Alternate Character Interpretation: Given Sekhmet is Eliza's skeleton, is she still her own person with Sekhmet sparing her brain, or is she just a personality taken up by the Parasite to enjoy herself?
Americans Hate Tingle: While it does have its fans there and is not exactly hated per se, the game is not exactly popular in Latin America, compared with other established fighting game franchises like The King of Fighters or Street Fighter. This is partly because unlike the aforementioned games, the game is notorious for having a steep learning curve regarding combos, meaning that any useful tactic in those games will definively not going to work here, and partly because it's a console-exclusive game, while most Latin American players are more experienced with arcades.note This is not exclusive from this game, as practically games with similar playing schemes like Arc System Works's fighters like Guilty Gear and BlazBlue suffer from this as well in that region.
Awesome Art: The art direction is amazing, paying homage to old school cartoons with each character having multiple drawn frames with smooth animation. They could've gone with cheaper 3D models, but where's the fun in that?
Best Known for the Fanservice: The game has a rather cool art style, a good story for a fighter, some interesting characters with personalities that shows they actually have more depth to them then just their looks, and is an overall fun and solid tournament fighter. Unfortunately, many people who haven't played the game for more than 10 minutes, if at all, often get stuck on what they perceive as blatant fanservice. Though this diminishesreally fast.
Broken Base: With the tumultuous development of Skullgirls, the game inevitably attracted its own share of arguments amongst its fanbase as changes rocked the scene.
Mike Z's conservative approach to balance patches. Mike believes that you cannot make changes based off a limited amount of play and prefers to let the game grow before he and the team make any balance changes. This obviously appealed to older fans and fighting game veterans who are used to seeing most early Game Breakers eventually find counters. However, newer players, especially those new to the genre in general, were not so happy with this. Some of those same newer players were also somewhat put off by the influences from Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, specifically on the utility of the assists.
Double's Hornet Bomber Assist. Due to a mistake in the game's coding, it had a lot more invincibility frames than it should have, making countering it difficult. There were people already crying out for a nerf on the game's debut, and people who didn't think the assist needed nerfing, and they told those people to learn to deal with it. Either way, though, the move did end up being nerfed.
In the end, the game seems to have eventually captured a significant fandom — but it turned out that not many of the fans actually played fighting games at a high level. So even though it was designed by an experienced FG player for high level competitive play, it eventually lost most of its tournament exposure. The Xbox 360 version's not being updated to the latest version (for about a year; thankfully, the patch was finally released) further fractured the base, as the online matchmaking for the game is almost completely empty on that platform as a result.
Not even the voting for the two DLC characters was immune. When Round 2's survivors were announced, many fans cried foul due to hopefuls like Marie, Umbrella, and Scythana being out-voted by Minette. Beowulf winning the second contest was met with outright revulsion from detractors, who claimed he had the least interesting design of all the male characters and Beowulf didn't make even make it to the top 4 in the first contest's voting. Many fans were not happy at Big Band taking Umbrella's second DLC character spot, especially as she lost in the fan voting soon after. What probably caused the most resentment was Alex Ahad's explanation that it would be impossible to add True Story Mode until Marie, Umbrella, and Black Dahlia were playable characters. You can imagine the rage that erupted when none of them won, meaning that the mode would never come to pass.
After it was discovered that a couple of animations involving pantyshots were edited, some fans were concerned this was the start of potential censorship in the future. Lab Zero later clarified that these were only edited due to artistic reasons (they felt the original animations were too forced) and no other adjustments of this type would be made. (In addition, some panty shots are still in the game.) Some were okay with that decision, considering that one of the affected fighters (Filla) was underage.
