Ragnarok Online and For The DS: Hello, Old Friend

Ahh, memories. The super-cute Ragnarok Online was the first MMOG that I ever played. It usually was a group venture — a group of about 6 or 7 of my RL buddies during my third year of college (circa 2004) would group up and play together, leveling and venturing into dungeons, and staying up through the wee hours of the night LAN-party styling it up as we took on bosses way too strong for us (and usually died pitifully). It was only a few months that I played, but those memories have stuck with me.

Fast forward to now, and my nostalgia for the game that first hooked me into the MMO genre has been hitting hard. A few months ago, I indulged in Ragnarok DS, the handheld adventure game spinoff. I ended up setting it aside when life got busy, so it’s on my list of games to pick back up again. And just this past weekend, I bit the bullet and signed up for the RO Free to Play server, Valkyrie.

How has time changed my perception of the game? Read on for more.

The cuteness scale is upped in RO2, rumored for release in Korea in 4th quarter 2010.

It’s not that the game has really changed all that much. Yes, there have been plenty of patch updates and content additions, but the gameplay still feels and looks mostly the same, at least in the starter area that I’m in now. I guess it’s more that my expectations for MMOs have increased. A lot. And understandably so – it’s been more than 5 years, which is ages when it comes to advancement in the technologies that create our gaming experience (plus the fact that even in 2006, the game already was 4 years old).

I’m not the only one who’s moved on from RO. The fist obvious announcement came in September 2008, when I got an e-mail attempting to beckon me back to the brand new Free-to-Play server. And just earlier this year, we heard news of server mergers for the three US servers into one.

But despite how incredibly outdated the game is, there’s something about it that still pulls me in. Perhaps the simplicity of design is a good thing. Minimal character design choices, small playable sprites, pixellated terrain — despite all this, it’s still satisfying to run a dagger through one loot-stealing poring after the other. Perhaps it’s just the thing to get me through the summer lull that many WoW guilds seem to be experiencing right about now.

More importantly, I’m psyched to update myself on the Ragnarok lore and Prontera goodness before Ragnarok Online 2: The Gate of the World hits, which supposedly may be fourth quarter of this year (although it’s been pushed back since 2007, so we’ll see!)

Can’t get enough Ragnarok? Check out the anime and manhwa series spinoffs for more cute goodness. I think re-watching the anime may be my next guilty pleasure!


  1. Pixie hate to break it to ya but I doubt RO2 will ever be out. It’s just an urban legend :(

    I played the crap out of RO from my sophmore year of highschool until about 2 years go when the updates to RO really slowed down from kRO to iRO. Glad you finally got it working again though, hope you have some fun with it :P

  2. What the hell is going on in the first screenshot? Is she going to attack the bee with some sort of monkey-stance technique, or is she dancing (the “railroad” perhaps?) with it? Did it get in her bonnet? Is that honey it puked in front of her its initiative attack? Did the trees just attack you for 8 damage? Or are you going all BP on the environment?

  3. LOL. That’s not honey — it’s a Drops, a low-level, blob-like monster. You can’t tell because its cute, smiling face is facing me :)

    Can’t you tell that’s my dagger… I’m about to stab with it! And the 8 damage is just fade away from my last hit. Sigh. You have much to learn. Maybe a video would help explain…

  4. This was also my first MMO, beta testing the US version. Gotta agree, despite being a top-down sprite-based Korean grindfest, it was a lot of fun. Maybe it was the difficulty; you die A LOT at early levels. Maybe it was the sound and music; very well done and enjoyable. Maybe it was the cuteness. I don’t know what it was, but I played the game religiously through nearly the entire beta test.

    And Hey! Look! There’s the client install that I downloaded, sitting on my NAS.

    I wonder how well it plays on an Eee?

    I think I’ll find out later tonight and report the results.

  5. Never played before, But, I did hear about the anime.

    You can watch the whole thing here:


    It’s actually not half bad. But MMO’s as we grow older and begin to see all it’s content (rather than the vast infinite we thought it had at our beginning stages) we begin to notice it’s not As awesome as we presumed.

    Nostalgia will always getcha one day. But it won’t last forever, trust me on that.

  6. @NextGener Thanks for the link. I watched the first 5 or so episodes as they were coming out, then lost interest when I had a hard time finding good subs.

    @Dan We’ll see. It’s real — it’s had beta testing and went through a bunch of rounds of changes. Then it just seemed to disappear for a while, and Gravity says they’re completely remaking it. So who really knows. I’ll keep my fingers crossed, but I’m not holding my breath :)

    @Typhron Don’t be too impressed – it’s now a reward for going through all the starter tutorials. Can’t wait to get bunny ears! :D

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