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  The Oracle  

  Dead Week Over  

 

Brad Lohr, The Oracle - May 6 '00


Er, hi.

I've been a naughty Oracle this month.. well, actually, I haven't been. So what's the story, you ask..

Well.. last week, as Google said, I was out. Like -way- out. I woke up that morning with a headache, and I was in bed almost 100% of the day. It sucked. Normal just 'I don't feel good' sickness, that's not too bad... but dehabilitating headaches are .. well, less fun than many other things, let me assure you. That was last week.

Now what happened to Friday?

Death week. And some other things. I had so much schoolwork this week, it was silly. I had to finish off a research paper on Thursday night, and actually, by the time I got to the column on Friday, I had over 170 emails. Now there's no lack of email there, kids! That was awesome. Of course, a lot of it was printable...

And I just finished on Saturday. Big Column, today.. probably be a smaller one tomorrow, but we'll see.

Only a few more weeks of school, and then all this ugly schedule nightmare will be done with, for another couple months.. heh. At the end of the summer, I'll have been doing RPGamer Q&A for a year. Dang.

Anyway, so here's something that just made me crack up. Dancing baby. Now I know almost everyone has seen this, but I hadn't seen it until yesterday, and MAN that cracks me up.. the link here is to a site with tons of dancing baby remixes on it... and here's the link:

[Dancing Baby]

Ooga-chacka, ooga ooga oogachaka...

I'd also like to personally thank James Cunningham, from Portland, ME ... you know why. :) Thanks.

 
Talk to me, baby!
 

Ask The Oracle
I've got this thing, growing on my nose!

 
Recent Q&A's
 

5-4-00
5-3-00
5-2-00
5-1-00
4-28-00

 
The Old stuff
 
The Archives
 
Brad Now Playing:
 
Asheron's Call
Meet Moot, the axe man!
 
In Brad's Head:
 
Ooga-chaka!
 
heee, dance, baby, dance!
 
Sadly enough, this only gets MORE entertaining after time...
 
Question and Answer
 
What font dat be?
This may sound like a totally dumb question, but I'm kinda curious:

What exactly is the font used in the Final Fantasy logos? A lot of web sites (FF Online, notably) incorporate the font which looks, to me, the exact same as the font on Square's packaging, so what is it, and who made it? The Monotype Corp or Adobe or someone else? Does anyone know? Well thanks anyway...

GaminMachine "No, I'm NOT going to start making doctored pictures and logos of FFXV or anything...but...just answer the question!!!"

Brad:
Yeah... SUUURE you're not gonna make doctored pics. I swear, one of the worst parts about having such a public email address is all the idiots you have to deal with (I'm not talking about this preson here), such as the guy who sent me production level images of FF9. Like a year ago. That look NOTHING like what FF9 looks like.

YOU LOSE!

.. mumble. Anyhow.. I'm waiting on a response from Heather, who happens to be the great fontmaster.. we'll see what she says about that font. Me, personally, I can't tell but maybe 3 fonts in this world from one another. But part of being all knowing is not knowing everything, but knowing people who know what adds up to be everything. :) Uh oh.. my secret's out now.. time to look for work. :o

Her reply is somewhat disappointing. Oh well, here it is..

Heather:honestly just times new roman, bold, and strectched vertically would probably be the best

or at least is the best out of the fonts I have at work, which isn't many
(Don't have fonts at home anymore.. booOhhoo!)

Brad: oh you poor thing :P

 
College Log is the log for me!
Brad,

Hey bro! I just read your column, like usual, and my eyes perused the fact that you are going to Allan Hancock College. That is the place I am thinking of going. I have sent away for information many times and have recieved alot about it. It looks like a fine college, but I would like to have a students point of view. I am a junior in high school, in IOWA (bleh), and am thinking of majoring in drama or journalism.

I also kind of want to get out of here and go actually DO some stuff, get some experience outside of hell. What can you tell me about the place and the surrounding areas? Cool or not cool? I know this isn't RPG related, but I thought I would write in anyways. Any information you could provide me would be great.

Thanks alot,

Brett

Brad:
Hancock has an outstanding Drama program.. it's actually VERY good.. let's see... it's a fairly boring area.. if you're used to big city life, (I mean, Iowa's a major center of culture and fashion, right?) anyway, you're a 2.5 hour drive from either the Bay Area or Los Angeles, which has tons to do.. er, the actual area of Santa Maria is pretty dumb.. I don't like the town much.. but that's how it is. I live in San Luis Obispo, which is a big college town.. well, college and old people.. it's a weird mix. That town's messed up too, but it's a nice place to live. It's expensive though. If you're into surfing, there's some good spots in this area, and of course, we're right on the beach... the .. *cough* view is great. Anyhow.. there it is. :)

 
Random Firings from Sachi
Hey Braddie,

You forget my Japanese side, Jakegus. Maybe I should call everyone -san, or -sama :)

To be honest, and I don't want to disappoint all of you ^^, but I've never called _anyone_ "mate" or "bloke". Actually, now that I think of it, none of my friends do either. What the hell is wrong with my friends and I?? Are we not Aussie!? Didn't we grow up in this golden land of opportunity, brought up to enjoy the beach, get drunk, and play around with the "sheilas"? I hate myself! I'm ashamed of myself! Ahhh!! I'm so sorry everyone, I'm sorry that I've disappointed all of you. Forgive me. I promise you, I'll learn how to be a proper Aussie.. <runs off to his VCR to watch some Crocodile Dundee>

