Devil May Cry 4

Hi and welcome to Devil May Cry 4 walkthrough. Achieving the full 1,000G on this Hack & Slash game can be challenging and will probably be time consuming to most players, but it is not as hard as you may think after a first look. While the gameplay is absolutely freestyle, this walkthrough will suggest the actions which will allow you to effectively play in a "stylish" manner thus teaching a way of fighting which can best suit the necessities to accomplish the S Ranks (the highest rating you can receive for your performance) on missions; required for the hardest achievements of the game.

There are no online achievements and there are no missable achievements, since you can replay every mission at any time.

I won't mention anything about the plot (there's no need of it) in any page, except the name of the two heroes of the story (named anywhere but in this page), which I can't avoid mentioning when describing the moves to do. If you wonder, you start playing as the second of these two characters from Mission 12, and every mission can only be played by the designed character for it. The only mode which lets you choose the character to use is the Bloody Palace.

The achievements in this game are quite particular, and their description changes from "secret" to "revealed" after unlocking them; they are not technically secret achievements, and for this reason their description remains unavailable on TA. You will find a list of the achievements with their "second" descriptions (the descriptions when they are unlocked) in the General Hints and Tips page. There are no plot references in the descriptions either, so I suggest you give them a look to have a complete idea of what to expect.

On the contrary, just for a quick reference on how to proceed to clear the game, you want to:

1. Play story mode on Human (the easiest of the four difficulties), and complete the 20 Missions of the game. During this playthrough you will clear the 12x Secret Missions and collect all the Blue Orb Fragments. There are also common items you can find in the stages, and it's a good idea to get them to have a little part of Item Collector done. Do not try to S-Rank missions on your first attempt, because you can make it much easier with skills acquired later. Don't use Items, spend the Proud Souls to upgrade your skillsets and the Red Orbs to purchase Purple Orbs (Blue Orbs have less priority on Human mode, since you will rarely be in danger of death).

2. Play story mode again and obtain an S-Rank on all the 20 missions on these difficulties: Human, Devil Hunter, Son of Sparda (unlocked for completing the game on Devil Hunter), Dante Must Die (unlocked for completing the game on Son of Sparda).
On each of the playthroughs on these different difficulties, get the generic items of the stages (there's a copy of each for each playthrough on a new difficulty, for a total of four copies of each), to keep working on the "Item Collector" achievement.

3. Clear the Bloody Palace (unlocked for completing the game on Devil Hunter) with an S Rank.

4. Clear the game (no need to S-Rank) in the last two modes: "Hell or Heaven" (unlocked for completing the game on Son of Sparda) and "Hell and Hell" (unlocked for completing the game on Dante Must Die). During the playthrough on "Hell and Hell", play at least the last mission with a "Super Character" to unlock the achievement for completing Mission 20 with such a character (Super Characters are unlocked after completing the game on Dante Must Die). On Heaven or Hell, everyone dies in one hit; on Hell or Hell, you die in one hit, but the enemies don't. On these two modes you have three resurrection chances. You can use the Gold Orbs and don't have to S-Rank them so it makes the task easy.

5. If you still need them, grind "Red Orbs", "Proud Souls" and especially the 10,000 kills.

For some players it might be advisable to gather the maximum amount of each of the items (for the achievement Item Collector) before playing on Dante Must Die mode, since you may need to use items widely in order to survive.

In this page we will deal with the most important aspects of the game: general tips, the score ranking system and the achievements listed with their non-secret description. Please take a read at least at the first section; you can ignore the Ranking Mechanics (although you're probably interested in it), but this first section below is very important.

Game settings and general tips

One is the control mapping system: change the gunshot button of Nero from the " X " (default) button to the " RT " button. This will allow you to charge the gun (after you purchase the skills to do so) while moving around and fighting the enemies with other attacks (you can easily keep " RT " held while pressing the other buttons, while keeping " X " held would be much more complicated).

Among the game settings you can also find the "Target Type": there are three types, and they all have their strong and their weak sides. I personally used Type 1 and Type 3 the most, alternating them in different situations. Type 1 will be very helpful when surrounded by lots of enemies (typically the Gladius or Cutlass enemies), while Type 3 will usually be your best choice for most of the other situations. Unfortunately, some combos of the game require you to press the LS_Backward, and this can be a problem if you're using Type 1 (it targets the enemies towards which you're pointing LS) and an enemy is behind you when you want to perform a combo which uses LS_Backward and your actual target is the enemy you're facing. Type 3/2 would lock on to the one closer/in front of you respectively, making it easier to use those combos. That's your choice anyway, but keep in mind that switching target types takes only a few seconds and can make a big difference in some fights: don't tag it as "boring, I'll do what I can with the current type", and change type even in the same battle if you need.

When you choose a character to start playing, the game lets you choose between a "regular" character and an "Automatic" character. Automatic characters will perform automatic combos as soon as you hit the fight buttons, cancelling almost completely the role of the player in the game. It's not only a matter of "what's the fun of playing a game if the CPU fights instead of you?", but also a matter of "if you let the CPU fight instead of you, it's bound to screw up sooner or later".

The camera is another very important friend of yours, since most of the enemies won't attack you if they're out of your line of sight. If you can, and you usually can, rotate the camera so you include only few enemies in your view. If the enemies excluded from your current point of view weren't attacking/weren't just starting an attack, they *usually* won't be able to hit you. This rule is almost always true, although it rarely happens that an enemy out of your sight manages to land a hit on you (Angelo/Cutlass enemies, for instance). Anyway, make good use of it to avoid dealing with too many enemies at once.

Stunning enemies is also very important, and usually possible simply by attacking them and using charged gunshots (a Lv 3 Charged Shot as Nero, or multiple shots of the Coyote-A/Pandora as Dante). Some enemies are more "stubborn" than others, but with the exception of "big enemies", you can stun them - as Nero - also by using the Devil-Bringer (RB+B) on them. By "big enemies" I mean a group of enemies (including bosses and Angelos) which are considered "too big to be Devil-Bringer-ed", and Nero will actually use them as a grip to move towards them. If that's the case, Devil-Bringer won't equal to stunning them, but you will probably be in position to open their guard more easily (for example, if done on a Bianco Angelo, you will land on his back, which is the weak spot of this enemy).

Devil Trigger is a special power of your characters which is first unlocked in Mission 06; by default, you can use it by pressing LB. When activated as Nero, it creates a shockwave which slightly damages nearby enemies, knocking them back, and also guards you against any attack for the few moments it's being activated. Make sure to remember and use these invincibility frames wisely, because on higher difficulties your Devil Trigger will be your "second life", since activating it can let you get out of otherwise deadly combos.
When activated as Dante, it doesn't provide invincibility frames, but it gives you an "armor" which doesn't let you get stunned by attacks; it's useful to escape from combos too of course, and to some extent it's also better than Nero's "version". The best part of Dante's Devil Trigger is the possibility of "distorting" moves.
While in Devil Trigger, you can also recover your health automatically; it's a small recovery, but in some circumstances (especially the Bloody Palace) even that small recovery can be useful (especially if you can stack it with multiple uses of Devil Trigger thanks to cool fighting).

Distorting moves is possible with Dante. Distortion of moves is a way to increase the damage output of these moves by a lot. The most famous distorted move of the game is the "Distorted Real Impact". The mechanics of a distorted move are very simple: if you activate the Devil Trigger in the instant a hit connects, the hit will be more powerful/you may hit more times, dealing a monster damage. Not all the moves can be distorted; in fact, the Distorted Real Impact (also known simply as "DRI") is pretty much the only distorted move used by Devil May Cry 4's players. The only other popular distorted move is Straight. Here you can find an excellent and detailed explanation on how this works. The video suggests to learn the different real impacts, which is a correct suggestion; however, if you want to simplify a bit, just learn the distortion of the third hit, which is one of the easiest and one of the strongest distortions.

Invincibility frames are given when you perform a jump or a roll (a jump is easier to perform): abuse of it to "magically" avoid taking damage from, say, a giant toad splatting you.

You can see your Stylish Points in the mission (on the way as you collect them by fighting) only when you replay a mission. On your first run, you will only see your "style meter" (Deadly, Carnage and so on; read below for more information).

Some achievements pop up only after finishing a mission, even if you fulfill the requirements earlier; for example, "Obtain 10,000 Red Orbs" will pop up only when you complete a mission even if you earn over 10,000 Red Orbs in a mission, before finishing it. This is a less important note, but keep it in mind if you're grinding some of these achievements and wonder why it won't pop up although you have the feeling that you should have fulfilled the requirements. The quickest mission to complete is Mission 01 on Heaven or Hell mode.

Proud Souls are earned with a formula based on your "Devil Hunter Points" (see below); in particular, they are 3% of the Devil Hunter Points. If you quit a mission (or restart it), you will obtain Proud Souls based on your score as if the mission ended when you quit, so it's very possible to grind Proud Souls at the beginning of a mission which starts with a highly-rewarding fight (rewarding from the Stylish Points point of view, since they are the core of the Devil Hunter Points formula), like Mission 09, and restart if over and over again to gain a lot of quick Proud Souls.

I will avoid using them, but on the net you will widely find these typical abbreviations: DH (Devil Hunter mode), SoS (Son of Sparda mode), DMD (Dante Must Die mode), H/H (Heaven or Hell mode; also Hell and Hell mode), DT (Devil Trigger), BP (Bloody Palace), SSS (mission ranked with S on Clear Time, Stylish Points and Orbs Found; also Smokin' Sick Style!!! style meter), DRI (Distorted Real Impact).

If in some videos you see Nero's arm glowing near secret orb spots/secret missions/blue orb (fragments), it's a special power acquired automatically in the story (at the end of Mission 04).

On Dante Must Die difficulty, enemies can enter a sort of Devil Mode where they are much more resistant to stuns and therefore are more dangerous. If you see a demonic aura on their face, that's what just happened. They automatically enter this mode after a certain amount of time from their spawn; defeating them before this happens is the only way you can prevent this.

When playing on Heaven or Hell/Hell and Hell modes, you're given three Gold Orbs by default which will be automatically used to revive your character. This means that you can actually take four hits before really being dead. Do NOT purchase the Gold Orbs again if you happen to die and automatically use them, because they're given for free (always 3x of them when you begin a mission on these two modes).

Secret Missions are not available in Heaven or Hell/Hell and Hell modes.

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Ranking Mechanics

At the end of each mission of story mode your performance will be valued according to four factors: Clear Time, Stylish pts., Orbs Found, Bonus & Penalty. All these values will be put in a specific formula, and the result will net you the score you see on the right side of the results screen (your "Devil Hunter Points", which determine the "Devil Hunter Rank").

The only real parameter you have to grind will usually be the "Stylish pts.", and I will tell you the amounts of stylish points you need to achieve an S Rank with some fixed factors (such as "with S on time, S on orbs and the No Item bonus, you will need 5,000 Stylish Points to get an S Rank on Human"). If you prefer to make your own calculations, get different factors, all the information you need to know is here. Otherwise, just take a look at the formula immediately after this line, and then move on.

Devil Hunter Points Formula

(Default Points + Stylish Points) * Multipliers = Points.

Default Points are a fixed value, different from mission to mission, which can't be changed or increased.
On the contrary, Multipliers include all the possible factors except the Stylish Points. Let's deal with them one by one.

Multipliers - Clear Time

Each mission has its own clear time: depending on how long it takes you (the longer, the worse), your rank on "clear time" will change.
For example, if you clear Mission 01 on Human mode within 45 seconds you will achieve an S Rank. If you clear it, still on Human mode, within 1 minute and 05 seconds (and more than 45 seconds of course), you will achieve an A Rank. Within 1 minute and 30 seconds (but more than 1:05) is a B Rank, and within 2 minutes and 15 (but more than 1:30) is a C Rank. Any time longer than that will net you a D Rank.

As you increase the difficulty playing on other modes (for example Son of Sparda), enemies are stronger, and you therefore need more time: to achieve the S Rank on time on Mission 01 on Dante Must Die difficulty, you can spend up to 1 minute and 25 seconds, which is much more than the 45 seconds of Human mode.

Cutscenes will never add to the clear time (though you will probably skip them pressing Start since by the time you'll be after S Ranks you will know them already), as well as the time spent doing Secret Missions. On the contrary, using the "Continue" feature (see about it among the Penalties, below) in case of death will not reset your time to what it was when you hit the checkpoint - this is the least of the problems concerning deaths in missions, and I'm mentioning it just for an extra information.

On Human mode, time will often be short, and getting an S on Clear Time can be difficult; on higher difficulties it's usually not a problem.

For all the missions and modes, the "clear time multiplier" given according to your clear time rank will be the same; it goes as follows:

Clear Time S : 3x
Clear Time A: 2.5x
Clear Time B: 2x
Clear Time C: 1.5x
Clear Time D: 1x

Multipliers - Orbs Found

Each mission has its own Red Orbs, usually found by breaking objects, or more rarely in hidden spots in the areas. In addition to these sources of Red Orbs, you will find "Red Orb Statues", "Combat Adjudicators" and "Secret Missions": these are also a source of Red Orbs, but they never count for the total percentage of Orbs Found. For this reason, you want to ignore Red Orb Statues and Combat Adjudicators while going for an S Rank; you will avoid the Secret Missions too, since they won't help for the score at all.

It's important to point out that the game will calculate the percentage of Orbs Found only according to the areas you've visited. Say you are on a mission and you can visit an optional area where you can find two chairs you can break to obtain Red Orbs: if you don't enter that optional area, and collect all the Red Orbs in the areas where you've been, you will score 100% on Orbs Found. On the contrary, if you enter that area, its orbs will be put into account, and if you don't collect them you won't score 100% on orbs, even if you collected all the ones in the "mandatory" areas. For this reason, it's important not to get "lost", and it's usually not advisable to go off track (and if that happens, make sure you get the Red Orbs of the area where you've been).
There will be a few exceptions, since in some optional areas you can find extra enemies to fight, raising your stylish points, and for some missions this can be worth the extra time it takes you to visit/clear them.

Another note about this value is that you get Red Orbs also by defeating enemies, but you usually get them automatically after defeating them. If you don't defeat an enemy, his "Red Orbs potential" won't be taken into account. Example: if you defeat an enemy and don't collect his Red Orbs, your Orb Found percentage will decrease; if you don't defeat the enemy at all, your Orb Found percentage will not decrease.

As a last note, sometimes there will be "non-red" orbs (green for example), which won't count for the Orbs Found. On the other hand, objects containing non-red-orbs will still be counted. Say a pillar contains a green orb: you need to destroy it (getting the green orb in the process), or your Orbs Found percentage will be decreased. On the contrary, if you find a green orb on the ground you won't need to get it.
Green Orbs restore your health; White Orbs restore your Devil Gauge; Blue Orbs (you find them in fragments worth a fourth of an orb each) increase your life gauge by one bar; Purple Orbs (must be purchased) increase your Devil Gauge by one bar; Gold Orbs are consumable items which can revive you when you die (not a good deal, as you will read in the "penalties" section below).

In conclusion, you will need to destroy everything, collect every "free" Red Orb you see and also those you can't see if there are any located in "Secret Orb Spots".

Orbs Found S (from 95% to 100%): 2x
Orbs Found A (from 75% to 94%): 1.75x
Orbs Found B (from 60% to 74%): 1.5x
Orbs Found C (from 45% to 59%): 1.25x
Orbs Found D (less than 44%): 1x

Multipliers - Others

Lastly, there are various Bonuses, Penalties and multipliers based on the difficulty.

Bonuses

No Damage: 1.5x
No Item: 1.2x

These two are self-explanatory: don't take damage for the former and don't use items for the latter. The former will not be easily accomplished on higher difficulties, but can be a great way to boost your score on lower difficulties. Unfortunately most of the players won't become good at the game very quickly, and so they won't be able to benefit from this bonus to S-Rank missions much more easily on Human (you will probably be a good player on Dante Must Die mode before being able to succesfully pull off No-Damage-runs with ease).

Penalties

Continues: 0.8x
Enemy Handicap: 0.8x
Gold Orbs: 0.7x
Super Character: 0.2x

"Continues" is when you die and pick the "Continue" option, which is the first of the list.
"Enemy Handicap" is a very unwelcome feature which triggers if you die over five times in the same missions. It will make all the enemies weaker.
"Gold Orbs" are items you can use (you're asked whether to use them or not) to revive your character with full health as you die. Since they are items, this penalty also implies that you lose the "No Item" bonus.

In addition to this, dying means resetting to zero your style points, unless you use a Gold Orb to revive yourself (it's not considered a death anymore, but rather a full-recovery before dying). If you die in a mission you are more than likely to fail at S-Ranking it, unless you die very early in the mission and you're on some modes (Dante Must Die in particular) where your stylish points are no problems. Still though, if you die so early you'd better just restart the mission from scratch. If you're in danger of death on Dante Must Die, in most of the missions you can afford using items to heal yourself, losing the "No Item" bonus but avoiding all of these three possible penalties which are definitely worse.

"Super Character" is the malus for using Super Characters: these are called "Super Nero" and "Super Dante" and are just the same as Nero and Dante. The only difference is that the two "Super" characters have infinite Devil Trigger (you will learn what this is as you play the game), making some fights extremely easier. And that's why, on the other hand, you basically can't S-Rank any mission if you use one of them.

Difficulty Multipliers

Human Mode: 0.85x
Devil Hunter Mode: 1x
Son of Sparda Mode: 1.8x
Dante Must Die Mode: 3x

Looking at this one should be enough to explain why harder modes require higher Devil Hunter Points to be S-Ranked.

Please note that these last values (the difficulty multipliers) are not official values.

Stylish Points

The rank you get on your Stylish Points is not relevant since you're not given a multiplier based on the rank itself. Differently from all the other factors, each Stylish Point counts separately. When calculating the orbs, for example, it would be the same to calculate the bonus given for 95% orbs and the bonus for 100% orbs (it would be an S Rank on Orbs Found and a 2x multiplier either way). On the contrary, if a mission, say, gives you an "A Rank" on stylish points if you score anything between 4,000 points and 5,000 points, it makes a huge difference scoring 5,000 rather than 4,000, despite the rank is "A" for both. The reason for this is the formula itself, since this factor is not a multiplier, but a specific value to multiply.

Stylish Points are the most concerning problem when S-Ranking missions, and that's why it's not enough to survive to be a winner in this game. Stylish Points are obtained as you fight, and any damage dealt to enemies will increase them. Those obtained in secret missions won't count (in fact, you don't earn stylish points in secret missions).

As you fight you will also notice something else: a "Style Meter" on the right side of the screen, which shows you "how stylish" you're being during your current fight. Let's say that performing a specific action (for example a "Streak" attack) nets you 100 points if your meter is "Deadly". The same action performed on an enemy while your meter is on "Smokin'!" will net you 400 points. The reason for this is that there are "style points multipliers" which are based on that style meter. The higher the meter, the higher the multiplier. In particular they go as follows:

Smokin'!/Smokin' Style!!/Smokin' Sick Style!!! = 4x
Atomic = 3x
Brutal = 2.5x
Carnage = 2x
D
eadly = 1.5x
None = 1x

You will soon notice that your style meter is promoted when you use different actions (if you stick with the same attack, the meter will stop going up very soon and it will actually start decreasing eventually), while doing nothing will decrease it. You can't downgrade your meter if you do nothing/stick with a move though. Say you have a "Brutal" meter: if you change your moves on the enemies and "play stylish", your meter will eventually raise (you can see a green gauge filling, as you fight) to "Atomic", but if you stay idle/use the same moves, the worst thing that can happen is that the green gauge will decrease. Once it's completely decreased, you won't return to a "Carnage" rank, but you will simply stay on your "Brutal" rank, ready to fill the green gauge again as soon as you start playing "stylish" again.
There is a way to be de-ranked in your meter though: being hit, by any hit, will decrease your rank by two positions. Say you are on Atomic and you get hit: you will be de-ranked to Carnage. You can build up your score again of course, but all the stylish points scored while you're building your meter up will be less stylish points than those you would have earned with the highest multiplier all the time (of course).

For these reasons, it's almost always a good idea to run away from messy situations, and avoid being hit as much as possible. This is also why you want to attempt a "no damage" run anyway: even if you get hit once (preventing you from getting the no-damage bonus), it's still great to keep your character away from being hit, since this will mean fighting for a longer time with higher multipliers.

As far as the "S/SS/SSS" meters are concerned, there's no substantial difference between one or the other. SSS is simply "cooler", but that's pretty much it. Also, SSS can automatically downgrade to SS and SS can automatically downgrade to S (but S can't decrease to A), which is an exception to the usual rule. It doesn't make any practical difference anyway, since the multiplier for each of these three "different" style meters is the same (4x).

Unfortunately, once a battle is over, the style meter won't be carried over to the next battle. Say you end a fight with an Atomic meter, you will still start the next fight from "Nothing" (and then Deadly, Carnage, and so on) again.

This is why Human mode provides usually few stylish points to achieve an S Rank without some "planning": you will end up killing most of the enemies too quickly, and this will mean having low style meters all the time. You can pretty much forget about S Ranks on missions without an high result on Stylish Points: give your best to raise the meter and get all the points you can.

The rank of Stylish Points at the end of a mission, as already said, is a useless bit of information for calculation purposes (you need the specific value of Stylish Points). It still gives you an idea on your performance though: it goes without saying that achieving a "B" on Stylish Points implies that you are not doing very well, while achieving an "S" on Stylish Points hints that you're on the right path.

Mission Rank

For the achievements, your goal will be to get a Devil Hunter Rank of S ("S-Ranking a mission"), and it doesn't matter how that comes: as long as you score enough Devil Hunter Points (calculated with the main formula written at the beginning of this section), your rank will be the same.

The Devil Hunter Points and Devil Hunter Rank work just about the same as the Stylish Points and the Stylish Rank, and they vary according to the mission and difficulty too. For example, in Mission 02 on Human mode you need between 20,400 and 42,500 Devil Hunter Points to get an A-Rank. Anything less and it's a B-Rank (unless you score so much less that it's actually a C or even a D-Rank; hopefully this will never happen), anything more and it's an S-Rank, "the" S-Rank you want for the achievements. Still in Mission 02, but on Dante Must Die mode, you need between 105,000 and 180,000 Devil Hunter Points to get an A-Rank. Everything is proportional after all, since Dante Must Die has a much better "difficulty multiplier" and its enemies have so much health as to guarantee you very high Stylish Points.

As a side note if someone is confused, the name "Devil Hunter Rank/Points" has nothing to do with the "Devil Hunter" difficulty setting: they simply chose to name these points/rank after the same title ("Devil Hunter", that is), but "Devil Hunter points/rank" are calculated also if you're playing on Human/Son of Sparda/Dante Must Die difficulties. I know this will sound obvious, but if anyone was wondering if there was any relationship between that difficulty mode and these points...well, there's not.

Complete Formula and Example

At this point we can make an example. Let's say, Mission 04 on Human mode and then Mission 04 on Dante Must Die mode. I will tell you how many points (minimum) you need for the S Rank on each mission and on each difficulty, as well as the "Default Points" of each mission.

In this case you need 42,500 Devil Hunter Points on Human and 195,000 on Dante Must Die, and the Default Points of Mission 04 are 2,000.

Let's say you clear it with S on time, S on orbs and no other multipliers. Let's say your Stylish Points are 6,500 on Human and 8,000 on Dante Must Die.

Human: (2,000+6,500) * 3 (clear time multiplier) * 2 (orbs found multiplier) * 0.85 (difficulty multiplier) = 43,350 Points. Devil Hunter Rank S: achieved.
Dante Must Die: (2,000+8,000) * 3 (clear time multiplier) * 2 (orbs found multiplier) * 3 (difficulty multiplier) = 180,000 Points. Devil Hunter Rank S: failed.

Other than an example, this is also to point out that scoring on higher difficulties the same amount of stylish points you score on easier difficulties isn't good (in the example "you" would score more on Dante Must Die, but 8,000 would still not be enough), because enemies are supposed to last longer and earn you more points as an obvious consequence. Don't worry though: if you can get enough stylish points to S-Rank a mission on Human, you will most likely be able to do the same on Dante Must Die.

For most of the missions on Human mode you will have to achieve S on time, S on orbs and the No Item bonus. For Devil Hunter and Son of Sparda modes you will have to achieve S on time, S on orbs and possibly No Item bonus. On Dante Must Die you can usually afford "throwing away" the No Item bonus, thus basing your entire score only on S on time/orbs and many stylish points.
Of course you're free to attempt different approaches to get the S-Ranks, but the ones suggested should fit anyone's skills, provided you're willing to practise.

Achievements List

As explained in the first page of the walkthrough, the achievements are quite particular and you can't find their description in the Devil May Cry 4 main page. Below they will be grouped and described with the official description. Quick memo: Son of Sparda is unlocked by beating the game on Devil Hunter; Dante Must Die is unlocked by beating the game on Son of Sparda; Heaven or Hell is unlocked by beating the game on Son of Sparda; Hell and Hell is unlocked by beating the game on Dante Must Die. The Bloody Palace is unlocked by beating the game on Devil Hunter, and the difficulty of the enemies of the Bloody Palace is set on Son of Sparda.

Story mode achievements: there are achievements for completing the game on the several (six) modes, and there are usually two achievements per each mode (one for clearing Mission 11, and the other for clearing Mission 20, the last one).

A Comfortable Place - Clear mission 11 in Human Mode.
Easy Does It - Clear all missions in Human Mode.
Half Way There - Clear mission 11 in Devil Hunter Mode.
Done and Done - Clear all missions in Devil Hunter Mode.
Rock and a Hard Place - Clear mission 11 in Son of Sparda Mode.
Hardly A Simple Task - Clear all missions in Son of Sparda Mode.
Easier Said Than Done - Clear mission 11 in Dante Must Die Mode.
All Bow Before You - Clear all missions in Dante Must Die Mode.
Step into the Light - Clear all missions in Heaven or Hell Mode.
Tonight, We Dine in Hell - Clear all missions in Hell and Hell Mode.

S-Ranking story mode achievements: there are four achievements for S-Ranking all the 20 missions on all the four main difficulties. One achievement is for your first mission S-Ranked.

Simply Spectacular - Complete a mission with an S ranking.
The Best of the Rest - Clear all missions in Human Mode with an S ranking.
A Cut Above - Clear all missions in Devil Hunter Mode with an S ranking.
A Stunning Feat - Clear all missions in Son of Sparda Mode with an S ranking.
Never Say Die - Clear all missions in Dante Must Die Mode with an S ranking.

Completing game modes also nets a couple of generic achievements, and clearing the 12 secret missions nets another achievement.

A Throne of Glory - Clear all game modes.
This includes the six modes of the story (Human, Devil Hunter, Son of Sparda, Dante Must Die, Heaven or Hell, Hell and Hell) and the Bloody Palace. It comes automatically as you go for other achievements.
Speak of the Devil - Clear the game with Super Nero (Dante).
Clear the game means complete Mission 20. It's likely to come naturally as you complete Hell and Hell, because you will probably use Super Nero on Mission 20 (as well as Super Nero/Super Dante for the other missions).
Nothing Left Unsaid - Clear all secret missions.

Bloody Palace offers 101 stages, and every 10 stages you earn an achievement. Clearing it with an S Rank also earns you another achievement.

The First Circle - Clear stage 10 of Bloody Palace Mode.
The Second Circle - Clear stage 20 of Bloody Palace Mode.
The Third Circle - Clear stage 30 of Bloody Palace Mode.
The Fourth Circle - Clear stage 40 of Bloody Palace Mode.
The Fifth Circle - Clear stage 50 of Bloody Palace Mode.
The Sixth Circle - Clear stage 60 of Bloody Palace Mode.
The Seventh Circle - Clear stage 70 of Bloody Palace Mode.
The Eight Circle - Clear stage 80 of Bloody Palace Mode.
The Ninth Circle - Clear stage 90 of Bloody Palace Mode.
Covered in Blood - Clear all Bloody Palace Mode stages.
King of the Palace - Clear all Bloody Palace Mode stages with an S ranking.

Lastly there are collectibles/grinding achievements, and three achievements for reaching a particularly high style meter in the game (the latter are bound to come naturally as you play). There are also two achievements for extending the life and devil gauge to the max capacity, as well as purchasing every skill of both the characters (Nero and Dante). For the collectibles you will need to defeat a total of 10,000 enemies, get a total of 1,000,000 Proud Souls, get a total of 1,000,000 Red Orbs, and have the maximum amount of each item at once.

Smokin'! - Complete a Stylish Rank S (Smokin'!) combo.
Smokin' Style!! - Complete a Stylish Rank SS (Smokin' Style!!) combo.
Smokin' Sick Style!!! - Complete a Stylish Rank SSS (Smokin' Sick Style!!!) combo.

Modus Vivendi - Extend the Vitality Gauge to maximum capacity.
You need to get all the 14 Blue Orbs for this: there are 32 fragments (each worth 1/4 of blue orb) available in story mode (some found in the dungeons, others given as reward for completing a secret mission or beating the "combat adjudicators"; you'll know about them as you play), for a total of 8 Blue Orbs, and 6 Blue Orbs can be purchased in the Item Shop; their cost will increase as you buy them (the first costs 3,000 Red Orbs, the second 5,000, then 10,000, 15,000, 30,000, 50,000) for a total of 113,000 Red Orbs.
Bat Out of Hell - Extend the Devil Trigger Gauge to maximum capacity.
You need to get all 7 Purple Orbs for this: they are all only for sale at the Item Shop; their cost will increase as you buy them (from the first to the seventh, they cost 2,500 Red Orbs, 4,500, 8,000, 13,000, 20,000, 30,000, 50,000) for a total of 128,000 Red Orbs.
For both these achievements you need to end any Mission to unlock them, after fulfilling the requirements.

River of Red - Acquire 10,000 Red Orbs.
Your Cup Runeth Over - Acquire 100,000 Red Orbs.
Red Orb Millionaire - Acquire 1,000,000 Red Orbs.
Red Orb Statues are your best way to get Red Orbs; there are some at the beginning of some Missions; in particular, on Mission 03 and 07 there is a Red Orb Statue just as you start; on Mission 07 there are also other Red Orbs to get by quickly destroying 7 eggs in a trunk, but on Mission 03 there are also 3 Scarecrows you can kill to work on your 10,000 kills (play this mission on Heaven or Hell to instantly defeat them). You will get 1,000,000 Red Orbs far before the 10,000 Enemies Killed. Keep in mind that the Red Orb Statue will self-destruct after a few seconds from your first hit, regardless of how much you hit it afterward: your Red Orb income is proportional to how much you smash it, and therefore you want to hit the statue as much as possible before it breaks down. To make it more effective, use Super Characters and activate the Devil Trigger to smash more than usual.
Another important note is that the Red Orbs you spend are counted for the million, and therefore you don't have to hold 1,000,000 orbs at once: if you have, say, 600,000 Red Orbs, and you spent 400,000 Red Orbs for items, you already have the 1,000,000 required for the achievement. For this reason, there's no need to avoid purchasing Purple and Blue Orbs to get "Red Orb Millionaire" more quickly, because those you spend are still counted.
Remember to complete any Mission to unlock the achievement after fulfilling the requirements.

Filled with Pride - Acquire 10,000 Proud Souls.
Brimming with Pride - Acquire 100,000 Proud Souls.
Proud Millionaire - Acquire 1,000,000 Proud Souls.
Proud Souls are only obtained by "completing" missions. Actually, if you quit/restart a mission, you will also earn Proud Souls according to what happened in that mission until the point where you quit. In particular, Proud Souls are 3% of the Devil Hunter Points you earn at the end of a mission, but if you quit a mission before it ends, the game will still (luckly) calculate your score, and although it won't show you that directly, it will reward you with the Proud Souls you earned until then. For this reason, the fastest way to earn Proud Souls is to start Mission 09 on Dante Must Die difficulty; break the objects on the "bridge" where you start (there are ten items as you go) and fight against the first group of enemies: 1x Alto Angelo and 3x Bianco Angelos. Wait until they send the energy ball at you, and send it back with a Lv 3 Charged Shot. This will all be more clear when you go and do this, don't worry if you don't know what a charged shot or what their "energy ball" is right now. After sending it back, they should be all dead; if they are not, finish off the survivors. This should earn you a lot of stylish points (the energy ball sent back nets you immediately an SSS rank most of the times), so you can just restart the mission and get your Proud Souls in the process. Try also not to take damage, because the No Damage bonus is worth 1.5x on your score and, therefore, on your Proud Souls.
An alternative stage is also Mission 19, but it's not so easy to get SSS by sending the energy ball back because the group on Mission 19 is made of 4x Bianco Angelos and for some reason you usually get only a B rank for sending the energy ball back. Some people also suggest to play the Bloody Palace over and over again until you finally reach the million; see what fits best for you, but I would go with Mission 09 all the way since the Bloody Palace earns decent points only if you complete it; should you die before completing it (even if you die on level 101), you would get only like a third of its score, and a third of Proud Souls as a consequence. Not advisable, since you also need to sit there for more than an hour before being able to save the progress, but that's up to you.
As it was for the Reb Orbs, the Proud Souls spent are counted for the million, and you also have to complete a Mission to unlock the achievement after fulfilling the requirements.

Rookie Devil Hunter - Defeat a total of 100 enemies.
Skilled Devil Hunter - Defeat a total of 1,000 enemies.
Legendary Devil Hunter - Defeat a total of 10,000 enemies.
Heaven or Hell kills work for this achievement, although some people suggest playing the Bloody Palace over and over again. Heaven or Hell = one-shot-kill; Bloody Palace = Son of Sparda mode. Is there really a choice? To give you some reference, by the time you S-Rank missions on the four main difficulties and complete the game on Heaven or Hell, Hell and Hell, and the Bloody Palace, you should have about 6,000 kills, calculating that you have probably replayed missions on Human about three times each before succeeding in the S-Rank. More if you had problems with S-Ranking missions, less if you succeeded on your first tries. That's the average anyway. After doing everything else in the game, if you haven't unlocked this achievement yet, play Mission 12 on Heaven or Hell and open the slaughterhouse of Scarecrows. You can defeat the 8 Scarecrows in the first room, then exit the room and enter it again for 8 more Scarecrows; exit and enter again for the last 8 Scarecrows; then exit the room, defeat the 3 Mega Scarecrows and restart the mission (no need to end it to update your statistics), for a total of 27 enemies each run (each run lasts about a minute or less). Remember to complete any mission to unlock the achievement after fulfilling its requirements (you can't know how many enemies you've routed, so just complete Mission 01 (on Heaven or Hell is quicker) every 20-30 minutes when you feel you're close to 10,000 kills).

Item Collector - Acquire a maximum number of all items.
On your playthroughs on the four main modes of the story (Human, Devil Hunter, Son of Sparda, Dante Must Die) you will be able to collect items in specific locations, listed in the walkthrough. On each of your first playthrough on these modes you will find 5x Vital Star S, 1x Vital Star M, 2x Devil Star S, 3x Holy Water, 4x Gold Orb. The rest must be purchased. The items you consume do NOT count towards the total: you must have all the items maxed out at once (you have to get 30 of each the Vital Star S/M/L, 10 of Devil Star S and Devil Star L, 30 Holy Waters, the 6 Blue Orbs of the shop, the 7 Purple Orbs of the shop, and 3 Gold Orbs. Some can be maxed out even just with the items found on the missions, but for the most you will need to spend Red Orbs, and a lot of them. It's not a bad idea to go after this achievement before playing Dante Must Die mode, especially if you plan on using a lot of healing items to survive.
Skill Collector - Nero - Acquire all of Nero's skills.
Skill Collector - Dante - Acquire all of Dante's skills.
It takes 290,400 Proud Souls to purchase all Dante's Skills and 290,450 Proud Souls to purchase all Nero's Skills. The Proud Souls spent to purchase the skills of the one are not spent to purchase the skills of the other one, so you can purchase all the skills of Nero and Dante at once as soon as you have 290,450 Proud Souls. You will have this amount far before finishing with S-Ranking missions. As usual, finish any mission to unlock the achievements once the requirements are fulfilled.

The two playable characters of the game, Nero and Dante, have many different abilities and strengths. Story mode doesn't allow you to choose your fighter, but the Bloody Palace does. Knowing how they both work and how they can deal with the enemies is key to getting through the hardest modes, and it will allow you to make the correct choice when you tackle the Bloody Palace challenge.

In this page you will find a list of skills for each character, with some suggestions on their usage, and then a break-down on the enemies fought both as Nero and as Dante (there's only one enemy of the game which doesn't appear in the Bloody Palace). This page is just a more detailed explanation of some aspects of the game, but nothing you absolutely "must" read. My suggestion is to test in-game all the Skills you learn, as you learn them, to see how they look like and how they work on the enemies; take your time to read this page only if you are stuck on something or you want a generic overview on the moves of the characters (Dante's skillset can be confusing at first, and you may underestimate some attacks).

Remember that there are achievements for getting all the skills of Nero's and Dante's, which will take a bit less than 300,000 Proud Souls. Proud Souls are acquired by playing the game. In particular, they are 3% of your Devil Hunter Points scored in a mission.

Skills which can be purchased will be preceeded by this symbol: * .

Nero

Nero has three main offensive weapons: Red Queen (the sword), Blue Rose (the gun), Busters (his arm). The default controls assign the Red Queen to Y, the Blue Rose to X and the Busters to B, but it's highly advisable to set the gun on RT to be able to fire and charge your shots at the same time as you're fighting/jumping.

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Red Queen has simple and effective combos which can suit every situation of the game.

Red Queen Combo A: default combo, just four swings of the sword; it's not bad at all, and some enemies will be knocked back after the fourth hit. Input: YYYY.

* Red Queen Combo B: not the best one of all, because it's rather slow and not powerful enough to compensate for it. It's probably the only combo you won't use. Inputs: Y, pause, Y, pause, YYY... (tap the last Y)

* Red Queen Combo C: great combo on the ground, it's useful in about any circumstance since Nero will make large circles in the air with his sword, damaging all the nearby enemies. Inputs: YY, pause, YYYY.

Red Queen Combo D: just a variant of Red Queen Combo A, nothing special. Inputs: YYY, pause, Y.

Aerial Combo: a good regular combo. Inputs: (while in the air) YYY.

* Roulette Spin: your best aerial attack, it's very useful when you throw an enemy in the air and it's also very useful against about every boss of the game except the boss of Mission 08. Nero will make a couple of hits in the air, and then a strong circular swing going upwards. This technique also allows you to reach higher heights, and as a matter of fact it will be suggested to reach some locations unreachable if you could have only jumped. Inputs: (while in the air) YY, pause, Y.

* Exceed 2: see Exceed 3.

* Exceed 3: this and the previous ability are passive skills, which enable you to use respectively two and three bars of your Exceed gauge instantly to maximize the damage of some attacks such as High Roller and Streak. They are both very useful since they increase your offensive output a lot.

High Roller: another great attack. It launches the enemies in the air from the ground and also sends you in the air, allowing you to follow this attack with Roulette Spin or other attacks. Its "Exceeded" version with three Ex-gauges is great and will send you in the air even higher than a jump could do, allowing you to reach some particular locations in the dungeons. Inputs: RB+LS_Backward+Y.

Ex High Roller: it's the exceeded version of High Roller I was mentioning a couple of lines earlier. Same inputs as High Roller, but with one or more Exceed Gauges; the more gauges, the stronger the attack and the higher the height you can reach. Make sure to hold all the buttons until the end of the move; if you release them, you won't use its full power.

* Streak: with this powerful attack, Nero will dash forward with his sword and swing at the front line of enemies in front of him. This attack is excellent and powerful, especially when upgraded with Streak 2 and Ex Streak. A Lv 3 Ex Streak is a devastating attack. Input: RB+LS_Forward+Y. Top priority skill.

* Streak 2: a stronger version of Streak.

Ex Streak: it's the exceeded version of Streak (2). Same inputs as Streak, but with one or more Exceed Gauges; the more gauges, the stronger the attack and the longer the distance you will cover while swinging the sword in a burst of flames clearing your way.

* Split: you can consider this as the opposite of High Roller, because from the air you will splat an enemy to the ground. It's simple to perform and can sometimes guard-break enemies. Inputs: (while in the air) RB+LS_Forward+Y. Top priority skill.

Double Down: they could call this one "Ex Split", because it's the exceeded version of Split. Same inputs as Split, but with one or more Exceed Gauges; the more gauges, the stronger the attack and the wider the range of the shockwave you create when you stab the sword in the ground.

* Calibur: not a top priority skill, but it can really help against some enemies (many bosses too) since it's a sort of "aerial Streak". It helps epecially against the bosses of Mission 11 and Mission 20, since they will try to run away from you (and they float in the air) and you can reach them more quickly with this attack. Not very useable against regular enemies (which rarely float), but good for bosses. Inputs: RB+LS_Backward_to_Forward+Y.

Ex Calibur: it's the exceeded version of Calibur. Same inputs as Calibur, but with one or more Exceed Gauges; the more gauges, the stronger the attack.

* Shuffle: if used correctly, it can become a good attack on higher difficulties since it allows to back-step and counter an enemy's attack; if not used correctly, you will trigger wrong combos and probably get into troubles. Inputs: RB+LS_Backward_To_Forward+Y.

Ex Shuffle: it's the exceeded version of Shuffle. Same inputs as Shuffle, but with one or more Exceed Gauges; the more gauges, the stronger the attack and the further the landing point of the enemy after the attack.

