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ASK MATT
You Say Tomatto, I say Explatto July 13, 2006

Matthew Demers - 19:34 EST

SO! How's that for a lead-in sentence? The show yesterday was colourful and very entertaining. Purists would be absolutely horrified by the amount of material they cut out of the Lord of the Rings story, but how else are you going to fit it into a three hour production? If you're looking for a bright show with neat special effects, awesome costumes, and a familiar story, then I definitely recommend it to you, unless you're one of those people that gets all upset when people talk about how good the movies were.

There are lots of letters to get through today, so let's begin!




L E T T E R S
What a way to start things off... O_o


My life is being sucked into an online game that is worse than WoW; the world of RuneScape!!!!!

It doesn't even really have anything going for it, yet I find myself spending hours of my life trying to get my character to the lvl 126 cap by clicking on big malformed java polygons and hitting them with my +79 Slash Dragon Scimitar.

Please, someone find the world a cure before it's too late.

- Genjuu.


Matt

Sweet. I had a similar problem almost exactly a year ago, when I got addicted to Makai Kingdom despite its mediocrity. I guess NIS games tend to do that to a person...

The only cure, though, for those types of addictions, are other types of addictions. Grab another game and play it until it has you adequately snagged, and then come back and tell me if you're still beRunescaped!

PS. I forgot a question. Hmmmmm.....would you french-kiss your nan (or your granpa) for a chance to design your own game? What lenghts would YOU go to to get that kind of power? Moooo haaa haaa! went the demented bovine.


Matt

I'm not even going to dignify that with an answer.

Well, OK, yeah, I might. ARGH, what am I saying??? Am I allowed to tell her beforehand what it's for? See, designing my own game to be published is like my life's dream, so 10 seconds of very-wrongness seem to be definitely worth it, wouldn't you say?

Thanks, Genjuu... I think. For writing in. *whimpers*



PC... not so evil, unless you're referring to that old right-wing party in Canadian history.


Hey Mat,

Long time, no write, EH?

Matt

From one Canadian to another, EH?

By the way, everyone: This is the very generous soul who has donated a huge number of prizes to the contest. Let me introduce you to Sean!

Anyways, I was browsing the QnA column as I am wont to do, and I decided to also give an opinion on the topic of PC RPGs. I think DDX is wrong in his comment about Console RPGer’s bring more plentiful than the PC variety – take a look at WoW, Everquest, FFXI, etc.

Matt

I tend to agree. Didn't Blizzard just announce that the six-millionth World of Warcraft account (or whatever you'd call it) was created just a little while ago? When's the last time a console RPG sold six million copies?

That said, I think that DDX was trying to say that there aren't too many PC RPGamers among those who enjoy console games, though I might be wrong.

For me, a good PC RPG almost always beats out a good console RPG. I don’t know why – I just love the games that give me a quest book to use to collect quests from people around the world and just sort them out as I go. Do what I want when I want to. If I want to go into the final dungeon at level 1, I can try. If I want to spend my time acting like a jerk and beating on guards… I can. If I want to sacrifice innocent bystanders to power myself up via Souldrinker… I can. If I want to just cast Armageddon to try to weaken a boss monster while at the same time killing off every single peasant within a 50 mile radius… it is my right. Anyways I digress.

Matt

My only hope is that you don't become God one day. That might be disastrous for all, though it might be fun for the first few minutes to hear your maniacal laughter echo through the skies...

Games like Magna Carta taught me that linear games can be extremely boring and limiting. There is nothing like getting a quest at level 2 that you cannot even get to the areas that you need to go to do it until level 40, or give up the quest because you are being led. There is no reason why I shouldn’t be able to go to the next area… just the characters won’t go because it isn’t part of their next trek. In PC RPGs (and DQ games for the most part) the only thing blocking your advancement is the power of the monsters over the next hill – not an invisible (or a lone guard) barrier just blocking the way. While story-led games can be exciting, they can often lead to much boredom if not done right.

