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ASK MATT
Bikanel Life
October 25, 2006

Matt Demers - 23:59 EST

SO, I'M TRYING TO SNAG MORE PEOPLE to get them into the group of Fire Emblem enthusiasts. As luck would have it, one of the guys that I've TAed for over the past year and a bit (hey, Steve!) is a huge video gamer in general. Today, I lent him my copies of Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, along with Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, in exchange for Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, which I got from him earlier this week. I will find a way to play it, eventually, if I keep plugging away. Man, though; the forces working against me are certainly giving it all they've got to ensure that I have a purely gaming-free semester. I've got to come through!

I do believe it's time for the newest load of letters. Read and be merry, as I always (?) say.




LETTERS
Snubbed again... and again... and AGAIN...


Hello,

I have a question about a few games.

Matt

Well, you've come to the right place! What's on your mind?

I know that Mother Three is dead, no denying that, but is Earthbound ever going to make a re-make ever you think?

Matt

Hmm. Mother 3 certainly isn't "dead", since it was actually released in Japan, but I think that it is true that Nintendo has no plans to release it over here. That is an absolute tragedy, as far as I'm concerned.

Though I certainly hope that a remake will be in the works one day, we definitely can't bank on it. There have been rumours here and there, but there is nothing substantiated at all, let alone an official announcement. For now, I'm not holding my breath.

Frankly, I could care less about Mother Three but, will Earthbound ever be re-made into Game Boy Advance or Nintendo Dual Screen?

Matt

Ohhh, really? I very, very much want to play it, especially since I was looking forward to it during its development so much; for some reason, I was under the impression (apparently wrongly) that we were supposed to receive a translation. Oh well.

The same rumours have been floating around about an Earthbound remake; in fact, I've heard some stirrings about a possible Mother 1+2+3 compilation. Again, though, there is nothing official to speak of, which is really disappointing for now. You never know, though, what tomorrow will bring.

Second question; Dragon Quest Yangus, is that a dead end game, or is it actually being made? I have heard no news about it since last year, so I am beginning to think its a dead end game as well.

Matt

It was actually earlier this year that we last heard about this game, and considering the blitz of information we received when it was first revealed, we haven't heard much since then. As a matter of fact, the game was already released in Japan over the summer, and it's been long enough that I doubt that we'll ever see it over here, sadly.

Final question, Is there any new information or any information regarding any new Dragon Warrior/ Dragon Warrior Monster games? Even if its not completely accurate, I will hear it.

Thanks for reading this,

Video gamer who likes Role Playing games.

Matt

Yes! Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker for the Nintendo DS looks remarkably neat, and I'm crossing my fingers that it will be released overseas. The third DQM game, Caravan Heart, was a Game Boy Advance game that did not get translated, however, so I don't know what to think about DQM:Joker's likelihood of making the jump. Believe me: I'm one of the world's biggest Dragon Quest fans, so I'm rooting for it.

As for a Dragon Quest IX? No news yet. I'm thinking that Square Enix is going to wait and see which of the next-gen consoles emerges as the frontrunner before they announce anything regarding a sequel to last year's awesome Dragon Quest VIII. The announcement is, however, inevitable, I think.

I'm sorry I don't have better news for you, but be patient, and maybe we'll get lucky! In the meantime, buy Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime. I've heard it's a blast.



On a new note...


Hi, whoever's on for today.

I think there's someone who's in Israeli editing that really likes RPGs and doesn't care about copyright infringement. See my findings:

1. A few years ago I went to the cinema and I saw a trailer for some animated movie, don't really remember which one, something based on some opera. The music in it was the opening theme from Chrono Cross, "Chrono Cross - Time's Scar", which can be found here: http://gh.ffshrine.org/soundtracks/63/1

2. Fast forward severak years to two days ago. I was in the kitchen and my brother and his girlfriend were watching some show with a comedian. Something supposedly horrible happens on the show (she has to change a baby's diaper or something) and suddenly another RPG piece is played! This time, it's "A Strange Happening" from Chrono Trigger, which can be found here: http://gh.ffshrine.org/soundtracks/65/8

3. Lastly, I called a friend of mine after hearing this and he told me that on a local children's channel someone used the chocobo theme as background for something or other, a while back.

