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Meet the Skullgirls, The Next Generation of PSN Fighters

Peter Bartholow's Avatar + Posted by Peter Bartholow on Sep 02, 2011 // CEO, Lab Zero Games

Skullgirls for PS3 (PSN)

A few weeks ago, you may have noticed that Street Fighter IV’s venerable producer Yoshinori Ono said he was looking forward to a new game called “Skullgirls.” A lot of you probably hadn’t even heard of the game before, so I’m here to remedy that.

Skullgirls is more than just a PSN fighting game, it’s the realization of two peoples’ long-held dreams… seriously! Creative director Alex “o_8” Ahad has been working on the characters and story since he was in high school, and project lead Mike “Mike Z” Zaimont had been working on a fighting game engine in his free time since 2008. When mutual friends introduced them to each other, Skullgirls was born. Joining the recently founded Reverge Labs team in 2010, they signed with publisher Autumn games, and at E3 Konami announced that it will be distributing Skullgirls.

Skullgirls for PS3 (PSN)

Skullgirls takes place in the Canopy Kingdom, a country reminiscent of a 1940’s post-war America tinged with magic and intrigue. Hanging over the kingdom is the legend of the Skull Heart: this ancient artifact is said to be able to grant a wish to a young woman, but if her heart isn’t pure her wish will be twisted and she’ll be transformed into a living nightmare known as the “Skullgirl.” As the game begins, a new Skullgirl, Marie, has emerged and is terrorizing the kingdom, and so once again people are lining up to save the country from this menace and claim the Skull Heart for themselves.

Skullgirls’ initial eight characters are all females that range from the elegant to the macabre, and each has a distinct play style. In the future we’ll expand the roster with DLC characters, including (gasp!) men.

Thus far, we’ve revealed four characters:

Skullgirls for PS3 (PSN): Character Roster

  • Filia is an amnesiac schoolgirl playing host to a powerful parasite creature named Samson. Wielding her shape-shifting hair, she’s nimble and excellent with combos.
  • Cerebella wields a powerful living hat, Vice-Versa, in her dual jobs as circus performer and Mafia leg-breaker. With a wide range of powerful throws at her disposal, she excels in close combat.
  • Peacock is a psychotic biomechanical monstrosity created to destroy the Skullgirl, whose weaponry manifests as murderous cartoon characters and deadly gags. With lots of ranged attacks and a teleport, she’s best when attacking from a distance.
  • Parasoul is the princess of the Canopy Kingdom and leader of its elite military force, the Black Egrets. With exceptional attack range, projectiles and strategic command of her soldiers, she’s a formidable opponent.

Skullgirls for PS3 (PSN)

Each of the characters is 100% hand-animated by our amazing art staff, and features an average of high-resolution 1300 frames per character, the most of any fighting game to date. Furthermore, our engine allows us to get really creative with their coloring, as well as light them in real-time.

Now, all-girl fighting games have a bit of a rep: they’re usually more about showing off their girls than showing off their gameplay. However, just because our cast is entirely female (so far!) doesn’t mean we’re neglecting gameplay: Mike’s primary goal is to make a truly balanced, tournament-worthy fighter by addressing a number of the lingering problems with the genre… but that will have to wait for another blog post.

Skullgirls for PS3 (PSN)

One last thing…

We’re excited to announce our fifth character exclusively on the PlayStation.Blog!

Skullgirls for PS3 (PSN): Ms Fortune

Her name is Ms. Fortune, and she’s a cat burglar with a penchant for puns. While stealing a powerful life-giving artifact, the Mafia captured her, cut her up and left her for dead on the bottom of the ocean… but the artifact kept her alive through the ordeal, so now she can now detach her head, separate her limbs and generally dismember herself to perform a variety of amusing and grotesque feats of combat.

If you like what you see here, visit our website, Twitter @Skullgirls or “Like” us on Facebook to stay abreast of the latest developments and future public demonstrations.

Thanks for reading, and we look forward to fighting you online later this year!

//Add Your Own

76 Comments   19 Replies

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1

+ EvoAnubis on September 2nd, 2011 at 8:45 am said:

Really digging the art style. When can we see a trailer?


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    + Peter Bartholow on September 2nd, 2011 at 12:07 pm said:

    We have a number of trailers on our YouTube channel!

    http://www.youtube.com/skullgirlsgame

    We’re in the process of getting the Media section on skullgirls.com going, which will pull from there, too.


2

+ JG4Horrorshow on September 2nd, 2011 at 8:47 am said:

I’m really excited for this game, but I really wish we could have some more specifics as to when we can expect its release. I’m not going to lie, regardless of how awesome it looks to me, it isn’t holding my interest too well as the days go by and we still have no real information on when we can play it.


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    + Peter Bartholow on September 2nd, 2011 at 12:09 pm said:

    Unfortunately all I can say now is “2011.”

