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Yeap. It's a Monday alright.
 
 
Due to a series of events so horrible I dare not explain, todays column is "!@#$ late again". Sowwy?
 
Subject: An actual question
Yo Thor,

Ever notice how few people ask questions on Ask Thor? I've got a real question for you:

Do you know what the screen resolution of the SNES was? I think it was 320X240, but I'm not sure. I need to know for something I'm working on.

- Mason Wheeler

Developers could pick from a selection of resolutions. The max was 512x448. Boring answers suck, don't they?
 
Whole lotta questions goin' on
Hey Thor,

This is the fourth time i have emailed you. I'm not going to get mad at you and turn this into some unintelligent flame. I understand that you probably have almost too many emails to read so I understand and I'll just keep trying. Here are the questions:

1) Do you know where I can find some good information on this Final Fantasy movie coming out?

There really isn't much info out there. Here's the link to RPGamer's FFM coverage, though.
2) What do you think about looking up to console RPG heroes? Let me explain. Many people have heroes in the movies like say, Superman, Rocky Balboa, John Rambo, or Richard Simmons. So would it be wrong to claim an RPG hero as, well, a hero, like say Cloud Stife or ,umm, Alundra, heh heh.
RPGs have showcased some of the most memorable and heroic characters of all time; my favorite being Cecil. Even the "new age" heroes that have become so trendy are fine role models, unless you try to mimic their numerous mental disorders. In summary, I think looking up to console RPG heroes is fine. As long as you don't look up to Mukki.
3) Do you watch Ter--er, Lois and Clark?
Used to, but it just wasn't the same after Lois got that "butch" haircut.
4) Last one. How long did it take you to grow your hair that long?

Thanks in advance,

- Rocky, your greatest fan.

What's with you and hair? Sheesh. It took me from day one. That's right, I've never cut my hair. (Or my toenails. But that's another story entirely.)
 
Real Audio
Hey Thor,

Just a note about the question you got about audio. Recently, I got Lunar 1 and 2 for the Sega CD (yep, I bought that tired old system for 25 bucks just for the Lunar series). The first game in the series allows you to listen to all the songs in the game through your CD player. The second one only allows you to listen to two special vocal songs.

The big problem is compression. Sometimes, to fit everything onto one disc, the game designers have to make use of the Playstation's compression capabilities. That means that hardware can ready it, but your puny li'l discman can't.

Here's another problem: When you have audio that goes along with FMV, it must be compressed along with the video sequence into one big chunk of information. Most FMV is compressed (acounting for most of the pixellation you see), meaning that audio from FMV scenes is rarely accessible.

The third reason, you already mentioned. The game designers are just too damn lazy!! Well, that and the game soundtrack industry is a BIG business in Japan... and they're not about the re-encode the entire game for us stupid Americans. ...Although for Lunar: Eternal Blue, Working Designs DID add an extra decompressed song on the game disc to listen to on your CD player. Another reason to like the old WD, eh?

Another great letter to the wonderful daily article, Tell Thor...

- Radien

Thanks for the feedback, man. The compression factor never even occured to me!
 
NUDITY! (heh heh, got your attention, d'int I?)
One day you wrote that there wasn't nudity in SNES RPGs. This isn't true. Off the top of my head, I can think of two examples:

The first is Mother 2 (the Japanese version of Earthbound). In it, at one point in the game, you enter the realm of your mind, and you walk around naked (it's your mind, you can do what you want, right?).

The second example is in Live A Live. At one point in the game, when you run from a battle, you appear in the bathroom, while a girl is taking a shower (this is in the near future chapter). So, the lesson of this letter is: expect the unexpected.

- Giampi13

Those aren't SNES games, those are Super Famicom games! Big difference. Um, heh, yeah. Okay, it's a weak excuse, but I do have a point: You'll find some nudity in Super Famicom games, albeit pixely sprite nudity, but it was always removed when ported to America. (Heck, in Final Fantasy IVj a girl literally leaped out of her dress, but you sure as heck wouldn't know going by the SNES version.)
 