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Blue Rose is an extremely powerful gun. Not so good with Normal Shots, but deadly with Charge Shots.

* Charge Shot: hold your fire button to charge, and Nero's arm will glow blue/light-purple. This is a stronger shot than the regular ones, but not very powerful.

* Charge Shot 2: hold your fire button to charge and keep it held to continue the charge after the first charge, and Nero's arm will glow even stronger with a more intense purple color. This is a very strong shot which will knock back most of the enemies, besides dealing a lot of damage.

* Charge Shot 3: hold your fire button even longer to charge it to the max; Nero's arm will glow red. This is the ultimate charged shot, which always knocks back the regular enemies, and can even block the attacks of bosses sometimes. There's not a single situation where you can't make good use of this shot, because it also gives a lot of Style Meter boost (you usually rank up of a whole meter for this shot). Its damage will also be dealt in two different moments (each with a stunning effect on the enemies): one when the shot impacts on the enemy, and another one from the explosion of the bullet inside the enemy. When shot on a group of enemies, it can even damage those near your main target.

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Devil Bringer is Nero's arm, and it will be useful to move in the arenas and fight the enemies.

Buster: simply by pressing B near an enemy, you will perform a Buster. Busters are attacks which differ from enemy to enemy, and their power is very strong. Not all the enemies can be bustered all the time; for example, bosses can only be bustered after being stunned, and enemies like the Mephistos and Fausts can't be bustered in their "phantom-like" form. In these cases, busters will not trigger the typical animation of the move, but they will still deal some damage to the shield which is protecting the enemies (not allowing you to land a "real" Buster). For instance, just about the Mephistos and Fausts, you can take off their cloak very quickly by using busters on them; against Angelo enemies, a buster on their shield will heavily damage it. Sometimes you can mash some buttons to increase the damage of the animation (for example, tap B while bustering Echidna).

Devil Buster: the animation of a buster will change if you perform it while in Devil Mode (with the Devil Trigger activated). Other than a change in the appearance, the busters will also be more powerful and deadly. The most noticeable case is a buster against Dante, which can normally be blocked by your enemy; a Devil Buster can't be blocked.

Snatch: this is a virtual extension of the arm, and allows you to grab some enemies and bring them to you (this also knocks them on their back). The effect of a snatch is different on some bigger enemies (bosses, but not only them), because you will use the enemy as a grip to quickly reach them by using the arm as a sort of spring becoming shorter to reach them. This also won't knock them on their backs. The range of a snatch changes with the following upgrades. You can also use snatches to grab some blue grips to proceed in specific arenas. The use of this ability is story related, and you will first learn to use it on Mission 02. Input: RB+LS_Forward+B.

* Snatch 2: a Snatch with longer range.

* Snatch 3: a Snatch with even longer range.

Devil Snatch: it's a Snatch performed in Devil Mode. It isn't more powerful, but it can grab more enemies at once. This is probably the least useful bonus given when you activate Devil Trigger.

Hell Bound: a Snatch performed on blue grips (Grim Grips) to move in the arenas. Input: RB+LS_Forward+B.

Hold: this move is available after clearing Mission 08, which earns you the item you need to learn it. You have to press B like if you wanted to do a buster, but instead of just pressing B, hold it to keep the enemy grabbed in front of you and use him as a shield. The only concrete use you will make of this ability is clearing Secret Mission 03, which requires you to raise your style meter without damaging the enemies with your attacks. Other than that, since the enemies can also escape from your Hold (especially stronger enemies), nobody will ever use it in a "real" fight.

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Yamato is the special power obtained when you first beat a mini-boss fight on Mission 06.

Devil Trigger: press LB to enter Devil Mode. With a spirit on your side, you will deal more damage while depleting the Devil Gauge. It's not a good idea to use it if you don't need it to significantly increase your damage (for example, when an enemy is stunned or when you want to buster a powerful enemy, that'd be a good chance to use Devil Trigger; a group of simple Scarecrows is not a good moment to use your precious Devil energy). Activating this mode requires at least 3 gauges of the Devil Gauge filled. You can extend the number of gauges by purchasing the Purple Orbs in the Item Shop. Fighting enemies and taking damage will recover your Devil Gauge: the higher the damage/style meter with which you defeat the enemies, the higher the recovery of the gauge.
When using the Devil Trigger you will create a short-ranged shockwave around you, which knocks back most of the regular enemies, dealing little damage to them. The shockwave also gives you invincibility frames, and if you can time exactly the use of Devil Trigger when an attack is about to land on you, you will come out of it without taking damage.
Other than using it in dangerous situations, it's particularly useful for Devil Busters on bosses and also in a boss fight (the one of Mission 08), if the enemy summons a bunch of swords around you (activating the Devil Trigger will instantly destroy them).

*Trigger Heart: passive skill which reduces the amount of Devil Gauge consumed while you have the Devil Trigger activated. Useful.

Summoned Swords: additional attack when you use the gun. While not very powerful, it helps the style meter. If you use a simple bullet, a single sword will be thrown at the enemy; if you use a Charged Shot, two swords will be thrown at the enemy; Lv 2 Charged Shot = four swords; Lv 3 Charged Shot = six swords. You can "fire" the summoned swords even if you're in the middle of an animation (for example, you can release the gun-charge button while performing a Devil Buster to unleash the swords for extra style). A concrete use of them is also to block the enemies from doing anything (while being hit by the swords, they will stand still), buying you time, for example, to charge attacks such as Showdown.

* Maximum Bet: a powerful ranged attack which can also be charged if you hold the buttons before releasing the hit. Not very useful for the average player, but in some situations you can really take advantage of this attack to deal damage or knock back a large group of enemies at once, provided you have enough time to charge and release the attack. It's a memorable attack against Berial, since he's a big-sized enemy which you can easily hit even if you take your time to charge, and using a couple of this attacks can take down his flames instantly even on higher difficulties. Inputs: RB+LS_Backward+Y+B.

* Showdown: an extremely powerful set of combos in short range. It takes a while to charge and release it, and is therefore best used in two circumstances. One is if a boss is stunned, and the other is against Faust enemies (when they have lost their cloak). For the first of the two, you can actually take advantage of the stunning moment to use a Devil Buster instead, which lands more easily and is more rewarding than Showdown, besides being safer. For the second one, Showdown is just perfect: as soon as the Faust is on the ground in his "spider" form, you can charge Showdown in front of him and release the gun button while you charge Showdown; releasing the gun button won't make you shoot if you release it while loading a move (and you want to release it while loading Showdown), but it will unleash the Summoned Swords which will stab the Faust continuously, preventing him from moving away from you.

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Abilities of Nero include various dodges. There are several useful abilities you will want to make your life much easier.

Side Roll: dodge an attack by using RB+LS_Left/Right+A.

* Table Hopper: dodge an attack by using RB+LS_Left/Right+A just before it lands; then you can counter.

* Table Hopper 2: after a Table Hopper, press RB+LS+A to continue dodging.

* Table Hopper 3: better version of Table Hopper 2. All the Table Hopper abilities are pretty much useless, since you need a perfect timing and you will probably just Jump when you want to dodge.

Kick Jump: after jumping on a wall, press A to jump again from where you first landed. This allows you to reach higher locations.

* Speed: hold LS in the same direction to have Nero start running. You can change the direction of your run only with slight movements: move LS too far from its position in the moment when you triggered Speed, and Nero will stop sprinting and start running again normally. They probably should have just let us trigger the sprint-run with a button, since triggering it only after some seconds of holding LS in the same exact direction isn't effective at all.

* MAX-Act: a more powerful version of a default ability you have. By pressing LT after using any attack of the Red Queen, you can instantly reload a bar of the Exceed Gauge; with MAX-Act, if your timing is perfect, you will reload all the three gauges of the Exceed Gauge at once. It's useful (not a top priority, but it becomes even more useful on higher difficulties).

Rainbow: while you are sprinting (that is when Speed is triggered), press Back to jump on an enemy's face. You will hardly use this, but on some Missions you may foresee the enemies spawning (for example on Mission 03, against some Frosts spawned on the Central Courtyard upper area) and therefore you may be Speed-running by the time you reach them.

* Get more orbs: this is a great passive skill which automatically collects the orbs you gain (from enemies or shooting items, even if you shoot objects from the furthest possible distance). It won't collect the "free" red orbs in the area automatically, nor it will collect the secret orbs for you, but all the orbs that you can "create" by killing enemies or destroying objects will automatically be added to your profile. It's a very useful skill, but since you can collect the orbs more "manually", it takes a bit less priority than other important active skills.

* Enemy Step: another quite useless ability; press A to use the enemies' bodies as a stepping stone to perform another jump.

* Air Hike: this allows you to make a double jump with Nero. After jumping with A once, jump again in the air with A again, summoning a stepping stone in the air to go higher. It's an excellent ability. Top priority skill.

Dante

Dante is a much more complicated character to use and master, and his abilities include five different styles, three main weapons and three guns (you start with four styles, one weapon and two guns). To change style you use the D-Pad in specific directions; to change main weapon you use RT; to change gun you use LT. Leave the controls as they are by default.

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Styles

The combination of style and weapons (main and gun) changes the effect of the inputs of B and similar commands. You can upgrade the level of your Styles to increase the amount of skills and combos you can do with B. All those skills which are not Level 1 will require the purchase of upgrades in the shop, such as Style Level Up 2/3/4 (you need these three upgrades for each style except Dark Slayer).

Trickster

To select this style you have to press D-Pad_Up. It's a defensive style which allows you to easily dodge the attacks with dashes giving you invincibility frames. Sometimes this also allows you to reach locations which would normally be out of your reach. It's a good idea to upgrade it to Style Level 3 as soon as possible to unlock Sky Star.

Dash (Trickster Level 1): press LS_Forward+B to dash forward. Simple but also very useful.

Mustand (Trickster Level 2): after dashing towards an enemy, hold B to use him as a stepping stone to jump. You will probably use dashes especially to defend, so this isn't very useful.

Flipper (Trickster Level 2): after being knocked down, press B for a quick flip back to recover.

Sky Star (Trickster Level 3): an aerial dash; while in the air, press LS_Forward+B. Very useful.

Air Trick (Trickster Level 4): a vanishing move performed by pressing RB+LS_Forward+B. Not very useful to be honest.

Royal Guard

To select this style you have to press D-Pad_Down. It's an even more defensive style which allows you to completely block the attacks of enemies, filling up the "Royal Gauge" (displayed below the "style circle" in the upper left corner of the screen; it fills with a yellow bar as you accumulate Blocks) in the process. The higher the level of Royal Guard, the bigger the Royal Gauge. You can use the accumulated energy of the Royal Gauge to attack enemies or to create a super powerful armor which will deplete your Royal Gauge (a sort of Devil Trigger which doesn't give extra offensive powers, but guarantees a great armor). Mastering this style is very hard, since you need a perfect timing to make a perfect Royal Block instead than a regular Block. If you want to upgrade this style a bit, stop at Style Level 2, because there's nothing interesting on level 3/4.

Block (Royal Guard Level 1): press and hold B on the ground to guard against enemies' attacks. You will take some damage, but only a small amount; you will also fill the Royal Gauge as you receive damage.

Royal Block (Royal Guard Level 1): press B on the ground exactly when an enemy's attack lands on you to take no damage from it and greatly increase the Royal Gauge.

Release (Royal Guard Level 1): press RB+LS_Forward+B on the ground to attack an enemy with the energy stored in the Royal Gauge. The more the energy stored, the stronger the attack.

Royal Release (Royal Guard Level 1): press RB+LS_Forward+B on the ground exactly when an enemy's attack lands on you to counter and deal massive damage using the energy stored in the Royal Gauge.

Air Block (Royal Guard Level 2): press and hold B in the air to guard against enemies' attacks. You will take some damage, but only a small amount; you will also fill the Royal Gauge as you receive damage.

Air Release (Royal Guard Level 2): press RB+LS_Forward+B in the air to attack an enemy with the energy stored in the Royal Gauge. The more the energy stored, the stronger the attack.

Dreadnaught (Royal Guard Level 4): press RB+LS_Backward+B on the ground to create a perfect armor to guard against any hit. While in this condition, you're less aggressive but you won't be damaged. The Royal Gauge depletes as you are in this form, until it's completely deplenished and you will return normal.

There are no extra skills for Royal Guard Level 3, which is only a bit useful to increase the royal gauge if you really care.

Gunslinger

Gunslinger's attacks with B will change according to the gun you're using. Increasing the level of Gunslinger also increases the length of the Disaster Gauge for the Pandora (it's between the two health gauges and fills with a purple color).

Gunslinger with Ebony & Ivory

Twosome Time (Gunslinger Level 1): press B and direct the shots with LS; quite useless.

Rain Storm (Gunslinger Level 2): while in the air, press B for massive shots on the enemies below you. It's a fashionable and powerful attack, and with a charged Ebony & Ivory it can make really quick work of the darkness cloaks of Mephistos and Fausts.

Honeycomb Fire (Gunslinger Level 4): after Twosome Time (which was LS_Forward+B), release LS and tap B for an incredible fast shooting which devastates the enemies. If you can aim this properly on Mephistos/Fausts, with a charged Ebony & Ivory, it's excellent to take down their darkness cloaks.

Gunslinger with Coyote-A

Fireworks (Gunslinger Level 1): press B on the ground to make multiple shots around you. You can also direct the shots with LS, but you will pretty much hit everywhere in 270° from your position (only part of your back will not be shot). It's a decent ability to break lot of items in a room and save some seconds (for example in the Grand Hall of Fortuna Castle, for the many chairs in the area), and is also good to take off the darkness cloaks of Mephistos and Fausts. It is one of the few moves which can knock down a Frost even on Dante Must Die.

Fireworks Air (Gunslinger Level 2): press B in the air to make multiple shots around you. It's even better than Fireworks on the ground for the darkness cloaks of the Mephistos and Fausts, since these enemies usually float and therefore will get hit more if you shoot around you in the air.

Backslide (Gunslinger Level 3): press RB+LS_Backward+B to shoot the enemies behind you. It has a bad accuracy and low power, and is not a good move.

Gun Stinger (Gunslinger Level 4): press RB+LS_Forward+B to "stinger" the enemies with the gunshot. It's quite a funny move, but it's not outstanding for its power. It can also be used to stun Frosts on Dante Must Die (or lower) difficulties, and if you're quick at changing style to Swordmaster when you manage to knock them down, you have a perfect chance for a Distorted Real Impact (especially if you manage to corner them).

Gunslinger with Pandora (the Pandora is obtained after finishing Mission 15 for the first time)

PF594: Argument (Gunslinger Level 1): press B to transform the Pandora in a hovering machine which can fire missiles with X and fly for some distance. While doing this, the Disaster Gauge will deplenish.

PF422: Grief (Gunslinger Level 3): press RB+LS_Backward+B to throw the Pandora box as a boomerang. This attack is weak and not worth using at all. While doing this, the Disaster Gauge will also deplenish, making it a quite counter-producing move.

PF666: Omen (Gunslinger Level 4): press RB+LS_Forward+B to shine the area around you (it has a large range) and massively damage the enemies if you have a full Disaster Gauge. Regardless of the gauge, this move instantly takes off the darkness cloaks of Mephistos and Fausts on any difficulty, but unfortunately Dante wastes a few instants before recovering from the animation of using Omen, and this may give them enough time to run away from you. It's still a great move, especially if you have a good chance to use it against Fausts on Son of Sparda/Dante Must Die modes.

Swordmaster

Swordmaster is the most complex style, and it can also change according to the main weapon you are using.

Swordmaster with Rebellion

Prop (Swordmaster Level 1): on the ground, press B to rotate the sword and send most of the enemies in the air. This is a simple and excellent move to buy time against some enemies and prepare them for Real Impact (they land just in front of you). Some enemies won't be thrown in the air at first (for example, the Alto Angelos), but if you try few more times you will finally send them in the air. It's a very important move to always keep in mind.

Shredder (Swordmaster Level 1): after Prop, press and hold B to rotate the sword again in the opposite way, for a longer time than "Prop". This will keep the enemy mid-air in front of you, and he will get a lot of hits by your Rebellion. It's a quite good move, although not the best one.

Aerial Rave (Swordmaster Level 2): in the air, press BBBB to make an aerial combo with the Rebellion. You may have noticed how Dante lacks in default aerial combos (unlike Nero), because pressing Y in the air results in a Helm Breaker; this is your only way to perform aerial combos with the Rebellion, and it's a good skill to keep in mind for extra combos after sending enemies in the air.

Drive (Swordmaster Level 3): on the ground, press RB+LS_Backward+B to charge a devastating projectile attack with the Rebellion. Hold the buttons to charge the attack and increase the damage dealt to the enemies. When extended with Over Drive, this move will guarantee you an extremely high style meter bonus, as well as very good damage. It's best used after knocking down the enemies (for example with the gunshot or with Prop), so you have enough time to aim and charge properly.

Quick Drive (Swordmaster Level 3): on the ground, press B+Y to make a slash and then a quick drive (it's literally what it's named after); it's a less powerful attack than Drive and can't be charged. Usually not very good, but in some situations you may want to deal some extra damage without having to wait for a charged attack.

Over Drive (Swordmaster Level 3): after unleashing a Drive attack, tap B to add up to two Drive attacks. It's amazing, powerful, and will increase your style meter like crazy. It's almost always a good choice.

Dance Macabre (Swordmaster Level 4): with the only input of RB+LS_Forward+B (you can change the direction of your target by moving LS_Forward_another_enemy if you need to) continued by tapping B, Dante will start a long combo on the ground, which ends with a terrifying hit of a "charged" Rebellion. This combo is almost perfect, and its only downsides are that some enemies are able to sneak out of it, and you have a "cool down" period after the last and most powerful hit. Other than this, using it whenever you want is a great way to easily increase your style meter and deal massive damage to enemies. The best part is probably that this combo can't kill an enemy if you don't end it. This means that if you target a Scarecrow who is already almost dead, and use this combo on him, his health won't drop down to 0 until you perform the last hit of the combo (the most powerful one). This means that you can keep smashing the Scarecrow with all the hits of Dance Macabre and raise your style meter against him "for free", and it's a very good thing. If you're getting surrounded by other enemies while the hits of your combo are being performed, you can try to move LS_Forward those enemies surrounding you to stop attacking your first target and attack the other ones instead, thus stunning them and being able to end the combo and damage everyone.

Swordmaster with Gilgamesh (the Gilgamesh is obtained after finishing Mission 13 for the first time)

Shock! (Swordmaster Level 1): on the ground, press B to smash the ground with a fist and create a small shockwave around you. Not a very good move, but sometimes it may help for crowd control purposes. You can hold B to deal extra damage on a wider area with a charged attack.

Shocking! (Swordmaster Level 1): in the air, press B to smash the ground with a fist and create a small shockwave around you. This is a nice "landing" after jumping away to gain some free space from enemies, and you will probably use this one more than "Shock!".

Beast Uppercut (Swordmaster Level 2): on the ground, press RB+LS_Forward+B for a powerful attack which sends the enemy in the air. This can be a perfect opening for Real Impact attacks, although you will prefer Prop (of the Rebellion supported by Swordmaster) when enemies can also be thrown in the air by that (Frosts, for instance, can't be thrown in the air with Prop, but can be thrown in the air by Beast Uppercut if you try 2-3 times).

Rising Dragon (Swordmaster Level 3): while performing a Beast Uppercut, hold the buttons to charge and release an even more powerful attack.

Divine Dragon (Swordmaster Level 3): while performing a Beast Uppercut, hold the buttons even longer to charge even more and release an attack which can easily result deadly. To properly have time to charge, using a Prop to send the enemy in the air before charging is advisable.

Real Impact (Swordmaster Level 4): the most powerful attack is performed with RB+LS_Backward+B. This attack can be distorted (see General hints and tips) for extreme damage. It takes a few instants before attacking, but you can always use Prop to send the enemy in the air and then give him a Real Impact (or, why not, multiple Real Impacts in a row since you will send them in the air again). This is another amazing attack and it will probably be your main offense against Alto Angelos, Bianco Angelos, Blitzes, possibly also Frosts (if you learn how to target them with it) and bosses. Unfortunately on some enemies it's hard to connect all the hits, and the Blitzes are one of those. It's very possible to land a "complete" Real Impact on them, but you need to stand in the correct position (and since they move a lot, it's not very easy). Anyway, this doesn't mean that you can't try at least.

Swordmaster with Lucifer (the Lucifer is obtained after finishing Mission 16 for the first time)

Discipline (Swordmaster Level 1): press B to teleport all the stingers in the air (that is to say, those which are not staggering an enemy) in front of you, and automatically send them straight in front of you; you can direct the attack with LS. Nothing special, it's in fact a toned down version of Bondage. You can hold down B to keep the stingers in front of you as you walk around, and then release when ready.

Climax (Swordmaster Level 2): press RB+LS_Backward+B to teleport all the stingers in the air around you and detonate them automatically after few instants. Not a very good skill either, but it can be a gread crowd controller if you manage to get the most out of it. You will probably not use it anyway.

Bondage (Swordmaster Level 4): press RB+LS_Forward+B to send all the stingers in the air against the enemy you're targeting. This is a great way to attack enemies from a good safety distance, and it's a must-remember attack if you're using the Lucifer. You can also hold B with this attack, but it's usually a better idea to send the stingers on the enemy as soon as possible. Also, if you hold B, this time the stingers won't follow you and won't go (when you release B) in the current position of the enemy; they register the position of the enemy and will head where he first was when you first touched the buttons for this attack, so unless the enemy is standing still it's not a good idea to hold it. An exception can be bosses like Berial, since they start far away from you and you may want to hold B until they are close enough as to be reached by Bondage (which has a long, but limited range), but even in those cases you can simply wait to use Bondage directly when they're close enough. Anyway.

Dark Slayer

This style is unlocked as you begin Mission 18 for the first time. You have to press the D-Pad twice in the same direction (for example, D-Pad_Up+D-Pad_Up); the first input of D-Pad will change, as usual, to one of the four default styles, but pressing it again in the same direction typical of your style (for Trickster, the direction is D-Pad_Up) will change to Dark Slayer. This style is nothing special, but it can be good to extend the duration of some combos (especially the aerial ones).

Slash Dimension F: this is not a powerful attack as you may think, and it's not very easy to land it on enemies. You usually have an enemy at the correct distance after stingering him with the Rebellion. Input: RB+LS_Forward+B.

Slash Dimension C: it's the same attack as the previous one, but Dante will step-back before using it. Input: RB+LS_Backward+B.

Yamato Combo S: a regular combo on the ground; you can use it for a change on weaker enemies, but don't count on it if you're looking for something to damage them.

Aerial Rave V: probably the only attack for which this style is worth remembering, since you can preceed/follow the Aerial Rave attack of the Swordmaster with Aerial Rave V to stay airborne for longer, deal more damage and increase your style meter/points. You can jump and use Aerial Rave+Aerial Rave V first, then jump again (with Air Hike) and make another combo of the two (you have to change style while you do this of course), for what is one of the longest aerial attacks you can perform as Dante. If you use an Aerial Rave V, then change to Swordmaster with Rebellion and tap B once (first hit of Aerial Rave), then return immediately back to Dark Slayer, you can obviously land a lot of Aerial Rave V in a row, alternated with a touch of Aerial Raves; this requires some training, but it's a good way to tackle some enemies in the air; with Air Hike, the length of such a combo is quite good. Input: (while in the air) BB.

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Rebellion is Dante's sword. It has good standard combos, and no aerial combos; to bypass the problem of no aerial combos, use the Aerial Rave attack with the Rebellion while in Swordmaster style. Its best combos and attacks come in Swordmaster style too, and this is what it has by default:

Rebellion Combo A: standard combo, nothing special. Input: YYY.

Rebellion Combo B: a better combo than the previous one, it can also be decent for crowd control and is good against most of the enemies (Frosts and Blitzes excluded). You can increase the number of hits (for extra damage, style meter and style points) of the last "stinger" attack by tapping the last Y continuously. Input: YYY(YYYY...).

Helm Breaker: the only attack available in the air without the support of Swordmaster; it's a quick and rather strong attack which smashes the enemy to the ground. It can knock down some of the more powerful enemies (like the Assaults), although it's still not always enough against Frosts. There is almost no situation where an Helm Breaker isn't a good choice when you don't know what to do/you get surrounded. Input: (while in the air) Y.

High Time: this attack will send the enemies in the air; it's quite good and prepares the enemy for aerial combos (if you are in Swordmaster style). There are better ways to send enemies in the air for stun purposes (such as the Prop attack, available with the Rebellion in Swordmaster style), but this is not bad either. Input: RB+LS_Backward+Y.

* Stinger: a powerful and quick, straight attack against an enemy. It usually knocks down and back the smaller enemies, and some bigger enemies can also get knocked down after several stingers in a row. You can increase the damage, style meter and style points earned with a Stinger by tapping Y when the hit connects on the enemy, triggering "Million Stab". This is "THE" attack against Basilisk enemies. Input: RB+LS_Forward+Y.

* Stinger 2: a better version of Stinger, with longer range.

Million Stab: as the hit of a Stinger connects, release LS and tap Y for a long barrage of stabs against the enemy. This works pretty well against bigger enemies too.

* Round Trip: press and hold Y to "charge" the Rebellion. When it's all red, release Y; Dante will throw the Rebellion as a boomerang against your opponent. The Rebellion will rotate "inside" the enemy, slashing him continuously for style meter and style points (and damage of course), but it's honestly not the best attack ever seen. You can change weapon and make other attacks (also on different enemies) while the Rebellion automatically damages the opponent though, so it can be an extra hand to some extent. You can call back the Rebellion before it kills the enemy/makes all the possible revolutions against the enemy by pressing Y again after releasing it.

Gilgamesh is the second main weapon of Dante, and is very short-ranged. Despite this little handicap, it has some of the strongest attacks of the game, and nothing compares to a Distorted Real Impact (a regular Real Impact is also devastating). You gain this weapon at the end of Mission 13.

Charged attack: this move is not listed, but if you hold Y you will charge a fist. It's a simple but powerful attack, especially if you're facing a stunned enemy and have enough time to properly charge it. The attack "Straight" can be better than this though.

Gilgamesh Combo A: standard combo, nothing special. Input: YYYY.

Gilgamesh Combo B: a more powerful combo than the default one, it's longer, deals more damage and earns more style meter/points. Input: YY, pause, YY.

Full House: while in the air, press Y. The Gilgamesh doesn't have aerial combos even if you're in Swordmaster style. This attack is still quite good, and it's a great attack to deal damage on the thunder shield of Blitzes.

Draw: it is a great attack of the Gilgamesh, because Dante will step back (avoiding an attack) and counter/attack with a powerful fist. Things get even better if you hold Y, using the attack Straight. It's a good finishing move for Blitzes ready to die in their transformation. Input: RB+LS_Backward+Y.

Straight: hold Y while performing a Draw to charge the attack. The damage dealt with Straight is very high, and you can even make a Distorted Straight which can be your best attack against Chimera Hybrids (think of the fight at the end of mission 14) on higher difficulties. This attack is also able, by itself, to break through the blades of most of the Chimera Hybrids (both the Scarecrow and the Assaults; it just rarely can't connect, but it usually works), resulting one of the preferred choices in such fights.

* Kick 13: a good and long combo which send the enemy in the air. While in Devil Mode, this combo is even better. It's not particularly outstanding, but it's usually a good move against any enemy, including Frosts, because its hits can easily connect even if the enemies aren't stunned/standing in the same position. It's surely worth buying. Input: RB+LS_Forward+Y.

* Flush: shabby move which makes you deal damage against the enemies which you touch when you perform a simple jump. The damage you deal with this move is very weak, and although the extra occasional damage is always welcome, this is surely not a skill you want to get before unlocking other, better, skills (about every other skill of Dante's is better than this).

Lucifer is a great weapon, which deals damage when its stingers explode. You can decide when to detonate them. You can summon a limited amount of stingers at the same time (12 max): if you summon more stingers, the older ones will automatically detonate. This is great, because if you can corner an enemy, you could just use stingers on him over and over again to detonate the previous ones and prepare new stingers. The explosions of multiple stingers can knock down even the strongest enemies of the game, making this weapon a cheap choice for boss fights and a great one against Frosts and Blitzes. You get the Lucifer after completing Mission 16. None of its regular combos can compare to Pin-Up.

Lucifer Combo A: an unlimited combo performed by tapping Y.

Lucifer Combo B: wait a moment between two Y attacks, to use more stingers at the same time (this compensates for the moment when you are not attacking).

Lucifer Combo C: by pressing Y, pause, Y, pause, Y, you can perform a more powerful attack on the third hit. Again, it only compensates for the moments when you're not attacking, and it's also quite hard to time.

Lucifer Combo D: press YY, pause, Y for another variant.

Lucifer Combo E: press YYYY, pause, Y; this is the only decent of the five regular combos of the Lucifer (and it's still not as good as Pin-Up).

Splash: a good aerial combo, although Pin-Up followed by Bondage (with the assistance of Swordmaster style) is also better than this. Input: (while in the air) press Y.

Ecstasy: this is the detonation attack. Any stinger, regardless if they are in the air or inside an enemy, will detonate. The explosion will be consecutive, one stinger after another, and the enemies will be damaged and knocked back the more the stingers hit them. Input: RB+LS_Backward+Y. Keep this input in mind, since it's crucial to make good use of the Lucifer.

* Pin-Up: a gamebreaking attack against bosses, even on Dante Must Die difficulty, and also the best way to use the Lucifer. It summons four stingers at once just in front of you, all ready for Bondage/Ecstasy. All the bosses of the game can be pretty much defeated only with this attack over and over. Because of the 12 stinger limit, after using it three times, the fourth time the four new stingers will be summoned after causing the explosions of the oldest four stingers, and so on; in a very short amount of time you will detonate a massive amount of stingers, basically four/second. Input: RB+LS_Forward+Y.

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Ebony & Ivory, Coyote-A and Pandora have a very short skillset by themselves. The different combos of these guns are only available in Gunslinger mode.

Ebony & Ivory is not a good gun for most of the situations, but when charged and used in Gunslinger it can be excellent against Mephistos' and Fausts' cloaks (by using Rain Storm). The other great chance to use this gun is against Cutlasses, since the continuous fire of this gun will slow them down and let you come close to them when they are "swimming" in the ground. It won't knock back enemies.

Normal Shot: regular shot, fire with X.

* Charge Shot, * Charge Shot 2, * Charge Shot 3: the charge for Dante's guns is different than that of Nero's. You don't have to hold X for a longer period to use the higher charge level, and the main difference between Charge Shot 3 and a weaker Charge Shot is that Charge Shot 3 will let you shoot charged shots for longer.

Coyote-A is a better gun for most of the situations. It can also be great against the Mephistos' and Fausts' cloaks. Its regular shots are already good enough, but if you fire in the air you get faster fire; when supported by Gunslinger style, Fireworks and Fireworks air are also very good. A couple of shots by this weapon will usually knock down and back Chimera Hybrids, preparing them for other (charged) attacks of your main weapon.

Normal Shot: regular shot, fire with X. It's a good way to destroy items.

* Charge Shot, * Charge Shot 2, * Charge Shot 3: the charge for Dante's guns is different than that of Nero's. You don't have to hold X for a longer period to use the higher charge level, and the main difference between Charge Shot 3 and a weaker Charge Shot is that Charge Shot 3 will let you shoot charged shots for longer.

Pandora is the most powerful gun of the game, and it can also be good without Gunslinger. Along with the gun, you will also get a Distaster Gauge which fills with Pandora's attacks. When filled, it will increase the damage dealt with Pandora's attacks in Gunslinger mode (consuming the gauge). The higher the level of Gunslinger style, the longer the Disaster Gauge. You get this gun at the end of Mission 15.

PF013: Epidemic: while on the ground, press X to fire. It's a regular, yet powerful shot; great to send back the energy balls of Angelo enemies.

* PF124: Hatred: while on the ground, press and hold X; then rotate LS_360° and the previous form of the Pandora will now turn into a small missile battery, ready to shoot. It's obviously more powerful than "Epidemic", and you can use it after Epidemic itself and still get a significant boost of style meter (they are different attacks after all).

* PF398: Revenge: the most powerful version of the Pandora, this one is a cannon which (besides dealing massive damage with the shot) can also deal damage on enemies in front of you when you "place" the cannon to shoot. Since this is even another attack, you can use it after the two previous ones and still increase your style meter. Inputs: on the ground, press and hold X; then rotate LS_720°.

PF262: Jealousy: this is the aerial form of the Pandora. It's not very powerful, but it's by far the best way to fill the Disaster Gauge. Keep this last note in mind if you need to increase it for any reason (for example, before a tough fight for higher difficulties). Inputs: (while in the air) fire with X.

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Abilities for Dante are part of those for Nero, and Devil Trigger only consists in a passive skill to improve the length of Devil Mode by decreasing the consumption of the gauge while you're in that mode.

Side Roll: press RB+LS_Left/Right+A to dodge an attack.

Kick Jump: after jumping on a wall with A, press A again to jump even higher.

* Speed: hold LS in the same direction to eventually start sprinting.

* Get more orbs: passive skill which will automatically collect the red orbs you create by killing enemies or destroying objects.

* Enemy Step: jump and press A on the body of an enemy to use him as a stepping stone for another jump. This can be quite good if you manage to master it, because you could, for example, use Full House, then Enemy Step, then Full House again, Enemy Step again, and so on, creating a devastating and long chain of hits. It's very hard to do so properly though.

* Air Hike: after jumping with A, jump again with A to create a virtual stepping stone to jump even higher.

* Trigger Heart: passive skill which decreases the amount of Devil Gauge consumed while in Devil Mode.

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Fighting the enemies

In this section I will describe how you can deal with enemies, and this is specially meant for higher difficulties (Son of Sparda and Dante Must Die).

Scarecrows

They are the weakest enemies of the game. There are actually two versions of Scarecrows: a type has the blade on the arm, and another type has the blade on the leg; they slightly differ from the amount of damage they take before dying, but they are the same for the rest. Their attacks are weak and slow, but they can cover a long distance from when they start their three-hits-combo to the end of it, and you want to be careful when they attack with that combo because you may get a completely avoidable hit if you stay still from far. They can also guard with their blades: any attack, after some hits, will break their guard.

Nero - On lower difficulties it's very important to use this combo: Lv 3 Ex High Roller followed by few shots (2-3 max) of the gun while in the air (you end up in the air after the High Roller) and then an aerial Buster. Use Taunts and Snatches between one Scarecrow and another one (if you're fighting a group of them, of course) to further increase your style meter on Human. On higher difficulties they are no problem either, just make good use of Lv 3 Ex Streak, Lv 3 Charged Shots, Ex High Rollers and aerial combos (Roulette Spin is the best).

Dante - On lower difficulties, use Dance Macabre or also Rebellion Combo B followed by a Stinger. If there's a group of Scarecrows, use a shot of the Coyote-A on the next one, then Taunt, then charge and release an Over Drive (this also works without the shot or the Taunt, anyway). If you want, after Dance Macabre and Over Drive, change to Gilgamesh for a change and use a Straight, then toss a couple of Pin-Ups on another one and shoot another one with the Pandora. It's very possible to just use Dance Macabre and Over Drives anyway. On higher difficulties it might be worth using Kick 13 of the Gilgamesh, more Stingers and Rebellion Combo B, and less Dance Macabre (avoid this last one especially if you're getting surrounded by enemies). Over Drive is a great way to increase the style meter without killing too many of these weak enemies regardless of the difficulty, just make sure you charge it from far and release it at full power.

Mega Scarecrows

They have little if anything in common with the regular Scarecrows, apart from the name. They're big and slow, but when they decide to attack they can be very powerful. Their main attack is a spin: after charging a bit from where they are, they roll quickly towards you, and their size can make it hard to avoid the hit (which is really quick). Another attack, and that's basically all they have, is when they "concentrate" several blades around their body and then they release them in various directions. This is easier to avoid, but keep in mind that you can't hit them while they're loading it, or you'll take damage.

Nero - Because of their huge size, landing attacks is never a problem. The buster animation is good, but it's better to do an aerial buster to avoid being hit by other enemies during the animation, which is quite stationary. Any combo is good, and you fight them only on harder difficulties. Red Queen Combo C works good, and so do all the other attacks (High Roller, Streaks, Roulette Spin, Lv 3 Charged Shots). Go freestyle with them.

Dante - For the same reason, they're also easy as Dante. Dance Macabre is perfect against them, and you can follow it with Over Drive, and then a Straight of the Gilgamesh after the Over Drive (if they are on higher difficulties; you face them also on Human). Coyote-A charged shots can knock them down, though pretty much anything does so (Prop, High Time, Beast Uppercut can also send them in the air very easily, for a perfect chance for a Real Impact).

Chimera Scarecrows

They are as slow as the Scarecrows; their attacks are also the same as the Scarecrows, but the blades inside them will make the clean-up harder.

Nero - Lv 3 Charged Shots are perfect against these monsters, and Lv 3 Ex Streak is also good (though it doesn't guarantee to avoid being hit by their blades if you hit them straight with the Streak attack). After you release a Lv 3 Charged Shot, you have a considerable amount of time to use combos on them. As a matter of fact, after the shot they will not be able to use their blades; in addition to this, they won't be able to use the blades after the explosion of the bullet. Therefore, from when the shot hits to few seconds after the bullet explodes, you have more than enough time to defeat them with Ex High Roller, Busters and Ex Streaks. If necessary, by the time the bullet explodes, another Lv 3 Charged Shot should be ready. If you can't rely on the charged shot (for example you just used one for another Chimera), you can Snatch them and wait until they swing their swords while knocked down on the ground; after they do so, you are sure that they won't swing the blades for a few seconds, and therefore you can attack them with regular combos. You can also just wait until they swing the blades as they're walking by, but if you Snatch and knock them down they're simply less dangerous than if they were walking, of course.

Dante - Coyote-A charged shots can knock them down easily and keep the situation under control, but unfortunately you will often fight them along with Chimera Assaults. Pin-Up followed by Bondage (and then Ecstasy) is also a good way to stay safe. If you see that they've just swinged the blades, a Real Impact can end the fight easily. Straight is also very good, since it tends to break through the blades.

Frosts

They are among the strongest non-boss enemies of the game, probably second only to the Blitzes (which are in fact the more powerful version of a Frost). Their attacks are rather fast, and other than the slashes in melee range they can also use a large amount of icicles as projectiles. They can throw two sets of icicles, one after another, and if you're not alone with them it can be difficult to time the dodge. They can also attack in the air, both with slashes and with icicles. Another dangerous attack is when they freeze the floor in front of you, and a variant of this attack is when they freeze spots of the arena that get hit by them. They can teleport near you, and they can literally freeze their body to recover a massive amount of health: when this happens, you can try to destroy the ice where they're taking cover before they un-freeze, to defeat them with a good style meter boost too. A good control of the camera is crucial to keep them as away from your screen as much as possible.

Nero - Lv 3 Charged Shots and Snatches can knock down a Frost, buying you enough time to take the situation under control, possibly helping yourself with the camera. The buster animation is also quite good, since Nero will swing the Frost around him (tap B and rotate with LS to choose the direction and increase the rotations), slightly damaging and keeping away other enemies nearby. On lower difficulties, when you know that a Frost is coming, prepare your Lv 3 Charged Shot and Lv 3 Ex Streak to start with a massive damage on a Frost, and possibly also use the Devil Trigger for extra damage. If you manage to knock down a Frost, never let go of him: even at the cost of using a repetitive Buster over and over again, force him where you are. Possibly save your Lv 3 Charged Shot not to directly attack the Frost you've knocked down, but to keep away the other one(s) approaching you away while you're torturing the other one. On higher difficulties it's just the same, but they will obviously last longer; for this reason, I would rather suggest not to use the Devil Trigger (unless you just want to, of course), because its contribution is not good enough as to make the difference like it did on easier modes.

Dante - On lower difficulties, Beast Uppercut (try more than once) can send them in the air, and prepare them for a Real Impact. On higher difficulties, they won't be thrown in the air that easily. You can knock them down with Fireworks and Gun Stinger, but it's not easy to connect a Real Impact (they recover too quickly) afterward. If they freeze themselves, use a (Distorted) Real Impact (on lower difficulties, an Over Drive is also fine) to finish them off instantly with a bunch of style boost too. If they jump in the air to attack you, shoot with Coyote-A and you should manage to knock them down. For higher difficulties, you either want to go freestyle, or turn on your panic-mode and spam Pin-Up like never before, or use a slightly risky strategy, which can however be the safest. The one I mean is: activate Devil Trigger; go near a Frost, use Real Impact, and according to the situation, try or not to distort it. If you see that you're going to get hit, do not turn off your Devil Trigger, and just complete a Devil Real Impact. This won't kill them on higher difficulties, but now the Frost you've attacked is ready to get a second (distorted) Real Impact: turn off Devil Trigger before the next Real Impact, then perform the Distorted Real Impact to finish him off. On the contrary, if you saw that you were not going to get hit (rare), try to perform a Distorted Real Impact right away, so you will save time and devil gauge.
This strategy is obviously very expensive from the devil gauge point of view, and it can also cost you some health bar; on the other hand, it's also the quickest and easiest way to deal with them. Considering the situations where you come across Frosts in story mode, you should always be able to have a full Devil Gauge for their fight. Here's an example of what I mean; in the video I take way too much damage for hits which I could avoid (and you must try to avoid too), and if done properly it should cost you only about a quarter of full health. The video should give you an idea on how to go: Devil Trigger to resist their attacks, then distorted real impacts whenever possible.
Another great opening for Distorted Real Impacts is also if you manage to shoot them in the air while they're about to make any attack: a Coyote-A shot will knock them down, and if you quickly go where they land, you will manage to perform the Distorted Real Impact and kill them before they get away. To get them slightly more quickly (this could make the difference), try to use a Trickster's dash instead of walking where they landed, then switch immediately back to Swordmaster for the Distorted Real Impact.
While fighting the Frosts, especially with this method, Target Type 2 can help you to avoid all those dumb Shock! attacks which can turn the situation at your disadvantage.

