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"Let's dance boys!"
Bayonetta at the end of each game
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Bayonetta is a third person Stylish Action hack and slash game developed by PlatinumGames in the style of Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden, and God of War, starring the title heroine, a badass witch who wears her hair as her clothes, her guns for her shoes, and has 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.

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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" brooch 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.

In 2014, Nintendo published the sequel Bayonetta 2 as an exclusive for the Wii U (Sega still owns the property). For Wii U owners who never played the first game, initial copies of Bayonetta 2 came with an Updated Re-release of the original Bayonetta, effectively giving two games for the price of one, though later copies only have Bayonetta 2 on its own.note  This partnership with Nintendo and a fan-poll led to Bayonetta being announced as the last DLC fighter for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and she would go on to return in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. A third game is currently in development exclusively for the Nintendo Switch and will release in 2022.

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An anime movie adaptation, called Bayonetta: Bloody Fate and produced by GONZO, was released in November 2013.

Not to be confused with Bullet Witch. It has nothing to do with Bayonet Ya either.

The original game got released on Steam for the PC on April 11, 2017. It would later see a Nintendo Switch release alongside Bayonetta 2 on February 16, 2018. It was also released with Vanquish on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on February 18, 2020 in a 10th anniversary launch bundle.


Let's Hit The Tropes!:

  • 100% Completion: You have to collect all 101 Umbran Tears of Blood (which includes beating the game on Nonstop Infinite Climax difficulty) in order to unlock the Climax Brace.
  • 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.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: In the final Wall Run section of Chapter 16, the ground below (behind your playable character from the camera's perspective) rapidly starts burning upwards, and you are expected to run towards the other side. Problem is, Sapienta blocks your path, and you'll have to damage him enough to make way. It's like pushing a wall in front of you while the other wall of doom is coming at you from behind.
  • 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.
  • A.I. Breaker: In Chapter 16, there is an exploit that makes the artillery fight against Temperentia easier than it should be. The green missiles that he launches will only damage your character if you are using the artillery gun (regardless of the missiles actually hitting the walls or not), due to the hitbox being re-positioned in the front of the guns. But if you press the Jump button while Temperentia fires the green missiles, the hitbox returns to your character and you won't take damage unless you forcefully collide with one of them. Repeating this strategy several times until you can get clear potshots at Temperentia works wonders even at higher difficulties. Making you think that you have to shoot down all the missiles is also likely intended to fool the player because you can just dodge the missiles when they get close to avoid them and get Witch Time off of 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. The Hierarchy of Laguna also contains information regarding the enemies.
    • According to The Wonderful 101, Bayonetta really is a nun (that habit wasn't just a cover), and Jeanne is a high-school teacher.
  • All the Worlds are a Stage:
    • A level literally titled "A Remembrance of Time", which is made up of pieces of past levels. Uniquely, this level is only about halfway into the game. Ingeniously disguised in that most of the pieces that are reused from past levels are flipped around, so that you'll be exploring from back to front. As most of the game's levels never require any sort of backtracking, a simple flip is enough to make the reused levels feel more like callbacks than just straight-up rips.
    • The final level, "A Tower to Truth", features every single enemy in the game, up to and including the bosses and minibosses (excluding Jeanne, whose final fight occurs in the level prior to this one. Also excluding the bosses that come after this stage). The only enemy not to make a return is 'Irenic', the car-shaped Angel that ferries enemies along the road in "Route 666".
  • All Witches Have Cats: The Umbra Witches can use the Beast Within to turn into felines so they can run faster. Bayonetta can turn into a panther, Jeanne into a lynx and Rosa into a tiger.
  • Almost Kiss: Bayonetta to Luka, though he was probably the only one who thought that this trope was in play.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: The angels (not including the bosses) are all named alphabetically to correspond with their in-game chronological appearance (with a few exceptions, such as Braves, which are one of the last enemies to show up despite their name beginning with 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.
  • Alternate History: A number of historical events played out differently due to the presences of the witches, sages, and angels. For instance, Cleopatra was actually an Umbra Witch and a very odd species of angel, while the Irenic which looks like an automobile, apparently visited the human world once and its presence inspired the industrial revolution.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Part of how you defeat Jubileus. To put it into perspective, the demon you summon, Queen Sheba, is larger than Jubileus just as Jubileus is larger than Bayonetta or Jeanne.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield:
    • You face the Final Boss in a spherical confinement IN SPACE. It's a mystery 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.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: In a game where a Stripperific witch blows kisses to remove barriers, the trailer for the PC version tries very hard to make it seem like a gritty badass game, complete with Inception blaster beam musical hits.
  • Anachronism Stew: Fly Me To The Moon was written in 1954, but Bayonetta's mother sang the song to her in the 1400'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. There's also an Alfheim Portal in this segment that basically gives you the chance to look at said character's weaponry (but only if you unlocked their counterparts first from playing as Bayonetta).
    • You can also unlock Jeanne and Little King Zero as playable characters for another playthrough. The former can't activate Witch Time as easily but hits considerably harder with Wicked Weaves, and has no dodge limit. Skilled players who do not rely on Witch Time find the former to be stronger than Bayonetta. The latter is a Two Hit Point Wonder who moves a bit faster and has faster magic gain, but also has a permanently-equipped Infernal Communicator accessory, which directly interferes with the game's best accessory, Pulley's Butterfly, and makes the latter considerably tougher to get Pure Platinums with, assuming you're using Pulley's Butterfly which is generally recommended due to its shielding capabilities aiding in both defense and offense.
  • 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, and a swarm of bats for evasion. Jeanne has all of these same abilities, except she turns into a lynx instead of a panther, an owl instead of a crow, and moths instead of bats. Due to her pact with the Infernal Demon Madama Butterfly, the shadow Bayonetta casts also forms a butterfly.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The game automatically saves a checkpoint before any Press X to Not Die moment, and in between each major boss battle phase (which sometimes involves a change in scenery). This allows you to retry without starting the entire battle or stage from scratch.
    • Usually, green crystals have increased chances of dropping from enemies if you are in critical status, or at your Last Chance Hit Point.
    • Some crows carry Umbran Tears of Blood and will quickly flee if you approach them. Speed is necessary in catching them, but if you fail to do so, they will still return to their spot if you stay back for a while. Even if it's a test of patience, this allows you to try catching the crow again without having to reload a checkpoint.
    • Usually, falling into Bottomless Pits will reduce your health meter, but this will play out differently during Iustitia's boss fight; if you fall off a platform, Iustitia will try to swallow you with one of its tentacles and trigger a Quick Time Event. Doing the QTE correctly allows you to return to a platform without suffering any consequences.
  • 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. This makes for a Class X-5 situation.
  • 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 obliterate her when she wakes up, seeing as her grace will destroy the universe. It's the closest an angel can probably come to saying "go to hell".
    • "The Left Eye, our treasured Left Eye, will never fall into the hands of another!". This is said by the Umbra Witches, and becomes climactic when Jeanne says it before rescuing Bayonetta.
    • Balder usually says "My dear, sweet child. Fear not, for I am always watching over you." whenever he speaks to Bayonetta, sometimes via telepathy.
  • Armed Legs: The game allows you to equip weapons on your character's legs, so this comes naturally, albeit with variations depending on the weapons. Bayonetta and Jeanne wear them "naturally" with their getup, while Little King Zero comically has them floating below his body.
    • The most common weapons are guns. Therefore, your character usually has guns on their feet.
    • The Durga and Kali sets become greave-like claws when equipped to the legs.
    • The Odette and Karen ice skates cleave closer to the usual examples of this trope.
  • Arrow Cam: Done with lipstick of all things in Chapter XVI.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: The game's mechanics and cutscenes are notoriously guilty of 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 eyeglasses 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 high-caliber Scarborough Fair guns within inches of their ears. In real life, that would blow out their eardrums and cause long-term hearing problems. Considering the nature of the game, this is all easily explained away with magic. Besides, while Cereza and Luka are still on the human plane of reality, Bayonetta's fighting occurs in Purgatorio where she can't be seen, heard, or felt by those in the human plane (except for Cereza).
  • Astral Finale: The Final Boss fight against Jubileus the Creator takes place in the confines of the solar system. After defeating her, you have to punch her soul from Pluto to the Sun.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Most angels have red orbs that serve as their weak points, dealing bonus damage when hit. The larger mooks such as the Kinships, Golems and Braves, as well as Audito bosses like Sapienta have theirs sticking out like a sore thumb. These orbs are also automatically targeted by your Wicked Weave attacks.
  • Attentive Shade Lowering: The titular character lowers her glasses in a cutscene shown here [1].
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Moonlight Massacre, a special technique for the katana weapons (修羅刃 -Shuraba-, Pillow Talk, Angel Slayer and Bloody Moon). It is one of the most powerful attacks, but it takes a long time to charge up while you stand still, and the red beam of energy can often miss the enemy.
  • 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 (the latter can only be received by 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 the number of deaths and items used), ranging again from Stone to Pure Platinum (the latter 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. If you unlock Jeanne as a playable character, she also has her own trophies distinct from Bayonetta).
  • Bad Powers, Good People: The entire Umbra Witches, including Bayonetta and Jeanne, make contracts with the demons, basically selling their souls to go to Inferno when they die, but in turn, gain the ability to summon the demons to slaughter their enemies (normally angels). They can slow down time with the express purpose of using this ability to combo and kill their foes while they can't defend themselves, and can even summon horrible torture devices to kill their opponents as brutally as possible. Even so, they are never depicted as evil for a couple of reasons. First, they're needed to represent The Sacred Darkness opposite of their counterparts and fellow guardians of the Eyes of the World, the Lumen Sages, who possess light-themed versions of their powers. Second, the angels are decisively not on the side of humanity, while a few demons (but far from all) are suggested to be much nicer than you'd think.
  • Backtracking: Several hidden Verses, including Alfheim portals, require you to go back to previous areas when you have no apparent reason to do so. If you just plow straight ahead, don't be surprised if you see a bunch of empty spaces in your end-of-chapter medal tally followed by a Stone Award (as skipped Verses count as Stone Medals in award calculations).
  • Badass Biker: Bayonetta and Jeanne both ride motorcycles at certain points of the game, and they drive those cool bikes stylishly while killing angels.
  • Bad Habits: Bayonetta dresses up like a nun at the beginning of the game, so does Jeanne at the end of the game.
