Ask Zac
Back Again
Ask Zac - August 21 '99- 6:30 PM EDT

Well, here I am, back again for the second straight weekend in a row. I know you've all missed me, especially you female readers who've been begging JD for the return of that "Q&A guy who is everything I want in a man". Well, never fear, I have returned, and I've got a big mailbag to go along with me.

Xenogears on Bleem!
Have any of you tried playing Xenogears on Bleem!? The "sprites" aren't sprites. They're actually scaled flat polygons. In fact, the only reason they're rather 16-bitish is because the renderer is set in 320x240 when it's displaying most of the scenes...primarily for smoothness in rotation and movement in animation.
If you play Xenogears in Bleem!, aside from some small graphic defects in all the tiles, the graphics themselves are interweaved and look VERY nice. Especially Citan. Instead of some little blocky mouth, he actually looks nice. Even in 640x480 [resolution] but try 800x600 if you can. Figured I'd clear that up. Nobody needs to be wreckin' my game like that. This little graphic property, by the way, happens a LOT in both N64 games and PSX games. Try it out with Bleem! or UltraHLE (Zelda, for instance). You'll see what I mean.

- Andrew Lancos

This is perhaps the most legitamate way to use bleem!. If you want improved graphics for games you already own for your PSX, bleem! is the way to go.

Final Failure, Original Sound Version

Hey Zac,
1) Where, if anywhere, might I find Final Fantasy Sheet music? 2) Final Fantasy 8 will be released on the 8th of Sept. One day prior to the 'cast. Or such is the word at EB. Is this true? 3) Why do anime characters have eyes the size of the Balkans? 4) If Bob Dole and Stolar made their own RPG, what rating would it get?

- The Chishire Catalyst

1) On occassion, sheet music is posted in our music section. As an aspiring musician (I'm just learning to play the keyboard) my favorite method is to use a program like Noteworthy Composer to translate midis into sheet music which you can print out and play.
2) FF8 and the Dreamcast will be released on September 9, 1999.
3) The size, shape, and color of the eyes display emotion. And it helps them see better.
4) They already made one, it was for the Sega master system, it's called "Final Failure" and involves destroying corporations (not unlike Final Fantasy 7), getting old, selling out, and using viagra. But what can you expect from an American-made RPG?

Ignorance is Bliss

Hey Zac,
Im the proud owner of a Turbo graphix 16 And I need to know whether or not there are any worthwhile Rpg's available for it. Any recommendations? And possibly where to buy them?

- Nick your Immortal Friend and Enemy

It depends on if you consider Bonk a worthwhile role playing game or not. I recommend selling your TB16 on e-bay and buying a real system.

Broken Honor

Dear Zac,
Lots of RPG fans are making their own RPGs nowadays. I'm from RPGTech Industries and we're making our own game called Broken Honor. People can check out our main site at To get specifics on Broken Honor, you can check out We just got our first 3d character rendering (for FMV) and Nomad is hard at work on 2d sprites (he needs some help). The script for the demo should be done next week and the programmers are going to get to work on the game, and darkhalo (our 3d guy) is going to start on the FMV for the demo! We also need some help in two areas, and I was hoping someone might be able to help. We need someone to help Nomad with sprites (this takes commitment, and some time, so please know that when you apply) and someone to do hand drawn backgrounds. Just e-mail me at if you can help.

- jackdarippa

The brief storyline available looks good to me, and I think this is a good opportunity for anyone out there with no past experience who wants a place to start, or any students and artists looking for a hobby.

The Fantasy in Final Fantasy

Ahem *cough* Ahey hey. Since you're a game fan, it's my guess you know of Anime (like most gamers). And if you know of Anime you more-than-likely know about hentai (yes...the animated porn) o.0 I've got this awesome idea for a game. Yeah, a "hentai" game. I think we should all petition Squaresoft and tell them to get Square to make a hentai game (just think of the FMV...).

PS. Even though you aren't JD...that Christina chick is mad hot. ^_^

That just might convince Sony to come out with a power glove. *rimshot*

Short Game = No Game

Hey Zac,
I just read that Vagrant Story will only be 6-10 hours long, yet offer superior graphics. What's your take on this? In my opinion, a solid storyline with plenty of development is the way to go in an RPG. Maybe it's just another Parasite Eve.

- Phoenix

People look for different things in RPGs, but I for one would not spend money on an RPG that's 6-10 hours long. I like long RPGs, or games with good graphics and multiplayer / netplay capability. If I like a game, I want to be able to play it and enjoy it for extended periods of time.

CG or Animation?

