In M.U.G.E.N, a Palette is a set of colours used in a character that defines the in-game appearance of said character. It may also refer to the actual .ACT files stored in the character's directory for this function.
How palettes work
In character creation, M.U.G.E.N only accepts indexed colour sprites. As such, the image is saved in two components - an image file with colour references and a palette file with the table of colours. M.U.G.E.N reads the image, refers to the palette and fills in the right colours for each sprite.
To read transparency, M.U.G.E.N takes the last colour of every palette and reads it as the transparent colour. Any part of the image that is supposed to be this colour will be transparent.
As such, through the creation of additional palettes, the look of the character can be changed without needing to re-sprite the character in its entirety.
M.U.G.E.N supports up to 12 palettes per character with up to 256 colours each.
Selecting different palettes
To choose different palettes for each character, move the selector over the character at the select screen and push the following buttons to select the corresponding palette:
In the case of a mirror match (same character vs same character), the engine will automatically give the AI a palette that isn't used by the player (unless the character only has one palette). If AI.RandomColor is set to zero, the AI will select the palette colour in the order specified by pal.defaults in the DEF file, but if that palette is in use, it moves on to the next available palette.
Palette-based triggers and "12p mode"
M.U.G.E.N is capable of recognising the palette selected by the player through
trigger1 = palno = (some number from 1 to 12 inclusive)
As such, it is possible to trigger some changes to the character when certain palettes are selected. This is how "all in 1" characters are made - certain palettes trigger a variable that turns on certain moves and turns off others, customizing the moveset according to the desired iteration of the character.
However, more often, selecting a particular palette, usually (but not limited to) the 12th palette, unlocks new moves and traits in the character for as long as that palette is in use. These usually serve to make the character excessively cheap. When these modes are activated in compatible characters, it is usually said that "12p mode" is enabled.
Examples of characters with 12p mode
- 2nd Death Star
- All Guilty Gear-accurate characters
- All of Merufimu's character
- ALSIEL and related edits (such as Devils Eye, EXERION, Mithra, The Black Sun of Alsiel etc).
- Ancient Donald
- Blossom (CaillouStrawberry's MvC edit)
- Blue Colonel
- Colonel Sanders
- Crazy Catastrophe
- Crimson Eye (Mario edit)
- Dark Athena
- Dark Donald
- Dark Ernie
- Dark Makai
- Devil's Eye
- Excellent Donald
- G Magaki
- G Orochi verFinal and G Orochi related edits (such as Vortex G Orochi, Eruption G Orochi and The Lost Of Wonderful Heaven 2nd)
- Hatsune Miku (Yu-Toharu's version)
- Holy Kula
- Legend Gold-Metal Orochi
- Mind Of Creation And Destruction
- Oni-Miko Reimu
- Pierrot (Ronald McDonald edit)
- Ronald McDonald
- Shadow The Hedgehog (ABAB's version)
- Sonic The Hedgehog (ABAB's version)
- The End Of God Heaven Orochi
- Ultra Barney
- Will of Prison Flame (Mario edit)