In 1999, M.U.G.E.N. would change forever the indie fighting game making scene. But who were the people behind it and Elecbyte? Why did they disappear into nothingness? Join us in a journey through the deep depths of the Wayback Machine, with a lot of trails gone cold, feral speculations and the words of some veteran M.U.G.E.N. content creators that were there when the story unfolded.
In April 2022, streamer and YouTuber Mike Levesque (also known as MrMKL) had the idea to host an indie fighting game developer roundtable, inspired by the periodic Japan Fighting Game Publisher roundtable. I was one of the four panelists of the event, together with Mattrified (Battle High, MerFight, Drag Her), MonochromaticHermit (Heatwave) and Love, from team Kaizen Creed, currently developing 5 Force Fighters.
In the month of April, streamer and YouTuber Mike Levesque (also known as MrMKL) had the idea to host an indie fighting game developer roundtable, inspired by the periodic Japan Fighting Game Publisher roundtable. His rationale was that, even if indie fighting games do not reach the same amount of players as—say—Street Fighter or Tekken, they have their own hardcore audience. Furthermore, indie developers are constantly trying to push the boundaries of the genre, in directions that are often precluded to more commercial titles. So, in his eyes, that was the perfect opportunity to have 3-4 developers meet together and get them to talk about the current status of this amalgam of subgenres.
If you have found your way to this website, you are surely familiar with Marvel vs Capcom 2. Maybe you played it in the arcades or on a Dreamcast, perhaps later down the line on Xbox 360 or PS3 or very recently in the last few months with the advent of Flycast GGPO. Experiencing Mahvel goes beyond playing the game though, as the community that is dedicated to its timeless charm brings the hype every single time. How well do you know that community? A very special documentary project is coming at you from an independent film maker to shine a light on the Marvel vs Capcom 2 community – this is VICTORY.
An “Italian MS-DOS cartoon fighting game re-released with planned rollback”. There is a lot to unpack in this short sentence. First, because I haven’t lived the MS-DOS era myself, I was born at its sunset — My first operating system was Windows 98. Secondly, because we are talking rollback, and, specifically, retrofitting rollback netcode into a 25 years old game. Third, because I’m Italian, like the developers.
So, today, join me and Antonio Lattanzio while we talk about the re-release of Fight’N’Jokes, a hidden gem from a forgotten past coming back with rollback netcode!
For the past few years and with increased ambition during the COVID-19 pandemic the FGC has taken to creating personal brands, producing content and being appealing to watch on streams and edited videos. Which is why I was delighted when I was informed of a series of street interviews with members of our community. In this series of in-person interviews you can watch names including Sabin, Yipes, Brian_F, and Koustics talk about where they are in the scene currently and anecdotes from the past.
Welcome back to Indie Fighting Game Thursday, with the second part of my double feature about the living legacy of 2D Fighter Maker 2002! Last week, we talked with Border Violation Taisei, the studio behind Angels of Battle v1.5, with an in-depth interview. I have asked similar questions to two developers who are still using 2DFM02 for developing their games — Ulissan Game Dev and らぐはちさん：南東ライトグリーン８(Light Green Eight)!
Now, brace yourself, because it’s time to dive deep into Brazil and back to Japan to see how this old engine does still have a spot in the recent game development history!
In a previous article of mine, we have gone through the history and alternate fortunes of a prehistoric game engine that is STILL getting used as of today by a multitude of developers: the immortal 2D Fighter Maker 2002, also called 2D Fighter Maker 2nd. Since then, I have got in touch with some developers who are currently using this living fossil of an engine for developing their games, and also tracked down a couple more games that happened to use that engine and went “under the radar” for a reason or another. Angels of Battle, despite having been released only in August 2021, is older than one might expect, topping a 15 years long development! But I’d better let the two developers behind it (Tomay and WWolf) tell the story in greater detail!
In an article series dedicated to obscurities, Fighting Vipers 2 might exist in its own class. It never got an official release in North American arcades, its Dreamcast port was Japan- and Europe-only, and it being a 3D game running on Sega’s (for the time) extremely powerful Model 3 Step 2 hardware means you’re not going to be able to run it on that 8-year old laptop you play GGPO with.
But that just makes it even more important to unearth and talk about. Fighting Vipers 2 was Sega’s 3D fighting game design gods at their most crazy and inventive, with over-the-top moves and characters concealing a deeply technical game that rewards good reads, a varied offense, and fast decision-making. And if you really want to show off, you can punch someone through a wall and into a T-Rex’s mouth. Because.
You’d be forgiven for not realizing how groundbreaking ADK’s World Heroes Perfect was. Released in May 1995 alongside a glut of similar-looking Neo Geo fighting games and against better marketed Capcom titles like Street Fighter Alpha, it was inevitable that WHP would get lost in the shuffle. It wasn’t until the mid-2000s, when Capcom had all but stopped developing new fighting games, that WHP was unearthed by players desperate for something new. What they discovered was a game shockingly ahead of its time: fast, with varied character designs, one-off mechanics, and an anything-goes attitude that somehow just worked.