It finally happened: After nearly four years of waiting and hoping, Bayonetta 3 is ready for prime time. Capcom revealed a new gameplay trailer at the most recent Nintendo Direct, showing off Bayonetta’s new look, her new angel-killing abilities, and her new voice. To say that fans like myself were on the verge of tears would be closer to the truth than I care to admit.
I don’t think it’s possible to overstate how much this game and this series mean to me, but I know that not everyone is going to want to see me have a big ol’ fangirl meltdown, so instead, let’s talk about something constructive. Let’s talk about how Bayonetta fans have built an entire plot theory for the new game, why they’ve done so, and what evidence they have. Here’s everything you need to know about the Bayonetta 3 Alternate Universe / Time-Traveling Cerezanetta Theory, as I’m calling it.
Bayonetta Sounds Different, and We Must Explain That
The primary reason for all the Bayonetta 3 theory-crafting is probably because fans are trying to rationalize why Bayonetta has a new voice actress. Regular voice actress Hellena Taylor had previously tweeted some cryptic references to Bayonetta being voiced by someone new and then refusing to elaborate. Because fans are holding out hope that Taylor isn’t gone from the game completely, and because she has not outright stated she’s parted ways with the character, we’re all making hay with what we have.
Perhaps it’s a testament to how attached Bayonetta fans are to her actress (as well as everything else about her) that they’ve come up with a complicated alternate timeline to explain why she has a new one. Occam’s razor would suggest that Bayonetta has a new voice because Hellena Taylor was not invited back or simply chose not to reprise the role for whatever reason. But this is anathema to fans, so they’ve made a whole theory that would explain how Taylor can both be playing and not playing Bayonetta in Bayonetta 3.
At any rate, here’s the evidence they — okay, we — have compiled to support the idea that the Bayonetta we saw in the trailers isn’t the one that we played in the first and second games.
The Bayonetta 3 Alternate Universe Theory
The crux of this theory involves a character who appeared in the first game: Cereza, a younger version of Bayonetta who went by the character’s birth name. The theory is that the person who appears in this trailer is actually a grown-up Cereza from an alternate timeline and that we will at some point be reunited with “our” Bayonetta.
The first piece of evidence was in the original teaser trailer. While Bayonetta is deliberately obscured, eagle-eyed fans were able to see that her appearance differed from her usual, Bayonetta 1-era look in some small ways. The most obvious of them is that her red pistols, part of a set called “Scarborough Fair,” were instead inscribed with the name “Whittenburg Fair.” So the theory that this is an alternate Bayonetta to the one with which we’re familiar has been around for a very long time.
When the new Bayonetta 3 trailer dropped, one of the first things that we saw of Bayonetta was her new look. She’s now wearing her magical hair in long, braided pigtails that wind around her arms and tie in a bow on her lower back, and somehow they are still long enough to almost touch the ground. Fans noticed that Bayonetta’s hair was, aside from the length, identical to that of tiny Cereza, right down to the red ribbons woven through and the strand of hair that flips out from her forehead.
Finally, at the end of the trailer, there’s a mysterious figure with their back to the camera who’s bathed in red light. This is presumed to be Jeanne, Bayonetta’s Umbran sister, as she’s the character most associated with the color red and she shares the figure’s blond hair. This probably-Jeanne-person has a cat toy dangling from the end of the sword strapped to her back, and the toy is identical to Cheshire, the stuffed cat Cereza carried.
So there you go: Fans are now convinced that the character who appeared in the Bayonetta 3 trailer is Cereza, all grown up and an angel-killing machine in her own right. There are still no hints as to who the villain will be or where the new angels are coming from, but I’m sure we’ll be told. And even if this isn’t the story we end up getting, it was fun to speculate for a while. And at least we’re getting Bayonetta 3, which is definitely something.