Freeware retro fighting game
Mugen, stylized as M.U.G.E.N, is a free game development engine originally released back in 1999. It primarily offers the 2D fighting game of the same name, known for bringing together characters from different game franchises. With the standard directional pad plus a six-button action configuration, it recalls classic arcade fighting games from the 90s and the early 2000s.
Its out-of-the-blue stage designs and overall retro aesthetics make the M.U.G.E.N. game a persisting title, decades after its original release. Imagine characters from Street Fighter X Tekken meeting up with those from other fighting titles.
The M.U.G.E.N. engine is written using the C language and was originally built with the Allegro library, later replaced by SDL libraries. For casual users, the main app is a 2D retro fighting game that mashes different characters, such as Super Mario’s Peach fighting with Chun Li from Street Fighter. Most of the game’s versions employ the standard arcade control layout, with directional and action keys.
However, it also allows players to create their own M.U.G.E.N. characters to play in the game. They can either design and animate one from scratch or import any of the existing designs created by other fans and are available to download for absolutely free. Below are some of the other features of the app.
- Different fonts, title bar selectors, different characters, sound effects, stat bars, and more.
- You can choose from standard resolutions ranging from 240p all the way up to 1080p.
- A scripting language is used to make it possible for your chosen character to do different things. So, use your imagination to create different effects and moves.
- You can even make move combos and buttons to cancel the moves. The customization is virtually endless when you are working with this type of basic software.
- You can also create customized intros and cut scenes. Endings are also customizable.
- There are no limits for character sounds, you can use as many character sounds as allowed by your computer’s memory.
MUGEN was originally created to develop fighting games. But the people using it have created platforms and shooting games using it. You can also create games of other genres with this platform, but they will be more difficult to make.
Everyone who creates content by using the engine is called an author. Anyone can play around on the platform to create characters and skins. You can also import other characters from other engines and tweak them. The community has also used the engine to produce lots of original content as well.
There are different versions of MUGEN, and no two look the same thanks to their customizability. Some groups of MUGEN developers also collaborate to create full 2D games. There is no charge to use MUGEN for non-commercial uses. There is also a mini version that is redistributable for everyone, it is also provided by the official producer of MUGEN.
Where can you play MUGEN?
As a game that has spread over the internet, you can find a M.U.G.E.N. download link on different sites. There are dedicated online spots like the MUGEN Fighters Guild or the MUGEN Archive. It’s worth noting that while the original game does not feature an online co-op or multiplayer option, there are online communities that preserve a M.U.G.E.N. online experience.
If you’re curious about the word itself or what MUGEN means, it’s the Japanese word for limitless or infinite. The age of the game, and the lack of mainstream attention, have led some to wonder, “Does MUGEN still exist?” After all, the last official release from the devs was back in 2011. However, MUGEN fans maintain that while the community continues to release unofficial updates and new content, the game is never really dead.
As already mentioned,MUGEN is a free to use software, but the manufacturer continues to release regular yearly updates. The most recent major update to keep the software stable was released back in 2011. All of the previous versions can also be downloaded from the official website. You should always read the Readme before installing the software, as this will make the installation process easy for you.
However, if you want to know about all the updates without downloading them, you can read the points mentioned below to have a look at all the update notes.
- The F1 info screen can now be customized by going into system.def file.
- SND files with invalid WAV files would not cause the MUGEN to abort, but it will now show an error message.
- Fixed some issues that caused some sound files to be played incorrectly or on the wrong channels. It also fixed some other bugs.
- This update replaced broken soundX.volume parameters with soundX.volumescale.
- Incorrect character positions in result screens were fixed in this update.
- The final update updated some documentation in the application. The license was also updated to include the application in the free commercial use category. You can read it by checking the latest readme.txt file that comes when you download the latest version available.
The MUGEN catalog can be easily accessed on the official site if you want to learn more about the updates or to download them.
Should you download M.U.G.E.N?
What MUGEN does is quite niche so there is no software to make a direct comparison with. It is safe to say that what it does, it does well, and it has some big game names which have been produced on it. The question is really whether you have a love for making .retro style computer games., and if you have an understanding about how to programming with DOS (or you are happy to learn). If yes, then MUGEN is certainly worth downloading. It’s free to download so there’s nothing to lose, plus it comes with a free demo game.