Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Marvel vs Capcom 3 : Alternate Costumes Preview

By Seth Killian MVC3 developer

courtesy of Marvel.com

As far as career highlights go, working on Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for Marvel definitely ranks way up there for me. (And as far as obvious statements I’ve made go, my last sentence ranks pretty highly itself.) From the start, I’ve had the honor of personally working closely with Capcom to ensure everything Marvel in the game feels appropriately, well, “Marvel”—from character designs to environments to the phrases that come out of the characters’ mouths. Basically, I’ve acted as a fan on the inside, making sure that the stuff in the game is as cool as it’s always been in Marvel fighting games from Capcom—actually, to do my best to help it become even better!

That’s a tall order, too—they may be on the other side of the world, but the folks developing the game really know their Marvel characters! But one of the things I’m proud to say I’ve actively helped to influence was the creation of alternate color schemes for all of the characters. As a holiday gift to you—or maybe just to show all this cool stuff off on the internet—I’d like to show you the kinds of things I’ve worked with the team to bring to the game in this regard.

First, some back story of what I’m talking about here, in case you’re new to this whole Capcom fighting-game thing. Basically, a game like this allows you to pit the exact same characters against themselves, providing the need for differentiation of their visual presentation. With a few exceptions (such as Gray Hulk), this has always meant some sort of random color variation without a ton of thought behind why, leading to characters like the “mango Sentinel” that makes you think of the New York Knicks (hardcore MvC2 fans know exactly why that reference is so Pringles…). So…I took it upon myself to help in putting a ton of thought into the color variations this time.

If you know comics, you know most characters have one or two iconic outfits we associate with them...plus, in many cases, many others we don’t. What follows is a small sample of the color variations you can expect when you play MvC3, plus an explanation of the thought that went behind each, usually based on less iconic ensembles. There were two key rules we had to deal with as we selected each alternate color scheme:

1. Gameplay comes first, so the color scheme has to differ enough from the others to easily differentiate in the heat of battle. Because of this, we can’t do alternates like “Bucky Cap” for Captain America—they’re just not different enough.

2. The color scheme has to fit on the character model. For this reason, I hesitate to call these “alternate costumes” (although in some cases, they actually are). With so many characters, changing the models to get completely authentic alternates in there would delay the game quite a bit—and we think you want to play in February. You’ll see some examples of this below.

So, with that in mind, here are five characters, along with their three alternate color schemes, along with the story behind each. And yes—they all have a story.


Here, we have Tony Stark’s primary suit of choice, based on the popular Extremis look he’s sported with regularity over the past few years. (Yeah, yeah… I know he’s not wearing it now—he’s just worn it a lot’s all I’m sayin’…)

The team would love to have gotten the “Tin Can” first-ever look for Iron Man from TALES OF SUSPENSE #39 in there… but adapting the color scheme to this character model will have to do.

The stealth suit is just plain badass. It hasn’t appeared much in the comics, but we don’t care. It serves the color differentiation purposes well, plus it’s actually a fairly close fit to the source material.

And, my personal favorite—the Silver Centurion color scheme. Actually, I think this combination of Silver Centurion colors with Extremis svelte makes for my favorite Iron Man costume ever.


That’s right, bub—this is the primary look Wolvie’s been sporting since ASTONISHING X-MEN #1 in 2004. You might not notice at first, but it’s actually quite different from his similarly colored MvC2 outing, especially in the lower legs and, uh, ear things.

I’m proud to say I’m friends with Craig Kyle, the co-creator of X-23, as well as the new take on X-Force that started in 2008 (and producer on next year’s THOR movie—guy gets around!). The new X-FORCE comic—which was recently relaunched as UNCANNY X-FORCE—introduced this great gray/black color scheme for Marvel’s most popular mutant.

Another classic! The brown suit is predictable, sure, but it’s gotta go in there. Of course, the ASTONISHING X-MEN model adds some variation to it we’ve never seen before, but I kind of like that, actually.

When it came to the fourth suit, the pickings suddenly got slim—so I resorted to expanding the idea a bit here by dipping into one of my all-time favorite (if all-time convoluted) X-Men stories, “Age of Apocalypse.” You might recall Wolvie was missing a hand in that one and didn’t have a mask. Well, this is what he looked like right before he lost the hand! Right? Two hands and a mask. The justification works for me, and I’m sticking to it. Frankly, I’m just glad I got some AoA love in there.


