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 My cold.
Sooth me. I beg you.
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  Ask Thor
(You know you want to.)
 It's outdated, but here's the archive, anyway.

Well, either someone forgot to wish me luck, or the sinister Minions of Darkness figured they'd try and ruin this perfectly good column with a little bit of germ warfare. In other words: I'm sick. Never fear--being All Powerful and named Thor and all, it didn't prevent me from delivering da goodz... and secretly saving my sick days for a month long getaway to Pangea, Xanth and Quiddity.

Pokemon overdose

Hey, look! Another RPGirl!

Now, to my question. What do you think about all the stuff that's coming out in stores for Pokemon? I mean, why Pokemon? Why not sell bunches of cool stuff for some other RPG? You have to search everywhere for something that's from a RPG, but you can walk into your local Walmart and pick up some Pokemon action figures or whatever else you may be looking for whenever you want. I dunno. I think it's all wacked.

So, I'm ready for yer answer.

-- WytWolf

Thor: Hey! Who you callin' an RPGir... oh. I get it. The reason there's so much Pokemon (I refuse to type out the proper title) is simple: There's a lot of Pokemon stuff 'cause Nintendo made a lot of Pokemon stuff. You won't see Lunar:SSSC trinkets in your local Walmart because Working Designs isn't an all powerful videogame company who can afford to take big risks like manufacturing millions of "Pokemon fundie undies!" and whatnot.

And it rages on...

Screw the MGS debate, the real debate should be why don't you carry Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. That game is way closer to the RPG format than either Zelda 64. It meets the following criteria of RPG's
  1. "Stat based" character system (hit-points, strength, Dex etc.)
  2. Useable (disposable) items
  3. Good Story line (poor voice acting)
  4. Shop's
  5. Ability to explore everywhere
  6. Magic Spells
  7. Multiple Characters
  8. Experience system
  9. Multiple endings (not really a RPG requirement but a good idea)
By saying the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night deserves coverage I am not saying that any other. Castlevania game deserves it. I just think that if Zelda deserves a shot why not give the greatest sidescroller ever made a chance also.

Thor: I couldn't agree more! You know what else RPGamer should add? Quake. Hear me out:

  1. "Stat based" character system (hitpoints, armor raising defense, etc.)
  2. Items which recover health, add attack strength--even items you can carry along and use later with addons like Rune Quake.
  3. Original storyline played out in five segments.
  4. The ability to explore everywhere; non linear gameplay: You could play all four chapters in any order.
  5. Multiple characters--32 of 'em in a good sized deathmatch.
  6. Magic (with the addon Future Vs. Fantasy).
  7. Patented "Physical Memory Experience System". The more you play Quake, the better you get! The previous sarcastic answer was intended to show how you can rationalize almost any game into the RPG genre. Besides, half the things you listed don't necessarily make an RPG. There are Console Style rpgs without magic, Dragon Warrior only had one character, and as for good storyline... well, that's a recently new phenomena in the RPG world. (It used to be "Save the World", and dangit, that was good enough for most!)

    You said it yourself: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is the best sidescroller--albiet with RPG elements, but it's a sidescroller nevertheless. True, Alundra and Zelda 64 aren't csRPGs (Console Syle) either, but they're already covered. If RPGamer added every game with RPG elements, we wouldn't have time to cover real RPGs. Like Beyond the Beyond.

    "Woah, check out Tifa!" 'Dude, sick; she's your grandmother!'

    I'm trying to program a small rpg. Its nothing special, but a fun project i want to try. Maybe i'll post it somewhere online, I'm not sure. My question is about part of the plot. I want to make it a little different, by making it multi-generational. After the 1st main character dies, his kid continues and finishes the journey, yadda yadda. I want to know if this has been done before, because I want mine to be totally original. If this has been done before, what game was it in? Thanks.

    Thor: The Phantasy Star series used that idea. Sorry, it's not an original concept, but much like a day/night cycle, it's something I wish more games would look into. Good luck with the game, man. :D

    Interesting note:

    Interesting to note. You brought up that Nintendo considers Zelda 64 an RPG. That is true... for Nintendo of America that is. Nintendo of Japan, however, purely considers Zelda 64 to be an action/adventure. In fact, for those of us who can read Japanese, head on over to Nintendo's Japanese site and check out their games list. They clearly list Zelda 64 as action/adventure.

    Nintendo of Japan developed and designed Zelda 64. Nintendo of America just merely ported them here. So who would YOU think is more correct?

