Ask Andrew & Heath   

   No Deal, McCutcheon. That Moon Money Is Mine!  

Andrew - July 27 '03- 23:07 Eastern Standard Time

In my view, we've had just about enough of this pirate business for the time being. While I personally think pirates will never grow old and will always be the best thing ever, especially those ones that hunt down yachts in the south pacific for fun and profit and then drag them up to or whatever that river is called and feed them to the fishies, we need to move on and grow together as a Q&A host and audience team. To that end, I re-introduce to you my partner in crime for the evening, Heath.

Because I just can't stand to have an introduction shorter than at least two paragraphs, allow me to describe Heath to you through the following conversation fragment.

"You're off the case, MacGarnigle."

"You're off YOUR case, chief."

Forgive me. I haven't had the sociable lifestyle most people are accustomed to, so this introduction business still has many nuances I have yet to figure out. I'm particularly puzzled by the people who don't immediately love me after I hit them with a giant bag of ice by way of greeting. Live and learn, I suppose.


Hi. As I write this, I'm also desperately scratching to get two news stories done, so forgive me if I seem a bit distracted and not up to my usual level of wackiness. I'm just not feelin' it.

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Typer Shark

Curses... I can't even compete


Aw mamma, that's a cold tony. It's the caima pain to the sema child with a leepa leepa chi-E, ya dig? Sadatay, baby, I'm gonna sine your pity on the runny kine.



"Repent: the end is extremely f'cking nigh."

You win, although it's only by default. Maybe some day I will have seen that movie myself, and be able to quote long bits of it with such fluid ease as yourself. Until such a time, remember me as I am now: filled with murderous rage.

I've gotta stop drinking before I do Q&A because I can't even read that.

Sir? I think you've been grossly misinformed about the nature of knighthood

Hello to Sir Long and Sir Hindman,

First, this one's to Sir Long. Yesterday, you said your favorite RPG was FF6. Since that was your favorite RPG of the past, are there any upcoming RPGs in the next few months you are looking forward to purchasing or renting?

No. Final Fantasy VI is all I will ever need. Hmm... Actually, I seem to have lent it out, so to see me through the cold dark weeks ahead, I think I'll probably spring for Skies of Arcadia just as soon as I can get around to justifying it. Yes, I know... more pirates. Is it my fault you can't turn around without bumping into one? I might as well just go out, buy a tarred seacoat and marlinspike and be done with it. First, though, I'll need somebody to put out one of my eyes... Anyone feel like running with scissors?

Second, this one's to Sir Hindman. Last week, you mentioned how the Ataris became sellouts, so I was wondering do you know of any music bands to look out for before they reach the mainstream and fall victim to materialism and selling out instead of playing music just for the music itself?

Thanks for the letter. Well, off the top of my head, some non-mainstream bands that I find enjoyable are: Anti-Flag, The Code, Lagwagon, NOFX, and The Twirpentines (their stuff at isn't that great). Thanks to a cool boardie by the name of Guttermouth (named after another good band), I just recently heard a unique group called The Petit Project, which was interesting to say the least. I can't really predict who will stay underground and who won't…especially after that Ataris stunt. Ugh.

Finally, this one's to both of you. I wish to tell my plans for an RPG I have been planning for years now on this website like those readers did last week for Sir Duff, but I generally want to do it right so I don't wind up an object of ridicule and a jumble of run-ons, rip-offs, and AOL speak. So, tell me, how should I go about explaining my dream RPG in this Q&A?

Thank you, and good day.

Puppet NineTails


To be honest, you don't get to. Before you go and immolate yourself, however, take heart - I'm not going to explode into rip-offs or AOL speak, although my penchant for going on at length may yet come back to set you on fire after all, at least if I have anything to say about it (that "jumble" crack really hurt! ;_;) which I think I just might. No, none of that for you, my feathered friend. You see, the trouble is, "This Q&A" is my last one for the time being, so you don't get to "explain" because I don't get to stick around... Unless proposition 189 goes through, which we can all hope it will.

So now that I've quoted the Simpsons about eight times, let's see if I can get through a letter without doing it

Hey Castomel,

I used to work at a Blockbuster Video, and yeah, some of the people within the general public are complete morons. One of the most memorable moments in dealing with a customer was when he brought back a game, saying he didn't want it, I simply asked why, and his response..."when I got home I realized I owned a Nintendo 64 and not a Sony Playstation". This would have been ok had it been a parent renting it for his kids or what not, but no, renting for himself. Anyhow, I figured I would just share that story with you just boggled my mind...duhhh cd, or cartridge...duhhhh. Oh, and by the way, that expos hat, keep it. If Expos baseball keeps going the way it's going, that hat will soon be worth something cause the team will no longer exist, then in 50 years...who am I kidding, if their team is worth squat now, nothing of theirs will ever be worth anything. Nonetheless, keep the hat, we must support our canadian teams!


