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SDLPAL is an SDL-based cross-platform reimplementation of the classic Chinese RPG game known as PAL.

Try the online demo for now!

Check the link above for a Web-based demo of SDLPAL. It should work on most of modern browsers (e.g., Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, …), but problems might exist on some browsers. Before you can enjoy the game, please prepare a zipped file containing the game resource data.


中国大陆地区用户如从GitHub下载代码存在困难,请使用gitee镜像 (每小时自动更新)。


SDLPAL was originally created by Wei Mingzhi from 2009. Now it is owned by the SDLPAL development team. Please see AUTHORS for full author list.

Copyright (c) 2009-2011, Wei Mingzhi <>.
Copyright (c) 2011-2024, SDLPAL development team.
All rights reserved.

SDLPAL is distributed under the terms of GNU General Public License, version 3 as published by the Free Software Foundation. See LICENSE for details.

Many of the ideas of this program are based on documents from PAL Research Project, and portions of the code are based on the work done by Baldur and louyihua.

This program made extensive use of the following libraries:

This program does NOT include any code or data files of the original game, which are proprietary and copyrighted by SoftStar Inc.

It’s recommended to buy the original game from Steam, which contains required data files to run SDLPAL.


See wiki

Building the game

Currently, SDLPAL supports the following platforms:

Before start building, you may find some inspiration from reading Our travis scripts.

To build SDLPAL, there are three major steps you need to do:

  1. Clone the source code from GitHub into your local folder using git or through corresponding GUI:
    $ cd <parent-path-of-sdlpal>
    $ git clone
  2. Update all the submodules used by SDLPAL using git submodule or through corresponding GUI:
    $ cd <parent-path-of-sdlpal>/sdlpal
    $ git submodule update --init --recursive
  3. Follow the platform-specific steps listed below.


Visual Studio

To build SDLPAL as a Windows desktop app, you can use Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 to open the solution file sdlpal.sln under the win32 directory.

To build SDLPAL as a Universal Windows Platform app, you can use Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 to open the solution file SDLPal.UWP.sln under the winrt directory.


To build SDLPAL as a Windows desktop app, you can also use MinGW. Steps for building under MinGW varies depends on the compiling environment you have:

GNU/Linux or Unix

To build the game, please go to the root of the source code tree and type:

$ cd unix
$ make

You also need to have SDL 2.0 development files installed in the system. The compiled executable should be generated with the filename sdlpal at the current directory. By default, SDLPAL uses the FLTK library to provide setting GUI at launch. If you do not want to use the library, please define he macro PAL_NO_LAUNCH_UI in the Makefile. SDLPAL should also be able to compile and run under other Unix-like systems, however it’s not tested.


To compile, open Pal.xcodeproj with Xcode, and click Build. You need to have SDL framework installed at /Library/Frameworks.


To compile, please first install dependencies via CocoaPods following the above instruments, then open the project ios/SDLPal/SDLPal.xcworkplace with Xcode, and click Build.

$ sudo gem install cocoapods # ONLY need do once on one machine
$ pod install # ONLY need do once in one repository


To build the game, open the android directory through Android Studio, and click Make Project.

Nintendo 3DS

To build the game, please go to the root of the source code tree and type:

cd 3ds
make cia

You need to have DevkitPro ARM and SDL 1.2 for 3DS portlib installed. Creating a CIA package is not required to play the game, but in order to to that, a seperate makerom tool is required. The compiled executable should be generated with the filename sdlpal at the current directory.

Nintendo Wii

To build the game, please go to the root of the source code tree and type:

cd wii

You need to have DevkitPro PPC and SDL 1.2 for Wii portlib installed.

Other platforms

To be written.

Running the game

The data files required for running the game are not included with the source package due to copyright issues. You need to obtain them from a licensed copy of the game before you can run the game.

To run the game, copy all the files in the original game CD to a directory, then copy the built SDLPAL executable to the same directory, and run the executable.

Note that the filenames of data files should be all in lower-case under systems that use case-sensitive filesystems such as GNU/Linux or other Unix-like operating systems.

If you prefer using MIDI as background music source, please note that the MIDI playing feature is not yet complete under every supported platform. Currently, offical support is provided under Windows Desktop, Universal Windows Platform, Android, iOS and macOS. There is also a preliminary support for GNU/Linux that relys upon package timidity. Other platforms do not support playing MIDI for now.

Configuring the game

PAL has several variants using different and incompatible resource files, and SDLPAL supports several configuration options for supporting such variants. The default values are used to support the resources from original DOS version. If you want to change these configurations, you have two options: through the configuration GUI or by manipulating the configuration file sdlpal.cfg manually.


The configuration GUI provides options for you to change the most common configuration options. If you launch SDLPAL for the first time, it will bring you to the configuration GUI by default. Once you have saved configurations from the GUI, the GUI will not to show again on subsequent launches. However, you have the opportunity to bring the GUI back on fatal game program errors or through the in-game system menu.

Currently, the configuration GUI is available under the following platforms:

Configuration GUIs for macOS is still unavailable for now and we welcome contributions to implement it.


To set the configuration options manually, create a file named as sdlpal.cfg (make sure to use lower-case file name in case-sensitive filesystems) in the game directory created by the above step. Please refer to the example file for format specfication.

Reporting issues

If you find any issues of SDLPAL, please feel free to report them to the development team through GitHub’s issue tracking system using either English or Chinese.

Contributing to the game

Any original code & documentation contributions are welcomed as long as the contributed code & documentation is licensed under GPL. You can use GitHub’s pull request system to submit your changes to the main repository here. But remember, as a step to keep the quality of code, you should write corresponding unit tests before your changes can be merged. The guidance of writting unit tests can be found here.