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ASK WHEELS
SaGa-Gate
June 30th, 2011

06/30- 12:00PM EST

  I finally finished the crazy Avadon review I've been working on forever, so now I have even more energy to answer some great letters (and work on finishing Dungeon Siege III  for review)! That thing was a long time coming, and I hope it does the job of showing people whether or not the game is for them.

 Enough about that, someone proposed a sequel to SaGa and that must be responded to post haste!






The Letters
A SaGa of SaGas

Hi again Wheels!
 
So I thought long and hard about what game needs a crazy sequel. Sure, there are the popular games to theorize on, the endless continuations of Chrono Trigger, individual Final Fantasy, heck even Suikoden - I had a decent idea for Wild Arms 6 at one point, but I went back to a series that has long been relegated to (mostly unlocalized) remakes... yes, I'm discussing the original SaGa series (or Final Fantasy Legend if people still prefer).


Wheels

People still prefer to call them that, which is OK given how bad a name SaGa has gotten in recent years, but we shall do no such thing here at Q&A! SaGa shall go back to its proper name!

Thematically, the first two SaGa were set on the backdrop of individual mini-worlds ruled by entities from several mythologies with a final twist at the end. I think this should continue on (though I know SaGa III changed this up a bit with the time travel system and less reliance on "real world mythology", most of the elements were there, just evolved).  But here's an idea born from that base idea: Why not make a SaGa IV where the main characters journey to ACTUAL alien worlds, with a central temple with something akin to stargates that keeps them interconnected?  The story: they are trying fend off their world being taken over by an entire alien Federation!


Wheels

Did you seriously just somehow tie together one of my favorite video game series with one of my favorite tv/movie series? That is a fantastic idea that fits in perfectly with the older SaGa games and I love it already. You could hide all kinds of secret worlds in the game, add extras as DLC, the possibilities are endless!

I've always thought the Esper/Robot/Monster side of the equation would fit well with a true sci-fi oriented story, especially with just how bizarre some of the miniworlds in the games could get.  Having alien worlds would give all sorts of incentive to cross-pollenate fantasy and sci-fi in continuously mindbending ways.  Robots and Monsters would get a lot of benefit from this scenario as the technology would be there to support upgrading Robots and the Monsters... well... they get to eat alien meat!  How could you resist?


Wheels

The potential for an insane number of monster combinations would make for quite the interesting game, giving you sort of that "gotta catch them all" mentality, trying to find all the different kinds of monsters in the game. Robots could easily be as interesting, maybe with the ability to fix various alien machinery onto them, such as new weapons, armor etc.? Lots of potential here.

The idea of fighting off and subverting a Federation came to me because, well, usually it's always one single alien race that is the cause of the crux of the story, or the main characters ARE the Federation, so why not completely flip that around where your characters are the race "causing problems" and alone in the galaxy. What if this group of dozens of pretentious aliens came along and said "ok Earth, you better join us" but Earth just wanted to be left alone?  There would definitely be some who would strongly resist integration ESPECIALLY if there was a hostile intent behind the purpose of an alien Federation, and that's where our main characters could come in.  They could stumble across a star chart or something from a visiting alien ambassador, or maybe their world has a stargate or other-dimensional corridor that they can use to take the fight to the hostile aliens' capital cities.  Also, the main characters wouldn't have access to a starship, so this would keep space travel limited to where the gates can actually take them.


Wheels

Well, to be fair Halo did the whole opposing federation of aliens thing, though of course humans were never given the option to join in that storyline. This would work swimmingly, trying to use the gate to travel around the opposing federation, always going into hostile territory, perhaps with towns in the form of camps of those few aliens who do oppose the federation? The potential here is just through the roof.

And of course, there is a leader planet (basically the role that Earth plays in most sci-fi scenarios) that would gradually get more and more involved in the going ons, threatening to outright destroy the main characters' planet if they didn't stop their attacks - or perhaps they make their own party of "heroes" that goes out to put a stop to the main characters after they had brought down the leaders of the smaller member planets.


Wheels

That could be interesting, perhaps even have an alternate scenario via DLC or something where you play as that alien party of "heroes"!

So yeah, it seems like a large scope with all the individual worlds, but it would still be in the vein of other small scope SaGa games in that the accessible parts of these worlds is limited to only the important sections, I'm sure we could explain with the story why specific areas are the targets.  And of course, I don't think there should be a required party makeup, it should still be up to the player to choose Humans/Espers/Robots/Monsters and whatnot.  The connecting stargate palace/corridor/whatever could be made into a centralized dungeon just like the towers from before, and getting access abilities from the alien leaders (the world's gods maybe, to fit with the over-the-top theme) would be how to keep things linear.


Wheels

  Well, I'm sold, seems like a brilliant way to bring the SaGa series back to its roots while at the same time doing something new. So long as they don't make the various worlds the player visits too large, it's quite feasible to do as well. I'm not sure what lies in store for the SaGa series in the future, but I can only hope its something like this.

Anyways, hope you like it!  Although, if I was a monster, I'm not sure if I could eat alien meat-on-a-stick...

Thanks for reading it!
- Nightfox


Wheels

I enjoyed it very much! Someone, assuming this never becomes a SaGa game, needs to make this!


