Rock the industry
Ahh, Tuesday. Much better than evil, sticky, grueling Monday. Why, I even like
the sound of the word better: "Tuesday". Doesn't that just bring a smile to your
lips? It does? Well, wipe that smirk off your face, smartguy, 'cause it's time for
some Kew'n and Aey'n.
||Have a question? Wondering what a "question" is? |
(Just keep your distance, and don't make eye contact.)
(Tomorrow, Mommy, I promise.)
| ||See how many typoes you can count! The archives await.|
Why does every one compare the N64 to the PSX? Of the last few columns of
yours I have read, I've noticed people saying Zelda:OoT is bad because of
graphics and music and the such, and recently the kind lady who compared
Castlevania 64 to Castlevania:Sotn. Why do you people insist on comparing
the two? You can't because of a simple thing called cartridge vs. CD.
You can't make N64 games as good as PSX games because first, you can't
have multiple cartridges and second, cartridges don't have as much room as
a CD. If you want to complain about a game, complain about it without
comparing it to another system. It just isn't right.
-- The Fattmann
Technicly, multiple cartridges could be done, but N64 developers don't tend to
max out their limited space on FMV like PlayStation developers do, so you'll never
see anything of the sort. (Oh, and you could easily port C:SotN to the N64.
You'd just need to spend a heck of a lot of money to produce the hand-drawn art
packed N64 cart.)
An' sure it's "right" to compare. If there were but two major automobile companies
in the world, producing but one vehicle each--one being a SUV, the other a motorcycle--
you can bet your panties people would compare the two. There are differences,
but when it comes down to "What vehicle is better?", you'd get an answer.
Same for "What next-gen Castlevania is better?"
That ain't a knife, this is a knife.
How come in all these Square games, people walk around with giant swords
when there's a countless array of heat-sinking semi-automatic rocket
lauchers lying about just waiting to be used? I bet in the future when we
get that technology, they will completely quit making swords, except for
lightsabers of course. So how come Cloud has a sword, and Tifa uses her
hands, and how come the only really strong person in the group (Barret) is
the only one who modernized and uses guns? I was just curious.
-- Tad Ghostal
Cloud has a sword so presumptuous "grrls" can accuse him of being a walking phallic
symbol. Tifa wears fingerless gloves because I find them really attractive. Barret
uses a gun because his hand was kinda sorta blown off. Red XIII is actually master sniper, but his lion-like paws can't grip the trigger.
The rest of the characters refuse to arm themselves with guns because of religious
Dang, are you still there? Fine, I'll scrounge up a real answer: Tradition. If
everyone suddently started wielding automatic weapons, Final Fantasy fans would
have gone ballastic. For a
good time logical reason guns
aren't more "powerful" in RPGs, see below.
Why Charlton Heston likes RPGs
This is in response to Fei Fong Wombat's question "How come when rpg
characters get shot in battle, it's no big deal, but when they get shot in
a story scene, they're instantly dead?"
(Major Final Fantasy 7 spoiler. Like you don't know what the heck happens. )
Here's your answer (I've been playing AD&D for a long time now, so i
feel that I'm up to this question): HP isn't just a reflection of
health...it's a reflection of battle skill. When a character gets hit in
battle, his HP goes down. Now, if that character is still standing that
means that he soaked most, of not all, of the damage. The HP drop is a
reflection of the energy he used to cushion that blow. Thus, HP/Max HP is
like total fatigue/total stamina. Granted, the last 5-10% of HP probably
IS health. If Cecil (FF4 for you who don't know Cecil; and you call
yourselves RPGamers, blarg!) got stabbed in the gut, he would most likely
die, despite is 7,452 HP. If Cloud got shot while jumping onto the train,
he, too, would most likely die, even though in battle he only takes 3-8 HP
damage from bullets, which is because he soaked or dodged most of the real
damage. Similarly, Cure spells don't really replenish health (again,
unless the target is below 5% HP), so much as stamina. This is reflected
in the on-one-knee 'injured' stance. The character is too tired to
properly defend him/herself. I'm quite sure how many HP Aeris had when
she died (sniff sniff), but a Masamune through stomach would kill just
-- SiegfreidZ, Loyal RPG Gamer
Very impressive, SiegfriedZ. You have served me well.