Yes... About those Canadian teams... It seems my beloved Blue Jays (don't let the Expos cap fool you into thinking I like them, it just looks sexier) suffered a rain delay tonight at home. This wouldn't be embarrassing, except for the fact that their home stadium is named "SkyDome" and "domes" are supposed to "stop rain", except when umpire Richie Garcia needs a shower or a plague of insects is called down by God.

So yeah, I'm feeling mildly silly about the whole indoor rain delay business.


Yeah. Last summer, I found myself earning cash at a door factory. Most people there had respectable heads on their shoulders, but I remember this one guy Ed that always entertained me.

One day, our task was to unload, paint, and repackage 15 large bundles of wood. After 7 bundles were completed, Ed pointed out to me, "Heath man, we've only got 6 bundles left now." Brushing off a simple mistake, I correct him, "No, we've got 8 bundles left." But then Ed, confirming all I had suspected about him, boasted "No, man. I counted. There are 5 by the lineal machine, and 3 in the loading area." We paused. I analyzed. Ed grinned. "Ed," I replied, "think about what you're saying. 5 plus 3 is 8. We have 8 left." A puzzled look shooting across his face, he asked one final question: "Are you sure?"

I have no idea what has happened to Ed since then, but seeing as the door place fired fairly quickly, I imagine he's somewhere giving incorrect change for…whatever.

A Lesson in Canadian Holidays

All right, I'll bite. I'm a recent immigrant to your fine country, and have already figured out that FutureShop is the Canadian version of Best Buy (I think it's even owned by Best Buy now). So where does a Canadian RPgamer goes to find good game info? I'm afraid I'm still addicted to my evil US mail-order habit, and have yet to find a good Canadian mail-order company.

Can you save me from having to elbow past the crowds of GTA-pawing 12-year-olds at the crappy local video game shop? Or do you get beaten by the staff cactus for recommending game stores?

-The Cranky Dragon

A Canadian RPGamer goes the same place an American RPGamer would go: to a store devoted to games. If you're a fan of soulless corporations, EB is always a good place to begin, but if you're really looking for those hard-to-find games, you need to find yourself a dingy little shack in the basement of your local mall. Ideally, this place will smell either like rotten eggs, rancid geek sweat, stale smoke, or a pungent miasma of a combination of the three. Once there, you should be able to find any game you want, and may even regain full olfactory capacity some day, although Queen Victoria apparently just kept getting worse, if her cardboard-tasting strawberries are any indication.

Then again, nobody really cares about Queen Victoria anymore, except when we want to celebrate her holiday here in Canada, which we usually do by renaming it with beer and drinking beer and pretty much saluting beer in all its wonderful forms, except vomit because nobody really wants to celebrate puking. Then we laugh as all the stuffy old monarchists totter around demanding we stop renaming the museums and swooning with glee when they get to touch Prince Edward's shadow shortly before they get shot to death for touching Prince Edward's shadow. Yes, Canadian heritage is great, and I'm even greater for not misrepresenting it at ALL. On that note, I've asked Heath to provide some supplemental worthless advice:

When you're going up the stairs and you take a step, kick the other leg up high behind you to keep people from following too close. (Thanks, Jack Handy)

Fibre Intake And Its Effects Upon Online "Journalism" *cough*

To My Favorite News Guys:

Yesterday, a letter writer asked, "Is everyone on staff getting enough fiber in their diet?" While I cannot speak for all the staff, I'd like to contribute a small bit of information. Tadrith used to have a quit message in IRC that read, "So, you're on the pot, and you're like :| and then you're like X| and after some moments of pain, you're like :D ." I think that everyone needs to send Tadrith some prunes for Christmas, since he may be having problems.

Heath, my friend, I wish you weren't leaving. I'm going to miss you. We're like the three Musketeers...oh, there's only two of us...I guess Andrew can be the third one, since he probably has the costume in his closet...and I guess Orie can be D'Artangnon. At least I can still engage in light banter with Andrew, and "encourage" him to do his work whenever he procrastinates. *cracks her whip*

I suppose I should include a question for you guys. I won't ask about Xenosaga, or your favorite Final Fantasy game, or what MMORPG you recommend. I'll ask about your work. Which of your news stories is your favorite? For me, it would be my story about the possible FFVII sequel, "Square Succumbs to Sequel Siren a Second Time" because, first of all, the headline rocks. Second, the story got a lot of attention and stirred up a good debate. Of course, it generated quite a bit of humor, particularly in the fanboy posts, which often waxed into the usual "Sephiroth 0wnz" tirades.

