- “Esthar's space shuttle. Based on an ancient Centra legend of the Dragon Ship. Esthar's finest scientific technology was used to build it. Esthar's flagship, until it was used to send Adel's Tomb into space.”
- —FFVIII Info Corner
The primary airship of Final Fantasy VIII, the "Super-High-Mobility-Flying-Ship" Ragnarok (飛空艇ラグナロク, Hikūtei Ragunaroku?) is far faster than any other vehicle controllable by the party and is capable of autopilot flight, in which the player can choose a location from the largest map view while on the world map and the ship will automatically fly there.
The Ragnarok contains two save points and three Draw Points, and near the end of the game—after time compression—the Card Club group will be available to challenge aboard the ship if the player completed the CC sidequest earlier.
The Sorceress WarEdit
One of three known models of similar design, the Ragnarok was created by Esthar and was utilized during the Sorceress War as Esthar's flagship. Seventeen years prior to the start of Final Fantasy VIII, the ship, along with its two counterparts, was commissioned to move Adel's Tomb to outer space where Adel could be watched over in stasis.
It is unknown what happened between then and its rediscovery in space, nor is it known what happened to its two counterparts, but upon discovery Ragnarok has been infested by monsters known as Propagators. It can be assumed the crew were killed by these monsters as there are notes left behind regarding these beasts, hinting at a history of 'Propagator Infection'.
Floating in space, the Ragnarok's trajectory happens upon the entwined couple of Squall and Rinoa who become stranded in space due to the Lunar Base's destruction. The teenagers board the craft through the top airlock and discover the ship overrun with Propagators. They must defeat the Propagators of matching colors (yellow, purple, green and red) to kill them—if they kill the wrong colored Propagator, the Propagators will re-spawn throughout the ship.
Squall and Rinoa clear the ship of the monsters and enter the control cabin. They establish communications with Esthar Airbase and, with the Airbase's help, pilot the ship back to the planet.
The ship becomes the property of Squall's group and is instrumental in Rinoa's rescue from the Sorceress Memorial and in penetrating Lunatic Pandora's defenses. During the time compression events the Ragnarok mysteriously survives appearing ready to fly in the Kashkabald Desert.
- The cockpit is the airship's control center and is located directly above the passenger room. It contains four crew positions; the pilot, co-pilot, comms station and the navigation systems. It is accessed via a lift from the passenger room.
- Passenger Room
- Accessed from the top deck directly below the control cabin, the passenger room can seat eight people and features a transparent canopy. The passenger room has a yellow Propagator. Squall and Rinoa can also find a note left by the ship's crew telling how to get rid of the Propagators.
- The elevator to the cockpit has a green Propagator guarding it. On disc 4 the player can find CC Joker here, who plays cards and operates a shop and a junk shop. He will appear even if the player didn't complete the CC quest.
- Airlock Chamber
- An access portal through the 'roof' of the vehicle for space travel. It is presumably accessed through a decompression chamber; it is advised one wears a spacesuit before attempting to decompress and open the portal, particularly when in space. There is a yellow Propagator in the area and a save point in the area where Squall and Rinoa first board the Ragnarok. Quistis can be challenged at a card game here on disc 4 if she is in Squall's party.
- The aisle spans the top deck leading between the lift to the control cabin, over the hangar, and into the airlock chamber.
- The hangar is the largest room shown in the Ragnarok. It houses a platform fixed into the floor that may be lowered for the cargo to be boarded. The top deck aisle travels over the hangar deck to the airlock chamber near the rear of the ship. A purple Propagator is fought at the bottom level of this room. The CC Diamond can be challenged here on disc 4.
- Storage Room
- The bottom level of the hangar leads to a room with a save point, a draw point and a green Propagator. CC Spade can be played here on disc 4.
- Draw points: Full-Life (hidden, never refills)
- Hangar Upper Level
- The upper level of the hangar leads to the airlock chamber and the door to the passenger room is initially closed from this side. There is a red Propagator in this area. CC Club can be played here on disc 4.
