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Andrew - December 22 '02- 3:00 Central Standard Time

Told you itíd be big, didnít I? Oh and Gilbert. Hi.

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First question is...an advertisement?!

Lunar is like my bible, I love it and keep up with it constantly. But...Lunar Legend slipped right under my nose. Hell, I even work at EB and I didn't notice it come in the shipment. But, yea, Lunar Legend is out to buy on GBA, as of like 12/12 or so. It's a badass new variation on the old TSS and SSSC story, with lots and lots of changes. Like you said, can't go wrong with Lunar as far as old school RPGs goes, and this is a good refresher of the 'old school' genre. Just felt the need to spread the word, because no one else I know noticed either---they really should do more advertising or whatever.

Andrew:
While browsing my local GameStop, I couldnít help but notice Lunar Legend, and three things caught my eye about it.
1. It clearly showed Alex and Luna singing at the Burg festival.
2. The box proclaimed that new quests had been added especially for the Game Boy Advance version.
3. The game looks to be totally redone AGAIN.
So yeah, consider this my personal endorsement for all of you to run out and buy Lunar Legend, if only because I loved the first two games, and have a personal dream to one day voice act for Working Designs. I can be the evil warlord with the fairy garden!

 
More stories about how you all suck.

Hi, this is Ewcoolio. I have one bad rpg experience and 1 good one.
1. I was playing final fantasy 9 and I had been spending hours on the chocobo side-quest. I had just found tons of rare items at chocobo lagoon and used them to open the last 3 chests, but I forgot to save. I was heading back to the chocobo lagoon to get lots more items when I got into a random battle- one with a monster I had not fought before. I thought I was winning when he did some weird spell/ability that killed all my characters at once. I was ticked.2. On final fantasy 5, I had just got the airship and was flying around to new places when I got into a random battle. Some strange machine-looking thing (can't remember it's name) started attacking, so I just attacked with my knight. BTW, I had a team of a knight, a ninja, a white mage, and a blue mage. The knight did 0 damage. At first I thought the system was messed up, so I attacked with my ninja. 0 damage. I barraged the thing with spells from my mages. 0 damage. I thought I was going to die, seeing my white mage was at 3 health, when I used the last ability in my arsenal- and it worked. I used the ??? ability that my blue mage knew. Turns out, it does damage to a target equal to the damage one char has taken. However, it did not do much. Then I tried my ninja's throw ability- it worked with the shuriken items, but did not do much, but after a nearly 1-hour battle, I won and got tons of exp. Ever since then, blue mages have been my favorite chars.
---Ewcoolio

Andrew:

1. Call me crazy, but I bet all your characters had levels that were multiples of 4, right?
2. I like the idea of blue mages, itís just that theyíre always pulled off in such crummy ways. Why wait to get their best spells by being pummeled to death by scary monsters when you could just level up for other characters to get their best attacks?
Still, I like how Final Fantasy 5 included an enemy that took real strategy to kill.

 
Nigh impossible request for help? Sure, Iíll print it!

Andrew;
Two of three years ago SquareSoft released a wonderful holiday rendition of the Final Fantasy quest theme. I really loved that piece. I downloaded it and played it even in July. A few months later, I experienced something weird: My computer seemed to think that I had four hard drives (one was installed, and, yes, I understand partitioning.). At the time I thought it was a virus, so I used FDISK on the offending apparitions. Needless to say I lost EVERYTHING, including the beloved SquareSoft holiday MP3. The link that I still have for the file on SquareSoft's servers is broken. I even contacted them via e-mail, and they say they don't have the file anymore. I really would like help finding that file! Dare I offer a reward?
-Wesley

Andrew:
Well, good luck Wesley. I now leave this in the hands of my most capable readers. If you know anything about this song people, please, send it in.

 
Chocobo breeding. The most annoying way to become powerful enough to level cities.


Not sure if you're doing the whole "Worst RPG" experience thing a second day in a row, but I have one that almost made me break the controller in half with wild, feminine rage.
I was playing FF7, and was almost at the end, so I decided to go breed some Chocobos, so I could get the Knights of the Round materia. It was working out very nicely, and I finally came to the point where I had to breed the black chocobo and the nice yellow chocobo. But I didn't get a gold chocobo. So I raised their stats to maximum, double checked everything, and tried it again. And again. And again. At one point I was going to give up, because nothing was worth the agravation. But I had a vendetta against the game by then.
It took me three friggin' weeks to finally get that chocobo. I nearly wept with joy.
However, I nearly killed my friend when he got it the first time he tried.
Laura

Andrew:
Hehe. I had no problem getting several gold chocobos. I had more of a problem racing against the man in the Mexican hat. Well, until I learned the stamina trick and made him eat Chocobo pie. This probably should have been my tipoff towards Final Fantasy 8, what with an enemy that keeps up with your stats. If I had known, perhaps I could have saved us from such horror...
DAMN YOU SQUARE! WHY?! *sob*