Complacent Gaming Syndrome: For the most part, this trope was fortunately averted early on in the game's life, as you would see many different types of teams and assists being used online, which is likely helped by the fact that the roster was so small at launch. However... get into higher level play and you're would see a whole lot of teams with Double on the end as an anchor. Double had an extremely good assist in her Hornet Bomber move, particularly her Light Kick variation, since it simultaneously acts as a lockdown assist and an invincible assist. Along with that, while she was mostly manageable as a normal point character, she became much scarier when she had meter to abuse her Bandwagon Rushdown, Nightmare Legion, and Catellite Live supers with. Not to mention, the latter acts as a really good way to bring in Double through a DHC if you keep the opponent blocking. She's been nerfed pretty effectively over the course of the game's lifespan, so it's not like she's unbeatable at this point, but that doesn't stop a lot of people from tacking her on their team even after the game's support ended.
Fukua has been the subject of this as well, due to her ability to easily confirm into combos (while simple to do), do a lot of damage.
Big Band is put on many, many teams simply due to his Brass Knuckles and Beat Extend moves being fantastic assists. It doesn't hurt that he's a pretty good character as well, in spite of his massive size. And if it isn't him, it's Cerebella instead. Aside from solo characters, seeing a high-level team without one of the two online is very rare.
Squigly is very popular among the burgeoning fanbase, and she isn't even part of the default roster!
Minette, a character who was only seen in one picture in the Story Mode Trailer, and whose name was only known at the time by Word of God, gained popularity shortly after the trailer went up.
Panzerfaust, a huge, muscular character with a tank for a fist, and whose name was also only revealed by Word of God, who grew in popularity as the possible first playable male character until Big Band was chosen. He was previously part of another game concept by Alex Ahad, but shows up in the background of Parasoul's Story Mode in the same uniform as the rest of her soldiers. A popular YouTube voice actor, General Ivan, recorded some lines for him and sent them to Mike Z.
Stanley Whitefin, also known by the Fan Nickname "Science Shark." He was apparently designed as a throwaway background character and was actually intended to die over the course of the story... but fans took a liking to him, and he was even a possible DLC candidate.
Big Band, aka Sax Deka, is another background character with a large following. In fact, he replaced Umbrella as the second DLC character.
Adam Kapowski, elite Black Egrets soldier, is well liked amongst the fandom for his status as a genericDogged Nice Guy.
There was a common fan theory that before she swallowed the Life Gem, Ms. Fortune had brown hair. This was a sort of Development Gag, as her original design sported brown hair instead of her current white.
However, as of Skullgirls Mobile (which takes place before Ms. Fortune ate the Life Gem), this has been debunked, as Ms. Fortune is seen in the story mode with an appearance very similar to her current design (including the existence of her white hair), yet simultaneously with no signs of being cut up whatsoever on her body.
Fetish Retardant: The stylized anatomy and overly jiggly breasts can have this effect for some people.
Double might even be an intentional use of this; her intro animation starts with her appearing as a shapely nun, shortly before she splits in half and turns into a giant flesh monster not unlike The Thing (1982).
Fandom Rivalry: With Super Smash Bros. Melee during the charity donation event to decide which game would get into EVO 2013. Although Melee won, both of the sides seem to have nothing but mutual respect now for being the two highest-raising communities.
Game-Breaker: Double used to be one, due to how overpowered she used to be. In short, she hadnote Big Band's assists are considered better, along with the move being nerfed the best assist in Hornet Bomber, a broken level one (now level two and shortened) super in Catelite Lives, and an infinite. No matter what you needed, your team was automatically better simply by placing Double on it.
One of Filia's supers is called "Gregor Samson" — after Gregor Samsa, the main character of the Franz Kafka story The Metamorphosis, who wakes up one morning to discover that he's turned into a giant cockroach-like insect.
The Argus system gets its name from the myth of Argus Panoptes, the multi-eyed giant whose eyes, after his death, were taken by Hera to adorn the tail of the peacock.
Samson is a parasite that replaced Filia's hair (A hairasite?), and acts as the source of her strength. Now, who knows what was the source of Samson's strength in The Bible? Anyone?
Samson's former host was also called Delilah. In the Bible, Delilah was the one who tricked Samson into removing his hair.
Everybody knows Peacock's mascot partner is named after Tex Avery. Less people notice the Avery Unit is named after his team of animators. Appropriately, it's her weapon system that warps reality into cartoon logic.
