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  Ask Alethea & Heath  

   Attack of the Newsies  

Cortney Stone - July 16 '03- 23:35 Central Standard Time

Alethea: Now it's my turn to host Q&A! I'm Cortney Stone, Newsie and Editorials Assistant. I'm here with my good friend and fellow newsie Heath Hindman, and we're here to answer questions from a whopping five letters -- all from readers, mind you (in your face, Tad and Viper!).

Heath: Hi. I'm Heath Hindman, known as "Rage" on our boards. I like hockey and dislike girls that use tobacco products. On to the letters!

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Hey, I recognize you from Editorials!

Alethea and the rest,

1. Does Star Wars Galaxies have ANY real difference with the other online RPG's out there? I heard it wasn't everything people expected it to be, with all the features they had to cut, but my friends are trying to drag me into it. I'd like to have an opinion before I get into it and gut my friends with a double-bladed lightsaber and feed them to the animals.

Alethea:
I'm no MMORPG expert, but the main difference I've noticed is that the races in SWG are, shall I say, most unusual. Instead of the standard human/elf/half-elf assortment of races, SWG supposedly lets you play as a Wookiee, a Rodian, a Twi'lek, or a Mon Calamari. Personally, I'm not into MMORPGs, mainly because of financial constraints, but SWG doesn't look too incredibly bad. Still, unless you're a die-hard Star Wars fan, you might want to look for something a bit different. Otherwise, you might get tired of the Star Wars universe.

Heath:
You should never do anything simply because your friends are pressuring you to do it. Like those commercials where the coolest dude is always the one turning down the beer and weed at the local beer and weed party -- have you seen those? That's who you need to be: the cool kid. Your friends are nerds...Star Wars nerds. It's one thing to have a decision swayed by a punk-looking dope head, but even worse to be influenced by rabid Star Wars geeks. Resist, my friend! You're better than those guys!

2. What do you think about FFX-2? Everywhere I go girl-gamers bash it for being just a game with girls in bikini's and such. While that could be true, I'd really like to hear a reaction from you guys. I've seen the video from Unlimited Saga, and from what I saw it could be more than what they say.

Alethea:
Now, I've established a reputation as RPGamer's resident feminist, but my opinion of FFX-2 might come as a surprise. I'm looking forward to it, especially after downloading and watching FFX: Another Story. I don't think FFX-2 objectifies women any more than any other RPG does. Let's face it: we want characters, male and female, to be aesthetically pleasing. At least it isn't as bad as DOA Volleyball; FFX-2 actually has gameplay and a story. It's not just Yuna putting herself on parade for all of Spira to slobber over her.

Heath:
I suppose I'm looking forward to FFX-2, but not as much as I looked forward to the original FFX. This is because I, like everyone else, realize that many things can go horribly wrong with such a title. However, if one plays a game with his/her mind made up that the game is going to suck, then it probably will suck. Therefore, I am keeping an open mind, and will buy FFX-2 when I get the chance.

3. What's it like being one of the 4 girls on the staff? =) Even though you do your work online, I guess it you needed a little adapting with all the testosterone running in everyone's blood.

Alethea:
One of the more interesting aspects of being a female RPGamer staff member is getting letters from guys that say "wow...you play rpgs...and ur a girl...that's kewl." I do have to put up with the male staffers' behavior (or should I say, misbehavior) in IRC, but it's not too bad. I can jump into the discussions of football and the Simpsons, and I just roll my eyes at the masculine behavior. I'm married, so I have to share a house with a man. After a while, one gets used to the smell.

Heath:
Being one of only a few women working for RPGamer is...wait...(*looks at crotch*)...nevermind, I can't answer you.

4.How scary is Andrew D. in person? With the way he bashes the letter writer in Q&A with much wit and humor, he must have a very strong and upright personality. =)

-- MeoTwister

Gabe "My finger's stuck in the blender" Ang

Alethea:
Andrew's not scary at all. I haven't met him in person, but he seems cool.

Heath:
Seeing as his last name is the name of a beer, it is obvious that Andrew Duff is a man that takes no crap. One time, in Vietnam, I was like "Andrew, this is crap," and he was like "Hey, shutup, Hindman," and then he kicked my ass. And this other time, when we were playing lacrosse for San Dimas High School, Andrew slashed a guy in head pretty hard, just for asking if he was okay. Duffer didn't get a penalty, and the slashing victim's mom was like "that's crap," so Andrew kicked her ass too. He's something else. And I realize that, having now called him "Duffer," he's probably going to be looking for me in the halls of RPGamer Manor anytime now. ROUND 2!

