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ASK MATT
Metamorphic Sock March 23, 2006

Matt Demers - 02:03 EST

WELL, ALL OF YOU really decided to step up after I emotionally stepped back yesterday to plea my case. Thanks for reassuring me that this column is in great health and has a bright future. I'm going to be revamping the SOCK as of immediately to make it crazier, more fun, and more fair for the people on the bottom of the list. Since I'm going to be going to E3 with the RPGamer away-team in a month and a half or so, there may even be some free swag to give away! That's right, also; I'm willing to give away some free games of my own if you can gather enough in the way of points!! It's so exciting, I could just burst.

Anyway, what else should I talk about here in the intro? Oh, yeah... our tenth guest host will be stepping in to help me out for tomorrow's column if things all work out. Yes, it's Kanato! Or, rather, it will be; just keep watching!

All right, guys and girls... there's to be no more slurking/slunking/moping about for me, because I have some questions to answer! In my best cheesy voice: "Fasten your seatbelts, because it's going to be a BUMPY ride!"




L E T T E R S
New RPGDisease Diagnosed, right here at Q&A!


Matt,

I've been reading your column and have to give you props for being one of the very few Q&A guys who is willing to answer any question or tackle any topic. You may not realize it, but that is a RARE quality.

Matt

Well, thanks! I can only say that I try my best, and that I try to cover a wide variety of different topics, both game-wise and issue-wise. Yes; lately, the focus has been a little bit Final Fantasy-centric, but on the other hand, Final Fantasy is what nearly everyone knows well and (most of the time) loves. I like tackling new subject matter, though, because I think it keeps things a little bit fresher for both myself and readers alike.

Anyway, I've been intrigued by your and other's love of music in rpgs. I like the music too, and some games do enhance themselves significantly with the score(FF6, Chrono Trigger, and Ys come to mind quickly). But to me the music in an rpg is kind of like the music in a movie. A bad movie with good music is still a bad movie(Jason's Lyric), and the same is true for games(Breath of Fire V). I've never felt that the music could alter the gaming experience for the worse. I've heard and read reviews that complete eviscerate a game based on the music alone, and I simply don't get it. That is, I didn't get it until recently.

Matt

Oh, man, you have inspired me to turn on the Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter soundtrack, which will now be my background music for the duration of my column-writing. I don't have any problem with differing opinions on BoF:DQ, but no matter what you think of the game itself, there is absolutely no question that the music is nothing short of stunning.

I was writing an editorial to refute these musical/rpg reviews when I decided to buy Grandia III. The battle system is heavenly, the storytelling is solid, but the music is atrocious. I mean really bad. For the first time, I couldn't concentrate on the action because of the music. After five hours I just didn't want to play anymore. My question is which games have you played in which the music completely destroyed the experience?

Matt

Oh... really!? That's good to know, really, because an issue like that could seriously tip the balance in favour of other recent/close-upcoming RPGs. I have a $75 giftcard for EB Games, so I'm debating what I should purchase at present, you see.

I don't know that I've ever played a game with such terrible music that it completely influenced my opinion of the game for the worse, but I'm definitely trying to wrack my brain for an example. Breath of Fire II had some absolutely horrifyingly annoying tracks (the town theme comes to mind, which droned ON and ON and ON) but it had some really great ones too. No, you know, I don't think that I can say that any soundtrack I've experienced was that entirely bad, though I'll probably blurt an example out suddenly, sometime soon.

My next question is also related to Grandia III. The first disc of Grandia III is good the Second disc is a mass of suck. Disjointed storytelling and a lackluster supporting cast tripled with awful music. I've noticed the same thing happed to Xenogears and Chrono Cross. The first disk is wonderful fun but on the second disk all the character developement stops and the gameplay is pushed off a cliff either in difficulty (too high or too low) or repetive dungeon crawling. Can you think of any other games that suffer from Second-Disk Syndrome or SDS? What do you think causes this anyway?

