The Bayonetta universe has many references, as mentioned below.
References to art
References to innuendo
- The name of the weapon Pillow Talk, is based on the act of post-coital conversation.
- The weapons Kulshedra and Vritra, have their names based on serpentine demons of mythology, who are related with themes of drought. Bearing themes as a whip based weapon, their undertones all allude to an entendre of ejaculation.
References to literature
- The weapon Kafka is named after the author of the novel The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka.
- Samsa, Jeanne's equivalent to Kafka, is the surname of the man in the novel who transformed into an insect, Gregor Samsa.
A Song of Ice and Fire
- Bayonetta's quote to Loki "The world is dark and full of terrors, you know." references a similarly used line by the character Melisandre.
References to music
Fly Me To The Moon
- The main theme of the first game.
- Golden LPs Mars, Bringer of War & Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity are named after two movements in Gustav Holst's composition, The Planets.
- The main theme of Bayonetta 2.
Love Is Blue
- Bayonetta's new four blue guns in Bayonetta 2 are named after this famous french song.
I Am the Walrus
- At the beginning of the game (before the tutorial section), Enzo refers to "Eggman." It's possible this is a reference to this song from The Beatles.
- This Golden LP is named after one of the most well-known pieces of the famous Polish composer and pianist Frédéric François Chopin.
- This Golden LP was the french title of "The Skaters" - a waltz by Émile Waldteufel.
Quasi una fantasia
- This Golden LP was the subtitle for Ludwig van Beethoven's famous Moonlight Sonata.
References to mythology/religion
- Jubileus bears a striking resemblance to Shiva, a major creator deity in the Hindu faith. While Jubileus does not have multiple arms, her tentacle-like protrusions resemble Shiva's arms. Jubileus' headpiece also resembles the one Shiva is wearing in some representations of him.
- Jeanne's weapon, Vritra was named after a large serpent in early Vedic religion, the historical predecessor of Hinduism, it was a massive serpent that blocked whole rivers and is the personification of drought
- Durga are named for Durga "the invincible", a form of the radiant goddess Devi in Hindu mythology. She is considered to be the Divine Mother.
- Rakshasa are named after the demons whose existence are recorded in the epics Ramayana and the Mahabharata. They are beings born from the breath of the deva Brahma, who were born of such bloodlust that they began eating him, and were cast out onto the earthly realm by Vishnu upon his panic.
- All of known Auditio are based on the real life cardinal virtues.
- Iustitia's circular body with many faces is similar to religious descriptions of Cherubim, the second-highest order of angels.
- Fortitudo's design could be seen as a cross between a Cherub (which has the faces of multiple animals), and a Seraphim (who are, in mythology, draconic angels).
- Kinship's design and origin seem to be loosely based on Noah's Ark. Their ship-like design, as well as their armaments of long-range weaponry, suggest that Kinships act as the artillery for the angelic army.
- Route 666, according to most interpretations, number 666 is the Number of the Beast, an important figure in Revelation, the last book of the Bible that prophesies the end of the world.
- Balder's wings during the boss battle may be a reference to the fallen angel Lucifer, said to have assumed the guise of a twelve winged angel as one of his forms, and was considered the highest of all angels. The fact that Balder is considered a traitor to the Lumen Sages and Umbra Witches, while convincing people to his cause of slaughtering the Witches, fits with the Lucifer myth as well; Lucifer rallied a third of the heavenly host to take over Heaven.
- The giant military transport, Valkyria possibly named after the valkyries, female warrior companions of the Norse god Odin.
- In Norse mythology Vigrid is a mythical field, which is foretold to host a battle between the gods and Surtr as part of Ragnarok. It is also sometimes referred to as Vígríðr or Óskópnir.
- Noatun is named after the home of the Vanir god, Njörðr. Nóatún itself is said to be found in Heaven.
- Loki's name is of Norse origin, and it is the name of the Norse God of Mischief and Mayhem.
- in Old Norse, Luka's name means "close" in the archaic language. This is possibly to reference his relationship to Bayonetta.
- On an interesting note, the name Loki has no real meaning, even to this day no one has yet to figure out its true origins. On a particular note, it is believed to possibly be a mirror to the Old Norse name Luka, which means "close" in the archaic language. Many think that due to similar spelling, the name Loki could roughly mean "apart", making it the polar opposite of the name Luka.
