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Send a Question I Send to Me Specifically I Old Stuff I Ancient Stuff
ASK MATT
Seeganificun Deejit June 8, 2006

Matt Demers - 18:35 EST

I'VE BEEN DOING Q&A for nine months now. I can't believe it's been so long, already, because it feels like RPGamer Idol and the associated dramatics aren't that far behind us. For a really good laugh, you should go back and read some of those first terrible columns of mine; they're enough to make my face, flushed with embarrassment, fall into my keyboawoerjggnnnnnnnnnnnn.

131 columns later, though, here I am, and here I'll stay for the forseeable future. I only hope that the lot of you will continue to choke down what I bring to the table every day.

This concludes the most wistful self-centric introduction of all time. Questions and answers will now commence.




L E T T E R S
Kicking things off with handheld chatter!


Hi Matt,

I used to completely dismiss handheld gaming, but the DS seemed just different enough that I broke down and bought one (right before the slimmed down version, dang it). There's some interesting non-traditional RPGs on it that I've enjoyed, like Lost in Blue and Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (my favorite DS game), and the whole GBA library is there to play if you're like me and skipped it completely. The most interesting stuff is yet to come, though-- Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, Final Fantasy III, Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime, Contact, Yoshi's Island 2, and Final Fantasy VI Advance (okay, that's a GBA game, but I really liked FFIV Advance). Just don't forget to branch out of the RPG field and try something different on the DS; how else can you experience the joy that is Phoenix Wright?

Matt

You can't just dismiss the GBA titles yet to come, though, because owning a DS will allow you to play them; owning a PSP will not, simple as that. I can't wait for those remakes, too, but I still haven't had the honour of journeying into the courtroom with Mr. Wright. My poor wallet has gotten enough of a workout already! I can't take much more of this...

On a side note, I wish Mother 3 would be localized. If Cooking Mama is coming to the U.S., why can't we get a new Earthbound?

Matt

I only wish I knew. Did you know that initially, we were supposed to get the prequel to Earthbound back on the NES, until some strange force intervened and cancelled that one, too? I find it very mysterious, as if the people in charge of the franchise are somehow anti-localization for some reason. Not only is the lack of any announcement of a remake disappointing, it's absurd, because North America's RPGamers would lap up that sequel so quickly that it would make their executive heads spin. Something is amiss with that series, and despite those difficulties, the ultimate sadness is that the creator has said "no more" and thus will no longer do any creating. Is Mother dead? I really hope not, but it seems unfortunately likely.

I'd love to comment on the PSP, but the game library never seemed that strong, so I never bought one. Sure, LocoRoco looks great, but that's only one game. Despite the Wii and PS3 around the corner (or, perhaps, because of it), I'm going to wait the next year out and focus on the DS games and the last of the PS2 games (Steambot Chronicles and Rogue Galaxy). There's too many DS games to make me consider a PSP now.

Sock answers:
#218 c) 12
#219 c) Detective Armani

Megan


Matt

That's pretty much my stance too. Add to that the fact that the PSP costs more than the DS, and there's no contest for me. And no, the UMD-movie-playing feature is something that I really don't care about at the end of the day (or the beginning and middle parts, too, for that matter). If I wanted to watch a movie, I'd do it on the DVD player I already own. Of course, though, that's only my personal stance; there are still reasons to look with want upon a PSP, and with a few new RPGs being released NOW, or at least soon, it's far from a completely unattractive handheld!

Thanks, Megan!



Another shared memory of RPG ineptitude!


Ok now for the collumn stuff, in regards to being stuck in an RPG and the answer should be so easy to see but it wasn't, recently I've been playing Tales of Phantasia before and after work, and I made it to Dhaos' Castle, I solved most of the puzzles in the castle and made it to a room where you had to leave one of your group behind to access the upper floor and the key item you need to go further, I left Claus behind because Arche deals out damage like nobody's business, got the key items made it to the last area but I needed all 4 of my party members, So I go to the room above where I left Claus and it says something along the lines of "A staircase used to be here" which in most games means you find some other puzzle solve it make the staircase rise/fall then your party scales the stairs and fights evil etc so I scoured the entire ----ing castle top to bottom for a long enough time to gain at least 12 levels only to find no such thing, so frustrated went outside the castle saved turned the game off then poked arround online once I got home only to find that for the only time in my known RPG history a character's battle abilities and uniqueness applied outside of battles in the "real world" of the game, turns out since Arche can fly I was supposed to leave her behind go back above the room call her up and be done with it... -.-''' I've never felt so dumb...

