According to Hideki Kamiya and some sources, the story was based on unravelling the mystery surrounding the protagonist Tony Redgrave and his twin brother Paul Redgrave, the sons of The Earl Spencer who have become superhumans through the use of the Progenitor Virus. Tony maintains a human form, but possesses superior skills and intellect. The story was likely set in the future.
The story was to be focused on Mallet Island, home to an Umbrella facility.
Initially, the game would play out similar to the early installments of Resident Evil on the PlayStation, however as Kamiya felt the playable character did not look brave and heroic enough in battles from a fixed angle, he decided to drop the prerendered backgrounds from previous installments and instead opted for a dynamic camera system. The gameplay is assumed to be similar to that of the final product, Devil May Cry with the exclusion of sword fighting where in the original concept there were huge emphasis on guns. The released game still shares various similarities with the Resident Evil series.
First hinted at in early December 1999, Resident Evil 4, was a title that faced a considerably lengthy development time, during which no fewer than four different proposed versions of the game were ultimately to be discarded. It initially began development in 1998 with plans to be the very first Resident Evil title released on the then-upcoming PlayStation 2 console. Direction was led by Hideki Kamiya after producer Shinji Mikami requested him to create a new entry in the Resident Evil series., who returned to the director's seat soon after 1998's Resident Evil 2. The game's origins tied in with Kamiya's earlier attempt at BIOHAZARD 3, which was cancelled in mid-1998 in order to move to the PlayStation 2 and its plot abandoned.
Around the turn of the millennium, Resident Evil 2 writer Noboru Sugimura created a scenario for the title, based on Kamiya's idea to make a "cool" and "stylish" action game. The story was based on unravelling the mystery surrounding the body of protagonist Tony, an invincible man with skills and an intellect exceeding that of normal people, with his superhuman abilities explained with biotechnology. As Kamiya felt the playable character did not look brave and heroic enough in battles from a fixed angle, he decided to drop the prerendered backgrounds from previous installments and instead opted for a dynamic camera system. This new direction required the team to make a trip to Europe, where they spent 11 days in the United Kingdom and Spain, to study Spanish architecture while photographing things like Gothic art statues, bricks, and stone pavements for use in Texture mapping. It was also at this point the first character designs were made.
Focusing on the use of action alongside the horror themes, Though the developers tried to make the "coolness" theme fit into the world of Resident Evil, the direction that the project took was seen by other members at Studio 4 as being a progressively radical departure from the traditional Resident Evil concept of Survival Horror. Shinji Mikami felt it strayed too far from the series' survival horror roots and gradually convinced all of the staff members to make the game independent from it. After talks between Kamiya and Mikami, it was decided that the game should continue development but as a separate franchise, Kamiya eventually rewrote the story to be set in a world full of demons and changed the hero's name to Dante. The cast of characters remained largely identical to that in Sugimura's scenario, although the hero's mother and his father, the latter an early version of the Umbrella Corporation founder Lord Ozwell E. Spencer, were written out of the story. The game's new title was revealed as Devil May Cry, released for the PlayStation 2 in August 2001, resulting in its own franchise.
Similarities with Resident Evil 4
Some aspects of "Stylish" BIOHAZARD 4 did make their way into the release version of the game. For example, the Novistador enemy was based on Beelzebub. In keeping with the series tradition of naming B.O.W.s after mythological beings, this B.O.W. was an insectoid enemy named after "Ba'al Zebub", a derogatory term ancient Hebrews gave to the Philistine god Ba'al. Like the Novistadores, Beelzebubs appear have flying and non-flying variations. The idea of a cathedral and castle also appeared in "Stylish", which were later recycled into the "Castle" versions and made their way into the release version.
- While Devil May Cry was still in development as BIOHAZARD 4 (Resident Evil 4), the main protagonist was to be named "Tony", but his name was later changed to Dante.
- Tony Redgrave's name is mentioned on Ebony and Ivory (Dante's trademark pair of personally customized, semi-automatic pistols) The outward facing sides (Ebony's left and Ivory's right) are engraved with a dedication to Dante which is explained in Devil May Cry Volume 1 to be from Nell Goldstein:
The inward-facing side of each weapon's slide (Ebony's right and Ivory's left) is engraved with "Ebony & Ivory" in a cursive script."For Tony Redgrave
By .45 Art Warkson"
- Tony Redgrave is an alias of Dante in the released game.
