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  Ask JD  

   Music Man returns to Q&A.  
Jeff Davis - June 9 '00- 6:30 pm EDT

Today feels like a homecoming of sorts. Cloistered with is a sense of nostalgia -- I recall this once was my sanctuary, my refuge, my abode. I'm Jeff Davis or JD as everyone calls me. Last summer I was the host of this section during the weekend slot, then later the weekday slot, for about 5 months in full.

A number of you have written in asking me what I've been up to. Rather than print those letters a short synopsis would be more sufficient. After I ended my RPGamer Q&A stint in that most auspicious of dates, 09-09-99, I moved on to RPGamer Editorials and managed the letters section at RPGFan. Then about four months ago I resigned from RPGamer in total. In the mean time, I did a bit of freelancing for The GIA. However, with the recent vacancy of RPGamer's Music section, I've decided to return to RPGamer to manage that. Which is why I'm here guest hosting today's column.

I ask your indulgence for my outright machination. While I am here to answer letters, the end game is to plug the newly remodeled RPGamer Music section, Audiophile. I trust you all will visit the section after reading this column and do so on a frequent basis? I hope I'm not delusional, but I hear a Yes. Seriously though, check out the section, it has some wicked tunes from contributing musicians and the latest and greatest in RPG music.

Without further hoopla, let's move on to the grit of the update...Letters!

 
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Legend of Dragoon OSV
Welcome Back

Hey JD,

Welcome back!!! I can still remember the day when you started on Q&A....wow. Anyway, I got two questions and a statement. First question: I noticed on RPG Fan that your pic is Justin!! I never got to ask you this so, what did you think of Grandia? Second question: Why isn't anyone talking about Legend of Dragoon? Me and a friend of mine can't see enough screenshots and movies and I'm becoming addicted to the demos that came in OPM :) Also, I always thought that the VH theme song was in Portuguese......not sure though.

-XenoFreak

JD:
Grandia is just one of those games one will either love or hate at first blush. However, for the sake of brevity, you may check out my review of Grandia in RPGamer's Grandia page. As far as your Legend of Dragoon question, far be it for me to repeat myself twice on an assonant topic. Read on for answers to the game in question.

Legend of Dragoon bias?

Hey JD,

I was just wondering about this new rpg from Sony that's supposed to be coming out later this month called Legend of Dragoon. I've been hearing a lot of hype about it lately but I haven't seen much at all on RPGamer in terms of news, media, release date, or people mentioning it in Q&A. It just doesn't look like it's getting much coverage. OPM is praising it as the first great non-Square rpg for the Playstation. (and gave it a 4 and a half out of 5 rating) I've played OPM's demo of it and from that impression it looks like it's gonna be pretty sweet.

It just seems like a game that's supposed to be epic, four discs, with a great story, great music, and graphics to rival the recent FF's isn't being talked about very much. Is it because it's a big budget rpg from Sony, and people just assume it's gonna be a crappy FF8 clone? Or maybe it's release is still too far off (although I heard it would come out sometime this month) and people just haven't gotten excited about it yet. Maybe OPM is lying, and it's gonna suck. I don't know, I thought I would check in with you, and see what you know about it.

Is the rpg community being biassed toward Sony or are they just uninformed of how good this game is really gonna be?

- Jet

Hmm... bet you don't know who's doing the music for Legend of Dragoon.

JD:
Legend of Dragoon truly is one of those games that tried to break the mold. It was Sony's magnum opus, the game that would challenge the Final Fantasy juggernaut. Spending about $5 million on the production, (if my memory serves me right) the game seemed poised for greatness...Till the media got their hands on it. Bias against Sony? I doubt it. A more plausible reason is the bandwagon occurrence. Most reviews or previews have dubbed the title mediocre, supposedly failing on all cylinders, with the exception of graphics. That being said from my vantage point, the aesthetics are breathtaking. If you're looking for out-of-this-world graphics and fmv look no further than Legend of Dragoon.

Though to be honest I wouldn't hold the game media, in general, in such high esteem. Generally speaking it is an arena(especially with the RPG genre) froth with inaccuracy, bias, uniformed editors and in the end a lot of printed material is based on one person's opinion. Thus I'm keeping an open mind.