Matt

It's true. It's pretty lame when there are obviously-placed people (or Snorlaxes) conveniently blocking paths to later locations in the story in JUST the right places. Lamer still is when people in your own group say things like "Ah, we shouldn't go here yet!" and force you to turn around. Grrr...

PC RPGs take the focus from the story being told to you and shifts it to be you as the center of the story. In KOTOR, you discover yourself through the choices that you yourself make. Am I a fighter, a thinker or a thief, a man or a woman, good, evil or on my own side, etc. The feeling I get of being inside the game is just wonderful and enhances my enjoyment. I grew up on both console and PC RPGs… and I remember with fondness the newest Might and Magic releases… much more so than the Final Fantasies.

I guess for me it’s the wide open world where the only gates to go through are ones of monster flesh and personal interaction with the game that makes PC RPGs better in my book. On the flip side… for every decent RPG for the PC there are ten for the various consoles, so I do tend to spend more time on my PS2 then on my PC…

Matt

That's also an interesting point. Is it because there are fewer RPGs being published for the PC? Or is it because a greater proportion of the ones that ARE released aren't so good?

Perhaps "having everything shift to you" would be a great reason for me to get into PC gaming, thanks to my wonderfully selfish self. Me me me, as I always say. (Uh... do I always say that?)

Anyways, the rest of what I was going to say was torn from my mind when I had to go on lunch break. If I have anything else to add… I’ll write in later about it.

And Matt… don’t worry about your PC being too slow to handle PC RPGs. The majority of the good ones will run on most machines available today. I’m talking Pools of Radiance, Eye of the Beholder (80s!), Baldur’s Gate 1-2, Planescape Torment (2000ish), Neverwinter Nights (2002?), Might and Magic 1-9 (80s-2002) are all excellent games with great storylines that don’t lead you around by a leash. You really should give them a try, and unless your PC is ancient (and should be in a museum or scrapheap), they should pose no difficulties for you whatsoever.

Matt

Nah. I bought my current computer a little over two years ago. I guess it's mostly a "once-bitten, twice shy" sort of thing, but you're probably right. The vast majority of games probably WOULD run fine on my computer. Then again, if I tried one more time and got MORE errors, annoyances, or glitchiness, I might just abandon all hope.

So Matt, should I go into length about them, or do you just want to choose the one that I will send to you along with Lunar 2 and them PAL games?

Bye!

~Sean~~


Matt

Hahaha, maybe YOU should choose for me, since you're the guru of PC Gaming! Or one of the gurus. You see, there are more people who have written in to talk about my feelings on the subject, as we'll see right now.

In any case, I'd protest the backlog-pileage-on, but if I'm going to get into it, I'm going to have to get into it soon, because consoles are going to own my soul this fall, and from the looks of it, it'll take me eons to catch up.

Thanks, Sean!



PC RPGs: Another Defense


Long letter, feel free to chop it up as much as you want, I tend to ramble.

Matt

So do I, so don't mention it. What's up?

I'm quite the RPGamer myself. I even have around 75 PS1/PS2 RPGs, 30 PC RPGs, and I perpetually play pen and paper ones. However.... your comments about PC RPGs have me headdesking, repeatedly, and my desk is quite hard, I'll have you know.

Matt

Eep... I'm sorry! Perhaps my columns should come with a warning: "Affix a pillow or cushioning object on desk before reading" or something to that effect.

First off, most PC RPGs haven't had an interface beyond primarily mouse controls in quite some time - in fact, the only ones that I can think of that primarily use the keyboard are the FF ports (which work much better with a PSX-like gamepad, gee, I wonder why) and First Person RPGs (more on that later). If anything, it is console RPGs that have the more cumbersome interface (X to accept, Circle to cancel... or was it the other way around? Don't forget Triangle to get to the menu, L1/R1 to rotate the camera, L2/R2 for different camera angles, Start to pause, and square for random stuff that happens in game, and then a completely different controller for a different console)?