    Thor: Grr. How dare Nintendo abuse the "RPG" name! I think Nintendo of Japan is right, of course. I just feel kind of used... I need a shower.

    Patience is rewarded with, um, cool games.

    What the hell is going on? It's January 12th, right. Last week, I read in a bunch of places that Lunar: SSSC was supposed to be released on the 11th. I didn't hear a peep about a delay. Now it's the 12th, and there's still no Lunar. Has everyone is this world gone mad. Lunar has been delayed so many times, one would think that some respectable website out there would say something about it. Or maybe it was released on time and I just don't know it. Then why isn't anyone covering this huge game that was just released (or most likely delayed--again). What the hell is going on here.

    -- Numer 6

    Thor: A quick glance at RPGamer's release list shows that Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete has been pushed back until 2-16-99. I'm actually not all that disappointed. If it came out now, I couldn't afford it... But that's just shelfish ol' me. :D

    The only good news is The Daily Show

    Hey Thor, doing a great job with the column! Anyway, I have something rather interesting. It's from my local newspaper, in the teen section yesterday, they reviewed a bunch of video games. They reviewed The Legend of Zelda: OoT, and here it is, for your viewing (dis)pleasure.

    Graphics: 7
    Fun Factor: 5
    Play Control: 6
    Sound: 5
    Overall: 6.5

    One of the most highly anticipated games of the 1998 holiday season fell flat on it's face when our reviewers had their look at Zelda. Nintendo made commercial after commercial trying to build up the hype for its latest installment of Link's saga, but according to our bunch, this game simply was not good.

    "This game is too complicated," said one reviewer. "It takes too long to play and there's no enough action."

    The game's role-playing format is not for everyone, so unless you enjoy being the center of attention in a long quest, this game probably isn't for you. Because the game seemed very complex and not fast-paced enough, our reviewers found this one to be no fun.

    ... I believe this speaks for it's self, really. Isn't it sad how they scored it? I mean, I know everyone has different opinions, but are graphics and sound and play control really that debatable? What kills me most are the "too complex" statement made by a 17 year old. I think it's a sad commentary on life today when Crash Bandicoot 3 and Need for Speed 3 (both really good games) get over all higher ratings than the game that's been called the greatest of all time. I'm wondering who they chose to do these reviews ... for most of the games it doesn't even sound like they did anything more than look at the back of the box. I mean, how could anyone say that Zelda was hard to control and looked and sounded horrible? It's beyond me anyway ... what do you think about it?

    Thor: What do I think? Simple: Go fishing. One by one, you strike--wait on the roof of an unsuspecting reviewer's home with a fishing pole. No lure, just a hook. It'll be harder to see. Wait for him or her to walk underneath you, then let loose the biggest yawn you can muster (try picturing Wild ARMs, heh heh). With luck, your Mark will yawn too, and you can lower the hook in time to, well, get a bite. After that, it's really up to you! (Uh, legal disclaimer: Just kidding?)

    An unsatisfying quickie

    Regarding today's satisfying quickie:

    How can anyone say that first person shooters have, uh, 'loosed' their 'support and buyers?' This is ridiculous - games like Turok 2 and Goldeneye, Quake, it's sequel, Unreal and Halflife are -extremely- popular, moreso that any current RPG. Silly unnamed RPGamer.

    Thor: Silly indeed. Um, I don't really have anything to add here. Moving on.

    Wild Yawns

    Oh my think that Wild Arms sux?

    -- Edmund

    Thor: Ahem. First of all, I never "Sucks", nor any derivitive of the word. I said, and I quote: "Not the cream of the RPG crop." And I think most anyone who isn't a die hard fan of Wild ARMs could agree.

    Wild ARMs is one of the few RPGs which actually forced me to quit, take a three month break and later continue playing just to finish the sucker. I couldn't stand the poorly done "3d is kewl!" battle system, or the fact that you only had three characters in the entire game, and only one of them could use magic. The plot was good enough (reminded me of Final Fantasy 2's, right down to the "What The Badguy Is Up To Now cutscenes"), but the backstory was as confusing and poorly executed as Final Fantasy 7's--without all the little things which made FF7's story worth it. Oh, and the translation was plum awful. There's even a rumor that Wild ARMs' script was just a draft, and Sony pushed it into production before it could be finished. (This is just a rumor, of course, so take it as you will.)