    We’re now uploading weekly match fights to our YouTube channel, along with our weekly whiteboard art and fan art posts, so there’s plenty to keep you entertained until its release.


3

+ Kchow23 on September 2nd, 2011 at 8:58 am said:

About time a post abou Skullgirls showed up! People need to know about this game. Would’ve been great if it was part of PSN PLAY or PS + deal. Looking forward to it!


4

+ Bluejays20012 on September 2nd, 2011 at 8:59 am said:

awesome art work :)


5

+ Rarutos on September 2nd, 2011 at 8:59 am said:

I’m excited about Skullgirls too! It just looks soooo good! Ms. Fortune looks interesting too. Thanks for the info Peter!


6

+ UltraRazpacho on September 2nd, 2011 at 9:02 am said:

Do want.


7

+ mike123jen on September 2nd, 2011 at 9:03 am said:

I just really love that art style! How big is the team for the game anyway? I want to know who to thank for this wonderful art!


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    + Peter Bartholow on September 2nd, 2011 at 12:11 pm said:

    The core team is around 13 people, but we have a few dozen off-site animation and clean-up art contractors.

    We do all the key animation in-house, since that’s so crucial to gameplay and feel, and then send it off to be finished.


8

+ Jon_Mclane on September 2nd, 2011 at 9:05 am said:

Is this releasing this year? I was planning on getting a different retail fighting game releasing later this year but this looks better!


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    + Peter Bartholow on September 2nd, 2011 at 2:38 pm said:

    Yeah, it’ll be out later this year.


9

+ BlackIceJoe on September 2nd, 2011 at 9:13 am said:

I wanted to say this game looks & sounds really neat. It is nice to see more 2D fighter games & this one looks like it will be a really swell one. I think that is Awesome that one guy was working on the characters & game. Then the other guy was making the engine then got in contact with each other. So the birth of Skullgirls came out of that.

I love the way each character is. Each so different yet cool. I wish the team at Reverge Labs the best of luck with this game & I hope it sells lots for you.

Also is there any chance down the line for a Vita version? I so think it would be cool to be able to play this game at home on the PS3 then on the go with the Vita. Again Awesome work on this game & I look forward to playing it.


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    + Peter Bartholow on September 2nd, 2011 at 12:12 pm said:

    Thanks, man!

    It’s a bit early to be thinking about other platforms, but if the game does well, I know we want to port it anywhere people want to play it.


10

+ Deathspear666 on September 2nd, 2011 at 9:13 am said:

Off subject….
OK..Let me get this straight SONY..You delayed the Vita and decided to come out w/a tablet??!! Hmmm..I don’t see the logic in that thought process ANYWHERE!!..It has a Tegra 2 processor but will only play PSOne games??? It should be able to handle PS 2 games w/extreme ease…just sayin’…derps…


11

+ FullMetalGear on September 2nd, 2011 at 9:16 am said:

Hopefully this game comes out during a decent time, I’m already slowly buying games but haven’t played them yet due to being caught up in beating a game I bought earlier.

I’ll be buying it, I just need to catch up on beating these games. Lately I’ve been into getting trophies, that’s why I’m behind. Will this game have trophies? =)


12

+ devilmosh on September 2nd, 2011 at 9:25 am said:

This looks to be full of win!


13

+ jpbaka on September 2nd, 2011 at 9:45 am said:

The artwork looks kinda cool… in a America-emulates-Japanese-art-and-style sort of way. When American TV shows do it they fail horribly but this looks pretty good. Pretty… pretty… pretty good.


14

+ x-_Lito_-x on September 2nd, 2011 at 10:06 am said:

This game is looking. Day one buy for me :)


15

+ fijski8 on September 2nd, 2011 at 10:07 am said:

I can’t wait for this game. Love the way it looks. Every week I search to see if a release date is close. Maybe you can talk sony into giving a Platinum trophy for this game. Looks Epic.
Everywhere says “summer 2011″ but summer is almost over. If it takes longer thats cool, if it makes the game that much better then so be it.

Thanks for taking the risk of making such an awesome and time consuming game.

Read on other website how 15 seconds is like 200 man hours of artwork.]

Thanks! Can’t wait!


16

+ mcbuttz78 on September 2nd, 2011 at 10:09 am said:

is this psn exclusive.?/


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    + Peter Bartholow on September 2nd, 2011 at 12:14 pm said:

    Not sure about the etiquette of this, but… It is not PSN-exclusive.


17

+ D-Roy12 on September 2nd, 2011 at 10:09 am said:

Cool. They look like arrancars from bleach.


18

+ fijski8 on September 2nd, 2011 at 10:09 am said:

O. and seeing as you still got time, please make an unlockable art gallery. Kinda like SF3 online edition, Blazeblu, ect. Points earned and unlock art.

That’d be epic. Love the art.


