The Oracle  

   Phun with Phacia  
Brad Lohr, The Oracle - April 14 '00

I am! A man! Of the SEA! Ahoy. Or something.

What's up, guys.. (and girls too, I suppose)? How's school, how's work.. how's the kidneys?

Wow. I'm totally uninspired about writing right now. I'm tryin', I really am.

It was a long night last night.. and not in the good way. Oh well. You know, normal gripes, school, work, stuff.. more stuff.. crack addiction.. the usual.

Alright, I'm going to stop trying, and just get into it... best not to ride a dying horse till it falls..

What is the air velocity of an unladen swallow?
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Asheron's Call
And a bit of TO, but not nearly enough.
Star Ocean 2 Stuff. I dig this game.
Bradacle! Help!!

I really need help this time. I'm playing Star Ocean: the Second Story as Claude and since I'm stupid or whatever, I haven't used any skill points yet. I've just now gotten to the Lacour continent and I'm around level... 22. Gods, I have combat 1-3, technique 1-2, sensibility 1-3, and knowledge 1-2.

You haven't used ANY Skill points?

I already went and assumed perseverance was the best bet and got that up to level 10 for Claude, Rena and Celine. I also shot Celine's mineralogy up a few levels.

That's pretty good. Perseverance is extrememly important.. when I went through my 2nd time, I made sure everyone's Perserverance was 10 before putting points in anything else. I mean, it just makes sense.

My questions being...

1)By the GODS, what the heck should I use the rest of my skill points for? Herbal medicine? Effort and patience? Combat skills? I KNOW you have some great suggestions for me. Just really GREAT suggestions. Only the best from Brad, that's right. Yup.

One of my first skills I like to raise is Kitchen Knife. While the combo skills "Cooking" and "Master Chef" aren't particularly useful for everyone to have, the 20 points of strength (per skill level, so +40STR at 2nd level, 60 next) is SO nice, especially for fighting members of your party. You'll notice a distinct difference in your character's combat skills after a few levels of Kitchen Knife. Effort is a good one as well, as it brings levels closer together, which in turn brings more skill points. Just as a side note, turning on Comprehension (to increase SP earned at level) will reduce your characters' speeds down quite a bit.

2)Am I really being a wimp by asking this? Am I supposed to be... CREATIVE?!

Forget being creative.. Be effective. :D

3)Is leveling up early in that game a stupid thing to do? 'Cause that's what I'm trying to do.

I tend to hold off on leveling up until I get to the town with Precis/Bowman in it, and then I hang out in the cave right there near town and pump levels for a little bit. Another place is those damned ruins.. the ones you go into just after Leon joins.. with the Salamanders.. for some reason I've never found those to be quite as hard as everyone else does, so I pump levels there too.

~Cid Reicarnate, who really needs help this time

P.S. If someone already asked that... well... I wasn't listening!!

P.P.S. You HAVE played that game, right?

Yeah.. spent several months on that game. Was quite possibly the #1 game of 1999 for me.

B.R.A.D part 2... oh geez.
*** Various Spoilers. None for any upcoming games, however ***

<pant, pant, pant, GASP!> Didnt think I could out run him! Well its me Vengeance and I managed to record another conversation at everyones favorite place, Badguys Resort and Diner (B.R.A.D)


Ghaleon: <Ghaleon teleports in> "Ha ha ha ha! Luna is mine to control! If Alex only knew she was the..." "Hey you lazy bum get your feet off my desk!"

<Ghaleon knocks Seifer's feet off his desk>

Seifer: "Huh, what oh its you Ghaleon, sorry I was hiding from Kefka in here, man that guy gives me the creeps."

Ghaleon: "Yes I know but as founder of the BadGuys Resort and Diner it is my duty to let any badguy, evil entity, or creature bent on world domination to think, plan, and regroup."

Seifer: Yeah but cant you at least make an acception(sic) for him?"

Ghaleon: "Ive thought about it but actually I rather like the guy."

Seifer: How in the world could you...

<Door flies open revealing Sephiroth with sword in hand and hatred in his eyes>

Sephiroth: "SEIFER! Your a dead man Seifer!"

Seifer: "Hey, come on. What did I do?"

Ghaleon: "Calm down Sephiroth whats wrong?"

Sephiroth: "Ill tell you whats wrong! Earlier this week, this little twerp took my Supernova summon, and I just got back watching Cloud and his flunkies defeat my mother! It was just as I was heading to the Promised land! If I had my Supernova summon I could have taken them all out in one shot! Damn you Seifer! Your dead!"

Seifer: <Stands out of chair and draws his gunblade> "It its a fight you want, then show me what you got!"

Sephiroth: "What is that?"

Seifer: "What?"

Sephiroth: "What kind of sword is that?!?"

Seifer: "Sword? Ha! This is much better than any sword! This is a gunblade" <Does victory pose>

Sephiroth: "Gunblade? Sounds like a childs toy to me"

Seifer: "Can I childs toy do this?" <Slices Ghaleon's desk in half>

Ghaleon: "Seifer thats my desk, you'll be paying for that!"

