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Take a nice relaxing vacation at
Thor Hack Archive

Hey ladies and gents, remember how I said today was the last day I'd print Thor hacks? Well, it's because I'm going on a little vacation. I probably should have mentioned this on Monday or so, but I detest long goodbyes. I'll be back on March 8th. Enjoy our time apart while you can, I'll be back sooner than you can finish your "Thor's gone! Yes!" party.

Today we have a pretty good sized column. Hefty, really. Portly, if you prefer. (Not "fat" though, it's just big-boned.) I figured I'd print everything now instead of saving it, for obvious reasons. Have fun, just don't forget to have her home by midnight.

Wonder Swan Vs. Mighty Mouse

Here is probably a real stupid question but what is WonderSwan.

Stupid, intelligent -- whatever. It's a question, so I love it. I don't mind answering anything. Unless you're asking the length of my tongue.

The WonderSwan is a black and white hand-held system which can play games horizontally or vertically. (There are two "D" pads.) In order to try and compete with the Perpetual Motion Machine (aka "GameBoy"), Bandai was smart enough to do something Nintendo could not -- license Square games. (Of course, the GameBoy has FFL1-3 and FFA through Sunsoft, but... oh, nevermind. Bad flashback to like, my second day at RPGamer.)

Subject: Ehrgeiz

I heard about this game before, it seens like there will be some FF7 charter in it. Well I got a question, when do you think it will release? And will the game be "Bloody"? How much do you think it'll cost?

--Alice Tai

Ehrgeiz (pronounced "Ughguiezhughzug") will be released in May. I don't think it has very much blood, the screenshots I've seen just show a colorful ball of light when one character strikes another, not a fountain of Goth juice like in Mortal Kombat. I'm guessing it'll have around the amount of blood shown in Soul Blade. It'll cost $45-55, the standard PlayStation game price. Several Final Fantasy VII characters moonlight in Ehrgeiz, including Cloud, Tifa, Sephiroth and Mukki, who fights completely nude.

Failure to detect sarcasm in the previous sentence could lead to heartburn, upset stomach, nausea, indigestion or diarrhea.

<blink>

FF4 seems to contain a town with a brothel, and a strange guy who hides in the bushes touching up the swimming females. Is this suitable for children?!

Um. There's a brothel and a pervert who hides in the bushes and tries to cop a feel when a girl swims by. What do you think? (For the record, I've never heard of nor do I remember this, either he's wrong or Nintendo cut a lot from FF4j.)

Get your facts stright!

I've always liked the fact that Squaresoft uses various Hindu and Norse mythological elements for summoned monsters/espers/guardian forces (am I missing anything?) but, well, they make some glaring errors, repeatedly.

Let me first point out that Odin's horse, Slepnir, has 8 legs, not 6. FF7 and CyberMan X are both guilty of a little oversight there. I seem to recall FFT had the correct number, so now using artistic licenese as a cop-out. (Another fun fact about Slepnir: It's MOTHER was LOKI, god of... well, ticking people off pretty much. There's a story behind it, but it doesn't make much sense)

Another example that comes to mind is Shiva. Does ANYONE have ANY possible explaination for that? Shiva is actually the god of destruction, has 4 arms (most Hindu gods do) a trident, and a necklace of skulls. Shiva's second wife by the way is Ashura, the patron goddess of assassins.

How is it then that Shiva becomes the Final Fantasy Series' scantily glad goddess of ice? I mean, I suppose the female thing can be explained easily enough, but why the ice? Yeah yeah, it gives then the Indra Ramuh Shiva-Fire Lightning Ice thing, but Rama (the correct spelling) has nothing to do with lightning to my knowledge. They'd be better of using Zeus, or if they just want to stick to 2 pantheons, Thor.

I could probably come up with more, but this is getting kind of lengthy. Oh, and Hinduism is a popular religion in Japan which makes this even more confusing.

The only thing I can think of is Square doesn't want to get these things correct. I highly doubt someone was reading about Odin, noticed he had a horse with eight legs, remembered to try that in the next Final Fantasy, forgot the number of legs and said "Oh, well, I think it was six". Most likely, Square just wants a bit of influence and borrows ideas loosely, rather than trying to actually cram a pantheon or two in every cart.

Bug? I thought Slimes were more of a jelly...

Actually, on most copies of the game what happens is you hit one of the nasty bugs they "forgot" to fix, (How the @&*#%! can you forget to fix the last dungeon in the game???) and you have to wander around through the screwed up sprites until you hit the giant slime monster. I gave up after I accidentally opened a screwed up treasure chest on said level, and it ate my save. >_< I think you just get to keep all of the iris treasures, but not having been able to do it, I'm not sure.

