Written by Jonathan Wojcik
THE THIRTEEN COOLEST BAYONETTA DEMONS
Bayonetta is another game series I honestly haven't really gotten up to speed with myself, unless you count using her a few times to beat up small children and dinosaurs in Smash Brothers Ultimate. What I do know, however, is that it's about a witch with guns for shoes who murders angels by summoning demons out of her hair, and if you didn't know that, now you do, and you're as prepared as I am to dive into what we're about to review. As we just established, this game has both demons and angels in it, and you might expect the demons to be more worthy of a monster review, but that's really not necessarily the case. It's the demons, in fact, that we're going to get out of the way first....
This is one of the demons seen exclusively as one of Bayonetta's summoning moves, and we never do get to see what it actually looks like. The mythical Hekatoncheir was a giant known for possessing many arms and hands, so that's the only thing we ever glimpse of this being; a collection of gigantic arms, with each finger ending in a demonic mask. Maybe it is, in fact, nothing but a bunch of arms, and maybe those "masks" have its actual, real faces underneath.
HEKATONCHEIR, SHATTERER OF EARTH
I opted to share conceptual art of this gigantic bat demon, rather than an in-game model, because the in-game model really doesn't do the design justice. I hate to say that seems like a common problem throughout both Bayonetta titles, whose realistic graphics can often muddy up the radical color schemes and fine details of some of its creatures. Don't just take my word for it, though, just look at the best they could apparently choose for an official render. Ouch! You can't tell WHAT'S going on there, especially not when it's flailing around wildly through the air in-game!
MICTLANTECUHTLI, PRESSER OF DESTRUCTION
Mictly's real, intended design is relatively beautiful compared to that polygonal blob, especially how the creature's body is made up of even more batty wings, like the whole thing is just a batlipede. It's Halloween as hell!
Scolopendra is exactly what it sounds like, at least if you already recognize its name as the genus containing all of the world's largest centipedes. It's a pleasantly long, winding monster with suitably wiggly little legs and a menacing, skull-like head, fairly straightforward for a scary demon version of a 'pede, but it feels at least a little more remarkable for the fact that this is a game where the demons are ultimately on your side.
SCOLOPENDRA, ERADICATOR OF PARADISE
I believe we mentioned however that witches use their hair to summon demons, so, here's how Scolopendra looks when Bayonetta rings him up to kick something's ass for her. Fuzzy!
In Bayonetta continuity, the Hydra is also Medusa, which feels like a match so appropriate I can't believe this is my first encounter with it. She's one humongous, monstrous severed head with eyeless, sword-nosed serpents for hair, each sporting a single, eerie eyeball in its throat for good measure! I'm not usually that into such overly decorated and convoluted characters, but you can tell by now it's kind of the whole point of this game's aesthetic, and I think the details and colors they chose for a lot of these designs are pretty nice! I especially like Hydra's giant, purple veil and gold-plated eyelashes. She just wants to look good!
HYDRA, SPINNER OF DESTINY
This demon, or demons, take the form of innumerable flying insectoids with snakelike, arrow-shaped heads, and are said to be comprised entirely of noxious microorganisms and poisonous substances held together by their exoskeletons. What's most interesting is that these appear in the game as the "arrows" fired by a demonic, beetle shaped bow known as Kafka.
CARNAGE, REVELER OF PLAGUE
Still described as a "demonic bird," this imaginative take on a fury is obviously much more than that, with batlike wings, oversized hands and a dinosaur-like skull that splits open - in three lobes! - to reveal a giant, ornate eyeball that reminds me of a Faberge egg. It's said to visit with "hysteric" humans at night just to caw in their ears, slowly driving them madder as they waste away and finally die.
FURY, GATHERER OF RANCOR
A sneaky, conniving demon said to be the embodiment of malice itself, even imitating other demons in order to fool witches into signing entirely the wrong contract. He may also have one of the single most interesting and creative designs of any demon in the game. The giant sphere seems to be his true body, since he's repeatedly described as an "orb shaped" demon, so the shapely humanoid torso might be little more than decoration. The arms ending without any hands is an eerie little touch, supporting those majestic decorative "wings" that seem more like part of the thing's "clothing." The coolest feature, of course, is that wonderfully surreal, crescent-shaped head, lined with eyes like the markings of a peacock.
