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   Spring is here!   

Andrew - March '16- 12:00 Central Standard Time

Yep, muddy ground, birds singing, horrible ticks, and of course, the dream of Summer Break has already begun. Damn, I gotta pull out my trampoline and take advantage of this great weather. Granted, itíd probably sink, but thatís never stopped me before!

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FAQ Etc.
What's Andrew watching this week?
The Hitchhiker. *shiver*
What's Andrew playing this week?
Xenosaga.

Men are from Mars, women are from HELL.

Hmmm... first time I actually read your column and got that "I must respond!" feeling.

First off, I'm playing Star Ocean 2 for the first time and, since I don't control the fighters at all but just focus on the casters, I'm finding the game to be loads of fun and very challenging. However, since .hack//Infection wormed it's way into my PS2, SO2 has been put on hold.

Second, Dark Crystal was a very good movie.... for when it was done! It's was better than Labyrinth in my book! *ducks the tomatoes wizzing over her head*

Now on to the REAL reason why I'm writing this! (Yes, there IS a real reason, it wasn't just to chew you out for calling Dark Crystal a bad movie. :) )

The worst RPG moment that ever happened to me (actually it happened to my boyfriend, I was just the mechanism of woe ... most girls are actually... girls and siblings are the bane of any male gamer *wink*) took place at my boyfriend's house. We both bought Legend of Mana at the same time, and I had brought my memory card over to play one of my files with him. Well, when it came time to save, his card was in slot one (raise your hand if you can see where this is going) mine was in slot two and our characters and pets looked very similar. Yup, I saved a new game over his 60 - odd hours of gameplay. I felt really bad, but at least it wasn't like the time that I forgot he was on the other end of the phone and left him on hold while I continued to play FF6 for about a half hour.;) ( In case you're wondering, we'll have been dating for four and a half years come May. I guess he can tolerate having a hard-core gamer girlfriend. :) )

Thanks!

- Karistra Silverwood

By the way, it's been proven that girls are evil. There's a website out there if you want the math. *big cheesey evil grin*

Andrew:
Hmm...first time I read one of your letters and got a ďIíve got to answerĒ, kinda feeling.

1. Good on you for not being a conformist butt plug! Fight the power, play games the way you want!

2. This is true. Just like how Voltron and Zelda were good shows. ďWell EXCUSE me, princess!Ē

3. Girls are only evil because men donít realize how cool they are when they talk about pokemon and hitch up their oversized pants. Now, if youíll excuse me, Iíve got a girlfriend who needs her daily supply of freshly cut pink roses.

 
SD stands for super-deformed, or Dan Rathers.

Greetings Andrew,

Okay, so I have a bit of a dilemma. I could either get a GBA SP in a few months, or wait even more months and get a PS2. Problem is, I allready have a GBA...it's barley used, only have 3 games. I don't use it much because I CANNOT STAND THAT @#&$^@ing screen... not to mention I'm afraid to take it anywhere because I don't trust my pocket and it's screen.

So...should I

1. Go for the GBA SP and multiple GBA games

2. Go for the PS2 and a memory card and one game

3. Screw both of them and just buy more GBA/GC games...maybe some (somewhat) better speakers for my poor comp while I'm at it. (these freaking things don't even have volume control)

Also, I heard that EB is doing a trade your GBA in for $49 towards a SP, any truth to this? If so, I doubt I'll be able to withstand the SP...

-SDHawk

Andrew:
Hmm. Go for the PS2. More games, itíll last longer, there are quite a few cheap old games that are a hoot to play. And hell, if that EB rumor IS true, Iíll be picking mine up a lot sooner then I thought.

 
Lousy leveling up.

Andrew,
My biggest tale of woe in an RPG happened recently. I was playing BOF5, and using a level-up trick. See, you fight one battle against 8 people just after a save point. The obvious technique is to morph into a dragon, ignore the D-Counter, (Which ends the game at 100%) D-Charge and kill all of the people in a turn, and get an incredible stash of EXP. Then 'give up' and go to your last save (Just before the battle) which moves your D-Counter back to whatever it was.

