Nintendo (Wii U and Switch releases only)
|Genre(s)||Third-person action game|
|Console/platform of origin||Xbox 360|
|First installment||Bayonetta (2009)|
|Latest installment||Bayonetta 3 (2022)|
|Article on Wikipedia||Bayonetta (universe)|
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 second installment 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 realizeable character of the Fighter Ballot. The actual most requested charater was later revealed to be Sora, implying that Sakurai and his team ran into licensing complications and had to go with Bayonetta to meet deadlines.
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.
Development for Bayonetta 3 started right after the cancellation of another game from Platinum Games that was in production for four years until January 2017, Scalebound. Before this event, they had an idea on porting the two earlier titles to Nintendo Switch, code-named "Nintendo NX" back then. All of them got the agreement from Nintendo soon after. 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. On July 13, 2022, Nintendo announced via a tweet they would release physical copies of the first game in 2022. Almost immediately following the announcement at The Game Awards 2017, a teaser trailer announced that Bayonetta 3 was in development exclusively for the Switch. On July 13, 2022, another trailer released by Nintendo shows further gameplay along with a release date set for October 28, 2022. Weeks prior to its release, a controversial event happened between Bayonetta's ex-English voice actress Hellena Taylor and her new voice actress Jennifer Hale, where the former initially called for a boycott due to underpayment of her leading role from the company's offer, and Hideki Kamiya's suspension from Twitter for suspicious behavior after worsening the situation. The aftermath negatively affected other voice actors across the video game industry after reports of Taylor lying to the subject, but also PlatinumGames who would respond to this issue soon after. Nonetheless, the game received favorable reviews by other aggregators in its release. During The Game Awards 2022, a prequel to all three Bayonetta games was announced, titled Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon, and set to release in 2023.
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.
The Bayonetta universe made its debut in Smash 4 with the eponymous protagonist, appearing as the last downloadable fighter in the game, along with new trophies, music, and a stage.
- Bayonetta (DLC): The main protagonist of the series was announced to be added as the final DLC fighter on December 15th, after being one of the most highly requested characters in the Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot. She fights using various weapons, techniques, and demons from the two Bayonetta games. Bayonetta ranks 1st out of 55 on the tier list, making her the highest-ranked DLC character, sole fighter from a series, newcomer, and third-party character, in addition to being the highest ranked character overall. Bayonetta's top placing is primarily due to her powerful combo game; almost all of her attacks can reliably combo into one another, leading to powerful 50/50 mixups at high percentages, and she even has zero-to-death potential. Furthermore, a majority of her best KO attacks can be easily comboed into, and she can also start combos by using Witch Time or Bat Within on opponents who make mistakes, giving her a safe approach; further bolstering her approach is a number of decent zoning options, such as Bullet Climax and her unique Bullet Arts.
- Umbra Clock Tower (DLC): The falling tower from the scene at the start of Bayonetta makes its debuts as the last stage of Smash 4.
Arrangements and remixes unique to SSB4.
- Theme of Bayonetta - Mysterious Destiny (DLC): A remixed, instrumental version of Bayonetta's battle theme from Bayonetta.
- Tomorrow is Mine (Bayonetta 2 Theme) (DLC): A remixed, instrumental version of the main theme of Bayonetta 2, with a saxophone playing in place of vocals.
- Let's Hit the Climax (DLC): The music that plays when Bayonetta summons an Infernal Demon in Bayonetta.
- One of a Kind (DLC): The music in the opening of Bayonetta, where the history of the Lumen Sages and Umbra Witches is narrated by Antonio Redgrave.
- Riders of the Light (DLC): Bayonetta's second battle theme from Bayonetta.
- Red & Black (DLC): Jeanne's second battle theme in Bayonetta.
- After Burner (∞ Climax Mix) (DLC): The music that plays during the Chapter "Route 666" of the first game, which is a remix of the music from After Burner, an arcade game by Sega.
- Friendship (DLC): The music that plays when Jeanne rescues Bayonetta in the first game, and when Bayonetta goes to save Loki in the second.
- Let's Dance, Boys! (DLC): The music that plays during the ending dance sequence of Bayonetta.
- The Legend of Aesir (DLC): The music in the opening of Bayonetta 2, where Luka narrates the history of Aesir.
- Time for the Climax! (DLC): The music that plays when Bayonetta summons an Infernal Demon in Bayonetta 2.
- Gomorrah, Devourer of the Divine: A demon summoned from Inferno through Bayonetta's hair that devours anything it's set on destroying. It's somewhat of a "pet", and is part of Bayonetta's Final Smash, Infernal Climax.
- Madama Butterfly, Mistress of Atrocity: A demon from Inferno that has made a pact with Bayonetta to lend her supernatural abilities. Her limbs make an appearance as Wicked Weaves for Bayonetta's smash attacks.
The Bayonetta universe received a slight boost in representation in Ultimate, with the inclusion of a new Assist Trophy and many more references as Spirits.
- 63. Bayonetta (Unlockable): The Umbra Witch returns as an unlockable fighter after being DLC in Smash 4. After her top-tier status in Smash 4, the power of most of her moves have been toned down significantly during the transition.
- Umbra Clock Tower (Starter): The falling tower from the scene at the start of Bayonetta makes a return from Smash 4. The shading on this stage is different than it's previous counterpart, and the clock tower itself is angled slightly higher, although this does not affect the gameplay.
- Rodin: A demon that runs a bar and provides Bayonetta with her weapons and other necessities that she needs. When summoned, he attacks the opponent with his own form of Wicked Weaves and After-Burner Kick, as well as produces items for the summoner to use.
There are no new arrangements or remixes from the Bayonetta universe.
