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ASK ANDREW
Bionic Commando, Meet Samus Aran! February 12th, 2005

Andrew Long - 14:56 EST

I DESPERATELY WISH I had thought to bring home my GameCube for Reading Week, but alas, I made the foolish mistake of watching the first half of The Apprentice instead of packing up my stuff like a good little boy, so when my dad came to pick me up, I was pretty much doomed to a week of a PSX-only existence. However, I have decided to make the most of this situation, and so when we arrive at the end of the column, I shall pose a question to you that will form tomorrow's topic. Is that not great? Don't you love getting to control ME?

Yes, it's like your very own RPG...Except a lot more boring, cuz I don't have any swords, and my hair is distressingly not blue, and the last time I wore a karate outfit was this time I held up the local furniture store. Except that wasn't me, come to think of it... That was a crazy guy, and we had to call the cops in to haul his ass out of there.

So I guess the point of this is, if you see somebody doing kung fu moves in your local shop, you should definitely remember to bring your GameCube, cuz it's bound to be a laugh riot if you press buttons randomly in time with his flailing action movements! Also, flaming cheese is delicious. That is all.



Ramblebox
March march march march march march march march March march march march march march march march March march march march march march march march The army ants are marching... Better push the big red button!

-AL  


L E T T E R S
Relationship Red Flags


Was playing SF3 3rd strike against then-girlfriend, except I was facing the wall. Somehow, I still managed to land a perfect on her. Perfect!

Now we've broken up, hopefully not due to the humiliating defeat.


ANDREW

Ouch, dude. Very ouch. I'm no love wizard, but it seems to me that defeat was the beginning of the end. For more, here is RPGamer's very own love psychic, Minda LaRouge.

MINDA LAROUGE

I see positive power flow in your relationship star matrix, but the spirits of the dance tell me your defeat was not taken lightly by your significant other. I see her thinking of you still, especially when Cancer is in ascendancy over Jupiter and the moon is facing due east. I feel hope for your future, however; the spirits predict a romantic tryst with Celine Dion's cousin in the back of a Chevy pickup. Good times!



Awwwness*(*Awwwness not valid in OR, UT, OK, MS, AK, KY, ND, MI, OH, GA, MT and the general vicinity of Stephen Harper's bad haircut)


Well, I can't say I've had any romantic moments directly related to video games, as my fiancee is not a big gamer. She's very patient with my addiction, though, and even manages to smile and nod at appropriate intervals when I'm gushing about a plot twist or new character.

But! If statistic-defiance is what you're looking for, I suppose I qualify. After all, as a female gamer I'm already one kind of minority, as a lesbian I'm another, and somehow, I have managed to get engaged to a wonderful, beautiful, highly intelligent, non-gamer woman. (In fact, at around 3:30 am today, the 12th of February, it will be the 1st anniversary of our engagement.)
MINDA LAROUGE

Ah! Mais ca c'est magnifique, ma cherie! Yes, your relationship has very positive astro-bonds, created by the influx of solar radions in the existence cluster created by the juxtaposition of earth and alpha centauri in its third ascension during the epic and love-filled month of February. I see a bright, clear future for the two of you, and look for especially magnaminous tidings from the declension of Ares during next month's tidal fluctuation spirit shift.

As for an actual question, I really have to ask: what's with this persistence of fanatical console loyalty? In this day and age, with great games being released on any number of different platforms, I just don't see the point in clinging to that old Nintendo vs. Sony vs. etc. mindset. IMO, that's about as sensible as a Final Fantasy fan refusing to buy Suikoden because Konami is a competitor omgtehhorror!

Not being able to afford more than one console, hey, that makes sense, and is a matter of practicality. Not buying a console because there aren't enough exclusive games you want for it, perfectly sane. But dumping on the DS because one is a militant Sony fanboy, or dumping on the PSP because one is a militant Nintendo fanboy... well, as I said, I don't get it.