The Divine Comedy
- The Inferno seems to closely mirror the description of Hell found in this poem, by Dante Alighieri. Many of the weapons' backstories and many of the Infernal Demons found within the game's descriptions make mention of specific locations that take their origin from said poem.
- The three parts of the cosmos, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, mirror the three books of the Divine Comedy trilogy.
- The prologue of Bayonetta is titled The Vestibule, referencing the second canto of The Inferno in which Dante and Virgil prepare to enter Hell.
- In the opening of Bayonetta: Bloody Fate, Bayonetta recites the famous "Abandon all hope, all ye who enter here" inscription when luring angels to fight.
- Queen Sheba is also known as Queen of Sheba, who was the woman who ruled the ancient kingdom of Sheba and is referred to in Habeshan history, the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Qur'an.
References to theater/dance
- Odette is named for the protagonist of this theater. Demon Queen Odile, in this weapon description, named after Odile, the black swan and Odette's rival.
- Madama Butterfly, Bayonetta's contract demon, is named after the main focus of the opera of the same name. In the 1890s, she was a Japanese woman from Nagasaki who renounced her culture and was the fiancée of a US Naval Officer, only to have been cheated on and committed seppuku (honorable suicide).
- Pulley's Butterfly is said to have been crafted by Turandot. This is based on this opera that tells the tale of a cruel princess and a prince who fell madly in love with her.
References to anime/manga
- Bloody Moon. With its talks of transformation and with Jeanne also going under the nickname Cutie J, the weapon also references this anime, manga series, and its heroine of the same name.
- Father Balder's angelic form is possibly a reference to Syazelaporro Granz's hollow form in Bleach series. However, Syazel only has 4 wings and uses dark power, while Balder has 21 wings and uses light power.
Black Rock Shooter
- In the prologue of Bayonetta 2, immediately before the fight against Gomorrah begins, a blue flame emerges from Bayonetta's Left Eye as she summons Malphas's wings for the first time. One of the more distinctive characteristics of the title character of the Black Rock Shooter franchise is the blue flame which emerges from that character's left eye.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
- The concept of using angels as the villains was previously seen in the classic anime Neon Genesis Evangelion. The main difference is that the angels from Evangelion are giant, grotesque and anatomically abstract aliens, while those in Bayonetta look more angelic and are much smaller, but still vary in size and appearance. However, unlike most of the angels in Bayonetta, which were named after compliments and positive feelings. The angels in Evangelion are named after angels in mythology, like Sachiel and Sahaquiel.
- It may be significantly noted that Affinities bear resemblance to the Mass Produced EVA Units from The End of Evangelion, and while Angels look divine, they share a characteristic with MPE Units in that they both have armor like exoskeletons to mask their grotesque and vulnerable underlying features.
- Both series also use "Fly Me to the Moon" as their theme music as well.
- Included with transformation and secret identities amongst high school days, Bloody Moon's source of energy coming from the moon, and how both Jeanne and Bayonetta are the remnants of a long lost civilization of magic related to the moon could be a reference to this popular mahou shojo anime and manga series.
- Loki wearing a pendant with an upside-down pyramid, as well as using magical cards to fight, could be a reference to Konami's popular anime and trading card game, Yu-Gi-Oh!.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
- The way Bayonetta uses the boulders during witch time at the end of her fight against Fortitudo is extremely similar to the way Dio Brando uses his knives in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders.
- In the cutscene "Let's Dance Boys" at one point Bayonetta does the same pose of Caesar in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency.
References to TV/movies
- The weapon Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore shares the same name with the eponymous battle frenzy ready Colonel of the famous epic 1973 war movie, and is said to host his soul; its manifestation as a bazooka is a fitting reference to one of his most famous quotes: "I love the smell of napalm in the morning".
Evil Dead series
- One of the phrases said by Rodin in Bayonetta is "No matter, how much you ask, I'm not stitching a chainsaw to your arm". This may be a reference to Bruce Campbell's character Ash Williams, who in the film Evil Dead 2 cuts off his own hand and replaces it with a chainsaw.
- Rodin says, "I know what you're thinking. 'Shut up and take my halos.'" This is a reference to a memetic line from the popular Matt Groening cartoon, Futurama.
