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God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

Andrew Long - December 05 '03- 02:57 Eastern Daylight-Savings Time

SOMETIMES I WONDER IF I EVER ACTUALLY MANAGED to do anything whether or not it would make these intros more interesting. Then my brain jazzes me with seratonin and I stop worrying about it and then jabber on about nothing in particular. Today I will share with you a tale of woe from a jail in Saskatchewan, where a couple of prisoners, up to no good, started making trouble in their neighbourhood. Actually, they started puking all over the floor, due to excessive consumption of sometimes legal pharmaceutical narcotics.

So why am I droning on about a puddle of convict vomit? Because some of their fantastic partners in crime then further disgustinged up the scene by overdosing on said effluvium, which was apparently laced with methadone. So this in itself might have been enough, but the fine law officers of Saskatchewan are not the sort to be screwed around with, and slapped some bonus cuffs on the queasy cons, arresting them for trafficking.

Now that's a spicy meatball!




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About the Editor



14-6-5-2
6-0!! 7 in a row ^_^_^_^
Not that many of you care
But I'm always in a better mood
Than when they don't win
Which probably doesn't reflect well upon me
Oh well.. What can you do?
I had to laugh like hell

The recent and mildly aged


I am developing an addiction to Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga myself... bought it during a video game sale at the store at which I work, and right now I've just got the first Hand Powers for the Bros. (Never mind that Nintendo very nearly touches perversion there, albeit a ten-foot pole is likely nearby.) I need to get to a shop very soon, as I'm low on Mushrooms and Nuts, but I will find that on my own. No strategy guide for me. None. NONE, I TELL YOU!

*Ahem.* Anyway, I play this one only on my Game Boy Player - having learned during gameplay that there are secrets revealed most effectively by the rumble of the Cube controller. (No WaveBird for me either. None. NONE, I TELL YOU!) I have a GB Advance, and when Nintendo drops the price on the SP, I'll be getting one of those too. (So get on the ball already, moneywhores!)

I'm planning to buy Sword of Mana soon. And play it only after I've finished M&L:SS. Which might be a while. Or longer, or shorter. Because I have a bad habit of not finishing things. Like several games at once. Or thoughts. Which I ought to do something about. Sometime. Right?

Oh, yeah, questions. Um... Am I a bad person for not finishing Alundra? (No, that's stupid, ask something else.) Did you ever play/finish Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance for [enter system of your choice here]? Opinions?

Ok, that's enough out of me.
Jax
(No signature for me. None. NONE, I TELL YOU!)

ANDREW
I never have played any of the BG titles for some reason. Actually, I know exactly why: I have limited capacity in this here attention span for PC RPGs, and that space has always been filled by Diablo, and is now at risk of overcrowding thanks to FFXI. Which I should really play some of, since it is costing me money not to.


Inevitable dissention


Greetings Castomel!

Wow. I wasn't expecting the FFVII reference I mentioned to carry over more than one day! I was actually referring to a point late in the game where Shinra refers to the waves of energy in the Farplane as a sort of "life blood" of Spira that could be a great source of energy and power if harnessed, to which Yuna chimes in with some words of encouragement (talking about cities that stay lit up all night and such...ones that she won't be around long enough to see).

Oh, and in your opinion, what's the coolest thing about Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga?

- S. "Duck Soup!" R.

ANDREW
Hmm, that smells like Square's usual idea of impossibly clever, which is really just impossibly irritating in my estimation, but then again that's only because I've been dealing with it for these past fifteen years. You've now given me another reason to be deeply fearful of FFX-2, I hope you're happy.

As for M&L, the coolest thing I have encountered thus far is writing that's actually funny. Having recently suffered through several atrocious localizations, I can assure you that this makes me insanely happy.