- The "For Tony Redgrave" award in DmC: Devil May Cry is awarded for slaying fifty enemies using nothing but firearms. The name of the award references the engraving on Tony's guns.
- In Devil May Cry After Grue notes Tony's boots are wrecked from defeating the corpses, Dante complains that he'd have to replace them, as he had finally asked Claire out on a date. This is a possible reference to Claire Redfield, another character created by Hideki Kamiya.
- Kamiya stated that the name Redgrave came to be due to similarities with the name Redfield.
- Hideki Kamiya (September 19, 2010). Twitter. Archived from the original on October 19, 2010.
- Hideki Kamiya (July 2001). The Story of the Scenario. Devil May Cry Column. Capcom Co., Ltd.. Retrieved on July 17, 2010.
- Perry, Douglass (December 3, 1999). Resident Evil Series to Haunt PlayStation 2. IGN. Retrieved on July 17, 2010.
- Kevin Gifford, Mark MacDonald (April 2005). "Afterthoughts: Resident Evil 4". Electronic Gaming Monthly (Ziff Davis Media Inc.) (190): 51–52.
- Kamiya, Hideki (July 2001). 新しいバイオ. Devil May Cry Column. Capcom Co., Ltd.. Retrieved on July 17, 2010.
- @PG_kamiya (January 14, 2014). Ah, u mean a passenger boat? RT @project_umb Did u revisit the idea? In interview u say u thought about it for BIO3 o i.imgur.com/GFcLXjF.jpg.
- Edge, Issue #102 (2001), p.30.
- @PG_kamiya (29 September 2013). 最初はバイオ3だったけどバイオ1.9（仮称）チームの作品がバイオ3にナンバリングされることになったのでウチがバイオ4になってそれがDMCになった…RT @izumi69s dmc1がbio4の開発中に出れたゲームで記憶していです。しかし他の人からdmc1がbio3の開発中に出たと.
- Minoru Funatsu (April 11, 2001). カプコン、深作欣二監督を招き「クロックタワー3」を制作. GAME Watch. Impress Watch Corporation. Retrieved on July 8, 2010.
- Devil May Cry Graphic Edition. Kadokawa Shoten. December 2001. ISBN 978-4-04-707071-4.
- @PG_kamiya (2010-09-19). But in the 1st plot the hero's name was Tony..
- Hideki Kamiya (July 2001). 背景. Devil May Cry Column. Capcom Co., Ltd.. Retrieved on July 17, 2010.
- James Mielke (August 18, 2006). Retro/Active: Hideki Kamiya – The Okami Family Tree. 1UP.com. UGO Entertainment, Inc.. Archived from the original on 2011-08-05. Retrieved on July 20, 2008.
- Douglass C. Perry (May 17, 2001). E3 2001: Interview with Shinji Mikami. IGN. Retrieved on July 20, 2008.
- @PG_kamiya (2010-09-22). No, almost the same RT @ashukan_san: @PG_kamiya DMC had a few characters. I wonder were there more characters in your first plot Biohazard4?.
- @PG_kamiya (2010-09-20). She was a hero's mother only in the first plot. RT @ashukan_san @PG_kamiya If she's not Eva, who is she then? what's her name?.
- @PG_kamiya (2010-09-19). Hero's father in a 1st plot,I think. RT @ashukan_san @PG_kamiya who is this guy in yourBiohazard4.
- @PG_kamiya (2010-09-19). Hmm...I don't remember,sorry...RT @ashukan_san @PG_kamiya Can you please tell me his name.
- @PG_kamiya (2010-09-19). Oh, now I remember. His name was Lord Spencer..
- New From Capcom: Devil May Cry. IGN (November 15, 2000). Retrieved on July 17, 2010.
- @PG_kamiya: Wanted the name similar to "Redfield"
- @PG_kamiya: No. But young Dante might think to borrow the name from whom he respected.