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For the first time ever, RPG Maker 2003 is officially available in English! This legendary game development engine is both highly affordable and easy to use, and it remains one of the most popular RPG Maker installments to date. It is the first engine in the series to employ a sideview battle system similar to the classic RPGs of the early-to-mid 90s. If you have always wanted to create a retro RPG with a third-person battle system, or simply are looking for an affordable but reliable game creation engine, then RPG Maker 2003 is for you!


Side-view Battle System
Most titles in the RPG Maker series center on first-person, turn-based combat. RPG Maker 2003 breaks this tradition by offering an engaging sideview battle system that is perfect for fans of classic RPGs. Creating and managing your game’s combat is as easy as filling in a database and playtesting, with no scripting knowledge required! This departure makes RPG Maker 2003 an excellent alternative for game developers who are not particularly fond of front-view battle systems.

Straightforward Tools
RPG Maker engines are designed to be as flexible as possible while still being user friendly, and RPG Maker 2003 is no exception. Virtually everything in the engine is managed through a simple point-and-click interface. All of your game’s characters, enemies, skills, animations, and equipment are created and stored in an easy-to-navigate database. An in-depth event system contains dozens of functions to help make your story and world come to life, such as custom messages, character movement, player choices, special effects, and more. Plus, RPG Maker 2003’s powerful map editor is extremely easy to master, allowing you to craft your world tile by tile with unprecedented efficiency!

Retro Presentation
Relive the golden age of RPGs with RPG Maker 2003’s diverse selection of 16-bit default graphics. If you’re feeling especially creative, RPG Maker 2003 allows you to import custom 16-bit graphics, including character sprites, tilesets for your environments, battle animations, backgrounds, and more! The engine is also loaded with a variety of catchy midi tracks and sound effects for your game; custom MP3/WAV/MIDI tracks can be added as well.

Share Your Game!
Want to share your creation with the world? You can export your creation in a portable file that can be played on ANY Windows system! Plus, games made with RPG Maker 2003 can be sold as long as you have the appropriate rights and have followed the registration procedure. With some hard work you could become the next great indie game developer!

Official Site: https://www.rpgmakerweb.com/products/programs/rpg-maker-2003
Steam Link: http://store.steampowered.com/app/362870/
Patch EULA can now be seen here: http://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?/topic/42021-rpg-maker-2003-patch-eula/

Latest Bulletin

The official English 2k3 version is out!

  • Cherry
  • 0 post(s)
  • 04/26/2015 01:20 PM
It actually happened! :D

Degica has now, by order of KADOKAWA GAMES/Enterbrain and in cooperation with me, finally released an official English version of RPG Maker 2003 on Steam.

At this point I would like to give a big thanks to Archeia who put a lot of sweat and blood into this translation as well.

Link on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/362870/
Price: $19.99, currently $16.99

It should also be available on rpgmakerweb directly.

This finally officially allows creating commercial games with RPG Maker 2003 (after a registration). Fortunately, the license also doesn't have any clause preventing modifications, e.g. through the use of patches. However, the reverse engineering itself is still prohibited.

There is also an official English RTP. Although it has the same content as the existing inofficial one, it has different filenames; but no worries, you can have both RTPs installed alongside each other.

This version is 1.10, which has been a bit tweaked and tuned by us:
* The fullscreen work properly, also on newer devices.
* The event editor was changed a lot:
** Its look and labels have been aligned with RMVXA - with colors and partly more information in the list than previously.
** It has a horizontal scrollbar, can copy events as text and loads large events faster.
** It's possible to copy event all commands between battle events and map/common events (although it will show a warning, because they still can't be modified while being in the "wrong" place).
* The help file now also works on Windows Vista/7/8.
* Maps can't get lost that easily anymore when a PC Cleaner is used.
* Multiple instances can be opened at the same time, and you can create direct shortcuts to projects in Windows Explorer.
* Battles go faster.
* You have 1000 pictures, 100 labels and 9999 switches/variables/etc.
* Picture commands also work while a message is displayed.
* The fonts are now directly integrated into the engine and don't need to be installed by the player.

A full changelog is available here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sXlXZIXdjxVq5gh_lPFuFLMbMRzZe4BKPpRI13ZD2Qc/edit?usp=sharing

Unfortunately the source code was lost over time. Therefore, it was a bit difficult to implement the real "killer features". Also, I originally planned to include all the bugfixes from DynRPG as well, and I wanted to integrate the CommonThisEventPatch, but there was not enough time. There will be updates, though.

Best wishes,

PS: Screenshot of the event editor:

Engine Details


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The TM is for Totally Magical.
If you happen to have a project you have been working on unofficially and then purchase the official version of rm2003, are you able to import that same game folder and continue work on it? Or are there any issues if you go from an unofficial version of rm2003 to the purchased official version? Thanks in advance to any one who responds.

Yes, but you won't be able to import it back. You may also need to switch over the RTP. I don't know. I haven't done it in awhile. They may have patched it to replace the old RTP with the current.
If you happen to have a project you have been working on unofficially and then purchase the official version of rm2003, are you able to import that same game folder and continue work on it? Or are there any issues if you go from an unofficial version of rm2003 to the purchased official version? Thanks in advance to any one who responds.
Does anyone know if the engine will be continuously updated? Also, if so, is there anywhere we can voice our requested features or fixes?
Maybe somebody should update this to 1.12
When I downloaded the RTP it didn't read the games I have for it can someone help me please....
It was pretty hard to take the nostalgia glasses off when I purchased it on steam, would have been great if they added features to it besides releasing it in English while yes I understand the legality of why it was released I personally just didn't see the point... I legally bought RPG Maker 2003 from Japan and had it translated, many users did that.
As an oldie still using rm2k3, this is excellent news. Four questions (for anyone who may be able to answer):

1. Are there any plans on having this available outside of Steam? I bought VX Ace through Steam and it's a bother to have to log in every time I want to use it.

2. Playing one of the game presumably built on the new engine from the event, I don't feel like the ATB is significantly different (though I do see the deceleration mentioned). Am I missing something? Is there an option somewhere that might set it?

3. I've applied a fair number of patches in the past to the old rm2k3 program. Does anyone know if those will still work with the revised code? The patches I can remember that aren't duplicated with the above changes: fixed width font for message boxes, reference picture by variable, increase maximum stats, using the "ultimate" editor, no row in battle, reflect fix.

4. Is there a fix for "Link To Event"?

Thanks to everyone who worked on this!

I have some answers, so I might as well share.

1. RPG Maker 2003 English is now available outside of Steam. Buy it here: http://www.rpgmakerweb.com/products/programs/rpg-maker-2003

2. There are issues with speeding up the ATB too much. They basically did what they could. One huge change, though, is that the ATB will no longer be stuck at a crawl when you face faster enemies. So the normal speed you see won't be much improved, but the slowest speed you might see is dramatically different.

3. No answer yet on this, though note that many of the patches I was using (such as reflect fix) are now implemented by default, making such patches unnecessary.

4. Some issues with "Link to Event" have been fixed, though not all.
Self-proclaimed Puzzle Snob
Getting it for free straight from the internet is illegal, that's why.

Edit: Also, now you can sell 2k3 games commercially if you own this version.
I find it weird that they just released an old engine over 12 years later and selling it for $20 bucks (which isn't bad) When people can get it for free straight from the internet. Is there anything new? Have they made any new changes to it?
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