Dante was a muscular and athletic man with an experienced knowledge of combat. He had short and brown hair beneath his chain mail and metal crown of thorns. (Though in the film, he was depicted in several different ways by varying his hair's length, body proportions and armor.) He varied from clean shaven to stubble.
In the beginning of the game, he was dressed in traditional Crusader robes, but on the way home to Florence, he removed the robe and sewed a crimson cross-shaped tapestry to his chest. This patch depicted the events and sins of his past as a beginning of repentance for his sins. Dante also wrapped long, trailing and crimson lengths of material around his forearms, each with a small silver crucifix that was attached to the end.
He wore light armor on his arms, shoulders and thighs and a leather holster on his back which he used to sheath Death's Scythe. Throughout the game, he wore canvas breeches and a thick leather belt which holstered Beatrice's Cross.
Dante was born in 1156 and he had a difficult childhood. His father named Alighiero was a licentious man that berated him and physically abused his mother named Bella. He stole from the poor and used their money to entertain his friends at the lavish parties. Dante also had a mentor while he was growing up by the name of Brunetto Latini.
Dante was betrothed to his true love named Beatrice. However, before the two could wed, Dante was called upon to march in the Crusades. Before he left, Beatrice agreed to give herself to Dante out of wedlock only if he swore upon her cross to be faithful and forsake all of the pleasures of the flesh. Dante agreed and the two shared one last night together. Before he left on the next day, Beatrice gave Dante her Cross as a parting gift.
While Dante and Francesco who was Beatrice's younger brother are in the Crusades, a fraudulent bishop gave them and their fellow Crusaders a preemptive absolution for any sins that they may commit. With the bishop's blessing, Dante proceeded to commit unforgivable acts in the name of God.
Dante and Francesco are present at the capturing of Acre, but Dante was shocked when he learned that they had to "Babysit the heretics" while King Richard negotiated for the True Cross. During this time, a Slave Girl offered "Comfort" to Dante in exchange for her and her "Brother's" freedom. Dante reluctantly accepted the offer, betraying his promise to Beatrice.
Against Francesco's objections, the enraged Dante slaughtered all of the prisoners by believing that it was their mission to kill the "Heretics" and "There was no shame" since "Their souls are already lost." When King Richard discovered this, he demanded the one who was responsible to step forward. Francesco took the fall for his "Brother" and was sentenced to be hanged, leaving Dante to flee.
During a raid on Acre by Saladin's forces, several of the prisoners escaped, but Dante was able to quickly kill them and he continued to a courtyard. An assassin came up to Dante and stabbed him in the back which led to the appearance of Death who stated Dante's punishment for his sins. Dante was confused and shocked by this, believing that he was still alive and the bishop assured the Crusaders that they are absolved of their sins for fighting in the Crusades.
Death said that Dante would spend "Everlasting damnation" in Hell with the souls that he ruined. This motivated him to pull the knife from his back and challenge the Grim Reaper. Dante and Death battled. This fight ended as Dante stole Death's scythe and cut him in half.
The revelation of these events led Dante to return home which he sewed a cross-shaped tapestry to his chest (As a form of mortification of the flesh), depicting his life to act as a reminder of both his sinful past and his hopes for redemption.
Dante finally returned to Florence with Death's scythe by hoping to redeem himself somehow. When he arrived at his home, Dante found his father and Beatrice murdered. As Dante knelt beside her, Beatrice appeared as a spirit along with Lucifer who appeared as a black human-like creature. After a short talk, the creature took Beatrice to Hell.
Dante gave chase, fought the undead minions from Hell and arrived at a church. Inside, he found Beatrice being tortured on a pedestal. She asked Dante why he broke his promise. After she disappeared, Dante was blessed with Beatrice's holy cross.
Suddenly, he found the entire church falling apart, becoming a portal to Hell. After fighting more of Hell's minions, Dante arrived at the Gates of Hell and encountered Virgil. Dante was told that Beatrice called for Virgil to help him. After the initial meeting, Dante was given his first spell. Dante fought and tamed an Asterian Beast. He used it to open the gates and began his journey into Hell.
