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It's Thursday Thorsday Madness! That's right, today is the day I embrace my ego (he doesn't have a name, I'm not Reid) and get all wrapped up in myself--after the real questions, of course. I'm dedicating today to John Brandon, who complained about how immature and egotistical the entire RPGamer staff is. This one's for you, Johnny-boy!


Is Kefka an Esper? All the hints in the game say that he's not human, and that's the only thing he could be.

I've posted my theories up quite frequently, but no one can seem to give me a decent answer. I think he is, and no one has been able to prove that he isn't.

Put it to you this way--prove to me that he's human, and I'll assume the rest. Don't drege up that guy who tells you about the first infusion and how it went wrong. That doesn't tell me anything except that he was the first one and something went wrong. He could have done it to get the other Esper's powers.

Think about it.

-- Blackjack Gabbiani

Thor: I'm almost positive Kefka is human--why infuse an Esper with Magicite? I seriously doubt there's any way to prove he's human, though. I mean, can you give me some proof that Relm is human? Did anyone ever say she was? I demand proof, gosh darnit! Proof!

Correction? I think not.

Actually, Nintendo isn't taking to big of a risk by making pokmon undies. The main market for most of these toys is in Japan, and two facts make this a nonrisky venture:

1) Pokmon is _insanely_ popular in Japan. They still cannot keep a stuffed Pikachu on the shelf for more than a day.

2) Not to be stereotyping and racist, but Japanese people will buy the _oddest_ stuff. Remember those Love Finder things?

Just bringing up the point that you're wrong, so ha, ha.

-- Nightmare Butterfly

Thor: Gee, Nightmare. Silly me. I heard "Walmart" and assumed she was talking about America. And not to be stereotypical and racist, but American people will buy the _oddest_ stuff. Remember pet rocks?

Working Designs sucks--not! Ahh, 90s slang.

I was just reading Ask Thor the other day when I read this guy's letter who thinks the reason that, in Magic Knight Rayearth, Umi talks about her chest (and in another part of the game, mentions condoms and enemas and calls one of her enemies a 'bitch') is simply because Working Designs didn't censor the game. Nuh-uh. These jokes were all _added_ by Working Designs and did not exist in the original version. How do I know this? Simple, I've seen the original MKR. In that series, Umi is a high society girl. She doesn't 'lower herself' to making dirty jokes about condoms and enemas, much less to talking about how she wants her breasts to grow. Add to this Working Deisgns' (in)famous reputation for toilet humor...they added Bill Clinton jokes in Lunar II (not to mention a whole bunch of breast jokes, some of which I thought were particularly uncalled for, and, of course, poor White Knight Leo's apparent homoerotic tendencies which did not exist in the Japanese version) for the Sega CD, and there were a good number of sex (and 'your mama')jokes in Albert Odyssey, so it's only natural their sense of humor would affect the MKR characters. I personally don't think WD's translations are bad, but they tend to go for cheap laughs instead of maintaining a character's integrity. Still, if someone were to translate the PC version of Sakura Wars to the US, I'd rather have Working Designs do it than anyone else...;)

-- Itchy

Thor: There's an old saying in the Anime crowd: Better translated than not at all. This refered to low quality (and illegal, I believe) translations made by fans. The tapes looked like crud, but at least you could see the show without learning Japanese. Is screwing around with a character for cheap laughs immature? Kinda. Would I rather Working Designs quit altogether? Not on yer life.

Just put your lips together and blow

Is it just me and my few crazy friends, or did it seem that the fix it all remedy (the Pepto Bismal for Nintendo) was to take out the catrige, blow in it a few times, cram it back into the old 8-bit Nintendo console, and turn the power back on, and it was fixed! Does anyone actually know who came up with that idea, or was it you, Thor?

Thor: Haha, I forgot all about that! Ayup, that's what me and all my friends did. The Nintendo hotline rep I called was quite against the idea, saying something about particles in your, uh, spittle eating through the game connecters, or something. The funny thing is, all the ol' NES games I have laying around work--it's the NES istself that's not working. Ahh, the healing power of spit.