- Rose


ANDREW

Sadly, old habits die hard, and back in the day, you were either with 'em or aggin'em. As a devoted slave to the joys of Nintendo Power and all its glorious propaganda, I am to this day shamelessly inclined to heap exaltation on Nintendo above all other things, and I must confess the PSP looks dimmer in my estimation because of it. Of course, the PSP also looks dimmer in my estimation because of its pitiful battery life, deadly (and limited) game media and phallocentric design principles, so at least I'm not utterly cracked.

Either way, don't blame us... It's all Nintendo's fault. I LOVE YOU NINTENDO <3 !



Oh my poor heart just aches, with every wave that breaks, over loooove letters in the sand!


Castounding,

I'll tell you about, what I believe to be the closest thing to romantic I've seen in a videogame. There are a few interesting romantic scenes in a couple final fantasy games. The Locke/Celes relationship was always an interesting one, and there are several hints throughout the game that make me believe it is plausible. For one, if Cid dies at the beginning of the world of ruin, you see a scene where it looks like Celes is... commiting suicide? her last ray of hoe comes fro a bandana from Locke. I found that somewhat romantic. Also the opera scene is pretty romantic as well.

But one of my favorite romances in a videogame comes from Final Fantasy 8. While I know it sounds like I'm harping on the Final Fantasy series, I've thought of a lot of different RPGs, and I can say that Final Fantasy 6/8 do a pretty darn good implementation of romance. Anyway, while the Rinoa/Squall relationship was always interesting, that is NOT what I think about when I think of romance in FF8. I think of Laguna, Raine, Julia, and Ellone sidestory as a pretty romantic story. There is a strong suggestion that Squall is the child of Laugna and Raine, and there were some pretty nice romance scenes scattered throughout that game. Also, there was also some sadness in the death of Raine and her ghost which you can visit. I still believe the Rinoa/Squall romance could have been MUCH better, but as it is it works alright. Theres a lot of nice romance in that game, and while a lot of he main characters were somewhat annoying (Selphie and Zell anyone?) I loved that game simply for the romantic touch. Plus you got to love the scene where Squall is floating in space, trying to save Rinoa, who clings on to Squall's ring tied around her neck and decides not to give up hope and die. I'm such a sucker for that crap!

-Brendan Mesick


MINDA

My dear boy, you have completely twisted this topic to your own diabolical ends, but have no fear, Minda is here! Despite your malicious treatment of my own DELICIOUS boytoy favorit, Zell Dincht, I shall endeavour to dispel the advice you so dearly seek, because Minda est ici pour servirez-vous! Just ask the fine citizens of St. Anne du Lac Lumiere-Rouge, QC! Violette isn't the only one who gets her name tossed around with bicyclettes, mnhmhmmhmmhmm! Now, as to your own personal fortune: I see romance for you in the summer, as your passions most clearly inflame in the arch of Venus when it intersects at its peak with Orion. The musk of Orion will lead you to a sultry affair, but alas: I see disaster in the winter, as she will leave you for yours truly, who will use her champion seductive powers to snare true love!

As for that trollop Celes, she doesn't have a thing on moi, mon ami. You want bandanna romance? There was this monsieur, name of Dangerous, who came through St. Anne once, and when I could get him away from the bottle, sacre monde! He was a DEMON in the sack, if you catch my drift! AN ABSOLUTE DEMON! MES AMIS, YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN IT! SUCH PASSION HAS NEVER BEEN EQUALLED!

Ah, but I digress! I pray you do not find me a horrible old woman for my outburst, but remember... The summer is the time to act!

AN ANGRY SQUID
SPPPLORORRPB! ALL MUST PAY! MINDA, HOW CAN YOU FORGET OUR FORBIDDEN LOVE? HOWWBLLLORORPRW?? AND YOU, MEATLING! YOU WIPED DOWN A GRILL WITH MY SISTER'S HEAD LAST WEEKEND! YOUR DEATH WILL BRING GLORY TO A THOUSAND OCEAN DWELLERS! HEY! GET THOSE CHOPSTICKS AWAY FROM ME! BLLLRPRPRPRPR---

ANDREW

<.< I really must keep the lid on my dumb characters box more tightly sealed. Mmm.. that's one clean grill!



