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Andrew - December 29 '02- 5:00 Central Standard Time

Huh. I guess all my chattering scared most of the letter writers off. Oh well.

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This letter could be a column all by itself.

Alright, just getting a few things off my chest-

Crystalis- Although regarded as little more then a Zelda Rip-Off these days, Crystalis sits in the heart of many of the NES Era gamers. It provided an interesting story premise(For the time), a Kick Ass Soundtrack(For the time), and varied enough areas that you were always doing something diffrent. The way it used it's swords as exploration tools was(at the time) only rivaled by Zelda.

A few years back, Crystalis was remade for the Game Boy Color. Tweaks in the game play, Plot holes resolved, and new music.

They butchered the game. The new soundtrack sucked, the tweaking destroyed any challenge the gameplay had and the original plot, ahead of it's time, was mangled to the point of idiocy.

I haven't stopped crying since.

Now, onto //.hack Sign-

.hack is the game. This will be coming out soon. That is good. I'm looking very forward to it. I was very upset that the Bandai person at Otakon didn't have any .hack goodies(Apparently the guy from the electronics part of the group never showed up). It's actually the first of numerous games, which should be released every couple of months afterward(Those who complained of a lack of an El Dorado Gate release, you can stop whining now) .hack will come with the OVA packaged in, whose name I can't recall. That is also good. I'm guessing that the entirety of the OVA will be packed throughout each release, meaning if you get each game you'll end up getting the entire OVA.

//.hack Sign is the Anime. Now, I haven't heard any CONCRETE details about this, but I vaguely remember hearing that Cartoon Network was looking to show this series on either Toonami or Adult Swim. I, unfortunetly ,can't remember anything else about that news blurb though.

Now, to make this a legtimate question letter-

1. Why is it that Zelda can be enchanced and made even more perfect on the GBA, but Capcom can't even bother giving the Breath of Fire's a retranslation?

2. Which are you anticipating more in Early '03- .hack or Xenosaga?

3. Do you think Bandai's decision to release .hack in Episodic segments is a good one? Is it worth it, to us the gamers, to have to pay 200+ for the 4 or so games to get the entire story?

4. Why is it everyone is so Ga-Ga over FF11 when the game is just Everquest with FF Characters?

5. Why is it everyone is so Ga-Ga over Everquest when it's just a MUD with Graphics?

Dragoon T
TRC's Lackey, Reviews, Media sniffer, and a bunch of miscellanious stuff.

You nailed Crystalis right on itís damned head. It was a great game for itís time, and Iíll agree, I spent many happy hours playing as the purple-haired robot boy. It resembled Zelda, but added a number of clever advances. As for the Game Boy Color version, I didnít find it THAT awful, but itís clear that youíre a nostalgic gamer, so I understand where youíre coming from. May Crystalis rest in peace.

As for .hack, your letter, and all the other positive letters from readers have inspired me to check out the anime and the game, even if I find the idea for the game banal.

1. Because Capcom made a pact with the devil to never, ever, EVER stop releasing crummy sequels and remakes, and in return, Satan promised that the games would always make more money then they cost to make.
In the case of porting Breath of Fire 2 to Game Boy Advance, Capcom probably raked in a couple hundred grand, and Satan got to insult organized religion. Woo.

So who wants to go and throw bricks at Capcom headquarters with me?

2. Neither. I have no reason to look forward to either of those games. They offer nothing new to RPGs, and worse, sound like theyíre sure to be hits.

3. I like the idea of episodic RPGs, and though I dislike Golden Sun, I believe the series got it right when it let people transfer over their characters. As for .hack, well, weíll see.

4. You just answered your own question. Me? Iíve always wanted to be a chocobo knight. WARK!

5. People havenít been ďGa-GaĒ over Everquest for YEARS now. I know I certainly donít want an online game where I have to purchase a few hundred dollars worth of software to get started killing rats. Stupid expansion packs.

Limit breaks in Final Fantasy 6?! Madness!

Dear Andy,

My best RPG moment would be in FFVI. During the boss battle directly before the Floating Continent, I had thought victory wsa near. However, the mech erradicated all my characters but Terra. Terra had about 14 hp. I figured all is lost so why not 'Fight' one more time. Then to my surprise she unleashed "Riot Blade." It caused about 3500 damage, and the boss was destroyed. This the best RPG moment in my life, and with the best RPG.


Hehe. When one of my friends heard rumors of secret, super powerful attacks in FF6, he spent hours attempting to get everyone to activate theirs, and ended up never beating the game out of frustration. Worse then the Aegis shield.

I've got Naughty Things To Do, so get your mind out of the gutter, pervert!

Someone said, yesterday:-

umm...i was wondering if it was possible to sell fanart online. if you don't know the answer thats ok with me but could you please help a little!!!!!!
Possible? Yes. You can do a lot of stuff online.
Legal? Nope. You're making a profit off of someone else's design and work, and that shoots you straight into the very scary world of copyright breach. Fanart and fanfic are accepted /primarily/ because there is no profit of any sort being made on them. Selling pieces is a definite profit on the artist's part and as such a Naughty Thing To Do.

-- TSG

Thanks for clearing that up. So while you could, in theory only, sell fan art over such things as say, Ebay, if you were caught by, letís say, a Square employee, you could be fined serious cash. And of course, itís not nice to use other peopleís work as your own. Not like there isnít something called doujinshi in Japan, but hey, whatever.

I donít care if itís the next big thing, I wouldnít use an game creation system called ďProject FUNĒ unless Nintendo cut off my hands.

I'm not entirely sure if this has been mentioned in the column or not-- or even if this is the appropriate place to ask this-- but since there's been much discussion of game creation, I thought I'd inquire. A few months back, DigiPen debuted a game creation system called "Project FUN" at . I haven't seen anything of it save for the PDF pamphlet offered on the main page, and I'm a bit hesitant to shell out $30 on a toolkit that (according to the pamphlet) can't make a decent RPG. Has anyone used this toolkit and found it a pleasant experience?

John Z.

Eh, Iíve seen it, and it looked needless complicated. Can I get a shout out from any readers who have used Project FUN, and what they think about it? Iím curious to know too.


Ok, for the dorkus who wrote the haiku in yesterday's column, get a grip. If he were such a fanatic, he'd have caught that ha-i-ku is three syllables, and he just wrote an improper haiku about that glories of haikus. Just thought I'd share.

Finally, Iíve attracted the true dregs of humanity. An expert on haikus.

And heís an expert on haiku who pronounces haiku, ďHA-I-KUĒ. >_<

The Final Grumble:

Next weekís topic-

The RPG characters we hate. No, Iím not talking about that hatred for a certain silver haired badass from a popular Final Fantasy game, Iím talking about the undying, insatiable HATE we all share for a certain ninja bitch who couldnít hitch up her pants of the same said popular FF game.

So who really, really, REALLY, pissed you off in RPGS? Would you have rather thrown Reena in a snake pit then listen to her babble on? Stuff Squallís head into an elephantís butt and see if he still says ďWhatever.Ē? How about telling off the entirety of the Final Fantasy Tactics cast to just shut the hell up? Did you swear that the next time Locke started kicking himself about Rachel that you were going to put a hole through the tv? I want to hear about it, and I want to hear about exactly why these characters were so annoying, and what kind of characters a game should have.

Andrew "watch out for snakes!" Duff

Comic Party, Hellsing, and .hack.
Choices choices...I know! I'll watch them all at the same time!

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