Eternal Senia, a free-to-play action role-playing game is quietly building a following on Steam and players have (mostly) nothing but praise for the simplified, pared-down combat game.
Developer Inspired By Ragnarok Online
In his game description, developer Holy Priest described his inspiration.
“I believe that gaming should not be anything complicated or difficult, but a relaxing and pleasure [sic] experience,” the Chinese designer wrote. He went on to cite his love of Ragnarok Online as his inspiration for Eternal Senia.
“Senia’s sister, Magaleta, also originates from a foe ‘Magaleta’ in lighthalzen dungeon of Ragnarok Online,” Holy Priest wrote. “Ragnarok Online is, to this day, still my favorite game of all time. Eternal Senia is a non-profit making game solely based on my enthusiasm for RO and gaming developing. I wish Eternal Senia can bring up the memory of classic MMORPG Ragnarok Online to all players who participated.”
Simple Combat, Complex Story
There are no controls or button presses to the game’s combat. Players simply walk up to monsters and bosses and Senia takes care of the rest, depending on which weapons she’s equipped with. The more she fights, the more experience (both leveling and damage) players earn. Sword inconveniently break atop a random skeleton’s head? No worries, Senia can engage in hand-to-hand combat and increase her damage capabilities.
The mobs vary by level, even if the music doesn’t. The soundtrack is basically a repetitive electronic piano sounding ditty that plays on a loop anytime Senia moves through the Tower of Eternity slashing through bad guys. It’s charming, really, a throwback to the sounds that accompanied the granddaddy of all ARPGs, the Legend of Zelda.
Similar to choose-your-own-adventure books popular a generation ago, Eternal Senia, has multiple endings, depending on the choices Senia makes as she searches for her older sister, Magaleta. Some are happy endings. Some are not and for a game that’s relatively short (and free!) it seems like quite a bit to offer players.
“I Cannot Back Down Here!”
Despite the occasional spelling error, the internal thoughts and external dialogue from Senia’s perspective do a good job telling the story and forming her character. Senia’s seen a lot–namely the murder of her mother by a gargoyle-looking boss she’ll face later in the game. Magaleta, a member of a holy order, arrives in time to save Senia from meeting a similar fate and those years growing up with her newly minted adopted sister “were the happiest times of my life,” Senia reveals.
Days before the start of gameply, Magaleta goes missing and Senia tracks her to the Tower of Eternity.
Senia’s a noble character and constantly reminds herself (and the player) that she’s brave and has a mission to complete.
The mobs are plentiful on each level and range from bouncing slimes (including a King Slime!) big-headed skeletons, guards, and even large fire-breathing dragons that promptly break Senia’s wooden sword (bring on the fisticuffs).
Challenging Enough, Plenty To Admire
The artwork in cutscenes and flashbacks, as well as the character profiles that slide onto screen during conversations, are beautiful and perfectly suit the game. Though some have criticized the game’s lack of extensive content, the entire Eternal Senia experience is a fun ride with a sassy heroine and a noble quest.
If Holy Priest set out to develop a game with plenty to offer casual gamers and fans of Ragnarok Online, then he succeeded beyond a measure of a doubt.