Matt

OK, fair enough. I can't REALLY say, because I haven't played many in a long time. So, I retract my statement about controls and their annoyingness.

The thing is, PC RPGs and Console RPGs are two different genres. Oddly enough, they both evolved from the same PC RPG - Ultima. Ultima came from Alkabeth, made by the same people, which came from D&D. In Japan, the first Console-style RPG was based primarily on Ultima, but with vastly simplified controls - I'm pretty sure you've played Dragon Quest 1 (whose combat style comes from Wizardry, another PC RPG).

Matt

Of course! That would be the one that started me and "a few others" off in the RPG world.

The simplification allowed for a more streamlined game, and eventually developed a storybook-style plot. You are the primary character in a storybook that has already been written, and you play to reveal story. In a PC RPG, the plot is more dictated by the characters - in short, it is more like D&D than a console RPG. You aren't the primary character in someone's story, you are you. How you behave and where you go dictates what happens in the story. It may have a defined beginning and a somewhat defined end, but anything inbetween is entirely up to the player.

Matt

Why is it, though, that the medium the game was on really ended up determining the specifics of the game premises and the openendedness of it all? I suppose that greater memory and fewer limitations could be one major factor, allowing for more branches, possibilities, and whatnot. But is that the only reason?

Later on this evolved farther and branched off - some games becoming more console like (Septerra Core is a PC RPG that is VERY console-like), some becoming more Pencil and Paper like (Fallout, the numerous D&D-based games, The Elder Scrolls, Might and Magic), and some combining the two (MMORPGs came from here). Not to say console RPGs haven't evolved differently as well - Chrono Trigger's multiple endings, for instance, is a PC RPG trait.

Because of these things, the tastes of a PC RPG player and a Console RPG player are different. Thus, the reason why you never hear from PC RPG players is that RPGamer.com is a console RPG website (other than the MMORPGamer and The Saving Throw).

Matt

I do know that at RPGamer, the intent is to cover all RPGs, no matter what platform they are developed for, PC or console alike. Is it the readers that have transformed this site into one that feels more console-centric through our Interaction columns? Is it because there are just a lot MORE in the way of console RPGs than there are PC RPGs?

I'll give you an example of the difference. Would you expect a person who loves FPSes to the exclusion of other genres to pay a lot of attention to the RPGamer website? Probably not, FPSes are drastically different than most console RPGs, right?

You can't say that about PC RPGs. Both The Elder Scrolls and the Might and Magic series are first person RPGs. Their controls tend to match FPSes (although MM tends to have oddball controls) instead of more conventional PC RPGs, but you can't call them Action-RPGs. TES is about as non-linear as you get, and the MM games are about as linear as you find in conventional PC RPGs - and it is still far more non-linear than most console RPGs. They seem to be similar games at first glance, kinda like comparing Kingdom Hearts 2 and Dragon Quest 8 for outsiders - to non-RPG players, they seem like similar games, but to yourself, myself, and anyone else reading this, they are VERY different games. Then you have the RPGish FPSes like System Shock that just confuses people.

Matt

Mmk, that seems to make sense.

I actually enjoy console RPGs more than PC RPGs for the most part. While there are some gems in the PC RPG world (Planescape: Torment, Might and Magic 6/7/8, Ultima 4), I can't find that they compare to the gems in the console RPG world (Wild ARMs 1, Chrono Trigger, Shining Force 2, FFT, and so on).

I still love PC RPGs though. See, PC RPGs have one huge advantage that console RPGs will never have. Namely, I can play Ultima 3 on my PC (which is 3-4 years old) if I really tried hard. Can you play Dragon Quest 1 on a Gamecube? Hopefully, the Wii's virtual console thing should fix this problem, but for an old school RPG player like myself, I like the comfort of knowing that I'll be able to play my RPGs fifteen, twenty, or even fifty years from now. I can't quite guarantee that with my PS2. If my old PC breaks (the thirteen year old one I keep around to play older games easier), I can repair it. If my PS2 breaks, I'd have to buy a new one, and will there even be a console thirteen years from now available to play PS1 games?

