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   The Boy Who Lived  
Chris Martin - November 18th '01- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Attention J. K. Rowling! I went and saw your bloody movie and bought your damn book. Please call off the attack drones. The lasers burn my flesh, and it smells like rotten sausages.
In all seriousness, yes I did go see Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone. And I'll be damned if it wasn't really cool. Not as good as the book, mind you (Which I bought for $5 at Barnes&Noble), but still good. If I were a decade younger, I would be seriously into this. I'd probably be chasing owls down the street and acting paranoid around cats: waiting for them to metamorph into severe headmistresses. The plot is clever, the characters are fresh and well thought out, the descriptions are vivid, and the dialouge makes me laugh. Oh, and if you needed another reason to read it, Jerry Falwell hates it. That's usually good enough for me.

In other news, I just thought I'd announce that yesterday was my great-grandmother's birthday. She's one hundred and three years old. No, I am not kidding. When she was born, William Freaking McKinley was the President of the US, and she hadn't taken a ride in an "auto-mobile" until she was eighteen. She's been alive in THREE seperate centuries, and I love her dearly. Happy Birthday, Grandma.

What else.... Hmmm....

That's about it. Let's do letter time.

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Confessions of a fan.

Hey Chesh!

First of all, this is the first time I've written in five months. Second of all, I'm totally clueless about the world of RPG ever since I stopped reading up on them at RPGamer. Maybe with a few more days of checking out the news section, I won't be as clueless? Anyway, I was intrigued by the topic you suggested for Saturday. RPG "skanks"! Heh, anyway, my skank was Secret of Evermore. I don't know about you, but I was naive when I got it. I was at the local Movie Gallery (go figure) and I was looking for RPGs. The RPG bug has bit me only recently at that time, so I was hoarding them and playing as many as I could. It was just my luck to find a copy of Secret of Mana! Everything was in alphabetical order, and right next to it was a copy of Secret of Evermore.

Of course, I thought that OBVIOUSLY these games were linked somehow. I now know that they weren't that closely linked save the title and somewhat the company that made it (even though one was Squaresoft and the other was Square... USA? Is that right?). Anyway, I rented both games. I was "dazed" by the colorfulness of Secret of Mana, so I played that one first. I got pretty far, but I didn't get much of a chance to play Secret of Evermore. So the next week (it was summer), I rented Secret of Evermore again (not Secret of Mana, though). In the next two days, I played it, finished the game, and I loved it. I loved it! I don't know how to describe how I felt about it. I guess it was just naivete, but I still liked it. I got a computer and the internet that year, so I looked stuff up about it and found out that, quite frankly, some people (I'm not sure how many?) didn't like it. When I looked it up, I was quite sure that a LOT of people didn't like it because it was uber-American and what not. I remember saying to myself, "How could they not like this game?" I felt like an outcast for liking it, but I still like it. So, in a nutshell, Secret of Evermore was my RPG skank.

- Zeel, the RPG Outcast

Cheshire Catalyst:
Ahh, Secret of Evermore. Our most-popular least-popular game. I played a little of it, and it was kinda fun. Hell, if we all liked stuff based strictly on popularity, none of us would be here. We'd be watching Total Request Live with our singing Billy Basses regurgitating whatever lame catch phrases we heard on Must-See TV last night.

 
Suddenly, Chesh fell over unconcious.

Hello Chesh,

Yeesh you say Illusion of Gaia was unpopular? I beg to differ. Not only do i beg to differ let me add that IoG is still my favorite video game of all-time. It got me into story-driven games. Heh, as for its popularity, how come at the time i can remember an online (online being AOL) following that was bigger than FF3? Gad, imagine that. But still, i'm sure it had plenty of naysayers even though i can't remember one. Oh, and to answer with my favorite unpopular game, i think i will have to go with Star Ocean 2. *Shrugs* i liked it.

