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Video Game: Bayonetta
"Do you want to touch me?"

"Nonstop Climax Action."
Game's tagline

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 badass witch 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 

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 Commands: Torture Attacks, Climax Attacks and playing Hot Potato with missiles. May overlap with Press X to Not Die for some sequences.
  • 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.
  • Almost Kiss / Nonchalant Dodge: Bayonetta to Luka, though he was probably the one who thought it was an Almost Kiss.
  • 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.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: You face the final boss in a spherical confinement IN SPACE. Not sure how that works...but it's awesome.
    • The Bonus Boss, Father Rodin, teleports both you and him to one of these - likely so his bar won't be ruined during the battle.
  • An Axe to Grind: Beloveds
  • Anachronism Stew: Fly Me To The Moon was written in 1954, but Bayonetta's mother sang the song to her in the 1300's.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: At the beginning of the Epilogue, you play as Jeanne as she rushes to save Bayonetta from being used as a power source for Jubileus. It doesn't sound like much unless you know that you spend it riding a motorcycle up a disintegrating in-flight rocket into space while killing angels.
    • 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.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Complete the game on Normal and you can buy Couture Bullets to change your outfit.
  • Animal Motifs: Butterflies all over the place for Bayonetta.
    • Moths for Jeanne.
    • Balder seems to have a peacock theme.
  • Anime Theme Song: MiChi's "Something Missing" for the live-action commercials. The lyrics are a mix of Japanese and English, due to MiChi being born in England from a Japanese mother and English father.
  • 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.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The game automatically saves a checkpoint before pretty much any Press X to Not Die moment, as well as between each major stage of a boss battle (which sometimes involves a change in scenery).
  • 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. For I am always, watching over you" This is brought up again in Bayonetta2' with much more poignancy.
  • 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.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Notoriously bad for this. Firing indiscriminately and wildly while fighting (especially in enclosed spaces) is ridiculously unsafe in itself, but anyone who twirls pistols during punch combos, wields shoe guns that apparently fire themselves, and adjusts their glasses with the business end of a pistol is just asking to be killed by misfire.
    • For instance, shortly after meeting both Luka and Cereza, Bayonetta fires her guns (her HIGH CALIBER Scarborough Fair guns) within inches of both of their ears. In real life, that would blow out their eardrums and cause long-term hearing problems.
      • Then again, Cereza does seem to have enough skill to protect herself via. magic and presumably the durability to sustain herself too, considering that she is a younger Bayonetta
    • Probably justified considering the nature of the guns; it seems that the bullets are magically formed at the moment of firing and that the shoe guns are triggered likewise. That and combined with her knowledge of Gun Kata definitely sways the odds in her favor.
  • 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).
  • Badass Biker: Bayonetta and Jeanne.
  • Badass Normal: Luka may be Plucky Comic Relief at times, but he's shockingly capable of some things that are completely over his head.
  • Bad Habits: Bayonetta dresses up like a nun at the beginning of the game, as does Jeanne at the end of the game.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: One could argue that Jubileus is one of these, as what is seemingly just a peaceful epilogue, with the story all wrapped up, comes crashing down as Father Balder comes back to life and sets the True Final Boss in motion.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Execute a torture attack on Harmony angels and watch them attempt to block Bayonetta's chainsaw barehanded.
  • Bayonetta Can Breathe In Space: Jeanne too.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: The description of an item you can buy from Rodin states that Cleopatra was a head witch in the Ancient Egypt.
  • BFG: Lt. Col. Kilgore. A set of ROCKET LAUNCHER TONFAS. Quadruple wielded, of course!
  • Big Damn Heroes: Jeanne during the Epilogue.
    • 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.
      • And, of course, the nun outfit.
    • In the prologue, Bayonetta lands on Enzo's car, breaking it. During the credits, Bayonetta and Jeanne land on Enzo's brand new car, breaking it.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Gracious and Glorious are exactly the same as Grace and Glory but are faster, more aggressive, more damaging, and you can't normally get Witch Time off of them. Expect to see the four of them a lot in hard mode.
