Hall of Fame: Young Joseph Joestar (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)
Model: Joseph Joestar
Anime and manga such as the generations-spanning JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure have a smorgasbord of different forms for the same hero. Joseph Joestar is both the protagonist of the manga series’ second arc as a cocky teenager and a key ally in the third arc as a grouchy grandfather. He also fights very differently in those storylines as the young JoJo perplexes his enemies with strange tactics while as an old man he relies on the thorn-like “stand” Hermit Purple. In the 1998 arcade title a simple headswap allows fans to pick the Joseph they prefer, and the two have reappeared again in the recent JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle for PlayStation 3.
Hall of Lame: Rubber Soul and New Kakyoin (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)
The ’90s arcade title did go a little overboard with palette swaps: Five characters have alternate versions, and the traveling student Kakyoin has two by himself. Rubber Soul is a villain who masquerades as Kakyoin in an attempt to pick off his allies one by one. He isn’t so bad since the raunchy killer does have unique moves like his signature backbreaker. New Kakyoin is mostly similar to the original except with a pair of shades on, which are as iconic to the character as his love of cherries. Good grief.
‘We’re that Lazy’
Hall of Fame: Fukua (Skullgirls Encore)
After years of financial drama and an $830,000 crowdfunding campaign, Skullgirls is now free to design innovative warriors like Squiggly and Big Band. Meanwhile, Capcom spent half a year hyping fans about a mystery character for Ultra Street Fighter IV, the most popular competitive fighting game in the world, only to reveal a Cammy clone. On April Fool’s Day, Skullgirls develop Lab Zero Games called Capcom out on its antics with the reveal of Fukua, a palate swap of heroine Filia it made in a few days. Not only did Lab Zero create a fully functioning character for the prank, but she eventually became an official part of the roster.
Hall of Shame: Bone Claw Wolverine (Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes)
The early Marvel vs. Capcom games had a variety of color-swapped heroes such as Shadow Lady and Gold War Machine. But none were as lazy as when Capcom padded out the roster of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 with two versions of Wolverine. At first, you can only select Bone Claw Wolverine, but eventually you’ll unlock traditional Metal Claw Wolverine, who does less damage but has more techniques. Ultimately, their only purpose was to fulfill a marketing bullet point.
A special thanks to Samir Torres for his assistance.