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Googleshng - April 18 '01- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Monday night, a question appears in my mailbox. It's a question I have seen several times before, and have gotten rather sick of answering over and over. So, I post it, I answer it, completely correctly. I finish the column, I post it. A couple hours later, I go to bed. The next morning, low and behold, Square makes an announcement that changes the answer to this question. So, when everyone reads the column with it's statement that a bundle of FF4 and Chrono Trigger is simply a rumor, there's a news story right on this very site saying it has actually been announced. Cute timing there Square. Let's see if it works again! Don't hold your breath on GBA remakes of FF4-6. They aren't looking too likely right now.

On another note, for the most part, this new layout is well recieved. The compliments outweigh the complains by a rather wide margin. The only thing people really seem to have a problem with is this bar on the left here. People with high resolutions think it should go all the way down. People with low resolutions think it should end before the letters. Personally, I'd like to have it end right after my intros here, but since it's roughly three times the length, that looks rather nasty. Maybe I'll look at these templates readers sent in later today.

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European releases and PSO

Hi Google, coupla questions:

1 - Regarding the recent announcement of the FF4 & CT remakes... is there any word on either seeing the light of day over here in Europe? My guess is that they probably won't, considering that Square Europe won't consider it worth their while to translate the game into other European languages, but I was wondering if you'd heard anything else.

Googleshng:
Well, unless you guys got FFA, and actually appreciated it, you're probably out of luck. Square whined for a couple years about not wanting to retranslate FF4 into english, so unless they know there's a good chunk of cash in it for them, don't expect to see any other languages.

Major Phantasy Star series spoilers!

2 - I'm hardly an avid fan of the 'Phantasy Star' series, but I've seen bits of PS2 and PS4... and what elements of the previous PS games are found in PSO? I noticed the intro of PS2 being used, Dark Falz, and a couple of weapons, but other than that... where's the big link? And where the heck was most of the plot for PSO, anyway? ;-)

Googleshng:
OK, here's a general timeline for you. A big hideous evil thing called The Profound Darkness gets locked away in a pocket dimension by some happy gods or somesuch, that seal it in with a solar system. Unfortunately, every 1000 years, this seal springs a leak, allowing PD to spit out a really nasty little unspeakable evil or two. In PS1, this is Dark Falz (which most likely should have been called Dark Force, but, well, PS1 had a quirky translation). You don't even find out about it until after beating what should be the last boss in the game and explore the world a little afterwards. Once you do, you kill the thing (the dream at the beginning of PS2 shows this), and everyone lives happily ever after more or less. A thousand years go by, PD spits out another Dark Force, which catches everyone off guard in their high tech Utopia, and even manages to blow away the planet with the highest population. Bummer. They do however manage to launch a large number of gigantic escape ships however. 1000 years later comes everything else. PS3, made by a different dev team who screwed a couple things up, is set aboard one of those escape ships, but you don't realize it until halfway through the game. Evidently, Dark Force from PS2 managed to sneak on board this one, get sealed up, and about 60 years later gets killed by some characters with REALLY NICE closeup art. More importantly though, back in the traditional setting, a party of characters find out about the whole Profound Darkness bit (along with a wonderfully large collection of back references), and, after killing the 3 Dark Forces it spits out, enter it's spiffy little pocket dimension and kill it, thus ending the Phantasy Star series in a pretty satisfying manner, and ending the sequel potential. It's like if a Belmont finally found a way to make Dracula STAY dead. THEN of course comes PSO, made by the people who made Sonic while the people who made Phantasy Star were busy with Skies of Arcadia. Evidently, they didn't do their research too well, since the plot of the game is for two more of those escape ships from PS2 (which don't look a thing like they're supposed to), find a planet which someone "sealed Dark Falz in", despite the fact that every instance of Dark Falz/Force was pretty much stuck in the one solar system, quite clearly killed, and the only time the people reached the level of technology needed to make planet sized space ships, they made the one YOU'RE in, and they sure as heck weren't planet shaped. So, PSO just has itself a big huge unsolvable discrepency, but hey, it's a fun game! As for where the plot is, surprisingly enough it's hidden in all those solo quests, and those glowing becons. There's still not that much of it, but what there is gets interesting.

