First Dibs
Good enough news to some, bad to others I guess. Thor's replacement will be--
Giovanni: Let me do it, I'll educate these sinful young gamers on appreciating the meager. We'll phase out all these modern games, one by one. Me and that Gohan fellow, we're going to make some very positive changes. Very positive, son. In fact, I want him as my weekend--
Rappaccini: I think not, Mr. Bible Bangmeister extraordinaire. With my artisan genius running this place, we'll give Falwell and his cohorts more than enough to scream about on television. Ehrgeiz, Quake, WuTang 64 baby. Blood, gore and adrenaline sandwiched in a nice package of FF8-style FMV will get us the bang, the bucks, the crowd! It's what the people want, so we'll hand it to them on a silver platter with step-by-step instructions on how to build neutron bombs in their basement--
Michael: Yeah, er...thanks but no thanks, guys. For one, it's impossible to have gory violence and FMV on a text-based Q&A column.
Rappaccini: A bot can dream, a bot can scheme...
Giovanni: Go live in Jersey, yon overdeveloped shallow American swine!
Rappaccini: Oh yeah? Make like a vampire and bite me you Amish--
Michael: Whoa, that's enough! I don't think the readers like you very much yet, so quit hogging my intro.
both droids moan, synchronously
Anyhow, as I was saying...since none of the other staff jumped forward and claimed absolute rights to the week, I'll be filling in for Thor, at least until someone else wants a turn. If I do end up with the full 5 days, I'll probably pick one or two weekend guys. Ryan Amos, Jeff Davis and maybe Alex Kimbel are interested, so it'll most likely be one or more of them.

With all that said and done, I've got a lot today. Here goes.
bitterness of departure

*sigh* I'm bitter. I grow too attatched to the people at RPGamer. I felt really bad when Josh left, despite the constant "Reid bashing". When Lor said she was thinkin' bought quitting I was saddened, and sent her an e-mail screaching, more or less, "NOOOOOOOOO!" Thor's gone. He might not come back. Don't go anywhere ok?

Ya see, when you hear from someone daily, knowing their opinions, likes, dislikes, etc., a person begins to know them. Especially when there is a constant interaction between the readers (despite never having a letter printed, but either way...). So, to prevent large amounts of sadness, use someone we already know on the RPGamer staff to fo the Q&A untill Thor comes back. When he does come back, that person won't be Q&A anymore. Then I'll be sad again.

Oh, and for the record, you Lor and Thor were my favorite bunch of "main" section people.

- Human123

Michael: I won't go anywhere, at least not for awhile. Promise. Well, maybe I shouldn't...two people want me dead after last night, and I might have a sudden unexpected urge to become an Amish gardener when I get all my grades back, or Seven of Nine starts dating a hologram.

Inevitably, we all must leave some time. The oldest of us are in our late teens or early 20s, we're really just kids who haven't begun life yet. As much as we cherish Q&A, Greater things manifest on the horizon which are tied in more closely with our long term destiny. For some it may be a move, for others a job offer at a big shiny game company, or simply an increase of schoolwork. In any case, the spot must always be open for new blood sooner or later.
Don't be sad. In the end, we'll all reunite in the perfect, real Narnia. Or something.

the Lansing speaks again
y0! n30! r0ck 0n!
Ahem. Enough 1337sp33k.

First off, I must concur that SaGa Frontier blows, and it's because of the ... well ... the EVERYTHING. Plot, graphics, music, cover art, price tag, shelf position--EVERYTHING!!

Now for my question. Do you think that a predominately 2D RPG with a remarkable storyline, flawless non-linearity, innovative magic / combat system, and other niceties actually be marketable in this day and age of 3D eye candy? You know what I'm talking about here :)

Feedback from others would be great as well. I present this same question to everyone else out there: Do you think a 2D RPG could sell if it were made well? I'm very interested in your thoughts. Let me know at, if you don't mind. Feel free to be as negative or as positive as you like.
Thanks for reading this, Mr. Mike.
Ben "Aeris is dead--Long live Aeris!" Lansing


You'd better hope so friend, or our little game company goes out the window to the rising sun(well jeez, I hope it doesn't come to that). For the record, Ben here is a member of a small game company of about 5 that we're putting together. It's our wet dream to produce remakes or sequels to classic games like Crystalis, Battle of Olympus, E.T.(...yeah...), all those. Of course, original work is first and foremost.
Putting this company together will, and already is causing an emanation of blood, sweat and tears unlike worse than all the archive updating on RPGamer over a two year period. My first step was lobbying for Ben's parole from Hell. As a result, I got a mouthful from Giovanni, a subpoena from Charon after dodging the fare, and a year subscription to "Gohan digest". Also, Pteryx will kill me if I don't find a Mac programmer.

