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This article is about the M.U.G.E.N engine. For the article about the character based on the engine, see M.U.G.E.N (character).
M.U.G.E.N (also written as MUGEN and Mugen; officially pronounced "moo-gen") is a freeware 2D fighting game engine developed by Elecbyte. The most recent version of M.U.G.E.N to be publicly released is version 1.1 beta 1, which was released on August 7th 2013, though the most recent stable build is version 1.0, released on January 18th 2011.
M.U.G.E.N allows users (typically known as "authors" or "creators") to create content for the engine such as (but not limited to) characters and stages for others to download and add to their game, or just to keep for themselves, as well as fully-fledged fighting games. Being a fighting game engine at heart, M.U.G.E.N takes inspiration from a variety of classic fighting game series such as Street Fighter and The King of Fighters, featuring a seven-button combat system (, , , , , and ), typically representing three punches, three kicks and a taunt, though characters are not limited to having those presets, with some only having four or just three attack buttons and a taunt.
M.U.G.E.N has a fairly large community, with multiple forums and sites dedicated to the engine, as well as many internet videos with the purpose of teaching users how to use and customise the engine or (more commonly) broadcasting M.U.G.E.N fights.
M.U.G.E.N started off as a PC shooting game, with its name supposedly being derived from those days. Elecbyte made the change from a shooter to a fighting game as they noticed "there weren't any good commercial fighting games on the PC at the time". Elecbyte have said that some of the inspiration for M.U.G.E.N came from games such as SFIBM.
M.U.G.E.N comes with nine different game modes and an options menu to configure the engine's settings, with the game modes being: Arcade, Versus, Team Arcade, Team Versus, Team Co-op, Survival, Survival Co-op, Training and Watch; M.U.G.E.N also comes with a dedicated 'Exit' option to close the program, though such an action can also be accomplished by manually closing the M.U.G.E.N application window or pressing the ESC key, leaving the Exit option as a way for people who are using input methods such as controllers or fightsticks to close the program.
Arcade is a standard 1 vs. 1 progression game mode that sees the player using a character from their roster to fight their way past A.I. controlled opponents that are also taken from the player's roster. The order that opponents appear in Arcade can be configured via the screenpack's select.def file, which allows the player to both assign an ordering value to each character and to set how many iterations of characters with any particular order value appear in an Arcade run, the latter of which is handled through the arcade.maxmatches parameter under the [Options] section. The only way to exclude a character from Arcade mode is to give them an order value of 0, as characters that do not have order values assigned to them will not be excluded from Arcade mode, and will instead be treated as if they have an order value of 1; additionally, M.U.G.E.N does not support Arcade order values that are greater than 30, with any characters that have order values exceeding this limit being treated as not having an Arcade order assigned to them, effectively giving them the default order value of 1.
Versus is a standard 1 on 1 game mode that allows two human players to fight against each other via local multiplayer, with starting a match being as simple as both players picking a character from the roster and player 1 picking a stage to do battle on. It is possible to use Versus for human vs. A.I. or A.I. vs. A.I. battles by turning on A.I. profiles during the match via debug keys, though both characters must still be selected by the respective player's controls on the character select screen.
Team Versus is a combination between the Versus and Team Arcade modes, with the 2 person local multiplayer aspect of the former and the team configuration options (and subsequent Life handicaps) of the latter, though If any side sets their team configuration option to simul, their partner character will be controlled by an A.I. profile. Similar to Team Arcade, both sides can set their team configuration to single, which sets up a match identically to that of regular Versus mode.
Team Co-op is a two player mode that's functionally identical to Team Arcade where the player is working alongside an A.I. controlled partner character, but instead has a second player control the partner character via local multiplayer.
Survival is a game mode where the player chooses a fighter and attempts to run the gauntlet of A.I. controlled characters from their entire roster in an endless succession of rounds, with the run only coming to an end upon the player's fighter having been K.O.d (or in the case of simuls, both the player's and the A.I. controlled teammate's fighters). On the character select screen, the player has to initially choose whether to play as a singular fighter, simultaneously with an A.I. controlled partner, or in a team consisting of 2~4 alternating fighters; once this selection has been made, the player has to then choose the characters they wish to play as and the type of opposing team they want to go up against, either a single opponent or two opponents simultaneously; finally, the player must choose which stage they wish to fight on, which will remain the stage used for the entirety of the Survival run.
