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[[quoteright:300:[[VideoGame/MortalKombat1 http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/scorpion_subzero_png_8253.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:And that's not even counting Reptile, Smoke, Ermac, Rain, Noob, Chameleon...]]

->''"It's just like the old days, reusing the boss, changing its color and pretending it is completely new."''
-->-- '''Cranky Kong''', ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry1'' (GBA)
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In 2D game development, the creation of sprites is labor-intensive. One cost-effective method for increasing the variety of game characters is to reuse the same sprite, but using a different color palette.

This is seen in some platformers, but it most often appears in {{Role Playing Game}}s and {{Fighting Game}}s. In fighting games, this is commonly used to differentiate players using the same character, but it is also employed to create "new" characters. In the 8- and 16-bit era [=RPG=]s, it was pervasive: because of console limitations, disk and screen space were serious concerns. Palette Swapping was used to create a [[UndergroundMonkey large variety of different enemies]], often using different colors for various power levels. (The most famous group of these are probably the Slimes, topped by the powerful MetalSlime, of ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' fame).

A more elaborate variation found in [=3D=] games is the Texture Swap, where the textures on the character's uniform are changed, but the actual model used remains the same. While the concept is a little different, these are often called Palette Swaps anyway as they're still easier for developers to make than a full-fledged alternate costume or character. The HeadSwap is another tried-and-true technique for making more out of less.

Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games {{MMORPG}}s are often set in a very large world that must be populated by monsters. Palette Swap to the rescue! By changing the size and textures used on the same model, the designers can make many types of monsters from only a few basic meshes. Sometimes even [[KingMook bosses]] are simply re-textured and are huge versions of weaker monsters.

Some fans of fighting games use the term to refer to characters that use the same animations and move sets, even if the characters look very different. Such characters are also known as "clones". Individual characters may also have a choice of several different colors or costumes (or both).

Caution: TropesAreNotBad. Palette swapping may be a shortcut, but it does allow designers to create enemies that keep pace with the player's progress while still hinting that the enemies will follow a familiar pattern. This is especially important when a given area is intended to be fast-paced or lead up to a climax, and the designers don't want the player stopping constantly to study "new" enemies.

Palette Swaps are also used in {{Sprite Comic}}s, where they're known as recolors. They are frequently looked down upon.

For a similar time-saving technique, see AmbidextrousSprite. See also ColourCodedForYourConvenience. Often associated with MovesetClone in fighting games. For the level/world equivalent, see RemixedLevel and HardModeFiller.



[[folder:Action Adventure]]
* The handheld ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' games since ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaHarmonyOfDissonance'' have been accused of palette swapping (some point out the Saturn Port of ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'' had Maria's spells being copied out of ''Gradius'' games, showing that this practice has been around much longer then most initially suspected). The palette swapping of the Metroidvania games shares a common source point: ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaRondoOfBlood''. Almost everything else is from ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'' instead. This is literally sprite reuse going from 1993 to about now. Harmony was worst about this though: many enemies had level 2 and even level 3 versions.
* In ''Golden Axe Warrior'', most enemies appear in at least two of the three basic colors: green, blue and red.
* The FinalBoss of ''VideoGame/KeithCourageInAlphaZones'' is a gold-colored version of the Area 4 boss accompanied by an invincible purple [[AttackDrone walker drone]].
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** In [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaI the first game]], most monsters come in Red and Blue, with one color (usually blue) being tougher than the other.
** In ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink'', orange is added for weaker variants of enemies, with red being stronger than orange and blue being stronger than red, though with armed enemies the weapons often change with the color (such as the orange variant of the Daira enemy in Death Mountain swinging its axe at Link and the red variant ''throwing'' axes at him).
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'' was designed with this trope in mind: Almost all of the {{mooks}} and {{NPC}}s, as well as a few of the masks, were ported over from ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'', same case with both ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames Oracle]]'' games in relation to ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening Link's Awakening]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks Spirit Tracks]]'' in relation to ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass Phantom Hourglass]]''. At least the map and the bosses are different. There's also the two elemental versions of Wizzrobe (ice and fire) in ''Majora's Mask'' and the two forms of Geozard in ''Spirit Tracks'' (with the red one being stronger, to the point it's a MiniBoss).
** It's even common to palette swap ''Link'' for his different tunics. Same style and cut, different color. Like the fire-proof tunic (red), and the [[AWizardDidIt inexplicable]] ''water-breathing tunic'' (blue). It wasn't until ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'' that the different tunics actually looked different beyond their colors.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'', the primary bestiary in the sixth dungeon, Fire Sanctuary, consists of dark-purple versions of enemies (Cursed Spume, Dark Keese, Dark Lizalfos), while the boss Ghirahim ([[RecurringBoss first fought in Skyview Temple]]) takes a form that has some parts of his body turned black. Notably, the dungeon is still [[LethalLavaLand fire-themed]]. There's also the Cursed Bokoblin, but it only appears in the Ancient Cistern.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'', the monsters come in red, blue, black, and silver (with the DLC adding gold) and get progressively stronger along that spectrum, with their [[RedEyesTakeWarning eyes also getting progressively redder]].
* Three of the bosses in ''VideoGame/WonderBoyInMonsterLand'' have their sprites reused later in the game, [[TheGrimReaper Death]] becomes the Poor God, who steals your gold coins, the Giant Kong is palette-swapped as the Snow Kong, who summons ice cube-throwing Mini-Kongs instead of throwing rocks, and the Red Knight has Blue and Silver variations.
* Several of the dwarves in ''[[VideoGame/TheHobbit2003 The Hobbit]]'' looked the same except for their hoods. The book didn't give them any more traits than that either.
* In ''VideoGame/BlasterMaster'', the Stage 6 and 7 bosses are palette swaps of the Stage 2 and 4 bosses, respectively. The palette-swapped versions were [[ThatOneBoss very hard to beat]].
* ''VideoGame/EarthDefenseForce2025'': The game and the first DLC make extensive use of larger palette swapped enemies to indicate tougher and more elite enemies.

[[folder:Action Game]]
* ''Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle'' (a port of a Famicom Disk Sytem game starring Roger Rabbit-don't ask) has differently-colored enemies of the same type that behave slightly differently.
* ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry 3: Special Edition'' plays this perfectly straight. When playing as Vergil and you come to the boss battles against Vergil (the game is usually played as Dante, with the Vergil playability a feature of the Special Edition), the Vergil you fight is dressed in red instead of his usual blue. Apparently it's to give the impression that you're fighting Dante, but the only difference between the two versions is the colour; the boss' moveset remains the same.
* In the ''VideoGame/RollingThunder'' series, the attack patterns and hit points of the [[{{mooks}} Maskers]] can be determined by the colors of their clothes and hoods.
* Steve's jacket in ''VideoGame/{{Shatterhand}}'' turns from green to red when he buys the double strength PowerUp.

[[folder:Beat Em Up]]
* ''VideoGame/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' for the SNES did this. While the unmorphed rangers are distinct from each other, when they morph, the suit they wear is basically Jason's (Red Ranger) suit colored five different colors. You can tell because of how the helmet looks, how buff the less physical rangers get, and the fact that Kimberly (Pink Ranger) doesn't have her skirt.
* ''VideoGame/CyborgJustice'': The player character can choose torso, weapon and legs which are interchangeable and used by virtually every other cyborg in every level at some point including bosses. The only unique enemy in the entire game is the end boss who is a [[BrainInAJar giant brain]]. If you play with two players, then player 1 is primary gold and player 2 is primarily purple.
* The arcade version of ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon'', in addition to [[ColorCodedMultiplayer the two player characters]] (Billy and Jimmy Lee), has a set of three enemy mooks (Williams, Rowper and Abobo) that it uses for every stage, but with a different palette each time, along with the occasional black variants. The two bosses, who are themselves head swaps of other characters, reappear in the final two stages as well (in particular, the third boss is the first boss with green skin). The only enemies who don't have palette swapped variants are Linda (who wears the same purple outfit in all of her appearances) and Machine Gun Willy (the final boss).
* The character designs in ''VideoGame/FearIsVigilance'' are basically limited to three: male, female, and Marcy in disguise. Everything else is palette swapping.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFight'' mostly averts this by making variants of the same enemy {{head swap}}s as well, but there are a few notable exception: Roxy is just Poison with orange hair and everyone in the Andore clan are identical except for the colors of their clothing (lavender for the standard Andore, red for Junior, gold for Father, black for Uncle and blue for Grandpa). There are also red-clothed variants of Holly Wood who carries Molotov cocktails instead of his usual knives.
** ''Final Fight 2'' for the SNES has a cheat code that allows both players to use the same character if selected, distinguishing the second player with a different palette.
** The GBA version of the original game, ''Final Fight One'', also allowed two players to choose the same character after defeating a certain number of enemies.
* ''VideoGame/GoldenAxe'' has a huge amount of palette-swapped characters, from the mooks to the bosses to the [[PowerupMount Bizzarians]] to the energy-replenishing elves.
* In ''Ninja Combat'' for the UsefulNotes/NeoGeo, the main characters, Joe and Hayabusa, are red and blue palette swaps of each other. This LazyArtist technique is painfully obvious in the cutscenes, which have obviously the same renderings of these characters being horizontally flipped and palette-swapped between shots.
* The arcade version of ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'' (aka ''Shadow Warriors'') features six stages, the same four staple adversaries, a few novelties here and there, three distinct end of stage bosses, one final boss, and a different palette for each stage. There are also ninja mooks who are just palette swaps of the player characters ([[ColorCodedMultiplayer who are already themselves palette swaps of each other]]).
* ''VideoGame/RiverCityRansom'' recycles the same enemy gang of nine members by changing the colors of their t-shirts, as well as modifying their stats and attack patterns.
* In ''VideoGame/RoboArmy'', while the player characters' humanoid forms are {{Head Swap}}s, their Super Buggy forms are identical except in color. One enemy is a green version of the second player character.
* The ''VideoGame/StreetsOfRage'' series used palette swaps for enemies very often
** In the "Dueling" mode featured in the sequels, the second player is assigned a different palette if he chooses the same character as the first player.
** In the first game, Onihime and Yasha (aka Mona and Lisa), the twin bosses in Round 5, were both palette swaps of Blaze but with a green outfit instead of red. In Round 8, they appear one more time with a dark purple outfit. When the twins returned in ''Streets of Rage 3'', they were given a unique design.
** In the third game, the boss of Round 3 was a robot copy of Axel, only difference was his gloves were purple instead of red so that players who played in co-op wouldn't attack each other by mistake if one of them was playing as Axel.
** Also in the third game, Shiva and Roo (plus [[CampGay Ash]] in the Japanese version) change palettes when [[HeelFaceTurn they become player characters]].
* The Foot Clan ninjas in ''VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesTheArcadeGame'' and ''[[VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesTurtlesInTime Turtles in Time]]'' come in numerous colors in addition to the standard purple variant from the [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1987 1980s animated series]]. The Foot Soldiers are [[ColorCodedForYourConvenience color coded]] to indicate their weapons of choice. For example, the white Foot Soldiers attack with katanas, while the orange ones wield boomerangs.
* Downplayed in ''VideoGame/JusticeLeagueHeroesTheFlash''. Most mooks have counterparts only different by color, but this is just for variety, as there is still a large collection of different enemy types. Additionally, Zoom's costume is a color-swapped version of ComicBook/{{The Flash}}'s costume, but this is the standard for Reverse-Flash characters.

