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3-4 Days and Counting
Ask JD - Sunday | September 5 '99 - 3:30 pm EST

I apologize for the no update on Friday and Saturday. When the server was moved to the new ISP, apparently many of you could not connect to until late friday, thus I got almost no mail and was unable to scrape up a column. All is well now however. As far as yesterday's update don't blame Zac for the no update, I was supposed to do this weekend since he has prior engagements, and well it's labor day weekend so cut me some slack. :)
Speaking of which, it still is Labor Day weekend and I'm working for you shmucks. (kidding!)

As you all know, Final Fantasy 8 and the Dreamcast is set to launch in 3-4 days. This certainly will be the week of all weeks for videogamers, at least compared to previous times. I expect the letters in the next few days to focus on these two releases. So for your viewing pleasure the next topics will be the countdown to the glorious 9.8.99/9.9.99 date/s.

More Wrestling parodies

Rock, you little man, I BROKE Mankind's leg, I broke your arm once, and I destroyed Steve Austin's leg... you will not defeat me for the title, this is MY TIME, I am in control, and just as before, you pester me with your nursery rhymes, always wanting your chance... it's too bad you won't beat me! Now JD, I have some questions for ya...
1. Suikoden II or FF8? Your opinions...
2. Where do you, JD, stand on the old skool vs. new skool RPG debate?
3. How does the FFA look? I'm so busy defending my title against monkeys like The Crock that I couldn't keep up with the news...
4. Do you really think the people would cheer for The Rock, and do you even think for just one second he could beat me?

-Triple H

1. FF8.
2. Both.
3. Pretty good.
4. I don't like wrestling, but The Rock's verbal antics are entertaining. So I'll go with The Rock on this one.


Sup JD,

Hehe, mad props for that pokemon pic. Anyway, i got just a few short Q's for ya.

1.) Are you a fan of the Seiken know what i mean damn it...the SoM series?
2.) Have u ever played Part III, and if u have, what'd u think o' it??? I'm talkin bout the one that didnt make it over here, I aint positive if its Part III. )
3.) Are u excited bout Legend o' Mana?

Well this is my 1st dont snap my soul in two and not print it... CAUSE DAMN IT I SWEAR TO GOD I'LL EMAIL 10 TIMES A DAY....NO AN HOUR....UNTIL U DO!!!!! Hehe nah man just playin around, good luck wit that new network o' yours. LaTeR.


1/2. I've only played Secret of Mana, it was very good.. I haven't played Part 3 yet. Hopefully soon..
3. Well after reading all the bad reviews I must admit, I'm neither excited or otherwise. Maybe my no expectation view of this game will pay off when I get it, thus a better chance to enjoy it.

FF 8 Bashing begins

How can any real RPG fan be that excited about FF8? It's going to suck like FF7, which isn't to say that it will be garbage like Beyond the Beyond or anything. But it won't live up to previous Final Fantasies, mostly FF3/6. It's going to have flashy graphics, that won't be as new and sparkly as the first time we saw their like. It's going to have a future-y setting, which was never as cool as the fantasy settings of earlier games. It's going to have lamer music, period. This is Square after all and, with the exception of FF3/6, their music usually sucks. The characters don't even look that cool, well the Rinoa and Quistis look sort of neat, but Squall looks like a fricken monkey and the rest of the characters are just bland. This isn't to say that I won't play the game and try to have an open mind about it, but with the recent load of crap that Square has churned out (except Tactics that was brilliant) I'm afraid that they'll even screw up the almighty FF3/6.

Oh yeah, and now a question. Why doesn't Square just drop the numbers for FF and just give them subtitles like Zelda games have? Then we can drop all this FF3/6 bullshit and just call them by the individual title.

-THE LORD KIRK The biggest Final Fantasy 3/6 fan on earth

FF 8 will be indeed more like 7 than any of the previous Final Fantasy games..I'll make the assumption that you haven't played FF 8, thus how can you already be so biased? I loved 7 and hopefully the same with 8. We'll see how it all pans out next week.

