Switched at Birth? WTF Edition

I can't even read through an old Marvel Comics drawing book without finding these damn things. I swear this is a curse. And what is it with Culture Brain's character designs? There was a cornucopia of SABs from Super Ninja Boy, and now I found a bunch more from their NES games. I guess it can only mean one thing: It's time for SAB, WTF Edition, because these are some serious WTF's?, and you'll see what I mean...

Mad Leader

Grim Reaper
(The Avengers)

FO's Comment: I had this one all over the front page of my site awhile ago because I was trying to figure out what the deal with this was. I had made fun of a game called "Infiltrator" for the NES on one of the Oddities pages. In particular, I was poking fun at how ridiculous the game's main villain looks and his goofy name ("Mad Leader"). A few weeks later I was going through some of my old drawing books, one of which is a book about drawing Marvel characters. I thumbed through it for the heck of it, and...found this...mystery character who looks exactly like the Mad Leader. I searched all over the internet for information linking Infiltrator to Marvel Comics, but turned up nothing. Site reader Rey Calavera wrote in to inform me that the Marvel character is the Grim Reaper from The Avengers, so it looks like what happened is that the artist of Infiltrator copied that head design from the book.

(Wrath of the Black Manta)

(Marvel Comics)

FO's Comment: And then right on the page opposite the Grim Reaper there was this other drawing of a villain's head that looks remarkably like this random hoodlum from Wrath of the Black Manta. I mean, WTF? Did every NES graphic designer own this same book or what?? (No points for mentioning that they also resemble Vincent Price.)

(Magic of Scheherazade)

(Puss n Boots)


(Image Arcane)

FO's Comment: Here we go again with this! All have similar wide open smiling mouths, similar poses with their arms, and they're all time-traveling cats!! At first I thought some kind of conspiracy was going on here, but then I remembered that I had my own time-traveling cat in my own comics, and I found that picture of Harken in my archives from 20-some years ago (before I would have known of the existence of the other three.) Maybe there's some strange cosmic force in the universe that's implanting subliminal messages into the minds of cartoonists to draw time-traveling cats in "huggy" poses.

(Super Ninja Boy/Little Ninja Brothers)

Monkey Hero

FO's Comment: That's too messed-up for words. I'm finding a lot of Culture Brain stuff...

Princess Lana
(Captain N)

(Kid Icarus)

FO's Comment: I mentioned this in the Kid Icarus Shrine, but I wanted to include it with the other SAB material, too. To recount what I said there, I am nearly 100% convinced Lana's design was based on Palutena's. Look at all the similarities: The pose, the design of the skirts, the similarities of the scepters, they both have a sleeveless top, both have those things on their wrists, both have a necklace thing, and green eyes. But the real smoking gun is the tiara - they both have that swirly part on the side. Basically, all they did was change her hair color (and shorten it a bit), remove the mirror shield, take away the dress and the longer "star" necklace, and give her different shoes. I'm not sure if they cannibalized Palutena's design while thinking there were enough differences that no one would notice, or if Lana was originally supposed to be Palutena. Heck, she looks more like Palutena than Mega Man looked like Mega Man or Simon Belmont looked like Simon Belmont.

(Final Fantasy 6)

Giant of Bab-il
(Final Fantasy 4)

Submitted by Codie Martin, "Alexander is the Giant of Bab-il from Final Fantasy 4. Look at this Amano artwork for the Giant of Bab-il I scanned from my Japanese FF4 guide. Although that's not what the Giant looked like in the game, it IS identical to Alexander."

FO's Comment: I still think it looks like a giant suit of armor with a city on its back, but at least now that I know it's a cameo of the Giant of Bab-il, that makes a lot more sense.

(Pokemon Diamond)

King Diamond

Submitted by Magical Yard Gnome, "The stripes and circles around the eyes [of Diaruga] are a bit reminiscent of King Diamond's face paint, and the weird growth on its head could be seen as similar to the top hat. I would think this was a coincidence, but considering it's the KING pokemon of the DIAMOND version of the game I'm not so sure."

FO's Comment: I think forum member ACC KAIN already said it best, "It wouldn't be the first time. They based Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee on Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee and they based Abra, Cadabra and Alakazam on Uri Geller."

(Aero Fighters)

Hattori Hanzo
(Samurai Shodown)


Submitted by ACC KAIN

FO's Comment: Okay, that's enough. For the love of Jello Pudding Pops, no more ninjas in black with red scarves and names that begin with the letter "H".


Randy Savage

Submitted by Nghtmarz2, "Ever noticed how much LOBO looks and ACTS like Randy "Macho Man" Savage?"

FO's Comment: Never noticed it before, but I certainly do now.

Dracula's 2nd Form
(Castlevania 3)


Submitted by Nightmarz2, "Ever notice that Dracula's second form in Castlevania 3 sort of resembles the Quintessons from Transformers the Movie?"

FO's Comment: You're starting to sound like Andy Rooney there...

Tripedacus No. 3
Beast Wars

The Dancing Hot Dog

Submitted by Will Keaton, "I always figured this is what the third member of Beast Wars' tripredicous council would transform into."

FO's Comment: Actually, Will submitted a generic hotdog for the comparison. I thought the character reminded me more specifically of the dancing hotdog that was used in old movie theater advertisements.

