Ask JD
Friday 25
Ask JD - July 23 - 5:00 pm EST

Remember Ryan is doing tomorrow's Q&A. He now does the weekends, so don't send me mail for tomorrow's Q&A.

Today marks the 25th day that I am hosting the Q&A. After 9 weekends and now my first full week of Q&A. Fun stuff...
So, how am I going to open up my 25th anniversary? I'm not. We're jumping straight into letters.

This and That

Well hello JD!

1) I was just wondering... You're always saying that those Ys games have really good music, and the description of Ys V says that it features arguably the best soundtrack ever. But then I look in the midi section and there are 2 tunes... I know that the game is japanese, but would it be possible to have, well, more music?
2) Is it just me or does Legend of Legaia really sucks?
3) Am I the only one who thinks that this site is pretty slow? I mean, I've got a cable modem and usually I can achieve about 100-120 ko/s ( Quebec is great isn't it? ) , but here I'm stuck at 4-5ko...
4) From what I have heard on the net, FFIX will use a job based system... Do you think it's a good or bad thing?
5) Why the heck can't 2 people play an rpg at the same time nowadays, like in FFIV and VI? I think it was a pretty good idea. You're not always alone when you play FFVII, or any other recent games in fact. Enough for now. Keep up the good work!

-Jean-Guillaume Paradis

1. Well YS 5 in my opinion, while great compared to other music, is by far not the best Falcom/YS music out there. Good question though, my guess is not many music people are converting the SNES music of YS 5 into midi or what not. Since most YS music is in Redbook-CD audio, it is also particularly hard to find YS midi's. Most of what is available do the original music justice.
2. I haven't played it as I saved up for Lunar SSSC.
3. I'm assuming we are getting way too many hits, heh.
4. Well those are just rumors and I really don't care to speculate. I do like the job system however, it just depends how good it will be implemented.
5. Yeah that would be neat!

Growing up is hard to do

Just a few questions after I make a rather short point (and don't worry, i won't mention the PSX sequel of a certain SNES game made by Square... ) I was thinking the other day about this exact same thing and I came to the conclusion that we've all grown up. Even though a lot of people that hit this site are sixteen and under still the majority of games coded today are aimed at the exact same people that played the origional Zelda, FF, DW, etc when we were kids. As time passed the kids that played the origional Final Fantasy grew up... and now we're in our late teens/twenties and we're a bunch of adults that are old enough to buy beer. The games are aimed at the exact same people they were aimed at fifteen years ago... but now we're a totally different market. So as we matured... so did the games. Just a thought. Anyhoo, on to my questions.
(1) I haven't followed up on FFVIII due to the fact that I want to be totally surprised the first time I play a game. So I was wondering in your opinion if it's going to be a high quality product like FFIV was or is it going to be a piece of rushed crap with X number of bugs and low character development like FFVII was?
(2) Better yet, how many disks will it be? Normally the more disks the more FMV, and the more FMV the less plot and more shiny objects, so to speak.
(3) Is it just me, or did Xenogears take it's plot and rush it too much, especially during the second disk? I played it through two times and I'm still kinda lost...
(4) Everybody keeps talking about all these good SNES games of old but has anybody played Soul Blazer? It didn't have much replay value but it was this killer action RPG from Enix. The music and graphics sucked but it was just FUN! And as for the idiot of the day award... I once accidentally superglued my hand do my dog, does that qualify me? =)

-Les "I won't be able to come in to work today because I have a canine permantly affixed to my hand" Lee

Well said. Which is mostly the reason I very much enjoyed FF 7. It's plot was indeed more mature, and from the looks of it likewise for FF 8. It was a departure both story and text - wise from the previous FF games. Still this market has not been really addressed, as the majority of the RPGs are still targeted for 14-17 yr. olds.
1. FF8 is more in tune with FF7 character and gameplay wise. As far as character development I'm not sure yet. I haven't read any reviews as I don't want to have any preconceived notions before I play the game in September.
2. 4 CDs.
3. Many people I talk to often say that about Xenogears. I didn't feel it to be that way. The reason people come to that conclusion is perhaps the story took so long to develop and then the "anticlimax" of the story was rather short.
4. Yes I played Soul Blazer the very day it was released. The game was very good for its genre. It just didn't have any powerful story that I was sort of expecting. All in all it was ok. I really am spoiled adventure/rpg wise after playing YS. HEH, didn't think I could inject some YS talk into this did you?

Best Overworld RPG music


Since you seem to be such an audiophile, I surly hope that as you play your games that you take a good listen of the over world music. With sound quality aside and looking just at the notes (melody? got me. I've never played an instrument) of the piece itself, what do you think the best over world music of all time is/was? I personally, I believe it to be FFIIs (FFIV for all you purists) over world theme.


What do you mean seem? I am! This is a tough one...
I always take into account sound quality and what instruments are used. Sorry I can't help it.
I don't have just one favorite so here it goes:
Tengai Makyo Far East of Eden Manji Maru and Kabuki, Dragon Slayer: Legend of Heroes 1 and 2, Phantasy Star 2 Arranged, Cosmic Fantasy 2 and of course Lunar 2 EB - Sega CD version. Oddly enough I can't think of one Square game yet...perhaps it will come to me later.

