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Genie In a Bottle
 
Ask JD - August 6 '99- 6:45 pm EST

I couldn't help the topic. With such overwhelming letters on the Christina Aguilera topic not to mention I was spurred by my lack of time to think of one today.

Let's return the opening to a RPG theme discussion, shall we? It's been a while since we've done that. First, I was surprised that no one wrote in about Zelda Gaiden, the follow up to Zelda 64. Yes not even one letter saying "Zelda Gaiden looks cool." You all totally ignore N64 now? Maybe that isn't such a bad thing. As much as Z64 disappointed me, it did have its merits and Zelda Gaiden looks to be, at the very least, interesting. I'd be very interested to see what, if any you all have to say about ZG for next week.

The other big RPG story this week was, Tri-Ace's Valkyrie Profile. I first remarked oh no, another Star Ocean 2, we'll get some ugly battle scenes ^_^. While I was doing the update for it yesterday and looking at the pictures, the feeling of awe overcame me. These pictures are breathtakingly beautiful. The colors are vivid, bright and well contrasted. The spells look awesome. What more can I say. This game better be translated. Like many a time this is a RPGamer first, were we try to deliver you the latest and greatest in the RPG world. If you have not seen the pictures yet, check it out at our Valkyrie Profile page. I'll be very interested to know what you readers think, next week.

 
Crystalis Animation

-Cyntalan Maelstrom

JD:
You need to have Shockwave plugin from www.macromedia.com to view this animation. Neat animation Maelstrom. Definitely brings back fond memories of Crystalis.

Note to shut off music, right click on the animation then click pause.

 
Dreamcast RPGs

Big Daddy JD,

Lately, I have been wondering about Dreamcast, and if the RPGs for it will be any good. I realize that it will cost $300 plus to bring in the system and a few good games. The only way I can get that kinda money is if I sell my Craptendo 64 and all 11 of my games. So...what do you think of the first-generation Dreamcast RPGs? By this I mean Grandia 2, Evolution, Climax Landers, Baldur's Gate, and Shen Mue. Do you think I should sell my 64 to get the money I need? Sorry I was so lengthy, but I really need this question to be answered. Thanks!

-XenoFreak

PS- Star Ocean, Lunar, or Jade Cocoon?

JD:
Finally more and more Dreamcast rpg letters comming my way. Evolution and Landers looks to be one of the better RPGs this year. It's going to be very interesting to see how Evolution fares, sales wise. The release is scheduled end of September/Early October. As far as Baldur's gate, well, frankly I don't know much about it yet, other than it was the first Online RPG announced for DC in E3. As many of you know I'm not a huge fan of Online RPGs, but we'll see. Grandia 2 looks simply incredible. It's one of the main reasons for my Dreamcast purchase.

Shen Mue....at first I gawked at it, ridiculed it, called it some Arcade Laser Disc wanna be. Hell, the first trailer had that annoying laughing geezer voice....On closer inspection, mostly after seeing it running on an actual TV screen, the words that popped in my head were WOW and "this game is awesome." The animation and art is first rate. Cinematography, no other game can compare. The question is how fun will this game be? This is the deal breaker for the Dreamcast this year, if this flops Sega is gonna be in trouble.

Lunar all the way.

 
Parasite Eve - Christina Aguilera?

Welcome back JD.

Good to see ya back. I gotta couple things to say/ask so here goes. First off, doesn't that picture of Christina Aguilera (or however you spell it) make here look like Aya from Parasite Eve. So if they ever made a PE movie... Next, you said you liked FF7 so maybe you can help me with this one. If there were to be a moral to the story, what do you think it would be? There were a lot of messages and there has to be a main idea SOMEWHERE. What are some of your favorite musical pieces from video games? I myself am partial to The Red Wings of FF4j/FF 2 us and Track 10 on the L:SSSC soundtrack disc. Is it me or does the beginning sound like "Rio" by Duran Duran? Thanks JD

-The Great Iatola (of rock 'n' rolla)

Christina Aguilera
Aya?