Matt

That's a really good thing to bring up! Even IF Dragon Quest was playable on the Virtual Console (though I suspect that it will be, especially to help promote Dragon Quest games, coming out for the Wii and DS), you can't play everything. And who knows? The NEXT next-gen system, to be unveiled in who-knows-when (2010? 2011?) might not have that feature yet again. To an old-school gamer like myself, compatability is always a huge issue.

A console in thirteen years that will play PS1 games, though? Since Sony has always made a point of being backwards compatible with old games, I'd be very surprised if some theoretical PS5 console didn't continue the trend. Or do you mean to imply that Sony is going to be done like dinner by that point? That would be most unfortunate for them, and us, for the reason you describe.

My question to you is this: As long as you play RPGs a generation behind (like trying to play WA3 now on a PS2), you shouldn't have any problems on a PC. Having said that, what PC RPGs do you want to try, and why haven't you?

--
aetherspoon


Matt

Since I've heard such great things about it from multiple people- you, DDX, and others- Planescape: Torment sounds like it might be fun to try sometime. I guess the only things that have really prevented me from going out and doing so is a lack of readily-availability at this point in the game, and the other sticky things I talked about yesterday that probably aren't even valid. My ignorance of PC games is much due to a certain sort of inherent laziness. It's so easy to just pop in a game that is specially designed for a specific machine, without having to worry about installation or compatability. Though, as you say, if the games in question are years old, that shouldn't pose a problem. Who knows? Maybe when you write into Q&A in ten years to find out why the PS5 won't support XG Quantum Computing, you'll also be able to read about all of the PC games I've managed to get myself into.

Thanks, aetherspoon, for sharing with us!



Jeux pour Paris?


Greetings Matt,

Do my eyes decieve me or is that Lunar:SSSC on your playlist? Yay! I'm a little biased since that was the game that introduced me to the great world of RPG's, but it is an amazing game.

Matt

Your eyes do not deceive you! I'm playing through it now, though I admittedly haven't touched my PS2 in a couple of weeks at this point, thanks to an uncharacteristically busy schedule. Since I'm usually busy as it is, "uncharacteristically" busy is synonymous with "nope, it's not happening". Oh yeah, and my Fire Emblem obsession might be partially responsible, too...

You're not alone in the PC RPG area. I've never had a amazing computer so PC games were always something I did at friends' houses. Now that I have a decent computer I have browsed a few of them, but nothing has the heart and soul of a console game. Oblivion looks interesting, but I'm not ready to upgrade my computer and spend $1000 for a game I may or may not like. I need to find a buddy to talk into buying it. hehe

Matt

Well, maybe WE should be buddies that talk each other into PC games. If you're worried about spending lots of money on Oblivion, wait awhile, until your next system, as the people in above letters have advised me to do. Or, pick up some games that were hot a couple of years ago, and give them a try. You never know- maybe they really do have a lot to offer, and I could stand to learn that lesson myself!

Since I'm traveling to Paris this August I decided to cave and buy a DS Lite. I usually don't like handhelds, but they look soooooo nice on the DS. Amazon.com is gonna make such a profit off of me this week. Any suggestions on RPG's? I think Riviera: The Promised Land and Fire Emblem:SS are on my list on top of all those good Mario games. I may be just screwing myself by increasing my backlog, but I guess it's good to have for when Final Fantasy III comes out.

Matt

I'm afraid that you're JUST going to miss out on the big crop of them, since there are a large number due for release in the fall. Right now, however, there really aren't many more RPGs out for the DS than there are for the PSP. You could try Lost Magic, which came out fairly recently; I really don't know much about it, but it scored a not-that-great 3.0/5 in our RPGamer review. Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time was decent, but otherwise, GBA games are probably still your best bet. On the DS Lite's brilliant screen, though, they'll look fantastic.

