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DMC4 rewrite ideas

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This is a spiritual successor to @windleopard and @BlackAngel 's threads. I'm procrastinating so I might as well share them.

A) instead of Dante, Vergil is involved-
I wrote Nero off as a Discount Dante with a lame love story. While that's true, using Vergil instead of Dante is a way to turn that weakness into a strength. Adding Vergil and watching him manipulate both Nero and Sanctus for his own benefit adds more to this tale. Plus Vergil is the series Dark Horse so its a good marketing ploy. He also acts as an audience surrogate- he could write Nero off but change his mind later on. Dante tried to be a trickster mentor but we can do that a little better with Vergil.

B) Instead of Discount Dante, Nero is Discount Vergil-
This description is cheeky but Nero would've been a better foil for Dante if he was more like his father. DMC5 is mistaken, Vergil isn't Dante's reason for fighting, his family is. Vergil is just the one family member he could have a relationship with. So Dante trying to mentor his nephew and keep him on the straight path is more interesting.

Unlike the canon version of 4, this is set in Dante's city. Nero's seeks him out to better understands his origin. It's plot is more episodic like the anime and more centered around Nero and Dante's dynamic.

C) Instead of the DMC crew, Nero has to team up with V and Nico to fight Sanctus-
This is more risky than a solo Nero game. I liked Nero in the later half of 5 when he dropped the juvenile tryhard routine and became a idealistic team player. So I'd just get to that sooner- he starts the game as a lone wolf and ends the game as a team player.

Vitale is part of the local coven in Fortuna and they are fighting back guerrilla warfare style against Sanctus's regime. In this story the Order is a theocracy that runs Fortuna. So he and Nero start out as rivals in the first half fighting the other faction before teaming up in the second half.

Nico is the tritagonist- she's assisting Agnus because she wants to revive her dead mom. This is an optional playable campaign with Nico using an exoskeleton like C.Viper's and its shorter than the other two.

D) Dante was raised in Fortuna.
Nero just acts like a more juvenile Dante so I'd just do a game where Dante was raised in Fortuna after his mom dies. It's divided into two time periods- the first half is focused on 16-17 year old Dante before he left and the later half focuses on 25-27 year old Dante being asked to come back by Kyrie to help out with a crisis. I'm leaning towards an upstart general of Mundus looking to make a name for himself and that could be Berial. The original ending where Kyrie leaves after Nero kills Credo is used for Dante here. They are ex-lovers who have to come to terms with each other's present in order to save the day and that allows you to do more with the uninspired love story.

Vergil gets a segment called "Prince and the Pauper" detailing Dante and Vergil's reunion at 16. They grew up living seperate lives and throughout this half you can set up his envy of Dante while he plays the role of uneasy ally against Sanctus.

E) It's a straightforward sequel to DMC3.
Dante gets approached by Sanctus's predecessor to be the champion of Fortuna and protect it from Mundus's upstart general Berial. Sanctus is the general and planning a double cross for both his predecessor and Dante.

Nero is cut into two characters-

A) Nero is a young man whose forced to become a demon by the order. He struggles to keep his sanity and Dante has to make a choice about putting him down.
B) Rodin is Vergil's 5 year old son whose mother is apart of the local coven. Dante gets suspicious upon seeing him and investigates.

Trish gets a segment called "Rolling Thunder"- it's showcases how she infiltrated Fortuna as Gloria except this time it's for Mundus.

I had fun doing these scribbles and I hope you all had fun reading them.
 
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Morgan

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Most of these ideas boil down to, You think you want it, but you don't. Like I said, I can tell.

Idea A doesn't let Nero stand as his own character, it just papers over it by adding Some Other Dude to hide it better, even though Nero's concept is still "Vergil If Good, Because Girlfriend" per Bingo and Itsuno.

Idea B, same thing. "He doesn't stand as his own character because he's too much like this guy. Let's make him instead too much like some other guy", which is reductive because children aren't carbon copies of their parents, especially parents that weren't around to raise them at all. That, and treating Nero as Morally Suspect Because Vergil (and not, y'know, Morally Suspect Because He Works for a Shady Religious Order) would be a disservice to his character, especially if Dante's still an idiot who is arbitrarily withholding details "for his own good". This is Luke turning the lightsaber on Kylo while he's sleeping. The same Luke that refused to kill the child-murderer father of his and saw to Vader's redemption as a Jedi.