    • Plus they have no problem with breaking out of your combos, while theirs (particularly their midair ones) require equal parts perfect timing and sheer luck to dodge out of.
  • 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.
  • Boss Warning Siren: Level 14 has the music stop and a siren resounding just before you fight Mini Bosses Courage and Temperance. Comes along with this entire Shoot 'em Up section being an homage to Space Harrier.
    • 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.
  • Bring It / Taunt Button: Bayonetta does a lot of this in different ways. One of her taunts is "Do you want to touch me?" Surprisingly, this is actually a line shared by Another Joe from Viewtiful Joe.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs:
    Bayonetta: If there's two things I hate in this world, it's cockroaches and crying babies. beat Well, I suppose a crying baby cockroach would be truly terrible.
  • 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. 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.
  • Butt Monkey:
    • Enzo gets a lot of abuse during the opening chapter. He's also the poster boy for the "Stone" grade, as the award looks like him falling flat on his rear, accompanied by his quip "oh, what a day!"
    • The lowest-ranking angels, Affinities, are the enemy version of this, considering how much abuse Bayonetta gives them during cutscenes (like being used as a surfboard to ride a magma wave).
    • Luka's never far from being made a fool of either. Perhaps more so in Bloody Fate where he replaces Enzo for the "Bayonetta breaks his car upon landing" bit.
  • Button Mashing: Torture and Climax attacks will inflict more damage (and/or reward more halos) if you mash an attack button while they're in progress.
  • By The Hair: Inverted. She can use things made of her hair to grab enemies.
  • Captain Ersatz: Enzo is basically Joe Pesci.
  • 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 on your arm."
  • Chekhov's Gun: Bayonetta's lipstick.
    • Also her watch. Telling Cereza to wear it over her heart is what keeps her from being sealed away by Jeanne in the past.
    • The stone that Bayonetta carries for Jeanne, as she uses the power in it to protect herself from an otherwise fatal explosion.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Luka giving a lollipop to Cereza, which pretty much signifies what Bayonetta's favorite sweet is.
  • Cherubic Choir: The background musics of the Paradiso levels are made of this. They are stunningly beautiful and relaxing. There is also the dedicated music for Mook Debut Cutscenes.
  • The Chessmaster: Balder. See Gambit Roulette below.
  • 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 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.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Father Balder, and how.
  • Combat Stilettos. Which double as guns.
  • 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).
  • Conspicuous CG: Temperentia and Fortitudo in the movie.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Bayonetta's Torture attacks are very powerful, able to kill some rank-and-file angels instantly and inflict a great deal of damage to stronger ones. However, they don't work on bosses at all or even on some of the more powerful non-bosses. (Fortunately, she has other stuff that she only uses in Boss Battles; that's where the demon summoning comes in.)
  • Convection Schmonvection: Lava won't hurt Bayonetta without it touching her. She can even walk on it with Fire Durga or Odette equipped to her feet!
  • 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?
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus / Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": The game involves Heaven and Hell, but calls them Paradiso and Inferno. Plus, angels don't really look or act conventionallynote , and God is a woman.
  • 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.
    • This can be played straight when switching between the Wii U version of this game and Bayonetta 2. The default control scheme for Bayo 1 sets the R button to lock-on and the ZL button to switch weapons. This is reversed in Bayo 2's default controls, and can be bad enough to throw off a combo or two. Thankfully, you are given the option to change the controls so that both games are similar.
  • 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.
  • Dancing Theme: The game finishes itself off with one.
    • Several of Bayonetta's attacks involve poledancing and breakdancing.
  • Dark Is Not Evil / Light Is Not Good: Witch heroine versus evil angels. Bayonetta is the dark witch who is - technically - allied with Hell, and she kills one human in the whole game; the angels she fights, on the other hand, think nothing of slaughtering them.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Bayonetta tends to feel like this with her Transformation Sequence at the start of the game when she goes from sexy nun to gun-toting action witch.