Blitzes

They can be considered mini-bosses, since their health and damage output are by far the greatest of all the enemies. They will quickly teleport around you, and finally spawn and immediately attack you either with a slash, or with a thunder beam. If the second case happens and you get caught, especially on harder difficulties, quickly activate Devil Trigger to get out of it, or you will lose a lot of health. They can also teleport in a fixed place of the arena and do nothing for a few seconds; when they do so, a yellow spot will mark their landing position when they will appear again, and you must stay away from that spot to avoid being hit by a shockwave around that spot.
Blitzes start with a yellow thundershield around them, and as soon as you touch them with an attack you will get hit by their electricity. When the shield is gone, so are their powers of teleporting and using the thunder-beam attack. Being blind enemies, they will have an hard time hitting you; unfortunately they will move around enough as to be hard to hit with attacks which require a charge (such as, unfortunately, Real Impact). When their shield is gone, they also occasionally just cry loudly, which is the best opening for charged attacks. The shield will regenerate after some seconds, regardless whether you hit them or not (sure though, if you keep them "busy" by hitting them they won't be able to regenerate).
Blitzes will always go Berserker when you're about to kill them (you can't kill them before they go Berserker), and their aura will be red instead of yellow now. They will be faster and even more aggressive, and if they grab you they will make a kamikaze attack which on Dante Must Die mode is an instant-kill (for you and for him) if you don't use immediately the Devil Trigger to escape. They can also suicide if they can't grab you within a fixed amount of time. Lastly, if you take down their health after they go Berserker, you will obtain a huge style meter boost, which most of the times brings you up to an instant SSS meter.
They can go Berserker from when they have lost more than half of their health. Your goal is to possibly damage them as much as possible before the transformation, so it will take as less hits as possible to finish them off before they blow themselves up, with or without you. You can't kill a Blitz before his transformation: even if you deal enough damage to take down all his health before he transforms, he will still survive with about 5% of his health; the last 5% can only be taken down when they're transformed/while they're transforming. For this reason, you must avoid triggering their transformation "too early", or you won't be able to finish them off in time before their suicide.

Nero - As Nero, you only fight them on higher difficulties and they are really a joke. Really. The shield will go down easily just with few Lv 3 Charged Shots (make sure you release the shots only after you're sure to hit them, for example after dodging their slash), and once their shield is gone you want to activate Devil Trigger while still holding the gun button, ready to release a charged shot. At this point (after activating Devil Trigger), use Streak (NOT Ex Streaks; just regular Streaks, or you may mess up with the timing and position) and then immediately a Buster (a Devil Buster, that is); then another Streak and immediately another Buster; then another Streak and a last Buster. At this point you can turn off Devil Trigger; the Blitz will start the transformation now. You want to release the Lv 3 Charged Shot when the Blitz is transforming; do not release it as soon as you see that he's turning red, but wait just a blink. If you release the shot too early, it will count as a hit from before his transformation; as I said, you can't take down his last 20% of health without first letting him transform. This is all it takes to defeat a Blitz. On Dante Must Die difficulty you may also want to release the six Summoned Blades while performing the first Devil Buster (first out of three); then start the charge again for the final blow during the transformation. Here's a video showing this being done.

Dante - As Dante, things are more complicated (this sounds new, uh?), because he lacks in charged shots and busters. For the thunder shield, you can either spam Pin-Up/Bondage with Lucifer, or use an aerial attack (such as Full House with the Gilgamesh) while in Royal Guard, and just after your hit connects use B to Block/Royal Block and avoid damage/avoid being knocked back and down by the shockwave which will follow your attack. Either way, the best opening is when he teleports to a specific spot of the area (and you see a yellow dot appearing on the ground), since he will be standing still for a few seconds, which are enough to take the shield down. Another good opening is when he uses the thunder beam attacks; this won't give you all the time you need to destroy the shield if it's completely healthy, but you can still work on it. Coyote-A charged shots are also a way to deal with it, but it's the slowest of all and I'm mentioning this only for your Hell and Hell run where you can't afford the risk of missing a Royal Block.
When his shield is gone, you still have to actually defeat him. There are two main possibilities: you can attempt to connect two Distorted Real Impacts, one after another (good luck), and for this method the best opening is when he cries; if he wants to. Afterward, finish him off during his transformation with Straight/Kick 13/whatever.
The other way is with Pin-Up and Distorted Real Impact; this is the one I truly suggest, and you can see it being performed on Dante Must Die difficulty here. This is for Dante Must Die difficulty, but the mechanics are the same for other difficulties. With his shield still intact, start with Pin-Up; in particular, spam a total of seven Pin-Ups and detonate the last group of three at once. This will take the shield down. Now start using Pin-Up again, and use it seven more times. Detonate the last stingers in his body (hopefully all the possible 12), and he should be knocked down. Sometimes six Pin-Ups might be enough; be watchful if you see him knocked down before the seventh (which is the most common scenario). At this point, switch to Gilgamesh and use a Distorted Real Impact on him; you should manage to connect the hit (attack from his front), because when he gets up he uses his "cry" or stands stil for a moment. After the Distorted Real Impact, he's almost dead: use a Draw (no need to charge it or be in Devil Trigger, if you wonder) and you will succeed.
Of course you want to stay in Swordmaster style all the time.

With the second method, you don't really have to count every Pin-Ups: as long as you reflexes are decent (not good; decent), you can simply wait until he decides to appear with that move when you see the yellow spot on the ground (in the video, he spawns with that move; most of the other times he will just come in the fight without that move, and you'll have to jump away until he uses that move); then spam Pin-Up until he's knocked down; finally switch to Gilgamesh and use the Distorted Real Impact. It's easier done than written (though it's easier watched than done ;p).

Assaults

They are aggressive enemies with various possible attacks. They jump here and there like a Frost, but they are more vulnerable and get knocked down more easily. They can attack with projectiles (seeds) like the Frosts' icicles, they can slash in melee range, and they can cry loudly creating a shockwave around them. This last attack is rare but extremely strong, and can kill you on Dante Must Die difficulty: watch out. They can also go underground and pop up below you, for some annoying damage and knock down, and they can spin in the air and rush at you up to three times.

Nero - Lv 3 Charged Shots and Snatches will work to knock them down; Streaks, High Rollers and company are all good against them (they are lifelong enough as to go freestyle even on Human), but be careful when using Busters on them because it's a long animation on the ground which leaves you exposed to other enemies' attacks. If you're in trouble because of the high difficulty or a tough circumstance, rely massively on Lv 3 Charged Shots, Ex Streaks and Ex Splits only (try to MAX-Act to prepare a Lv 3 Ex). If they try to spin in the air, a Lv 3 Charged Shot will stop them.

Dante - They are quite tough when you fight them as Dante, especially on higher difficulties, because even though they get easily stunned, they still move quickly and get out of combos such as Dance Macabre. If you can knock one down (for example with Beast Uppercut, Prop, or some Coyote-A charged shots), use Over Drive for massive damage and style meter boost; don't charge it to full power, just reach the first level of charge or they will get away. Dance Macabre is worth using on lower difficulties, but on higher difficulties you probably want to rely more on a cheaper Prop-Real Impact attack/Coyote-A charged shots-Real Impact to make quick work of them. Stinger attacks can also be effective to knock them down. If they try to spin in the air, you can try to use some Coyote-A charged shots, but it's probably a better idea to just dodge and wait.

Chimera Assaults

Just like the Chimera Scarecrows, they have blades in their body. Another major difference is that they are more aggressive and will use the underground and spinning attack more often. The difference in strength between them and a regular Assault is surely higher than the difference of strength between a Scarecrow and a Chimera Scarecrow. The only good thing is that their blades will swing less frequently than those of Chimera Scarecrows.

Nero - Same notes as those for a regular Assault, but of course you want to avoid busters to prevent that unavoidable blades hit you in the animation.

Dante - Some of the toughest enemies, especially because you fight them often in large groups/mixed with other powerful enemies (such as Chimera Scarecrows). The best thing you can do here is to knock them down, keep them down, and go with (Distorted on higher difficulties) Real Impacts all the way. Another possible strategy is to rely on Pin-Up and Bondage to prepare the knock-down, and detonate with Ecstasy; be ready for Real Impact just after that. Straight attacks also work good on them, but you will probably look for cheaper and stronger ways of taking them down (not like Straight isn't powerful, but you can hardly charge it to full power before they jump away). Stay always in Trickster when they are around, except when you are ready to use Bondage/Real Impact. Another method is by using Stinger/High Time/Helm Breaker, then Prop, then (Distorted) Real Impact.

Bianco Angelos

These enemies have shields which they can use to guard your front attacks, and then immediately counter with the shield itself and their long spear. Their main attack, other than this counter or the regular slash within the (rather long) range of the spear, is a charged attack from far (it can also come from the air): after charging for a few seconds, they will rush against you. They are totally weak if tackled from their back, and also if you destroy their shield, which will however regenerate after some seconds. Destroying their shield gives a good boost of style meter.

Nero - Regular attacks from their back are good, and so are Lv 2/3 Charged Shots. To easily destroy their shield you can use this combination: Y, then B, then release a Lv 2/3 Charged Shot. In particular, Y will make them be ready with the shield; B is a buster which will impact on their shield (it usually impacts on the shield even without the previous Y, but sometimes you may connect a buster if they're not ready with the shield); at last, the immediate release of the shot will knock them back a bit, avoiding that they can counter and heavily damaging the shield itself. On higher difficulties, do this twice (the shield won't break after a first Y>B>shot_release). Once their guard is open, perform a buster and enhance it by tapping B: a regular buster will make you "charge" them twice, but an enhanced buster will make you "charge" them four times, for more damage, style meter and style points. Other than this, Red Queen Combo C, (Ex) Streaks and (Ex) High Roller are all good from their back/when they are shield-less. Split attacks are also good if they are in the air. Keep in mind that snatching them won't bring them to you, because they are too heavy; you will land usually on their back after a Snatch. Be careful when in the air, because they can decide to use the spear to stab you when you're above their heads.

Dante - Opening their guard by breaking the shield isn't as easy as it was with Nero. You usually fight them in groups with Alto Angelos, so you can usually rely on the energy ball (see later, about the Alto Angelos) to defeat them instantly. When this is not the case, the best thing to do is attacking from their back, and use Prop followed by Real Impact. This will be enough for a Bianco Angelo; if not, for any reason (the hits will connect almost all the times, but they can very rarely miss some of those of Real Impact), use a second Real Impact. On lower difficulties, especially if there aren't other Angelos (or more powerful) around, you can also use a Dance Macabre from their back. Kick 13 is also good. Straight in their face is probably the best way to attempt to break their shields, although you must be careful because they can always decide to stab you with the spear while you're charging.

Alto Angelos

More powerful versions of the Bianco Angelos, they also carry shields. They have a sword which they use to attack, and they also charge their rushes at you; other than this, they have a predictable melee attack (the usual slash) and most of the times they won't counter as quickly as a Bianco Angelo after guarding your attacks (they usually start the charge attack). To some extent they are less dangerous than Bianco Angelos, because they are slower and more predictable, and they also can't charge their attack from very long distances like the Bianco Angelos do. They are just harder to stun, but as for the rest, they're the same.

When in a group with Bianco Angelos (at least 2 of them with an Alto Angelo), they will give new powers to the Bianco Angelos. Telling the truth, that's nothing special: the Bianco Angelos will be more aggressive and more coordinated when attacking (often all at once), and they can also be like "soldiers in formation" to protect the Alto Angelo. Other than a funny organization, it's not more dangerous than fighting Bianco Angelos regularly (actually, their attack rate is decreased when they are with an Alto Angelo). The real deal is when they charge an "energy ball" at you. When this happens, your controller will start vibrating (you can also hear a typical sound of dimensional distortion or something like that), and you will clearly see the attack coming. As Nero, always keep a Lv 3 Charged Shot ready, and use it to send the energy ball back. This will instantly net you an SSS style meter, and usually kill all the Angelos. There must be at least one Alto Angelo and two Bianco Angelos for this to happen; more Bianco Angelos can also do the same. When there are more Bianco Angelos (typically in Mission 19), it's harder to send the energy ball back in the correct moment to earn an SSS meter, and it often occurs that only a B meter is gained and some enemies will survive. Just finish them off if that happens, and always rely on this attack to get a lot of stylish points from their fights. Be also aware that there are specific spots of the arena from which they can charge the energy ball; for example, the first time you fight them on the Grand Album Bridge, they can only charge it from the furthest side from where you come, or from the center of the fighting part of the bridge. If you want to trigger this on purpose, try to look ("include in your camera view", that is) only at the Alto Angelo, and stay away from the spot where they will charge the energy ball. Try to be as steady as possible, and only jump to avoid other enemies' attacks. Eventually the Alto Angelo will warp there to charge the attack - bargain.
Unfortunately there's another attack which they can trigger with the same conditions as the energy ball, and it's the worst thing that could ever happen: the Alto Angelo sends all the Bianco Angelos to suicide, earning you no stylish points from their death. You can try to stop this by releasing a charged shot on the Alto Angelo before he can complete his order (you will see the Bianco Angelos getting a red/dark aura when they're sent to death), and then immediately finish off the Bianco Angelos before the Alto gives his order again.

Nero - This time the buster animation can't be enhanced, and most of all it's usually possible only when their shield is destroyed (though sometimes you can land a buster even when it's not). The attacks you want to pull off are the same as the Bianco Angelos, as far as for breaking the shield is concerned; regarding the damage, you want to rely on Lv 3 Charged Shots to deal damage and stun them; after the shot, go with Red Queen Combo C, Streaks and Splits and use a buster whenever possible. On higher difficulties they might be worth the use of Devil Trigger, and after knocking them down you can use a Showdown to deal massive damage/kill them quickly.

Dante - Just what I said for the Bianco Angelos, but this time on higher difficulties you want to use a Distorted Real Impact after Prop; after the Distorted Real Impact, use another Real Impact to finish them off if they're still alive. Also, Prop can be used also from their front side. It may take a couple of Props before finally sending them in the air, but you will succeed; when you do, they're basically dead. To send the energy ball back, use a normal shot of the Pandora (Epidemic) from the ground.

Mephistos

These "phantom" enemies are slow and predictable; they attack rarely and they can go around you and use a laser nail (easy to dodge). Other than this common attack, they can more rarely slash in melee range (it's an announced attack because you see them rotating on themselves before striking) and also spin very quickly on themselves to attack you. This last one is the rarest and strongest attack they have, and it's still nothing hard. They have a cloak which protects them from most of the damage, but once the cloak is destroyed they become completely weak and turn from a "phantom" form to a "spider" form. In their spider form, they will run back to a wall/corner and after few seconds they will regenerate their cloaks. Sometimes they can occasionally just regenerate their cloak suddenly, anywhere and for no reason; you can see this coming because there will be a dark fog around them when this is happening, but be careful because they can hit you just as they're gaining the cloak back. If you hit their laser nail you can get a nice style meter boost.

Nero - Snatches, Busters and Lv 3 Charged Shots will all work for their cloaks. A Buster (probably an aerial buster, since they're floating most of the time) is twice as effective as a Snatch, so always try that if you can. Lv 3 Charged Shots are perfect too; try to combine them with busters and you will make quick work of the cloak. When they turn into a spider, use more Lv 3 Charged Shots, Busters and also (Ex) High Rollers followed by Roulette Spin/aerial buster and try to always keep them in the same position with your attacks (for this reason, Streak isn't the best attack). Avoid slow combos such as Red Queen Combo C, because this may give them time to flee. Try to finish them off before they recover their cloak.

Dante - Charge Ebony & Ivory and go Gunslinger; as such, use Rain Storm after jumping and their cloak will vanish so quickly that you won't even notice this (even on higher difficulties). Charged Coyote-A shots also work, but Rain Storm with a charged Ebony & Ivory is great. Another method, especially for groups of Mephistos, is the attack Omen of the Pandora, but keep in mind that this attack has a slow animation which wastes precious fractions of seconds before you're able to hit again, and this gives the spiders enough time to start escaping. Prefer Rain Storm, and use Omen only if you're on higher difficulties and/or against larger groups of Mephistos. When they're down, Dance Macabre can work well if you're sure that you can finish the combo (i.e. make sure there are no other enemies ready to hit you), but Prop followed by Real Impact is probably just better. On higher difficulties, go with Prop and Real Impact all the way. Also, if you need some particular style boost from them, you can (especially on higher difficulties where you have time to waste) use Aerial Rave and Aerial Rave V while they still have their cloaks, thus dealing little damage and increasing your style meter (you can easily achieve an Atomic meter before killing one, with this method) a lot in the process. Then fight them regularly once you're satisfied with your meter (Atomic is ok, since you'll get up to Smokin'! and above with Prop and Real Impacts).

Fausts

Stronger versions of the Mephistos, they are stronger in the offensive phase and more resistant when taking the hits. Some of their attacks are almost impossible to dodge (such as a large number of subsequential accurate lasers staggering you), and other attacks have a long range too (the two laser-nail-slashes are quick and long ranged). They are in fact much more dangerous than the Mephistos, but luckily enough you can keep them away by "hiding" them from the camera. This is usually all you need to be safe even against them mixed up with other enemies.

Nero - You can fight them also just by releasing Lv 3 Charged Shots without including them in your view even to shoot (the shot will head on them automatically, after all), and it's also a great way to knock them back when they're attacking with something powerful and hard to dodge (the lasers I was mentioning, for instance). When the cloak is down, on lower difficulties you can just defeat them with a lot of Busters, Lv 3 Charged Shots and powerful Ex-attacks. On harder difficulties (but this might be worth doing even on Human if you want), when they are in their spider form, use a Lv 3 Charged Shot on them to buy some time; reach their position after you shoot them (when the bullet explodes they will fall just where they were), activate Devil Trigger and start charging Showdown; while it's being charged, the bullet should explode, buying you enough time to charge your attack which will probably kill the Faust. If not, finish him off with charged shots in his phantom form. A variant of this method is to charge your shot, Snatch them and load Showdown; while you're loading it, release the gun button to use the Summoned Blades, which will repeatedly stab the Faust and avoid his escape. By the time the sixth and last Summoned Blade hits his body, Showdown will be ready to devastate him.

Dante - Being a stronger version of the Mephistos, all the notes written for them are true here too. All but one: don't use the Aerial Rave (V) method to boost your meter, because they are not enemies against which you can joke around. Cloak off, Prop and (Distorted) Real Impact: quick and clean work.

Cutlasses

These enemies are sort of land-sharks which can use mainly two attacks (and only one for most of the fights): they can attack you by popping up in a specific place of the ground, and from there they will rise in the air and "dive" in the ground again; then they can rush at you with their fins if they turn red. Their main attack is easy to dodge as long as you keep in mind that they are big enemies, although the fin alone doesn't let you guess this. Being so big, you want to jump far enough as to avoid their whole body when they come out of the ground. You can pull them off the ground by several means; when pulled off the ground, they can either be completely out or just partially out. For example, after a Stinger with Dante they will only be partially out, and after few seconds they will dive again if you don't attack them continuously; if you do so, they will eventually be pulled out and stunned, thus giving you more time to charge attacks. The key to defeat them is obviously taking them out of the ground and stunning them to work on the damage you will deal.

Nero - Lv 3 Charged Shots while they are "swimming" in the ground is great, and you can also Snatch them while they come out of the ground. Once this happens, use Busters and Lv 3 Charged Shots. They are never very important from the style point of view, so just make sure to defeat them as soon as possible, even at the cost of using the same moves (Busters and Lv 3 Charged Shots) over and over again. The best thing to do is relying on these two attacks and throw in an Ex Streak and other random attacks (High Roller, Splits, anything you want) between a Buster and a charged shot, and then (if they're not dead yet) repeat the cycle. Use quick attacks to avoid them returning in the ground and also to avoid being attacked by their friends (unless it's the last of them of course).

Dante - Fire rapidly with X while using the Ebony & Ivory (no need to charge the gun, but feel free to do so if you want); this will slow them down. When you're close enough, use a Stinger to partially pull them out of the ground. At this point, use a charged attack of the Gilgamesh (one level of charge only! You don't have enough time for two levels of charge), like Straight or just the simple Y fist. After this, the Cutlass should be completely out of the ground, stunned and ready to take something bigger. They don't have much health, but feel free to use a Real Impact on them to dispatch of the problem before the other Cutlasses around you have a chance to strike. Always stay in Trickster, unless you need to use Real Impact or other moves typical of other styles (possibly try to stick with Trickster). Kick 13 and Rebellion Combo B are both good for when they are pulled out.

Gladiuses

These are flying swords, which always come in massive groups. Their only attack is throwing themselves at you after a charge period (they spin and glow yellow-ish when they're about to hit). You can knock them down before/while they are attacking, and then do your best to get a high style meter out of their limited health. Actually, it's usually not necessary to focus on style points with them: their contribution for style points is minimal compared to their contribution for nuisance, and therefore you will probably want to defeat them just with the same attacks over and over again. Absolutely make good use of the camera to hide as many of them as possible: avoid rotating the camera, because they will often be everywhere, and rotating the camera will make each of them start the attack, causing all the problems you want to avoid. You also want to use Target Type 1 whenever they are around.

Nero - Charged Shots on them (any charge, but the higher, the better), Streaks and Splits (also Snatches, but possibly not Busters) are all good methods to get rid of them.

Dante - Coyote-A will take them down; possibly charge the gun before shooting, but it's not absolutely necessary. Once they're down, use Stingers on them and also occasionally use Straight (one level of charge; you don't have enough time for the second charge) since it can instantly bring you up to the next style meter grade. Don't try to overdo it with the style meter and points, just do your best to take them down.

Basilisks

These fire dogs are not very powerful, but their attack is a fireball (projectile attack) thrown at high speed and with extreme accuracy. You can easily predict this attack, but you don't have a long span of time to dodge. They die pretty quickly too, so you won't have problems with them as long as you don't let them escape and give you troubles with multiple attacks by groups of them. As it was for the Gladiuses, they're not the chore of your style points and you will probably just want to eliminate them as quickly as possible.

Nero - Avoid the buster animation, because it's relatively slow and leaves you open for the other enemies' attacks. Ex Streaks, Lv 3 Charged Shots, Ex Splits after the Streak/explosion of the bullet; these are the three most typical attacks you want to use to kill them (you only fight them on higher difficulties). Never use the regular combos (such as Red Queen Combo C): although the hits can easily connect and they won't run away, you still deal too little damage in a long span of time to consider these attacks efficient. Snatches are effective, but possibly avoid Busters.

Dante - An endless chain of Stingers is a simple and effective way to tackle them. You can use other attacks too after using a Stinger attack on them, but it's not worth it. If you have some Devil Trigger gauge to use for free, defeat them with "devil Stingers"; it's all worth it.

Chimera Seeds

The weakest enemies of the game: they are not very aggressive but they can infect Scarecrow enemies and Assaults. When this happens, the union of the two will create a Chimera Scarecrow or a Chimera Assault, causing many problems; for this reason you want to kill the Chimera Seeds as soon as you see them. They're another enemy which isn't in the missions for the sake of stylish points, so just eliminate all of them as quickly as possible with anything you have. Their only attack, other than infecting enemies, is a dash towards you; predictable (they usualy start running before striking), yet fast, jump away to avoid it. They can also be in the form of "eggs" (like those you destroy on Mission 07 for Red Orbs, for example) before turning into the real enemy; it's not very important, but keep this in mind if sometimes you think you've defeated every enemy and can't find a missing Chimera Seed in the form of seed. After breaking out of the seed, here's your enemy.

Nero - Buster = one shot kill. That's all.

Dante - Anything is good here, just try to be quick. A Stinger followed by Kick 13 is powerful and quick.

Bosses

For the bosses I will copy and paste what you will also find in the main walkthrough page. For higher difficulties and the Bloody Palace, make sure you know all the possible attacks of the bosses, because this is the key before even knowing how to damage them.

Berial

Berial attacks: he has a couple of different attacks with his giant sword, and it's enough to time your jump away to avoid being hit. In one of his attacks he can also jump and spin 360°: do not stay close to him when he lands, or you will take damage. He can also (especially when he starts losing health) punch the ground, summoning lava columns from the ground (move around the arena to avoid them). He can regenerate his flame-shield with a massive ranged shockwave (he roars when doing this, and it's very easy to understand when it's happening): to avoid this one, either stay away from him, if possible, or look at the ground and you will clearly notice the "damage line" of the shockwave (the ground is erupting or something like that). That damage line will extend radially from Berial; when you see the shockwave is coming at you (again, look at the ground to understand "where" the line of damage is), jump to exploit the invincibility frames of the jump and take no damage. If you try to buster him when he's not stunned, he will counter trying to stomp you (jump with A and you will avoid his attack, getting a nice style meter bonus for the last-second-dodge; since it's risky, it's better to simply not buster him). He can also grab you if you're standing in front of him, though this is a quite rare attack.

Nero - Use the Lv 3 Charged Shots as soon as they are ready, and if you can, start the fight with Maximum Bet and then continue on Devil Trigger to immediately begin by taking off his flames and then go with a Devil Buster. I personally don't prefer this approach, but it's effective if you don't fail at using your Devil gauge (which by the end of this "cycle" will be deplenished). The other way around is using Lv 3 Charged Shots and quick combos on his sides/Roulette Spin in his face (for this second case, never Air Hike for Roulette Spin; just jump once and attack, and save Air Hike in case he attacks you and you need to get away).

Dante - You can wait on his sides and perform a Distorted Real Impact just after his attack (possibly use Trickster to dash and then switch immediately back to Swordmaster), and then continue with more Distorted Real Impacts when he's stunned. Otherwise, you can just spam Pin-Up on his side while staying in Trickster, ready to dash if he attacks in any way. If you feel like it, hit Devil Trigger and use Pin-Up for massive carnage which will probably end with Berial being stunned (and therefore, ready for Distorted Real Impacts).

Bael/Dagon

Bael attacks: Bael is a particular boss who can "hide" from the stage. In particular, you will fight two antenna enemies as soon as the fight starts, and then the "real" enemy will show up. Bael can also go into a corner of the stage, breathe and hide again temporarily until you smash enough of his antennae. He can swing the antennae to attack, he can throw icicles at you, he can spit ice in front of his mouth, he can try to eat you and he can try to splat you by jumping on you. You can easily avoid all these attacks: the icicles and his "stomp" attack will show shadows on the ground in the spot where the icicle/enemy is about to land; the ice-spit attack and his attempt to eat you can be dodged easily by jumping away (Air Hike really helps). Should you get "eaten" on your next playthroughs, activate Devil Trigger to set you free; on your first run you can only prevent it. If you try to buster him when he's not stunned, he will try to stomp you (you can dodge by jumping, just like for Berial). When he's about to die, he will freeze himself: don't stay in front of him, or he will try to eat you as soon as he un-freezes (which happens all of a sudden).
Antennae attacks: while weak and not aggressive, they are still offensive. They can either try to slash you with regular attacks, or to grab you. If an antenna grabs you, you'll be frozen and Bael will immediately come out from nowhere, to eat you: use Devil Trigger to set you free from the ice/mouth of the monster.

Nero - Use aerial Snatches (aerial to be safer) until you finally grab an Antenna; then perform a Buster on it, and finally release a Lv 3 Charged Shot just after the buster. Repeat this until the giant toad comes out. At this point, Streaks and Calibur are two good attacks to reach him when he will try to jump away. Other than this, smash him using Lv 3 Charged Shot massively, and if you see a good opening (like just after his ice-breathing attack), activate Devil Trigger and go full assault to stun him before he can vanish in the darkness. As he's stunned, perform a devil buster in front of him (not on his tail; possibly on his head), and tap Y and B for extra damage/style meter/style points. For your regular attacks, use Roulette Spin, Ex Streaks, Ex Splits.

Dante - After he tries to eat you/after his ice-breathing attack are both good openings for Distorted Real Impacts, but it's better if you start the fight by using Pin-Up 2-3 times. When he jumps on you/reaches you (thus getting stabbed by the stingers you just summoned with Pin-Up), hit Devil Trigger near him and spam Pin-Up: this will quickly stun him. At this point, go in front of him and use Distorted Real Impacts. If this doesn't finish him off, deal with the antennae by using Kick 13 over and over again, and then kill the toad when he's back (use anything you want, even just a bunch of Kick 13 or Pin-Up).

Echidna

Echidna attacks: this boss has three possible fight positions.
In the default position (as the fight starts), she can use a long tail to sweep most of the arena, but it's enough to jump to avoid it. The boss can also use some antenna-whips, avoidable with jump and possibly Air Hike. From this position, the boss can decide to rush everywhere around the arena: if this happens, use the lock-on button (RB by default) to track her position, and release a Lv 3 Charged Shot in her face when she's trying to charge at you. You can even buster her face when she tries to charge at you, but the charged shot is much safer and equally effective from the style meter point of view.
If Echidna plants herself in the ground, she will attack summoning long roots: staying very close to her is usually enough to be out of the reach of the roots which won't aim against you, but if you see a light purple sphere around Echidna, this means that she has ordered her roots to attack specifically you, and you'll need to jump/Air Hike to avoid them (also release a charged gunshot to deal damage and make the aerial time higher). She can also use the antennae from this position. If you try to buster her when she's not stunned, she will guard the hit but she won't counter. When she comes out of the ground to return to her default position, she will make a rough movement upwards, damaging you if you don't jump away on time.
If Echidna plants her roots in the ground, she will try to lay an egg (a Chimera Seed enemy), but won't attack you directly. If you jump on her instead of staying below her, she can use the antenna attack again. When she's going to come out of the ground to return to her default position, she will make a rough movement upwards, damaging you if you don't jump away on time (this attack can damage you only if you're staying on her; if you're below her, she can't hit you this way either).
On higher difficulties, when she goes berserker (when this happens there will be a yellow-ish spark from her), her body can also shoot fast projectiles as she moves around/plants: be watchful and dodge them by jumping a lot as you move around; against Dante, she can shoot the projectiles even on Human.

Nero - Always keep your Lv 3 Charged Shot ready to shoot her in the face if she tries to rush everywhere in the arena. In her default position, use aerial combos (especially Roulette Spin). Whenever it's ready, release the Lv 3 Charged Shot: doing so will prevent her starting the charge-at-you attack at all; if she manages to start it, release the Lv 3 Charged Shot as already explained to stop her and increase your style meter massively.
If she plants herself in the ground, go as close to her as possible and use any combo you want (Red Queen Combo C is great); release the gunshot if you're jumping to avoid her aimed-root attack.
If she plants her roots in the ground, smash her body below her (hit the purple thing where the seed comes from) but only for a few hits; then immediately use a buster.
This enemy has also a large amount of possible buster animations, and of course you want to use your Devil Trigger before using any of them. In her default position she can only be bustered if she's stunned, which happens regularly as you damage her. You also need to wait until she's stunned to buster her if she plants herself on the ground; in this case, you can increase the damage and style of the buster attack by using the exceed button (RT) and probably also by tapping Y. In her roots-planted position you can buster her bottom (the guard is already open): tap B for extra punches, damages and style in this animation. You can also buster her when she charges at you, as already said (though I still recommend to use the Lv 3 Charged Shots), and increase this damage by tapping the usual buttons.

Dante - Let her plant herself in the ground and use Pin-Up continuously. In her default position, use Lucifer's stingers anyway, so you can detonate them with Ecstasy if she charged at you (detonation will stop her and give you style meter boosts). It's almost impossible to connect a Real Impact, so just stick with Pin-Up.

Angelo Credo

Angelo Credo attacks: this boss has a very large amount of attacks, which include regular slashes and aerial attacks too. In addition to them, he can guard with the shield and counter (he gives you more than enough time to dodge though). He can teleport to a corner of the arena and throw a spear against you: you can either buster (risky) or devil-bringer the spear for extra style meter. He can throw up to three spears in a row, and every time he will throw them faster than the previous time. When it's low on health, this boss can also summon yellow small blades: these blades can be summoned around you (in this case it's enough to activate Devil Trigger to instantly destroy them all) or in front of him. If it's the second case, simply run away to dodge them. The length and number of hits of his combos will also increase near the end of the fight.

Nero - Attack him with anything and he will guard; dodge his counter, attack again with a short combo and use a buster to damage him and his shield; after the buster, release a Lv 3 Charged Shot for extra damage. It's somehow similar to the strategy used to damage Bianco Angelo's shields, although it's obviously a much stronger shield this time. Be aggressive and always rely on the pattern attack-dodge the counter-attack and buster. If he tries to throw spears at you, lock on to him with RB and be ready to press B to perform a devil bringer, so you guard against the spear and increase your style meter like crazy. You can also buster the spear, but it's very risky; if you do so, aim and release the spear itself against Angelo Credo. In addition to pressing B for the snatch on the spear, you should also press A+LS_Left/Right immediately after B: should you mistake the timing of the snatch, you will still dodge the spear. Keep in mind that the second spear will take him less time to throw, and the third one even less time.
Other than this, try to damage his shield with busters and charged shots. A special buster is available if his shield is completely down, and another buster is available if he falls on his knees, stunned. Make sure you use your Devil Trigger in these situations.

Dante - Straight, or possibly even a Distorted Straight, works perfectly for his shield. It's possible to land a Distorted Real Impact when he's stunned. Pin-Up is a badass move once again, since this enemy is rather slow and lets you summon a lot of stingers to send to him with Bondage for a future detonation. As usual, a storm of Pin-Ups will also stun him rather quickly.

Angelo Agnus

Angelo Agnus attacks: the boss can use a couple of Gladius enemies as swords to swing at you twice; this attack can be easily avoided by jumping away. Unfortunately the Gladiuses will be set free afterward, and you need to destroy them or they will be an extra enemy. The boss can also summon more Gladius enemies from his back; the best thing to do is activating Devil Trigger on his back and smash them to pieces before they can be thrown against you. The boss can also summon fireballs from his back. Especially near the end of the fight, he can summon two Cutlasses which he will use around his body to spin for quite a while: stay away from him, then jump and air hike when he throws the cutlasses as a sort of boomerang. This is the hardest attack to avoid. On higher difficulties he can also summon Basilisk enemies, and the Cutlasses can even take part in the fight. The most dangerous attack of the enemy is however an absorbing attack which he can use in two different ways. He can either stay in the middle of the arena, creating a dark green aura all around the place, draining your health and refilling his own health, or he can grab you and absorb your health directly with his own hands. For both the situations, the best thing to do is releasing a Lv 3 Charged Shot in his face (on higher difficulties you need to add more hits too); if this isn't enough, activate Devil Trigger and smash him before he can land the attack. Jumping away can be enough for the latter too, but not for the former. The controller will vibrate when these absorbing attacks are coming at you, and you will also hear sentences like "Your strength will be mine!" or "Time to die...". His other attacks also have typical sentences announcing them: pay attention and try to learn what he says before a specific attack by the time you challenge him in the Bloody Palace. On higher difficulties he can be very stubborn at the end of the fight, and he will probably keep summoning/using the Cutlasses to keep you away. Lv 3 Charged Shots and Lucifer's stingers can partially fix this problem.

Nero - This boss is aggressive and the extra enemies are the most relevant problem of the fight. Use busters on Gladiuses to throw them directly at the boss (make sure that there aren't other Gladiuses ready to attack you while you do so though), and always be ready to use the Devil Trigger behind him if he's summoning more Gladiuses, so you can destroy them before they can be a problem. Airborne combos are more effective than combos from the ground, since his weak spot is the body and not the legs. The opening for a buster is very short against this enemy: he rarely gets stunned, and when this happens you only have a few seconds to come close to him and perform the buster animation.

Dante - This fight can be heavily luck-based if you want to rely on Distorted Real Impacts. Unfortunately, the chances of landing it are not completely positive, and if the boss stays too high in the air, you will not manage to connect the hits. Pin-Up is a good, but not great, alternative to this. I suggest you to watch some random YouTube videos, searching "Angelo Agnus Dante DMD No Damage" to see different approaches for this fight. You will not find a winning strategy which can definitely break the fight (like, for example, Pin-Up against Echidna), but at least you have an idea on different approaches to use in different situations. Do not "trust" videos showing Agnus defeated with a bunch of Distorted Real Impacts, because it's really just luck and you must be ready to deal with him the hard and long way if he just won't get down to let you connect the hits. In story mode you can partially avoid the problem by using items (you should be able to afford the sacrifice of the No Item bonus on all the modes for Mission 17, even on Human), but should he be in the wrong mood in the Bloody Palace, I really think you would regret having chosen Dante instead of Nero.

Dante

He's the strongest boss of the game. Never let him use Omen. Other than this...

Nero - ...you can find a lot of videos showing how to fight against Dante, but they are all difficult to replicate. On Human you can try to snatch him and immediately buster him for massive damage; roll away if he doesn't get snatched, because he'll try to "stinger" you (a fast attack from the ground). You can also perform aerial busters, but they work quite rarely; on the other hand, busters on the ground may result in the sword-crossing random "minigame", while the aerial buster is always effective. If you buster Dante even on the ground while you have the Devil Trigger activated, you'll be able to always deal damage to him because the minigame won't ever trigger. This is expensive from the devil-gauge point of view though. Anyway, he won't be a problem on Human. On higher difficulties, it's a completely different fight.
There are three main ways to deal with Dante in a cheap way. In order of effectiveness, here they are.
Method one - use snatches on Dante and roll to avoid his stinger; immediately snatch him again and continue to roll away until you manage to finally grab him and then use a buster. If you have good reflexes, you can also try to activate Devil Trigger immediately as soon as the snatch connects, so you deal more damage to Dante and you don't risk that the minigame goes wrong. If you can't do so, the minigame can have three results. You can win, smashing Dante away (best scenario); you can "half-win", that is to say you will open Dante's guard and be able to land a couple of hits with Y and quickly perform another buster for another attempt; you can lose, that is to say your guard will be opened: if this happens, jump away.
Method two - shoot continuously with your gun (tap RT) and move forward close to Dante meanwhile. When you're close enough, perform a buster: this avoids the problems with missed snatches, but sometimes you may miscalculate the timing and be open for his counters.
Method three - replicate what is shown in the video. That is to say, only attack Dante after jumping away from his attacks (in one word, counter), and only using Lv 3 Charged Shots. Wait for him to come at you, jump away when he starts his attack, and release your shot. He may or may not get hit; if he doesn't, he may do something else or may (often) use his own gunshot to damage you. This is a minor risk though, and in the long run you will deal far more damage than the minor damage you will take from these occasional shots. Apart from this opening, the only other opening to use the Lv 3 Charged Shot will be when he uses the Pandora's third-form attack (Revenge), the powerful cannon one. His guard is completely open while he loads it, so feel free to devastate him with your shot. If he's using Omen (you will know which is it by the time you'll face him on higher difficulties; it's the attack when the Pandora suitcase lights the whole room anyway), release your shot no-matter-what, because you must avoid that attack at all costs. Other than these two openings for the charged shots, your only other offense will be snatch+buster when he is in Royal Guard style (you can recognise it from his light blue/grey-ish aura, besides that from his position), since he will be totally open for snatches and busters in this style (on the contrary, avoid any other attack by all means). It goes without saying that you want to activate Devil Trigger when he is in Royal Guard style, so you deal more damage with the busters.

Dante - Good luck. Seriously. You can use Devil Stingers (Stinger attacks with Devil Trigger activated, that is) until your gauge lets you, although this means being at high risk in case you get caught by his combos. Always stay in Trickster: Gunslinger and Swordmaster don't give you attacks which can land on Dante (he's too quick to take them of course), and Royal Guard is only good if you're excellent at it (and you feel like attempting a perfect block rather than just jumping away...after 100 stages cleared...). Dark Slayer is totally useless unless you manage to send Dante in the air with High Time and want to deal some extra damage with Aerial Rave (V). Other than this, therefore, Trickster is your best bet to at least try to survive. Shooting Coyote-A charged shots is also a good way to break through his defense. Pin-Up isn't very safe this time, because his counters are too fast and long-ranged (think at his Stinger or his own Coyote-A shot) to let you recover and get away on time after throwing the Lucifer's stingers in front of you.

???

There's another boss of the game, which I won't name because of spoiler reasons, which you fight only in the story mode, as Nero. You will find the strategy for this boss in the main walkthrough.

Introduction

In this page I will describe everything you want to do on your first playthrough of Devil May Cry 4. I suggest playing on Human first, to build your strength up for harder modes. Your first playthrough will focus on accomplishing Secret Missions and finding Blue Orb Fragments (other than common items in the dungeons), besides learning the basics of the game to be prepared for S-Ranking. The reason why there are two walkthroughs (this one, all-inclusive, and a shorter one) is that when you attempt to S-Rank missions, you will only want a quick summary of where to go, enemies and red orbs to collect on the stages, and using a comprehensive walkthrough would make it harder to find the key information you seek.

