AVS Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, don't get angry because I started a new thread. This is for in game help with the demo and I didn't want to add to the 4 pages of graphics argument. BTW, I have a PS3 and not a 360 (I'm in the correct forum, right?).

Ok, rant over.

Please tell me how to get out of the cathedral. I got the blue skull/orb thing and was just stuck in there for about 6 minutes until the demo ended. I was enjoying the scenery though. Thanks for the help.


244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I had just figured it out when I was showing the wife the demo. I still was to slow and didn't make it to the Boss battle.

12,212 Posts
Well, this thread is a good spot for this cut 'n paste guide to the game (props to ChaosAptom and carbonox_ratchet):

So you just downloaded the brand spanking new DMC4 demo on your PS3 and ran through it mashing some buttons and doing things you have probably never done in a game since the last game. At first you are probably thinking “Wait, this is it? I thought this was DMC THE UBER KING OF ACTION? Where is the depth? Where are these so called COMBOS I keep hearing about?”

But then you probably saw your Stylish gauge and wondered “Hmm I wonder how high it goes up to…” It goes up to Triple SSSs by the way and unless you are some talented gamer you will not reach it that easily unless you know how to play DMC. This little write up will help you on understanding the core mechanics of DMC so you can start practicing your combos for the real thing.

The demo introduces you to a new character in the DMC universe, Nero. While he looks a lot like Dante and Vergil, I can assure you that he is indeed a new character and he plays quite differently. He has some new tricks worth mentioning but first some essential mechanics of DMC have to be discussed.


A very essential part of the DMC combat. The Lock On (activated by R1) allows you to lock on to an enemy and basically synchronize your movements to the perspective of that enemy. It also lights up a target reticule giving you an approximation of the health remaining for that enemy (blue reticules in a circle).

You don’t need to lock-on to an enemy to attack it, but to perform certain moves you must. But before we get on to moves you can do with the Lock-on it is essential to understand the difference between attacking without lock-on as opposed to attacking with lock-on. For the sake of brevity I will address no lock-on as “Soft lock-on” (don’t press R1) and actual lock-on with “Hard Lock-on” (press and hold R1).

In Soft lock-on you always attack the enemy that is closest to you and your character generally tries to attack in the relative direction of that enemy. This applies for both shooting and slashing. In between slashes you can actually change the trajectory of your slash AWAY from the enemy so soft-lock is generally used when you are fighting in close groups and you are in need of quick crowd controller. Also note that the Buster move can only be performed with Soft lock-on (ie. It cannot be performed while pressing R1). Your movements during Soft-lock on are free/normal.

In Hard lock-on, you will ALWAYS attack in the direction of the enemy whether it be slashes or shooting. It doesn’t even matter how for the enemy is or how close the next enemy is, you are committed to that particular enemy until either A) You disengage the Lock-on B) Kill the enemy or C) Change targets manually. During Hard-lock on your movements are in relation to the enemy, with your character always facing the enemy. This makes doing hard lock-on attacks much easier. The moves that require you to press R1 can only be done with Hard-lock and there is no alternate way of doing them, so this Hard lock-on is required for combat.

One important note about Hard-lock is that you can actually change the Lock-on on the fly and you do this by pressing L3 (press in the Left analog stick in as a button) and this will target the next closest enemy.

Hard Lock-On Specific Moves:

Rolling/Back Flipping:

The first one you want to learn is the evasion move, which is a simple Roll. Note that this roll grants the player INVINCIBLE FRAMES, which means that during the actual roll you cannot be hit. A very useful technique.

It is performed by holding down R1, move Right Analog stick either Left or Right in the perspective of the character and X (the Jump button).

Notice the way I phrase how to perform this move: In the perspective of the player. This means that when you input a “left/right/forward/back” move it is ALWAYS in relation to the character on screen and not according to you as a player. So if your character is facing towards the right of the screen, then you need to move the analog stick towards the left side of the screen to activate a move designated as “Back”. This seems complex at first but in fact it’s very easy once you get a hang of it and trust me…. You NEED to get a hang of it quickly.

If you press Back instead of Left or Right during a Roll, you will do a Back flip which has a few I-frames (Invincible frames).


