Enter Sandman
Brainscan is a good movie.
Tougher than your average Chocobo Racing question
Anybody know where I can find more info on this game? Typing 'chocobo racing' into any search engine I know of will give me... many, many Final Fantasy VII links. ^_^'
Hey... you're right! Consarnit. Like I need more Final Fantasy VII.

The lowdown: Chocobo Racing features more than seven tracks; and eight characters, including a Black Mage, a Chocobo, a Moogle, and five other new/obscure contestants. The game is a pure Mario Kart clone, but don't worry, it still looks better than Sonic R.

Beware when looking into the mind of Square, what you see may scare you....
Like no LoM port!
O great knowledgable Thunder god,

What makes a Square RPG a Final Fantasy? It made more sense back when they didn't do any other RPG's, but now...why couldn't Chrono Trigger have been a Final Fantasy (the 7th at the time, I believe), and ditto with Xenogears now?

Do you know what determines the right to be the next in the series?

- Colbey

Cool name. Well, first you have the main Final Fantasy series. This consists of Final Fantasy I-VIII. These games are connected by their mythology (Chocobos, Moogles...); the involvement of certain designers; and the "Final Fantasy #" title. Then you have Final Fantasy Tactics, which I feel deserves the "Final Fantasy" moniker (it had everything from Summons to FFV's job system to Moogles). The FFT team consisted of Square staff members and ex-Tactics Ogre developers. Last, and certainly least, you have Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, which, uh. Well, it had four crystals.

Xenogears and Chrono Trigger had nothing to do with Final Fantasy, aside from maybe a few shared staff members. As for why Square decided to call Final Fantasy Mystic Quest a Final Fantasy game, I can only guess, but I figure it was a way to bribe seasoned gamers to at least give it a try. You know, "It's got the crystals! You can beat it in one sitting, but it's got the crystals!".

<SMACK> Dumb! Ignorant!
Hey Godly Q/A Guy,

I was wondering, how did you come to make up that list of things you do when you don't instantly realize stuff. (Refer to Ask Thor, April 6th if you can), and, With that, where you get the time? I mean with all the Qs and stuff, and you still write up stuff like that. Where do you get the time?

Having no life often helps free up hours of time every day. Try it! You'll like it.

As much as I hate giving away secrets... well, okay, here's my list of things to do when stumped:

  1. Panic.
  2. Bug my friends for help.
  3. Toss around wild insults when friends fail to assist.
  4. Try a few dozen search engines for information.
  5. Toss around my keyboard when the only thing my search for "Secret of Mana + Shadow Zero" turns up is "FFXXX.COM -- THE GREATEST SOURCE OF FINAL FANTASY HENTAI".
  6. Check my watch. Note it's 8:33am and I haven't gone to bed yet.
  7. Panic.
  8. And finally, just before I pass out, as I see a pearly white tunnel stretch before me, and my first cat (may she rest in peace) purr for me to "step into the light", I remember an article I read in EGM a few months back which explained everything.
Now you see why us Q&A guys retire early.
PS, Smack me around and call me dumb and ignorant, but why does everyone think you "like" this person who is most oftenly referred to and Lorelai?
'Cause she's a fine fox and I'm a cool cat, daddy-o. People see us walking down the hall, and they're bound to wonder if we get frisky during off hours. Which we don't. Because then her boyfriend would have to hurt me. And, well, then I would cry.
Hey Thorgasm,
That is just so wrong on so many levels...
What do you think the chances that we're gonna see "Save Final Fantasy 4" petitions crop up all over the net? I mean, we finally get a US release of FFV (Which Ive played and liked) and yet people are never happy. Also, do you think the conspicuous absence of Legend of Mana is an oversight or a case where we need to go break a few kneecaps at SquareEA?

-Mafia Boss Vincent Valintino

Yeah, I suspect there'll be a few petitions, but I doubt they'll work. Square's not saying why FFIV is absent, but I think it's pretty obvious: The Final Fantasy IV PlayStation port was quite buggy, and if Square couldn't find a fix for the problems before, I doubt it'd be much easier to come up with a solution now. The game would also have to be retranslated, along with its, ahem, companions. (Pun intended, nyuck.)