As far as the music question, that's an easy one. Dennis Martin did the music for LoD, and for extra credit he uses a Korg and Mac -- hah. But I digress, the music has a couple of filler tracks and unfortunately Mr. Martin's genius was hampered by the Playstation's musical prowess, or lack thereof, not to mention space limitations. Overall, I still am inclined to say the album reaches a new watermark, simply because there are a number of scintillating tracks...from celtic, to techno to fusion -- and some wicked piano pieces. The Opening track is a celtic tinged vocal song, and one of the most endearing songs I've heard in a long time. Though with that said, unfortunately a number of tracks end at around the one minute mark.

Vagrant

JD, who composed the music for Vagrant Story? That music fits the game extremely well. Has he/she done anything else worth checking out?

-Theophrastus

P.S. There should be a support group for VS--I'm hooked, and I go into withdrawal when I can't play it, which is most of the time. Help!

JD:
Hitoshi Sakimoto was in charge of the soundtrack to Vagrant Story. I'm sure our informed readers are able to discern a tinge of FFT in the album. He's also done the music to Radiant Silvergun, Final Fantasy Tactics, Legendary Ogre Battle and Ogre Tactics, to name a few.

Reunion

Is One Wing Angel included on the FF7 Reunion Tracks? I don't want to purchase the entire OST for the final battle theme alone. Is their any other information about the Reunion Tracks I should know about. Any help would be great.

-The Great Cornholio

JD:
In a way. OWA Orchestra version is the version in the Reunion album. While all will agree it is a good version, most believe the OSV/OST version is the better one. I personally love the arrange versions in the Reunion cd, though the major caveat is there aren't that many songs in it. The OSV is probably a better bang for your buck.

Nostalgia

Dude, I like, totally remember you! Can you post a picture of Christina Aguillera and rant about Ys just for old time's sake? Pleeeeeease? Not that I don't like sugar bowels and flying monkeys popping up every now and then but... I love you, man!

~The Sack~

JD:
Me rant about Ys? Never! Perish the thought.

Hardcore on Suzuki

(Warning: Letter contents may not be suitable for sensitive readers)

WORSHIP YU SUZUKI AS YOUR GOD, YOU FILTHY SQUARESOFT LOVING SCUM! THIS IS NOT SIMPLY AN RPG, THIS IS A FREE, WHICH WILL CHANGE THE VERY FACE OF GAMING! WHAT FINAL FANTASY HAS SUCH A LIVING, BREATHING ENVIRONMENT? FACE IT, THIS DIDN'T SET ANY SALES RECORDS IN JAPAN. WHY? JAPANESE CONSUMERS ARE A PACK OF MEWLING SHEEP! THEY'RE LUCKY YU SUZUKI DOESN'T CRUSH THEM ALL AND DYE THE PACIFIC WITH THEIR COMPLACENT, SONY-LOVING BLOOD! REPENT, YOU SQUARE-WORSHIPPING FILTH! QUIT LAYING DOWN AND SPREADING YOUR LEGS, ALLOWING YOURSELVES TO BE VIOLATED BY SQUARESOFT'S NON-INNOVATION AND HACKNEYED STORYLINES! OH!

RECENTLY, I ARGUED WITH A FILTHY, UNCULTURED NON-BELIEVER AND HE SPOKE OF SLOW SALES, HE MOCKED SHENMUE'S CREATION FOR FAILING HIT THE 1 MILLION MARK. BUT YU SUZUKI'S CREATION IS ABOUT _GENIUS_, NOT SALES. IT'S ABOUT INNOVATION AND BEAUTY, NOT COMMERCE AND HORDES OF MEWLING SHEEP FIGHTING OVER FINAL FANTASY IX FIGURINES ON EBAY. IT'S ABOUT HAVING A VISION, IT'S ABOUT MAKING AN ENTIRELY NEW EXPERIENCE FROM SCRATCH, NOT ABOUT RECYCLED IDEAS AND PANDERING TO THE SHEEP, EAGER TO SLURP UP MORE SQUARESOFT FILTH. HIS UNEDUCATED, BARELY COMPREHENSIBLE RANTINGS ABOUT SALES MADE ME ILL AND THE IRONY OF HIM NOT SEEING A DIME OF THOSE SALES WAS NOT LOST ON ME. BUT I HAD RIGHTEOUSNESS ON MY SIDE AND I PREVAILED.

