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Friday Thorsday Madness
 
 
Welcome to the 51st Ask Thor. Ever notice how all the really weird stuff happens on Thursdays? <key Twilight Xone music> I would have made a big deal about the 50th, but I'm weird, so I didn't.

After working on this column for the past half-decade, I must say I've seen it all. Why, I was there when Beyond the Beyond was released... When Zelda II hit the stores and confused everyone with its EXP system... I even witnessed the birth of Dragon Warrior, and the really, really dull years before that when there were any console RPGs. If there's one thing I've learned, however, it's that -- wait, what do you mean this is a daily column?

Oh. well. Okay then.

 
"Rest... in... peace..." -- The Undertaker
All right Mr. Know it all, tell me this. In Final Fantasy 1, in the elf town, there is a tombstone, and on this tombstone it says R.I.P. Erdrik (or something along those lines) now Erdrik is from the Dragon Quest series...was this Squares way of saying that Final Fantasy kills Dragon Quest, or what??

- Elf Enforcer

It's Erdrick, actually. The tombstone reads, "Here lies Erdrick / 837 - 866 / R.I.P." And yeah, it' a somewhat prophetic jab at Enix. Back then, the thought of Final Fantasy dethroning Dragon Warrior/Quest as the favorite RPG (series) was laughable. Now, it's just kind of creepy -- much like Drew's instance on wearing that blasted costume.
 
They said it couldn't be done in... oh, wait, I used that one already.
Oh Thoriest of Thors, Sarciest of sarcastics, sexie--hell no...

I read in your quickies that it would first be recorded in english (umm, does that further the rumor that Meg Ryan will be one of the voices?). Does this mean that the movie's rendering is with the mouths moving to fit the english words, and then the Japanese will have to buy a imported dubbed version? Or is Square going to make mouths move in synch to Japanese words, and then dub as an english version? Or, heaven forbid, are they going to render *two* different versions, one in Jap (heh, I shortened it to 'Jap', naughty racist me...), and one in English? Do you even know? All I know is that the pics of the crew doing it look a lot like a bunch of americans. What's your --seldom-- humble opinion?

The movie will be rendered in English. Japan will get a -- get this -- dub. Snicker all you like, that must seem quite unfair to them. Imagine if the most popular American series, let's say Star Wars, was filmed in Japan and we had to make due with a dub. Oh, the irony.
P.S. Tell Drew he looks good in a sailor uniform.
And how. Drew's got back!
P.P.S. I have a special gift coming soon. I'll save it for Monday, since you'll need something to brighten your day. Hint: Teri. :) - J
Please note that RPGamer does not condone the kidnapping and subsequent diliverance of hot babes to its employees. So, uh, I quit?
 
"Baaaaaaaaaaaaa!" -- Any RPGamer party held behind locked doors.
"Since this game was not only developed by Aericans..."

Dear Thor,

I write to you in protest because of the above line. We divulged to you the existance of our subterranean half-sheep, half-man race because we trusted you to never reveal us to the general public. We even allowed you to partake in our weekly activities of running naked through the streets and scaring innocent children. However, you have exposed us, and even given them our species names of "Aericans." We shall now have to enact our species form of revenge by making you watch 24-hours of "The Brady Bunch" with no commercial breaks. Mwa-hahahahahaha..... BAAAAAAAAA!!!!

-Shadow "sneaking up from behind you with a long, wet noodle" Caster

Scientists have pinpointed the origin of the Aericans. It's none other than Duane "Bubba" Snoddgrass' "Sheep 'n Sleep Hotel and Farm" located in Allgood, Alabama. ("Remember: It's 'all good' in Allgood!".) When contacted, Snoddgrass declined to comment.
 
Evangears
(Xenogears spoilers)
Thor-chan--

Okay, I know you're not finished with Xenogears yet. I can understand that; more than that, I can *respect* that. However, put aside any silly fears of spoilers and please answer my 'Gears question! Pretty please?

