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   The Day Before  
LordBrian - August 26th '01- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

I spent the whole day today packing up for my move back to school tomorrow. It always amazes me how much crap I have in my room that I actually need to take with me, and how everything is covered with layers of dust. You'd think that if I really used this stuff (necessitating its inclusion in a suitcase), it wouldn't be dirty...or maybe I just need to clean my room more often.

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Getting dark about lightheartedness

I was a bit taken aback by your harshness regarding the Zelda dissenters. If we are to focus on games as works of art similar in some respects to film and music (and the nature of the coverage/review system employed by print magazines and your own website would seem to hold a number of parallels) then we must realize that the emotional and intellectual response of fans are valid , whether or not they agree with the creator of the art, a quasi-official representative of the industry (such as a reviewer) or 'just' another fan. Why then, do you seem to be shutting down this particular discussion before it can get started? We pick apart and express early opinions on screenshots from other games -- why not this one? Why have a letters column at all if your pre-emptive response to those people who have a negative response to the new style of animation of the game is to tell them to "shut up?" Zelda is an insanely popular series. There are going to be a wide range of opinions on a major shift in the series, even if the shift is only major when compared to the most recent console installments. Why must these opinions be silenced because you think the new style is grand? You already get to choose which letters go into the final column. Please don't tell us to shut up just because you don't think that there is a discussion to be had.

Jack Parades

PS: I personally think that the new style holds both some promise and some dangers. Hopefully the promise will be fulfilled and the dangers avoided. Regardless, I'd like to reserve the right to argue about it on forums such as this.

LordBrian:
Apparently what I said was misunderstood. You can rant and rave about the relative merits of a certain art style all you want, I don't really care. What bothers me is when people say things like, "This game's gonna suck cause it looks like it's made for kids!" What I was trying to say was I don't want to hear this kind of crap, because you'll never be able to come up with any kind of convincing argument and will just be wasting everyone's time. Zelda won't be out for well over a year, so it's completely ludicrous to pass judgment on the game because of one short (and unauthorized) video clip. If you want to explain why you would rather see a more realistic Link, go right ahead and write a letter. I'll completely respect your opinion based on the art. But at this point, your opinion can only realistically be based on the art.

 
Of course, your opinion could also be based on opposing my opinion as well

"The N64 versions were missing something that made the other games fun to play...maybe not so much missing something, but having too much of something else" Not darkness, but waffling. The N64 games failed to commit to lighthearted fun or seriousness. Furthermore, they failed to make a blend of the two properly. Like almost every compromise, both sides ended up losing something.

LordBrian:
Good point. When I think about it this way, I can easily see why I was less satisfied with these games than before. But moving on...

"All of you saying Nintendo has ruined the series with the new look, I have this to say to you: shut up. Nobody wants to hear your unsubstantiated opinions that since it looks like it's made for 7 year olds, that's how it'll play" I'm sure the game will be a total frickin' blast to play. However, it will feel different. I, for one, enjoyed the grown-up Link of recent days. Silent. Stoic. Brave. Serious. Qualities I could appreciate, even look up to. Tell me. Would you want to play Chibi-Metal Gear Solid? What if Dante of Devil May Cry used Nerf guns instead of swords and pistols and the like? Would Metroid or Castlevania be the same if it featured pastel color schemes instead of darkness, open fields and Candylands instead of claustrophobic caverns and castles? Part of the appreciation for the above games comes from the basic mood, atmosphere, je ne sais qua (I never took French) of them. Happy fun games are great (Yoshi's Island, Tetris Attack, Earthbound), but man can't game on happy-funness alone. I need something serious, something I can sink my teeth into.

