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ASK OURO
End of the Road July 3, 2006

Josh - 10:52 EST

Well my vacation is coming to a close, sadly. I'll be driving up to NY around noon, and it'll take me about 5 hours or so to get there. The sad part is that I'll be missing the Germany/Italy game. GO GERMANY!

I saw Superman Returns today, and I must say that it was certainly done well. I've only seen bits and pieces of the original Superman movies, so I can't compare, but as a standalone movie, I thought it was good. The spitcurl drove me nuts, and the Christ imagery was blatant, but...go see it. ^^




L E T T E R S
The masks we wear...


Hiya again,

Just read your topic about the music in games. One of the few times I can be remember being moved by music in a game was that moment in marjoras mask when you first reach the end of the three days and the music starts to get...darker. The earths trembling and you get genuinely upset for the people around you, as they are about to die, and they know it. I reckon it was about the only time I ever REALLY wanted to save everyone. But that game was cool. But I'm not actually sure if the topic you mentioned actually applied to that moment as it was really a culmination of things that gave it that emotional charge. Marjora's Mask was definately the best Zelda so far, whatever anyone says, as Ocarina was kind of too... flimsy. Yes yes, i know i don't make sense, but do i really have too? after all, i'm writing here so i can say what i want to. Petulantly, even.

Have a nice day
- Genjuu

PS. What was that last letter in yesterday's column about? It sounded like total nonsense.

Josh

Majora's Mask just bothered me. It wasn't a BAD game, it just didn't keep me anywhere near as engaged as all of the other Zelda games. Must have been the timed aspects of it or something, I dunno. I'm sure I'll give it another shot at some point.

And no, no...you hit it properly. Whether it was a culmination of events or the slightest of moments, as long as the music moved you, then it's all good.

One of the darker melodies that got my blood flowing was during the fight with Magus in Chrono Trigger. It starts out dark and moody, and then crescendos into a full-blown fighting melody. Definitely was a good sound to battle to, especially when kicking Magus's ass. ^^

As for that letter, I knew perfectly well that he was referring to Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, but because of the way it was presented, I felt like being a complete smart-ass. Not that that is anything different than how I normally act, but, eh. Hehehehe...don't say I didn't warn all of ye...



TAKOTAKOTAKO


Ouro,

Two brief examples of music that's inspired and annoyed me..

Inspiration: Final Fantasy VI's Opera Suite. Although tinny by today's standards, I remember the music as the key element that immersed me into the entire scene of Maria, Draco, and the war between East and West. At the same time, when Ultros came on the scene and everything literally came crashing down, the music transitioned well and gave you the impulse to make Ultros into lots of sushi.

Annoyance: Final Fantasy IX's final boss battle. Not only was the battle itself annoying, but the abject moans (perhaps from spirits wondering just where the final boss came from?) made me want to get the battle over with, so they'd silence themselves.

May I begin participating in the THONG contest (albeit at a distinct disadvantage)?

Sincerely,
Eric

Josh

I'll have to agree with you on the opera scene. The timing was well done, and the ultimate climax of the song for me was when it hit the Grand Finale part. It's when you fight Ultros, and the music is just pounding along encouraging you to make some Tako (Tako, tako!!) out of him. So yes, I would have to rank that up there, and we should start playing games together! We'll get some ice cream, eat pints of it, sit down with our tissues and handkerchiefs and start playing RPGs until our eyes slide out of our heads from all of our tears!

The fight with Necron is just pointless in my opinion. The song was ok, but the most annoying part of it with me is that you just get plopped in front of this guy and the game says "Go." Here's the final boss, you've never heard nor seen him thus far, but...uh...go, fight, win.

You are -never- at a disadvantage in THONG. Trust me. Someone could be 10 spaces ahead, but 4 people could be sitting on Bolt 2, and they could all target him and just hose him. All I can say is...when you get to the Trivia, make sure to ask about a game you KNOW about.



