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But Seriously
 
Ask JD - August 10 '99- 3:30 pm EST

After writting the column, I find myself strapped for time. I gotta jet so, just dig in the letters and enjoy. Oh and about the pictures situation more info on that on the closing.

 
Final Fantasy Makes you think

Hiya JD!

So we all know that Final Fantasy 8 is only a month away, and it's quite possible that FInal Fantasy 9 is already in the works. But it is quite known now that Square isn't just making Final Fantasy games anymore and even making somewhat corny fighting games. We also know that while Final Fantasy 7 was very cool, people are still ragging on it day and night, even years after it's release. So I have these questions:
1) What do you think the status of future Final Fantasy games are? Do you think that the game series is the king of RPG series? If so, you think that it'll remain that way?
2) Do you think that Square should down size and become a small company again so that they can please these thousands...hundreds of people that hated Final Fantasy VII because of the FMV or do you think that Square should continue to do what they are doing? Final Fantasy has become a huge name with all the gamers of the world, but it feels to me that people are saying that because we play Final Fantasy VII we are now idiots who are playing the game because Tifa has huge breasts, or just because it's Final Fantasy and that we don't know of any other RPGs out there. While I am one of the biggest Final Fantasy fans, I have been playing other games and RPGs for many years but still love Final Fantasy because it is a series that makes me think. Anyways, I'll stop now. ;)

-Eric42

JD:
1. Speculation is a hat which I usually don't wear, for this question however I'll make an exception. Clearly the Final Fantasy series is by far the most successful RPG series. How long it will remain on top remains to be seen. My view is as square tries to push the series into the mainstream sales will continue to grow, at least in North America. Whether this is good for the series or not is undecided. Most of the hard core Square fans didn't like FF 7 for that reason. They said it was too shallow gameplay wise, not enough substance, or had shallow characters compared to previous FF games. I thought the story was far better, at the very least more mature. Which is the other niche square is targeting with the latest crop of FF games. The main question is how much longer will Square continue the series, as a game like FF 15 might sound absurd or simply an over saturation of the series. I think Square will either spin the game off into a new series or change the name. It's going to be interesting to watch how the series develops over the coming years.
2. Thats a double edged sword. Square has done both incredibly and dismally with being big and small. It just depends your taste I suppose. I like the new square albeit some problems.

 
Phantasy Star V Truth or Myth

In reguards to the upcoming Dreamcast release, I was wondering if you had any information on the posibility that sega may make Phantasy Star V, or possibly even an anthology of Phantasy Stars I-IV. I believe both were planned for the Saturn, but never saw the light of day. Thanks,

-Dean Alger

JD:
Much to the dismay of Phantasy Star fans the rumor has been floating around for years. So the short answer is yes, it's only a rumor for now. The good news is, the Phantasy Star team is back with "Project Ares" for the Dreamcast. It's been much touted as one of the better RPG games to be released anywhere. What does this all mean? Well, only that the chances of a Phantasy Star V might be much more of a reality, now that the PS team is back. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

 
Langrisser

Need.... Lassigner...translations.....Warsong...addition...driving...me....crazy... Sorry abotu the crazed rambling but od you know if Lassiger Milinium will at least be translated into English... or any of the rest of them... I need more Warsong like stuff!

JD:
The bad news is Langrisser Millenium will be a hefty translation. No announcements have been made for a US release but my guess is Tommo, Atlus or Sega might do the job. I wish Working Designs would go back to Sega, so they can do the LM translation. Let's all email them asking them. ;)
 
Konami boy

Hi, I've got a few things I'm curious about.
1. What is wrong with the graphics in Suikoden 2? Simply because they are sprites does not mean it's bad. Sure prerendered is nice, but then, there aren't any secrets to the rooms, because you just can't do that with prerendered.
2. What was the point of releasing it so close to FF8? Konami must know it will be slaughtered, or maybe they just want to help combat the oncoming dreamcast, which I'm fairly convinced will bomb out within 2 years of life. (Nothing against Sega, just my opinion)
3. Why the hell isn't Konami releasing the full MGS Integral in America!? Those bastards! True, people would be paying for the full game over again, but I already sold my copy in wait of this new one. Then I find out this crap. Arg. Inanimate objects will spontaneously combust as a factor of my rage.
4. An interesting little tidbit in my strange obsessiveness of Konami, (Second only to Square) they developed the original Frogger and the Simpsons arcade game, which just kicks ass. I'm sure this won't get printed as it's too long, but thanx anyway for your time and effort.

