I don’t know how many of you had played the original Ragnarok Online but it was back in the days before the likes of World of Warcraft were around (2003). It was amazingly cute 2D sprites had really nice music and happy colors. It was amazingly grindy as most Asian games were at that time, but it was my first experience to a MMO and have fond memories playing it.
So understandably when Ragnarok 2 was announced and I heard Yoko Kanno (from Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Escaflowne) was doing the soundtrack, I was absolutely stoked. Unfortunately Ragnarok 2 never really got past Korea with poor reception and a company riddled with scandal involving siphoning of company’s funds. In fact Ragnarok Online 2 SEA which was promoted heavily by Asiasoft had mysteriously disappeared and along with it all hope of seeing Ragnarok 2 outside Korea (which was probably just as well with the poor reception and outdated Unreal engine).
Going through some old mp3s reminded me of my good old days in Ragnarok Online and I decided to see what had happened to the beloved franchise and was surprised that there are some stirrings of a revival:
In a statement in December last year Global Business Manager Yunghun Lee had this to say:
“It’s a difficult question to answer,” Lee admitted. “We launched Ragnarok II in 2007. That version wasn’t really enough for the market, so we tried to revise all the systems, but it takes time. We changed the engine and everything, it’s like a totally new game. The engine changed several times, but now we’re using Gamebryo.”
The game is nearing completion now, and Lee says “We’re going to release the game next year.”
The Closed Beta of Ragnarok 2 (Legend of the Second) is scheduled to begin on the 31st August in Korea next year and although few details have emerged, it is clear that Gravity is intending to go back to the game’s roots. One can only wait and see whether it will turn out to be another dud or success which will be especially more challenging now that the Asian population has been exposed to the big boys ala World of Warcraft and plenty of competition (Aion).
Fingers crossed and here’s some gorgeous screenshots. Let’s hope that at least they have removed the grinding..or more importantly it even sees the light of day outside Korea.
Old Prontera (Original Ragnarok Online)