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questionanswer&andrew


Saturday Night Live

Andrew Long - July 24, 2004 21:04 EDT

WELL, THIS IS NEITHER LIVE, NOR IN NEW YORK, but if you'd like, I suppose I can start things out with a hackneyed attempt at political satire, to the tune of pretending I'm Dick Cheney and eating a giant ham sandwich while plotting global takeover by my giant oil concern. However, I lack both the oil concern and the ham sandwich, and so with even the easiest of the two props sadly out of reach, I think I'll just cut my losses and play this like normal.

I will, however, mention an annoying article I read the other day, about how cellphones have recently been turned into pseudo-debit cards in Japan. It seems you can fill them up with dollards (or yen, as those crazy Japanese consumers like to say) which then melt like creamsicles as you spend with such facile ease as to make the eyes of every greedy boardroom exec light up with boardroom executive-style greed - and in case you've never seen that particular brand, you should know that of all the greeds there are, it is easily the most adorable, excluding of course two kittens fighting over the corpse of one very cute mouse.

The article goes on to mention how very much fun this particular method of spending is, noting that the phone even emits a little "ka-ching!" sort of sound when swiped past the sensor. This got me to wondering - do you think it's possible to download the item/armor/weapon shop purchase sound from your friendly neighbourhood RPG? Because I gotta tell you, while this sort of transaction seems fraught with the potential for woeful mismanagement of funds, having the FFVI "buy sound" come out of my cellphone would be enough to addict me straight off. Of course, even though this sort of thing has been possible in Japan for about a year now, the closest we come here is stupid Dexit, which just seems like a lousy excuse for an ATM card to me (despite the fact that it's pretty much the same thing as this cellphone business) and besides, the only place I've seen where you can use it is at the muffin shop in Toronto's Union Station.

Anyhow, we've got a great show lined up for you - some crappy band is here, and we'll be right back.

(Cue fake commercial)

Ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech ech!




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Frank Stallone

A tale of sibling rivalry


Hey, man.

I have a younger sister, too, but I'm only about 3 years her senior. ANYWAY, she actually prefers watching me play RPGs rather than playing them herself for some creepy reason. She says they "make her nervous" (especially games like Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga, where the enemies chase you around on-screen.. haha). So, when FFIX came out, I made the mistake of telling her that you could assign characters to a second controller. Of course, at that point, I was pretty far into the game. I thought I'd taught her all the basics: Vivi is a black mage. He can hurt people with his magic. Freya can jump really high. That is a potion. It fills up that little bar. We don't want that little bar to empty. Now, you know how in Memoria (disc 4), save points are few and far between? Haha, I'm sure you do. Yeah, well, we were going through a series of boss fights (guardians, or something), and on the third freakin' battle, she starts healing the enemy instead of the party. OVER and OVER and OVER.. She was screaming, "I can't control it!" Those were good times. Now, we play LoZ: Four Swords Adventures, where she likes to pick me up, run around with me, and throw me into chasms. At least I can say my little sister's mature.

-- Caitlin

ANDREW
Thanks for sharing, Caitlin. Your story makes me chuckle, because when playing LoZ I like to pick up my friend and throw him into chasms, possibly because he's so much better at collecting force gems than me. Incidentally, did you check to see if you had reflect-equipped junk on during that fight? If your characters had reflect and she was casting cure, that could be one reason why it was happening, although given the way you say she freaked out, it was probably sister error.


A rapidly-becoming-regular attraction: the o.O letter


Ok, so I've got this great idea for one of the new metroids.

You're playing along, playing along, playing along, and Samus Aran is her hot chixor self, fit for drooling by random overly imaginative Nintendo faboys. All of a sudden, you get to the end, and what happens? She takes her helmet off, and it's some sort of man thing. Just think of the excitement it would cause for fanboys everywhere to start contemplating their homosexual side.

You know... we didn't have problems like that in the 80's. I can't think of one chick that came out of the closet because she had thought Samus Aran was a man.

ANDREW
And I'm pretty positive that after all those hot sexy sprite-based Samus Arans we got to see in the 80s and early 90s (which pretty much just count as an extended remix of the eighties, what with their ugly neon clothing and feathered short-longs) there'd be little danger of a sudden gaying-up of the fanboy community just because of a little tricksiness on Nintendo's part - besides, living through those early 90s years was far more threatening to a guy's heterosexuality than any flipflopping Samus Aran could possibly be (and if you're too young to remember or you don't believe me, listen to a Billy Ray Cyrus cassette.)


Grah.. a game I haven't played yet


Mr. Long-Johns,

First, where can I find Landis and Fubar in Lake Castle when they're not in my party?