Matt

Ahh, Arros. We all have moments like that, so don't feel too stupid. ;)

A lot of the time, RPGs create uncertainty for one of these two reasons:

a) The player isn't really paying attention, or just flies rapidly through textboxes by pressing X X X X X (if playing a PS game, of course). I hate watching people who play RPGs this way, by the way... while story is definitely secondary to me, I can't just zip through such an important part of the game. Anyway.

b) The game is too vague, OR, the localization job is just too damn bad. A piece of vital information could be "lost in translation", so to speak, because of this, leaving players scratching their heads. A little bit of open-ended hunting around is one thing, but how many times have you gotten to the end of a cave, had something happen storyline-wise, and then leave you wondering whether, to advance the plot, you're just "supposed to" leave or find some way to press on that isn't at all evident? I get that feeling ALL the time, and it's annoying as all hell.

Anyway onto my question:

Does it make you up set that even though a character can fly, shapeshift, breathe fire etc in battle that they hardly ever do it outside of battle to get you outta jail, solve that really hard puzzle etc?

Just curious if it does cause it sure bothers me

Arros Raikou
You can turn into a giant hellspawn that does tons of damage you can destroy an entire airship in a ----ing cutscene but you can't break out of a little jailcell? WTF???


Matt

No kidding! Jail bars might be made of metal, but so are dozens of monsters in almost every game. Isn't it funny how they are totally scrappable? And no, there's no way that those jail bars could be made of diamonds or something, or else they'd glitter in the bright... dungeon light? I hear you all the way home, but then again, RPGs aren't really meant to be realistic, most of the time. Getting shot by a machine gun, for instance, should probably more than 1% kill you.



OSTRs. Old-School Tactical RPGs, of course.


Maaaaaatttttt! I love how you brought up Shining Force 2 in your Fire Emblem discussion, because it's one of my favorite games, and I always compare other strategy RPGs to it. I have a lot of Shining Forcey memories... most of them good, one of them painful. Besides being the first strategy RPG I've played and one of the first RPGs I've played, Shining Force 2 is the game that I was stuck on for the longest time. In that game, you almost always use the C button to perform an action (talking to people, opening a treasure chest, picking up an item, etc.) Near the end of the game, you have to go to a shrine and take the Force Sword, the strongest of the hero's swords. However, once you go in the shrine and stand in front of the sword and press the C button, the game will only tell you that the sword is right there. You need to search, using the A button, to pull the sword out of the ground. It's embarrassing to admit, but that took me a very long time to figure out! I thought I had to talk to somebody or go somewhere else before I could get the sword, so I ran around the game world for weeks, talking to everybody and searching everywhere for a clue. Nothing helped, and I eventually gave up, thinking my game must be bugged or something. This all happened before my home had an internet connection, so I couldn't get any help until a few years later. After I read an online walkthrough and found out what to do, I was confused, since I could have sworn pressing A was one of the first things I tried. Anyway, I did what I had to do, and beat the game a few days later. Hooray. Still, GRR!

Matt

Ah yes. That's not really your fault, though, and that's not the only place where dumb problems like that occur. There are several games that require you to "talk to" or "check out" a certain something or someone TWICE in a row in order for something significant to happen. I don't understand why that is, though... why don't the programmers just bring up a window automatically that says "Pull it out? YES/NO"? It seems like a really simple solution to clear up a pretty needless problem!

And yeah, I remember the days where the world of online walkthroughs and FAQs just didn't exist. I have very distinct memories of jumping up and down and whining for my mom to buy me the hint book listed at the back of the instruction manual. In fact, that's how I finally got through both the original Shadowgate and King's Quest III. That Manannan... what a mean old wizard.

Soooccckkk!
216: a
217: b
Secret Sock: Dewford Town?

As for fave elements of turn-based battles, I'd say I really enjoy tests of timing, like in Shadow Hearts, Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga, and... (eww, I can't believe I'm saying it...) Legend of Dragoon. Those kinds of battles are more fun, because the game asks a little more out of you than "just say 'attack' and you'll do fine." I also like the system in Shin Megami Tensei games, which gives you extra turns if you exploit the enemy's weakness and takes away turns if you use an attack that doesn't hurt the enemy. Bascially, I love turn-based battles that force you to pay attention to the battle and to use strategy. Otherwise, I fall asleep, holding the X button (or, in FF7's case, the O button).