 
A Really Long Letter

Hi, I'm a new letter sender inner.

I was exploring your site for the first time, I mean I knew it existed and all, and for the past year I've been pondering whether I should write some reviews or not, but my parents are very strict, and limit my gaming time. And that isn't to say I'm young, I'm in high school, you'd think I should be able to choose how much time I spend playing games, but no. Anyway. I was looking through your site, saw this cool Q&A thingy. I looked through it, and realized you people weren't getting much mail. Then I saw that button at the bottom, and assumed it would take me to the person who is doing the next edition. Am I right?

Alethea:
Yes.

Heath:
Actually, no. You see, I'm an employee of the World's Largest Adult Mega Site. I just send out tens of thousands of SPAM messages a day to people like yourself. Now that I have your email address, prepare to be listed. I hope you like pictures of full-figured women being naughty at the circus 'cause hheeeeerrrrrreee they come!

Well If I am, your probably wondering what the heck is my question. Well...um...lets see here. Why don't you do more general games. Like, I see all sorts of RPG games that you cover, but instead of just RPG games, maybe you should cover games that RPG gamers play. So how about DKC (Donkey Kong Country). It is one of the best Platformer games ever, mainly because it's the only I'm good at. I stink at all others. My reflexes aren't exactly up to par, because of all the RPG's I play. At least not with platformers. I am a gifted Pilot (can beat anyone in an X-wing dogfight in X-wing Alliance) plus I have some skills in Battlefield 1942 (I am aloud to play as many Computer games I want, it's Console games my dad limits). When I can play Consoles, I spend my time playing...RPGs. So my point is, that there are games out there that appeal to us RPG gamers, and you should cover those games.

Alethea:
If we covered more than just RPGs, we wouldn't be RPGamer, would we? Besides, since we focus solely on RPGs, we can give them more attention, instead of spreading ourselves out over several genres of games. I find it strange that your father limits console games but not computer games. I really don't see the difference. Perhaps he doesn't want you hogging the TV? :) By the way, Donkey Kong Country is one of the few platformers I'm pretty good at playing.

Heath:
Wow, what a horribly ridiculous suggestion. Cover other genres? Then why the hell would our name be "RPGamer?" What good would it do? It would, in a sense, be a lie. The point of an RPG site is to provide information regarding RPGs, so that someone can hop on the internet, say to themselves "I sure would like to check out some cool RPGs," and check out our site. If some dude asked his bro for a cool RPG for Chanukah/Christmas/Kwanzaa, and so that bro checked out our site, saw great reviews for Donkey Kong Country, and bought it for the dude, what kind of clowns would we look like? All the kid wanted was an RPG, not a platformer. Who are you to say that platform games appeal to massive amounts of RPGamers? Why are you trying to ruin Kwanzaa? Back the hell off of Kwanzaa.

Alethea:
Heath, chill out. See how he got the nickname "Rage"?

Besides that good site, and I want to get involved with it. I have a site on avidgamers that is great, but has all of three members, none besides me being any good with the English language. Still, I write gaming news daily, and movie reviews, and I have voting polls, and it's fine. Only no one knows about it, and when they do, no one cares. This site is different though. It has a demographic. I want to be a part of this site. besides just reviews. Of which I do plan to write. Oh shoot. This letter has gone on longer than I expected. Now it definitely wont be posted in this Q&A thingy. *sigh*

from WingcommanderIV
Lt.Blair
Aldonn
Aldonn_clone
And every other nickname I have

Alethea:
Even if no one seems to care about your site, so what? You are doing it for yourself. You never know; someone might find your news and reviews helpful. As for helping here, watch for our next hiring call. You can still contribute by writing reviews if you like. You got published in Q & A. It's a start. :)

Heath:
Contact other game sites and see if you can arrange a "link exchange." Offer to put a link to them on your site, as long as they return the favor. If you'd like to be involved with this site, wait until you see a hiring announcement, and then send us an application. Hey, I got hired; it can't be that hard. In the mean time, check out RPGLAND. They used to be extremely small, but now are doing quite well.

 
A Couple of FF8 Questions

Hey how are all you at rpgamer doing? I got a couple of questions for you.

1. In final fantasy 8 Ethsar has a fleet of 3 ships with the flag ship being the Ragnarok(its self included in the 3) does anyone know the names of the other two ships that helped sent Adel in to space.

Alethea:
Personally, I don't know. However, Paws told me that they are named Mjollinar and Gungnir.

Heath:
If memory serves me, they were the Pinta and the Santa Maria.