This one goes out to that guy talking about that Anime/CG thing yesterday, saying CG is EASIER than animation and takes up the same amount of space.
First off, depending on the complexity of the CG, it can take many many times longer than animation. All though key-framing saves tons of time, a scene takes a VERY long time to set up. On the other hand, with Anime there are no "scenes" because drawing allows artistic freedom without worrying about technical aspects.
Secondly, about the space issue. Movie files can have different compression rates, anime can be compressed more without losing quality because of large areas of solid static colour.

- |NOVA|

Like many things, it depends on how you look at it. I have seen amazing artists in both the field of CG and anime, and I don't think you can say one is more difficult or better than the other. It is a matter of taste and a matter of effort.

Translators Cost Money

Hey Zac,
JD has been saying this for a while but I honestly don't think he knows the whole story. He keeps on saying Ogre Battle will be coming out this year or whatever. For one Nintendo hasn't even said it would be out at an specific date. In their biased magazine of theirs Ogre Battle 3 (yes, it's 64 but I'll get back on that later) they list Ogre Battle 3, future release. Future, not 4th quarter, 1st quarter, ect... Future means jack, it's pretty much a maybe. Also, we all know the geniuses at Quest and Nintendo (good games, bad judgement) changed the name to Ogre Battle 64 from OB3. Nintendo lists it as Ogre Battle 3 still. What does this say about how sure they are about bringing it over? I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't know it came out in Japan. Also, from what I've heard one of the reps. at E3 was asked about Ogre Battle 64 and in his response he not only didn't answer the question but asked if they've seen Starcraft 64 or something. Eventually they showed OB64 in a backroom and was just a tape or something... Who knows, I wasn't there but all I'm saying is that just because Nintendo has the translation rights (damn them...) it doesn't mean it will come over. They could scrap it at the last minute. They already will screw with the story I bet because from what I hear it was suitable for "mature" audiences. -.-; Of course Nintendo brings Mortal Kombat (crappiest fighter ever) which has its fighters lose ten gallons of blood. Anyway, remember Final Fantasy 5? Seiken Densetsu? Bahamut Lagoon? If you didn't don't be surprised cause I know Final Fantasy 5 was near done and Seiken Densetsu 3 I hear was the same. Bahamut Lagoon I just threw in. ^.^ Anyway, what's your take? Nintendo in Japan actually has games, unfortunately their U.S. counterpart obviously thinks we rather have other games. I'm not complaining, I liked several of them. -.-;

- Tristan Adnade

Final Fantasy 5 is being translated, and of course we'll end up with the "bad translation theme". Seiken Densetsu was Final Fantasy Adventure, Seiken Densetsu 2 was Secret of Mana, and Seiken Densetsu 3 was an excellent game just recently translated to English for emulator. Nintendo of America has a major problem with choosing what games to translate and port to our systems. Hopefully we'll get OB64, but there's always a chance that we won't.

Nintendo's New Cup Size

Hey Zac,
Was the 64DD ever released in Japan? If so, when? I remember hearing that it wouldn't make it to the US, and then I never heard anything else about it.

- Zach

Nintendo has ressurected it's plan for the DD in Japan, and still does not plan to bring it over to the US. This means one thing to me: the Dolphin is far, far away. And now I have severed my loyalty to Nintendo, and officially frown upon the executives and directors of every major console manufacturer. When will these people wake up? The only smart thing Sega's done recently is ditch Stolar, Sony may very well release the PSX2 for some extravagant price that no standard gamer will be able to afford, and it could be many, many years before we see a decent system with RPGs from Nintendo. The shortage of RPGs for my PC is leaving me with one bleak view of the future, to continue playing old games over again, and playing new games at the houses of friends more wealthy than I. Oh Nintendo, why hath you forsaken your people?

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dear Zac,
I am wearing pink underwear.
the peptobismolman [possibly JD?

Why, I would have never imagined.. tmi

Are you born wit it or is it Maybeline??

Maybe it's Maybeline.

what is the secret of life?
-dr. tintinibar

I believe the answer was calculated to be '42'. Thank you, Douglas Adams.

Want to see a movie next weekend? - Thousands of my female fans

Sorry, ladies, I'm taken.. Besides, I've got Q&A to do on the weekends.

Well, I've had a great week, and I'm actually really starting to enjoy this Q&A business. I'm still waiting for a generous reader to donate a PSX to me, so at least sometime during my life I can play from start to finish some of these games.
If anyone from ION Storm reads my column, When are you going to finish Anachronox?! I really want to play that game ^_^

Zac "the Lego Maniac" Gochenour (you saw that one coming)
PC RPGs rock ^_^

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