RPG Maker 2003 is Here!

in Announcements

For the first time, RPG Maker 2003 has been given an official English translation and release! The classic, acclaimed engine that gave many community members their first taste of game-making has been updated and improved for its commercial debut in the Western world. Although the engine has taken over a decade to be released here officially, it was no secret that it made its way through the internet to users who otherwise would never have gotten a chance to check it out.

Many years and several engines later, many of those fans still hold it close to their hearts. Those “oldbies” will be delighted by this newest version of 2k3, an extensive project overseen by RM veterans Archeia Nessiah and Cherry. This 2k3 will work without incident on the newest versions of Windows and has dozens and dozens of new additions and fixes that aim to bring out its full potential. 

We asked the members of rpgmaker.net (RMN), a community where RM2k3 is still held in very high esteem, to articulate why the engine continues to be so appealing. Here are some of their comments.

 “It was an era of exploration and innovation. A time when people pushed past the boundaries of what they thought could be done and experimented, sharing their knowledge with their fellow creators. A time of expression and thought, when mapping wasn’t all that a game should aspire for, when graphical consistency didn’t matter so much, when you made custom menus just to prove you could. It was a time of discoveries; an era of moving ever-forward with design and forging rules and ideals that we now take for granted.” – Liberty

“Rm2k3 is just so comfortable, nostalgic, and – if you’re good enough and patient enough at it – can make so much more than just your plain’ ol’, typical RPG Maker games, like puzzle games and overhead action games.” – Addit

“I like the side-view, ATB-based battle system reminiscent of Final Fantasy VI.” – AubreyTheBard

“I love the graphics. I like the rough, unpolished, Super Nintendo look they have. It looks like it could have been on the SNES console.” – pianotm

“2K/3 just feels a bit more retro, for the retro lover in me, plus a person can learn a lot just from the events without having to resort to scripts. What y ou can learn to do yourself through events can easily be carried over from one maker to the next.” – amerk

“I think if you’re fully aware of the engine and how much time it actually takes to develop a project, you can more fully appreciate a developer’s creativity within the limitations.” – Blindmind

“If you can, I recommend hooking up a PC to an old CRT television, finding a gamepad, and playing an RM2k3 game. IT’S LIKE TRAVELING BACK IN TIME.” – kentona

You heard the man! Travel back in time and check out the new and improved RPG Maker 2003!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Alexander83

    What about Rpg Maker 2000? It was not rm2k3 which made you world-famous, it was thanks to Don’s efforts that an avalanche of games was started (which probably multiplied your profits on the newer engines hundredfold). I prefer it when the standard Heroes and Skills have actual names, I prefer the old battle system to the side-view one and I want to use the Rm2k’s RTP characters that have kinda grown on me over all these years.

    Come on, just take Don’s version, brush up the translation and sell it for 5$ or something. If you want, also remove a few limits, e.g. max level 50 and max attribute 999. It’s just that I would like to finally be able to buy Rm2k.

    • Nyaria

      The unique three relevant differences between 2k and 2k3 are:

      – Different RTP (2k3 is better on average, but facesets and monster were indeed more charming on 2k).

      – 2k used less resources on average and complex game did run more stable and faster. This shouldn’t be a problem today though… Hopefully stability was fixed with the update on 2k3 by other hand.

      -2k (specifically the altered Value!) has more options for complex games on average like 99 images over 50 on screen, between other small details. Of course, 2k3 introduces a lot of elements like classes, new battle system (and if you don’t like it, you can change it back to 2k one, it is also included) and more.

      Basically I’m hype and really, really, REALLY happy with this new! I’ll buy~

      • Alexander83

        Thanks for the explanation. I admit I never did all that much with Rm2k3, so I don’t know much about it. I briefly went through it a decade ago and apart from the battle system it looked like everyone was panicking because of Don’s avalanche and it was hastily thrown together in order to compete with Rm2k. Your infos about resources and stability seem to prove that. Furthermore, the exp curve has 3 parameters (like Rm2k), but in Rm2k3 two of them do exactly the same thing, which is just sad. The whole engine had a very desperate feeling, so to say, and that’s why I never warmed up to it and went back to Rm2k. Also Rm2k probably has a lot more patches (e.g. allowing for more variables and switches, playing mp3s, using other keys on the keyboard, message boxes that can tell you the line’s end properly etc. etc.). But I’m not sure if these things would be legal to use even when buying Rm2k, because it’s basically hacking.

        Currently I am starting to get to know VX ACE light. It’s really generous of the company to do this. Much like Visual Studio Express editions for programmers and MySQL Community edition for database users.

        • Kincyr

          speaking of Don, for some reason, he added music to his English 2K RTP. Inn3.mid was from FF7, Night.mid was from Monkey Island 2, and a Farewell theme was from Ninja Gaiden 3

      • This version of 2k3 supports 1000 images

      • Kincyr

        regarding the RTPs, I thought the charas were identical. I know the music is, save a few music effect tracks added in 2k3

    • Guest

      RM2K’s RTP characters? aside from the enemy graphics, a few added music-effect tracks, and the attack animations, the RTPs are identical

  • I like how nobody has noticed that the intro video suggests that a new RPG Maker is coming out this year.

  • The War Fist

    Wait, wait, wait… wait. You’re telling me that RM2k3 had a sideview battle system? What the hell happened as “sequels” were rolled out? The battle system that exists in the latest RM looks like a severe devolution from the system pictured above. It’s no where near as compelling to look at as what is offered in 2k3. Hell, this devolution is noticeable if you moved from RMXP to RMVXAce like I did. It seems as though while the developers slowly streamlined the creation tools with each new release, the parts of the finished games that players actually see were neglected, especially the battle system. Here’s to hoping the next iteration of RM doesn’t take any further steps backward.