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No worries about Arcanum, Idioteque. One of my friends happens to have a copy of it, and I’m sure he’d lend it to me with a bit of a nudge. *crack*

As for the contest, sure. Whoever wants Idioteque’s copy of Shadow Hearts merely has to email me with a short essay on why you deserve the game. I’ll forward them to you Idioteque, and you can pick the winner! ^_^

Yeah, my bio definitely needs a revamp. Though to be completely honest, I’m not exactly hot on the idea. I mean honestly, how many of you honestly give a damn about the person behind the columns? Pssh.

Hey thanks! Claire is one of those crazy artist types who thinks her art is never good enough, and every time she gets a comment like this from the readers it means one less night of me attempting to convince her that she shouldn’t give up art and ignore being fashionable or chasing boys. Besides, being fashionable is a horrible fate for anyone.

 In manga, death is only an issue respite. Then it's time for flashbacks and subplots! Yeehaw!

Yes, I have in fact seen this in an actual store. That's where I got my copy, actually. I have to say, they're all pretty rough and don't look quite as polished as professional mangaka's work (not exactly a surprise), but I actually liked most of the entries. I certainly think it's better than AmeriManga (I don't really like any of the stories in it except Warmth, and we know what happened to that...)

As for Planescape: Torment, you can level up, enemies do respawn eventually. There are just no random battles. Aside from that, you shouldn't have real trouble getting through the game, it's focused MUCH more on story than fighting. Not that there's no combat, it's just that if you're good at exploration you'll find tons of cool stuff. I'll just describe some of the parts of the game that made me a raving fan of it.

* In Planescape, belief IS reality. By the end of the game, the main character is powerful enough to kill people by _disbelieving in them_.

* The plot is actually original. I swear. You'd probably kill me (and then not print the letter) if I gave spoilers though...but I'll just say that this is one RPG where you are NOT out to save the Multiverse.

* The writing is awesome. One of the minor sidequests deals with convincing someone not to commit suicide. My favorite way to resolve this quest? Tell him "hey, I've died tons of times. It's no fun, trust me". He doesn't believe you, of course, so then you commit suicide. Of course, the game's schtick is that, like Cthulhu, death is just a minor (temporary) inoonvenience...

I ordered my copy online, and ended up having to wait the better part of two weeks to finally get it, since I couldn’t find it in stores and was becoming extremely annoyed with waiting. While I didn’t think the winning entry was all that great, I did find the book as a whole to be very satisfying. However, in the runner up stories, the better the art seemed to make for a thinner story. Still, I’d definitely recommend my readers to give Rising Stars of Manga a read. It’s worth it.

Alright alright! You’ve convinced me! Planescape: Torment it is! I’ll go bug my friends and see if I can snag myself a copy...



Just a quick question, are we talking about the same Skies Of Arcadia? The one I've played had interesting and likable characters, a fairly original combat system with lots of variety(you did know you can cancel special animations by pressing the 'Start' button just as it begins), and yes even the ship combat system was good.

So basically what I am asking is. What'cha talkin' about WIlis?


Well you see Andrew, people have these things called opinions, and they can vary from person to person. The characters you found “interesting” I found vapid, 2D, and dumb as white bread space wasters. The “original” combat system was interpreted by me as excessively boring, time-consuming dreg on a game that should have pushed exploration instead of fighting flying monsters that attack fast moving ships for no reason. So basically, I’m talking about my opinion, thanks for sharing yours.

 Ha ha...huh?

the colors need to be cooler and brighter, and maybe you could add a logo of something to show that this colum is related to video games and not the stock market. the old and new issues thing always annoyed me, but it doesnt really matter if u keep it or not. umm...did i mention the aweful colors? thats the most important thing to change. Maybe you could have a backround or sumthing, or put some video game characters around it. (or have a banner with video games characters on i wouldnt be so bad, either)

mainly, the column really needs to be brightened up and scream "video games" at the top of its lungs!


ps-if you have no ideas, you could always have a contest like Alex from Japandemonium did.

Colors are definitely high on the list for being altered, though I’m not sure what I can do to make them “cooler”. Right now, Dork Queen, Viper and I are considering creating themes for the column, and working on way to make the letters just as easy to read while making the column more visually interesting. Hopefully you guys will see the results in a week or two. ^_^

Hmm...a visual style that screams video games...an RPG collage...?

As for contests, I’ll see if I can’t whip a few more of them up, or maybe just a better way to set them up...

 Manic Monday!


Let’s have Tadrith or FireMyst program a database for all past Q&A updates. You know, so archiving is easier. Other than that, I’m no webmaster, but so long as you don’t create something looking like

By the way, I know of at least one person who will be guesthosting with me. My dear friend Richmond will be in town on Monday, and after we return from Six Flags, we’ll do the column live from my house! I might also get Scar and Bart from #mononokehime to be here live too! Also, certain idlers on our channel will take a stab at answering some questions too, so you readers get ready for the #mononokehime extravaganza! Send lots of letters!

Hmm. Not a bad idea about sorting out the Archives...they’re a pretty pig mess as is...though not as big of a mess as that site you linked!

Sounds like it’ll be a good old time tomorrow. Come on readers! Send Kami lots of crazy letters!


Yes! I have seen Rising Stars of Manga in my local bookstore here in Massachusetts. But since I don't think you live anywhere around here, that doesn't really help. *sigh* Order it online if you must have it. Just based on flipping through it, I didn't like it that much, but maybe that's because my friend was fuming next to me about how her manga wasn't accepted.


Hahaha! Well, I thought for what they were, the short manga of Rising Stars were very cool. And hey, tell your friend to try again this year. Judging by the quality of the manga that made it and some of the rejected entries that I’ve seen, there were probably quite a lot of entries that were very reluctantly dropped.

The Final Grumble:

Don’t forget to send plenty of letters to the Q&A writers for next week. With Google gone, we’ve got a lot of first timers eager to please, and all they need is letters from you to embarrass themselves for your enjoyment.

Next Week’s Topic- Oddball game ideas.

I want your wackiest, craziest, most bizarrely brilliant idea for a game. Not even a whole RPG, you can even just have an idea for a battle system, map creation, or even character. Come on, make me go 0_o !

Andrew DuffClaire Belton

The secret text isn't very secret, is it? -_-;;

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