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Sparda being a "deadbeat"


Well-known Member
Xen-Ace 2021
Jan 19, 2013
I watched a few LDK runs per your suggestion but to no avail as due to the power of editing they would skip things like going into the Menu and such to keep things running smoothly. That said, the sheer lack of any Furigana to the point where even some of the JPN players had to pause and consider how to read the kanji makes me think there probably wasn't any for Yamato in DMC1 at least. Interestingly, Vergil's entry in the "3142: Graphic Arts" book merely calls it "閻魔刀" without the usual addition of ヤマト in brackets curiously enough.
Which part? I don't have the 3142 art book. Does that compile every single other artbook that came out at the same time as the game, into one convenient location? The Vergil entry could either be the DMC1 version or the DMC3 version. I'd still want something that's closer to the release of the game than not.

Ah, perhaps I should have been clearer on what I was talking about. Namely if Kamiya told the translator to use "Yamato" or if it was their own discretion when making the ENG script. Thus because it's extremely rare to see a JPN source namedrop Yamarāja it made me think it was someone on the English side of things. Methinks if Kamiya had been hands-on the sword would have been left as "Enma" much like in say One Piece.


Taking everything that's been said into consideration, my speculation is that it was probably the translator who went with the name "Yamato" and later during the Itsuno years when the sword became plot-relevant it was decided by the JPN Devs to make the pronunciation that in Japanese as well in order to maintain consistency between languages. I would love to pick someone's brain who worked on the series on how it all happened, but for now that'll do for my speculation until any unseen evidence arises.
I'll be honest with you, I still don't get your conclusion here even with the clarification. A Yamato by any other name is still reference to the Yamaraja, because this is already a game where the characters are deliberately named Dante, Vergil, and Trish as an overt reference to the Divine Comedy which is a foreign work. The weapons Dante attains are named after a djinn of fire (Ifrit) and the epithet of Zeus the god of thunder (Alastor) from foreign pantheons. There's Sanskrit characters in Dante's DT gauge even if they're not all that legible. Foreign references are therefore not alien to any part of the game, and especially not when popular Japanese games that have made it to the West have "references to other religion's gods" as a feature, with FF using Shiva, Ifrit, and Ramuh as elemental summons, plus whatever else Persona does with Vishnu and Satan and whatever. Kamiya as director who vetoed or approved of any decision around the game including musical compositions, characterization, and design, wouldn't have stopped for one sword and been 100% hands off with it where the translator gets all the credit for the name because somehow the translator was left in the dark as to what the sword was called or the meaning of it. That makes no sense to me.

The difference between 閻魔 and 閻魔刀 is literally one character, and the "to" just denotes that it's Enma's sword as opposed to anything else of his. Consistently, every reference to Enma with the characters 閻魔 has the subnote of "This is the Japanese equivalent of Yama", whether that's One Piece, Jigoku Shoujo, YYH or DB. Even when Yo-kai Watch writes "Enma" as "エンマ", they mean Yama, because the character's role is exactly the same as the other Lord Enmas that circle right back around to being a reference to Yamaraja. So it wouldn't matter if you believe Kamiya would have used "Enma" and not "Yamatou" because of... some weird preconceived notion you have about Japanese media and their use of anything non-Japanese. Inevitably that's what the reference is; it's Yama the god of death and judge of the afterlife. All that would change with one character name is suggesting that Sparda (with DMC logic) beat the brakes off of the real Enma/Yama during his lifetime (maybe during the rebellion 2000 years ago) and turned him into a Devil Arm same as Alastor or Ifrit. At least "Enmatou" or "Yamatou" is a bit more charitable and suggests the god loaned his sword to Sparda but is still out there, managing the dead. Or not.

It wouldn't get any clearer with Sanskrit, or literally any language where a set of characters has different meanings depending on context. "Yama" is written " " and is the exact same way whether it means "god of death", "self-control"/"self-restraint", "one of a pair"/"twin-born", "Pluto", or anything else. So what meaning would the sword be adopting in that instance? "One of a pair" because of Dante and Vergil and Yamato being in a set with Rebellion? "One of a pair" because in DMC1 it was a reskin of Alastor and had the same lightning powers? If DMC5 says the Sparda "family crest is a demon of death", that makes Yamato part of the family? Was Yamato Sparda's twin? Or a relative? Sparda himself is literally just Sword and the R is extraneous ("スパーダ" = "Supaada" = Spada = Sword, where the Arcana Spada had to be disambiguated with "剣" = "Ken") and his sword would be the Sword Sword. It's incredibly redundant but still purposeful.

Anyway since I said it'd be better to look at a book closer to release of the first game, I'll take a look at The Sacred Heart, the Graphic Edition/Graphic File, or Precious Tears, if not the DMC1 game guides to see if there's a reference to Yamato.
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Supporter 2014
Feb 9, 2013
According to one of the members here (I think it was either berto or some other guy I'd rather not mention) the sanskrit in dt said something to the effect of:

"Bind him to the sky amen"


Well-known Member
Xen-Ace 2021
Jan 19, 2013
According to one of the members here (I think it was either berto or some other guy I'd rather not mention) the sanskrit in dt said something to the effect of:

"Bind him to the sky amen"

The thread is . The way the characters were spelled out, "kha sa yu o a s'a pha sa lii kha", comes out as " ". Safe guess is that some of these words are not meant to be read as individual words but as compounds.