Oh, how was the LotR play? I loved it. But I'm a huge fan of the series. Eventhough they cut out a lot it was still enjoyable. Even the songs weren't bad.

The Dark Chevalier


Matt

I really liked it too, as I mentioned above... thanks for asking! I'm afraid that it could draw a lot of criticism from people who are very loyal to the books, and they do have a point; some fairly major characters and events have been taken out entirely. In the end, though, if you just go to have a good time and to enjoy the theatrics, it's worth it.



To Xenoclarify


'lo there.

On reading the latest article - I have no questions (sorry!) but I have an answer.

Matt

Awesome, I take those too!

The PAL edition of Xenosaga 2 in the fancy box has a DVD with all of the movie sequences from Episode 1; put 2 hours of time aside (!) and watch through that - then pop the Xeonsaga 2 disc in and have loads more fun.

I did it, and I'm still sane.

--
---EM Elendrik


Matt

Good to hear. I still feel it's unfortunate, because while it's true that Xenosaga: Episode I did have a lot of movie-time, I really enjoyed the gameplay throughout as well. Being given a splattering of all of those sequences is certainly better than nothing, and definitely a good thing to watch before playing Episode II, but I still don't think it serves as an adequate replacement of the game itself.

I'm glad to hear you're still sane, though! And thanks for writing in to clarify that matter, EM. Perhaps we'll hear from you again someday!



Don't go flamethrowing my list!


Response to your list:

Final Fantasy III - Now THIS is what a remake should be. Better in every way than the original. Incidentally this is also the case with sequels. And to everyone who says to make remakes just like the original: YOU ARE WRONG. If you want the original, go play the original.

Matt

And from what I played, the game seems to stay remarkably true to an old-school feel, despite the amazing transition to 3-D. Excellent, excellent work, Square Enix!!

Final Fantasy XII - Seems like an interesting new game. We already know the graphics are great, and that is half the battle. I wonder what people think of the gameplay...

Matt

That's certainly on my mind, too!! Every time I bring up my worries, based on the demos I've played, I've been met with harsh criticism from people who have heard things or played the game. My worries won't truly be banished until I play the game myself. Three and a half months to go...!

Final Fantasy V - Haven't you played this already?

Matt

But I LOVE it! I really enjoy FFV, and more so than the average RPGamer, it seems. I'm not sure why, but thinking about a remake in the same style as FFIV makes my heart go all a-flutter.

Final Fantasy VI - I have played this game through twice and that's enough for me. Must have? You've got to be kidding. I hope they fix the evade bug.

Matt

Ah, but FFVI is my favourite of the series, and similarly to FFV, seeing it in a nicely-done remake (instead of an unceremoniously PS1 dumping of one) would bring joy to my life.

Children of Mana - Haven't heard much about this one.

Matt

Children of Mana is another Square Enix game and the latest title in the Seiken Densetsu series, due for release on the DS sometime early (?) this fall. I played the demo at E3 and was quite impressed. Battling was fun, and highly reminiscent of the gameplay in Sword of Mana, though I hope that the game itself will be more substantial in the end than Sword of Mana was.

Disgaea II - I heard the first game was good. This one should be too. Of course I haven't played either. Incidentally, Disgaea 1 is one of those semi-rare games. You can check eBay if you don't believe me. Copies regularly sell for more than the game's original retail price.

Matt

Indeed. I was a late bloomer as far as Disgaea goes; I only got it for Christmas two years ago, well after its initial release. Reportedly, my mom had "a hell of a time" trying to find it even then. I can't wait for the sequel, and I hope that it puts Nippon Ichi, whose latest entries have been unspectacular, back on track.

Xenosaga: Episode III - Haven't heard much...