[[folder:Fighting Game]]
* ''VideoGame/AkatsukiBlitzkampf'':
** In the earlier versions, Adler and [[spoiler: his clones]] the Elektrosoldats had almost exactly the same sprites, portraits, voices, etc. When Adler was made playable the sprites were still similar, but there were noticeable differences in their stand and walking animations, [[RyuAndKen their moves started to change]], [[VocalEvolution and Adler's voice got much deeper.]]
** [[spoiler: Perfecti]] used to be a ''blatant'' palette swap of [[spoiler: Mycale]], plus a BattleAura. The UpdatedReRelease ''Ausf. Achse'' solves this and made them completely different from then on.
* ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' takes the palette-swapping tendencies of fighting games and runs right off the rails with them, often designing alternate color schemes to be [[ShoutOut visual references to other franchises]]. Observe [[MightyGlacier Tager]] as Anime/GaoGaiGar, [[ShrinkingViolet Noel]] as [[Anime/{{FLCL}} Major Kitsurabami]], [[LittleMissSnarker Rachel]] as [[Music/{{Vocaloid}} Hatsune Miku]], and [[EyesAlwaysShut Hazama]] as [[Music/MichaelJackson a Smooth Criminal]]. There's more, but the full list would probably eat the page. There's also Ragna as [[Manga/{{Gintama}} Sakata Gintoki]]. Made even better as they share the same [[Creator/TomokazuSugita voice actor]] (as parodied [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZj2_YelvMg here]]).
* ''VideoGame/BloodStorm'' sported secret characters that were, for the most part, mere palette swaps of the ordinarily available characters with slightly different moves.
* Capcom's ''[[VideoGame/CapcomvsWhatever Versus]]'' series do this, both mirror match style and new character style. ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcomClashOfSuperHeroes'' features Comicbook/WarMachine, who is a palette swap of Comicbook/IronMan from ''VideoGame/MarvelSuperHeroes''. Also, both ''VideoGame/MarvelSuperHeroesVsStreetFighter'' and ''Marvel vs. Capcom'' use palette swaps in creating the secret characters. Sometimes an attempt would be made to make them logical characters -- [=MSHvsSF=] featured a US Agent as a Captain America swap, for example. Others are more esoteric, like ''[=MvC=]'''s Orange Hulk and Red Venom, which some fans justify by suggesting they're meant to be stand-ins for [[ComicBook/FantasticFour the Thing]] and ComicBook/{{Carnage}}.
** In '' VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'', some of the palette swaps also double as {{Mythology Gag}}s. See WholeCostumeReference.
** Some of the "powered up" boss characters in the ''VideoGame/SNKVsCapcom'' series are utilize recolored sprites, such as Shin Akuma and Evil Ryu. The major exception is ''VideoGame/SNKVsCapcomMatchOfTheMillennium'', where Evil Ryu was actually given a distinct sprite from normal Ryu.
** ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcomClashOfTheSuperheroes'': The Marvel secret characters are different palette swaps of the Hulk (gives him his ''Marvel Super Heroes'' movelist and properties), War Machine (has incredible defense and armor, now fires missiles instead of lasers) and Venom (becomes the fastest and weakest character in the game), while the Capcom side has Shadow Lady (a [[UnwillingRoboticization roboticized]] [[ReforgedIntoAMinion and brainwashed]] Chun-Li transformed into a cyborg ala Shadow), [[VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}} Lilith-Mode Morrigan]] (Morrigan with Lilith's color scheme and properties) and [[VideoGame/MegaManClassic Roll]] (a JokeCharacter who has Mega Man's movelist).
* ''VideoGame/{{Clayfighter}}'' also did this for the 'fight the character you're playing as' scenes.
* The original ''VideoGame/EternalChampions'' notably didn't have any. The sequel had palette swaps, {{Head Swap}}s and even leg (Riptide has Jetta's stance and Shadow's legs) swaps.
* When Bandai released ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}: The Battle Master 2'' in the US as ''Gundam Battle Assault'', they replaced one of the mecha with the titular Gundam from ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Gundam Wing]]'' in order to cash in on the show's then successful run on Cartoon Network. Despite going through the trouble of making a separate sprite for it, however, they gave it the same moveset as the Zeta Gundam. Further annoying is the fact that its super move involves grabbing the opponent instead of shooting its {{BFG}}.
* In ''VideoGame/InjusticeGodsAmongUs'', the [[AffirmativeActionLegacy John Stewart]] Comicbook/GreenLantern appears as an alternate skin for Hal Jordan. He has the exact same moves and animations, just with a different appearance and voice.
** ''VideoGame/Injustice2'' expands on this as Premium Skins and gave more characters alternate skins with the same moveset but different everything else. It includes both different identities for the same superhero (Ex. Jay Garrick skin for The Flash) and characters with very similar themes (Ex. Mr. Freeze skin for Commander Cold).
* Downplayed in ''VideoGame/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAsPortable: The Battle of Aces'', where the three Materials are not just recolours of the PowerTrio, but full-on {{Evil Twin}}s with distinct personalities.
* In ''VideoGame/MeltyBlood'', a handful of fighters are Palette Swaps, but whether their counterparts are actually a MovesetClone or not is a different story. For instance, regular Akiha and Akiha Vermillion are largely the same except with their attack and defense stats swapped, but Mech-Hisui plays almost ''nothing'' like Hisui. Justified in-story, since most of them are something like {{Doppelganger}}s.
* ''Franchise/MortalKombat'' was one of the most notorious examples of this trope with its "Palette Swap {{Ninja}}s". There was an increasing number of ninja characters of three basic types -- male (Scorpion, Sub-Zero [seen above], Reptile, Noob Saibot, Ermac, Rain, Chameleon), female (Kitana, Mileena, Jade, Khameleon), [[CyberNinja cyborg]] (Smoke, Cyrax, Sektor) -- in the games, almost all of whom used the same basic set of sprites, with the color scheme altered to match the individual character. Illustrated [[http://i.crackedcdn.com/phpimages/article/1/3/0/93130_v1.jpg here]]. With the transition from sprites to polygons in ''VideoGame/MortalKombat4'' and beyond, the various ninjas have been redesigned to give them more individualized looks, especially with Reptile and Rain.
** ''[[VideoGame/MortalKombat3 Mortal Kombat Trilogy]]'' was seriously getting short on colours for male ninjas: Classic Sub-Zero (blue), Scorpion (yellow), Reptile (green), Rain ([[StealthPun purple]]), Noob Saibot (black), Ermac (red), and Human Smoke (gray). In mirror matches, the twin was usually a slightly different shade of the same colour.
** Note that the default ninjas in all four [=2D=] ''Mortal Kombat'' games for the arcade (counting the original version of ''3'' and the ''Ultimate'' edition separately) actually had different fighting stances from each other, so they were not full-fledged palette swaps. However, the hidden variants played this straight.
*** In the first game, Reptile used Scorpion's fighting stance.
*** In ''Mortal Kombat II'', Smoke uses Reptile's stance, Noob Saibot uses Sub-Zero's (which would foreshadow his identity as [[spoiler:the original Sub-Zero gone evil]]), and Jade uses Kitana's (setting up [[FightingYourFriend their relationship]] in ''3'' quite nicely).
*** In ''Mortal Kombat 3'', Robot Smoke uses Sektor's stance. Since none of the "human" ninjas were in the third game initially, Noob was instead a palette swap of Kano.
*** In ''Ultimate'', all three female ninjas used their own stances; Noob, Ermac and Masked Sub-Zero used Scorpion's; while Rain and Human Smoke used Reptile's.
*** In ''Trilogy'', Khameleon and Chameleon's stances would reflect who they were currently copying.
* ''Videogame/MyLittlePonyFightingIsMagic Tribute Edition'' includes palette swaps of some of the characters to make them look like other characters (see also WholeCostumeReference). For instance: palette swaps of Twilight Sparkle make her look like Twilight Velvet and Lyra, palette swaps of Applejack make her look like Granny Smith, Big [=McIntosh=] and Cheerilee, a palette swap of Pinkie Pie makes her look like Cheese Sandwich and a palette swap of Rainbow Dash makes her look like Spitfire.
* Creator/EpicMegagames' fighting game ''VideoGame/OneMustFall'' makes extensive use of palette swaps. The game has 11 distinct (sprite) models of robots, but many more colour-schemes, all of which are achieved by changing parts of the game palette. In tournament mode, you can customize your robot's colour-scheme in three areas, and the game provides you with 16 colours to choose from.
** There is an external free tool that lets you create your own tournaments, and you can give the computer opponents anything you like for their colour-schemes by editing the palette of the picture to go with their character.
* ''VideoGame/PrimalRage'' does this for the stages where you're fighting the character you chose to play as. Does have a benefit there as it helps you stay sure of who's who. In addition, Blizzard and Chaos seem to be palette swaps of each other, as do Sauron and Diablo.
* A famous example of the skin-color aspect of this trope was the character Nakoruru from the FightingGame ''VideoGame/SamuraiShodown''. The swapped palette used on her portrait in the character select screen made her look like her own EvilTwin. Naturally, the idea quickly entered {{Fanon}}, and ''Samurai Shodown V'' [[AscendedFanon actually turned "Evil Nakoruru"]] into her [[EnemyWithout own character]] and the local [[AntiHero anti-heroine]], Rera.
** This was most likely also a result of SNK actually intending the "Slash/Bust" division to represent good and evil sides (or at least different personalities), never being able to pull it off, and ultimately simply deciding to just make a couple variant characters and call it a day. The other, BTW, is Rastesumaru, a much, ''much'' different version of Haohmaru. (He has purple skin, for one. He's completely psycho, for another.)
* ''VideoGame/{{Skullgirls}}'':
** There are 25 palettes for every playable character (with one hidden exception), some of which are OfficialFanSubmittedContent and [[ReferenceOverdosed many, many]] of which are referential. More distinctly, it also has an alternate palette for its story mode boss and a ''shifting rainbow'' palette for one of its characters, [[{{Pun}} Double]].
** Initially just an [[AprilFoolsDay April Fools']] character, Fukua, a clone of ''their'' pre-existing character Filia was created as a jab at the popularity of palette swaps. Despite being a palette swap, she has a ''very'' different moveset, although it reuses Filia's assets, for example by making one of her projectiles shoot a ghostly clone of her, and giving her two command grabs that have the same animation as her normal grab but different startup times and damage. Also, nearly all of ''her'' palettes are referential to ''other games' palette swap characters''.
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Soul|Series}}'' series, the character Kilik is a Palette Swap -- in the [[MovesetClone "shared motion data"]] sense -- of Seong Mi-na, but the games make it seem as if ''Mi-na'' is the clone character: with the exception of ''Soulcalibur III'', Kilik is always available from the start whereas Mi-na needs to be unlocked, and many of the moves they do ([[DivergentCharacterEvolution or did]]) share weren't added to Mi-na's move list until ''after'' Kilik's debut in ''Soulcalibur''. (This is explained in-game by both characters using the same fighting style: Ling-Sheng Su since [[spoiler:Mi-na's master, Kong Xiuqiang, is a runaway monk from the Li-Sheng Su temple where Kilik spent his childhood, with Mi-na later training under Edge Master, Kilik's master, for a time prior to events of ''Soulcalibur III'']].) Kilik's appearance in Stage 2 of Mi-na's ''Soulcalibur IV'' story has him [[LampshadeHanging call attention to this little conundrum]].
-->'''Kilik:''' "That move! It's one of mine."
** Hwang is an odd case. In the original game, ''Soul Edge'', he was a "motion swap" of Mitsurugi for Korean localization. In ''Soulcalibur'', he became a swap of Xianghua, but shared some kicks with Seong Mi-na (as they both trained under Mi-na father, Seong Han-myeong). By ''Soulcalibur III'', he was the representative of the Chinese Sword style.
** Actual palette-swapping entered the ''Soulcalibur'' series with Custom Characters, as well as the ability to alter the colors worn by the standard fighters. Meanwhile, ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}} 5'' offered color choices along with custom items as unlockables.
** Namco fighting games in general usually feature at least one character who doesn't have their own moves, but instead [[DittoFighter randomly chooses movesets from all the other characters]].
*** The ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'' series of games has had THREE. Mokujin (''Tekken 3'') and Combot (''Tekken 4''), [[DittoFighter which randomly emulated all the characters fighting styles]], one per round, and Unknown (''[[DreamMatchGame Tekken Tag Tournament]]''), who looked sort of like Jun Kazama (thus leading many to believe she ''was'' Jun, only subject to DemonicPossession [[note]]according to WordOfGod, Unknown was meant to be Jun's sister, but this was dropped when ''TTT'' became a spin-off[[/note]]), but could only emulate about 15 or so characters out of the 30+ available (and, in addition to the resemblance, always started with Jun's moveset, further bolstering the fan theory). However, pressing down on the right stick on the [=PS2=] controller (R3, as it is) would let you change fighting styles on the fly instead of having to tag out and back in all the time. Notably, ''Tekken Tag Tournament 2'' leaves Mokujin as the only mimic character on the roster; Combot is instead retooled as an AllYourPowersCombined-type who can use an amalgamation of other characters moves in the vein of [[VideoGame/VirtuaFighter Dural]] (essentially, what ''Tekken 4'' states Combot was meant to do instead of simple mimicry due to software bugs), while Unknown uses a variation of Jun's moveset combined with more supernatural influences like stage hazards created from the goop that covers her body (as [[spoiler:this incarnation of Unknown actually ''is'' Jun gone OneWingedAngel]]).
** Mokujin itself has two palette swaps in the more traditional "colour variation" sense. Tetsujin is an iron version of the wooden puppet, appearing only in the ''Tag Tournament'' spin-offs. Kinjin is a gold version with a crown, a moustache, and a slightly different appearance who only appears in ''Tekken Revolution''.
** Namco's games also did tend to have fighters who shared many moves. Examples include the Jack "clones" (ironically, of the ones with that label, only Kuma's been in all the games in some playable form), as well as characters with similar styles in game (Anna and Nina Williams, King and Armour King, Yoshimitsu and Kunimitsu). [[DivergentCharacterEvolution They've been working on making each character more unique, though.]]
** ''Tekken 3'' introduced a [[LegacyCharacter new generation of fighters]] who had stances and fighting styles taken from previous characters that had [[DroppedABridgeOnHim supposedly killed off]]. So Hwoarang was meant to be a replacement for Baek, Bryan Fury for Bruce Irvin, Xiaoyu for Wang, and so on. When the predecessors [[OnlyMostlyDead returned in future installments]], Namco altered the various characters accordingly to prevent redundancies. Tiger Jackson was also a Palette Swap of Eddy Gordo, even though they both debuted in the same game.
*** Namco has stuck to this tradition. Christie Monteiro from ''Tekken 4'' was introduced as a replacement for Eddy, while Asuka Kazama from ''Tekken 5'' was meant to be a replacement for her MIA relative, Jun Kazama.
** In ''Tekken 2'', most characters had two separate character models to give them an alternate costume but Kuma, being a bear, just had a different-coloured texture that gave him a white coat. In future titles Kuma's alternate costume was replaced with MovesetClone Panda.
* When the ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' series started featuring [[MirrorMatch same character matches]] (beginning with ''VideoGame/StreetFighterII′: Champion Edition''), the game changes the palette of one player to distinguish it from the other. Depending on the character, some alternate palettes will simply change the color of the character's clothing (i.e. Ryu's gi and bandanna), while others (such as Dhalsim's and Blanka's) will change the character's skin tone to improbable colors such as blue or grey. (Though in the case of Blanka, his natural green is impossible in real life).
** ''Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers'' in particular features eight palettes for each character, matching the maximum number of players allowed in the game's Tournament Battle mode. However, the control panel only has seven buttons for each player (six attack buttons and Start), so the eighth palette can only be chosen by pressing any button and holding it down for a few seconds.
** ''Super Street Fighter II Turbo'' gave all of the returning fighters a new default palette (such as Ryu's black gi and yellow headband or Ken's silver gi). An unusual design choice, given that all the promotional art for ''Super Turbo'' and even the game's intro and ending sequences still depict the game's cast in their traditional colors. To seemingly compensate for this, each of the 16 main fighters now has a "classic" counterpart that sticks to their traditional palette while also retaining their move set from ''New Challengers'' (meaning that also lack the ability to use Super Combos). Some of the later console ports, such as ''Revival'' and ''HD Remix'', went back to the traditional default palette.
** ''Ultra Street Fighter II'' adds Evil Ryu from the ''Alpha'' series and Violent Ken from ''[[VideoGame/SNKVsCapcomSVCChaos SVC Chaos]]'', who in this game are palette swaps of the standard Ryu and Ken.
** In the arcade version of ''VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha 2'', the character's palette changes depending on whether the player is using the Manual fighting style (three-level Super gauges) or Auto (one-level gauges, simpler inputs for Super Combos and Alpha Counters and auto-blocking). This was carried over to ''Alpha 3'', when the fighting styles were expanded to A-ism (Alpha-style), X-ism (Super Turbo-style) and V-ism (Variable Combo-style).
** Some versions of ''Alpha 2'' (specifically the U.S. arcade release and the ''Zero 2 Alpha'' released in Asia) allowed players to control alternate versions of certain characters such as Zangief, Dhalsim, Ryu, Ken, classic outfit Chun-Li, Sagat and M. Bison who used their movesets from ''Street Fighter II Dash'' and had alternate color schemes. Evil Ryu and Shin Akuma were also palette-swaps of their regular counterparts.
** In ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIII 3rd Strike'', there are a total 13 palettes for each character (except for Gill, who only has two). There are six standard palettes chosen by simply pressing any of the attack buttons, six alternate palettes chosen by holding Start and pressing any of the other buttons and a hidden [=13th=] palette selected by pressing [=LP+MK+HP=].
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'':
** All games use this for alternative costumes. [[ColorCodedMultiplayer If players choose the same characters for team battles, the brightness on the characters are changed.]]
** While most characters merely change color, a few get different costumes, some of them downright using "other" characters; [[VideoGame/WarioWare Wario]] has his overalls from [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros the main series]], the [[VideoGame/WiiFit Wii Fit Trainer]], [[VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening Robin]], the [[VideoGame/AnimalCrossing Villager]] and [[VideoGame/FireEmblemFates Corrin]] all have variants for both genders, [[VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine Bowser Jr.]] has [[VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3 the Koopalings]], [[VideoGame/{{Pikmin}} Olimar has Alph]], [[VideoGame/PunchOut Little Mac]] has his wireframe appearance from the original arcade game, [[VideoGame/XenobladeChronicles Shulk]] has the swimwear he puts on when he has nothing equipped, [[Franchise/{{Metroid}} Zero Suit Samus]] has shorts based on the 100% endings for ''VideoGame/MetroidZeroMission'' and ''VideoGame/MetroidFusion'', and {{Guest Fighter}}s [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Cloud]] and VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}} have their costumes from ''[[Anime/FinalFantasyVIIAdventChildren Advent Children]]'' and the first ''Bayonetta'', respectively.
** To a lesser degree, in some of the games there were characters with move sets very similar to each other with small deviations such as their speed and power (Mario/Luigi, Pikachu/Pichu, ect.) though later games tended to give new moves and bigger deviations so that similar characters felt a little more unique.
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBrosCrusade'' has its characters' palette swaps resemble other characters, something which is not possible in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashFlash 2'''s palette swaps (even with the same characters) due to the way SSBC does its palette swaps compared to [=SSF2=]. Examples: Mario -> Dr. Mario, Peach -> Shadow Queen, Bowser -> Dark Bowser, Mewtwo -> Charizard, Ryu -> Ken, Goku -> Piccolo.
** One of Waluigi's palette swaps has been interpreted as being inspired by either Creator/SuperMarioGlitchy4 or ''Webcomic/BrawlInTheFamily''.
* In ''VideoGame/VerdictGuilty'', each playable character has a second character who is this.
* Several champions in ''VideoGame/MarvelContestOfChampions'' are obvious palette swaps for each other, often an alternate version of the same character. For instance, X-Force ComicBook/{{Deadpool}} has the exact same power set as regular Deadpool with a different colored uniform, and WWII Captain America is this for regular Captain America. The Vision also has both a comics version of his costume and one based on the movie version in ''{{Film/AvengersAge of Ultron}}''. Palette swapped characters are also generally {{Moveset Clone}}s of each other.
** ''[[VideoGame/GundamVsSeries Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs. Full Boost]]'' had a variation on this with '''Pilot''' Swaps rather than Palette Swaps, [[HumongousMecha mobile suits]] which were mostly {{Moveset Clone}}s of existing MS with minor tweaks and entirely new voice clips. For example, [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ Elle Vianno]]'s Gundam Mk-II can't become the Super Gundam like [[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam Emma Sheen]]'s, but instead she gets extra {{Assist Character}}s. Pilot swaps were also generally lower cost, giving them some strategic value; some examples, like Lacus Clyne's version of the [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny Infinite Justice Gundam]], were actually preferred over the standard version for this reason.

[[folder:First Person Shooter]]
* ''VideoGame/BioShock'' only had a few distinct Splicer models, with palette swapping used (mostly on their clothes) to make them [[OnlySixFaces slightly]] less identical.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Conduit 2}}'', the models of the soldiers are all the same, but the armor they wear is chosen randomly.
* ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'', on the other hand, use palette swaps mostly for changing the uniform color of different players in multiplayer mode (the green armor becomes indigo, brown and red for players 2, 3 and 4); however a variant of palette swap is used for one of the monsters: the Spectre is a Demon whose sprite's shape is replaced by a zone of transparent static. In ''Doom 2'', a palette swap was used to create the Hell Knight from the Baron of Hell; however both sets of sprites are present in the game's data and the two are treated by the game as totally separate enemy types, other than being hard-coded against the usual rules for [[SetAMookToKillAMook taking and responding to friendly fire]].
** [[http://doom.wikia.com/wiki/Doom_RPG Doom RPG]], however, had "classes" of enemies that changed palettes according to their type and subsequent difficulty.
* BUILD Engine games, such as ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D'' and ''ShadowWarrior'', make use of palette changes on sprites and surfaces for a number of uses.
** A number of surfaces which basically look the same, but have something a different colour (such as a row of tiles on a wall) use an internal palette change to provide more graphical variety without needing to include more textures.
** Coloured lighting uses a palette change over the whole palette of anything in the area in question.
** The ever-common alien Troopers and Captains in ''Duke Nukem 3D'' use the same sprites, but different internal palettes. The base sprites use blue for the uniform, but the Troopers use a palette that replaces it with green and the captains use one that replaces it with red.
** On a similar note, the different colours of the trousers on the player sprites in multiplayer games are the result of palette swaps.
** Putting the same palette used for blue light onto a sprite such as a weapon or switch in the level editor will (at least for ''Duke Nukem 3D'') make that sprite only appear in deathmatch games.
** Different palettes on special sprites which control level functionality can have various effects, ranging from simply changing the colour of a light to making a teleporter that doesn't show the usual teleporter effects, to determining what kind of enemy teleports in.
** Palette swaps combined with translucency are also used to give the enemies shadows. Squash a copy of the sprite vertically, put it on the ground, put an all-black palette on it, then make it translucent. Some levels also use all-black translucent palette swaps of sprites to add nice shadows to certain areas.
** Then there are user-made levels which give oddly-coloured enemies via palette swaps just for the fun of it. Some sadistic authors put the all-black palette on the enemies and make them transparent. Great, now you're fighting almost-invisible aliens.
* ''VideoGame/{{Blood}}'':
** The only visual difference between various types of cultists is the color of their robes: regular cultists wear brown robes, fanatics wear black robes, acolytes wear green robes, zealots wear blue robes and the priest wears red robes.
** Stone gargoyles look exactly like regular gargoyles, except that they have a different texture and are bigger in size.
* The original ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' trilogy does this with almost all of its Covenant enemies, with you being able to tell how powerful they are simply by the color of their armor/shields. The in-game explanation is that their armor is [[LawOfChromaticSuperiority color-coded]] by rank. ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'' started to move away from this by giving each Brute rank a different set of armor (though each rank was also split into different colored sub-ranks), and games from ''VideoGame/HaloReach'' onward have extended this to basically every Covenant species (with EliteMooks getting the fanciest suits, obviously).
** ''VideoGame/Halo5Guardians''[='s=] Warzone has a lot of boss enemies, but most of them are just pallet-swapped versions of regular foes.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'' series used palette swapping extensively. An alien's uniform color denoted its rank, while a human's denoted his department.
* ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' has a Texture Swap variant of this among the enemies in Nova Prospekt. As the Overwatch transhuman infantry there are serving guard duty in the prison, they've got a unique uniform; while the standard Overwatch soldiers have a navy blue camo pattern and blue optics, Nova Prospekt prison guards have yellow optics, a dark ultramarine-ish color with blue stripe and a Nova Prospekt insignia. This is also the case with Shotgun Soldiers, whom have orange optics and dark reddish-brown uniforms, but otherwise behave identically to standard Overwatch soldiers with shotguns (and in fact replaced those following the update that added them in). Averted with the Combine Elites; those have unique boots and helmet as well as a white color.
* Ebitan, one of the zombies in ''VideoGame/HouseOfTheDead'' 2, comes in three different colours; green, brown and black. Kageo also has multiple skins.
* ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2'' has the laser sights and special ammo using the same inworld model, but with different textures. As well, to increase variety, the common infected use similar models, but have different skin/clothes colors.
* ''VideoGame/PAYDAYTheHeist'':
** The game has the Clown mask model recycled for other masks and use different textures, namely the Golden and Secret masks.
** Dallas' Vyse mask is also the Clown mask retextured while Hoxton's Vyse mask is a different textured version of his Beeef mask. Chain's Vyse mask is the same model as the Moderator and Overkill/Dev mask and those two masks are palette swaps of each other. The Alienware masks are a single model with different textures as well.
* ''VideoGame/PerfectDark'' for the N64 had Joanna (the main character) and her head-swap Velvet (controlled by Player 2 during Co-Op Mode). Since they were both Carrington Institute agents, they both wore the same uniform.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' is the epitome of palette swaps - not only are the classes identical save their team colour, at least three levels contain what are basically palette swapped bases, with changed materials and propaganda posters. Not only that, but the September 30, 2010 update allows players to paint their hats.
** Player-created maps are sometimes guilty of this as well. There are several variations of 2fort with the exactly same layout, but one is at nighttime, etc.
** Every Capture the Flag map is just two bases that are exactly the same except they're mirrored and palette-swapped, with a few paths in between that connect them.
** There was actually a contest to "dress up" a Valve-designed map that only had basic geometry. The winners of which were later used for the Mann Manor Halloween update.
** Several other maps also had Halloween versions.
** Referenced in the Developer's Commentary. They noted that, for balance's sake and outside of Attack/Defend maps, they had to make both the RED and BLU bases identical, as otherwise it would offer a tactical advantage to one team over another. To help players not get lost however, they had a strict set of materials, colors and styles they could use for each side; Red was wooden, red (obviously), and used sheet metal and hay. Blu, on the other hand, used concrete and industrial pressed metal, as well as having an overall blue tone. Red was also suppose to be more rustic while blu was more industrial design-wise.
* ''VideoGame/{{Turok}} 2: Seeds of Evil'' has a few of these; the Cave Worm is a giant version of the Swamp Worm, the Fireborn is a firey version of the Endtrail, the Blind One Sentinels are a palette swap of the Flesh Eater Sentinels, and the Trooper is a palette swap of the Mantid Soldier.
* ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'':
** Visually, this is the only difference between gun brands. Each manufacturer has a palette with a few variations.
--> Atlas: White with black contrasts.\\
Dahl: Military camo (shades of green, bluish-grey, or brown with dark brown).\\
Hyperion: Bright red or crimson, sometimes with grey details.\\
Jakobs: Reddish-orange or brown, like wood.\\
Maliwan: Blue of varying hues.\\
S&S: Yellow, sometimes faded orange with pale yellow contrasts.\\
Tediore: Light grey of slightly varying hues.\\
Torgue: Grey to jet, like raw iron and steel.\\
Vladof: Bright orange with steel-grey or white highlights.
** In a more general sense that goes beyond the first game, there are bright lines or accessories with colors that denote the element the weapon fires. Fire elemental guns have them in red, electric ones get them in vibrant blue, corrosives are green, explosives were yellow (before Torgue took the element for itself from ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'' and on), slag is purple, and ice is light blue.