This is a move performed by your sword that allows your character to move towards the target with rapid speed. This is an essential part of the DMC combat because this is how you will be starting off combos (or ending combos). It is performed by doing R1+Forward+/\\. Again, the Forward is in the perspective of the character on screen ie. Towards the enemy. This will initiate a quick dash with the sword followed by a slash that will cause the enemy to fly back.

High Roller:

A move probably MORE essential to DMC than Streak. This move is performed in 2 inputs:


R1+Back+/\\ (HOLD /\\)

The first part of the move will do a vertical strike that will launch an enemy in the air. When an enemy is in the air, it is for the most part immobilized allowing you to perform additional moves on the enemy and it can’t do a single thing to you. As long as you keep attacking the enemy, it will remain suspended. The staple move to do after this move is to just pull out your guns (keep R1 pressed) and shoot continuously (tap []). You can also perform some slashes while the enemy drops down but it’s not as cool.

The second part of the move is where things get exciting. When you hold down the attack button, you RISE with the enemy. This now converts the attack into a ground based attack that leads into an aerial attack. While in mid-air you have a lot of options that you can pursue in terms of combos that not only look cool but are highly effective. In DMC, aerial combos are ESSENTIAL to top-tier play so you better start practicing.

Aerial Rave:

This move is performed by simply tapping /\\ in mid-air. This is a series of 3 slashes that you can EASILY follow up after the 2nd part of the High Roller. The 3rd slash in this move causes your enemy to fall back to the floor, converting the air combo to a ground combo. This is an easy option to follow up with after a High Roller. This move does not need R1 to be initiated.

Helm Breaker:

This move is performed by doing Streak in mid-air (or R1+Forward+/\\ in mid-air). This is the opposite of the 2nd part of the High Roller, meaning now you are FALLING down with the enemy from the air to the ground. This is a move to follow up after your Aerial Rave as the 3rd slash of the move causes your enemy to drop to the floor.


R1+O. Another EXTREMELY USEFUL AND ESSENTIAL move to DMC that is in fact a new addition to the series. It is extremely quick and responsive as well as being very flexible because it can be used in any situation. What it does in a nutshell is that it pulls enemy towards you from a far, even when they are in the process of being tosses away by a move like Helm Breaker or Streak. This move can be performed IN THE AIR as well which automatically leads into an air combo (Aerial Rave). There are a lot of things you can do with Snatch so experiment with them.


O. You can’t have R1 depressed to perform this move. This move varies from enemy to enemy and can also be performed in the air. Against the enemies you face in the demo, you perform an uppercut against the Scarecrows and cause them to drop on the floor (whether in the air or on the ground). You can freely combo afterwards. Against Frosts it ends up with a twirling toss that throws that very far and you have to get them back with the Snatch move to perform additional combos on them. This is best used as a combo finisher BUT IT DOESN‘T have to be a combo ender.

So we have discussed 4 attacking BASIC attacking moves here. Just from understanding what they do you can easily tell where each move is used when in a combo. Here is an example of a combo that uses all 4 moves in conjunction:

Streak > Snatch (pulls the enemy back to you,), > High Roller (Non-Rising version) > Shoot with gun, High Roller (Rising Version) > Aerial Rave > Helm Breaker > Snatch > Buster

A simple combo has been made just out of the basic moves that actually is a combo that never ends because after the Helm Breaker you can either do Snatch or Streak to continue the combo and repeat if you want.

The following combo did not require an extra skill or finesse aside from actually performing some moves. What you must do from now on is grasp the need for canceling moves which will lead to the vast majority of insane combos you can do in the game.

Sword Combo I: /\\ tapped 4 times in succession

Sword Combo II: /\\, /\\, pause, /\\, /\\, /\\

Sword Combo I is a generic 4 sword combo that you have probably seen numerous times in many hack n’ slash games. The last hit causes the enemy to fly back meaning you either have to do a Streak or a Snatch to follow up. The main problem with this move is that it’s very slow and the last attack is EXTREMELY slow. This is normally where the average player gets hit while in the mess of things. To fix this, all you need to do is learn how to cancel…

Additional Side Note: Pausing before the final hit of Combo I will allow you to do a mini-charge up on the attack for more damage.