Matt

Just because Legend of Dragoon was an awful, awful game, doesn't mean that it didn't have its good points, too. There were some really neat ideas in battle, for sure. That item-screen music was enrapturing too.

What's great about the Mario games is that sure, while they're usually pretty easy, the battles themselves are really FUN, and that fun-ness is enhanced by the hilarious actions that enemies (or allies) often take. I've never wanted to use a Scan-type spell as much as I did in The Thousand-Year Door, for instance.

And yes. Thinking is good. I'm a thoughtful person, and I think that most of us are, here, to some degree, and having to think to succeed in combat from time to time keeps me a happy camper. That's why I like battles to be more challenging than average- because lately, "average" has indeed evolved into "yeah, all you really have to do is keep pressing one button", which is unfortunate.

Level-up systems aren't usually a big concern, unless the game tries to implement an original system. The star system in Chrono Cross was okay... it maintained a good level of challenge (unless you start a NewGame+). The random stat gains in Saga Frontier upset me, as do a lot of things in that game, heh. The best original level-up system I can think of is FFX's sphere grid. Moving along the grid is pretty fun, and it's cool to see the stats and abilities you get in the future. Also, it's easy to adjust the difficulty of the game, by choosing to save AP and keep your characters relatively weak. Plus, activating those nodes can be very satisfying. The only annoying part of the sphere grid is getting the key spheres for those darn locks. Other than that, it's perfect, I think.

Ookay. That's all for today. Hugs! <3s! Long live George Carlin!

Aurelius


Matt

Yes, the alternative level-up styles are really bothersome unless they work really well. I was quite distressed when I learned that Final Fantasy VIII would feature levels that consistently require 1000 Exp, for instance, with the amount obtained from enemies fluctuating instead. The scaling of the enemies, while really stupid, might have worked fine if they had continued to scale with you in storyline-places. What do I mean? Well, I remember getting to the dramatic Lunatic Pandora on Disc 3, only to find myself getting 1 Exp per battle. If the overworld monsters on the sunny green pasture are going to grow in power so much, the horrible evil monsters inside the big dramatic weird pillar should too.

Anyway, this was not intended to be a Final Fantasy VIII rant, but it did. You're right, though, that FFX was neato cool. It made me want to design big boards o' spells in my spare time, just for fun! Oh, can't you taste the geekery flowing off of me?

Thanks, Aurelius. Big squeezy hugs back, as always!



"FPS" and "RPG" already contain the same middle letter!! GASP. I smell a conspiracy!


Dear Matt

"Good evening, Matt-san.

Before this, I was writing a messege in Japanese, but because of a computer problem, it all got deleted... That sucked... I'm sending this, and you're probably as good at Japanese as I am..."

This is what Gaijin was saying, or at least it was something close to this...

Matt

Ooh, interesting. Unfortunately, Gaijin would definitely be wrong, because I had no idea what the heck he was saying until I read the description OF what he was saying. Ah well, at least me knows my english, and un petit peu de français.

Anyway, I know that you, I, and many readers here detest first-person shooters, but do you think that the torrent of first-person RPGs might change that for some of us? I mean, in the past, it was mainly just System Shock 2 and Deus Ex, but now we got Elder Scrolls III and IV, Hellgate: London, Mass Effect, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, and probably much more on the way. If we played these RPGs, do think that they might slowly wean us into first-person shooters a little more?

Given how monstrously popular first-person shooters have become on computers as well as consoles, it's only natural that the day would come where we get waves of stuff like first-person action games (Riddick), first-person platformers (Metroid Prime), first-person stealth games (Thief), first-person survival horrors (Condemned), first-person miscellaneous games (Timeshift, Geist), and yes, first-person RPGs. First-person shooters are definitely going to stay for a long time, so do you think it's time that we RPGamers should shove some of the first-person hate aside and maybe try to come to terms with them, maybe starting with the first-person RPGs mentioned above?

Alan


Matt

No way. First-person shooters are just not attractive to a lot of people, and since we, as gamers, define what things become popular, I don't think that that's necessary. Sure, there's something alluring about a first-person vantage point to some gamers (and many RPGamers!), but there isn't to a lot of other people. I, for one, am not really turned on at all by Oblivion or any of the other titles you've listed, and I'm not the only one. This is why we have separate genres of games, and even subgenres within the world of RPGs. If everyone liked the same things, why bother with RPGamer at all? We could all go and live at IGN or some such site happily together forevermore, could we not? What a sad thought...