Cap


Matt

Your opinion is definitely seconded by a lot of other people out there, most notably for your mention of Xenogears. I've heard many, many times that the entire tune of the game changes upon that disc-switch, and I'm not quite sure about the reasoning. Perhaps the development team was running out of steam, or more likely, out of time. I wouldn't think that a team would work through a game in a linear, start-to-finish fashion, though, so maybe that's wrong. I'm not sure, though; do you think developers work on the entire game all at once, or do they go through, from event to event from beginning to end in order to finish things up? Perhaps it depends on the game. In any case, it's a bit of a shame, because a simple disc change, to me, shouldn't show up in the gameplay itself as an ugly "edge," if you know what I mean. Of course, several other games have a rushed-feeling ending, the first of which that comes to mind is Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, for me.

How about we don a silver ribbon or something, and then maybe we can raise some funds for the research of this terrible ailment and possible preventative measures that we can take to stop it from ruining future games. SDS... it kills.



Do; a deer, a female deer.


Hey Matt! In your answer to my last question, you said that you preferred remakes to spin-offs, because remakes "preserve the essence of the original," while spin-offs "do absolutely nothing for the original plot." Now, I know we all have our opinions, but I seriously disagree with that statement.

Matt

You're entitled to disagree, too! You might be a more likely target for my (not-so) secret evil shuddappery potion of horror, but you're still entitled. Trust me, that shuddappery potion is at least twice as effective as any Mute spell in the Final Fantasy series.

*Matt passively recalls that two times zero is still zero...*

I find it odd how direct sequels to RPG's are usually frowned upon. For any other genre, a sequel is not a problem. Nobody minds a Prince of Persia 2, or a Metroid Prime 2. So why is a follow-up to FF7 a problem? Unless, for some reason, you have an aversion to all sequels, this doesn't really make sense. Sequels, spin-offs and remakes are just cash-ins on previous sucesses. We all know that. But at the very least, sequels expand on the previous material and add more to a story. Now, this addition can be good, bad, or indifferent. Final Fantasy X-2 is an example of indifference. (In my opinon). It was fun, and interesting, but i t left me with the impression that it might as well not have existed. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children was overall a very nice, (albeit very small) addition to FF7's story, and Dirge of Cerberus looks to be shaping up very well plotwise. So, to say that prequels and spinoffs do "absolutely nothing for the original plot" just doesn't make sense to me. Sequels and prequels done well expand and flesh out a good story.

Matt

All right, all right, you do bring up some very good points that I can't deny. If other genres can have direct sequels, why not RPGs? Maybe it's just my internal sirens wailing about the fact that in the beginning, Final Fantasy games were never intended to be anything other than distinct and unlinked stories. I don't KNOW that for a fact, I guess, but I don't imagine that they ever thought about making a "Final Fantasy I-2." While sequels and spinoffs are perfectly valid options for the company, it seems to be a bit of a divergence from what the Final Fantasy series was originally, which is perhaps why it also took me a little bit of time to swallow the "FFXII-will-be-different" pill. Series evolve and change; the thing for myself and other potentially-disgruntled customers to remember is that it would probably be more fun to sit and enjoy the ride than it would be to bitch and complain like old grandmas about "the way thingsh youshed t'be."

Remakes, on the other hand, really don't do a thing for the original story. They can't, because it's simply a remake; it's nothing new. A remake of FF7 would (presumably) be the same story we saw 10 years ago in prettier wrapping paper. Unless, of course, they take some serious liberties with the original story, which they can't do. The reason for that is quite simple; it has to line up with all these FF7 sequels and prequels that are based on the ORIGINAL story. Besides, tampering with the original story would most likely bring down the rage of all the millions of FF7 fanboys. (And girls).

Matt

You're certainly right; many souls would NOT rest in peace if Square Enix decided to deviate much at all from the original story. Rightfully so, too, you know, because that game, like any classic novel or movie, is a really great gem that to me ought not to be tampered with.