-- Presir

I've heard about this from a couple of readers. Talk about insanely frustrating. Losing your save file is one thing, but losing your save file at after working your way through 99 levels? All I can say is good luck fixing those broken windows, and don't forget to fish the SNES out of the pool before your parents get home.

This letter is known as Mugwar: Eater of Dreams. Cool, huh?

Thor,

In your Ask Thor column, I will like to point out a mistake and correct it. It was stated:

"that'dbeme whines, "Hey man, you said that Citan's wifes name was Susan and his daughters was Kim, thats not right! Shame shame shame! His wife is Yuri, and daughter is Midori. SHAME!" Um, hehe. No comment. Believe it or not, I actually received several letters like this."

Citan's wife name is Yuri? His wife is actually named Yui. Yuri is a common male Russian name.

Take that, whiny that'dbme!

And for the comment, LunatiC stated:

"Hey Thor, My friend imported the FFVII soundtrack and lo and behold, the cover of the CD is some art of Cloud and Aeris surrounded by lots of cute bunnies, birds, and Chu-Chu resembling creatures. From the stuff I've seen Amano do, this art is *very* much like it! Does that mean that Amano did the character design for FFVII or that he just did some art for Square? -- LunatiC, my first not silly letter!"

I will like to tell LunatiC that he/she did got the FFVII Sound Track, but it's a _pirated_ soundtrack by SonMay Records (A.K.A. SM). The original FFVII Sound Track has a scene of Midgar and it's by DigiCube. Go to Soundtrack Central and check it out for yourself. ^^

-- enigmaopoeia

Ouch. All I can say is, ouch. As always, it's a good idea to ask around before making a purchase, just to make sure you don't get ripped off. Friends, UseNet and even RPGamer's message boards are good places to check. But you can check 'em later. For now, might I interest you in buying a gold watch? I bought it for $10,000, and I'm willing to sell for $20...

"Another one?"

Anyway, for my question. .....<thinks>....ah, I've got it. Why do console RPGs have some kind of thing against putting awesome realistic touches into games like a day and night cycle ala Zelda 64? That feature alone probably almost *doubled* the immersion factor in that game. Why don't other games use it? I mean, all it would take in a game using pre-rendered backgrounds is to have a "night filter" that changes the color and brightness of the background in real time. They did this in a few points in FF7. Why not expand on it?

-- Shinyhat

This is the seventh letter I've printed from Shinyhat. He is now officially classified as a "blight".

Dear Blight,

I can think of two reasons. First, a constant day/night cycle can easily screw with an RPG's plot. Zelda 64 didn't have much of a plot (not a bad thing, mind you), so they didn't have to take things like when a character would be sleeping, or someone referring to "the moon" when it's clearly day into consideration. Keep in mind that in Zelda 64's case they did, but then again, Zelda 64 has around 500,000 less NPCs than Xenogears, so it wasn't that much work to script day/night cycles for the NPCs as well as the world.

Second, immersion is impossible to bundle up nicely or stick on a box. It is something few people know of, let alone look for in a game. Graphics and FMV sell more games than a sense of "being there". That's why you'll see things like Square's all-FMV commercials -- which, I might add, are hilarious. My second favorite marketing ploy in Videogame history, the first being a little number by Sega called "Blast Processing". Remember that one?

"...just repeat to yourself, 'it's just a game'..."
(FF7 Spoiler)

I don't know about you but I am sure tired of people over analyzing everything about a game. Why can people fly? Why can only one person save the world? Why do monsters have money? Would you like it any better if some people couldn't fly, or how about if someone killed Sephiroth because you took too long? Personally I don't care why these things are so just as long as it's fun and interesting. If you just can't stand not knowing the scientific explanation for it than don't play it, buy a science book and disprove it.

-- Titann

Back when I was just a wee-tiny Thor, I wanted to run a fanzine (a fan-made magazine) called Video Void. In one of my features, eloquently titled "What da hell?!", I'd list off oddities in videogames. The only oddity I can remember offhand is from Zelda 2, where Link just hoisted up a child, held it under above his head like a sword, and then promptly tucked it into his Limitless Pouch. It looked funny, so I brought it up.