  • Baleful Polymorph: One of Jubileus' attacks is a series of tracking blue discs that will turn Bayonetta into Cereza for a couple of seconds.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: If you execute a Torture Attack against Harmony angels, they will try to barehandedly block your chainsaw.
  • Beast with a Human Face: Many Angels have marble, statuesque human faces, which are often the only human features on them. For example, Fortitudo is a gigantic two-headed dragon which has an upside-down face on its torso, while Sapientia is a colossal lizard with human faces on the joints of its legs.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: The Flavor Text of the Selene's Light accessory states that Cleopatra was a head witch in Ancient Egypt.
  • BFG: Bayonetta's Lt. Col. Kilgore, and Jeanne's Col. Slade are sets of ROCKET LAUNCHER TONFAS. Quadruple wielded, of course!
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Bayonetta during the start of Chapter XI, where she cleans house on a flock of angels threatening Luka and Cereza.
    • Jeanne saving Bayonetta during the Epilogue.
    • Luka has few moments of saving Bayonetta, usually involving a stolen vehicle of some kind.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: Bayonetta's conversation with the angels is this; she speaks English while the angels speak Enochian. The best part is that both sides can perfectly understand one another. Interestingly, Bayonetta can actually speak Enochian, but only when summoning demons. It makes you wonder why she speaks English towards the angels.
  • 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: You can equip the Moon of Mahaa-Kalaa accessory that allows you to block enemy attacks and counter if done well, much like Dante's Royal Guard style from the Devil May Cry series. As a boss, Jeanne has the ability to block attacks too, even in the middle of a combo.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • Rodin is possibly one of the hardest bonus bosses in a Stylish Action hack-and-slash game ever. He's also a great and straightforward example of this trope in the genre because the fight isn't really story-related, and he is a true ally to begin with!
    • A second bonus boss can be fought at the end of Angel Slayer mode. It turns out to be Bayonetta herself.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: You can unlock Jeanne and Zero as playable characters, and they will also be integrated within the game's cutscenes and most scripted animations, making a huge case of Gameplay and Story Segregation. It can somehow work for Jeanne because she shares the same Umbra Witch body model and animations of Bayonetta, but it gets more jarring for Zero because his model doesn't interact properly with the other objects in the cutscene; for example, you can see the Scarborough Fair floating near him when Rodin gives said weapons in the Gates of Hell.
  • Bonus Level of Hell: The Lost Chapter "Angel Slayer", which is unlocked by completing all Alfheim challenges. Going through dozens of waves of enemies and insane bosses (fighting two Jeannes on Hard setting being one of the easiest parts). It would be fun if you could use healing items, right? Unfortunately, healing is prohibited here. Also the difficulty setting starts on Normal and increases progressively, ending with Non-Stop Climax. And if you die, don't expect that you can just select "yes" at the continue screen because there are no checkpoints; you are expected to do all of it in one shot. Nintendo Hard indeed.
  • Bookends:
    • 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 the same 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 uses 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. She 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, hopes that they will help her in Hell. After the fake funeral, Bayonetta remarks that rosemary's symbol of remembrance now suits her.
      • 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.
      • Finally, the nun outfit. Bayonetta wears it in the Prologue while Jeanne gets the same disguise during the ending scene.
    • 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 that one too.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Gracious and Glorious are exactly the same as Grace and Glory but are faster, more aggressive, deal more damage, and can't normally be Witch Timed off from. Expect to see the four of them a lot in Hard mode. They even have no problems 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 (as well as Father Balder) are entire levels unto themselves (though Iustitia serves up a few enemies before the proper boss fight).
  • Boss Rush: Or rather, a mini-boss rush occurs in Chapter XV, where you face different groups of mini-bosses in different stages, and along the way, fight weaker forms of the previous bosses.
  • Boss Subtitles:
    • 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 cutscene and a Pastel-Chalked Freeze Frame that displays the name and class of the enemy. It's 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 heralds the Final Boss battle. Also, 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: Chapter 14 has the music stop and a siren resounding just before you fight Mini Bosses Courage and Temperance. It 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.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The game has two:
  • Bragging Theme Tune: "Mysterious Destiny" is mostly this, although the lyrics are not only about Bayonetta's awesomeness.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Bayonetta says this line when Cereza starts crying on their first meeting.
    Bayonetta: If there's two things I hate in this world, it's cockroaches and crying babies. [Beat] Well, a crying baby cockroach would be truly terrible.
  • Bring It:
    • Bayonetta says a lot of these 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.
    • Bayonetta actually says the trope-naming line if you do a taunt while she's wielding 修羅刃 -Shuraba-.
    • Equip Durga on Bayonetta's hands and feet and she lies back and says "Come on!" while spreading her legs wide open!
    • Think Bayonetta's got some good ones? Play as Jeanne and she will say "You muthaFUCKAH!" in her battle quotes. Then for shits and giggles, equip Angel Slayer.
    • The First Ardor you meet does this as well. Unfortunately for him, you can kill him in five seconds.
  • Bullet Hell: The rocket ride section of Chapter 14 becomes one on higher difficulties such as Non-Stop Infinite Climax; the enemies constantly fire their projectiles, leaving you little time to breathe or attack. Even if your barrel roll dodge gives you sufficient invincibility frames, you're still going to have a hard time once you are barraged with green orbs, especially if the enemies come in waves.
  • Bullet Hole Door: Bayonetta shoots a heart-shaped one for Luka and Cereza through a security gate that has just been closed.
  • Bullet Time:
    • Any Witch Time sequence. 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 "Light Speed" as a counterpart to Witch Time. Balder uses this against Bayonetta in Chapter XVI's opening cutscene 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" trophy, as the award looks like him falling flat on his rear, accompanied by his quip "Oh, what a day!"
    • 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.
    • The lowest-ranking angels, Affinities, are the enemy version of this, considering how Bayonetta abuses them so much during cutscenes (like being used as a surfboard to ride a magma wave).
  • Button Mashing:
    • Torture and Climax attacks inflict more damage and reward more halos if you mash an attack button while they're in progress.
    • This video has Bayonetta as an example of a game with a low skill floor and a high skill ceiling. The presenter claims that you can beat the game "by hitting the controller against your face", but if you want to drive up the Awesomeness Meter and unlock all of the cool stuff, then you will have to practice.
  • Call-Back: In the Epilogue, it's revealed that Jeanne managed to make it back to Bayonetta after finding her motorcycle floating in space, all while smiling with a gleam in her eye. Back in Chapter 15, Luka, Cereza, and her Chesire stuffed toy all have gleams on their eyes, smiling while being able to escape from an explosion.
  • Camera Screw: Usually in crowded fights, the camera doesn't particularly give you any idea where the enemies are if they surround you and keep on moving. It's worse during boss fights, especially Jubileus who fights you from above, but keeps the camera looking down on you.
  • Car Fu:
    • Jeanne's first appearance in Chapter 2 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).
  • Censor Steam: Always happens to Bayonetta, considering her clothes are more or less her hair. When she uses a Climax Attack, her hair takes a steam-like appearance spiraling around her body as most of it is used to power the attack.
  • Chainsaw Good: The Torture Attack animations against Harmony-class angels makes you whip out from Hammerspace a chainsaw three times the size of Bayonetta or Jeanne. And unlike other torture devices, you get to keep it afterward, mostly because it's the only device that's an actual melee weapon and because the said enemy doesn't have any weapons to drop. This is both referenced and lampshaded by one of Rodin's quotes when entering his bar: "I don't care how many times you ask. I'm not putting a chainsaw on your arm."
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Bayonetta's lipstick. Luka tries to trick her so that he can get some camera shots. She later uses it as a bullet to kill Father Balder.
    • Bayonetta's 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 not only to protect herself from an otherwise fatal explosion, but to break Balder's Mind Control on her.
    • The remote-controlled warheads that Jeanne used in Isla del Sol. They save Luka's life twice, both with the intervention (or magic) of Bayonetta.
  • Cherubic Choir: The background music of the Paradiso levels are made of this. They are stunningly beautiful and relaxing. There's also the dedicated music for the Mook Debut Cutscenes.
  • 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 of Darkness". Her father is "The Right Eye of Light". Together, they make up "The Eyes of the World".
  • Circling Birdies: Stunned enemies (be it Mooks or gigantic Eldritch Abominations) have stylized stars circling around them, usually indicating that they're vulnerable to a Punish attack.
  • Climax Boss:
    • Jeanne no longer holds back in your third fight with her in Chapter 14, and she will have her own Boss Subtitles displayed on-screen to highlight this.
    • The CEO of the Ithavoll Corporation, Father Balder, the last of the Lumen Sages and Bayonetta's father. You fight him while falling from a 500+ story-tall building on pieces of exploding rubble while the entire building detonates and you play tennis with buildings and catch with Satellite Lasers while he violently murders your demonic summons one by one. To finish him, you steer a bullet made of lipstick into his forehead while Bayonetta says "Don't fuck with a witch."
  • Clock Tower: The playable introductory scene takes place on a clock tower as it tumbles from an impossibly high cliff face. This clock tower shows up again in Chapter IX; it's where you start the level, and Bayonetta remarks that it looks familiar to her.
  • Colossus Climb: Several of the bosses, notably Temperentia and Iustitia have to be climbed over.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Bayonetta fights dirty. When she stuns an angel, she can use one of her Punish attacks; all are different (she can Slam, Slap, Stomp, Stab, Punch, or even Spank the angel) but they all amount to dealing damage while the angel is helpless. She can also use a Punish attack to set one up for a Wicked Weave or Torture Attack. From a gameplay perspective, this also applies to Jeanne or Zero once they're Promoted to Playable, because they will copy these mechanics of Bayonetta.
  • Combat Stilettos: Bayonetta and Jeanne have these, which double as guns that can be used for Gun Fu.
  • Concept Art Gallery: Available after completing the game, it includes art from characters, objects, locations, enemies and bosses.
  • Consulting Mister Puppet: Before and after Bayonetta fights Iustitia, she jokingly asks Cheshire what to do by placing it near her ear, as if the puppet whispers something. Although no Ventriloquism is involved, Bayonetta is the one answering her own questions for Rule of Funny's sake.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: 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. This is why you have other stuff that's only used in Boss Battles; that's where the demon summoning comes in.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Lava won't deal damage unless it's directly touching your character. You can even walk on it with Fire Durga or Odette (or Jeanne's respective equivalents, Fire Kali and Karen) equipped to your feet!
