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   The Once and Future Lord  
LordBrian - July 15 '01- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Today I prove that just about anyone can do a Q&A column. All you have to do is follow these simple steps:

1) Answer all the questions you can
2) For those you can't, find the answer on the Internet
3) If the answer can't be found, make one up
4) For opinion questions, go with your gut reaction
5) If someone disagrees with you, disagree even more with them
6) Use a healthy dose of sarcasm to spice things up

See how many of these steps you can identify in this column. Have fun!

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For the record, nobody at RPGamer is named Whoeverthisis

Dear (Lordbrian/Google/Whoeverthisis),
Doesn't it occur to Square that they should make their online game just as spicy, but under a different name? As in, Final Fantasy World/Final Fantasy LF (for live-feed) v. 2/ etc.? It sort of defeats the purpose to change the series that much and still keep the same name. They're supposed to be single player, you know? Besides, they'd still have plenty of moolah. Do you agree or do you like the name as it stands?

-Illegal Allen
"Change is good, but dollars are better."

LordBrian:
I agree with you on everything except the "supposed to be single player" part. Only the developer can decide what a game or series is "supposed" to be. Other than that, I think the game would work a lot better as Final Fantasy Online, or something similar. They did it with Final Fantasy Tactics, so I don't see what's so different about this.

 
Nintendo Power, the authority for all your legal needs

Hello!

There have been numerous letters from people telling about the legallity of ROMs, but NONE of them have pointed out FACTS from any of the companies who OWN most of the ROMs themselves....

Directly from NINTENDO POWER, Nintendo's OFFICIAL magazine number 145 page 10:

"We received a number of letters on this subject, so we'll take a moment to explain our position in detail. Having an emulated ROM of a game, whether you own it or not, is illegal. The 24 hour window is a common internet rumor, but it's not true. The back-copy theory, commonly used with computer software, does not apply to game data contained into ROM semiconductor chips. You couldn't make a "backup" copy of the new Pokemon movie or photocopy every single page of the latest Harry Potter book, and the same logic applies to games. It's also against the law to download a ROM even if it's no longer widely available. Public domain refers to a work that has been around so long that it's free for everyone to use- like a Bach compostion or a Shakespeare play. But copyrights are good for 75 years after their filed, which means it will be well past 2050 before any Nintendo games ever enter the public domain."

I HOPE that this FINALLY clears this up once and for all!! :-)

Thanks,
IceStorm2733

LordBrian:
No, this does NOT clear it up once and for all. This is, as said in the passage, Nintendo's position on the matter. That does not make it true. If Nintendo were to go to court, this is what they would say. Whoever they would be suing would have a different position, and it would be for the court to decide what the legality of the issue is. Also, I find it specious to say that anything coming out of Nintendo Power is a fact, as it is one of the most biased and propaganda-filled magazines I have ever read in my life.

Let's leave this topic behind, shall we? It's growing boring.

 
I try to be as helpful as possible

Hiya Lord Brian. Hope you're having a good day today. I just have a few things to say today, and maybe even a question or two for fun.
1. Braces suck. I'm sitting here with them freshly put in and it hurts. They told me to put WAX in there to make it feel better. Why is that?

LordBrian:
Pfft. Why keep an RPG column focused on video games? The wax isn't supposed to ease the aching you feel, it's there if the braces are chafing against the inside of your lips or cheeks, to act as a spearator of sorts.

2. I am at a quandry right now with Diablo II. Today, my account, along with a level 30 paladin (who was equipped with a very rare axe and a full Sigon Set of Armor), was hacked and stolen. I've started a new game with a fresh account, but I'm dying to find this guy who stole my stuff. I realize that if player files were stored locally, people could hack into those and mess with their characters but at the same time, no one's characters could really be stolen. Whaddya think about that?

LordBrian:
Asking around the always helpful staff room (since I don't play the game), I was told to ask the following: have you ever given your account name and password to anyone? If you have, then that would be the most likely culprit of the hacking, since there's more scams than you can shake a crim at (whatever a crim may be).

3. OK, what is up with the FFC Chrono Trigger? I thought all the "puppet shows" were supposed to be replaced with Anime cut scenes. I just watched Marle disappear, and low and behold, NO ANIME! That's my entire reason for wanting to play through this game again. I love this Final Fantasy game that I've never played, but I love CT more. It's not fair :'(

Oh well, I'm done being pitiful and ranting about the things that have made today pretty sucky. I wonder if you'll even post this. Oh well, all is well :).
Later,
Ender

LordBrian:
We're not being impatient, are we? There isn't an anime scene at every non-interactive event, so give it some time. I don't think the anime replaces the event, either...it's just there in addition.