What is the Xenogears-Shin Seiki Evangelion (Neon Genesis Evangelion) connection? Were they made by the same people? Do they have the same scriptwriters? Are the animators the same for both the game and the anime series? Are the guys that wrote the script just die-hard Eva fans? Tell me! From the moment I saw the playable demo, I was muttering to myself, "You know, this reminds me of Evangelion...." As the game progressed, things got more and more eerie to the point where I am almost (but not quite) certain that one of Fei's past lives included Ikari Shinji-kun. And Asuka? Elly, all over. Well, she's Elly on crack, but that's a whole 'nother story.....

This has been bugging me, Thor, and I know you're the only one powerful enough to put my questions to rest. I have evidence! I swear! The problem is giving it without spoiling anything (I've finished the game, neiner-neiner-neiner). But seriously, Thor, if you can make any sort of connection between the series and the game, I would much appreciate it.

Arigato gozimasu!

There is no connection between Xenogears and Evangelon, other than the fact that Square was (obviously) influenced by the popular Anime series. Other Final Fantasy influences include Star Wars, Terminator, and the "Tina and Tanya: Lusty 'n Lonely Twins" direct to video series.
PS: Tell Drew that I'll be your Loki anyday.... ^_^

- Whitney "The Reverend Doctor" Cox

What does that even mean?
 
Correction!
Sexypants:

It's Woolsey, not Woosley, and he's not held captive by Crave, he was one of the founders.

The "held captive" thing was a (lame) joke, the Woolsey thing was a mistake. I swear; for the last four years I've been saying "Woosley". It sounds much more cute than "Woolsey" don't you think? I mean, Woosley the Wizard Vs. Woolsey the, um, Sheep. Hey, maybe he's an Aerican!

And while Ted may not be held captive by Crave, rumors say he does spend an inordinant ammount of time in Craveyard's "love dungeon".

And let's not forget that he DID mastermind Secret Of Evermore, one of the worst games to bear the Squaresoft name, so while Shadow Madness might have a great story, Crave just doesn't have a great track record when it comes to American-developed RPGs.

- Chris Kohler

Quick! Name three classic American-developed console style RPGs.

Okay, name one.

Mmmkay. Not lookin' good. Well, in SM's defense, I hear it's a lot like Final Fantasy VII. Not so much in story as in presentation and style. (And come on, from day one when we saw the first screens, did we think it could be like anything but FFVII?) So if you liked Final Fantasy VII -- all two, or two gillion of you, depending on if you go by sales figures or bitchy letters on Ask Thor -- at least give it a rent.

 
The sad truth
Hey there... um... ah never mind, I was gonna think up a cool name for ya but hardly anything tops "Sexypants" so...

ANYWAYS,

Your ranting on RPG reviews are valid, but another thing that's true is most RPGs that are released are actually worth the high marks they receive... during the first play-through. It's when you've finished a game and its appeal wanes that its flaws become more obvious, and the review it originally gained will most likely drop in score. I really enjoyed both SNES Breath of Fire games, but once they were over, I hardly returned to them.

Few RPGs earn a really low score during the first play-through, but what does badly stands out. Two prime examples: Quest 64 and an obscure NES coaster known as Legend of the Ghost Lion. Even during the initial try (being anything but an idiot I always rent a game before I buy it), Quest was unable to hold my interest for more than an hour. Ghost Lion was Kemco's badly-constructed answer to Dragon Warrior, and I guess it's quite a rare title because it isn't even acknowledged at RPGamer. IMHO it warrants recognition as being the single most boooooooooring NES RPG ever... in fact, no RPG I've seen on any system moves any slower than Ghost Lion. Even Quest 64 is a rocket in comparison.

One last thing: I'm not asking in any way for you to print this letter, nor am I expecting you to. I'm just donating an opinion.

- Jax Mandrake, possessor of an oddly pronounceable name.

