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ASK HARRY
I'm a General, Not Some Opera Floozy! July 22, 2005

Harry Carey - 11:53 EST

Hey hey hey! It's FAAAT Albert! ... Actually, it's Harry Carey. How have you guys and girls out there in RPGamer Land been doing? Last time I did one of these gorgeous columns was May of last year, when I co-hosted with my ever-so-dear cohort Andrew. He cannot be here today, but he is still with us in our hearts. As for Google, the meteor that hit his house is confirmed to be that one from Maniac Mansion. Who wants to throw it into the trunk of an old Edsel and ship it to space first class?

Before we move on, I must ask you: Are you happy with your life? I sure hope you are. Give me a smile! Now! I can see right through this screen, and stare straight at those who refuse to turn their frowns upside down. You know who you are.






L E T T E R S
St. Anger round mah neck!


Howdy-o.

Damn, are there a lot of songs I listened to while playing games, thus etching that music into those games. However, the one I remember the most was Megadeth's "Youthanasia" being on repeat whenever I played "Populous". Whenever I listen to that disc, I immediately think of pushing and pulling land up and down, trying to kill off the computer will my little knights. Fantastic game, that one.

Now, question-time; What the hell is up with Suikoden? Suikoden and Suikoden 2 were a one-two punch of RPG-goodness during a time when Final Fantasy was just starting to lag, and Atlus was slowly rising as the ultimate RPG producer on the PS1. I was excited for Suikoden 3... and it sucked. Then Suikoden 4 hit... and it sucked. WHAT THE HELL?! How could Konami **** up a system so simple? I blame the 3-D, but that can't be the only reason. Did they have a massive change in development teams between 1 & 2 and 3 & 4, or did they just lose their touch?

Brian J. Blottie

-Searching out rare games on e-Bay as I type.


HARRY

Looks like we have ourselves a metaler! What I *can* tell you about that album is that the cover frightens me, and would have Maude Flanders hollering "What about the children!?". I definitely feel you (in a good and healthy way, I assure you) on heavy music making a battle more engaging and emotional. That was the apparent angle of "Otherworld" in Final Fantasy X. I'm a tad partial to Magus's Theme from good ol' Chrono Trigger. Maybe some old school punk could do the trick.

The Suikoden series certainly went in a different direction, and a little birdie told me that, yes, the staff changed quite a bit. Fans tend to like the second the most, and the rareness of the game hasn't halted the loyal support. I remember seeing it at a store several years back for $45, new. For a great RPG, that isn't too much to ask... PS1 or any other system.



Early to rise, early to bed. Makes a man healthy but socially dead!


Heath:

Lets see, the most hardcore thing I've done...probably beat FF1 in one seat, or when Xenogears and Tales of Symphonia came out that I played 15 + hours a day. I loved those days, now i cant do it anymore, because of college and such things.

And no, I never listen to other music while playing videogames. Except maybe in fighting games, where i like to listen to Guilty Gear's hardcore tracks instead. I do own a lot of game soundtracks, specially RPG ones.

rocker-otaku


HARRY

I love the original Final Fantasy as much as most others, but if you can get through hundreds of Ineffectives and oh-so-many seamless random battles, you have my admiration. My biggest fear with FF1 was accidentally not holding reset while turning power off, but that problem's been solved for several reasons. Glad you enjoyed Xenogears and ToS! One of the best stories in RPG history and one of the great reasons to buy a GameCube right there.

Isn't it so much more convenient to have great music in a game, rather than putting on something yourself? Gives games an authentic feel. Thank our lucky stars for Uematsu and Mitsuda!



Heading to London. Will be back in 10 seconds.


Hi,

i was just wondering what good rpg games you know on ps2 that has world navigation that has world map and stuffs like that.


HARRY

Wild Arms 3 immediately comes to mind. Unfortunately, world map traveling is becoming more and more of a thing of the past. The argument agaisnt them is that they detract from a realistic experience. I personally don't think every RPG has to be realistic (I'm sure Final Fantasy IX fans would agree with that statement, anyway), and that diversity of experiences can be a good thing. Perhaps this is just crazy talk!



Send your pictures to Dear Old Captain Noah


Dear whoever is answering the questions today,

First of all I'd like to mention that this is my first attempt at writing to you guys, so I'd really appreciate it if you guys would answer it.

I've never played Disgaea, heard it was good, and I really want to play it, but as you know...it's kinda hard to get, being discontinued and all. So I thought the next best option would be to pre-order "Makai Kingdom", which looks just as awesome. Anyway, I was wondering if you guys could tell me anything I might not already know about "Makai Kingdom".

Also just for the heck of it, what's your favorite web-comic? Mine's Megatokyo, VGcats, and 8-bit Theatre.

-Your Loyal Canadien Fan, Robert Beaudoin


HARRY

Ooh, is that a threat? Just kidding. We love you!

