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   Miracle Grow®   
Martin Drury - July 22 '01- 1:15 Eastern Standard Time

Strangely, no one has poured Miracle Grow® on me lately. Guess that means I'm not on IRC enough anymore. For those of you who remember me, rumors of my retirement from RPGamer were greatly exaggerated (unfortunately). For those of you who don't, please see the first question.

Not too many questions tonight, and a good many of them were addressed to Rob originally (bad Rob, no cookie!).

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Have a common question?
FAQ Etc.
You can draw me if you want, but apparently no one wants to.
BioChia! Okay, so it's lame, sue me.

Insert CSI Theme Music Here

who are you?
Did Goog sau you could just volunteer to guest host?? I wanna do it.
Secret5ervice

Chiapet:
Well, to make a long story short, way back in the dark ages, I used to do both news and media for RPGamer. In fact, I was so good, it takes a staff of 15 to match my mad skills. And yes, my ego is larger than the combined egos of Mikel Tidwell and Bill Gates! But luckily, my wife sealed it away in a crystal (it's the same crystal that's in Final Fantasy 9) to keep me from hurting myself. Smart woman, my wife.
I know you'll never read this, but I love you Jill!
Anyway, where was I? From that, I went on to answering email sent to webmaster@, but then the evil demon known as Calculus stepped forward and laid the smack down on me. So I took a "hiatus" from RPGamer for a while. When I came back, and took up answering email for a while, and then started handling PR (if you call discussing the "dangers" of eating french fries and spilling soda on your keyboard with Square employees PR).
SOrry, No Identification Available
To answer your second question, no, Googleshng did not say I could guest host, I told him I would when he was looking for a staffer to cover parts of this weekend.

 
Dragon Warrior II ... Dragon Warrior II

Am I just Inept or is it impossible to find the echo flute in Dragon Warrior 2? I think the flute must have been added to the game when it made to jump to Gameboy because I don't remember it at all from the first game, and it is not mentioned in any of the FAQ's from the site. Really, the only reason I need it is to find the Sun Seal in the Flame Shrine. I've done everything short of searching each bit of ocean looking for the flute, help!
What is it with Enix and Flutes? We need a tuba!
"No More rhymes now, I mean it!" "Anybody want a peanut?" "Ghaaaa!"

Jizm

Keno:
First, you are not Inept, that title is reserved solely for Mikel. Hmm, speaking of Mikel, I forgot to mention that he thinks I'm god. Somebody mail him some bibles or something. Oh, and I wonder if Mikel is still lost in Dragon Warrior II... pobre dragon.
No, I'm not in any danger. *flex ego*
Anyhow, I'd better quit making fun of the boss and answer your question. The Echo Flute is in both the GBC and NES versions of Dragon Warrior 2. It can be a bit tricky to acquire. First, you need to speak to the man in Tantegal wearing a turban. It's been so long since I played I'm not exactly sure where in the town he is, but he shouldn't be that hard to find. He will tell you about a sunken treasure. The only way to find it, is after you've talked to him.
Don't you just hate it when that happens?
Return to Lianport, and sail north. Eventually, you'll see a tile that looks different than all the rest of the ocean. Sail over it, search, and you've found the treasure. Return to Lianport, give it to the merchant looking for it, and he'll give you the Echo Flute.
Or an Oboe, yeah, I want a game with an Oboe
And this is in the FAQ on RPGamer, just search for "echoing flute", or better yet, just "flute".

 
Letters to Rob, part 1

Dear Chim,

I loved your comic! You have to make more of those, dude. it was actually funnier than the recent MegaTokyo strips!
I'm not trying to suck up to you or anything, so don't get me wrong. Btw, did I tell you that YOU ROCK!?

Anyway, these are two quotes from the www.workingdesigns.com letters section:
"We will be releasing LUNAR 3 for the PS2." and
"About Lunar 3, it will be made for the PlayStation 2. That is all of the information that I have on it right now."
These are from the two most recent updates.

Also, some Q:s.

