A rebuttal to The Bane of Strategy Guides

by The Blessed God of Death 

Why do people buy strategy guides? Is it really because they are too lazy to do it on their own? As we saw in Jason Connorās recent editorial ĪThe Bane of Strategy Guidesā he claims that is indeed the reason. I however believe differently.

I have known a few people who cannot go through an RPG at all without one. I remember playing FFVII, while I managed to ferret out about half of the secret stuff on my own (due to the obscene amount of exploring I do for some inexplicable reason) while they got none of it. Sure I bought the guide...right before I plunged down the north crater the first time. My friends on the other hand were constantly asking me stuff, which was usually much farther back in the game than I was. After a little thought, it occurred to me that like all other game genres, there are GOOD and BAD RPGamers!

Surprised, shouldnāt be. It is for those bad gamers...being those that for some reason have difficulty playing RPGās that strategy guides came about. To be honest, I would rather not have to tell my friends what to do, since my help is not there while they play, and therefore must be repeated many times. As long as its there in the book, we can talk about more important things while at school (like the sociological implication to the RPGamer of FFIX actually being good).

Speaking of FFIX, that game is the first in a while that doesnāt need a guide at all. Thatās right...there is a free online guide, and you know what's funny about that? They tell you about it in the instruction manual! Not only that, but they give you instructions on using the online guide. In case anyone missed it, it was the little book with FINAL FANTASY IX in the middle...and a huge right beneath it, smashed in there, right in-between discs three and four. By the time you read page ONE you know itās free, and that is all the strategy guide you will ever need! So, from now on, read the game instructions, and if they direct you to a free online guide, donāt buy a book. And by the way... Did I mention PlayOnline was free... Did I mention Square told us about it in the game book? I guess that means Square isnāt trying to control our pockets as much as some people believe.

In the end, Square is trying to make its newest game playable to everyone. However, with the slew of new RPGamers that have come from FFVII and VIII, they need a way to keep an ĪOld Schoolā gamer challenged without driving the Īnewbiesā away with difficulty. PlayOnline is the perfect medium for that. Us older players can just dig through the game, while the new ones can find info to their hearts content online. Whether it plays the game for you or just locates the last item you need, Squareās online guide is there, free of charge.

Just in case there were any ambiguities above, I have a strategy guide to this editorial coming soon. If you are really paying attention, I will send you the guide free of charge via email, if you place a request at If you have difficulty reading (hmm...WTF are you playing RPGs for then), or would like one in a book for despite my free offer, send Five hundred US dollars to...never mind, no oneās stupid enough for that.

Original Editorial : The Bane of Strategy Guides
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