Food for thought
If a chocobo lays an egg every one and a half hours for three days, how many eggs will the chocobo have after six months during a leap year?
This question rocks.
Dear Thor

I just want to know what the difrences 1st party and 3rd party developers

- Yulius Leonard

A first party developer is the manufacturer of the game console. Zelda 64 is a first party game. Third party games are those made by other companies, like Final Fantasy VII. There are also "1.5 party" games, which is when a developer and a console manufacturer actually team up, like Nintendo and Rare. Rare doesn't make games for other systems, but it's separate from Nintendo. As for the second party... well, that's you and me. The consumers. Fear us, the second party! Bow to our will, Square, and release every Final Fantasy on a DVD disc for $5!
Is that a Moogle in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
I while ago i had always heard that you could use the pocketstation for FF8. For chocobo breading or just building up levels. Now i don't hear anything about it. Are they still planning on using the pocketstation for FF8 or has that project been scrapped? Just a couple more questions. do you know if there is going to be any chocobo breeding in FF8? And are any moogles going to show up in FF8? cause the last time i saw one it was in the summon for FF7 and the crappy game in the Golden saucer.

- Panther

I'll answer the first two questions at once: You download data from FVIII to he PocketStation, allowing you to play a nifty 'Monster Rancher lite' Chocobo game, with everything from random events to battles with friends to traversing 100s of maps. Keen. As for the moogle bit, I've yet to play through Final Fantasy VIII -- I'm waiting until I can read that silly thing called a "storyline" -- but I've heard Moogles don't show up much at all, save for a spell animation. Poo. Or, Kupoo, I should say.
Letter of the Year
o holy thundergod who smites richard simmons

i can't get the sketch bug to work. my game may be defective because the bug's not there.

Your copy of Final Fantasy 6 is defective because its bug free. Right.
oh i got a song for you. (plays to the armour hot dog jingle) hot dogs, whats in a hot dog. you really ought to know what's in a hot dog. rat lips, prozac, tiny bits of glass cow hooves, viagra, even eyeballs from a bass in hot dogs, what's in a hot dog, you shouldn't of asked me what's in a hot dog

- ImperialMog

I... uh... have to go. I left the oven on in my other pants, or something.
Blah blah music blah blah doesn't suck blah blah blah
Not really a question, but...

After reading in a variety of places that Final Fantasy 8's soundtrack is the game's most disappointing feature, I went and downloaded it to see if it could actually be true that Nobuo Uematsu had run out of steam. Yet having heard the music now, I'm wondering where all this displeasure is coming from.

Granted, there is one major reason to be disappointed with the music of FF8, and that's the sound quality. Square has little excuse for taking a step backwards from FFT and Xenogears in their flagship series, of all places. A step up from FF7, yes; but it could have been better. Disappointment with the soundtrack for this reason is justified.

What isn't justified is disappointment that it's not another FF6. Don't get me wrong, FF6 has incredible music- but no one should expect any Final Fantasy to be a resurrection of a previous one. I haven't played FF8 yet but you can tell from screenshots alone that the game is more like FF7 than FF6 in that they have dispensed with the regal atmosphere of their predecessors. FF7 and FF8 are in substantially more modern settings; thus it simply wouldn't make sense to try to fit a FF6-style score to either of the two. You're simply not going to have the orchestrations used in FF6, and you're not going to have all the same thematic treatments. If we were going to expect the audio elements to be rehash we may as well expect the graphics to be rehashed too.

I also don't think that Uematsu's style has changed as much as some would like to think. His music still relies on very simple, tonal melodies as their bases. The music functions conventionally- this is why his composition is still so appealing to our ears He still associates themes with characters and other elements of the story, recapitulating these themes very effectively. We'd better get used to the Dance sequence music, since that theme comes back again and again in the soundtrack. If anything, FF8's music is MORE like earlier Final Fantasies than FF7's.

However, I agree: "Eyes on Me" sucks.

- Gewolke

Telling people that Uematsu's style hasn't changed much really doesn't help the fact that Final Fantasy Tactics and Xenogears sounded (IMO, and all that crap) a lot better than Final Fantasy 7. And Xenogears is just as dark and even more tech-y, so saying that Final Fantasy 7 wasn't more "modern" game doesn't help a damn thing.

Then there's the "But there were like 100 songs in FF7!" argument. Well, who's fault was that? At some point during the design of Final Fantasy 7 they went with lots of different, somewhat ununique songs, as opposed to 40 or so easily identifiable (and oft remixed) tunes throughout the game. So there.