More on Enix and other RPG music Albums

I noticed a guy asking about DQ music so I thought I'd give my 2 cents and my suggestions for other good CDs. Here it is. In reponse to the guy who asked about which Dragon Quest CD he should get, I'd have to say "Dragon Quest - Symphonic Suite - Best Selection ~ Roto ~". This CD has all the best tracks from the first 3 orchestral soundtracks of Dragon Quest. There are 15 songs and although I've never played the games, I really liked the music from that CD. "Endless World" and "My Road My Journey" are particularly worthy of mention in my opinion. If you prefer music from some of the latest Dragon Quest games, get "Dragon Quest - Symphonic Suite - Best Selection ~ Tenku". That CD has the best songs from the last 3 orchestral CDs (Dragon Quest 4 to 6). I'd also like to take this opportunity to plug a few soundtracks that don't get much recognition but that I think are really amazing. If you like slow, relaxing orchestral arrangements, the music in "Romancing Saga 3: Windy Tales" will do the trick. I think this is one of the best orchestral soundtrack I've heard. The music is so beautiful and peaceful. You won't find any melodramatic arrangements here, this is a very mellow sountrack with what seems to be only beautiful slow songs (like a soundtrack full of songs similar to Aeris' Theme). It's one of my favorite though and I highly recommend it for people who are looking for something new. Also, any videogame music fan should get their hands on the Grandia Original Sountrack because it is really an incredible soundtrack (especially the orchestral songs which are ACTUALLY in the real game). Noriyuki Iwadare (of Lunar fame) is one of the most underrated composers out there with great soundtracks from the Lunar series, Grandia and the Langrisser series. You should definately check it out especially with the game coming out here in America in a couple months. Well, that's about it JD! Keep up the good work and post my response if you think it's good enough.

Eric Farand
Editor-in-Chief RPGFan

Thanks for the info. I'm sure Starrrealms and other music fans will find this of interest. One thing I'll touch on is your mention of Iwadare. He really is one of the most underrated composers, sad to say. Lunar fans really should try and find the arranged albums of Lunar, Lunatic Festa Vol 1-3, and Magic Parade Vol 1-2. Truly incredible music. He certainly rivals or even surpasses Uematsu and Mitsuda at times...It's a shame he gets little credit for his genius.

Legend of Mana Impression

Hi JD,

I was reading through the Sept 2 letters column, and noticed a letter about Legend of Mana. You commented about reading some negative reviews, so I'd just like to put my .02 in.

I just came back from Japan (I miss it already) this week, and last month, I had the unfortunate experience of playing Legend of Mana. What's wrong with it, you ask? While, the graphics and soundtrack are both fairly well done, the whole game system is a mess.

First of all, the animation is lousy. I'd expect this from a PSX game (there are exception; and I'm not a PSX basher, but let's face it, PSX animation quality for 2d games is usually not so good), but we're talking practically no background animation (less than FF7, I'd say).

Secondly, remember that feeling of exploration you felt, while playing Secret of Mana for the SNES? It's totally gone in LoM. Square introduced the "Land Make" system, where you can choose to place all of the dungeons, towns, etc, on a world map. Instead of walking through fields from one place to another, you just click on the picture of a town/dungeon, and you're there.

Lastly, the "Dungeons." Oh, the dungeons... Imagine basically a sidescrolling RPG, set up like a beat-em-up (Final Fight, etc). The maps are basically long horizontal strips, with choices at the end of each strip (up or down?) There are exceptions (the flower-person ruins/forest), but overall the dungeons are lacking. The battles are possibly the most upsetting part of this game. The main character's animation is basically slashed down to a 2 frame walk, and he or she has no animation for moving up and down; ie, when you move up or down, you just see the character's side... giving the illusion that he/she is floating up the screen. Moreover, battles have predetermined locations, so that whenever you enter an area, you will ALWAYS fight. AND, the screen locks when you battle, so you can't run around the level. :(

On the other hand, there are alot of weapons, etc. The storyline is OK; another "save Nature" type thing. The dialogue is relatively well-written, though uninspired.

I don't know if the letter page is the right place for this; sorry it went on for so long. :) Thanks,


This letter makes Legend of Mana sound a rather daunting game to play...I still have hope for this game. Though it reminds me of Saga Frontier for some reason.

