Ragnarok

Within a vast desert
Seas of burning sand
A lone cloud driven before the merciless sun
Dies before it can sate the thirsting ground
Here I am close to the beginning side
As close as unchanging ocean
Where first was entropy defied
A rough hewn stony beast
Haunts this place,
It lies in wait, a cat shall feast
Upon our cursèd race.

Delenda Roma est.
Kyrie eleison

Nine for mortal men, doomed to die
Nothing lasts forever- not the earth or sky
Gaseous orb casts stinging light
Behind the light is-
Where the shadows lie
The shadows lie,
Twisting shape and form.

Homo, sicut faenum dies equs,
Tamquam flos agri sic efflorebit.

Look into her kaleidoscope eyes
Her scent intoxicates, like cheap wine
Sweet as fermenting fruit,
Rotting strawberry fields.
In French,
Black hole is a dirty word
Singularities will be the end
La petite mort
I dare not taste a bit of death
But a few inches across, it
Contains a fallen star.

Guarda, dona, el volto mio
Com' è forte impalladito;
El tormento acerve è rio
Saqu'o son mostrato adito
¡Laso me, chè son ferito!
Ne me po sanar onguento.

Do not try to drown my fears-
Brahma's awakening,
The fall of Asgard,
Will burn the subtle fabric
End Clotho's spinning,
Rend Lachesis' weave,
And mercifully dull
Atropos' deadly shears.


-7Ghent
Ragnarok is also one of the running items of the Final Fantasy series. It is usually the strongest sword that can be found, though it varies from game to game.

As far as it's known, its first appearance was in Final Fantasy 3, as the strongest sword available. It is found in the Forbidden Land Eureka, after defeating the Guardian.

In Final Fantasy 4, it is Cecil's strongest sword, gained by defeating Bahamut in the moon core.

In Final Fantasy 5, Ragnarok is hidden on the Cleft of Dimension, guarded by the greatest of all dragons, Shinryuu. Ragnarok is a very powerful sword.

In Final Fantasy 6, Ragnarok can be got as either a weapon or as an Esper. Ragnarok sword is powerful and can be traded for the even more powerful Illumina, but the Ragnarok Esper is the only one that will teach you the most powerful spell in the game: Ultima.

In Final Fantasy 7, it is merely the second most powerful sword available for Cloud. Six materia slots, set in pairs.

In Final Fantasy 8, Ragnarok is the name of the spaceship you use to move around the overworld. Pffft.

In Final Fantasy 9, it apparently is the second most powerful sword again, used by Steiner. What do they have against it?

(Also Ragnarök, Ragnarökr, Ragnarøk)

"doom of the divine powers"
"increase of ravens"
"godsdark"
"rain of dust"

In Norse mythology, Ragnarok, also called Götterdämmerung ('twilight of the gods'), was the battle between the forces of good and evil that marks the end of the world as it had been previously known. In Viking societies, death in battle was the most desirable fate and this carried over to the worship of deities who were not everlasting or immortal. The final outcome of the last battle, including who would live and who would die, was known by the Vikings as well as the gods themselves. Every event leading up to and occurring during Ragnarok was chronicled in sagas and skaldic poetry, such as the Voluspa (Prophesy of the Seeress), the Poetic (of Elder) Edda and the Prose (or Younger) Edda written by Snorri Sturluson.

The prelude to Ragnarok included recognizable signs. First there would be three winters of war in Midgard where brother would kill brother and father would kill son. Vows would no longer carry meaning and chaos would increase throughout the world. Following that would be three winters with no summertime between them called Fimbulvetr (Fimbul, the mysterious or monstrous winter), the winter of winters. Snow would cover the world, and the land would be besieged by frost and blizzards. Skoll, the wolf would catch and devour the sun, and his brother Hati would devour the moon, and so the earth would be thrown into darkness. The stars would also disappear. Three cocks would crow: Fjalar, who would call to the giants, the golden cock Gullinkambi, who would call to the gods and a third, whose crowing would raise the dead. This would mark the beginning of the end.

Earthquakes then break all bonds and fetters, freeing the wolf Fenrir and his father, the trickster god Loki. The sea rises with the fury of Jormungand, another of Loki’s sons, who makes his way to dry land poisoning the earth and sky with his breath. His writhing loosens the moorings on the giants' ship Naglfar, which is commanded by Hymir (Hrym) and made from the nails of dead men. A second ship sets sail from Hel with Loki at the helm carries the inhabitants of the underworld. The two ships head towards the battlefield as the sky opens and the fire giants led by Surt leave Muspellheim to fight against the gods. Loki assembles his troops on the battlefield Vigrid ('battle shaker') while Surt (Surtr), with his flaming sword igniting all he passes, rides with his troops across Bifurst, the Rainbow Bridge, which collapses in flames.