And finally there is the "but he had so little time to compose!" argument, in which people say he didn't have enough time to do Final Fantasy 7's music. Right. Do they have one guy doing the FMV? And if that one guy was overworked, did they just release lack-luster FMV? No! They spend a gajillamillion dollars buying workstations and hired 60,000 people to do the CG. If Uematsu was actually unable to handle the workload, hiring someone to help out would have been easy. They could have had Uematsu do all the main themes, and then someone else handle things like Wall Market's theme. Which is one of Thor's Good Ideas (tm) and is copyrighted Thor, 1999. So no stealing, Square!

The point of all this is that there's not really an excuse. Final Fantasy 7 and 8's music sound the way they do because someone wanted it that way, just like they wanted you-know-who to die in Final Fantasy 7. Square is happy with that style of music, even if a good deal of us aren't, so like it or not, that's the direction the Final Fantasy series has moved in.

Hey, does this count as my rant? I'm way too sleepy to be making arguments; disregard all of that.

When mothers attack
my mommy took my playstation away and told me to go get some sun. I told her my snowy white complexion was genetic, but she didn't buy it.

- Al

Maybe that's because your parents are black.
Ever try an' think of a title but couldn't? Yeah, same here.
I was reading your column, and you mentioned Suikoden. I'd never heard of it, but I thought I'd give it a try. It kicks ass! Unfortunately, much to my distress, it's about three years old, and I can't find it anywhere! I'm at the part where you go up against Milich on the rental game. Is there very much left to do after that? I just wanna know if I should spend time searching God's green earth for a copy or just rent it until I beat it.
You're around halfway through, if I remember correctly. Whether it's worth a buy is really up to you. Keep in mind that Suikoden is only around twenty hours long, so it's only a good idea not to "rent 'n win" if you're into obliterating the game; playing through again, getting every character and whatnot.
Also, on the RPGamer preview of Suikoden II, it says that you get to play as the empire. But in the new Official Playstation Magazine, it made it sound like a remix of the origional. Which is true? God, I like that game. Lots of characters to use.
The game takes place a three years after Suikoden. You don't play as the empire from Suikoden (which would suck, I think), instead the game takes place north of Lake Toran, so expect lots of, uh, new... stuff. (Oh, and the game isn't a remix, either.)
And finally, can you explain the difference between FMV and FMA for me? In one OPM, they had a sort of dictionary section that defines them, but says that FMA is commonly mistaken to be FMV.
Full Motion Animation is a pre-rendered movie, like what you saw in Final Fantasy VIII. Full Motion Video is actual film footage, like the delightfully spooky introduction of Resident Evil 1. Most everyone -- myself included -- uses the two interchangeably, because it's a pretty widespread term, and "FMV" will just get you a few blank stares and a life full of heartbreak.
P.S. Please either post some of this (especially about Suikoden) If you don't, I'll have to send my sister Deslxdiltkdxod (translated as Girl with many consonants in her name) to take you down to the newly-opened Eighth Circle of Hell, where you'll be cuddled by the teletubbies (especially the gay one), serenaded repeatedly by Hanson singing "MMMMBOP!", and be foreced to dance the Macarena for the rest of eternity. Thank you, have a nice day :-)

- Xarliquixsicstyl the Unpronouncible, Demon Lord of the Firey Pit of Blood and Pain, Texas

You know, the Eight Circle of Hell sounds almost exactly like Mike's bedroom. Not that I've ever seen his bedroom, or anything.

...what do you mean "how did I get this job"? I just did, OK? Lay off.

--=[Sephiroth Chat!]=--
(Final Fantasy VII Spoilers)
Here's the answer to the "Safer Sephiroth" question. And it *DOES* have to do with Judaism. In Hebrew the word "Sefer" means book, and "Sefirot" means aspects of God. In specific, the HOLY aspects of God (10 of 'em). Therefore, Sefer Sefirot (Safer Sephiroth) means book of the 10 holy aspects of God.

That's just the literal translation, the actual meaning of this goes far deeper into Jewish Mysticism (Kabbalah). So if you're under 40, unmarried, female, Jewish, and don't know the Talmud by heart, you're not supposed to study this stuff. Basically, Kabbalists, believe that God has 10 aspects. Go here to see what the 10 aspects of God are. Anyway, the point is that Kabbalah has lots to do with Rabbis having these mystical experiences/visions where they see God's throne. God is surrounded by angels. Seeing Sephiroth as a one-winged angel could be perceived as a mystical experience. But hey, I'm no scholar of Kabbalah, I just take a course in it.

-Hoenir Aesir

Although the people at Square probably just made a translation error, the word "safer" does have a meaning in Judaism. "safer" means house in hebrew. You see, bait-safer means house of books, or library. safer-torah means house of the torah (torah: big Jewish scroll, equal to Christian bible), meaning either the case that the torah is kept in, or in some obscurity the synagogue (church, temple).

