Thursday Thorsday Sadness
The good news: After this Friday, I'll no longer be updating really late at night.

The bad news: After this Friday, I'll no longer be updating -- period. See Thor Stuff for details. In the meantime, enjoy this rather groovy edition Thursday Thorsday Madness, sans (what does that even mean?) long letters.

O Mighty Lord of Thunder and Lightning (a.k.a. things I'd rather not type)

Is there a real definition of a Dragoon? I've seen the term used in everything from Final Fantasy IV (Kain) to Starcraft to Mega Man X4. I don't really care what dictionary you use, either.

- Scott "Dragonslicer" Lerman

Scott! As a licensed Dragonslicer, you should already know this! Sheesh, what are they teaching in Dragon Battling school these days, anyway?

According to Merriam-Webster (I'd say "EAT IT SHAWNERS, EAT IT!", but that's getting rather old) dragoon means "a member of a European military unit formerly composed of heavily armed mounted troops". I suppose the reason Kain was called a "Dragoon" and not the correct "Dragon Knight" is simply a poo-poo translation. Well, that and it sounds pretty cool. Nowadays Dragoons are pretty much Square tradition, with the exception of Final Fantasy Tactics, when Dragon Knights were once again mistranslated, this time as "Lancers". Well, at least they got "Moogle" right.

"You must defeat Dave with the Can Opener to save your neighborhood!"
Hello. Names of many RPG characters are kinda names you'd more than likely not see in a normal person walking down the street i.e. Aeris, Vahn, Celes, ect. with the exception of Vincent, Edgar and a few others I can't recall. Are these names normal in Japan? Why don't they have characters named "Bob" and "Tom" and "Tina" and "Alice"? Names people can identify with. Well, because they don't sound nearly as cool. Can you imagine a hospital infant holder room place filled with young Clouds, Celes, Terras and the like? Then 80 years later, have a retirement home full of guys named Barret and Gala and Kefka?
Simple: Confusion and suspension of disbelief. Localizers intentionally use unusual names since good deal of people, myself included, name the hero after themselves. Now, if your name was "Bob", and there was a player character down the line also named "Bob", this would lead to some nasty confusion. It's also a bit distracting to hear someone yelling your name/someone you know's name in an RPG. To prevent players from scratching their heads in confusion, and not just due to the usual lice/dandruf reasons, companies opt to rename commonly named characters, um, uncommon things.
Oh yea, and have you ever played Dragon Force for the Saturn? Excellent game,
No. (Boring answer alert! Doot doot! That's what, six gulps in the Ask Thor drinking game?)
I know this guy.
Thork, the other white meat:

Today, I send you two images. They should be viewed in this order. 1. SATURNSEAT.JPG: This is the coolest thing I've seen in my life. I mean, ever. 2. NewSummon.JPG: This is a new summon from Final Fantasy 8. It looks kind of familiar, but this is the first time that it's ever been seen, anywhere. I've not seen screenshots on any other site!

If you don't mind the extra 50kb or so, I'll continue sending you retarded and sometimes cryptic images that make you wish to destroy a small farmyard animal. Like Bone comics, for instance. Stupid, stupid Kupan creatures. And anyway, just remember who broke the news on the new summon! Not RPGamer, not GIA, but Electric Breakfast Online! Which, in case you were wondering, is not running. That page you see there is, well, fake. :P As is something else about this email, obviously.

Dig it.

And.. don't kill me.

- Mike Lisman

Well I'll be -- an upside to leaving Ask Thor! Just think, if I had stuck around, I would have been forced to endure this kind of stuff on a regular basis.
D2. No, not the movie with Estivez.
Okay, I've got a few questions.

Is anyone excited about D2 (not related to E3)? D is an excellent horror adventure game, it even came out a whole 20 some days before the now infamous Resident Evil. I hear it's coming out for the Dreamcast. I still think that D is my all time favorite game, I mean, the storyline was great, the FMV very gory, the atmosphere very creepy, and (most) of the puzzles weren't extremely difficult.

Well... let's just say I was a lot more excited until I found out it was yet another "Survivial Horror" game. D rocked; it was perhaps the best FMV adventure ever. (Which, admittedly, isn't saying much.)

It's too bad Warp decided to turn the series into a Resident Evil clone. At least it looks like they aren't using people who turn into Zombies this time. They're using people who turn into plant monsters. It's kind of original, I guess, in a vaguely 1950s scary movie kinda way... Ahh, who am I kidding? I'm sick of Survivial Horror games with no originality whatsoever. Can we just get off the whole people turning into things bit?

