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Painwheel (JP: ペインホイール Peinhoīru) was once a sweet, caring school girl named Carol (JP: キャロル Kyaroru) before she was kidnapped and transformed into the monster that she is now by Valentine and Brain Drain.

General Information

Painwheel is one of the playable characters in Skullgirls.


Painwheel's personality tends to be initially mistaken at first glance; by her appearance, she has the form of a monster and is expected to kill and bring harm under orders from Valentine, Brain Drain and her creators. However, it was revealed that Painwheel was able to keep control of her mind over Brain Drain and was able to think and behave for herself.

She has a powerful hatred for Valentine and ASG Labs and judging by her lists of dislikes she also dislikes people and her own body. This could be due to the monstrous transformation she's been put through.

Fueled by rage, she draws her power from her pain and fury. Despite that, the soul of that scared young girl still lives on inside this monstrous body, desperately fighting off the onslaught of voices that would control her.

Aside from all her hateful attributes Painwheel enjoys peaceful and beautiful things such as flowers, dogs and walking on a beach during the sunset. Painwheel underwent changes as revealed in Filia's ending as she was shown to be very positive and happy about starting over and getting a new lease on life (thanks to Filia's wish) overjoyed seeing her new class telling them it was a pleasure to meet them. Instead of living with her parents, she lives in the ASG Labs, where she is actually happy there. Afterwards Painwheel and Filia watch the sunset together. All in all, Painwheel is a very kind girl who just wants a normal life.

Character Basis


Her title is a portmanteau of the words "pain" and "pinwheel".

There are mixed accounts as to the origins of Carol, her real name. By itself, it can be related to music and mean "joyous song". It can also possibly be derived from Caroline, which itself is a feminine form of the name Charles, which means "a free man", relating to her motivation of fighting for her freedom.

Gae Bolga is a reference to a spear in Irish mythology Gáe Bulg which means "Spear of Mortal Pain/Death Spear". Buer Drive is a reference to the demon Buer who was said to be a demon leader who commanded fifty legions of other demons; it having the head of a lion and a body with five goat legs for multi-directional mobility.


The blades attached to Painwheel's back bear a slight resemblance a Japanese shuriken throwing star, although their original design was closer to her namesake, the pinwheel.

It is unknown if the scars on Painwheel's face after removing her mask are permanent or not.

When Painwheel is being introduced to her new class (in Filia's ending), she is seen carrying a cello case. It is implied by Alex Ahad that the removable parts of Painwheel's Buer Drive are kept in here.


Once a normal schoolgirl named Carol, Painwheel lived in Maplecrest with her parents. She was friends with Filia who also attended her school before she lost her memories and joined with Samson. In Filia's story mode, it's presumed that Filia wronged Painwheel in some way, though it is never specified what exactly she did.

However it was not Filia's fault, as at some point, Painwheel was kidnapped by the Medicis and kept with refugees from the No Man's Land, including Peacock. Lab Zero sends The Last Hope to their hideout to rescue the refugees before Lab 8 takes care of the thugs in the building. Valentine comes across Painwheel, and, finding her blood suitable for their next experiment, takes her back to Lab 0 under Brain Drain's orders.

After Valentine delivers Painwheel to Lab Zero, she is implanted with the synthetic Buer Drive and Gae Bolga parasites and infused with experimental Skullgirl blood, transforming her into a monster. Violent and unstable as a result of these experiments, as a precaution she’s mentally controlled by Lab Zero’s powerful psychic director, Brain Drain.

Soon after she was transformed and had her newfound abilities tested by Lab 0, she was sent by Valentine to deal with a Medici operation (who apparently had a recent run-in with Big Band). Painwheel seems to recognize the name "Medici", but carries out her mission. Afterward, she tells Valentine that she wants to stop, and Valentine reveals that the Medicis were actually the ones who kidnapped her months ago. Painwheel still resists, and Valentine decides to let her leave, telling Brain Drain that she's performing a test.

Painwheel travels to Maplecrest, which she recognizes as her previous home, and feels calm. However, she is mocked by a passerby who mistakes her appearance for a Halloween costume and yells at her for standing in the road, angering her again. When she arrives at her home, she fears her parents won't recognize her and attempts to remove her mask to no avail. Brain Drain calls her back to the lab, and, terrified of her parents seeing what she has become, she laments her fate and returns.


After defeating Marie and destroying the Skull Heart, Painwheel goes home to face her parents (in her current monstrous form) hoping they would still accept her as their daughter- however, the adults are horrified upon seeing her and shun her because of her appearance. A heart-broken and despondent Painwheel goes off and is confronted by Brain Drain, and she swears she will come after him as her eyes turn into skulls like Marie's.

Abilities & Fighting Style

An "aerial dominance" character, Painwheel can fly using her Buer Drive blade and charge her attacks, as well as confronting foes with spikes that eject painfully from her body. She can also contort her body into inhuman shapes and unleash her rage with brutal moves. She can use the spikes to paralyze opponents or use them as projectiles as well as extend them in her attacks. Painwheel has armor in some of her attacks when charging them, allowing her to catch opponent off guard and counterattack.

