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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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51

+ ATFrez on September 2nd, 2011 at 7:14 pm said:

Any possibility of a demo in the (hopefully) near future?


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

    There will be a demo released alongside the game – expect a traditional Trial/Unlock release model.


52

+ shogun00 on September 2nd, 2011 at 7:15 pm said:

I’ve been looking forward to this game for quite some time now and I’ve following it very closely. Too bad that there is still no definite release date yet.


53

+ IAFROSAMURAI on September 2nd, 2011 at 11:26 pm said:

Since I am already sold on this game I have to ask, will this game support the ability to play your own music while playing the game


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    + Peter Bartholow on September 3rd, 2011 at 12:30 am said:

    This is one of our most-requested features, and something we definitely want to do, should time allow.


54

+ SmilingTurtle on September 3rd, 2011 at 12:52 am said:

I am really proud of these guys. Esspecially the artist for all the characters.

Im an artist too and thinking of creating an anime or video game in the future.
I remember following him waaaay back in the beginning when his drawings were on a random website that he just dumped all his artwork on.
I loved it~ soon after he joined DeviantArt and got popular there. Possibly other websites too.

I remember thinking his sketches back in highschool were for a video game but i didnt know he really was gonna execute it for real. lol

This is amazing. His work finally turned into an actual videogame. I’m very proud of this guy~ ^_^
Wish I could do something similar. >_>


55

+ SmilingTurtle on September 3rd, 2011 at 12:56 am said:

oh crazy… i didnt know this was actually posted from the creators of this game~~~ O_O

Well again~ I am very proud of you guys in completing a project you guys started all the way back in highschool.

This is phenomenal.


56

+ Kchow23 on September 3rd, 2011 at 2:43 am said:

Will the gameplay be as accessible as something like MvC3? as opposed to something more complex like MvC2 or SF3? Moreover, would you suggest that you should play with an arcade stick or is the dualshock a viable option? some games make it extremely difficult to pull off some moves using the d-pad.


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    + Peter Bartholow on September 3rd, 2011 at 11:49 am said:

    MvC2 was the inspiration for the game, but we’re doing a lot to make it accessible and fun for novice players. Our sincere hope is that casual fighting game fans will pick up Skullgirls and become better players all around.

    Our inputs are a bit easier to pull off than MvC2 or SF3, we’re going to have real tutorials that teach you how to play fighting games, and our single player AI is designed to teach you how to play instead of just pummel you.

    And we always recommend playing Skullgirls with a fightstick, but we’re going to put some things in to make it easier on pad-users as well, such as mapping assists to L1 and L2.


57

+ Bionicle123 on September 3rd, 2011 at 5:51 am said:

i love the 2D art style of Skullgirls, judging by the trailers and gameplay on Youtube I can say that this game will be very popular. It seems original and creative.


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+ poisonedsodapop on September 3rd, 2011 at 6:14 am said:

The only line that bugged me (sorry girl moment guys) was “Now just because we’ve got an all-girl cast (so far!) doesn’t mean we’ve neglected the gameplay.” Otherwise I don’t see any reason for anyone to get offended. I don’t offend easily though so maybe I’m not the one you should judge by lol. The game looks good but I’m unsure whether I’ll be picking it up or not. Definitely looking forward to the demo. I’m not big on fighting games since I don’t play them hardcore. My friend does however so I’ll make sure he knows about this one.


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    + Peter Bartholow on September 3rd, 2011 at 11:52 am said:

    Sorry if that came out wrong! It wasn’t intended to be a statement about women, but about all-girl fighting games.

    There are a lot of all-girl fighting games out of Japan, and many of them aren’t very good fighting games because they’re there to showcase the girls and not the fighting. They have a bit of a rep.

    The intent of the line was to make it clear that unlike other all-girl fighting games, gameplay comes first with us.


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    + Peter Bartholow on September 7th, 2011 at 11:28 am said:

    Just wanted to let you know that we edited this to clarify it – thanks for the feedback.


