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   The Beauty of Silence   

Andrew - September 2 '03- 1:46 Eastern Standard Time

September has hit, and with September comes the season of gratuitous drinking, at least if you're college age and not trying to convert people by the sword. Actually, the sword has kind of gone out of style, so most places do it nowadays by the multicultural. Allow me to explain: my neighbourhood is close to a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, or "The stomping grounds for that religion that's directly above Scientology on the list of religions I will never join", as I prefer to call it. This Kingdom's Hall, on Sundays, enjoys dispersing various knots of proselytizers to flit militantly throughout the great suburban battlefield, wresting souls back from the Lord of Darkness or whoever's running CTS this week.

This soul harvesting campaign, anyway, used to run on the theory that nobody could say no to kindly old ladies. This is by and large true; witness May and Mary, a diligent pair of devout Jehovah's Witnesses who used to stop round to sprinkle propaganda throughout my house and to have coffee with my father, whose atheism is every bit as devout as the love of God espoused by May and Mary, and the good people at Watchtower who apparently envision paradise as a grassy field with a multicultural diaspora and children playing with drugged-up tigers.

Anyhow, after awhile May and Mary got boring, so my dad gently but with a note of finality tossed them out into the cold to peddle their fairytale wonderland of fluffy tigers and tame pandas to the other neighbours, who happened to be having a drunken bout of domestic violence at the time. A few weeks passed, and then one fine Sunday morning, along came a force, seven strong, composed thusly:

  • A young white boy
  • A middle-aged white man
  • A middle-aged African-Canadian woman
  • A young Asian girl
  • A man in a wheelchair
  • A fat man

I guess they figured that if they covered all the bases they couldn't possibly miss, but strangely enough, I was able to resist their wiles and get away with just propaganda for my efforts. That particular episode of Today In Heaven incidentally featured rollicking giraffes and some cultists building cottages out of bamboo while being aided by Koala bears. Talk about idyllic!

Anyhow, it's the season of love and beer, and everyone in college is evidently off having the Staple Party Conversation, which they will each have a minimum of one thousand times this week, an exchange that goes a little something like this:

College Person 1: Hi, my name is X.
College Person 2: Hey, I'm Y. Nice to meet you! So where are you from?
College Person 1: (Place). You?
College Person 2: (Place). So... What program are you in?
College Person 2: (Program)
College Person 1: Oh, that's cool! I'm in (other program) Hey, do you know Z?
College Person 2: Nope.

Crazy stuff, this college life. Or at least, it must be, since almost nobody sent me letters today.

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Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
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WC III - curse lifted!

 
Geez.. Who told him he couldn't be the queen of England?

I didn't mean 'a combination of the suckers'. I just meant that the style of art is reminiscent of the way video game artists portrayed things in the early days of video gaming when they had to provide our imagination for us, instead of the polygon count doing it.

As for Bastardization, it's a word. Been using it for years. Means to combine dissimilar things or to degrade something. For example 'I speak English good' is a bastardization of the English language.

Andrew:
Thanks for sharing, Professor Dictionary. Thanks for the clarification too - honestly, though, I didn't quite get what you were talking about there, since my best recollection of the the manuals in question is of a whole lot of pictures of armour, and some crazy cartoonish characters in the case of the Dragon Warrior manual. I never actually saw the Final Fantasy manual, but the scans I've seen of it seem to be standard NES fare, and I'm guessing there was probably Amano art scattered in there, unless that was in the days NoA thought we were too stupid to understand Japanese stuff, in which case they probably replaced it with a blond kid with feathered hair pumping his fist and going "YEAH!" like in one of those birthday cards your grandma always gave you that played Happy Birthday the first time you opened it and then exploded into a fiery ball of shrapnel, showering you with shards of the cheque inside. Now that's putting your money to work!

 
On-topic the only

Andrew,

It never really occurred to me before, but most people actually DO have side-kick games. Something to fall back on when they don't have the time to get engrossed in an RPG with save points three hours apart, or something to pop in when you just died after not saving for 2 hours and 59 minutes. For me, it would probably be Tetris. I mean, how can you not love Tetris? If the Russians ever did anything useful besides inventing Communism (sarcasm intended), then Tetris would be it. It's a great diversion, and most of the time, unless you're REALLY on a roll, it doesn't become engrossing enough to destroy you (unless you've made it to level 16 and are still doing well and suddenly you realize you have to go to work). I still play Tetris on my NES... I never bought any swanky updated versions for modern systems. It still rocks the world, and it is a great time-killer. If Tetris had a side-kick, though (if side-kicks can have side-kicks themselves), it would be Tetris Attack. That game was loads of fun as well, and the only Tetris spin-off that I actually bothered to get interested in. Hope that story floats your proverbial boat.

