Limbo is a twisted supernatural dimension that exists parallel to Earth in DmC: Devil May Cry. This strange and twisting world is controlled by the demons and it is the seat of their power.
Limbo is a twisted parody of the environment and locales of Limbo City, while many of the areas still roughly maintain the same physical build and outline as they do in the human world. The appearance of Limbo tends to vary from location to location. Typically when entered the color palate of the world is enriched and greater variety is added to the color spectrum. Living beings in the real world appear as phantoms in Limbo. There seems to be a constant wind blowing in Limbo that is filled with particle effects. Its appearance can vary dramatically with twisted buildings, massive oceans, floating statues and even an inverted city. This variety is potentially caused by the demon controlling that particular area.
The exact nature of Limbo is difficult to describe at this time. Initially it was seen as a distorted and warped version of the human world, but latter stages seem to reveal something more. In one instance Dante dives off a bridge into the water below, but instead seems to crash through into Limbo itself, where everything is inverted, making Limbo a true distorted reflection of the City.
Malice and Demonic Control
Instances of demonic control are everywhere but are most pronounced when the world itself tries to kill or otherwise impede Dante, using a power called "Malice," which all powerful demons can seemingly wield. The city (or the demons controlling it) has the power to smash walls together, close alleys, manipulate gravity, and tear up streets, leaving bottomless pits. It also spawns enemies to kill intruders like Dante as a body would send white blood cells to kill an infection. It is unclear how these changes within the demon dimension affect the human facade, but it is shown that Dante causes severe damage to the human dimension as he exits Limbo. Demons use the damage wreaked by Dante in his struggles with them as opportunities to depict the young man as a terrorist, destroying property for no discernible reason, as only he is visible during their battles.
The Demons constantly watch the populace through CCTV cameras which are revealed to be eyes on long stalks in Limbo. These, along with powerful demons, are responsible for pulling Dante into the parallel world and trapping him there. This forces Dante to kill them to remove impassable barriers as he progresses through the city until he can find a way out, possibly requiring the help of a powerful psychic like Kat to locate them.
The source of demonic power in Limbo seems to be coming from one individual who knew Dante's father, Sparda. It is currently unknown if the demons are native to Limbo or if they merely occupy it. Either way, they hold dominion over the dimension and use it to control the human world. Here the lies and propaganda the demons spread are revealed - an ad for "Candie's" hamburgers becomes "GLUTTONY IS GOOD" and "Home Loans for You" billboards become "HOMELESS FOR YOU." Words such as these seem to appear without reason to subliminally mislead humans, while they also appear across surfaces taunting and whispering to Dante, as if the city itself were mocking him.
Malice also seems to hold sway over the digital world, as Bob Barbas of the Raptor News Network is able to manipulate the airwaves directly, forcing Dante to traverse the opening reel graphics of his television program, while Barbas is able to manifest himself as a distorted hologram that can interact with physical forces.
Lilith, Mundus' prized mistress and prominent owner of the Devil's Dalliance nightclub, able to warp the physical reality of her club by changing the floors and walls, and altering the colors and lights and airwaves of the club scenery into however she wishes. Dante enter the Limbo version of Devil's Dalliance via the power of both Lilith and Spotters, former humans who became demons.
Whether humans or demon/angel hybrids can control Limbo is currently unknown. Trailers have shown Kat seeing and communicating with Dante in Limbo, and locating exit points for him, but little beyond this suggests an ability to manipulate the terrain as demons can. This could be because as a medium she can see and hear into the metaphysical realm, while the demons' manipulation of Malice otherwise allows them to affect it. A recent trailer shows Kat using a device to open a portal to Limbo for Dante to enter, and subsequently manipulate the gravity of the area to allow Dante passage.
Recent gameplay has shown Dante exerting some for of control of the demons in Limbo whenever he activates his Devil Trigger. In this case the world is shown to become monochromatic and smaller enemies seem to float in the air, making it easier for Dante to chain combos off of them without fear of attack. Whether this manipulation is a conscious manipulation of the world like Malice or merely a side-effect of Dante's Devil Trigger is currently unknown.
It seems that human souls can become trapped in Limbo, as evidenced by entities called "Lost Souls" in a recent trailer as well as several anguished shades seen by Dante, that are the souls of people trapped in Limbo. An injured Kat is also taken into Limbo at some point, possibly meaning that anyone can be pulled in, under certain circumstances.
- In Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy, Limbo is the first circle of Hell that Dante and Virgil enter. Limbo is portrayed as being an area where virtuous pagans reside in. Although the virtuous pagans in Limbo are shown to be good-natured individuals compared to the heretics of the sixth circle of Hell, their lack of Christian faith prevented them from entering Paradiso. This seems to parallel the lost souls found in the Limbo dimension
- Tameem Antoniades, the creative director at Ninja Theory, stated during a livestream Q&A that one of the main inspirations for demons controlling society through an alternate dimension was the 1988 John Carpenter movie "They Live", which he also cited as one of his favorite films.
- Gameplay demos have revealed that Limbo seems to be inhabited by spider-like creatures that so far have not been identified. They do not appear to be dangerous to Dante as they tend to flee at his approach. Dante is able to shoot them for Red Orbs, hinting that they may be demonic in origin.
- Whether or not Angels can manipulate Limbo like Demons do is unknown as the only angel shown in game is Dante's mother Eva and only during Dante's flashbacks. While it is conceivable that they can, the method by which they do this would probably not be called "Malice". Given that Dante's Angel powers seem to affect him and Demon powers affect the world, the question remains open.