You know you want
Send correspondence to the following stud
Doff those ties, throw those books in a corner, turn on the PSX, PC, Gameboy or Saturn,
kick back and relax, because its FRIDAY!
A Word From the Wise
1. Has there been any definitive word on Suikoden II as a
U.S. release yet?
2. It's halfway through the semester, and I'm doing very
well. Should I buy Xenogears and hope my GPA stays
3. Do you think Black Chocobos would taste better deep
fried or rotisserie style?
4. If I said I enjoyed SaGa Frontier, would you hate
Joshua: 1. The definitive word from Konami's home
site is--TBA. Rumor has it, however, that the States will be
graced by this sequel's presence sometime in the winter of
1999, even though I've heard as early as May. But don't
fret, Suikoden I's success has ensured a U.S. release.
2. I'm going to make a comparison here (anyone getting
ready to take the SAT--participate!) . . .
Death Star-Alderaan = Xenogears-?
Can you fill in the blank? Does that answer your
3. I prefer Gold Chocobo actually. Tastes like
4. Of course I wouldn't hate you Mongoose Boy--I'll only
The Things People Will Do . .
I bet if I keep pestering you with silly letters, one of
them will eventually get posted. At first they actually
contained something, but that grew tiresome, so now I've
decided to write to you about nothing. In fact, I don't
really have anything to say except, well . . . hi mom! Yep,
I'm the goofy guy on the roof waving into the camera behind
the dude describing the sound of a tornado. Well, sorta.
Neener neener! Yeah. Yeah! Er . . . woah, like, um, people
can see this! =) (if this makes it to the column I'll eat my
Saga Frontier CD from a pint glass and send all interested a
picture of me doing so=).
Joshua: Send your picture via attachment (JPEG,
GIF) to my RPGuru address. And it better be good. Thank
With Friends Like These . .
I liked tonight's article, for some reason. And then I
realized: Josh wrote very little in it. Haha!
Oh--my favorite RPG character is THE CRABBIT, because IT
REMINDS ME OF A GOOD FRIEND I KNOW IN REAL LIFE.
I also checked your use of the word 'Adulate'. Darn you.
You used it right.
Joshua: Most of you are probably wondering why I'm
showcasing a nauseating piece of inept wit and lackluster
style on this pristine column. The answer is simple--Bigfoot
is a good friend of mine in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Bigfoot, meet readers. Readers, meet Bigfoot. Now,
Bigfoot, don't write again. You're clogging my mailbox.
I have noticed a strange and recurring factor in all
Squaresoft games I have played. Except for a few minor
exceptions, the more hair a character has the cooler they
turn out to be.
FF4j: Both Cecil and Kain had long hair in the game, and
they both turned out to be the point men of your party. And
don't forget the flying mop, Zeromous. Although his role was
rather underdeveloped, he was, at the time, the most
detailed and monstrous baddy I'd seen. Counterpoint: Cid had
short hair, as did Edward. Do we need more explanation?
Chrono Trigger: Magus was the MAN! He also had the
longest hair in the game.
Cp: Robo and Lucca had short/no hair and during the
latter portion of the game they became merely bystanders as
Chrono/Magus/Marle and Frog put the whoop up on
FFVII: Sephiroth is definitely one of the most developed
villains I have ever witnessed in an RPG, and one of the few
enemies that actually sent shivers down my spine when I
heard his music. His hair also reached down to his
Cp: Cait Sith and Barret. Both characters were highly
underdeveloped, and their advantages quickly paled later on
in the game.
I could go into details on other characters, but I would
rather leave that up to you. Granted there are a few
exceptions, such as Sabin and Frog. Yet they are few and far
between, so my supposition still stands.
What is your opinion of the matter, oh great and wise
-Brackhar, Master of the Obvious
Joshua: I'm buying horse shampoo today.
I'm a 15 year old boy, still living a sheltered life
under my parents wing. So I have a question: Is playing RPGs
and leading a happy successful life possible? I mean, I'd
love to never have to worry about anything more pressing
then whether or not Square will port its latest game to PC,
or who to have in my FFVII party, but some day I'm gonna
have to pay the bills, and RPGing does take up a lot of
time. Will I even have time for RPGs in the university? Is
life outside of RPGs possible? Is hard-core RPG playing
reserved only for the young, and the people who write the
video game magazines? And if one can juggle career and RPG
how is this amazing feat accomplished? Please RPGuru, soothe
the mind of this troubled boy. Help me RPGuru, you're my
Joshua: Dear reader, do not fret, the Elysian
fields of your youth shall continue to be as green and sweet
as the ones you will galumph through in the future. You will
find video games an easy and consistent partner with the
rigors of Academia, and your future bosses will encourage
you to play RPGs both on and off their time clock, to
promote creativity and empathy in the workplace. There is
not a moment in life where an RPG addiction creates stress
on the wallet or the watch--nay--an RPG life is a life of
radiant hues and gossamer challenges.