Seth

Andrew:
Oh, it floats the proverbial boat, and if I had a real boat it would be skimming across the waves powered by sheer glee, and of course my towering sense of self-satisfaction stemming from the fact somebody bothered to send in a letter. Incidentally, I shall now bore you with a history lesson: Communism was not, in fact, invented by the Russians. It was conceived of by Karl Marx, who outlined the doctrine in his earth-shattering The Will To Power, unless that was Nietzsche's idea, in which case it was his equally ground-shaking The Communist Manifesto. This, of course, was actually mostly compiled by his right-hand man, Fredrick Engels, who had to suffer the added indignity of putting up with Marx on his drunken self-pity days, of which there were many since Marx was poverty-stricken and generally loved to feel sorry for himself without actually bothering to do anything about it like get a job.

Anyhow, somehow Marx got all the credit, died a bitter, lonely man, and then an Industrial Revolution afterglow and a civil unrest later, some crazy Russian college students decided a hostile takeover was in order, resulting in various mayhem and then sixty years or so of good old fashioned Russian repression. This was, of course, more or less what had been going on for the past twelve hundred years, but this time it had a fancy name which apparently made everyone feel better about being mistreated by the elite class.

See what happens when I get only five letters? I show off my highly generalized history education. Beware: I WILL find an excuse to work in a Peter the Great tangent, and then you'll all be sorry.

 
Yes, Peter the Great was quite the fellow... Too bad he had his dark side

All Hail the Pumpkin King,

I have a problem with my PS2 and was wandering if anyone could help. Upon putting a disk into the drive it makes a clicking noise like it can't pick the disk up and spin it. I've tried adding masking tape to the top of a disk to see if it would pick it up that way. It didn't. My console is only a year old and I've never abused it. Unless you count playing RPG's endless hours on it abuse. Have any ideas besides taking it in since they...dislike me at sony?

Andrew:
It's nothing personal. Sony, as was the case with Nintendo before them, just doesn't like making reliable consoles, so you can set your mind at ease.

I have money enough for one game. PS2 or console-wise do you think I should get one of the recent realeases or should I wait for lets say, Final Fantasy X-2?

Cloudstrife, all counselors aren't the little angels they're made out to be. Not to be mean. But I've went to multiple ones for various things and every time it ends in a disaster. They'll dig to deep. Or try and get you to say things that aren't true. All my shrinks have been spawn of satan. But I've heard good storys to. Just don't expect to get what you want from your first.

Oh and bad me, I just realized there was a difference to Andrew and...Andrew! Yea, I'm really smart.

~MitsunesHatz

Andrew:
How many times do I have to say it? There's me, and then there's Andrew Dangerous, who's currently fighting for our right to party up in the exotic booze mines of northern Alberta. They say a woman can kill you with the blink of her eye up there, and with Andrew's less-than-robust constitution brought on by his advanced emphysema, there's probably no hope for him. Still, if he can manage to bring back the elusive jade whiskey, there's a shiny new donkey in it for him, and hopefully we will then be able beat back the peasant resistance force in time for the rainy season.

By which I mean, never ever get Final Fantasy X-2. If you want to look at skimpily dressed girls (which I'm doubting somehow since your email was headed with the name "Jeanette"), I'm sure you shouldn't have too much trouble finding them. No amount of scantily clad polygons is worth the horror that game is looking like, and so I must advise you: get Disgaea. Not only does it have a quirky sense of humour, everyone I've talked to who bought it is enjoying it immensely, and you can still find the occasional skimpy outfit, if those screenshots are any indication. Of course, it's just character portraits, but I'm told kids have vivid imaginations, so that should be no particular problem.

 
For the last time no!

Greetings,

quick question, have you been paying attention to the gamefaqs.com charecter battle this year? (Smurf that pesky plummer for beating Crono again!!!(by less then 100 votes....again))
Sigmund Silvano Arris
White Knight of The Ankh
Order of Wisdom

Andrew:
Meh... It drags on for too long, and anyway, what difference does one vote make? Wait, I already used that joke, and besides, everyone in Florida who didn't vote for Bush is no doubt glaring at me murderously now. So, I guess I'll come clean: I voted for Mario.