[[folder:Four X]]
* The Sheredyn of ''Videogame/EndlessSpace'' were original a clone of the United Empire, albeit with [[BlingBlingBang gold/red/black ships]] rather than [[StandardHumanSpaceship gunmetal gray]], and were exclusive to the [[LimitedSpecialCollectorsUltimateEdition Emperor Edition]] of the game. Following the release of the ''Disharmony'' ExpansionPack, all owners of the base game were upgraded to the Emperor Edition, and the Sheredyn received a unique Affinity and bonuses separate (but similar) to the United Empire, though their ships remain as palette swap; justified, as they were formerly the EliteArmy of the Emperor.
* ''Videogame/EndlessLegend'' continues the tradition with the Mezari, exclusive to owners of the [[LimitedSpecialCollectorsUltimateEdition Founder Pack]] for an [[Videogame/DungeonOfTheEndless entirely different spinoff game]]. They have a unique leader in the diplomacy screen and alternate texture layouts for their units, but are otherwise identical to the Vaulters; not quite justified this time, as the Vaulters have lived on [[LostColony Auriga]] for centuries while the Mezari are the survivors of a recent starship crash.

* {{Roguelike}} games such as ''VideoGame/NetHack'' use standard ASCII characters in place of actual graphics, so using different colors is the only way to have a large number of distinguishable objects or creatures. Roguelikes can usually only support 16 colours due to graphics rendering limitations in early hardware, giving a potential maximum of 2040 unique enemy symbols.
** ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' is one of the few roguelikes to use [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows-1252 Windows-1252, sometimes known as "ANSI"]] instead, which has 255 characters to standard ASCII's 128. It keeps the 16-colour limit for tradition's sake, despite not technically being a roguelike under the hood.
** Roguelikes with tileset graphics can play this trope straight. As an example, ''Videogame/DoomTheRoguelike'' will face the player with "nightmare" demons, imps, cacodemons, arachnotrons and even arch-viles on higher difficulties and in deeper levels. The difference is not only their color being changed from whatever the original was to dark blue - these enemies are also faster and tougher, they deal a lot more damage, and worst of all, they make no sounds in a game where detection of out-of-sight-enemies by their signature sound is very helpful at least. To top this off, all four categories of former humans also get their elite (i.e. tougher, more damaging and quiet) versions, but since these elite versions differ only by a dark blue outline, they do not really fall under this trope.
* The Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, and the Super Game Boy (for the SNES) allowed users to palette-swap original Game Boy games entirely (at least the ones that weren't designed to take advantage of the color features of the devices).
* Some old games palette swap ''everything'' after each level to give the player a sense of progress. ''Desert Falcon'' for the Atari 2600 looped between about eight colors as enemies moved slightly faster, so even field below changed from yellow to green to pink. Even the NES version of ''VideoGame/{{Tetris}}'' does this as the game's level increases.
* In ''VisualNovel/BurlyMenAtSea'', the three Beard brothers are distinguished only by the different colours of their huge beards and co-ordinated boots.

[[folder:Hack And Slash]]
* The ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}'' series is infamous for this, frequently featuring the same enemy 3-5 times by recoloring and renaming it.

[[folder:Idle Game]]
* In ''VideoGame/CrushCrush'', [[spoiler:the Dark One]] looks like a {{goth}} reskin of Mio which she lampshades in her introduction cutscene by saying that her appearing almost identical to another game character is [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial most definitely]] not the game devs being lazy or making an in-joke.

[[folder:Maze Game]]
* One of the first games to use Palette Swaps was ''VideoGame/PacMan''. Also ColorCodedForYourConvenience as each a different way of chasing the player. [[note]] Namely: Blinky (the red ghost) actively chases you, Pinky (the pink one) tries to maneuver around you and then cut off your path in an ambush, Inky (the light blue one) takes an erratic pattern that involves both where Pac-Man is going to be and Blinky's location, and Clyde (the orange one) acts like Blinky but runs for the bottom-left area if he gets too close.[[/note]]
* Being the second game Luigi ever showed up in, ''VideoGame/WreckingCrew'' once again has him as a recolored Mario.

* ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' makes frequent use of Palette Swapping in uniformed enemy groups such as Arachnos, where different ranks (and sometimes entirely different classes!) of enemies share the same uniform with a modified color scheme. I.E. Psychic Fortunatas wear red versions of the normal Night and Blood Widow uniforms. Arbiters (who are the highest ranking members of Arachnos, said to be above even the four Archvillains in terms of authority) wear shiny versions of the [[FacelessGoons Wolf Spider]] uniform.\\
Also interestingly enough, a player using the Mission Architect can actually palette swap preexisting enemies! Even [=AVs=]! And, of course, due to the game's customization system, the vast majority of models use one of three basic animation sets anyway.
* ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriorsOnline''. Given that all mooks on different sides are simply palette swaps of each other, but the custom outfits can also be. You can individually "dye" each item so that they change color, There are three different dyes that give you a unique color for each one. the Weapons also change color when you add an innate element to it. They will take on a basic color for the element, but other colors on more complex looking weapons will change to fit the theme of the main color (like gold might change to silver). You have ice (blue and silver), fire (red and gold), wind (green and silver), Lightning (yellow and bronze), vorpal (purple and bronze).
* Faction ship models in ''VideoGame/EVEOnline'' are their base ships with different color schemes. This is true of their pirate counterparts as well.
* ''[[Website/GaiaOnline zOMG!]]'' is a prime offender.
** Most fluffs are recolors and/or upscales of one another with minor details changed.
** Kat's Kokeshi Doll and the Kokeshi Collectibles are palette swaps of normal Kokeshi Dolls.
** Gift Boxes from the 2008 Christmas event were Christmas-themed recolors of Flying Giftboxes.
** Lightning Bugs, Shockroaches, and Deathroaches share the same base model.
** Landstriders are green and black versions of the Walker.
** Outlaw Wolves are green Outlaw Pups.
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline'' plays this straight for their non-unique weapons. All basic weapons only differentiate in color and name to denote how powerful they are (from weakest to strongest, the colors are green, blue, purple, red, and yellow.)
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarUniverse'' takes this a step further. In addition to non-unique weapons differentiating in color, both non-unique and rare weapons have a bland-looking "Kubara" version that usually has worse stats, but offers larger grind bonuses.
* ''VideoGame/RuneScape Classic'' used this trope: the game environment was 3d but the enemies were 2D sprites, so enemies such as "thief" "man" and "farmer" were often simply palette swaps of one another. Also, the customizable player character models could be considered this as well.
* ''VideoGame/SDGundamCapsuleFighter'' has the "-U" rank units, "User-Created" special units from the Korea server who color certain units (all but one being a C-Rank) and are granted different skills and stats, usually having the skills make up for the weaker stats.
* The first ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' expansion, ''The Burning Crusade'', introduced armor sets that used the same models as Vanilla [=WoW=]'s Tier 2 raid armor sets. For example, here's [[http://www.wowhead.com/transmog-set=598 Vestments of Transcendence]], the priest set, and [[http://www.wowhead.com/transmog-set=396 here's an assortment of cloth armor pieces]] from TBC dungeons.
** There are thousands of different types of "mobs" (monsters) a player can encounter, but only a couple hundred different animated models. Most of the variety comes from putting differently-colored skins on the same model. For example, the grizzly bears in Elwynn Forest or Dun Morogh use the same models as the polar bears in Icecrown and the disease-raveged bears in the Western Plaguelands, and the same animations. They just use different-colored skins and, in some cases, enlarge or shrink the base model.
** Mounts are this way. For instance there are several drake mounts obtainable in ''Wrath of the Lich King'', however the all use the same drake model with different colors or patterns - from the free bronze drake you get from "Culling of Stratholme" heroic to the black drake you get from finishing Sartharian with three drakes up.

[[folder:Platform Game]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Blinx}}: The Time Sweeper'' does this with at least two pairs of bosses. In one, the first monster is yellow; later, you face an identical red counterpart.
* Averted by the main characters in the arcade versions of ''VideoGame/{{Contra}}'' and ''VideoGame/SuperC'', which used different sprites for Bill and Lance (Bill wore a white tank top, while Lance was shirtless). Due to hardware limitations of the NES, their versions of both games used the same sprite for Bill and Lance, changing only the color of their pants, making Bill the "blue guy" and Lance the "red guy". Oddly enough, ''VideoGame/ContraIIITheAlienWars'' for the SNES followed this convention as well. In ''Super C'' and ''Contra III'', the red colored enemy soldiers are usually the ones who actually shoot their guns. Also, the four main characters in ''Contra 4'' (Bill and Lance, and their "counterparts", Mad Dog and Scorpion) are all palette swaps of the same sprite, with no real playing differences between them. This was due to a 4-Players Mode that was DummiedOut from the final version of the game. The extra characters (Probotector, Sheena, Lucia, Jimbo/Sully) all happen to have four selectable color palettes each as well.
* Played for laughs in ''VideoGame/DistortedTravesty'', with the Sentinel and the [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Palette Swap Sentinel]], the latter of which is slightly tougher. Jerry and Jeremy declare their opinions about how cheap and uncreative this is.
* ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry''
** {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d by Cranky Kong in the UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance version of ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry1'', after a boss battle with "Really Gnawty", a recolored version of the first boss, "Very Gnawty", which is itself a [[KingMook big version]] of a [[TheGoomba normal enemy]] called "Gnawty". The quote at the top of the page appears after defeating Master Necky Sr., a palette swap of Master Necky Jr.
** In the SNES version of ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry3DixieKongsDoubleTrouble'', there was a hidden code to give Kiddy and Dixie Kong different colored clothing. It didn't affect the game, but the alternate colors looked cooler than the regular colors.
** ''Donkey Kong Country 3'' also had Koindozers, which were similar to Klobbers from the second game, but were a palette swap of Koin (a Kremling that used a DK Coin as a shield). The rest of ''Donkey Kong Country'' follows suit with different coloured Kremlings and [[EverythingTryingToKillYou other mooks]], this gives away whether or not some are DemonicSpiders (the grey Klobbers that rob you of lives) or InvincibleMinorMinion[=s=] (Red Zingers and NighInvulnerable Green Zingers). Red Zingers could only be killed with [[GameBreaker Squitter]]'s webs (unreliable because Squitter is only in a few levels), while Green Zingers could be killed with barrels as well.
* This is used heavily in the UsefulNotes/TurboGrafx16 game ''VideoGame/DragonsCurse'', where eventually you will run into three colors--red, green, and blue--of ''every enemy in the game''.
* ''VideoGame/KidIcarus'' both does and doesn't rely on this trope. The first game had multiple sprites for several monsters that otherwise varied only numerically. Given the wildly different descriptions in the game manual, it can be quite a disappointment to realize that you've just run into yet another version of Monoeye. Some of these enemies ''also'' come in palette swaps, with three sprites for Kobil, each in two colors, for a total of ''six''.
* The two teams in ''VideoGame/KillerQueen'' consist of the same sprites with gold or blue color schemes. Four of the characters on each team also look identical to each other except for the patterns on their shirts.
* In ''VideoGame/KirbyAndTheAmazingMirror'', you get three palette-swapped helpers and the ability to change your color. You can change colors in ''VideoGame/KirbySqueakSquad'' as well. Many of Kirby's hats for his copy abilities are palette swaps of each other, including bandannas, backwards baseball caps, and crowns.
* ''VideoGame/KirbySuperStar'' uses different palettes for the Helpers and their enemy counterparts (with the exception of Wheelie). Of note is that the Helpers' colors are in fact their standard palettes as {{Mook}}s in ''other'' Kirby games. ''Milky Way Wishes'' adds a third palette to most (all?) enemies, and the ''Helper to Hero'' mode in ''Kirby Super Star [[VideoGameRemake Ultra]]'' adds a ''fourth'' to their playable versions. Several of the bosses reappear under different palettes, as well, though they aren't acknowledged as different bosses.
* VideoGame/MegaMan's [[PowerCopying Variable Weapon System]] allows him to adopt enemies' powers along with a new color scheme.
* Several of the ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' games have enemies who are palette swaps of each other, though ''Videogame/SuperMetroid'' mixes it up by making some common enemies larger instead.
** In the original ''Videogame/{{Metroid|1}}'' on the NES, the Varia Suit is just an orange recolor of the Power Suit, without the shoulder pads introduced in the (monochrome) ''Videogame/MetroidIIReturnOfSamus''.
** The ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimeTrilogy'' uses this fairly often. For example, the Phaz-Ing in ''Videgame/MetroidPrime3Corruption'' are reskins of the Inglets in ''Videogame/MetroidPrime2Echoes'', the Mechlopses in ''Echoes'' are reskins of the Triclopses in ''Videogame/MetroidPrime'', ''Echoes'' uses reskins to create "Dark" versions of many enemies, and so on. In a somewhat odd aversion, the Bombus from ''Prime'' were reused as Luminoth drones in ''Echoes'' with no changes to appearance and only the most minor alterations to activity. Even the weapons get this; the Ice Beam and Plasma Beam in ''Prime'' show up in ''Echoes'' slightly reskinned as the Dark Beam and Light Beam, respectively. The scan for the Metroids in ''Echoes'' even mentions that they're vulnerable to the "freezing effects" of the Dark Beam.
* ''VideoGame/MickeyMousecapade'' has a seasonal-themed level where you walk through the woods in all four seasons, with only color changes to represent the seasons. Purple leaves for the trees in spring, green leaves for summer, brown leaves for fall, and white leaves along with white "grass" and "ice" replacing the path for winter.
* In ''Mystic Defender'', Round 6 recycles the background tiles from Round 3, recolored green this time.
* ''VideoGame/{{Purple}}'' reuses enemy sprites with different colours and [[UndergroundMonkey gives them different behaviour]].
* [[VideoGame/{{Rayman1995}} The very first Rayman game]] had the very first boss and second/third (depending on player's choice) one being palette swaps of each other - originally. However later editions of the game infamously removed the palette change partially or completely, leading many players to believe they were fighting the same character again - which absolutely did not make any sense in context.
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog''
** The character running sprite from the ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2'' Special Stage is the same no matter if you're playing as Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles when locked-on to ''[[VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles Sonic and Knuckles]]''. Only the head (and Tails' titular appendages) are changed - the body is palette swapped.
** ''VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles'' has the Egg-robo, a palette swap of Dr. Robotnik for Knuckles's story. The head and the hands are changed, but the body and animations remain the same. However, due to an oversight from the developers, Dr. Robotnik's sprite in the 2nd act of Flying Battery Zone remains unchanged due to it being a unique sprite instead of being the usual sprite used in every Robotnik fight.
** The Shadow Androids from the Multiplayer Mode of ''Videogame/ShadowTheHedgehog'' are palette swaps of one another. There's a gold-striped Shadow that's a palette swap of the regular Shadow, and the "Metal Shadow" models are also palette swaps.
** Mephiles from ''Videogame/SonicTheHedgehog2006'' is a demonic creature that has taken the likeness of Shadow. The only difference between them is that - unlike Shadow - Mephiles lacks a mouth and while Shadow has red stripes and cufflinks, Mephiles has green-ish grey ones.
* ''Spyro The Dragon'' provides a 3D example. About midway through the game, Spyro encounters wizard enemies that [[ShockAndAwe shoot lightning bolts]] and wear green robes. Later on in the game, he encounters the same exact enemy model, except these wizards have blue robes and the additional ability to [[AnimatedArmor animate suits of armor.]] Also shows up in ''VideoGame/SpyroAHerosTail'' with Ember and Flame who use the same basic model of Spyro but slightly changed and when you unlock them as costumes no new voice clips for Ember the girl.
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'':
** In ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1'', Red Koopa Troopas are smart enough to turn around when they come to a ledge, while Green ones walk right off, even into a {{Bottomless Pit|s}}. Water and lava used the same sprite with different colors. It wasn't until the All-Stars port that gave water and lava their unique sprites. [[http://www.11points.com/Games/11_Obscure_Super_Mario_Trivia_Facts_Uncovered_Decades_Later_by_the_Internet This article]] reveals that the clouds and bushes are actually the same graphic sprite. Fire Mario is a palette swap, and star power switches through palettes rapidly. Mario's brother [[DivergentCharacterEvolution Luigi]] also began life as no more than a palette swap, but he later evolved into the taller, thinner look that he is known for when the Japanese game ''Doki Doki Panic'' was ported to the west as ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2''. This differentiation between Mario and Luigi has stuck ever since, as did the alteration of their shirt and overall colours (switching in [=SMB2=] from red/green overalls and blue shirts to the more natural blue overalls and red/green shirts). This was parodied in ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'': Mario could change his shirt and hat color to green by wearing the L Emblem badge. Despite this being the only change, the ''president of the Luigi Fan Club'' (and no one else[[note]]except for Pennington, but he mixes them up even when Mario is wearing red...[[/note]]) can be fooled when Mario uses this badge. In fact, this is how you solve one of the troubles.
** In ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBrosTheLostLevels'', the Poison Mushroom is black with brown stains, almost an inverse to the normal mushroom (brown with red stains). it gained a more distinct appearance in later versions of the game to make the game slightly less [[NintendoHard frustrating]].
** In ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2'', there are actually two colors of Shy Guy, although the two colors are closer. The difference is exactly the same: Shy Guys in pink turn around when they hit edges; Shy Guys in red walk right off. The three kinds of Birdo have more strikingly different colors, and they indicate what they spit: eggs only, fireballs only, or both. Snifits come in even more colors with a wider variety of behavior, from walking off of cliffs to turning back to spontaneously changing directions to jumping and firing more rapidly. Also, the flicker of damaged enemies or things about to explode changes based on what character you're using. This is because all sprites on an NES screen[[note]]Actually, on a horizontal line, but [=SMB2=] can't actually take advantage of that since the throwing things play mechanic means sprites could end up ANYWHERE.[[/note]] can only make use of one of four sets of three colours (chosen from a palette of 53). In most games, the player character gets one of these sets, and in [=SMB2=], each player character uses a unique colour set. But since you don't want enemies changing colour based on which character you're playing, that only leaves 3 sets left for every single other sprite, which includes vegetables and anything else that has to move around the screen.[[note]]Though note that it's moving around the screen that matters here: tiles -- the other type of object used in NES games -- get their own four colour sets, and can be animated by flicking through a series of tiles, but they have to fit into the grid, and the NES can only have a limited number of tiles ready to use at the same time.[[/note]] You can't change the colour scheme assigned to the enemy without changing all other enemies and whatnots using that colour choice, but you can switch that particular enemy's sprite to one of the other colour sets, and the player character's colour set is about the only one that's at all predictable.[[note]]By the way, this restriction actually determines what vegetables are used in a level. The new vegetables seen in the battle against Wart use his (or his bubbles') colour scheme, for example.[[/note]]
** ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' has different colors of Shy Guys seemingly just for variety; however, most color changes in enemies do indicate an increase in difficulty. Red and Blue Goomba, the minibosses for the Prologue, have slightly different HP, for example.
** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'' has brown Paragoombas that hop along the ground, and tan Paragoombas that actually fly around, dropping Mugger Micro-Goombas. Gold Cheep-Cheeps and green Parabeetles were among the DummiedOut enemies.
** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'' expands on this by having ''four'' colors of Koopa. The original two colors retain their behaviors, while Blue and Yellow are a little different. Take note that a Koopa wears shoes that correspond to their shell color, which can change if a Koopa enters a different colored shell. Additionally, while Yoshi has a shell in his mouth that is a different color than green, he gains a certain power. We also see different colored Yoshis right off the bat. Yoshis other than green ones add the corresponding shell color's power as long as they have shells in their mouths, so you could actually have two at once. There's also a Koopa climbing into a Yellow Shell that would become a color-flashing and resilient Koopa that relentlessly chases you down, and a Koopa stomped out of a Blue Shell would become a shell-kicker. The caped, flying Koopas are from red, green, and blue shells.
* In ''VideoGame/ThetaVsPi7'' this is pretty much the whole idea of the Delta Guards. One attacks you then as soon as it's defeated a new one comes out in a different colur.
* {{Toys/amiibo}} support in ''VideoGame/YoshisWoollyWorld'' allows you to play as a Yoshi texture-swapped to look like that character. Characters such as [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]], [[VideoGame/EarthBound Ness]] and {{Franchise/Sonic|TheHedgehog}} are supported. The {{Franchise/Pokemon}} amiibo, though, just give you a Yoshi with an amiibo logo. (Blame The Pokémon Company for that one, they are really restrictive on the usage of the IP outside of ''Smash Bros.'')
* Name-dropped in ''VideoGame/Gamer2'', when Kevin enters the game as Player 2. Hailey asks why he looks like a blue-furred version of herself, and he laments that such a feature is hard-coded into the machine.

