MUGEN Vault: Talking About MUGEN And Its Community (JudgeSpear Youtube Community)

8 posts in this topic

For some reasons, I like writing about random stuff. This is why I want to talk about something that happened 10 years ago, the JudgeSpearer era in Youtube.


Remember that despite I Iook into forums and Youtube videos in order to find sources, there is a possibility that I could be wrong in certain subjects. This is why you colud threat those essays as any MUGEN creations, as those could receive feedbacks for possible improvements.


Anyways, let's finish this small introduction and begin with the subject, which is possibly the main cause why I know MUGEN for so long (almost 10 years). I call it...


The JudgeSpear Youtube Community



Youtube was a revolutionary item for the Internet. With this website, anyone could easily create a random video and posted it to be shown to the general public.  It wasn't owned by Google, whose ownership caused pain and chaos ! It was also clear that Youtube would be used to showcase various MUGEN fights. There was one user that was not necessary a masterpiece, but somewhat memorable enough to be talked about; Judgespear  He was mostly present form 2006 to 2009. He created a lot of MUGEN videos, and some of them, such as his Homer vs. Peter, gained at least 1 million views. In case you are wondering, the linked video was an archive whose original got taked down by a copyright strike long ago that took down all JudgeSpear videos ! This is a proof that Youtube wasn't a paradise back then.  During the early Youtube, JudgeSpear codified the typical MUGEN series, and inspired a lot of other users to copy its style. He did have a forum based around him, called JSMugen, which sadly got removed form the Internet. To understand why JudgeSpear got a community based around him, I am going to talk it in general and the fads it spawned.


The VariousMUGEN Series



Most MUGEN Youtubers used a small set of characters and create a team around  them. They like to nickname their members such as ''The Chef, The Beserker'' and the likes.


You can do a lot of things with your team members as long it is done inside MUGEN. Usually,  the most common video showcased 1vs1 matches that featured a player controlled team member, fighting a troublesome opponent.


They usually have a title like this: ((Video Author) (Player controlled character) (Serial Number) (Character that he fights against)). Here is an example.



Obviously, such videos aren't limited to 1vs1. Team members fight alongside allies for 2vs2 or turns based goodness, make a run in Survival mode, or is featured in other specialized MUGEN series such as those described below.


Another interesting thing about MUGEN teams is that some video creators  initiate their new members, like in some sort of indian ritual. The newcomers fought a designated character, which lost, and become a full-fledged member for future uses.


Cheap Character Beatdown


MUGEN players really don't like getting beat unfairly. This is why we like to give them a taste of his own medicine, by destroying them in one of the most famous series of this era.  A character, designated as a ''cheap buster'' , defeats various overpowered characters. They have problems such as rage-inducing AI, bloated stats, unblockable attacks, spammable specials, always dodges/counter your moves, beeping your microwave and anything else that could piss off human players. A famous ''cheap buster'' is Metool, a mook from the Megaman series, which can protect itself perfectly from all attacks by hiding inside its signature helmet, and can summon a giant Metool, which is generally a OHKO, complete with an alarm sound and a flashing OWN3D! . When you heard that siren, somebody is going to be down !


Retarded Character  Beatdown


This way another popular MUGEN series but curiously enough, wasn't started by Judgespear himself. It possibly has its roots in an Ampchu video in a fight against Actarus's Peter Griffin, He is described as "more retarded that Omega Tiger Woods", the latter is a a legit joke character. It doesn't take a genius that various people started doing "Retard Beatdowns". It is basically whay it says on the tin. We bascially beat up poorly-made characters. Unlike the "Cheap Beatdowns" videos, you probably won't need to use a powerful character like Metool to beat those retards, as they mostly lacks AI, but since some of them have bloated stats to compensate the abscence of a brain, you keep it in some special cases.


Everyone hates "X



There is always some catharsis fun when seeing various fictional characters performing a powerful attack against hated suckers. This is the whole premise of the "Everyone hates X" videos. It started in a blooper video when JudgeSpear tried to do an survival run with Homer Simpson. He fought against CCI's Prince Vegeta, and taunted him because Saiyans really don't like having their pride damaged by a fat guy. Cue Vegeta responding with an barrage of attacks, culminating with a final flash, hilariously ending his run.  People find it funny so JudgeSpear and his fans started their own videos starring Homer Simpson, usualy taunting a random fighter. He then unleash a Special or Hyper against him, defeating him. While Homer is usually picked, they have done the same fate against cheap characters, retardeds, and so on.


Alternatively, they have done the same fate against logos which are punching bags, because said company were invovled in copyright strikes against MUGEN Youtubers.


