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ASK MATT
You Knob
February 8, 2007

Matt Demers - 20:09 EST

IT IS DURING THESE most frigid of winter days that the life of a bear seems so... perfect. Wouldn't it be great to be a species that is actually supposed to be gluttonous in the weeks leading up to winter? Wouldn't it be grand to get to sleep all day, every day, as long as it stays cold outside? But no, we have to go and stand at the bus stop every day freezing our poor extremities off. It goes against all of our natural instincts, yet we do it anyway. Silly humans.

Hopefully, writing me letters doesn't go against your natural instincts. I'll check the mailbag now to see if that's the case.




LETTERS
Well, I DID nearly fail a physics course, once upon a time...


Hey Matt,

About the original Final Fantasy. Garland was sent back 2000 years in the past by the four fiends, kills the light warriors, and then sends the four fiends back into the future creating the never ending cycle(2000 year cycle actually.) According to the original the time loop was supposed to end after he killed the light warriors that time as well, although it ended with the death of him.

-andrew- -kupomogli-

Matt

But but but... OK, let me get this straight: The four fiends existed 2000 years ago, doing whatever they were doing, and that nasty Garland sent them forward in time. Garland then lived out his days for 2000 years twiddling his thumbs or something (obviously not gaining many levels, considering his, uh, lack of strength by the time the heroes get around to him), and the fiends sent him back in time. But how could that ever have been if Garland AND the four fiends were defeated by the Light Warriors before he had the chance to be sent backwards? Plus, wasn't it true that some of the fiends were causing trouble "500 years ago" or something on the northern continent?

You have to hand it to 'em for trying. But trying to actually figure the plot out is an exercise that might make your head spin right off.



The morals of a SOCK player.


Hi Matt!

It's not enough that you have a game backlog a mile long, now you have....a QnA backlog! Sorry...

Matt

Don't be! Good grapes 'n' ostriches, I'm always begging for letters. Any extras in the pile make me jump for joy, so apologizing should be last on your roster of things to do, if such a roster you have.

Anyways, I hope you are doing well these days. Best of luck with your thesis, and I'm sorry about the bad luck you had with the PhD deadline. Since the first RPGs/games I played were NES/SNES, I am more than happy with the beeps and boops that those games had for music. To me, having a big orchestra do a soundtrack like in DQ8 is certainly a nice addition, but not absolutely necessary. For me it falls in the same category as voice acting; enjoyable when present (..sometimes =) ), but not required. It all comes down to whether or not the song's melody is enjoyable or not. How important is a game's music to you? Gameplay and story are generally the two big categories for me, but I've found that all of my favorite games having amazing music as well. Don't know if it's a coincidence or not. One thing I like is when music from a game shows up later in the series. I'm playing through Castlevania DoS, and I've heard at least 1 tune from the NES days. Total nostalgia.

Matt

I love it too, though I really do prefer to hear more brand new themes than old. There's nothing like playing Metroid Prime (a game with disgustingly good music) and stumbling into Magmoor Caverns only to hear an awfully familiar tune playing; it almost brought a tear to my eye! And, I agree with you to an extent: A theme's "sound quality" is way less important to me than the actual theme itself, though I do think that sometimes big orchestrally-produced sounds can pump liquid emotion right into the melodies if done right. Dragon Quest VIII, as you mention, is a perfect example. If you've never listened to the original synth versions, you should find them online. They'll be eye-wideningly bad, believe me.

Recently I picked up an "FC Twin" game system. From what I was told, some patents expired, so now other companies can make systems to play older console games. The one I got plays NES and SNES games. I played through Super Metroid again on it, machine itself works fine, but the controller cords are only 3 feet (ugh), and the L button doesn't work on one of them (double ugh). I've always hated 3rd party accessories, and the thought of a 3rd party console terrifies me, but with a lot of uncertainty in the air over whether or not games like Secret of Mana are going to be available on the Wii's VC, I decided to go for it...because I can't just not play Mana ever again. Plus SNES's are almost impossible to find in my area. I'm nearing the end of my backlog (playing and enjoying Suikoden Tactics, the last RPG in my backlog). The price I've paid? I skipped 2006 entirely. =( So I'll just ask you straight up: What was the best RPG you played last year? I'd prefer to wait on FF12's price to drop, but if that's the one, so be it.

