Bayonetta is a third person action Beat 'em Up in the style of Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden, and God of War, starring the title heroine, a badasswitch with epic hair, guns on her feet, and a fathomless fondness for camp.For millennia, history was overseen by two clans of magicians: the Lumen Sages and the Umbra Witches. Five hundred years ago, the clans erupted into a civil war that ended in the annihilation of the Sages. Not having enough time to recover from the battle, the Witches were quickly hunted to their own extinction by the combined forces of the angelic Laguna of Paradiso and the crazed townspeople of Earth. Twenty years ago, Bayonetta, the (almost) last of the Witches was awakened from a magical coma, and was immediately set upon by the bloodthirsty Laguna. Thankfully her pacts with the demons of Inferno still stand, so she uses her dark powers to hunt the angels down.Waking up from a five-hundred year sleep left her with no idea who she is, so she travels to the European city of Vigrid, whose spiritual make-up is getting uncomfortably close to that of Paradiso. There, she hopes to find the mysterious "Right Eye," the other half of the "Eyes Of The World" broach she possesses. There she meets another Witch named Jeanne who seems to know more about Bayonetta than herself, an Intrepid Reporter named Luka who has a long-lived grudge against her, and a seemingly lost little girl named Cereza. Her memories return progressively as she proceeds through the city while kicking a lot of ass.Its unabashedly sexual themes caused some amount of controversy, but the fact that the game was developed by the formerly dissolved Clover Studios (now reassembled as Platinum Games) and the director of Ōkami (with which Bayonetta shares a character designer, Mari Shimazaki), Devil May Cry, Resident Evil 2, and Viewtiful Joe piqued the interest of many gamers who might otherwise have taken a more cynical stance on the matter.The Xbox 360 version received rave reviews, even becoming the 12th game to ever be awarded a perfect 40 score in Famitsu and the eleventh to receive 10/10 in Edge. The PS3 version has suffered porting issues and has received solid, but not glowing reviews. Spoilers will be marked when possible, but there are still some unmarked spoilers. Now has a character sheet. Contributions are welcomed.At Nintendo's Wii U press conference, it was announced that Nintendo themselves will publish Bayonetta 2 as an exclusive for the Wii U (Sega still owns the property). The release date will be on September 20, 2014 for Japan and October 2014 for everywhere else. In addition, both physical and digital copies of Bayonetta 2 will come packaged with an Updated Re-release of the original Bayonetta, so Wii U owners who never played the original can get up to speed, and get two games for the price of one. note The retail version has it on a separate disk, while the digital version has it as a free digital download from the eShop.An anime movie adaptation, called Bayonetta: Bloody Fate and produced by GONZO, was released in November 2013.Not to be confused with Bullet Witch. Nothing to do with Bayonet Ya either.
The video game features the following tropes:
Achievement System: Achievement/Trophy data is accessible from the in-game menu, where they are referred to as "Umbran Tears of Blood". Other Umbran Tears of Blood are items found in the possession of crows hidden throughout various levels.
Action Mom: Cereza may not be her daughter, but Bayonetta protects her like one.
Subverted when it turns out that Cereza is actually Bayonetta as a child, and Balder is her father. Then he absorbs the younger Bayonetta and becomes the penultimate boss.Zig-Zagging Trope indeed.
Affably Evil: The Cardinal Virtues are generally very polite and respectful when they speak to Bayonetta — certainly more polite and respectful than she is to them.
All There in the Manual: Information about various topics in the game are found in literal manuals that you can pick up on the field and read. Plus there's The Hierachy of Laguna that has info on all the enemies in the game.
Always a Bigger Fish / Summon Bigger Fish: Part of how Bayonetta defeats the below mentioned Jubileus. To put it into perspective, the demon she summons, Queen Sheba, is as huge compared to Jubileus as Jubileus is compared to Bayonetta.
You can also unlock Jeanne and Little King Zero as playable characters. The former can't activate Witch Time as easily and the latter is a Two Hit Point Wonder. Makes the game a bit harder in both cases.
Animorphism: Bayonetta acquires a few shapeshifting abilities: A black panther for enhanced running (and leaping) speed, a crow for limited flight ability, and a swarm of bats for evasion. Jeanne has all these same abilities, except she turns into a lynx instead of a panther, an owl instead of a crow, and moths instead of bats.
Apocalypse How: Balder wants to instigate this in order to reunite the Trinity of Realities, which in turn, would destroy all life in the current universe to do so. This makes this a Class X-5.
Arc Words: "May Jubileus, the Creator, grace you!" This is said by all the Cardinal Virtues Bayonetta faces, and becomes Fridge Horror when you realize they're praying for Jubileus to go easy on her when Jubileus wakes up and destroys the world.
"The Left Eye, our treasured Left Eye, will never fall into the hands of another!"
"My dear, sweet child."
Armed Legs: Guns. On. Feet. The Durga set when equipped to the legs and Odette ice skates cleave closer to usual use of this trope. We don't even know if the leg-mounted Lt. Col. Kilgore tonfas fall under this or a particularly over-the-top example of Pistol-Whipping, though.
Arrow Cam: Done with lipstick of all things in Chapter XVI.
Author Appeal: As Mari Shimazaki stated in her character design blog, "Glasses! This was something that Kamiya-san really pushed for, as he was aiming to differentiate Bayonetta from other female characters and give her a sense of mystery and intelligence. Of course, I think it is just because he likes girls with glasses."
