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ASK ROKU
NASA Ninja August 18th, 2006

Roku - 15:47 PST

I think I actually used this title before for a PoV Update, but hopefully nobody will notice. Maybe I shouldn't have said that out loud. Whoops ^^;; Anyway, as this was just drawn for me, I can't help but share its awesomeness. CactuarJoe/Michael Beckett did it. Whelp, today's my last day, so I might as well get started on those questions!




L E T T E R S
Another Long One

Master Roku, I presume.
Sega is prevented from releasing the titles in the Sega Ages line of remakes in Japan solely because of Sony's disinclination to permit perceived poor graphics entrance to the North American market, yes? This has led to how many titles being removed from the (hopefully) eager hands of English-speakers?

Roku

A lot ;_;

Will we ever be granted a followup to Skies of Arcadia?

Roku

I hope so ^^.

What the hey - I asked this of Matt and I asked it of Josh, so I'll ask it of you. Have you been able to talk RPGs with any family members? Better yet, have you managed to introduce any family members to the RPG world?

Roku

Actually, I've got my Mom playing a few. She's beaten FF7 and 9 and started FF6 and Chrono Trigger. My Dad started Wild ARMs ACF, but he didn't like it. He might like Castlevania SotN, so I'll bring that next time I visit.

Camelot is sticking to nothing but Mario sports titles for the near future apparently. I understand, though strongly dislike, that Sega owns the Shining trademark and has been using it to pump out those feeble Shining games in recent years. But is there any possibility that Camelot has something RPG-related under development that we just haven't been graced with the ability of seeing? Something like, say, another entry into the Golden Sun mythos?

Roku

I've actually heard several rumors about a GS3 recently, but I have yet to see any actual evidence. We'll see I guess.

Following American comics avidly is not necessary to judge whether certain characters could be made into a workable RPG. Clearly not Superman unless Doomsday, Brainiac, Bizarro, Mongul, the evil Supergirl, and maybe some other stuff were worked into a proper format - but what about: Batman? Captain America? Spiderman? Fantastic Four? Wonder Woman? TMNT? ... Probably enough for now. Manga tends not to need adaptations so much as it needs quality adaptations into the RPG realm and/or a translation.

Roku

As long as the Superman game was largely based on supervillains, it might be able to work. But with Superman and all of the others except TMNT, I'd say it's largely based on how much of a fanbase they have. Obviously, the ones with larger groups like the Fantastic Four could have that whole party thing going too. As far as TMNT goes, I'd think that it could easily be made into a good RPG. It has the party members necessary for balanced RPG gameplay, and none of them are really overpowered or anything. Plus they use a lot of conventional RPG weapons and stuff.

Are those Full Metal Alchemist games any good?

Roku

Not really, but they aren't awful either.

The reverse of yesterday's question: what would be the worst translation of an RPG you've seen? My money is on Breath of Fire II, but I understand Final Fantasy Tactics got hit very badly in this category.

Roku

Hmm, I've seen an awful lot...off the top of my head, I'm going to have to go with FFT though, especially the tutorial that is so poorly written that it tends to confuse the person reading it more than it helps.

So we have no firm information on what systems other than Genesis, NES, SNES, N64, and Turbo-16 are going to be on the Virtual Console, correct? Is there any hope that really obscure stuff on Turbo CD, 3D0, Game Gear, or maybe my little friend the Saturn could wind up on the Wii?

Roku

Correct. It's probably possible, yes, but they're being awfully secretive about it =/

You seem to have played a few titles in both languages so I might as will inqure, Marquis Roku: has the English voice acting ever improved noticeably upon the original Japanese?
Roku

Probably Kingdom Hearts if anything. Disney went all-out.

Your top pick for an RPG that was never brought across the Pacific would be what? Q&A readers know what mine is without prompting.

Roku

I don't know enough Japanese to play through games I haven't beaten in English yet.

Speaking of RPGs not brought over, Don Roku, I'll just mention a few of the titles I've been mulling over in my unfortunately crowded mind lately that never get much press in the hopes that you know more than I. Here we go again: Hydlide. After a bit more research I learn that it started on NES, moved with Super Hydlide to Genesis, then to Saturn with Virtual Hydlide after which the series has apparently died. What further information can you impart here?

