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ASK SENSEI
Defeated July 27, 2005

J_Sensei - 12:06 PM JST

My stint as the QnA host comes to a close today. Sadly, I have to say that I was not able to save the president from Gary Coleman in time. Who knows what has happened to him. I can only hope our president put up a good fight against him.

So, let's get this party started!




L E T T E R S
There he goes! There goes Speed Racer!


Hey Sensei

Have you ever heard about the speed running groups there are out there? It may be quite a surprise to you to find out that while some may have taken over 60 hours on their RPGs and other games, there is a group of gamers that is dedicated to doing things as fast as possible. We challenge ourselves to push the envelope of what can and can't be done.

Here are some examples of records for RPGs.

Final Fantasy II (US) 4 hours 15 minutes
Final Fantasy III (US) 5 hours 26 minutes
Super Mario RPG 3 hours 57 minutes
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind 14 minutes 26 seconds
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 5 hours 4 minutes
Phantasy Star Online 3 hours 17 minutes (I did this one)

And here's the kicker, all of these runs are recorded on video and uploaded to servers for everyone to see. Of course there needs to be a main place to track these, and thats http://www.speeddemosarchive.com/ Not just RPGs, but all genres are covered, and we're always looking for people to do new runs to show the world.

Brightstar


Sensei

You know, that sounds really really really cool. I don't think I'm in shape for a record setting run in FF II anymore, but I'd be tempted to try. The thing is, in all my runs, I forgot to up the speed of the battles. I never changed them because I had the timing memorized on Zeromus. I had to know when he was going to attack me so I could get Kain in the air and heal Cecil. The rest of my party never had a chance...

At any rate, I will have to download some of those. I'd love to watch them. Thanks for the email! And if I ever get back in shape for FFII, I'll drop you a line. If I played it a couple times, I know I could break 8 hours, and if I bumped up the speed of the battles, who knows what time I'd get.

As a follow-up, what level was this guy on when he finished the game? I've never survived on less than 42 for Cecil. Even with Crystal everything, he is killed at 41 on the first hit. At 42, he survived with just enough time to heal himself, revive Kain, and get him in the air. My record time was made on level 45.



Sequel to a novel


Hey Jordan,

On FF4 me getting all the secrets, I didn't mean getting the Pink Tail and Glass Helmet, because the only time I've ever got the Pink tail was after fighting for 2 hours and it's not really worth it. I have got the Glass Helmet before when walking down the corridor to the last boss as well. I meant every secret as in all the last level treasures and the four guarded weapons, every Summon spell including the random enemy ones, as well as the Spoon from Yang's wife.

Also, I would shoot you some letters, but using guns are bad, so I decided I'd send you this one and you could shoot it yourself. Anyways, as of recently I've been playing Digital Devil Saga alot, and I have to say that the game is better in Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne in every way(except for the music which is worse on DDS.) Don't get me wrong though because Nocturne is a truly awesome game, it's just Digital Devil Saga has the same basic gameplay, a storyline that is better than most RPG's ever created, graphics that are alike, but better than Nocturnes do to the fact that there is an extreme amount of detail in every area, and being able to change your abilities to whatever you want with your characters instead of canceling and then rechoosing two monsters in order to get certain abilities from each monster. The game is just amazing, and I feel like an idiot for wanting to finish alot of other games I own just so they're just sitting there unfinished, even though most I've already finished before.

Other than DDS, I've been playing Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam, which is another game that has really been keeping my attention. It's an upgraded version of Federation vs. Zeon, and space battles are redone a little bit so they don't suck like they did in FvsZ, and the rest of the game has been literally perfect, as well as them adding more mobile suits, which adds some replay value.

Anyways, wondering if you've played either of these two games? Also have you played DDS2 and not going into any detail or anything, but how is it in comparison to the original, if you've played both?

-andrew- -kupomogli-


Sensei

Hrm... you mention a whole lot of games that I never played. I never played any of the Gundam games except for Zeonic Front. I was disappointed and never played another. But I'll admit that the PS3 and XBox 360 Gundams have my attention, as does True Odyssey.

And I have never played anything in the SMTN series. I might start later, but I can't help you on that one.

The only game I've played was FF II, and I never take the time to get the Spoon. I've also never managed to get the other summons. I tried forever to get Imp, and never could. I'd like to get a Glass Hlm and a Pink tail someday, but I dunno if I ever will. I suppose I could give it a shot. I also might pick up a new Wonderswan in Osaka next time so I can finish FF IV in Japanese. I have the WSC version, and I'm halfway finished. I think a SwanCrystal is less than 20 bucks now.



D'oh! >_<


J!

Insert obligatory spoiler warning here.

Regarding the ending to Chrono Trigger that Leaper mentioned yesterday: yes, that was in the game. If you beat Lavos after Crono dies in the Ocean Palace, that's the ending you get. In the game, the cast seems to believe Crono is dead, while Marle holds on to the hope that they can change time and save him. In the ending, the others go to rescue Crono because they think they have found a way to do so, while Marle waits. The last image is of her running toward Crono's shadowy figure.