Normally, the problem is that you lose all but 5 heal potions and a save-token. However, you keep all of the EXP you earned. Level up, save, repeat. Then, when you are ready, sell any extra weapons (which you don't lose by restoring), buy a load of healing items, face the fight, and go on through the game much stronger.

Sounds smart, right? But before that there is a skill you can learn by killing three tough enemies. I decided to level up a bit in the way just stated, and then, before saving, go get the skill. Then I could save and have the skill for the battle. I followed the plan, fought all three enemies alone, and won. However, this took a while, and I was frustrated to learn that I had accidentally saved before going to get the skill.

Now, rather than try it all again, I decided to try and fight the 8 enemies at my current levels. I beat them, beat the next two bosses, and felt really tough. However, I had no money, my healing items were gone, I could not appraise the cool new weapon I got, and my characters were all on the verge of death.

Now the good part- I restored, leveled up for two hours or so, followed my plan the right way, found a way to get extra money, fought the fight, and won easily. The moral to the story- next time, find a way to kill a shopkeeper to get infinite healing items and breeze through the game.

--Ewcoolio
"PAY!? I don't think so!"

Andrew:
Ah, in an age where save points are always right around the corner, we are compelled to risk our time and characters in mindless bloodlust runs through games. Since Iím a big fan of leveling, Iíve never really had trouble with juggling my money, other then wondering how Iím holding all of those gold coins.

 
Xerosí letters always need to be swear checked half dozen times, so what I leave in must be &$&!#$^@ gold!

Yo,
When I read about people saying that guns in RPGs just aren't realistically portrayed in terms of deadliness, I've always agreed. But when you think about it, almost every goddamn weapon is lethal to humans. Would you survive a vigorous katana slash at close range, or a mighty spear-poke in the face? No way, you'd piss all your blood right there. Humans are fricking weak, or fricking "ingenious" for making so many deadly weapons to be used against their own kind. So, when you play games just don't worry about the effects your actions would have in real life, because everything you see and hear is relative to that fictional world. A goddamn telephone could kill you with a well placed blow on the nose.

~Xeros89

Andrew:
Well...in theory, most RPG heroes are wearing invisible armors and such, which we can assume offer some protection, but yeah, with RPGs, youíve got to maintain a whole lot of disbelief to enjoy yourself.

 
Sony Memory Cards can take three nuclear blasts and still keep ticking, but will instantly wipe your data if you have an Xbox in the room.

Hey,

With all the talk about horror stories with RPG's I think that I will throw my two cents in. I of course have the prerequisite story with the 3rd part huge mem cards. That ended horribly with a pocket knife going through the LCD. The worst story was this. I used to go over to a friends house all the time to play games on the playstation. Taking my sony card with me of course. Well one of the return times I forgot to take it out of my jeans and didn't play for a little while. Laundry day came and imagine my horror when I pulled my clothes out of the washer and noticed that little gray card at the bottom of the washer! After the shock wore off and figuring I had nothing to lose I opened the card up and sponged the water out with a Q-tip. I then set the card out still apart and let it dry for a day. When I put it together the next day and tried it with crossed fingers I was amazed! It worked! I didn't lose my 70 hours in FF tactics or the 50+ in Star Ocean 2 or any of the other hundreds of hours in other games. Sony really made those cards well.

On to an actual question though. do you know of any where to write to get some games that we may want to the states? I am talking about games like Shining Force 3 that where released in Japan but we either didn't get it or only got the first part. With Sega doing the rereleases of games on the GC I see no reason why we couln't get Shining Force 3 here and get the whole story this time.

Thanx for the read and keep up the awsome job,
Noasdi

Andrew:
Iím guessing youíd write in to Sega itself, and Iím sure you can find an email address to someone helpful on their site. Iíd love it if they ported over Shining Force 3, but something tells me that that gem is lost to the ages. *sigh* One of the few games to ever have centaurs playing a big role...

 
Right after reading this, I went and played another few hours of Xenosaga. Yeah, I know it was meant to make me crack the CD in half. Go figure.

