Ask Zac
Out of the frying pan..
Ask Zac - August 15 '99- 8:30 AM EDT

Well after sorting through and utterly disregarding every single flame I received for bashing FF7, I'm ready to do the second column. The reason it's so early is I have to be someplace soon, and then I'm going to sleep.

I know many of you love Final Fantasy 7. And perhaps what I said about the game was a bit harsh. My opinion simply is I don't like it. During no time in the game that I played, which was just past the end of disc 1, did I feel any of the same great feeling I felt when playing Final Fantasy 4, 6, and Chrono Trigger. I do not feel that "castles and dragons" are necessary to make a good game, but I feel the setting of FF7 crumbled the game. Also, I felt the graphics did not add much gaming effect. Most importantly, I felt the characters were horrible and the development of them almost pitiful. As an avid reader of many novels, the story development just didn't do it for me, and the graphics didn't make up for a poor setting, poor characters, and poor storyline. I do know what happens after where I stopped playing, so the fact that I didn't finish actually playing through is no matter.
I don't think there's anything wrong with liking FF7, I just didn't like it myself. Nor do many gamers. Anyway, without further adieu, onto the letters. Hopefully I've gained some experience and wisdom after my first column. Lots of thanks to all who congratulated me on my first try.

Ego? Me? Nah.

Dear Zac,
You MUST lighten up. Okay, okay, those helpful emails ARE needed, but you must mix in some outrageous or scandalous ones, because, otherwise, no one will bother to read the column unless they sent one in and are hoping for their fifteen minutes of fame. JD has found a pretty good mix, and Thor was one of the undeniable masters of it; therefore, not as a reader to writer, but as a superior *grin* to a lowly little peon encapsulated within my power, I command you to lighten up! For your sake as much as mine!
So, now, onto the question (yes, yes, I'm following my 10 step program for you fans :D ). Which person has the bigger ego? Mage or Kirin? I would have to say...uh...Kirin, because although he professes modesty at times, he truly is the ruler of this minor planet. Mage is simply...oh...a couple...thousand levels below Kirin and does not show the dignity and grace that Kirin shows under pressure. Now, to ensure that this letter is posted (and the first one, as a matter of fact *grin (yes, again)*), I shall proceed with my grovel of the day. Oh Great and Mighty Mage, bestow upon us your limit *cough -ed cough* less power and knowledge so that one day we might *cough crush cough* strive to be more like you in all our days. Oh, and excuse my nasty cough; colds are a bitter thing.

- Ki--er, Nirik, the backwards compatible horse.

And as my first act of lightening up, I am NOT going to print your letter! Muahaha.. Disrespect, in your face! Uh.. Well, since you begged, here's your two minutes of fame.

CC, FMV, FFVII, and other abbreviations

Dear Zac,
1)Do you think that the development team for Chrono Cross will have learned to be wary of forsaking plot and characters for eye-candy, or do you think that I'll end up clutching my copy of Crono Trigger and sobbing over what might have been?
2)I'm still confused as to whether the FFVI remake in the FF Anthology has FMV scenes throughout or if it only has an opening and ending movie, do you know which it is? (See, I don't hate FMV's, I LOVE them! Just not in place of a story ^_~) Alternately, do you know if the new FMV is an add-on to the old ending or if they replaced it entirely? (PLEASE say that it's an add-on ^_~)
3)Do you agree that the FFVII characters look like bricks with faces painted on? ^_~ Hee hee, flame away o fans of polygonal idols for I am Celes, Rune Knight extraordinare and I remember how to use Grey Magic from before it was made vestigal by Knights of the Round!!!!!!!

- Celes ^_~
(I'm a really bored sucker for punishment, ^_~)

1) I can't make a judgement call yet. I am a huge CT fan and I hope that the game captures the same feeling and yet adds new life to the story (that's what I want in any sequel to a game I like)
2) It's an opening, an ending, and semis. Like the opera and the destruction of the world. It will be cool. I don't know if the FMVs replace or add on, but one would assume they replace, because what is already there is just the 16-bit version of full motion video =D
3) No I wasn't too impressed with the graphics in FF7. I mean, what's up with the HUGE wrists?
And you, my dear, may share flames. Muahaha.