* Some lower level monsters in ''VideoGame/ElementalStory'' are just recolors with slightly different designs.

* ''VideoGame/ForzaMotorsport'' uses a bit of this with its cars; some manufacturers have what is essentially two cars that are exactly the same sold under different brands. The standard Acura NSX and Honda NSX are prime examples, being identical except for the badges, default colors, and which side the steering wheel is mounted on. Purpose built racing cars by the same manufacturer hit this as well, as many of them are based on the same car, with the same internals, but with the livery and maybe the default tuning setup (such as suspension height) changed; once the player adds his own livery, the difference between them is almost nonexistent. Some cars also have performance versions, which are generally the same thing but with slightly different bodywork and some more power (such as the standard Lamborghini Murciélago and the Murciélago LP640).
* ''VideoGame/GranTurismo 5'':
** Famous for having around 40 versions of the [[CoolCar Nissan GT-R]] / Skyline, though many are separate generations (and thus, have different bodywork and internals).
** Played straight at the Vauxhall and Opel car list. ''They have the same car list, the difference being the brand.'' The reason is that ''VideoGame/GranTurismo 5'' ownard, all region-exclusive cars are in every region game.
* If the player preorders the Zelda/Animal Crossing DLC for ''VideoGame/MarioKart8'' they get access to all the Yoshi ''and'' Shy Guy color variations.

[[folder:Real Time Strategy]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Pikmin}}'' does this with the Bulborb subespecies. There's red, white, black (Bulbear), orange and white.
* ''VideoGame/{{Sacrifice}}'' has five sides with 9 unique units each. A few of these 'unique' units are palette swaps. [[AllThereInTheManual The manual explains all of them]]: Some are the same creatures that defected to the other side, and were granted different powers by their new god. Or were killed by [[CardCarryingVillain Charnel]] and raised as TheUndead.
* ''Franchise/StarWars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption'' example: Grand Admiral Thrawn's flagship, the ''Admonitor'', is a blue version of the ''Accuser'', Captain Piett's ship from the original ''Empire at War'', but with a different special (all Star Destroyers have a tractor beam special).
* ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' franchise does this a lot.
** ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' is notorious for reusing character models and animations. Although it's understandable why a polar bear would share the same model as a grizzly bear, it's slightly jarring when you encounter a boss like Murmur who is clearly a copy of Ragnaros with only minor changes. Even in the {{RTS}} games, some units share the same model as another one. Like how a tinted Acolyte model was used for a "Fallen Priest" and "Heretic" in the Orc campaign for ''Reign of Chaos''. But some are more subtle like how Harpies use a modified Gargoyle model.
** If you lacked 3D rendering skills, this was what you were reduced to doing for custom maps with custom creeps in Warcraft 3's World Editor. The game itself gave you some flexiblity in changing their sizes and tinting them different colors, but apart from that you had to work with what was shipped.
* A common example of palette swaps in RealTimeStrategy games is the [[ColorCodedForYourConvenience team color]] of units.
** In ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer: Tiberian Sun'' and ''Red Alert 2'', the 3D models of each units used a palette with some "remap" colors, which were assigned to the team colors. The rest of the palette didn't change. In fact, the entire franchise does that, and the first two games had unit sprites in common: The first two games made no attempt at a distinction between the basic infantry and some of the buildings. This even carried over games, as the Soviets had the same tanks and infantry as GDI, except they were red as opposed to yellow. The Allies and Nod had some tiny variations, since they changed the sizes of some of the tanks to differentiate them, but otherwise the Allies was a palette swap of Nod.
** This eventually carried over to ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerGenerals'' and the later 3D games, which had proper 3D models for everything as well as every faction having a completely unique military, by virtue of keeping the "house color" visible as stripes, blocks or other parts on the units and structures to some degree to tell the various players apart even if they play the same faction, but most of the skin of any given object would remain the same. Using changed skins for units with the otherwise same model is popular with {{Game Mod}}s, however.
** In the ''VideoGame/StarCraftI'' campaign, special units were often assigned a different team color so the player could tell them apart from their normal counterparts. Only Kerrigan in her Zerg form had a completely unique character model.
** Incidentally, the way this was done (put the "hero" unit on another team and set that team/unit to "rescuable" status, meaning that you gain control of it when you get close enough to it, then put it right next to your starting units) also led to the unit's appearance being accompanied by a short audio jingle, as if to say, "[[HeroMustSurvive I'm important, so don't go getting me killed, kthx]]".
** ''VideoGame/StarCraftII'' averts this with differently modeled sprites for heroes and mercenary units. In the Protoss mini-campaign in ''Wings of Liberty'', enemy protoss were given a rare full model palette swap of Dark Grey/Black and Green. In ''Heart of the Swarm'', the developers got a little lazy as certain NPC units in wildly varying contexts were given similar, if not nearly identical, sprite models. ''Legacy of the Void'' merges palette swap and model change in several cases, particularly the army building component.
* ''VideoGame/TotalWar'' has many of its factions having the same units, but with different aesthetics and availabilities. In the ''[[VideoGame/RomeTotalWar Rome]]'' [[VideoGame/TotalWarRomeII games]], the Romans have a wide range of infantry units, but have a few average cavalry. Nomadic factions have many types cavalry units but only a few melee and missile units. The Greek factions possess formidable spear men, but have very little cavalry.
* In ''VideoGame/RomeTotalWar'', the Lombardi and Burgundi factions are otherwise identical Palette Swaps of each over in every way possible. The same holds true for Sarmatian and Roxolani units, being colourcoded yellow and blue, respectively.

[[folder:Rhythm Game]]
* ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution'' character dancer's outfits are palette swaps of each other. In Hottest Party 1, and each new character introduced in Hottest Party 2-3, gets 1 outfit in four colors: http://www.konami.jp/bemani/ddr/jp/gs/hp/basic/chara.html#
* Most characters in ''VideoGame/PopNMusic'' have palette swaps that can be selected by pressing a yellow button on the character select screen. Sometimes the character's palette-swapped form takes on a different name (i.e. [[VideoGame/{{Gradius}} Vic Viper's]] swap is called Lord British), and sometimes you'll get a different character altogether.

[[folder:Role Playing Game]]
* ''VideoGame/AtelierSophieTheAlchemistOfTheMysteriousBook:''
** Minor [=NPCs=] in the town -- a few models with different coloured clothes.
** Used a lot for monsters. The different colours do not represent different strengths though: for example the weakest Puni is blue, the weakest Ghost is white (with a blue hat), and the weakest Beast is brown and black.
* ''[[Literature/BraveStory Brave Story: New Traveler]]'' not only plays this straight, but takes it a step further by having palette swaps within the ''same species'' of monster. Taken to a ridiculous extreme when one particular event has you fight two sets of triplets; three CatGirl sisters and three LizardFolk brothers. Each of the siblings look exactly the same, with the colors of their hair/skin being the only difference.
* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' was brutally honest about its use of palette swapped enemies. The imps that you fight early in the game are named "Blue Imp" and "Green Imp" respectively, and the bestiary in the DS version differentiate between the two versions of the "Hench" monster by designating them (Blue) and (Purple). Other palette swapped enemies are given unique names, however.
* ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'', unlike Chrono Trigger, had a wide variety of diverse enemies with little palette swaps, mostly the human soldier grunts were recolors and dwarf enemies having different names.
* ''VideoGame/CthulhuSavesTheWorld'' switches palettes on several early goons to be used again later. The trope is called out sarcastically in one monster's description, "Definitely not just a palette swap.".
* Most wizard enemies in ''Dink Smallwood'' mods are darker recolors of Martridge, the wizard from the original game. Occasionally one of the other characters or monsters gets color-swapped, such as the ice-blue pillbugs in ''Dink Smallwood's Christmas''.
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'': The [[MookMedic Healslime family]] are palette swaps of the Man o' War jellyfish, despite having no abilities in common.
* The Uderfrykte Matron in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'' is just an extra-strong troll with a blurry shader applied to it.
* In the ''VideoGame/EtrianOdyssey'' series, palette swaps of regular enemies are common, and each succesive version that appears is more difficult to defeat than the previous one(s). The fourth game has a notable example with the Lion: While all of them are asleep by the first turn, the attack power of each new version is higher; and by the time you meet the ''Red'' Lion in the BonusDungeon, expect to deal with an attack so strong (Biting Flurry) that will likely instantly kill many or all of your party members if their defense isn't high enough.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' series uses palette swaps for certain subtypes of non-human creatures, as well as giving some the UndergroundMonkey treatment with different models and abilities.
* The ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' games feature a lot of these, including {{Underground Monkey}}s. Perhaps the most noticeable example is ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'''s Monster Arena, where all the bonus monsters are simply previous enemies and bosses colored differently (save for Neslug).
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' is just about the only game that does not use palette swaps in copious quantities, and even that game has Ultima/Omega Weapon and Elnoyle/Elvoret as swaps. This is justified in that [[spoiler:Elvoret was an Elnoyle residing the tower and Omega was Ultima reincarnated by Ultimecia.]]
** ''[=FFVIII=]'' was the only game not to actually need this because the monsters leveled up with you. The other games had to make palette swaps from necessity.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' had just about as little of it as possible too. The only palette monsters are the friendly monsters, the black waltzes and the crystal versions of the four chaos bosses. Mind you, while the -enemies- were almost all unique, the [=NPCs=] could be another story (though they too were often more varied than expected).
** Alongside the aforementioned example, ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' had an extremely odd example. The ([[GiantSpaceFleaOutOfNowhere unusually strange and unsettling]]) enemy Mimic uses a somewhat unique 'floating debris' model, but the real kicker is that instead of reusing previous enemy palettes/textures, they reuse their ''animation'', giving the floating pile of rubble a 'body' used by a random fiend (or machina).
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'' at least tries some mild deviation, by making its palette swapped baddies progressively ''bigger.'' Although the game still suffered this trope for a few enemies, ''including the FinalBoss''; the final boss is basically a copy of the main character from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' in different clothes and uses the exact same battle animations, right down to his critical HP and KO animations! [[TropesAreNotBad This fact is what kickstarts the entire plot]].
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' still uses Palette Swaps, but rely on them a lot less than the past games did. For example, dragons and wolves will still come in different colors, but will also have other features added to make them different from their weaker counterparts, such as spikes on the skull, sport flaming eyes, being larger than the previous monsters, etc. However, the animations are still recycled for all monsters that are in the same family tree. There are mentions of migration and evolution of creatures occasionally in the lore, though, which explains a good few examples... but not why the wolves' basic attack is an uppercut performed with their snouts[[note]]since they use the same animations as the Hyenas, which have a sharp horn on their muzzles that the wolves lack[[/note]].
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' has similar explanations for why monsters of the same family had such bizarre separations across environments. On the other hand, FFXI barely even uses palette swaps; including many 'Bosses' (rare monsters referred to as NM, although mostly not storyline related) using the same sprites as the regular mobs that surround them (although occasionally with an inflated size). This was particularly bad where, for quite awhile after they were introduced, five of ''the most powerful monsters in the game'' (at the time of their release) used the same models as far more mundane creatures. They've since been reskinned, but still use the same base models.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIIRevenantWings'', all the regular summons (bar the ones like Levianthan, Ifrit, and so on), are palette swaps of each other, so that like the above example the player can tell them apart.
** ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' works this into the plot by having most of the enemies be Manikins, which are player character models with a coloured crystal texture all over and GlowingEyes. Most of Cloud's animations are also recycled from Zack's in ''VideoGame/CrisisCore'', which was developed just a little earlier - although this is {{Justified}} due to Cloud's powers being copied from Zack.
* The vast majority of enemies in ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' have [[RuleOfThree three]] recolors throughout the game. The few that don't generally have a DummiedOut third color. Even about half of the bosses are derived from this.
* In ''VideoGame/JadeCocoon 2'', some Divine Beasts come in multiple elemental varieties. For example, Mau Divine Beasts come in Fire, Wind and Earth varieties, each with their own stats and attacks, but not Water because it is the opposite to the Mau family's main element, Fire.
* The standard editions of the ''KingdomHearts'' games mostly avoid this (surprising for a Creator/SquareEnix game), only using palette swaps to denote the [[ElementalPowers elemental affinity]] of the mage-type [[{{Mooks}} Heartless]]; however, the Final Mix editions of both games use palette swaps in interesting ways. First of all, nearly all of the standard {{Mooks}} in the Final Mix games have had their colors changed from the original game's colors--for example, the first game's purple and pink Wyverns became blue and gold in the original Final Mix, and the second game's blue Hook Bats became red in Final Mix+. Some enemies, such as the black Shadows, remained the same in all editions, and though there was a rumor that the palette-swapped standard enemies had their stats tweaked, they really are the same enemies. The Final Mix editions of the game also included extra monsters; of these, many of them are palette swaps of standard enemies with slight changes in the mesh, high stats, and a host of annoying special abilities.
** This isn't the case in ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2 358/2 Days]]''. Most of the bosses are larger palette swaps of average heartless you fight normally, with a few other minor aesthetic alterations. Also, some of the Keyblades are palette swaps of each other, and when [[spoiler:you equip the Zero Gear, the Kingdom Key+ is just the Kingdom Key with higher stats]]. Though this could be justified considering this is a DS game and they focused on putting the good stuff in other areas. Which they did pretty well.
** Also from ''Days'': [[spoiler:Xion]] is a palette swap of Roxas [[spoiler:minus the dual-wielding]].
** The dream eaters in ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3D'' are perhaps the most notable examples of this in the series, with the friendly Spirits having bright colors, the Nightmares having dark colors, and the rare Nightmares using a blueish-white as their primary body color instead of whatever the normal versions used. The only differences they possess aside from color are the shapes of their eyes; the Nightmares all possess circular red eyes, whereas the Spirits have four different shapes per variety that change based on their disposition.
* VideoGame/KingdomOfParadise's field enemies consist merely of differently-colored versions of a few models (archer, swordsman, golem). The color of the uniform lets the player know which clan they're from.
* All drell characters in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' look exactly identical save for skin colour. Multiplayer characters in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' are palette swaps of various ''Main/{{Mooks}}'' and player's armor suits. This is also true for the case of the Earth DLC's N7 kits as only players who are very familiar with various armor sets are likely to recognize that: The Fury is Kasumi with a metal mask; The Destroyer's skin is based on the Terminus armor; The Demolisher has reskinned Cerberus Ajax armor; The Paladin has Inferno armor; The Shadow has a skin similar to a Phantom; and The Slayer is Kai Leng with an Alliance fighter pilot's helmet.
* The pre-"Extended Cut" ending to ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' was a rather infamous example of this. While there were some minor differences between each of the MultipleEndings, the difference between the vast majority of the footage was [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPelM2hwhJA a matter of the color of the particle effects]].
* ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' uses this a lot - while there are numerous viruses over the six games, each has three to six different palette swaps, e.g. Mettaur, Mettaur2, Mettaur3, and [=MettaurOmega=], just to name one set. Third-level and Omega viruses often have slightly changed attacks, but for the most part, the only difference is increased HP, speed, and damage output.
** The Omega versions of the bosses in the fourth game also receive a palette swap, perhaps to help indicate that they're on a completely different level from the previous versions strength wise.
** The same is true of ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce''. Met viruses, for example go yellow -> red -> blue, with their health, damage, and the speed at which their attacks move increasing; the later ones are also more likely to retreat into their helmets. ''Star Force 2'' also has different colours of Mu wave soldier, denoting elemental alignment rather than power.
* ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'' uses Palette Swaps to differentiate standard wyverns from their Subspecies upgrades. For example, a low level Rathalos is Red, a medium powered one is Azure (dark blue), and a high level one is Silver. While many of the Subspecies that debuted in the first generation are simply harder versions of their original versions, over the course of the years the series has added Subspecies that are more unique and easily distinguishable: Their elemental attacks may be different, their attacks may be the same but done in different patterns or ways, and they may be found in very different habitats from those of the main species. There are also Variants (regular monsters that are going under abnormal conditions) and Deviants (monsters that have mutated into more aggresive versions), which are present as palette swaps as well.
* ''VideoGame/MOTHER1'' did this, but had the decency to occasionally add subtle changes to their swapped sprites (a dog-collar on the wolf sprite to make a 'stray dog', rust marks on the robot sprite to make the 'scrapper'...)
* ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' parodied this by giving the palette swaps goofy names.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Persona}}'' games make use of this. All enemies in ''[[VideoGame/{{Persona 3}} 3]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/{{Persona 4}} 4]]'', even bosses, save for the plot related ones, are palette swaps of their base-type.
* The various ''VideoGame/PhantasyStar'' games have used this. The first Phantasy Star had one notable (for an ancient 8-bit game) detail: the [[DemBones skeleton-type]] enemies had a different shield design for all three of their swaps.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'':
** The series generally avoids doing this too much with their own {{Mons}}. That being said, a few species like [[WonderTwinPowers Plusle and Minun]] are purposely designed to look very similar to each other. Later species may have differences between individuals of the same species. These can vary from being purely cosmetic (such as male and female Hippopotas or East Sea and West Sea Shellos) to working differently in battle (Meowstic's moveset varies between the male and the female and Gourgiest's various sizes differ in base stats).
** [[BrokenBase Backlash ensued]] when in [[VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite Gen V]], the Kami trio turned out to mostly be this. (There are some minor differences, such as the number of horns and the shape of their tails). It's alleviated a bit in Black and White 2, however, as the Kami trio are all given alternate "beast" forms that are ''very'' different from each other (being a bird, a dragon and a tiger, respectively).
** However, the most popular examples of palette swaps in the series are shiny Pokemon, an extremely rare variant from the Pokemon's normal colors. The colors themselves range from being only slightly lighter or slightly darker then the original, to very dramatic examples, but due to the fact that they're incredibly rare (roughly a 1 in 8192 chance without modifications, 1 in 4096 in X and Y and onward...), they're highly prized by collectors. Even so, they're functionally no different then regularly colored Pokemon. Can also function as Metal Slimes if the shiny is one that gives tons of EXP when caught or killed, such as Audino or Chansey.
* The ''Franchise/ShiningSeries'':
** The various enemies in ''VideoGame/ShiningInTheDarkness''.
** ''Videogame/ShiningTheHolyArk'' was really bad with this, to the point where simliar looking enemies would reappear in the dungeon after the next. It was probably because they were all heavily animated (for the time) so the game couldn't physically have as many enemies.
** ''VideoGame/ShiningWisdom'' is split into two areas, east and west. Most of the enemies in the east (the latter part of the game) are just the same enemies with a different colour scheme and new attacks.
* The earlier ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'' games loved to do this. The most notorious example? The three seraphs' sprite when they are in your party is the same as the archangel's: the second demon of the "divine" clan.
* ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIV'' does this with the four DLC demons that you don't fight. Asterius is based on the Minotaur, Oread is based on Napaea, Plasma is based on Chemtrail, and Aeshma is based on Asmodeus. These are actually pretty clever examples - each of these pairs are connected in some way. For example, Plasma and Chemtrail are both demons based off of deadly conspiracy theories that put humans at fault while Asterius is an alternate name for the Minotaur.
* ''VideoGame/SkiesOfArcadia'' mostly averted this, save for a few types of enemies that reappear. However, it's played straight with the [[KillerRabbit Looper]] enemies - as Arcadia has [[WeirdMoon six colored moons]], a different colored Looper is founds depending on what region you're in[[note]]They are:red Loopers in Nasr, green Loopers in Ixa'taka, blue Loopers in Yafutoma, purple Loopers in the Lands of Ice, yellow Loopers in Valua, and white/silver Loopers in the mostly empty region under the Silver Moon[[/note]]. There is also a far-reaching area in the world where you can find all six varieties of Looper, in addition to a [[GiantMook giant orange Looper]] that you must fight with your ship. Finally, a BonusBoss, Elcian, is a black Looper that is found in the Dark Rift.
* ''VideoGame/SweetHome'' has several enemies with more powerful recolours in later portions of the game. (Wisp and Bane, Hound and Wolf, etc.) One interesting variation is Ghoul, in which the more powerful version is not only slightly redrawn (Missing an arm) but is also flipped upside down. (Indicating that it's dropping down/hanging from the ceiling.)
* ''VideoGame/SwordOfVermilion'' was a heavy offender from the 16-bit era. All the common enemies came in six different colors (in [[SortingAlgorithmOfEvil order of ascending power]]: green, blue, red, black, silver, gold). Also, only the FinalBoss was truly unique, all other [[BossBattle bosses]] were palette swaps of four different models (dragon, giant, fire demon and necromancer).
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfLegendia'' is a big offender. The same twelve enemies appear constantly throughout the game, sometimes twice in the same dungeon, with only their palettes swapped out. This gets ridiculous within the first ten hours of the game, but in a seventy hour game, it begins to feel incredibly monotonous.
* ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' does this with the Noise. There are sometimes cosmetic differences between the various versions of each Noise species, and the boss versions of a few of the more powerful versions often have tattoos all over their bodies in addition to more threatening characteristics (bigger horns/tusks), but overall most Noise are palette swaps of about fifteen or sixteen different species. [[spoiler:Unlike all of the other bosses, who except for the two bat bosses and boss versions of normal Noise all have unique sprites, the BonusBoss Panthera Cantus is a palette swap as well, of two of the bosses, one on each screen.]]
* ''VideoGame/The7thSaga'' has the BountyHunter Pison, who, after begin defeated the first time, shows up unexpectedly later in the quest and proudly announces that he is now ''Red''-Pison. Turns out to be ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, and you immediately fight a stronger version of the original enemy, now palette-swapped to red. He even does this ''again'' even later on, becoming Metal-Pison and getting a gunmetal gray recolor.
* In ''VideoGame/DotHackGU'':
** Atoli and Shino are palette swaps. Of course, this is easier to understand when you remember that this takes place in an MMORPG; that, and the fact that they look the same is a major plot point. Also, all the [=NPCs=] running around "The World" consist of palette swaps.
** A number of characters from Anime/DotHackSign and the [[VideoGame/DotHackR1Games first [=PS2=] game series]] are palette swaps of each other, including Bear and Orca, Mimiru and [=BlackRose=], and Tsukasa and Elk. This is PlayedForLaughs in the .hack//Gift OVA, where one of the Blademasters (Bear and Orca's class) is killed in-game, and because dead characters are grayed out, nobody can tell which one of them it is.
* ''VideoGame/XenobladeChroniclesX'': Nearly all the different indigen species have a counterpart that looks and acts very similar to them. For example, Liceors are swaps of Saltats, Caros are swaps of Grexes, Viragoes are swaps of Vigents, and Jaculs are swaps of Auravis. Usually, the two species live on different continents (Liceors are only found in Sylvalum, for example, while Saltats are everywhere else), but there is some occasional cross-over.