Roku

Haven't heard of it, sorry =/

Madara. An NES title and a SNES title. I played a bit of the SNES title and I either got far enough to reach a save point or died in combat - I remember it seeming interesting had I understood what was going on. Modern-day setting with I believe a brother and sister fighting team straight out of Japanese high school. Heard of it or no?

Roku

Ditto ;_;

Terra Phantastica - strategy/tactical title on Saturn. Seems to pack a punch for challenge lovers. I can't find a terribly large amount of information. Do you know the way to success here?

Roku

I have heard of this one, but I haven't played it.

Burning Heroes. Late-era Super Famicom title from Enix that I tested to be assured of working, then left for another day. Very little information I can assimilate on this title. Perhaps you have more?

Roku

Again, I have heard of it, but that's about it. You probably know more than I do.

Wachenroder. Saturn title that seems to be similar to Shining Force with a reliance on steam for most actions in combat. Actually, that is an accurate summation of what I know. Do you know more?

Roku

Unfortunately, I haven't heard of this title.

Live A Live. If I remember rightly (typing this on dial-up makes me reluctant to check) RPGamer has an entry for this Square title during the SNES era, which apparently features multiple characters in different eras having smaller quests before linking up for the final portion. What am I missing in this encapsulation?

Roku

^^;;

Mystaria (goes by a couple of other names too, Blazing Rangers being one). Tactical-type entry on Saturn that I tried out and got bored with very quickly. It was translated, which makes it more accessible than most of what I'm listing here. Any second opinions on it?

Roku

I feel so useless ^^;;

Early Front Missions. Later Front Missions seem to have been released in English but information on the untranslated earliest entries is lacking. What is the remedy?

Roku

Oh! I actually know this one! They are/were working on a Front Mission History compilation thingy a while back. Unfortunately, there hasn't been much news on it, so it might have fallen on the side of bigger projects.

Evolution on Dreamcast and/or Gamecube. Information I have indicates decidely mediocre to bad stuff here. Shall you corroborate or contradict?

Roku

I can sort of agree here. My knowledge is limited, but nothing I've seen has been the slightest bit spectacular.

Whee - I'm done with that... for now. I'll ask instead about a title many people seem to think unjustly removed from English-speakers' gazes: Mother 3. Clearly, Honorable Roku, you have secret monitoring capabilities in Nintendo's Washington headquarters. What tell they to you about this situation?

Roku

<_< >_> I don't know what you're talking about. *Hides equipment* They probably thought the market wasn't good enough. If crazy games like Tingle RPG are brought over here and sell well enough, maybe we'll see that eventually after all. I mean, we finally got Tales of Phantasia and all.

The original Magical Vacation being translated was just a lie from Nintendo to the fans, wasn't it?

I proclaim this letter sufficient to be sent.
JuMeSyn


Roku

Eheh...these are not the Nintendo secrets you are looking for?


Yet Another Long One ^^;;

Hi there Roku, glad everyone else asked about your name so I didn't have to bwahaha

In response to JuMeSyn here's some of the stuff from my lost emails about the stuff he brings up

In regards to JuMeSyn's letter that guy is a walking freakin encyclopedia o.o and I gladly except kudos from him ^^ anyway so here are some things I have to say to him through you and your collumn between the two of us there is sure to be a novel

In regards to Tales of Phantasia I just finished it last week and the end of the story makes up for the general boringness of the rest of the story and there is finally a reason behind the bad guy's evil scheme and the bonus minigame is quite nice

Terranigma - remarkably I made it to that one zombie town in the game via less than legal means ^^;; before my old comp died and I found better uses for my time, but quite honestly I forgot a good chunk of what happened in the game, so just wanted to chime in that I have also played the game

Bahamut Lagoon - I've played this one in English via a translation patch, I remember there was some line that went something along the lines of "Ohh ohh Byuu it's so hot.... oh Byuu" that had me and my friends at the time making in jokes, feeding and evolving the dragons was fun as was the combat, also the plot took an interesting twist that I can't spoil but I just feel bad for Byuu poor lonely silent hero

