The Bayonetta 3 ending controversy, explained

Spoilers, obviously.

Image via Platinum Games

Bayonetta 3 is out now for Nintendo Switch, but the lead-up to launch was marked by controversy surrounding the game’s voice talent. But that was just the beginning — now that the game is out, its ending is also causing controversy among fans. We’ll explain why below, but do be prepared for several spoilers. We’re discussing the end of the game, after all.

What is the Bayonetta 3 ending controversy?

Image via Nintendo

Bayonetta 3’s final boss fight involves all the game’s multiverse versions of Bayonetta, as well as newcomer Viola, teaming up for an epic battle. Victory comes at a cost, as the version of Bayonetta known as Cereza dies. In her final moments, she embraces Luka, a companion character who’s appeared in the previous games, largely as comedic relief. His romantic advances toward Bayonetta have always gone unrequited — until now. As the two are dragged down to hell, they embrace and kiss, and Cereza admits that she’s loved him all along.

That might be cringy enough on its own, but this romantic moment also lumps the ending in with a touchy subject known as queer-baiting: when a perceived LGBTQIA+ character ends their arc in a heterosexual manner. The events of Bayonetta 2 brought the character very close to her frenemy Jeanne, leading to the characters becoming projections of bisexuality for many fans. They expected the two of them to wind up together, rather than Bayonetta and Luka. For those shipping Bayonetta and Jeanne, the ending of Bayonetta 3 is a safe, disappointing choice.

What is the Bayonetta 3 voice actress controversy?

Image via Nintendo

Prior to the release of Bayonetta 3, there was a completely spoiler-free controversy involving voice actress Hellena Taylor. She voiced the titular character in the first two games before being replaced by Jennifer Hale. Taylor claimed that she was offered an “insulting” pay rate and asked fans to boycott the game as a result.

Conflicting reports about this pay structure then came to the surface. New voice actress Jennifer Hale is bound by contract with what she can say on the matter, but developer Platinum Games still took her side. Things got even more complicated when Taylor corroborated one of the reports, leading to the whole issue feeling extra icky.