This past February we received some fairly earthshaking news when it was announced that a brand new playable character would be arriving for the Skullgirls Mobile (Free) fighting game. Why was this such a big deal? Well Skullgirls Mobile is an adaptation of the console and PC fighter Skullgirls 2nd Encore which was developed by Lab Zero and published by Autumn Games, and for the most part it’s been content complete for more than half a decade. When developer Hidden Variable adapted the game for mobile, they were working within the confines of characters, levels, and mechanics that already existed in the original Skullgirls. And with the game’s hand-drawn animation style it wasn’t trivial to go around adding anything new in terms of moves or characters because anything additional would need to be made from scratch.
However, Skullgirls Mobile has been quite the success since its original launch in the spring of 2017, amassing more than 5 million downloads and a passionate playerbase. It initially launched with only part of the roster from the console and PC version, and over the years Hidden Variable has added in the missing characters via frequent updates, culminating in the arrival of Fukua at the end of March which marked the end of existing playable characters from Skullgirls that could be added to the mobile version. Which meant, if there were to be any further new characters in Skullgirls Mobile, there’d be only one way to do it: From scratch! What really makes it remarkable is that this is the first time I can think of where a well-known IP from the console and PC world is getting brand new content for its mobile spin-off version first.
And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for has come, as today Hidden Variable has announced that the new playable character coming to Skullgirls Mobile is: Annie of the Stars! Here’s her debut trailer.
So, Annie is an existing character in the Skullgirls universe at large, and her story is that her mother was a Skullgirl who used her Skull Heart wish to keep Annie a child forever. Despite looking and sounding like a young girl, she is in fact hundreds of years old. Annie is not a big fan of her mother’s decision, and so she uses her child-like appearance to host a children’s show called Annie of the Stars where, in between showing cartoons, the hosts spout anti-Skullgirls and anti-Skull Heart propaganda! The show is modeled after the types of kids shows you’d see in the ’80s and early ’90s, hence the VHS style of the above trailer. In one of the endings for Skullgirls, Annie actually teams up with fellow celebrity fighter Beowulf to create a new buddy cop-style crime fighting show.
Annie is SUCH a perfect choice for a new playable character because she already has a lot of lore and special abilities fleshed out, and fans have been hoping to see her become a playable fighter for years. In fact I’m pretty sure she was one of the options for a DLC character during one of the Skullgirls crowdfunding campaigns back in the day. Annie will also bring a new arena to the game, Sound Stage 15 which is shown in the trailer above. Hidden Variable has been working hand in hand with Lab Zero and Autumn Games to create Annie, and while she’ll debut in the mobile game first, she’ll also be making her way to Skullgirls 2nd Encore in early 2021. If things go well with Annie, it could pave the way for even more new characters in the future. Annie also comes with a brand new music track from Vincent Diamante called The Stars and Stage are Set, which you can listen to below or download for yourself using this link. These are some majorly smooth tunes, I tell ya.
As for when Annie of the Stars will be making her arrival in Skullgirls Mobile, no firm release date is set yet, but she’ll be part of the big version 4.4 update that Hidden Variable is currently working on and are hoping to release within the next couple of months. As always, they’ve put together a pretty comprehensive update post in the official Skullgirls Mobile forums, so head over there for some more tidbits of info and sweet animated gifs of Annie in action. We’ll be eagerly anticipating the arrival of Annie of the Stars later this year and we’ll let you know once a release date has been announced.