Bad game poetry
I have decided
To answer all your questions
In haiku today.

I'm only kidding.
I couldn't really do that
That would really suck.

Here's a challenge for you. Try wording all your questions to Thor tomorrow in haiku poetry - five syllables on the first line, seven on the second, five on the third. If it's too big to fit in one haiku, break it up into several. That's right, this is bona fide poetry. People pay thousands of dollars in prize money for one of these things.

And if possible, rhyme everything. That should make his Monday fun. Heheheh.

A fellow college gamer in distress

Okay, I have just about run out of people to turn to in a subject that is driving me out of my mind. I'm currently in college and I have as of yet not declared a major. I know that when, or if, I graduate, I would like to design video games for a living. The problem is, nobody on campus has any idea of what classes I would need to take, or even what degrees I should go for. I have gone to counsellors, teachers, friends, all with no luck. I have even sent letters to companies begging for information. And now I turn to you. If anybody over there can tell me anything on what I'd need to get a job in the gaming industry, please tell me. If not just for me, then for anybody else out there who might have or is going through what I'm going through right now. I'm going to start pulling my hair out soon, and I really don't think I'd look good bald.

Help.... Thorla (no, I am not merely copying our dear "sexypants", this is actually my good old bowling name)

Michael: Okay Thorla, double major in computer science and creative writing. That's what I'm doing, anyhow. Learn plenty of C/C++, survive all the math, maybe take some graphic design classes. Hone your writing and creativity skills in any way possible. Work on a game with a friend in your spare time. And just as important as anything, know the industry: play everything in your field of game interest, read on what sells and what doesn't. Finally, don't let anyone tell you it's a silly career goal...and when it comes time to find internships, start looking about 8 months earlier than I did. :)
an utterly self serving and gratuitous moment

Dear Ramen Lord,

Ok, first of all, a question: Since Thor now has his video game in the works, "The Legend of Thor Gets Some," should we expect one from you as well? Perhaps we should call it "The Legendary Ramen King?" Or maybe "Secret of Ramen?" (Ramen with the powers like those of Mana would be pretty interesting... heh.) What do you think? ^_~

*smooch!* ^0^ *smooch!* -Teresa Gonzalez, AKA Aurora D. Derall, The Centennial Chicken

PS: Seriously Mike, you have my utmost respect by having posted the Gohan article. It shows that you are the right man for the job for handling the editorials section, as you do your best to avoid your biases in your job. After this entire fiasco, I'm pretty sure that the entire RPG community has forgiven Ben Lansing (A guy I never despised anyway. The whole hoax humored me!). Well sweetie, bye for now!



Ah... er... thanks, I think? I once had a [theoretical] temple of pure ramen somewhere. It got a little humid, though, and... well, you can guess. I'm no king, just a Druish prince.

Glad not everyone wants my head on a pike for printing that Gohan thing. I knew it would bring life and debate to the editorials, and since the column was stagnating it was just the remedy. I'll archive the old stuff soon, I promise.

What? Why? How?!
Hey Mike "C's get degrees" Greenhut,

I copy and pasted this twice to Thor, and now to you, because I am desperate to find some of these answers.. PRINT PLEASE!

What in the hell was Square thinking when they left out 2j,3j,and 5, in the Final Fantasy mix? I heard that they didn't have the money.. but that can't be true.. and.. they called 4j 2e, 6j 3e, and took out all the cussing!

Why is a peice of music in Chrono Trigger partially the same as Final Fantasy's Opera Music? (Goto the time place after you get Robo, listen carefully, and I swear some of the notes are from the Opera Music..)

2 more to go.. I heard somewhere that in the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VII, Sephrioth rapes Arieth... is that true? I gotta know!

Last question, In Dragon Warrior I, how the hell did that lame Green Dragon (who is also susceptable to sleep spells..) Get past the king, village people (especially the shop guy..) and the guards, and take the princess? And why?

