A little less than a month ago we got the incredibly exciting news that developer Hidden Variable, who are responsible for bringing fan-favorite fighting game Skullgirls to mobile, were working in conjunction with Lab Zero Games, who are the creators of the original Skullgirls, in order to bring a brand new character to the mobile version of the game. You see, Skullgirls on mobile is a totally reworked version of the console and PC game built specifically for touchscreens, but using all the same assets from the main game. It’s like Hidden Variable took the full Skullgirls apart and pieced it back together into something that plays amazingly on touchscreen and has such an in-depth progression and collection aspect that you can basically play it everyday for the rest of time and not run out of things to do.
Because it’s based on the full console and PC Skullgirls, all of the “new” characters that have been added to the mobile version over the years have actually just been characters that already existed in the full Skullgirls console and PC game. And since the mobile Skullgirls has added all of the already existing characters, well, there’s nothing left to do but create a totally brand new character, right?
Except that not quite everyone has actually been added to the mobile Skullgirls just yet. While that brand new character is shooting for a release later this year, in the more immediate future Hidden Variable is looking to cap off the roster with the one character that technically is the last existing character not to be added to the game yet: Fukua. In case you’re wondering why there’s kind of a “wink wink, nod nod” around whether Fukua is a real character or not, it’s because she was originally intended as an April Fool’s joke.
Back in 2014 Lab Zero had just gone through heck in a handbasket in regards to issues with their publisher and ultimately having to delist the existing Skullgirls games on console and re-release it as Skullgirls Encore. Due to the drama their publisher was going through, Lab Zero basically had no financial support and turned to crowdfunding so they could continue to work on all the additional content they had planned for Skullgirls. By April of 2014 Lab Zero was basking in the glow of the overwhelming success of that crowdfunding, and the Skullgirls fan base was absolutely dying for some of that sweet sweet new content. And so on April 1st, 2014 Lab Zero offered them this.
So while everyone was dying for a new character reveal, Lab Zero went and gave those fans a basic palette swap of existing character Filia. Even the name, Fukua, is a not-very-subtle (though extremely lighthearted and well-meaning) jab at the fans. The whole thing really was a brilliant troll, but it also sort of backfired since the community loved the joke and trolled right back at Lab Zero by demanding they include Fukua in the game for real. I mean, they did announce her, right? So after putting out a poll where the fans overwhelmingly voted to see Fukua become a reality, Lab Zero went to work giving her some unique moves and a unique play style so she wasn’t strictly just a palette swap of Filia.
Storyline-wise, Fukua is a clone created by the shadowy puppet master Brain Drain, and as such her special moves involve being able to create clones of herself. She can drop a clone down in the play field, and then a second tap will cause the clone to attack, meaning you can set up some pretty awesome offensive moves and combos if you’re savvy enough. To balance this out, the longer Fukua holds a clone in play the more of her life drains away, so you’ll need to keep an eye on that. Her special Character Ability is called Sanguine Shadow and allows her to have 100% Scratch Damage at all times. Scratch Damage is the red part of your life bar that is able to be refilled when you tag a character out of action, so basically any Fukua characters in play will have the ability to heal all the way back to 100% when they’re tagged out of a match. You can see an example of Fukua’s special abilities followed by a pretty devastating combo in the following gameplay clip.
The past five months or so have been good for Skullgirls on mobile, with the most significant development being the addition of real-time online multiplayer to the game with the version 4.0 update back in October. Online multiplayer had been a goal for Hidden Variable ever since launching Skullgirls on mobile nearly three years ago, and it didn’t disappoint. Version 4.1 was released in December and brought some new fighter variants, a new social hub, and more. Now version 4.2 is poised to add the final existing character to the mobile roster with the addition of Fukua, and Hidden Variable is hoping to release that update later this month. There will be some pretty specific restrictions on just how you’ll be able to acquire Fukua when she arrives, so be sure to check out this post on the Skullgirls mobile forums for all of the details you’ll need to know regarding her availability.