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When I initially checked today's batch of mail, I cringed. Half the letters answered the RPGamer quote, the other half talked about ESRB/Sex. I copied a hand full to Good Questions and spent a few hours away from the computer, blissfully playing Secret of Mana and worrying about what to do in the back of my head. At last I came up with a plan: I'd blame Madonna.

So you can imagine my surprise when I returned and found that not only did I have plenty of questions in Good Questions after all, but enough to literally fill a column. That's when I noticed some spooky music playing, and slowly the truth dawned on me: I had entered the Twilight Xone, a strange and twisted realm of improbabilities, magic and confusing Xenogears flashbacks.

Well, I seem to be a ten year old child covered in blood, so I guess I'd better continue before something really insane happens. Like, my id starts answering questions, or something. Heh heh.

Eddy?

Well, I was looking at FFVIII pictures when a question occured to me. Will FFVIII support the pointer hand/arrow's for the door feature, just as FFVII did? I know, for the first time through that was sometimes useful(and annoying), but I found it to be a great help, and I think it would be a loss if FFVIII didn't support that.

-- El Dunkee

As of the demo, no. Don't worry, though: The highly distracting Mickey Mouse hand was only needed because of somewhat unclear level design. If Final Fantasy VIII doesn't bother with the guiding hand, then it didn't need it. Huzzah!

Speaking of weird Xenogears stuff...

I just finished Xenogears a few hours ago and something caught my eye at the ending. The final scene has text sayin "Xenogears...Episode V...The End" The question is...was Xenogears a part of an RPG series? I don't remember a game that share any similarities with Xenogears. The only thing remotely similar to Xenogears is Squaresoft's "Front Mission," mainly because it had many mechs in that game. I just want to know if you have any information on it...thanks...

-- Marvin

Xenogears is the first game of the series, of this much I am certain. It's been called the "Unofficial sequel" of Chrono Trigger, but that's only because a lot of the people who worked on CT moved on to Xenogears. As for what the heck "Episode V" is doing in the ending credits.... well, I've heard everything from "They were just cashing in on the Star Wars 'prelude' gimmick" to "It's a Star Trek reference"--though ending a 40+ hour epic with a frickin' Star Trek reference seems kind of, well, counterproductive to me.

Only time will tell if we'll see prequels of Xenogears in the future. It'd make a lot of fans happy, but then again, I'm sure just as many would rather Square hurry up with Chrono Trigger 2.

Help us help you

Here's a question for you fancy book-learned Thor:

Have YOU ever had to use a faq? I mean... ever get stuck on an RPG?

If you prick me, do I not bleed? (Yes, sheesh. I can barely spell let alone ace an RPG my first time through.)

Ever heard of Paladin's Quest?

Yes. My memories of Paladin's Quest are warm and fuzzy. I remember an awesome looking pond/flower town; lots of groovy NPCs; hard bosses, and... um... pastels. Everywhere. (Come to think of it, maybe that's why I think of Paladin's Quest as "Warm and fuzzy".)

Why isn't Paladin's Quest covered? Can I write a faq for it and send it in? Thanks... and spread the word on Paladin's Quest cuz it really does rock.... more than Wild Arms... you might like it!

--NaturalH

Paladin's Quest isn't covered because not enough people have created files for it. Walkthroughs, tracked music, fanart, etc. There's just not much out there. It really depends on what the fans produce. (If you ask me, the game we really need to add is Shadowrun for the Genesis. Anyone feel like doing some tracking, writing and drawing?)

That's some easter egg

In today's letters, you claimed that, "If a hidden track on a music CD contains profanity, you can bet your bonnet there will be a Parental Advisory sticker on the cover." Well I just happen to have a music CD that blows that statement out of the water. On my CD entitled "The Hunger : Devil Thumbs a Ride, " there is a hidden track at the end of the CD that is one of the most explicit songs I have ever heard. I mean it's all about having cheap drunken sex (cussing included). Yet, there is no PA sticker anywhere. And trust me, I have looked everywhere for it. So this stuff happens. I just hope you don't have any precious bonnets lying around.

P.S. Even without the hidden track, this CD probably deserved a PA sticker anyway.

-- cookjn

Oops.

Well, even if I was wrong, it just goes to show that ratings are pretty darn ineffective. (Either that, or the album was released before the ratings system was set up, or, erm, something. Hey, the column didn't used to be called MusicGuru, ya know. :D)

I got yer game right here!

Do you know of any good places to advertise my used games? I realise that the Q&A, unfortunatly, isn't one of them. Sigh. BTW I looked throught the merchandise links and they didn't help.

Thanks

-- Torger Miltenberger

The best place I know of to sell games is Ebay. Ebay is a free online auction site. You can acution off or bid on just about anything, but there is usually a great selection of games. Be warned that there's no insurance you'll get your payment, so don't go acutioning off that gold Zelda 64 cart or the, ahem, elusive translated copy of Final Fantasy 5 unless you're willing to take a risk.

I just hope they don't get Tom Hanks as Squall...

You want a question, do you? Well here's a nice and short and to the point question. Enjoy it.

I seem to remember back in the distant past something about the FF Movie being designed for American audiences, meaning that the original voice acting will be in English, the character's lips will synch to English, and we won't have some crappy dubbed version. Is any of this true?

Loyal reader and fan,

-- Shinyhat

A few have wondered why I've been printing so many Shinyhat letters. I have no idea. He's must have some sort of mutant power to detect the kind of letters I'm looking for at any given moment. Today, I was looking for short questions which most likely wouldn't spark debate. Way to go, 'hat.

