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   and Cyrael again  
Googleshng - April 13 '01- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Evidently, the restaurant I recently visited is a front for an evil organization that syphons off the life force energy of its patrons for fun and profit. Then more recently, someone just gave me one of the most distracting links ever. It was related to Karnov and everything! Now that I've successfully pulled myself away though, here's Cyrael.

Cyrael: Hey guys. Oh my am I tired. An arcade by me just got Dance Dance Revolution USA and I've been playing a whole lot since last Friday. But now I am sore and tired and wishing I was dead. Oh well. I think I am gonna go back tomorrow too. Anyone in Colorado who knows were the Boondocks is, stop by tomorrow and watch me tear up the dance floor from 7 till close. Woo hoo! Just look for the short bald teenager who looks like a doofus up on the stage.

Like dancing fat guys?
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This summer I will be sitting down and translating as much as I can of the Xenogears Perfect Works artbook. This is quite a daunting task, and I want to send a cry out to the fan community.
If anyone has a copy of the Perfect Works book, can translate from Japanese into English, and would be willing to collaborate on a translation project, please email me at pat_trick@hotmail.com.
I won't be really starting until mid-May, but I want to gather some people together now. Also, if anyone with high-end HTML knowledge would be willing to help put together a website to host this information, please email me as well.
A few questions for the mix:
Why, for the life of me, can't I beat Finath River in Final Fantasy Tactics? I've had the game since it came out, for @#%^ sake!
Is it worth finishing Final Fantasy VIII?
-Patrick

Cyrael:
Well, hell. If I could read more than just basic hirigana and katakana I would offer a hand. Since I can't do that, I'll offer to build the site for ya. I work mostly in Flash (which I think I mentioned last week). Drop a line if you want me to do it.
For your questions, I dunno why you can't do that. I haven't even played more than the first battle in FFT... Been waaaaaay too busy with Dance Dance Revolution. Finally, yes I think it is worth it to finish FF8. I enjoyed the ending myself, even though the game wasn't that fun for me.

Googleshng:
Hmm... whether you should finish FF8 or not is really your call. If it'll nag at your soul, you should finish, if you can't stand to look at it, you probably should just sell the thing. Now, as for FFT, hmm... that's the Chocobo fight, right? Well, unless you're using my singing and dancing strategy, which should do nicely there, just try to take them out one at a time. Oh, and please, don't go mailing FFT strategies to Chesh tomorrow. Whenever one person does, everyone seems to. Strange curse of Q&A surrounding the game...

 
Perfect Timeline
Xeno Spoilers
Hello. Many people are confused about the episodes in Xenogears. They are as follows. (major spoilers and highly condensed)

Episode 1 (2001-2510 AD) & (0016-4768 TC): The origin of existance is discovered. Zohar generator is created. Plans for Deus are made... People leave the Earth (it's no longer habitable) on the Eldrige. Deus is created during the Eldrige's journey. Deus takes over the Eldrige. The Eldrige crashes onto the nearest planet. The only survivor is a young boy, Abel.

Episode 2 (Year 0000): Abel meets Zohar. Miang/Elly conflict starts. Miang creates Gazel and Cain.

Episode 3 (Year 6050): Zeboim civilization. People are contaminated. Kim and Elly make Emeralda. Miang uses her influence to make the nations destroy each other because there are to many unsuitable bodies for Deus (due to radiation).

Episode 4 (9080): Etrenank begins construction. Nisan, Shevat, and Aveh/Kislev forms. (9500) Surface dwellers war. The whole Krillian/Lacan/Sophia incident. Grahf tries to destroy the planet but is stopped by the omnigears.

Episode 5 (9984): Destruction of Elru. Events in Xenogears. Freeing the Wave Existance from the Zohar Modifier.

Episode 6 (10000+): The world continues without the influence of Miang. Most probably the restoration of Aveh/Kislev, Nisan, and Shevat.