Matt

Oh dear. You've learned a lesson today, then, I suppose. I'd never use one of those things; weird "consoles" like that are always on display (with no one really paying attention to them) in the middle of the mall hallway. I've never bought third party consoles, or accessories for that matter, for a very long time for a reason. There's a story here:

Once upon a time, my NES refused to work properly for months on end, and my mom and I had no idea why. I don't tend to get angry easily, but it had been months, and my console would only produce very, very snowy, monochromatic images with a buzzy "snowy" sound mixed with the music. Not too happy-making. Finally, after trying one last time, I got super-frustrated and had a little tantrum; I ripped the controllers out of the system by the wires while it was still on. My mom was not pleased, but then we both stared in wonder as the screen blinked on, crystal clear, and Endor's castle music started playing cleanly in the background. (What game was I trying to play?) We quickly discovered that whenever we had this 3rd party controller plugged in, the interference re-appeared. Joyous to finally solve the mystery, I vowed to always stick to first-party equipment, and I haven't bought third-party stuff ever since that day!

And lastly, I'm looking forward to SOCK 2.0. Except I have a hard time coming up with questions and writing in everyday (but I do read everyday). I stopped playing the original SOCK, because I didn't want to just send you a letter with SOCK answers and nothing else. But then the game expanded so much and it looked like an absolute blast. I'm sure 2.0 will be great also.

Matt

I'm working hard on it whenever I get the chance! I can't wait to surprise everybody with certain aspects, because the game is going to be a lot bigger and better than ever, and points will not be the only things to determine your success in the game this time around! The first decision you'll have to make: What class are you going to want to be? Fighter, Defender, White Mage, or Black Mage? Different classes can use different types of abilities and wield different items in the game, so you'll have to choose wisely! There might even be some secret classes...

I'm going to start revealing things a bit at a time once March gets here, leading up to a final unveiling in May. Get ready to put both your trivia caps on and your strategy caps too, because this game is going to be big! I'm hoping for great prizes, too, but we'll have to see.

I never asked before, so what's your policy on this issue: Would it bother you if you received SOCK answers in a letter with little else added?

Thanks for reading my letter, and take care. =)
Jeremy V

Matt

Bah, of course I'd read it, you silly fool. I'm glad you took the time you did to write it!

And while it was always nice to get an actual letter with SOCK responses, by no means is it necessary. I'd say that a good 75% of SOCK players only wrote "real" letters very occasionally, and a few never did, not even once! So, I wouldn't feel guilty about it, if I were you.



What a Paine.


Hello Matt, Thanks for the reply to my letter i have another question. since square-enix is going to let more news out after april do you think it will ne a remade or new chronotrigger or secret of mana?

Matt

I have noooo idea. It'd be cool, but I'll bet that the "news" will have more to do with its trio of Final Fantasy XIIIs, to be honest.

do you think we will see more new square-enix games for the psp and ds as well as Xbox-360 and PS3? as well as the wii?

Matt

Surely. There are several in development already. For the PSP, we have Final Fantasy I&II, as well as the Final Fantasy Tactics Remake, and, allegedly, Crisis Core, though I'm kind of sick of saying it, because I've been doing so for the past year. The DS has a Final Fantasy Tactics game also in development, along with Dragon Quest IX, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, Heroes of Mana, and a Chocobo's Magic Picture Book or something like that. It sounds like a lot, doesn't it?

whats your thoughts on it?

Matt

See above.

also can the DS handle a remake of chronotrigger or secret of mana or will it be better on the DS,Wii,Xbox 360, or PS3.

Matt

Oh, seriously yes... the DS could handle those easily. Heck, the Game Boy Advance could probably have handled them, to be honest with you. As for which system would be best for a remake, it's hard to say. How different do you want it? If you want your remake to be packed with wicked graphics of doom, then clearly the last two would make the best choices. If they instead think that the Wii is strong enough to pull off the style they'd like, and they feel more Wii-owners would buy a copy, then who knows? It's all speculation anyway.

if you noticed i took out the gba as like my fiance said the gba is dead after final fantasy VI.

Matt

Well... I still think that Square Enix could theoretically develop Secret of Mana or Chrono Trigger for the GBA without much problem. Heck, they just pulled off Final Fantasy VI, after all. Furthermore, especially in the case of Chrono Trigger, it would be EXTREMELY well received if it were. Will they? No. Why? I don't know. Because for whatever reason, life goes on, and the poor GBA must get deserted someday. Plus, if they did a remake of Chrono Trigger, it'd be fun to see it in a neat-o graphicky way.

do you think we will see any more games on the gba?