3 - Why-oh-why didn't Sonic Team let us back up PSO save-games? The PSO are the most easily corruptable (is that right?) things in the world, perhaps even moreso than politicians, but this isn't the place to discuss that.

Googleshng:
Part of the whole security/anti-cheating setup. Of course, the corrupt save thing is really only a problem when you pick up items from a character who managed to get a cheat code working, so you should be safe if you just don't take candy from strangers.

4 - One minute I heard PSO v2's not coming out in Europe, then it's not being released in the US... then it is....? Huh? Can you clarify these rumours for me, please? Is PSOv2 a Japanese release? Is Europe getting it?

Googleshng:
I'm pretty sure it should be relesed world wide no problem. Feel free to read the dozen or so news stories we've been posting on it for more details.

5 - Can X learn? This has been bugging me ever since reading the 'Megaman X4' manual, ahhhh! Enlighten me!

Thanks!

Googleshng:
I've only played one of the X games, so I couldn't say. Of course Mega Man (any of them) is really one of those characters who makes you wonder why they throw all their stuff away between games. "OK, I know the last 5 times I "killed" Dr. Wily he came back, but this time I'm SURE I got him, so I'll just throw away all these weapons." Link does it too... and Samus. I'd at least keep the hookshot and the armor upgrades!

Rereleasal Woes

Hey Goog! It's my birthday today! I know better than to ask for a tilde, but could I at least get a ^?

Anyway, about the re-release mania with Final Fantasy recently...OK, FF5 and FF6 were already re-released, and those editions stunk. Slow load times, poor translation for FF5, etc. But now they're re-releasing FF4 and Chrono Trigger for a fact. What's to make us believe those same problems won't exist there? And rather than re-release all the games we've already played, why not do something that, you know, makes sense like release FF2j and FF3j in America? Or the Romancing Saga games? Or any of the half-dozen other RPGs that never made it here? OK, the non-FF games by Square might not have done that well, but surely people would shell out a few bucks for the old NES FF games, presuming they prettied up the graphics and sound and all.

Robust Stu

Googleshng:
Well, considering that one of the reasons Square gave for not putting FF4 in the US release of FFA was that it was "too buggy", and FF6 came out so nasty I can't believe they let it out the door, unless Square has Working Designs translate it, the two movies and 2 or 3 new menu options won't be worth it. They're also retranslating all the text. Considering that Square's recent translation efforts have been fairly nasty compared to their older stuff, well, see above comment.

Do we know too much?

Hey [insert innane flattery here] Goog! I was just wondering what kind of assorted weirdness you must get in your mail box having such a public adress and all, hell just today i found out that someone(i'm betting money its some jackass of a joker) has an alledged crush on me, all through email. I wasted valuable time entering every freaking email adress i have, and its no one i know(i even tried my ex g/f...that would have sucked). Do you ever get crap like that?

Anyway, am I the only one afraid that Xenosaga won't be as great as the original? I'm sure the game itseld will be fun, but it kind of reminds me of the movie Titanic...you already know how it ends...

-The Blessed God of Death

P.S. I would really like to kill the one responsible for that damn E-mail, that kind of stuff gets on my nerves

Googleshng:
Oh, I get some VERY odd stuff in my mail, but I won't get into that. I've actually heard several people express concerns about already knowing what will happen in Xenosaga. I find myself wondering, howso? Xenogears was pretty much set up as the 5th important point in a story spanning something like 10,000 years. While the plot of Xenogears gets pretty darn comprehensive, it doesn't get THAT comprehensive. Assuming they make 1 game per chapter, we've seen like 2 short clips per game, and not from the very end either. That's not much. You know the names and appearences of a couple characters, and you know that the world doesn't get blown into tiny chunks at the end of any of them (unless they set a game on that ship from the intro of course). That's a lot less than you know about any given FF game going in! With those you know all that, you know almost all the spells/abilities/summons/items/monsters/character types, and you can pretty much predict exactly what will happen in the game plot wise, or at least in the sense of gameplay flow. I mean, you get Bahamut at about the same percentage mark in all of them. The only way you could really know too much going into Xenosaga is if you read Perfect Works, but, well, when you read the book of ANYTHING, you know what's going to happen.

