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 See how many typoes you can count! The archives await.

Note to self: Reply Final Fantasy 7; take notes.

Invasion of the body snatchers
(Little FF8 spoiler. It's just a picture, geez. It won't ruin anything.)

Remember the early reports of Laguna from FF8? He was shown as a "well-liked" guy with a slight habit of cross-dressing. Then he was pulled out of the roster. Now he's put back in with a totally new look. How might square be able to redesign a character that fast?

Take a picture of the "new" Laguna and cover his head. Who does the blue rolled-up sleeved jacket, the light colored shirt, the brown baggy pants, and the boots remind you of? If you still can't guess, try adding gloves that reach all the way to the elbow.

Now take a pic of Cid from FF7...notice the same uniform.....that means *gasp*, they killed Cid 7, took off his head, gave his body to Laguna, and buried the head of Cid 7 with the drag-queen body of Laguna!!!!!!

Alas poor Cid, I knew him well...

-- Ken

For the love of Cthulhu... I do believe you're right.

Is it like Xenogears which was like Chrono Trigger?

Legend of Legaia sounds AWESOME! I heard that it has a lot alike with Xenogears. I loved Xenogears. Is Legend of Legaia really alike with xenogears?

-- Ceremid

Well, it's an RPG. So was Xenogears. Aside from that, it's hard to say just what traits of Xenogears you were looking for in Legaia. Here's what I can tell you:

The towns/dungeons are made of polygons, like Xenogears (unless they're just really poor pre-renders, heh heh). The battle system is nothing like Xenogears', but it's still pretty interesting: Characters fight using magic and martial arts, and you can strike at various points in the enemy's body, instead of just hitting X and waiting for your dude to jump across the screen, wave his arm once, and jump back. The story is nothing alike, it's your standard "There are lots of monsters around lately!" with a strangely organic touch.

Legend of Legaia is programmed by Contrail, formerly known as Media Vision. As in, the "Wild ARMs" guys. This fact alone should make any RPG fan froth at the mouth. Be it from desire or the primal fear of another game like Wild ARMs really depends on the fan.

"How about Beyond the Beyond strip poker?"

Hae!

Ok, this may be a stupid idea...but what about a Final Fantasy chess game? Square could get some company or design the game themselves. But it could have like all of the characters from the Final Fantasy series in their own battle chess game! Cloud and Aeris could be the King and Queen for the White side and Sephiroth and Jenova could be for the Black. Cid would make a good Knight, Chocobos would make good pawns (like black chocobos for the Black side), Yuffie could be the Rooke, and so on. I mean there's a Star Wars Battle Chess so why can't there be a Final Fantasy Battle Chess? ok...forget it...it was stupid.

-- solid_transient

Nice idea! I liked it better the first time I heard it... when it was called Final Fantasy Tactics. Seriously, a Final Fantasy battle chess game would be fun--at least on the PC, with multi-player capabilities. I have to ask, though: Yuffie as the Rook? She must have really let her figure go after Final Fantasy 7...

Too silly to be labeled "Conspiracy"

Greetings O' Mighty ThunderGod who smites all gurus.

Where I live in St. Louis, Missouri the stores already have reservation lists for FFVIII even though its 6-8 months away. And the reserve list is already longer than any other game. Is it maybe we expect the pope to pressure Square into having it out in Missouri before the rest of the U.S., or is RPG's about just as popular here as in Japan. What's your thought on it?

--ImperialMog

Seeing as how RPGs are less popular in America than Japan, I guess I have to go with the Pope pressuring Square into releasing Final Fantasy 8 early. Maybe 'cause of the town name. Get it? Hah. hah. I. Funny.

Hey, he only gave me two options. I don't have anything to work with here, people.

*HIC*

Which is more interesting: Reading RPGamer's Q&A column every day, or placing various bets on the Q&A column such as when the first skipped column will come and when the current one will croak and a new one will take over. Also of not is the Q&A drinking game. Get a large quantity of your favorite beverage (milk, right?), and every time you see the word "sucks" in the Q&A column, suck down as much of the beverage as possible.

-- I_Am

Hey, cool idea! Lemme expand on that a little--using coffee instead of milk, of course.