  • Cool Car:
    • Irenic, a type of angel that happens to look like an automobile. Lampshaded by its respective Flavor Text:
      "If humans were truly able to see angels, they would never expect an angel to appear as an automobile."
    • Enzo has one, which given his Butt-Monkey status, gets wrecked all the time.
  • Counter-Attack: With precise timing, the Moon of Mahaa-Kalaa allows you to block and counter enemies with a headbutt.
  • Crapsack World: It's played for a certain level of humor and hidden under the relatively shiny graphics, but on the greater scale of things, Bayonetta's world sucks. The Demons of Inferno are evil monsters who want to torment human souls forever, and bargaining with them guarantees an eternity of torment upon death. Meanwhile, the Angels of Paradiso are Eldritch Abominations that disguise themselves with exoskeletons of marble, gold and gems to appear more palatable to humans and hold just as much contempt for humanity as the Demons do, if not more. Their lowest ranks are literally nothing but Cannon Fodder to them, and this may or may not have something to do with how they're implied to be engineered from human souls.
  • 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, Jeanne literally stomps out the credits.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The bosses' deaths and just about all the Torture Attacks, but especially on the Joys. Taunt one, then finish with a Torture Combo. See where the spike on the horse is sticking in?
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The game involves Heaven and Hell, but calls them Paradiso and Inferno. Plus, the angels here don't really look or act conventionally compared to modern Christianity depictions (they're closer to the traditional Abrahamic angels who are actually far more scary looking, and scary acting), and God is a woman.
  • Creepy Crows: Crows are often associated with darkness and witches.
    • There are 51 specific crows in the game carrying Umbran Tears of Blood which you need to get the Climax Brace, and they will easily flee if they spot you.
    • Bayonetta herself can transform into a crow, and one of her Climax Attacks involves summoning Malphas, a giant crow demon.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max:
    • In cutscenes, Bayonetta always performs amazing aerial maneuvers, one-shots enemies with her handguns, and performs moves that would put The Matrix to shame. Naturally, actual gameplay isn't so acrobatic, and her guns aren't so powerful. There are also few cutscenes where Bayonetta uses the "Bat Within" evasion technique even if you haven't purchased it from Rodin's shop yet.
    • Just like Bayonetta, Jeanne performs acrobatics in cutscenes that can't be replicated in-game, both as a boss and as a playable character.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: A curious case - dash moves and launcher moves can be executed by locking-on 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 the controls of Devil May Cry. This can be played straight when switching between the Wii U version of this game and Bayonetta 2. The default control scheme for Bayonetta 1 sets the R button to lock-on and the ZL button to switch weapons. This is reversed in the default controls of Bayonetta 2, 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:
    • The "Breakdance" move lets you perform a dozen windmills while shooting your feet-guns, then finish in a super sexy pose.
    • Joys mimic many of Bayonetta's moves, and thus follow suit. An entry in the PlatinumGames blog even mentions their dance battle motif.
  • Dance-Off: The first Joy disguises herself as Bayonetta, and tries to take Cereza away. The challenge is a dance off. Bayonetta wins, pissing off the angel enough to attack her and reveal its true form.
  • Dancing Theme: Several of Bayonetta's attacks involve poledancing and breakdancing. The game finishes itself off with one.; several characters/angels dance along with Bayonetta in the ending.
  • Dark Is Evil: The Demons of Inferno may grant their power to Umbra Witches like Bayonetta, but that power comes at the price of having to slay Angels and pay a daily tithe of halos or else be dragged into Inferno. Also, death results in a witch being dragged body and soul into Inferno for unspeakable torment.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Umbra Witches are a clan of dark magic users who get their powers by literally making contracts with the demons and make it a habit of hunting down and killing angels, Bayonetta in particular, is quite sexually provocative and snarky. However, they are protectors of the world, and the angels are actually Eldritch Abominations who want to wipe out humanity. On the other hand, Infernal Demons come in both the relatively decent and Dark Is Evil varieties, especially come Bayonetta 2.
  • Dark Magical Girl: All Umbra Witches are one due to their magical powers resulting from a Deal with the Devil. Bayonetta tends to feel like this with her Transformation Sequence at the start of the game when she goes from a sexy nun to a gun-toting action witch. Jeanne also counts because she's also an Umbra Witch just like Bayonetta, but it's played with because she's associated with the angels for most of the game's plot due to her brainwashing.
  • Deal with the Devil: The Umbra Witches, including Bayonetta and Jeanne, make pacts with the demons of Inferno in exchange for magical powers. As a consequence, their souls are Dragged Off to Hell when they die. Like the Lumen Sages though, souls trapped in Inferno can eventually become demons or even demon lords, which is actually loosely implied to be a (slightly) better fate than becoming an angel.
  • 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.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • The trophies awarded at the end of each chapter are modeled after in-game characters. If you have not met that particular character in the story yet when you get their trophy, it will be modeled after a generic monk instead.
    • As explained by Kamiya, the Switch port does not let you use the console's video capture feature if "Fly Me To The Moon" would be playing in any part of the video, but if you turn BGM off, you will be allowed to capture video in parts that would otherwise play the track. This is likely to avoid any copyright issues for anyone sharing their gameplay videos online.
    • Some Torture animations play out differently depending on the circumstances. For example, the camera would make a close-up on the Jiggle Physics of the Joys if you haven't severely damaged them yet.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Yes, you can do it with Jubileus, and hard enough that her soul is knocked out of her body and flies all the way from Pluto into the sun.
  • Diesel Punk: Not as blatant as other examples, but it's quite clear that the overall 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 it requires precise timing, just like Dante's Royal Guard Style from Devil May Cry.
  • Disappears into Light: All Angelic beings and weapons form a silhouette of light before expiring. The enemies combine this effect with Defeat Equals Explosion.
  • 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 supposed funeral at the end. It's actually just a bait for some angels.
  • Disturbed Doves: Luka's first appearance has this happen in mid-leap while he's running from a Vigrid security officer.
  • Do a Barrel Roll: In Chapter 14 where you are piloting a missile, hitting the Evade button makes the entire screen spiral.
  • Double Jump: Bayonetta and Jeanne do it by temporarily growing butterfly and moth wings, respectively. Little King Zero also has the former's wings when you play as him.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: 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 your character on the game over screen if you choose not to continue. It turns out that all Umbra Witches experience this when they die, not just Bayonetta and Jeanne.
  • 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, you can double wield it. You can also dual wield some weapon types twice - once for the hand weapons and once for the leg weapons. Perhaps this mechanic can be called Quadruple Wielding?
  • Early Game Hell: Just like Devil May Cry, this game can be brutal early on when you don't have everything yet and don't have ways to reliably crowd-control enemies.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The fate of the Earth should either Jubileus' body or soul crash onto it.
  • Easier Than Easy: Very Easy/Automatic mode, also nicknamed "Mommy mode" by Kamiya himself but also derided in some circles as "Fap Mode."
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Playing on Easy or Very Easy removes all Umbra Crows, removes Alfheim portals, and replaces health and magic upgrades 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.
  • Eaten Alive: Gomorrah and Malphas do this when summoned to execute certain enemies.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Every angelic enemy is one (be it a regular mook or a boss) after its armor cracks away and you see what it really looks like.
  • Eldritch Location: Paradiso, Alfheim and whatever realm Jubileus sends you off to during your battle with her.
  • Elemental Powers: Each of the four Cardinal Virtues represents an element: Fire, wind, earth, and water, and in that specific order.
  • Epic Fail: Hekatoncheir's Climax move toys with the spherical Golem like a volleyball game. The final attack is supposedly a powerful spike, but the last pair of hands awkwardly fail to hit, causing the Golem to bounce to the ground. These moments will be accompanied by a comedic sound effect and a muted background music as the arms stay still before brutally punching the sphere to death.
  • Escort Mission: Some levels require you to protect and rescue Cereza. They are surprisingly well-done and aren't overly frustrating, mostly because they're brief, and Cereza's Regenerating Health helps a lot.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning:
    • Bayonetta and Jeanne spin their guns after every attack if they have those equipped in their hands. The Breakdance attack also makes you perform multiple windmills while firing off any guns on their feet in every direction. There's also the Witch Twist, wherein you dodge 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 Counterpart: Bayonetta has several of them:
    • Jeanne because she's also an Umbra Witch having similar moves, powers and weapons, but serves as an obstacle to Bayonetta's mission. It's later revealed that Jeanne is brainwashed, so she pulls a Heel–Face Turn once she's freed from it.
    • Balder since he is the Right Eye of the world while Bayonetta is the Left Eye.
    • The Joys seem to be this to both Bayonetta and the Umbra Witches in general. In fact, all of their animations are based on Bayonetta's; they use her Scarborough Fair Taunt as their own, her "finger snap" animation for some moves, the same parry animation, and the same animation while summoning feathers that she uses when making Torture Attacks. The first Joy you fight even disguises itself as Bayonetta to try to lure Cereza away.
  • Evil Is Bigger: The bosses in this game are enormous and so are the demons that you summon while fighting them.
  • Evil Knockoff: The shapeshifting Golem can mimic the demons you summon 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 Iustitia'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.
  • Excuse Plot: Not that the overall story is bad, but between the opening in the graveyard and Bayonetta beginning her escort of Cereza, the entirety of the plot can be summed-up to: "Bayonetta has a stone; someone in Europe has a matching stone; Bayonetta wants the stone." She never even gets the second stone, thanks to getting sidetracked after discovering what the "Eyes of the World" really are, and her own stone gets snatched by Jeanne as a power-booster for her Umbra Witch magic. The story manages to remain interesting due to the characters' interactions and Bayonetta's returning memories.
  • Expy:
    • There are two demons that are based on ones from Devil May Cry; Scolopendra is an expy of Gigapede, and Phantasmaraneae is an expy of Phantom. The latter comparison is made obvious by the almost-similar names.
    • The final boss, Jubileus, is a huge statue that represents God and comes to life by absorbing someone, just like The Savior.
  • Face Doodling: Bayonetta does it to Luka with her lipstick while he's talking to her. The markings look pretty familiar.
  • Faking the Dead:
    • Happens in the cemetery areas. In the Prologue, Rodin fakes his death and is placed inside a coffin, while Bayonetta-as-a-nun recites prayers and Enzo is the gravedigger. These acts are done to lure out some angels for Bayonetta to hunt, with the one inside the coffin waking up to assist her in battle. This also happens in the Epilogue where Bayonetta and Rodin re-enact the same plan, but this time, they have Jeanne as the nun and Bayonetta in the coffin. Enzo and Luka both think that Bayonetta is truly dead... until the lid flies out.