19

+ octus on September 2nd, 2011 at 10:11 am said:

have been wating for this game since for awhile, but im with everyone when they ask for more info on a release date. not having one makes in fall off the radar pretty quickly, since i dont have a time set in my head on when to pick it up.


20

+ DarkRecoil on September 2nd, 2011 at 10:13 am said:

Forgive me for asking this but, do their b00bs move? I only by fighting games where the girl’s b00bs move :)


21

+ JG4Horrorshow on September 2nd, 2011 at 10:18 am said:

@20

I fail to see relevancy in your question, but I’ll humor you, yes they do. search any video on youtube. It’s not like this game is without footage, maybe you should try a second of research first next time before asking such a ridiculous question. I’m far more interested in the in-depth animation of their bodies as a whole in the art style, call me crazy.


22

+ loganwolf13 on September 2nd, 2011 at 10:23 am said:

is this ps3 exclusive


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    + Peter Bartholow on September 2nd, 2011 at 12:20 pm said:

    No, it is not.


23

+ ShadowOfEden on September 2nd, 2011 at 10:26 am said:

I really love the art style, but I’m not a fan of fighting games. Let us know if you make another game with the same awesome artists.


24

+ ShadowOfEden on September 2nd, 2011 at 10:27 am said:

@loganwolf13
Why is this important? It’s a downloadable game, it’s not like it will use the PS3 to its full capacity. But the answer is no.


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    + Peter Bartholow on September 2nd, 2011 at 12:42 pm said:

    Actually, you’d be surprised how technically demanding it is to push 2D art of this quality on today’s hardware.

    A character’s animations are about 90 megs total, and with up to 6 characters on the field, that means we need to do some serious and clever streaming to keep the game going.

    On top of that, the shader we use to color the characters is pretty unique and took a while to engineer.


25

+ DarkRecoil on September 2nd, 2011 at 10:30 am said:

@21 JG4Horrorshow

lol thanks yeah the depth of the fighting is important, but because i’m not that great at these types of game i tend to get more exited over how hot the girls are, b00b physics and collecting costumes :) My favorite fighting games are Soul Calibur IV & Mortal Kombat, but i hear Dead or Alive 5 is coming to PS3 next year :D


26

+ Go_Buddie_Go on September 2nd, 2011 at 10:37 am said:

A Peacock avatar would be nice when the game launches… Actually, just Skullgirl avatars would be nice.


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    + Peter Bartholow on September 2nd, 2011 at 12:21 pm said:

    I’m trying to make that happen as soon as possible!


27

+ CabucoJuice on September 2nd, 2011 at 10:47 am said:

Nice.


28

+ Rorek_IronBlood on September 2nd, 2011 at 10:50 am said:

Oh, man! I love stereo-types, double standards and innuendos. It’s seriously just too much. I’m laughing pretty hard right now. I’m honestly more surprised though that some feminist or woman’s right activist eccentric woman has not walked up in here and tore this all up. They always show up for the legends: Dead or Alive, Soul Calibur, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, even BlazeBlue(?) and every other offender to the market (and in which feeds the male driven fetish for the outrageous.)

Seriously though? Is this pron or a seriously funny joke? I’m not sure how, to gauge it. It’s certainly funny (and funny lookin’) to be sure. So, yeah. Que up the haters who’ll jump me and state how, awsome this game is and how great it is (whether that somehow stems from fluid controls or even the art.) All I know is that it’s like a tradition; every fighting game has to have outrageous “something” and has to be taken to the “extreme”.


29

+ Kchow23 on September 2nd, 2011 at 11:02 am said:

Possibility of Skullgirls for the PS Vita?


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    + Peter Bartholow on September 2nd, 2011 at 12:24 pm said:

    One thing at a time… we’re definitely interested in more platforms in the future, but we need to get these versions out first!


30

+ pitbull3384 on September 2nd, 2011 at 11:18 am said:

i know this is off subject but i dont have double xp on black ops right now. this is the second time in a row. why?


31

+ Sparx88 on September 2nd, 2011 at 11:40 am said:

Sounds like a fun and original title. I’m not sold on the future introduction of male characters though but aside from that I’m very intrigued.


32

+ Zekobah on September 2nd, 2011 at 11:46 am said:

@rorek: You aren’t alone. While there’s nothing wrong with things being sexy, oversexualization for it’s sake is generally kinda distasteful and as an overall theme getting incredibly stale. That said it’s still probably one of the most gorgeous styles and definitely the most overanimation seen in a fighting game ever.
Also gameplay. Can’t forget the gameplay.

Still kinda shame that a lot of the time I need to cope with boring styles/themes in order to enjoy anything decent.


33

+ gus_xl on September 2nd, 2011 at 12:01 pm said:

@rorek I actually played this at PAX East. I’m a big fighting game fan, but I was bored with this within 5 minutes. The gameplay was very meh… I’m sure they’ve done a ton of work since then though.