Thankfully there's + + to provide translations for characters as well as what compounds they're used in, so I compiled meanings of individual characters or relevant compounds.

"kha" ( )
  • hollow, cavern, cavity, aperture [as in of the body, or an opening made by a wound]
  • sky, aether, heaven, empty space
  • understanding
  • खचर (khacara) a raksas, or demon
  • खग (khaga) traversing in the sky, or खगत (khagata) moving in the air [as in flying]
  • खशय (khazaya) resting or dwelling in the air
  • खड्ग (khaDga) sword, or खङ्ग (khaGga) "sword", or खङ्गः (khangaH) "sword"
  • खगोल (khagola) vault or circle of heaven, celestial sphere, circle of heaven
  • खण्डयति { खण्ड् } (khaNDayati) { khaND } break into pieces, cut
  • खङ्गकृष्टृ (khaGgakRSTR) one who has drawn out his sword
  • खलनायक (khalanAyaka) villain
  • खगः (khagaH) : sky-goer
  • खगोलशास्त्रम् (khagolashaastramh) : astronomy
"sa" ( )
  • "meditation"
  • "knowledge"
  • "air"
  • "he"
bonus: "khasa" ( खस )
  • खसर्पण (khasarpaNa) "gliding through the air"
  • खसमुत्थ (khasamuttha) "produced in the sky", "ethereal"
There's a vague resemblance between "mut" and "yu", but we'll stick with "yu" as the third character.

"yu" ( यु )
  • यु "moving"/"going"
  • यूनि { यु } (yUni) "connection"/"unite"
  • यौति { यु } (yauti) { yu } "unite/fasten/bind"
  • यौति { यु } (yauti) { yu } "honour"/"worship"
  • यौति { यु } (yauti) { yu } "take hold or gain possession of"
  • युध् (yudh) "warrior/hero/fighter"
  • युद्ध (yuddha) war/battle/fight
  • युत्कार (yutkAra) "fighting"/"making war"
  • युयोति { यु } (yuyoti) { yu } "separate, keep, or drive away"/"detach from"/"keeps aloof", "ward", "be or remain separated from"/"exclude or protect from"
  • युयुत्सु (yuyutsu) "eager for battle/desirous to fight/anxious to fight with"
  • युतद्वेषस् (yutadveSas) "delivered from enemies"
"o" ( )
  • ओम् (om) "amen", "so be it", "verily"
"a" ( )
  • an interjection of pity, pronounced O or Oh, when placed before something and spaced
  • when written अ- before words that begin with consonants, translates to a negating prefix such as non-, un-, a-, an- such as अशांति aśānti for unrest, turmoil, chaos
"s'a" or "za" ( )
  • शम् (zam) "blessing, happiness"
  • शम्ययति { शम् } (zamyayati) { zam } "vanquish, subdue"
  • प्रशमयति { प्र- शम् } (prazamayati) { pra- zam } "extinguish, terminate"
bonus: "a s'a"/"aza"/"aśa" (अश)
  • अशन् (aśan) "firmament"
  • अशनी (aśani, m.) "thunderbolt"
  • अशनि (aśani/azani, f.) "flash of lightning"
  • अशनिमत् (azanimat) "possessing the thunderbolt"
  • अशनिहत (azanihata) "struck by lightning"
  • अशरीर (aśarīra) "not coming from a visible body (as a voice)"
  • अशत्रु (aśatru) "one who has no adversary or whom no enemy defies"
"pha" ()
  • "manifest"
  • "gale"
  • "bursting/popping"
  • फलक (phalaka) "blade"
  • फल (phala) "end"
  • फल (phala) "a blade (of a sword or knife)"
  • फलभूमि (phalabhūmi) lit. "retribution-land", place of reward or punishment (as in heaven or hell)
  • फलकक्ष (phalakakṣa) the name of a yakṣa, a living supernatural being, spiritual apparition, ghost, spirit, connotation of being semi-divine
"sa" (): see above

"lI"/"lii"/"lī" (ली)
  • ली "to cling or adhere to"
  • लिन { ली } (lina) { lI } "concealed/hidden/hiding in/lurking in", "vanished"
  • लीनत्व (lInatva) "sticking or concealment in"
  • लीका (līkā) name of particular evil spirits
"kha" (): see above

Also, the DT runes are all over in the final battle.

I followed up on the Yamato thing and went to YouTube searching for "Sparda Mode". This of DMC1 in, well, Legendary Dark Knight mode shows Yamato's name in kanji and in Romaji. It was at 14:42 into the video and showed in a split-second, but thankfully there was a much much better quality glimpse later on when the player actually equipped Yamato (to fight Griffon).

