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Today I've decided to embrace the sacred "?" and answer a pile of questions so large they dwarf Cloud's hair. A nasty side-effect is short-ish answers, but as my Granny always said: "There's no such thing as a perfect beetle unless your socks are striped six ways to tuesday."

Well, you get the idea.

Please? Pretty please? With sugar on top?

I am going to be straight foward. Is FF Collection coming to the US or not? I need to know if I should right an apology letter for sending Squaresoft hatemail.

-- Tyraid

Magic 8-ball sez: "Outlook not so good". Square seems to abhor the idea of re-releasing Final Fantasy in America. Hey, anyone remember Square was questioned about re-releasin' older games, and they said something along the lines of, "We look to the future, not the past"? I think they meant, "Only our fellow Japanese will get said mega-hotty games! America blows chunks like George Bush!".

Or not. My Japanese is pretty rusty.

Welcome to the next level. Of nitpicking.

In real life, to get rid of an affliction, you need to CURE it. When you get physically hurt, the wound HEALS. How come then, in Final Fantasy, if you CURE a person, it HEALS them, and if you HEAL a person, it cures them?

-- webrunner

Ya know, I figured that out when I was 13, a good five years ago. It annoyed me... then. Looking back, I realize it was just a translation error. Nothing to be ticked off about... at least they didn't say "Off course".

And I thought the ending was confusing
(Final Fantasy 7 Spoiler. Flee.)

Dear God the BIG hammer,

Ok here is the question. Cloud is 21 and was 16 when he joined SOLDIER right? Ok, he joind because he idolized Sephiroth which means he was in command of SOLDIER at the time. Let us assume Sephiroth was at least 20 when Cloud joined. Now, Vince is 27 and was alive before Sephiroth was born. This would make Vincent about two years old when he was a part of the Turks, had a love interest, and was shot. How does this work?

Thanks,

-- Max Overkill

Well, Max--or should I call you Mr. Overkill?--the answer to your question is simple: I have none. It doesn't work. Either your timeline is wrong, or the Final Fantasy 7 translators/Square themeselves majorly goofed. I'm sure someone out there was obsessed with Final Fantasy 7's plot enough to take notes on dates and such. Anyone care to shead a little light on this mathmatical mystery? (Knowing me, the answer was glaringly obvious, but I hit "O" one too many times and skipped that scene...)

Do the Dew

Hey Thor,

In the end credits for Magic Knight Rayearth, WorkingDesigns thanks Mountian Dew. Why?

P.S. The new site design looks really great!!!!

-- Zalrax A long time RPGuy

"RPGuy"? Wow. First time I've seen that term used seriously. The most likely reason is, well, Mountain Dew has enough sugar to keep you wired for hours... which is helpful when translating and writing. One missed character code--they have to use special characters for end of paragraph, text color, etc.--and the scene'll be ruined. (Of course, the script is proofread, but it doesn't look too good for you if the boss has to spellcheck your work. Trust me.

You mean they dont't say "Buff" in New York?

I want to know what that Radien guy was smoking while he was studying Japanese culture...

Americans have "yeah", "alright", "fine by me". Japanese have "sou, ne", "hai", "ee", "mm" and so on. It's not that much different.

Oh yeah, not saying something when you respond is considered rude in Japan.

I think someone needs to check up on their studies...

Thanks for the conflicting opinion. Truth is, as far as I can tell from my research, you're both right--in a sense. Lets not forget that there are different customs in different parts of any country, no mater how small. Except for France, where people are universally rude.

Imagine, if you will, someone visiting America with a pretty good understanding of ("American") English--only they visit California. They would return to their home thinking everyone in America said things like "Hardcore", "Weak" and "**** you, you ******* ********". No wonder tourism is down.

Monster in my pocket

What is this pocket playstation that I have heard so little about?

--Chris Martin

The Pocket Station is a little egg-looking contraption which replaces the standard Memory Card. It has an LCD screen, sound, and cute little Gameboy looking buttons. The idea, I suppose, is you can play lil' minigames and also swap data with other Pocket Station users. The Pocket Station was originally set for release on December 23, but Sony pushed it back to January 23.

