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 See how "gooder" I am than my predecessors.

Hey, guys! Thanks for the multi-part question answerin' ideas (results below), and the rather unexpected support of my little Elly/Hallway rant.

If you notice your questions were slightly edited, never fear, I'm not changing anything. I've just snipped off the redundant parts. For instance, if you asked a question then gave me your opinions on something like the "mutli-part question method" issue, I'll skillfully envicerate the naughty bits and post the question to save space and Ask Thor readers' free time. There, that wasn't so bad now, was it?

By the way, I can't stand it when Q&A Dudes talk about their day before the questions, so from this day forth I'll try and keep all Thor-ish rantings at the end of the column, under "Thor Stuff".

Shadowrun 64 2?

First off, about Shadowgate games. You misunderstood Taarkoth when he mentioned 2 Shadowgate games. He meant 2 Shadowgate games for the N64. Yep yep, in the subscriber thing with the latest Nintendo Power, they announced another one, called Shadowgate Rising. Interestingly enough, it's currently planned for fall '99, but I seriously doubt that.

Thor: I looked everywhere, but couldn't find a single solitary scrap of information on Shadowgate Rising, so I can only hope the big N got it right. Don't get me wrong, the thought of two Shadowgates on the N64 and one on the CBG makes me froth like a rabid monkey... but I'm still kind of bitter about those "SNES-CD" 7th Guest screenshots Nintendo Power ran a few years back.

I [could] always just do what [Wild ARMs] did...

Well, if you're really desperate for a way to answer questions better... You might try italicizing them inbetween questions rather than making them bold. I think it looks rather nice. And given the nice sort of person I am, I'll give you two questions to try this out on!

1) What's your opinion of Final Fantasy 7?

I loved it! FF7 is my second favorite movie.

2) What's your opinion of SaGa Frontier and/or the rest of the SaGa series?

Feel free to compare and contrast. And be very careful with the way you answer them. The SaGa board eagerly awaits your answers. :-)

-- Speed

Thor: I had more fun with Final Fantasy 7, though I'm one of the rare few who don't rag on SaGa--in fact, I rather liked it. SaGa Frontier had great battle sequences, and having more than three characters (eww!) in my party reminded me of Final Fantasy 2...

Three problems, though: 1) I bought SaGa used, and months after it was released, so by the time I got it, Xenogears and Zelda 64 were there to distract me. 2) SaGa Frontier was unfocused. I don't mean the fact that it was non-linear, I mean the fact that you rarely knew what you should be doing, let alone what your options (non-linear wandering, side-quests, etc) were. C) My copy is scratched, and Red's quest freezes. Waaah! (You know, I wonder what the message board people think of me. Maybe I'll go do a Find for "Thor Sucks!"...)

No mater what I say, I'm gonna get flamed...

hey I read your first colum you sound alot like me. How tall are you dude?

6'3, or 6'4; depending on if you round up or down. Don't even ask how much I weigh, the subsequent mental image would toast your brain quicker 'n a roman candle.

oh yeah I have a question too. If I were to buy one PSX RPG this year, what would get me the best replay and be worth the money? I have heard good things about tons of games[wild ARMs, suidoken,FFVIII,Xenogears,FFT, BOF3,etc...]

Thor: At the risk of alienating a good 60% of my readers, I'm going to suggest Xenogears. While FFT has better replay, Xenogears is longer, and has a little something for everyone. Even though I've tossed my share of complaints around, Xenogears is more likely to please the average gamer than any of the others you mentioned.

A serious question. Really.

I'm well aware that current gaming trends are leaning towards games with voice acting. The animie scenes in Xenogears, and Bushido Blade 2's entire game are good examples. Although this is a godsend for most gamers, the voices leave me in despair. I'm a deaf gamer who has worshipped Squaresoft since the original game was release on the NES.

To the point, Square's page is a hellish nightmare for people like me who are trying to contact staff members. So I'll take my case to you, is it possible to request a free script of the game, so deaf games like me can understand the storyline and not have to request a captioned game which undoubtly would raise prices and kill deadlines?

-- Jon

Thor: Dude, that's a real bummer. I know there are fan-made transcripts out there (RPGamer has FF2,3) but I highly doubt Square would part with a copy of the Xenogears script...

Actually, I'm not all that sure a captioned game would hurt. Sierra always captioned their games, offering both supurb voice acting and enjoyable text for the hearing impaired--or late night gamers who don't want to wake their parents. And it's not like they'd have to whip up a special script for the captions--something tells me that no mater how bad Resident Evil's dialog was, there was least a rough draft to work with, heh heh.

Hey, how about some unusually nice and obsessive gamer whips up a quick Xenogears Cutscene Transcript and submits it to RPGamer? It may be a lot of work, but women love guys who do things like that. Oh, then there's Karma, and Heaven, and junk. But women are the real motivator here.

Obligatory ego boost

Questions:

a.) Have you already gotten sick of people saying "Wow! Your name's Thor!"?

Since age 6, actually.

b.) Has anybody made any comparisons between you and Conan 'O Brien?

Other than the fact that we're both tall, irish, thin, and scored a high-profile job out of nowhere? Not recently.

c.) Are you aware that you are the best.. uhh... person doing that one column which cannot sustain the same name?

