Last updated: 18FEB2021 (see Changelog for details)
Games made with RPG Maker just won’t quit. This classic tool still has new releases coming out all the time, and the vast majority of them are free and a lot of fun. Luckily, you can actually play most games that were made with RPG Maker 2000 and RPG Maker 2003 on the Anbernic RG351P and RG351M, and this guide will show you how.
Table of Contents First things first Installation Real time packages Recommended games Controls Notes Changelog
First things first
These games will be running via a RetroArch core known as EasyRPG. Luckily, this core comes pre-installed on both the 351ELEC and ArkOS custom firmwares, so if you haven’t made the jump to either of those firmwares, I suggest you check out my comparison guide and make the switch.
There’s really not much to installing RPG Maker on your device — it will come preinstalled on your firmware if you are using 351ELEC and ArkOS. All you need to do is move over the game files to the appropriate folder. These folders are found here:
351ELEC: GAMES/easyrpg ArkOS: EASYROMS/ports/easyrpg
When you move the game folder over, you can name it whatever you like — the name of that folder will reflect in your game selection menu, so you might as well make sure matches the name of the game you want it to launch. Make sure that When you place the game folder in your respective easyrpg folder, that it’s the ROOT folder for that game. You should have a bunch of assets folders, some map.lmu files, and most importantly, an RPG_RT.ini and RPG_RT.ldb file. If you don’t have those last two files, the game will not boot. If you download an RPG Maker game and it doesn’t have that .ini and .ldb file in its root folder, it probably wasn’t made with RPG Maker 2000 or 2003, and won’t work on this device.
Here is an (abbreviated) example of how a game folder could or should look:
Grimm's Hollow (game folder) - Backdrop folder - Battle folder - CharSet folder - more folders here - Map0001.lmu - Map0002.lmu - more map files here - Map0124.lmu - Monster folder - Movie folder - RPG_RT.ini - RPG_RT.ldb
For more information on RPG Maker file requirements, check out this Libretro Doc regarding EasyRPG.
Real time packages
For ArkOS, you need to also manually install the RPG Maker Real Time Packages (RTPs). These RTPs contain assets that some games (like Final Fantasy VII – Jenova Corona) pull from in order to keep the game file size small. These RTP files are freely available and easy to install.
- Head over to this page and download the RPG Maker 2000 and RPG Maker 2003 RTPs.
- Extract these .exe files with either 7zip (Windows) or The Unarchiver (Mac).
- In the EASYROMS/bios folder of your SD card, create a folder named “rtp”. Inside, create two subfolders, one named “2000” and another named “2003”.
- Place the entire contents of each extracted .exe file into its respective folder.
In 351ELEC, you can go into Main Menu > Updates & Downloads > Packages > rpgmaker and choose to download and install the RTPs directly from the source. If you aren’t connected to a network or the online method doesn’t work for you, you can also just follow the steps above — they will go in the same bios/rtp folder as in ArkOS.
Here is a list of games that I have tested and can confirm work with EasyRPG on ArkOS:
To boot a game in 351ELEC, simply go to the EasyRPG folder, select the game folder, and open the RPG_RT file you find inside.
To boot a game in ArkOS, go to Ports > EasyRPG, which will open up the EasyRPG interface, and select your game from there.
A button: confirm B button: cancel Y button: shift button SELECT button: reset game (see below)
Because the SELECT button resets the game by default, this means that you’ll inadvertently reset the game every time you want to enter into RetroArch (SELECT + X). You can fix this in two ways: 1) just use L3 + R3 to get into the RetroArch menu or 2) change the reset button mapping to a different button. To do the latter, open up the RetroArch menu, and under Quick Menu, go to Controls > Port 1 Controls and remap the Reset button to something besides SELECT (like L2, for example). Then go back to the main Controls menu and select “Save Core Remap File” to that it applies to all other EasyRPG games.
Like with other games running on this 480×320 display, the graphics will benefit from turning on RGA scaling.
In 351ELEC, press START and go to Games Settings > Per System Advance Configuration > EasyRPG > RGA Scale > ON.
In ArkOS, open an RPG Maker game and press SELECT + X to enter the RetroArch Quick Menu, then press B to back out to the Main Menu, then go to Settings > Video > RGA Scaling > ON. Then go back to the Quick Menu and select Overrides > Save Core Overrides.
– published guide