ANDREW
Having not played the game yet, I had to conduct a survey of #reviewhaven, one of RPGamer's several exciting IRC channels. While they weren't able to tell me where Landis resides, Fubar's stomping grounds lead me to believe that you aren't looking very hard, because if I'm being correctly informed, he stands around by the entrance to the castle. If you can't find him there, then you have bigger problems than tracking down Landis.

Second, there was a novel based on this game that says who the true Flame Champion is, right? Do you know where I could find it so I know for myself who the True Flame Champion is according to the stories?

Thanks.

Trigger

BTW, one day they will re-release Suikoden One and Two here in the US along with the Suikogaiden games. It's just a matter of time...

ANDREW
If such a novel exists? Why, you'd find it in Japan, of course, and I hope you can read Japanese, because otherwise your chances of ever finding a translation are rather slim, much like the probability of that remake extravaganza you're lusting after.


Little brothers and pizza: together at last


Sup An-droo,

You want to here a story about little brothers well i got one. About four years ago(in human years). I was playing a game on my playstation, Chewing on a peice of Chicken Parm Pizza(Mmmm).Trying not to get the game paddle all oily(i hate that)when i placed my FFIX cd in the playstation when my little wussy brother came up to the playstation,He was complaining about something like it was his turn and i told him to go F**k himself and he tryed to pull the paddle out of the playstation port. But instead he pulled the playstation rite of the table and on to the the hard wood floor cracking it. And making it useless well the doctor said that he doesnt approve of him pulling playstations off the table anymore.for his health and all. Thanks for listening

-Tonberryking

ANDREW
See, that's the advantage to having little brothers as opposed to little sisters - you can beat them up some. I mean, you can try and sock your sister, but little sisters have highly specialized screaming skills that make any such endeavour abundantly unwise. Nevertheless, I was a dumb kid, and so I once got grounded from playing my NES, one day at a time, for a full nine months when I wouldn't stop showering playful abuse on my sister.


Reheated Lizard


Trying to start something on these letter columns, I turned to the master of controversy, my cousin Jo Jo, and like the power of a thousand flatulent monkeys, the earth groaned......that was immature.

To start, my cousin asks a simple question, "Why you have to pay a monthly fee to play MMORPG's when most online shooter games are free? Is there a lack of reverse engineers working for MMORPG company's or are they just a bunch of greedy *beep*s? I'm sure there is some kind of blatant reason why they charge you a monthly fee but I just don't see it. I mean, for a FPS (first person shooter) most users know how to create a dedicated server. Why isn't this same system used to support MMORPG's. We could also use Kazza's 'amazing software'?"

ANDREW
MMORPGs cost money because people paid for the first MMORPG and continue to pay for MMORPGs. Until the craze dies off and people realize that a game like Warcraft or Counterstrike is infinitely more cost-effective (and fun, for the most part) people will continue to pay, and developers will continue to charge. It's simple economics.

Jo Jo continues with a comment, "Speaking of shooters, No game can do whithout a handheld gun controller. 'Cause at some point, no matter what game you're playing, there is always someone or something that needs to be shot." Feel free to list some examples.

On another note, Andrew, can we have a caption contest? It doesn't have to be for prizes or anything, just for fun. In case anyone is wondering, captions contests are when someone takes a random picture from a random game and writes in a funny caption (A title, short explanation, or description accompanying an illustration or a photograph) to go with it.

Jo Jo must retire now to a place behind a false wall in an undisclosed closet, through a rough hewn stone walkway, passed rows of devious traps, in a locked wooden box marked "Hello Kitty Merchandise" to play his half broken NES.
-The Lizard and her cousin Jo Jo

ANDREW
You know what? We most certainly can! To that end, I shall procure a screenshot of some description for tomorrow, and the contest will run until my third column next time (more on that tomorrow.) Thanks for the idea, Lizzy!


Ooh.. my other topic gets a moment in the sun


Andrew, I am going to do something drastic that I never do on Q&A,mailbag, write in things. I am going to discuss the official topic.

GC or GBA titles that would be helped by connectivity. I am honestly a disbeliever in this concept but Ill give it a shot.

SSB:M I would love to have the gba incorporated into some kind of trophy trading deal. or you could use as the camera screen and controls for the picture taking part witch would be a much better system then there is now.

