Yes this was a legitimate way to create characters back in the early 90s. So this isn't laziness on my part, it's a statement about the process of video game design in a bygone era. LOL
My ladies Kitana and Jade in MK2 garb.
pointed out to me that they did this because of memory limitations on those dinosaur cartridges. Kind of like how in RPGs they had like 8 palette swaps of the same enemy--that red hellhound you encounter at level 80? Waaay harder than the identical blue hellhound you trounced at level 10 lol.