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Thor Hack Archive

Welcome to Monday. As is usual with Mondays, you won't find a horrible amount of profound questions in todays column. You will, however, be entertained. I hope. Enjoy.

Hey Thor:

Have you heard any information as to the release of Final Fantasy VIII for the PC?

-- Chris Moore

No word yet. Just keep your fingers crossed. And hope they get someone else besides Eidos to handle the port. No offense, Eidos. It just really, really blew.

Me want smash!

This is kind of a pointless question, but why do Sephiroth (or his clone, or whatever) and Vincent have the ability to fly? The game never even tries to explain it. It's like it's to be expected that some people can just randomly fly around for no particular reason. Is flying just something you get if you wear a cape and act mysterious?

-- Mrglwrf, Sorcerer Apprentice to the Master of Evil

Because they're mysterious, and Square wanted us to be awed by their power. Other items which were designed only to impress were the impaled marsh snake scene, Sephiroth's Super Nova, and of course, Tifa.

Questionable ethics?

Well Thor, we all know that that for such titles as Parasite Eve and Final Fantasy VII, had a bunch of television commercials that were just FMV-fests. Not a single nanosecond of actual gameplay. Advertising is supposed to inform the consumer of a product, not mis-lead them into buying said product. Do you believe this behavior is acceptable?

-- Organico

Sure do! I'm a firm believer in preying on the weak. Square is able to make so many games because it's no risk -- they're loaded. And Square's newfound power, in part, was built on the backs of thousands o' misinformed "gamers" who thought that Final Fantasy 7 was some sort of cyberpunk action game.

Pah-thetic.

If you sign a contract without reading it, you're a twit. If you eat that can of food under the cabinet even though the label fell off and it might be puppy chow, you're a fool. If you bet on the outcome of a wrestling match with a booker, you're a mark. And if you waste $50 (or ask your parents to) without even asking a friend what the game is like or doing at least some research, you deserve everything you wind up with.

Then again, I don't believe in seat belt laws either. (If you're too stupid to wear one, I don't much care about your safety. I'd rather you die as soon as possible before you can hit me or my car.)

Import stuff. Popular, lately. Yeep. You gonna finish those fries?

Hi there. Just a quick (maybe) question.

What do you need to play games for the following systems on their US counterparts?

Saturn (Japenese)
PC Engine (Japanese)
PC Engine CD (Japanese)
Famicom
Super Famicom
Game Gear (Japanese)
Megadrive (European)
Super Nes (European)

Thanks

-- Girbicfluzz (don't ask)

Don't want to. I scored a little help from Snarggsorligoph the Itchy. It cost me three fingers (not my own, of course), so I hope you appreciate this:

Saturn (Japanese) - To play US games, you can use an ST Key or 4-in-1 Converter.
PC Engine (Japanese) - A converter (don't know if they sell it anymore).
PC Engine CD (Japanese) - Nothing. US games are compatible with Japanese PC E CDs, and vice-versa.
Famicom - A converter to make the US games fit into the Japanese cartridge slot.
Super Famicom - Nothing. They're compatible.
Super NES (European) - A PAL/NTSC converter.

Snargle has "No <censored> clue, mortal!" about the others. Even Elder Gods have their limits.

Please?

Thor- would you do us all a favor and mention the word "crabbit?"

-- James

No.

Technobabble

A statement made by Tomm Hulett needs a bit of clarification. He states that the GBC maximum game size is 64 megs, and that Chrono Trigger was 32 megs. This is somewhat misleading -- the maximum GBC size is 64 megabits (which ends up being 8 megabytes) and Chrono Trigger was 32 megabits, or 4 megabytes. Anyone with an emulator can verify this; if I'm not mistaken, the average SMC ROM image for CT is about 4.5 megabytes. As a side note, it wouldn't even be possible for an SNES game to be 32 megabytes; the SNES has a 16 bit bus and probably has 24 address lines, just like the 80286, giving it a maximum memory addressing ability of 2^24 or 16 megabytes (which is 128 megabits). Then again, I've never done SNES programming, so I couldn't tell you how much ROM the machine is capable of addressing. As another side note, at the time the SNES was at its peak, a 32 megabyte cartridge would have cost about $150-200, assuming ROM was about 1/4 the price of RAM (remember those days when a 16 meg SIMM was $300...?).

