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Joshua Reid

I'm partial to the concept of reincarnation. Not that I relish the thought that my recently digested Big Mac may be the processed remains of my great grandfather Milton Reid, but there is a wonderful sense of justice served with this system. Your bad karma in this life finds judgment in the next, whereas the good in you merits benefits. Mother Teresa returns to the earth as a Pegasus, Jim Carrey as a Chimpanzee, Bill Gates as an I-Mac, and Adolph Hitler writhes along as a lowly, despised maggot. In addition to a Dantean retribution/reward cycle, reincarnation can bring much mirth, as Douglas Adams fans will testify.

There exists much support for reincarnation: Deja Vu, strange dreams, hypnosis, and many other inexplicables have confounded the pragmatist, and converted the naysayers. I have found that a calm acceptance of reincarnation can bring many benefits. Some strange habits you posses or notice can finally be explained. If you feel the incurable urge to subject everyone to your rule, sport a lengthy nasal appendage (proboscis for short), and spout militant French but you live in Idaho, you may carry Napoleon's soul within you (if so, little hint--don't invade Russia this time). The next time you're called a pig at the dinner table, they may have only missed the mark by one life, and keep in mind that our rulers can't help being deceitful and selfish, they are only exhibiting vestiges of the snakes, amoebas, and barracudas they inhabited long ago. When you run to class or the bus, entertain the fetching thought that you may have thundered across primordial jungles as a Tyrannosaurus Rex, or, when on the beach, realize the waves you cower from would not even have sprinkled your former leviathan bulk as your flukes cleaved the deep and your eerie whale song reverberated the frigid ocean currents.

Now these romantic musings may bring a smile to your lips, but I tell you, as of late, this reincarnation theory has only paled my skin like a chalk bath. As I've said, your current behavior may reveal your past livelihood. With this in mind, imagine my horror as I opened my eyes from a disturbingly bright, cheerful, and fluffy dream with these dreadful words reeking my waking breath:

"Chu Chu."

Soundtrack Sites

Hey Mr.Guru, got a question for ya! Why hasn't anyone picked up that Wild Arms has some great RPG music? I found the music so different from the usual RPG, it was a welcome change. Y'know that "whistly type, western yet still fantasy" music(Is that a real music genre?). Listen to the "Boomerang Flash" music, it sounds so cool and inspirational! I doubt there is, but would there happen to be a Wild Arms soundtrack?

-Moogle Charm-

Good news Moogle Charm--you're wrong! There is a Wild Arms soundtrack. Read a review at www.soundtrackcentral.com, and even compose your own reaction (I'm sure it will be positive) if you have the inclination. Soundtrack Central is a site for sore eyes (har har har--couldn't resist) if you desperately seek information on game scores. This sterling site even has links to places you can import RPG CDs, one of which is Game Music Online (pricey but competent). I checked for your Wild ARMs CD there, but it's out of stock :( Don't lose hope, my friend, maybe the other on-line stores have it. Good luck in your search.

Hi, somebody mentioned getting soundtracks for FF's yesterday in their letter, and I was just wondering where I could get one for FFVI, I've been looking for one for a while, cause I really like the sound in that game. Wouldn't happen to know where I could find one do ya? I am curious to know if there is anyway of getting sheet music to the Final Fantasy series. Especially FFVI, my favorite by the way. Or any other RPG, such as Chrono Trigger, Seiken Densetsu, the Breath of Fire series, et cetera. I would be very grateful. And is there a way to get Final Fantasy Complete Works without having to actually fly out to Japan, even though I would love too, to get it? On another topic, I just received my copy of Final Fantasy-Japan Illustrations. I went through the book, having my breath taken away. I just love Yoshitaka Amano's work. What about you? Do you enjoy his art at all? Well, I hope you post my letter, that would make me ever so happy!

-EsperTina

The same sites mentioned in Moogle Charm's letter response will point you in the right direction for your soundtrack needs. I also like Amano's artistry, although sometimes they seem kind of pasty to me. I particularly enjoy a a couple pieces he did on Cyan (one of my favorite RPG characters, by the way).

Anyway, how are all you people getting RPG soundtracks? I found the Chrono Trigger soundtrack at a local used CD store, but as far as I know, you can't buy them outside of Japan. So, are you ordering them online, or do you get them in Japan? If you are getting them online, please give me an address, because I'm interested in getting more (I love the Chrono Trigger one, you see). By the way, where are you in Xenogears? I'm at the last boss, but I can't beat him because my gear parts are inferior and I can't find any enemies that give me any significant amount of cash. If you do wind up beating it, please tell us how (by the way, I've never, ever been this stuck on a RPG like this. Usually, I have no problems. What a blow to the ego!).

-Mephistopheles

All these letters wondering where to purchase soundtracks have prompted me to include a "Sites of Interest" section on my column (at the bottom) where you can zoom over to Soundtrack Central, Game Music Online and other places I've mentioned.

I am still early on in the first disc in Xenogears. I'm so ashamed. I'm scared of going anywhere because I don't know where the next save is and I only have a brief amount of time, so I beat up on some guys for experience and combo training. The Xenogears Waltkthroughs and Boss FAQs on this site and the message boards can help you. I'm sure your fellow RPG enthusiasts will lend a philanthropic cyber hand.

