Andrew Long - April 17 '04- 3:42 Eastern Standard Time
WELL, TODAY TURNED OUT RATHER LESS EXCITINGLY than I had hoped. It seems that one of the fantastic purveyors of street meat in Toronto had the uncommon bad timing to give me a bad hot dog, which sucks because it turned my stomach inside out this morning. It also sucks because normally, I like to buy sausages instead of hot dogs since they're generally better-tasting and less prone to being composed of raw cat heart. Unfortunately, my cash money reserves had dwindled to exactly two dollars at that point, and so I couldn't afford my usual choice, which turned out very badly indeed for me.
But oh well. I slept the day away, and now I feel better, so I'm pretty sure the treacherous dog was to blame. Rob had to leave, unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond his control, so once again we're left with no guest host and this time I don't even have an amusing anecdote to favour you with, unless you consider my hot dog misadventures to be wildly entertaining, which you should. In point of fact, if the vendor on that particular street that I usually go to hadn't seen fit to jack up his prices by fifty cents to take advantage of tourists, this would never have happened. I can never quite understand why people are willing to pay that extra money, especially when there's any number of cheaper hot dog carts throughout town. Granted, the expensive ones tend to be camped in tourist-choked areas, but there are still some honest souls in those areas that should by all rights expose these peoples to the wonders of what a hot dog should in fact cost. I dunno, I just get bitter when tourists cost me my hard-earned moon money.
Enough about that, though. There's far more exciting stuff afoot, like this instruction manual and battery. I'll spare you my dissertation on those things, however, since I don't know anything about No One Lives Forever 2 anyway. So, to cases!
The sad thing is
I crave street meat
Even as we speak
Will I ever learn?
I still go to Taco Bell
And they gave me delusional hallucinations!
Yes, Grade F meat is a Very Bad Thing.
Let's start things off with some Shroudie!
So as I was telling you...the weekend has been interesting. Nothing extravagant or anything, but just enough to divide me from my former lazy, boring vacation. I miss anything good? Randomness? Opium? O.o Now I take back all the good things I said about The Matrix Online (all 0 of them) as AOL is now involved and sticking their dirty, monopoly-guy tentacles into something, and tainting it dirtily. La Pucelle does look tempting, but seeing as though I have yet to play Disgaea...I'll add it to my list of games to yet play. Damn the economy and not giving me free money to buy shiny things with. *Sigh* You have anything good planned for next week? Tempting, delicious treats? Life-threatening steamships being unleashed on society? Sexy dances?? One can only hope! ^.^ We'll just have to wait and see.
This Castomel's for you,
O' Shrouded One
Well, I hadn't really thought about anything in particular for next week, but don't worry, I'll come up with something suitably half-baked by the end of the column. No steamships though - they take a fearful amount of coal to keep running, and all my coal resources are currently devoted to the blackening of certain lungs.
Gee, I wonder whose lungs those might be...I been struggling through the Sambuca marshes of north Mexico to extract the elusive Flames and this is what I hear? There's an angry letter in yer future, whippersnapper! An angurrrrry letter, yessiree.
AOL in the Matrix Online? How unfortunate. Incidentally, Bud Light will make your skull fall out, go to OCAD so you can drink some real beer instead.
WhaddaYOU know about real beer, you pussywillow? I'd wager you've never looked an honest-to-goodness brew in the face and come back to tell the tale before!
I know shut up, that's what!
No deal, McCutcheon!
::Rises slowly out of the darkness::
C to the A to the S to the... ah, nuts to that.
Concerned about the turnover rate in Q&A readers, eh, Steve? Personally, I've read the column for a few years now, through Thor, various Andrews, and the occasional MegaHAL (oh, the humanity!)
Still, I didn't really start writing letters 'till I'd been reading for at least a year. I get the feeling most of the readers out there are just hesitant to write in, like I was. So I say to you out there, stand up and be heard! Toga! Toga!
Oh, and God of Gambling, may your hampsters be non-threatening and delicious!
All those beautiful moon money is mine! MINE!!!
Well, I'm more interested than concerned, to be honest. It's not like I can actually do anything with the information, so I'm pretty much just trying to make my speculation less windy. The results of our little survey belie my precious theories thus far, however, so I may have to cook some data before I come up with anything I can sell to Popular Science.
Rock and roll rears its rockin' head
Recently, I was replaying Suikoden II (damn, I love this game), something caught my attention, I hadn't noticed before. I'm a crazy fan of Jethro Tull, at some point, I don't remember when, you talk to Kinninson at your HQ, he'll quote the song "Life's a long song", he'll say: "Life is a long song, but the tune ends too soon for us all." I never noticed that! There may be a Jethro fan at the crew that made the game! I wonder if other games, has something like this, a real input from one of the creators... I shall find the needle in a haystack!
Now, you asked and I shall answer, I've been hanging about in RPGamer's Q&A long before Thor got his seat. Heck, I was enjoying this site even before it was RPGamer! Actually, I've only written three letters, one for Google, one for the other Andrew, and this one, for this Andrew! I've always been a big of fan of RPGamer. Your coverage of games comes from the heart and that's what I need...not some greedy bastards that earn money based on the amount hype when doing games' coverage.
Diego - "RPGamer has been kicking other sites' arses so hard that they kissed the moons!"
Thanks for the kind words, Diego, and strangely, I even remember Kinnison saying that for some reason. I think, however, that you remember that point and just don't want to spoil things horribly for everyone, and for that I'm sure people will thank you (I'd do it again, but I can't be giving out thanks like candy, now can I?)