Then again, the whole series or maybe the fandom comes off as reductive when it comes to character personalities. Every character is an expy of some other character. Vergil = DMC2 Dante with Blue and a Katana; Gloria = Lucia with any shred of characterization traded in for fanservice; Lady = Beryl but with more b!tchiness; Nico = Nell but Southern and with a suspect family tree, Kyrie = Eva = Kalina Ann since they're all supposed to be strong and supportive and loving wives and the human halves of a relationship, etc. If they made a prequel game with Sparda, the only way they could go with his personality (or the way the fandom understands it being executed) is "Yeah, it's just a bit of Dante and a bit of Vergil" simply because Dante and Vergil are the characters people saw first. If Sparda had come first, everyone else would be derivative.

Idea C, Nero didn't actually become an "idealistic team player" at any point, he just flipped a switch to being the "most mature guy in the room" after he, uh, abandons the team to go stop a fight between brothers tangled in a toxic sibling rivalry. He stops the fight himself, bitchslaps Dante himself, defeats Vergil himself, gets double-backhanded by himself, gets abandoned by the twins by himself, and until that point he was just fine running his own routes, talking to V on occasion, talking to Nico on occasion, and being dismissed by Dante at every opportunity because Dante was an idiot arbitrarily withholding details on Nero's parentage for "his own good" even though Dante himself is largely incompetent and let Vergil/Urizen get away from him a majority of the time. The first half of 5 giving Nero an immature little brother complex is a needless aberration to his personality that makes his switch out of that "triggered by Deadweight" bull seem appealing, but that doesn't make it good. Because the development as-is is non-existent and the flaws were made up.

Why does Nico side with Agnus who canonically abandoned the family in favor of his religion, is a Sanctus loyalist, and thus wouldn't in any capacity give a crap about the dead mom? Is the reader supposed to fill in the massive blank of her personality there on their own? This is like if DMC3 had Lady allied with Arkham so she could revive Kalina, with no explanation given except "Dude, trust me".

Idea D, it looks like you're really hoping that the fact that Kyrie is exes with Dante instead of being with Nero will do a majority of the heavy lifting for their relationship. It doesn't. What about Kyrie is more interesting here with a recycled abandoned DMC4 plotline? Does she have a personality here? I'm not seeing it. Plus giving Dante someone else's girlfriend is classless on principle. Give him Vergil's baby mama too, while you're at it; it's not like she'll be able to tell the difference.

Idea E, the plot could barely handle Nero as a single dude. Whittling him into two characters with even less to them isn't going to make either character better, it just awards the audience with two 2D characters instead of a failed attempt at a 3D one without putting forth any solutions to the problems that were inherent in Nero having all the traits to himself to begin with (i.e., why would Vergil have a kid? Who is Nero and what's his motivation for working with the Order? Why should we care? etc).

It'd be ridiculous if you plug any other character in to that. Dante being a badly written character would not be solved by inventing a whole OC to be saddled with "Son of Sparda" role and Dante as we know him is some mercenary with a demonic transformation and no relation to Sparda. Vergil being badly written wouldn't be solved with... etc. etc. and I mean. We see what happens when Vergil is split into two people. It sucked, and the fandom now thinks that one half should have been a fully fleshed out being from the beginning instead of half a dude.

Like I've said before,

DMC4 is about Nero (and his simple love for Kyrie) as stated by the devs, but you already thought his campaign was hard to fix [...]. You fell into the Bingo and Itsuno trap of having more to say about [some other topic] than you did about [the supposed main topic], so writing a replacement of DMC4's story when you're not even interested in the main character the story wraps around, a character you straight-up don't care about, doesn't make much sense.

I mean, it's not wrong to dislike a character. I dislike the execution around plenty of characters myself. But if you're going to take on a rewrite, such a repetitive and unyielding sentiment gets the response of Okay... And? This is clearly a You problem.

