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Googleshng - April 16 '03- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

So it seems our nice long extended winter has come to an abrupt end, as the temperature increased by a good 50 degrees while I was asleep. I need me a suit of temperature controlled power armor or something.

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This is a good question.

Hey Google,

This may sound a bit stupid, but that letter asking about localizing Japanese laws in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance really got me thinking about the localization of Final Fantasy X--how was the Al-Bhed language done in the Japanese version, in terms of Kanji, Katakana, and Hiragana, and all the Al-Bhed Dictionaries? Just wondering...

-Otterland

Googleshng:
I'm not entirely sure, but my guess would be that Al Bhed is still an english cryptogram in Japan. True, that would give them the extra task of deciphering the english, but most people in Japan know a fair ammount, and if you used kana, it'd be far far harder to decrypt it on your own as any combination of kana is pronouncable, and the bigger alphabet would mean there were more primers, which would have been taken out for the U.S. release.

FFO

Hey Goog,

I just got Final Fantasy Origins the other day, and I must say it's pretty good. I've only been playing FF1 so far, but they made a TON of improvements over the original. For one, dialogue often consists of more than a single window of text, unlike the original. They also corrected the little problem of if you have more than one person target an enemy, and the first one kills it, the second person still attacks the dead monster and nothing happens, the second character will now target another enemy. The interface has been improved and simplified which, among other things, means no more sitting there buying potions one by one, you can just buy 99 at once now. The graphics and sound are MUCH improved, and they've made all the places I've been so far look a LOT nicer than they originally did. The dialogue is a lot better, too.

The only bad part about the game that I've noticed so far is that until your guys get to around level 6 or 7, they have a rather low hit rate. I actually had to turn it off once or twice because it got kind of frustrating. But once you hit that threshold, the hit rate improves considerably. All in all, I have to say that considering what we got in Chronicles and Anthology, this is a definite step up in terms of rereleases, and it's obvious Square really put a lot of effort into this, and it's nice to see them do that rather than just slap the same old game on a CD and sell it as is. Plus, it's pretty cool that we FINALLY get FF2 in America. Now if only they'd just rerelease FF3 (by far the best of the NES trilogy) we'll be set.

Reviews forthcoming.

Robust Stu

Googleshng:
You know, it's actually more realistic for a game to have wasted attacks when you have everyone attack the same monster. A round of combat represents a short span of time, and presumably the monsters are spread out quite a bit, so if you were charging towards one and your friend killed it, you wouldn't have time to turn around and head towards another. Adds more strategy too when you have to try and figure out who will kill a monster by exact count and maximize efficiency.

Anyway though, the potion buying is a nice change I'm sure. I still find it odd though that they would think to change those details, but leave in the oversight that lets you max out everyone's stats in FF2 before you finish the first fight in the game.

This is the only letter I'm printing on the subject today.

Katana's in ancient Japan where not rated on how many heads they could slice, but on how many bodies they could "properly" slice. That is cut from the nape of the neck (usually the right side) through the body and out at the hip (usually the left one) forming a diagonal slice. The sword would be tested on how many times this could be done, by a REALLY strong guy, until the sword was too dull to do it in one slice, or broke.

-Adam
/(bb|[^b]{2})/

Googleshng:
Oh. I stand corrected then. I think that officially debunks the case for guns not doing enough damage in games too.

I'll still print a couple letters on guns, just not swords.

Since a lot of people were arguing about swords and guns doing the same damage and whatnot, I figured I'd contribute my little bit. This actually really just applies to the way statistics are thought of, but everything kinda falls into place quite nicely, I've put a whole bunch of thought into this, and it's my feeble attempt at making video games logical.

Note, this really only works in old games where you don't see the characters HIT the enemy, with newer games you need to use a little imagination. First off, HP are not "Hit Points," in the sense that you get hit and lose a bunch, think of them more as Vitality or Fatigue or something similar. Now, during battle your characters don't really get hurt too much until they finally "faint." They just battle, evading, parrying, deflecting the enemies blows, maybe getting hit once in a while, but nothing too serious. When the enemy delivers the "killing blow," it means your character was physically unable (too fatigued etc.) to keep his/herself from being beaten senseless.

That didn't have much to do with swords or guns, but how about this: Think of Strength as something more like "Skill," y'know, how well you can kill stuff with the weapon of your choice. In general, if you are more skilled, then whatever you're trying to kill probably won't last as long, thusly, they lose "HP" faster. Thusly, a swordsman and a gunman with equal "Skill" would tire each other out at the same rate.

Now the question is, how do phoenix downs etc. revive someone who just got their skull cleaved in two because they were too fatigued to evade the attack...

Googleshng:
Another way to rationalize gun wielding characters doing more damage as their strength stat increases: The stronger you are, the easier it is to hold a gun steady, particularly with recoil factored in.

Lots of people caught this too.

>From today's column:

<< Skilled snipers can take out targets from over 900 yards away: that's about 10,800 feet. >>

"2700 feet" would be a *little* closer to the mark. Not that this measurement-unit gaffe ruins their argument, but in the middle of all their facts 'n' reasoning it did give me a start--and a chuckle.

On the "why always swords?" question, part of it's aesthetics I think. No RPG main-character type that I can think of immediately is super-buff, and a sword looks like something that a guy with medium-smallish build could swing around with no difficulty, even if in reality it wouldn't be. An axe or mace in his hands might break the illusion, since those weapons *look* heavy and hard to handle. Just a random theory.

I'm supposed to ask a question? Uh... how are you? :)

Beth.

Googleshng:
I'm fine. Many people pointed out the 900 yards flub there, so I figured I had to print one. Anyway, that's an interesting point about the prevalence of swords. Someone else pointed out there's their role in history and legend too. I mean, the majority of mystical ancient weapons from any country are swords.

Still though, if it's a question of other weapons looking too heavy for a scrawny guy to lug around, why don't we see many staff fighters? Sure, there's no blade on them but they can still make a very nice weapon. I believe the next Matrix movie has a scene or two demonstrating the fact nicely.




The Last Laugh:

Excuse me while I go stick my head in a freezer.

Googleshng "The heat is on." @rpgamer.com

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