And, now, a final question: do you know of any Final Fantasy tabletop RPGs? It'd be interesting to see, from a game development perspective, what ideas people have for game systems...

-- Deathstalker

Zzz... <snort> <cough> Huh? What? Oh, um... yes. I mean, no. No, Square isn't much interested in tabletop/pen and paper games, for obvious reasons. ("All they need is a brain, a deck and a friend! We're ruined!")

Quote of the month week

It's by Maeda (is that how you spell his name?), the Chinese man that follows Aya everywhere in Parasite Eve. He says this a number of times, the first just before Aya goes into the hospital. Good enough?

--Ellipsis Knight

Yes, though on a Monday, nothing is good enough. Enjoy the 96.3 megabytes of Thor Hack Entries which didn't make it to the archive this update. That's a little under 43,000 pictures!

They will die.

Did you see what Nintendo Power Source is doing? They're giving out their staff's pictures and telling people to hack them for a contest. Where could they possibly get THAT idea?

-- Emerald Knight

Gee. I dunno. And, look, the contest started the 16th. Why, that's just over a week after the Thor hacks started, isn't it? Fancy that. Must have been a coincidence. Yup. No more, no less. Yup.

KILL!

And now, what you've all been waiting for

Enjoy da debate and my ranty lil' comment at the end. Please note that Square asked for the removal of the Final Fantasy Collection story, and the only official word is squat. (Could "Squat" be a hidden character in FF9? Only time will tell!)

***

With the Final Fantasy Anthology coming to the U.S. (sans Final Fantasy 4), I guess fans can finally rejoice. How do you feel about Final Fantasy 4 being left out? My feelings general follow the "too bad, but beggars can't be choosers" ideal.

***

He whose father rides a six legged horse, I just recieved a blow to the gut today, I read that Final Fantasy IV will not be included in the US FF Collection. Why does Square hate us so much? Not alot of people still own a good working copy of FFII for SNES, and of course there aren't any new copies available. Plus, that version was a dummed down version of the Jap original. Now they aren't giving us Cecil in FMV, as well as the rest of the full Japan version (Cecil using Darkwave anyone? Nope, never, not for us.) Please Thor, I heard you once say that FFIV was one of your favorties and that Cecil rocked, many of us agree with you completely. Say it ain't so. Must I live my life without this game forever?

-- CyberMan X

This is gonna take a while. Hit Page Down as needed.

There's something kind of... ironic about all of this. First there was no word on a us FFC release. Then, a glimmer of hope. Unconfirmed, but wonderful news. The one problem was that Final Fantasy 4 wouldn't make the cut. Some folks said, "Boo! I want FF4! Why does Japan get everything better than America?" Others said, "Well, just you be happy you're getting anything at all!" And now, according to Square, we aren't. But has this silenced those outspoken against the removal of the last truly "hardcore" Final Fantasy game? Not a drop.

Heck, I even know a few guys who are happy Square asked everyone to can the story. This way, they think, there's a chance we get FF4. (After all, as long as nothing's confirmed, there's always a chance. Maybe Square heard the outcry and decided to translate FF4 because they care about us fa... <snort> OK, I'm sorry. That was too silly even for me.)

Personally, I don't see much point in adding a bigass cloud to our lovely silver lining. All arguments I've heard against the translations are shaky at best. If FF4j for the PSX was glitchy, so be it. Not everyone needs perfect graphics and sound to enjoy a game. The point of FF4 wasn't the plot or immersion like FF8, it was gameplay. And as for the costly translation? Heck, I know of group of kids who translated FF4 in their spare time. How costly could it be to hire three college kids for a couple of weeks?