The funny thing about remakes is that they are the subject that I first got into heavy discussion over last fall when I first took over the column. I was dead-set against them at the time, but readers got me to change my tune just a little bit over time. Now, while I think that new and original games are definitely superior, I can understand that the occasional remake is perhaps a good thing. Without remakes, after all, I wouldn't be playing Wild Arms: ACF, though maybe that isn't the best example. I certainly wouldn't be looking forward to Final Fantasy III for the DS, and my-oh-my, that's one prospective title that makes my skin tingle with anticipation!

Just a polite disagreement is all. We all have our opinions; perhaps some other readers can offer theirs. And don't get me wrong; I would rather have Square working on FF13 than any of this other stuff.

On the subject of Final Fantasy and subtitles: I wouldn't mind. Subtitles make a title sound considerably better than a number does, in my opinion. The Legend of Zelda series is a good example. Just how hyped did you get when Nintendo finally revealed the full name of "The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess." It sounds a hell of a lot better than "The Legend of Zelda XII."

Matt

Um, yes. That said, The Legend of Zelda started out with subtitles from the beginning and never really included numbers at all, with the possible exception of the second installment. I suspect that Dragon Quest is going to step off of the numbering-boat soon, honestly; did anyone else notice that VIII came with a nice big subtitle? I'd guess that after another sequel or two, they'll drop the numbers. I've been known to be wrong before, though.

On the subject of women in video games, I thought I should bring up Farah, the Prince's female companion in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. (One of my favorite non-RPG games ever, I highly recommend it). She was just as important as the Prince himself to the stor y, and she was cleverly integrated into the puzzles of the games, which made her far more than just something to gawk at.

Matt

Thanks for bringing that up! My ex-roommates rented a Prince of Persia game, once upon a time, but beyond that, I have next to no experience with the series. This can mean only one thing: It's time to start a petition to extend days to 26 hours in length, in order to accommodate more game-playing goodness! I'm pretty sure that my sleep cycle was built around such a system, anyway.

Last question: Despite your dislike of spin-offs, are you interested in seeing Advent Children when it comes out on April 28? If not, then I suggest you GET interested, because it's amazing. (I've seen a Japanese copy). I'd love to write you a full review, but it would take up too much space. But trust me, from one FF7 fan to another, you must watch this movie.

Oliver.


Matt

I am actually looking forward to it a lot, yes, though it's been a really long time coming. I was a little turned off by the enormous surge of people who paraded around with semi-legal Japanese copies/downloads/etc for awhile, a few months ago, but I definitely hope to see it upon its release (FINALLY) over in this hemisphere.

In any case, thanks Oliver, for the barrage of questions! Hopefully that potion doesn't take effect for a little while. Actually, damn; I should have used it on myself instead, to get out of this terrifying presentation tomorrow morning! Oh, hindsight is 20/20, as they say ("they" being Barbara Walters and whoever took the place of Hugh Downs, clearly).



I weell breeng you to my leeedah. *slurp*


Greetings oh SUPPOSED Slimy one!

That's right! "Supposed," because I think you are nothing more than a Canadian mathematician disguised as a slime. My basis for this theory: you don't slurp. All slimes slurp. But you haven't slurped once...Maybe you are a species of slime that doesn't slurp? Or maybe you have slurped, and I wasn't here to witness the slurpage. I don't know, your sig pic looks pretty slurpy to me...

Matt

Wow, good question. I'll have to do a bit of hunting for that one, I must admit.

*hunts*

SLURP. If I could design a font to take the place of my voice here, instead of boring old Times New Roman or Arial or whatever it is, I would so design something juicy-looking and "splurpy," so to speak. Unfortunately, I'm unlearned in the arts of font-creation, and I'd rather spend that time plugging through my backlog of unplayed RPGs.