The YYH title I mentioned was the sequel to that horrid GBA title, the only Japanese YYH games I've played were for the Super Famicom, and two of them I couldn't figure out how to play(those funky ones with the stills that punch and do attacks) some really butt ugly one from the end of the show and a reasonably nice looking one based on the first and second parts of the series

I saw the Super Famicom(I always want to type Falcon I don't know why o.o) Magic Knight Rayearth rom plus translation patch on some site that served RPG roms many moons ago but didn't download it because I'd never seen the anime and would more than likely be lost ^^;;

As far as Naruto games go we got a beat em up and two fighting games stateside, and from what I heard in a letter from Bucket to the collumn(I think ^^;; it might have been back during RPGamer Idol) the Naruto rpg wasn't quite up to usual visual standards and more than likely wouldn't be ported stateside, and also the Naruto demographic stateside are the kids that are too kewl for DBZ and Pokemon anymore so an RPG wouldn't appeal to them at all

As for Trigun, my ex had some PC game that was modified to have the characters from the show in it but that is as far as I've heard of a Trigun game period, but I think it would make a better shooter, donut health boosts ^_^

As for Treasure Hunter G much like Magic Knight Rayearth for the Super Famicom I saw the rom on a site along with it's partial translation and never downloaded it, because I thought it had something to do with something I wouldn't understand

Star Ocean - I've played this one with it's partial patch but for some reason everything was all staticy so I never got far, but the opening thingamajiggy was awesome and in English which was dissapointing because the game wasn't, I hope this and Eternal Sphere get ported over

Inuyasha - I've played an Inuyasha GBA game where they were on some funky board game thing, and I think you leveled up but then again I have no grasp of Japanese at all, I got up to some fight with Koga then I died so yeah thought I'd throw that out there

I've never heard of most the others save Front Mission though Dark Half sounds good as does Madara 2 Modern-era RPGs rock ^^, also apparently Dark Half has a partial translation floating about

I feel I should add my weird stuff I dabbled in back in the day to the list of which there is one game but still

Princess Minerva - I think this was an rpg, regardless of that fact I downloaded it from the aforementioned dead site because the name sounded cool or some other such non sense, realized that unlike the rest of them it had no translation and left it to rot on my old comp

Now for more Anime that should be an RPG that I forgot last time

Shinzo - The first half of the series only cause the second half was steeped in suck, pretty much three animal warrior thingies protect a human girl who is trying to find a mystical place called Shinzo, where the last humans supposedly live, screamed RPG to me

Outlaw Star - A group looking for a treasure fighting those two brothers, the space pirates etc could make a good RPG, sure only three of the cast members could fight but still, honestly I'd just love a game based on this regardless, interesting Arros tidbit I tried to make my gummi ship in KH look like the Outlaw Star, I'm so so lame

And now another anime RPG I forgot to mention last time

Zoids: Legacy/Zoids: Saga II - A really fun RPG based on Zoids, features an original story, original characters as well as ones from the various series(even some from games and anime we never got stateside) and a good ammount of zoids and even oragnoids, sadly the translation was poor, but the gameplay was nice and sometimes difficult, especially those challenges, the game is for the GBA, you could also customize the hero's attack phrase which was fun purely for ----s and giggles

JuMeSyn's letters are contagious o.o

Roku

I know I'm wanting to look up obscure RPGs after all of this.

I thought I'd chime in that honestly you aren't missing anything from selling Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, I've played through each story once, Sora's was mostly lame rehash of KH, Riku's was him whining and angsting about his choices, I did however enjoy the challenge of Riku's run through the game since it was to Richter's run through SotN as Sora's was to Alucard's, since Riku couldn't heal himself etc etc, but no nothing missed there

In regards to 8-bit theater I read it and Megatokyo religiously for very different reasons but still, my favorite character is Black Mage hadokens rock, also his murderous rage and perversion remind me of a character I created many years back, I also like Deborah erm Red Mage, I also read RPGWorld til the artist went on an indefinate break... only read three things of VGcats counting that one, the others were about tommy's left testicle being a key item and that one dude from Metal Gear Solid humping dead bodies so yeah I agree what I know of it isn't quite clean...