-Raza

Cheshire Catalyst:
Illusion of Gaia wasn't so unpopular. However, it seems that you can't mention it anymore without people saying that Terranigma is SO much better. I played Terranigma. The battle system is cooler, but the story? Spoilers

Elder: Hey Ark! Whatever you do, don't open that door!
Ark: Sure thing! (Opens door. All townspeople freeze.)
Elder: Way to go, genius. Now you have to go visit towers.
Ark: Okely-Dokely!

The wierd thing is, the towers not only revive the townspeople, they revive entire continents on earth. "On that day... Africa was revived!" Then, you go to earth, and save trees and birds and animals and stuff. I hear it gets a lot better later on, but I have yet to play that far. It's a fun game, but not as cool or character driven as Illusion of Gaia.

If Gaia has one major problem, it's the translation. Characters will speak in these odd, detached, third-person narroratives. I hear you demanding evidence, so say a nice thank you to the people at Zany Video Game Quotes for these screens that I ...borrowed... to illustrate my point.

 
Grantes, being a pimp, is hated by Noa.

Hey Chesh,

I'm an on and off reader of RPGamer's columns, and it's good fortune that I happened to stop by yesterday before I went to bed to find out about this topic, simply because I've become disgusted by recent reviews of a lot of games. It always seems that the games I consider great aren't all that popular among others, and the games I favor less are the big Final Fantasy blockbusters.

It seems that, in this era where videogames have surpassed movies in terms of yearly revenue, huge companies like Square are moving backward. One of the most disturbing trends I've noticed is the downward spiral in terms of difficulty. I find it appalling that I was able to beat FF9 without being killed once.

That said, I really liked playing Legend of Legaia for the PSX. While it isn't anything spectacular in the multimillion dollar cutscene department, the battle system is innovative, the story isn't as bad as everyone says, the characters were well-developed, the music was good, and it was challenging. Vahn, Noa, and Gala, while not rendered in three million polygons each, were characters who anyone would remember. I'm not usually one to play games more than once, but this game was the only game I've played twice since FF2 (or 4) was released for the SNES ten years ago.

Please tell me someone besides me has actually HEARD of this game :)

-Steve
editor@shoemakervillage.org

Cheshire Catalyst:
Amen.
Legend of Legaia WAS cool. The only complaint that I had was that gold was a little too scarce. I borrowed it from a neighbor for a bit. That neighbor was Brandon. And I knew, since this was a game he'd purchased with his own money, there would be healthy doses of asses being beaten. The battle system was cool. Punch...Kick... Punch... NEW ARTS! And then one of the characters would be the high holy living bejeezus out of something. It was cool.
Now, onto another issue Steve brings up. Going through an RPG and never dying is a terrible sin. I'm currently going through Grandia II as such. Bosses are easy: just cast spells like Stram/Def-loss to reduce their attack/defense scores. Use some power ups on your own characters, and you'll never worry about dying. The only time I ever put myself in danger was when I purposly did everything I could to make sure neither Roan or Mareg made the last blow in battle. Why? Because when a character does, you have to hear them talk. Mareg's voice is somewhat irritating, while Roan sounds like Dudley Dursley with a headcold. (Oh, GOD, here come the Harry Potter refernces. Shoot me now.) Not all the VA'ing is bad. I like Millenia's voice. Her "Deep fried goodness!" in battle is funny, and her victory cry of "That was beautiful, you guys!" is cute. All in all, Millenia's the best character in the game so far.
Returning from that tangent, yes. There's nothing like a good, hard game these days. Remember the days of Nintendo? Of Mega Man? That's why those "Nintendo Power Counselors" went out of buisness. Beating three megaman games was like getting a PhD in neuroscience. But FF9, Grandia, and the final chapter of FFT? Kato Kaelin on Queludes could beat these games without even trying.

 
Hooray! I don't feel like I'm in the "Crying Game" anymore.

That string with the white wizard was good:) But despite what people say, I have to agree with you that the white mage/wizard is a super-sexy chick.