That's weird. By the way, they didn't rearrange it or anything, they just blatantly stole the piece, in the original rendition, and used it again. Probably from similar MP3s to the ones shown above... Has this ever happened to you? Did you ever hear music from an RPG (or any type of video game) in mainstream media?

Matt

I suspect that this is exactly why lately, we've seen more screens within games that say something to the effect of "Copyrights, including Music, Scenario, and more, belong to us," et cetera, either before the title screen or during the end credits. Has anyone else noticed that?

And YES! I have heard ripped-off video game music before, and I nearly fell out of my chair when I did. Back around the turn of the millennium, at about this time of year, the Detroit local news (either WDIV or WXYZ-TV, I can't remember which) ran an advertisement for an upcoming segment during a commercial break that had to do with "haunted houses" and ghost legends in the area. The background music was unmistakably the same as the silly-but-creepy music that plays during the introduction/background story of one of the N64's Banjo-Kazooie games (I believe it was Banjo-Tooie). I immediately pointed it out to my brother and mother, who were nearby.

Video game music has been used for a variety of purposes. I got really, really excited while watching synchronized swimming a couple of Summer Olympicses ago, because one pair of female swimmers used FFVIII's Liberi Fatali as background music for their routine. Most people wouldn't have a clue what it is, but some of us know. Video game music might not be "popular" in North American society, but if you look closely, you can find it everywhere!

Hey, how you pronounce RPG? I just thought about that since I used "an" in front of it. I obviously pronounce it ahr-pee-jee. Fascinating question, isn't? /sarcasm

Zohar Gilboa


Matt

The real question is... what does Arpijy call them? "Me"?

Thanks, Zohar!



Kneel before him...


Hey Matt,

I'm definitely sorry to see SOCK come to an end, especially knowing that it's by my hand. Of course, I'm also thrilled to be able to play a hot new game when it comes out rather than waiting until the price drops so I can afford it, so I can't feel too bad. Well, whenever SOCK 2 (hopefully with classes!) gets started, I'll donate a couple of prizes.

Matt

Hey, it had to happen sometime!

I've had a lot of negative kickback from the events of last week, but everything that happened occurred completely legally, and based on the rules of the game, I couldn't very well do anything about it. As I said before, I'm a little surprised that something like that hadn't already happened. Either way, it is a little bit of a shame, since I'll miss it too, but I have to end it, or there's no way that anyone new will be able to get into the game. I have some awesome ideas cooking up for the next version, though; while there will be slightly tighter restrictions on things like item use and such, the game will be a lot more varied, and I hope interesting, as a result. Though I haven't pinned down anything yet, you will not get the best prizes just by obtaining obscene quantities of points. Details? You'll hear more in the weeks to come!

On Baten Kaitos Origins, I've been anxiously awaiting a review since I saw a copy in the store last week. The first one was one of my favorite games of the last couple of years, so I'm really hoping this one will live up to it. I'm kind of concerned about how well using a single deck for the whole party will work, and also hoping they don't overdo it on recycling locations.

Matt

In other words, you're hmming and hawing over how badly "lazyprogrammeritis" will come into effect. I didn't play the first Baten Kaitos, so I can't really say, but a lot of people seemed to enjoy many aspects of the card-based battle system, which is a bit of a rarity as far as card-based battle systems go. Like a house of cards, though, I worry about the idea of disturbing a stable formula a bit; the whole thing could come crashing down! Hopefully this long-awaited game is not a disappointment to starving Gamecube owners.

Game reviews tend to be a real mixed bag as far as useful information goes. Some of that is due to the reviewers letting their biases color their opinions too much, and another part is just the inherent difficulty in explaining a 40+ hour experience in a completely different medium. There are always going to be points that didn't seem important to the reviewer that will make or break the game for some players.

