M.U.G.E.N – Make Your Own Fighting Game

Long, long time ago (in 2005) I wrote about the MAME emulator which allows you to play old school fighting games such as Street Fighter Alpha, and Marverl vs. Capcom on your PC. In and by itself MAME is awesome, as long as you know where to download the appropriate game ROM’s. However, I always wondered how do people take the crazy screen shots and videos pairing characters from different games and genres. For example Ken vs. Rayden. At first I though that someone simply combined footage from Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, but of course this was not the case. It was actual game footage, with some clever editing.

So what did they use to create that video? So what game lets you have all these crossover combats? It’s a called M.U.G.E.N.

MUGEN is not really a game in itself. It is a modable, scriptable engine for the old school, 2d fighting games. It ships with no stages, no characters, no life bars, and a very basic character selection screen – you need to supply all of that to make the game work. Fortunately, MUGEN has a very large and active community which constantly churns out new content for the system. Most of the characters from Street Fighter series, and most of Marvel heroes that appeared in CAPCOM games have been carefully re-created for MUGEN including their signature combos, and special moves. Same goes for Mortal Kombat, King of Figthers and dozens of other games. People even create completely original characters, by re-drawing other sprites, and altering moves from other characters. For example, someone made a very awesome Superman based on the Magnetto model from X-men vs. Street Fighter game.

But I’m not just going to tell you. I will show you the fights I was able to stage with a little bit of digging, and downloading:

Superman vs Wolverine
Who will win – Superman or Wolverine?

Inuyasha vs. Piccolo
When worlds collide: Inuyasha vs. Piccolo from Dragon Ball

Peter Griffin vs. Ryu
WTF? Oh, God, why? Petter Griffin vs. Ryu

Superboy vs. Krusty the Clown
OMG! Kill it with fire! Superboy vs. Krusty the Clown

Yes, I made those screen shots. and yes, Petter Griffin has a flaming fart super move.

Caveat emptor: MUGEN takes a little bit of work before it becomes fun. How come? Before you do anything you probably need a screenpack. What is that? Screenpacks usually contain images and scripts that make your life and energy bars look nice, make a cool character selection screen and etc. Each screenpack is a big zip containing altered data, plugins and fonts folders. You simply drop them into your MUGEN directory overwriting the old ones, and next time you start the application, it will have a brand new look and feel to it.

Then of course you need characters and stages. Importing them is easy, but tedious since they are usually not included in screenpacks. Furthermore, since it takes a lot of time and effort to create one, you will almost never see large character packs available for download. Most of the time, people will simply create characters for their 3-4 favorite fighters from a given game. So if for example you want to download the complete cast of Street Fighter, you are up for a lot of hunting, since the downloads are scattered all over the place.

Mugen Infantry has an impressive, ever growing database of characters but they do not usually host them, or direct link to downloads. They simply link to the homepage of the author, and from there you need to locate the downloads you want yourself. Did I mention that half of the indexed characters is hosted on non-english sites? Well, I’m mentioning it now. I had fun trying to figure out which link leads to character downloads in French, Spanish, Japanise and German. Whooptie do!

Once you find stages and characters you want you will usually need to unzip them and drop them into stages and chars folders in the MUGEN directory. Then you will need to let the game know about each of them by editing the data/select.def config file. How do you do that? Like this:

Editing the select.def File

For each character you need to add an entry in that file. Same goes for stages.

Finally, the game is unbalanced. Since the attack timing, combos and AI is scripted by the character creators you get very varied results. For example, whoever designed the Wolverine I’m using, decided he should be a beast in combat. So as the first opponent (ie. the easiest one) he scored two flawless victories on me. I didn’t even get a single punch in, And all of that was done with long, chained 32 hit combos, followed up by special move, and more combos. Ouch!

I also noticed that Superboy has almost no recovery time to his fast and medium kicks and punches, and they do not knock the opponent away far enough. In effect you can easily get off 20-30 hit combos by just repeatedly mashing buttons.