You have probably heard this word being used a lot in games, mostly in fighting and action games. DMC is the king of canceling and always has been. In DMC, canceling is SO natural that half of the time you don’t even know that you are doing it. What canceling means it that you essentially INTERRUPT the execution or finishing of a move with another move or ability. This allows you to by pass recovery animation of an attack (for the most part) and allows you to link certain moves very freely. An example:

/\\, /\\, High Roller

The 3rd move in the standard sword combo has been negated or canceled by the activation of the High Roller. The benefit of doing this is simple: You don’t have to deal with the remaining 2 VERY SLOW slashes of that particular combo and you start off an aerial combo as a result.

Canceling can be done in a DOZEN different ways. You can pull out your guns during attacks, begin to charge up your sword, roll out or even waggle your stick. Cancelling biggest impact to DMC is in the combos. Another example:

/\\, /\\, High Roller (Rising version), shoot in the air canceled into Aerial Rave, cancel 3rd hit with Buster, Snatch, Aerial Rave, cancel 3rd hit with Helm Breaker.

In the above combo you attained 3 options during an Aerial rave with the aid of canceling.

Grasping an understanding of which combination of moves cancels into what other combination of moves is the key to understanding the essence of combo canceling. Incorporation of all 3 aspects of Nero: Snatching, Slashing and Shooting is possible with the help of canceling.

Have you broken a sweat yet? No? Good because I am just getting warmed up!


An aspect of DMC that has been with the series since DMC1 but is probably the most overlooked aspect of the game by the casual gamers. It’s a simple concept: You can use the body of enemies as a platform for your jump. Tap X/A (jump) on top of an enemy and you can perform another jump on top of them for a total of 2 jumps.

The importance of this jump rebounding may not make sense in this demo as you don’t have access to moves like Air Hike or Trickster but it should give you something to experiment with in the long-run. The idea is that a Jump rebound allows you to “reset” your jump and aerial options. At it’s base level it also works as an AERIAL CANCEL allowing you cancel out attacks performed in the air COMPLETELY.


High Roller (rising), /\\, /\\, X, Snatch, /\\, X, Snatch, Buster

The character performs a High Roller, leads with an Aerial Rave and cancels in between the frame of 2nd and 3rd slash with a jump OFF OF THE BODY of the enemy while in mid-air. This resets the character’s position in mid-air, slightly above the enemy after which you have to perform a Snatch to come at the same level as the enemy. Perform a slash and then rebound again…. Perform Snatch again and then finish with a Buster.

You will notice that the height of your combos have increased dramatically as has the air time of the combo. Also this combo is where it starts getting difficult as the timing for these Rebounds is not exactly super easy. It varies from moves to moves and even from enemies to enemies (try it on Frosts, it’s actually a bit easier) but you can perform this little thing using any aerial attack.


High Roller (rising), Aerial Rave, Helm Breaker ~ tap Jump right upon the time of impact ~ Helm Breaker.

This type of rebound allows you to cancel the recovery animation of the Helm Breaker, effectively negating the knock back ability of the Helm Breaker YET STILL DAMAGING THE OPPONENT! You can keep chaining Helm Breakers over and over again if you get the timing down though it’s difficult at first

Hell you can even do this with Snatch and reach the skies (LITERALLY!). Performing this trick with the Snatch is deeped “Snatch Hike” because it looks like you are using Snatch to literally hike yourself up to the sky!

Tricks with Blue Rose:

By now you have figured out that shooting is VERY WEAK. That is the point of DMC, the guns only serve as your sub weapon. That still doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them but don’t use them like you would in a shooter. The gun (called Blue Rose) can juggle enemies after a Type 1 High Roller and will keep them suspended indefinitely. It can also be used in mid-air against grounded opponents to slow down your fall from a jump and you can use the fall break trick to perform extra Snatch > Busters in the air (try to do 4 of them in mid-air!).

When the enemy is in mid-air and you as well (like after a Rising HelmBreaker) you can use the gun as one of your aerial attacking options. Use it in between Aerial Rave strikes, Snatches etc. Experiment at your will.

The real “trick” with the Blue Rose is it’s CHARGE ability in which you just hold down the Shoot button. Note that charging DOES NOT take you out of any other attacks, so you can be charging WHILE DOING OTHER ATTACKS! This makes it the perfect combo finisher in attacks and aerial combos because a charged shot is considerably more powerful than the normal shots. You can also shoot a charged shot at point blank, follow it up with Snatch and start up a combo that way.