    • This is later pulled off to absurd levels; even if a character plummets several vertical miles or is consumed by a fiery explosion, it's certain they'll be back on their feet in no time thanks to some unseen Hand Waved event (such as Luka's grapple even getting him out of explosions unscathed). Besides Luka, the major characters who invoke this include Rodin, Father Balder, Bayonetta and Jeanne (who merits a mention for not only surviving around seven certain deaths, but for managing to return after the Jubileus fight by using a motorcycle in space).
  • Fanservice: Most of the game is filled with fanservice, especially during cutscenes; from small ones like the lollipops, to the gradually disappearing clothing, the ass shots, the innuendos in the dialogue, and so on.
  • Fantastic Measurement System: Megatons for Torture Attacks, Gigatons for Climax moves, and Infinitons for the Final Boss.
  • Feminist Fantasy:
    • Bayonetta is an insanely powerful Umbra Witch who uses Full-Contact Magic, a variety of weapons, her intelligence, and snark to tear her way through everything in her path. She is one of the last Umbra Witches, an order of women warriors charged with helping to uphold the balance of the world. She is a stylish, sexy, sarcastic fantasy action game hero, an archetype that was Always Male before her game came out. Unlike many less effective 'sexy' Action Heroines, her Camp approach allows her to serve as a silly Escapist Character who gamers relate to and want to be, rather than a well-rendered pair of buttocks for the assumed-straight-male gamer to stare at from a distance. We also get to see her as a child, a mother and a nun, implying a femininity that is more complex than just sex.
    • The male cast members are almost entirely support or comic relief, with Bayonetta and Jeanne both serving as the driving forces behind the game. Jubileus the Creator has a feminine form, suggesting that the God worshipped by the male Lumen Sages and the normal humans may in fact, be female.
    • The game has Romanticism Versus Enlightenment along traditional myth tropes of the light masculine principle and dark feminine principle, suggesting that feminine subversion, liminality, feeling, sexuality and fun is the only way to dismantle boring, orderly, oppressive, repressed patriarchy. At the end of the game, Bayonetta summons a prostitute demon to punch the Abrahamic God into the Sun, in an attack called a "Climax".
    • Bayonetta is a strong subversion of the belief that Real Women Don't Wear Dresses. Her girly accoutrements are all sources of her power - her Combat Stilettos are guns, her jewellery is a MacGuffin, her fancy glasses are her mother's, her lollipop is her connection to her childhood, her perfume allows her to signal her presence despite being hidden in a pocket dimension, she uses her lipstick to write, and her long Prehensile Hair is a medium by which she can summon an extremely powerful demon. However, she's also fine with the idea of "a girl without lipstick", avoiding the inversion.
  • Finishing Move: A prompt to unleash a "Climax" attack occurs at the end of any boss fight, wherein you summon a large demon to finish the enemy off.
  • Fire Is Masculine:
    • The all-female Umbra Witches are associated with shadows and the moon. The all-male Lumen Sages are associated with fire, light and the sun.
    • Rodin is a large, intimidating man with a bald head and a deep voice. He can also use fire magic and was even once an angel himself, tying into the game's association of the heavenly side with fire and light.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: In the Epilogue Chapter, Jeanne falls from the rocket into space, and with Bayonetta's distressed expression, it implies that she won't make it out alive. But when Bayonetta summons Queen Sheba, swirls of white hair spawn from the magic circle. By that point, players will realize that the white hair comes from Jeanne, and it's confirmed just a few moments later; Jeanne makes a comeback, while a cutscene somehow explains that she returned with the floating motorcycle.
  • Flavor Text: Descriptions of accessories in Rodin's shop go rather long, but they do highlight the important, gameplay-relevant parts for you.
  • Flawless Victory: Taking zero damage in a Verse will award a special "No Damage" remark and a Platinum rank for damage taken, which in turn, is required alongside Platinum ranks for the combo score and completion time criteria to get a Pure Platinum Medal. In the bigger scheme of things, this means that flawless victories and Pure Platinum Medals are required for all Verses if you want to get a Pure Platinum Trophy at the end of the chapter.
  • Flunky Boss: During the Unexpected Shmup Level of Chapter 14, you face "Temperance", a knock-off of the second boss, Temperantia. It wouldn't be anywhere near as difficult if it weren't for the constant swarms of Decoration angels flying through and firing green energy bullets at you.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In Chapter 2, Luka notices the scent of angels and compares it to the scent on the day when his father died. He could have said this line earlier to Bayonetta whom he accused as the murderer, but why did Luka remember the past just when the angels were near him? Because the angels were actually the ones who killed his father, not Bayonetta.
    • Earlier in the game, Bayonetta asks Jeanne "Who are you? And don't you dare say my long lost sister." Jeanne scoffs at first, but this becomes meaningful later on in the Epilogue where Jeanne says: "I am here to reclaim my Umbran sister!"
    • In a flashback scene of Chapter 3, an imprisoned Bayonetta jokes that she's really into stuffed animals. It hints at her connection to Cereza, a little girl she meets in the same chapter who is carrying a stuffed toy cat.
    • When Cereza bumps into Bayonetta for the first time, the latter recollects a memory of her singing "Fly Me to the Moon" in a flashback glimpse. In the penultimate chapter, Bayonetta returns Cereza to her proper timeline, sending her to sleep while singing the same song.
    • The wood carving with the inscription "Jeanne & Cereza". Do you think it's the little kid Jeanne keeps following around? Nope, this is yet another hint that Cereza and Bayonetta are the same person.
    • When Luka, Cereza, and Bayonetta all meet for the first time at the airbase, Luka incorrectly believes that Bayonetta killed Cereza's parents. Ironically when the story already made it clear who Cereza is, Bayonetta does just that later on, at least to Father Balder. Rosa died during the witch hunts from unrelated causes.
  • For Want of a Nail: The Umbran Watch. A simple accessory at first glance, isn't it? This is actually the crux or the final piece of the puzzle that Balder relied on to fulfill his plan. Just before the Angels tried to take the Left Eye from the Umbran Witches, Jeanne stabs Cereza in the heart, sealing her and preventing the Left Eye from awakening. This version of Cereza is later sealed in the lake, until Antonio Redgrave found her, and awakened as the "Bayonetta" the player is controlling. When Bayonetta meets her younger self, she is confused as Cereza also had an Umbran Watch like her. She told Cereza to always keep the Watch with her as a prized possession, while giving Cereza a red tie so that she won't lose it. Bayonetta's Umbran Watch is then used to access a portal that allows her to return Cereza to the past. While the little girl fulfilled her promise of becoming an Umbran Witch when she grew up, the sealing ritual failed after the Watch blocked Jeanne's knife. With the Angels descending, Cereza and Jeanne fought them together in the clock tower (as seen in the battle prior to the Prologue Chapter), and consequently, the Left Eye remains awake. This domino-effect of events from a corrected timeline then restored Bayonetta's memories as Cereza. Phew!
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the opening cutscene, Bayonetta is reading the Bible upside down.
  • Full-Contact Magic: Umbra Witches incorporate this to their fighting style in order to shoot with both hands and feet, summon demons with their hair, summon Wicked Weaves to take their enemies down during combos, all while kicking angel ass stylishly. From a gameplay perspective, Zero does it too when you unlock him as a playable character, simply because he just copies the mechanics and abilities of the two playable Umbra Witches.
  • Funny Background Event: After the road rage at the end of the Prologue Chapter, Bayonetta saves Enzo by throwing him back to the car. Enzo sits up straight, while his hat perfectly falls back to his head without him noticing.
  • Gainaxing: Not much from our heroine, but it happens with the Joys occasionally, especially during their Torture Attack animations.
  • Gambit Roulette: The entire twisted plot and most of its equally-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 Bug: Route 666 has collision detection issues. Near the end when you are forced onto a side route, you MUST jump over a gap with no indication, then NOT JUMP over a later one. Failing either of these will result in you clipping through the bridge and taking damage from falling before the game makes you run through that section again.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: According to the lore, Witch Walk only works when there's a full moon. This is reflected in-game; in any Scripted Event that allows you to use Witch Walk, there's actually a full moon in the background sky (the camera will usually focus on it during cutscenes as well). Should you reach the end of the scripted event, it also happens that the moon will be covered, reverting your character back to the normal gravity orientation.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • As a consequence of being merged with the statue of Jubileus, Bayonetta does not appear in Chapter 16's Angel Attack Mini-Game, as well as the Gates of Hell in the Epilogue. However, you can still play the mini-game, or browse and purchase items in the shop as usual.
    • An odd case of Shared Life Meter is present in the Epilogue. Any amount of damage you receive while playing as Jeanne will also be reflected on Bayonetta's life bar the moment you start fighting the Final Boss.
    • The main story is told from the perspectives of Bayonetta, Luka, and Cereza. The two other playable characters (Jeanne and Zero) simply reuse Bayonetta's spot and animations in cutscenes, which throws story integration out of the window because it wouldn't make sense for the story to feature them as the protagonist when it's all about Bayonetta. You can play as Jeanne throughout the whole game once you unlock her, even if she spends most of her screentime brainwashed by Balder.
  • Gameplay Roulette: The gameplay is rather consistent 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. After that, the gameplay becomes more varied; you fight a boss on a surfboard, ride said boss to lead him to the giant spider you just summoned (Chapter 13), shoot 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 (the first part of it also makes you run towards the camera). Finally, after maiming the Final Boss, a mini-game makes you send its soul into the sun while steering around the planets, and you have to destroy its body while falling in the middle of space.
  • Gender-Restricted Ability: Subverted. While it seems like every Umbra Witch was a woman and every Lumen Sage was a man, Hideki Kamiya clarified on Twitter that there were male Witches and female Sages, though they were implied to be fairly uncommon.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: You can summon these in Wicked Weaves if the combo finisher is a kick attack.
  • Gigantic Moon: The Moon is absurdly huge, being at least ten times as big as it would be in real life. It is probably intentional, as the Moon is an important theme in the game.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: The end credits (the real ones, not the ones that have the Credits Gag) include scenes where Joys dance with Bayonetta when the backdrop changes to Paradiso.
