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Hey, yo.
 
 
Yay, I'm back. I had a lovely vacation, but it's Monday, so I'm more interested in daydreaming of quitting my job and running away to the circus than telling you what I did during my respite. I guess Mungette the Bearded Midget Lady will just have to wait for me. Ahh, dear sweet Mungette...

Anyhoo, I figured I'd keep Drew's redesign. It's pretty good, though admittedly not as original as Kupek's design. (Or was it Kupan? Fuzzy memory, and all.)

On a sad note, my esteemed colleges forgot to update Circle of Sages yesterday, hence no askthor@rpgamer.com link, hence no letters. Whatever is a poor Thor to do? Scrape the bottom of the barrel and march on. Not that there's anything wrong with today's few letters, they were just pressed lower in my e-mail archive than raisins in a decade old box of cereal.

 
Squareberg: Who's next?
What is the next rpg title we can expect from Squaresoft besides FFVIII
I have no clue. Square hasn't even announced a release date for FFVIII yet, though a few stores are reporting they know it anyway. I suppose Saga Frontier 2, if Square decides to take the plunge and give it a US release.
 
Will the Dreamcast sink so low?
What did you mean when you said Sega ran an ad campaign about blast processing?

- Arakin

Long long ago, in a videogame market far far away... from Japan, Sega of America decided to start a new marketing campaign, stupidly ditching (or just putting on hold?) the brilliant "SEGA!" ads. Yes, I called them brilliant -- annoying doesn't necessarily mean ineffective, as Nintendo taught us with those evil "Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah, you can't have it!" GameBoy commercials.

Anyway, from what I remember, there was an SNES and Genesis strapped to race cars, and the Genesis car went from 0 to 60 in around an instant, while the SNES vehicle was left puttering behind. The announcer credited this not to the fact that the SNES car had no human driver, but to Sega's new "Blast Processing" technique, which first made an appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

So just what is Blast Processing? At first, Sega wasn't too keen on giving a detailed explanation. Basically, they wanted you to believe it made Genesis games faster than SNES games. Not with messy clock speed stats, but with a catch phrase. Later, Sega described Blast Processing as a technique to get sprites ("2d polygons", for you new kids) moving on screen faster than usual. Later still, Sega claimed this was because (using Blast Processing, of course) the Genesis could ignore background elements while concentrating on pushing a sprite across the screen, which wasn't all that new. Also, sprites could be drawn on the screen while a different screen was being displayed. The problem was, Sega didn't exactly invent said technique -- it's called "page flipping" and wasn't all that new either.

In summery: Blast Proccessing = Bull Sh... er, Processing.

 
A watched summon spell never deals damage
(Final Fantasy VIII Spoiler. I think.)
It's me, Legion007. Well, I'll be quick and to the point. What do you think about summon spells. I think they're pretty annoying. In FF4 and FF6 they were okay, all they did was flash a picture on the screen. But FF7 pissed me off. every time I cast Bahamut Zero, I lost 30 seconds of my life. Which adds up to... 46 seconds. Gone. FF8 is even worse. Let's see.... Eden. They blow up the galaxy. The spell is a feakin' 1:30! What do you think?

- Legion007, who ate his own foot on national television

Tell me about it. Can you believe that in Final Fantasy 1, the Fire spell took less than two seconds to display? That's counting character animation, spell animation, enemy reaction and damage points displayed.

Sure, it's pretty and all... but how many times can you watch a big thing smash lots of little things before wishing you had a fast forward button on your PlayStation?

 
Thor stuff?
How come the people who read the Ask Thor column either really love you or hate you with a vengeance and plan on murdering you in the near future? Am I the only middle ground? And for another question, why the hell DO half of the people who read your column plan to kill you painfully and slowly!? Geez, some people are really *blarg* up! Leave the God o' Thunder alone, people!

- The Flaming Mog

It's not really that divided. Not to brag -- though I am, trust me -- but I'd say a good 95% of the "How you're doing" type letters I receive are positive. I do try and print the negative stuff/suggestions too, just to balance it out. Fun fact: An insulting letter has a higher chance of being printed than a flattering one, since there is less competition and if you're incoherent enough you'll be fit for, er, Unfit for Print.
 
Welp, might as well test this redesign with a multi-part'er...
Mr. Practitioner of the Tricky Font,

1) Lufia 2 rules Earth. Whats your take?