It's not wrong to dislike Nero, but you dislike him to a point where it's counterintuitive to write for him in any capacity because your solutions are to a) change him fundamentally to fit tropes that are already present in other characters because you like those, and it works as shorthand so that your brain doesn't have to work as hard to continue liking things you've already liked before. You should just write for that other character you keep wanting him to be like, or read some other story where that characterization is present; b) subsume his characteristics into your actual favorite, which doesn't make sense because that character became your favorite without having the trait of a character you don't like slapped onto them, and if they needed it that bad then they wouldn't be your fave, the character you're ripping off would be the favorite. Or more simply:

You like regular pizza. You like pizza more than you do calzones, and calzones don't do anything for you because it's a pizza-derivative food. Every time you have the option between a pizza and a calzone, you keep choosing pizza. That's all well and good. But the solution to getting you to eat the calzone shouldn't be cutting the calzone open and unfolding it to be more like a pizza, because the pizza is right there and cutting open the calzone is a waste of time. And if there were points to the calzone worth applying to the pizza, you should just suck it up and eat the calzone instead of wishing it were more like a pizza or even a stromboli.
 
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My distaste of Nero doesn't disqualify me from rewriting 4. Anymore than DmC haters from tackling DmC. This is just fair play and I've given both games massive changes. Unlike the other stories DMC4 and DmC need massive overhaul than a one small change or new angle. I'm a tinkerer by nature so I was never gonna do a small change. After all I'm the guy who pitched Sega should remake Sonic 06 and Sonic Boom with different protagonists.

The only issue is I'd be a pr problem if fans ever saw me attached to a hypothethical DMC4 adaptation. But i'll cross that bridge when/if I get there. Lets hope I manage it better than Tameem. ;)

In my rewrite I focused on Nero rather than the love story because Nero being Discount Dante is a longterm problem. Kyrie is an uninteresting character but that got solved by downplaying her in 5 and I'm fine with that. I rather just cut their romance and make Kyrie Nero's overprotective big sister. You'd just have to change the beginning scene and do small adjustments for the game's story.

If you want to keep the love story, than another version of option C where she was a witch fighting against the order works. RE6 handled the love story better because Jake and Sherry had more to do than pine for each other. So i'm taking inspiration and using that here with a twist. Nero and Kyrie are forced to be rivals but they try to avoid fighting each other before decidng to screw both sides and find a 3rd option. Credo isn't related to Kyrie in this version-he's just Nero's adopted older brother who tries to keep him on the straight and narrow. He just defines that as following the order to the letter where Nero doesn't.

This also work if you want option G- Nero as Dante's son. He was raised by Dante and wants to strike out on his own. His first big case just happened to be the Fortuna Civil War.

Nico in 4C is a younger version of Nico whose consumed with grief. She doesn't like her father but she misses her mom more and that's Agnus's angle. Her arc is let go of her mom and reject her father, even fighting against him if she gets a playable campaign. I just wanted her to be more than comic relief girl and she would argue for Nero killing vergil in 5. Someone needed to give an opposite viewpoint and she fits the bill.

In option C, Kyrie is just Nero's big sis who gets caught up in all the conflict. She actually meets all three protagonists before they run into each other. That allows her to showcase some range in her personality.

V is not Vergil but his backstory isn't too important in option C. 5 doesn't really need V to be Vergil, just his human self look and act like Vergil.

Options D and E is trying to balance what 19 year old me wanted with the actual game. 19 year old me just wanted more young Dante adventures and found the anime and 4 to be dissapointing. Its also why i like Pinnacle of Combat so much so I'm leaning into that. DMC doesn't have an overarching story like KH or AC so you could afford to do more prequels. They aren't essential but this is my rewrite so I'm gonna do them. DMC has a good procedural setup but thats an angle Capcom never uses well.

For E, Nero isn't Vergil's kid. He's just some Order soldier that goes through the Ascension and struggles with his new powers. Putting him down is something Dante struggles with throughout the story.

Rodin is Vergil's kid and why he is a start of a mystery box for Dante to solve in another game. He's a C-plot character whose very much a sideline character. His mom is probably in the game and she gives some answers to that but not all. I doubt she knew Vergil any better than we do.

For A and B, I'm trying to do the Vergil Fanservice Capcom set up but better by frontloading it.