Now that that's over and done with, lemme ask you a question or two, Brad-san :)

1. What do you think of FF9? Will it be a successful mix of the old and the new? or won't it work..(I'm expecting this one to be the best one yet)

2. Have you ever imported a Japanese RPG? And if so, which one?

3. Have you ever went to a gamecompany website to check out the employment section? (I did for Square, for the translation section. It's quite interesting, and I might even apply one day)

Okay, so that was a question or _three_ but anyway, I'll seeya around later, mate! :)

Sachi

Brad:
Hrm.. well, I'm not from Boston, but I can talk like it, (poorly).. :) And I'm not mexican or spanish.. but I speak spanish.. poorly. My french and german isn't too bad though. :) I even got a letter in French today that I understood. :P Anyhow... about FF9.. I think it'll be a hit. If not for anything other than the FF logo being on it.. but honestly, I'm really looking forward to it, myself.. it just seems to be going back to more of a style that I enjoyed... (not that I didn't have fun with FF7 or 8.. but I'll admit it, I like 4 and 6 better.)

.. I've never imported any games period... and yeah, I checked around several game companies' websites lookin' for work at one point in time.. but realized that I'm pretty shot without a collage degree, so well, I'm pretty happy at Surveyor for now, and "we'll see" once I've graduated.

 
A plethora of questions...
Grlent le tout le puissant oracle,

Bonjour, mon annana.

More questions/comments:

  1. Heres 3 coins, for friday, and two more to make sure I get printed agian. hmm a problem with the coins, I got the new Gee Pees and was going send them with the email, but when I try to put them in the email it doesnt work..... I'll keep working on the problem to try and solve it. Don't worry you will be paid.

    Just attach them.. but make sure they aren't ILOVEYOU GP .. because that would suck.

  2. ff4j (working my way through it)- Okay I guess I understand the items thing, but why did they cut some of the commands? Dark Wave is just too cool. Is it because the just translated the easy type and were too lazy to add them back in? Or is this an attempt at Square to make us slowly go insane?

    They thought that Americans couldn't handle the difficulty of the hardtype FF4. So we got easytype. I mean, we like our girls that way.. why not our videogames too? Err..

  3. How can I become an Orcale... does it require some specail training... or what?

    Just keep sendin' the money , kid.. just keep sendin' the money.

  4. How much does Asheron's Call cost a month. And how does it handle people with differen connection speeds. ( I.E. Can a person witha faster connection get in extra hits ro such?)

    Well, as long as you don't have a degenerate connection like Heather does, you all supposedly go at the same speed.. it's easier to lag when you've got a slow connection, however.. but since most people aren't Player Killers, it's not a HUGE matter.. you just get killed by monsters. :) Though just about every PK I know whines when they get killed "I lagged! Damn Lag! You suck you kileld me while I was lagging!" .. yeah OOOookay.

    Asheron's Call costs the original game price (~$45), then $9.95 per month thereafter.

  5. Can you do the simple proof of the Theroy of realitivity?

    I burp, therefore I'm related to a monkey.

  6. Eve play castle of the winds for windows?

    Nope. :)

  7. Why must there be so many good RPGs this summer... I am out of luck. Between being poor and having to work all summer, I won't play any.

    The market for RPGs is just larger now.. since there's money to be made in it, there's a lot of people making games for it... it's just how it is.. sorry. :/

  8. Why did Tellah just use exit to get out od the trap in Baron?

    Because let's face it. He only had 99 MP at the max.. Ever. He could never get more than that.. and he knew it. He had to learn to deal with his suckage.. and that was his only way out... he just felt the need to prove himself, and his stunted .. er.. MP total.

  9. If I go to e3 I could hang with my idol... YES!

    Depends on who your Idol is. :) I'll be at E3, but I'll be hanging out with Hunter and George.. but I'll of course be more than happy to gab with readers whenever.. just grab me. (see below for picture links) .. I'll be the guy with the short chick and the long brown haired chick on my hips. (That's actually Hunter and George, but they look good in skirts.. no.. honestly...)

I hope Hunter is as nice in person.

Thats enough for now.

The Renagade Conformist

ps. I assumed you wanted Gee Pees. the Greek Oracle was paid in Drakmha, and checking my greek civ notes one drakmha equals about a hundrerd dollars. Damn.

 
How to do those damn Generator Battles...
*** Xenogears Spoilers ***

Googleshng doesn't answer my questions anymore. Please help me! Acknowledge my existence, oh great Lohracle! The setting: Xenogears, first CD, Shevat, the 4 Generator Battles. The problem: I just can't win! The analysis: Shouldn't it be easy if I have all the latest equipment for my gears? Then WHY IS IT SO IMPOSSIBLE?? Help me Brad! I'll send you haiku and roses!

-Lord Xyyn Dragon- Mmm... Thailand.