[[folder:Shoot Em Up]]
* The different enemy factions in ''VideoGame/BloodCrusher2'' are just reskins of the same basic enemies.
* One of the final bosses in ''[[VideoGame/{{Darius}} Darius Gaiden]]'' is a palette swap of the '''first''' boss, making for a nasty trick for any unprepared player.
* ''VideoGame/{{Galaxian}}'' was the first game to have palette-swapped enemies where sprites were multi-colored. In fact, this is the oldest game to have multi-colored sprites.
* Hardcore fans of the ''VideoGame/{{Gradius}}'' series were disappointed to discover that in ''Gradius V'', the Player 2 ship was not Lord British (the red, single-nosed 2P ship of ''Life Force''), but just a red-colored Vic Viper.
* ''VideoGame/TheGuardianLegend'' does this with bosses Fleepa, Optomon, Bombarder, and Clawbot, each of which recurs in different colors, and the last of which reuses the top half of the Bombarder sprite.
* Raizing's "Bat" series of shmups does this differently. Pressing certain buttons or button combos not only changes the palette of player ships, but also gives them different abilities, such as enhanced speed, bomb, shot and option firepower, and in some cases, [[GameBreaker a smaller hitbox.]]
* ''Super VideoGame/SpyHunter'' has you fight upgraded palette swaps of the second and fourth bosses [[BossRush prior to the final boss]].
* ''VideoGame/YarsRevenge'' does this quite oddly. The Qotile constantly palette swaps as part of its normal function, going through a rainbow of the colors that the 2600 could produce. When it turns red, it becomes a Swirl and tries to kill you. After the player has scored 70,000 points, the shield around the Qotile turns blue, and the Qotile will turn into Swirls when it turns blue and yellow as well. Of course, the original red Swirl is faster and usually trickier to avoid/kill. The shield goes through two other palette swaps as well - at 150,000 points, it turns grey, the Qotile's transforming frequency turns back to normal, but the Swirl can now turn in flight to home in on the Yar; and at 230,000 points, the shield turns pink, and the Qotile now has triple-frequency ''and'' homing ability.

[[folder:Simulation Game]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Descent}}'' and ''Descent II'', some enemy robots would have textures that looked like textures found within the games' walls or floors. Although some were for camouflage, some 'bots had their textures changed to denote different behavior (such as dropping bombs, instead of firing laser or missiles or what-have-you).
** Red Medium Hulks are three times tougher than Brown Medium Hulks, and use homing missiles, in barrages, nonetheless. Class 2 Platforms have a green DemonicSpider variation that shoots rapid-fire concussion missiles. Play In Descent II, the [[GoddamnedBats goddamned Red Hornets]] later have a more [[DemonicSpiders demonic]] green variant, the Spawns.
* ''VideoGame/HarvestMoonGrandBazaar'': While the other games will use palette swaps for minor characters and other insignificant things (items, animals, etc.), a lot of the major townspeople in ''Grand Bazaar'' share sprites with at least one other villager. The two main character choices (a male and a female) are just swaps of each other. Claire shares the same sprite with Nellie, and Isaac with Wilbur; Cindy with Lauren (justified, because they're twins), along with every other young girl (including your daughter); Kevin with all other young boys (including your son); Ethel with Joan; and Raul with Diego and Enrique (they're all brothers). They at least get somewhat different {{Character Portrait}}s, but because of this they wear really similar clothing in their artwork.
* In the UsefulNotes/SuperNES ports of ''VideoGame/WingCommander'' and ''[[VideoGame/WingCommander Wing Commander: The Secret Missions]]'', the Jalthi was a color-swapped version of the Salthi model, due to storage limitations of the cartridge. However, the Jalthi retains its hard-hitting armament of six guns, making it easier to dismiss the heavy fighter as one of the disposable mook fighters with only two lasers until it's too late.
* ''VideoGame/WingsOfDawn'': Lampshaded in-universe with a direct reference to the trope namer with the Sweeper and Astray, two Fura'ngle fighters that look identical save for their colorations.

[[folder:Sports Game]]
* In ''VideoGame/BackyardSkateboarding'', [[spoiler:Old School Andy]] is a palette swap of Andy [=MacDonald=].
* In ''VideoGame/PunchOut'', each of the boxers (except King Hippo) has a swapped counterpart with a different face:
** The arcade version has Glass Joe and Kid Quick, Piston Hurricane and Pizza Pasta, and Bald Bull and Mr. Sandman.
** The Arcade Super Punch Out actually had the first two of five fighters, Bear Hugger and Dragon Chan, have their own distinct palettes. Vodka Drunkenski and Super Macho Man share similar bodies. Great Tiger is, for all intents and purposes, Piston Hurricane with a turban and slightly longer mustache.
** The NES version has Glass Joe and Don Flamenco, Von Kaiser and Great Tiger, Bald Bull and Mr. Sandman (returning from the arcade game), VodkaDrunkenski / [[FrothyMugsOfWater Soda Popinski]] and Super Macho Man (returning from the arcade sequel Super Punch-Out), and Piston Honda and Mike Tyson / [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute Mr. Dream]].
** ''Super Punch Out'' for SNES has Gabby Jay and Bob Charlie, Bear Hugger and Mad Clown, Piston Hurricane and Aran Ryan, Bald Bull and Mr. Sandman (again), Dragon Chan and Heike Kagero, Masked Muscle and Super Macho Man, and the two Bruiser Brothers (sharing their own model). The only original palettes are Narcis Prince and Hoy Quarlow.
** Averted in the Wii game, in which for the first time, all of the characters have distinct character models, although they still have similar appearances, indirectly referencing this trope.
* In ''Mutant League Football'', there are five player races: 'Human'/Superhuman, Troll, Alien, Skeleton, and Robot. Robots are actually palette-swapped Skeleton sprites with the ribcages, arms, and legs "filled out"; the only team with robots, the all-robot Turbo Techies, is thus essentially a palette swap of the all-skeleton teams, the Deathskin Razors and the Sixty Whiners.
* ''Mutant League Hockey'':
** There are just three races in this one (Skeleton, Troll, and Robot), with robots now having completely unique sprites. The Deathskin Razors and Turbo Techies are again guilty of this, but not relative to each other -- they have swaps in the form of the Dead Things and Chilly Liars (Razors) and the Bruiser Bots (Techies)
** Of the coaches, only Bricka of the Mutant Monsters and Doc Whizz of the Bruiser Bots have unique portraits and quotes (though Doc Whizz shares his player evaluations with the Robot coaches). The rest are palette swaps of one of the following "molds" -- the Robot, the Troll, the Barbarian, the Wimp, or the Hellspawn.

[[folder:Tower Defense]]
* ''Dragon Wars'' has a lot of this with its dragons. Kinnara and Garuda, Kastor and Borg, and probably others, are palette swaps of each other.