Er...
"Remember that one? A girl dressed as Sephiroth was fondling a girl dressed as Cloud's, uh, mountains of joy."

Umm... Thor darling, I know everyone understood what you meant, but by the way that's phrased, it sounds like the girl was dressed AS Cloud's breasts. Pretty scary thought, ne?

Aww, I'm sorry I scared you yet again! *smooch* ^0^ *smooch* All better?

-Teresa "Yeah, Andrew Vestal does look homoerotic in his Moogle suit" Gonzalez

Jeez. I've phrased things badly in my day, but that takes the cake. I wish it'd give the cake back, though. It was some pretty darn good cake.
 
Clown Video Game College
I was reading Greenhut's letter's today and saw the one about the kid in college wanting to be a video game designer. Greenhut left out some important info, that I would like to address to help a fellow gamer in need. (Maybe it'll help him out, cause he doesn't seem to have a clue either.) So here's some advice from a guy finishing his 2nd yr of college who wants to be in the industry, and has his future set due to a sweet ass internship this summer which isn't w/ a video game company.

1. Most videogame companies don't have internships. EA is the only one I've come across that does. The reason for this is simple: video game companies don't make that much money in relation to say PC software companies. I'm a CS/Econ major at an Ivy League school and 95% of the CS I'll learn here I won't use (Xilinx anyone?). Which means video game companies have to train interns how to do something real....which leads to point #2...

2. If you notice there are very few positions for programmers who have less than 2 years experience. Again, video game companies want immediate results (they have a bad year, they might not be here next year) they don't want a new guy to spend 3-6 months learning the ropes and then contribute. It doesn't work that way, which is why you won't see Squaresoft at your school career fair.

3. So what do you need to do? Well, get an internship with a company in product development (not a consulting firm, research lab, etc) and get a hands-on (does this sound like a devry commercial?) tutorial about the PD cycle. Spend 2-3 years making $60K/yr w/ said type of company then go work at Squaresoft for $30K + royalties. Or start your own company once you know something.

4. Greenhut said C/C++ are important, yes, but if you don't know how to go about w/ Assembly then they'll laugh at you. Yes, they won't just ignore your resume and not call you back, but they'll actually pick up the phone, call you and laugh maniacally.

Strangely enough, that's the same reaction I get whenever I ask a girl out.
5. Don't tell them you want to be a game designer unless you've been on several projects which made $$$. Again they'll call just to laugh at you. Sure, you're thinking, "I've got a great idea," so does everyone and their mother. It'll take many years as a grunt working 60 hour weeks on trying to make an Assembler routine use 1% less power from that chip! Again, if you think you're idea can make $$$ then start your own company.
He's right, which is one of the reasons I've never seriously been interested in the game industry. I just can't stand the idea of doing crap work for years, and then finally being able to do what I want. (To be honest, I'd rather just leave game design to the professionals, and then bitch at them when I think they've done something wrong, heh heh.)
I didn't mean to be smug, I was just being realistic. I'm an old 19, and know the routine a bit (32 summer job interviews, 3 offers in this year alone). Yeah, Square won't care about your GPA because it'll see you've had 5 yrs in PD before. But that PD company will care about your GPA a bit, but more on what you've done in school.

Hope it helps and peace...

- Pico

Wow, the weight of todays column seems to be carried by the readers, eh? I've been left with very little to say. Of course, I could ramble for a couple of paragraphs each letter, regardless of whether I have anything to actually add or not, but I've always been more fond of "short 'n sweet" commentary.

Yes, sweet. Here, check it out -- lick my dark gray response box. Go on, don't be shy. Tasty, eh? It's mint chip. I picked the flavor myself!