  • 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.
  • Distaff Counterpart: To Dante and Nero of Devil May Cry, Gene from God Hand, And possibly even Viewtiful Joe.
  • Disney Death: Luka and Jeanne pull this off not once, but twice! On four separate incidents! Cereza does it once too, sharing it with one of Luka's.
    • Bayonetta's at the end as well.
  • Disturbed Doves: Luka's first appearance has this happen - mid-leap - while he is running from a Vigrid security officer.
  • Do a Barrel Roll: During chapter 14 where Bayonetta is piloting a missile, hit the Evade button and the screen will spiral as she evades attack.
  • Double Jump: Bayonetta does it by temporarily growing butterfly wings.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: First of all, it happens to any boss that you kill; it gets dragged to Hell by a bunch of clawing red arms. The same thing happens to Bayonetta on the game over screen if you choose not to continue. The second game reveals that all witches get this when they die, not just Bayonetta.
  • 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?
  • DVD Commentary: Hideki Kamiya's Let's Play, which is posted bi-weekly on the Platinum Games site.
  • Easier Than Easy: Very Easy/Automatic mode, also nicknamed "Mommy mode" but derided in some circles as "Fap Mode."
  • 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...
  • Eldritch Location: Several.
  • Elemental Powers: Each of the four Cardinal Virtues represents an element: Fire, wind, earth, and water, and in that order.
  • Erotic Eating: Bayonetta's Trademark Favorite Food are lollipops. In the intro, we even get a slow-mo close-up of her sucking on a lollipop.
  • 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 Brit: Well, her Evil Twin is also an Evil Brit.
  • Evil Counterpart: Jeanne acts this way to Bayonetta.
    • Balder as well, since he is the Right Eye of the world while Bayonetta is the Left Eye.
  • Evil Is Hammy
  • Evil Knockoff: The shapeshifting Golem can mimic the demons Bayonetta summons throughout the game.
  • Evil Laugh: Temperantia and Sapientia do this.
  • 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 several Crowning 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.
  • Face Doodling: Bayonetta does it to Luka. While he's talking to her. And the markings look pretty familiar...
  • Fallen Angel: The other reason Rodin has you collecting halos is so that he can restore his true angel form if he gets enough of them. His powers are restored for his Optional Boss fight.
  • Famous Last Words: "May Jubileus, the Creator, grace you!" Said by the four Cardinal Virtues during each of their deaths. Balder also says it when faking his death.
  • Fanservice: Most of the game. The lollipops, the gradually disappearing clothing, the ass shots, the dialogue,'s actually harder to think of what isn't intended to titillate.
  • Fantastic Measurement System: Megatons for Torture Attacks, gigatons for Climax moves, and infinitons for the Final Boss.
  • 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.
  • Fission Mailed: The Epilogue, see Credits Gag above.
  • 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!"
    • Also, when Luka, Cereza, and Bayonetta all meet for the first time at the airbase, Luka incorrectly believes that Bayonetta killed Cereza's parents. Ironically, she does just that later on, at least to Father Balder. Rosa died during the witch hunts from unrelated causes.
  • Full-Contact Magic
  • Future Badass: Cereza, who's actually Bayonetta as a child.
  • 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.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: Bayonetta can summon these as combo finishers.
  • Girls Need Role Models: integrated into the plot. When Cereza sees her 'mommy' kick all kinds of angel ass, it changes her character and changes timeline, creating parallel universe.
  • God and Satan Are Both Jerks
  • God Is Evil: Jubileus
  • Godiva Hair: Bayonetta's Sexy Backless Outfit is actually made of her Prehensile Hair.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy: One of the rare inversions of this trope. Not only are God and Heaven active and sending down mooks, but the forces of Hell only show up for finishing moves.
