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   Desert of Despair  

Cortney Stone - August 29 '03- 14:30 Central Standard Time

Alethea: I didn't get as many letters today as I usually do. The title is actually my current location in Alundra, although it seems to apply to this column as well. At least the quality of the letters makes up for their quantity...sort of...

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I Hope Raziel Doesn't Mind That I Edited Out a Swear Word...

Hey there,

So, i was what I wanted to ask is, with the upcoming Tokyo Game Show, will some of the RPGamer staff be going there to check everything out or not? It would be nice to have a TGS report like the one from the E3, especially since Square-Enix will be showing FFXII for the first time (can't wait, i could stare at that art picture for like 2 minutes, and thats quite long for staring at a simple picture)

Alethea:
While we won't have any staff physically present at TGS, we'll be covering any news and media that come out of it. And yes, that FFXII picture is really cool. ^_^

And seeing that everyone is still talking about there favorite character, mine would be Raziel from Soul Reaver (bad-ass looking, strong, cool weapon, and caught in some deep moral ****), but my favorite RPG character is Ashly Riot from Vagrant Story.

So that's it I guess.... (you're doing a great job, you sould at least become standard replacement)

Mighty Raziel

Alethea:
Vagrant Story...the game that I sold after stumbling around in the dark for only a few minutes and wincing at the chaining system. I probably missed out on a pretty good story, but I can't stand not being able to see what I'm hitting.

 
Let's Not Get Into Technicalities

yo yo yo Cortney!

How is Chaos Legion an RPG? Not to make fun of the game (i plan to buy it myself) but that's like calling Devil May Cry an RPG, isn't it?

Alethea:
Well, it's kinda like calling Zelda an RPG too. I'm sure there's some reasoning as to why we cover some of those "gray area" games that some people call RPGs.

Hey, i'm making over $100 for an eight hour CPR training, and i'm 18! Go money!

Do you by chance listen to RPG soundtracks, if so which ones? My favorite are FF IX, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and Wild Arms.

Thanks!

Lorenzo-sama

Alethea:
I don't own any RPG soundtracks, except for the ones that came with the games (e.g. Lunar, FF Anthology). I do have a bunch of random game music MP3s on my computer, and I enjoy listening to them pretty often. My collection includes songs from almost all the FF games, Grandia, Kingdom Hearts, and Chrono Trigger. I even have the ending theme from ICO.

 
Andrew Long? Jealous? Nah...

Oy CS,

I think Andrew was jealous that you received 39 letters for one column, ya know? I can tell that it was a lot of work just by looking back at it.

If you were an wealthy ruler in a RPG, what kind of minions would you have? Would you have a Kingdom or an Empire or something totally different? Would you educate your citizens/minions to say more than a couple of sentences at most? Anything else you would care to add?

Alethea:
I'd be a very benevolent ruler, and I'd try to be sure that my people were not starving or shivering in the cold. I'd also promote education for all, and I'd strive to make my kingdom a place of culture and thought -- philosophy, science, art, drama, literature, etc. That may sound kind of boring, but I think it would be exciting to live in a time where there is a lot of cultural development, like during the Renaissance.

If you lived in the universe of Kingdom Hearts, where would you take your vacations? I would probably stick to Halloween Town just for the sheer craziness of it.

Alethea:
I liked Wonderland and Hollow Bastion the best, but those weren't exactly vacation spots. I mean, I probably couldn't have a picnic in the woods of Wonderland without the Queen trying to chop off my head. Hollow Bastion, though, might make a great vacation home if I ran out all the Heartless and cut out all those creepy black vines. I guess a good vacation spot would be the Destiny Islands. Lots of sun, sand, and water...sounds fun. ^_^

Hmm... I think I will take your advice on getting more sleep instead of playing RPGs... It would really help me concentrate in Calculus... But who needs to do that? I just hope there's a nice homely coffin in the hole I'm digging for myself... Sigh...