  • One drink everytime Thor says "Dude".
  • Two drinks everytime you spot a typo. One if it's from Thor--we don't want anyone getting too intoxicated.
  • A little sip everytime someone complaints about Final Fantasy 7. (See above.)
  • A huge swig everytime someone wonders why a Working Designs game was delayed.
  • Three drinks everytime Thor answers a question seriously.
  • And finally, get ready to "gulp it down" if you see someone greet Thor with the words "Thunder", "God" or "Sexypants".
Anything to add, guys?

Working Designs / Vincent

Hey Thor,

I was just reading your spiffy column today and wanted to respond to the person who commented on the Sephiroth age problem. Now, the disparity between Sephiroth and Vincent's age differences can be easily explained. Once Sephiroth was born, his natural growth could have been accelerated exponentially by some sort of machine. This is actually a plot device that's used often in stories featuring clones (for example, DC Comics' Superboy character looks to be sixteen, but has been artificially aged, and is actually less than a year old). Also, regarding a Slayers game being ported to the PSX...I think PSMOnline probably took down that announcement because Working Designs told them not to put up unconfirmed rumors (which is all the WD Slayers game ever was). Victor Ireland (WD's prez) has stated publicly on UseNet that the 'mystery RPG' is _not_ a Slayers game. Which isn't really that bad, considering that the Slayers RPGs are supposed to be mediocre at best.:) That's all for now. I'll keep you abreast of the latest developments on the Usenet front in case Vic drops any hints as to what the 'mystery RPG'is!

-- Itchy

Interesting theory about Sephiroth, but the masses agree with the fellow in the following letter.

I don't get it. Why would Victor Ireland come out and say they aren't translating a Slayers RPG, but Working Designs replies with "no comment"? I think I'll write them and ask if they'll translate Final Fantasy 8, just to compare reactions, heh heh.

Gimmy a second, ma! I'm just resting my eyes...

Hey yo Thor,

I'm pretty sure I know the answer to that question that guy had about Vincent's age in FF7. You see, after Vincent was part of the Turks, had a love interest, and was shot (all at which happened at about age 27) he injected himself with the cells of Jenova as punishment for letting Sephiroth's (artificial or non-artificial or whatever it was) birth happen. His punishment was to spend enternity thinking about the evil he had done or some bull like that. After this, he was unable to age, and that's why he spent his days laying in a coffin in the basement of the Shinra mansion, thinking about what a bad boy he had been. It also explains why he remains 27 for the next twenty years. Just thought I would enlighten those who arn't completlely obsessed with the plot like I am. Your all welcome...

-- Jet

Most everyone agrees with Jet--though some say it was just a time proof coffin, or something-- except Itchy, and a few people who felt that the characters' ages didn't necessarily equal their age, just represented it.

Hey, a serious reply. That's three drinks!

No, no. That's Lord of the Blarg, not Dream.

Yo Thor-

If I remember my English class correctly, the Wallace Stevens poem you quoted is about Death... are you trying to tell us something here? Are you in fact Death? And if so are you the classic cloaked skeleton with scythe type of Death, or the Sandman-esque cute Goth chick type? Inquiring minds want to know!

-- coldjones

Fine, you got me: When I'm not the God of Thunder I moonlight as Death.

I'm more of the cute Goth dude type, though I have dated the Sandman-esque cute Goth Death herself, once. We broke up after a while 'cause she was just too damn cliche. I mean, she loved Marilyn Manson, Anne Rice and the movie The Crow. Two out of three I could handle, but there's just no dating a stereotype.

"Wanna borrow it?" 'Naw... I'll wait for the game.'
(Final Fantasy 7 Spoiler. I bet you can guess which one, too.)

Greetings oh God of Thunder Thor!

I have been following up on all these arguments about FF7 having a fake ending for the States and how Aires wasn't supposed to die, blah blah. And then I remember seeing something about FF7 being based on a book. So I fired up the game and watched the credits at the beginning. I saw at the end or near the end "Based on the story by,...".

Now if this was a book and they converted it to a game, I salute you Square, excellent job. And if it was a book and they translated it to a game, I highley doubt they would kill off a main character just to piss everyone off and get loads of hate mail. My solution? Calm down people its just a book...err...game.

-- GoAt, I make my own cheese

Dear Lord. That's disgusting.

A good journalist is taught never to reveal his sources. Then again, I've never been accused of being "good", so I'll give away mine: The Final Fantasy 7 instruction booklet. (What? Who says sources have to romantic and mythic?)