PC RPGs and Settings

Dear Zac,
I like pc Rpg's,but I havent really found any decent newer ones, think you could tell me a few? Anyway, I think your gonna be a cool weekend dude, even though your almost the oppsite of me, I love Sony, and loved ff7, and like the high tech settings more, oh well.. ff adventure was kool at least.

- Jay C

I really like Fallout 2 and Baldur's Gate, those are the two newest that I enjoy the most. Also look forward to Anachronox, FFVIII PC (Yes I WILL give it a chance!), Ultima IX: Ascension, Planescape: Torment, Diablo II, and others.
A lot of the flamers should take lessons from this you in courtesy. I respect the fact that you like the setting in FF7 and I don't. And as a note, it's not the fact that it's high tech, it's the fact that I did not enjoy the particular mixture of traditional fantasy and sci-fi that is found in FF7. Oh, FF Adventure rocks man! ^_^

Nintendo's Plan for World Domination

Dear Zac,
1)The Dreamcast will reign here in America *for a limited time only*
2)PSX2 will sell only 75% of their estimates, and the guys will buy some games. Then, 33% of those people will return it all, while 12.5% return the remade games, and only 47% will buy the modem, cause they're knee deep in debt from the games they buy for the PSX2.
3)When the PSX2 comes out here, 49.99999% (The bunch of loons won't even make half. Haha) of the products shipped out will actually be bought. The next day, 56% of those people will return it all, nobody will return the remade games (Why the hell would they want to cough up money like that for a game you already have? BECAUSE IT IS REMADE BABY!), and only the people in Seattle and Silicon Valley would buy the modem because most of the people in those areas works for some big time corp. like Microsoft or SGI.
4)Nintendo Dolphin will sell 20% of their products. (Note, not estimated! They can produse those babies so quickly, not even Microsoft could keep up with that rate! They'd ship over 15,000,000 of em'). Then, they come out with all of the accessory sets of Dolphin (with Keyboard, two controllers, two memory cards, and a modem) which shall be sold for about 189.99. I like that deal, baby.
5)By the time the Dreamcast is two years old, they shall go back to their old campaign used for the Sega Genesis, and go back to becoming 1.5% of the US video game market.
[etc etc]
11)Nintendo rules the world! (Once they buy out Washington Mutual, Wells Fargo, Chevron, Safeway and Lucky's, Seven-Eleven, Denny's,,, and
You can tell how much I like Nintendo. :)

- Chris "my longetivity is as long as my writings" Pioli

Really, I'm a big Nintendo fan, I have communicated with Nintendo and I like what they do. But I don't like it because it's "Nintendo", I like quality products. I am a big fan of quality products, which I feel Sony does not and will not produce. I could be wrong though. I am a lowly Q&A columnist and RPGamer staff member, and am far from omniscient.. (well, not TOO far)


Dear Zac,
I wanted to come out and stat that i agree to a point about older games being much deeper in their storylines... FF 6 and Chrono Trigger got me hooked to RPG's For life. The newer squaresoft things have been more "eye candy" and far less depth plot.. Ff7 was decent.. but it didnt give me that feeling of... "Damn I wanna get home and play it more so i can find out what happens", it was more of a chore just to add to my sqauresoft games beaten resume.
The One exception so far.. has to be Xenogears. What a plotline... and what an incredible story! Alot of people complain of the sprites and the gameplay.. but to me it was more than worth it to see that incredible plot unfold. I am not an avid reader.. but this was like a novel and i enjoyed every second of it... The addition of the new battle system and Gear Battles was just the icing... If you truely want your depth.. play xenogears... yes there's tons of dialogue.. and not more than 20 mins of anime.. but if you are a true rpger and love your storylines.. Give it a shot... Its well worth your 50+ hrs!!


I have seen the game and it looks great, but I won't buy a playstation just for this one game, I can't afford it anyway (they don't pay me here, just throw scraps of meat every once in a while).

More Death Threats

Dear Zac,
First off, I'd like to say that as the local psycho (who, I might add probably gets the fewest of his letters printed) there ain't no one gonna kill you unless it's me, and you don't seem like the type I wanna kill.
Now, have you by any chance played Betrayal at Krondor? IF so....why the hell can't I make it past the first chapter? I can't even get near the castle without a thorough ass-whooping. I'm short on money, food, and all the rest of that stuff. Any advice...if you've played that is.