(Most Vengeful Lord, forgive me for this erroneous
Mystery Japanese Hit
I know I nearly fell out of my chair when I found out
about this. Just a warning.
I found, a while back, a strange Japanese RPG for the
SNES. I went looking for other information... and found out
that the original RPG had been ported not only to SNES but
to PSX, Saturn, and PC Engine as well . . . and that the
game itself commanded the number one spot for a full YEAR in
the Japanese market. Sounds impressive, hmm? I know I was
impressed. Unless you know the game I'm talking about,
you're probably very curious as to the nature of it. One of
the chapters of Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy? Perhaps a
diamond-in-the-rough from some unknown software developer
with graphics and music beyond anything we'd get in the
States? The latter is true . . . partially.
The game is Tokimeki Memorial, and the plot, from what I
know of it, is straight out of a shoujo manga. The plot
revolves around an ancient tree, on the campus of a Japanese
high school . . . the legend surrounding it is that two
people who pledge their love to each other underneath it on
graduation day will love each other forever. No
world-changing quests, no monsters to slay . . . the nearest
analogy I can come up with is the few events in the plot of
FFVII which shape who you go out with at the Gold Saucer,
expanded among three years and thirteen different girls.
Not the sort of game one would expect to be wildly
successful, particularly given the sort of hype few
American-bred game magazines give these days . . . but
still, for a game to command the top spot for an entire year
. . .
Makes you think, doesn't it? Particularly in light of the
fact that almost every RPG, sooner or later, will have you
going off to save the world.
Joshua: I didn't fall off my chair, Falconar, but
I did sprint over to the nearest Netscape browser to extract
more about this game.
There are actually FIVE games (published by Konami) based
off of this series--Puzzle-dama (arcade, PSX, Saturn),
Tokkae-dama (PSX, Saturn), Oshiete Your Heart (arcade), Niji
Iro no Seishun (PSX, Saturn), Irodori no Love Song (PSX,
Saturn). I also found some Tokimeki Memorial paraphernalia,
including game music, at Animenation.
It doesn't surprise me that an Anime game has done so
well in Japan (Anime Factor), but it does seem odd that this RPG you mentioned
can outsell more action-orientated plots. But now that I
think about it, you can't get any better than thirteen High
School girls. Heck, I'd buy it. This game is just a
testament to Japan's infatuation with their cartoon and
comic characters. You'll never see Spiderman, Batman, and
Spawn games match up lucratively to Ranma, Dragon Ball Z, or
Until Anime and Manga become as popular in the States as
they are in Japan (I'm not sure how much--if any--Anime
infiltrates Europe, Australia, Canada, etc.), we will
probably never see many of these games. But I'll take what I
can get--I still drag out Ranma 1/2: Hard Battle (SNES)
every so often.
Write Us a Letter, You're the
Piano Man . . .
Item 1. Crabbits as you all would like to call
them, have a secret society. I'm only telling you all this
as a warning to be careful when planning your assault on the
CRABHQ, because I tried it already. Even Solid Snake would
have problems, and if you don't believe me just watch some
of the more recent episodes of Tenchi, and you will see that
the cute innocent Crabbits you are so readily willing to
attack are actually the instigators of destruction, they
turn into spaceships and lightsabers, and other things that
we just don't want to know about. Enough said.
Item 3. Has anyone seen or heard ANYTHING good about
Atlus's new strategy game Brigandine? I just can't seem to
find any information on it anywhere.
Item 4. We need a proper induction for our new esteemed
RPGuru, and that would probably make up a good contest, art,
sound, anything we can do to make the RPGuru look--well, you
know--funny. Come on, it'll be fun folks.
Joshua: Item 1: Your feeble attempts to frighten
me are as ineffectual as seraphic hymns for Crabbit souls.
Forbear, because I have just initiated two more members into
the CAC (Coalition Against Crabbits)--Fei and Citan, whom
already harbor a keen dislike for a certain Chu-Chu (Your
days are numbered! -Fei P.S. Don't tell Elly about this, you
pink punk!). Citan and Fei also have long hair--and we all
know what that means.
Item 2: Atlus calls Brigandine "the best elements of Ogre
Battle and Dragon Force . . . the definitive fantasy
tactical simulation." Sounds wonderful. There is also a
for this FFT competitor. The game itself should appear on
U.S. shelves this month.
