A clone character is a character that is created by copying another character's files and making adjustments. It is a concept used in many video game series to quickly increase the size of the playable roster. They are far easier to create than a character made from scratch, but in exchange, have many of the same attacks and animations as their source, though their properties may be adjusted, giving them a sometimes significantly altered gameplay style. Overall, a clone's status as a clone is usually primarily aesthetic.
Historically, clones have proven to be controversial additions to the roster, both in the official Super Smash Bros. titles and in the Super Smash Flash series, as they are often erroneously perceived to be taking the place of a more unique character. The error lies in that the time and labor required to add a clone is incomparably low compared to that required to create a character from scratch. For example, Pichu was able to be created within a two-month period between the release of Super Smash Flash 2 Beta in late May 2017 and Super Smash Con 2017 in early August to be released in a relatively minor patch, something that would not have been possible with a more independent character.
The term semi-clone is occasionally used for characters such as Luigi that are clearly inspired by another character but have too many significant differences to have been directly copied. However, the line drawn between clone and semi-clone is typically completely arbitrary, and the term has no firmly agreed-upon definition.
In Super Smash Flash
In the original Super Smash Flash, there are four clone characters, all unlocked by beating a single-player mode with their source character.
|Source character||Clone character||Similarities||Differences|
|Mario||Luigi||Both characters have nearly identical attributes. Almost all of their attacks do the same amount of damage, knockback type, and fulfill the same basic function.||Luigi deals more damage and has greater range, better combo ability, and longer-lasting attacks. However, Luigi also has bigger hitboxes and a slower attack rate.
His fireballs have a longer startup, travel in a straight trajectory, move slower, cover less distance, and last much longer than Mario's.
His down attack, Green Missile, is aesthetically different than Mario's, while also having a higher damage output, faster travel speed, and longer duration, at the cost of being much easier to punish due to its giant hurtboxes.
|Link||Young Link||Both characters have very similar attributes, only differing in a few places. All of their attacks are visually similar and do the same knockback type, and most of them do the same amount of damage.||Young Link has a much faster attack rate and moves faster. His hurtboxes are significantly smaller than Link's, as well. However, that also reduces his range on his instant-KO attacks. His Fire Arrows have a longer startup and move slower, but last much longer, covering more distance.|
|Sonic||Super Sonic||Both characters have similar attributes, though with several minor changes spread throughout. All of their attacks are visually similar and do the same knockback type.||Super Sonic moves faster, jumps higher, deals more damage, and has longer-lasting attacks.
However, he also has smaller hitboxes, taller hurtboxes, and a slower attack rate. His range varies. His side attack does a front kick instead of a spinning side kick, but functions mostly the same aside from hitbox differences.
|Blade||Blue||Both characters have very similar attributes, only differing in a few places. All of their attacks are also visually almost identical.||Blue deals a lot more damage than Blade and has a longer attack length, making him one of the strongest characters in the game, instead of one of the weakest.
However, he moves and attacks at a slower rate, and he has bigger hurtboxes. His side attack has instant-KO properties, giving him an extra KO option. His moves tend to have their disjoints at the end of the animation as opposed to the beginning.
In Super Smash Flash 2
Clones in Super Smash Flash 2 are more difficult to add than they were in SSF because of the higher number and quality of sprites required. However, they do exist, as a part of the labor in initially creating hitboxes and physics is still saved.
Every character has had a direct file connection to Ichigo at one point, as he was the first character to be programmed. Even with entirely independent characters, copying an existing one is often done first as a template to minimize the possibility of missing animations, bugs, and crashes during the character creation process. For example, Chibi-Robo, when initially shown at APEX 2014, periodically appeared to turn into Samus when the game tried to load animations that did not exist at the time. However, despite this, Chibi-Robo is not a Samus clone, as none of Samus' design remains in Chibi-Robo's final character.
|Source character||Clone character||Similarities||Differences|
|Fox||Falco||All of their attacks (the only exceptions being standard attack, forward aerial, and to a lesser extent, up aerial) use identical or similar animations. Their special moves have very similar functions on the surface and reuse the same effect assets with different colors applied.
Both characters are fast-fallers and have a high learning curve. They are similar enough to frequently be collectively referred to as "the spacies" by the competitive community.
|Their basic attributes are very different; Fox dashes much faster, Falco jumps much higher, etc. Their attacks, both standard and special, despite looking similar, have different functions and properties from each other, giving them different playstyles;
Fox is much more of an aggressive rushdown character, while Falco has to play more patiently and is able to take greater advantage of combo opportunities.
|Pikachu||Pichu||More than half of their attacks share the same animation. Special moves have very similar functions and both can be played like a rushdown character.||Pichu is much lighter and faster than Pikachu, and deals recoil damage on a lot of moves. Forward smash is a multi-hit. Back aerial is a completely different.
Thunder meteor smashes. Agility, its up special move, travels slower and deals less damage. Pichu also has a whole new gimmick, Discharge, where Pichu's specials are changed when Pichu accumulates 50% damage.
- Both clones currently known in SSF2 were revealed at Super Smash Con, in consecutive years.