False Characters are enemies featured in the Subspace Emissary in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. They are the result of trophies of characters being duplicated by Shadow Bugs. False Characters retain the look and abilities of their base character with the addition of a shadowy aura and glowing yellow eyes in Brawl. Like the original characters, they revert into trophy forms upon defeat, but these duplicate trophies quickly dissolve afterwards. Similar to metal characters, they are voiceless.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
False Bowser is the first false character to appear. He appears as a boss of the Lake.
False Bowser makes his first appearance at The Lake, attacking Fox McCloud and Diddy Kong at the very end of the level. After Fox and Diddy defeat him, he dissolves. It is believed that Bowser ordered a fleet of Shadow Bugs to copy him and serve as somewhat of a decoy.
Another Bowser copy later appears during the opening cutscene of The Lake Shore, after Bowser shoots the princess that was rescued by Kirby in the Midair Stadium with his Dark Cannon. This false lookalike is ordered to revert into Shadow Bug form to swarm on and duplicate the trophified princess (see image).
False Diddy Kong (Giant)
False Diddy Kong acts as a boss in the Swamp stage, making his appearance in the middle of the level.
When Fox and Diddy were walking by The Swamp, they were ambushed by Bowser. Diddy was then shot by Bowser with the Dark Cannon, turning Diddy into a trophy. Bowser then orders waiting offscreen Shadow Bugs to swarm Diddy's trophy. Once this happened, False Diddy was made. Falco then flies down in an Arwing and destroys Bowser's Dark Cannon using his Blaster. As Bowser retreats by means of his Koopa Clown Car, the group looks back at the False Diddy, who they find is gathering more Shadow Bugs. False Diddy then grows to an enormous size. Fox touches Diddy's trophy, thus bringing him back to life; and he yelps in shock at the sight of the giant clone, and the three defeat False Diddy. Once defeated, False Diddy's trophy disintegrates into the original Shadow Bugs.
Because the player can control the actual Diddy in the fight, the false Diddy uses a pink palette swap for its icon on the bottom-of-the-screen HUD in the battle.
When Pikachu and Zero Suit Samus were fighting their way through the Research Facility, Samus located her Power Suit. While retrieving it, two purple and red versions of Samus attacked the duo. After defeating them, she donned her Power Suit and continued, destroying the R.O.B.'s sent to attack her.
It is possible that both False Samuses were in fact robots, as they were clones of the Power Suit itself, and they lacked the shadowy aura the other False Characters give off. It is also possible that they are duplicates of the Suit with Shadowbugs inside them and controlling them, giving them their purple color.
The purple color of the False Samuses is also a reference to Samus' Gravity Suit, which is exactly the same color and was used for one of her alternate colors
False Mr. Game & Watches
When Snake, Meta Knight, and Lucario storm the bridge of the captured Halberd, they discover five Mr. Game & Watches. Snake proceeds to knock them out of the window, onto the deck, and into the midst of Peach, Fox, and Zelda (disguised as Sheik during the tea party)'s tea party. The duplicates then dissolve into Shadow Bugs, and assemble themselves into Duon. A boss fight follows. After Duon's defeat, a swarm of Shadowbugs flies away, leaving behind Mr. Game & Watch's trophy.
It is unknown why the false Mr. Game and Watches were perfect fakes of Mr. Game and Watch, it may be due to the fact Mr. Game and Watch is the source of the shadow bugs.
These false characters first appear at the very start of the Lake Shore stage. They are based off Princess Peach and Princess Zelda, and they are fought in a mini-boss fight. Their respective base's lover and his companion appear immediately afterward as bosses. The two false princesses later appear as the boss of the first Battleship Halberd stage.
After the Shadow Bugs the second False Bowser releases cover Peach's trophy, they turn Peach into False Peach, if the player saved Peach in the beginning of the game when fighting Petey Piranha. While Mario and Pit are running, False Peach attempts to shoot them with a Dark Cannon. However, right before she is able to, Link destroys the Dark Cannon. False Peach angrily looks at Link and his partner, Yoshi, and they fight. Link and Yoshi win the battle, and after that, False Peach turns into trophy form and disintegrates. Mario saw this, however, and thought Link was the enemy, for he attacked Peach. Mario tries to attack Link, but Link quickly moves out of the way. Link and Yoshi then defeat Mario and Pit in a team battle.
Later on in the story, Peach and Zelda's trophies are taken aboard the Halberd, locked up in cages. When Snake, Meta Knight, and Lucario enter the room where their trophies are, Shadow Bugs come in and turn both Peach and Zelda into False Peach and False Zelda. The three battle the False Princesses, and soon, after the False Princesses are defeated, the two real princesses are freed.
False Zelda has the same role as False Peach does, if Kirby saved Zelda from Petey Piranha instead of Peach. She tries to hit Link and Yoshi, rather than Mario and Pit, as Peach had (in place of Link, Pit destroys the Dark Cannon). Also, Mario and Pit end up fighting False Zelda instead of Link and Yoshi fighting False Peach. After the two defeat False Zelda, you battle-and defeat- Link and Yoshi as Mario or Pit and they turn into trophies and fall to the ground unconscious. Unlike most Shadow Bug duplicates, False Zelda's skin takes on a greyish tone. This may be based on Ganondorf's Puppet Zelda, the penultimate boss in Twilight Princess, who is possessed by Ganondorf. One of the side effects of this is that her skin taking on a greyish tone for the length of the battle. Like Peach, Zelda's trophy is taken on the Halberd, and Snake, Meta Knight, and Lucario also fight False Zelda as well as False Peach.
There are similar enemies called Shadow Clones that appear in the Great Maze. These characters are slightly larger than the original False Characters and sport a shining yellow-green look - it's possible this is their natural form, while their purplish look is how they appear outside of Subspace.
One duplicate of every character (excluding Jigglypuff, Toon Link, Wolf, and Sonic) appears in The Great Maze. Each duplicate is fought on a different stage, though all of them share a similar background.
- Interestingly, when you battle Shadow Pit, it plays the Castle/Boss Fortress theme from Super Mario universe instead, and when you battle Shadow Fox, Falco, Snake, and Captain Falcon, it plays Sector 1 theme from Metroid universe, and when you battle Shadow Olimar, it plays the Gourmet Race from Kirby universe.
- It is likely that the music didn't have a dark-themed music exclusive to the right universe.
- Similar enemies called Puppet fighters appear in the adventure mode of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. They are voiced, but otherwise act like False characters do.