I hope my htmlization is not too wacky for you.


I don't have a favorite story. Like many artists, I don't care much for any particular piece of my work. The handful of previews I did were all kinda fun to write, namely Unlimited Saga and .hack//Outbreak. …Had I not been so gutless, I might have been able to say the story about Atlus producing DemiKids was all right. You see, in the part when I say "recurring loop," I wanted to say "recurring loop, recurring loop, recurring loop," as a kind of lame joke, but didn't have the marbles to put it in the story, as I had only been on staff for about 6 weeks. At the impending end of my RPGamer tenure, I will probably look back at my first day of co hosting Q&A as my favorite writing experience.

Hey, what do you think I am, a walking costume party? Because quite frankly, even though my camera is out of batteries, there's no way I would even consider taking a picture of myself wearing a vintage 1922 Boston Red Sox jersey, which I DON'T OWN, nor would I put on the pirate costume I wore in kindergarten, mostly because it wouldn't fit me and also I think it may have melted or burned or been eaten by other pirates by now. Finally, under no circumstances would I ever dress up like a spider, because everyone suspects the spider. On the flipside, I wouldn't dress up as the butterfly, because despite the lack of aspersions that would be cast my way, it'd be a butterfly costume - and we all know what people say about people who dress up in butterfly costumes (their mothers dress them funny!)

As for the whole "favorite story" bit, I'd have to say the ones I enjoyed writing the most weren't even real, but of the stories that do actually have a factual basis, I think the one about Square selling out has to be the best, because who really wants to pay three hundred bucks for a crappy Griever ring that'll just get stolen the second you try and summon something to help you get your lunch money back? I mean, seriously folks! SERIOUSLY! Wow, you can repeat seriously a seriously serious number of times when you run out of serious inspiration as to what seriously to consider saying next. Which, on balance, means I should seriously stop saying it.

Didn't I diss AOL into the dirt last time? Guess she was too busy swooning at Nick Carter to notice...

the other Andrew,

o0o0o0 i loooove pirates!!! theyre so cool. anyways, your doing a great job as Q&A host and all that stuff. o, and i love the hat ^^

I also think pirates are amusing. My brother and I recently went to see Pirates of the Caribbean dressed in pirate hats, plastic hook hands, and eye patches. He went up to the window and said "Arr, I be needin' one fer Pirates o d'Caribbean." Then, I followed and said, "Gyar, and I need one for How to Deal." I quickly called that off, and purchased a Pirates ticket, though. Had our hook hands been metal, I was going to order a jumbo pop and try to carry it by stabbing my hook through the side of the cup.

anyways, wat do u think of P. Diddy wanting to buy the Knicks? thats just so weird.

I think I could have lived the rest of my life without knowing that P. Diddy wanted to buy the Knicks. In fact, I could have happily lived the rest of my life without knowing that P. Diddy is in fact one Sean "Puffy" Coombs, and while I have no objection to Jennifer Lopez's ass in principle, other components of J-Lo contributory to the comprehensive whole are left severely wanting. In conclusion, The New York Knicks must be shipped to Somalia to make room for a superior fighting force of anti-dragon talent. Which is to say, I don't do basketball.

also, if you could invent your own RPG, wat would it be about? I think itd be cool to have Kung-Fu fighting ham sandwitches with grenade launchers out to save the world from the evil turkey..BWHAHHAHAHAHA. *ahem* no seriously though, it would be cool. i no u'd play it if it ever came out!!!!

anyways, i gotta eat lunch now so bye.


Okay, next time you want to discuss an ideal RPG, please eat lunch beforehand. Maybe then I won't be forced to suppress the urge to take up hacking for the express purpose of melting your computer into a shiny ball of death so I never have to read something like that again. At any rate, I guess my ideal RPG would include good music, a battle system that doesn't grow boring, and a bunch of other vague attributes that will doubtless be terribly disappointing to anyone expecting off-the-wall craziness or whatever the hell it is I'm supposed to be providing here. Trust me on this one - I've played through some terribly wretched games over the past few months, so at this point I'm willing to settle for anything that doesn't make me want to slaughter the entire roster of the Atlanta Thrashers and use their bloated corpses to create a grisly mural to the wasteful emptiness of life. Oh yeah, bad goth poetry is one of my secret vices. Surprise!

"Who's Your Big Man?" <- Is that another basketball reference? Because if it is...