Kindred spirits


Oi,

You mentioned in yesterday's column that you bought a GBA, SP, and a GBA player - the same goes for me. Well, the same will be true once I buy an SP really soon. As for which I prefer, I can't really say just yet, since I haven't felt out how the SP performs. I'm sure I'll like the SP a bit more than the player, since you now have a portable gem with a crisp, colorful, bright screen. These new upgrades Nintendo shoots out at us impulse buyers is a pain in the arse (money-wise), but what can ya do? *sighs*

ALX

ANDREW
Continue impulse buying, of course. I never would have played through Beyond the Beyond otherwise. Hmm... I guess that's not much of a selling point, but then, I don't suppose impulse buying is particularly worth selling, so the moral of the story is, never put eels in your shoes.


mmm... Condescension


Andrew,

I find it ammusing that the vast majority of your readers, many of which probably don't know what a "book" is, seeing as it is made out of paper and not pixels, won't have clue what you're talking about in your rambling intro, chalking it off to another delusional and nonsensical rant by the king of delusional and nonsensical rants. Kurt Vonnegut is great for obscure sci-fi references, is he not?

Keep up the good work,

Seth

ANDREW
I find it amusing that the dude bragging about bookishness spells amusing with 2 m's, but then, I always did laugh at stupid things. For instance, this one time my friend kept saying "the prince drank a glass of water", which for some reason cracked me up which irritated him even further and then when the FFXII trailer came out I hung up on him because I was playing Warcraft, which is a really successful way of encompassing a decade and a half in one very lengthy sentence. So, the moral of your story is, never spill your friends into blue death cones.

Seriously, though, I agree. Vonnegut is just great for sci-fi references, and judging from firsthand experience there are indeed a number of people who read this column who don't have much more than a nodding acquaintance with books. That said, I'm the world's lousiest English major; I once wrote an essay on Rousseau's Confessions and got a 73 despite having read only the first three chapters (and those put me to sleep more than once). 73 isn't great, granted, but I'd like to think that for not reading the book I did passing decent. So what was I saying? Ah, right. I can't talk about not reading books since I routinely let my reading slip. Just ask tuinte - I've had one of his books for two years now and I'm only 75 pages in.

Incidentally, there's a well-seasoned bit of delicious irony here; I traded him that book for Galapagos, by senor Vonnegut. Hmm... come to think of it, he never gave THAT back either. What a great trade!


Of glitches


Sir Andrew -

It's funny someone should mention Secret of Mana's glitchiness being a problem with the game, since after thinking about it long and hard, I had decided that that was exactly its appeal. I mean, the game is glitchy as hell. Usually that would be a problem, but SOM is so glitchy that it seems to twist spacetime around the infinite continuum of suckitude and back around to the other side again, causing it to rock severely. Think about it... it's the choppiness of the animation, the horribly random AI of your teammates (which causes them to run random directions or whatever for no reason), odd collision detection and complete unpredictability of the game's engine and interface that give it the weird fantasy crazy semi-childish-but-not-really feel that no other game (including other Seiken Densetsus) has been able to duplicate.

How's that for irony? Or for late-night ramblings? Either one, really... I'm too tired to pay attention to what I'm saying. Have fun.

-Captain Grammar

ANDREW
I'll go with "irony", since "so good it's bad" is one of my favorite genres. Speaking of that, Double Dragon in Last Duel should be in the mail now, at least assuming PayPal hasn't continued to be a royal pain in the ass. It's been great fun entering every single password I could possibly have chosen only to be informed that I am, in fact, wrong. It's even more fun when, trying to retrieve that question, they ask for a security question THEY NEVER ASKED. Now that's customer service!


Of glitches the second


Hey Andrew,

You know that one guy that yesterday said how Secret of Evermore sucks, yet he likes how you have to wait to get to 100% in Secret of Mana, when it's the exact same, aside that Secret of Evermore doesn't have the enemy invincibility glitch each time the enemy is hit, especially bad against bosses as they can still cast spells, and charging up is worthless because your moronic allies will attack as soon as the enemy gets out of the invinciblity state, where charges take to long to go off and hit, as only the last swing of the attack hits, so it's pointless to use charges, and if everyone is set to charge, you'll just end up being destroyed by an enemy, so it's pointless that way as well, except in Secret of Evermore, where both characters can attack and take off damage, without that temporary invinciblity state, and all the other glitches Secret of Mana has, and a unique, and great way of casting spells, as the MP you get in Secret of Mana lets you cast about, three, maybe four spells.

