This is Ragnarok VR, aÂ virtual reality remake ofÂ an early and hugely popular Korean MMO, which takes the original’s 3D assets and recreates the fantasy world in immersive 3D for a dose of immersive nostalgia, for those that have heard of it.
One of the first and most popular early examples of an MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) title, Ragnarok Online (or RO) was played obsessively by legions of Koreans following its release in 2002.
It’s addictive job progression and social focus meant an ardent fan base built up around the title, with fond memories cemented in those for whom the game represented their first foray into the then fledgling world of massively multiplayer online games.
Now, a fan of the series, has gone to the original game’s assets and recreated the maps from the original in a new virtual reality experience which lets you walk around and generally just ‘be’ in the heavily stylised Ragnarok world. “This is a small project that I created using Unity, Which current allow user to enter RO’s maps (extracted from data.grf of RO original file) and walk around using vive,” says developer ChaMi, “just want to share this nostalgic, my favorite game in vive!” (see gameplay video embedded at the top of this page).
Built for the HTC Vive, the Unity based project afford the player room-scale exploration of the maps, along with teleportation locomotion for covering larger distanced. Along with locations likeÂ Payon, you can also traverse the overworld map and skip to areas of interest using a 2D mini-map represented attached to one of the controllers. Originally Ragnarok VR comprises only 4 converted maps stitched together, but the developer has made real progress recently adding in more refined visuals, character stats and even combat and NPCs.
It’s clearly a labour of love for ChaMi and considering the visuals date back to 2002, the artwork from the original maps stands up remarkably well. And judging by the near 300k views ChaMi’s video has garnered since its release in May, clearly the nostalgic appetite for old games brought back to life in VR is strong.
As an ageing gamer myself, I’m now imagining RPG worlds that had so much impact on me in my youth being reborn in VR in similar ways. Imagine charging across the plains of Final Fantasy XII on a Chocobo or riding Flammie the dragon across the lush overworld of Secret of Mana. Any developers out there willing to take those on?
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find a download link for the project, however you do – let us know in the comments below and I’ll update the article.
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