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This page details prerelease information and/or media for Skullgirls.

And you were just a scroll away from being fired too...
Oh dear, I do believe I have the vapors.
This page contains content that is not safe for work or other locations with the potential for personal embarrassment.
Such as: Vulgarity and shirt ripping.
To do:
There's a few more early gameplay videos scattered about YouTube which may be worth checking out.

Skullgirls is notable for its lengthy development history, and was initially named SkullgirlS during its earliest stages in development.


The conceptualized lore for SkullgirlS is radically different from the final incarnation's. The original lore mentions a Black Tree which isn't present in the Skullgirls lore. Marie also dies in the original lore and is brought back to life as the Skull Girl by the Skull Heart, while in the final she is given the Skull Heart by Double. Another part of the SkullgirlS lore which was excised from the final is mention of a "Temple of the Skull Girl".[1] The early lore includes no references to the Medici Mafia at all, meaning early on they most likely didn't exist, however an unnamed mafia is mentioned in Squigly's early back story.



Extremely old concept art of Filia depicts her as a female mannequin monstrosity with a mouth on the back of its head. Later designs more closely resembles her final design, albeit with most of them featuring her with a tattered skirt.

Some of Filia's old concept art also shows her wielding swords shaped like hairpins, which are absent from her final design. A document by Alex Ahad mentions that Filia was intended to have a chargeable hairball special.


Skullgirls Concept Peacock.png
Skullgirls Concept AveryGun.png

Peacock was originally envisioned as a darker character, but was changed at some point in development to be more cartoony and lighthearted. Design-wise, her hair was more unkempt and her hat was more stiff than her final design. A video of an early build of SkullgirlS shows her punching and kicking, something which she doesn't do in Skullgirls.

A reference sheet circa 2008 shows Peacock's parasite Avery, named Patty Peacock on the sheet, wielding a tommy gun while on a spring. Judging from the nature of this attack, it was probably an early version of Peacock's c.HP.

Ms. Fortune

Comparison image of Ms. Fortune's original design and her redesign

Ms. Fortune's name during the SkullgirlS stage was Miss Fortune. A rather pointless change. Ms. Fortune also had a redesign during Skullgirl's development to better emphasize her fighting style. According to an interview, her redesign originally had pants.

"...Over time, the concept extended to her full body being detachable. She had a previous design, but to accommodate the full body element better, her design was changed.

However, I wanted to make sure the current design at least had some similar vibes to the old one. Among the cast, she was the more “athletic” type, so I kind of wanted to give her the pants + halter top / tank top look. It was influenced by characters like Blue Mary and the thief from Dungeons and Dragons: Shadow Over Mystara.

However, her pants ended up having to be cut up in order to accommodate and properly emphasize the scars." - Alex Ahad[2]


Painwheel was less detailed in the SkullgirlS stage of development and the blades on her back more closely resembled a pinwheel.


Skullgirls Concept Double.png

In very early concept art, Double was designed as a humanoid creature. This later changed to her being a mash-up of the cast topped with a crown, to her final, more monstrous form. Her "Beast of Gehenna" Blockbuster was originally intended to have been a command grab. [3]

Squigly and Umbrella

Squigly and Umbrella were initially planned to be part of the main roster for Skullgirls, however both were dropped early in development in favor of Valentine and Double. Squigly and Umbrella were later reinstated into the roster as DLC characters.


Skullgirls Concept Marie.png

Several different outfit designs for Marie, as well as a few alternate concepts for Ms. Fortune's early design.

Other Characters

According to an old Livejournal post by Alex Ahad, six additional characters were considered. These included a character named Aesil who would have originated from a dream world connected to Earth, and a character called Silverlocks who would have sought the Skull Heart to revive her dying ranch. The only character out of these six who remain canon to the final build is Annie. [4] Another character named George appears in concept art included on the Digital Art Compendium.

Super Modes

Skullgirls Concept Supersquig.png

At one point, it was planned for the playable characters to have super modes.[5] For example, Squigly acted more like a traditional zombie and used Leviathan as a weapon, while Leviathan himself took on a more draconic form. Concept art of Squigly's zombie-like super mode shows an attack which resembles her final Arpeggio, and a biting attack which she lacks in the final that would have healed her.

General Differences


Concept Art SkullgirlS Pre-Alpha Final
Skullgirls Concept Logo1.png Skullgirls Concept Logo2.png Skullgirls Final Logo.png

Early concept art shows that the game was originally planned to be named Skullgirl. Besides one of the concept logos is a very early version of Double. The game was later pluralized as Skullgirls, albeit being stylized as SkullgirlS first.

E3 2011 Screenshot

Pre-release Final
Wow, that's a huge cathedral! But now it's shrunked.
  • The Grand Cathedral appears gargantuan in the early screenshot.
  • The floor of the Grand Cathedral lacks any sort of texture.
  • The seats and statue are further away.
  • There are no NPCs in the background, which is common in most Skullgirls pre-release media.
  • There is very little lighting on Filia and no lighting whatsoever on Peacock.
  • The shadows were elongated in the final.
  • The hitspark from Peacock's blade is different.
  • The lights to signal if an assist can be called in list located by both the assist character's slots. The lights were moved to underneath the current character's health display and one set was removed presumably to reduce confusion because it's impossible to call in two assist characters at once.
  • The numbers in the timer are spaced further apart.
  • There is slightly more decoration around the early timer.
  • Filia's mugshot in the HUD looks off to the side, in the final, she looks forward.
  • Peacock's bow in her HUD mugshot is lighter.
  • The name tags underneath the active character's mugshots are less detailed.
  • The eye level image of the current character next to their health was removed, most likely for being pointless.
  • The health meter is less detailed than the final.
  • The meter level builds upwards in the pre-release HUD.