Hey guys,

I've been visiting since before existed (USSHP days). - yeah, go ahead and insert your sarcastic remark about how I must think I'm so cool for that information -

Hey, man, if you think that's cool (not that there's anything wrong with that!), it's your own business. Just rest assured that I'm suitably impressed (read: not) and I think we can co-exist just fine.

Here's my question: Which of you guys (the word "guys" includes "girls" in my meaning of the word) has been there the longest and how old is that person and what was the first RPG (on a CONSOLE!!) that that person ever played/enjoyed and what is that person's hopes and reams for the future??

There ya have it. I look forward to your clever and intellectually witty response. It's sure to be a crowd pleaser.

P.S. I have a new, un-opened copy of FF for NES in my closet which I bought about 10 years ago at K-Bee toys for $9.99.. I'll let it go for $9000.

Andrew Duff and I are the oldest. We grew up together, then became war buddies. We fought in WWII, Korea AND Vietnam together. In about 1997, Duff called me up and asked "Keith, have you heard of the internet?" And I was like "Dude, Duff, don't tell people my real name." Anyway, one thing led to another, and we teamed up Mikel Tidwell, who we captured in 'Nam, and started this here website.

You know, closets contain an awful lot of dust, especially if you keep skeletons in them. Got any skeletons in your closet, Keith? Got any skeletons? Oh. Well, I still won't pay 9000 bucks for your game, so there.

And now, an unexpected visitor!

1- I'm back.
2- After the jetlag wears off.
3- I own Dragon Force 2.
4- When my friend gives back the Saturn.
5- Hey Mike, can you turn my e-mail back on?
6- is it REALLY that easy to mod an SNES?

1- Excellent. Time to use this opportunity to hijack IRC quotes for fun and profit, although I'm pretty sure it somehow violates my non-disclosure agreement.
2- Even better. This will give me even more time to sneak this in before you recover and absorb me. Perhaps even enough time to pay off my angry squid and keep you at bay.
3- Sweet. I knew Japan had to be good for something besides a steady flow of top-notch video games and poorly translated cartoons.
4- For the tenth time, no!
5- Who shot what in the where now?
6- Yes. It's also really not worth it, since I continue to lack a reliable translation for SD3. The cart sure does look different than all my other carts though, which is absolute hell for someone with borderline obsessive compulsive disorder... Not that I'd know anything about that, of course...

Pirates yet again and the terrible folly of lunch

Andrew and Heath,

I recall that the "Greatest Hits" version of FF Tactics had some bug in it that made it not save on the PS2 (it seems that saving on the PS2 is what square's PS1 games have trouble with...). Now here's the drama, I've become obsessed with the game again and while playing my neighbor's version of FFT Greatest Hits, it loaded my old file, played it, and saved it with no difficulty... Now am I just wrong about the bug? Or is my neighbor's CD just... special?

-CaptainG 22

PS: Pirates of the Caribbean Rocked!

CaptainG 22,

The thing about bugs is that they are so random. The bug you speak of is probably a common event in Greatest Hits versions of the game, but even glitches need some time off. I'd say, keep forging ahead in FFTactics, but you can only blame yourself if Mr. Glitch catches you.

Also, newer models of the PS2 seem to be slightly better behaved than their surly older cousins, which like to rob liquor stores and play bamboo pole roulette like on this annoying overly dramatic Jerry Bruckheimer production (yes, I know that's redundant, but it seemed like the thing to say) I watched just before I came to write this column. Why I was watching horrible TV is a seamy little secret that I prefer to keep to myself, but if you're overly curious, I refer you to the library of fine Johnny Cash musical material. Somewhere in the there you will find the reason why I was unable to sit here comfortably. Thanks a lot, lunch.

Pirates yet again and the terrible folly of lunch

Hey Andrew and fellow angry gamer Heath,

Can the Typing Sharks reach the uber-1337 level of high scoring in Typing of the Dead or are they doomed to spend their days going 'omg j00 suk k thx'?

I dunno... My sister was the one who was "playing" Typer Shark (yes, I'm ashamed to admit it, but I got the name wrong) so you'll have to do some testing of your own. Link's up in the sidebar.

What IS it with this disturbing trend of pissing and moaning about graphical changes in RPGs these days? First it's Final Fantasy X-2 gods! Yuna is wearing SHORTS and wielding the unholy GUNS of Not-Being-A-Damn-Summoner as opposed to being clad in gift wrapping with a big bright bow in tropical wear where she should be roasting (right along with Lulu, who was wearing all black)! Then, just after the lit fuse is cut, Xenosaga Episode II's new style strikes the fuse like lightning and rekindles the whining.