My ultimate question for you is this, though: Can't someone be both a slime and a mathematician?!? Think, those poor little guys can count to eight well enough, can't they? Of course, they seem to have difficulty calculating the volume of a cylinder, as you might have discovered by visiting a well southeast of Trodain castle.

*shrug*

As for FF numbering, I think they should stop after XX. I mean, right now it isn't to difficult to read the Roman numerals, but when we have XXVII, I think I'd rather just say "27." Anyway, I suppose you might be needing a question...hmm...*brain hurting*...Got one! Do you think Breath of Fire 5 (Dragon Quarter)'s system of story telling (SOL) should be utilized in other games? I think it is good, but would have been better suited to something different. Thoughts?

PS: If you really are a slime, please don't send the king to kill me.

Undeniably,
Ganon0


Matt

Bah, I'm a friendly slime and you know it, so I don't think you have a whole lot to worry about. Plus, if you're a real GANON, I think you could probably beat up any slime, King or not!

As for the SOL system, it's difficult to say. That was a risky play by Capcom that I feel really paid off for me personally, though many many others couldn't stand the idea, with good reason, I might add. It was really neat to see the many layers of the game, I must admit, and it actually made me look forward to replaying the game (and I restarted from the beginning twice). One game (series) I could see benefitting from a similar system would be Star Ocean. In SO2/SO3, it seems to be really difficult to uncover a lot of the special secrets or events that occur without using a strategy guide, but with an SOL-like system, you might be able to catch a lot of them the more you play. I don't know, what do you think?



Two pesos for Catarina! Wow, that's an olllld memory from Grade 4.


Hi Matt

Im a fisrt time writer, as I'm sure you already know, and wanted to add my 2 pesos, in the form of a question. I figured you are a pretty smart guy so I wanted to get your feedback on my opinion / question.

Matt

Heh, I don't know about the smart-guy bit, but I'll take the two pesos nonetheless and put them in the pot. Why, at today's exchange rate, that in fact comes to C$0.21435009586808037699894861277977; a pretty generous token, as it were.

I have noticed the uproar of "controversy" surrounding Square-Enix's latest fad of reviving the world of Final Fantasy VII. Personally I could care less if FFVII were re-made or not, but the constant jabbering about it is what is driving me insane. Now, I know that everyone is entitled to their personal opinion and can bitch up message boards and chat rooms as much as they like; But, wouldnt you agree that there is a simple solution to their problems?

Matt

Yeah, it is a little bit uproarious, but that's what RPG communities live for, right? Constant speculation, back-and-forth banter, people getting upset unduly, people getting excited ridiculously, people obtaining early copies of games illegally and spoiling them for all... don't you just LOVE it? Speaking of spoilers, I had Dragon Quest VIII's final boss spoiled for me before I was very far in the game at all, thanks to an inconsiderate reader. Oh, the bitterness.

If you dont agree with what Square-Enix is attempting to do then couldnt you just plain and simply NOT purchase the product? That would make a pretty fair statement and you save others the constant annoyance of having to listen to your fanboyism plees of loyalty.

Square (enix or otherwise) is a corporation; in order for them to remain a successful corporation they need to make money. Of course its not just about that, Square also strives to be the most innovative company that produces high quality products. I Just feel like if you dont like a product, dont buy it... If you feel that the product tarnishes your personal image of the company that produced it, dont buy that companies product...

I think your more likely to make a difference by taking actions instead of just complaining about it.

Matt

Exactly so, sir. It always amazes me at how with every new Final Fantasy game, certain people go into massive uproars about how it looks so stupid and how the series is going down the garbage hole, etc etc, but then, of course, purchase the game anyway. If it was really that bad, then, um, why? This is really and truly a serious question from me to all, by the way, since I never understood the reasoning. If I don't like the looks of a game, then I don't buy it. I personally didn't buy Final Fantasy XI because I don't like the idea of the series going online, and also because the notion of monthly fees makes me want to kick top Square Enix execs in the knees with gusto.