In both the pages you will also find videos of performances on Human mode; in this page, their use is just in case you get stuck on something; in the other walkthrough, they're also to show you how to deal with enemies to achieve an S Rank more easily. For boss fights I've also added a video of the fight on Dante Must Die difficulty, with performances which you can imitate without being an expert.

Orb locations will be put in bold text to highlight them.

You can find a video with the location of all the Blue Orb Fragments of the game here. What is not included are the Blue Orbs of Secret Missions (check the specific guide for them) and the Blue Orbs of Combat Adjudicators, which are really always on your way (with one exception on Mission 12) and are included in the text walkthrough anyway.

Sometimes enemies will be different according to the difficulty. You will always find the same enemies on Human and Devil Hunter, as well as the same on Son of Sparda and Dante Must Die, but for example in a certain mission you will fight a Blitz enemy with Nero on Son of Sparda/Dante Must Die modes, while there are no Blitz enemies as Nero on Human/Devil Hunter. For this page you will find information on what you can find on your first run, on "easier difficulties" (most of the times, with weaker enemies).

Mission 01

S Rank on Human
S Rank on Dante Must Die

Walkthrough

There isn't much about this mission. You start with some tutorials (if you get hit during the tutorials, this won't count, so you can still get the no-damage bonus; the time spent in the tutorial is also not counted for the clear time) which give you the very essential basics of the game, and then you have to actually fight.

As soon as the tutorials are over, press Start, then choose the Options, Game Options, and here's where you can change your Target Type if you ever need. From the Options then go to the Control menu and change the Gun Attack from X to RT. It is very important.

There are 10x benches to destroy -- do so while keeping an eye at your opponent (release charged shots after dodging if he's using the "automatic fire") and you won't have problems.

When you use a Buster attack (press B near the enemy to perform it), just for this particular boss, a sword-crossing minigame may trigger. There are many theories about this minigame, but none has been confirmed. It's very possible that the chances of winning it rather than losing it are simply random, so there's no need to button-mash during that sequence.

Mission 02

S Rank on Human

Walkthrough

Opera House Plaza

You start facing 3x Scarecrow enemies.

Scarecrows (Nero) - To deal with them, load your Ex-Gauge to three gauges and use the Ex High Roller skill of the Red Queen (inputs: RB+LS_Backward+Y; make sure you hold all the buttons until the end of the move) near one enemy (the effect will be more powerful when you purchase the EXCEED 3 skill from the shop); you will raise in the air, hitting and raising the enemy in the process too; in the air, shoot a few (2-3) bullets with the gun, and then use a Buster (input: B) still mid-air to defeat one Scarecrow. When one is down, Devil-Bringer the next one (inputs: RB+B+LS_Forward; you will get this ability soon in this mission) and use a Taunt (input: Back) on him, and then work on him in the same way (refill your Ex-Gauge every time). Make sure that you are near the third enemy before you defeat the second enemy, so the game doesn't think the fight is over until you kill all the three of them (remember that when a fight is over, the style meter is reset, and this means losing Stylish Points).

In this first area, destroy 4x trash cans, 6x benches (four at first and four past the fountain) and collect the single 1x red orb on the way before proceeding.

Storehouse

There are 2x barrels at the bottom floor.
Before proceeding upstairs, look at your mini-map and face the North wall and 4-5 stairs: jump with A towards the wall, then jump again on A using the wall itself as a platform for the jump; you will reach an alcove in the wall, where lies 1x Gold Orb.
Make your way up and prepare the Ex-Gauge again: 3x Scarecrows will attack you as you go. When the fight is over, destroy everything here: 5x shelves, 3x barrels and 5x boxes; then proceed.

Terrace

Nothing here, take the next door.

Cathedral

Go straight in front of the door where you start and jump towards the gate with A; then jump on the gate itself with A again (about the same thing you did for the previous Gold Orb) to get a quite hidden 1x red orb.
Then go downstairs all the way to the bottom (if you see a red orb as you go, ignore it for now) and you will find a total of 10x chairs to destroy; examine the blue pillar near them to get the Evil Legacy, a key item which gives you the Devil-Bringer ability for the first time.
Go back up a couple of sets of stairs and check the right side of the room (South on the mini-map) to find a cell which has 1x Vital Star S inside: grab it with the Devil-Bringer ability (RB+B+LS_Forward).
Now proceed using the blue grip and use another one to continue. At this point, destroy 4x benches and get 1x red orb with the Devil-Bringer; finally exit through the door.

Terrace - II

Proceed with the blue grip and you will come to a pillar as you continue. This is the first secret mission.

Secret Mission 01 - Annihilation
Video.
Task: destroy all demons within the time limit!
Strategy: there isn't much to explain here. You can easily accomplish this one even on your first playthrough: use a four-hit combo (input: YYYY; try to press LT to automatically Exceed after every hit, so you deal more damage) and follow it by a Buster (input: B) to finish off each enemy.
Reward for the first success: Blue Orb Fragment # 01/32.

Continue with another grip and rout 2x Scarecrows which will spawn. Defeat them, proceed and fight 5x Scarecrows; if you optimize your moves you should come out of the fight with an S on stylish meter, but anyway. Continue forward to the next area after the fight.

Residential District

Here there are several items to destroy for red orbs (they're just on your way, all before where the giant red statue is). Speaking of the red statue, it doesn't count for the total orbs, so feel free to ignore it when you're attempting the S-Rank. Now that you're not going for it, smash it as much as possible (it automatically destroys when a fixed amount of time elapses after your first hit) to gain extra red orbs for your purchases; in particular, save all your Red Orbs for Purple Orbs.
Defeat 3x Scarecrows here (make sure you're near the next one before killing them, so you keep them all in the same fight and keep the style meter up for everyone, as usual), then take a turn left to find 3x red orbs up a side path.

After getting them, pick up Blue Orb Fragment # 02/32 in the same "alcove" as the last of these three orbs.

Then proceed into a more open area and destroy 1x trash container; in this area there are also 2x secret orb spots, up the wooden turret in this same open area. You can wall-jump on the turret itself to reach the first spot, but you will need something more than the default skills to reach the second one too (Air-Hike is the skill I've used in the video). If you can't succesfully climb up, use a charged Ex High Roller like in this video to reach these spots more easily; this is not possible your first time here of course, but keep it as a reminder for later.

When it's all earned, proceed to the next area.

Port Caerula

As you're out of the tunnel, go immediately left and wall-jump to find and reach 1x red orb floating in the air, then continue forward (ignore the path going right) to another 1x red orb, on the ground this time. Grip-forward to eventually reach another building.

Custom House

Load your Ex Gauge and step on to trigger a fight with the usual 3x Scarecrows. After the fight, smash the blue switch until it's completely turned on, opening the way. Get the 2x red orbs as you jump upwards to continue to a balcony where you will activate a panel. Then backtrack outside.

Port Caerula

3x Scarecrows will welcome you outside (the third spawns as you kill one of the first two). Then backtrack again and this time proceed left (where I told you not to go yet earlier) to trigger a "large" fight against 7x Scarecrows (four at first and three respawns). Beat them up, coming out of the fight with your good S Rank, and proceed; destroy 2x trash containers as you go to the next area.

First Mining Area

Move forward and drop in the water at one point: standing in the water, in the Northwest corner of the mini-map, you will find and collect 6x red orbs.
Use two grips to go up and you will find your first Combat Adjudicator.

Combat Adjudicators are "enemies" which you can smash freely; they won't attack you, they're just there to be smashed. You have to raise your style meter against them (they won't earn you style points, so they're useless from the ranking point of view), and you will be rewarded with blue orb fragments (only the first time you do so, of course). It's an easy task with such a steady enemy, so I'll leave it to you after this first sample shown in the video.

After getting Blue Orb Fragment # 03/32 from it, continue to the next area.

Ferrum Hills

Load your Ex Gauge and proceed further to trigger your first boss fight.

Nero vs Berial
Berial attacks: he has a couple of different attacks with his giant sword, and it's enough to time your jump away to avoid being hit. In one of his attacks he can also jump and spin 360°: do not stay close to him when he lands, or you will take damage. He can also (especially when he starts losing health) punch the ground, summoning lava columns from the ground (move around the arena to avoid them). He can regenerate his flame-shield with a massive ranged shockwave (he roars when doing this, and it's very easy to understand when it's happening): to avoid this one, either stay away from him, if possible, or look at the ground and you will clearly notice the "damage line" of the shockwave (the ground is erupting or something like that). That damage line will extend radially from Berial; when you see the shockwave is coming at you (again, look at the ground to understand "where" the line of damage is), jump to exploit the invincibility frames of the jump and take no damage. If you try to buster him when he's not stunned, he will counter trying to stomp you (jump with A and you will avoid his attack, getting a nice style meter bonus for the last-second-dodge; since it's risky, it's better to simply not buster him). He can also grab you if you're standing in front of him, though this is a quite rare attack.
Strategy: Berial is the second-to-hardest boss of the game, and also the second-to-most aggressive. His giant size can make him a problem the first time you face him, especially if you don't play carefully. Along with the other hard boss of the game, found on Mission 10, he's the only one for which I recommend being patient and using a slow but safe strategy instead of a full assault.
On your first playthrough, with no special skills available, simply attack his back/sides, avoiding his hits, and if you see that his flames are completely off (his color clearly changes), perform a buster on him and immediately run to him again after the animation, attempting a second buster after the first one (you may even manage to land a third buster, but you usually don't have enough time). Jump at any time he tries to hit you, and you should come out without being beaten up too much thanks to the invincibility frames given by the jumps.

Mission 03

S Rank on Human

Walkthrough

Second Mining Area

As you start, defeat the 3x Scarecrows, ignore the red orbs statue on the left (smash it if you're on your first playthrough), and then make your way to the top using the devil bringer. At the top, go left and collect the lonely red orb by jumping down to reach it; then jump back up.

From the last grip you used to go up, before proceeding to the next part of the area, jump left and continue left/up instead of falling down (as you did to get the orb) to find more grips. Use two of them to reach a "wall" and jump on this wall to go higher and find more grips; mid-air after the jump, use the devil-bringer to use these grips too to reach Blue Orb Fragment # 04/32. It can be tricky to use the grips in the correct way to succeed, but you will, eventually. In particular, after jumping on the wall, use the last three grips as soon as possible (I was basically tapping B while holding RB), and this should give you the correct momentum and position to land correctly.

There is also another blue orb fragment available here, but you need Streak, Roulette Spin and Air Hike to get to it; you'll be able to get it more easily later on mission 16.

Afterwards, proceed and fight 4x Scarecrows. Then move on and check on the left side before exiting the area to find an alcove with Vital Star S inside.

Fortuna Castle Gate

Before proceeding right, take the side path on the left and jump up some rocks to get 1x red orb; continue and destroy 3x tiny pillars (the ones you can destroy are clearly smaller than those you can't destroy; they give you green orbs, but you need them anyway for the Orbs Found percentage). A cutscene will trigger as you approach a bridge, and you will fight 2x Frosts.

Frosts (Nero) - These are among the strongest regular enemies of the game. They can hardly be stunned, they are very aggressive, and they can teleport around you. In addition to this, they have long ranged attacks which are quite hard to dodge unless you're in a simple 1v1 situation. They can also defend themselves in an "ice shield": smash it before they un-freeze to get extra points and defeat them. To stun a Frost with your default arsenal, rely on Snatches (Devil Bringer) and then immediately attack him to continue with a Buster. While performing the buster, hit B and rotate LS to aim the direction where you will throw them.

After the fight, destroy the 10x tiny pillars around the place and jump on two of the bigger pillars to collect 2x secret orb spots. There are 3x red orbs to collect if you backtrack, but it's a waste of time and you don't need them to achieve the minimum 95% of orbs required for the S Rank. So, just know that they're there, but don't collect them and instead proceed past the bridge (as a side note, Nero will probably sprint - provided you have the Speed skill - as you continue, since you'll be holding LS in the same direction when you continue on the bridge; when the cutscene plays, keep LS held and skip the cutscene with Start; if you keep LS held you will continue to sprint after the cutscene, saving a few extra seconds).

Grand Hall

Destroy all the 19x chairs, 4x benches and 3x fences on both the sides of the area (for a total of 38+8+6 objects), then take the door Southeast.

Large Hall

Here there will be several Scarecrows to deal with: they're found about everywhere in the narrow hallway, and you want to fight them with the usual technique explained at the beginning of the second mission. For the usual reason, make sure that you drag the last Scarecrow you're facing with snatches so you can reach the next group of enemies, and keep the style meter up as you defeat all the enemies of the hallway. Although boring, this is an extremely rewarding method for stylish points, and it's very important for S Ranks on Human.

After defeating them all (you should be in the Southwest part of the hallway now), go back to the Southeast part of it and destroy the 2x candle stands before a gate. Inside the gate there are also 4x candle stands and 5x chairs: you can reach some with the sword, but you will need to aim with your snatch to reach the furthest ones. You can still get S on orbs without these ones, so don't give them too much worries if you can't aim properly. Go around to the Southwest side again, ignore a door on the right (it leads to the Dining Room area which you don't want to visit now; if you do by mistake, destroy the items on the table and the chairs around it) and continue. In the Northern-most part of the Large Hall there are 4x candle stands; then continue Southwest and you will find 2x candle stands. In the Southwest-most part of the area there's a mirror you can break to find 2x red orbs (it's just before a black and blue barrier).

Southwest there are two exits: one leads back to the Grand Hall, another one (more North from the last one I mentioned) to the Torture Chamber.

Torture Chamber

A large fight against Scarecrows will trigger: they're in a perfect position to start with an Ex Streak attack (inputs: RB+Y+LS_Forward; hold all the buttons until the end of the move), which will hit a lot of them, giving you an extremely high multiplier in no time. After this start, work on them the usual way and you will probably achieve an SSS meter. If you don't have Streak yet, just go the normal way. Be careful in this room, by the way: if you hit the ceiling, you will get hit by some spikes (just don't jump too high - something you probably can't do anyway right now - to avoid this).

When they're dead, continue (if you notice a crack on the floor, don't bother with it; it'll be of interest later) and go upstairs.
There will be some grips: use them to make your way out. On higher difficulties, be aware that the grips will move and vanish, making it slightly harder. Should you fall down, you'd have to fight the Scarecrows again. While this may seem a good idea to increase the stylish points, it is not: these forced respawns will give you less points than the original group, and the more you respawn them, the less style points the enemies will give you. For this reason, one respawn might not be a terrible idea (although this means increasing your Clear Time, which is more a damage than a positive aspect, especially on Human), but don't try to boost the score with multiple falls, because it won't work. Anyway, you'll eventually get through.

Grand Hall

Go North to find 2x red orbs; you can get one easily, and the other one too by wall-jumping and then snatching towards it. There is also 1x secret orb spot though, and to get this one you will need Ex High Roller (Lv 3), which probably won't be possible your first time here. When you have it, make sure you hold all the buttons of the attack (RB+LS_Backward+Y) until Nero reaches the top, so you can get where the secret spot is like I did in the video.
Continue through the next door.

Central Courtyard

Move on and 2x Frosts will spawn; defeat them and continue.

Foris Falls

Go downstairs and proceed North to find a pillar with Vital Star S above it; you can "wall"-jump on the pillar itself to go high, and then perform a buster in the air to collect this item (try to "hit" the item with the devil arm).
Then go towards the East side and you will find a "red" combat adjudicator: you can't smash it, so just go on.

Central Courtyard - II

Fight 2x Frosts ahead and move on.

Grand Hall

Head South and you will find a similar platform to the one where the last secret red orb spot was: wall-jump on it and snatch the Holy Water (no need to use the Ex High Roller, but it can make it easier for you to reach this item).

Activate the blue switch by smashing it as usual, and then go Southeast (while being on the upper floor) to find another mirror to break to get Blue Orb Fragment # 05/32. Then continue through the door right.

Gallery

A large amount of Scarecrows will attack you here; defeat them as usual and destroy everything in the room; in particular, watch out for a couple of boxes in the Northwest side of the mini-map, since they're a bit hidden in the darkness and you may not notice them. Then exit.

Library

There's 1x secret orb spot out here (check the video for the exact location), and you need Air Hike to reach it. Continue South, and after a couple of cutscenes you will fight 4x Bianco Angelos (one at first, then another one, then two together last).

Bianco Angelos (Nero) - These enemies have an offensive charge attack, which they can perform also while standing in mid-air, and they have a shield which they use to guard against your attacks and then immediately counter. You can Buster them from their back (or even from the front if they're hovering), as well as perform safe combos, since that's their weak spot. While bustering them, you can tap B for extra damage and style points, but be careful when doing this since it's another "long" animation and you don't want to perform it if there are other enemies ready to attack you. They also have some regular sword attacks, but that's a minor problem. Your style meter will be particularly happy if you manage to break their shield (which can regenerate afterwards though): use a simple attack with Y first, and then buster them from the front (B): they will try to hit you with their shield and then with the lance immediately after, but you can easily jump away to avoid it. After their counter, do the same again (Y and then B) and their shield will be completely broken (on higher difficulties you'll need to do this more than just twice, but it still works). Now that they are guardless you can also buster them from the front side. For extra variety, you can also perform the Red Queen Combo C (YY, pause, YYYY) from their back, and shoot Lv 3 Charged Shots. Another way to break their shield (slightly more risky, but in fact totally safe if you get the timing right) is using Y, then B, then release a Lv 2/3 Charged Shot which also breaks their shield (one of these combos is enough on Human), and then perform a simple buster to defeat one. You probably have nothing like this right now, but save this information for later encounters.

When they are gone, destroy 2x pots on the left and right side of the gyro blades in the room (West side); jump up on the West side to find 2x benches; still on the upper part of the room, but on the Southeast side, there is 1x bench; in the Northeast corner, but down, there's another 1x bench. Finally go North and examine the pillar to get Anima Mercury (key item) and end the mission.

Mission 04

S Rank on Human

Walkthrough

At this point you should be able to do some skill-shopping with your Proud Souls: try to purchase Charge Shot and Charge Shot 2 first of all; then, after some more missions, purchase Streak; then start saving Proud Souls for Air Hike.

Library

The areas and orbs of this mission are the same as previously, although some enemies are different. In the library, destroy the 4x benches and 2x pots; then activate the gyro blades on the West side by using a Buster on them.

Gyro Blades are found for the first time on this level, and they work very easily. Using busters on them will (after activating them with a buster in the first place) make them move, as it's obvious since you're punching them forward. The distance that they will cover is different according to how much you've "charged" the gyro blades. Use one hit of your Red Queen and the blades will spin; use two hits and the blades will spin even more. A Streak (RB+Y+LS_Forward) attack and some others will count as two "charges" on the gyro blades. Anyway, unless you have a good aim, it's usually a good thing to use only one charge, so that if you aim in the wrong direction you won't cause the gyro blades to bounce everywhere, possibly even backtracking after touching a wall in front of you, causing a waste of time to go back and move them again.

Exit outside and get the 1x secret orb spot; then backtrack.

Gallery

Fight a few Scarecrows and 2x Frosts (one after another) and destroy every object of the room like you did on the previous mission. You could use the gyro blades in this room to massively damage the enemies, but you would waste all their potential Stylish Points and it's therefore all but a good idea to make things quicker with the gyro blades. Work on the enemies the usual way (defeat the Frosts first or keep them out of your sight) and you'll be fine. Exit the room to backtrack again.

Grand Hall

A cutscene shows a gyro blade here, but you can ignore this one. Instead, on the upper floor, get 2x red orbs and 1x secret orb spot (the one which you can reach with Ex High Roller) in the Northwest part.
Then jump down and destroy all the chairs, benches and fences like you did your first time here; you could use the gyro blades to speed things up, but you would only save a few seconds, provided your aim is perfect - since it's probably not, do yourself a favour and destroy them with Streaks/any sword attack. You could also destroy (with the gyro blades only) the black and blue platform in the middle of the room, but you wouldn't find anything, so it's really not worth the time.
After destroying the objects, take the Southwest door to enter the Large Hall.

Large Hall

On your S-Rank playthrough on Human, enter the Torture Chamber (the room on the West side) for an extra fight against Scarecrows: they die quickly, easily, and will net you a lot of extra Stylish Points. When they're all dead, return to the Large Hall.
Ignore the objects to destroy at first, and enter the room to the East instead.

Dining Room

Fight 2x Bianco Angelo and destroy 8x chairs and 4x sets of objects on the table.
Proceed after the fight, and take a left to find another gyro blade; activate it and use it as a shield and weapon to proceed through the fireball-attacked hallway. You will eventually punch the gyro blades all the way South, destroying the source of the fireball. Before exiting, there's the second secret mission.

Secret Mission 02 - Alley-Oop
Video.
Task: succesfully execute a mid-air Buster 5 (consecutive) times without touching the ground!
Strategy: not much to say about this one either. You have a limited amount of enemies to "use" to accomplish this task, which is very easy: jump once, snatch an enemy and buster him in the air; immediately snatch another enemy (also the same one) and buster him too; do so five times in a row without landing and you'll clear the mission. The only difficulty here is represented by Scarecrows defending with their blades: aim your snatch on those which aren't guarding and you'll be fine.
Reward for the first success: Blue Orb Fragment # 06/32.

When it's clear, exit through the door on the right.

Large Hall

You're now behind the gated area. There will be a large fight with Scarecrows, and there are also gyro blades here. Do not use them to defeat the enemies, so you get all the possible stylish points from them.
When the fight is over, smash the blue switch to open the gate; this will spawn more Scarecrows in the hallway, and you want to defeat them in a single fight, snatching the last of one group to the next group, so you keep your style meter up by involving each of them in the same fight (as usual).

When they are all defeated, make sure you destroy/get everything on your way moving the gyro blade in the gated area all the way to the Southwest corner of the hallway: 4x candle stands and 5x chairs inside the gate area, 2x candle stands just near the gate, then 4x candle stands North, 2x candle stands in the Southwest part, and the 2x red orbs behind the mirror to the Southwest.
Use the gyro blade (the ones in the gate area) to destroy the Southwestern-most black and blue barrier, so you can reach another gyro blade. This will spawn a few more Scarecrows from here to the North part of the area (defeat them as usual).
Then place both these two gyro blades (one by one) in their specific location in the North part of the area to complete this simple puzzle and unlock the way. Move on through the door North to reach the next area.

Central Courtyard - II

After a few steps you will trigger a boss fight.

Nero vs Bael
Bael attacks: Bael is a particular boss who can "hide" from the stage. In particular, you will fight two antenna enemies as soon as the fight starts, and then the "real" enemy will show up. Bael can also go into a corner of the stage, breathe and hide again temporarily until you smash enough of his antennae. He can swing the antennae to attack, he can throw icicles at you, he can spit ice in front of his mouth, he can try to eat you and he can try to splat you by jumping on you. You can easily avoid all these attacks: the icicles and his "stomp" attack will show shadows on the ground in the spot where the icicle/enemy is about to land; the ice-spit attack and his attempt to eat you can be dodged easily by jumping away (Air Hike really helps). Should you get "eaten" on your next playthroughs, activate Devil Trigger to set you free; on your first run you can only prevent it. If you try to buster him when he's not stunned, he will try to stomp you (you can dodge by jumping, just like for Berial). When he's about to die, he will freeze himself: don't stay in front of him, or he will try to eat you as soon as he un-freezes (which happens all of a sudden).
Antennae attacks: while weak and not aggressive, they are still offensive. They can either try to slash you with regular attacks, or to grab you. If an antenna grabs you, you'll be frozen and Bael will immediately come out from nowhere, to eat you: use Devil Trigger to set you free from the ice/mouth of the monster.
Strategy: damaging the antennae is the most tricky part of the fight. To do so, jump and aerial-snatch them. They will often dodge, but eventually they will get caught by your arm; when this happens, Buster the fairy and follow the buster with an immediate Charged Shot (the highest level of charge you can). It's important to release the shot as soon as you finish the buster, otherwise they will dodge the hit. You can also succesfully deal damage by using Split attacks (RB+Y+LS_Forward while in the air), but it is more risky. If an antenna is about to hit you (especially if they're trying to grab and freeze Nero), they are completely open for the snatch and buster.
Once they are gone and you're against Bael, the fight will be very simple: run away if he's using the icicle attack, jump if he's using other attacks, and smash him from the sides. Doing so will prevent, as it was for Berial, his most typical attacks, and he will also try to rotate his body to face you, giving you more time to smash him. A useful attack to quickly reach and possibly damage Bael when he jumps away is the attack Calibur of the Red Queen (RB+LS_Back_to_Forward+Y while in the air), but you probably don't have it right now. Release Charged Shots as soon as you have them ready at their highest level of charge, and if you see that he's collapsed, Buster him from his front like you would obviously do. While bustering him, button-mash on your controller (tap Y and B) for extra damage and Stylish Points. If you buster him from his tail, button-mashing won't make any difference.

The fight is easier than it may look at first, just be patient against the antennae. To some extent, his "vanishing" attack is similar to Berial's shockwave, although there's a consistent difference since it will not damage you this time. The similar aspect is that Bael will use it when he's about to get stunned, just like Berial used it to recover his flame shield. For this reason, if you feel that he's about to vanish, go full assault and devastate him to stun him before he can run away; then use the buster and you'll deal high damage.

After the fight you will get the Rusalka Corpse (key item; it makes your arm glow when you're near secret orb locations, blue orb fragments or secret mission locations): go West to find a door to complete the mission.

Mission 05

S Rank on Human

Walkthrough

Soldier's Graveyard

Start the mission by loading your gunshot, and proceed to trigger a fight against 2x Mephisto.

Mephistos (Nero) - These enemies have a darkness shield/cloak: to take it off, your best bet is using Buster attacks (also aerial busters) on their "cloaks". Devil Bringer attacks also work good, but they're about half as powerful as a buster. Gunshot attacks (especially Lv 3 Charged Shots) will also devastate their cloaks. When they are without the darkness cloak, they will land on the ground as harmless spiders: they will run away from you and eventually recover their cloak, but until then you can damage these foes very seriously with busters and any other attack. Just be careful about their "cloak recovery": sometimes they regenerate the cloak instantly, in the middle of your combos, and this may cause you to get hit. Their attacks are easy to dodge: they usually use a nail/laser, very predictable, which you can also "attack" for some extra style meter. Anyway, they can also spin mid-air and attack you. These are their two main attacks; they can also slash sometimes. Overall, these are probably the least aggressive enemies of the game.

Once they are no more, destroy everything around you, including statues, gravestones and a main statue at the top of a fountain. Afterward, make sure you also collect the lonely 1x red orb, either as shown in the video, or by jumping/air-hike and using an aerial snatch on it. If you want, get 1x Gold Orb with the same procedure (jump left instead of right as you would do for the red orb; you can't just snatch this one though). Try to do all this as quickly as possible. Lastly, collect 2x secret orb spots on the East side of the area.

Below the staircase leading South there is the third secret mission, but you can't tackle it on your first time here. At the end of mission 08 you will get something (the Hold ability) to be ready to replay this mission and attempt the secret mission, but until then, just proceed on. I'll add it here for record.

Secret Mission 03 - Nonviolent Resistance
Video.
Task: raise your stylish ranking (to Carnage) without using attacks!
Strategy: your best chance is grabbing an enemy with B and Hold him (instead of performing a buster on him) by holding B. Then face the other enemies, and let them hit your "enemy-shield". Help yourself by performing a Taunt when you see that you've reached the Deadly rank (don't do it before then, or you will waste it) and do your best to avoid being hit.
Reward for the first success: Blue Orb Fragment # 07/32.

Master's Chamber

Defeat 3x Bianco Angelos and destroy every piece of furniture opposite and on a side of the bed. Smash the mirror on the East side to find another secret mission, doable your first time here.

Secret Mission 10 - Puppet Master
Video.
Task: manipulate the Gyro Blades and raze everything!
Strategy: it's very simple and self-explained. One target is in front of you, in the hallway; another one is found in the North part of the hallway. The third is just past the gate-area, the fourth is opposite the gate (before the door leading to the Grand Hall), and the fifth is in the gate area itself.
Reward for the first success: Blue Orb Fragment # 08/32.

Torture Chamber - II

Smash the blue switch to lift a gate, then use the gyro blade here to destroy an item and continue.

Spiral Well

As you're free-falling, start loading the gun since there will be 2x Mephisto waiting for you at the bottom. Defeat them, then retrieve the Wing Talisman (key item) from the red column here. You can also see a blue switch behind a gate, but it's not useful in this mission, so just ignore it.

After getting the talisman, use the red jumpers to climb back up, collecting various red orbs floating in the air as you move from one jumper (platform) to the next. In addition to this, after the second jumper, land on the West side of the room to find 1x secret orb spot. After the third jumper you will see a blue light: it's not just a lamp, but also 1x Holy Water; there's also a red orb statue on this ledge, anyway. After another jumper you will also be able to land on the North side and get 1x Vital Star S inside a cell (snatch it). Finally go all the way up with the last jumper.

Torture Chamber

A mixed fight of Scarecrows and 2x Mephistos will trigger: give the Mephistos priority, and deal with the enemies the usual way (use Ex Streaks if they're gathered). Return to the Large Hall after the fight.

Large Hall

3x Frosts will spawn: fight them just near the door from where you come, but don't stay too close to the door itself or you may accidentally press a button near it, causing the game to make you return to the torture chamber. If you stay in this tiny place you will probably manage to fight only one of them at the time; feel free to unleash your Devil Trigger as soon as the first Frost(s) spawns, so you can avoid taking damage when the risk is the highest.
After the fight, once again, destroy everything here: 2x candle stands in the Southwest part, 2x red orbs behind the mirror Southwest, 4x candle stands to the North, 2x candle stands near the gate and 4x candle stands and 5x chairs inside the gate area. Return to the Grand Hall afterwards (in the Dining Room, for your information, there are still the 2x Bianco Angelos; avoid wasting time with them).

Grand Hall

Once again, destroy the two sets of chairs, benches and fences; then (or actually before then) use the gyro blade on the North side to break the black and blue platform in the middle of the room and reveal a red jumper behind it. After your first playthrough, the platform will be already broken and this will save you some time as you replay for S Ranks.
Slash the chandelier where you land after jumping, so you reach the second floor. Before completing the mission, collect 2x red orbs and 1x secret orb spot (the one with Ex High Roller) Northwest, on the upper floor.
Then get through the now-broken wall North and continue to go. Before another door there will be two cells on the left: snatch 1x Vital Star S in one of them and continue through the door.

Underground Laboratory

Just continue North to complete the mission.

Mission 06

S Rank on Human

Walkthrough

Underground Laboratory

As you start, walk around to find 1x barrel and Blue Orb Fragment # 09/32. As you descend, destroy a total of 7x barrels on three different ledges, and at the bottom ignore the red combat adjudicator. Move on to the next room.

RED Access

3x Cutlasses will attack you as you continue.

Cutlasses (Nero) - They are giant "land shark" enemies. They can attack you popping up from the ground (showing their entire, huge size), and this is always preceeded by a red mark on the ground itself and by a sound; they can also (but more rarely and typically only on higher difficulties) turn "red" (they're usually blue) and attack with the fin, charging at you. For both the situations, jump away and always keep in mind that their size is really bigger than the fin may let you imagine, so you need to keep distance from them. About your attacks, you can use Lv 3 Charged Shots on the fins to deal massive damage, and pull them out of the ground with more attacks. Until they're out, stunned, they're harmless. Another effective offensive move is the devil bringer: when they jump out of the ground, jump away but be ready to snatch them while they're in the air; this will also stun them and let you smash them to death. Using charged shots when they are in the air is also a great attack. Be as offensive as possible, and keep the volume of your TV high enough to hear their attacks coming.

Destroy 3x debris (two on the left and one on the right; they're more than likely to be destroyed in the fight without even trying), then follow the tunnel to enter the next area.

Game Room

First get 1x red orb on the North side of the room.

Dice game - The dice in front of you will continuously spin, having a specific number at its top, in this fixed order: 1 - 4 - 2 - 6 - 3 - 5 - 1 - 4 - ...
When you hit the dice with any attack (I suggest the buster in close range, since it's the quickest), the dice will roll away and the resulting number will be the same which was on its top face when you first landed your hit. This lets you decide the result of this minigame: if you want to land two circles forward, you want to wait for the number "1" on its top surface, then will come the "4" - get your thumb ready on B - and finally "2": immediately strike to make the dice roll and end with the result of 2, which will move your "statue" two positions forward.
The circles where you land have different colors. The white ones have no effect; the red ones will spawn a random fight with regular enemies (extremely useful to increase your Stylish Points, although you may be unlucky and spawn Frosts; on higher difficulties they can even be bosses, and you will be warped to the specific arena if that's the case); the blue ones will spawn goodies (either a special item such as a Vital Star, or red and few green orbs; none of these will count for the total Orb Found percentage); the yellow ones will create a link between other yellow circles. Sometimes these links will lead you to the next yellow circle, other times they will lead you back to the previous yellow circles, depending on which specific circle you land. On higher difficulties you will also find purple circles, which will also spawn enemies or trigger a boss fight.

Given these instructions, you shouldn't need the extra fights, but if you do, you know how to proceed (land on red circles on purpose). The quickest order to get through this short "puzzle" without fighting or getting extra goodies is: 2, 5, 3, 6, 3/4/5/6 (you don't need to land exactly in the last circle, so any number higher than 3 will also complete the puzzle). After unlocking the way, exit through the door to the North/Northwest.

Containment Room

Step forwards to trigger a special fight. It will be a sort of boss fight, with a specific health bar, and you'll be able to damage the enemy by using Busters to throw the Gladius enemies, found in this fight for the first (and unfortunately not last) time. You could also damage the screen (your main enemy) with other regular hits, but throwing Gladiuses is a much stronger attack.

Gladiuses (Nero) - They are flying swords: if they're yellow-ish and spinning, they're about to attack you. Charged shots will stop and heavily damage them. Any random combo is good on these enemies, since they're weak. The problem is, they are always found in hordes, and this means that you need to work carefully to hide them from the camera, and shoot down any of them which are ready to attack/jump away carefully to avoid them. It's almost essential to have Target Type 1 when fighting these enemies: if you don't have it set, absolutely do so any time you find them.

While fighting, watch out for both the attacks of the Gladiuses, and for the occasional electric shockwaves created on the ground by the external enemy of this place. When the shockwave is coming, you will clearly see yellow thunders on the floor: try to stay airborne while this happens, by performing busters on the Gladiuses, or you will suffer from heavy damage. This will be a consistent problem on higher difficulties (you will barely notice, or you may not even trigger a single shockwave attack, on Human). As a reminder for your later playthroughs, feel also free to activate the Devil Trigger to exploit its invincibility frames (use it in the instant before a Gladius is about to attack you to guard against it; of course if you can just avoid it and save your devil trigger, much better; it's just an emergency plan) and stay airborne more easily with the busters.

After the fight, destroy 2x chairs (one on the left, one on the right side of the room) and get 1x secret orb spot in the middle of the blue stream. On your first playthrough, this is when you first acquire the Devil Trigger power: use it wisely with LB when you need an extra hand for massive carnage. Exit outside.

Foris Falls - II

Destroy 6x explosive canisters and activate the blue switch (it will be already activated on your secondary playthroughs, saving some time) and go upstairs to find 2x explosive canisters.

Approach the edge in front of the next door and you will see a Blue Orb Fragment # 10/32 floating in the air. You need specific abilities to get this one, since it's quite far away; you either need Snatch 2 and Air Hike, or Streak. If you have the first two, double-jump forward and try to aim for it with the snatch; you will eventually succeed. If you have the latter, approach the edge and use the Streak (no need to use Ex Streak) to make a long jump forward and either reach it, or come close enough to reach it with your devil arm. This second procedure is the one shown in the video.

When it's obtained, continue through the next door (upstairs).

Angel Creation

Fight 3x Bianco Angelo and destroy 1x explosive canister (on the left, facing the small stairs you will take to proceed). In the Northeast corner of the room there's another secret mission.

Secret Mission 04 - Tracking Treasure Down
Task: find all the hidden orbs!
Strategy: the orbs can be found in random locations which are different every time you play this mission; for this reason, and also because there's not a real need for it, no video has been added. The spots can net you 30 or 60 orbs, depending on which ones are spawned. Your arm will glow near the ones which have been spawned.
On the first floor you can find a group of orbs before the entrance door (all the way South); another group is on the left of the fallen chandelier (somewhere in the middle of where the chairs were); another in the spot where the gyro blade is (move it away; this is one which nets 60 orbs); another in the Northeast corner. Another one can also be found if you wall-jump on the arch between two columns in the Southwest side (this nets 60 orbs).
On the second floor (wall-jump near the gyro blade to go up) they can be found just in front of the blue switch in the Northeast part; behind a mirror, in the alcove where a blue orb fragment was, on the East side (this nets 60 orbs).
Another spot (which nets also 60 orbs) is before the door leading to the Underground Laboratory, past the broken picture/wall.
Reward for the first success: Blue Orb Fragment # 11/32.

Back in the Angel Creation, defeat 2x Bianco Angelo in a circular area, and then drop below.
Look at your mini-map: there's a circle (you just jumped off from that circular platform). Move so you go exactly South of the circle to find 1x secret orb spot. Continue and another fight against 3+2 Bianco Angelos will trigger. Dispatch of them and destroy 1x explosive canister on the right of the small hallway before the next door.

Underground Laboratory

You can now go up and destroy the barrels you may have missed your first time here. Return to the Grand Hall...

Grand Hall

...and in here, get the usual orbs: 2x red orbs and 1x secret orb spot (the Ex High Roller one) on the upper floor, the two sets of chairs, benches and fences at the bottom floor, and then go through either of the two doors on the sides of the broken picture/wall (on the upper floor).

Central Courtyard

You will find 3x Frosts on your way to Foris Falls (two spawn at first, then another one when one of the first two is dead), regardless of which of the two exits you chose. They both lead to the Foris Falls anyway, so it really makes no difference which of the two paths you choose (I prefer the left one, because there I find it easier to hide the Frosts with the camera, but anyway).

Foris Falls

Here you can now go North thanks to the bridge you created few moments ago.

Forest entrance

Continue forward to end the mission.

Mission 07

S Rank on Human

Walkthrough

Forest Entrance

As you start, destroy 2x eggs (they're attached to each other) on your left, then move on and destroy 7x eggs inside a big log cavity. Inside this cavity you will see a green light coming from the top of it: jump through the hole inside the log to get 1x Vital Star M. Out of the log, check the Southwest part of this area (it's on the right side of the screen) to find 3x eggs (again attached to each other). At the center of this place there's also a secret mission, but you can't deal with it in this mission. Move on to the next area.

Windswept Valley

Proceed and go left before jumping off the cliff to find 1x egg; there's also 1x Holy Water on the left-most side of the cliff. Then drop below from the right side and you will see (as the camera changes point of view) 1x egg attached to the mountain. Meanwhile, the Chimera Seeds will be introduced to you.

Chimera Seeds (Nero) - These are the weakest and nastiest enemies of the game. The Chimera Seeds are not aggressive at all (they rarely make a quick run and rush at you, but they will often just ignore you), but they can infect other enemies (Scarecrows or Assaults, which you will find later in the game), making them much more powerful. We'll deal with these hybrids in due time. As far as for the Chimera Seeds are concerned, they will instantly die with a buster, and they take priority in mixed fights (to avoid them infecting other monsters). Don't bother getting Stylish Points from them, and just destroy them with any attack you want (even just buster attacks if the context is not safe and you need to kill them quickly).

Defeat the 3x Chimera Seeds, then break 1x egg and 2x eggs at the bottom of the mountain. As you go towards some small stairs, check on the right side (facing them) to find 2x eggs. Up the stairs there will be a fountain: check somewhere Northwest of it to find 2x eggs. Enter the church afterward.

Ruined Church

Make a couple of steps and a cutscene will prepare you for 3x Chimera Scarecrow enemies.

Chimera Scarecrows (Nero) - These enemies will frequently use the blades inside their body to attack you/guard from your attacks. Your best friend here is the Lv 3 Charged Shot, since it will break through the blades and open the guard of the enemies. After releasing the shot, quickly perform a buster on the opponent, and get away (the shot will burst by now, dealing probably all the damage you need to defeat one; if not, repeat). You can also devil-bringer these enemies and wait until you see that they are using their blades on the ground; as soon as they stop swinging their blades around, you have a short span of time to attack before the blades can be active again. During this span of time you can perform the good old Ex High Roller + Buster combo. On higher difficulties, the gunshot is the only reliable way to tackle these opponents. Lv 2 Charged Shots, which you should have by now, are also good, although you can't count on the bullet bursting part of course).

Destroy 1x egg in this area, then break any of the glasses to be able to reach and destroy 17x eggs. Destroy 1x egg before some stairs and go up the same stairs to reach a blue switch which will let you reach the next exit.

Ruined Valley

Go on and smash another blue switch to create platforms. 2x Mephistos will attack you on the way: defeat them mainly with gunshots and try not to fall down, because this would lead you to an optional area (the Ruined Lowlands) where you would have to fight some enemies to come back. On Human it's just a bunch of Scarecrows. Should you fall down by accident, make sure to break the four eggs of this place, and go Northwest of the ruined lowlands to also find a secret orb spot. If you don't fall here by accident, don't fall here on purpose, because you would only waste time and you don't need extra stylish points. If you fall here 3 or more times on Human, you will have to fight Chimera Scarecrows before making your way back.