With Hatred Install, Painwheel powers herself up with immense rage, which boosts her in-game abilities for the duration of the move. Not only is she capable of dealing additional damage, but the speed of her attacks and flight have increased as well. With the increased endurance of her armor, Painwheel is capable of persisting damage with even the smallest amount of health. Players can use it to their advantage to turn the tide of battle.



Skullgirls Commencing Experiment 0-84 - Project Painwheel

Color Palettes

  1. "Rusty" - Default colors
  2. "Twisted Mettle" - Original colors
  3. "Blood Drive" - Original colors
  4. Original colors
  5. "Buzzkill" - Original colors
  6. "Fly Trap" - Original colors
  7. "Neuromancer" -  Brain Drain
  8. Valentine
  9. Kamen Rider (Kamen Rider series)
  10. "Rage Appropriate" - Original colors
  11. "Grim Fan" - Day of the Dead
  12. Sentinel (Marvel Comics: The X-Men (vol. 1) #14)
  13. "Firefly" - (The Serenity, Firefly series)
  14. Vega (Claw) (Street Fighter series)
  15. "Freaky Friday" - Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th)
  16. "Raw Nerv" - EVA-01 (Rebuild design) (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
  17.  Haku (Naruto)
  18. Basara (Samurai Shodown series)
  19. "Mango Sentinel" (Marvel vs. Capcom 2) - Indiegogo backer color
  20. Original colors - Indiegogo backer color
  21. Rozalin? (Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories) - Indiegogo backer color
  22. Spider-Man (The Amazing Spider-Man)
  23. Original color
  24. "Biting Cold" - Nemo (Commissioned fan character) - Indiegogo backer color
  25. Berserk Ryūko Matoi (Kill la Kill)
  26. Tyrant (Resident Evil)
  27. Hisako (Killer Instinct (2013))
  28. Skull Kid (The Legend of Zelda series)


  • Painwheel's override code, 36E-25-40, is the exact same as Valentine's breast, waist, and hip measurements.
  • Painwheel's "Valentine" color palette was not changed in the update that changed the color of all the crosses Valentine wears, due to the fact it does not consist of a red cross on a white background.
  • In an unused alternate ending, Painwheel is swayed by the Skull Heart into wishing for freedom. The Skull Heart declares that she will be free from everything, including memory, reason and morals, and be "rage incarnate" as the next Skullgirl.[3]


  1. Reverge Labs. Skullgirls - Show Me Your Moves: Character Movelist. Retrieved on 2021 July 9.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Painwheel « Skullgirls. Archived from the original on 2012-04-19. Retrieved on 2021 July 9.
  3. Alternate Unused Story Endings in the Game Data


Main Editions SkullgirlsSkullgirls EncoreSkullgirls 2nd Encore
Spin-offs Skullgirls Mobile
Initial Roster Filia (Samson) • CerebellaPeacock (Avery) • ParasoulMs. FortunePainwheelValentineDouble
Encore DLC Squigly (Leviathan) • Big BandFukuaEliza (Sekhmet) • BeowulfRobo-Fortune
2nd Encore DLC Season 1: Annie (Sagan) • UmbrellaBlack Dahlia • ???
Other AdamAeonAileenAlbusAmeliaAndy AnvilBeatrixBrain DrainDelilahDogDr. AvianDr. GeigerFengFlorenceGeorge BombGrendelHiveHoraceHubrechtIleumIrvinIsaacKing FranzLawrenceLeducLonesome LennyLorenzoMarcusMarieMinetteMollyMotherMrs. Victoria (D. Violet) • OttomoPanzerfaustQueen NancyRachel WongReginaRiccardoRobertoRoxieScythanaSeleneStanleyTaliesinTommy Ten-TonsVenusVitaleYu-WanMisc.
Terminology SkullgirlSkull HeartParasiteLiving WeaponMedici MafiaAnti-Skullgirl LabsBlack EgretsCirque des CartesFishbone GangThe Last HopeThe Trinity
Stages Streets of New MeridianRiver King CasinoMedici TowerNew Meridian RooftopsRooftops AssaultNMO Arena | (Empty)Bath of Tefnut | (Sekhmet)MaplecrestNightmare CrestGrand Cathedral | (Empty)Final AtriumGehennaUnder the BridgeMeridian Area Rapid TransitLittle Innsmouth | (Night)Lab 8 | (Empty)Glass CanopyClass NotesNo Man's LandSound Stage 15Boardwalk
System HUDControlsBasic MechanicsAdvanced MechanicsChip damage
Game Modes VersusArt GalleryMarie 300%The Typing of the Skullgirls
Music Skullgirls Original SoundtrackSkullgirls The Original SoundtrackSkullgirls: The Complete SoundtrackSkullgirls Special Selection SoundtrackSkullgirls Deluxe Vinyl SoundtrackIn a Moment's TimeHitomi No Kioku
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Other Media SkullgirlSSkullgalsKeep Skullgirls GrowingDigital Art Compendium