now happy birthday to my good friend jared, who also won't read this
     Monday, April 8, 2002      


That's what I consider myself, I think, from writing for RPGamer. I'm not really famous, but every week, thousands of people will sign on and see what I have to say. It's a great feeling, though it becomes less and less of a rush as the years go past.

It's been over two years since I started writing for RPGamer, and over six months since I started doing Q&A. RPGamer has helped shape my life the last couple of years and presented me with some fantastic opportunites. If it weren't for RPGamer, I'd never have been to E3, and it's likely that I'd never have been to the GDC nor have landed my internship with Saffire.

I've had some great times working with my co-staffers. I've made great friends (and perhaps a couple not-so-friends), and I wouldn't trade my experiences here for the world. However, things do change, and with my junior year ending soon and my internship coming up in a month and a half, my stepping down was a quick inevitability.

And the inevitable takes place today. Though I'll remain on staff at RPGamer for awhile longer, this will be my last update of Q&A. I had slacked off a bit in these past two months readying my game for the show, and I'm afraid that the rest of the semester will be too trying for me to put up an adequate column, and that's just not fair to you readers. So, at least for the foreseeable future, either Google or Chesh will take over on Mondays. Until then, though (and bare with the sparsity, I didn't get much mail), here are today's letters:

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    Greetings, as an avid Penny Arcade reader I know exactly where that quote comes from. The Penny Arcade comic Duck! Released on January 7th, 2002! The duck does raise an excelent point, and that question has troubled me forever..How shall we get rid of the cheaters, without getting rid of the ****heads, because all cheaters are ****heads, but all ****heads are certainly not cheaters, I mean, look at that guy at the supermarket who wont give you more then one sample of free cheese...he is a adamant ****head, but not a cheater sadly...

    That is all,
    -Ben Rosenthal

    For those who missed last week's column, the quote was "the duck raises an excellent point." Ben covered everything else, though, nothing more for me to say, except that yes, Penny Arcade rocks hardcore.

    assorted nonsense
    Hey Aegis, got a multi-parter for ya

    1) Not really a question, just a correction: Chesh said yesterday that in order to get the Genji Glove at the Returners Hideout in FF6 you need to refure Banon's plead for help three times and then talk to the soldier. If I remember correctly, and I'm pretty sure I do, you only need to turn him down on his offer once, and the guard should bribe you into the deal with the useful relic.

    Thanks for the tip. Somebody had pressed the Mary-Alice Davies button for help regarding the issue, to which she prompty replied, but this guy had more in his letter, so...

    2) On more of a personal note: What's your favorite sound effect in any Video Game, RPG or Non? Mine would have to be the save/load noise from Xenogears.

    That's a good question... one that I'm having a hard time coming up with an answer for, but a good question nonetheless. The only thing that really comes to mind is Kefka's cheesy 16-bit laugh. Yeah, by today's standards it's a horrible sound effect, but back in the day, damn, it was so cool.

    3) Finally, do you smell another pushback for Arc the Lad Collection, or do you thik that April the Eighteenth will be the actual release? I'm predicting that this will be the correct date, because Working Designs usually doesn't announce delays more than two or three times (....right?).

    I think Vic and the gang are ready, finally, to have this thing out the door, over and done with. Right, Vic, right? ;)

    Well that about wraps things up. Don't forget to get your pets spayed or neutered. Good bye everybody!

    Thanks Bob, will do.

    Master Margie
    "Sometimes I think of what life would be like if I wasn't insane, then I think .. 'Hey a banana.' " -Brett, A kid I know from School


    On April 1 a reader asks about Hong Kong singer in RPG. I am not sure if this will help, but HK singer Candy Lo did a song for the Asian version of FF:TSW soundtrack. The song is call screaming and it is also in Candy's album Fantasy and Mega Collection. It is on sale at right now. There other HK singer who have songs for PC RPG (in Hong Kong) such as the group Twins.

    And Utada Hikaru's nickname is Hikki.

    Well, there's not a whole lot I can add to this, and yes, I know that some additional information on the topic was posted between now and then, but I think this is still useful enough to warrant being posted. So, thanks!

    more music
    Dear Aegis,

    I'm sorry to hear it's your last day. You are and will always be my favorite Q&A columnist and favorite RPGamer staffer!! Mondays won't be the same without you. Anyway, onwards to some questions. First of all, have you heard any scores from Yoko Shimomura? What do you think of her? I personally find her to be one of the more interesting video game music composers. Especially since I hate Yasunori Mitsuda... I'm going to get sniped on my way to my car for that one.

    Thanks for the kind words, Chad. Just so you know, you're my favorite non-professional (for now, at least) composer!

    The name Yoko Shimomura didn't ring any bells, but after some research, her music certainly does. She did some of the music for Super Mario RPG (along with Uematsu and Nintendo's Koji Kondo), and the complete scores for Parasite Eve, Legend of Mana, and the upcoming Kingdom Hearts. Though I haven't played PE, I own and have beaten the other two released games, and from their scores I can say I definitely like her music. LoM has some beautiful, haunting tunes in there that likely go sorely underappreciated due to the unpopularity of the game (I thought the game was great, but I loved Evermore too...).

    Which brings me to my second question, what do you think of the two pop songs on the Xenosaga soundtrack by Yasunori Mitsuda? Even though I hate his orchestral stuff, I find the pop songs to be quite soothing, if not a bit cliche. I don't think they are very creative, they aren't that much different from each other or any of his other pop songs, but I find them to be extremely enjoyable.

    I can't say that I share Chad's hate of Mitsuda ("Scars of Time" is one of my favorite RPG songs). That considered, I found both of the Xenosaga vocal tracks I listened to ("Pain" and "Kokoro") to be very good, as I had expected. And you're right, they're quite soothing. I didn't expect them both to be in English, though, which was a nice surprise, I suppose (though Japanese is an awfully pretty language too).

    Anyway that's it from me... see you at E3! I'll bring a demo quest of the Vazgen's Quest score... it'll win awards... HAHA! whatever. :) -Chad

    E3 is a scant six-or-so weeks away. And then it's Zelda time. And Mario time. And Metroid time. Hoo-boy.

    And yes, as some of you noticed, even though Chad wrote a score, there was no music in Vazgen's Quest. The sound library I was going to use was shoddy in general and outright unusable on Chad's laptop (which is what I used to demonstrate the game at the GDC). Because of that and my running out of time at the end, the soundtrack didn't make it in. But thanks anyway, Chad! You rock.

    End of the Road:

    And this really is the end of the road. I'm going to stay on at RPGamer behind the scenes until after E3, when I start my internship at Saffire. It's been a great time doing Q&A, and I owe a lot of that to you readers. I'd also like to give shouts-out to the following people:
    • Doug Hill, for hiring me into the ranks of RPGamer staff in the first place.
    • "Blinky" Brad Lohr, who will forever be my favorite letters columnist.
    • Googleshng, also a great columnist (okay, you're no Brad, but who is? ;) and an all-around great slime.
    • Mikel Tidwell, for keeping RPGamer up and running for years since its creation and for many more years to come, I'm sure.
    • Chad Seiter, my friend and composer. Here's to the future!
    • M. Zuchowski (DarkDread), Matt Fairchild, Pierre Roussel, Erick M. Green, Matt McCabe, and everyone else who helped with Vazgen's Quest.
    • Everyone else I'm forgetting (you're awesome too) cause it's 3 a.m. (sorry!)
    Farewell! (and send mail to Google!)

    Andrew P. Bilyk waves from a distance.

    Until next time,

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