Awesome, but Impractical: A particularly damaging projectile/beam attack requires Bayonetta to equip a sword, lock onto an enemy, and stand perfectly still for several seconds until she draws a circle in the air with her weapon. The process of preparing the attack takes about eight uninterrupted seconds, so unless Bayonetta is invincible at the time, there aren't many chances to use it.
Pillow Talk is this. You have to stop and charge for two seconds to activate its Game Breaker form and it only lasts a few seconds. When in normal form it's slightly less powerful than Shuraba, and in both cases you can't do wicked weaves, making the weapon quite risky to use. Against big bosses, it's permanently in Super Mode… but so are all the other weapons anyway. And since it cannot do Wicked Weaves, it is actually less effective than regular weapons in those fights.
Most weapons enemies drop also fall in this category - a lot of them are stronger, but much slower than Bayonetta's standard fare, meaning combo-chaining is hard, and you tend to only get a few (or one) use out of them.
Awesomeness Meter: After completing each verse in a chapter, you're given a grade, from Stone to Platinum, on each of three categories: combo, time, and damage received. Based on your grades for these categories, you are then given an overall grade for that verse, which ranges from Stone, to Pure Platinum, which you only receive for getting a Platinum in each category. At the end of a level, you are also given a final grade on each chapter as a whole (taking into account number of deaths and items used), ranging again from Stone to Pure Platinum, which is only awarded if each verse grade is Pure Platinum. Each chapter grade is accompanied by an appropriate statue (a Stone Enzo, Bronze Cereza, Silver Luka, Gold Rodin, Platinum Bayonetta, or Pure Platinum Bayonetta holding a moon).
Luka has his moments a few times too, usually involving a stolen vehicle of some kind.
Bilingual Bonus: Bayonetta's summoning chants, the angels' dialogue/battle cries, and some of Balder's battle cries are said in Enochian, "the language of angels".
Throughout the game, there is a lot of text written in angelic and demonic script. For those interested in what it all actually says, here's a guide.
Bilingual Dialogue: Bayonetta's conversation with the angels is this, she speaks English while the angels speak whatever their language is (probably Enochian).
Black and Grey Morality: On one side, you have the forces of Heaven, who are not above slaughtering humans and merging realities for their own ends. On the other side, you have the forces of Hell, whose reputation precedes them.
Blocking Stops All Damage: Bayonetta can equip an accessory that allows her to block enemy attacks and counter if done well. Her Mirror Boss Jeanne has the ability to block attacks too, even in the middle of a combo.
Blood Knight: Sure she has to kill angels to keep demons from dragging her to Hell, but it's pretty clear she enjoys punishing angels a bit too much. Nearly every fight scene begins and ends with a smile on her face (with a few very serious exceptions) and, other than recovering her memories, she states that one of the initial reasons she was going to Vigrid was because the weak angels being sent at her had her bored.
Bonus Boss: Rodin. Possibly one of the hardest bonus bosses in a hack and slash game ever. Also might be the best example of this boss in a game like this that isn't really story related.
A second bonus boss can be fought at the end of Angel Slayer mode. It turns out to be Bayonetta herself.
Bonus Level Of Hell / Bonus Level of Heaven: The Lost Chapter "Angel Slayer", that you unlock by completing all the Alfheim challenges. Going through dozens of waves of enemies and insane bosses (fighting two Jeannes on Hard setting being one of the easiest) wouldn't be fun if you could use healing items, would it? Also the difficulty setting starts on Normal and increases progressively, ending with Non-Stop Climax. And if you die, don't expect you can just select "yes" at the continue screen cause there are no check-points: you are expected to do all of it in one shot. Nintendo Hard indeed.
Book Ends: The intro ends with Bayonetta calling out to Jeanne, who responds "I'm okay!" They then pose back to back as they plummet off a cliff face amidst falling rubble. After the final boss fight, the two witches repeat this exact dialogue exchange (complete with pose), only this time the rubble is Jubileus' statue fragments rather than rocks, and they are plummeting towards the planet rather than a canyon.
The funeral scene in the ending invokes this trope several times:
First, the conversation between Bayonetta and Luka. When they first meet, Luka tells Bayonetta that rosemary equates to remembrance, contrasting it with Bayonetta's amnesia. Bayonetta retorts by saying that rosemary is a demon repellent. In the ending, Luka places large bunches of rosemary by the grave and, recalling them as demon repellent, says he hopes they will help her in Hell. After the fake funeral, Bayonetta remarks that rosemary's symbol of remembrance now suits her.
On a lesser note: In the Prologue, when Rodin wakes up from his fake funeral, he blasts the lid of his coffin up, only for it to land and break on his head. In the ending's fake funeral scene, when Bayonetta wakes up, she blasts the coffin lid, which again lands and breaks on Rodin's head.
Boss-Only Level: Battles against each of the Four Cardinal Virtues are entire levels unto themselves (though one serves up a few enemies before the boss).
Boss Subtitles / Mook Debut Cutscene: Every time a new type of enemy appears (except Gracious and Glorious, whose intro got cut out simply because the developers didn't have time to get it in), they're accompanied with a short cut scene and a Pastel-Chalked Freeze Frame that gives the name and class of the enemy. Is also used to remind the player to put on an appropriate Oh Crap face when Umbra Witch: Jeanne finally gets her subtitles after you've already fought her three times, and Dea: Jubileus.
On top of that, all the enemies in the game show up in alphabetical order, with the exception of "Ardor," who doesn't show up until Chapter V, and "Irenic," which is only in Chapter VIII. They start with "Affinity" and "Applaud" and go all the way up to "Kinship."
Rodin. Somebody with a title like "The Infinite One" probably isn't one to be messed with.
