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ASK MATT
Maximino, Master of Calculus! November 15, 2005

Matt Demers - 00:21 EST

WELL, WELL, well. I regret to tell you all that for some reason or another, my wonderslime@rpgamer.com e-mail is still not working, probably due to fate, since fate likes to toy with me every now and then. Just yesterday, I caught it crawling out of my air vents, but I grabbed a dirty sock and mashed it against the ceiling. Maybe, on second thought, that was a spider... either way, life sucks and it will only stop sucking when I get my e-mail account back, so from hither to thither, only e-mail me at qna@rpgamer.com, if you can remember to do so, or else your letters will sadly not be posted. And yes, for those of you that sent the SOCK answers to wonderslime@ for the second time, I'll give you one last chance to respond... just stay safe and send it HERE.

Since all of you have done so well at stocking up the QNA mailbox, though, we can still have a wonderful day today. There are no biscuits, but it'd be really hard to send each and every one of you some of those, especially with shipping prices these days, since they'd have to go through next-day delivery or airmail or whatever is quickest. I just don't have the dough, nor do I have the cash. Biscuit dough, of course.

There was something else that I wanted to mention today, but I can't quite remember what it was, so I guess we can just move on. Yeah, I know Dragon Quest VIII is being released to stores today. That wasn't it... oh well.




L E T T E R S
EVIL Math TAs shall rule the world (notice the capital M)


'ello Matty (If i may, otherwise ill just stick to Matt!),

Ok, so I know that "Where do chocobos come from?" is SOOO old and everyone SHOULD know that answer by now. But, heres another question along those lines. Where did the inspiration of Moogles come from? Is there anything pre-existing or was that a total original piece of work from Amano? I know they made they're first stateside appearance in "FFVI" then in "Secret of Mana". (Remember, the Moogle village :) ) (I could be wrong but i know its one of those two, i just forgot which one was released first...i have to go with VI...)

Matt

You are correct in your doubts! Secret of Mana preceded Final Fantasy VI by a few years, in fact, which is yet another reason why it was so great for its time. You are also correct in your facts, since you do indeed find a Moogle Village in a forest of Secret of Mana; a very useful village, because the monsters in the region are a huge step up from anything you've fought until then, if I remember correctly.

However, Moogles didn't debut in the Final Fantasy series in number VI! Oh no. They came onto the scene in Final Fantasy V, where they existed in a forest town of their own. Also, a major character of the game has one as a pet. Want to know who? Play the game... it's a goodie.

Also, not a question, more of a complaint. I loathe most of you TA's. My Calc. 2 TA loves to confuse the hell out of us. And since hes the one to pass back our exams, he literally taunts us for the first five minutes...Im just glad im good at math!
::Drools:: Intergals! YUM!

Greg

Matt

Bwahahahahah...!!

*insert thunder*

Yeah, we're totally out to get you, and we'll find a way to ruin your life one way or another. If integrals are so delicious, then we'll try spearing you with a Pi symbol, or better yet, make a piecewise function out of you, leaving you to scream in agony as we point and laugh in sadistic mathematical villainy!

Actually, I'm a nice TA... I'm the one who gives out regrades and free marks to people who come and plead their case after a test. So really, I'm like the skinny-Santa of marks! So don't blame me... I'm not on the side of evil. Usually.



Trilogy? Or Eulogy?


What is the status on the Phantasy Star Trilogy for PS2 in America?

Supposedly, it was to be released quarter 3 of 2005 and I have heard nothing new since, it now being Q4 of 2005. Did they abandon this project? I have seen online shops in China selling a supposed American version, but as far as I know this has yet to be released on US soil. Thanks.

Matt

Yeah, it hasn't generated much news lately, has it? I don't think your project is dead yet, but it certainly isn't set to be released in the 3rd quarter of 2005. Why not? I don't know, but it's the 4th quarter NOW, so I think it's highly impossible otherwise. Some other sites on that Internet thing are now posting the release date as "To Be Announced", so I guess that means we'll have to wait for an announce-MENT, unfortunately. Never give up! Play other games in the meantime, and perhaps one day you'll wake up one morning and check out RPGamer, just to be shocked and elated to find a news update relating to that title.



