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questionanswer&andrew


And It's You When I Don't Pick Up the Phone

Andrew Long - December 18, 2004 -22:49 EST

IT IS MOST REFRESHING TO HAVE ACTUAL SOUND emitting from my computer as opposed to the garbled static that my previous sound card produced. You see, I don't learn from my mistakes, and so starting in 199x, with my purchase of a SB Live budget edition, I have enjoyed five or six years of woe with my headphone jack, possibly caused by kidnapper ninjas but more likely by the awesome combination of the bulk of my Grados and the adapter I had to use in order to plug them into my computer. This deadly duo conspired to murdalize the plastic bracket with which the headphone jack is supposed to make sweet, sweet love and turned it into a rather ugly experience, to say the least.

So I, being the clever, debonair gentleman that I am, went out and purchased the exact same soundcard two years later, when all hope was lost and things reached the point they once again reached recently and connecting the headphones properly became inpossible, which is to say, a state approaching impossible. Upon extracting senor soundcard, I found the exact same problem, wondered why it is exactly that I'm incapable of learning from experience, and then wondered if perhaps cheese would taste good if melted over some sort of chips.

To make a long story short, the cheese is spectacular and I now have a happy new sound card, which by the way tastes best with Monterey Jack. Yes, the Rescue Ranger. I EAT MICE!




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Mommy, Where Do Chocobos Come From?



My inbox devoid
Of new letters from Shroudie
Cries out for relief

Is that so


Hi Andrew, I think you missed out on a couple RPGs with (what I found, atleast) plot twists that were well contrived (hit me like a ton of bricks).

My favourite was in Vagrant Story, interacting with Sydney about 1/2 through the game… and basically turning the table from a hunt for sydney to an attempt to save the world…

And if you want to talk about decent plot twists in Final Fantasy games, the best ones are in Final Fantasy XI. True, you need to play about 500-1000 hours to even start getting close to the twists, but the story is actually really well done and I found the plot twists weren't easy to see from a mile away.

I have to agree with you though on all the accounts you mentioned, generally plot twists in RPGs are very easy to see in advance.

ANDREW
Hmm. I might care about VS being spoiled, except that's a pretty predictable plot twist, since few RPGs are ever satisfied with a bloodthirsty quest for vengeance. For some reason, people don't seem to be able to digest such a coldhearted thing to do unless it's accompanied by some moralistic crusade to defend pudding and kittens against those who would end their reign of deliciousness. I guess that's cuz revenge is the sort of thing that evil people are prone to doing, and evil lead characters don't always play too well. At least, not utterly evil lead characters.


You heard me... I eat cats


What is ,by Rpgamer's standards, the definition of a RPG? Dose Zelda fit in there? Dose .Hack or Dark Cloud? You gain HP and abilities as you go through MGS:3, is that an RPG?
,

a .hacker

ANDREW
As I believe I mentioned yesterday, we have no set definition for what an RPG is, since basically, any developer who wishes to term their game such can do so by virtue of the fact that by picking up a controller and plugging in 90% of video games, you are taking the role of a character. To answer your questions, therefore, yes, yes, yes, and no.


Sure thing, giant beer!


My vote for biggest plot twist in an RPG goes to the original Lufia:The Fortress of Doom. Upon replaying a few years back, I came to realize it had one of the most terribly translated scripts in the history of RPGs ("He is back! Are you sure? Oh no. This is horrible."), but the twist at the end had me reeling...

Honorary mention to Tales of Symphonia (not the Kratos twist, that was stupid), Lufia 2 (thought you knew the ending already?), and Final Fantasy VII.

ANDREW
Thanks for sharing, soulstreak. Your explanation is almost as inscrutible as that quote, but I'm sure somebody understands you, and if they don't, I reckon quoting you in flash video form will become popular in five to ten years, so it won't be a total washout.


Verbmaster Flex and the Wily Past Tense


Is Ragnarok Online free? I read somewhere it was, but then i tried to join and then I saw a payment section, did they change to payment?

ANDREW
I can see you are familiar with the term "was", and yet you have failed to apply it as liberally as you should have, for RO WAS free once upon a time. Then their servers were flooded, play became crowded and impossible, and to commemorate the event, they started charging ten bucks a month. I'm afraid you've missed the boat on this one.

Oh noes! Perhaps Chess for Girls IS the only solution!


I just noticed in your question and answers that you said Harvest Moon Friends of Mineral Town for girl is coming out next month. We heard that it was, but the game has been dropped. <.< At least for a Jan. release. Right now there isn't a current release date.

I know this because ebgames cancelled my preorder for the game and I had to move all of my credit to another game because the game is not in there system at all.

