December 21, 2005
Matt Demers - 03:11 EST
THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT being at home that makes
me about twelve times lazier than usual. Correction: It FEELS lazier than usual. Today,
I actually had an incredibly busy day in preparation for the Demers household's Christmas,
to be held on Sunday. All of my shopping is done, most of my gifts are wrapped, and I
even baked some muffins (banana chocolate chip) this afternoon for Christmas morning. The
holiday spirit is a-surgin' here! Hopefully, for those of you that are celebrating holidays
of your own out there, wherever you are, your spirit is strong as well.
I'm pretty sure the holiday spirit has come at the price of about five extra pounds to this
point. Unfortunately, there's also something about holidays and home that causes me to eat
about three times as much as usual, each and every day. Oh well, gyms have to make their
O capitalism, how we love and hate thee simultaneously
Does the Rpgamer QnA column have any pressure to "get
ratings?" You know, so you can sell ads and such?
I had to blood-sign a contract before I started here, you see, and it stated that if my
hit-counts fell to less than 50% of what they were prior to my arrival, that dire consequences
could ensue. Fines, imprisonment, the murder of random baby seals are examples; the penalties
get more and more dire the more I offend. I probably shouldn't talk about it...
When I shell out $50 for a game, how much of the cash
goes to the developer, publisher, hardware owner, and
retail markups? I understand these numbers will be
different for different games, I am just looking for a
typical scenario, if there is such a thing.
Great question! I'd really like to have a better answer for you... but while I have
absolutely no first-hand knowledge myself, I'm almost sure that the retailers are not the
ones with the biggest cut of the profits. I'd guess that producers and developers make
more money, and I'd hypothesize that based solely on the fact that EB Games hypes their
pre-owned games and other offers so incredibly much. If retailers made such a big chunk
of change off of every game sold, why would they scrounge for alternative methods of
profit-generation? Anyway, I could be completely wrong, but that's my best stab at it.
Hi there Wonderslime,
On the subject of save-file corruption/loss this has
happened to me a few times, first was the copy of the
original Zelda I had which was notorious for losing
each and every savefil if you even looked at the game
funny, which is why it was years later when I was
finally able to finish the game ^^;; another time was
with FF9, I'd heard that the final boss was
terorfyingly hard so, I packed in about 30-40 hours
into running arround that one area with those funky
cats and green dragons, gaining every ability and
geting my party to 99, sometime during that extended
period the power went out while I was saving during
the don't remove memory cards or insert controller
blah blah speel, when the power came back on I tried
to load up my save only to be told it was corrupted
>.< thankfully I had a save made a few hours prior
that I continued from but man did that tick me off
Gotta love those delicious "battery back-ups" in NES cartridges... holding in the Reset button
was really one of the little pleasures in life, I'm sure you'd agree. As for your corruption,
three or four wasted hours of my life might be just enough to piss me off to the point
where I might not be able to go back to the game for a week or two. I'm normally a patient
person, but BOY do I hate losing precious time invested into gaming for nought.
On a related note, this is actually the very reason why unlike what MANY people say, Dragon
Quest has a very forgiving save system. Yes, it's true that you can only save at
churches in towns or on the countryside. The fact is, though, that if you are ever wiped out,
you never lose any of the treasure you've accumulated, and you retain all of your experience
and levels that you worked hard to obtain. It comes at the price of half your un-banked gold,
but if you're silly enough to not use the bank, you deserve it.
*this has been reason #29623 that Dragon Quest VIII rocks*
The definitive Cid for me is Cid from FF7 since he
took my Cid virginity I suppose, my least favorite Cid
is Cid from FF6... he didn't really feel like Cid to
me and more over I hated that fish catching game, and
even though Celes is always sad when he dies during
that part I always laugh like a maniac because my poor
fishmanship lead to the death of a Cid bwahahaha
Yeah, he was annoying to keep alive. I've only cared enough on two of my historic
playthroughs to do so, but I remember feeling joy when he got up for the first time.
I agree though that for whatever reason, that Cid is not as Cidlike as some others.
