Many gamers between the age of 20 and 30 started their online gaming career in Runescape, a MMO that could be played entirely in your browser. Iris revisits that childhood in Runescape 3.
20-02-2017 - by Iris Wijers
Runescape is a game that probably defined the childhood of many a gamer. I myself fondly remember playing the game when I was only eleven years old. I did not fully understand the game at the time, but I do remember picking bananas, making lower players mine ore for me so that I could train my smithing skills, and wandering into the PVP area and losing my valuable equipment that I’d somehow acquired. Whenever I think back to the game, I do so with a good dose of nostalgia. It was truly a game from days of yore.
It was, therefore, quite a surprise when I heard the news that we would soon be selling Runescape gift codes. “Runescape still exists?” I asked, baffled at my own obliviousness to the apparently still rampantly popular online MMORPG.
As I entered the Runescape website it looked vastly different than I remembered. It also became apparent to me that the Runescape I knew was not the version of Runescape I would be playing today. I was amazed that there had apparently been three versions of Runescape, but my surprise could hardly grow any bigger anyway, so I just stayed baffled.
I remember playing Runescape in a browser, but Runescape 3 asked me to download the game. At risk of getting accused playing games during office time I downloaded the game on my office computer and set out into this new Runescape. The log-in screen was fancy and the music cool. I could get into this.
I love character creation. As little time as I spend on my own appearance, so much time I can spend making sure my character looks just the right cross between cute and badass. I yelped happily when presented with the character creation system for Runescape. It wasn’t as impressive as many more recent titles, but anything that lets me pick a hair color and a hairstyle makes me happy. I called my character ‘Ieryske’ and gave her pink hair, because I could, and entered the world of Runescape. I didn’t have to lie about my age this time, which made me feel old.
Pink hair is cool. Also game on normal mode because I’m not crazy.
It is clear that the Runescape developers anticipated that people like me would return to the game, because the instant the game started I got asked what my experience was. I confessed to the question box that it had been a while, but it was me, not him. The game took it in stride and didn’t kick me out, which I appreciated.
You know me so well, Runescape.
The game started with a cutscene, which was about the last thing I had expected from a Runescape game. I could instantly tell this game meant business. The graphics looked somewhat familiar, but with much better quality and colors other than green and brown. I had hardly recovered from the shock of having a cutscene in a Runescape game when, lo and behold, the dwarf started to talk, complete with that stereotypical accent that all dwarves have. As I’m writing this the old codger is consistently asking me to talk to him, calling me ‘lassie’.
Shut up Gudrik. I’m busy.
After I recovered from my surprise I gave in to the old man’s consistent demands, eager to see what this new Runescape had to offer me.
I don’t remember the controls for the old Runescape, but I certainly didn’t know these controls. After swerving the camera around like a drunk cinematogropher and trying to make my character move forward, I decided to just meekly to what the game told me to do and left click on Gudrik to talk to him.
Gudrik had apparently had a bad dream about the world ending, which prompted him to come and find me which… okay, whatever. Gudrik proceeded to tell me I was extraordinary, which I already knew, because I had purple hair. I asked Gudrik who he was, but then decided I did not really care that he’d won beard of the year and moved on with saving the world. That’s what I assumed I was going to to eventually, anyway.
I followed Gudrik, but hadn’t walked two steps before we got attacked by zombies. Cool. Gudrik immediately decided that I was going to be the one to kill the zombies, even though he’d just told me I desperately needed a new sword. After the battle I got my first ability, which was called slice. I’d preferred ‘heart perforator’ or something cool, but I guess slice works as well. The ability bar on the screen showed me that the combat system would be more similar to the system of other RPG’s I’d played. I was happy about this, since to this day I don’t know how the system worked in the old Runescape. This might have contribued to my complete and utter failure to succeed at this game.
Ah ability bar, I’m so glad you are here.
After I finished killing the zombies, Gudrik told me to go fishing, which I excelled at. I was good at fishing in the old Runescape, too, mostly because I couldn’t die while doing it. Gudrik made me cook the fish but told me to keep it for when I needed it. It seemed to me it would be better to wait with cooking the fish until I wanted to eat it, so it would be warm, but I didn’t fight it.
Next Gudrik told me to kill a zombie cow. The cow in question was standing in the middle of the street and honestly seemed perfectly harmless to me. I looked the beast into its eyes while evil Gudrik was urging me to kill it by clenching his fist and punching the air. Who hurt you, Gudrik?
Somebody should call PETA about this.
I killed the cow and it dropped coins, which made no sense, but I was too distraught at my own killing of an innocent zombie-cow that I did not bother to think why the cow dropped coins. Gudrik told me had no clue what the zombie cow was, which made me feel even worse about killing it.
Still, Gudrik had no time for my existential crisis and put me to work smithing a new blade. Presumably to kill more innocent zombie-cows with. The ore I’d mined with my pickaxe looked exactly the same as it had in the old Runescape, which pleased me. I crafted my beautiful bronze sword, but before I could kill Gudrik with it and avenge the zombie-cow, a strange sound started to come from the church.
The gods are coming for you, evil Gudrik.
After Gudrik telling me repeatedly that we would have to fight at the church, his bloodlust was finally put to good use as we bravely pummeled a lady called ‘Morwena’ into the ground. She seemed surprised at it and since I’d just learned how to kick, I understood her surprise. Gudrik praised my bloodlust, the villagers loved me and I got a new hat. Overall, not a bad day. Aside from having to kill an innocent cow. That sucked.
What could possibly go wrong?
Gudrik had apparently decided I was ready, after slaying the zombie-summoning, headdress wearing witch. The dwarf ushered me on the ship and, upon arriving at the mainland, told me to come to his house. I thought this was a bit forward, but my character is a pushover, apparently, so I complied. Gudrik proceeded to give me a ‘contact gem’, which allowed him to stalk me if I tried to run away. Great.
Finally, I arrived at the village of Lumbrigde, where I marveled at the cool weapons and armor that the clearly superior people playing this game were carrying around. I suddenly felt very silly wearing my ‘obviously pilfered from a witch during the tutorial’ hat. Gudrik wanted me to complete a mission that would probably involve killing rats in a sewer or something, but I did not like Gudrik, so I disobeyed. Instead I took part in my favorite hobby: attaching myself to a random player and following them around wherever they went.
You’ll never get rid of me.
As I followed my new friend around Lumbridge, I quickly found out that this was at heart still the game I used to love. The game had grown up with the years, but so had I: instead of playing the game after I returned from school, I was playing the game for my job. Even though I was ten years older than when I first played it, I found myself eager to get into the game again, if only to remind myself of the good old days.
Runescape is still free to play, but you can redeem codes to subscribe and get more content or to buy a variety of items to give you an edge in the world of Runescape. If you’re anything like me, you might want to install Runescape on your computer and play it for a bit. You might just enjoy it. I know I did (even If I had to kill that innocent cow).
Need some money to step back into the world of Runescape with? Get your credit right here at Startselect.