Sephiroth: "Thats nothing compared to the power if my Masamune!" <Slices both halfs of desk in half then into quaters>

Ghaleon: <Stares and points at his once expensive desk>

Jenova: <Teleports outside Ghaleon's office> "SEPHIROTH, WHERE ARE YOU!"

Sephiroth: "Uh-oh looks like mother is done regenerating, and she dosent seem in such a good mood. Hey who is that behind those curtains!

Ghaleon: "Hey you there!"

Vengeance: "Oh Sh-"

Well there you have it. This man has yet again risked his life for you the people who deserve to know the truth of what BadGuys really do out there! I will continue to bring you conversations as I get them!

-Vengeance "Master have you seen my mad reporting skillz?"

Just as a note, the "B.R.A.D." should not be taken to mean that I have any affiliation with aforementioned evil entities, and therefore none should be inferred.

Chrono Trigger and New Game + .. how to rid?
Third Brad of the Appocalypse,

I bought a used copy of Chrono Trigger awhile back (Which I'm sure most people would do... seeing the thing still shrink-wrapped on Ebay going for over $100...) and came upon something not so...pleasant. The dude I bought it from (well, being that I bought it from a used game store, it was probably played by many 'dudes' and a 'dudette' or two...) had gotten every single save slot to the last save point of the game, and got the New Game+ feature enabled. One of the previous owners must've accidentally mistaken the manual for toilet paper, as one was not given to me. I tried to delete the saves and the feature, but that was far less succesful than the Virtual Boy... I even tried the old NES trick where you turn the power on and continuously bash the 'reset' button like there was no tomorrow... unless you bashed a button on an electronic device really fast. So I ask you, almighty god of thunder Velveta cheese, how do I rid this cart of the evils that be?

~The "It's more like the present now than it ever has been" Sack~

Well, as for New Game +, you can't 'turn it off' after it has been enabled. Well, okay, there is one way. Replace the battery that stores the save game information. You take the battery out, you lose everything. NOTE! I take no responsibility if you damage your game by doing this. I'm -fairly- sure this should work, but be very careful with it. You might want to contact someone who knows more about changing those batteries or has good relevant knowledge before doing so. If you don't mind just having NewGame+ enabled, just start a new game, and save over all three spots, and that should get rid of the old ones.

Different Companies.. different STs?

I won an auction on Ebay a while back for the Final Fantasy Symphonic Suite and when I finally got my hands on it, I noticed that the company that made the CD was the infamous Ever Anime that I've heard so many complaints about. I looked on a webpage that sold the same CD it was made by another company called Polystar. What is the difference between Ever Anime, SM, and all of these other companies that are releasing the same CD? Was I ripped off? Is one company's soundtrack better than another? The same thing happened with me on the Final Fantasy VIII soundtrack. I was duped into getting the Ever Anime version of that too. Is there really any difference?


While I've heard some 'not so great' things about SM, I've never heard anything about "Ever Anime" or "Polystar". My take on this whole thing would be just to ask you, do you enjoy the CD? If so, don't worry about it. If not, is it because of some quality issue, or do you just not like the CD? Could it be a production fault? If you can't tell by listening to it that it's different, then don't worry about it. But that's just my opinion.

Dragon Warrior..
Dear Naughty Nu

What are your thoughts on Dragon Warrior/Quest? And if you don't print this letter I will sic my hordes of flying monkeys wielding caulking guns filled with cheese at you!


It really wasn't the monkeys that frighten me. You know that the monkeys listen to me in the end anyway. It's just my monkeycharm. ... or something. Anyhow, Dragon Warrior.. I've only really played 1, 2, and 4.. though I've toyed around with 3 for a little while. I -really- like 2 and 4. 1 just doesn't have much to it, though it's not really a 'bad' game.. it's just really pointless. :) It was the first console RPG I'd played (the first for many) .. and well, FF1 was a lot better, but still, Dragon Warrior 1 was pretty cool. I have to say that DW2 was one of my favorites for a long time, and I'll stand by anyone who says that DW4 is a real masterpiece of an RPG, for the 8-bit NES. It's tons of fun, even to this day. (Too bad Funk-o-land won't let it go for under $45.. hrm..) .. but well, that's my thoughts. Oh yeah, and of course, I'm getting DQ7. Duh.

TMBG Question... woohoo!
Dear Horrible Man,

Simple little question, although not RPG related. I already own "Flood", and love it, so what TMBG album should I buy next?

Thorn Martin

Flood is by far their most popular album. After that, many opinions go many ways. I personally like Apollo 18 as my next favorite album... with Factory Showroom coming in a close third. Either one is quite a good move. It's just a lot harder to find a copy of Apollo 18 anymore :)
"Turn around... turn around.. there's a thing there that can be found...
   Turn around.. turn around.. it's a human skull on the ground...
   Human skull, on the ground... turn around!"

Message Boards shot?
Brad, how could you let them do this to our beautiful messageboards???

