|“||You don't deserve to be my sister's slave, let alone her lord! Now pay for what you have done!||”|
Francesco Portinari was Beatrice's younger brother, Dante's best friend, and a Third Crusade veteran. Like Dante, he took up the crusade to reclaim the holy land, unlike most crusaders who just wanted to be absolved. He was with Dante at the Battle of Acre, they both watched prisoners of Acre under the command of Richard the Lionheart. When Dante was "comforted" by the slave girl, Francesco held back her husband from trying to kill Dante.
Francesco keeps arguing with Dante throughout the Crusade about what Dante is doing when it comes to either preserving the slaves in order to make a truce by order of the King or slaughtering them. In an uncontrollable rage, Dante kills them all, believing them to be heretics. When King Richard sees this, he demands the accused to step forward. Francesco takes the fall in order to save his "brother" and is sentenced to be hanged as Dante flees.
Condemned to Hell for his sins during the Crusade, Francesco is deformed into a disfigured human form with half of his face warped into a plantlike appearance, sections of skin removed to reveal muscle tissue, and his armor, which is now made of bone, stitched to his body. Now a demon, he eagerly awaits the opportunity to kill Dante, whom he blames for his descent into demonhood. As a demon, he carries several swords stabbed into his back (symbolizing how he was "stabbed in the back" by Dante) which he uses as melee/projectile weapons. After Dante manages to remove a sword from his heart, Francesco came to his senses and asks why God turned his back on him and the other Crusaders when they did what they had done in his name. Dante explains that killing is never in the name of God, just man and that the Bishop lied to them about being absolved. After telling Dante to use his soul to save Beatrice, Francesco is absolved by Dante.
Francesco fights similarly to the Damned Crusaders, but with new abilities. He mainly fights with a large sword and defends himself with a shield. If Dante stays at range, Francesco can throw a sword at him - by dodging the sword and then grabbing it with his scythe, Dante can throw it back at his former friend, damaging his shield. Two thrown swords will destroy Francesco's shield, leaving him vulnerable to attack - however, he can summon a new shield after a short while.
As he takes damage, Francesco will begin summoning Damned Captains to assist him. If Dante remains close, he will grab Dante and skewer him onto the sword that protrudes from his chest.
Francesco is present in Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic , but his appearance is different from the game: while his body is deformed and plant-like, Francesco not only retains his human form (except he had lost his left eye), but had blond hair and a beard while in the game, his was brown-headed. He is outfitted with a Templar robe and had no sword stuck in his heart.
Like the game, Francesco meets and fights Dante, but is not absolved after being defeated, instead disintigrating into sand, merging with the circle itself. Virgil says that he may rest, but that he is forever linked to the seventh circle. Dante prays to God for Francesco to be freed, but is interrupted by Lucifer, who taunts Dante. It is unknown if Dante's prayers had any effect on Francesco.
- Francesco bears some similarities to the Barbarian King from the God of War video game series.
- Francesco is also very similar to Deimos from the God of War video game series as they both are brothers of the protagonists, they have large beards, they battle in a world with the dead, they attack the protagonists in rage, and eventually they redeem themselves and helps the protagonist later on.
|Death · King Minos · Cleopatra · Marc Antony · Cerberus · Alighiero · Phlegyas · Francesco · Lucifer|