 
Life in the boyís dorms. *whip crack*


You asked for us to send in our worst RPG stories, so I thought I'd send mine.
My story takes place durning my junior year of high school. I went to a math/science boarding school, and as such, all the students traded things back and forth. In my case, I burned CDs in exchange for borrowing a Playstation.
At any rate, I spent a decent chunk of the semester working on Xenogears, but it came time for finals. I tried to balance studying for finals and playing Xenogears, but I found the last boss to be a bit harder than expected. So, I decided to spend the time studying that I would spend leveling up for my run on the last boss. I figured that I would polish off the game after winter break when I could afford to spend the time. However, when I got back from break, I found that my friend had flunked out of the Academy, and had taken his memory card with him.
I hope this has never happened to you, especially for a game as long as Xenogears. Also, I wanted to say that you've turned into a really good host. You've mellowed out a lot from the initial weekend. Now, you're more witty and less downright mean. Keep up the good work.
--Akajin

Andrew:
Well first off, seeing as my math/science skills are painfully sub-par. I donít think I would ever end up in such a school. And lucky for me, I found the second disc of Xenogears too boring to continue through anyway. Hooray!
As for the column, I havenít gotten any less mean, the letters have just become better.

 
Damned Cutrabbits and their mystical talking swords!

To your wretchedness,
As a member of a legion of nitpicky, lifeless internet zombies, I am destined to point out your awful "Except - Expect" error at the end of the last column. I told you the perfectionist cutrabbit would get you. I was wrong, must've been those ruthless chobits... (whatever they might be)...
On a more related note, I don't see a problem with censoring in RPGs. So what if we don't get to see something we could just as easily see on TV? I'm not crying, is anyone else?
Also, have you ever heard of the Sega Saturn release of Suikoden 1 (released only in Japan)? It had all kinds of extras, including added scenes, mini-games, and a better intro. Am I the only one who thinks that would make a awesome GBA release?
-Masamune

Andrew:
1. Thanks for pointing that out.
2. Well, I wish they had included the porn magazine in Final Fantasy 4 Oh well...
3. As my good friend Google once told me, you could apply this to basically any game on Saturn. She also claims that the Saturn was much more popular in Japan then the US, and would have survived had it made more note of how many games it had instead of sticking its dick in the mashed potatoes. So yes, Suikoden 1 would make an awesome Game Boy Advance game.

 
I'm late, but not in a "Having your child" sort of way.

I've been reading these worst RPG experiences, and I figured I would relate mine. Back when Lunar 2:EBC was first released I picked it up and played it like a normal, if fantastically executed, RPG. I get to Zophar in the normal course of things, everything going fine, then tragedy, or obtuse and linear thinking, strike. I fight his first form, beat it, fight his second form and lose, and lose, and lose, and lose. His second form kicked my ass about seven times. Now, I don't deal well with frustration, so the screams of rage were many and loud. Finally I just put the game away, chocking it up to under-leveling (I was level 52 by the way). Then about a year or so later, during a dry spell in new RPG releases, I decide to play through again, this time fighting every enemy along the way, and I do, and I get to the boss again, and my level is again 52. I get beat a few times, but then I realise my hideously obvious mistake. I didn't spread out properly and my characters were getting destroyed by Zophar's disgustingly powerful area attacks. Now, I already had my characters in the most spread out positions possible from the tactics page, but I had to spread them out manually in battle with the Defend command. After I did that it was still a challenge, but I was able to win and eventually play my way through the excellent and most fulfilling Epilogue.
Perhaps not the worst thing to happen to anyone, but I don't buy third party memory cards or save my game without paying attention to what I'm saving over, so I don't have any of those problems.

Andrew:
I played through Lunar 2 in 4 days. Mainly because it was released during my guest hosting time for the column back in 2000, and Google didnít have the game, but also because I was young and stupid.
We all have our off days, in and out of video games. Your Zophar spoof is equivalent to remembering that you forgot to put on deodorant halfway through school.

A real Fruitís Basket.

Greetings (reindeer sing) SHADRACK Doesn't anyone else here think Goog's an Amano Drawing? I mean it's noted that he/she's tall, pale, thin, and has silver hair so I think he just might be one. I just wished he did drawings of the Disney characters for Kingdom Hearts. Am I the only one who is oddly addicted to playing Animal Crossing? I noticed that some of the ideas done in the game could be real interesting on other games. It makes me wish you could completely customize your base in a Suikoden by having to get all the furnishings and such by battle or rare finds or whatever. It does invoke the mental image of winning a dresser after a battle but then again, you do get strange items won in games.
Imperial Mog

Andrew:
Er...Google has never been drawn with silver hair, but yes, he does seem awfully waifish in his signature picture.
1. Seeing as I lack a GameCube, Iíll have to tell you how addicted I am to Animal Crossing later. But yeah, I always thought that the furniture collecting adventure in Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance would have worked better in another game. Really, any other game.