LordBrian:
There's one small difference between Zelda and the games you listed: Zelda didn't start out dark and serious. Of course I wouldn't want to play a happy Metal Gear Solid, or a Castlevania where Dracula shoots sparkly stars from his hands and you have to kill him by popping all the bright pink balloons he's using to float around the room with, but all those series established their themes and moods and atmospheres at the beginning, and they haven't changed a bit through their incarnations. However (and I hate to have to keep stressing this point), Zelda is mostly a lighthearted adventure. Your health is replenished by colorful fairies with a ring of hearts circling around you. You hop through the world in the pouch of a boxing kangaroo. A rupee-loving monkey helps you get inside a dungeon. For crying out loud, how many times must the words "pink bunny" be spoken? You like realistic Link? Fine. But don't try to say he's always been that way like the characters in the other games have.

"You want dark, go buy a PS2." I shouldn't have to. Nintendo's unwise to do this. It'll sap them of even more 3rd-party support, which they're unwise to ignore anyways. And they are ignoring it. I've seen a lot of positive reactions from companies; I haven't seen a lot of games. Besides, I believe in conference call, one of the Nintendo higher-ups said something like an 80:20 ratio of first-to-third party games, which will level off to 60:40. I love ya, Nintendo, but I still need variety, and you're only helping your competitors if you ignore that.

LordBrian:
I honestly don't see how Nintendo making games focused towards kids hurts their 3rd-party support. I'll even ignore the fact that half the games you listed above are games readily available on Nintendo systems (and more than half if you count the old Metal Gear games). Nintendo the game maker doesn't affect what kinds of games other companies make (except in the sense that other companies might steal innovative controller schemes, graphics techniques, etc.). Nintendo the system maker, however, does. But that's changing. They're not shying away from M-rated games as much as they were before. They have a storage format that's more accepted among developers. And so on. The choice is now up to the developers whether or not they want to make games for the GameCube. No, you shouldn't have to go to the PS2 to play games like MGS2 or Devil May Cry, and hopefuly soon you won't have to.

 
Q&A host disqualification!

Lay off the Dragon Force there, Lord Brian. Those damnedable Skull Children and their immortality. They always appear in the middle of my Empires and take the towns in the back that normal enemies can't get to, and thus don't have any kind of decent units. Anyway, time for a question or seven.

1. In Dragon Force, do you have one army that's really rockin' that you send around to do all your dirty work? If so, who is in it? I do, and it's Mikhal, Gigg, Vlad, Vangal, and Junon. Needless to say, they siege towns with ease.

LordBrian:
Contrary to popular belief, I haven't played every game in existence. Dragon Force is one of those few games that I somehow missed over the years, so I'll just agree with you and say your army would be mu choice as well.

2. Another Dragon Force Q: Who is your favorite monarch?

LordBrian:
Myself, of course. You don't think the "Lord" in LordBrian is there just for show, do you?

3. And a semi-Dragon Force question. Did you ever play Dragon Force 2? It's a cool game from what I've seen, but I can't read Japanese, so it's pretty useless to me.

LordBrian:
Another game I haven't played, but at least I have an excuse for this one.

4. I was playing through a Chrono Cross New Game+, and I was fighting the Time Devourer, and my TV screwed up, so now the AV jacks don't work. Is it really worth moving the Playstation to a TV I can only use when not in use by another members of my family (very rare, and I also have to clear out when they decide they do want to use it), or should I wait 'til I can get my TV fixed?

LordBrian:
Well, it depends on how lazy you are and how much you want to beat the game again. I suppose it also depends on if you have any other PSX games you want to play.

5. Is it worth playing through the original Vandal Hearts again just to play as the Vandalier (I think that's the secret job for Ash)?

LordBrian:
No. It's worth playing again to see the mighty jets of blood when you kill someone, though.

6. My brother borrowed my copy of Final Fantasy: Tactics, and I haven't seen it in a few months. I also doubt that he'll be giving it back within the next 6 months. Should I wait for him to give it back, or should I just go get a GH copy?

LordBrian:
So let me get this straight...your brother stole your copy of FFT, and rather than go get it back from him (and in return giving him a pummeling for stealing your game), you're thinking of buying a whole new copy? Man, you are lazy.