  • God and Satan Are Both Jerks: The demons are genuinely evil, interspersed with a few Noble Demons who are honest about their brutality and intentions but can be at least relied on to uphold a deal until the deal is met. The angels look pretty but are actually monstrous once you get past their gold and marble appearances, to say nothing of their personalities. Despite this, both groups have their respective mortal servants; Umbra Witches and Lumen Sages who are both noble organizations, not that this stops angels and demons using both of them for their own desires.
  • 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 Bayonetta's finishing moves.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: Played with. The Umbra Witches wear glasses and Lumen Sages wear monocles. At first, it seems that they do that so they can see the angels and demons in Purgatorio. But later in the game, Cereza enchants her own glasses and gives them to Luka so that he can see the angels, but she says the glasses themselves aren't magical and she can still see the angels (or "ghosts" as she calls them) just fine without them.
  • Good Is Not Nice: The heroes are the Umbra Witches, snarky crusaders of darkness who use powers gained by making a Deal with the Devil to slaughter evil angels, and however good they are for defending humanity, they are not always very nice or polite.
  • The Goomba: The Affinity angels. In a cutscene, Bayonetta can wipe out a small platoon of them with just some ordinary handguns before she gets the Scarborough Fair.
  • Gorn: The Torture Attacks definitely qualify because the angels' marble layers are usually flayed to reveal some organic flesh underneath.
  • Gratuitous Latin: Lumen (light) Sages and Umbra (shadow) Witches, and the bosses Fortitudo (courage), Temperantia (moderation), Sapientia (wisdom), Iustitia (Justice), and Dea (goddess) Jubileus.
  • Gravity Screw: The Witch Walk mechanic allows you to Wall Run on walls or ceilings, though it's only present in certain Scripted Events when there's a full moon. One collectible note explains that this gravity-defying power is granted to Umbra Witches by a particularly powerful demon.
  • Groin Attack:
    • If you use a Torture Attack on a Joy (a female angel), you will then summon a massive wooden horse with spikes along its spine. The Joy will attempt to run away in fear upon seeing it, but you will capture her with a chain, pull her onto the horse and slam her crotch down onto the horse's spikes.
    • A more minor example, but it happens when the player doesn't continue on the game over screen. With all the hands that drag Bayonetta or Jeanne down, two of them go over each breast, and one goes right on their privates.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Midway through Chapter VI, you have to escort young Cereza through a battle Verse. But in order to escort this assumed ordinary human child, you have to be in the human world, which means you can't directly interact with the angels in Purgatorio. The section of Antonio's notebook that mentions the surrounding terrain exists in all three worlds simultaneously (which means that picking up a lamppost and whacking the angels to death with it is a viable strategy) is actually found after that battle Verse.
    • The Alfheim portals often (but not always) require backtracking through entire portions of a level because they only appear after you get past a certain point or accomplish a certain action, without any indication whatsoever. For example, one of them only appears if you shoot a specific trash can. Few Alfheim challenges can also leave you clueless; like staying in the air for 30 seconds with nothing to help you but an aggressive and uncooperative pair of Grace & Glory. And if you're not using a guide/walkthrough and miss the easiest one to find in Chapter III, the very existence of the Alfheim portals would most likely be unknown to you.
    • Finding all 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, and some can only be acquired after you finish specific Alfheim portals.
    • Good luck trying to obtain all the weapons, by cheating or otherwise, without a guide in hand. One of them, the Sai Fung, can't even be obtained through the cheat phone that you could normally use to unlock stuff.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: Choosing "No" on the Game Over/Continue screen causes your character to be dragged screaming down to Hell by multiple demonic hands. This scene always happens every time you fail the Angel Slayer Mode, as you are not given the chance to continue.
  • Gun Fu: Not only can you equip guns on your hands, you can also equip guns or your feet, including shotguns on feet, or rocket launcher tonfa on feet. The Umbra Witches surely know how to do gun-fu with all four limbs, and even the secret playable character Zero can do it too! Sometimes, you can do this while poledancing.
  • Guns Akimbo: Bayonetta and Jeanne do this with both guns in their hands and guns strapped to their feet, just to screw with the trope even more. To screw it even further, play as Zero and notice how the guns are barely attached to his character model.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Land the finishing blow with a bladed weapon and you'll cut an angel in half.
  • Hand Cannon: While Jeanne's guns are just big semi-autos, artwork and renders show Bayonetta's Scarborough Fair pistols to be gigantic break-open manual loaders that somehow take rounds in the 4-gauge range. She never breaks them open because that wouldn't be awesome.
  • Hard Light: Some 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. In this mode, Witch Time is also disabled.
  • 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 about it, especially in the ending.
  • Hit Stop: The combat system uses this a lot; Wicked Weaves and the Evil Harvest Rosary's orbs briefly slow down the action for dramatic effect, while killing the last enemy in a Verse will freeze the action in a "camera shot" style. The game will also pause briefly if the playable character suffers massive damage from a single attack (though certain enemy attacks will cause it too regardless of damage).
  • 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 in demon-text, it says: BALDER & ROSA, 19.3.1394, WITH LOVE UNTIL THE END OF TIME. And 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 have these, 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.
  • Holy Pipe Organ: Considering how your foes are angels, it makes sense that their Mook Debut Cutscenes are set to divine-sounding organ backed with a choir.
  • Hood Hopping: The level "Route 666" starts out as this, with you facing off a wave of lesser angels on top of vehicles.
  • Hurl It into the Sun: This is how you get rid of Jubileus. You have the goddess of Inferno punch her soul into the Sun all the way from Pluto.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: 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. When you unlock Jeanne as a playable character, she has a counterpart for every weapon that Bayonetta can wield, while Zero will have Bayonetta's weapons as well, even if his body is smaller than the playable Umbra Witches.
  • I Fell for Hours: The game starts with this as you fight angels while the rubble you're standing on is plummeting. It's later repeated when fighting Father Balder.
  • The Immodest Orgasm:
    • Bayonetta moans sensually early in the game when Affinity angels slash off her nun costume, before revealing her true outfit.
    • It's present during the introduction of the first Joy (complete with legs spread at the camera), and whenever you use a Torture Attack on one of them.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: The weapons that you can wield in this game include; Guns with Bottomless Magazines, Absurdly Sharp Blades, Weaponized 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 a Joy angel masquerading as Bayonetta. The Joy forgets two details; it still has its halo, and it's fully clothed even if the real Bayonetta is currently summoning a demon with her clothes. In the Wii U version, there can be a third fault: if you're using the Galactic Bounty Hunter outfit, the visor will always remain in the 'raised' position.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Bayonetta's Pillow Talk and Jeanne's Bloody Moon, which are basically giant Laser Blades, are the strongest weapons in the game. You can only acquire them after completing the game on its highest difficulty, Non-Stop Infinite Climax Mode. Alternatively, you can enter Up, Up, Up, Up, Down, Down, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, A at a certain area to unlock them for a million halos.
  • Inn Between the Worlds: While the Gates of Hell bar does have a physical place in the human world, it can be accessed from about anywhere through portals, some of which are even found in Paradiso.
  • Instrument of Murder: The Magic Flute, which looks like a golden conch shell that used to be played by the mythical Sirens and can be used by the player for a powerful Area of Effect attack. In the first game, Affinity angels can also sometimes drop Exclusive Enemy Equipment Trumpets that are actually a Wave-Motion Gun, and in the sequel, Acceptance angels sometimes drop Harps that are actually bows that fire a Rain of Arrows.
  • Interface Screw: When your character is close to dying, spectral claws appear around the screen to emphasize their impending fate in Inferno should they perish. The implication of this visual effect makes sense given the backstory involving the Umbra Witches such as Bayonetta and Jeanne.
  • Item Crafting: You can find ingredients in the environment and mix them up to make healing and attack/defense buff items.
  • It's All Upstairs from Here: Chapter 15, the headquarters of Ithavoll Group. It's a massive skyscraper that houses the dormant physical form of Jubileus and provides quite the view of Isla del Sol below when you reach the top.
  • Jiggle Physics: Just look at the Joys' chests during the Torture Attacks against them. The game only indulges in the jiggle-closeup if the Joys haven't been significantly flayed by your attacks.
  • Kaizo Trap: The last three verses in the Epilogue are hidden in the credits. Failing to take out the enemies present in those verses not only fails to earn you a medal, but adds a death to knock down your final score for the Epilogue, so don't think that you're all done after beating the Final Boss.
  • Karmic Death: When you use a Torture Attack on an angel, you summon 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 Enemies to Open: Verses will lock down the current area until you have defeated all enemies. Afterwards, Bayonetta or Jeanne can then blow a magical flying kiss that breaks the seal.
  • Kill It with Fire: This is how Bayonetta finishes off Temperantia in a cutscene.
  • 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.
  • Lady of Black Magic: Bayonetta, a classy and sensual witch. All Umbran Witches can qualify because they can summon infernal demons and are generally dressed in dark, elegant clothing.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: If the playable character is getting low on HP, then taking an attack will leave them with an apparently empty Life Meter yet they can still keep on fighting; the next hit is guaranteed to kill them if they don't recover.
  • Layered World: The Trinity of Realities consists of the human world, Paradiso, and Inferno. There is also Purgatorio that allows battles in the human world without interfering with the realm of humans. This is described in a bit more detail in one of the books, where some objects exist in all three worlds, and their destruction may have religious connotations.
  • Leitmotif:
    • Parts of "One of a Kind" are reused in many of the game's tracks, especially near the end of the game.
    • The first game uses a modern pop arrangement of Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon" as its main battle theme, features the original song at the end of the story credits, and sneaks in many references to the song and lyrics throughout the story. The second game does the same thing with Andy Williams' "Moon River".
  • Levels Take Flight: The level in Ithavoll Group's huge cargo plane, with even a listing camera during the fight against Jeanne.
  • Light/Darkness Juxtaposition: The game has the Umbra Witches representing darkness and the Lumen Sages representing light, although in this case, you're playing the side of darkness and Light Is Not Good.
  • Light Is Not Good: The angels are best described as "grotesque monstrosities with marble-colored skin, stereotypical Greekish clothing, wings, and halos." They are literally from the "World of Light" called Paradiso (in contrast to Inferno, the "World of Darkness", and the human world, also known as the "World of Chaos"), but beyond being angels of light, they are actually quite evil, full of themselves, and express a great hatred for humankind. In fact, throughout the two games, they have never shown any redeeming qualities whatsoever, while both Dark Is Evil and Dark Is Not Evil varieties exist among the Infernal Demons.
