The main character of the game. Bayonetta is a witch who has lost her memories after being awoken 20 years ago from a 500-year slumber at the bottom of a lake. Her goal in the game is to regain her memory of who she was.
Action Girl: Probably the most memorable female protagonist in an action game in quite some time, barring one or two examples. However...
Meaningful Name: You get "Bayonetta" by adding "T and A" to "Bayonet", which is a melee weapon attached to a gun, which mirrors Bayonetta's fighting style nicely.
Ms. Fanservice: The sheer amount of Fanservice here gives you an idea. Hell, the only problem her creator had when Rule 34 kicked in was that she was usually submissive in it - once she started being dominant, he had no complaints. It's also probably telling that when Platinum designed Bayonetta's Link-inspired costume with an undershirt for the Updated Re-release, Nintendo of all people said it would be a good idea to get rid of the undershirt because it would've otherwise been out of character.
Biker Babe: While she doesn't really ride a bike for much of the game, when she does, it's hot, and awesome.
Jiggle Physics: Surprisingly, her breasts are actually pretty much under control during the game. Her butt, however... Dayumn!
Male Gaze: Because you can never have enough mentions about how much her ass is shown.
Sexy Spectacles: during initial design stages, Sega executives really didn't like that Bayonetta wears eyeglasses. In protest, Kamiya gave spectacles or some eyewear to every single character in the game.
Up to Eleven: Can be thought of as Dante Up To Eleven. For example, Dante has a pair of musically themed pistols: Ebony and Ivory. Bayonetta has four: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, collectively known as "Scarborough Fair"
Distaff Counterpart: She is kinda similar to Dante she has white hair and dressed in red she even rescues Bayonetta and freed her from Jubileus just like on how Dante rescues Nero and freed him from The Savior
Evil Twin: To Bayonetta, from fighting styles, to clothes, to glasses. No family relation, though.
Bayonetta: Who are you? And don't tell me you're my long lost sister or something.
Fluffy Fashion Feathers: Not on her outfit, but rather, she has massive feather tassels hanging off of the ends of her two guns. The concept artist, Mari Shimazaki, put them there to accentuate her movements, much like Bayonetta's long hair. They vanish inexplicably when she changes into her identical-to-Bayonetta's leather costume during their last battle.
The fan wiki speculates that the feathers are from Angels that Jeanne has slain.
The feathers are meant to be reminiscent of moth antennae. Look at their placement when Jeanne transforms into a beast or a bird. They also contrast with Bayonetta's hair ribbons, which are meant to be reminiscent of butterfly antennae.
The Rival: Oddly enough, doesn't resent her status at all. Even though Bayonetta defeated her on the night of her own coronation, Jeanne still works tirelessly to save Bayonetta's life once the Witch Hunts begin.
Spanner in the Works: Jeanne is responsible for derailing Father Balder's plan, because he didn't count on her snapping out of her brainwashing and saving Bayonetta.
Rosa was an Umbra Witch and Bayonetta's mother. She conceived Bayonetta when she fell in love with a Lumen Sage called Father Balder. When Bayonetta was born, Rosa and Balder were punished greatly by their respective clans. This was because a child born of darkness and light would ultimately undo the age-old pact between the overseers. Rosa was imprisoned for the rest of her life.
Horrible Judge of Character: She fell in love with a monster who eventually killed her and who went on to instigate the witch hunt that led to the near-complete eradication of the Umbra Witches.
However the movie reveals that she and Balder genuinely loved one another, as it was being unable to be with her that made him into the psychopath we know. Her last words to Cereza were to beg her to save her father from his madness.
"In your wickedness, you have broken the ancient commandments and crafted a bond with one of the light. Our laws are clear. They demand you be eternally imprisoned. As for the impure child, she must be kept from the path of the dark arts forever!"
- Umbran Elder
At the beginning of the game, the Umbran Elder lectures Rosa and Balder about their law-breaking. Possibly Jeanne's mother.
Blatant Lies: "The child must be kept from the dark arts forever." Whoopsie, messed that one up!
A demon taking the form of a woman who left this world under unfortunate circumstances, only to be reincarnated in hell. Unlike her beautiful, swallowtail butterfly-like appearance, this demon is particularly brutal, and her reputation is well known even amongst the denizens of Inferno.
Queen of the River Styx, the boundary between humanity and Hades, Madama Styx is said to be a moth living within the human world. These insects, born from the magical power that flows from a woman's body, are charged with luring the souls of sinners into Inferno.
A monstrous creature hailing from the demonic wood, Johnson Forest. Taking the form of a dragon, it is incredibly fierce, identifying all that moves as game and devouring it's prey. Territorial, it is most likely to be found alone.
An enigmatic raven-black bird shrouded in the mysteries of the sky. Ever curious, Malphas has filled itself with all the world's knowledge and mysteries. However, this same curiosity has led to a rather brutal demeanor, causing the bird to tear those it encounters to shreds with its sharp beak and razor-like talons.