Hoshigami

Hey Google,
In Hoshigami, will it have an item like Phoenix Downs. FFT was my favorite game, which lead me to Tactics Orge. In TO though, if someone died they died for good, and building characters takes too long. As much as I want Hoshigami if it takes the TO route I may never break away from PSO. Also do you have Final Fantasy Grand Finale. I swear it takes Final Fantasy VI music and turns it into Fantasia or Peter and the Wolf music in a matter of minutes. It's the scariest thing.

The Great Cornholio
"Thank Goodness no more PSO Easter music!!! It sucked!!!"

Googleshng:
Well, since FFT came after TO, I'd guess it will be more like FFT. If nothing else, it has a point distribution system like FFT for improving your characters, so it won't suffer from the "Why build up my mage when I can just invite a new one?" problem TO had. Oh, and I've never had a music budget sadly.

Helpful Hints

Google, I have a suprise for you! Real questions about FF9!

1) Where on sweet Gaia is Chocograph 18 (Ocean)? The "hint" doesn't help at all!

2) I've heard there are 5 spots one can use a dead pepper in the ocean and find treasure. I've found 3 -- The one beneath Quan's dwelling, the one where the portal to Terra was, and the one above Alexandria which gives you the "tropical" equipment. Where are the other two?

Thanks, and now I'm off to doing what I like best -- Having fun with the girls of RPGamer.
~Happosai
"Come back here, YOU LITTLE PERVERT!"~

Googleshng:
OK, you know that long sandbar in the west? It's west of that, before you hit the edge of the map. As for the dead pepper spots, just go look at the walkthrough on Square's page. I believe it even has screen shots of all those.

Disturbingly complete explanation

Goog,

Rinoa sent in a letter yesterday about the Zelda games on the now obsolete CD-i, which I happen to own, and then went on to say they were "awesome." This is where I have to step in.

The games were crap.

For the uninformed, the games played NOTHING like the Zelda series did.

First off, they were side-scrolling, like Mario/Mega Man. Yes, a side-scrolling Zelda game...(horror images of Zelda 2 return) and with NO overhead view whatsoever at that. Pure side-scrolling.

Second, they played HORRIBLY! Your character moved like s/he was in molasses, ever-slowly trudging along as s/he gets nailed by enemies. Also, the "fluid animation" caused nothing but problems. The laughable cutscenes (http://www.hyrule.com.ar/img/zeldacdi/foe/sc-foe5.jpg) did nothing to enhance the game, but even worse, when you ducked or attacked, it took a second for the animation to finish, which caused death many a time for your badly coordinated sprite that somewhat resembles someone from the Zelda series.

Third, the third game on CD-i used, if you can believe it, LIVE-ACTORS for the cutscenes and characters! The horrendously acted FMV scenes had me rolling on the floor at the lame attempt of ZELDA: THE MOVIE. (http://www.hyrule.com.ar/img/zeldacdi/za/sc-za3.jpg and http://www.hyrule.com.ar/img/zeldacdi/za/sc-za4.jpg) Though it returned to it's top-down roots, the game was still a complete waste of cash, as was my Wheelie action figure which I torture daily.

Anyway, don't bother trying to track down the Long-Lost Zelda games, they are not endorsed by The Great Miyamoto (tm) in any way and if he DID ever see them he'd probably order their desctruction shortly there-after.

~Raistlin X
"UNICRON! WHY? WHY DO YOU TORTURE ME?"
-Galvatron

Googleshng:
There you have it. Now let us never speak of those again.