I also remember Aqualung doing a ton of damage to me. >_<


In response to your question, I probably won't be the first to say this, but the BGM in FF7 during the death scene of you-know-who. Not the actual killing, but afterwards, in the bit after the Jenova battle. What makes it for me is the combination of the music and the actions of the non-Cloud PCs who were with you in the party; Yuffie breaking down crying, Tifa gently pushing you-know-whose hair out of her eyes, Red XIII howling, Cait Sith futilely trying to cheer Cloud up. It was a very good move to have that particular BGM piece playing throughout that sequence, especially during the Jenova battle.

Leaper

Josh

I think a good 90% of gamers felt something when she bites it. It might not have been sadness (let's face it, we're gamers, we are completely desensitized to violence, and also prone to murdering every living thing in sight. At least that's what the TV tells me), but it was something.

I was glad they kept the music going during the battle, as well. It made me want to get my revenge, even if it wasn't the exact enemy to be targeting, but I needed to kill something to vent my frustration at losing a character I had spent a lot of time using. By keeping the same tune going, the image was kept fresh in memory even more than if the music had changed. Very nice segue, indeed.



Open mouth, insert someone else's foot.


Dear Ouro

I have a question about silent heroes in RPGs. I recognize them as simply main characters who don't talk, but what about those who still communicate? For example, take Star Wars KOTOR. You never hear your character utter a word, but throughout the game, you still make tons of dialogue decisions for you character to say to various people, and those people will react to your choice. Sure, you don't actually HEAR your character say those things, but it is still IMPLIED that your character does talk. So does this still count as a silent hero? Is a silent hero simply anyone who doesn't talk, or specifically someone who doesn't communicate?

Alan

Josh

Silent characters suffer from tele-foot-in-mouth syndrome. This means that the less he or she talks, the more other people talk for him or her, and he or she gets in more trouble through now fault of his or her own.

I still consider them silent characters...hm. You pose a good point. Maybe you're just controlling their minds! They have no control! I'd have to still consider them silent, because as a character, rather than as an extension of the player, they don't say anything. They are just pawns, and you're just doing the same thing the other characters are doing - putting words into their mouth.



Je ne sais pas.


Hello ouro this is my first letter and was just wondering if u could give me a hand with a problem. Recently a friend of mine convinced me that final fantasy vii is a game worth buying a console to play so i hurried onto to ebay and managed to het myself a copy of the game and a ps one for only 5. Unfortunately the game happens to be in french ( a small fact he left out of the product description) so i was wondering could u tell me if there is any way to change the language to english? I dont really fancy playing the game without a clue to whats going on or trying to translate every dialogue box and id like to know if im going to have to start scouring ebay again for another copy of this magnificent game.

Thank you
Patrick Dougan

Josh

I checked around...

I could be wrong (the internet is completely unreliable in some cases. Luckily, I'm infallible, so if the resource is originally me, then you're in good hands...with AllOuro)...but, it looks like later games came with language options, but you may be out of luck with FF7. If you were playing this on the PC version, it looks like there are some tools that allow for translation, but you're probably going to have to find an English version if you want to play. Sorry man. There are plenty of them on eBay, just make sure to read the postings before buying! :)





T H O N G
Combat Log

Ourobolus casts ROULETTE!
Tile 14 is unaffected.
Macstorm moves 3 spaces (1+2) to tile 8.
Bainick moves 5 spaces (2+3) to tile 11.
Genjuu moves 3 spaces (1+2) to tile 9.
Carlisle moves 3 spaces (1+2) to tile 6.
Vicissitude moves 3 spaces (1+2) to tile 14.
Bucket moves 4 spaces (2+2) to tile 8.
Arros Raikou moves 3 spaces (2+1) to tile 15.
Alan Tse moves 3 spaces (2+1) to tile 6.
Eric moves 6 spaces (3+3) to tile 6.
Leaper moves 5 spaces (2+3) to tile 5.


For lower resolutions, click here

Presenting...

THE HOPEFULLY OUTSTANDING NEW GAME!

Or, THONG for short. For now, the prizes will be limited to Guest-Hosting opportunities, since this is essentially an experiment. I'm positive that it will turn out well, though! Now, for the setup:

This is the game board. If you ever talk to CactuarJoe, make sure to thank him for the wonderful job he did! Thanks Joe!

