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Chapter IV: In Which Turkey is Served
2007.11.23

Lusipurr - 18:15 GMT

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and once again I have been sent to work the proverbial salt mines, answering the questions posed by you lot of boffins. Unfortunately, some of you do not celebrate (if we define celebrating as 'gorging oneself with plates of innocent fowl') Thanksgiving and chose, instead, to send me letters. Great.

Driving to the festivities which I was required to attend--no rest for the wicked--I had a chance to enjoy my enormous game music collection. This led me to consider a question for you little people. What is your single favourite piece of video game music? You are allowed one (1) answer, and you must explain it. If you write in with, "Oh dear, I've got two favourites, and I really like blippity and bloppity, too!" you will be automatically disqualified and I will simply delete your letter. I won't even keep reading after I see the second piece of music, I'll just laugh cruelly, delete, and move on.

I know the above challenge will tax what few mental resources you have between you, so you may want to put off thinking about it until after you have read the rest of the column. It must be hard to concentrate on more than one thing at a time, and I have no desire to see you overextend your pitifully meagre intelligence.

I will now address your tiresome and annoying questions.




Bup.
Repeat Offender


Hello, Lusipurr

You didn't abuse me enough, so I'm writing back.

Lusipurr

I will endeavour to rectify that oversight at once.


You are still half right in your Final Fantasy X assumptions. I'm much more lenient on voice actors than most, and generally I found it wasn't half bad a game, voice wise. But even I would probably want to skip any scene where Tidus and Yuna were laughing. That was... kinda painful, and I wouldn't want to be the voice actors during those scenes. I also wouldn't want to watch those scenes with someone else in the room...

Lusipurr

Anything I say stops being an assumption (even if I say it is an assumption) and immediately becomes fact. PAY ATTENTION, you illiterate toad.

Those scenes were horribly embarassing, but there was worse in store. Final Fantasy X-2 had yet to be released. It was awful in exciting new ways. Instead of, "Ha. Ha. HA! Ha. Ha-ha. Ha ha ha. HA! HA!" we were treated to Britney Spears IN CONCERT.

Awful.


And while we're at it, I'm used to Final Fantasy endings being pretty amazing, full of last minute escapes and explosions and reunited friends... and so Final Fantasy X's ending was underwhelming in a sense. It was still decent like you would expect from a game, but to me it seemed like the kind of ending you'd find in season one of a television show, when they're unsure if they're going to be picked up for a second season. I know you don't like the game, but please bear with me for a moment and tell me what you think: did you find the ending to be as underwhelming as I found it to be?

-CW

Lusipurr

It was easily one of the worst endings I've seen for any Final Fantasy game since Final Fantasy IV raised the bar on expectations. Of course, when the team behind FFX was finishing their work, they were well aware that Final Fantasy X-2 was in the works. They were probably also intimately acquainted with the storyline of that sequel. You make an apt comparison to the end of a television show's first series. That is precisely what it was.

But you're still an illiterate toad.



A Bad Rap


One more gen Lusipurr -

Wow! So I've been writing in ridiculously frequently lately, which surely can't keep up, but after reading your reply to my last letter I had to take a look at your bio and, wow. It is in fact a trueism that assumptions do make us asses. I think it was the comments about your being young when playing FF VII and weed being a drug that did it. I just assumed that you were too young to remember the days when playing D&D was synonymus with being a satanist, and thus comparable to pornography and drugs, or the height of the crack epidemic which had real life zombies walking our streets, thus making you susceptible to D.A.R.E.'s propoganda about what is and is not a dangerous drug because you have nothing to make comparisons by.

However, after looking at your bio, I see that you were born exactly one day before my younger brother, making you less than three years younger than me, and fully able to appreciate these facts. So I'll just chalk it up to differences in religious affiliations and locations. To quote one of our local street martyrs, Andre Hicks a.k.a. Mac Dre, "We don't smoke that Bobby Brown, Man I'm from The Town (note: for those who don't know, Oakland California is commonly reffered to locally as The Town, San Francisco is The City), where you can buy weed from the store, right downtown. He is of course referring to the medical dispensaries, we have some common sense about these things out here.

Anyway's, checking out your bio did give rise to some legtimate questions. First a fairly on topic one. Seeing as how you seem to be someone who is fairly active in his church, beyond just going on Sundays (I mean Seminary's pretty serious), and are also someone who does actually go back to the tabletop roots, have you ever caught any flak from people in your church about D & D? And if so, how did you deal with it? Or was it just an issue in the Protestant church's which I grew up in and rejected?

Lusipurr

I can honestly say that I have never caught any flak from anyone in my church about D&D. In fact, all of my D&D partners are also religious, with a makeup of about 50% Catholic and 50% Protestant. This has never stopped us from having evil characters, fell events, and untoward happenings in our campaigns. We are all quite sane and wholly capable of separating reality from fantasy.