1. Someone told me they saw an ad in a store about Xenogears being released as a Greatest Hits.
The ad also featured FF9, LoDragoon and FFT. Does this have any sort of truth in it? I'd hate to just have spent $53 on XG and then be able to buy it for $20 in a month. Also, when exactly will FFT GH come out?

2. Will DW3, Golden Sun, BoF, and/or any of the other GB/GBA RPGs be released in Europe? If not, do GB/GBA have regional coding, or can I just import games and play them on my european GBA?

3. Seeing as both games are from Tri-Ace, should I get Valkyrie Profile even if I hated Star Ocean 2? I've only heard Good Things about this game.

Well, well, well, well, STOP!

--HarleGuy

McDohl:
I really can't comment on the first part, maybe Rob will tomorrow.
Rob spelled backwards is boR
All I can say is... I've still not finished Lunar 1 yet.
For some reason, I just don't like it.
And now, to the questions!
And Answers!
1. Xenogears is being re-released, but not as a greatest hits. It seems our friends at Square are trying to capitalize on the buzz surrounding Xenosaga. It's been listed on Ebgames.com and Gamestop.com for $39.99, but I think its on backorder on both already. However, I was told yesterday that more will be released.
If only they'd stopped after 1 disc
As for Final Fantasy 9, I don't see it going Greatest Hits before say... November/December, and that's assuming 10 stays on target for an early next year US release. Legend of Dragoon, on the other hand, will probably be going to Greatest Hits soon... I'd ask Sony, but well, my contact at Sony is doing the jobs of 4 different people at the moment. I wonder if she uses Extra Caffinated Coffee. Final Fantasy Tactics GH edition is due out July 31st.
Sony says, "We don't have publishing rights to it anymore."
2. I would wait until the Enix worker disappeared for the night before trying to find out about Dragon Warrior 3. Breath of Fire I don't know about, but I think Golden Sun is going to be released there. Anyhow, as far as I know, there will be no regional lockout/design changes to prohibt you from playing different region games in your GBA. Mikel plays US games in his Japanese GBA. As long as the cartridges are designed the same, and I think they are, you should be able to play games from any region in your European GBA.
Square says, "Sony told us they're releasing it as a GH title."
3. Hmm, well, I really liked Star Ocean 2, but I've only just started Valkyrie Profile. I like VP's backstory more, but I'm not sure about the game itself. Battle mechanics, etc, for the two games are wildly different, but if all else fails, try renting it first.
Perhaps that's why Googleshng doesn't like Sony?
Can I go on now?

 
Letters to Rob, Part 2

Greetings Chim,

First of all, good choice on movies. I saw The Princess Bride a couple of times last week as it was highly recommended to me. I wasn't disappointed :D

Second of all, my guess for the title quote on the main page is: [FF IV (Chronicles] a line spoken by the elder of Mysidia (or perhaps a mage in Mysidia) during the time when Cecil lands alone in Mysidia after the shipwreck. If I'm wrong, then well.....damn.

Third of all, what newer-type consoles do you own? What do you play most nowadays? Do you play handhelds? Got an opinion on GBA? I'm thinking of getting one soon but I've found that lighting is a problem when trying to play the GBA.

Thanks for reading, writing, posting.

--Rahlious

Gramps:
You know, you'd think, with a title like "The Princess Bride" it would suck, but it really doesn't. It's amazing.
Same thing applies to America's Sweethearts, believe it or not.
Thou art incorrect!
Here's a hint, its "Dragon Warrior Week".
I have a PlayStation 2, Dreamcast, Nintendo Suxty4 (oh, did I say that outloud) and a GBA. I don't have much of a problem with lighting when playing my GBA, because, mostly, when I play it, I'm in my office, which has a lot of lighting. As for what I play most, do you mean games or systems? When I'm home, I'm usually playing PlayStation games on my PS2 (Super-Deformed Unisex Men: Volume 5 and Chrono Cross, currently) and at work I just finished Dragon Warrior 1 on my GBA, starting Dragon Warrior 2 on Monday
That's Final Fantasy V for all you non-wifeytalk speakers.
No problem.