Of course, I could say, "Screw that! Just wait the extra month it'd take!", but I'm not making millions a year, so I don't get to make those king of decisions. Come to think of it, maybe the reason I don't make millions a year is because I make those kind of decisions on a daily basis. Shoot.

Observational Humor -- without the megaphone.
(Xenogears spoilage)
Oh Most Omniscient Thor,

I was playing Xenogears the other day (as usual), and I talked to the semi-useless flirt nurse on the Yggdrasil, and she said, "What? Later. I'm afraid of heights." This was obviously a retort to the all-too-common pick-up line, "Hey baby, wanna become a member of the Mile-High Club?" Shouldn't Fei be keeping his mind on Elly instead of making hackneyed passes at other women? I mean, isn't he supposed to be the good, faithful hero? Maybe this flirtatious personality in Fei is a suppressed representation of Id? What excellent foreshadowing on the part of the writers!

- Bucho

Yeah, the chances of that exchange being clever foreshadowing are about as good as the chances of Square translating Seiken Densetsu 3 for the SNES. Anyway, good eyes; I missed that. Pretty funny when you think about it. (Now, watch someone write in with the "real" reason she said what she did. Blah! :D)
I can see the headlines now... "RPGamer news guy: He's no Spock."
From your news section:
"And there we have it. As the months pass, we will get more accurate release dates, but for now all we have are estimates. And don't think Square's leaving out Legend of Mana. It hasn't even been released in Japan yet, there would be no logic in preparing it for an American release this early."
Actually, there is plenty logic. In May 1998, Square EA announced that Brave Fencer Musashi was coming to America. Hmmm... May 1998, sounds like that was before the Japanese BFM release to me. Not only did they announce a U.S. release a few months before the game was shipped to Japanese shelves, they also had a fully playable unfinished Japanese version of BFM at E3 '98. Square's too lazy to put FF4 in FFA, what's to stop them from depriving us of LoM?
Good point about the BFM release. Anyway, the circumstances are a little different. I mean, are any of us actually going to pass up FFA just because of the missing FFIV? Hopefully, not. Anyone that fanatic should be shot. It's safe to say Square didn't lose much by choosing to ditch FF4. Not translating Legend of Mana would cost them a lot of easy sales though. And what would the risk be? Square's freaking huge. They're willing to take a chance or two -- as long as said chance brings in $49.95 per copy.
I also wonder what Square's reasoning is. They want to give us CR and CMD2 (who cares?) but they ignore SD: LoM, SaGa F2, and RL, all which look far cooler than CR and CMD2. Sigh...
It's actually kind of logical not to translate SaGa Frontier 2. I mean, in Japan SaGa Frontier outsold Xenogears, in America it was blasted by almost every magazine around. I don't blame them for being worried about releasing SaGa Frontier 2 here. I'd be. As for Chocobo Racing and Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon 2... well, they're mascot games! And mascot games sell regardless of quality.
One last question: I need to know what the title of the DigiCube CD with catalog number SSCX-10031 is. Nobody seems to know (this includes many importers, soundtrack buffs, and DigiCube's Japanese website)!
Er, dude, I got the Chocobo Racing question wrong. I think this one's a little out of my league.
The Great Culex Conundrum
I believe Culex was Square joking at their own game, Final Fantasy 4. Culex shows up with a long, almost ridiculous speech about darkness and light, like many FF4 bosses. Also Culex is drawn 2D, unlike anyone else in Mario RPG, and there's the FF4 music, too. He's basically a parody of Zeromus, or FF4 bosses in general.
Huh, interesting. What is it with you guys making such good points today? Ya'll are on a roll. Damn, I wish I had something funny to say right about now.
Is not from FF3j. I know, because I have played and beaten the game twice and hail it as my favourite FF. It was fun. That evil, evil cave was a pain in the ass, but the game was fun.
Doh. That was my best guess, too. Either that, or Culex wasn't even in a Final Fantasy, and he was just some sort of special character, like... well, like the letter above and below this one suggest.
Oh, and I've been meaning to ask this for a long time. Can I have a quickie? ^_^
Well, er. Lets get back to you on that after I determine a silly little something known as your gender.
And, yes, I realize that you've probably gotten a dozen mails saying what I've just said, but, then, you are the almighty Thor, god of thunder, sexy pants, and tacky Hawaiian shirts. I dunno why Hawaiian shirts, though, but it sounded good.