Even said siren is a Space Harrier reference; check the soundtrack listing and you'll see it identified as Wiwi Jumbo (Heaven Sent Mix). Wiwi Jumbo was the name of the boss of Space Harrier's seventeenth (and penultimate) level, Nark.
Bragging Theme Tune: "Mysterious Destiny" is mostly this, although the lyrics are not only about Bayonetta's awesomeness.
Brainwashed and Crazy: This is the reason Jeanne has it in for Bayonetta for the majority of the game. If the other tropes on this page haven't clued you in, she gets better.
Bruce Lee Clone: Quite possibly the only female version of this trope in existence that does it correctly, BAYONETTA becomes this when you give her the nunchuck like weapons, Sai Fung. When you do the basic 5 punch combo, she even does Bruce Lee's Kiai. It's made even more awesome by the fact that the nunchucks have GUNS in them. Crazy Awesome indeed. The name "Sai Fung" is even a reference to Bruce Lee.
British Accents: Bayonetta and Jeanne are European and both have English accents.
Cereza, too. But to be fair, Cereza technically is Bayonetta.
Bullet Time: Any "Witch Time" sequence. Note that some of these are strictly timed affairs, with the "clock" measuring things not in minutes and seconds, but seconds and fractions of a second. That scene in the prologue where you have to execute three Torture attacks? It all happened within five (non-bullet-time) seconds.
The Lumen Sages have a counterpart to Witch Time known as "Light Speed". Balder uses this against Bayonetta in the opening cutscene to Chapter XVI after she fires a few bullets at him. He stops time and turns the bullets to face her before letting time continue.
Car Fu: Jeanne's first appearance in chapter two and in her third boss battle. In certain levels, Bayonetta can lift and throw cars at enemies using her hair and magic.
Catfight: Bayonetta vs Jeanne, or any Joy angel (as they take a female humanlike form).
Cat Girl: When equipped with the specified perfume, Durga causes Bayonetta to gain a tail and a pair of cat ears made of flames.
Censor Hair: Always, considering her clothes are more or less her hair. When Bayonetta uses a Climax Attack, her hair takes a Censor Steam shape spiraling around her body as most of is used to power the attack.
Chainsaw Good: Bayonetta's Torture Attack against Harmony-class angels depicts her whipping out a chainsaw three times her size from Hammerspace. And unlike other torture devices, she gets to keep it afterward, mostly because it's the only one that's an actual melee weapon and because the said enemy doesn't have any weapons to drop.
This is both foreshadowed and lampshaded by one of Rodin's quotes when entering his bar: "I'm not putting a chainsaw onyour arm."
Chest Monster: A particularly cruel example occurs in Chapter IX, where you have to open chests to get parts of a key. One of them has a Grace inside, another has Glory, and a third chest contains a Fairness.
The Chosen One: Bayonetta is "The Left Eye", the darkness that makes up half of Jubileus. Her father is "The Right Eye", the light of Jubileus. Together they make up "The Eyes of the World".
Clock Tower: The playable introductory scene takes place on a clock tower...as it tumbles from an impossibly high cliff face.
This Clocktower shows up again in Chapter IX; it's where you start the level. Bayonetta remarks that it looks familiar to her.
Clothing Damage: Bayonetta takes some cuts during the opening chapter in the graveyard, before doffing the disguise entirely to reveal her usual outfit.
Colossus Climb: Several of the bosses, notably Temperentia and Iustitia.
Compressed Adaptation: The animated movie, obviously. More strangely though, some of the crucial plot twists like Bayonetta being Balder's daughter are revealed in the first minutes of the film. Some explanations are also skipped (like the reason Jeanne sides with the angels).
Actually, you'll take damage if you try to do this unless you've equipped fire Durga on your feet. That said, the trope still comes into play regardless.
You can skate over lava with Odette too.
Cool Car: Irenic, a type of angel that ... happens to look like an automobile. Lampshaded by its respective Flavor Text.
Credits Gag: After Bayonetta defeats Jubileus, she crouches down upon the wreckage of Jubileus as it falls to the earth. The credits roll, but are then cut off by Jeanne appearing and declaring that the falling debris is still going to destroy Earth, provoking a shooting sequence to destroy the wreckage, and thus, the true ending cutscene.
As in she literally stomps out the credits.
Cruel and Unusual Death: The boss deaths and just about all the Torture Combos, but especially on the Joys. Taunt her, then finish with a Torture Combo. See where the spike on the horse is sticking in?
Cutscene Power to the Max: The cutscenes always involve Bayonetta performing amazing aerial maneuvers, one-shotting enemies with her handguns, and performing moves that would put The Matrix to shame. Naturally, actual gameplay isn't so acrobatic, or her guns so damaging. Also note a few cutscenes in which Bayonetta uses the "Bat Within" evasion technique even if you didn't purchase it from Rodin's shop yet.
Damn You, Muscle Memory: A curious inversion − the dash moves and the launchers can be executed by locking the enemy, pushing the stick forward or backward and pressing the button. The dodge can also be done by locking, pushing the stick and pressing the jump button; all these optional inputs are obviously made for those used to Devil May Cry's controls.
Dance Battler: Bayonetta's move "Breakdance" has her do a dozen windmills all while shooting her feet-guns. Then she finishes in a super sexy pose.
Joys mimic many of Bayonetta's moves, and thus, follow suit. An entry in the Platinum Games blog even mentions their dance battle motif.
Dark Reprise: "Blood & Darkness" is one to "Red & Black", signifying that Jeanne's not fucking around anymore.