Anyways though, I went to the recruiting office, since I still can't get a job, and I can't go into the Airforce, Marines, or the Army, because I don't weigh enough. Four pounds underweight, which is like, man, everyone just screws me over, and ontop of that, I didn't want to get it, but I can't help it that I'm getting Seiken Densetsu(again, as I already have it for GB, and Squaresoft naming it Sword of Mana is just basically for people who have no idea what the game was originally in the first place, in order to get more people to buy it, along with the original being labeled FFAdventure, giving it the FF name, so of course, people would buy it, rather than a name they've never even heard, where there weren't very many RPG fans back then, and then come all these people who thinks they are hardcore RPG fans and FF7 was the first RPG they've played, and yet, I am still making fun of people because of that, I am so cruel :(, even to my girlfriend, only about the RPG thing), along with me also getting Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters in Space, where as that is 70 dollars, and I only have 110 in the bank, so yeah, I really need a job.

I'm glad the only game I want that is coming out later is Tales of Symphonia, meaning that I won't have to bother about not being able to get it, because it's not going to be out for quite sometime, and I can't think of anything else I want for the time being. So, as in what the VGCat girl said while playing Aerith when trying to get chocobos to have sex. "WOOHOO!!" I am so poor.

-andrew- -kupomogli-

ANDREW
You know, I always that hit glitch was deliberate - kind of like a buffer layer of armour on tougher creatures. In fact, given that you can easily wallop easy enemies without any difficulty, I'm pretty sure that this is the case. As for the bosses in Secret of Mana, it's really not too difficult to beat any of them because all you need is a faerie walnut or two and some magic, hammered repeatedly. I have grown so good at hammering sprite magic that I can defeat most SoM bosses in less than a minute.

As for your weight troubles, the neglected food groups are your key to success! Be it the frosted group, the congealed group, or the chocotastic, remember the rule: if it turns paper clear, it's your ticket to weight gain! That said, I'm not particularly gung ho on military service, so maybe you should gloss a few things over in your resume, get a nice haircut, and get a freaking job. It's really not that difficult when McDonald's is set up so that a retarded monkey could fill any of its entry-level positions.


Down under and slightly to the east


I live in a hole....

It's called New Zealand....

We are quite literally the last people in the world to get any kind of game released...

So my question is - is there any kind of site of service that can pin point the dates of game releases down under???

(at least we get the LOTR movies first!)

- Xan

ANDREW
Hmm... Well a search turned up a bunch of crappy sites that had very little to do with games, so the best I can offer you is an Australian database, which I hope will give you at least a nodding perception of what may or may not be headed your way. Lest you think I never took geography and think that New Zealand and Australia are joined at the hip, I don't, but I really can't offer anything much better.


Spleen hat? Eww


Castonopal,

This is getting to be a regular thing, eh? M&L..looks kinda good, if I had a GBA that is. No worries tho, maybe I'll recieve one for Christmas. Maybe now I'll get my airplane and Fig Newtons! Hmmm..delicious, DELICIOUS Newtons.. Wow, how could I have overlooked the FFVII reference in X-2?? Actually, Shinra was an Egyptian beast, like a vampire, who sucked the life out of things. Kinda like how Shinra sucks the intelligence out of the others? Maybe, maybe not. We haven't had a plan since forever ago, we'll plan a big one for the holiday season. Speaking of such, I hear spleens are all the rage this season, so I'll have to knit you a spleen hat. Knitted with love, of course. Oo, how special it'll be, cause nothing says "Happy Holidays" like a hat made out of bodily organs!! Now, I must be off to work on my creation.