Matt

So exciting. SO exciting. It looks like Monolith Soft has really listened to fans and cleaned a lot of things up from Episode II. They're bringing back many features from Episode I that were disappointingly removed for the second game, and from the looks of the trailers, they've returned to slightly more expressive, anime-styled characters. The music I've heard has been spectacular, the graphics look as great as ever, and hopefully, the story ends with a bang, too!

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - I'll be picking up a copy of this one. Its seems the two "sides" in this one are day and "twilight." See below for details.

Matt

Definitely! Alongside my new Wii, Zelda shall be my friend. Will it be the new Ocarina of Time? Even though I'm excited about it, I feel like people are getting their expectations up really dangerously high for this title...

Yoshi's Island 2 - Haven't heard much. Tell me more! But I digress, this is an RPG site, not a platformer one. Please tell me if this game came out for SNES.

Matt

This game would be a sequel for the SNES game Yoshi's Island: Super Mario World 2, which is, in my opinion, one of the best side-scrolling games of all time. In the sequel, other babies ride on Yoshi, including a Baby Peach, who can let Yoshi float for a distance, etc. The announcement surprised me, and I really can't wait for it!

Fire Emblem Wii (if it's released this year) - Don't hold your breath.

Matt

Well, even if it isn't released this year, it'll give me something to look forward to in a second-wave of Wii games. All the good ones can't come out right at the start!

Super Smash Bros. Brawl (if it's released this year) - Looks fun. A lot of new characters.

Matt

Two words: Kid Icarus. I wanted it back in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and I'm going to get it now. Wonderful!!!

Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors - Haven't heard much. Was this game at E3? Several games in the Zelda series have had two sides to them. Of course fanboys will think of others. Feel free to correct me.

Matt

I haven't heard much either, except that it's a big, huge Dragon Quest game in development for the Wii that will be released at launch. It wasn't playable at E3, but a few screens were shown at Nintendo's press conference. As a tremendous Dragon Quest fan, I can't wait to learn more.

Zelda 3 (Link to the Past): Light and Dark World
Zelda OOT: World of the present, World of the future
Zelda Minish: World of the big, World of the small. Did anyone ever notice link can run just as fast small as he can big?
Zelda Oracles: Seasons: The four seasons. Ages: World of the Present, World of the Future

SOCK:
254) A 255) A

Flamethrower


Matt

It's definitely become a theme of Zelda over the years; viewing the same world in different ways. Based on some of the screenshots and footage we've seen, Twilight Princess will not be an exception to this evolution. We might be able to play it in just two short months, too!! Of course, that would depend on what exactly Nintendo decides to do when it comes to the release of the Wii. We'll all be holding our breath over the next few weeks (and not because anyone is particularly stinky).



More worrisome Sony ideas, put to rest.


I was watching Attack of the Show on G4 and they mentioned something about Sony doing something to the PS3 so you can't borrow, rent or buy resold games. How true is this? Do you think they'll loose tons of money from this?

Sydney


Matt

There were some musings, months back, that something like this was in the works. I think that Sony just played with the idea a bit before dropping it, however, because I'm pretty certain that this isn't officially planned at this point, and with only a few months left before the PS3's release, I can't see that Sony would make such a giant mistake to compound their already mounting potential troubles.

The technology you speak of would be introduced so that only one game would get recognized by the console itself; in other words, as soon as you pop a game into a system, it would get marked somehow, and henceforth be unable to be played on any other system. This, of course, is highly impractical in real life, because it could potentially damage anyone- even the most honest of joes! What would happen, for instance, if you were to accidentally destroy your system (in a fire, or whatever) and need to replace it? You'd have to replace your entire library of games as well! Obviously, the idea absolutely wouldn't fly, and it would be suicide for Sony to actually introduce such a feature into its next generation of games.



Ohh... how COULD I forget?