So I guess my question is how do you feel about the controversy surrounding this Final Fantasy Phenomenon? not necisarrily your views on wether you agree with what square is venturing into.

Thanks!

Your good friend Dj Valefor :)


Matt

I think you've pretty much covered it, Mr. Valefor. If you have a problem with a game, then don't buy it; however, complaining and chatting about RPG developments is unfortunately something we just have to do around here. This is an opinion column, after all, where people share their views on the past/current/future states of affairs, and without the debate, Q&A wouldn't exist! So, at the end of the day, if you're upset about Final Fantasy spinoffs/remakes, this is the place to rant, and on the other hand, if you're ecstatic about the prospects, then this is STILL the place to make yourself heard! Sure, the buzz might get annoying to some people after awhile, but hey, I'm the only one who really has to hear it day after day after day, right?

In any event, I'm glad to have a new writer, sir, and I'm very much pleased to make your acquaintance! Do take care.



Ahhh... a refreshing DQVIII letter. Haven't had one o' these since '67!


All of the points that people have been making about FF VII being so important to the RPG genre's popularity are sound, but what I found really noticeable about it was how big a change it was for the Final Fantasy series. It was a blockbuster whose popularity has yet to be equaled by any Square[-Enix] game, it was the series' first serious attempt at 3D, it was the series' (and in some ways, the entire genre's) first extensive use of FMV, it was the first game in the series to use Nomura rather than Amano as the chief character designer, and it was the first game in the series for the Playstation, signifying Square's leap from Nintendo to Sony. Virtually all of these points have already been addressed, and I'm inclined to believe them - FF VII was an extremely important and significant game for the Final Fantasy series as a whole, and indeed for the entire RPG genre.

Matt

I'm with you on everything so far. Yes, yes, and yes. Okay, now crash the cymbals with your main headline!

But here's the real point to my letter - FF VII did a lot for the FF series, but can Dragon Quest VIII do the same (or at least a comparable job) for the DQ series? I've been a huge fan of the Dragon Warrior/Quest games ever since DW III on the NES (which led me to play DW IV, which is quite possibly my favorite NES game), but on a worldwide scale they've really taken a backseat to the FF series in terms of popularity. However, I think that DQ VIII might be the game that really catapaults the series into some serious worldwide prominence, just as FF VII did for their series.. I'm not saying that DQ VIII will be as popular as FF VII has been, or that it will be as important an RPG as FF VII has been, but I think that it will do a lot towards the worldwide popularity of the FF series.

Matt

Hmmm.

There's no denying that Dragon Quest VIII has made some incredible and significant strides forward. The game is a masterpiece, and whether you enjoy the gameplay or not, I think it would be difficult for anyone at all to be completely unable to appreciate anything that it has to offer RPGamers. The game has, at least, put its own series back on the map outside of Japan, and that is a good thing.

I don't know, though, that it's nearly as groundbreaking on all levels. I don't think that DQVIII is going to inspire much in the way of gameplay when it comes to other series, for instance. While DQVIII perfected turn-based battle systems years ago, we don't live in a turn-based world anymore, and people are largely looking for "more exciting" realtime flashiness.

On the other hand, there are two things that almost everyone has praised DQVIII for again and again: It is undeniable that there is almost no other game to this point in which you can roam so freely throughout a huge, open world. Walking through DQVIII is almost akin to taking a stroll through the real world, and this is an incredible achievement that might just influence the direction that a few other RPGs take in the future. Also, as far as I'm concerned, the game managed to raise the standard significantly for translation-quality and voice acting, because the localization of DQVIII is quite frankly the best I've ever seen. Hopefully, at least these things manage to rub off on some other games.