Red Dawg

Final Fantasy 7 spoiler. (Is there any other kind?)

OK, please tell me in FF 7, at the very, very end of the game, when Red run with those 2 pups, were those pups came from?! Red was the last of his species, wasn't asexual (he had a mother and father), were those pups came from!!!!!

Yet another Girl Gamer with nothing better to do!!!

-- Brand

Thor: Thanks to Square's "You decide, jackass" ending, there's no way to say for sure. I've a theory, though it's been a while, and I could very well well be wrong... But didn't the Mako reactors suck up lifestream? And didn't Bugenhagen basicly show you a reincarnation system--when someone died in that little FMV scene in Cosmo Canyon, they disappeared and reappeared somewhere else...

So, my crazy-as-a-loon guess is that once all the, uh, cats were wiped out (except Red-13, of course), they couldn't reincarnate due their spirits being used to power Reno's hair dryer. But, once Midgar was taken care of, they magicly reappeared. Then it was mearly a matter of Red-13 courting some fine kitten and making "mad-whoopie". Hey... it could happen.

Bio 101. It's even more powerful than Bio 3!

How goes it there Thor? Well on with the show I guess. I am taking Science right now, and even if Barret hadn't adopted Marlene it still would have been possible for her to be his kid. The way genetics work is with Dominent and Recessive genes. Lets say the the dominent genotype for skin color was White (I am not being racist at all, I am not sure which is which, I will cover the other way around in a sec) and the recessive one was black so White=W and Black=w Marlene could have been genotype WW and barret would have been ww, which means the kid would have been Ww, and with white being the dominent genotype, that would make Marlene white. Now it works the other way too. if black was dominent, and white was recessive, the genotypes would wotk like this B=Black and b=White, Barret might have been a genotype of Bb and his wife would have been a genotype of bb. The odds are lower this way, but it is still possible to have a white child with a genotype of bb. Which means, it is possible for Barret to have had a white chile, I am sure there are many other genes that take a major role in skin color, but either way it is still possible to work this way. I hope this clears up some confusion, but as Thor said Barret adopted Marlene.

Have a nice day peoples.

Your Fan,

-- CyanDragon (Lucas Panoulias)

Thor:You mean I might not be irish/german at all, but actually half black and secretly adopted years ago by white parents? Gadzooks! So that's why I can jump...

Grandpa Lunar and Grandma Tifa, next on Jerry Springer.

Why is there all this hype about Lunar:SSSC? The game is old! Ok, so there is new dialogue, new locations, new whatever, its still a old game. Its like hyping up an expansion pack for an game that no one buys anymore. It could be the best expansion pack in the world, but its still an old game, and the mainstream audience (AKA, where the money comes from) won't buy a "souped up" old game.

-- Mr. Splat

Thor: There's a lot of hype about Lunar because Lunar is a very beloved series. No other series besides Final Fantasy has such loyal fans. (Lufia freaks, I know you're loyal too, but Lunar and Final Fantasy fans are rabid about it.) Also, a good deal of people are tired of technology/really emotional heroes/more storyline than gameplay/etc., which, while popular with the "mainstream audience", doesn't sit well with a lot of oldschool RPGamers.

They must think we all have RPG OD

Yo! This is the first time I've written a letter to an RPGuru since AK....anyway...

The Time to Complete statistic is NOT based on the time it takes you to beat the game. To cite an example, Secret of Mana was plugged at 100 hours of gameplay. This seems to be a lie at first glance; since it takes 30-40 hours to beat the game. HOWEVER, factor in getting your characters to Level 99, getting the ninth Weapon orbs and have them master all the weapons (8.99 on each for each character), and getting all the elementals to 8.99, and the number easily balloons to 100. As you can see, "Time to Complete" means the time it takes to TOTALLY complete the game. FFVII takes 20-50 hours to beat, but if you beat all the WEAPONs, get all the L4 Limit Breaks, get all 9 Ultimate Weapons, master all your Materia, buy President Shinra's Vacation Home and breed a Gold Chocobo, the number escalates to 70-80 hours. So, when SaGa Frontier is plugged at 120 hours, it relates to how long it takes to find EVERYTHING for the quest of EVERY CHARACTER. Factor in this "wandering around aimlessly" I've heard about, and you can easily see where Square's coming from.

