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I'm GoooOOOooone! =^^=
Paws - February 20 '00- Eastern Standard Time

I'm not feeling that hot as I write this, so if I'm bitchier than normal, you know why ;) Well, tomorrow's Monday and I have a big Calculus test, so I'll be studying all day today. Heck, I was doing homework while I was sorting out the mis-mash of letters I received. I got a nice bunch of letters (which will be what you're reading), the regular *crap* that went straight to the Trash Can and then a few things I didn't know or didn't have time to do. I'm sorry to those good letters that go in said can but I simply do not have the time to answer to each and every one of you. I try occasionally to answer back to someone if they have sent in a more personal letter or a question that I can snwer without posting in the column so I'm happy I'm not toally neglecting every one else =^^= Now, on to the column. I've stirred an awful lot of interest in SaGa Frontier II, I've seen. Basically when I got the same question 10 times I randomly picked (Which ended up being a 'sort by (random pick)', closing my eyes and hitting the random sort button, then poking somwhere on the screen. Not very scientific, but it works. Sometimes I just take the first letter I get, but I find that it may be unfair to penalize someone because they cannot sit on the page and see the moment a column goes up what was in it and answer back appropriately.

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In the PSX:
SaGa Frontier II
7 Hours.
In the Gameboy:
Pokemon
Lt. Surge *Bzzt*
In the N64:
Diddy Kong Racing
*whaps Dragon*
A flurry of snow...er, questions.
Hello paws,
seeing that you're filling in for someone else and stuff, i thought it appropiate to ask a few questions, so here goes.

1) What would you think of including actual classical compositions in rpg's... ? I thought about this while viewing for the tenth/odd time the Ballroom scene in FFVIII... The music used, juust doesn't cut it... althought i love Uematsu's overall score, I couldn't help wondering how a piece by another composer would have worked... Would it seem "cheap" to use compositions by other authors?
2) Who is responsible for the character designs of FFIX? I haven't heard much about that... Is Nomura back? Hope not... I love Yoshitaka Amano's artwork...
3) Seems like everyon is going ga-ga over Chrono Cross... Do you know who is writing the scenarios. If I remember correctly, all Chrono Trigger scenarios were thought up by Yuji Horii of Dragon Quest fame... (Part of the Dream Team Scenario)... Btw, how effective did you find this formula to be? (Toriyama/Sakaguchi/Horii). Personally, I very much preferred Final Fantasy VI. But that's just me.
4) Given on the same note, could you imagine how great a REALLY Reworked FFVI could have been for playstation. Anime sequences, an orchestral score, maybe a couple of tracks from Final FAntasy Pray for the Opera Scene, and the like... Square is evil, oh well.

Paws Says:1. I used to play classical music on both guitar and piano, so I definitely enjoy it. I'm gonna kinda sit on the fence for this one. I like music that goes with the mood as well as with the theme. So, if it's a gushy scene, I expect something flowery; if it's a gushy scene with a coupla punks, then something slow, but not flowery. As for using other people's works, it happens-but this time it didn't. Hindsight is 20/20, and the eye of a player may be more critical than a producer's.
2. Amano, thankfully. I love his work, too =^^=
3.I like the lay of Chrono Trigger a lot, since it had a phenominal replay value. Can't wait for Chrono Cross! =^^=
4. I totally agree with this. Look how beautiful Lunar turned out. Square basically threw it onto a CD, added a few cutscenes, and shiupped it off. It deserved a good chalking up (to renew the spirit), but they spit and forgot to shine :P

My 0.02$. I had some spare change.
what's your opinion on strategy and action RPG's? Most of them really try my patience. Battles as long as those of Shining Force 2 and Vandal Hearts can be annoying and repetetive...and "L" shaped jumping on Landstalker is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in an RPG! I mean, you have to jump in an L shape across moving platforms as wide as you, or you will fall into a pit full of ghosts that will no doubt give you troubles! And the hero's name is NIGEL! That's right...there really was no point in this letter...I'll apologise now.

