Title screen of RPG v1.1.
RPG, fully titled RPG Blast from the past or future?, is a text-based role-playing game made in 2003 for the TI-83 Plus calculator by Gregory McLeod and published by McLeodGaming. It is the first major game to be created by Gregory McLeod, as well as the first role-playing game he's made.
The game had a direct sequel, RPG 2, made the same year. It continued the story of the original game while also expanding on its gameplay mechanics.
The game begins a long time ago, where three unnamed soldiers are fighting an unknown beast that is impervious to their attacks, and it disappears and reappears whenever they go near it. They refuse to back down from the beast, but they all eventually get killed by it. Meanwhile, in the future year of 3000, an unknown character questions his actions.
The game then moves to the present day, in the home of the main protagonist, whose mother wakes them because they have to leave to go on an adventure. She asks if they even remember their name, and the player's response becomes the protagonist's name. They then leave the house to say goodbye to their father and their brother Scott, who gives them a sword, a shield, and armor. The protagonist then leaves.
The protagonist reaches Pine Village, where they meet a man named Bob who tells them an extremely long story and gives them a bag as thanks for listening (even though the protagonist falls asleep in the middle). After leaving town and encountering a Healing Gem that can only be carried in the bag, they enter Luck Town. The shopkeeper, Joe, tells them that he cannot sell anything because of a monster that ate all of his supplies, and a resident named Max informs them that things haven't been very lucky in the town ever since the monster came.
After leaving Lucky Town, the protagonist comes across the monster, revealed to be named the "Time Dragon". Their attacks are ineffective against the dragon, who knocks them down with a single blow. He is soon recovered in Resc Ewe Town by their friend Sam, who gives them better weapons and armor. They leave to Objitem Village, where a man named David gives them an item labeled "???" they don't know the name or function of. They then leave to Melee Village, and then to Smoke Village.
At Smoke Village, the protagonist comes across Scott again, who is running the shop there. He tells the protagonist of a huge shadow that flew over the town and burst the whole village into flames. He gives them a Mega Weapon Upgrade to help defeat the beast, and a man named Ben also gives them a Mega Armor Upgrade. The protagonist then encounters the Time Dragon again, who leads them into a warphole to fight in. The protagonist is knocked down again, but the unknown item "???" then goes off, creating a nuclear explosion that instantly destroys the Time Dragon.
After returning from the warphole, the protagonist meets with their family again, and Smoke Village is to be rebuilt in their name. Every character in the game thanks and praises them, and Scott says they are the most powerful warrior of them all. The game concludes with an epilogue where explosions take place in the sky above the protagonist and their family, which is to be continued in the game's sequel.
The gameplay of RPG, true to its name, is similar to that of other text-based role-playing games. The player must progress forward through a linear series of battles against monsters, with visits to different residencies in-between. Along the way, the player has to manage their HP that decreases every time they are attacked (though losing all HP is completely inconsequential), and they also can collect a variety of items, some of which are required to progress. Everything is presented with text with very few pictures displayed, and the player progresses by selecting from a list of options on the screen. These options can be selected either by scrolling to them and pressing "Enter" or by pressing the numbered button corresponding to the option. The options themselves are separated into two sections of gameplay, with one being used for visiting locations and the other being used for battling against monsters.
When visiting towns and villages, the player has a variety of options they can perform. Each location has a shop with a unique shopkeeper and set of items, though many shopkeepers have no items to sell at all. There is also a house in each location, with a unique resident who speaks to the protagonist, often having items to give to them. Items themselves can also be managed in the menu when visiting, and some can be used to refill HP. The player can also check their HP in the Status menu, as well as the name of their protagonist. Finally, the protagonist can leave to the next village.
The main focus of the game is the battling portion, though it is very limited. The player first is given the option to fight the monster they've encountered, with the option to skip the fight altogether (unless it is against the Time Dragon, which cannot be escaped from). The battles themselves are turn-based, in which the player has the option to either attack the monster or run away. Attacking will deal a certain amount of damage to the monster, who will then respond with an attack of their own to the player, ending the turn. The damage each attack deals depends on the weapon and armor acquired, as certain weapons deal more and certain armor defends from more. Additionally, certain monsters can be dealt a "Special Attack" that deals much more damage and displays an image of the attack being executed. Dealing enough damage to the monster will defeat it, ending the battle.
- The unnamed man from the year 3000 is a scientist who would not be revealed until the game's sequel.
- It is possible to lose the game by not obtaining the bag from Bob in Pine Village. When obtaining the Healing Gem, if the protagonist does not have the bag, they will try to pick it up but drop it on their foot, leaving them unconscious and ending the game.
- Although the item "???" is used to defeat the Time Dragon, it will activate during the fight regardless of whether the player has obtained it, making it impossible to lose to the Time Dragon in this fight.
- The name of Melee Village and its shopkeeper Roy is a reference to the game Super Smash Bros. Melee, where Roy is a popular playable character.