Big multiparter

I've been reading this column since before Thor...those were dark times indeed.
This is my first time writing in slime boy/girl so be gentle

I just wanted to say that I too loved Koudelka, and looking forward to Shadow Hearts. Which ending did you like best? I just love that it was released in Japan, in English , with subtitles. On to the inquisition!

Googleshng:
Call me a sicko, but I always liked the no pendant or "REALLY Bad" ending. Reminds me of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

1. How do you feel on the upcoming Zelda games?

Googleshng:
They look pretty interesting.

2. Do you trust Capcom to do the series justice?

Googleshng:
Heck no. Capcom makes good games though, so they should be fun at least.

3. Am I the only one who thinks riding a flying blue polar bear named Moosh is just a tad Phishey ;)

Googleshng:
*blank stare*

[BIG SCARY CONFUSING SPOILERY VS QUESTION OMITTED]

Googleshng:
I never finished VS, so this I sent along to our resident expert.

5. This isn't really a RPG question so feel free to ignore it. Can you explain exactly what the hell happened in Silent Hill. I've read numerous "plot theories" but most of them are very contrived. Since Silent Hill 2 is set in a different part of town and has no relation to the original we can't hope for much in the way of explanation. Is there a Perfect Works?

In closing I wish to state my love for Bunny Fist martial arts!

Googleshng:
You know, one of these days I really should actually play that game. People talk about it way too much in front of me. Until then though, might want to ask someone who doesn't specialize in RPGs THAT question.



Quickies

I find it amusing that Square waited until THE DAY after you said not to hold your breath for Final Fantasy IV / Chrono trigger, to finally announce it

I laughed my head off when I woke up and saw that. For the record though, that announcement went up a good 9 hours after yesterday's column. Holding your breath that long is very bad for you.

Uh, yeah, actually there was so much anime influence in Sakura Wars that they actually made an anime out of it. I haven't watched it yet, but I quite like the theme song.

~Shishiwakamaru

Same here. Speaking of the themesong, entire lines of that are just the name of your party. "TeikokuKagekidan" That's 9 sylables! Talk about a mouthful.

The new layout looks pretty good. I especially liked the stuff on the bottom.
Chainsaw Repairman

I like the stuff on the bottom too. It hauled in a huge variety of letters despite the FF4/CT thing. In fact, I'll have to keep a lot of these for tomorrow.

MARK YOUR SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I do. Someone mentioned "the point where Lucia gets turned into an everlasting gobstobber". That's a pretty darn obscure euphimism, which did all the spoiler blocking needed. There is no actual crossover with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

I just thought I'd let you know that the new design is wonderful. It formats properly on non-MSIE/Netscape browsers, so I'm happy. ^_^

Yeah, I took the extra two seconds to make sure of that. What's funny is that the browser it looks the absolute best in right now is iCab. A Mac only browser still in beta. Go figure.

I hate how none of my questions ever get posted!

Well, I looked in my trash for any letters from your address and didn't see a one, so don't yell at me, yell at your mail server. Oh, and since there's a few letters in here like this, screaming "You never print my letters!" doesn't really help your odds. Doesn't hurt'em either though, not like I look who sends stuff when I print it.

The Last Laugh:

I really like having such nice clean code now. Anyway, as a quick little note, someone finally gave up a copy of PS4 to Cyrael, so on Friday... uh... one of them will be guest hosting, depends whether the game arrives by then really... come to think of it, if you two are reading this, clue me in so I know what games you want questions on and who I'm forwarding stuff to. In the meantime, everyone have fun drooling over upcoming games!

Googleshng "Unare shougeki no, TeikokuKagekidan!" @rpgamer.com
Had Square just waited another 12 hours, think of all the laughs we'd have missed out on!

Old Issues
  • Sakura Wars is a great game if you're fluent in Japanese.
  • FF4 and CT. Play'em if you've got'em!
  • I get about as many anime questions as RPGs. That's not right.
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New Issues
  • FF4 and CT ARE coming over. Heh.
  • Xenosaga and Hoshigami have everyone drooling.
  • Shadow Hearts has the attention of a narrow but rabid niche.
  • This sidebar shall be the death of me.


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