59

+ fatjoe400 on September 3rd, 2011 at 7:07 am said:

Wanted this game since day 1 and its great to see so much interest generated 4 it now. Pretty much just looking 4 a solid release date to mark on my calendar.


60

+ jokerwild09 on September 3rd, 2011 at 9:12 am said:

When does this release again?


61

+ Hooligantuan on September 3rd, 2011 at 9:16 am said:

))((

Back and forth.

Forever.


62

+ StalkingReaptor on September 3rd, 2011 at 10:53 am said:

Is anyone else aroused by this? XD


63

+ ShadowOfEden on September 3rd, 2011 at 11:44 am said:

@Peter Bartholow
You’re not going to read this, but I’ll reply anyways. I’m a programmer in a small video game studio in Montreal. I’m tech lead in fact. I know that it’s not because it’s 2D that it uses the same resources as a SNES game. My point was that this game is not Uncharted 3. The fact that it is multiplatform does not keep the game down. Both consoles can handle it.


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    + Peter Bartholow on September 3rd, 2011 at 11:58 am said:

    No worries, man – I’m just trying to clear things up for other readers.

    Because old games were 2D, I think now a lot of people assume that just because a game is 2D that it can’t be system-intensive.

    In some ways 2D is harder than 3D because it fills up RAM so much faster – you either cut frames or find a technical way around it. We chose the latter – the streaming and swapping scheme we need to do on this game to keep it flowing is really complicated.


64

+ pariah164 on September 3rd, 2011 at 12:06 pm said:

Can PSP owners play this? I may cry if this is only for PS3…


65

+ Enigma777 on September 3rd, 2011 at 12:18 pm said:

Really looking forward to this game!


66

+ EvoAnubis on September 3rd, 2011 at 12:27 pm said:

Thanks for the link! The game looks really amazing in action.


67

+ Kasaix on September 3rd, 2011 at 2:18 pm said:

Really looking forward to this game. Can’t wait to get it.


68

+ thekobal on September 4th, 2011 at 1:16 am said:

I love the work of o_8. He is one of my favorite artists since Gaia Online. Congrats to him and to all the team !! =)


69

+ FUTEKI360 on September 4th, 2011 at 5:10 am said:

A true unique innovation and stylish of a glory High-def 2D, and I’m absolutely gonna have this and many thanks for such a remarkable team for their efforts especially in animation!


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+ yoshikawa666 on September 4th, 2011 at 1:08 pm said:

I didn’t liked the art style, I’d rather real anime style.


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+ imlpzb on September 4th, 2011 at 4:20 pm said:

This will be a day one for me too. Every time I here more news for this game I get more hyped for it. Keep up the great work because I know you guys are working hard on this. I wish you all the best of luck on your hard work.


72

+ RunningWildWolf on September 4th, 2011 at 5:04 pm said:

While Skullgirls is cool, my fighting game idea is gonna be way more awesome.

How so?

No school girls.

A female sumo wrestler that isn’t a twig like Hinako from King Of Fighters.


73

+ Souledge94 on September 4th, 2011 at 9:35 pm said:

I think i would feel werid playing this around people fo obvious reasos.


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+ Souledge94 on September 4th, 2011 at 9:37 pm said:

Though I will say my favorite designs would have to be peacock and fortune


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+ Mr_Donut on September 5th, 2011 at 6:51 am said:

Really looking forward to this one… I’ve always had an affinity for fighters… just never really any good at them.

On a different note… when can we start seeing more PSN exclusive tittles? it seems that 2009 was the year of the PSN… whats going on?


76

+ Shadow_Kamui on September 5th, 2011 at 5:17 pm said:

I love the game i think is great. I love the character design is great I will love to see the story of all this character.

I wonder if the game will have a story mode because you have grate character very unique each of them so I think a story mode will be grate. I know most fighting games don’t have a really good story mode but will be really nice if you have one.

you have an idea of how many characters will be on the game ?


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