-RPG Playin Guy "Welcome to Tantegel"


1) 2j used the same engine as 1, and 3j was nothing graphically novel either. By the same token, 5 used 4j's engine. Americans are, of course, shallow eye-candy craving sloths(in the eyes of the great Square). Thus, we'd be too immature an audience to appreciate those games.
2) Hm, I didn't notice that. The wind blowing sounds were borrowed from FF6, so I wouldn't be surprised if a piece of music is similar here and there.
3) [ um...must I even dignify this with a response? ]
4) Gwaelin was on her way to grandma's house, so the dragon kindly asked her where it was and got there first. It then ate grandma, stole her clothes and tricked Gwaelin into climbing in bed with it. You know the rest.


hey, dude. I want to let you know i'm pretty much in your boat, and I support you in your battle with the finals of doom. This is finals week at the U of I too, and me without my playstation. My TV died. No anime, no video games, no funky indy films (like Six String Samurai!)... I think I'm gonna die. Japanese final is also at 7:30 AM. Anyway, enough of my whining. could you tell that guy who wrote in looking for chicks the following?

Girls aren't looking for sex. Girls instinctivly avoid guys looking for sex, unless they're stupid (the girls). Girls can get sex anytime we want because guys are so easy, so we're picky; but we don't really want it that bad anyway. If he wants to get girls, especially RPGirls (for I assume he wants someone who's willing to play SoM with him at 3 AM and thinks he's the man when he can figure out puzzles in Sam and Max Hit the Road), we are usually happy to make friends with guys. We're willing to watch anime and play video games with someone fun who's not always acting like he wants some. Most girls won't put out unless a) they have a relationship going and trust the guy a LOT or b) they're easy. And if it's b) they're usually not too smart and they've been with a lot of other guys. 'course maybe that doesn't matter to him? anyway, to meet RPGirls (or RPGuys, for the chicks out there), go to cons and anime shows and clubs and wear themed T-shirts & pins in public so people know of your interests and whatnot. It's not THAT hard. Or you can go hang out in your local software etc. :) anyway, there really are a lot of RPGirls out there; I guess the reason this guy can't find them is they avoid him? As for you, shy guy; just be friendly...

And a question--did you post his letter so you'd get irritated posts from RPGirls who were offended? I'm sure he's an okay guy (maybe) but he sounded jerky in his letter. Or is that what guys talk about when they're alone? Anyway, since I know you won't post this letter, or at least not all of it, I'm also going to reccommend anime to you for no reason other than I'm mad at my TV since I just got about 37 fansubs this week and now I can't watch any of them... you should watch (if you've not already) Vision of Escaflowne, Rurouni Kenshin, Gundam Wing, Flame of Recca, Weiss Kreuz, and Mahou Tsukai Tai (amongst many others). Oh, and the End of Evangelion movie (subtitled) if you like Evangelion, so you can find out what the heck happened since they conveniently decided that the American audience wouldn't want to know. Anyway. I'm sorry Thor wants you dead; he seems pretty wacky. Also, you should listen to more good So Cal punk. And get the Secret of Monkey Island and Sam and Max Hit the Road for your computer, you'll never ever be sorry (except when you fail class cuz you just HAD to stay home and beat them). Oh and for that dubbing debate, Sam and Max had the BEST dubbing in the universe, and the whole game was dubbed; there was no text dialogue unless you turned on the feature. It proves that there CAN be good english dubbing. So do some american cartoons (voice-wise, I know that a big thing is mouth movements, but some voices are so bad, like Ayeka from Tenchi...). Therefore, it's okay to be picky about dubbing. I gotta get a summer job too. gah, how unfortunate. oh, and lastly, could you tell your ad people that there are a lot of people who don't yet have pentiums and who HATE apple image caster cuz it makes their computers run slower than old ladies with walkers (who have died) and can even make the screen freeze up every once in a while for a minute or two (especially when composing webpages and downloading MP3s and word processing at the same time)? This is incredibly annoying. Grrrr. Good luck with your finals, bro.

--kris wolfe

PS--I haven't stopped wearing my black trenchcoat or gotten myself off this anarchist group mailing list or stopped screwing around with spudguns and napalm or stopped playing FF and watching violent anime or stopped hanging out with the goths and the writers club or gotten rid of the katanas I collect or stopped collecting comics or ceased to listen to rock music. Yet I don't feel homicidal in the least towards real people. Is there something wrong with me?