 
Tactics, Tactics Ogre... or was that Ogre Battle

Heyo,

I thought you said you were going to print my(other) letter Monday.

Andrew:
Err.. about that other letter... I kind of purged my email account because it's still being bogged down to no end with Sobig detritus. Forgiveness please!

Anyhow, just to correct that guy, the correct chronological order for the Ogre series is,
Tactics Ogre Advanced
Ogre Battle
Ogre Battle 64/Tactics Ogre

Anyhow you mentioned you'd played Tactics Ogre?(You said the fourth one on the other guy's list?). Please, keep playing it. If you're not totally hooked at the end of chapter 1, well then there's no hope for it. But things really start to get interesting at the end of chapter 1.

Hmm...as for my favorite unit. Pumpkinheads. Its hard to beat guys with a pumpkinhead for a head, not to mention these guys in general just flat out rock.

Later.

Andrew

Andrew:
Fun Food Fact: Pumpkins make great muffins. Also, I thought the fourth one on that guy's list was TO: KoL, or TO:A I guess you've got it as. As such, I am currently enmired in the second chapter of that game, while in OB proper, I'm somewhere around the eighth mission, if I am indeed playing the game I think I am.

 
And then there's this

Cast of the Mel,

Someone I know dissed F-Zero today. I'm telling you this so you can bring down retribution upon their foolish heads. I, like you, enjoy F-Zero, even though I mostly hate other racing games. Except for Mario Kart, Mario Kart is gooood.

Quote: That game = meh It's a pretty boring racing game It just seemed like "Okay...doodeedooo hit the boost over and over and hey...I WIN!"

I already caught the foolish person up with my razor wit. The discussion got into Soul Calibur 2 and why he should play as Link on GC rather than play the game on PS2. This ended up with him calling Link gay and immediately after that he did want to play as him. I'm going to end there since nothing I can seem to come up with afterward is very good and it reminds me of certain goings-on in #rpgamer tonight...although I've been surfing the net for quite a long time now, so most odd fetish-things no longer shock or surprise me. However, that was WRONG! Just WRONG! And yet so discreet. o_O

Andrew:
Let us never speak of your foray into the horrible world of man-boy love again.

I don't really have any "play between RPGs" game since I usually do play other types of games extensively and not just as an "in-between" Adventure games like Monkey Island and Myst are probably tied with RPGs as my favorite type of game. Platformers like Klonoa 2 and Mario come in at a close third. Spyro is good too. I guess you could say platformers are my "in-between" since I usually manage to complete them 100% within a week, in Spyro's case make that two days. That all depends on difficulty, games like Mario Sunshine might take a WEE bit longer. What I do between gaming itself is maybe even a better example, namely READING. Contrary to certain persons claims, reading is not for suckers. (I know that was not meant seriously ^_^) And that brings up a sad sight I saw at our local library. 6 out of 6 people I viewed there were checking out movies, no books. It's a sad world we live in...

There, hope that filled your lackingness somewhat. I was quite long-winded, so I'm sure it'll do the trick. Days like this make me glad the News Archive is all nice and pretty.

-Orie "Doesn't have to mess with archives" House

Andrew:
Indeed, it fleshed out the end here nicely. I also play non-RPGs fairly extensively, though, and F-Zero still serves as a filler game. I mean, you can still go from playing Mario to playing a different game. RPGs don't have the monopoly :)




The Final Grumble:

You've all been bad little monkeys, so no quickies for you until I gets some letters again. Hopefully that will be tomorrow, because in honour of my high school days long past and the fact that I'm way too lazy to come up with three topics a week, tomorrow will be a Celtic Wednesday. What does this mean? Well, you get to select topics of your choice, just like in high school we got to choose classes of our choice. On the downside, Celtic is actually the best name they could come up with for it- it was "Wacky" before that, and we all know what I think of that particular term.

So anyway, send in your letters from far and wide. They can be on topics old, new, or whatever you'd like. Just try to avoid things like Orie's little adventure, and if you actually title it "Wacky Wednesday" or "Celtic Wednesday" I reserve the right to publicly pillory you.

Andrew "The Terrible" Long

Cuz let's face it - "The Terrible" sounds much cooler than "The Great"

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