Bayonetta is an action-adventure hack and slash video game developed by PlatinumGames and published by Sega. The game was originally released for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in Japan in October 2009, and in North America and Europe in January 2010.
Bayonetta takes place in Vigrid, a fictional city in Europe. The title character (voiced by Hellena Taylor) is a witch who shapeshifts and uses various firearms, along with magical attacks she performs with her own hair by summoning demons to dispatch her foes. She awakens after a 500-year sleep near Eggman’s tombstone and finds herself in an unfamiliar area with no memories of who or what she is. Over time, she begins to remember what caused her current predicament. 500 years before the incident that caused Bayonetta’s memory loss, there were two factions preserving the balance between darkness and light in the world: the Umbra Witches, who are followers of darkness, and their counterparts, the Lumen Sages, who are followers of light. The factions shared two distinct treasures, the ‘Eyes of the World’ (separately named the ‘Left Eye’ and the ‘Right Eye’) which they used to oversee the just passage of time. Both factions mysteriously disappeared from Vigrid under unknown circumstances. Bayonetta still has an ornate piece of jewelry which contains a small red gem, and believes this gem is the Left Eye of the World. While searching for the Right Eye, she often receives flashbacks that make her remember what caused her current predicament.
A male character known as Luka (ルカ) (voiced by Yuri Lowenthal) had met Bayonetta as a child, and is now a possible love interest for her. Other characters include Bayonetta’s rival and fellow Umbra Witch Jeanne (ジャンヌ Jannu) (voiced by Grey DeLisle), who wields four guns like Bayonetta; Rodin (ロダン Rodan) (voiced by Dave Fennoy), the owner of a bar called the Gates Of Hell where Bayonetta can buy various weapons and items; an informant named Enzo (エンツォ Entso) (voiced by Chick Vennera) who looks and sounds similar to actor Joe Pesci, and provides comic relief; a young girl named Cereza (セレッサ Seressa) (voiced by Joy Jillian) whom Bayonetta meets early in the game; and the main antagonist Balder (バルドル Barudoru) (voiced by Grant Albrecht).
The realms Bayonetta inhabits are the game’s different settings, which borrow from Dante’s Divine Comedy: Paradiso (heaven), which generally takes the form of a heavenly yellow or golden valley or palace and is the home of the “Angel” enemies she faces; Purgatorio (purgatory), a metarealm that functions as an “in between” for metaphysical beings and stands alongside yet outside of the plane humans exist on (all beings in and outside of Purgatorio take on a transparent, watery appearance); and Inferno (hell), which is the game’s realm that contains infernal demons of the sort that Bayonetta herself occasionally summons with her Witch powers. Further research uncovers that the Witches actually drew most of their power from the demons that exist in Inferno.
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