Option A is inspired by the Master spinoff from Doctor Who. The Master is a villian protagonist who teams up with another character who will later try to stop them or end up as another victim. So Nero has to learn that the enemy of your enemy is not your friend and he learns that the hard way. I don't need Vergil to be an antihero and this is a wakeup call for fans who romanticize him as one. Or if you actually want Vergil to be one he could earn that reputation here by helping Nero save Kyrie etc.

Option B is a darker version of Creed with a more V-like Nero. Dante projects his own issues with Vergil onto his nephew and he's the one assuming Nero can turn out like Vergil. It's what he has to overcome in this version. He has to accept that Nero maybe his father's son but he's not his father.

I never saw Nero convincingly pull of "Good Vergil with a girlfriend". He always felt like a more immature and petty version of Dante till the later half of 5. So if i had to pick between the two options, I'm choosing "Good Vergil with a girlfriend". We aren't gonna get that because Vergil is assumed dead at this time in the franchise so its a fair trade to make.

Plus even if he does come back, our new version of Nero is a more stable version of vergil and that's enough of a difference in characterization to start with.
 
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Morgan

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My distaste of Nero doesn't disqualify me from rewriting 4. Anymore than DmC haters from tackling DmC. This is just fair play and I've given both games massive changes. Unlike the other stories DMC4 and DmC need massive overhaul than a one small change or new angle. I'm a tinkerer by nature so I was never gonna do a small change. After all I'm the guy who pitched Sega should remake Sonic 06 and Sonic Boom with different protagonists.
Sure, it doesn't disqualify you, it just makes it transparently obvious that you'd be coming from a place of bad faith, like an author of Harry Potter fanfiction who twists everything to having a Christian bent and has Harry renounce witchcraft because they didn't like that part of the story. You're well within your rights to write it, but it reads to me like a waste of time when you could be publishing fiction of things that don't bother you to this level, where it looks like your beef with Nero is that Dante grandfathered his way into your idea of coolness because you played a previous DMC game first and Nero Just Isn't Dante (While Still Being Dante Somehow), Therefore Bad, which might as well be a time warp to 20 years ago when people hated Raiden for the crime of being an MGS protagonist but not being Snake.

Objectively, I've read more of your complaints about Nero than I have your actual writing that supposedly fixes these flaws you talk about; thus, I question your actual commitment to them and whether or not it's an addiction to complaining. In comparison, that author from AO3 whose name I can't remember that went on about how they didn't like how the story went for DMC5 actually did something with that dissatisfaction and wrote a fic where the events played out differently. That effort is commendable, and I enjoyed it largely because they put their money where their mouth is and delivered a good story while other fans whined about that author's refusal to consume product.

Simply put, you're not that guy.

In my rewrite I focused on Nero rather than the love story because Nero being Discount Dante is a longterm problem. Kyrie is an uninteresting character but that got solved by downplaying her in 5 and I'm fine with that. I rather just cut their romance and make Kyrie Nero's overprotective big sister. You'd just have to change the beginning scene and do small adjustments for the game's story.
You say Nero being discount Dante is a long-term problem, but you also said he got fixed in the latter half of 5, so it was clearly not long-term. It only lasted a game and a half to you. Kyrie is supposedly an uninteresting character, but you don't think it'd be fixed by ... making her an interesting character? She's not a real person and this isn't a documentary. She's a character whose features (or lack thereof) were decided on by some hack writer who prioritized making her a flawless, "not very memorable", "cookie-cutter, admirable big sister-type" and can just as easily be willed away by the next person to put her in a story. I feel like I'd actually respect it more if you came from a place of shipping and wanted to see Dante and Nero hook up. ... I mean, I wouldn't respect it, but I feel like I would, since that's the usual reason people cry about Kyrie being "boring" only to not do anything with her as if her mutable traits are absolutely set in stone while treating the men's personalities as malleable to get the story they want.

If you want to keep the love story, than another version of option C where she was a witch fighting against the order works. [Snip]

Nico in 4C is a younger version of Nico whose consumed with grief. She doesn't like her father but she misses her mom more and that's Agnus's angle. Her arc is let go of her mom and reject her father, even fighting against him if she gets a playable campaign. I just wanted her to be more than comic relief girl and she would argue for Nero killing vergil in 5. Someone needed to give an opposite viewpoint and she fits the bill.
That's all well and good. Write it, then. Either you want the story or you don't.

