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Googleshng - September 2 '04- 4:00 Eastern Standard Time

The title of today's column is what my brain produces when exposed to images like this. Personally though, I prefer all my cats to have distinct heads. Unlike my Strong Mads.

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Multiparter Ahoy!

Hey there, g,

I've got a couple of older-type questions, and, of all the people with whom I am allowed contact, my guess is you are the most knowledgeable in the pertinent areas.

First, how did saving work with the original Phantasy Star? I don't mean from an in-game perspective, but rather from a hardware one (i.e., I'm really asking how the SMS handled save games in general). Were there memory cards or battery packs of some kind? I recently purchased a Master System and have the opportunity to pick up PS, but I'd like to know if there's a reasonable chance I'll still be able to save. I got the system as a collector's piece, so I don't really care if I can get much play time out of it, but it would be a cool bonus if I can.

Googleshng:
Well, like every single cart-based system ever made, you just save your games right onto the card, no memory cards required. I suppose there's a chance if you're buying it used that the battery in the cart would need replacing, but that's easy enough to do, and the one in mine is still going strong besides.

Second, what is the minimum number of characters with which you can finish FFVI? I remember always wanting to beat the game picking up only those characters which were required in the second half. I know you need at least 3 characters, if only for the 3-party romp through the last dungeon. Obviously, you have to have Celes, and you have to have Setzer for the airship. However, it's simply been too many years since I played to remember what other requirements there might be.

Googleshng:
If memory serves, the 3rd manditory character is Sabin, but it is indeed quite possible to win with just those three, and many have done so. It's been years here too though really.

Oh, and a friend of mine who lives only for masochistic NES-related challenges is currently working on beating the original FF using only one White Mage. See, he chose his party to be four White Mages, then he went out of town and let three of them get killed by the first group of imps he ran into. His plan is to never revive those dead mages, thus effectively giving him a party with but one character. I would say this newest challenge has convinced me he's mad, but his eternal belief that someday he'll beat the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles convinced me of the same long ago.

Thanks for the info, g.

-jaraph

Googleshng:
Well, I suppose it's THEORETICALLY possible to pull that off, if you have such insane luck that everything happens to constantly miss you, but seeing how enough monsters casting spells in a single round can wipe out any party, and you can take out, at best, 1 monster per round, I wouldn't want to try it myself.

 
Games of The Future

Neither Star Ocean 3 nor PB interest me that much. SO3 looks kinda... average and I'm not that into strategy games... And then the fact that Shin Megami Tensei 3, Digital Devil Saga, Baten Kaitos, Paper Mario 2 and the plethora of other junk that I desperately need to survive are coming out within the year kinda cancels everything else out.. Why are all the companies releasing everything NOW? Dammit, where were all the games during my birthday, I got barely anything...

About Nintendo needing an RPG series, doesn't Fire Emblem count? It isn't first party (methinks) but it's still a Nintendo product...

And to the guy that complained about ToE being changed to ToDII, I believe that was a copyright conflict with the He-Man series... Eternia being it's universe and all... The actual ToD2 wasn't supposed to be all that good anyway... Worst plot in the series, I've heard...

And I'll ask a question for the sake of soaking up time: What do you think of Fable? It seems really overhyped to me and after reading the IGN it doesn't sound nearly as good as it did, and took out a lot of features that I was looking forward too... The combat sounds rather bad too...

Many niceties,

The Pantswench

Googleshng:
Nintendo has Fire Emblem, Pokémon, the soon to be four Mario RPGs, and, I do believe, Earthbound. That's more than most people can boast. It's just that people tend to forget Nintendo does more than just release Shigeru Miyamoto's games, on which note I'm not even counting Zelda here.

As far as Fable goes though, well, it's a Peter Molyneux game. For some reason, every time he's working on something, the gaming industry starts proclaiming that it will be the most revolutionary, mind blowing, expansive, transcendant game ever to grace the earth, giving you the ability to do absolutely anything you can imagine and making all other games obsolete.

Then the game actually comes out, and you get a lot of long awkward silences, because the finished product doesn't even come close to what the hype was making it out to be, and is instead honestly a pretty simplistic game, pretty similar to everything else he's ever done when it comes down to it.

In the case of Fable specifically, when you peel back all the unrealistic hype, what your left with really doesn't have much in the way of appeal from where I sit, but it's out in a couple weeks, so you can get a firsthand opinion then. Not from me, but someone I'm sure.

 
Star Ocean Vs. Googleshng

Hey, Goog! I read your column... Yeah, that's the way it's supposed to be spelled, right? Okay. Anyway, I read it, and I totally sympathesize with that dude who wants more RPG like books, swords and robots and all, and I think I can help him! But... He'll have to wait about six years. Because the books that I can offer him are still just concepts right now. BUT! I have written one book, and am going to make these others, as soon as I finish the series that I'm doing now. I'm currently working on books 2-4, of a 5 book series. So if you can remember for long enough, look for "Arch of Deity" and something along the lines of "Machine Sinner."
But I shouldn't pimp my potential creations without asking you a question, right? Right! Anywho, what are your feelings on Star Ocean and the series that it is? Because the commercial made my geek gland go into overdrive, and now I MUST buy the new one. But I want to try the old ones too. Even the first one, which I will not be able to play *coughILLEGALROMcough* Well, git back to me. Kay?
Too tired and pissed at reformatting computers to come up with any clever title, Kenny the C.