 
Letters to Rob, Part 3

Yo Mr. Half Goat, lion, Snake thing!

What ever happened to that statement that Square was going to issue about FF chronicles, I've been cheking RPGamer evweryday since then and you still haven't released a thing about it, or has square even bothered to release the statement?

PLEASE ANSWER THIS LETTER, IT'S IMPORTANT !!!!!!

-NatanaX

Hao:
I'll tell you the same thing Square told me. "We really want to know what is up with it too. They told us 3 days max, but you know how those things go."
My cell phone rocks.
Anyhow, and not to be trashing Square, but here's what's going on. A limited number of Final Fantasy Chronicles discs have an error that can only be produced on PSOnes (according to Square). Now, first off, it takes them a bit to isolate exactly what the problems, but by now, I'm sure they know. Second, they're never going to issue a statement, because it only affects a limited number of copies, and most of those have either been returned or belong to people using PlayStation 2s/unaffected PSXs. This is not the first time this has happened with a Square game. I vaguely recall it happening before, but it was even a smaller batch than this time. Square's not the only company to experience this problem. Where I used to work, all 50 Sonic Adventure discs we got in our initial shipment would not boot. Most of the time, when there's a run/batch/pressing of discs that go bad, the company never issues a statement, and its just written off as a "manufacturing defect". The only time they'll ever issue a statement is in the case of Gran Turismo 2, where the problem was a programming defect, not a manufacturing defect.
Now, just to spite me, they'll release the statement Monday.
I hope that answers your question.

 
As If By Clockwork

Hey (monks sing) CHI-A-PET
First the prerequisite questions
1. What is your quest?
2. What is your favorite color?
3. What is the air-speed velocity of an unlaiden swallow?
I've wondered if you are able to do this. Have you been able to figure plot points before they happen? I can since they often do foreshadowing and there's many cliches that apply. Also, what RPG cliche would you wish happened in real life? I think that many would be so odd since RPG logic is an oxymoron.
Imperial Mog

Maru:
Ah yes, the prerequisite Imperial Mog! I was wondering when you were going to email.
But can the monks chant the rest of my names?
1. To be watered, of course.
Preferably with Mountain Dew.
2. Red.
But not Blood Red
3. Would that be Serge's or Lynx's?
Gotcha!
Yes, I have. I don't mind knowing, a few minutes in advance, but when an event is overtly foreshadowed hours of gameplay in advance, that's when I get sick. RPG cliché to happen in real life... let's see there's always the old stand by of conquering the world, but Mikel's boss has already done that.

 
Future Motion Video

Seeing how much better FMVs are beginning to look, it just makes you wonder... If Square does manage to one day create life-like people, what more will they have left to accomplish?
If you can't tell the difference between real people and computer animation, that's great.
But when you turn on the TV...you'll see people who look no different than the animated ones.
If computer animated characters are no different than real people, what's the point in creating what already exists?
Perhaps computer animated characters don't get paid, and no real "studio" is needed...but it's a whole lot more expensive...the FF movie being an example.

My question: Once Square masters computer animation and are able to create characters who look and act no different than people...what more is left for them to accomplish?

==Ghaleon==

Martin:
Wow, a really deep question. First off, as the Final Fantasy Movie proved, they've still got a way to go before they can make truly real-life characters in pre-rendered video. Once that is done, then there's still a little way to go before you can do it in real-time, on the fly. Granted, we're not that far from that point, however, true to life animation is not enough by itself, you have to have a good story and music and overall "atmosphere".
Atmosphere.
The so called "Western World" has been moving away from a labor society for some time now. Just take a look around you, your house/apartment/dorm is probably stuff to the gills with "conviences". Just like robots have replaced some assembly line workers, its only a matter of time before virtual people replace real people in some professions.
A Virtual US President is already here.
Is this a bad thing? Well, it depends on how you look at it. Initially, it may put a lot of people out of work, although these things could be gradually phased in. But, in the long run, it would free up those humans for other tasks. However, in order for you to be able to replace, say, news anchors with a virtual person right now, you'd have to kill everyone over 50, maybe even 40. The older a person gets, the more set in their ways they become, and the harder it is to train them. That's part of the reason lots of inventions and innovations you hear about don't show up for 10-15 years, simply because the shock of change would be too much for society.
Or the WD-40 has damaged my brain cells.
Anyhow, a lot of people in the "business" believe Square is trying to create a 40 hour interactive movie. Completely life like animations are just a tiny aspect of doing that.