I see Disgaea in stores all the time, discontinued or not. If you've already looked and can't find it though, I will not doubt your words of indisputable Roberty wisdom. As far as Makai Kingdom goes, we report everything we can find. There seems to be a wealth of information, considering the screens, movies, impressions, preview, and all that other good stuff. Our media department's work is the next best thing to actually getting your hands on the game.

As far as webcomics go, you mentioned some good ones. I'll throw in Penny Arcade, for poking fun at both games and the gamers who play them. Last year's Halloween one about the dude who lost his Final Fantasy VII save was priceless. Guess the dude was using a third party card.



What a horrible night to have a curse.


I’m going to save a little face for Metallica.

Whenever I hear the black album, I think of Castlevania. That’s at least a little better than earthbound and chip and dale isn’t it?

Oh, and doesn’t Rogue Galaxy look great? Reminds me of the style in the recently re-released anime Appleseed.

ben


HARRY

Our friend Heath isn't here, but I'll play your game, you rogue. I'll take The Rapists for twenty!

Rogue Galaxy looks dreamy to me... and I definitely mean that in a good way. The scraps released thus far have RPGers drooling, and there's so much more to go! The Appleseed stuff I've seen looks a bit darker in nature, but I haven't had my eyes checked in a long time. The Castlevania/Metallica comparison reminds me that I haven't had my ears checked in a long time either. Certainly no hate intended towards either, but I think Castlevania has more of a gothic, or perhaps organ music vibe. I might be able to see a little "Enter Sandman" in the first level of Castlevania IV. Maybe.

Also, the first two lines of this reply allude to Saturday Night Live's Celebrity Jeopardy. Try seeing a sketch or two of it before you die! Which may be a long time from now, but will be sooner if you refuse!



Mano Amano


You probably couldn't use this, but I have to write about it anyway.

In response to Amano's artwork criticism, I'd like to maybe shed a little light on his style. He is one of Japan's most best known artists, and it isn't just limited to Final Fantasy. Amano is a Japanese artist. I don't mean that he comes from Japan, I mean that he does alot of his work in the spirit of classic Japanese artwork.

Compare some of this to his artwork:

http://char.txa.cornell.edu/nonwest/japan/shono.gif

http://www.hkartclub.com/painting/japan_paintings.html

http://www.values.ch/Topicals/Guests/Michaela/Japan/Japan-Costumes.htm

The link above has art from the 1700 and 1800's of Japan. So you see, his art style is a modern fashion illustration style mixed with classic Japanese artwork.

Here is his personal website so you can compare: www.amanosworld.com


HARRY

Shedding light on a great artist is always useful. The inspiration is clear, and so is the tradition.

Great... I agree with everything you just said, and we have learned something new in the process. The inspiration and tradition has now reached our readers. Except for those who disagree. Gracias.



Video game ratings are society's most important issue


Hello Host du Jour,

"But... I can't! The ESRB would go nuts!"...

.... is one of the many instant-classics from Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana. Klein says it to Norn when she asks him to sleep in the same bed with her. This game is easily RPG of the Year thus far, and probably won't be beat by anything on the horizon.

Speaking of which... having never played (or heard of) the Atelier series until I got my hands on this gem, what's your experience with the series? Any other earlier titles that would be worth a NA release? I know theres also a direct sequel to Iris that was released in Japan this year, and I'm assuming if the sales from the first are good enough, we may also be fortunate enough to see this too. Is there any reliable site that tracks sales figures? I know all the reviews have been pretty favorable thus far (though not high enough IMO), but it'd be nice to see the actual figure for it and other titles. Oh, and if you haven't played AI:EM yet, I shall be forced to kill you. Twice. Have a nice day!

Ian


HARRY

You'll never be able to kill me twice! Perhaps once, but not twice. I guarantee it.

Video game sales figures are all over sites that keep track of general retail sales, but if you're looking beyond a top 10 list, it gets tougher. I can tell you that Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana was the sixth best selling game in Japan for a week, with approximately 36,642 copies sold.





C L O S I N G
One more special message to go, and then I'm done and I can go home:

Today's column certainly was a special one! We learned that: Metal goes good with epic boss battles, Celebrity Jeopardy references are a great way to make yourself look funnier than you actually are, walkable overworlds are becoming a thing of the past, and Amano satisfies tradition while expressing himself in a unique way. Or so it's been said!

For those who could use a topic: What moment in an RPG struck home to you the most, and why? This doesn't necessarily mean it's your favorite moment, but one that sticks out to you as being important. Maybe it's even affected your life in ways that we currently do not comprehend. Share!

I'll be here for tomorrow's column, when we'll discuss the importance of rubber erasers and find out just what the meteor that decimated Google's house is up to. Adios, amigos!



harrycarey@rpgamer.com
Charles Marchione pays what you pay. Not a cent more!


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