Brad:
First off, there's a few people who are very good at certain battles.. now I remember that Elly is good for the battle with tons of little guys, ebcause she's got that secret technique that blows up a load of damage to everyone (Aerods, I think they were called) .. so she's good for the one with tons of little guys, or maybe the battle vs the three medium guys. Then, the biggest hint.. DON'T DO THEM IN ORDER. You dont' have to, and there's an item that decreases the amount of damage you take from sonic weapons that you can use from someone else.. (#4 drops it? And you can use it in #3? I don't remember exactly.. but I'm pretty sure the battle with the "super attack" that it mentions is the one you can take less damage from.) Anyhow.. it's all about choosing who is best for a certain scenario.. and then after that, it's just blind luck. Some of those are very hard... it's definitely one of the hardest parts of the game. But I thought it was cool. Then again, I got through it on my 3rd or 4th try. :)

 
Zelda: Mask thing of Maskiness ...
Brad,

I don't know if you or anyone has read the review of the new Zelda game (which can be read at videogames.com, if anyone's interested), but it seems that like the owners of all successful franchises, Nintendo has finally found a way to screw up a true fan favorite. Basically the game is this: you get 1 hour to beat the game. Period. If the game isn't done by then, you LOSE. There is no way to save your game and keep your data; the only thing you can do, is if you have the ocarina of time, to play it. This will save your game, but reset EVERYTHING ELSE within the game. Basically you start from scratch. Therefore the game becomes a repetitive effort to go faster. Now sure, that's what action games are all about; but this is Zelda. Especially a new Zelda. Where there is story. Plot. Secrets. Essentially things that take TIME. I personally feel that this might be the first Zelda game I don't buy. So the question of course is, what are your feelings on Majora's Mask? (Sorry to make this like an editorial, but I tried to keep it short and I want to hear your & all Q&A reader feelings.)

Bahamut

Brad:
Hrm. That sounds quite anti-Zelda.. I don't like it. Sounds lame. Now I sold my N64, so I won't be seeing this game, but it's kinda shaping up that I don't think I'll be missing much.. any defenders of this game wanna speak up?

 
Have you ever seen a grown sword naked?
Brad,

As I was staring
at the wall an idea
came to me. Oh no.

...and it was probably because of the planets aligning because that's not normal for me. e.e; So I decided to e-mail you and ask you a few questions.

  1. What do you think is the best party size for an Rpg? I miss the days when 4, or even 5 people were in your main group..

    I'd really have to go with 5.. I love the variety, and when you have more people in your party at a time... think about it, we could finally go back to people being good at one thing, in stead of the whole "everyone can do everything" thing.. bleh to that.

  2. In FF6, what do you think everyone else does on the airship while your party is out? I'm sometimes afraid to leave Setzer in the airship with the others to find that all my gold is missing from his gambling..

    Wild sex. Wait, no, only Umaro an-- okay, I'm stopping. They sure as heck weren't like PRACTICING or anything, I get back, and Relm's still level 23? What the HELL, girl.. you think this is a TEA PARTY? .. heh.

  3. In the FF series, what was your favorite job skill? I'd have to say mine is Sword Skill from FFT... either that or the Sword Tech from FF6... x.o Can't you tell I'm obsessed with swords?

    Hrm.. I loved Teleport. :) But that's a move skill.. erhmmmgmmg.. let's see.. I kinda liked jump, even if it wasn't TOO effective.. (think think)... Geomancer was really cool, come to think of it.. a little weak, but the status ailments was neat. I don't know... pick one, that'll be my favorite. I'm too out of it to be actually THINKING.

Thanks for answering my questions!(if you do, that is..) I started this letter with a haiku, so I guess I should end it with one too:

Blinky Heather blinks
slower than Blinky Brad now
Congratulations!

~Genki Wiegraf

 
Shrimp, Barbie, and Joe.
G'day Brad mate, just a few things...
  1. Do you have annoying kids running around quoting Pokemon in the streets like we have in Australia?

    .. I don't know. I eat children before they have a chance to talk.

  2. Do you have adults running around quoting Pokemon as a result of their children's obsession?

    Adults don't taste as good, but if they're running around quoting pokemon, they're enough like children that I just can't resist....

  3. Do you have all those annoying Pokemon ads on TV as well?

    TVs taste like crap. That's why I don't watch them.

  4. Why is a duck? (there is a right answer for this...)

    M R DUCKS
    M R N DUCKS
    S A R C D B D I
    L I B M R DUCKS

  5. I love Zed as well... he's just the perfect bumbling super-villain! (Doctor Collosus anyone?)

    Zed rocks. Don't eat Zed. Or I'll be forced to ingest you.

  6. Ultimecia talking with k's instead of c's... what kind of accent does that suggest? I said Russian, my friend is saying German... although Odine was obviously the German one (vant to fisticuffs?!?!)

    Germans actually -do- the C->K thing.. (like if you took the pronunciation of 'Connection' and put it in German, it'd be 'Konnection' .. I'm trying to think of a specific word.. erm, erm.. I know they do it with other people's country's names.. Kanada, I think, there's a bunch of others.. I wish I were thinking correctly.. oh .. the word kassette, (cassette).. anyway, I just found out that the top five searched for stars on Excite are: 1) Britney Spears (no surprise, there's a neverending stream of people who want to see her naked..), 2) Jennifer Lopez. (ick. no thanks.) 3) Shania Twain (faily yummy, but there's just something not right somewhere in there..) and 4) Angelina Jolie (very yummy, she's got an awesome presence.) .. but uh.. I digress.

  7. Should I bother finishing Azure Dreams?

  8. Oh, the amnesia thing... um. (don't remember from 4) but in 5, Galuf had amnesia. Terra in 6. Cloud in 7. Basically everyone in 8. I think that Square's just taking the easy road out, it's simple to fill in storyline gaps when noone remembers anything! Bloody annoying as well!!! Sorry, to make it into a question... intentional or unintentional trend?

Well, that's my rave.

What.. no E, dude? .. What kind of rave is this?

0o zelgamesh o0 - "That's crazy talk. You're crazy. Get off the road."