Nowadays, nitpicking RPGs has become almost a religion. Huge editorials are written on certain scenes in Final Fantasy 7 alone. Typos are hated. Character motivation is questioned. And people really, really like to bitch. It's no longer "Hehe, hey, that looks funny!", now it's "WHY THE HELL DID CLOUD BLINK TWICE JUST THEN!?". In summary, have fun, and don't let a few oddities ruin a game for you. Joke with your friends, but don't always seek profound answers. And, of course, keep an eye out for boom-mic shadows. :D

Thor revealed!

Captain Thor,

You know what? I will *never* look at those pictures you put down there! Never! You know why? Because it would destroy my image of you. You see, to me, you are a fictional character. You're Thor, the text-created character that carries on dialogue with the other characters in the story that is Ask Thor. Everyone knows how annoying it is when you've read a book for a long time and gotten familiar with a character and made a picture of him in your mind, and then you see a cover art that has some rediculous picture of what that character is supposed to look like that doesnt remotely match your mental image. I dont want this to happen with Thor, so I'll never look at his picture. And to all the other readers, I'd advice you to stay away too.

-- Shinyhat

Dear Cthulhu, this is getting silly. I didn't even notice I had selected two Shinyhat letters to print until now. Everyone but Shinyhat gave one or two sentence replies, so I tossed this one in for variety. This makes what, nine? When I get back, I'm going to have to ban him or something, heh heh.

***

Hey Thunderdude,

Just wanted to let you know that you're a cutie! Just not as cute as your anime picture...Then again, anime pics always seem cuter...Now I hope your ego has not been boosted past its limit! Then again, does it have a limit? Hee hee...

-- Kiruna Vega

Though some scientists theorize my ego is finite, recent studies have shown that much like the universe, it's constantly expanding; growing inexorably and without limit. And if you think Anime Thor is cuter, wait until you see SD Anime Thor. (Kidding. The thought of a "Super Deformed" me is pretty damn scary.)

***

Get your hair cut, you filthy, uneducated bum.

You know what makes this all worth my while? The fans.

Final Fantasy Full Motion Video

Dear Thor,

I have a question. Why the hell is Square obsessed with full-motion video nowadays? I mean, most of their games are bloated with CG. There are a few notable exceptions (SaGa Frontier, FF Tactics, Xenogears), but most of their other games are chock-full of FMV. It's getting to be so that I'm starting to get scared that Square will start valuing FMV over gameplay (they already did that in Final Fantasy VII and Parasite Eve, if ya ask me).

Your biggest (non-RPGirl) fan,

-- Itchy

Despite being the largest consumer of SGI workstations in the world, I don't think Square uses an unusual amount of FMV. Bushido Blade (and two, if I recall) weren't packed with too much FMV. Nor were the three you mentioned, or Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon for that matter. They have your standard FMV introductions and ending sequences, but nothing out of the ordinary.

As for Final Fantasy VII and Parasite Eve, well, yes. But those games were designed for mass appeal -- you didn't see many Xenogears commercials on MTV, didja? It's business. And as long as you rented Parasite Eve instead of buying it, it's pretty fun business for you too.

Naughty or nice?

Hey sexypants, wuzzup? Don't you think you should have edited The Wandering Gambler's letter in today's column? He used the word "fag" instead of homosexual. That's not very nice I think. I mean, what if I used the word "kike" for a Jew, or "nigger" for a black man. People should have some respect, and if they don't, you should edit their letter.

Originally I edited the letters and removed the "naughty" bits, then it was brought to my attention that IGN doesn't have any censorship rules, so I just printed the letters as-is. I'm still undecided as to whether I should censor or not. The weird thing is, the other day I printed a letter with the, ah, "S" word, and didn't receive one complaint. I guess politically incorrect words are more taboo than the seven forbidden words these days.

One thing's for sure, if I censor one, I censor the other. So either I leave letters be and risk offending a few people -- like my picture didn't accomplish that itself -- or replace anything stronger than "Hell", "Damn", etc. with the word "Blarg". Any thoughts?

Also, if you doesn't go to college, what will you do in the future? I can't believe your parents let you do nothing. I mean, I go to college because I want to be able to find a job someday. As if my 30 hours of class time per week weren't enough, my mother wants me to get a part time job...

I never said I did nothing, I just don't plan on attending college. I have plans, but I've babbled enough about this for the week, so, moving on. :D

By the way, I think you'd looked better with short hair. Or perhaps they're the source of your powers. Makes me wonder...Why don't we ask the RPGirls about that?

I once read that 10% of women found long hair attractive. Strangely enough, all my girlfriends save one said they liked my hair, so either its one of the things that attracted them to me, or I'm just really gullible.

Surely they're more suited than me to answer that...Well that's all. Oh I need to ask you a rpg oriented question right? Here goes : What's you opinion about Madona's performance on the Grammies yesterday night?

