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Oh yes, today's column won't be pretty. As any, I'll answer my share of questions. I'll laugh and cry(well, sorta) with my intelligent readers and writers, I'll give advice, I'll shave a few sheep out of nervous habit. But things are about to get quite ugly, for me and others, as today I'm about to blow open ookii dirt on people. So I'll ask my loyal readers to bear with me, thick and thin. It's going to be a royal mudbath.

I was really hoping to let the Thor-printing-nasty-flame-of-me incident die after Saturday. I had my brief say, started to believe he was sincere about only trying to help, and looked forward to moving on.
Then, late last night in a fairly well known and open Internet Relay Chatroom, I came across this:
[CyberThor] Hehe, man
[CyberThor] Michael is screwing up bigtime ;)
[CyberThor] Like 80% of letters wishing me goodbye actively pleaded that Michael wouldn't take over. Today, Michael announces he will take over... after two pages of "hilarious" Read-esque banter with himself! :D
[CyberThor] Reid, even.
[CyberThor] He follows that with,
once again, hinting that me
printing a flame (and defending
him) was all some kind of evil
scheme
[CyberThor] "I don't know, his intentions might have even been 100% pure"
[CyberThor] Way to get over with the fans o_O
(this wasn't quite everything)

Well, Thor. Maybe my memory serves me wrong in you telling me only three or so people flame me...or does that comprise "80%" of people who truly wished you goodbye? If so, you're on harder times than I thought. If not, you really need to work on your lying/butt smooching skills, as it looks like they're starting to wear thin.(And yes people, those are genuine IRC logs. I replaced < and > with brackets, to avoid passing it off to the browser as html. Ask anyone who was there.)

What's that, you say? Oh! You didn't know I was in the channel, watching you and your sycophant friends rip apart the little self esteem I had so your own insatiable ego wouldn't be threatened by a semi-competent worker who, unlike you, actually does columns himself,without buttloads of help and answers from friends(I won't get into that, unless people really ask me for the details). Or maybe that same narcissism of yours prevented you from considering the presence of people who [gasp]weren't quite polishing your boots with their tongue, and the fact that Dalnet #square is a public chatroom where me, and others like me go from time to time. Who would guess!

But I wouldn't worry, if I were you. I'm sure scores of people hate me after this, perhaps even the rest of the staff, and my self confidence right now is far too low for me to care or be much of a threat. And when you return you'll have your usual parade of brainless suck-ups(yes, the few I've met are indeed quite brainless) to throw roses at your feet. Me, I'm content with my population of intelligent supporters with whom I can actually have mentally stimulating dialogues, however large or small they may be(different Q&A guys get different feedback, it seems). You brought this on yourself, Thor, so enjoy.

Enough about us, let's give writers their due attention. To balance my little rant off, I'll be happy to print a flame or two of me down below. One last thing - I won't be taking over full time after all; there'll be a 3-day rotation between me, Ryan and Jeff. Ryan goes tomorrow, so you'll be sending your letters to him.

 
Square's path
Hi Michael.

OK, a serious question. Is Square going with Dreamcast or Playstation 2? All the rumors I hear point to PS2, but maybe you have some hard facts. I need to know which system I'm going to buy first.

Incindentally, I thought of something while writing this letter. I may or may not purchase a DC or a PS2, but I will for certain purchase the next Nintendo. Why? Zelda, Mario, Donkey Kong, etc. Must be nice to have some sure-fire big sellers titles built in to your company. Now only if Square would go back to Nintendo. *sigh*

Keep up the good work.

Todd

Michael: I think they experimented/are experimenting with the Dreamcast development kit. I'm 99.9% sure, however, that their major plans are for the PS2 - FF9 for certain, possibly Crono Trigger 2. Since the latter is still somewhat in the rumor circle, if it is finished it's only logical to assume the PS2 will be out by its planned release. That being the better system, I don't see why Square wouldn't stick to their principles and go with that.

Square going back to Nintendo would be suicide, and it'll probably never happen. All Nintendo did was censor and cut the edge off most of their games, and it seems like they're turning their back to RPGs.

 
the value of 2D
hi.

i just wanted to say that 2D games can definatly be a success as long as they are done well. The key is to have a lot of charater development so you still want to keep playing. Wild Arms is a perfect example. I probably had more feelings for those characters than the ones in final fantasy VII, and in my opinion, the game was just as good as it or xenogears.

-artie (yes, the purple mutant)

Michael:

Wild Arms, as good as Xenogears?! Ack...okay, I won't get started. It wasn't the graphics about Wild Arms I despised, it was the general lack of originality, annoyance of the battle system, and extreme shallowness of plot and villains. The three main characters I liked, but that's about it.

