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RealLive clone for Linux and OSX


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rlvm: A RealLive interpreter for Linux and OSX.


rlvm is a Free Software reimplementation of the VisualArt's KK's RealLive interpreter. It is meant to provide Linux and Apple users with a compatible, portable interpreter to play VisualArts games, specifically those released under the Key label. It is licensed to you under version 3 or later of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation.

rlvm is meant to be a compatibility utility; it is not an excuse for copyright infringement. Please do not acquire games from BitTorrent / Share / {insert name of popular P2P app in your locale}.

Special thanks to Jagarl for the first work on reverse engineering the RealLive interpreter and for Free software licensed source code for decoding their file formats, to Richard 23 for figuring out features added to RealLive for Little Busters, to \{jyuichi} for help with Kud Wafter, and to Haeleth for creating rldev, along with answering all my dumb questions about the internal workings of the RealLive system.


rlvm currently plays the following games to their completion:

Japanese Edition Games Status English Fan Patch Status
Kanon Standard Edition OK NDT's patch
Air Standard Edition OK (None)
CLANNAD OK (Not supported)
CLANNAD (Full Voice) OK Licensed
Planetarian CD OK Licensed
Tomoyo After OK (None)
Little Busters OK (Untested)
Kud Wafter OK (None)
US Edition Games Status
Planetarian Works; buy here

For more details, please read STATUS.TXT.

rlvm is now at the point where enough commands are implemented that other games may work. The above is only a list of what I've tested first hand or what I've been told.

rlvm has an implementation of rlBabel; English patches compiled with Haeleth's rlBabel should line break correctly. I've successfully tested it with the Kanon patch from NDT.

rlvm supports KOE, NWK and OVK archives for voices, along with ogg vorbis voice patches which follow the convention /z.ogg.

Fullscreen can be entered by pressing Alt+{F,Enter} on Linux and Command+{F,Enter} on Mac.

Please report bugs on the GitHub bug tracker.


By default, rlvm is a GUI program. Start it by double clicking on the icon [OSX] or selecting it from your Applications menu [Linux]. You will then want to select the folder that contains the SEEN.TXT of the game you want to play.

If you are using Ubuntu or OSX, rlvm makes an effort to find a system Japanese Gothic font. If rlvm is complaining that it can't find a font, it will also look for the file "msgothic.ttc" in either the game directory nor your home directory. If you are using Linux, you can manually specify a font with the --font option.

On Linux, you can also manually start rlvm from the command line, optionally passing in the directory containing the SEEN.TXT file:

$ rlvm [/path/to/GameDirectory/]

The rlvm binary should be self contained and movable anywhere, though the build system does not have an install target.

If you don't have the file "msgothic.ttc" in either the game directory nor your home directory, please specify a Japanese font on the command line with --font.


You will need the following libraries/utilities:

  • The scons build system (Note: the scons in MacPorts has been reported to not work)
  • boost 1.40 or higher
  • SDL 1.2 (and optionally, SDL_image, and SDL_mixer, though there are copies included in the source distribution if you don't already have them installed.)
  • freetype
  • GNU gettext


Make sure that freetype-config and sdl-config are in your $PATH. The current SConscripts are fairly naive and may need editing to point to the correct location of some header files. Future versions will have the build system refined. You should be able to type:

$ scons --release

in the root and have a complete build. The unit tests will automatically be built and can be run by typing:

$ ./build/rlvm_unittests

They should all pass.

There is no convenient install feature (I am not sure how to do that in scons). rlvm will work (without icons or localization) in place. If you wish to use rlvm in place, the binary is in:

$ ./build/rlvm

For packagers, the debian/install file contains a mapping of where files should be copied to. I agree that there should be a better long term solution, though it currently escapes me.


In addition to freetype-config and sdl-config needing to be in your $PATH, (like when compiling under Linux), the Sconscripts assume you use fink to manage your unix programs and that fink is installed at /sw/, though they also try to check for Darwin Ports. You may need to edit the SConscript files if using something else.

To build an OSX application, type:

$ scons --release --fullstatic

which will build in the build directory. The resulting OSX application will ask you for the location of the game with a native dialog.

To build a dmg file for distribution, type:

$ scons --release --fullstatic --dmgname="rlvm <version>"


Little Busters' baseball doesn't work because it is implemented as a Windows DLL instead. For the same reason, the dungeon crawling minigame in Tomoyo After does not work.


Little Buster's baseball minigame appears to be implemented by a DLL, not RealLive bytecode. Figuring out what its doing is the first step to getting it working.


Have you found rlvm useful? I accept donations in bitcoin at the following address: 3Ee9s6BzmSZQK2yf4DU3p8vk1ttrsnFoQ2