RAGNAROK

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Ragnarok is a freeware roguelike video game for DOS, created by Norsehelm Productions from 1992 to 1995, also going by the name Valhalla in its European release.

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It is distinct from many other roguelikes in having a graphical interface, a historical/mythological setting, set quests, the ability to change classes, and the ability to permanently change one’s race by polymorphing. Created By Thomas F. Boyd

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  • Valhalla had music and sound effects, which Ragnarok never had. Thus its download size is twice that of Ragnorok.
  • Ragnorok was developed up to version 2.4 (1995), when it got some new creatures and true savegames that would not be erased upon reload.
  • Valhalla had copy protection (manual check), Ragnarok not.

Ragnarok was developed by Thomas Boyd and Rob Vawter (Norsehelm Productions), the first release was obviously 1992, the last for Valhalla 1994 and for Ragnarok 1995. It was originally a commercial production, but at some point the authors declared it freeware.

If you have never played a roguelike game and would like to try it, this is a good game to start with. Unlike most others, it has a mouse-enabled GUI. Furthermore, you can save and restore your game, albeit under certain restrictions.

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Ragnarok has taken Rogue and placed it in the Viking mythology. It has also added some side quests, making it more like the RPGs we are used to. And very unlike the original Rogue, there are no one way streets: You can always return to the map you came from. I played it for quite a while with enjoyment.

Be warned however that it has no option for really starting from scratch except a fresh install. If, for example, your character is killed and you create a new one, you will encounter the ghost of the deceased, which is not so pleasant. On the other hand, you can pick up all the gear you accumulated on your former character!

If it gets too much (these ghosts can accumulate) you can always delete the ghost files in your Ragnarok directory.

By the way, Ragnarok/Valhalla is one of the not-so-many non-Japanese (DOS) games that used high resolution VGA graphics (640×480, 16 colors).

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