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Q&AK
Gold? Gil? What happened?
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Puzzled? Confused? Ask AK your questions so he can befuddle you even more!
 
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   I'm Brian Glick, and I'm back for yet another temporary hosting of Q&AK until Andrew Kaufmann returns from his time off. In order to get the full, maximum enjoyment from any burning questions you may have, please make sure to email questions directly for me instead of any other address you may randomly type in.

   This just in! Andrew Kaufmann has been spotted by several sources at a vacation resort in Hawaii. According to sources (who requested to remain anonymous), the grandiose love-magnet was spotted basking in a large hot tub surrounded by adoring female fans. Apparently, these women were swept off their feet by Andy's flamboyant personality, amazing good-looks, and thorough knowledge of video games.

Q: Where did the term "Gil" come from? Ever since it showed up in FF7 its gone to FFT and probably to FF8. Where did this Gil exchange start? Was it some joke on the stock market or in banks?

BG: Actually, I've looked into this, and I'm not too sure where gil came from. It's not the Japanese word for "gold", as I previously thought, nor does it seem to have any sort of meaning. I have heard that it did show up in some other RPGs in the past, however...
   Does anyone know where it came from? I bet I'm missing something obvious.

Q: I just read the 6/13 installment of Q&AK about when RPGs aren't RPGs, and I'm wondering if we were wrong in calling them RPGs in the first place. True RPGs are games where people sit around tables rolling dice and doing whatever, and they have a lot more freedom of movement. I actually think the Final Fantasy series is better described as an adventure game, because they make you move around a preset plot and you only have the options programmed in the game... in a "true" RPG, instead of searching for 10 years to find the key to the mayor's office, you could just hire a locksmith or kick the damn thing down... but then you'd have to deal with the local law, so it balanced out. In fact, making a "true" console or computer RPG would be impossible without some heavenly text parser and true artificial intelligence that is creative and can deal with whatever the player does... so did we make a mistake calling them RPGs in the first place, and it's coming back to bite us in the @$$ now?

BG: Who is to say what a "true RPG" really is? The term itself means "role playing game". What that means it that you take the role of someone, or multiple people, and follow through some sort of storyline, eventually coming to a climax and solving the initial problem. But you could apply this to everything from sitting around a table and playing Dungeons and Dragons, to taking the role of Johnny Cage, beating up poor opponents, to taking on the role of a secret admirer and playing a cruel game on a friend.
   The video game industry has settled on a loose standard for what each genre title really means. Fighting means a real-time, punch-and-kick fighting game where the sole purpose is to pound your enemy to a senseless mass of flesh. (You can guess how I feel about these games...) RPGs are games where, put simply, there is typically an overhead perspective, where you wander around a world, purchase items, weapons, and armor, interact with others, and solve some sort of epic quest. There are of course variations to this, but this sort of definition is what RPGs are in the video game industry. Outside of the industry, it has different meanings.

Q: Did you know that in Breath of Fire 3 there's an enemy called plant 42?    -Seph

BG: Oh wow...another example of the ultimate answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything showing up in RPGs...I'm just playing through the game now, can't wait to find this enemy. I'll have to get a screenshot up for your over-eager 42 fans. Also, look for a great review of the game up on RPGamer.
   On another note, we've received a lot of mail from fans wondering just what in the world the number "42" means. To try to explain it fully wouldn't do justice to the sublime humor involved. =) You can discover just where it comes from by reading Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", an absolutely hilarious novel that I avidly recommend.

Q: The one thing that I always loved about you webmasters is your playful sense of humor. But since you mention all this talk about fighting over women, one big question just popped into my mind. What do you people look like? Why not put your pictures on the site somewhere?

BG: Wait a minute--you're suggesting we get a PICTURE of both Andrew Kaufmann and myself up on the site somewhere? I know that Andrew is already overburdened by all the attention he gets from his ardent fans...to put up a picture would send the female readers over the edge! I've tried to keep a low profile, too, and I wouldn't want to spoil that...it just wouldn't be fair to the ladies to tempt them like that.
   Seriously, we might get some joke pictures up. We'll have to see. =)

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