I dunno. I see your point, but I don't think we'll have to worry. Dirge of Cerberus will almost certainly destroy any chance of First-Person RPG Shooters from ever catching on, anyway. ^_^



Two words: Instruction and Manual.


How do i save in the game Dragon warrior 1+2


Matt

To save the game in any of the first three Dragon Warrior games, you must do as you're told if you're talking to townspeople and reading the instruction booklet; go chat with the king! He likes you, and will tell you how much experience you need to advance a level. Then he'll ask you if you want to record your adventure in the Imperial Scrolls of Honor. That would be like saying "Save? Yes/No", you see? If you're finished playing for the day, then tell him. And by crikey, don't forget to hold in the RESET button for the duration of your POWER button pushage, if you're playing on the good ol' NES.



Random Final Bosses for the win! Why does everyone say "for the win" these days?


Hey Matt.

About the final villain in FFIX, well ...(FFIII Spoilers)

if you finished FFIII you wouldn´t find it strange... it also happens there, and i think that in the japanese version the name of FFIX´s final villain and FFIII´s is the same, but i´m not sure about it, though. And i also hate Kuja, btw.


Matt

Well now, that would be interesting, wouldn't it? We'll probably get a much better idea when we finally get our hands on that piece of Final Fantasy goodness in a few months' time. Crossover final villains in Final Fantasy games? Is that even possible? Does that mean that the games are connected? Maybe Final Fantasy XVII will tie every past FF game together somehow! Oh wait, Kingdom Hearts already ruined that potential.

*kicks a stone, sulking*



Four favourite moments. A Quadramoment!


Hey Matt!

With regards to the recent topic of favorite moments in RPGs, I don't think I can cut it down to just one. I'll filter out the obvious ones (Aeris in FFVII, the ending of FFX), and I'll go with a few other ones. These are in no particular order of favoritism, but I think they're sort of chronological. I'll try and dodge obvious spoilers (there's one from Shadow Hearts 2 that I'll refer to in the vaguest of terms, I know you've talked about playing the series), but the older games I'm just going to flat out say them, if people haven't played them by now they're probably not going to.

Matt

Cool, man, cool. What do ya got?

1) The ending of Lunar 2 (for Sega CD). Nothing like a gigantic cliffhanger to end a game, before you find out there is an epilogue. Or, if you're not paying attention, you don't notice that there is an epilogue, and you find out months later. I was stunned when I realized that Lucia was just going to disappear on Hiro.

Matt

Oh, that sounds interesting, but how do you not notice such a thing? Perhaps I'm just not acquainted with the series well enough (though I'm about to start playing Lunar:SSSC!)

2) Celes's attempted suicide in FFVI. Yes, I failed at the fish catching, I didn't quite get it. For all the cool moments in that game, having someone try and commit suicide was a stunner.

Matt

Man, that was a really sad scene, and it's a perfect illustration of how much deeper the story goes emotionally. There are a couple of downer-moments in previous Final Fantasy games, but nothing like some of the scenes in numéro six.

3) Yuna's sending early in FFX. This is possibly one of the most beautiful scenes I've ever seen, and I've used it alone to get a couple people interested in RPGs. It was just a simple, elegant scene. Yes, it reeks of graphics-whoreism (is that actually a term?), but I think it shows was advanced graphics should be used for: artistic value.

Matt

Now now... there's nothing wrong with having good graphics. Graphics can suck you into a game in much the same way that a good soundtrack can, but "graphics whoreism" only comes when people completely dismiss games because they aren't the prettiest or have the highest-polygon-count on the block. Now THAT is ridiculous. Beautiful expressive scenes, though, definitely should be commended!

4) The cut scene right before entering the final dungeon in Shadow Hearts: Covenant. I really liked the way it was structured, and the sense of inevitability between the two main characters in the scene. Anyone who has played the game should remember this scene, and I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did.

Matt

I should have seen this scene by now myself, but see, I still haven't received my expected copy of that game yet, and I'm seething at the seams. Maybe I should just seize it.

214) B. Noel
215) C. Rainbow Despair

Thanks!

BigWook


Matt

Thanks yourself, and thanks for the memories. Have a nice day~



Zelda idiocy stories from myself and another!