Now, when you asked me about Chrono Trigger endings in IRC, you asked me about endings that tied to Chrono Cross, and I mentioned the anime sequence at the end of the PS1 version that showed Lucca finding a baby (who would grow up to be Kid). Naughty J! You should have been more specific with me.

Anyway, I just wanted to clear that up, although I imagine the Chrono faboys have already stormed your inbox with correction letters. It's OK. We at RPGamer still love you.

Cortney Stone (Alethea)


Sensei

!!!

Aww... I'm sorry. That's what I get for not playing CT in almost 10 years. I suppose the only thing left to do is get out some paper and start doing sentences...

I will ask more specific questions when I'm doing fact checking.
I will ask more specific questions when I'm doing fact checking.
I will ask more specific questions when I'm doing fact checking.

Three down... 197 to go!

*sigh*



Gotta Catch 'Em All


In reference to Bainick's Pokemon question yesterday:

Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness (this would be the new Gamecube game) is going to be trade compatible with all the other Advance Generation games just like Colloseum was.

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl (the DS games) are going to have the fourth generation, so they can't trade anything backwards. You will not be able to put Pokemon from D/P onto XD, because those Pokemon don't exist yet. (Okay, there are actually a Munchlax and a Bonsly in the game but I am sure those won't be tradeable even if they are controllable.)

However! Nintendo has confirmed that there will be some way to get Pokemon from your Ruby/Sapphire/FireRed/LeafGreen/Emerald carts onto your Diamond/Pearl carts, probably ala the backwards trading mechanism in Gold/Silver/Crystal. They haven't said anything about trades with the Gamecube titles, presumably because we are never gonna be able to hook up a GC and a DS.

So, yeah, you'll be able to have your complete Pokedex for D/P. Well... except for, yaknow Mew...Celebi...Deoxys...Lugia...probably Rukario now...DAMN YOU NINTENDO AND YOUR SCHEMING WAYS! EVERYBODY DOESN'T LIVE IN NEW YORK!

-Shinrai


Sensei

As far as connectivity between D/P and the GC version, I still think there will be a way. Just because the GC one comes out first doesn't mean the D/P's Pokémon can't be programmed in. As for connectivity, I'm sure that they can come up with some way of doing it if they wanted. Something like a cross between a WaveBird and a GBA connector. Of course, that's pure speculation. Nothing to back it up at all.

As for trading among GBA versions, I'm pretty sure that I read that it will happen by using both slots on the DS. There is already at least one game that uses the GBA slot and the DS slot in Japan, Electroplankton. There is an expansion that comes in GBA form that can load songs into the game for the DS cart. The expansion only works when both are present, but in the case of Pokémon, you could trade that way easily.

We'll have to find out. I may be dead wrong on this, but it's just my speculation.



One-Winged Angels


To Sensei. I suppose "Go Claim Your Victory!" makes a much better slogan then "Who will survive?" My most memorable moment in an RPG would probably have to be the end of "Lufia and the Fortress of Doom." When Lufia tells the hero she wanted to be close time him, and then falls off Doom Island, I actually cried. The part where the party arrives safely back on land, and the here just walks away without saying a word, was great. If they'd have chosen to stop there, it would have have still been a pretty good ending (you don't see a lot of RPGs with really sad endings,) but they didn't. That whole scene where the hero finds Lufia again after wondering the world for a year, is probably something that will stick with me for the rest of my life. I'll never forget the line "Memories...... That's alright. We'll make new memories." Lufia 2 was pretty good, but I think that the whole Iris thing was a mistake. Trying to say that Erim wasn't really that evil to begin with, sort of takes a way from the plot of the original.

The story behind the statues in the church from Xenogears is also something that's stuck with me. men and women are one winged angels who need each other to fly...

I suppose I should ask a question. I figure that in Final Fantasy VII Shinra wasn't really trying to clone Sephiroth. they were trying to create people with the same abilities as him by infusing various individuals with Jenova cells. That sort of explains Cloud's eyes, the holes in his memories and the voice in his head, but I'm probably way off. What's your take on whole Cloud thing? What about the Nibelheim fire, did it happen or didn't it? If it did why bother trying to cover it up?

Thanks.

-Kanato-


Sensei

Sadly, I've never played Lufia, so I'm going to have to assume that's a really spiffy part, but the Xenogears one is really nice. That's one of the better parts in a way. I''m a romantic at heart, so I really dig that.

As for the FF VII part, I think that pretty much sums it up. I don't know if they're exactly going for clones of Sephi, but they are definitely trying to create better soldiers. I think that you're probably close on Cloud.

Now the Nibelhelm thing.... hrm. That's a good one. I always assumed it happened, and governments cover up stuff all the time. But think about it. Sephiroth is supposed to be the ultimate soldier, and he causes a fire. They'd want to keep a lid on that because good soldiers make good heroes. You want to be able to use that later, or at least that's my two yen.



