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ASK MATT
Hibernation January 19, 2006

Matt Demers - 17:39 EST

MMMMM, THERE'S NOT MUCH that can compare to a wonderful fuzzy sweater, all warm and snuggly. I'm wearing one right now, along with a shirt, in order to prevent me from turning into a human popsicle, generally not a desirable thing to be. Apparently, the landlord thinks that it's only necessary to turn up the heat when it's "a little bit cold" outside, but as soon as it's genuinely frigid, all bets are off... (what with the price of energy these days, doncha know?)

Thursdays are a time to reflect back upon the rest of the week; Thursdays are a time for me to get up at 10 in the morning and drag my behind to my horribly boring Biomathematics class; Thursdays are the last time you hear from poor old me until the Mondays-to-follow! Crisical, indeed. I'll do my best to bring you a final column for this week, which shall commence with the fine letter to follow. Observe:




L E T T E R S
Shiny Stone surprises!


Dear Matt

Could the quote, "I am matter... I am antimatter... I can see your past... I can see your future... I consume time... And I will consume you!" even fit on your title bar? That must be the longest quote you guys ever put up there on the title bar for the RPGamer homepage. Although I couldn't see all of it, I instantly recognized it as Culex's opening line from Super Mario RPG, as he's one of my all time favorite RPG bosses ever. His crystals were tough, he himself looked awesome, there was a limit on the number of turns you had to beat them, the battle and victory music made me nostalgic for FFIV, and it was one of the few battles in the game that could legitimately be considered really hard.

Matt

Very impressive!! It's one of my favourite surprises of all time in an RPG, and partly because of how you actually find him. Who would have thought that that silly piece of rock would have a second use?? To defeat him, I had only one strategy, consisting of two words: "Rock" and "Candy".

Um, you kill Flammie at the end of Secret of Mana? It's been a long time since I've last played the game, and I was really young when we beat it. But from what I recall, towards the end, you learn that the kind of dragon that Flammie is, has actually evolved from the Mana Beast of ancient times, hence the Mana Beast's resemblence to Flammie and his kin. *spoiler* I think it was something about the Mana Fortress that awakened the Mana Beast from wherever it was for all these past centuries. It, being the last Mana Beast in existence, was summoned to the Mana Fortress in order to restore mana to the world, since that is the nature and purpose of Mana Beasts, except doing so would cause it to grow so powerful that it would destroy the world, hence the reason you fight it. I don't think the Mana Beast that you fight is the same Flammie that carried you around the world, but as I said, it's been long time since I last beat the game, so maybe I'm wrong afterall.

Alan


Matt

Oh, hum... I guess I always thought it was Flammie. That's what was in my head, anyway, so I must have vigourously believed it at one point. If it's not YOUR Flammie, though, it's still a similar creature with good intentions, is it not? It was still sad to have to stand there and lash it to its defeat, wasn't it? Ah, Secret of Mana... it has been too long!

Does anyone know the truth a smidgen more concretely? Has anyone played the game at all a tad more recently? I think my knowledge is about six or seven years old at this point, I'm afraid...



Déjà vu


Hello again, Matt!

Yes, yes, I'm back on the 'subscriber' end of the Q&A column again.

I couldn't help but write in about my own experiences with puzzles in Lufia 2. Lufia 2 is the only game to have me stumped for over 3 hours on a tile puzzle.

There was a later tower that had a lot of red and yellow tile hopping puzzles, and one in particular had me stumped. I sat there for an hour straight trying to hop tiles to open the door. No luck. Then my sis came in, and we sat there for another hour and tried to hop tiles to solve it. Still no luck... Then, my moms came in and tried to help... You guessed it, another hour and absolutely no luck!

Matt

!!! That's definitely the one, you know! I'm SURE of it. The red and the yellow... yes, there can be no mistake. That is the puzzle that I, TOO could not figure out. The funny thing is that I actually did at one time prior. How is this true? Well, you see, my brother Chris, who I refer to several times per week on average, was the first in my family to play Lufia 2. He was having trouble getting past it, so I finally tried to give him a hand, and quickly, without much trouble at all, I did it!

The problem was that when I actually started my own game and got as far, I myself got stuck on that puzzle, and you know... I can't recall if I ever figured it out, or if I just grew bored and stopped playing. Anyway, it certainly was a sticking point in my RPGaming history.

Heh, finally I decided to go to bed and sleep on it. As fate would have it, I dreamed the solution in the middle of the night. I woke up the next morning, broke out the Othello board (tile flipping game), set up the scenario, tested it, and it worked. Ever dream of a solution for a game/puzzle yourself? Or am I just weird?

Matt

YES! You! I can't believe the coincidence! Wow, I thought I had mentioned this story a couple of months back in a different column, but perhaps not. Anyway, gather 'round...

I had an upcoming assignment due for my PDEs course a couple of months ago, and no clue how to tackle problem #3 on it. No one knew how to really approach the question at all, and hope was slim. One night, though, I went to bed and honest to goodness- I had a math-related dream of some sort that I don't really remember. I woke up with a start, because I suddenly knew exactly how to do the question. I literally rolled out of bed without dressing or anything, grabbed my books, and solved the problem from beginning to end without a hitch. That was certainly one of my proudest moments from last semester!