Commence swooning

Mighty "Just wait till' I find my hammer!" Thor,

I'm not gay or anything, but you should post a picture of yourself if you haven't already. You posted a picture of your evil cat minion, but what about the Overlord himself.

The Overlord will post a picture soon enough, but you'll all have to wait. You see, several government departments are worried about the impact it might have on RPGamer readers. Women would gasp, faint, or fan themselves and return to their room citing a case of the "Vapahs"; Men would grow bitter and depressed, angry they will never look as good as Thor; the stock market would crash when Humanity realizes true happiness cannot be acheived through personal gain, but rather through staring at my visage for hours, and.... well, you get the idea.

Know what? Cloud asked me the same thing.

Hey big guy. How 'bout getting married?

-- Aya Brea

Heh heh, you've seen my picture, haven't you?

Oh, forget it.

Unsolved Mysteries

Okay, here's a real puzzler for ya Thor. Working Designs has that unnamed RPG that was supposed to be released in December and have some kind of advertisement in the MKR manual. It's well past december (obviously) and nothing was printed in the MKR manual. Any ideas? So far, WD has been less than forthcoming to us dilligent gamers. I do have a bit of a lead, but it's only got my testimony to support it. About april or so of last year, I was perusing the WD homepage and saw that there was an unnamed RPG listed. Curious to find out about it, but not wanting to bother the nice WD folks, I did a quick check on PSMonline's site (back when it was still good). I discovered a Slayer's RPG that was being planned for release by WD. Wanting to confirm this, I E-mailed WD. They sent a nice "no comment" message back, and about a week later, the listing for the Slayers RPG was removed from PSMonline's site with no explination. I ask you, in your infinte wisdom, (well, almost infinite :) if there is any truth to this.

-- Bewilderedbeest

Golly Bew, you've got my spider senses tingling. (Don't worry--there's no commitment involved.) Sadly, I'm as powerless as you are to verify any of this. I'm just a guy with a column and a lot of free time on my hands--I've few contacts and such. If WD sent you back a no comment message, they'd send me one too. It is rather intriguing, though. If you're right, I'm going to give you such a sack of dead monkeys. :D

Remember, guys. You heard it on RPGamer first. Unless Bewild turns out to be wrong, in which case you never saw this letter. Never. Capisce?

Miyamoto Jr. or Dave Perry wannabe? You decide.

I received a lot of response in regards to my 3d turn-based battle system I mentioned yesterday. Enjoy, or something.

***

You know what Thor, that whole real-time gang-bang all-at-once frenzied- free-for-all brain-busting-bonanza(try saying all that 37 times fast) that you suggested in the Thor Stuff yesterday isn't a BAD idea, but you're right, it does present major design flaws. I consider myself a developer now, complete with personalized invitation to the GDC(Game Developer's Conference) in San Jose during the spring this year, so I thought I'd toss in my two cents.

Now, I'd think that perhaps, if somebody were to try and run that idea through an actual game, they'd have to do the battle system so that it ran more like FF1 or WildARMS, in that you'd assign all the commands and then that turn would execute. However, in today's market where everyone wants real-time battles like Chrono Trigger or FFIV and up, I don't think it'd fly. Besides, if two heroes or two enemies had the same agility stat, they'd move at the same time and it'd be fine, but what if a hero and an enemy had the same stat, and they decide to attack each other? Do they just bop each other simultaneously, or would other factors have to come into play to see who gets smacked, and who does the smacking.

Hmm... I'd guess they'd attack at around the same time. You'd randomly decide whose attack animation (and defense animation) plays out first, with both swings taking place in roughly four or five seconds. Yeah, that's the ticket.

It's a great idea, but it's a lot to figure out, and I personally wouldn't want to submit my programmers to such cruel and unusual punishment.

-- Doc, Biscuit Software

Wow, see that, folks? I had a great idea! I knew that was the way. Yesterday, when I was wriitng, I said to myself 'This is the way!' and sure enough, it was.

