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Demon Slave is a technique in Bayonetta 3 that allows Bayonetta to invoke and fully control an Infernal Demon during combat. It is triggered by holding down ZL and works utilising the magic gauge, similarly to Torture Attacks from past games.

Usage[]

Whereas Infernal Demons were initially restricted to being used as finishers at the end of certain fights in the first game and combo finishers in the second, Demon Slave allows Infernal Demons to fully manifest and fight in normal combat instead of being relegated to cinematic moments. Bayonetta can equip three different Infernal Demons to use as as conduits for Demon Slave and can swap between them freely at any time using the directional buttons during regular gameplay.

From a story perspective, Demon Slave is described as an ancient Umbra Witch art that had been thought lost to history. When Bayonetta summons Gomorrah to attack an enemy Cumulonimbus, Gomorrah does not heed her commands as the enemy is an artificial construction and not from Paradiso or Inferno. To prevent the demon from rampaging for a second time, Bayonetta uses Demon Slave to control Gomorrah's movements directly and applies this to other demons throughout the game.

Gameplay[]

When ZL is pressed, the chosen demon manifests in front of Bayonetta in whichever direction the camera is currently facing. Demon Slave cannot be used in every location, with confined environments or indoor chambers prohibiting its use. When Demon Slave is active, Bayonetta is fixed in place and is unable to perform normal movement or any attacks of her own. She is only able to cancel the ability by releasing ZL, tapping ZR, or dodging an enemy attack. If she is damaged while using Demon Slave, the demon is instantly dispelled.

After a demon manifests, Bayonetta can direct them around the battlefield using Left Stick and Jump. Each demon as a different movement speed depending on their size and abilities and particular demons have extra movement abilities, such as Madama Butterfly being able to glide, Malphas flapping their wings to fly, and Phantasmaraneae being able to crawl up walls.

Combat[]

When facing opponents, Bayonetta can command the demon using the inputs for Punch, Kick, Shoot and Jump. These commands are added into a queue system, which are executed by the demon one after another. Only two commands can be buffered in the queue at once, with the current command needing to be finished before the next is executed and another can be queued. Utilising the queue system allows commands to be chained together to create combo attacks.

Pressing R will also cause the demon to perform a special attack unique to them. Madama Butterfly, for example, has a "charm" ability that causes enemies to attack each other if they are hit by it, whilst Gomorrah can grab an enemy in its jaws before throwing them into the air to prime a Torture Attack. Some R abilities allows an alternative form/moveset to be used, such as with Mictlantecuhtli or Labolas.

If there are still attacks to be executed in the queue, or the demon is performing a particularly long attack animation, Bayonetta can temporarily let go of ZLto move to another position and/or attack as the demon will not be dispelled until there no commands left to perform. She can also continue the summoning in a new position or after an attack by holding ZL again before the demon is dispelled. The magic will still continuously drain the entire time the demon is on the field.

Magic[]

Demon Slave's longevity is dictated by the magic gauge and will immediately end if Bayonetta runs out of magic while using it. The gauge automatically regenerates at a slow rate and must refill to a specific marked amount before a demon can be summoned again. The gauge can be refilled faster by successfully landing blows on enemies or by triggering Witch Time.

Demon Rampage/Death[]

Each hit of damage a demon takes depletes the magic gauge a set amount and also raises an additional anger gauge around the currently summoned demon's icon. When this gauge maxes out, Bayonetta loses control of the summoning and Demon Rampage is triggered, where the summoned entity attacks both Bayonetta and any enemies present indiscriminately for a set amount of time. Witch Time cannot be triggered from a rampaging demon's attacks and must instead be avoided until the demon is dispelled, after which there is a cooldown before they can be re-summoned. A demon's anger gauge can be slowly depleted by successfully landing attacks with them using Demon Slave.

Demons can also be be instantly defeated by specific attacks, such as Cumulonimbus pinning them to the ground or via electrical stuns from Floccus or Castellanus. If a demon remains restrained or stunned for too long, they are dispelled and must endure a cooldown before being summoned again like with Demon Rampage. Bayonetta is able to save a struck demon from death by pressing ZRto recall them, attacking the offending enemy holding them in place, or simply switching to another Demon Slave using the directional buttons. However, some attacks can instantly kill a demon regardless of what else is done.

Variants[]

In addition to direct control, variants of Demon Slave can be executed depending on timing or additional inputs.

Wink Slave allows the currently selected demon to be summoned as an additional attack to the end of a combo. It is triggered by pressing ZL when Bayonetta flashes with light during a combo finisher. The specific type of attack varies depending on the combo being used, ranging from area-of-effect damage to launchers, but generally follows an "opposing direction" rule (if Bayonetta's final attack launches upwards, the demon's attack will instead come downward, for example). Each particular Wink Slave attack deals its own specific amount of damage to hit opponents

Assault Slave is triggered as a counter attack by pressing ZL just as a physical strike is about to damage the player. The chosen demon will intercept the attack and inflict damage in turn, with certain demons triggering unique effects in the process. Assault Slave cannot be triggered on ranged attacks or projectiles, but can be used against certain "shockwave" attacks such as Strider's roar. If the player also presses ZR twice during Assault Slave, they can trigger a bonus Witch Time in the process, but only if the Assault Slave attack is not a grab or bite.

Flash Slave causes the currently selected demon to perform a unique attack immediately after being summoned by pressing either Punch or Kick shortly after ZL. Demons will perform the same attack regardless of which attack button is pressed. Rodin and Wartrain Gouon are unable to perform Flash Slave.

Jeanne[]

Though she is normally not playable during the main story Chapters of the game, Jeanne can be played in the Phenomenal Remnant variants of each Chapter, unlocked by collecting that stage's three Umbran Tears Of Blood. In these special stages, her mechanics for Demon Slave are identical to Bayonetta's.

Viola[]

As an Umbra Witch in-training, Viola's only Demon Slave option is Cheshire.

Unlike Bayonetta and Jeanne, Viola conjures Demon Slave from the place she throws her Mab Dachi sword into the ground. Once Cheshire is called forth, she cannot directly control him and he is instead given free reign to do as he pleases for however long he is active; however, Cheshire can only move a set distance from Mab Dachi's location as he is tethered to it without the use of certain accessories. Viola's Demon Slave also cannot trigger Demon Rampage as Cheshire does not have an Rage gauge, though he can still be incapacitated.

Viola is still able to move when Demon Slave is active, using hand-to-hand combat of punches and kicks to inflict damage. As she doesn't have access to Mab Dachi while summoning, she is unable to block attacks and cannot use Witch Time until Cheshire is recalled. She is also able to use the Wink Slave and Assault Slave variants of the ability.

Gallery[]

Demon Slave crests made by @marialagidyne on Twitter:

Trivia[]

  • The usage of dance moves corresponding to different inputs during Demon Slave came from the the key concept of using dance moves as a method of attack during Bayonetta 3's development. Hideki Kamiya claimed that Yuskuke Miyata, the game's director, suggested the idea of Bayonetta using different dances to command the demons. Though sceptical of how it would look, the final results impressed him.
  • When using Demon Slave, Bayonetta strips to a swimsuit-like version of her suit, not unlike her summoning outfit changes for Wicked Weaves in the prior two games. However, she keeps her suit intact if Naive Angel Mode is activated, simply missing the braids on her back. This tamer version of Demon Slave was first shown in the gameplay reveal trailer for Bayonetta 3 in 2021, with the original "mature" version shown later.
  • Besides filling the anger gauge through normal means, Rodin can also instantly go into Demon Rampage by refusing to dance with him after triggering his R special ability.
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