  • Gorn: The Torture Attacks definitely qualify.
  • Gratuitous Latin: Lumen (light) Sages and Umbra (shadow) Witches, and the bosses Fortitudo (courage), Temperantia (moderation), Sapientia (wisdom), Iustitia (Justice), and Dea (goddess) Jubileus.
  • Groin Attack: If you use a Torture Attack on a Joy (a female angel), Bayonetta will summon a massive wooden horse with spikes along its spine. The Joy will attempt to run away in fear upon seeing it, but Bayonetta will capture her with a chain, pull her onto the horse and slam her crotch down onto the horse's spikes.
  • Guest Fighter: In Anarchy Reigns.
  • 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.
  • Gun Fu: Guns. On. Feet.
    • Including shotguns on feet. Including rocket launcher tonfa on feet.
    • Sometimes, she does all this while poledancing.
    • It could be looked at as Gun Kata too...
  • Guns Akimbo. Both in her hands and strapped to her feet, just to screw with the trope some more.
  • Hand Cannon: While Jeanne's guns are just big semi-autos, artwork and renders show Bayonetta's Scarborough Fair pistols are gigantic break-open manual loaders that look to take rounds in the 4-gauge range. She never breaks them open because that wouldn't be awesome.
    • She does open one of them, but only at the end of the boss fight against Balder, and loads it with the lipstick Luka used as bait earlier, making it a literal Chekhov's Gun.
    • It has been said that Bayonetta creates the bullets from her own spiritual powers, and that she magically creates them directly into the magazine. This is especially justified with the foot guns.
  • Hard Light: Some of the shields and platforms created by the angels in Paradiso act as this.
  • Harder Than Hard: Non-Stop Infinite Climax mode, which is well, harder than Hard. Also, Witch Time is disabled. Have fun!
  • Heel-Face Turn: Jeanne
  • 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.
  • A Hell of a Time: The lore and cutscenes say that Bayonetta and Jeanne, being Umbran Witches, made a Deal with the Devil and will one day be Dragged Off to Hell. But they, and Rodin, don't seem too concerned. Especially in the ending.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Lipstick that ends up embedded in Balder's forehead was apparently a gift from him to Bayonetta's mother, given to her when he was putting his plan in motion.
    Engraved on lipstick in demon-text: BALDER & ROSA, 19.3.1394, WITH LOVE UNTIL THE END OF TIME
    • And then, when he's actually killed, it's by getting crushed in Jubileus' eyelids, since he can no longer control it after Jeanne pulls Bayonetta out of the other eye.
  • Holy Halo: The angels, of course. The number of layers and elaboration of the design depends on the sphere of the angel in question. Jubileus, naturally, sports the most impressive one of all.
  • Hood Hopping: The level "Route 666" starts out as this, with you facing off a wave of lesser angels on top of vehicles.
  • Hot Witch: And not just the title character.
  • 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.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: Bayonetta moans sensually early in the game when Affinity angels slash off her nun costume, before revealing her true outfit.
    • The Joys whenever you use a Torture Attack on them.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: Bottomless Magazines, Absurdly Sharp Blades, ice skates, bullet-firing nunchaku, rocket launcher tonfas, snake whips, Laser Blades, element shifting claws, and a shape-shifting angelic weapon.
  • Imposter Forgot One Detail: In one scene, Cereza is picked up by an angel (A Joy) masquerading as Bayonetta. The Joy forgets two details. First, it still has its halo. Second, it is fully clothed, despite the fact that the real Bayonetta is currently summoning a demon.
  • 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.
  • Informed Flaw: For someone so afraid of their fate, Bayonetta sure doesn't show it.
  • Item Crafting: Bayonetta can find ingredients in the environment and mix them up to make healing and attack/defense buff items.
  • Jiggle Physics: Just look at the Joys' chests during the Torture Attacks against them.
    • Fortunately, the game only indulges in the jiggle-closeup if the Joys haven't been significantly flayed by Bayonetta's attacks.