Just thought that might clear things up a bit for the readers. Well, I guess a question is also necessary: Can you see Sega developing there RPGs on Gamecube? ie. Shenmue, Skies of Arcadia...

el-fenrir, the crazy Xenogears enthusiast

Cyrael:
Wow. Since I'm stuck in Xenogears (Red Rum keeps eating me and I haven't the time to trek into town to get my supplies..) I had no idea exactly HOW deep the story is. Although it is kinda spoiled for me now, I don't really mind. I have heard tons of stuff on this game since long before I even saw it, let alone played it.
I think Sega might develop for Gamecube. They are developing for the GBA right now which is super cool. I don't see whats stopping them... But I'm sure Goog will point something out!

Googleshng:
Actually Cyrael, there aren't many spoilers in there. Go finish the game! Now then, while I could see Sega making RPGs on the Game Cube, I don't see them porting any DC games to it right off the bat. Much more likely than porting to the PSX2, but I still don't see it happening.

 
FF9
FF9 ending spoiler

Hello Googleshng! Here I am again. Ok, I just got FF9 and was wondering about some things.
1: What's up with the letters on the card. What do they mean?
2: What's your opinon on the game?
3: Any hints to how I should kick the Boss in The Alexandrian Library's ass?
And a little comment before I leave you alone...
Am I the only person who thinks Sqauresoft should have experimented more on the timeline/style they had in FF6 & FF7? (just for the record, I'm not one of those who complained about FF8 being too futuristisc). And I agree with you on the point that Square should end the FF-series, the story in FF9, you've seen it before. Oh, the ending was all jolly-jolly, it'd be more creative with Zidane actually staying dead... But I'm glad for them (and that's sorta scary..)
Uhhh.. enough of me.
I thank you for you're time. Hope you can answer.
Thanks.
Cloganlin
P.S. My girlfriend thought Zidane was cute (that's scary too, that monkey!)

Cyrael:
Well, the numbers and letters are Hexadecimal. From left to right they mean: Power, Type, Physical Defense and Magical Defense. At least that is what all the FAQ's say. I'm not too big a fan of the card games myself. I did however enjoy FF9. I think that by now it will take something REALLY inovative to be a truly original story. Oh well. Sorry If I start making sense. I'm really tired...

Googleshng:
Well, while FF9 was fairly fun, it really didn't seem to have ANY creative effort behind it. It's like they started with the idea of paying homage to the SNES games, then got bored and low on time, so they just slapped together characters, story and gameplay elements from those earlier games without much thought behind it.

 
Dev time
WHY DO GAMES TAKE SO LONG TO MAKE!? I WANT FFX NOW! Plus, what's with the remakes off FF7-9 for PS2? When are they coming out? Will they be bundled together??? I WANT QUISTIS WITH 3000+ POLYGONS!!! ANY other good PS2 RPGs to look forward to???
- That Freaky Old Guy in Hyrule Castle Square
PS - Aeris' Mom is a man!

Cyrael:
Games take a long time to make because people pour a bit of their souls into them. For the most part an RPG takes longer to make than most other Genres because of the complexity of the story and the games interface. In the case of FFX, it is taking longer because 1) It is on a new system that is apparently a pain to develop for and 2) Square seems to try to take their games that extra mile before they are released. Well... Mostly anyways.

Googleshng:
Actually, RPGs, particularly sequels, take a lot less work to create than truly great games of other genres. Even the most original RPGs stick to the same basic format as, well, all of them. Compare a recent game like, say, FF9 to the original Phantasy Star. Granted, there's a few differences, but the actual gameplay is very similar. As the game goes on, the stats of monsters steadily increase to match your characters gaining levels, shops carry better and better equipment, and better spells cost more and more MP. Anyone who has been in the business long enough has had enough time to nail down the winning ratios, leaving nothing but story and graphics. Meanwhile, to make an action game worth playing, one really has to reinvent the wheel. Every aspect of the game has to be tested, difficulty must be tweaked, the developers must hunt out any cheesy tricks or unfair enemies. Relying on past experience doesn't help nearly as much... unless of course you're Capcom. Besides, each new FF game only takes Square about a year, and at that they release plenty of other games in the meantime. That being said, you really should calm down there, and other interesting PSX2 RPGs include Xenosaga, the prequel to Xenogears, and Shadow Hearts, the sequel to Koudelka.