And I don't like signing email, so I won't.

After making an offer like that to a legendary dork like me? I don't blame you for wanting to remain anonymous.

Actually, I used to really like wearing Hawaiian shirts when I was thirteen or fourteen. And then I discovered RPGs, and found a new love which would ensure that I'd never got any.

Dear Thor

I was reading about that question that brought up the issue of the relevance of Culex in Super Mario RPG. This reminded me of a discussion a friend of mine and I had about this scene/fight. When you beat Culex...which I may add is very tough.. He says something to the effect of "Let us depart on good terms as friends... " I believe that Culex might symbolize Squaresofts old tradition of being strictly a Nintendo developer. I was led to believe this when I realized that after Super Mario RPG Square didnt make any more games for Nintendo.. So maybe Culex was Squares way to get people to remember all their great previous works on the Nintendo systems and accept that they wanted to leave on good terms and not enemies of Nintendo. What do you think Thor? Also does anyone reading this (if it is posted ) have any other ideas??


The lost Belouve....

That's really sweet, in a way. I'd like to think of Nintendo and Square parting like that, rather than Shigeru Miyamoto getting drunk at a party, stripping down to his tighty whities, and dancing about Hironobu Sakaguchi while chanting, "neiner, neiner, someone is a weiner!".
Now that is a fat Chocobo.
(Spoilers for just about every RPG known to man. BEWARE!)
I was shocked when I saw the link to . Not only is it flagrant hamster porn, but I had sent you the link twice before! Arg....

But what I really wanted to ask you is how come everyone thinks that mentally disturbed characters are cliches? Let's count how many there are: Cloud. Fei. Hrms, that's all I can think of. And they aren't even similar aside from having some kind of emotional problem. Cloud has had Jenova cells injected into him, and been given a false past and is under the control of Sephiroth because of his Jenova cells. Fei on the other hand, wait, you haven't beaten Xenogears yet, have you? Darn. Well, it's different, ok? It's hardly a cliche when you have two games where characters have mental problems. Fei wasn't made from the same mold as Cloud. At least Square gives us characters with some depth.

- Arpad Korossy, the disgruntled Fat_Chocobo

Actually, there have been quite a few games where lead characters were less than mentally/emotionally kosher. Lufia of "& The Fortress of Doom" fame had amnisia. As did Breath of Fire 3's hero, to an extent. Luna from Lunar's memory is also a bit spotty. But enough with amnisia, lets move on to other woes. There was Terra from Final Fantasy VI, who had that whole nasty Data-esque "am I human/can I love?" thing going on. Panzer Dragoon Saga also had a non-human with problems steaming from her human appearance and inhuman essence, Azel. In Lunar II, Jean has some emotional problems steaming from abuse... and finally, Billy from Xenogears pondered selling his body for a quick buck. That's just wrong.

So, there you have it. While most RPGs weren't as focused on Freudian misadventures as Xenogears and Final Fantasy VII, mental health has itself a nice little seat in the auditorium of RPG mythos and cliches.

(Auditorium of RPG mythos and cliches? Where do I come up with this crap, anyway?)

Fun with words!
"Warmest regards to my least favourite letters column host: Thor Antrim."
- Shawners
So why does he read the column at all?

- G

Nothing better to do, I suppose. That, or he has a deeply hidden attraction towards lanky columnists who resemble the drummer from Hootie and the Blowfish.
O Thor:

Our friend Shawners seems to have a good deal of respect for the English language, but if he meant to close his letter in Latin he must be unaware that "Salvete" is the plural form. As his letter is addressed in the singular, he should end it with "Salve".

