Ask Thor
Rock the industry
  Have a question? Wondering what a "question" is?
  Ask Thor
(Just keep your distance, and don't make eye contact.)
  Now Playing
(Tomorrow, Mommy, I promise.)
 See how many typoes you can count! The archives await.

Ahh, Tuesday. Much better than evil, sticky, grueling Monday. Why, I even like the sound of the word better: "Tuesday". Doesn't that just bring a smile to your lips? It does? Well, wipe that smirk off your face, smartguy, 'cause it's time for some Kew'n and Aey'n.


Why does every one compare the N64 to the PSX? Of the last few columns of yours I have read, I've noticed people saying Zelda:OoT is bad because of graphics and music and the such, and recently the kind lady who compared Castlevania 64 to Castlevania:Sotn. Why do you people insist on comparing the two? You can't because of a simple thing called cartridge vs. CD. You can't make N64 games as good as PSX games because first, you can't have multiple cartridges and second, cartridges don't have as much room as a CD. If you want to complain about a game, complain about it without comparing it to another system. It just isn't right.

-- The Fattmann

Technicly, multiple cartridges could be done, but N64 developers don't tend to max out their limited space on FMV like PlayStation developers do, so you'll never see anything of the sort. (Oh, and you could easily port C:SotN to the N64. You'd just need to spend a heck of a lot of money to produce the hand-drawn art packed N64 cart.)

An' sure it's "right" to compare. If there were but two major automobile companies in the world, producing but one vehicle each--one being a SUV, the other a motorcycle-- you can bet your panties people would compare the two. There are differences, but when it comes down to "What vehicle is better?", you'd get an answer. Same for "What next-gen Castlevania is better?"

That ain't a knife, this is a knife.

How come in all these Square games, people walk around with giant swords when there's a countless array of heat-sinking semi-automatic rocket lauchers lying about just waiting to be used? I bet in the future when we get that technology, they will completely quit making swords, except for lightsabers of course. So how come Cloud has a sword, and Tifa uses her hands, and how come the only really strong person in the group (Barret) is the only one who modernized and uses guns? I was just curious.

-- Tad Ghostal

Cloud has a sword so presumptuous "grrls" can accuse him of being a walking phallic symbol. Tifa wears fingerless gloves because I find them really attractive. Barret uses a gun because his hand was kinda sorta blown off. Red XIII is actually master sniper, but his lion-like paws can't grip the trigger. The rest of the characters refuse to arm themselves with guns because of religious reasons.

Dang, are you still there? Fine, I'll scrounge up a real answer: Tradition. If everyone suddently started wielding automatic weapons, Final Fantasy fans would have gone ballastic. For a good time logical reason guns aren't more "powerful" in RPGs, see below.

Why Charlton Heston likes RPGs
(Major Final Fantasy 7 spoiler. Like you don't know what the heck happens. )

Thor, This is in response to Fei Fong Wombat's question "How come when rpg characters get shot in battle, it's no big deal, but when they get shot in a story scene, they're instantly dead?"

Here's your answer (I've been playing AD&D for a long time now, so i feel that I'm up to this question): HP isn't just a reflection of's a reflection of battle skill. When a character gets hit in battle, his HP goes down. Now, if that character is still standing that means that he soaked most, of not all, of the damage. The HP drop is a reflection of the energy he used to cushion that blow. Thus, HP/Max HP is like total fatigue/total stamina. Granted, the last 5-10% of HP probably IS health. If Cecil (FF4 for you who don't know Cecil; and you call yourselves RPGamers, blarg!) got stabbed in the gut, he would most likely die, despite is 7,452 HP. If Cloud got shot while jumping onto the train, he, too, would most likely die, even though in battle he only takes 3-8 HP damage from bullets, which is because he soaked or dodged most of the real damage. Similarly, Cure spells don't really replenish health (again, unless the target is below 5% HP), so much as stamina. This is reflected in the on-one-knee 'injured' stance. The character is too tired to properly defend him/herself. I'm quite sure how many HP Aeris had when she died (sniff sniff), but a Masamune through stomach would kill just about anyone.