References to video games
- Jeanne's crimson color scheme with black and white accents, along with her ruffled collar, closely resembles the costume design of Miles Edgeworth from Capcom's Ace Attorney series. Their roles are similar as well: both are mysterious figures from the heroes' pasts who begin as antagonists before becoming close allies.
- The motorcycle mini-game in Chapter VIII includes a pop remix of the iconic After Burner theme song.
- One of the achievements is named "Fire the After Burners".
- A technique called the After Burner Kick can be purchased.
- The typeface used for the Missile Operation instructions in Chapter XIV, Revue, is the same as that used on After Burners title cards.
- Enzo tells Bayonetta she owes "Alex the Kid" for charting a plane. This is a reference to one of SEGA's game characters, Alex Kidd, who was the company's former mascot before Sonic the Hedgehog.
Devil May Cry
See main article.
- At the beginning of the flying mini-game in Chapter XIV, Bayonetta says, "Welcome to my Fantasy Zone!", referencing the arcade game with the same title.
God of War
- When Rodin gets back from weapon gathering, the blood on his face resembles Kratos' facial mark of his extensive tattoo.
- Both Kratos and Bayonetta are "Anti-God" characters.
- The typeface used for Chapter VIII's Motorcycle instructions is the same as that from the attract screen of Sega's other 1985 motorcycle classic.
- When Bayonetta shot out her lipstick bullet at Balder, the way the lipstick is controlled is similar to how projectiles are controlled in this game.
Jet Set Radio
- Two recurring enemies, Grace and Glory, are named after the song that plays in the final stage of Jet Set Radio and Jet Set Radio Future.
- The Accessory Infernal Communicator, is a reference to the Rudie's use of wristwatch radios to catch the tunes of Jet Set Radio and the incoming of various law enforcement authorities.
- When going to The Gates of Hell, one of Rodin's greetings is, "No matter how much you ask, I'm not puttin' a chainsaw on your arm." This is a reference to the protagonist of Madworld and Anarchy Reigns, Jack Cayman, who has a cybernetic arm with a chainsaw on it.
- In the subway, an ad for The Gates of Hell can be seen, as a sneak peek for the then-upcoming Bayonetta, which was still in development at the time Madworld was released.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
- Metal Gear Rising was directed by Bayonetta's main programmer, Kenji Saito.
- Luka has a striking resemblance to Jetstream Sam, Raiden's rival.
- In Bayonetta 2, one of Luka's journal entries is named "Rules of Nature", a reference to the famous song from Metal Gear Rising.
- The civilians in Bayonetta 2's intro and ending are, for some reason, modeled in the Metal Gear Rising artstyle, rather than the Bayonetta artstyle.
- In Chapter II of Bayonetta 2, there is a cat that wanders around in front of the Muspelheim. The cat backflips away to any attack, just like the 'Ninja Cat' in Mission R-01 of Revengeance.
- Bayonetta uses her lipstick to draw Amaterasu's facial markings on Luka's face.
- Luka lists Ammy (the nickname for Amaterasu) as one of his "girlfriends".
- In her panther form, Bayonetta causes flowers to grow from the ground that she runs on, just like Amaterasu can.
- Waka's trademark weapon, Pillow Talk, can be unlocked as a hidden weapon.
- Golem is modelled after Yami, the final boss of the first Okami game.
- Masked Lumen's wolf form resembles Amaterasu.
- The beginning of Chapter VIII plays a remix of Splash Wave, one of the songs from the 1986 arcade game OutRun.
- In the prologue cutscene with Bayonetta and Enzo driving on the highway, the beginning of the song Magical Sound Shower can be heard looping on the radio.
- The usage of Spirit Energy by the Umbran Witches and the Lumen Sages to utilize various fantastical phenomena, is also an element used in the dynamics of Photons, introduced in Phantasy Star's online installments, where one's base Spirit Energy is said to be a requirement for Photon based weaponry to provide its maintainable and dependable standard output setting, to the usage of various Photon Art techniques.
- See main article.
Sonic the Hedgehog
- Enzo mentions "Eggman", which is the nickname of Sonic the Hedgehog's arch-nemesis.
