Blah Blah Blah to
I'm having a blah day. My brain is viscous sludge. I'm
uninspired. Everything's dull. Blah.
Mentioning nonviolent RPGs, in Japan dating simulations
are very popular. Games such as the Tokimeki series by
Konami are very big sellers. Now I've personally never
played one, so I have no idea whether or not it is fun or
not. And since I can't read Japanese, its unlikely I'll ever
Joshua: Dating simulations huh? Those zany
Japanese think of everything. I can see some use in a
virtual date. The dating assistance we have in the States is
about as useful as a solar powered flashlight. I read "Mars
and Venus on a Date" before I took Shirley Zuckhouser out,
and by the end of the affair, it was more like Juno and
Jupiter in a Feud.
Firstly, as far as I know, there are indeed some
nonviolent video games extant; they just haven't been
released in the US. I would venture a guess that, once
again, we are deprived of them because of the assumptions
made about the American RPGing audience, i.e. that we don't
appreciate anything that requires intelligence, patience,
tolerance, and maturity to enjoy, etc. (Of course, with all
of the debates, for example, that FFT sparked re: offense
being taken at the religious content of the game, which IMO
was ridiculous because, folks, it's a GAME, who can blame
those who make such assumptions?)
(Taking a deep breath)
Secondly, I, for one, would love to see Maison Ikkoku, or
games like it. I'm not saying that violence in some or even
most games is a bad thing (how else would we level up and
gain skills?), but variety isn't a bad thing either.
Personally, I also enjoy both violent and nonviolent movies,
Thirdly, and in case it wasn't blatantly obvious, I'm an
English major, too! And we do, indeed, rock. Oh, and I'm
also an RPGirl, so there are some of us out there... You're
just not looking hard enough! :)
Joshua: Firstly, we can't blame game designers for
thinking that way. After all, Melrose Place is still on the
air, Puff Daddy sells CDs, and romance novels dominate over
50% of the book market.
Secondly, because Maison Ikkoku was mentioned, I would
like to share what I believe to be one of the most painful
insults I've ever heard, spoken from the mouth of my Anime
angel, Kyoko. She's talking with Yagami, a high school
student. The younger girl is admiring Kyoko's physical
Yagami: Hey, was your bust that big when you were
Kyoko: No, not at all. I was about your size.
Boom! Ouch! Go Kyoko! Er . . . okay, on to the next.
Thirdly, an RPGirl AND an English major? Ah! Perfection
can thrive on this blighted ball of celestial cancer!
I saw you recommend Legacy of Kain 2 days ago to someone.
I have been thinking about buying it lately and was
wondering how well you liked it and what you liked about it.
I saw it for $20 in the local software etc.
Joshua: Actually, I was writing about Blood Omen:
The Legacy of Kain (I think I just called it Legacy of Kain)
released a couple years back. Legacy of Kain Two, or Soul
Reaver, isn't supposed to be here until February. Soul
Reaver looks to be a graphical treat with a wicked
storyline: You follow the exploits of a banished vampire
with wings, Raziel, in a world were humans are like pigs in
the slaughterhouse. There's a playable demo packaged with
The Unholy War, a strategy/action title that's received some
Well, about the game you really mean, Blood Omen . . .
$20 is a steal for this game. It's grimly dark, but it's
fun. Lots of FMV, lots of killing, lots of blood, lots of
shapeshifting, lots of great voice acting, lots of plot. I
liked this game a lot, if you can't tell. I particularly
enjoyed the protagonist (a tormented vampire due to an
impetuous pact), the story (your search for humanity and
revenge), the action (nonstop sword fighting), the twisted
treatment (you're a vampire for goodness' sakes! Suck
innocent's blood, travel in gothic crypts and haunt towns
under night's shadows), and the sound (screams, Kain's eerie
voice, British accents, and that heart thumping when it's
feasting time). This game, especially one of the endings,
fits perfectly in our recent "I wanna be evil" discussion. A
gory, disturbing experience satisfying our subterranean
cravings. Catered to mature audiences.
RPGamers: A Special
I have noticed the primary distinction between "normal"
gamers, and RPGamers. Which is, the ability to sit in front
of a T.V. set for hours on end, playing one game. Most
gamers seem to get bored after a measly couple of hours and
go do something else, while us, the elite RPGamers, sit
completely enthralled for lengths of twelve hours
occasionally. I started playing Zelda64 the other day around
7 p.m. while my cousin was here, he remarked an how the hell
I could play a game for so long, and left around 10 p.m.. My
wife got home from work around 11 p.m., stayed up till
around 2 a.m., and went to bed. I quit playing Zelda at 9
a.m., woke her up for work, and went to bed. It is uncanny.
And I was even worse with Xenogears. Is it just because we
play games that are good enough to play for so long, have
abnormally long attention spans, are genetically addicted to
games, or a combination? Just an observation.