 
Gumby is a cartoon, Ghost in the Shell is not

The FF Movie -is- a cartoon. CG movies are considered cartoons just as stop-frame-animation movies (Nightmare Before Christmas, Chicken Run, etc. ) are also considered cartoons. As defined by the Webster's New Universal Dictionary:
Indent--Animated Cartoon: a motion picture consisting of a sequence of drawings, each so slightly different that when filmed and run through a projector the figures seem to move.
In CGI, a render is a computerized drawing. The FF Movie fits the definition perfectly. I'm sorry to everyone who might think otherwise, but it's just a sci-fi cartoon that's attempting realism (and failing miserably at that).

LordBrian:
I don't care what the technical definition of a cartoon is. I'm not majoring in film, or television, or anything like that, so I have the luxury of not living my entire life out of some dictionary. My definition is this: if it's animated, and made for children, it's a cartoon. Nightmare Before Christmas, Atlantis, and Toy Story are cartoons. The Spirits Within is not. By the same token, anime and cartoons are also different. Pokémon is a cartoon, Noir is not (yes, you heard me...you can argue all you want, but I'll still believe Pokémon is a cartoon, so save your strength). You can keep your definition; I'm quite happy with mine.

Oh, and TSW didn't fail miserably at realism. Your standards are just too high. The people might have been less than believable, but nearly everything else was fantastic. Don't compare the movie to real life when determining the realism, compare it to other movies of its kind, like Toy Story.

Anyways, for a question, do you think that games should be having a lot more continuity between them? I think that when a game leaves it's previous incarnations' style of gameplay, storyline, characters, etc. it should not be named after it. An example being the Seiken Densetsu series. SD1, 2, and 3 all had very similar gameplay, and though there were a few differences (SD2 had button-holding to do techs, SD3 had a meter that built up as you attacked), someone playing one of them could easily pick up the others and not notice too much difference. At the same time, the stories took place in very similar worlds with the main characters having a relationship with each other (believe this was SD1 and 2 were SD's main character was the father of SD2's--could be wrong there though).
Then came along SD4. They removed one of the spirits to make room for Aura, they overemphasized the cartoon look, made the game much easier, got rid of three helpers even though PSX had more than enough power to work with 3 character sprites, and gave full HP back after every fight. They even made the game very non-linear, which is vastly different than previous incarnations which were -much- more linear. The most serious difference was the omission of Hiroki Kikuta as the composer. In my opinion, SD4 should have had another name since it was not what we knew SD as being. Any other name would have worked. So, yeah, now that I'm done with that little rant, your feelings? (and not just on SD series)
Güifaá

LordBrian:
Before I get too general, Legend of Mana wasn't SD4. In Japan, it was called Seiken Densetsu: Legend of Mana. So, while still being part of the series, it was its own game. Personally, I thought nearly every difference you mentioned was a good one. I loved the new art style, the battle system was nicer, and (though I liked the previous SD soundtracks), I think Yoko Shimomura is a much better composer than Hiroki Kikuta.

At any rate, series continuity all depends on the game. Take the Final Fantasy games, for example. I'd love to see a continuation of FF4, but I have no desire to see one of FF5. I'll agree that if a game is a radical departure from the one that came before it, it shouldn't be considered part of the same series (like what I said yesterday about FF11 being another offshoot game like FFT), but the games don't have to be exactly the same for them to be sequels.

 
Sometimes I can't think up a letter title

Hey LB,
Just as a follow-up to Moux Cow Petau's question about rare versions of ToD, there IS a version that has the Japanese vocals for combat, as well as letting you listen to ALL the Japanese conversation between the characters piece by piece.

Chainsaw Repairman

LordBrian:
There you go.

 
This letter just proved my point

I just finished reading your page and am saddened to see that somebody has been dissin Shaddow maddnes. Shaddow Madsness Is one of MY favorite rpgs(okay the battles were a bit easy). The game allowed you to examine anything and everything and had a really good story-line and fun charachters. Ive played a lot of games in my 29 years on earth, mostly RPGs. And this game is one of the few I lost a job over(calling in sick to play your videogames is a bad idea). I also fluncked out of school playing FF7. Really, Was SM such a bad game as to rate it one of the worst? I dont think so! Later yo______

___Ghetto_Gamer____

LordBrian:
Okay, fine. Shadow Madness had a couple redeeming qualities to it. The music was good, and the background were nice. That's it. The battles were boring, tedious, and ugly. The storyline was pure drivel. The characters were bizarre, and not in a good way (a floating head trailing a spine?). And yes, Ghetto Gamer, it was such a bad game as to rate it one of the worst. Sorry.

 
Even we Lords make mistakes

Heh... um... this counts, right.....?

You can play any PSX game on the Playstation-2. In fact, with the right options turned on the console, games like "Xenogears" and "Vargrant Story" look a bit better.

