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Circle of Sages
Round 2 1/2: Version 1.1
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 Xenogears
  Don't be timid...
  Ask Thor.
We sages are tired.
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 Past wizdom can be found in the archives.


Lorelai: So begins the Circle of Sages, Round Two. Uh ok, 2 and 1/2. I, Lorelai, have pulled a late-nighter giving you what you deserve: the second update to Circle of Sages. Instead of a new page though, I've buffed up the first one and corrected some small errors we made, particularly on the names of Sephiroth and Fei Fong Wong. Well, hope this makes up for our canoe mishap. (read below for what I wrote the first update)

Lorelai earlier: I'm your temporary host, Lorelai, from the Fan Art Department. Yes, there is a reason why this update is late: We sages were all crowded into the canoe, hurrying to make it back to our circle by Saturday. (This past week we've been vacationing at that fabulous resort at the base of Gurgu Volcano...) When all of a sudden, this huge storm whipped up, and everyone was knocked overboard except for me. So, I single-handedly rescued every sage while typing up the html for this tardy update....uh, yeah. And my chocobo ate my spellbook too. So that's why Circle Of Sages is late today. Hee hee, well, enjoy! And we all sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

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Bad Sages! Bad Sages!

I was wondering if you guys were ever going to put up a Circle of Sages column. This is the second weekend in a row where you guys have done nothing, and quite frankly, it's annoying.  If you want Thor to only do five days a week you should bother to update on weekends too!

-- John Lesjack

Lorelai: Yeah, I realize it was pretty bad to shirk our Circle Meeting on only the second session, but it really was accidental. After the fall from the canoe, Sage Mike caught a bad cold from exposure, but Sage Ryan was knocked out completely by subsequent illness. And of course, Sage Ryan was scheduled to make this page. So, at 12:00 on Sunday, Sage Mike gave the job to Sage Lorelai, who was mysteriously unhurt. (No, I did NOT sabotage the canoe Mike! Besides, no one saw me do it so they can't prove I did...!)

Martin: Well [John], I'm not sure where you were last weekend, (we did update) but I do know that Ryan was sick yesterday, and I was out of town.

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Awww, he's sooo cute! Let's name him Sephiroth.

Hello sages, I just like to point out that there is RPGirls out there to Clouded. There are very few but we do exist. In fact the only other RPGirl I know is my mom and she's the one who brought me up on RPGames, but that's not the point it's just that we do exist on this earth. And it's a bit late but RPGamers who are under 15 are just as much as RPGamers over 15. I'm 13, RPGirl, and have been playing for almost my entire life. How scary is that?

Anyway, I'd like to ask what Sephiroth mean? It was in FF7 and in some dialogue in Xenogears. My cousin think's (an RPGuy) it has something to do with Japanese religions. I think it means some like Armageddon. Enlighten me.

-- Mimic

Amber: Sephirot are the ten paths to god in the Jewish religion, I believe. (Don't hold me to that -- I don't have any books on this subject.)  Each path has a different virtue, etc...If you want more detailed information, Sephiroth no oukoku (http://sno.simplenet.com) has a section dedicated to the Kabbalah (this section of the religion) in the Temple section.

Rosie and Martin: Sephiroth when translated literally means "the life force flowing from god." It all tied in with the lifestream theme.

Lorelai: Wait, I think CMaelstrm@aol.com knows something we don't.

CMaelstrm: You weren't that far off about the meaning of Sephiroth, though it's more well known in Hebrew for 'numbers' and is directly related to Arabic 'sifra', French 'chiffre', German 'Ziffer', and English 'cipher'. (Sanskrit 'shunya' meaning 'void', originally.) In Hebrew (among other alphabets), each letter has a numerical value, and the art of adding the letters in a word or phrase to get a certain value is called 'gematria'. In Hebrew, the word Sephiroth has the value of 756; in Greek, 894. Can anyone find any significance in these numbers? I was hoping to relate them to the safe combination in the Shinra Mansion, but they don't seem to work. ^^;

To Sequel or not to Sequel?

Ok, I have no clue who runs this thing...except some barbarian guy. Anyways, I visit this thing alot..yada yada yada. Ok nitty gritty...FFVIII : is it part one of two (Second being FFIX?) or a whole different game altogether? anways, I intend to become a regular...

  -- MrCanEHdian 

Martin: I really think VIII and IX will be unrelated games, even though they are rumored to be under development at the same time.  A two-part Final Fantasy might prove interesting, but history dictates that such games have always ended up like direct sequel movies, the sequels never live up to the first one.  Capcom is planning a 24 part (either 24 or 12, I forget which) RPG for Dreamcast that should definitively proving or disproving the theory that direct sequels suck. 

Gaaaah! What's happened to my Game!?

First off, thanks for the great site. I come to rpgamer for all the info I need. Having said that, I got one quick question. My copy of FF3 got left outside in cold weather for a bit(oops). At first I was worried that it wouldn't work anymore, but when I plugged it in, it worked fine. At first. After I played it a bit, I noticed a few problems. It didn't really like playing the right peice of music when it was supposed to (I didn't know Kefka and Terra had the same music...), and things like taking Doom Gaze out of the game. Is this type of thing common?

-- Dark Rand

Martin: If it was outside long enough, and if it was wet outside, it might have drained the battery, but then you wouldn't be able to save.  When the battery went out in my Legend of Zelda game, some extremely bizarre things happened, that I would have never linked to the battery going bad, if I had been able to save.  The good news is, you can probably have the game repaired by Nintendo for less than $10, plus shipping.

When, gawrd dernit, WHEN!

I have a suggestion for the release dates page.  The page itself is fine and I think that it is very well done, but I never know if it's been updated unless I go to it, which can get annoying.  It would be really nice if you indicated on the front page when the release date page is updated.  I think the best way to ket us know when its been updated would be to make a section for it like there is for the fan art, music, etc.  Thanks for listening.