"M" and "V" and "S" Two Takes

Hi JD.

I've just watched 10 year-old and 8 year-old girls getting into Chrono Trigger. Fans for RPGs are not just those who started NES era but, I would say, being born every day :) I really like to see RPGs to stay separate from violence and sex. I totally agree with JM's comment on yesterday's column.


Excellent point...You just hit the hammer on the head why many RPG companies are a bit uneasy with making overly mature RPGs. They want to have as much broad area of rpg gamers. Opinions anyone?

I don't really oppose any mature content added to RPGs as longs as it is in good taste. Quite frequently, in movies, there will be an unnecessary sex-scene used purely to entice the audience. If somebody says "I want nudity and swearing in RPGs" than I'd tell them to watch porno if there so sex hungry. The best way to handle it would be to say "I want freedom of expression in RPGs!" That way, nothing intended that is relevant to the story is omitted or edited. Personally, I think sex w/nudity in games is a very bad idea. I'm not against it, it wouldn't affect my decision to buy a game. I think that a love scene doesn't need to include nudity, and since the scene would almost definitely be CG, there wouldn'd have to be. Very many immature people who play videogames would probably either feel uncomfortable or not take it seriously. It is the same thing for swearing too. I know this letter is dragging on so here's the end. I feel that a game with a mature plot should include whatever it needs to effectively tell the story. These games should be 'M' because little kids won't understand the seriousness anyway and would see it as a big joke. "Hee hee hee, he said shit".


Good points.

Idiot Award different POV


With respect to your "Idiot of the Day" award: Did it ever occur to you that giving people with the IQ of a piece of burnt toast and the linguistic capacity of one of the less-evolved members of the cephalopod genus an award might very well be encouraging their mindless behavior, thus slowly contributing to the decline of rational thought in America?

-Geoff "I refuse to further my self-depreciation" Russell

Of course it occurred to me. I felt that the readers would find it amusing to have the especially idiotic letter that day or that week be selected. Considering the notion of this column I felt it would entertain the readers. So far it has done just that. To address your statement of "encouraging their mindless behavior" part, let me just say after hosting 9 weeks of Weekend Q&A and now this Weekday's Q&A I have paid extra attention to the amounts of "idiotic or what you call mindless" letters that have been coming into my box. Other than this week, in all the 2 or so months as Weekend host I believe I've only given 1 Idiot Award. My point being with or without the Award the number of these types of letters plateau at about 20-30% of the mails I receive. In that sense with or without encouragement, the numbers have stayed the same. You make a valid point. The journalist in me would incline to agree with you but the Q&A host in me wouldn't, as the readers seem to enjoy reading the "mindless letters." Fundamentally that is the crux of how I decide which letters to print or not. Comments on this one?
Music Tastes

YOU MORON! HOW COULD YOU THINK THAT THE YS MUSIC IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN THEM!?!?!? ;) Actually, all joking aside, I understand why you like Falcom's musicians better than the famous Square musicians. They rock. A definate example is To Make the End of Battle. (If you people want an example, go to the Ys 1/2 Digital Music page on RPGamer. :) ) I don't bash you. Infact, I commend you for being one of the first persons to actually express an interest in music that's NOT Square's. I mean everything Square would just be plain out boring. :)

Anyways, just a little different subject here, I haven't really read all the Ask Whomever sessions on RPGamer too often, but I want to basically ask your opinion on the upcoming console wars. I mean, the next generation seems pretty interesting. I'd be lying if I said I'm not a Nintendo loyaltist, either. I do, however, keep my mind open to try other games from other companies and other things and I am not willing to fight till the death for Nintendo, either. I do, however, think that I am excited by what Dreamcast, Dolphin and PSX2 will bring to us all. :)

-Mathew Valente [TSSF]

If it isn't one of the "remaking/tracking" music guru/contributors to RPGamer. You're commendation is not only credible but dually appreciated.
Anyway, yeah Falcom rules, their music is just so emotional. Whether it's upbeat, dramatic, romantic or sad Falcom music just tends to move most of it's listeners. Which is why I've been such a huge fan of the music. Not to mention the fact that they started the whole Videogame Music craze, when Square was still learning what videogame music was about. Which isn't to say I don't like Square music, I love it. But there is only one king in the industry..Falcom.
As for the question. I was never really one to pick one system, I like them all. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Nintendo for their in house development. Likewise with Sega (who by the way makes the best in house games out there). And Sony well they have Square...So my opinion is the upcoming console wars is, it's really gonna be interesting. Sega is going to be selling a ton of Dreamcasts at launch, the key is can they keep the momentum, and will the addon make the DC equal to PSX2 or Dolphin specs wise. Sony's problem if any is, the system is supposedly gonna ship in December in japan, yet there is no sign of any definite system info or pictures...Nintendo hah, they seriously need 3rd party support. It's gonna be one hell of a fist fight, among the 3. I for one will get a Dreamcast at launch, Aracade gaming finally at home!