"Avery" also happens to sound like "Aviary," continuing Peacock's bird theming.
The Medici Mafia run the city of New Meridian and are the patrons of Cerebella's circus, Beowulf's wrestling arena, and other entertainment. During the Italian Renaissance, the House of Medici ran the city of Florence and were patrons of the arts, though with less horrifying crime.
Black egrets are actual birds that hunt by cupping their wings into makeshift umbrellas.
Cirque du Soleil has an act named Vis (Vice) Versa in which one person balances on top of another using remarkable physical strength.
Buer is a Goetic demon depicted as a lion's head with five bent goat legs arranged like a spinning wheel. The Buer Drive is a spinning wheel made of bent blades. Painwheel's other synthetic parasite, the Gae Bolga, is named after the Celtic hero CuChulainn's spear, that expanded into thirty barbs when it entered a body. Since it's already in her body, it bursts out of her skin as multiple spikes.
Parasoul's living weapon is Krieg (German for "war"), which she uses in conjunction with a Luger Parabellum pistol. "Parabellum" is derived from the Latin adage Si vis pacem, para bellum - "If you wish for peace, prepare for war."
Parabellum is also the name for a type of bullet in real life, the 9x19mm Parabellum round commonly used in most semi-automatic pistols today. To add to this, it was first introduced for the Luger semi-automatic pistol.
For further theming, her snack-obsessed sister's weapon is named Hungern (Swedish for "starvation," but can also mean "famine"). While understandably not named after the German for "famine" (because "Hungersnot" sounds terrible in English), they appear to be named after the Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Eliza's parasite is named Sekhmet after the Egyptian goddess of war. In the mythology she was known for drinking the blood of her slain foes. Sekhmet was also known as "Lady of Slaughter" and "She Who Mauls" - both of these titles are referenced in one of Eliza's supers.
Eliza referred to Double as Lamia in her tag-in line. Lamia was the queen of Libya who became a child-eating daemon and her name was derived from the word "laimos" (Greek for gullet). One of Double's lines before fighting is "Blessed are those that revere Lamia." Also, she refers to the other fighters as "ignorant children" and consumes the initial cast in her ending.
While the game rose in popularity in its native US as more info came out, a lot of the initial featured fanart was made by Japanese artists, and Uno Makoto (designer for Witch Blade) had even drawn fanart for Skullgirls. Reverge Labs also noticed this: they planned to release a Japan-exclusive disc (due to Japan's dislike of DLC) after the first batch of DLC.
It drew the attention of Japanese fighting-game producers as well; Yoshinori Ono and Daisuke Ishiwatari are both on record as saying they were looking forward to the release of Skullgirls. (Ono even tweeted several photos of himself at the Skullgirls booth at New York Comic Con 2011.)
Mike Zaimont (director of the game) also said he was hoping to get an arcade release for the game, with a Japan-focused breakthrough in mind. Things were looking up for that; apparently the game could run on a Taito arcade board. And then it happened, as Skullgirls got an arcade release in Japan through the NESICA system.
Following the game's US release, Microsoft Japan contacted Konami and Reverge Labs because they were overwhelmed by people calling in asking why it wasn't out in Japan yet. Wow. Those fans' prayers were eventually answered - an issue of Famitsu announced that Skullgirls would be available on the Japanese Playstation Store on Feb. 14, 2013.
Goddamned Boss: The Skullgirl herself. While Marie can take a lot of punishment and dish it out in spades, most of her attacks are easily avoided provided you play smart. When she's down to the last 10% or so of her health, however, she breaks apart into nothing more than a skull and some bones hovering around the Skull Heart. In this form, she is very hard to hit due to her tiny hitbox that floats out of the reach of most ground-based attacks, and zips back and forth across the arena to avoid you. All the while she's using all of the same attacks she was using in the previous two forms, with the skulls firing in greater numbers. While she's (arguably) not difficult enough to put her in SNK Boss level, she's still very, very irritating to fight.
