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Witch Time is the name of an ancient art used by powerful Umbra Witches to increase their speed. This grants the user heightened senses, and allows them to move at incredible speeds and perform feats that would otherwise be impossible to do.

In gameplay, Witch Time is Bayonetta's signature move and allows successful evasion of attacks to be rewarded with enemies being slowed down for counter attacks.

The Lumen Sages also have an ability that mirrors Witch Time called Light Speed, which they developed separately as a form as Temporal Control (see Antonio's Notebook extract below).

Notes On The Topic Of Magic - I[]

The word witch usually conjures up images in our head of an old woman using strange magic, but peruse the history of Vigrid and you find a vastly different picture of the incredibly brave women who once inhabited the area.

They were known as the Umbra Witches. While these witches are said to have manipulated magic, there remains very little recorded history to back these claims. Yet, they shared many powers with their opposing counterparts the Lumen Sages, and from their records, we can gather a better view of what magic entailed.

As “Overseers of History,” they possessed the ability to literally see everything in an instant, also known as Temporal Control. This technique sharpened all of the five senses and pushed one’s emotional energy to its very limits. It is a world where a falling drop of water can become a crown, and a humming-bird slowly and elegantly flaps its wings. Temporal Control is not just simply being able to recognize this world, it also enables one to boost their physical abilities and move freely within that single moment.

Temporal Control requires a sound body and mind, and complete grasp of Spirit Energy. While quite similar, the witches and sages each practiced this art differently, leading to different names for their respective techniques, Witch Time and Light Speed.

Witch Time... It seems that the witches on this earth fell victim to our world’s passage of time and vanished into the abyss of eternity. - Antonio's Notebook

Witch Time Render

Activation[]

Witch Time B1

Witch Time in Bayonetta

Dodging[]

Witch Time is most commonly and easily activated by dodging an enemy's attack at the last possible moment. Not all attacks activate Witch Time regardless of the player's timing in Bayonetta, but Bayonetta 2 and Bayonetta 3 trigger Witch Time on any attack save for Enraged Demon Slaves.

Viola's equivalent to dodging is blocking attacks with Mab Dachi, but still follows the same principle of doing so at the last possible moment.

Bat Within[]

Pressing the dodge button the frame Bayonetta takes damage will cause her to transform into a flock of bats for a moment before reassembling herself. When this happens, Witch Time will also be activated and have a slightly increased duration. This is also the only default method through which Jeanne can activate Witch Time when playing as her.

Selene's Light[]

As long as Bayonetta has sufficient Magic stored, this will activate Witch Time whenever she takes damage from an enemy. The duration of the Witch Time triggered is slightly shorter than normal.

Moon of Mahaa-Kalaa[]

Parrying the frame before Bayonetta would take damage causes her to perform a specialized counter-attack that will deal damage, and then trigger an extended Witch Time.

Bracelet of Time[]

In Bayonetta, holding the button down when the Bracelet is equipped allows the player to activate Witch Time whenever they please provided they have enough magic. The effect rapidly consumes said magic for the duration it is active.

In Bayonetta 2, the Bracelet activates Witch Time for a set duration and consumes far less magic, though a minimum of 4 orbs is still required to use it.

Whilst equipped, the Bracelet of Time disables all other methods of gaining Witch Time except through the use of a counter-attack with the Moon of Mahaa-Kalaa. Additionally, having it equipped prevents the use of taunting in Bayonetta.

The Bracelet of Time (or in this case, the Earring of Time) loses these effects in Bayonetta 3, and instead simply extends the duration of Witch Time when equipped.

Umbran Clock Tower[]

As a Demon Slave, the Umbran Clock Tower can activate Witch Time for a short period by ringing its bells.

Restricted/Disabled Instances[]

Witch Time B2

Witch Time in Bayonetta 2

Equipping certain accessories, fighting certain enemies, or specific moments in the games might disable Witch Time.

Evil Harvest Rosary[]

With this equipped, Witch Time's dodge-trigger is disabled and a successful dodge will instead leave behind an explosive mine that damages enemies in the blast radius. Witch Time can still be triggered using the Bracelet of Time or with a counter-attack from Moon of Mahaa-Kalaa.

Non-Stop ∞ Climax[]

The hardest difficulty of the original Bayonetta disables Witch Time almost completely: it can only be triggered by means of the Bracelet of Time or Selene's Light. All other methods are disabled, save for those instances where Witch Time is triggered cinematically, such as the final phases of the Fortitudo battle or during "Use Witch Time" Alfheims.

Note that on Non-Stop ∞ Climax, Bracelet of Time depletes magic twice as fast as normal.

Father Rodin[]

During the encounter, all instances of Witch Time are disabled. Using Bracelet of Time will still activate Witch Time and its Combo Point bonus, but will lack its slow-down effect.

Enraged Demon Slaves[]

When a Demon Slave takes too much damage, they become enraged and lose control, attacking everything in sight. Witch Time cannot be triggered by dodging their attacks.