Matt

Sure, if you like "Spongebob Squarepants: Undersea Mayhem!!!" (with the exclamation points) or games that sound like that. Any real games? Don't count on it.

also do you think the gba is dead?

Matt

Dying, in the retail world, perhaps, but hey, to me, a system is only dead if people stop playing the games. In my world, the NES and SNES are nowhere near "dead" because those are the games that I STILL go back to, ten, fifteen, and even twenty years later.

also some say the psp is going to be dead too because of lack of software plus the cost of the games for it is too much. whats your thoughts on it?

Matt

No, it's got a lot of life left in it, and a long roster of decent games are on the way for it. It had a bit of a coma over the summer, perhaps.

i think psp might be dead because of igns report plus the fact no one will buy umd movies for it because of the price of em.

Matt

Well, *I* certainly won't blow that chunk of change on the little thing, but it's not dead. Trust me. Not for awhile.

how long do you think it will take before we see square-enix games on the vertual console for the wii? you said awhile do you mean in a year or 2 when squares milked the cash cow outta all the other remakes for the other systems they plan to do?

Matt

Thirteen months, three days, sixteen hours, and forty-three minutes. Honestly, I'm no oracle. I can't say for sure that any Square Enix games will ever make it onto the VC. I hope, but I don't know.

also since square-enix owns taito why is it they let there lufia series died it was one of the best series in my opinion.

Matt

Yeah, but it was going down the trashhole anyway... didn't you think that Lufia III and IV were mediocre and god-awful, respectively? Maybe it'll see the light of day once again someday; you never know.

as for me i dont mind certain remakes or ports but just for certain systems. me i want to see new games as much as the next person i just think square is milking the cash cow just a little to much and im tired of it.

Matt

It's true to an extent, but remember that Square Enix is an enormous company. They've released three remakes in the last few months, but they also have MANY, MANY brand new games in development. Overall, they have a pretty great ratio of new to old, if you ask me.

i know the psp can handle all the final fantasy games up to XII but why put em on it. i dont mind 1 and 2 but it has been done before. the reason i get excited is i collect all the games from around the world in square-enix form.

Matt

...it can?

I could see the PSP handling everything on the PS1 with ease, but Final Fantasy X, XI, and XII, I'm not so sure about. Yeah, the graphical capabilities of the little thing are teh awesome and such, but X and XII have some friggin' amazing FMVs. (XI might too, but I've never had the pleasure.)

but im just a collector i dont play em all and i just finished working on 1 and 2 as well as 4 and im wrapping up 5.

Matt

Ack, why don't you play them all?

You should! You're missing out if you don't. What's the point of owning something if you aren't going to use it? (Obviously, you can tell that I'm not much of a collector of anything.)

in my heart and soul i want to see the rest remade for the psp as im a collector and what ever else system they put it on but for a game player the gba is fine for the others like chronotrigger and secret of mana as my gba games go with me when i travel. witch im doing several trips this year however as for the collector in me i want all the remakes or ports but as a serious gamer i want new games.

Matt

So, you're tired of remakes, but you want more? It sounds to me like you want them, but just before, you said you were fed up! Make up your mind, or I'll have to bzzt you with my finger-magic.

Anyway, there's nothing to worry about for now. Square Enix only has one game on the remake table (publicly) and more than a dozen other new ideas in development. Remakes for Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX? Be patient.

so thats my 2 cents. i must go and make pot roast for me and my fiance.

Later Matt

Paine

Matt

Bye, Paine. I hope the roast was both tender and succulent.



Bitty music!


I read your Q&A regularly, but this is my first inclination to actually write you. You mentioned trying to spy on peoples IPODs for video game music. The idea of that is pretty funny to me, I do not listen to much RPG music however Ia m becoming and ever increasing fan of Bit Pop. I was curious if you were familar with it at all? Here is a link to an artist I enjoy, WWW.COMPUTEHER.NET all her music is retro-gaming inspired. Its fun and the nich for this music is growing, so hopefully your ipod spying tree may finally bear fruit.

Matt

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!! This is the most amazing idea I've seen in a long time!

