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RPG Maker 2000 was originally released as RPG Tsukūru 2000 (RPGツクール2000) in April, 2000 in Japan. Although, outside Japan, it has only received weak distributions among Taiwan and South Korea markets, it has undergone unauthorized translations into various languages, and illegal distribution via Internet. Enterbrain later released its inexpensive version, RPG Tsukūru 2000 Value!, in May, 2003, which also included some major updates that allow, for example, to use a larger number of picture files simultaneously.
RPG Maker 2000 was the most popular RPG maker of its time; being discussed on many popular websites, and enjoyed a large userbase for many years. This was amplified by the fact that a lot of popular RM2K sites refused to adopt RPG Maker 2003.[ RM2K was first taken over by RPG Maker 2003, but has now been superseded by ]RPG Maker XP and is no longer as popular as it used to be. RPG Maker 2000 was also one of the RPG Makers to be illegally translated and distributed by a Russian programmer named Don Miguel.
Compared to RPG Maker 95, RM2K features lower-resolution graphics than RM95, using 16x16 tiles instead of 32x32 tiles, but has other visual improvements such as a higher frame rate, weather effects and panorama backgrounds. It also includes an extra layer for tiles, jumping characters, additional functions and customizable message and menu boxes.
RPG Maker 2000 uses a 320 x 240 screen resolution for playing games, and has 16x16 pixel tiles, with 24x32 character sprites. Its default green message-window and menu systems are one of the first signs that a particular game was made with RPG Maker 2000, although it can be customized. Some may view these low-res graphics as a limitation, but they could also be viewed as an advantage, because the low-res graphics are not only more compatible with older computers, but sometimes they can be much easier to draw.
RPG Maker 2000 uses a Dragon Quest-like battle system which features a classical turn-based, "front-view" battle system, where the enemy faces you directly on the screen and you do not see your characters on screen. With some tweaking, the battle system can be made to look somewhat like a "side-view" battle system.
The music featured in RPG Maker 2000 consists of a large collection of MIDI and, less commonly, WAV files. Through the use of unofficial patches, MP3 files can also be used, though reliability with said patch has always been an issue. RPG Maker 2003, the successor to RPG Maker 2000, has included official support for MP3 files by popular demand from its users.
RPG Maker 2000 was the first in the series that introduced the "Runtime Package", also known as "RTP", which was also adopted by the later PC versions. The RTP is a whole set of default graphics, music, and sound effects that are used in RPG Maker 2000 and, in most cases, the RTP must be downloaded to the computer to play the games made with RPG Maker 2000. Thanks to the RTP, created games can lessen their file size if a lot of material from the RTP was used.
Originally, marketed versions of RPG Tsukūru 2000 featured seven "sample games" as the examples for game making. They were not appended to the English translation of Don Miguel, while Don Miguel incorporated his original sample game instead. Materials included in those games are free to use, and often utilized for actual RPG making.
- Hanayome no Kammuri (花嫁の冠, lit. "Crown of Bride"), by Shin Araki et al.
- Abyss-Diver #0, by Kenji Shigetoshi
- Kaizoku (海賊, lit. "Pirates")
- Queen Kū (クイーン・クー Kuīn Kū ), by Shinji Fukuda
- III, by Makoto Yaotani
- Ugomeku Yami no Toride (蠢く闇の砦, lit. "Fort of Wriggling Darkness"), by Yuunya
- Shuudouin (修道院, lit. "Religious House"), by Yuwaka
Super Columbine Massacre RPG! is an RPG Maker 2000 game created by Danny Ledonne and released in April 2005. The game recreates the 1999 Columbine High School shootings near Littleton, Colorado. The game begins on the day of the shootings and follows Harris and Klebold after their suicides to fictional adventures in perdition. Reaction to Super Columbine Massacre was conflicting; the title was criticized as trivializing the actions of two murderers and the lives of the innocent, and lauded as sophisticated and worthy of praise.