Sparda is an immensely powerful demon, both hailed and despised in his home universe as the "Legendary Dark Knight". A former general of Mundus, and counted amongst the Prince of Demons' most powerful warriors, Sparda "woke up to justice" and turned against his master approximately two thousand years in the past, defeating Mundus and his legions almost single-handedly. Since being brought to Genesis by the power of the Downward Spiral, Sparda has reunited with friends from his home universe, made many new allies, and become embroiled in a bitter quest to foil the deadly mission of the Arashi.
In his human disguise, Sparda is a tall, handsome man with blue eyes, a young face, and slicked-back white hair. He is most commonly clad in a purple Victorian outfit with a white cravat, a large red jewel around his neck, and a monocle over his left eye.
In his true form, Sparda is a slightly-larger-than-human-sized, vaguely insectoid demon with clawed hands, a scaly hide, a pair of downward facing ram horns, chiropteran wings with beetle-like wings underneath, hooves for feet, and reptilian spines protruding from his back. Parts of his body appear to be made of grey scales with accents of red and purple. He also had gold veins on his hands and arms, chest, shoulders and back, a diamond shaped red gem in the center of his chest, and skull-shaped gold knees and elbow guards with small horns. His most notable feature are his slit-like, pupilless eyes, which glow red. Anecdotal records have often depicted him wreathed in fire.
So articulate and well-spoken is Sparda, refined to an almost aristocratic degree of eloquence, that one would be hard-pressed to find a personal similarity between him and his youngest son. Making the mistake of angering him, however, makes it very clear from whom Dante inherited his smart mouth and rebellious streak. In a way, Sparda could be described as a combination of the polar opposite demeanours of his twin sons, possessing Vergil’s façade of icy distance and Dante’s flippant, laid-back attitude all at once. Underlying it all, though, is an iron-clad sense of honour that will not stand for any kind of injustice and an awe-inspiring determination to stand unbowed in defence of his ideals against any evil that would challenge him.
Sparda was once one of Mundus's loyal generals. During his time in service, he was the mentor of the twin brothers Baul & Modeus, and he entrusted his teachings to Modeus. At some point he saw the tyranny and injustice of his master and rebelled, fighting to save humanity. Before his rebellion, he made a pact with his students to live true to their aspirations and to carry them out. He alone defeated the hellish host, before moving on to the Emperor of Darkness himself. Sparda defeated Mundus, sealing him into a marble vault , and what was left of Mundus's armies retreated back into the demon world. In order to close the gateway, Sparda used his own blood, along with the blood of a human priestess, in conjunction with his sword and a mystical amulet. He poured his demonic energy into his beloved sword to close the door between realms, the Temen-ni-gru, though this also robbed him of the lion's share of his abilities. As an added measure, he also imprisoned within the tower its gatekeepers, Cerberus, Agni & Rudra, Nevan, Beowulf and Leviathan, and took the names of the Seven Sins in order to imprison them and set them as seals keeping the Temen-ni-gru underground. He also sealed another path to hell in Fortuna using the Yamato. Sparda's activities over the next two thousand years are shrouded in legend, though it is understood that for a time after defeating Mundus, he ruled over the humans before eventually vanishing. Sparda later appeared in the twentieth century where he met and fell in love with a human woman named Eva, who bore him twin sons - Dante and Vergil.
Very much at the height of his awesome power, Sparda possesses a body capable of feats far beyond even demons of moderate strength. The true upper limits of his strength, speed, agility, reflexes and endurance are simply not known, nor has the Dark Knight ever been pushed to them in combat; but he has demonstrated enough strength to collapse whole buildings with a single mighty strike, enough speed to traverse distances in excess of two hundred metres nigh-instantaneously and a natural healing factor fast enough to heal small wounds almost as soon as they are inflicted and even regenerate entire lost limbs with little discomfort. His mind is also honed to razor-sharpness, allowing him to perceive even the most masterfully constructed illusions and resist any form of mental attack.