Anyway, I hope that was a good explanation. That's all.

-- JM Stalker

Thor: It was a good explanation, but I'm still a bit dubious about the "time until perfection" thing, though. Square's obviously catering to the masses these days, and since when does Joe Gamer totally finish an RPG? Heck, half my dedicated RPGamin' friends don't complete their RPGs, they just win enough times to get the storyline down and buy another.

When NRA members game

Here's some Wild ARMs questions/comments:

1. How could you not've liked the battles? True, they were long at times (especially when your guys were put to sleep), but no longer than certain battles in other games. I got tired, sometimes, from certain Xenogears battles too, but that didn't make it a bad game! When you get to "Boss" battles, it makes it all worth it. And, I played this game after FFVII, and thought that it was just as fun as FFVII battles!

I just hated the lack variety. First the fact that there are only three characters, ever. Though some could forgive this, you also have to take into consideration that the battle engine wasn't the most... entertaining. There were no Final Fantasy 7 style limit breaks to--ahem--break up the monotony, nor were there many Xenogears-like "special" battles, where you can only kill an enemy in a certain way. Every battle was the same: Hit "X" five times; heal; repeat. And while that's OK for an RPG made in the mid 80s...

2. Confusing? How was the storyline confusing? I thought MANY other games were more confusing than this!

The whole bit about the guardians, and how they would just bring new gods/guardians/whatever into the story without any proper introduction. If anyone out there actually followed the backstory, why don't ya'll submit a summery. We've all debated just what happened in FF7 to death, how about we try to decide what the heck happened in Wild ARMs.

3. I liked only having three characters, mainly because it solved the problem of who to take along in your journey.

Not everyone is so indecisive. :D

4. Lastly, you gotta admit, no gun in ANY RPG is better than Rudy's. As much as I hate guns in RPGs, his was by far the coolest!

-- The Edge

Thor: Darnit, you're right. Wild ARMs was a good game! I'm going to have to go buy it back from my friend. For double--no, tripple the price! Screw storyline, or battle depth, or even fun... guns are where it's at, man.

Taking the magic out of magic

Hey Thor-

Doesn't it piss you off that in the more recent Final Fantasies, the characters are getting less and less individual gameplay-wise? In FF2, everyone had their own distinctive abilities and equipment, and only five people were hardcore magic users. I was satisfied that magic was limited to those with special training, like Rosa, Rydia, and the twins (FuSoYa was the fifth).

FF3 did pretty well along those lines for a while. Each fighter had their own ability that nobody else could do (Locke's Steal, Sabin's Blitz, Mog's Dance), and equipment was reasonably limited to suit each character. When Terra and Celes used magic, it was actually a big deal to the other characters! But as soon as a player got Magicite (and certain cheap-ass relics like Dragoon Boots, Genji Gloves, Merit Awards, and Economizers), every character could transform into a virtual Ninja or Dragoon, or cast every single spell in the game. I mean, lummoxes like Cyan and Sabin could cast Ultima and Life 2 and Cure 3 as well as Strago or Terra! And don't get me started on that cheap sonofabitch Gogo...

FF7 was even worse! With Materia (that you could buy at any neighborhood Materia store), people can cast spells, use techniques like Steal and Throw, and even gain extra HP or magic power! The only difference between characters in this game were their darn polygons! Oh yes, we can't forget the weapons. Big deal, they all did the same amount of damage. Anyway, I think you can see what it is I'm getting at. Final Fantasy 8 had better resolve this problem, or I will be disappointed. I'll still buy it, of course, we ALL will. But it'll just gather dust like all my other FF games (my SNES isn't hooked up anymore because I don't have any more room on top of my TV). Sad, ain't it?

By the way, how the hell IS a bracelet supposed to protect you? I mean, the people in FF7 (heck, the people in the first FF) wear bracelets as protection, and they're just as good as armor! I'd like to get my hands on one of these pieces of wonder jewelry, then go out and get shot at and only lose 50 HP.