And now the answer: In a bizzare twist of fate (Must have been another attack of Twilight Xone) the Final Fantasy movie is being made for Americans. In other words, the original cast will speak English, the characters lips will be synched to English, and--this is where the irony starts to set in--the Japanese version will be dubbed.

Isn't that just delicious?

The absurdly obvious quote

"Nothing can beat the sound of a hundred voices screaming in unison." is uttered by Kefka in FF3/6 as he pours the poison in the river leading to Doma. When do I get my sack of dead monkeys? :)

-- FlashJAZ

I swear, more people knew the answer to this than "What is 2 + 2?" Of course, everyone knows the quote is from the poison scene, and 2 + 2 is 5. Ahh well, here's your bag of dead... doh! Here's your, um.

One moment.

OK, here's your dime, ball of lint and practicly never-before-used stick of gum. Enjoy!

Today's one and only debate!

I'm responding to that guy who talked about effect magic and adding my own 2 cents on a few other things (two for the price of one, lucky you!) The reason that effect magic is so worthless, is that it hardly ever works in a situation that can actually help you. You waste magic on sleep or confuse and get "ineffective". So I usually just end up hacking away and unloading my most powerful spells. But I think this makes things way too easy. Also the fact that in many rpgs today any character can learn any spell makes it too easy. If your warrior, who causes major damage and loses maybe 10 HP in a hit can caste the same powerful spells as the little puny wizard who dies in two hits, you won't use the wizard. It takes the challenge out of it. They need to make rpgs with more strategy in the battle besides blindly hacking away and casting nuke. Enough on that.

-- The Dead Squirrel Delivery Man

Couldn't agree more with the strategy bit. I've heard some nice things about Final Fantasy VIII's battle system, though--from what I hear, things stay mildly interesting even in the easiest and dullest fights. One word: Drool.

***

Hey Gor thod of Gunder (i'm going to keep calling you that till at least one of these letters gets printed, then i'll thinkup a newname ;)

For Chri--er, Cthulhu's sake! How about just Thor? Anything's better 'n that. :D

I was taking break from looking for a job when I saw the letter about effect spells.

Status spells are useful in some games, although it is more often the ones that affect statistics than the ones that cause specific effects that are useful. When i rememberd to use it, Bart's Wild Smile spell in Xenogears was incredibly useful. In Seiken Densetsu 3 Reise's spells (either helping you, or hurting the enemy, depending on her class) were great to use in boss battles.

There have been some games where status changing spells have been useful as well. In Final Fantasy 5 the charm song worked well. I often used it against large groups of powerfull monsters. Even though it was broken if the enemies suffered a physical attack (note, _very_ usefull to cast on enemies who use a lot of spells) by the time their turn comes around again, you will probably have had the chance to cast charm on them again, and in any event, you will have avoided at least one round of attacks, which with some enemies can be very important.

As to why they're not usefull in many circumstances, thats because computer RPGs are much different than the original RPGs. If you charm all the opponets in AD&D or VtM then the battle is over right there, you don't need to worry about waking them up by attacking them later in the battle. And unlike in the original RPGs, in cRpgs you can't pump charmed enemies for information after the battle, or use them for cannon fodder in the next one.

True... but why even bother, then? It's not like Final Fantasy VII had Clerics who couldn't use edged weapons. If Grey magic really is a thing of the past, there's no reason to keep it around.

Finally, without going into detail, most non-computer RPGs enforce variety in the spells you use by the spell system rules. In a MP system, theres not much reason to cast that 5 MP charm spell when you can cast a 7 MP fire spell instead, especially when you get to higher levels.

You know, in such small quantities, I'm actually really fond of debate. Come back, debate! We love you...

Drooling? Only if they recently suffered massive head trauma

Dear Thor,

Guess what....tomorrow is my birthday! And isn't it neat that tomorrow is also Thursday Thorsday Madness?!??! WOW!!! If you really wanted it to be an awesome Thursday you should do something really um....awesome....

((...I want a pony....I want a pony....I want a pony....))

...like post up a picture of yourself for all your devoted readers and (drooling?) girl fans to see.

-- Penance

I was just about to when I realized all my pictures are from mid '97. My birthday is in July, and I really didn't want everyone's first glimpse of me to be from back when I was 16. (Not that I was any less a stud-muffin, mind you.) I'm just about to buy a new polariod camera, though, so by next Thursday...

But! I've been stalling long enough, and it is this here faithful reader's birthday, so I'll post something else, instead. Think of it as a booby prize: Thor Antrim, anime style. A fellow I know, "TearDragon" made it for me. You might remember some of his great rendered fan art. You might not. Either way, isn't that picture just the explosive?

Quickies

None. See Thor Stuff for why.

Thor Stuff

This has got to be the most intense Thursday Thorsday Madness ever. (Thanks for everyone who wrote in and reminded me that today was Thursday! If you'd all do that every Wednesday, the world would be a better plac... uh oh.

Things just went from bad to worse. Just when I got the last of the blood out of my hair, BANG! I start turn into something even weirder than a flashback: a Moogle. The process seems to be slow, but irreversable.

Yeah, yeah. Yuck it up. Don't make me dance your ass into the ground.

Anyways, after printing practicly every letter I could find, it seems I had, well, nothing for Quickies. Nothing that is, except for three gems from Kaitlin, who wanted to help a fellow RPGamer find pictures of Chaos. They're truly stunning, so I won't make you--KUPOO--ahem, wait for them any longer: 1 | 2 | 3.

I think I'd better get going before I lose my fingers. Wish me luck, guys.

- Thor "What the hell is floating above my head?" Antrim
Ahh, the joy of acting like a freak and getting paid for it. Well, acting like a freak, anyway.

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