What's your thoughts on fanfiction? Do you read it, do you think it's a complete waste of time, do you write it :) ?
I wrote a couple of fanfiction parodies in my day. I don't read the stuff. It always seemed kind of weird. I don't know what I'd think if someone took the characters I write about in my short stories and had them do things I never intended. However, there was a great Final Fantasy Tactics fanfic on RPGamer a while back. "The Proposition", I think. (For the record, I only gave that one a read after a co-worker quoted a hilarious paragraph.)
Are there any upcoming RPGs that use a day/night cycle? Those'r neat.
Shen Mue. And... uh... Shen Mue.
Mountains 'r nice.

Oh yeah, one last thing, Lost Highway soundtrack ROCKS. Loved Rammstein even before Du Hast. And you just can't beat Nine Inch Nails ^_^

- Bubbawheat

Yeah, but what's with track 02, "Videodrones; Questions"? It doesn't say NIN wrote the song, like it does with "The Perfect Drug", it just says plain ol' Trent Reznor. Weird.
Bernie Stolar: Kindly old man, or bloodthirsty demon?
Dear Thwart?

I'd be writing this to Next Generation Online but they ain't updating they Q&A section; know what I be sayin'? (Just kidding... about the grammer part) I just got done reading that interview with Bernie Stolar in the latest issue of NG, and all I can say is that Mr. Stolar comes off as a untrustworthy rat. He even looked like a con-artist in his photos. I'm not real good at ellaborating on my own ideas but maybe you, Thor, could help. I'd like to know what you think of Stollar's comments or if you haven't read it, what you think of Stolar in general. As for me, I don't take a word he says seriously. Keep it real, my man. (and feel free to share my letter with the rest of the world)

- El Nombre

I think Stolar's an idiot. Plain and simple. The Dreamcast has everything going for it -- except him. I don't know about him looking untrustworthy, though. I mean, it's in his best interest for the Dreamcast to suceed, right? Of course! Why, you can tell he's hoping for the best just by looking at him. Now that is a team player.
~Where in the world is FFVIII's chocobo breeding system?~
What happened to the monster breeding system that was supposed to be in FFVIII? I remember reading all about how it would be like the Chocobo breeding in FFVII, everyone was really pumped about it, and then it just disappeared. Where did it go?

- BRIAN!!!!!!!

I got this letter in March, and finally decided to use it. Go me.

I'm pretty sure the breeding system was linked to the PocketStation, which Sony recently announced wouldn't make it to the US. Whether Square will "update" Final Fantasy VIII so we can sadistically force giant birds of burden to hump remains to be seen.

Length doesn't matter
Do you think Lunar is actually worth it now? They say it is only 20-30 hours? Hmm..that is pretty short. I mean they said FFIII was like 60, but i beat it in 40, so i could beat like Lunar in 10. That sucks I was looking forward to the game but I am not so sure now.

- Polo

Was Chrono Trigger worth it? Was Suikoden worth it? Was Final Fantasy worth it? Damn straight! As long as the game's fun, and has high replayability (which Lunar: SSSC has), the game length doesn't really matter. I mean, Xenogears was 70 hours, but how many people do you know who have won it more than once or twice? Sometimes you can actually get more playtime out of a short game, 'cos it makes you want to keep coming back.

And don't believe the hype -- companies usually puff up finishing times, claiming that they expect you to explore everything and finish all side-quests. I remember back when Gamefan magazine announced Legacy of Kain would take over 100 hours to beat. What they forgot to add was, "this game will take 100 hours to beat only if you leave it on for four days and then start to play". I seriously doubt anyone's going to beat Lunar: SSSC in under 20 hours the first time through. So dig in, young gamer!

The coolest Dante was Clerk's
Teresias didn't kill one snake, he speparated them. Then, seven years later I believe, he found them again and touched them with the same cane he separated them with years earlier, and was changed back to a man. It just so happens that I read this exact same myth on this Monday in school, while reading Dante's Inferno. Which, by the way, supplied names for Rubicant (Rubicante), Calbrenna (Calcobrenna), Kainazzo (Cagnazzo), and Milon, who was correctly translated as Scarmiglione in the fully legal translated version of Final Fantasy IV harddtype (Now for the PC!). They are all members of a group of demons in hell known as the Malebranche, who spend their time stabbing sinners who pop up to the surface of the burning tar pits. They also fart at each other as a salute (no lie, I swear).

And that's all I have to say.

- Arpad Korossy

Strangely enough, that's also how RPGamer staff members salute each other.
Unfit for Print -- no explanation needed.
Unfortunately, your little phrase on how 88200hz would never be important to anyone is very false as well as very naive. I'm sorry, but it's just not true; to programmers it is very important, as they have to know what hz a song is when they play it in their game, as well as how much CPU use and RAM it will take to play it. If they don't take they into mind, the game will slow down and most probably crash.