Item 3: Please don't. Unless you want to send Roaches. I
need roaches for a super secret plan I have for this site.
I've been reading some "Contemporary Musicians" book in
my High School Library, and I read something about David
Byrne, former lead singer of the 1980s rock group, the
Talking Heads. After the group disbanded, Byrne went on to
form his own label, Luaka Bop Records. He was very
interested in "new age" and "world music," and the name of
his first solo album was called (I swear I am not making
this up) "Rei Momo." Did the programmers of "Breath of Fire
3" decide to name two of the main characters after this
album title, or was it just a strange coincidence?
Also, I've been recently reading your column and found
something about the controversial nature of "Final Fantasy
Tactics" and "Xenogears" for their religious content. Has
everybody forgotten the Church of St. Eva in "Breath of Fire
2," the religion that set up churches around the world,
stole the souls of all of its believers, and possessed the
souls of evil people to make them even more evil? Now THAT
is one messed-up religion.
Joshua: There are no coincidences--we are all
interwoven in Fate's great Tapestry of Life. Each little
so-called "coincidence" is actually a glimpse of two threads
overlapping, a tuft of the UberRug, a syllable in the
GreatBook, a sausage on the EternalPizza of Unfathomable
Life, which I truly belief some maniacal Deity will eat
someday soon and end this strange and wonderful
Another rock "coincidence" for you--Squaresoft wanted to
name Sephiroth "Manson" in the U.S. release, to connote a
sense of evil presence in this contemporary audience.
Marilyn threatened to sue, and Square dropped the issue. I
believe it all happened for the better, considering "Manson"
is eerily similar to another popular rock group with long
hair, who can single-handedly bring down Brackhar's Samson
theory in flames. (Just in case we have some gullible
readers out there--I just told a Great Big Fib).
Heck yeah, St. Eva was crazy! How about Secret of Mana?
Remember that cult of vampire-thingys? What about Crono
Trigger? The demons worshipping that statue underneath the
church organ was really strange, to say the least.
I want my
1.How come everybody has Xenogears except for me, and
Electronics Boutique hasn't called me yet after I reserved
2. Is living at Virginia Tech much better than living in
Gloucester, Virginia, a.k.a.. Hicktown U.S.A.?
3. Is it okay if I accidentally "borrowed" my friends
copy of FFIII? It's not like he needs it anymore.
4. Hey, it's my birthday today! Does that get my letter
5. Is my spelling that bad?
6. Galaxy Express 999 or something like that is the best
Joshua: 1. You have been duped. EB employees are
playing it right now. Grab the nearest bazooka, and claim
what is yours.
2. Put it this way. If I had to pick between Virginia
Tech and the Underworld, I guess I'd be paying a visit to
3. Remember--If you're not caught, it's not illegal.
4. No. I'm going to post it a day afterwards, just to
5. Lookz god too mi.
6. Sorry, you're incorrect. Play again. Game Over. Insert
Scattered Thoughts: I found a site for Might and
Magic VII information--www.mrev.net/mm7/main.htm
Daniel Carper and Rob Allen have found a subtitled
Parasite Eve movie at my favorite Anime site, Animenation.
Many people are asking me for financial advice--PE,
Xenogears, or BFM (FFVIII demo)? If you are looking for a
lengthy, true RPG experience, then buy Xenogears and rent
the rest. You can always borrow a FFVIII demo. How many
times can one enjoy a one-hour propaganda piece? Wait--I
can't believe I just asked that.
Tales of Destiny Spoiler. Da Red Gobbo asked about
multiplayer Tales of Destiny mode, so here's how you do
it--equip an AI character with the Channeling Ring, which
you find at various points of the game. If you have the
multi-tap, you can invite your friends over and have a
Xenogears Deathblow Spoiler. If you have 100% of a
deathblow learned, and you still can't use it, you are not a
high enough level. And some deathblows require a weapon.
Squaresoft's answer to Madden--Final Fantasy Football.
What do you think? :) Who should play what position?
I recently nuked Eudora for acting very badly. As a
result, some of your messages were lost. For that, I
apologize profusely. Don't be discouraged, please keep
sending your commentary and questions.
Joshua Johnston wants to know how many CDs Lunar: SSS
will come packaged with. There will be four CDs: Two game
CDs (laced with sweet animation), one music CD, and one
"making of Lunar" CD.
"The beatings will ensue until morale improves." I read
that saying on a professor's office door today.
- Joshua Reid
"There's someone in my head, but it's not me." -Brain
Damage, "Dark Side of the Moon."