Delivered to the Anti-Skullgirls Labs’ secretive Lab Zero, there she was implanted with the synthetic Buer Drive and Gae Bolga parasites and infused with experimental Skullgirl blood, transforming her into the monster she is today. Violent and unstable as a result of these experiments, as a precaution she’s mentally controlled by Lab Zero’s powerful psychic director, Brain Drain.
Fueled by rage, she draws her power from her pain and fury. Despite that, the soul of that scared young girl still lives on inside this monstrous body, desperately fighting off the onslaught of voices that would control her.
An "aerial dominance" character, Painwheel can fly using her Buer Drive blade and charge her attacks, as well as confronting foes with spikes that eject painfully from her body. She can also contort her body into inhuman shapes and unleash her rage with brutal moves.
Painwheel is voiced by Danielle McRae.
The story opens with images of Painwheel's memories interspersed with those of the surgical implantation of the two synthetic parasites and Skullgirl blood by Valentine and Brain Drain. As the surgery completes, Brain Drain establishes mental dominance over Painwheel, commanding her to obey Lab Zero, and to bring them the Skull Heart. Painwheel runs across Valentine researching the Medici in Maplecrest, who then orders her to return to the lab. When Painwheel resists her creator's direct order, Valentine implements a direct command protocol in an effort to bring her subject back under control. Painwheel overcomes Brain Drain's control and detects the Skullgirls presence on Valentine, who tells her to come to the Divine Trinity Cathedral.
On arriving at the cathedral, Painwheel is again subjected to Valentine's command protocol, but resists it with greater ease. Valentine who has determined that Painwheel's psyche gets stronger the closer she is to the Skullgirl, challenges her to single combat, and when she loses declares Painwheel strong enough to defeat the Skullgirl, Bloody Marie, in the catacombs below the cathedral. Painwheel is initially reluctant to go, but Valentine tells her that while the Skullgirl exists, no-one can truly be free.
After defeating Bloody Marie, Painwheel is presented with the Skull Heart which promises to give her back everything that was taken from her and more. Not wishing to be enslaved by anyone ever again, Painwheel destroys the Skull Heart and returns home to her family. However on her return, her parents fail to recognise her and chase her out of the house thinking she is a monster. Alone, she is summoned back to Lab Zero by Brain Drain, but she refuses his control telling him that he will be her next victim. The last frame of her story shows the same skull symbol in her eyes as in Bloody Marie's indicating that the Skullgirl blood in her system is transforming her.