Ask Thor
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 Zelda 64. Delicious.
  Don't be timid...
  Ask Thor
('Cause Stone Cold said so.)
 See how "gooder" I am than my predecessors.

Before I introduce myself I'd like to bid a fond farewell to Alex Kimbel and Josh Reid, both of whom I'm replacing as the regular Q&A Dude. Seeya, guys! Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya. And now for the painfully long introduction (if you're like me and hate intros, just skip to the questions and decide whether I suck or not):

As you can see, RPGuru is dead; replaced by the delightfully egocentric title "Ask Thor". I did this for several reasons, but mostly because I didn't want to be classified as a guru. The term "Guru" conjures images of physical fitness experts like Richard Simmons and Suzan Powers--and if there's one bunch I don't want to be associated with, it's them.

Unlike previous Q&A guys, our relationship will not be symbiotic; because, frankly, I am not a symbiont. I am a parasite. A parasite who feeds off your hard work and energy, a vampire who posts a handful of letters--letters which suit him--and deletes the rest faster than you can say "Spoony Bard". If this idea offends you, I apologize, but get used to it: I was never voted Miss Congeniality. (Well, once, but I was in prison, so it doesn't count.)

I know I have some big shoes to fill, and if not big, at least many. There have been so many Q&A guys in the past, I felt a little like the new guitar player for Red Hot Chili Peppers. I could never match the wit of Allan, the antics of Kaufmann, or the, uh, constant illness of Alex Kimbel, so I decided to do what I do the best: Cover my total lack of talent with gimmicks and hope I could coast on charm alone. (It's working, isn't it? You're already starting to enjoy reading this self-indulgent tripe! Go on, admit it, you'll feel less dirty.)

A little about myself: I'm 18, I'm really tall, and I'm man enough to admit I think Moogles are cute. I've been writing about videogames for some time now, and when I got a chance to be the RPGamer Q&A Dude, I took it--on the condition that I wouldn't have to work weekends. (I'm lazy, OK? Cha!) I won't bore you with details about my life because, well, I have none. No comforting hugs, ladies; it's not that bad. Possessing no life actually has its advantages, like having plenty of free time to write this column, and

...OK then, moving on.

I am mildly infamous due to a column of mine called The End of Time, and the fact that my right hand was featured on PSM Online (don't ask). But since the majority of you know more about superluminal motion than me, I'll give you five fun facts before I get to the questions.

  • I laugh in the face of authority. Unless it's really hot authority.
  • Being a registered freak, I pronounce 'RPGamer' "Arr Pee Gee Gay-Mer".
  • I didn't cry during the Final Fantasy 3 opera scene, but I did cry the seventh time I had to watch Elly run down the same dingy hallway in Xenogears.
  • I've never seen Titanic.
  • Unlike Josh Reid, I know how to spell "Adolf"--but, admittedly, not much else.

If that didn't sate your appetite, g'head, write in and ask. My favorite band, my least favorite RPG, the size of various body parts--whatever.

And that about does it. I have plenty more to say, but this introduction is obnoxiously long as it is, so I'll just skip to the good stuff and leave it at that.

The very first question. Isn't it keeooot?

In Ryan's column yesterday, someone was asking about N64 RPGs. Well, in addition to OB3 and Earthbound, there are also two(yes, two! Praise the Lord!) Shadowgate games coming out, both of which are being made by the same team that did the original, and both of which look incredibly cool.

-- Taarkoth

Thor: Ayup, Shadowgate 64: Trials of the Four Towers and Shadowgate Classic for the Color Game Boy. I loved all those Kemco/Seika/ICOM games: Deja Vu, The Uninvited, Shadowgate... yum. Hey, did anyone out there ever try Working Designs' Beyond Shadowgate for the TurboDuo? I was pretty keen to the idea of a Sierra Adventure style interface, but I never got a chance to try it... 'cause it was released on the TurboDuo. Good system, kind of hard to get ahold of, though.

Coffee is a drug too, you know

How come EVERYBODY doesn't think Zelda 64 is the greatest game ever?! Why isn't there ANY music on the internet for it! AHHHHHHH! Why, RPGuru, WHY?!


Thor: The same reason there is an organization called the Flat Earth Society. Actually, 'cause everyone has their own opinions, and it's important for us not to try and force people to change their minds. Bribe, debate, seduce, and trick--sure. Just don't force.