They are also some lesser memes, such as the "Spin attack" fad, or those "Special Challenges", but they don't need a special treatement. Also a common thing about MUGEN videos is that their authors often put an small intro before the fight. You do fell 2008 Youtube when watching these !


And now for some criticism


While the JudgeSpear community have taken a huge part of the MUGEN community in Youtube, not everything is pure white and have its detractors. These  two thread, regardeless of context, definively show some disdains against this sub-community. Too bad I couldn`t explore the JSMugen for clues because it no longer exists.  Anyways, by judging the MugenGuild thread  and the various videos in Youtube I could possibly find some explainations.


Too many characters from popular media


Because MUGEN allows everyone to create all kinds of fighters, it is become obvious that some creator would recreate characters from popular media such those from Nintendo or Sega  games or from popular TV shows such as The Simpson or Family Guy. It is also not a surprise that those fighters become extremely popular in MUGEN videos, as they are very appealing to a younger audience. That do not means that they are not necessary well-made or even good. This is the case with Warner's  Homer Simpson (or most of his creation, but I will probably tell its history later), which was originally an Iori spriteswap, and has to be edited by JudgeSpear himself in order for it to feel less than a spriteswap. If you look at his MUGEN's intro (See above), you would see, Homer, Peter, Jigglypuff and Chansey from Pokémon, Goku and Perfect Cell from DBZ, Yoshi and Predator Warrior.  More that half of the characters shown in this intro are popular characters from mainstream media. The rest consisted of Kung Fu Man, Iori Yagami, Amingo from MvC, Elena from the Street Fighter III, and Johnny Maximum from World Heroes. Other Youtubers would try to use more, well, characters from fighting games or something obscure, but they would still use at least some fan-favorites of Homer Simpson fame.  Maybe this is good for attraction but popular characters does not really represent MUGEN as a whole.


Even today most popular MUGEN videos featured characters that were popular in the past. Other videos included fighters from big fandoms (Undertale, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic...) and NSFW stuff. We don't change a winning formula.


Too much character bashing


Character bashing is extremely present in the MUGEN community. They don't play well and are very glitchy, but I will mainly focus on the "Cheap Character Beating " fad that was present during the JudgeSpear era. The basic idea was solid. We use lethal joke characters, such as Metool or Dopefish, to defeat broken fighters. JudgeSpear himself said that this series was comedic and not to be taken seriously. Then, everyone and its pet goldfish are doing their own "cheap characters basing" series, effectively turning it into "bashing character you didn't beat" and losing much of its comedic value. It doesn't help that they use cheap characters, or cheap tactics, to  lend them to victory. We have a very obvious case of hypocrisiy. Add that years later with the birth of SaltyBet, where cheap characters are seen somewhat favorably because they can put a good fight and often destroy the oppresion.  Today, doing this sort of video is the equivalent of beating a dead horse.


A character being cheap doesn't mean it is not well made. Heck, most of its problems would be "removed" it you purge its AI. The most know case of this is Reu, the author who made the Evil duo, and the original Dragon Claw. They are very good, but they have very aggresive AI and they got Metool's wrath because of that. It took his fucking death for his characters to be beloved and respected by all. There are probably more examples but they are debatable. Also, most cheap characters are made because of rule of cool, rule of funny, or just for the sake of watch mode.


For the case of "retarded characters", there isn't much to say because if you put garbage on the Internet, you could be critisized for it. Today, it is mostly done by kids with the intent to bash each other, leading to popcorn grabbing. A more well made recent series is "Dumanios takes out the trash", for starter.


Sometimes, someone don't like seeing their beloved characters getting beat, and it will lead to...


...loads of drama.


The MUGEN community has its fair share of drama that are mostly done in public in hope of getting attention. Not even the JudgeSpear community is safe from this.  It held a banlist that forbid usage of cheap characters for team creation, unless that character that it is a cheap buster, and there is debates regarding if a specific character should be put on the banlist or not, and this cause problems if it has a huge following. Other subject of discords included various talks about ethics and moral issues regarding MUGEN works, but these are shared among other communities, and could still be an issue today. A drama regarding a specific character was Choiyer's Haruhi Suzimaya. She is near-cheap, but is widely used by some users and apparently has a lot of haters. Then, she got an update that added questionable moves and greatly added fuel to the fire. When people bash Haruhi or even just defeating her in a fair match, there will be some fanboys or fangirls who shouts profanities, clashing with those enjoying the beating, causing some flame wars.


MUGEN dramas were one of the reason why JudgeSpear quit the community, besides copyright strikes against him, as probably seen in this quote. Apparently, JudgeSpear himself has a lot of haters, probably due to massive overexposure, and it is also one reason why people hate its fandom. He admitted to have bad behaviors, especially against trolls, as seen in the MugenGuild thread.