Heimdall, the guardian of the bridge, is the first of the gods to see the danger approaching and he sounds the horn Gjallarhorn in warning. The gods in Asgard, roused by Heimdall, quickly hold a meeting and Odin rides to the Well of Knowledge to consult with Mimir. Yggdrasil, the world tree, groans and shakes making all the creatures of the worlds fearful. The Aesir arm themselves and Odin collects the Einherjar, the souls of fallen heroes from Valhalla. Then he, wearing a golden helmet, carrying his spear Gungnir and with Thor at his side, leads the group to the battlefield where all manner of gods, giants, dwarves, demons and elves have assembled.

Odin engages Fenrir while Thor fights Jormungand, making him unable to help his father. Surt quickly kills the swordless Freyr, and Thor bests the serpent but then its poison gradually kills the god of thunder. Tyr fights the hellhound Garm from Gnipahellir and the two slay each other. Odin is swallowed by Fenrir, and Odin’s son Vidar grasps the wolf’s jaw and rips it apart, thus killing Fenrir. Loki and Heimdall, who are age-old enemies, meet on the battlefield and kill each other.

Then, Surt flings fire in every direction which destroys the nine worlds, killing humans as well as the gods and other races. Animals and monsters die as Midgard, Asgard, Niflheim and Jotunheim blaze like furnaces until the world finally sinks into the sea.

There is no end, however. After the destruction, a new green and lush earth will rise from the waters, with fields that grow crops without having to be sewn. Animals will return. The meadow Idavoll from the destroyed Asgard will survive the destruction and a new sun, a daughter of Alfrodul the old sun, just as fair as her mother will step up to travel her mother's road in the sky.

There will be survivors among the gods. Vidar and Vali, both sons of Odin will live through the battle, as well as Modi and Magni, the sons of Thor, who will possess Mjolnir, their father’s hammer. The dead god Balder and his brother Hod will return from Hel to dwell in Odin’s former hall. They will all sit together and discuss the things that have come to pass, and in the grass at Idavoll they will find the gold pieces used by the Aesir to play draughts. Two humans, Lif and Lifthrasir, will have also survived by hiding in Hodmimir’s Holt, a small thicket in the branches of Yggdrasil, where they slept through the final battle. Upon waking, they will sustain themselves on morning dew and become the progenitors of the new human race.

According to the Prose Edda, which is not necessarily a reliable source as it wasn't penned by Snorri Sturlson until about 1200, there will remain many places to house the souls of the dead. Above Asgard there existed a second heaven called Andlang, and above that a third called Vidblain. Both Eddas state that after Ragnarok, Gimle’s hall will be the best place in heaven and Brimir will have the best things to eat and drink. The hall Sindri will house the souls of the virtuous while Nastrand ('Corpse Strand'), a hall filled with poisonous snakes facing inward that fill the hall with venom, will house the souls of murderers and oath-breakers who will be forced to painfully wade through the poison forever. Another survivor, the serpent Nihogg, will reside in Hvergelmir and will there torment the bodies of the dead.

An often neglected fact is that Ragnarok has already happened, and will happen again, an infinite number of times. Like nature, the Norse concept of mythology operated on cyclical terms; the final battle did not mean the end of all things just as the coming of winter did not signal the disappearance of summer forever.

Ragnarok does not translate literally into "twilight of the gods", contrary to what many sources say. The phrase was the result of a famous mistranslation.

Sources:
http://www.springwolf.com/wolves/nature/ragnarok.htm
http://www.pantheon.org/articles/r/ragnarok.html
http://www.pantheon.org/articles/h/heimdall.html
http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/mythology/myths/text/ragnarok.htm

Ragnarok is also the final Mech that you receive in the Xbox game MechAssault.

Background:
Battling through the Word of Blake defenses, you uncover the final twist in the game - although you have killed Adept Strader, the near-mythological "Ragnarok" Mech had a twin. Once you defeat Strader, you find out that he has positioned a deep-drilling laser core drill that will burrow through and destroy the world that you are on. With your dropship, the Icarus, out of action, and the remains of the successful Alpha Lance drop still on-planet, you have limited time to finish this most important mission...

Armour, speed, defense
Seen as a religious symbol to the WoB militia, this Mech is actually quite beefy. Classified as a heavy, it packs massive armour and surprisingly good top speed and acceleration. It's downside is it's abysmal turning speed - you really need to know the trick of spinning the control stick to avoid the lengthy 180 degree turn penalty. The defense is unique - the shield. Creating an energy bubble, you briefly reduce all attacks to virtually no damage. Recharge time is quite low considering the relative power of the defence.

Weapons
Oooh baby. This not-so-little beauty sports 3x Javelin Missiles, 2x Gauss Rifles, and the killer - the unique Lava Gun. This weapon fires three short-range lava bursts with motion directed attacks. Each burst causes MASSIVE damage, and if all three hit, you can reduce even the formidable Atlas to a limping heap. Overall, the lava gun is the best close-range weapon in the game - despite its designation as short-range, it can actually pierce longer ranges with good aim. With a bit of judgement and aiming off, you can destroy huge buildings in one firing.