- Draw points: Life (hidden)
- Lower Level
- The big door at the bottom of the hangar leads to an area with a red Propagator. There is a hidden draw point at the back of the room. CC Jack can be played here on disc 4.
- Draw points: Cura (hidden, never refills)
- Boarding Ramp
- The boarding ramp is the main access way for the ship's crew onto the vessel. It has a purple Propagator. On disc 4 Xu can be challenged here.
To perform its agile maneuvers, the Ragnarok's fuselage is equipped with an array of jet propulsion nozzles. Sudden acceleration and turns are facilitated by eruptions in the large output mechanism of the rear fuselage, while the finer adjustments of direction and altitude control are moderated via the upper fuselage.
A full crew includes the four positions of ship master, pilot, co-pilot (doubles as radio operator), and gunner, though it is possible to transport up to ten additional personnel. Via coordination of data input with the Esthar Airbase, fully automated navigation is possible.
Ragnarok bears weapons and Squall's group uses them to penetrate Lunatic Pandora's shields.
On disc 4, even if the player didn't complete the Card Club side quest, CC Joker will be onboard Ragnarok to sell items and offer weapon remodeling.
When Squall and Rinoa first board the starship it is infested with Propagators. There is one in every area, and they are visible on the screen and coming to contact with one initiates a fixed encounter. The player can run away from the Propagators to avoid a battle, but must defeat all of them to proceed in the storyline.
The Propagators must be defeated in pairs; once the player has killed one, they must kill another one of the same color or the original one they killed will be revived.
A good order to defeat the Propagators is such: From where the player starts they should head downstairs, and defeat the purple Propagator at the lower level of the hangar, then head up and through the large door, and evade the red Propagator by running through the door on the left. This area is the boarding ramp where the player finds the second purple Propagator and defeating it will defeat the purples for good.
The player can then head back right and defeat the red Propagator they evaded the first time, then go back left and left once more, evade the green Propagator by the elevator and go south to beat the second red Propagator.
After dealing with the purples and the reds, the player can go back up to the green Propagator they ignored and beat it, then go south, down the stairs, and through the small door on the upper right to find the second green Propagator. This area also has a save point and a draw point.
With only the yellow ones left, the player can find the first one by exiting the screen and going upstairs and then going south to the airlock where Squall and Rinoa first boarded the airship. The last one is found by going north twice and to the upper left, to the passengers' room.
After the Propagators are defeated the player can use the elevator in the middle, where a green Propagator used to stand, to reach the cockpit.
The player can win Squall's card from Laguna when he is onboard the Ragnarok, if the player didn't already win the card earlier. If the player challenges Laguna within the Ragnarok he will use Esthar region's rules.
On disc 4, if the player salvages the ship from Kashkabald Desert and has completed the Card Club quest, the CC members will appear onboard Ragnarok. They will hold every rare card the player doesn't currently have in their card inventory (apart from PuPu), in addition to the card levels they normally play.
|CC Member||Ruleset||Card Lv||Location|
|CC Joker||Centra||1,2,3,6,7||Elevator room|
|CC Jack||Balamb||3,4,6||Lower level of Ragnarok, room up from hangar|
|CC Club||Dollet||3,5,6||Hangar upper level|
|CC Spade||Esthar||1,2,3,6,7||Storage room|
|CC Heart||Fishermans Horizon||3,5,6,7||Boarding ramp|
Finding Ragnarok (disc 4)Edit
On disc 4, Ragnarok is found on Kashkabald Desert in Centra, but to get there the player must ride a chocobo. Using the portals outside Ultimecia Castle the player can get onto the world map and get a chocobo from the Forest of Solitude north of Centra Ruins, then run it across the continent to Kashkabald Desert.