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"The legendary sword that Sparda controls, said to have the power to cut through the darkness and devour it."
"Sparda's legendary sword is said to have the power to cut through the darkness and devour everything in its path."
"A legendary sword controlled by Sparda, it is said to have the power to cut through the darkness and devour its victims."

閻魔刀 has its name for a double entendre. The "Enma" doubles for Yama the judge of the dead, and for "devil" (like in enmagao, "閻魔顔", devilish face), so,

Broke: "閻魔刀: Yamato" = "Enmatō: Yamato" = Devil Sword: Yamato
Woke: "閻魔刀: Yamato" = "Enmagatana: Yamato" = "Enma's Sword: Yamato"
Bespoke: "閻魔刀: Yamato" = "Yamatō: Yamato"

As for where Yama could possibly be for Yamato to reference it, it's possibly the Judge of Death statue that that features again . The Staff of Judgment , and has multiple arms, one or two which has a decapitated head and two that, uh, have ropes? .

Anyway Sparda is not a deadbeat. The end.


Earthbound Immortal
May 4, 2015
Wow, I certainly appreciate you going to such effort over this.

Whilst I was vainly watching LDK playthroughs for this subject a while back I had a thought, Mundus is referenced as Pluto a couple of times who is of course the Lord of the Underworld and/or the Afterlife depending on the sect. Now it's interesting that Sparda was given "Yamato" as his primary weapon, I wonder was Kamiya linking Mundus to both Pluto and Enma/Yamarāja by syncretism (with Sparda having the sword as his former servant) or was he trying to set up Sparda as a counterpart to Mundus by having him embody a eastern deity in contrast to Mundus' western deity. :unsure:


Well-known Member
Xen-Ace 2021
Jan 19, 2013
I wonder was Kamiya linking Mundus to both Pluto and Enma/Yamarāja by syncretism (with Sparda having the sword as his former servant) or was he trying to set up Sparda as a counterpart to Mundus by having him embody a eastern deity in contrast to Mundus' western deity. :unsure:
Well, the games don't adhere to one single pantheon as reflective of demonkind and concepts from different cultures coexist. Alastor and Hermes are Greek but Pluto is Roman. Ifrit is Islamic. Everything to do with Avalon and Arthurian myth is in short, British. Not to mention DMC2's Tartarussian and Plutonian bosses having Greek-inspired names with Norse-inspired designs, if not Bolverk's entire existence and implicit mention of Ragnarok. Then there's the mishmash of DMC3 where the sole implied explanation as to why is that the Temen-ni-Gru looks like the Tower of Babel despite being named after a ziggurat in Iraq. With that in mind, my gut says Mundus could've usurped Yamaraja and handed down the weapon to Sparda if Sparda didn't take it himself, as Mundus came to power and overthrew the former king (mentioned in the Brady Games strategy guide as him "slaying the former god of evil"), at least until DMC2 came and people construed the overthrown god as Argosax.

However, the cathedral has some lore behind it:
  • Something about the strange occurrence in the cathedral of the castle is written. "It happened on a hot humid night. The columns twisted and the statue of a god disappeared. We quickly sealed the cathedral in hope that someone righteous with a strong heart will come save us."
We see that it is sealed with the Judge of Death statue needing its Staff of Judgment, give or take Alastor as the first line of defense with the illusory impaled woman. Mundus is assumed by Dante to be a god that the castellans used to worship, but around the island are scattered images of many gods and goddesses that Dante also either recognizes or are written to be gods by other texts: "This statue must be the watcher of time. This god knows and remembers all of the past", "It’s a statue of an angel, the guardian of a god", "A god stands before thee. To open the path, use thy strength to drive it back", "It's a statue of a water goddess", "This must also have been a statue of some goddess", and the Secret Mission 8, "Treasure of the Reaper", or "Treasure Guarded by the Death God". So it's a relevant detail to note that the statue within the cathedral that disappeared doesn't necessarily have to be the same one of Mundus that Dante acknowledged in the beginning of the game and could have been another god that was literally or figuratively taken out (and the previous god's removal may or may not have been by Mundus).

Anyway, there are two candidates for "someone righteous with a strong heart". If Sparda, then the castellans sealed the place as best they could, then Sparda came along and added the additional defenses (Judge of Death, etc). If not Sparda, then the cathedral gates were sealed as we see it by the castellans, and Dante came centuries later to save the souls of the castellans in a figurative sense. It's still a curious detail that Yamato and Alastor have the same attribute in the first game, as "lightning weapons". Maybe the Judge was meant to be impaled with Yamato? Or if Sparda was responsible, he pulled an Indiana Jones and swapped the weapons (since Yamato is already described as "legendary" from day one and he needed it to keep devouring evil with it)? The Judge of Death image is already imposing but who had the idea of using the image of an impaled woman? Was she anyone significant? There's a lot of untold history in the game. At least one book places the strange events in the castle as the late 12th century and closer to DMC2's or DMC4's past events, and not Year Zero like most of the "Sparda backstory" we get. We're gonna be thinking about this for a while yet. :unsure: