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   and Kamikaze one last time  

Googleshng - April 5 '02- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

OK! Today I am NOT going to forget! Roy is the main character in Fire Emblem 6. AKA the new one. About time I remembered to say that.

By the way, how's this for an odd little project? a sci-fi vignette inspired by each element of the periodic table. It's done up through zirconium so far. I'm looking forward to when it hits the really freaky higher elements.

Kamikaze: Wow, it feels like yesterday when I started guesthosting. Unfortunately this will be my last column. :( Anyway, making cheesecake is loads of fun, especially if you're doing so to impress a lady (or a gentleman for our RPGirls out there). I didn't have time to get a website up and running, but oh well. There ain't much else to talk about, we'll let today's letters speak for themselves.

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"I'm still stuck in the 90s..."

Goog, Kamikaze,

What exactly is good about the possibility of Chrono Trigger/Final Fantasy reissues for GBA? What ever happened to the aspect of new games as opposed to old ones that have been played a dozen times over?

-Traks

Kamikaze:
The great thing is that everyone who missed out on them on the SuperNES and now have a GBA would have a chance to play them. As for the rest of us, some might be apt to get them. GBA is still coming out with some great new games, but just like the GBC, there is a lot of new CRAP coming out too.

Googleshng:
Well, the gaming comunity is currently deep within a rabid porting frenzy. It started out nicely enough, with games first released on Sega systems nobody ever bought getting big shiny remakes so everyone could play them, and that was fine. Then some NES games snuck in, that's nice for newbies. Now though we're hitting a point where logic is being tossed aside and people are drooling over the possibility of playing dirt common SNES, PSX, and Dreamcast games, that there's quite frankly no reason not to own if you care at this point, being brought to newer systems, mostly the GBA. Now, I can't complain about games being brought to larger audiences, but when the masses get swept up in this movement buying 2 or 3 versions of the same game, we start to get into this nasty ouroboros* sort of deal where publishers will keep releasing the same games over and over because it's profitable and a whole lot easier than making brand new games.

It'd be like a world full of Capcoms!

* You know, the snake eating its own tail deal.

 
This'll cause trouble

Goog,

I've noticed you've been printing a lot of letters about table-top, paper, and diceless RPGs. I think I speak for some who are interested in all this but don't know where to start. Could you give us all a good starting point, maybe a web page or a place to obtain paper RPGs and such?

Kamikaze:
I've never been into table-top RPGs and the like, so Goog is more qualified than I am to answer.

Googleshng:
Well, I suppose I could point you to the official web pages of various publishers, but they're easy enough to deduce on your own if you really want to. Anyway though, here's the best way to find paper RPGs:
Go to you local mall. Wander around until you find a store that looks like it sells model kits, model paints, weird chess pieces, and little lead figures. They used to be pretty easily identified by the big racks of Magic cards behind the counter but now everyone has those. They also tend to have sets of dice on the counters though. Anyway, any store like that, and they're everywhere, should have a bunch of bookcases lined with RPG books towards the back.

As for what to start with, well, traditionally, people start with games like D&D, random Palladium stuff, or one of the various ubiquitous Whitewolf games (Vampire: the Masquerade, Werewolf: the Apocolypse, Smurfs: the Smothering, and so forth). Why? Because the rules are darn simple. From most people generally want to move up to games with really complex well-thought-out rules, like Shadowrun or GURPS, or swing to the other extreme and get into diceless games. Or both.

Also, yes, there is very much more to ballet than people dancing around in tutus and tights. Apparantly all the people who have no artistic skills or are not mature enough to be 'true artists' like to pretend that ballet is an art form. They feel that by sitting in the audience and observing this they are 'cultured', 'artistic' and other such silly words. Its probably some sort of deep psychological, Freudian dilemma which causes them to put their artistic desires into the form of a dancer (the sameapplies to concert-goers, art critics, and book readers). Instead of actually doing it themselves, which is the true nature of 'art', they are lazy and like to pretend.

Kudos to you for resisting.

-rustybaseball

Kamikaze:
Ballet isn't something I'm into, but if a chick forced me to go (especially a rather cute one), I really wouldn't have much of a choice. =)

Googleshng:
Let's all stop bashing ballet before someone comes to defend it. Especially since Chesh would be forced to deal with it, and that's just not fair.

 
7 parts for 7 ho- oh crud, there's only 2 of us...

greetings gelatinous chemical waste-

1) Is there a way to get past the upper left water current in Chrono Cross? The one on the world map. I'm convinced that there has to be something up there. Why else would they put a waterway there?

Kamikaze:
1.) Maybe its a special place that sets off some Doomsday machine somewhere in the world! Well...maybe not..but I honestly cannot remember something that specific in the game. In times like these www.gamefaqs.com is your best friend.

Googleshng:
Pretty sure it's just nice pretty background stuff.

2) What game would you like to see ported to the GBA? I must say that FFVII would be my choice (great April Fools Joke... hahaha). Or Castlevania SotN.

Kamikaze:
2.) EARTHBOUND! 'Nuff said.

Googleshng:
Well, I think I established last letter that I'd rather see some NEW games, but if you're going to twist my arm, I'll have to say Dragon Force. Just seems really well suited to playing while walking.

3) Any news on the next Chrono game? I hear rumors about a Chrono Break, but I am still speculative.

Kamikaze:
3.) Not that I know of, keep your eyes open though. You could always bribe a Square employee.

Googleshng:
Still just a rumor. Granted, a well founded one, but a rumor nonetheless.

4) Not really a question, but wouldn't it be cool if Jhonen Vasquez designed the characters for a game? (I could imagine him designing Okage's characters). I would buy the game solely on that.

Kamikaze:
4.) I don't know who he is, but umm, cool!

Googleshng:
That would be spiffy. Would've been even spiffier last hardware generation though. He's one of the few artists whose stuff would actually look GOOD as grainy low poly-count stuff. These days though, sharp edges are out, and primary colors are in, so I don't see it happening in the near future.

And for Kamikaze's benefit: Jhonen Vasquez is some guy with a REALLY warped sense of humor who is responsible for such wonderful creations as Johnny the Homicidal Manic, Squee's Big Book of Unspeakable Horrors, and Invader Zim.

5) Has Amano stepped out of the video game character designing business? It seems that the last one he designed was FFIX, and he only did it because Square wanted to go back to its roots. And the fact that a million naggy fans were hanging on them like rabid leeches.

Kamikaze:
5.) Amano better not step out of the video game character designing business, he's damn good. You never know, he might have burned out or something, or he could just be focusing on non video game artwork. Either way, I would like to see him do some more character designs.

Googleshng:
Technically he was never really IN said business. He's just a famous artist who is occassionally hired to do character designs for games, usually by Square. It's just that lately Square is employing some no-talent hack who I'm guessing works for much less money, and since nobody seems all that bothered by it, they're keeping him.

7) I'm going to sing the doom song now! DOOOOOOOOOOM! DOOOOOOM!

I hope the bedbugs eat you alive-

Deus

Kamikaze:
6.) What happened to six?

7.) NOOOOOOO! NOOOOOOO!

Nothing can eat the divine wind, cause, well, I have no physical form to speak of...

Googleshng:
"... Doom d-doom doom d-doom! DOOMY DOOMY DOOMY..."

 
People like having me do their homework

Yo yo daddy o. For my World Religions class, I managed to talk my way into doing a project about Final Fantasy, and how they rip off myths from various religions around the world. You know, Shiva = Hindu Godess Shiva the Destroyer. Anyways, I was wondering if I could get you to do some of the grunt work for me, and let me know where other summons came from. Ramuh? Odin? Or something obscure and juicy like Kjata? I really think you should take this on... you'd get something solid and informative for your letter column, and I'd get to maintain my reputation as the world's smartest slacker.

Yours erotically,

Benjabol

Kamikaze:
I can give you one thing, Odin is the supreme god in Norse mythology, Zeus and Jupiter would be his Greek and Roman equivalents. Now Goog, you got any more for our reader?

Keep on slacking man! =)

Googleshng:
Except Odin's cooler and doesn't turn into a swan to pick up girls, and he let's his son Thor handle the duties of being God of Thunder. ANYWAY though...

The Final Fantasy series has, last I counted, somewhere around 70 or 80 summoned monsters (although at least half are exclusive to FF6). I'm not going to go listing off ALL of them, but here's a nice sampler for you:

Shiva as you almost know is the Hindu GOD of death, destruction, and dancing. Traditionally, he has 4 arms, 2 wifes, a necklace of skulls, and no connection whatsoever with ice, so Square's just being really @#%$ed up there.

Rama is also from Hindu mythology, one of the many many incarnations of Vishnu, which pretty much makes him one of your standard hero demi-gods.

Bahamut is found in a few mythologies, Babylonian for example. He's also a big fish, generally, but Tiamat who comes from the same source is indeed a dragon.

We already covered Odin, but Ragnarok is also from Norse mythology. Ragnarok isn't a god though, it's the story of, simply put, the great big fight at the end. End of what? Why the world of course!

Quetzalcoatl is the #1 god in Aztec mythology, and is a flying feathered serpent.

That a nice enough sampler? If not, feel free to dig around a big mythology website, like www.www.pantheon.org or that much better site I can't remember the name of at the moment.

 
O_o

Goog,
You hear that sci fi channel is planning on making a TV mini-series about one of your favorite series of novels? Appearently they plan to make a mini series every quarter, Amber among them, according to this site "http://www.thefutoncritic.com/cgi/gofuton.cgi?action=newswire&id=2749" This could be either really cool or really bad.

Hmm...guess I need an RPG question. Ok, any word if Square is planning/working on any further Front Mission games?

Ravinoff

Kamikaze:
God I hope Square is making another Front Mission game. Just please make the battles a bit more challenging this time!

Googleshng:
No word on any new FM games in the works.

Now, said mini-series is indeed both potentially cool and horrifying. On the one hand, exposing more people to that series, or for that matter anything by Roger Zelazny, is a very good thing. On the other hand, while most of the first 5 would be just fine, I wouldn't trust anyone but Jim Henson to put any scene close to chaos on film.

In any case though, based on how Skiffy handled Dune, we can at least rest assured that it won't get the sort of neutering Damnation Alley did. (What? The main character is a brutal thug named Hell who needs to be blackmailed into doing anything for anyone? We can't have that! Make him a nice happy shmuck!)

Oh right. None of you give a smurf about this sort of thing. Sorry, I'll move on now.



Quickies

In the last column, you said Lufia Gaiden will follow The Legend Returns in dungeon-crawl-over-puzzles. After being lucky enough to play a import for a little bit, I'm happy to say they've went back to the puzzles.

PS: Sorry about my English, I'm from the USA.

-SDHawk

Kamikaze:Excellent! I'll make sure to place it on my potential buy list. Your English is better than about 99% of people online, so don't sweat it...
Google:And there was great rejoicing. Yay.

Google-

Please stop printing letters about game boy or any of those hand-held games... I can't even use that info since I'll never buy and of them.

Kamikaze:Well too bad! There's a major market for it, and if you don't like it, ignore it!
Google:This is the second-most ego-centric letter I got today. Simply put: You might not care about GBA games, but the several thousand other people reading this column do. If you don't want to read letters about them, just scroll down past'em.

How dare that heathen use such profane language towards you, O Holy One! *stokes katana lovingly* Shall I smite him for you now, Master, or is the knowlege of your fury sufficient?
Ever loyal,
Minion Mary

Kamikaze:Let us join forces instead, nothing will stand the way of our domination of the world! Mwahahahaha!
Google:I'd assume this is regarding Mr. Swear-happy from yesterday. Nice offer, but RPGamer's official hired goons are already on the job. Nice to know I have a katana-wielding minion out there though. Now I just need a few more, some official uniforms, some theme music, and a hidden fortress! Is there some sort of discount vendor of that sort of stuff?

Is this the "www.rpgamer.com" official website?

Kamikaze:Nope, you've stumbled onto the..err..unofficial www.rpgamer.com website...
Google:Wow. How zen... if everything has an official website, does that include websites? Does that cause an infinite loop?

The Last Laugh:

Kamikaze: We have reached the end of the line. I would like to thank our future guesthost for sending me Valkyrie Profile, and I wish you luck next week. Goog deserves thanks for allowing this, and all the readers and people who wrote in deserve thanks as well. For the third and final time you can find me hanging around EsperNet (irc.esper.net) under the nick Kamikaze, you can email me at mikebischoff@prodigy.net, or if you use Trillian or AIM my AIM screen name is mikeb1283. My three week stay in RPGamer land has reached its climax, and now I must blow away to lands remote and unknown. Bah, I'll probably be at work or EsperNet, not very "divine" of me huh? Take care my friends, and watch your back, for the next wind you feel might be!

Google: Wow. Today was a really great day. Amusing column (for me at least), interesting news, and I got 20 bucks too!

Oh, and all this GBA FF7 talk lately reminded me of a response I meant to give to someone a while ago when they asked if we'll ever see a CD/DVD based handheld system. (WARNING: If you're stupid enough to actually try the following, just send me the money it would cost you to replace the system instead and save yourself some trouble) Pick up a PS2 while its running and shake it up and down. See how you've just ruined the disc and/or the system? That's a little problem it's hard to design around. Best case scenerio it'll still probably skip a bit, which is generally a very bad thing.



Googleshng "Good night." @rpgamer.com

See, what's cool about having loyal minions is you can have'em go do stuff for you!

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