7. I play a fair amount of Playstation RPGs, and I only have 1 memory card (no, not a mega-memory card or anything) and no Dexdrive. I also play a number of other games which require save files, yet I never problem with having room on my memory card. what's wrong with me?

LordBrian:
I dunno, are you super anal about deleting a save file right after you beat the game? The whole laziness thing doesn't fit in with that theory, though. Hmm...my guess is that the magical PSX fairies clean your card for you at night when you're not watching, and get rid of the saves you never notice are there.

8. Is it really wrong to shake babies just a little? I mean, I can see the obvious evils of shaking them lots, but is there really harm in just a healthy shaking now and then? The Unsinged Hare.

LordBrian:
There's no label on it that says "Don't Shake Me," so I figure why not?

 
A man after my own heart

Dear LordBrian,
I am wondering if anything has been stated by squaresoft about the problems with Final Fantasy Chonicles, if not, are the problems with the game so great as to lower the amount of fun I could have with it.

P.S. I do not care about the OldSchool type of art or music.
Thank You,
Salty Dawg

LordBrian:
I don't think they ever issued a statement, but since the problem went away it doesn't really matter. And yes, the whole disc-not-working thing would have more than likely lowered the amount of fun you would have had, but they're working now. Go buy it, they're great games.

 
Hehehe...she called me Mr.

Mr,Lord Brian i am playing Aidyn Chronicles and i think i made a bad move somewhere in the game my game time is 10 hours: here is my question where do i find - magic stick of the mirari to show it to ardra , i am playing the game on the n64 thank you for any help you can give me lynn

LordBrian:
At some point, you'll receive an item called Stormbreaker from Yeraza in Erromon. The Stormbreaker is the magic stick of the Mirari.

 
It's because people like to complain, that's why

Lord of Q&A

I for one am glad that Miyamoto chose to take Zelda back to it's original roots. To me, the new Zelda looks really fun, not to mention a perfect representation of a sprite from the days of the SNES. With that in mind, I wanna why are people, me included, so fickle? I mean, first we complain about how everyone is putting realistic graphics before gameplay, then Miyamoto makes a cartoonish game, that's intended to have a simple system, and we complain about that. What's up with that? now for an answerable question. Have you played Saiyuki, if you have, what do you think of it? This game has proved that my favorite game is TRPG

~Miguel
"It's like I always say, what's mine is mine, what's yours, is also mine." Sanosuke from Ruroken

LordBrian:
People have an image in their minds about how a game or a series should be, and this image is usually at odds with what the game or the series actually is. When this happens, people complain. The problem is that they're not the ones making the games, so they have no direct control over how the image is changing. It doesn't matter if the game is too realistic or too cartoony or whatever, it just depends on what they've come to expect. Such is life.

I haven't yet had the chance to try out Saiyuki mainly because I have a fixed budget for games, and that's not one of the ones on the list. I hear it's a decent game, but I'm gonna hold out for Hoshigami for my TRPG this fall.

 
LBWC enrollment price: one soul

Dear LordBrian:
I had such a great time at LordBrian worship camp this summer...worshipping you was hard at first, and I learned to not let the beatings get to me, but all in all it was a fun time...too bad school has started and now I must worship the mighty Pre-Calc book...

4+2=5

Wrong: You suck
-Teacher Phillips

LordBrian:
I'm glad you had fun at the camp, and I hope to see you again next year. We're gonna try to keep the fatality rate to a more acceptable level next time.

Oh, and be thankful you're only in pre-Calc now, because it gets exponentially worse as you go into Calc 1 (and higher). We didn't use a Calculus book in college, we used the Necronomicon.

I bought Saiyuki: Journey West the other day. Even though I have yet to play it I believe it is a great game, but my real comment is on the book that is packed with it. The way it is formatted is almost perfect, I mean, I haven't seen a manual like this since Chrono Trigger's from the Super NES. Its great and its even in color!!!! No more black and white nothingness to not keep my attention on reading it. I think other companies should follow suit and try and make their manuals more in depth...or in color at least. I mean this manual even has lists of some of the armor and potions in the game. It even has hints in the back!!! Woohoo!