-- Baka

Thor: Oh, stop it. You're making be blush! Just wait a week and see if you still think that, I'm liable to get weird come Thursday, for reasons best left unsaid... for now.

Final Fantasy 3: The directors cut

Welcome to the hotseat of the All Mighty RPGuru.. I mean Q&A man. (I just can't get that out of my head!) Anyways, I have a few questions for you. I was just wondering some things about FFVI coming here to America for Playstation. Awhile back when FFIII was released here, I heard some rumors that some things were cut out from the japanese version of it because there wasn't enough space on the cartridge due to the higher memory required for English speech. There were a couple things never really explained in the game and I heard that they had to be taken out. Like one thing with Seigfried (?) he was supposed to play a larger role but part of it was taken out. Do you know if this is true, and if we're going to get the Japanese FFVI instead of the cut-down American version?

Thor: What tha', RPGuru?! For the love of Cthulhu, why not just call me Double Agent while you're at it? Anyhoo, Square never officially announced they would port FF3 for the PlayStation over to America, hence no word on if the script would be translated in full or not. As for the Seigfried thing, not a clue. (Anyone out there play FF6j much...?)

Just Say No

I have a response to "Matt" who declared that because there are super powerful characters within easy reach the games are too easy. This is not true at all. Let's take a look at most action games that have option menus. A lot of them give you a difficulty option(easy, medium, hard, very hard, death mode, and the secret very death mode for you pros out there). Back to the RPGs. You'll notice that in Final Fantasy Tactics you have something like twelve characters to choose from for your battle parties. In Xenogears you can only have three people in your party and there are characters other than Citan. If you want a challange then simply don't use the all-powerful characters that are given to you. Perhaps they could be thought of as an RPG easy mode. If this isn't the case then perhaps without these characters the game is impossible. (I know my friend told me he was as strong as he could possibly be and he still had to use Game Shark to beat Xenogears.) These things should be kept in mind when you are accusing RPGs of being too easy.(Although FF7 didn't have much challange did it.)

--MagicAlex

Thor: Fair enough, characters like T.G. Cid do make the game easier for beginners, but I just don't buy that's what Square had in mind. If they wanted to make the game easier for beginners, why would they stick Cid halfway through the fourth chapter? Trust me, if you can't win Final Fantasy Tactics without 'Cid, there's no way you'd beat Gafgarion without him. My point was this: Cid wasn't for newbies, he was just too powerful, and they should have made you fight for him. If anyone should have been so God-like, it was Cloud. You spent hours searching for him and his stupid sword, an' he ends up sucking. Wee. Fun.

As for the difficulty level, I think I have a better idea. Lets skip powerful characters and swipe a trick from fighting games: The RPG Difficulty Selector. If the game's too hard, go into options and reduce difficulty. This will increase the % of damage you do, EXP you gain, etc. If it's too easy, slide the bar up a few notches and lower your stats while raising your foe's. (I mean, isn't it about time they thought of an "RPG hard mode"?) It'd be really easy to do programming-wise, and would end 'Was [RPG] Too Easy?' debates once and for all.

Quote Contest Winner Thingamabob

First off, yippee!!! A WWF fan in power! Now my life is truly complete.

Now for the quote thingy... that was T.G. "Madcow Ass Whooper" Cid's quote in FF Tactics, when you selected his name and hit "select" on the menu screens.

Thor: Well well well, what do we have here? A wrestling fan wins the contest? I guess all those "only dumb white trash watches wrestling" jokes I've endured were wrong. In truth, only intelligent white trash watches wrestling, like yours truly. Anyway, enjoy the sack of monkeys, and don't forget to, um, sign your submission next time. :D

Quickies:

S. Cody pointed out it's "Suzanne Powter" and not "Susan Powers". (He is obviously better versed in the arts of Fitness Gurus than I, and I submit to his allmighty skills.) // Yakra XIII was kind enough to track down the author of FF3, a fellow named "GBlues / grey". // Seth asked me 25 questions, but I'll only answer this one: Metallica, baby. All the way. // Finally, BJ wondered if I was a girl, 'cause I was voted Miss Congeniality. Actually, I'm a guy. But sadly, in prison, they don't really care...

Oh, and I'm an idiot and deleted a really neat letter which I wanted to print. Not to give too much away, but will the author of the "Guru Definition" letter please resend? Thanks--I'll try and keep my klutzyness in check next time.

Thor Stuff:

I am feeling very happy these days. For one, I love my job--you guys make it fun. For another, I haven't recieved one flame--not one. (Now they'll flood in...) In addition to those RPGamer related, um, joys, I passed my drivers permit test. I scored a 98%, so I rock. What tripped me up was a question concerning "Light Rail Vehicles". I don't even think the lady who graded the test knew what a Light Rail Vehicle was, she just had a list of the answers. The government always be bringing me down, man.

Mick Foley won the WWF World Championship last night! Woo! I normally wouldn't give storyline away, but WWF leaked the results a week ago on WWF.com in order to combat the Goldberg/Nash hype, so... hey, come on, stop looking at me like that. So I like wrestling, big deal. Grumble.

- Thor "Yes, this is my real name" Antrim
I thought Riona was cute before you did.

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