[[folder:Turn Based Strategy]]
* ''VideoGame/AgeOfWonders'', very few fabric units (Larva-Maggot, Gold-Black Dragon) and [[http://wiki.heavengames.com/aow/ReColoring_Units most modded units]].
* Almost all of the non-plot-related enemies and characters in ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' have higher class ranks that are palette swaps of their base class, each with slightly better stats than the last.
** ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 3|AbsenceOfJustice}}'' introduces a service that allows one to change a unit's color to that of any of their other creatable ranks for a fee, and 4 expands on it by introducing unique colors that aren't used by any of a class' ranks, and extends the palette swapping privileges to unique characters.
** Also in 3, various Palette swaps of Mao are important to the plot as "Inner Mao"s
** A similar effect is seen in most other Creator/NipponIchi titles, including ''VideoGame/LaPucelle'' and ''VideoGame/MakaiKingdom''. ''VideoGame/PhantomBrave'' did it with the titles attached to characters instead of classes.
** In ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 4|APromiseUnforgotten}}'' Des X is a palette swap of Desco. This being Disgaea, is pointed out and lampshaded.
** Etna turns Blue for a chapter in ''VideoGame/DisgaeaDimension2''. This is a plot point, as Etna herself points out, she looks like she's "Player 2". All of her alternate unit palettes are also swapped.
** Most of the named plot characters in D2 - such as Laharl, Etna, Sicily and Flonne - have unique sprites. Lanzarote, on the other hand, is an Archer recolour. Given that Lanzarote is plot-relevant for one chapter and is then [[DemotedToExtra basically only notable because you probably won't have a caster of aggressive buffs before then]], this was probably done just to save time.
* Nono from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'' wears a green version of his job class, the Gadgeteer's clothes.
** All generic units, enemy and ally, in the ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' series are color swaps of each other so players can identify units from each other. Example, a Nu Mou Black Mage is generally clothed in blue while an enemy one has red clothing.
*** This makes things moderately confusing when you have to fight Blue Mages dressed in red and Red Mages dressed in blue.
*** In tactics A2 this becomes funny. The red king is dressed in blue, the blue king is dressed in red, the the black king is dressed in red, the green king is dressed in purple. not only that, they aren't master of their namesake magic, they use others more. So apparently magic types can get palette swapped as well.
* The ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' series plays this in several different ways:
** There is usually just one or two (if both genders are possible) character model per class; everyone in a particular class is a palette swap of that model. Generic units are coloured by affiliation, while playable, boss and other important characters have their own unique colour scheme. Some characters have their own individual class (e.g. Lord) and thus look unique. ''Radiant Dawn'' alleviates this to some extent by giving every player and important character a unique skin to their model which reflects their actual appearance, but the model's animations do not change at all. That is why the fans clamor for the official character art--these portraits tend to add a touch of personalization that the in-game models often do not portray.
*** Several exceptions exist to this tendency, particularly in the GBA era. ''The Sacred Stones'' introduced three apprentice classes; there is only one character each that as such looks rather unique... until he/she promotes into a proper class. ''Blazing Sword'''s Hawkeye - comparatively not that important a character - has his own completely unique [[TheBerserker Berserker]] sprite which differs significantly from the normal in its movement, whereas all other Berserkers use the generic sprite. Weird.
** Boss portraits are perhaps the more obvious example of this trope in the series, as after the NES era it wasn't really an acceptable break from reality based on technical constraints, unlike everyone's battle sprites being identical. The older the game, the more likely you'll run into a lookalike boss with a random palette. The [[VideoGame/FireEmblemGenealogyOfTheHolyWar Jugdral]] [[VideoGame/FireEmblemThracia776 duology]] is most notorious for this since it was done with semi-important villains, though [[VideoGame/FireEmblemShadowDragonAndTheBladeOfLight the original game]] was even worse. After ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBindingBlade The Binding Blade]]'', which memorably had [[ExaggeratedTrope six palette swaps of the same boss character all as the bosses of the same chapter]], the practice waned through the [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBindingBlade following]] [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBlazingBlade handheld]] [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones games]] before finally ending for good in [[VideoGame/FireEmblemPathOfRadiance Path of Radiance]].
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'': All of your allies' outfits for their classes tend to either be blue or have blue lining. There are a few exceptions, however:
*** In the true tradition of the red/green cavalier duo, [[{{Tomboy}} Sully]] and [[RidiculouslyAverageGuy Stahl]], have red and green cavalier outfits, respectively, and the red and green lining is used for their paladin and great knight uniforms.
*** [[SubmissiveBadass Kellam]], an armor knight, has orange lining on his uniform. Like Sully and Stahl, he keeps that color for his great knight outfit; ditto goes for Sully's future daughter Kjelle, only with light purple instead.
*** [[GenkiGirl Lissa]] has a yellow dress for her cleric and war cleric classes, and she gets a green and yellow sage robe - it's actually identical to her sister [[TheOjou Emmeryn's outfit]]. Lissa's future son Owain also gets a dark yellow colored myrmidon/swordmaster outfit.
*** Both Miriel (first generation) and Brady ([[RichBitch Maribelle's]] son) get unique-looking sage's robes (Miriel's is black with a thin gold collar, while Brady's is dark purple with the same Roman Numeral collar as Lissa's), and Brady also gets a black and purple war monk outfit.
*** [[BrokenAce Cordelia]] and her daughter [[{{Tsundere}} Severa]] have red lining for their Pegasus knight and mercenary/hero outfits. Flavia's hero uniform also has red linings.
*** Nowi, Nah, and Tiki are green, red, and bright yellow-colored dragons, respectively.[[note]]A female Morgan, if any of these women are her mother, can also become a dragon, but will always have Nowi's coloring[[/note]]
*** Both Anna and [[spoiler:Gangrel]] have red and yellow/black colored Trickster outfits, respectively.
*** Finally, Say'ri has a light purple swordmaster outfit.
*** There's also an odd variant for the second-generation playable characters: palette swapping their hair colors depending who their parents are.
* In ''VideoGame/FossilFighters: Champions'':
** All of the Super Evolvers are palette swaps, except for Kaishin and Buldor. They also include similar attack sets.
** Strangely enough, Teffla and Papygon are palette swaps of each other, despite evolving from completely different vivosaurs.
* ''VideoGame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic'' suffers from a bad case of palette swapping when units upgrade. Granted, some bells and whistles are usually added, but it's painfully obvious the models were built from the same sprite.
* Surprisingly for a game of its complexity, ''VideoGame/JaggedAlliance 2'' has this. All enemies, mercs and militia are basically the same 3 models (Big Male, Regular Male, and Female) with a different palette for each. Mercs have the most diversity, as each has a different clothing color combination, and of course there are all sorts of combinations for hair color and skin color for everyone in the game.
* ''VideoGame/LuminousArc'' and [[VideoGame/LuminousArc2 its sequel]] are horrible about this. There are probably less than ten different monster sprites that are recolored to make all the generic enemies you face.
* The economic edutainment game ''{{VideoGame/MULE}}'' does this with the players' characters if any of them are the same species, but since they only share the screen during auctions, it's not really a problem.
* The Koubu mecha in the first ''VideoGame/SakuraWars'' game are identical aside from color and weapons. The second game added another set of sprites for the two characters with European designed mecha. Once the games entered 3D with the third game, each character's mecha became more individualized with unique emblems, animations, and weapon models.
* ''Videogame/ShiningForceIII'' does a pretty good job of averting this, until around half way when you notice the earliest monsters reappearing but with a different colour. The humble bat, one of the earliest enemies, reappears in Chapter 4 as the Vampire Bat which is bright red.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsV'', 2 units reused from [[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsZ Z3]] had their sprites' colors changed, in the process turning them from Char's Counterattack units to Unicorn units: the Earth Federation's Jegan mobile suits (more or less becoming the Jegan Type A2 without changing the name) and Neo-Zeon's Musaka-class ships.
* Despite ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamUnicorn Unicorn]]'' not being in the ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsX'' cast, the Neo-Zeon mobile suits Gaza-D and Zssa are still reused from ''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsV V]]'', only changed to their original coloring from ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ ZZ]]''.
* In ''VideoGame/TelepathRPG'', shadowlings get different color palettes to show how old they are. In the original, every shadowling is red except for Festus, who is blue, and Nala, who is green. (Tastidian and Nelis are different colors too, but they get unique models instead of just a palette swap.) In later games, blue shadowlings are always [[TheMedic psy healers]], probably as a CallBack to Festus.
** In ''VideoGame/TelepathTactics'', every class has a colored uniform of some kind that changes color [[ColorCodedForYourConvenience depending on what side they're on]]. (In the campaign, Emma's army is blue, her enemies are red, and neutrals are a variety of colors, usually green.) In a departure from previous games, shadowling color is no longer tied to age -- they don't have a uniform, so they have to change the color of their eyes and hands instead.

[[folder:Wide Open Sandbox]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'' has both lighter-colored USMC and darker-colored Blackwatch palettes of military vehicles, the ones you can actually hijack. Blackwatch ground vehicles are tougher to kill while their aircraft carry more ammunition(and are also slightly tougher), than their Marine counterparts. They can also be easily identified with their respective logos too.\\
Also the civilian populace, where any given civilian model has a few color themes affecting attire and skin.
* In ''VideoGame/SaintsRowTheThird'', you can unlock new skins for your gang members (like hookers, cops, {{mascot}}s, National Guard soldiers, and even rival gang members) by completing story missions and minigames. If you actually apply these skins to your gang, it quickly becomes obvious that they are simply palette swapped versions of the originals, right down to the ones modeled on rival gangsters continuing to make disparaging remarks about the Saints during battle.
* ''VideoGame/{{Terraria}}'':
** There are seven different versions of the basic Slime monster.
** There's also two versions of the basic Skeleton monster, two of the Skeleton caster, two of the Bat, two of the Man eater (a jungle-based killer plant), and many of the Zombie.
** In 1.2, Lead, Tin, Tungsten, Platinum, Palladium, Orichalcum and Titanium are practically alternate (and slightly better) materials of Iron, Copper, Silver, Gold, Cobalt, Mythril and Adamantite repectively, that can be generated in a world in the place of the latter materials. The weapons, bricks and furnishings made from them are appropriately different-colored as well, while the 'alternate' Hardmode Metal armor suits have unique properties that the Cobalt, Mythril, and Adamantite armor suits lack.
** Wood can be found in different forms depending on the biome, including Shadewood (Crimson), Ebonwood (Corruption), Pearlwood (Hallow), Boreal (Snow), Palm (Beach/Sand), and Rich Mahogany (Jungle).
** Most of the console-exclusive content, including enemies and equipment, were reskinned or recolored versions of existing content. The 1.2 patch to console Terraria changed this, giving the content in question actual unique graphics.
** Gemstones all originally had the same elliptical shape while changing only in color before 1.2 update gave them all different cuts.
** The character sprites in alpha were rather blatantly based off of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' combat sprites, but they were changed for the game's release on Steam.
* The majority of the SpacePirate fighters in ''[[Videogame/{{X}} X3: Reunion]]'' and later games are standard faction fighters (mostly [[HumansByAnyOtherName Argon]] and [[ProudMerchantRace Teladi]]), but with sweet NoseArt. They retain the turrets and most of the stats of the base ship, though they often can carry a more varied loadout, at the cost of being inferior to the standard ship. ''X3: Terran Conflict'' introduced several AceCustom pirate ships with unique models, and proper Pirate [[MileLongShip capital ships]].
* Pedestrian models in ''VideoGame/MafiaII'' utilise a variation of ''Mortal Kombat'''s palette swap scheme, where a single model is used for a pedestrian type, with certain parts of the character's texture recoloured on the fly. It works somewhat, though players may still notice clones of the same model being clumped together on-screen at points.
** A similar mechanic was also used in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoViceCityStories'', in a way to mitigate the infamous ped clumping issue that has plagued sixth-generation installments of the franchise due to artistic and hardware constraints.
* ''VideoGame/{{Subnautica}}'' uses this trope on several occasions, including the Spinefish[[note]]a skeletal-patterned variant of the Hoopfish, found in deep-water biomes[[/note]], the Magmarang[[note]]a variant of the Boomerang adapted to volcanic environments[[/note]], the Lava Eyeye[[note]]Ditto, for the Eyeye[[/note]] and the Crimson Ray[[note]]Ditto again, for the Ghostray[[/note]]. The Oculus may seem at first glance to be this to the Peeper, but in reality, its model is slightly different, having no beak and a row of tentacles instead of tail fins.

!!Non-video game examples:

* Every year people get ads in their newspapers showing collectibles for the big local pro or college sports team. Ceramic villages with the team logo on it, Santa wearing the jersey, etc. What you don't really see until you go online to their website is almost every city got the same ad for the same village and often the only thing different in the picture is the team logo and colors.
** USC and UCLA have a particularly intense rivalry to where any merchandise deal one university gets is soon followed by the same deal with the other. They turn to the same manufacturer most of the time, and as a result, the products are exactly the same, only with different packaging and images printed on them.

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/CTheMoneyAndSoulOfPossibility'' has several facets of [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110603165740/soulcontrol/images/7/73/Masakaki_sea.jpg one]] [[http://animeotaku.animeblogger.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/C_masakaki2-e1304591765298.jpg basic]] [[http://26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ln1m8bmEsk1qanb6ao1_500.png design.]]
* Common throughout the ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' franchise; though it has well over one thousand {{mons}}, it is slightly padded with palette swaps:
** Perhaps the most understandable examples are the EvilCounterpart palette swaps, darker versions of certain heroic Digimon. The most prominent example, both in the anime and otherwise, is ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'''s [=BlackWarGreymon=], whose contrast with [[TheHero the actual WarGreymon]] was [[MirrorMatch played up for all it was worth]].
** Sometimes, the difference in color is used to denote a variant of a different level, attribute type, or associated with different elements/powers. For example, [[http://wikimon.net/Otamamon Otamamon's]] has water powers and is of the Virus attribute, while [[http://wikimon.net/Otamamon_%28Red%29 Otamamon Red]] is associated with fire and is of the Data attribute. Both are of the Child level. On the other hand, sometimes there are less reasonable instances: there's [[http://wikimon.net/Monochromon Monochromon]], an Adult, and [[http://wikimon.net/Vermillimon Vermillimon]], a red Monochromon of the Perfect level. There are many more examples.
*** ''VideoGame/DigimonWorld'' is ''horrible'' about doing this to differentiate random enemy Digimon from recruitable ones. You can ''recruit'' [[http://wikimon.net/Betamon Betamon]] and [[http://wikimon.net/Drimogemon Drimogemon]] (frog and drill-nosed mole, basically). You ''fight'' [[http://wikimon.net/Modoki_Betamon ModokiBetamon]] and [[http://wikimon.net/Nise_Drimogemon NiseDrimogemon.]] (Modoki means 'seems like' or 'looks like;' Nise means 'false.') The only difference at all between them is that [=ModokiBetamon=] is a ''slightly different shade of green'' and [=NiseDrimogemon=] ''has a mustache instead of whiskers.''
*** If they're bad, [[http://wikimon.net/Soulmon Soulmon]] is worse. The only difference between him and [[http://wikimon.net/Bakemon Bakemon]] would be a [[NiceHat pointy sorcerer's hat.]]
*** Not as bad as [[http://wikimon.net/Gottsumon Gottsumon]], a Child-level {{golem}} Digimon who has two palette swaps, [[http://wikimon.net/Icemon Icemon]] and [[http://wikimon.net/Insekimon Insekimon]]. At least Icemon (Adult-level) is clearly white as opposed to Gottsumon's grey so you can easily tell them apart, but Insekimon is distinguished from Gottsumon and Icemon solely by being ''a slightly lighter shade of grey with a green tinge'', and what really takes the cake is that he is a Perfect. You heard correctly, [[ExaggeratedTrope a Perfect is a palette swap of a Child]]. This was lampshaded neatly in ''Anime/DigimonSavers'' - when Gottsumon evolves to Insekimon, Yoshino comments that all that seems to have changed is his colour.
*** [[http://www.wikimon.net/Gururumon Gururumon]] has to be Bandai [[ParodiedTrope poking fun at themselves]] over this practice. The difference between [[http://www.wikimon.net/Garurumon Garurumon]] and Gururumon is that Gururumon's blue stripes are ''slightly more purplish in hue''; I ''dare'' you to tell them apart if you don't have their pictures/trading cards side by side. Many are the fans who thought that "Gururumon" was just a typo.
*** There's also [[http://www.wikimon.net/Clear_Agumon ClearAgumon]], which is basically a transparent [[http://www.wikimon.net/Toy_Agumon ToyAgumon]]! Incidentally, they also have an EvilCounterpart [[http://www.wikimon.net/Toy_Agumon_Black palette swap]].
*** [[http://www.wikimon.net/Vegimon Vegimon]] has two palette swaps: [[http://www.wikimon.net/Zassoumon Zassoumon]] and [[http://www.wikimon.net/Red_Vegimon RedVegimon]]. [=RedVegimon=], at least, has the decency to differ in design somewhat insofar as having large clubs at the end of its tentacles instead, but otherwise it just looks like a Vegimon that is [[SarcasmMode blue.]]
*** ''Anime/DigimonXrosWarsTheYoungHuntersLeapingThroughTime'' marks the debut of such a palette swap as a main character in the anime - Ryouma Mogami's partner is [[http://www.wikimon.net/Psychemon Psychemon]], a rather [[RealMenWearPink garish]] palette swap of a particularly famous former main character, [[Anime/DigimonAdventure Gabumon]].
** The third kind is random recolourings which serve no purpose at all, are given little to no context, are not differentiated from the main Digimon at all, and seem to be there for the hell of it. ''VideoGame/DigimonWorld3'' is a massive offender in this regard. The ''entire'' Amaterasu Server (before you free it) is a DarkWorld-themed palette swap of the Asuka Server, and most of the Digimon in it are palette swaps of the ones from Asuka.
* The Tendou sisters in ''Anime/IlSolePenetraLeIllusioni'' are triplets, which sort of justifies them often being literally copy-pasted and colour-tweaked. Also, Etia and Ariel's outfits are identical except for colour and the pattern on their circle-things.
* Shion, the heroine of the NonSerialMovie ''Anime/NarutoShippudenTheMovie'', is aside from hair and eye color identical to Hinata Hyuga, one of the supporting characters of the main series. They even both have [[MagicalEye pupil-less magical eyes]].
* The "Rose Bride dress" of ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'': The original dress is red and worn by [[ExtremeDoormat Anthy]] during the duels. In the first ending sequence [[spoiler:and in episode 38]], Utena wears a light pink version of the dress, and in the third story arc, [[AttentionWhore Kozue]] and [[BrokenBird Shiori]] gain dresses that match their hair colors (indigo and purple, respectively).
* ''Manga/SgtFrog'': It's used a lot in the anime for background Keronians, which generally share a few sets of generic designs (eyes with small irises, star emblems, hats similar to Keroro's or Kururu's, headphones included.
** Later episodes also use it for random background aliens.
* During ''Anime/YuGiOh'''s DOMA Arc, Jonouchi / [[DubNameChange Joey]] adds the Blue Flame Swordsman to his arsenal. This is, unsurprisingly, ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin--a blue Palette Swap of his already existing card, Flame Swordsman, with the exact same stat (ATK: 1800, DEF: 1600, Level: 5). On the plus side it does have a useful ability that the original card does not possess--when it's sent to the Graveyard it allows Joey to summon a regular Flame Swordsman to take its place.
** Kisara is basically Serenity with white hair and pale skin.

* The [[SpiderMan Hobgoblin]] is effectively a palette swap of the Green Goblin.
* In Ultimate Comics: Avengers, Gregory Stark is introduced as Tony's twin brother. He has blonde hair and wears white suits.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'' has Thunderstorm, who is described as his brother Brainstorm with a black lab coat and jet-black hair.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5010827/7/Expelled Expelled]]'' Harry wears a gold robe with red trim during his marriage to Hermione, while Hermione's father has a red robe with gold trim.
* ''Fanfic/MyLittleUnicorn'':
** A particularly lazy example; as seen on the author's YouTube video on the characters, as the cast consist of just recolours of Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy and Scootaloo. Made even more obvious by the fact that, with the exception of Lightning Dawn, the author never actually bothered to recolour their eyes. Heck, Rhymey isn't even a recolour; just Fluttershy with a horn, clothing, yellow tail, mane and different hairstyle.
** [[invoked]] Starla Shine is, according to videos, just a Rarity clone, but not [[WordOfGod as shallow as the original]]. He has tried to cover this up by... slightly darkening Starla's coat, which he feels "ruins the design".
* [[http://nickfanon.wikia.com/wiki/SuperSaiyanKirby_Adventures SuperSaiyanKirby Adventures]] has Anti-[=SuperSaiyanKirby=], who's literally the main character with some changed colors.
** That's just the tip of the iceberg. There's also Mattboo Sux, Sidney, Casy, "Evil Pac-man 64 clone", etc.
** That may be explained by the fact that the original character designs were made in MS paint.
* Many, many, many OCs have been created this way. Their creators merely swap out the colors of their favorite canon characters and replace them with new color schemes. The fact that there are literally thousands of base/lineart makers on sites like Website/DeviantArt only aids the widespread trend. Fandoms of ''MyLittlePony'', ''Disney/TheLionKing'', ''SonicTheHedgehog'', ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' and many other SailorEarth shows and movies are particularly prone to this.
* The Shadows from ''FanFic/OjamajoDoremiRiseOfTheShadows'' all look ''exactly'' like their Light Halves, except for color; most of them just have darker colors than their Light Halves. Black Queen and Evil Rin take this a step further; the former replaces all the white on the Queen's garb with black while the latter is black, gray, and silver.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9849511/5/Veiled-Threat Veiled Threat]]'' Harry's Animagus form is a black phoenix with red wingtips and Ginny's is a red phoenix with black wingtips.
* Some homemade pinball machines are made by taking an existing pinball machine, then changing its artwork, rules, and audio while leaving everything else unchanged. For instance, ''The Matrix'' was made by altering a ''Pinball/JohnnyMnemonic'' machine in this way, and a ''Pinball/{{Genie}}'''s theme was [[http://www.pinballnews.com/learn/ramones/index.html repurposed]] into that of ''Music/TheRamones''. This is the preferred method for aspiring creators who don't have enough technical knowledge or money to build one from scratch and no intention to sell.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''Disney/WreckItRalph'' used this for several of the background ''Sugar Rush'' racers. Both meta and in-game. Of course, when you have a racing game featuring LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters, and especially one from 1997, this is to be expected.
* Rapunzel's wedding dress in ''Disney/TangledEverAfter'' is actually her homecoming celebration dress colored white instead of pink.
* In ''WesternAnimation/BarbieInAChristmasCarol'', the time and space vortexes the Ghosts of Christmas use are identical effects, just yellow for past, green for present, and red for future. Also, the twins wears identical {{Pimped Out Dress}}es, save for different colors, such as having [[FluffyFashionFeathers feather headdresses]], one {{pink| means feminine}} and the other [[TrueBlueFemininity blue]].