Grab bag


Okay, a week ago or so, I presented the idea that Kevin, in the Xenosaga series, may not be dead. Then, on 2-3...someone refuted this. There are two reasons as to why I believe that Kevin isn't dead:

One. In a certain cutscene, we see a robed figure who we can't identify with a strand of hair hanging out of his hood. The looks like Kevin's. Unfortunately, I forget the context of the situation, but I think it had something to do with awakening KOS-MOS prematurely. I'm still watching the bonus disc with the scenes from Episode 1, so perhaps I can elaborate on this later.

Two. In light of reason One...it is COMPLETELY possible for Kevin to be alive. I would like to point out that Virgil was "killed" by KOS-MOS. At the end of Episode 1, it's revealed that he's still alive and a major aspect of what's going on behind the scenes.

So don't rule out the possibility of Kevin being alive. If he is, though, it would seem that he's a bad guy now.

Oh, I guess I need a question. Hmmm....Okay, here it is. Have we been cheated by Square? The playstation saw 3 entries in the Final Fantasy series whereas the Playstation 2 saw only 2 two new entries in the series. You can't count the abominations known as XI and X-2.

an RPGfan


ANDREW

In view of the fact that you've discovered how craptastic non-FFX PS2 FF offerings have been, I would strongly suggest you've answered your own question. Then again, you're the one who's so deeply concerned with the potential fate of some dude from Xenosaga, so I suppose I might be giving you too much credit...



Randomblings


Hey Andrew,

I know what you mean about Woolsey's FFVI translation, but some lines ("son of a submariner"?) have just become classic in themselves. Anyway, there's a group that put out a fan retranslation of the game that can be played via emulator. Though emulators are of dodgy legality, I figured that since I owned the cart, why not? Even though I've played through it so many times, seeing the familiar words phrased a bit differently made it seem like almost a new experience even after having played it several times.
ANDREW

Oh, I agree. Some of the lines he came up with were just so dumb that they were good, but I've noticed a number of spelling errors, and take a look at monster names in FFVI. They make absolutely no sense whatsoever; he just named things whatever gibberish words popped into his head. Granted, some of the monster names in FFVI are among my favorites (ie Wart Puck) but I suspect that's mostly due to nostalgia. I'm not saying I think any less of the game for it or anything, it was just a little startling to actually notice it, since I do have a tendency to venerate FFVI above all other games.

And on a somewhat different subject, I believe it was stated a few days back that none of the FF games are really up for re-release yet. I personally would like to see FFIV get the same treatment that FFI and FFII did in Origins. The interface was a major improvement over the likes of FFI, but those of us who have played through it several times can attest to occasionally battling with the menu/item system to make it do what we want. But I'm an old fogey who shakes his cane at these newfangled 3d games.
ANDREW

Yeah, FFIV could use a bit of a redux, cuz it has aged rather poorly in some respects. Not being able to switch between characters in menu screens, being unable to use more than one curative item(or spell) at a time while in non-combat situations, and stuff like that all make me want to see a remake with some actual remaking involved. You're right that 3D would probably have a deleterious effect on it, though.

Finally, in case there's still any doubt regarding the whole FF death thing, at least one playable character died in FFII, IV (Tellah), V, VI, VII, and IX. If you want to see a pattern there be my guest, but all I see is Square using the same plot device over and over.

Regards,
Nathan


ANDREW

Which is more or less the conclusion at which both Google and I ended up arriving. Thanks for agreeing, though! It's a lot nicer than having to argue again.



The bitter truth


True Fantasy looks sweet. Has it been cancelled for good?

ANDREW

Yes. Yes it has.