Hilarious in Hindsight: In this stream around 44 minutes in, someone shoved fanart of Beowulf into the camera (before the official announcement). Shortly afterward, Render declared, "That was not our official announcement; that was just some fan art!" Guess who won the second DLC character vote?
An April Fools' Day joke in 2012 has Skullgals announced for the Neo-Geo, a little more than two years later, Skullgirls Encore was announced for the Playstation Vita.
Beowulf's section of the bios for all the potential DLC characters reads "[His using weapons in battle is] only illegal if theres a referee." Fast-forward to today, and not only does Beowulf have a personal referee, he is part of his moveset, meaning there ALWAYS is a referee in fights that Beowulf is a part of.
Hollywood Pudgy: Filia is the "Fat" member of the cast weighing in at 142 pounds (24.4 BMI, 0.6 away from over weight).
"Holy Shit!" Quotient: Squigly's Story Mode. When Marie throws half of a building at the beginning of the story you know that shit just got real.
Eliza's story mode still manages to top it. The moment she straight up kills Cerebella is the moment things take an incredibly dark turn...
I Am Not Shazam: To those who don't recognize the title as referring to the main antagonist and not the characters. This reached new highs (or lows) when Big Band, the first male character, debuted.
It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: Due to the game's increasing popularity, many gamers are actually too afraid to try this game since they assume that only fighting game veterans will enjoy it and player killers might overpopulate the multiplayer for any newbies trying to enter the ring. Not helped by brutal boss Marie and certain attack strategies that could crush players really easily.
Beowulf. Even before his DLC was released, he was already being paired with the entire female cast (especially with Eliza, Valentine and Ms. Fortune) and also some male characters...
LGBT Fanbase: As one would expect out of a game that has a fully female cast (not counting DLC), it's rather popular among lesbians and bisexual women.
Les Yay: All-female fighting game. This was inevitable.
This little exchange in Ms. Fortune's story mode:
Valentine: Well, well...what have we here? That's quite the body you have there, kitty. Ms. Fortune: ...Er, sorry, creepy lady. I'm not interested.
According to Word of God, Valentine is more or less asexual. Despite this, she is said to use her looks to seduce people, which might explain some elements of the Proud Beauty she expresses in-game - in fights predominantly against other women.
Seen in Double's ending, Aeon has a Ms. Fortune body pillow.
Peacock has a few, likely innocent examples of this, probably due to her role as a pastiche of classic cartoons being rather masculine while she herself is a girl. For example, her grab block has her spurt out "Watch the merchandise," she refers to Parasoul as a "dame" in one of her win lines (in a very mocking tone), and one of her opening lines against Valentine is a very loud and drawn-out "Hello, nurse!"
Robo-Fortune's became one as well, spawning much fanart after Kimlinh Tran (Fortune's actress) ad-libbed some lines during a stream. (As seen here on the 1:13:00 mark) And then Robo-Fortune appeared on the game's Indiegogo page....
Both are now Ascended Memes (though granted, they were started by the voice actors). Republican Double was announced to be a downloadable voice pack as a reward for hitting $250,000 in the Indiegogo fundraising campaign. Robo-Fortune became a voice pack at $350,000 in the campaign, but this was superseded when a last-minute stretch goal was funded, making Robo-Fortune into a playable character a la Robo-Ky.
The weekly Salty CupcakesSkullgirls livestream has the meme of Mike Z's Sandwich. Really, just sandwiches in general.
Two Weeks (TM) note A patch for a game has to be submitted to Sony and Microsoft for testing before it can be released on PSN and XBLA, leading to a two-week long wait period between the developers finishing up and the companies actually finishing up. When this was brought up in regards to the Xbox patch, the wait ended up being much longer than that, and "Two Weeks" promptly became a mantra for the Skullgirls community whenever they're waiting on something to release.
Became an Ascended Meme: Squigly tells Marie and the audience in the beta story mode that they're going to have to wait two weeks for her real story mode to happen. Marie reacts very poorly to being told that.
