The Palette Swap wiki last edited by Jagged85 on 09/19/14 05:17AM
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For many years, palette swaps, or recolours, were seen as the pinnacle of lazy graphical design; many Japanese RPGs featured enemies that consisted of the recoloured sprites of earlier enemies, with appropriately strengthened stats. The trend continues into the era of polygonal games; as recently as 2010's Darksiders, new enemies would consist of older enemies with new, differently-coloured texture maps and minor alterations to the 3D model, although Darksiders' recolours in particular at least sported new abilities and attacks to keep them from becoming completely stale.
The Pokémon franchise has managed to take the palette swap concept and actually make it desirable: there is an extremely remote chance that any wild Pokémon encountered by the player will be " shiny", essentially an otherwise-identical recolour, but because of the rarity of such Pokémon, they are highly sought after by players.