JD:
You know I didn't think of that. She would make a kick ass Aya for the Parasite Eve movie. They could also use her songs for the movie...Just a thought.

Favorite Musical pieces hmm.. Let's start with Square since most of you should be called as my friend would call, "squaregamers" rather than rpg gamers. :) (kidding)
I really like FF7 Reunion's -Aeris theme, FF 7 OSV - You can Hear the Cry of the Planet, FF Grand Finale - Kids run through the city corner and Relm's theme, FF Love Will Grow - FF 4 Main theme, Xenogears - Ending Song Small of Two Pieces. Oh and many FFT songs that would be too many to list.

Falcom/YS: ALL.

Lunar Arranged Volumes: Especially Lunar 1 arranged Boss fight. Iwadare is kicks.

 
YS where?

JD!!!!!!!!

DO YOU KNOW WHERE I CAN FIND YSBOOK1&2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-YS HUNTER-

JD:
Your best bet is Ebay.com. It's not exactly the greatest shopping place, but you can sometimes see YS 1/2 for the Turbo Grafx CD at bargain prices.

 
Too many problems

I felt as though it was nessecary (I can't spell kool words of nessecity...) to mail you with my opinions (you're welcome). Be ware, this is a multi-faceted letter... Violence and Sex in RPGs I'm only 15, but I consider myself an old school video-game RPG player. (I play table-top and other RPGs as well) I was overly happy with Dragon Warrior 1-4 (though overly sad about DW5+6 not being trandlated) and FF1, FF4, and FF6, as soon as I picked up m first PSX RPG, the characters were WAY too life-like, Cloud had selective Amnesia, Fei had Multiple Personalities, and I dunno what's with Dragonboy in BOF3... But I kinda liked the way good guys were perfect, Lunar:SSSC was the best balance of all of that I've seen. I want more RPGs like that with the characters having quirks, not character flaws, ya know? JD, what do you think about it? (must find a way to make it be posted on Q&A) My Problems with FFA and my love of Chrono Trigger (And my 1 prob with it) Final Fantasy Anthologies, I loved both games, I still do, but I've played them, everyone's played them, and if they haven't, they should find a way to make them fun for old players as well as new (mainly since old players are the majority of their buyers). Chrono Trigger, my fav SNES RPG, but I've played it to death, I still want to play it more, but is there a reason to but it for more than FMV scenes? *Sips some water, continues speech* My problems with JD ummm, ummm... head, hurts, cannot speak against the omnipotent JD... My problems My back hurts, and I'm getting carpul tunnel from typing while standing up...

-Darwin42 (Master of Paranthesis!!!!)

JD:
It seems to me that you have way too many problems. Check your local yellow pages for the nearest psychiatrist. They can help you I'm sure.

 
Kadamose's YS letter

Evening fellow audiophile and Falcom freak,

I've gotta agree with Kadamose regarding the spectacular music of the Ys series, but there's one part of the letter I must disagree with. Kadamose stated that companies such as Square and Konami can't compare in terms of musical composition to the wonderful folks at Falcom. Well, to be honest, I don't think those companies try to.

First off, it should be noted that music has always been a priority for Falcom, and hasn't been as much so for other companies Falcom's devotion to music is unmatched in the videogaming industry. This goes a long way to explaining why it's almost always so good. Besides, it's a matter of preference - you might like Mitsuda the most, or maybe Michiru Yamane (CV: SotN), or maybe Yonemitsu and the Sound Team JDK. Personally I prefer the last most of all (as I can tell that you do) but each composer out there has different strengths.