Gun shots in mid-air can also be Rebounded off of as it is considered an attack performed in mid air.


This is a mechanic of your sword that is mapped to the L2 button. This is probably the most complex aspect of Nero found in the demo. At first glance, it appears to be a way to charge up your sword attacks with a nice glowing orange fire and it is. However there are 2 methods of doing this:

Charge Stance Method: While standing you continuously tap the Exceed button until your gauge starts filling up. Once you get in the rhythm of the taps, you can get it to charge fairly quickly. While in this state you cannot perform any other attacks and are bound to the state until the charge finishes or you perform a slash with the sword. There are 3 Lanterns to fill up, each Lantern represents a move or an attack. Meaning with 3 Lanterns you can perform 3 EX High Roller (the EX abbreviation means a super charged up move with different properties of the one that is named).

This method is not that useful…. at all. It’s not that quick even if you DO get in the rhythm of it and 9/10 you are just better off attacking the enemy with normal attacks because of the time consumption. It also takes away time from your Style meter which I will get to at near the end. It’s only semi-useful application is it’s “ghetto” canceling property which allows it to completely override moves in the game, even some aerial ones. I am still working on some fancy things you can do with the Stance but just concentrate on the 2nd method…

So the question is… how do I get maximum utilization of this mechanic?

Just Frame EX. The 2nd method does not constrain you to a stance of charging up. Instead it requires you to perform any slash attack and figure out a particular FRAME during that attack when you are able to tap the EX button which allows you to SUPER charge up a Lantern in an instant!

That particular frame is called the move’s “Just Frame” where if you just tap the EX button it will reward you with a full lantern. Clearly this method is vastly superior to the Stance method as it allows you to effectively incorporate EX moves into combos. The limiter factor to this method is that with each successive move that you Just Frame, that frame window becomes smaller and smaller. Theoretically speaking, if you are aware of every attack’s Just Frame window you can perform a combo in which EVERY MOVE is EX!


/\\, EX, High Roller, EX, /\\, EX, /\\, EX, Helm Breaker, EX, Streak

The above combo is base level EX combo, it doesn’t incorporate stuff like rebounding, canceling, Snatch/Buster or gun tricks. Yet it is probably more difficult to perform than any previous combo you have done up to know because of the amount of Just Frames you have to get right.

The timings of the Just Frames varies from move to move. With Streak and High Roller, the JF window is at the recovery animation of the attack where as with the regular slashes it’s towards the middle. Experiment with this mechanic and you will be rewarded immensely.

The following is a breakdown of how particular moves are affected by EX:

Ground Combos EX: Animation wise they stay the same, but their speed, power and range are drastically increased. The final hit of Combo I is quite hard hitting. Getting all of Combo II to go EX is very difficult as it’s like 9 slashes in a row!

Aerial slashes EX: Same as above. No animation change but increase in speed, power and range.

Streak EX: Animation is changed greatly. The character rears back with the sword and delivers a twirl of flaming carnage. It has phenomenal range and is a great crowd clearer. An interesting property of this move is that you can hold the attack button to allow the move to be charged EVEN FURTHER! During the charge you can tap the EX button to gain more EX gauge for following attacks. The perfect combo finisher.

Hell Breaker EX: Animation is also changed. It is now an extremely fast thrust downwards as opposed to being a slow vertical slice downwards. It still retains its rebounding ability.

High Roller EX: Quicker, stronger and launches higher than the normal version. It also appears to have more range.


By this point if you have following what I have said and experimented around, you get the general idea of the core mechanics of the game. It is not my place to DIRECT your method of play because the beauty of DMC is that the player is the one who decides what combos he wants to do. Every combo is malleable to the will of the player, I just gave some sample ones that I personally used and may in fact be very different from what you use. Experimentation with the game will yield you great rewards later on.

Let’s talk about Style. Style is a major aspect of DMC and has been since DMC1 (only now it’s even a bigger factor of your game play). On your screen on the right side is a Style Grading system that keeps track of your Style performance during your combat encounters.