Earliest game elements:
FFVI had the tutorial school on the outskirts of Narshe. It also gave you little tutorials you could opt out of for new features like party switching and learning rages on the Veldt. How could you forget KAPPA the cute little imp that trips as it leaves the screen? FFV also had the tutorial school, but since its North American release was much later its easy to forget. And don't forget about the hidden minigame in the very first FF. I think I heard about it from Nintendo Power or something cause I know I would never have parked the boat under the bridge and pressed buttons over and over for any other reason.
--

Xlash the dwarf berserker


Matt

Oh my goodness... there's NO reason that I should have forgotten those little scenes at all from Final Fantasy VI. I feel so terrible!! And yeah, there is also a tutorial classroom in Final Fantasy IV, as I'm sure you'll remember, though I wouldn't classify that as an "actual" in-game tutorial that takes you aside and specifically shows you how something works.

Thanks, Xlash! People will feel more of your wisdom tomorrow, when you get your next turn to help co-host!!



The proof is in the pudding! Er, the pictures!


Any chance of seeing a picture of the Slime Keychain Dangler, Slime Snail Keychain Dangler, or Nintendo DS Lite Carrying Case?

- Mac


Matt

Absolutely, Mac! I had never even thought about it before, but that sounds like a very good idea. I'll also take a snapshot of the other two pieces of merchandise. Here they are:

Slime Danglers - 1 - 2

Nintendo DS Lite Carrying Case - front - back

Pokémon 10th Anniversary Game Case - outside - inside

Nintendo Wii Canvas Carrying Bag

There! Proof that I'm not ripping anyone off. I'm going to link to these pictures in the shop from now on, for easy viewmanshipperization. Thanks, Mac.





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Hmmm. I meet my professor tomorrow to talk about my progress. At this point, I haven't even done a thing since our last meeting on Monday. What does this mean? Yes, I have a whole lot of work to do tonight. What an unfortunate thing...

To brighten things up, how about a haiku from Donovan?

The sun sleeps soundly
It promises renewed joy
Through courage's pain

He is the only bard-slash-monk person I've ever met, and his poetic quality is made evident here! Thanks, Donovan!

Flashay!


***Answers to July 12th's Questions***

#254. e) 450, 800 - 425 points (It sounded like some of you nearly killed yourselves trying to figure out a mathematical connection here, but it's not a mathematical sequence at all! Nope, it's simply the amounts of Experience you need to get to Level 1, 2, 3, ... in the original Dragon Warrior. A REAL math question comes in today's column, though *I* am not the one responsible!!)

#255. d) 13 - 425 points/850 for BigWook (This is a Lunar 2, Eternal Blue reference. Working Designs had a contest to submit haikus, and allowed people on their message board to vote, according to BigWook. 13 people had haikus selected, and HE was one of them! Small world it is, yes? Thanks for the submission!)


***Today's New Questions***

#256: In which floor of Corona Tower does the floorplan possess a line of symmetry down the middle, splitting west and east halves into mirror images of each other? (380 points)

a) 1F
b) 2F
c) 3F
d) 4F
e) Every floor is symmetric.


Reader-Submitted #257: Theoretically, if someone in the Top 35 had a near-infinite amount of items, and was targetted with an Item Destroyer, what would be the approximate probability that NONE of his/her items would be destroyed? (425 points)

a) 0
b) 1/2pi
c) 1/2e
d) 1/pi
e) 1/e


--------------------------
STRAGGLERS: (people who I love, but who still need to check their e-mail or somehow get in touch with me because they have unclaimed items- if you fall off the list after a week, it's TOO LATE FOR YOU! Check your spam/trash folders for my messages if you're not getting them, and I'll check mine, too!)
  • none to speak of!
--------------------------