The Nine Circles
Once Dante opened the Gates of Hell, he was confronted by Lucifer with a hypnotized Beatrice. After he taunted Dante, Lucifer fled with Beatrice. Dante ran toward a demon/ship hybrid named Charon. When Dante entered Charon, he fought more minions of Hell, hijacked another Asterian Beast and used it to tear Charon's head off. He threw the head off into the distance and escaped from the crashing ship.
He arrived in Limbo where King Minos who was the Judge of the Damned resided. King Minos and Dante fought in an epic battle which ended with Dante sticking Minos' tongue on his torture wheel, spinning it and making his face split in half. His dead body fell into the depths of Hell just like Charon.
Dante descended into Lust. Soon after arriving in a seemingly barren circle, a large phallic tower erupted from the ground. A gargantuan Cleopatra climbed the tower, summoning a violent storm which surrounded the tower and blew all of the souls that are trapped in the circle forever apart from one another. As Dante ascended the tower, Cleopatra attacked with massive fists and monsters spawning from the nipples of her breasts.
When Dante reached the top of the tower, he and Beatrice saw each other once more, but she was to be married to Lucifer. She was dressed up in a hellish gown with makeup all over her face. The two disappeared and Dante battled with Marc Antony who was regurgitated by Cleopatra. Dante defeated Marc Antony in battle despite the aid of Cleopatra in the background.
Cleopatra shrunk to human size to grieve the loss of her lover and attacked Dante. This attempt was foiled shortly after by Dante with a scythe blow to her heart. The platform that Dante took to the top of the tower suddenly began to drop and rapidly broke apart, but Dante managed to use his scythe to swing to safety and begin his descent into the third circle of Hell that was called Gluttony.
The walls that Dante clinked to during his descent changed from a familiar rock surface to an organic fleshy one, signaling his arrival in Gluttony. Upon arriving, Dante was confronted by Cerberus that was the three headed and worm-like hellhound. Dante was able to defeat Cerberus by slicing both the left and right heads off and blowing the middle up. He travelled through the circle under a storm of wastes and dangers hidden under the surface with many teeth.
After traveling through a mirror-like doorway, Lucifer confronted Dante about his sins and showed him how his loved ones are murdered by the Slave Girl's brother who revealed that he was not her brother, but her husband. After fighting a Glutton demon off and working through a reality-bending puzzle, Dante found himself descending into the fourth circle of Hell that was called Greed.
In Greed, Dante travelled through several obstacles such as wall climbing, swinging on the vines and fighting the hordes of minions of all kinds. Using Plutus' powers of making giant gold objects pass by him, Dante hijacked an Arterian Beast, used Plutus' powers again to pass by him and destroyed the Wheel of Fortune.
Eventually, Dante finally saw his father once more. After his death, Dante's father was condemned to Greed. Lucifer warped Alighiero into an obese monster that was similar to a Glutton in size, skin color and appearance. Lucifer promised Alighiero a thousand years free of torture and a horde of gold if he would murder his own son. Confronting his son near the entrance of the Fifth Circle, Alighiero was defeated by Dante. He proceeded to absolve his father, freeing him from the Inferno.
Dante descended into Anger, went through a few obstacles, fought a few hordes and finally travelled on the Styx River. Unknown to Dante, the boat that he used was actually Phlegyas' head. When Dante found out, he almost fell off, but he used his Scythe in time to land on higher ground.
Phlegyas became angry because of this and attacked, but unlike in the other circles, Dante did not fight the boss. Instead, Dante fought a horde of his minions. During Dante and Phlegyas' fight, Dante saw Beatrice and Lucifer once more and Dante's promise with Beatrice was revealed. Beatrice like Persephone in the Underworld ate three pomegranate seeds and was transformed into a demonic creature.