Anyway, you're right, they do say "Based on the story by", but they're just crediting the two guys who came up with the concept for Final Fantasy 7 in the first place: Hironobu Sakaguchi, Final Fantasy 7's producer, and Tetsuya Nomura, the lead character designer.

I know all this 'cause I had a fight with an old ex of mine--no, it wasn't Death--about this very topic, and after a good two hours of research I proved that Final Fantasy 7 wasn't based on a book. She still insisted she was right, asking why they'd credit their own producer. Some people have no sense of... er, sorry, poison seeping into Ask Thor, must supress hatred.

Great. Another name for my cousin to taunt me with.
(Sexy lil' Xenogears spoiler)

Hey Thor! I was in French class the other day when I learned that Vierge, the name of Elly's gear in Xenogears, literally means 'virgin' in French. It's also the Zodiac sign Virgo. Virgo's are individual, calm, intelligent, delicate, irresistable, perfectionists, and sympathetic, all of which Elly is. I think it's very cool that Square did some research for their names. Another interesting tidbit: after she loses her virginity to Fei, she never rides in Vierge again ;-)

-- jair

I haven't got that far yet... but, man, that's hilarious. I wonder if that was an intentional inside joke/stroke of genius, or pure coincidence. Could Square have turned Sam Keith when it comes to plots? Who knows.

Other fun virgin facts:

  • Since pro-creation is the basic, non-religious meaning of life, long-time virgins are actually quite evil; they suck up natural resources yet do nothing to continue Humanity nor assist evolution.
  • Madona is like a virgin, but not really.
  • RPGamer's predecessor, Square Net, was run by a fellow named Andrew Vestal--which means "virgin". Vestal, that is, not Andrew.

What's wrong with coffee, damnit?

Yesterday, you printed a letter from Zalrax about why Wrongful Delays...er Working Designs thanked Mountain Dew at the end of Magical Knight Rayearth. Your responce was that Dew is high in Sugar/Caffine content, and thus helped in translation. Well, if Dew helped them bring out MKR then wouldn't Jolt (with it's highly superior caffine content) help them bring out Lunar faster?? Who's up for collection donations to buy Vic Ireland a case of Jolt?

Great idea. Be sure and throw in some crack while you're at it--better safe than sorry.

And speaking of Lunar, they've pushed it's release date back to March right? Instead of having everyone gripe because they take so long, I think that Vic should make a release date in June and release it early...What say you oh mighty Thor?

-- Reverend Raven

Genius! It's too bad you didn't include your real name, or Working Designs might've snatched you up this instant, making you their new PR guy. Unless, uh, that is your real name, in which case, er... sorry, Father Kickass-Surname?

The last on Thor's battle engine babble

Let's see. In response so "Doc, Biscuit Software"'s idea of active battles, wouldn't that be Star Ocean? I mean, menu-based, but the enemies and such think on their own, as for all the other characters except for Ratix also do so. ::Shrugs::

Sounds like it, though I've tried neither myself, so I can't say for certain.

And, Oh Great Thor, what kind of battle system do you prefer? Personally, I liked the SoM and SoM3 battle system, and I really love the Star Ocean way. It's a sin the fact Star Ocean (and Seiken Densetsu 3) weren't brought over here. Don't you agree? ::sighs::

I must admit, I really enjoyed SoM's battle system. Not only were random battles rarely tedious--the action helped, and if you were sick of 'em, monsters were easy to avoid--but it allowed for multiple players. Other favorites include Suikoden's lightning quick & six character party battle system, Final Fantasy 3's pleasingly deep Relic system which allowed for awesome combos in battles, and Final Fantasy Tactics' so-complex-you-wanna-puke engine.

Oh, and does the great Thor like chocolate chip cookies?

-- Jessie

Not really... I'm more of an oatmeal rasin man, myself. :D

***

I think that the battle system you proposed a couple of days ago was a good idea. Do you ever play any White Wolf pen-and-paper games? The battle system in their Combat supplement book is much like yours. It wouldn't seem much more difficult than standard turn-based battle (assuming I understand your idea correctly; let me know if I'm mistaken).

Hmm... interesting. I had no idea what White Wolf combat was like. I've never played any White Wolf games per se, but I have done some freestyle roleplaying in the Vampire: The Masquerade world. Oh, and I used to be into Jyhad. Anyone remember that? <snort>

Step 1: CPU runs initiative test based on dexterity or speed rating (I hate when characters with higher speed automatically win initiative; patterns are too predictable). Step 2: CPU determines the action of each NPC that lost initiative to you. These NPCs start their action motion (spell casting, raises weapon against a PC, digs through pack for potion, etc.), but do not complete it.