Ty "mm mm. Color, food for the eyes" ler

LordBrian:
Any company that makes a full-color instruction manual is all right in my book. Not that I ever read (or even open) the instructions, but it's nice to see that someone's taking that extra step besides Working Designs.

 
Doing my job for me

Hey LordBrian,

First things first, howdy!

LordBrian:
Yo.

Second things second, this contains FF9 SPOILERS for those who haven't played the game (just in case you print this, for the sake of the readers).

Third things third, I have an FF9 question. I am on disc 4. After having acquired the Orichalcon weapon for Zidane (only 1, since nobody else could use it), recently I used a synthesist to combine it and a Zorlin Shape weapon into a Masamune, because my Zidane has mastered all the command and support abilities he can get, so I may as well just go for the highest numbers, and I thought the Masamune would be stronger, at least, the game seemed to be telling me it would be. Anyways, my Zidane is at level 99 (no need to berate me on my insanity, I know), and the Orichalcon was doing around 6000-9999 HP damage, rarely going down into the high 5000s on the lower end of it's lazy hits. The Masamune doesn't seem to be performing quite as well. I've been doing hits from 3000 to 5000 HP damage. Have I just seen an unusually large number of coincidentally weak hits, or is it a mistake to acquire the Masamune or something? If I've made a mistake, is there anywhere I can acquire another Orichalcon? My last one was bought on Terra, and I haven't left the vicinity of the Black Mage Village since returning, I don't know if any shops back on Gaia sell the thing... do they? Help me, Obi Wan Brian. You're my only hope. Thanks :).

Anyways, regarding the Zelda cartoon... I do indeed remember it, in fact I have it on videotape :). 11 of the 13 episodes, anyways. The other 2 I'll get on tape at some point, but for right now I have them on real video files. And yes, it's very cheesy :).

Well, that's it. Thanks again,

Ismail

LordBrian:
Yeah, it's surprising that the Masamune (attack power of 62) isn't stronger than the Orichalcon (attack power of 71), but that's the way it is. You're in luck, though. You can buy a new Orichalcon at the equipment shop in Daguerreo, which is on an island somewhere in the southwest corner of the map.

Oh, and so everyone knows, I changed my policy for announcing game spoilers from the 6 month deadline to 1 full year from the game's original release date.



Quickies

Check this place out it was like 13 episodes the old Zelda cartoon in RealPlayer format.

http://www.zeldapower.com/

It's under Multimedia

And we were just talking about that cartoon, too. If you can suffer through the wretched quality of the movies, you too can realize the utter cheesiness of this show.

....Why did Link bleach his hair?
He's gone from gingery brown to dark brown <if you count the series> to bleach blonde. And here I thought it was always the female characters who'd want to change their looks...
Sir Lady Sketch

Link didn't actually go out of his way to bleach his hair, it's just that he spent so much time outside that it was naturally bleached by the sun. He doesn't spend all his time in dungeons.

We are the all singing, all dancing crap of the world.

Just another average Joe

I am Jack's raging bile duct.

If they ported Star Ocean 3 over here would you get it?

Sage "Twinkle Twinkle Little ..." Of The Stars

Not only would I get it, I would already have it preordered.

The quote is from Dragon Force for the Sega Saturn. Or am I wrong?
P...please say I'm right.

I'm just so good, I can quote games that I've never played. I dunno, you may be right. I actually got the hidden quote from Command & Conquer, though. The quote right above it I stole from Skies of Arcadia.

Before I Go:

To further prove how good I am, I'm going to do the column again tomorrow, despite the fact that I'm moving back to college. In order to make my task even harder, I want you to send me as much mail as possible. I promise to print everything you send...if it's worth printing, that is.

LordBrian "Back to good old Screw U." @rpgamer.com
If your letter doesn't get printed, you can safely assume you suck.

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