Imprisoned for the birth of her daughter, Rosa was one of the two people responsible for the downfall of both her clan and the Lumen Sages. Rosa is only ever seen in flashbacks during the first Bayonetta, but makes a full appearance and is also playable in Bayonetta 2.
In Bayonetta, Rosa is only seen in Bayonetta's memories. Initially, before her imprisonment, she wears a long black dress and boots and a hood that covers up her head and face, the silhouette in a manner similar to Bayonetta's beehive hairstyle. She also wears a pair of butterfly motif glasses which she eventually gives to her daughter.
In Bayonetta 2, Rosa sports a new design that is an extension of her prison outfit, named the Robes of Banishment. Retaining her butterfly glasses, she now sports chains around her wrists and chest, with various loose belts on her limbs. The chains are worn as a reminder of when she broke the laws of the Umbra as she had previously worn them during her imprisonment in which they suppressed her magical power. She also wears a cloak that is split into two like a pair of wings and the sleeves around her wrists and feet resemble the curves of a bat wing. The full description in Tag Climax explains that it is woven from her own hair like Bayonetta's outfit. Rosa wields a set of custom long-barreled revolvers named Unforgiven. They are the only weapons she can use in the game.
500 years before the events of the first game, Rosa fell in love with a Lumen Sage, Balder. The two of them conceived a child, breaking the law between the two clans that stated the intersection of light and dark would bring destruction to the world. When Cereza was eventually born, Rosa and Balder were punished greatly by their respective clans. She was imprisoned for the rest of her life and Balder was exiled by his clan whilst Cereza was raised amongst the Witches as a black sheep. According to Cereza, it was Rosa who gave her her Umbran Watch as a birthday present. Rosa would also sing Fly Me to the Moon to her daughter every day she slept outside her cell.
Rosa was eventually killed during the Witch Hunts during the attacks on Vigrid and the Crescent Valley. In one of Bayonetta's flashbacks, she holds her mother's lifeless body in her arms as tears well in her eyes. Like all Umbra Witches, her soul was taken to Inferno upon her death. However, the true details of Rosa's death wouldn’t be made clear until her daughter travelled to the past to witness the truth.
Bayonetta: Bloody Fate Edit
In the anime adaptation, Rosa plays a similar role to the one she did in the first game. Her death is also expanded upon where Bayonetta and Jeanne both find her amidst the ruins of their home and piles of dead Witches. As Balder floats menacingly over the scene, having seemingly ordered the deed done himself, Rosa pleads with her daughter in her last moments to set Balder free from the madness that has gripped his soul upon being exiled from the Lumen Sages. She gives Bayonetta her lipstick and passes away.
When Balder is later defeated and is about to be struck down by the lipstick bullet, he hallucinates Rosa telling him that she still loves him despite what he has done.
Bayonetta 2 Edit
Rosa is first shown in a flashback when Bayonetta is shown the true nature of her mother's demise in a vision. Balder is with her, explaining that he had been tricked by the forces of Paradiso into triggering the Witch Hunts. Rosa is then suddenly struck down by a figure from the shadows. In her dying moments, she tells Balder to promise her to watch over their daughter and passes away.
Later, after fighting the Masked Lumen in Inferno during the present day, Bayonetta makes an attempt to rescue Loki when he appears to stop their battle. He tells her to get away from him before he glows brilliantly and lets out an explosion of blue light, catching both Bayonetta and Balder in the blast. When Bayonetta comes to, she realises she has arrived in Vigrid during the Witch Hunts. After dispatching a few angels, Bayonetta eventually meets Rosa, who has been freed from her chains to aid her fellow Umbra in the battle. Displaying a fighting skill that almost surpasses Bayonetta's, Rosa encourages Bayonetta to team up in order to protect the nearby clock tower from attack. It is unclear whether Rosa realises who her new companion is.
The two proceed to head through the Umbran structures in an attempt to fight off the invading angels. After clearing out a legion of attackers by fighting on falling debris akin to the beginning of the first game, Bayonetta encounters Loptr after being separated from Rosa. Bayonetta is knocked off the debris and lands harshly when Loptr runs away. When she comes to, she catches up with Balder again and the two head into the Crescent Valley sanctuary to find Rosa. Inside, it is clear that Loptr has murdered Rosa and the rest of the Witches inside with his cards and he promptly vanishes. Having her vision from before confirmed, Bayonetta encourages Balder to help them strike back at Loptr for causing this and opens a portal back to the present. As the pair of them prepare to travel home, Bayonetta whispers 'Mummy...' under her breath in a final farewell to Rosa.
- When Bayonetta shoots Balder with the lipstick, the writing on it reads "Balder and Rosa: With Love Until the End of Time". According to Hideki Kamiya in his commentary, the lipstick was a present from Balder to Rosa and hints at the depth of his deception in order to awaken Jubileus. However, this deception would later be shown to not be completely of Balder's own doing.
- Bayonetta strongly resembles her mother—strong enough that Cereza confuses her adult-self with her. This is further strengthened with concept art depicting her as having the same beehive hairdo that Bayonetta did in the first game, and her voice being similar to Bayonetta when she appears in Bayonetta 2, as Rosa is voiced by Hellena Taylor in the English version and by Atsuko Tanaka in the Japanese version, the same voice actresses for Bayonetta.
- Both Rosa and Bayonetta have butterflies as a common theme in their appearance and powers. This is further hinted in Bayonetta wearing a pair of glasses similar to her mother's when she wakes up.
- Rosa's birthday is February 14, 1385. The name 'Rosa' is Latin for Rose
- Interestingly, the Japanese home video release date for Bayonetta: Bloody Fate was on Rosa's birthday.