And this is one reason why I've been away from MUGEN for a while... too many damn haters who bash on each other for no reason. It's gotten beyond ridiculous.



I seriously fell that this part could be much bigger, as dramas affected all MUGEN communites. Good information are welcome.

Conclusion ?


Maybe this is something that should be forgotten but there are people who heard about JudgeSpear but doesn't know who he is. In general, the JudgeSpear Youtube community is a denser and wackier approach of MUGEN but got too big for various veterans' taste. While it was a popular way to showcase MUGEN videos, it could be done without having it in your own computer as the engine could be used for simulating popular match-ups that weren't flash animations from Newgrounds. Maybe a huge community based around the thought of a single person wasn't the best thing for MUGEN but it did introduce the engine to a bigger audience before SaltyBet, fandoms and modern gaming channels did the same. Some of its fads still persist today becauase they worked before. As a kid, I used to watch a lot of JudgeSpear videos, and this is probably why I inform you about it, and that talking about something that was the thing 10 years ago  probably leads to nostalgia for some of us.


Fell free to talk about the JudgeSpear community if you want.


@ HelloMyNameIsAAA




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like a lot of this was something you heard about in passing. A lot of things were different a decade ago and you have to remember that the YT Mugen community was just a sub community at most.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Darkflare said:

Looks like a lot of this was something you heard about in passing. A lot of things were different a decade ago and you have to remember that the YT Mugen community was just a sub community at most.

Since I have only heard about it in passing I thought it this post was OK, I would recommend a long time user tell the true story in this thread.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well this thread is left open for discussion if a more experimented user such as Darkflare wants to talk about it, because I know from the beginning that I was somewhat blinded by nostalgia filters.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's start from square 1. Judgespear. The most probable main reason for his popularity was because he was one of the first to use Warner's Homer in a Mugen video. Of course, the idea of Homer taking on the likes of Ryu and co. was silly, but it's the idea that people liked. JS would later make a group called Team SMRT to update that Homer(Spoilers: It wasn't that much better from the original version and the original version had it's share of serious flaws). They would later do the same for Warner's Peter and Giant chicken when they got released(Same results as Homer [There was also an edit to a Johnny Maximum but I think that was a solo JS thing]). People from this era will remember JS's Peter vs. Sakura video for appearing in G4TV's Attack of the show as a MvC1 hack with Peter Griffin.


Did JS pioneer the way for Mugen videos on YT? Honestly no. There were others who also did Mugen videos at the time, he wasn't even the first. JS just happened to be the most noteworthy one of them all.


Mugen teams


The short version is that these were the a person's current rotation of characters that he would most likely use in a Mugen video. The long version is that people used these teams as a way to express their individuality and style. I don't know what the first Mugen team was but it certainly took off and you saw it very prominently among the YT Mugen community. It also made for another storytelling method as people would use them to tell their adventures as an excuse for certain Mugen fights. Nowadays, there are only very few of these teams left.


Everyone hates, cheapie busters, etc.


People hate broken shit. Simple as that. Criticism was much harsher back in the day. And their way was to...well....do this. It's not done so much anymore because we realized this was stupid.


The criticism


I look at that thread link you posted.and I don't see what it has to do with this. But I will mention that back in the day, accuracy to source was pretty much everything. But this was due to the stigma from most custom creations being really bad like......like current day PotS style. So really nothing has changed, it's just not as vocal.


Uh no, a character being broken does in fact mean it isn't well made. As cool as Reu's evil duo looked, they were broken for the wrong reasons. His Dragon Claw is the only one I can consider well made if you treat him like a boss character. AI has nothing to do with it. I've seen well made characters with strong AI and poorly done ones with weak AI.


The Drama


Ah yes, drama. Let's be honest, no matter the era, there will always be drama. That Haruhi you mentioned did become busted in later updates adding unnecessary stuff and ultimately becoming a fetish character. I do remember a certain someone being offended when their Waifu got beaten, which was really stupid and made him an easy target to spite.


Yea, the drama was ridiculous but when is drama not ridiculous? Honestly, JS says that's the reason he left, but I think it was because he got dragged into it and became part of the drama as well. The other reason could be that he was looking for a way out of Mugen to focus on his fan games and he found it this way.




The era shouldn't be forgotten. We can't pretend it didn't happen. It wasn't all bad, there were some good moments that came from it and some of the stuff is still used now. Heck, I dare say it also produced the best YT Mugen videos. There was more variety in character usage and it's just more exciting to see a human player overcome the odds. Most videos now are just cookie cutter Capcom and SNK characters in AI battles.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

i've got caught in the nostalgia from watching these videos in 2008 and then remembering it again as well, i wonder what happened on our old M.U.G.E.Nites ;w;

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now