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ASK ANDREW
The Secret Order of Palidor January 23, 2005

Andrew Long - 14:18 EST

SO DESPITE THE FACT THAT I kind of wish I'd saved yesterday's title for today, we arrive none the worse for wear at the grand float debate. We've got a few scenarios whipped up for your general edification today, and while I'm reasonably certain that none will enable you, yourself, to hover, they may open a deeper understanding in you as to why it is that your favorite videogame characters get to while you remain, bound to the ground by the evils of gravity, your life a monotony of plain old walking and running. Sure, you can jump, but what's the point? You'll never be Mario...

And now, for my happy medicine!



Ramblebox
I do declare... my middle finger is larger than my ring finger! Now THAT's something! Which I guess stands to reason, since I'd look pretty silly with nothing dangling there and it would make typing a chore besides...

By the way, to certain weekday whiners, I am commented for easy deletion! If you hate me, desecrate me! I AM THE EASILY DELETABLE RAMBLEBOX! HOHOHO!

-AL  


L E T T E R S
Theory the Longwinded


Oh, Casto, you drew me out for a second comment/question.

The "physics" that might be involved in "float" is an interesting conundrum. On one hand, you'd think it would follow the same physics as being on the ground. Gravity is still in effect, you are just defying it to a point. However, the problem comes when you figure in that airships, according to Final Fantasy 1, run on the power of a "Floating Stone". These airships "glide" on the air, moving forward and being held down using propellors of assorted shapes, sizes, and angles. The real question is, since you'd think the "Floating Stone" would follow the same physics as the spell "Float", what exactly keeps the person floating hovering oh so lightly off the ground? Apparently, gravity doesn't affect "Float", so why don't you go sailing into the cosmos, suffocating as you left the lovely confines of the planet's oxygen?

What it might be is that "Float" is, in fact, "Float 1", a weaker version of the spell permenantly cast on the Floating Stone. That would totally be "Float 4", or "Floataragamanalagahoobyjooby" depending on what magic system you're using. Really, then, there should be a magician able to use "Float 4" that causes instant death to the enemies by making them float away.
ANDREW


Which is why there's Aero / Whirlwind. Seriously, though, that's a great idea. I'm all for turning innocuous grey magic into deadly, useful magic, since grey magic so seldom works against any monsters of significance.

Anyway, since there seems to be multiple levels of "Float", it seems that the physics of "Float 1" would follow the same physics of "Float 4", in that you would float in place until you used something that pushed you forward. So, apparently, they use tiny little propellors that you can't see to move forward, that all people are equipped with just in case "Float 1" is cast on you. Thus, there would be no friction except of that caused by the movement forward using the propellor, which would be against you rather than with you. No sliding like ice, good sirs!

Wow, I can't believe I just typed that whole convoluted mess up.

The question, then, is... where do they get those wonderful toys?

Brian J. Blottie
-I'm guessing Samsonite.


ANDREW


Samsonite? Not bloody likely. You haven't seen Watts the Blacksmith since Legend of Mana for a reason: Square has him locked in a sweatshop, doing nothing but hammering out propellers and micropropellers to equip the FF nations. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it, especially if that someone is working on pain of immolation by Omega Flare.


Whoops indeed


Since counteracting the force of gravity as mass times the acceleration of whatever planet their on would probably require a constant and fairly draining application of energy, I believe the float spell does not lift a player up, but rather curve the gravitic field AROUND the player so that he isn't affected. There would not be any "surface" holding the character up, because there is no force pulling him down. The spell probably has a little built-in addition that keeps the character at a certain distance above the ground, easily accomplished with magnetic fields.

What the HELL am I talking about...?

By the way, I'm really sorry I started that whole mess over the Xenosaga preorder deal. It was actually just a question designed to get my RPGamer quote identification answer printed, because I wanted the satisfaction of seeing MY tilde on the screen. Such selfish behavior did not go unpunished, I see...

- Feep "Whoops"


ANDREW

A fine answer, and one that takes into account the not-flying-into-space element very nicely. I have one problem with it, however; what was so bad about the word "gravitational" that prompted you to go with "gravitic" instead? I mean, inventing words is cool and all, but... Well, anyway. Apology accepted.