Also, I followed your opinion to go ahead and play Tales of Destiny 2 first and I'm extremely happy you told me to do so... I didn't know I could play as any character, much less that the game is multiplayer. Keele is easily my favorite character so far. Something about the character I control being a spell caster and not the usual swordsperson/fighter seems to draw me in. I even tried to make Tidus a Black Magician in FFX. As you can probably guess, he turned out to be both a horrible attacker in both magic and physical skills... Anyway, I was wondering if Tales of Destiny has the same options as Tales 2? Also, do you know of any other multiplayer RPGs? I'm sure I have some friends somewhere...

Yay! Remember to have a nice day!

Vrumugun
"All my 'zzz' have gone away now... I think I go cry..."

Alethea:
I think you can only have two players in Tales of Destiny by using a GameShark. I did that once with a guy I was dating at the time (who really crapped up the fun by griping at me about where to go in the dungeons -- no wonder that didn't last long). If by multiplayer RPGs you mean games where you can team up with a friend, the only ones I know of are Secret of Mana and FF: Crystal Chronicles. Also, if you have the Anthology versions of FFV and FFVI, you can use two players on those.

 
Obscure Anime

-twitch- After a discussion today, I've got to ask.

Have you heard of Condor Hero, the anime? The trilogy of Condor Hero? Or the Return of the Condor Heroes (Another book trilogy, I believe)?

Was talking about it today with some folks - NONE of them had ever heard of any of them. Which is highly disappointing in that Condor Hero is one of the best anime I've EVER seen :(.

I suppose the odds of the Condor Hero anime being made into an RPG are nonexistant then, eh? Ah well.

Alethea:
Nope, I've never heard of it.

But, another question - What're your thoughts on Disgaea? Good? Bad? Has potential? Total suckage?

Alethea:
One of my first news stories here was over the localization of this game. Back then, I thought it sounded like it might be some freaky stupid demon game. However, as the information and screenshots started rolling in, Disgaea just started sounding better and better. Now, I'm looking forward to trying it out...although I admit I'm not rushing out to buy it anytime soon.

And I don't suppose you know anything about the Hunter X Hunter game over in Japan? (I KNOW the GBA release was an RPG! But I don't know anything more :( )

-D
http://www.yuidesigns.net/

Alethea:
Nope, I don't know anything about Hunter X Hunter. ^_^

 
New Issues For the Column That Will Probably Generate a Lot of Letters

To the Pretty Alethea;

Need issues? Why does one binge on video games?

I binge to escape the world (surprise, surprise, surprise!). I actually can feel better when I'm distracted from my real problems, though, of course, I do become aggravated at some things in games (dodging chocobo).

I think, too, that we each feel a different type of satisfaction from what we can accomplish in the various trials and tribulations presented us in games. I am a level-holic, so I feel good being able to whack bosses with little difficulty. I guess that means I'm not using much strategy, though. My girlfriend's son used to race through games, leveling as little as he could (excited about the story), so he really had to use technique and strategy to survive. He would level for the final boss, though.

Thanks for the space and time!

-Wesley

Alethea:
You brought up two issues: why we play games, and how we play games. Like you, I play games to escape the stress of life. In high school, I had to put up with a considerable amount of crap from both classmates and teachers. I'd go home and fire up the SNES to project some of my anger on an unfortunate boss. Playing through dungeons is also a great way to unwind at the end of the day and deal with problems. Somehow, solving puzzles and completing a dungeon makes me feel like I can handle the rest of the "puzzles" in the real "dungeon." As for power-leveling vs. rushing, I tend to be somewhere in the middle. I fight all the enemies that come my way (unless I'm getting annoyed and want to be left alone) so that I can take on the boss, and then I do a little extra leveling for the final boss. I usually struggle just a little because I like the challenge; I rarely overwhelm bosses with power.

