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Head swap

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Head swap

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Ryu and Ken from Street Fighter II. Ryu and Ken from Street Fighter II.

Head swapping is the act of removing the head from an animated character and replacing it with a different one. This is usually done for one of two reasons: cost and memory constraints (on video game consoles).

Artwork is expensive to produce, so by recycling the characters body and only having to draw a new head, studios can save time and money. Early game consoles also had quite limited amounts of memory and storage space for games, so by reusing the body several characters could be produced with only minimal extra memory requirements. This technique is closely linked to the more common palette swap.

Perhaps the most famous use of the head swap is in Capcom's Street Fighter series. It is used to distinguish between what fans call "Shotokan fighters" or "Shotoclones." This type of head swap is dfferent from other head swaps in that it is used together with the palette swap to differentiate between these similar characters. Characters of this type that exhibit the head swap include Ryu, Ken (see above), Akuma, Dan, and Sean.

Occasionally, head swaps occur by accident. For example, in the beat 'em up Double Dragon, the heads of the two main characters were accidentally swapped (their bodies are identical) between the arcade and home versions.


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Movies, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.


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