RPG moments with little siblings. well my 5 year old brother "Timmy" (hint hint) once turned off a really exciting match of ssbm When "Timmy" Completely deleted my pokemon yellow version while I was upstairs retrieving my guide and then after playing it all of 5 minutes said pickachu all the time for the rest of the day.
"Timmy" asking me where the baby cow in HM:AWL came from
"Timmy"'s victory dance when he whoops my but in custom robo

Where int he world dose she get the name "Kevin" I dont lok like a kevin JOJO

ANDREW
Well, I certainly hope you gave him the Harvest Moon Procreation Speech That Every Parent Should Know that I outlined yesterday when some poor soul wondered about where all the stray dogs in AWL came from, because I think it's knowledge that every kid should have, and I'm considering taking the last name Spock just so I can write some respected children's books on how to explain the messy world of barnyard sex0ring.

And you're right, you don't look like a Kevin... Although since all I'm basing that on is your signature, that probably shouldn't come as too great of a shock.


Speaking of siblings, here's my evil.. I mean, good twin


Hello, oh Sibling of Unending Darkness!

In regards to your strange moments involving RPGs and younger siblings, I have a short tale to recount. It's not annoying or hilarious, but it is relatively ironic given that my sister detests nearly all of RPGdom on general principles because I like it so much.

Anyhow, back in the very late 90's, while I was still in high school, I conned my sister into playing a game 'a lot like Zelda: a Link to the Past' (which was one of the few games of even that variety that she enjoyed). After playing it with her for several hours a day over a period of a couple of months, I decided to show her the instruction manual and force her to admit that she had enjoyed playing an RPG - and one that is widely loved and revered by pretty much everyone to boot! (which of course means Secret of Mana). Needless to say... She was somewhat upset with me, punched me in kidney, and didn't play the game with me again for a week. I suppose the moral of the story is... Don't leave your kidney's undefended when you thwart the bastardry of your siblings.

~ Zachary 'ASV' Lewis

ANDREW
Well, look at the bright side... Now if you ever get hit up by those urban legend kidney harvester people, the joke will be on them!


Operatic


Dear Castomel,

In FFVII, when you see the cinema of the plate dropping from President Shinra's office, you hear a clip of music. It doesn't sound like part of the soundtrack composed by Uematsu; I haven't been able to find it on tracklists anywhere. Do you know what it is?

Also, is there a definite release date on Xenosaga II?

Sincerely,
NayanRoo

ANDREW
Apparently, Uematsu and crew were feeling broadly ecumenical when they were pillaging their classical libraries in search of material to pilfer for FFVII, because, on the authority of RPGamer's resident music major and guidesist extraordinaire, Desh, as well as the slightly more mundane authority of the credits, the selection comes from Haydn's opera, "The Creation". Say what you will about President Shinra, but the guy had class! Well, aside from the whole literally crushing the poor under the weight of his oppression. That wasn't so cool.

As for Xenosaga II, well, it remains shrouded in mystery; Japan received it with open arms in June, but there has been neither hide nor hair of it seen since. Europe, however, has been guaranteed it will see the game sometime in 2005, so I would imagine a similar timeframe for North America might be the case, since the details we've been provided thus far are way too scanty for any game that's gonna be seeing this side of the pond this year.


YOU 'DREW
QUICKIE I
How about connecting a GBA to LoZ,
so when you save the game, the GBA would make a little ringing sound and give you a message saying NOT to turn off the game while it's saving?
- Feep "Mwa ha ha ha ha"

Andrew:
How about YOUR MOTHER? Oh.

QUICKIE II
The most annoying thing my taller,
stronger, muscle-bound brother does is take my gameboy and run off with it, causing a long drawn out chase and then a furious wrestling match. He usually wins, mostly because I'm a self-proclaimed wussy.
I suppose I fight dirty though.

I tickle.

--The Irken Child and her brother are arch rivals.

Andrew:
Hey, tickling is fairer than screaming your lungs out like some sisters I could name...

QUICKIE III
On a total side note,
my girlfriends' dog has the most wicked nasty farts in the world. I'm not just blaming it on the dog here. They're enough to make me go outside.

Andrew:
Thanks for sharing, Theodore.



DA LAST GRUMBLE

So anyway, I promise, this is the last time this will happen, and I can even back that up, although my means of doing so are somewhat secretive (but do not involve me quitting or retiring or being fired, no worries). Anyhow, for tomorrow, let's talk cellphones, because I see people around here using them all the time, and yet there's not nearly the level of nifty junk you can do with them that exists in Japan, or even Europe. What do you guys think - do you wish you could have all the nifty games and gadgetry, or is that so much N-Gage drag to you? I MUST KNOW! Well, probably not, but I have to at least put on the appearance or musting to know, so you'd best not be disappointing me!

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long is searching, searching for a hi-larious screenshot!

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