Aeris wasn't too tired, nor was she taken by surprise. She wanted to die.
(She had her motives, which I won't mention: I hate to dredge up yet more FF7 storyline debate.)
Anyway, going by most "pen and paper" RPG rules, if a character willingly "submits" to
a spell (mind control, for instance) then there's no roll to see if the
spell failed: There is no restiance check if there's no resistance. It's
a bit of a stretch to port arcane pen and paper rules for mind control
spells to Final Fantasy 7's swords/guns, but you get the idea. That
gal had a deathwish.
Final Fantasy XXX... wait, I think I've already used that.
(Final Fantasy 7 spoilers. Swim at your own risk.)
Actually, I have seen two versions of FF7's box. One simply has
"Realistic Violence," while the other has "Mature language" and "Comic
Mischief" as well. One does have to wonder, however, what exactly "comic
mischief" really is.
ESRB officially rates Final Fantasy 7 as "Comic Mischief, Mild Animated Violence, Mild Language",
even though it says right here on my box "Realistic Violence", and nothing
else. One reader suggested this was some sort of a mixup with Bushido
Blade's rating. However, Bushido Blade was rated "Animated Blood, Animated Violence",
so that's not it. Others said it was a conspiracy between Sony and ESRB to up
Final Fantasy 7's initial sales. Guys... Sony's laywers! Evil! Powerful! I'm too
pretty for jail! Ixnay on the onspiracycay.
Anyways, going by Final Fantasy 7, "Comic Mischief" consists of the following:
Of course, ESRB could have rated Final Fantasy 7 "Suggestive Themes" like
they did with the Beavis and Butthead games, but they decided not to.
For some, strange reason. (Sony's lawyers! I can say no more!)
- Mad scientists trying to force women and large felines to have sex.
- Women being kidnapped by pimps; the lead character cross dressing and pretending
to be female to save her--risking said pimp selecting him to be his "lifetime companion".
- The lead character being shoved in a bathtub full of hairy nude men, affectionatly
called "Bubby" and handed a pair of italian cut underwear.
- ...or: The lead character falling unconscious, then waking up to a plethora of
disturbing "wet" sounds, followed by the sight of an aforementioned hairy man on
top of him. Fun.
The mighty Thor. No, the other one.
That Swede guy who wrote you saying that Tor is the thundergod may not be
exactly right. See, in the Scandinavian language, "th" is pronounced "T."
Meaning that "Thor" would be pronounced "T'or."
By the way, the name "Thor" in the ancient Viking Rune language is.... here!
--Da Red Gobbo
Thanks, man. I received a ton of e-mail correcting the fellow from yesterday's
Quickies... this was one of the few I could print without wasting a bottle
or two of white out censoring 'em. Ouch.
Something tells me I'm going to get a letter from Square...
I've written to you before, and you haven't posted my questions,
probably because they were all lame. I forgive you. Now...I'm going to
ramble about Zelda64. Ready?
First of all, someone wrote in saying "Are all Hyruleans elves?"
Of course they are. I've got proof - Game Fan, Next Generation, and
several other magazines used the word "elven" to describe Link. Not that
ALL Hyruleans are elves...but most are/should be.
Sorry to burst your bubble , but that and a nickel will get you a dirty
look from a Starbucks employee. Only Nintendo can say for sure, and as
far as I know, Nintendo's never called the Hyruleans elves.
Second...Tracy, you're not alone!! Link IS cute. :-) Heehee. I
envy your job. I'm not even out of high school yet and I'm already
dreaming about a gaming career such as yours or something similar.
Hey! What am I, chopped liver? I've got a gaming career too, ya know.
Well... highly public gaming hobby, anyway. Heh, heh.