A vile centipede hailing from Frejentonta, a river of boiling blood in the depths of Inferno, rumors speak of it's body exceeding ten kilometers in length. Moving unlike anything its size, its deftness allows it to wrap around and constrict its prey in the blink of an eye.
Phantasmaraneae nests upon a sea of magma, deep within the furthest reaches of Inferno. Rarely seen upon the face of the Earth, even sightings of the demon in hell are a seldom event, leading to its name, which means phantom spider.
Expy: of the boss Phantom from the first Devil May Cry.
Giant Spider: Gets summoned twice. The first time it is slightly larger than the battleship-sized Sapientia. The second time it is large enough to swallow Sapientia whole.
The Infernal Bad Boys, loyal to Little King Zero. Summoned by using the Infernal Communicator Bayonetta is able to temporarily contract the "Little Devils," calling upon their power to attack her foes.
When the cosmos was split into light, darkness and chaos in between, the incredibly powerful Sheba was born alongside the darkness controlling the world of Inferno. As she lives in the hellish land, and is often classified as a demon; however, the full details of her existence are unknown.
Evil Twin: She is basically this to Jubileus, although she is much, much, much bigger. Much more powerful too − she effortlessly punches God's soul from Pluto to the sun. And if her file is to be believed, this is only a tiny portion of her real power. Good thing the enemy in the game is not Inferno, really.
But considering Inferno becomes an enemy in Bayonetta 2, this might be a serious problem.
Anti-Villain: Type II and III in Bloody Fate, where he is shown to have been driven mad from past experiences (namely losing Rosa) and is something of a Well-Intentioned Extremist, his reasons to basically cause omnicide being out of a misguided desire to make a better world. Notably, Bayonetta's opinion of him in the movie is more pity than disgust, unlike the game.
Although he only appears in a small segment, his voice is present throughout the whole game, you just don't know who it is until you meet him.
Climax Boss: In more ways than one. He meets all the criteria of the trope in the sense that he is fought after a hefty heaping of plot-twisting exposition, and the fight itself is overwhelmingly dramatic in every sense of the word - you're falling off the top of an impossibly high tower, headbutting skyscrapers at him and playing catch with a satellite. You have to hammer him with no less than three Climax attacks before he finally suffers a Critical Existence Failure. He can also be fought on Non-Stop Infinite Climax difficulty, while wearing the Climax bracelet. Needless to say, like everything else, this game takes the trope Up to Eleven.
My, Oh, My: He says this after he realizes that Jeanne's action of pulling Bayonetta from the Jubileus statue not only foiled his century-long plans, but would eventually unleash an insane deity on the universe... because Oh Crap wouldn't meet his standards of hammy theatrics.
No Sell: All of your summons do literally no damage to so much as his clothing before he kills them.
Star-Crossed Lovers: With Rosa, as the movie shows. The fact that the world drove them apart eventually drove him mad, causing him to try and destroy it and remake it anew. His final moments as Sheba kills Jubileus has him longingly calling out for Rosa.
Tragic Villain: Bloody Fate explains his motivations as being driven to madness by being seperated from Rosa as well as from the "injustices" of the world.
Villain with Good Publicity: He credits the visible opulence of Isla Del Sol to his leadership skills. He's probably right in that regard, though of course he doesn't make it publicly known that his ultimate goal is to destroy everything.
The Four Cardinal Virtues
Fortitudo, Temperantia, Iustitia and Sapientia are the embodiments of The Four Cardinal Virtues and serve as Paradiso's generals and effectual leaders in Jubileus's absence. Their main objective is to bring their beloved creator back at any cost, and aren't above making use of their nature bending powers to do so.
Affably Evil/Faux Affably Evil: Mostly evident with Fortitudo and Temperantia - the Cardinals were very kind and polite as they addressed the heroine. However, as they were dragged down into Inferno, they chose to spend their last breathes giving Bayonetta one final curse: "May Jubileus, the Creator, grace you!"
Bilingual Bonus: Their names mean Courage, Temperance, Justice, and Prudence in Latin.
Climax Boss: Not as much as Balder, but the fights against each of them is a chapter in and of itself.
Co-Dragons: As mentioned above, the four acted as the generals of Jubileus' army in Paradiso.
Colossus Climb: Although not played totally straight, Bayonetta must get onto Temperantia's body to attack the joints of his arms, and run along Iustitia's tentacles to strike their roots.
Dying Curse: The seemingly benevolent "May Jubileus, the Creator, grace you!" that all the Cardinal Virtues roar at Bayonetta as they die is actually this. Jubileus "gracing" anything will result in the utter destruction of everything in every universe and reality, so they're really just saying "Go to hell!" in their own way.
Early-Bird Cameo: Fortitudo appears on the short introductory fight and in subsequent flashbacks before confronting Bayonetta in the actual game's present.
Gender-Blender Name: Being named after abstract concepts in Latin, Temperantia, Iustitia, and Sapientia are all given feminine names, yet the Laguna guide (when it uses pronouns) refers to all of them as male.