Sparda can harness his demonic power to create portals to travel long distances. These portals manifest as swirling clouds of purple and black smoke. Anybody in the vicinity can travel through them; Sparda has even been known to use them to divert an opponent’s attack harmlessly away or redirect his own attacks to strike an enemy from impossible angles.
Perhaps Sparda‘s most versatile and destructive weapon is his ability to channel his demonic power in order to launch devastating blasts of energy at a target. The only limitation to the ways in which he can manifest these blasts is his imagination; enemies can face anything from crescent-shaped waves from his sword and charged shots from his guns to enormous cylindrical beams and torrential arrow-like barrages. He can even condense it into solid constructs, creating platforms, shields and blunt-force attacks.
The evolution of Sparda’s powers has spawned this devastating new ability. Sparda is able to channel his power to form any kind of melee weapon from thin air, and in as many numbers as he pleases. These weapons can take any form: swords, spears, daggers, axes, maces, whips, you name it. The only limitation is that he can only create melee weapons. Nonetheless, even that stipulation still allows for almost endless possibilities; whether throwing a single opponent off-balance with a disjointed myriad of weapons, or slaughtering innumerable foes with a storm of blades so massive it blocks out the sun's light. Once formed, these weapons take on a physical structure, rather than remaining as spectral, energy-based constructs, but can just as easily be reduced to the demonic energy from which they are formed. Because they are constructed from his demonic energy, he can manipulate them from a distance as if telekinetically moving them, and this allows him to wield any number of weapons at once.
Having absorbed a fragment of Amoura Ethelia's soul, Sparda can harness her vampiric powers, though the fusion with his own power has augmented them to dark new levels of strength and given rise to new techniques with a demonic twist. He can entrap foes in frighteningly realistic illusions, bordering on the mind-breaking morbidity of the Nightmare; rip the souls out of slain enemies, obtaining their knowledge and memories and thereafter summoning them as familiars to aid in battle; shapeshift to an unknown degree of proficiency, even transforming parts of his body; manipulate shadows into physical form and teleport through them; manipulate weather to an unknown degree of control; and manipulate objects as small as bullets and large as whole buildings through telekinesis.
The Waking NightmareEdit
Hoping to use it as a weapon against the Arashi and any other foes, Sparda voluntarily had Amoura infect him with the Waking Nightmare, a nigh-unbreakable illusionary ability derived from the power of the First Aspect, Veran, to bend reality to his will in order to torture and break the minds of his victims. At first assailed by horrifying visions, as all infectees were, the Dark Knight was able to overcome these surprisingly quickly. The power of the illusions he can weave is so incredibly great, he seems to be warping reality itself just as Veran can, assaulting his foes with subtle mind tricks and terrifying hallucinations alike - all of which seem entirely real to the victim.
- (To Maya) "At least give me your name, dear nosferatu... so that the grave my pet regurgitates you into doesn't go unmarked."
- (To Clash) "Go take a trek through hell, send their father packing into exile with no help of any kind, then come back and tell me you deserve some congratulations."
- (To Maricul) "Save the mind games for someone who'll play them, harlot."
- (Referring to Hami Morgan)"Who the hell was that old coot?"
- (Speaking to Tajna Rasha)"If you've come to gloat, save your breath. I have better things to do with my time than be condescended by a ghost."
- (at Sazan and Michael's wedding)"You know what the difference is between us and the tailor's mannequins, gentlemen? We make these suits look good."
- (Regarding Miracle's repelled attack on the Downward Spiral)"Such a bittersweet victory. Let's hope this bloodshed was worth it."
- (To Edie)"So the gender-bent facsimile's come to the party. Still out to prove yourself superior to the original, little girl?"
- (After the battle of Aircano)"...I'm going to need a stiff drink after all this."
- In contrast to his role being limited to a legend in the Devil May Cry saga, and his sons the main characters of the games, Sparda is prominently more active than any other character from his respective series on Dead on Arrival.