Deal with the Devil: How the Umbra Witches gain their powers. The inevitable trade off for all the Crazy Awesome power is an eternity in Hell when they finally die (or get killed).
Degraded Boss: The climactic angel fights from the early chapters all return as regular enemies in later levels. You are also accosted by weaker knock-offs of the four Cardinal Virtues after killing their respective real deal.
Did Do The Research: The game's angels look pretty bizarre when placed next to their counterparts from other media (for one thing, under their porcelain armor, they're studded with eyes), but the Bible states that angels spent a lot of their time trying to calm down the people they appeared to. Also, there's one enemy that looks like a locust with a scorpion tail, a sort of creature which is supposed to appear just before Christ's return and sting unbelievers to death. Of course, depending on whether you're drawing from the Bible or from later sources/artists, the accuracy will vary as the modern image of angels (people with wing) came out long after the Bible was written.
Did You Just Punch Out God?: Yes, you did, and hard enough that her soul was knocked out of her body and flew all the way from Pluto into the sun.
Diesel Punk: Not as blatant as other examples, but it's quite clear that the design draws inspiration from Art Deco◊ and none of the technology seen in game progresses past the late 50's.
Difficult but Awesome: The Moon of Mahaa Kahlaa accessory lets you block or counter any attack, but requires precision timing. (Much like the royal guard style from Devil May Cry)
"Dodge offset" doesn't sound all that complicated − continuing an interrupted combo after dodging by holding the attack button − but in the heat of battle it requires quite a bit of coordination to pull out spontaneously. If you master it though, it becomes extremely useful in situations where you can't use Witch Time (like the Gracious & Glorious fights or the entire Infinite Climax Mode). It looks pretty sweet too.
Dual Boss: Though they're not strictly bosses, "Grace" and "Glory" angels are always encountered in pairs (same for their stronger counterparts, Gracious and Glorious), and "Brave" angels are always encountered in threes. Fearless and Fairness also tend to appear together.
Dual Wield: Guns. Melee weapons. Chainsaws. You name it, she can double wield it.
She can also dual wield twice - once for her hand weapons and once for her leg weapons. Is it Quadruple Wielding?
Easy-Mode Mockery: Type 1. Playing on Easy or Very Easy removes all Umbra Crows, removes Alfheim portals, and replaces health and magic upgrades (as well as LP fragments that are found rather than given) with halos, alchemy ingredients, Red Hot Shots or Angel Attack bullets. Normal Mode Mockery also ensues, as more than half of the Crows can only be found on Hard and above.
Eldritch Abomination: Every boss. The regular angels qualify too. At least, once their armor cracks away and you see what they really look like...
Everything's Better with Spinning: Bayonetta spins her guns after every attack if you equip any guns in her hands. The Breakdance attack also makes Bayonetta perform multiple windmills while firing off any guns on her feet in every direction. There's also the Witch Twist, in which Bayonetta dodges an attack by spinning, before spiralling into the air and summoning a Wicked Weave.
Picking up the staff dropped by angels lets you do a spinning stripper pole dance that hits everything on the screen at once, though it uses up the weapon in the process.
The rocket does a 360 degree turn whenever you push either of the evade buttons. You can also pick up an Enchant and spin it around before flinging it like an angelic frisbee.
Evil Sounds Deep: Played straight with Fortitudo, Temperantia and Sapientia, but bizarrely inverted with Iustitia. The combination of a ridiculously high-pitched and slightly reverberating voice just adds to his creepiness.
However, you can hear a deep voice coming from the other heads on Iusticia's body at times when he is attacking.
Evil Twin: Aside from Jeanne, the Joy is a literal Evil Twin. Bayonetta reveals her by out-sexy dancing her.
Also, Queen Sheba looks exactly like Jubileus. Except much taller.
Escort Mission: Some levels have you protecting and rescuing Cereza. They are surprisingly well done and avoid becoming overly frustrating, possibly thanks to being brief (Cereza's regenerating health doesn't hurt either).
Expy: The final boss is a huge statue representing God that comes to life by absorbing someone. The Savior, anyone?
There are also two demons that are based on ones from Devil May Cry; Scolopendra is an expy of Gigapede, and Phantasmaraneae is an expy of Phantom.
Vigrid: Begins with V? Check. Ancient architectures mixed with modern technology? Check. Well-armed security forces? Check. "Closer to paradise" than everywhere else in the world? Check. Yup, it's Vatican City all right...
Excuse Plot: Not that the overall story is bad, but the whole deal with Bayonetta looking for a stone that she never even gets (presumably the Right Eye, not like the game ever tells you that) is only there to keep her moving from point A to point B. The story manages to remain interesting due to character interaction and Bayonetta's returning memories. Plus, of course, the severalCrowning Moments...
The real Right Eye, Balder, knew that Bayonetta was the Left Eye, and probably had found out that she thought her stone was the Left Eye. The Right Eye stone was likely a scheme he cooked up to get her attention.
Faking the Dead: Pulled off to absurd levels as, even if a character plummets several vertical miles or is consumed by a fiery explosion, it's pretty much certain they'll be back on their feet in no time thanks to some unseen HandWave-able event (such as Luka's grapple even getting him out of explosions unscathed). Major characters who invoke this include Rodin, Luka, Father Balder, Bayonetta and Jeanne (who merits a mention for not only surviving about seven certain deaths, but for managing to return after the Jubileus fight by using a motorcycle in space).
Finishing Move: A prompt to unleash a "climax" attack occurs at the end of pretty much any boss fight, whereupon Bayonetta summons a large demon to finish the enemy off.