In regards to men with ponytails, I think I look quite nice with my ponytail and since I usually act like a horse's --- it works out fine ^^;; though the thing about a balding young hero made me think of Perfect Hair Forever, if they ever made that into an RPG it'd fit the scenario perfectly, if anyone has seen perfect hair they'll get the joke if not the don't worry as the show wasn't really that good ^^;;

and somebody else brought up preorder/add-in swag so here is my list of stuff I've gotten

As for game bonuses/add-ins, I own two keychains(1 from Grandia 3 1 from Steambot Chronicles) and untold number of soundtracks, a Lucia pendent, two cloth maps, 4 anime dvds, 3 artbooks(Makai Kingdom, Magna Carta and Tales of Legendia) two trading cards, a controller armor(DDS 1 or 2 can't recall) and a Pram decal... oh and two or three making of cds Just thought I'd share that, I love soundtracks and artbooks ^^

So there's the bulk of stuff that was brought up sometime in the past and commented on by me

Now for other stuff that was brought up here recently

The only times I've heard an uproar over Pokemon was the seizure inducing episode some years back and there was some dude that dressed as Prof. Oak, that according to some old lady on some weird conspiracy site a friend showed me, was luring children into his van with promises of pokemon then brainwashing them and having sex with them, when in reality the guy worked for some children's center and his job was to invite people there to play and since Pokemon was popular he chose someone from it as a selling point

In response to RPGs where the rest of the party members step in to fight when the first party has died, the only instance I can think of is Golden Sun: The Lost Age at least I think the other four Adepts came in to the fight against that one secret boss dude been too long

In response to voice activated spells, I personally love the idea, and I hope they implement in some game some time some where, simply for the thrill of yelling "Hambalbooska heychambaloomda flammabajidu!!!" at my game system to the eye brow raises of others, then again if I like a quote that goes with a spell or ability I usually say it in my best impression of the character's voice, but I think instead of having that activate the skill/spell it should give it an extra boost in power

Now for questions

Question 1: What is the other worst game you've ever played? since obviously it was tied with Shining Tears it has to be bad

Roku

Quest 64. It wasn't as painful as Shining Tears, but it didn't seem like the game was actually...finished. Many rooms in castles, cities, etc. were empty and seemed copy/pasted. Dungeons were almost entirely linear. The story is very minimal. Anyway, it seemed like maybe a cheap alpha version of an actual game, if even that.

Question 2: Where did that picture for the virtual console thing come from? Did you draw it yourself or what?

Roku

A member of our staff showed me a while back. It was awesome, so I saved it. I uploaded it to share it during that column.

Question 3: Do you know of any RPGs that penalize/punish you in some way for not opening every chest/getting every item in dungeons? The only ones I can think of that sort of do this are Wild ARMS 3, Tales of Symphonia, and Riviera, so do you know of any others

Roku

Well, if the treasures are good, you're pretty much getting punished no matter what. Also, in Tales of Symphonia, can't you just get the treasure for a small price later? I guess I'm not really sure what you're asking.

Question 4: Out of all the quotes for spells and abilities in RPGs which is your all time favorite one? Mine would have to be "Discipline feels good! Ha Ha!" from Lunar 2: EBC ^^ I love that quote

Arros Raikou
Has nothing snappy to say other than post this please !.!


Roku

I control the quote you see on the main page, so I've seen an awful lot of quotes that have been submitted. My recent favorite is "Technically, I'm supposed to say something profound here... but I doubt anyone would understand it," simply because of how well it fits up there.


Down But Not Out

Hey Roku, or whomever has assumed control over the Q A now.

I've been in a bit of a rut in the gaming world for the past few years. I used to be a hardcore RP Gamer. I mean the type that would sit and play endless hours on end till fingers hurt, or parents screamed, and whatnot. I used to play everyday when i got home from school till my parents forced me to go to bed. But now I find it hard to play any games. Every once in a while i'll find my way to Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, which i know there are a bunch of people that despise the game, especially when compared to the first one, but regardless I still find it somewhat enjoyable. I'm not sure exactly what my problem is but I've bought countless numbers of games and just can't seem to play more than a few hours of them. I have a backlog that would frighten someone to death. I mean yea I have to factor in that I've gotten older and there are other things that fill in my life now, such as work, school, my fiancè, and goin out with friends. But theres at least a 2 hour period before I go to sleep in which I could play a game every night. Then on days off there are times when I could get in a few hours playing time before I would go do whatever I have to do. It's really depressing because I want to play games but its like I just can't bring myself to do it. Have you ever had anything like that happen? Any clue as to what the heck is wrong with me? I mean I know why I don't play some games, they just don't appeal to me but hey, not everything can. I'll list my backlog as of now. If I can even remember all of them. Star Ocean 2. Breath of Fire 4. Breath of fire Dragon Quarter. Shin Megami Tensei Digital Devil Saga Part 1. Koudelka. Unlimited Saga. Romancing Saga. Dragon Quest 7 Dragon Quest 8. Legend of Legaia 1 Legend of Legaia 2 Duel Saga. Shadow Hearts. Blade Dancer. Popolocrois. La Pucelle Tactics. Phantom Brave. Disgaea. Atillier Iris. Legend of Heroes. Threads of fate. Tales of Symphonia. Skies of Arcadia. Grandia. Grandia 2. Grandia Xtreme. Grandia 3. I could probably go on and it makes me sick! I've completed every single Final Fantasy released in America, and a bunch of other games but I just can't get myself to play a lot of the ones I have. It's strange. Any game you can recommend that might cure me of this ailment and make me wanna play again? Or anything? Thanks for your time. Jeff


Roku

I've felt like that at times before too. Here's what I did to snap out of it. I cleared a whole lot of time, a whole weekend I think, for playing games. Then I lined up all my games that were in my backlog. I grabbed the one that seemed the most interesting at the time, then played through it for a few hours. It took a little while to really get into it, but it was a lot of fun once I did. I can't really recommend any game in particular, just pick whichever appeals the most. I hope that helps!


Here Comes A New Challenger!

First off, “howdy” from Texas!

It's my first time writing, and by way of introductions, I’m an ‘aging’ fan (in years only, I still feel like I’m in my early twenties which I’m very thankful for) and I’ve long used RPGamer as an excellent resource for finding information related to some of my favorite games - so I appreciate all the hard work you folks have done on that front. That said, it was only relatively recently that I stumbled upon the Q&A column and ever since doing so I’ve had a lot of fun just reading through the responses when I got a few extra minutes (at work). There are a wide variety of RPG fans out there as we all know, and it’s a hoot to see what so many of them have to say, as are y’alls responses. That y’all actually take the time to respond in detail makes it all the more worthwhile and entertaining.

Anyhow, I thought I’d jump in with a “few” thoughts on a couple of things RPG-related just to contribute something, and participate to a greater degree, if I could.

But before doing much, I thought I’d relate my “story” where RPG’s go:

Dragon Warrior (NES) was my first RPG, and despite my deep appreciation for the Dragon Quest franchise now, it was my reaction to the original Dragon Warrior during my early teenage years that turned me off on RPG's for many years to come, I'm afraid. Completely my own fault though - I was simply at the age where I wanted action (and now darn it!) in my games and the turn based battles, maps, and stat menus just didn't appeal to me at the time. In hindsight, I definitely regret that this was the case and that I didn’t take the time to try and appreciate what this type of game had to offer. No thanks to my mistake there, I missed out on a lot of excellent games for an awful long time (then again, girls were entering the picture at that point so I can’t say that I’ve had been around to play them regardless).

Fortunately, many year[s] later I gave RPG's another try, and I can report much better results the second time around -- I was hooked! Since, in a bit of irony, RPG's have become my favorite genre of game thanks to their emphasis on character, storytelling & strategy (among other things); and irony of ironies, the Dragon Quest franchise has since become one of my all-time favorite series'. Very few franchises in my mind can claim the "wonder" or "fun factor" that the DQ series can (none equal it IMHO) and I really have a blast every time I visit the DQ world, or hop online to see what's going on with the next game et al.

[And as a side-note, I even made it a point to re-obtain the original Dragon Warrior to give it the fair shake it deserved from the start. Talk about coming full circle!]