  • Lightning/Fire Juxtaposition: A recurring trope in the game. Several pairs of angels follow it; the Grace and Glory angels and their much tougher counterparts Gracious and Glorious (the red angel wields fire, the blue angel wields lightning), as well as Fairness and Fearless. Bayonetta's Durga and Jeanne's Kali are elemental Wolverine Claws which can switch between a lightning-fast electric mode and a slow, fiery one.
  • Living on Borrowed Time: When playing as Bayonetta or Jeanne, this is an In-Universe reason why 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 of your 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).
  • Long Song, Short Scene: "Battle For The Umbra Throne" only plays during the flashback fight with Jeanne.
  • Luck-Based Mission: A minor example, but getting the "Touch And It Will REALLY Hurt" Tear of Blood/Achievement (counter-attack 3 times in a row with the Moon of Mahaa-Kaala) is basically this since there is no indication on how counter-attacks work in either the game or the manual. You actually have to counter with frame-perfect timing, just 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 reveals himself as Bayonetta's father before their climactic confrontation.
  • Macross Missile Massacre:
    • If you equip Lt. Col. Kilgore on your legs and do the combo YYYYB (Xbox) or ΔΔΔΔΟ (PS3), you will unleash one of these. And for an even bigger one, you can first equip Durga on both hands and feet, do the aforementioned combo, and switch to Lt. Col. Kilgore with LT/L2 the instant you hit B/O. This combo can also be replicated with Jeanne's Col. Shade and Kali counterparts. God only knows if this is a bug or a secret combo, but it can pulverize all but the toughest angels instantly.
    • Kinships frequently fire salvos of angelic missiles known as "Loyalties", and they're infuriating.
  • Made of Iron:
    • Bayonetta, Jeanne, and Rodin understandably have Super Toughness given their super-natural origins, but Luka takes the cake as the prime example of this trope. The guy suffers copious amounts of abuse throughout the game, up to and including 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.
    • Enzo takes a few bumps too, like being thrown head-first into the driver's seat of his car in the Prologue, and suffers no lasting injuries from them.
  • Mage Marksman: Umbran Witches fight with a combination of guns and black magic, either to augment their physical abilities, or to summon up demons and torture devices to execute their enemies.
  • Magical Girl Warrior:
    • Bayonetta is essentially one herself, complete with a Transformation Sequence at the beginning.
    • Jeanne is either this, or a straight-up superhero when she dons the "Cutie J" costume, complete with a cute mask and dorky creed. A loving reference to Cutey Honey, this can be worn by selecting "Costume Type B" with the Formal Couture Bullet.
  • Magic Dance: When summoning an infernal demon to finish off an enemy, Bayonetta does a short dance before or while saying the summoning incantation.
  • Magic Is Evil: Magical powers for mortals are apparently obtained only through contact with supernatural beings. In fact, ordinary humans can't even perceive supernatural beings, most of whom seem monstrous, destructive, and callously indifferent to mortal life, whether those are the demons of Inferno or angels of Paradiso. The Umbra Witches, including Bayonetta, obtained their powers by selling their souls to (usually) malicious demons, and as a result, they are doomed to spend eternity in Inferno when they die, while the Lumen Sages apparently likewise gained their powers from serving Paradiso. Since Bayonetta is apparently no longer mortal, she has to kill angels or risk being Dragged Off to Hell. 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 happens during the entire freakin' game, especially in cutscenes. In some cases, literally.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: The union between an Umbra Witch and a Lumen Sage is forbidden. Bayonetta's parents are punished by their respective clans for marrying and having a daughter together; Balder gets exiled by the Lumen Sages while Rosa is imprisoned by the Umbra Witches. The latter even had to raise a young Bayonetta from inside a jail cell.
  • Marathon Boss: Jubileus. You fight her for a while and take away a bit of health, then avoid fire orbs in a lava field, then ice orbs in an ice field, then thunder orbs 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. The whole process will take a good ten minutes even for the best or fully-upgraded players, and likely twice as much on the first playthrough.
  • Marathon Level:
  • 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.
    • Zigzagged with Balder. In Norse mythology, Balder is the god of light, innocence, and the son of Odin. He is good and just. In the game, Balder is indeed associated with light, but he is a dishonest entity who only wants to resurrect Jubileus.
  • Meaningless Meaningful Words:
    • Balder spends his (very long) introductory cutscene talking nonstop without actually saying a whole lot.
      Luka: [during Balder's speech] It's all diarrhea of the mouth if you ask me.
    • Jeanne is guilty of this as well due to her fondness of ranting about the Left Eye of the world, though to a lesser degree.
  • Megaton Punch: Besides Bayonetta's Wicked Weave attacks, one of her Climax attacks summons Hekatoncheir, an infernal demon who manifests as a set of six gigantic fists that pummel the enemy. Taken to the extreme in the Final Boss battle, when Bayonetta and Jeanne combine their powers to summon the colossal Queen Sheba, whose punch is measured in Infinitons and is powerful enough to punch Jubileus' spirit clean out of her body and into the core of the sun.
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: You 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 you can play between chapters, aiming at targets to earn points and get rewards 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.
  • Money Spider: The currency of the game is called Halos. Despite being described as rare in the item description, every angel has them, and you get some every time you kill one. How many depends on just how well you beat the crud out of it.
  • 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 slow motion, Bayonetta jumps towards them to meet them... and promptly butchers them while "Fly Me To The Moon" plays.
  • Mook Chivalry: This is mostly non-existent just like in Ninja Gaiden; the angels here will try to rush you and swarm you from multiple directions. However, this is played straight with the Grace and Glory angels (and their stronger counterparts, Gracious and Glorious) who really will only attack you one at a time. They were specifically programmed this way because playtesters found them nigh impossible to beat if they were allowed to team up on you.
  • Mook Debut Cutscene: Almost every angel has one, with Holy Pipe Organ music too! The only exceptions are the Gracious and Glorious.
  • More Dakka: You can equip guns on your feet, allowing you to equip up to four guns at once. This is also lampshaded in the opening, as Rodin is tossing pistols to Bayonetta:
    Bayonetta: Guns!... Guns!... Guns!... Guns!... Guns!... Guns!... Guns!... GUNS!
  • Multiple Life Bars: Almost every boss has these, and depleting one will usually trigger a change in scenery or battle phase, with the final life bar being colored yellow.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Bayonetta's the head of the National Organization of Ms. Fanservices. Subverted in that much like Varla from Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, it's all "look, don't touch - or you'll pull back a stump."
    • Zig-zagged with Jeanne. Outfits initially unique to her, like her d'Arc outfit and her biker suit, are quite conservative. When playable though, Jeanne has access to the same fanservicey outfits as Bayonetta.
  • My Future Self and Me: Near the end of the game, it's revealed that Bayonetta and Cereza are the one and same. It's not too hard to realize they're alike anyway.
  • 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 your presence (it makes sense when playing as Bayonetta or Jeanne because they're witches). On the other hand, crows and doves will flee if you get too close.
  • 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 thy 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. But given the game's setting and backstory, if an angel's name sounds better and more angelic, it means that the angel is stronger than usual and the lesser you (as an Umbra Witch) should trust them.
  • Naughty Nun: How Bayonetta appears in the beginning of the game. Jeanne does this too in the Epilogue.
  • 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 has 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.
  • 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.
  • Noodle People: Bayonetta and Jeanne, especially notable in scenes with Cereza copying Bayonetta's cool pose, the little girl 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.
  • No-Sell: Angels can counter 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 few enemies that are immune to Witch Time entirely (evading their attacks won't trigger it).
  • Nothing Is Scarier: If you fail to punch Jubileus into the sun, instead hitting a planet, she rises up, smirks at you, then yells as she rushes the camera, and you are immediately taken to the death screen. You don't get to see what she does to you, but imagine beating up an almighty Goddess, and she is PISSED!
  • Notice This: Crows with Umbran Tears of Blood differ from the usual crows as they glow red even from a distance.
  • Number of the Beast: Route 666, a dangerous highway where the playable character can be flattened by oncoming traffic if you aren't careful.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Luka is extremely fond of this. For the most hilarious example, watch his face in Chapter 14. "Oh, fuck ME!"
    • The Joys' reaction to an incoming Torture Attack.
    • 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 every Lumen Sage, Umbra Witch, angels, and demons in the present day look just like how they did in the past. For reference, the time between Bayonetta's burial at sea and her revival is 500 years. The only exceptions are the humans such as Enzo and Luka.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: There's a lot of it during the boss battles, even Bayonetta's showdown with Jeanne. It makes the fights 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.
    • Normally, Alfheim challenges let you get hit up to four times; the fifth one fails the challenge. But some challenges are "don't get hit" challenges; taking even a single attack fails the challenge immediately.
  • One to Million to One: Bayonetta and Jeanne can shatter their form into bats or moths respectively upon getting hit, negating the attack.
  • Only One Name: The only characters with surnames are Luka and his father Antonio (Redgrave). The rest of the named cast plays this trope straight.
  • Orgasmic Combat: Practically the Trope Codifier. Bayonetta enjoys fighting a little too much, particularly during the boss battles. In contrast, Jeanne groans whenever she attacks aggressively. The Joys are also subjected to this when they are defeated using a Torture Attack.
  • 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 bird-like 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 if the marble is a disguise or if Bayonetta is simply skinning them alive.
  • Our Witches Are Different: Only women can become Umbra Witches, whose power comes from making pacts with demons and are enhanced by the light of the moon.
  • Outside Ride: Throughout the game, Bayonetta rides atop moving cars, planes and even missiles. She also shares the latter "vehicle" missile with Cereza near its tip, while Luka hangs near the engines. Jeanne also shares a few moments with Bayonetta where both of them are on top of a plane, and takes it even further in Chapter 12 where she also rides a motorcycle on top of said plane.
  • Panthera Awesome: The Umbra Witches can use the Beast Within to turn into felines so they can run faster. Bayonetta can turn into a panther, Jeanne into a lynx and Rosa into a tiger.
  • Person of Mass Destruction:
    • Bayonetta. Nothing can withstand a visit of the titular witch. Gaze at what remains of both Vigrid and Noatun after the witch's strolls through them to convince yourself.
    • Jeanne comes fairly close as she can fire remote-controlled warheads at you during her last boss fight.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Downplayed. After Balder fakes his death and activates Bayonetta as the Left Eye, he gets a vibrant blue aura while hers is blood red.
