Acre was the first level of Dante's Inferno.
Acre (Akko) was a city in Northern Israel, once under the control of the sultan of Egypt and Syria, Saladin. The Muslim occupation of Saladin in the Holy Land was considered an abomination and a Crusade was launched against him in order to reclaim it in 1189 A.D. Among the Crusaders sent are Dante and Francesco (The brother of Dante's fiancee, Beatrice). Under King Richard I of England, the Crusaders are successful in launching a siege against Acre, capturing the city.
While in Acre, Dante and Francesco watched over civilian hostages that are being held prisoner under the orders of King Richard. While on watch, Dante became increasingly frustrated with his duty and succumbed to temptation when a Slave Girl offered him "comfort" in exchange for her freedom and for her "brother". In doing so, Dante broke the vow of chastity that he made to Beatrice before he left for the Crusades. He freed the Slave Girl and her brother, but Dante's darker tendencies began to worsen as time went by.
During an attack on Acre, many prisoners escaped and Dante was forced to kill them all. It was later revealed that Dante deliberately slaughtered the 3,000 hostages, infuriated with guarding them as negotiations for their release dragged out, regarding all of them as nothing, but soulless heathens. When he returned, the horrified Richard demanded to know who murdered the hostages. To protect his future brother-in-law despite the evil that he did, Francesco offered himself in Dante's place as the culprit, allowing Dante a chance to flee. Francesco was hung for the murders.
After killing several people at the beginning of the game, a boat crashed into the area where Dante was, allowing him to advance into the Citadel of Acre. Here, Dante was stabbed from behind by an unknown assailant and encountered Death. Dante refused to give in to Death and the two began to battle. This level was completed once the player defeated Death and took his Scythe.
- The opening level of the game was loosely based upon the historical Massacre at Acre during the Third Crusade in 1191. Nearly a month after Acre surrendered to the Crusaders, negotiations between Richard I and Saladin for the release of the prisoners broke down and Richard ordered the execution of the 2,700 to 3,000 soldiers of the garrison that surrendered to the Crusaders. In response, Saladin executed all of the Christian prisoners in his possession. This event made the Siege of Acre one of the bloodiest events of the Third Crusade.
- This is the only level where the player uses the Halberd.
- Killing the first prisoner encountered in this area earned the achievement "Slaughter at Acre".
- During his journey into Hell, the ferryman, Charon hinted to Dante what happened to him at Acre. When Dante offered his life and soul to find Beatrice, Charon answered, "You fool. Those belonged to us already." However, the conversation was cut short as Dante was forced to board Charon's boat to go further into the infernal realm. Dante never understood the full truth of his situation until he was compelled to revisit his heinous sins and finally confront Lucifer who revealed that Dante actually died at the hands of the mysterious assailant who stabbed him: The Slave Girl's "brother" which was in truth her husband.