 
Replaying your favorites
I asked you all to replay your favorite RPG for ten or so hours after the weekend as a little experiment. Here are a few replies (along with the Quote of the Undetermined Amount of Time.)
 
Thor, I recently have been replaying FF2 and I must say it is still one of my favorite games. I like the idea of some guys are fighters and thats it. Some characters just aren't meant to use magic. Thats why I think FF3 and FF7 failed in difficulty. Sure it was a little cool to have all your members cast the best magic in the game every turn, but there is no challenge and it eventually becomes boring. Also another good thing about the game is that you never have to choose who you will take with you in your party. Every character has a predetermined amount of time in the story in which you can use them. These characteristics, the story (still good the fourth time), and the music make this game a real classic. I strongly suggest that anyone who missed the boat on this one to hunt it down, its worth the time.

- Dain

 
Well, I sarted playing FFVI again Thursday, and i's also my favorite RPG...my opinion? This game is still great. One reason being that I'm not being so conservitive about weapon powers and item use. If I want Shaddow to throw a Dirk, he's gonna do it! Plus I wan to see all of his dreams. Bottemline, FFVI is STILL good.

- Ryan

You know, we all are sick of seeing letters about Final Fantasy VII. But here's a little example of why we get so much Square-orientated mail. The only response I got was from people who replayed their favorite Final Fantasy. Not Lufia fans, not Lunar fans, not even Earthbound fans. Err... Yeah. So, this like, goes to show that Square fans are obscenely dedicated. Or maybe they just enjoy participating in stupid experiments more than most. Whatever it proves, I've learned a valuable lession: Trying to force your readers what to discuss is brutish and stupid. Let it flow natural-like, baby.
 
Ha!
Mr. Antrim,

I think Square took over development of the Legend of Thor Gets Some. Evidence? Look at the FAQ Mike Dore submitted. The story makes no sense and the hero has mental problems. :)

- Pender

In response to this letter I will say Legend of Legaia's acronym: LoL!
 
Ouch.
Talking about his idiotic love for Ramen doesn't constitute answering people's "gaming" questions. Nor does talking about his failing GPA or lack of female companionship make anything near amusing. Writing his own editorial wasn't very bright either. And what was with that guest voices thing he did last week?

Rappaccini: Michael's effeminate.
Giovanni: I caught him checking out Thor's butt.
Michael: What? Just cause I like musical theatre...

At least Drew was halfway Decent. Oh well, 5 good columns out of 7 isn't too bad. This Friday tell everyone not to write in. Or get him fired. Either way.

- DiskOp

Normally I don't print flames for my co-workers, but I recieved such a large amount, I figured I might as well respond. Me and Michael aren't really fighting behind the scenes, I just enjoy harassing the weekend guy. (And he, once he learns what's good for him, harasses me back.) So there's no need to write and tell me how much Michael "sucks" to win my favor. He doesn't. He updates a good two, three hours sooner than me. He's funny, and a good co-worker. Besides, sending flames to me instead of him is just cowardly.

We get along fine. Really. I mean, if he didn't like me, why would he keep pestering me for a date?

 
Sex, Lies and Video Games
Hiya Thor (yes, I'm boring),

I really really REALLY need to respond to a letter in Michael's column Sunday. From a supposed 'RPGirl' Kris Wolfe. (I really don't like that labelling RPGirl/Guy thing, but tha's another story.)

Annnnnnyway, she said girls aren't looking for sex, and we avoid looking for guys who are only out for sex 'cause we could get it anytime, etc, etc. Now, I am a woman. I play RPGs. And I'm thinking to myself "Why the fuck (um... edit that if I can't curse) would I not want to have sex?!" Sex rules, dammit! Has she just not figured out that girls come too? And if I wasn't lucky enough to have already found an 'RPGuy' of my own, I'd be asking where these guys WERE. (He's the one who wrote that bit of 'Legend of Thor Gets Some' script. Wyvern. He lives across the country, though, so... I'M ///STILL/// NOT GETTING ANY! Grrr!)

