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Joshua Reid

It's that time of the year again. The demons of hell, loathe to suffer in the inferno one day longer, have crept onto the earth and taken forms of--oh the cunning beasts!--little children! Don't be fooled! Every spirited ghost, cat-woman, and wolf-man are actually Satan's minions, come to stir mischief and steal our candy! Beneath every Garfield mask is a serpentine tongue licking gruesome fangs and reptilian eyes saturated with Hell's flames! Don't let them get away with their depraved sports. Grab your Louisville sluggers, don your elbow pads and wade into this fen of vile beasts as a knight ready to decapitate and dismember in the name of all that is sacred! Go get them, most honorable girls and boys!

Hehehe. I hope I don't get sued for that.

Happy Halloween everyone! Have you ever noticed that these last few months of the year are a bombardment of holidays? In other words, "give me candy" first, "give me turkey" next, and finally "give me video games." I love this country

In the spirit of this spooky night, I'd like to know what everyone considers the scariest RPG ever. I won't tell you just yet what my picks are, but the non-RPG thrillers would have to be Resident Evils (duh) and the beginning of Super Metroid.

In other news, my letter total increased considerably over my first slew, and I am again pleasantly surprised with the quality of your messages. Keep sending them!

Due to popular request, I promise not to ramble on like last time. Instead, I'll jump right into the letters!

A Perfect Letter

Congratulations, Nameless! I must say, you're probably the funniest RPGuru to date. Good show!

-The Olivers

Joshua: This is a wonderful example of the kind of letters I want to see around here. Concise, informative, and precise.

Could You Pass Some Tellah Please?

You were delving into the realms of RPG character naming, and I was wondering if you've ever had any great moments in the middle of a story due entirely to the name you chose for your character. For example, in FF4, a friend of mine named Tellah "Dinner" for some odd reason, and as a result when you get to the scene where Tellah keels over dead, you have Cecil yelling "Dinner!" and the rest of your characters run over to crowd around the body for the apparent feast. And has anyone else noticed that in Shadow's dreams, he and his thief friend call their outlaw group whatever you named Shadow? I mean, a band of outlaws called Shadow is one thing. A band of outlaws known as Fifi doesn't exactly strike terror into the hearts of one's victims

-The Red Salamander Zaruga

Joshua: Your friend likes to name old men "dinner" huh? Keep him away from your grandparents. Anyone else have funny naming stories like Salamander? I'd love to post them.

Questions from Quincy

Hello,

First off, I'd like to say I find your first few article to be most impressive, and you are handling the reins quite well.

1. Now, some questions ... Why, in the name of all Goodness, would Square pass up a Chrono Trigger sequel to make another Saga Frontier. Why God, WHY?!

2. Do you think Dragon Quest will safely make the transition to 32-bits? Or do you suppose it will go down the road less traveled by (watch out for the double entendre)?

3. You don't like Tenchi Muyo, do you ...

4. If west-bound train leaves Cincinnati at 5:00 traveling at 90km/h, and an east-bound train leaves L.A. at 3:30 traveling 85 km/h, what time do they collide into a bloody train wreck, hotshot. At what time?

5. Do you think magic will completely phased out of the FF world by the time they reach part 10?

Here's some ideas for a name: Howzabout 'The Spoony Bard', or 'The Submariner's Son' (wouldn't be funny to be named after a translation error?)

-tornado, hailing from the burg of Quincy, Massachusetts

Joshua: 1. The reason is simple. Square is testing us. Every so often, they release a cow patty of a game (Secret of Evermore, or should I say Nevermore--as in I'm going to play it nevermore) to prove we will purchase it without renting it because we have such faith in their releases. Why do you think Square is packaging an FFVIII demo with BFM? They are marketing geniuses. Wait till you see what Squaresoft releases right after FFVIII--I bet it will be "Spice Girls: The Roleplaying Game." And you know what's really sad? We'll still buy it. Besides, Chrono Trigger already explored all possible plot threads. Do you really want "Chrono Trigger II: The search for Chrono's mom?" I also heard that Squaresoft heard all our complaints about Saga Suck, and they are (hopefully) creating something we will play and not play Frisbee with.

2. We'll just have to wait and see about that one, but the graphics are nice, from what I've seen--polygonal backgrounds and 2-D sprite characters like Xenogears and Breath of Fire III.

3. No I don't like Tenchi Mayo--D'oh, I mean Muyo, Zaruga's letter about dinner must have made me hungry--I like the series, except for the cabbit of course, but I detest Tenchi. He has too many women. I'm jealous.

4. I'm sorry tornado, but I can't do your homework for you.

5. I'm afraid they will. There will also be no fighting, overworld, or story really. You'll be Cid, racing Vicks and Wedge on Chocobos--because those are the only elements Square can't seem to live without nowadays. That's my two cents.

I think "spoony bard" ranks amongst everyone's all-time favorite RPG quote

Clearing Things Up

Greetings umm.. RPGnameless! First of all, congrats on being the newest member to RPGamer! I wish you the best in this most ever-changing section at this site. Anyway to slightly clear up the Dragon Slayer/Quest mix up, the game known in Japan as Dragon Slayer 4 was released in the States as Legacy of the Wizard on the Nes by Bruderbund. Now this is where it gets somewhat confusing. Falcom, the company that made this game sometimes refers to LOTW, Legend of Heroes, Faxanadu and other games they've made as Dragon Slayer 1-4+. I really don't know why, these game series have nothing to do with one another. Although I think the name "Dragon Slayer" seems to refer to the ported versions of these games on the old Japanese computer/console hybrid, the MSX. I may be wrong on this though. As for Ys, I've heard the 1st in the series referred to as both "Ancient Ys Vanished" and "Ys Vanished Omen". On the TG-CD version, its simply known as "Ys Book 1" since it was only of half of the game on the CD

