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Artificial Intelligence (commonly abbreviated as A.I.) refers to the sequence of statements executed by computer code to simulate an actual thought process. In M.U.G.E.N and other fighting games, A.I. usually refers to a character that is under CPU control.
The M.U.G.E.N engine contains a default A.I., however, many authors feel that this system is inadequate, as it relies on randomly executing commands defined in the character's CMD file. As a result, many authors prefer to code their own custom A.I. Prior to the release of M.U.G.E.N 1.0, many authors had to rely on several workarounds, such as human-impossible commands (complex commands requiring 1 tick to execute) or Winane's A.I. activation method. With the introduction of the AILevel trigger in M.U.G.E.N 1.0, many of these workarounds have become obsolete.
In M.U.G.E.N, various types of A.I. exist, including, but not limited to:
- Cheap A.I. (Uses exploits, can do actions the human player cannot)
- Brutal A.I. (Hard to defeat, essentially the character at its best)
- Easy A.I. (Takes its time to react. Usually uses the default A.I.)
- Defensive A.I. (Keeps defending, only attacking occasionally)
Cheap A.I. refers to a character whose A.I., custom-made or patched, enables it to vastly outperform any human using that character. As a result, the A.I. may be able to exploit the moves of a character to an extent that it can generate seemingly impossible tactics and combos, often resulting in massive damage (such as God Orochi), pressure or even infinite attacks (Super Mario 64 and Rare Akuma are good examples of this type of this form of cheap A.I.). Additionally, some forms of Cheap A.I. may be the result of design in the character itself, or a result of the A.I. doing things not normally possible for a human player, such as being able to cancel moves that would otherwise not be able to, or use Hypers without any Power requirement. A notable example of Cheap A.I. is seen with Kong's Marvel vs. Capcom 2 characters, as they are known for being able to perform otherwise impossible actions such as randomly escaping combos and still fighting even after their Life has been reduced to zero.
Brutal A.I. is any A.I. that causes characters to become aggressive, combo more than usual and guard whenever attacked, making them very difficult to defeat. It is often mistaken as being cheap due to how unfair it seems, though everything a brutal A.I. can do is entirely possible through normal means, though the A.I. is naturally faster at processing inputs than a human player. This type of A.I. is considered at its hardest in Marvel vs. Capcom- and Guilty Gear-styled characters that have an emphasis on aerial raves and have infinite (or a large amount of) juggle points, as they can get the opponent in the corner, launch them into the air and proceed to juggle them until they are K.O.'d.
Brutal A.I. vs. cheap A.I.
Brutal A.I. and cheap A.I. are often mistaken for each other due to how a brutal A.I. may seem cheap and a cheap A.I. may seem brutal; there are several differences between the two, though they frequently overlap at times:
Brutal A.I. prefers to use combos and force the enemy into the edge of the stage, then proceed to start beating them up, occasionally using Specials and Hypers, though if the opponent decides to attack, they will guard whenever possible. Several characters that have brutal A.I. are impossible to defeat with certain characters due to how it is set up, or it is simply impossible to defeat without using a cheap character.
Cheap A.I. uses Specials and Hypers whenever possible, preferably OHKO moves, and tends to have some kind of Power Charge or an easy combo system, thus allowing them to gain Power quickly. Most of the time, only cheap characters can stand a chance in these cases.
Easy A.I. is an A.I. that causes characters to take time to react, make combos or effectively defend themselves, making them easy to defeat, hence the name. This type of A.I. also includes M.U.G.E.N's default A.I., which is common in a lot of characters.
Defensive A.I. is an A.I. that consists of taking defensive maneuvers, such as evading, dodge, defending and/or reversals. This type of A.I. is most commonly associated with characters designed with a keepaway playstyle, such as Guile, Dhalsim and Honedge.