The similarities, at a glance, are remarkable: DQ VIII is the series' first venture into 3D, the first game in the series to use a free customization system other than class-changing, the first game in the series on the industry-leading PS2, the first game in the series to feature full-blown high-quality voice acting, the first game in the series to use a company other than Heartbeat as an associate developer (if you ask me, Level-5 and the DQ team was a match made in heaven), and the first game under the Square-Enix umbrella, which probably did a lot to help the game's budget and high level of production values. DQ VIII is also hands-down the most critically acclaimed game in the series since the NES days (39/40 from Famitsu, solid 9/10 from both GS and IGN, RPG of the year from GS, the list goes on) and has quickly developed a dedicated new fanbase as well as bringing back all kinds of nostalgia from older gamers such as myself (I'm 22, which isn't all that old, but I owned an NES during its heyday, which should stand for something). So what do you think, will DQ VIII help the DQ series' popularity reach new heights as FF VII did, or is it just another sequel that isn't any more significant than any of the past three?

Interested in your take on this,
Lazzie


Matt

I think it is definitely the most significant entry into the Dragon Quest series since perhaps Dragon Warrior IV, when an awesome plethora of new concepts debuted, including an interesting, more involved plot, a more complex battle system, an enormous world, and "smart" AI (in 1992!), and King Slimes. While not revolutionary in the same sense as FFVII, DQVIII is so significant because it has really managed to breathe life back into the series, a series that was beginning to feel old and tired. As a nearly-lifelong fan of DQ, I can only say "thanks" to Square Enix and Level 5 for that gift.



Cid, Cid, Setzer, Cid, and, uh, hmm... yeah, those guys' passions.


Hi Matt:

I have a question: What do you think of the evolution of airships since Final Fantasy VI? Which of those are better: from FF1 to V or from FFVI to X?

Wulfric.
Asuncion-Paraguay


Matt

Square Enix invented the airship way back when, and they still make a pretty mean final vehicle, if you know what I mean. FFIII actually had a lot of really neat ideas, airshipwise, as far as I can remember; for those of you who haven't experienced it yet, you're in for a treat when the remake comes out. Actually, FFIV's airships had all sorts of interesting gadgetry as well, and FFV's airship was also a boat and a submarine!! Yeah, there's no question in my mind that these vehicles were cooler in the old-school games, functionally. Of course, with nicer graphics, the ones since then have looked more interesting; FFIX's Invincible is definitely an exciting piece of aircraft. So, I guess both eras are "better" in their own respective ways. How about that?

Thanks for writing in; I don't know if we have many South American readers at all! Your letter is very much appreciated!



Your Gaijin to my Fujin? HAPPINESS.


Hey Matt, quoi de neuf?

SOCK question #149 : D: a credit, according to the currency exchange system in Secret of Evermore. Whew, haven't thought of that one in a while, but there's something to be said about a game made almost entirely from a monster-movie fan's dreams come true... I'd have loved it just for that, but I also like ambient soundtracks...

Matt

Nice job, monsieur. It's nice to see you jump back onto the contest bandwagon. I can't wait to unveil the new SOCK rules down below!

So, what's your take on RPG music in general? I remember that for a lot of the more classic games, especially the FF series, we got a lot of bombastic orchestral pieces, and of course the infamous electronica fighting themes, but not much in the "understated, ambient" department, perhaps one or two songs in a game, SNES era. SoE's music was almost all ambient, however, and I thought that it lent a lot of atmosphere to the game. And honestly, this is one game I wish they'd try to make a sequel for, as long as they did something to improve the weapon-skill system, or gave us a way of experimenting with the alchemy system more...

As for SOCK #150.... E: Xlash?

Matt

Well, you didn't manage to get #150 right, but that's okay... you can't win 'em all.

For me, there is importance in both the tuney, musical background music as well as the occasional ambient background theme of the kind you speak about. I'm a little saddened that we're slowly fading away from both in favour of more movie-style "cinematic" music. I like tunes because I can get them in my head easily or play them on the keyboard if I feel like it. Ambient sound is good at adding thick helpings of atmosphere and mood to a game, too; you're right about that. It takes a truly clever musician to be able to come up with tracks that manage to blend the two types together perfectly. What do I speak of? Final Fantasy X, mostly, but also Xenosaga: Episode II. There are some absolutely incredible themes in that game, in my opinion, and it often goes overlooked.