Paws Says:Realtime strategy is just not my thing. I have a realtime strategy/fighting game called Granstream Saga and I've simply given up on it. In fact, I gave it away to a friend 2 days ago; if she likes it, she'll keep it for free. However, some action RPGs I do enjoy. I like the Mario games (which aren't RPGs, but you get the idea), and I like the Link games for the SNES and N64. The thing I don't like about realtime is that I'm a slow builder. Turn-based, however, rocks the planet. Kartia, Brigandine, FFT, SaGa Frontier II. *gooey sigh* =^^=

My face is turning blue...
Hey Paws
Who drew that sweet anime pic of you. They did a great job I think I'll make that my nextdesktop background.
Well to make this relevant what do you think the odds are that Square will release or allow Nintendo to release all of those great Super N RPG's?

Well later then.
"Neko-jin are great" Shaffpad

Paws says:I believe I mentioned the artist's name in my column 2 weeks ago. Go check that spiify archives page, since I can't find his name in my email ATM =^^;;=. As for SNES-->N64 remakes, here's my advice: Don't hold your breath. I doubt we'll see many of them on the 64. I'm wondering more about the Dolphin or maybe the X-box. I think it's really gonna depend on how good FFA has done.

That's quite a mouthful! =^^=
Hiya Paws!
Here are some questions for ya:

1) Do you like cheese? My cat loves cheese, as well as my gerbil. Yet the cat constantly tries to eat the gerbil. Hmm.
Paws says:I like cheese. Marble, actually. *munches on pizza with extra cheese, mushrooms, and ham on it* I've never had a gerbil, but I did have a hamster about 6 years ago. Cute little long haired teddybear, who was of course named Theordoreus (Teddy for short :P). Smart little bugger got out of his cage every night :P He died at the ripe old age of 3 and a half. It was sad :/ But Teddy was the coolest hamster ever because he thought he was a cat. My grandad would dangle a shredded slice of paper in front of his nose and he'd get up on his hind paws and bat at it and pounce it! =^^=

2) What do you think of the FF9-FF11 announcement? I think it's really fishy for Square to do something like that.....
Paws says: I think Square wanted to pull something big to drown out the competition. Hey, look at the complete nothingness of news we had for 2 or 3 weeks after it was announced :P

3) Did you notice that in one of the screenshots of FF10, there are two character faces that bare a freakishly close resemblence to Squall and Rinoa? Pretty weird, if you ask me!
Paws says:It happens. Look how close Celes (FF6) and Lacryma (Kartia) are; they're basically exactly the same :)

4) Do you like Amano's art? I think it's beautiful, and I've done some Amano-style paintings of my own. It's really difficult and requires loads of details and intertwining colors. :P
Paws says:Amamo art...*drool* ;) I love his artwork, it's incredibly beautiful. This person's talent just kinda hits you in the face and you go 'wow'. Then again, I admire a lot of different kinds of art because I can't draw worth jack =*^^*=

5) Are you looking forward to Lunar 2? I loved the first one, but I'm not all that excited about it....maybe I just haven't come to reality yet that this is THE Lunar 2. ^_^
Paws says:I don't get that excited over upcoming games. I guess since I usually don't have the money I've learned to let it slide. The only one I'm looking forward to is Legend of Dragoon. Looks to be good.

6) I absolutely LOVE Kartia. It's probably one of the only non-Square games that I've become so attached to the characters in. And the Amano art is just lovely. I could go on and on about this game! It's a masterpiece. I don't see why Atlus won't make a sequel....I mean, they're making a BRIGANDINE sequel for crying out loud!
Paws says:Kartia just didn't sell as well as Brigandine did. plus, there were several Brigadine-like games for the Saturn that did pretty darn tootin' good for a crappier system :P Plus, think of this: Kartia came out before the real love of tactical RPGs, and Brigandine was around at the beginning of the boom. While a Kartia2 would sell good just for being another Tactical RPG, people are more likely to remember Brigandine's original :)

7) Don't be so skeptical about GameShark. :) I'm totally against cheating, but I love to explore Debug Rooms after I have finished a game. I've found things cut from the games, walked around as Sephiroth and Red XIII, you name it! It's so fun. ^_^
Paws says:I'm of the philospophy if the gamers wanted us to do it they'd have put it in. It is fun to booger around, but most people don't have this kind of attitude (you lame-o cheaters ;P~~) =^^=

Umm...I think that's it. Print this letter and I'll give you a catnip mouse! ^_~

-Rinoa the Resistance Fighter

Paws says:'Nuff said. Wait, catnip mouse?! *sniff sniff* ZOOM!

