The Bayonetta universe (ベヨネッタ, Bayonetta) refers to the Super Smash Bros. collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from the Bayonetta series developed by PlatinumGames and owned by Sega.
Having previously planned and directed the first two installments of Resident Evil for Capcom, respectively, video game designer Hideki Kamiya explored action-adventure game design as the director for the introductory installment of Capcom's Devil May Cry series. Following his directorial and writing roles for the Viewtiful Joe series, Kamiya’s last role at Capcom was as the director of another action-adventure, Okami. Moving onto the then-recently-founded PlatinumGames, Kamiya was tasked to direct a "stylish action game" as a successor to Devil May Cry's formula for Sega. In a move that would later spawn no small degree of debate in the press, Kamiya deliberately went for an over-the-top slant towards feminine fan service in the design of the eponymous lead character of his game, Bayonetta. The game, Bayonetta, was released for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2009, and garnered critical praise for its deep-yet-accessible third-person-combat and unapologetic camp factor. The game is also notable for being one of the few games to receive a perfect 40/40 score from Famitsu. Only the Xbox 360 version recevied this score, as the PlayStation 3 version was criticized for performance issues. Though it would sell over a million units worldwide and become PlatinumGames' best-selling title at the time, it did not beat the company's sales expectations. However, Sega has made sure to re-release the game on more systems, notably PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Though Kamiya had ideas for sequels and spin-offs for Bayonetta - one idea of which bore fruit in the 2013 anime film Bayonetta: Bloody Fate, a mostly-faithful retelling of the game’s story - he originally doubted that a sequel would ever be released, and he worked his next role as director for Nintendo's 2013 Wii U title The Wonderful 101 and Konami on Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance for other platforms.
As complications arose within publisher Sega regarding “downsizing and restructuring” of its corporate model, Bayonetta 2’s development suffered a screeching halt, as the game no longer had a publisher to work with. Just when work for the game was going to be scrapped completely, Nintendo offered their support and saved the game from cancellation. The sequel was officially announced in late 2012 to be developed exclusively for Wii U. Having to purchase an entirely new console just to keep up with the series drew outcry from fans, and they asked if the sequel would ever see a release on other platforms. Kamiya directly addressed the backlash by stating that without Nintendo’s financial support, the game would not exist in the first place. Even though their new publisher was known for producing “family-friendly” content, Nintendo gave PlatinumGames complete creative freedom to make the game they wanted, even going so far as to incorporate Nintendo’s characters as costumes and summons for the main character.
Regardless, Bayonetta 2 was released late 2014 to near-universal acclaim, with reviewers commenting that it set a new standard for action games and praising how it refined problematic elements from the first game, such as improved art direction, tighter pacing, and the removal of frustrating quick-time events. At E3 2014, it was also announced that a Wii U port of the original Bayonetta would come with the Special and First Print Editions of the sequel. However, as of 2015, Bayonetta 2 had only sold roughly the same number of units on the Wii U as its predecessor had on each of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles. During and following this release, Kamiya had repeatedly shot down questions and requests on social media on whether Bayonetta herself would be included in the roster of Nintendo's crossover fighting game Super Smash Bros. 4 - released roughly the same time - but despite this, Bayonetta was revealed as the final downloadable fighter for the game at the end of 2015 as (according to Sakurai) the winner and most-requested character of the Fighter Ballot.
On February 2, 2015, Platinumgames released a free browser game on their official website. Initially titled Angel Land before changing names to 8-bit Bayonetta, the game is a simplistic shooter where a sprite version of Bayonetta must take down waves of enemies on the ground and in the air. The score goes up the more enemies are killed, and the game ends when an enemy touches Bayonetta. The player also has the ability to post their high score to Twitter. The game was posted on Steam on March 31, 2017, but was taken down a few days later.
Sega Sammy developed a spinoff in 2016 titled Bayonetta Pachislot. Naturally, it is a Pachislot machine that loosely recreates moments from the first game, with the outcomes of these moments being almost entirely dependant on the results of slot pulls. Original music and costumes were created specifically for this machine that have never reappeared since.
During the 2017 Game Awards, it was announced that Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 would be ported to the Nintendo Switch with all of their Wii U content intact. Almost immediately following this, a teaser trailer announced that Bayonetta 3 was in development exclusively for the Switch. It will release in 2022.
The Bayonetta series follows the over-the-top adventures of the eponymous heroine, who is initially unaware of the origins of both herself and her spectacular powers as an "Umbra Witch" - powers which not only afford her superhuman combat skills equal parts brutal and graceful, but more outwardly supernatural endeavors such as slowing time, shapeshifting into animals, and summoning demons. Her own hair is used for some of these techniques, which by default literally composes her skin-tight uniform; as a result, her outfit becomes more revealing as she uses "Wicked Weaving" techniques. Starting out in a fictional European city, Bayonetta becomes convinced that a mysterious gemstone in her possession, one of a pair called the "Eyes of the World", must be reunited with its counterpart to retrieve her memories. Many twists and developments await her as she battles through a large variety of menacing, marble-skinned angels from one of three alternative planes of reality separate from mankind's own. These three planes - directly borrowed from Dante's Divine Comedy - are visited throughout both games, and as the second game progresses, Bayonetta must contend with demons as well.
Main article: List of SSB4 Music (Bayonetta series)
Arrangements and remixes unique to SSB4.
Main article: List of SSB4 trophies (Bayonetta series)
Bayonetta received a slight boost in representation in Ultimate, with the inclusion of a new Assist Trophy and many more references as Spirits.
Main article: List of SSBU Music (Bayonetta series)
There are no new arrangements or remixes from the Bayonetta universe.
Arrangements and remixes returning from Smash 4.
Tracks sourced directly from the Bayonetta games.
Main article: List of spirits (Bayonetta series)
Media with elements appearing in the Super Smash Bros. series