The in-game screenshots in this article were all taken using the Photo Mode in Bayonetta 3. Read more about the Photo Mode HERE.
Wow, tomorrow marks the first anniversary of Bayonetta 3!
In this installment of Umbran Studies, I’m going to show you some of the Easter Eggs that we had a lot of fun incorporating into the game.
Let’s get right to it and touch on some of the little tidbits we’ll find as we tour Tokyo, the first level of Bayonetta 3. My name is Natsumi Satake, and it’s my pleasure to be your guide on this little Easter Egg Tour!
Our starting point is Shibuya.
In Bayonetta 3, we put a lot of effort into allowing players to use Infernal Demons to run around the city and destroy their surroundings (*1) in order to obtain currency and materials. My personal recommendation is to use Malphas’ Tornado ([Y] button) or Phantasmaraneae to walk around the outside walls of buildings and structures.
(*1) Read more about the environments of Bayonetta 3 HERE.
We wanted players to go crazy with this wanton destruction, so we placed an infinite magic fountain nearby. Knock yourselves out! Oh, and some of those destructible background objects have specific purposes.
The One, The Only… LAPPY!
OMG, it’s Lappy! The ASTRAL CHAIN mascot in front of the police station. Ladies and gentlemen, Lappy is UNBREAKABLE in Bayonetta 3. Slap him around or throw Infernal Demons at him, Lappy won’t budge… BUT! He will drop Halos. Thank you, Lappy… Good boy! One of the scenario writers for ASTRAL CHAIN also worked on Bayonetta 3. I will never forget how he quietly vented his anger and said, “This is outrageous… why would you hit Lappy?!”
Aside from Lappy-kun, we also have a little special object to get Halos out of.
Also, this is a teeny tiny Easter Egg, but when you destroy ATMs and real estate properties in Tokyo, you get a little more currency than usual…in the form of Seeds.
Yeah, this one is difficult to spot.
Speaking of destruction. We put a lot of effort into making destroying environments and objects feel genuinely exhilarating! This is all thanks to the environment, VFX and SFX teams who made it all possible. In a less obvious way, we also focused on making the destruction of each object feel convincing and adjusted the number of items they drop accordingly. We worked on balancing the two following elements as as well as possible: the exhilirating element and the convincing element of destruction. You can simply use a massive Infernal Demon to walk over an object and crush it instantly, or you can use a few powerful blows to destroy the object in style. The choice is yours.
Based on the principle of “if an Infernal Demon touches it, it will break”, we have set a “durability value” for all breakable objects according to their size and material. In addition, each fragile object has its own “wobble” or “crack” effect when hit. We did this to encourage players to destroy the object.
And there’s more! We also tweaked the amount of items that drop when you destroy an object, and the way they drop. This was done to make it fun to interact with the items! Since the number of breakable objects varies from level to level, we took into account balance-tweaks and other factors, and created a system that allows each of the 400 or so breakable objects to have its own durability and drop probability. This allowed us to make room for unique drops for each type of break. For example, a pharmacy will drop a healing item, or a hamburger shop will drop a hamburger when it’s destroyed.
The Shibuya level is synonymous with destruction. The China level is also at the top of the list when it comes to breakable items, so you’ll get just as much of a rush from destroying everything around you! Check out this video to see what we mean…
Okay, next topic. Battles. I got a good one for you! When you control Malphas, rotate the Left Stick and press [Y] to perform the “Tempest” attack. This attack creates a large tornado that devours the enemy. However, if said tornado engulfs a car, the attack turns into a giant tornado of flames, dealing additional damage(*2).
(*2) You can also generate a flame tornado by combining and switching between Malphas and Phantasmaraneae. Check out more HERE about switching between Infernal Demons.
Many of you may be familiar with this, but if you shoot Gomorrah’s Dark Flame into the Tornado, a beautiful, powerful purple flame tornado will rise into the air.
The timing of Gomorrah’s [Y] Dark Flame right after Malphas’ [Rotate + Y] Tornado is a bit difficult to pull off, but it looks so damn powerful when you do it! And it deals a lot of damage!
This secret trick is a holdover from the very early stages of development when we were playing around with the idea of summoning multiple Infernal Demons into battle at once. The trick itself looks AWESOME, so we decided to keep it in.
Pt Says Hi
Quickly defeat the enemies and get to the landmark 101 building. Run up the stairs on the side of the building.
You will encounter the sign of our digital life form, Pt Shirogane! Hey there~.
We set up this special costume and pose for the shot above!