-- SiegfreidZ, Loyal RPG Gamer

Very impressive, SiegfriedZ. You have served me well.

Aeris wasn't too tired, nor was she taken by surprise. She wanted to die. (She had her motives, which I won't mention: I hate to dredge up yet more FF7 storyline debate.) Anyway, going by most "pen and paper" RPG rules, if a character willingly "submits" to a spell (mind control, for instance) then there's no roll to see if the spell failed: There is no restiance check if there's no resistance. It's a bit of a stretch to port arcane pen and paper rules for mind control spells to Final Fantasy 7's swords/guns, but you get the idea. That gal had a deathwish.

Final Fantasy XXX... wait, I think I've already used that.
(Final Fantasy 7 spoilers. Swim at your own risk.)


Actually, I have seen two versions of FF7's box. One simply has "Realistic Violence," while the other has "Mature language" and "Comic Mischief" as well. One does have to wonder, however, what exactly "comic mischief" really is.

-- Trink

ESRB officially rates Final Fantasy 7 as "Comic Mischief, Mild Animated Violence, Mild Language", even though it says right here on my box "Realistic Violence", and nothing else. One reader suggested this was some sort of a mixup with Bushido Blade's rating. However, Bushido Blade was rated "Animated Blood, Animated Violence", so that's not it. Others said it was a conspiracy between Sony and ESRB to up Final Fantasy 7's initial sales. Guys... Sony's laywers! Evil! Powerful! I'm too pretty for jail! Ixnay on the onspiracycay.

Anyways, going by Final Fantasy 7, "Comic Mischief" consists of the following:

  • Mad scientists trying to force women and large felines to have sex.
  • Women being kidnapped by pimps; the lead character cross dressing and pretending to be female to save her--risking said pimp selecting him to be his "lifetime companion".
  • Yuffie.
  • The lead character being shoved in a bathtub full of hairy nude men, affectionatly called "Bubby" and handed a pair of italian cut underwear.
  • ...or: The lead character falling unconscious, then waking up to a plethora of disturbing "wet" sounds, followed by the sight of an aforementioned hairy man on top of him. Fun.
Of course, ESRB could have rated Final Fantasy 7 "Suggestive Themes" like they did with the Beavis and Butthead games, but they decided not to. For some, strange reason. (Sony's lawyers! I can say no more!)

The mighty Thor. No, the other one.

Hey, Thor.

That Swede guy who wrote you saying that Tor is the thundergod may not be exactly right. See, in the Scandinavian language, "th" is pronounced "T." Meaning that "Thor" would be pronounced "T'or."

By the way, the name "Thor" in the ancient Viking Rune language is.... here!

--Da Red Gobbo

Thanks, man. I received a ton of e-mail correcting the fellow from yesterday's Quickies... this was one of the few I could print without wasting a bottle or two of white out censoring 'em. Ouch.

Something tells me I'm going to get a letter from Square...

I've written to you before, and you haven't posted my questions, probably because they were all lame. I forgive you. Now...I'm going to ramble about Zelda64. Ready?

First of all, someone wrote in saying "Are all Hyruleans elves?" Of course they are. I've got proof - Game Fan, Next Generation, and several other magazines used the word "elven" to describe Link. Not that ALL Hyruleans are elves...but most are/should be.

Sorry to burst your bubble , but that and a nickel will get you a dirty look from a Starbucks employee. Only Nintendo can say for sure, and as far as I know, Nintendo's never called the Hyruleans elves.

Second...Tracy, you're not alone!! Link IS cute. :-) Heehee. I envy your job. I'm not even out of high school yet and I'm already dreaming about a gaming career such as yours or something similar.

Hey! What am I, chopped liver? I've got a gaming career too, ya know. Well... highly public gaming hobby, anyway. Heh, heh.