However, that said, I have heard D&D equated with Satanism, though I was rather young at the time. That seemed to be an opinion in the 80s which, as time went on, was gradually discarded. I think of that opinion much like the more recent burning of Pokémon cards. People sometimes fear popular things which they do not understand. Instead of trying to learn, the knee-jerk response is to ban/outlaw/destroy. I don't consider these events outrages, just disappointments. The human race takes a long time to learn from its mistakes, even when there are obvious prior examples.

Speaking of things being viewed with suspicion: I also used to roleplay online on AOL (as Denethor Greenleaf, co-founder of the Legion of Light and one-time Council Administrator of the Rhy'Din War Council) and via local BBS services back in the early and mid-'90s. Being online at that time was considered somewhat strange. I had the mickey taken out of me quite a bit for it, but I always said that 'one day, everyone will be online.' It's nice to be right. I never get tired of it.


Also, very off topic, I'm curious how you, as a formally trained musician, view hip-hop, specifically rap? I'll state here that I play trombone, baritone horn (which is easy if you play trombone, the fingerings correspond to the slide positions, so you only need to learn seven things), a little piano, a little guitar, and am absolutely mediocre at turntabilism, and as a lyricist. Oh, and I love rap music, especially the local hyphy movement.

So, different strokes, and all that, it is what it is. Despite all your feigned aggressive disgrunteledness, I know now you're a man of peace. I will continue to write in and you can continue to tell me I rode the short bus as a kid.

We call them squares because they're outside of the circle,

Kezzy

Lusipurr

First: I am not feigning anything. I genuinely detest just about everyone and everything. How does that fit within the bounds of my religion? I call Cognitive Dissonance! Offside, seven yards, down first or something. Whatever! American Pansyball terminology makes no sense.

The short answer to your question: I don't like it and I am even reluctant to call some of it music. I've never really liked Bee-bop, whether it's the Beatles, Elvis, Snoop Doggy Dawg, Eminem, ICP, Britney Spears, or Madonna. If you want to talk about Shostakovich or Mahler, let me know. They are some 'fresh dudes' with whom I can 'get down'.

p.s. I bet you rode the short bus.



Virtuosity


Hail, great Lusipurr.

Lusipurr

Now that's more like it. You may proceed.


Hope you had a pleasant Thanksgiving with lots of what's in your sidebar. I wasn't expecting you to turn up two days earlier than the agreed last Friday of each month... Isn't that breach of contract?

By the way, I myself am having a nasty status ailment... an infection on my leg, rendering me unable to walk. Plus I'm due for reservist training early next month.

Lusipurr

Sigh. It began so well, but here you are, displaying your minimal comprehension to great effect. If you had read Sean's last column carefully, you would have noted his comment at the end that I would be covering his columns whilst he is dead. PAY ATTENTION.

It sounds like you have Bubonic Plague. Set your house in order.


GTA IS AN RPG.

Sean himself also voiced the same opinion, only that he was careful to stay on the political side by saying he didn't consider GTA an RPG. Still, that didn't save him from being reincarnated as a blender...

My point, though, is that neither of these perpetrators were able to voice a single reason, other than personal opinion, WHY they don't consider it an RPG. It has many typical elements of an RPG: storyline, missions, decision-making, interaction with various people. No party, you say? The Castlevania series don't either. It's really a shooter, you say? Two words: Mass Effect. Why isn't it on RPGamer then? Quite simply, because it contains some rather unsavoury themes (sex and violence, the old bugaboos, plus impolitic elements such as killing of policemen).

Well, now that I've peppered the board with a bit of gunfire, it's time to hear your take on the matter, o great one.

Lusipurr

In this host's entirely humble opinion, GTA is not an RPG. Also, you are a boob for thinking it is. Boob!

You highlight exactly the problem that I discussed in the last column. Everyone is going to have decent reasons why their pet game should be considered an RPG. This is why games need to be considered individually by a larger community, and included by a majority, if we are to have any useful standard of what an RPG is. We can have a meaningful standard by applying rules such as those you give as examples above, but even then the inclusion will be so large as to be useless.

You seem to be prodding for my opinion. I'll give it in terms of examples, as I've already made it clear that I don't believe in setting down 'rules' for what makes an RPG.

To my mind, these games are examples of RPGs: Final Fantasy VII, Dragon Quest IV, Suikoden III, Disgaea, Valkyrie Profile, Ogre Tactics, Xenogears. Conversely, these are not RPGs: Super Paper Mario, Vagrant Story, Grand Theft Auto, Metroid Prime, Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

In my opinion, whether a game is an RPG or not depends on its primary intent and what it feels like when one plays it. Yes, Super Paper Mario has many RPG elements: it has a party, hit points, and items. But, when you play it, what does it feel most like? A platformer. Ergo, not an RPG.


