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Take me to your l3ader
 
 
Allow me to reveal the fruits of my midnight labor(erm, no...not that), my pet droids Giovanni and Rappaccini. I haven't finished building them yet, so--
Rappaccini: Build, us? Pshaw...it is you who are my shadow, I who am the father, benefactor and master, master of...hey, I'm bored. Where's my FMV, prettyboy?
Michael: *thwack* pipe down! You aren't presentable yet, I can't have you making an arse of me in front of my readers or--
Giovanni: Burn, you will all burn in the bowels of hell as your wounds of sin fester with fiery puss and you slide down Satan's fingernails as he devours your soul like so many black crutons, if you do not shun the evils of role-playing and technology, cease this evil, there is still time to save you all in the eyes of--
Michael: *thud* quiet. Heh...sorry, Giovanni's slightly Amish. As I said, they're far from finished. When they are, they should be able to...um... help me with reader questions, and contribute to the column in general. Maybe. Once in awhile. I promise not to let them distract too much from the flow of things. Physically and personality-wise, they need much work still. I'm not much of an engineer I'm afraid. Will seek help of one, preferrably female.
Rappaccini: Where's my FMV? I want my FMV.
Michael: *kick* Okay, enough wasting my readers' time.
 
Where to turn next

I've been playing RPGs since a child and I can't find any more good ones to play. I've heard of the Lufia series but I don't know...

I've beat all the Final Fantasies, some of the Dragon Warriors, Xenogears, Parasite Eve, Legaia, those smarmy N64 RPGs, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, Breath of Fire, Wild ARMs...

I prefer plot over gameplay, but I still liked Legaia. Hablo *only* ingles. I own PS, N64, SNES, NES... What should I buy?

-Desio

Giovanni: An Atari 2600. Adventure was nice, or perhaps the commodore Vic 20 version of Pirate's Cove, it's quite an-
Michael: Enough, you. You're not supposed to interfere with today's column! Anyhow, eh, Desio - I strongly recommend the Final Fantasy Legend series and Final Fantasy Adventure(Seiken Densetsu 1)for gameboy, if you're up to buying one of those. Crystalis for the NES is also a work of art, and had it been made into a series I'm sure it would have surpassed even Final Fantasy. And there's Shadow Madness, Lunar, Suikoden 2, Final Fantasy 8 and hopefully Legend of Mana on the horizon. Happy hunting.
 
The unhappy medium
Dear Michael the sinner,

Perhaps there is a happy medium between plot development and character variety. Ever played Baldur's Gate? You can make your character whatever you like (wizard or warrior, male or female, blond or brunette, etc etc) but your past is not dependant on any of that and remains the same. Therefore the plot can run with any character type you chose, because of the constants of your past and companions/encounters. The only problem is that personality for the main character is non-existant, but I still thought it worked well. Opinions?

- ChocoMog ZERO

Michael:

If the plot can be salvaged by focusing on the rest of the game aside from the main character, then it might work. The only problem is, people want to have their cake and eat it simultaneously, which is still impossible with character development and customization. Going one way or another, you loose something major. Including both, something still has to be compromised like, in this case, the personality of the character.

 
A nice throwback
Hey Neo (cool name by the way)

I have been playing RPG's since Dragon Warrior I, so I guess that qualifies me as "hardcore". Anyway, there's something that needs to be mentioned in the fantasy vs. sci-fi argument. For all those people complaining about the "death of fantasy" in RPG's and about how modern RPG's leave nothing to the imagination: have none of you played Final Fantasy Tactics? It's got all the elements that the "hardcore RPGamers" want. Developed storyline, no FMV, and, surprise, actual fantasy elements( knights, wizards, kings, castles, etc.). For those people who like in depth characters, you've got them. For those who want customizable characters, well, all of the non-storyline characters are completely customizeable. And you have to actually develop your characters (no musical materia). I read that rather disturbing editorial by the guy who thought that FF7 was going to bring about the armageddon, maybe he should try FFT., Actually, the religious elements of the game might cause him to have a siezure. Anyway, for all of you who think fantasy in RPG's is dying, check out FFT. I personally liked it better than FF7 in terms of story, but I'm asking for trouble now, so I'd better shut up. Sorry about the long letter.

Alexander the Great

Michael:

Yes, FFT was an answer to the prayers of many old-school gamers like myself who were 'raised' on early FF from middleschool onward. It was a complete throwback to the style of FF4 and 5, a rare oasis in the desert of contemporary Square RPGs(hey, so I'm not in poetry mode now. Deal with it =p), not to say I don't still like the modern stuff a great deal, I do, but...you get my drift :)

Perhaps FFT is approaching the answer to a nice mixture of character development and creation, without sacrificing a superb story. Of course the mainstream characters in the story, aside from Mustadio, suffered from complete and utter personality death when they became full-fledged members of your party. They became more or less lobotomized fighting robots like your own hand-made characters, and this still angers plenty of us. Guess you can't please all of the people all of the time...