  • Platinum Makes Everything Shinier: The ranking system measures the halos you collect, the speed in which you finish the stage, combo scores, damage taken, and ultimately awards you with a character trophy based on the outcome. The highest-ranking trophy is a Pure Platinum Award of Bayonetta (or Jeanne if you're playing as her), followed by a Platnium Award of the aforementioned characters (Bayonetta or Jeanne), a Gold Award of Rodin, a Silver Award of Luka, a Copper Award of Cereza and finally a Stone Award of Enzo.
  • Power-Up Food: The powerups all come in lollipop form.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • While Bayonetta doesn't precisely avoid profanity, her vocabulary usually remains clean relative to Jeanne and Luka, especially around Cereza. However, she swears in two notable instances, one to Temperantia ("I feel like a fucking celebrity in this town."), and of course, one of the most memorable lines near the end of the game ("Don't fuck with a witch!").
    • Jeanne on the other hand, has quite the mouth. Unlock her and you'll find that she curses in almost all of her taunts. It fits with her more (mostly) serious attitude.
    • Luka. When Bayonetta told him to look at something, he looks up from Bayonetta's chest, and then he sees missiles heading towards their helicopter.
      Luka: Oh, FUCK me!
  • 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.
  • Press X to Not Die: There's at least one in almost every level, even in boss battles. If you don't input the proper command in about 1 second, or input the wrong command, or try Button Mashing because you know it's coming up and you have a very short window, 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."
  • Purgatory and Limbo: Between the Trinity of Realities is Purgatorio, a realm existing parallel to the Human World outside of the Trinity where angels, demons, and magical humans can travel to. This is where Bayonetta is free to wreak havoc on her foes without regard to property damage or bystanders.
  • Quest for Identity: Bayonetta has remained asleep for the last 500 years and has nearly no memories of her previous life.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Inverted. The heavens are the ones enraged against her, but in contrast, Bayonetta really enjoys kicking angelic ass.
  • Rank Inflation: You're ranked with Stone (lowest), Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Pure Platinum (highest) depending on how you perform in battle. The criteria mostly add up completion time and combo score, while the amount of damage taken and consumed items deduct your score. When all verses are tallied, you receive a trophy at the end of the chapter.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Done with giant hair fists. It seems that this is a recurring trope in Clover/PlatinumGames.
  • 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: You can use this to cut Iustitia's tentacles in a scripted animation, something you can't do during normal gameplay.
  • Really 700 Years Old: The Umbra Witches and Lumen Sages live for an extremely long time. Bayonetta herself is over 600 despite looking like she's in her twenties. Cereza is technically a child, but she is the younger version of Bayonetta from the 15th Century. Considering her parents met in the 14th century (as indicated on the lipstick tube) and her mother was killed during the Witch Hunts 500 years before the events of the first game, Bayonetta was around 100 years old when she was imprisoned and spent 500 of that in suspended animation. The same still stands for Jeanne, who was not in stasis and looks 30 at the oldest; and Balder, who is older than 600 or so yet appears to be a very fabulous 40.
  • Red Herring: The first half of the game sets up the premise that the Right Eye is a piece of jewelry, as depicted in Enzo's tip. Midway in the plot, the quest for finding that "stone" is thrown out of the window, and the Right Eye is revealed to be Balder himself. Sapientia even lampshades this by laughing when Bayonetta mentions the Eyes as jewels.
  • 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...
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: Bayonetta's Durga weapons, as well as Jeanne's equivalents, Kali, are references to Hindu Mythology.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: You can break several objects around the levels, such as glasses, chairs, statues, ornaments or furniture for some Halos, Bullets and other items.
  • Rewatch Bonus: In the segments where Bayonetta has to escort and protect Cereza, it's a Game Over if the latter dies. You later learn that Cereza is Bayonetta as a child; not a clone of her, but her actual past self yoinked from 500 years in the past. It's quite likely that Cereza dying leads to some sort of Temporal Paradox.
  • Running Gag:
  • Samus Is a Girl: Despite her name, Jubileus is female, 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. At least, she's properly categorized as "Dea" (goddess).
  • 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, players may find themselves quitting and reloading a lot.
  • Scenery Porn: Through the second half of Chapter 15, you get to see Isla del Sol from the top of a very high building.
  • Science Wizard: The Umbra Witches were trained in magic and had some aptitude for science as well. A trip through time in Bayonetta 2 introduced the Umbran Armor, a a heavy-duty, vehicular type of transport invented and used by the Umbra Witches against their angelic foes.
  • Sculpted Physique: The angels have this, at least to begin with. Specifically, this is what Temperantia looks like at the end of the fight.
  • Second Hour Superpower: In Chapter 3, Bayonetta gains the ability to Wall Run during scripted full moons. Justified as it is actually a natural ability of the Umbran Witches; Bayonetta is an amnesiac at the start and only remembers this ability after meeting Jeanne for the second time.
  • Self-Deprecation: In the opening cutscene, Enzo is peeing on Hideki Kamiya's grave.
  • 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: Fortitudo, Temperantia, Sapientia, the last fight against Jeanne, and the True Final Boss all qualify due to their multi-layered life meters and phases.
  • Serial Escalation:
    • Made to be a distillation of this trope. To put things into perspective, even before the prologue, the very first taste of gameplay consists of a battle against an army of angels on a broken clock tower currently falling down the side of an enormous cliff. It only ramps up from there. By the climax, the "Holy Shit!" Quotient climbs every ten seconds or so, as you pull off more and more increasingly insane stunts, including but not limited to; surfing the middle of a street on a river of molten lava using a dead angel as a surfboard, shooting your monster of a father in the face with lipstick, escaping the Earth's atmosphere by driving up the side of a titanic rocket with a motorcycle, and of course, the coup de grace - KILLING GOD by punching her so hard her soul flies off her body and then you direct her soul past all planets and right into the sun.
    • How much more overtly over the top can Bayonetta's sexuality get?
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: Bayonetta and Jeanne wear backless dresses that are usually made of hair.
  • Sexy Priest: Every Lumen Sage is a young, handsome, muscular, charismatic, smooth-talking guy, and some of them radiate light (and they're the bad guys, by the way). To drive the point home, the Big Bad of the game is named Father Balder.
  • Sexy Walk: Bayonetta swings her hips and arches her back a little when she walks normally. Jeanne walks like this too, especially when you unlock her as a playable character because she will have the same animations of Bayonetta.
  • She-Fu: When playing as Bayonetta or Jeanne, expect to be doing acrobatic backflips a lot since it's the standard dodge and it triggers Witch Time! You can even do this in mid-air.
  • She's Got Legs: Up to Eleven. Bayonetta's and Jeanne's legs are longer than their torso and head combined (with Bayonetta, it's indeed long even with that hairdo!)
  • Shout-Out: Many of which are to previous Hideki Kamiya games. See this page for the long list.
  • Shows Damage: Enemy angels and bosses get their porcelain skins flayed off for every bit of damage they take. However, humans like Bayonetta and Jeanne avert this.
  • Shown Their Work: 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. 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 wings) came out long after the Bible was written.
  • 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 vs. 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.
  • Sound Test: Available after completing the game. The tracks are sorted by their chronological in-game appearance, so if you want to hear a particular theme, make sure to remember when it first triggered.
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • To God Hand in terms of general insanity, humor or camp.
    • To the Devil May Cry series in terms of gameplay (which is expected because Hideki Kamiya directed both Bayonetta and the first Devil May Cry game). In contrast to that series where you fight demons, this game makes you fight angels instead. Bayonetta also has similar control inputs to the DMC games (such as holding a lock-on button + directional input + attack button for the dash attacks and launcher moves). In interviews, Hideaki Itsuno also confirmed that Devil May Cry 4 served as a research material when this game was still in development.
  • Squashed Flat:
    • In a rather bizarre moment, Bayonetta and Jeanne can be flattened like a cartoon character when they are 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.
    • Temperentia gets his face squashed flat after receiving a punch from your Climax finisher. Even if it reforms back to normal proportions a few seconds later, it's still brutally maimed.
  • Stable Time Loop: Bayonetta protects a little lost girl named Cereza. Cereza is actually Bayonetta's child self brought forward from the past. When she is returned to her own time, she remembered the person who saved her as her mother and wanted to become a badass just like her. This is the reason why Cereza, formerly a scaredy-cat, grew up to become a powerful, fearless witch. Luka also gives Cereza a strawberry lollipop at one point, which is the reason why Bayonetta loves them. 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.
  • Stalactite Spite: During the Final Boss fight's icy arena phase, several stalactites fall at regular intervals from above, threatening to freeze you for a small period of time.
  • Stripperiffic: Bayonetta uses her hair as clothing and to summon demons. And since she cannot do both at the same time, her clothing vanishes during her summons. Jeanne also shows a more-revealing outfit during her third battle, and is more noticeable once you unlock her as a playable character.
  • 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. Gameplay-wise, other playable characters can do it too, not just Bayonetta.
  • Summon Magic: Forms a major part of your playable character's attacks, both as Torture Attacks (where they 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).
  • Superhero Packing Heat: Bayonetta and Jeanne with their witch powers and pistols.
  • Super Mode: During some plot-specific sequences against bosses, Bayonetta will let her hair down, entering a state called Serious Mode. This will turn all of her attacks into Wicked Weaves, which are normally finishers to her combos. Jeanne and Zero can also enter this state in their playthroughs. The Climax Brace accessory also passively activates Serious Mode when equipped.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: You can stay indefinitely underwater in the few sections of the game requiring it. But compared to the other magical abilities, this one seems almost mundane.
  • Swiss Army Weapon: The last weapon you are likely to get (after beating the Nintendo Hard Bonus Boss Rodin) is a set of gold bracelets that can take the form of any angel weapon depending on the combo you execute. 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.
  • A Taste of Power: Zigzagged. If one is paying attention to how Serious Mode works (i.e. all of your playable character's attacks turn into Wicked Weaves whenever you fight the four Auditos plus Jubileus), there's quite an interesting application of this gameplay mechanic in the Epilogue's final Verse. In the cemetery scene of the Creative Closing Credits, all of your normal attacks turn into Wicked Weaves even against the lesser Affinities and Braves, turning the fight into a cakewalk. This is actually the game's subtle way of telling you that you can use Serious Mode anytime, using the Climax Brace accessory which can be unlocked by collecting 101 Umbran Tears of Blood across multiple playthroughs on the same file.
  • Telephone Polearm: You have to use a streetlamp to kill several angels during one verse from Chapter 6.