Similar to Team Arcade, M.U.G.E.N will handicap characters' maximum Life depending on the configuration difference between the player's side and the opponent's side, though the handicap values differ slightly from Team Arcade:
- Single : Simul -- 100% : 66.67%
- Simul : Single -- 66.67% : 100%
- Team (2) : Single -- 90% : 100%
- Team (2) : Simul -- 90% : 66.67%
- Team (3) : Single -- 80% : 100%
- Team (3) : Simul -- 80% : 100%
- Team (4) : Single -- 70% : 100%
- Team (4) : Simul -- 70% : 100%
Should the player (or their partner) lose any Life during a round, a portion of it will be restored upon securing a victory over the opposing team, though the restoration will not be greater than 25% of the character's maximum Life; a K.O.d teammate in a simuls run will be revived if their partner can defeat the opposition, but any team members that are K.O.d in an alternating team member run will not be revived.
Due to the random nature of Survival picking characters from the roster to throw against the player, it does not discriminate against what Arcade order the characters are set to or if the character is intended to be a boss/cheap character, so it's sometimes necessary to dedicate a roster specifically for characters that work well in a Survival mode run; additionally, Survival has every chance to call up unbeatable characters (such as Training) should they be in the roster, which will see that a Survival run is ended prematurely.
Survival Co-op is functionally identical to Survival, but instead has two human players simultaneously run the gauntlet of characters via local multiplayer, with player 1 picking the stage that will be used for the Survival run.
Training is a mode where the player can practice using their character against another character in a 1 on 1 'fight', on any stage of their choosing. While in Training mode, both character's Power meters are automatically topped up to their maximum levels, with any lost Power being replenished upon that character not having any further Power deductions after 30 ticks have passed since they returned to their idle state from whichever move originally deducted Power, whether it be an attack of their own or an opponent's attack that drained their Power; likewise, a character's Life is also restored after 30 ticks of returning to their idle state from the move that caused them to take damage, providing they have not taken any further damage during that time. In addition to regenerating Life, characters are prevented from being K.O.d in Training mode under normal circumstances, which allows the player to explore the full length of any particular combo.
It is possible for the player to control the actions of the opposing character (referred to as the 'dummy') via a training menu, which becomes accessible upon the game being paused.
Watch is a game mode where a player can pit up to eight characters against each other in an A.I. vs. A.I. match, though only a simuls team configuration will allow any more than two fighters in play at any one time. The mode is set up in a similar fashion to that of Team Versus, though the player has complete control over which characters are selected for the match and which stage they will fight on; on top of this, a player can also turn off a character's A.I. profile during a match and proceed to control that character manually.
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- Version 9X.07.27 Beta: 27 July 1999 (DOS) First Release
- Version 9X.08.16 Beta: 16 August, 1999 (DOS)
- Version 9X.09.03 Beta: 3 September, 1999 (DOS)
- Version 9X.10.19 Beta: 19 October,1999 (DOS)
- Version 2000.01.01 Beta: 01 January, 2000 (DOS)
- Version 2000.07.01 Beta: 01 July, 2000 (DOS)
- Version 2000.08.08 Beta: 8 August, 2000 (DOS)
- Version 2000.11.18 Beta: 18 November, 2000 (DOS)
- Version 2000.11.29 Beta: 29 November, 2000 (DOS)
- Version 2001.04.01 Beta: 1 April, 2001 (DOS)
- Version 2001.04.14 Beta: 2 May, 2001 (DOS) (Final DOS version to be released as it's no longer supported. Elecbyte shifts to Linux)
- Version 2001.11.01 Beta: 4 November, 2001 (Linux) First Linux version released
- Version 2001.11.14 Beta: 16 December, 2001 (Linux)
- Version 2002.04.14 Beta: 21 April, 2002 (Linux) Windows (leaked, unofficial) This would become the final build before the disappearance of Elecbyte. Unofficial patches and hacks spawned from this version.
- Version 1.0 RC1: 22 September, 2009
- Version 1.0 RC2: 29 September, 2009
- Version 1.0 RC3: 12 October, 2009
- Version 1.0 RC4: 25 October, 2009
- Version 1.0 RC5: 28 October, 2009
- Version 1.0 RC6: 8 December, 2009
- Version 1.0 RC7: 20 March, 2010
- Version 1.0 RC8: 29 June, 2010
- Version 1.0: 18th January, 2011
- Version 1.1 Alpha 1: No release (given only to alpha testers)
- Version 1.1 Alpha 2: No release (given only to alpha testers, leaked)
- Version 1.1 Alpha 3: No release (given only to alpha testers, leaked)
- Version 1.1 Alpha 4: May 3, 2013 (leaked, unofficial)
- Version 1.1 Beta 1: 7th August 2013