Surprise, I posted it all. Evil way of meeting the quota.

I had no ulterior motives for posting that guy's letter yesterday, though most of what you bring up I already figured to be true. For those who didn't, well, Kris here made a nice speech about RPGuy/girl etiquette.

-I- don't think there's anything wrong with you. Giovanni, though...

how Darwin works
Hello Michael,

I would like to ask you one question, and one question only. How the hell do you find out those Darwin awards? Do they send it to you, or do you scout IRC looking for these things? I've always wondered those things, and what you do find is always hilarious, so keep up the good work.

While I'm here, I've got a few more things to say. (By the way, Thor published a letter about cameos AFTER I sent mine.) Why is Square throwing all these cameos into their new games nowadays? Sure, a couple of cameos are nice like in FFT. Only Cloud and Aeri(s/th)(What the heck is that all about, anyways? But that's for another day) appear in the game, and you can play as Cloud with all his limit breaks, which is a nice little point. But the main culprit that I'm talking about is Xenogears. One night, a person on mIRC and I found EIGHT different cameos in Xenogears. Grrrr... There are probably more hidden in the shadows of game, waiting...patiently biding their time...until they can...TAKEOVERTHEGAMEFORTHEMSELVES! HAHAHAHAHAH! Er...sorry. I know that was lame. I deserve to be beaten with a board that has a rusty nail put through it.

Anyways, here are the cameos/characters: Lucca, Tifa, Locke, Balthasar, Melchior, Gaspar, and Rene and Roni. Sure, some of the names are vague (Roni and Rene were buddies of Lacan; they were also the middle names of Sabin and Edgar), but with Square, nothing should be overlooked.

>From the affable Kirin. (if anyone says I'm Chinese...I'll KILL them...)

Michael: Every Darwin award posted has been absolutely authentic, and submitted by a writer or friend over e-mail or IRC. I may have faked a letter or two for this column, but never a Darwin award.

Gaspar, Balthasar and Melchior are the 3 magi from the Bible. Rene and Roni are just middle names. The rest...well, there's no law preventing Square games from stealing characters of other Square games(you also forgot Cecil in SoE). It's their, shall we say, God given right(, go away Falwell)

yet more RPGuy/Girl speculation

What's with all these guys pining for girls who are insanely in love with RPGs? I play role playing games but I wouldn't want to be involved in a relationship with someone who's absessed with role playing games.

Here's a true story: For a while, I liked this girl. All I really knew about was that she was into RPGs and anime. So, I got to know her and she seemed fairly nice. Then... Oh GOD. She was the most annoying patronizing and boring person I've ever met. I tried to break off any connection we had but she told everybody we were going out. She couldn't except reality.

Anyway, that's not to say that all RPGirls would be like that, but usually, if a girl has to resort to constant role playing game playing she obviously has some sort of social defect(s). This also goes for RPGuys too.

I love RPGs, but they're not the end-all be-all of life. More like something to do on a school night instead of homework.


Here's the thing - some of us, er, more intense gamers went through certain periods of rather empty life(or lack thereof) before college, and spend most of their time playing Final Fantasy games(or similarities). It's quite a dream to be able to share experiences with an RPGamer of the opposite sex who's been through the same kind of things and likes the same stuff(see yesterday's column for my comments on this), but since the RPGirl to guy ratio seems about 4/20, only around 20% of guys ever achieve this wish. Doesn't look like I'm on the road to being lucky, but there's not much to do about it...

It's okay though. I'm sure most of us can forgive you if your RPGeek purity test score is below 98% in any given situation(hey, should I make one? :).

The proverbial GPA black hole

Hey Mikegasm.... no, that only works for Thor,

I too have fallen into that GPA hole,and when it comes to Apathy, there is no person who has mastered the art greater than I. In short, I totally understand your position. I am there myself. I recommend more Ramen noodles. They fix everything. Good luck with the grades.

Michael: Sucks, eh? Well, not really. I was once an honors student, and you seem to have been also.