To add to the support magic discussion, have you tried any of the Romancing SaGa games? Those had some really interesting, and useful, support spells beyond the basic status attacks. My favorite in that regard would be the second one (here's hoping for a remake!!), which had spells that could turn the user invisible (immune to damage, but only if they don't attack), spells that could create shadows for double attack actions, spells that could insanely magnify one's stats (but only good for one attack), and even a spell that turned the caster into a wraith (immune to almost everything, but could be killed by your own healers). All this on top of the usual attack spells, some of which could be incredibly cost-effective, dealing twice the regular damage of your physical attacks for like 2 MP...

Granted, most of the monsters got the good spells before you ever knew they existed, so the difficulty level of most of the RS games had a steep curve built into it, but that's challenge, no?

Ciao,
--GaijinMonogatari


Matt

It's really exciting, though, to get to a really difficult boss and watch in horror as they do brilliant, crazy attacks that you've never seen before. Not knowing what exactly to expect can be a lot of fun, but only as long as you just saved your progress, of course.

I've never played a Romancing SaGa game, though, which is perhaps unfortunate, because it seems like a series that I could use some firsthand knowledge on. Why? It's one of those series that is quite divisive: Some people can't stop praising it, while others have nothing but contempt for it. See also: Star Ocean, Xenogames, Radiata Stories, Final Fantasy IX, Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, and many more.





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

What to do, what to do. Well, I'm so excited about the sweeping changes to the SOCK that I have no choice but to just get right to it immediately!! One little thing first, though: There's nothing quite like getting up at 1:00 pm and lazing about all day in your pyjamas, under a big, warm blanket in front of the computer. Such things make me very happy...

Flashay!


Okay! We've made it through 150 questions so far! That's a lot of questions, for sure, and before we move on, let's first discover what the answers were to the last two.

#149 asked the question of "Which is least valuable?" from a list of four items. The items, of course, refer to currencies from Secret of Evermore, and the least valuable one from the bunch is d) 1 credit, for 150 points.

#150 was a wonderfully creative question that was posed by c) Kanato, and that's all I have to say on the matter! If you don't think I've provided you with an answer, then you certainly didn't read yesterday's Q&A! 175 points to those that guessed correctly, and 350 for Kanato!


*********************************************************


NOW, we begin the next 150 with some new twists and turns! Yes, this will surely even the playing field some! As you will have noticed, I've expanded the scoreboard to include the Top 25 competitors. Also, from this point on, the SOCK item shop will be divided into two parts: The first is an automatic award-board, indicating things that you'll be able to obtain upon reaching certain point totals, including the items introduced earlier this week and a few new funfuns. The second is like an actual shop, and you can choose to "buy" anything from it you wish by subtracting points from your score. This way, the people on the top of the board can't just keep winning everything forever while the people without quite as many points will have a better opportunity to jump into the game! (Sorry, Xlash; you're gonna hate me now, aren't you?)

Question #151:
Consider the following homemade screenshot:

Ewwy.


What is the name of that betentacled monstrous thing? (200 points)

a) Sea Gremlin
b) Light Eater
c) Triopus
d) Cave Jaws
e) Aberration

Question #152:
Ask Gaijin!-->At the beginning of Secret of Evermore, the Hero and his dog exit the bijou theater. The hero states that the movie was so good, and "you could hardly tell that the octopus monster was a bunch of rubber hoses" (sic, not sure on the exact wording, but that's close). Question: What real monster movie was this line a reference to? (160 points)

a) Plan Nine from Outer Space
b) The Attack of the Robot Monster
c) KRONOS
d) Bride of the Monster
e) The Beginning of the End


SOCK's Award List

*You may obtain these items upon reaching the listed point benchmarks!*

500 points: Your choice of Point Tripler (4 left) or Auxiliary Point Generator (3 left)
1,000 points: Your choice of Point Tripler (2 left) or Drain Spell (2 left)
2,000 points: Your choice of Point Tripler (1 left) or A.P.G. (1 left)
3,500 points: Your choice of Point Tripler (2 left) or Wait Mode (1 left)
5,000 points: Your choice of A.P.G. (1 left) or Warp Stone (1 left)

Click Here For Item Descriptions!