Good luck on your presentation!

-Boojum

Matt

...and THEN there are the reviewers that are just too lazy to play through an entire game. I don't care how boring or crappy the first hour of gameplay is; if it's your job to review something, you have the responsibility of reporting on the game as a whole! Too many reviewers, both for on and offline publications, very evidently write reviews for some games that they haven't even played half of. It's a bit of a pet peeve of mine, but there's not a whole lot I can do to change it.

In the end, I think that the best strategy if you're unsure about a game is to not rely solely on reviews, even if you've read more than one. If something intrigues you, you should go out and rent it at least, or find a friend who has the game. You might be the one person in the world who really enjoys it, even if Gamespot rips it to pieces. And if you do enjoy it, the game will have served its purpose.

And thanks, Boojum, for the good luck wishes. Obviously, I'm hoping the same thing, though I have the feeling tomorrow is going to be a really long day. x_x



The wallflower RPGs of this fall


Matt,

Here at RPGamer we have a listing of some upcoming games as listed below. With all of the other big name titles, I'm not shocked that these are not getting more attention, are you? Do they have a following at all? I figure some of the Q&A readers might see this and want to share their opinions. I'm still shocked at the GBAs RPG lineup. It's still rather large and impressive. Thoughts?

Neverwinter Nights II (10.31)
Pokémon Ranger (11.01)
Yggdra Union (11.14)
Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation 2 (11.14)

- Macstorm

Matt

It's true. Not many people have been stirring about these games, and it's exactly because of what I first brought up back in July or August. The release of not one, but two next-gen consoles, along with Final Fantasy XII and III, Valkyrie Profile II, and many others, is causing many other games to fall between the cracks, whether they deserve to or not.

Neverwinter Nights isn't really something I've ever really paid much attention to, and I can't say that I know much about Pokémon Ranger besides the fact that a few staffers spent their entire demos drawing circles on the touchpad over-repetitively. I'm not really looking forward to it much. On the other hand, Yggdra Union is something else: I've heard that it's a spiritual successor to Riviera: The Promised Land, which is one of the more original RPGs we've seen in recent times. Super Robot Taisen? I can't say I possess a wealth of knowledge either. Perhaps it's exactly because these games are getting snuffed out by the bigwigs that everyone seems to be more excited about. I think it's because of that very reason that the GBA is well on its way into the history books, sadly. Final Fantasy VI Advance will likely be its final spark of life, if that becomes a North American reality at all (and it had better).

Thanks, Mac!



SOCK stuff


With all that happened yesterday, how can you claim to be surprised? People were just STUNNED!

Matt

(For the record, Leaper sent this letter in early last week; I just hadn't gotten around to replying to it until now.)

Hiya! And yes. People, stunned. Others, happy. Most, sad. Matt? Not evil! ^^;

Anyway, glad to see you'll share secrets on November 10. Equally glad to see that there will only be a couple of months or so break before SOCK 2.0 (that really shows how much you enjoy doing it, and how much we, your audience, have too)! If I can make one request... That, if possible, you retain the guest host items as ultra-rares or something. Not solely for my personal conceit (because did anyone ever use the Scroll?), but because I was curious to see how the Dueling Glove would work. Besides, there were so many neat things (statuses and items) that I never got to see in action, I'm wanting to see how they would've worked too!

Matt

As I said above... there will definitely be something for everybody. Just you stay tuned, and you'll find out what I have up my sleeve. You know there's always something up there. ;)

It was a great game, though like you, I wish we could've played for the couple of months or so it would've taken for BigWook or Erika to get to the top. But as I said, this is alleviated by your Other SOCK mention.

Matt

Indeed, but the problem is that once somebody gains such a huge number of points all at once, nothing is stopping them from buying everything, and then using all of their newly acquired items obtained from passing benchmarks to scale all the way back up again, grabbing a dozen-or-so MORE items, and repeating the process. It doesn't work, and besides, the "top" is gone now that the big prizes have been purchased!