  • Karmic Death: When Bayonetta uses a Torture Attack on an angel, she summons a deadly device from Hell that was once used to torture and execute witches; in fact, these spells are powered by the rage of witches slain by them.
  • Kill It with Fire: This is how Bayonetta finishes off Temperantia.
  • Kill Sat: One gets used against you in the fight against Balder. It even malfunctions and falls out of the atmosphere after a while, but still tries to kill you.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: If Bayonetta is getting low on HP then taking an attack will leave her with an apparently empty Life Meter but she can keep fighting; the next hit is a kill.
  • Leitmotif: Parts of "One of a Kind" are reused in many of the game's tracks, especially near the end of the game.
    • "Fly Me To The Moon"
  • 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.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: Battle For The Umbra Throne only plays during the flashback fight with Jeanne, and it's EPIC.
  • 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.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Balder
  • Macross Missile Massacre: If you equip Lt. Col. Kilgore on Bayonetta's legs and do the combo YYYYB (Xbox) or ΔΔΔΔΟ (PS3), you will unleash one of these. And for an even bigger one, first equip Durga on both hands and feet, do the aforementionned combo, and switch to Lt. Col. Kilgore with LT/L2 the instant you hit B/O. God only knows if this is a bug or a secret combo, but it can pulverize all but the toughest angels instantly.
  • Made of Iron: Bayonetta, Jeanne, and Rodin are understandable given their super-natural origins but Luka takes the cake. The guy suffers copious amounts of abuse throughout the game, up to and including getting getting nearly ripped apart by angels shortly before being blasted through multiple stone pillars and out the window of a skyscraper. The next time you see him, he's not only perfectly fine, but even snarks about how beat up Bayonetta looks. Badass Normal indeed.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: Bayonetta essentially is one herself, complete with a Transformation Sequence at the beginning.
  • 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.
  • Male Gaze: Practically the entire freakin' game. In some cases, literally.
  • 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.
  • Marathon Level: Chapter XV. Takes place inside a huge building, is littered with Grace and Glory, Fairness and Fearless, Ardors, and Joys, you fight Courage, Temperance, Justice and Prudence (weak knockoff versions of the bosses Fortitudo, Temperantia, Iustitia and Sapientia), and it even has a platforming segment along with a turret control segment. Don't be surprised if it takes you 45 minutes on your first attempt. And the best part is that it's not just the ones mentioned above, but every single enemy in the game makes a return in this level (with the exception of Irenic, which is too bad as you never get to fight it on foot).
  • Meganekko: Cereza
  • 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.
  • Mini-Game: "Angel Attack!" is a shooting gallery that Bayonetta can play between chapters, aiming at targets to earn points to get things like Lollipops and other Power Ups. By collecting Arcade Bullets during the actual chapter, you earn more shots in the game.
  • 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.
  • Mook Chivalry: Of the Ninja Gaiden kind.note 
  • Mook Debut Cutscene: With dedicated music too! Only Gracious and Glorious don't have one.
  • More Dakka: Bayonetta has guns on her feet.
    • Lampshaded in the opening, as Rodin is tossing her pistols:
      Bayonetta: Guns!... Guns!...Guns!...Guns!...Guns!...Guns!...Guns!...GUNS!
  • 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.
  • My Future Self and Me: Bayonetta and Cereza.
  • 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.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Obviously Bayonetta; a bayonet is a large knife that attaches to the end of a rifle to make a spear for melee combat.
    • Thou shalt shit their pants upon merely hearing the name of Father Rodin, the Infinite One.
  • Names to Trust Immediately: Overlaps with Fluffy the Terrible with the names of the angelic enemies, such as Beloved and Inspired. Of course, the more good and angelic the name sounds, the stronger an angel you're dealing with and the less you (their enemy) should trust them.
  • 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.
  • Non-Standard 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.