Flavor Text: Descriptions of accessories in Rodin's shop go rather long, but they do highlight the important (i.e. gameplay relevant) parts for you.
Flunky Boss: During the Unexpected Shmup Level of Chapter 14, you face "Temperance," a knockoff of the second boss, Temperantia. who wouldn't be anywhere near as difficult if it weren't for constant swarms of Decor angels flying through and firing green energy bullets at you.
Foreshadowing: Earlier in the game, Bayonetta asks Jeanne "Who are you? And don't you dare say my long lost sister." At first Jeanne scoffs, but this becomes Fridge Brilliance when, way later in the Epilogue of the game, you pick up on what Jeanne says: "I am here to reclaim my Umbran sister!"
Gainaxing: Not much from our heroine, but it happens with the Joys occasionally, including during the Torture Attack.
Gambit Roulette: The entire twisted plot and most of its equally as twisted backstory turns out to have been one massive scheme perpetrated by Balder, in order to unite the Eyes of the World and thereby resurrect Jubileus.
Game Breaking Bugs: Route 666 has collision detection issues. Near the end, when you are forced onto a side route, you MUST jump a gap with no indication, then NOT JUMP a later one. failing either of these will result in you clipping through the bridge and taking damage from falling...before making you run through that section again.
Gameplay Roulette: The gamplay is rather regular in the first twelve chapters, save for a brief passage in chapter 6 where you must fight a few angels using a lightpole, and the motorbike section in chapter 8. Then you fight a boss on a surfboard, ride said boss to lead him to the giant spider you just summoned (chapter 13), shot your way through a Space Harrier-like level (chapter 14), fight a mini-boss with a defense turret, have a platforming section, outrun a fireball (chapter 15), and have to direct a lipstick-bullet into the penultimate boss' forehead (chapter 16). Then in the Epilogue, you get another motorbike section (where, in the first part, you run towards the camera). Finally, after maiming the Final Boss, a mini-game makes you send its soul into the sun while avoiding to crash into a planet, and you have to destroy its body while falling in the middle of space.
Guide Dang It : The Alfheim portals often (but not always) require backtracking through entire portions of a level, as they appear only after you get past a certain point or have done a certain action, without any indication whatsoever. One of them only appears if you shoot a specific trash can. And a few Alfheim challenges can let you clueless; like staying in the air 30 seconds with nothing to help you but an agressive and uncooperative pair of Grace & Glory.
Also, finding all the crows that carry the Umbran Tears Of Blood without a walkthrough is quite a feat. Not only are they ridiculously difficult to spot and sometimes perched in the most uncanny places, their location changes depending on the difficulty mode.
Good luck trying to obtain all the weapons, by cheating or otherwise. One of them, the Sai Fung, can't even be obtained through the cheat phone that you could normally use.
Guilt-Based Gaming: Choosing "No" on the 'Continue?' screen causes Bayonetta to be dragged screaming down to Hell by multiple demonic hands.
Hell-Bent for Leather: Bayonetta's leather catsuit is not (technically speaking) leather, it's actually her own hair and witch magic. Which dramatically damages the sexiness for those who think too much about what clothing made of tightly-wound human hair would actually feel like.
Hyperspace Arsenal: Let's see - Bayonetta is dressed in outfit that has even less space than a Spy Catsuit to carry things, given's it's made out of her hair. Yet by the end of the game she can amass enough weaponry to become a virtual one-woman army.
Infinity+1 Sword: Pillow Talk, which is basically a giant Laser Blade, is the strongest weapon in the game. You can only acquire it after completing the game on its highest difficulty, Non-Stop Infinite Climax Mode.
Levels Take Flight: The level in Ithavoll Group's huge cargo plane, with even a listing camera during the fight against Jeanne.
Living on Borrowed Time: There's a reason you're dragged kicking and screaming to Hell if you choose not to continue after being killed.
Loading Screen: It also doubles as a practice arena so you can fine-tune the timing for your attack combos and so on. Hitting the Back/Select button on the controller also officially switches it to "practice mode" (where it doesn't exit when loading is complete).
Lolicon: A Beloved falls for Cereza. It even cries and tries to reach out for her just before getting killed off by Gomorrah.
Luck-Based Mission: A minor example, but getting the "Touch it and it will really hurt" Tear of Blood (counter-attacking 3 times in a row with the Moon of Maha-Kaala) is basically this since, neither in the game nor in the manual is there any indication on how counter-attacks work. You actually have to counter with frame perfect timing, like when you activate the bat form, but most people will just succeed by chance, without knowing how the hell they did it.
Magic is Evil: The source of all that Crazy Awesome magical power Bayonetta employs? Selling her soul to the demons of Inferno, most of which are genuinely evil monsters, which means all Umbra Witches suffer for all eternity. Since Bayonetta is apparently no longer mortal, she has to kill angels or risk damnation. Declining a continue in the Game Over screen causes a bunch of reaching hands to rip through the ground and pull Bayonetta, struggling and screaming, into Inferno.
Mama Bear: Bayonetta to Cereza, even though Cereza is not her actual daughter.
Marathon Boss: Jubileus. You fight her for a while and take away a bit of health, then avoid fire balls in a lava field, then ice balls in an ice field, then thunder balls in the middle of a freaking hurricane, then fight her directly again for a while, then bond her with your hair and take away the last of her health, then punch her from Pluto to the sun while avoiding to crash her into a planet. And finally you have to destroy what remains of her body. Geez. The whole process will take a good ten minutes even for the best players, and likely twice as much the first time.
Meaningful Name: Rodin shares his name with the famous sculptor Auguste Rodin, and also runs a bar called "The Gates of Hell", which was also the name of one of the real Rodin's greatest works.
