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Q&AK
He swings, and misses!
In the PSX
Master of Monsters  
Ask AndrewK!
Puzzled? Confused? Mail AK so he can befuddle you even more!
 
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Help keep AK's mailbox empty! Be sure to check RPGamer's extensive library of information files before asking me gameplay questions.

   The mischievous, dastardly Andrew Kaufmann is still getting settled into his new home at college, and is on a short hiatus from the Q&AK for the next little bit. How was I given this task, you ask? Well, just before he left, he slid slyly over to me and began telling me how he had an advance copy of Lunar : SSS in his office. I dashed in, closed the door, and was met with the ominously silent sound of a metallic click behind me. And nary a game to be found.

   Ah well. Now I get to devote my time to you guys. *nervous chuckle* Just be sure to email questions directly to me for the remainder of my stay in here. Be sure to mention if you can pick locks, too...

Q: After the beep, I will be playing a game... guess what the rule is (acronyms don't count): BEEP
   Hi. What's up with that pop up screen that pops up when you get in the web page? It dumps me with a Java (can't say cuz it breaks rule of game). What is that for? Is it some IGN thing? If it is, I will not join IGN. Have you found out the rule yet? I will say this: I can say Steve, my name for short, but not my real name, due to the fact it breaks the rule. Please mail back with (can't say cuz it breaks rule of game). Thank you.
      Steve
   [Stopped playing game]

BG: Cryptic message there, Steve. After long and careful consideration (I read over it twice), I'm unable to figure out what the rule is. Maybe some other readers will have a better guess of what it is.
   As for the pop up window, RPGamer agreed to a special promotion with IGN, the gaming network to which we belong, and Konami. It's a rather cool contest where you can win a lot of great prizes, with very little effort. We realize it's a little annoying to see it every time you come here, but it helps us to deliver a higher quality and quantity of content to you guys. The promotion only runs for another week, too, so don't worry.

Q: I'm confused. Is Square lying? I read that the time between the Japanese and U.S. releases of FFVIII will be less than the wait for FFVII but the release date being Qtr. 4 98 in Japan and Qtr. 3 99 in the U.S. would be even longer than the wait for FFVII in the U.S., which was seven months. Three quarters is nine! What the hell?

BG: Theoretically, the wait could be only six months for FF VIII. The fourth quarter of 1998 (Q4) ends in March of 1999, which is most likely when Square will release the highly anticipated game in Japan. The third quarter of 1999 starts in September, which is only six months away from March. While I doubt this will happen, rumors have been floating around that Sony is trying to pressure Square EA into releasing the game by June in America. Possible reasons? My best guess is that they want to get the major titles out of the way so they can introduce their new system as soon as possible...
   Regardless, I'm sure Square will do everything they can to get the game out here as soon as possible. There's nothing to be gained from waiting. And I'd rather wait longer for a game to be translated and localized anyway, since it usually means a better translation with less errors, just like Square is doing with Xenogears.

Q: Hey, Brian - 'tis I again! This seems to be my lucky week for getting messages posted on web sites, so let's give this a shot:
   1: I don't know what exact position Yoshitaka Amano holds in the game industry. (Although he seems to be doing some free-agent stuff lately.) However, I spotted his name in the credits for the FF8 demo, under "Image Art." (Yup, yup!) My guess is that our friend Amano is designing the _locations_ for the game, since the town of Dollet shows an influence that could easily be his. Take a look at the buildings, or at the enormous moon in the background, and you might be able to see a bit of his touch. (Or a LOT of his touch. Heh.) I'm a big fan, so seeing his name in the credits was great.
   2: About sprites: You caught most of the upcoming RPG's with the traditional sprite feel, but you missed Xenogears! Even though the environments are 3D, all of the character work is done in sprites, and I personally see a huge resemblance to CT's style. To Buckeye: check out the screenshots - this may be the one for you. I like sprites and polygons both - each can do things that the other can't. In terms of graphical styles of upcoming games; I think that Lunar, FF8, and Xenogears are about evenly matched for overall beauty.
   3: "... Is a ma-gic num-ber!" (Schoolhouse... Rock... flashbacks...)
   Okay, that's all for now. Until we meet again!
   ~Game Cat!

BG: Many people wrote in to correct me about this...some extremely angry that because RPGamer is the largest RPG site on the 'net, that we should know everything. Aie, I'm sorry, I do hope that you can all find it in your hearts somewhere to forgive me. (Heh, heh...I think they'll fall for that.)
   Anyway, you're quite right. As one frame shows, Amano is responsible for the "Image Art" in FF VIII, just as he was in FF VII. He helps create the designs for towns and locations in the game, in addition to other tasks. Some more information I discovered is that he owns his own company called "Ten Productions," and is contracted out by companies like Square and Atlus to do art. Thanks to Game Cat and everyone else who wrote in to clarify my guesses.

Q: I always read the Q&AK section and I can't believe what I have been hearing about RPG shirts from people who are supposed to be gamers and true RPG fans. How could you be embarrassed to wear your Final Fantasy VII shirt? That is insane. I also got an FF7 shirt from Babbage's and I wear it all the time. I have received many compliments on the shirt, and only one person has made fun of it. He is a retard that thinks video games are for kids 12 and under. I have even had girls my age compliment on it. Yes, you heard me correctly, females that I do not know that are my age and very good-looking started conversations with me because of my FF7 shirt. Really, if you have even a slight amount of doubt or shame when wearing your FF7 shirt, you are a weak, spineless, joke of an RPGamer.
   --Kain
   P.S. Maybe that last statement was a bit exaggerated, but seriously, if you are a true RPG fan, you shouldn't be embarrassed to show it.

BG: I would say that if you wear a video game shirt all the time, you most certainly are brave, but you've got a poor choice in wardrobe. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Q: Hello Brian, my name's Andrew. Not "THE" Andrew K, but Andrew none the less... I wanted to comment on the "one-handed" RPG playing that was discussed in the Q&AK two issues ago. Eating while playing RPG's is a big thing for me too. One day, in a galaxy far, far away, I was eating some broccoli (or maybe it was cheese), and got tired of having to play then eat, play then eat. I decided to do something about it. A few years ago, in Japan, a one-handed SNES controller was released by ASCII (I believe it was named the "Super 5"). I imported one, and it was pretty sweet. It had the L, R, Start, and Select buttons along with the directional pad on the (twistable, adjustable) front, and the four game buttons A, B, X, and Y on the back. If readers look hard enough, they MIGHT be able to still find one, but I doubt it. Gotta run, but I thought you'd like this tidbit.
   -Andrew Haak

BG: ASCII brought that controller over here, actually, about a year ago for the Playstation. It's known as the ASCII Grip. I believe you can still order them directly from ASCII's homepage. Never used it personally, though, so I don't know how it'd fare.

Q: I don't want FF VIII. Am I weird?

BG: Yes.

Q: Hey man,
   I have a question about death in RPGs. You know how all of these people die in the games (like someone in Final Fantasy VII)? Well, how come when your people die in a battle, you can cast Life on them, and they'll be revived and can come right back to fighting. But when a character dies in a plotline, you can't revive them?
   Thanks,
   Leigh

BG: The official word from game companies says that the characters are simply 'exhausted' in battle. "It's all right, Frankie! Don't cry! He's just sleeping!" The true reason, of course, is that the Story Gods would never allow a curative spell to be used to bring someone back to life outside of battle. Characters know this, and do whatever they can to avoid angering the Gods.

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