She grew several hundred feet and after passionately kissing Lucifer, she disappeared. Soon after, Dante took control of Phlegyas and used him to open the gates of the lower parts of Hell and entered Heresy. While inside the giant city of Dis, Phlegyas' massive weight caused the floor to collapse and sent him hurling down into the abyss.
The Lower Circles
Heresy was part of the City of Dis. The entire city was filled with fire where the heretics are burned for eternity in the fiery tombs. Dante made his way through with no real obstacles other than climbing on the walls and few several groups of minions. However, the city started to collapse due to the Harrowing of Hell, forcing Dante to leave the circle.
Dante descended into the seventh circle that was called Violence. The Seventh Circle was divided into three parts. Dante crossed the Phlegethon River that was the river of boiling blood where those who acted with violence against others resided. After that, he entered the Wood of the Suicides. It was here where Dante saw his mother for the first time since he was a child.
His mother was transformed into a part of the woods. She was withered, brittle and more plant-like than human. Virgil told Dante what happened to those who committed suicide in Hell. Dante was appalled that she was in Hell when she supposedly died from a fever. Dante remembered crying over her grave and being informed by his father that she died from a fever.
Bella told Dante that she actually killed herself in order to be free of her husband's abuse and way of life. She asked her son to forgive her for not protecting him from his father. He took his cross and gave her the peace that she deserved and she told him that there was still time for him to save Beatrice because she did not belong in Hell.
Dante eventually exited the woods and entered the Abominable Sands which was a place for those who acted against Elohim. It was a scorching desert filled with stone ruins. Dante finally saw his old friend named Francesco. Francesco mutated in several ways such as having half a head that was made out of a plant and torn skin that was showing the muscles and veins. Francesco was angry with Dante, blaming him for what happened to him. Dante tried to talk to him and listen, but to no avail. He was forced to kill his old friend. As he laid dying, the two briefly talked about the lies that they listened to during their time at the Crusades. When Francesco died, Dante absolved him.
Dante descended to Fraud where he met Beatrice. Beatrice who was enraged at Dante made him go through the ten rings of the Malebolge, all varying in many ways. After the trials, Beatrice yelled at Dante even more for trying to save her and for also getting her brother killed as well. Dante said, "I gave up on this journey. I belonged here in Hell". He asked for her forgiveness once more and presented Beatrice her cross. Beatrice who was surprised by this was absolved by it. Soon after, Gabriel the Angel appeared. Gabriel told Dante that he almost redeemed himself and he would see Beatrice again soon and disappeared.
Dante descended into the final circle that was called Treachery. Dante fought and defeated Lucifer only to have him split his stomach open to reveal his true form which was a wingless demon. Lucifer revealed that Beatrice had nothing to do with his plan. He only needed to marry someone who was destined for Heaven so he could "Reclaim his rightful place in Paradise." Dante fought Lucifer once more in an explosive battle, ending with Lucifer being smashed into the ground.
This created an explosion and ended with Lucifer's defeat, but just before Dante ensured the killing blow, Lucifer told him to look at something. Dante was shown being stabbed in the back by the same person who killed Beatrice and Alighiero back at Acre and dying. Dante retaliated to this revelation, saying that he absolved many souls on his journey throughout Hell and they possessed the power to redeem himself. Dante called out to the souls that are inside him. The souls that Dante saved appeared and resealed Lucifer in his prison and finally absolved Dante.
Dante appeared naked in front of Beatrice in an area that was stark white, except for a mist that was covering Beatrice. The cross tapestry on his chest appeared to be burned. He took her hand and in a flash of light, Dante walked out of a cave and stopped standing in front of the realm of "Purgatorio." He stated, "I did not die and I did not live", referring to how he was fatally wounded making Death appear. However, he slew Death.
Dante ripped the cross off his chest and threw it on the ground where it turned to dust and transformed into a tiny snake. As the serpent quietly slithered away, Lucifer's laughter was heard.
