In the Super Smash Bros. series, each character has a set of alternate costumes (officially known as color changes). Alternate costume is sometimes known as color or alternate color. In addition to changing the appearance of characters, they distinguish players from other players using the same character. For Team Battles in Super Smash Bros, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl certain costumes also distinguish teams. In Super Smash Bros. and Melee, most characters have purely color-based alternate costumes, while Brawl and Super Smash Bros. 4 introduce a number of alternate costumes changing entire outfits.
In standard free-for-all matches, players can choose their character's costume on the character selection screen. Players cannot pick the same costume if they are using the same character. Every character has at least four costumes to choose from, one being their default costume and the rest being their alternate costumes. In Brawl, randomly chosen characters may also have a random costume.
For Team Battles in Super Smash Bros., Melee, and Brawl, there are three teams: red, green, and blue. As such, each character has red, green, and blue costumes that double as team colors. Some characters' default costumes also represent a team color; for example, Mario's default costume is red, so he wears his default costume when fighting on a red team. In the original Super Smash Bros., some costumes are only usable in Team Battles, such as Samus and Captain Falcon's blue costumes and Mario, Kirby, Donkey Kong, and Captain Falcon's green costumes. In Brawl, Wario has 12 alternate costumes with six color variations of his WarioWare costume and his classic overalls. Each variation has red, green, and blue colors usable for Team Battles, making Wario the only character in Brawl with two color choices when on a team.
If two or or more characters share the same alternate costume in Team Battles or online multiplayer, the second player will have a lighter tint in their appearance. A third player uses a darker tint, and in Melee, a fourth is completely black. Data suggests that a fifth player would be completely gray.
In SSB4, due to the increased number of possible players with introduction of 8-Player Smash, players can choose from four different teams. Teams are indicated by a red, green, blue, or yellow outline around the character, so players can choose whichever alternate costumes they like in Team Battles.
Mii Fighter colors match their colors chosen in Mii Maker. Players can unlock or download different outfits and headgear to select for their Mii Fighters to wear. Some outfits are only available for certain Mii Fighter types, and some outfits have minor differences depending on the gender of the Mii Fighter. Each Mii Swordfighter and Mii Gunner outfit comes with a differently designed sword or gun, though they all function the same. Identical Mii Fighters do not bear any visual differentiation.
The appearance of alternate costumes varies from a simple change in hue (e.g. Yoshi, Mr. Game & Watch) to the incorporation of patterns, pictures and text (Captain Falcon, Ness, R.O.B., Snake, Lucina), and even the addition of accessories (Pikachu, Pichu, Jigglypuff, Sonic, Pac-Man). Some costumes sport changes to their character model, such as changes of clothing (Wario, Zero Suit Samus, Little Mac, Shulk), different appearances (Cloud, Bayonetta), opposite genders (Villager, Wii Fit Trainer, Robin, Corrin, Mii Fighters), and even different characters (Olimar and Alph, Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings). Some costumes derive from characters' earlier or alternate renderings, such as Mario's "Jumpman" blue. Some costumes reference other characters who appear in other Nintendo games, such as Mario's "Wario" alternate costume, Peach's "Daisy" alternate costume, Luigi's "Waluigi" alternate costume, Captain Falcon's "Blood Falcon" and "Jody Summer" alternate costumes, Fox's "Slippy Toad" alternate costume, Lucas' "Claus" alternate costume and Jigglypuff wearing Sleep Kirby's nightcap in Brawl and SSB4. A small number of costumes reference other costumes within in the Super Smash Bros. universe, such as Melee Jigglypuff's blue bow from the original Super Smash Bros., Pikachu's goggles previously worn by Pichu in Melee, and R.O.B.'s "R.O.B. Launcher" green. Other costumes may be created primarily for Team Battles or for fun and variety.
Villager, Wii Fit Trainer, Robin, Corrin, and the Mii Fighters have male and female variants. One of Little Mac's alternate costumes is him wearing the pink hoodie from the training montages in the Punch-Out!! series. In addition, each of his alternate costumes has a wireframe variant inspired by his appearance in the arcade version of Punch-Out!!, giving him 16 total alternate costumes. Zero Suit Samus has two alternate costumes based on the crop top and shorts worn in the endings of Metroid: Zero Mission and Metroid Fusion. Shulk has an alternate costume based on his swimsuit armor set from Xenoblade Chronicles. Cloud has four alternate costumes based on his appearance in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, with him wielding the Fusion Swords instead of the Buster Sword; two of these cover his Geostigma-infected left arm with a sleeve, and the other two reveal his left arm sans sleeve with Aerith Gainsborough's ribbon wrapped around it. Bayonetta has four costumes based on her appearance in Bayonetta 2, and another four based on her appearance in the original Bayonetta with her wielding Scarborough Fair. Olimar and Bowser Jr. have alternate costumes that change the character entirely: four of Olimar's costumes replace him with Alph, while all seven of Bowser Jr.'s replace him with the Koopalings, all who ride mass-produced Junior Clown Cars. While they have their own unique announcer sounds, crowd chants, and voices, they play identically to their defaults.
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