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Palette swap

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Step 1: Change colors. Step 2: Profit.

A palette swap is a design technique often used in 2D games, in which multiple characters are made from one model by swapping it's color pallete. Palette swapping was a common practice back when sprites were the norm, primarily in RPGs. It has since become increasingly rare in the 3D generation, but not completely extinct.


Fighting Games

In fighting games, such as Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter, palette swapping lets them increase their roster of fighters without having to draw new ones. One of the most famous examples of palette swapping is Mortal Kombat's Scorpion and Reptile, who are simple swaps of Sub-Zero. Though the color's are swapped, it's still left up to the programmers to make the fighters different, with new moves & character controls.

Role Playing Games

In RPGs like Final Fantasy, a palette swap is often used to not only create new monster species & save time, but to differentiate between elements. For example, a normal pig monster could be yellow, but a green pig monster would have a poisonous attack, and a red pig monster would have fire elemental attacks.

Notable Palette Swap Characters

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