Alternate costumes, also known as color changes, are sets of costumes usable by every character in the Super Smash Bros. series. While most are simple recolors, certain characters (for example, Wii Fit Trainer, Corrin and Inkling) have male and female variants, some change entire outfits (such as Zero Suit Samus or Ridley), or even turn the fighter into another character (for example, Olimar into Alph, or Bowser Jr. into the Koopalings). Alternate costumes, which are chosen on the character selection screen before a match, are purely cosmetic and do not provide benefits to their respective characters. Each character's number of costumes varies, although Metroid fighters have had a consistent number ranging from five to eight. With the introduction of 8-Player Smash in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, every character has eight costumes in that game, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Two players using the same character cannot use the same alternate costume. In the first three games of the series, certain costumes of Samus or Zero Suit Samus would be what she would use in team battles when playing on the red, blue or green teams. In Smash 4 and Ultimate, any costume can be used, and an outline with the character's team color will appear around them instead.
Most of Samus's alternate costumes resemble her Suits from the series, but only change the color scheme of the Varia Suit rather than the suit proportions as a whole.
As a fighter who has been in every single game of the series, Samus's alternate costumes have varied over the years. However, four of her costumes have remained consistent:
- Orange - Her default appearance, based on her Varia Suit in Super Metroid (until Brawl) or Metroid: Other M (3DS/Wii U onward). Used when Samus is on the red team from Super Smash Bros. until Melee.
- Pink - According to Masahiro Sakurai, this costume is based on the Gravity Suit from Super Metroid. However, it more closely resembles her Varia Suit in Missile Launcher mode in Metroid. Used when Samus is on the red team in Brawl.
- Green - It is called "Green Samus" by Sakurai. On the original Super Smash Bros. website, this costume was referred to as "mass-produced Samus", a reference to Gundam. Used when Samus is on the green team from Super Smash Bros. until Brawl.
- Purple - Resembles the Gravity Suit; it is officially referred to as the Metroid Prime Gravity Suit starting in 3DS/Wii U, although it actually predates Metroid Prime due to appearing in Super Smash Bros. and Melee. From Brawl onwards, the visor and lights are colored blue as they are in Metroid Prime and Metroid: Samus Returns. Used when Samus is on the blue team from Super Smash Bros. until Melee.
Her other costumes:
- Blue (Brawl onwards) - Resembles the Fusion Suit. It does not change the suit proportions, but instead features the Fusion Suit's blue and yellow pattern over her Varia Suit model.
- Brown (Super Smash Bros.-Melee) - Changes the orange shoulder pads to brown while retaining the green visor, yellow torso and inner thighs, and red helmet and chestplate.
- Brown (Brawl onwards) - Based on the Dark Suit.
- White (3DS/Wii U onwards) - Based on the Light Suit.
- Dark Blue (3DS/Wii U only) - Based on Dark Samus. In Wii U, a battle with Ridley and "Dark Samus" (represented with Samus with this alternate costume) is simulated in the Event Match Galactic Avenger, which involves Samus killing the two on the Pyrosphere stage to "avenge [her] parents". It was replaced in Ultimate due to Dark Samus becoming a fighter in her own right.
- Black (Ultimate only) - The entire suit is black, with yellow highlights. While not confirmed to be based upon any specific source from the Metroid series, this color scheme resembles that of the Power Troopers who copied Samus's Power Beam in Metroid Prime. It also resembles Kanden, but since this costume is not used for his Spirit Battle, this was likely not an intentional reference.
Super Smash Bros.Edit
Nintendo 3DS and Wii UEdit
Zero Suit Samus's costumes have remained mostly consistent through her appearances, although two of her costumes in Brawl were replaced in subsequent installments.
- Blue - Her default appearance, wearing her Zero Suit as it appears in Metroid: Zero Mission (Brawl) or Metroid: Other M (3DS/Wii U and Ultimate).
- Dark Blue - Resembles her Zero Suit at the end of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, but with darker blue accents instead of silver. Used when Zero Suit Samus is on the blue team in Brawl.
- Pink/Red - Resembles the Justin Bailey leotard in Metroid, but with blond hair instead of green or brown. Used when Zero Suit Samus is on the red team in Brawl. In 3DS/Wii U and Ultimate, the outfit is a darker red.
- Black - Resembles her Ending Outfit in Super Metroid.
- Purple (Brawl only) - Not based on any known outfit.
- Green - Not based on any known outfit. Used when Zero Suit Samus is on the green team in Brawl.
- Silver (3DS/Wii U onwards) - Resembles an outfit worn by the younger Samus in secret, Japanese endings in Metroid Fusion.
- Shorts - Blue (3DS/Wii U onwards) - Changes the Zero Suit to the Ending Outfit in Metroid Fusion.
- Shorts - Orange (3DS/Wii U onwards) - Changes the Zero Suit to the Ending Outfit in Metroid: Zero Mission. This is referred to as Zero Suit Samus's 7th Color in an Original Games/Settings loading screen Tip in the Wii U version: "Zero Suit Samus's seventh color variation is a unique orange outfit. This outfit first appeared in certain endings of Metroid: Zero Mission"
Nintendo 3DS and Wii UEdit
Ridley's costumes in Ultimate are based on his appearances and forms throughout the Metroid series.
- Purple - His default appearance, which appears to be an amalgamation of the original Ridley in Super Metroid and his clone in Metroid: Other M.
- Meta Ridley - Changes Ridley into Meta Ridley, based on his original design from Metroid Prime and Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary.
- Red - Resembles his Super Metroid artwork, such as his appearance on the American boxart.
- Blue - Resembles Neo-Ridley in Metroid Fusion.
- Green - Resembles his artwork in Metroid: Zero Mission.
- Purple - Resembles his sprite from Metroid.
- Yellow - Resembles his Golden Statue in Super Metroid.
- Green Meta Ridley - Resembles Mecha Ridley from Metroid: Zero Mission.
Neither Meta Ridley costume was available in the E3 2018 demo. In their places were a pair of Ridley alternate palettes based upon their respective costumes: a silver/green palette based on Mecha Ridley, and a gray/orange palette based on Meta Ridley's cybernetics in Metroid Prime.
Each of Dark Samus's costumes in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate changes the hue of her visor and suit.
- Blue - Her default appearance, taken from Metroid Prime 3: Corruption with embellishments.
- Green - Changes her visor and shoulder and chest lights to yellow, and her suit to green with blue green accents.
- Purple - Changes her visor and lights to a bright purple, and her suit to a deep purple. The color resembles Gandrayda from Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and is used to represent her during her respective Spirit Battle.
- Dark Red - Changes her visor and lights to yellow, and her suit to dark red. It loosely resembles Samus's sprite in Metroid II: Return of Samus, when colorized through the Game Boy Color.
- Gold - Changes her visor and lights to light blue, and her suit to gold. It resembles the Golden Torizo from Super Metroid.
- Silver - Changes her visor and lights to red, and her suit to silver. Resembles concept art of her from Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.
- Black - Changes her visor and lights to yellow-orange, and her suit to black with dark orange ridges. It may be inspired by concept art of her from Metroid Prime 2: Echoes or Spire from Metroid Prime Hunters.
- Pink - Changes her visor and lights to purple, and her suit to a dull pink.