with a charcoal-like black ground admist a crimson horizon and the dark skies with blurring faces ever watching with malice.
Devil May Cry 3
This time, Dante visits surrealistic parts of Hell, though there are some major differences between them.
Locations in the Main Hall
These are the Unsacred Hellgate (ウンサクレッド ヘルガト, Unsakureddo Herugato), Road to Despair (ロアッド ト デスパーア, Roaddo to Desupaaa) and End of the Line (エンド オフ ス リン, Endo ofu su Rin). They work as transit locations, and there are no major fights, although Mission 20 (the final battle with Dante’s brother Vergil) is entirely set in the Unsacred Hellgate. It looks like all of these locations are in some kind of enormous hall. If we look around, we will see walls, which are painted in a manner similar to the Temen-ni-Gru’s interiors. Pieces of wall are torn off and we can see the top of the Tower through the hole. The path here is created from stones floating nearby, that will regroup as a path, as soon as you start walking. One interesting thing is that from the Unsacred Hellgate, you can return to the top of Temen-ni-Gru if you wish so.
Damned Chess Board
Not much to say about this Damned Chess Board (ダムネッド チェス ボアード, Damuneddo Chesu Boaado) as it is a “simple” board. There, you will “play” chess with the Damned Chessmen. However the chessmen can activate or deactivate at will. Dante cannot hit them while deactivated. Also, the King can shift positions with the Rook regardless of their places in the chessboard. Finally, all the pieces move simultaneously, not taking turns like in the actual chess.
Locations which can only conditionally be placed under the same title "Nirvanas" (ナーバナス, Naabanasu). The only thing which unites them is their references to Buddhism.
Lost Souls Nirvana (ロスト ソルス ニルバーナ, Rosuto Sorusu Nirubaana) is much like the locations in the “hall” though there is no walls, only a white void with waterfalls, flowing from nowhere. The stairs here are crossed in crazy angles, so what is sometimes a wall can become a floor and vice versa. It’s also why the player can’t jump or execute attacking moves, leaving only running and walking. The role of “lost souls” is played by all of the demon bosses (or all bosses except for Vergil, Lady, and Jester/Arkham) which you need to finish off again to proceed further.
Nirvana of Illusions (ニルバーナ オフ イルシオンス, Nirubaana ofu Irushionsu) is a small mirrored room with some Abysses and a green mirror which is moving between niches in walls. There is also an inscription which says:”Substance projects Image and Image punishes Substance”. Accordingly to it, all of the enemies (which resemble Substance) here are immortal except for the mirror (Image) – you can’t destroy the Substance, only its Image. When it’s destroyed, all of the demons die.
Infinity Nirvana (インフィニティ ニルバーナ, Infiniti Nirubaana) is a small piece of land, in centre of which rises an enormous sand clock. You need to kill all of the enemies in the room before the sand in the clock runs out. This place seems to be floating somewhere in the Hall, as sometimes we can see its painted walls, though they whirl around extremely quickly.
The last one is Forbidden Nirvana (フォービデン ニルバーナ, Foobiden Nirubaana), where Dante fights Arkham. Around the small arena, some rocks rise, and the room itself is filled with some purple liquid: somewhere it reaches Dante’s waist. In the center there is a hole; after the boss battle, the Force Edge (standard form of the Sparda sword) falls through it, along with both parts of the Perfect Amulet, and soon after, Vergil and Dante for their amulets.
Room of Fallen Ones
The Room of Fallen Ones (in Japanese: ルーム オフ ファレン オネス, Ruumu ofu Faren Onesu) is an endless lake of blood, with thousands of massive statues of demons sunken within it (supposedly, Fallen Ones which are probably fallen angels). Dante is somehow able to walk on the liquid’s surface, though Abysses, which are made from blood, can move freely in it.
It is stated in the Character file that the Leviathan’s body is a gateway to the "hell of jealousy”, so its Core is part of the Demon World itself as well.
Travel Between Worlds
It is possible to move from the Demon World to the Human World. This is done through different types of portals. It seems that while these portals require some sort of magical method to open or create (magic being exclusive to demons), they can only be opened, or are much easier to open at the least, from The Human World.
There are many different portals between the two worlds, of all different sizes. The largest of these portals having been closed by Sparda . It seems that lesser demons are much more able to travel between worlds, but it requires a much larger portal to allow more powerful demons to cross.
The Demon World is controlled and presided over by the most powerful demon present at the time. Before and during Sparda's time, this was Mundus, until he was sealed away by Sparda. After this event many demons began to vie for control. This occurred again after Dante sealed away Mundus for the second time. Also, while there seems to be a grand ruler like Mundus, other even powerful devils control different realms of the Demon World, like Argosax.