Dear Mr Demers

I have been reading for quite some time now and have really enjoyed your hosting capabilities and vast rpg knowledge.

Matt

Well, thank you. I must say that I enjoy the writing capabilities and vaster RPG knowledge of all of you, so I guess we can call things "even".

Anyways reading yesterdays column I was reminded of when I was first playing Zelda a Link To the Past for SNES and I believe it was the fourth dungeon once you are in the dark world.

Well memory serves that you had to pick up a bomb and throw it to shatter the roof and make light shine through so the boss would come out well it just never dawned on me that i could pick up and throw a bomb once it was set so i was stuck for a couple of months just wondering what i was missing to be able to get that bomb over there. Eventually my cousin came over and clued me in to the obvious technique. I felt dumb at the time but hey i was only 8 when that happened so i am almost fully mentally healed now at 22 ;)

Anyways enjoy the rest of your day

-BenOblong


Matt

Ha ha ha, indeed. It's true that actually picking up and throwing the bombs seems to be rarely useful in that game, but it's all a matter of how much attention you pay as you play. I'm almost certain that when you first get bombs, you're told of the ability, and I guarantee you it's in the instruction booklet somewhere.

Even so, that's not nearly as embarrassing as my Link to the Past story, so don't feel too badly. I've told it a couple of times before, but in a nutshell, I started playing as a stupid 11-year-old on someone else's quest in the Dark World, thinking that it was the beginning of the game. Unsurprisingly, I felt completely lost, and quickly gave up, blasting the game as "pointless and stupid". It was only much later that I realized my grievous error.

Thanks, BenOblong, for your letter. May your oblongitude not get in the way in any of your life's endeavours!



More DS wondering... and some DQ commentary!


Ahoy there, Matt!

Well, I sent a letter and now I'm sending another one! Guess I liked the experience.

Matt

Eeeheehee, the poison apple of my column has crooned to you to come back for more, like a seductive Siren's song. The lethal dose of Q&A is well high enough, however, that you don't have to worry... for now.

It's been some weeks since I finished Dragon Quest VIII. And man, what a great RPG that was. I mean, GREAT! At the same time it's an engaging experience, meaning you get sucked into it for hours long without even noticing, it's also a great pick up and play kind of game. Good old school gameplay, nice plot, pretty graphics, likeable characters, it's all there.

Matt

Absolutely. Wandering the huge world and seeing all that there is to see tends to be the main force behind that vacuum, too. While the storyline, sidequests, and battle system were all strong and entertaining, the fact that the overworld was just that- a huge, open world where you can roam anywhere- really helped to lose players in the game.

One complain that I have is that at the beginning (where you don't have essential abilities like evac and zoom) it can throw off players that aren't willing to level up as soon as the game starts. Since I'm kind of used to easy starts in RPGs, filled with tutorials and free stuff, I died a LOT in the first dungeon. Now I obviously am glad that I had the patience to keep playing and, after that harsh first part, the rest of the game flows deliciously. In the end, as I read somewhere, you come to care even more about the characters in battles, since when they die, they DIE. It's usually not an easy (or cheap) task to bring them back. And challenge is good. Another part I think could have used a bit of improvement is the item menu navigation, but I won't go there.

Matt

There were definitely a few ways that the game could have been improved. The menu screen was a little bit annoying to manoeuvre at first, but I caught on after awhile; they re-did it, though, because the traditional DQ way of doing things is to layer window after window of information, which, for whatever reason, game reviewers don't like over here.

The beginning of any Dragon Quest game is difficult, which is kind of cool, I think, because that's when your character should be weakest and most fragile. A brand new adventurer shouldn't have a cakewalk in the beginning, so I find that it's a nice change from the everyday. Of course, I could definitely see why others might have a problem "easing into" such a game.

I totally agree with you, though, with what you have to say about characters dying. Dragon Quest is not a game in which you can just buy 99 Phoenix Downs in the first town and proceed to wander about recklessly. The fact that you DO have to watch out for your characters causes a strange sort of player-character bond, because having them die actually causes you distress. Here's hoping that DQ never changes that aspect.

On a side note, I burst into laugh the first time I saw a coffin walking by itself when I entered a city.

Matt

Heh heh, yes. That is definitely a curious and often-mentioned funny phenomenon, but maybe Munchie is underneath, balancing it on top of his little mousey head. Who knows? I guess he'd have to be a pretty strong rodent in order to pull that off...

