Demon Points are a hidden mechanic in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain used for determining the player's "morality." Demon Points are increased for immoral actions and decreased for moral ones. Demon Points are obtained in essentially the opposite way in which Heroism points are obtained, except that none are accrued via mission/side-op completions. When enough Demon Points are obtained, Venom Snake's horn will grow and eventually he will visually become Demon Snake.
Obtaining or reducing Demon Points results in Venom Snake taking one of three forms:
- Normal: This is the default appearance for Snake and can be re-obtained by reducing Demon Points below 40,000.
- Horned Snake: This form appears after obtaining 20,000 points, the first time. It is distinguished by the metal shard in Venom Snake's head growing significantly to resemble a horn. If the player returns to 'Normal' form after becoming Horned Snake, the player will return to Horned Snake after 40,000 Demon Points from then on.
- Demon Snake: This form appears after obtaining 50,000 points, the first time. It is distinguished by the metal shard in Venom Snake's head growing significantly longer then even Horned Snake and by Snake becoming permanently covered in blood. If the player returns to 'normal form' after becoming Horned Snake, they will return to Horned Snake only after obtaining 80,000 Demon Points in total.
Demon Points can be obtained and removed in a variety of ways. Unlike Heroism, no Demon Points are awarded or removed for completion of objectives. However, anything that results in losing demon points resulting in gaining that much in Heroism. Therefore, keeping track of how much Heroism is gained for the list of actions below is a good way to measure how many demon points the player lost.
Earning Demon Points
- +20 - Fail the Fulton extraction of an animal.
- +20 - Kill an animal.
- +30 - Critically wound an enemy soldier.
- +40 - Kill an animal using fire damage.
- +60 - Fail the Fulton extraction of an enemy soldier.
- +60 - Kill an enemy soldier.
- +60 - Lose a Diamond Dogs staff member held hostage by aborting mission 22 (+60 each).
- +75 - Destroy D-Walker.
- +90 - Kill a Diamond Dogs staff member held hostage.
- +100 - Kill a prisoner.
- +120 - Kill a critically wounded enemy soldier.
- +120 - Kill an enemy soldier using fire damage.
- +150 - Destroy a support helicopter.
- +150 - Critically wound D-Dog, D-Horse or Quiet.
- +180 - Kill a Diamond Dogs staff member.
- +180 - Kill a Diamond Dogs staff member held hostage using fire damage.
- +200 - Kill a prisoner using fire damage.
- +50,000 - Develop a nuclear weapon.
Removing Demon Points
- -30 - Fulton extract a common animal, puppet soldier, or Parasite Unit member.
- -60 - Fulton extract a rare animal, Diamond Dogs staff member, or a prisoner.
- -60 - Extract a puppet soldier, a critically wounded enemy, or Quiet via helicopter.
- -120 - Fulton extract a very rare animal, an extremely rare animal, or a child soldier.
- -120 - Extract a VIP, a prisoner, or a Diamond Dogs staff member via helicopter.
- -240 - Extract a child soldier via helicopter.
- -300 - Visit the Animal Conservation Platform.
- -1,000 - Dispose of a nuclear weapon.
- -1,000 - Earn the "Cry Havoc" or "Speechless" trophy.
- -5,000 - Earn the "Cleared", "Trusty Steed", "Man's Best Friend", "War Buddy", or "Reminiscence" trophy.
- -10,000 - Earn the "Conservation" trophy.
- -30,000 - Dispose of ten nuclear weapons.
The best way to reduce Demon Points is Mission 23, The White Mamba, which will yield a minimum of -2760 demon points if the player extracts all 20 child soldiers and the prisoner via Fulton, resulting in -2460 Demon Points plus another -240 for helicopter extracting Eli. The most efficient way to decrease Demon Points is to Fulton every soldier except for the ones near Eli, which will be extracted via helicopter, resulting in -240 per child soldier. The Hand of Jehuty can speed this process up by pulling child soldiers to Venom Snake rather than having to run and carrying them to the helicopter.
Theoretically, 5160 Demon Points can be lost if every child soldier and the prisoner was extracted via helicopter. But some child soldiers are distanced too far from a landing site and will result in the player wasting more than they would have if they did the mission twice with Fulton extracting every single child soldier.
- The minimum number of Demon Points is 0 (it cannot go into negatives).
- Episode 43: Shining Lights, Even in Death requires the player to kill 29 staff members for a total of 5,220 Demon Points.
- The cinematic after completing Episode 43: Shining Lights, Even in Death shows Venom Snake in demon form, even if the player has not actually acquired enough Demon Points to attain the form themselves. He will return to normal following the cutscene. In addition both Episode 46: Truth and Episode 51: Kingdom of the Flies show Snake seeing his reflection to be that of Demon Snake.
- If the player is Demon Snake, there may be a conversation heard between two soldiers around Mother Base. One soldier will remark how Snake's been fighting like a demon, killing people left and right but the other soldier will defend Venom Snake, saying it only shows how much he cares for the men he lost.
- When the player returns to Mother Base as Demon Snake, the first soldier who sees him will have a slight fear in his tone, but his morale will still be raised.
- Enemies can be permanently incapacitated and Demon Points can be avoided by using indirect kills.