 
Hello Kitty vs Palom...!
In a fight to the death, who would win:

Hello Kitty or Palom alone? NOT with Porom, mind you.

-matt

Brad:

  • * Palom casts Magic Yield IV on Hello Kitty
  • * Palom casts Fire Vulnerability IV on Hello Kitty
  • * Palom casts Flame Bolt IV on Hello Kitty, scorching her for 65 damage!
  • * Hello Kitty bonks Palom with her stupid cuteness fo 4 points of bludgeoning damage!
  • * Hello Kitty's seared corpse falls before Palom's attack!

 
Golden Beast Tipz from Xeria
*** Suikoden 2 Spoilerz! ***

Help Brad:

I need some help at the end of suikoden 2, around the golden beast rune thing, i can't beat it, its just too strong, any strategies on killing this fiendish rune?

Brad:
Alright, sicne I didn't remember doing anything surprisingly clever in this battle, (I beat him the first time.. maybe I was just too high a level or something).. I asked the resident esper.net Suikoden2 queen, Xeria for some tips. She says that there's like 5 parts, two heads, two legs, and the rune. Nail the rune first.. or it'll do the naughty magic attack of death on you.. She recommends having Humphrey in your party, due to his high level of defense.. also, McDohl, for the Soul Eater (very nice rune!), and Flik .. but I think that's just because she thinks he's cute.. er.. wait, it's Makai :P heh. More information:
The order she recommends for taking out the pieces is: Rune first (3800hp), Left head (4000hp), Right Leg (5500hp), Left Leg (4000hp), and finally, Right Head (4400hp).

 
AC questions, woohoo :P
Hiya Brad. How's it skakin'? Anyway, I've got a couple of "in your experience" questions for you.

How long have you been playing Asheron's Call? In your opinion, is player killing a problem or even issue in AC? IYO, do you think that most people are nice to newer players? IYO, do you think that Asheron's Call skill and gameplay systems are rewarding enough to players? Have you ever played/seen Ultima Online or Everquest? If so, what did you think of them in comparison to AC?

I'm asking because I've been playing UO since Christmas and I find that the majority of players are assholes. It seems like every second player has been playing since the dawn of time, knows everything, insults everyone who they think is a "newbie" and tries to take advantage of any other player whenever they get the chance. Also, what the hell is "newbie" anyway? Almost Anyone who plays anything online will agree with me: The term "newbie" is used WAY too much and therefore has no real meaning.

Zed "I'm the Grim Reaper's pen pal!"

Brad:
I think Asheron's Call was designed more towards solving the specific issues you brought up than I'd really even thought of. I never played UO, so I didn't realize how bad some of thiss stuff could be. Now first off, on a normal sever (there is currently 1 PK server), only people who choose to do so can kill eachother.

That's right, if you don't choose to be a PK (and you have to go on a quest to become one), you cannot be killed by other players, nor can you kill other players. If you -are- a PK, then you can kill other PKs, but not normal people. This kinda cuts down on the whole "Level 40 guys running through town taking all the under 20's out, 5 times an hour" problems that some games have. Anyhow, that's how PKing works in AC. On the Darktide server, -everyone- is a PK, always... so it's for people who are more into that.

Are people nice to newbies. To a degree, yeah. I've seen a LOT of higher level guys just give nice stuff to lower level people, as long as the low level person isn't annoying, and isn't ASKING for anything. Like I'm standing around, a level 4 guy is asking if anyone's trading for a nicer bow than he has. I'm like "This bow is -worthless- to me, but would be a total treasure for him". Now he doesn't have JACK he could trade me that I'd be interested in, but I give him the bow anyway. I've seen a LOT of that kind of stuff.. I know guys who go to towns that typically have lower level people in them, and just drop large cash value notes off of buildings and have a great time watching them scamper about to be the first one to pick up a note worth more cash than he's EVER had before.

Another way that 'newbies' are helped out in AC is the Allegiance System... when you swear allegiance to someone, they become your patron, and you're in a moncarchy (The monarch is the highest level guy who is unsworn.. in other words, he's got nobody lookin' out for him, it's a big job, let me tell you) .. anyway, the vassal gives experience to his patron (he doesn't lose any, it's just created), and the patron's job is to help the lower level guy out with the world. Now this system is fairly well abused in some cases, (vassal pimps).. but if you find the right person, who plays around the times you do, and has the time and patience to help you out... it can be a REALLY cool way of making friends. If you play on the Frostfell server, and want to look me up, I play as Palom, or my new Axe Guy, Moot .. he's big, and dumb.. but he swings an axe well! .. my patron's a real cool guy, (Hey Scrub!).. and well, if you're just looking for a general group of cool people to hang with, I definitely love the group I'm in. And oh yeah, we have cool stuff, too, but that's not what it's about, if ya know what I'm sayin'... some people just give their vassals something cute to start off with and then leave them out on their own.. heh.. now for one thing, they generally give them CRAP, and I mean REAL crap, but then abandoning them is just .. dumb. Anyway.. I don't like vassal pimps :P All I have to say is that I would never ASK someone to be my vassal, they'd have to ask if they could be mine. If I liked 'em, and didn't think I'd be leavin' 'em out in the middle of nowhere, we'd prolly work something out. Anyway :P. There are still a lot of assholes on AC, but there are a lot of cool people, too, and the game is HUGE. If you don't like someone or somewhere, there's a lot of land to run to.