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle plot

In Sunday's CoS, someone wrote in about how there probably won't be as many secrets in FF8 as there was in 7 or Xenogears, because it only took a year and a half, as opposed to FF7's two and a half. Here's a good explanation. Being a programmer type myself (not that I know much by any means) I've learned a thing or two. People sometimes say, "You never make any money off of reusable code." Well, here's where they're wrong.

When Square designed FF7, they were making a totally new game for a totally new platform with totally new graphics, effects, etc. When they started to design FF8, they had FF7 to work with. Basically, they just took FF7, tweaked the game (vastly in some cases) to make it better, and began doing the art for FF8; they didn't have to make an entirely new game "engine."

Think of it this way: In a program like Microsoft Word, you have "templates" that are, essentially, models for documents. You just fill in the blank spots and modify it a bit if need be. Well, Square used FF7 as a "template" for FF8, so it didn't take as much time 'cause they didn't have to redesign it from scratch. I thought I'd help out a few people by sharing this.

Groovy. Nothing to add, and after that FF4j rant, I'm not sure anyone wants me to say much more, heh heh.

:D

Well, Thor, when you read this it will probably be monday. In order to help you out of your Monday deepression, I offer this simple scenario:

You, Teri, deserted island

There, that should improve your monday ^_^ -- Temjirim

Bless you.

Quickies updated before noon! <enter innuendo here>

An unnamed RPGamer sez: "2 things are not a collection." According to what? Sheesh. // Z-42 wanted to know, "When you speak of the bitterness that comes with every Monday, is it the soft, warm, tasty bitterness of a good cup of Joe, or the sour, near alchoholic, diseased liver taste of a Mickey?" Neither. It's the dull, chalky taste of ground granite being forced into your mouth by a giant green bunny rabbit named "Mr. Biffo". // Kari Banari says, "You remind me of Garfield in a way...you both hate Monday, eat a lot you're 6'4", come on!), and have an attitude. Attitude is good." Actually, I eat like a bird. A very, very small bird. A finch, perhaps. Or a hummingbird. The result? A gaint, gaunt, but undeniably attractive Thor. (OK, so I made up that last part. Sue me.) // DeepDownTraumaHound (uh) said: "I was talking with a friend and he says Lunar the Eternal Blue was never released for Sega CD, they shut down right before. True or false?" False. // Mike asked, "I heard something somewhere about Acclaim coming out with a Vampire: The Masquerade based game, any clues?" They sure are. Check http://white-wolf.com/ for info. // Princess Artemis has a FF7 timeline here. (This was covered during the weekend, wasn't it? Bah.) // And finally, somebody said something, I just can't remember what...

Thor stuff

Baby, we need to talk. No, really, now. I need space.

This weekend, instead of mailing the Sages, over 75 people decided to e-mail me directly. In other words, they opened their mail program and typed in 'askthor@rpgamer.com' instead of just clicking the Sages link. I know this is going to sound cruel, but unless there's a reason for you to mail me instead of the sages (a Thor hack, a Thor-related question, nude pictures -- that sort of stuff) consider mailing my co-workers. It's not that I don't love you... I'm just not in love with you.

In other news, over the weekend alone, I received 45+ Anime Thor hacks. I was shocked. You guys are really... productive. Since I received so many, it'll take me until Tuesday to sort through 'em all and select which I'll post. (45... I can't post 'em all.) I do plan on making some sort of archive of all these gems -- it'd just take me a more time than I have right now to do the HTML.

For now, I'd like to showcase a few drawings which weren't exactly Anime Thor Hacks, but impressed me none the less. The first is an "Final Fantasy 6" Thor by Nazhuret. The second is, um, hard to explain. Apparently, a guy/gal by the name of Vienna designed a girlfriend for me. It's no Frankenstien, she's actually cute in a vaguely Elly kinda way -- even though I prefer women with dark hair. :D

Oh, and here's a special assign... er... request for you all. Can anyone please find me the Forsaken logo? Ya know, the one with the heart and sword. Big, preferably. Don't do it for me -- do it for my mother.

Long story.

- Thor "..." Antrim
Marty's a good Q&A guy. If it wasn't for my unnatural charisma, I'd be worried about my job.

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