Mike: I some how missed this the first time through the sages questions.  Perhaps we can add a button on the redesign that changes color each time we update the release page or something.  We'll see if we can come up with a good plan. Hopefully the new design of pages will get a quick addition of generating the release page every night.  It's one of the first "revisions" planned for the script. :> 

Lots of Stuff

...Short and Simple, what the hell is all the hype about freaking Xenogears?  I played the demo and I hated it with a passion.  The world map was FF7's with Fei (which I may say is one of the gayest names in the world for a main character)  pasted on it.  I felt like shooting myself in the face everytime I heard that damn Irish folk music that kept emitting out of no where, and for some reason, if your a dude you had to look like a chick, and vice versa.  Dan, the little brother of that girl, looked like he was about forty.  The dialouge was pretty bad, the battle system was confusing, and that opening sequence had absaloutly nothing to do with the rest of the story!!  Now I realize that it's not right to judge a game buy a hour long demo, and I'm sure that it must get better but... how?

-- Jet

Amber: The hype about Xenogears is coming mostly from gamers who have already finished the game.  It's all a matter of opinion, and some people hate the game, but you really have to give it enough of a chance -- meaning more than an hour long demo.

To answer your questions about the game.......  well first of all, like any RPG, you have to play into the story.  The intro does more than come back to haunt you, but most of the game is preparing you for that.  It really is a major part of the storyline.

The storyline itself is very complicated, and you really have to see it all to understand.  Squaresoft did a good job with a contraversial subject, but as I said, it's all a matter of opinion.  This game is better than most books I've read in my opinion, even with the faulty translation.   All I can say is, play the game, and if you don't like it in ten hours or so, then at least you have more than a short preview to base your opinion on.  At least give it a chance first.

Lorelai: Watch out Jet, Amber just happens to REALLY love Xenogears! I shared your opinion at first; I didn't even finish the demo because I was so unimpressed; but now I have the game and I really enjoy playing it. I really do think it's one of Squaresoft's better RPGs. And also, regarding Fei's name (Fei Fong Wong), the name comes directly from a real person. According to skar@neptune.on.ca, Wong Fei Hong was a martial artist / teacher who lived about 90 years ago. I've seen a couple movies of him, and they all glorify him like crazy. Better show some respect to the Real Fei, cuz little Squaresoft Fei can't match up to the real thing...

Sigh, Sigh, Sigh

Is it me, or does anybody else get depressed everytime they play rpgs? Everytime the overworld music comes up in any FF game, I found myself turning my seat towards my window and start thinking about my life. Not only in an FF game but for "The seventh saga", everytime the town music comes up, I just stop playing for a few minutes and I think about what's gonna happen to me in the future.. Has anyone ever had this experience?

-- Chromwell

Amber: Yeah, I've experienced that too, especially in Xenogears. But I think the music is composed to draw that reaction out of us -- otherwise, what's the point in having it? It sets the mood, and as all music, it draws out our emotions. If you react this way a lot, then I guess teh composers did their job! :)

Rosie: I get depressed sometimes from RPGs. The music's mood always tends to make me feel emotions. One of the most moving peices I have listened to is 'Final Fantasy V Dear Friends: The Land Unknown'. When it gets to the violin, I just blank out and ponder.

Lorelai: How can you not just fall in love with Bart when his sad music comes up?? (swoon) Oh, I always found that any Final Fantasy Tactics piece will easily captivate and start me thinking. Hey wait. Amber? Rosie? How come only the GIRLS on staff answered this question?...

(Why the heck should I) Name that Quote

I have a question for ya: Who does the quote thing and how do they pick it? Since you mentioned that most of you were playing BoF3, that would explain why 3 out the last 4 have been from BoF3. I hope that you will balance out your quotes better.

-- yaromyr pryjmak

Martin: We're currently creating a quotes database, consisting of quotes sent in by our readers, and others we've found on our own. Originally, and I assume still, Mike is planning on writing a script that randomly picks one every time you visit the site/page.

Hey Mike, wanna switch jobs with Lorelai?

A: How often do you all find yourselves wanting to do, if not doing each other's jobs?

B: If you could have any other job on RPGamer besides your own, who's and why?

-- Baywolf

Lorelai: Well, I can't do perl, java, javascript, or CGI...so basically all I know is HTML. Therefore, it is impossible for me to DO a webmaster's job here at RPGamer. That's the case for many of us, so we don't have much of a desire to switch jobs. My penchant is for art, and so RPGamer allowed me this little niche to rest and be comfortable in, doing only a job that I love. =) I want no other job. Well, doing Circle of Sages is kind of fun.... ^_^

Zelda inquires about Dreamcast...no, really!

Hey Sages...I've heard a lot about Dreamcast and was wondering if you think all those ads will really come true. You know..."in November, those things will become doorsteps" with pictures of Playstation and Nintendo64. Like...40% of the western hemisphere owns one of the Nintendo consoles. Do you believe that Dreamcast will take the gaming world by storm?

Ryan: I think it will easily overtake the Nintendo 64, but I'm not sure how it will do against the Playstation. The Dreamcast has had some problems when it first came out (estimates are 10-15% of the original batch were DOA), but the games look promising.

Also...another "Dreamcast-ish" question...I've heard a lot about Climax Landers, and I think it'll be a wonderful RPG when it does get out. Any info on how many players (I know there are 6 characters) and what rating you think ESRB will give it? Thanks.

Ryan: Hmm, well, I really don't know much about how those rating things work (I think they're about as informative as the movie ones). As for players, I assume one, but I don't know.

-- Zelda

-The Sages
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