Basically, M.U.G.E.N allows users to create their own 2D fighting game using the core game
engine provided. From the playable characters, to the stages, to the background
music, to the life bars & power bars, text font, and even in-game character
stories... you can pretty easily create and customize anything you want once you learn
the programming, and it's not incredibly difficult. If you ever had a
dream of creating your own fighting game, M.U.G.E.N is a good "practice
run," at the least.
Creating an actual 2D character yourself is
obviously a time-consuming process (as it is for a real fighting game
developer), as contributors or "creators"
for M.U.G.E.N actually take the time to rip the sprites, and code it
from scratch. Some use the original characters and sprites from official 2D
games, while others use existing characters/sprites to create other various recognizable
characters (AKA palette swap). Then there are the die-hards that actually
create their own 2D sprites and animations from scratch!
A variety of Capcom, SNK, and Arc
System Works characters, coded by M.U.G.E.N. creators, play nearly exactly the way they
should from their original games (minus the being-balanced part). But characters for M.U.G.E.N aren't limited
to just fighting game characters, as you can see from some of the screenshots. As long
as it's a 2D sprite, it can be put it into the M.U.G.E.N. engine. There's really
no limit on how many characters you can put in your game either. It really depends
on the size of the selection screen, which users can also create from scratch.
Unfortunately, many user created characters end up missing moves,
missing frames of animation, or generally appear or play glitchy. These
below average creations have undoubtedly given M.U.G.E.N a certain
"cheap" stigma over
the years. However, there are a handful of skilled creators that have made
characters which are very well done, and actually rival,
if not surpass that of real 2D fighting game character sprites. Wizards of the M.U.G.E.N.
engine have also created some very impressive alternate
versions of characters, as well as some stupidly spectacular (and broken)
overpowered versions of them, with Super Saiyan 7 God-tier super moves. Check out some
a solid, traditional, and somewhat open ended 2D fighting game engine, very similar
to classic 2D fighting games we all know and love. You can almost authentically re-create
any classic 2D fighting game any way you want it, putting in characters
new and old, or even having many different versions of the same character
in the same game. The possibilities are pretty much endless. While the
engine is set up primarily for fighting game development, several other
game types have actually been created using M.U.G.E.N, including platformers
and even shooters.
You can use any
image for a background, or an already existing fighting game background. Want to put in one of your favorite fighting game tunes for background
music? How about any song ever created... M.U.G.E.N supports MP3, ADX,
OGG and MIDI as background music during gameplay, the introduction screen, or the selection
The gameplay engine
uses 7 buttons along with the directional keys consisting of the classic
layout (three punches, three kicks & taunt). However, characters made
for M.U.G.E.N do not necessarily have to use all seven buttons. Specials,
super moves, and priority moves included, but don't expect all of their
old combos to work... you'll most likely have to create new combos that work
for this game engine. M.U.G.E.N characters are also notorious for being
over-powered and having infinite combos (infinite jab combos
against the wall anyone?)... After seeing some forms of M.U.G.E.N in
action, it almost makes Marvel VS Capcom 2 seem like a balanced game.
a variety of basic modes. There's Arcade, VS Mode, Team Arcade, Team VS, Team
Co-op and even Survival Mode. You can select between 1 on 1 fights, or
simultaneous 2 vs 2 fights, which are always action packed. If you're playing
alone in 2 vs 2 mode, your ally is controlled by the computer. Both teammates
share the same super meter and of course can use super moves at any time
during the fight... talk about some crazy combo possibilities!
The legendary Kung Fu Man is the first and only original character created for the M.U.G.E.N. engine by
the creators, Elecbyte. This is the closest thing you'll get to a Kung Fu Man TFG Profile, so enjoy.
Kung Fu Man... VERSUS!.... Kung Fu Man... on the M.U.G.E.N Training Stage. (Pretty much his stage.)