Who's insulting who?!

Dear Micheal the Greenhut,

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that the trailor for South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut seems to be making a joke about the supposedly photorealistic computer animation being used in the Final Fantasy movie?

Please keep up the good work and don't O.D. on Ramen(it can happen).

Your loyal servant,

DeathofRats(I already have my Star Wars tickets!)

Let's see now...South Park animation vs. Final Fantasy movie animation. Either I'm dyslexic, or you just told me the former was poking fun at the latter? If nobody sees something wrong here, excuse me while I purify myself on E.T.
Q&A column breach of security by fan #83291

God dammit, Mike, now's your time to show off your goods (WAIT! PUT YOUR PANTS BACK ON! THAT"S NOT WHAT I MEANT!) Anyhow, seeing as Thor has left, it's your chance to become the star. Make a move on his territory. I'll help ya, too, of course, I'll need an *ahem* reason, i.e. make me the weekend guy.
I'm begging you!
Oh god please say I can! Pleeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaase!
Ahem, well, uh, I think I've gotten to say what I wanted. Goodbye!
Mike Dore
P.S. - Please! Ok, I'll go, I'll go. No need to call security. Sheesh!


Another PSX commercial Crash Bandicoot mascot? Get him out of here.
Giovanni & Rappiccini: Yo!


Dear Filler of Shoes (I mean that in a nice way)

First off, you have my utmost respect for taking on the task of replacing Thor, even if it's not for good. I dought you'll have an easy time with it. Anyway...

1. I've heard that Sony isn't going to release the Pocket Station in the US. Is this true? If so, why? 2. Is there a definitive release date for FFVIII in the states? 3. How come Ehrgheiz isn't considered enough of an RPG to have coverage at RPGamer when Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is? Don't get me wrong, I'm drooling over Soul Reaver, I just don't see how it qualifies as an RPG besides the few RPG elements. 4. Um, yes. I have compared Voltron to Power Rangers. The original Power Rangers. I wouldn't specify which season of PR your talking about, or you will almost certainly know the true pain of flames. Trust me on this.

Michael: 1) Yep. Who knows, they hate us. We're beer, football and quake loving shallow Americans, so we don't deserve their precious pocketstation.

2) Software Etc. told me August 31st. I have mine reserved, do you?

3) As I said yesterday, Ehrgeiz is too much of a pure fighter. Soul Reaver, if it's anything like Blood Omen, is much easier to pass off as an RPG. Basically the same reason we cover Zelda, Crystalis and the rest.

4) All seasons. I can't see PR as having any purpose other than humor, and I'm waiting for Zordon to shout "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"

another gratuitous moment

I just want to say that you are doing a great job and I always have been thinking that since you started to write on the collumn.

For the Lunar III on GBC, well the thing is, it might sell more on GBC than N64. That's all:)


Thank ye. This is true, the GB color is probably more popular at the moment. Why? It's portable, it's in color, it has a wider variety of games coming. Once again, we see the crowning failure of eye candy on its own. (There. I think that justified me printing this)
Good intentions?

Way to begin the Saturday column, big guy. Seriously, what is your PROBLEM? Thor DEFENDED you after somebody poked a little fun at your -- *ahem* -- creative introduction style, and you act like he stabbed you in the heart with a rusty ice pick. Good gravy, man, there's no need to turn into a lip-biting puddle just because you get picked on by the RPGeeks a little.


Michael: Maybe you're right, but anyone and everyone knows the results of printing a flame to a co-worker and adding that it was one of "many", regardless of how valiant the defense against the flame was. Like I said, I'd do the same for Thor, but I don't want to induce bad feelings by even printing a flame of him to begin with.
Ancient Japanese Secrets

Greetings Michael! I am Maou Mudoh. I've been spending some time making certain FAQs for differances between Dragon Warrior 1-4 and Dragon Quest 1-4. And Differances between Final Fantasy US and Final Fantasy Japanese. I've made several FAQs thus far. I hope with these US gamers will now know the differances between DW & DQ, FF US & FF JAPANESE. Which not many people have attempted before. (Now when some gamers ask if this and that was in a certain japanese version of an rpg, just look at the faq and see for yourself if it was.) Various people suggested I write these FAQs. I own DQ1-6 and FF1-8 and I added some screenshots in the pages too. Here are the URLs to several I've made so far: (I'll keep you posted on any updates) Tell me what you think. =) ---Maou Mudoh---