-- Raph "I don't want you. I'm a guy for Peat's sake!" Tremblay

I didn't watch the Grammies, but if she was dressed like she was Frozen... Good. Outstanding. Encore!

Sugarbritches?

Yo sugarbritches, (heh)

Vid this: In the beginning of Final Fantasy VII, after you blow up the first Mako Reactor, as Cloud is running away, there's an intresting little tidbit if you pay reaaaaallllly colse attention. When you get to the scene where Cloud is above the train tracks and the guards are coming out of the woodworks to ice him, look in the lit windows just above him. Every now and then you can see somebody strangling the life out of somebody else with their bare hands. Pretty neat, huh? Wait...no..uh...Final Fantasy VII promotes violence and torture! Evil I tell you, evil! Yeah, uh anyway....just thought I'd drop you this neato speedo little thing. Thought it was intresting.

-- Mad Prophet

Interesting indeed. Other Final Fantasy VII promotions included:

  • Blonde spiky hair on the hero as opposed to blue spiky hair.
  • The continuation of two species by cross-breeding. (Eww.)
  • Ebonics.
  • Translations which leave you wondering, "why?".
  • And finally, Yuffie. Or rather, the total destruction of.

Unfit for Print

Ummm, "niggardly"? I visit yesterday to see this kind of stuff and it makes me question racist backround to this site, please tell me this isn't true. Please

-- Jay

Sadly, though I made it quite clear everyone was to actually pick up a dictionary and look up "Niggardly" instead of scolding me in a righteous rage, Jay decided he'd do the "right thing" and expose RPGamer's, ahem, racist background. For his next trick, Jay will demand Nigeria begin calling itself "African Country" due to the racist connotation of the current name.

What's that tingly feeling? Quickies, of course!

redknight1 said, " You said you didn't go to college, but in your picture you're wearing a college shirt(if I'm wrong feel free to slap me)." Well, you're right. Kinda. It's a parody college shirt, "Spooky U". Look closely, you can see the batwings and crossbones. // Bishounen Zach wondered, " Just wondering. Why does the SD pixel style Celes have (vastly) larger breasts than the Amano design? I mean... jeez." Well, I pulled a few strings and... uh, I mean, I have no idea. It probably just didn't translate well to sprite form. // James, your friend is stupid. Shadow's theme is right out of Wild ARMs -- in other words, quite western, and hardly medieval. // And finally, an unnamed RPGamer wrote, "In what early SNES RPG is there a primary character named Thor?" The Legend of Thor! No, wait, that's for Saturn. Damn.

Thor stuff

Well, uh, bye? Yeah, I know, it was sudden. I've been dropping hints for a while (minor hints, admittedly, but hints nonetheless), but decided it'd just mess up the flow of the column if I had mentioned it earlier in the week. Don't be mad, it's only seven days -- which is less than the number of days most Gurus missed their first month. :D

Oh, and someone will take over for the week, so you'll get your fix, as pale as it may to my greatness. Or something.

Proving I know nothing of segues, here's some fan-made-files:

[needle] sent in a nifty nifty animated Thor sprite.

After looking at this drawing, you're bound to be, ahem, stricken.

This column's lateness was brought to you in part by the anime thor archive, my own lazyness and the number "4".

Check out the final (for now) Anime Thor archive update. There're some vastly cool submissions, so it's worth a looksy if you have a few minutes to blow.

I'm going to do my best to eradicate disc one of Xenogears. Heck, maybe even two. It'd be cool to get back and offer in-jokey responses to Xenogears questions instead of my usual answers, which are as serious as the game's dialog.

In other sad, horrible, terrible, awful, bad, bad, icky, naughty, gross and most painful news... Mystery Science Theater 3000 has been cancelled. Let us leave the next line blank in memory of this brilliant series. ( At least we have thirteen episodes left. I hope Trace makes a guest appearance.)

 

Anyways, I'm gone. You guys can still write me directly -- in fact, I expect it whether I make the offer or not, just don't... ask... stuff. Personal or Thor-ish letters are fine, but I don't plan on doing Q&A on my vacation, if I check my mail at all. I'm starting to loathe my e-mail program. It is the Bringer of Work. Hiss.

Sweet dreams, gang, and don't forget: Metallica, MST3K, Teri Hatcher, Final Fantasy and Mick Foley dominate. Don't question their auth-or-i-tai. Thank you, and goodnight.

- Thor "I'll miss Crow most of all" Antrim
The Sci Fi channel SUCKS! }:(

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