  • Older Than They Look: Virtually everyone.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: There's lots of it during the boss battles, even Bayonetta's showdown with Jeanne. Makes the fight more satisfying too.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • On Route 666, if you are unlucky enough to end up on the wrong side of the freeway, no amount of witch power will save you from a head-on collision with oncoming traffic.
    • The Final Boss has one attack that punches a hole in the arena floor and attempts to suck you through it launching you out into deep space.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Little King Zero. Get hit once? Lose your entire health bar. Get hit a second time? Die.
  • One-Winged Angel: Balder
  • One to Million to One: Bayonetta can shatter into bats upon getting hit, negating the attack.
  • Orgasmic Combat: Practically the Trope Codifier.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Bayonetta's foes are warrior angels with marble skin, gilded armor and ornate halos. Basic Affinity/Applaud/Ardor angels have clearly birdlike designs. Beat on them a little bit and the facade cracks away, revealing horrible monsters with dripping bodily fluids, exposed muscle tissue and bizarre eyes where they probably shouldn't be. It is ambiguous as to if the marble is a disguise or if Bayonetta is simply skinning them alive.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Bayonetta. Jeanne comes fairly close too.
  • 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...
    • The same sequence can play out with a skyscraper when fighting Balder.
  • Power-Up Food: The powerups all come in lollipop form.
  • Prehensile Hair: From a reporter at PAX:
    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.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Don't fuck with a witch."
  • Precision F-Strike: While Bayonetta doesn't precisely avoid profanity, her vocabulary remains clean more often than not - especially around Cereza - but still...
    • Jeanne on the other hand, has quite the mouth on her. Unlock her and you'll find that she curses in almost all of her taunts. Perhaps to fit with her more (mostly) serious attitude?
    • A better example would be with Luka. When Bayonetta told him to look at something, he looks up from Bayonetta's chest to see missiles heading towards their helicopter.
      Luka: "Oh, FUCK me!"
    • To Temperantia:
      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".
  • Promoted to Playable: Jeanne can be unlocked by completing all the chapters in Normal with Platinum trophies. She's a bit faster, but takes more damage, can dodge indefinitely without pausing (Bayonetta is wide open for a second after 5 consecutive dodges), her wicked weaves do more damage, and Witch Time is much harder to use: she can only activate it by activating Moth Within (like Bat Within), which requires frame-perfect dodging the exact moment an attack hits...but if successful, Jeanne will gain double combo points during Witch Time as opposed to the 1.5x points that Bayonetta earns. And needless to say, she can't do any of the crazy things (such as doing multiple wicked weaves in a row or summoning demons mid-fight) her boss equivalent does.
  • 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.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: A remixed version of "Fly Me to the Moon", originally sung by Kaye Ballard.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Grace and Glory
    • After Balder fakes his death and activates Bayonetta as the Left Eye, he gets a vibrant blue aura while hers is blood red.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Played with repeatedly, then ultimately averted.
  • 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....
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Smash up the scenery for materials and halos!
  • Rule of Cool: Though it usually defers to the below.
  • Rule of Funny: Several examples throughout.
  • Rule of Sexy: Do we even have to explain?
  • 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.
  • Running Gag: Enzo's car getting smashed up.
  • Samus is a Girl: Jubileus is female, despite her name, leading to Artistic License – Linguistics as the name doesn't just sound masculine, it's a Latin second declension noun, which is gender-specific masculine.
  • 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.
  • Self-Deprecation: The opening cutscene has Hideki Kamiya's grave being urinated on my Enzo.
  • 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.
  • Sequential Boss: The final one, naturally.
    • Fortitudo, Temperantia, and Sapientia also qualify to a lesser extent.
  • Serial Escalation. Constantly. When you have characters like Joy making this sort of entrance, its awesome even for Crazy Awesome.
    • 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.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: Of the backless dress made of hair variety.
  • Sexy Spectacles: Invoked. To the point one can purchase her glasses. They're quite expensive.
