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Googleshng - June 15 '01- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Yon Tomb Raider movie is coming out. I probably know someone who really wants to see it. It's a sad sad world we live in. Anyway though, here's Traks.

Traks: Hi there. I'm Traks. Even though I use AOL, you won't find a site anywhere on the internet about why "i om grate." It really isn't that bad a program...if you don't try to do anything with it. Why, the first time I tried typing this introduction, the entire AOL window simply disappeared. Blink, gone. No reason at all. I don't dare ask AOL tech support, in fear of losing all that I deem valuable.

As for emulation and piracy (like copying Playstation games with a burner), my stance is this: Bad if Nintendo/Sega/Sony/Etc. loses money, Okay if a mom & pop video game store loses money, Very Good if Funcoland loses money.

As for music, I don't like game music as much as I like the band Tool. Mmm, Tool.

The only other interesting thing I can think of is that I live in Michigan, where soda is known as pop. This fact is the only interesting thing about Michigan, and it was mentioned by a previous guest host. So, without further ado, the column...

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Dirk Clod

Greetings, Googleshng and Traks!

I can't help out with a GBA or NES, but I can certainly let you put your Dark Cloud knowledge to use. I'm not too far in yet (just beat the snake in Wise Owl Forest), but here's what's bugging me:

1. Any idea what some good weapon-building strategies would be? Should I wait for a weapon to max out some stats before Status Breaking it? Should I focus on Building Up a single weapon? Which one? Does it make more sense to save powerful attachments so you can mix and match them as needed (especially the gems), or should I immediately incorporate them in my favorite weapon when it's time to upgrade? Should I save my powerup powder for when the required Abs (?) is high, or just use it to get better stats more quickly?

Traks:
Oh, boy! Dark Cloud questions! I can do these! This might get a little long. 1. A good weapon strategy is to take a weapon and just build it up as much as you can. I recommend using the Serpent Sword (which you will need to get through the dungeon you are currently in). This sword will become the best sword in the game, the Chronicle Sword. SAVE ALL YOUR POWERUP POWDER. It's much harder to build up a weapon when it needs 999 abs instead of two hundred. I wouldn't recommend maxing out your weapons before upgrading them. Here's my general strategy for upgrading weapons. -When Attack, Endurance, Speed, and Magic are needed, take the character's first weapon (Dagger for Toan) and get it up to level five, using (Status needed)+1 on each slot for the weapon on each level, if you have the means of doing so. Then, status break it and put it on your main weapon. This is the fastest way to raise the categories I've mentioned. -When Elements and enemy-type damage points are needed, use gems and attachments. Say you need "Fire" and the weapon you're using has three slots, put three fire attachments in it. Only use what you need to upgrade, in other words.

2. Do you only get one shot at the extra areas in each level? I finished an extra area on an early level of the first dungeon, proceeded to the next, and then returned to the first to build up some weapons. But after replaying almost every level in the first dungeon, I still hadn't gotten the item I need to go into the extra areas. Is it just that the RNG (random number gods) are after me, or do you only get to complete one of those per dungeon?

Traks:
2. You can go to the extra areas as many times as you want, but you need an item to do it on each floor. Say you want to get to the back floors of floors 1 and 3 of the Divine Beast Cave. Then, you will need two Tran Oil cans, one for floor 1 and 1 for floor three.

3. I just realized I've already asked 8 questions, and I'm only on point #3. Is that too much? Whoops, 9 now...

Traks:
3. Don't worry, it probably happened spontaneously.

4. And so Googleshng doesn't feel completely left out, I'm partway through Front Mission 3 (I know, I should finish a game before going to the next) and wondered how you set up your wanzers. I couldn't decide between trying to choose wanzer parts based on the moves I could learn or their hp/weight stats. I also wondered if I should move the pilots around for some cross-training or keep them tied to a specific weapon type and set of learned moves. How did you approach it?

Jim

Traks:
4. I chose parts based on how I wanted to fight. If they had the right weight to do what I wanted to, I used them. So, in other words, weight was the most important factor when I chose parts. Keep your characters specific in their training; they don't need to be know-it-alls.

Googleshng:
Speaking as one of the few people crazy enough to actually go through FM3 for both path's (Emma's better overall I'd say), I find this to be the best strategy: First, pick a weapon setup for everyone in your party. Some personal favorites of mine include Shotgun and machinegun, missile shield and melee, and two fists. No matter what, keep your weight down low enough to keep those weapons and the fastest legs you can buy (skipping the legs if you have missiles obviously). In what little room you have left, try to get all the skills you can with your weapons, since that's the only thing that carries over to + games. To be perfectly honest though, skills like RoF Up 1 and Zoom In are pretty much the best you can get if you aren't using rifles and missiles. Then all you have to do is slog through 60 fights or so.