Quickies

Um...Hi there Andrew. Uh...this is the person who sent in that Koudelka question along with the cursed SaGa story. Uh...just wanted you to know that I'm a guy. See, Jamie is a unisex name... Um...Yeah...
Jamie" What is a man?! Just a miserable pile of secrets! But enough talk! Have at you!" Harper >8^()

But you have such a prudee mouth! *runs*

hey man, whats goin on
ive got a serious question: is ffxi coming to america on the ps2? what do u think is gonna happen with this? ive been reading up on the topic and im recieving mixed information. some sources claim its going to tentatively release on feb 15 2003, and the EB near my house has feb 16 2003 slated for its arrival. on the other hand, ive heard that ffxi will only be released on the PC. and lastly, ive heard its not going to come to america at all. what do you think? is it going to come or what? thnx
matt

This isnít a serious question. This is a poorly written letter in which you beg for reassurance like a young thing to its mother. Well you get nothing! Nothing! Ahahahaha!

Old Issues: Going to bed at 7 am!
New Issues: Not sure. Do you know?
Going to bed at 7 am again after "no later than
Monday," Korean Standard Time?
~Xerain
I already have a Tilde.

*sigh* Itís true. Oh, Ragnarok Online! I couldnít resist you for long! Come and give me some loving!

Hello Andrew ,
I am a relatively new RPG gamer, although I have been addictived to Final Fantasy 8 since it was released , and do not really know which Rpg to buy to play and which ones to avoid altogether . I was leaning to buy either Diablo2 or Following Tactics. Which one would you suggest ?

Sounds like youíre relatively new to spelling and grammar too. Since I donít think Following Tactics is a game, (Unless you mean Fallout Tactics. Which if that is case, means youíre an idiot) Iíll suggest Diablo 2 on the basis that everyone loves it and itís selling cheap right now. So have fun, and ask your parents for a dictionary for Christmas.

Ok I can't stress how long i've been waiting for a sequel on the game originally made for Nintendo..Crystalis..I mean a long time it's been over a decade..I'm getting old follks. But I promise you create a second game and I'm there. I'll promote the game for you. Besides Link it's the only game which was beyond a doubt an emotional attachemnt. If you decide on making another and stumped on ideas I've got plenty as i said ...i've been waiting a little over a decade. Thank you
Yours sincerely...
Will wait an eternity for a good thing

Congratulations. You are completely insane.
First off, Nintendo doesnít want to hear your ideas for a sequel to Crystalis. Second off, it was a good game for itís time, but good lord, youíre being completely run by nostalgia here. There are plenty of great games out there that put Crystalis to shame, so get of your parentís basement and find them. Freak.

Years ago, when FF: Mystic Quest was fairly new, I rented it or borrowed it or something(I dont remember) and played through it.. until the ice temple, where for some reason after about 10-15 seconds it would freeze for no reason. And it did the same thing with different copies of the game, so I guess it was something wrong with my system. I eventually found a way through it, I had to save like every 3 steps I took, and immediatly after fighting enemies. Luckily it was a pretty short dungeon. I later found out that it was only MY system that did that, so when I got to another, much longer dungeon, that did the same thing, I said smurf it and played through it on my friends SNES.
Draconius

Nintendo sure was a bitch when it ruled over us gamers like gods. And then it all went to heck when they gave up on the idea of a system that played CDs...
XD

Dear Andrew "dreamer" Duff,
Do you know where I can find the programming history of games like Grand Theft Auto 3 and Miami City? I plan on designing a "dark" RPG along the lines of Arc the Lad 2 and Xenogears and I am quite curious as to how Rockstar was able to create graphics and designs on those 2 games. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
That's it...
Huge Dreamer

www.igda.com and http://gamasutra.com/ would be good places to start. If youíre just looking for a similar graphic style, check out games like Morrow Wind, which let you mess with the editor and basically make your own game.
If youíre looking for the sheer amazing variety of GTA3, well, youíre going to need to know a whole lot of programming and have a heck of a lot of free time.

The Final Grumble:

There you go. And Merry Christmas. Or whatever holiday you celebrate.
For next week, letís do a nice 180 and find out what youíre best RPG moments are. Roll perfect 20s for your D&D character? Beat the final boss with only one character alive and one hit point? Actually see the limit breaks in Final Fantasy 6? Get the last copy of Lufia in existence from an unwitting Blockbuster for 13 bucks? Letís hear it!
And the contest for drawing my signature picture will end Friday, meaning the winners will be announced. So if you want that mystery GBA game, I suggest you get in your entry, like, now.

Andrew "neko-san!" Duff

Do tigers have rabies?

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