OK, I have the FFVII OST and the reunion tracks. I hafta say, the orchestral version of Aeris' Theme is now one of my favorite pieces of symphonic music, and I consider myself rather experienced in symphonic music (I used to be a music major at FSU, till I came to my senses. Now I'm a EE, is that better or worse?) But what's this about a hidden track on Reunion Tracks? I've never found it, how do you get it?

-uTodd

Scan backwards from the beginning of the CD. Presto! Secret Track!

Jason, Listen Up!

Anyway, I read Jason Daniels' Xenogears problem in Duneman Isle. I already finished Xenogears after a whopping 50+ hours and I encountered the exact same problem as him. I almost wanted to wail in agony after encountering that bug. But it seemed that once I exited from Dunemans Isle, I got into my gears (just press L2 + R2 on the world map) and was able to get into the Yggdrasil by pressing X. I had to stand right in the center of the Yggdrasil and after a few tries, I managed to get in, Thank God!!

-Kevin Cheah

Joshua: Thanks Kevin! It's nice to know my readers are so helpful!

Limit Break Blues

I recently starting playing through FF VII again, and for some reason or another, Cloud refuses to learn his Level 3 limit break. I'm on disc 3 now, and he STILL hasn't gotten Meteorain. This makes no sense, since he got his first Level 2 limit about halfway through disc 1, and he's certainly killed 80 enemies since then. However, I have a theory. I can't remember when, but some time in disc 2, I discovered that you can mimic your own limit breaks. So, I was in a battle, and I had Cloud mimic himself doing Climhazzard a few times. Do you have any idea if this screws up that characters' ability to learn limit breaks? I did the same thing with Cid's Dragon limit break, and he hasn't gotten his level 3, either. I really don't want to have to start all over again because of this, but what's the point in continuing if Cloud/Cid will never be able to get Omnislash/Highwind?

-Salivator

Joshua: I have never heard of this granddaddy fluke, but bugorama seems to be the verdict on this one, especially since Cloud and Cid suffer from the same symptoms. If you have really killed the right amount of creatures (remember, Cloud or Cid have to strike the killing blow to make it work) then I don't know what to say. Has anyone else encountered this problem, and do you have a remedy? Until then, I discourage anyone from mimicking their own limit breaks.

Mystic Quest Mystery

I was recently plundering through the many depths of RPGamer. When I stumbled upon Final Fantasy Mystic Quest . . . and I thought of a Question!

Is FFMQ known as an actually FF game in Japan as well? Or is it like FFA and FFL . . . where it was given the Final Fantasy in front of it to help it sell and is actually another game entirely or belongs to another series? Oh PLEASE RPGuru, answer my question and PLEASE post this letter :) Thanks.

-Nasir from Lagoon, The greatest Epic game of all!

Joshua: I've been very mean to Mystic in the past, so I thought I'd entertain this question. FFMQ was designed primarily for the U.S. market to boost respectively (compared to Japan) meager FF sales. FFMQ designers intended the game, with watered down content (I'd call it hosed down myself) and a cheaper price tag, to be a stepping stone or gateway to the more complicated FF games. Unfortunately, we were expecting another FFI and FFII and were sorely disappointed. The project backfired, needless to say.

The RPGuru "Quote Whiz" Award Goes To . . .

Neostorm and David Raine. Neostorm sent the first e-mail, but was a tad vague, while David Raine (who was a close second) gave a better explanation. Here it is:

"Thou art such a pain in the in the..." was uttered by Sabin (SPEAKER) in FFVI (FFIII US) (ORIGIN) when commenting on Cyan's lack of machining skills during the fight at the Imperial Base outside Doma Castle (CONTEXT).

Congratulations y'all! If you want to have your quoting prowess recognized in the next Guru you have to fulfill the following criteria:

The FIRST e-mailer who recognizes and states the quotes

1. ORIGIN (game)

2. SPEAKER (who, what says it)

3. CONTEXT (what's going on)

I labeled David's quote for an example. I know it's hard to list everything, but you must prove you are worthy. :)

RIPOMM

I saved some letters for next column, because I ran out of time with which to answer them. I have a Shakespeare paper due in eight hours! Panic is setting in!

My sincere apologies to offended West Virginians. My comments were just a bit of "you're my neighbor, gotta pick on you" syndrome. I didn't mean any harm. Anyway, it serves you right for withdrawing from your mother state. You are welcome to make fun of this Southwest Virginian if you'd like. :)

SITES OF INTEREST

Soundtrack Central--Soundtrack reviews and more!

Game Music Online--Purchase soundtracks here!

Bahamut.Simplenet.com--Download FFIV and FFV PSX FMVs here.

http://members.xoom.com/fanfiction/fanfiction/ff3/vicksnwedge.html--"more than simple fanfiction, it's a crossover that goes beyond even videogames to famous literature such as Le Morte D'Arthur, R&G are Dead, etc."

By the way, R& G Are Dead is one of the most skillfully written wordplays I've ever had the pleasure of watching.

-Joshua, typing furiously.

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