Final Fantasy VII's Cid would have been my first-runner-up, too, followed by... ugh, I don't
know. Headmaster Cid? Nah... The original Final Fantasy III's? OH YES; there was a Cid in
Final Fantasy III as well, for those of you who are out of the loop. Whee, I can't wait for
And as far as Draghon Quest is concerned I'm having a
few issues with it, one the expansive world isn't
mapped so somehow I've twice stumbled onto areas I
wasn't supposed to be at and two the encounter rate is
way way way too low for my tastes, it seems that the
love child between Aunt Jemima and Goku as I've dubbed
him runs arround for hours before getting in a fight,
sure I could just use Yangus's whistle but opening the
menu and clicking arround between ever fight is just
as bad as running arround randomly, which brings me to
Is there some item or spell that increases encounters
for a certain period of time?
*wishes Yangus' whistle worked like the microphone and
the kramer's doll from Wild ARMs -.-;;*
Okay... this is a unique complaint. I'm sorry to break it to you, but I think that whistling
is about the best you're going to do if you're looking for something to fight quickly. Most
people complain about the opposite, and while I'd say that Dragon Warrior VII's encounter rate
was far too low, I think it's about right (or maybe even a bit on the high side) in VIII. My
suggestion? Man, I dunno. Suck it up, I guess! Sorry I can't do ya better on that one.
Your Aunt Jemima/Goku hybrid, though, is spectacular... I'm awarding you a nice gold star for
that one! Thanks for writing in!!
Specially selected topics for your viewing pleasure
I've been meaning to write in for a while now. While I was initially shocked at Googles
departure from Q&A (having read his columns on and off since about 1999), I am now used to
the idea that he is no longer around, and I must say you are doing a fantabulousistic job
of replacing him.. There was a brief period when I really stopped reading Q&A altogether
but now it has become part of my daily schedule once again.
Hey, I have some big shoes to fill! I just do my best, even if "best" includes random
silly competitions and shameless plugging of certain recent gaming phenomena.
Anyway, enough flattery, time to wibble on about various subjects:
First of all I'd like to lament the loss of Working Designs and share a few memories of
their games. My first experience of their work was Alundra, a very nice little action RPG
in the style of Zelda with some pretty tough puzzles. Am I right in thinking this game was
actually developed by WD themselves, rather than being a localization job?
Hmmm... but I believe the answer is no. From what I can discern, the developer for
Alundra was Climax Entertainment, a smallish Japanese outfit; that game was probably one of
their bigger achievements.
Then years later I heard about the Arc the Lad Collection. I devoured all the info
I could find about the box set, before finally deciding to import the game(s) from Canada.
As I live in the UK, it takes about 7 days for an import game to arrive and so anticipation
levels were going through the roof by the time it finally arrived. Do you find that
sometimes looking forward to a game's arrival is almost as fun as playing the game itself?
Maybe I'm just silly like that. Anyway, I played through all of the games and loved
every minute. Despite being "Tactics" style games, the battles are extremely fast-paced
and easy to get to grips with. For some reason I enjoyed Arc 3 the most, despite it
being most peoples least favourite.
It's not "silly" to anticipate a game in advance, for the same reason that it's not silly
to feel excited or happy on the week of your birthday. For me, I used to get SO excited for
Christmas day that I wouldn't be able to sleep for two days in advance, and then I'd crash and
burn on the actual occasion, completely out of HP, if you will. I digress, of course.
I guess I'm truly inexperienced with Working Designs. I haven't played Arc the Lad EITHER
(I've mentioned before that my life has been Lunar-free also), but it's not really a game
that people even talk about much at all, like the black sheep or
dysfunctional/imprisoned unmentionable-second-cousin of RPGs. Why? Why is this? Did I
miss something? I guess this might be one of life's great mysteries...
I then decided to look up Working Designs on the Internet and discovered they were
responsible for all sorts of eclectic gems. The Lunar series was next as they were
fairly easy to obtain (unlike some of the companies Saturn offerings). While the stories
in the Lunar games are nothing spectacular, it's the characterisation that sets it apart
from other games, that and it's sense of fun.
Lunar has quite a strong little following for a not-in-the-spotlight game, and few people
have anything negative to say about the original games in the series; these two things might
be pretty good indicators of the quality of the early games. Of course, for some reason,
things apparently went to hell in a metaphorical handbasket, but hey... I guess you have to take
the good with the bad.
Discussing Lunar reminds me so much of my own experience with the Lufia series. The first
and second are really great games, I think, but beyond Lufia II, things really went downhill
for some reason. The storylines weren't incredible in any of the Lufia games, but the
characters were wonderful. The comparison to me between the two series in my mind is
remarkable, whether it's justified or not.
That brings me to my next topic, PSP RPG's. I believe it was last week that you said
that the PSP didn't really have much to offer in the way of RPG's, and those that are
available for it aren't all that great. I have to say I disagree. I currently own
both Legend of Heroes and PoPoLoCrois and I have to say that I am having great fun
playing my way through them. After the huge disappointment of Lunar: Dragon Song,
I was surprised to find that Legend of Heroes is similar to the classic Lunars in more
ways than one. For starters, the battle system is very similar, being fairly traditional,
but with distance playing a part. If you're to far away from the enemy when you choose to
attack them, you will stop before hitting them. Also, while the plot is hardly
earth-shattering, the characters more than make up for this. The life-long friendship
that main characters Avin and Mile share is very believable and quite touching at times.
In the new year Tales of Eternia is supposedly being released as well, and
in Europe first! So, the PSP might not have buckets of RPG's for it (yet), but those
that are out are worth investigating
Mmhmm... I've mentioned it a couple of times. To be fair, as well, the DS isn't exactly
swimming in RPGs either right now; up until a few weeks ago, we had what: Lunar: DS, and that
Lost in Blue thing (that didn't really look like a "real" RPG at all)?
You're honestly the first person I've heard to communicate this to me! I've heard a few
different stories from disappointed RPGaming PSP owners, so maybe your opinion will help to
open the minds of some people out there. To me, there still isn't a comparison-- the DS is
still a more attractive system, at least in this point in time. A new Tales game, though (!!),
and the possibilities of future offerings (like a possible NIS game... ohhh Makai stuff, how
I love <3) could make the PSP a much sexier machine over time, so to speak.
Thanks for the letter! Your tribute will be appreciated by at least 612 people, guaranteed*.
*not really guaranteed at all
Sad and Sighful Save-Loss Stories
I've never had save data become corrupted or anything like that, something
I'm quite grateful for. My memory cards are among my most precious
posessions, they act as sort of a scrapbook for me. I never delete any of
my save data for a game unless I am replaying that game; in which case I
keep my original save on the card also until my new one 'surpasses' it. I'm
sure it sounds pointless, but I still have files on there for games I don't
have anymore. Anybody you know need any Beyond the Beyond data? =P Do
you do anything like this? Keep files on your memory card just for pride's
sake? If so, are there any that you're particularly proud of? One of my
favorites is my Suikoden 3 file, which has 108 star data from both that game
and the previous 2.
Sounds like you're having a great holiday break so far, even handling the
DQ8 withdrawal! I hope you have a good christmas!
PS- FFIV Cid all the way!
Thankye for the story, Jeremy. I used to have a similar old-file-keeping policy on
my SNES RPGs, but I haven't done enough replaying with newer games to justify a system of
deleting/retaining. Also, I have a curious habit of misplacing my memory cards... oh, how
I miss cartridges. Well, except for their prices, that is.
And, of course! My vote is, as I said yesterday, for Final Fantasy IV's Cid, with bonus
points for the crazy goggles, and even MORE bonus points for the delightful "KHUB-KHUB" sound
effect that occurs with his hammers.
