Not to be confused with cheap characters, a cheapie (also known as a cheapo or uber cheap character) is a type of character that far surpasses the cheapness levels of a regular cheap character, instead using code that breaks characters rather than overpowered moves and a lack of hitboxes. Also unlike regular cheap characters, cheapies tend not to attack directly, instead using helpers and various code workarounds to defeat the opponent (such as Chaos/F1 Killer and Devil's Eye Killer), complete with many visual effects that are known to slow down older computer systems. For the most part, they are completely A.I.-controlled.
A common trait with cheapies is the ability to hit a character that lacks hitboxes, as well as the inability to be K.O.'d via the debug keys, or through normal means for that matter. Most cheapies use the Chaos/F1 Killer method to exploit the weaknesses of another character, mostly by using the states 110, 115 and 5210 which all have HitBy controllers within them. Most cheapies, especially the higher-level ones, work on WinMUGEN only, due to the methods that they use.
The Cheapie War is a term coined by the cheapie community. The war involves ongoing battles between cheapies to see which one is the strongest, typically the one with the "superior" code. A good example is a series of M.U.G.E.N videos called MugenGodSpeedCrash, which has many characters of the cheapie tier or higher to see which can kill fastest or which can defeat one another.
Another great example of a Cheapie War/Tournament is MTR (Mugen Top Rankers).
Types of CheapieCheapies are divided into several groups based on the method they use to defeat other characters. Common methods used by lower-level cheapies include Chaos/F1 Killer, Devil's Eye Killer, Direct Death, and the %n bug. In terms of defense, lower level cheapies use methods such as Pseudo-Changestate (a method that locks the character's state to a single state while retaining the ability to "change" states), Helper NOKO, and various others. Higher-level cheapies simply either win or lose at the start of the match, and as such don't really have offensive or defensive "methods" like lower-level ones.
In order of deadliness, with 1 being the weakest and 15 being the strongest:
- Nuke-tier Characters, which don't use any special files. These characters do not use null methods to K.O. the opponent, and as such lose to most null-tier characters. Considered the safest cheapie to download, since it doesn't rely on external files or exploits.
- Null-tier Characters, which use exploits in the engine to K.O. the opponent such as the %n bug or Direct Death/Alive Change.
- Void-tier Characters, which utilize an overflow in AssertToClipboard and DisplayToClipboard to defeat the opponent.
- Secretary-tier Characters, which use an .exe to "trick" M.U.G.E.N. More specifically, these characters' .exe files act as a trainer, modifying the opcodes and memory values found in M.U.G.E.N to make K.O.ing the enemy easier.
- Postman-tier Characters, which use a .bat file. In most cases, this replaces the enemy with a far weaker character that comes with the Postman character itself.
- Assembly-tier Characters, which come with an alternate mugen.exe. This has exactly the effects you'd expect.
- Supernull-tier Characters, which use a method known as Statedef Overflow or the Faeyae Method. This causes the character to be able to inject its own code into M.U.G.E.N by utilizing a large enough statedef via overflowing a memory region found within M.U.G.E.N.
- Receiver-tier Characters, which use a Java-powered M.U.G.E.N to make other cheapies including itself balanced.
- Letter-tier Characters, which use a .vbs file. This is often combined with the Postman method.
- Omed-tier Characters, which essentially use Statedef Overflow, except with their own separate .exe, .bat, or similar file.
- Whale-tier Characters, which aren't really characters as much as they are websites. When loaded, at its weakest, a video of a cheapie is opened winning the match and, at its strongest, downloads a character and opens M.U.G.E.N.
- Hypernull-tier Characters, which use a method known as Heap Overflow to overflow M.U.G.E.N with useless memory until it reaches the character's own code. After the code is executed, the character "starts" M.U.G.E.N normally.
- Frost-tier Characters, which are upgraded versions of Omed-tier characters in terms of coding. These characters use C# rather than M.U.G.E.N's standard C as their programming language, and can have a varying amounts of .exe files at their disposal. These characters are the first on this list to be considered malicious by disabling the task manager.
- Retrace-tier Characters, which either completely or partially overwrite the enemy's files.
- Anti-Malware-tier Characters, which can either run semi-automatically or automatically, making them far more dangerous than Frost-tier characters. There are various sub-tiers, currently known are the Alpha tier that relies on autorun.inf and the Beta tier which modifies the user's registry to open on start up, there is an even higher tier but it is undisclosed as of now.
- Dragon-tier Characters, which are really dangerous viruses disguised as characters. Dragon-tier characters often simply make the computer inoperable by various means, and may be able to end the cheapie war entirely. Fortunately, Dragon-tier characters are rare. Mathrus can be shown as an example of a Dragon-tier character.
Sometimes cheapies use more than one method at once, like Crazy Catastrophe who uses a combination of Nuke and Null tactics.
- Angle Draw Sphere
- Many Ronald McDonald edits
- Solitary-ZERO's Tears of Solitude
- Mr.Dragon-JC (11th & 12th palette)
- Orochi G3
- Will of Prison Flame
- Heaven's Gate (12th palette)
- Crazy Catastrophe
- Most of okihaito's characters
- General_L (6th palette)
- Demon_Of_Murder Rena
- Most of STG's edits
- A few of Pre-To's characters (12th palette)
- All of Merufimu's characters (12th palette)
Due to not functioning at all like regular characters, their inability to be K.O.'d through normal means and that they cannot be controlled by the player, among other things, cheapies have been the subject of dispute outside the cheapie community.
More recent cheapies (known as Postman, Secretary, malware or virus characters) use external .exe, .bat, .vbs, .dll and/or .ini files to remove characters from the user's computer, but can also disrupt the system by removing important system files and causing it to behave erratically. Because of this, the MUGEN Database stopped allowing further cheapies to be added to its articles to prevent the risk of malware characters being on the site.