Joshua: In your case, I think it's the fact that
you don't seem to have any other obligations, not to mention
a job. ;) J/k. I would say it depends on the person, and
usually is a combination of all three. Most action games, if
played in one sitting, usually only take 3-6 hours at most
anyway (some quicksilver titles, like Resident Evil,
encourage short gaming). RPGers have been conditioned to
long games, unable to quit, rabid for the next plot
development, the next level, and it's only natural that
these games end up eating our life.
Maybe the next poll should be "How many hours, on
average, per week do you play RPGs?"
What Makes A GREAT
1) In your opinion, what is your definition of a GREAT
One that dangles well-designed gameplay, graphics,
story, music, sound effects, character development, and
relationships, like a juicy T-bone Steak, before my
metaphoric maw until I'm drooling, I'm salivating in
anticipation, wanting to feast on this game and digest its
One that makes me cry, shout, laugh, gasp.
One that makes me miss dinner, sleep, and class and I
don't CARE because I'm having the time of my life.
2) Do you agree with me that FFVII and FFVIII are AWESOME
games, but suck as Final Fantasies (due to the
No. Final Fantasy has always had some measure of
technology, and if Square decides to explore that side of
the coin, it's their prerogative. Let them toss this
technomedium around a little bit, and maybe later they'll
return to a more fantasy approach. In the meantime, we can
still have fun regardless. If they're AWESOME games, what's
3) In FFVII and FFVIII, we see people with guns and huge
@!$ ships with guns. Why do people like Cloud use Swords, or
Squall with GunBlades? Hello!? Drop the danged sword and use
one of those huge guns!
But where's the challenge? And what do you see doing
more damage, the guns or the swords?
4) What's more important to you, graphics or plot?
For me, plot. But both are very important elements. I
think for a game to be GREAT it must pay equal attention to
5) Where can I find good scripts for FFIVj, FFV, and
Why, on this very site. Check out the games
6) Hey RPGals.. I'm here! Heh heh... oh yeah... you guys
live in Canada or something. =(>
Too bad, eh?
Anyways, Joshua, I hope ya post this... it'd sure make my
taco! Or burrito! Or... burrito!
Thanks to you, I'm going to Taco Bell tonight. Viva
- Chief Wiggum
No Way, No
Hey Josh, I have a question I was hoping you or one of my
fellow RPGuru's out there could help me answer. A couple
days ago, my friend and I get into an argument. My friend
claims that when FFVI was brought over from the Super
Famicom, when they finished the translation, half of the
story is gone! Now I have the SNES version, and I cannot
believe such a thing happened. When questioned, he said that
Japanese text takes up less space and that's the cause of
the problem. Well, I said there was no way, and we left it
at that. Could you help out out?
P.S, I'm from Boston, MA
Joshua: I think your friend is grossly
exaggerating. Sure some things were cut, changed, but half
the story? Gracious! My bet is that your friend is a dope
smoker. Readers, especially Japanese FFVI players, can this
be true? Tell me it ain't so.
I just received my copy of Final Fantasy Pray (a vocal
soundtrack for the Final Fantasy series), and I wanted to
know what you think of it, if you've ever heard it.
Joshua: The Prelude (which must be heard in CD
surround sound--MP3 is nice, but the real thing is nicer) is
ineffably beautiful. I was moved to tears the first time I
heard it. "Tina" is a joyride too, and the remaining tracks
rate pretty good to a couple I'd call mediocre. But the
experience of listening to someone sing along with our
favorite tunes is just otherworldly (although I preferred
the French and Japanese songs to the English ones. I always
associated FF with a foreign language). I recommend it
wholeheartedly. Read a review of it here,
where you can also sample a few tunes.
Hello RPGuru. I have a few questions.
1. First of all, what happened to CRONO? Did you just
skip over him? A spelling mistake? I mean, sure it's hard to
get a conversation out of a guy who doesn't exactly have
much to say but then maybe he could have someone who could
come along with him to portray his thoughts! Howabout Marle?
Yeah, that's it! She would know the most about him
naturally! Of course, maybe Lucca would too.
I still have plans for Crono. Mwahahahaha! *maniacal
laugh* Stay tuned. Maybe a non-blah day is coming up soon.
2. Who is this "Umaro" guy anyway? My friend said he's
from an FF game. I've played all of the ones released in the
US except FFIII(I'm so ashamed;the "greatest" RPG of all
time and I haven't touched it) so I'm assuming it's from
there. Will you spoil his character in your interview?
You're assumption is accurate. And he's not a guy,
he's a sasquatch, a bigfoot, a fuzzball, whatever. It's hard
to spoil the character of a creature whose only memorable
traits is "GWWWAAAAR" and throwing your other characters in
3. Xenogears Spoiler Did
you know that you actually spoiled a lot of things in your
column for me? When you first introduced Victor, you
referred to him as your "ID." I had heard from my friend of
"System ID" from Xenogears so I figured out that if Victor
is a deranged weirdo, so is this "ID" guy. I turned out to
be right! Dahhhh! Also, there was something on some guy
named "Shadow" from FFIII, who my "friend"(he's not my
friend anymore! Why can't he keep these game secrets to
himself? <grumble>) had told me about. Then the
question asked about his relationship to some other FFIII
character was and then I too knew about the relationship
before I even played the game! It's been spoiled too much!