Oh yes, your purpose was to get my agreement on 2d success, not hear my tirade against Wild Arms. I'll re-emphasize my agreement by stressing that while FF7 was great, FF4 is still my favorite, and unless FF8-9-X bring forth something earth shattering on the scale of Xenogears, it always will be.

 
Where's your towel today?
Greetings, Micheal of Greenhut

Congrats on not sucking on the letters column.

As an inane rerun of MST3K runs in the background, I step from my closet Universe to ask of thee some questions.

1) Is Brave Fencer Musashi the first Square game to use the word "Turd?"

Being childish is one thing, but this is Square, not WD. I would have expected at least "pooty," or "poo-poo" from these genuises of the industry. (No sarcasm meant in that comment."

2) What is the obsession with Cheerios? Why are they so popular? They don't have a flavor. I suspect the Grain Mafia is in charge.

3) Not a question, but mildly relevant. In Super Mario RPG, Mario is also mute, but carries the pantomime to the next level, actually telling the story by costume changes and the like.

Keep up the Good Work, you hoopy frood, you.

-Arthur Dented 42

Michael:
1) That I remember, yes. 'Turd', more childish than 'poo-poo'? I don't remember my peers and I ever using the latter beyond kindergarten. The former, grown beer guzzlers still drawl. In retrospect, you may have a point...

2) Exactly, Cheerios are a fine match for J. average American. Tasteless. (though I'm sure some cheerio fans are cool, just misguided)

3) Duly noted.

I'll certainly try to keep it up, provided I'm not flogged after this column, and the odds of me worming out of that fate aren't very good this time.

 
Velius troubles
Hey Michael -

To respond to the one guy having trouble on Wiegraf/Velius, here's a dirty trick if you're patient... The Squire class has a skill called "Yell". It increases your speed. While fighting Wiegraf, consistently run away from him and keep Yelling every turn until your speed maxes out. You'll end up getting close to 10 turns to his one. Kick the crap out of him, your speed will hold over to the Velius fight, kick the crap out of him, and you're done.

Making an extra save before going in is -smart-... I didn't, first time around, and ended up having to start the game over, which was as fun as a kitchen full of badgers.

Mike

Michael:

Thank you one, thank you all. Any having trouble with Velius, feast your eyes here as I end the dilemma(and hopefully discussion). Ninjas work pretty well also, my roommate was somehow able to kill him in one attack from a more or less master Ninja.

 
And the pendulum swings...



Your worse then Josh Ried. Quit and spare us the misery of reading your column.

Michael: For the record, I thought Reid was pretty good. He got a little carried away sometimes, but nothing all that terrible. If this is the sort of rabble I have against me, I'm wondering why I made such a fuss.
 
a Hardware problem?
Big M,

Seeing as how the new Nintendo system is going to use a chip based on the Macintosh G3 Power PC chip (RISC is better so it would seem. The PSX2 and new nintendo system are gonna use 'em both!!), does this mean that i could run its games on a mac? or am i just being stupid?-- seeing as how the OS might mess everything up... i think......

--Arakageeta

Michael:
I'd tend to doubt it, but I don't know. Mac hardware/support isn't my forte. Anyone who can help him, please do so via the link.
 
Good intentions?
OK, two things:

1.)I really truly loved Thor's column's, I did, adn I don't think anybody seriously expects you to rush in and it'll be like nothing changed, welll except for the name, but hey...I've read some of your columns before...between you and Thor it's a wonder I ever got to sleep (stupid AOL...kick me off, busy signal HUH?!? :::grumble:::) and you're good, It'll just take time...you know kinda like when your 3rd aunt dissapears and they replace with a robot, that sorta thing. But your good, damn good, soldier, and don't you forget it! Anyways, I look forward to reading your columns. cheers! Now for the question...

2.)I want to know what you think about Atlus' upcoming game "Thousand Arms". Do you think it has potential? What about the different little...um..things, like the dating sim in it? Do you even know what I'm talking about? And most importantly, do you were your sunglasses at night?

Well,
Good luck, old bean!
-Don "I'm scared and the wolves are after me" McIntyre

Michael: 1) Thanks, for um...saying I'm a robot of your aunt? Eh, you know what I mean. :)

2) Features like the dating sim would be great, as long as they aren't the sole focus of the game in place of solid story, character development and gameplay. Azure Dreams is an example of such a failure(though I kinda like it, I've only known one other out of dozens who can tolerate it).

I haven't started wearing sunglasses, but after this column I may have to. It's the least of the witness protection program requirements.