P.S. Ohh yes, since you asked, I am from a small town in Northeast Ohio which primarily consists of 10 or so pine trees, a video rental store that closes at 8 PM (although I cannot be 100% certain on this) and a sporadic habitation of human-like beings that may or may not include myself. Well I'll end my poor attempt at humor right here. Again, good luck in your Godly new position

Jim Varga

Joshua: Thank you for clearing that up for us. Many others contributed similar bits of information, but this letter dealt with both Dragon Slayer and Ys. Adamentium and a couple other sharp people told me that "Dragon Quest" was changed to "Dragon Warrior" in the U.S. because TSR, the D&D company, had a board game by that name. One fringe benefit of this position is that I get to learn as well. Sometimes, however, I feel like you readers are a flock of vultures hovering about cyberspace, waiting for my next update so you can dive in and rip out every error and flaunt the discovery in my face. J/k. I'm glad there are readers out there who can answer these questions. Just to inform you, any and all errors on this page are intentional. I'm testing your RPG knowledge in the most subtle fashion.

And about the "pitiful attempt at humor." Hmmm . . . sounds like a certain someone's column.

FFIV Reminiscences

A RPGuru who loves Final Fantasy 4 more than the others.... I agree whole heartedly that it the best. The story line was fantastic the characters were GREAT. Everyone likes FF5 for some reason. I played and thought it blew. The story line was so generic. So what if it had a job system. That stupid thing screwed up all the other FF's. Everyone in FF4had a SPECIFIC class. Warriors were warriors. Strong and tough. Wizards were weak and no so tough. Warriors in the front lines and wizards in the back. But not after FF5 because then you could make super beings. A character that uses all weapons and armor and casts all magic plus can have all the special skills... that's no fun. Don't get me wrong I loved FF6. And 7 was alright, I liked it to. But FF4 just had it all. I even want to name one of my children Kain (When I have one that is). Everyone complains about the whole Zeromus is a weak final boss because he wasn't in the game till the end.... so what... ever hear of a plot twist? That's what made FF4 so good. Lead to believe one thing then find it was all wrong... I compare every RPG I play to FF4 because quite simply its the BEST!!!!

--Darkcrisis

Joshua: I think I'm going to christen my first kid Boco, after Boco the chocobo in FFT. By the end of the game, my Boco was grizzled, mean, and had sired an entire hoard of young Chocobos. So what if he couldn't attack with fireballs like his cousins or use the math skill like a cheezewhiz? Boco killed with his beak, like a real Chocobo should. I think any son or daughter would be proud to have such a great name. Boco Reid--doesn't it have a nice ring to it?

Darkcrisis, you make some great points. What makes characters different on the battle screen anymore? The only two facets that separated FFVII characters were limit breaks and weapons. Attribute enhancers, Materia, and some level building could make Tifa just like Barret, Yuffie just like Red XII. What was wrong with the class system, I ask? I don't want clones, I want variety.

So what if Zeromus didn't show up until the very end? I'd rather see that than have to fight Kefka over and over again, or follow Sephiroth across the known world, always a step behind. I'm growing very tired of Square introducing a major villain and having you fight him so many times you say, "Oh, it's him again." How many times have you fought Eve? Kahr (Xenogears)? Anyone care to count? I know Square is trying to establish a villain that develops along with you, giving the finale more meaning and drama, but I don't think sticking wings on Sephiroth really changes the fact that it's just Sephiroth again (ho hum). Sephiroth is an exception, however, you don't really get to fight him until the end--you just beat on Jenova mutations--but that either adds to the frustration or the suspense, depending on your reaction. FFVII's Turks, for example, are a great example of a device that has grown very old. The reason why Darth Vader--er-- Golbez isn't the last boss in FFIV is because the story is about enlightenment (Cecil from Dark Knight to Paladin) and change. Zeromus was in the game all along--he was the metaphoric evil that drove Golbez and his cronies through the plot. Once Golbez changed his heart, the evil inside him corporealized--enter Zeromus. Sure FFIV was simple, it was one of the last pure examples of Good versus Evil. More complicated characters like Magus and Sephiroth have muddied the waters since then. I'm not saying I prefer one treatment to the other, but I don't like seeing the same style over and over again.

Scattered Thoughts: Dan Vincent is a fellow Floyd Fan and I want him to know my column in the College Newspaper was called "Comfortably Numb." The "crabbit" debate continues--Herandar Luciferage thinks cabbits are half-rabbit, half-cabbages! I think Herandar and Salamandar's friend would get along nicely. Archangel wants to know if Tales is worth it. I think it's more worth your money than Parasite Eve. If both Tales' and Parasite's optional dungeon crawls cancel out, your looking at about $1.20 an hour for Tales, and $10 an hour for Parasite Eve. Tales also has great dialogue and characters with much more depth than Eve's Barret lookalike. Tales does have its share of problems, but I'd give it a try. Have you read a review on it? See what some of your peers think. Schally (did I get the name right) is trying to track down "Parasite Eve," by Hideaki Sena, the novel that inspired Square's game. I saw the cover for the novel, and it looks really neat, but even better--there's a Parasite Eve movie! It was made in Japan by Toho studios (the Godzilla people) and entered Japanese theatres in February of 1997. I don't know if there are any subtitled versions of the movie or English translations of the novel. Joel wants Parasite Eve codes/cheats, and I shall tell him and you all that I do all my cheating at Gamesages (sages.ign.com). Mike Dore, when I receive my money, I'll print your letter *wink*. There were some other awesome letters I want to spotlight tomorrow, along with some fresh ones. I have to go to a party now! Auf Wiedersehen!

- Joshua Reid, signing off

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