Witch Time (ウィッチタイム, Witch Time) is Bayonetta's Down Special Move. Bayonetta does a backflip while projecting a small purple energy field, and anyone that attacks her in this state is slowed down temporarily.
This move has large amounts of active frames, unlike most counters. The duration of the slowdown, which is indicated by a clock hand making a single rotation, varies based on the opponent's percentage and the number of times the move has been used. This move has diminishing return, meaning the effect will be reduced the more it is used, which is indicated by the faster speed at which the clock hand rotates.
While slowed down, opponents will sustain any launch and damage they accumulate, slowly staggering towards the angle they were thrown; upon time going back to normal, all the launch they accumulated will take effect and begin to launch their momentum forwards.
Though Witch Time will nullify the opponent's hit that has activated the move, any other hitboxes are still considered active under Witch Time, meaning that it's still possible to be hit. This is mostly noticeable when used on opponents performing a multi-hit attack, such as Yoshi's Down Aerial.
Witch Time will not slow down an opponent if it was activated by a projectile if the foe is too far away, although Bayonetta will still dodge the attack and speak as normal.
If Witch Time is activated too late, Bat Within (バットウィズイン, Bat Within) will trigger instead. Bayonetta will quickly transform into a swarm of bats and travel a small distance in any direction the player inputs, while also reducing the amount of damage taken. It is also possible to activate both Witch Time and Bat Within at the same time. Bat Within can also trigger from her spot dodge, sidestep, and air dodges, transforming if she is struck right at the beginning of her dodging animation.
Witch Time is a major mechanic in Bayonetta, where Bayonetta/Jeanne increase their speed, causing them to move faster than everything around them. This mimics the effects of a time slow — where Smash's Witch Time is actually a time slow on a singular target, Witch Time in the original games functions as a speed boost. This ability used to traverse terrain that would otherwise be inaccessible, such as water or rock fragments. It can be activated in a variety of ways, primarily by dodging enemy attacks at the right time, as well as being activated by various accessories. Lumen Sages possess a similar technique called Light Speed, which also lets them increase their speed.
Various other releases by PlatinumGames and its predecessor, the Capcom subsidiary Clover Studios, also feature speed boosting abilities, such as the "Mach Speed" in Viewtiful Joe and "Blade Mode" in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Other games which feature mechanics similar to Bayonetta's Witch Time include "Veil of Mist" in Okami, "Focus" in Transformers: Devastation, and both Unite Bomb and Hero Time in The Wonderful 101.
Bat Within is a technique purchasable from the Gates of Hell. By dodging at the last second, Bayonetta instead activates Bat Within, transforming her into a swarm of bats to escape, while also healing the damage taken from the attack and increasing her speed for an extended duration. In Smash Bros., the move does not function the same, reducing taken damage rather than healing it and often not slowing down for longer if at all.
|Bayonetta's Special Moves|
|Standard Special||Bullet Climax|
|Side Special||Heel Slide/After Burner Kick|
|Up Special||Witch Twist|
|Down Special||Witch Time|
|Final Smash||Infernal Climax|
- Although while he is normally immune to everything except eating explosives, this special move can affect Wario-Man. It even slows down Wario-Man's transformation process.
- It is also capable of working against Beast Ganon. If activated during the part of the attack used to stun opponents to freeze them into place, when Beast Ganon charges forward it will simply pass through Bayonetta without damaging her.
- The move also works on Master Core, though having some aesthetic differences. Master Core will not have a purple energy field around them and thus the clock hand will not be visible, making it difficult to tell exactly how long it will be slowed down for. Master Core is still slowed down though, and Bayonetta is able to attack it for as long as the slow-down lasts. This is especially effective on Master Edges since it makes that phase of the boss fight significantly easier if Witch Time is used correctly.