As for the music thing, yeah, that's been bothering me too. Come to think of it, I've noticed a general lack of module music lately. Hey, I know what lets do! We'll all find our favorite videogame mods ("FF3 Main", here) and e-mail the authors, demanding politely asking for more of the goods. (Eh... the FF3 Main guy didn't list his e-mail. Great.)

Thor Stuff

Dear Thor

I guess I must except that the Guru is truly dead. May his memory live on in all our hearts. But we must move on, and embrace you, our new oracle. Unless you smell bad, and then we will shake your hand.

First, some questions.

1) How do you feel about video game censorship?
2) What's your favorite RPG?
3) Favorite non-RPG?
4) Are you well informed of the horrors of bad dental hygiene?
5) Will you answer idiot questions like that?

Thanks. I think everyone is looking forward to your work.

Do you have an id?

-- Zaphod42

Thor: Here goes:
1) I hate it, though I do wish that videogames would handle mature subject matter in a more... well... mature way. How many bathroom jokes do we need, Square? I counted three in FF7 alone.
2) Final Fantasy 3. Close seconds are Shadowrun (for Genesis!) and Final Fantasy Tactics.
3) Master of Magic, for the PC. One of Microprose' "4X" series, which included Master of Orion, Master of Magic and Master of Orion 2. MoM rocked, hardcore. Imagine Final Fantasy Tactics battles (admittedly more simple, but this was '94) with Sim City style town management and a heavy dose of thinly veiled Magic: The Gathering mythology.
4) Every time I look in the mirror.
5) No, never.

Hey, why didn't you number that last question? Trying to screw up the new guy, eh? Well, fat chance:

6) No. My ego ate him. My ego ate everything, except my libido which he kept around for his... amusement.

Gallagher would detest Japan

The Seiken in Seiken Densetsu definitely does not mean 'political power,' it means 'holy sword,' The word for 'political power' just happens to be pronounced the same. I made a little .gif of this at ^^

-- Chiba

Thor: Hey, that's pretty dang neat. I received a ton of corrections, but you were the only one to put that much effort into it. :D

Aww, man. I won again--by accident!

Hey, Ale..... dammit, Thor... adjusting to new faces is never easy.

Sort of a follow-up to my "they keep getting stronger" mail, there's something about getting a powerful character in RPGs, and there's earning that character. My take on this - if the player goes through some (difficult) sidequest ordeal, and collect a powerful character, then I say he/she/it deserves to stay. Unfortunately, games like Xenogears (Citan) and Final Fantasy Tactics (Thundergod Cid) don't put it that way. The extremely powerful people are just in plain sight for you to play with. Don't you have this feeling that most future RPGs will be ripped of their difficulty due to placing in a powerful character in plain view? For Pokémon, there's a good example: Mewtwo (who is still a little cheap). What's your overall take?

P.S. - Mew is good for the display case if you win it, but, again, too cheap for its own good unless you're up against someone else who got it.

-- Matt

Thor: I agree, placing ultra powered characters within easy reach is an annoying trend. Then again, with a lot of new RPGs today, there isn't all that much not within easy reach. (Remember when bosses killed you at least once or twice, and not because of some cheesy trick you had to discover? *le sigh*.) Hopefully, with time, RPGs will once again balance out storyline and gameplay, like they did back in the Final Fantasy 3/Chrono Trigger days. Gut wrenching plot twists and heart pounding challenge both do a good RPG make. Or, uh, something.

By the way, it's always hard to adjust to new faces, especially one as gaunt as mine, so here's a quick tip: If you squint I look kinda like Jack Skeleington. It usually helps.

Other Stuff:

Welp, that wasn't too painful, now was it? I guess I'll usually leave a little closing message or joke here, but for today, I just want to know one thing: Can anyone think of a better way to answer multi-question letters than 1) Answering them in a clump at the end 2) Using bold text to answer 'em question by question? (It's so flarging ugly.)

P.S. I will be continuing the Guess the Videogame Quote legacy, so send in your guesses and the winner guess all three parts wins a genuine sack of monkeys.

- Thor "Yes, this is my real name" Antrim
I swear on Saturn's grave: I will never mention the word 'crabbit'.

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