Motor Mouth: Fortitudo. The cutscene prior to the actual Boss Battle against him opens with him talking to himself about cryptic things and Bayonetta needing to draw his attention to her by shooting at him. Then she has to shoot him in the face to interrupt him again twice when he tries to go off on long involved rants about her before the boss battle can actually begin. While this would apply to all the Virtues as far as Bayonetta is concerned, he's definitely the worst of the lot in this regard.
Although prior to the battle with Iustitia, it does not utter a single word, and only starts talking after its defeat.
Holy Halo: Seeing as how he is a fallen angel, it's only natural that he'd sport one of these. In a rather intimidating twist, the halo around his head is the same halo that Jubileus (i.e. God) herself wears.
Nintendo Hard: He practically takes this trope to levels few still living can imagine, especially when you have the Gaze of Despair equipped when fighting him.
Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: In a game crammed full with this trope, this guy's variations are the most impressive. His most frequently used technique involves pummeling you about half a dozen times in the space of a second. One of his grab techniques involves hitting you so many times in a single instant that the game doesn't even bother rendering them - all you get is a white screen and the sound of a savage beating, which is a reference to Akuma's Raging Demon. It also really hurts.
Perhaps most notable is him surviving being left a missile during Bayonetta's fight with Jeanne, and he still got away and survived. Bayonetta is as shocked by this as the player.
Another case we have is Balder tosses him out of the top window of his skyscraper, and the next time we see Luka, he doesn't have a scratch on him.
Badass Normal: Granting he never does any fighting and would probably be dead if the angels were trying to kill him, but the fact that keeps managing to get to areas of the game before Bayonetta even though he has nothing but a Grappling-Hook Pistol and keeps surviving absolutely absurd life or death situations without so much as a scratch on him should count for something. Even Bayonetta is impressed by that.
Butt Monkey: Comes with the territory of being a Muggle amongst the cast. He doesn't have it nearly as bad as Enzo though.
He's an Iron Butt Monkey, however, to the point where he should be suspected of possessing quantum immortality...
Distracted by the Sexy: He will often start conversations swearing he will destroy Bayonetta, then start ogling some particularly attractive body part of hers, lose his train of thought, segue into sexual innuendo, then remember he's supposed to not like her by the end of the conversation.
Freudian Excuse: There is something odd about seeing a really hot woman kill your father, then spending the rest of your life chasing after her, but also flirting with her a ton and being a general Handsome Lech.
Friend to All Children: He and Cereza get along very well. Cereza's fondness for him stayed with her as she eventually grew up into Bayonetta.
Morality Pet: Not the extent of Cereza, but Bayonetta does not like to see him seriously hurt. That and she finds his antics amusing.
Motive Rant: Most of his dialogue. Subverted in that he can't seem to decide what his motive is himself, leading to the comical sight of him constantly switching motives, sometimes from one sentence to another.
A Scary Black Man who serves as Bayonetta's shopkeeper with the Gates of Hell bar. He's also apparently a fallen angel, cast out of Paradiso.
Badass: So much so that the rulers of Paradiso are apparently terrified of him. He IS the game's Bonus Boss after all. The prologue provides some decent evidence in case the player wouldn't buy the rumors; He takes a coffin over the head without even flinching, then scares off a group of angel by shouting at them.
When he turns back into Father Rodin, his halo is the same as Jubileus. Think about it. In the angel hierarchy, he's UP THERE WITH GOD HERSELF.
The Blacksmith: Though not in the traditional sense of the word. Whenever you bring him LP's, he teleports into the bowels of Inferno and plays the angelic music recorded on the disc, summoning demons to him like moths to a flame. He then defeats the demons and uses their spiritual essence to forge new weapons for Bayonetta. The Laguna text claims that Rodin's skills as a smith were legendary even amongst the echelons of Heaven, and that he often crafted weapons which struck terror into the hearts of The Legions of Hell.
Bonus Boss: You can buy an item that will cost enough Halos to turn him back into Father Rodin.
Holy Halo: Seeing as how he is a fallen angel, it's only natural that he'd sport one of these when you return him to his true form. In a rather intimidating twist, the halo around his head is the same halo that Jubileus (i.e. God) herself wears.
Lightning Bruiser: Especially when you have the Gaze of Despair equipped. Rodin has ridiculous amounts of health, insane damage output, unbelievable attack speed - all the criteria you'd tend to associate with the Bonus Boss gets cranked Up to Eleven here.
Satanic Archetype: Oddly, all of the character art for Rodin in the unlockable extras never uses that name, giving his name as "Mephisto", the name of a German folklore demon most prominently mentioned in the Faust legend and occasionally has been used as another name for the Devil himself. Appropriately, Rodin's role is broadly similar to the traditional devil: a fallen angel who is thwarted and punished from trying to conquer Heaven (and is feared by it) who rules his own "sub-basement" location after his punishment, and jokes about the "deals" he provides Bayonetta.
"You have any idea how much this is going to cost to fix? How the fuck do I always get wrapped up in this shit!?"