SOCK's Prize Shop

*You may SPEND points here in order to obtain any of the following prizes- new ones may appear at any time*

1,000 points: Matt's Mom's Cookie Compilation- 6 fantastic recipes right out of Matt's mom's amazing kitchen! Yours, upon request. (5 left)

2,000 points: Intro Paragraph Cameo- If you feel like having a piece of Q&A all to yourself for a day, but you're not up for answering a bunch of questions, this option might be just for you! Say the word, and the Intro Paragraph is yours to do whatever you want with for a day. (5 left)

5,000 points: Cohost Opportunity #3- The goal of many a SOCK competitor is to rule the column alongside me for a day. Say the word, and it's yours, if you have the points to spend. (5 left)

20,000 points: Cohost Opportunity #4- It might sound like a lot, but it'll be here before you know it. Your next chance to reign over Q&A with yours truly. (5 left)

25,000 points: Full Host Opportunity #1- This is it. Write your own Q&A section, without having me interrupt, break in, or steal your sunshine. Be RPGamer's new idol for a day. (1 left)

30,000 points: Your choice of Megaman X4, X5, or X6 for the PSX. If you're into the Megaman series as much as I am, and you don't own any of these, I don't need them any more, now that I have purchased the collection. You can take your pick, and I'll send it to you in the mail with a handwritten note of congratulations from myself. They aren't RPGs, for sure, but I'm working on it for the future.(1 left)

*********************************************************


Phew! I'm spent! Hopefully this competition is sufficiently complicated enough to make everyone's mind spin nicely. It might befuddle you enough to make you forget that yes, I'm going to be back tomorrow to make you suffer through MORE Q&A terror. Ahahahaha!!! *calls down lightning*

Kanato will be looking for some letters as resident co-host-for-the-day, so if you like, help us out! Things to chat about? Anything you like, I suppose. Kingdom Hearts II is coming out soon, and so is Final Fantasy: Advent Children. Are you looking forward to one or the other? Both? Neither? Why do you feel that way? Of course, any other topics you feel like mailing in about are perfectly viable as well. Take care, everyone, and I'll see you again tomorrow!


slimey@rpgamer.com
***Matt is definitely crazy.


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Bwahaha... I have some MORE evil ideas for items, too... but those will come later.

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About the Host


Matt's Newest Unhealthy Addiction

Another Unhealthy Addiction

Matt's Top 3 Current Games:

1. Dragon Quest VIII

2. Mario Kart DS

3. Wild Arms: Alter Code F

Matt's Top 3 RPG Desires:

1. Final Fantasy III

2. Mother III

3. Final Fantasy XII

SOCK standings:

1. Xlash
4,911 pts

2. Bainick
4,657 pts

3. Erika W.
4,226 pts

4. Flamethrower
3,743 pts

5. Kanato
3,693 pts

6. Arros R.
3,552 pts

7. MagRowan
3,489 pts

8. Dermot
3,406 pts

9. KnightTrain
3,309 pts

10. Belthasar2
3,049 pts

11. BigWook
2,707 pts

12. Rexy
2,334 pts

13. FinalDel.
2,281 pts

14. Ourobolus
2,094 pts

15. Alan Tse
1,512 pts

16. Macstorm
709 pts

17. Jbumi
704 pts

18. Gaijin M.
636 pts

19. Bucket
556 pts

20. DDX
523 pts

21. Jeremy V.
471 pts

22. ~Sean~~
463 pts

23. CW
300 pts

24. The J Man
250 pts

25. Derek
227 pts

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