Michael: Unfortunately, I've been too busy to play all the japanese counterparts to these nice old RPGs and read the faqs for comparisons. So do him(her?) a favor for all his(her?) hard work, and check those out.
The War compromising of intellectual paths between us
Mr. Michael,

K, few things I feel I should point out,

1. Your html tag for giving e-mails a subject dun work for Outlook Express 5.0 (aka IE 5.0)

2. So far I've enjoyed your column, the little Thor vs. Michael war was fun, at least until today when I read your whining about Thor printing the flame. If you didn't notice, he had a very good reason for printing it. Now I don't know if it was true that Thor was recieving hate mail about you or not, but the letter went up because he wanted to stop the e-mails he was recieving. Lighten up, he meant to help.

3. More relevant to legitimate gaming? You haven't noticed Ask Whoever became far more popular when Thor took over, and he was at his peak right when he quit, now, I'm not sure about you, but I think that having a column that actually gets read because of comedy AND useful info is slightly more important than a stifling report of release dates and frequently asked question pages.

4. Since you want more 'legitimate' questions about rpgs, I ask you this, how in the name of Ivor Horton does one beat Wiegraf (Velius) without using a Lancer in FFT?

Good luck for the future,
Michael: 1) Oh gee willikers, I guess we'll let Bill figure that one out. Either one.

2) I answered this on a letter above. I think I'll end this issue with a paraphrasing from Terry Goodkind's second book. The "Wizard's second rule" states that bad results happen from good intentions, and sometimes vice versa.

3) Did I say I want more drab "legitimate" material? I think I spoke for the disgruntled reader on Monday, not necessarily me. Still, I like to balance it out with humor and information, taking neither to the extreme.

4) The same way you revive General Leo with that potion, and revive Aeris using Ben's method. And find the platinum chocobo.
crucial hint: Save a separate game before entering Riovannes. Always.

a future president?

How incredibly funny is it that Gohan the Barbarian calls you, of all people, less able to handle extreme opinions. Personally, I applaud the occasional use of executive jurisdiction on the part of the war against sensorship.

Besides, I imagine you have higher standards than that for the editorial section- how could Gohan be so arrogant as to expect automatic publication of a second editorial, probably written about the same subject, and submitted less than a month after the first?

And if that doesn't suffice for a question, here's a better one: It has been predicted that the United States' next economic recession will be second quarter 2002. How do you think this will affect Square's game porting decisions in respect to the U.S.? Cheaper games, or less games? No games?

-Zimmerman for President (Vote for me 20 years from now!)

Michael: Gohan the Barbarian. I like that, it might make for a good B-quality documentary. Hopefully, the recession won't affect it much. Then again, it won't matter if the world falls apart in two months, in which case Crave and WD won't have to worry about delays anymore.
Peace, my brothers

Hello Mikey, Hero of the land of the Seven Moons (but not your globe in the sky type moons);

I would just like to spread this message of peace and harmony. I want all this good/bad Q&A guy stuff to just stop. To quote the many bad comedians who quoted Rodney King "Can't we all just get along. Thank you folks, don't forget to tip your waitresses!"

Q&A guys work hard at their jobs, and each have their own style. So I'm giving you a hand, Mr. Greenhut. You have some big shoes to fill (however, not big shorts, if you know what I mean...) but you have already proven that you can do that. After all, you have been the weekend guy for a while now, and we all hope you continue your fine job.

Moogle Child
Better know as Senior Suave, to the ladies

Michael: Woah, I like that name also. Here's the thing - all the "cheap shots" at each other are in good fun, aside from maybe that flame incident. But that's over, done with, wrapped up with the wizard's second rule. I hope.
a loser's race
Michael -

The PS2 *will* support DVD playback, or at least "the use of DVD-based media", and if I may be so bold, all of this smacks of Nintendo's attempts to play catch-up with Sony. They can verbally masturbate all they want about the their relationship with IBM and Dolphin's specs, but if the games will be as subpar as the ones they've been churning out, I'll save my money for that backalley appendix removal, thanks. I don't know why they're bothering to create a new system at all when there's only, what, like five games for the Nintendo 64 in the first place? (Zelda counts for two)

Potshots aside, could you answer this for me - what the heck am I missing in Xenogears? I *want* to like it, but I just can't seem to get into it. Help? :)

Thanks, -CB!

PS. [ed. this line cut, she said I didn't have to print it]
but you're doing a great job. Keep your chin up, man.