Yeah, he's one
generic looking dude (and that's the joke). Kung Fu Man is a basically an underground meme for M.U.G.E.N. (and many users have created fan art and sprites for KFM). As the game engine's development progressed, so
did Kung Fu Man, gaining the occasional new move, implementing newly created
engine features, and at one point sporting an improved look. His story
was never actually fleshed out by Elecbyte themselves, but he's still the beloved "poster boy" of M.U.G.E.N. And ironically, Kung Fu Man actually isn't the worst fighting game character design I've seen. I hear he has a fan club.
Salty's Dream Cast Casino
or just SaltyBet for short is a website (Saltybet.com)
that embeds a Twitch.tv stream usually of live competitive events like the Evolution
Championship Series and allows its users to place virtual bets on said
events. When there are no notable competitive events running, the stream runs AI
M.U.G.E.N matches and allows people to bet on said matches. Salty Bet is purely
for entertainment purposes and no real money will be paid out.
Users that create their account
start with $400 in fictional currency of Salty Bucks that can be used to
place their bets. Between every match there is a betting phase during which the
players can place their bets. If a player loses all their money they get a
bailout of $100 Salty Bucks. SaltyBet also features a paid subscription feature
named "Salty Illuminati", joining to which allows users to view match
records, edit character stats, and make match requests.
A member of the
"M.U.G.E.N Community" contacted me and informed me that the M.U.G.E.N community
asked both SNK and Capcom for approval of using their characters in M.U.G.E.N.
SNK actually gave permission for their work to be used in M.U.G.E.N specifically,
while Capcom gave their generic email response saying it was ok if their
work wasn't used for profit. (Thanks to Lee Tuttle
for the information)
The previous license
agreements for usage of MUGEN from Elecbyte have expired, and it appears
that a new license agreement will never be granted. Therefore, any current
distribution of MUGEN has not been authorized by Elecbyte and is illegal,
although Elecbyte has never taken any legal action; it has simply disappeared
without explanation. Many people choose to continue using MUGEN despite
the lack of a new license.
as characters and stages for use with MUGEN are not a part of Elecbyte's
license, but only the software itself is. So it is up to each individual
to decide whether or not to violate Elecbyte's license by using MUGEN.
Elecbyte itself has not made a public statement since 2003 when they stated
that the project had "hit a snag". That it was, in the truth, an excuse
to have disappeared, leaving the users and creators without any alternative.
take on M.U.G.E.N
It was around 2002-2003 when I first heard of M.U.G.E.N. and started
messing around with it. I wanted to make a fighting game filled with Capcom,
SNK, and Marvel Versus Series characters. At the time, there was a very limited selection of websites with
downloadable content for M.U.G.E.N. Backgrounds from many different classic
2D fighting games were usually downloadable in packs, while characters
were downloaded separately. I always tested out the characters
to see if they were "good enough" to be in my game (weren't missing any
important moves or animations). To my surprise, some of them had pretty accurate
movelists and played close enough to their original versions. However, in those days, there were
no Street Fighter III or Marvel VS Capcom 2 sprites in existence
(on the internet)... so options were
I wasted quite a bit of time
searching for new or "new-and-improved" user-creations, most of which were
characters from Capcom and SNK fighting games. If they weren't from actual
fighters, usually the characters available for download were ugly, poorly-drawn
sprites with bad animations, Dragonball Z characters, 8-bit Nintendo characters,
or just "joke" characters... all of which I wasn't interested in for my project.
After a few months... my dream game of "Capcom VS SNK VS Marvel" was
actually starting to take form... and I had fun making it. (Unfortunately, I
wasn't crafty enough to take screengrabs or record gameplay from my steam-engine
(literal steam engine) crap PC back then... so I have no screens of my dream-match game to
share with you, but I can continue to tell you about it if you're not bored already.
So... I had upwards of 90-100 characters in my game. Every
character had their own stage and theme music (most of which were authentic from their original
games). I still remember fighting
against Dan in my game... fighting on his SFA3 stage with
his theme intact (mp3 quality)!