I dunno what kind of supermodel this Kris is, but I do not have a pack of drooling guys after me, not even the desperate nerdy ones (who I actually find kinda cute.) Maybe if I /did/, I would be bored with the Amazing Availability of Guys to Screw, but using my current experience, um.... she's giving many of us girls a bad name, akin to the fifties when we weren't supposed to use birth control because the only reason we were supposed to be having sex was so we could push out more babies. God forbid we actually enjoyed ourselves.

P.S. I really think this was made with you in mind:

Hugbees,

- A slightly peeved Leareth.

Good point. Women do enjoy sex as much as men (if not more), they're just a lot better at controlling their urges, and hence make an ass of themselves far less than guys do. I never did get the big deal, anyway -- virtually anyone can have sex if they lower their standards enough. It's just that simple. So having sex really isn't the status symbol some would like to believe. I mean, heck -- I could break down and accept Michael's relentless offers, but we have to draw the line somewhere, no?

I thank you for the hug(bee!). Moving on. :D

 
i would like to comment on the rpguys wanting to get a girlfriend. don't do it it will ruin your life trust me. i had a girlfriend and it was a pain in the butt. say for instance that voodoo 3 you've been wanting. you won't get it with a girlfriend cause you will have to buy stuff for her to keep her happy. and you can't forget about time i have had xenogears since the first day it came out and i'm only 20 hours into the game. if i didn't have a girlfriend i would already have it beat. it sounds cool to finally get a girlfriend but it isn't especially if your a gamer.
Women rule. And don't you forget it. Your girlfriend sounds time-consuming, which is a good sign -- if you want to spend more time with her than your favorite RPG, you've a real winner on your hands. However, the bit about her sucking your wallet dry has me concerned. You shouldn't have to buy expensive gifts for your girl any more than she should have to spread her legs at the drop of a hat. (Nor should either you have to spend all your time with each other, for that matter.)

Anyway, relationships do take up a good chunk of your free time. You just might not be ready to date. The most important thing to consider is this: Are you happy? If not, dump her needy, money-hungry arse. If so, well, then accept the fact that video games have to play a smaller part in your life. And, um, forget I just called your girl "needy" and "money-hungry".

Life's about choices. Make one.

 
Yo Thor,

I just had to write in response to a person who was posted on mike's Q&A today. her name is Kris Wolfe. The reason for my response is this, and I quote:

"Girls aren't looking for sex. Girls instinctivly avoid guys looking for sex, unless they're stupid (the girls). Girls can get sex anytime we want because guys are so easy, so we're picky; but we don't really want it that bad anyway. "

I think you can probably see what's irritating about it, but ill rant on anyway

first of all, someone isn't stupid just because they dont share your opinions. 'Nuff said.

Second, it annoys me to no end when people use blanket statements such as the ones Kris used. She is speaking for her entire gender on the basis of her OWN opinions, and possibly that of a few friends. I know many girls who think about sex 24/7. And as to girls getting sex whenever they want because guys are so easy, well, I'm a guy, and if anyone thinks for a second that I'd have sex with a girl if she just walked up and asked me, well, they're dead wrong. And I KNOW I am not the only guy of this opinion.

Anyway, enough ranting. So Thor, have you played Ehrgiez yet? If you haven't, then I recommend you give it a whirl. It's a really fantastic game. Well, that's enough for this letter I guess.

- Mercenary, He who walks in shadows.

No sir, I haven't played it. I've heard it's "decent", and the gimmick value of playing your favorite Final Fantasy VII characters makes it shine, but it's no Street Fighter Alpha 3. (Then again, if you're sick of 2d fighters, maybe Ehrgiez is right up your alley.)

Anyway, I wouldn't have sex with just any girl who asked, either. For one, I was raised "right", meaning extremely repressed. For another, there are STDs to worry about. And finally, well, it might just be Michael in drag. Again.