***

Dear Thor:

Heh... you scared me quite a bit with the ending to today's column. Why? [My breath? -- Thor] Because I've been dreaming up a lot of alternate battle engines like that for some time now, as I'm sure a lot of other people have (have you guys also been rewriting FF7's ending?) Anyway, I had two ideas of how they would work:

1) More or less the kind of thing you described, with turn-based battles that play out in several small skirmishes. 'Cept maybe not so "FF1 in disguise"... for example, the Ogre could turn around and swat away the Dragon Knight and forget about the White Mage, or something. Didn't think too much about this one. ;)

Yeesh. That'd be really complex. See, the battle system itself would have to be relatively basic. It'd be the 3d "real time" battles which are most of the fun. You know, kinda like how Zelda 64 battles are fun, even though there are usually but two enemies on screen--down from 56,000 in the original Zelda.

2) A kind of tweaked version of FF4-7's "Active Time Battle". The RT meter fills, and then the character attacks. But instead of the 'Everybody stands around while Bahamut kicks their butts' method of FF7, the enemy or another character could also make their move at the same time. This invites a lot of little strategic elements like deciding whether or not you have time to cast a spell or how far away you are from the enemy.

I was trying to design the second one for a while but then I just decided I suck at this stuff even more than Thor does. Heh. I dunno, I wanna meet some other lazy visionaries like me and see what they come up with. Anybody out there in Thor's Domain (which is Asgard, as opposed to Midgard and Nifelheim...) have any other crazy ideas?

-- Hedgehog Guy (Who will continue to bombard Thor with inane letters until he admits that Delita is spoonier than Edward)

No. No! I'll never say it.

Wait a minute, I just remembered: I'll never say "I quit". I have no problems with saying "Delita is spoonier than Edward". Though you're spoonier than the both of them for asking me to say such a thing. :D

***

Do you play Pen and Paper RPG's? The bottom quote was from last nights "Thor stuff", you would make a good DM.

-- Neostorm

Thanks, man. I don't make a very good DM, though. I obsess over researching and setting up the quest, and by the time I'm done everyone is too busy taking turns throwing sharpened pencils at my head to play.

Unfit for Print. (Back by no demand whatsoever.)
(Final Fantasy 7... you guessed it. Anyone want to spoil Lufia 2?)

Hey Thor

I think it is just pure B.S. that square didn't put the origional ending on Final Fantasy VII it would of been worth the wait. Square has skiped so many things about characters(ex:Schala on CT) that they sould just of made the ending on 2 CDs) It adjatates me each time I beat that I don't know what hapenned when Cload and Co. went to see aerith.

Thanks,

CloudSJC

Dude. It's been over a year. How can you not possibly know? "Cload" and Co. never went to see Aerith. She was quite dead. Unless you mean when they died, which was most likely years after the end of the game. Most FF7 "scholars" agree that Humanity survived, it was just Midgar that bit the dust. Anyway, none of that matters, since there never was an original ending. Aeris was destined to die before they even started programming Final Fantasy 7. I'm sorry... it was just meant to be.

On a side note, how is it possible that he knew how to spell "Cloud" when he signed his name, but not in the letter proper? At first I thought it was a typo, but then I realized how far away the "A" and "U" keys are...

Quickies that make ya go "Hmmm"

TheGreyOne said: "I'd just like to point out that Metal Gear Solid had a fully voice acted script. It also had optional subtitles, for every single scene." Cool. // Bubbawheat was angry I doubted him, and offered this page as proof that you could get the aforementioned characters in Suikoden II. Sorry Bubba, you aren't fishy. You are possumy, though. // Sorbie demanded: "A lot of letters you post are too long. They should be short like this one." Well, OK, I agree. I'm slowly getting more short questions, and lovin' it. // And finally, someone by the name of "???" wrote: "You are very ignorant." No I'm not. I don't even know what that means!

Thor Stuff

Thanks to "The Prince Formerly Known as Raph" and everyone else who sent in at012199.html. You guys rock.

Oh yeah, before I head off, lil' random thought here:

Doesn't the music in Zelda 64's Fire Temple just rule? It's spooky as Hades. I haven't heard a song that haunting since that rockin' theme from Secret of Mana. You know, the, um, spooky one.

- Thor "The Emperor of Ice-Cream" Antrim
I believe I can fly. I believe I can touch the... hey, wait a minute, I can. I'm too damn tall.

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