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The movie ''Film/GrandmasBoy2006'', which is about video game designers, references this tendency when one tester recommends differentiating between two types of enemies by changing the colors of one of them.
* Brad and Janet's guest rooms in ''Film/TheRockyHorrorPictureShow''. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by an [[AudienceParticipation audience callback]] ("same room, different lighting, cheap movie!")
* The Starfleet uniforms seen in ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact'' are an inversion of the uniforms worn on ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' and ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', being predominantly black with grey shoulders and colored shirts, unlike [=DS9=]/Voyager's uniforms which had gray shirts and colored shoulders. The [=DS9=] crew would shortly switch to these uniforms for the rest of the series, whereas Voyager's crew, stuck in the Delta Quadrant, stuck with their uniforms till the end, though subsequent episodes involving the Federation at home featured these uniforms.
* ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'':
** Magneto always had some red and/or purple colour on his outfit, but in 2023 his uniform is completely black and grey, signifying that he's now part of the X-Men.
** Costume designer Louise Mingenbach described [[http://www.gq.com/entertainment/fashion/201405/x-men-days-of-future-past-costumes#slide=2 Past Xavier's switch from his brown-and-pink casual wear to his more formal blues and greys]] that is typically associated with the character in the other movies.
--->"At the beginning of the film, Charles is medicating, and very possibly on hallucinogens, so we had that come through in his shirt. As he pulls himself together, he wears a nice blue oxford like all good, put-together men—a progression from that psychedelic Cat Stevens-wear."
* ''Film/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'' - The machine guns (which are black) in the Exploding Candy scene in the elevator show up in the ''very next sequence'' in white as the cameras in the Television Chocolate room.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* This is the difference in the ''Series/{{Community}}'' episode [[Recap/CommunityS1E17PhysicalEducation Physical Education]] between [[spoiler:Abed]] and his IdenticalStranger, Joey. [[spoiler: Or, in other words, Brown Joey and White Abed.]]
* In ''Series/DenjiSentaiMegaranger'', the suits, which often have some sort of variety per season, are rather homogenous this time around save color. Perhaps a moment of FridgeBrilliance, since this season was about video games, particularly ones made in the mid-90s.
* The same thing happens quite frequently in ''Dinosaurs''. Every single puppet not used for a protagonist was used as countless different characters, made male or female simply by changing the clothes.
* The newer series of ''Franchise/KamenRider'' have tended to reuse the same [[PeopleInRubberSuits rubber suits]] for their MonsterOfTheWeek, with the differences ranging from a complete repaint to a differently coloured scarf. Sometimes this is given a lampshade, as in ''Series/KamenRiderAgito'' where monsters embody members of certain animal genera (and thus Agito fights three recolored jaguar monsters in the first two episodes). Considering that the cost of creating one of these expensive monster costumes from scratch greatly outweighs the cost of a simple repaint, it's more due to budget constraints rather than a lack of creativity. Some Kamen Riders also fall prey to the budget-saving repaint: most of the movie-only Riders, EvilTwin Ryuga from ''Series/KamenRiderRyuki'', the SuperPrototype Hopper Riders and EvilTwin Dark Kabuto from ''Series/KamenRiderKabuto'' and Zeronos' DeadlyUpgrade Zero Form from ''Series/KamenRiderDenO''.
** Gold Drive from ''Series/KamenRiderDrive'' is a justified example: the suit was a very literal EvilKnockoff of the title hero created by the BigBad stealing Belt-san's tech (a recurring theme with him).
** ''Series/KamenRiderExAid'' also justifies this with Kamen Riders Genm and the title character: Genm uses Ex-Aid's SuperPrototype. Also invoked, as the show has a video game theme.
* In the ''Series/{{Psych}}'' episode "We'd like to thank the academy", Shawn shoots two civilian cardboard cutouts in a training exercise. His justifications:
--> "The first woman with the groceries was exiting a library that doesn't allow snacks. I know this because we've tried on several occasions. And the second woman was simply a replica of the first woman, but they painted her face brown, which is both offensive and suspicious."
* In ''Series/TokusouSentaiDekaranger'' and ''Series/PowerRangersSPD,'' MakeMyMonsterGrow mostly took the year off, in favor of each [[MonsterOfTheWeek alien criminal of the week]] having his or her own HumongousMecha. While the monster suits each looked original, the mecha started to repeat themselves, with minor details, and yes, colors, changed. (A few times, there wasn't even a repaint!)) ''Two'' once-used monster suits per week was just not gonna happen.
** The ''Dark Rangers'' in ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' were simply repainted Putty costumes. They were unimpressive at best.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' introduced Starfleet Academy cadet uniforms that were largely a partial palette swap of the standard Starfleet uniform, moving the department color from the upper body and sleeves to the shoulder yoke and leaving the rest of the uniform black, while adding large pockets on the pant legs. When it came time for ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' to send Nog off to the Academy, the cadet uniform's primary color was swapped from black to gray, in order to contrast against [=DS9=]'s black jumpsuits. Following the introduction of the ''[[Film/StarTrekFirstContact First Contact]]'' uniforms on [=DS9=], new cadet uniforms were introduced; the outer uniform was a gray version on the movie version, with quilted shoulders and divisional stripes on the sleeve cuffs, but with the department colors on the shoulders and the gray undershirts of the original [=DS9=] uniform.
* ''Series/WalkingWithDinosaurs'' was guilty of this. Similar looking animals (like ''Utahraptor'' and ''Dromaeosaurus'', as well as ''Dryosaurus'', ''Leaellynasaura'', and the small ornithopods in "Death of a Dynasty") were just these. Certain animals (like large theropods and ornithopods) only got new heads. You can tell, because many creatures have the exact same folds and blood vessels on their skin. Then, there is ''Plesiopleurodon'', which is just [[{{StockFootage}} Stock Footage]] of ''Liopleurodon'' from the previous episode, only tinted lighter. ''Quetzalcoatlus'' is the worst offender, as in its case it's obvious that the animators didn't have much time; it's just the ''Ornithocheirus'' from "Giant of the Skies" with a few minor tweaks. They didn't even edit out the teeth!
* The Trickster in ''Series/SarahJaneAdventures'' actually invokes this in [[Recap/TheSarahJaneAdventuresS3E5E6TheWeddingOfSarahJaneSmith ''The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith]],'' appearing in white instead of his usual black to [[spoiler: Peter Dalton]] as an angel. Lampshaded by the Doctor.

* From 18th century French [[FashionMagazine fashion journals]], we have a PimpedOutDress for winter, where [[PrettyInMink other than the ermine trim]], the dress [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/elegant_dress_colors.jpg has at least three color variants]].

[[folder:Music Videos]]
* In his SurrealMusicVideo for "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTIIMJ9tUc8 Tunak Tunak Tun]]", [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daler_Mehndi Daler Mehndi]] uses this to create DifferentlyDressedDuplicates of himself.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* The Magazine/{{MAD}} Magazine comic ''ComicStrip/SpyVsSpy'' features the titular black and white spies, palette swaps of one another.

* ''Pinball/{{Pinbot}}'' was repurposed nine years later into ''Pinball/JackBot''. It uses the same characters as ''Pin*Bot'' and ''Pinball/TheMachineBrideOfPinbot'', as well as the same layout, but reskins it into a [[CasinoPark casino theme]] and changes the rules substantially, as well as updated electronic parts. It also swaps out ''Pin*Bot'''s alphanumeric display with a dot-matrix display, allowing it to show pictures and animations instead of just numbers and simple phrases.
* The ''Shrek'' pinball machine has a layout, parts, and rules identical to ''Pinball/FamilyGuy'', the only differences being artwork and sounds. That being said, it was not a careless adaptation: ''Shrek'' has hundreds of new lines of dialogue written specifically for the pinball machine, the new art fits the theme perfectly, and the ''Family Guy'' rules are retrofitted to be as faithful to the movies as possible. The idea is that ''Family Guy'' did not meet sales expectations, and operators requested a more family-friendly theme, so ''Shrek'' was conceived to be quickly put together to meet operators' demands.
* Some home-made pinball machines consist of taking an existing machine and replacing the artwork and changing the rules, but the machine is physically unchanged. See Fan Works for examples.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* WWE started doing this big time with their belts since 2016. With the exception of Raw's Womens title (which was originally intended to make the Women's division more on par with the men), these new designs were brought out during the revival of the brand extension and made to be ColourCodedForYourConvenience (Raw's belts being red-based and [=SmackDown=] being blue-based).
** Three of their new belts are palette swaps of the [[http://imgur.com/Avt9dcI WWE World Title]] which has black leather and a black background behind the front plate. The [[http://imgur.com/9evyTDE Raw Women's title]] is on white leather with a red background, the [[http://imgur.com/FgYcyyG Universal title]] is on red leather with a red background (the WWE logo on the front plate also features a unique black underline) and the [[http://imgur.com/uzq2aId [=SmackDown=] Women's title]] is on white leather with a blue background.
** [[http://imgur.com/6deLLot [=SmackDown's=] Tag Team titles]] are also a palette swap of [[http://imgur.com/7myKRjq Raw's Tag Team Titles]], replacing the black leather and bronze plates with blue leather and silver plates.

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* A number of {{Muppet}}s are actually the same puppet with different clothes, hair, and other accessories. The [[Creator/JimHensonsCreatureShop Creature Shop]] calls them "Anything Muppets." ''Series/SesameStreet'' fans reading this will probably not be surprised to learn that the characters Prairie Dawn and Betty Lou, for example, are the same puppet, plus Zoe and Rosita.

* A number of competitive racing series have contestants racing in nigh-identical vehicles in order to level the playing field, so that teams without millions to throw at aerodynamics research can stay competitive, though most allow ''minor'' modifications. Usefulnotes/{{NASCAR}} is the most prominent example, with each racing having dozens of completely identical vehicles painted in different colors with some token customized front fascias (See, this 1000+ horsepower RWD monster is totally an ecoboost Ford Fusion!). BK Racing's two cars (Toyota #83 and #93) are literal palette swaps; one is red, one is blue.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Miniatures wargames will often have this. The players will actually play the same army by the same rules, but represent in universe alignments by paint scheme. For example, one player may represent the WWII 10th Mountain Division and another may represent a US Ranger Battalion by using the same miniatures and rule set, but simply paint the 10th in snow and the Rangers in drab greens. This is especially prevalent in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' and ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' where many in universe armies might follow the same rule set. In the case of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 a number of factions started out life as simple palette swaps, but have developed over the years to get their own models and/or rules. The Space Marine chapters are a good example - originally Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Ultramarines and Space Wolves were just red, dark green, blue and grey versions of the same thing, but now they have their own distinct stylings and rules. Other factions, such as Eldar Craftworlds and Ork Clans, are still just different colour schemes, though each can be characterised somewhat by choice of units taken as well as the livery.
* The fourth edition of ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' and its player base have been noted for actively embracing the concept of "reskinning" powers, monsters, and potentially even entire character classes to allow for more variety in play -- that is, basically taking one mechanic, stat block or the like and simply reusing it as-is (with perhaps some minor tweaks along the way) to represent something potentially ''described'' entirely differently from the original.