Six Degrees of Separation Take Two

(Continued from last week)

Hm, another connection game... link The Cosmic Monster (also known as The Strange World of Planet X) to Tengai Makyou 2: Manjimaru

-JuMeSyn


Wheels

OK, this one sure is a tough one. Strange World of Planet X was released in 1990 for home video in the US by Rhino Home Video-> Warner Bros. owns Rhino-> Warner Bros published Scribblenauts in the US->Konami handled the Japanese publishing of Scribblenauts->Konami owns Hudson Soft->Tengai Makyou 2: Manjimaru was published by Hudson Soft. 


Make Us Forget Those Awful FFVII Sequels

Hey Wheels. How's life goin'?

Wheels

Quite good! Hope all is well with you as well.

So I read Mimeblade's letter about being stuck in a funk and I'm here to offer a solution (and praise a recent addiction in the process). Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga (Or DKS). I picked this up recently for $40 and I haven't fallen in love with an RPG this fast since the first time I played a Fable game (II, to be precise). It's not turn-based combat, you have a difficulty slider so if you want to breeze through enemies you can, though I've found that even on normal difficulty I tend to die when ambushed by a few levels higher than I am. Still, the world they give you to explore is amazing. The dialogue is humorous, the characters are very interesting, the storyline is very detailed and the backstory is deep (somewhat stock but has some nice original spins tossed in to keep it interesting)... You don't have to've played the first games in the series to know what's going on. The combat is fun. The graphics are nothing to write home about but they work amazingly well for what they are. I could go on but I'll stop here. Basically it's a great action RPG in the lines of Fable or Fallout 3/New Vegas set in medieval times. Also it comes with a soundtrack and an artbook. Gameplay claims to be over 100 hours as there are two campaigns to the storyline (I've yet to finish the first one and have been playing for 30+ hours I believe). It's a great RPG that seems to be getting overlooked despite the fact that it is definitely as good as Fallout 3 was. In my opinion at least.

Wheels

Divinity II is very much a good buy (this new version anyway). I did not even think of recommending this! Just need to make sure anyone looking to buy it gets the new The Dragon Knight Saga version and not the original buggy release. Again, a great game to recommend to the reader who wrote in previously. With a better take on combat than your average open world RPG, it could be just the thing to get them back into RPGs. The artbook and soundtrack are nice touches as well. Certainly not a brilliant game of course, but it's a good time nonetheless.

Also for my contest entry I'd like to propose a sequel to FFVII. Not the most original choice I'm sure, but it is something I've always wanted to see and have thought a lot about. Set it 10-15 years after Dirge Of Cerberus. Denzel could be the protagonist (following in Cloud's footsteps). Red XIII, Vincent, and Shelke don't really age so they could all be main characters. Reeve with Cait Sith would also be an option but we won't really talk about that much... Yuffie would be just old enough to be a serious fighter (and it would be nice to see her acting a little more mature for once). You have Genesis (does he age?) and Weiss (again with the aging?) that could be potential main enemies. You could also bring back Sephiroth (whom also doesn't age as far as I know) to please the fanboys/girls. It would be kinda awesome to see a 33-38 year-old Cloud having another round with a still-young and overpowered Sephiroth. Also I'm sure Marlene would be about ready to start doing some fighting of her own in one way or another. I imagine it would be hard to have Barrett as a father figure and not have that whole "I must prove myself to him" kinda feeling. Also, on a personal note it'd be nice to have the Gold Saucer back. I miss mini-GAMES. Mini-card-based-distractions got old quick and after the total disappointment that FFXIII was (to me at least) it'd be nice to see Squeenix make a game that is meant to be fun. They haven't done that in a while.

Wheels

Hey, the idea of a FFVII isn't original, but your actual ideas for that sequel can be(and appear to be) just that. Going farther into the future focusing on the characters in their later years would be quite interesting, and certainly gets away from the stereotypical stories of teen heroes. It would be quite interesting to see how the various character relationships evolved and changed over time. Would Cloud still be a mopey jerk? Would Yuffie still be overly cheerful?  Would anyone figure out how Cloud can even carry that giant sword? Such questions this sequel would need to answer, and it could produce quite the interesting story.

As for mini-games, though I did love FFXIII I'd have to agree that more card or Gold Saucer type distractions need to get back in the series.

Also, just a quick thing. What advice would you give to someone that has recently begun to start making indie games (platformers and RPGs specifically)?
Lataz,
Rob S. / Kain V.
www.EmbracingFate.com

Wheels

The best piece of advice I think I can give, based on my experience in the software developing world, is to plan very well ahead of time. Very clearly sketch out your game, how you're going to split up different parts of programming, etc. Even if you're the only one developing these games, trust me in saying this kind of documentation is quite useful! Hope that helps.

Tweeting About Haikus

@AskWheels Dear Mister AskWheels/ How is your contest going/
Do better next time. ^_^

@RivanShadeX


Wheels

Hello there good sir / The contest is going well / Did I do poorly?

IN CLOSING

That's it for this week! Keep the crazy sequel ideas for the contest coming in. Next week we've got more from the king of content, a reader points out some hex-based tactical games, and more

See you all next week!

-Wheels


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