  • Sexy Walk: Bayonetta swings her hips and arches her back a little when she walks normally.
  • She-Fu: Expect to be doing acrobatic backflips a lot since it's the standard dodge and it triggers Witch Time! She can even do this in mid-air!
  • Shout-Out: Many of which are to previous Hideki Kamiya games. See this page for the long list.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Bayonetta really isn't a fan of long villain monologues. Her attitude is basically a "Shut up and FIGHT!"
  • Skyscraper City: Isla del Sol is basically hundreds of skyscrapers disposed around one that must be something like a kilometer high. See Scenery Porn above.
  • 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 do the Americans put it? Oh yes. Bust a cap in yo' ass."
  • Spiritual Successor: To God Hand (in terms of general insanity) and the original Devil May Cry (in terms of gameplay).
  • 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.
  • Stripperiffic: And it's actually the premise of the gameplay.
    • 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.
  • Suplex Finisher: On a dragon.
    • 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 Hard Bonus 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 Whip BFS.
  • Talk To The Fist/Bullet/Boulder/Car/Etc: Bayonetta LOVES doing this to the Cardinal Virtues...sometimes multiple times in one conversation!
    "Ugh, another talkative type..."
  • 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.
  • Theme Naming: The quartet of pistols Bayonetta starts with are named Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme, herbs that are named in the folk song "Scarborough Fair". The set of guns themselves are named Scarborough Fair.
  • 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.
  • Torture Technician: Bayonetta is a rare heroic example using the Torture Attacks to slay her foes (although technically, this is payback, slaying them with the same methods they used to kill witches). They're hard to pull off and you can only use some of them against specific angels (or a few) but they can be downright cool if you do.
  • Troperiffic: The game is basically a love letter to action game tropes, both retro and contemporary.
  • Underboobs: Bayonetta's "Queen" outfit.
  • 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.
    • Possibly justified when you remember he was made out of Bayonetta's hair.
  • 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.
    • This also plays into the theory that Bayonetta is a Villain Protagonist.
  • 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.
  • Vanity License Plate: The plate on Jeanne's motorcycle reads "01 QTJ" (Cutie J).
    • The license plate on Enzo's car reads "ED N EDNA". Some parts of the fandom speculated that "Ed and Edna" are the names of Enzo's kids, and it was later confirmed in Bayonetta2.
  • Vapor Trail: The title character slams a tanker into Temperantia by way of another angel and creates the leak via a fountain statue that pisses the gasoline all over the poor bastard for that extra sadistic touch. It doesn't work. When the fire goes out after a brief second, Bayonetta just heaves a sigh and does it the "boring" way. Which is apparently firing a bullet right up the urethra of said cherubic gasoline-pissing fountain statue. Cue explosion.. Of the non-euphemistic kind, I should add.
  • 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.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Considering they are angels, all of the Angels of Paradiso have this, judging from how their journal entries all talk about their kindness, mercy, and neglect to mention such things as human sacrifice or the likelihood of the annihilation of creation.
  • Visible Sigh: In a scene after Temperantia is defeated, a Fearless is just missed being hit by a falling streetcar. It puffs out a cloud of white vapor in relief. Then the streetcar tips over on it.
  • Visual Pun: Balder was killed in the blink of an eye.
  • Walk on Water: Of the "run on water" variety, since you have to activate Bullet Time to do it.
  • 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.
  • Watch the Paint Job: Enzo's car getting demolished.
  • 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...
  • Whip It Good: Both real whips and hair whips.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: "Tentacles! Why did it have to be tentacles?"
  • The Worf Barrage: You know the climax techniques, the super Finishing Moves that kill bosses in the most brutal fashion imaginable? Yeah, they don't work on Balder. He kills them instead.
  • World of Badass
  • World of Ham
  • Wretched Hive: Hell's Gate, AKA "The Dump", pulls double duty as both this and the game's shop. Luka even calls it "A Wretched Hive of scum and villainy."
  • 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!

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