As a VehicleEdit
The Ragnarok becomes the party's airship after Squall and Rinoa have returned to the planet with it. Unlike in many previous Final Fantasy games, Ragnarok can land on mountaintops and on snow and forests. It can land on several locations directly: namely Fishermans Horizon, Esthar City and Deep Sea Research Center.
The autopilot function can be used in the largest map view while flying on the world map. The controls are the same as for mobile Balamb Garden: to go forward, to go back, to land and to go inside the cockpit. Directional buttons are used to steer and control altitude.
A Ragnarok-themed laser cannon appears as part of Laguna Loire's artillery. His EX Burst, Ultimate Ragnarok Cannon, fires a large laser blast from the cannon, using his other weapons as a focus to charge up energy.
Laguna's best exclusive weapon is the Ragnarok Pistol, another allusion to the Ragnarok airship.
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When the Ragnarok is first boarded and the player must clear out the ship's 'current tenants' the "Residents" plays. As is common with most airships in the Final Fantasy series, the Ragnarok has its own theme when flying across the map, called "Ride On". The tune is vaguely reminiscent of "Spreading Grand Wings", the music played while riding a wind drake in Final Fantasy V, to which the ship itself bears a slight resemblance (it also shares similarities with the airship theme of the same game).
"Ride On" is the airship theme to Ragnarok and is played whenever the player launches the airship on the world map and will continue to play as the player explores the interior of the airship. Composed by a Nobuo Uematsu, it is the second track on Disc 4 of the original soundtrack.
An arrangement of "Ride On" appears in Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales as the song that accompanies the final credits. The theme also appears in its original form in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy as downloadable content. An 8-bit arranged version is included on the Final Fantasy VIII Chips album.
In the Japanese Guardian Force series of Final Fantasy VIII Action Figures, a piece of the Ragnarok is included with each figure of the series. When all eight are collected, a full model figure of the ship can be assembled. In the English release of these figures, the Ragnarok pieces were excluded.
Ragnarök is an event in Norse mythology that is similar to the Apocalypse. It is an event that is set off by the death of the god Balder, which was orchestrated by Loki. The Ragnarok was a final clash of all the major entities of Norse mythology. This caused all of the human spirits up in Valhalla to come down for the final battle.
This bloody encounter ebbs with the destruction of the universe and Balder along with a little handful of entities that are put in the bodies of children and only contain memories of the world before Ragnarok. Those entities would become mortal.
In Final Fantasy VIII, Ragnarok is a pun on Laguna Loire's name as the first three characters of his full name and that of the airship are the same in Japanese (ラ・グ・ナ, Ra-gu-na?). In fact, it's called "Lagunamov" and "Lagunarock" in the Spanish and Italian versions respectively.
The link is referred to even in the English translation when Laguna says, "I always wanted to ride that thing. Plus the name sounds so cool!". The name can even be interpreted as "Laguna 6", because "roku" means "six" in Japanese, and also suggesting there may have been at least five other "Laguna" ships.
- Ragnarok is always piloted by Selphie whenever she isn't in the player party. If Selphie is unavailable, Ragnarok is piloted by Zell, and if both are in the player party, Quistis takes the reins.
- A background where Ragnarok is stationed in Esthar Air Station before the Lunar Cry (the sky is blue) exists in the game data, but it can never be seen in-game as the player can access Ragnarok only after Lunar Cry has already occurred, and the sky is always tinted pink.
- The shape of the blade of the Cutting Trigger and the Flame Saber gunblades for Squall resemble the shape of the Ragnarok.
- A glitch can occur on Disc 3 whilst leaving behind the Ragnarok and going into Esthar City. The ship will disappear, rendering the game unplayable.
- There is a dummied piece of dialogue in the scene where Squall and Rinoa were onboard Ragnarok where Rinoa tried to dissuade an assumed jealousy in Squall for her having dated Seifer in the past. When Squall did not catch on Rinoa commented that Squall does not care about other people's pasts.