Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Never Turn Your Back On Them Until You're Sure They're Down For Good

I spotted a news item at MassivelyOP the other day. #356 in a never-ending series: "MMORPGs you thought were gone forever but oh boy how wrong you were!" They should call it that. 

I honestly don't know any more why we think anything goes away. It always comes back. Unless you really, really want it to, of course. Then it doesn't.

Things you don't care about, though? Can't get rid of 'em no matter how you try. Just this morning I saw another report at MOP, this time about something called High  Energy Heroes which, according to the article, "looks basically like Tencent just reskinned the now-dead mobile version of Apex Legends". I never played Apex Legends so I can't say how accurate that assessment mught be but I'll take their word for it since it supports the case I'm making, which is that nothing ever really stops any more.

Except Zentia. Why won't someone bring that back? Also, The Regrettes. Why did they need to "break up"? Bands don't "break up" any more, do they? Not if they have "absolutely nothing but love in our hearts for each other", anyway. They just stop recording and touring and do other things and everyone just says they're "on hiatus". Why didn't they just do that? Why be so dramatic?

Sorry I got distracted. I really liked The Regrettes. Where was I?

Yes, it's always the ones you want that stay gone. The ones you never cared about keep coming back like damn daisies. Case in point, Aika. And possibly Rick Astley. Although I quite like Rick Astley...

I played Aika, briefly. I even wrote about it on the blog, even more briefly. Here's everything I ever said about it: "Typical Eastern MMO. Quite pleasant, passably translated. Got to about level eight or nine. It's still running." That was in February 2014 and it was, then. Still running, I mean. The rest of it too, probably.

I had mentioned it a couple of times before, in passing. The earliest mention on the blog comes from December 2011, by which time the game had already passed into that misty hinterland of "MMOs I am thinking about playing, but not thinking very hard". I'd be lying if I said I'd ever thought about it again, other than as an entry in a list of games I once played.

Do I remember anything about it? Not really. In one post I lumped it in with a couple of other Korean MMORPGs I'd played - Loong and Argo. I remember both of those far better. 

I remember that Loong was introduced to me by the much-missed blogger Kaozz of ECTMMO, who also got me started on Blade & Soul (Speaking of MMOs I'm thinking of playing...). I can visualize the central square of the starting city, still, although not a lot more. 

And there it is...


Argo I found all by myself, I think. I really liked Argo. I miss it, although not as much as I miss Zentia. Or NeoSteam, for that matter.

Argo has its own category here on Inventory Full, with no fewer than five entries. Then there's a second tag, Argo Online, that I made for the 2014 revival of the game, which had been dropped from its European publisher, Allaplaya, before being picked up by the very unfortunately-named UserGames

I always liked Argo, even though it was probably pretty ropey, looked at objectively. Something about it just felt comfortable - friendly, even. I don't mean socially - I'm not sure I ever met another player there and I certainly never spoke to anyone. No, it was more the look of the thing, with its fuzzy foliage and cartoonish wildlife.

It's becoming increasingly difficult to find meaningful information about older MMORPGs. If you google many of them you either get lots of links, which either suggest they're still up and running or go to dead pages when you click on them. does usually have basic details that seem reasonably accurate, at least on whether a game is still available, but if you want to know the exact date it fell over or what led to its demise, you're going need to do some serious research.

Borrowed from myself but it's fine. No-one remembers.

I don't propose to do any of that about Loong (It's down now but it was still up in 2017 and that's as far as I'm going.) or Argo (The revival failed pretty fast as I recall. I don't think it's going to get a third chance.) and Zentia is gone for good, I'm sorry to say. Aika, though, is back, at least for now and I suppose I'm probably going to give it a try, just for old times' sake.

Even I'm not sure why I'd bother. It's not as though it's been gone that long. It closed down in 2021, at which point I hadn't touched it for a decade. I didn't notice it wasn't there any more so I'm not going to say I missed it. Still, it just seems rude not to at least take a look, now it's back.

Aika is going to have wait its turn, though. The open beta only runs for a week. It started last Thursday, I didn't hear about it until two days ago and it ends tomorrow. I'm already missing the start of Tarisland Closed Beta 2 as I write this and I'm certainly not going to skip any more of that just to make the final day of a beta for the revival of a game I played a few times a decade ago, just long enough to get to Level Eight.

I guess I'll wait for the full launch (No hint yet of when that might be.) or another beta, should there be one. We'll see if it spurs any memories when I get there. I'm guessing not but maybe it'll all come flooding back. 

Whatever "it" was.


  1. Hadn't heard of the Regrettes. I like them :-)

    I still hope Fantasy Earth Zero or Mythos might come back. Nobody remembers them now. Well, Mythos had already become somewhat less fun than it had been by the time the company that bought it finally killed it.

    FEZ was truly unique though. In this time of Fortnite, I think people might really enjoy it now.

    1. At least when you discover a band and then find they just split up, you can listen to the old stuff. When you hear about an online game that's closed down, you're generally out of luck.

      I think I played Mythos once although I'm not sure. Fantasy Earth Zero, though, I certainly never played and can't even recall reading about, which seems surprising given it ran for twenty years and closed down last year. There's a very detailed wikipedia article on it that makes it sound really interesting. Sorry I missed it.


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