Sometimes, I had to choose between different versions of stages & BGM's
for a single character in my game, for example I could've used Dan's
SFA2 stage with his SFA2 theme music instead. I had lots of authentic
options available. My epic library of BGM's
from Capcom & SNK games really came in handy (thanks Napster!)
Long story short, one day I got bored and eventually DELETED my entire M.U.G.E.N
folder (but I did save the data... somewhere.) I'd
estimate this was sometime around 2003-2004.
I had to conserve some
space on my ghetto-ass hard drive at the time, and on top of that, I simply got
bored and wanted to get back to real fighting games. I gotta admit... it was
pretty fun playing the 2 vs 2 team mode... and my authentic Darkstalkers 3
B.B. Hood / MOTW Terry Bogard dream team was nearly unstoppable (please
take a moment to 'imagine' their epic tag-team super moves, which connected nicely btw).
came a point during a 117-hit combo where I had an epiphany... and I had to ask myself:
in the blue hell am I doing? Why am
I putting so much time into this 'game' that won't matter at all if I'm good
at it? Shouldn't I be practicing my shit in a REAL fighting game?"
I still followed the M.U.G.E.N.
creators community for a while, and the characters that people
were making just started to get ridiculous. In my opinion, users were editing and powering-up
the characters to a point where it seemed like more of an "insult" to
the characters and fighting games. I often wondered
if the original Capcom / SNK artists would be offended if they saw what was
being done to their characters... and associating them with stuff like this
(below)... and much, much worse "R-Rated / X-Rated" things, too. (No
*M-Rated material shown in screenshots, sorry.)
The fact that M.U.G.E.N sprites come in ALL
weird shapes & sizes,
and have the potential to be thrown into the same game kinda turned
me off of the whole thing. There are, however, some more professional / "serious"
M.U.G.E.N creators out there who have created some dream match games with 'heart'. I won't deny that. If their goal was a contribution to the continued hype and love for 2D fighting
games, I can respect spending so much time creating a game in M.U.G.E.N.
Okay, so sometimes M.U.G.E.N can be funny,
Bad animation and all.
In closing, if you haven't
checked out M.U.G.E.N and tried your hand at creating your own 2D fighter
from the ground up, then give it a go. You'll have a blast once you learn
how to use it and it's fairly easy! Or if you're too lazy, you can always
download someone else's creation and try it out. If you started your
own M.U.G.E.N now, you'll surely have many more characters at your disposal
than I did at the time... but a word of advice, the time-consuming "road" to creating your fighting game
may very well be much more enjoyable than
actually playing it.
These days, M.U.G.E.N
is something that you can whip out in front of some oblivious friends for
some decent laughs, and possibly some oohs & aahs if you
have an impressive character selection screen. The fact is, most games
that come out of M.U.G.E.N just don't have that "quality feel" that
you'll get from a proper fighting game engine. There is potential for the game engine to be developed
further, and it has... but I suppose that M.U.G.E.N is a different
version than the one I've been referring to. Plus, you could be spending all
that time getting good at actual fighting games... which is something that
actually pays off for some people. Just my two cents.
At the end of the day, of
course, M.U.G.E.N shouldn't be taken that seriously... it's all just for fun. M.U.G.E.N is sort of like
M.U.G.E.N looks like a fighting game... M.U.G.E.N feels like a fighting game...
but it's not actually a fighting game at all, contrary to what any
obsessed M.U.G.E.N user who got bored with real fighting games may tell you on a message board (are message boards
still around?). Anyway, M.U.G.E.N. is a user-created, code based, figment of our wild
imaginations, kind of like The M.A.T.R.I.X. On a side note: I wonder if Capcom spelled
F.A.N.G's name as nod to ol' M.U.G.E.N. Whatever, I'm gonna go play a real fighting game now...
maybe something 3D. Thanks for reading.