Chapped lips suck, especially when you can't stop biting the dry skin off, making them even MORE painful


Hey Matt. What's with all the innovation? It's getting to be impossible to find a true RPG these days. Everything's got to have active battles, or tactical grids, or even the most heinous of crimes, are actually just action games with leveling tacked on. Dragon Quest is going to be a real breath of fresh air for me. When everyone clamors over all the innovations and advances over turn based RPGs with map screens, I have to wonder... What the HELL are these people doing playing RPGs in the first place? If you want an action game, go buy a got dang action game. Don't try and turn my turn based system into something that it's not. Now, I'm not saying that I only want turn based games, but active battles are not inherently superior to turn based ones. Look at the differences between FFX's very strategic turn based battles and FFX-2's frantic rush to hit the X button as fast as you can to keep the enemy from getting you into some unholy stunlock with their attacks that knock you all the way back to the beginning of your attack animation.

Matt

It isn't impossible, but they are very difficult to find, and good ones are even LESS easy to stumble upon. The problem is, video game companies aren't going to innovate less, because NEW, DIFFERENT, and ACTION-PACKED are what the masses want, those crazy masses. If you talk to most friends about RPGs, they'll respond by saying "Blah, they're boring". At least, my friends do.

Therein lies the problem: That leaves simple, beautiful, old-school game-lovers like you and I out in the cold, doesn't it? That's why it leaves simple, beautiful, old-school game-lovers like you and I ravenous for games like Dragon Quest VIII, doesn't it?!?

Don't get me wrong, I will love forever the ATB. However, turn-based games just tend to make me happier, and although I'm probably in the minority, you're in it too, so I won't be all by myself. We can have a big party and drink lots and have chips and watch movies!


Anyway, enough about that. One other thing I'd like to do is help you out with a problem. A while back, perhaps a few months, someone committed the crime of theft. They stole a tilde from all of you. Well, this didn't sit right with me, so I've decided to do my part and help out. Over the past few months I've been farming tildes in the windowbox outside of my room. I know that it's not much, but now that the winter months are going to set it, my harvest of three tildes are yours. Don't worry, I have a few ampersands and asterisks to help get me through the winter, and in spring I'll be able to start farming again. Well, here they are. Make sure you give them only to those who earn them. I'll put them in a Tilde Box, to protect them during shipping.

__________
I                  I
I    ~ ~ ~     I
I_________I

Sorry if it's a little dented, but that's what I get for putting a fragile sticker on it. Keep it turn based, Kenny C.

Matt

An impressive farm indeed! I'd show you mine, but it would require even MORE html formatting than yours did to make it look right. In fact, just for taking that time out to nbsp it up just perfectly, I think *I* deserve the first tilde you fish out of that there box. One thing is for sure though: You should tell us all about your grammagricultural methods, so that maybe, just MAYBE we could grow some more semi-colons; they're pitifully underused.




Mmm... cheeseball, you say? I have some crackers.


Hiya Mattman!

Saw that you were lamenting a lack of letters, so I thought I'd try and send you one to see if it would get through.

So, congratulations on finishing FFVI another time! And Good luck with you Chrono Trigger escapades. I, myself, have recently started another round of the original FF, well, at least the PSX port of it.

So, I was wondering, and I know you are more of a DQ fan, first and foremost, but what do you think of all the propaganda and screen shots from KHII? I'm starting to worry about this game sometimes. I mean, anyone else but me feel like they are starting to huck any old concept into the game (see Tron propaganda shots)?

KHII is still on my list of must have, but I'm getting phenomenally worried that it will just be one big cheeseball of a world after another. Any thoughts on this one yourself?

Ever the curious one, MagRowan (~)

Matt

We're all worried about the game serieseses we like most, for sure. If big huge things were changed, things might not stay the same as what we KNOW works well, and thus there is some risk involved.

Here, I disagree with you 90%. The original Kingdom Hearts, to me, had a whole lot of stinky cheeseball worlds in the first place, topped with a side order of mundane battle system sauce to boot, though the background music was pleasurable; I must admit this at least. Maybe then, if they changed things up, the sequel will stand a chance of making it into my collection, but I'll only sit up and take notice if they add status ailments to liven things up an iota or seven. Sigh...such a woefully easy game ...and "TEEDUS"? Ellipsis.

*shudders*



Doom's Doom


Hey Matt,

As for games-to-movies, I know I saw Mario Brothers, Double Dragon and Spirits Within but can't for the life of me remember anything about them except that maybe some really good actors made some really bad choices. I am looking forward to seeing Advent Children, but aside from that I really haven't bothered with anymore movies from games.

Matt

Nor I. Mario Brothers was inexcusably bad, and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was garbage; the only people who actually enjoyed the movie were people who have never played the games, at least out of those I've chatted with. Um, and soon thereafter, Chris, my brother, dragged me to see a Pokémon movie with him. Out of the three, the latter was sadly the best one by far, but no, the video game movies ain't for me.

