Bayonetta 3 Trailer Analysis and Theories
For me, the announcement of Bayonetta 3 was the highlight of The Game Awards. When I played Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 on the Wii U, I was blown away by how entertaining, exciting, and just plain fun they were. The Bayonetta 3 trailer might be short, but a lot of intriguing details are packed into this short teaser. Let’s take another look.
This analysis will generally avoid spoilers for the first two games, aside from the identity of a secret optional boss.
The trailer begins with a shot of the moon, iconic of the series, along with the PlatinumGames logo. Then Bayonetta’s ribbon comes into view, and two important things happen.
First, red washes over the screen as the moon turns blood red. This immediately gives the trailer an ominous feeling, but there might be more to it than that. Since the power of Umbra Witches is influenced by the moon, could a blood moon have special meaning for their powers? Back in 2014, a fan asked Platinum’s Hideki Kamiya what happens to a witch’s powers during a blood moon, and he replied “something incredible.”
Something incredible. RT @bucketcapacity What happens to Umbra Witches's powers during a blood moon?
— 神谷英樹 Hideki Kamiya (@PG_kamiya) April 15, 2014
Of course, he could have just been playing along instead of giving an actual answer based in Bayonetta’s lore, but it’s worth keeping in mind.
The second thing that happens in the trailer is that Bayonetta’s ribbon splits in half. The two pieces fly to opposite sides of the screen. This sets up the tone for the rest of the trailer: Bayonetta is in serious danger.
Next, we see a close up shot of her guns. At a quick glance, this does nothing more than show another iconic part of the series, but if you look carefully, there’s a significant detail here.
In the first game, Bayonetta wielded four handguns called Scarborough Fair, based on an old ballad. In Bayonetta 2, her signature guns were called Love Is Blue, also based on a song. Here, however, you can see “Whittingham” written, for Whittingham Fair, another version of the ballad.
The trailer then shifts to Bayonetta fighting against a powerful enemy and being repeatedly struck by attacks. Not only is it a surprise to see her not in control of the situation, but instead of the new character design from Bayonetta 2, she has her old design from the first game back.
Bayonetta normally has a beauty mark, a small mole near her lip. Even her amiibo figurines have this mole, but she doesn’t have it here. She’s also bleeding. We’ve never seen Bayonetta bleed before, as the games used rose petals in place of blood to symbolize her femininity and sexuality.
The sleeves of her normal outfit also has hair that hangs down, since Bayonetta’s clothing is formed from her hair through magic, just like her demon attacks are. In this trailer, however, several shots make it quite clear that this is cloth, with no hair texture to be seen.
Moving on from Bayonetta’s appearance, who is this mysterious opponent powerful enough to make Bayonetta fight for her life?
We never get a clear shot of her enemy. It’s just a silhouette shrouded in purple fire. However, we have seen someone use purple fire in the past. Rodin lights his cigar with a purple flame from his fingers. This enemy’s silhouetted face also has two dark shapes where his eyes should be that could very well be Rodin’s sunglasses.
Finally, we get to the end of the trailer and the grimmest part yet. Watch Bayonetta’s legs closely in the final shot of the trailer. One falls to the left and the other falls to the right. Bayonetta, it seems, has been ripped in half.
Just what is going on in this trailer? Why are there inconsistencies in Bayonetta’s appearance? Could her opponent really be Rodin? And did Bayonetta just die?
Let’s start with her appearance. Her character design and missing mole suggest this is either a younger Bayonetta (since she lacked the mole as a child) or an impostor pretending to be Bayonetta. The blood and cloth sleeves, meanwhile, support the impostor idea as well as the possibility that Bayonetta has lost her contract with Madama Butterfly.
So what about Rodin?
It’s easy to think of Rodin as our friend. He helps Bayonetta out, sells her new weapons, and generally seems like an ally. However, he is also a fallen angel feared by the other demons of Inferno. He wasn’t an enemy in the first two games (aside from being a secret boss), but that might change if Bayonetta lost her contract.
Although Bayonetta 2 dealt with Inferno a bit, it has yet to be a focus in the series. An Inferno-centric plot seems due, and it would make sense for Rodin to play an important role. Rodin wants to regain his angelic power, and maybe this will be the game where he finally does it.
On the other hand, an impostor Bayonetta is a sound theory, especially with the ending. It’s highly doubtful they’d actually kill the series’ protagonist and show it in the first trailer. In that case, Rodin might be fighting the impostor for perfectly good reasons. And for that matter, it’s still only a theory that it’s Rodin at all.
These are just a few thoughts and theories based on the Bayonetta 3 trailer. As a side note, it also looks like purple will be the theme color this time around. Let us know your own impressions of the trailer in the comments below.