Hi, everyone. I’m Muneyuki “Johnny” Kotegawa, and I am in charge of the design and modeling for all of the weapons in Bayonetta.
I was also involved in designing the weapons for Devil May Cry and Resident Evil. This is my first project with Kamiya-san since Devil May Cry.
I wanted to blog about Scarborough Fair, Bayonetta’s beloved handguns that you may have seen in our trailers and other advertisements.
First I want to cover how we approached design in general, not just limited to weapons. Kamiya-san’s direction for the character was pretty much;
1. A female lead character
2. A modern witch
3. Guns on hands and feet
I think that Shimako covered this in an earlier blog.
After going through an intense bit of back and forth between Shimako and Kamiya-san (I sit between them…) they came up with a color balance based around pitch-black clothing, white skin, gold ornamentations, and the red ribbon accent. It was then that it was decided that the guns in her hand should be red. While there is an element of color balancing to it, this game has intense action that hasn’t really been seen up until this point in gaming, so having the red guns makes it easier to pick up the position of Bayonetta’s limbs in combat. By the way, her gloves (palms), and soles are also red.
We also had to make this easy to pick up on because Bayonetta uses her guns in her primary for of attacking – via melee.
With all this in mind, I went to work to come up with some weapon designs based on real world guns. I do this because if I base something on gun parts that are familiar, it will remain convincing even if the final product is a complete work of the imagination. Movie prop guns like the blaster in Blade Runner, or Han Solo’s gun in Star Wars are examples of this style of design.
I suppose gun-lovers will be able to figure out which gun is based on what real world weapon. The strange base guns are the traces of trial and error included because I wanted to make something that no one had ever seen before. You could also say they reflect my personal taste as well.
The guns that aren’t red were actually created before we had locked down the final design specifications. I made them silver or gold to make sure they stood out to the eye.
After working on the various designs, Kamiya-san’s eyes stopped at a gun based on the Derringer. It must have been because great minds think alike, and he could see it would be a gun capable of rapid fire; a simple, rugged gun. Or so I thought. “This design would look hot in a girl’s hand.” Hmph.
1. The first image sees the design taking into account the gun’s use as a melee weapon, as well as making it giant to fit in with the action game requirements we talked about earlier. I also made the small parts gold to impart some elegance. The part underneath the grip is formed and inspired by a high-heel.
2. The second image is even more of a melee weapon, adding some spikes and other ornamentation, as well as a jewel on the side. This was all to give the gun an overall accent.
3. I was told to make the gun less spikey, so redesigned with something a bit more subdued, while thinking of the design elements once again. This is also where I added the final logo for Scarborough Fair.
4. Since the gun will be used for melee attacks, I wanted to add something akin to a knuckle guard onto the gun. I also shrunk things down to make the entire gun seem stronger.
5. I felt I may have gone too far, so I went back to some previous elements. The high-heel silhouette that was removed in design #4 makes a comeback.
6. Here we move even closer back towards the original Derringer silhouette. I added a rail onto the top of the guns so that they could be equipped on Bayonetta’s feet. They slide into the gap in her high heels. The knuckle guard is meant to remind you of an old pair of scissors, an idea that came from Kamiya-san. This is the design I used to make the final guns.
As a little addition, if you put two of the guns together, they will form the Witch’s mark. I used this design to begin production on the CG model.
But even then, I kept toying with the design as I created the model, doing retakes as I added ideas or the use of the weapon changed.
Scarborough Fair is an old English ballad that focuses on four herbs – Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme. These herbs became the names of each individual gun. Witches and herbs are closely linked. (This even comes up a bit in the game’s story.) I also changed the color of the gem on each of the gun to match the flower of the herb, which Bayonetta then uses to summon/expel the bullets that allow her to fire limitless rounds of ammo. (You can’t really see it, but there is a bullet in the gem.) Underneath the grip, we also added a charm (designed by Shimako) that is also linked with the herbs.
The gun can also be opened at the breach to be loaded with different bullets and fired single-shot. You’ll just have to look forward to the game to figure out how we use this…
So that pretty much sums up how we went about the design and creation of Scarborough Fair. It took a long time to arrive at Bayonetta’s main weapon, but once we had that clear direction, the rest of the weapons were a smooth design process. The first time is always the hardest, right?
And of course, as you have seen in the trailers, this isn’t the only weapon that Bayonetta will wield. You can look forward to playing with weapons that range from the standard to the absolutely outrageous.
Next time I blog, I will give you a look into the design of some of the other weapons, as well as the guns used by the mysterious woman in red, Jeanne.
(NOTE: See high resolution versions of these pictures on PlatinumGames’s Flickr account.)