Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic was a direct DVD animated film that was released on February 9, 2010. The film was a spin-off of Dante's Inferno.
The Prologue & The Arrival
The film started with Dante's return from the Crusades which had him away from his home for several years. Speaking in inner monologue, he claimed that the forest that he was traveling in was gloomy and he would nearly prefer death over having to travel it. He admitted that he could detect someone who was following him, but each time that he tried to approach, his pursuer vanished without a trace. Upon arriving home, he found his servants slain, his father dead and his beloved fiancee named Beatrice lying on the ground and dying from a stab wound to the stomach. As she died, she was relieved that Dante kept his promise to her that he would return. She turned into a spirit and she began to ascend into Heaven. However, Lucifer who was a shadow came and he took her away by rejecting her entry into Heaven and taking her through the gates into Hell. Dante came to the gates and he was briefly stalled by an army of zombies. Virgil who was a Roman poet came to him as a spirit to guide him through Hell. After Dante evoked his faith, he was able to open the gates and enter Hell.
Upon entry, Dante and Virgil boarded Charon who was a demonic ferry that took the souls to the first circle of Hell. Charon did not take kindly to a mortal traveler who was on him and he sent the demons to attack Dante. Dante fought them off and he killed Charon, crashing him into the coasts of the first circle. He traded his sword up for an extendable scythe.
Virgil and Dante entered the first circle that was called Limbo which was the home of the virtuous pagans and the unbaptized babies. It was here that Dante learned that Beatrice was pregnant while he was away, but she was miscarried. Without time for sorrow, he was attacked by the demonic children who quickly overwhelmed him. As he and Virgil escaped into a large building, they came across a hall of philosophers and thinkers such as Plato and Socrates. Upon leaving, they came across Saladin who Dante encountered during the Crusades. They moved on and eventually encountered King Minos whose task was to judge all of the condemned souls to their specific circle of Hell. When he denied Dante access, they battled. Dante was able to kill Minos by dropping him onto his own spinning wheel of judgment. As Minos receded, Dante and Virgil made their way down to the second circle. Meanwhile, Lucifer tortured Beatrice by killing her and letting her slowly recover by tricking her endlessly with the hope of rescue and taunting her that Dante never kept his promises after he left.
Lust, Gluttony, Greed and Anger
Falling onto the storm-ravaged shores of the second circle, Dante noticed that the bodies are flying through the wind and they are intertwined. Virgil explained that the island was the second circle of Hell that was called Lust and those who are in the wind are caught in a never-ending storm of passion and they may never know rest. Following Beatrice's cries from the distance, Dante ended up in a room of harlots who transformed into hideous demons. As they tried to kill him, he finally realized that he broke his promise to Beatrice. During the Crusades, a woman offered him sex to save her husband from being beaten to death. Under the illusion that he was "Absolved" of sin, he accepted. Upon hearing this, Beatrice began to lose her faith, but she stood strong that this was a lie and she would never accept it as Lucifer proposed to marry her.
After this, they came to a grotto of men and women who lived their lives without knowing fulfillment so they suffered by lacking it in death. Many starving individuals are caught and devoured by Cerberus and Virgil told Dante that the only way to the next circle was from within him. Dante allowed himself to be eaten and he ended up inside the hound of Hell by encountering a man that he knew in life. Feeling pity for his suffering, Dante used his faith to release the man from the torture that he had to endure. Lucifer came as he was infuriated that Dante was saving the souls who are condemned for eternity and Dante learned about his plans to marry Beatrice, but before he departed, he noted that Dante's father was also a soul who was condemned to Hell. In order to escape from Cerberus' belly, Dante attacked and he destroyed the beast's heart by causing the demon to spit him out in a river of blood that flowed down into the next circle.
Dante and Virgil's next circle was the ring of Hell to the men and women who wasted their lives in pursuit of the material possessions. The condemned souls are tortured by being sheared in the money presses, boiled in molten gold and buried in the heavy gold coins. As Lucifer said, Dante's father appeared. He was promised gold and a thousand years free of torture if he would murder his own son. The pair battled fiercely, but Dante gained the upper hand and he kicked his father into a pot of boiling gold.
The fifth circle of Hell was Anger as Virgil and Dante surmised when they could sense the very rage in the air. They proceeded to the Styx River which the violence was still running rampant among the spirits who are fighting in the shallow waters. They climbed aboard a demon who traversed the river while the men and women who knew Dante taunted him from below.
Heresy & Violence
The City of Dis
Dante had the demon named Phlegyas charge the city when he saw Lucifer within by announcing his intent to marry Beatrice. When he struck Phlegyas down, Dante chased after Lucifer. It was revealed that the more mundane orders from the king during the Crusades began to test Dante's patience, making him prone to anger and doubts on the value of the lives to their prisoners. The sixth circle of Hell was for the heretics who pressed their religions upon others. As they traveled through the halls of men and women who burned in eternal fire and tortured by various implements, Dante came across one who would not step aside. As he threatened that Lucifer would wed Beatrice, Dante killed him and he and Virgil moved on. In order to escape from the circle of Heresy, Virgil helped Dante face the Minotaur by causing an easy defeat by allowing the beast's anger to get the better of him.
