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Luminary: Rise of the GoonZu

Luminary: Rise of the GoonZu is an MMORPG that focuses heavily on its economy and social features. One of the game’s offerings is the ability to become the GoonZu, a player elected by fellow users that acts as the leader of the game’s political system.

Publisher: Valofe
Playerbase: Low
Release Date: May 21, 2005
Shut Down Date: May 3, 2023
Pros: +Deep political system. +Complex economy. +Robust crafting.
Cons: -Simplistic combat. -Poor translation.


Luminary: Rise of the Goonzu Overview

Lumniary: Rise of the GoonZu is a 2D fantasy MMORPG that takes MMO social features to the next level by blending a fantasy world with realistic economy and politics, similar to Wakfu and Nexus TK. Its economy is supported by its robust crafting system, which is one of the primary focuses of the game. All crafted items can be viewed in the massive in-game database that gives an ingredient list, pointing players exactly where they need to go to acquire crafting materials. Crafted items can be sold for money in the marketplace, found in towns across the world, which is where some of the game’s political features come into place. Each town is lead by a democratically elected shareholding candidate , who has the power to change the tax rates on players using the bank, market, stock market, and other features. The GoonZu, on the other hand, is a single player elected by the entire server who is given nearly as much power as one of the Game Masters, and is given the ability to elect 5 ministers to work under him and help him moderate the game. The game also offers a simplified combat system and mounts, falling short only due to its poor translation leading to new player confusion.

Luminary: Rise of the Goonzu Key Features:

  • Multitude of Character Skills – Upgrade your character with over 20 skills that can be acquired through reading books, and use those skills to fight monsters or craft new items.
  • Crafting and Enchanting – Explore the world looking for crafting materials, then use them to create your own products to sell or enchant, boosting stats and adding elemental attributes.
  • Robust Economy – Trade stocks, real estate, crafted items and more to rise in the player-run, capitalist economy of the game.
  • Political System –Elect town and server leaders to control the game’s market, thanks to the game’s democratic election system.
  • PvP System – Fight against enemy towns or guilds in large-scale PvP battles, or in the game’s arena.

Luminary: Rise of the Goonzu Screenshots

Luminary: Rise of the Goonzu Featured Video

Luminary: Rise of the GoonZu - Official Trailer

Full Review

Luminary: Rise of the Goonzu Review

Luminary: Rise of the Goonzu, or plain old Luminary for short, is an interesting 2D Fantasy MMORPG published by Valofe (previously IJJI). The game has hands down the best player run economies I’ve ever seen in an MMORPG, as it is entirely player controlled, but more on that later. Luminary also has a unique political system which allows players to actually own their own towns and allow ownership to be shared through the sale of stock. The game has an incredible amount of features and is certainly worth checking out, because there is just so much more to do in Luminary than simply grind. The game was developed by Ndoors, the same company that made Atlantica Online, so it’s not surprising that Luminary is as unique as it is.

Starting Out
Like a lot of other MMORPGs, character creation in Luminary is disappointing. I simply can’t understand why so many MMORPGs have such terrible character customization options, as looking identical to every other player in the server is sort of silly. Character creation in Luminary is perhaps the blandest of any MMORPG; players simply select one of the game’s four pre made avatars and then input their name. That’s it. Although character appearance doesn’t directly affect the game, it certainly enhances the game’s overall enjoyment. Perhaps I’m a bit spoiled after playing Perfect World, but I’ve always felt that character customization was an important aspect of a game. From the moment you log into the game you’ll always have something to do, as the game has an incredibly simple, yet great quest system.

Quests on the go
With so many free MMORPGs on the market, it’s hard to find a game with a genuinely ‘good’ quest system. Most games are loaded with ‘FedEx’ style quests where players simply deliver useless trinkets between NPCs, but quests in Luminary are surprisingly well setup. Well, maybe the quests themselves aren’t anything special, but the ways they’re delivered are. Most MMORPGs require players to return to town every time they complete a quest to get new ones, but Luminary actually brings the quests to you. Upon completing one of the game’s quests, you’ll immediately be presented with a new quest if one is available for you, so it’ll save you from going back and forth from town after every quest completion. The game’s quests usually consist of killing monsters, so they’re well worth completing as the experience gain makes them well worth it.

Friendly Community
Upon entering the world of Luminary, I was shown a list of in game ‘mentors’ that were currently logged into the game. I was given the choice of selecting one, so I randomly selected one and gave it a go. To my surprise the mentor I selected actually sent me a message within seconds of me choose them offering to answer any questions I had. After chatting with my mentor for a bit, he also offered me some starting gold and a weapon to kick start my adventure in Luminary. The fact that Luminary has players willing to help newbies is certainly a plus. I’m not sure if he was genuinely interested in helping me because he was a nice guy or because the game rewards mentors with rare items when their mentee’s reach a higher level, but either way, the system works.