 
Coral to the chest.. YUM
I have been playing final fantasy 3 lately and im having trouble at one point. I'm at the cave where you have to feed the treasure chest coral. no matter how much i feed it, it wont let me by i even fed it over 200 coral at once and it still asked for more. I really would like to finish this great game but need your help. please help me out. thanks.

Hokuten

Brad:
I don't know what you're doing wrong.. I get let by after I feed it 30 or so. Make sure you're not feeding it 10 at a time.. 30 all at once is what you need.

 
TO stuff.. Yipee!
OK! Here's some TO stuff for you! [Here's where you say 'Yippie' like Anakin]

'Yippie' like Anakin

I just started playing it again recently [time to beat it] and I have 53 hours so far and I'm level 20, which to me sounds wrong, or is this right?

That does sound odd, but if you've played Hell Gate, you'll notice you get NO experience at all while being in there... so that might be it.. (though Hell Gate at 20'd be weird. Maybe you just left it on one night.)

If you put TO in your CD player, there is 2 or 3 playable tracks! Woo.

Woo, indeed.

What is your favorite 10-troop set up for TO?

With my curent people, Denim(duh), Aloser + Sara (my two archers), Koneria (heh FF1!) and some other chick, my Priest and Cleric, Byan and Shaker, wizard and warlock... Canopus and Penelope, spear users, and then Haborym to back up the melee fighting, and to use Charge on the wizards :)

"I'm Brad Lohr Yes I'm the real Lohr All you other Brad Lohrs are just trying to adore So won't the real Brad Lohr please stand up, please stand up, please stand up."

.... ... .... zzzzzz -_-

I can parody too! Where's my record deal?

The Czech is in the Male.

-Mask

 
Tactics Ogre.. and FIRE
Hey Brad! I just had a question about Tactics Ogre that has been killing me for a looooong time. Supposedly, the spell Fireburn can torch some grassy areas and reveal treasures. I, however, have never gotten this to work. Regardless of where I begin my arsonist desires of destruction, I can never find any goodies. Is there some trick as to where one must burn, or am I just being way to naive and not getting the concept at all? Thanks!

-MrSorcerer

Brad:
Well, you do have to walk over these areas as well, in order to find things.. hrm... I know I found a spell or something down to the left of the starting area of Coritani Castle.. (I think that was it) the outside.. and not the left of the start for training, but the actual battle.. it's the bottom left corner of the map...

 
.. don't do it!
I'm incredibly short on cash. My boss is very sporadic about my paychecks, and I'm nearly broke (thank god I'm not paying any taxes). There are a whole bunch of games I'd like to get, including some that are going fast from stores (Lunar:SSSC), and others that I'd simply "like to get" (Wild Arms: 2nd Ignition).

What I'm asking here is: "Should I sell my old SNES RPGs?" My collection includes such greats as Final Fantasy 2/4j, Final Fantasy 3/6j, Lufia I and Lufia II, Earthbound, Secret of Mana, Robotrek, Zelda: A Link to the Past, and others. But the question that comes along with this is: "Should I sell my soul to the devil(s)?", namely FuncoLand or eBay. I've found a copy of Lunar, and I don't know if it will still be there next month. On the other hand, my SNES has been unhooked to make room for the N64.

Oh great Oracle Brad, what should I do?

Flare

Brad:
Okay, I may be biased.. but DON'T DO IT. You'll regret having sold stuff that is much more rare, for things that you can get readily. Then again, if you're not much of a nostalgia person (and I am, admittedly), then you might be better off cleaning out your old stuff.. I don't know. But I know I'd never lose the ol' classic SNES RPGs.. there's just some great games in there.

 
 
Unanswered Questions and Comments
 
ERGH
Brad,

After reading Google's most recent article, I noticed someone asked him about the sequel to Final Fantasy VI. It was an April Fool's joke, but Goog couldn't remember the link. Well... Here I encourage everyone to read the artice, it was by far the best prank this year.

-Prometheus, Master of RPGs

[Editor's Note: I swear, I got more stupid email about that joke.. there are some REALLY DUMB GULLIBLE people in this world.]

 
More GP Answers..
Q: When you kill off a monster, why does it give you gold and items? Are they just lugging it around?

A: You are not taking gold from the monsters body, you are really just hacking bits off to sell. The rarer/stronger the monster, the more gold you can get for a head, arm, or leg. After you cash the limbs at a Shop (as in "chop shop"), you get the gold. The shopkeepers in turn sell the bits back to the Evil Being(s) Trying To Conquor The World(EBTCW for short). Once all the limbs are together, a phoenix down is used to bring the monster back. When you kill the "end boss" you get almost no gold because they tend to disinegrate, leaving no body parts to sell.

Q: Where is all this gold coming from! And the prices are incredibly high too!! 50 ounces of gold for a tonic?? What?? Talk about inflation!!

A: Silly you! It isn't pure gold, of course. A lot like the US mint today, Gee Pee are mostly gold plated. Now, onto the high prices. You may think a tonic is a "magic elixer". If so, you are probably already an addict. In thruth, are these so-called healling items are really hard-drugs. Same as with PCP (angledust) they deaden pain, allowing you to continue fighting after you take 100 points of damage. So, for a bottle of crack, 50 Gee Pee is a real bargian!

 
Some great FM3 information...
*** FM3 Spoilers, Beware ***

First off, if you wanted to use a quote from Airplane! why did it have to be -that- one? Ah well.

[A hospital!? What is it? .. It's a building where they take sick people, but that isn't important.]

