Saltybet Gambler's Guide
Saltybet.com is amazing. Despite the fact that MUGEN characters are all fan made and therefore there’s almost no way of knowing which one of the fighters is going to be vastly more powerful than the other one, I’ve spent the best part of a weekend sat in my fucking underpants watching this, trying to work out the best possible bets you can make to ensure that the salt mine are a thing of the past, and you spend your future loaded with filthy, filthy salt dollars.
ALWAYS bet on Dragonball.
Robots are about the closest thing to a guarantee in this ridiculous game of luck. All of them are super strong, fast and have a dangerous combination of moves that hit from anywhere and a hitbox that makes them a pain to damage. The only thing that can beat them with any regularity is when they come up against some daft creation with a one-hit kill move, which is fairly unlikely and usually quite obvious, so bet fairly freely when it comes to robots. Perhaps Rise of the Robots was onto something after all?
Little Anime Girls
The SECOND closest thing to a guaranteed win is little anime girls. For some reason they’re all super-fast, damaging rushdown monsters, most of which have hugely overpowered super moves too, that can completely switch momentum in a fight and, if ever actually needed, claw victory back from the jaws of defeat. “ALL IN ON WAIFU”, as they say.
For some reason, the cast of Darkstalkers tends to perform pretty well in these AI vs AI scraps. Maybe due to their slightly more OTT moves than other fighting games, but unless they’re up against something that is clearly unfair (like a bloody robot) they’re a pretty reliable bet.
No idea why. I’ve just seen a load of dogs win fights.
Fighting Game Bosses
Bosses tend to hit hard and fast, which is the best way to ensure a victory on Saltybet. Rugal from KOF and Dimitri from Darkstalkers are both known to hand out a kicking when they get selected. Some of the more unbalanced top tier characters will best them though, but they’re worth a bet from time to time.
Weird Marvel Character Palette Swaps/Mashups
What do you get when you cross Venom and Carnage? VARNAGE, that’s what. Clearly designed by some giant nerd who has decided he can do a better job than Stan Lee and merged together a couple of superheroes like he’s the creator of Sonichu. I’ve seen fighters such as Iron Lantern, Ghetto Warmachine and MASTA Gambit all lay down some serious beatdowns. The dafter the palette swap and name, the better they are, seems to be a rule. The ‘Wolvenom’ that showed up once sucked hard though, so watch out for that one.
He can drop anyone with one punch. Of course.
NEVER bet on Dragonball.
Weird MSPaint Creations
This is where shit gets weird. You get the odd thing that turns up that isn’t from some rubbish anime series or another videogame, but from the mind of someone who thought “I can definitely create a good fighting game character”. The result can vary wildly from badly drawn Ryu knock-offs to a gigantic Tiger Woods head on a barely animated torso. Remember, despite a handful of them doing INSANE damage, you’re basically betting on some wild internet madman's creativity here, so going ‘all-in’ on someone’s shite sketch might not be the best idea.
Naruto characters are usually really short and quite difficult to hit, which does allow them a few opportunities to pull off an upset, but they’re fairly mediocre and up against anyone from the above section will usually result in a quick and brutal finish. Don’t risk it.
Most actual fighting game characters
One of the most baffling things about Saltybet is how badly any character who is from an established fighting game series performs! If you see anyone from Street Fighter, King of the Fighters, Guilty Gear, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure et all - AVOID. Don’t play. Save your salty dollars for another fight. There are a few exceptions of course, but for the most part you’re going to be betting on something that is far too ‘balanced’ to do well. Despite all this, Terry Bogard from KoF, in completely unaltered form, is an absolute fucking BEAST. Always bet on Bogard.
Final Fantasy/Resident Evil/Anyone From A Game Series You Love
Sometimes, the best way to win some salt dollars is to play a little amateur psychologist. When a famous videogaming icon appears, they’ve usually been made by someone who was trying to make their own MUGEN version of Smash Bros., so these characters are usually - heaven forbid - fairly balanced and well thought out for the most part. As touched upon above, these are not traits a fighter needs to perform well in the Saltybet arena of death. Don’t waste your money because of your dumb loyalty to Squall Leonheart.
Grover from Sesame Street has turned up a couple of times and both times I’ve seen him get absolutely leathered by his opponent. I laughed for hours.
Here’s the fundamental thing. All of the characters used in MUGEN are fan made, even the established ones like Ryu and Ken. Some of them follow the moveset and damage amounts set by the original creators fairly accurately, and are middle of the road bets. However, you occasionally come across a ‘fake’ version. Look closely - Why is that Vega starting without claws? Why does that Ryu have red eyes? Why does that Kyo have a strange, garish palette? These are fakes, and it can mean one of two things. They’re either going to be lethal, throwing out combos that drain entire life bars or absolutely useless. The big one of these to look out for is ‘RARE Akuma’, who has the most ridiculous moveset it would practically be spoiling Saltybet for you to describe the carnage that unfolds when he is picked to fight. Fake could be your ticket out of the salt mines. Or straight back in. Only bet if you’re feeling brave!