The first thing you need to consider is that back in the 8-bit days of old, details were few and far between (especially in the early games like Final Fantasy). Yes the face is a bit broad, but come on, you are talking about a battle-hardened babe who is ready for anything! And are there gonna be too many healing males who have their (red) hair run as far down as their waist? Let alone wear a hood and white dress? My guess is, none:)

Also, anyone here seen the Wonderswan Color remake of Final Fantasy? I have it, and yes the white mage IS still a super-sexy femmie. She wears her hood and dress like she did in the original game, only her hair is brown in this one. Square changed nothing about the game, other than making the game 16-bit quality, why would they change the sex of a character for no reason?? AND, if the white mage were masculine then why for the love of god would the white mage class suddenly have a sex change in time for the fourth Final Fantasy installment? There was no change my friend, she is and always was a SHE!

While simple 8-bit details may be enough to sway some people, the white mage is clearly feminine. 8-bits for graphics really isn't a lot (in fact nowadays it's pathetic...not to diss the NES, it was one of my best friends growing up). Why people would make such a statement as to question a white mages sexiness is beyond me. Anyways, just thought I would share my thoughts:)

-Andrew Richardson

Cheshire Catalyst:
The jig is up, White Wizard! Andy here has given me irrefutable evidence that you indeed have a tiny, 8-bit pixellated vagina!

: What? Let me check.... Well, by Kraken's sixty-six tentacles, I do! You know what this means, don't you?

I can quit with the fantasies about the old lady who sells you the letter in Zelda and get back to you?

: Umm, actually, I was thinking it means I don't have to work so hard to use the urinal anymore in the men's room.

That's pretty disgusting, White Wizard.

: Eat me, cat-boy. Don't make me bust out the AMUT.





Quickies

Hey cat

Well,.. Id have to say Final Fantasy Mystic Quest would be my skank game. It seems like everyone says it sucks, but I enjoyed it a lot. Maybe thats because the music was SO good. The game was short, the grafics so-so, and the plot basic and over done, but the MUSIC, oh baby. The main battle music was SO damn good, better in fact than boss music in most other games. And the boss music and final boss music ROCKED. The only other game with comprable boss music in my mind was Lufia 2, both the normal and sinistral themes. They were rock themes and really got your blood pumping. Fast paced and exciting, and NEVER got repetitive or boring.

-Doug

FFMQ had some good music, now that I recall. Fireburg was the place to be.

You like Exalted? r0xxors! Heres my questions.

I'm fuzzy on the rules for magic. How do they work? Also, can you commit peripheral essence.
Oh, and my friend says theres rules for giant robots. (Like Escaflowne) Is that true? Is it offical or just a player mod?

Magic: Basically, buy the occult charms : "Terrestrial Circle", "Celestial Circle", and "Solar Circle" to do magic. Spend willpower to activate the charm, then spend the essence to cast a spell. Yes, you can commit peripheral essence without causing your anima to flare. And yes, there are rules for "Warstriders". Big escaflowne-like robots.

The Last Laugh:

Ok, we'll do the five questions thing for tomorrow.

1. What RPG character would be the LEAST fun to take on a date, despite having good looks. Male or Female.

2. To turn today's question around, what game, which seems to be either loved by everyone or a small contingency of rabid fans, do you dislike?

3. Who's powers, among either the X-men or the Justice League, would you like to have? Keep in mind, taking their powers comes with any and all weaknesses/neurosis/fashion blindess that said character has.

4. Who's your favorite writer?

5. Who's more annoying, the announcer from Dance Dance Revolution (Yeah, the "Show me your performace!" guy.) or Fuse, the announcer from Space Channel 5? (You know. He says "Hit the A button when they say "Chu!" 67 times.)

Later!

chesh "Dry up, Dursley, y' old prune." @rpgamer.com
The guy who played Dursley in the movie looked like ex-president Howard Taft,

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