Vaguely pertinent old letter


Dear Q&A Curator,

The person called "Lady Dragoon" who wrote a letter posted on the 12/31/04 column is obviously a female who oggles all our fictional RPG characters with joy and no guilt like the rest of us female rpg-players. However, when she learned the ages of the young males she oggles, it turns her off if they happen to be under 16 years of age or something. Well, I hope that she stops this stupid ranting about how old a nice-looking lad is and JUST ENJOY the way he looks cause he is FICTIONAL. You really shouldn't be guilty of fantasizing about this stuff since whomever you oggle is NOT a real person.

No one outside of the RPG-realm is gonna know about your underaged-kid fantasies anyways ^_^ lol

By the way "Lady Dragoon", Earthbound's main character kills monsters and aliens and goes on a big adventure just like all other slightly older RPG protagonists.

Anonymous


ANDREW

Thanks for sharing, Anonymous. Minda probably has something to add, but in the interests of humanity, I have decided to sedate her for the remainder of this column.

MINDA LAROUGE

Ah, silly boy. You forget the first law of psychics - we are immune to sedatives! Now, my nameless kindred spirit, while I have little to go on other than the wonderfully orange vibes I get from your letter, I tell you truly, when fantasizing about video game characters, it is your mind-age that matters! Because of your letter's position in the final chapter of Sagittarius, I foresee a vaguely diaphonous future for your romantic interests, although that could come counter to the fiery lust Mars will instill in your heart. That, if it came to pass, would lead to sexy results!



Unfit for Print


i got several questions for 1 is will the united states see Ys VI for the PSP or Ys III-V for the ps2?
ANDREW


I don't know why I'm answering this question, given that sixty or so people have attempted to impress the reply I'm about to give upon you over at the NP forums, but maybe seeing it somewhere else will finally make it sink in. Ys III was delayed indefinitely a couple months ago. Around here, an indefinite delay is what we like to call a bad thing. Indefinite delays happen to things like FFVII-IX remakes for PS2, which is a surprisingly apt analogy, should you choose to digest it instead of setting off the 61st cycle of "OMG WE'RE GETTING Ys GAMES! ARE WE REALLY GETTING Ys GAMES?" -> "ROFLOL WUTS YS" -> "OMG YS IS AN ARPG YOU DUMBNUT! LOLFRLAMAOLFOROL!" -> "The chances of Ys III to V coming out depend largely upon the success of Ys VI." ->(a week passes) -> "OMG WE'RE GETTING Ys GAMES!"

What I am saying is, the chances of Ys III to V coming out depend largely upon the success of Ys VI, and given the fact that IV and V are mere figments of Konami's imagination at this point, I would tend to suggest that you would have to see some pretty phenomenal numbers to warrant any chance of these games being resurrected.

So please, for the sake of all the whackjobs over at the NP boards, accept reality and stop asking this question. As for Ys VI, it has been delayed on all fronts until early this spring.

the 2nd is when is Ys III-V due out in japan
ANDREW


And rephrasing it slightly :L

and 3rd is can you point me in the direction to get box art for all the older ys games? for all systems from I-V

Sincerly
Ritalee
Nintendos Nsiders Plumber
ANDREW


http://www.rpgamer.com/games/series.html. Another chilling indication of the likely lousiness of Ys IV and V: we have nothing on them. NOTHING! The rest, however, you will find some form of boxart for, including the sweetass yellow TG16 cases. Ah, how I love those ugly cases.

And to those of you who are no doubt preparing to launch into a tirade of "WOW YOU'RE A REAL MEANIE!", I direct you to the following retarded thread: that is all.





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

So anyway, as I was saying in the intro, I have a stack of partially finished and untouched PSX games sitting in my living room. Of the following games, I want you guys to send me letters telling me why I should play them:

  • Wild ARMs ( and WA2)
  • Parasite Eve
  • Xenogears
  • Dragon Warrior VII
  • Vandal Hearts

There really is no reward in this for you, other than the fact that I may deign to hate one of these games horribly and write a suitably scathing review, but hey - it's probably better than my itinerant psychic, wouldn't you say?

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long is a big disgrace sometimes.


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