 
And the Grammy goes to...

Well I would like to say something about the 'what exactly is game music'? deal that has been floating around.

Game music is undoubtably 'real' music; it is just a stereotype that it is anything else. The problem of what exactly is game music and why do I listen to it has bugged me a little and I believe I have come to an answer. One day in the morning last summer I was listening to a bunch of Chrono Trigger midis (I got them in this zip file) and after listening to 'Schala's Theme' and my other favorites multifold it just hit me why am I listening to this. They are midis after all and any other music lover would consider them beeps and buzzes. Well then I looked around the house for some classical CDs that I happen to have and I started listening; I was thinking why do I listen to game midis when there are so much more deeper, more intricate music of that type available. Then I took a music appreciation class and I began to get avidly into 'classical' music. I marvelled at the power of Beethoven, the passion of Berlioz, the picturesque scenes of Debussy, and finally the introspective melancholy of Chopin (I know that sounds artsy-fartsy but they really are pretty good). It was music I was alienated from simply because of cultural taboos.

But slowly and surely I slowly gravitated back to game music (as well as my other fav. music). I just didn't know why the tunes of Uematsu, Mitsuda and the like hooked on to me more than others every did. Here I figured it out. Game music is just like 'classical' music or any other kind of music (it is the kind of music that it is). It is real and it is art. When differing from classical music in a sense is 'classical' music but with a modern aesthetic and tinge. For example clear melodies, sweeping, rousing rhythms, powerful cresendoes, the use oriental instruments and whatever. The reason why game music is not respected as much as other music is because of the cultural outlook on it.

Look don't be afraid to listen to your game music, sound it out loud, talk about it with friends, treat it as regular 'music' of everyday life. The music of MGS or Shenmue for example would match whatever MTV has on in quality. So listen...It is real and it is music!

Well wow! That was more of an editorial but hey do you agree? What are your opinion once and for all on the status of game music?

N.J.

Druggy:
Wow. Not much for me to add here, other than to say come over to my office and listen to my 140 hours of Anime/Game music with me. Well, also, main stream "America" does not think of game music as real music because when main stream "America" thinks of games, they think of Super Mario Bros. For NES. Yes, you have to go kill those people over 40 again. Actually, that opinion is changing, as games mature (and I don't mean Nintendo's hey, I killed someone, this is a "Mature" game, kinda of mature) the music has progressed from beeps and buzzes to full fledged orchestrated pieces of art (the Seattle Symphony recently recorded music for a game).




The Last Gasp:

My name is Amigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
-Illegal Allen

Your father? I thought that was your mother.

Some congress man wants to get rid of the penny! I been saving my pennies! He just wants it so all the businesses round a penny to five cents...LONG LIVE PENNIES!

Fhjull Zagar

Yes, let's continue to make a coin that costs more to make than what it's worth.

Well folks, that completes another Q&A here at RPGamer. No fancy sig image or anything cool for me, I'm just a plain ol' Chiapet. I've hoped you've enjoyed my visit, but if you haven't, that's okay too. Rob "Chimerasame" Hamilton will be back tomorrow, and you can whine at him if you don't like me ;) Accompanying Rob, on the keyboard, will be guest host Michael Greenhut. I'm off to play Dynasty Warriors 2 or Lunar: SSSC. Cheers,

Chiapet "Gah, I still have WD-40 on my hands" @rpgamer.com
Was that over the top?

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