M.U.G.E.N (also written as MUGEN and Mugen; officially pronounced “moo-gen”) is a freeware 2D fighting game engine developed by Elecbyte. The most recent version of M.U.G.E.N to be publicly released is version 1.1 beta 1, which was released on August 7th 2013, though the most recent stable build is version 1.0, released on January 18th 2011.
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 (, , ,, , and ), 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 PC shooting game, with its name supposedly being derived from those days. Elecbyte made the change from a shooter to a fighting game as they noticed “there weren’t any good commerical fighting games on the PC at the time”. Elecbyte have said that some of the inspiration for M.U.G.E.N came from games such as SFIBM.
- Version 9X.07.27 Beta: 27 July 1999 (DOS) First Release
- Version 9X.08.16 Beta: 16 August, 1999 (DOS)
- Version 9X.09.03 Beta: 3 September, 1999 (DOS)
- Version 9X.10.19 Beta: 19 October,1999 (DOS)
- Version 2000.01.01 Beta: 01 January, 2000 (DOS)
- Version 2000.07.01 Beta: 01 July, 2000 (DOS)
- Version 2000.08.08 Beta: 8 August, 2000 (DOS)
- Version 2000.11.18 Beta: 18 November, 2000 (DOS)
- Version 2000.11.29 Beta: 29 November, 2000 (DOS)
- Version 2001.04.01 Beta: 1 April, 2001 (DOS)
- Version 2001.04.14 Beta: 2 May, 2001 (DOS) (Final DOS version to be released as it’s no longer supported. Elecbyte shifts to Linux)
- Version 2001.11.01 Beta: 4 November, 2001 (Linux) First Linux version released
- Version 2001.11.14 Beta: 16 December, 2001 (Linux)
- Version 2002.04.14 Beta: 21 April, 2002 (Linux) Windows (leaked, unofficial) This would become the final build before the disappearance of Elecbyte. Unofficial patches and hacks spawned from this version.
- Version 1.0 RC1: 22 September, 2009
- Version 1.0 RC2: 29 September, 2009
- Version 1.0 RC3: 12 October, 2009
- Version 1.0 RC4: 25 October, 2009
- Version 1.0 RC5: 28 October, 2009
- Version 1.0 RC6: 8 December, 2009
- Version 1.0 RC7: 20 March, 2010
- Version 1.0 RC8: 29 June, 2010
- Version 1.0: 18th January, 2011
- Version 1.1 Alpha 1: No release (given only to alpha testers)
- Version 1.1 Alpha 2: No release (given only to alpha testers, leaked)
- Version 1.1 Alpha 3: No release (given only to alpha testers, leaked)
- Version 1.1 Alpha 4: May 3, 2013 (leaked, unofficial)
- Version 1.1 Beta 1: 7th August 2013