Googleshng:
Well, I can't really speak for the series as a whole, having only played SO2, but based on that, I'm really not impressed. The main hook is having some insanely high number of ending variations and optional plot scenes, which sounds all well and good, but in practice, what it boils down to is that if you want to see everything, you're going to have to constantly go out of your way to avoid advancing the plot, running off into the wilderness trying to find stuff, heading back into towns you have no reason ever to go back to except that you read in a walkthrough that if you go back to such and such town after leaving this city here, but before walking over to the next one, you can get a new character... Not my sort of thing that. Then of course, you'd have to play through the game over and over and over with no real changes if you want to see every ending.

Oh yes, and then of course the realtime combat system which seems interesting at first but gets old quick, a story which doesn't really cut it, and a supposed sci-fi bent which really doesn't come into play.

So, basically, I'm not a fan.

 
Genres and expansions.

A few days back a friend of mine were conversing about how amount of RPGs released as of late were dismal until this month. We talked about al the new titles coming this fall and winter and even about future games. When I brought up Zelda, she snickered as always. You see, we've always had this disagreement on the Legend of Zelda. I claim it is an "Adventure/RPG." She calls it "Action/Adventure." Being the huge Zelda fan that I am I told her she was wrong, but she insists that she is right. One day she even flew off the handle and claimed Pokemon wasn't and RPG.

We opted to send a letter to RPGamer's QnA to see which of us is right - once and for all. Your input would be greatly appreciated.

However, I've a second question as well...

Final Fantasy XI: Chains of Promathia is due out soon, and I was wondering just how long I would have to buy the expansion before the game stopped working due to me not having the expansion pack.

Thanks for your time and patience.

Shane McCloud

Googleshng:
In a nut shell...
Action games are games where you have a character running around fighting and such in real time.
Adventure games are games where you go around solving puzzles all over the place.
RPGs are games where you go around killing monsters to get experience and money, upgrading your equipment with that to make things go faster, and it's generally safe to say that if you're messing with menus constantly, it's an RPG. Well, that or some big complex sim game.

Zelda has elements of those first two, but not really the second one, so it's what one would refer to as an Action/Adventure game series (with the exception of Zelda 2 of course).

Pokémon meanwhile is a pretty darn clear cut RPG series (with the exception of stuff like Pokémon Snap).

As for your FF11 question, the way such things generally work is that everything that's in the game now will be staying right where it is, same as it ever was. It's just that there will be a bunch of new stuff you can only see with the expansion, so everyone who has it will be off messing with that leaving those with more limited resources in a largely depopulated world. So I suppose the answer to your question would be "when everyone else you know gets it."

 
An odd point to make.

You know, I'm as avid an RPGamer as anyone else out there, but there's only been one game that has come out in the past two years that actually makes me feel like I'm role-playing; that is, being a character and thinking the way that character thinks. That game is Resident Evil: Outbreak.

Sure, it's not an RPG per se, but it's the one game I've played where I feel like I am the person on screen. Well... Resident Evil Outbreak, and Wind Waker... kinda.

Googleshng:
It is rather an odd thing in this day and age how it's easier to act in character and play off NPCs in a lot of action games, but not in RPGs. Really, it all boils down to choice. It really is sad when it comes down to it how rare it is to find an RPG like, say, Fallout, where you can create a character (or at least pick from a selection) and choose how you want to react to various situations.

 
This topic is still kicking around?

Why not name the turtle Daryll? I know Daryll wasn't a turtle, but Daryll's tomb (FFVI) had one, who was very helpful in getting around. (it's no less justified then naming one Shiver because it shivered when you found it in Shining Force II.)

Now for my question(s):

1. What made Tidus (or wakka) 's voice actors so bad? Most of the problems I've seen mentioned here have had to do more with the lines they were given than the voice actors themselves.

Googleshng:
I personally didn't have a problem with Wakka, but Tidus sounds rather inappropriately loud and/or whiny a good chunk of the time. Some of that I suppose can be chalked up as intentional I suppose, but there's still no excuse for Yuna.

2. What is the point of an Omake box? i got Lunar 2 Complete the other day, and after about an hour of messing around with the little paper thingies, i found out they were miniature stand-ups of all the characters. What are people expected to do with these things? play house? (currently, i've left them where they started: in the box.)

--David

Googleshng:
Since when does there have to be a use for a box full of random promotional weirdness? I suppose you could always try knocking them over with the promotional punching puppet if you're bored though, or use them as board game pieces.




The Last Laugh:

Sorry for the somewhat spotty Q&A-age this week. There was quite the series of show stopping events going on over here in Googlevania. They seem to have subsided now though, so next week should be smooth sailing all the way.



Googleshng "Free Toy Inside!" @rpgamer.com

Toyamura "Toy" Inside is currently being held in a maximum security prison over a possible connection with the murders of six people.

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