On a related note, I've been listening to Legend of Mana's soundtrack this last few days. Though it isn't as good as I had hoped it would be (some of Shimomura's themes in there loop far too quickly), a few of the dungeon and battle themes are simply phenomenal, and some are downright Falcom-esque. Count this as your incentive to check out that soundtrack. ^_^ I'd say the soundtrack on a whole is comparable in quality to Kikuta's Secret of Mana soundtrack, though the two are completely different. A rock arranged soundtrack of this one would be absolutely godly...but then again, this is Square were talking about...

Regarding Genso Suikoden's music I believe the name of the composer from this one is Miki Higashino. Whether he (she?) did the entire score is another matter, but I know he/she was involved with Genso Suikoden 2's music as well and wrote one song for the Ten Plants compilation, which featured Uematsu and the great Yuzo Koshiro, among others. Sorry to hear you don't like that as much, I've always considered that one of my favorites. The melodies and instrumentation are certainly unique for a videogame, and there are some truly fantastic songs on there.

Talk to ya later, and keep up the good work.

Jason Strohmaier
Total RPG Writer/Charts Editor

JD:
Well said. Though companies don't try to compare with each other, as the end listener, you can't or inevitably most of us can't help but compare different game companies' music. Just as we do with each specific game genre, likewise with game music. Rightly or wrongly I'm not sure, but I do. Just as anything, music is in the eye of the beholder I suppose. I just can't help but feel, the Falcom JDK team is more technically skilled in the way they use their instruments, or the way they weave all the sounds together. If I have one major complain with Square OSV music in the past, which I've never heard talked about...is they use high pitch instruments many a time, which is frankly annoying and not really music savvy. To each his or her own.

And everyone check out the cool TotalRpg.com site Jason works at.

Hey JD,

This is in response to Kadomose's letter in yesterday's column. Yes I do agree that Ys music is great (how it compares to FF music, I'll hold my opinion) His letter strongly praises Ys games while seriously flames FF games, without, IMO, any support. To put it bluntly, that's just plain stupid. Great! You think Ys games are the best.. why? On what do you base your statement that FF7 "should be considered trash" With your mere statement of your criticism, you do not establish anything. I am no more convinced after I read that letter than before.

However, I do have one suggestion for those who will choose to argue between Ys and FF (both in the actual game, and in the music) If you chose to praise or criticize Ys or FF music, define what you think is the style of either composer. Characterize what you think defines Uematsu's style or Yonemistu's/Falcom JDK's style, and why you think that style is better. Use specifics, and give details, because I know statements like "FF beats Ys' in every possible way, no question about it" will not only be spurned and looked down upon, but also ignored, because they shed no new light on the argument.

Anyway, I hope some people will take my suggestion, because otherwise, any arguments will seem childish, and pointless.

-David

JD:
Solid points. I expected Kadamose's letter to get some reaction, but my, it was more like a deluge. I'm not sure if it was a good thing since suddenly the good name of YS was tarnished by hordes of attacking FF fanatics. It was even more interesting that suddenly the YS fans came out of the woodwork and spoke out. For the first time in probably Q&A history. YS fans spoke out and in such loud fashion. The letter was a double edged blade that in the end I'm glad I printed. It'll be interesting to see how this discussion will play out in the comming weeks.
It must also be mentioned, it is a good thing to see a vocal Falcom/YS fan voicing out on the net, simply to increase the chances for YS 1/2 Eternal or YS 6 translation. FF fans have thousands of fanatics, I'll take one more fanatic without reservations. I personally hardly ever argue other than simply stating my opinion and hearing the other persons'. Simply because one, I don't care and two, people are set in their ways game wise.

 
More than you expected

I just have a quick question: Can you please put a new pic of Christina Aguilera on your page with each update? She can rub my genie any day.

-Andrew "Spank" Gianola

Christina Aguilera

JD:
Due to such an overwhelming response from yesterday's Christina pic, though not entirely surprising given the demographic of the readers, here is another treat. I can't promise an Aguilera picture each update, but I will try to post as much as possible without going overboard.

Sarcastic or just plain nutty?

