Not sure if this should be an actual M.U.G.E.N database article due to this being an unofficial term for a really big trend, but here goes.

In M.U.G.E.N, the Race to the Cheapest is an unofficial, impromptu arms race amongst M.U.G.E.N creators to create the cheapest character ever in the M.U.G.E.N engine. Pushing the limits of scripting, loophole finding and patching, character creators consistently find ways to dethrone other cheap characters while finding ways to prevent their character from being killed by other cheap characters.

Unofficially, there are two categories: Technical and Orochi.

The Technical Category

In this category, the character matters less than the coding. The only aim of this category is to produce a character whose sole purpose is to be undefeatable and defeat any other character instantly through exploitataion of loopholes in the M.U.G.E.N engine.

There is no clear current leader in this category, since leaders only stay for a few moments before their methods are superceded by another creator.

Notable characters in this category include:

  • A-Bomb
  • F1
  • Angle Draw Sphere
  • Arc
  • Debugger

Many characters are patched to fix loopholes that allowed someone else to beat them as soon as the creator notices that his character has been defeated.

The Orochi Category

In the Orochi category, the main aim is to create the flashiest character with extremely cheap attacks. The ability to KO the opponent quickly and not get KO'd is secondary, though still essential for participation.

Arguably, this category began with edits of Orochi that edited the infamous Triple Marukare - a set of screen fillers that were present simply to be chained into each other. Next, Ahuron released God Orochi, one of the cheapest edits of Orochi at the time. Following that, editors began editing God Orochi and giving him even more powerful attacks, creating progressively more powerful prefixed characters in the process.

Many edits are based on Orochi, Mizuchi (Orochi's clone) and Magaki, though some based on Igniz and other characters are also present.They all have a wide range of screen fillers, infinite super bars and moves with ridiculous range and damage. The cheapest of them share traits with those in the Technical category - they cannot be defeated by normal means due to a lack of a hitbox, but can kill any regular character even before the round begins.

Notable characters in this category include:

  • Alma Orochi
  • Fleet of Legend Alma Orochi
  • G Magaki
  • Legend Gold Metal Orochi
  • Apollo Mizuchi
  • Hastur (inadvertently)
  • Oni-Miko-Zero
  • G-Igniz

These characters should only be left to each other, and should not ever be put against a regular character. As such, they are popular subjects for watch mode battles.