THE AM2 COMMANDMENTS (THERE ARE ONLY TWO BECAUSE IT'S AM2, NOT AM10)

1. THOU SHALT BUY SHENMUE ON NOVEMBER 10TH AND YOU SHALT WORSHIP IT BY RECITING THIS PRAYER TO IT EVERY EVENING BEFORE YOU GO TO BED:
YU SUZUKI, WHO ART IN HEAVEN
HALLOWED BE THY NAME
THY AM2 SHALL BE DONE
ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN!
FUCK SLEEP, LET ME PLAY SOME MORE SHEMUE!

2. THOU SHALT WORSHIP YU SUZUKI AS YOUR GOD AND PUT ALL OF YOUR SQUARESOFT CDS IN THE MICROWAVE, NUKING THEM IN EFFIGY!

WORSHIP YU SUZUKI AS YOUR GOD, YOU FILTHY SQUARESOFT LOVING SCUM! REPENT! SHENMUE IS COMING! IN NOVEMBER, WE SHALL ALL BE CLEANSED! AND OUR RETINAS SHALL BE PURIFIED!

- A YU SUZUKI FAN!

Just Joshin'

Welcome back JD!

We all know that you're a Falcom fanboy... You love the music, and all the stuff that comes packaged along with it, the stuff you call "a game." Well, I'm not in news (for very good reason, I'm dumb), but I haven't heard anything about upcoming Falcom games. Are there any that you know of? Or did they die out with second-rate unpopular consoles? Maybe the composers or Ys teams are working on other projects, anything you can help us out with? You've been away for a few months, and since your post-Ys praising tenure, there has been a major Ys shortage. Go figure.

-Joshua Maciel

JD:
Falcom Fanboy? Me, never. Connoisseur - Yes. :) Unfortunately most of Falcom's works have been very much centered in the Japanese marketplace. They published the highly acclaimed Rhapsody of Zephyr, developed Legend of Heroes V, and recently in tandem with Victor-JVC -- Sorcerian for the Dreamcast. Their finest hour will come next month as they release Ys II Eternal for the Japanese Windows. I also should add the 4 Volumes of the Heavenly Sanctuary Anime will be included in the limited edition package.

I should point out Falcom published many of its games on the Nintendo platform, though their best work was on the Turbo Duo. While the TD wasn't the most mainstream of consoles it was far from second rate. I'll also add most people who are Hardcore RPG fanatics could easily argue that the Duo had the best RPGs around.

But more importantly -- Go Falcom!

Quickies

Haha JD wasup I just wanna say it's good to see you again dude. Well I just want to know (and test you) who composes the music for Legend of Mana (which I just got). Later
-Jeffypop

Yoko Shimomura of Parasite Eve fame was in charge of the LoM album. For more information, you can check out the reader review to LoM in the Audiophile section. I couldn't resist another plug.

Hi JD!
Welcome back!! Remember me? You gave me Idiot of the Day ^_^ It made me so happy...
- Xenochick

Doesn't that just make you feel all warm inside?

You know the rule. You have to print people's quickies on their bithday. 8) -Googleshng

Goog -- always trying to hog the spotlight aren't you? :P. Kidding...Happy Birthday you sexless slime ball you.

Mr. Davis,

Greetings, glad to see you've returned. I remember your Idiot of the Day awards and your log jokes. (sigh) those where the days. Are you planning to return to these columns?
- mKain

Yeah.....those were the days. I doubt I'll have time to do these columns on a regular basis due to time constraints and all, not to mention Brad and Goog are doing a fine job handling the section. Though I may do more guest hosting, we'll see. Oh and thanks for the word up.
JD,
It has been a long time. I've missed your extensive insight in the world of RPGs. My friends and I used to call you the walking rpg encyclopedia. Is there any chance that you'll return permanently?
-Trent
PS I still remember the Pokemon picture "Jesse with boobs" picture of the day
Me? RPG Encyclopedia? Nah, I just know a lot. Seriously though, thanks for the kudos.
Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson Struts his stuff in Space Channel 5

Closing:


Here draws a close to my plug...er Ask JD column. I seriously had fun and I hope you all did too. Like my updates in the past there's a picture of the day -- from Space Channel 5. I doubt I could say anything to match your own imaginations, so I won't say too much. It's hella funny though.......It reminds of the early days of the genesis with MJ's Moonwalker game.

Brad is in tomorrow, so send him your "speschul" letters. With that I bid you all farewell. Till next time. Peace.



- Jeff "Plugging the Music section" Davis
Remember kids, don't get too close to Michael Jackson. Oh and a Q&A shout out to Titania.

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