Still not as good as the castle with the skeleton that had the puff of smoke. Spent a whole hour trying to find the way on. Sis comes in says, and I quote, "Blow it up," and it worked... Hrmm... so much for superior puzzle solving.

Matt

Ahh, we all have moments when we're not at our brightest, don't we? At least, I do.

Oh, word to the wise, don't ever get Unlimited Saga, even if it is less than $9. Not really much to recommend it right now. You know of any 'cheap' (read under $20) games that are good?



Puzzle Boggled,
MagRowan


Matt

Well, I've heard mixed things about Unlimited Saga, so I'll take your opinion and file it with a few others; I'm not sure that I'll get around to playing the game in the first place, at this rate.

Cheap games, though? Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter was selling for cheap last time I checked, and so were both of the Xenosaga episodes, if I'm not mistaken. While Xenosaga isn't for everybody, I'd argue that it's certainly worth twenty bucks. Otherwise, mosey over to the Game Boy Advance bargain bin... there are lots of yummies to discover there. *cough*Warioware*cough*

Thanks for yet another great letter, MagRowan!


RPGamer... most of the time


Matt, my man, I'm back again.

Ok, trying not to stray too far from our realm, what are your current favorite non-RPGs? I've been on a huge Metal Gear Solid kick recently. I've hardly touched my growing RPG collection, but I need to get back to them.

Matt

My favourite non-RPG series are probably Mario and Mega Man. I just really miss the old days and old ways, when it wasn't a crime to be 2-D, and where gameplay wasn't being sacrificed in the name of newfangledness. Some of the greatest games of all time were Mario World 1 & 2 for the SNES, as well as Megaman X, X2, and X3, for the same system. It's a shame that we haven't seen anything like them since. The New Super Mario Brothers (announced for Nintendo's DS), though, is now one of my most eagerly-awaited non-RPGs... it'll be the first new 2-D Mario Platformer in ten years, which is pretty sad. Of course, other favourites of mine include any game bearing the name "Mariokart", Warioware, Mario Party, Super Smash Brothers...

Jeez, come to think of it, besides Megaman, it's ALL Nintendo, isn't it? No matter how much they overuse their biggest franchises, they always do a great job. Oh wait, I thought of another: Metroid Prime, which is one of my favourite games of recent history (SUCH AMAZING MUSIC)...

Also, what non-RPG game do you think could transition over to the RPG genre or which would you like to see try?

Forever yours,
Macstorm


Matt

Ohhhh... my first instinct is to say that I don't like crossovers; however, the delightful Mario RPGs immediately spring into mind, so I guess I can't really say that after all, can I? I suppose I should wrap my mind around something totally new. Series like Perfect Dark or Resident Evil are games that I've never even tried before, but maybe if they made a spinoff sequel-of-sorts into RPG format, I'd be slightly more inclined to get involved with the series. Is that a dumb idea? I think it could work...

Anyway, thanks for writing in on this quiet day.





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

It would have been longer, but I regret to have to say that the inbox was quite sparse today. I guess January is pretty slow, overall, since we're over that December crest of excitement. Without letters, though, it's tough to bring you a nice, solid column, for obvious reasons! If you've never sent in a question before, or you'd like to just make a comment, or if you'd even just like to babble for a bit- please do! Andrew and I both really appreciate the mail.

Flashay!


#89 was supposed to be a toughy, but most everyone that sent in an answer did indeed get it right. The monster picture was a Skullknight from Dragon Warrior 4 (the precursor to DWVII's DeadNobles and DQVIII's Bone Barons), and c) Izmit is the only town out of the five that comes from that game, for 65 points.

#90 was difficult if you didn't know where to look. For those of you that guessed a) Nefarius Purpus, I regret to inform you that you were dead wrong, because the correct answer was e) Gracchus Armisurplus, for 50 points (and 100 for Bainick)! Thanks, Bainick, for sending that one in!

Now, for the new questions for today:

Question #91:
A dog in the Final Fantasy series shares its name with a central character from the Dragon Quest series. The names of the games in which both are found share the same number, too. What is that number? (55 points)

a) IV
b) V
c) VI
d) VII
e) VIII

Question #92:
Ask KnightTrain!--> By using classical conditioning, one would be able to teach someone to elicit a knee-jerk response simply by ringing a bell, if previously the bell-ringing was paired simultaneously upon multiple presentations with hitting the patellar tendon just below the kneecap. What is the unconditioned stimulus? (50 points)

a) the patellar tendon
b) the knee-jerk response before conditioning
c) the ringing of the bell
d) hitting the patellar tendon
e) the hammer used to hit the patellar tendon

Things to work for (the SOCK item shop!):

200 points: Tilde (infinite number remaining!)
700 points: The Final Fantasy 1 "Official" Crazed-Chipmunk-Hold-your-Ears Zipfile Soundtrack (1 remaining!)
1000 points: The Mattie's Mom Cookie Recipe Compilation (4 remaining!)
2000 points: Guest-co-host Opportunity #2 (5 remaining!)


That's it for this week; I had a good one! Now, keep sending in your letters to Q&A, so that Cast can ensure that we have a good weekend too. These three-letter columns really suck!

Bye bye, all.


slimey@rpgamer.com
***Matt is all out of ideas for dinner.


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