Subverted with Balder. In Norse mythology, Balder is the god of light, innocence, and the son of Odin. He is good and just. Balder, on the other hand...
Not counting the fact that Balder was Hijacked by Jesus, one must note that both the god and Balder have similar powers and that the whole game inverts traditional mythological roles anyway.
Meaningless Meaningful Words: Balder spends his (very long) introductory cutscene talking nonstop without actually saying a whole lot. Jeanne is guilty of this as well due to her fondness of ranting about the Left Eye of the world, though not to the same degree.
Luka (during Balder's speech): It's all diarrhea of the mouth if you ask me.
Metronomic Man Mashing: Bayonetta can perform this as a follow-up attack after uppercutting mooks, slamming halos out of them.
Mistaken for Granite: Some levels have stone statues in the shape of various angels. You can smash them if you want, but some of them contain actual angels inside.
Mood Whiplash: Played for Laughs in the beginning of the game. Save for Enzo's Large Ham, it's a very peaceful scene. As Bayonetta in her nun outfit prays for the deceased, rays of light appear and the Ominous Latin Chanting begins. A flock of angels descend from the heavens and, in slowmotion, Bayonetta jumps towards them to meet them... and promptly butchers them while Fly me to the Moon plays.
Murderous Thighs: In an early cinematic cut scene, Bayonetta uses her thighs to catch a ride on an Affinity, while shooting countless numbers of them out of the air, then using said thighs to spin the Affinity she rides it into the ground.
Ms. Fanservice: Bayonetta's the head of the National Organization of Ms. Fanservices.
Mysterious Animal Senses: It's implied that animals can see into Purgatorio, or at least sense the presence of someone in Purgatorio. Cats, understandably, don't seem too spooked by Bayonetta (seeing as she's a witch). Crows and doves, on the other hand, will flee if you get too close.
Creepy Crows: Crows are often associated with darkness and witches. There are 50 specific crows in the game carrying Umbran Tears of Blood which you need to get the Climax Bracelet. Bayonetta herself can transform into a crow, and one of Bayonetta's Climax Attacks involves summoning Malphas, a giant crow demon.
Naughty Nun: How Bayonetta appears in the beginning of the game.
New Powers as the Plot Demands: Probably justified by Bayonetta slowly recovering her memories as the story progresses, and thus her magic becoming more flexible. Her method of hot-wiring a motorcycle (by flipping the bird) is pure Rule of Funny, however. And oddly enough, Jeanne won't summon a demon in her fights unless Bayonetta's already used it on a boss.
Nintendo Hard: While the game is actually easier for new players to get into than most entries in this genre, that doesn't mean you can get lazy on Normal. Even after Normal is finished, the jump to Hard difficulty is staggering.
A boss fight example: Jubileus. Oh so very much.
Rodin is worse. Much, MUCH worse.
You can even make the game harder with the Gaze of Despair item.
Noodle People: Bayonetta, especially notable in scenes with Cereza copying her cool pose, the latter having proportions of a porcelain doll. In one scene where the two are standing side-by-side, it is made clear that Cereza's height goes up to Bayonetta's knees.
Moviebob was also quick to point out the sad irony that, aside from the effect of this trope, Bayonetta's proportions are much closer to what an actual person could have compared to most female video game characters.
Nonstandard Game Over: When Cereza is captured by a Joy disguised as Bayonetta, if you take too much time to save her, the Joy takes Cereza away, and you will have a Game Over screen with Cereza's doll on the ground instead of Bayonetta.
No Sell: Angels are capable of countering the time-slowing effect of Witch Time, allowing them to face you at 'normal' speed while the rest of the world around you is virtually frozen. Remember the opening chapter where you first face Angels during an extended Witch Time moment? The angels are initially trapped in slow-motion, but after torturing two of them, a short cutscene depicts one angel breaking free of its effect. There are also a few enemies that are immune to Witch Time entirely (evading their attacks won't trigger it).
Oh Crap: Luka is extremely fond of this. For the most hilarity, watch his face in chapter 14. "Oh, fuck ME!"
The Joys' reaction to an incoming Torture Attack.
Quite a few players probably had one when they first summoned Gomorrah to eat Balder, only for the latter to kill the former like it was nothing.
Sapientia when you summon Phantasmaraneae. Look at him run!
Jubileus has a brief one before she gets punched by Queen Sheba.
Playing Tennis with the Boss: During the final round between Bayonetta and Jeanne, you can evade and throw a freaking missile back at Jeanne with the right Action Commands. Of course, Jeanne catches it and sends it right back at you just as easily...
I did an over-kill attack which caused all the hair to fly off her body, soar up into the air and turn into a giant black dragon made out of hair which then bit into the boss and tore it to pieces all the while leaving Bayonetta stark naked because her clothing is made out of her hair too. Yes. A giant dragon made out of your own hair.
Bayonetta: "I feel like a fucking celebrity in this town."
Press X to Not Die: There's one (if not more) in just about every level, including during boss battles. If you don't input the proper command in about 1 second (or input the wrong command), well, "The Witch Hunts Are Over".
Pummel Duel: Between Bayonetta and Jeanne in all their fights, sometimes with actual fists, other times by summoning demons.
Pun: Balder does this after tossing Luka through a window. He tops it off by chuckling at his own bad joke: "It looks like my plan has gone right out the window."