Anyway, let me just say this about FM3... I normally don't buy games, but after renting FM3 and devoting most of my weekend to it, I just had to. The game draws you into it.

What's odd is that FFT didn't have this effect on me. I mean, FFT was a good game, and I'd probably buy it if I could grab it cheap, but something about it just didn't click.

At first it seems a bit simple, but after a certain point it almost forces you to tweak your Wanzers in order to succeed, and -then- you realize the true depth of gameplay.

Oh, and before I end my ramblings, here's a tip: The story branch is chosen at the beginning of the game depending on whether you choose to go with Ryogo for the delivery or not. If you go with him, you get Emma's storyline (That's the one I choose), if you stay behind, you get Alisa's. If you go for Emma's path, give her either a Shotgun or Machine Gun along with some Knuckles as soon as possible- the Quill she starts off with is only long-range and Hardblow is a pretty pathetic attack... Oh, and once you get Marcus (much later in the game), outfit his Wanzer with two Knuckles- you can do tons of damage if you get a combo of Double Punches, Tackles and Melees, which happens more than you might expect...

Oh well, 'nuff of that for now. I guess if you need anything on FM3 feel free to ask...

-Trevor

 
Economizers.. an ingenious solution.
I've got a better strategy for getting Economizers in FF6. I got 2 in a half hour this way:
  1. You need Gogo in your party, the Thief Glove relic, and the Strato sword for Cyan. You also need to have a reasonably powerful party, and the Offering helps a lot but isn't technically necessary.
  2. Give Gogo a weak weapon, and the Thief Glove and Offering. Set all 3 of his special commands to "Steal." Go to the Colosseum, and make sure to save outside!
  3. Bet the Strato, and fight Aquila with Gogo. There's a 3/4 chance any given turn that he will use the Capture command, attempting to steal 4 times in a row.
  4. You'll either steal a Phoenix Down, or if you're really lucky, an Economizer.
  5. If you don't get the Economizer, reset. If you do, go outside and save the game.
  6. Bet the Pearl Lance that you won by beating Aquila, and kill Sky Base (using whatever character you want), to get your Strato back.
  7. Repeat process as many times as you want.
-Dorrin
 
Very Bad Poetry
"Very Bad Poetry" is the name of a fine book which compiled a whole bunch of, well, very bad poetry. This isn't just sucky poetry; it's serious published poetry which is just... inane. James McIntyre (the cheese guy) is featured within the pages (amongst others). He has several of his ... different ... poems within, 3 about cheese, and a few more about other silly topics. Here's my fav by him, a "tribute" to the great poet Shelley:

From "English Poets" by James McIntyre Shelley

"We have scarcely time to tell thee
Of the strange and gifted Shelley
Kind hearted man, but ill-fated,
So youthful drowned and cremated."

There are also other fun things, like a feature on bad rhymes poets have tried to make:

From "The Light-Bearer of Liberty" by J.W. Scholl

"Gooing babies, helpless pygmies,
Who shall solve your fate's enigmas?"

From "Indian Corn" by Rev. William Cook

"Corn, corn, sweet indian corn,
Greenly you grew long ago.
Indian fields well to adorn,
And to parch or grind hah-ho!"

If you want it you can find this book in most big bookstores. ISBN: 0-679-77622-2

--kris "I have the Sam and Max comic book and you don't" wolfe
P.S. I'm going to Anime Central too! Wai! MUST SEE MORE TRIGUN! TRIGUN IS GOD! And buy the last hameln mangas.. ahh... life is good, but expensive. I wanna see google there! Is it going to be wearing a google nametag? I wanna meet it so I can guide it to the most badass of the shows! ^_^ *coughTriguncough*

P.P.S. Why aren't there any shrines to Here is Greenwood not made in the early 90's? -_-;; P.P.P.S. Can I draw a picture of you? Did you ever post a reference pic or should I just use the blinky brad?

[Editor's Note: As always, there's pictures of me here (at age 16), One of Heather and myself, and another of us two.

 
Emulators, they're close.. but not close enough for some..
In responce to a letter someone sent Googleshng, yes, it is well worth while paying for RPGs rather then emulators. I paid $30-$35 for my copy of Lufia 1. I was a bit iffy at paying that much for a non Square game, but I got it, beat it, and enjoyed it. Slow downs arent that big a problem with emulators, I am more anoyed by bugs (most of witch are gone now), and music quality, plus a monitor is smaller then a TV. I must say, it was much better playing on a 25 inch TV with a stereo Bass and Trebble booster, and a sub woofer to boot. Sure I may have had all the RPGs down loaded on emulators at some point, it just feels a little pail when compared to an SNES (with the exeption of games you can't get here, like FF2j, FF3j, FF4jhard, ect). Has something to do with oldschool RPGers, it just brings back good memories I guess. Basicly, your not alone when you fell like playing on an old console, it is just fun.
 
Palom & Porom
I hate to correct an RPGamer staffer, but Paws' answer to the May 4 question about the petrified Palom and Porom was incorrect.

Yes, an item dialog appears when you examine the petrified twins, and yes, its presence reveals a difference between the Japanese and US versions of the game, but, no there is no secret item that restores the twins.

Like every other FF, the Japanese FF4 had a separate item to remedy each specific ailment--Antidote, Eyedrop, Echo Screen, and so forth. There was also a "panacea" cure item, but it appeared only in a few chests and could only be bought from the Humingways on the moon for several thousand G. In the North American version of the game, the specific cure items were removed and the panacea became the standard "Heal" item available from the start of the game.