So, yeah, he probably has the *best* console for RPGs, right now. :>

~Rayme

LordBrian:
Uh, um...what I meant was...err, that is to say...umm...umm...damn. I can't believe I said that. And I spent all day playing FF4 on a PS2, too. Oh! I know, I thought he meant what PS2 RPGs were good...yeah, that'll work...

Seriously, though, I'll answer his question now. Check out Xenogears, Chrono Cross, and the Final Fantasy games if you haven't already. Other notables are the Lunar games and the Suikoden series. You'll find hours of enjoyment in any of these.

I think I'll go hide in a corner now.

 
Hmm...I like that title

Final Fantasy movie & FF8 spoilers

Heya, Lord of all Brians,

To inform the people who think there aren't any FF game references in the movie: There are supposedly some besides the Sid reference. In an interview a while back with Sakaguchi (for those that don't know, the guy who directed the movie and, oh, came up with the whole Final Fantasy concept back in the 80s), he said that there was a Chocobo and a Moogle in the movie, somewhere. He didn't reveal WHERE they are, but said that one has to have a very keen eye to find them. I personally didn't see them, though. Of course, I was probably baffled at how much Grey looks like Ben Affleck...

I also noticed that one of the Metas (the big monsters) resembles Leviathan, after a sense. (Basically, Leviathan without skin and transparent and orange....)

Well, anyway, there's what I remember. Hope this encourages someone to see the movie again to look for them. It's a nice movie.

-----
XeroZohar

LordBrian:
I didn't see them either, but I can believe that they were in there. There's also a Square sign in New York right in the beginning, too. Oh, and Gaia bore a distinct resemblance to the life stream from FF7, and I was so waiting for Eyes On Me to start playing in the spaceship, and when Grey entered Aki's dream I think they used the same desolate setting from the FF8 ending, etc. etc.

 
How to answer questions without actually playing the games

Greetings, LordBrian:

First off, let's get the whole FF6 thing out of the way. I'd like to say that it doesn't matter where you can get the most amount of exp. per battle in FFVI, but also where it's the most worth while. Sure, you can pick up a few thousand xtra exp in the Forest fighing thos dino-whatchamacallits, but personally, I find those things to be a pain in the arse. Let me let all you non-old-skool-FFVI masters in on a little secret: If you go to the island near Doma Castle, equip an Exp. Egg and an Offering, then get into a battle and cast "Vanish" on yourself, then you can constantly beat the @&$^ out of those creatures w/o wasting MP, and still get a good 20,000+ EXP per battle.

Well with that out of the way, I've got 2 questions. The first will be MUCH easier than the 2nd.

1) I've been hooked on MegaMan X5, and am trying to get all the endings. I've seen 3, but I've heard there are 5. What have I missed?

LordBrian:
From LiquidCross's FAQ on GameFAQs.com:

To my knowledge, there's four different endings to this game:

a) Beat the game with X.
b) Beat the game with Zero. (these two endings only have subtle differences)
c) Let Zero go Maverick.
d) Play through the first 4 stages (Grizzly Slash, Duff McWhalen, Bolt Kraken, and Izzy Glow) without using any continues, and manage to destroy the Colony immediately. You then must proceed directly to Sigma's fortress and defeat him. (I haven't managed to test this ending yet...a friend told me about it.)

2) Recently I was playing some old-skool LUNAR: The Silver Star on good ol' Sega CD, and something really started to bother me. No matter how quickly you beat the game, at the end of the FMV w/ the credits to close the game, you can hear Luna saying "Oops! Too long!" WHAT DOES SHE MEAN BY THAT?!?!?! *ahem* Sorry, but my pal Brian beat the game in under 6hrs, and she still said it. (I told you the 2nd question would be harder!) Anyone have any clue why Luna says you took too long? Or am I just mis-understanding why she's saying that?

LordBrian:
From Lou Arruda's FAQ, also on GameFAQs.com:

Q: How come when I finish the game, it says "Oops, too long."?
A: This was an outtake from the dubbing of the game. The actress accidently took to long speak her part, and said that at the end. WD decided to keep it in the game as a joke.

Also, since everyone is all "Oooh! FFT Remake!!" "No! FFT Greatest Hits!", I'd like Square to do a Re-Make of FFT, but only to add in a Multiplayer mode. I think it would be cool to play against the characters of other people's games. That would test you to see if you could handle a real challenge. The game can only be fun until you master it. But then you'd have multiplayer to play against your friend whose also mastered the game, you you can see who's the real 'Master'. Well, that's all I have to say about that.

Master Margie
www.MasterMargie.com
"Take off every 'zig'! You know what you doing? For great justice."

LordBrian:
I'll pass your suggestions on to Square next time I see them. I'm sure they'll find them fascinating and useful.

