Hey, you haven't seen me in a while. After returning from a recent special forces operation to a secret temple buried deep within a forest (read: I was buried in homework,) I have triumphantly returned to RPGamer to take my turn in the Q&A host rotation. This is the last week of school before finals, so my teachers have promptly stopped teaching and are basically letting us run rampant. Oh well, at least that means no more homework.

In other news, due to inappropriate conduct, Michael Greenhut has been dismissed from RPGamer. The matter has been closed, so please don't ask about it. Alex Kimbel will take his place in the rotation. So coming up Friday, Jeff Davis will do the column for 3 days, then Alex on Monday, then me again on Thursday, and so on until we change it.

Buying advice
First of all, I'm a "RPGamer" who only owns a N64, and I'm dying to sell it and then buy a Playstation. I'm a fan of Square and all...(I have FFVII for the PC). But, suddenly there's all this talk about Square developing for the Dreamcast, and the PSX2...if I get a Playstation now, is it worth it because in two years all the RPGs will be for the Playstation2? Arggh! ^_^


Ryan: Welp, I'd say go for the PSX. There are still two years to wait (actually probably more like one and a half) but there are still a ton of great games you haven't played yet, like Suikoden, Final Fantasy Tactics, Wild ARMs, Lunar: SSSC and Xenogears, just to name a few. Mark my words, the day Square develops for a Sega system as anything other than an experiment is the day I dress in drag and run through the Senate yelling "I am the great chicken!" Square is too in bed with Sony for that to happen. Ever wonder why Square was one of the first companies to get PSX2 dev kits?
Tech heads unite!
Anyways, about the PowerPC chip for Dolphin and Mac, consoles have always used RISC chips to my knowledge, the PSX uses R3000 or is 2000?

Well, the point being is that the Assembler + Linker for the Dolphin chip will be different than that used inside a theoretically it's possible to write a buffer(emulator) for the Mac to run PD games, but why would you want a Mac?


With regards to the possibility of playing N2k/Dolphin games on a Mac, the bottom line is that the main processor is only one component among many in any system. So, getting your Mac (or whatever) to imitate any other computer or console system would involve emulating the behavior of _all_ of that system's components. As such, while writing a program to make your G3 Mac to mimic the CPU core of an N2k might be a snap, to actually play any games you'd still have to account for the graphics system, the BIOS, and so on.

- Anson

Ryan: Actually from what I understand, the chip inside the Dolphin is a 400 mHz PowerPC 750 with the Mac enhancements taken out. IBM has been hawking them (rather unsuccessfully) to be used in consumer electronics, so it's not like they were created specially for the Dolphin. Actually it should technically be possible to emulate the graphics/sound chips and merely translate the CPU instructions. Though really, Anson is right, the CPU is just one component of many. The ArtX chip will be VERY difficult to emulate due to the fact that it's a veritable "black box" chip, meaning there is no documentation. Bottom line, the binaries are not compatible, just like LinuxPPC and Mac binaries are not. I know, this is tech-head stuff, so if you didn't understand a word that just came out of my mouth, just expunge it from your memory and move on. ;)
Shower Power
I have for you the most perplexing question that has ever crossed my mind, and I've had to deal with nearly dozens in my life.

In Xenogears. Nortune. D Block. First building. Downstairs. Place where you can sleep and Citan hangs out. There is a room just off of it. This room is totally empty except for one guy in it saying the showers in the room are broken. That's it.

No one else mentions this shower in all the game. I expected a reference after the 'bloody showers" joke in the Wels ship. I expected a reference after the shower in Solaris. Nothing. I've now beated the game and this shower has yet to have any bearing whatsoever, in the slightest.

The room is completely empty, there is no relation to the plot, no relevance the area, there is no reason for it to exist.

And yet some programmer took time out of his busy job, to program this room. Obviously someone had to draw, code, and place this room.


Print my letter or I'll send you lame messages about how I liked Reid better, Urban Zombie

Ryan: *shrug* Sometimes there are those useless rooms/houses in a game. My guess is that originally they were going to do something with it then decided against it. I mean, I can't blame them for taking a naked Fei out of the game. Krelian was bad enough. Now why couldn't there have been more of Elly? *grumble*
Vector art
I have a legitimate question, actually! In Final Fantasy 3/6j, there is a Japanese symbol on the red banners in Vector. What does it mean?

The Prime Meridian


I have absolutely no idea. Anyone know? *waits for 500 responses*

Actraiser is cool

Hey Ryan (Who?),

I've a question that's been bugging me for a while concerning one o' my favorite games of all time. Would Actraiser (y'know, the old Enix SNES classic?) be considered an RPG of sorts? Yeah, I know it's all action/adventure/side-scrolling and that crap, but there are certain elements of action RPG-style character development (life gauge increases with a level gain, yadda, yadda..) and a storyline that's at least a *tiny* bit intelligent. I thought the sim feature was a great touch, too. It's always a great ego boost to play God. :) What's your take on it?

- Jeremy "looks just like that little angel thingy" Newman

Oh yeah, just kdding about the (Who?) thing up there...

Ryan: Good thing you were only kidding.. I was about to bite your head off. ;)

As for Actraiser (I love it, it's one of my favorite games,) we don't consider it an RPG. Actually, it was the first game I asked about when I was hired here to do old game coverage, but we voted and everyone said it wasn't an RPG. The sequel definately is not (it's a pure sidescroller) so we said Actraiser was a Sim/Action game. *shrug* Even God has to lose sometimes..

Where, oh where has my Lunar gone..
Hey there, quick question. Is Lunar: SSSC ever going to be released? I've been checking out some web sites for release dates and have found 4 different ones. EB's web site says the 22nd. says the 26th. I've seen on a few message boards the 20th and 18th. Was it delayed? Which is it?


Ryan: I don't know, I'd assume it's out whenever they start shipping it. ;) The game is very much complete, though Working Designs has said no official date. I'd assume these dates are whem the retailers expect to get shipments in, which they really have no control over. All I can say is it will probably be available before the end of the month, barring any final production delays.
Yet more Xenogears conspiracy!
Hey Ryan the myan,

Yeah, seriously though, I know this is really old but this is about Xenogears' ending. Y'know how it says "Episode 5"? Well I think that's the ships name, from the beginning of the game. Now hear me out. If you watch the intro anime, and look at the ship when it's opening the gates, at the bottom of the screen there is an "E-5". Now, don't you think that has something to do with the ending? I think so..... well, maybe I'm wrong. Anyway, good job on the column dude. Word to yer mother.

Trevah Rowd...

Ryan: Thanks, I guess, seeing as I haven't done a column in months, but it's all good. As for that, I doubt they're related. The episode thing refers to the different Feis I believe, and the ship was before any of 'em, so there's probably no relation.
I dare ya.
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Look mommy, I can do letters too!
A blast from the past
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Lunar: SSSC / Wild ARMs

Ryan sez:

Sorry about the short column guys, I didn't get much mail, though I'm sure I will tonight. (Right? Right!)

Now that that's over with, it's that time of year again. Yes, summer. Aah, the days of sitting around the house in my boxers and watching cheesy soaps.. Well not this year. I got a job (yay!) and hopefully will get a few dance gigs this summer (I'll keep you posted, there are some national TV appearances in the works.) Of course, I'll keep bringing you the wholesome RPGamer goodies. But first I have finals (ha ha, I could make straight 0s on my finals and still pass the semester) and then I'm out. And I'm out for now, too.

Peace, love and many women (or men, for you RPGirls out there)

"Ruthless" Ryan Amos

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