Expect the unexpected.

You're right. RPGs are mostly about storyline; the second time through storyline is (naturally) less interesting; and there is something very seductive about a good plot. Even I've been known to ignore poor gameplay for interesting locations, characters and events. The problem is that most reviewers don't even finish the games before reviewing them, let alone play through twice. It's a dirty little secret of the 'review biz', but it rears its ugly head from time to time, such as the infamous Nick Rox Vs. Working Designs fiasco.

Ya know, I knew a kid who really liked Legend of the Ghost Lion. He won it like, three times. Just goes to show there's somebody out there who likes every RPG. Except Ultima: Exodus, of course. And ya know what? I actually liked Quest 64. I found it charming. It was like Dragon Warrior -- updated. Mind you I wouldn't play it again and again, and calling it an "epic RPG" is absurd... but man, there's a fan out there for every RPG.

Except Ultima: Exodus for the NES. <grin>

 
Match of the Century
Here we have it! The ending of the Thor Vs. Lorelai celebrity deathmatch. Remember, folks... all is not what it seems.
JG: Well folk, it looks like this RPG Deatmatch has come to a close. Thor is mesmerized by the stunning artwork and there is no help in sight. BW: Too bad for Thor..... What? Who's that shouting up in the Nosebleeds? It's a women in a green outfit with rainbow hair and she's screaming "I . . . Love you . . . . Thor . . . . . Sexypants." Now she's pointing a green cylinder at Lorelai and . . . . !
JG: And the tables are turned! The mystery woman has just fried the fan art and Lorelai's hand. Ouch!
BW: Thor and Lorelai are now circling, wondering why fighters always circle.
JG: Wow. This match is anyone's game now.
BW: Look out Thor! A rabid bad logic user has jumped out in the ring and is screaming UfP like a tortured weasel.
RBLU: THOR, YOU ARE EVIL BECUZ YOU POST PORNO LINKS IN YOUR COLUM. YOU MUST LOVE PORN BECUZ YOU JOKINGLY INCLUDED ONE IN YOUR COLUM. YOUR ALSO WOOLDN'T KNOW A GOOD RPG IF IT HIT YOU IN THE ASS. THAT'S WHY YOU HAVE A DAILEE COLUM ABOUT RPG'S. IF I EVER BECAME A HACKER, YOUR'RE IN TRUBLE THORR.
JG: But what this? Thor is prepared. He is now blasting the bad logic back in the users face using wit and sarcasm. Sadly, It is lost on the poor sod.
BW: But not on Lorelai. She's hit the floor laughing. Wow, look at convulsions her body is enduring from the hysterics.
JG: Oh No! Lorelai has laughed herself right out of the ring and, ouch!, knocked herself cold. It's going to be Thor administering the Prozac cookies today. And that is another exciting RPG Deathmatch. Tune in next time for more Mayhem for the Master of Written Humor, Thor Antrim!

Before I go, I must thank you for writng an excellent column everyday. I haven't found one column that didn't leave me in stitches.

- Swiggus "I can do hidden text too" Mugwart.

Hilarious match, cept for one thing. That was how it could have happened -- but not really. What follows is how things really went:
<CD music playing>
JG: Now back to Celebrity Deathmatch!
JG: And now back to Lore vs Thor!
JG: While the commercials ran, our "own" Bubbawheat ran out on us. Unsure where he went, but the two combatants remain.
JG: During the commercials, folks, the action didn't stop. Here's a recap....
JG: Lore dazzled Thor with an artist's impression of Tifa. While Thor was mesmerized, Lore took the chance to humiliate him by coloring his hair blue, and staining his nice leather jacket. Then she did like Tifa, and slapped him right across the face, snapping Thor out of it. That'll hurt his pride more than his body.
JG: And now back to the live action. Thor just "woke up" after he was slapped in the face by Lore. Thor takes a few seconds to recover and grabs his hammer. The audience is unsure of what he will do... But wait! Thor takes the hammer in both hands, and slams it on the ring! This seems to cause a shockwave, and down goes Lore, back first. Thor is walking towards the prone Lore, then kneels down beside her...
TA: Kiss me baby!
JG: Thor lunges for Lore, and forces the tounge on her!
ML: Hold it! This isn't a porno! Either kill her or be killed!
JG: While Mills Lane is talking, Lore takes the opportunity, and jumps at Thor with her nails, gashing Thor's forehead. This gets him in "shellshock" or "Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome". Lore goes again for the head and hits brain! Thor collapses in a bloody heap in the ring.
JG: And "Fan Art'n'" Lore wins!
LO: I didn't wanna do it, I had to do it! Fans: She wrecked Thor's hair! Let's get the bitch!