If it’s of any interest, several of my other favorite RPG franchises include: Xenosaga, Fire Emblem, Shadow Hearts, Lunar, and the various Nippon-Ichi worlds, among others. Though I suppose here I should make something of a confession…I’ve never actually completed a Final Fantasy game...

(Is it safe to continue? Have the gasps died down?)

though in my defense, I was more or less away from the gaming world for several years in high-school and throughout my first couple of semesters at college, which was when Final Fantasy was introduced, and while it was enjoying it’s greatest successes with Cloud, Tifa & Co. several years later. Likewise, I do own Final Fantasy IV, VII, and FFX but I’ve only had the chance to play VII briefly to this point (which I only previewed, but enjoyed, before putting it into my ever-increasing backlog) and for nothing can I seem to find the interest to continue further than what I’ve already traversed in FFX…it just doesn’t hold my interest I’m afraid. Anyhow, with that out of the way, I can say that I’m intrigued by some of the recent and upcoming FF releases, particularly the classics that are being ported to the GBA and DS systems, and including what we’ve seen on the PS3 - so all is not lost – I just need an FF game that knocks my socks off and forces me to take a greater look at the franchise is all! On that front, any recommendations of which FF games y’all think are “must plays” in relation to the other FF games out there? I continue to hear great things about FFVI, and FFVIII.

Roku

Probably just VII and X since they have the sequels popping up. I personally enjoyed VI due to its unique take on main characters, so you might want to pick that or the remake of it up too.

A few quick observations, etc:

- Glad to see several Fire Emblem fans here, some of the best times I’ve had playing games have been a result of the exciting SRPG game play, great characters, and masterful presentation. I love these games. Intelligent Systems just has this knack for knocking it out of the park, be it FE, Metroid, Advance Wars, whatever!

- Also glad to see so many Xenosaga fans here! I knew it was a place worth visiting.

- Really looking forward to the possibility of region-free games with the upcoming PS3 (and the ramifications that may have down the road) as well as the ability the Nintendo Wii will give me to play some of those games I missed out on so many years ago, like Earthbound/Mother 2, Secret of Mana, etc. for what will hopefully be an affordable price.

And because I wouldn’t want to miss out on the question of which [5] characters I’d choose in creating a RPG team of my own:

1) KOS-MOS (Xenosaga) – Whether she uses the Hilbert effect or not, she’ll own you one way or another, with precision. “Will you be utterly destroyed, or will you not be utterly destroyed?” And with the ability to summon Erde Kaiser…

2) Yuri (Shadow Hearts) – He’s got a grudge, and definitely has an attitude, but he’s also got a good heart, a true love to fight for, and an army of fusion monsters to which he can revert at will. He chooses Amon and the enemy is likely - toast.

3) Rocket Slime (Dragon Quest Heroes) – Because I’d like a slime on my team, particularly one with several abilities…and a gargantuan tank at his disposal. Granted it might be shooting forks and spoons at the opponent, but it’ll be fun one way or the other.

4) Shinguji Sakura (Sakura Taisen) – She’s chock full of heart, has high levels of spirit energy by which to operate the Kobu Kai (steam mech), and manages to turn her innocence and naivety to her advantage left and right as she summons the courage to defeat massive threats time and again. She’s got some serious finishing techniques to boot!

5) Jessica (Dragon Quest VIII) – The ultimate deadly distraction. Not only might she be wearing a bunny costume in any given encounter, and not only is she not afraid to use her feminine charms (re: Le Puff Puff) to her advantage, but she’s got several deadly attacks to perform, the ability to mesmorize the enemy, and she can raise her tension 10x her normal rate to do some serious harm. A keeper!

My answers might change a little were I to be asked at another time, but I’d be pretty darn happy with this team, and enjoyed thinking about the possibilities.

I don’t want to take up too much of your time, but thanks for listening to me yack for a few minutes at least. Keep up the great work!

K.D. McCallister

Fort Worth, Texas


Roku

No problem, it's always good to hear from new people ^^.




C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Whelp, that's it for me I guess. I hoped you enjoyed my columns. It's still summer, so I might fill in again sometime. Of course, you can always see me hanging around Reviews/Points of View too. Oh well, see you around ^^.



roku@rpgamer.com
Roku wanders off into the sunset again...


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I'll be back...maybe ^^.

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