 
GBA

Google, Traks...hows it going

What game ae you gonna get with your GBA? I was just wondering cuz i got F-Zero, and Castlevania: CotM. Both games are really cool. Another question about the GBA, will the tactics ogre gaiden game be coming to the U.S.? What about the fire emblem game? One more question about GBA releases, even though it's not a rpg, when will mario 3 come out? That about it, even though i can't wait for Pikmin, damn it looks fun.

~Miguel "It's a trap, run Gau run!"

Traks:
I plan to get Castlevania: Circle of the Moon. For the release information, I'd say to check around RPGamer and GameFAQs.com. Stupid Gau! Fall for the trap!

Googleshng:
Out of the six games I've been waiting to afford, I can only manage one, so I'm making it Castlevania. I miss the fun flippy whip, but it still looks great.

 
Many parts from the tiny island

Hiya Google.

Just some quick questions, since I'm sick and all.

1: Will FFT be re-released in Europe, I've been looking for that game in a year or two.

Traks:
1. You will probably be able to order one online.

Googleshng:
Well, if you get all the other PSX Greatest Hits games, you will, otherwise, you won't.

2: Have you ever read Bored Of The Rings, by the Harvard Lampoon. The ultimate parody of LotR. Laughed myself silly.

Traks:
2. Parodies really aren't my thing. They almost always come out crappy, with stupid jokes and poorly placed references.

Googleshng:
Surprisingly enough, I have. "Please Br'er Nazgul, don't throw me into that thar briar patch!"

3: I saw some anime on TV here one day, but I didn't get the name of, the thing I know is that it has a futuristic setting and the main characters name is Naomi Armitage? Do you know which one this is, cause I liked it. And what's your take on Gun Smith Cats?

Uh, heat rush..

Thanks.

Clogan

Traks:
3. I have no idea.

Googleshng:
That would be Armitage, simple enough to remember. As for Gunsmith Cats, I've never seen it myself.

 
It's a multiparter sort of day...

Hello Googleshng, this is my first e-mail to you, but I'll try to be clear and straight forward.

1)How DO you pronounce your name. When I see it i say it like "Goo-gull-shing" is this anywhere close?

Traks:
1. I've always read "Googleshng" as "Google shing". I guess Goog said Paws pronounced it good, but be forewarned: Listening to Paws too much will make you go blind.

Googleshng:
See, I just don't ever try to pronounce it. Of course, when meeting up with people at ACen and E3, I just pointed at myself and said "Google" which kinda got me a weird look or two.

2)I've just beaten Final Fantasy Tactics for the first time, and I must say, it's an awesome game. Definetely worth the re-release in July. Are there going to be any major changes between the original version and the re-released version?

Traks:
2. It would be awesome if they re-translated FFT, and actually made the story coherent. But I'm looking forward to Hoshigami more.

Googleshng:
It's not a rerelease from Square, it's just Sony's standard Greatest Hits deal. Nothing new but a gaudy green stripe on the box and no white paint on the CD.

3)For you're "Old Issues" section at the bottom, it says "FFT gets a sequel in September" what does this mean? I haven't heard anything about a sequel coming out.

Traks:
3. The "FFT gets a sequel" thing is referring to Hoshigami, I would imagine.

Googleshng:
Yup, same developers, same engine, and the main character even looks pretty similar, but some spiffy new gameplay elements, like being able to just stand still and attack multiple times rather than move and attack.

4)I'm kinda in a stalemate with myself. After seeing clips of Final Fantasy X, I really want to get a PS2, but after seeing clips of Super Smash Bros. Melee, I really want to get a Gamecube. Which one should I go with?

Traks:
4. Go with whichever one you can afford. If you can save up the $300 for a PS2 and still save up the amount needed for a GameCube, then go with both. Wait until you actually PLAY the games you said you want the systems for. Movies and screenshots are poor criteria to judge on.

Googleshng:
Well, a Gamecube is cheaper, and in my opinion, it has a LOT more drool-worthy games lined up for it, besides which, the FF series is starting to develop that Seen one, seen'em all quality to it.

5) Don't you find it odd that Disney is working with Square, or that a character in FFX is part plant for that matter?

I think that's it, thanks for your time

Cain Highwind,
The Saiyan Dragoon

Traks:
5. Disney and Square, Disney and Square...Well, Disney does have some of the best creative minds around but I doubt those will help in making an RPG. Spreading RPGs to a wider audience (young children) is good, though. It may just spawn what will become a generation of gamers like us: Nostalgic for the "Good games of yesteryear."

Googleshng:
As far as I can tell, Kingdom Hearts is the result of a sick drunken bet. The more I hear about it, the more I want to see it. The only thing that could increase my interest now would be an M rating. In other words, yes, that's odd.

 
Just for the record, this is an editorial.

Like, what's up, oh com-Google-plex slime thing?


Yesterday, SupremeBeing was going off on a rant about his apparent problems with porting of games. I can see where he's coming from, but that's not to say he's right about any of it.