Michael: Nintendo's sticking to cartridges and cutting themselves from RPGs didn't help them around the world too much.

What most often annoys gamers about Xenogears is the sparse(albeit neat) gameplay, and D block. I say, it's worth every bit of the suffering. The plot is easily the best and deepest I've ever seen in a game, but it always takes time to really draw the player in(the point varies between players, but I think it really caught me about 3/5ths through disc 1), and there's a neat mini fighting game involving most of the gears and gear enemies you can return to at D block near the end and play till your heart's content.

the wonders of ownership
Hey Michael,

I was messing around at InterNIC's website today and found that is owned by Squaresoft. Why do you suppose that they don't use it?? Also, have you got your Star Wars tickets yet? I have. May the Ramen be with you.


Michael: Who knows, they may be holding it for future possibilities or just keeping it from ambitious 15-year olds with money. Yep, I have my ticket for next Sunday.
Giovanni: don't you mean tickets? I'm eager to tear this fraud of a star wars movie apart. They havecomputer generated imagery, for God's sake! How dare they use anything beyond 1977 technology! All this new stuff, it won't be the same! Down with Phantom Menace! Burn, burn!
Rappaccini: Oh, we'll be there alright. I can't wait for all the nifty special effects, yeah! Rock on, boom in space! George is an artist, a true mastermind. I almost couldn't do better myself.
Michael: Are we forgetting plot? You don't think special effects are why it's the center of our culture, do you? Er, don't answer that. I give up...
A little Densetsu

Hi Michael First, I want to say that you're doing good job on Q&A guy as weekend person. We all know that we can't please everybody ^_~so, cheer up and continue the fine job as you've been doing. question:

1.I know you're not into Seiken Dentetsu 3, but I'll ask anyway. Why can't you control all three characters in the battle seen ?. Eventurally, all three characters will be able to learn either magic or tech as ninja in SD3. The challenge is I only have time to control two of three characters for whether magic or item. This makes fight with any boss is very very difficult. I'll be fighting for a half an hour or more. Is that the reason that Square did'nt port that game to US?. Or is it just me ? am I doing something not right?.

2. Why everybody says that crono in Chrono Trigger is mute?.He acturally talks !! IMO he's just being gentleman and having other members express their opinion first, ne?. I guess I'll say "cha" for now. Keep up good work with a big smile ^_^ undecided for pen name yet

Michael: 1) Actually, I'd worship SD3 if I could understand it. Japanese 101-2 doesn't quite get you that far. I'm not sure if it has multi-tap abilities, though I don't know of any, and the main reason why it wasn't translated is the usual obvious. See Rappaccini for example. :)

2) Crono talks in one obscure ending. The rest of the game he just uses very refined, sophisticated head language. If CT were a play, he'd be the mime.

Thanks for the support(gee, I need to script this), and I hope the week doesn't change your mind.

long John's replacement
Ask Michael
(nope, the week's still here. But so am I)
Try the Archives
Now Playing
Legend of Legaia / Ehrgeiz
Any day now...

Michael's mirror

As far as I know, we can't cover Ehrgeiz. As for PCRPGs, we're busy enough with consoles. The PC guys have enough support.

Once again, I got way more than I could print. Out of 60 or so letters, 2 were voracious flames that I'm sure I deserved at one time or another. Thanks to the rest of you for all the praise and encouragement. I'll try my best not to get old and crusty during the week.

I don't hate Thor or anything, for all I know his intentions may have been 100% pure. He wouldn't be as famous as he is without genuine talent, I'll say that much. And for those of you taking out constant potshots at each other too seriously, get used to it. There'll be a lot more of the usual rabble when he gets back. :)

Question: Should the Darwin Awards be daily, or kept to once or twice a week? Consider it carefully before answering, as you know where repitition leads. IF you want them everyday, write me here. If you want them once or twice a week only, tell me here. Please leave the default subjects intact, or my reason for doing that is defeated. Either way, explain why just so I can weigh the arguments.
Until (tomorrow?),

RPG Darwin Award:

Maybe not TOO badly, but in Wild Arms, in the first dungeon, I found myself trapped in an irreversible situation. Unescapable. Consuming the rest of my day, I left the PSX on all night, then tried it for most of the next day, to no avail. Finally, I broke down and looked at a strategy guide. It said to use the Stopwatch in that room. The Stopwatch, which had been given to me RIGHT BEFORE THE DUNGEON, WITH MISCOLORED TEXT SETTING IT APART FROM THE REST OF THE SPEECH.



Shadow Zero Attack Mega! Michael "leader of the lost boys" Greenhut

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