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Cortney Stone - July 02 '04- 5:30 Central Standard Time

Cortney: Only six letters and a quickie, but they are all good. I can tell that they all had a lot of thought put into them...well, except for Kopopo's, but that's OK. ^_^

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It's Vrumugun!

I assume you are the right Cortney because the link to send letters was still set up to go to Goog in was as I remember sending letters to you for the two weeks you guest hosted last year I think? Plus you are the only Cortney on the staff that I know of ^_^

Anyway, on to my questions... Which I don't have any so I guess I sould come up with some then...

What's your favorite song from any RPG? I find that I still love the piece Star Stealing Girl from Chrono Cross. So pretty and it makes me think of Harle~

Cortney: OK, I know I'm going to catch flak for this, but I hated Chrono Cross. The only things I liked were Kid and the song "Time's Scar." In the category of Favorite Song in an RPG, the award goes to...Into the Wilderness (the opening theme) from Wild ARMs. Runners-up include the overworld music from FFVI, "Fleeting Dream" from FFX (the song that plays in Zanarkand), "To Zanarkand" in FFX, and the Black Mages version of "Battle on the Big Bridge" from FFV.

Is there any RPG you are really looking forward to in the future? I want to get the next Tales game and Star Ocean game but I don't have the money -_- Guess its back to playing Shining Force 2 in my free time...

Cortney: I'm looking forward to just about everything I played at E3, but here's what I'm the most excited about, in no particular order: Baten Kaitos, FFXII, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts II, FFXI: Chains of Promathia, and the yet-to-be-titled-but-ohhhh-soooo-sweeeet Legend of Zelda Gamecube game.

I know you have a Live Journal, but I seem to have lost it o.o Do you mind telling me what it is? I'm really addicted to the thing and the communication it allows ^_^ It's been a wonderful release of most of my stress... Plus its nice to rant about whatever game I'm playing at the moment on certain days when there's nothing I feel like doing, hehehe.

Yay, college starts for me next month... I can't wait o.O

Wulfren Silvermane~ previously know as Vrumugun long long ago o.O

Cortney: My LiveJournal is here. Beware, for it contains weird rants and too much FFXI stuff.

College is awesome, but when the fall comes, I'll have to start writing my Master's thesis. Ugh.

Are RPGs Repetitious?


I'm just now playing through the Shining Force remake on my very dear GBC GBA-player, and I have a few questions... How do I get all the characters? Please put the answers in chronological order so I don't get confused...

Cortney: -_-;

No, just kidding (oh, you fell for it... oops), here's the real deal. Sometimes I feel like I get myself tangled up in quite a few problems in games. I simply can't find the fun factor in them anymore. Be it the story's too weak and repetitive, or the gameplay just sucks. So now I have (as of a couple of years back) a number of games that are unfinished, most of them half-way through. The games are: Grandia, BoF V and Front Mission 3. Ok, these are all said to be good/great games, so I should enjoy finishing them. Well the problem is that the repetitive nature of these games just gets to me. Grandia was like: "go town, ahhh we're in trouble, save town, go town, ahhh we're in trouble" and so on. Front Mission was good, but too many simmilar battles. And BoF was "start over, run through, start over, run through", and very sparse save points.

Ok, I'll get to the point.

Is there something about these perticular games that you would recommend so much I should without a doubt pick them up again? I play a decent amount of RPG (actually, I ONLY play RPGs, and quite a bit) so these isn't a need for me to play these games because I'm all out of games (I also own most of the systems, exept X-box). But if I'm missing out on the latter half of these games, I really would like to know.

I know we all have different taste for RPGs but I just don't want to miss out.

Thanks for your time /Cherry Graves

Cortney: It's not considered an RPG, but have you tried ICO? It's one big dungeon, and the puzzles are all different. Actually, the dungeon itself is one big puzzle. The game is a little short, but I found it to be extremely enjoyable.

Have you tried any of the Dark Cloud games? You can rebuild the towns just about any way you like. The dungeons are randomly generated, so it's always different. Then again, the dungeon walls have that generated-dungeon-wall consistency. about Azure Dreams? More randomly-generated dungeons there, but it's fairly non-linear as far as the town-building and girl-dating goes. Then again, you might get sick of starting from the bottom of the tower at level one every time you enter.

Hmm...I don't know what else to suggest. Now you've got me wondering if all RPGs are repetitious, and if I get too caught up in the repetition to notice.

A Letter from My Official News/Media Sidekick!

Soooo Cortney. El Cortinello. Cort of the shire. Dutchess of Cortbania. Mistress Cortney of the Cort realm. Close encounters of the Cort kind. The Cortmeister, making copies. Co...what? Stop? Okay =(

Cortney: Sooo Martyr. The Martinator. Lord of the Martyrs. Wal-Martyr. Le Marteur. Makin' copies. OK, that's enough.

Anyhow, I was curious to know your thoughts on what it's like to be a grrl gamer in an industry that is marketed towards male chauvinistic booty-chasers. Personally, I have known a grand total of 0 gamers of the feminine kind IRL. Of course, this may be due to the woman repellant that somehow imbued itself into my sweat glands when I was born, resulting in putting anamalistic subconcious thoughts of "NOT A GOOD HUNTER OR GATHERER" in the minds of many a woman when they get a whiff of my pharamones, but that's besides the point...


Cortney: *sniff-sniff* You smell fine to me. Then again, marriage may have dulled my senses.

