Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon Impressions – The Origins of the Beloved Witch

When I first saw Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon at the Game Awards 2022, I will admit that my mind sort of felt like ignoring it at first. After all, I was never interested in the Bayonetta series, as, at the time, I wasn’t too into action combat games. However, as the trailer continued to play, it certainly looked unlike any Bayonetta title we’ve seen thus far. So when the demo was released on Nintendo eShop, I hit the Download button to see what awaited me.

In Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon, our story begins with two clans: The Lumen Sages of light and the Umbra Witches of dark. One day, a Lumen Sage fell in love with an Umbra Witch, and they both had a child, Cereza. Unfortunately, her father and mother were sentenced to exile due to this forbidden love. And because of Cereza’s mixed nature, not only was she separated from her parents at a very young age, but she was ostracized by the villagers, who said she would only bring ill for as long as she lived.

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During a dream where she attempts to rescue her mother, Cereza hears of a special power she could obtain if she ventured into Avalon Forest, a forbidden place that her mentor, Morgana, continuously advised against going inside. Eventually, Cereza grew fed up and ventured inside, hoping to obtain the promised power.

The entire narrative is presented like a fairy-tale book, with ink blotches slowly revealing the cutscenes and an omniscient narrator telling you the events as they unfold. The demo allows you to play the entirety of Chapter 1 and will stop at a major narrative point in Chapter 2; short, but thankfully, that is still plenty of time for you to get accustomed to the basics.

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The first character you’ll learn to control is, quite obviously, Cereza, who moves with the left stick. Her Witch Pulse can seal enemies for some time and make Inferno flowers bloom. The latter requires you to keep holding the ZL button and then flick the left stick to the rhythm, which is deceptively tricky, though you can get the hang of it once you do it long enough. Furthermore, at rest points, Cereza is also able to concoct potions that will help her journey into the forest. This is where you can save the game and restore her vitality.

Later on, however, a new character, Cheshire, her beloved stuffed animal, comes into play. After being possessed by a demon, Cheshire can be summoned by pressing R, and instead of moving with the left stick, he’ll move using the right one. There are several instances where you must control both of them to ensure they don’t get too far away from one another because Cheshire requires Cereza’s strength to survive. There are also patches that are filled with rosemary that will require you to skilfully separate the two and then rejoin them at a later path.

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There were two types of currencies that you could collect in the demo, but the gameplay doesn’t let you go far enough to learn what they do. That being said, you can transfer this save file to the full version and continue your journey when it arrives.

This quick hands-on honestly felt like I was just scratching the surface of the whole tale. Still, even as someone who isn’t experienced with Bayonetta, I found myself wanting to know more about the origins of our beloved Umbra witch. And we’ll be able to see this full tale on March 17, 2023, for Nintendo Switch. 

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