Nancy Thomas
(A Nightmare on Elm Street)

Frodo Baggins
(Lord of the Rings)

Submitted by George Gidley, "On a forum I frequent (http://forum.hrwiki.org/), someone started a thread similar to the section you have called "Switched at Birth?", leading to a member eventually linking to that section of your site--and I must say, it's quite an impressive and extensive collection. However, there's one similarity that I did not find that I think is simply too hilarious to not be included, so I submit for your review, the attached image comparing Heather Langenkamp as Nancy Thomas from "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins from "The Lord of the Rings." Hope you enjoy."

FO's Comment: It would be even funnier if her hand was extended like Frodo's is, but it's great even as it is.

(Samurai Shodown 5)

Mother Brain
(Super Metroid)

Submitted by Fenrir X

FO's Comment: Slowly but surely all those forum submissions that got wiped out in the hacker attack are returning to my memory. I can remember the submissions and who posted them, but I can't remember the original comments.

(Call of Cthulu)

(Metal Slug)

FO's Comment: Noticed this when SethraShnoo posted that picture of Cthulu on my forums. Very odd...




King Amar
(Secret of Mana)

(Image Arcane)

FO's Comment: It's one of those things that just keeps going, and going, and going...Most of these I pretty much believe to be coincidence (and when I created Christopher Paladin, the only one I may have possibly been aware of at the time was Toad, but I didn't own an NES yet, so I wouldn't have had him on my mind. Equinox and Secret of Mana didn't even exist yet. MOS did, but only in Japan). However, I'm not so sure about the Isufa/Toad one...especially since...

(Magic of Scheherazade)

(Super Mario Bros. 2)

...Kebabu looks a helluva LOT like a modified Luigi head from Super Mario Bros. 2. (As pointed out by forum moderator, CB007.) And that's not all...

Generic Townsperson
(Magic of Scheherazade)

(Super Mario Bros. 2)

...The generic townsperson sprite looks like Mario, as pointed out to me by Crawl and 1000. What the hell did Culture Brain do here? Did they just take the Super Mario Bros. 2/Doki Doki Panic sprites and edit them? Did SMB2 inspire The Magic of Scheherazade? Both have an Arabian setting...

(Magic of Scheherazade)

Ice Man
(Mega Man)

FO's Comment: WTF is it with Culture Brain? Could it get any more blatant than that?

(Magic of Scheherazade)

(Super Mario RPG)

FO's Comment: Probably coincidence, but interesting to note that they're also both living dolls. (Told you there was a lot of Culture Brain stuff today.)

(Magic of Scheherazade)

(Legend of Zelda)

FO's Comment: I'm suspicious the idea for the Troopers came from the Moblins, but there are several other possibilities: There might be a common point-of-reference I'm not getting (is there some significance to bulldogs or cartoon bulldogs in particular in Japan? I don't know...) Another is that it could just be coincidence. They also both bear a strong resemblance to my own character, Captain Crelo Kobold, and he was created independantly of these, too.

(Magic of Scheherazade)

(Doki Doki Panic)

Submitted by CB007

FO's Comment: Here's more on The Magic of Scheherazade/Doki Doki Panic issue. This character is the original hero of Doki Doki Panic (and presumably the one that got turned into Toad for Super Mario Bros. 2). I suppose it's still possible this could all be coincidence, but it's VERY uncanny.

(Magic of Scheherazade)

Emperor Palpatine
(Return of the Jedi)

FO's Comment: It would work better if I had a picture of the emperor that was closer to the bluish-grey color he was in the movie, but Sabaron practically IS Palaptine with a beard.

Stone Mask
(Majora's Mask)

(Princess Mononoke)

Submitted by Crawl and 1000.

FO's Comment: Seems to be some doubt that this is coincidence. According to my sources, the Kodamas themselves are apparently based on a Japanese myth, so I guess it's no surprise that similar things turn up elsewhere.

Sakuragi Hanamichi
(Slam Dunk)

(Yu Yu Hakusho)

Submitted by Risen Hell Fire, "It's pretty easy to see."

FO's Comment: Perhaps a little too easy.

Cowboy Kid

Ganbare Goemon

FO's Comment: Normally, SAB's contain single character-to-character comparisons. This is the first in awhile we've had an entire GAME switched at birth. If only I wasn't too lazy about updating the Rip-Offs section of the site, because this is the biggest and most blatant rip-off since The Krion Conquest vs. Mega Man. You see, in the Ganbare Goemon games, you walk through these horizontal towns while enemies run around. Hitting them with your weapon makes them stop short in their tracks while holding a goofy facial expression for several seconds. Well, Cowboy Kid is exactly like this! The only difference is that Romstar changed the medieval Japanese setting to a Wild West setting (but there are still guys running around with samurai swords!!) It also has a two-player simultaneous mode like Goemon (with the characters looking very much like a Goemon sprite edited to be wearing a cowboy suit, and Ebisumaru edited to be a Native American), and geez, even the menu at the bottom contains all the same elements of Goemon's menu (timer, cash collected, weapon powerups, etc.) Even if Culture Brain did borrow some inspiration from Super Mario Bros. 2/Doki Doki Panic's characters and setting for The Magic of Scheherazade, at least the actual game was entirely different!

The Star Wars
Ice Cream Maker Guy

Decepticon Pretender

FO's Comment: Got this from the forums at FryingBear. I think there is a 92.542786% chance that this is the Greatest SAB Ever.



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