-- Steve

Thor: The bracelet concept was used so Tifa's body wouldn't be covered by concealing chainmail. Say, doesn't anyone have anything nice to say about Final Fantasy 7? Anyone...? Oh bother.

They said it couldn't be done in a movie. They were wrong.

(FF7 spoiler)

First off, to folks complaining that ye didn't keep the RPGuru name. If I remember correctly, wasn't it _normal_ for the name to change with each person? Just that Reid forgot (then decided to just leave it), and Kimbel was just a temp anyway. So yeesh.

Second, what do you think of the FF Movie thus far? I think it could turn out pretty cool. I mean, I tend to bash FMV in games themselves, and focusing so much on story that the rest of the game suffers, but they can't screw up gameplay in a movie.

What's REALLY interesting is the news that it'll be aimed toward America, instead of us just getting a dub...

-- Joshua Slone

Thor: Before RPGuru, there was Q&AK. After, there was Ask Thor. Basicly, the guys with really big egos name the column after themselves, and everyone else uses a generic name like Circle of Sages or RPGuru.

It's interesting that the Final Fantasy movie is targeted towards Americans, but not really that shocking. Japan didn't make guys like James Cameron or George Lucas ka-trillion-billion-million-ares, that was all America, baby. As for what I think of it... Well, I think it looks great. I just hope they don't cast Leonardo DiCaprio.

Silly questions

Good morning!

1) Just have to ask, because people like me just can't get enough of silly questions about your personal preferences: So, did you like the Summon in FF7 that has your name attached?

Um... Odin? Yeah, he was cool. I loved the rain (I'm a rain freak), and the fact that he had two animations was also really groovy.

2) And doesn't Odin get ticked at all of the time you must spend on this?

Dad doesn't care what I do, as long as I don't make too much noise battling giants, overlooking weddings and flirting with bar wenches.

3) Concerning FF7/Granstream/Playtimes: You're right. It completely depends. First time through FF7, I rushed through, beat it in 26 hours. 2nd time, I found "everything", and spent 70. The last time, I was racing through it on a bet with a friend... just under 15 hours (I'm not kidding! But beating sephiroth at Level 44 is a bi... errr... is really hard.

Wow. Someone agrees with me. Killer.

4) Elixirs are your friend.

Is coffee technicly an "elixir"...?

5) I say you should pronounce it "ecks-ehn-oh-geh-are-seh", and to heck with everyone else.

I pronounce Xenogears "After I finish Zelda 64, I promise".

6) I'd send you some chicken soup, but my technical support says that, even if I pour it into the back of the monitor, you won't get it. Sheesh.

Hear that, Microsoft? You know where we want to go today--now get working.

7) Wild ARMS was one of those games that I spent 20 hours on, got to the last dungeon, accidentally got sent to the beginning of the dungeon (I forget what it was called), said "to heck with it", and deleted it from my memory card. The space is much more fruitfully spent on ecksehnohgehareseh.

Or battling giants, overlooking weddings and flirting with bar wenches. :D

8) Z64: Did you figure out the fish in the jar thing? Sheesh.

-- NOR

Thor: Nope, my brother told me. He's a toad, though, 'cause he just told me to collect the 10 Skullimabobs, upgrade my coin pouch and buy one... instead of just saying "grab one with your jar". Nice guy, my brother.

D.J. Reply #1: The hardcore kid

Just a quick note here, regarding DJs letter. He says:

"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?"

... I'm 13 and I know I shouldn't let that bother me, but it kinda pisses me off. I've been playing Final Fantasy since I was 8 and I know about the original bad asses like Edge and Shadow. Hell, Shadow is one of my all time favorite Final Fantasy characters. DJ, don't go calling everyone under 15 a twit, because some of us have played some other FF games, like FF2 and FF3, and like them better than FF7. As a matter of fact, Final Fantasy 3 is my all time favorite video game. You're probaly right, though, most younger gamers probaly do like FF7 for those reasons, but not all of us.