I just thought I would say something about it. Everyone in the Harvest Moon community is really excited about these games, Natsume and nintendo don't have any info on them though. The games are announced as released but there isn't a release date. >.> In fact, Natsume hasn't updated there page since october?

It's frusterating I know, specially when Nintendo can't get the games list right. They still have both FOMT2 and FOMT for girl listed as being different games when they are the same.

Sorry about this, I only meant to give a correction to start with, and then I ranted. Forgive me!
Brandy

ANDREW
Expecting developers to have well-organized and factually cogent websites is, unfortunately, too much to ask. For whatever reason, many publishers don't seem to put much effort into their websites, which is doubly surprising since a fair number of gamers lurk here on the interweb, periodically surfacing for air and to ask me questions or rant at me. I fear your game will likely vanish if this preorder fiasco is indeed the case, cuz I can't see why else EB would kick your deposit to something else; they take orders fairly far in advance, so they could have just kicked your deposit a bit deeper if they expected anything to come up in the near future.

As it is, clearly your worst nightmares are coming true: you will not, in fact, be able to play with barbies AND Harvest Moon at the same time. Take heart, though! If Nintendo and Natsume both consider them the same thing - not worth caring about - then you should consider that maybe, just maybe, you'll get a comparable experience by playing FOMT. I know the allure of a fresh coat of paint and a few token new features is a big deal to someone who loves the series, but on the other hand, there's plenty of other games out there and as an added bonus, most of them are for both girls AND boys!


Boingy, boingy!


QNA'ers, In the last qna I read the post someone made with regards to twists in endings and what they thought were good. Personally I thought Breath of Fire III had a great ending when you found out that the woman who helped you in the beginning, the "Oracle" ended up being God's sister, and God wanted you dead. Throughout the game you have this whole interpretation of whether or not she really is God, and when she asks you to either fight or submit and she acts so lovingly towards your characters you actually question it, then poof, she's just a power hungry super-b#$% who's sister ended up helping you destroy her. Interesting. My question is, what final spell/tech/physical attack do you think is the best in all the RGP world? I thought that Chrono Cross had an interesting one with the chrono cross allocating the elements to release Schala from the Time Devourer. There is also a spell in Grandia for Feena called "End of World" Unfortunately I could never build up her magic max so that I had enough to cast it, but I'm sure it would have been awesome! Thanks for your time, and MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD ENDING RPG FIGHT!

The all mighty Mcslug

ANDREW
My personal favorite is related; it is one of the triple techs you can learn with Magus in Chrono Trigger, Omega Flare. I have no particular reason for this predeliction other than the fact that I love the name and the big flashy blue circles. I think that's reason enough, if you ask me. And you did, so it is!


Unfit for Print


What are the chances of there being sequels to any of the other Final Fantasy games? Will Square have to look at how well the Final Fantasy VII sequels do before making any situations. And would they be less inclined to not make sequels for older games like IV and VI because those games might not have the broader fan-base that the newere Final Fantasy games have?

ANDREW
Well, Alex, I'm going to operate on the theory that you assume that in writing this column, I possess some sort of vast network of otherworldly contacts, all of whom feed me a constant array of odds on everything from tomorrow's Bills game to the chances of me changing the title of this letter from "Marginally Fit For Print" to "Unfit for Print." I should mention, incidentally, that in regards to this latter, the odds increase exponentially with each word I write, because I'm really not equipped with such a network. While RPGamer does have a number of contacts with the industry and I have personally contacted people at Square before, we are by no means on a first name basis; in point of fact, my email was roundly ignored, which has nothing at all to do with my current level of bitterness towards S-E and therefore you.

As by now you are no doubt aware, my oddsmakers, while overworked, do have a surprisingly decent rate of success, and so I will make this entirely unsubstantiated prediction: you will probably see another sequel to FFX when the well runs dry, and yes, I have little doubt that FFXII will receive similar treatment. It is also a virtual guarantee that FFXI has not seen its last new release, and there is still FFVIII to be contended with, though its ponderous storyline really kind of covered all the bases. That said, this is all windy speculation, so I can say whatever I want! For instance: FFVI-3, to be released in 20xx, will involve the kidnap of President Shinra by ninjas. I know, that's a different FF, but the upcoming FFVII-5: The Chrono Crossover Years will make everything clear.



DA LAST GRUMBLE

And now, because I have been cheating sleep all week, I must depart. Tomorrow, we shall discuss, again, whatever you like, and because I'm feeling especially gluttonous, I will print everything. Well.. everything new... my backlog is quite considerable.

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long is adjective verb, noun verb adjective adverb.

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