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SOCK's Item List

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

2,000 points: Your choice of Quick Spell (2 left) or Blizzard Spell (1 left)
3,500 points: Your choice of Point Tripler (2 left) or Mythril Armor (1 left)
5,000 points: Your choice of Drainra Spell (2 left) or Haste Spell (1 left)
7,000 points: Your choice of Firaga Spell (2 left) or Demi Spell (2 left)
10,000 points: Your choice of Item Destroyer (1 left) or Warp Stone (1 left)
14,000 points: Your choice of Confuse Spell (2 left) or Thundara Spell (1 left)
19,000 points: Your choice of Rename Card (1 left) or Vanish Spell (1 left)
25,000 points: Your choice of Demiga Spell (2 left) or Nightmare Staff (2 left)


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. (4 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)

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! [Pictured] (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. [Pictured] [Inside, Pictured] (1 left)

15,000 points: Bonus Cohost Opportunity- I like giving these out because I don't have to pay for shipping. (1 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 Danglers- Fresh from the Square Enix booth at E3 2006, this cute little guy can be yours. Not really a keychain as much as it is something to put ON a keychain, but better used as a figurine, I think. [Slime, Pictured] [Slime Snail, Pictured] (2 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. [Front, Pictured] [Back, Pictured] (2 left)

30,000 points: Your choice of Megaman X4, X5, or X6 for the PSX (NTSC). The instructions are in each, but the jewel cases are cracked from use. (3 left)

50,000 points: Vandal Hearts (PAL) for the PSX. One of the earliest tactical RPGs of the Playstation era. Latch onto this if you're a PAL gamer and you have enough points! Thanks to Sean for the donation. (1 left)

50,000 points: Final Fantasy VII (PAL) for the PSX. If you're a PAL gamer who still hasn't experienced the greatness of this game, this is your perfect chance! This is another donation by Sean! (1 left)

50,000 points: Suikoden for the PSX. Play the game that started off the entire series! Thanks so much to Ouro and Sean for donating these - it would be cool to send them to a good and loving home. (1 left in NTSC-format, 1 left in PAL-format!)

100,000 points: Arc the Lad Collection (NTSC), 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. (1 left) *********************************************************


As promised, Xlash will be on-scene tomorrow to help answer questions and question answers, so give him your full attention and come back then to check out the discussion! There are lots of topics to talk about, though that new Square Enix news article that went up yesterday seems to be mighty disturbing. Feel free to write in about that, or anything else, and I'll do my best to respond!


slimey@rpgamer.com
***Matt is the name of me, and altogether too many other people.


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There were FIVE Matts in my Grade Nine Gym class, if you can believe that. Really, really annoying, when someone calls your name and a small mob perks their head up in response.

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What is Matt playing?

1. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

2. The New Super Mario Brothers

3. Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete

What does Matt want to play?

1. Xenosaga: Episode III

2. Final Fantasy III

3. Disgaea II

SOCK's Top 25:

1. Alexander
22,212 pts

2. BigWook
21,551 pts

3. Macstorm
20,235 pts

4. Alan Tse
17,993 pts

5. Aurelius
17,918 pts

6. Kanato
16,172 pts

7. Erika
15,008 pts

8. MagRowan
13,657 pts

9. DMJewelle
12,530 pts

10. JokingChimer
12,008 pts

11. Colabottle
11,196 pts

12. TV's Adam
11,070 pts

13. Cap
11,019 pts

14. Dermot
10,581 pts

15. LufiaLvr
9,600 pts

16. FinalDelerium
9,147 pts

17. Belthasar2
8,213 pts

18. Flamethrower
7,753 pts

19. Xlash
7,137 pts

20. Purelunatic
7,090 pts

21. Knighttrain
6,566 pts

22. Leaper
6,500 pts

23. Arros Raikou
5,988 pts

24. Gaijin
5,478 pts

25. Gilgamesh
5,168 pts

26. BLG
4,928 pts

27. Tabor
4,773 pts

28. Donovan
4,110 pts

29. DDX
2,883 pts

30. Bucket
2,860 pts

31. Megan
2,855 pts

32. Kyre7Lar
2,520 pts

33. Rexy
2,284 pts

34. CW
2,143 pts

35. JuMeSyn
1,779 pts

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