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- Characters in Freedom Planet have rounded, chibi-esque sprites that although not quite to this trope's extent, still have larger heads and stubbier limbs to work within the lower resolution. With a much larger budget, the sequel has given the heroines longer proportions with more detailed limbs and general proportions. This is most notable with Lilac, who has a more mature and less cutesy appearance, justified in-universe as the characters undergoing more combat training in a two-year Time Skip. The best comparison could be made between the NES Mega Man (Classic) games and Mega Man X.
- Ghostbusters (1990) for the Sega Genesis uses super-deformed sprites, but characters are normally proportioned in portraits and cutscenes.
- The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth features an Isaac with a very large head and very large tears to shoot things with.
- The Legend of Zelda:
- The original in The Legend of Zelda I game uses this style.
- Also, the three Game Boy games: while the manuals and other artwork weren't deformed, in the color remake of the first game, it crept from the sprites to the photographer's pictures. All these games, including the first above, used 16x16 sprites.
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, while still a bit deformed, was more reasonable, not unlike Chrono Trigger.
- In Golden Axe Warrior, a Legend of Zelda clone for the Sega Master System, the hero is depicted as a shirtless gladiator on the game's cover illustration and title screen, but looks more like a cute knight in the actual game.
- Cave Story provides the page picture. Apparently, the chibi sprites have become iconic enough that the higher-resolution WiiWare port used the same proportions—and the Nintendo 3DS remake also uses those proportions for character models.
- In Bomber Man, this actually affected its future style a lot. The Japanese◊ and American box art◊ of the NES gamenote shows Bomberman as a realistic human in Power Armor, then subsequent releases made Bomberman look cartoonier and closer to his game sprite. The U.S. covers of Bomberman and Bomberman 93 for the Turbo-Grafx 16 also featured non-super-deformed characters that didn't look much like the in-game sprite (the first looked more like some sort of Red Ranger, the second more like Mega Man). The one serious attempt to use the realistic character style, the Darker and Edgier Bomberman: Act Zero, was widely considered a bad idea and quickly abandoned. Even the American-made Atomic Bomberman used a chibi style, despite being slightly more detailed.
- In official illustrations, Pac-Man has never looked like the partially eaten pizza◊ we all know. He's always had legs◊ and looked like the form you see in cartoons and later installments.
Beat 'Em Up
- Scott Pilgrim: The Video Game renders the characters as somewhat chibified compared to the comic versions.
- The comics themselves are slightly chibi as a reference to this trope.
- The character sprites in the NES version of Double Dragon, while not super-deformed per se, are greatly simplified and rather cartoonish compared to the illustrations in the game's manual, which made the characters look like they came out straight from the pages of Fist of the North Star. Some of the character sprites only vaguely resemble their illustrated depictions in the manual (Abobo doesn't sport his trademarked mustache in the manual for example). However, the in-game sprites are actually more accurate to the character designs in the original arcade version than the illustrations were.
- Any Neo Geo Pocket version of an SNK Fighting Game turned the cast super-deformed in battle.
- Super Smash Bros.:
- Mega Man, as he appear in Super Smash Bros for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, maintains his proportions from the 8-bit games, making him appear somewhat stubbier◊ as compared to his official art◊.
- The above-mentioned Pac-Man invokes this, changing between his normal "ball" form and the more iconic "disc" form in many of his attacks and special moves.
First Person Shooter
- La-Mulana. In Updated Re-release on WiiWare, character's head indeed is smaller compared to Retraux-PC-MSX version due to having more pixels (480p/480i on Wii vs. 240p on pseudo-MSX).
- Super Mario Bros.:
- Apparent in the original Super Mario Bros. 1 when grabbing a Super Mushroom. Mario's proportions change by head getting smaller relative to body. Even more pronounced in Super Mario Bros. 2.
- According to the developers of Donkey Kong, most of Mario's facial features and his overalls were due to technical limitations at the time of its release.
- Blaster Master games where in-game, main character's head is about as big as the rest of the body.
- Psychosomnium. Everyone has really big, rectangular heads on tiny bodies; one character even looks like they should, by all logic, fall over from the sheer proportional weight of their cranium.
- The original Mega Man (Classic) series. Apparent when it reached its 7th installment, especially by comparison with Mega Man X.
- And mimicked in the doujin RosenkreuzStilette, though in this case the cutesy appearances are more deliberately drawn with the Moe esthetic. This is most apparent with fairies Lili and Strudel, who look like Cyber Elves in sprites but show more humanoid features in their dialogue portraits.
- Averted in the NES versions of the Contra. The 8-bit hardware couldn't replicate the distinct character designs that were given to Bill and Lance in the original arcade version, so instead the designers concentrated on making them both into musclebound shirtless commandos, with the colors of their pants being the only difference.
- All characters in the gameplay of Chip-chan Kick, barring Warbit (who had already grown extremely huge in his world's respective cutscene).
- Inverted in The Legendary Starfy. Sprites portray characters more realistically proportioned than their portraits do.