As you cross the platforms you will also see Blue Orb Fragment # 12/32 in the air: you must have Air Hike (or Roulette Spin) to reach it. When you're to the other side, exit to the next area.

Lapis River

There's 1x egg on the right as you continue, at the bottom of a tree, and then 2x eggs near another tree if you go South (they are opposite a red-cursed tree). Cross the bridge and you will find 1x egg on a pillar just on the right as soon as you're past the bridge. Below the bridge there are 4x eggs, and 4x eggs are also altogether on the right side as you make your way to the Northwest exit. Before going there though, go all the way Southwest to find a secret mission behind a tree.

Secret Mission 05 - Sky Scraper
Video.
Task: reach the goal by rising to the top!
Strategy: you need Nero's devil bringer ability for this mission, but your regular "snatch" is enough. Air Hike can also help, but it's not necessary. The mission works very easily, but it's quite tricky because your landing after a grip depends on your momentum and position in the instant when you used the devil bringer move to reach the grip itself. Keep trying and you will eventually make your way to the top.
Reward for the first success: Blue Orb Fragment # 13/32.

Exit Northwest when you've finished with everything else.

Ancient Plaza

Destroy 2x eggs in front of you, near a tree (you should find your first white orbs here; they are the ones which regenerate your devil trigger). Move forward and a fight of Scarecrows and Chimera Seeds will trigger: defeat the Chimeras before they can infect the Scarecrows and you will then achieve an easy victory (watch out for respawns).
After the fight, destroy all the eggs of the area. Looking at the mini-map, there's a circle in the middle of the area: East/Southeast of the circle you will find 1x egg near a tree; due West from the circle you will find 2x eggs near another tree; all the way West of the circle you will find 2x eggs attached to a mountain; due South from the circle there are then 2x eggs near a bunch of small rocks (these ones are on a slightly upper level, after some small wooden stairs).
When it's all done, exit Southwest.

Windswept Valley

Activate the gyro blade here and use it to destroy a barricade; past the barricade there are (clearly visible as long as you didn't destroy them with the gyro blades), on the left mountain as you go, 2x eggs. Break another barricade and defeat the several Chimera Scarecrows; then continue by breaking another barricade.
On the left as you go, before some small stairs, there will be 2x eggs attached to the mountain (they're smaller and attached higher than the previous ones): destroy them and exit through the new door.

Ruined Valley - II

Go on and a monster will start chasing after you: you can't deal damage to this monster, and you only have to run. As you run, destroy the various eggs on your way (use Streak attacks or regular quick sword attacks; there are more than 15), trying to be as quick as possible to avoid being hit by the monster. You will eventually reach the opposite side of the area.

Forgotten Ruins

Destroy 1x egg as you continue, near a plant.

Then deal with the second Combat Adjudicator (requires an Atomic meter) to get Blue Orb Fragment # 14/32.

Continue past a tunnel and break 1x egg just out of it; 2x Scarecrows and 2x Chimera Seeds will spawn as you go, and 2x Chimera Scarecrows will also spawn later in the same fight. Defeat them all and proceed; destroy 2x eggs in front of the shop statue and continue to the next area.

Den of the She Viper

Here you will fight Echidna.

Nero vs Echidna
Echidna attacks: this boss has three possible fight positions.
In the default position (as the fight starts), she can use a long tail to sweep most of the arena, but it's enough to jump to avoid it. The boss can also use some antenna-whips, avoidable with jump and possibly Air Hike. From this position, the boss can decide to rush everywhere around the arena: if this happens, use the lock-on button (RB by default) to track her position, and release a Lv 3 Charged Shot in her face when she's trying to charge at you. You can even buster her face when she tries to charge at you, but the charged shot is much safer and equally effective from the style meter point of view.
If Echidna plants herself in the ground, she will attack summoning long roots: staying very close to her is usually enough to be out of the reach of the roots which won't aim against you, but if you see a light purple sphere around Echidna, this means that she has ordered her roots to attack specifically you, and you'll need to jump/Air Hike to avoid them (also release a charged gunshot to deal damage and make the aerial time higher). She can also use the antennae from this position. If you try to buster her when she's not stunned, she will guard the hit but she won't counter. When she comes out of the ground to return to her default position, she will make a rough movement upwards, damaging you if you don't jump away on time.
If Echidna plants her roots in the ground, she will try to lay an egg (a Chimera Seed enemy), but won't attack you directly. If you jump on her instead of staying below her, she can use the antennae attack again. When she's going to come out of the ground to return to her default position, she will make a rough movement upwards, damaging you if you don't jump away on time (this attack can damage you only if you're staying on her; if you're below her, she can't hit you this way either).
Strategy: she is actually an easy boss to deal with. Always keep your Lv 3 Charged Shot ready to shoot her in the face if she tries to rush everywhere in the arena. In her default position, use aerial combos (especially Roulette Spin). Whenever it's ready, release the Lv 3 Charged Shot: doing so will prevent her starting the charge-at-you attack at all; if she manages to start it, release the Lv 3 Charged Shot as already explained to stop her and increase your style meter massively.
If she plants herself in the ground, go as close to her as possible and use any combo you want (Red Queen Combo C is great); release the gunshot if you're jumping to avoid her aimed-root attack.
If she plants her roots in the ground, smash her body below her (hit the purple thing where the seed comes from) but only for a few hits; then immediately use a buster.
This enemy has also a large amount of possible buster animations, and of course you want to use your Devil Trigger before using any of them. In her default position she can only be bustered if she's stunned, which happens regularly as you damage her. You also need to wait until she's stunned to buster her if she plants herself on the ground; in this case, you can increase the damage and style of the buster attack by using the exceed button (RT) and probably also by tapping Y. In her roots-planted position you can buster her bottom (the guard is already open): tap B for extra punches, damages and style in this animation. You can also buster her when she charges at you, as already said (though I still recommend to use the Lv 3 Charged Shots), and increase this damage by tapping the usual buttons.

She has quite an arsenal of moves and situations, but if you know what to do she is probably the easiest (or one of the easiest) bosses of the game. Most of the damage you deal will probably come from her planted-position, since she will spend most of the time (especially on long fights of higher difficulties) in this position.

A couple more notes about this fight. One is about the Chimera Seed which she can "spawn": defeat it as soon as possible, so you avoid problems of mis-targeting the seed instead of Echidna. Another one is that there's a little trick about Echidna (though you really don't need it), which can net you an easy, but style-less and boring, victory. When she plants in the ground, you can use continuously the combination Y followed by B to keep damaging her without being attacked. The "Y" part is when you damage her; the "B" part is the buster when she's not stunned. If she isn't stunned, she will guard against the attack, but she won't attack you; for this reason, you can attack her again with another single Y hit and then perform another buster to cause her to guard against the attack and so on. This creates a loop of invincibility, but then again, it's very boring, slow, style-less and only worth mentioning if you are having serious problems of health in the fight.

After the fight you will get the key item Sephirothic Fruit (it doesn't give special powers, it only lets you continue with the story). Destroy various eggs in the arena where you fought (some may have been destroyed during the fight): 3x eggs Northwest, 3x eggs Southeast and 2x eggs Southwest. Then exit Southwest through the cursed tree to end the mission.

Mission 08

S Rank on Human

Walkthrough

Ancient Training Ground

Destroy 1x egg as you go, then on the left before a tunnel you will find 2x eggs. Inside the tunnel there's 1x egg on its ceiling, and Blue Orb Fragment # 15/32 behind it. Before exiting the tunnel, destroy 1x egg and then just out of the tunnel another 1x egg. Out of the tunnel there will be also 2x Chimera Seeds and 2x Scarecrows. Continue after defeating them.

Lapis River

Get through the cursed tree and then destroy the various eggs you destroyed earlier: 2x eggs in front of you, 1x egg North from these two, then 1x egg past the bridge on a pillar, 4x eggs below the bridge and 4x eggs near the Northwest exit.
Take the Northwest exit afterward.

Ancient Plaza

Continue and you'll have to fight a bunch of Assaults.

Assaults (Nero) - These are very aggressive enemies, and they move very quickly too. Their attacks are quick, and besides the typical melee slash they also have two other dangerous attacks. One is when they go underground and pop up below you, damaging you in the process; another is when they start to spin mid-air and then charge at you. They even have projectile attacks, although these are not a common attack on lower difficulties. They can also guard with their shields, and at last they have an attack (used very rarely), a sort of scream, which creates a small shockwave around them for few seconds. The buster animation against them is quite long and exposes you to other enemies' attacks. High Rollers, Streaks and Splits are good attacks; avoid long combos and busters unless you feel that no enemy is going to attack you anytime soon, and most of all rely on your charged shots. Jump away to avoid their attacks and stubbornly attack their face if they try to guard with the shield.

Destroy all the 9x eggs of the area (2x in front of you as you enter, 1x on the left side facing the central circle, 2x West of the central circle near a tree and 2x far West of the central circle attached to the mountain, and 2x more near some rocks as you go up the small wooden stairs), then exit.

Windswept Valley

Destroy 2x eggs on the left as you continue, then go forward and you will see 2x eggs at the bottom of a mountain in front of you and 1x egg on the left, again at the bottom of the mountains. Destroy them and climb up the mountain in the Northwest part of the area (as if you were backtracking to the entrance of the forest) to destroy 1x egg attached to the mountain and then another 1x egg on a cliff (the one which was on the left where you first came here, before dropping below to fight the Chimera Seeds).
Then return down and destroy 2x eggs on the right of the stairs leading to the fountain, and proceed South from them to find and break again the 2x eggs on the left side, attached high on the mountain.
Finally break the 2x eggs near the fountain and then enter the church.

Ruined Church

Fight 1x Assault and 3x Scarecrows; 2x Assaults will spawn afterward. Destroy the 19x eggs (1+1+17) and then proceed below the stairs through the cursed tree.

Lost Woods

Go on and destroy four groups of 2x eggs each for a total of 8x eggs; the groups are located on the four possible ways you can take from the center of this area.
The Lost Woods are a tricky place: you need to head where the sun light comes from, and you will use the shadows of the objects as a reference. In particular, head to the center for a clear shadow: the first time you enter, the shadow will point from where you came (West), and therefore to continue you'll have to go East. You want to get lost at least once though.

Take a wrong path (any path which isn't the one from where the light comes; for instance, go North the first time you're here) and you'll end in the Hidden Pit optional area. Here you'll have to fight 3x Chimera Scarecrows, destroy 5x eggs and collect Blue Orb Fragment # 16/32. When it's all done, use the warp to return to the lost woods.

The correct path from the first area is: East, South, North.

Forgotten Ruins

You're on the top bridge of this area now. You can destroy 2x eggs on the right as you go, and you could also destroy more eggs if you dropped from the small balcony opposite those two eggs. You would be able to reach a total of 4x eggs, but they are not necessary for the S rank on orbs (you can get 95+% of orbs also without those four), and therefore you want to ignore them to save precious time. Proceed forward (South) through another door.

Ancient Training Ground

Defeat 2x Scarecrows and 2x Assaults, then proceed onwards to destroy 2x eggs. You can also notice a broken fence on the left now, through which you can jump below; if that happens, you can jump back up using a pillar as platform to stand and jump further up.

Anyway, go South past the shop statue to reach the next area.

Grand Album Bridge

Make your way to the stage of the next boss fight.

Nero vs Angelo Credo
Angelo Credo attacks: this boss has a very large amount of attacks, which include regular slashes and aerial attacks too. In addition to them, he can guard with the shield and counter (he gives you more than enough time to dodge though). He can teleport to a corner of the arena and throw a spear against you: you can either buster (risky) or devil-bringer the spear for extra style meter. He can throw up to three spears in a row, and every time he will throw them faster than the previous time. When it's low on health, this boss can also summon yellow small blades: these blades can be summoned around you (in this case it's enough to activate Devil Trigger to instantly destroy them all) or in front of him. If it's the second case, simply run away to dodge them. The length and number of hits of his combos will also increase near the end of the fight.
Strategy: it's a very simple fight. Attack him with anything and he will guard; dodge his counter, attack again with a short combo and use a buster to damage him and his shield; after the buster, release a Lv 3 Charged Shot for even extra damage. It's somehow similar to the strategy used to damage Bianco Angelo's shields, although it's obviously a much stronger shield this time. Be aggressive and always rely on the pattern attack-dodge the counter-attack and buster. If he tries to throw spears at you, lock on to him with RB and be ready to press B to perform a devil bringer, so you guard against the spear and increase your style meter like crazy. You can also buster the spear, but it's very risky; if you do so, aim and release the spear itself against Angelo Credo. In addition to pressing B for the snatch on the spear, you should also press A+LS_Left/Right immediately after B: should you mistake the timing of the snatch, you will still dodge the spear. Keep in mind that the second spear will take him less time to throw, and the third one even less time.
Other than this, try to damage his shield with busters and charged shots. A special buster is available if his shield is completely down, and another buster is available if he falls on his knees, stunned. Make sure you use your Devil Trigger in these situations.

Being very predictable, it's an easy fight, and snatching the spears will guarantee a high multiplier during the whole battle.

You will receive Aegis Shield (key item), which now allows you to hold a bustered enemy and use him as a shield from other enemies' attacks. This also allows you to finally complete the secret mission found on mission 05.

Mission 09

S Rank on Human

Walkthrough

The beginning of this mission allows you to earn a lot of stylish points immediately; since the proud souls are directly related to stylish points, this makes mission 09 the best place to grind proud souls. On your first playthrough, I suggest spending like 20-30 minutes to replay the beginning of this mission over and over to grind some proud souls and get important skills for Nero (such as Air Hike, Charge Shot 3, Exceed 2, Exceed 3, Roulette Spin and anything else you like). Do not spend too much time here though, because grinding with the same method on Dante Must Die will net you a far higher income.

Grand Album Bridge

As you start, go on and destroy a total of 6x separators and 4x small drawers in a room, then sprint forward until you trigger the first fight against an Alto Angelo.

Alto Angelos (Nero) - These enemies are the "leaders" of the Angelos, typically the Bianco Angelos. They can make the Bianco Angelos set in defensive formations, they can order them to attack, and on higher difficulties they can even order them to suicide (this move costs you a lot of stylish points though, it's not a good thing to "waste" Bianco Angelos like this and you should always try to avoid it). The best part is however an energy ball attack which can be performed by Alto Angelo + 2x (or more) Bianco Angelos. If Alto Angelo decides to perform this attack, you will feel it in your controller which will start vibrating. When the energy ball is released, you need a "strong" attack to send it back. Ex attacks are good, and you probably noticed an Ex Streak sending a ball back in the random footage which plays automatically when you turn on your console; you also probably noticed that it instantly earned an SSS meter. Ex Streak is not a safe way though: Lv 3 Charged Shot is a much better and safer way. What you want to do, in short, is keep it ready for use, and when the energy ball is coming at you, release the shot (make sure Nero is facing the group of Angelos) to send it back and get the SSS meter.
Speaking of Alto Angelos alone, you can break their shields in a similar way you could do with the Bianco Angelos, but they usually won't counter with the shield-lance combination (like the Bianco Angelos do instead), and this makes it harder for you to break it. Try that nonetheless, and when the shield is broken they will be open for a buster. You can't buster them from their back if they still have the shield; to be honest, sometimes you can even buster them if they have the shield, but it happens much more rarely. Do not attempt aerial busters either; jump when they attack, and counter a lot with Split (RB+Y+LS_Forward when in the air) to knock them to the ground. Charged Shots also work wonders as usual.

Defeat 1x Alto Angelo and 2x Bianco Angelo, possibly sending back the energy ball for a great boost of Stylish Points, and then continue.

Grand Hall

Destroy a total of 6x benches and 2x grey pots (the pots are on the sides of the door leading South).
Check the Northwest corner of the room to find 1x Devil Star S, and stay in the Southwest corner to find 1x secret orb spot.

Fight against the Combat Adjudicator located Northeast and raise the meter up to Smokin'! to get Blue Orb Fragment # 17/32.

Then go South and examine the black and red small pillar to trigger a cutscene.
Return to the previous room, avoid the lasers and jump to take the East exit.

Key Chamber

Destroy a total of 4x separators (2x near where you come, 2x near where you'll go) and fight against another group of 1x Alto Angelo + 2x Bianco Angelo (a third Bianco Angelo may join as respawn); this time the space is really limited and it may be worth fighting regularly (give priority to Bianco Angelos since they're weaker) to avoid wasting time waiting for that attack; if you stay on the North side of the room you may manage to trigger the energy ball attack (which should come from the South side), but then again, I'd rather suggest to defeat them regularly.

Examine the purple pillar in the North to get the Key of Cronus (key item to progress with the story), so you can now examine another small pillar in the middle of the room to slow the time and be able to get through the lasers (the exit is West, with the stairs leading up).

The Gauntlet

Go on and stay in the middle of a circular area to get 1x secret orb spot; ignore the red combat adjudicator and use the blue switch to call a cage elevator.

Enter the cage and it will automatically rise: defeat 4x Scarecrows and you will move to the next floor.
Use another device to slow down the time (you can see a blue orb fragment here, but ignore it at first) and get through more lasers to reach a second cage. Inside of this one, 3x Frosts (2x and 1x respawn) will attack you.

Now you could proceed left, but there's also an open part of the cage on the right side: go right to fall down and reach the platform where you will find and get Blue Orb Fragment # 18/32. Then fall down and call the elevator again with the blue switch (you won't have to fight the Scarecrows and Frosts again), and after the second ride-up, this time go left.

Use another device and get through more lasers; the next cage will be the arena where you'll fight 4x Assaults (one of which is a respawn).
Finally exit to Agnus's Room.

Agnus's Room

Destroy 2x chairs on the right, 1x chair, 1x table and 1x candle stand on the left; then go forward to trigger a boss fight. During the boss fight you should also try to destroy 1x cage on the East side, and 2x cages on the West side of the arena.

Nero vs Angelo Agnus
Angelo Agnus attacks: the boss can use a couple of Gladius enemies as swords to swing at you twice; this attack can be easily avoided by jumping away. Unfortunately the Gladiuses will be set free afterward, and you need to destroy them or they will be an extra enemy. The boss can also summon more Gladius enemies from his back; the best thing to do is activating Devil Trigger on his back and smash them to pieces before they can be thrown against you. The boss can also summon fireballs from his back. Especially near the end of the fight, he can summon two Cutlasses which he will use around his body to spin for quite a while: stay away from him, then jump and air hike when he throws the cutlasses as a sort of boomerang. This is the hardest attack to avoid. On higher difficulties he can also summon Basilisk enemies, and the Cutlasses can even take part in the fight. The most dangerous attack of the enemy is however an absorbing attack which he can use in two different ways. He can either stay in the middle of the arena, creating a dark green aura all around the place, draining your health and refilling his own health, or he can grab you and absorb your health directly with his own hands. For both the situations, the best thing to do is releasing a Lv 3 Charged Shot in his face (on higher difficulties you need to add more hits too); if this isn't enough, activate Devil Trigger and smash him before he can land the attack. The controller will vibrate when these absorbing attacks are coming at you, and you will also hear sentences like "Your strength will be mine!" or "Time to die...".
Strategy: this boss is aggressive and the extra enemies are the most relevant problem of the fight. Use busters on Gladiuses to throw them directly at the boss (make sure that there aren't other Gladiuses ready to attack you while you do so though), and always be ready to use the Devil Trigger behind him if he's summoning more Gladiuses, so you can destroy them before they can be a problem. Airborne combos are more effective than combos from the ground, since his weak spot is the body and not the legs. The opening for a buster is very short against this enemy: he rarely gets stunned, and when this happens you have only few seconds to come close to him and perform the buster animation.

Mission 10

S Rank on Human

Walkthrough

Agnus's Room

Destroy again the last items you broke: a total of 3x cages, 1x table, 1x candle stand, 3x chairs. Then backtrack.

The Gauntlet

Here you will fight 2x Mephistos and 1x Faust.

Fausts (Nero) - This is one of the strongest enemies of the game. A Faust is more than a stronger Mephisto: besides having a much more resistant cloak (three times as much), he also has far stronger attacks which include a long ranged laser nail attack (two slashes) and several summoned lasers. A particular type of attack by the lasers is easily the hardest-to-dodge attack of the game, and other than having perfect reflexes and luck, the best thing you can do is avoiding that he uses them in the first place. Whenever a Faust is around, always try to hide him from the camera, so he can't attack you. Load a Lv 3 Charged Shot meanwhile, and release it on him while still keeping a certain safety distance. When his cloak is off, you can smash him as you prefer; there's however a particularly style-rewarding attack you can do while in Devil Trigger mode: Showdown. After purchasing this attack, you can perform it by holding RB+Y+B+LS_Forward; it will automatically release when it's at full power. Unfortunately it takes a while to charge: to avoid the "spider" running away, hold RT to charge the summoned swords of the Yamato power, and release RT as soon as you're about to start loading Showdown: if done correctly, then up-to-six summoned blades will stab him repeatedly, thus buying you all the time you need to charge and then release Showdown. Make sure you jump away from a Faust after a long combo like Showdown, because he will always damage you if you stay near his "spider" form while he's recovering his cloak (and this happens much more frequently than with the Mephistos).

After the fight, use the time device to get through the lasers and reach a blue switch; then operate another time device to return from where you came and drop off the platform from the right side.
At the bottom, collect 1x secret orb spot (in that central circular area) and backtrack again.

Key Chamber

Destroy 4x separators and defeat another bunch of Angelos (1x Alto + 3x Bianco): this time you can also operate the time device in the middle of the room to take great advantage over the enemies. Exit East afterward.

Grand Hall

Luckily the benches are standing just where the lasers can't go, so you'll have an easy time destroying 6x benches, collecting 1x secret orb spot Southwest and destroying the 2x pots on your way to the bridge in the South, leading to the next area.

Security Corridor

As you start, destroy 1x bench near a huge pillar, and check opposite this bench to find and destroy another 1x bench which is at first hidden from your sight because it's just behind another pillar. After getting them, activate the time device and cross the laser area. Destroy 1x fence in front of you before proceeding, and check on the right side to find a secret mission.

Secret Mission 06 - Vermifuge
Video.
Task: eliminate all the Chimera before the Scarecrow is taken over!
Strategy: as soon as the Scarecrow spawns, use the "hold" ability (press and hold B to use him as a shield) and drag him away, safely, somewhere far enough from the Chimera Seeds (the fountain area works fine). Once he's at a safe distance, release B (this will damage, but not kill him) and quickly go to waste the Chimera Seeds.
Reward for the first success: Blue Orb Fragment # 19/32.

Jump below to an area with big spinning fans and fight 2x Mephistos first and 1x Faust then. Destroy 3x wooden boxes in the Northeast, then activate a time device on the West side and use the fans to jump to the top of the area (you'll be able to see two possible landings; one is fenced and points North; you want to head South, where there's a door.

Experiment Disposal

Fight 2x Bianco Angelos first and two more then; unfortunately it's extremely hard (if ever possible) to link the two fights together (even if you stay near a red orb statue where one of the other Bianco Angelos spawn, you probably won't involve them all in the same fight), but anyway. As a side note, it might be a good idea to attack the red orb statue with a single hit of your sword, so it automatically breaks after few seconds and you won't have problems of mis-targeting while you fight the Bianco Angelos. Or simply stay away from the statue, anyway.
Break 4x stone statues and continue South to ride a purple platform up.
Then break 1x fence and 2x stone statues and proceed through another door.

Meeting Room

Defeat the 2x Alto Angelos and destroy the table/chair in the middle of the arena; then destroy 4x candle stands and proceed to the next area where a boss fight will trigger (you could attempt the secret mission on the left before the door, but it's not recommended right now).

Ascension Chamber

Nero vs Dante (Mission 10 fight)
Dante's attacks: too many to be listed.
Strategy: you can find a lot of videos showing how to fight against Dante, but they are all difficult to replicate. On Human you can try to snatch him and immediately buster him for massive damage; roll away if he doesn't get snatched, because he'll try to "stinger" you (a fast attack from the ground). You can also perform aerial busters, but they work quite rarely; on the other hand, busters on the ground may result in the sword-crossing random "minigame", while the aerial buster is always effective. If you buster Dante even on the ground while you have the Devil Trigger activated, you'll be able to always deal damage to him because the minigame won't ever trigger. This is expensive from the devil-gauge point of view though. Anyway, he won't be a problem on Human. On higher difficulties, it's a completely different fight, so let's have a preview on how that will look like.
There are three main ways to deal with Dante in a cheap way. In order of effectiveness, here they are.
Method one - use snatches on Dante and roll to avoid his stinger; immediately snatch him again and continue to roll away until you manage to finally grab him and then use a buster. If you have good reflexes, you can also try to activate Devil Trigger immediately as soon as the snatch connects, so you deal more damage to Dante and you don't risk that the minigame goes wrong. If you can't do so, the minigame can have three results. You can win, smashing Dante away (best scenario); you can "half-win", that is to say you will open Dante's guard and be able to land a couple of hits with Y and quickly perform another buster for another attempt; you can lose, that is to say your guard will be opened: if this happens, jump away.
Method two - shoot continuously with your gun (tap RT) and move forward close to Dante meanwhile. When you're close enough, perform a buster: this avoids the problems with missed snatches, but sometimes you may mis-calculate the timing and be open for his counters.
Method three - replicate what is shown in the video. That is to say, only attack Dante after jumping away from his attacks (in one word, counter), and only using Lv 3 Charged Shots. Wait for him to come at you, jump away when he starts his attack, and release your shot. He may or may not get hit; if he doesn't, he may do something else or may (often) use his own gun to damage you. This is a minor risk though, and in the long run you will deal far more damage than the minor damage you will take from these occasional shots. Apart from this opening, the only other opening to use the Lv 3 Charged Shot will be when he uses the Pandora's third-form attack (Revenge), the powerful cannon one. His guard is completely open while he loads it, so feel free to devastate him with your shot. If he's using Omen (you will know which is it by the time you'll face him on higher difficulties; it's the attack when the Pandora suitcase lights the whole room anyway), release your shot no-matter-what, because you must avoid that attack at all costs. Other than these two openings for the charged shots, your only other offense will be snatch+buster when he is in Royal Guard style (you can recognise it from his light blue/grey-ish aura, besides that from his position), since he will be totally open for snatches and busters in this style (on the contrary, avoid any other attack by all means). It goes without saying that you want to activate Devil Trigger when he is in Royal Guard style, so you deal more damage with the busters.

In short, the safest method consists in using snatches and busters only if he's in Royal Guard style, and deal the rest of the damage with Lv 3 Charged Shots which you will land when he's using any of his combos to attack you and when he's using the Pandora to attack. Should you ever fall victim of his deadly combos, immediately activate devil trigger to defend yourself, and take it as a chance to buster Dante as soon as he's landing from the shockwave attack of your devil trigger. Please keep in mind that "Method three", while being by far the safest and most recommended on higher difficulties, works terribly on Human because Dante's combos won't be long enough to have him "busy" with them, and therefore your charged shots will land rarely to say the least; he doesn't use the Pandora either. Method two is probably the best on Human and Devil Hunter.

During the fight you also have to try to destroy some objects of the room, and this is why S on orbs isn't guaranteed. If you can, while Dante walks around the room to reach you, try to destroy the objects: 2x candle stands on the sides of a door and two sets of 2x pots, 2x candle stands and 1x small drawer each on the sides of the room.

Mission 11

S Rank on Human

Walkthrough

Advent Chamber

From where you start, go all the way South to find a Combat Adjudicator: strike to build your meter to SSS and you will obtain Blue Orb Fragment # 20/32.

Then use the blue switch on the East side to spawn some grips and use them to climb up. Fight against 2x Mephisto and 1x Faust to continue, then examine the small pillar near an elevator to make it work, and then ride the elevator up.

When you're up, go right and grab one of the two Scarecrows with a snatch, so he lands and stays on the switch-platform just on the opposite side of the gate; you will stay on your switch-platform before the gate, so it can open when both the switches are activated.
Continue and check before the next shop statue to break 1x fence and get 1x secret orb spot from the non-working elevator just behind this fence.

As you go there will be 2x red orbs above two grips; get them, but make sure you also fall down from the grips to get 1x red orb below them.
Move on to find more grips and 2x red orbs above them: they are a bit tricky, and if you fall down (it's likely to happen), a fight against 3x Bianco Angelos will trigger. It's a good chance to get some extra stylish points, so make sure you trigger this fight if you accidentally don't do so in the process of getting the orbs. Below here there won't be other red orbs, but there is 1x Devil Star S.
Anyway, use the three grips to get to the opposite side, and check on the edge of where you land after the third grip (before jumping down to continue) to find 1x secret orb spot.

Defeat 1x Alto Angelo near another blue switch, but ignore this one at first and sprint to the opposite side instead to reach the Northwest end; jump up to find 1x red orb. Then activate the blue switch to spawn more grips and go up. A fight of Alto and Bianco Angelos will trigger (the Alto spawns when you kill one of the Bianco) as you examine a pillar here: either wait for the energy ball, or just defeat them as you prefer.
Jump left and backtrack: a large fight of Scarecrows and various Angelos will trigger. Defeat them all as quickly as possible, and feel free to actually skip some of them (especially on higher difficulties) if you see that you already have enough Stylish Points.

Lastly, take the elevator (now available) where the secret orb spot was earlier, and ride it up to the next floor where a boss fight will trigger.

Nero vs Sanctus
Enemy attacks: the two "lamps" before the enemy can attack you and respawn. The main enemy can use a shockwave attack (stay airborne to avoid it), can attack with fireballs, with some vertical lasers (jump away in this case), and with some horizontal lines of fire on the ground. Each of these attacks can be easily dodged with jumps or by running. The enemy can also regenerate his shield after you break it, and this creates a little shockwave; stay away from him when this happens.
Strategy: use snatches on the lamps to quickly reach the boss; you'll have to grip on them multiple times to eventually reach him for good. Walking to him is sometimes a better idea than using the grips, because he tends to run away less if you're running instead of gripping. On the other hand it may take you too much time to reach him if you run, so try to balance the two things and use snatches on the lamps when he's far, and run to him when he's already decently close to you.
To deal damage to him, you first have to break his two-layered shield. Roulette Spin works wonders on that, and you also want to help yourself by exceeding the hits whenever possible. When his two shields are down, smash him a bit and then perform a Devil-Triggered Buster for massive damage. He will always regenerate his shield afterward, so don't even bother trying a second buster or other attacks and instead use the time of his shield regeneration to reload your exceed gauge. Use your Lv 3 Charged Shots on him (even when he still has the shield), so you can buy some time to reach him when the shot bursts (this is very important on higher difficulties, to have enough time to reach him before he runs away to regenerate his shield just when you were about to destroy it). Another way to take down the shield is by using a Lv 3 Ex Calibur (Calibur with three exceed gauges and the skill Excdeed 3) followed by Roulette Spin: if everything connects, this may take down almost completely his two shields even on higher difficulties. It's not very easy to do though.
When he's about to die, he will take cover inside the statue; the statue will punch you: jump away on time to avoid the hit. He will be available again after the punch. On lower difficulties you only have to smash him some more after this happens. On higher difficulties you may not be able to finish him off immediately as he comes back. If you're not quick enough to destroy his shield, in this second phase of the fight he will be able to take cover inside the statue again and regenerate the shield inside of it. If this happens, the statue will try to punch you again: instead of jumping away, perform a buster to tackle the punch of the statue and make the enemy come out of the statue, already stunned and shield-less, ready for your strong buster.

Mission 12

S Rank on Human

Walkthrough

The new character

You now have control of Dante. He's much "harder" to master than Nero, and becoming good at using him will take "a lot" of practice. The reason why I'm using the quotation marks is that you will actually get used to his controls after a bunch of missions, and although you will probably think "OMG I'm never going to be good with him, please give me Nero back!" at first, it's not that terrible after all.

As the game explains, the life bar, devil gauge, items and red orbs are all shared with Nero, so you won't lose anything in the change. The proud souls will all be refunded, that is to say that the total amount of proud souls is the same for Nero and for Dante, but they will be able to independently use them. Say you have 10,000 Proud Souls total: you will be able to purchase skills as Nero for a total of 10,000 Proud Souls, and at the same time you can purchase skills as Dante for a total of 10,000 Proud Souls. Nothing is lost, and therefore there's no need to un-learn skills as either of the two characters to learn more skills as the other one, because this simply won't give the other one more proud souls to spend.

There are many skills to learn as Dante, and many more will be available as you progress with the game. Differently from the "simple" arsenal of Nero's, Dante starts with one sword (the Rebellion), two guns (Ebony & Ivory and Coyote-A; you can switch between the two by using LT) and four styles (Trickster, Swordmaster, Gunslinger, Royalguard; you can switch between them by using the D-Pad; they are mainly related to the use of B, which won't be a buster but a special command according to the weapon/gun and style you're using).

Suggested skills to learn are: Air Hike, Speed (Ability), Charge Shot "1", 2 and 3 of the Coyote-A, Stinger and Stinger 2 (Rebellion) and then, depending on your proud souls availability, Style Level Up 2/3/4 of the styles you prefer. Gunslinger and Royal Guard take easily the least priority, so I suggest Trickster and Swordmaster, which are respectively the best style to avoid being hit and the best style to deal damage, start combos and have a variety of moves. If you have to choose, my suggestion is to upgrade Swordmaster first and then Trickster, since on your first playthrough you will need to deal more damage than actually dodging, which is also important sometimes though. Lastly, Gunslinger actually deserves Style Level Up 2, which should be cheap enough, and gives you access to a useful attack (Rain Storm). You should be able to get everything with about 20,000 Proud Souls; if you have less, either grind a bit on Mission 09 or just go on with Swordmaster/Trickster upgraded, leaving the rest for later.

Ascension Chamber

Some Scarecrows will let you test your new character.

Scarecrows (Dante) - Use Rebellion Combo B (Y, pause, YY; tap the last Y for extra damage) and then use a Stinger (RB+Y+LS_Forward) to take one down. Then approach the next Scarecrow, shoot him with the Coyote-A (a simple shot, don't charge it) and taunt him afterward. A great and possibly even more simple combo is RB+B+LS_Forward (tap B) with the Rebellion and Swordmaster style, which is an amazing set of automatic combos called "Dance Macabre".
Another style-rewarding method is, especially when more enemies are around you, a charged Drive and Over Drive (Rebellion and Swordmaster; RB+B+LS_Backward; hold B to charge and tap it a couple of times to hit with two extra slashes).

Remember to destroy the objects of the room too: 2x candle stands on the sides of a door and two sets of 2x pots, 2x candle stands and 1x small drawer each on the sides of the room. By the way, the Coyote-A shots are a great way to destroy objects as Dante, since the multiple bullets will hit almost certainly whatever you're aiming at, differently from Nero's gun (and also differently from the Ebony & Ivory which we you will probably use rarely).
Backtrack after doing everything.

Meeting Room

On your secondary playthroughs, as Dante you can tackle the secret mission here easily. You'll need the Pandora gun.

Secret Mission 07 - Free Running
Video.
Task: reach the goal without falling through the vanishing floor!
Strategy: with Gunslinger (possibly level 2) and a filled up Disaster Gauge of the Pandora gun, double-jump and press B to use Pandora's Argument attack and hover to the opposite side of the area without caring about the enemies. Another way is using Stinger near the edge of the area (just as the platforms are appearing) while in Trickster, then use Devil Trigger, make a double aerial jump and double Sky Star, then switch to Gunslinger and use Argument even with an empty gauge. This sounds probably too elaborated now that you just got started, anyway.
Reward for the first success: Blue Orb Fragment # 21/32.

Destroy 4x candle stands and later the chairs and table of the room. As you approach the central area (with the table), move your camera so you look left: this will let you start the next fight with only one of the three new enemies in your sight, allowing you to take care of one of them alone. The enemies are 3x Mega Scarecrows.

Mega Scarecrows (Dante) - These are slow, big and "stupid" enemies. Somehow cute for the way you will beat them up, they get stunned very easily and also have a lot of health (which is a good thing because this means you'll get a lot of stylish points from them). The problem is: if you let them attack you, it's serious danger. Always either keep them out of your camera view, or stun them. I personally deal with each of them the way I deal with a group of Scarecrows, more or less. That is to say, Rebellion Combo B, Stinger, High Time and gun shots; as a note for later, also Kick 13 with Gilgamesh and Lucifer's Pin-Up. I also use a charged attack of the Gilgamesh, "Draw/Straight" (that's the name of the move; hold Y to charge the shot; also RB+Y+LS_Backward holding Y; when the charge of the shot is ready, release; this is very style-rewarding and also powerful). Keep these notes for later missions, when you'll face them with these new weapons.
Anything you want is good: with them almost always stunned, it's a pleasure to use any combo on their big poor body. Be careful when you kill them though: the giant blade inside their body will be thrown in the air and will fall exactly where the Mega Scarecrow died. You want to be away from that spot by the time the blade hits.
A simple way to deal with them on Human is (with the Rebellion and Swordmaster) Rebellion Combo B followed by Dance Macabre, and a shot of your gun. Also throw in some "high roller" (called "High Time" in Dante's skill-set; the input is RB+Y+LS_Backward), Stingers and "split" (called "Helm Breaker" in Dante's skill-set, the input is simply Y while in the air) to add some variety to your combos, but with these moves alone you should end with an S (or even higher) rank.

Continue to backtrack.

Experiment Disposal

Destroy 1x fence and 2x stone statues, then move on to get the Wing Talisman left here by Nero and go down. Destroy 4x stone statues afterward: a timer will start now, and if it goes to zero it's game over. You won't even come close to a risk of not making it in time, but on your first run you'll have to go off-track .

You may have spotted a blue orb fragment near the elevator: use Trickster style (it needs to be upgraded) and Air Hike: from the elevator platform, jump and press B+LS_Forward to make an aerial dash on the first ring of the elevator. Then make another Air Hike and dash in the air to reach the second ring, where Blue Orb Fragment # 22/32 is.

Here's also a part of the stage that you can skip: instead of falling down past the statues, you can jump to the opposite side by using several means. One is Devil Trigger and Trickster style: perform a stinger near the edge of the platform where you're standing, so you make a long jump, and then use the double jump and double Sky Star (B+LS_Forward in the air). Another way is to use Gunslinger and Pandora, and after making the long jump you will just press B to use the Pandora to "fly" to the opposite side. It's very possible to juse use Air Hike and one Sky Star after the long jump of Stinger, as long as you use Air Hike when you reach the furthest point of the long jump (you'll be starting to descend by then).

If you fall down you will find 1x Gold Orb and a blue switch to activate in order to call an elevator. Ride it to fight 2x Frosts.

Frosts (Dante) - They were annoying when you fought them as Nero, but they are even more annoying when you fight them as Dante. Without Lv 3 Charged Shots and Busters, stunning them (especially on higher difficulties) is really hard (you can try with the Pandora and with several charged shots of Coyote-A), and they will often come in places where hiding them from the camera is hard. Don't bother with stylish points against them, focus on their defeat. Without other weapons other than the Rebellion, go freestyle with whatever you want (Stinger, High Time, Helm Breaker, quick combos and Coyote-A shots). Coyote-A shots will always knock them down if you shoot them while they're in the air (to attack you).
More information on how to deal with them with your full arsenal are found in the third page of the walkthrough.

After the cage ride/long jump you will return to the security corridor through a door.

Security Corridor

There are the previous 3x wooden boxes here, and you will fight 3x Mephistos.

Mephistos (Dante) - You can instantly take off the cloaks of the Mephistos (and Fausts) on any difficulty by using Omen (Pandora and Gunslinger style; RB+B+LS_Forward). Another way to get the cloaks off rather quickly is by using gunslinger using B in the air either with Coyote-A or with Ebony & Ivory (one of the rare times you will need them); or, also, charge the Coyote-A and shoot the cloaks normally with X. Another great move is the Rain Storm with charged Ebony & Ivory (charge by holding X, then jump in the air and press B). When the cloaks are off, you can use the usual combos (Kick 13, Dance Macabre, stingers, Rebellion Combo B and so on). On higher difficulties, a good move for them is also Prop (Rebellion and Swordmaster style), performed simply by pressing B, since it will send the opponent in the air and allow you to perform a Real Impact on them before they have a chance to flee and recover their shield.

Retrieve the Key of Cronus from where Nero left it and climb up the fans. At the top, destroy 1x fence, activate the time device and cross the laser zone (use Trickster to make use of its dashes for an extra plan), and break 2x benches on the opposite side of the hallway. Continue to backtrack.

Grand Hall

Run on the bridge to reach the hall itself; destroy 2x pots, 6x benches and get 1x secret orb spot in the Southwest corner, but only after dealing with some Angelos.

Bianco Angelo and Alto Angelo (Dante) - The best way to send back the energy ball, without an Exceed gauge or efficient charged shots, is the Pandora: its simple basic shot will perfectly send it back. The Angelos alone are relatively easy enemies to deal with: High Time and especially Helm Breaker will work perfectly, and Gilgamesh charged shots will work wonders on their shields too. Gilgamesh's aerial Y attack (Full House) is also an excellent move to smash them to the ground. Lucifer stingers are good too since they open their guard for a moment, and they will also interrupt their charge attacks. Anyway, don't focus much on destroying their shields, and just eliminate them. Apart from the usual moves from their back (Dance Macabre, Kick 13 and company), especially on higher difficulties it wil be very important to use Prop (Rebellion and Swordmaster; use B on the ground) to send them in the air, and load your Real Impact (Gilgamesh and Swordmaster; RB+B+LS_Backward) for an instant kill.
Right now, without these things, go freestyle with High Time, Rebellion Combo B and especially Dance Macabre from their back (this last one only if you don't see any other enemy ready to attack you meanwhile).