Quick Fixer Upper.
Paws says:I know this is a little different from the norm but I figured this was the best way to do this. I got a couple of letters correcting the fact that Google said there was no way to get rid of a random rule in FFVIII. Here's a non flaming letter, with my comments inserted, as to how to go about it. How to abolish a card rule in FFVIII:
- Step 1: Find out the rules in the area where you want to get rid of random.
- Step 2: Go to a region that has a very similar set of rules BUT NOT THE RANDOM RULE, and play there.
Paws says:Save before even trying to play. You may end up giving them the random rule, since you'll be toting it from another area.
- Step 3: Go to just outside the city/area where you want random eliminated and save the game.
- Step 4: Go inside the city and pick someone to play cards with.
- Step 5: Say "yes" you want to play cards and then "QUIT", not "Play".
Paws says:Nah, I've never gotten rules to stick or go away without actually playing them. It's fun to play anyway, so play 'em =^^=
- Step 6: If a rule is spread or the wrong rule is abolished, restart and go back to step 4. Otherwise, go back to step 5. Another trick is to spread rules until there is only a one rule difference between the two cities, then you are guaranteed to abolish Random.
Paws says:You're not guaranteed to abolish Random, actually. When you play someone with different rules two things can happen: You either abolish or add a rule. Considering you're toting a few rules as well as your opponent, there are quite a few possibilities. Do the math for just 2 on each side and it's only a 1/8 chance =^^=
It usually takes me 2-7 tries to abolish the random rule, but I have done it in Trabia (hard), Lunar Base (medium), and Dollet (easy). Since you need Dollet for the Queen of Cards Quest, I'd advise using Timber as your "clean" site with no random rule.
Paws says:Timber wasn't where I stated but I did use it earlier to scrub me clean of elemental for a while. How many times you'll need to do this to get rid of a rule is pretty nutty-Once it took me one try to add 'Open', then it took me 35 times to get rid of it and then 18 more to get it back. I was bored =^^=

Paws says:Hopes this helps anyone still mucking around with th Triple Triad game! =^^=

"More Tummy rubs for you!"
Hello Paws,
I got some more stuff to say! Here we go...

1) First of all, to all those bashing you for messing up with the HTML a few times, BLAH! I don't care what you do with your HTML, you still get free tummy rubs! Plus, you're better than Brad (no offence by the way, Brad). 2) In FFVIII, it wasn't luck, it was Demi! Hehehe, just keep casting it on him and he will strangely cure you...And, for an added bonus later in the game, put 100 Ultimas on someone's Stat Def and they will be invulnerable to all 8 elemental attributes! Gotta love those li'l secrets... 3) On MUDs, yay! I currently play on Eternal Visions (eternalvisions.com), a great MUD! Chrono (master of free tummy rubs) Cricket P.S. Do you have ICQ? I would love to talk to you in real time, being your loyal fan and all. ;)

Paws says:1. Everybody was very nice to me today. And so was my code, because it didn't bugger up! Yay! =^^= Also, there is no 'better' columnist. We're just different. You may like me more but I got several horrified screams both this time and last that Brad was gone. Keep that thought in mind.
2. Yeah, casting Demi on Diablos makes him do some funny things :P Draw as many as you can from him before zapping him. Also, don't just draw and cast right away. When you succeed you usually pull 3+, and it's awesome for some stats.
3. NOT MUDs! MUSHes! There's a big difference :) Basically, on a MUD you go around shootin things and completing quests by gathering objects. On a MUSH, you roleplay a character under a certain theme.
As for everyone asking for my ICQ: I never turn it on anymore. My firewall does *not* like ICQ, and I'm always off/on'ning. Catch me on mIRC.
Also, Cricket is so great! He made a cute little sprite of me I'll put up tomorrow because I'm falling alseep right now :)

What makes a game linear?
Hey Paws, nice to see you doing letters again!
Anyway, I had to comment on something - people keep referring to SaGa Frontier 2 as non-linear, which IMHO is only half true.