-Don Eskridge

JD:
1. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it. The graphics look neat. It's no FF8, but it's by no means bad. It's one of the more anticipated games coming out, in my book.
2. Konami isn't thinking. They should have released it like in July. Whether it was coincidence or delay Suikoden 2 was pushed back to September 22. So it's not going into direct sales competition with FF8, at least on the first 2 weeks.
3. Uh huh.
4. Neat tidbit.

 
Jade Cocoon has voice

In response to the letter asking if any game had voice acting for the entire text of the game, well, Jade cacoon has it. Your column rules, Thanks.

-krelian

JD:
I was pretty sure Jade Cocoon has voice on it. As I haven't played it yet, I didn't want to comment. Judging from reader response on this topic 75% of the letters on JC think the voice acting is cool. The remaining 25% hate it. With so little time as of late I probably won't be trying this game out for a few months.

 
Star Ocean 2 Tip

Hey, What is your level on Star Ocean? Your at the second field, right? I was at the second field and my level for everyone was around 53... I started a new game, and am now at Eluria Tower, and my level for EVERYONE is 102-103... NO, I am not kidding I really am...

What I did was, as soon as I got Celine, I fought until I had enough money to buy the Bandit's Gloves. I was around level 25, this was before the destruction of Clik. I pickpocketed from the old guy next to the inn at Mars, he gives you a treasure chest, and the chest gives you three random items... It took a while, I saved after getting it, and I just kept going through the chest, and found some REALLY good items(i.e. Lotus Eater, Steel Helmet, Steel Armor.......)
My friend told me about this trick but if you keep going, you can get the Marvel sword, Attack: 1100!!! (When I got this, I had about six hours on the game, and everyone was over 25) Anyway, once i found this I played through the game untill i got to the Lacour Front Line. I stole the Steel Armor from the guy who sells stuff... I put that on Claude, and Blacksmithed Core Plate, from Damascus, and put that on Ashton, I also customized Ashton twice and ended up with the Holy Cross, I think it was smaller+????= Double Masher, then D. M.+????=Holy Cross... But anyway, with all of that, weapons and armor at the very best on everyone, I put Celine as my main charactor, the set Rena to heal, and set Ashton and Claude to attack, and i tapped the control stick down, and put them on the world map outside of the front line, they run in circles untill a fight, then Claude and Ashton kick but, and Rena heals, also, put paralisys checks on Claude and Rena, then you should be able to gain levels while you sleep.(cheap trick, but hey, you get really leveled up, after 36 hours of that, my guys went from 40-ish to the low 100's) Also tape the L-1 button down, so the camera moves if they get stuck on a moutain or anything like that... This trick might not work for everyone, but I got GREAT results from it...

JD:
I haven't looked at any of the Star Ocean 2 guides yet, so I don't know. Interesting trick.

 
N64 just not doing it

I need help. When I was young, my father bought me a nintendo entretainement system, that is where i got hooked on gaming, from there, i played evry RPG i could. I played ff2(usa) until my friend threw me out of his house, after, I fell in love with ff3(usa).I had to have more rpg, so i bought chrono thrigger, saw almost every ending, also there was all the zelda series and game boy snes, n64. Last winter, I bought Zelda 64, now that it is over, i don't know what to look for. As you can see, i have been fidel to nintendo all my life, but they don't have any good rpg except Zelda 64, You know how much Quest 64 was a deception for me ? Now something terrible has happened to me, I HAVE LOST MY WILL TO PLAY GAMES !!!! Please tell me that something good will come out for the N64 soon, or else who knows what i will do, I might even disconnect my N64.

-Someone who stoped believing in videogames

JD:
First of you need to stop being dependent on videogames. I think there might be a Videogamers Anonymous that you can get help from.
Now about your question, sadly the only good games I can think of are Ogre Battle, Zelda Gaiden and Earthbound64. Not much to choose from....

 
Evolution - apparently not?