Style is judged in a plethora of different ways but it ultimately comes down to how well you are utilizing your moves. It is something that sort of ticks in the background pushing the player to be more creative yet at the same time be skillful. The following is the general criteria used:

*Ranking goes from: D, C, B, A, S, SS, SSS. D being lowest and SSS being highest. Each of these letter grades is incorporated into a word, like Deadly or Carnage.

*The higher the rank, the higher the Stylish points yield, the higher the Red orbs yield, the higher the Proud Souls yield and ultimately the higher the Devil Ranking points yield. While these factors do not play much into the demo, they will ultimately dictate your experience and performance in the full game so pay extra close attention to Style.

*Staying untouched is VITAL to Style ratings. Getting hit once drops your Style down some but getting thrashed around takes you to no style at all and you have to start all over again with the meter. When trying to go for those high style ranks, remember that getting hit is not stylish at all.

*Performing the same move twice in a row will cause no increase in the gauge. Using it a 3rd time will cause a decrease in the meter and using it a 4th time will possibly drop you to no Style at all. Basically… variation in moves is ESSENTIAL to maintaining styles. Note that you have to perform about 3 moves in between 2 of the same moves to not be met with a Style decay or something like that.

*Hitting more than one enemy with a particular attack multiplies your Style points. That is why moves like EX Streak give major boost to Style meter.

*Performing moves of high degree of skill yield greater style.

*Performing moves that are generally considered of high style value yield a high style as well.

*Evading enemy attacks at particular evasion windows yields Style points.

*Taunting enemies.

Taunts are performed by the Select button next to the Start button. It’s a different taunt for generally different Style ratings (you get a different Taunt for SS as you do for doing it during D). A successfully completed taunt upgrades you one ENTIRE LETTER GRADE! A Taunt is considered a single move, so doing 2 successive Taunts will not yield you any extra gain and doing 3 will cause decay. Taunts are BEST performed after a combo ender to further increase the Style meter.

The secret to Style is that… there is no secret. Mix up your attacks, don’t get hit and keep performing those combos without stopping. Cancels and rebounds help a lot, as do having a synergistic relationship between the 4 aspects of Nero: Red Queen Sword Attack, Exceed, Blue Rose and Devil Bringer. If an enemy dies, move on to the next one without delay.

Other Things To Do in the Demo:

Performing Buster on Berial:

You can actually use the Buster on Berial as well. Keep slashing Berial until he turns charcoal black. Then jump near it’s head and tap O (don’t press R1). Nero will raise Berial with his arm and then drop him to the floor. When on the floor, you can perform Buster AGAIN to toss Berial in the air and smack him away.

Nero’s Drop Kick:

While Sprinting, you can press the Taunt button to initiate Nero’s signature move: The Power Ranger Drop Kick! You can even combo off of this attack!

Nero the Power Ranger?:

If you get up to at least SS rank in a Style meter, perform Taunt. You will get a really over the top Taunt that resembles something out of a Power Ranger episode!

That’s it for me. If you have any specific questions feel free to ask them on the Official DMC4 Thread on NeoGAF. I am still in the process of playing DMC4 and this information is based on my first few walk throughs so it’s still a bit rudimentary but I think I have done a good enough job of bringing the newcomers up to speed.

12,212 Posts
Here's the best demo vid on the net. This guy is a true expert with Exceed combos... his instant-rev skills are amazing. After nearly every attack he is just-frame tapping L2 for these stronger, more flamboyant attacks to come out as they are, and It shows what you can do in this game with Nero (Dante gets multiple play styles and a lot more weapon types).

However don't be discouraged if you can't play like this... it isn't necessary to be this good to win or even complete the full game. It helps a lot for those going for the highest SSS scores.

2,801 Posts

Originally Posted by joeblow /forum/post/12943655

Here's the best demo vid on the net. This guy is a true expert with Exceed combos... his instant-rev skills are amazing. After nearly every attack he is just-frame tapping L2 for these stronger, more flamboyant attacks to come out as they are, and It shows what you can do in this game with Nero (Dante gets multiple play styles and a lot more weapon types).

However don't be discouraged if you can't play like this... it isn't necessary to be this good to win or even complete the full game. It helps a lot for those going for the highest SSS scores.

WOW! That dudes got skills.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.