You see, you're still forced into a path of scenarios that you have to follow, you just can choose when to do them. You can't choose where to go once you're in a scenario - you're restricted to a set area. There is only one way to complete each scenario. Even at the parts where some sort of choice is possible (the end of Tycoon Wil, for example) you're basically told, "Nope, sorry, can't do it this way". You _can_ develop your characters any way you want - however the fact that people rise better in certain skills and worse in everything else is a big limiter to doing this.

The reason everyone says that it's non-linear is because it's more non-linear than most RPGs we've seen. If you're looking for an RPG that's more truly non-linear (because I don't really feel that any RPG is truly non-linear) there's Fallout and Fallout 2 - there's a story backbone, but how you get there, and who you are is totally decided by your actions. IMHO that's non-linear.

Not that I'm dissing SF2 - the game rocks! It takes everything that was cool about the first one and fixes what was bad about it. Oh, and the story actually runs better if you do it linearly - do all of one person's scenarios at once (I'm doing Wil's right now). Oh, and Cordelia is your goddess.

LtPhoenix

Paws says:And just so I don't leave Goog with a huge dangling thread tomorrow, this is an opinion that doesn't need 1 000 000 answers :) If you're gonna agree or disagree, give some valid reasonings and whatnot so it'll be postable. Considering how many people are going to answer to this, don't be surprised if it gets snuffed out of existence out of sheer frustration =^^=

A thank you-to me-and to you.
Hi, Paws :)
I wanted to thank everyone who helped me out with FF Tactics, 'cause yesterday I beat the first chapter. I'd especially like to thank whoever sent in info on getting a chocobo. I rescued little Boco in the swamps and that little yellow bird was my shining beacon of hope until it was crystalized. But that's okay, because it laid an egg. Now I have a cute little black chocobo named Kempe :)

I'm just past Lional Castle, where i've just heard of the Zodiac Brave Story, St. Ajora, and the Zodiac Stones. Oh, yeah, a guy named Funeral was mentioned as well. Mustadio and Agrias are the life of my party (they're both guests currently). Where'd Agrias go, by the way? After that conversation in Lionel Castle, her and Ovelia left me. I need her (rather, Agrias is called 'Lady Agrias', but when you try to remove her she says "A night cannot back down on his mission". What's with that? Is Agrias... not what we think she is?)

Oh, and thanks to everyone who wrote to me. I can't remember all your names, but thanks!

-Xenochick

Paws says:There are a couple of easter eggs in FFT, including the fact that Agrais is a cross dresser ;) And don't worry about Agrais, she'll be back a little later on in the game, and this time she won't be an annoying guest; heck, you'll get Mustadio, too (Keep Mustadio if you wanna get Cloud). And on the subject of guest chars in FFT: kill em as soon as you can handle the enemy with just your guys. They end up killing a guy right when that twinky skillmeister in the corner turns into a crystal and you end up beating the wall or something.
Also, red chocobos are better. Chocobo Meteor does 100+ damage by the time you'll get your first red one, minimum, and it has a range of 5! =^^= I lived through my red choco.

My face is turning blue...
Hey hey.......you,

I am in a dilemma. I am playing Grandia right now and have just crossed the End of the World. I think I still have a LONG time to go until this game is done. I still have to beat Legacy of Kain 2, FF5, and FF6, and I also want to go back through Suikoden 1 and Lunar. I want to get SaGa Frontier 2, but I am afraid my house will spontainiously combust from too many unbeaten RPGs stacked next to each other. So, what I'm asking is..

Is Saga Froniter 2 worth dying for.....I mean buying?