 
Long letter about music
This is a long arguement but I felt like adding something that someone brought up not too long ago with me.
Everyone says that Nobuo Uematsu's compositions have gradually degraded in quality over each FF game since 7, and that there are less memorable tracks overall. Well the person I was talking with mentioned that not only did he have less time to compose tracks but he had more tracks to compose. I don't think the time issue was a huge factor, but I think the number of tracks is. How many tracks are rearrangements of one song? Then how many minor tracks are there? For me personally, there's just as many songs I liked from FF8 and 7 than I did 6. How many memorable themes were there really from 6? And I mean really memorable, not just memorable for nostalgic purposes, but songs which could stand on their own, away from the game and bias. This question can only be answered with one's own opinion but I'm sure FF6 will not have as many as people think.
Look at the FF6 arrangement CD's, the piano and the orchestra one (piano collections and Grande Finale). I like both, but between the two some of the songs I liked the most weren't even there. And when I listen to some of those songs while playing the game they don't feel the same for me. They still sound nice, but they aren't songs I would listen to outside the game. The only songs I truly like is Tina's Theme, Celes' Theme, and Mystic Forest. I can't say I like Stragus' Theme much, which is one of the songs on the piano collections. Also, I only like the arranged versions of some songs, not the original song itself (Relm's Theme is one). The same goes for 7 and 8, although 7 only had three arranged songs. I like several songs a lot from FF7 and 8 (Nightmare Begins, Fisherman's Horizon) but there's some songs I only like in their arranged forms, such as FF8's overworld, which I hated in the game.
I've already gone on a huge tangent here but anyway. It's not that there's less tracks that re memorable, but due to the size of the soundtracks these days there's just more songs that people as a whole do not care for. Then there's also the whole nostalgia factor when it comes to FF6. I use to think the music was absolutely great, and it is. BUT many of the songs I considered excellent songs then are only alright now. This is more like an editorial now that I think of it but this arguement pops up now and then on Q's and A's. -.-; Here's a question, so this letter isn't totally wasting space.
Where the hell is all the games? We aew getting ABSOLUTELY nothing. The only RPG I can think of coming out soon is Breath of Fire for GBA, which is supposed to be a launch title. GBA is slated for June 13th or something last I read. Anyway, what's with this shortage? We got spoiled last year is what. Anyway, maybe this is a good thing. Why? Look at how many FF games we got. About a year apart the last three were, weren't they? Anyway, maybe Square will take their time with 10 and make it good. I wish Amano was back for the designs but I can't argue with the Asian/Okinawan tone of the game. Hopefully when they mean a more Asian setting it isn't Hong Kong or something. O.o Nothing wrong with Hong Kong, it just reminds me a lot of other big cities, such as Tokyo and New York, and those places remind me of Midgar and FF8 cities. -.-;

Cyrael:
Wow. You sure had a lot to say on that matter. To counter act that I will keep this short! I like game music. I remember songs from just about every game I have played. I buy the soundtracks to most of them. We got spoiled last year, so play all those cool games you may have missed!

Googleshng:
Let's see. I can only recall two songs from FF9, neither of which I actually like, 2 nice ones from 8, a few from 7, but only the boss music and Red 13's theme are any good in my opinion. Going back to FF6 however, which may I add I haven't really played in YEARS, I can fondly recall the Magitek Factory music, Terra's theme, the Veldt theme, the opera, Ultros' theme, the Zozo music. Do I consider Uematsu's older work superior? By far. However, I don't believe it's an issue of quantity over quality, or simply losing his touch, so much as an issue of following musical trends. Over the last year, in all video games, there has been a trend to move away from distinct songs, and towards more ambient, subliminal music. Personally, I can't stand this. While, granted, a game like Resident Evil benefits from this subdued route, as it helps build up the suspense the game relies on, and a game like Phantasy Star Online has the excuse of cutting down the distractions from the wild action, the mellow background noise in games like FF9 or Shenmue simply detract from the games' memorability. Here's hoping that Uematsu and others come to realize this soon, and for people like Mitsuda (Xenogears, Chrono Cross) and whoever did the music for Valkyrie Profile and Skies of Arcadia to get a lot more work.