This isn't a question so I understand if it doesn't get printed, in fact it doesn't matter to me whether it does or not. I just thought I'd participate in your little survey type question. Althought I haven't been reading since the days of Thor, I started reading when Brad was still here. I think he was the weekend guy or something like that...all I really remember is his little icon "Blinky Brad". Anyway, that was about two or three years ago...maybe even four come to think of it. After I graduated from High School the years kept going by but my mentality is that of just being graduated from high school. In fact I still thought my brother was a freshman, but no, he's going to be a junior this coming year. Anyway, I must admit at first I didn't read your columns due to time constraints and the fact that they were long; but now, yes now I have somewhat more time on my hands and have managed to read yours along with google's.
Thanks for sharing, Tyler. We all remember brad and his blinking eyes, the way they never stopped blinking and kept staring, blinking, staring.... It was kind of unnerving, I tells ya! Makes me think I should come up with something similar, but I guess I'll stick to badly cropped sig pics for the time being.
Muah...another one comes out to play
Well, you asked in your last column how long we're been reading Q&A, so I thought I'd emerge from my lurker hole in the ground to reply. I've been here for a pretty darned long time (though I think I've only sent in one letter in all these years...) - I've been reading since the days of Thor, though I can't remember the exact time I started reading. I read pretty much daily for several years, though I stopped reading regularly for the past year or so (my interest in RPGs waned a bit, but that's probably because I had no new games to play - now that I finally got a PS2 for Christmas my interest has reawakened ^_^), but recently I've been reading fairly regularly again. My favourite Q&A host was probably Brad; my friend and I had this slightly disturbing obsession with him and his column during his tenure... And because I'm nice, I won't mention any names of hosts I disliked (though don't worry, you're not one of them or I wouldn't be writing this letter... ^_-).
So, that out of the way, I have a question. I have an idea for an editorial I want to write floating around in my mind, but I need some examples from gamers' personal experiences. Basically, I'm wondering what people do in RPGs for 'fun'. I don't mean just the battle system/plot/mini-games etc, but the weird little things that people do for kicks in games. Like, I was playing FFTactics a while ago, and I was stuck fighting an entire battle with only chemists because I needed everyone to learn a certain ability. This, needless to say, led to great amusement on my part as I watched a bunch of ridiculously weak and pathetic chemists smacking away ineffectually at various monsters. And thus was the idea for this editorial born. So, do you have any examples of bizzare stuff you do in games for amusement's sake? Am I making any sense?
Well, that done, I'm back to lurking in my comfy little hole in the ground and will emerge again in another 3 or so years. ^_^
Aww, you should come around more often, you sound just obsessed enough with chemists to make a daring foil to Shroudie. As to my bizarre gaming enjoyments, the one thing I can think of that might qualify is my secret love of playing through Zelda II with no candle, although I have been informed I am not, in fact, quite so elite as those of us who also make do without the cross. I don't really have any other specific examples to offer, although similar to your chemist crew, I do like to keep all characters about equally as strong, which means some ludicrous weaklings hacking away for minutes on end at times. Ooh, and levelling up in the Esper Cave in FFVI, despite the fact that the Floating Continent is much better suited to it - I just can't get enough of those Adamanchyts!
Anyways, I hope you write that editorial some day, and maybe on that day I'll be able to come up with something else to inspire you to write in. For now, I feel a distressing repeat email coming on...
Unfit for Print
I have no idea and I really want to know where the chocobos originally came from. Please tell me!
Never! AHAHAHAHA! Seriously, though, you guys need to stop giving me deja vu with these crazy repeat emails, because I know I've seen this one before (well, not exactly this one; the previous version came with a rainbow signature of death that looked suspiciously like an old TI game called Parsec) and in fact, I know Google has too. Still, since I'm sure you don't want to plumb through the murky depths of our archives, I shall once again answer for you - chocobos were stolen piecemeal by Square from a delightful feature-length anime film entitled Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds which was produced in 1984. If you'd like more information on this fabulous and not at all well-known film, I direct you here. in fact, just so nobody ever has to wonder again, I'll even put it in my sidebar, since kupomogli apparently doesn't love me anymore.
I've been around since Thor's time.
I can't say I read on a daily basis as such, but I do wander by fairly regularly.
Thanks for sharing, Korellyn. That seems to be a fairly standard response (which stands to reason, since Thor was pretty popular and all).
I've been reading since I was in middle school in the late 90's.
Back in the days of square.net! I read for at least a year before it became RPGamer, maybe a little more. I've stuck with it through it all, and I stand by this site as my favorite. Actually, it's been my homepage for about 5 years now.
Ooh, devoted! Thanks for sharing, Zenturion.
In case you were wondering I've been reading the column since Andrew K
was doing it....
Which was a long long long time ago. But it wasn't
until Thor came along that I (much like probably 90% of the other
people that read he column) really got into it and reading it every
single day. Now I pick random letters and read like half of them and
then go do something else because they are to long or boring or
DA LAST GRUMBLE
So I kind of lied when I told Shroudie I'd have a topic for Friday by now, because it seems in the rush to answer all the questions I forgot about the love, and the love is what we need for a good topic. Since it seems to be currently unavailable owing to the present hour and my vague headache, we'll have to settle for grim determination, which means we'll be talking about Front Mission 4 next week, if you want to. All other letters are welcome, but I'm really interested in this game now that I've read up some on the combat system. I know the graphics aren't the greatest, but I think targeted damage, if pulled off properly, will more than make up for that. What do you think? Do you even care about Front Mission? Are you drooling over the new Fire Emblem screens? Are you just drooling? I have a creamsicle we can solve that with!