Oh, and Thor...your column has officially scared me away from
buying Final Fantasy VII. :-)
-- RPGirl Saria
It was the "Bestality" bit, wasn't it? Not as bad as it sounds, just one
character wanted a couple of critters from different species to gain a
few levels--in bed. Key word here is "wanted", though. They didn't show
an FMV sequence or anything. Much to the disappointment of, well, nobody.
"Jesus H. Christ, don't take the Lord's name in vain, kid."
Greetings, Red-Goteed One,
That letter yesterday about Midgarians using the word "Jesus" got me
thinking about other times they've taken "Americanising" too far. For
instance, in FF7, Cid charges the Highwind into the crater and shouts
"Geronimo!". The instant I see it, I cringe. Cload and Co. must be
thinking "Geronimo? What's that supposed to mean? Who's Geronimo?" because
there IS no Geronimo, the Amerind chief of the pioneer days, in FF Land,
so his name shouldnt be mentioned. The same applies for FFT when Ramza
yells the same word, for FF7 when they say "Jesus", and even worse, in
Xenogears, where Bart mentions "Swiss Cheese" (Hmm...do I see Switzerland
anywhere on the map? No..) and later, somebody mentions a "Trojan Horse".
I think stupid American references like this in worlds where they have no
place cheapen the games, and make them seem...well, cheapened. It would be
like Squall saying "Seifer sucks so bad, Monica Lewinsky envies him." or
something like that. What does Captain Thunderous think about this?
I think calling "Trojan Horse" an "American reference" ruined any and
all support you had from RPGamer readers. I also think such references
are distracting--what the heck is wrong with "Dear God!"? As for the
Monica line, watch out! Working Designs might be reading this, and you
wouldn't want them to steal your jokes, heh heh.
P.S ...Who the heck is Martin Haller? The only thing I found was he's the
author of an FF6 fanfic.
Martin Haller is a fellow who has written several RPGamer editorials. A
few readers caught the referance. If you really want to know, or just
detest today's column and are desperatly looking for escape,
Why always multiple-part questions? Why not multiple-choice?
Thanks for printing my last letter! ^_^ Well..a few other things have
popped up in the past few days...
One: The Parasite Eve movie. This sounds like a very interesing project,
and I'd really like to see how they handle this...For some reason I can
just see Denise Crosby as Eve (even if she's blond, I don't care!). I just
hope the ending's better than in the game (And no, I've never seen the
"Good" ending). Speaking of Parasite Eve, did you notice that the scenes
that took place in the Museum resembled a couple of scenes from
Ghostbusters 2 (The outside looks very similar, the floors look identical,
and the Mass of mitochondria bears a striking respemblance to the Slime)?
How about Teri Hatcher as Eve, and Madonna as Aya? :D (I know, she'd make
a pretty bad Aya, but if she bought the movie, there's little chance
she just wants to direct...) As for the Ghostbusters thing, well, it
wouldn't be the first or last time Square was, ahem, influenced by a
Two: Shineyhat brought up the fact that FFVII had a lot of cussing in it,
and cited 'sh-t' (sucks being censored) and 'Jesus'. The first I can see,
but how is the name Jesus a cuss word? It's not on George Carlin's list.
It's just a name. Even in the proper context, it's a Biblical name. To
suggest that one could use that as a basis for saying it has Strong
Language is preposturous. And what about the pronouciation? They might
have have been pronoucing it "Hey Zoose". I know it's trivial, but I had
to say something.
Because never in the history of time nor space nor socks
has anyone, and I mean anyone exclaimed "Hay Zoose!" when
alarmed. Come on, people. Can't we just accept the fact that Square's
might have messed up? Even a little bit? They weren't screaming "Hay
Zoose", they were screaming "Jesus". Red XIII wasn't "emotionally" a
teenager, they literally said he was. And Cloud was not
musing on the fact that you were lost, he actually meant "Of course".
