E3: Behind the Scenes of Skull Girls

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Fighting game fans, listen up! ComingSoon.net has got Skull Girls info for you, straight from the floor of E3. We got to chat with one of the developers, Peter Bartholow about the game, who it’s marketed to and what news is upcoming about the title.

Bartholow told us, “Skull Girls is a new 2D fighter and the lead programmer, lead designer Mike Zaimont, also known as Mike Z online. He’s a tournament champion fighter so he really knows the in’s and out’s of the fighting game genre. Our art director is Alex Ahad who is a comic book artist who has a pretty big following online. He’s done contributions for Scott Pilgrim.”

We’re going to go ahead and say it. It looks like it’s catering to non-gamer girls or casual gamer girls, though that wasn’t exactly what we were told. “We’re building off a ‘Marvel vs. Capcom 2’ base and trying to improve from there. Balance fixes, etc. But we’re also trying to make it accessible to the newcomer. It’s easier to do. We’re going to have a tutorial that actually teaches you how to play fighting games. Fighting games are the last genre that don’t have tutorials.” (Mostly because they don’t need them.) Bartholow continued, “We’re going to have good tutorials and A.I. that is a little more pattern-oriented to teach you how to play fighting games. How to play your character. It’s ambitious.”

We asked exactly who this was marketed towards. “Um…I don’t know. Fighting game fans? It’s going to be…we think the characters will bring in casual fans but the mechanics will bring in hardcore fans. I think we can hit a pretty broad swath of fans here.”

He didn’t reveal any details, but Bartholow told us there would be a very unique sort of story mode, giving you a very satisfying single player experience as well. (We got to try the game in versus mode later in the day, and that was absolutely satisfying! A total blast!) Here is what Bartholow had to say about the story: “It takes place in the Canopy Kingdom…there is sort of an umbrella theme in the game…and basically there is a mystical artifact called the Skull Heart. Every seven years it will grant a wish to a young woman, but only if her heart is pure. If it’s not, the wish will be granted but will twist her into a monster known as the Skull Girl. Even though at launch all the characters are women, after launch, some of the DLC characters will be men. Not all the characters will be girls forever. And the male characters have their own reasons for being in it. For instance, there is a military group that is trying to destroy the Skull Heart because it’s causing chaos all over the world whenever there is a new Skull Girl.”

We got to see three of the characters, including a school girl with a parasite named Sampson on her head. She’s lost her memory, though she’s getting it back as she goes along. Sampson is not happy about this, of course. Ulterior motives, you know. Another is inspired by 1940’s cartoons, back when cartoons could be violent. He described her as a “violent Minnie Mouse.” A third is an orphan with a magic hat. She was described as “a leg breaker for the Mafia. They play on her daddy issues to get her to steal the Skull Heart for them.”

Skull Girls will be out later this year for the PSN and the XBLA. You can check out the trailer below!