 
Unfit for Print
Playstation sucks. The only reason it's still around is because of Square. Once Square comes to their sences and joins Nintendo when the new system comes out, the Playstation will cease to be.

- Evil Sponge

Need I even point out why this letter is U.f.P.? Let's see. He says the PlayStation sucks, but offers no examples why. He still has his hopes set on Square coming back to Nintendo, which is kind of like still waiting for Ace Harding: Lost in Las Vegas for the NES. Finally, he suggests the only reason the PlayStation is popular is 'cos of Square. Pah-leeze. Even without the mega-hit Final Fantasy VII, they'd have Resident Evil/2, Gran Turismo, and dozens of other hits.

The moral of this Unfit for Print is that system wars are the only things that "suck". And if you're going to trash someone's favorite console, at least have a few facts to back up your argument. Say... do I smell... Quickies?

 
Want to express your sheer joy that Thor's back?
Mail Thor
(At least I know Shawners will always love me.)
 
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.)
 
Quote of the Undetermined Amount of Time
My opinion of Final Fantasy II changed drastically when, after playing it again for the prescribed ten hours, I noticed that the game was over.
- Roquentin
 
Quickies that satisfy
I recently rented "Ehrgiez" and it said this about Vincent's situation: "After being killed by (Hojo) within the Shinra Mansion, Vincent underwent anatomic reconstruction, and was brought back to life. He now possesses new and improved abilities beyond those of normal men." HA! At least now you won't get any more stupid Vincent questions (or at least not many):D
- Hugh G. Rection
Because you were nice enough to put an end to an ongoing argument, I will withhold all comments concerning your nickname.
And the last Joel episode of MST3K was Mitchell, not Michael. (Known to my friends as "DA Dum! Mitchel-wokka-chicka wokka-chicka wokka-chicka wokka-chicka" after the groovy theme music.
- Charon
Oh. I, uh, knew that. Yeah. It was.... a pun. Yes, that's it.
OK, I'll bite. What's that music?
- Pteryx
MMMbo...y, I just can't seem to remember the name! Heh heh.
I'm one of your other linux/Xwindows readers... and just wanted to let Rob (the guy from friday's column) know that all he needs to do is install a TrueType font server, then get some of the standard Windoze fonts. The page will look fine. http://fonts.themes.org
- Avatar
Thanks for the tip. I'm sure any Ask Thor reader who uses Xwindows will be thrilled when they read this. All three of them.
Accourding to nintendo, Ultima: Exoddus was the first RPG out for the nintendo and the famicon.
-Curunir
Whups. Man, I need a list of release dates.
In case you haven't already received one, here's a link to the RE Jigalo file : It's pretty funny, but some might not like the cheap porn flick reference =)
- Senhor Anthony
Hehe, indeed it is. Beware guys -- this file is even more perverted than Hanson.
 
Thor Stuff: Egotism at its finest

I'm looking for some sort of online resource with release dates for video games. Preferably a "friggin' huge!" list, too. Help?
Happy belaited birthday, Trevah Rowd.
Cloud's hair gel was only kidding when he made that comment featured in the last Quote of the Undetermined Amount of Time.
Darien whipped up this here fancy schmancy dancin' Thor icon! Woo, look at me go. Shake that moneymaker!
According to Carlos Rodriguez, who has what could be possibly the most ethnic sounding name, ever; according to Square's webpage, Final Fantasy VIII is coming to the PC this Winter...

Oh, look. RPGamer already has the news story up. Well, I typed this before I checked, and I'll be damned if I erase it!


I recieved a ton of good poems. I'll print some tomorrow. Todays column was big enough already.
Welp, I could probably bitch about today being a Monday again, just for some filler, but I think we've all heard about enough of that. Night, guys.

Ohh, you like?! Thor "God of Dog" Antrim
Shadow Zero kicks my dancin' butt! :(

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