Punny Name: The angels (not including the bosses) are all named alphabetically to when they appear in the game (with a few exceptions, such as Braves, which are one of the last enemies to show up despite their name beginning with a B). Because of this, the names aren't necessarily representative of the enemies, they're just picked because they sound particularly heavenly or good. "Applaud" doesn't actually cheer for his teammates, he just shows up early enough in the game to get a name that starts with "A". This is generally the case all the way up to the last angel in the game, introduced in Chapter IX. It's a giant flying battleship named... Kinship.
Purple Prose: Balder's introduction monologue would be twice as short if he expressed himself with simple words. Even lampshaded by Bayonetta.
"Could you dispose with the riddles and tell me what these sodding eyes actually are?"
Quest for Identity: Bayonetta has remained assleep for the last 500 years and has nearly no memories of her previous life.
Rage Against the Heavens: Subverted, as it is more the heavens that are enraged against her. Bayonetta just enjoys kicking angelic ass.
Rank Inflation: You're ranked with Stone (lowest), Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Pure Platinum (highest) depending on how fast, how high the combos, all the verses, whether items were used, and how much damage taken at the end of every chapter.
Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: With giant hair fists. It seems that this is a recurring trope in Clover/Platinum Games.
Rasputinian Death: Bayonetta subjects most regular angels to humiliating defeats, but she saves the most powerful and cruel attacks for the Cardinal Virtues.
Razor Sharp Hand: She uses this to cut Iustitia's tentacles, something you can't do during normal gameplay.
Refuge in Audacity: The director stated in an interview that the development team kept cranking up the sex appeal until someone told them to stop. Given the team in question, it is entirely probable that the game is meant as a particularly over-the-top parody of recent action games that rely on sex appeal. Then there's the combat....
Rule 34: Which Kamiya has complained about. Not because of the erotic send-ups being made in general, but because of Bayonetta being depicted as a submissive woman in them, which is completely out of character.
Save Scumming: The game auto-saves after every verse, and often saves in the middle of a verse, or even in the middle of a boss fight. Since getting Pure Platinum medals requires you to never take damage, one may find themselves quitting and reloading a lot.
Scary Black Man: Rodin. Seriously. This is a guy who can do Badass Drink Mixing and make it look awesome, take down the nastiest of demons to make into weapons of dark magic, and even hit angels for home runs.
Far more justified as if you give him a special item, he becomes Father Rodin. In this form, he is considered to be so powerful that even JUBILEUS HERSELF feared him.
Scenery Porn: Through the second half of chapter 15, you get to see Isla del Sol from the top of a very high building.
The game in general is full of breathtaking scenery. At 60 frames per second, no less.
Sculpted Physique: The angels have this, at least to begin with. Specifically, note what Temperantia looks like at the end of the fight.
Sequence Breaking: In chapter 3, you can spare yourself the effort of picking up the magic hourglass in Paradiso by flying directly over the Broken Bridge near the end. Normally lava geysers hit you if you try to do that, but a yellow lollipop is enough to protect you. That also means you can literally skip the last five verses of said chapter.
Each boss fight is crazier and more insane than the previous one. The sheer volume of bosses and mini bosses is practically inconceivable and it only gets more awesome as time goes by. Special mention goes to the Mirror Match battle with Jeanne where you spend half the fight duelling atop an armed missile after it's been launched, and the final boss battle where Bayonetta takes on God herself in a floating cocoon in outer space!
Not to mention in chapter 3, when Bayonetta uses an ANGEL AS A SURFBOARD to survive the lava.
To put it simply: Devil May Cry escalates the action; Bayonetta accelerates.
Sliding Scale of Realistic Versus Fantastic: While the game is infamous for being safely placed on the absurd side of the scale, any Willing Suspension of Disbelief is long dead and buried before the conclusion. For example, while the plot starts with guns in shoes and hair demons, they seem pretty feasible when Bayonetta is murdering her father with lipstick to save her past self, before going on to punch God's soul into the sun in the final chapters.
Sophisticated as Hell: "If you get in my way, I will...how do the Americans put it? Oh yes. Bust a cap in yo' ass."
Squashed Flat: In a rather bizarre moment, Bayonetta can be flattened like a cartoon character when she is crushed by round objects. It is most likely that the Umbran Witches have the ability to flatten themselves so they can reduce the pain and impact, because if the angels are crushed by the Golem, they still stay three-dimensional, and take lots of damage in the process.
Stable Time Loop: Bayonetta's entire personality is based on subconsciously imitating herself from what she remembers when she was Cereza, before she was sent back to her own time (though she remembers it as her mother).
It seems Balder's generally vague plan involved engineering this time loop to occur, so circumstances revolving around Bayonetta's sealing 500 years back will change, resulting in her memories being retained in the present.
The Stinger: During the credits, you play through 3 verses. Two are from earlier moments in the game. The last one picks up right where the cutscene leading into the credits left off. You have a hidden time limit, and failing to complete the verse during it results in no medal. It actually counts against you to fail these verses, as they are scored as part of the last chapter in the game.
Somewhat subverted in that aside from the "clothes come off as you fight" element, her outfit is actually pretty modest for a video game character, only showing a small amount of cleavage and a Sexy Backless Outfit.
Summon Magic: Forms a major part of Bayonetta's attacks, both as Torture Attacks (where she can conjure up iron maidens, chainsaws, guillotines, and the like), and as a Finishing Move to take out particularly strong angels and boss fights by summoning up higher demons and eldritch abomination-like creatures.
Summon Bigger Fish: Story-wise, most boss fights are really spent just softening the angel up for a proper mauling by whatever ravenous hellbeast Bayonetta summons with her hair. She averts the danger of the demon turning on her by the fact that she's as good as theirs anyway.