He clearly values a good reference book, so I recommend for him Wheelock's Latin Grammar, and Cassel's Latin and English Dictionary. :)


Okay, I'll admit: this one was just for me, heh heh.
Actually, that guy is right. M-W and Random House wouldn't know the english language if it bit them in the ass. I won't be a bit surprised if one of them starts considering "your" a correct shortening of "you are." Hell, they already list "anyways" as correct.
Fair enough, man. No one suggested Merriam-Webster was the best, it's just rather odd to see people complaining about which dictionary someone uses.
T.G. Thor,

Don't worry about the tree-hugging dictionary fiends who plague you about using the "correct" dictionary. All a dictionary is is what some guy who is long dead thought a word meant. It is a book of opinions.

- LewsTeran

Oh, I don't think Shawners is very interested in hugging trees. To Shawn, a tree is not a thing of beauty, nor a symbol of life -- it is a dictionary yet to be made! Yes, the sooner that pesky weed is chainsawed down and processed, the sooner Shawners can buy more dictionaries. And then more, after that. And more, and more, and more! Until one day, Shawners will be Emperor of Dictionaries, and we'll all have to bow and pay our respects before we can look up words. That is, until one day, when Barret will burst into the Castle of Corrections and best Shawners with his secret weakness: Ebonics.
Since Thor's so fattening, why not some Q&A Lite?
Ask Michael
(I know, now. But call him "Captian Snorklehead" anyway.)
Like Old Crap?
Try the Archives
(Don't worry folks, it'll return as soon as the missing columns do.)
Bored? Easily amused? Stoned?
The Hack Archive
Thor Antrim: Anime Style
(Edit me. It's fun.)
Quickies that satisfy
incase you didn't know Jun Aida is the producer for the FF movie
- Ar-Kain
Hey, I didn't! Thanks.
Come to here for a much cooler page than HamsterDance. It's the hottest dance party ever to hit an RPG!
- DUPmaster
Yeah, baby! Take it off! Take it all off!

Uh, I mean, thanks for the link.

In some of those pictures, Cid resembles Robin Williams.... thats who I thought he was modeled after... LoRD kicked so much ass.... god i miss that game.
No need to miss it! is totally free. And yeah, he does kinda look like the Doctor. Er, I mean, Robin.
Mr. Sexypants Sir, Which in your opinion is a better rock star name: Kefka Libido or Sephiroth Terranigma?

P.S. Please print this letter. Without this letter being printed, my life will be without meaning. I shall drift from homeless shelter to homeless shelter, eventually being imprisoned for a crime that I may or may not have commited and murdered for a pack of cigarettes.

Sephiroth Terranigama if you're going for the "Enigma" thing, Kefka Libido if you're going for the tortured industiral artist, and Kefka
Thor Stuff

I've been playing a lot of demos lately. I don't get a chance to rent games often, and when I do I usually go for past favorites and turn up my elitist nose at the popular games, so a demo disc is pretty much the only way to expose me to most PlayStation games.

Which is, I think it's pretty say, the only way any of my readers would ever want me exposed.

Anyway, I've come to the conclusion that I really, really want Brave Fencer Musashi, Metal Gear Solid, Wild 9, Spyro the Dragon and Coolboarders 3.

BFM impressed me more than any of them, though. It had such a classic "SNES" feel to it. You know, I'm quite fond of so called "2.5d" games (though "3d on rails" is more like it). The control is always really smooth, and you rarely notice things like clipping or fog, since you're basically looking at an overhead view.

Well, that's enough for me. It's already close to 10am, and I've yet to proofread this sucker. And knowing me, that'll take a good hour -- and won't do one damn bit of good. Enjoy counting typos, my poppets!

Shadow Zero Attack Mega! Thor "Deadry Ninja" Antrim
Should I keep the Shadow Zero icon, or shouldn't I? I kinda like it...

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