Hi everybody! My name is Yasuhiro Naka, and I was the Lead Sound Designer on Bayonetta 3.
I would like to take this opportunity to talk more about some fundamentals of the game such as Witch Time and Viola’s weapon.
Witch Time – Sound Effects
Witch Time has been a staple of the Bayonetta series since the beginning, and I’m sure that a lot of you out there will automatically think of this feature when someone says the word “Bayonetta”.
Director Miyata wanted to take this opportunity to somewhat alter this symbolic feature in this third installment. We jumped on board and tweaked it accordingly for Bayonetta 3.
Let’s take a quick peak to see how the sound effects have changed across the Bayonetta games, starting with the first two installments.
Now let’s listen to the Bayonetta 3 version of Witch Time.
How was that? I’m sure that you can feel the “magic” stand out a bit more in the sound effects for Witch Time in Bayonetta 3 when compared to the previous iterations.
For Bayonetta 3, Director Miyata brought up the concept of “Magical Girl”, which had never been brought up in the Bayonetta series before. (Sorry if I’m wrong!)
Magical Girl… Bayonetta… the first thing that came to my mind was a bunch of cute young magical girls from a certain Sunday morning anime…
I played through the first game as a regular user and for the second game I had already joined PlatinumGames and worked on the game as a sound designer. The activation sound effect for Witch Time seemed really cool at the time and managed to bring out the “witch” concept really well.
In Bayonetta 3, however, the direction we were given was to alter the sensation players experience when activating Witch Time, accentuating the Magical Girl concept. Keeping the sound effect still have that “cool” punch whilst accentuating the young witch concept conflicted in my mind. So although the director was not pushing for the “cool” element this time, I really wanted to keep this aspect in the sound, and struggled to align the two concepts.
In the end, I am proud to say that it is one of the best sound effects I have created thus far, and it was worth the effort!
Viola is a brand-new character in the Bayonetta universe. This means that everything from her weapons to her motion sound effects and footsteps have of course been newly created. Let me elaborate a bit further on Viola’s exclusive weapon, her sword.
Viola’s main weapon is her Mab Dachi sword. It is used as a sword for combat as well as a medium for summoning demons. The basic aspects of her swordsmanship are no different from those of a regular katana, but finishing attacks and special attacks have the attribute of covering the katana in flames.
The basic sound concept for this sword includes parts that are made to sound realistic and parts that are slightly exaggerated. For example, the sound of swinging the sword is made to sound like the tip of the sword cutting through the air. However, when Viola readies her sword you can hear the clattering of the sword’s tsuba handguard. Normally, a sword that clatters like that just by moving it around would be unsafe to use, but by adding this deformation of sorts when the sword is being moved around, we have tried to make the player feel as if every part of the sword comes to life when used in battle.
Also, in Violas’s special moves, the Infernal Demon “Cheshire” supports her attacks, and when I first saw this animation, the impression I got was that of a girl who, in contrast to Bayonetta, is still growing up and finding her way in the world. I thought this whole presentation was both realistic and comical in nature, a Bayonetta series “specialty” of sorts, so I kept that in mind when creating the sound.
There are also many other Mab Dachi moves available for Viola. We think they are all unique combos, so I recommend you find your favorite one!
Bayonetta is memorable for the way she skillfully maneuvers her four guns to perform combos. The themes for these guns change each game. They may look similar, but they are reworked every time. The motif behind the guns in Bayonetta 3 is the flintlock mechanism and we also took inspiration from many other cool components of different firearms.
Let’s listen to the sounds of the guns in all three games and compare for yourself!
Bayonetta: Scarborough Fair
Bayonetta 2: Love Is Blue
Bayonetta 3: Color My World
He started his career in 1993 at a major game developer. After working on various game sound productions, he joined PlatinumGames in 2009 as a sound designer.
He has worked on various sound design and system architecture for VANQUISH, The Wonderful 101, Bayonetta 2, STAR FOX ZERO/GUARD, NieR: Automata, and World of Demons. For Bayonetta 3, he was in charge of sound direction for everything except the background music, and also responsible for sound design of players, enemies, and backgrounds, as well as system construction and outsourcing.