30's/Parents Write in

Hi J.D.,

In response to your uncertianty about RPG-loving adults visiting your site,don't be so uncertian. I'm in my thirties and regularly visit the message boards here. Fellow gamers were very helpful when I requested help for Tactics Ogre,and I've enjoyed discussing various aspects of Star Ocean 2. When Final Fantasy 8 comes out in less than a week,I'll visit that board as well. Of course,I may not see much of my wife for the next month of so.... Take care

-Terry -(aka Deathstalker on the boards)

Very cool stuff. Sometimes, even I forget that our readers are of every age group. I usually make the assumption of 12-24. Anyway glad you old timers (kidding) are enjoying the RPG community.

In your Sept 2 Q&A you posted a letter from a woman who is a 32-year old parent and who enjoys video games. In your response you seemed to be skeptical that someone at the ripe old age of 32 who is a parent would actually be playing video games and reading your column.

I am also 32 (although not a parent) and I love to play video games -- especially RPGs -- in my spare time. In fact, as I get older, I find fighting and shooting games less appealing, and the more complex and story-driven RPGs to be a lot more fun. Just because we are old enough to actually remember being excited about the great technical advancement that was PONG, doesn't mean we have quit playing video games.

I also wanted to make a quick comment to everyone who is unhappy about the increasing use of FMV in games. When I was a kid we were stuck with Atari 2600 as the cutting edge of video gaming. I'm really glad that there are companies out there who kept pushing the technological and artistic envelope, because nostalgia value aside, the games for the old Atari were (in general)nowhere near as fun as the games being made today. If you doubt me, just check out what passed for an RPG on the Atari system (ever see the game "Adventure"?) I guess my point is that while some people may feel that new games are of poorer quality because they are different than the so called "classics", it's a good thing that companies like Square are out there exploring new styles and pushing the capabilities of today's game systems. My guess is that the work with these "non-traditional" styles for RPGs will help lead to great new advancements in gaming in the future.

I enjoy your column, JD, and would agree with Julie that RPGamer is a great site for RPG fans of all ages!

-JB (a truly "old school" gamer)

P.S. When I a teenager Bernie Stolar used to beat up Victor Ireland for his lunch money!

I didn't mean to be so jaded the other day, let's just say I get a lot of crazy letters from the readers. :)

RPG Gamers aka Vegetable Brains

Hey, Duderino!

Don't you think it would be awesome if Square included the PSX port of Chrono Trigger in with Chrono Cross when it comes? Personally, I would have no choice but to spend the bucks.
And, an a side note, I believe that FF8 is going to turn legions of normal gamers into drooling vegetables. (I can't wait!) Thanx.

-The Great RockyDil

This letter reminds me of the Seinfeld's episode with Vegetable Lasagna man.

About your question, it would be cool, but then Square would lose millions on it. They would rather and will sell it for $50 or whatever, sadly most of us, including myself will get it.

And your FF8 observation, you assume many of the gamers aren't already vegetables, or at least mentally. :D

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JD, A while ago i saw a thing on tv where a whole bunch of japanese people had epileptic seizeurs while watching a cartoon. i heard a rumor that what they were watching was Pokemon. Is that true?

Yes, many were rushed to the hospital. And yes it was pokemon. I think they removed that scene for the US episode.

I was wondering if Julie from September 2nd's Q&A is willing to adopt a 14-year-old boy, who needs an RPG-friendly environment; well-behaved, kind, willing to do chores. I need a new home!

You're well-behaved? Speaking of parents who play RPGs. Does that mean kids have their parents buy the RPGs?
Kid: "Hey Mom FF8 is now out, let's get it."
Mom: "Sure. Let's go to the mall right now."
I wonder....

Dear Perv- I mean JD, Ehh Where the hell did you find that pic? God and I thought James just dressing up as a girl was bad.. but implants? Ewwww.. James wouldn't go that far..

Funny stuff eh?

I know I was brief today, sorry....I'm on vacation mode today and tomorrow. You've seen the Pokemon pic, now check out the movie.

Pokemon Censored Movie Episode 18

You've seen this picture all week. Now take a look at the movie.
Click Here. Scroll down to Episode 18 titled Swimsuit Competition [James, What a Woman]. You need real player plugin. Also pay attention to Misty's Face when James does his thing.
-Special thanks to Kirin and Haunter

Jeff "3-4 Days to FF8/Dreamcast" Davis
What to do on 9.9.99 MTV music awards or FF8 or Dreamcast? HMM.

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