I did like "The Wizard" way back when that showed Super Mario 3 before it was ever released and thought it was a good way to build hype for the game.

On a side note, the trailers for Doom seemed OK until it switched to first person mode and then it felt like I was watching someone else play the game and I don't know about you but I really hate just "watching a game" and felt that if any amount of movie would be spent like then I might as well save my money. While I understand hardcore FPSers may have loved it as a casual gamer in that genre it just didn't appeal to me. While it wasn't my kind of movie I am curious as to how many people actually did like it.

Matt

It seems that the rest of the continent agrees with you. The first day box-office sales were only one-quarter what Universal Pictures had originally expected, reportedly, and I presume that that might be a pretty good indication. I certainly had no part of that! I haven't even played the game... accursed first-person shooters.



Globular Goo


do you have any pics of anna nicole dressed as rikku?please write me back at mistresssepheroth@yahoo.com or rei_chan@tokyo.com..thanks!!!

Matt

No. No! Do you realize who I AM??! Fool humans...



Crying ruby teardrops


Hey Matt,

As per your request, my favorite DQ game is part 4. Furthermore, Dragon Warrior 4 is my favorite overall video game experience of my entire life.

To understand why, we must go back to (I believe) 1991. I was about 9 years old, and the Super Nintendo was coming out pretty soon, as I recall. I was a big fan of Nintendo. Mario, Zelda, Final Fantasy, and yes, Dragon Warrior. I got DW1 from that sweet deal Nintendo Power offered, and it was my first RPG. Fast forward a few years to '91, and I had somehow managed to miss Dragon Warrior's 2 and 3. And by the time Dragon Warrior 4 was on the store shelves, my sights were set on the Super Nintendo.

Matt

Allow me to interject. I played the games in the same order as you did, apparently. After Grandma (remember her name, anybodyKeen?) showed me the ins and outs of Dragon Warrior I, I discovered the fourth incarnation at a video rental store called Movies & More, a large joint that was done in by Blockbuster upon its arrival a couple years later. Anyway, So yeah. I played the first, and then the fourth, and then went backwards. Coincidence? I THINK NOT! Continue.

However, fate had other plans. On one crisp day in November, I happened to have enough money saved up to buy a new game. With Christmas on the horizon, my mom was always hesitant to take me to the mall. However, this year she was going to give me a SNES for Christmas, and she did not expect me to want any NES games. However, I was not aware of her gift giving intentions, and we went to the mall. All I know was that when I happened to see Dragon Warrior 4 on the shelf I fell in love. Unable to convince me to save my money without explicitly stating that I would soon be the proud owner of an SNES, she was unable to deter me.

I went home with what was to be my last new NES purchase.

Matt

Ohhh...!! That's so sad, in a happy way. You know, I rented Dragon Warrior IV from this Movies & More place, played it for one night, returned it, and lusted over it for the next two years straight. I didn't DARE ask for it for Christmas or my birthday because the listed price at Toys 'R' Us was $99.99, so I just sat in a glum despair. Only after all NES games were gone did I actually think of asking for it, and my mom searched every video store in Chatham to find it for me. Having no luck, she got my Aunt Erin to look in Windsor, and BINGO! That's where I got mine at long last! The thing is, I wasn't told: We celebrated my birthday one night, and I got my present after dinner, and it was something relatively disappointing like a sweater. We went to the Aunt's house the next day for a visit, and just as we were leaving to go, Aunt Erin said "Oh yeah, and I have something for ya." She opened her hands and there it was: One of the most beautiful things I had ever seen. My twelfth birthday was certainly one of my happiest/most memorable!

Sorry for interrupting you again.

My favorite scene in DW4 (spoiler ahead!) is the scene which shows Saro walking away from the tower he had tried to hide Rosa in, only to discover that he had failed. As he walked away from the tower, the screen turned completely red and he paused. Even though I was only 9, I distinctly remember drawing a number of terrible hypothetical conclusions from that presentation. It was something akin to prior generations hearing Rock n Roll on electric guitars for the first time, or maybe a great political speech. At that moment I was suddenly aware of the artistic potential of the video game medium, and my love of gaming became that much deeper.

Although there would be future moments like this (for example a certain Opera House, or a certain scene with Sephiroth), none ever came close to the impact those 8-bit graphics had.

Matt

No kidding... the game was powerful, and it was great because it brought the gameplay of the previous three and introduced quite a solid storyline to it. Dragon Warrior IV was undeniably one of the most epic games for the NES, and also sported decent graphics, a killer soundtrack, and artificial intelligence that was more effective than that of Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, released twelve years later.

