30 'hidden' references in Bayonetta

Bayonetta is more than just a fun, sexy, angel-slaying romp that’s managed to become 2010’s first major hit – it’s also crammed to the gills with references to other games and media. Some of these are subtle and some are blatant, but either way there are an awful lot of them, and seeing as Bayonetta is the winking brainchild of some of the most cultish developers in the industry, it’s hardly a surprise.

In the interest of pointing out some of the references for those who didn't catch them while playing through Bayonetta (and to reaffirm the observation skills of those of you who did), we combed through the game and came up with 30 distinct nods to past videogame glories and pop-culture giants.

WARNING: Minor spoilers ahead!

1. The development team

It’s no secret that Bayonetta’s developer, Platinum Games, is largely made up of refugees from Capcom’s sadly defunct Clover Studios. What’s slightly less well-known is that a lot of those same people also worked on the first Devil May Cry, something that’s alluded to in the name of Team Little Angels, the dev team behind Bayonetta.

Fans with long memories will recognize this as a direct callback to DMC, which was created by an internal team at Capcom then known as Team Little Devils.

2. Eggman is dead (maybe)

Bayonetta opens with a funeral for an apparently reviled individual named Eggman the Destroyer. And unless you haven’t played a Sonic game since the early ‘90s, you should already know that Eggman is another name for Dr. Robotnik, nemesis of Sonic the Hedgehog. Who now apparently is dead and about to be forgotten, with nobody but a gravedigger and a nun to attend his services.

Is it the same Eggman? Does Bayonetta take place in Sonic’s world? Will we eventually have to see them kiss?

Probably not (seeing as his body isn’t even present), but it’s a nice, unsubtle shout-out to publisher Sega’s most iconic villain.

Above: SO, SO DEAD 

3. Viewtiful Joe’s dead, too (probably)

Nothing confirms a beloved character’s death quite like a tombstone, especially if it’s glimpsed briefly in the background of a cutscene. And because Platinum/Clover (which adorned the headstone with the words “Red Hot”) was behind the Viewtiful Joe series, this is both an obvious reference and a sad reminder that old Joe probably won’t be coming back again.

4. Home Run God

A split-second after Joe’s tombstone is revealed, Bayonetta’s arms dealer/partner-in-crime Rodin puts a couple of idle angels to good use by swatting them into the stratosphere with a bat that he just suddenly has.

This is a call-out to yet another Clover-developed game, the wonderfully silly brawler God Hand, which features a near-identical super-attack called Home Run God.

It’s really better if you see it in motion, though:

5. Sonic’s rings

Oh, and speaking of Rodin, you know those halos he covets so fiercely? The ones that scatter everywhere whenever you kill an angel? He can pretend all he wants that they have some angelic significance, but anyone with eyes can see they’re the same things Sonic’s been collecting for decades.

6. Rodin, bald space marine

And speaking of halos, this is one of the messages you’ll hear from Rodin on entering his shop:

It might seem like a cryptic, clumsy reference to generic space marines, but think for a second: what do you know of that features space marines, space, and halos? Hmmmm

Yeah, we can’t think of anything, either.

7. You’re not getting a chainsaw arm

Rodin’s just full of references to other games. Here’s another one:

Tempting as it might be to think that this is a shout-out to the Evil Dead movies, it’s far more likely that what Rodin’s actually referencing here is Platinum Games’ previous effort, Madworld, in which protagonist Jack sported a trendy, retractable wrist-chainsaw.

8. Whadya buyin’!?

And of course, unless you play videogames under a rock, you’ll recognize what this is from:

That’s right: it’s another Capcom reference, this time to our old friend, the gravelly voiced merchant from Resident Evil 4 who probably has leprosy.

If you’d like to compare Rodin’s delivery of the classic line to the original, check out the video below:

9-10. Who does he think he is?

Rodin doesn’t just hint at other games in his dialogue – he does it visually, too. Take, for example, the way his demonic red eyes occasionally glint right through his sunglasses:

This could be seen as a reference to Resident Evil’s Albert Wesker, which itself could have been seen as a reference to Terminator. So hey, double score. Also, when he disappears into Inferno to make new weapons for Bayonetta, he always returns exhausted and covered in blood.

Above: Nothing strange about that, right? 

However, the unusual position of the blood splash kind of reminds us of a certain other bald terror of the battlefield…

Above: HMMMMM… 

11. Let’s rock, baby!

This next quote comes courtesy of Bayonetta herself, although if you’re not aware of the context for it, a line like “Let’s rock, baby!” probably seems way too generic to be considered a “reference.” But there’s a history here…

… and that history is that “Let’s rock, baby!” was actually the first line ever spoken by Devil May Cry’s Dante, just before the game’s title screen popped up.

Don’t believe us? See the video evidence yourself:

12. Flock off, feather face!

This line, meanwhile – spoken when Bayonetta faces off against the giant boss creature Fortitudo in Chapter IV – is way too weird to be generic, or a coincidence.

In fact, it wouldn’t surprise us if Bayonetta and Devil May Cry were the only two instances in history when it was actually spoken by human beings.

See these two rare, weirdly appropriate lines together below:

13. Henshin a go-go, baby!

There’s bound to be some contention over this next “reference,” but we’re including it anyway because it seems too good to not be true. In Chapter III, Bayonetta shouts an unsubtitled line while surfing down a rushing wave of lava on the back of a hapless angel.

To us, it sounds a bit like “Dancing a-go-go, baby!” But others have sworn up and down that it’s actually Viewtiful Joe’s iconic line, “Henshin a-go-go, baby!” Granted, they’re awfully close, and it’s a strange thing to say if she’s not making a pointed reference. That, plus a healthy dose of wishful thinking, makes us side with the Joe fans on this one.

Give them both a listen and decide for yourself:


  • PatHan-bHai - April 5, 2013 5:30 a.m.

    God Hand..........................ONE FUCKING AWESOME GAME!!!!!
  • Darkhawk - June 21, 2011 11:01 p.m.

    The very first time you visit Paradiso through one of those portals, that entire area is a dead ringer for the River of the Heavens realm in Okami, right down to the location of background objects in the scenery.
  • birddogg62 - December 23, 2010 9:14 a.m.

    6. Rodin, bald space marine is a reference to warhammer 40,000 where most(if not all) space marines are bald.
  • FinderKeeper - December 18, 2010 8:15 p.m.

    References not just to Okami, but to God Hand as well. Clover Studios FTW. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
  • senseless - May 10, 2010 6:24 p.m.

    Father Rodin looks similar to The Despair Embodied from DMC2
  • crimsonsoulz - April 3, 2010 4:24 a.m.

    one missed and somewhat obvious reference in bayonetta is the whole angel thing and the song fly me to the moon which is used through out the game during fights, this is a clear reference to Neon Genesis Evangelion.
  • lightwolfj - March 26, 2010 9:37 p.m.

    First things first; no one else noticed that Bayonetta's Pillowtalk is the same as Waka's from Okami? Oh, and to Dante1924, after you clean up Sei-An in Okami, a little girl will ask you to draw her designs. One's a V, which, after drawing it, she yells "Henshin a go-go, baby!" So yeah, there's a reference there. ^^
  • announakis - March 23, 2010 4:14 a.m.

    An awesome reference to Virtua Fighter when you finish a verse with a pure platinum on the punch move. She then says "Juunen Ayaindayo!" this is a quote of Akira Yuki and means "come back in ten years"
  • The_Tingler - February 11, 2010 3:12 a.m.

    That 'Cannon' font doesn't remind me of Metroid as much as it does He-Man:
  • Ollieevil - February 7, 2010 10 p.m.

    Bayonetta is an amazing game but its too easy, I completed it in 1 hour on normal...
  • italiansniper9 - January 30, 2010 10:27 p.m.

    All you people only find references to other video games. What about real life? The French artist Auguste Rodin created his sculpture "The Gates of Hell" or "La Porte de l'Enfer." This is obviously reference to Rodin's Gates of Hell in this game.
  • KazeUdon - January 28, 2010 2:53 a.m.

    Wow, a couple of real obvious references. In the scene where Luka tries to lure Bayonetta with her lipstick and he talks about all the girls that would be hearbroken should he perish he lists. Claire (Resident evil) Trish (DMC) Sylvia(Viewtiful joe) and Ammy (Okami) The whole missile ride is remnicent of Space Harrier. and I cant place it but the music on the "Time to go Vrooom" level is from something Sega, "Hang on" maybe?
  • DVTC - January 25, 2010 9:45 p.m.

    just like d3v above said, I knew that rocket launcher had to do with something,, but had no idea. I saw few and small similarities in the game to other games that are not listed here, but they're a bit small, I don't know if they're worth mentioning it, but anyhow,, 1, As soon as I saw Grace & Glory, they reminded me of Agni & Rudra from DMC 3, instead of wind and fire, it's lightning and fire. 2, I forgot which costume from DMC 3(I think it was the Sparda, Dante's father, could be wrong..), but I know there's one that casts a shadow of a devil. or did Dante usually casted a devil shadow? I don't remember anymore. Bayonetta casts a butterfly shadow. 3, When fighting Jeanne the third time, at the building after riding the missle, there are times when Jeanne goes high-speed thousand punches or kicks on Bayonetta and Bayonetta, the player, has to counter and over come the speed of those punches or kicks, the very same way that God Hand fought Devil Hand, only with less hair. Youtube link of God hand vs Devil hand battle here, watch from 2:09, for 20 seconds of the clip, showing both punch duel and kick duel. That's all I remember so far that was not mentioned here. One thing about Henshin-gogo thing, from what I know, the word "Henshin" is the Japanese word for "Transform", a word used for magical girl like sailor moon, going "Henshin~ (transform~)" spin a couple and clothes change (, so I don't know if that is a direct reference. I think it's just the way of saying is similar. Minor similarity, yet can't ignore it.
  • danielamer - January 24, 2010 2:08 p.m.

    correct me if im wrong but isn't the guy doing LUKA's voice the one that did LUKE's voice in tales of the abyss ?
  • GrandMoffBubbles - January 21, 2010 10:09 p.m.

    I saw that Luka/Assassins Creed thing too. I thought I was imagining things.
  • d3v - January 21, 2010 3:44 p.m.

    Someone at Platinum is a fan of Apolcaypse Now since the rocket launchers (Lt. Col. Kilgore) are named after Robert Duvall's character (Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore) from the movie.
  • nickthegreat - January 18, 2010 7:13 p.m.

    this might be just me but using the key as a sword reminds me of the key blade from the kingdom hearts series
  • jamarr27 - January 18, 2010 6:48 p.m.

    i knew it was biting dmc all along no one ever belives me oh well
  • sixnine - January 18, 2010 9:32 a.m.

    I'm a little shocked! Honestly, no one saw or got the name 'Antonio Redgrave' at the end of the first journal page! Anyone remember the name 'Tony Redgrave' on Dante's gun (either Ebony or Ivory, can't remember). Out of all the DMC references, I would think that would be one of the most obvious.

Showing 1-20 of 54 comments

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