In the early '10s, Square Enix teamed up with veteran JRPG developer Media Vision to create a series of role-playing games exclusively for iOS, and later Android smartphones. For the time, it was an incredibly ambitious project with advanced graphics, console-style gameplay, a deep storyline, and a highly memorable soundtrack. Unfortunately, the games were a bit too far ahead of their time, and updates to Android and iOS broke compatibility with them just a few short years after release. Rather than fix the games, Square Enix simply pulled them from sale, leaving arguably the best original mobile game series to be lost to time.
The Chaos Rings Preservation Project resurrects the earlier games in the series by using offline, prepackaged emulators running compatible versions of Android on Windows PC. The latest game, Chaos Rings 3, currently retains compatibility with the latest versions of Android and iOS and is not included in the project, although it is possible to run it in the same emulators.
Check out this excellent overview of the original game by Andrew Nesvadba, formerly of PocketGamer:
Creating these packages was not trivial. Only specific emulators work with specific versions of each game, and hunting down and testing different combinations of each is challenging. Furthermore, each game had to be patched to run without Google Play since it is no longer possible for new users to purchase licenses through the store. As of this writing, it is still possible to access the purchase pages for Chaos Rings 1, Omega, and Chaos Rings II on the Amazon app store, but these builds no longer work even on Amazon devices and appear to have been abandoned. I would encourage new users to purchase the games here regardless, but use the Preservation Project builds to actually play them.
Android emulation itself has made major strides in recent years as well, and so the Preservation Project was updated in 2018 with new emulators affording better sustainability and compatibility. Unfortunately, in 2019, updates to host operating systems broke compatibility with
libhoudini, Android's ARM to x86 translation layer, rendering even these emulators nonfunctional for many users. To solve this problem, I ultimately decided it was necessary to add a proper ARM emulator to the mix. While this has certain disadvantages (ARM emulation requires a very fast CPU), it is highly compatible and should remain so for quite some time. Also, because the emulator is based on QEMU, it is possible to run the project on Linux and Mac OS as well (BYOB for now--bring your own binary).
For the first time, I am making these prepackaged builds available for download below. To install, extract the contents of each zip file and follow the included instructions.
You will need a PC running Windows 7 or newer and at least 4GB of RAM.
Note: Files are hosted on Google Drive. If you receive a "download quota exceeded" error message, choose "Make a Copy" and the file will be added to your own Google Drive account.
Disclaimer: These files are provided as-is and come without warranty, guarantee, or support of any kind, nor are these downloads affiliated with Square Enix or Media Vision in any way. Use at your own risk!