Ragnarok Online OST
Catalog Number: SSCX-10090/1 ("Present Disc" SSCX-10091A)
Released On: May 14, 2003
Composed By: SoundTeMP
Arranged By: SoundTeMP
Published By: DigiCube
Recorded At: N/A
Format: 2 CDs + 1 bonus disc

Disc One
01 - Title
02 - Gambler of highway
03 - Peaceful Forest
04 - I miss you
05 - Tread on the ground
06 - Risk your life
07 - Wind of Tragedy
08 - Theme of Prontera
09 - Great honor
10 - Divine Grace
11 - Theme of Morroc
12 - Streamside
13 - Theme of Geffen
14 - Theme of Payon
15 - Theme of Alberta
16 - Labyrinth
17 - Treasure Hunter
18 - Time up!!
19 - Under the ground
20 - Ancient groover
21 - Through the tower
22 - Backattack!!
23 - Travel
24 - Desert
25 - Plateau
Total Time:

Disc Two
01 - Everlasting Wanderers
02 - Dreamer's Dream
03 - You're in ruins
04 - Be Nice'n Easy
05 - One Step Closer
06 - Brassy Road
07 - Yuna Song
08 - Pampas Upas
09 - TeMPoison
10 - Nano East
11 - TeMPorsche
12 - Hamatan
13 - Theme of Al de Baran
14 - Fear...
15 - Curse'n Pain
16 - Morning Gloomy
17 - TeMP It Up
18 - Don't Piss me Off
19 - An Ant-lion's Pit
20 - Welcome Mr. Hwang
21 - Help Yourself
22 - Watery Grave
23 - Out of Curiosity
24 - Believe in myself
25 - Ready~
Total Time:

Note: according to the CD's packaging, disc two's tracks are listed as if they continued from disc one (that is, they are tracks 26-50 instead of another 1-25). For the sake of consistency with the site rather than with the soundtrack itself, we have chosen to list the numbers as they would appear when sticking the CD in a CD player.

Allow me to preface this review by making the following statement: as of this point in time, I have never played an MMORPG. The way things are going in my life, I may never play an MMORPG. They are not appealing to me. I want a closed, linear storyline in a game, and MMORPGs are just too "open" for me. But watching someone play an MMORPG? I've done that. In fact, I have a friend back home that got pretty heavily involved in the Korean-developed RPG "Ragnarok Online" last year. I decided to watch him play it out of slight fascination. While he played, he was listening to some trashy American pop-rock band, and I asked him to turn that music off so I could hear what the music to "Ragnarok Online" sounded like. He dutifully did as I asked, and within minutes, I determined that I would someday soon purchase the Ragnarok Online OST.

That "someday" has passed, and I now have that OST in my hands. Did I make the right decision, basing an entire purchase over a few minutes of song I heard while watching my friend play the game? Yes. Yes I did. Let me tell you why.

I have always made a distinction in my mind between VGM for PC and VGM for consoles. Perhaps this is a false distinction, as console VGM is generally done by Japanese composers and PC VGM (that we are familiar with) is generally done by American composers. For me, this music sounds like some really good console VGM, not PC VGM in any way. Again, the distinction on my part may be wrong in the first place, but this was the first thing I thought after listening to the soundtrack.

There are a lot of "town" themes on this soundtrack (especially on disc 1), and they all have a gentle sound. Some include drum loops and synthesized percussion, making the song sound more "techno" (for example, "Theme of Prontera"); other songs will retain an acoustic feel, using more natural sounds (such as "Streamside"). The difference between these two example songs, besides the melody, shows that the composition has enough variety even among the softer songs to make the soundtrack much more rich.

I have noticed that disc 1 contains most of the slower, softer, "natural" pieces, whereas disc 2 thrives on powerhouse techno-rock that makes you want to dance around your room like an idiot (we're all prone to doing that...right?). Take, for example, the first track of disc 2, "Everlasting Wanderers". Even though it's relying on major chords and "happier" sounds, the drum loop is wild enough to make you want to get up and dance. The jazzy feel in track 6, "Brassy Road", does not diminish the feel of this disc; it stands in nice contrast with the rock-techno fusion as its own jazz-techno fusion piece. It's reminiscent of FFX-2, but perhaps a higher quality composition than what I remember from X-2.

It's a shame that the only acknowledgement given to us regarding the music is "SoundTeMP": whoever they are (or whoever he/she is), they are making some really good music. It's ambient, but it has solid melody. It's got drive, but it can also cool you down. Overall, the soundtrack is balanced in a way that many other soundtracks these days are not. Whatever synthesizers used on this soundtrack are some of the most advanced in the field. I cannot make a single complaint about this whole soundtrack. That's a good sign.

The soundtrack also came with a bonus disc entitled "Present Disc", which appears to be a disc with the installation files for the game, as well as a free ten day trial card. Like I said, I am not interested in MMORPGs, so I'm not even going to use it; but it's a nice bonus for anyone who'd like to check the game out alongside the music.

If the samples catch you off-guard, and you feel the same way I did the first time I heard the music, then maybe you should try and find this soundtrack. Since DigiCube went bankrupt just months after this soundtrack's release, perhaps you should start looking for the soundtrack now before it becomes too hard to find or too expensive to purchase.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann


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