A computer program that allows you to make your own RPG. It was never released in English, however a man named Don Miguel translated it and began distributing it illegally. This got him in legal trouble later and he took down his copies of the software and discrouraged its distribution. Despite this, it has survived and become very popular.
Although it sounds paradoxical, the downloading and distribution of english language RPG Makers has in itself been a source of controversy within the community. The controversy is largely based on whether or not the distribution is legal or not.
RPG Maker is LegalEdit
Many, perhaps most within the RPG Maker community feel that RPG Maker 2000 and 2003 are legal, falling under the same category as anime fansubs. ASCII (now Enterbrain) NEVER gave their blessing to a Russian computer programmer named Don Miguel to create an english version for free distribution. This was a myth concocted by unknown people.
RPG Maker is IllegalEdit
However, some in the opposing camp says that the program became illegal once Enterbrain recieved the rights to it. But this was never true, as the program has never been legally downloadable. However it strikes many as being extremely hypocritical to build a site around providing resources for RPG Maker, tutorials to teach people to use it, and a support community only to "frown upon" people who actually put the site content to work by using the program!
Definitely Legal RPG MakersEdit
Despite the controversy surrounding english language versions of rm2k and rm2k3, it is legal to produce games made by a Japanese version of RPG Maker. Recently Enterbrain has marketed a legal English version of RPG Maker XP.
A Final VerdictEdit
Because of the controversy and legality issues, many sites dedicated to RPG Maker have ceased offering downloads. It is hoped by many that doing this will encourage Enterbrain to continue making English language releases. Even though the program is not commonly distributed on sites based around it, it can still easily be acquired using a simple google search.
A Sad Fact for You and I
Download RPG Maker XP Trial
Buy the licence for RPG Maker XP 1.02a