A third take


Hey, it's me again!

First of all, why did I not get a tilde a few days back for guessing the quote? Oh, well, I'll say it again: It's from Super Mario RPG, Legend of the Seven Stars (in case I need the full title) and it's said by Booster. Tilde? Please?
ANDREW

You didn't get it cuz someone else did. Herego, you remain ineligible. Now get off my ankle! You're freaking out my cat...

Second, I have a theory on the whole "Float" issue. Me believes that when you cast float on yourself, you are ACTUALLY holding your body's atoms entirely still for a fraction of a second, thus messing up the "alignment" between your body and our dimension (kinda like in Sunday newspaper comics (the ones with color) where the color frame and the line frame are transposed over each other). It would also be like if you managed to separate the lyrics from the music in a song, then recombine them with the music 1 second late. Although this doesn't really make sense when you add float gems to the theory, but who cares anyways?

'Nuther question. Do you like Parasite Eve? I thought that was a really good game! Sure, it had it's faults, but it's a quality game nonetheless.

And about the other letter regarding FFXII, I realized why I think it looks great. The characters are REAL! I mean, they're just people, you know? I dunno, I just think it'll be great. You can shoot me now. I'm used to it.

-Michael Webbon (who wants his tilde)


ANDREW

The characters are... real? I gotta tell you, I've never met anyone who dresses like Vaan, and last I checked, one of your characters is a Bangaa, not exactly something that I tend to classify as real. I dunno bout your explanation there, anyway... It sounds more like something to come up with an answer for Shadow's ninja trickery ability than Float.

As to Parasite Eve, I haven't finished it, so I can't really say.



Says you


This won't get posted...but I just wanted to clarify that Leo's death in FF6 doesn't disrupt the pattern at all. He wasn't a major playable characters. He was just an extra.

An RPGfan


ANDREW


Ah, but he IS briefly playable. Then he dies. So you see, if he hadn't died, he would have been playable in the World of Ruin, having forsaken the evil ways of the Empire as he did.


And in left field, we have...


Have RPGamers become to picky with their games? Seriously! Almost all old games were pretty much the same thing with minor tweaks, and everybody love those. Now when a game comes out with something different from the mold, people complain about it either being all graphics or all gimmick. Personally, I've enjoyed just about every RPG I've come across. Final Fantasy, Shadow Hearts, Wild Arms, Chrono, Shin Megami Tensei, Lufia...blah blah the list goes on. I've played every RPG that has come out in the past 10 years, and I can tell you that I've really enjoyed at least 90% of them. Even the new ones that have come out are really fun. (FFX-2 and Star Ocean had great gameplay and sacrificed some story, Shadow Hearts was great all around, Growlanser was something nice and new for us) Nowadays, everybody is looking for a perfect game. 100% good story and gameplay. Unfortunately, you probably can't find that anymore. Another thing that bothers me is how everybody complains about Square-enix. They say "I hate them and their new games!" yet you know they continue to buy the new games by them; they just want to bitch about how games aren't carbon copies of FFVI and Chrono Trigger. Oh well. I still have faith in Square Enix, and I'm loving most RPGs being produced. Quit being so picky everybody!

Well, guess i need to put a question in here...I just beat Shadow Hearts: Covenant, and got the good ending. It really was great, and it looks like it leads to a Shadow Hearts III! Am i correct in assuming this? Thanks for your time.


ANDREW

Yeah, quit being picky everyone! Let's all lower our standards so that when Square Enix releases fluff like FFX-2, great sales numbers give them no reason whatsoever to clean up their act! Don't bitch about games like Star Ocean 3; we wouldn't want to give the developers a complex! Sorry, dude, but I don't buy this argument one bit. I'm all for dressing down people when they complain about each game that gets released, but blindly turning my brain off and enduring terrible games is not my cup of tea.

I also don't get why you're preaching this viewpoint. What is the possible benefit in struggling through crappy games telling yourself that they're a fun riot? They'll still be bad at the end of the day, and however much you try to fool yourself, in the end you can't really trick yourself.





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Bleh. Apologies for the lateness; my brain didn't work too well today x.x

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long had better not use something that requires modification for vowel agreement, since "an Googleshng" for eight straight days would probably raise eyebrows.


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