V is not Vergil but his backstory isn't too important in option C. 5 doesn't really need V to be Vergil, just his human self look and act like Vergil.
So... He's a Discount Vergil. You have an OC whose entire M.O. is to be reminiscent of Vergil.

Options D and E is trying to balance what 19 year old me wanted with the actual game. 19 year old me just wanted more young Dante adventures and found the anime and 4 to be dissapointing. Its also why i like Pinnacle of Combat so much so I'm leaning into that. DMC doesn't have an overarching story like KH or AC so you could afford to do more prequels. They aren't essential but this is my rewrite so I'm gonna do them. DMC has a good procedural setup but thats an angle Capcom never uses well.
You're not 19 anymore, though. You're what, now, 10 years older? A decade or so is long enough to decide whether or not you want to rewrite a game's story when the characters and the world are already made for you. A decade is actually long enough to have had that done already.

For E, Nero isn't Vergil's kid. He's just some Order soldier that goes through the Ascension and struggles with his new powers. Putting him down is something Dante struggles with throughout the story.
That doesn't address any of the issues that arose with Canon Nero as both Vergil's son and a soldier from the Order. So for this Unrelated Nero, why is this man with the Order? Why should we care about him or the fact that Dante has to mercy-kill him? Why does Dante struggle with this? He's literally just a random man who exists to die.

Rodin is Vergil's kid and why he is a start of a mystery box for Dante to solve in another game. He's a C-plot character whose very much a sideline character. His mom is probably in the game and she gives some answers to that but not all. I doubt she knew Vergil any better than we do.
... That's the same thing as Nero being Vergil's kid in 4 and his parentage being a mystery box that's all resolved (including Dante confirming it) in DMC5. It's not any better just because Rodin is a 5-year-old.

For A and B, I'm trying to do the Vergil Fanservice Capcom set up but better by frontloading it.

Option A is inspired by the Master spinoff from Doctor Who. The Master is a villian protagonist who teams up with another character who will later try to stop them or end up as another victim. So Nero has to learn that the enemy of your enemy is not your friend and he learns that the hard way. I don't need Vergil to be an antihero and this is a wakeup call for fans who romanticize him as one. Or if you actually want Vergil to be one he could earn that reputation here by helping Nero save Kyrie etc.
This is a lot of talk for someone that hasn't written a single word of this alleged story.

How would you explain the above for someone who isn't familiar with (read: doesn't give an iota of a F about) Doctor Who? Because the description of The Master and his role in the show is, in attempting to be spoiler-free(?) by not describing who Another Character is, way less useful than straight-up describing what Vergil and Nero will do or why this is compelling.

Option B is a darker version of Creed with a more V-like Nero. Dante projects his own issues with Vergil onto his nephew and he's the one assuming Nero can turn out like Vergil. It's what he has to overcome in this version. He has to accept that Nero maybe his father's son but he's not his father.
In other words, I should just watch Creed.
Why wasn't any of this in your first post? It reads like an "Aha, but I did this on purpose" save after I already pointed out how it would play out and how dumb Dante is for doing it and treating Nero that way.

I never saw Nero convincingly pull of "Good Vergil with a girlfriend". He always felt like a more immature and petty version of Dante till the later half of 5. So if i had to pick between the two options, I'm choosing "Good Vergil with a girlfriend". We aren't gonna get that because Vergil is assumed dead at this time in the franchise so its a fair trade to make.

Plus even if he does come back, our new version of Nero is a more stable version of vergil and that's enough of a difference in characterization to start with.
No, DMC3 Dante is the "more immature and petty version of Dante". That's the entire point of his arc. An iteration who rejects his father and demonic blood because of baggage about Eva's death, thinks "I just don't like you, that's all" is any valid retort to his brother's questions, refers to his brother resurrecting an old tower and unleashing demons on the town he lives in as "a party", and treats Lady's journey dismissively until a literal 4/5ths of the way through the game. Nero is Nero. Getting on 16–17-year-old Nero's case about immaturity and giving a 19-year-old Dante a pass (as well as a rewrite where he's the same age as Nero, living in the same place as Nero, dating the same girl as Nero) is a lack of awareness, and that's not the character's fault.