Patrick Writes in again

Patrick here. Just thought that since the letter I sent in pretty much backfired on me when you think about it (I was mad that nobody sends in RPG letters, and all mine was about was my pissed-off-ness) I thought I'd send in a RPG related letter. Sorta. Uh, since you featured an online RPG in the news section (Darkages) does this mean we can expect to see more online RPGs featured on the site, like Ultima Online? That would be really cool. I'm a UO player, and I'd love to see UO on the site. Suikoden 2 is gonna rule. Forget FF8, even though I'll still buy it cause it's cool.

- Patrick

Good to see you resolved your own psychological problems.(kidding!)
The reason why I printed your letter was not to bash you, as like I said I agree with some of the things you said and personally would like to see more actual RPG questions. In a column such as this however, there also needs the counter balance of idiocy or comedy. In the end it is impossible to please everyone, I do my best to satisfy each group that writes in. Now about your questions...
I talked to our new PC coverage guy, Zac. Here is what he said:
"Well, that's something I've been debating since joining RPGamer. I find that single player RPGs are more straightforward and easy to cover - while the online RPGs are dynamic and constantly changing. However, as I get more access to these online RPGs (something I currently lack) and as I come across information that would be useful to anyone playing these games or thinking about playing them, I will provide information to you. Currently I am working on gathering information for Ultima Online, Everquest, Asheron's Call, and Dark Ages. Once again, however, I only have access to one of these services (Dark Ages, beta test). While online RPGs have a long way to go, and are in many ways drastically different from console and traditional video game RPG adventures, I'll make it my duty to cover what is most demanded by the public."

And there you have it. Brevity isn't Zac's strong suit.(kidding Zac!) Can't blame him for a lengthy response, as it's his first quote here on Q&A. Uh anyway, I've heard whispers of disappointment about Suikoden 2. I can't see it dethroning FF8 anytime soon. We'll find out in September.

The FFT story

What do you think of this? Post it if you like it.

-Mega Memory Card

That's hilarious. Check it out everyone. "I had a good feeling!"

JD's Idiot Award of the day Double Winners

Ha! Gotcha! You said one of your favorite NES RPG's was Mother, or Earthbound Zero. I guess you thought none of your readers were Earthbound loonies, and so wouldn't know that Mother was only ever released as a ROM, proving that you're using illegal emulators on your computer! I'm alerting your local police department, the FBI, the national guard, AND Dr. Laura. Expect floods of letters from people shaming you for using such horrible devices and stealing from those innocent developers who just want to entertain. By the way, have you heard anything on Mother 3's release?

-Urban Zombie

Actually I played Mother like 10 years ago. One of my classmates had a Famicom (japanese nes).
So why are you getting the Award? One you made me laugh, two you're too hyper. (if you were serious) ;)

Hey, what happened to the little ninja dude at the bottom of the Q&A's?

He was the only reason that I even moved my mouse over the Ask JD link. Just kidding! Hehehe!

-Evil Ninja

Ok either you don't know how to read very well or you need some glasses. There is a difference with the names JD and Ryan. Got it? Ryan is on his way to your house with your award. He said something about getting his black belt after he uses you for a punching bag. I'd take the award and run if I were you.

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Star Ocean 2
YS Eternal, LunarSSSC, Valis 2

>Hey at least you guys got "Fosters." Have a cold one mate...
Fosters....Australian for "piss".
-The well-paid slacker

HAH. Interesting parody.

Will the CT remake actually show us what's in the "Secret Naga-ette Bromide"? I've always wanted to see one of those scantilly clad snake women up close. Ooohhhh.... Hissss........
-Jiggl E. Puff-daddy

Go get a girlfriend.

Get this! My friend signed me up for 25 different e-mail addresses! Well, I guess I could send you 25 different questions! Yes, that's it! I am bound to get put in the collum sometime!

You deserve the Idiot Award, I was uh just too lazy to do the extra html. I'll send you a runner up cookie laced with super laxative.
I like Secret of Evermore. Does that make me a bad person?
Not at all. It makes you someone with crap taste.
Hey, I was just playing Shadow Madness, and I came upon the ultimate quote for either the secret text or the little Netscape bar thingy. You find it in the Eyre disco. If you talk to one of the Gadgeteers, the reply with this, "Can't talk. Shaking booty." Just thought I'd try to give back to society.
- Q-42
Done, for today's Secret message. Wait I guess it's no secret anymore.
Hi Jeff, There was also a Valis game released on the SNES. I think it was Valis 4. Great column, by the way. Talk to you later.
-Commodore Wheeler
Oh yeah, sometimes miniscule things pass me by. I did play the SNES version, and was very disappointed. But since it was a Valis game i still did enjoy it somewhat.
Glad to see another editor reading and more so enjoying my columns. I also must commend you guys for a great job over there.

Again today a link to Falcom/YS music catalogue page. URL:
It has full Real Audio songs. While these aren't falcom/YS best they'll give you a glimpse to one of the most successful music labels. Listen to Very Best of YS and Falcom Classics cd in particular and give your audio senses some enlightenment.

Cya all on Monday. Peace Out

JD the one with the sword of Valis and Lassis
"Can't talk. Shaking booty."

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