Oh, and Thor...your column has officially scared me away from buying Final Fantasy VII. :-)

-- RPGirl Saria

It was the "Bestality" bit, wasn't it? Not as bad as it sounds, just one character wanted a couple of critters from different species to gain a few levels--in bed. Key word here is "wanted", though. They didn't show an FMV sequence or anything. Much to the disappointment of, well, nobody.

"Jesus H. Christ, don't take the Lord's name in vain, kid."

Greetings, Red-Goteed One,

That letter yesterday about Midgarians using the word "Jesus" got me thinking about other times they've taken "Americanising" too far. For instance, in FF7, Cid charges the Highwind into the crater and shouts "Geronimo!". The instant I see it, I cringe. Cload and Co. must be thinking "Geronimo? What's that supposed to mean? Who's Geronimo?" because there IS no Geronimo, the Amerind chief of the pioneer days, in FF Land, so his name shouldnt be mentioned. The same applies for FFT when Ramza yells the same word, for FF7 when they say "Jesus", and even worse, in Xenogears, where Bart mentions "Swiss Cheese" ( I see Switzerland anywhere on the map? No..) and later, somebody mentions a "Trojan Horse". I think stupid American references like this in worlds where they have no place cheapen the games, and make them seem...well, cheapened. It would be like Squall saying "Seifer sucks so bad, Monica Lewinsky envies him." or something like that. What does Captain Thunderous think about this?

I think calling "Trojan Horse" an "American reference" ruined any and all support you had from RPGamer readers. I also think such references are distracting--what the heck is wrong with "Dear God!"? As for the Monica line, watch out! Working Designs might be reading this, and you wouldn't want them to steal your jokes, heh heh.

P.S ...Who the heck is Martin Haller? The only thing I found was he's the author of an FF6 fanfic.

-- Shinyhat

Martin Haller is a fellow who has written several RPGamer editorials. A few readers caught the referance. If you really want to know, or just detest today's column and are desperatly looking for escape,

Why always multiple-part questions? Why not multiple-choice?

Thanks for printing my last letter! ^_^ Well..a few other things have popped up in the past few days...

One: The Parasite Eve movie. This sounds like a very interesing project, and I'd really like to see how they handle this...For some reason I can just see Denise Crosby as Eve (even if she's blond, I don't care!). I just hope the ending's better than in the game (And no, I've never seen the "Good" ending). Speaking of Parasite Eve, did you notice that the scenes that took place in the Museum resembled a couple of scenes from Ghostbusters 2 (The outside looks very similar, the floors look identical, and the Mass of mitochondria bears a striking respemblance to the Slime)?

How about Teri Hatcher as Eve, and Madonna as Aya? :D (I know, she'd make a pretty bad Aya, but if she bought the movie, there's little chance she just wants to direct...) As for the Ghostbusters thing, well, it wouldn't be the first or last time Square was, ahem, influenced by a movie.

Two: Shineyhat brought up the fact that FFVII had a lot of cussing in it, and cited 'sh-t' (sucks being censored) and 'Jesus'. The first I can see, but how is the name Jesus a cuss word? It's not on George Carlin's list. It's just a name. Even in the proper context, it's a Biblical name. To suggest that one could use that as a basis for saying it has Strong Language is preposturous. And what about the pronouciation? They might have have been pronoucing it "Hey Zoose". I know it's trivial, but I had to say something.

Because never in the history of time nor space nor socks has anyone, and I mean anyone exclaimed "Hay Zoose!" when alarmed. Come on, people. Can't we just accept the fact that Square's might have messed up? Even a little bit? They weren't screaming "Hay Zoose", they were screaming "Jesus". Red XIII wasn't "emotionally" a teenager, they literally said he was. And Cloud was not musing on the fact that you were lost, he actually meant "Of course".


Anyways, Jesus is a "cuss" word for the same reason that "God damn" is usually censored on television: Religious folks. "God" and "Damn" are said by seperatly every priest, but together they generate petitions and boycotts.

