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The Fighters of SkullGirls: 2nd Encore

On 12/01/2019 at 07:26 PM by Cary Woodham

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Recently I reviewed SkullGirls: 2nd Encore.  It’s a 2-D one-on-one fighter with cartoony graphics and I’ve been wanting to review it since 2012 when it came out, but for whatever reasons I wasn’t able to.  But I got my chance when it came out on the Switch!  For what’s considered an indie game, this one is very good.  Almost on par with fighters like BlazBlue and Guilty Gear!  I was very impressed with the creativity of the characters and even the storylines in the Story Mode were pretty interesting.  And usually they aren’t in fighting games.  So when that happens, I usually like to write a blog about the characters, and so we’ll do that here.  Some slight story spoilers here and there, just to warn you, but the game HAS been out since 2012.


So the main reason why all these fighters are beating each other up is to take control of the Skull Heart.  If a girl or woman touches it, they’ll get their wish granted, but it comes with some consequences, too.  And that’s why most of the characters you can play as are female.  Also, the game has a dark art deco 1920’s theme, and kind of reminds me of Batman: The Animated Series.  SkullGirls would make a great cartoon, albeit a very mature one.  Anyway, I first thought Squigly was a puppet, as she has a string thing around her and her mouth is sewn shut and she just communicates via thoughts.  But it turns out she’s really a zombie and her string thing is actually a talking parasite demon guy.  So I could beat the story mode with some characters but not others because the last boss is so hard and/or cheap.  And Squigly is one of the ones I couldn’t beat the last boss with so that’s all I can say about her!

Big Band

He’s one of my favorite characters!  He’s like a film noir detective, but he was badly hurt in an accident so he was rebuilt with parts.  But instead of mechanical parts, he was rebuilt with musical instruments!  So he fights with saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and others.  And he is one of the few characters I can beat the game with!  So yeah, he’s awesome!


At first I thought I’d like her because she looks like a pretty Egyptian lady.  But it turns out she’s a scary mean demon that can turn into a skeleton as her true form!  Lesson here is to not judge a book by its cover!  And she’s really mean and killed off my favorite character in the story mode!  I do like her two goons, though.  They’re muscled up versions of ancient Egyptian gods Anubis and a bird hieroglyph. 


At first I thought she was a police officer but she’s actually a school girl in a uniform.  Maybe she’s going to police school?  Anyway, like Squigly, she has a talking parasite thing attached to her hair.  If you look closely, you can see her headband is actually teeth and eyes!  Her parasite’s name is Samson.  He helps her fight, too.  Because of this, I was able to beat the last boss with this character.


One bad thing about SkullGirls is that it’s guilty of having different characters just are just palette swaps of other characters, but luckily it doesn’t happen often.  Fukua is just a green Filia.  Same moves for the most part and everything.  Her storyline is really weird though.  Usually you fight a few guys and then the boss, but for Fukua, you fight half the roster, then the boss, then the other half and then the last boss is a super hard version of Filia that I couldn’t beat.  But the way Fukua’s story starts out is pretty funny.  It’s all Filia’s dream, and it shows her sleeping in bed that’s a direct reference to the ending of Super Mario Bros. 2!  The graphics are all shades of blue and she even wears a nightcap with an F on it and everything! 

Miss Fortune

She’s a catgirl and also a thief.  She stole a gem called the Life Gem, and when mobsters from the Medici gang cut her into pieces, she still lives but can throw her head around as a weapon when she fights.  Since she’s also a cat, she can also wrap fighters in a ball of yarn and bat it around like cats do.  She’s all right, but she ain’t no Felicia.

Robo Fortune

At first I was like, “Oh no!  Not another palette swap!”  But she’s actually not just a gray Miss Fortune!  She is her own sprite with different animations and attacks!  The bad guys created her, but she also has a lot of funny lines that she delivers in a monotone robotic voice, like “In case you haven’t noticed, I am a robot,” and “This was a triumph.”


I like this fighter because she’s like an old black and white cartoon character, and I like those kinds of cartoons.  She has rubber hose animations and has goofy sound effects when she fights, her legs swirl when she runs, and her attacks are silly.  She also says stuff like “sufferin’ succotash” and “Ain’t I a stinker?”  In the story mode, she’s a living weapon and hangs out with other cartoons like a little bird, talking one ton weight, and an anvil with eyes and boxing gloves.  I wish I could’ve beaten the game with this character, but she was too hard to use.