The classic look of Jennifer Walters.

Now, this might stir up a bit of She-Hulk controversy, but rather than go with the “She-Hulk in the Fantastic Four” costume you might predict, Capcom convinced us that the “Lyra in the Frightful Four” look was better for gameplay—Lyra having a red outfit and red hair and all. Plus, in a weird way you get an extra character (who just so happens to move and talk like Jennifer Walters). Wait, you don’t know Lyra? Read some SHE-HULKS then, written by the guy I could throw Pac-Man figures at from my desk if I wanted to, Harrison Wilcox.

And the “She-Hulk that isn’t Jennifer Walters” theme continues with this ensemble, which you may have seen in Damon Lindelof’s—yeah, the LOST guy—ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS. HULK. In the Ultimate Universe, She-Hulk is actually Betty Ross, not Jennifer Walters.

Oh, and speaking of Betty Ross…we’ve also got a take on Red She-Hulk.


You might have played a game or two wearing this suit before.

Maybe even this one.

And less likely, but still possibly, this one.

Definitely not this one, though. (Dan Slott, where you at?...)


Behold, the Master of Magnet! …Uh, -ism. The Master of Magnetism! (Sorry about that, X-chickens—X-Men Arcade new on Xbox Live and PSN and all…)

In the Ultimate Universe, they spell “Erik Lehnsherr” as “Erik Lensherr,” and he prefers darker hues mixed with a deeper shade of red.

Mixing it up a bit is Magneto from the Mutant X Universe. No big yellow X on his belt, but hey…if you ask me, it’s an improvement.

Finally, you might know this version of a Magneto as a version of Magneto I can’t say on a family blog like this—let’s just call him “MAG-F#$%IN’-NETO”! That’s right. The MvC2 variant from that delightfully profane, wildly popular viral video. Gotta respect the old school (pardon me—OLD SCHOOL!), my friends…

So, there you have it—the first in what I hope is a series of blog entries like these that reveal all the alternate color schemes of all the Marvel characters, plus the thinking behind each and every one. Of course, your comments will inspire me to get off my butt and actually do it, so please, let me know what you think. The more thoughtful your comments, the more inspired I’ll be to reveal more. So, on that note…



  1. Nice to know they actually put some thought into these alternates.

  2. Good picks! You all did nicely, especially with the Spidey costumes! My favorite webslinger really does have a great wardrobe! ^_^

    This doesn't really have anything to do with Marvel, but let Capcom know that we really, really, really, really, really, really, really, want MegaMan X and Venom (or Anti-Venom)!!! Seriously, X was the number one requested DLC character in both North America and Japan (but you probably already know that), and not to include a Mega Man is sacrilege on Capcom's part (the X-series Zero doesn't count). Not to mention that requests for the character have exploded all over message boards, YouTube, and online forums everywhere (in case you've been living under a rock lol). And Eddie Brock has a smaller but strong following too among fans of the series, plus he's just plain badass! Heck, you could even have Venom as an alternate costume for Anti-Venom or vice versa. The point is a lot of fans are angry or disappointed and feel like they're not being heard.

    Speaking for myself, since my favorite Marvel and Capcom characters are absent (Mega Man and Venom), and my dream team of Spider-Man, X, and Venom cannot be, i don't feel convinced to buy the game. I just feel like Capcom doesn't care or is just using fans by hinting at characters like X so people will buy the game but never including the characters, saying they could be in DLC even though they won't be.

    Sorry for venting, Mr. Killian. :P

  3. Sweet alternates.

    Do you know why Venom isn't in the MvC3 roster? I don't know if Venom has a chance at DLC, but if he get's in he could have a lot of cool alternates, like classic black Venom, Anti-Venom, MvC2's default blue Venom or a Carnage-colored Venom.

    If he shows up as Anti-Venom he could say something cool like "You are the disease... I am the cure!" >=D

  4. The Betty Ross She-Hulk is much prettier than she looks in the comics. Never understood why they didn't give her pupils.