Skullgirls (JP: スカルガールズ) is a downloadable 2D fighting game developed by Lab Zero Games (formerly Reverge Labs), and published by Autumn Games and Konami. It was released on PlayStation 3 via PlayStation Network in North America on April 10, 2012 and on Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade a day later worldwide on April 11, 2012. The game would later release in Europe on both platforms on May 2, 2012. A PC version of the game was released via Steam on August 22, 2013, with all purchases coming with a frequently updated beta version known as the Skullgirls ∞Endless Beta∞.
Set in Canopy Kingdom, characters are fighting for the opportunity to control the mysterious Skull Heart, an artifact with the ability to grant wishes, albeit at a substantial cost. The Skullgirl is a monster that frightens humanity: the result of those with an impure soul attempting to use the Heart.
- Filia - (Voiced by Christine Marie Cabanos) An amnesiac schoolgirl who possesses a parasite on her head named Samson.
- Cerebella - (Voiced by Cristina Vee) An orphaned circus performer working for the mafia who wears a Living Weapon hat, Vice-Versa, which possesses powerful muscles.
- Peacock - (Voiced by Sarah Anne Williams) A mutilated war orphan who was rebuilt with powerful weaponry by an Anti-Skullgirl Lab. Her damaged psyche and love of cartoons leads to a lot of psychotic attacks. She is a friend of Marie.
- Parasoul - (Voiced by Erin Fitzgerald) The princess of Canopy Kingdom and leader of the Black Egrets, whose mother was once a Skullgirl that nearly destroyed the world.
- Ms. Fortune - (Voiced by Kimlinh Tran) The sole survivor of the thieving Fishbone Gang, she swallowed the mysterious Life Gem that allows her to keep living even when chopped into pieces.
- Painwheel - (Voiced by Danielle McRae) A girl who was kidnapped by Valentine and experimented on with parasites and Skullgirl blood, leading her to become a monster. Her real name is Carol. She was also friends with Filia.
- Valentine - (Voiced by Laura Post) The sole survivor of the Last Hope, a group of special Anti-Skullgirl Lab operatives. Her motives are unknown. After the Last Hope was eliminated, Valentine is forced to work for Marie and Double.
- Double - (Voiced by Charlotte Ann) A formless monster who can imitate the moves of other fighters. She often disguises herself as a Catholic nun.
- Marie - (Voiced by Kira Buckland) Also known as Bloody Marie. A war orphan and the Skullgirl, current wielder of the Skull Heart. She is the final boss of the game but not a playable character.
The following characters are to be released as DLC for the PC version of Skullgirls, and the console re-release, Skullgirls Encore.
- Squigly - (Voiced by Lauren Landa) An undead opera singer who was brought back to life by the Skullgirl and prevented from becoming her mindless servant by the parasite Leviathan.
- Big Band - (Voiced by Rich Brown) A cyborg ASG agent in a mobile iron lung who fights with an array of pneumatic weaponry relating to various musical instruments.
- Fukua - (Voiced by Christine Marie Cabanos) A non-canonical clone of Filia who strives to eliminate the original so she can become the physical embodiment of Filia herself. She is the only permanently free DLC character, and since her implementation automatically appears in the game without the need for individual purchase.
- Eliza - (Voiced by Michelle Ruff) An Egyptian-themed villainess who hides a skeletal parasite named Sekhmet under her skin which grants her powers.
- Beowulf - (Voiced by Kai Kennedy) A renowned wrestler who recently came out of retirement and fights opponents using a durable folding chair he dubs 'The Hurting'.
- Robo Fortune - (Voiced by Kimlinh Tran) A robot created by Brain Drain in the likeness of Ms. Fortune who uses lasers, blades and rocket-powered cat heads to attack.
During the Keep Skullgirls Growing! Indiegogo campaign it was stated that Alex Ahad originally intending the Skullgirls character roster to grow across three full games. He agreed however to add characters chosen via a vote to be added as DLC as 'to pull the curtain back a bit to garner interest in the game’s future cast and story'.
- Main article: Skullgirls Encore
Skullgirls Encore is an updated version of Skullgirls that released on PSN and XBLA after the publisher split with Konami. The updated game is free for all previous owners of Skullgirls on both consoles.
It was announced on April 28th 2015 that the upcoming port of Skullgirls Encore for the PS4 and PS Vita was actually going to be another updated version of the game titled Skullgirls 2nd Encore, it including a slew of new gameplay modes, Trophies and a fully voice acted Story Mode. Lab Zero Games has slated that they are looking to release the update as DLC for the Steam versions of the game. A release date for 2nd Encore is currently unknown.
Skullgirls ∞Endless Beta∞
All PC purchases of Skullgirls also grant consumers the title Skullgirls ∞Endless Beta∞ to be installed. The beta version has the exact same file size as the full game, with its purpose to test out new potential gameplay mechanics and unfinished playable characters. While these perks are unique to this version of the game, you are unable to play Story Mode. Other modes like Arcade and Online are still available however. It should be noted that records made on this version of the game, like Tutorial progress and Art Gallery unlocks, are not transferred to the retail version of the game and vice-versa.