Painwheel, Painwheel, spinning around…sorry, I’m a child of the 80s so I had to do that.  Talk about angsty!  Painwheel is a girl who has been turned into a weapon controlled by the bad guys, but she’s starting to regain control herself.  She wears a mask and crawls around and has a giant metal pinwheel attached to her back.  She can use it to spin around like a helicopter or swing it at enemies like an anchor.  She also makes a lot of gross, guttural noises when she fights.  Scary!


She’s my favorite character in the game!  She’s a friendly circus performer who has a special hat that when she puts it on her head, it sprouts big muscle arms and helps her fight.  She’s also one of the few characters I could beat the game with, so that’s also why I like her.  But every character in this game has a dark side, and the only thing I don’t like about Cerebella is that she works for the bad guys: the mobster Medici gang.  But you can tell she feels guilty about it.


She’s a leggy military agent with a bunch of soldiers at her command, but she’s also a princess.  She fights with an umbrella and wears an outfit that kind of reminds me of that one Marvel character.  I think her name was Black Spider or something.


Oh man, this guy is so cool!  His story is one part wrestling drama, and one part epic poem that you may have had to study in high school.  He’s a washed up wrestler who wears a wolf skin and fights with a folding chair on his back.  In the past he fought a giant named Grendel, and then had to fight Grendel’s mom.  You know, like in the poem.  But then his career falls flat and he resorts to playing a bad guy in a kids super hero show.  But when the SkullGirl appears, his agent has him fight all these people for a comeback, but it turns out the agent was a fake and was working for the SkullGirl and making him take out people in the SkullGirl’s way.  But with the help of the super hero girl from the TV show, he makes everything right in the end!  He’s just a goofy fighter and I’m glad I could beat the game with him.


The last two characters were locked and I don’t know how to unlock them.  But Valentine is one of the bad guys and she’s a busty nurse with evil intentions and that’s all you need to know.  I do like how the cartoon character Peacock says “Helloooo, Nurse!” when you fight her!


When you need to fight the same character you are, that’s who Double is.  She can take on two forms.  Sometimes she’s the same character as you, and other times she’s a nun who can open her mouth wide and turn herself inside out and become a mass of organs!  Eww!  In that form, she can use attacks from all different characters.  But like Valentine, she was locked so I can’t tell you any more than that!  And the last boss is a maid with dinosaur bones around her (the SkullGirl), but I don’t think you can play as her.

And those are the fighters in SkullGirls!  Again, it’s a pretty good game and I was surprised how well it turned out.  It’s a bit more mature than what I usually play, but then, I am an adult and sometimes like to dabble in more grown up games every now and then.  My favorite characters are Cerebella, Big Band, Beowulf, and Peacock.  Have you ever played SkullGirls?  Who are your favorite fighters in it?  --Cary




12/01/2019 at 08:29 PM

I like the artstyle and the crazy backstories. I'm not into fighting games much but I might have to check this out after looking at all those crazy characters you talked about. 

Cary Woodham

12/02/2019 at 09:44 PM

Yeah the characters are really cool and I was surprised how good the stories were.  I liked them anyway.  And it's neat how some of the little details tie in together.  Like the super hero show that Beowulf starred in is the same show that Peacock likes to watch on TV!

Matt Snee Staff Writer

12/03/2019 at 10:58 AM

I'm not good at fighting games, especially 2D ones, but I do like them very much. I remember playing Street Fighter 2 a lot on my friend's SNES when I was a teen. That Dragonball Z fighter that came out a little while ago looks good. But Skullgirls looks like a passion project for these developers, so I'm sure it's pretty cool. 

Cary Woodham

12/03/2019 at 09:23 PM

Oh I'm HORRIBLE at fighting games.  Heck, I had SkullGirls set on the easiest setting (called "Sleepwalk") and I still couldn't beat the last boss with many of the characters.  But I've enjoyed fighting games more recently than I did in the past.  Seriously, early 2-D fighters like Street Fighter 2, feel slow and clunky to me in comparison to the more smoother fighters of today.  But I've always found the characters in fighting games fascinating.  Whether they are goofy karate guys or tough, strong women (I have a soft spot for those), they are at least a small bit interesting.  And yeah, SkullGirls is very good for an indie game.


12/05/2019 at 04:56 PM

 I couldn't remember if I had this one or the first one and it turns out 2 is an add-on that apparently I have. Who knew. As for the game I like it, it's not too serious but there is a quality game in there. It's colorful and the characters are interesting. 

Cary Woodham

12/06/2019 at 09:20 AM

Yeah I think the 2nd Encore just means it has all the DLC and stuff.

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