Character Trailer Alpha 0.6 Final
Skullgirls Prerelease Blockbuster.png Skullgirls Prerelease Blockbuster 2.png Skullgirls Blockbuster Final.png

When a Blockbuster is activated, the screen is tinted bright yellow for the beginning duration in most pre-release footage. This was changed to darkening the screen in a later build until finally tinting the screen sepia like in the final. The final version also has the portrait of the character whom activated the Blockbuster appear on a film reel.

Valentine's Forbidden Procedure

Character Trailer Final
Skullgirls Prerelease Procedure.png Skullgirls Procedure Final.png

After the brief red tint, the screen does not darken during the rest of the duration of Valentine's Forbidden Procedure Blockbuster. Note that the change of her crosses from red to magenta was not a change from the pre-release version, but a change brought about in the final version through a patch.

Cut Animations

To do:
Add animation of Peacock's unused c.HP, eye laser special, Fortune's cartwheel attack and Eliza's old tag-in animation.

Several animation were never implemented into the game. Two of Filia's animations were unimplemented due to objections from Mike Z because he thought they were too inappropriate, while Peacock's animations were cut because they took up too much of the file size for the console releases. It is worth noting that a frame of Peacock's unused intro animation was used in the final for Double's Bandwagon Rushdown Blockbuster and later used as one of her specials in Skullgirls Mobile. These unused animations were later included on the Digital Art Compendium, which was made exclusively for backers of the 2013 Indiegogo campaign who pledged $80 or more.

(Source: Skullgirls Wikia)


2010 Skullgirls Pre-Alpha

Footage from a pre-alpha build dated 8-9-10, and one of the first videos showing footage of the game under its finalized Skullgirls moniker. The footage shows primitive versions of the Streets of New Meridian and Lab 8 stages. It also features a ruins stage that doesn't resemble anything seen in the final build. Judging from the skull motif in the background, it was probably an early version of the Final Atrium.

  • The only playable character is Filia in several different palettes, as she was the only character completed at this point.
  • The hitsparks are smaller and less detailed.
  • No sparks appear around Filia when she breaks an infinite.
  • The hit sound effect is more high pitched.
  • Filia's j.MK sound is different.
  • One of Filia's Blockbusters (known as a "Super" at this point in development) features her turning into a ball and rolling into the opponent. This Super was turned into her Hairball special in the final.
  • When a character is defeated, their body shrinks and disappears. In the final, their body lies on the ground and turns darker.

Character Trailers

During 2011 and 2012, character trailers were uploaded to YouTube. The 2011 trailers appear to have been filmed in a build predating any of the builds from the alpha build compilation video.

  • The combo counter is located much closer to the center of the screen.
  • There are no background characters in any of the stages.
  • Some stages are different. For example, Little Innsmouth has very little background detail and there is a house on the right side of the Maplecrest stage.
  • Most of the hit sounds are different.
  • Several character's HUD mugshots face off to the side, while in the final they face forward.
  • Around the 0:24 mark in Peacock's character trailer, she uses her Lonesome Lenny Blockbuster and refers to him as Fat Man. Fat Man was the original name for Lonesome Lenny but was changed sometime before the game's release to perceivably avoid insensitivity regarding the atomic bombings of Japan during World War II. Her "Meet the Fat Man" line was deleted from the final release.
  • When Avery is launched by Peacock's j.HK attack, he hits three times opposed to the final's two.
  • Peacock's stunned voice clip is shorter and different.
  • The strap on Cerebella's dress is black and yellow in her HUD mugshot.
  • No guitar riff plays when Cerebella uses her Devil Horns attack.
  • Cerebella seems to move slower when she uses Diamond Dynamo.
  • Parasoul's "Cry, Krieg" line is different.

E3 2011 Character Gameplay Trailers

To do:
Document differences (if any) in the other videos.
  • Peacock doesn't speak at all during the trailer.
  • Cerebella doesn't speak after using an assist.
  • The colour of Tension Meter level 3 is purple and level 4 is pink. This was changed to red and blue respectively in later builds. Tension Meter 5 is a static orange but flashes rainbow in the final.
  • At the 3:44 mark, Peacock uses an aerial move where she fires one of her eyes from her arm at the opponent. Seeing as the eye doesn't seem to hit the opponent until a while after being launched, it was likely dropped for being useless.

2012 Alpha Build Compilation

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This page or section has one or more broken YouTube links.
Please find an archived version of the video(s) or a suitable replacement.

A video showing gameplay footage of some alpha builds. Gameplay-wise, it is near identical to the final version, but it still has some differences.

  • The Tension Meter in the Alpha flashes to indicate it is at a new level, something which it doesn't do in the final.
  • The screen becomes dark when an Outtake is used.
  • Ms. Fortune's HUD mugshot is larger and faces to the side.
  • The hitsparks from Filia's Updo assist are purple.
  • The hit sounds in some of the earlier alpha builds are different.
  • When Peacock whistles on the Grand Cathedral stage, the speech bubble that appears is tinted orange.