Comments?

- EE

Yeah. I, um. Find your warped perception of me and Lorelai highly disturbing. I'm going to have nightmares about this, I just know it. Cute lil' Lorelai, kicking my ass; me trying to force a french; Lore's boyfriend doing one of those nifty rush-towards-the-awful-accident-screaming-"NOoOOoOoooOo!" scenes.... truly a nightmare. Luckily, that was how things could have happened -- but didn't. Here's what really took place...
Well, it's done, you can have it for Monday, or wait until Thursday Thorsday Madness (TM) Oh yeah, Celebrity Deathmatch would not be Celebrity Deathmatch without the ever present 'spin' it just wouldn't. Even though they do throw in a match where the expected person wins, just to throw people off. It's been fun, and if you think the plug is a little too gratuitous, feel free to take it out :)

BW: Well, we're back, and it's time for our combatants to finish their battle.
JG: Thor looks ready, and he charges Lorelai.
BW: Ouch, he tripped on that big hammer and fell flat on his face. It looks like Lorelai is wasting no time taking advantage of this.
JG: She's got a handfull of prismcolor pencils, and their sharpened to deadly points.
BW: She's tossing them at Thor like darts, and they're sticking alright, he looks like a human pincushion.
JG: But he's not down yet, he brushes off the pencils, and... what is he doing?
BW: I really don't have any ide- whoah! There's a large column of fire coming from Thor. It looks like Thor keeps those all those lamer flames in case of emergency. They certainly do add up, look at that blaze!
JG: This certainly is an emergency, but I think Thor needs to work on his aim a little bit, he completely missed Lorelai and hit Fritz Frandorf, sitting in the audience.
BW: Don't worry about him, I'm sure he's used to all the flames he's gotten since he shut down Cosmo Canyon. I'm gonna miss that place. But Fritz has moved on to a better place, alas poor Fritz, I knew him well.
JG: Hey Bubba, snap out of it, this is RPGamer, not Fritzapalooza, we've got a fight to cover!
BW: Oh yeah, sorry. Back to the fight. Thor has picked Lorelai up over his head and thrown her out of the ring.
JG: She's landed right next to Nick Diamond, he's managed to get out of the locker, and boy does he look mad.
BW: Uh... I think I'll announce the rest of the match from under the desk. Oh wow, I can see under this thing. Lorelai seems to be whispering something to Nick. Thor looks confused, he's scratching his larger head.
Thor: Hey, what's with you and this 'Larger head' thing? I mean, once is acceptable, but now you're just being unreasonable.
JG: Ooh. While Thor was conversing with Bubbawheat here, Lorelai and Nick Diamond picked up that mighty hammer together and have used it in the patented cranium smash.
BW: Apparantly, Lorelai told Nick that it was Thor that shoved him into the locker. That's using her larger head.
JG: What is it with you and that larger head thing anyway?
BW: I dunno, running gag? Well, it looks like Lorelai has won the match. It's been fun, good fight, good night.
JG: Hey, that's my line. I've had enough outta you. Hey Nick! He's the one that really put you in the locker, let's get him!
BW: Oh no, I'm outta here. I still have time for the ever present gratuitous plug though. Visit my site at http://members.xoom.com/Bubbawheat where you can find more Deathmatches, as well as serious fanfics. This is Bubbawheat, running away!