 
Doing a Q&A column is more dangerous than it looks

An enemy ninja has successfully infiltrated your defenses and now you lie dead, the victim of an unseen hand.

The only explanation rests in a small note, which was found clutched in the hand of the body.

It containined the following message:

   To: LordBrian

   I stole Paws' panties! Hee hee hee hee!

         -Happosai

LordBrian:
Sorry guys, I'm dead. The end of the column has been canceled.

 
I lied

LordBrian! Welcome back! I will now celebrate your return with some (vaguely) game-related questions and comments.

1. GameSpot says that Tales of Destiny 2 will be on the PS2. Is this true(Last I checked it wasn't, but Namco's done dumber things)?

LordBrian:
Well, as we thoroughly explored earlier, it's technically true. You'll be able to play it on a PS2, but it's a PSOne title. That article you refer to only made the mistake of calling it a PS2 title in the headline; it's correct elsewhere.

2. FF:TSW isn't entirely unrelated to the games. The story draws almost as heavily on FFVII as it does on Aliens (there are pretty clear Lifestream and Meteor equivalents. I won't go into greater detail because I'd get killed). Also, Hein looks like Seifer on a Goth trip.

LordBrian:
This letter came after I wrote my response above, and I'm too lazy to go back and change my comments. But I agree.

3. Am I stupid for buying tales of destiny instead of FFC?

LordBrian:
Probably...I've never played ToD, but I can't imagine it being any better than FFC.

4. How's Anachronox? Shale, keeper of all that is random and meaningless

LordBrian:
Anachronox is quite good. It's an original, console-style RPG for the PC. I'm not all that far (about 4-5 hours in), but what I've seen so far has me very interested. The storyline is unique and well-written. The graphics (using a modified Quake 2 engine) are...well, not excellent compared to other recent games, but they're good enough for me. The music has me looking for a soundtrack CD. It even has excellent voice acting, and I'm especially critical of that aspect of games. Anyone with a decent computer owes it to themselves to check it out.

 
It's spelled B-R-I-A-N

Hey (monks sing) LORD BRAIN
Are you one of those megalomaniac types, Brain? Also, what in the world are corrective shoes? What is the strangest RPG weapon you've seen because honestly, it's really odd seeing people kill monsters with an umbrella or some musical instrument. Also on copyright law, there's a lot of fuzzy work in it since games wasn't thought of when many of these laws were maded and there's no real precident on what exactly the laws are and how it applies to games. But then again, it seems that many of the old games are just being re-released so the old games can be played again and the people who made them get more money to make new stuff. Also, who deals with ROMS if there's plenty of new stuff out and most of those games will eventually be re-released and many of the games that never were released here it seems probobly will be eventually. What are we going to do tonight Brain, try to take over the world?
Imperial Mog

LordBrian:
Hey, Imperial Mog! No, I'm not megalomaniac, I'm just semi-megalomaniac. I am, however, under the impression that I know more than most people (almost everything there is to know, in fact), so I suppose that makes me arrogant. I don't really care, since I'm over here and everyone else is over there, so they can't do anything about it. I would assume that corrective shoes are shoes that correct things, but I could be wrong. Though this would contradict my previous statement that I know almost everything, but I'm not worried because in the end it doesn't matter what corrective shoes are. When you think about it, most weapons in RPGs are weird. I mean, carrying a sword into battle against people who are armed with guns makes about as much sense as bringing a frying pan or a baseball bat. Or a harp that shoots music notes. Or a paintbrush to sketch a picture of the enemy. I agree with you on the whole copyright thingy, but we've been down that road too much lately and until we get some actual facts and cases stated, we won't be traveling any farther (at least not while I'm in command). Tonight we're gonna sit back and play us some games, and we'll save the taking over the world for tomorrow night.

...it's hard typing like that.



Quickies

chrono trigger is mad fun

Yes. Yes it is.

I hear you can carry over information from Suikoden 1 to Suikoden 2. Is this true? If so, how do I go about it?
- Snarfy Snarf

Yes, it's true. And really easy. At some point when starting a new game, it will ask you if you want to use old save data. If you have such data, choose "yes."

Anarchy Online is heroin. I need it.

Freshman Yuenping
R.S.G.E. Division 9
Covert Ops

I'll take this letter as another reason to continue not buying this game.

Before I Go:

These things get more fun to write every time I do it. For tomorrow, write me a lot of letters I can disagree with. It's more fun when I can tell you guys how wrong you are. Oh, and write some letters about game music. I like game music. Letters about other things would be acceptable too, I suppose. Well, whatever. I'll be answering some Xenogears plot questions tomorrow too, so now you know what to look forward to. You have your mission, now go to it.

LordBrian "Wanna see my batteries?" @rpgamer.com
I don't even know if I'm supposed to do the column tomorrow...

   Have a question? Ask LordBrian  


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