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Should Dante, Trish and Lady Have Been Left Out of DMC4 Entirely?

BlackAngel

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A way to structure that is Nero searching for his origins. But most of that is just an info dump rather than a plot.
I mean how can we know about him, if they expect people to care about the character? If Capcom wants to introduce a new character, at least they should start from the beginning, and work from there. And searching for his origins does make a lot of sense, because he was faster, stronger, his heightened senses, and way more agile than his counterparts.
 

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I mean how can we know about him, if they expect people to care about the character? If Capcom wants to introduce a new character, at least they should start from the beginning, and work from there. And searching for his origins does make a lot of sense, because he was faster, stronger, his heightened senses, and way more agile than his counterparts.
I learned in screenwriting class that backstory isn't actually important. Backstory is just context for what your character is doing in the present. For example, you don't actually learn a whole lot about Dante other than his mom was killed by demons.

In hindsight I get what they were trying to do with 4. Build intrigue for Nero and then use his connections to Dante/Vergil for the next game. I just don't think it worked that well so that's something you would have to build up.

Same with Nero finding out his father was Vergil, it's not enough for a whole story for me.
 

BlackAngel

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I learned in screenwriting class that backstory isn't actually important. Backstory is just context for what your character is doing in the present. For example, you don't actually learn a whole lot about Dante other than his mom was killed by demons.

In hindsight I get what they were trying to do with 4. Build intrigue for Nero and then use his connections to Dante/Vergil for the next game. I just don't think it worked that well so that's something you would have to build up.

Same with Nero finding out his father was Vergil, it's not enough for a whole story for me.
Having a back story isn't useless, it could be done right, and be able to get to know the character's motivation, beliefs, and what makes them the person that they are now. Take Red Dead Redemption 2, The Last of Us (not Pt.2), and Dragon Age: Origins for example
 
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Having a back story isn't useless, it could be done right, and be able to get to know the character's motivation, beliefs, and what makes them the person that they are now. Take Red Dead Redemption 2, The Last of Us, and Dragon Age: Origins for example
I'm not saying having a backstory is a bad thing. I'm just saying overrelying on your backstory to sell a story is a bad thing.
 

Morgan

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I'm not saying having a backstory is a bad thing. I'm just saying overrelying on your backstory to sell a story is a bad thing.
What exactly is the difference here.

We learned more about Dante than just "his mother was killed by demons". The entire narration about Sparda and the war "2 millenniums ago" is backstory. The dialogue between Dante and Trish about how his mother ["and brother"] were killed by demons, that his father is Sparda, that he works as a private eye that takes any job, and also that he killed each demon he encountered until he found the right one to lead him to Mundus or get his attention, is backstory. All of that happened before we encountered the character, we're just hearing about it. Then every other game until recently was being carried by "Sparda did a thing, now Dante has to do a thing" to get people to care about why Dante is there and doing a thing, and 5 got carried off of Dante and Vergil ending a sibling rivalry that persisted since they were eight years old that no one in their right mind in- and out-of-universe should even care about anymore because people in their 40s still caring about stuff they did below the age of 10 is inherently stupid.

Given all that, what backstory Nero ended up having in 4 ("working for the Order, likes Kyrie, brother-of-sorts to Credo, ostensibly related to Sparda, lost the use of his arm but regained it with a mutation to save Kyrie") should also work in terms of how minimal it is, except it doesn't really, but pinning that on "overreliance on backstory" when the series has done the same thing around Dante for about four-and-a-half games now and supposed plot fixes in this thread for Nero involve him "learning about his identity" (thus learning the backstory that put him in that path because he doesn't know it, suggesting the character needs to clear that to move forward) or even playing as an even younger version of Dante to experience the backstory of Fortuna in a glorified protracted flashback happening before even the prequel game we played is useless. It's actually less than useless, it's confused.
 
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What exactly is the difference here.

We learned more about Dante than just "his mother was killed by demons". The entire narration about Sparda and the war "2 millenniums ago" is backstory. The dialogue between Dante and Trish about how his mother ["and brother"] were killed by demons, that his father is Sparda, that he works as a private eye that takes any job, and also that he killed each demon he encountered until he found the right one to lead him to Mundus or get his attention, is backstory. All of that happened before we encountered the character, we're just hearing about it. Then every other game until recently was being carried by "Sparda did a thing, now Dante has to do a thing" to get people to care about why Dante is there and doing a thing, and 5 got carried off of Dante and Vergil ending a sibling rivalry that persisted since they were eight years old that no one in their right mind in- and out-of-universe should even care about anymore because people in their 40s still caring about stuff they did below the age of 10 is inherently stupid.