- Bubbawheat

And I thought I was shameless. Hey, I know, lets add a little happy ending, there.
JG: Hey, here comes actor Bruce Campbell, and he has a headset!
BC: Damn straight. Listen up -- Thor wins the booby prize, which is none other than Teri Hatcher.
JG: Quite a booby prize indeed, heh heh!
BC: Yeah? What's that s'posed to mean?
JG: ...anyway, it seems Teri Hatcher can't make it tonight--
Audience: Awww
TA: NooOOooOoOoooOooOoOOoooOooo
JG: So it seems Thor will just have to settle for a rent-controlled apartment in Chicago filled with adoring gothic female fans, coffee and questions that are, undoubtedly, fit for print.
TA: Huzzah and a half, baby!
I love happy endings. <sniff> Aww, damnit... I... I got something in my eye.
 
From the south? Male? Think Drew has "purdy lips"?
Ask Drew
(~Banjo music starts~)
 
Now Playing
Nuth'in
(I have to sleep sometime.)
 
Like Old Crap?
Try the Archives
(Beware the Typoes)
 
Bored? Easily amused? Stoned?
The Hack Archive
Thor Antrim: Anime Style
(Edit me. It's fun.)
 
Quickies that satisfy
OK, 6 people have already asked if that "Ash" person was me who wrote that letter in. Its really starting to bother me, Thor. Just to clarify a few things: NO, IT WAS NOT. Thank you for your time.
- Ice_Man_Ash
Yeah, ok. There. Done. Next!
King of All That is Odd,
I was cursed from birth with what an "outie" bellybutton. What do you recommend I do?
- Zindras Ra'kr
Remove the offending bellybutton at once! Just numb it with ice, then skillfully slice the nasty little limb off before it has a chance to recover and counter the attack. Watch it -- those bellybuttons can really fight back when cornered.
What was the purpose of the red a in the word square at the end of Thursday's column? If you don't know, then you must not be a very big SquareSoft fan, heh heh.
Sorry but the ummm.... debauchery was for nothing. The strongest whip in Xenogears is the Death Adda. Depending on who you did it with I suggest you take a shower now, maybe 5.
- PlzDon'tHurtMe
Dude, debauchery is never for nothing! But you're right, it wasn't the Thor whip. Oh well, at least I didn't bribe any of the male employees. <shudder>
I know your certain attraction to this 'Teri Hatcher', but I would like you to tell me... who on God's green earth is Teri Hatcher might I ask?
- Cloudy Squall
She played a part in the new Superman series (Lois), 2 Days in the Valley, and a major role in at least a good portion of my dreams since I hit 13. Nyuck.
 
Thor Stuff

Well, that was fun.

The Thor Hack update was delayed due to a bunch of annoying necessities, aka "life". Remember: Having a life is nothing to be proud of. It's time consuming, costs a bundle and you'll just miss it once you're drooling, staring off into space and trying in vein to "flush" the leather recliner in your living room.

It's a wonder I was able to update at all. Whew. I'm beat!

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for sending in so many printable questions lately. It's getting to the point that I can actually pick and choose between good questions. Golly!

Before I go, a few things which I kept wanting to mention but never got the chance. According to a reliable Elder God (it's Snarggsorligoph), Xenogears ending wasn't edited after all, so there was no cut nudity. And yesterday, "Drew" from the quickies wasn't our drew, but an evil, sinister, doppelganger Drew.

Also, don't forget that I do print long-er letters, just make sure they don't belong somewhere else, i.e. the reviews section, the editorials, or Mike Tidwell's paper shread in box.

I'm gone. Sleep well, my poppets.

- Thor "Bill Maher" Antrim
Politically Incorrect with Thor Antrim? This week's been a weird one.

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