The souls are boiling in a vast river of blood from their own victims which was the violence that they inflicted upon others. Dante and Virgil entered the seventh circle: Violence. Helped across the river by Nessus, they encountered a vast forest which Dante heard a familiar cry. The forest was a place that the souls are condemned for committing acts of violence upon themselves. They are suicide victims. Dante encountered his mother who was growing from the sapling of a tree and she was in pain for killing herself and not finding the strength to stand up against her husband. She eventually hung herself. Dante was told that she died from a fever. Overwhelmed with sorrow, Dante used his cross to free her soul. They moved onto a graveyard where his one time comrades and one of his close friends named Francesco rose from the graves. The graveyard was where the souls are condemned for committing acts of violence in the name of God. Feeling angry and vengeful about Dante, Francesco attacked him by matching Dante's scythe with his superior sword skills. Dante finally defeated Francesco by slicing his face in half. It was here that Dante reflected upon slaughtering several heretics including the men, women and children without mercy due to a loss in rations and he had to feed many prisoners despite the Christian lives that they are spared. He claimed that it was the war and it was not his fault, but at this point, he seemed to be fooling himself.
Virgil parted ways with Dante upon entering the realm of Fraud which was the eighth circle by telling him that he only needed to cross the bridge in order to stop the marriage of Beatrice and Lucifer who are on the opposite end of the bridge and they are setted to be married. As Dante started crossing, he began to reflect upon his own fraudulent behavior. Finally, he realized that he was responsible for the slaughter of the innocent prisoners during the Crusades. This slowed him down at a crucial point and Beatrice finally gave in to her sorrow of Dante's betrayal, wedding Lucifer and fully becoming a demon, losing her wings and rights to Heaven. Lucifer fled, but he sent Beatrice on him. She overpowered him and she forced him to look on his greatest sin, letting him peer into the ninth circle of Treachery. He reflected that he allowed her brother to take the blame for his slaughtering of the prisoners and as a repercussion of his earlier sin of Lust, the husband of the woman that he bedded in the prison sought vengeance by killing Dante's father, his servants and Beatrice. Overwhelmed with grief, he presented Beatrice her cross which he promised to return to her upon his return from the Crusades. She relented as he begged for forgiveness and she forgave him, causing her to lose her new demonic form and return to her former angelic appearance. She promised that they would be together soon, but in order to leave Hell and enter Purgatory, he would need to face Lucifer alone.
After descending into the cold underground of the traitors and wandering in the dark, he came across a lone female spirit who directed him to the very center of the caverns, but she questioned whether to be trusted or not as her traitorous nature might hint that she was lying or not telling the whole truth. After wandering aimlessly, Dante came across a cavern that was filled with large and frozen chains and he mowed through them only to encounter a demon in the center who appeared to be Lucifer's corporeal form. Freed by the breaking of his chains, he attacked Dante. Dante killed the beast and he was within inches of entering Purgatory where his salvation awaited. However, Lucifer who was freed from his frozen form broke free and he easily overpowered Dante. Lucifer threatened to enter Purgatory and move on to Paradise to bring Hell to Heaven itself. Dante realized that he could not stop Lucifer on his own and using every bit of faith in himself begged to sacrifice his own soul to prevent Lucifer from moving on to Purgatory and save Heaven and Beatrice repented his sins and begged for forgiveness and the power to trap Lucifer with him forever. Upon hearing his cries for repentance that are being said in such a woeful and dark place, Lucifer charged forward by trying to stop Dante from making this pact. However, he was stopped by a powerful force of light that froze the Lord of Hell again in his chains of ice. Free to move on, Dante dove into the well that would send him to Purgatory to be with Beatrice. "Neither completely living or completely dead" as he put it. However, the tapestry that he ripped off his chest turned into a small snake which slithered away and Lucifer's laugh was heard echoing, indicating that he might not be imprisoned completely and he awaited his revenge.
- In one of Dante's flashbacks and during the various parts of the movie, he was seen wielding his sword and his scythe in a left-handed manner. This could suggest that Dante was actually ambidextrous, but could also possibly only be a spur-of-the-moment hold on his weapon as well.
- Dante and many other character's appearances changed several times throughout the film due to the fact that each section was produced separately by different animators.
- At the beginning of the film, in the Prologue and Limbo, Dante's appearance was very similar to how he normally appeared in the game.
- After his descent into Lust, Gluttony, Greed and Anger, he now appeared to have a more leaner body as well as longer hair that flowed past his shoulders. He also no longer wore any head armor with the exception of the crown.
- In Heresy and Violence, Dante appeared as more muscular with short spiked back-combed hair under a crimson headband and his crown. (This appearance was available as a DLC costume for Dante in the game.)
- In Fraud, he was depicted as a slightly leaner version of his previous appearance and wore a slightly altered version of his helmet.
- Finally, in Treachery, he was depicted as an extremely muscular version in comparison to his previous appearances to the point where his head-to-body ratio was 1 to 10. Here, he wore chainmail head armor under his crown and he also wore a large armored glove on his left hand.
- It was also important to note that Virgil, Beatrice, Francesco, Lucifer and both Dante's scythe and Beatrice's Cross also had various appearances throughout the film.
- In the film, Dante first acquired his Scythe by claiming it from one of the Arch Demons who was sent to attack him while he and Virgil are riding Charon to Limbo. However, in the actual game, the scythe that Dante used was actually the scythe of Death.
- In the game, Dante's Inferno, Dante was able to utilize Beatrice's Cross as a ranged weapon when he was in combat as well as absolving the cursed souls. Though in the film, Dante was only seen using it to absolve the Damned souls and he was never seen using it as a weapon against his enemies.
- Dante does not meet many souls of other people of historical or fictional backgrounds as he did in the game.
- Treachery is the only chapter where Virgil does not make an appearance.
- The wedding between Lucifer and Beatrice does not occur until Fraud, as the film displays Beatrice's multiple attempts to resist Lucifer's temptations. In the game, when Dante is in the circle of Anger, Beatrice becomes Lucifer's wife.
- This is also shortly after the wedding that Beatrice's demonic transformation and later restoration occur.
- Beatrice never attacks Dante in the game, rather she sends her minions in Fraud. But in the film, she visibly attacks him for his lies and deception.