 
Yes, sir Dragonlord, I will join thee! But let me saveth my game fir-AAAHHHH!!!.
Dear Mikey,

At the end of Dw1, why is it that you get a CHOICE of whether to rule the smallest area of land known to RPG players (It was even smaller than the land of FFA and FFL...), or kill the DragonLord? It was easy to kill the DragonLord, in fact I devised and Never-Fail way of beating him. Just learn HealMore, then go do everything you must, then hwne you fight DragonLord, kill his first form (3-5 shots should do it) then at the Dragon form, just Fight,HealMore,Fight,Healmore, and so on until he dies... and then you get to bang the princess...

-RPG Playing Dude

Michael:

All proper lords of evil should offer half his kingdom to the hero at the end as a final bribe and tempt, and the Dragonlord was no exception. I said yes the first time, of course, and I remember something along the lines of him telling me to take a good, long snooze while the screen turned red and froze. Remember, it's a long walk back from Tantegel.

 
a big announcement(no, I'm not quitting)

A while back, it became known that Squaresoft was planning to make an announcement regarding the next game in one of their current series that will "rock the industry". Well, so far the only thing that they have announced since then has been Seiken Densetsu: The Legend of Mana. Well, it's nice to know that they're making SD:LoM but it wasn't that big of an announcement. Do you have any idea what's up with this? I think Square said that the announcement would be made *soon* back in February or something.

Michael: Legend of Mana, not big?! Okay...uh, I'm calm...I forgive you. Just realize you're rubbing elbows with many hard core SD fans here. If that wasn't their big announcement(hey, SD was strictly passed off as a trilogy by Square for some time), short of a bina-fide Final Fantasy Gaiden with all the characters from every past game, I have no idea what is.
 
See the guide, worship the guide, be the guide

Just thought I'd let you know about the OFFICIAL Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy Earth Edition. Right there, If you want to see my researcher page it's right there in my sig.


webrunner, Hitch Hiker's Guide Researcher # 31965.

Michael:
Go there. Do research. Lock yourself in a high windmill in a stormy area for ten years and write a treatise on green haired women and the men who love them, or humans born without noses, or how General Leo is alive and well, or something to that extent. Then send it there.
 
[R]-amen!
Archangel o' Yummy Goodness,

You know what? I've been out of meals on my meal plan here at the Universtiy of Evansville for about 3 weeks. Now, being a poor college student... I turned to your Holy Product, Ramen. Cheap, dude! Like a dollar for 20 packages! Wow! And you know what else? Mariott does our food too... and you're right. My personal favorite is the "Smack" brand (I kid ye not!) Cajun Chicken flavor. Que bueno! Okay, I'm off. Thanks! Ramen has changed my life! Oh, and I counted about 10 consecutive eternity sentences in Hell for you there...

John Brandon, "The Maestro"

Michael:

With the help of a few sympathizers, I've managed to reduce it to 8. Hmm... Mariott owns the food here. Mariott owns the food at Fordham University in the city. Mariott owns the food at your school. Join my disciples of Ramen, and we can resist this disturbing pattern. Just sign this little black-err, navy blue book of mine here, in, ah...red ink. :)

 
More worries and rumors
Dear Smelly(Ooooook............),

I just wanted to know if Square realizes that Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana Series were their best games besides the FF series. I'm dying to know if Square has any plans whatsoever to make a sequel to CT. The real reason I wrote this is because of SoM. Japan has had sequels to that, why didn't they bring any of them here? I've read reviews about SD3, and most say that it's a great improvement over SoM. Square better have plans of releasing a sequel to one of these games, as they would probably roll in big bucks releasing CT2 or Legend of Mana.

May you Burn in the Fires of Hell and have a Nice Day,

Dark Holy

Michael:

Whether they realize it isn't the question so much as whether they realize that we realize they realize it(um...ah...yeah). I can't yet read enough Japanese to get into SD3, but from what I've seen(I do own the cartridge), my sixth sense tells me it's something awesome beyond anything we've seen here in America.

CT2 is rumored to be in production, possibly the debut of the PS2. And if Square ported Saga Frontier 2 without Porting LoM, we at RPGamer would simply have to declare war on them. Fortunately, I have enough faith left to trust them not to be that stupid.

 
a better algorithm

I suddenly thought of something and wondered why gaming companies don't do this. They should make the projected release dates later than they should be. That way, they won't be rushed, and if they finish early, everybody will be happy. Of couse, there's probably some simple bone-headed reason why they don't, and I just don't see it. Anyway...