2. where can I get a gunblade. I know about those little letter opener ones, but I was hoping for a working one, full sized, preferably very sharp, made out of steel and maybe being able to shoot say slugs or incendary rounds well probably not... but i can dream right?
thanks,
Rache

Alethea:
Um...I have a friend who has a friend who makes full-size gunblades for a steep price. Unfortunately, I've moved and lost contact with him, so I can't help you there. Somewhere out there, someone is making gunblades, so you aren't just dreaming. You could search the internet or look in knife/sword magazines if you haven't already. Technically, a working gunblade would be impossible, as the gunblades used by Squall and Seifer lack barrels to "shoot" the projectile. If the gunblade doesn't shoot actual bullets, but "magic"...well, you see where this is going. Anyway, I hope you find a gunblade someday.

Heath:
Back in Vietnam, Andrew Duff and I used them all the time. He supplied them though; I have no idea who his contacts were. He said something about a drug dealer in L.A. There probably aren't many of those; why don't you go ask some?

 
Ask a Simple Question, Get a Complex Answer

Hmm... Hello...

What's your favorite RPG?

Alethea:
Favorite RPG? It's hard to say. I like Lunar 1 & 2, Alundra, Chrono Trigger, Kingdom Hearts, and most of the Final Fantasy games. I also like the infamous Secret of Evermore for some crazy reason (probably because the dog is so cool). I really don't have a solid favorite, but if I had to pick one of the above, it would probably be Chrono Trigger.

Heath:
The top 5 are too close to pull apart: Final Fantasy 7, Skies of Arcadia, Xenogears, LUNAR 2: Eternal Blue, and Breath of Fire 3.

Also, which do you think is better, the Arc the Lad anime or Arc the Lad 2? Personally I prefered the anime since it doesn't just drop Elc's story midway into it like the game does.


Vrumugun
"Dragon Slave!!!!"

Alethea:
Since I haven't seen the anime (there's an ANIME? Oh, wait, I knew that) I can't really answer. I liked Arc the Lad 2 quite a bit, even though I thought the AtL Collection was a little overpriced (although very well-done). The final boss was a pain though...for me, it was a couple of hours of Elc and company taking one whack at him, praying he doesn't dodge, then having Shante (standing way out of his reach) revive each character (she had an item equipped that regenerated her MP), then repeat the process. It was annoying and tedious, but in the end, it was worth it.

Heath:
Psh, the anime.

 
How to Succeed at Villainy Without Even Trying

Howdy, I don't think I have ever seen you hosting before so here's a letter! It was brought to my attention by someone that Kefka is the best villain. Maybe I'm not thinking clearly, because I have played more rpgs than I can count, but was he the only villain to ever succeed? I mean he did destroy most of the world and conquer it....even though he was a stupid, stupid looking man with odd face makeup. Anywho, hope you get lots of letters.
-AlbinoMonkeyKing

Alethea:
Actually, I cohosted with Googleshng once. It was fun. As far as Kefka being the best villain, that's purely someone's opinion. Indeed, Kefka is one of the best villains, but it's difficult to objectively say who is the best of them all. As for him being the only one to succeed, a quick poll of the RPGamer Staff room yielded a few more suggestions, including Andel from Arc the Lad 1 & 2, Thanatos in Secret of Mana, and Ganondorf in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. And someone should send Kefka to TLC's "A Makeover Story." Imagine him getting into a confrontation with an effeminate male hairdresser. It would actually make the show interesting.

Heath:
In Shenmue, Lan Di kills Hazuki-sensei, and then you never even SEE him again in the whole game. Sephiroth killed Aeris, although that was more of a side project... Also, In Lunar: SSSC, Ghaleon brings down the entire floating city of Vane. If you get the "bad ending" of Breath of Fire IV, Fou-Lu achieves what he set out to do.




Last Words:

Alethea: Whew...everyone who wrote in: thank you so much. Everyone who didn't write in: you're still OK. :) I'll be hosting again tomorrow...oh, come on, don't groan like that! Write plenty of good letters! Ask me about anything! Except for my sex life...that's personal. Heath will be back too, won't you, Heath?

Heath: ...

Alethea: *sighs* This is what happens when one farts around too long and gets distracted while putting the column together...the cohost leaves. Oh well...

The Magical Feminist Wonder
Cortney "I made Heath's signature image" Stone - Alethea@rpgamer.com


Rage
Heath "PC loadletter?" Hindman - Rage@rpgamer.com


What? Were you expecting something funny to be printed here? Go write an editorial for Joseph!

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