Never played it. Puzzles piss me off. Wild ARMs shortened my life by an estimated six years due to stress, high blood pressure and the nasty shock I received when I punched a hole through my PlayStation.
2) Whats your favorite RPG setting? Fantasy? Sci-fi? Punk? Modern? Hybrid?
Steampunk -- it's yet to be done, and that's why I love it so. (Unless you count The City of Lost Children as an RPG. Or Final Fantasy 7 as Steampunk. Which, undoubtedly, someone will.)
3) Which is better: Coffee or Dr. Pepper? (Not exactly an RPG topic so much as RPG accessory.)
Coffee in the morning, Dr. Pepper in the evening, "spam juice" at suppertime.
5) The thought of the snap on expansion to Zelda makes my heart go pitter-patter. (Then again, so does Play-Doh) Do you think Nintendo might monopolize this idea?
Perhaps, if they can ever dump the white elephant that is the DD. (Or, have they? Knowing Nintendo, they haven't retracted those oozing Nintendo Power specials. Grr. Flashback to the SNES CD features. Grr.
6) Cant you see it?! Final Fantasy X! Heroes of Final Fantasy! In your party: Cecil, Rydia, Terra, Locke, and Tifa! HOT MAMA! Then port it to the PC and duke it out online!! THAT WOULD KICK ARSE!! OH WOW!! I think I just went into epileptic shock! YEA!!

- Hicx

You need a date. Badly.
 
Another Thor-ish letter. (What do ya expect with no Sunday CoS? Thor mail, that's what.)
A while ago, someone mentioned the idea of an RPGuru themed RPG. Pteryx was kind enough to help save me from my first missed update of my career armed with only this letter. Warning: Heavy in-jokes to follow. Run away screaming unless you really like Ask Thor and have been reading a while.
An RPGuru console RPG, huh? I can only imagine...

A sprite of Thor is walking around on an overworld map which looks suspiciously like a topographical US map when all of a sudden the screen swirls and zooms in. Once the player has regained his bearing, Thor and his girlfriend are facing off against two drooling mutants labeled "LamerX"...

Thor's girlfriend shoots a few Pringles out of her arm-cannon at one of them, damaging them lightly. The LamerX that wasn't hit attacks Thor with a stupid question, but he parries it with a timely retort. Thor then pulls a HUGE hammer out from within his trenchcoat and bashes the other LamerX before it can attack. It dies.

The remaining LamerX attacks Thor's girlfriend (who desperately needs a name, BTW). She's only lightly damaged, but Thor is annoyed annoyed and his attack power goes up some. It's her turn to act, though, so she casts a Flame spell on the LamerX. Unfortunately, LamerXes are healed by flames, so it's up to Thor to kill the thing.

Thor is up next. Since the thing has more HP now, he tries casting a Lightning Wit on it. The LamerX reels from the blow and dies in a bloody explosion which is unfortunately censored into dissolving away just like in every other console RPG.

The player has won the battle! The camera zooms in on Thor and his girlfriend; she holds her arm-cannon just below her chin and winks while Thor puts his hand on his hip and grins like in the Anime Thor pic. Experience points are tallied and the overworld map fades back.

- Pteryx

Bravo! Hehe. Hmm... a name for my girlfriend... how about "Crystal"? For some reason, every time I try to think of a name for a female character in one of my stories, I think of either Crystal, Jenny, or variations on the two. Destiny or a lame imagination? You decide.
 
Wondering where babies come from?
Ask Thor
(Give him a mint cookie and your chances of being printed are raised 7.25%)
 
Now Playing
Xenogears
(After 30 hours, the game is finally fun. Books are edited, as are movies and plays... So why not games?)
 
Like Old Crap?
Try the Archives
(Beware the Typoes)
 
Bored? Easily amused? Stoned?
The Hack Archive
Thor Antrim: Anime Style
(Edit me. It's fun.)
 
Quickies that satisfy
Some poor sap wrote a letter mocking my hair in hopes of getting a reaction -- his past e-mail wasn't printed. His girlfriend saw my picture and has now "taken a liking" to me. Poor girl. I have only this to say:

Neiner, neiner, poopoo!

Some dude told me to check out Zelda.com for a laugh. It's a porn site, get it? Zelda the Princess and Zelda presumably the name of one of the models who appear naked on Zelda.com! Har har. There, I laughed.

I don't see what the fuss is. Almost everyone acts as if the domain name was selected to lure Nintendo fans rather than because it's a female name. On top of that, the domain was registered long before the Zelda 64 mega-hype hit, so I am expected to believe a netsmut business named itself after a character who hadn't made an appearance since 1992. Right.

And finally (like I said, not much mail today) Shot2Hell said:

"You're the man. When I grow (WAY) up, I want to be a Thor."

No. No, you really don't.
 
Thor Stuff

Bah. Monday. No letters. Thor mad. Itchy. Tasty. Bye.

- Thor "Grr" Antrim
Blarg.

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