Joy be unto Jubelius! After 1386 days without any news following Bayonetta 3’s Game Awards teaser trailer way back in 2017, the bad Umbran witch is back, and on Bi Visibility Day no less. During yesterday’s Nintendo Direct, we not only got a sick-arse trailer, but also a tentative release window of 2022. Yes, we Bayonetta fans are finally eating, but after being kept waiting for so long, this glimpse of the next game has also set off a firestorm among us of fan theories and speculation.
As Bayonetta’s house husband, it is my job, nay, my privilege to sift through all the theories that have arisen and consider which ones might have merit. Welcome to my fantasy zone. Let’s begin, shall we?
I nearly did a cartwheel out of my seat when I heard the trailer’s evocative witch-time clock sound effect. But eventually, Bayonetta spoke, and while in many ways it’s the iconic voice we know, something sounded a bit off about it. She still sounds sultry and oozes as much sex appeal as a British accent can, but a good Bayonetta fan can discern the genuine article. It’s subtle, but there’s something different — perhaps younger-sounding — about Bayonetta here. This led me and many others to storm Twitter and Reddit voicing our belief that this Bayonetta is not the one we’re familiar with, but rather Cereza, the time-displaced child version of Bayonetta from the first game.
The first piece of evidence supporting this theory came before the Direct trailer even dropped, when Bayonetta’s voice actress, Hellena Taylor, hinted at the character being recast. When a fan tweeted at Taylor saying they can’t imagine Bayonetta without her amazing voice, Taylor responded saying, “Well you might have to.”
When pressed further, Taylor told another fan that she was not at liberty to say whether she would be reprising the role because she was bound by a confidentiality agreement. This led YouTuber Suzi Hunter to theorise that Taylor might still be in the game, because if she weren’t involved in some way, she could have simply said so.
The second piece of evidence that supports this theory is the hairstyle Bayonetta is rocking in the new trailer. In the past, Bayonetta has rocked the beehive in Bayonetta and the pixie cut in Bayonetta 2. This time around, she has long, bundled braids that resemble Cereza’s. Suzi posited that this is Cereza all grown up, which would make sense given the first game saw Bayonetta meeting the alternate-timeline version of herself as a child. Also, the conclusion of the second game involved Bayonetta resetting the game’s timeline after defeating Aesir with the assistance of a younger version of her father, Baldur, who she had defeated in the first game, until a younger version of him was flung into the future of Bayonetta 2 and…listen, Bayonetta’s plot is really convoluted. Just know that this makes sense given the timey-wimey bollocks that have already occured in the Bayonetta lore.
This is teenage Cereza after Bayo1, right? Not the Bayonetta we play as in 1/2, right? My theory is that we're playing as Cereza in the alt timeline we put her back in at the end of 1. No matter what happens, I think there'll be two Bayos, which is why this one has a new voice. pic.twitter.com/TPKePl4CPZ— Suzi Hunter (@TheSphereHunter) September 24, 2021
Bayonetta’s new look resembles Cereza not just in hairstyle, but in outfit as well (which, yes, is also her hair). Her dancing in the trailer is also more adorable than the seductive moves seen in previous games. Her doll even makes an appearance at the end of the trailer. More on that in a moment.
Fanbyte’s Imran Khan propelled the Cereza theory further by drawing from the moment in the teaser trailer when Bayonetta, in her iconic look from the first game, is defeated by a mysterious being. He theorised that the plot of Bayonetta 3 might involve us playing as Cereza in an attempt to save Bayonetta in some sort of time-travelling journey.
Further evidence of this is the fact that the demons in the trailer, like Madama Butterfly, appear to be younger as well, and play slightly different than they did in previous games, at times manifesting more like Devil Triggers than an Umbran Climax. This Reddit post breaks down how Madama Butterfly’s Peter Pan-like shadow effect appears to be less jagged than in the past. The demons in the trailer also don’t resemble the angels and infernal demons we’ve seen before. They have a unique blue, angular design in comparison to the gold-trimmed designs of the angels and dark red designs of the demons in previous games. This has further fuelled fan speculation that the plot of Bayonetta 3 takes place in yet another alternate timeline in the Bayonetta universe.
The trailer also raises another big question: Who is the mysterious character at the end? We see a mysterious silhouette cut the projected release date in half before turning toward the camera. I wildly guessed that it was a Devil May Cry character, possibly Nero or Vergil, due the vibes I got from their pose. Fellow Kotaku writer Luke Plunkett warned me not to hurt myself by theorizing too hard, so I’ve since tempered my expectations. But hey, an enby can dream, right?
A more grounded theory is that this is Cereza’s Jeanne. Jeanne served alongside Bayo as a fellow Umbran witch, and was a rival-turned-ally much like DMC’s Vergil is to Dante. With the timeline of Bayonetta being extra fucky, this character is probably Jeanne from an alternate universe in which Cereza’s powers are fully realised.
Given the red oni energy this mysterious character is giving off in contrast to Bayonetta’s blue oni colour scheme, it’s probably a safe assumption. She even has Cereza’s doll at the end of her sword, which points to her possibly being an adversary again.
In the past, the games’ theme songs were “Fly Me to the Moon” for Bayonetta and “Moon River” for Bayonetta 2. Her red guns in the first game were named Scarborough Fair and her blue guns in the second game were appropriately named Love Is Blue.
The r/Bayonetta subreddit got to theorizing about what Bayonetta’s weapons might be called in Bayonetta 3, and thanks to a brief moment in the trailer where you can see an inscription on Bayonetta’s heel guns, they discerned that the song for Bayonetta 3 might be “Colour My World.”
The peculiar part is that there are two different songs with this name, one by British singer Petula Clark and another by American rock band Chicago. We’ll have to wait until 2022 to hear whether Bayonetta’s theme song is derived from Clark’s flower-child 60s song or Chicago’s more melancholy tune. I’m leaning toward the former. Energetic lines like “You’ll never see a dark cloud hanging ‘round me / Now there is only blue sky to surround me” match the Cereza I know and love best.
Well, there you have it; all the theories us Bayonutters have concocted within the past 24 hours. Now Hideki Kamiya, PlatinumGames, and Nintendo can breathe a sigh of relief as we Bayonetta fans stop asking them questions for a little while. Now, I’m off to watch the trailer again for the 30th time.