Over the weekend, I finished my first run through Devil May Cry 5's wild and self-indulgent story. I've still yet to master its complex combat, so I'm eager to return to the Bloody Palace, the arena challenge mode from every DMC since the first. While not quite ready in time for launch, Capcom announced today it'll be rolling out as a free update on April 1st, ready to make fools of us all. If sneaky data-miners and modders are correct there might be more to it than arena fights too, maybe even including a fourth playable character. Warning: Spoilers as to their possible identity below, but DMC fans may have guessed already.
The Bloody Palace mode alone is reason to be excited. While a bare-bones arena survival mode isn't too exciting in most other games, in the DMC series it's always been the place to flex your skills. Typically 100 battles of escalating difficulty with only minor healing between rounds. Folks over on Reddit poking around DMC 5's code have spotted two interesting things in advance. Online matchmaking, for one thing, hinting at possible co-op or parallel showboating (as seen in the story) in the arena. The other item is that Dante's brother and eternal rival Vergil might be playable in the arena, too.
YouTuber "Nekorun" puts Vergil through his paces via mods.
Vergil being playable isn't too surprising, as modders (covered by Kotaku's Heather Alexandra here) have discovered that changing a single 'Player ID' value to 4 (1-3 giving you the regular three characters) lets you play as a half-finished version of him already. While obviously not meant to be accessed this way, he already has moves that aren't seen in the main game's story. Whether he'll be part of the Bloody Palace update, a piece of DLC further down the line or quietly removed from the game's code later is still unknown, but I'd honestly be surprised if he never surfaced.
On a more speculative note, rumours have been bouncing around for a while that later DLC may make Trish and Lady playable as well, which would be nice considering their all-too-brief appearance in the story. However, Capcom's Matt Walker has stated on Twitter that the Bloody Palace was the only planned update on the horizon. For the time being, only the Bloody Palace is a given, and playable Vergil seems likely. Everything beyond that is wishful thinking, but I'd be lying if I didn't have my fingers crossed.
The Bloody Palace update goes live for Devil May Cry 5 on April 1st.