34

+ WelmoscaBR on September 2nd, 2011 at 12:02 pm said:

@17 No they don’t

Looks Awesome I loved PARASOUL.


35

+ D-Squad3 on September 2nd, 2011 at 12:07 pm said:

How much?!!


36

+ DemonJediSamuel on September 2nd, 2011 at 12:12 pm said:

I don’t know what it is about this style of game, but don’t that be it all… I love it and I want it. Still depending on how much DLC they have… I might just wait, no offence… I want a full game… not just eight characters and lots of DLC.


37

+ JLP_M on September 2nd, 2011 at 12:20 pm said:

I’ve seen this game a while ago, I’ve been looking forward since! i just love the style of the art like other have mentioned before. I will def be getting this game one! Keep up the good work guys!


38

+ theXsilentXchild on September 2nd, 2011 at 12:48 pm said:

they should make an anime out of this..


39

+ soulreap2 on September 2nd, 2011 at 12:57 pm said:

Nice to see this is still alive, I was worried that after all that info was put out earlier it just died off somewhere. But it’s awesome that it’s still very much alive, I hope we can get a release date soon.


40

+ whatisdelicious on September 2nd, 2011 at 1:03 pm said:

I like the art style, but I hate the character design. Way too sexualized for some, way too weird for others, and it’s just all over the place. One looks like a furry, one looks like a witch, one looks like a lawyer, and one looks like a girl with too few clothes on and too many bodybuilder arms attached to her head. What?

The fighting system sounds interesting, but the biggest turn-off this game faces is the baffling, polarizing character design.


41

+ BuchNasty on September 2nd, 2011 at 1:25 pm said:

My friend told me about this. looks way cooler than how he described it. cant wait


42

+ ZeroSection on September 2nd, 2011 at 1:27 pm said:

Definately digging the artstyle, and its nice to see that 2D fighters aren’t dead yet. I’m not a fan of SF4 or any other 2.5D fighters, so I have high hopes for this. Don’t let us down! I’m dying for good games at the moment :(


43

+ lisatsunami on September 2nd, 2011 at 1:54 pm said:

@Peter: I love seeing young indie devs dreams come true. Best wishes to your team, & thanks for answering so many comments.


44

+ Airwalkinman17 on September 2nd, 2011 at 2:31 pm said:

SF: Third strike has rekindled my love for fighters!
I might just have to give this a GO. Love the handrawn art style and fluidity of the animation. I dig it!


45

+ CaruthK on September 2nd, 2011 at 2:35 pm said:

this game looks sick.. I want it on day one…


46

+ harmony102 on September 2nd, 2011 at 2:38 pm said:

been waiting for this!


47

+ harmony102 on September 2nd, 2011 at 2:42 pm said:

Also a question, is the like hard or easy.
Like the kind where you have to learn all these difficult buttom combinations to do a half way decent combo?
Or can anyone like pick up and play and win?
As much as I love the style, I’d hate for the gameplay to turn me away from it.


48

+ ANIMATOR_CP4E on September 2nd, 2011 at 3:05 pm said:

Skullgirls looks awesome! As you may be able to tell by my PSN ID, I LOVE animation. This is the first time I’ve heard about Skullgirls, but I’ve been researching constantly ever since I read this article. I will be buying this game day one. I would also like to purchase some Skullgirls avatars if they become available. I’m not the greatest player when it comes to fighting games, but it sounds like Skullgirls will teach me. I LOVE animation and Skullgirls is going to be a blast! I can’t wait to play it later this year. Good luck with development, I’ll be watching sites for updates and checking each PS Store update for Skullgirls.


49

+ mcbuttz78 on September 2nd, 2011 at 5:51 pm said:

I hope im not to late to ask. will there be psn exclusive content or dlc for this game? .. the reason i asked earlier was it psn exclusive is becuase of the titlein the blog. Also alot of us like to buy exclusive games from psn this why we ask, also to keep track of develpoers who do exclusive stuff so we make friend with them, or try ahre ideas to better them for our brand and their games

Than you for replying.. and hope all goes well with skullgirls release.


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    + Peter Bartholow on September 3rd, 2011 at 12:28 am said:

    The game is not PSN-exclusive, and we haven’t decided if there will be system-exclusive content or not.


50

+ goldenbird15 on September 2nd, 2011 at 6:31 pm said:

will this game have muliplayer? would love to be able to battle my friends online


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    + Peter Bartholow on September 3rd, 2011 at 12:29 am said:

    Yes, absolutely! You can’t have a good fighting game without online multiplayer.

    Our online multiplayer is built on the GGPO networking library, which was designed by fighting game fans to be the best, most lag-free networking code for fighting games. It’s what all the most hardcore players use for playing online with their emulators.


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