And by the way, I don't like FFX either. Tidus was kind of a whiny little boy who grew up into a... high-leveled whiny little boy.

I will thus be off. We shall meet again at the end of next month (Christmas column, perhaps?). And lastly, always check the wiring of your foot pedals.

-Virtuoso

Lusipurr

He was whiny. I suppose that is one aspect which the voice-acting portrayed very well.

As I've said earlier (PAY ATTENTION!), if you read Sean's last words, you'll see I will be here on Monday next, then on Friday next, and then again on the following Friday. Of course, if he remains dead, I'll be here to fill in for him indefinitely.

They were foot effect stops actually, not pedals. But yes, lesson learned. You may wish to write in before Christmas--the music-oriented challenge should be of at least some interest to you.



I am The Man


Lusipurr, you are the man.

Lusipurr

This is the way to begin a letter. I hope the rest of you insufferable dolts are taking notes.


I completely agree with you on the futility of finding a universal definition of an RPG. Every definition and requirements that people gave were either too inclusive or too exclusive in their own ways, due to the exact reasons that you pointed out, and topic was getting really annoying to me. I sure am glad you came back to put it to rest (hopefully).

Lusipurr

Despite my enthusiastic shut-down of the topic, you will see above that it continues to be resurrected. May this be the last death throes of that pointless dialogue! We can only hope.


Q&A also gets a lot of readers who seem to enjoy writing pointless letters (of which I have also been guilty at times). Take Kezzy's letter from Wednesday, which seemed less like a discussion-worthy Q&A letter, and more like he was just going out of the way to announce and then boast about his pot addiction (which he claimed he doesn't go out of his way bringing up, such irony). I'm glad we have a host like you who's willing to respond to such letters with the appropriate put-down. I haven't been able to enjoy a column like that since Cast left. And add to all that the fact that you are a fellow Michigander, and that makes you all kinds of awesome.

Lusipurr

There are some who might say that the entire point of the Q&A column is to courteously and kindly answer thoughtful, albeit occasionally pointless, questions and ramblings from our dear readers.

Then there are those who believe our dear readers are, along with the rest of humanity, barely evolved scum worthy only of derision, scorn, mockery, and abuse.

Lusipurr's Quiz of the Day: Which of the two above beliefs do I hold? Go on, have a guess.


Which brings up my question: are you going to become a regular again? Sean said that you were going to host every Friday, but you haven't for two weeks. Are you going to officially become a regular now, or get regulated into being a fill-in host when you deserve more?

FirstAid

Lusipurr

The word you want is relegated, you uneducated bumpkin.

Why would I want to be a regular here? Having to read the awful chattering lunacy being sent to my e-mail, on top of all the madness I receive from the rest of the staff--no, sir. At any rate, because of 'popular demand', I'll be here quite a bit in the next few days. If you had read what I'd written above, or Sean's last column, you would know this already.

PAY ATTENTION!



I ♥ U

Celery is great after a good pee. Because Ming-Ming the duckling says so.
-Kireila

Lusipurr
Everyone should learn the wisdom of Ming-Ming the Duckling.

Do you think chocobo tastes like chicken? What d'you think is tastier, chocobo or hawkstrider?
-Ginia

Lusipurr
Chocobo actually tastes like shrimp. Strange, I know!

It's up, up, down, down, b, a, select, start. Learn it, love it. That is all.
-Mr. Snuggles

Lusipurr
You, sir, are wrong.

Celery is great after a good pee!
-Nimbex

Lusipurr
Yep. Got that the first time. Thanks.



Please sir, more gruel?

Once again, I have finished the letters. There are no more.

Some of you may have heard about the delay that affected the PC version of Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess. I was one of the stricken ones, forced to play on my 360 until today. Now that I have the PC version in hand, I am going to set about writing my review. Look for it in future. As far as the new jobs go, they are fairly easy to unlock. I managed to activate Dancer purely by accident. Too bad I'll never use it. Dancer? Come on.

I'll be back on Monday to address your blithering once again. In the meantime, I am supposed to tell you to send me letters so that I can answer them, but I'd really rather not. Please, just send me money instead.

Also, you will note that I now have a signature graphic. I am rubbish at visual art, so I deliberately made the graphic as busy as possible. It's especially irritating to the eyes! If you think you can do a better job, send me a signature graphic. I'll use the best one I receive--at least until I receive something even better.

Enough jawing. Get to work!

~Lusipurr



Whinge via e-mail!

Unanswered Letter Backlog: Snert me, I'm zoinked!




Lusipurr believes FFXI is the only game worth playing.


If I were a rich man, deedle deedle deedle, deedle deedle deedle deedle dum! All day long I'd biddy biddy bum, if I were a wealthy man!

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