1 (kinda 2) for 3.


Hey Sensei,

I was wondering about the Chrono series. How well did Chrono Trigger sell in Japan? Did Chrono Cross really sell poorly enough in Japan not to warrent another sequel (Chrono Break)? How long ago did Square copyright the name (for Chrono Break)?

Thanks

the_silent_hero


Sensei

Um... I don't have numbers, but I'm willing to bet CT sold like hotcakes, or hottokekki as we call 'em here. CC, I don't actually know numbers either. I'd say it also sold well, but probably received a lot of poor reactions later like it did here.

But the last one, I can answer. Chrono Break was trademarked in late 2001. I honestly don't know where I'd be able to answer the others. I guess I could google them, but then again, so could anyone. To be honest, I'm just a regular Joe sitting in a tiny apartment on a stack of futons in his floor typing on a Mac. I don't have access to secret stuff. Wish I did. That'd be cool, but the only secret stuff I have lost and forgotten about only to find later.



LOTS of suggestings


Hello whoever it is today.

I finally bought myself a ps2 and was wonderin which RPGs should i ger first?

Also i can't find Shadow Hearts I anywhere so if i just buy SH2 will i lose much on the story of it?

thanks and bye >_>


Sensei

Luckily, you've got lots of options, many of them cheap. I liked FFX a lot, and I'm also quite fond of Wild Arms 3, but that's only if you've played WA and WA2. Some dig the Xeno series, and I'm one of them. If you're a TRPG man, you can try to find used copies of Disgaea online. I love it, but some hate it. Let me poll the staff.

First up was FFX, followed by Kingdom Hearts, but some people said no to that one. Some stabbing ensued. WA 3 and Ys VI were also mentioned, but it seems that everyone seems to like FF X. I'd go for that.

And you can enjoy SH2 without SH1, or so I'm told.



Another catches it....


Sensei -

I feel the inexplicable need to set the record straight on the Chrono Trigger ending. The response to Leapers' letter in the 7/26 column is almost completely wrong; Leapers is remembering the ending more or less correctly, and it was not altered in the PSX version.

The ending in question occurs when the player achieves the "normal" ending with Chrono dead and the Epoch destroyed. Marle is separated from her friends who are about to go look for Chrono (Lucca has bilt a time machine out of the Telepod) when a messanger from her father calls for her. Lucca says not to worry, that they'll go "bring that idiot back," and Marle is left alone in the present. But then as the original letter mentions, she ends up making her own way to Death Peak...

-Benjamin


Sensei

Gomen....

I will ask more specific questions when I'm doing fact checking.
I will ask more specific questions when I'm doing fact checking.
I will ask more specific questions when I'm doing fact checking.

*sigh* 134 to go....



RPG companies


Now I admit, I'm not an expert on every game company in existence. I've read up on the history of a few, but only the really well known ones. Anyway... after being bored at work the other day and reading up on some reviews, I decided to read some of the FF Mystic Quest reviews just for fun.

If I recall right, Mystic Quest was made by Americans, wasn't it? And it goes without saying that it was a crappy game. Same thing about Secret of Evermore, and that was made by Americans, too, wasn't it?

So I was just wondering... do any American developers (or heck, non-Japanese developers in general) make any good RPGs? Is there some mandate that dictates that only the Japanese can make good RPGs? Because most of the RPGs I hear about that are really really good are made by Japanese companies, (Square Enix and Namco come to mind). I know there's a lot of companies that make RPGs, but do any non-Japanese companies make RPGs that you guys found to be really good? It's something I've been wondering for awhile.

Oh yeah, and as for the guy in the last letter column that claims he beat FFX in 40 bours and only took an extra 2 hours to max out the Sphere Grid, that is utter BULL(expletive deleted). Anyone playing FFX knows it takes AGES to max out the sphere grid. Unless the AP trick really is that amazing. But 40 hours to get everything? I find that hard to believe.

-SK


Sensei

A lot of that has to do with market. RPGs are not as mainstream as we'd think in America as far as sales go. GTA and FPS games outsell RPGs like crazy. American companies make what Americans want. Japanese companies do too. Hence, I don't see a lot of American style games over here.

But the one thing you forget is Korea. They make some dandies, but they never come here. But it does seem to be an Asian thing, but that's culture for you.

As for claims made on what can and can't be done, I'm trying to be impartial, and while I doubt it myself, some crazier things have been done. I'll let my readers decide for themselves.





C L O S I N G
J_Sensei:

So it looks like I'm done. It was fun, and maybe I'll come back sometime. Who knows what the future may hold? Only one way to find out.

Shoot Cast plenty of letters for tomorrow!

Catch you on the flip,

j_sensei@rpgamer.com
Jordan "I'm all out of Strongbad quotes right now..." Jackson


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