Five times outta ten... it's the ninjas,

O' Shrouded One

ANDREW
A plan, you say? Well I was thinking about cornering the real estate market before I realized I have no money and no expertise, but hey, if you're some sort of prodigy then the sky's the limit! And, please, if you're going to make a spleen hat, remember to put a little patch of appendix on top to keep it waterproof.


Ducks like rain


Dear Andrew,

May I please stop my dancing please, my feet hurt and I really do need to use the bathroom, turns out your decision not to ingest your instruction manual was prudent.

ANDREW
Yes, I feel suitably hypno QUACK! QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK!

Aww... How come mine echoed?

While I have not played Sword of Mana... yet, I have many fond memories of Secret of Mana. Do you think that this is a good buy? I need a time killer while I'm removing this instruction manual...

Jaynus

ANDREW
Yeah, if you're looking for Seiken Densetsu-y nostalgia, this is certainly something worth picking up.


Perilously close to Unfit for Print


I heard that Chrono Break arrives in stores tomorrow. And that llamas have invaded Japan with rayguns, and that an asteroid with Hitler's face has just appeared in range of telescopes, and ... oh, nevermind.

ANDREW
You know, I almost deleted this, but I figured it serves as a nice public service announcement. To wit, then: Users are losers, and losers are users, so don't send crap, don't send crap!

Variosity


Yeah, isn't M&L great? As I started the game, I'm like..."Okay...it's got potential...okay, it's good...okay, it's great..." and suddenly I hit the "Border Jump" minigame, and I'm like, "DAMN! Best game EVER!" If only FFX-2's minigames could be this engaging and ridiculously addictive. Hell, I had half my college lab screaming in agony every time of them hit the rope on the Complete Border Challenge.

Sword of Mana waits until Hanukkah. Yeah, I'm Jewish. Does that make me the only one here?

ANDREW
If by that you mean, "Are you Jewish?" then yes, yes it does.

Does anyone remember the Secret of Mana Player's Guide? Man, back when Player Guide's has STYLE...it's not just a run-through of the game with pictures, maps, and bestiaries, but a book that truly added value to the game itself by providing pseudo-dialogue, a sort of through-the-eyes-of-the-player story, and miscellaneous cool stuff scattered throughout. Oh well. Now we just have Courier New 10 Point font on GameFAQs. CJayC really should allow pictures and other stylizing types of things.

ANDREW
Um, if you allow GameFAQs fanatics too much visual stimulus, they tend to collapse into a gibbering mass of eyeballs and "lol sux0rs", so I think it's probably just as well that things remain strictly functional over there.

And by the way, I don't consider Moogles and Chocobos "races". Moogles are cute furry things that save your game or provide sidequests...

ANDREW
BLASPHEMER! Moogles are cute little forest creatures who go "Kupo? Kupoppo!" and carry hilariously big spears. Damnable PSX kiddies...
the concept of different races annoys me because I don't want all this race-hatred allegory crap coming into Final Fantasy. You know, Bangaa vs. Human tensions, or something. And for the record, I really don't like politics, and thus, don't really enjoy the more medieval world of the Tactics series.

ANDREW
Yeah, cuz FFT didn't have any politics AT ALL. As for the race relations funtasticness, FFIX, X, and XI have all featured delightful country-on-country slashfics, replete with sappy "Racism is bad" morality lessons from everyone's favorite executive producer, so I don't exactly see how what you're saying makes sense. I'll chalk it up to the anticipatory fever of the holiday season.

Seen that video of the guy beating SMB3 in eleven minutes? DAMN. It makes Mario look like a ninja. Go watch it. Everyone.

- Feep "An allegory is an extended metaphor throughout the whole of literary work"

ANDREW
Extended metaphors are for suckers. By the way, this column is Homer's Odyssey.


First-time caller, longtime listener


Hey there my friendly friend,

I read your column every day, but this is the first time I've ever been featured in the column (please note that I am now officially featured in the column), and have now said column four times in one sentance.