Andrew. Seriously. You don't KNOW how much of Xenosaga is still in front of you. You may not want to go through with this.

I must say I love the story. Note I did not say I love the game. I hate the game. As a game, Xenosaga is outdated and painful. The plotline, well, color me a Xenogears fan, but I'm into it. That's the only reason I'm subjecting myself to this. The battle system HURTS. Everything takes forever, is completely uninteresting, and awfully frustrating. This should have just been a DVD movie. Yeah, I know, if I bitch this much I should stop playing... but it's actually fun when you're not... you know... doing RPG things like exploring. Then it's... hell incarnate. BUT IT'S OKAY BECAUSE I HAVE MY VAPORIZER PLGUgvknbn okay sorry. Anyways:

WARNING: Possible incredibly mild spoilers and lots of irrelevantly bolded text ahead!

But seriously. You think the "save MOMO" bit is excruciating? Did you escape Pleroma yet? If so, I'm sure you writhed when Albedo appeared. However, the truly painful part is still coming. How would you -- yes, you, my lucky friend! -- like to spend at least three hours stuck inside a nonsensical and painfully long dungeon area that is absolutely filled with incredibly annoying and almost unavoidable Gnosis encounters every single step of the way that just seems to go on forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and just when you think it's over you're in another place that looks exactly the same but oh look these Gnosis look like dinosaurs! and then just when things can't get any worse the most predictable and inane plot twist occurs which precedes a painfully banal boss fight that goes on WAY too long (like all of them) and then everything you just did the last four fricking hours is tossed casually away on the winds with no further explanation at which point KOS-MOS DOES SOMETHING THAT INVALIDATES THE FACT YOU JUST SUFFERED THROUGH THAT DUNGEON (as usual, because you know KOS-MOS, she always has a convenient and crazy gadget that Shion is TOTALLY UNAWARE OF) and you are treated to the reward of hearing Allen talk more.

A tip to make things less painful: as soon as you can, buy the accessory (I believe it's on sale in the Elsa) that prevents "Phys Def Down." Before you reach the end of Cathedral Ship, make sure all three of your fighting characters have extracted the Skill from this accessory (it's only, like, 30 SP). It will make things much happier. Oh, and if you value your controller, don't use Shion or MOMO. Ever. At least in this area...

Hmmm... I'm sorry. Maybe knowing that as soon as you hear a character say "Cathedral Ship" you should enter a fetal position and prepare for an endless mind-numbing dungeon is actually worse than blissfully stumbling through it thinking the end is somewhere around the next corner...

But that's okay! Because guess what? The next one is even worse!

WOAH long and pointless rant. Sorry dude. But regardless, I thought I should give you the heads-up that the 30-minute-cinema/10-minute-town/500-hour-dungeon/4-hour-boss pattern does not ever let up.

Betty! Sodium chloride! IT'S ALL SO MYSTERIOUS! AHAHAHAHAHHA okay sorry, sorry. These will trigger alarm bells in a few days or weeks.

Andrew:
Well, I havenít hit the point of Xenosaga that broke your brain yet, but rest assured, Iím sure Iíll get there soon. In the meantime, thanks for the amusing rant of suffering, and be sure to write in again, ya hear?

 
Who says that the higher powers donít strike out at evil?

When Final Fantasy IV was out as II on the SNES, I got stuck hopelessly at the fight with baigan, so I got pissed, couldn't leave via the water way because I had no items, and I was under leveled, that was in 1991, the year my first super Nintendo bit a 12ga slug through its circuit board.....

Years later, when I became computer literate, and got a windows machine, and stopped using the c128 my father had from work, I decided to download the ROM, seeing how I still had the original cartridge, and again the same damn thing happened, ran out of items, damned if I do, damned if I try to run away. then, after this fiasco, I decided to get the Japanese ROM, and patch it so id get the porno mag, well I got all the way to kainazzo, and at last I would retake baron castle, once again I got myself screwed into a hopeless situation. 1997

well chronicles finally came out, and I was determined to beat this game that had given me all this trouble, I beat baigan, and kainazzo, ahh now it was time to leave this forsaken castle and move on to the dark elf, finally there, finally fighting the dark elf, I had his down to 200, almost beat him, sigh, my SPX froze, and I said no big deal, no big deal, I saved it, well my first party memory card was corrupt, and I had to buy a new shell for my PSX because the lid would close no more. That was right after it came out.

