I had to create one from scratch because it was not present. Looking at the log file, it doesn’t look like ES is touching the es_settings.cfg file, but there are no errors. I was able to switch themes by studying screenshots of the ES settings menus with a Google image search. I can tell the theme changes, but I guess this was not the problem because the screen still looks blocky and weird.
Before all of this, I had been experimenting with the build and ended up starting over, but at one time, I had an es_settings.cfg file that was auto-generated. Not sure how. I was even successful in getting ES to load a ROM, but of course the screen is un-readable so there’s no knowing which ROM will load.