Anyway, after watching the neat ending sequence I immediately proceeded on doing the extra quest. It was amusing to discover that the misterious construction in the middle of nowhere had such a purpose, but after some time in the dungeon I was a bit bored. I was starting to think that it was simply a hard dungeon with generic bosses in the end or something. How wrong I was not to expect more good stuff. There's so much PLOT there! I still haven't finished the quest (I have to get myself to do it sometime), but what I played of it got me satisfied in a way I never imagined it would. I love extra stuff when they're well made like this. Sadly, it's not rare that game designers throw in very random stuff just to justify a replay of sorts or a longer playtime, instead of actually making an effort.

Matt

Exactly! There are very few games whose bonus material doesn't feel tacked on and unnecessary, but the last dungeons of Dragon Quest VIII are absolutely key to many plot elements. The plot doesn't truly conclude until that stuff is taken care of, and that is just cool, as far as I'm concerned.

So, on to a question that has nothing to do with all that rambling: What RPGs would you recommend for the DS? I got the system last week, and just realized that most of the RPGs I'm interested in are not even out yet! To name a few: Contact, Children of Mana, Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and Final Fantasy III. I'm aware that the DS has plenty of great games, and my list is already gigantic, but I would like to know your reccommendations. =)

Seeya!

-Franklin


Matt

If you're at all a fan of Castlevania, I think you should give Dawn of Sorrow a try. It's been reviewed pretty well, and a lot of people have good things to say about it. I personally played Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, which was a short-lived but definitely fun game; it might not be quite as great as its prequel, but it's still worth it. The best, however, is definitely yet to come, so hold your breath just a little longer. :)



Bwahaha... abuse of power!


Hi Matt

How the hell am I supposed to know, or care, about daytime soaps? I work all day!

A

Angus Creighton


Matt

Ahahahahaha... the fact that I can actually tailor my column so that someone writes in with a message like this is a testament to exactly how much power I have.

Oh, and I definitely don't watch Guiding Light, for all of you people wondering if the steamy Dr. McCabe is someone *I* might want to take advantage of if given the opportunity. You think I have time to watch? Fat chance! Especially with Days of our Lives to worry about...





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

I got ONE suggestion, from my good friend Aurelius. Haiku! And so...

Hot dogs on the grill
Sunshine smiling on shoulders
Summer, here at last

What do you think? Not bad, huh? I could do a video game themed one every day. Ugh, this could require some extra thought! Curses. Perhaps my poetry could use the practice, though.

Flashay!


***Answers to June 7th's Questions***

#218. c) 12 - 340 points (the game was Secret of Mana, and 12 steps lead up to the entrance)

#219. c) Detective Armani - 290 points/580 for BigWook (thanks for the submission! The only member of my family who ever watched Due South was my Aunt Eleanor, who semi-ironically lives in Florida)

Bonus: e) To get her mind off of Josh, Cassie makes a date with the steamy Dr. McCabe. - 1 Star (if I can go hunting on soap opera sites for the answers, you can damn well do so, too! :P)


***Today's New Questions***

#220: Art thou the descendant of Erdrick? (340 points)

a) Hast thou any proof?
b) Thou art sure to succeed.
c) Thou must remember to equip thyself with armor when purchased.
d) Thou must slay the Dragonlord of Charlock.
e) Begone, liar.


Reader-Submitted #221: Which of these Super Mario Bros. 3 enemy-types is not fought in a battle in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars? (275 points)

a) Chain Chomp
b) Boo Diddly
c) Dry Bones
d) Thwomp
e) Lakitu

A reminder! Another secret link is hidden somewhere in today's column. Find it and answer the question correctly to earn a star, because the one with the most stars at the end of the week will earn Ouro's 2,094 points! If you DO win those points, you can't use items to double/triple it, by the way, so don't get sneaky.

Also, I've updated the SOCK rulebook. After Alan Tse's sneakiness earlier this week, I decided to change the rules of a few items a bit, I added a few MORE items, and I shuffled some things around. Everyone who owns a suit of Mithril Armor should especially take note! Your item isn't quite the same anymore.