  • Tennis Boss:
    • The flashback encounter with Fortitudo in Chapter 1 can become this once you get the Moon of Mahaa-Kaala accessory (which allows you to deflect attacks). If you send all of his fireballs back at him instead of just shooting him with your guns, the fight can be won in a few seconds, and with high combo points. Doing so will guarantee a Pure Platinum medal for that Verse.
    • The last fight with Jeanne makes you play hot potato with a missile in this fashion. Jeanne can catch it and send it right back at you just as easily; it can take several successful throws before she fails to keep up and take damage.
    • Father Balder throws a skyscraper at you during his boss fight, but this can be easily countered. He also makes you play hot potato with a satellite that he forces to fall from space.
  • Theme Music Power-Up:
    • "Fly Me To The Moon" starts playing whenever you commence with some 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 are songs for climaxing on larger mooks and finishing off a boss.
  • Theme Naming:
  • Third-Person Seductress:
    • Quite possibly a parody of this trope since anything Bayonetta does that is supposed to be sexy usually comes off as completely hilarious instead.
    • Jeanne also has her own sexy moments during cutscenes and during her boss battles. She's just as on par with Bayonetta in this aspect once you unlock her as a playable character.
  • Torture Technician: You can use Torture Attacks to slay your foes. 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. According to the lore, this is a form of payback done by Umbra Witches such as Bayonetta, slaying angels with the same methods they used to kill witches.
  • Travel Montage: One that follows Bayonetta's travel from her hometown to Vigrid occurs before Chapter 1, and Enzo explains the game's backstory during it.
  • Troperiffic: The game uses a vast array of action game tropes, both retro and contemporary.
  • True Final Boss: Jubileus. You fight her after riding up a rocket into space on a motorcycle, then fight her in an enormous space cage while she attempts to flatten you into pavement as your rip away her powers over reality itself one by one, culminating in a final climb up to her and beating her face in, then summoning her Evil Counterpart Queen Sheba to punch her soul out of her body, then you proceed to control said soul as it careens around all the planets in the solar system and flies into the Sun , and then tear apart the pieces of her body one by one as you fall from space back onto Earth.
  • Turns Red: Successfully taunted enemies will be enraged, have aesthetic flames all over their body, their attacks become faster and unpredictable and they become more resilient to your attacks. The Gaze of Despair accessory will turn every angel into this state as early as the start of the Verse.
  • Underboobs: The "Queen" outfit shows these for Bayonetta and Jeanne.
  • Underground Monkey: "Applaud" angels are basically upgraded "Affinity" angels, as "Braves" are to "Beloveds". "Fearless" and "Fairness" angels likewise count, and the "Gracious" and "Glorious" pair are stronger (but otherwise identical) angels to "Grace" and "Glory".
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Chapters 8 and 14; the former is a freeway chase, the latter is a Shout-Out to Space Harrier. The boss battle of Chapter 12 also 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).
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: You ride a motorcycle during Chapter VIII. It's possible to end up in the oncoming lane, and taking a head-on collision will give you an instant death.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Gomorrah has his jaw snapped and his neck twisted by Balder during his boss fight. By the sequel though, he's perfectly fine.
  • Unflinching Walk: Unless you purposely make them run, Bayonetta or Jeanne (when she's playable) constantly act like they're on a catwalk, even after a massive amount of destruction took place.
  • Unique Enemy: Chapter VIII has Irenics, car-like angels that are only seen in that chapter and are only fought during the motorcycle segments.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Reading the bestiary is bound to confuse any player who thinks too much about the lore, since almost every enemy is described as a glorious and benevolent protector of good. This is quite at odds with the blink-and-you'll-miss-it hints mentioning that they originate from human sacrifice, or their callous disregard for human life.
  • Unusual Halo:
    • The angels' halos are indicative of their hierarchy and have increasingly more complex shapes the higher their ranking is. The most basic halo consists of a circle surrounded a pair of semi-circles; whereas a goddess' halo has an intricate, overly ornate design that also incorporates wing-like spikes to symbolize the entity's imponence.
    • Aside from the Halos that serve as the game's currency, the angels of Paradiso all each have their own elaborately designed halo. Jubileus, the leader of Paradiso, sports the most impressive-looking one. That said, Rodin — your weapon-maker and item vendor — reveals in a Bonus Boss fight that he is a Fallen Angel, and the Halos you collect throughout the game allow him to regain his angelic form. His halo sports the same design as Jubileus.
  • Updated Re-release: The game was packed in with its sequel with a new coat of polish and a few new things. On the polish side: the game runs at 60 FPS, has Off-Screen Play, includes 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 also a Samus costume, complete with helmet-flipping action, among other things.
  • Vanity License Plate:
    • The plate on Jeanne's motorcycle reads "U1 QTJ" (Umbra #1 Cutie J).
    • The license plate on Enzo's car reads "ED N EDNA". Some fans speculated that "Ed and Edna" are the names of Enzo's kids, which was later confirmed in Bayonetta 2.
  • Vapor Trail: Bayonetta slams a tanker into Temperantia via 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.
  • Version-Exclusive Content: The Wii U and Switch ports add in Nintendo-themed costumes for Bayonetta to wear, which also adjust her attacks to match their theme, such as making Bowser the source of her Wicked Weaves or using the Master Sword to attack instead of 修羅刃 -Shuraba-.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: You are rewarded with the "A Mother's Love" achievement for killing every angel in an Astral Projection fight without letting any of them touch Cereza.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • In an otherwise goofy, lighthearted spectacle Stylish Action game, the Torture Attacks are rather wince-worthy in their sadism and aren't particularly out of place in God of War. They're particularly jarring because they happen without any comment whatsoever. The Button Mashing aspect also means that you are rewarded with more Halos if the Torture Attack is more brutal.
    • Even if you can't directly interact with generic human NPCs while you're on the Puragotrio plane, you can still make them freak out by destroying objects near them.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: All Angels of Paradiso have this, judging from how their journal entries all talk about their kindness and mercy, yet neglect to mention such negativity like human sacrifice or the likelihood of the annihilation of creation.
  • Visible Sigh: In a cutscene after Temperantia is defeated, a Fearless just misses 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.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Jeanne. She doesn't have totally predictable patterns unlike the angels fought earlier. She's also close to a Perfect-Play A.I., blocking anything outside of her own attacks that leave you small windows to strike. Her boss fight serves as a crash course in dynamic dodging and using Witch Time.
  • 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 you 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).
    • You can also Witch Walk on the halo platforms found in Chapter XV, even if there's no 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 you the power to walk on walls.
  • Was Once a Man: As revealed in a very early cutscene, the Angels 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 (in a cutscene), the destruction of TWO Infernal Demons that you've been hinging on throughout the game, all topped off 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.
  • Wham Shot:
    • After defeating the Beloved, Cereza falls into Bayonetta's arms, and the camera pans upward to reveal that this woman has a halo on her head. Who would have though that there is an angel that can copy the appearance of others?
    • Near the finale, there's Balder cradling a smiling Cereza in his arms. Cereza is naturally happy to be held by her father, but when Bayonetta sees this up close, she can only speak "Little one?" in a confused tone. This is a small part in a series of Wham Episodes in the late-game.
    • A comical example merges a wham shot with a Credits Gag. After defeating the Final Boss, Bayonetta (and the player) is likely made to believe that Jeanne died in outer space, but then her foot literally stomps the fake credits roll, revealing that she's alive.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: About half of the first game is set in an isolated, highly-guarded city called Vigrid, which is stated to be somewhere in Europe, but with no further detail described. The last parts of the game move to a metropolitan island called Isla del Sol. It's quite possible that these areas are somewhere in Spain: the people of Vigrid are all very religious (nearly 70% of Spain's population identifies as Catholic), "Isla del Sol" is Spanish for "Island of the Sun", and the train icon on the map in the Travel Montage cutscene preceding Chapter 1 stops very close to where Spain is.
  • Whip It Good:
    • Bayonetta's Kulshedra and Jeanne's Vritra are mystical snake whips, or specifically, snake demons channeled from the hilt. Holding down the punch button allows you to grab the target.
    • The Joy angels can also use green glowing whips to attack you.
  • White Magic: Zigzagged as both this and Black Magic are used equally for a specific righteous cause, but are powered by Eldritch Abominations:
    • The Lumen Sages make pacts with the Hierarchy of Laguna in exchange for access to light magic, which they use to maintain the balance between light and darkness alongside the Umbra Witches. That being said, the angels whom the Lumen Sages serve and draw their power from are evil Eldritch Abominations who want to wipe out humanity. The Lumen Sages themselves are good, but the angels are known for using them as pawns in their plans.
    • The Umbra Witches use Black Magic to maintain the balance of light and dark. But like the Lumen Sages, their demonic masters are also Eldritch Abominations who want to wipe out humanity and use the witches as pawns.
  • The Worf Barrage: You know the Climax techniques, the super Finishing Moves that kill bosses in the most brutal fashion imaginable by summoning demons? Yeah, they don't work on Balder. He kills those demons instead.
  • World of Badass: Every single character in the game is a badass in their own way; Bayonetta kills angelic asses without losing her temper, Luka can pull off Big Damn Heroes moments despite not having any superpowers, Jeanne is among the few opponents who can make Bayonetta lose her temper and truly give her a life-or-death combat, Cereza is actually Bayonetta's younger self, and Balder is the only living being who can survive a Climax attack from Bayonetta.
  • World of Chaos: Paradiso, especially the locales in Chapters IX and X (Graveyard of Memories and Sea of Stars respectively). Treading different kinds of platforms that each has its own direction of gravity is just the tip of the iceberg.
  • 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 why Luka initially pursues Bayonetta. It turns out that Balder was the one responsible for it.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Done twice, and almost consecutively. The first one happens 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.

The shadow remains cast!
 
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Fortitudo

Amongst the spiritually powerful of the Middle Ages, it was thought Paradiso held for all a Divine Will, and as a result, they developed heavenly logic. <br><br>The concept of the "Cardinal Virtues" was born of this logic, and classifies Paradiso's Divine Will into four broad groups.<br><br>These Cardinal Virtues occasionally become physical manifestations of the great intentions of Paradiso, and are known as the Laguna, inspiring awe in the masses. Personifying courage and fortitude, Fortitudo has been depicted as a terrifying being sporting an enormous face and two dragon's heads. He is said to be capable of summoning magma flows at will.

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