Game Specific Mechanics[]

Bayonetta[]

Witch Time

Witch Time in action during the first game.

Witch Time is activated for a set amount of time each time it is triggered, regardless of the particular attack or enemy, however it can slightly increase until Bayonetta finishes her current combo (from 4 to 6 seconds). During Witch Time, combo points gain a 1.5x point bonus towards the player's score and will be tagged with a violet insignia in the combo meter.

Witch Time created by Golem wall puzzles or Moon of Mahaa-Kalaa headbutts cannot be extended. Moon of Mahaa-Kalaa headbutts instantly max out Witch Time duration (6 seconds).

When playing as Jeanne, her Witch Time Combo multiplier is higher than Bayonetta's (2x compared to 1.5x).

Bayonetta 2[]

Witch Time in Bayonetta 2 has a varied duration depending on the attack that was dodged, ranging from a base amount of 3 seconds to 0.5 seconds against regular enemies. Enraged enemies halve Witch Time's duration. The shortest Witch Time players can get is against Glamor or by taunting most of the demons on ∞ Climax difficulty (0.25 seconds).

Moreover, Witch Time can also slightly extend for every instance of damage dealt to an enemy, increasing the remaining time multiplicatively. The maximum time achievable is around 6 seconds and can be seen in-game with the Witch Time clock hand slowing down with every hit.

Unlike in Bayonetta, Jeanne's Witch Time is longer than Bayonetta's, with the base time increased by around a second. It can be extended for up to 8 seconds of Witch Time.

Bayonetta 3[]

The duration of Witch Time in Bayonetta 3 depends on the timing of your dodge. A Perfect Dodge or Bat Within grants 4 seconds of Witch Time, signalled by an additional "chime" sound effect, extra visual effects on screen, and Bayonetta speaking a quote. Dodging too early grants only a second of Witch Time and doesn't feature the extra cues.

Witch Time in Bayonetta 3 not only increases your character's speed, but also hastens the actions of Demon Slaves as well. Equipping the Earring of Time increases the duration to a total of 6 seconds, but unlike previous titles, Witch Time's duration cannot be lengthened by additional damage you deal or by combo length.

Jeanne cannot Perfect Dodge or get Witch Time from an early dodge; it can only be activated by Moth Within. Moon of Mahaa-Kalaa and the Umbran Clock Tower work like usual.

When playing as Viola, Perfect Dodges are replaced with Perfect Blocks and the duration mechanics work identically to Bayonetta and Jeanne, though the timing window for a Perfect Block is significantly stricter than a Perfect Dodge or Bat Within. Like other Demon Slaves, Cheshire also attacks faster when Witch Time is activated.

Super Smash Bros. series[]

Witch time

In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Witch Time is Bayonetta's down special. Like in her home series, the technique allows Bayonetta to slow enemies down and strike them when vulnerable. Unlike in the Bayonetta series, Witch Time only slows down whoever hit Bayonetta. Witch Time's duration depends on the amount of damage the enemy has, the strength of the attack, and how many times in succession the technique has been used.

If Bayonetta uses Witch Time too late, Bat Within activates instead. She can trigger Witch Time and Bat Within at the same time if hit when both techniques' trigger frames overlap, though Witch Time's duration is slightly shorter this way.

A more Bayonetta-faithful version of Witch Time appears in her Final Smash, Infernal Climax, where she slows down the entire arena as opposed to a single opponent to fill up her Climax Gauge.

Bayo2 - Witch Time Clock

Witch Time Clock.

Trivia[]

  • Bayonetta and Jeanne sometimes use Witch Time during cinematics, suggesting that Umbra Witches can use this ability whenever they please to either get to an area faster or defeat an enemy faster. This is further emphasized in Bayonetta 3 when Viola uses Witch Time to stop Jeanne's attack upon their first meeting.
  • Witch Time is referenced in The Wonderful 101, another title also made by PlatinumGames and directed by Hideki Kamiya. A skill can be purchased from Wonder-Mart called "Hero Time", which has the same exact function as Witch Time.

References[]

  1. Bayonetta - Antonio's Notebook
  2. Bayonetta - "Experience a hyper-sensitive state! Move with incredible speed via this unbelievable technique!"
  3. Bayonetta 3 - "Dodge attacks just before they hit to hone your senses and move beyond the speed of normal human ability. Enemies will appear to move in slow motion and be completely vulnerable to attack."
  4. Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon - "Dodge an enemy's attack at the last moment to heighten your perception and temporarily move at extreme speeds."
  5. Bayonetta Manual - "Dodging at the last possible moment will trigger 'Witch Time.' During this time, Bayonetta can take action in hyper speed, allowing her to even run on water."
  6. Bayonetta: The Official Guide - Hideki Kamiya: "Witch Time is a skill that activates super-fast movement..."
  7. Hideki Kamiya: "Both Witchtime and Lightspeed are things that speed you up rather than manipulating time..."


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