MALICIOUS, GAZER OF DEATH
An embodiment of hatred and bitterness, Resentment has a snake-like lower body and a humanoid upper torso that wouldn't be terribly interesting on their own, but its face is a black and red, polygonal vortex that can stretch open, lash out with spindly demon hands and drag victims inside. You really have to see it in action yourself:
It gets weirder, too, because before it sucks you into its psychedelic gullet, Resentment transforms you back into your childhood self. Why? I don't know, I guess entirely because that's just several times creepier. I love that final little touch of it "wiping its mouth."
RESENTMENT, SWINDLER OF PROGRESS
You gotta balance out your grandiose melodrama with some splashes of pure wackiness, and one of Bayonetta's most delightful summons is just this rambunctious swarm of tiny, flying skeletons. They don't have any particular backstory or lore that we know of, but "Infernal Bad Boys" tells us they view themselves as a punkass gang of no-goodniks even by hell's standards.
LITTLE DEVILS, INFERNAL BAD BOYS
More importantly, the first Bayonetta game allowed you to unlock and play as the leader of the Little Devils, and his name is Little King Zero. I haven't played either of these games and I'm still mad that they apparently left him out of the second one.
Oh my god, that is adorable. How can you possibly take this big giant toad seriously as a "demon?" Look at her dumb, silly froggy face! She thinks she's cool and important but she's just a big froggy!! She's ridiculous! She's apparently even so huge and so "wobbly" (THEIR WORDING!) that she can't even really control her own body, therefore preferring to sit in place and fight with her long, looooooong spiky tongue.
BAAL, EMPRESS OF THE FATHOMS
This one is just far too cool, taking the form of a huge, I mean really, really huge metallic ship in the shape of a grinning, skull-faced stingray. It's supposedly said that in the end days, it will gather sinners and carry them to what they believe will be heaven, but takes them nowhere at all until they're reduced to killing one another for food.
INSIDIOUS, CONSUMER OF ALL
,br>The most interesting and in fact most important feature of Insidious are the massive, eerie eyes on the inside of its wings, which can actually pop out of their sockets and extend their own tentacles to battle Bayonetta directly. We've got a great picture of that for you, and it shows off what we mean by "HUGE:"
Find the Bayonetta! Holy crap this thing is epic, and zooming in to fight a titanic creature's eyeballs alone is just too damn fun a concept.
The next to last demon we're going to look at is also a major villain of Bayonetta 2, Alraune was once a woman who killed herself with mandrake poison as revenge against an ex, and became a powerful, plant-like demon noble whose poison transforms human souls into her mindless "lovers." All very, very creepy indeed, and I'm really liking that big saucer-shaped head with its elongated, yellow eyes.
ALRAUNE, WHISPERER OF DEMENTIA
Alraune has the power to summon giant, demonic flowers to swallow up her enemies, and they're pretty kickass monster designs in their own right, with a mesmerizing arrangement of eyes and fangs within their gold-edged petals!
When she's taken enough damage, Alraune sprouts a gigantic, lizard-like new body where her legs used to be, and I love the way her dress has the effect of serving as the monster's transparent, bubble-like "face."
We're putting this one at #1 here for her sheer significance, though she's certainly cool as hell all on her own. I enjoy any use of a butterfly motif for a threatening character, and in almost hilarious defiance of everything you would expect, this beautiful butterfly-themed demoness is just a brutal, bloodthirsty physical brawler who punches, stomps and head-butts her adversaries into submission, which is pretty bad news when her true form stands at least a couple hundred feet tall.
MADAMA BUTTERFLY, MISTRESS OF ATROCITY
What's really important here, though, is that Madama Butterfly is the demon that owns Bayonetta's soul, allowing Bayonetta the freedom to summon any part of her she needs at any time, like so:
I think this was the precise moment I succumbed to the appeal of this series. Bayonetta sold her soul to a giant butterfly woman in hell, and now that allows her to smash people in the face with a butterfly woman's gargantuan, spiked fists and purple heels. It wouldn't be entirely unfair to describe everything about this as "stupid," but then you'd be practically begging for a high heel the size of a bus in your face. How dare you, you specifically and not me, suggest that any of this could ever be in any way silly. You are terribly rude to Bayonetta and her friend, the giant butterfly who's one day going to torture her forever in hell. How could you hurt their feelings like this.
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