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Rob Hamilton - September 22 '02- 4:05 Eastern Standard Time

As I sit here, ready to answer another batch of questions for this, the column of the 22nd of September, I ponder a question that has troubled many sages and philosophers over the years.

What seventh-level cleric spells are good?

I mean, really. Resurrection seems an obvious choice, but really, everyone in our party can afford True Resurrection, and under very rare circumstances would someone decline the better spell. I mean, a few thousand gold is nothing compared to an experience level--at least with the amount of gold we carry! Right now I have Destruction memorized, though I'm also looking at Holy Word and at Slime Wave. My domain spell is Earthquake. Earthquake is a pretty decent spell, and will be especially useful when we go after the Illithid motherbrain soon!

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Random nonsense!
Not Drawings of Chimerasame

Rabbit made of steel, Lobster has a BEAK!

Hiya Chimerasame,

You know the whole RPG-difficulty thing? I think games like Lunar handled difficulty well. The random battles were not usually easy, and required you to think in order to come up with the way to win and take the least damage (while no using too much mp). It was a far cry from other games where $ranbat = "push x (attack) button until you are given exp".

What game do you like best from a difficulty/challenge that is FUN point of view?

Lots and lots of RPG players power level. Sometimes they do it early in the game, sometimes they do it before the last boss. It's just a side-effect of the freedom that RPGs give players. I say, make the game (battles) challenging relative to the level that you are supposed to be at each point. Also, having bosses level up and change their attacks relative to the party is a good idea.

Rob:
To be fun, it can't be so difficult that I die and lose my progress more often than I succeed, but it has to be hard enough to make it worth it to find at least a few of the extras that the game has included, and/or spend at least little bit of time strategically "powerlevelling" important aspects of characters. Secret of Mana.

If you have the time to look at flash animations, you should check Lobster Magnet and Chip and Dale's MMORPG. Although, of course, the Terrible Secret of Space is a great one, too. It was based on SA icq prank by Lowtax (to an extent).

Rob:
Seen both, but thanks for the suggestion! I think I might have even linked Lobster Magnet from a column here, a year or two ago.

Do you use the kyookasho "Yookoso" for your Japanese class? Also, about how many Kanji is your class supposed to know at that level? I did 2 semesters and we're knew all the Hiragana and Katakana by the end of the first (and more beside, but we used romanji for 80% of Japanese I). In the 2nd, we learned a lot more vocab and sentence structure, and also we kept up with the writing. There were maybe 30 to 40 kanji that we were supposed to know by the end of Japanese II.

- Mike "Rahlious" White

Rob:
I'm in fifth semester. We used Yookoso for the first four semesters, one book per year. So.. seven chapters a year. What does a Yookoso chapter have, about 30 kanji? Something like that. So, in theory, I know over 400. ... Wow. I don't know over 400! Right now I'm using a book by Miura and McGlothlin... the title was something pretty generic, Interactive Guide to Intermediate Japanese or some such. Not a bad book, though I wish it had CD accompaniment instead of cassette tape.

 
This paragraph is HUGE!

Well, I guess this might go into the exp. debate, or just my views on RPG's, either way here I go! First off, almost the most important thing in an RPG to me is the battle system, if the battle system is fun then I'll have fun pretty much the entire game. I like battle systems that change things up. For example, one of my favorite RPG's of all time is Suikoden & Suikoden 2. Now aside from all it's other factors I love the battling system. Just how you have to use some strategy in battles is great, especially because of the variety of things you can do. There is always the Judgement Ring in Shadow Hearts too, which I was skeptical of first but love! Honestly I enjoyed every battle. turning away from battle I also enjoy games that have a coherent story, or at least good one. Many games I've played have you meandering around the world doing various pointless things until you find an evil force is free so you better stop him! I know the majority of games that have played do this or things similar, but there are saving factors. Dialogue can be well written or translated and sometimes I actually notice. Now probably the biggest factor for me aside from battle is the characters, I want characters with feelings and personality, too many games lack this aside from a few dialogue lines that could hint about personality. I can't help it but I can't buy a game unless I know something about the character I'm supposed to care about! Honestly if I don't like a character and he dies then good riddance! Back tracking to exp., I honestly liked Suikoden's idea a lot, if you don't know it Chim mentioned it yesterday. The fact is even the hard fights, such a Luca from Suikoden 2, could be beaten without leveling up. He thrashed me the first time, then on only my second try I beat him with all three teams! That is what I call good gaming. FINALLY, is romance; but that is true usually only for me. Romance adds an effect to the story that wouldn't normally be there. This is actually the shortened rant but thanks for listening!
-AlbinoMonkeyKing

Rob:
I agree about characters--character development is quite important. Not necessary (Might and Magic V), but most good games have characters with distinctive personalities, creating intriguing dialogue with their interactions. (Good characters seem to pave the way for fanfiction quite well, incidentally, though that certainly doesn't define game quality.) Mostly, it's gameplay, and that usually means the battle system. I've played quite a small number of games where non-battle-system elements contributed more than battle-system elements did. Lufia I, II, and Planescape: Torment come to mind.