Three: I'm not naming any names, but a friend of mine works on a MUD with a person who has a job connection to Square who says he has a fully translated copy of the FF Collection (FFIV,V, and VI), and commented that it's not coming out in the States until the Summer. I know this is kinda hard to believe, but my source is very reliable....I'm just so happy that I'll finally get to play the real version of FFIV with the CGI opening and ending!

Hope this keeps ya busy...And just in case you were wondering...I'm not a real Reverend...:)

-- Reverend Raven

Remember folks, you heard it here first--because it is a total and complete rumor with no factual basis whatsoever. (No offense, dude.) A fella can dream, though, can't he? Just imagine. Mhhmm... Final Fantasy 4... Final Fantasy 5... Coffee...

RPG related questions. Really!

Yo Thor-

Getting right to it:

1) Two weeks ago the net news was all atwitter about an important upcoming announcement concerning a sequel to a major Square title. Did I miss this or what?

That turned out to be a mistranslation on Gaming Age's part, or something. Square is really going to announce two games: One, a sequel to an existing game (CHRONO TRIGGER 2 DAMNIT!); the other a stand-alone title which will "Rock the industry". I have a theory about this... see Thor Stuff for the full story.

2) Jade Cocoon is nifty and all, but what happened to Crave's homebrew RPG Shadow Madness? I would have at least liked to see what it looked like - is there some reason it's no longer listed in the upcoming games section?

Reason: It is listed. See for yourself.

3) There are more than a few references to an Omnigear reacting to Elly the first time she visits Shevat, but I don't remember this happening. Again, is this something I missed or did it happen off stage?

I'm pretty sure there was something you missed. (If you missed the phrase "Shadow Madness"...)

Finally, I have yet another question about your bizarre nature - you've dropped references to Bruce Sterling and Michael Swanwick, and yet you apparently also watch professional wrestling. How is this possible? Shouldn't there be some sort of matter/antimatter reaction going on between _The Iron Dragon's Daughter_ and the WWF? In short, why hasn't your head exploded yet?

Ok, last "Why do you like wrestling?!" question/answer I print:

Wrestling is fun. So are RPGs, and books, and movies, and girls (*roar*), and music, and all sorts of other things. Liking one has nothing to do with dis/liking the other. My tastes run from the bizzare to the strange and unusual to the freakish and weird then back again to the bizzare because you forgot your keys. End o' story, check the archives if you want a full explanation of why I think Sports Entertainment is groovin' :D

Quote this!

OK, Thor, now I have a real question:

How often is the quote for the RPGamer page updated? 'Cause I'm still seeing "Eeeek! A snake!" and I'm wondering if it hasn't been changed in a while or if it's just my browser needing its cache emptied. Thanks in advance,

-- Mala

The quotes should be changed on Sunday or Monday, but once in a while Mike forgets and we have to find, ahem, ways to remind and motivate him. I'll try and find my trusty cattle prod tomorrow. Alex still hasn't returned it. He never did say he why he wanted it, either...

Remember, this is a coffee drinking game.

I just came up with a few of these:

-One gulp every time you mention Teri Hatcher
-A sip every time someone mentions the Fire Temple
-Drink the whole glass every time someone asks to see your picture
-A swig every time someone has a new idea about Red XIII or Vincent's age
-A small drink every time someone complains about Zelda 64

--Rufus Shinra

Cool! Keep sending 'em in, guys. I plan on archiving them in an upcoming... well, you'll see next Monday. Stay tuned. :D

Unfit for Print

The show's ok, but Tom Green is an A-----e. He deserve some ass woopin.

Eh... not even really worth the effort.

I heard I was pretty popular. Lets do something about that.

On the subject of nudity/sex in RPGs. I don't really see any need or desire for that matter. While there are some Lara Croft sickos out there, would seeing Tifa's nipples have really made an appreciable impact on the gaming experience as a whole? Regardless, I think Sony would have some serious issues bring nudity/sex into games of any kind. Sony must have a boundary for their tolerance, and if Square (or Enix, or Quest, or Atlus, or what have you) cross that line, we will see some serious censorship nightmares the likes of which we have not seen since the arrival of FFIV. Any thoughts?