 
SD3 response

In May 16's Ask Michael column, someone asked "why can't I control all 3 characters at once in SD3" or something to that effect. I thought this person might like to know the trick I use to cast spells with all 3 characters at once:

Switch control to whichever character you have who can cast spells fastest (this will probably be Charlotte if you have her) Press X to open the ringmenu, then press L or R to switch to the ringmenu of one of the CPU-controlled characters. Select their spell and target, then immediately press X again (while they're in their spellcasting animation) and choose the spell of your other CPU-controlled character. Finally, while both CPU characters are casting their spells, select a spell for your main character to cast. All 3 characters are now casting their spells at once, and the spells will complete and fire off in rapid sequence.

An even simpler trick: If you only need to cast 1 spell, make sure the person you are directly controlling doesn't cast it! For example, I have Kevin/Monk, Duran/Gladiator and Angela/Delvar and am controlling Kevin. I need to cast the Monk's "Heal Light" spell. Instead of just casting the spell, I press SELECT so I am controlling Duran or Angela, then press X to open the ring, press L or R as appropriate to get at Kevin's spells, and have him cast the spell. That way I can continue fighting (as Duran or Angela) while Kevin is casting the spell. On the other hand, if your main character is casting a spell, the 2 CPU characters tend to stand around idle, since they only attack when you attack.

Michael: Another solution posted, mini-Q&A quest ended. Until all the people who miss today write in asking me the same thing next week. Ah well, a moment's rest.
 
perky?
-cry- i'm gunna miss thor! -sorry had to add that-

But anyway! hiya new guy! -hug-, best a wishes on ure ability to sastify the customers ^_^ oka now on to my email lol:

1) Why is everyone SOOOO set on Erghiez (spelling) being an rpg?? i swear! lol on my homepage i have a splatter wall and people ask me questions/leave comments about games (synce i'm an addict hehe) and they always complain about it! ugh! it's not an RPG people! lol

2) Anyone play Legaia and actually beat the game WITHOUT using a gameshark? lol i shure couldn't -email: felocity_33@hotmail.com to rub it in my face hehe-

3) Finally! I've never played CT or E.T. or uhm any classic games i just recently got interested in RPGs so i can't find any relevancy in those letters BUT! i'd like to say that as far as i can tell an RPG is categorized and exemplified by the PLOT LINE! not the graphics! lol i thought i needed to get that across

Sorry for long letter! may the force be with u! (got my tickets! lol) --BeCCeRs (roxy_freefall_v2.0) ^_^

Michael: Yes, she is female. At least her e-mail says so.

1) Simple - FF7 appeal. Also responsible for 75% of its sales, I'm betting. The quest mode is an excuse most readers push, but as we know Tobal had one also.

2) Er...I should hope so. If not, get me the next flight as far from the states as possible. A mail plane would do nicely.

3) Well...ah, it's actually the gameplay and character building that really separates RPG from adventure, but we use plot as the factor. We should really be RPGAmer, the upper A for adventure.

Someone get me a sample of her breakfast.

 
...And her breakfast.

Oi, Mike, (Greenhut, Greenhut, Greenhut!!!! AHH!!!! I'm so horrible with names, be happy I get your first name right....) dearest.....sorry about the name thing...Eh... (no I don't know your mom...uh...I don't think I do..[course I don't do much thinking anyway])

Oooh ooh ooh!! I have a question!! A video game which anime lovers(such as myself) may be interested in has been brought to my attention. It's called Tenchi Muyo! and it's for the SNES....It's a game version of the anime Tenchi Muyo! (weeell duh...) and unfortunately was never ported to the US. I've seen screen shots of it (althought I'm not sure where..hmm) and it seems to have really nice graphics. I was wondering if you could dig up something on it and put it in the games section? Pleeeaaase? Thankyou for at least reading my letter!!

~Katt "Make fun of me and I'll repair you" Chuan (It's a Breath of Fire 2 joke....)

PS. *kisses Mike* I luv you!! :)

Michael: Yeow! I'm not worthy, I'm not wor--(oof!) Hey, don't degrade yourself about your thinking. Besides, I'll look like more of a hypocrite. :/

We'll certainly look into it. Won't we, guys?


guys?


hey, don't drag me out the door yet, I know I'm in for it but at least let me--
(gaaaah!)

 
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Michael's mirror

Major correction to yesterday: It's Lufia III for the color GB, not Lunar.

Lots of feedback about Darwin. Comically, it was a rough 50/50 split, so I came up with a compromise. I'll only post the good ones, if and when I get them. If I get something side-splitting every time, I'll print them every time. If not, I'll only print them when they are.

I hope that, despite all the dirt I threw, I managed to at least feign a proper column attitude today. Even if I am down from all this, I try not to leak it onto the readers.

Farewell, for now. I undoubtedly crossed the line today, and more. So if you don't see me again, you'll know why.

Shadow Zero Attack Mega! Michael "dead sushi mystery" Greenhut

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