With this knowledge, it should be easy to guess what the use of the mystery dialog is. If you select the item which normally cures petrification, you get.... the same message as when Tellah attempted to restore the twins with his magic. In other words, you fail.

The mystery dialog is basically Square's way of telling you "You thought we'd put in a secret that could change the outcome of The Plot(tm)? Get real, this is Final Fantasy, not Romancing SaGa!"

--AWJ--

 
Palom & Porom Part 2, Plus more!
Yesterday's column contained a letter about FF4, to which I might be able to give some insight... it is after all my favorite game, and I'm somewhat of a specialist about it.

First of all, there is no way to revive Palom and Porom. The elder does that, and you have no control over it. There is no item that has that effect, even in the Japanese version. You can verify this two ways: either play the translated ROM, or use the gunslinger code (see RPGamer's item list file http://www.rpgamer.com/games/ff/ff4/text/info/ff4items.txt for more information). The reason an item-use dialog box comes up is probably to make players wonder about it, or possibly to reinforce the idea that a "Remedy" ("Heal" in America) or "Gold Pin" cannot bring them back because they have become stone of their own free will.

Secondly, about all the characters dying in the game and coming back. Goog, in spite of your superior humor and knowledge you may have been a tad off the mark... this has nothing to do with toning down the game for America. FF4 hardtype in Japan was the same way. Even in that version, Yang is in the Sylph cave, Cid is in the Dwarf Castle, and Tellah reappears at the start of the Zeromus fight (though this doesn't mean the old sage's alive, it was a ghostly image after all.) There is a difference between the versions, in that the "deaths" are discussed more clearly in the Japanese game, without as many euphemisms. Personally, I don't think it was too excessive. The only characters I actually thought were dead were Yang, during the explosion, and Cid, during the other explosion. (And Tellah, but he stayed dead so isn't relevant.) When the boat capsized I didn't really think any of the missing people were gone forever, and after I saw Yang in Baron I fully expected to see Edward (Gilbert) and Rydia later as well. I was blown away by the timing of Rydia's appearance! Granted, two miraculous explosion-recoveries is somewhat unusual, but given the nature of most fiction, particularly fantasy, it isn't a huge stretch. If it were just like life it wouldn't be as interseting! :)

Square did water down the game, and I wish they hadn't, but even so it was good enough to get me hooked on RPGs. I've played FF4 the way through it at least ten times, most of them several years ago when my only system was a SNES and I had no other RPGs, and as I mentioned it's still my favorite.

Chimerasame

 
Odin's Moves.. he grooves, he busts a .. oh nevermind.
To the curious individual whose name is TheLunarKnight in the quickies...

Odin's move literally means : Slice Metal Sword. Literally. Or in more understandable terms : The Sword that Slices Metal. Quite cheesy actually.

That's if you take it from the Chinese language's point of view. I for one don't know how the Japanese interpret it (seeing as they 'borrowed' our language 600 years ago)

For those who love pronunciations : in the great tradition of Paws it is Kan Tee-air (as in tee-off & breathing air) Jian . You'll notice the slight(?) difference in pronunciation from the Japanese one.

Dreamweaver

 
Info on Suikoden Story
Hi there.

I'm sure *someone* will ask about the Suikoden legend, or what it's about, so I just felt like pointing out on how to get it... or rather, what it's called over here. I have a German version called "Die Raeuber vom Liang Shan Moor" which translates roughly to "The Brigands from the Liang Shan Marsh". I have also heard that one English version is called "All Men are Brothers", and that there's at least one movie or TV version avaible outside asia.

The game Suikoden just boroughs from the book though, so don't expect a novelized version of the game. It's fun to read anyway, and you may recognize some elements. So if you're interested, go to Amazon.com or some other place and use the titles I gave as a lead.

---
Gilgamesh

 
Gauntlet Thrown.. OoOOooh!
Xenochick lies. She said she reached level 40. Liar, Liar, Pants on fire. If anyone in this world is qualified to make this statement, it's me, I've played Tetris for about three hours a day for the past couple years. The point/level percentage seems really wrong to me. Here's the math: Using my current high-score/level ratios, at level 40 I would have something like 50,000,000-266,000,000 points. That's over 80-400 times Xenochick's high score. I believe that 680000 is her high score (mines about that), but saying she was on level 40 is just ludicrous (I was on level 17 for mine).

-TetrisGod
"The nick ain't TetrisGod for nothin"

 
Uh oh.. the SMRPG fans strike out!
What do you mean Mario RPG "wasn't too bad"?! It was a great game! And that "crystal dude" you refer to....if that's Culex, he's not too hard provided you have the proper equipment. You just equip BOTH the Lazy Shells on Mario, and enter the battle at around level 20 (where i was). Don't worry about the other 2 people dying, as Mario is damn near invincible with the Lazy Shells (I had to cure him 1 or 2 times). Eventually, the 4 crystals run out of magic, and they can't do much if anything. The battle isn't that hard, but it takes some time.

--NightTransfer "Culex is the best character in the game!"

 
 
"It's so big!" Quickies
 

This is a response to the Yggdrasil "issue" in Google's column yesterday. I am one of the two guys whose pronounciations of Ragnaršk he posted, so there. Here is the pronounciation of Yggdrasil. And since I am nordic, I should know. There ya have it. [Here it Hear] Yes, I know :P

/Adam

Brad: Whoa.. you sound like one of the people from those tapes they play in foreign language classes here in the states.. that's.. pretty neat.