Hey JDumbass,

I'd like you to post this (which I doubt you will and which I'm saying in hopes that you will.) Anyways though, I have a few questions for you.

1) What do you think of Pokimon Snap? I don't see why everyone seems to like it so much. It's so lame. All you do is go around taking pictures!! Personally, I'd rather play Saga Frontier... and that's just SICK!
2) How do you take your eggs? And for two questions in one... Would you like some American Pie with that?
3) People have been telling me the Final Fantasy 8 demo that comes with Playstation Magazine is hard. I beat it on my first try. Was I just lucky or are all of these people I've been talking to just idiots?
4) You like Inspector Gadget? Did you know he's *pause for dramatic effect* CANADIAN! By the way, you suck for not liking Canada :P
5) Can you PLEASE promise me you won't post anymore disturbing Richard Simmons pics. BTW, how DID you get that picture anyway? Were you present on one of his 'Cruise and Lose' trips? Heh heh heh... That's it. Please make me famous and post this ^^;;
Your Never Faithful Follower
-M-chan

JD:
How original.
1. I have not played it, but from what I've seen on the commercial, it definitely won't be a game I'd get.(Contraction Alert)
2. Uh..That's top secret.
3. The FF8 demo wasn't too hard. It was definitely more challenging than the recent FF's released.
4. Was he? Interesting. Uh...when did I every say Canada sucked? I never have. I think you mean Ryan. In case some of you still don't get it Ryan and JD aren't the same people. Get your head straight Mr. FF8 is so easy. :)
5. Hahaaa. Richard Simmons is funny. He's so retarted on the talk show circuit, though you gotta admire him for helping people. But why does he act so goofy. I got it from one of Simmons' websites. No I didn't even know there was such a thing as "Cruise and Lose" trips. Let me guess, you were on it?

 
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Ton O' Quickies

Heres some fortune cookies!!! And if your still sick..I have ways to make you feel better.. *wicked grin* Although some ways are illegeal here...heehee..
- Sil

What might that be? :D

At the risk of offending Andy (resident rpgeographer), I'd just like to point out that the name of the country is actually Canada...

Canada, Canadia, what's the difference. :)
Seriously though, for one moment only, I don't know what's up with the recent Canada bashing. Canada is cool in my book.

The fortune cookies are coming! The fortune cookies are coming! They're wearing paper hats!
-The whole gang from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"

Wee.
I don't want the idiot of the award... I just want a cookie. Is there anyway I can get a cookie with being the idiot of the day?
-JooJoo.
It's called going to the shopping market and getting your own cookies.
We don't need no education... We don't need no thought control... Teachers! Leave them kids alone! That sounds like a Tom Green episode where he harassed some teachers on strike.
JD!!! Welcome back we missed you so much.
Look I'm going out with this girl tomorrow. I need dating advice. Help. What should I do?
-Red
If you don't know what to do at this point you need serious help bro. Let's see. I hear Jack in the Box has great ambience. If a $1 meal won't impress her, I don't know what will.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not Kadamose!!!!!! We trusted you Neifirst!!! How could you do this to us???!!!???!!
-Your enemies from RPGfan
I have no enemies from that side of the pond.
The cloth map that comes with Lunar : SSSC tastes funny.
-Scott Smuda aka Slate Axeswinger
Mmmm....mmm. A little more salt and pepper and you got yourself a square meal.
American Beer: 3% Alcohol Canadian Beer: 5% Alcohol Nuff Said.
-BeerGoggles_FromMARS
I thought American Beer would be like 20%, given the lack of coherent thoughts espoused lately in this side of the globe.
Tom Green Tom Green Tom Green Tom Green Tom Green
-Tom Green #1 Fan
Uh huh.
 

So ends another week for me. I'll see you all on Monday. Peace out.
Oh and don't get your knickers in a twist, to quote an English Person.


JD send me your letters and win an Idiot of the day award or laxative coated cookies take your pick
Richard Simmons can help you!

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