- The NES version of Lode Runner uses the same sprites that Hudson Soft would later use in Bomberman. Most computer versions, however, averted this, having sprites more reminiscent of stick figures.
- Money Idol Exchanger has it both ways at once. The Super-Deformed sprites are what players (and AI characters) actually control, while their Character Portraits in the background have normal anime proportions.
- Panel de Pon uses the same system as Money Idol Exchanger, although in this case the super-deformed style, as seen in various in-game graphics and official artwork (particularly the single-player stages), is actually the default and it's the character portraits that are unusual for deviating.
- Disgaea, Super-Deformed as in-game characters, relatively normal in portraits in cutscenes.
- Downplayed in Disgaea 4, due to the new high definition sprites allowing for much more detail on the characters, though the body proportions are still a bit off in the case of the humanoid characters.
- Attouteki Yuugi Mugen Souls has every character appear like this in game and during cutscenes that use the in-game model.
- Seen in-game in Final Fantasy VII: Overworld/dungeon/towns use Super-Deformed models to keep the polygon count down. Battles and FMVs note use realistic models.
- See also every Final Fantasy game that uses 2D sprites. VI and the PSP version of IV, like the Chrono Trigger example below, are slightly more proportionate, but it's still very noticeable.
- Chrono Trigger is a less egregious example than most; the game's sprites are fairly proportionate except for the heads (some enemies are closer to reality there, but they're bigger). Portraits are still done in a radically different style.
- The Super Robot Wars series probably followed this trope from its early days on the Game Boy but have since taken the concept to heart, with only a few exceptions (Shin Super Robot Wars and both versions of Super Robot Wars Gaiden). This is used to keep the sizes of the varying Humongous Mecha reasonable. For example, a Zaku II is 17.5 meters tall, while Eva Unit-01 is about 70 meters tall. Though it should be noted that when attack animations go into a close-up of the robot, they're in their proper proportions. The series usually uses proper proportions when it duplicates iconic footage from a robot's original series.
- Half-Minute Hero plays this straight.
- Tales of Symphonia has a bit of this, much like the FFVII example. It's not nearly as extreme as it would be with 2D sprites, but in portraits, anime cutscenes, and the OVA, the art is definitely more realistically proportioned than the cel-shaded gameplay models.
- Some games have this; the portable games started out this way but grew less top-heavy as hardware power increased (Pokémon Black and White are the most proportionate so far sprite-wise, although this trope is still in effect; the difference between fully-proportioned and super-deformed character is even more subtle in Pokémon X and Y). The console games don't use this at all, though. In fact, all of the games introduce you to your character's in-game battle sprite, and signal the start of gameplay by the sprite morphing into the smaller in-game sprite.
- As of Pokémon Sun and Moon, this trope is averted with 3D models gaining realistically proportioned overworld models. (Prior to this, the realistic models were used only in battle and in certain cutscenes in the overworld).
- Golden Sun has all the characters appear to be as big as Final Fantasy characters are on the SNES, but once a battle starts, everyone appears in proper proportions and looks. This is more evident in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn where the characters look a LOT younger than how they appear in their artwork due to using low polygons in the overworld maps and the new graphics style. However, they resemble their artwork appearance more closely once they enter a battle.
- Most character sets created for non-3D RPG Maker video games are this, especially when they're made to resemble anime or film characters.
- The first four Dragon Slayer games, through Legacy of the Wizard, had all character sprites fit the size of a single tile. Sorcerian moved away from Super-Deformed sprites, but The Legend of Heroes brought the look back.
- From its earliest days, the Lunar games used relatively realistic character proportions in anime-styled cutscenes that transition to squat super-deformed character sprites during gameplay. The games that avert this trope are Magic School Lunar!, Lunar: Dragon Song, and Lunar: Silver Star Harmony.
- Indora no Hikari, a Famicom game by Kemco, has the hero's in-game sprite looking more Super-Deformed and less badass than his depiction on the cover.
- In Faria, characters have super-deformed sprites that stay within size limits, but they are drawn with more normal proportions in dialogue windows.
- Lufia: The Legend Returns, despite being a Game Boy Color RPG, averts this...by giving party members' portraits eyes that take up most of their face. It looks...a little creepy.
- Harvest Moon games often have this style to varying degrees. It's most noticeable in Harvest Moon 64 and Harvest Moon: Back to Nature, where the characters are styled as super-deformed due to hardware limitations but their character portraits have their normal designs. Console games drifted away from this starting with Save the Homeland but handheld games kept to this trope longer.
Turn Based Strategy
- Oddly enough for a webcomic, Homestuck has this. Being an adventure game / RPG pastiche, the art for the main characters consists of copy/pasted "sprites" about knee high to most adult characters. However, when depicted in hand-drawn action shots, they suddenly gain much more realistic proportions, sometimes even lapsing into Noodle People. An excellent demonstration of the style is this animation from the fourth act. (Warning: sound.)