- The Watcher on the Pole

I'm sticking with my original guess answer: It was a mistranslation of "Seraph Sephiroth". The fact that Safer means something is probably just a coincidink. A Seraph is a powerful Angel, and if Sephy couldn't be classified as such at the end of Final Fantasy 7, I don't know what could. (Except Tifa...)
Chocobo Backlash: Fear the Chicken
Thor, I just visited your website, and you have one freaky hand. :)
It didn't get on PSMonline due to normality, heh heh.
What I'm writing about though, is how could you have let that guy say that VII had a decreased chocobo emphasis? Square is very far from dropping the chocobo, in fact it is becoming more popular. In IV and VI it was mere transportation or item storage (love them fat chocobo!), but in VII you can also breed 'em, race 'em, feed'em, and fight them in battle. And in Tactics, yeah they caused bugs, but they could be riden and used in battle for the first time. An now we have Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon 2 already out in Japan, with those uber-cute super deformed chocobos! Chocobos forever!

- Arpad Korossy

Ayup, Chocobos thrive these days -- they just aren't quite the same in Final Fantasy VIII. Like I said, Square seems to lust for "newness". (CMD/2 wasn't a Final Fantasy game, so I didn't bring it up, much like Neve Campbell isn't a Final Fantasy game, so I didn't bring her up, either.)
Hey whats up Thor...

About those chocobos: true they weren't exactly around from FF1, but FF2j is pretty close to the beginning, don't you think? Not only can you catch one and ride around on it, you also carry one around in your inventory for a while, until the too cute little thing actually rescues you. Choco's rule, there should be more of 'em around.

To quote the late, great Johnny Carson, "I did not know that". It looks like Chocobos will have a long and healthy life in the Final Fantasy series... they're just going to have to get used to the nasty side-effects of a little thing called evolution.
On a side note, the FF7 instruction book was a complete waste of perfectly good trees. It didn't give any useful information at all. FF3 was the ultimate instruction book... all other rpg's should copy it: spell lists, ability lists, etc... useful stuff.

anway later,mighty hammer guy

- Brian

Yeah, really. Do yourself a favor and flip through your copy of the Final Fantasy VII instruction booklet, guys. See all those pages filled with nothing but (spoiler-ish) FMV? Couldn't they have printed something... oh, I don't know -- useful there? Sheesh. Talk about style over substance.

It has just been brought to my attention that Johnny Carson isn't dead, which leaves me to believe he has now joined the ranks of the deadites. Flee!

Lazy Bastard
Dear Thor, (No offense, but the worst superhero ever created shares your name. Spiderman could take him any day!)
Hey, man. Don't make me sic Beta Ray Bill on your arse. :D
You know, when your parents told you that playing video games was anti-social, they were kinda right (especially with RPGs). I don't know how many times I blew off my friends to play Zelda, Xenogears, or something else. Just today, I made up some lame excuse so I could play some more Tenchu. Man, I'm a real lazy bastard.
No, you're just a budding serial killer. Soon you'll have a collection of toes duct-taped to your back, a rusty butter knife ever-ready to slice human flesh, and a basement full of Yuffie posters. You disgust me.
Wondering if that dress makes your thighs look fat?
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(Thor is better than Drew because Drew rhymes with "poo"!)
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Quickies that satisfy
The first time you wrote "Thor & Antrim" and the second you wrote "Thor & Answer" and "Question & answer" with "question" italisized.

Which did you mean to do, antrim or answer?

Simple, I didn't write yesterdays column. I mean, look at the title: "Mondays rule"? That is just so unlike me. <blink>
So, I think a girl I know is a succubus. How, without having her steal my soul, can I prove this? I mean, if she goes through the actions before the soul stealing, I'm okay with it, but she's lazy at times.
- Terry Rader
Just send her over here. Don't ask any questions, just do it. I'll have your answer for you by tomorrow. Either that, or I'll never be heard from again. Because I might, um, quit RPGamer and become a monk. Brother Antrim. That's it. Yeah...
What happenned to all the Thor Hacks? I haven't seen any updates since you posted your enigma of a picture on your column. I'm slowly saving enough to warrant another update. I've like, 15 right now, so I'll probably update on Thursday.
You didn't put SoM in the second part of the poll? You people at RPGamer have balls...
- Cottonby
That we do! Well, except Amber and Lorelai, of course. However, take a second look at that poll. The lists are alphabetical, and there wasn't enough room for the S's. Look for Part 3 in a week, or so.
Where do babies come from?
- Pregnant Woman
Sadly, my little experement with that accursed Succubus. Now I'm tied down, man; pity me.
Thor Stuff

This is a long column.

Tomorrow will be a short column.

Know the difference.

And now I slumber.

- Thor "Sunlight hurts" Antrim
Hopefully, I'll have fond dreams of my lady fair. Unless she steals my soul before I get to sleep.

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