As I say, though, next time, points will not be so heavily-relied upon. They'll be an important part of the competition, but they'll only be one aspect of the Second Sock.

But fear not... Even without an APG, I'll still write in a time or two, especially when .hack and you-know-what XII come out (perhaps a week or so after, to give me time to play 'em first)! As for the wedding, just keep a low profile, and enjoy the food.

Matt

Thanks! The wedding was nice, but the weekend was hectic, and because I got NOOOO work done, the carry-over effect has been a rather panicky week, academically speaking.

Anyway, I certainly hope that I don't just stop receiving mail altogether now that people don't get rewarded for doing so. After all, the contest is really only secondary; this is, in the end, a Q&A column, and the primary purpose of a Q&A column is, well, the letters that you guys send in! Just as much as ever, I rely on your mail, so come through for me, and I'll do my best to come through for you, too.





THE NEXUS

Fithos. Lusec. Et cetera. Yep, as soon as I mentioned Final Fantasy VIII music, I had no choice but to listen to FFVIII music for the duration of my column-construction!


Caption


For complete contest rules, click here!


Answers to October 18th's Questions

#350. d) Kratos - 1,000 points/2,000 for Arpijy
He's shown once resting on his sword, and once talking to Lloyd, but that's it. Thanks, Arpijy, for the submission!

#351. c) 200,000 - 1,000 points
Credit for the question goes to DMJewelle's friend Iluna and his Kingdom Hearts 2 Ultimania. (DMJewelle made me say that, but I don't even know what an Ultimania is!)



Today's New Questions

#352:
If Papa (the one who just can't say no) went out and bought the other 1199/1200ths of an airship he'd need to build an entire one, and every piece cost him as much as the first, how much would the ship end up costing him in total, if he had to spend 22,406 GP on labour to get the thing put together at the end? (1,000 points)

a) 600,000,000 GP
b) 1,200,000,000 GP
c) 600,022,406 GP
d) 1,200,022,406 GP
e) 1,200,000,000,000,000,000,022,406 GP


Reader-Submitted #353:
If you are a boarding school girl, which is the least likely to stalk you? (1,000 points)

a) A disgruntled demolition worker
b) A brother and sister duo with a penchant for sharp objects
c) A crazed woodsman
d) A one eyed knife thrower from a ghastly circus
e) A man that loves his acid


The prizes are disappearing at an alarming rate, guys. If you want something, now is the time to dig in your heels. Nine more days of remain before the finale show.



SOCK's Item List

Obtain these items upon reaching the listed point benchmarks!

3,500 points:
Mythril Shield (1 left), Mythril Armor (2 left), or Regen Spell (2 left)

5,000 points:
Any 1st-Level Elemental Spell (2 left), Point Halver (1 left), or Rename Card (2 left)

7,000 points:
Slowga Spell (2 left), Float Spell (1 left), or Blind Spell (2 left)

10,000 points:
Sneak Glove (2 left), Any Gem (2 left), or Biora Spell (1 left)

14,000 points:
Any 2nd-Level Elemental Spell (1 left), Rename Card (1 left), or Scan Spell (2 left)

19,000 points:
Mythril Armor (2 left), Merton Spell (1 left), or Wait Mode (1 left)

25,000 points:
Vanish Spell (2 left), Item Bomb (4 left), or Rare Candy (1 left)

32,000 points:
Mythril Shield (1 left), Staff of Aid (4 left), or A.P.G. (2 left)

40,000 points:
Toxic Waste (1 left), Sean's Dictionary of Doom (1 left), or Super Sneak Glove (3 left)

50,000 points:
Rare Candy (1 left), Rebirth Stone (1 left), or Demira Spell (1 left)

61,000 points:
Dark Converter (2 left), Rare Candy (4 left), or Item Destroyer (2 left)

73,000 points:
Rare Candy (2 left), Cloak of Evasion (2 left), or Regera Spell (3 left)

86,000 points:
Meteor Spell (2 left), Item Bomb (1 left), or Any Gem(1 left)

100,000 points:
Rare Candy (2 left), Diamond Armor (2 left), or Meteor Spell (2 left)

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!)