Arrangements and remixes returning from Smash 4.
- Theme Of Bayonetta - Mysterious Destiny (Instrumental): An instrumental version of the main battle theme from Bayonetta. Returns from Smash 4.
- Tomorrow Is Mine (Bayonetta 2 Theme) (Instrumental): An instrumental version of the main theme from Bayonetta 2.
Tracks sourced directly from the Bayonetta games.
- One Of A Kind: The theme that plays during the opening segment and the final chapter, sourced from Bayonetta.
- Riders Of The Light: An alternate battle theme played primarily heard when fighting a stronger, higher-ranked angel, sourced from Bayonetta.
- Let's Hit the Climax!: The theme that plays when Bayonetta summons an Infernal Demon, which itself is a remix of "Mysterious Destiny", sourced from Bayonetta. Heard in Bayonetta's character trailer.
- Red & Black: The battle theme played when fighting Jeanne, sourced from Bayonetta.
- After Burner (∞ Climax Mix): The theme played in verses 3 and 4 of Route 666, which itself is a remix of the main theme from SEGA's After Burner.
- Friendship: The theme played in the "Epilogue" mission, sourced from Bayonetta.
- Let's Dance, Boys!: The theme played during the credits and the special dance video unlocked after beating the game, sourced from Bayonetta.
- The Legend Of Aesir: The theme played in the opening segment, sourced from Bayonetta 2.
- Time For The Climax!: The song that plays when Bayonetta summons an Infernal Demon, which itself is a remix of "Tomorrow is Mine", sourced from Bayonetta 2.
- Victory! Bayonetta: The first few notes of "Time For The Climax" from Bayonetta 2, followed by jingle that plays when clearing a verse in Bayonetta. Remains unaltered from Smash 4.
Media with elements appearing in the Super Smash Bros. series
The Bayonetta universe has media represented throughout the Super Smash Bros. series with a total of 3 games and media. The latest media represented in this universe is Bayonetta 2, released on September 20, 2014.
- Playable character:
- Bayonetta debuts in this game as the main playable character using the Scarborough Fair.
- Several moves including Stilleto, Wicked Weaves, Heel Stomp, Slap Punish Attack, Tetsuzanko, Bullet Climax, Heel Slide, After Burner Kick, Witch Twist, Witch Time, Bat Within, Bullet Arts and Infernal Climax debut here.
- Bayonetta's taunts in game appearance are inspired by performable actions in this game.
- Madama Butterfly appears in Bayonetta's smash attacks.
- Gomorrah appears in Bayonetta's final smash.
- Umbra Clock Tower appears as the opening level.
- Stage elements:
- Assist Trophy:
- Rodin debuts in this game as the shopkeeper.
- Two trophies of Bayonetta based on her design from this game, as well as Jeanne, Rodin, and Cereza make an appearance.
- Infernal Climax appears exclusively on Wii U.
- "Let's Hit the Climax": The music that plays when Bayonetta summons an Infernal Demon in Bayonetta.
- "Victory! Bayonetta": The first few notes of Let's Hit the Climax.
- "Theme of Bayonetta - Mysterious Destiny": A remixed, instrumental version of Bayonetta's battle theme from Bayonetta.
- "One of a Kind": The music in the opening of Bayonetta, where the history of the Lumen Sages and Umbra Witches is narrated by Antonio Redgrave.
- "Riders of the Light": Bayonetta's second battle theme from Bayonetta.
- "Red & Black": Jeanne's second battle theme in Bayonetta.
- "After Burner (∞ Climax Mix)": The music that plays during the Chapter "Route 666" of the first game, which is a remix of the music from After Burner, an arcade game by Sega.
- "Friendship": The music that plays when Jeanne rescues Bayonetta in the first game, and when Bayonetta goes to save Loki in the second.
- "Let's Dance, Boys!": The music that plays during the ending dance sequence of Bayonetta.
- Playable character:
- Assist Trophy:
- Playable character:
- "Tomorrow is Mine (Bayonetta 2 Theme)": A remixed, instrumental version of the main theme of Bayonetta 2, with a saxophone playing in place of vocals.
- "The Legend of Aesir": The music in the opening of Bayonetta 2, where Luka narrates the history of Aesir.
- "Time for the Climax!": The music that plays when Bayonetta summons an Infernal Demon in Bayonetta 2.
- Bayonetta is the most recently created third-party universe to have a playable character.
- However, if counting the official release of Minecraft in 2011 instead of the first playable release in 2009, it is the second most recently created third-party universe with a playable character.
- Bayonetta is one of three primary third-party universes with games published by Nintendo worldwide, as Nintendo published Bayonetta 2 and the Wii U and Switch versions of the first Bayonetta game. The others are Final Fantasy and Banjo-Kazooie.
- Bayonetta is the first universe to have its debut game release on different platforms simultaneously, as the first installment initially released on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
- Out of all the third-party universes, the Bayonetta series has the least amount of games with only three titles.
- As of Ultimate, Bayonetta and ARMS are the only universes to contain only female playable fighters. Prior to Ultimate, it shared this trait with Metroid.
- It is also the only third-party universe to have this trait.
- Bayonetta is the only Sega series represented in Super Smash Bros. to not have any Mii Fighter costumes.
- The Bayonetta Wiki
- Brian(@NE_Brian) (October 30, 2022). Bayonetta 3 devs on game’s origins, Kamiya says he’s “forever indebted to Nintendo”. Nintendo Everything. Retrieved on October 30, 2022.
|Fighter||Bayonetta (SSB4 · SSBU)|
|Stage||Umbra Clock Tower|
|Trophies and Spirits||Trophies · Spirits|
|Music||SSB4 · Ultimate|