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ASK ANDREW
A Giant Bag of MSG June 24th, 2005

Andrew Long - 4:14 EST

IS WHAT I BOUGHT TODAY, along with a wide variety of salts that promise to be spicy in some way or another. I know that common convention states that MSG is bad news bears, but upon looking at every bag of chips I've bought in the past year and discovering that MSG was an ingredient contained within, I have come to the conclusion that either chips are bad for you or the anti-MSG craze was some sort of sting operation designed to hurt business at Chinese restaurants. Either way, I'm sure there are enough other things out to kill me that a little extra love for my food won't significantly speed the process along.

In other, more relevant news, I have no letters. As such, you will be treated to leftovers from Roku's reign of terror.




L E T T E R S
Stu goes listy


Okay, this is going to sound silly, but I'm hoping for some help from Q&A hosts, readers, or whoever. Here's what I'm trying to do (and don't ask why): I'm trying to name every character in Final Fantasy 4-10 and Mystic Quest who is part of your team at some point. Obviously this includes any main characters in the party (Cecil, Kain, Rydia, etc) but I'm also going to include people who are only on your side for a short time. Not only does this include folks like General Leo or Beatrix type temporary characters, but even the ones who are almost entirely inconsequential, such as Vicks & Wedge or the extra moogles from the three party battle in hte beginning of FF6. I'm also including characters you can't actually directly control, such as Sephiroth in the Nibelheim Flashback Sequence or Golbez when he teams with FuSoYa against Zemus. Basically, if they were in a battle, and they were fighting on your side, they're eligible. Now here's the really weird part: I'm trying to get 96 of these characters (again, don't ask why), but I'm stuck at 94.

Here's who I have so far:

FF4-Cecil, Kain, Rydia, Tellah, Edward, Rosa, Yang, Palom, Porom, Cid, Edge, FuSoYa, Golbez
FF5-Butz, Lenna, Galuf, Faris, Cara
FF6-Terra, Locke, Mog, Edgar, Sabin, Celes, Cyan, Shadow, Gau, Setzer, Strago, Relm, Go-Go, Umaro, Vicks, Wedge, Banon, Ghost 1, Ghost 2 (you can get two if Shadow isn't in your party), Kupek, Kupop, Kumama, Kutan, Kupan, Kamog, Kushu, Kurin, Kuku, Kuru, Leo
FF7-Cloud, Barret, Tifa, Aeris, Red XIII, Sephiroth, Yuffie, Cait Sith, Vincent, Cid
FF8-Squall, Zell, Seifer, Selphie, Quistis, Rinoa, Irvine, Edea, Laguna, Ward, Kiros
FF9-Zidane, Blank, Marcus, Cinna, Vivi, Steiner, Dagger, Freya, Quina, Beatrix, Amarant, Eiko
FF10-Tidus, Auron, Wakka, Yuna, Kimahri, Lulu, Rikku, Seymour
FFMQ-Benjamin, Kaeli, Tristam, Phoebe, Reuben

There you go, 94 team members. I'm just trying to squeeze out two more, so if anybody can think of ANYONE I've forgotten that can even be considered, let me know. One other thing, they have to be on your team naturally, no hacking involved. For example, Kefka has a battle sprite similar to your characters, but you need Game Genie codes or whatever to actually have him on your team. It's gotta be legit. Final Fantasy 1-3 are out, as is Final Fantasy Tactics, "Final Fantasy Adventure", and "Final Fantasy Legend 1-3". I'm sure if there's any I've forgotten, there's SOMEBODY out there who can name them.

If you can help me (or just want to mock me for having nothing better to do at work except try to come up with a list of exactly 96 playable FF characters), shoot me an email at whereitsat42@hotmail.com. Thanks to anybody who can help!

Robust Stu
Gold Reviewer/Pathetic Shell Of A Man


ANDREW


Hmm... By your criteria, I do believe FFVI's Emperor counts, as near the fall of the World of Balance he briefly appears in a battle sequence on what could be considered your side. Beyond that, however, I can't seem to think of any other characters, unless you'd like to count Aeons from FFX.


SaGa solutions


Hi,

I've recently began collecting all the PS1 RPG's that I passed over during my years of playing RPG's. One series that I looked over was Saga Frontier. I remember renting part one and I actually finished one of the sequences. The part that ruined these games for me was that the ending for that character was terrible!

So as that I've recently bought it, and am wondering if I should go through it next; do I get anything special for finishing with all 7 characters? Any combined ending of some sort? Otherwise, I believe i'll just do 1 person's mission in between other games to help keep from getting burned out.


ANDREW

You are right to surmise that there is an extra strand to the story beyond the seven missions you can complete in SaGa Frontier; however, due to time constraints, the eighth storyline, which would have centred around the character named Fuse, was hacked from the game. It exists in a novelized format somewhere, but finding it in North America is rather unlikely. In any event, no, there is no combined ending, but there is an additional thread to the story.