Then again, Lobo totally kicked my ass despite that infinite combo bug giving me the unfair advantage. Which kinda makes sense – Lobo was always a total badass. I vaguely remember a comic in which he royally kicked Superman’s ass up and down the Fortress of Solitude until he got somehow tricked by some rouse and lost. Seriously, I did read that at one point – I’m not making this up. If you can tell me the issue, or at least some insightful info about that storyline, you get 10 points on the spot! :mrgreen:

It’s only fair to mention that many of the characters I downloaded were still in beta, or even alpha testing stages. So this is where the lack of balance comes from, and it is totally forgivable.

All in all, MUGEN is tons of fun if you like tinkering, and “collecting” cool playable characters, and pitting them against each other in combat. I highly recommend checking it out.

[tags]mugen, mugen infantry, mugen characters, superman, lobo, superoby, peter griffin, inuyasha, piccolo, wolverine, screenpack[/tags]

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13 Responses to M.U.G.E.N – Make Your Own Fighting Game

  1. Starhawk UNITED STATES Mozilla Ubuntu Linux says:

    Hmm fascinating stuff

    I never saw the Lobo kicking supermans ass but i found this on google, good chance its from the comic ya talking about.

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  2. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Oh crap! That’s it! You win! LOL

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  3. Starhawk UNITED STATES Mozilla Ubuntu Linux says:

    Wish I knew what issue it was from, Found that image on a forum. At one time I was into comics but kinda got older and lacked the time.

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  4. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    I grew up in an interesting time period. The year I was born was essentially marked the fall of communist regime in Poland, and I was growing up in a country which was slowly rebuilding it’s economy and trying to re-establish friendly relationships with the west.

    At one point in the 80′s bunch of publishers got licensing deals, and started translating and re-printing American comic books. Initially we got The Amazing Spider Man, X-Man, Superman, and Batman. They were not just reprinting the latest stuff though. Since this was the first time these titles got introduced in the country they were essentially the “best off”, starting with origin stories, and then the most critically acclaimed story arcs. We didn’t get any cruft, and monthly filler stuff – we got the pure gold, and our minds were blown. Soon there were like 15 more titles on the market, and I read and collected them all.

    Then I somehow lost interest and stopped buying them. Still, I have fond memories of these good old times, and this is why most Super Hero movie adaptations piss me off to no end. :P

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  5. Starhawk UNITED STATES Mozilla Ubuntu Linux says:

    I grew up in an interesting time period.

    I believe that would go a little beyond interesting, of course we all probably live in the best of times and the worst of times to abuse an overly used cliché. Myself I grew up in 60′s here in the Appalachian mountain range spent most of my time in the woods or reading when i wasn’t worked like a slave. Surrounded by hillbillies, my grandfather was a moonshiner and the Beverly hillbillies had nothing on my neighbors. Hippies of course invaded this area and I was waiting for the Revolution. Still waiting I guess. lol.

    I suppose i never thought of American comics being spread across the globe. goes to show how ubiquitous American culture truly is. I was lucky I guess an uncle of mine gave me boxes and boxes of comics as old as maybe 1945 up thru the 60′s, including many classic Supermans and batmans and so on. Kinda wished I’d kept them but my younger brother sorta inherited them when I let … run away i guess at 17. The same uncle used to also loan me Sci-fi books and real books on physics and evolution … he had some pot smoking pet monkeys too :D In a way i suppose he was very influential in who i latter became, more so than the hillbillies that surrounded me. lmao

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  6. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Oh yeah – American culture is everywhere. Especially in post-communist countries which were cut of from the western influence for years. Once we gained independence, we started absorbing in the American culture as a sponge.

    It’s funny but if you go to Poland, and randomly choose a channel, 4 out of 5 times you will see dubbed American TV show or movie. But I guess that applies to almost any place in the world. The only place that churns out more movies each year than US is probably India.