Powers & Abilities
- Unholy Abilities - Death's Scythe which Dante stole from him after he died provided Dante with his malevolent unholy powers and most of his melee attacks. The scythe was also used to punish the shades and enemies and swing on the cliffs if there was nothing to hold on to. Whenever it was used to attack, it usually gave a golden yellow color off to show it's unholiness.
- Holy Abilities - The Cross that Beatrice gave to Dante before he left to fight in the Crusades held all of Dante's immense holy powers. All of the attacks that Dante used from it are light-blue colored, showing it's holiness. The cross attacks are long-range and could hold the enemies off. The cross was also used to absolve the shades and enemies when it was needed.
- Superhuman Physical Prowess - After gaining his supernatural powers, Dante also obtained amazing superhuman physical prowess far beyond mortal capacity.
- Superhuman Strength - Dante was able to hold himself between a beast's jaws and avoid being devoured and during his travels overpowered the demons much larger than himself, lifted Charon's head and tossed it over a cliff with minimal effort and exert enough strength to pull the other Demons' heads off by using his scythe and even with bare hands ripped them in half or pull the other enemies toward him. He was able to challenge and overpower even Lucifer, an immortal and most powerful angel of God, himself in physical combat.
- Superhuman Durability - Dante was able to survive an incredible amount of punishment that would kill any other human from even the largest demons and being undamaged and was able to survive both hellish fires and freeze as well survive the fall from great heights. Dante was also able to endure the tremendous might of Lucifer and all of his attacks despite visible difficulties.
- Superhuman Speed - Dante could move and react with amazing speed being able to run, dash and slide across the ground and walls with almost instant speed to dodge projectiles and cover short distances instantly. He was able to keep up with Lucifer's immense speed on almost equal terms.
- Superhuman Stamina - Since his fall to Hell, Dante was never seen resting except on short talks with Virgil. In fact, he remained active infinitely in both running across Hell and fight with numerous Hell minions and colossal demons and never showed any signs of fatigue.
- Divine Powers - Another power that Dante had was called Redemption which allowed him to temporarily become much more powerful and faster. When using Redemption, Dante would not flinch when he was hit, but would still lose health when attacked. Dante's scythe became more powerful and moved quicker along with his Cross. Redemption mode could also be combined with Lust Storm and Divine Armor, but not all three at the same time since Lust Storm and Divine Armor could not be used together.
Dante could also use magics such as: Righteous Path which could perform a dash attack to leave a trail a icy shards in it's wake, Sins of the Father which the magic pendants protected Dante and attacked the nearby enemies, Suicide Fruit which slammed a rotting fruit onto the ground to stun the nearby enemies, Martyrdom which Dante sacrificed some of his health and mana to cause massive damage to the nearby enemies, Lust Storm which was a storm that surrounded Dante and dealt damage to the enemies and Divine Armor was holy armor which protected Dante from all attacks and restored health.
- Dante Alighieri was an actual historical person. In reality, he was an Italian poet where in the game, he was a Crusader. The real Dante Alighieri was born on May/June 1265 and died on September 13/14, 1321. In the game, he died around May 1191 during the Third Crusade which was the Siege of Acre.
- "Inferno" was the first part of Dante Alighieri's three-part epic, The Divine Comedy which also included "Purgatorio" and "Paradiso," detailing Dante's journey through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven.
- In the game, Dante entered the Inferno to rescue Beatrice. In the poem, it was a journey of understanding. Dante wrote The Divine Comedy after being exiled from Florence in 1302 for being part of a rival political faction. The Epic was an allegory and contained numerous references to the political situations in Florence at the time as well as Dante's own inner struggles.
- In the Animated Epic, he was less forgiving and reluctant to absolve the souls that he met. For example, in the game, he absolved his father, but in the Animated Epic, he kicked him into a pot of molten gold, but he absolved a soul while in Cerberus's stomach. He was also more aggressive to the demons or hostile spirits as he threatened a soul who was angry at him and threatened harm toward Dante.