Then I moved away from home with all my little electronic toys, devices and contraptions, with a roommate with the same sort of contraptions. Parents = 3 hours away, 8.5/12 months a year. Know any computer/game companies who ask about GPA in college? I don't, and I've combed every major company in sight. Places like Crave or Squaresoft care about your programming abilities and creative intuition, not how many of De Morgan's proofs you were able to memorize on your Automata & Computability final, or if you can prove whether or not something is regular. Do the math of all this, and you'll understand us. Good luck to you too, and let's be sure not to come out the bassackward end of that black hole. Remember, below 2.0 is grounds to be given the Dean's axe.

children of the 80s
Sir Bluehut,

After seeing someone ask you if you like anime yesterday, I decided to ask you something that for some reason people seem to never ask anyone. Do you enjoy any american cartoons? Now don't laugh, you don't have to name any modern cartoons, you can also name past cartoons since it's a scientifically proven fact that cartoons from the 80's are far more superior to the cartoons of today. If you do like american cartoons, what's your favorite? If you don't say either Transformers, G.I. Joe, or He-Man I'll kill you.


Transformers, hands down. I was raised on them since I learned to walk, and I have all 98 american episodes, 34/35 japanese headmasters episodes, and all the G1/G2 comics. Plus I'm going to Botcon this year, probably.

After that, well there was Voltron(not really american, I know, but definitely among the best of the 80s), then He-Man(had a bunch of toys also). My dad, being a combat wounded war veteran, never let me watch GI-Joe.

There couldn't be more truth in your words, friend. Almost nothing contemporary comes even close to having the half the potential of what any given 80s cartoon could spit out in a few minutes. I pity my siblings, being raised on that pale sickly jaundice cut from Voltron known as Power Rangers. Robeasts are generally more intimidating without mattress tags.

National Snobbery

Why is it every single game seems to be delayed at least ten times before it is released? It is ridiculous that companies can't set release dates that they know they will be able to adhere to. It is also ridiculous how games have turned into hype and graphics instead of the archaic gameplay, plot, and overall quality. Conclusion: Square thinks we are a bunch of idiots. They refuse to give us FF4-Not ridiculously easy type in FFAnthology for absolutely no reason, they gave us FFUSA instead of the best RPG ever, FF5, and all of their commercials do nothing more then say something trite like "R U READY" and show off the graphics.

Society is going to hell in a handbasket. I think I hear something stupid, then the next week it is topped by something even worse. Can you believe that ten senators are blaming Marilyn Manson for the Colorado shooting? His music sucks, but it isn't dark at all, just superficial I-wish-I-was-goth. Marilyn Manson music doesn't kill people, people kill people.

Michael: Square claims the redone FF4 had too many bugs to translate, but who knows. They look down on us, but most non-RPGaming Americans give them good reason("actually, the pictures have a lot to do with it" -Sakaguchi. What audience provoked that response??).

Yes, the sad truth about our glorious United States is that nine out of ten gamers fail out on Quake, not Final Fantasy. Stand proud, all ye who share my habits.

As for Manson, well, aspiring or wannabe freaks tend to draw the blame from social authority, especially when they sit atop a form of expression that motivates mass gatherings, drunkenness and violence(from those looking for an excuse).

Get mad! Get even! Get Haiku!
Ask Thor
(or his dancing Ninja)
Try the Archives
Now Playing
Legend of Legaia / Ehrgeiz
It's all in the mind

Michael's mirror

Happy Mothers day to all the [gaming and non-gaming] mothers out there, even the ones who are about to give their kids a good dressing down over laziness.

Thanks to all the people writing in and defining the title 'Esquire', as well as all the ramen and anime suggestions. Not many actual gaming questions this weekend, though. Sorry if today was bland, I'm almost toe-to-toe with that black hole and come rain or shine, life or death, Thursday is when it all hits the fan...wish me luck. If you want.

Until next week,

RPG Darwin Award:

I rented Breath of Fire two for a week and in that week I played it basically twenty-four seven. Anyways, I couldn't figure out where the heck Bow was after he went to Kilgore's and spent the whole friggin' week lookin for him. It wasn't until it was overdue that someone suggested that I go back to the main characters house and look there. So I did and he was there. Can you believe that?

-Kevin Wynn

Shadow Zero Attack Mega! Michael "midnight romancing gamer" Greenhut

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