And why just leave it at one character's mission? You are indeed correct that SaGa titles are excellent for playing when other RPGs grow tiresome; I do the same thing with Unlimited SaGa, and while I have yet to finish any of the missions, I find it very enjoyable since the gameplay lends itself to smaller chunks of playtime. In any event, why not just see how many of them you can get through before you grow tired of the game?



A remake question... can Paine be far behind?


Cast or Goog,

What's all this I hear about a BoF 3 remake? Is it just a port to the PSP or are they changing things? BoF 3 was one of my favorites in the series as I think it had the best dragon system and a pretty good storyline. Anyway, just wondering what the scoop was.

-- Kalledon --


ANDREW

What you hear is anyone's guess, but there is indeed a remake or port of Breath of Fire III slated to be released this August in Japan. To be honest, this letter is the first I've heard of it, but the website is now up at http://www.capcom.co.jp/psp_bof3/ if you're looking for more, albeit untranslated, information. Also, word on the street is there's a newer, better fishing minigame, so jump for joy, if you like that sort of thing.



Holy stink! It's a CONSPIRACY!


Iíve been hearing a rumor that the reason Final Fantasy XII is being so delayed is that Sony has asked Square to re-aim the game to become a PlayStation 3 launch title, rather than a PS2 title. The reason, apparently, is to help out PS3ís initial appeal to RPG fans, since Xbox 360 will launch with Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. Thoughts?
--
Craig Hansen

ANDREW

I think you people spend too much time sitting around dreaming up conspiracy theories. The game has been developed for the PS2, has been under development for the PS2 for probably three to five years at this point, and would presumably look awful on a PS3. We have seen in-game graphics and movies, which is a fair indication that most of the tweaking that is being done involves the mechanics of gameplay and some extra touching up rather than any serious overhaul, and so it is my assessment that if Sony wanted Square Enix to make a Final Fantasy title for the PS3's launch, it would have Square Enix put a development team on a Final Fantasy for the PS3's launch - or, more likely, have the company aim Dragon Quest IX towards being a launch title. It's not like Development Division 4 is their top talent, after all, and the Dragon Quest team, as far as I know, is just sitting around twiddling its thumbs. Besides, Enix has wanted to do an online DQ for years, and this next generation is going to be all about companies convincing us we want online titles.

How's that for a conspiracy theory?



Ah, Korea... I barely knew thee


Hey. Do you know anything about the upcoming game: Magna Carta: Tears of Blood? It's weird how I can barely find any reviews or opinions considering that it's already been released in both Korea and Japan. I am a huge fan of Hyung-Tae Kim's artwork and his character designs are amazing so I really hope this game is good. Also, what are the chances of the War of Genesis games being remade and launched in the US?

ANDREW

Having seen some of that artwork at E3, I will agree that Magna Carta certainly looks pretty. As to information on the actual game, well... It's not terribly abundant, but RPGamer did recently sit down with the production crew from Atlus, who gave us a pretty extensive interview about the game and its development. Hope that helps.



Because North American voice acting sucks ass


Why does Namco's "Tales" series receive such poor localization here in North America? In the case of Tales of Symphonia, names are changed, most of the dialouge is omitted, when they do talk they are not even reacting to each others' voice, and the Sound Test, which isn't much more than a menu, was omitted as well, and at least five or so titles were not released domestically. Why did these edits occur with at Tales of Symphonia?

ANDREW

The edits occur because for some strange reason, American divisions of Japanese software developments have this crazy idea that us North Americans go crazy over dumb names like "Jazz" and "Rumble" and "Armpit", and so characters get their names rejigged. This isn't always a bad thing; what sounds good in Japanese does not always sound good in English, and so sometimes there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for the changes. In terms of the quality of the voice acting, well... All I can suggest is that if you think you can do a better job, I beg of you, sign up for the SAG and whore yourself out until you land a spot doing something in a game. Seriously, you're bound to be an improvement on the people doing the job right now.

At any rate, there is no one reason why these things happened to Tales of Symphonia. Perhaps Nintendo felt that ToS was too adult-oriented for its GameCube and took out potentially offensive bits, although having played Resident Evil 4 (<3) I doubt this is the case. More likely you're just being too sensitive to it, so if you're really all that appalled by the changes, go online, download a script, and maybe buy some ramen so you can really feel like you're in Japan. Then curl up with your script and your noodles and make love to your authentic game (but please, draw the blinds, draw the blinds!)



Unfit for Print


wats RP... yah, i dunno what that is. tell me when its most convient for u. bye

ANDREW

You're super! Seriously, there is nobody more awesome than you! Unfortunately, your awe-inspiring greatness appears to have dulled your ability to read our articles, visit our forums, or properly assimilate any of the information we make available that would more than clearly state what RP is, so I regrettably have to conclude that nothing I say here will help you understand.





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Hopefully tomorrow's column will be up somewhat earlier, although the main reason this is going up so late is that it took this long to gather this many letters of printable nature. For tomorrow, I will ask you: what summer release are you most looking forward to, and why? Chew on that, Chu On Dat!

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long's Children Literature prof always told him Roald Dahl was evil... dumb broad.


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