- The halos look like the rings from the Sonic franchise. Also, both halos and rings are used as currency in their respective series. The crystalline orbs dropped by demons in Bayonetta 2 are also the same color as three of the Chaos Emeralds, a related set of Sonic collectibles. The orbs are also ingot-shaped, possibly a compromise between the Chaos Emeralds' former appearance in classic games as emerald cut jewels and their modern brilliant cut appearance.
- The Yellow Moon lollipops cause Bayonetta or Jeanne to become invincible and glow yellow, just like when a Sonic character assumes their "Super" form.
- Chapter XIV begins with a mini-game that plays similar to the 1985 arcade game Space Harrier, complete with a pop remix of the theme song.
- Verse I is a wave-for-wave recreation of Space Harriers first level, "Moot" (with Inspired replacing Squilla as the boss, etc.)
- Space Harrier begins with a voice saying "Welcome to the Fantasy Zone! Get ready!". (see also the Fantasy Zone reference above)
Star Gladiator: Final Crusade
- The addition of the weapon Pillow Talk can count as a double reference, as the weapon's activation and appearance also references the Plasma Blade weapon of Star Gladiator's main character, Hayato Kanzaki.
- Bayonetta's Secret Moon Slashes appear to be derived from Hayato's Engetsu technique; both attacks come to have its users engage in a ready standing stance with the weapon out in front of them, tracing a circle with the weapon; upon completing half a circle, they unleash a powerful slash; upon completing a full circle, they perform a slash that unleashes a powerful wave of energy. In addition, the attack's basis appears to be one with a styled aesthetic based on the moon; completing a "full moon" comes to unleash its "brightest radiance of moonlight" onto the opponent.
- How the weapons of Shuraba and Pillow Talk come to contain the spirits of Ashura, with Pillow Talk's Ashura being "king", and how Pillow Talk's Charge Modifier can create a long and far reaching Wicked Weave blade, come to reference Hayato's Ashura technique, in which his control over Plasma Power can allow him to enlarge his weapon to great sizes, or concentrate his weapon's density by shrinking it for a faster wielded approach.
- It may be also noted that Star Gladiator is one of Capcom's first games made in 3D; how Pillow Talk has been referenced in games made by or related to Capcom is likely a tribute to how the first foray into the 3D format has been a groundbreaking experience and foundation that has laid the way for many new games made in 3D for the years to come; many of Platinum Game's staff members did come from Capcom and Clover from its heydays.
- One of Father Rodin's attacks resembles the Shun Goku Satsu, one of the most famous moves of Akuma, a character from Street Fighter.
- The aerial punish attack has Bayonetta thrash her opponent about, similar to the Nio Riki technique of Oro, from Street Fighter III.
- Chapter VIII's motorcycle mini-game plays similar to the 1987 arcade game Super Hang-On.
- See main article.
The Wonderful 101
- See main article.
- Angel Attack! begins with playing a small portion of a song from a classic Sega arcade game, ranging from After Burner to Fantasy Zone to Space Harrier to OutRun.
- Balder's satellite that is used in his boss battle has "SYSTEM 16" written on it. This is also the name of the arcade board that several Sega arcade games from the mid-1980s used.
- The Online Group "Did You Know Gaming" made a video on Bayonetta listing various different bits of facts and trivia. While some are most well known among die hard fans, some tidbits of info would be learned of for the first time to those who didn't actively search this info out.
- The YouTuber DiGi Valentine made Bayonetta the focus of a "Who Dat?" video. A series of videos meant to explain obscure characters in fiction to those unfamiliar to them, as well as spread a better light on well known-yet-misunderstood characters. The video was posted on February 3rd 2015, and was likely done in anticipation of her release for Super Smash Bros. 4 as a means of helping others understand her better.
- How the Umbran Witches use firearms is a historically significant characteristic; during the introduction of gunpowder in Europe back in the late days of antiquity, many that used the first western made firearms were seen as users of black magic.
- In Bayonetta 2, one of the cutscenes when you go to the Gates of Hell involves Rodin playing a video game (off-screen). The game has an 8-bit remix of Mysterious Destiny, and the same sound effects that Platinum Games' "Angel Land" April Fools joke had. It's also worth noting that he mentions he has to "sprinkle magic powder on a chicken," a reference to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.