* Many themed [[http://merkurtoys.cz/en/ Merkur]] sets (such as the Army, Safari, and Farm sets) are the same parts painted a different colour.
* ''Franchise/GIJoe'' has several 'covered head to toe' enemy characters. Each meant to be a different mook an identical uniform. Swaps come as ideas do. The 'Python Patrol' was, storywise, a way to make characters invisible to sensor equipment. The heroes had, for example, 'Tiger Force', which swapped the usual uniform colors with yellow, brown and red. Nameless Joe Greenshirts (think 'redshirts') got this, though their heads were clearly seen. Some were logical (light skin and a tanned one could mean a sibling was in the sun) but others were different races, same facial features.
* Hot Wheels at least acknowledges its recolors for different model years are the same cars, but one can pinpoint which model year a certain car comes from by the paint job.
* The Jack Russell terriers Bennett and Yank, who are pet dogs of Molly [=McIntire=] and Emily Bennett of the Literature/AmericanGirlsCollection respectively, are palette swaps of each other, bearing the same coat pattern with the colors inverted.
* Nearly every {{LEGO}} minifigure ever, if for fairly understandable reasons. It's only within the past few years that they've started implementing unique body, limb and head designs for non-human characters.
** In ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'', the act of palette swapping represented a very disliked trend throughout the line's early run, commonly known as "[[FanNickname clone sets]]". The most infamous case is that of the Bohrok and Bohrok-Kal lines: 12 sets that, beyond their weapons (and usually their collectibles), are exactly the same model, just in different colors. The same could be said for most of the Matoran sets, which only differed in their colors and/or mask designs. Yet narrowly avoided by most of the original Rahi two-packs which had two almost identical models, but each had at least one tiny detail that differentiated it from its partner (the exception being the Nui-Jaga scorpions). Outside of the toys, story material also had its share of these, but not many were truly canon. The green Vortixx from the comic ''Shadow Play'' was colored that way so that the readers could tell him apart from the black Roodaka. On the other hand, Tuma's green colored Rock Steed from ''Rise and Fall of the Skrall'' is canon. As a result, most background extras in the animated films were just recolors of the same handful of models. Even the Vahki soldiers used the same model, despite that their toys at least came with unique weapons. And in the third movie, the Muaka tiger was a mere palette swap of the ash bear from the first, with a slightly retooled head -- it looked ''nothing'' like the actual Muaka toy, so they explained that it was really a mutant.
** At the beginning, ''Toys/HeroFactory'' somewhat dipped back into the practice for its Heroes (the villains still averted this). This was somewhat justified, however, as they were built in a factory as variations of the same basic design rather than individual and unique life-forms. The first wave Heroes were recognizeable solely by their different helmets, weapons torso armour designs (the three rookies had the same one, however). The 2.0 and 3.0 waves, thanks to the new building style, added subtle differences that made each Hero unique: limbs length, shoulder width, armour size and orientation, colour schemes. By the Breakout arc, though Heroes are still all built off the largely same basic frame, Hero designs are even more varied in height, designs, colour schemes, armour and other elements.
* Not only do the line of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' figurines resemble more toward pre-G4 versions, but various background characters (sometimes [[GodCreatedCanonForeigner not even existing in the series]]) are palette swaps of the main characters, if their packaging graphic is anything to go by. For instance, look up Dewdrop Dazzle[[note]]of Twilight Sparkle[[/note]], Feathermay[[note]]of Rainbow Dash[[/note]], Flitterheart[[note]]of Fluttershy on her brushable packaging and collector's card, but her blind bag figure is based on Rainbow Dash[[/note]], Lulu Luck[[note]]of Rarity[[/note]], Plumsweet[[note]]of Pinkie Pie[[/note]], Snowcatcher[[note]]of Rarity also[[/note]], Diamond Rose[[note]]of Fluttershy again[[/note]], and Twinkleshine[[note]]of Rarity yet again[[/note]], if you're already familiar with the main G4 cast. Some other examples show attempt to differentiate however, such as "Cupcake" being a wingless version of Fluttershy, or "Sunny Daze" being a non-unicorn Sweetie Belle, or even "Minty" as an Applejack mold sans the hat.
** The "blind bag" minifigures even went so far as to have Fluttershy - ''one of the Mane Six!'' - as a Pallete Swap of Rainbow Dash. (Which is somewhat amusing after the events of the third season episode "Magic Duel"...) She finally got her own unique mold in a set released in mid-2013[[note]]but her collector's card still has her as a RD palette swap as of Wave 11[[/note]]. Several other characters who've appeared on the show, though, are still recolors at the blindbag scale, such as Cheerilee[[note]]of Pinkie Pie[[/note]], Trixie Lulamoon[[note]]of Rarity in wave 4, then of Twilight Sparkle in later issues[[/note]], Lyra Heartstrings[[note]]of Twilight in the blind bags, but Rarity in the [[http://mylittlewiki.org/wiki/File:Mib-groovin-hooves.jpg Groovin' Hooves]] set[[/note]], Bon Bon(Sweetie Drops)[[note]]of Applejack[[/note]], Daisy(Flower Wishes)[[note]]Pinkie Pie again[[/note]], Blossomforth and Helia[[note]]both of Rainbow Dash[[/note]], Strawberry Sunrise[[note]]of Derpy[[/note]], and Peachy Pie[[note]]also of Pinkie Pie, ironically[[/note]].
** [[http://www.mlpmerch.com/2014/08/wave-11-blind-bags-release-date-is.html The Wave 11 blind bags]] have the stallion Neon Lights as a redeco of [[MemeticBystander DJ PON-3]]. This wave's palette swaps also include Sunset Shimmer[[note]]of Rarity yet again[[/note]], Suri Polomare ([[AdaptationNameChange Buttonbelle]]) [[note]]of Pinkie Pie again[[/note]], Flash Sentry[[note]]of Thunderlane[[/note]], Big Wig[[note]]of Mrs. Cake[[/note]], Candy Apples[[note]]of Applejack again[[/note]], Purple Wave[[note]]of Lyrica Lilac[[/note]], Wensley[[note]]of Big [=McIntosh=][[/note]], Cloud Chaser[[note]]of Thunderlane again[[/note]], Royal Pin[[note]]of Shining Armor[[/note]], etc., with Fluttershy and Cheese Sandwich being the only unique molds.
* Nerf blasters are often released in recolored versions as store exclusives, notably the Sonic Series from Toys R Us, the Clear Series from Target, and the legendary Red Strike series from Walmart, which was only for sale for one Black Friday and is now one of the most sought after and expensive repaints ever in Nerf history.
* ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'':
** The franchise, being [[MerchandiseDriven what it is]] frequently redecos (puts different colors and painted designs on an old mold) and/or retools (puts new parts on old models) the same model several times to get better return on their toys. This can vary from a new paint scheme on a character to making a completely different character. [[TheStarscream Starscream]], in particular, shares most of his body with his fellow Seekers, Thundercracker, Skywarp, Sunstorm, and Acid Storm. Move some things around (retool) and you get the 'coneheads,' Thrust, Dirge, and Ramjet. Even Optimus Prime gets reused as a different guy from time to time. Original Ultra Magnus? Totally [[http://tfwiki.net/w2/images2/6/6e/Ultramagnusg1toy.jpg a Prime repaint with a different trailer]]. Magnus' robot mode is actually the toy's SuperMode - the toy's normal robot mode is never shown to avoid confusion. And then, of course, there are all the 'evil' repaints, such as [[Anime/TransformersRobotsInDisguise Scourge]] (repaint of ''Generation 2'' Laser Prime toy) and the various incarnations of Nemesis Prime (Scourge color scheme added to other Optimuses... Optimi?) There's even a Nemesis Breaker, an EvilTwin of Leobreaker from ''Anime/TransformersCybertron.''
** ''Anime/TransformersCybertron'' interestingly avoids this, for the most part (okay, not in the toyline), with Thundercracker having a standard Seeker body... but Starscream himself is a ''completely'' different design, with only the head looking particularly Starscreamy. (It's actually based on Screamer's pre-Earth design from the War Within comics.) The exception is Galvatron. After upgrading to Galvatron, visually, Megatron is Palette Swapped to G1 Megatron's colors. Major {{Homage}}, bordering on non-sexual {{fanservice}}.
** ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'':
*** Lampshaded and justified when Skyquake and Dreadwing are explained as twins with two halves of the same spark, explaining why they look essentially the same, just with different colors. Fowler even lampshades, multiple times, how he essentially gave the same alt-mode to two different robots (he was piloting the same jet when facing each of the brothers).
*** Played straight with the Jet Vehicon mooks and the more [[EliteMook elite]] Seekers, who are basically silver and grey versions of the regular Jet Vehicons (in-universe, their colouring is in homage to their commander Starscream).
** Justified in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'', there they were explained as having the same "body type" in-fiction. Oddly, though, only a handful of toys ''actually'' got recolored, namely Starscream as his clones and a couple of BotCon exclusives. More recolors came out in Japan or were cancelled before release. This has been done so often in both the official toyline and the shows, that it's considered a fairly acceptable method of inventing an OriginalCharacter (that one plans to create art of).
** The Transformers fandom actually differentiates between recolors (which are the same figure with different colours, often to represent a brand-new character) like Starscream, Thundercracker and Skywarp and retools (the figure is slightly modified, such as new wings, arms and so on) such as the Coneheads (Starscream molds with new heads and wings), or Bumblebee and Cliffjumper in many toylines (different heads).
* Creator/{{Hasbro}} also has a habit of doing this with their superhero properties, especially with the Marvel Legends line. For instance, the Marvel Legends ComicBook/CaptainAmerica figures they released for ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'' and ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'' were just repaints of the Marvel Legends Captain America figure that was released for ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier''.
* [[http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2015/08/21/comic-book-legends-revealed-537/3/ Toy Biz once released]] an Comicbook/{{Elektra}} figure that was just a repaint of an old Comicbook/{{Psylocke}} figure. They even gave her Psylocke's trademark psi-blade, even though Elektra doesn't have any superpowers in the comics.
* Toy Biz did the same thing with their ''Comicbook/XMen: Mutant Armor'' and ''Comicbook/SpiderMan: Techno Wars'' lines. If you're wondering why Spider-Man and the X-Men would need to wear suits of PoweredArmor despite already having superpowers, it's because the toys were actually unreleased Comicbook/IronMan figures from his [[WesternAnimation/IronMan cancelled TV show]]. So for instance, with only a new head sculpt and paint job, the Magnetic Iron Man figure became a "Battle Armor {{Wolverine}}" figure, Radiation Iron Man became "Radioactive Spider Armor Spider-Man," Living Laser (who was itself a retooled version of an unreleased U.S. Agent figure) became "Astral Plane Professor X," and so on.
* ''WesternAnimation/DinoRiders'' features this in both the cartoon and toy line. In the cartoon, most of the {{Mooks}} are Palette Swaps of the main "Generals", and go unnamed. For the toys, numerous mini-figures of the humanoid characters were created, with the same molds being used frequently (there are seven "Ant-Men" based off of the base Antor figure, for example; others simple use the same name but a different color scheme). Many dinosaurs share molds- the ''Torosaurus/Triceratops'', numerous small ''Ceratopsians'' (the three toys all have different heads), and both sides have a ''Deinonychus'', with only their stripes being different colors. Only the armor is different on most of them.
* ''Toys/TheTrashPack'', ''Toys/{{Shopkins}}'', and ''Toys/TheGrosseryGang'', all blind bag toys by Moose Toys, gives each character more than one color scheme, treating them like an extra figure to collect. ''The Trash Pack'' has three minimum color palettes, while the other two have a minimum of two. Some special packages gives existing figures exclusive colors that can only be found in those packages.
* ''Toys/GoGosCrazyBones'' figures came in different colors, usually about two to five in the reboot series depending on the set. The sets in the classic series, however, did not have any restrictions on what colors characters could come in, allowing them to be available in literally any color. In addition to all this, certain characters from the reboot series use the same mold as another character, for example Miro-K uses the same mold as Ayu from the Megatrip set, but the use of recycled molds is taken UpToEleven in the Evolution set, which consists of Gogos that use all of the molds from the previous set, Series 1 (this is justified as the Evolution characters are supposed to be evolutions of the Series 1 characters, hence the name "Evolution").
* ''Toys/FlushForce'' gives each character mold two different color schemes. Unlike other blind bagged toys, each different color is considered its own character, rather than the same in two different colors.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In Webcomic/AventureDennis the protagonist fights Shadow Dennis a palette swapped version of himself.
* The world of ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}'' apparently suffers from a severe case of this. The characters get to fight monsters like [[http://www.adventurers-comic.com/d/0042.html dark blue spectres and navy blue spectres,]] each requiring different tactics to defeat.\\
It was also {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in a discussion between the BigBad and his minion, where the BigBad complains he has no time because he has to create new monsters to send after the protagonists, and the minion points out he usually just takes an existing monster and puts 'Ice' in front of it's name.
* In ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge'', many of the characters were recolors. Indeed, [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/000425c this might be the first recolor ever.]] [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/000501c And this the first intentional one.]] [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] on a regular basis, such as when half the cast and most authors ended up stuck in "devious recolour traps".
* In [[http://www.drunkduck.com/dragon_city Dragon City]], Natasha was a brown version of Erin, but she was later discovered to be an alternate universe version of Erin, so it doesn't really count.
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', when Elliot needs to become female ([[ItMakesSenseInContext to burn off magic energy]]), the easiest way not to look just like his OppositeSexClone Ellen is to change hair and eye color.
* The Underlings of Sburb in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' are all the same basic few monster species given countless different colours themed after grist types, and all bearing [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot some combination of the attributes of the players' prototypings]]. Given that it's an ersatz RPG in webcomic form, it's probably a homage to the palette-swapping practice in general.
** Also happens when you make SBURB UnwinnableByInsanity by trying to play it with only one person. The [[LightIsGood Prospit]] carapaces will wear [[DarkIsNotEvil black]] and the [[DarkIsEvil Derse]] carapaces will wear [[LightIsNotGood white]]. But if that happens, [[NintendoHard you've got bigger problems]].
* As noted early on in ''WebComic/ManlyGuysDoingManlyThings'', pallet swapping CommanderBadass ends up making him resemble the artist's father. She promptly [[http://thepunchlineismachismo.com/archives/comic/06282010 turned him into recurring character]] [[CanadaEh Canadian Guy]]. [[spoiler: The in-universe explanation is that Canadian Guy is an [[ArtificialHuman unsanctioned regional bootleg]] of the Commander.]]
* In ''WebComic/TheNonAdventuresOfWonderella'' the mirror-universe versions of Wonderella and Wonderita wear costumes with the colors reversed.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebAnimation/DSBTInsaniT'': This is what Bill's second and third forms are. His second form turns his hair a lighter shade of blue, and his third form turns his hair and clothes black with a yellow shirt.
* The characters in ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' look identical except for their unique colors. This is due more to the nature of the work ({{Machinima}} using the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' ColorCodedMultiplayer mode) than a stylistic choice.
** In later seasons, when the current game in the series allowed for customized pieces of armor, this cleared up a bit.
* Being one of the web's most potent FountainOfExpies characters, there are a massive number of recolored SonicTheHedgehog lookalikes on sites like ''Website/DeviantArt''. The least modified are simply Sonic with a new color scheme or some clothes on.
* Website/GoAnimate has Daillou (sometimes others) as a palette swap for Caillou
* On user-created-adoptable site Squiby it's common for users to take a single format for a creature and use creative colorfills to make multiple versions. Some popular lines that use this formula include [[http://www.squiby.net/user/Deebs Mites,]] [[http://www.squiby.net/user/TenLives Tencats,]] [[http://www.squiby.net/user/windswept Shika]] and [[http://www.squiby.net/user/Meifu Coons]].
* In the sixth, final episode of ''WebVideo/DontHugMeImScared'', [[spoiler:we get a blue Red Guy, a green Yellow Guy, and a red Duck; which also happen to be their favourite colours, as described in episode one]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Invoked in ''WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce'' with Albedo, the InsufferableGenius and former apprentice of Azmuth made an improved version of the omnitrix and began to masquerade as Ben to trash his reputation. At the end of the episode, Azmuth appears and breaks his version, getting him stuck in a ShapeShifterModeLock of Ben, except with white hair, a red jacket, and red eyes.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/DonkeyKongCountry'' CGI cartoon, the character model for Eddie the Mean Old Yeti is the same as Donkey Kong's, but with white fur and a cap instead of a necktie.
* Huey, Dewey, and Louie tend to dress identically but for color in ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'' and various WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck shorts. They vary it up a bit more in ''QuackPack'', though their preferred colors stay.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'':
** Lois' sister, Carol, is basically another Lois with different hair and clothes. They sport the same exact face and body shape.
** Stewie's evil clone from "The Hand That Rocks the Wheelchair" has the colors of Stewie's yellow shirt and red overalls switched.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode "[[Recap/FuturamaS4E15TheFarnsworthParabox The Farnsworth Parabox]]", the crew of Planet Express goes to a ParallelUniverse where [[ForWantOfANail coin flips and other random events having the opposite outcomes from their own]] and where they meet palette-swapped versions of themselves (Fry has black hair and a green jacket, Bender is gold-plated instead of gray, etc.), otherwise nearly identical in personality. This is a literal example in Bender's case, as when Bender originally came off the assembly line he flipped a coin to decide if he was going to have himself painted with a gunmetal gray finish or a golden one, making the two Benders ones that chose different palettes for the same physical model.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'', Owen and Vogel. They say nobody's ever said they look alike. [[spoiler: Turns out it's because Puck based his Owen identity on Vogel, the trickster enjoying the irony of playing TheComicallySerious]]. Further, one of the consequences of rapid growing a Gargoyle clone is a change in coloration, which was probably done to avoid [[OpeningACanOfClones the usual narrative consequences thereof]].
* One somewhat bizarre non-VideoGame example are [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Wile E. Coyote and Ralph Wolf]]. They were basically identical, except Ralph had a red nose and Wile E had a black one, and they lived in different areas.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Mixels}}'' has various background filler Mixels that share the same character models, with the only difference being swapped colors to represent the elements of the tribe they're from.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheMrMenShow'', Mr. Bounce looks like a yellow Mr. Tickle with a pink hat instead of a blue one.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** Due to the show's use of Flash animation, the easiest way to fill out crowd scenes is to reuse the same Flash models multiple times, in addition to mixing and matching mane, tail and cutie mark designs and adding or removing wings or a horn, to make new background ponies. The result is that most background characters tend to be recolored versions of a relatively small handful of basic models, and sometimes even major characters are palette-swapped to make background ponies.
*** The white nurse pony from "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E4ApplebuckSeason Applebuck Season]]" has a palette swap background pony from the same scene.
*** The two spa owners from "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E20GreenIsntYourColor Green Isn't Your Color]]" have the same character design but with inverted color schemes.
*** "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E21OverABarrel Over a Barrel]]" has an [[http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130814084450/mlp/images/b/b2/Cherry_Berry_is_that_you_S1E21.png Applejack palette swap]] with [[AllThereInTheScript Cherry Berry]]'s colors and cutie mark.
*** Sabrina Alberghetti's OC, Wild Fire, has two palette swaps, [[FanNickname unofficially named]] "Wild Flower" and "Rainbow Drop".
*** [[CanonImmigrant Blossomforth]] and [[AllThereInTheScript Helia]], both of whom debuted in "Hurricane Fluttershy". In the latter pony's [[SuddenlyVoiced first speaking episode]], "Rainbow Falls", her voice actress was mistakenly credited for the former.
** [[http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20131209171102/mlp/images/thumb/e/e3/Daring_Do_ID_S4E04.png/240px-Daring_Do_ID_S4E04.png Daring Do]] has the same appearance as Rainbow Dash, just with a monochrome mane and a tan rather than blue coat. Her explorer clothes help differentiate her.
** Photo Finish is a recolor of Twilight Sparkle, only with a shorter mane to make her look [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed a little more like Anna Wintour]]. There are a [[FreezeFrameBonus few frames]] that {{lampshade}} this with her cutie mark, which is the same as Twilight's but with a camera added.
** The green dragon that appeared in the episode "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E24OwlsWellThatEndsWell Owl's Well That Ends Well]]" is a palette swap of the red dragon in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E7Dragonshy Dragonshy]]". This dragon's character design was used once again multiple times in the episode "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E21DragonQuest Dragon Quest]]", colored green, white or black. In addition, the dragons flying in the actual migration all use one of to character models, identical save that one has a slender snout and a long spike on its head and the other has a heavy jaw, an underbite and two short horns, both recolored in a rainbow of hues.
** The buffalo (besides Chief Thunderhooves and Little Strongheart, who have important enough roles to get their own models) all use the same Flash model as each other, recolored to have either brown, russet or tan fur to make scenes with their tribe less visually monotonous.
** The band that performed on stage in the episode "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E4LunaEclipsed Luna Eclipsed]]" are actually palette swaps of the band from "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E26TheBestNightEver The Best Night Ever]]" but are wearing scarecrow costumes. Fiddly Faddle, the Octavia palette swap, also appears in "Apple Family Reunion".
** The individual bugs in the multicolored parasprite swarm all share the same character design.
** The various versions of Applejack and Rarity that Twilight makes during the titular "Magic Duel" look like pallete swaps of fillies and various other members of the apple family. This is because [[spoiler:they really are pallete swaps, as Twilight is not strong enough to actually cast those spells, so the Apple Family and Sweetie Belle disguised themselves with paint and hair dyes instead]]. Likewise, Fluttershy is painted in Rainbow Dash's colors for the duplication illusion.
** Moondancer, a friend first mentioned in the first episode of the series but who did not appear properly until the season 5 episode "Amending Fences", is partly a recolor of Twilight, emphasizing her role as a {{foil}}. When they're young, they're complete palette swaps aside from their Cutie Marks (and both are antisocial bookworms). At the time of the episode, Moondancer has acquired BigOlEyebrows, NerdGlasses, a sweater and a messier "I don't care what I look like" version of the hairstyle, though it's still a modification of the same one with a hair bobble. (And she's become even more antisocial whereas Twilight has learnt to appreciate friendship.) We also see that before Twilight's rejection traumatised her and she decided to isolate herself, she had the eyebrows and glasses but was still otherwise a palette swap. (This doesn't so much seem to have symbolic significance as to be a needed halfway point between the two other looks.)
* ''WesternAnimation/ShimmerAndShine:'' Dottie, the polka-dotted elephant from "My Secret Genies", is practically the elephant from "Abraca-Genie" with polka dots and a different color pattern.
* Fairly common in ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' for background classmates at the boys' school, or for adults in other crowd scenes. Although the animators have put together more distinct character models for extras in later seasons, palette swaps can still occur when they don't feel up to making even more new ones.
* Many extras on ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'' are Palette Swaps of each other. For example, the "My Leg!" and "Deaugh!" fishes.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsRebels'': Minister Maketh Tua is a palette-swapped generic citizen. Which led to confusion [[spoiler: after her death in [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsTheSiegeOfLothal "The Siege of Lothal"]], because on at least two occasions afterward ([[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS2E08TheFutureOfTheForce "The Future of the Force"]], [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS2E09Legacy "Legacy"]]) extras with that character model have been seen. Especially notable in "Legacy", where the extra in question gets a distinctive reaction shot.]]
* The villain in the ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitansTroubleInTokyo'' movie summoned several Palette Swapped copies of previously created villains for the final battle.
* ''WesternAnimation/TotallySpies'' has a ShoutOut example with the girls' predecessors, Pam, Alice, and Crimson. The women look almost ''exactly'' like Hitomi, Ai, and Rui from ''Manga/CatsEye'', just with different hair and eye colors.
* For the ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'' franchise in general, refer to the Toys section above. Below are some InUniverse examples of characters performing Palette Swaps on themselves, though:
** In the [[WesternAnimation/TheTransformers original series]], Optimus Prime received one as a side effect of being coated with Dr. Morgan's impervious alloy in "The Return of Optimus Prime, Part 2". He's back to his original colors by the end of the episode, but it's never mentioned if it's because the alloy coating was removed, or if his colors were repainted over the alloy, and neither the American nor [[Anime/TransformersHeadmasters Japanese]] continuations make mention of the alloy.
** In ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'', Bumblebee, Wasp, and [[spoiler:[[TheMole Longarm Prime/Shockwave]]]] demonstrate palette-swapping abilities via "electronic paint job".
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in the third season of ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime''. When the Autobots went underground, Bumblebee reversed his colors, from being a yellow car with black stripes to a black car with yellow stripes. Arcee (who is blue with a few pink accents) notes that if she were to do that, she'd end up [[MythologyGag mostly]] [[WesternAnimation/TheTransformersTheMovie pink]].

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Any product that is mass produced can also be made with different colors. Cars are a big example of this.
** Nintendo is very fond of making their consoles and accessories in different colors. The Nintendo 64 had controllers of various colors, ranging from red, blue, green, purple, etc. The console itself would also be produced in colors beyond black late in its life. When the Gamecube was launched, it came in either black or purple, along with its controllers. Later on, there would be a silver/platinum version and for a short time, there was orange, but that color was used only for the controller. The Wii initially released only in white, but it was also produced in black years later and there were controllers in black as well, along with pink, blue, and a limited edition of gold. The Wii-U (so far) only comes in either black or white.
** Nintendo's handhelds are an even bigger example of palette swapping, having huge amounts of colors consumers could pick from and some of them were limited edition colors (such as gold) and a few of those were [[NoExportForYou never released outside of their regions]]. There's a ''ton'' of colors that were used throughout each handheld iteration and they can be found [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Game_Boy_colors_and_styles here for the Game Boy line]] and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nintendo_DS_colors_and_styles for the DS line]].
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Badge_engineering Badge engineering]]. A car company takes one of their cars, swaps out the badges, then ''maybe'' changes the bodywork slightly before selling in one of their subsidiaries. General Motors is/was infamous for this, famously selling ''seven'' versions of effective ''the same car'' in the 1980s, all in the same market. The modern Volkswagen group likewise does the same, typically giving its affordable divisions previous-generation VW vehicles to modify. Chrysler, from 1970 until 1994, sold rebadged Mitsubishi compact cars because Chrysler's own compacts were [[TheAllegedCar so awful that nobody bought them]]. They stopped when they finally came up with a decent compact of their own in the Neon. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] with their [[TheEighties mid-80s]] ads for the fifth-generation Dodge/Plymouth Colt.
---> "Colt. It's all the Japanese you need to know."