- Zack Elle

Most of you know I was instructed not to insult my readers when I took the position as RPGamer Q&A guy. But seeing as how this is my second to last day here, at least for a good while... what the hell, lets have ourselves a little fun.

If anyone looks at Ask Thor as a way to learn programming, they're an even bigger idiot than Bernie Stolar. This is not the place to seek information on the technical aspects of audio. This is a Q&A column which focuses on RPGs. Sometimes.

Sure, there are a few weridos out there that actually care about this boring crap, such as Shawners and yourself, but the vast majority of us couldn't possibly care less. The hilarious thing is the only person who wrote in to defend such useless information -- you -- seemingly already knew it, so it's not like it was doing anyone any good. And right now, Zack, everyone is laughing at you for being the most anal retentive man on earth. Oh, and your mother dresses you funny.

Hey, I have a novel idea...
ASK Thor
(Hint, hint.)
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
"I heard an even weirder rumor that Cloud could go on a three way date with Thor and Michael. Boy, wouldn't that be sexy?"
- Moogle Child
(Oh, baby.)
Quickies that satisfy
"What are those Japanese symbols mean when Citan hits an enemy with his sword?" Is that just the equivalent of the old Batman thing "POW!", "ZOP!", "BAM!", or are they makers of the game secretly insulting us?
- The One Known as Trekie (yes, one K, I like being different)
Those symbols roughly translate to "Star Trek sucks". Oh, wait, one "K"? Nevermind. I honestly don't know. Guys?
Some guy said he beat Final Fantasy(part 1 for the nes) in 8 hours and says that was his record, well i can break it!! My record(to the minute the ending was over) is 5 hours 51 minutes. I used a party of 4 Black Belts/Grand Masters. If anyone cares to beat the record, i Dare you!
- Togepi---A Local rpgamer pokemon board resident.
Yeah, well my record is 5 hours, 50 minutes! Hah!
Thor you mysogenist!

I'm a gypsy, how dare you offend me by using the term "jyp" on your page?!
- Hoenir Aesir (the first Norse Gypsy God)

Strangely enough, my 'blood sister' is a gypsy. No lie. Really, for once I'm not being a smartass.
Your new name is Tweek.
- Chrono
Better than "Thorgasm", I guess.
Could I be the only person that actually noticed that the writer of the editorial blasting characterization and graphics was actually joking? It seemed pretty obvious to me, but the current update of five hundred people writing in to trash him makes me feel like somewhat of a minority here.
- Zach
I had my doubts too, dude; but it's not really my department.
Hey! Anyone point out that Shadow Zero is in Final Fantasy Tatics? Four or five of the prepositions are about you fighting him! Oh! And he's called 'Phantom Thief Zero'. This is too similar to SoM's Zero to be called a mere coincidence.

- False Prophet Maduin

you gave the first letter in today's column the subtitle of "Parn!" were you really trying to say "Porn!" and just made a totally wack typo, or did you mean "Parn!" as a reference to the hero in Record of Loddoss Wars
- Psycho23
"Parn" is how pirates say "porn". I thought everyone knew that. Cha.
Thor Stuff: Egotism at its finest

Yesterday someone asked when E3 started, and I replied with what E3 was. Oopsie. Well, the show is being held May 12-15 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in -- get this -- Los Angeles, CA.
Okay, the best place to look for Sephiroth pictures is here.
I'm leaving RPGamer, for a while, at least. The story is long, personal, and annoyingly ironic considering that joke fragment from Monday. (Or was it Tuesday? Eh, no matter.) Surprisingly enough, it has nothing to do with Tidwell finding out about the affair I'm having with his wife, which is how I always imagined I'd end my stay at RPGamer. (Joking, really. Put down the axe, Mike!)

Due to an illness in the family and an upcoming move, I simply won't have the time to work on Ask Thor for a good while. Never fear, I'll be back (after the move) if I can help it, though I won't make any promises, because I really don't want to "pull a Reid".

This leaves us with but one day to finish up everything we always wanted to. Sadly, the Thor Hack Archives won't make the cut. I might be able to scrape enough free time to update the page after this Friday (read: my departure), so continue to check back and then, no matter how dull my replacement is.

I'll save my long goodbye for Friday, I guess. I really wish I could have stuck around longer, but the column was going to Hell anyway (late updates, etc.), and I realized I just couldn't balance everything out. Just to put your fears at rest, unlike, um, basically every RPGamer Q&A Dude in the past, I'm perfectly happy with this job, and fully intend on returning. Unless Stolar finds out about today's column and has me killed, of course.

Check back tomorrow. I'll have a parting gift for you, my poppets.

Ohh, you like?! Thor "Lord of the Blarg" Antrim
Bummer, eh?

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