You're saying it's bad to make him a Dante-derivative despite all the differences he has with Dante (emotional vulnerability, willingness to follow orders to an extent and adherence to an organization, understanding of Sparda's legacy), but it's alright to make him a Vergil-derivative because of the imagined, unrealized differences between this Nero as "a stable version of Vergil" and Vergil himself, even though DMC5 already features Vergil becoming a more stable version of himself by purging his traumas and would make Nero redundant there too if 5 was played straight.
 

DarkSlayerVergil

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The premise of this thread kinda of remind me of the 4thsnake video where he did a rewrite of the reboot. To which instead of him actually using this as a moment to try and fix the missteps of the reboot he instead ops for basically tying it back to the original series as a vague way of making old Dante look better. This really irritated me since if he wasn't even going to stay faithful to the ideas presented within the reboot, why even make the video.
 

BlackAngel

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I'll just start off as Vergil travelled to Fortuna to find clues how to gain the Power of Sparda. Also, how he met Nero's mother and how he fully embraced his "dark side". (The Visions of V has a solid backstory of Vergil's tragic backstory. I would use that as foundation of his character in DMC4. And have his character inspired by Anakin Skywalker. To have him start off as a wounded man to a villain.) And then start Nero's story from there to how he's raised under the Order of the Sword and how he met Kyrie and how they fell for each other. I'll start him off as a investigator for the Order, who solves crimes of ritual sacrifices, demonic cults, murders, and anything that involves paranormal and demonic activity.
 

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They could have fleshed out the "origin story" on how Nero's arm awakened, maybe in a cutscene.

I was also thinking of some miscellaneous Order characters with names and faces that Nero actually interacts with. This could show how other Order members view Nero.

Sanctus should be presented as a father figure to Nero. Despite Nero being a little rebellious in the organization, Nero could be highly loyal to Sanctus, which will make the "bad guy reveal" later more heartbreaking.

I was thinking earlier in the story, they should have shown the Bianco Angelo as a "standard equipment" for Order soldiers. This would again make the "reveal" when Nero fights an empty armor more surprising. According to the script, Nero is quick to assume this random suit of armor he has never seen before to be an ally simply because there's an Order symbol.

Maybe include more story line hints about Vergil being Nero's father through Dante's dialogs. Like mentioning "Vergil was in this city a long time ago". They could also include dialog between Kyrie and Nero talking about his parents which further adds the hints.
 

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I've said this before across multiple threads, but I'd definitely change the Mission System to be more accommodating of the story 4 wanted to tell but couldn't. I'd also make it so Nero could interact with the other characters more to flesh them out, like say have Credo as an AI partner for a few missions so he and Nero can banter in-between combat sequences in the vein of something like the Uncharted games, so that his eventual betrayal and redemption gains some weight. I would have also liked to have seen some environmental storytelling since there are numerous areas like Fortuna Castle that they player comes across that seem interesting but ultimately serve little more than set dressing. It would have been cool if the player searched the castle thoroughly they would find something like diary pages that (figuratively) paints a picture of the Castle's lord and how demon attacks have always been a concern and so he set up the Order to combat them but becomes trapped in the castle after demons overwhelm his knights and he makes one final stand. Then in the basement you find Agnus' notes that explain that Sanctus was behind the demons targeting the castle in an attempt to usurp the Order and he moved his scientists in afterwards to harness the powers of the Devil Arms in the underground laboratory.

Just little things that could have gone a long way to make 4 much better.
 
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If I had to do an anime with Nero, I'd probably lean into Fortuna more. So I pitched an anime rewrite with Nero as the lead.

My original idea was more like than DMC3 manga. It's fun extra material but not necessity. To me Nero's strongest asset is his relationship with Fortuna and the Order. That sets him apart from the others so I don't mind fleshing it out more.

So exploring his early days in the Order in an episodic format would be a good hook for me.

It ties into what @Lain and @Goldsickle were pitching in their posts. Nero gets a more fleshed out dynamic with the Order. So when he has to fight them it means more.