'Bayonetta 3' Is Nearly Here — Get Caught up on the Confusing Story so Far

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Oct. 27 2022, Published 12:42 p.m. ET

After five years of official development, including four years of complete radio silence and two weeks of ongoing scandal and controversy in the voice-acting industry, Bayonetta 3 is finally about to hit shelves. The series overall follows the titular Umbran Witch who uses her dark magic and weapons expertise to slay Angels, Demons, and all manner of horrifying monsters. Despite its over-the-top action and impeccable sense of style, the story is shockingly complex and bordering on incomprehensible.

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Between time-travel loops and inexplicable paradoxes, trying to understand the story behind the Bayonetta games is a monstrous task to undertake. For the sake of brevity (and sanity), we're here to break down the essential plot points for the story to help prepare you for the highly-anticipated third installment of the franchise.

Here's a story recap for the first two Bayonetta games.

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Here's a 'Bayonetta' story recap to prepare for the third game.

In the first Bayonetta, the titular witch slays Angels alongside informant Enzo and mysterious shopkeeper Rodin. Having woken up from centuries of slumber without any memories, she continues her search for answers in the city of Vigrid. There, she encounters a journalist named Luka investigating her existence, as well as a young and timid girl named Cereza whom she is forced to protect from Angels trying to kidnap her. Meanwhile, another witch named Jeanne pursues her relentlessly.

While defeating Angels from all across the hierarchy of Paradiso, Bayonetta essentially raises Cereza in a motherly manner and teaches her to be strong. She also manages to regain her lost memories from defeating Jeanne and learns that she is the child of an Umbran Witch of darkness and a Lumen Sage of light, making her a catalyst for untold power. She is also one of the last remaining Umbran Witches, who were all but wiped out by angel armies in the past.

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However, this entire plan was orchestrated by Bayonetta's father, Balder, who is attempting to awaken the God of Creation — Jubileus — for his own gain.

Balder even reveals that little Cereza is actually Bayonetta as a child, and interacting with her altered the past in such a way that allows Balder to access Bayonetta's power to reshape the universe.

Thankfully, Bayonetta is able to defeat Jubileus with Jeanne's assistance and saves the world in the process.

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'Bayonetta 2' continues its time travel wonkiness.

The second game picks up several months after the first. After Jeanne sacrifices herself to save Bayonetta from a Demon attack, she and her friends resolve to travel to Inferno to reclaim her soul. Her quest brings her to the mountain of Fimbulventr where she encounters a boy named Loki who seeks to scale the mountain for reasons he can't remember. However, a Lumen Sage pursues Loki, and Bayonetta stands in his way at every turn. All this unfolds under the watchful eye of the Prophet.

Eventually, she is able to reach Inferno and save Jeanne's soul in order to revive her. But she is attacked by the Lumen Sage, who is revealed to be a young Balder — that's Bayonetta's father, remember? In the midst of their fight, Loki inadvertently unlocks his powers and hurls Bayonetta back 500 years into the past to the exact point where the Umbran Witches are battling for their survival. Fighting alongside her mother, Bayonetta soon learns that Loki and the aforementioned Prophet are connected.

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The Prophet was the original owner of Bayonetta's world-ending power and sought to reclaim it. To this end, he manipulates past Balder by assuming Loki's appearance and murdering Bayonetta's mother — his lover — in front of him. Having mistakenly pursued Loki for revenge, past Balder teams up with Bayonetta to stop the Prophet in the present.

The Prophet then reveals that he and Loki are two halves of the same god and seeks to reunite their bodies and become the God of Chaos Aesir.

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Bayonetta and past Balder work together to stop Aesir to the best of their abilities. However, Aesir cannot be fully eradicated and attempts to escape through time. In order to stop him and save his future daughter, past Balder absorbs Aesir's soul, knowing full well that it will corrupt him. As he returns to his place in the past, he begs his daughter to stop him in the future, directly setting the events of the first game into motion.

As if all that time travel weren't confusing enough already, it's a veritable multiverse of madness in the third game. As the fabric of reality is threatened by an unknown force, Bayonetta teams up with alternate versions of herself to save her world and all others.

Bayonetta 3 arrives on the Nintendo Switch on Oct. 28.

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