You see, you could just keep all games exclusive to certain systems that they were on in the past, but what about the many gamers who haven't had the chance to play these games? While Squaresoft's ports of Final Fantasy V and VI introduced gamers to the older games that, for the most part, many people didn't play, it also lead into a whole new world of flaws such as slowdown, poor sound emulation and an insane amount of load time. So, what would the harm be in porting the game to Gameboy Advance, a system that would not only be capable of running the games with few flaws (outside of maybe some missing pixels), but probably be able to improve on the original formula. I've heard mad complaints from importers of the PSX version of Chrono Trigger, saying that the game was nearly destroyed by load time between the transition of normal and menu screens.

Sure, you could play some of those games on your SNES, but what about people who don't want to hold onto many outdated consoles. I love my SNES to death, but I let go of my Genesis and wish I had it if not just for Shining Force, Streets of Rage and Phantasy Star games... luckily, Sega re-released them on the Sega Smash Pack for Dreamcast. So, this porting helped me relive these games that, unless I decided to play them on KGen98, I'd have to go without.

"Porting a game to the GBA would reduce a game like "The Legend of Zelda," one of the best NES games ever, to just another GBA title."

Oh, boo-frickin-hoo... sure, the Legend of Zelda was and is a great game and probably one of the best games on the NES. But, who cares? If you don't want to play it again on a much improved and faster system that's much more compact and more likely to work without blowing in the cartridge, then don't buy it. Me, I got rid of my NES because the games decided they didn't like to work in any system I tried and because, frankly, I don't have any reason other than Mike Tyson's Punch-Out and Battletoads to play the system.

How about Seiken Densetsu 3, Bahamut Lagoon and Terranigma. All of these games were never released on the SNES here in the states. What if the first two were translated and Terranigma was finally released to the masses? It gives people a chance to play great games that they may not have known existed. Square's happy, I'm happy, the masses are happy and the games finally have another chance to live. Good games don't die, they just fade away. How about Star Ocean and Tales of Phantasia? Same deal. I'd go crazy if they saw releases, even though I have the latter in ZSNES form.

Finally, what about games like Lunar and Lunar 2 which were on hard-to-find platforms and were hard to find themselves because of it? The PSX ports were improved upon the original Sega CD versions. What if these classics were improved upon, also? Would that be a problem?

Face it, porting serves a purpose. As old systems become outdated, porting brings these games to new audiences and old ones to relive the games. While Final Fantasy Anthology weakened the original games (especially FFV's translation, menu and fight load times and more), the Gameboy Advance could give these games their due. That's something the whole world needs.

The Asian Persuasion and Epinions game advisor (read "super-geek"),
Terry Rader

Traks:
I'd say Terry here is very correct in his statements. If a game would happen to be ported, I would sincerely hope that it gets changed. For example, if they upgraded the graphics in The Legend of Zelda (and got rid of the engrish), it'd make a killer GBA release. However, instead of seeing port upon port, I'd much rather be seeing new games. It's much more fun to explore a new world than to re-explore an old one that looks different.

Googleshng:
I think that's about all that needs to be said on the matter.

 
•••••TITLE6•••••

Goog,
Hey, first time writer but I had to write in, "it isn't playing piano with my sister." just put the largest grin on my face ever. On to the question, what do you think of the anime Fushigi Yuugi? I heard it is Some Good and will probably be the next anime I buy but I'd like your opinion. Thanks.
-Gilg

Traks:
I think I'll use this space to hum to myself. Hmmm, hmmm...

Googleshng:
Fushigi Yuugi is what I point to whenever someone asks what Shoujo means. Beyond that I don't really have any strong opinions on it either way... and now I have the music from it stuck in my head.




The Last Laugh:

Traks: Well, I said enough in my intro. So, I'll leave you with this quote from the wonderful music of Tool:
"We'll ride the spiral, to the end. We may just go where no one's been..."
Ten points if you can name the song. A hundred points if you know the lyrics to that song. A million points if you can do the first two and mail me a Game Boy Advance.

Traks out.

Google: Hmm... before I started in on this column I got into a big discussion of how infeasable making an Ender's Game movie is. Introspective naked twelve year olds killing each other in zero gravity just has so many logisitical problems. Ironically the toughest one is finding multiple little kids who can actually act. At last count there's just the one. My solution involves the cast of time bandits, a nice voiceover filter, and as many Matrix cameras as I can find. Sure, it wouldn't work, but I'd have fun failing!

In more relevant news, Chesh is still on a little vacation, so Chim will be filling in for a while. After that, since he really wanted to do some columns, and I should probably take a vacation myself since there's a lot of crazy stuff going on around here lately (a death, 2 hospitalizations, 5 birthdays, and a couple other things), Andrew Bilyk from our info section will be handling a week. So, off I go to stalk mailmen, buy a game, and update my page. Bye!

Googleshng "I have brainwaves!" @rpgamer.com
Zanzibar, Zanzibar, you can't get there in a car, unless it have started to move.

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