ID "I wanna be your neighbor" the psycho

Kill me? Man, Q&A is a more dangerous job than I thought, new media is a great deal safer.
Beats me, maybe you just suck. I own the game, and I've finished it.. But I don't really remember everything. This isn't a tipline :-)

Anthology Load Times

Dear Zac,
I recently read a review of the Japanese version of final fantasy anthology on gamefaqs and it said "Load times are the worst I've ever seen. It takes longer to load up the menu than to do anything else. In the time that it takes to load throught the whole game i think I could read a short book. No joking."
Can this be true???? do u know if us americans will suffer the same fate as those poor japanese gamers? or will square improve the loading times in the american version? thats the least they could do for leaving ff iv out of it(damn square if i didnt love them so much i'd hate their stinking guts). newayz i hope your infinite knowledge, or some1 elses can enlighten me on this.

- tech9

Yes this is true to some extent. FF5 seems to be okay, but FF6 has some serious load problems. Maybe it's due to the fact that the PSX is a sorry piece of hardware that's poorly made, but Sony is so arrogant they know they can make sorry hardware and no one will care because they have more third parties and it's CD-based. Well, it worked, to my dismay. This freak occurance will not happen again, oh no, Sony is in for a wake up call if they think they can sell another sorry clunk of overpriced junk and that it will dominate the market. Dolphin has what developers want. But I fear the Dreamcast does not, and will eventually be overshadowed by DVD systems. It's not that I don't like the Dreamcast, (I've got flames for that) or that I don't like Sega (I worked for by god!) - it's that I don't think the hardware is good enough to compete. We'll see.

Loyalist or Patriot?

Dear Zac,
1. Are you one those nintendo loylists who can't get over the glory 16-bit days?
2. Why do you hate FF7 so much. It was good. I liked FF4 and FF6 alot better but it was still a excellent game. I hate people who just join on this FF7 hate bandwagon. Judging a game by not finishing it and throwing it aside because it's setting was more sci-fi than fantasy is ignorant. Granted I like the fantasy settings much better but there's room for both types of games.
3. I noticed you play Starcraft. Do play starcraft on bnet and whats your favorite race?
Thats it, hope you enjoy being the new weekend guy.

- R. L.

1) Well I am sorta stuck in the past, since I adore my old Nintendo games, and replay them rather consistently.
2) There really isn't an FF7 hate bandwagon at all. It's the highest selling RPG ever and a lot of people really like it. So I'm definitely not saying I don't like FF7 to "be cool".
3) Yes I play on, but usually just with friends from IRC or RL. I like all the races but terran are the most fun to play in my opinion. Gotta love those siege tanks ^^.
I do enjoy it! Thanks!

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Since it looks like the trend towards more futuristic Final Fantasies is going to continue for the forseeable future, would you say that FF6 was the final fantasy Final Fantasy?
- Another Shameless Punster

Hmm, you may have a point. But that pun is sorta lame.. aren't they all?

Hey did you have to go through some kind of Q&A ritual where JD and Ryan shoved peanuts up your gaspasser? Just curious.

Uh, well, not exactly. Something like that. Okay nothing like that. I would have shot them before letting their hands close to my behind with intent of insertion. Though JD has been hitting on me lately, j/k, but what can I say, I'm just oh-so-hot.

You are the worst RPGamer Q&A person ever.
You're dogmatic, immature, and have no wit whatsoever.
Let's hope your term is short.
- Sent Anonymously

Hang on, I have to cry now. Oh where oh where has my self esteem gone? Hehe. I like you flamers :D

Alright, I seriously don't understand this? Are all of the Q&A Guys between you and Thor incompetent? I mean, we can't just have ONE guy to flirt and/or piss off anymore. Now it take two people to miss columns! Wow! At least Thor got us in...its like you guys just don't care... >sniffles!< But Seriously! I'm beginning to think that Thor is more competent with the Q&A position... and thinking Thor like that is, after seeing that [sexy] hair... Scary!
-Terra (Acutally the nickname has no relation to FF6...odd)

Thor should be coming back soon, and I shall die, like all good soldiers.. err.. I shall go do work somewhere else. But until then, I love flirting!

I'm starting to get used to this Q&A thing! You may see me next weekend, you may not, but I'm just mysterious like that. But expect me hard at work for RPGamer for a long time now, and also, please read the RPGamer IRC FAQ and come join us on channel #rpgamer .

Zac "On Fire" Gochenour
Haha, JD's turn tommorow!

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