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 (a, b, c, x, y, z and start), 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 2D side-scrolling platformer engine, with its name supposedly being derived from those days. It is unknown why Elecbyte decided to scrap the initial idea and turn it into a fighting game engine, though one might hazard a guess at it being to do with a lack of customisation options.
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- 18th January 2011: Version 1.0
- 29 June 2010: Version 1.0 RC8
- 20 March 2010: Version 1.0 RC7
- 8 December 2009: Version 1.0 RC6
- 28 October 2009: Version 1.0 RC5
- 25 October 2009: Version 1.0 RC4
- 12 October 2009: Version 1.0 RC3
- 29 September 2009: Version 1.0 RC2
- 22 September 2009: Version 1.0 RC1