Anyway, enough of my random rambling! For now.

 
Kingdom Aortas

Chim,

My theory is that there was a tie between Vincent and Cloud for most popular FF7 character, so they went with Cloud because the Japanese love their lead characters. But they didn't want to disappoint the Vincent fans, so they put some Vincent stuff on Cloud to please everyone.

This would easily become doujinshi fodder in Japan, I tell you.

Btw, notice there aren't any FF9 charas around? (Moogles don't count)

DMJ

Rob:
Vincent was in the running for most popular FF7 character? I know I'm a little out of the loop, but I didn't think I was that far gone. 95% of fangirls seem to love either Sephiroth or Cloud, while 95% of fanboys favor Aeris or Tifa. After them, I've heard support for Reeve, Yuffie, Tseng, Elena... Vincent's decently cool, but I never would have guessed that he'd e vying with Cloud for most popular. What do other people think?

 
And on the subject of Sephiroth

I could handle Seph sounding like a Guado in Ehrgeiz, but LANCE BASS!? That's just blasphemy... *sigh* But, such is the way of the world...

~Space Lioness

Rob:
Well, the second choice was Carrot Top. They picked well, says I. (NOTE: THIS IS A COMPLETE LIE)

 
Who's Column is it, Anyway?

Colin Mockrie will NOT rule the world! Greg Proops will! He is my real life "tasty lunch!"

Card Captor Ribby

Rob:
It will be a constitutional monarchy set up in conjunction with a parliamentary democracy. Prime Minister Greg Proops will hold the majority of the political power, but Mochrie's position as Emporer will give him enough clout with the people that he could affect the voting, and thus, the setup of the parliament. Ryan Stiles will be the official National Secretary of Being That Tall Dude.

 
Photoshop contest, eh...

Greetings (Ackbar sings) It's a trap Chimerasame!
Well I acutally will be driving from St. Louis there so that cost won't apply. Actually I'm not comfortable with flying since it's too much of a hassle these days. But what does suck is how I would have nobody to share a hotel room with stinks.
Also on the manner on which the Suikoden series does experience. It keeps levels in a certain range and it also is done where unused characters can catch up real fast to everyone else. Also is that Matilda door trick a bug or was it intentional? Do you also worry with a quick translation time where Suikoden III will be out in a month, the game might be buggy and/or a bad translation.
Can there be silly photoshop contests? Maybe something where it's rejected cards from various trading card games including the RPGamer booster sets. A cliche could be done with the Admiral Ackbar Yu-Gi-Oh card, the "it's a trap card".
Imperial Mog

Rob:
When you're driving alone, it tends to be almost as expensive as flying, if not moreso--though St. Louis is a lot closer to Chicago than I am, so you might not encounter the same numbers. I don't know whether the Matilda door trick was a bug. Quite possibly, yes. I don't think there will be a translation problem with Suikoden III due to the hastiness of the release--it's not like official translators have to wait for the commercial Japanese release before they can start localizing the script.

A photoshop contest wouldn't be bad! I mean, I wouldn't want to steal SA's gig, but then, SA hardly has a monopoly on making stuff look like other stuff that's funnier than the first stuff. To make it appropriate to the site, I offer this challenge: digitally alter a scene in an RPG. In about a week, I'll use my pitiful selection skills (if there are even enough to select from. you hear that, readerland? I CHALLENGE YOU!) and put up an auxiliary page, linked to from the column. So, yeah!




Chiming out:

Generating random titles for oneself is quite entertaining, given the correct level of late-night boredom! Some of the more interesting ones it gave me:

Constable of The National Association for the Advancement of Random Acts of Violence, Robert William Hamilton
Pope of Lesbians, Rob Hamilton
Fuhrer of Britney Spears Look-Alikes, Don Robert William Hamilton
Dragon of The Institute for Promotion of Boxes Of Animal Crackers, Snoop Doggy Harold William Hamilton
Priest Emeritus of The Duct-Taped Gerbil Rehabilitation Association of North America (DTGRANA), Rob Hamilton


I also asked it to give titles to a few random video game characters. It complied marvellously!

Centurion of Untrammeled Boinking, Edgar Roni Figaro
Drag Queen of Media, Reverend Strago Magus, The Valiant
Assistant Woman-at-arms Emeritus of The Bad Pun Appreciation Society, Tifa Lockhart
Indefinite Quasi-Master-In-Training of Women's Prison Movies, Citan Uzuki
Czarina of Le Front de Liberation des Nains de Jardin, Queen Kathy Zeal


Soo... Zeal's name is Kathy. And Tifa appreciates bad puns! Interesting, interesting indeed.

chime "Pope of Lesbians" @rpgamer.com

I think Edgar would appreciate this title more than 'King,' really.

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