In this case you will face 4x Bianco Angelos (one is a respawn) and 1x Alto Angelo (spawns later too): since you can't send the energy ball back (the best way with Dante is by using a shot of the Pandora gun), try to avoid this and finish them off quickly with anything you've got.

When they are all dead, your first time here you want to go off the path (you should exit North and continue to end the mission after breaking the last items on Grand Album Bridge) and head East from the Grand Hall.

Key Chamber

Destroy 4x separators and deal with the Gladiuses in the room.

Gladiuses (Dante) - Other than shooting them down with Coyote-A and then attacking them when they're stunned with whatever you want (the Gilgamesh's charged attack helps to raise the style with a single hit, which is in fact about all they can take before dying), absolutely use Trickster style when they are around, as well as Target Type 1, to make your life easier.

Actually, you can skip the fight (or make it easier by using the time device in the middle of the room), that is what I suggest to avoid a nuisance. Exit East when you're ready.

The Gauntlet

Here's 1x secret orb spot where it was earlier (below the cage's location), but most important there is a Combat Adjudicator; a mere Brutal rank will be enough to get Blue Orb Fragment # 23/32 from it. Now just return to the Key Chamber and exit West to the Grand Hall again; from the Grand Hall, exit North.

Grand Album Bridge

Destroy 6x separators and 2x small drawers and then sprint to the forest to end the mission.

Mission 13

S Rank on Human

Walkthrough

Ancient Training Ground

The forest has warp devices which you must take to move around in a different order than your first time here. Follow my directions, so you don't get lost.

Quick direction reference: exit East.

From where you start, break 2x eggs on your way and jump down on the right side. As you're down, turn to go towards West and shoot 1x egg in the tunnel, 1x egg in the tunnel attached to its ceiling, and 1x egg past the tunnel; then turn East and break 2x eggs before the tunnel. Go all the way East and break another egg before exiting through the warp to the East.

Forgotten Ruins

Quick direction reference: exit Southeast.

Break 2x eggs and jump down from the small balcony opposite them. Fight 2x Chimera Seeds and 2x Scarecrows.

Chimera Seeds and Chimera Scarecrows (Dante) - Feel free to kill the seeds as you prefer; anything is ok, but possibly don't use long combos (such as Dance Macabre) on them, because it would be a "waste". Quick Drive (Rebellion and Swordmaster; B+Y at once) is ok.
About the Chimera Scarecrows, you can keep some distance from them and use Drive/Over Drive for massive damage and instant-kills. If you want to keep them away, charge and release shots of Coyote-A. Lucifer stingers are the safest method to deal with them, especially on higher difficulties, but if you want you can also wait until their blades automatically swing, and then perform a Dance Macabre on them since you'll have enough time before the next automatic blade-swing.

After defeating the enemies, destroy 1x egg before the tunnel, then go through the tunnel West and destroy 1x egg; now turn around and exit Southeast through another warp gate.

Windswept Valley

Quick direction reference: exit East.

From where you start, break 1x egg on the cliff on the right, then break 1x egg attached to the mountain, on the left. When you go down there will be 1x+2x eggs at the bottom of the mountain, and then there will be 2x big eggs on each of the paths going South for a total of 4x eggs. As you destroy these eggs, a fight against Chimera Assaults will trigger.

Chimera Assaults (Dante) - Extremely aggressive enemies, they have about all the attacks of the Assaults and are even stronger (when they roll in the air they will strike three times before dying). Their incorporated blades are not as frequent as the Chimera Scarecrows, but they still hit from time to time. Lucifer's stingers are excellent again, and Dance Macabre is also good, although sometimes you will be interrupted by their blades (it's still worth the risk, especially on Human). Coyote-A charged shots will knock them on their backs, buying you some time to prepare good attacks such as Draw/Straight of Gilgamesh or even a Real Impact if you feel like; you can also prepare an Over Drive if you want, although you'll have to release it earlier than its full charge. You should probably try to pretend that they don't have blades, because about every attack is worth the risk on them. Kick 13 and Rebellion Combo B are great attacks too, if they are not knocked out. Quick Drives and Over Drives are up to you and how safe you feel. On higher difficulties it might even be a good idea to defeat them purely using Lucifer after knocking them on their back; not very cool, but safety takes priority to conserve your No Item bonus.
Your first time against them, Stinger, High Time, Prop and Shredder can be rather good.

When they are all dead, head through the warp in the East (as if you were heading to the church).

Ancient Plaza

Quick direction reference: exit North.

Here you will fight your first Assaults as Dante.

Assaults (Dante) - You can deal with them similarly as you did with the Mega Scarecrows: Kick 13, charged punches of Gilgamesh, Coyote-A charged shots, Rebellion Combo B, Dance Macabre and, if you feel like, Over Drive (charge it after knocking one of them on his back, then release as soon as you see he's getting up); Lucifer needles are also excellent once again, since they will open their guards and keep them calm for a while. As you perform Dance Macabre they may actually get out of the combo, but it's worth the risk anyway. Always be ready to use High Time and Helm Breaker when you don't know what to do or if too many of them are surronding you. To knock them down it's usually enough to use Stinger, High Time or Helm Breaker; or just a couple of shots by Coyote-A. As a note for later fights, Prop/High Time followed by Real Impact is also very good for them (keep this in mind for higher difficulties, as it won't be safe to consider them as "hyperactive Scarecrows" anymore.

Destroy all the 9x eggs of the area (2x in front of you as you enter, 1x on the right side facing the central circle as you come in, 2x West of the central circle near a tree and 2x far West of the central circle attached to the mountain, and 2x more near a tree as you're about to exit), then exit North.

Lapis River

Quick direction reference: exit through the warp (either of the two) below the bridge.

A couple of Mephistos will attack you here: get rid of them, then destroy all the 12x eggs of the area: 4x on the left as you enter, 1x on a pillar near the bridge, then 2x on the Southeast side of the area, 1x North from these two, and then 4x eggs below the bridge (destroy 2x from one side and 2x from the opposite side). Then enter the warp below the bridge itself (either side).

Windswept Valley

You're in the fountain-area now: break 2x eggs and enter the church.

Ruined Church

Break 1x+1x+17x eggs and deal with the Combat Adjudicator to achieve an Atomic rank and get Blue Orb Fragment # 24/32. Exit South afterward.

Lost Woods

Quick direction reference: East, West, South, South.

Deal with 2x Chimera Assaults and break a total of 8x eggs (2x on each path). You'll have to exit forward, then immediately exit from where you spawn, then right and right again (or, with the compass, East, West, South, South).

Forgotten Ruins

Destroy 2x eggs and exit East.

Den of the She Viper

Fight Echidna and break 3x eggs Northwest, 3x eggs Southeast and 2x eggs Southwest.

Dante vs Echidna
Strategy: my suggestion for all the boss fights as Dante will be almost the same, and the key will be Lucifer's Pin-Up. Echidna can throw seeds as she moves around/attacks when she goes berserker this time, but that's the only difference from the previous fight against her as Nero. That, and the fact that you don't have busters and charged shots.
For your first time against her, without Lucifer, Aerial Rave in her default form is perfect; then you want to use Rebellion Combo B and Stinger (possibly while in Devil Trigger) when she plants herself in the ground; then use Over Drives from far when she plants her roots to lay the egg. With your default weapons the best you can do when she rushes all over the arena is staying Trickster and use dashes to avoid being hit until she finally comes back to fight. Do not attempt long combos (like Dance Macabre), because she may un-root and damage you while you're busy with it. Try to stay Trickster almost all the time, unless you need to use Over Drive or Aerial Rave.

After the fight you will obtain Gilgamesh. End the mission by going where Nero went after the fight too.

Mission 14

S Rank on Human

Purchase Kick 13 from the skill shop (Flush has no priority at all) and get it started. By the way, you can change your main weapon with RT.

Walkthrough

Ancient Training Groud

The forest was set free from the curse, so you'll "only" have to backtrack to Fortuna Castle now. Step forward and a short cutscene will show you a blue plant.

Faults (Dante) - They are traps found only on two missions (this one and mission 18). If they swallow you, you'll be teleported to a side area (Ruined Lowlands) where you'll have to fight enemies to spawn a warp device to get back; remember to break the 4x eggs and 1x secret orb spot before returning through the warp device. All the enemies of the area will be respawned if you get swallowed, and this is a serious problem when the areas are filled with these traps. To defeat a Fault, and annihilate the risk of being swallowed by him, two punches of Gilgamesh are your best bet. You can punch them only as soon as they try to eat you. Try to mop up a part of the arena, and use only that part of the arena to fight the enemies; this should allow you to be relatively safe without the risk of being swallowed and having to restart the fight from scratch. On the other hand, they are also useful to respawn enemies on purpose and gain extra stylish points at the cost of some minutes on your clear time. I'll tell you when to get swallowed.

Ignore the Faults on the way (it's not worth beating them up, it'd just be a waste of time) and destroy all the eggs: 1x egg as you go, 2x eggs before the tunnel, 2x eggs inside the tunnel and 1x egg just past it; jump on the right column before the tunnel to go up and break 2x eggs on the left , then jump back down and proceed past the tunnel. Kill the Fault here to move freely as you defeat a couple of Chimera Seeds and Scarecrows (watch out for another Fault as you go West), then exit West.

Lapis River

You should know the location of the 12x eggs here by now. Before hunting them, go to the bridge and defeat the Fault on it: you'll use the bridge to fight the 2x Mephisto and 1x Faust. The reason why you want to defeat them on the bridge is that the Faust will spawn just on the bridge, and if you're far from the bridge when you defeat your last Mephisto, he will be considered as a different fight. Moreover, the bridge has only that Fault there, while the rest of the area is filled with traps. Anyway...

Fausts (Dante) - Same notes as those said about the Mephistos, but once their cloak is off, it's highly advisable to stay in Swordmaster style and use Prop (Rebellion; press B) to send the spider in the air, and prepare a Distorted Real Impact with the Gilgamesh (RB+B+LS_Backward) as soon as the spider lands; on Human, a regular Real Impact is enough.

Exit Northwest after the fight.

Ancient Plaza

Beat up a Fault in front of you as you enter, and then another on the left side; try to stay in this area to fight a bunch of Assaults. Destroy 9x eggs when they are all dead, then proceed Southwest.

If you see that your stylish points aren't high enough, it's in this area that you want to get swallowed by a Fault; remember to get 4x eggs and 1x egg spot in the Ruined Lowland, after defeating the enemies, and then fight the Assaults again. This is the most convenient fight to repeat.

Windswept Valley

Here's the mess. Destroy all the 13x eggs, before and after a fight against Chimera Scarecrows and Chimera Assaults.

Chimera Assaults take priority here, and you want to blast them down as quickly as possible (go all the way with Devil Trigger if you want; multiple Stingers with Devil Trigger activated are devastating), especially on higher difficulties. Possibly avoid long combos, because the massive amount of Faults here (some will spawn basically on each other, that's how many they are!) can make it a nightmarish fight. Beat the Faults up if you have a free second, and rely on your Coyote-A to shoot away the opponents. Prop followed by Real Impact is always a nice choice too, especially if you are in Devil Trigger mode (so even if you get hit by their blades in the process, you don't get knocked back; you still take damage though).

When they are all dead, and all the eggs are destroyed, climb the rocks up to return to the forest entrance.

Forest Entrance

Destroy 3x eggs Southwest, the 7x eggs in the trunk, and 2x eggs as you backtrack to Fortuna Castle. There is a secret mission at the center of this place, but it can seriously hurt you (in fact, you will probably die the first time you attempt it). Well, avoid the death of Dante, because the last checkpoint is before the fight against the Assaults in the Ancient Plaza.

Secret Mission 08 - Royal Blocker
Task: succesfully execut a Royal Block 5 times!
Strategy: the hardest secret mission is in the hardest level, alright. Timing is everything, and there's no other strategy than timing (the only extra tip is: eliminate one Mephisto, so you have to deal only with a set of attacks). The easiest attack to block is the laser attack; it's a good idea to dodge the other ones. The laser attack is accompanied by a clear noise, and all I can suggest is to watch a slowed down video of it being performed. I've also added one of the other attacks of the Mephistos which is easy to block in my opinion; the other two attacks (the high slash and the spinning attack) are harder to dodge, but if you feel at ease with them, block them too instead of dodging. The laser is the best choice anyway.
Reward for your first success: Blue Orb Fragment # 25/32.

Foris Falls

Sprint to the castle to end the mission.

Mission 15

S Rank on Human

Walkthrough

Foris Falls

There is a Combat Adjudicator as you go East (the path West is blocked): rank up to Smokin' Style!! and you will get Blue Orb Fragment # 26/32. Backtrack Southeast.

Central Courtyard

Here you will fight your first Blitz.

Blitz (Dante) - These enemies will warp away constantly, and then they will appear from nowhere to slash you. They can also stop in a specific place and use a thunder beam which you can easily dodge by jumping. Their offense is mainly this one, but they also have a powerful defensive shield made of thunders. If you get close, you'll get knocked back. Sometimes his position will be announced by vibration of the controller, and a yellow light will come from the ground: stay away, because he will spawn there and stay idle for a few seconds. There are several ways to deal with the shield, but one is by far the easiest and safest: when the Blitz stops for a few seconds, stay on Royal Guard and use the Gilgamesh; jump in the air and press Y to strike on the enemy, and immediately press B when the hit connects. You could also try to immediately press A to perform "Enemy Step" (if you have this ability) and then immediately use another Full House of Gilgamesh (the aerial Y attack) to continue with a quicker loop; it takes a lot to master this, just take it as a secondary strategy you don't have to replicate.
When his shield is off, use a Distorted Real Impact (on higher difficulties you will need more than one; remember to switch to Swordmaster to perform this attack), and make sure that every hit connects. If done succesfully, the health of the Blitz will be taken down to the minimum you can (he can't be killed at first): he will now start to transform, becoming "red". After a while chasing after you, trying to grab you (if this happens, absolutely activate Devil Trigger to avoid taking massive damage), he will detonate himself, ending the fight. However, there's a better thing to do instead of just letting him suicide: defeat him before he can do so, and you will instantly achieve an SSS style meter and a ton of stylish points from his kill. To defeat him, especially on lower difficulties, it's enough to spam a lot of needles with the Lucifer while he's transforming, and then detonate them. Any other attack is also ok, but this one works the best. Without the Lucifer, a Draw/half charged Straight is great too. If you don't manage to finish him off with it, load your Coyote-A and try to shoot him with charged shots; if you're lucky, he'll die; if you're not, he won't die and will suicide.
For higher difficulties, you'd better try a different approach with Lucifer. Check the third page of the walkthrough for more information.

Try to defeat him before he suicides, so you start the mission with a lot of points (it's advisable to restart if you fail; you just started, after all). The reason is, besides that you want to practise, that you can probably achieve an S Rank on this mission on your first run; this first fight has a big role in the score of course (that's already 2,000 stylish points after all). Make also sure to save some Devil Trigger, because you'll need it right after. Exit South after the fight.

Grand Hall

Here you will find 2x red orbs and 1x red orb spot, the one which required an Ex High Roller when you came here as Nero. Since you don't have that attack now, you'll need to activate Devil Trigger and triple-jump up to get them. Take the door on the East side afterward.

Gallery

Destroy everything in the room, including the usual 2x wooden boxes in the Northwest corner, then exit to the library.

Library

Jump up the correct pillar outside to get 1x secret orb spot, then enter the building to fight some Angelos: you can wait for the energy ball if you want (it should come from the North side). Then destroy 2x pots West, 1x bench East, jump up and destroy 1x bench East and 2x benches West. Go South and drop below to find a secret mission.

Secret Mission 09 - Unbreakable
Video.
Task: eliminate all enemies without taking damage and without being captured by a Fault!
Strategy: you can make this task easier by using Trickster and attacking with the Pandora (especially from the air) to build up its gauge and then switch to Gunslinger to unleash the Argument attack (jump and press B in the air) to deal high damage and stay airborne to avoid damage and Faults. Without these two aids, the task is harder since your enemies are Chimera Seeds and Assaults first (three of each) and then 3x Chimera Assaults. In that case, start by defeating two Chimera Seeds (try to defeat 3/3, but you probably won't make it in time) with Kick 13, then use the charged Coyote-A for the Chimera Assault which was created (shoot after jumping), and then take care of the two Assaults either with shots alone, or also with some Kick 13/Stingers. When the three hybrids spawn, use only aerial charged shots of your Coyote-A to eventually defeat them all; it goes without saying, but make sure to hide them all from your camera whenever possible.
Reward for your first success: Blue Orb Fragment # 27/32.

Exit through the door at the bottom of the hole afterward.

Large Hall

Destroy the items you can reach here (a total of 6x candle stands and 5x chairs), then go through the only available door to enter the dining room.

Dining Room

As you continue, a fight against several Scarecrows and Mega Scarecrows will trigger; it's a tiny area, but you should manage to make it easy work thanks to the camera hiding the enemies. Make sure to destroy the 4x candle sets and 8x chairs around the table, then take the next exit.

Large Hall - II

In this part of the hall you can break 4x candle stands first, then 2x candle stands and 2x red orbs behind the mirror Southwest. Exit West to the torture chamber.

Torture Chamber

A fight against 5x Frosts will trigger here: do your best to keep them down, then jump through another broken floor.

Spiral Well

At the bottom, use the blue switch to activate a special jumping platform; you still want to use the red ones though, so you can collect the various red orbs and 1x secret orb spot after the second red jumper; then use the special jumper down.

Torture Chamber - II

On the upper floor of the room, continue North to exit through a door and enter the master's chamber.

Master's Chamber

Here you will fight 4x Scarecrows and a Blitz which spawns after killing some, but not necessarily all, the Scarecrows (two down and he will appear); having other enemies around doesn't help to fight the Blitz, so especially on higher difficulties it can be a good idea to damage all the Scarecrows a lot, and quickly finish them off so the area is clear for the fight against the Blitz. You know how the fight against the Blitz works for the rest.
Destroy every piece of furniture in the room, then exit outside.

Soldier's Graveyard

Destroy everything here, including the usual horse statue at the top of the fountain. To reach 1x red orb you will need Devil Trigger again (jump, from the fountain, to the arch in front of you; then jump right to reach the orb). If you don't get this orb here, you won't get S on orbs even if you get the rest. By the way, if you have Fireworks (Gunslinger at least level 2; press B with the Coyote-A), it's a very effective way to destroy the items here. Don't forget about 2x secret orb spots on the East side too. Then exit Northeast.

Central Courtyard - II

Here you will fight against Bael. Technically, the name of this second one is Dagon.

Dante vs Dagon

The attacks are the same as Bael's. For your first fight against him, use Gilgamesh and stick with its most powerful attacks: Kick 13 (especially for the antennae), Straight, (Distorted) Real Impact. The best opening for the latter is after he tries to stomp/eat you or after his ice-breath attack: quickly run to his side to perform it. It's even possible to land a Real Impact while he's vanishing, but anyway, it'll be an easy fight.

Underground Laboratory

After the fight you will obtain Pandora and end up here. There aren't the barrels which used to be here, so just fall down to end the mission. With the Pandora you can now replay mission 12 to accomplish its secret mission.

Mission 16

S Rank on Human

Walkthrough

Purchase Hatred and Revenge in the shop (Pandora menu; it's a gun), since you will need them for a secret mission on this very mission.

Underground Laboratory

The poison in the air damages you, but it doesn't count for the No Damage bonus; therefore you can achieve it (provided you don't get hit by monsters of course). As a side note, on Heaven or Hell and Hell and Hell modes, this poison will not instant-kill you (that would be brutal), but only drain your health like it does in the other "normal" modes.

Anyway, beat up the Combat Adjudicator here to score Smokin'! and get Blue Orb Fragment # 28/32. Prepare Trickster style, Rebellion and the Ebony & Ivory, then proceed through the door.

RED Access

Here you will find 3x Cutlasses.

Cutlasses (Dante) - Your best attack to get them out of the ground is a stinger, but you need to slow them down to manage to actually hit them. Use the Ebony & Ivory, tapping X to slow one down, then immediately use a Stinger on a Cutlass to get him out. Defeat him as you prefer afterward: the charged attack (use only one charge, or they will recover!) and Kick 13 by Gilgamesh, quick combos with the Rebellion or anything you want; just try to be quick, because the other enemies won't stand by and watch you while you're killing one of them.

Continue on the only possible way.

Game Room

This place is haunted by Gladiuses: my suggestion is to simply proceed ignoring them, since they give few Stylish Points and are far more annoying than rewarding. Get 1x red orb on the North side anyway before exiting North/Northwest.

Containment Room

Here you will fight Bianco Angelos and Gladiuses: given the high amount of Gladiuses and only two Angelos, it's not a bad idea to focus on the Angelos first (Swordmaster; Prop with the Rebellion and then Real Impact) and then deal with the Gladiuses on Trickster and with shots of Coyote-A.

When it's clear, get 1x secret orb spot in the blue stream in the middle of the room, then destroy 2x chairs on the sides before exiting.

Foris Falls - II

Destroy 2x+1x+2x+1x explosive canisters, then jump up and destroy 2x explosive canisters; exit through the door upstairs.

Angel Creation

In this area there will be 1x explosive canister and a fight against 3x Bianco Angelos (one is a respawn). Proceed to another fight against a group of 3x Bianco Angelos and 2x Alto Angelo (1x of each is a respawn) will trigger; remember to get 1x secret orb spot just South of the circle, as you drop down a circular platform, and break another 1x explosive canister on the right before exiting. I would suggest to wait for the energy ball (should come from North) this time, which you can now send back with the standard attack of the Pandora while on the ground ("Epidemic").

Underground Laboratory - II

From this point, the poisonous gas is gone. Use the red jumping platforms, but this time make sure you stop by the edges to break the barrels: after the second platform there are 2x barrels Southwest; after the third, there are 3x barrels South; after the fifth there are 2x+1x barrels West, and at the top there is 1x barrel Northwest. Exit South afterward.

Grand Hall

Get the usual 2x red orbs and 1x secret orb spot Northwest on the upper floor, then break the two sets of chairs, benches and fences and exit outside (South).

Fortuna Castle Gate

Backtrack on the bridge and you will find your first Basilisks.

Basilisks (Dante) - Stinger, stinger, stinger. These enemies are annoying because their attacks are extremely accurate and fast, and they are projectiles. They also run around quickly. Trickster and Target Type 1 are recommended against them; if you stun one of them with a stinger, either continue with more style-less stingers, or use a quick attack like Kick 13. They are worth the use of Devil Trigger to increase the damage of the Stinger.

Destroy the various tiny pillars here, then jump back up to the mining area; on the way, pick up 3x red orbs (the ones which you may have not picked up on mission 03, to save time) and continue upwards to fight 3x Basilisks and destroy 3x tiny pillars.

From the top of the broken stairs, go Gunslinger, equip the Pandora, jump and press B to use "Argument" and fly all the way right to reach a secret alcove where secret mission is. Telling the truth, you could also just triple-jump (with Devil Trigger) from like a couple of steps on the right of the last stairs, basically following the red orbs, and (if needed) Sky-Star right.

Secret Mission 11 - Point of Impact
Video.
Task: use Pandora to destroy distant objects!
Strategy: there are various ways to tackle this mission. Some people prefer to go downstairs on the bridge and use Round Trip (an attack of the Rebellion) to hit the first statue, and then run to the other and shoot it down. You need good timing though, and it's easy to miss it if you don't have Speed active all the time. The other classic way is by shooting a Revenge attack with the Pandora (press X to fire, then rotate LS_720° to change the shape of the gun twice; Revenge is a sort of cannon) from far, like the background picture of this secret mission shows. The best spot for this is at the top of the stairs, but not straight: stay a bit on the left side to compensate for the not-so-straight aim of the Pandora. It takes a couple of tries, but you will eventually manage to do it as soon as the mission starts; after this, you have a lot of time to run to the other statue and shoot it down/swing it down with your regular weapons (Rebellion).
Reward for the first success: Blue Orb Fragment # 29/32 (in the area where you fought against Angelo Credo).

Backtrack to the mining area afterward.

Second Mining Area

Continue to backtrack until you are facing the first (which was the last when you climbed up as Nero) grip. In front of you, you should clearly see another platform. To reach it as Nero you would have had to make a long jump (either run to the edge, quite difficult in this little area, or using a Streak by the edge), then use a Roulette Spin and then Air Hike. As Dante it's much easier: use Trickster's aerial dash to get there after using a Stinger by the edge (it's about the same as when you skipped a section of mission 12, but the gap is shorter and you don't need to use Devil Trigger). When you get to the opposite side you will access Blue Orb Fragment # 30/32.

Backtrack once again, of course expecting...

Ferrum Hills

...to fight against Berial here. If you had Lucifer, spamming Pin-Up would be a safe way out. Now that you don't have it, charge Over Drive from afar and you should manage (on lower difficulties) even to take down all his flames with this. Then run to him and go with a Distorted Real Impact for massive damage until he dies. Aerial Rave also works fine if you want to change a bit/need to finish him off. You can run to the opposite side of the arena from where he's standing to charge more Over Drives if you need, but stay ready to jump/dash away if you see that he's in the stance ready to rush at you.

You will finally obtain Lucifer after the fight. Now just go South to end the mission.

Mission 17

S Rank on Human

Walkthrough

There will be a secret mission here which is best tackled with a Pandora gauge filled up, possibly at least with Gunslinger Lv 2's upgrade.

First Mining Area

Get 6x red orbs Northwest after jumping down, then backtrack.

Port Caerula

Destroy 2x trash containers and move on to fight against some Scarecrows: after defeating some of them, 2x Bianco Angelos will spawn; after more kills, 1x Alto Angelo will also join. The energy ball may come from South, and since you've just started the level it's a good idea to wait for it for a bunch of extra stylish points.
After the fight, make a turn right to get 1x red orb, then go left and get 1x red orb in the air before entering the tunnel; finally proceed to backtrack.

Residential District

Here there will be 1x trash container and 2x secret orb spots (one above the other, on the turret; help yourself with Trickster's aerial dashes. As you continue to backtrack, destroy the various market objects and fight against Assaults and Mephistos: the best spot is IMHO up the stairs (almost near the exit), since it's the spot which hides most of the enemies and physically prevents them to reach you by jamming the passage (don't count on this too much though).
Remember to get 3x red orbs on the side passage on the left (South from the red orb statue; they were leading to a blue orb fragment earlier), and exit through a "new" door below the balcony from where you jumped down as Nero.

Business District/Terrace

A large fight against Scarecrows, Mega Scarecrows, and later also Basilisks, will trigger. When the Basilisks spawn, give them priority.
At the end of the fight you'll be able to destroy a bunch of trash canisters and benches on both the sides of the road.

On the left side (East side) there is also 1x red orb (you may have foreseen this one in the background image of Mission 17 before starting it) on a curtain; jump further up from the curtain (help yourself with Trickster's dashes) to reach Blue Orb Fragment # 31/32. Then continue to the square area.

Opera House Plaza

Here you will find 1x trash can on your way, and another 1x trash can is found on the right side (West): destroy it to reveal the last secret mission.

Secret Mission 12 - Steeplechase
Video.
Task: reach the goal without taking damage!
Strategy: if you have the Pandora's gauge filled up as suggested, it will be an easy task since you only have to go Gunslinger, jump and hover to the opposite side of the arena. Otherwise it's a considerably harder task, and you'll have to do your best with Trickster, reflexes and luck; it's not advisable to say the least.
Reward for your first success: Blue Orb Fragment # 32/32.

If this is your 12th completed mission, you will unlock Nothing Left Unsaid.

Continue to go on to trigger a fight against 2x Mephistos; as you defeat one, 2x Alto Angelos will spawn; defeat more enemies and 1x Faust will also join. I suggest you take care of a Mephisto and then the two Alto Angelos, then the other Mephisto and finally the Faust.

Side note - you could now go to the Storehouse (destroy everything here), from here exit to the top (as you did as Nero) to the Terrace, then enter the Cathedral through another door; then continue to follow the path you took as Nero (since you can't use the grips, you have to activate Devil Trigger and make a triple jump to get on the upper floor, on the North side) to finally go out to another section of the Terrace and get 1x Gold Orb. You probably already have 3x of them though (which is the max), and therefore it's probably a better idea to just ignore it.

After the fight, destroy another 1x trash container in the middle of the path before the stairs, and then go right to enter the church.

Opera House

Here you will fight against Angelo Agnus. In three words: Distorted Real Impact. Stay behind him, possibly, so you also damage the Gladiuses he summons in the process (you also damage them from the front, but they won't take full damage; they still die on lower difficulties, but on higher difficulties they may not). Every now and then you can also use some stingers of Lucifer instead of Gilgamesh's most powerful attack, that only depends on the situation: if the opponent is standing there, ready to summon something or simply doing nothing, use the Distorted Real Impact; if he's wandering around, use the stingers, sending them to the opponent with the usual RB+B+LS_Forward attack (Bondage) in Swordmaster style. Should he want to grab you, charge and release shots of the Coyote-A to stop him, or detonate the needles of Lucifer (a couple of aerial combos will stick in the enemy more than enough stingers).

Mission 18

S Rank on Human

Walkthrough

As the mission starts you will unlock Dark Slayer, the last style for Dante (to go to this style you have to press twice the same direction of the D-Pad; for example D-Pad_Left twice; if you are, say, Trickster, and you press D-Pad_Up, you will go Dark Slayer; if you are Swordmaster you have to press the D-Pad_Right to go Dark Slayer, and so on). It's not an excellent style to be honest, and it's difficult to make concrete use of it except maybe for some extra combos to add some extra style (especially the aerial ones).

This mission is a whole big boss fight with minions around every now and then. Minions are always Angelos (either of the two types, but never in a good combination for the energy ball attack), and on a couple of platforms of the arena there are also some Faults on the ground (if you get eaten you will end in a hidden pit and have to fight for a warp device; absolutely avoid this).

The fight has three phases, but the attacks of the opponent are always the same except for a special attack available only in the last two phases. He can use punches, kicks, summon minor and major energy balls to throw against you. The minor energy balls come in large amounts and can be broken for a lot of boost on your style meter (even Ebony & Ivory can break them), while the bigger ones must just be avoided by jumping away. Kicks can be dodged, but they will eventually break the platform where you are standing (you would fall down to another platform, with a malus on your style meter even if you don't get directly hit). Punches can be dodged too (they won't destroy the platforms), and you can also "get on" his left hand/arm after his attack, to reach a couple of cores (one near the hand, the other near the shoulder) and also a third core, on his head.

In addition to this, the enemy can be stunned by several means. What the game gives you are a cannon and a laser beam, which can both be activated through a blue switch near them. The lasers will block the hand of the enemy, stunning him and allowing you to get on the arm (either of the two; he always strikes with the right arm first, and then the left one) and reach the two cores on it. The cannon will stun his whole body, allowing you to reach all his cores, including those on his legs.

Other than that, you can also use Revenge instead of the rare cannon of the platforms; you have to be quick and aim for his body (and hope that he doesn't move), but you can land the shots and quickly stun him (not so quickly on higher difficulties, but this works wonders on Human mode). The best opening for this is when he's loading the bigger energy balls, since he won't move and he will give you enough time to do so.

After stunning him, your task is to break the blue cores everywhere. In particular, besides the 2x blue cores on each arm, you also have to break 1x blue core on each of his legs and 1x blue core on his back, and finally also the core on his head.

The arena

As soon as you stun him, there will be two blue jumping platforms near you: jump on the left one. You will now have two platforms near you: a red one and a blue one. The red ones leads upwards, where Faults and Angelos are, and it lets you reach the right arm (both the cores can be hit from here, although the one near the shoulder is quite far and will take many more hits to be destroyed). The blue one leads you to a platform from which you can break the core of one of his legs (the right one) and fight against an Alto Angelo; then use another jumper on this very platform to reach the core of his left leg and fight another Alto Angelo. From here, another jumper will lead you near the core of his left arm (the one closest to the hand) and this time there will be only Faults. Another jumping platform from here leads you to the core on his back and two Alto Angelos. From here, another jumping platform will bring you back to the blue and red jumping platforms.

When he's not stunned, the arena is a bunch of random platforms with the lasers and cannons lost on some of them. It's not a very good idea to jump around, because this means finding a lot of other Angelos and most of all, wasting time.

The fight

The most advisable pattern to defeat him is therefore: stun; blue jumper to destroy the cores on his legs (2/8), back (3/8), one of those of the left arm (4/8); at this point he will probably recover from the stun. Stun him again, and this time take the red jumper to destroy the two cores of his right arm (6/8). Now you only have to wait for him to recover, and then wait for his left punch: "ride" his arm, so to speak, and break the second core of his left arm and finally also the core on his head (8/8). It goes without saying that if you have the chance of getting on his left arm while you're attempting to stun him, you should definitely do so and aim mainly for the cores on his shoulder and head. He will blow you away after a while (or you will automatically get off when you destroy the core on his head).

You may notice a core on his breast, but it's not of your interest for the first phase of the fight. Breaking the core of his head also triggers a cutscene, but nevermind about it (it was probably supposed to be the last one you'd break, but it doesn't have to be the last one).

After this first phase (very easy on Human, quite a pain on higher difficulties), there will be a "linking phase" where you only have to run from his devastating attack (the area changes color and you will clearly notice him loading it): use the jumping platforms on either side to move away. You will eventually reach a platform with a shop statue. From this platform, move on the last blue jumper to trigger another short scene.

The third and final phase of the fight starts with another of his most powerful attack, and you will also start seeing his health bar. You'll now have two possible directions; take either of them and stick with it (you obviously don't want to use a left jumper after using a right one, because you would only go back). Your goal now is to stun him again, and the Pandora is again a great choice. When he's stunned, you can finally reach the core on his chest: devastate it with Distorted Real Impacts and you will earn an easy victory.

Especially on higher difficulties, some extra damage can come from another good spot from where you can perform a Distorted Real Impact: if you go on the highest of the platforms, the enemy will come to you, but since you're very high he will need to raise himself to reach you. To do so, he will raise slowly just in front of your platform, and you will be able to smash his head-core first, and then his breast-core too, dealing heavy damage and also probably stunning him. When the third phase of the fight starts, use the right blue jumper and you will land on this platform (in the video I'm on it about at 4:18, but I keep running past it to rank up the style meter; on higher difficulties it's better to use the platform for Distorted Real Impacts as soon as you can).

Conclusion

Make sure that you don't mistake the path to take, and stay on Trickster whenever you're not fighting (or also if you're fighting, why not). Clear the mission as quickly as possible, and do your best to avoid being damaged, because you won't have many chances (apart from shooting the smaller energy balls he throws at you) to raise your style meter up again if you get hit and lose it.

Mission 19

S Rank on Human

Walkthrough

This whole place is a set of "game rooms" with a dice to hit and enemies to fight. It works exactly as the game room on mission 06. For a quick memo, the spinning order is: 1 - 4 - 2 - 6 - 3 - 5 - 1 - 4 - ...; the white circles have no effect, the yellow ones will bring you to the one before the door, the blue ones will spawn orbs (red ones won't count for the ending percentage of the level, but you can use the green ones for free healing), the red ones will spawn enemies and the circle before the door will let you proceed.

The only difference with the previous game is that you need to hit exactly the circle in front of a dimensional gate in order to proceed; since the yellow circles will bring you there, landing on them means proceeding. The statue representing Nero will move always anti-clockwise (facing the gate), and this time all the yellow circles will immediately warp you to the last circle.

As you land on the last circle, a fight will trigger; apart from the first fight, there will be four boss fights. During the waves you can land deliberately on the blue circles to get free green orbs until you're fully healed again, and you can also boost your Stylish Score a lot by landing on the red circles on purpose. Among the four bosses there isn't Dante. Could we expect anything better?

First level: hit (5-1-)4. You will fight 4x Bianco Angelos and 1x Alto Angelo. Wait for their energy ball and send it back with a Lv 3 Charged Shot; if they don't do so, you can just restart the mission. You don't "have to" wait for the energy ball, although it's the best possible start for this mission, and also a very quick way.
Second level: hit (4-2-)6. Berial here.
Third level: hit (5-1-)4; you'll land on a yellow dot, and it will send you straight to the purple dot in front of the door: Bael/Dagon here
Fourth level: hit (5-1)4; again, you'll land on the yellow one and be sent to the next enemy: defeat Echidna, and then destroy the 8x eggs in this arena.
Fifth level: hit (4-2-)6; yellow dot to the end: Agnus. Destroy also the 3x cages in the arena, if they survived the fireworks of the fight.

Here break the 4x pillars and finish the mission (you have to break the lava stones on your way).

Mission 20

S Rank on Human
S Rank on Dante Must Die

Walkthrough

There will be two parts of this mission. The main part is the boss fight; then you'll have to time two easy busters ("easy" as long as you know the timing) to end the mission. While the credits are rolling, you will also be fighting against some enemies, but these ones do not count (and you can skip them and the credits by pressing Start as you would skip any cutscene).

The fight

Nero vs Sanctus in Mission 20 is somehow easier than the previous fight in Mission 11, because the arena is much smaller and you won't spend half of the time chasing Sanctus; if you know how to get to him, that is.

Sanctus attacks: he can send two shockwaves, shoot fireballs (the number increases as you take his health down), create an electric shockwave on the ground, summon vertical lasers, regenerate his shields (creating a shockwave around him in the process), send the lamps to attack you. That's the same as earlier, so far. In addition to this, he can now also disappear from the arena and summon lamps to surround you: just jump when they're closing the circle on you to avoid the hit. Lastly, he can now also warp to the ground (only after taking down part of his shield) and attack with one or (as you're taking down his health) two swings of his scythe. He can also guard against your attacks by using his scythe: if he does so, use a buster to break his guard instantly, then attack again with the Red Queen/Blue Rose.

Strategy: the key of the fight is once again your trusted Lv 3 Charged Shot. Instead of using the lamps to reach him, it's VERY important to run to him, because this will often make the lamps hide behind him and avoid him running away (he will attack you with something you can easily dodge). To take down his shield, use Roulette Spin (YY, pause, Y; all in the air), possibly exceeded of course. When you take down his first shield, take down the second one too, but make sure to shoot your Lv 3 Charged Shot like I do in the video (this is particularly important on higher difficulties), because the bursting bullet will buy you enough time (stunning him) to let you reach him without him going away, so you can break his second shield too and finally attack with a buster for massive damage. After the buster he will always recover his shield, as it was on Mission 11.
This is pretty much all you have to know about the fight. Roulette Spin for the first layer; run to him and shoot a Lv 3 Charged Shot, and take advantage of the short stunning moment of the enemy after the shot explodes to take down his second shield; then Devil Trigger and buster the enemy.
After the first buster, his health will already be low enough (I'm speaking of higher difficulties here) to make him teleport to the ground. When this happens, let your shot go on him when he's attacking, so he gets stunned (that's the same thing you would do if he was in the air); make sure you Air-Hike to be safely out of his scythe's range.

When the fight is almost over, unless you finish him off before this can happen, he will come to the ground and start a special attack. He will be charging for a few seconds, and then rush at you: time your Buster to intercept him and finish him off with it.

With practice you will be able to replicate a run similar to the video shown on Dante Must Die difficulty: remember to run to him instead of snatching the lamps, because this is what makes the difference most of the times.

After this fight, you'll have to punch-back with your buster the attacks of the giant statue. The timing is shown in the video, but anyway: the first arm (the right arm of the statue) will first raise up a bit, and then start to descend; you want to press B a blink after it's descending. The second arm (his left one) will also first raise up a bit and then descend, but you want to wait another couple of blinks before pressing B this time.
After blocking both the arms, jump and press B near his fallen head to end the game.

Introduction

In this page you will find the essential information on the missions: enemies, red orbs, where to go (when it's not obvious). I will start each mission with a table which includes the most relevant data to calculate your Devil Hunter Points. Take a read of the General hints and tips for more information about the formula. After a "summary" of the key information, I will add a quick description (if necessary) on how to fight the enemies.

To make practical use of the data collected here, remember that according to the formula you can calculate how many stylish points you need to S-Rank a mission. In particular:

(Stylish Points to achieve an S Rank) = (Devil Hunter Points required to get the S Rank)/(Multipliers) - Default Points

I'll give you the Devil Hunter Points required to get the S Rank, the Default Points of the mission, and you will usually only want to keep in mind these bonuses: No Item (1.2x), Orbs Found S (95+%) (2x), Orbs Found A (75+%) (1.75x), Clear Time S (3x), Clear Time A (2.5x), Clear Time B (2x). No Damage = 1.5x. Other lower bonuses don't matter, because you never want to die/get a worse clear time than B (which is already very bad, and only on a mission you can afford it) or a worse percentage of orbs found.

I will also suggest to you which multipliers you should try to get for an S Rank on Human (always No Item, and usually S on both Clear Time and Orbs Found). On higher difficulties, you must get S on Clear Time and S on Orbs Found; it will be easy, except for a mission which doesn't give you much time; No Item should also always be earned. On Dante Must Die you still want to get S on Clear Time and Orbs Found, but you may have to use items on some missions: I'll tell you if it's a good idea to use items, or if it will just make things worse because you have to try to get your No Item bonus to get the S Rank.

