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What is MUGEN and Why You Should Download It
If you are a fan of fighting games, you may have heard of MUGEN, a freeware 2D fighting game engine that allows you to create your own custom fighting games with characters, stages, music, and more from various sources. But what exactly is MUGEN and why should you download it? In this article, we will explain what MUGEN is, how it works, how to install and configure it on your PC, how to add content to your game, and how to play and enjoy its features. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of MUGEN and hopefully be inspired to try it out for yourself.
MUGEN is a Freeware 2D Fighting Game Engine
MUGEN is an acronym for Multi Universe Generative Engine, which was developed by a group of programmers called Elecbyte in 1999. It is a game engine that allows you to create 2D fighting games using sprites, sounds, animations, and scripts. The engine is written in C and uses the SDL library for graphics and sound.
MUGEN is designed to be highly customizable, allowing very fine control over each character's behavior, as well as allowing customization of almost all screen elements. Content is created by the community, and thousands of fighters, both original and from popular fiction, have been created. You can find characters from anime, manga, comics, cartoons, movies, video games, and even real life celebrities. You can also find stages from various settings, such as cities, forests, deserts, space stations, etc. You can even create your own original characters and stages using graphics editing software and text editors.
How MUGEN Works and What You Can Do With It
MUGEN works by reading data files that define the properties of the characters, stages, music, fonts, etc. These files are stored in folders within the main MUGEN folder. The most important files are:
system.def: This file defines the general settings of the game engine, such as the resolution, the screenpack (the graphical interface of the game), the lifebar (the graphical display of the health bars), the fonts (the typefaces used for text), etc.
select.def: This file defines the roster of characters and stages that are available in the game. You can add or remove characters and stages by editing this file.
data folder: This folder contains subfolders for each character and stage that are included in the game. Each subfolder contains files that define the appearance, behavior, moveset, sounds, etc. of the character or stage.
With MUGEN, you can do many things that are not possible or very difficult in other fighting games. For example:
You can mix and match characters from different franchises or genres.
You can create your own original characters or edit existing ones.
You can create your own original stages or edit existing ones.
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You can adjust the difficulty, speed, and other options of the game.
You can use the debug mode to test and tweak your characters and stages.
You can record and share your matches with others.
Where to Find and Download MUGEN
MUGEN is a freeware game engine, which means you can download it for free from the official website of Elecbyte. However, the official website only provides the barebones version of the engine, which does not include any characters, stages, or screenpacks. You will have to download these separately from other sources.
There are many websites that host MUGEN content created by the community. Some of the most popular ones are:
[Mugen Archive]: This is one of the largest and most comprehensive MUGEN repositories, with over 100,000 files available for download. You can find characters, stages, screenpacks, lifebars, fonts, music, and more. You can also join the forum and chat with other MUGEN fans.
[Mugen Fighters Guild]: This is another large and active MUGEN community, with over 50,000 files available for download. You can also find tutorials, guides, news, and discussions about MUGEN.
[Mugen Database]: This is a wiki-based website that provides information and links to MUGEN content. You can browse by category, genre, series, or creator. You can also contribute by adding or editing pages.
Before you download any MUGEN content, make sure you read the readme files and follow the instructions of the authors. Some content may require specific versions of MUGEN or certain dependencies to work properly. Also, be respectful of the creators' work and do not redistribute or modify their content without their permission.
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How to Install and Configure MUGEN on Your PC
Once you have downloaded the MUGEN engine and some content, you will need to install and configure it on your PC. This is not very difficult, but it does require some basic knowledge of file management and text editing. Here are the basic steps to set up MUGEN:
The Basic Steps to Set Up MUGEN
Extract the MUGEN engine zip file to a folder of your choice. You can name it anything you want, but we will use "Mugen" for simplicity.
Extract the content zip files (characters, stages, etc.) to their respective subfolders within the "Mugen" folder. For example, extract characters to the "chars" folder, stages to the "stages" folder, etc.
Edit the select.def file in the "data" folder with a text editor (such as Notepad). This file lists the characters and stages that are available in your game. To add a character or stage, simply type its name (without extension) on a new line under the appropriate section. For example, to add a character named "Ryu", type "Ryu" under [Characters]. To add a stage named "Street", type "Street" under [ExtraStages]. Save and close the file when you are done.
Run the mugen.exe file in the "Mugen" folder to launch the game. You should see a menu with several options, such as Arcade, Versus, Team Arcade, etc. Use the arrow keys to navigate and press Enter to select an option. You can also press F1 to access the help menu.
How to Customize MUGEN with Screenpacks, Lifebars, and Fonts
If you want to change the look and feel of your game, you can customize it with screenpacks, lifebars, and fonts. These are files that define the graphical interface of your game, such as the title screen, the character select screen, the health bars, etc.
To install a screenpack, lifebar, or font, you will need to do two things: copy its files to your "Mugen" folder and edit your system.def file in the "data" folder. Here are some general guidelines:
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Copy the files of the screenpack, lifebar, or font to your "Mugen" folder, following the instructions of the author. Usually, you will need to copy some files to the "data" folder and some files to the "font" folder.
Edit your system.def file in the "data" folder with a text editor. This file defines the general settings of your game engine, such as the resolution, the screenpack, the lifebar, the fonts, etc. To use a screenpack, lifebar, or font, you will need to change some values in this file according to the instructions of the author. For example, to use a screenpack named "Mugen Infinity", you will need to change the value of motif under [Files] to data/mugeninfinity/system.def. Save and close the file when you are done.
After you have installed a screenpack, lifebar, or font, you may need to adjust your select.def file in the "data" folder to match the number of character slots and stage slots that are available in your game. You can also change the order and grouping of your characters and stages by editing this file.
How to Add Characters, Stages, and More to Your MUGEN Game
One of the most fun and exciting aspects of MUGEN is that you can add characters, stages, and more content to your game from various sources. You can find content from anime, manga, comics, cartoons, movies, video games, and even real life celebrities. You can also create your own original content using graphics editing s