"Skullgirls is a dead game." Eventually died off, due to the fanbase being very dedicated in making it appear at many tournaments long after it was first claimed to be dead, with Combo Breaker being the most popular.
Narm: Painwheel's ending is depressing, but the presentation is sort of goofy. The fact that her parents were able to shout her away with one sentence, and that she didn't even attempt to remove her mask to show them it was her (which she can apparently do according to Valentine's ending) makes it seem like she put no real effort into trying to re-unite with her parents, and goes off to be alone instead.
Never Live It Down: Cerebella will always have trouble living down what happened in her Story Mode Ending, despite the ending not being canon. See The Scrappy below.
Older Than They Think: The game had been in production for years before Mike Z came on board, with several of its cast members created years before even that. Most of the characters thought to be expies precede their counterparts. Not that it's easy to tell in a game made of references.
Paranoia Fuel: Try to finish Fukua's story mode without wondering if "Filia" isn't really Fukua after the story's ending and her successfully taking over Filia's body. She likes being Filia, after all.
Polished Port: The PC version of the game is very well done, having lobbies, supporting just about any USB controller available, using the extra memory to have all the sprites loaded at once, and updated much more frequently than either console version.
Relationship Writing Fumble: Cerebella and Vitale Medici are supposed to have an "aloof father and daddy's girl adopted daughter" feel to their interactions, but in the game, it comes off more as a creepy MayDecember Romance thing — especially in Cerebella's ending, where she's shown sitting on Vitale's knee sharing a glass of champagne in a very tight, slinky dress that the busty girl is almost falling out of. It feels more like Cerebella wants Vitale's romantic love than his paternal love.
Common fanon is that it is romantic, but only on Cerebella's part, with Vitale seeing her only as a daughter. This would of course make Cerebella the resident Electra-complex representative.
"Suddenly there's going to be a million new pictu - yuri pictures of these two popping up on the internet after this."
Valentine and Painwheel also see a lot of pairing up. This could possibly because in Valentine's ending, it turned out that in a way, she was looking out for Painwheel, wishing herself to be a Skullgirl so Painwheel could be the one to destroy her and the Skull Heart.
Ms. Fortune x Minnette also pretty fairly popular, given thanks for their Odd Friendship.
Squigly x Filia, based on their Friendly Rivalry (even though their Puppeteer Parasites don't approve), their tag-team battle against Double and especially in the Bittersweet Ending where Filia gives Squigly a proper burial, and carved a very heartwarming epitaph on the headstone.
A rare het ship; since the addition of Big Band to the playable roster, and him calling in Leduc to extract Painwheel after Band beats her, Leduc x Carol is fast becoming a popular ship. Strangely, no one ships Big Band x Ileum, despite them being the shared Parental Substitute for Lab 8's Ragtag Bunch of Misfits.
Before the release of Big Band, many supported the ship of Big Band x Illeum, for being Team Dad and Team Mom for obvious reasons.
That One Attack: Double's Catellite Lives super. What it does is essentially keep you in permanent lockdown for the entire duration of the move, allowing your opponent to mix you up in any way they see fit. If you end up getting hit, which you likely will, you end up in a combo... which leads to the person gaining meter, performing Catellite Lives AGAIN, and repeating the process until you're dead. The only way to defend against it is to either block the entire thing or perform a really difficult technique known as pushblock guard cancelling in the middle of blocking the super and hope that it manages to hit Double so you can break free. This move kind of makes her a Tier-Induced Scrappy among the competitive community.
Fortunately the move was nerfed in the Squigly patch — it now costs two meters to use, meaning it can't be used continuously as it used to be, and you can't cheat the system and just mash the macro buttons so you don't accidentally throw out an attack anymore.
That One Boss: Marie. She's immune to hitstun, spits out attacks like crazy, and has a hitbox the size of a peanut in her final form. She is also totally immune to anything involving a grapple, making her even harder for the characters that rely on powerful grabs.
Filia when fought as Fukua's final boss. She is automatically set to Nightmare difficulty, has 3 times normal health, and starts with 5 charges in her super meter. Good luck.