Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster isn’t just a great 2000s-era RPG — it’s also the game that gave us the iconic “Featuring Dante from Devil May Cry” sticker which has since been co-opted into some all-time great video game memes. While his appearance is decidedly more sombre than the memes would suggest, he’s still a great addition to the Megami Tensei series and you should absolutely play “his” version of the game.
Dante appears as both an antagonist and a recruitable character in Shin Megami Tensei 3, but there’s a few things you need to do before he can join your team. First, you’ll need to start the game in Maniax Mode. This comes included with the Digital Deluxe Edition of the game, but you’ll need to purchase the Maniax Pack separately if you’ve only bought the base game.
This unlocks the option of selecting New Game: Maniax on the title screen. You can’t change your selection once you start the game, so choose wisely.
In the default game mode you’ll encounter Raidou Kuzunoha from the Devil Summoner series but in Maniax, Dante will appear and stalk you throughout the game. It does sound like a harder difficulty, but all this mode really does is add Dante.
He makes a great addition to the game, and you’ll probably want to nab him over Raidou.
When playing in Maniax mode, you’ll first encounter Dante following your battle with Forneus in the Shinjuku Medical Center. This appearance is just a cameo, but he’ll remark on the chaos and wander off into the Vortex World muttering about a job.
Dante appears later towards the end of the game in the Labyrinth of Amala. Here, you’ll need to fight your way through multiple monster-filled levels all the way down to the the Fifth Kalpa.
On the way, you’ll fight Dante twice — but after you defeat him in the Fifth Kalpa, he’ll offer to join your party.
Sadly the Labyrinth of Amala is basically end-game content, so if you’re looking to recruit Dante early you’re out of luck. By the time he’s able to join your party, you can basically play through the entire game’s story.
So while he’s a fun little addition to the game, you’ll have to be very, very patient to nab him. Luckily the game’s a superb RPG even without Dante, and working your way towards unlocking him won’t feel like a chore.
This article has been updated to clarify the need to purchase the Maniax Pack for the base edition of the game.