ANDREW
Welcome aboard then, you impossibly clever repeatmonkey.

Anyway, I think that what was partly so good about Secret of Mana was levelling up weapons, and the plentiful types. It's the only time I've been glad that everyone could use everything, because the characters still retained their individuality, through spells. Anyway, I'm rambling. But powering up all the weapons to level 8 took forever, and you had to find the weapon orbs, I mean, it was a pretty noble little quest. Until you kill your dragon.

Which is why I hated Secret of Evermore so much (the only time in my entire life that I get a game for christmas, and it ends up almost ending my SNES life). There were only the four basic weapon types, and you had to restart leveling every single one every time. And then, of course, our good pal cecil is there near the end, handing out bazookas to anyone who'd heard of him (I believe it was a failed publicity stunt by square of america, handing out weapons of mass destruction to anyone who was willing to suffer through this game). A bit like a clockwork orange, if you think about it in a very obscure way. But anyway, it comletely eliminates any reason for spending time becoming one with your weapon.

And to end with, on a Secret of Mana note, what was your favourite weapon combo for your deadly trio? I liked our rougeish red-headed hero with the sword, a little sprite with a big freaking axe, and our lovely heroine with a whip (catwoman would make tremendous rpg... role playing a proffessional thief and trying to keep people from figuring out your secret... sounds sexy and exciting! Like a buffy episode!

mrwheaters

ANDREW
How eerily similar. The only difference between those choices and mine is my lack of a leather fetish, leading me to equip the heroine with the spear.


DIE


AndyÖ.er AndrewÖ.

I canít believe that Sword of Mana can be that bad (well, you guys didnít describe it as horrible, but I didnít see much in todayís column that would make me want to pick it up either.) Final Fantasy Adventure was DEFINITELY my favorite game in the series. The music, the story, (the bad translation might be a minus L ) and everything else made it the first really addictive gameboy game I ever played. Not only that, but Iíd probably call it my favorite game of all time! Iíve beaten the game 14 TIMES, 3 within the last year. Anyway, on to my question. Is the story of Sword of Mana exactly like Final Fantasy Adventure (I know Niccolo is in there and he wasnít in the original, but besides facial work is there a truly different story behind this game or is it the same?) Also is the world map and are the main characters the same? And finally, is it really worth buying (remember Iím a Final Fantasy Adventure Freak!)

~~TREIZE~~

PS: Donít make fun of me for having a Gundam Wing name Iíve had it forever and heís the coolest character from the series :P

ANDREW
NEVER CALL ME ANDY! As to your questions - I've never played the original and am about 2 hours into the remake, so I can't really say. From what I gather, the remake is based on the original, but features expanded areas and borrowed some mechanics from SD3.

And now, as you have dared to call me Andy and lived, I must point at you and laugh for your stupid Gundam Wing garbagefaceness.


Unfit for Print


how do i get & find the gold chocobos

please and thank you

randy simrandy69@blankityblankblank.blank

ANDREW
To give you an idea of how completely irritating this email was, here's what it looked like originally. For future reference: I abhor the term "please and thank you" and will cheerfully decapitate anyone who says it. Let this be your warning.

And for you, randy, you dear, annoying soul: I've never done it, so the best I can offer is "selective breeding and FAQs."



DA LAST GRUMBLE

Apparently the great art of the Quickie has perished, which worries me. For Wednesday, therefore, I demand quickies, quickies, and only quickies. Send me as many as you can dream up, and they can be about anything. I just don't want to have to cut this fine section out every time I post. So break out your brevity folks, and while you're distracted, I'm going to flee.

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long has never put much stock in "Short and Sweet", but then again, he's biased.

GOOG'LL PROVIDE THE ANSWERS, YOU PROVIDE THE

QUESTIONS


Get it? My name, it's Long. AHAHAHAHAHA damn I need to go to bed



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