Yeah. I'm for it. Don't close Netscape just yet, gimmy time to explain:

I hate censorship. Not for any noble, rightious reason, but because I'm obsessive about knowing the "full story". I thrive on directors cuts. When I get a new book, I read the Notes from the author section first. I love details. So, when I hear things like Xenogears' ending was edited, I get rather miffed. Especially considering Xenogears already had a teen rating, and as any movie fan will know, brief nudity does not make a film NC17. (I offer the 5th Element as an example.)

But lets drop nudity for a moment. Lets talk about sex (baby! Lets talk about you and--ahem, sorry.) Now that RPGs are quickly shying away from gameplay and embracing plot, it's hard to support total lack of sexuality from characters. We have hatred, we have love, we have angst up the wazoo, so how about some lust? If Cloud could be a "mature, realistic character", a manic depressive co-dependant loser, why did he have to be so darn asexual?

Hell, movies from the 50s handled sex more frankly than videogames today. You know the scene where the leading male carries the woman to her bedroom, and they cut away to a scene of horses running? We don't even get the horses! We see the guy pick up the girl, and the scene ends before they can even look at the bedroom. With all this talk of mature subjects, I find it kind of silly that something as natural as sex is handled with such kid gloves. Xenogears was a nice start. Now lets move beyond Working Designs' bra jokes and Square's innuendo.

You know, I just ranted for four paragraphs because there isn't enough sex in RPGs. This doesn't look very good for me. I think I'll skillfully change the subject now. Say, anyone for a qui--some! I mean, some quickies? Um. Heh. Oh dear...

A sadly rushed series of Quickies

Shanoyu wonders: "If people want Gameplay, why don't they play the old HACK games?" Because most--myself included--want a balance of plot and combat, not one or the other in extremes. // Rich Green exclaims: " You want Plagarism in music? Watch the first 5 minutes of 'The Rock', then go play the Final Fantasy VIII demo!" Thanks Rich, even if your name does make me want to go and watch Tom Green all the more... // Neo BahamutZero said: "Just thought ięd point out that you were indeed right with your Kefka = Kafka theory. And do you know why? 'The end comes, beyond chaos.' Well... We all know our favorite, crazy villian said that. But what most of us are not aware of is that Kafka wrote this... In his book 'The Process'. Coincidence? I think not..." Yeah, well, knowing us, someone will write an editorial listing why you're wrong. :D // And finally, Kira Cyana--love that name--wanted to know: " A couple sentences from a game (or possibly a game-related fanfic) have gotten in my head, and I cannot for the life of me figure out what they came from: 'So-an-so studied engineering for three years before figuring out it had nothing to do with trains!'" Anyone want to help Kira? Hey, for that matter, did anyone ever transcript Xenogears' FMV dialog? Pwiddy pleeze?

Thor Stuff

OK. My theory of the "Rock the Industry" quote, which is wildly different from all existing theories. But, hey, I'm different myself.

What do we know? Well, we know the following:

  • Square is seemingly out to make at least one game of every genre. Another Mind is proof enough.
  • Square recently hired Hong Kong pop star.
  • The phrase "Rock the industry" was either a strange translation or a very strange choice of words. Rock the industry...
Eh? Eeh? You thinkin' what I'm thinkin'? Yeah, it's kinda crazy, but then again so was the idea for Parappa the Rappa, and look how popular that was.

Who knows, maybe someday we'll see "Translate Mog's Funky Hip-Hop Spazztania!" petitions.

If I turn out to be right, I'd better get a hug from each and every one of you. Or at least, the ones of you who don't value old t-shirts. <grin>

- Thor "Maxxhead" Antrim
Beware the Hooley!

© 1998-2017 RPGamer All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy