We finally saw the return of the famed witch during the Nintendo Direct in September. It surprised me to see Bayonetta 3 pop up at the very last moment, especially with a new voice actor. The witch leapt in and used her wicked weave to punch a large, unfamiliar opponent to the ground before elegantly dancing for the rest of the trailer whilst Gomorrah tore her foe to shreds. She returned in the most Bayonetta way possible. Or, should I say, the most Cereza way possible?
UPDATE: Recently, it was revealed that Bayonetta’s previous voice actress, Hellena Taylor would not be returning to the series amidst disputes between the voice actress and the title’s developer PlatinumGames. Both parties are currently in opposition to one another with their claims.
Upon first, viewing the trailer I couldn’t help but immediately notice that the voice actor in the trailer was different from the one we’re used to. She sounds a little younger and more playful, even. Not only this, but compared to herself in the past two games, she appears to have lost her more overtly sexual nature. From her fighting style to her outfit, this time around, this aspect has seemingly lessened. It begs the question. Have Platinum Games decided to change the Bayonetta 3 voice actor and shift her character a little?
Avid fans will remember Cereza from the original Bayonetta, who turns out to be a younger version of the titular character herself. After our journey with her, we return the little girl to her original timeline. All is back to normal again. Except Cereza is now this brave, unstoppable force that doesn’t give up fighting after her mother Rosa dies. This creates a split in the timelines. We have our Bayonetta who was locked away for 500 years at the bottom of the lake, and brave Cereza, who was never sealed away and activated the left eye of darkness.
From her pigtails and red ribbons to her differing personality, the character in the trailer seems to resemble a grown-up Cereza. It would make sense to give her a different voice actor in Bayonetta 3 to reinforce the differences between her and our umbra witch. Hellena Taylor, the original voice actor for our Bayonetta, implied that we may have to get used to seeing her character portrayed by another person. This doesn’t have to mean, however, that she’s talking about the character we know and love, especially with the presence of multiple timelines, time jumps, and cycles.
Well you might have to.
— Hellena Taylor (@hellenataylor) September 12, 2021
Is Hellena Truly Bidding Farewell?
While saying this, there is still a fair chance that this is simply how the series is moving along. Nintendo may be making the franchise suitable for more audiences. Hellena Taylor may be moving on from the role to pursue new paths in her career. I don’t personally think this is the case. It is a possibility, however, that we may have to come to terms with. We’ll have to wait and see.
Regardless, I think that the Bayonetta 3 voice actor does an excellent job at portraying the character. They’ve got the accent down, as well as the delivery of her iconic lines. Combine this with the pigtails, the skirt, and the frilly dancing, however, and we have quite a different character to the one we’ve seen in the first two games when looking at the minor details.
It would feel very strange for this character to return so drastically different without any specific reason. Unless, of course, it was a different version of her all along. It will be very interesting to see where the story goes if this is, in fact, Cereza. Maybe she’ll even team up with our Bayonetta to fight off a new type of interdimensional evil? Though keep in mind that this is all just a theory and could very well be a simple nod to her past that I’m reading into too much.
What do you think of the gameplay trailer and the possibility of a new Bayonetta 3 voice actor? Let me know your thoughts down below. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend checking out the first two games. Bayonetta 2 is available on Nintendo Switch (and Wii U) while the first installment is available on most major platforms.