It’s the Economy, Stupid!
The single most interesting aspect of Luminary is the game’s economy. Every single piece of equipment in the game was created by other players. Monsters and NPCs do not sell weapons or armor; they must be crafted by other players for them to exist in the game’s economy. The game’s market is the center piece for all transactions in the game. Players can unload the raw materials they collect while fighting monsters onto the market and other players will purchase them in order to craft items. The twist here is that, NPCs do not purchase items, weapons or armor from players for more than a fixed amount, which is incredibly low, so even the best weapon in the game will fetch for pennies at the NPC, so players have to participate in the game’s market. Unlike other games, loot dropped by NPCs is never useless ‘vendor loot’ which has no other purpose but to be sold to an NPC. All of the items dropped in Luminary serve a purpose and the most common purpose is crafting materials. The game’s crafting system is also extremely polished and vast, so if you’re looking for a game that offers much more than a grinding experience, Luminary is well worth checking out. One thing worth mentioning though is that the game has an incredible amount of inflation, so it’s better to hold onto rare items and equipment than it is to gold, as it loses value fast in the game.

Politics 1 – Town
Another extremely interesting feature in Luminary is the game’s political system. The game’s political system is broken down into two levels, towns and national. Every town in the world of Luminary is player controlled and can elect a town chief. The catch here though is that not everyone can vote, only the people who own shares of town are eligible to vote for the new chief. Each share of stock entitles the shareholder a single vote, whichever individual gets the most votes becomes the chief of that particular town. The chief of each town can appoint other municipal positions and has the power to set the tax rate in that particular town for bank fees, market transactions and storage fees. Each town has their own separate elections and their own stocks. Unfortunately, the only problem with this system is that the only people who have ‘shares’ of towns are the ones that started playing Luminary when it first came out, as shares were offered to everyone at a low price, but today people have to purchase them at the game’s stock market for exorbitant amounts if they can even find someone willing to sell their shares.

Politics 2 – National
Aside from town politics, players can elect a monarch, also called Goonzu, every 48 days. Voting is server wide and just about anyone can participate in the voting. The monarch’s power is enormous, as he can imprison any player on the server and send server wide messages. He also gets the authority to appoint five noblemen that have a variety of powers ranging from setting item subsidies to the purchasing price of items bought from NPCs. The monarch’s power is comparable to a GM, but they only hold office for a period of 48 days before another re-election. There are a few other game’s that employ similar ‘leader of the server’ sort of systems such as Archlord and Ace Online, but Luminary is the only one that does it in a purely democratic faction, by voting. The only problem with this system is that there are folks out there that will abuse it. People can easily make multiple accounts to try and ‘game’ the system to push additional votes toward their ideal candidate.

Final Verdict: Good
Luminary is certainly one of the most unique MMORPGs out there, as it has a strong emphasis on the game’s player run economy, but biggest drawback is the game’s dwindling population. If you’re looking for something that offers something other than a purely ‘grind based’ MMO, give Luminary a try.


Luminary: Rise of the Goonzu Screenshots


Luminary: Rise of the Goonzu Videos

Luminary Rise of the Goonzu!

System Requirements

Luminary: Rise of the Goonzu System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP/Vista/7/8/10
CPU: 800 MHz Pentium 3 or equivalent Athlon processor
Video Card: Any Graphics Card with at least 8MB and DirectX 3D Accelerator
RAM: 256 MB
Hard Disk Space: 1GB Free

Recommended Requirements:

Operating System: Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP/Vista/7/8/10
CPU: 2.0 GHz Pentium 4 or equivalent Athlon processor
Video Card: Any Graphics Card with at least 8MB and DirectX 3D Accelerator
RAM: 512 MB
Hard Disk Space: 1GB Free


Luminary: Rise of the Goonzu Music & Soundtrack

Coming Soon!

Additional Information

Luminary: Rise of the Goonzu Additional Information

Developer: nDoors
Publisher(s): NHN Corporation, Ijji, Valofe

Release Date: May 31, 2005

Steam Launch Date: March 16, 2022

Shut Down Date: May 3, 2023

Luminary: Rise of the Goonzu was developed by nDoors, a Korean game developer that also developed Atlantica Online and Asda Story. It has been published globally by more than one publisher. First, through the NHN Corporation via the Ijji network, which was then moved to the Valofe game publisher in 2012. It had experienced maintenance and patching issues with its old developer, meaning that the game became somewhat more stable with Valofe. The game was added to Steam Greenlight on September 14, 2015 with the intent of gaining a larger audience to keep the game running. Luminary eventually launched on Steam as "Luminary Online: Rise of the GoonZu" on March 16, 2022.

Valofe shut Luminary Online: Rise of the GoonZu on May 3, 2023.