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.
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 the fastest vehicle controllable by the party. It is capable of autopilot flight, as the player can choose a location from the largest map view while on the world map and the ship will fly there.
The Sorceress WarEdit
One of three known models of similar design, the Ragnarok was created by Esthar and used during the Sorceress War as its flagship. Seventeen years ago the ship, along with its two counterparts, was commissioned to move Adel's Tomb to outer space where Sorceress 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 when Squall Leonhart and Rinoa Heartilly happen upon it, Ragnarok has been infested by monsters known as Propagators. It can be assumed the crew were killed, 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 had become stranded in space due to the Lunar Base's destruction. The teenagers board the craft through the top airlock and find 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 in lieu of the radio interference lifting, 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. Ragnarok mysteriously survives time compression, appearing ready to fly in the Kashkabald Desert with the members of the Card Club inside if Squall challenged their ranks earlier. It is unknown what happens to the Ragnarok after the party defeats Ultimecia and the time compression spell breaks, reverting the timeline to normal, as the party returns to the Balamb Garden.
The cockpit is the airship's control center 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. During endgame 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; one must wear a spacesuit before attempting to decompress and open the portal when in space. There is a yellow Propagator in the area and a save point where Squall and Rinoa first board the Ragnarok. Quistis can be challenged at a card game here during endgame 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 during endgame.
- 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 during endgame.
- 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 during endgame.
- 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 during endgame.
- Draw points: Cura (hidden)
- Boarding Ramp
The boarding ramp is the main access way for the ship's crew onto the vessel. It has a purple Propagator. During endgame 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.
During endgame, 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. They are visible on the screen and coming to contact with one initiates a fixed encounter. The player can run from the Propagators to avoid a battle, but must defeat them to proceed in the story.
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. The player can 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.
If the player salvages the ship from Kashkabald Desert during time compression 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. The player can modify their rare cards for items and then win them back from the CC group.
|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|
|CC King||Lunar||1,2,3,4,5,6,7||Airlock*Quistis must be in the party|
Finding Ragnarok during time compressionEdit
During endgame, 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. The player can also get a chocobo from the Chocobo Sanctuary in Grandidi Forest in Esthar region and ride it along the coast to Centra.
As a vehicleEdit
The Ragnarok becomes the party's airship after Squall and Rinoa have returned to the planet with it. Unlike the airships in many previous Final Fantasy games, Ragnarok can land on mountaintops and on snow and forests. It can land on several locations directly: Fishermans Horizon, Esthar City and Deep Sea Research Center.
The autopilot 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.
Creation and developmentEdit
There is a dummied piece of dialogue in the scene where Squall and Rinoa were onboard the 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.
Event planner Hiroki Chiba made the event where Squall and Rinoa are inside the Ragnarok when "Eyes on Me" plays. Chiba had to adjust it frame by frame so that everything would be in sync with the song.
A Ragnarok-themed laser cannon appears as part of Laguna Loire's artillery. His EX Burst, Ultimate Ragnarok Cannon, fires a 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.
The Ragnarok appears as both a regular Record and an event setting. Within the Classic Dungeons, the player must complete all series Records through Great Salt Lake (VIII).
When the Ragnarok is first boarded and the player must clear out the ship's "current tenants", the "Residents" plays. During the scene with Squall and Rinoa in the cockpit "Eyes on Me", the game's theme song, plays.
"Ride On" plays when flying Ragnarok across the map, and is the airship theme to Ragnarok, played whenever the player launches the airship on the world map, and will continue to play as the player explores its interior. Composed by Nobuo Uematsu, it is the second track on Disc 4 of the original soundtrack.
In the Japanese Guardian Force series of Final Fantasy VIII action figures, a piece of the Ragnarok is included with each figure. When all eight are collected, a full model figure of the ship can be assembled. In the English release 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, and would live again in a new world of plenty and just existence.
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?). The ship is 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, suggesting there may have been at least five other "Laguna" ships.
- 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.
- The player may run into a game-breaking bug where they lose their Ragnarok airship by landing it too near a structure on the world map, tangling the airship with it making it impossible to board again. Because the player needs the Ragnarok to invade Lunatic Pandora, they can become stranded if they lose their airship.