Other than these suggestions, I'll also calculate the amount of Stylish Points you need with fixed multipliers (those I suggest), so you have an idea on how you have to work to succeed. That's again a specific calculation for Human and Dante Must Die modes, because the other two are very easy to S-Rank.

Mission 01 - Birds of a Feather

S Rank on Human
S Rank on Dante Must Die

Default Points: 500

Clear Time

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 00:45 01:00 01:15 01:25
A Rank: 01:05 01:30 01:45 02:00
B Rank: 01:30 02:00 02:15 02:45

Devil Hunter Points

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 5,100 6,000 10,800 18,000

S-Ranking
This first mission is the shortest and one of the easiest to S-Rank: with S on time, S on orbs and the No Item bonus, you will only need less than 350 Stylish Points to achieve the overall S Rank.

Walkthrough

Opera House

Orbs: 10x benches.
Enemies: Dante.

Rely on the attacks shown in the video and be brave: being a short mission, you can always retry if your excess of bravery isn't paid back with some luck. Rely on Lv 3 Charged Shots and use Devil Busters if you have a chance.

Mission 02 - La Porte de l'Enfer

S Rank on Human

Default Points: 1,500

Clear Time

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 11:00 15:00 21:00 26:00
A Rank: 13:00 17:30 25:00 30:00
B Rank: 15:00 20:00 28:00 34:00

Devil Hunter Points

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 42,500 50,000 108,000 180,000

S-Ranking
This is not an easy mission to S-Rank on Human. If you follow the fighting style described in the walkthrough you will manage to score enough stylish points to achieve it, otherwise you may seriously struggle. Make sure you get S on time and on orbs; with these two bonuses and the No Item bonus you will need less than 5,500 Stylish Points for an overall S Rank.
On Dante Must Die mode, try not to use items because without the No Item bonus you would need 8,500 Stylish Points to achieve an S Rank.

Walkthrough

Opera House Plaza

Orbs: 4x trash canisters, 6x benches, 1x red orb.
Enemies: 3x Scarecrows.

On Human, fight the Scarecrows with Lv 3 Ex High Roller followed by 2-3 shots of the gun in the air, and then an aerial buster. Snatch and Taunt the second Scarecrow and then do the same on him. Make sure that you defeat the second Scarecrow when you're near the third and last one (he's behind the fountain), so you link them all in the same fight.

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Storehouse

Orbs: 2x barrels at the bottom; 3x barrels, 5x boxes and 5 shelves at the top.
Enemies: 3x Scarecrows (at the top).

===========

Terrace

Nothing.

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Cathedral

Orbs: 1x floating in the air above the gate in front of the door from where you come; 10x chairs at the bottom; 4x benches and 1x red orb (Snatch this one) before the exit.

===========

Terrace - II

Enemies: 2x Scarecrows first; then a larger group of Scarecrows.

===========

Residential District

Orbs: several market objects; then 3x red orbs on a side way reached jumping up; 1x trash container; 2x secret orb spots on the turret.
Enemies on Human/Devil Hunter: 3x Scarecrows.
Enemies on Son of Sparda/Dante Must Die: a group of Assaults.

Make sure you defeat the Scarecrows only when another one is close enough, to link them all in the same fight.
For higher difficulties, fight the Assaults possibly in the small part of the area which goes downwards (it's the first turn after you drop below): they can easily jam here, and this also avoids you mistakenly targetting the red orb statue. If you decide to fight in a wider space, possibly hit the red orb statue once so it automatically destroys after some seconds and you won't have to fear targetting it by mistake.

===========

Port Caerula

Orbs: 2x red orbs (also 2x trash containers, but get them later).

===========

Custom House

Orbs: 2x red orbs.
Enemies: 3x Scarecrows.

===========

Port Caerula (after using the switch)

Orbs: 2x trash containers (if you didn't get them earlier).
Enemies: 3x Scarecrows as you exit, then another group of Scarecrows.

===========

First Mining Area

Orbs: 6x red orbs.

===========

Ferrum Hills

Enemies: Berial.

Rely a lot on Lv 3 Charged Shots to defeat him more easily. On lower difficulties, use the Devil Trigger rather soon in the fight and smash him to quickly take down his flames; then use a couple of Devil Busters in a row and he's done for. On higher difficulties, play safely to smash his sides (possibly not his rear, just the sides) and/or his face with Roulette Spin. Avoid long combos, and try to avoid his front because he can make a quick slash and ruin everything. If you feel that his flames are wearing off, try to give them the final blow by going Devil Trigger to smash them some more. If you can keep the distance from him, feel free to use a charged Maximum Bet for some extra and safe damage to his body and his flames.

Mission 03 - The White Wing

S Rank on Human

Default Points: 2,000

Clear Time

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 13:30 18:00 20:00 25:00
A Rank: 15:30 21:00 24:00 30:00
B Rank: 18:30 25:00 28:00 35:00

Devil Hunter Points

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 55,250 65,000 117,000 195,000

S-Ranking
On Human, time is very short and you'd better focus on style and orbs. Try to achieve A on time, S on orbs, and the usual No Item bonus. With these factors you will need almost 8,850 Stylish Points on Human. You can also try the No Damage run on this stage, especially if you feel comfortable with the Lv3 Charged Shot which is devastating even on Dante Must Die (and even more on Human), but you will need a bit of extra skill. You can't miss the S Rank on Dante Must Die mode (there's no need to use items either).

Walkthrough

Second Mining Area

Orbs: 1x red orb.
Enemies: 3x Scarecrows first, then 4x Scarecrows.

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Fortuna Castle Gate

Orbs: 1x red orb; 3x tiny pillars; after falling down, 10x tiny pillars, 3x red orbs (to get these you must backtrack, and it's not advisable since you can get S on Orbs Found even without them) and 2x secret orb spots (at the top of bigger pillars just before the path leading to the castle.
Enemies: 2x Frosts.

For the Frosts on lower difficulties, go Devil Trigger if you need some extra help to attempt a No Damage run/make things easier.

===========

Grand Hall

Orbs: 19x chairs, 4x benches and 3x fences on each of the sides of the area.

To proceed, enter the door Southeast (Southwest also works, but you will prefer Southeast).

===========

Large Hall

Orbs: 2x candle stands before the gate Southeast; 4x candle stands and 5x chairs past the gate Southeast (use Snatches to destroy them); 4x candle stands North; 2x candle stands before the turn to the Torture Chamber; 2x red orbs behind a breakable mirror to the Southwest.
Enemies on Human/Devil Hunter: a bunch of Scarecrows everywhere from Southeast to Southwest.
Enemies on Son of Sparda/Dante Must Die: 3x Basilisks in the Southeastern half, and 1x more Basilisk Southwest.

Absolutely link all the Scarecrows in a single fight, using Snatches on the last one you see alive to bring him with you to where the next Scarecrow is. You can avoid wasting time with the objects past the gate if you need to save some time (you should hit more than 95% Orbs Found even without them; try to still get what you can with a random Snatch).

On higher difficulties there's no need to link all the Basilisks in the same fight; fight the first three at once, then defeat the last one alone. Lv 3 Charged Shots and Ex Streaks are perfect against these enemies; stay airborne to keep them off your view and turn the volume on to hear if they're attacking.

You want to take the West exit.

===========

Torture Chamber

Enemies on Human/Devil Hunter: a bunch of Scarecrows.
Enemies on Son of Sparda/Dante Must Die: a bunch of Scarecrows mixed up with many Gladiuses.

Give the Scarecrows a good Lv 3 Ex Streak to start, then work on them as usual (for lower difficulties).
Use Devil Trigger if you feel like speeding things up with the Gladiuses in the room (for higher difficulties); you won't need it anywhere else other than here in this mission.

On higher difficulties watch out for the grips on the upper floor, because they will vanish and move, unlike on Human where they are just standing there for use.

===========

Grand Hall (upper floor, West side)

Orbs: 2x red orbs leading to 1x secret orb spot (use Lv 3 Ex High Roller to reach the latter).

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Central Courtyard (West)

Enemies: 2x Frosts (3x on higher difficulties).

===========

Foris Falls

Nothing.

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Central Courtyard (East)

Enemies: 2x Frosts (3x on higher difficulties).

===========

Grand Hall (upper floor, East side)

Nothing.

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Gallery

Orbs: many items in the room; make sure you get 2x wooden boxes in the Northwest corner, the only ones hard to spot.
Enemies: many Scarecrows.

===========

Library

Orbs: 1x secret orb spot before the fight; 2x pots and 1x bench on the lower floor of the building; 3x benches on the upper floor of the building.
Enemies: 4x Bianco Angelos (1+1+2).

For the first two Bianco Angelos alone, break their shields with the combination Y, then B, then release Lv 2/3 Charged Shot, then finish them off with an enhanced buster (tap B while performing the buster). For the two of them at once rely on Lv 3 Charged Shots to keep one busy and destroy the other one from his back.

Mission 04 - Cold Blooded

S Rank on Human

Default Points: 2,000

Clear Time

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 13:30 18:00 21:00 33:00
A Rank: 15:30 21:00 24:00 38:00
B Rank: 18:30 25:00 30:00 45:00

Devil Hunter Points

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 42,500 50,000 117,000 195,000

S-Ranking
Get A on time, S on orbs and No Item bonus; with these factors you will need less than 6,500 Stylish Points on Human, obtained easily. It's a very easy mission to S-Rank on Dante Must Die too, and you shouldn't need to use items.

Walkthrough

Library

Orbs: 2x pots and 1x bench on the lower floor of the building; 3x benches on the upper floor of the building; 1x secret orb spot outside.

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Gallery

Orbs: many items in the room; make sure you get 2x wooden boxes in the Northwest corner, the only ones hard to spot.
Enemies on Human/Devil Hunter: a group of Scarecrows and 2x Frosts.
Enemies on Son of Sparda/Dante Must Die: instead of many Scarecrows, a Blitz will spawn after killing the 2x Frosts.

Do not use the gyro blades to kill the enemies, or you will waste a ton of style points. For higher difficulties, check here on how to deal with Blitzes as Nero.

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Grand Hall

Orbs: 2x red orbs and 1x secret orb spot Northwest on the upper floor; two sets of chairs, benches and fences on the lower floor.

You don't have to use the gyro blades in the room to break the blue item (you only need to do this once in your playthrough, and possibly in the next mission): don't waste time with it and proceed through the door in the Southwest on the lower floor.

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Large Hall

Ignore the red orbs at first. On Human, if you need, go off-track and enter the Torture Chamber (West) for an extra fight for easy style points.
To proceed, enter the Dining Room (East).

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Dining Room

Orbs: 8x chairs and 4x dinner sets.
Enemies: 2x Bianco Angelos.

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Large Hall (behind the gate)

Orbs: 4x candle stands and 5x chairs before the gate to the Southeast; 2x candle stands past the gate; 4x candle stands North; 2x candle stands before the turn to the Torture Chamber; 2x red orbs behind a breakable mirror in the Southwest.
Enemies on Human/Devil Hunter: many Scarecrows in the gate area; then more Scarecrows in the hallway.
Enemies on Son of Sparda/Dante Must Die: some Scarecrows and 3x Mega Scarecrows before the gate; more Scarecrows in the hallway.

Defeat all the enemies (in the gate area and in the hallway) without the gyro blades, and link all those of the hallway in the same fight.
Then use the gyro blades to smash the blue barrier to the Southwest and access another gyro blade; then punch both these gyro blades all the way to the Northern area.

===========

Courtyard

Enemies: Bael.

For the antennae, use aerial snatches until you finally get one; when you succeed, use a Buster and release a Lv 3 Charged Shot just after the buster. For Bael himself, use Calibur to quickly reach him when he's getting away, and rely on powerful combos when he's on the ground. Use Devil Trigger soon in the battle, on lower difficulties, to quickly take him down and stun him for a Devil Buster (do so in front of him, and tap Y and B during the buster animation for extra damage/style meter/style points). Rely on Lv 3 Charged Shots too for extra damage, and always stay on his sides to avoid being eaten by the monster. Should this happen, use Devil Trigger to set you free instantly.

Mission 05 - Trisagion

S Rank on Human

Default Points: 1,500

Clear Time

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 09:00 12:00 18:00 21:30
A Rank: 10:30 14:00 21:00 25:00
B Rank: 13:00 17:30 25:00 30:00

Devil Hunter Points

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 34,000 40,000 90,000 150,000

S-Ranking
On Human it's a very short-timed mission, but it's possible to score S on time and on orbs (and the usual No Item bonus) if you do everything fast and you know what to do. With these factors you need less than 4,100 Stylish Points. If you achieve A on time, S on orbs and No Item bonus, you need less than 5,200 Stylish Points. Do your best to attempt the S on time; if you just can't make it, it's a quite easy mission to complete with No Damage; try with that bonus as a last resort. On higher difficulties you won't need to use items, and the S on time will make your life easier.

Walkthrough

Soldier's Graveyard

Orbs: many objects to destroy in the central area; remember the horse statue at the top of the fountain. Then also 1x red orb on a high arch and 2x secret orb spots on the East side.
Enemies: 2x Mephistos.

To reach the big red orb on the arch, jump in the fountain after destroying the horse statue; from here, jump to the central arch, then use Roulette Spin to gain some height, and then use Air-Hike (a second jump) to reach the central arch. From here, use Streak to go right (where the red orb is) and then Air-Hike to reach the right arch. From here, get the red orb and continue. If you fail more than a couple of times, restart the mission. You can also Air-Hike from the fountain and aim with a Snatch to get the red orb.

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Master's Chamber

Orbs: various pieces of furniture on the side and opposite the bed.
Enemies: 3x Bianco Angelos.

===========

Torture Chamber (upper level)

Nothing.

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Spiral Well

Orbs: many red orbs and 1x secret orb spot (after the second red jumping platform).
Enemies: 2x Mephistos (on higher difficulties, also a Faust).

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Torture Chamber (lower level)

Enemies on Human/Devil Hunter: some Scarecrows and 2x Mephistos.
Enemies on Son of Sparda/Dante Must Die: 3x Mephistos and 2x Frosts.

===========

Large Hall

Orbs: 2x candle stands and 2x red orbs behind the mirror in the Southwest; 4x cande stands to the North; 6x candle stands and 5x chairs in the Southeast.
Enemies: 3x Frosts.

Stay near the door from where you came to fight the Frosts, and use Devil Trigger to make quicker work of them. Be careful not to stay too close to the door though, or you may accidentally press A/B, entering the Torture Chamber again and resetting the spawns of the Large Hall.

To continue, take either of the Southern exits to the Grand Hall.

===========

Grand Hall

Orbs: two sets of chairs, benches and fences on the lower level; 2x red orbs leading to 1x secret orb spot on the upper level.

Get the orbs on the upper level after cutting the chandelier to continue, since this will bring you right there.

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Underground Laboratory

Nothing.

Mission 06 - Resurrection

S Rank on Human

Default Points: 2,500

Clear Time

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 16:30 22:00 25:00 30:00
A Rank: 18:30 25:00 28:00 35:00
B Rank: 22:30 30:00 35:00 45:00

Devil Hunter Points

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 68,000 80,000 144,000 240,000

S-Ranking
This is a very easy mission to S-Rank, since time is very generous even on Human, and Stylish Points won't be lacking either. Aim for S on time, S on orbs and No Item bonus, you need a bit more than 8,600 Stylish Points. On Dante Must Die, should you need, use items to recover your health; you need little more than 10,800 Stylish Points without the No Item bonus, with S on time and S on orbs.

Walkthrough

Undeground Laboratory

Orbs: 8x barrels (1x before jumping down, the rest on different ledges).

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RED Access

Orbs: 3x debris.
Enemies: 3x Cutlasses.

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Game Room

Orbs: 1x red orb.

Dice sequence: 1 - 4 - 2 - 6 - 3 - 5 - 1 - 4 - ...
Quickest sequence to get through: 2, 5, 3, 6, 3/4/5/6.

Land deliberately on red dots if you need extra style points. The exit, after the dice game is complete, is North/Northwest.

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Containment Room

Orbs: 1x secret orb spot in the middle of the blue beam; 2x chairs; all after the fight.
Enemies: many Gladiuses and the mini-boss "mirror" to break.

Do your best to stay airborne if the main enemy is attacking with electricity, and remember to use Target Type 1.

===========

Foris Falls - II

Orbs: 6x explosive canisters below and 2x explosive canisters upstairs.

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Angel Creation

Orbs: 1x explosive canister in the first fighting area; 1x explosive canister and 1x secret orb spot in the third fighting area.
Enemies on Human/Devil Hunter: 3x Bianco Angelos; then 2x Bianco Angelos; then 5x Bianco Angelos.
Enemies on Son of Sparda/Dante Must Die: 1x Alto Angelo followed by 2x Bianco Angelos; then 2x Bianco Angelos; then 5x Bianco Angelos.

===========

Underground Laboratory

Nothing (you can break the barrels if you missed them earlier).

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Grand Hall

Orbs: 2x red orbs leading to 1x secret orb spot on the upper level; two sets of chairs, benches and fences on the lower level.

Go to the Central Courtyard (upper level) East or West from the broken picture-wall.

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Central Courtyard (upper level)

Enemies: 3x Frosts.

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Foris Falls

Go to the bridge leading North.

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Forest Entrance

Nothing.

Mission 07 - The She-Viper

S Rank on Human

Default Points: 2,500

Clear Time

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 15:00 20:00 23:00 28:00
A Rank: 17:00 23:00 26:00 32:00
B Rank: 20:00 27:00 30:00 38:00

Devil Hunter Points

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 42,500 50,000 90,000 150,000

S-Ranking
You have a large amount of time to do everything even on Human mode, and with S on time, S on orbs and No Item bonus you will need less than 4,500 Stylish Points. On Dante Must Die this mission is harder than usual, but you can afford to use items to make it easier: with S on time, S on orbs, without the No Item bonus, you will need little more than 5,800 Stylish Points.

Walkthrough

Forest Entrance

Orbs: 2x eggs on the left as you start; 7x eggs in the trunk; 3x eggs Southwest of the red orb statue.

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Windswept Valley

Orbs: 1x egg on the left before jumping down; 1x egg on the right after jumping down (but not completely), attached to the mountain; 3x eggs at the bottom, plus 2x eggs still at the bottom (on the right of the stairs) and finally 2x eggs in the fountain area.
Enemies: 3x Chimera Seeds.

===========

Ruined Church

Orbs: 19x eggs (two lonely and a group of 17x).
Enemies: 3x Chimera Scarecrows.

Rely massively on Lv 3 Charged Shots against these enemies.

===========

Ruined Valley

Enemies: 2x Mephistos.

On higher difficulties, if you're having problems, use a Holy Water to make the passage easier. If you fall down you will enter the Ruined Lowlands optional area, where you have to fight some enemies to return here. On Human it's just a bunch of Scarecrows, but on higher difficulties it will be a big mixed fight of Chimera Hybrids/Assaults/Mephistos. Make sure to get the orbs from 4x eggs and 1x secret orb spot in the Northwest part of this side area, if that accidentally happens.

The Mephistos of the area will respawn on higher difficulties, if you fall down; on lower difficulties they will be gone when you return here from the Ruined Lowlands. Instead of skipping the fight with the Holy Water, you can also spawn them and quickly return on the land from where you came to fight more safely; then use the blue switch again to actually proceed. This is time consuming, but you should have enough time to afford this.

===========

Lapis River

Orbs: 1x egg in front of you, 2x eggs South from this one; then 1x big egg past the bridge on a column, 4x eggs below the bridge and 4x eggs before the exit to the Southwest.

Exit Northwest.

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Ancient Plaza

Orbs: 2x eggs in front of you, 1x egg East of the circle in the middle; 2x eggs West of the circle and 2x eggs further West from these last ones, attached to the mountain; 2x eggs South of the circle.
Enemies on Human/Devil Hunter: Chimera Seeds and Scarecrows.
Enemies on Son of Sparda/Dante Must Die: Chimera Seeds and Assaults.

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Windswept Valley

Orbs: 2x eggs on the left past the barrier; 2x eggs on the left past the other barrier.
Enemies: Chimera Scarecrows.

Possibly defeat the enemies without the gyro blades, for extra style points. The exit is the central South door.

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Ruined Valley - II

Orbs: numerous eggs.

Select Target Type 1 and use Streaks to break the eggs and run away from the monster chasing after you.

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Forgotten Ruins

Orbs: 1x egg, then 1x egg after a small tunnel, then 2x eggs.
Enemies: 2x Chimera Seeds, 2x Scarecrows and 2x Chimera Scarecrows.

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Den of the She-Viper

Orbs: 3x eggs Northwest, 3x eggs Southeast and 2x eggs Southwest.
Enemies: Echidna (and, if summoned, also Chimera Seeds).

Use Lv 3 Charged Shots rather than timing a buster if she rushes around the arena; if she's in her default position, use Roulette Spin; if she plants herself in the ground, use Red Queen Combo C avoiding her roots/antennae; if she plants her roots in the ground, use a Devil Buster below her and make sure to defeat the Chimera Seed spawned to avoid mis-targeting (a simple buster will do it). While bustering her, use LT and tap Y (for busters in her default position/planted in the ground/grabbed while she rushes), or tap B (for busters below her when she plants her roots and prepares to spawn the Chimera Seed).

On higher difficulties, just be careful about her projectiles when she goes berserker, and absolutely avoid being hit by her charging attack because it's devastating. Always pay attention to when she's about to un-plant/up-root too.

Mission 08 - Profession of Faith

S Rank on Human

Default Points: 2,000

Clear Time

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 11:00 15:00 17:00 21:00
A Rank: 13:00 17:30 20:00 24:00
B Rank: 15:00 20:00 23:00 28:00

Devil Hunter Points

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 42,500 50,000 90,000 150,000

S-Ranking
Aim for S on time and S on orbs and No Item bonus on Human; with these factors you will need less than 5,000 Stylish Points. On Dante Must Die you can use items if you need; in that case, with S on time, S on orbs but without the No Item bonus, you will need more than 6,300 Stylish Points.

Walkthrough

Ancient Training Ground

Orbs: 1x egg first, then 2x eggs before the tunnel, 2x eggs inside the tunnel, 1x egg past the tunnel.
Enemies: 2x Chimera Seeds and 2x Scarecrows.

===========

Lapis River

Orbs: 12x eggs (2+1 before the bridge; 1x past the bridge; 4x below the bridge; 4x near the Northwest exit).

Exit Northwest.

===========

Ancient Plaza

Orbs: 9x eggs.
Enemies: 5x Assaults.

===========

Windswept Valley

Orbs: 13x eggs (2x on the left as you go; 2+1 at the bottom of the mountain; 1+1 as you climb up; 2x on the right of the stairs; 2x on the way to the central South exit; 2x in the fountain area).

Ignore the "1+1" eggs to save the time on the climb up, if you like, since you will score S on orbs even without them.
Exit East to the Ruined Church.

===========

Ruined Church

Orbs: 17+1+1 eggs.
Enemies on Human/Devil Hunter: a total of 3x Assaults (1 first, 2 then) and 3x Scarecrows (2 first and 1 then).
Enemies on Son of Sparda/Dante Must Die: a total of 3x Chimera Assaults (1 first, 2 then) and 3x Chimera Scarecrows (2 first and 1 then).

Exit Southeast past the cursed tree below the stairs.

===========

Lost Woods

Orbs: 8x eggs (2x on each of the paths).

Path to take: forward (East), right (South), left (North).

===========

Forgotten Ruins (upper level)

Orbs: 2x eggs (more if you jump down).

Avoid jumping down on the left side, you would just make things longer and more complicated. This means skipping some eggs (a total of four) below, but you can still get S on orbs found without them.

===========

Ancient Training Ground (upper level)

Orbs: 2x eggs.
Enemies: 2x Scarecrows, 2x Assaults.

===========

Grand Album Bridge

Enemy: Angelo Credo.

Attack him and attempt a buster to damage his shield (like you would do with a Bianco Angelo, more or less); then jump to dodge his counter and use another buster after his counter (this time it will connect); release a Lv 3 Charged Shots afterward. Dodge his attacks and try to stick with this simple pattern to massively damage him. If he uses his spear attack, stay away from him and hold RB; be ready to press B to perform a snatch, and immediately after pressing B press A+LS_Left/Right to roll (just in case you don't time your snatch perfectly, so you can still at least dodge the spear). You could also buster the spear and then manually throw it to the boss, but it's not a good idea if you're not confident with the fight (besides, it won't deal much damage and you still get a ton of extra style meter just with the simple snatch). Be careful because if he uses the spear three times in a row he will throw it more quickly every time. Use a Devil Buster if he kneels for extra damage. If he summons some blades around you, quickly defeat them before they can close on you and attack: activating Devil Trigger with them around you is enough to instantly defeat them. When he's about to die, be careful when dodging his combos because they will be longer.

Mission 09 - For You

S Rank on Human

Default Points: 1,500

Clear Time

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 09:30 13:00 23:00 28:00
A Rank: 11:00 15:00 26:00 32:00
B Rank: 13:30 18:00 32:00 40:00

Devil Hunter Points

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 51,000 60,000 153,000 255,000

S-Ranking
With S on time, S on orbs and No Item bonus, you need more than 6,800 Stylish Points; with A on time, S on orbs and No Item bonus you need 8,500 Stylish Points. You won't need to use items on Dante Must Die (should you use them, with S on time, S on orbs, you'll need 8,500 Stylish Points too).

Walkthrough

Grand Album Bridge

Orbs: 6x separators and 4x pieces of furniture.
Enemies: 1x Alto Angelo, 2x Bianco Angelos.

Wait on the North side of the arena until they use the energy ball attack (try to include only Alto Angelo in your view), then send it back with a Lv 3 Charged Shot. If it takes too long before they do so, restart the mission.

===========

Grand Hall

Orbs: 6x benches, 2x pots, 1x secret orb spot (Southwest).

Touch the red pillar in the South first, then exit East to continue.

===========

Key Chamber

Orbs: 4x separators.
Enemies on Human/Devil Hunter: 1x Alto Angelo + 3x Bianco Angelos.
Enemies on Son of Sparda/Dante Must Die: Gladiuses, 1x Alto Angelo and 2x Bianco Angelos.

Exit West.

===========

The Gauntlet

Orbs: 1x secret orb spot (where the cage will land).
Enemies on Human/Devil Hunter: 4x Scarecrows; then 3x Frosts (2+1); then 4x Assaults.
Enemies on Son of Sparda/Dante Must Die: 4x Scarecrows and 2x Mega Scarecrows; then 4x Frosts (2+2); then 5x Assaults (3+2) and 1x Blitz.

Before taking the second and third cages, activate the warp device before them (you wouldn't need it to just proceed) to take an advantage and start the fight while the enemies are moving slowly. This won't last for long, but is still better than nothing.

===========

Agnus's Room

Orbs: 3x chairs, 1x table, 1x candle stand before the fight; 3x cages during the fight.
Enemies: Agnus (and minions, including Gladiuses, Cutlasses and Basilisks).

Agnus is not as powerful as he may seem at first. If he says "Your strength will be mine!" or "Time to die", activate Devil Trigger and smash him to avoid his deadly health-draining attack (on lower difficulties it's enough to release a Lv 3 Charged Shot). If he's summoning Gladiuses behind his back, go Devil Trigger and smash his back to destroy them and beat him up. If any Gladius enemy survives, dodge and use a buster on it to throw the Gladius itself to Agnus. If he summons the Cutlasses, avoid them and release Lv 3 Charged Shots at the enemy to continue dealing damage. If he uses Cutlasses to spin and corner you, do your best to run to the opposite side of the arena and be ready to jump when he throws them against you. If he summons the Basilisks, possibly try to ignore them and go full-assault with Devil Trigger to end the fight as soon as possible (he should only summon them when he's about to die). You have to play very aggressively in this fight. If he's stunned, immediately use a Devil Buster: he will recover very quickly if you don't catch him right as he's stunned. Calibur is a good attack to reach him quickly.

Mission 10 - Wrapped in Glory

S Rank on Human

Default Points: 2,500

Clear Time

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 15:00 20:00 25:00 30:00
A Rank: 17:00 23:00 29:00 35:00
B Rank: 20:00 27:00 34:00 41:00

Devil Hunter Points

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 59,500 70,000 135,000 225,000

S-Ranking
Get S on time and S on orbs; with the No Item bonus you will need more than 7,200 Stylish Points. On Dante Must Die you may seriously need to use items: without the No Item bonus you will need 10,000 Stylish Points provided you get S on time (easy) and S on orbs (not so easy). With S on time, A on orbs, without the No Item bonus, on Dante Must Die you will need less than 11,800 Stylish Points.

Walkthrough

Agnus's Room

Orbs: 3x cages, 3x chairs, 1x table, 1x candle stand.

===========

The Gauntlet

Orbs: 1x secret orb spot at the bottom.
Enemies: 2x Mephistos and 1x Faust.

You have to jump off the platform (on the right side) after using the blue switch.

===========

Key Chamber

Orbs: 4x separators.
Enemies: 1x Alto Angelo + 3x Bianco Angelos.

Take advantage of the time device in the middle to make the fight easier on lower difficulties. Especially on higher difficulties, possibly wait for their energy ball (don't use the time device in this case) to gather many style points.
Exit East.

===========

Grand Hall

Go South.

===========

Security Corridor

Orbs: 2x benches before the lasers; 1x fence past the lasers; 3x wooden boxes at the bottom of the spinning fans.
Enemies: 2x Mephistos and 1x Faust.

You have to ride the slowed (use the Key of Cronus) fans up, but not necessarily to the top, to reach a platform and door leading South.

===========

Experiment Disposal

Orbs: 4x stone statues; 2x stone statues and 1x fence at the top.
Enemies: 2x Bianco Angelos first and then 2x Bianco Angelos.

Hit the red orb statue once before fighting, to avoid mis-targeting problems. It's basically not possible to link the four enemies in the same fight, so just fight the two couples separately.

===========

Meeting Room

Orbs: 4x candle stands (after the fight).
Enemies: 2x Alto Angelos (also 2x Basilisks on higher difficulties).

===========

Ascension Chamber

Orbs: 2x candle stands by the door in front of you; 2x candle stands, 1x small drawer and 2x pots on each of the sides of the room.
Enemies: Dante.

Especially on higher difficulties, rely only on three openings to deal damage. First: if Dante is attacking you, let him come close to start his combo (taunt him as he's approaching you), then jump and release a Lv 3 Charged Shot. He may dodge sometimes, but you will hit him eventually. Second: if Dante is using Revenge with the Pandora, jump and release a Lv 3 Charged Shot. Third: if Dante goes in Royal Guard style (light-blue aura around him), use the Devil Trigger and then use a Snatch followed by a Devil Buster. Avoid anything else, because this is the safest strategy you can pull off. Try to break something while you're letting him come close to you, so you raise up your orbs found percentage.

Mission 11 - The Ninth Circle

S Rank on Human

Default Points: 2,500

Clear Time

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 11:00 15:00 17:00 21:00
A Rank: 13:00 17:30 20:00 24:00
B Rank: 15:00 20:00 23:00 28:00

Devil Hunter Points

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 68,000 80,000 144,000 240,000

S-Ranking
Get S on time, S on orbs and No Item bonus; with these factors you will need more than 8,600 Stylish Points (you will easily score them, although the mission is short). You won't need to use items on Dante Must Die.

Walkthrough

This is a big area. In this order, you will: fight 2x Mephistos and 1x Faust; fight 2x Scarecrows; break 1x Fence and get 1x secret orb spot near the fence; get 2x red orbs in the air and 1x red orb below them; get 2x red orbs and 1x secret orb spot past them (defeat 3x Bianco Angelos if you fall down from here; one of the Bianco is an Alto Angelo on higher difficulties); defeat 1x Alto Angelo and get 1x red orb before going further up; defeat 4x Bianco Angelos and 1x Alto Angelos (one of the Biancos is an Alto on higher difficulties); then defeat a large group of Scarecrows and Angelos (5x Scarecrows and 2x each of Alto and Bianco Angelos). You may not need to fight them all; skip the fight if you see that your style points are already high enough.

Then the boss fight against Sanctus. The fight is easy, but you have to know exactly how it works. I'll just paste the full description from the other page of the walkthrough:

Enemy attacks: the two "lamps" before the enemy can attack you and respawn. The main enemy can use a shockwave attack (stay airborne to avoid it), can attack with fireballs, with some vertical lasers (jump away in this case), and with some horizontal lines of fire on the ground. Each of these attacks can be easily dodged with jumps or runs. The enemy can also regenerate his shield after you break it, and this creates a little shockwave; stay away from him when this happens.
Strategy: use snatches on the lamps to quickly reach the boss; you'll have to grip on them multiple times to eventually reach him for good. Walking to him is sometimes a better idea than using the grips, because he tends to run away less if you're running instead of gripping. On the other hand it may take you too much time to reach him if you run, so try to balance the two things and use snatches on the lamps when he's far, and run to him when he's decently close to you already.
To deal damage to him, you first have to break his two-layered shield. Roulette Spin works wonders on that, and you also want to help yourself by exceeding the hits whenever possible. When his two shields are down, smash him a bit and then perform a Devil-Triggered Buster for massive damage. He will always regenerate his shield afterward, so don't even bother trying a second buster or other attacks and instead use the time of his shield regeneration to reload your exceed gauge. Use your Lv 3 Charged Shots on him (even when he still has the shield), so you can buy some time to reach him when the shot bursts (this is very important on higher difficulties, to have enough time to reach him before he runs away to regenerate his shield just when you were about to destroy it).
When he's about to die, he will take cover inside the statue; the statue will punch you: jump away on time to avoid the hit. He will be available again after the punch. On lower difficulties you only have to smash him some more after this happens. On higher difficulties you may not be able to finish him off immediately as he comes back. If you're not quick enough to destroy his shield, in this second phase of the fight he will be able to take cover inside the statue again and regenerate the shield inside of it. If this happens, the statue will try to punch you again: instead of jumping away, perform a buster to tackle the punch of the statue and make the enemy come out of the statue, already stunned and shield-less, ready for your strong buster.

Mission 12 - A New Beginning

S Rank on Human

Default Points: 1,000

Clear Time

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 07:30 10:00 11:30 14:00
A Rank: 09:00 12:00 13:30 17:00
B Rank: 10:30 14:30 16:30 20:00

Devil Hunter Points

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 38,250 45,000 81,000 135,000

S-Ranking
Time is very short, especially on Human, but there is a little trick to skip part of the stage and save enough time to make it within 7 minutes and 30 (which is also possible without skipping that part, but it's a very limited amount of time). Aim for S on orbs and S on time and the usual No Item bonus; with these factors you will need 5,250 Stylish Points. With S on orbs, A on time and No Item bonus you will need 6,500 Stylish Points, which are possible but quite unlikely if you skip that part of the stage. You can either aim for S on time and orbs (and No Item of course), skipping the specific part of the stage, or A on time and S on orbs, not skipping the specific part of the stage (it takes less than 1:30 to clear it, so it's not a loss); I would suggest the former, but make your choice depending on how quick you can rout the enemies. Also, it's not a hard mission to complete with No Damage, and aiming for No Damage, at least on Human, is worth a thought if you can't get the S Rank otherwise.

Walkthrough

Ascension Chamber

Orbs: 2x candle stands on the sides from where you start; 2x candle stands, 1x small drawer and 2x pots on each of the sides of the room.
Enemies: 8x Scarecrows.

Give it your best to use Dance Macabre and Over Drive (fully charged) on these weak enemies to instantly raise your style meter despite their weak health. A Real Impact/Straight is also good, for a change.

===========

Meeting Room

Orbs: 4x candle stands.
Enemies: 3x Mega Scarecrows.

Tackle them one by one and do your best to hide the others from your view. Dance Macabre is good, and Real Impacts are also effective; Coyote-A shots followed by Over Drive are particularly effective to raise the style meter easily before killing them. Prop opens the Mega Scarecrows' guard for Real Impact.

===========

Experiment Disposal

Orbs: 1x fence, 2x statues; then 4x statues.

Go Trickster, use Stinger near the edge to instantly run, then make a jump with Air Hike when you've covered the longest possible distance with the "stinger long jump", and finally use an aerial dash (B while in Trickster) to reach the opposite side of the area. If you need, go Devil Trigger to have another jump and another dash to make it to the opposite side in case you can't do it otherwise. This will allow you to save precious time to achieve the S Rank on Clear Time for lower difficulties. Avoid falling down, because you would waste time and have to fight 2x Frosts (4x on higher difficulties).

===========

Security Corridor

Orbs: 3x wooden boxes, 1x fence, 2x benches.
Enemies: 3x Mephistos.

Charge Ebony & Ivory and use Rain Storm for the cloaks, then use Prop>Real Impact (Distorted Real Impact on higher difficulties) to defeat them easily. On lower difficulties you can also use other attacks, like Dance Macabre; everything only after taking the cloaks off. You could also defeat them with aerial combos (Aerial Rave and Aerial Rave V) without taking their cloaks off, that's up to you and how you feel about the fight.

===========

Grand Hall

Orbs: 2x pots, 1x secret orb spot, 6x benches.
Enemies: 3x Bianco Angelos + 1x Bianco Angelo + 1x Alto Angelo.

Kill two Bianco Angelos first, then wait near the South part of the area for their energy ball attack; then send it back with Pandora's default attack on the ground. Hopefully Alto Angelo won't send the Bianco Angelos to suicide; if you don't want to run the risk (and if you can afford this, depending on your style points), defeat them regularly instead of waiting for the energy ball. Being a short mission, I'd still advise trying to wait for the energy ball for a bunch of extra style points.

Exit North.

===========

Grand Album Bridge

Orbs: 6x separators, 4x small drawers.

Mission 13 - The Devil Returns

S Rank on Human

Default Points: 2,000

Clear Time

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 13:30 18:00 23:00 29:00
A Rank: 15:30 21:00 27:00 33:00
B Rank: 18:30 25:00 32:00 40:00

Devil Hunter Points

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 42,500 50,000 99,000 165,000

S-Ranking
On Human, aim for S on time, S on orbs and No Item bonus; with these factors you will need less than 5,000 Stylish Points. On Dante Must Die you may need to use items: with S on time, S on orbs but without the No Item bonus, you will need less than 7,200 Stylish Points.

Walkthrough

Ancient Training Ground

Orbs: 2x eggs; jump down on the right and destroy 1x egg past the tunnel, 2x eggs in the tunnel, 2x eggs before the tunnel; then go East and break 1x egg.

Exit: East.

===========

Forgotten Ruins

Orbs: 2x eggs before jumping down; then jump down for 1x egg before a tunnel, 1x egg past the tunnel.
Enemies on Human/Devil Hunter: 2x Chimera Seeds and 2x Scarecrows.
Enemies on Son of Sparda/Dante Must Die: 1x Blitz.

Check here to see how to deal with Blitzes as Dante.

Exit: Southeast.

===========

Windswept Valley

Orbs: 1x egg before jumping down, 1x egg attached to the mountain, 3x eggs at the bottom, 2x on the right of the stairs.
Enemies: 3x Chimera Assaults.

Against these monsters, if you fight freestyle you may achieve better results than using a strategy which works for other people; for advice you can check the third page of the walkthrough. For quick reference, Coyote-A shots can knock them down; Real Impact can finish them off afterward. Straight also works good, and Lucifer's Pin-Up>Bondage works fine too.

Exit: East.

===========

Ancient Plaza

Orbs: 9x eggs.
Enemies: 5x Assaults.

You can consider them as "hyperactive Scarecrows", so use the same attacks but be more careful when they get out of the combos, if they do at all. On higher difficulties, use Real Impact after knocking them down to clean up the place more quickly.

Exit: North.

===========

Lapis River

Orbs: 12x eggs; for those below the bridge, you can destroy 2x from one side and 2x from the other side.
Enemies: 2x Mephistos.

Exit: warp gates below the bridge (either).

===========

Windswept Valley (near Ruined Church)

Orbs: 2x eggs.

Exit: enter the church.

===========

Ruined Church

Orbs: 19x eggs.

Exit: Southeast.

===========

Lost Woods

Orbs: 8x eggs.
Enemies: 2x Chimera Assaults.

Exit: forward, backward, right, right (East, West, South, South).

===========

Forgotten Ruins (near the Den)

Orbs: 2x eggs.

Exit: East.

===========

Den of the She-Viper

Orbs: 8x eggs (Southeast, Southwest, Northwest).
Enemies: Echidna.

Especially on higher difficulties, rely on Trickster for safety and Pin-Up for massive damage and style meter. The best opening is when she plants herself in the ground. If she's rushing all over the area, detonate the stinger that she should still have in her body to instantly stop her, increase your style meter, damage and points.

Mission 14 - Forest of Ruin

S Rank on Human

Default Points: 1,500

Clear Time

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 13:30 18:00 24:00 29:00
A Rank: 15:30 21:00 28:00 33:00
B Rank: 18:30 25:00 33:00 40:00

Devil Hunter Points

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 36,125 42,500 90,000 150,000

S-Ranking
The hardest, or one of the hardest missions to S-Rank. On Human you have to attempt S on time, S on orbs and No Item, and score a total of 4,400 Stylish Points (they seem a small amount, but it's not so true). On Dante Must Die, with the same factors you will need less than 5,500 Stylish Points, which again seems a small amount, but you'll have to deal with a lot of Chimera Hybrids (and not just them), and this may cause you to need to heal with items. With S on time, S on orbs and without the No Item bonus, on Dante Must Die you will need more than 6,800 Stylish Points. The good news is that at least there will be several respawning groups of enemies for extra stylish points, and with a lot of time you should be able to gather the required stylish points, while using items, to end the mission with an S Rank. On Human you will just have to do your best.