Dear JD,

I completely disagree with the whole "evolution of a genre" philosophy. Ask yourself, why did we buy all those old school rpgs? Well, when I look back, it was because I was a paper and pencil role player. I enjoy a plot. Character development. The feeling that you are there. But this "evolution" in RPG's I feel is killing the industry. (at least for us old skool gamers) It seems as if the industry has lost touch with what a RPG should be. Graphics evolution is a good thing. But, when it is painfully obvious that you wasted your money on a a game that spent 10 min rehashing some plot tucked away in a file cabinet somewhere and 10 million dollars on CGI and gameplay graphics. (I am not naming any names here) That hurts my feelings. And I wanted to hear what your thoughts were on it.

-Magus Leene

JD:
Paper and Pencil Role Player, geez are you 50? (Kidding!)
I stick by my statement about evolution. Simply because the audience has changed. It's not the old RPG group that are just playing the new RPGs, it's the new group of 12-18 year olds. These new groups probably don't remember games like FF1 or have played them. Cinematic RPGs are what sells, Square and other companies know this. In the end it's all about making money, the new set of rpgs make tons of it, that's what counts, at least in the eyes of the developers/publishers. I really liked the old style, but I can appreciate the new.

Speaking of the CGI topic, I'm not sure why suddenly everyone and their mother are bashing FMV or CG's. I find them the most appropriate way of unfolding a story line. People must like those 16x10 pixels talking in plain text. Opinions?

 
Wanna be Q&A

I want to be a Q (I don't like ampersands) A guy! I was wondering HOW exactly you might go about getting someone's attention? I want to have 13 year old girls fawning over me too! PLUS, I think that I'd be good at it, and you wanna know why? Because I'm smart! But I'm very humble. I would NEVER post a picture of myself, that's how humble I am! No, but seriously, this is my DREAM job. Anyway, I guess I'll still have to lay there in bed at night, thinking of how cool it would be to be you.. UH! I mean, be Q (I already told you I hate those ampersands!!) A guy! I could do weekends! Please!! I don't.. need you.. You can leave me, but remember, "Hell hath no fury like a wo-... MAN scorned!",

-Adam "Um.. okaay.." Jennings

JD:
LOL!

 
Confused Reader

Hey JD,

Sorry to hear you wont be around (maybe now my letters will get posted!). I'm writing to you in regards to the lovely quote "One to be born of a dragon" Ahem, at first glance, you think Breath of Fire. But since I have no life whatsoever, I knew otherwise. The quote is from Final Fantasy 2/4j, it refers to the Mysidian legend about the "Sword of Legend" So where to I go to pick up my prize?

-Nomad

JD:
I don't know how difficult it is to grasp a simple concept. JD and Ryan are two different people. Ryan is leaving not I. :)

 
Sarcasm..Never

Hey JD
I have a few questions that may determine the fate of the planet (or not)
1)Since Ryan is leaving may we all shamelessly bash him?
2)How much would you pay for some explicit pics of Ryan dressed like Rydia?
4)If all the great Q&A guys who left RPGamer got into a fight, Who would win?
3)Do you detect the sarcasm in this letter?

-Luppy Luptonium
"If i had a dime for every Q&A guy at RPGamer... I would be able to melt them down to make a nice big FF7 style Sword for my JD© action figure with Kung-Foo grip"

JD:
Math wasn't your strong point I take it?
1. Only when Ryan gets his 3rd degree black belt.
2. We already get that, for free too.
4. No one, Mike the thwap Tidwell would pound us with his big stick.
3. Heavens no. Sarcasm...Your letter?....Never crossed my mind.

 
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Quickies

You said "Wack". Now I will hurt you. AND STOP POSTING REVEALING PICTURES OF ME!!
-Richard Simmons

Awww, why not? It's been so fun to post 'em.

DUDDDDDDDEEEEEE!!!!!!!!! I just walked home and found Ramsus sitting in my fav chair eating pizza so I whooped his ass and he told me you sent him!! You're next buddy!
-psychoticmonkeyspaz

Damn Ramsus for squealing on me.
 

Yesterday I asked about the picture situation. The current stats are about 50% of the readers want more female pics (ie. like Christina), 15% want more male pics, 15% want more game/anime pics, 10% want some from time to time, but not regularly, 10% don't care either way.

So for the time being no explicit real pics, until I decide on what to do. Cya all tomorrow.


JD aka cookie monster
Marilyn Manson wants you. RUN!!!

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