If you’ve read Dante’s Divine Comedy, you know that there’s not much story to the Inferno. A middle-aged man gets chased by some animals and runs until he finds himself in the fire and brimstone section of the Christian afterlife. There, he meets an ancient-writer-turned-tour-guide who promptly takes him on a guided tour. Circle by circle Dante proceeds, Virgil patiently pointing out the inhabitants and finer theological points of each. At no point is there any real sense of urgency or suspense, it’s all just “for those of you on the right side of the boat, if you look out your porthole you’ll see the souls of those who hardly ever called their mothers in life, and those of you on the right, Sonny and Cher!” Obviously, Visceral Studios, the makers of the new video game based on Dante’s Inferno had a lot to improve upon.
So, naturally, they chose to focus the plot instead on Beatrice’s breasts, making a game more accurately titled Dante’s Boobferno.
Now, before I go any further, I know I have a reputation for sometimes using “the sarcasm,” so I want to be real clear here: I am making absolutely none of this up. What follows is the story of the video game Dante’s Inferno, faithfully transcribed.
When we, the gamer, first meet Beatrice’s breasts, they are spilling out of her top, which no doubt sounds titillating, but the titillation is muted somewhat by the fact that the breasts’ owner, the aforementioned Beatrice, has been only recently stabbed to death. The breasts’ owner’s boyfriend, Dante, is quite put out by this sad state of breastly affairs, having just returned from the Third Crusade, during which he spent many a night longing for them. Dante falls to his knees before the breasts, first anguished, then surprised, as Beatrice’s soul comes spilling out of her lips and forms into the shape of a naked glowing woman. While this, too, might sound titillating, again the titillation is muted by the further abuses heaped upon Beatrice’s perfect breasts. In the afterlife, it appears, her breasts have become riddled with dark black veins. And to make matters worse, Satan appears in the form of a man made of smoke, gropes the breasts, and takes both Beatrice and her breasts to Hell.
Luckily, Dante has two magic artifacts to help him retrieve the breasts. The first he found while on Crusade, when he just so happened to meet and murder the Grim Reaper and take his magic scythe as bounty. The second is far more powerful, a golden cross that Beatrice left for him, the selfsame cross she used to hold seductively next to her breasts when she and Dante (and her breasts) made love.
And so Dante is off. He shortly arrives at the gate of Hell, where he is met by a glowing blue ghost with spikes coming out of his head–Virgil, the poet of antiquity–to whom Beatrice’s breasts recently appeared, glowing and veiny, and bid him guide Dante on his quest through Hell. Virgil agrees to the breasts’ request, but, sadly, his only means to aid Dante is by quoting lines from a public domain translation of the original Inferno before disappearing into blue mist. He does this periodically throughout the game, though you can skip him completely if you desire.
Dante journeys through the circles of Hell one-by-one, in the expected order, but before traveling into each, he falls to his knees, clutching his side, seized by the sudden realization that while alive he committed the sin that is punished in the coming circle. Through these revelations, we eventually learn that while on Crusade, Dante was single-handedly responsible for the massacre of all 2,700 Arab captives that Richard the Lionheart took at Acre. He then blamed the whole massacre on Beatrice’s brother and allowed him to be executed in his stead. And to make matters worse, he betrayed his promise to stay true to Beatrice’s breasts by sleeping with an Arab woman in exchange for allowing her brother to go free. Dante’s excuse for all this appears to be that he thought the bishop’s offer of forgiveness for sins in exchange for taking up the cross was a license to sin as much as you want while on Crusade.*
Breezing through Limbo, land of the unbaptized babies with scythes for arms, Dante arrives in the Circle of Lust, where he is heartbroken to learn that Beatrice and Satan are engaged to be married and that her breasts have been put into a new outfit whose decolletage resembles a spiky vaginal opening. Satan gropes the breasts again and whisks them further into Hell.
Still, Dante follows the breasts. But when he arrives outside the city of Dis, things go from bad to worse. Satan reveals to Beatrice the Arab canoodling that Dante got up to on Crusade, which causes her to finally agree to the wedding. She eats a magic pomegranate that Satan hands her, which causes her breasts to begin to glow like hot coals and burn with a fire that does not consume them. Also, she gets a sort of skull-covered corset to hold them up. Beatrice and Satan french kiss for a while, then he scoops her up and takes her further into Hell. Dante is so incensed by this that he stabs his scythe into the head of a really, really big demon and rides the demon down after them.
More circles follow, until Dante arrives in the Circle of Fraud, where Beatrice now rules as a demonic, flaming queen. Also, she has developed a stereotypically evil British accent since they last met. She taunts Dante while he engages in an arena-style series of ten gimmicky challenges. For some reason, jumping through Beatrice’s ten hoops causes her to forgive Dante, which allows her soul and her glowing boobs to ascend to heaven.
That leaves only the matter of punishing Satan for his boobnapping. To make a long story short, we discover that Satan is a little demon that lives inside a very large demon’s stomach (presumably controlling the large demon via a series of pulleys and wires). Dante breaks Lil’ Lucifer out of the big demon shell and stabs him in the chest with Death’s scythe. Hooray!
But wait! It turns out that this was all one big trick. Satan always intended for Dante to get down to Hell. As the wickedest man who ever lived, Dante possesses the power to break Satan free of his imprisonment and allow him to take over THE WORLD muahahahahahahaha!!!!! …somehow. Satan’s kind of vague on the specifics. But our hero Dante will have none of that. He explains matter-of-factly to Satan that on his long journey through Hell he has collected many souls. (Ooops. Forgot to mention that every time Dante kills a demon or one of the damned, they explode like a piñata–a piñata that has souls inside instead of candy. And since Dante kills a bajillion zillion enemies over the course of the game, he’s not bluffing.) And those souls now give him the power to defeat Satan… somehow. He’s kind of vague on the specifics, too. But his chest starts glowing blue, and all the souls fly out like some sort of Care Bear Stare of God’s Holy Redemption and lock the little Satan back inside big Satan and then lock that Satan inside a prison of ice.
Beatrice’s boobs make their final appearance in the game when their owner appears and lifts Dante out of Hell and into a blinding white light**. When the light clears, we see Dante emerge victorious from Hell to the sight of Mount Purgatory. No sooner than you can say ‘to be continued…’ a snake slithers by Dante’s foot and the words ‘to be continued…’ pop up on the screen. Fade to black.
Thus, by the end of the game, you have spent six to eight hours staring at various incarnations of Beatrice’s boobs, with some light platforming and combo-based fighting to break up the monotony. Hell, they even put her boobs on the loading screens and on the title card. And all the save points in the game take the form of naked statues of Beatrice kneeling with a sword between her breasts. And this is not even yet considering Cleopatra, the boss of the Circle of Lust, a giant topless purple woman whose purple boobs have mouths for nipples, mouths which shoot out unbaptised Limbo babies, or the Lust demons, who appear throughout the game and pause in their attacks periodically to stroke their own naked boobs.
You’ve heard of the proverbial devil who’s sick with sin? After playing Dante’s Inferno, I’m a breast man sick of breasts.
*Really, he should have wondered if maybe something was up when he saw that the bishop had fangs and a demonic laugh. Seriously. [BACK]
**Oddly enough, Beatrice’s breasts remain all veiny during this scene, so we must presumably conclude that having dark black veins in your breasts is merely the natural side effect of being a soul that has left its body. Who knew? [BACK]