-Bowser
Mmm...Ramen...

Michael: Good idea. Woolsey&co. might be driven to chaos from such a liberal idea, should they ever feast eyes on this column. This seems perfectly logical to me, Unless their aim is to dangle us like yo-yos over the fruit of temptation to make us salivate.
 
fitting in
Howdy.

I would like to say that I'm not a traditional, hardcore, or newbie player by Thor's definition. I've been playing for about seven years now, which means I'm no newbie, I favor plot and storyline waaaay more than gameplay, so I'm not hardcore (although I do play older games for nostalgia's sake), and I never whine about changes and I'm an eternal optimist, which means I'm not a traditionalist. And as if that isn't enough to totally disclassify me, I also thought Final Fantasy VII was one of the greatest games ever made, and still do. So how do you classify me?

-Arpad Korossy, aka Fat_Chocobo

Giovanni: Seventh-level hellbound, directly west of the evolutionist--
Michael: Ahem, I'd classify you as enlightened unless you hate the Xenogears plot/story. Then you'd sink down to misguided but redeemable old-timer. In any case, one of your experience is definitely out of the newbie circle(heck, you've only been playing RPGs about a year less than I).
 
Wark! Blarg! Ramen!
Green the Hut, I taught my parrot to say Blarg. Next I'll teach him to say Ramen. That is all.

--Anubis ^<>^ ()() +++
Michael: Very good, very good. Hey, breed me a gold one? I'll give you my roommate's penguin.
 
Lightning of Mana
Alrighty, Mr Man of the Michael, and the burning, and the boiling ramen,

Kwik kwestion... After watching the Legend of Mana preview movies way too many times, I still have no idea what's going on with one thing and wondered if you kould answer... why does lightning connect two of the characters crystal things (at the top o' the screen) during battle sometimes?

- Moron the

Michael:

I, er, that is...um...it means they're, uh...okay, I don't know.
I just don't know. I hate to end it on this note, but-
Mr. Tidwell: That's it, Greenhut, I've had it with your incompetence. You know your job is to answer questions, and instead you make a mockery of me and this site. Get out!

Rappaccini: Ah, my poor creation Michael. Another failurrr{fzzt!Snap!}.

Michael: W-w-wait! The bottom, the bottom!

 
Devil's Advocate?[II]
Ask Thor
(better known as "Master Pooberry")
 
Nostalgic?
Try the Archives
 
Now Playing
Legend of Legaia
Received Telegram from Hyperion: thou dost suck STOP
 
 
I'm too lazy to stuff in Thor's big quickies bar, since I'd rather just pour out my afterthoughts without the numerous letters they come from.

A flood of letters came in about a solution to the Crono Trigger emulation password problem. Here it is:

"...in the menu where you change joystick and keyboard functions or whatever and you assign keys to do certain actions, here is what i did. Change whatever button you're using to open the door, or is *supposed* to open the door in your case, set the -autofire- option to that button, say if you're using the -home- button, click over to autofire and hit -home- to assign it the autofire task, sound confusing? it's not really. Then use the now -home- autofire button to open the door...

- Fondly and Lovingly... Lierin Queen of the Night"

I think her explanation summed it up best.

Tedman wants you all to know he's not a newbie.

That's it.


Michael's mirror

First and foremost, I want to apologize to the more intelligent, normal population of Christian gamers. I never intend to insult or poke fun at you, nor do I look down on you or any other religion(I'm Jewish, but a pretty rotten one as you see). Berzerked, frothing-at-the-mouth fanatics and extremists, however, I consider fair game(no matter what religion). The bizarre things that offend them warrant a giggle at the very least, and why or how they managed to stumble upon this branch of life called console-based RPGs with graphics, sound and story, let alone this very column, is beyond me(and also pretty funny to speculate). I'd sooner see them on a roll in Vegas.

Oh, and I'd apologize to the Amish and say this is all in fun, but if you're Amish and reading this column, then um...you can take my place in Hell. :)

No, it's telegram. not transmission. :)

Soul of the Fire is getting quite good, I must say. Time to read more, then do some paper writing.

Until next week,



RPG Darwin Award:

Arpad Korossy found Final Fantasy Tactics to be quite hard. The hardest of the hardest games he'd ever played. For the longest time, he couldn't come close to winning even the first battle. Finally, a helpful faq informed him that Ramza wasn't the only character he could use in his battle party.

Oh, and I did the same thing last year.

Shadow Zero Attack Mega! Michael "insane in the membrane" Greenhut


Mr. Tidwell: Alright, get off my column you clown. Let's go!

Michael: W-wait! Ghaaaaaa--!

Giovanni: goodbye, young sinner! Enjoy your black ramen cauldron!

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