 
Grandia 2
Hey Google!
I'm having a MAJOR PROBLEM in Grandia II (wheehehee!! I finally have a Dreamcast!), and I'm pretty sure this is the only place I can turn to that is garunteed to be spoiler free. This is right after Ryudo returns to his home town, and he travels up to this place in the mountains and confronts Melfice there. How... can I defeat him and beat this battle?!?! Melfice has an attack that can take, like, 1200 HP from the entire party! Is there some secret to this that I'm not grasping? Or, one thing that I had in mind- does Melfice only do this attack once or can he do it multiple times? Would Tio also be able to block out his abilities? If I could stay alive long enough.... I'd test all my hypotheses out. Thanks ^_^
Xenochick, -the Xenogears Goddess-

Cyrael:
Ahh Grandia 2. I remember that battle well. Basically what I did was kill of the regenerator first, followed by the sword and then finally Melfice himself. I had Tio and Mareg cast All-healer (which I had powered to 5 stars by this time) just about every round. Ryudo and Elena would use Tenseiken Slash and Impact Bomb (both 5 stars too...) to cancel his attacks. If you don't he will use his 3 most evil attacks: Wailing Soul Slash, Demon horde Slash and his Horn attack. They all suck. I didn't have too much trouble with Melfice, but all my friends did though... Good Luck.

Googleshng:
Of all the games I have they've made, there's only two I haven't played, since one of those is this game here, I'm glad that Cyrael was near!

 
Of mimes and demons
Hail, O king among slimes!
A few questions for you,
1) What can the Mime class in FF5 equip? i.e.- Do I need EqSword or EqLance when using a mime?
2) Have you perchance played Paper Mario? If so, is it any good?
3) What is this Inu-Yasha anime you speak of? Rumiko Takahashi, you say?
4) There is no 4th question, due to a slight problem with the um...Run Away!!!!
5) FF5 or Lunar 2? Which should I finish first?
Justin "So many games, so little time." Harwood

Cyrael:
Mimics need to be able to have an Eq(whatever) to use a weapon (I think). I have played Paper Mario and I had tons of fun with it. It is short, yet quirky, entertaining and just downright fun to play. Go get it. Now. I've never heard of Inu-Yasha. I like Rumiko Takahashi a lot though. Maison Ikkoku and Ranma 1/2 are fun to watch. Oh, and Finish ff5 first. I found that if you set it down, you may never pick it back up.

Googleshng:
Quoth the instructions "Possible to equip: Short Swords other than Ninja Katanas, Rod, Staff, Thief weapons such as Full Moon** and and other Ninja exclusive weapons." So, pretty much everything. With enough jobs mastered it's the best class in the game. I have yet to play Paper Mario, being as I am quite broke, but hear it's great. I notice most people haven't heard of Inu-Yasha, which makes it very hard to brag about having a tape here. Basically, it's the newest series by Rumiko Takahashi (Ranma, Lum, Maison Ikokou, Mermaid's Scar, etc.), is about a bunch of very interesting demons, and the first season of the anime series just started airing in Japan this last... September was it? In any case, it's quite good, but don't expect to see a translation any time soon. Finally, I find FF5 really isn't the sort of game you want to rush through, so I'd play Lunar 2 first.

 
Quickies

Odin's my granddaddy (61 generations back) and I've got the records to prove it. Can I get a tilde?
- Alia

Cyrael: Well, thats cool and all, but I'm not authorized to give out tildes. Sorry.
Google: I'd like to see that proof first.

The Last Laugh:


Cyrael: Well, once again this has been fun fun fun. But Alas, I must sleep so I can go to school and then dance dance the night away. See ya. OH! Before I forget. I was gifted with a copy of FFT by a *friend* of mine, so I am no longer accepting that. Skies has been offered a ton of times, but I am looking out for Ps4 too! ~Cyrael - (insert crazy dance moves here)

Google: As predicted, several readers sent me the lyrics to Radical Dreamers with translation. So, thanks to all of you, and here you all go. Now I'm going to go play FF6 since that music question got me thinking about it.


Googleshng "Whispering in the Dark" @rpgamer.com
Today's quote and yesterday's hidden text are actually from two unrelated sources!

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