Walkthrough

Ancient Training Ground

Orbs: 1x egg, 2x eggs before the tunnel, 2x eggs inside the tunnel, 2x eggs on the upper level (jump on the right pillar before the tunnel), 1x egg past the tunnel.
Enemies: 2x Chimera Seeds and 2x Scarecrows.

Kill only the essential Faults (the plants swallowing you) which are on your way in the fighting parts of the area, and use two fists of the Gilgamesh to do so quickly. They won't contribute for style points/meter, that's why you want to avoid unnecessary killing of them. If you get swallowed you will be thrown into a side area (Ruined Lowlands) where you have to fight to return up. Should this happen, make sure to break 4x eggs and get 1x secret orb spot to the Northwest of the side area. The spawns of the area where you get swallowed will be reset at your return.

Exit West (on the lower level).

===========

Lapis River

Orbs: 12x eggs.
Enemies: 2x Mephistos and then 1x Faust.

The Faust spawns from under the bridge, so you want to fight the Mephistos possibly on the bridge to be able to link the Faust in the same fight. For the Faust, use Prop>Real Impact (Distorted Real Impact on higher difficulties).

Exit Northwest.

===========

Ancient Plaza

Orbs: 9x eggs.
Enemies on Human/Devil Hunter: a group of Assaults.
Enemies on Son of Sparda/Dante Must Die: 2x Assaults and 1x Blitz.

Beat up the two closest Faults before starting the real fight. On higher difficulties it's advisable to deal heavy damage to both the Assaults before killing one of them: the Blitz spawns as you kill the first Assault, and if you've already prepared the other one for death, you'll be able to finish the Assault off quickly before the Blitz joins in too. This time he doesn't spawn already in his "ready to get kicked" stance; if you need, take your time and let him eventually appear with the announced yellow circle on the ground, so you have the same opening you had on Mission 13 (if fought on higher difficulties) to start the carnage of the Blitz and come out with a sweet SSS.

===========

Windswept Valley

Orbs: 2x on the left; then 3x at the bottom of the mountain, 2x on the right of the stairs, 2x on the way to the central South exit, 2x near the fountain before the church (ignore these two if you want), then 1x as you climb up the mountain to return to the entrance and 1x at the top of the mountain after climbing up.
Enemies: 4x Chimera Scarecrows and 2x Chimera Assaults.

The presence of Faults makes this fight terrible. Try to clean up a spot of the arena and work on the enemies there, and use all your arsenal (Devil Trigger included) to make the fight shorter. Give priority to the Chimera Assaults if you manage to lure them far enough from the Chimera Scarecrows. Use Straight and especially Real Impact on higher difficulties.

If you already have enough style points by now, use a Holy Water (or two) to end the fight without pain. Keep this in mind especially for Dante Must Die difficulty.

Exit: return to the Forest Entrance by climbing the mountain back up.

===========

Forest Entrance

Orbs: 3x eggs Southwest, 7x eggs in the trunk, 2x eggs on your way back.

===========

Foris Falls

Nothing.

Mission 15 - Fortuna Castle

S Rank on Human

Default Points: 3,000

Clear Time

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 21:00 28:00 34:00 41:00
A Rank: 23:00 31:00 38:00 46:00
B Rank: 26:00 35:00 42:00 50:00

Devil Hunter Points

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 59,500 70,000 153,000 255,000

S-Ranking
This is an easy mission to S-Rank on Human, but it's quite brutal on Dante Must Die. You have a considerable amount of time to earn S on clear time; orbs aren't a guaranteed S, but you can easily score at least an A on orbs; with also the No Item bonus, on Human you will need more than 8,100 Stylish Points (to give you an idea, A on style is 9,500 points, because this mission is highly style-rewarding); with S also on orbs you would need more than 6,700 Stylish Points. On Dante Must Die you may need to use items, and a lot of them; with S on time, S on orbs and without the No Item bonus you will need (on Dante Must Die) less than 11,200 Stylish Points; with S on time, A on orbs and without the No Item bonus, again on Dante Must Die, you will need less than 13,200 Stylish Points.

Walkthrough

Foris Falls

Take the eastern path.

===========

Central Courtyard (upper level, East)

Enemies: 1x Blitz.

===========

Grand Hall

Orbs: 2x red orbs leading to 1x secret orb spot (you have to use Devil Trigger's triple jump this time).

Take the Eastern door to the Gallery.

===========

Gallery

Orbs: all the items of the room, including 2x wooden boxes Northwest.

===========

Library

Orbs: 1x secret orb spot before the fight; 2x pots and 1x bench on the lower floor of the building; 3x benches on the upper floor of the building.
Enemies: 4x Bianco Angelos and 1x Alto Angelo (one Bianco is another Alto on higher difficulties).

Wait for their energy ball to get a boost of score if you want, but it's not very important if you could already get the SSS win against the Blitz.

===========

Large Hall (East)

Orbs: 6x candle stands and 5x chairs.

===========

Dining Room

Orbs: 8x chairs and 4x dinner sets.
Enemies: 6x Scarecrows and 3x Mega Scarecrows (not all at once).

===========

Large Hall (North and West)

Orbs: 4x candle stands North, 2x candle stands on the way to the Torture Chamber, 2x red orbs behind the mirror in the Southwest.

===========

Torture Chamber

Enemies: 5x Frosts (on higher difficulties, one of the Frosts is replaced by a Faust).

Fight the Frosts with (Distorted) Real Impacts if you manage to knock them down.

===========

Spiral Well

Orbs: various red orbs and 1x secret orb spot after the second jumping platform.

You have to use a blue switch to create a special jumping platform (green-blue, not red as usual) to continue, but you first want to use the regular red ones to get the orbs.

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Torture Chamber (upper level)

Nothing.

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Master's Chamber

Orbs: all the pieces of furniture.
Enemies: 4x Scarecrows and 1x Blitz.

The Blitz joins later; if possible, damage all the Scarecrows before killing them, so you can finish them off before the Blitz spawns. The space is very tiny, do your best to avoid being hit, and stick with Trickster when you're not attacking.

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Soldier's Graveyard

Orbs: break everything in the area, including the horse statue; get 2x secret orb spots on the East side, and use Air Hike and aerial dashes of Trickster (possibly helped with Devil Trigger) to reach the bigger 1x red orb on the right arch. If you don't get it, you will probably miss S on orbs found even if you got all the other ones.

===========

Central Courtyard

Enemies: Dagon (= Bael).

Start the fight using Pin-Up as much as you can, and when he eventually decides to come at you (trying to eat/stomp you), go Devil Trigger and use more Pin-Ups; this will quickly stun him. At this point, switch to Gilgamesh and use Distorted Real Impact on his face for extreme damage. You should have enough time for a second Distorted Real Impact, and he can (not necessarily will) survive this one only on Dante Must Die difficulty. Against the antennae, use Kick 13 and Stingers.

Mission 16 - Inferno

S Rank on Human

Default Points: 3,000

Clear Time

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 18:30 25:00 30:00 37:00
A Rank: 21:00 28:00 34:00 41:00
B Rank: 24:30 33:00 40:00 48:00

Devil Hunter Points

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 59,500 70,000 135,000 225,000

S Ranking
Human lets you easily score S on time, S on orbs and No Item bonus; with these factors you will need more than 6,700 Stylish Points (6,500 are the minimum for a B rank on style, to give you an idea), so that's all easy. On Dante Must Die, with S on time, S on orbs but without the No Item bonus, you will need 9,500 Stylish Points. It's definitely easier than mission 15.

Walkthrough

Underground Laboratory

Nothing.

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RED Access

Enemies: 3x Cutlasses.

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Game Room

Orbs: 1x red orb.
Enemies: a large group of Gladiuses.

Skip the fight if you don't feel like spending time and effort just for a small amount of style points. If you decide to fight, use a lot of Straight attacks after knocking the Gladiuses to the ground, since this will give you a boost of style meter despite their low health.

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Containment Room

Orbs: 1x secret orb spot, 2x chairs; both after the fight.
Enemies: a large group of Gladiuses and 2x Bianco Angelos.

Defeat the Bianco Angelos first by using Prop>Real Impact, then deal with the Gladiuses with charged shots of the Coyote-A. While fighting the Bianco Angelos it might be better to use Target Type 2/3, but then use Type 1 for the Gladiuses themselves.

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Foris Falls - II

Orbs: 6x explosive canisters below, 2x more upstairs.

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Angel Creation

Orbs: 2x explosive canisters and 1x secret orb spot.
Enemies: 3x Bianco Angelos and 2x Alto Angelos (1x each is a respawn).

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Underground Laboratory

Orbs: 7x barrels on your way up and 1x barrel at the top.

===========

Grand Hall

Orbs: 2x red orbs leading to 1x secret orb spot, two sets of chairs, benches and fences.

You can take either of the side doors from the picture, on the upper level, to fight some Frosts (and Blitz on higher difficulties) if you need to boost your score. Otherwise, exit South from the lower floor.

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Fortuna Castle Gate

Orbs: various tiny pillars (3x are after climbing up) and 3x red orbs; then 1x red orb (West, on some rocks) before exiting.
Enemies: 5x Basilisks (7x on higher difficulties) as you go out, and 3x more at the top.

===========

Second Mining Area

Orbs: 1x red orb.

===========

Ferrum Hills

Enemies: Berial.

As it was for Dagon, stay on his sides and wait for an opening for Real Impact (after one of his attacks) or just keep spamming Pin-Up on his sides, dashing when necessary to avoid his attacks.

Mission 17 - Adagio For Strings

S Rank on Human

Default Points: 2,500

Clear Time

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 13:30 18:00 21:00 25:00
A Rank: 15:30 21:00 24:00 29:00
B Rank: 18:30 25:00 29:00 35:00

Devil Hunter Points

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 85,000 100,000 180,000 300,000

S-Ranking
The mission is very demanding on Stylish Points: with S on time, S on orbs, No Item bonus, on Human you will need less than 11,400 Stylish Points (for reference, 13,000 is the minimum for an A rank on style). On Dante Must Die you may need to use items: with S on time, S on orbs but without the No Item bonus, you will need less than 14,200 Stylish Points.

Walkthrough

First Mining Area

Orbs: 6x red orbs.

===========

Port Caerula

Orbs: 2x trash containers, 1x+1x red orbs,
Enemies: 7x Scarecrows, then in the same fight will spawn 2x Bianco Angelos and 1x Alto Angelo.

Defeat the Scarecrows first and wait for the energy ball of the Angelos from the South side. If they don't use the attack, restart the mission to make sure you get this great start for style.

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Residential District

Orbs: 1x trash container, 2x secret orbs spot, 3x red orbs, various market objects.
Enemies: 5x Assaults and 2x Mephistos (one of the Mephistos is a Faust on higher difficulties).

Fight on the narrow stairs to try to jam the enemies; if that's not a good spot for you, choose a different part of the area of course.

===========

Business District

Orbs: various benches and trash containers on both the sides of the street (7x benches, 4x of which on the West side; 8x trash containers, 4x on each side).
Enemies: Scarecrows, Mega Scarecrows and then also Basilisks.

===========

Opera House Plaza

Orbs: 3x trash containers (one is empty and leads to a secret mission; this and another one are before the fight, the last is afterward).
Enemies: 2x Mephistos, 2x Alto Angelos, 1x Faust.

The enemies spawn gradually; focus on the two Mephistos first, then knock the rest of the enemies down with Prop>(Distorted) Real Impact (for the Faust, take his cloak off first of course). Give priority to the Alto Angelos: two at once are dangerous. Try to save as much Devil Gauge as possible (finish the last enemy with regular Real Impacts even if he needs a distorted one because you're on higher difficulties) for the next boss.

You could go to the Storehouse (where you went in Mission 02, as Nero), but you have to enter the Opera House to continue.

===========

Opera House

Enemies: Angelo Agnus and his minions (Gladiuses, Cutlasses and Basilisks).

Instead of Pin-Up, spam Distorted Real Impacts. If he's too high, use Aerial Rave and Aerial Rave V (one after the other) for good damage; this also stops him from his draining attacks. Pin-Up can be very good (as usual), but these two attacks are better. On higher difficulties, Distorted Real Impacts are harder to land because of too many minions. If you have a lot of Devil Trigger/are going to use items, you can land them more easily by using Devil Trigger before starting your attack, so you don't get knocked back if anything hits you, and then releasing it just as the first hit is connecting; then activate it again on the third hit. If he gets stubborn and continuously uses the Cutlasses near the end of the fight, use only Pin-Up and Bondage to deal damage because he's probably not going to change his attack. Unfortunately his position will decide whether your Distorted Real Impacts will be succesful or not. If you're on higher difficulties and can afford the use of items, regenerate your Devil Trigger with devil stars and use all you've got (like a storm of Devil Pin-Up) to finish him off. Also pray that he uses the attack to summon Gladiuses/Basilisks more than the absorbing move, because you probably won't manage to land a Distorted Real Impact on him if he's using the absorbing attacks.

Mission 18 - The Destroyer

S Rank on Human

Default Points: 1,500

Clear Time

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 07:30 10:00 11:30 14:00
A Rank: 09:00 12:00 13:30 17:00
B Rank: 10:30 14:30 16:30 20:00

Devil Hunter Points

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 32,300 38,000 68,400 114,000

S-Ranking
Time is very short in this mission, but you can make it well ahead of time if you have the Revenge attack for your Pandora. There are no red orbs to collect, and therefore it's a guaranteed S rank on them. With No Item bonus, you will need: more than 6,400 Stylish Points with B on time; more than 4,800 Stylish Points with A on time; less than 3,800 Stylish Points with S on time. This applies to any difficulty. Without the No Item bonus, with B on time you would need 8,000 Stylish Points (this starts to be a lot, only realistic on higher difficulties); with A on time that would be 6,100 Stylish Points, and with S on time a bit more than 4,800 Stylish Points.

Walkthrough

All you find here are Angelo enemies, some Faults here and there, and the boss. No red orbs to collect other than those coming from defeated enemies. Regarding the mechanics of this mission, I'll just paste what's written in the other page.

This mission is a whole big boss fight with minions around every now and then. Minions are always Angelos (either of the two types, but never in a good combination for the energy ball attack), and on a couple of platforms of the arena there are also some Faults on the ground (if you get eaten you will end in a hidden pit and have to fight for a warp device; absolutely avoid this).

The fight has three phases, but the attacks of the opponent are always the same except for a special attack available only in the two last phases. He can use punches, kicks, summon minor and major energy balls to throw against you. The minor energy balls come in large amounts and can be broken for a lot of boost on your style meter (even Ebony & Ivory can break them), while the bigger ones must just be avoided by jumping away. Kicks can be dodged, but they will eventually break the platform where you are standing (you would fall down to another platform, with a malus on your style meter even if you don't get directly hit). Punches can be dodged too (they won't destroy the platforms), and you can also "get on" his left hand/arm after his attack, to reach a couple of cores (one near the hand, the other near the shoulder) and also a third core, on his head.

In addition to this, the enemy can be stunned by several means. What the game gives you are a cannon and a laser beam, which can both be activated through a blue switch near them. The lasers will block the hand of the enemy, stunning him and allowing you to get on the arm (either of the two; he always strikes with the right arm first, and then the left one) and reach the two cores on it. The cannon will stun his whole body, allowing you to reach all his cores, including those on his legs.

Other than that, you can also use Revenge instead of the rare cannon of the platforms; you have to be quick and aim for his body (and hope that he doesn't move), but you can land the shots and quickly stun him (not so quickly on higher difficulties, but this works wonders on Human mode).

After stunning him, your task is to break the blue cores everywhere. In particular, besides the 2x blue cores on each arm, you also have to break 1x blue core on each of his legs and 1x blue core on his back, and finally also the core on his head.

The arena

As soon as you stun him, there will be two blue jumping platforms near you: jump on the left one. You will now have two platforms near you: a red one and a blue one. The red ones leads upwards, where Faults and Angelos are, and it lets you reach the right arm (both the cores can be hit from here, although the one near the shoulder is quite far and will take many more hits to be destroyed). The blue one leads you to a platform from which you can break the core of one of his legs (the right one) and fight against an Alto Angelo; then use another jumper on this very platform to reach the core of his left leg and fight another Alto Angelo. From here, another jumper will lead you near the core of his left arm (the one closest to the hand) and this time there will be only Faults. Another jumping platform from here leads you to the core on his back and two Alto Angelos. From here, another jumping platform will bring you back to the blue and red jumping platforms.

When he's not stunned, the arena is a bunch of random platforms with the lasers and cannons lost on some of them. It's not a very good idea to jump around, because this means finding a lot of other Angelos and most of all, wasting time.

The fight

The most advisable pattern to defeat him is therefore: stun; blue jumper to destroy the cores on his legs (2/8), back (3/8), one of those of the left arm (4/8); at this point he will probably recover from the stun. Stun him again, and this time take the red jumper to destroy the two cores of his right arm (6/8). Now you only have to wait for him to recover, and then wait for his left punch: ride his arm, so to speak, and break the second core of his left arm and finally also the core on his head (8/8). It goes without saying that if you have the chance of getting on his left arm while you're attempting to stun him, you should definitely do so and aim mainly for the cores on his shoulder and head. He will blow you away after a while (or you will automatically get off when you destroy the core on his head).

You may notice a core on his breast, but it's not of interest for the first phase of the fight. Breaking the core of his head also triggers a cutscene, but never mind about it (it was probably supposed to be the last one you'd break, but it doesn't have to be the last one).

After this first phase (very easy on Human, quite a pain on higher difficulties), there will be a "linking phase" where you only have to run from his devastating attack (the area changes color and you will clearly notice him loading it): use the jumping platforms on either side to move away. You will eventually reach a platform with a shop statue. From this platform, move on the last blue jumper to trigger another short scene.

The third and final phase of the fight starts with another of his most powerful attack, and you will also start seeing his health bar. You'll now have two possible directions; take either of them and stick with it (you obviously don't want to use a left jumper after using a right one, because you would only go back). Your goal now is to stun him again, and the Pandora is again a great choice. When he's stunned, you can finally reach the core on his chest: devastate it with Distorted Real Impacts and you will earn an easy victory.

Especially on higher difficulties, some extra damage can come from another good spot from where you can perform a Distorted Real Impact: if you go on the highest of the platforms, the enemy will come to you, but since you're very high he will need to raise himself to reach you. To do so, he will raise slowly just in front of your platform, and you will be able to smash his head-core first, and then his breast-core too, dealing heavy damage and also probably stunning him. When the third phase of the fight starts, use the right blue jumper and you will land on this platform (in the video I'm on it about at 4:18, but I keep running past it to rank up the style meter; on higher difficulties it's better to use the platform for Distorted Real Impacts as soon as you can).

Conclusion

Make sure that you don't mistake the path to take, and stay on Trickster whenever you're not fighting (or also if you're fighting, why not). Clear the mission as quickly as possible, and do your best to avoid being damaged, because you won't have many chances (apart from shooting the smaller energy balls he throws at you) to raise your style meter up again if you get hit and lose it.

Mission 19 - The Successor

S Rank on Human

Default Points: 3,500

Clear Time

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 22:30 30:00 50:00 60:00
A Rank: 25:30 34:00 55:00 68:00
B Rank: 30:00 40:00 66:00 80:00

Devil Hunter Points

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 76,500 90,000 225,000 375,000

S-Ranking
This is one of the easiest missions to S-Rank on any mode. S on time is as easy as never before, and S on orbs is also very easy considering the small amount of items to break. With these factors and No Item bonus you will need 9,000 Stylish Points for the S Rank on Human. With S on time, S on orbs but without the No Item bonus, on Dante Must Die you will need more than 17,300 Stylish Points.

Walkthrough

Orbs: 4x stone pillars before the final exit; 8x eggs in Echidna's arena; 3x cages in Angelo Agnus's arena.

I'll paste what's written in the other page here too.

This whole place is a set of "game rooms" with a dice to hit and enemies to fight. It works exactly as the game room on mission 06. For a quick memo, the spinning order is: 1 - 4 - 2 - 6 - 3 - 5 - 1 - 4 - ...; the white circles have no effect, the yellow ones will bring you to the one before the door, the blue ones will spawn orbs (red ones won't count for the ending percentage of the level, but you can use the green ones for free healing), the red ones will spawn enemies and the circle before the door will let you proceed.

The only difference with the previous game is that you need to hit exactly the circle in front of a dimensional gate in order to proceed. The statue rapresenting Nero will move always anti-clockwise (facing the gate), and this time all the yellow circles will immediately warp you to the last circle.

As you land on the last circle, a fight will trigger; apart from the first fight, there will be four boss fights. During the waves you can land deliberately on the blue circles to get free green orbs until you're fully healed again, and you can also boost your Stylish Score a lot by landing on the red circles on purpose. Among the four bosses there isn't Dante. Could we expect anything better?

First level: hit (5-1-)4. You will fight 4x Bianco Angelos and 1x Alto Angelo. Wait for their energy ball and send it back with a Lv 3 Charged Shot; if they don't do so, you can just restart the mission. You don't "have to" wait for the energy ball, although it's the best possible start for this mission, and also a very quick way.
Second level: hit (4-2-)6. Berial here.
Third level: hit (5-1-)4; you'll land on a yellow dot, and it will send you straight to the purple dot in front of the door: Bael/Dagon here
Fourth level: hit (5-1)4; again, you'll land on the yellow one and be sent to the next enemy: defeat Echidna, and then destroy the 8x eggs in this arena.
Fifth level: hit (4-2-)6; yellow dot to the end: Agnus. Destroy also the 3x cages in the arena, if they survived the fireworks of the fight.

Here break the 4x pillars and finish the mission (you have to break the lava stones on your way).

Mission 20 - La Vita Nuova

S Rank on Human
S Rank on Dante Must Die

Default Points: 1,000

Clear Time

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 02:30 03:15 03:45 04:30
A Rank: 03:45 05:00 05:30 07:00
B Rank: 06:00 08:00 09:00 11:00

Devil Hunter Points

Human Devil Hunter Son of Sparda Dante Must Die
S Rank: 28,050 33,000 59,400 99,000

S-Ranking
This mission leaves no choice but to make a good boss fight. Similar to the first mission, it has no orbs to collect, so that's a guaranteed S. Absolutely avoid the use of items (it's only a fight after all) on all the modes. With fixed S on orbs and No Item, you will need less than 5,900 Stylish Points with B on time; 4,500 Stylish Points with A on time; less than 3,600 Stylish Points with S on time.

Walkthrough

Once again, there are no orbs to collect and all you need to know was already written in the previous page.

There will be two parts of this mission. The main part is the boss fight; then you'll have to time two easy busters ("easy" as long as you know the timing) to end the mission. While the credits are rolling, you will also be fighting against some enemies, but these ones do not count (and you can skip them and the credits by pressing Start as you would skip any cutscene).

The fight

Nero vs Sanctus in Mission 20 is somehow easier than the previous fight in Mission 11, because the arena is much smaller and you won't spend half of the time chasing Sanctus; if you know how to get to him, that is.

Sanctus attacks: he can send two shockwaves, shoot fireballs (the number increases as you take his health down), create an electric shockwave on the ground, summon vertical lasers, regenerate his shields (creating a shockwave around him in the process), send the lamps to attack you. That's the same as earlier, so far. In addition to this, he can now also disappear from the arena and summon lamps to surround you: just jump when they're closing the circle on you to avoid the hit. At last, he can now also warp to the ground (only after taking down part of his shield) and attack with one or (as you're taking down his health) two swings of his scythe. He can also guard against your attacks by using his scythe: if he does so, use a buster to break his guard instantly, then attack again with the Red Queen/Blue Rose.

Strategy: the key to the fight is once again your trusted Lv 3 Charged Shot. Instead of using the lamps to reach him, it's VERY important to run to him, because this will often make the lamps hide behind him and avoid him running away (he will attack you with something you can easily dodge). To take down his shield, use Roulette Spin (YY, pause, Y; all in the air), possibly exceeded of course. When you take down his first shield, take down the second one too, but make sure to shoot your Lv 3 Charged Shot like I do in the video (this is particularly important on higher difficulties), because the bursting bullet will buy you enough time (stunning him) to let you reach him without him going away, so you can break his second shield too and finally attack with a buster for massive damage. After the buster he will always recover his shield, as it was on Mission 11.
This is pretty much all you have to know about the fight. Roulette Spin for the first layer; run to him and shoot a Lv 3 Charged Shot, and take advantage of the short stunning moment of the enemy after the shot explodes to take down his second shield; then Devil Trigger and buster the enemy.
After the first buster, his health will already be low enough (I'm speaking of higher difficulties here) to make him teleport to the ground. When this happens, let your shot go on him when he's attacking, so he gets stunned (that's the same thing you would do if he was in the air); make sure you Air-Hike to be safely out of his scythe's range.

When the fight is almost over, unless you finish him off before this can happen, he will come to the ground and start a special attack. He will be charging for a few seconds, and then rush at you: time your Buster to intercept him and finish him off with it.

With practice you will be able to replicate a run similar to the video shown on Dante Must Die difficulty: remember to run to him instead of snatching the lamps, because this is what makes the difference most of the time.

After this fight, you'll have to punch-back with your buster the attacks of the giant statue. The timing is shown in the video, but anyway: the first arm (the right arm of the statue) will first raise up a bit, and then start to descend; you want to press B a blink after it's descending. The second arm (his left one) will also first raise up a bit and then descend, but you want to wait another couple of blinks before pressing B this time.
After blocking both the arms, jump and press B near his fallen head to end the game.

The Bloody Palace is unlocked after completing the game on Devil Hunter mode. You can choose to play it from your game modes menu. This mode is a long "survival" challenge where you're put against almost all the enemies of the game, including bosses, set on Son of Sparda difficulty. There are no save points, you can't use items and, worst of all, you have limited time to rout the enemies.

Some people say that to S-Rank the Bloody Palace you need to get over 3,000,000 Devil Hunter Points in it; some people say that you only have to complete it with a non-super character. They are pretty much the same thing (the former is correct): if you complete the Bloody Palace you can't really score less than 3,000,000 Devil Hunter Points. Completing the Bloody Palace gives you a boost in your score too: in case you die for instance in the 90s and see that you only have about 1,000,000 Devil Hunter Points, don't worry because they will be something like three times as much when you complete the whole Palace. So anyway, you have to play good, fast and cool to complete the Bloody Palace, and getting less than 3,000,000 Devil Hunter Points is almost impossible. The only reason for my "almost" is that on the World Leaderboard there are like 15 people on the leaderboards with a score lower than 3,000,000, but not low enough as to be justified by an incomplete run or the use of Super Characters; they don't have the achievement (they're ranked somewhere in the 6,200th position), and therefore it's correct to say that you need 3,000,000 Devil Hunter Points for the S Rank. Anyway, as long as you don't use Super Characters you're unlikely to be another member of such a small group of people who could manage to miss the S Rank of the Bloody Palace after completing it.

Every 20 levels there will be a change of colors in the arena, which is always a circular platform, and the change of color (which sounds a minor detail, but...) is preceeded by a boss fight. In the order, Berial, Bael/Dagon, Echidna, Angelo Credo, Angelo Agnus and Dante. The reason why I mention the change of color is that in some stages (especially from the 40s to the 70s included) the arena will be so dark that you may find hard to see the enemies. You can't do much about this, but if you make sure to have a proper light in your room when you play and adjust the colors of you screen, well, it will be good for your retina.

You can play the Bloody Palace as Nero and as Dante, and even as Super Nero and Super Dante; using the "Super" characters is the best way to miss the S Rank on the palace, and I can honestly see no reason why one who can clear Dante Must Die (if you're using super characters, you did it somehow) should need Super Characters to clear the Bloody Palace, set on Son of Sparda mode. Sure it's a survival, but anyway: don't use super characters because making it with regular characters is just a bit harder.

It goes without saying that you want to attempt the Bloody Palace only after getting a full Devil Gauge, a full Health Gauge and all the skills you're going to use (likely most or all of them). My suggestion is to leave it for after beating the game on Dante Must Die, since by then you will be definitely good enough to tackle it.

About the Bloody Palace you want to know two things other than these introductory notes: how to gain more time, and what to expect.

The Timer

You start with 2 minutes; if the timer goes to 0 it's the end of the run just as if you die. Killing enemies will net you a bonus on your time; clearing the stages will net you a bonus on your time; clearing the stages without taking damage against the enemies of that stage will net you an even higher bonus of time. The first and easiest levels should be used to rack up a large amount of extra time (15-20 minutes); then you will probably gain only a few extra minutes for most of the rest of the palace. In the last levels you will be able to take more time to defeat the harder enemies, since you'll have the "extra minutes" covering up for the extra safety you'll put in your fighting. In particular, you will get:

Stage Clear: +15 seconds for clearing each of the stages from the first to the 19th; if you take no damage, you will get +30 seconds
Stage Clear: +10 seconds for clearing each of the stages from the 21st to the last one (except for boss stages); if you take no damage, you will get +20 seconds
Stage 20/40/60/80/100/101 (boss stages): +120 seconds for starting it.
Stage 20/40/60/80/100/101 Clear with no damage: +60 seconds
Enemies killed while your style meter is Deadly: +10% of their seconds standard value*
Enemies killed while your style meter is Carnage: +20% of their seconds standard value*
Enemies killed while your style meter is Brutal: +30% of their seconds standard value*
Enemies killed while your style meter is Atomic: +40% of their seconds standard value*
Enemies killed while your style meter is Smokin'! : +50% of their seconds standard value*
Enemies killed while your style meter is Smokin' Style!! : +75% of their seconds standard value*
Enemies killed while your style meter is Smokin' Sick Style!!! : +100% of their seconds standard value*

*For example, a Scarecrow gives by default +5:00 seconds; if you defeat him with a Deadly multiplier you will gain + 5:30 seconds, and if you defeat him with an SSS style meter you will obtain +10:00 seconds. There are rare situations when this doesn't apply anymore (for example, using a buster to defeat instantly a Chimera Seed will ignore these style bonuses), but the general rule is: be stylish. And as you can see, there is a significant difference between Smokin'! and Smokin' Sick Style!!! this time.

And then, enemy by enemy, the amount of time they give when defeated:

Chimera Seed: +2 seconds
Gladius: +2 seconds
Scarecrow: +5 seconds
Chimera Scarecrow: +5 seconds
Basilisk: +5 seconds
Bianco Angelo: +10 seconds
Frost: +10 seconds
Mephisto: +10 seconds
Assault: +10 seconds
Chimera Assault: +10 seconds
Mega Scarecrow: +15 seconds
Cutlass: +15 seconds
Alto Angelo: +20 seconds
Faust: +20 seconds
Blitz: +30 seconds

The time it takes to kill these enemies isn't much shorter than the time they give you. For this reason, a good start with a lot of No-Damage stages in the first 20 stages is highly recommended.

The enemies

All the enemies are on Son of Sparda difficulty; from level 81 onwards they will also go in Devil Mode (which is something normally only possible on Dante Must Die difficulty, but in the Bloody Palace they enter Devil Mode even if they are still on Son of Sparda difficulty). Some people say that Dante is on Dante Must Die difficulty, but considering how much health he loses with some attacks, he's not and is still on Son of Sparda difficulty. It doesn't make much of a difference anyway: you want to know how to defeat him and practice by playing Mission 10 at least 3-4 times on Dante Must Die difficulty with this strategy; if you manage to beat Dante easily with this method (easily = you come out with half of your health still intact), you're ready.

When choosing your character, I assume you're choosing Nero. Choosing Dante is not a good idea if you're not very expert with him. A lot of people think they are "good" at the game with Dante, but then they find out that their abilities with Dante take too long to defeat the enemies. Nero is probably a better choice for most of the players, because he's stronger and cheaper and it's much easier to stay airborne (which most of the times means being safe from taking any damage) with him than with Dante. In addition to this, you can practise on Mission 19 and Mission 10 to defeat all the bosses you will find in the Bloody Palace; as Dante, you don't have the same easy way to test your preparation. Not to mention that you can only fight Dante as Dante in the Bloody Palace (also Dante vs Angelo Credo, but he would be the last of your problems), and it's not a good idea to fight the strongest boss of the game for the first time after sweating your controller for clearing 100 stages. Also, ask yourself if you're prepared to deal with hordes of Chimera Hybrids as Dante, and if you're prepared to deal with Blitzes and Chimera Assaults and even two Blitzes at once as Dante. As Nero there's always a way around (Lv 3 Charged Shots and Busters), but when fighting as Dante you must have a plan.

Recovering health is partially possible: some stages and enemies are sent to death just to give you green orbs. Typically, Gladiuses and Chimera Seeds will earn you green orbs. Sometimes even Angelos may net you green orbs, but you want to play as if you're not going to get healed anytime soon; that is to say, give your best to avoid taking damage, if there is really need to say that. Don't forget about the small health regeneration of the Devil Trigger.

Devil Trigger is your friend and best helper: use your Devil Gauge wisely. Some people say that it's better to use your Devil Trigger mode when your Devil Gauge is full, because it'd be a waste. They are partially correct. It's a good idea to use your Devil Trigger not for necessities (provided the gauge is actually full, and you would be wasting the extra you will earn as you fight) if you know that you're not going to need it soon; however, if you are unsure on what could happen ahead, it's better to waste a lot of Devil Trigger but at least keep it always available for when you will need it. After all, it doesn't make THAT much of a difference and won't speed things up more than a few seconds against regular enemies. Unless of course you are familiar with using it, and you know how to get the most out of the Devil mode, for example by using Maximum Bets on groups of enemies, and increasing significantly the damage output on more targets. That's up to you; below there's a list telling you what to expect on each level, and you're a grown up devil hunter by now.

After each stage cleared, the timer will freeze until you warp to the next stage; take advantage of this to breathe and refill your Exceed gauge, so you can unleash it as soon as the next match starts (which can often net you a good Brutal meter to start gaining the highest extra bonus for killing enemies). You also always want to load your gunshot and release Lv 3 Charged Shots at anyone bothering you, as well as abuse the camera to hide enemies.

After the list I will write notes about the stages which are, in my opinion, the most troublesome; there is not much you can do about them, but expecting the danger may alert you a bit more. There are YouTube videos of the performances of great players, but if you have cleared Dante Must Die mode, you don't need any other help. I will also bold the number of the stages containing Chimera Hybrids, Cutlasses, Blitzes and abnormal amounts of Frosts. You shouldn't have to fear any other enemies apart from these. Also, most of the enemies listed won't spawn all at once, but in waves one after another.

01 - Scarecrow x3
02 - Scarecrow x4
03 - Scarecrow x6
04 - Frost x2
05 - Bianco Angelo x2
06 - Mephisto x 3
07 - Gladius x6
08 - Chimera Seed x9
09 - Chimera Seed x9, Scarecrow x3
10 - Scarecrow x12
11 - Assault x2
12 - Mega Scarecrow x2
13 - Assault x2, Bianco Angelo x2
14 - Faust x1
15 - Bianco Angelo x2, Alto Angelo x1
16 - Scarecrow x6, Mega Scarecrow x1
17 - Alto Angelo x2
18 - Blitz x1
19 - Basilisk x4
20 - Berial

21 - Mephisto x2, Frost x1
22 - Frost x2, Faust x1
23 - Assault x3, Frost x2
24 - Assault x 3, Basilisk x 4
25 - Assault x3, Blitz x1
26 - Blitz x1, Basilisk x4
27 - Frost x2, Bianco Angelo x2
28 - Assault x2, Gladius x8
29 - Blitz x1, Gladius x5
30 - Frost x4, Assault x6, Blitz x1
31 - Chimera Seed x6, Mephisto x3
32 - Scarecrow x3, Faust x1
33 - Mephisto x2, Mega Scarecrow x1
34 - Mephisto x6
35 - Mephisto x3, Frost x1
36 - Scarecrow x2, Faust x1
37 - Mephisto x2, Assault x3
38 - Mephisto x2, Blitz x1
39 - Chimera Seed x9, Faust x1
40 - Bael/Dagon

41 - Chimera Seed x9
42 - Chimera Scarecrow x5, Chimera Seed x5
43 - Chimera Assault x4
44 - Chimera Seed x6, Gladius x6
45 - Chimera Assault x2, Blitz x1
46 - Basilisk x2, Chimera Seed x4
47 - Chimera Seed x5, Bianco Angelo x2, Alto Angelo x1
48 - Scarecrow x1, Chimera Seed x6
49 - Chimera Assault x3, Faust x1
50 - Scarecrow x6, Chimera Seed x12, Assault x4
51 - Scarecrow x6
52 - Scarecrow x3, Gladius x8
53 - Mega Scarecrow x3, Frost x2
54 - Scarecrow x5, Alto Angelo x1
55 - Mega Scarecrow x1, Faust x1
56 - Mega Scarecrow x1, Alto Angelo x2
57 - Scarecrow x4, Mephisto x3
58 - Mega Scarecrow x1, Basilisk x5
59 - Chimera Scarecrow x2, Mega Scarecrow x1, Chimera Seed x4
60 - Echidna

61 - Bianco Angelo x4
62 - Cutlass x2, Bianco Angelo x3
63 - Blitz x1, Bianco Angelo x2
64 - Bianco Angelo x1, Gladius x6
65 - Bianco Angelo x7, Alto Angelo x1
66 - Alto Angelo x1, Basilisk x4
67 - Blitz x1, Alto Angelo x2
68 - Bianco Angelo x2, Scarecrow x6
69 - Alto Angelo x1, Frost x2
70 - Bianco Angelo x10, Alto Angelo x2
71 - Gladius x16
72 - Mega Scarecrow x1, Gladius x9
73 - Gladius x8, Frost x1
74 - Cutlass x2, Basilisk x4
75 - Alto Angelo x1, Cutlass x3
76 - Cutlass x4, Gladius x8
77 - Basilisk x10
78 - Frost x2, Basilisk x4
79 - Cutlass x2, Basilisk x2, Gladius x4
80 - Angelo Credo

81 - Mega Scarecrow x1, Scarecrow x5
82 - Mephisto x4, Faust x1
83 - Frost x4
84 - Chimera Scarecrow x 2, Chimera Assault x 2, Chimera Seed x10
85 - Blitz x2, Chimera Seed x3
86 - Bianco Angelo x2, Alto Angelo x1
87 - Basilisk x4, Gladius x7
88 - Cutlass x3, Bianco Angelo x2
89 - Mega Scarecrow x3, Blitz x1
90 - Scarecrow x20, Mega Scarecrow x3, Chimera Seed x3
91 - Faust x3
92 - Alto Angelo x3, Bianco Angelo x4
93 - Assault x8
94 - Chimera Scarecrow x2, Chimera Seed x6, Bianco Angelo x2
95 - Basilisk x16, Chimera Seed x4
96 - Gladius x8, Cutlass x3, Bianco Angelo x3
97 - Mephisto x6, Mega Scarecrow x2
98 - Chimera Scarecrow x2, Chimera Assault x 2, Chimera Seed x3
99 - Alto Angelo x2, Bianco Angelo x44
100 - Angelo Agnus

101 - Dante

For all the stages with Chimera Hybrids, the Lv 3 Charged Gun and Ex Streak 2 with three Ex Gauges are the most preferred attacks. They may be worth (especially for Chimera Assaults) a taste of your Devil Trigger.

For all the stages with a Blitz and another enemy, beat the other enemies first and then the Blitz. On the stage with 2x Blitzes (the Chimera Seeds will spawn after the two Blitzes, and they're there to refill your health after the fatigue of the fight), try to work on one of them at a time, although it's hard to keep track of them. Keep also in mind that the Buster animation on a Blitz will basically allow you not to get hit, so you can "safely" kill a Blitz even if there is another one around. Should something go wrong, rely on your Lv 3 Charged Shot to deal damage little by little; you will eventually win, even at the cost of losing some seconds on your timer. Make sure you also know how to properly fight against a Blitz as Nero, and try to get that SSS meter from him to gain extra +30 seconds.

Stage 96 sounds brutal, but in fact you fight the Gladiuses first, then the Cutlasses, and the Angelos last; it's quite easy and actually great to recover your health with the dropped green orbs.

Stage 99 can be accomplished easily if you leave alone the Alto Angelos, since they will send to their deaths a ton of Bianco Angelos (they basically only do this). Be aware that of course you won't get stylish points if you don't kill the Bianco Angelos yourself, and you also won't get a bonus on time. Some of the Bianco Angelos also earn you green orbs. It's a very easy stage, and you probably want to let a bunch of Bianco Angelos die at first (like 25-30 of them), and then kill the other ones by yourself. That depends on what you want to do and what you need to do (timer, life, etcetera).

This is all I can suggest, other than the monsters/moves page. I know some suggestions sound obvious and useless, but other than reminding you the basics on which you founded your gaming experience on Devil May Cry 4, there isn't much to do.

Clearing the Bloody Palace with an S Rank (read: without Super Characters) is probably the hardest feat of the game: after succeeding you will probably only have to grind the last achievements before celebrating the 1,000 G.

Congratulations and thanks for reading!

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