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  7. Starhawk UNITED STATES Mozilla Ubuntu Linux says:

    we started absorbing in the American culture as a sponge.

    I think they call that marketing Luke, lol. I’m now wondering if I ever saw a movie made in poland ? Not really a country or a culture I know much about, typical american i suppose. But yeah I damn sure know about Bollywood.

    Some of American culture ain’t that bad I suppose. The mythological motifs one finds in our comics ( and many movies) have a Jungian universal appeal. No wonder your mind was blown. I get a kick outta mythology so see this for a interesting take on superman. Gotta love academia for intellectualizing everything. :D

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  8. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I think the fascination with American culture of course waned as the market got saturated with it. By the time I was in High School it was no longer cool to be infatuated with the western culture. There was notion of going back to the core national, patriotic l values from before the communist era. Still, American TV, movies and Books were still dominant product on the market just because of the sheer volume of that is released here in US.

    And of course production values are way much better. Only Hollywood can afford to spend millions of dollars on the over the top special effects. And that’s what people want to see.

    Don’t feel bad about not seeing any Polish movies. Of the top of my head I can’t think of anything that would get any large scale international recognition. No Polish productions have ever hit the nationwide distribution chains here in US. At least not that I’m aware off.

    I haven’t been in Poland in over 8 years so many things might have changed since then though. Popular culture is fickle, and I bet I would be very surprised by the subtle changes that happened over these years.

    I think our minds were blown out of sheer awesomeness of these characters. They sure beat the hell out of stuff like Tytus, Romek i A’Tomek, Kajko i Kokosz (which was actually and Asterix clone), and Funky Koval which while awesome in his own way, did not posses retractable claws, or heat vision, and thus was inferior – at least form the point of a middle school kid. I mean you don’t get any more bad ass than Wolverine, or hotter than Psylocke or Rogue when drawn by Jim Lee. I think super heroes were to us what Pokemon is to the current generations.

    I never was a big fan of the flag DC heroes. Superman was invulnerable, and Batman was a millionaire. Could not relate to them. I was more of a Marvel guy. Peter Parker was my kind of guy – stuck in a shitty job, all kinds of crap ruining his life, and yet he still managed to kick ass in style. Same goes for the motley crew of the mutants in X-men – struggling against the man trying to oppress them.

    Speaking of intellectualizing comic books – it’s interesting how the notion of a super hero is unique to US. Superman was created and evolved in the 30′s when he was sort of American icon – an unstoppable hero who would save the world over and over again. This archetype seemed to parallel the American psyche at the time. America was champion of freedom who would save the world.

    On the other hand, the protagonists in most of the Polish comics were usually regular guys – unlikely heroes who would either get in trouble of their own making, or face some overwhelming adversary, and then save the day by outwitting their adversaries. Which of course can be tied into Poland’s long history of occupation, and foreign rule (first we got partitioned by Russia, Prussia and Austria, then we got the German occupation, and then finally we landed behind the iron curtain as a “People’s Republic” under the Soviet control).

    The only way you could get ahead was to outsmart the brain-dead occupant bureaucracy and beat them at their own game.

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  9. Patrick UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    Is this a web or platform game because I want to play it.

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  10. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    @Patrick: Er… It’s a PC game. Link is in the post. :)

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  11. Anime Lover AUSTRALIA Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I’ve always wondered what an Inuyasha vs. DBZ game would look like. Hm… maybe you could try making Soul Calibur vs. Mortal Kombat? (j\k)

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  12. vydeesh INDIA Internet Explorer Windows says:

    i am searching how to download mugen characters so please help me

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  13. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @vydeesh: Ok, here is what you do:

    1. Go to mugen-infantry.net
    2. Find the character you are looking for
    3. Visit the website listed in that entry
    4. Find the download
    5. Download it
    6. Add it to MUGEN as I described above
    7. ???
    8. Profit

    If that doesn’t work, please try this link.

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