Oh man. You just hit the mother of all questions for me. What horrible save file losses
have I endured? Listen to this one. I let my nephew borrow my memory card for my
Playstation so he could save his game (he hadn't gotten a card yet). On the card there
was a save from Final Fantasy 7 with everyone at 99, a Suikoden file with 20 characters
at their high 70s, my Persona 2 file at the end boss, and I think my Breath of Fire 3
file where I was getting all the extra stuff before the end boss. I go over there to
retrive my card, and my sister-in-law walks up to me and says "Oh Jared (my nephew) spilled
his drink on his Playstation. I hope that it didn't hurt your card." Yeah. It was
Kool-Aid. And he took the card out and laid it on his carpeted, crumb-laden bedroom floor
and forgot that he had put it there. The Kool-Aid had dried up and was covering the
connectors in a film of sugary, linty, junk food nastiness. Needless to say, they replaced
my card. Upon getting the new card, I looked at my darling nephew and asked "Now...who's
gonna replace my time?" He's never asked to borrow anything of mine again.
Omigosh!! THE DREADED EXTENDED-FAMILY YOUTH strikes again! Yes... it's always a terrible
idea to lend anything to nephews, younger cousins, toddlers, or anyone really except for your
close friends. I totally forgot about that whole element, so I MUST talk about it.
My brother, Chris, really loved Diddy Kong Racing for the N64. We worked on getting through it
together, but he took it upon himself to work on opening all of the special tracks, bonus features,
extra characters, secret codes, and free hot dogs he could find. He put a lot of effort into
Then came my six-year-old cousin and his younger brother (also a cousin... imagine that!)
This dangerous duo used to come to our house for no other reason but to spend hours in front
of our current gaming systems (now, four years later, he's fully addicted to his own). We
tried to supervise them... we really did. Somehow, though, within a five-minute window of time,
they managed to push just the right combination of buttons to fully erase all of my brother's
hard-earned data in a flash. Don't ask me how... we just walked back into the room, and
everything was GONE, like that. It seemed almost impossible; needless to say, my brother
was not impressed! Anyway, I thought I'd share.
Definative Cid? Come on, Matt. Can you not tell just by having talked with me before who I'm gonna pick? Cid from FF IV, man! He hits stuff with a hammer!! And he's got the bushy "I sit on my porch and drink burbon all day so I don't worry about shaving" beard! He's the best.
I now have Kingdom of Paradise, Legend of Heroes, and FF IV Advance, the latter of which I'm already level 76 on.
Merry Christmas, oh Slime of Wonderment. I hope you get everything you ask for.
~The spoony bard with the shiny new harp,
Hahah! Three votes for FFIV! Now I have his delightful theme music running through my
head, and it's almost making me want to replay the game yet again (gasp! Just in time for
the GBA re-release!)
Well, Andrew's still in the dungeon, and he's still alive. I've decided not to let him
out until 2006, though, so you'll see a lot more of *gasp* me in the meantime. Remember
way back when, in September and October, when I said that my ultimate plans were working??
Well, if this isn't PROOF of my great strides forward since then, I don't know what else
is. My Q&A wrath is building! The tension is mounting! And soon... nothing will be able
to stop me. NOTHING!!!
That's it from me! Until next time, I bid you a fond farewell.
*insert lightning effect*
In reality, Andrew's been going through a move in recent weeks, and has consequently found it
very difficult to access the Internet much at all. In any case, he sends you all his holiday
wishes and enough delightful sarcasm to make a camel die of thirst. What does that even mean?
I'm not really sure...it's after 3:00 am by this point, after all, so I'm likely making less
sense than usual. Anyhow, he'll certainly be back in the new year,
so rest assured that it won't be that long before you see the familiar words "ASK ANDREW" back
at the top of the page every now and then.
***Matt is suddenly feeling strangely sinister
I was less than $250 away from the retail prices of BOTH of the
showcases in the guesstimates I made this morning while watching The Price is Right for the
first time in months!! I was SOOO excited!
Dec. 20 - Matt
Dec. 19 - Matt
Dec. 14 - Matt
Dec. 13 - Matt
About the Host
Matt's Newest Unhealthy Addiction
Another Unhealthy Addiction
Matt's Top 3 Current Games:
1. Dragon Quest VIII
2. Makai Kingdom
3. Warioware: Twisted!
Matt's Top 3 RPG Desires:
1. Final Fantasy III
2. Mario & Luigi: PiT
3. Wild ARMs: Alter Code F
8. Arros Raikou