    However, these little things aren't what made me dislike Wild ARMs to the point where I sold it to an (unfortunate) friend the day after I finished the game. I mean, the character design was nice, the (2D!) graphics were decent, the plot was good if not a little confusing, and the opening cinema was fantastic. No, the reason I hate Wild ARMs is because the battles were so mind-numbingly dull that I went a little bit more insane with each random encounter.

    Sometimes, I wake, screaming "NOT ANOTHER UNIDENTIFYABLE POLYGON MONSTER!". To this day I seek a cure for my malady.

    Dyne Lewinski

    (FF7 spoiler)

    Did anyone else but me see how Barret's wife commited adultery? Think about it. Barret is black. His wife is white. Their kid (Marlene, duh!) is white. So... Barret's wife had to have been playing around with someone, right? I mean, how else could it have happened?

    I wonder if the guy was Dyne?


    Thor: It's nothing as 90210 as that. Barret adopted Marlene after he thought Dyne was dead. (And people accused Square of portraying Barret as a jerk...)

    Hey, what about Cid, Vincent and Red-13?

    Greetings Mighty Thor,

    Damnit, all this talk about Final Fantasy 7 characters...why can't people admire the characters from the previous Final Fantasies? What about Cecil? He was a badass that would stomp Cloud in a heartbeat. Or Edge? Edge was (for you younger gamers) an original badass, and Shadow was his predecessor. People need to start remembering the real badasses of the Final Fantasy series. Quit whining about Cloud and Sephiroth. They were both bitches anyway.

    Thor, you need to take a vote on what Final Fantasy game or character was everyone's favourite. (Everyone under the age of 15 not allowed to vote. We all know you horny, pre-pubecent twits all liked Final Fantasy 7 more because of the up-close zooms, and foul language. Just because your parents won't let you talk that way doesn't mean you can't play games that do, eh?)

    -- D.J

    Thor: I printed this.... well, more or less to see what would happen, really. Call it a cheap trick to generate feedback, call it my ego making decisions 'cause he called me "Mighty", or just call it plain ol' morbid curisoity. How about it, guys? Would you rather the over-emotional, self-conscious, realistic (?) heroes of today, or the near-mute Eastwood-esuqe protagonists of yesteryear? (I admit, Cecil is my favorite hero. But Vincent was no wussy.)

    Maybe they the left game on while in the bathroom

    I want to know, how can a company put claims on a games packaging like"Between 40-and-60 hours of gameplay", such as Granstream Saga. I bought this game thinking it would be pretty long and involving and it took like 17 hours, my friend did it in the same amount of time. Saga Frontiers 140 hours claim was the biggest lie, my 5 year old brother could do it in that amount of time, and he can't even read. Anyway, I was wondering isn't that false advertising if the majority of gamers can beat it in less time.

    -- Mike

    Thor: Figuring out how long a game takes to beat is really, really hard. I've received letters from people who finished Final Fantasy 7 in under 25 hours, and people who spent over 100 perfecting their Materia. It really depends on how you play your game. Do you rush through, ask friends for help seconds after being stuck and ditch side story at every turn, or do you live your favorite RPG? Now, what I want to know, is how an illiterate five year old can beat SaGa Frontier faster than I can...

    Quickies that satisfy:

    Knight Elric had this to say aboutt Gameshark troubles: "Chances are that it's not the memory card, but rather the GS. FF7 has similar problems. When you input a code, and then try to load a saved game, it will say "File is ruined". This scared the bejesus out of me the first time it happened. Luckily, it's not ruined. All you have to do is turn the GS off, load the saved game, and then turn it back on." // OK. I tell people Xenogears is pronounced "ZEE-noh-gears" and am corrected. I tell people Square pronounces Xenogears "ZEH-no-gears", and am told "not to let Square bully me around." I just can't win, can I? // Rudy Wiley fell out of his chair upon seeing my Tifa/Lara joke yesterday. I'm proud. The more fatalities I am linked to, the better! // And finally, an unnamed RPGamer (not the same guy, I promise) said: "im not going to give you a footrub. ask one of your loyal RPGirls. I'll bet they do it". Unnamed RPGamer: Not on your life. Girls like me just fine, but when it comes to touching my scary size 14 an' a half feet, they're rather uninterested...

    Thor Stuff:

    Itchy. Scratchy. Tasty.

    - Thor "I'm sick, damnit" Antrim
    I understand war and death. They cull the weak. But God, what the heck is with colds?!

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