Isn't it from Zelda 2? cmon... It's the only quote that I've EVER recognized... I've got to be right!

Brad: I knew I recognized it... I'm almost certain you're right.


I was just listening to Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinose, and the words, "All will die" clearly flashed through my mind. Is this typical of the song? And should I report to the local asylum?

-morbId

Brad: "I'm invincible!" "You're a looney!"


BlinkeyBrad blikeys faster than BlikeyHeather now. What competition between two inanimate objects.

-Lewis

Brad: What can I say.. we have a very competitive relationship


I am Prince Crack of Bannon!

That's all I have to say about that.

Brad: .. you just take your princely little crack outta here this minute, young man.


Hey Brad, did you know that with BlinkeyHeather's baggy pants, she looks like something straight out of a megaman game?

-Folken

Brad: Didn't you know.. that's where I get all my girlfriends. Megaman games have wayyy too many hot chicks.


Hey, yo, Lord Oracle God of all gaming, etc...

Look at Blinky Heather.. Her hair moves when she blinks! Does that reflect the real Heather?

Signed, Richard M. Nixon

Brad: Well, MR.NIXON .. I'd say Heather's hair moves a lot.. there's a lot of it to move... 39 inches at least... it's past her butt. And other parts of her move too. She's a full action figure. Collect them all!


Hello Brad, Do you think i should buy Suikoden. Thank you.

Brad: Yes.


howdy,

are you the only Q & A guy on the face of the earth that has a girlfriend?

yours cruelly,
opul

Brad: I am actually the only human being on this planet with a girlfriend. Everyone else is just pretending.

A haiku for Ashton (SO2) lovers:

Oh barrel , barrel
I travel across worlds
But to count them all

-Freezer

Brad:
BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL


True story:

At a job interview, someone asked me what HTML development tools I use. I replied "FrontPage, HomeSite, and vi". The person replied, "Visual InterDev? That's a good tool." I laughed at him.

Needless to say, I didn't get the job.

~todd

Brad: I can honestly say that a large part of the reason I made a great first impression with Mikel Tidwell was the fact that I said I did my HTML development in vi. And dude.. I found out how to set pine to use vi as its editor.. it's not a perfect interface, but it's groovy... anyhow, Mike is a perl guy like me. He just doesn't talk about it. I don't think he's happy enough. I'll teach him to be happy. I'll teach his grandmother to suck eggs!


That is unspeakably bizarre. The ratio of your blinking speed to heather's is exactly that of my front windshield wipers to my back wiper. It's a conspiracy!

Sushi

Brad: Shhh.. don't tell the CIA.. it'll be our little secret... ^_^


Poor six-year-old Brad.
I keep giving him sugar.
He blinks really fast.

Brad: You're making it harder and harder each day for me to get him back in his cage.. I wish you'd stop that.


I can't find my cheesegrater anywhere!! Why did you have to go and steal it on me?! If you asked nicely I would have gladly let you borrow it.

-Jordan

Brad: But if the clowns find out.. THEN WHAT HAPPENS, HUH? WHAT HAPPENS THEN!?


MonkeyMaster, I know this isn't RPG related, but I figured you'd be the one to ask: What would be the best way to find out about the availability of DSL or other high-bandwidth connections in my town?

Thanks,
Ian

Brad: Well, it's a phone line issue.. so I'd say call up your TelCo, or check their website. (Mine is through Pacbell, so .. http://www.pacbell.com


I long for her touch
Her pink skin into in mouth
Oh sweet sweet sweet SPAM

-Anotsu

Brad: Hehehehe... that's sick and misleading and perfect for quickies.


I have to ask a non-serious question. Is it just me or does the idea of farming not appeal to you when playing RPGs? Why is there going to be another Harvest Moon!?

Brad: Because you're under their control. And if they say farming is fun, there's no amount of kids from Iowa's gonna tell you different, boy.. now go pick some weeds!


Will you marry me Brad?

Brad: Not now, I have a headache...


I think that recursive functions should be eliminated from the face of the Earth, and perhaps the universe. Just thought that you should know.

Your Humble Servant,
Insanerest of AOL

Brad: Yes, well, navigating a tree structure sure is easier with recursion.. :P Smartypants.


dfghdfghfdhgdfhg

Brad: Didn't your mother ever tell you not to talk with your mouth full, young lady?


If you were a sock, what kind of sock would you be?

- sorbie

Brad: A sox0r that rox0rs >:D


Hey Brad!

Ya know, there's this girl at school......and her name is Heather too! Isn't that just COOL or what?

-LionHeart

Brad: Yes, I always pick my Heather's up in the 6 pack, they're like action figures, collect them all!

Oracle-

I spent an entire summer trying to get economizers from brachosaurs and never got one. That just shows how long that poor guy may be there. And it shows how much of a dork I am.

-Jeffypop

Brad: It is good to be in touch with your inner dorkiness, however... go forth, grasshopper!

 
Wrapping it up...
 

Wow.. what a massively big ... er.. column. I'm impressed.. lots of fun stuff in there.. sorry for the dumb absenteeism.. but it's a fairly easy ride towards finals.. and then finals week I have less classes, so hopefully I'll still be in good shape to be doing this stuff.. after summer starts though, no excuses for Brad. :) See you all tomorrow.

Brad "I can't stop this feeeelin'... deep inside of meee" Lohr