Super Mode: During some plot specific sequences, Bayonetta will let her hair down. This will have the effect of making all of her attacks Wicked Weaves, which are normally finishers to her combos.
In the opening cutscene, Bayonetta slams about five or six angels into each other, then suplexes all of them simultaneously, causing their heads to explode.
Swiss-Army Weapon: The last weapon you are likely to get, Rodin, that you earn after beating the Nintendo HardBonus Boss is a set of gold bracelets that can take the form of any angel weapon depending on the combo you do. One of these angel weapons is itself a Swiss-Army Weapon in a smaller extent − a large bow that can separate into a pair of WhipBFS.
Tennis Boss: The flashback encounter with Fortitudo in chapter 1 can become this once you get the Moon of Maha-Kaala (which allows you to deflect attacks). If you send his fireballs back at him instead of using your bullets, the fight can be ended in a few seconds.
The last fight with Jeanne has you playing hot potato with a missile in this fashion, and Father Balder has you do the same with a satellite that he forces to fall from space.
Theme Music Power-Up: "Fly Me To The Moon" starts playing whenever Bayonetta is commencing with ass kicking. In the Cardinal Virtue fights, the boss music will be replaced with a more triumphant theme once you get them down to their last life bar.
There's also the songs for climaxing on larger mooks and finishing off a boss.
Third-Person Seductress: Quite possibly a parody of this trope since pretty much anything Bayonetta does that is supposed to be sexy usually comes off as completely hilarious instead.
Too Dumb to Live: Y'know, Luka, it's a really good thing that Bayonetta likes you. Otherwise, calling out the person you know killed your father, while she's armed and you're not, in an isolated area with no potential witnesses for miles around, would have shortened your lifespan considerably.
Underground Monkey: "Applaud" angels are basically upgraded "Affinity" angels, as "Braves" are to "Beloveds". "Fearless" and "Fairness" angels likewise, and the "Gracious" and "Glorious" pair are stronger (but otherwise identical) angels to "Grace" and "Glory".
Unexpected Gameplay Change: Chapters 8 and 14, the first of which is a freeway chase, the second of which is a Shout-Out to Space Harrier. Also note that the boss battle of Chapter 12 takes place entirely on open water, with your only platform being a scrap of metal that you ride around like a surfboard (and much faster than your usual movement or evasion speed, at that).
Unexplained Recovery: Gomorrah has his jaw snapped and his neck twisted by Balder during the fight with him. By the sequel, though, he's perfectly fine.
Unflinching Walk: Unless you purposely make her run, Bayonetta constantly acts like she's on a catwalk, even after a massive amount of destruction has taken place.
Unreliable Narrator: Reading the bestiary is bound to confuse any player who cares, since almost every one of your enemies is described as a glorious and benevolent protector of good. This is quite at odds with the blink-and-you'll-miss-it hints that they originate from human sacrifice, or their callous disregard for human life.
Somewhat justified in that the bestiary is written from the perspective of the church of Laguna, and therefore it would only make sense that they be described as benevolent beings.
Updated Re-release: The game is going to be packed in with its sequel with a new coat of polish and a few new things. On the polish side: the game will run a 60fps, has Off-Screen Play, will include the touch screen controls from the sequel, and has dual audio between the Japanese and English voice acting. On the new side: costumes from a number of Nintendo franchises, with appropriate cosmetic changes to the gameplay. Halos can become coins, Wicked Weaves can be replaced with Bowser's limbs and there's even a Samus costume, complete with helmet-flipping action, among other things.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: In an otherwise goofy, lighthearted spectacle fighter, the Torture Attacks are rather wince-worthy in their sadism and don't look like they would be particularly out of place in God of War. Particularly jarring because they go without any comment whatsoever.
Wall Crawl: The "Witch Walk" ability allows Bayonetta to walk on walls, ceilings, and some bosses; but it can only be used during a full moon (which is fortunately active during every boss fight).
Bayonetta can also Witch Walk on the halo platforms found in Chapter XV, despite there not being a full moon present. The only explanation is that the entire building is powered by the residual magic leftover in dead witches (you can see a few of the capsules in early parts of the level), so it may give Bayonetta her powers to walk on walls.
Wake-Up Call Boss: Jeanne. While earlier angel foes have totally predictable patterns, she doesn't. Moreover, she is close to a Perfect Play A.I., blocking pretty much anything outside of her own attacks leaving you small windows to strike. So, this fight serves as a crash course in dynamic dodging and using Witch Time.
Was Once a Man: Angels, as revealed in a very early cutscene, were once religious zealots who committed Seppuku.
Wham Episode: Chapter XII onward. We get one massive revelation after another, the apparent death of a main character, Bayonetta actually getting canonically injured (as in, in a cutscene), the destruction of TWO of the Infernal Demons that you've been hinging on throughout the game, all topped of by Bayonetta falling smack-dab into the main villain's trap and coming uncomfortably close to causing The End of the World as We Know It. Woof...
You Killed My Father: The reason that Luka initially pursues Bayonetta. It turns out that Balder was the one responsible for it.
Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Done twice. The first time, after you defeat the apparent final boss, Father Balder, he comes back to life and imprisons Bayonetta in the body of Jubileus, setting up a Downer Ending until Jeanne pulls a Big Damn Heroes moment, setting up the fight with the real final boss, Jubileus itself. After you beat Jubileus, the credits roll, only for you to realize that you're not done yet, and you have to destroy Jubileus' physical body to prevent it from crashing into the earth.
What's so awesome about the last part is that Jeanne LITERALLY STOMPS the credits!