False characters are enemies featured in The Subspace Emissary in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. They are the result of trophies of characters being duplicated by Shadow Bugs. False characters retain the look and abilities of the original with the addition of a shadowy aura and glowing yellow eyes. Like the original characters, they revert into trophy forms upon defeat, but these duplicate trophies quickly dissolve afterwards. Similar to metal characters, they are voiceless. All false characters are slightly larger than their normal counterparts (or much larger in the case of the giant false Diddy Kong), and deal slightly more damage while having slightly more knockback resistance.
In battle, false characters are simply rendered with a purple color and constantly glowing eyes, lacking the glowing aura.
False Bowser makes his first appearance in The Lake, attacking Fox and Diddy Kong at the very end of the stage. After Fox and Diddy defeat him, he dissolves. It is believed that Bowser ordered a fleet of Shadow Bugs to copy him and serve as somewhat of a decoy.
Another Bowser copy later appears during the opening cutscene of The Lake Shore, after Bowser uses a Dark Cannon on the princess that was rescued by Kirby in the Midair Stadium. This false lookalike is ordered to revert into Shadow Bug form to swarm on and duplicate the trophified princess (as can be seen in the image at right).
False Diddy Kong (Giant)
When Fox and Diddy were walking by The Swamp, they were ambushed by Bowser. Diddy was then attacked by Bowser with the Dark Cannon, turning Diddy into a trophy. Bowser then orders waiting offscreen Shadow Bugs to swarm Diddy's trophy, creating False Diddy. Falco then flies down in an Arwing and destroys the Dark Cannon. As Bowser retreats by means of his Koopa Clown Car, the group looks back at the False Diddy, who gathers more Shadow Bugs and grows to an enormous size, effectively making him a minor boss in this fight. Fox touches Diddy's trophy, thus restoring him back to life, and the three defeat False Diddy. Once defeated, False Diddy's trophy disintegrates into the original Shadow Bugs.
Because both the actual Diddy and False Diddy appear in this fight, the false Diddy uses a pink palette swap for its icon on the bottom-of-the-screen HUD in the battle.
When Pikachu and Zero Suit Samus were fighting their way through the Research Facility, Samus located her Power Suit. While retrieving it, two purple and red versions of Samus attacked the duo. After defeating them, Samus donned her Power Suit and continued, destroying the R.O.B.s sent to attack her. The Samus suits are similar to the color scheme of the Metroid series' Gravity Suit.
It is implied that these false Samuses are duplicates of Samus's Suit rather than Samus herself, as the in-game name of the cutscene in which they appear is titled "The Copied Power Suit", no purple aura surrounds these false Samuses, and Samus is never seen as a trophy for any Shadow Bugs to duplicate before this point.
False Mr. Game & Watch
When Snake, Meta Knight, and Lucario storm the bridge of the captured Halberd, they discover 5 Mr. Game & Watches. Snake proceeds to knock them out of the window, onto the deck, and into the midst of the tea party held by Peach, Fox, and Zelda (disguised as Sheik during that time). The duplicates then dissolve into Shadow Bugs and assemble Duon, beginning a boss fight. After Duon's defeat, a swarm of Shadow Bugs flies away, leaving behind Mr. Game & Watch's trophy.
Unlike previous false characters, the false Mr. Game & Watches are perfect clones of him, perhaps because he was the source of the Shadow Bugs.
The story segment here changes depending on if the player (as Kirby) saved Peach or Zelda in the beginning when fighting Petey Piranha. After the Shadow Bugs cover Peach/Zelda's trophy, they turn her into False Peach/Zelda. While Mario and Pit/Link and Yoshi are running, the false princess attempts to shoot them with a Dark Cannon. However, right before she is able to, the other duo arrives, and Link/Pit destroys the Dark Cannon. The false princess angrily looks at the arriving duo, and they fight. The duo win the battle, turning the false princess trophy back into the normal Peach/Zelda trophy. Meanwhile, Mario/Link mistakes Link/Mario as having defeated the real princess and attacks. The arriving duo then defeats the previous duo, turning the two into trophies which are taken by King Dedede. Kirby saves the two, and the princess's trophy is later taken away by Bowser.
Unlike most Shadow Bug duplicates, False Zelda's skin takes on a greyish tone. This may be based on Ganon's Puppet Zelda, the penultimate boss in Twilight Princess, who is possessed by Ganondorf. This tone lasts for the length of the battle.
Later on in the story, both Peach and Zelda's trophies are taken aboard the Halberd, locked up in cages. When Snake, Meta Knight, and Lucario enter the room where their trophies are, Shadow Bugs come in and turn both Peach and Zelda into False Peach and False Zelda. The three newcomers battle the false princesses, defeating them and restoring the original Peach and Zelda.
In The Great Maze
Different versions of false characters appear in The Great Maze. These versions of false characters are slightly larger than the originals and sport a shining yellow-green look. No reason has been given for this change in color compared to those found outside of Subspace, though it is speculated that this is their "natural form" while inside Subspace.
One duplicate of every character that has been seen so far in the plotline (therefore excluding Jigglypuff, Toon Link, Wolf, and Sonic) appears in The Great Maze. Each duplicate is fought on a different stage, though all of them share a similar background and platform design. Along with all of the bosses (except Master Hand and Crazy Hand), they must be defeated in order to confront Tabuu in the final battle.
Images of each false character in The Great Maze can be found here.
During battle with a false character, a music track, usually dark-themed and derived from the character's game series, plays in the background.
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