Variants
The Ragnarok also comes as an equally suitable Norse named variant - the Ymir. Sporting 2x PPCs, 2x Autocannons, the Lava Gun AND the shield as defence, it makes for a truly awesome killing machine.


Information taken from:
http://faqs.ign.com/articles/378/378845p1.html
My own lovingly played Australian version of MechAssault

I find it very interesting to compare Ragnarok to Christianity. There aren't many direct parallels, but some of it works. Odin can partially represent the wise and just Christ before the crucifixion who gives everything he can to gain wisdom he can share with his people. Balder can be seen as Christ after the resurrection. He loves and is loved, as well as being one of the few major gods to come out of Ragnarok alive and raised from the dead. Balder's brother Hodur can be seen as a representation of the human race or Judas Escariot. He unwittingly kills Balder, yet in the end, at Ragnarok, is forgiven and rises with Balder.

The Christian/Jewish creation story can also be compared to stories of the most recent Ragnarok in the cycle. After Ragnarok, a man and a woman emerge from a forest to start the race of man. There are only a few gods left, and they can all represent someone: Balder as Christ, Hodur as humanity, Hoenir as the creator (having participated along with Odin and Loki in the original creation), and the minor gods that survived Ragnarok as archangels or possibly leaders of other religions. Besides, Ragnarok is supposed to have already happened.

Ragnarok also has similarities to the account of the Rapture in the bible, but I know a lot less about that. The world is destroyed with fire by a beast (Surtr, king of the fire giants, in the Norse account). The world becomes a place of peace and goodness afterward. There is even a place to eternally punish evildoers (hell, obviously). There are also places to reward the good, but good in the Norseman's view of people is quite a different story from ours.

Just a side note: this was written at 2:00 A.M and may not reflect my waking opinions.

Ragnarok is also a Manwha (a Korean graphic novel format loosely similar to Japanese manga)series by Myung-Jin Lee, first published and distributed in Korea, 1998.

Ragnarok uses many Norse mythological references, and is centered around the the adventures of several chosen warriors and their roles in the coming of Ragnarok,the prophesized fall of the Gods, and the beginning of the reign of Man.

Ragnarok is, at the time of this writing (August 2003), being translated and published in English by Tokyopop. It has also been developed into an Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game for the PC platform by Gravity, known as Ragnarok Online.

The game is wildly popular in its home country of Korea, and has been released regionally, and internationally as well. Unlike other online RPGs, the global release of Ragnarok Online has been regionalized. Players will find themselves playing with others located only within their own countries, paying the fees through third-party distributors, examples of which include Level-Up Games, Inc. for the Philippine version, and Gravity Korea, for the Korean version.

An international version of the game is available for download and is managed by Gravity USA. However, at the time of this writing (August 2003), the game has been subjected to harsh criticism for numerous bugs, unimplemented features, and several incidences in which account security had been broken, resulting in server rollbacks and payment refunds.

It should be noted that not all the versions of Ragnarok available globally are the same. The Korean, Chinese, and Japanese versions of the game are the most up-to-date, with the American and European versions the farthest behind, in terms of updates and added features.

RAGNAROK!
Fight for your right to party!
Kill noders on the fields of glory!
Many other features!

Go to Halls of Valhalla. Choose a side. Click the button. Kill your enemies.

Really that’s all there is too it. This little game, created by kthejoker is the newest E2 sensation. It came about just after 12:00 server time on April 1st. It is yet to be seen if the game will be extant after the 1st or if it will only make occasional reappearances.

Like the Wheel of Surprise it takes XP to play and like the Wheel of Surprise XP goes fast. It takes 10 XP to sign up to either the HEROES or the VILLAINS usergroup. The heroes and villains have the choice of attacking specific members on the other team by spending 1 XP or attacking random members for free. These functions are also available in the chatterbox by typing “/strike USER” or “/strike random”. You start out with 200 Health and each time you are struck you go down a small amount. Each time you strike, you take your target down a small amount. The amount is based off of some sort of voodoo math that kthejoker cooked up involving your user level and number of people you have killed and maybe some other things.

Other features include items which you get by killing other noders and “boss” characters, the only one of which we’ve seen has been kthejoker himself. There’s also a rumored “super weapon”….


Items seen so far:

jessicapierce: A piercing barb.
asamoth: A blank and impenetrable shield.
thefez: A mystical fez that spouts Confusion spells.
ching of death: Doom. In C! form.
jet-poop: A knapsack of destruction.


This node subject to change. kthejoker is making changes to the game as he goes and XP, HP, and other stats may change quickly and without warning.

Rag"na*rok" (?), Rag"na*rök" (?) , n. [Icel., fr. regin, rögn, gods + rök reason, origin, history; confused with ragna- rökr the twilight of the gods.] (Norse Myth.)

The so-called "Twilight of the Gods" (called in German Götterdämmerung), the final destruction of the world in the great conflict between the Æsir (gods) on the one hand, and on the other, the gaints and the powers of Hel under the leadership of Loki (who is escaped from bondage).

 

© Webster 1913

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