How exciting. I just want to know how she made these themes, because mannn, it would be so much fun to start fiddling around and making tracks of my own some day. Hee hee, I'm sitting here listening to the samples and grinning from ear to ear like a complete idiot. NES gamers have got to appreciate stuff like this.

What a great link! There is no end to the coolness out there in the world, I have to say, and you have proven that to me today. Or she has, but you have facilitated the proof. Good for you.



Always an inspiration, I am.


Dear Old Fart,

I mean, happy belated birthday. I've almost caught up to where I want to be with my backlog. I finished Final Fantasy III, which I played for a span of 72 day and put 37 hours into the game. That's sadly just about a half hour per day, but alas it is defeated. I've beaten Final Fantasy V Advance, 53 day span totaling 28 hours, and also Final Fantasy XII, 41 days for 68 hours. I can't believe that these games that I'd been waiting all of last year are behind me. My how time flies. I've still working on Zelda: TP, but I've just not been able to sit down and play a console game in forever. But I've also picked up FFVI Advance; it's as classic as ever. Hopefully, it should keep me busy for awhile. If not, I can always pick up Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime now that it has dropped in price.

Matt

I haven't had console-time either! My time has been spent at my computer, and just as I start to go insane from work, I'll pick up my DS and do a little bit of something for a few minutes. It sucks!

Your time is similar to mine in Final Fantasy III, though I've got about an extra couple of inflated hours logged for time spent checking my Mogmail while doing the column every day. Good game. I've never done an hours/day averaging thing before, but I should do that sometime soon. I wonder how much gaming time I've averaged over all days of my life? Interesting...

What are your thoughts on Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales? I can't say I know a great deal about it, but the reviews out of Japan have been very positive. Do you think that there might actually be a big surprise coming from Square Enix this year? I know they've announced the FFI & II PSP ports, but it is also the 10 year anniversary of Final Fantasy VII. Fanboys (I hate that term) have been screaming for a remake for quite some time, will it happen this year?

Matt

I haven't had console-time either! My time has been spent at my computer, and just as I start to go insane from work, I'll pick up my DS and do a little bit of something for a few minutes. It sucks!

Your time is similar to mine in Final Fantasy III, though I've got about an extra couple of inflated hours logged for time spent checking my Mogmail while doing the column every day. Good game. I've never done an hours/day averaging thing before, but I should do that sometime soon. I wonder how much gaming time I've averaged over all days of my life? Interesting...

As for Chocobo Tales, is that the real name of the Magic Picture Book game I just mentioned to Paine? It's going to be a card-based RPG, if I recall correctly, and historically, those have never been terribly attractive to me, honestly. If, however, the reviews are overwhelmingly positive, I might think about it if it makes the cut for a North American translation. The screens look keee-yoot.

I hate to speculate on Final Fantasy VII remakes and such, but it really wouldn't surprise me. I mean, I was surprised when last year at E3, their big secret, unveiled, was FFXIII; I was really expecting to see some FFVII action, and I think a lot of other people did too. Let's just say that it would make sense if they did make it happen this year. Wouldn't it be excited if they came out and said "We're remaking FFVII, and guess what? It's done and ready for release across the globe in three weeks!" I don't remember the last time something like that has happened, if ever. But it'd be darn cool.

Once again, writing to you has inspired me to write an editorial. Just a side note, anytime you receive a short email from me it is because what I was writing to you turned into an editorial instead.

Keep on slimin',
Macstorm

Matt

Woohoo! I didn't even do anything, honestly, except exist, but I'm glad you've been all inspired. To all you readers out there, read Mac's eds when you get the chance. They're really great, along with all of the other great editorials that are contributed by people like yourself. Feel free to submit one anytime you're feeling inspired, too!

Thanks, Macstorm!



QUICKIES

And that, as they say, is Maechen from FFX. I could swear I heard Dwight Schultz make some cameos in a few Futurama episodes, but I guess it must be a sound-alike.

Vicissitude

Matt
Damn! Only three people cared to guess right. I was off by one! I guess I don't know my inbox patterns as well as I thought I did. ;_;


MOGNET MAIL

No Mogmail again today, kupo! But, if you have Final Fantasy III DS, my code is 515 480 192 117. Mail me your number, and I'll add you to my list! Then you can send all the letters you like! I'll continue this section until at least the end of February, and we'll see how it goes after that.



IN CLOSING

It's time to change into marking Ninja Matt. I shall return tomorrow for more, zam. Now what game is THAT from?



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