As for being a "female gamer" (I'm not a "grrl" ^_^;), I have plenty of opinions there! First of all, it's tough, because for years the gaming industry said to girls, "These games aren't for you. They are for guys. Girls don't play games anyway." Lately, however, companies are starting to develop female-friendly games, mainly because they realized, "Oh, duh, looks like an abundance of estrogen doesn't interfere with your handling of a controller." Unfortunately, the industry offers women two kinds of games: cool ones that appeal to both genders that are not about jiggling parts and souped-up macho men, and dippy watered-down sugar-coated cheeseball crud that we're supposed to like, when in fact some of us don't.

The RPG genre, I believe, is the most "female-friendly," while the action and shooter genres is the least "female-friendly." I read a really good editorial somewhere about how the industry should stop trying to make games "for" girls, but instead make a wide variety of good, balanced games that fit the various tastes of gamers everywhere, regardless of gender. The author was male (not that it matters, but I thought it was interesting that he could totally read the minds of female gamers ^_^).

On a related note, praise be to Natsume for making a Harvest Moon game about a girl. I have a lot of respect for Natsume, especially after visiting their E3 booth and talking to their representatives (and not just because they gave me a free cow).

Lots of FFXII Stuff

Dear Alethea,

My first question is, why isn't Andrew Long doing the Q&A today?

Cortney: Andrew Long was kidnapped by Ben Matlock. No, actually he's out of town for the weekend.

Also, why do you think there are no Bangaa, Moogle, or No Mou PCs in FF12 >_

Cortney: Easy. Moogles, Bangaa, and No Mous don't have hot bodies like the Viera, and therefore, in the mind of Square Enix, are not as popular among the fans. At least, that's my guess.

Third, the graphics in FF12 seem better then FF11 but worse than FF10, is this true since you had experience playing the game itself? I know why the graphics aren't as good as 10 but is it irritating or restrictive?

Cortney: The graphics are on par with FFX, although I couldn't tell in the demo at E3. Square Enix used these weird wide-screen plasma TVs that distorted the graphics. Even FFXI looked outright weird.

The battle system seems to keep players really busy. Would you say its tedious and exhausting in anyway?

Cortney: It's not tedious and exhausting at all. It's actually fun and exhilirating. I'm looking forward to experimenting with it at length once it actually arrives here in North America.

Why does it keep raining?

Cortney: I'm sure there's a complicated meteorological answer to this question, but I don't have it.

Lastly... well I cant think of anymore questions so... how about... do you like tea?


Cortney: I like tea, especially iced tea with lemon and sugar. ^_^ I've always wanted to try herbal tea though. I should get around to doing that sometime.

A Letter from Desh!

So, what exactly is it that makes so many gamers oversensitive about the way their characters look? I honestly think it's pretty pointless to complain about Vaan looking femmy as though it were the end of the world :p I mean, in the face of all the new options and features to be explored, how much does Vaan's face really matter? Sure, I can see how some people would get a little upset because their hormones started pumping when game companies decide to throw in girls with outfits that look even the slightest bit fitting on them or when certain characters aren't blessed with flat chests and unappealing rear ends, but enough is really enough. Play the game; don't analyze the clothing just to see if you can ruin things for yourself.

Cortney: Right on, Deshy-dear. I don't see why some people are so busy getting upset over the way Vaan looks. Male heroes don't have to be macho-sexy beefcakes in order to save the world. Besides, if you want more masculine characters in FFXII, there's always Basche and Balthier. But you know how some people are. They just have to find something to whine about.

Oh, and could you make a plug for RPGuides? The HTMLing offer still stands, even for incomplete (but substantial) works ^^

Cortney: Sure! Visit RPGuides and send in your submissions, because knowing is half the battle!

Last-minute Addition

Dear Whee-Person of Happy Question-Answering Goodness,

I see here Front Mission 4 is in the New Issues box. Well, having signed up with Squeenix on their website, I got a demo disc for FM4. I played a couple was pretty cool...but I wasn't into it enough to want to get it then. Now that a lot of people I know have rented it from Blockbuster and say it's teh kewl, I'm rethinking my decision. Do you have an opinion on FM4? Is it worth shelling out the +-$50 for it?

Cortney: Hmm...I have a FM4 demo that I picked up at E3, and I have yet to play it. I watched Mikel play it at E3, and it looked pretty cool. I guess if you are still leery about it, you could always rent it from Blockbuster too. ^_^

My other question was about Xenosaga I. If you've played this game, have you ever gone through the trouble of getting ALL the decoder keys and opening ALL the segment doors? I don't have the patience to do so. I know one should if one wants Shion's big-boom Ether, Erde Kaiser.

"You can't kill me, Doctor Frankenstein. I'm already dead."

Cortney: Nope, sorry. I haven't played Xenosaga I yet. It's on my EBGames wish list though. My advice: get it anyway, simply so you can say that you have it, even though you may never use it. ^_^;


My room mates are dumb, irresponsible, and messy. What can I do to change their ways?


Cortney: While ignorance can be remedied by education, dumbness is permanent. As for irresponsibility and messiness...hmm...if you could come up with a creative way to let their deeds come back and bite them in the butt, that might eliminate some of your troubles. Unfortunately, I'm not good at those kinds of clever plans. That's Andrew Long's specialty.

Last Words:

Cortney: A thousand apologies for the late-blooming column. I forgot how time-consuming it is to do Q & A.

Jeff Walker, Fan Art curator and board administrator, will be hosting tomorrow. Send him tons of letters. He's an awesome guy!

Now with 100% fake fruit!
Cortney "Sivara on Midgardsormr" Stone -

Vaccuuming really sucks.

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