If you want to join: Please send me your top 3 choices for characters for your game piece. A list of them that can be used can be found here. Please only choose from the "PARTY" or "NPC" links. Also make sure that the character has a left/right-facing sprite, and a front/back facing sprite. Thanks!

  • Everyone begins the game on START.
  • For every letter you write in, I will roll a 3-sided die (I'll use RPGamer's resident Random Number Generator, DiceyBot). That will determine how many spaces you move.
  • You may only get credit for one letter, per day - max 3 per weekend. Timestamps will be checked, and only letters sent during Friday - Monday before my column will be counted towards that weekend. Letters sent at other times during the week will not count until Saturday.
  • Letters must be addressed to me, at either qna@rpgamer.com or ourobolus@rpgamer.com. Letters will get credit even if they are unanswered, or even if Matt answers them.
  • If you land on a Spell Tile, you MUST use the spell listed on the Tile. Spells and their effects are listed after the rules.
  • The Trivia Tile MUST be landed on before you may enter the FINISH Tile. Answering the trivia question correctly will automatically grant you entry into the FINISH Tile, and you will receive the prize.
  • If you reach the Trivia Tile, another reader who is participating in the game will ask you a question. However, the person who lands on the Tile decides WHICH reader asks the question, as well as WHICH RPG from which the question will be asked (e.g. "Wonderslime wants Bainick to ask him a question about Chrono Trigger").
  • If the person who provides the question has not played the game, they may use anything necessary to come up with a question. Failure to provide a question over 2 days of my column will result in the same effect as if the receiver answered the question right, and he/she will progress to the FINISH Tile.
  • The Prize for this initial board will be 5 Guest Hosting positions. Once those are completed, a new board will be created, probably with more prizes.
  • The effects will go as such. Movement->Spells Cast->Effects. Everyone will move at the same time, all spells will be cast at the same time, and all effects will happen at the same time. Attack spells will be cast at the beginning of the day after they were landed on. Spells are cast only if the character is on the space at the -end- of the day.

Spell effects are as follows:

  • Bolt 1: Player chooses another player to push back 1 tile.
  • Bolt 2: Player chooses another player to push back 2 tiles.
  • Stop: Player must send in a letter to lose the 'Stop' status, at which point he may send in a letter the next day to resume rolling.
  • Haste: Player receives an extra roll which will make him/her advance 1-3 tiles.
  • Slow: Player receives an extra roll which will make him/her retreat 1-3 tiles.
  • Merton: Player chooses another player to push back 4 tiles, at the cost of Player moving back 2 tiles.
  • Roulette: I roll a 20-sided die. Any players standing on that numbered tile are pushed back 2 tiles.
C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Hope that worked out well. For simplicity, the only spells that counted were the ones you ultimately ended up on. Sorry, but it would have been a real pain in the ass to try to get all of you to cast stuff mid-turn. ^^;;

I think you all are ready for a nice week with Matt, and from the looks of things, you all are getting close to being a guest host with moi! Can't wait to try this out with some of you! See ya!


ourobolus@rpgamer.com
***Josh doesn't want to drive tomorrow...


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Josh's Top 3 Distractions:

1. World Cup

2. Writing a thesis a week

3. Running 8 miles

RPGs I'm currently playing:

1. Grandia III

2. Xenosaga II

3. Romancing SaGa

4. Radiata Stories

5. Wild Arms: ACF

THONG Players

1. Carabbit
Fairy Esper

2. Gouden Draak
Blue Dragon

3. Macstorm
General Leo

4. Genjuu
Shadow

5. Carlisle
Ghost

6. Bainick
Mog

7. Angel
Celes

8. Wonderslime
Gestahl

9. Powerlord
Ultros

10. Vicissitude
Wedge

11. Bucket
Relm

12. Donovan
Setzer

13. Roku
Locke

14. JCIV
Umaro

15. Arros Raikou
Sabin

16. The Bluick
Imp

17. Chinroku
Owain

18. Xlash
Duncan

19. Alan Tse
Siegfried

20. AcidKnight
Figaro Soldier

21. soulofbass
Gogo

22. BLG
Maduin

23. Eric
Edgar

24. Leaper
Wolf Esper

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