SOCK's Item List

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

2,000 points: Your choice of Fire Spell (2 left) or Drain Spell (1 left)
3,500 points: Your choice of Blizzard Spell (2 left) or Sneak Glove (1 left)
5,000 points: Your choice of Esuna Spell (2 left) or Dark Converter (1 left)
7,000 points: Your choice of Mithril Sword (1 left) or Damage Deflector (3 left)
10,000 points: Your choice of Ultra Sneak Glove (1 left) or Confuse Spell (2 left)
14,000 points: Your choice of Blizzara Spell (2 left) or Blind Spell (1 left)
19,000 points: Your choice of Rename Card (2 left) or Vanish Spell (2 left)


Click Here For Item Descriptions and Contest Rules!

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*

2,000 points: Matt's Mom's Cookie Compilation- 6 fantastic recipes right out of Matt's mom's amazing kitchen! Yours, upon request. (5 left)

4,000 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)

10,000 points: Cohost Opportunity #3.5- Ah, why not? Cohost days are fun, so here are a couple of extra chances for you to snag, if you're so inclined. (1 left)

15,000 points: Nintendo Wii Canvas Carrying Bag- It's simple and white, with blue print, and two drawstrings; I picked this up while waiting in the nigh-infinitely long line to play Nintendo's new console at E3 2006. If you'd like it, I'll mail it to you free of charge! (1 left)

15,000 points: Pokémon 10th Anniversary game case- Not as special as it sounds, but useful for carrying up to 4 DS games or 2 DS games and 2 Game Boy Advance games. Translucent plastic with a silver Pikachu and print on the front. (1 left)

15,000 points: Bonus Cohost Opportunity- I like giving these out because I don't have to pay for shipping. (3 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)

22,000 points: Slime Keychain Dangler- Fresh from the Square Enix booth at E3 2006, this cute little guy can be yours. (1 left)

22,000 points: Slime Snail Keychain Dangler- Anyone remember Slime Snails from Dragon Warrior III? I managed to snag one of these, too. Strut with Dragon Quest pride!! (1 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: Nintendo DS Lite Carrying Case- This won't quite fit old-model DS handhelds, but it's lightweight and flashy. White and black with an extra zippered pocket for carrying games, and a hook to attach to clothes, backpacks, or whatnot. I received this at Nintendo's Pre-E3 Media Briefing. (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. (Sorry, NTSC-format only) (3 left)

50,000 points: Suikoden for the PSX. Play the game that started off the entire series! Josh was generous enough to donate this exciting prize, so it would be cool to send this to a good and loving home. (Sorry, NTSC-format only) (1 left)

100,000 points: Arc the Lad Collection, for the PSX. Donated by ~Sean~~, so thank him! This collection contains four RPGs from an often-overlooked series. If you can get to 100,000 first, you can call this your own. (Sorry, NTSC-format only) (1 left) *********************************************************


Tomorrow, we're going to have the honour of basking in the glow of MagRowan once again, for the third time! Out of all the guest-host positions, she has claimed an astounding 16% of them, so she knows what she's doing by now. Send her the best questions you have to give!

I will return then with her at my side to answer the latest in answers and questions. I hope you've enjoyed today's column, and I wish all of you a pleasant day!

slimey@rpgamer.com
***Matt messed up some html tags yesterday...


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And the beat goes on. Man, I feel like going SWIMMING somewhere right now. Isn't that random and strange? I don't understand myself.

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Matt's Top 3 Current Games:

1. The New Super Mario Brothers

2. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

3. Radiata Stories

Matt's Top 3 Gaming Desires:

1. Disgaea II

2. Final Fantasy III

3. Xenosaga: Episode III

SOCK's Top 25:

1. Erika
15,390 pts

2. Dermot
14,463 pts

3. Bainick
14,116 pts

4. Macstorm
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5. Alan Tse
12,796 pts

6. BigWook
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7. Xlash
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8. Colabottle
11,196 pts

9. Alexander
10,044 pts

10. Flamethrower
9,161 pts

11. FinalDelerium
7,097 pts

12. Aurelius
7,070 pts

13. Kanato
5,942 pts

14. Knighttrain
5,929 pts

15. TV's Adam
5,775 pts

16. Cap
5,429 pts

17. MagRowan
4,317 pts

18. DMJewelle
4,180 pts

19. Leaper
2,955 pts

20. Gaijin
2,838 pts

21. Rexy
2,284 pts

22. LufiaLvr
2,015 pts

23. Bucket
2,000 pts

24. JokingChimer
1,840 pts

25. Donovan
1,800 pts

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