I can understand Heath's reasons as KOS-MOS (damn you full name capitalization) DOES look a lot like an older woman who looks similar to his mom in the facial area (instead of looking like a My Size Barbie 20015 as he put it).

I guess I'm just lucky enough to never really give a damn about graphical changes except on a few occasions. Those occasions being Suikoden III due to character models that made it difficult to tell how old some of the characters were and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (though it's not like I hated the cel-shading, it's just that I didn't understand the emphasis on Link's ridiculously large eyes looking toward things when a character turning his head to look toward something yields the same result).

My apologies for the length.

Arekusu Ikari,
"Pesmerga is obviously slacking if Yuber is still running wild..."

Seems reasonable. I refuse to touch these editorials debates with a ten-foot pole, mostly because there's so many poles fiddling about in there that all I would achieve is wrecking a perfectly decent ten-foot pole. And you can never have a ten-foot pole that's too decent, now can you? Ten-foot poles aside, I agree with you on the whole clothing issue. As long as the costumes aren't the game's only selling point, who the hell cares what the characters are wearing? Nobody gets up in arms about Wakka's sexy abs being on full display, and what about Kimahri? That loincloth doesn't leave much to the imagination, and I'm sure there's a whole gaggle of furries who would just love for the camera to pan just a few more degrees...

You see, the thing is, I often speak my own dialogue to the games I'm playing when I'm feeling perky. I'll tell characters to do things like shut up, go back to Massachusetts, sit on it, smurf off, or, most commonly (for lack of comparable real-life activity) to 'suck it.' So, while I may have commonly hit KOS-MOS on the ass for good luck before a battle, I can't do that anymore, because she looks like my mom, so that hurts my imaginary womanizing. That's what I'm mad about.


hey guys, call me Panda Man( real name: Marc-O), i have a question concerning a topic that already poped up a while ago. it is about the real life gunblades. could u guys help me find out where i could get one please?

Heath: Future Shop.

Why do you think the SEGA GameGear wasn't more popular? I could actually *see* the screen prefectly and the graphics were great.

Because Sega's marketing has always sucked? And the American Sheeple are too scared to buy anything that isn't already the "in thing?"

Evil customers? That's simple. Acts of Gord - 'nuff said.
-- Calydor

See, I figured this was assumed, since Acts of Gord has been around for a couple years now. Still, only one person bothered to answer my plea for stories, so I guess the world is in need of re-education. Love the Gord!

When will FFX-2 be released in America?

Angry Squid: ZLARG! Morbo craves human flesh! You look like a suitable target! Your life is forfeit, plankton!

When is FF coming out in Sweden? Thanks.

Err... From what I've been able to piece together from sugar packets, Sweden is part of "Europe", or "the black hole of video games", as I prefer to call it. Nevertheless, I have it on the highest authority (Alex of Japandemonium fame) that European releases do, in theory, come out in Sweden, so you should be able to find an FF somewhere.

Hat 2, Antihat, 0

I win! :D

"Except for the eh. What kind of crazy person says 'eh,' eh?"

...I say "eh"...

Which explains a lot of things, like why you sent this letter after I upped this column. But no matter...My linguistics prof was a stout believer in the sanctity of "eh", even going so far as to reacquire it after going to Britain to use her kids as guinea pigs. Well, that wasn't the official story - there was some sort of teaching post involved, but that had to have been a fringe benefit.

The Final Grumble:


I remember how my Great Uncle Jerry would sit on the porch and whittle all day long. Once he whittled me a toy boat out of a larger toy boat I had. It was almost as good as the first one, except now it had bumpy whittle marks all over it. And no paint, because he had whittled off the paint. (Thanks again, Jack).


So that, as they say, is that. Goog is back, and in the throes of jetlag (though why that's the case I'm not quite sure, since I always assumed jetlag was just when you had trouble adapting to timezones which he's immune to because of her timeless sleeping patterns but I guess there's bonus physical side effects as well) and my counterpart by name will be back from his own little vacation tomorrow as well. It's been fun, and remember: if you vote for proposition 189, you'll get to see me again, assuming I ever draft some sort of proposition 189 that works such that I get to be seen again by you, and further supposing that you ever want to read another rambling jumble of letters such as these past two have so admirably aspired to be. Laterz, gatorz, and all that jazz (and I can use those z's cuz I balanced the equation with "jazz" so screw you, hippies!)

Andrew "Pirated Out" Long

No, not really... haven't you been paying any attention at all?

Heath "Son of KOS-MOS" Hindman

Yes, I'm leaving RPGamer soon. Goodbye, everyone!

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