To this day I have yet to even touch this game again for its evil manner. Well, I know that was a real stupid story, but at least my woe was not at the cost of my sibling, for she knows far too well I suffer from extreme game rage.

-Lord Necron

p.s. I also twisted my PSX dual shock controller in half and was able to repair it with solder, aluminum staples, and super glue.

Andrew:
Thatís awesome. I keep picturing this skeleton king in his foreboding castle, and year after year failing to get through FF4 because of really stupid screw ups. You really outta to finish FF4, especially if youíve been attempting to for so many years. At the very least, itíd stop your minions from making fun of you every time you turn around.

 
Final Fantasy 4 hates you.

Hey Andrew. Sorry this is late but I was inspired by so many others misfortunes that I just had to sharemy own. And no, it doesn't involve evil family members or cords, just aging equipment. One of my most favorite RPG's of all time is good ol' FF2 (or FF4, call it what you will). My older brother bought it when it had first came out and when I was yet a wee lad and he banned me from playing it until he was finished. I suppose it had to do with the younger sibling issue many have, I have forgiven him. Well when I had aged I desired to play this masterpeice once again and went on a valient search in oreder to find it. At this point it was quite rare and I searched high and low for that little gray rectangle. Finally, after the penny pinching and many trips to various used video game stores I found a copy. It was a happy day I pushed that sucker into my SNES and turned the power on. Well, as it turns out, since the game was so ageing the chip or whatever that stores the saves on the cartrige was correded so that if I were to breath on it or look at it funny it would erase all the saves on the cartrige.

This was certainly heartbreaking but I was determined so I began to play with a passion. Afterevery playing session I would put the SNES under lock and key so that my infernal sisters wouldn't remove FF2 in order to play Tetris. Well after about a week I had traversed much of the game and was nearing the end. I saved and got up to turn it off when my foot slipped on the floor and I ended up kicking the SNES, causeing the game to instanly freeze, along with my breath. In a panic I turned the system off and then on again and sure enough the save was gone.

Let's just say the next day I returned the game to the store I bought it from and with the money I gotfrom the return bought a new controlled to replace the one that felt my rage and a new game.

Andrew:
Itís odd how Final Fantasy hasnít been able to stand up to the ages. Iíve never had any trouble with my games, sans the ones I rent, which usually have someoneís initials craved into the CDs. Iíll get you yet, Blockbuster! You and your little mascots too!



Quickies

Tomm, two days ago: "So that's 2 years between Japanese releases if we hear about XS tomorrow. "

Website, yesterday: Oy!

Tomm, today: "Well, at least I found it before someone else made me look stupid."

-Tomm

If it makes you feel better, and it shouldnít, thatís a really stupid title for the second game.

Jim Henson did NOT voice Jen.

http://us.imdb.com/Title?0083791

Trust me, if Jim Henson voices someone, you know it. Did you ever hear him in an interview? TheKermit-the-Frog voice is his natural speaking voice.

~todd

It was a JOKE, Mr. Todd Amish.

You can get back out of Potos, no problem. Just do the same trick you used to get in. It's not hard.

I donít know man...itís pretty hard to back out on old mary jane...oh! You mean in Secret of Mana! Oh yeah, haha! Thatís easy!

7 is a number.
---
Haero

Yeah, and I bet Texas isnít really its own country. Pssh.

The Final Grumble:

You should all be outside.

Next Weekís topic is-Following the grand tradition of me pulling new topicís out of my butt without considering if theyíre good or not, Iíd like for you guys to send in your fondest memories from Q&Aís past. Bring up your favorite old hosts, hilarious questions about ages past, and donít forget to provide freaking links. Now if youíll excuse me, Iíve a kite that needs flying.

Andrew "All partied out" Duff

Lets all send Google letters asking if the curtains match the carpet!

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