Three: I'm not naming any names, but a friend of mine works on a MUD with
a person who has a job connection to Square who says he has a fully
translated copy of the FF Collection (FFIV,V, and VI), and commented that
it's not coming out in the States until the Summer. I know this is kinda
hard to believe, but my source is very reliable....I'm just so happy that
I'll finally get to play the real version of FFIV with the CGI opening and
Anyways, Jesus is a "cuss" word for the same reason that "God damn" is usually
censored on television: Religious folks. "God" and "Damn" are said by
seperatly every priest, but together they generate petitions and boycotts.
Hope this keeps ya busy...And just in case you were wondering...I'm not a
-- Reverend Raven
Remember folks, you heard it here first--because it is a total and
complete rumor with no factual basis whatsoever. (No offense, dude.)
A fella can dream, though, can't he? Just imagine. Mhhmm... Final Fantasy
4... Final Fantasy 5... Coffee...
RPG related questions. Really!
Getting right to it:
1) Two weeks ago the net news was all atwitter about an
important upcoming announcement concerning a sequel to a major
Square title. Did I miss this or what?
That turned out to be a mistranslation on Gaming Age's
part, or something. Square is really going to announce two games: One, a sequel
to an existing game (CHRONO TRIGGER 2 DAMNIT!); the other a stand-alone title
which will "Rock the industry". I have a theory about this...
see Thor Stuff for the full story.
2) Jade Cocoon is nifty and all, but what happened to Crave's
homebrew RPG Shadow Madness? I would have at least liked to see
what it looked like - is there some reason it's no longer listed
in the upcoming games section?
Reason: It is listed. See for yourself.
3) There are more than a few references to an Omnigear
reacting to Elly the first time she visits Shevat, but I don't
remember this happening. Again, is this something I missed or did
it happen off stage?
I'm pretty sure there was something you missed. (If you missed the phrase
Finally, I have yet another question about your bizarre
nature - you've dropped references to Bruce Sterling and Michael
Swanwick, and yet you apparently also watch professional
wrestling. How is this possible? Shouldn't there be some sort of
matter/antimatter reaction going on between _The Iron Dragon's
Daughter_ and the WWF? In short, why hasn't your head exploded
Ok, last "Why do you like wrestling?!" question/answer I print:
Wrestling is fun. So are RPGs, and books, and movies, and girls (*roar*), and
music, and all sorts of other things. Liking one has nothing to do
with dis/liking the other. My tastes run from the bizzare to the strange
and unusual to the freakish and weird then back again to the bizzare because
you forgot your keys. End o' story, check the archives if you want a full
explanation of why I think Sports Entertainment is groovin' :D
OK, Thor, now I have a real question:
How often is the quote for the RPGamer page updated? 'Cause I'm still
seeing "Eeeek! A snake!" and I'm wondering if it hasn't been changed in a
while or if it's just my browser needing its cache emptied. Thanks in
The quotes should be changed on Sunday or Monday, but once in a while Mike
forgets and we have to find, ahem, ways to remind and motivate him. I'll try
and find my trusty cattle prod tomorrow. Alex still hasn't returned
it. He never did say he why he wanted it, either...
Remember, this is a coffee drinking game.
I just came up with a few of these:
-One gulp every time you mention Teri Hatcher
-A sip every time someone mentions the Fire Temple
-Drink the whole glass every time someone asks to see your picture
-A swig every time someone has a new idea about Red XIII or Vincent's age
-A small drink every time someone complains about Zelda 64
Cool! Keep sending 'em in, guys. I plan on archiving them in an upcoming...
well, you'll see next Monday. Stay tuned. :D
Unfit for Print
The show's ok, but Tom Green is an A-----e. He deserve some ass woopin.
Eh... not even really worth the effort.
I heard I was pretty popular. Lets do something about that.
