Patintero, piko, tumbang preso, chinese garter, and a lot more were part of the 90’s kids’ childhood. That was over a decade ago, when kids loved to play outdoors with their neighbors, or indoors with bahay-bahayan, board games, and pogs. But soon enough, modernity caught up with these kids, where they became inclined with computers and technological games were introduced.
I was in grade 4, way back 2003 when I first played Ragnarok Online (RO) at a computer shop near our place. Those were the days when I thought that those who owned cellphones, even with antennas, were considered of upper-class, and those with DSL connection were God-like.
The sad truth is, pRO is going to be shut down by end of March according to the this article from Level Up! Games. The news is truly saddening, as this game was a huge part of a lot of childhood memories.
I remember, there were only pay-to-play (P2P) servers then, and since I was only 10 years old, I had no capacity to pay for prepaid cards, more so spend money and time inside computer shops. I was only able to play once with the help of my brother then, spamming over status points where I didn’t even know what they were for. Lol.
Fast forwarding, in my first year in High school around 2006, I was introduced with pRO or Philippine Ragnarok Online, by again, my sibling. Franchised by Level Up! Games from the International RO as a free-to-play (F2P) server. We still didn’t have DSL connection then, and I would often see myself spending my week’s allowance for ISP Bonanza cards worth 100php for 20 hours. I was often mad when someone calls at home as it disrupts the connection, and reconnecting takes time. Good old days…
When we finally had a proper internet connection, my brother and I would often find ourselves arguing and fighting on who will use the PC then. He would often be scolded too because he is the kuya and he should understand. My bro probably hated me then.
Prontera was filled with vending merchants then. Ai programs such as bots were more than the people actually playing, and those actually playing are mostly hanging out in various towns to just sit and talk with virtual friends. It was indeed a channel where you meet people you can jive with.
Whenever I come home from school, I would often boot the PC, click on pRO Valkyrie server, select my main character, a priestess, then, and hang out with people from Payon Town tables. Our friends even often joked about how we will all be max leveled if only sitting down to hang out had base and job experience for our characters.
Here’s my favorite spot, the lower left corner of the first table from the Kafra Employee NPC.
I tailed my sib into a guild that just started with strangers who had a common tambayan. Several guilds were made, all with different purposes. From Player Vs. Player (PVP), Player Vs. Monster (PVM), harvesting, brotherhood and War of Emperium (WoE).
I don’t spend as much as some friends I have who would often buy UBEs or Ninoys just almost every day. Those two connoted real money, with UBE being violet as the 100 pesos, and Ninoy as the 500-peso card. Especially when the days when the server offered double or triple the normal exp.
At a later time, came new guilds as people come and go in our tambayan. A guild Delta Nu, where mostly everyone met by the tables was made. I was only dragged about by common friends, but I consider the experience one of the best memory of my childhood.
Here’s to one of my first WoE experiences in Ragnarok PH, Valkyrie server.
The necessary level 99 selfie:
Job quest change:
Blind and leeching services:
War of Emperiums:
and even real life meet-ups, for crying out loud.
These were only some of the good times I had. Sadly, these photos are the only ones left as my RO folder has already been deleted and these were only preserved as photos uploaded on Facebook T_T
Hell my first cosplay was even the Archbishop of Ragnarok!!!!!! That’s how RO became part of my life and it’s the only game I can and will play even after many years.
But sentimentality aside, Ragnarok not only gave entertainment but promoted camaraderie between people from around the Globe. I met people from Ragnarok Online that I am still friends with even though we already quit playing. It also served as a means of income for some, with some personal experience in RMT or Real Money Trading, selling items, zennies and even whole accounts in exchange of real life cash.
Closing down the official pRO server triggers different emotions and nostalgia to a lot. Despite the range of private servers held by both local and international people, it’s a different level when you grow up in an official and non-high rate and exp server.
Hopefully, Level Up! Games will be able transfer pRO accounts to the International RO (iRO) servers for those who would still like to play. Sadly, the feeling won’t be as similar when you play with your countrymen.
But truly, Payon Tables, you will be missed.