Given all that, what backstory Nero ended up having in 4 ("working for the Order, likes Kyrie, brother-of-sorts to Credo, ostensibly related to Sparda, lost the use of his arm but regained it with a mutation to save Kyrie") should also work in terms of how minimal it is, except it doesn't really, but pinning that on "overreliance on backstory" when the series has done the same thing around Dante for about four-and-a-half games now and supposed plot fixes in this thread for Nero involve him "learning about his identity" (thus learning the backstory that put him in that path because he doesn't know it, suggesting the character needs to clear that to move forward) or even playing as an even younger version of Dante to experience the backstory of Fortuna in a glorified protracted flashback happening before even the prequel game we played is useless. It's actually less than useless, it's confused.
I think I lost the point myself. What I was aiming for was I didn't want Nero's backstory to be more interesting than what he's doing in the present. That's because I think Dante's time as a mercenary from the 1st light novel was more interesting than what we got post DMC3.
 
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Morgan

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I think I lost the point myself. What I was aiming for was I didn't want Nero's backstory to be more interesting than what he's doing in the present. That's because I think Dante's time as a mercenary from the 1st light novel was more interesting than what we got post DMC3.

To be honest, I don't care enough about Nero to see him on his own.
I mean, I was going to call out the fact that you don't care about Nero to begin with as also making the advice about "overreliance on backstory" useless to the thread because you wouldn't care about him anyway but it looks like you understood that on your own so, good on you.

Dante's backstory as a mercenary in the 1novel overshadowing post-DMC3 plots is a matter of execution of post-3 games and how derivative they got immediately off the back of 3's success with "revitalizing the series" but given that 3 is a prequel game to DMC1 to begin with and vaguely ripped off the premise of the 1Novel and the 2Novel, the same criticism of "backstory overshadowing current adventures" applies right to that game, only that Dante's been grandfathered into people's collective consciousness as an "acceptable" character to have these types of supposed narrative failures with because he used to be cool at least once and so people give him a pass, and the same applies to Vergil even though the strength of his character amounts to DMC2 Dante With A Katana and none of his informed character traits or traits fandom imposes on him are who he is in the actual games as shown. So this is the literary equivalent of "You won't eat the rich because you can't identify them". I guess.
 

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Okay, but that doesn't read as valid in the face of DMC3 itself having a prequel plot that literally no one asked for or had in mind when 1 and 2 were the only games (with their respective novels), and now and 4 and 5 exist.

At face value, "Vergil's presumed death at 8 is retconned out as he teams up with a bald wizard to claim his birthright for nebulous reasons, and Dante acts like a total tsundere and goes for the ride even though he says he doesn't care, also some girl is there" isn't actually much of a plot and relies somewhat on people knowing who Dante is already and what his deal is as a Son of Sparda (and what Sparda did 2000 years ago) to cover him going to the tower even though he says he doesn't care and he's a reactive protagonist. That could be covered in a novel or an expository dump in a hypothetical world where DMC3 never existed but 4 did, but someone thought it was worth centering a game around it and here it is. And we still got treated to Lady narrating about stuff she didn't exist to experience. Backstory.

Neither is "Dante shoots the Pope and Nero finds out why, in a predictable hidden conspiracy, protagonist-realizes-the-antagonist-is-the-hero-and-his-own-faction-is-the-villain way, also Kyrie is there" much of a plot on it's own because it relies on, again, people being intrigued by Dante as a Son of Sparda and known savior of humanity (to which all previous games serve as backstory to 4) taking a "Heel Turn" and shooting an elderly man presented as innocent, on top of the intrigue of Nero's origins and why he even exists.

And "DMC3 But Everyone Is Older Now, plus Trish and Southern Bimbo Mechanic Reminiscent of Cindy from FFXV are there" is the least plotty plot of all. It absolutely relies on knowing at least what DMC3 is about to understand the rampant fanservice of Vergil being resurrected when everyone considered his development/arc finished at 3 when he willingly chose to stay in Hell and let Dante escape instead of vindictively trapping him there. And the plot itself is piecemeal and split across a novel, a manga, and whatever else.

And even then people still desire a DMC game about Sparda, essentially wanting a game revolving around 2000-year-old backstory up to and including how Sparda Met Dante's Mother.

The series is already reliant on backstory (whether it's what already exists or the kind the game will introduce or reinterpret) to rope people into a thin plot to excuse why they run around slaying demons and engaging in "stylish action". To each successive game, all prior games are History or Backstory especially from the point of view of someone who's introduced to the entire series via any game that's not 1.

So again, what's the difference?
 

BlackAngel

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I'm not saying having a backstory is a bad thing. I'm just saying overrelying on your backstory to sell a story is a bad thing.
Well, of course you have to have balance and not relying heavily on back stories and flashbacks.
 

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@Morgan
I thought @BlackAngel 's post was advocating a linear infodump of Nero's origins. I don't mind learning more about his life (or any character's), I just don't need to do it all at once.

I tried to explain that with the backstory example. @BlackAngel 's suggestion just felt like could've been a montage than a whole plot on its own.
 
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