|Creatures||Malacoda; All creatures from each circle|
- "Ten ditches leading down the final circle. Each filled with its own crimes, its own forms of punishment." -Thais
Fraud was the eighth Circle of Hell.
- "I live in shame, a whore awash in sewage. I confess I teased and seduced hundreds, led them to sin for my own gains. But I am just one of many who suffer here in the Malebolge." -Thais
The Circle of Fraud was an extremely dark place that held those guilty of deliberate, knowing evil; those who used lies and deception for personal gain. This circle was divided into ten bolge (singular bolgia, Italian for "ditches"), each holding a different type of liar, and each had a different but fitting form of punishment. Dante is confronted by Beatrice, now the Queen of Hell, who forces him first to confront the demon Malacoda, and then to survive the Malebolge, hoping the Crusader will fail, as retribution for her own damnation.
In the game, this circle was also home to every single demon and monster that appeared in the previous circles. Each step down in Fraud featured a small arena, in which the player will have to fight through the creatures of Hell. These fights are timed trials which Dante will have to pass in order to survive the level and avoid being plunged to his death. The player can also gain a bonus of souls for completing a Bonus Challenge in addition to the timed trials.
The ten ditches of the Malebolge are described as follows:
- Panderers and Seducers: "The panderers and seducers will spend eternity beaten, prodded and whipped by Lucifer's lieutenants."
- Flatters: "My brethren in the Malebolge, we flounder in sewage and waste."
- Simony: "Sellers of favors, crimes against the church. They are trapped in baptismal baths, their feet eternally in flames."
- Diviners: "The fortune tellers should have known that they cannot see with the eyes of God. They walk with their heads backwards, their eyes awash in tears."
- Grafters: "Great, winged demons tend to the grafters, who stole and embezzled in life. They are thrown into deep, vile pits."
- Hypocrites: "The cloaks of the hypocrites appear regal and noble, and yet worn as punishment, each lined with crippling lead."
- Thieves: "Thieves are held and bitten by serpents. The venom burns them to ash only so they may reform and suffer again."
- Evil Counselors: "Evil advisers who used their forked-tongues for counsel serving their own ends. They stand ablaze."
- Sowers of Discord: "They hold their heads and innards, the chaos they caused in life, cast upon them in death."
- Falsifiers: "All thoughts of pain and suffering fall upon the falsifiers. Hear their wailing and be warned."
- In the Divine Comedy, Dante and Virgil encounter many famous figures from history and myth in each bolgia:
- In the Panderers and Seducers Bolgia, Dante encounters Venedico Caccianemico and the Greek hero Jason.
- In the Flatters Bolgia, Dante encounters Alessio Interminelli of Lucca and Thais the Harlot.
- In the Simony Bolgia, Dante encounters Pope Nicholas III, who hints that he will later be joined in Hell by two other popes, including the one who sentenced Dante to exile.
- In the Diviners Bolgia, Dante encounters Amphiaraus, Tiresias, Tiresias' daughter Manto, Aruns, Michael Scot, Asdente the Shoemaker, and Guido Bonatti.
- The Grafters Bolgia is guarded by the Malebranche ("Evil Claws", a group of demonic creatures), led by Malacoda. The grafters were forced into large pits of burning tar, reminiscent of their "sticky fingers" in life, though none are explicitly named.
- In the Hypocrites Bolgia, Dante encounters Catalano dei Malavolti, Loderingo degli Andalo, and Caiaphas (the high priest who condemned Christ to death).
- The Thieves Bolgia is guarded by Cacus the Centaur, who has a fire-breathing dragon on his shoulder. Some notable thieves are included in the passage, such as Vanni Fucci, Agnello Brunelleschi, Cianfa Donati, Buoso Donati/Buoso degli Abati, and Francesco de Cavalcanti.
- In the Evil Counselors Bolgia, Dante encounters Ulysses (Odysseus) and Diomedes, who are condemned here for their role in the Trojan War and the creation of the Trojan Horse. Guido da Montefeltro is also seen here.
- In the Sowers of Discord Bolgia, a sword-wielding demon hacks away at the Sowers of Discord, symbolizing how these sinners divided people and nations. They are not killed, but instead travel back in a circle to the demon, by which time their bodies have fully regenerated. Then are then hacked to pieces all over again. Dante encounters Muhammad, Muhammad's son-in-law Ali and Bertran de Born.
- In the Falsifiers Bolgia, Potifar's wife Zuleikha and the Greek spy Sinon are mentioned to be here, as well as Myrrha. Sinon is here instead of the Evil Counselors Bolgia because his advice was false as well as evil.
- It is interesting to note that you never get to see any of the souls condemned to the Malebolge suffering their respective punishment. All that you get is a statue showing what the sinner's condemnation is on the side of the arena above each ditch. Screams can be heard coming up from the inky darkness below each arena, however.
- Fraud is unrelated to Divine Love or a corrupted virtuous desire, hence it is placed lower in Hell by Dante. However, fraud can be said to be a natural consequence of the Deadly Sins (upon which Circles 2 through 5 are based).
- Fraud in its own right is wasteful to Life itself; it is more serious than the other previous sins due to the sinners' assumption of being able to corrupt and manipulate God's creations for evil gain. As such, the Fraudulent are committing a form of hubris against God, and are placed among the lowest circles (Violence, Treachery), which share in this form of power-assumption.
|Nine Circles of Hell|
|Limbo · Lust · Gluttony · Greed · Anger · Heresy · Violence · Fraud · Treachery|