Step 3: Player determines the action of PC with the knowledge of what slower characters are attempting to do.

Step 4: CPU determines the action of each remaining NPC with the knowledge of what the PC is doing.

Step 5: Battle plays out with those who won initiative and chose last acting first.

I think this is a great idea, mainly because you can react to the actions of slower enemies before they have even completed them. If you decide to cancel and switch your action, the CPU will refigure the courses of action for the quicker NPCs. This would definitely add a little more strategy to the battles. Someone should consider something like that.

-- T-Bone

Yeah, really. It's about time RPGs moved away from the classic "Hit 'X' a whole lot" system. I'm not asking for staggering complexity, just something... different. (And I'm not talking Tekken style button-push combos in a freaking RPG, either.)

Perverted Gay Sex

Hey, Guy With The Long Name!

"Thor"?

With that 'the Fire Temple music is spooky' bit... it spooked me quite a lot, because I got up close to the TV to hear what they're saying, and it sounds disturbingly like 'ecchi yaoi', loosely translated (by a rank amateur, mind you) as 'perverted gay sex'.

Okay, okay, I doubt very highly that Miyamoto wanted a slew of Gorgons chanting 'Perverted Gay Sex... Perverted Gay Sex... Perverted Gay Sex, Oh Ho Hoooo...', so my question (yes, a QUESTION) to you is... are they really saying anything, and what?

BTW, Parasite Eve music is much better. It scares the freakin' willies outta me.

-- The King of Spoons

According to the Seven Wise Men, the Temple Spirits chant your deepest desire. Of course, the Seven Wise Men have gone a bit... soft with their old age, so you really have nothing to worry about. Then again, late at night, when I close my eyes, I can almost hear them chanting...

"Teri Hatcher.... Terriii Haaatttcchhheerr...!"

Spooky, isn't it?

Unfit for Print

What's this nonsense that Ryan "Send me your brilliant Xenogears reviews and I'll trash em and never tell you their fate" Amos was babbling about FF6 PSX coming to the U.S being "wishful thinking"? I distinctly remember a news article posted in RPGamer saying that FF6 PSX was INDEED coming to the U.S, as well as FF5, possibly for PC, and I think FF4 was included to. Are you saying these are all insideous LIES? Because if they are, I'm going to feel really betrayed, and I'll hunt down whoever wrote those falsehoods and...um...yell at..them. I...want...those...games...darnit.

-- Shinyhat

"Send me your brilliant Xenogears reviews and I'll trash em and never tell you their fate"? That's funny, at RPGamer we usually just call him "Goober-boy".

Anyway, you probably remember this news story. What you don't seem to remember was the phrase "could it be". Before you should write in and accuse people of lying, it's a good idea to click the "News" icon you see to the left and double-check the Archive.

Um, no, the other left.

Quickies that make ya go "Hmmm"

Brando says he learned of The Emperor of Ice-Cream in school the same day I used it as a nickname in my sig. Spooky. // Gerald asks: "Does pepper spray actually taste like pepper?" No, and I learned that the hard way... // Bubble wonders: "What is the point of the BattleTanx commercial? That a tank could destroy a teddy bear? Didnt we know that already?" Well, scientists have speculated a tank could destory a teddy bear for years, but they had never reached any definitive conclusion. But luckily, thanks to the developers of that hella crappy thinly vieled Doom clone, we finally know that yes, indeed, tanks are capible of blasting through a teddy bear's armor, thus disabling the bear until troops can move in. // Dre2xl asks: "I love the 'D' mouth too in the smile. Why don't you use =D instead of :D?" Well Dre, 'cause I haven't been that happy in a long time. A long, long time. Far too long, really... Waah, Teri! // And finally, Shot2Hell wondered: "Can I have your autograph? I know this is insane, but it'd be a great thing to have." No, never. If there's one thing I refuse to give, it's my autograph. I mean it, too.

Thor Stuff

This is my favorite Ask Thor. Ever. It's so EoTish--and if you know what that means, you're cooler than most.

- Thor "The Emperor of Ice-Cream" Antrim
When I get my ISP bill, I am gonna be so dead.

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