-- D.P.

Thor: A surprisingly large ammount of people agreed with D.J., just not with his little jabs at anyone under 15. My favorite letter was from a fellow named B.J., who said: "I totally agreed with D.J., up until he called me a pre-pubecent twit." Another surprise was how few letters I received which actually touched the oldstyle/newstyle character debate (the few were, sadly, unprintable). The rest of the letters just shouted out favorite characters. The majority said: the Black and Red mage from Final Fantasy 1, Cecil, Cid (FF7, or all FFs), Tifa, Shadow, Edgar and last but not least, Mog. Kupoo, little Moogle dude.

D.J. Reply #2: "Oops."

I would just like to point out that Edge was in Final Fantasy IV, and that Shadow was in Final Fantasy VI. Thus, it is not possible for Shadow to be Edge's predecessor.

Sort of ironic how the author of a letter ripping on the ignorance of people who haven't played previous FF games would make a mistake like that.

-- Dayton

Thor: Heh heh, that's the problem with writing an insulting letter. Unless you're really careful, it could very well come back to haunt you.

D.J. Reply #3: A totally different kind of "Oops"...

Wow. I feel like its getting harder and harder to be open-minded, play rpgs and read this column. People like D.J. make it harder for me to continue reading. It's bad enough that he's ignorant, sexist (evidenced by his use of the word "bitches" to insult male characters by using a word referring to a female dog, insinuating males are dominant), and stereotyping, but he has the audacity to come onto this sight and express these shortcomings. I'm 14 and have been playing rpgs ever since Dragon Warrior and I find it extremely offensive for him to insult me and others based on the "facts" fabricated by his feeble mind ("We all know you [rpgamers under age 15] horny pre-pubecent (sic) twits all liked Final Fantasy 7 more because of the up-close zooms, and foul language.") I'm sure he would be surprised to find that I and many others under the age 15 have been playing rpgs BEFORE Final Fantasy 7. This letter doesn't need to be posted. I just wanted to request that this column doesn't judge people based on age, gender, race, sexual preference or anyhing else. Please don't post letters like D.J.'s or make any discriminatory comments. Surely I can't be the only one that feels this way.

-- JJJ

Thor: I'll cut down on letters with heavy language, but a sad fact is, you can't say anything these days without offending someone. Recently, RPGamer was asked to remove a reader review because the poor author received hundreds of flames... for giving the game a 7. A 7. I mean, that's hardly "blasting" the freaking game.

And, um, as for the "sexist" thing, all I have to say is this: JJJ must not watch a lot of prison movies.

Quickies that satisfy:

An unnamed AOLer said: "Well as much as you like to whine I would like you to know your not the only person in the world who's sick." I mention I'm feeling ill for one day and get flamed. I am so loved. // Todd and Tedman (sounds like a lamearse MTV cartoon!) presented the upcoming Dragon Valor as an example of multi-generation RPGs. // Said Eric Denney, "They have Pokemon Fundie Undies? Kick ass!" Eric scares me. // Leif Farney told me about his Lunar:SSSC site. Lookin' decent, Leif. Keep up the good work. // Barry C. Cook was wondering if I'm a "computer geek" because of the "//" seperators in Quickies, 'cause they're in C++ too. Barry, I'm many kinds of geek, but computer is not one of them. // Robert Gill an' Bill J. both demanded I list their names for catching the Resident Evil referance yesterday. Well, there. But this is the last time I comply with a request like this, heh heh. // Rambar wonders: "Hmm if a girl can't get intamate with your feet how intamate can she really get?" Well Rambar, I don't like to brag, but pretty intimate.. cuz... um... well... go away! Just leave me alone! Why won't you leave me alone?! *sob*

Thor Stuff:

And now... the moment you've all been waiting for... Thursday Thorsday Madness:

I rule.

OK, fine, so I was too sick to whip up my original idea. Wait seven short days and you'll see. :D

Thor "Hey, at least I wrote the column" Antrim.
I miss Craig Kilborne. Stewart isn't half as sarcastic. Grrr.

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