Paws says:P-A-W-S. It's neither difficult to say nor spell. Comon, just a little bit of effort on your part would have made this a nicer letter. It took more effort *not* to write my name than to.
As for your question, I think you should hold off buying it for a bit; not only do you have a jiucy lineup going there, it *just* came out. Just think: by the time you'll be ready to buy it, it'll be cheaper! =^^= My picks for order would be Lunar (30 hours, awsome plot, easy battle system to learn), FF5, FF6 (if you haven't beaten it for the SNES), the Grandia then Legacy then SaGa Frontier II. But that's just me =^^=

Small Questions

Hey Paws,
I just found clips from that banned episode of pokemon that gave people Seizures!
It's so cool with it's...big...flashy...uhhhh... *Seizure attack*

I doubt I'll ever see this ep myself, as bright flashing lights give me migraines. Think that one DBZ episode or the old Blue Marlin (S)NES game :P

I'd like to ask couple of questions...
1) What is your favourite RPG???
2) What is your favourite Anime MOVIE???
3) Are you some kind of "cat daemon" who will kill (or punish a-lot) all non-cat-lovers??

Webziz (King of my room)

Fave RPG: Toss up between FFT and Brigandine =^^=
Fave Anime: Either Ushio and Tora or the Those Who Hunt Elves series. Both are hilarious. Oh, and I like LA Blue Girl, but none of the stores in town carry past tape 4! arg! =^^=

I have a problem. You see, I recently took my copy of FF8 and genetically fused the four CDs together in an attempt to be able to play the entire game at once, without having to swap CDs. Problem? Well, when I fused the CDs together, I made the mistake of using some weird chemical from the dump to give it a shiny, orange look. This caused the genetically fused CDs to mutate into the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Now they're running around, killing various politicians! What am I to do?

This is my way of reminding people to put their CDs back in their cases when they're done with them so they don't get scrathed, bent, or dusty. And clean them with water and a soft cloth. Also, don't overswap your CDs-your open button is not long lasting. Trust me, mine needs fixing and it's 3 months old (Monster Rancher did it). Other than that, this guy's a dork =^^= (But the idea of something running around killing politicians is appealing)

Hello Paws ^^
I'll get straight to the point: How do you pronounce 'Irvine?', as in Irvine Kinneas of Final Fantasy VIII? It looks easy, but I just want to be sure.

Georgia

Hey, this is one of my friends from IRC! =^^=. Errrr (urrrr)-VINE. If it had a G, it would be Errrr (urrrr)-VEYNG. Hope that settles the argument. Hmm, I think I'll do a pronounciation of these two, it's hard to spell them out correctly....

Aloha Paws! This has been bugging me for quite some time. Since you are the almighty mistress of pronunciations, how would you pronounce Edea? My friend says it "Ee-dee-uh" and I say "Eh-dee-uh" and then someone else says it like "Adia". Is there a correct pronunciation?

Thanks,
Jamie

I don't know why the hell they changed the I to an E. I pronounce this one the same as idea, Eye-Dee-aa. I don't care if it's wrong =^^=

In total, counting image, text, and link to letter from the main page, you used the "=^^=" thing 21 times. You also corrected the double thing problem. And by the way, I love you for printing my letter yesterday. ;)

~Highwind~

Love letters: 3
Personal Ads: 2
I get a lot of mail saying people love me, but those are the specific 'i love you' or 'this is what I look like I'm a stud baby' letters. Friends first, you anxious people, I'm not desperate for company. Oh, and stop sending those personal ads, I'm not into one night stands :P

Howdy, Paws. I've been on the lookout for some gaming posters. I know Working Designs themselves has a real nice Lunar one, but I can't seem to find any others. I'm especially on the lookout for FF7 and Xenogears ones. Any idea where I might be able to dig some up? Thanks.

There are a couple choices here. Often games come out with big splashy posters when they're first released and many stores don't have room to keep them up for forever. Try snagging them for 5$. Also, strategy guides. They almost always have stickers or a poster. *Looks around her apartment* I'm running out of room for mine in the living room and my bedroom wall is covered in comic books...

The Last Word:


Oooh, it's longer today. Unfortunately I basically passed out last night else there would have been a couple more quick questions and letters. Muur. Well, joysome, I get to go do a mass crammage for a Calc test tomorrow *wrry lines ;)* And as for where I'm disappearing to, I'm working on a new project for RPGamer. No secrets revealed yet, however! =^^= Just keep watching!



Paws@RPGamer.com
My kitchen sink drips.

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