It's disgusting, terrible awful frames on a messageboard with ugly red and black text and the backgrounds mess up everyones defaults and... *gags* it's awful!!! T_T

I can understand the trashing of the main page, that's your guys' choice... ugly... but still your choice. Tell the message board guys to at LEAST ditch the frames and the background on the messageboards... honestly, EVERYONE hates it. It makes it load in pieces, and in 800x600 (which is a pretty high res. already... not everyone has 19" monitors you know...) resolution or lower it adds a horizontal scroll bar which is just annoying, and it slows everything down!

Please get them to fix it pleeaaaaaaaaseee.... you'd have more complaints, but the majority of us are too lazy to write in and complain. If the moderators ever actually visited the boards, they'd see what's going on....

Yeah, I should probably be writing in to Goog, but I don't remember how to spell his name...


I'd say send an email to Webmaster, and let them know how you feel. I'm not in charge of the message boards in ANY way.. so .. well, I can't do a whole lot other than post this and get people to make their opinion known. Have at it kids.

Okay, I'm sure this'll piss some people off..
These are all real quotes from our beloved Vice-President [Al Gore, if you've been in a cave forever..]. Thrill at his logic! Be amazed at his wisdom! Marvel at his intellect!


"The American people would not want to know any of the misquotes that Al Gore may or may not have made."

"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."

"We're going to have the best educated American people in the world."

"Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children."

"Mars is essentially in the same orbit... Mars is somewhat the same distance from the sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe."

"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."

"(It's) time for the human race to enter the solar system."

"Welcome to President Clinton, Mrs. Clinton, and my fellow astronauts."

"I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and greater democracy- but that can change."

"We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe."

"Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things."

"As many of you know, I was very instrumental in the founding of the Internet."

"I stand by all the misstatements that I've made."

"The future will be better tomorrow."

"One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice president and that one word is 'to be prepared.'"

"We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur."

"A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls."

"We're all capable of mistakes, but I do not care to enlighten you on the mistakes we may or may not have made."

"I have many good judgments in the past. I have made many good judgments in the future."

"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history."

"I am not a part of the problem. I am a Democrat."

Tee hee, I'm not a big politics person, (generally).. but stupid quotes from ANYONE are quite welcome.. besides, there are tons of Dan Quayle ones headed towards my mailbox right now, I'm sure...

Someone did the nearly impossible...
Dear Brad,

I've taken up a habit of reading your column when i should be doing work. i came across a question about what happens when you defeat Indalacio in SO2 with his limiter off in Universe mode. e. Last summer I was really boand I beat the game three times back to back. On the last time i was on universe mode and defeated the cave of trials and indalacio with his limiter off. The answer to the question is NOTHING HAPPENS! All your work will be for nought, and the ending is identical. Hope this helps.

Morphine Man

I hope it's not that same boredom that brings you to the column. :) But thanks for the info, dude.. and .. congrats. That's crazy in the same way beating FF6 with only Celes, Edgar, and Setzer is.

I know I've answered this before...
Since you've actually played Asheron's Call, maybe you can help me out with this little problem. I've been reading up on all of this Massively Multiplayer RPG stuff lately and I really wanted to try one out. What do you think, Everquest or Ahseron's Call?


"NO. This is NOT warcraft in space!!"

Now, I've said this before, but I'll say it again. I've never played EQ. But I do play AC all the time, so really the only opinion I can offer is to say that AC is WELL worth buying, and is a ton of fun. I don't know if it's more or less than EQ, but if you contact me ingame (on Frostfell now, as 'Palom' or 'Peerless Atlan-Mule' (spelled exactly like that)) .. or arrange something with me (and this option is open to anyone) through email, we can party together for a bit.. or whatever.. I'm Level13 now (yes, I know it's low.. but I don't have hardly any time!) .. anyhow.


Are you down with O.P.P ?

Dave-Bringer of old rap songs

Not really.. I leave that game to my main man, Vandole

I don't like the new design. It confuses my dear Opera browser.

That is all.

Zohar "Yes, that's my real name" Gilboa

The new design busts Opera? Can anyone confirm this?

Hey Brad,

You like Tactics Ogre, right? Do you like Canopus? Look at this if you do: http://www.internettrash.com/users/pscratch/pants.html


That is .. so disturbing.

Hey Brad,

Check out this picture!

I wish I was Squall...


... uhhh.. heh.

My favorite subgame in ff7 is when you dodge Elane's slap.

These are the type of people who make tofu popular.

hey brad the dexdrive plug's into a serial port, and you load the software for it, then you just stick your psx memory card into the thing and do file management stuff. just thought I'd let you know since you seem to think they use computer floppies.


Aahhh.. I see.. they don't use floppies. That RULES. Now I -really- want one.

I-know-my-latin! Gremium means lap; bosom, therefore, Gremio means "ON MY LAP/BOSOM! Makes sense, eh?


Oh dear god.. that makes too much sense. :o

Brad for president! Seanbaby for guest-host!


Dude, if Seanbaby wants to guest host on my column, all he has to do is drop me an email.

Closing Comments:

Sorry this got up so late.. we had .. technical difficulties earlier today, (or that is, I did).. and well, it prevented me from getting the column up. Hope you're all having a good weekend anyway, and we'll see you tomorrow....

Brad "Oh, be gentle!" Lohr