 
My Daily Letter From Vrumugun

I've been thinking of how magnificent 'Gears was. And how much I would love to play it again. But yeah, while I doubt Square-Enix and Monolith could ever play nice, it's nice to think of. But that brings me to my next point: XenoSAGA is probably the greatest RPG for the PS2. And yet I recently read (can't remember where) that the director would love to take the series into multiple genres, not just RPG, and not just videogames. He said movies, novels, even an anime series, would be great ideas. I dunno about you, but I would LOVE that.

And one other thing... the PSP will be released in 2004, but... I have to wonder, wouldn't a portable Xeno experience just kick total arse? So would a book, though, so.... yeah. Whatever. Thank ye for wasting time on this craptacular letter! I think I sent another like this to a wrong address..... bwehehehe.

--Paul, master of Emoticons and...stuff.

Alethea:
A Xeno movie...there's a lot of potential for that. Isn't the Xeno series based on a series of novels? *begins to dread slew of letters from Xeno fanboys/fangirls* I think I can imagine them making an anime series better than I can imagine them making a movie. Either way, I'd watch it. Oh, and a portable Xenogears would be pretty cool, but I'm hardly jumping for joy about it. ^_^

 
Yes, I Remember You

Hello again remember me? You gave me some pretty good advice last week about my parents and how they were always presuring me. Well anyways it didn't really help so i've desided to run away. I know i'm only 15 but i'll get my license soon and i've saved up about 3,000 dollars over the summer. I got my labtop and wi-fi internet connections are all over so I can stay in touch with people. I have some family down south in Arkansas that I could probably stay with for a while if I needed to they don't like my mom either. Do you think 3,000 will get me their I live near Chicago. I figure I could either take a bus or plane. It will be kinda sad leaving all my frien...oh wait I don't have any and it won't be sad leaving my parents so the plan seems pretty full proof. I know I don't even know you but I just thought I would let you know how things turned out and I don't have anyone else to tell.LOL. Well i'll try to read your Q @ A as much as possible if I can get an internet connection. Well thanks again.
P.S. I didn't mean to make you sad with my last letter it's just my life.LOL

Alethea:
No offense, but your plan isn't fool-proof. You are too young to be on your own. You may feel like you can handle it, but do you honestly know what happens to a majority of teen runaways? It's not pleasant. I really don't think that you should run away from home. Now, if you are still dead-set on leaving home, going to live with some relatives in Arkansas (take the bus, by the way...it's cheaper, and you won't have to mess with airport security) isn't as bad as running away. You'll need to make arrangements with your relatives about living with them for the next few years. Also, you should discuss this with your parents. I can already hear them saying no, but you never know. They may feel that you will be better off in a new environment. If you decide to go ahead and run away (which I'm totally against, but I'm only a Q & A host, not the ruler of your life), be aware of the fact that as a minor, you have very few legal rights. Your parents can have you caught and returned home. They can toss you into a home for delinquent teens (ugh, that's a terrible place to be). Unless you can show that they are abusing you, there's not much you can do to separate yourself from their authority. I hope things work out well for you. Stay in touch.



Quickies

Felix is latin for "Cat"
Cave Felix! (Beware of Cat)

This interesting fact has been brough to you today by the letter "13", and me.

~AJ~

Alethea: I knew that already. It's like the word "feline." Makes sense, doesn't it? Thanks for sharing this with the readers. ^_^

I think I have a theory about why guys (like me and "D") love all these messed up video game characters.

Ok. I lied. Yami no Matsuei, all the way!

- ^_^v

Alethea: Uh...OK. Lying is bad.


Last Words:

Alethea: Labor Day weekend is around the corner, and so is my last column. I plan to do only one more column before handing Q & A back to Andrew Duff, since I'm leaving to see my family this weekend. Please don't send any "don't leave us!" or "good riddance" letters, unless you have an actual comment or question (actually, don't send the "good riddance" letters at all). I hate long farewells. ^_^ I had a great time hosting the column, and I hope my last day is a good one.

The Magical Feminist Wonder
Cortney "I'll Still Be Doing News" Stone - Alethea@rpgamer.com

Queen of Dorks
Claire Belton


Short column...and I still post it late...blah.

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