Quick! Someone send me an English version of FFIII(all I can
find here in Thailand is the Japanese FFVI)! Anyone willing
to donate(yeah, right. The "greatest" RPG of all time.
I didn't mean to reveal anything, any resemblance of
Victor to anything in Xenogears is strictly coincidental.
And why are you so hung up on FFIIIa (FFVIj) being the
"greatest" RPG of all time? May would disagree, myself
included. Play it yourself before you determine it's
Thailand huh? How are you getting all these games? You
seem to have a better distribution than the U.K.!
4. As for the Masamune and Muramasa, I knew the legend
but I missed your December 1st column! I think that I told
you about the time zone thing. When do you usually update? I
usually check this page around 8-9:00 in the morning. The
time difference is roughly 12 hours(you live in the US
right?) So do you update around 8-9:00 PM? Probably earlier
since I missed the column. This is getting annoying. Also,
for the quote thing. I knew the quote too! I sent it in! Now
I won't be able to participate because of the time
differences. I'm an entire 12 hours ahead of you!
Yes I am in the U.S. 12 hours ahead of me huh? What's
the weather gonna be like for tomorrow. Better yet, who won
the Avalanche game?
My update times are sporadic to say the least, but
lately they've been at night. 8 - 12 p.m.
Here's a link
to my December 1 column. Enjoy.
5. Don't you hate it when you know the quote but don't
remember where it came from? Ya know what's even worse? When
you don't know the quote at all! Aren't there times when you
wish that you've played every RPG there is so that you could
talk to anyone about any RPG? The few RPGamers at my school
like Zelda, the N64, and cartridges. What do I do? I like
FF, the Playstation, and CD's. What really annoyed me was
when one of my friends who had beaten FFVII didn't recognize
the quote "Let's mosey"! I wanted to wring his neck but
suppressed the action and just told him. How can you not
recognize such a memorable line like that? It's like not
remembering "shiny golden wire of hope" or "Lali-Ho!"
Giott would be proud.
6. Speaking of FFVII. I have two friends who have JUST
discovered FFVII. They are playing it for the PC. I really
get sick of them talking about it but I guess I have to
accept the fact that I beat the game for the first time when
it was released in Japanese. Anyway, one of them told me
that they had got Limit Level 3 for Cloud. "Good job." I
said. Then he told me then he had gotten Level 3 limits for
every other member too. I asked him what level he was at. He
told me that all his guys were at level 47. I then asked him
what disk he was on and how long he had been playing. He
told me, "Disk one and 30 hours." I was shocked. I told
him>that he could get level 4 for his guys if he could
get the stuff for it. He then told me that he had Aerith's
level 4 limit already but that he couldn't use it. He said
that he had both limit breaks for level 1 but only one limit
break for level 2 and both limits for level 3. I don't ever
recall the limit breaks jumping around like that. I don't
think that it's possible.
It is possible, I had it happen with my Red XIII. In
order to get your second limit break for each level, you
have to use the first one a certain amount of times (8,6,4).
So, in your friend's case, he has to use his level two break
six times in battle to get the break he is missing. All
characters, except Vincent and Cait Sith, have seven breaks
total. The level four can't be learned until you have the
first six. I'm sure most of you know this, so I'm wasting
your time. That's the plan. :)
A few days later, he told me that he had played an extra
10 hours. He was at LEVEL 77. I'm sorry, but there is NO WAY
you can level up that many levels in only 10 hours(unless
your gamesharking you way through). ESPECIALLY when you are
on DISC ONE! Well, for the Playstation version at least. Can
I ask, oh mighty RPGuru, how is this possible? I've played
70 hours and I only have level 4 limit breaks for my three
main guys and they are level 99. All the other people are
either level 2 or 1 limit breaks and are only level 80. I
remember only having level 2 limits at the most on disc one!
What is going on with the PC version? Is it screwed up?
No. Your friends are screwed up. I couldn't bear to
spend that much time level building. And that's how he did
it. Ten straight hours of fighting. Sure, it will do wonders
for your level, but the rest of the game will be a breeze,
and that's no fun is it? I don't try God Mode until my
second way through--I couldn't stand putting the plot off
- Delita Hyral
P.S. Who is "Pink Floyd"?
I must quote: "By the way, the band's just fantastic,
that is really what I think . . . oh by the way, which one's
My poor poor friend. Pink Floyd is the greatest rock
band ever. Please go listen to one of their CDs so I don't
fret over what you are missing.
Joshua Reid, ready to begin a new, hopefully non-blah