On the subject of nudity/sex in RPGs. I don't really see any need or
desire for that matter. While there are some Lara Croft sickos out there,
would seeing Tifa's nipples have really made an appreciable impact on the
gaming experience as a whole? Regardless, I think Sony would have some
serious issues bring nudity/sex into games of any kind. Sony must have a
boundary for their tolerance, and if Square (or Enix, or Quest, or Atlus,
or what have you) cross that line, we will see some serious censorship
nightmares the likes of which we have not seen since the arrival of FFIV.
Yeah. I'm for it. Don't close Netscape just yet, gimmy time to explain:
I hate censorship. Not for any noble, rightious reason, but because I'm
obsessive about knowing the "full story". I thrive on directors cuts.
When I get a new book, I read the Notes from the author section first.
I love details. So, when I hear things like Xenogears' ending was edited,
I get rather miffed. Especially considering Xenogears already had
a teen rating, and as any movie fan will know, brief nudity does not
make a film NC17. (I offer the 5th Element as an example.)
But lets drop nudity for a moment. Lets talk about sex (baby! Lets talk
about you and--ahem, sorry.) Now that RPGs are quickly shying away from
gameplay and embracing plot, it's hard to support total lack of sexuality
from characters. We have hatred, we have love, we have angst up the wazoo,
so how about some lust? If Cloud could be a "mature, realistic character", a manic depressive co-dependant
loser, why did he have to be so darn asexual?
Hell, movies from the 50s handled sex more frankly than videogames today. You know
the scene where the leading male carries the woman to her bedroom, and they
cut away to a scene of horses running? We don't even get the horses! We see
the guy pick up the girl, and the scene ends before they can even look
at the bedroom. With all this talk of mature subjects, I find it kind of silly
that something as natural as sex is handled with such kid gloves. Xenogears was
a nice start. Now lets move beyond Working Designs' bra jokes and Square's
You know, I just ranted for four paragraphs because there isn't enough sex in
RPGs. This doesn't look very good for me. I think I'll skillfully change the
subject now. Say, anyone for a qui--some! I mean, some quickies? Um. Heh.
A sadly rushed series of Quickies
Shanoyu wonders: "If people want Gameplay, why don't they play the old HACK games?"
Because most--myself included--want a balance of plot and combat, not
one or the other in extremes.
Rich Green exclaims: " You want Plagarism in music? Watch the first 5 minutes of
'The Rock', then go play the Final Fantasy VIII demo!" Thanks Rich, even if your
name does make me want to go and watch Tom Green all the more...
Neo BahamutZero said: "Just thought ięd point out that you were indeed right
with your Kefka = Kafka theory. And do you know why? 'The end comes, beyond chaos.'
Well... We all know our favorite, crazy villian said that. But what most of us
are not aware of is that Kafka wrote this... In his book 'The Process'.
Coincidence? I think not..." Yeah, well, knowing us, someone will write
an editorial listing why you're wrong. :D
And finally, Kira Cyana--love that name--wanted to know: "
A couple sentences from a game (or possibly a game-related fanfic)
have gotten in my head, and I cannot for the life of me figure out what they
came from: 'So-an-so studied engineering for three years before figuring
out it had nothing to do with trains!'" Anyone want to help Kira? Hey, for that
matter, did anyone ever transcript Xenogears' FMV dialog? Pwiddy pleeze?
OK. My theory of the "Rock the Industry" quote, which is wildly different
from all existing theories. But, hey, I'm different myself.
What do we know? Well, we know the following:
Eh? Eeh? You thinkin' what I'm thinkin'? Yeah, it's kinda crazy, but then again
so was the idea for Parappa the Rappa, and look how popular that was.
- Square is seemingly out to make at least one game of every genre. Another Mind
is proof enough.
- Square recently hired Hong Kong pop star.
- The phrase "Rock the industry" was either a strange translation or a very
strange choice of words. Rock the industry...
Who knows, maybe someday we'll see "Translate Mog's Funky Hip-Hop Spazztania!" petitions.
If I turn out to be right, I'd better get a hug from each and every one of you. Or
at least, the ones of you who don't value old t-shirts. <grin>
- Thor "Maxxhead" Antrim
Beware the Hooley!