It was the entire experience: my youth, the emotional attachment to every game purchase because of how long it took to save the money, the power and artistry of the minimalist graphics and sound, and the watered-down American translation that ironically allowed my imagination to conjure scenes of rape and violence the American censors never imagined... because of all that, DW4 is my favorite game of all time.

I urge everyone to replay DW4 if you can, and try to put yourself in the shoes of an impressionable 9 year old in 1991 to really understand where I'm coming from.

Although I have high hopes for DQ8, I know my 23 year old jaded self won't feel anything, really, from this game. I've now had the chance to read everything from Solzhenitsyn to Vonnegut, and watch films like the Deer Hunter. DQ8 is a fun little romp that will come and go, no matter how hard I try to hype myself for it. But DW4 hit at the right place and the right time, and really focused my love for video games in a way that stuck. What more can you ask for?

***John

Matt

We shall see! After all, the game will be in our hands by the end of the week, and then we will be able to judge. I've thought about it a bit, and you know: Maybe the nine-year-olds of today will play Dragon Quest VIII (or whatever game) and view it in the same way as you view DWIV right now: Things have an interesting way of impacting you when you're young, which is why you can go back to old games, play them, and discover how much worse they are than you remembered them to be, or the opposite. I don't know... it's happened to me lots!

Anyway, thanks for your tribute to one of the best underrated videogame classics of all time, and have fun romping with the videogame that I hope will become a classic in the future.





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Apparently, you're not supposed to rub Vicks Vaporub directly under your nose. Instead, you're supposed to smear it on your neck and chest and back, according to the instructions. Well, Vicks, I'm quite sorry to shoot down your diabolical, capitalistic ways, but I'm not rubbing anything on my back. For one, I don't know anyone whose nose faces in that direction. Secondly, I sleep on my back, and I'd get my covers all disgusting and greasy at the same time. Oh gee; at the same time, you'll have us use TWICE as much, so that we have to go buy more TWICE as often! Mmm, what a deal!

*rubs under nose anyway*

This is right up there with shampoo labels directing users to "rinse and repeat". I ain't never repeated, and I ain't never gonna start. Losers.

Again, we have to forego the SOCK hop because it wouldn't be fair to those of you who keep sending to my wonderslime@ account, which is obviously not working as it should. This is IT though... IF you haven't yet sent your reply to qna@rpgamer.com, then you get one more day of grace, because I'm so nice.

For those of you craving new questions, never fear: Tomorrow will feature a bonanza of FIVE questions! I hope you all understand that I'm not just being a lazy bastard; this is all in fairness.

Question #44: (20 points) Follow me!--> In Final Fantasy VI, how many crates are in the town of Nikeah?

a) 0
b) 28
c) 40
d) 42
e) 56

Question #45: (15 points) What is the most anyone has ever won on the US version of the game show "Jeopardy!" in a single day during NORMAL gameplay (i.e. not during tournaments)?

a) $37,000
b) $45,001
c) $52,000
d) $55,001
e) $75,000

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

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

My social life is about to decrease by 76. Why? If you don't know by now, there's just no hope for you! For tomorrow, let's touch a little more on how you guys feel about Kingdom Hearts. If you don't like the way I slammed it brutally, defend it! If you want to root me on, please do! Just make sure that you send it to the right address, until further notice.

Good day!

wonderslime@rpgamer.com
***Matt always looks both ways before crossing the street


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What's that between my teeth? I'd fish it out for you, but then I'd have to KILL you.

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Matt's Top 3 Current Games:

1. Makai Kingdom

2. Warioware: Twisted!

3. Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana

Matt's Top 3 RPG Desires:

1. Dragon Quest VIII

2. Final Fantasy III

3. Mario & Luigi: PiT

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Cookie o' the Week:

Mattie's Chocolate Celebration Cookies

Another REAL recipe! These sweet treats are the perfect things to munch on while playing a brand new game, whatever that new game may be. If you wanted, you could shape them into little slimes if Dragon Quest VIII is what your desire is, like me!

-1 c Butter

-1 1/2 c Sugar

-2 Eggs

-2 tsp Vanilla

-2 c All-purpose flour

-2/3 c Cocoa

-3/4 tsp Baking soda

-1/4 tsp Salt

-2 c Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350F. In large mixer bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or just until set. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Munch away!

SOCK standings:

1. Jbumi
365 pts

2. Ourobolus
320 pts

3. DDX
307 pts

4. Arros Raikou
192 pts

5. Flamethrower
169 pts

6. Binser
135 pts

6. ~Sean~~
135 pts

8. MagRowan
115 pts

9. Bainick
103 pts

10. Xlash
95 pts

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