  • BLG
  • Flamethrower


SOCK's Prize Shop

Obtain enough points, and you may buy items, merchandise, or guest-hosting positions.

Click here for the current list of potential prizes!


QUICKIES

Also, I picked up Contact this weekend. So far, ehhhh. The battle system is lame, but the level up system is neat, and there's a lot of gathering of items. It'll keep me entertained til Halloween, anyway. 6 days til FFXII.

-MrMSTy

Matt
Cool! Good to hear. I've heard that it's funny too, along the same vein as Earthbound, which would obviously earn the game a few extra points in my eyes. Can you confirm this?

To Laurie: I don't miss the humidity at all. I swear, it comes flowing out of the ground there. I'll take my dry 115 degree days here in Arizona over that garbage. I only miss the food (although I never was that thrilled with Tony's seasoning...)

BigWook

Matt
Is someone planning on cooking for me sometime soon? Actually, I've got mulligatawny in the slow cooker right now that needs a stir...



IN CLOSING

Any last words to say? I don't think so. And thus I shall part here to resume tomorrow, as always, in this little closet of RPGamer, the most popular english-language RPG website online!

Don't be afraid to write in a letter on your favourite topic, be it the tragedies of games never released here, your take on video game music, or the upcoming quiet releases like the ones Macstorm mentioned. Any old subject will do! Just give me the mail. Thanks guys!



Send a Letter!

Inbox Status: Verging on bad.



slimey@rpgamer.com
Matt's mulligatawny turned out deliciously!


My life: Curried soups, convoluted equations, and over-the-hill competitions. Could I ask for anything more? (The answer is a profound "yes", by the way...)

Most Recent

Oct. 24: DMJewelle & Matt

Oct. 23: Arpijy & Josh

Oct. 19: Alethea

Oct. 18: Matt



Links

SOCK's Rule Guide

SOCK's Prize Shop

About the Host

Quote Archives



What I Want to Play:

1. Final Fantasy III

2. Final Fantasy XII

3. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

4. Fire Emblem: Goddess of Dawn

5. Pokémon Diamond/Pearl



What I'm Playing:

1. Xenosaga: Episode III

2. Disgaea II

3. Fire Emblem GBA



SOCK's Scoreboard

Dueling Glove Holder:
BLG
-----------

Summon in Play:

-BOREAS-
HP: 11,800
----------
1. Boojum
231,454 pts

2. BigWook
66,685 pts

3. Erika
56,786 pts

4. JokingChimer
48,966 pts

5. Kanato
36,329 pts

6. Belthasar2
33,588 pts

7. Ourobolus
29,758 pts

8. Alexander
28,883 pts

9. Macstorm
27,851 pts

10. Alan Tse
27,756 pts

11. JuMeSyn
27,449 pts

12. MagRowan
27,384 pts

13. BLG
27,212 pts

14. TV's Adam
26,521 pts

15. DMJewelle
25,290 pts

16. MrMSty
24,930 pts

17. Prismatic
24,810 pts

18. Arros Raikou
23,375 pts

19. Thinkfreemind
23,336 pts

20. Kharamain
23,329 pts

21. Erunion
21,735 pts

22. Leaper
21,365 pts

23. Dermot
20,146 pts

24. Hunter B
19,406 pts

25. Arpijy
19,257 pts

26. Jwcooley
17,220 pts

27. Bainick
16,717 pts

28. Sundoulos
16,005 pts

29. William T.
14,990 pts

30. Laurie
13,850 pts

31. Draconn
11,885 pts

32. Waterfiend
11,350 pts

33. DDX
11,098 pts

34. LufiaLvr
10,690 pts

35. Carabbit
10,215 pts


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