The sound effects when you hit the sign are also pretty cool. There are actually four of these Pt signs hidden around Tokyo. One of them appears in a cutscene. That one is the easiest to find. Have you seen any of the others?
A Familiar Stranger…
We’ll continue on our way to the 101 building, but since this is an Easter Egg Tour, we’ll make a little detour here. As per the achievement “Stand atop an iconic Shibuya landmark”, let’s visit the roof of the 101 building.
You can get to the top of 101 building by climbing up the nearby buildings and jumping across (the trains you see may come in use!) And while you’re at it, you might have noticed something!
Ta-da! A beetle! Yes, these little critters are a familiar element in our games, and Bayonetta 3 is no exception! I know that in Bayonetta 1 and 2, there was only one beetle hidden per game, but for some reason, we decided to hide a huge number of them in Bayonetta 3.
Wait, what?! More than 40 beetles?!!!
I thought there were like 10 of them in the whole game, so I checked with the person who implemented them into the game and freaked out when I heard the exact number. When I asked him, he said that they basically placed one beetle for each checkpoint in each chapter. However, there were times when they had to give up placement due to moving environments.
As we were reaching the freeze stage for the implemation of each section, I remember the conversations flying around the development team where everyone was shocked that we were still adding beetles on a daily basis. There are so many of these little desperados that even our director was unaware of their existence. There is no real in-game reward for finding them per se, but you can definitely pocket some bragging rights if you are able to find all of these little critters.
While I’m here, I’d like to show you a beetle that I was told you would have to use the debug menu to see. The beetle was apparently placed next to the Gates of Hell record player, but you can barely see it. Since the training room is connected to The Gates of Hell, I used the debug camera to look for the beetle, and it was indeed there!
The little guy is quietly watching over the record player. In case you didn’t know, you can see the beetle in the cutscene when you enter/exit The Gates of Hell.
Shorten Those Clear Times!
OK, so we made it to the top of the 101 building. When climbing, use Demon Masquerade to stick to the walls of the building, as this will make it easier to climb to the top.
This is actually somewhat easy to miss, but you don’t have to go back to the 101 entrance from the rooftop. From the right side of the rooftop, you can just go down to the ground in the next area and skip the battle inside 101.
Surprisingly, there are only a handful of mandatory battles in the game, and a lot of smaller battles can be skipped if you are clever enough, making it possible to shorten your level completion time. From the perspective of exploring a map that is much larger than in previous games, and with a ranking system for clear times, we deliberately included elements that can reduce clear times through discovery and ingenuity. These features may seem modest in comparison, but they were actually quite difficult for us to develop and required loading several large amounts of battle data.
After all this time, I can say that this battle skip feature helped us a lot when we had to do full playthroughs of the game during the crunch…
Our team got a kick out of seeing people skip battles at a certain speedrun competition, and the surprise reaction from the crowd was just fantastic! You’ll find skippable battles all over the place, so be sure to experiment and try it out for yourself.
After the collapsing road, we now enter the underground section. There is another beetle here, but I’ll keep the details a secret! Use the screenshot as a clue to find it. Even though their locations are limited, these little critters are quite hard to find!
Witch’s “Dancing” Familiars
We are now in Shinjuku.
Near Shinjuku Station there is a second Pt sign. You’ll also come across the Midnight Crow and the Shadow Cat, one of the game’s collectibles. The Midnight Crow, Shadow Cat and Umbran Frog are the witch’s familiars that lurk in each chapter, and finding and catching them is the key to unlocking the hidden chapters.
They run away when you approach them, but did you know that they “dance” under certain conditions? If you summon the appropriate Infernal Demon near each of these companions, they will react in a certain way.
The Midnight Crow will flap its wings in worship when Malphas approaches.
The Shadow Cat jumps up in alarm when Labolas approaches. This is the relationship between cats and dogs, I suppose.
The Umbran Frog, of course, does a classical dance when you summon Baal. Interestingly enough, it might be easier to find these familiars in a Shinjuku full of cats or the desert level full of frogs…
Tokyo’s Shibuya and Shinjuku areas only cover the first two levels of the game, but there is so much content here that I was surprised at how much information I was able to provide. One of the features of Bayonetta 3 is that it is a globe-trotting experience, but we were able to pack so many Easter Eggs into Tokyo alone! This building, which should be in Osaka rather than Shinjuku, is one such example. Let us say goodbye in front of this landmark.
Thanks so much for tagging along!
*Pt voice* BYE BYE~!
Natsumi Satake joined PlatinumGames in 2021 as a game designer. Bayonetta 3 is her first title with studio.She was responsible for side missions and side chapters as well as managing various game parameters, system builds and skill trees.